Wow, that rocked. Where to begin? Believe it our not, I've never read a Harry 1st Person PoV, so this was my first time - and you may have just set me up to be disappointed in other attempts at this PoV, but who cares, because it was brilliant. The tone was so consistent. Thoroughly despondent, I'd say. If Harry ever were to commit suicide, this is probably how the thoughts would run through his head.
I really liked the comparison between the camera and the dementor. And the constant 'click.flash.' It provided the story with rhythm - and surprise, surprise - actually served a purpose in the end. Not that it even would have been necessary, but extra cool points will definitely be awarded for it. I think my favorite part about the 'plastic dementors' and the 'click. flash' was you used them so well as thematic elements. I would say that it is the strongest aspect of this one-shot
I like the take on the fall of Voldemort - brave of you. I think one of the most difficult areas of fan-fic is getting around how Harry defeats Voldemort. It comes up in most Harry-centric fics, and you have to have *something*. Good job, though. Not too complicated, and very satisfactory. It didn't take any attention away from the rest of the story either.
One line that really stood out to me: "So, everyone, this is how The-Boy-Who-Lived stopped living. Now you know." That was just after the tears had formed, and it caused a slightly sudden intake of breath. It just... sums everything up, so well.
I don't know about OoC... I think this is a path Harry *could* take. I mean, I don't see him taking it, but it doesn't mean it's not in his character to do so. Your Harry just seems fed up... dulled to life - and it's understandable.
I also liked the subtle narration of what has happened with everyone else: The Weasleys, Hermione, Luna...
Then, finally, the method of suicide - through the veil. Once the letter was finished, that was the first thing to jump into my mind: he's going to use the veil. Predicatable? Yeah, a little. Would I have accepted it any other way? No, not really. What.. poison? eh. Stick with the veil.
Okay, have I heaped enough praise? I really loved this. More angst, please!
Nice, intriguing, unique. I loved the opening paragraphs. Quite the prologue, if I must say. You have a nice writing style, rough around the edges, but overall nicely descriptive.
Some nitpicking: In the second to last paragraph, you begin to consecutive sentences with 'Her face', which is rather redundant. I was confused with a few bits: She was still getting used to sight. (WHAT!!!!) - The (WHAT!!!!) seems like a reader's comment... and completely out of place. Her eyes snapped open - she had had them closed? - and he saw a never-dieing green flame in a large, beautiful eye. Again, the 'she had them closed?' interjection is off-putting. And the 'never-dieing (which should be dying) green flame in a large beautiful eye', just bewilders me even more. Does she have a green flame in one eye? That's the most sense I can make out of it.
Alex is a bit of a Mary-Sue. She has a muddled American accent, and shows up wearing a mix of French and Japanese clothing. Her name is a mix of all of what we assume to be her national origins, and doesn't sound very believable. It's all a little too much. Her background just isn't believable. There's clearly something very special about her, a little too special. I get this 'superhero' image from her. And also: you describe her as beautiful. Mary-Sue trap number 1, that is.
Sorry if it sounded harsh - i love the way this started out. But as I read more about Alex, I became a little uncomfortable with the idea of her as a character. I'm interested to know what business she has, why she is Harry's bodyguard and such, and it's unlike most of what I've seen before, but you need to dull Alex down a bit, because what may seem to be a character that seems really cool often turns out to be a really boring character with whom the reader just can't connect.
Author's Response: thanks - it really helped!
This was a great opening chapter :) I really like the way you’ve introduced the plot line. Admittedly, I’d love to see you just give Fudge the old boot, hehe, but Dumbledore’s power over him will satisfy me for now.
Just to nitpick, you had some typos and misspellings. In the order they appear in the chapter: ‘get-aways’ should be ‘getaways’, ‘amaturish’ should be ‘amateurish’, ‘recklessnes’ should be ‘recklessness’, ‘unboarded’ isn’t a word at all – try ‘my window isn’t boarded / my window is never boarded’ instead, it’s ‘Cornelius’ not ‘Cornelius, ‘buisness’ should be ‘business’, and ‘Veritserrum’ should be ‘Veritaserum.”
A couple of other things I would like to point out: Hogsmeade is said to be the only full wizarding-establishment in Britain. I’m sure there are other wizarding villages, like – Breckinsale, was it? But you might want to add a Muggle here or there, or more of a sense of secrecy to keep in line with canon facts. Also – shouldn’t Lucius Malfoy be in prison? Or Fudge should at least already know that Malfoy is a DE, since he was caught in the DoM in June. (Only Bellatrix got away…) Unless this isn’t in Britain (Joshua and the girl were Beauxbatons students, no?) – but the involvement of the British Ministry and her use of the word ‘mum’ would contradict this.
I think you had Fudge, Percy and Dumbledore’s characterizations all down pat. Very familiar :) Good job. I’m a stickler for characterization.
"Very sad, isn't it?" said Dumbledore, shaking his head sorrowfully. "To never truly see the stars again, nor stand in a field with nothing but the wind? So young, as well." Beautiful.
When the seen changed, and suddenly Fudge said ‘Joshua Griffins is dead’, I was like *blink*. Whoa. You really twisted that one nicely. The first scene set this up really nicely – it could have been less effective, since your readers wouldn’t yet feel a connection to Joshua, but you did a superb job of introducing and bidding farewell to this character. Very well done.
Overall, a very intriguing opening chapter. Loved the use of the two scenes and their connection, love the plot already. Keep writing!
Author's Response: Thank you! They do go to Beauxbatons (her accent is explained in the third chapter), the whole Malfoy scenario will be explained. (And I'm a very bad speller, and spellcheck just doesn't cut it sometimes) Thanks for your review!
Wow, very intriguing opening chapter! I loved the first paragraph, I found it to be very well written, good detail, just lovely description!
It's not often that fan-fics titled 'Harry Potter and...' begin their story with a scene involving Severus Snape, hehe, but this one does, and it gives it an aspect of originality and at the same time, draws the reader in - Snape is a very enigmatic character, and opening a story with him is bound to intrigue your readers ;)
My only criticism would be on your characterization. I've never heard Snape or Dumbledore use terms such as 'Christ!' or 'Dear God'... and I can't really imagine them. Neither of them really seem to be ones for adding uneccesary words to their dialogue too often. That said, I found their manner of speaking a bit off from the canon character, including that minor bit of DD's inner thoughts. I didn't find DD's greeting of Snape right - he usually recognizes when someone has been through an ordeal, and settles them down before asking any questions - which he does in a calm but serious manner. And Snape usually shows more respect towards the Headmaster. When you're writing your characters, really try to think of what words they would choose, and how they would approach saying what you're going to have them say. Consider carefully how they interact with your other characters in the books, and how they might handle certain situations. Don't want to sound harsh, but I'm very adamant about characterization. I think characters are one of the most important (if not *the* most important) aspects of writing, as they are really the ones telling your story.
I know that seemed like a lot of crit, but it's merely because I wanted to elaborate on how I feel this could improve, because every other aspect of this chapter was very well written indeed, and I'd love to see more :) It was intense, but not overdramatic. And it definitely pulls the reader in. Great Job!
Author's Response: Thanks for the criticism, it was appreciated. I will definitely keep your advice in mind for later chapters.
Oh, I hardly know what to say, that was so good! I’ll admit, I approached with caution – I’m not really a big fan of the Harry/Ginny pairing at all times, as canon as it might be. But you made me do something that even JKR has difficulty doing – you made me see the heart in this couple. They fit together so well, and Harry’s longing is so real, and there is love there. Young love, with perhaps a drifting attention span towards physical love, but a strong and true love.
The entire story was so natural – the characterisation, the narration, the point of view, the description – it was a simple joy to read. The humour was subtle and entertaining, but the romance was even more so. I’ll admit, I don’t enjoy romance too much, unless it’s dark, problematic, and angst-ridden. I perhaps enjoyed Harry’s longing and Ginny’s forced smiles than I actually did the scene where she tells him she’ll wait for him. That latter scene, however, is such a pivotal moment in not only your story, but what will be happening in canon. If Ginny decides to wait or not, how strong their bond is – and you didn’t overdo it, it was just lovely, and it didn’t make me squirm uncomfortably the way most scenes of that nature might have. And, it still had that youthfulness to it, which I might admit I wasn’t expecting, but it was sweet.
Fleur’s mother was a riot – I could just feel Ginny’s irritation boiling in my own veins. I’m rather glad you made it her instead of Fleur, because I’m actually quite fond of Bill’s bride, and I like to think that the Weasleys will eventually learn to get along with her, even if they never like her that much. We can hate the in-laws, though, that’s fine ;)
Hermione and Ron’s drunken stumble up to his room was one of the most thoroughly enjoyable scenes I’ve read in fan-fiction in quite a while, and I loved how Harry & Ginny found them conked out on the bed together. It was a sweet surprise.
I really don’t have criticism, sorry. This piece is wonderful in itself, and I’m glad I took the opportunity to read it. It fits well with canon, yet it has that extra spice to it that will set it apart from the 1,000 other one-shots that will place Harry and Ginny’s troubled young heart at this particular wedding. Your writing is simply beautiful, and I’m looking forward to reading much more in the future :)
Author's Response: I hardly know what to say other than thanks! You made my week with this review! :)
[/procrastination] I personally find opening chapters difficult to write, and annoying to read as they can be horribly tedious - so I definitely have respect for a introduction well done. The exposition here is wonderful - you introduce the characters, plot and setting without directly stating any of it to the reader. We are simply thrown into the story with the characters, and though we have clearly missed plenty - we very quickly, concisely (and yet, subtly) brought up to speed. There is no point in which the narration stops to say 'Oh, by the way, here's what has been going on lately...', something I certainly despise to read. The passage of time is shown, as it is in reality, on the characters' faces and in their thoughts and actions. We see they have changed, and though we can't be so sure as to why and how exactly those changes occured, we recognise the differences and immediately factor those developments into our new image of them. It stirs within the reader a sense of curiosity, to move forward with the story and plot and to also learn more of what the characters have been through to get to this point.
...worrying etched into her slightly-lined face. I believe this is grammatically correct, but I can't help but think it would flow better if it read 'worry etched into her slightly-lined face.' Perhaps I just personally prefer for someone to convey an emotion rather than an action of that emotion, but I thought I'd put it out there ;)
We didn't find out until a little while before the 1500's," said McGonagall tiredly, burying her hands in her face. "And when we did find out, the Ministries of the world all agreed that they should never find out, because it is difficult to train people in magic as they get older." immediately followed by : "How did we find out?" questioned Ron, suddenly alert. I'm am really annoyed closely repeated phrases, words, or even sounds. I think changing a few of the 'find out's couldn't hurt, something like 'when we did make the discovery' or 'all agreed they should never be made aware' - (by the way, I felt the 'they' that should 'never find out' was unclear. Is this in reference to the Lost Ones, or the wizarding society as a whole?)
I love your inclusion of details that many would not even think to include - you do not simply make the obvious descriptions such as the look in a characters eye, the tone of their voice, or the colour of a room's walls. Suggestive comments such as 'pointedly not looking at the portrait of her oldest friend', and the mention of McGonagall 'limping to her chair' certainly caught my eye as wonderful additions that say more than they might appear to. Many authors describe what the reader is already paying attention to, but I love to have my directed somewhere else for just a moment, such as in the case of The Lost Ones [Ron noticed that the girl bristled when addressed as so]. This paragraph could have simply continued to do what is necessary and inform the readers of the facts of the plot, what is happening and how it's being done - but instead, the oppurtunity is seized to reveal an interesting characteristic of Copper's. I take it she is uncomfortable with the term, for one reason or another ;)
Speaking of Copper, I almost wish I could Obliviate my memory and be introduced to her for the first time in this chapter, but alas - that is impossible. I feel the excitement building as I see her make an appearance, and as I know what is to come. I'm practically bouncing in my seat, and I think it might skew my perception of her. Of course, I can tell that even without already being acquainted with Ms. Leeds, she definitely catches the readers' eye as a worthy object of attention, even if we don't know why quite yet. She's certainly not boring or generic, and even with a minimal four speaking parts (one being her mumbled name, another being her repeating her name), we can already see a three-dimensional, complex character - again, not something often accomplished in a first chapter.
I believe I've already complimented you on the explaination of the Lost Ones and the Codex nominis, but I shall again: Besides the uncanny Hermione characterisation as you use her as a tool to inform the reader (I think I know someone else who does that, and she goes by the name of JK Rowling), I just love the thought that's put into this little portion of wizarding world knowledge. Not overzealous, but definitely given some thought, and it's all so - dare I say it? - rather fascinating. Definitely one of my favourite parts of the chapter. I'm sure the knowledge is utterly useless to me, but I enjoy having it all the same.
"And with that out of the way," she said, "let us mingle and get to know our new guests." With that, the two ranks broke, and the Order members and staff began their interrogation of the newcomers. ::chuckle:: I love this - from the phrase 'mingle and get to know' to the use of the word 'interrogation'. The connotations contrast very entertainingly, I can just imagine the Order and staff accosting the poor Lost Ones, who are surely overwhelmed at this point.
She turned her head towards him, her hazel eyes sharply considering him as she began to formulate a few questions of her own. The last line is splendid. For a few minutes, I thought we would be restricted to Ron's thoughts, and never get to see Copper's perspective, but you show us here that we will indeed get some insight, which will undoubtedly be interesting. Now, only if we knew what her thoughts were up to... Hmmm...
Great work, I'm looking forward to this tale. My biggest piece of criticism is that Chapter 2 remains irritatingly unavailable.
I love Percy as ‘The Prodigal Son’, and I’ll voice my singular disappointment right now and that is that you didn’t convey the meaning of the title as I was expecting. The parable of ‘The Prodigal Son’, as many know, refers to an estranged son who left home and squandered his inheritance, only to return shamefully and ask his father for forgiveness. But the word ‘prodigal’ means ‘wasteful’ and refers to his recklessness with both his father’s money and love – it does not refer to the estrangement. So, I was kind of expecting the title to have more of an influence on the theme, not just as a clue to Percy’s estrangement, but his wastefulness with his parent’s ‘prodigal’ love [here meaning ‘extreme in abundance’, the double meaning being a cause for the parable to often be referred to as being a tale of the prodigal father rather than son]. It’s probably picky of me, but I think when you use something like this for a title, you should consider it’s full meaning. And especially with a story this wonderfully thematic.
The power of just the smallest thing; acting as a catalyst; can create the world’s biggest evil. The match was quickly lost in the eruption it caused. The violent disease spread throughout the local area within a matter of seconds.. Reading this, I was totally wowed (even more so than much of what preceded it). It brings the reader back to Percy’s original departure; it reminds us of the terms he left on and how it turned into so much more. Originally he left because he thought what he was doing was right, that it was noble, that his family was wrong. And it spirals out of control until he becomes something he should have never been: a Death Eater. Flames spread so quickly, and I love this metaphor. Not only in it’s essence, but its subtlety, its natural flow. You didn’t force it, and I just love it :D
Oftentimes I’ve seen people write Percy as a Death Eater, and I can never think for the live of me why, because it’s not done believably. Just because he was against the Order doesn’t mean he’s on the opposite sight of the playing field. But you move him wonderfully from the gray to the, and I quote, ‘black’. It is all done with reason, and it makes perfect sense. It’s not like he just went power mad, that he wanted revenge. He just lit a fire that he couldn’t control.
As for the ‘bad apple’ metaphor, you impress me yet again. You have a gift for extended metaphors – this one was not subtle like the other one, but its clear purposefulness worked in its favour. You really had me going, enjoying the ‘bad apple’ as you elaborated further – and then you named the worm the ‘Death Eater’ and I had another lovely moment of literary pleasure.
Ginny’s Gryffindor courage, the comparison of the Burrow to a ‘melting wedding cake’, ‘I must obey the rules’ – this was filled all sorts of ‘little things’ that made it all the more enjoyable all the way through. And your narrative style is lovely, too. You tell us things we knew, things we didn’t know but needed to, and you move the moments forward all at once, but it’s not confusing, nor is the backstory dull. Your word usage is not redundant nor verbose, but a variety of the concise yet descriptive, and on a few occasions, perfectly fitting.
An overall enjoyable and insightful read. Wonderfully written and a definite ‘wow’ ;)
Author's Response: I am sat in the school ibrary, across from a very strict librarian and I'm giggling and jumping up and down with joy at your review - thank you very much!!! You seem to have connected with the story perfectly, not everyone can get into it and I few call it melodramatic - but I'm glad you liked iot, I really am!
I chose The Proodigal Son as the title after I'd fully completed it and it does draw parallel to the parable in the second half, in some ways. I studied the story in GCSE and it was the thing that most came to mind when reading this. It isn't an exact parallel to the story but in the second half it has underlining meanings. The second half, however, is driving me mad at the moment so it may not be approved for quite a while.
Thank you for your review, I feel quite honoured that you spent to look over it!!!! The metaphor of the apple I sepnt an entire afternoon trying to piece together, whilst I was doing a boring shopping trip around Barnsley. When I came back I wrote it down before I forgot it all. I'm just glad it's made an impact.
Oh, Lex. Pureblood social rituals, arranged marriages, love it already! But this - this is new. This is original. A whole new twist, and totally
To start with the less postive, I'm not a fan of first-person narratives. They're difficult to read and even more difficult to write. I personally reserve it for when it serves a specific purpose for the story or style I've chosen to write in. The problem is, while there are some lines that speak clearly from Narcissa's PoV, many don't - and because the tale is told by 'me', nothing should be objective. I got the sense that Narcissa was disconnected, and maybe that's what you were going for. But when I got to the parts where the 'jokes' became a 'chilling reality' and further on... I felt like I missed out on something Narcissa should be feeling. I didn't feel that connection that I felt with 'Gravity', it was a little lost on me. I know you can do it, I just didn't see it here. I didn't feel like I was reading Narcissa, I felt like I was reading Lex telling me about Narcissa.
Which, don't get me wrong, was written excellently. It's the silver lining - I can see you in this story. I see your style. No, it's not 'Year Six', nor is it 'All's Fair' - but it's Lex. Every great author needs a signature style, and you have one that can only get stronger. It's recognisable, but its not a crutch. You have that style, but you adapt it to the tone, setting and characters of each new story. And it's something you can take with you into your original work. It's a rare find in fan-fiction, but I've found it in your writing and I love that.
Now to get into the social aspects of this. I thought you wrote pureblood society brilliantly IC, so to speak. I was strongly reminded of the Bible, Deuteronomy 22 to be specific [intentional?], when it came to the punishment of 'stoning' for girls found to be impure. It's something that's always infuriated me, especially considering that in some instances are girl is 'broken' due to some other cause. I was thinking about that indignantly as I read this. The treatment of the women is horrid, especially the manner in which they are auctioned off like livestock, but it's all too believable. You handled this tastefully and realistically, though, and that's just wonderful.
He was handsome, eloquent, sleek . . . and a pureblood. It was exquisite, melting into his voluminous blankets. Everything was so clean. He laid there, every fiber of him aroused by me, and I couldn’t resist. He groaned over my lithe figure, tracing loving fingers across my skin, across my sinewy muscles. He made me tremble. Oh, you know I had to comment on this! Beautiful, sensual, absolutely gorgeous. The imagery was perfect - not chronological details or explicit description, but snippets and almost random pieces that come together to create a abstract yet tangible picture. It played wonderfully in my mind, all I saw was sheets and skin. Oh, and also: yum!. ;)
And Lucius! Oh, he was wonderful. His perfectly IC, bastard-self. And yet, I felt swept away by some kind of dark romance. Yes - finishing this I sighed and thought 'How romantic...' Perhaps my mind is twisted, but I don't really care. The last line 'She is yours' was magnificent, because it's not simple at all. Lucius is possessive, and the pureblood society is making a tradition of giving husbands ownership of brides. She is his. Oh, how delicious!
Overall, the sense of realism in this piece was rather startling. It was wonderfully new, but intriguingly familiar. It was, as the title suggests, both pure and impure. I'm looking forward to seeing more of this side of your writing in the future ;)
Author's Response: Awww! I wasn't expecting a review. I'll certainly agree with you there. First person pov isn't my forte, and there are pieces that scream to be written from another pov. She's not at all disconnected, unfortunately. She's very much trapped in her own head, but she likes being a part of society. I'll consider going through and changing to third person, or perhaps making emotions and thoughts more specific to her. Thank you, Jenna!!
This is a beautiful piece of work, for many reasons. Firstly, the writing: The imagery is descriptive, yet subtle and, of course, powerful. Everything just flows. Secondly, the message. Grief is a powerful emotion, and you handle it well. On the surface, this might seem to be a story about losing faith in the art of clairvoyance, but it’s about so much more. It’s about the realisation of our greatest worries, and the extinguished flame of our own hopes – the power and constancy of hope and the miracle of human perseverance.
She did not care. Cold was at least a sensation. That is incredibly accurate – to be so numb, you just want to feel something to know you’re alive, or perhaps to distract you from your emptiness. It brings such a sense of realism to the emotions.
One nitpick: Drought of Peace should be Draught of Peace.
The shapes in the fire had been nothing more than her own hope--her own desire. She had Seen because she was so desperate to See. I find it interesting that she believes the shapes where nothing more than her own hope. I don’t think she saw them because she was desperate to ‘See’, but because she was desperate to see her hopes – her hopes that her parents would be safe.
They were as worthless as the ashes of the fire that had remained at the end of the lesson, no more solid than the air that whipped against her face. My favourite line, just had to point that out ;) [Except for of course, the very last line]
Tears poured and poured down the girl's face until her robes were wet and her eyes were dry. Another beautiful line, I love the contrast – it makes a simple message more powerful.
The Astronomy Tower. I’ve spent many hours thinking about the Astronomy Tower, and how I do love that you put it there. The highest point of the castle, perfect for stargazing and, now, synonymous with loss and grief. I can’t know that you considered that in your writing, but it touches me on a deeper level because of it. Not only is this tower the setting of Dumbledore’s death, but it is also the place from where McGonagall’s students will witness her fall in battle many years after the night that she sits and mourns the loss of her parents. I just love it!
It’s amazing what you do with words. On one hand, little actually happens in this story. Few actions are described, you paraphrase an entire day, and you have a single line of dialogue. How then, do you write so much, and how do you keep the reader hanging on ever word? How does every word mean so much? The only answer I can come up with is simple, yet infinite in it’s meanings: you are a writer. You have the heart and soul, the essence, of a writer. This isn’t something that someone with good mechanical skills sits down and types up – this is a story waiting to be written, by someone with that essence and inspiration, and you chose it, you felt it, and you wrote this. You wrote the hell out of it. :D
And then, on the other hand – so much happens. The loss of two parents in a single devastating blow on the one day she did not worry. But you don’t talk around it in circles; you say as much needs to be said, in the best of words. It’s the perfect middle ground. Not too much, not too little – but just write. ;)
Author's Response: Hullo, Jenna dear. 'Drought' is already changed to 'draught,' and I must say that has to be one of the most amusing errors I've made yet. I grew up during a drought (until I was about 6 or so), so I guess it's permeated my thinking... *cough*
I can't really respond much to some of this review except blush bright crimson, but of course you can't see that so I have to tell you I am.And yes, the Astronomy Tower was premeditated. I wanted, symbollically, the highest point in the castle. I also wanted to connect it with Dumbledore's death, and I did know what I was doing there. I wasn't actually thinking about the Astronomy OWLs, but I did think about one other time in the books: when Harry and Hermione have just left Norbert and are found by McGonagall. She is furious, especially as they have no good excuse. I decided that her fury was partly because she they were not just out of bed, but in the place that meant so much to her. Since they clearly had no reason for being there, she was not sympathetic. :: shrugs :: That's the twisted way my mind works.
Okay, not much I can say to the rest of it, either. So I suppose I'll end here and thank you for reading and reviewing.
When Harry’s quest for the horcruxes turns desperate, he leaves the security of his homeland to seek out the advice of an ancient and most unusual Council – one whose allegiance is only to themselves but whose knowledge is so vast it may be his only chance. What Harry discovers there will change everything. Soon, he comes to see that this is all so much bigger than just he and Dark Lord – his role, though pivotal, is terribly minute compared to the challenges the Wizarding World must now face.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic Ocean, a young witch uncovers the truth about her bloodline. But only when catastrophic events begin to unfold, does she realise her importance in the greater scheme of things...
It is a tale of epic proportions: bringing in the truth behind Slytherin's betrayal, and the choices the Founders had to make to ensure the longevity of their world. Enemies must unite, lines must be crossed, and children must forgo their innocence. And behind it all, fly the Spirits of the Storm, waiting, watching, scheming. Welcome to the greatest epic war the Wizarding World has ever seen.
Chapter 11 is posted.
Well, the tables have turned, and I'm really unsure of what to say.
I think this was a perfect prologue - to say that it has that 'prologue feel' to it. It establishes a familiarity with the story, it has a strong tone, it gives us a setting. It's such a teaser :) I think you've done a good job of detailing and painting a scene for something that some people would [unwisely] put into two sentences. You definitely wrote it well
One of my favourite lines was this one:He longed to be warm, well fed, and clean shaved again. Not only does it show that he is on a long and hardened journey, but 'well-shaven'! You tell the reader from the get-go that the Harry you're writing is a man [and as well he should be!]. I love it - I love this Harry. Though not much goes on - he doesn't have interaction with anyone but a thestral - but there is a strong sense of HBP Canon!Harry. There is a determination, and a dark courage flowing from your words that loan themselves to Harry's person. Nicely done
I also enjoyed the description of Harry's hair as being dark as the thestral's mane. Not only is it a new way of describing Harry's hair, but I think the symbolism is very strong. It again says something about Harry and his connection with darkness. I think the thestral was such a perfect choice for thie prologue. I like the imagery of it, as opposed to a broomstick. It brings something more to the chapter, and it brings something more to Harry
I'm afraid I really don't have any criticism for you at the moment, so this will have to be a short review :) You've done your job with this, though - I'm looking forward to more!
Author's Response: *gulps* The tables have turned? Oh Jenna... I doubt that could ever happen, but I appreciate it all the same! You're one of the best fanfic writers out there, and I think of you as one of my influences ;)
The fact that you love this Harry makes me *squee*. Writing this Prologue made me realise how much I love Harry - not any Harry though, but as you said, HBP Cannon!Harry. What you comment on is exactly what I was trying to portray - so the fact that you picked up on it makes me feel like I did my job as a writer. Yay!
"It again says something about Harry and his connection with darkness."... *balks* Wow you really do pick up on everything. I love you Jenna, I really do.
Thank you SO much for reviewing. I know I was pestering you... but still, it really does make me smile. You rock my socks.
Curious, Lanette strode towards them with an arched eyebrow. So her birthday had not been forgotten completely-- How comforting, she thought wryly.
I must comment on this for a few reasons. One, I automatically compared her with Harry, who’s birthday was so often not acknowledged, and when it was – with meager and even depressing gifts that he might have been better off without. I have to muse at the difference in their reactions. Harry seemed saddened and dejected, whereas Lanette… doesn’t. I mean, she’s obviously not *happy*, but she seems more sardonic or just irritated with it than she is hurt. It reveals something about her character. That she’s either overconfident, or compensating for insecurities by pretending she’s not hurt. [Which, the second is often the true case on some level…] It also makes me think of what you said about loving to read people open presents. *hee* I like it, too :)
Poor Vera. Hm, well, I don’t know if I mean that. Because I don’t know her mother’s intent… did she just not bother to get something Lanette would truly love? Or is she really trying to make an effort by giving her daughter gifts that she herself would like to receive? I can’t say I’m fond of Vera, but I can think of two ways her character could be viewed as. One with pity, and the other with contempt.
Gifts and old books, as well as Lucius, though that’s less coincidental – how much our Chapter 11’s have in common *wink*
I love how you drop into backstory seamlessly, and then bring us back to the present again just as well. *happy writing sigh* But – what I really want to mention is what you write in that backstory, about the Magic. I absolutely love how you interpreted the idea, and I think it is absolutely perfect. Magic is something that exists and is utilized, not something that we ourselves create. Even more so, I love Lanette’s nose-scrunch and slightly prejudiced comment about Muggles. I can’t help but think she would fit as nicely with the Slytherins as she would the Ravenclaws… [maybe even better with the Slytherins… ]
Some lines I love, not for any particular reason, just because: ‘Even at the time, when “old” still referred to something that was used yesterday…’ -- ’It wasn't as if Lanette would perish in ignorance if she could not read the books in Deirdre's possession...
Something was manipulating the wind. Something evil. This chills me, and I just want to know more. And… I can’t help but be suspicious of Deirdre, though I can’t decide if she’s just a nosy girl or if there’s something darker.[And LOL at the Extendable Ears, I love that! Fred and George are shipping to America?!] >.> I’m watching her, especially while she’s observing Lucius so closely. Can’t have her trying to pull a Siobhan. And by the way…
“Madame Skynard has been entertaining a man.” That line killed me! I was thinking ‘She better bloody well not be!’ *giggle*
While we’re on the subject, I shall leave you with the best compliment I, Jenna, can give you: You described Lucius perfectly. Instantly recognisable. I’m all hot and bothered with just the mention. *dies and can review no more*
First and foremost, I want to do naughty things to [as well as with, on top of and underneath] your Harry.
“I would save the world.” Wow. Just wow – and such a Harry thing to say, too. Right up there with ‘Dumbledore’s man, through and through.’ You’ve captured his courageous spirit, his unfailing fortitude. But he is also ragged and worn – there is a part of Harry Potter that is dying, or perhaps has already passed along with the souls of his Parents, of Sirius, and of Dumbledore. There is the part that resents Voldemort, and Snape. You make references to this, and you incorporate it into his descriptions and feelings. He has the determined air of someone who has lost a great deal, and is fighting – yes to avenge, and yes to save the world – but also because there is still so much at risk
Such as Ron and Hermione. I feel content knowing where they are and what they are doing – I’m also very glad you’ve given Ron great recognition alongside Hermione. And there is the bond between Harry and both of them, a longing to be reunited, but an acceptance that it is not possible at the present time. I can’t wait to visit Ron and Hermione, and I’m also awaiting the reunion of the Trio, and hoping that Harry’s mission does not detain him too long. Of course, I’m also brought to the question of Ginny. Now, I know you have some plans for Harry/Lanette – and trust me, I will not complain if Ginny is simply shoved from Harry’s mind [or perhaps off a cliff?] – but where is she? What about Harry’s feelings concerning her? Are you planning on addressing this, or mentioning her sometime in the near future? *is ever so curious*
Your descriptions have moved from wonderful to breathtaking. Your subtle air of mystery has a lovely balance; your pace is smooth, and the story is unfolding with lovely time. Making the Reader crave more, yet giving a lovely dose of satisfaction with each installment.
So, we have the hero. We have his warrior-friends. You’ve taken Jo’s characters and shown who they are really meant to be, developed them accordingly, and have set the Reader on the path of an epic war in the making. In the background, we have the secret-advocate, Lanette – and we await her arrival in the foreground. And of course, there is the Council – fearsome, powerful, beautiful – and I can’t even imagine the help that they may [or may not] grant Harry. My questions abound: What will bring Lanette to the foreground? Do the Horcruxes still play a role in this story –when do we get to hear about them? How did Harry discover the existence of the mystical Council, learn how to find them, and will this be explained? What are Hermione and Ron doing back at Hogwarts [and how are you planning on developing their relationship]? My head is spinning, and bathtub!Harry has quickened my pulse… so I hope you’re getting a move-on with Chapter 6!
Author's Response: Ohhh Jenna you spoil me with these beautiful reviews! They are honestly the best of the best. You comment on everything I hope readers will think about. Of course I don't expect every reader to pick up on the little details I slide in there, but I'm SO glad you do. You manage to really capture truly good stuff in your observations. I mentioned once before, and I will say again, that you seem to almost understand what I'm writing better than I do. For me... it just sort of flows out that way, so I'm glad it works.
Now, with all that babbling out of my system I can address a few of your questions. When I saw you had a list I was immediately frightened. I thought... 'Oh dear, she's asking things I don't even have answers to!' But after reading them, with a sigh of relief, I realised that indeed I do have answers. Not all which I will answer right now, of course, but I'll give you a few hints because I love you.
Before our story began, a great something-or-other happened. It was because of this event that the trio realised they had to pick up the pace on their search for the horcruxes. It was also because of this event that Ginny is now lying in a coma in the old Hospital Wing. Before you ask, no, this isn't just a way to put her out of Harry's mind, because there is much more to this coma then her friends realise. *insert evil laugh here* You'll actually be seeing some of this in Chapter Six...
Okay, before I give my entire plot away, I will quickly say that I cannot thank you ENOUGH for reviewing like this. It really gives writing fanfiction a whole new meaning for me. And now... you've inspired me to work on Chapter 6.
Another beautifully written chapter with a biting sense of realism. This is one of the best fan-fictions I’ve ever read. That said, I do have a bit more criticism this time around, so I’ll get that out of the way first.The nitpicks: Hogsmeade, not Hogsmede. And you’ve spelled McGonagall wrong on two occasions [Hermione had taken it upon herself to receive private tutoring from McGonogall and…, as well as Professor McGonogall insisted that she had never been better in her spell work…]. Also By the time the Godric Gryffindor came upon the ruins of the old castle… the Godric Gryffindor? The part in which Harry recites what is known of the Harpyiae Council -- “I don't even know myself. All that's written is: 'Fare the Harpyiae Council in Scandinavia…” One thing struck me in this part and that was how odd it was that he just… recited all of that. There is no mention of him reading it from something. It’s understandable that he had read it so many times he had it memorized, but I think that is something that should be including. Something about the tone of his voice, or an added detail that tells the reader why he can recite that. [If it were Hermione, it would need to explanation ;)] Harry’s outburst, that I saw Anna also mentioned, to me was just a bit off. The first line was spot-on, I think, and the intention was right – but the words were wrong. There were parts just seemed too formal for him and such – for a moment I even thought he had spent so much time reading Dumbledore’s papers he had started speaking like him, too, but I don’t think that Harry will become like him in that way. There’s something endearing about Harry’s lack of eloquence, because he’s not a royal hero of grandeur or something… he’s Harry. Just Harry ;)
I was also a little confused as to where Ron had been. There wasn’t a complete explanation, but the most sensible thing seemed that the ‘detail’ referred to what we saw in the previous chapter. But I thought I recalled Hermione being there. I remember commenting on her and everything – and then there was the part in this chapter saying she’d never been to a battlefield. I kind of cleared that way thinking ‘maybe that referred to the actual heat of the battle rather than the setting of.’ But admittedly, with all that mixed in, i couldn’t really find the lines of clarification and I’m left a bit befuddled.
I felt a definite gear change with this chapter. To be entirely honest, I liked it less, but not through your fault… I like the narration of what’s happening, and so far that’s how you’ve been doing things. But we’ve gone through a good number of chapters, and a lot has happened in the back story and there comes a point where you need to tell the reader what exactly is going on. What is happened, where are these people, what are they doing, how are they feeling, what is the state of affairs. That’s what this chapter established. I liked how you changed it up. You started and ended with Hermione in her present situation. You gave her a bit of internal reflection time so you could slip in a good deal of the back story, and then you used the Pensive to elaborate, to fine-tune, to clear even more up. Excellent.
Little details – I loved the mention of ‘ Hogwarts: Defying History., and the history you worked in there. And this lovely line every lead was a wild goose chase, and each chase was shorter than the last. -- I can’t say what I loved about it, just that I do adore it :) I also adored the WAND thing, *love* the acronym. Fits perfectly with the Potterverse, and I also love the inclusion of some of the people who were also invited: Neville, Luna and Angelina. Two characters we know and love dearly, who we KNOW are capable and don’t get a chance.. and a third more obscure one, but who we know has that Gryffindor heart and who kicks a lot of ass :)
Ron and Harry did exceptionally well, of course, thriving on the raw challenges presented to them. Hermion, though, was of a different mind; she couldn't help but miss the days of lugging schoolbooks around and learning intricate and subtle new magics. I love this for a few reasons. Number one – not Harry, but Ron and Harry. Yes, Ron is capable! Thank you. And the whole prhase ‘thriving on raw challenges’, brilliant, I can just imagine them getting in there, getting gritty, throwing out everything they have… maybe taking off a few clothes >.> *cough* And as for Hermione, I’m glad you didn’t feel the need to throw her in there with that. Yes she’s brilliant and yes she’s a Gryffindor, and yeah, Emma Watson got beat around with that Whomping Willow, but Hermione’s not an action girl. She’s Harry Potter’s best friend, not a James Bond babe sidekick. She misses learning, because that’s what drives her, but of course… she’s not going to whine and hide in a hole and pretend there isn’t a war raging and that there are priority issues. She’s going to put her brilliant mind and thirst for knowledge that to good use, isn’t she?
Though she despised the latter, she knew she could contribute far more to the cause by brewing complex potions than learning how to slap the ground and roll when falling. Haha, I loved that. Extending on what it is she’s learning that’s of use, and that last bit was cute – a very Hermione thing to think.
“Of course not! I hardly think that entering myself into a program that promotes certain death is worth being envious over.” Still raving about your Hermione characterization here – because this is what takes first prize. So you got that she’s smart and likes to learn and isn’t an action hero, but a lot of people get that. You’ve captured a much bigger, much more real flaw here that a lot of people don’t see. It makes her a bit hypocritical, but Hermione can be a bit tactless. Ron is very proud here – this is huge for him. It’s glory, it’s an honour, it’s a moment for him to show his bravery and do something for the wizarding world – and of course he knows it’s dangerous. She’s upset of course, but she doesn’t always handle what she says in the best way, and this was a hurtful way to greet Ron’s good news. Overall, another excellent chapter [I know I offered more crit than usual, but it was still superb]. It scares me a little with wonder to think of where this is going. It's that feeling I get when I think of Book 7, or the end of ALIAS... *shivers with delight* Can't wait, Haley dear!
*wanders in, with very overdue review* Okay, if I haven’t said it already, I love this story. I rarely have no interest in reading Seventh Year fics [Ironic, eh?], unless they have something special about them that drives them and makes them worth it – and you have it.
Your development. Fantastic – you are not in a hurry [though I’m sure inside your head you’re just racing towards later chapters and revelations – you’re still managing to take your time]. I love that about this story. Sometimes I read fics that jump into the plot halfway through the first 1,000 word chapter, and it just does not work. And here you have Harry still wandering around this mysterious place, six chapters into the story, still making it work. Sometimes when you try to make something work for too long, it stops. Readers get restless – but this is still gripping and entertaining. Masterful is really the best word for it.
Characterisation. I love the tone of Idel’s dialogue – not only does it speak volumes, but it’s so consistent. Very important aspect of characterization, whether it’s staying true to a Canon character, or creating a whole new person.
Dragonesque. You totally pulled a Jo there – that’s just not actually a real word, and I love it. *giggle* And the Crumple-Horned Snorkack! OMG, fantastic. XD I love small inclusions like that, nodding back to canon.
Two tiny nitpicks: When Harry first enters the menagerie, after Idel tells him to ‘Look about’, you spelt ‘transgressions’ wrong. When Idel talks about wizards playing Polo, you have ‘Quidditch’ spelt wrong.
One very intriguing aspect of this chapter was Idel’s thoughts on the issue of Light versus Dark. I felt Harry’s frustration, because I completely agree with him. I can see where Idel’s logic comes from, after all the Dark side most likely does justify its own acts – but there is a reason the Light is the light. But, it just made my head spin and I wanted to jump in there with Harry and help him argue his point [and then perhaps celebrate victory or find comfort despite our loss, back in his bedroom, because you’re Harry is too sexy for someone under 18.]
It also shines more light on the Council – they’re non-partisan stance. I like it because, they aren’t just this all-knowing eternal council of Mary-Sues. You could have easily gone in that direction, but this fortifies them as an enigmatic and very well crafted group. The more Harry learns, the less mysterious they become, but with this revelation, they remain mind-boggling.
“Only in the eyes of the Light. Do you think they see their own views as wrong?”
“If they have any bloody sense.”
OMG. I love that. Excellent. Harry is definitely IC. At time he tries to be formal and respectful, but it’s just not in him to be talked down to. He was even like this with Dumbledore – he has a tendency to speak out of turn or in a manner which most people wouldn’t, but it’s so raw and real. eeee.
I’m really sorry that I have no criticism for this chapter… how about you just remain consistent on all the things I mentioned were great? Yeah, that should work ;)
Author's Response: *hits head* I know I'm taking my time, and I'm getting there I promise!! A couple more chapters, and we'll be around the first big bend of the story.
There is so much more info coming up in the next couple chapters that I don't even want to respond to some of your comments for fear of giving something away.
But as always, your Harry comments make me squee, as I *secretly* feel the same. Poor kid just needs some love ;)
I honestly can't believe there isn't something to criticise besides a few retarded spelling errors! That's a great compliment...
Thank you, as always... you make me want to keep writing. *huggles Jenna*
Your descriptions are brilliant. Not only are they detailed and filled with wonderful imagery – but they fit the tone so well; the words you use fall in with the rest of the chapter. ‘A twisting of the doorknob’ – already [having read this chapter a few times before], I see that at the beginning, and I’m already thinking of the tapestry, and of this intricate yet subtle setting you have designed for the Reader. ‘The witch’, too, feels like a representation of this chapter, perhaps because she fits so well with the world around her. Mysterious, graceful, flowing, yet strong and impressive. My best explanation of my impression of her would be a cross between Fleur and McGonagall. Who’d have thought we’d see something like that? But both of those ladies have a sense of power and ancient magic about them, too, and it’s a very fitting comparison in my own mind.
I like that your chapters [thusfar] aren’t incredibly long. I think you have found a lovely balance of saying what needs to be said – admittedly, I would have liked you to go on here. Selfishness on my part? Hmmm, maybe. Perhaps Harry knows why he’s there, and perhaps this Council even knows what he’s arrived in search of – but I don’t! While I liked that the length wasn’t hard on my attention span, and while I don’t know if you need to hold the next bit of information back, I feel like you maybe should have continued. I think that the prologue has already set is in this direction, and that the first chapter needed to – explain something. Perhaps you didn’t need to continue with that last scene and tell us where he was going, but perhaps tell us where he’s been. I’m really just annoyed that you’re biding time instead of telling Me what’s going on. *hmph*
The tapestry. I hate that I don’t know who ‘the sorceress’ is – and I want you to tell me. But, I love the tapestry. I have a feeling it will be important, somehow. *Thirty points to Jenna for guessing the obvious*. Well, I can’t wait to learn more about it, and what Harry saw within it. Or what was so interesting about the way the room presented itself to Harry? How dare you spin plot so soon! I have an addictive personality, you know… *cries*
The entire thing is so mystic… I love it. It has a great tone, that I hope continues through the story. It reminds me of CoS in a way – it has that dark, ancient, mysterious feel to it. I’m not so much wondering what’s going to happen, yet, as I am wondering – who are these witches? How did Harry know to find them? Oh, but – yes, I’m curious about other things, too. Such as Ron and Hermione… *peers into other chapters*
You’re doing a great job – the problem I see with most stories is that they start off ordinary and you have to give them a chance to be creative and original. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But with this, we already know it’s different and it’s going to be worth the read. That, as far as introductory chapters can go, is the best thing to write for, and you’ve achieved it! :)
You did it again? First you leave
ME the Reader hanging on the Harry PoV, and then you leave us hanging with Lanette, too? GAH. You are evil. *suddenly regrets every cliffhanger chapter of Year 6*
Okay, the first thing that springs to mind is the setting. The American wizarding world – Okay, I’ve heard about these stories, maybe peeked at a couple… but, wow. This is just *perfect*. Now, I’ll admit I’d choose the British wizarding society over the American, any day – but this just how I imagined it. You have captured a wonderful periodic feeling for the magical society to thrive in, and it’s so nicely balanced with the old-fashioned and modern [Vera’s hair-colour potions *giggle*]. Yes, so I really like what you’ve done with the American wizarding society, it’s… it’s just incredibly believable and, though I have no frame of reference, incredibly accurate.
Now, to Lanette. I feel like we’ve only gotten a taste of her. I feel like I know more about her life and who she is on paper then her actual mindset. [This isn’t a criticism, hehe, an observation.] With Siobhan, I feel like I’ve done the opposite. From Sins, it’s really hard to know anything about Siobhan’s past, or her family, her experiences, her ‘friends’, her grades… but the Reader is more accustomed to her manner of thinking. With Lanette, I feel like I have the bases covered, and now we’re more ready to delve more into her manner of thinking and how she deals with people and situations; from what I’ve read so far, it should be fun! I love the reclusive OC [but I’m beginning to fear the likes of Lanette, Siobhan and McKee are becoming clichéd… *oh no!* Hehe. Who cares!?] – I always feel like they know more, or have a special brand of wisdom that the social butterflies can’t have. And, truthfully, they are more suited to their own PoV.
Speaking of PoV – I do have one minute criticism: But if had Lanette had looked back, she would have seen something almost frightening in those oceanic eyes. I have my reservations with this kind of revelation within a narration. It’s just me being nitpicky, I think, but when I have a third-person limited PoV, I like it to be truly limited. For instance, you might see in a story ‘They didn’t realise that it was the last chance they had to say goodbye…’, or ‘In a matter of hours, they’re lives would be changed forever…’ [bad examples, I know]. But, it’s hinting to the reader, or telling them something that the PoV Character does not know, does not see/hear/notice… while within the PoV? It doesn’t sit well with me, and I think in the instance you want to hint to the reader that something’s coming, it has to... be somewhat noticeable in the character’s mind, even if they don’t consider what it might mean. It’s really a personal preference. Unless I officially step out of the PoV – every observation must be something in my character’s mind… even if it’s more obvious to the reader than to the character, themselves.
Something else I noticed: I love how you open chapters. Very clean, straight into it, but comfortable at the same time. I hate starting chapters. I would steal this ability from you, if I could and were it not mean.
I love/hate Vera. She reminds me of Mrs. Bennett from P&P. *heehee*. And Lanette’s grandmother… I feel like I should be shipping her with Dumbledore! :) Again, while on the subject of new characters – your description is wonderful. You’re not just describing the physical, but doing it with words that radiates their personality, as well. I also thought this was wonderful: The no-running policy in the dormitories was strictly enforced with a string of potent spells. They were quite annoying, but there was no getting around them. Hehe. A nice, humorous and creative addition to the narration, and so wizardly! :)
Now, now – onto Miss Ravenclaw, and how Lanette is going to become connected with Harry!
Ah! I love it. First of all: answers! yay!
The Ravenclaw backstory: I love it. I love that you didn’t write RR as… some perfect, smart, witty boring woman. I love this Rowena, and I think it’s perfectly fitting, too. And… the Salazar/Rowena -- *love*. That, coupled with the curse on the men that the Little women become involved with – it’s weaved as beautifully as Helga’s tapestry.
You might realise that this is going to be a squee-ful review, sorry ;) Next on my list: the Heirs of the Founders. I love that so much. If Jo doesn’t reveal Harry do be Godric’s Heir, I’ll be disappointed [though I’m rather set on believing that Zacharias and Luna are the Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw Heirs, respectively]. The Heir idea is becoming a cliché of sorts, but one of those that I don’t think we should condemn: it makes sense. Considering the war really began when the Salazar left the other Founders. Perhaps not the story, but the conflict, is not about Voldemort versus Harry. It’s the mindset that begun with Salazar and the trouble he has caused; it is about unity as opposed to division. I’m so glad I’ve found a well-written Fated-Founder-Heirs type fic :D
Sorry this one’s so short, but – again, aside from what I’ve said in my previous reviews, what really let me enjoy this chapter was the history, the characterisation of the founders, and the introduction of the Fated Heirs idea – I love it all. I have no doubts that this story is going to be fan-bloody-tastic.
Though – I’m missing my stubble-faced man!Harry *hopes to see him again, soon*
Wow. I can hardly form words. But you know me ;) So here we go…
Again, I envy your ability to begin a chapter. I can never get quite the right start, but you always find the perfect opening lines. And, again, your description astounds me. Vivid imagery that establishes the tone brilliantly.
Characterisation: When you know who’s talking before any of the quotes are attributed, you know the author is spot on. I knew Moody, I knew Lupin, I knew Ron, I knew Hermione. I knew Greyback, even. I esp. loved Ron’s first speaking line. He spoke clearly in my mind, resonating, and… I’m not sure. Everything before that was kind of hazy… cloaked in terror, I think. It was evanescent, like opening imagines of a film while the credits are still rolling, but that captures your attention in a powerful kind of way. And then when Ron speaks, I feel – I don’t know, it switches gears in a good way. For me, it was that moment where the movie has drawn you in, and the scene really starts. And then Hermione, echoing Ron, speaking clearly in my mind. Wonderful – you spoil a reader.
Continuing on characterization, I want to touch on the little girl’s dialect. Very risky move, but… wow. Amazing, consistent, realistic, and it really brought something to the scene. There was something very beautiful about her. And, not only in dialect, but in tone, she was clearly a child. You wrote with the perfect balance of perception and innocence. Not infantile, but not too old, either. And it added a more human angle to the destruction, because we have a first hand account of the terror.
I won’t make my review look deceptively long by quoting the entire selection, but the paragraph containng: Skeletons of streetlamps loomed above it, casting dark, ghostly shadows.: amazing. “you see here only a small fraction of the horrors that the Death Eaters have committed tonight This line is very powerful, and I feel it might be for a very silly reason. It really says how terrible the DE’s are… and for me that hits home, because I think of Siobhan, and I think of Lucius. But, it makes me very, very sad. Not just because ‘Oh, that’s horrible, they’re horrible people’, because anyone can feel that way about any number of terrorists. But, I feel I have a personal angle on it, and that line just struck me in the heart.
I love Fenrir. In the sense that I hate him. He’s twisted and horrible, and it captivates me in a horrified way. You gave him that horror that shocked me in Half-Blood Prince. It was very true to Jo’s character, you didn’t hold back on how terrifying he is. It’s disgusting
On a few final notes: (1) I found something about Jo in this chapter. It was very Harry Potter. It had something about the narration and description that fit perfectly with the world. Except… it had a bite of realism, it was powerful, and poetic. It was like reading Harry Potter, but at the same time it wasn’t. The best of both worlds.
And (2) I love your ability to write these three coinciding PoV’s, and it’s still the same story. I’m mostly in touch with Harry, I think, because I feel that is the main tale, what he’s doing is most coherent to the single thread. But Lanette’s PoV and R/Hr’s PoV bring us out into other parts of the world, the rest of what’s going on, and I cannot wait for it to get together. I love a story that’s so many chapters in, and it’s captivating, entertaining – but you just know it hasn’t even really begun yet :D
Oh, very nice. I love seeing more original pairings – I really think you can only read Ron and Hermione so many ways, so many times. Great use of existing canon characters, and nice aspects of characterization, though I would def. love to see you develop them even further for your own future purposes ;) You might just have me shipping Jimmy/Demelza [though I admittedly ship tons of couples, many of which contradict one another, so don’t get too excited, hehe]
First paragraph. Nice intro – good imagery, good description, not only good establishment of the physical setting, but a nice tone for the political/social climate. I take a small issue with the first line where you have the word ‘just’ repeated very closely [three words separate the two]. Other than for purposes of creating rhythm, which isn’t the case here, it’s best not to repeat the same word so closely. I’d replace one of them, or else remove one completely [in the case of removal, I’d chop the first one and keep the second]. You also have a tense disagreement: ’the distant trees of the Forest seem to hide…’ “Seem” should be “seemed”. I might also reconstruct that last line of the paragraph to read: “But that he knew very well already” or “But that he already knew very well.”
My other nitpicks would be a tendency to use commas where they are not needed, or would do better without – “He was under the vague impression that he was being ignorant, by not knowing.”, for instance. And also, you make excessive use of ellipses […], which should only be used to show where information has been left out or perhaps in the case of dialogue to show slight pauses or areas where the person has trailed off. Try to keep it out of narration, and try to limit it’s use in the dialogue.
And you have a lot of fragments, which can often be used as part of an author’s artistic license. I don’t personally feel they fit the flow of this story, so I don’t know if you aware of them [such as the preceding sentence I mentioned “But he knew that very well already.”] – but make sure you know if you’re using incomplete sentences and fragments, so you can combine them with the appropriate independent clause or else format the narration so it creates that rhythm that fragments are often used for.
I like that chance you took with Jimmy’s perception of the war. When we tend to look at war from an outsider’s PoV, we usually don’t have perceive it with total comprehension which can cause (a) apathy and (b) overcompensation of not understanding. We imagine an inability to think of anything but the war, to be completely consumed in fear and sadness, etc; Which is not the case, and I think that many people who have been in any kind of traumatic situation can understand this perception: Boredom. It’s horrible to think that all those awful things are happening, but it becomes such a part of you that you forget to care and you just want something to happen. To you, perhaps. I thought that was very well pulled off on you part :)
'I'm bored,' he whispered, testing the words on his lips. My favourite line in the whole piece, I think. Very beautiful, very simple. Not only the poetry of ‘testing the words on his lips’, but just the idea of him saying it, testing it…. and then the ’look on his mother's face’ is an excellent addition, and again the reminder that they are in the ‘middle of a war.’ [Though I might suggest it would make more sense for her to ‘hear’ him utter the words rather than to ‘see’ him.]
'Well ... there's nothing to do ...’ I love the exploration of how he’s going to answer Demelza’s question, how he can explain his boredom. He’s being honest, but hesitant. [Though, those ellipses! Tsk, tsk.] And I loved that touch about him not wanting to deal with females -- such a perfect thought for a male, and esp. one of his age. First mother, now this. Cute, and accurate. *giggle*
'Would you rather,' she whispered, so that Jimmy had to lean forwards to listen, 'be here, right now, staring at snowflakes, or out there, fighting for your life?' Gorgeous line, what a way to really introduce your Demelza. And she definitely has that Gryffindor flare. What I really love is the imagery you get from combining the preceding description of Her expression was unreadable. Nice, definitely. It wasn’t a clichéd, heartfelt, teary-eyed plea. Unreadable… Oh, yes, I def. love it v. v. much. :)
Going to pull you up over something else now – ‘It’d be cool…’. I personally consider use of the word cool, as of Winter 1997 [which would be the year of this particularly fic, I’m assuming] an Americanism. American slang is starting to branch out more and more, and I think it would have been fairly common in the late 90’s in Britain… but not common enough. Not British enough, if you will. Jimmy would probably think of a lot more words before ‘cool’. I also tend to backtrack the wizarding world slang to being a bit less modern than Muggle slang, anyway, as they wouldn’t have TV and Movies and wouldn’t pick up on American terms quite so quickly. And to end that novel on the word ‘cool’, let me move on…
And while I’m making suggestions, I think that when Demelza and Jimmy really start to talk, the paragraphs and dialogue get a bit chunky and disorganised, like they should be broken up, cleaned up a little bit. It’s so much text together, and you have long descriptions in the middle of long segments of talking… it’s discouraging to the readers’ eye.
I love Demelza’s use of ‘Ignorance is bliss.’ Yet another concept very true to what’s going on, and worked in very well.
As for the moment they share – between Jimmy’s boyish but valiant efforts to comfort her and the quick kiss she gives him afterwards. Very sweet, very believable, it had a lovely touch of realism about it, and it was adorable. And that last line ‘Sure’. Again, nice, it’s not a sweeping romance where barely-teens suddenly realize they’re meant for eachother… it’s sweet, and it’s to be expected given their age and given what they’ve shared, what they’re living through together. It’s a very nice dynamic.
Overall, I think this is a great piece. It’s a good war-time story, a realistic perspective, and a warm touch. And I definitely preferred seeing Jimmy and Demelza and their perspectives as opposed to seeing major characters who we already know, whose feelings we should be familiar with. I’d love to see you explore this pairing more in the future :)
Author's Response: Oh my gosh, thank you! I nearly fell out of my chair when I noticed that you reviewed. Anyway, after reading this, I read the fic again, and I've just realised just how often I use commas. :embarrased: And as for the use of the word 'cool', I guess it was my slang-speaking self taking over. It gets confusing for me trying to tell the difference between American and British terms, since that I'm not native to either countries. Anyhoo, a million 'thank you's to you! =D
“In the last precious hours leading up to dawn, a man was escaping the coming light by walking swiftly down weathered staircases of stone.”
I’m at loss as to how to start this review, so I decided to steal you opening line – it’s a good one ;) It’s brilliant, actually. Such a simple statement that could have been worded so plainly, but you write it poetically. I especially love the ‘escaping the coming light’, and the description of the staircases as ‘weathered’. And, throughout the rest of the piece, you continue to narrate and describe with the same style: words that are more than words. You find new ways to say ordinary things, and make them breathtaking in the process. It’s an ability few people possess: to be able to find a new, better way of saying something. To say something without even really saying it at all.
Lucius. *sigh* I must comment on his presence, because it makes me so very happy. His ‘unnaturally well-kept hair’ and that prominent smirk. You describe him perfectly, dear :) In fact, I’ll even choose to ignore ”he would only catch a silvery glimpse of a snake’s head.” *averts eyes* I’m assuming you know how I feel on the matter of this particular object, so I shall say no more. I won’t even mention that he only has it in the movies ;)
Bellatrix. Her presence is very powerful in this piece. I wouldn’t even question characterisation of any of the characters you’ve written here – but Bellatrix surpasses all of them. She is rotting, body and soul. Her appearance is terrifying, yet there is a ghost of beauty still haunting her features. ” With one of her bone-chilling smiles” – this line really does chill my bones… *shudders* Excellent. Equally excellent is the dynamic referred to between Bella & Voldemort, and very true. Nothing could separate her from her Dark Lord.
“It’s an item of risk that has no purpose. It’s for… disposal.” Knowing how the piece ends, this is a perfectly placed line. Applying these words to Rodolphus, I feel sympathetic to him [married to a witch like Bellatrix, how could I not?].
Now, as I comb through your story, I find one minor criticism. The paragraph that begins “Without a word of goodbye she melted…” and ends “No, nothing stood between the two of them, least of all himself.” – Now, it appears that you intended to have a paragraph break here, but that you only hit return once instead of twice – but even with that taken into account, it’s a very long chunk. It’s length isn’t consistent with your other paragraphs, it breaks the rhythm and becomes discouraging to the readers eye. Again, minor criticism ;) I just think you should format a break. As for the paragraph’s content itself, well… *grin*. I think its very fitting for the characters in question and the world they belong to, and I think you recounted their history very nicely. [And of course, you mention Lucius again: and who wouldn’t prefer him as a husband? *giggles*].
“other men who could do her bidding, faster and better than himself.” Oh, really? *more giggling*
The unexpected ending of this piece, and the end of Rodolphus’ life [and his small victory – wonderfully and subtly written – it reminds me strongly of the end of ‘The Awakening’] and the fact that is set against the ‘blazing light’ of dawn… just sents me into squeals of literary ecstasy. That’s really all I can say about that.
I’m delighted that you’ve finally submitted this to MNFF [though I’m wondering why you haven’t given SPEW a link. The Updates thread exists for a reason, dear] – it’s superb and the fan-fiction world deserves to know it. It is among my favourite one-shots (though I can think of any other favourites at all, at this moment) – and it has a tone of finality and completion to it, unlike stories like ‘Sins’ and ‘Blood Debt’ that are still carving themselves out, Belonging to Bellatrix has made it’s mark. *standing ovation*
This response is one that has been due for a while now. But do you know something? It makes me just as happy when I come back and read it now, as it did when I first spotted it and it tripped me off my Swedish feet.
*giggles* On the matter of that particular object, well, I was aware of your opinion on it already when I wrote this last summer, and when editing the story before posting it on MNFF, I did consider removing it. But in the end I decided not to, at the time I didn't know why, but when I saw your review and sniggered at those particular words I knew exactly why I had kept it. And no worries, I'm fully aware it's only a movie phenomenon. ;)
Thank you for point out the formatting error - first-time-submitter had put paragraph tags on everything, before discovering she shouldn't do so. *headdesk* Anyway, I sorted it out as soon as you told me. As for the rest of the review, well, I think I might just be glowing more than you ever have. ;) I almost doubt that the wonderful words are true, but I have never known Jenna to lie, so I will believe it. Thank you, dear. Thank you!