I have two stories up currently:
A Difficult Conversation, which was the first story I ever wrote on MNFF and is Draco/Ginny, and
Sub Rosa, a one-shot I wrote for the 2009 Gauntlet. My character was Draco Malfoy, and it has no pairings at all. It also won the challenge (yayy!).
Please read one or both of these and leave me a review? I'll love you forever!
I also beta-read (you can find me on the Beta Boards under the same username).
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Hermione/Cedric is a rarepair about whom I doubt very many stories have been written - maybe because they barely, if ever, interact in the books - but the way this was written I could've sworn that the pairing was supposed to be Hermione/Cedric all along!
I particularly loved the *way* you wrote the story - the gentle, lilting sentences were almost like a walk in the woods on a clear day themselves, and you wonderfully brought out how the two of them feel like no one truly understands them. Thanks for such an enjoyable experience!
I adored your story. You have an amazing writing style - fluid without being too flowery, descriptive without laboring over the details - that draws the reader into the story and never lets them go :) I have to say, like everyone else, that I especially liked the way you didn't portray Death as the typical Grim Reaper but rather as almost childlike. Other than that, I pretty much second what everyone else has to say! :)
Wow, that was absolutely wonderful! I loved it. You did a spectacular job.
[i] Everyone has a different scrutiny of life and judgment. The light only shines on one side. The other side is a dark, mysterious shadow. It is this mystery that blinds you from knowing all that someone has to endure. It is their attitude, in parallel, that covers up pain and raw emotion. Your body is a puppet; the puppeteer is your soul - only your soul is your true self. It can take years, possibly a lifetime to loom someone's soul — to see what their inner battles are, and what they truly have to offer. The way one behaves, their personality, might very well be a glimpse to that soul. But sometimes one’s notions are mere blankets — masks they drape over their true self, to hide what they are so others will perceive something else. [/i]
That first paragraph was amazingly well-written, I think. You summarized Draco's life objectively - without even mentioning him! The part about "only your soul is your true self" was profound. You did a good job there with word choice, I think - the imagery you used with the puppet and the puppeteer was both interesting and original.
You gave the reader a good sense of Draco's curiosity - I definitely wanted to know what was in the middle of the circle, just like Draco.
[i]As small as the boy was, he had managed to sneak through the creak of the massive steel doors of the dungeon. [/i]
I would change a few words in that sentence: first, I would take out the "as,"
I don't think it's needed. Second, shouldn't "creak of" be "crack in"? I didn't understand that part of the sentence at all.
[i]All the figured had come to an abrupt halt — all with their heads hanging inwards the circle.[/i]
It should be "all the figure[i]s[/i]," and I personally would say "hanging towards the inside of the circle," because I don't think you can use "inwards" in that context.
[i]The boy’s inquisitiveness began to rise — higher than he had ever experienced.
Finally, exaggeratedly, a tiny space was brought between the two figures with their backs to the boy — and he could now see what was in the middle of the gathering. His youthful eyes went thick with shock. [/i]
I would say "curiosity" instead of "inquisitiveness" and "a tiny space was created" instead of "brought". Also, the phrase "went thick with shock" doesn't make sense. Shouldn't it be "went wide with shock"?
[i]Right in the centre of the circle there sat a young man upon a grimy, chained chair...The boy stared through now teary eyes[/i]
I would add a comma after circle, and make now-teary hyphenated.
[i]The man sitting on the chair gave a jolt of amusement[/i]
The phrase "jolt of amusement" doesn't make sense in that context - word choice?
[i]The only thing I admit to being foolish towards was not planning my route thoroughly[/i]
Should the phrase be "foolish about"?
[i]Lucius threw the vampire a fierce, loathsome glare before spitting out the words to the curse Draco had never heard[/i]
This is just a nitpick, but shouldn't it be "a curse" since Draco hasn't heard it before?
[i]It played in his mind over and over, never ceasing to give him a moment of understanding[/i]
I think this sentence is pretty ambiguous...do you mean that every time the vision played Draco received a moment of understanding? Or do you mean that the vision kept playing so that Draco never had a moment to understand what had happened? If you mean the second, I would reword the sentence to, [i]It played in his mind unceasingly, never stopping to give him a moment of understanding.[/i]
I don't understand why Lucius got so angry with Draco? What was so foolish about Draco being curious? If you mean that Lucius got mad about Draco not following his instructions, then you need to clarify.
Overall, I think the storey was really good! I liked your characterizations - child!Draco, angry!Lucius, and disdainful!Dorian were all done very well. Good job!
First of all, I just wanted to say that you wrote the story really well. I found myself wondering why Avalon and Uriah were acting the way they were...you did a good job with the suspense there. It takes skill to make a reader believe in one OC, and you successfully accomplished the deed with two! I am quite amazed, actually. For such a short prologue, you did amazingly with setting up the OCs' characters and making the reader feel the tension between them. I felt truly sorry when both of them died!
I just had a few nitpicky things:
Avalon slammed the door of her new home and put the umbrella down, walking over to the couch, sodden with rain.
I was wondering if it would work better if you changed the last phrase to 'her couch that was sodden with rain.'
Her now short brown hair was clinging to her skin as she remained perfectly still.
I wanted to change that to 'her now-short brown hair.'
Suddenly realizing she wasn’t alone, her breath caught in her throat and she turned.
I thought that sentence might work better is you said, 'As she suddenly realized she...and she slowly turned.'
I loved that word there...and I don't even know why. I liked the way you set it off
from the rest of the story, so it had more power. I guess part of the reason I liked it so much was that you used the single word 'silence' to describe the scene, instead of muddling with words like, 'she was speechless. Her legs turned to jelly...' or something cliche like that.
A man in a dark cloak walked forwards from her small kitchenette, rain dripping drown his legs. But with a shock she realized it wasn't rain, it was blood.
Two tiny things: don't you mean 'down' instead of 'drown'? And I also thought the second sentence would flow better if you said, 'But, with a shock, she realized...'
“Wh-what are you d-doing in here?!” Avalon demanded. His hood hid his face, but she knew that scent, it was fairly memorable. Her stomach churned and twisted at the thought of a stranger in her house.
I'm sorry - those sentences just confused me. First, I think 'fairly memorable' isn't strong enough for that sentence. Second, I was wondering why you said in the first sentence that she knew this man, and then immediately said that she was worried at the thought of a stranger in her house...they seem to contradict each other.
A second later, he passed out on the floor, his hood fell off.
I thought it should have been, 'A second later, as he passed out on the floor, his hood fell off.'
“Uriah!” Avalon jumped, and hurried to his side. His eyes were rolling into the back of his head and his once smooth lips were bleeding.
Small thing: should it be 'once-smooth' because it's an adjective?
Uriah tried to whisper something, but he couldn’t manage.
I'm not sure if there should be an 'it' at the end or not...
Click, click, snap.
Just like 'silence,' I liked how you pulled these words out and made them stand on their own.
Something cold and very dangerous sounding was right beside her ear.
Again, should it be 'dangerous-sounding' because it's an adjective?
She turned equally as deliberate and looked straight into the barrel of a handgun.
I don't understand the meaning of the phrase 'equally as deliberate.' It made no sense to me.
The ‘blood’ that was on him before was now turning a lighter shade of red; it was as fake as the hate in his eyes.
Tense thing: shouldn't it be 'that had been on him before'? And wait, what do you mean, the hate in his eyes was fake? I thought he wanted to kill her.
“You killed my sister, you got me expelled from the only life I had, and you caused me more pain than you could ever dream of,” he spat, “and now I’m going to kill you.”
I think, 'I'm going to have my revenge' would sound better.
Surely if she were shot, someone would be able to hear it.
I would add a comma after 'Surely...'
she was a vulnerable ant beneath an elephants foot.
There should be an apostrophe after elephant, like elephant's.
Half and hour passed, and he still hadn’t killed her yet.
It should be 'half an hour'...
Possibly he too could remember the times they had together.
It should be 'they had had', right?
She discovered a steak knife from a meal, and grasped it tightly. She had to kill him now otherwise she’d never live to tell the tale... She had searched for a weapon of some kind, something to defend her life with.
Huh? Sorry, I simply wasn't able to see how she would just have a steak knife hanging around in her sofa. That seems forced.
Avalon had hoped she still loved him, she hoped he would remember his love.
I think there should be semicolon after 'him', otherwise it's a run-on sentence.
Again, I just wanted to tell you what an amazing writer you are...I loved it, and I can't wait to read more. I hope you don't take my corrections too much to heart, I only wanted to help! :-) Thanks for providing the world with such a cool piece of work! :-)
Author's Response: Thank you for pointing out those bits! I will take them into mind! *squee* that was a great review!
I only have one word for this fic - WOW! It was exquisitely beautiful in its writing, and the characterization of Ginny Weasley (who, incidentally, you did an amazing job of showing in the Prologue even though we never see her - she seemed to somehow be alive and part of the conversation there) was excellent. The metaphor of the sculpture at the end was as touching as it is possible to get, and Edward Mason's speech made me cry. Everything he says is so true - if the wizarding world would open itself up to the Muggle world, think of all the wonderful things that could be done! (I know you *have* already thought about this, but it was a rhetorical statement, haha.) It's really rather surprising how many ramifications the way JKR set up the Harry Potter world has for the Muggle one.
In any case, this is a fic I stumbled upon when randomly browsing through the Beta Boards, and I am so glad I did! Amazing job, and I can't wait to read your other stories.
Reading this nearly made me cry. I'm not too sure why - of course, it deals a lot with death - but I think it was more about the sense of loss that Luna feels rather than the idea of the people themselves dying. I wasn't sure how to feel about Luna at the end of this story - I felt a strange mixture of pity for her inability to relate to everyone else the way they do, happiness that she is finally settled with her own family, sadness at all the losses she has sustained, and wistfulness for her happy times with her parents. You draw a wonderful picture of a Luna who is not the "freak" that most students at Hogwarts probably see but rather as someone who is utterly normal in her own world (someone who fits right in - someone who is cherished, in fact - but only in the world that she draws for herself). I can only be grateful that I got a chance to read this. I read "I Would Give You Violets" and clicked on your author name to see if you had any other stories - and I just couldn't resist leaving you a review for this one, as well! :)
This one-shot was simply beautiful. Every sentence you wrote was like getting a glimpse into two minds at once - Neville's as well as Alice's. It was a great reminder of the fact that Alice Longbottom is not limited to only the character we see in the HP books itself but also a woman with a past that is open to re-imagining. And you imagined it extremely well. Thanks for writing such a great story - it gave me a lot to think about. I especially liked the way you threw in lines about the flowers that Alice planted into the story. The continuation of the metaphor was excellent, and the description of how Neville still brings her violets at the end was heartbreakingly sad. I've never read a fic that distills the essence of lost potential so well as this one!
What an excellent one-shot! You did a spectacular job of characterizing two people who are given very little time in the books (for obvious reasons!) and showing how they grow to care about each other.
Teddy Lupin, Hummer of Pleasant Melodies. I really liked this sentence, for some reason. It reflected to me a lot about Teddy Lupin’s character – Victoire goes on to have a conversation with him and thinks to herself that he is too nice – and this epithet somehow fits Teddy very well. At the beginning of the story, it’s possible that this is exactly how Teddy is seen by Victoire (she doesn’t know him very well, after all) but something about the way he’s humming and the fact that he just seems so nice to everyone appeals to Victoire, I think. She wants to find out more about him – more than simply the fact that he’s a nice guy. You did an excellent job of bringing all of these feelings to light with that simple sentence.
“I’m sorry for patronizing you,” Teddy tried sincerely. Like the last sentence I quoted, this one also conveyed a lot about Teddy’s character to me – he’s a very nice person, clearly. Anyone else would have given up on trying to make someone feel better about a comment that wasn’t even all that offensive in the first place long ago, but Teddy just seems to try harder than anyone else. However, I can’t help feeling like that would get annoying before long. After all, Victoire probably enjoys teasing other people as much as the next person, but I’m not so sure that Teddy has the sense of humor that Victoire does. Victoire seems more lively in this scene – from the way she looks out of the corner of her eye after saying simply “hi” to Teddy to the way she lets Teddy apologize more than he should actually have to, Victoire seems to have quite a bit of Fred/George in her!
Somehow, I didn’t like Victoire so much in the first scene. Something about her seemed to be almost manipulative. Here’s what I mean: If she wanted to have him, she’d have to work on him a little at a time so as not to scare him away. For example, in that sentence, Victoire seems to be choreographing her actions so as to “get” Teddy. I’m not sure if you meant to have that part of Victoire’s character to be emphasized, but it seemed that way to me – Teddy seems to be the naïve guy who doesn’t realize that Victoire might be trying to charm him into a relationship with her somehow.
Teddy reminds me so much of Ron! He falls over himself to avoid being offensive a lot more than Ron would, but he has the same quality of blushing a lot when he feels awkward. I almost felt sorry for him in the second scene – like he says himself, he *does* seem to say the stupidest things around Victoire. You’d think Victoire would pick up on that, though!
He grinned, rummaging in his robes for something. “We’re going to enjoy the properties of mistletoe, of course. It’s a party, isn’t it?” Oh, I loved this part of the story. Victoire and Teddy seem to have grown up a little here (and Victoire clearly is still making an effort to be noticed by Teddy, although she doesn’t seem as manipulative as she did in the first scene). The overall effect was very cute – you did an excellent job of showing Victoire’s feelings and describing the way she was somewhat disappointed in what the event actually turned out to be.
Oh, no, no, it’s not that, it’s just...” That that is exactly what I want, and I’m shocked and thrilled that you want it to? A small nitpick on grammar – the last “to” should be “too.”
Teddy broke through the throng of people, wand drawn, and Petrified Montgomery and Winters. Hm, this struck me as rather odd. I’m not sure that Teddy can Petrify people – that seemed to be only Basilisks, as far as I got from the books – so maybe you could replace this with another hex or curse. This sentence threw me off a little.
“Is that alright?” he asked, looking truly worried in that instant. Aww, this is so something Teddy would say. I loved your characterization of Teddy for this part. Actually, I loved your story as a whole! Thanks so much for an excellent reading experience. I can’t wait to read some of your other writing!
I adored the first chapter of this story (which is how far I’ve gotten!). I can’t wait to read more – you’ve clearly thought a lot about this story, and it’s evident from the start of the very first chapter.
I really liked how the chapter started: Ron Weasley limped slowly down the corridor. Because I chose to read this story after looking at the summary and finding it interesting, I thought that the first person to be featured in this story would obviously be Hermione. It was a pleasant surprise to see that Ron was the first character mentioned – it’s a neat way to begin that suggests that the rest of the story will be just as unexpected.
But despite the increased wizard power…well Ron hadn’t felt particularly optimistic in some time now. This sentence sounded somewhat awkward to me. I think it would have read better as a single flowing sentence, like so: “But, despite the increased wizard power, Ron hadn’t felt particularly optimistic in some time now.” The way it’s currently written made the readability of the sentence suffer a little, I think.
On the bright side, I really liked your characterization of Luna. I can see her being exactly the sort of person you describe – the only person who seems to have been rather untouched by all the violence that’s been going on around her – maybe because of her ability to lose herself in her own world rather than stay as alert as everyone else seems to be. Yet, I think she also has a certain ability to see things that others miss – and maybe take exactly the sort of chances that Ron, Hermione, and everyone else is taking in this story to try to reach out to someone else who might be able to help them.
Distrust of old magic, of blood magic, practically flowed through his veins. Hermione’s spell was borderline Dark. I enjoyed reading your interpretation of the finding-another-world spell (I couldn’t think of another word for it!). In any case, I loved the way you threw some humor in there, too – especially the part where you mention Flitwick looking like he wanted to say something like “10 points to Gryffindor!” – it shows that all the members of the Order still have some hope that they might be able to persist in their resistance of Lord Voldemort. It also lightened the scene a little and showed how nostalgic the members of the Order probably feel at the thought of being back at Hogwarts.
T here was a man crouched in the center of the scorched pentagram. Oh, they’re *summoning* someone? I thought they were planning on going somewhere else – if not escaping, then at least researching as to how they might possibly conquer Voldemort. I’m not quite sure how I got that idea, but for some reason the revelation that someone else was there really surprised me. Maybe you could make it a little clearer as to what they’re trying to do earlier in the chapter? I mean, I know you’re trying to keep the suspense – and it certainly is very suspenseful – but it would make the entire thing a little easier to understand.
Also, I would’ve appreciated a little bit more background in the beginning – although you hint at some ideas of how the world has changed since Voldemort has risen to power, I didn’t really see any explanation as to what had happened in the years since the last battle. If not a paragraph-long explanation, maybe you could just add in a sentence or two about the whole scenario? Especially with the reference to the raid on Azkaban, I would’ve loved to hear more about it.
Finally, some grammar nitpicks: He made a point of not getting too close to anyone, he’d lost too many people and not just to death either should read “He made a point of not getting too close to anyone; he’d lost too many people, and not just to death, either.” He could see Charlie slumped over sleeping should have a comma after over. Of course she wasn’t a student anymore, and he wasn’t a teacher but it’s the thought that counts should have a comma after ‘course’ and ‘teacher.’
All of the little critiques I mentioned, though, don’t take away from the fact that this was an absolutely amazing chapter to read. It was smartly written, well-thought-out, extremely descriptive – and, most importantly, I desperately wanted to click the “Next” button when I was done :) Thanks for an amazing reading experience!
This is my first time reviewing a poem, haha. First of all, I really liked your choice of subject. Few people write about Dobby’s death, and still fewer probably choose to approach it as a poem! The uniqueness of the subject alone makes your poem well worth reading. I also liked that you managed to condense what seemed like so much activity into just a few lines of poetry – it definitely takes a lot of thinking and planning, and it was clear when I read it that you had taken a lot of time to make sure it flowed well. You chose a single moment and depicted that alone, which was something I think is valuable even in prose writing, not just poetry.
I also liked the way you referred to Bellatrix as simply “her,” rather than by her name. The fact that the only two names mentioned in your poem are Dobby and Harry Potter restrict the emotional range of the poem to those two people alone. I would’ve really liked to see a little bit more expansion on Harry’s part, though – “And I still live / whilst Dobby died” implies that there’s a little bit of guilt that Harry’s feeling because of Dobby’s death, and I would’ve really liked to see that expanded on more.
As for rhyme, rhythm, and all those other things unique to poetry, I liked the way you set off “Whilst Dobby died” at the very end as a line all by itself. It was clearly the most important part of the poem, and it was final in a way that reflected death itself. I also actually liked the way the last two lines didn’t rhyme! It underscored them more, I thought. In any case, awesome job – it was great to read your poem, and I’d love to read some more of your poetry.
It was like a wizard tale. The clever Slytherin helps a hag who later repays the debt. Except that Rose Weasley wasn't a hag, and Scorpius didn't expect to call in the favour.
*Winner of the 2010 Next Generation QSQ award*
I loved this fic! It was a pleasure to read because I'm a big fan of Next-Gen fics myself, especially Scorpius/Rose, which seems to have become fanon in a way JKR probably never expected. In the middle of all those stories, though, this one definitely stands alone as a classic - I see it recommended all the time on the Beta Boards, and I would say that people who don't have an understanding of Scorpius/Rose could do a lot worse than to start here. Your characterization of both of them is perfectly on point - I felt like I could see flashes of their parents shining through every once in while. I was a little confused by the ending, but I read it a second time and I could see that it was probably the best way to finish things off (here, at least!). All in all, a story I would not mind reading again at all - thanks so much for writing!
Thank you so much for saying you'd read the story again--that's the best compliment! :) I've written Draco/Ginny and I know many readers have shipped that or Draco/Hermione, so while I definitely wanted Scorpius to be Slytherin, I didn't want him (or Rose) to be an identical chip off the old block. I wanted them to be their own persons, so it means a lot that you just saw flashes of their parents.
I wish I could write a 24 chapter sequel, but I can't and finish original work, too, so I'll have to get my Scorose fix in one shots, and I hope you'll enjoy them too!
I can't believe this story has no reviews! I really enjoyed reading this one. Peter Pettigrew is always shown to be rather a pathetic character, and I think most people who read the books - rightly, to some extent - think that he is the scum of the earth and nothing else. I really liked your characterization of Peter, though, because you made him a very sympathetic character. I really empathized with him. The only thing was, I felt that the situation was slightly contrived (the reason why Peter and Sirius were mad at each other, I mean). It was a very profound re-examination of Peter's character, but for what I thought was slightly a less-than-world-ending reason. In any case, though, the story was *excellent.* Amazing job! I can't wait to read more of your stories!
Author's Response: Thanks for the review, and hugs for being the first to review! Poor Peter--I'm always looking for reasons and justifications for what he did to the Potters. Fear? Anger? Jealousy? Blackmail? I'd love to know! But you thought the situation was contrived, eh? Hmm. Maybe slightly, but I have to tell you that when I was in school, I ended up being the Remus in a situation that arose that would seem even more contrived than the one I've used here. A'friend' of mine was the type to occasionally ignore me and our other friends for the more popular crowd, and another friend was upset about how we were treated by the 'friend'. It all came to a head when the 'friend' asked my other friend to borrow a pencil. ("You've ignored us for a week, and now you want to borrow a pencil? Are you stupid?") It was extremely ugly; accusations about a stolen boyfriend, jealousy, and anger ripped our group apart. Nasty stuff, resentment. I figure that if Sirius did treat Peter with casual indifference or comtempt (remember the quote in SWM about Wormtail looking like he was going to wet himself?) or made him the butt of their jokes, that would build up, providing layers of resentment. Add that Sirius was good looking, intelligent, and was, by all accounts, very talented with magic--and Peter was constantly overlooked? I suppose I could have stuffed a paragraph explaining all that into the story to make it more clear... Sorry! I'll do better next time, yes? Thanks again for reviewing. It made my day! Di
First of all, I just wanted to say it was an absolute pleasure to read this one-shot. The whole complicated relationship between Regulus and Sirius was so wonderfully explored.
I especially liked the way you began the story. It quickly drew me in, and I found myself experiencing the same vague surprise that Regulus seems to be feeling: why isn’t there more of a fuss? Why isn’t everything…louder? Your first paragraph conveyed such a lovely range of feelings: guilt, surprise, and regret. You manage to describe the opening scene with negatives ( your parents don’t march down the stairs with matching expressions of disdain, for example) rather than actual description, which made it unique for me as a reader.
And when you think of that night, of everything you have been trying to hide underneath that Black sneer and those haughty words, it’s damn near impossible to convince yourself that it’s anything other than your fault. This sentence, more than anything else in the one-shot, crystallized for me the way you characterized Regulus: a little insecure and a little weak (although he’s brave enough to go after Voldemort on his own later). Most of all, Regulus seems to be the kind of little brother who totally looks up to his older one, although he’s also obliged to follow his family. The helplessness that Regulus is feeling due to being pulled in different directions came through in this sentence for me.
I’m sure they’ll be happy to have me gone so they can dote on their favourite son without any sort of distraction. Ah, do I see a little bit of envy/insecurity in Sirius here? I’m not entirely sure whether you meant to make this sound as if Sirius meant the phrase “favorite son” as an insult or not, but somehow I could imagine him thinking a lot about his own relationship with his family in this moment of cutting off ties forever.
I loved the last line! The way you manage to convey so much about the way Sirius might have had a hope that Regulus at least would take his side when the rest of his family hadn’t (and, even worse, that he didn’t know that might not have been such a false hope) in one sentence is amazing. All in all, thanks for writing such an amazing story – your characterization and dialogue descriptions were excellent and, like I said, it was a pleasure to read.
You're finally done with this fic! Yay! It was an absolute pleasure to beta all the chapters, and I totally blushed reading your effusive praise at the beginning of each chapter, so I thought I'd let you know in a review that I think you're an awesome, wonderful, generally spectacular author too :) The things you make Draco do and think are always perfectly in character - and you make my job so easy all the time. Thanks for being an awesome beta-ee, and I can't wait to see some of your other stories, too!
Author's Response: Apurva! Thank you so much! It feels so strange to have finally finished this off but very satisfying. You have been such an amazing beta and my praise of you is completely necessary after all you have helped me with! Thank you again and thank you also for leaving me a review. I love getting those :) And thank you (wow, I'm using that phrase a lot) for the lovely stocking you and the other Gryffs left for me in the Slyth common room! I hope you had a great time over the holiday season. Julia XD
Lily is always trying to get away from James. He can never talk to her without getting yelled at or insulted. How much of this can he take before he is over her for good? James' POV
Since I’m the first to review, I’ll try and leave you a nice long one :) Overall, I thought the one-shot was great. You characterized James’ hopelessness very well – after all, it must really suck to be rejected so many times! – and the pain that he was feeling really came through for me. Here is how my day goes. The way you started your one-shot really emphasized the repetitive hurt that James is feeling. You did a good job of showing the way he thinks about her all the time and how it hurts him just as much as the first time whenever Lily rejects him.
Also, I loved the use of the song in the story. It fits the theme perfectly, and you used the song sparingly without trying to fit in song lyrics in multiple places throughout the story where they might not really fit. Many songfics tend to err on the side of too much repetition, and you carefully avoided doing that. The plot, of course, is known from canon, but I liked that you focused on their earlier experiences alone rather than their final love story.
I wasn’t too sure of the ending of the one-shot, though – it was great that you ended it on a negative note, as so few Lily/James stories ever do – but it seemed rather strange that James would suddenly switch from being obsessed with Lily to deciding to forget her completely. Maybe you could’ve shown the change more gradually? I must say I wasn’t expecting your ending, though – I was expecting something more along the lines of “Lily decided to give him a chance” – so the way you added a twist at the end was great.
Finally, there were very few grammar mistakes in your story! Awesome work in that arena. You suggested writing a sequel to this one-shot; go for it! I think it would be great to see how Lily finally decides to take a chance on James Potter, and their love story would be quite perfect to write, I think. Just a general question: what inspired you to write this one-shot? Did you hear Over and Over and suddenly think about how it might pertain to James/Lily, or was this an idea that had been stewing for quite some time? I’m just curious :) In any case, thanks for a great reading experience!
Author's Response: Oh my gosh thank you for this long review! Three Days Grace is my favorite band and I listened to this song and I thought that it would go great with a story. There's other songs from them that I'm going to make a story out of too, so they should be coming soon... My sequel is going to be different that what you are expecting probably but it will go into more detail with the ending of this one. Thanks again for the review. I really loved it.
How cute! I liked reading about how the Marauders might have fought with one another - you did a great job of showing their insecurities through their reactions to James making the Quidditch team. Awesome job!
Author's Response: Thank you for reviewing! I think that having the Maruaders argue is alot more plausible then having them all peachy friends all the time. They are only human after all! (Despite what many people believe;)) I was hoping to show them so riled up that they spilled everything that had ever bothered them about each other before, and that they had just kept quiet. And what better way then to have them over a Quidditch team? (Boys will be boys lol). Thanks again! ~ginnygirl16~
What a great plot bunny! This was a great idea to choose to write about, and you certainly did it well!
I particularly liked your writing style throughout – I almost felt like I could hear Luna speaking. The way you made her speak in short, straight-forward sentences was completely in character for me, and you certainly did an excellent job there. She sometimes seemed a little…sharp for me, though. I mean, Luna just seems so nice in the books that I was sometimes surprised by the way she was reacting to Draco’s remarks. For example, here: "If you can get it off the ground first," I snickered. I thought that was quite harsh – by Luna standards, anyway :)
The interaction between Draco and Luna was very cute – they’re not much written about together, but it was a very interesting friendship. I also liked the way you wove in the fact that all of this happens before either of them ever go to Hogwarts – there was an innocence about the beginning part of this story that was very enjoyable. I think you made Luna a little more competitive than she seems to be in the books, though: We were also extremely competitive with each other. We would play wizard's chess and gobstones all day, yelling until we were hoarse. I couldn’t imagine Luna yelling about anything! She’s a strong character, but I think she might be a little more docile than you made her out to be.
Your characterization of Draco was great, though, all round. You did an amazing job of letting both the childish and the controlled part of Draco shine through the story. The way he rants on about Harry Potter and the way he also talks about his birthday were very well-written, and showed a lot about his character. They’re only kids, after all.
And, lastly, a few little grammar nitpicks:
Then there was a boy who you could only assume was their son, because his appearance was a strict, mirror image of the two adults. I would’ve preferred “who I could only assume” instead of “who you could only assume.” For some reason, the use of the word “you” threw me off a little, because you use “I” throughout the rest of the paragraph. Eventually he noticed me standing there, watching him. He must've found it odd, because he stopped flying (or at least the attempt). Maybe you could’ve reworded the last part to “because he stopped flying – or, at least, attempting to.” The way it currently is sounded a little awkward to me. "Obviously, if he defeated the greatest wizard of all time, he must be a freak." he stated, matter-of-factly. There should be a comma after freak, not a period.
In any case, it was great to read this one-shot, and I definitely hope you write more!
Author's Response: Thank you so much for the great review! I really appreciate it. I'll definately try to fix my mistakes. I'm glad you pointed them out. Thanks again!
What a delightful entry to the Gift of Gab challenge :) I loved your idea of the two people to write about – I always wondered myself what exactly it might’ve been that Dumbledore said to convince Lockhart to come back to Hogwarts. I also liked your title – “The Very Last Option,” indeed! I can completely imagine Dumbledore going through his list of people to teach at Hogwarts, being refused by all of them, and then being forced to ask Lockhart as a last resort.
I particularly loved these sentences: I’m sorry everyone! I have a brief meeting to attend to in the back, but dry your tears! I shall return to sign more books. And I might even act out my defeat of the Bandon Banshee! It was so in character for Lockhart to go on and on about his “exploits,” as he calls them. I think you did a great job of characterizing Lockhart – both here and throughout the story.
Your characterization of Dumbledore was spot on, too, I thought. This sentence, particularly, made me feel that Dumbledore wanted to communicate to Lockhart that he knew exactly what he’d been up to: “Naturally. Gilderoy, these stories I’ve read about you: they seem extraordinary. Almost unbelievable.” I could imagine Dumbledore peering over his half-moon spectacles while saying that, for sure. Maybe, to make it clearer, you could’ve added in ellipses? Like so: “almost…unbelievable.” Even without that, however, your characterization of Dumbledore was very good.
Somehow, though, I didn’t think Dumbledore would tell Lockhart he was desperate, like he does here: “Well, I was hoping you’d be willing to take up the post this year. It’s nearly September, and I am getting very desperate.” I think Dumbledore would realize that the best way to get Lockhart to do what he wants is to flatter him into the job, and saying that the only reason he asked Lockhart was because he was desperate would hardly work towards this goal!
A few grammar nitpicks:
“This will only last a few minutes. And it will be quite painless I assure you.” There should be a comma after painless. She’s such a fan — aren’t you Gladys? — that she’s willing to wait a minute more! There should be a comma after you.
In any case, I loved your entry overall. The way you ended was excellent, too! Good luck for the Challenge!
Author's Response: Sorry for taking so long to respond! What a great review! Thanks for taking your time to get a careful read on it. Good catching those two forgotten commas; I dunno why I forgot them in the first place (I guess in 2,000 words, my mind lapsed a bit). Lockhart is always lots of fun to write, and when I find time, I have another story for him. I also waffled over Dumbledore saying he was desperate. I wasn't sure he would say that in the first place, but then I also wanted to show how oblivious Lockhart was to the fact that he was, in fact, the very last person on the list. I guess I can't have it both ways! Still, the whole question is this: why would Dumbledore even think of hiring him? There's no more obvious fraud in the magical world. Of that, I'm sure.
What a great one-shot! Your idea of trying to describe the way Draco might have felt after his family name had been ruined was unique, and you did a spectacular job of making this plot bunny come to life!
I really liked the way you made this a songfic – the lyrics really suited what I imagined Draco’s mood to be, and you did a great job of weaving them in throughout the story. I would’ve rather liked the interspersed lines to be shorter, though – maybe you could’ve chosen two or three lines that fit best and put them in? If they’re any longer than that, they might disrupt the story a bit more than you want. Just a suggestion!
Your imagery was excellent throughout the story. I felt like I could really see the rainclouds and moors you were describing. You also did a great job of showing the way Draco felt at the beginning – a sort of hopeless despair at the way his life turned out permeated his every action, and I could really empathize with him. One thing I didn’t notice, though, was any sense of Draco blaming himself for what happened – does he really not see that he was at least somewhat responsible for the things he did? I mean, obviously he was forced to do them, but still. I saw more of this change at the end, when he probably realizes that he doesn’t have to do whatever anyone tells him, and that he, and he alone, is in charge of his life.
A few grammar nitpicks:
The sun had moved to hide behind a wall of bright white clouds but the air was still warm around him. There should be a comma after clouds. When he landed on the ground he heard a loud ripping noise and looked down to see that he hadn't been quite as articulate as he had thought. The word “articulate” threw me off here – you probably wanted to say “agile.” Articulate is only for speech, I think.
In any case, this was a lovely little one-shot that was a pleasure to read. The way you ended on a positive note was very inspiring. I can’t wait to read more of your writing!
I absolutely loved reading this - it was great to see the ways the Marauders would approach their careers, and the way you structured the whole thing made their scenarios and their conversations with McGonagall very believable. I felt rather bad for Remus :( Also Sirius, although temperament is rather more easily controlled than lycanthropy. I adored how you kept the story moving without falling prey to all the fearful cliches that lurk in Marauder Era fanfics :) All in all, great job!
Author's Response: Thank you very much for the review, Apurva. I'm particularly pleased that you thought it free of cliches as that was the primary intention. I didn't envy Minerva's job in this story, although I'm hoping she eventually smiled at James and hopefully Lily made her proud. Poor Remus ... *hugs her werewolf*