Hermione gets the cat, the flat, the food, and the furniture. Ron gets the family and friends.
Harry gets the boot, his little book, the blame, and the shame. Ginny gets a new bloke and a haircut.
'The One' is an insidious myth, and 'Meant To Be' smacks of a hope to which no one has a right.
It's a shame the two of them bought into it for so long.
And it's too bad old habits are so hard to break.
You wound me. Because I read here so rarely now, because my favourite authors have moved on and don't write anymore, and almost by chance I stumble on your story and I know that I must expect something moving, it's still a surprise somehow how sad your writing makes me feel. If I wound you, then may I say that you, in your way, both gratify and frighten me. Because you are clearly a thorough, conscientious, and discerning reader, you are both my ideal audience and a great source of creative anxiety. I feel held to a higher standard, and know, inevitably, one day I shan't live up. Until that day, though, thank you so much for reading my stories. You use of the words "hurt and hollowness" pleases me no end, because that is exactly what I needed to convey. It is essential that the reader understand the place to which Hermione has been driven, and yet I want the reader to question how she ended up here, alone. I also needed to provide a starting point for what I will give the reader next. I agree with your assessment of the "Unresolved Harry". That love (whose ever it may have been) should have shielded him from any and all psychological injury is the sort of dreamy untruth I simply can't reconcile. For that matter, the idea that any of these characters could just slip into happy oblivion with their teen-age sweetheart really chafes. In my characterisations, therefore, they must be damaged. They must be flawed and behave in ways they will regret, and they must hurt. The sentence "I begin to walk, gulping quick lungfuls of frigid air, cooling everything fast, through and through," I will attempt to defend, workshop style. This is meant to serve as both a transitive device and a link between the outside environment and the state to which Hermione, at that moment, aspires: Cold and unfeeling. That was my aim. I am willing to concede I may have missed the mark. That said, I will warn you, this is an experiment in non-linear story telling with shifting POV's. There will be violence and sex (neither will be gratuitous) and some of the language may be...inelegant when I feel it to be appropriate. Of course, I will keep it within MN guidelines, but I refuse to look away, so to speak. To answer your final question, the next bit is done, submitted, and only awaiting validation. From that point on, I have no idea how fast this thing will be written. I have the whole story in my head, but, because I write sentence by sentence and don't have a beta, I usually re-write several times until I'm satisfied. My biggest obstacle, though, is RL, and the same crunched schedule that anyone with a small child, a job, and a spouse must endure. Still, I'm currently very excited about this story and it's necessary research. Thank you so much for reading for your always thoughtful reviews. I hope I can persuade you to stick with me through this little experiment of mine. -S-
The flair with which you create hurt and hollowness is simply remarkable. Because the character is Hermione, the whole chapter exudes this feeling of a nagging pain, an anticipation of it, anxiousness, of the sort that a person carries with him on one of those days that they go about their business occasionally with a forced smile, sometimes, if they're lucky, even getting lost in the mundanity of life, but the chest remains heavy with a burden of not being brave enough, or ready enough to deal with it. The best lines of course were in that paragraph were she mulls over steps she'd taken to make that meeting as less difficult as possible. It's so characteristic of Hermione to plan the way she did, but it's also heart-breaking to reflect that she perhaps did all those things for herself as much as for him. Hermione who never focused much on her physical aspects, I reckon after the war must have begun to appreciate them in the way that Ron was appreciative of them. For me thinking that she makes the effort to wear an unlikeable braid speaks just enough about the length and breadth of their relationship and what it had suddenly become.
The best line was That leaves Harry - if Harry even exists, anymore It's an amazing line to give Harry the introduction in your story and sets the tone of his role and characterisation in the future chapters. The lonely, broody, unresolved Harry just seems to fit post-war stories so well than other scenarios. Loved it.
I liked the intensity of the second last paragraph. I have never read anyone describe breathing in cold wind but it's a feeling we know all too well. But I thought it didn't come off as well as it could specifically thegulping, quick lungfuls of frigid air part.
The line where you end is so appropriate but at the same time, I was thinking if what comes next at Harry's place could actually have been included in this chapter. It's very less to go on, but maybe that's just my highly eager (read: impatient) self talking.
So my brilliant little head just took a battering from your very talented one. I suppose life's not always fair. So how far are you in the next chapter?
Author's Response: Hi, Akay,
If I wound you, then may I say that you, in your way, both gratify and frighten me. Because you are clearly a thorough, conscientious, and discerning reader, you are both my ideal audience and a great source of creative anxiety. I feel held to a higher standard, and know, inevitably, one day I shan't live up. Until that day, though, thank you so much for reading my stories.
You use of the words "hurt and hollowness" pleases me no end, because that is exactly what I needed to convey. It is essential that the reader understand the place to which Hermione has been driven, and yet I want the reader to question how she ended up here, alone. I also needed to provide a starting point for what I will give the reader next.
I agree with your assessment of the "Unresolved Harry". That love (whose ever it may have been) should have shielded him from any and all psychological injury is the sort of dreamy untruth I simply can't reconcile. For that matter, the idea that any of these characters could just slip into happy oblivion with their teen-age sweetheart really chafes. In my characterisations, therefore, they must be damaged. They must be flawed and behave in ways they will regret, and they must hurt.
The sentence "I begin to walk, gulping quick lungfuls of frigid air, cooling everything fast, through and through," I will attempt to defend, workshop style. This is meant to serve as both a transitive device and a link between the outside environment and the state to which Hermione, at that moment, aspires: Cold and unfeeling. That was my aim. I am willing to concede I may have missed the mark. That said, I will warn you, this is an experiment in non-linear story telling with shifting POV's. There will be violence and sex (neither will be gratuitous) and some of the language may be...inelegant when I feel it to be appropriate. Of course, I will keep it within MN guidelines, but I refuse to look away, so to speak.
To answer your final question, the next bit is done, submitted, and only awaiting validation. From that point on, I have no idea how fast this thing will be written. I have the whole story in my head, but, because I write sentence by sentence and don't have a beta, I usually re-write several times until I'm satisfied. My biggest obstacle, though, is RL, and the same crunched schedule that anyone with a small child, a job, and a spouse must endure. Still, I'm currently very excited about this story and it's necessary research.
Thank you so much for reading for your always thoughtful reviews. I hope I can persuade you to stick with me through this little experiment of mine.
I'm in love with the way these characters are evolving! Evolving sounds wrong somehow though, because the prologue well it already said where we were headed and now, this chapter especially has been like an after-thought, retrospective look by Harry about the ways life's becoming so wrong.
This chapter gave me a profound impression that I could actually go back and read the chapters again in order, that in such a way of reading, the characters will become even more pronounced, that after it, I will unreversibly begin to see this storyline as the only reality of post-War trio that was ever possible.
I loved something about the way events were written here: that I was never any wiser than what I was being explicitly told. The descriptions with the newspaper, the chair, Benoit, it's all unimportant to me, until the point I become privy to Harry's thoughts about them. I wondered for some time that placing part of the pub scene in the beginning is a great touch and in addition to that it also reads superbly. But I trip over my own indulgence when you say 'We both know why she's really here' I just instantly assume this is about Ron and Hermione, with Hermione being awfully quiet and Harry at the beginning thinking of Ron being a prat. So in that whole next paragraph I totally overlook the importance of describing the newspaper and that the reason for Harry's edginess has really something to do with page 5. It's brilliantly satisfying to see that I don't have the story figured out. Love such subtle reminders from good authors.
It's also amazing that despite reading in first person, I felt for the most part of this chapter as if I were watching Harry while standing invisible in the corner of his office. But it's not so, and I'm in his head too, which just makes him all the more on the brink to me, like any moment there's going to be an OOTP-like emotional exposion. It was thoroughly occupying. And yet my favourite part of this chapter was when he says to Ginny "Yeah, I guess it is" and I can't imagine how perfectly your choice of word 'release' describes this absolutely breathtaking scene.
Harry's dreams were terrifying. They were so devastating, so dark, so incredibly well-written. I couldn't help but think that this Harry seemed far removed from the one we know in the books. His dreams might have been similarly terrifying then but Rowling couldn't obviously write about them. My mind wandered back to the time he was so worried, scared after the episode with the snake in OOTP. He's a different man here.
I have dreamt of my falling teeth once and had ventured to google the meaning of it. I guess as opposed to what it usually means - not being able to express yourself - Harry here just wants Ron to stop talking.
You said one time about living upto those expectation that come from a highly-involved reader. I think if it is possible, you surpass the standards with every new chapter. It makes me sad that this is based on fanfiction, because if you wrote orginal fiction in this manner, I'd like it to be known that I'm one of those crazy people who would have hugged your book, frequently sighed into its pages and slept next to it at night.
Quicksilver season is on and I'd have been the first to nominate this story if I only still saw Quicksilver the way I did three years ago. As it is, I see that much like most of the awards, the judgement is incredibly arbitrary. Perhaps that's just my bias speaking. Passionate nerd that I am though, I'll hate it when sub-par writing are branded winner over pure ingenuity.
My dear, this was good stuff. Thanks for writing!
Author's Response: Hi Akay! Okay, I thought I replied to this review a couple of weeks ago, but I'm guessing my WiFi must have timed out before I hit "Submit" and it didn't post. I am truly sorry, so let me try again...
First, I would like to thank you so much for reading. I truly appreciate you sticking with this story after months with no updates, and also for taking the time to wonder where I've been. It's the best motivation, knowing someone's still interested, and again, I thank you.
The characters here-- it's very important that they seem indisputably older. Sort of world worn, and tired, and disillusioned. Time and the adult world has altered them as much as living through the War has.
This chapter, well, I shook my fist at the screen a fair few times because it just wasn't working for me. It felt flat and just meh, then I wrote the book-end pub scenes and it all sort of fell together. The layers were finally there, and it became a much better read, much more satisfying.
I'm glad you felt my H/G break-up scene worked, as abbreviated as it was. I had this whole, big thing written out and cut it to the bone. It felt as if it was dwelling too much in the past, and I didn't want to linger too long around Harry's rejection.
Harry's dreams-- I won't try to provide a psychoanalytic interpretation, now, but it will very likely be addressed later in this story. ;)
As for Quicksilver, I didn't realize 'twas the season until you said, and I went perusing and found that my story "Hangman" has been nominated for Best Dark/Angst. I was stunned! Pleased, as well, but mostly stunned.
I am so glad that this story continues to make the cut with you, Akay, and that you think this was 'good stuff.' I'm not ashamed to admit that your comment about the OF made me a bit misty-eyed. If I ever publish anything, I'm winging a copy straight to you!
Again, I sincerely thank you for reading and for your always thoughtful reviews. I truly appreciate your insightful feedback.
Summary: It is October 31, 1981. Sirius decides to check on Peter, make sure he's safe.
Peter's house is empty.
Repetitive but you don't honestly feel like an honest Sirius fan unless you have atleast the annual read of Halloween 1981 from his POV. So thank you. I particularly liked the ending section where Sirius comes upon James' body. His sorrow is well expressed and has the ability to create emotion in the reader easily. Nice one.
Author's Response: Haha yes I know many fics exist already with this event, but I just couldn't help but do another myself. Thanks for reading and reviewing!
Summary: Elphinstone Urquart doesn't listen to sense, or rejection, because he's seeking an answer. One that sounds good to his ears.
Dedication: For Etsuko, my Japanese spirit.
I hope you're good. I think before I get to the review itself I need to say how sorry I'm to have been so unavailable since my exams. My internet had got disconnected on the morning of my last exam and now my poor machine of two and a half years is at the repair shop for an untimely visit. I felt so miserable on the 16th being unable to reach you.. So here it is now: happy belated birthday and I hope it was a good one.
Though this is also an unrelated bit to the review, I loved your dedication. I havent been checking my mails and didnt know you had updated, it came as a nice surprise. It was a beautiful dedication and makes me want to know more about the people who you have been close to.
This story was such a joy to read, my first in several weeks. It has an underlying humour and wit reminiscent of your Andromeda fic set on a Halloween night in the Marauder Era. If I remember correctly it was a spew thing and was well written and was full of scenes that made me laugh. This story too like the halloween fic had moments of black comedy. I dont know if this term is used for literature, I'm only sure of the films. But it just seemed appropriate here. Elphinestone is a rather new character and i've to admit I havent been serious towards him or found myself endeared to him, even after reading him in several of your chapters. Newness mainly has something to do with it and his obvious absence from the novels. But I have loved this light hearted foray into his world, woven world I must say because once again you amaze me by bringing together the unlikeliest of characters in a single chapter and make it seem like it was meant to be! In a very short appearence I have grown fond of of Mitch whose characteristic comedy and suggestive, gossip like way of speaking is a beautiful match to Rosmerta's dialogue in POA with the Hogwarts teachers in the three broomstick. It felt to me like one characterisation was derived from the other.
You havent described Elphinestone but his voice has a boyish charm to it or should I say enthusiasm. Maybe I have extrapolated this from his continued attempts at wooing Minerva. He's likeable and quiet different from the way you have written Ben and Leo before him. Three male characters and three amazingly distinct pairing with Minerva. How do you manage dear lady?
I've loved very much certain parts of the imagery described in this story. One very obviously was the ending paragraph. What is it about me unable to resist written descriptionf of when it rain. Actually I think I can't resist rain in any form. I imagined a picture from one of the films where it is night time and the Great Hall is all light up and outside it is wet and black. Beautifully expressed. I also very much like how you begun the second paragraph and delved into those descriptive sentences for a few moments. The transition from the reflection in the first paragraph to this seemed very much like I was reading a page from a published novel. You have narrated this story in a simple way with clever characters. There's some thing about the way it starts and ends that it seems to tie nicely with your dedication but I dont want to read too much into it. I have enjoyed it and imagine you must have felt the same writing it. Thats what matters for now.
I'll write to you soon when I can. Miss my greatest pal. Love,
Author's Response: Akay I don’t have this review right with me, so hopefully what I put here matches. Your PC bit the dust, that sucks, well, it’s going to look like I blew up your box. My bad. But I’m glad that you enjoyed the piece, really, I’m glad that it was any good. You like Mitchell? Yeah, I do, too, I mean, if you’re going to have a barman in a story, you’d do well to make it memorable. As my sister says, if you’re gonna work in that atmosphere, you’d better be memorable. Yeah, I really tried to pull off a boyish uh … thing even though Elphinstone is old. I mean, he’s got to be old, and I’m not good at math. Age is a mental state; my grandfather James always said that. Turns out, he was right … but I’m really impressed that you like the character portrayal. I’m really trying not to get her out of character; I say that every time, every single time, and I end up in the same boat. Why do I keep doing this to myself? The rain … yeah, that’s a Hemingway thing for me. But I’m glad that you like it. I’m hoping to do a Three Broomsticks thing with Rosemerta hitting the bar for the first time. Something with Sirius, if my calendar’s right. Anyway, blah, Mitchell’s still here … being, well, Mitch. I woke up this morning at 0 dark 0630 to draft the second chapter. So, yeah, we’ll see. Thanks for your reviews. Get your PC fixed – I haven’t heard from you in forever and a day. The dedication? That’s coming. The tie – in. I’m so going to have a hard time writing that. Bleh. Jenn
Summary: Sirius is on the run from Azkaban -- with a little help from the toads.
I love it! Thoroughly enjoyably and most memorable piece of writing.
Author's Response: Thanks!
Summary: Haunted by his many failures and by the memory of his friends, Sirius Black comes to Hogwarts to seek the counsel of the only wizard who can help him. Until Justice is done, however, his only master is Truth.
You write somewhere in the middle: ". . .When I tried to kill Peter--and believe me, I tried--I saw him change into a rat right before I cast the spell. He escaped, and I've been searching for him ever since, a rat with a missing toe."
I always saw it at this that Sirius thought he had killed Peter, until the time twelve years later when he looks at the Daily Prophet. If he knew Peter had been alive all along, why would he wait for such a long time?
It's a lovely story, well-written. I like the addition of the italics thoughts a lot, such as the 'Justice. Redemption' bit.
I'm curious what you think about the above.
Author's Response: Thanks for the review! That's an interesting perspective on it; it would make total sense in canon, I suppose. The mindset from which I wrote this story is that Sirius knew he failed, but he couldn't find Peter... how do you find a rat in the middle of London, you know? It could be anywhere! And once he saw that Daily Prophet article, he finally had enough of a clue to go for it. Do you know if canon gives us any hints either way as to what happened? If so, I can probably alter the story to match your POV; it should be a relatively easy change to make, since it wouldn't alter Sirius' characterization or actions in this story in any major way... Let me know! And thanks again for the thoughtful comment; I appreciate your reading and reviewing. :)
Summary: The Black inheritance is less about money or prestige and far more about casual cruelty and utter recklessness and mad passion. Even after being disowned, can Sirius Black escape his inheritance?
Hi. This is a great idea. The following is not a criticism, please note that, but a reflection of how I have come to see your story.
One thing very evident by your writing style here, is that it is quite explicit. From the summary, you set out to do something and in the actual chapter, in every paragraph that follows, you are true to the purpose and Sirius's character in the way you are writing him is revealing and fitting. The way you have written it head first, it reads as a standalone chapter rather than as part of a story until maybe the last paragraph. This is merely an observation. The line: Somehow, he never could twist his lean face into anything approaching the jowly countenance of their Potions Master for instance, is where I found myself smiling and thinking, so true, but I'd have never thought about it exactly like that. Even though it breaks my heart to think what it really implies about Sirius here in the moment, hats off to a great description.
I have a feeling that to counter the truth about Sirius you will play with here, I'd have to frequently go back for consolation to what Jo wrote about his picture with the Potters on their wedding and how it transformed his face. Ah, what an indulgent story yours is going to be :)
My favourite paragraph is where James reconsiders throwing the jar. Bravo! It ends on such a sad note, which was lovely.
I have enjoyed this story and would certainly look out for it. One thing I'd suggest is simply to not make Sirius too aggressive. I'm going to make a connection here to how chronologically, Jo first introduces 11 year old Sirius in the books. Remember that? So he's always been the rebel. The nastiness I think is bound to have emerged when his odds with his family became far too intolerable to ignore. Given where your story is situated, the Sirius you describe is quite on the money actually. I just wish somewhere you'd show before the end that his redeeming quality is one that would have been developed as a result of the time he spent being his best friend's "twin".
Looking forward to more :)