I like how you casually throw in the comments like "We don't want anything for Christmas." That's very mysterious and it draws the attention nicely.
I also like how you have the children interact. You have a very good sense of the ages and common behaviors of all the Weasley children. The Fred/George interaction had me shaking with laughter. Classic.
I would have liked to see more Molly/Arthur interaction, though. A couple that's raising children needs to be communicating frequently, and in the focus upon the children, you don't really see that.
*Blushing* Thank you for this review. I think getting the ages of everyone right was one of the more complicated tasks in writing this story... I seem to remember researching in one of my mother\'s old parenting books how much a 2-3-year old talks.
And about Molly and Arthur... actually, you\'re absolutely right. I didn\'t think of that all that much at all, which, in retrospect, was definitely a mistake. I\'ll take it into serious consideration in chapters to come.
Again, thank you!
Written as a Term Challenge: Holidays Abroad submission for Slytherin.
Wow. I love the description of the effects of Amortentia. It's wonderful and really unique that you showed the thought process. I would have loved to see a bit more on this, too, because I'm so interested. What did Tom smell? What did he feel? We know what he thought, but there's so much more...-is very curious about Amortentia suddenly-
This chapter was very intriguing. Nice job!
Author's Response: This was simply a prologue and I didn\'t want to go into much detail. But I\'m glad you liked it!
Ooh, that's an interesting effect. I love how you need less and less...that probably makes Merope hope that someday, Tom won't need it at all! Very nice ending, because it made me want to read the next chapter!!!
Beyond that, I liked how you displayed the change Amortentia caused and Merope's guilt.
Nice work. :)
Author's Response: Thanks for the review, and, actually I was trying to go for that feel with how much of the potion he had to drink.
Hmm...I guess Merope is lucky that he didn't wake up fully, because the Amortentia probably wasn't taking effect at this point. :o
Again, I like your portrayal of the couple. Tom is ridiculously romantic due to the potion, and Merope simply wants to be with him. How tragic.
Anyway, on to the next chapter! I'm intrigued...as I have been throughout this story!
Author's Response: I\'m glad to have intrigued you. And, yes, I was trying to make it ridiculously romanitc almost to the point of being cheese-- but not quite. Thanks for the review!
Eek. I don't like the non-Amortentia Tom. He's a jerk! I think that you incorporated the signs of pregnancy very accurately, but I think that maybe you should have waited a few days in the storyline before she tested herself. Women don't tend to jump to that conclusion immediately.
Merope's hope that he will change was perfect. I rather think that he would be confused as to who she was when he stopped taking the love potion, but I like your interpretation - that he simply becomes cruel - better.
Author's Response: I don\'t like that Tom much, either. Haha. And, yes, I know I pulled the pregnancy thing on a bit too fast, but when I was writing it I wanted it all to fit into one chapter. Thanks for the review!
Oh, I see. The Amortentia was still in his body a little bit and that's why the only effect was increased cruelty. -lightbulb flashes on-
Okay. I really liked the way he left her. That sounds horrible, doesn't it? But, honestly, it perfectly captures the behavior of someone in a relationship where they've been lied to.
I love how you show Tom as a bad person, and yet show enough humanity, enough connection to the readers that we can't really hate him.
Great work! It keeps getting better and better...
Author's Response: Why thank you. This story sort of shows how my writing skills got better as well, because I was learning as I was writing this. I\'m glad you enjoyed reading it!
Wow. My God. I love Merope's inner reflections in this chapter. She is just...not angry, and that's beautiful. It nearly made me cry.
I loved her observations of water. The childish innocence of them ("stick together like a family") tugs at the heartstrings.
She knows she is wrong, so she cannot be angry. She can simply grieve.
Wow. Oh...the snowdrops reference was the perfect ending. It sort of symbolizes their relationship.
-sighs- This is the best chapter yet of this story. Wonderful work.
Author's Response: Aww, thank you. I sort of wanted to make the reader cry; it\'s one of my greatest wants when writing. I\'m glad you liked it.
The last line took my breath away. I really enjoyed the encounter with Tom, but I really expect more bitterness or regret from Merope. You don't really show her reaction when she sees him. Even a line like "It had been nearly a year, and now the only thing she loved was her child, growing within her. Seeing Tom again didn't hurt her anymore," would have been satisfactory.
I also really liked that you, again, gave Tom some humanity, some good...that's really the strongest asset of this story - characterization.
Absolutely fabulous story. Great work, CL!!!
Author's Response: Thank you so much for all your kind reviews. And, actually, your opinion here is a good one. I\'ll think about it. Thanks again!
Follow Barty as he takes his steps through the Quidditch World Cup in GoF. What parts of the story did you miss while reading from Harry's point of view? This is the side of the story that you really care about.
I liked the viewpoint of Winky that you shared. I think that your transitions were pretty smooth, and that you described things well.
You characterized Barty with an almost childlike air ("do you in" is not something an adult would say, I think). I think that's very appropriate. He was imprisoned at a very young age, and he hasn't seen many people since.
Beyond that, I have one suggestion. I think this story could be even more powerful if you told it from a first person perspective of Winky. We would really get inside the house-elf's head, and that would be really unique.
Author's Response: This was originally a chapter from a fic written following Barty\'s POV throught all of GoF, however I gave up on it half-way through and turned my favourite chapter into this one-shot. Hence Barty\'s POV. Thanks for the review!
I love the emotions you carry in this poem, but it truly horrifies me. Not so much the abuse - I mean, that's terrible - but you have no reasoning behind it. It's mindless cruelty, simply for the sake of writing something.
To me, each abuse-related story should cover the subject with great care, to the point where background as to WHY the abuser is doing this - proof that they have psychological issues and that's why they're doing this - is almost necessary.
While I know it's hard to incorporate such details into poems, it can be done and I urge you to do so. This poem sent chills down my spine - but I don't think it was developed enough to deal with the issue of abuse very sensitively.
Positively haunting. Lovely, lovely job with your emotions. *shudders* Scary.
Here's your complimentary review for entering our In House Challenge! Thanks for entering and good luck!
I liked the way the song worked with the piece. Very nice.
However, your characterization of Ginny isn't how I see her. I can't see her pining after a man who has rejected her. She moved on past Harry after her first year, and I think she would if he rejected her like this.
I also didn't think that Harry would write Ginny letters, simply because he was the one who broke up with her [u]to keep her safe[/u]. Sending her letters from him via owl isn't exactly safe.
The story flowed nicely, and the flashbacks were smoothly incorporated. Overall, very nice job. :)
Author's Response: Thanks a lot, Kumy. I appreciate it. I know I did Ginny a little strangely, but oh well. I don\'t chracterize her very well, but thanks for your comment. I\'ll keep that in mind if I decide to write Ginny in another fic. :) Once again, thank you!
Merlin. No words to describe this. It's so short, yet there's so many things to be complimented. *ahem* Take your insulin if you must - huge amounts of sugar coming your way.
First, the beginning. I've personally been working hard on my beginnings, and this is something I've really wanted to try. You executed it perfectly - the opening with dialogue between two characters. It practically throws the reader (in a good way) into the scene.
I love your subtle introduction of what it going on. You never directly say that Jon can speak Parseltongue or that the Potters are looking for a nanny, but it is implied, and it is perfect.
All in all, the strongest part of this story is its ability to show rather than tell - and its subtle use of dialogue. You've told me, Mask, before that you don't like to use many words or a lot of narration.
You pull off this story without either, and that takes an inordinate amount of skill. I applaud you! :)
To end, I shall make a small nitpick. Or maybe three.
First, Harry would have done the background check BEFORE Jon met Sarah. It's not clear whether he does it or not - is it a spell?
Second, the hussed line: Does she make daddy angry, too? Daddy should be capitalized.
Finally, the last paragraph changes tone from the rest of the piece. I'm not sure how I feel about the ending because this part is narration. To me, it comes off a bit distant...like the ending of a fairy tale.
I don't hate the ending, but it doesn't grab me like the rest of it does. Not really criticism as there's nothing wrong with it, but something to think about.
Oh, and I nearly forgot! Your OCs are brilliant. We get an immediate sense of Sarah from her dialogue. I may have liked to see more of Jon, but seeing as he was a minor character in this story and also very young...I don't know if you really should include more. It may take away from the plot line. Regardless, I immediately connected to both of them.
Great work, Mask, as always. You leave me in awe of your abilities.
Author's Response: *squee squee squee* Thank you for the review! I\'m glad you like Sarah and Jon. Sarah is in ToD as well, so she was all set up. Jon is pretty young in this - he has a hard time talking in English still. And the ending... well, I needed it to *end*, and their story kept going. So I stepped out of the scene a bit.
This was beautiful, Delaney. Just guh-worthy. :) *steals Steph's word* Anyway, I feel like Draco should have been OOC. I really, really do. But he just wasn't. I have no idea how you managed to soften him up to this level without any snarkiness and make him still be Draco, but you did it and I applaud you for it.
So obviously, characterization, to me, is one of the most important parts of the story. But I'm going to have to pick on the plot this time around. WHY is Draco being allowed back into Hogwarts after letting Death Eaters into the school? I feel like that's a vital piece of background that must be at least MENTIONED somewhere for the sanity of a reader as OCD as me. ;)
To finish, the kiss at the end could have easily been cut, you know. It's such a friendly, getting-to-know-you encounter. At the same time, it didn't feel forced. This incredible soft!Draco that you've created would kiss Ginny, I think.
The last thing I want to say is that the growth Ginny shows - leaving Harry behind enough to kiss a new boy - assumedly only a few months/weeks after Harry leaves is shocking. I would have loved some backstory on why she decided to move on and how she did it - it just seems to me that Ginny is planning to wait at the end of HBP so I would love some justification for the new way of thinking for her. It's not necessary for the story -- just my personal (again) OCDness. :D
Lovely story - the soft!Draco that was IC blew me away, and overall, just a NICE D/G fic. As always. You have the absolute coolest style of writing and are always wonderful to read, my dear.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for the lovely review! I\'m so glad you felt Draco was in character - I had to rewrite his thoughts and dialogue a bit to get it to where I was satisfied.
I will be sure to look for what you said about the plot, and I don\'t know how that could have been *over*looked, so maybe I put something about that in there in a way that only made sense to me... or something. I guess there\'s always AU.
Thank you again for the review. It made me very happy. *loves*
You pulled off Neville's awkwardness well, but I can't see a Ravenclaw being bad at any subject. Maybe not extremely good, but not terrible. If you could just make her good at it, but not brilliant...that would probably fit in more with the House of Ravenclaw.
Great job for your first fiction!!!
That was very sweet - and also an extremely strange pairing. I didn't see, though, much of Myrtle's traditional self-pitying moods. Maybe you should have her start off as sad, and then have Neville convince her she's not so alone. That would be more in character for Myrtle.
Great work with a rare pairing!
Oh my gosh! That was a surprise! How funny! I loved your portrayal of Crookshanks, and the formality of McGonagall. I also liked how you went from cat to cat.
However, I'm not so sure about the biology behind this. Do male cats go into "heat"? I thought it was only females who had that problem. I would do some research into that...
Marvelous story. Quite a twist at the end!
Author's Response: Someone else also asked me about male cats going into heat. And I told them, as I\'ll tell you: they probably don\'t! lol! But it\'s fanfiction, and hopefully everyone with forgive the lack of research. And about the twist at the end--it\'s what I wrote the story for!
I loved how Luna asked whether Harry called her Loony. That added a bit of vulnerability that really connects her, amid all her strangeness, to the readers.
Luna is delightfully wacky, but not over the top. Dudley is his normal ignorant self.
However, I had two characterization issues. First, I doubt Dudley could encounter something so strange without running to his mummy, unless Luna did something to make him more confident - which she didn't, but you could change that. Also, I can't see Harry staying up in his room if a friend comes to see him. That's a bit OOC for him.
Great job! Nice read, and great Luna characterization. :)
I really liked the way you incorporated Ginny's experience with Tom. That's something I use in a lot of my own stories with her to give her some dimension. I would have never expected the betrayal she felt from Ron - but that worked, too. Your characterization is fluid, moving from one scene to another with barely a pause, and it's breathtaking. I'm not quite sure how I liked the slipping from present tense to a "looking back" sort of voice for the final paragraph. I think I may have liked it to just ending after the second-to-last paragraph and stay "in the moment." But regardless of that, I really, really liked it. Nice work!
P.S. This is in gratitude for my soon-to-be coming author banner! Thanks, Kal!
Oh lovely. Just simply lovely with sugar on top. :D Sweet, sweet fire. Yay for fiery D/Hr stories. Hee.
So...let me begin coherent thought. ;) I loved this story and thought you did a wonderful job. The coffeeshop motif was brilliant, and the way you started each with "her Xth-favorite cafe" was particularly clever. The whole thing flowed wonderfully. Also appreciated your use of Satan instead of Malfoy. *grin*
The most important strength, though, was the pairing dynamic. They remain at each others' throats throughout, and remain wickedly hurtful. That's always nice. Draco does manipulate her into following him, as he should, and she does guilt herself into forgiving him, as she should.
Only one problem: I never understand why Draco - someone known for being arrogant and selfish - would need Hermione's forgiveness. His desperate hunt for an announcement of redemption from a Muggleborn needs to be justified more because it just doesn't seem to make sense, knowing Draco.
A bit of fire, a bit of laughs, a bit of forgiveness - a lovely romance. Nice job.
Author's Response: Thank you, kumydabookworm. I\'m very pleased to hear you liked it. As for the forgiveness part, this story takes place post-Hogwarts, Hermione has a job, a job she\'s had for quite some time, as we see from her having routines. I don\'t tell exactly for what Draco\'s appologising, and I did that on purpose. It wasn\'t to avoid making up more of the past, but because this was a story that was only to take place in the present - no flashback, no interruptions of future plans or past troubles. I didn\'t find it neccesary for Draco to elaborate because years have passed (and lord knows what he\'s done! Hah, no, just kidding) and he\'s, in this story at least, a changed person. Thanks for the lovely review!
Eek! Hermione nearly told him she loved him! :-o Nice save!
Hermione was such a witch when she mentioned Angela!!! That could be a bit OOC for her. I can't see Hermione being vindictive - she's more likely to be fair and judicious (even though she doesn't want to be, her mind will kick in) or she'll take the high road.
Nice chapter! Be careful about your characterization!
Well, I already reviewed this on another site, but heck, it deserves another review, doesn't it? :P
I think this is one of your best, Kiara, dear. You've proven that you don't just write humor - you write this angst with a remarkable finesse.
I think the biggest part that contributed to the tears in the story was the addition of Molly Weasley into the plot.
The son-mother interaction is just heart-wrenching under these circumstances.
However, I do think the ending is tragic in its own way. So often, we hide things to protect the people we love from getting hurt, and this is what Molly does. Though you show nothing further in this story, that does usually end up hurting them even more.
I'm intrigued to see what happens when Ron actually finds out, and yet, I also think that you ended it in a perfect spot.
It's rather more tragic this way. That's beautiful. Again, dear, one of your best - perhaps the best that I've read.
P.S. This is the third of three reviews as your prize for participating in the review challenge for lilyevans34.
Author's Response: *Giggles* Yes, Hermione\'s point was almost proven there - but I think she\'d rather have it unproven then it actually heppening! I admit, it may be a little OoC - but remember the birds? And hey - hell hath no fury like a woman scorned! ;-p I will definitely keep an eye on her though, I don\'t think she\'ll be doing anything like that again. Moment of weakness, shall we say! (For her or me, I\'m not sure!) Thanks for reviewing!