I was born early on in life. For most of my life I was shorter than I am now, then I gradually grew to my current height.
I live by one motto:
"Revise or Die."
The only stories and series I am currently pursuing at this time are one-shots and the Regulus-centric series that started with 'The Watch Unwinds Until It Stops.' Part of this is because I've lost interest in my former WIPs, but most of it is because I've had computer problems over the past year and do not have access to all of my old work that I've already done and haven't yet posted for stories like the 'Lightning Bond', 'Paint the Silence', and 'A Smile that Explodes.' Those stories are postponed indefinitely.
Summary: Draco relives his happiest, most painful memory of love and pain as he fights for his life. But what is worth living for when what you want, love, has left forever?
ďDraco didnít know what it was, whether it was the intoxicating appeal of forbidden fruit, or the way her hair blew in the breeze, with lovely brown tendrils that lay elegantly down her back. What he did know, was that she was beautiful.Ē
Iím Social Loner from Hufflepuff, and this is for the June one-shot challenge.
Well, I am here with that review to thank you for your banner services. –grin-
I loved the writing of the opening sequence between Draco and his mother, with him being carted around Diagon Alley as this young boy. It’s written very well. However, I did feel that Narcissa’s being so put out by Draco might be a bit out of character. She comes across so devoted as a mother in both HBP and DH with such a powerful love for Draco that I don’t think she’d be so aggravated by him. She might be a bit tired of his actions maybe if Draco was having one of those grumpy kid days, but I don’t think she’d be so short with him. In fact, when I read that first sentence where Narcissa ‘guided him forcefully through,’ I thought for sure you had accidentally chosen the wrong word.
Also, I’m a little bit doubtful that any five year old boy would be so extremely taken with a beautiful little girl, having his breath catch in his throat, but it is nice to read. It’s kind of how I feel at the end of the entire story. It was a very gripping read that had my attention until the end. I was feeling what Draco felt, and it was all very powerful. However, I found myself questioning some things throughout. I feel like, upon reflection of those things I had questions on, if you had expounded a little more on each of the scenes and provided a little more for the reader, there wouldn’t be this feeling of doubt for me at the end. It just felt a little bit like you were in a hurry to get to the end of the story (and it does call for being a quick story), but I really could’ve done with more depth and layering so that there wasn’t any room to question things. Those things, in particular, were Loralie letting him know that first evening at Hogwarts that they weren’t to have anything to do with each other; and then Draco just kissing Loralie, Loralie letting him, and then breaking it off and being so firm about their families not approving of a relationship between them.
Summary: He was a Slytherin, she knew, one of the infamous Blacks. Emmeline had caught him staring at her a few times, but she knew he was only trying to make her feel uncomfortable. A lesser girl would have been, but Emmeline was only mildly amused by his attempt. It would take much more than a pair of dark, unblinking eyes to unsettle her.
Written for Marie/electronicquillster for the hprare_exchange of spring 2007 on LiveJournal.
Well, well, well, first off, I canít believe I havenít already reviewed this! Second, you have introduced us to Emmaline in such a way that seems slightly ridiculous but something very endearing and relatable to us as readers.
After dinner, sheíd come straight to her usual study spot, the same place she had been before dinner. It was a routine.
Just a bit of something I would iron out here. I would change Ďsheídí to Ďshe hadí or Ďshe wouldí if you want to develop the rest of the paragraph more in that vein. And then I would take out the Ďaí to make it simply ĎIt was routineí because then you outline her routine.
I love that some of the key parts of this story take place in the library. Aside from other connotations, libraries have always just been such deeply important places for me. Settings are always so important to me when I read a story. I think a lot of authors wash over setting, but they forget that the reader only sees as much as the writer illustrates, and adding the perfect setting can make a story so much more meaningful. So yes. Yay library!
Hmm... If I were to suggest one thing for effect in this story, it would be to take out the mention that the only class they share is Potions. If you only mentioned that they had one class together, then I wouldnít get to the scene in potions and be like, ĎAlright, cue Emmeline/Regulus moment.í I mean, Iíd be guessing this is the class they had together, but it wouldnít be so cut and dry expected.
Maybe while she was stirring her potion or bending over to reach an ingredient, maybe she glanced up to look at Regulus. Maybe.
Hee! I love that part. I lurve it, even.
It wasnít that he was bothering her, exactly, but enough was enough.
Yeah right, Emmeline. Yeah. freaking. right. You know youíre bothered by it, but you just donít realize that itís the sort of bother that you like. Mwahaha.
And, Regulus, I adore you. The end. And he totally won that conversation. I donít know how he did it, except that heís Regulus and just awesome like that, so YAY for him being awesome and you showing us how awesome he is. Wheeeee!
I have to agree with what Leanne said in her review about Sirius. Emmeline should know who he is. She should at least recognize him, even if she didnít think about them being brothers before seeing them together. Either that or it should be evident that Emmeline spends so much time ignoring anything but her books and her immediate friends and her lessons that she doesnít know him.
When Emmeline is doubting things by the lake, I would have liked to see more of those doubts ennumerated upon to build up the tension. Also, itís something most of us can completely relate to, and that is an easy way to grip your readers more emotionally.
And the entire ending is just so freaking cute! I get so caught up in it and itís just fantastic, and I do like the fact that they donít kiss then. And I also agree that the A/N about Arcturus should be at the beginning, but I totally squee-ed when I came across it for the first time. Thank you for such a wonderfully orchestrated story. I think the middle was my favorite part, but very good all around.
Er, just one other thing... Didnít Ashley help you with the story, too? I remember her saying something about it a while back. -skips away thinking happily about the story-
And, again, I canít BELIEVE I didnít review this before. -facepalm-
Summary: On Valentines Day when Lily and James are in their seventh year, Lily is waiting anxiously for James's annual embarrassing Valentine. But maybe this year it won't be what she expects ...
What a fun story you have here, SPEW buddy. Lily had quite the personality, and it was very tangible to the reader. It is, as you say in the beginning, quite fluffy. A little more sugary and fluffy than I typically read.
There were a couple of things that I wanted to point out, though. In the very beginning of the story, the first paragraph details a list of things Lily does to prepare for the day of horror, and then the second paragraph begins with "She did that now," and continues on. I was confused as to just what it was that she was doing. Was she redoing the charms? But she had already done them. I think this could be less confusing if the curtains were mentioned in the last half of the last sentence of the first paragraph, or if you mentioned precisely (though not in an obvious/annoying way) what she was doing in the beginning of that second paragraph. Maybe something along the lines of, "She slowly pulled the curtains back now, carefully looking around..."
The second thing was that you said James and Lily had been working together as Head Boy and Girl for almost a year at this point. However, since it's only February, that puts them at only half a year: February till September. Just something that irks people like me who are very detail oriented, most people probably aren't as insane as me.
Last was a canon error about fairies. They are lights unto themselves, so they don't need to hold lights. They usually hold other things when we see them in the books - garland or ornaments or whatnot.
Anyway, thank you for the fun read, and happy new year!
Author's Response: :D Thanks, Marie! You pointed out a lot of things I never thought of or noticed. I didn\'t actually have a beta for this story, though ... *hangs head in shame* I\'ll get around to fixing this and possibly getting a beta one day. Thanks so much for your lovely review! Happy new year to you too!
Author's Response: :D Thanks, Marie! You pointed out a lot of things I never thought of or noticed. I didn\'t actually have a beta for this story, though ... *hangs head in shame* I\'ll get around to fixing this and possibly getting a beta for it one day. Thanks so much for your lovely review! Happy new year to you too!
Summary: Joseph Carlyle could never get the Patronus Charm to work quite right. He struggled with it through school and it nearly cost him a passing grade on his charms N.E.W.T., dashing his hopes of becoming an Auror. Despite the fact that there were a number of other candidates with more attractive resumes, despite having to work as a cook in a Muggle restaurant, and despite having to live with his wifeís parents when they learned she was pregnant, he never lost his passion for his dream career.
Will he ever succeed in obtaining the job he always wanted? Will it be everything he ever hoped? Will he be able to support his family? Or will the critical gap in his Defence Against the Dark Arts skills cost him dearly?
This story took first place in the June One-Shot Challenge Ė The Best Patronus Ever. I would really like to thank MissPurplePen and joybelle423 for all of their work and suggestions for improvement.
First of all, go Hufflepuff! I love reading stories about fellow badgers. Itís so much nicer to have variety in characters, especially since there are four houses.
I loved the way you showed Professor Sprout. Sheís seen very rarely in the books, and even less rarely in fan fiction, it seems. What I appreciated particularly in your depiction of Sprout was that she was completely honest with Joseph. She knew it was going to hurt Joseph to hear the bottom line, and she could have chosen to simply sugar coat it or skirt around the harsh truth, but she knew that it would be more beneficial to him to know now, no matter what. I think thatís something that people do when they truly care about others. They care more about the ultimate happiness of those they care about rather than just pleasing them in the moment. And, yes, that was a short scene, but you illustrated that small, yet very important, Hufflepuff characteristic very well. It is evident how much Sprout cares about her students.
Jessica seems to be such a strong, lovely girl. I was so glad that she was there with Joseph when he got his scores back. Sheís such a support to him, and seeing as he doesnít take that knowledge for granted, and then the subsequent suggestion for tea when itís not his favorite, Iím confidently assuming that heís just as great to her as she is to him. Then, in the next section of the story, my assumptions are wonderfully confirmed. The two young people have such a beautiful and healthy relationship, and youíve shown the readers that without stating it point blank. I think itís hard to simply show and not tell sometimes, but it makes stories so much better when the former happens rather than the latter.
(Iíve just read the other review for this story now, and I didnít feel like you overdid things on the telling side. Sometimes you, as the author, may want to emphasize things a little bit more, and thereís nothing wrong with that, so I think it really just depends on the rhetorical situation and your own preferences.)
I have an issue with one thing in the story, though. That would be when Uncle John, ex-Auror, as you very well know, has to walk across the room to get his wand out of a special case. Iím sure Alastor Moody was an extreme case, but I cannot believe that an ex-Auror would not have his wand immediately at hand. It just does not seem logical.
Iím not quite sure I forgive you for not letting Aiden be alive. Really. Reading about that tender memory of Joseph giving Aiden the bear and then going on to read that heís not alive anymore was so heart-wrenching. You wrote it wonderfully.
I can see why this story won the challenge. You told it very well, and I enjoyed reading it!
Thanks, Mar! I know you reviewed this ages ago, and I\'ve been a big time slacker in terms of responding. There is a lot of person significance in this story for me - probably not in ways that I will ever share. Still, I really poured a lot into it emotionally ... and it came out pretty much as good as I could have hoped (it\'s the only story I have that I like 100%).
Joseph was a Gryffindor in the first draft, and then I made him a Hufflepuff. Not sure why. The conversation with Sprout was added later on, but I am glad you liked it.
I\'m glad you liked the part with Joseph and Jessica. I really wanted to show how he feels like all of his dreams had just been crushed, then immediately latches on to the one thing he has left ... her.
Hmmm ... I did the Auror thing they way I did because it was supposed to be post-war, and symbolic. Even the old war dog has laid down his sword ... you now? I can see your point, though ... and it is valid.
As for Aiden, my parents have told me so many times about how much a child becomes a part of your life, how much they mean, and this sort of intense love that goes into that parent/child relationship. The whole point was, here is Joseph, who has never been able to do a Patronus, and what is the one Memory that finally comes through and does the job. A memory of his son, who he loved more than he could ever say.
Thanks for the great review Mar!
Summary: It's Lily Evan's sixth year. She's pretty busy with school, prefect duties, and spying. You see, she doesn't believe that Regulus Black is as bad as Potter and Sirius say he is. She's determined to find out for herself.
Things get out of hand....
You know, I think your Regulus is brilliant, and I think that, even though Lily was a good influence on him, he was also a good influence on her. Blast you. I want them to be together! Anyway, I'm already digressing, which is probably a bad sign for this review.
Serious review time now. It's so interesting that the theme toward the end is Lily being good for Regulus, but Regulus was good for Lily. He helped her start to be more aware of the people around her, to not take them for face value. But you wrote that theme so subtly, it's probably not noticed by most people, and that is awesome of you as a writer. Being able to successfully write in subtle undertones can be very difficult.
One of the things I think you really have a talent for is writing the Marauders. Sure, you write lots of characters well, but you have such a handle on writing that nonchalance and teasing and just... there's not really any other term for it than essence of Marauder. There are so many bits that showcase that so well. One of my particular favorites of these is the sitting by Remus, and Remus sitting by the rest of them bit that features in this chapter. I also always adore your Lily. I think it's because I find you to be a lot like Lily, and so you can put a lot of yourself into this character, and she's just a fabulous character to read about. Honestly, I think she's one of your best. You seem to write her with a myriad of layers quite effortlessly. She has so much depth and richness the way you write her. I could clearly just go on and on about the way you write her.
I do have to take issue with this sentence though:
When the meeting was over, Lily saw Remus go, stammering, ask Rachael if he could escort her home and beamed when a soft smile lit her face.
I don't feel like the 'stammering' is in the right spot. The lovely flow that had been running throughout the narrative up to this point is all of a sudden jumbled up in my head.
And then there's this whole Lily-Regulus confrontation scene that I can't even handle, Leslie. Just, oh my goodness. There is so much delicious tension and anticipation in it. The sentences build upon each other, compounding the suspense of this conversation between them. She has to admit to him that she's been spying, he lets her know full well that he's been aware of this - meaning he's been watching her, too. There's the amusing point of stealth that is brought up, and then the terrible pain for Lily when Regulus brings up Severus. But, oh, the absolute sexual tension between them that is built up. They NEED a kiss! They need simply SOMETHING to alleviate all of this.
Instead they just get a chapter break.
Mwahaha. Which is perfect, actually. I know this was originally a one-shot, and you picked the perfect place to break it up. The whole chapter is building up, of course, and then there's that intense scene that nearly kills the readers at the end. It's all such a wonderful read. I do love this story. Your writing is absolutely topnotch in it.
It wasn’t that he didn’t love Astoria – he did.
He just wasn’t sure he could love a child.
Draco Malfoy was never one for fathering. Little kids disgusted him; babies horrified him. And yet, Astoria is pregnant. As it comes down to the final hours, he is torn between his love for his wife and his contempt for a small blonde one. Is Draco a man of his head or his heart?
For the most part, I really like this story when I first read it during the SPEW swap. It’s still a delightful story, but, of course, since I’m examining it more closely for review purposes I’m seeing more of the good and bad. Bear with me as I try to phrase my thoughts as I read this a second time.
The opening sentence is written as if they are Draco’s direct thoughts, and so that thought before the comma should be set off with italics, not just the comma.
In the second paragraph, I know exactly how Draco looks, but it’s worded in such an awkward way. I’ve totally been in that situation in my own writing, where you know exactly how it looks in your head, and you can write that exactly for your readers, and they see it, but it’s just worded in such an awkward, almost gangly way. First, it’s just a short little two-sentence paragraph that could perhaps be combined with something else. It’s just that when you have such a short paragraph set off and it’s just narration, it’s usually some significant kind of thing that is supposed to stand out from other things. But I don’t know really what else you could add to it, or what you would add it to, because it doesn’t really belong in the paragraph that precedes or follows it. So I guess I’m saying that it feels weird, but I have no solid suggestion as to how to fix that. Maybe add something about how it’s a very stark contrast for him to be looking so worried and haggard and to be hunched over when he’s usually such a cool, calm, and collected person, as is fitting for any Malfoy. You know? Okay, second, that second sentence’s wording is what brings so much of my attention to this paragraph in the first place. Maybe something like, “He leaned forward with his elbows on his knees, shoulders hunched over, his hair falling messily into his eyes.” That’s the image I got in my head, anyway.
Bah, I really didn’t mean to spend so long going over those couple of things in the beginning because, overall, I think this opening section is brilliantly done. The first six paragraphs set up such an anxious atmosphere, and it has that constant undercurrent of Draco’s annoyance, which culminates in his thinking, “Happy Christmas to me. Stupid baby,” etc. The first time I read this, I was very in the zone with Draco, but the second time, I’m much more amused by his thoughts than empathetic to them. Which isn’t bad at all. I just am telling you about it.
Okay, I know this could sound lame, but I just want to say that I love that you have the IRMW thing. As a writer myself, I know that these kinds of details sometimes go overlooked, but I know that I like to hear that people appreciated them. And I did here. Because when an author has thought of these kind of things and covered all the ground with background and setting, it makes the story so much richer. Of course there would be medical people, and you have given them a very logical name, and after you introduce it to your readers, you revert very naturally and practically to the abbreviation that the witches and wizards certainly use themselves. Very nice, Mere.
A child that could grow up and become a copy of himself.
He wasn’t ready to watch it. He didn’t want it. He was scared of it.
Again, two more brilliant insights into Draco’s head, and they’re powerful and very legitimate. I think these two lines in particular show greater insight into why Draco is not anticipating this whole fatherhood thing. It’s not just some random aversion, he has some valid reasons. It shows such a human side of Draco.
I love that you move from Draco’s discomfort into Astoria’s excitement, and the excitement that spreads to his parents as well. I love the list of lists. More of those small details that give the story such a realistic feeling.
And then we move into this section where we see the other reason Draco is not happy about this baby. His extreme love for Astoria makes him resent the hardship of the pregnancy and what that baby is putting his wife through with this whole birth thing, like, how selfish of the kid, right? And I’m very glad that the assistant healer gives Draco a talking-to for his behavior. I had initially expected her to kind of be sympathetic and then usher him in, because that’s more typical for any stories or television or movies, and so I liked this refreshing turn of events. Someone needed to talk some sense into Draco, after all.
I also appreciate that you don’t end this in typical fashion, with Draco seeing his son and instantly falling in love and getting over all of his apprehension and resentment. That’s something that is very expected, and I think that the absence of it makes the theme you’re conveying more powerful. This story isn’t about Scorpius at all, it’s only about Draco and his love for Astoria. I like that you kept that central at all times. You did a very good job with this story.
Author's Response: akljteiom2ntklkhalkjgrllk alkjhg lkqagj; aihj l l l; Reviewer of the Month, indeed! -dies- Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you! for such an amazing review. I know what you mean about that line in the opening section . . . I'll have to see what I can do with it. Ahh! I love you for pointing out the IRMW thing. I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about it, but I did spend enough to do a little dance after reading that you appericated those details. ;-) Thank you, again - I really can't say it enough - for your wonderful, thoughtout, helpful comments. =D xox Mere
How do you move on when there's nowhere to go? For months, Sheelin's mind has been shrouded in despair, where even the brightest rays of lights cannot find their way in.
Her footsteps and thoughts provided a monotonous pattern of unanswered questions and revolting responses.
First, thank you again for writing this for me for the SSIV. You are such a dear. I’m aware that my prompt may have been a bit demanding, as I noted when this was first posted, because of the nature of it being holiday and yet also spooky. You did a good job handling it by having that kind of ‘and time passes’ element to the story.
I want to get my criticism out of the way from the beginning though. I felt when I read this initially and as I read it again this evening that there just needs to be so much more! I suppose that’s a mark that you’ve done a good job of drawing me in, wishing that there was more, but there were some parts that I craved more explanation or more action from. I wish I had been able to find out more about Sheelin, about who she is, who she was before she was captured, why she was captured, what happened after she was rescued. I wanted to know more about why Regulus rescued her. However, the story does still stand nicely as it is because of the way it ends.
I was immediately intrigued by what wasn’t there, though. It really worked for particular scenes, like when Sheelin is at the headquarters and Regulus and Sirius show up after being tailed by Malfoy. In that scene, the lack of information seems to be suited precisely for how it really would be in that situation. There are a lot of things that are going on in the Order that are secretive and there’s also just not time for people to explain everything that is going on.
That scene was my second favorite, but my favorite was definitely the end. The moment that really endears this story to me is when Sheelin thanks Regulus, saying she knows it was him who saved her, and you wrote that even though he said ‘your welcome,’ he looks tortured at the fact that she knows it was him. It just feels to epic, yet simple, and just utterly real. They live in difficult times, and they don’t feel like heroes, but the truth is that they are risking their lives doing all of this work for the Order, but no one, especially Regulus, wants to stand up and parade around about something they’ve done. They are just doing what they have to do. And you didn’t go on and on about it, you just had that moment, and it worked so well in its simplicity. Can you tell I loved it? Because I did.
(And then, of course, I wanted there to be more after the end, but there wasn’t, but that’s irrelevant other than you just knowing that I craved more story…)
Author's Response: It's okay. I enjoyed the challenge. =D Don't worry about it. Aw, I'm so happy you loved this. Exchanges make me anxious so I'm so happy that it turned out the way you liked it. Hehe, sorry to leave you hanging with some parts. Thank you for the review. *hugs*
There is so much detailed in this festive and cheery holiday story, Afifa! You’ve certainly imagined up a lovely scene for each part of the story. However, I think there is a lot more ‘telling’ in this story than there is ‘showing.’ By this, I mean that you kind of list everything that’s happening, every motion, everything in the room. As an author, I know you probably want to be sure that your audience isn’t missing anything, but sometimes less is more. As I read through the story I felt almost a bit overwhelmed by the amount of description, and I found myself having to reread to be sure that I got the entire picture that you were trying to paint. It’s a fine line to walk, trying to determine how much description is too much and how much is not enough. In the first paragraph alone, we read about James in bed, Lily’s absence, how much she loves cooking, that it’s Christmas, and a list of things she’s already prepared. I certainly had to catch my breath. In the future I would just suggest carefully guiding your readers along instead of trying to make sure that they don’t miss one detail, if that makes sense.
There was cold turkey on the kitchen table. Fruits were overflowing from a bowl. A lobster was on a plate, and so on.
I only mention this because it kind of takes away from the flow, but since you’ve broken these up so they each have their own sentence, the ‘and so on’ doesn’t fit very well. It also is rather out of place at the end of a paragraph so rich in details when it trails off with such a nondescript statement.
The story, as a whole, has some very nice moments. I enjoyed seeing the different interactions between James and Lily throughout. In the beginning you showed them being a typical couple. We got to see that part of James that is still a Marauder, and how Lily loves it and kind of mentally rolls her eyes at it anyway, and the end was very tender between them when Lily breaks the news that she’s pregnant.
Seeing Lily and James open up their kitchen and their hearts to so many orphans was touching and not a typical plot point, which made for a good read. A very sweet story, dear SPEW buddy.
Author's Response: Ah, I've finally got on responding to this. :$
I really do get what you mean about showing and not telling. Once I got a letter from an ex-mod saying the same thing and it's definitely something I need to work on. =]
Thank you for the lovely comments and the critic, Mar! I'm glad that you liked it. =]
For the most part, this story flows along in narrative quite nicely, but there are just a handful of places where it’s a little stilted. In the first sentence, you use the word ‘form’ which felt a little awkward, as it’s first person narrative and most people don’t use the word ‘form’ when speaking in terms of themselves. This sentence was a little confusing: I am only prepared for an empty day and little plans for those in the future. It’s like you had been thinking of ending the sentence in one way, but then it turned into something else that didn’t connect with the first part. And in the next paragraph, you use the term ‘tagging along’ which is such an informal word choice when put into contrast with the rest of the paragraph where the language is largely formal, with a very precise tone that is thrown off for a second by the casual term.
I actually found that there were quite a few times throughout the fic where you crossed into the territory of being too formal and then going back to being too casual. I would just suggest maybe looking over the fic again and spreading the tone out evenly through the whole thing.
The dynamic you created between the two lovers was a very interesting one to read indeed. It was very well developed, and the internal struggle was believable. I felt Lily kind of broke down into her smiling confession at the end rather suddenly, but the rest of the development was very will plotted and presented. I must admit, though, that the characterization of Lily and Scorpius’s respective characters here is so very atypical that it threw me for a loop. It’s almost refreshing to have this different take on them. That’s what’s nice about so many of these Next-Generation characters. There is a framework of where they fit into family trees and things, and we can surmise about how they will probably act based on how their parents probably raised them, but the characters are still almost complete mysteries available for sculpting and tailoring for any fanfic author, so long as it’s done in a manner that is believable.
Author's Response: Thanks, Mar :) I hadn't thought about the formal/informal language thing. It's not something I usually consider when writing. I do think it's definitely something I should take into account when doing first person from now on, so thanks for pointing it out! It's good to learn from constructive citicism. It's interesting that you describe their characters as 'atypical' in this, as I hadn't really been trying to radically alter them from the norm. So thanks for paying my characterisation such close detail! The line you mentioned that confused you: I understand what you mean. It means she has little plans for the days in the future, but I didn't word it that way as 'day' was in the previous clause. I'll clear it up now though so that others don't get confused. Thanks, dear, for a very detailed and constructive review. I love a reviewer who can tell me what was wrong with my fic rather than just rambling on about what they liked :) - Cassie
Summary: "She gave me such a telling-off one night when I got back to the dormitory at four in the morning ... your father and I had been for a night-time stroll."
This is the tale of Arthur Weasley and Molly Prewett, their love, and that night-time stroll.
First off, this was totally the prompt that I wanted for writing one of my LoveNotes, and now I know who stole it before I could get to it!
I love the way you open up the narrative because you present Arthur to us in a way that is very practical, very real, but more importantly it gives us that immediate connection to him. How many of us have felt exactly as he does here? Sure we’ve been in love at first sight and had those kinds of Hollywood-fairytale feelings, but they’re most often one-sided. Giving the reader that link to the character is a great way to both engage and characterize. This line especially: Despite continuously telling himself that it was never going to happen, Arthur couldn’t help but still love her. That just kills me (in a good way) because it’s something that I’ve absolutely felt, and so it makes the story all the more real.
Another thing that I like is the way that you’ve presented love in this story. We see the way that it feels so hopelessly one-sided sometimes, and you also show different phases and aspects. When we see that Arthur thinks Molly is basically the most perfect and kindest girl ever, you show us how love can really blind you to a person’s faults. This story does take place when they’re young, of course, but we know from the books that Molly can be quite impatient and temperamental, so reading Arthur’s thoughts about her made me smile. Then you show that he does get to know her much better, though he doesn’t ever really change that tender opinion of his wife, just adds the faults to it but adores her in spite of (and likely also because of) them. You also show us their awkward, bumbling beginning, and then hints that Molly may have a bit of an attachment, too, with her blushing at that first significant encounter. All of these small things just build up the feeling of excitement and giddiness that I love and adore and always hope for in a story about people getting together, all the while showing the reality of it.
I must admit, however, that I think it is a bit of a stretch for Molly and Arthur to have that walk down to the Great Hall in complete silence. Molly did ask him to walk with her, and they are in the same house and year, so surely they would have at least something to strike up a conversation over, even if they only manage an awkward attempt that dies off after just a few moments, you know? The castle is a pretty big place, so I imagine that they have a ways to walk. I just found this a bit out of sync with the rest of the fic because starting in the very next section, you tell us about how Molly then approaches him quite a lot (’[Molly] laughed and joked with him like they were old friends, until they were in fact old friends’). So that idea of a completely silent walk is just incongruent with the rest of the story.
But, oh, the rest of the story. That second section just picks the reader up and carries them straight off to the end of the story without really any point for the reader to want to stop or hesitate at all. The narration builds and pulls the reader along quickly and effortlessly. You have a wonderful balance of showing the ‘and so time passes’ and the ‘getting to know each other’ bits and then building it up for the declaration which could have easily been cheesy, but it wasn’t! Arthur is just so sincere, and you’ve built him to be that way through the entire fic, so much so that you don’t even dream of reading his declaration as anything but sincere and wonderful. It didn’t go over the top, and yet it was thorough.
I also loved Molly’s reaction. She didn’t just fall into his arms and make big declarations back. This was a surprise to her, and you’ve shown that. But it was a pleasant surprise, one that she is pleased by immensely, and the way the situation is resolved was just perfect. Loved reading this little fic, Jen. It was just so lovely. I can’t resent you for stealing that prompt because you used it ever so well.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for this wonderful review, Mar! :D Wow. I'm just grinning hugely from all your lovely praise. I'm sorry for stealing your prompt, but I'm very glad that I did it justice. :) I did try to make Arthur and Molly's love as realistic and teenager-y as possible, because I think that in the Potterverse and in fanfic it all just gets a bit too surreal, if you know what I mean. The silence on their walk is something that I never noticed until you pointed it out, but now that you have I can see the flaws in it too. I'll go back and change that when I have the time. Thanks again, dear! :)
Summary: After his conversation with Dumbledore at King's Cross, Harry wakes and reflects on life and what it means.
2009 Quicksilver Quill Award Winner for Best Poetry!
What a poem! I absolutely love the balance and contrast that you’ve used between your poetry and the lines quoted from Deathly Hallows. The bits of your poetry are short bursts, just like those rapid-fire thoughts that Harry must have had at those moments. It works so well, and I, as the reader, feel like it just adds even more to that scene in the book, because in real life we do have those fleeting, immediate half-thoughts that run right alongside our more coherent thoughts.
And the word choice is wonderful, very telling, hitting those emotions that would have to be coursing through Harry in that scene. The rhythm is so well constructed, too. Words, and then these short, but more firm thoughts. And the repetition of ‘I am alive’ comes across almost as a heartbeat. Fabulous work!
Author's Response: Thankyou so much! That scene is so intense and really speaks to me. I remember the first time reading it (I was crying a lot being incredibly tired and sad that it was all coming to an end and having done nothing but read Harry Potter for about 12 hours since it's release...) and just feeling this overwhelming relief that Harry was alive, yet terror for Harry having to go back to this dangerous place and then sadness for the grief he must now face in light of all the death he has seen and feels responsible for... so many emotions that I felt as a reader just translated so well into a poem. You're right how the repetition sounds like a heartbeat. That was my intention! So thankyou for reading and reviewing. You have made my day :)
Summary: Tonks questions what she truly means to Remus.
This was such a lovely poem, Spire. It hits the emotions that Tonks must have been feeling just spot on. The first three lines are very striking, and they’re of course very straightforward for what the poem is about. You used them as a recurring device so well. First to set up the theme, then to build that yearning and desperation just after the middle, and then at the end as a statement for how Tonks feels about Remus.
But then the closing line turns around and asks for that reciprocation and affirmation of feelings, finishing that other very important theme in the poem – that Tonks loves Remus, and that she knows that he loves her, too, but won’t accept that. Remus is so focused on his own self-doubt that he doesn’t realize that his forced indifference, his unwillingness to just be with her, and saying that she doesn’t feel that way about him ‘is an insult to’ her. And that’s so true. That line that I’ve quoted really drives the emotional point home to the reader.
The beautiful simplicity that comes through by putting these thoughts and feelings of Tonks into a poem is very powerful. I really enjoyed it. Looking at the phrasings of the lines, it all flows so well. The emphasis and breaks draw attention to so many nuances.
But, if there’s one thing I know
Of this love –
Whether it be desirable
Or not --
Here, for example, the second and fourth lines are like those half-hesitant almost doubts that we have in our minds when we say something important. I loved it. Truly great poem.
Author's Response: Thank you! xx