Plums! Congrats on your FROGS nominations! Okay, so, I'm kinda speechless after reading this. It was such an incredible, powerful fic. And your writing style just blew me away. I was so absorbed in the story and could not put it down. I actually had to wait some time after reading this before writing up the review because the only word I had immediately after reading it was "wow", and that would have been a pretty pathetic review for a fic as amazing as this one.
Right from the beginning I'm so impressed with your storytelling, the way you slowly ease the reader in as Hermione (or 'Jean') shows up in the past and tries to figure out who she is, why she keeps getting all these images and feelings and memories associated with things she can't remember. It was just so cleverly done.
I liked how you showed Hermione figuring out that she was from the future, and the way she put everything together from the events she remembers happening but that don't make sense. In this same vein, I really appreciate all the historical facts you put into this story, it really makes the setting come alive as you've included all these details about the second world war in the background. I've always thought that WWII, despite being a Muggle war, could not possibly pass unnoticed by wizards - it was just too big. And so I like that you've shown the impact it has on wizarding society, both with Ida who worries about her brother, and with Tom who despite his disdain of Muggles has kept informed of what's happening with Hitler.
Speaking of Tom, he's terrifying. Of course he is, he's Voldemort. But the way you write him here is so chilling and manipulative and dangerous and perfect. This is exactly how I'd imagine him as a teenager; a talented actor who knows exactly how to play people to get what he wants. So around the teachers he's the model student, bright and talented, and inspires fear and/or admiration in his classmates in order to bend them to what he wants. I can't even imagine how scary it must be to be Hermione here, knowing that there is something so sinister about him, but unable to get out of the situation, and not knowing if she even wants to, because she feels that she's meant to do something here in the past and that he is important to her mission. But she does have the upper hand - Tom has come to the wrong conclusions about her with the Seer comment, and I like that she's able to use that against him.
The bit where she sneaks a book out of the library and feels so guilty for it just got me in a way I didn't expect. Like even in this world where everything is different and she can't remember who she is, she is still so her.
When she sees her real name in a Shakespeare play and suddenly everything returns to her, plus the utter devastation that follows - this was such a compelling scene, and so well written. You'd built up to this point so well and it soars. The horror of all these painful memories returning, and her fury and then disgust with herself, and how she channels that anger to gather the strenght to do something drastic. Her memories of Ron broke my heart, btw. And it all comes together as why she went back in time in the first place was because Voldemort won (I had not seen that coming, but it explains why Hermione was driven to actually send herself back in time and change history).
I honestly was so happy for her when she killed him. (That sounds like a very weird sentence to say). It was so cathartic, especially after the impact of regaining her memory and realising how much she'd lost at Voldemort's hands in the future, and what she'd had to endure to get there. It's also such a perfect callback to earlier in the story when she surprised him by clobbering him with a desk in class. So, Tom Riddle may have been clever, but he's no match for Hermione. In any universe. Fact.
The ending - after she killed Tom, I really had no idea what to expect, and this was such a satisfying, if bittersweet, conclusion. I wanted her to find her way back to her own time and live happily ever after with Ron, but it wouldn't be the same world as the one she left, after she changed history. But she found purpose, and I love that she comes to love Hogwarts again and becomes a professor, I can absolutely see her doing that. And the bit at the end when she sees her younger self with Ron and Harry was just asldkjfajklsd. I loved it. And I love that you end the story with her feeling like she's finally home, which circles back to her feeling so out of place in the beginning. (Though I wonder if anyone ever noticed the amazing resemblance between Hermione and Jeannette MacKinnon?)
So, yeah, I loved this fic, and you did an incredible job with it. I'm sure it will stick in my head for a long time. Amazing work. ♥
Hello (and wow)!
This topsy-turvy time-travel amnesia fic is absolutely amazing. First of all, the play off of Jane Doe with Jean Doe is awesome. Having Hermione sent back in time in combination with amnesia is even more awesome and I love how this all played out, first with just gut instinct that Tom Riddle can't win (and I feel awful about her cat, though) and then slowly realizing that this isn't her time. I really love how Tom refers to helping her and using her as one in the same--it's so...simply Tom Riddle and I really enjoyed the bit about how he assumes that she's a seer, which she continues to let him believe. In the wake of Myrtle's death memories seem to flood Hermione, vague and distant still, but they're there, and I really think that this was an effective triggering mechanism for Hermione's memories to return to her.
I also find it extremely fitting that Tom tries to equate love and sex, confusing the two almost. It completely makes sense given Tom's apparent inability to truly love. The discussion on Hitler is certainly topical as well, though it makes sense that pure-blood elitists would think the idea of Muggles having the superior race is laughable. And, of course, the haunting feeling as Tom declares that he would never be lazy in his reign, and that he has Hermione for that reason is amazingly chilling.
Also, the visions back to the future that she's been slowly changing are creepy! The defeat of Harry Potter and the death of Ron Weasley leading to the triumph of Voldemort, and Hermione remembering that she loves Ron, it's so sad. And then, the death of Tom Riddle at Hermione's hand completely changes the future. Plus, the ending is perfect--with Hermione teaching at Hogwarts as she watches Ron, Harry, and other Hermione come together for their first year of Hogwarts in spite of everything and the lack of war.
This is purely brilliant! Wonderful job, I absolutely adored this!
So, you probably know that I don't usually read AUs, and I don't normally read non-canon pairings - especially ones like Tom/Hermione, but let's face it. This is you, and you are a wonderful writer, and this was a stunning story.
There's so much detail in this, and so much elaborate, intelligent writing that I don't think it's even possible for me to comment on it all because I'd just be gushing over how talented you are, but I'll try my best. I've loved reading your next generation novels, too, and this was such a marked difference and honestly kind of took my breath away.
The opening of this was brilliant, and pulled us straight into the story. Listing all of the things that she's forgotten and can't remember helps us to work out really easily who she actually is - and then the little hints and nods to her past, even if she can't connect them to what actually happened, the reader can. Even the name Jean is something we learn about her in the final book, and rings true for the period, too.
I loved the way that you used the theme of history throughout this - it was so clever to draw on that when you've got a time-travel themed story, and it helped to really account for all the anachronisms from Hermione's past (in the future) and mesh it all into the present. I also loved the fact that you included so much of the Muggle war in this story, because even though Grindelwald would probably have been the main concern for most witches and wizards at this point in time, there's no way that WW2 wouldn't have a huge impact on a lot of people at Hogwarts. I was really glad you included that, just in things like conversations with Ida when her brother is conscripted. It built up the sense of period brilliantly and I thought those details were wonderful.
I also really liked the inclusion of all the characters that we know already - especially Minerva and Albus, and we got to see the contrast in the way that Hermione knows them in this context and in her past.
The relationship between Tom and Hermione was so dark and chilling - I mean, you wrote it really, really well, and I was so impressed with it, but it also kind of scared me. I felt so badly for Hermione all the way through this, when she didn't know about her past and couldn't piece it together, but then when she did, she felt all the same things that we were feeling.
Also, your Tom Riddle is brilliant. I mean, charming and cruel and manipulative and intelligent and ambitious and just - Tom Riddle. You capture him so perfectly.
I think my favourite scene was probably the nondescript way that Hermione starts to realise her real identity, and the impact it has on her. And then the fact that she came back to kill Tom Riddle because she'd watched everyone she loved die at his hands, and wanted revenge - that was so different because it's usually people going back in time to try and fix the situation. I actually was kind of glad to see her succeed?
Ah, this was all just so brilliantly written, and you captured the characters and the setting and the premise wonderfully, and I loved reading it!
Hello Plums! This is your gift-giver, You-Know-Who here with a review for you.
Let me just start out by saying that I loved this. It was such a unique time-travel piece. I don't think that I've ever seen one where Hermione, or whoever the protagonist is, lost their memory and had no idea who they were, let alone that they weren't even of the time they've landed in. Well done on that!
I really enjoyed the way that certain memories would come to her, but they would almost be like foggy dreams. Like her past was like smoke that she couldn't quite grasp, it always slipped from her fingertips. Like the:
A body falling from the sky.