Hi, Sian. From the start, I liked this one-shot. From Leanne's letter to Katie who is still unconscious, we know she cares about her friend and misses her. All information Leanne wrote in the letter let us remember what Harry had to. They had to find a new Chaser instead of Katie and we think of her missing, her important role in Gryffindor Quidditch team.
The great thing, Sian, is you set Katie's brother who did a reply to Leanne. I remembered your kindness during your Mama Lion days. I'd like to say many thanks to your dedication.
It must have been hard for Jonathan to tell Leanne that his sister couldn't wake up. From his letter, we can grasp how horrible her damage was and the curse was heavy. The image, Draco in agony and the dark cloud named assasination of Dumbledore casting shadows over Hogwarts, all are implied in this epistolary style story. Among the clouds, their communication through the letters are the light in the darkness. Exchanging the letters, they believe Katie will get better. This fic gives us hope. Friendship and family bond always give us strength to go on forward.
The process showed you never betrayed our expectation. It's great to see Katie is getting better and able to read all letters after she wakes up. I chuckled at the spot she mentioned her brother was nicer in the letter and grinned to know she never gave up winning the Quidditch Cup.
Thank you for sharing another wonderful piece of your works, Sian. I hope I can come back to have a look at your other works for PoG.
I'm so pleased you enjoyed this one-shot! It was a lot of fun to write and explore what's happening to Katie and the people closest to her, because like you mentioned, we only get a little bit of information in the books from Harry's perspective. Your point about the light in the darkness made me smile - I really wanted Leanne and Jonathan to show that there is some happiness and laughter to be found. Wars go on and on and as dark and terrible as they are, there are usually still moments when people smile and laugh. I was hoping to show the way that friendship and siblings caring about someone can give hope and strength.
Thank you for your lovely review and for your sweet comments about me being Mama Lion! <3
I was scrolling on my way Jigsaw aaaand stopped at this aaaand had to read it aaaand very glad I did becausE WHAT THE HELL IT'S SO GOOD!!!
I loved it sooo much, such an original idea, too, and you wrote it so well. Even though I know Katie wakes up I was still sad for everyone during the beginning of the story, and then bam! happy ending! Jonathon was adorable, of course, and so brotherly (not always in a good way :P) and I love that he reached out to Leanne.
Ah, thank you so much! If I remember rightly, this is one of the many stories I wrote frantically in one night to try and ensure we finished the maze for the house cup, so to be honest I'm glad that it's coherent, let alone the fact that you enjoyed it! It's inspired by another story I wrote about Katie, but I do love an epistolary device and writing a whole story made up of letters was really fun. Jonathan was really fun to write, as well.
Thank you so much for the review!
Yesss I love epistolary writing so much. And also I love missing moments from canon so naturally I loved this story which combines both of these things.
What happened to Katie was so awful, and considering that, it's kind of surprising that nothing was really ever said about it in the books after it happened (that I remember at least. It's been a while since I read the books). And so that made this story even more powerful, as it's told through the letters of two of the most important people in Katie's life, unable to talk to her but writing all the same because it's the closest they can get to talking to her. I also love that they talk to each other because they're not able to talk to Katie.
I liked that you addressed the issue of Leanne's survivor's guilt, because it makes perfect sense that she'd still be really torn up over this and blaming herself when something happened to Katie and she was powerless to stop, but what could she have done? I'm so glad both Jonathan and Katie reaffirmed that for her and assured her it wasn't her fault. I'm so glad Leanne was able to visit her in the hospital as well, even if she couldn't really talk to her.
My favorite letter is the one from Jonathan that just says "Hurry up, this is just laziness" because it's such an older-brother thing to say :P
Omg and Katie's optimism and competitiveness at the end made me smile, how she's literally just woken up from a dark curse-induced coma and is already plotting to destroy Ravenclaw in the Quidditch final.
This was a wonderful story, Sian!
I love epistolary fics too! HP is the perfect universe for them, since they still write letters in canon - this review is making me want to write more :P
We basically get very little info on what happens to Katie between her being sent to St. Mungo's and her coming back to play Quidditch, so it was so interesting to explore what happened to her/around her in that time with this story. Leanne and Jonathan both wish they could help her and do more, but the letters are probably more for themselves than for Katie, really, as it helps them to process some of the emotion around what happened. I'm really pleased that you liked the line from Jonathan - that's definitely something I can imagine my brother saying to me - and Katie's character coming through this. She's definitely a Gryffindor :P
Thank you for a wonderful review!
Well, hello again :P So this is stop number 2 on the Laura-starts-reviewing-some-of-the-things-she's-read-but-never-reviewed train :P
So I love that you chose to focus on Katie Bell and the aftermath of her getting cursed by the necklace and how it affects those closest to her - Leanne and Jonathan - it's a surprisingly important thing in canon, being part of that whole sequence of Draco trying to kill Dumbledore, but we never really hear much about it once she's actually been cursed. As always, I love all your characters: I love how Leanne's so worried about Katie, with the crippling survivor's guilt type thing, thinking that she should have done something when there was nothing she could have done or known, how she writes to Katie, missing her and waiting for her to wake up. It made me think about how harsh it would be for her to not be able to visit and see Katie, but just sort of wait, left in the dark as to what was going on and to any potential improvements she was making. Cruel in a way - so it was so lovely when the hospital finally caved and let her visit.
And Katie! I loved how competitive she was - fitting for a Quidditch player - and how optimistic she was about her recovery, even though she'd only been awake for a while. Even though she wasn't actually kinda in the story much, I loved how her character came through so easily, through the letters from Leanne and Jonathan and hers to them at the end. Little sisters are always annoying - my sympathies to Jonathan on that front :P
Also I'm kinda jealous, I gotta admit, because letter format is so hard for me to do, yk, because it's so easy for it to come across as stiled or formal in some kind of way, and you do it so easily here. It sounds so natural and so casual, and it's so so good. But then, all your writing is good, so it's not really anything of a surprise :P
As always, I loved it :)
I have to admit, this story was written for one of the House Cup maze challenges last year, when you had to write an epistolary version of one of your own stories, but this story seemed kind of perfect for that, in a way, because I got to explore what was happening around this moment outside of the torment in Katie's own head. The books are so focused on Harry and everything that's important to him, and obviously they can't include every little detail of what's happening outside of his own story (or they'd be a terrifying length - and we wouldn't have fic :P) but this moment basically happens, and the next we hear of it, Katie's back at Hogwarts and ready to play Quidditch. It made this so much fun to write.
Leanne appears for the tiniest moment in canon but I find her such a fascinating character, and I'd love to write more about her at some point. It was really interesting writing her letters to Katie and the way she'd use them as a form of catharsis. I'm really pleased that you liked the way I portrayed Katie's character here, too, and especially that it came through in the letters, even though she's unconscious for most of this story :P
Thank you for the lovely review!
I needed to stop by your AP, didn't I?
This was just so cute and sweet... also, I love epistolar genre so, so, so much! And writing about Katie's time in St Mungo's and using this style is such a great idea! I loved it!
So, I had no idea Leanne was a Ravenclaw? But I do like it, it's so nice to see some great inter-house friendship! :) It's so lovely that she decided to write a letter to her, even if apparently writing to a person who is unconscious doesn't really make sense... but I guess it is truly helpful to deal with your own feelings, and there is always the knowledge (hope?) that the person will read later and maybe take comfort from it (which totally happens and it makes me so happy)
Also, I understand that Leanne feels guilty, but I love how everyone keeps telling her it isn't her fault. Because, obviously, it isn't.
Jonathan's letters were so adorable. It's so nice to read about sibling's complicity and it's lovely the way he sort of makes fun of her, while being so sweet and emotional at the same time. Also, the nickname Kit-Kat is so cute! :)
I also really loved that you also included the letters between Jonathan and Leanne, I guess they would try to get comfort from each other and that's so sweet. And I loved the replies Katie wrote to them once she woke up!
This was absolutely adorable! And once again, your writing is stunning! I'm so happy that I stopped by here! :)
I love the epistolary genre too! There's just something wonderful about letters that I feel like we're kind of missing today, as we don't have the same need to write them. But they do in the wizarding world so I couldn't resist the opportunity for it to happen here! You're right that writing things down does help to process your own feelings, and it's a small step from there to sending them, so I'm pleased you think it worked here.
Leanne definitely isn't guilty, but it's always easier to know objectively that something isn't your fault than to feel that way, so I really wanted her to have that reassurance from others. Building up the friendship between Jonathan and Leanne is probably my favourite thing about this story - I'm so pleased you enjoyed it!
Thank you for the lovely review!
Apologies for the atroviously long time between my last review and this one! Travel has been keeping me away from the computer. Tonight though, there were judicial elections in Bolivia and literally the entire city of La Paz is shutdown, so I thought I'd take advantage of the lull in activity to do a bit of reading! Of course, that meant I had to come to your page as you're one of my absolute favorite writers!
Ok. So first things first. How do you make everything sound so realistic? Like the tone of each letter is just right and the voice between each character is so distinct. I could teel immediately who was Leanne and who was Jonathan without even having to look at the greeting or signature.
I love the idea that Leanne would write to Katie. I could imagine the whole experience would be quite traumatizing and maybe putting things into letters would help her cope with it better. Clearly, she cares about her friend very much.
I thought the teasing from her brother was also very sweet. If I'd had a sibling, that's how I'd hope my relatiosnhip with them would've been. I love that he teases her about being lazy and skiving off of NEWTS. It really keeps everything from getting too dark and depressing.
The ending was nice too! Katie is definitely a Gryffindor and it shows in her determination to be back before the Ravenclaw match! You wrote her perfectly...even in just such a short section of the writing. I really got a feel for who she was and what drove her.
Your writing is as lovely as ever. As per the usual, I couldn't find any faults in it. Flawless.
Lots of love,
Ah, thank you for stopping by! I'm so pleased you thought that I managed to get the tone of the letters right and capture each character's voice clearly in it. I think fic is a great way to explore the epistolary format, because it's canon that people still write letters to each other - it only really seemed like a short step from that to Leanne wanting some catharsis, in a way, by writing to Katie.
Katie's relationship with her brother was kind of inspired by my own relationship with my brother, and the humour aspect by my family in general - when there's something difficult happening, we do tend to tease each other about it and make jokes about things to try and lighten the mood and retain some normality, so I'm glad you thought it worked here.
Haha of course Katie is determined to be back for the Ravenclaw match - she really is a Gryffindor, isn't she? :P
Thank you for this lovely review!
CHALLENGE 2ND PLACE WINNER REVIEW
I'm back, woo! So I'll admit that I haven't Fire and Opals but I think I really need to after reading this. So I really love what you've done for this story, I really enjoy the way you can tell stories through letters. I'm a big fan of it of using it in my writing so it really appeals me!
I thought you've done really amazing job at writing in a realistic way, I think you can really tell the bond that they have with Kaite by the way tha they talk to her. I think as always it's your little details which really make your storytelling so wonderfully. I really like how the letters like entwine so tell the whole story.
so I really love the relationship that you've captured between Katie and her brother, Jonathan. I feel like they have really lovely sibling relationship, I love the nickname 'Kit-Kat', it's such an cute nickname and I imagine he has called her that since she was really little. It's little touch which builds up the tone of their relationship instantly and the later letter that she addresses him as 'jonny-boy' too. I love the head-canon you have, it's what makes you such a good writer because you've painted whats in your mind for us. it's such a skill which I'm so jealous of. it's amazing! I love that he comes to advice about boys too! I really felt his increasing distress for her in his letters like you can feel it building but it's always hopeful, I feel you've done a really good job at exploring Jonathan's feelings about Katie's attack without being over dramatic, it's subtle but it really works for me.
you explore Leanne's feelings in the similar way, I love the bonding between Leanne and Jonathan over Katie's attack. I feel for poor Leanne though as she's blaming herself. it's really sad but really understandable feeling so I'm glad Katie put her right. I love your gryffindor streak coming through in the last letter here, Lions for the cup! yess, you tell 'em Katie *shakes pompoms*
It's always a joy to read your writing Sian!
- Abbi xo
I absolutely love stories focused around letters - probably because I love writing letters so much. Even though I've not been writing much lately, I'd love for someone to do an epistolary challenge :P
I'm really glad that you liked the way I managed to show both Leanne and Jonathan's relationships with Katie even though she's not able to respond at the start of this piece. It was a bit of a challenge because the letters are kind of one-sided, but I'm glad that you like the way I had both Leanne and Jonathan bonding and becoming closer because of Katie's attack as well. This was so much fun to write and explore, and I'm really pleased you enjoyed it!
Thank you for this lovely review!