Reviews For The Last Letter


Name: Noelle Zingarella (Signed) · Date: 18 Jul 2019 02:55 PM · For: The Last Letter

Hi Holly! I’m here for the HC finale.

 

 

I really like the “missing moment” that you’ve chose to fill out in this story. Each time I’ve read that part of the HP books, I’ve wondered what exactly was meant by “my last” and if there was more too it.

 

This image you’ve started us off with—that the echo of Dumbledore’s warning is somehow trapped in Petunias gleaming kitchen and she is trying to scrub it away is very nicely done. I can see her doing it, trying to pretend like she’s totally normal and that she’s not in contact with this other world that is so NOT normal.

 

I think that Petunia’s reaction to the enchanted picture of Lily and Harry—that they are trapped in a cruel imitation of life—is a valid one. For people who haven’t grown up around such things as moving pictures I think they would be sort of disturbing. 

 

The way you’ve shown us Petunia’s inner thoughts here really make her more sympathetic to me. Of course she would be jealous of Lily—Lily’s the prettier one and she can do magic and everyone pays attention to her. And even Petunia can’t really help but love her too—which probably makes the jealousy more difficult to bear. And I particularly like how you point out that James Potter is exciting in a way that Vernon just isn’t, and so even in terms of husbands Lily seems to come out better.

 

Much as I hate to say it, I do think that Vernon has something of a point here: they are totally at the mercy of this world that they can do nothing about. I mean, Vernon’s awful of course, but I can understand why he would be angry.

 

I really like how you end with Petunia’s guilt over not responding to Lily, and her fear about what will happen when Harry no longer lives with them. And I like the idea of Dumbledore sending his Patronus to comfort her that they will be safe. 

 

A very nice story.

 

Yours,

Noelle



Name: Phoenix Potioneer (Signed) · Date: 17 Jul 2019 02:18 AM · For: The Last Letter

Oooooh I really love stories about Petunia Dursley. She's such a complex character.

 

Petunia has a magical photograph? It's really insightful to see how Petunia acts in these hidden, stolen moments when no one is watching. If Vernon saw her looking at a photograph of her sister, it would probably be torn to shreds. Additionally, she never let Harry see photos of her growing up. The fact that she kept this says a lot. She really does love and miss her sister, doesn't she?

 

Not surprised that Vernon is acting like an idiot. Again. He does have a good point about the wizards going all about the house though. The Order of the Phoenix basically broke in when Harry left his fifth year. And half their house gets destroyed whenever wizards show up.

 

Okay, Vernon thinking that a muggle alarm system will keep out Voldemort is HILARIOUS! Seriously, love it. It also reveals his ignorance.

 

Watching Petunia talk Vernon out of kicking Harry out of the house makes me wonder how many times she did that over the years. How much does Harry owe to Petunia? if it wasn't for her, I think Vernon would have kicked Harry out years ago.

 

Wait, what? Who had a bird patronus? I've been thinking for the past few minutes and it must be Dumbledore, with his phoenix. Petunia wouldn't recognize a phoenix as she's never seen one, and he's the only one who makes sense to be contacting her and sending her that message. It's kind of sweet that Dumbledore thought to add that.

 

Really great story! This adds so much more depth to Petunia's character and really makes me think more about HBP.



Name: Crimson Quill (Signed) · Date: 21 Jan 2019 03:34 PM · For: The Last Letter

 

Hey!

 

So I thought it was just excellent! Petunia is such an interesting character in my opinion, I've always felt that there was a lot to explore with her character. Your portrayed of her in this piece really made sense to me. I thought you've really nailed a clear thought process for her. I feel like I'm really in her head when I read this piece. 

 

I think the section with the photograph was especially moving. There was something in her that kept it all these years. It meant something to her because she obviously still loved Lily in her own way. I wish she could have found it in her to love Harry but we know her treatment of Harry wasn't great but even though there is no excuse for mistreating a child I thought you made it a little more understandable. 

 

Vernon was amazing. I loved what you did with him. I find everything with him so realistic. It was such a good version of him especially that dialogue! It was was just wonderful and so perfectly written in character too. It was on point and it was really quite funny how ridiculous he was being. I do like his 'Dunderdore' and 'Lord Thing'. The alarm system bit just perfect. I'm so impressed with just like everything about this fic!!

 

- Abbi xo

 

For: Magical Menagerie/ RvG

 



Name: LadyMarauder (Signed) · Date: 21 Jan 2019 06:20 AM · For: The Last Letter

I tend to avid Petunia-centric stories as, well, she's not pleasant and when she does turn up in stories, all she tends to do is scream that Lily is a freak. There's so much more to her than that. I love missing moments from the HP series and can't get enough of them! This was such a great story and I really think Petunia would have been so conflicted about it all. She loved Lily, they were sisters and at one time, best friends.

 

I always felt there was a lot of guilt in Petunia's attitude throughout the books that she covers with distain and I really think it's because of the way they left things before Lily and James died. I loved the moments where she was looking at the photograph and that she kept it private. I'm guessing partly because it was a magical picture and that she wanted to keep it to herself that she cared for her sister all these years later. So this is my canon for sure. I also really liked how Harry was referred to as ‘the boy' the whole way through, perfect characterisation there.

 

Vernon cracks me up, honestly. He's so practical and doesn't understand at all that Voldemort could walk straight in and murder them all. A burglar alarm, honestly! Overall I loved this! 

 

Tasha - for Magical Menagerie round two and RvG January - Team Red!



Name: 800 words of heaven (Signed) · Date: 02 Dec 2018 06:26 AM · For: The Last Letter

Hello! I'm here after a nasty tustle with a Niffler, on behalf of Kaitlin/TreacleTart, with a review!

 

Man, I haven't read missing moments/alternate points of view of the main HP books themselves in sooo long! This took me back! I really loved it!

 

I have to admit, I've never really liked Petunia all that much. I have a younger sister myself, and I can't imagine hating her the way Petunia hates Lily. What I really loved about this story, though, was how you showed that Petunia's relationship with her sister is just so much more complicated than simple childhood jealousy. It's built on a lifetime of regret, and jealousy, and fear.  And then on top of that she had to raise Harry.

 

Her and Vernon's conversation was also very interesting. I loved the little peek we  got into their marriage. They always present as a united front, which is actually something I admire in them as a couple - not so much when it's used to categorically abuse a child in their care. But there's this entire other world that Petunia can't be part of, and it still manages to interfere in her and Vernon's life. It's almost as if Petunia is having an affair with the wizarding world. How many other secrets has she had to keep because of it?

 

... I hope you don't mind my ramblings! This was really enjoyable! Hopefully, I shall visit your AP soon - fighting another Niffler, I'm sure :P

 

xx 800



Author's Response: Thanks for the reviewing! To be honest, I don't really like Petunia either, and like you, I can't imagine disliking my younger sister that way either. However, I was curious about the letter that Dumbledore apparently wrote to Petunia, so it seemed ripe for a missing moments prompt! I do think that due to the number of times in the series people point out to Harry that he has his mother's eyes, there is no way that Petunia could have missed that herself. I imagine that it had to have stirred up some memories at times. Vernon always struck me as an overbearing bully. Petunia seems to go along with it quite willingly most of the time, but I also feel that it would be difficult to live with that all the time. She had to have been a target sometimes, or else found him a bit much sometimes--something Harry might not have gotten to glimpse. I also think that Vernon tries to be so aggressively and relentlessly normal that Petunia must worry about disappointing him and feel some worry about having brought not-normal things into their life together. If he blamed her rather than her sister, I don't think her life would be very pleasant, so it is probably to her advantage to play that up. Describing it as Petunia having an affair with the wizarding world is interesting...I rather like that analogy. You've also made me start thinking about other secrets, because I never really thought about that before. Everyone has some secrets!


Name: justonemorefic (Anonymous) · Date: 16 Jul 2018 06:12 PM · For: The Last Letter

Transferred from offsite at request of the author

Originally left on 12/27/2010

I always feel so bad for Petunia. There is something extra relatable about her because she's a Muggle. She's like us. And she, like I think many readers are, is jealous of this world she can't be a part of. And also how responsibility is thrust upon her. She tries to keep it all together, dealing with her family and Harry and wizards. Forced to deal with a world she hates. I can really see how tired she is in this, how many times she's already had to deal with the same routine.

I like how just like Snape, she remembers Lily through her eyes and through Harry, and how both Snape and Petunia harbored dislike for Harry because of that reminder. It kind of made me think about how even though Harry triumphs over Voldemort, what does it matter to Petunia? It certainly isn't the same appreciation because she's not part of the wizarding world and she'll never get Lily back.

I do wish you'll write more oneshots! These all have been lovely!



Author's Response: I never particularly cared for Petunia, but after I learned more about her in the final book, I started feeling differently towards her. As you said, she's relatable, and despite the awful way she treated Harry, there's something about her many of us can empathize with. I really like your description of her as tired.
Harry's eyes are mentioned so many times in the books, usually in relation to Lily's eyes. I can't imagine Petunia NOT noticing. I do think she feels she lost her sister to the wizarding world, and now she's about to lose her last connection to that world and to her sister. Whatever nasty feelings she may be harboring, that's a big shift in her life. Something she's been living with most of her life is coming to an end.
I actually am working on a one-shot right now for a challenge. I was assigned a Sirius/Remus romance fluff piece involving the stars! It's not something I'd chose to write on my own, haha.
Thank you for all the reviews you've left. I really appreciate you taking the time to read most of my work.


Name: ariellem (Anonymous) · Date: 16 Jul 2018 06:12 PM · For: The Last Letter

Transferred from offsite at request of the author

Originally left on 12/26/2010

Hello fellow American!

I liked this story I really did I chuckled at Vernon being clueless as always and thinking you can get rid of Voldermort with a burglar alarm, I also never figured out what Dumbledore meant by Remember My last (however this is probably me being clueless as normal) and you provided a GREAT explanation for it so good job.



Author's Response: Hey there. :)

This is the first story I wrote, so I am rather attached to it, though I know there are better ones out there. Vernon was a LOT of fun to write! He's clueless, so you can really use him for humor if you want.

I hope I'm remembering the context of Dumbledore's comment correctly. After the Dementors attacked Dudley and Harry, the Dursleys were going to kick Harry out, but Dumbledore sent a Howler to Petunia that said "Remember my last." After that, she put her foot down and said Harry had to stay. Dumbledore's last letter to her had been the one explaining all about the protections and so forth.



Name: Ronsgirl29 (Anonymous) · Date: 16 Jul 2018 06:12 PM · For: The Last Letter

Transferred from offsite at request of the author

Originally left on 08/19/2010

I don't read much about Petunia, but I really loved the way you characterized her. It really felt like this could have been something that happend in the books. And you had Vernon perfect, haha I love that he thinks an alarm system would protect him from Voldemort. Whattamugggle.

I also thought it was really touching that she had regrets about not answering her sister. I'd like to think that Petunia didn't fully hate her sister, that would just be too sad.

Amazing work, 10/10!



Author's Response: I've had a few comment on Vernon and the alarm system, lol. It just seemed like a very Vernon-ish thing when I thought of it, and I'm glad others seem to agree.

This challenge was to come up with a "missing moment" from HBP, so I'm glad you thought it felt like something that could have happened in the books. That was my goal!

Thanks for commenting on Petunia's characterization. I'm rather proud of it, actually. I don't think Petunia fully hated Lily. She was jealous and resentful, there's no doubt about that. I just expanded on that a little by deciding the sisters had been close as young children. As for Petunia having regrets . . . well, that's a pretty human thing for her to experience. She's not the first person, nor will she be the last, to regret not speaking up before it's too late.

Thanks for reviewing! :-)



Name: nitenel (Anonymous) · Date: 16 Jul 2018 06:12 PM · For: The Last Letter

Transferred from offsite at request of the author

Originally left on 06/27/2010

Hm... Poor Petunia...



Author's Response: I do feel sympathy toward Petunia, awful as her treatment of Harry was. I'm glad you seem to have picked up on that in this piece.


Name: JQ Murray Todd (Anonymous) · Date: 16 Jul 2018 06:12 PM · For: The Last Letter

Transferred from offsite at request of the author

Originally left on 12/08/2009

Oh. Well, er, 7/10. Unfortunately the storyline didn't get me.



Author's Response: Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback, even though the story wasn't really your thing.


Name: katie (Anonymous) · Date: 16 Jul 2018 06:12 PM · For: The Last Letter

Transferred from offsite at request of the author

Originally left on 12/03/2009

this is so good! I love this idea:)



Author's Response: Thank you very much! I appreciate the review.


Name: TheDirigiblePlum (Anonymous) · Date: 16 Jul 2018 06:12 PM · For: The Last Letter

Transferred from offsite at request of the author

Originally left on 10/12/2009

Petunia always intrigued me as a character, because I think she had a pretty hard time having to watch her sister go to a really exciting school whilst she stayed at home. So in a way I feel sorry for her, but then her treatment of Harry is INEXCUSABLE!

Anyways! :D

I loved this story, because I felt it had all the dynamics of Petunia and Vernon's relationship perfectly. She was lost in thought in the beginning, thinking things over and over yet when her husband came in she gave him no indication that she was worried about anything, and he didn't bother to ask. I always thought that she hid a lot of things, and also felt that she had no one to really confide in, which may explain her slightly unpleasant temperament.

Despite how protective Vernon is over his family (his one redeeming feature I think) he doesn't really pay attention to them, as is obvious by the number of times Petunia tried to explain things to him. I like how you managed to slip in his over-protectiveness in with his ignorance in the fact that he thinks a burglar alarm would keep wizards out. It was just little things like this that were in your story that made the characters so true to form without it being too blindingly obvious. :)

Sorry I'm a bit of a sucker for well written characters, and I thought your's were perfectly done. :) I also had to laugh about the idea of Vernon whacking Voldemort over the head with a golf club... very funny image. :D

Sorry for the very rambly review, but I loved your story and I always leave rambly reviews for stories I love! :D

10/10



Author's Response: People go to jail (and rightly so) for treating children the way the Dursleys treated Harry. I do feel the neglect was sugar-coated in the HP books. Anyway, I'm glad I made you feel sorry for Petunia, to a certain extent. My intention in this story was not to excuse her, but I did want to portray her in a sympathetic light.

I definitely think Petunia had a secret life, so to speak. She had private, secret thoughts, dreams, and knowledge that Vernon was quite unaware of, in part because he never bothered to listen, as you said. Mostly she lets him bluster around, but on one or two occasions in the books, we did see her stand up to him.

I had a great time playing with Vernon. Although he IS protective of his family (and his family's image), he is so ignorant and such a fool . . . he's an easy target to hit. I think the burglar alarm plays right into him nailing shut the mailbox slot and threatening Hagrid with a rifle.

I know all about rambly reviews; I leave them myself. Thank you for this one and especially for your comments on characterization. :-)


Name: essenni (Anonymous) · Date: 16 Jul 2018 06:12 PM · For: The Last Letter

Transferred from offsite at request of the author

Originally left on 09/24/2009

Hi! Great piece! You showed your idea clearly. Petunia was very realistic, having regrets and doubts, but seeing that there is no place for it in her family, so she had to keep it all to herself.



Author's Response: Thank you! I think you see the same thing in Petunia that I do, and I'm glad you thought I showed it well. Obviously, she did suppress her desire to be magical like Lily. Doing so had to have poisoned a part of her life.


Name: Rettopyrrah (Anonymous) · Date: 16 Jul 2018 06:12 PM · For: The Last Letter

Transferred from offsite at request of the author

Originally left on 09/21/2009

I AM SO SORRY IF THIS REVIEW GIVES YOU FALSE HAPPINESS. I know I get really excited when I have a review so I'm sorry if it comes up on the wee thingymabobber that you have two new reviews, when technically you really only have one. I got really confused as to why I couldn't find the 'Add to favourites' button, then I realised HPFF has signed me out. SO, I had to go all the way back and sign in, find this story, then thought I'd add the review to my count, which is rather pitiful.

So yeah... Here's the review again ^_^ :

Well, that was rather good.

I was pleasantly suprised by how good it was. I'd been hoping to find a really crap piece of writing to make myself feel better, but I clearly clicked on the wrong story.

But it wasn't just plain old 'good'... it was more HOLY FLAMING WHITE CHOCOLATE COVERED LIMITED CHRISTMAS EDITION BOX OF OREOS! good. Catch my drift?

I'd thought of something I wanted to say and now it's gone. Floating in the air...

NO WAIT!

Halt!

I remember.

And it's gone...

OH YES!

If I didn't have such an inferior concentration complex, I'd have finished that in five minutes. Ten tops. In reality it took me an hour and a bit. Stupid distractions -.-'

Anyhow. I have clearly rambled on long enough.

10/10

Adding to favourites :D

Pip pip

PS. You just got double the rating.



Author's Response: Haha, no worries about the double review. I thought it was too good to be true anyway, when I saw two in one day. As soon as I finish replying to this one, I'll ask for the other to be deleted. I totally understand about adding the review to your count . . . I'm constantly refreshing the page to make sure I don't get signed out, because sometimes it takes me ages to write a review too.

I'm glad the story was better on the inside that it sounded and looked on the outside. My summary isn't all that amazing, and none of the information makes this seem like a particularly interesting story.

Limeted edition Christmas Oreos! Woo-hoo! The only thing that would be better if the white chocolate on the outside had a crazy flavor like raspberry added. We better not let Dudley see those, or let Petunia catch us dropping crumbs on her clean kitchen surfaces.

Thank you so much. This is the most fun and exuberant review I've ever received! :D


Name: eightfourseven (Anonymous) · Date: 16 Jul 2018 06:12 PM · For: The Last Letter

Transferred from offsite at request of the author

Originally left on 09/07/2009

I love reading about the Dursleys, so I'm excited to read this. ^_^ I love how Harry is ""the boy"" and Dudley gets like, an affectionate nickname. Petunia is VERY in character. I like the concept of the letter and I think it really keeps her in character by saying that she almost burned it, but then opened it. I love her jealousy about James, even though there were things about him that she hated. Vernon is also really in character. You're awesome at characterization! And your grammar is pretty much impeccable. And while you do use ""alternate word for said + adverb"" more than I usually like, it doesn't bother me as much. In fact, it took me until the second read-through to notice it. I guess that shows that when something is well-written, the little things that usually bother me don't even register in my mind. In this case, the dialogue is so good that I'm like, ""Meh, whatever..."" to the adverbs. But don't worry; they aren't overused. I just don't like them at all because I'm very particular about dialogue haha. Ahh, that whole thing was just awesome in general. Great job!



Author's Response: You're completely right about the "alternate word + adverb" thing. I like to see little actions that characters do when I read, so when I write, I tend to go overboard. Whenever I read over something I've written, I'm like, dang, I need to cut back. You should've seen the rough draft, haha! I handwrite them all, so I can look back and see. Those "word + adverb" things just slip out, and I'm glad to have a reminder to keep an eye out.

Thank you so much for your comments about Petunia's character, in particular! On one level, this story is about how Petunia is torn between wanting something very badly and wanting very badly to stamp it out. She rejects Lily, but can't bring herself to cut Lily off completely. She cannot live within the wizarding world, but she cannot erase her knowledge of it.

I really wanted to explore what Harry meant to Petunia. He had to be a constant reminder of the wizarding world, Lily, and all that she felt she'd lost or been denied. I thought a letter would play into the regret aspect nicely.

Thanks for this wonderful review, eightfourseven.


Name: fullmoontonightO (Anonymous) · Date: 16 Jul 2018 06:12 PM · For: The Last Letter

Transferred from offsite at request of the author

Originally left on 09/06/2009

Petunia does have a jealousy problem, doesn't she? and have you ever noticed how Harry's eyes play such a major role most of the time? Like with Snape, and now Petunia. Everyone who knew Lily is blown away by them, no matter how much he looks like James.

It's too bad Petunia couldn't even say goodbye.



Author's Response: Yeah, I noticed in the books how there are tons of comments about Harry's eyes! Everyone who meets him mentions his mother's eyes, practically. I figure that if Harry's eyes reminded everyone else of Lily's eyes, they had to serve as a constant reminder to Petunia, you know? Yes, she is/was jealous, but I do believe she was close to Lily when they were small, and, yes, it is sad that she and Lily were on poor terms when Lily died.


Name: MONI (Anonymous) · Date: 16 Jul 2018 06:12 PM · For: The Last Letter

Transferred from offsite at request of the author

Originally left on 09/03/2009

aww! this story is great! its a different side of Petunia that no one new about. (:



Author's Response: Thanks! I wanted to show Petunia in a sympathetic light. :-)


Name: chadders (Anonymous) · Date: 16 Jul 2018 06:12 PM · For: The Last Letter

Transferred from offsite at request of the author

Originally left on 09/03/2009

that was a good story, well written, and made sense.

I always felt petunia was a little bit jealous of her sister



Author's Response: I thought Petunia was jealous of Lily too. I'm glad you thought the story made sense. Not everything that comes out of my head makes sense! Thanks for reviewing.


Name: allie_0608 (Anonymous) · Date: 16 Jul 2018 06:12 PM · For: The Last Letter

Transferred from offsite at request of the author

Originally left on 09/01/2009

wow, i loved this! it's amazing!!

[:

10/10



Author's Response: Thanks, Allie! I had fun with Petunia and Vernon.


Name: N. L. C. (Anonymous) · Date: 16 Jul 2018 06:12 PM · For: The Last Letter

Transferred from offsite at request of the author

Originally left on 08/30/2009

Wonderful. Good characterisation, and overall just very well thought out and written down. Splendid job.



Author's Response: Thank you very much. I appreciate you taking the time to let me know. :-)


Name: Celestie (Anonymous) · Date: 16 Jul 2018 06:12 PM · For: The Last Letter

Transferred from offsite at request of the author

Originally left on 08/15/2009

Hello, this is Celestie from the Review Tag forum. ;)

Wow, I loved this. Straight into my favorites it goes. You kept both Petunia and Vernon wonderfully in character. I was cracking up over Vernon's decision to buy an alarm system. So typically Vernon - investing his faith in something shiny and expensive. XD

You captured Petunia's reflections over Lily's last letter very well. It was so poignant. The ending was a little unexpected, but touching nonetheless. You are a very talented writer; I shall be reading more of your work in the future!

Well done!

9/10

- Celeste



Author's Response: Thank you for the wonderful review and compliments! I had so much fun writing Vernon. I had this image of him rocking back and forth on his heels, being all irritating with his dumb gadget. Just like a guy. I figured I could really play that up with him, since it fit so well with his ignorance of magic.

Petunia was a bit trickier, but I found myself relating to her more easily than I expected. The whole story was based on the image of Petunia looking at an old photograph.

The ending is the part I'm least pleased with. It was originally different. I had Harry walking in on Petunia, but I had to tweak it at the last moment to fit with the challenge requirements - I wrote an OotP missing moment intead of HBP!


Name: MrsMosley (Anonymous) · Date: 16 Jul 2018 06:12 PM · For: The Last Letter

Transferred from offsite at request of the author

Originally left on 08/08/2009

Wonderful story. Vernon, especially, has perfect characterization.



Author's Response: Thank you very much. I had fun writing Vernon.


Name: Kristen_Animagus (Anonymous) · Date: 16 Jul 2018 06:12 PM · For: The Last Letter

Transferred from offsite at request of the author

Originally left on 07/31/2009

I loved it, it was perfect. Keep up the awesome work!



Author's Response: I don't think it was perfect myself, but thanks for saying so. I am certainly proud of this story.


Name: Kayla (Anonymous) · Date: 16 Jul 2018 06:12 PM · For: The Last Letter

Transferred from offsite at request of the author

Originally left on 07/29/2009

That was AMAZING!

ALMOST AS GOOD AS J.K ROWLING HERSELF!

Brought tears to my eyes!

Marvelous use and stunning talent!



Author's Response: Wow, I'm so flattered! I'm happy to hear my story moved you! Thanks for the review and the exclamation points. :)


Name: Historyrepeats (Anonymous) · Date: 16 Jul 2018 06:12 PM · For: The Last Letter

Transferred from offsite at request of the author

Originally left on 07/28/2009

Wow.

This is beautiful!

Absolutely beautiful.

Well done!



Author's Response: Many thanks for the beautiful review! I was hoping to convey a small sense of beauty, so thanks for commenting on that.


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