Um. Excuse me. I don't think I asked to have my heart ripped out.
Seriously, Chiara, how did you do this? In less than 200 words, you wrote a story with so many emotions and so much depth. Not a single character named (outside of our narrator), not a setting described, and you blew me away. I am so, so impressed.
The first four lines are so beautiful. The exude such hope and happiness and purity. I don't know how to describe it, but it was honestly like reading something that glowed. I could see the world through a tiny, happy fish's eyes. It gave me such a buoyant feeling, and then...
Well, then the last four lines happened. And you took the emotions from the first four lines and flipped them completely around. It was incredibly impressive! The final line absolutely gutted me. How you contained such dramatic and deep feelings--the end of lives, the beginning of a new war--in so few words...wow.
Chiara, I cannot explain how impressed I am with this. It is such a feat to capture such strong emotions in only eight lines. You're a tremendous writer.
Emily! Aww, I'm so happy that you are back here again and thank you so much for your review and sorry for breaking your heart and sorry for the late reply as well...
I'm so glad you could feel all the emotions in this little drabble. I'm actually not sure how to reply to this except by saying that I'm so glad you liked this and thank you so much for all your kind words!
Love you, my dear!
Thought I'd drop by to leave you a bit of review love!
This is such an interesting concpet for a story! I'd have never thought to write about Lily's death from the perspective of a pet fish. It's really cute, but also very sad.
I understood this as Francis dying when Lily died. Is there some sort of bond that holds magical pets to their owners? Or did he simply die of heartbreak? I'm not sure I want to know the answer as it seems pretty heartbreaking.
I wonder if Harry will ever know about his pet fish Francis? Do you think somewhere there's a picture of him that he might find someday?
Hi, Kaitlin, my dear! Thank you for stopping by and leaving this lovely review!
This story is actually inspired by something mentioned in the HBP movie... Francis is a fish that Lily left as a present for Slughorn and Slughorn said that he simply found its tank empty the morning after James and Lily died. So this is just my interpretation of the episode. I'm glad it emotioned you anyway. :)
Thank you again for the review, it was really a nice surprise!
Lots of love,
Wow! This story was already super unique just based on the story summary alone, but I was really surprised by the originality of how you wrote it as well. It was practically poetry!
I think the short sentences worked really well. It made me think of a fish darting around in quick bursts, noticing little things in isolation. It was a really effective way of setting the mood (/characterization?) of the story without having to spell things out.
What. No. You did not.
Why. Why did you not stop after the first paragraph? Take me back.
Okay, not only are all the Potters dead (RUDE) but are you saying that Francis is dead too?? My little heart cannot take this.
Feelings aside, that was really beautifully structured, and I love that for such a short little piece it was able to surprise me more than once.
Thank you so, so, so much for all your lovely reviews during this round of snowball fight! I'm feeling so bad that I couldn't participate more... hopefully it'll go better for the next ones... anyway...
I'm so glad you liked this little drabble and also the style of it. It was something that I wrote on the spot (I remember waking up in the heart of the night and just writing it down... yes, I'm that crazy...) so I'm so glad it worked in the end.
I'm so glad you liked Francis' "characterization" and that the short sentences helped picturing the scene.
Yeah, sorry... this is sad... :( (Just to clarify, Francis is the fish mentioned by Slughorn in the sixth movie that Lily gave him as a present. Slughorn says that Francis just disappeared the day James and Lily died and that's what I was referring to).
I'm so glad you enjoyed the piece, despite being sad, and that it could surprise you!
Thank you so much for the lovely review!
Hi Chiara! I keep stumbling across little treasures like this on your author page and I'm so glad that I got to read this one. This was a really lovely read and I'm always so impressed at the variety of styles that you write.
I loved the way that you took a little moment that is only mentioned extremely briefly in canon - one of the memories Horace Slughorn has of Lily Potter, when she gave him the present of Francis the fish - and created a piece which explored so many aspects of the war and Lily and James's lives and Horace's feelings towards them both. I thought it was such an intelligent concept for this piece and you really made wonderful use of it.
Can I also just say how impressive it is that you've managed to capture so much in just eight lines? Two stanzas? I'm so impressed!
I loved the parallel syntax in this - it was so, so effective to see the same structures in both stanzas, the same word choices, only slightly altered. It emphasised the vast differences between the two periods so well; the line space between the stanzas was almost a physical representation of the chasm between the time when Lily and James were alive and their deaths.
It seemed so simple to see this piece told from the perspective of a fish, but I loved the little touches which somehow gave Francis a personality. The way he calls Slughorn 'my human' as though he's been created to watch over him, and the way he seems to know what has happened to James and Lily, and that the world isn't so bright a place now that Lily isn't in it. This was a really sweet and effective piece of writing!
Thank you for stopping by, this was such a lovely surprise! And aww... thank you so much *blushing* I'm so thrilled that you enjoyed reading this and some other of my stuff as well...
I've always found that mention of Francis in the HPB movie so cute... I'm so glad you liked the idea behind this story and thought it worked well.
Yes, well... I would have never expected to be able to write a drabble, to be honest. I'm glad it worked out. And thank you again... *blushing more*
Glad you liked the parallel syntax, and that you liked Francis' perspective as well. Thank you so much once again for stopping by and leaving such a wonderful review! It really made my day!
Tons of love,
Oh wow! I wasn't sure what to expect when I clicked on this. How sad. My name is Francis/My name was Francis really hit me. I liked the parallells there. It was very powerful. I loved the first part where he turns in circles to greet his human. It made me giggle. But then the second part was just so sad but written beautifully. Not so many words, not so many sentences but the shift is there and it is big. The 'slightly less beautiful' part killed me too. Uh, so good!
Oh, a surprise review! This is so lovely, thank you for stopping by!
I'm so glad to know that the story moved you and that you liked the parallels between the two sections and that you found it powerful! Thank you so much for all your praises!
Tons of hugs and love,
This was a great drabble. I loved the part about turning in circles to great his human, because it seems perfect for a pet. Giving thoughts to a fish was a great idea for this.
The parallel between the two parts ("My name is/was Francis, I am/was a fish") is lovely. I do have to say it was depressing though. Poor Francis the fish. :( The last line really got to me. This may not have been the best day for me to read this because I'm all emotional now, but that's a good sign for your writing skills.
Happy holidays. =) - R
Thank you so much for stopping by, and sorry it took me so long to reply...
Glad you liked this. I'd never written a drabble before, so I'm happy it worked! :) Glad you liked Francis' perspective.
Yes, I know... so sad... I'm sorry I made you emotional... *hug*
Thank you so much for a wonderful review!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS CHIARA! I AM HERE TO BESTOW PILES OF REVIEWS AND SNOWBALL HUGS AND LOVE ♥♥♥♥
Oh my goodness I was NOT prepared for this. It's short, the summary said it was about a fish, I was like "oh, cute!" Then I read it. OUCH. Okay, the one question in my mind is this: how did you write something so incredibly beautiful, sad, and poignant in 137 words?!?!?!?! Do you realize how talented you are? (The answer is VERY)
Really I'm just in awe. This starts out so so simply - just the thoughts of a fish swimming in the tank. He doesn't have anything to worry about, because for him, life is good. There are flower petals in the tank, and outside the window it is beautiful. There's even a human who comes by to give him food. Life is simple and good. And then in the second paragraph - the identities of the human become clear. The Potters had a fish tank! Honestly, I loved the way you revealed that information. I love the idea that they had a fish tank, just because any little mundane details about the lives of these self sacrificing heroes really humanizes them, and so I just loved the idea that they had a fish. So those two lines made me smile and made me sad all at the same time - because the moment I realize they had a fish tank is of course the moment that I realize what's going on: Francis is witnessing the deaths of his humans. And the tank is dull and lifeless now.
Here's the other thing that's really interesting about how you ended it: is Francis dead or alive? It can be read either way. Maybe when the Avada Kedavra hit Lily, the curse hit the fish tank as well and killed Francis, and he's narrating from beyond. (Whatever that means for a fish.) Or, he is still alive in the biological sense of the word, but his life has lost its meaning, because he was only ever there to brighten his human's day, and vice versa because he clearly loved his humans. And when his humans die, no one takes care of him, no one cares about him, and he has no one left to care about. If fish are capable of thinking thoughts as deep as that, I'm sure that's what he's thinking. Anyway, I LOVE the vagueness of the end and how it can be interpreted. THIS FIC IS SO GOOD.
Now that my review is like 10x longer than your story.... I'm moving on to leave reviews for Jimmy Portman. Be on the lookout!
Thank you so much, Kristin! You are the absolute sweetest! Snowball hug, my love!