It occurred to me that I haven't checked my requests in a while so let's pretend this isn't exactly two months late. Okay? Awesome.
Immediately you really drew me in with all of the descriptive writing in the first paragraph. I'm not at all surprised by this because I think I write that in every review I've ever left you. The breeze pushing through the trees, squinting because of the sun. All of that is gorgeous.
The question immediately pops up as to why she's hiding in remote towns with a fear of using her wand. Is she hiding from the ministry? Ends in tragedy? Oh dear, a murder suicide? Did she kill them and fake her own death? That's the vibe I'm getting. And now I need to know why! She's annoyed with them looking so in love which suggests maybe a romantic attachment? At the very least they aren't as in love as they portrayed prior to their death and it's implied she didn't really think they were victims.
They left her no choice. I need to know what happened! OH! BOYFRIEND AND BEST FRIEND. Yeah, no, I'm totally on her side for this. I mean it's not ideal to murder them by any means, but she was definitely victimized too. Bless her heart. And she's truly torn between all of these conflicting emotions which I think shows remorse.
OH NO. HER PARENTS WERE IN ON IT TOO! I mean I totally understand it, but oh that hurts my heart. I hope they at least get her some legal representation.
YOU MARKED THIS AS COMPLETED IT'S NOT COMPLETED I NEED TO SEE POOR LILY DRAGGED THROUGH COURT.
As you guessed, of course I loved this story. Okay, so now maybe a companion piece from the eyes of her victims, one from her family, and one of her trial. Okay? Great.
PAULA OMG HI! I know you've been busy with school and being promoted to staff so it's okay! *squish*
Thanks so much! Description is (this is probably the same response every time, oops?) something I struggle with so it's nice to hear that it the hard work pays off.
I love your questions so much! That means I'm doing something right with the mystery aspect of it. :P
I think you're actually one of the first people on her side for this - I was trying to show how torn she was because she loved them, but things got out of control.
I'M SORRY IT IS COMPLETE I HADN'T EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT COURT. WHY ARE YOU GIVING ME MORE PROJECTS PAULA?! (Kidding! <3)
Thanks so much for the great review!
Hi Jill! Here for our swap.
OMG. What. That was actually really cool. I like how all the pieces of what was going on sort of slowly came together over the course of the story.
So at first I was pretty confused. Like this part near the beginning: "I nearly rolled my eyes. Of course they were the victims in this case. They were dead." I was like... well yeah? Because I didn't realize that she knew the victims, although it slowly started to become apparent. And then, obviously, it became clear that she thought of herself as the victim in the case because she had been wronged, and that she was also the murderer.
I did NOT see the twist ending coming at all! I think that was really well done. You gave Lily Luna a distinct personality and even some backstory (mainly, that her family's well off, since they have a manor) without giving away her identity.
I also wanna touch on her personality because I think you did something really interesting here. Like, these are just my impressions but she came off as pretty twisted - she was acting like murder was a rational and fair response to cheating. She was feeling grief for them and feeling guilty, but pushing it down, not out of necessity to, say, keep herself going, but because she felt they deserved it and therefore her reactions were wrong. Overall she came across really cold and detached, which was really effective for the story you were telling - I personally found her a bit chilling and felt it added to the suspense.
And ugh, I just feel so bad for Harry and Ginny, especially Harry. And I found it really interesting that most of the emotions she displayed and the guilt she felt revolved around Harry instead of the actions she'd committed. It seemed like she'd been a bit of a "daddy's girl" which just made it even more upsetting. :(
I think you did a really good job with this. It was suspenseful and engaging, and I was genuinely surprised by the ending. Great work!
Hey Kayla! <3
I'm glad you ended up reading this piece because I've been curious about what people think!
Ah, yes, that was meant to be the first jarring clue that things weren't quite right. Interesting that you picked up on her being the murderer early on as well.
YAY! That was the point, so I'm glad that worked! <3 Yeah, working in her personality as well as her backstory was really hard to get in there without giving away who she was, so I'm happy that that worked out as well.
To be honest, I didn't mean to make her that cold and detached, but I think it was more her rationlizing her actions, if that makes sense, but I'm super glad that it added to the supense regardless.
Aww, I know, poor Harry. I felt bad for him the most, especially since he was the one that was doing the arresting. She's definitely a daddy's girl in my opinion, which makes it all the more heartbreaking.
Thanks so much for the review! I'm glad you enjoyed it :]
You enjoy making me cry, Jill, don't you?
This was so perfect, even if so sad... your writing is just as beautiful as always, your descriptions so great... why are you so talented? Why do you break my heart every single time?
I think you did a great job at telling and not telling. I could guess who was who and what was going to happen just a moment before you revealed it. When she arrived home and found it empty I sort of knew that it was a "trap". It still was so hard to read about the arrest... how difficult must it have been for Harry? And well, even if she deserved it, I felt so bad for Lily, too...
I'm blubbering incoherently, I'm sorry... it's the brilliantness of your writing's fault, though...
And yes, the ending definitely changes everything...
What do I have to say, except this was incredible and you are the best?
Wonderful job as always, my dear!
I never enjoy making you cry, even though I suppose that means the story's been effective.
I'm glad that even though you were able to pick up what happened just before it happened, that didn't take anything away from the reveal. How much to give away was something I struggled with for this fic and I'm glad I seemed to find a balance.
YOU are the best for leaving such a wonderful review. Thank you! <3
Okay so because you requested this I feel like I actually need to be serious and use the acceptable amount of capslock. But, like, how be professional?
This story is good. I like it.
Well, not really, because it actually is good and I actually like it.
There is so much intrigue from the first paragraph, and so many questions!
Not gonna lie though, at first I was a bit confused about the fact the she is clearly in a wizarding village (Daily Prophets for sale) and yet she feels using magic will expose her, until I realized it's because magic can be traced, and she's hiding. So the thought you put behind that is fantastic.
Even though at first we have no idea who the character is, so much about them is revealed through descriptions. It's so great - I love how you've done that. We get to come up with our own conception on the character, without knowing who they are. It makes the reveal all the more shocking.
(I almost thought Monica Gallagher was the character from Friends... Lucky I checked before making an idiot of myself)
Ooh and her reactions to the deaths are perfect. She lets that rage get in the way of feeling any remorse. She has a bit of a temper, sure, but who could blame her actions?
The dropping of clues is so well done too. Like the fact she lives in the Manor and has a clock like the Weasleys did. And since they're dropped closer together as the ending nears, it helps build the suspense. Are you sure you've never done this before?
She was tricked! This is why Harry is the head of the Auror department. Sneaky hobbitses.
I think I've addressed your concerns already, but just in case... Everything is amazing. You had nothing to be worried about. It has the right amount of suspense and plot without being an info dump for such a short piece. I guess all that's left to say is GOOD LUCK IN THE CHALLENGE! :D
Actually this was quite professional, maybe I'll request reviews from you more often :P
Yeah, I was about to have her use magic until I remembered from the books that magic can be traced - which is how they knew about Harry those few times over the summer, so I figured it probably wasn't the best idea to have her use her wand.
(Hahahaha! Well, considering you know how obsessed I am with Friends, I doubt that it would've been a surprise.)
Ooh good. I actually went around and fixed some of the clues to make it less obvious, but I'm glad that they were still done well and that it makes sense, especially toward the end.
Yay I'm so glad!! It's always nerve-wracking to write something outside of your standard genre. Thank you!! <3
The forums aren't loading for me right now, so sadly I can't look up what trope you were assigned for this.
I like that you include the detail that the MC is avoiding using their wand. That is a little thing that says a lot about how easily they could be caught, and also how much harder this life in hiding is.
It breaks my heart that the MC turned out to be Luna, particularly because that makes those distant unforgiving parents Harry and Ginny.
Throughout this Lily seemed like a very cold and detached person. It's hard to say if that is how she always is or if it's just a result of these circumstances, but I definitely got that overall sense from her. She seems to feel that her parents are very detached, which kind of explains why she acts that way.
Most of my emotional feelings for this story came at the end, once I knew who all the players were. Up until that point I was kind of holding off judgement - I didn't feel too invested, not knowing who was who, but that switched in the end.
I was very tempted to peek ahead to find out who the MC was (I always find it frustrating to read without knowing who the MC is to fill in the blanks), but I held out this time! At first I thought it might be a Malfoy - the description of the relationship with her parents around the letter reminded me of Draco's relationship with his parents. But then the clock with the names on the hands of course made me think of the Weasleys, but I wasn't sure it was the same clock or just a similar one. Towards the end i actually started to think that it really was an OC =P
I think you did a good job with the suspence in this piece and you had interesting choices for characters and their characterizations. I would be interested to read more about their dynamic!
Ooh hey, Sam! :D
Yeah, I definitely felt like them avoiding using their wand was a smart move because as Harry points out later on, magic is traceable, and then that would kind of kill the suspense for this piece.
I think it's just a result of these circumstances. Her boyfriend cheats on her with her best friend and she catches them; her temper flares and she does something she regrets. She's just kind of numb and going through the motions with being on the run.
I'm glad that switched at the end! That was actually my prompt - the ending changes everything, so it sounds like that worked for you :D
Eee yay, I'm glad you held out and had a few guesses! I went back and changed a few things so that it wouldn't be as obvious, and I'm so glad you thought it could be a Malfoy and then maybe a Weasley. That's exactly what I was going for so I'm glad that worked out here. <3
Thanks so much for the surprise review!! Glad you enjoyed it!
God, I must be tired. I looked at your request and where it says Length: 1569, I somehow thought that was the year it takes place and I was pretty confused for a moment there. Omg send help XD
Okay, so, this story. Eeeee. This is a really unusual one and so I love it. I love that you didn't say who it was until the very end; it was really effective in keeping the suspense building, and how each paragraph added another layer of the story and unravelled a bit more of the mystery. At first, it's so sunny and nice, though the narrator's dread of being recognized definitely catches the eye, and it only builds up from there. When she rolls her eyes at the victims and brushes them off, so blase, of course, that indicates that the narrator is in fact the murderer, and the subsequent paragraphs back that up.
The flow is wonderful, gradually unfolding the story bit by bit, dropping hints the whole way but waiting until the very end to confirm them. I loved the way you build it all up. My only question is this: Do you want it to be a slow buildup where the end confirms the suspicions the reader gets while reading the story, or do you want the end to be a total surprise that shocks you out of nowhere? Either is fine as an answer, of course, but I just want to make sure that it comes across the way you want it to.
For me, it's the former. Since the identity of the character was unspecified at first and I had a feeling you were going to reveal it at the end (just from what you mentioned of the prompt), I paid attention to every detail, picked up on all your clues, and figured out the narrator about halfway through, at the point when the narrator mentions their two brothers. I don't know whether you intended readers to figure that out, or whether I'm just hyper-aware of clues and should consider a career in the FBI... but anyway, that's how I read it. If that is what you hoped the story would do, then yay it worked and feel free to skip the next paragraph :P
If you were trying to do a plot twist that comes out of nowhere, one way to potentially pack more of a punch into a plot twist (how's that for alliteration) is to add red herrings to throw the reader off, especially those obnoxious readers who analyze everything and put together the clues as they read (e.g. me). You drop a lot of hints the whole way through that lead to the fact that the narrator is the murderer and that it is Lily (which, again, are perfect if you're going for the slow build up) but if you're trying to really surprise readers with the end, I'd suggest adding additional hints in there that suggest the narrator is, for example, Scorpius Malfoy. Or whoever.
Regardless, this story is phenomenal and I loved it. The ending scene was really powerful, and I loved how you made my feelings go all over the place because I felt badly for Harry and Ginny, as they've realised what their daughter has done and they project this shame and disappointment and anger and sadness at the situation they're in, but I also feel bad for Lily because she's just got caught, but I shouldn't feel bad for her because of the murdering... but it's from her POV and she feels betrayed and hurt, and she knows her parents are disappointed in her and maybe that's why I find her a bit relatable despite everything else she did. There's just so much going on in that scene and it's perfect.
or to clear your conscious -- that should say 'conscience'
This is a great fic. Well done on this, Jill!
Eep hello, Kristin! That was so quick!
As you know, I don't normally write this kind of plot-twisty story, so I'm glad that the suspense and flow were all there. Tbh, I didn't mean to casually drop so many hints about who the narrator was, so I actually went back and took some out that might be glaringly obvious.
I'm glad that the ending was powerful regardless, though. I kind of wrote this on a whim, so I wasn't really thinking about hyper-aware readers, haha!
Also, I'm really glad that you felt bad for Lily in the end. I wasn't trying to turn her into a cold-hearted killer, but rather someone who did something they weren't particuarly proud of, but felt was a justified consequence for their actions. I can't even imagine what Harry and Ginny must have been thinking or feeling when they realized what was going on, but of course they want to do the right thing by the law/their world.
Whoops, that should, and I fixed that too! :D
Thanks! I like when writing experiments pay off, even if they're really nerve-wracking in the process. But your reviews are always super helpful and positive, and I really admire your opinion. I'm so glad that you enjoyed it, though!
Thanks for the awesome review <3 <3