I'm forever_dreaming here and on HPFF, endless_dreamer on AO3 and cogitari on ff.net. thanks for stopping by!
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Sirius Black learns how to be woman's best friend for a few days.
I share everyone else's anguish over the fact that this is only a one-shot. Whyyyyyy? I need more adorableness! First off, I commend you again for coming up with such a cool idea. I've never actually stopped to consider where Sirius's nickname came from--I always figured it was something James or Remus might have called him--but this was such a cute and interesting take on that.
I also have to commend you for writing dog!Sirius quite well. I know it must be a little difficult to keep in character when writing for a non-human, but Sirius was still pretty much spot-on throughout the whole fic. I also liked how what was showcased was his compassion and loyalty--the reasons why a dog animagus is perfect for Sirius.
The ending broke my heart. How do you always make my cry with your fluff??? Fluff is not supposed to make people cry hahaha. This is definitely one of my favorite fics of yours :) Well done!
Beautiful banner by cat! @ TDA
"Friends til the end, remember?"
2015 Diadem Finalist: Best LGBTQA+ || 2016 Diadem Finalist: Best LGBTQA+ Character - Parvati || 2017 F.R.O.G.S. Nominee: Best Minor Character- Parvati
Hi! Here for BvB!
I was super excited to see this on your AP because I love Lavender/Parvati. I really identify especially with Parvati. I mean, it's hard not to; like her, I'm an Indian girl with a twin sister haha! When I realized this chapter was about Parvati and Padma's sorting, I think I should've braced myself for the emotional impact this would have me on personally, but I didn't, so I was surprised by how emotional I felt after reading this.
I loved how you established the contrast between Parvati and Padma right away, right from the first line--Parvati is jittery and nervous, whereas Padma is curious and calm. They already show the characteristics of their two different houses, and I think that the way you showed that was really clever. I think in this situation, I'm definitely more like Parvati. I mean, I'm a Ravenclaw, there's no doubting that, but I would, like Parvati, feel a little anxious at the sight of the Sorting Hat, terrified at the prospect of losing my sister.
I really liked how you made Parvati acknowledge that she and her sister are different people too. I got the feeling when she was walking to the Sorting Hat that she knew that she wouldn't be sorted into Ravenclaw--which was probably why she had such trouble clapping along with the rest of the school when Padma was sorted. I think that was an interesting touch and a very realistic one too!
The only part I sort of disagreed with was Parvati's statement that they're more friends than sisters. I think that that's because I have a different understanding of what a sister is to me because I have a twin too, but I've always considered a sister as a step above a friend--like a soulmate in some aspects. I don't know however if Parvati would feel the same and this is honestly a little nitpicky and definitely influenced by my own experiences.
After I finished reading this, I was a little emotional because you captured Parvati's emotions perfectly. I could really put myself in her place, and maybe that's because I identify with her so much, but I think that even if I didn't, your description of her emotions would still make me feel just as sad. So, overall, I really loved this! Well done :)
The war is over and the Dark Lord has been defeated, but as the Golden Trio return to Hogwarts to complete their seventh year, the scars of the war remain. Hermione has been appointed Head Girl alongside Draco Malfoy. With an unknown threat lurking in the dark, is it possible they can build a new path that leads them all to something brighter?
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Hi, here for BvB!
I’m 1000% trash for a good Dramione fic and especially one with the Head Boy/Head Girl trope so I was really excited to start reading this fic. I’m even more excited now to keep reading it, seeing the interesting twist you’ve put on it! I love that you’ve put a secret between Draco and Hermione; I think that adds a layer of tension that’s definitely going to make this more interesting.
The scene with Hermione’s torture made me shiver and made me really angry too. I think you described this perfectly and I really appreciate how Hermione’s willpower and strength shined in that moment. I also liked the vulnerability that you showed in Draco there, something that I feel will likely be a focus throughout the entire fic, which I’m very excited about. I’m all for that, adding layers to characters :)
I think stylistically, it might be better to simply change the section that’s a flashback into italics. I think that’ll convey better that it’s in the past and in a different POV. Other than that, I loved it!
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Mum Friend (n.)- the one friend in the group who is always taking care of and looking out for everyone else; the responsible one
Unfortunately for designated mum friend Lyra Stebbins, she is about to find out that always taking care of everyone else comes with its own set of problems.
2017 F.R.O.G.S. Nominee- Best LGBTQA
Hi Claire! I'm here for BvB.
This fic has been on my TBR for a while and I'm glad I finally started reading it :) I really like the reference to The DUFF in the title and I think this is such a realistic concept, the mum friend (especially because among my friends, I'm 100% the mum friend).
So far, I really like Lyra--she's very witty and sweet and likable. I LOVE your characterization of Albus, Scorpius, Rose, Louis, and Roxy--I can already see their personalities sort of developing, which is pretty impressive considering I've only read ~2.5K. Usually it takes far longer for me to seethe wrsonalities of OCs or Next Gen characters.
I love that Lyra's working as a healer; I think it fits so well with her being the mum friend, feeling the compulsion to take care of everyone all the time. I'm wondering where she got this compulsion, and am generally very curious about Lyra as a whole. She's an intriguing and likable OC who I can really relate to, which is awesome!
Also, I ship her with Warrington... maybe because he seems sort of like a Mr. Darcy type character, and I have such a huge soft spot for Mr. Darcy type characters :D (And also because I'm the kind of person to ship two people after only one interaction hehe). :D
anyway, this was a great first chapter! :)
banner by amoretti.
Let's just say that James's father did not exactly sweep his mother off her feet.
First off, I love the title and the tribute to one of my favorite poems. I think it fits this fic very well!
I feel a little guilty saying this (don't tell JKR) but I quite like Tristan and Isolda's names, better than Charles and Dorea. They seem to fit right with what I'd expect James' parents to be named. But what's in a name anyway?
what I found most impressive was your characterization of Tristan and Isolda. Their names are truly perfect fits to their personalities; Tristan is charming, a player, very much like James in that respect. Isolda is down to earth and spunky which I absolutely adore. Her quip about Tristan's blood was hilarious :D I was very entertained reading this fic because her voice bled through the words, which is really very difficult to do so bravo with that :)
i sort of saw elements of Jily in their relationship, which was really cute! Just the fact that Isolda is an expert potioneer and Tristan is a little arrogant (I wonder, has Isolda called him an arrogant toerag in her head? :D) Perhaps they're just superficial observations but considering that I love Jily, that made me enjoy the fic even more :)
In the interrogation chamber of MACUSA, Gellert has a revelation.
For the 'HPFT Archive Grand Opening Drabble Challenge'.
I have to say first and foremost that I really love the almost lyrical nature of your prose; it reads with such nice flow. I can tell that each word is chosen with deliberation and it made my experience reading this fic all the more enjoyable.
I really loved the characterization of Gellert here. The way I see it, you’ve paired a picture of him as the original Dark Lord and with all the characteristics of such a man; he is cruel, he is vengeful, he is really dark and unforgiving. He has a hint of romanticism, perhaps, with the whole idea of his heart only beating for Albus, but that’s sort of corrupted by his desire to get revenge. I like how realistic his portrayal is, and how unique it is—most other Grindeldore fics that I’ve read humanize Gellert but you’ve shown the side of him that isn’t really human at all.
I loved most how your tone really showed his characterization. Calling Newt nondescript, right from the start, established Gellert’s character as someone who was holier than thou in some ways, which is a really nice nuance and an excellent use of word choice :)
Like everyone else, I too marvel at how you can show me so much about Gellert’s character through so few words. That’s amazing; you’ve got read talent!
The story of the first meeting between Ginny and Harry after the war, the way I see it.
This was so sweet--sugary, lovely fluff. I love Harry's patience and kind consideration of Ginny's feelings; I think if anyone can understand what he's going through, it would 100% be Harry, and you've depicted this perfectly. You reminded me why I like Hinny :) Nicely done!
The fantastic banner is made by darkwing. @tda
You’re intimidated by the new music, and you don’t know if you should tread any further from what’s familiar.
Written for SunshineDaisies' 'Short and Sweet Challenge' and Moonbaby11's 'Up for Grabs Challenge'.
Hi Manno! I'm here for BvB :)
This fic immediately caught my eye because I'm a huge lover of Ted/Andromeda, and I'm a sucker for fics that have large built-in metaphors. I'm really very glad that I stopped by because this fic took my breath away, quite literally.
I have to commend you for the level of thought and complexity that was clearly put into this fic. The metaphor of dancing works perfectly and was a very insightful association to make that illustrated Andromeda's life in a new light. I really liked the idea of the "ratio of soul to the ratio of precision" part at the beginning, which I feel illustrates the expectations of pureblood society in such a clever way. I also really liked this idea of taking something so abstract, passionate, and undefinable as dance and trying to quantify it--I think that functions as its own sort of metaphor, for the way Andromeda's family tries to control her passion and soul. So essentially you've got a metaphor inside a metaphor, which is just, wow. See what I mean with the level of thought? Very impressive.
I really liked the symbology of the feathers and I think that's a very realistic interpretation of Andromeda's feelings about herself. She is generally referred to as the odd one out among the three Black sisters, but I rarely see her portrayed as ashamed of that or confused by that or blaming herself because of that--I think that's a reaction that makes perfect sense, considering how she's been conditioned to behave a certain way and be a certain person.
I loved how Ted is set up as sort of a complete contrast to everything she's ever known in her life--I love the idea of him dancing to his own beat, of him being filled with vivaciousness and light and soul. I even noticed the mood of the fic change subtly when Ted was introduced, into something much more positive and happy than it was when Andromeda was repeating the steps of her dance.
I love how your portrayed her inner conflict--it was so heartbreakingly real and intense, like that whole last moment between Andromeda and Ted. I felt Andromeda's pain--this is when the fic stole my breath!--and I could feel myself getting pulled in two different directions, feeling the same confusion as Andromeda. To be able to recreate such an intense feeling... kudos to you!
I loved how tender that last moment between Andromeda and Ted was too, loved how you showcased the comfort that Ted provides, something that Andromeda really needs. I also like that you portrayed Andromeda to be brave, because yeah, she's leaving everything she's ever known for a man who is the complete opposite of everything she's ever known, so essentially for a world that is so intensely different from everything she knows. And yet, she faces this headon with the faith that Ted would catch her when she falls--that just speaks to me about the strength of her love for him.
I also just have to marvel at the beauty of this line: "You are twirling your way between the bars that once were the pillars that held your world together." Oh, wow. I could probably rave about this single line for another 200 words, that's how beautiful it is.
I also wanted to say, as a closing note, that I really liked the decision to use 2nd person here. No one else had commented on it, which surprised me! I think it was really fitting for a story like this which revolves around the character's emotions. 2nd person really did allow me to feel Andromeda's emotions at a level I would not have felt otherwise.
In your author's note you said that you're quite proud of this--as you should be. This was a stunning and honest and emotional portrayal of Andromeda. So we'll-crafted. Well done!
I'm drowning in this starry serenade
Where ecstacy becomes cavalier
A love story about a muggle, a witch, and flirting at the Smithsonian
Title and Lyrics from 'Alligator Sky' by Owl City | Banner by ameixas. @tda
Uh oh. I have a huge crush on David--this is definitely not good! Hahaha. You did a really great job showing David's choice; I can immediately see him being awkward, enthusiastic, and very likable. (I also like that he's a POC!!). I love that Lily's interested in astronomy and I really liked that David found her pretty only when she smiled; too often, the love interests are described as always perfect and it's nice to see a dose of realism :) This is creative and interesting, and I can't wait to read more!
Haha! It's okay if you have a crush on David! He's pretty neat! I'm happy that you like him so far! Thanks for the wonderful review :)
Fred says goodbye to his family
And asks them to remember
Written for TidalDragon's The Knockout Challenge @HPFF | Banner by Enigma @tda
ohmygod this made me cry and smile and laugh all at the same time—why do you do this to me?! My heart can't handle this level of love. Ahhhh. There's just too much I love about this, but if I had to choose my favorite part of this fic was how Fred's love and voice shone through. He's still so Fred, which is spectacular and impressive.
Major applause. I'll be rereading this, for sure.
So many emotions! I am very happy with this outcome! The love can be a little too much to handle - which is the aim of the game :P I'm very happy that you enjoyed it! Thanks for dropping by :)
Becoming Mrs. Astoria Malfoy.
Hi! I will say honestly that I'm not really a Draco/Astoria shipper but this fic migjht have converted me a little hahaha. I loved the humor--especially Astoria's dad. I guess we'll know where to look it Draco ever disappears mysteriously? :D
Both Draco and Astoria's personalities shined. I can tell that Astoria is confident, sassy, and clever, all fantastic qualities in a main character. I can also tell that she's decisive and a little spoiled, which is very realistic for a character of her upbringing. I think you considered her background and Draco's personality and built a character that is really perfect for him. Draco was freaking adorable in this fic; I loved his flustering awkwardness and his obvious love for Astoria. I also think that you captured his insecurities after the war very well; it makes sense that Draco would feel guilty and undeserving after all that he did during the war, and I liked that this played a factor in this fic.
My favorite line: "...You know my girls are my world and you were just some boy trying to snake his way into my daughter's...garments.” He cringed at the thought and Draco did as well. Of all the ways for him to put it.
Very funny and sweet!
Harry indulges Albus in his first quidditch game
Hi! This fic was actually on my TBR labeled as "the fluffy fic that'll probably make you cry and grin and a loser"... and my expectations were completely met and even surpassed. This was so freaking adorable. I completely absolutely 100% agree with you that Harry would treat his kid like this and not like the neglectful jerk he was in CC--especially because of how he was treated by the Dursleys.
So many things to love about this fic. Harry's resignation over Albus's traitorous love for the Cannons. Fierce Rose--I think this portrayal of her as protective and love is much more true to her nature than what was portrayed in CC. Albus's tiny fists (I LOVE BABIES ❤️). Harry being proud of Albus's natural seeking ability. The front row seats. Gosh, everything about it was so sweet and loving.
The entire time I was imagining James doing something similar for Harry and crying a little (okay a lot). I loved that you focused on Harry's love for his son and his desire to make his son feel loved and never neglected--absolutely in character.
The only thing I didn't like about this was that it was so short! I wanted more fluffy sweetness haha!
He was going to go have dinner in peace and maybe put up a few flyers for new best friends." Hahaha! Poor Lee--are you sure he's actually a Gryffindor? Hehe.
Because I'm a scaredy cat, I got a little spooked reading this too; the description was good enough that I was a teeny but scared and reminded of the first and last haunted house I ever went to. Like Lee, I also might've screamed a little haha.
This was a neat idea and something very characteristic of Fred and George. I like their little banter at the end; their sense of humor was completely in-character: witty, without being silly. I especially liked the bit about the photographs; I imagine that Fred and George would definitely take advantage of that. I was hoping at some point there'd be a Snape popping out, like the booby traps in 12 Grimmauld Place, but a head coming out of the toilet would do just fine too haha :) Well-written, as always!
For some reason, there is a ball at Hogwarts. Draco Malfoy, for some other reason, is determined to ask Hermione Granger.
I laughed so hard my tummy hurts. Ow. It was totally worth it though; this was so funny!
Some things, once lost, are gone forever
Written for Winding Arrow's Amnesia Challenge
Oh god. This was... at a different level than any other George-fic I've read before.
The subtlety in this fic is marvolous--I loved the bits and pieces of each sibling (the toilet seats, the dragonhide jacket) in his house, represented in something commonplace and simple but so so significant. You ddn't try to draw too much attention to it; you let the objects speak for themselves, which is very difficult to do. In fact, the entire fic was very subtly done--with something dramatic like this, it's hard not to go over the top, but you kept the suspense well.
I think that the most brilliant part was the last line, which is so poetic and tragic and captures his pain perfectly. I felt George's regret and surprise and pain in that one moment, which is amazing. Bravo.
I'm just wondering if there's any significance about the date May 5th... if anything, I would've expected May 2nd, but perhaps there's a reason for May 5th being the date you chose?
Her name is Bernice Fenwick. She lives in a flat with her twin brother, Benjamin Fenwick. She loves Evelyn Fairbanks, a muggle. Today is Valentine’s Day. She will tell Evvie about magic today.
I want to start by saying that this made me so emotional, not just because of the tragedy of Evelyn and Bernie, but because of the tragedy of Benny and Bernie. I'm a twin so whenever I read a fic where twins are separated, it feels so awful. And seeing how close Benjy and Bernie clearly are, it felt like a punch to the gut when I finally realized what had happened (even worse, knowing that their parents are dead).
This is a masterpiece in subtlety. Right from the beginning, the nonlinear structure had me hooked and asking tons of questions; I actually laughed at the first line, which is so very telling of Benjy's personality and made me inappropriately amused.
The description of the suffocating noise gave me chills. You so artfully captured her emotions in this section--Bernie feels disjointed and confused and as if everything is happening at once, and you captured this through her almost distractedness--first thinking that she just needs quiet, then that the curtains need a break, and then, of Evie. I like that all of her thoughts lead back to Evie.
I love how the characters have been influenced by this politically charged atmosphere, how this adds a layer to their characterization that makes them even more likable--and makes the tragedy even more tragic. Most of all, I love how effortless that was. Only 2000 words, and I still feel so much sympathy for Bernie, Benjy, and Evie. That's amazing.
What I loved the most was the descriptions of contrasts between Bernie and Benjy and Bernie and Evie. They both establish how now Bernie is separate from two of the most important people in her life and honestly made me want to cry! I also really loved how you captured Bernie's emotions in this situation; she feels this awful guilt but also this disbelief and denial, like her brain is rejecting what happened and wants to wind the clock back, as if it didn't happen at all. I think that is such a realistic reaction after a tragic mistake.
The ending, however, was my favorite part, especially the last line. It honestly broken my heart—the perfect tragic ending, establishing the injustice of all this, and making it even more painful.
Wow, I'm honestly amazed that through only 2,000 words, you can evoke such powerful emotions. Bravo!
Men were never meant to be gods.
Before the Peverell brothers were immortal, they were dead. Before they were dead, they were dying, bit by bit by bit.
This read like a true Greek tragedy, from the poetic quality of your description to the repetition to the rises and falls in action to the deeply flawed humanness of the characters. I'm really in awe of your writing ability--I wanna be like you when I grow up (haha)! Really, I love how you use description to enhance the story rather than simply as a chore needed to set the scene. You understand that every word counts in a good story so every word must be chosen with careful deliberation--and it shows in the quality of this fic. I don't really know what else to say.
i will say that the level of description has left me feeling all the emotions of the characters. So I've got to go look at some cat videos or rainbows or something to cheer myself up (which is a very good thing--I'm impressed that you could truly make me feel such complicated emotions. Bravo!)
credit to beyond the rain @ tda
She almost flinched as Parvati reached out for her hand; something about the warmth touched Lavender in a way she hadn't felt in months.
Lavender Brown/Parvati Patil
Ah, don't mind me, just sweeping up the pieces of my broken heart... *hands then over* Here you go.
In all seriousness, this was so poignant and emotional that I was surprised it was your first attempt at angst! The level of description and thought put into this is so clear through all its subtle elements; I liked how you showed how alone Lavender felt, her shame. I liked that you showed her pain, doubt, and anger--not just at herself but at the rest of the world too; I think this is a very realistic emotion that's complicated and not always the easiest thing to talk about. Her doubt of her relationship with Parvati, however heartbreaking, is also so fitting. Really, you definitely explored all the complex emotions after Lavender's attack and portrayed them so well. I had tears in my eyes.
Two lines stuck out to me, though the entire thing has very beautiful prose. "After that, nothing; it was like her tears had drained every inch of human out of her." Oh god. Talk about an emotional sucker punch! This, to me, was the most heartbreaking line in this fic, and it painted a beautifully sad visual. Wow. The second line was "Words were so easy for her", which to me captures another aspect of Lavender's pain after the war—she doesn't know how to talk about what she's feeling, which is so realistic.
I think the ending was beautiful. I love that Lavender focused on Parvati's scent, something familiar and comforting that was also everlasting; she didn't focus on her beauty because that would fade and change. Gosh. I was practically full on crying by then. This whole fic, to me, is a masterpiece in description and emotion. You were able to accurately portray all of these emotions without being over the top, which to me is stunning. Well done!! ❤️
You are never too old for a heart to heart chat with your mum.
Written in 2009. Banner by .Equus @ TDA.
Ahh I need to get some tissues after this! This was a very sweet and tender fic that touched my heart. As a twin myself, I know that the worst thing that can happen to any twin is losing their twin; I think you've portrayed the residue feelings of that loss very well. It makes sense that the feelings of grief would return now for George. I loved that George retained his sense of humor and easy-going personality, but I loved more that it has so clearly been weathered a little by grief and loss and pain.
my favorite part was when Molly asked George what she'd say to his dad if she died of laughter, and George replied so easily that he'd say that Fred made him do it--that was perfect, considering their earlier conversation. Loved it!
Thank you for this amazing review. It was wonderful to get, and to know that I touched on such a hard subject with reality and tenderness. I appreciate your feedback, especialy as a twin.
I tried very hard to make George still be George, because I refuse to write him as always broken, but I also wanted to show that he is certainly changed. And also will never stop missing Fred.
Parvati Patil had many secrets. She balanced them like spinning plates, always terrified that one might drop and shatter.
But in the midst of chaos, Parvati found serenity in the Forbidden Forest.
First off, this was a fascinating fic to read :) I haven't actually read that many fics about Parvati alone; I've read tons with Parvati/Lavender, but not many about solely Parvati, so this was rather refreshing, honestly :)
That description of Parvati's secrets like seeds... wow. I have to take a moment to appreciate that beautiful analogy, and how it connects deeply to Parvati's character as someone who loves and appreciates and connects best with nature.
The serene atmosphere was created perfectly, right from the line "The forest was still." That established a sense of time slowing down, of time being stuck on this beautiful moment for a few moments before it sped up again, going way too fast. And then the descriptions of the unicorns... reading about this, I could imagine myself in Parvati's place, feeling the unicorns' warmth.
I loved how you sort of created a parallel between the secrets at the beginning of the chapter and Parvati's new secret--those secrets were dark, insiduous--they were like poison ivy in her chest. This is perahps more like a rose or, befittingly, a golden apple, something to think about fondly. I loved this idea of light v.s. dark and how that theme was built into this story.
I really enjoyed this! Thank you for sharing it with us :)
“Two brooms walk into a bar…” does that sound like an opening to a bad wizarding joke? Right. Combine that with the wise saying that every joke has some truth to it. That bit is what this story is about.
(banner by me)
I enjoyed reading this fic :) I wanted to point out that I noticed a few minor grammatical/spelling errors ('you' instead of 'your', 'worm' instead of 'warm'), but they're easily fixed. Didn't detract much from my reading of the fic. I was really drawn in with the second-person POV and the unique narration style. I didn't quite understand the formulas until the end notes where everything was sort of tied in. After the end notes, I read it again and the connections between the formulas and the little subtitles under each made a lot more sense. I personally feel conflicted about the equations; after reading the end notes they seem to bring a whole new level of thought to the fic, but at first, I was quite confused and didn't really look at them, other than to trace how the variables from one equation were used in the other. I think their involvement was too minimal to be very significant to the story. But your mileage may vary.
I really liked the narration from the afterlife and the descriptiveness of the world found on the Moon. It was really compelling and creative (love the idea of learning through memories!); you definitely achieved your goal of writing about a setting outside of the Earth. I think that perhaps you could've connected some of these elements to the equations? Just to make it seem more cohesive. The actual plotline was quite cohesive and engaging, but missed a connection to the equations & subtitles.
Overall, though, I found this fic to be very unique! Rating: 7.0
A Pride and Prejudice College AU
Aww! This was so cute. I loved Lizzie and Jane's relationship, so well characterized. I wish there was more awkward Darcy because even the little moments (his ears tinging red, for example) were making me grin like an idiot :D
On the longest day of the year, Severus always wondered why.
Banner - Dora Winifred @ TDA
This was so sad. Reading this, I felt so much sympathy for Snape; I think that the topic of his family is not really one that's breached so often, and this scene specifically, isn't that discussed. Most of the time if there are any fics revolving around Snape's childhood, they center exclusively on his friendship with Lily--I liked that you explored another side of Snape's life, which adds to the tragedy. This was a deep moment that was described very artfully; you captured the emotion and drama without being too dramatic, which is very hard to do. You also captured Severus's innocence throughout the whole thing, which made it even more heartbreaking. Very well done!
Men become accustomed to poison by degrees - Victor Hugo
It is October 1949: Lycus Malfoy is dying, quarantined in his house alone but for his wife, Adelaide, who still hopes there is a miracle cure; Eileen Prince has vanished into a Muggle life, washing the dead and arranging flowers, away from the sneers she endured at school; Cygnus and Orion Black are at war with each other even as they bury their secrets six feet deep.
There is a murderer on the loose, shrouded in paranoia, and the old structures, things of blood and age and time, are starting to crumble.
And a ship arrives from Lübeck bringing Tom Riddle home.
Hi Laura! Here for our review swap :)
So I was taking some notes as I was reading this so that I could form a coherent, well-organized, and helpful review... and well. All my notes were basically me quoting your lines back at you and raving about how beautifully written they are haha. I had to read this a couple times before I could finally come up with some good feedback points to offer you.
I wanted to start off by saying that, as always, I really appreciate the lyrical nature of your writing. I study a lot of classical literature for school and your writing mimics a lot of those writers that I'm familiar with—Oscar Wilde, Robert Louis Stevenson, etc. The only modern writer whose writing seems a bit like yours is Donna Tartt (I don't know if you've read any of her books?). Anyway. It's a compliment, I promise--your writing is an immersive experience. I really love the usage of colors, sounds, and other imagery to build the setting and illustrate ideas about the characters; this brings your writing to a whole other level.
I was hooked immediately from the beginning. I loved how you established the mood of chaos at the beginning, using different elements of the setting to convey that. I think it was a very smart choice to start with describing the sounds; loud, alarming sounds are the best way to capture chaos. I liked how you used the analogy to the "orchestra out of sync" and your other word choice too, recreating some of the sounds. There was even some nice onomatopoeia ("quick", "sprightly", "little", "sharp").
That first paragraph was, however, most effective in serving as a point of contrast to the description of Tom, who is so well put-together, standing perfectly still where everyone else is in constant motion, with his neat outfit and everything. I really liked this description because it emphasized his calmness amidst chaos, a sort of deadly quality about Tom that I don't find is really touched upon much in most Riddle fics.
I liked how you subtly mentioned other characteristics of Tom in this first chapter. For example, I loved how you described his irritation with the officer, emphasizing his passiveness. I think the use of the words "frayed" and "singed" here are very appropriated; they created an image of Riddle as a sort of ticking bomb, which is, firstly, very in-character, and secondly, creates an image of him being calm on the outside but chaotic on the inside—presenting one face, but showing another, which is completely 100% in-character. I'm impressed that only two words could illustrate that much to me; this just speaks to the level of thought put into this fic, with each word chosen so carefully.
I also liked Tom's interaction with the officer because it showed his malevolence and dangerousness--I saw this when he was alone by himself, running a hand through his hair, disrupting his composed appearance, and in the flare of irritation he felt when he was talking to Cygnus. I think these images together illustrated that Tom's natural state is not at rest but rather chaos, which is a really fitting characteristic and an interesting one.
Tom's interaction with Cygnus was the most interesting part of this first chapter. Cygnus is so clearly in love with Tom, so desperate for his attention—I liked how you conveyed this in the wistfulness in his voice and his overeager questions and his constant touching. I liked too that Tom knows that and manipulates that a little; that reminded me of his interaction with Bellatrix, in the future, how she was so endlessly devoted to him. I think that's an interesting touch, considering Cygnus's relationship to Bellatrix. It really showed that manipulative side of Tom.
The most intriguing aspect of this first chapter was Adelaide, and I actually think I like her the most as a character (although Eileen is a close second!). I loved how you developed her sense of separateness from Lycus and his family, describing her woe at being physically apart from her family, and the mental separation she clearly feels from Lycus's family. After all, she referenced the portraits on his walls as his lineage, not theirs. A single word, and yet it conveyed so much about Adelaide's relationship with Lycus. I also noted that her last name is Macmillan, which makes me think that she might've been a Hufflepuff, which would be another contrast between her and Lycus.
Eileen as a character is also fascinating. I feel that she hasn't really been developed much, other than sort of being portrayed as a quiet observer. Her perceptiveness is interesting though, and I'm excited to see more of her interaction with Tom.
The last subtle thing that I loved about this fic was hte description of the "delayed casualties." I think that's a brilliant, heartbreaking, but true concept, and one that really illustrates the unjustness war, its rhymeless and reasonless nature.
I've just raved for a while about how wonderful this was, and I'm struggling to find any CC. I think I would say that there are places were a quick edit would help--maybe just a couple commas missing, here and there. I also think that the "twins in the womb" description, which was Eileen's reaction to Tom, is a little bit of a strange image (but that might be because I'm a twin, haha!). The only major con-crit I have was that I didn't really get a feel for Eileen's character yet—though I find her inclusion to be very interesting. But these are, all, picky con-crits--really, this first chapter is wonderful the way that it is.
I loved it, and hope to read the next chapter soon!
- Shreya :)
In the fall of 1998, Hermione Granger agrees to help Unspeakables with a subject she has experience with. Yet, what seems like a simple matter results in surprising consequences. She has just found romance at the end of the Second Wizarding War, but a twist of fate has sent her to the midst of First Wizarding War and some unusual companions.
For dirigibleplum's Classic Fanfiction Tropes challenge || [Hermione/Regulus]
This is a very intriguing and exciting start to a story that I'm looking forward to continuing to read :) I like Hermione's characterization in this, and the plot makes perfect sense--cool idea!