*Transferred from HPFF*
I picked this story for a few reasons. 1) You are an amazing author, and everything you touch is gold. 2) Slytherin represent! 3) I don’t read much microfiction, mainly because I am confused as to what on earth it is. I am curious as to what this story will hold.
Blaise’s story was so cool! I really liked that you focused on the physical with him. It’s all about his breath and his flying. This isn’t a “shower thoughts” exercise for him – he’s all about that altitude sickness and being one with the physical world for a change. You wrote so little about why he’s doing this, but it still speaks volumes. Your skill with subtlety really shines through here.
I must admit, that I found it difficult to connect with Millicent’s story. I could empathise with Blaise, but Millicent… it was a struggle. This is not a bad thing! Well done for writing unlikeable characters, and letting them remain unlikeable, whilst still having their stories heard.
(Side note: I think it’s a very clever and fun thing you’ve done here, using the last word of the previous story as the first word of the next one. It made my nerd mind giggle.)
It is an odd image to think of Gregory as a mama’s boy, but it’s still sweet. And I’ve never dwelt on it, really, but it must have been so difficult for him, after Crabbe dies. That was his best friend! They did evil things together! A bond like that hurts when it’s broken.
I was expecting more from Pansy’s story. But I think you’ve covered that base there by saying that the Parkinson family has nothing to say anymore. Now the war is over, so are their words. Perhaps Pansy isn’t quite ready to tell her story yet, and you’ve really captured that here, keeping even her thoughts superficial.
Ah, Draco. Again, you’ve taken the circular approach here, choosing to focus on the physical aspects of Draco’s life, rather than the emotional, similar to Blaise’s opening story. Different from Blaise, however, as you’ve chosen to focus on the people. It still remains outside of Draco, though. For me, it seems to mirror Draco’s state of mind. He’s trying to make amends, but maybe he’s not quite ready to do that yet, as evidenced by his still significant pride. And those people around him are pushing those feelings down, too.
You’ve definitely piqued my interest in microfiction! This was such an excellent introduction to that particular format of story-telling. I, of course, expected nothing less, since I know what a wonderful writer you are! Well done!
Thank you for picking this story - it was a bit of a challenge for me to write it because, as you may have noticed from my other stories, I tend to write very long chapters, rather than five stories which are only 100 words long in one story. I'm glad you enjoyed it!
I think Blaise is probably the most likeable of the characters that's included in this story, so it worked well to start with him, and then go on from there to explore the other characters. I wanted to delve into the Slytherin students we only ever see in the school setting and see how their lives change after the war. It's so interesting that you couldn't connect much with Millicent's story when other people have felt more sympathetic towards her. Draco's was probably the hardest of these stories to write, purely because he's written so often and we see much more of him in canon, but I really enjoyed writing it.
Thank you so much for this review!
Hi, I’ve read this story on HPFF when it was nominated to the Dobby, but I did not leave you a proper review then. So I’m coming back now that we have a nice archive at HPFT :)
I’m just realizing that you had a format constraint for a challenge (five stories of one hundred words each), I think you did great there, and this format worked perfectly with the story you aimed to tell.
Rebuilding era is difficult to write about (I think) since we do not have much information about it in canon. But we do have a lot of post-war history (in Muggle history) so everyone has an idea about these kind of periods, which (I think) makes it even more difficult, to write about it in a believable way. And I think you did great here on both fronts!
I love that you use your title “circles” to begin and end the story. It is such a simple and harmless word at first (flying in circles – what could be more natural than that), yet it becomes grave the way you use it, and it gives a depressing sense that we cannot leave the circle, that we are your repeating round after round (history repeating itself kind of…)
I also liked that you used characters that we knew from the books, and that these were characters we did not particularly like, yet you managed to give depth to them, and show another side. 100 words are not a lot for that, but it was perfectly enough for you.
I think I said that in other reviews as well, so I’m just repeating that I really like your writing style and your choice of words to convey emotions!
Hi - thank you for coming back and leaving a review on this story!
Yes, the challenge was microfiction, so I had to write stories of no more than 100 words each, and I'm glad that you thought I managed to work well within the format constraints. We don't have much canon information about the period after the war, particularly with regards to the people outside of the Weasley family, but I definitely drew some inspiration from Muggle history to try and write about this period and the five characters in a believable way, and that you thought I managed to give some depth to these characters, even in such a short word count.
The use of the title to begin and end the story was very deliberate, and I'm so glad you picked up on the meanings that I intended for it to have, and that I managed to convey the idea of history repeating itself.
Thank you for this lovely review and your kind words on my writing!
Transferred from HPFF
Hufflepuff CtF Review
How have I not read this before? I love micro fiction (not just because I’m a wimp about reading long stories), and there are never too many introspective stories about Slytherins imo.
I love how much you’ve focused in on each character in these perfectly short little stories. Yu resist the temptation to spell out too much about what they’re thinking or feeling, and your descriptions are really effective at intensely grounding us in the moment, like a fully immersive snapshot.
I really really like the section on Millicent. You really honed in on the complexities of the situation right away, how the students being forced to torture each other put them in such horrible positions, between the personal trauma and the threat of consequences from the outer world.
I couldn’t bring myself to sympathize with Goyle so much, but I really like how in that section you emphasized hollowness and emptiness.
The Pansy section is interesting, because there is a lot unanswered there (which works well with what is unspoken). Did Pansy and her parents have similar or opposing views? Is their silence because they have have fallen out with each other, or because they are so disappointed in themselves, individually or collectively?
Ugh, can we not witch hunt children, please?
I wouldn’t totally agree with the fact that Draco had no choice (more that he was ignorant to start with and made a stupid choice, which very quickly became having no choice). But that grayness makes this even more complicated and engaging.
I think you've probably managed to cover all of my AP in reviewing events from the last few years, which obviously means I'm going to have to write something new, doesn't it? :P
This was actually a really fascinating story to write; I haven't written much about Slytherins before, but it was so fun to try and balance the moments of introspection after the war and then the limited word counts imposed by it being microfiction. I don't think that all of these characters necessarily deserve redemption or forgiveness - or even sympathy - but they definitely deserve to have their stories told.
I think that Millicent's section was probably my favourite to write - she's a character we know so little about (past the appearances she makes in the Inquisitorial Squad and the second book) and no matter what beliefs they held, I can't imagine that all the children at Hogwarts could escape that year unscathed, because they were children. Goyle is a character I struggle with myself, but I'm glad you found Pansy's section interesting too and that it made you ask questions.
I'd agree with you as far as Draco is concerned - he did have a choice, and he was old enough to change his mind in the end about those choices, despite the fact he made a stupid choice at the start, but for me it kind of echoed the trials and the excuses that people on the wrong side of history offered after wars. He's such an interesting character and I'm more sympathetic to him than some of the others, but I'd definitely like to explore that more.
Thank you for this review!