I’m just dropping by to leave you a review for Quodpot Match 2 which is about war!
The writing in this is beautiful, but then again, I’d expect nothing less from you. Your description is always flawless. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy reading your work so much. I love the way you talked about the stars in this.
I was a bit unsure about how the characters were. I’m thinking the crazy one is Bellatrix since she dueled Molly, but I’ve no idea who it is that loves her. McGonagall seems too old. Maybe Sprout or Trewlaney or Pomfrey? I can’t quite tell.
I love how you describe Bellatrix throughout the story. You make her sound refined and beautiful and wild in her terror. Someone to be feared. Someone horrible, but someone you can’t help respecting.
Interesting that the narrator fears that Bellatrix will kill her. Only Molly prevents that. I still for the life of me can’t imagine who it is.
Good work as always!
Ah, that's so sweet of you to say, thank you! I found it particularly difficult to include descriptions the same way I usually would in this piece because I didn't include the letter E in it. I don't think I realised until I wrote this just how often we use that letter (like how many times I've used that letter in this response). Anyway, what I'm trying to say is: I'm really flattered that you enjoyed my descriptions in this, and the star motif.
I can understand the confusion about the narrator, although you're definitely right with Bellatrix! I wanted to leave some ambiguity in the story so that readers could try and work out who the narrator was, or decide for themselves, but I imagine her as Aurora Sinistra, which again is intended to tie in with the star motif. It was so interesting to try and describe Bellatrix through her eyes, and explore a love that she knew Bellatrix didn't deserve. I'm glad you enjoyed this, and thank you for stopping by with the review!
Oh my god Sian, this was so good. I’m stunned. I actually had to stop, and just revel in how well done this is. Like... you amaze me! First off, your handling of the constraint was masterful. I’ve always thought that the letter e is rather necessary (having already used it so many times in this review), but its removal detracted nothing from this story—only made it that much more amazing. I wonder, was it really difficult to do that? I bet it challenged your vocabulary quite a bit.
This actually read quite quite a bit like poetry. Your descriptions are beautiful; there were so many lines that were poetic in nature and made me sigh and want to copy them down to remember, because they just sounded so profoundly perfect. Actually the ending (“and fall. and fall.” & “you burnt the most brightly of them all.”) seemed almost like a couplet.
Aside from your lovely descriptions and writing style, I loved the duality with which you presented Bellatrix. I didn’t think that anyone could find her beautiful, and yet, your main character did make her seem strikingly beautiful—but sort of captured that it wasn’t a conventional sort of beauty, but rather a dangerous kind of beauty, which is absolutely appropriate for someone like Bellatrix. And I liked that your main character was still perfectly aware of Bellatrix’s evilness too. I liked the touches about them being stuck in a “prison of adoration”, “intrinsically bound”—I liked this feeling of being trapped, which seems fitting consider who he is in love with.
i’m curious about who the speaker is, though! Aurora Sinistra? That’s such a creative and unique choice. This is really the rarest of the rare pairs, but I find I like this idea: an astronomy professor having a love affair with a dying star. Beautiful, tragic.
I loved this so much. And I gotta add you to my favorite authors because truly, your writing blows me away every time <3
Shreya! Ah, this review <3 It's kind of hard finding the words to reply properly to this but here goes...
I'm so happy that you think the lack of the letter E added to the story rather than detracted anything from it. It was really difficult to write, and involved a lot of editing as I went and structuring sentences differently, but I was most worried that the phrasing would come across as clunky and unnatural and the fact that you thought it read like poetry at times is one of the best compliments you could give me.
Bellatrix's character was so interesting to write from this perspective! Fanfiction has made me find Bellatrix a much more fascinating character than I did from just reading the books, but I still struggle (and think most people do) to think of her as anything but evil - so it was really fun to write from the perspective of someone who was aware of that and yet couldn't help loving her in spite of it. Aurora Sinistra was going to be my narrator from when I thought of doing this challenge, but the object of her affections only came through writing it - so I'm really pleased you thought it was a creative choice!
Thank you so much for this wonderful review and for showering me with so many thoughtful and kind words <3
Is this... is this told in Professor Sinistra's perspective and is it a confession of love for Bellatrix? That's incredible! The only reason I've come to this conclusion is because of the lines where the narrator say that her job to watch the night sky, who was also present at the Battle of Hogwarts (as she saw the second person in question storm the castle) and, of course, the second person must be Bellatrix (context clues being the spiralling dark hair, the nod to Slytherin, her obsession with the Dark Lord, and of course, her Death at Molly's hand). I've never considered this ship, as unrequited as the love is, and I absolutely love it (especially given the fact that it is unreturned). It's sad, thinking of Sinistra secretly loving Bellatrix, being separated from her in their life choices, and then watching her return to Hogwarts, in battle as she follows Voldemort that ends her life.
This was definitely unique and I can't believe you managed it without using the letter 'e'. That's insane, especially given that you couldn't ever use the word 'the'! Fantastic job!
It is! I really wanted it to be a bit of an ambiguous pairing/narrator in this story, and it's been really interesting seeing who people think the story's about, but most people manage to put the clues together and arrive at the pairing I was thinking of. I haven't seen it before either, and it's mostly a pairing that grew from writing this, from the first couple of lines that I wrote for the story. It was really fun to play around with the idea of Bellatrix's character and have her viewed in an entirely different way to normal. Writing without the letter E was certainly a challenge, but I'm so glad it worked out!
Thank you for the lovely review!
THIS IS SO AMAZING. Your words: simply stunning. It flows almost lyrically, and it is particularly astounding as that woman in this story is Sirius' most awful cousin. I had not thought I would find such kind, admiring words about this woman. Your writing flows so naturally, and I almost forgot that you did away with that most common symbol.
I'm musing upon who this narrator is. An instructor at Hogwarts, I think, but I don't know who in particular. Your story of this narrator's almost worship of that bright-burning star is so sad.
Formulating this analysis of your writing, also without using that most common symbol, has shown to this author just what a difficult task you took on and I am blown away by how you did it. Amazing work.
(Response transferred from HPFF)
YOU are amazing! I was so happy to see this review so quickly after posting the story, and one so sweet and lovely too - you're awesome!
I'm so glad that this seemed to actually flow properly and that the word choices actually worked - it was SO hard to write a whole story without the letter 'E', I was just searching my document for it the whole time :P (You've done a good job not using the letter in your review, by the way!)
I think it turned out kind of twisted because the narrator was so invested in Bellatrix, who really is just awful, but I wanted to show that love isn't always rational! And I have the narrator in mind as Aurora Sinistra, if you wanted to know - but it can be anyone you like, really!
Thank you so much for this awesome review, you're just amazing! ♥