Hey Sian! I'm here for October RvG - Team Gold
A Victoire-centered fic? Sign me up, please! And an exploration of the Curse Breaking field... yes, please! These elements are already so intriguing.
I love everything about this piece: the lack of glamor of curse breaking paired with the most thrilling aspects of it; the solitude of Victoire; her fondness for Bill and Teddy (their characterization through Victoire's inner monologue about them is amazing--from wise old dad to caring and cheeky [what I assume to be] bpyfriend); the ties of Anglo-Saxon Runes what the past... brilliant! Binchester and Escomb are now on my UK travel list!
"...it turned out that the Elder Futhark and Hieroglyphs taught at Hogwarts were of little use for British burial sites from the last millennium" If Hogwarts isn't teaching applicable Runes, then what kind of curriculum are they implementing over there? I wonder what their justification for the aforementioned Runes are, then. Maybe they're useful for another career field? I would love to see some of the sources you used for this fic. It all sounds so interesting!
Again, I love how you explore Curse Breaking in this fic. This is relatively unexplained in the Potter books. But I wonder about the ethical implications of removing treasure from tombs? Sure, those buried there don't need it, but exactly who's gaining from this enterprise? This isn't a critique of your writing at all. In fact, this piece has brought up something that I haven't thought about in a while: about the gathering of ancient artifacts in these famous museums in the Muggle world. What knowledge and power relations were utilized in retrieving these treasures of human history? Do these ends justify the means? This would be an interesting topic to cover in a follow-up fic, maybe (hint, hint). But anyway, this fic is a great expansion in the HP universe!
Wondering writing, Sian! I hope to read more of yours soon!
Hi hi hi! :) So I LOVED this to piece when I first read it, I think not long after you posted it, and I always meant to come back and review it so I'm so excited to get the chance to review it properly now :)
I gotta say first off that I really, really love the subverting expectations idea of Victorie, going into Curse-breaking - such a glamerous and exciting profession (both in-universe and in almost every fic ever about it :P) - and being so completely underwhelmed her first time out in the field, only for it to sort of redeem itself at the end. It's such a cool idea, and it's so fascinating to see something which goes into detail about British stuff - runes and forts and history -, rather than the usual hieroglyphs and ancient pharoah's tombs :P The detail you put into this on that was so cool - did you have to do much research for it? Because it felt like you knew exactly what you were talking about :)
I love Victoire. I love all the little details you put into her character - how Teddy gave her the flask of water, how Teddy taught her the wine spell at seventeen (lots of Teddy, I noticed :P), how Bill had tried to impress on her what curse-breaking is really like and she'd resisted, sticking to her guns, and, in the end, overcoming her disappointment at being sent to damp, boring, old England rather than Egypt or Greece. She's such a great character, she feels so real and fully-rounded - I kinda hope you have more plans to write with her, because she's so good and I'd love to see more :)
As always, your writing was amazing. You write action scenes so, so well - the whole thing flowed so beautifully and had this great pace to it. It's a real skill to get it right, but I'm not surprised because I don't think I've ever seen something you can't write well :P I loved all the description of the places and the detail with the runes and what they looked like, how they were hidden under the stones. The riddle, too :)
It was great - I loved it just as much as the first time I read it :P
Ah, you coming along and reading an Ancient Runes story is kind of nerve-wracking for me, but I'm so glad that you enjoyed this story!
Victoire was such a fun character for me to write! I have quite a bit of head canon for her, and she appears in Jigsaw, of course, but I've never really had a proper idea to write a full-length story about her before, so it was really fun to write this one-shot and explore her profession and her character ore. The Curse-breaking sounds so fun, but it's a common theme in my stories that glamorous, interesting professions aren't often all they're cracked up to be, so I really enjoyed this. Writing the British runes and including our history was so much fun, too - I feel like that's not often included in the stories which do feature curse-breaking, but it has to be done, right? I didn't actually know very much about runes beforehand - the history side of things, more so - but I'm glad that it seemed detailed enough!
Hehe of course there's lots of Teddy - they do get married in my head canon, after all :P (and in Jigsaw, too, haha) I really think that Bill would want to make sure she makes her career choice for the right reasons (in my experience, most parents try to be honest with their kids if they want to follow them into the same profession) and I'm so happy you thought Victoire's character seemed well-rounded, and that the action and descriptions flowed well.
Thank you so, so much for this lovely review!
Okay. Firstly, and most importantly, can we please discuss the fact that of all the stories I could have read tonight, I chose one with a RIDDLE!?!
Honestly, I got SO EXCITED. And yes, I absolutely paused and tried to solve it before reading through to find the answer. I was not correct, but I think my guess had potential! I thought perhaps it was the Wind or the Breeze. Something like that. Because there are old winds and new winds, so age and youth, as well as sweetness when the breeze picks up perhaps the scent of flowers or pies resting on windowsills, and it can never die, and it breathes life into everything, really, so... Anyway. I had fun! hahaha Great riddle, and the real answer fit perfectly, of course! Really well done (but you've always been great at creating riddles, so no surprise there)!
Anyway, about the actual story itself!
Girl. Your descriptions are genuinely gorgeous. I was originally planning to grab some quotes to read back to you, but I was getting so carried away because the entire thing is quotable! It's all so beautifully put! I especially love the imagery of the surronding area. Just lovely. You paint exquisite pictures with your words.
You've also completely made me want to write my own story involving Ancient Runes! This was so cool to imagine! So creative and fun and inspired. And you manage to make Victoire very three-dimensional within such a small block of words, so that I root for her from start to finish to solve all the mysteries.
Lastly, I love that your Author's Note talks about the location and the history behind the influences in this story. You are such an authentic writer, and reading that background information made the whole thing feel that much more special.
Ah, of course you managed to choose one with a riddle! Fun story: I was trying to write this at the same time as doing a bunch of other tasks for the House Cup finale, and writing the riddle was SO DIFFICULT. I can write them (ish - I'm not at your level) but coming up with something for this story was very hard. I'm glad you thought that the answer did fit, nevertheless, but your guesses were really good!
I'm so pleased you felt like I managed to paint a clear picture of the area; I've been there and it definitely helped to try and picture that while I was writing the story, because it makes it so much easier for me to write them. Including the ancient runes was fun, as well, and trying to flesh out Victoire's character was so much fun, because I've got a lot of head canon for her which I've never really had the chance to write before.
Thank you for this review! <3
Victoire Weasley. Check.
Not listening to one's parents. Check.
Glamorous lives being vastly overrated and overstated. Check.
Sian, this is just the best thing. You teleported me to the countryside with Victoire from the start, and it just got better from there. I loved this.
Ah, thank you so much for this review! I had so much fun writing this story - Victoire being a cursebreaker is one of my head canons, and although she appears in some of my other stories (very briefly), I've not had much inspiration for a full-length story about her, so this one-shot was a lot of fun to write. I'm so pleased you enjoyed this and that you felt like I'd managed to transport you to the countryside and on the adventure with Victoire!
Thank you so much for this <3