Hi, Juls. Thank you for posting on my story challenge on the forums. I am looking forward to reading your story. I just stopped by to drop a Happy New year review. :)
I read your Ginny and I was very impressed by your writing. I've never read such a deep mind movement of Ginny while her boyfriend Harry was hunting for the horcruxes.
You captured her frustration very well. She must have been eager to join the trio, but she was forced to stop being his girlfriend under the circumstances, even if she understood Harry. Waiting for him must have been torture for her. She is the person to act bravely just like Harry, they are both Gryffindor, she is not the type of person who just waits for her boyfriend coming back safely.
Besides you wrote Neville Longbottom's mind movement skillfully. Your descriptions about his thought are all perfect. I like the phrase, 'he held a tender regard for her once', does it mean Neville used to be a sort of Ginny's guardian, right? He passed the position, her guardian to Harry after he knew her feeling. Neville is also chivalrous in that meaning, a true Gryffindor.
Hello! Finally here with the review for our challenge - sorry that it took us so long!
The opening to this story worked really well - we were immediately wondering what had Ginny so angry and frustrated, and it was clever to start out with those emotions rather than the 'envy' that's in the title (and, of course, the prompt for the challenge). It meant that you really built up a bigger picture of the scene and the situation that Ginny was in at that time before focusing on the envy - and was also a great way of showing the way that a lot of these 'sins' often keep each other company.
We thought you captured the atmosphere at Hogwarts at this point in time really well. The way that Snape is wandering the corridors as if he's looking for someone shows that it's building towards the battle, and it's a strong reminder of how much of an effect the war had on every aspect of the students' lives during that year at Hogwarts. The inclusion of Neville's hatred and fear of Snape was a great detail, too, and so was the way that you used the idea of Snape as a Leglimens to start exploring how Ginny was feeling and to lead into her envy was brilliant.
You captured the feelings of envy and jealousy really well in this piece. A lot of it seems to come out as anger, but deep down Ginny feels jealous and insecure, and we thought the way you explored that was so interesting. It makes a lot of sense that she would feel like Harry didn't think she was good enough to join him in the quest for the Horcruxes when he'd broken up with her, even if deep down she knew that wasn't the real reason. Thinking about the way her brother and her best friend were both with Harry when she couldn't be makes her jealousy even worse, and harder to deal with, too.
Even though you don't state it explicitly, the mention of the fact that Hermione was with Harry when Ginny wasn't - a mention that ignored Ron for a second - gave a great hint at the idea that Ginny might be jealous of Hermione in the same way Ron was of Harry. It's so interesting that both siblings might have been jealous of the same idea at different points, but for Ginny it seemed more fleeting than something she let fester. Of course, seeing Harry again at the end of this story was helpful to drive those thoughts away.
One point that confused us a little was the timeline here - we weren't expecting Harry to arrive so quickly, as in the book Ginny is still at home at this point, but that's only a minor detail with the timeline and it worked really well as an ending to see Ginny overcoming the "sin" of envy and letting go of those feelings of jealousy and anger.
Ginny's characterisation was brilliant here, as well. It really feels like you've grasped the character we see in the books (rather than the film version or the perfect fanfiction version) and portrayed her really well. You manage to do a great job capturing the temper that we know she has, as well as fleshing out more of those feelings with her frustration and jealousy. There's also the fighting spirit that she has and the way that we see her priorities; she's ready to drop everything and forget her own feelings when she thinks something might need doing to help protect other people in the school, and you conveyed that wonderfully in this piece.
Thank you for entering our challenge!
Sian and Abbi :)
Hey Juls! First review on it, eek :)
I'm not the biggest fan of Ginny fics, but I'm trying to branch out so... But I really like your characterisation of Ginny actually. Usually the reason that I struggle with her was that she always comes across as 'too perfect, too understanding'. Which always irked me. Ginny is a teenage girl with a massive crush on The Boy Who Lived. She's got a lot of competition to contend with! Not just the fame and attention that Harry gets, but she has to compete for his time. He has to save the Wizarding World after all, he's got things to do.
The fact that you showed her jealousy towards being left behind, and not being included on the same level as Ron and Hermione was extremely refreshing and gave her dimension that she doesn't usually have. So yeah, I really enjoyed that aspect.
The ending kind of threw me, I was not expecting it to be right when Harry walked through Ariana's portrait. I totally thought, especially with Neville's characterisation, that you were leading up to them making plans to rebel at the school. My reasoning for thinking that is because we know that Neville is a bit of an unsung hero in the end. I should probably mention that I love Neville, and he and Luna should have definitely ended up together (just in my humble opinion).
But I digress... Neville really comes into his own and proves to others (but mostly himself) that he truly does belong in Gryffindor. We start to see that in OoTP, but Deathly Hallows is where that belief in himself is cemented. His fear is what made him brave, because despite it, he preserved. You described that kernel of self-doubt (which I definitely think his within his arc as a character); and continued by adding he 'was ready to fight, but he wasn't sure he was the up-front-in-your-face-Voldemort type'.
That totally lead me to believe you were gearing up for some epic origin story to explain the guerrilla tactics he and Ginny displayed while at Hogwarts (with Luna of course, can't forget the most epic ship of all time, hehe). Because I could see how Ginny would think that if she can't fight with Harry, she'd fight her own fight at Hogwarts to distract herself from her worry and jealousy. And with Neville, he still wanted to fight but didn't believe himself capable of a front on approach at that time. Plus, the thought of the Carrows getting increasingly frustrated with their antics, like graffitiing ‘Dumbledore's Army Still Recruiting' in the corridors brings me an immense amount of pleasure.
I wasn't disappointed in the ending, because it was still good. But I felt... cheated? It was my own fault because I led myself down a path that didn't end up where I thought it was headed. But overall, a great read and the characterisations where spot on in my opinion.