Hey, dear! This was an enjoyable story, and I thought you did a great job with the OC. I found myself relating to her almost immediately, as I’ll explain later in this review, and I think that’s what pulled me in to the story so quickly.
I thought it was quite nice how you incorporated a little history into this – I didn’t know about rabbit tests, and I found it quite an interesting little fact to know. In addition you kept that idea alive well, with the reference to ‘rabbit’s at the end with eye to eye with the rabbit peeping out of a wizard’s top hat. That was a great way to remember it, too; it’s a magical stereotype, but the highest magical level the OC should be at despite her former pretences and her child’s abilities.
You linked your OC’s job to the wizarding world so flawlessly, and it just felt kind of right that she was a part of it all despite being a Muggle. And it was nice to hear that George got his and Fred’s wish of a shop in Hogsmeade – that was a nice touch, because it reminds of little things from the books. :)
I found the memory charm quite confusing at first, because she seemed to remember some things – like she remembered Draco, but she didn’t know him – but not others. Did she meet Draco in the restaurant they were in when she was obliviated? However, I think that I was a little confused was probably good, because it kind of backed up Verity’s statement that it was a badly done spell.
a feeling of déjà vu washes over you
I really like that line, because it’s kind of like a perfect Muggle!summary of what she’s going through with the memory charm. She’s been in that scenario before, but she can’t place her finger on when... ‘déjà vu’ is a great way to get the reader to understand what she’s thinking, without having to go into loads of unnecessary detail, or whatever.
My favourite aspect of this story is that your OC is a Muggle, though, and that she does such a good job of pretending to be a witch and fitting into this whole other world. Ultimately, every Harry Potter fan has wished they were a witch/wizard before, and it makes the OC easy to relate to. In fact, I found myself getting quite annoyed with Draco, because what she’d done seemed perfectly rational; his reaction seemed so unfair because he has everything she wants. :[
Overall, this was a great little fic – I really enjoyed it... I got to the end and wanted more. It’s an intriguing idea; how could a Muggle live a wizarding life and pull it off? You did a good job capturing how different wizards would react to it [think: contrast between Verity and Draco], and how it could ever possibly work. –squishes-
Author's Response: What a yummy yummy review! I must share the credit with Pinkcess of the Abyss, because the plot bunny and the original drabble was hers. I find it kind of funny that people don't know about the "rabbit test" anymore! I am getting old(er).
You have said all my favorite things, you wanted more, you liked it, you identified with the OC... really everything that I tried to do! You make me feel so successful! *squishes back*
I like this one shot. It's cool. ou did a good job on it.
Author's Response: Thank you for reading and reviewing!
P.S. And of course, right after I submit that review, I think of one jarring detail to nitpick. Sorry for the last minute addition! The one thing I found a little difficult to accept about the OC is that line in the story where she says she no longer needs Draco because her daughter is her connection to the magical world. There are a few thigns wrong with that line. First, the OC has no memories of her time with Draco and therefore would not remember why she was with him. Second, I can't see an OC as strong as this woman being with a man for any other reason than love. A different reason you could use might be that the OC thinks that if Draco was ashamed of her Muggle heritage, he had no right to meet her daughter and make her daughter feel ashamed of herself because her mom was a Muggle or because the relationship out of which she was born had been based on secrets. That's just something to think about! *wave*
Author's Response: Ah... good point. I do like the last line, however, and in the interest of keeping it, I have thought of another way (or two) to handle it. Because not only does OC have to decide if she wants the child, she would also have to decide what she wanted to do about telling the father. I can include that struggle in the story. I also think that, while this is a strong woman, she gets stronger over time - in the beginning she is trying to find a way to be part of the wizarding world - trying to find a way to hold onto her sister's memory. And of course, it is second person POV - so in a way the narrator is telling her she doesn't need Draco...
Great review! It gives me something to think about!
Wow. I am so very impressed with this story. Great job with taking someone else's bunny and making it into a remarkable story of your own! :)
I know, from personal experience, how hard it is to make an OC come off the page and become alive in the reader's eyes and not just in your own mind. I want to tell you that, for me, this OC does just that. It is the small, subtle details that you mix into the story that make this character so alive...the way her hand curves protectively around her stomach, the terrible choice of which secret to tell Draco first. Those decisions are what develops her in my mind--rather than telling me who she is, you show me--she is an honest woman, a strong woman, determined to do what is right and not what is easy. I respect her for that, and I think it gives your story a great amount of credibility.
Credibility is such an important thing when you are dealing with issues as sensitive as the ones you have tackled! Memory Charms and the ethics of their use in the magical world, single parenthood, the question of whether to pursue an abortion or not, the legally-sanctioned division between the Muggle and magical worlds--this story is chock-full of practical minefields, but you danced so delicately between them that I barely noticed until I sat back and reflected upon the story! You treat each of these subjects tastefully, showing them from your OC's point of view and her decisionmaking. You don't get up on a soapbox and start being judgemental; you just highlight the tensions and bring them to the reader's attention. We see the decision that your OC made, but you leave it to us to make our own decisions about the issues for ourselves. This makes the story have such a greater impact on MNFF outside of the small story of the OC and her child--I think that it makes it a must-read on MNFF.
Let me go back to something I mentioned earlier that makes your story special: the small, subtle details. These details are sprinkled throughout the story, not only used to bring your OC off the page, but also for a variety of other reasons. The detail of the coffee cup that Draco holds brings suspense and drama to the moments after your OC tells Draco her first secret. The fact that you never directly say that your OC is pregnant (the closest you get is "p...", a mention of pregnancy tests, and "get it taken care of") brings greater attention to the biggest secret in her life, the one that she never tells. The absolute lack of emotion when she sees the father of her child--the lack of heartbreak, grief, betrayal, or anger--was at first so jarring that I thought you had messed up the characterization...but that small void highlights the fact that this OC has been Obliviated and highlights the absolute destruction that a simple spell has wrought on this OC's life.
The entire story seems to be an understatement. There are no hysterical tears. There are no raging fights. There is a Memory spell, a secret untold, and a child. Because of the technical quality of your writing in its details, imagery and diction and because of your characterization of this wonderful OC, those simple ideas have a magic of their own. Because you don't tell readers everything, because you allow the readers to connect the dots and see for ourselves the things you have not told us, these ideas stay in our minds.
Usually, I save some room in a story for criticism. For this story, I am truly, truly stuck. (And I'm handing in this review for a reviewing class that emphasizes the value of critique, so I have really tried to find something to criticize, believe me!) But your story will stay with me for days and weeks to come and will be the source for many late night reflections. I think that's the biggest compliment I can give you.
Please keep writing! I can't wait to read more from you!
Author's Response: I am speechless... what a wonderful review! I have to give full credit to Pinkcess of the Abyss for the bunny... she set up something so interesting that I could not fail to succeed. Indeed, the first part of the scene in the coffee shop is from her drabble, including the detail of the coffee cup that Draco holds. I knew this OC was a strong woman, and in my mind she did one very special thing... she did not make the same mistake twice. She could have gone to Draco, she could have fallen in love all over again. And she did not.
Author's Response: Thank you!
Aww this was cute in a sad sort-of way. I'd never heard of that Rabbit Test thing though. Keep writing!
Author's Response: "Rabbit Test" seems to be a generational thing. I remember on M*A*S*H when Margaret Houlihan thought she was pregnant and they used Radar's pet rabbit to do the pregnancy test - except they did an operation instead of doing what they would normally did because they didn't want to kill Radar's pet rabbit.... But of course the stopped using rabbits a long time ago.
I liked it but feel you could have made it longer and added a coulpe of chapters, made Malfoy find out etc.
Author's Response: It was a plot bunny I adopted and I am sorry to say that I don't have plans to make it any longer. Maybe if the mad rabbit bites me again I will revisit, but probably not.