Amazing Awesomeness is all i can say...
Author's Response: Thanks!
At first, there was this thought in the back of my head that somehow, everything you wrote in the first scene was made of… uncertainty. It wasn’t the uncertainty of “should we continue this,” but more of “am I really feeling this for you?” You made it clear that their infidelity (I think that term is too strong, but the other options were cheating, betrayal or unfaithfulness) wasn’t really in their minds. You made it look like it was a sort of mutual understanding that’s long overdue; to the pair, each was a second lover – and somehow, it made everything all right. But then again, there was this uncertainty hanging over them - the delicate details like Hermione’s gaze towards the couple in the boat, and Harry’s indifference when he sat across her on the picnic blanket. It was like there was this crack in the air, and both of them didn’t know if it was safe to want to catch whatever comes out of it. It’s like that cut in the air that acts as a door to another world in The Golden Compass Trilogy – its right there but anyone could barely see it.
And then the first scene ended, and I thought how chillingly beautiful your description was. Describing their time together as a comfortable interval where they’re enveloped with feelings of safety. It was so much like Harry and Hermione. With their respective partners, both pairs would be, erm, explosive (more so with Ron and Hermione, but in a gentle way with Harry and Ginny). But with them, Harry and Hermione, all I can see is this calm, sweet stream with the occasional current - strong, but never aggressive.
The most wonderful thing in your story was how their moments were never awkward. It showed so much of their character, of their maturity, of everything consisting in their relationship ever since the beginning. They accepted what was in front of them; neither denying what was between them. Like a welcome to the inevitable. That was what was convincing – the lack of awkwardness.
When I read the last sentence, I was positive that this is one of the most beautiful stories I’ve ever read. It was just so simple, so humbling. It said so much about the whole world behind their relationship. I don’t think you could have ended it any better. You linked it back to those lovers on the boat, somehow marking a connection and a statement: that love is as simple as you make it to be. But in this story’s case, lust was more in the center. Still, I think love was still involved, because if it was just lust, they would have gone for someone else – someone of less importance. I imagined, though, that this would continue throughout their lives. Silently seeking each other’s comforting touch from time to time, when their lovers weren’t enough to satisfy them.
I was curious, so I listened to the song you used. I have to admit that the last part made me teary eyed. Julia, you have such an amazing gift for poetry. In the whole of the story, all I thought was how lyrical each sentence, each word was. Everything was made of raw emotions, like a river of feelings constantly running through every gap possible. And I realized the funny thing behind this was the absence of guilt.
Such a pleasure reading this. Thanks for writing this. I enjoyed it a lot. :-)
Author's Response: Thanks so much, Dinny. I love how you picked up on all the nuances of what I love about Harry/Hermione, not just as lovers, but as friends. I guess this fic treads that line carefully. I didn't want it to just be about two people who shouldn't be together falling into bed. It's more a showcase of who they are, stripped down to the bare essentials.
You're right, it's about lust as much as it is about love and yet with these two, love can never be out of the picture because we know they love each other, too. Whether that love could stretch further into the realms of something else is always something the fandom will debate haha.
Thank you for such a lovely review, Dinny. I'm so sorry for not responding sooner!
I've not read this pairing in a very long time, and this story has reminded me exactly why it can work. I really like the way you haven't felt the need to get Ron and Ginny out of the way, as so many Harry/Hermione stories do (at least in any sense apart from geographically). The canon ships are still there, but this is something outside of that: this is two people briefly removed from their real lives and from all the rules and ties that normally bind them. That they arrive by Muggle means helps to distance them further from their world too and complete that disconnection.
Your wonderfully poetic use of language almost creates a sense of unreality, as if it's all just a hazy daydream on a summer's afternoon. The only things that seem truly solid are the food: the fresh tea in the pot, the smell or scrambled eggs and the glug of the wine being poured – these are the anchors that root the story for me. It feels as if to both of them nothing else is quite real and so it's not quite wrong and they quite aren't culpable and perhaps no one will get hurt.
It is the need for release, the one thing they must not do, the one thing they must admit, the one thing they only want to do once, just get it over and done with, to go on with their lives as usual. As friends. It is the one thing on their minds this evening. It is the one mistake they need to make.
That sums up the detachment of this one night from the rest of their lives perfectly, and yet it worries me because there's no such thing as 'just once to get it out of our systems'. I've never known that to work and not to just lead to more and more and their self-delusion that it could has a tragic edge to it in that there is a sense of inevitability that there will be pain and heartache from this.
There is a sense of inevitability too that this will happen, but at the same time it is also almost accidental – they don't mean for it too happen but it must. I really like the way too that when it does happen it isn't the gentle, considered union that you might expect with these two; it is desperate, and little harsh in its hunger, with nails and teeth and fire.
There is something universal to this story, perhaps it is the way that you have pared the characters down to the quick – they are recognisable as themselves and yet you have cut away anything extraneous, any part of themselves that can be left behind and not brought to this place – so that they could be any one of us, particularly in the way that they are together but still alone and desperate not to be. Perhaps too, it is the timelessness that you create with your beautiful choice of words and the simplicity of your phrasing – I could as easily see them sat beside the lake in the 1920s as now, and that gives it a real resonance and reminds me more than a little of reading Atonement.
There is a wonderful fluidity to your writing style that made this a joy to read, and I'm so glad I stumbled across it.
Author's Response: Hi Hannah! Thank you for such a lovely review. I was surprised to see this and it has truly made my day :)
I really did want this to feel like something completely forbidden. Like you, I like Harry/Hermione in a canon context with Ron and Ginny still in relationships with the other two. I wanted them to have that life, but to have some sort of escape from it. In my mind, it was a very surreal situation, which you picked up on as well. They are completely removed from reality, from their every day lives, and they use this isolation to justify what they want to do. Of course it is going to bring heart-ache and angst but they are in complete denial. It's very bittersweet. Oh wow, I love that you mention Atonement because I am one of the biggest McEwan fans out there. Atonement is also one of my favourite novels so it is entirely possible that subconsciously I have been influenced by it. You're right, the emotions and themes within the fic are entirely universal. In my mind this is definitely Harry and Hermione yet it could be any couple who are desperately trying to deny anything exists between them but being blinded by temptation at the same time.
Thank you so much for the amazing review. It was a pleasure to read.
I was going to read your most recent piece, and I plan on doing that eventually, but, as you recommended, I decided to give the ‘Colour of Distance’ a shot, for I did not want to miss anything. The blended medium s of poetry and prose are really interesting; it’s interesting you have decided to play with such a skill because you really set up both with a natural flow. The first part that has ‘Lips Touch’ and ‘Hand in Hair’ etcetera, highlights that you’re playing with style, and that’s a rare talent, especially within fan fiction, that’s style and voice. I knew you were a poet, but this just adds to what you’ve learned as a writer.
The limbo scene says a lot for what’s going on here. People have that break, a moment of hesitation before they jump into any decision. Hermione would have had this going through her head before either she or Harry made a move. No error, for there is no fault (according to most people) in simply having those thoughts of ‘what if’ when our minds wander. That is, of course, where much of these odd pairings come into play and this is a simple portrayal with a painted scene. It’s interesting you set this is in an ‘imaginary world’, sort of speak, for this is not canon, and that helps to move the piece along in a way, it sets up the idea of jumping into temptation.
I’m weaving the timeline through my mind here, and there’s only one thing nagging me, but I couldn’t help thinking this. You are neither right nor wrong, but it seems a little odd that Harry and Hermione are so involved with each other on such an intense level so quickly. They have only been together this one weekend, right? Harry seems totally wrapped up in her in a matter of one weekend just sitting there at the water. This is a chance meeting for both of them, in a way, yet there is little to no evidence that this has built out of anything. Do you understand where I’m coming from here? It kind feels that there’s a piece missing here.
The poetic way in which this is written is not flowery in any sense, which makes me think again of your poetic technique. The adultery scene is just flawless, for this is how it happens sometimes; the partner goes off for a ‘business trip’ or what-have you, and that’s what makes this believable. It reminds me of the flavor reminiscent of those ‘romantic love complex’ movies where you get a connection; sitting through reading this fic, you want – you feel – Harry and Hermione should be together. It’s adultery on a level (technically, we don’t know whether either of them are married), but it’s shown in this attractive, alluring light. The love scene was written so tastefully. The way you describe things always comes as a pleasant surprise throughout; it’s like you’re writing this as a lengthy poem.
Yes, I realise you wrote this ages ago and that I’m just now stumbling in. Well done.
I’m very surprised to find the poem isn’t yours, Jewels. You had me going there.
A very pleasant read,
Author's Response: Hey Jen! Thank you for the fantastic review. It's always a nice surprise to get reviews for older fics! I'm glad you could appreciate the poetic style. I did not really intend to write it that way but so many people point it out that I suppose it is just my style. I wanted to write something very sensual and I think the effect comes off as poetic. You have a very valid point about the timeline. I wanted this to be more of a snapshot piece and didn't want to take away the sensuality by going into more detail about how the two of them reached that point. In my mind I can imagine this attraction they feel (and more than that) to have grown slowly over months, even years. I sort of touch on that in the companion piece but I hope it didn't detract from the overall fic too much. As for the love scene, I always prefer less is more in my writing and I'm so glad you could appreciate that. Again, thanks so much for this wonderful review. You've made my day! ~Julia
I just read this for the second time, at it's still one of the best Harmony fics I've read! :) I like the H/Hr stories that fit as excellently in canon as this, and keeps it believable. You've done a very good job on this, dear Xulia! :)
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Xen! I'm like you and love Harmony fics which fit into canon believably. I'm so glad you like this fic :) Thanks for the review!
Author's Response: Thanks : )
That was great! You really paced this well, building and building to the (dare I say it?) climax when they finally admitted they wanted and needed each other. I'm a canon shipper myself, but between you and Jess (and the movies, which definitely seem biased toward Harry/Hermione at times) I could absolutely see this! Your writing is very descriptive and emotional and really conveys this desperate need they have to fulfill. Wonderful job, I enjoyed reading this story! ~Gina :)
Author's Response: Well I'm glad that you enjoyed this as a canon shipper. I really wanted it to flow like the song I quote from, slow and lilting until the final few climactic paragraphs. Thank you so much for the review!
haha, this was recommended to me by Jess (ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor) and I have to say, it was amazing.
This is the first Harry/Hermione fic I've ever read - it's not a paring I like (but I will refrain from "doing an Emerson"haha.
It's very poetic, and I love the way the piece is structured. It has a flowing, dreamy quality, like them being there, together, is almost unreal. Which I loved. Of course the lines
"Their lips meet.
Hand in hair.
Were stunning and used very well. I think that Hermione was well characterised, however, I didn't really see anything that made Harry seem, well uniquely Harry. It almost felt like it could have been any other boy. Not that it bothered me at all or took anything away, that's just my personal feeling.
The descriptions were all beautiful as well, and you managed never to make them seem overdone, which was really good.
Thanks again for my pretty banner!
Author's Response: Hi Elene. Thanks for the read and review! I'm glad you seemed to enjoy your introduction to Harry/Hermione. Perhaps Jess will manage to convert you someday :p I agree with you about Harry's characterisation and that is the one thing which bugs me a bit with this fic. You're right - he could be any other boy. I guess what I was trying to achieve was a sense of denial - how he was trying to ignore this tension between himself and Hermione but his characterisation seemed to get lost along the way. I'm writing a companion one-shot for this so I will definitely keep that in mind. Thanks so much for the lovely review and you are very welcom for your banner! It was a pleasure to make :) Julia
Ooh, this was lovely! The wording was amazing, and the imagery was extremely vivid. I liked the way Ron was described.
You certainly have talent!
Author's Response: Thank you so much for the R&R! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Julia XD
Brilliant! It was so beautifully written. It was perfect.
Author's Response: Thank you very much!
Oh my goodness this story is wonderful! It creates an air of cool repetition and tenseness, This air is good.
The first part is very tense, but still casual. You can kind of see their longing, but it isn't blatantly, annoyingly obvious. You mix it in with reality.I highly enjoy this against the strained longing of other fanfiction stories. You pull it off quite well.
The second part is just too awesome for words. It's intense, but still in touch with all of the senses that they are feeling right then. Great job!
Author's Response: Hi Addy! Thanks for reading and reviewing! I really wanted to show a subtle longing in the first part while bringing in more tension in the second part so I'm glad that came across :)
Just came here out of curiousity. Not much activity here. SO HAPPY I found your story. The emotions were raw and wonderful to read. You should go to portkey.org or fanfiction.net. Harmony is not dead and will not die! Though after reading HP7 its probably better that it ended the way it did. I wouldn't want JKR to try and write romance like you did. She failed whereas Harmony fics always shine. Great job!!
Author's Response: Thanks! I'm glad there are still Harmony fans out there :) No, there aren't many Harmony fics posted here on this site but hopefully I can change that lol. Thanks for the review.
Oh my god! This is a really amazing start! This is the story I've been waiting to read.
Author's Response: Thank you! This is actually a one shot but I may choose to expand on it in the future. I just love Harmony so much :)
Holy Hippogriffs, your imagery was so potent and passionate! I totally felt like I was there! There aren't quite the words in my vocabulary to describe the emotional upheaval I experienced while reading this piece. I'm not sure if you intended to do so, but wow (yep, that's the best word I can come up with)..
I have to confess, in the end, I was a little disappointed that Ginny ended up with Harry, because I always harbored the secret desire to see Hermione with him and not Ron. I guess it's because they complement each other rather than raise one another's hackles. I would probably have even preferred that he end up with a completely different girl, but every delicious fantasy cast Hermione as his leading lady. I confess myself almost scared to defy canon and put him with someone else, but you are braver than I, Miss Julia.
PS-"His thoughts became focussed again." Should be one 's'.
Author's Response: Thanks so much, Jess! While I don't mind Ginny with Harry, I always loved the idea of Harry/Hermione. I, too, was a little scared to attempt a Harry/Hermione fic but I've always loved reading them (and there aren't that many written anymore) and thought that I'd throw all caution to the wind and just go with it. There's something so deliciously dangerous and non-canon about the pairing! Thank you for the review and for the little pointer there. I'm going to fix that up right away!