This story is beautiful and - if this makes sense - lazily captivating. It just holds onto your heart without you even realising, until you reach moments such as the green eyes reference (stunning, by the way) and it gives you a little squeeze.
From the very first paragraph I dove right into your writing style which matched Ron's state magically. I think we all wonder what went through Ron's head during this part of their adventure, and this describes it so fully that I believe every world, and yet it's so simply written, so clever and subtle.
I loved the way you described Ron looking at Hermione and how he sees her, it just works for Ron. So well.
Love it so much, one of my favourites!
Beautiful! This was quite a pleasure to read, so in character.
I absolutely adore this fic. You've just done it perfectly, with every note pitch-perfect and Ron so brilliantly himself from a view we've never really seen before. The little moments between himself and Harry just break my heart. So little is said, so little is even described, but you've chosen exactly the right words to show how tenuous Ron's grip on his emotions really is. Rowling showed us Ron's behavior during this time, but I feel like you managed to zoom in the lens and show us what was happening internally and is just works so very, very well. I noticed you are a Harmony shipper, at least enough so to have written fics of that nature. And yet, here, I got the feeling that Hermione wanted to be with Ron, that you were writing the canon Hermione that Rowling wrote. Is that so? Or is that just what I wanted to see? :) This review is flaily and really little more than a big squee, but Hangman is right up there with my favorite stories on the site. And that is saying something. Right into my favorites it goes, as I can see myself reading it over and over again, whenever I need a good Ron fix. Thanks for that bit with the blanket, btw. I sigh a big dreamy sigh every time I read it. Well done, and congratulations on your QSQ win. It is much deserved. ~Lori
Enjoyed this, which is a horrible thing to say when Ron is going through such agony, but you really got into his head and showed us exactly how he was feeling.
I'm trying to pick out the moments I liked best but it's a hard job. When he was about to kill the rabbit my heart was in my mouth and then I gaped at the connection with its eyes and how if it had had green eyes it would have died. So bitter, Ron.
The master stroke, I think, was the end where we realise he's not actually wearing the locket. Although I suspect its proximity still affects him, having it around his neck - like a noose, as you said - must intensify these feelings incredibly. And at that last line, I realised the reason for the title.
Great fic. ~Carole~
You really get inside his head. Well written. Powerful.
Author's Response: Thank you, Ruchira_M I'm pleased you liked it. Thanks for reading and for the review!
After I read 2/3, I swore to myself I'd read more of your work, and although it took me a few months to fulfill my self-oath, here I am.
I think what I really admire the most about your writing is your undiluted attention to detail. A huge part of the fic is a bombardment of images and imagery, continuously piling on top of each other, and even with the relative sparseness of dialogue, so much is spoken.
To me, the camping sections always seem longer than they actually are because they are so filled with frustration and tension. Ron's problems and his way of expressing them add to the gloom and claustrophobia of it all. This fic captures that mood so very well, and in so few words too. From his point of view, things do seem suspicious, even though Hermione might just be worried for Harry, and Harry is just trying to make up for things.
Nicely done, Susan! I shall go and devour a few more of your fics. :D
Author's Response: Hi Natalie! First, thank you very much for stopping by to have a read. As always, your comments are appreciated, but I didn't want to respond through a brain fog of decongestants and weird pregnancy hormones, so it's taken a couple of weeks. I see you've spotted my Achilles heel (of sorts): Dialogue. I don't care much about crafting interesting banter or letting characters express themselves vocally to one another. I don't so much want them to tell you how they feel. I want them to see and touch and hear and I want them to internalize the stimuli of that moment so that the reader internalizes it, as well. That's why the full-on imagery assault. When the moment is short, the more relevant details I can cram in, the better. I know I'm in the minority on this, but I loved the camping sections in DH. I loved the tension. I wanted more. More hurt, more pain. Give me Ron and his jealousy and insecurities and his love-sick heart over Ron well-adjusted and happy any day. Again, thank you so much for reading and for the review! ~Susan
This was such an intense story. I am a huge Ron and Hermione fan and I love stories that makes you feel for them and witness the frustration on both of their parts in regards to their relationship.
I enjoyed reading his POV and seeing how he was looking out at the world and most important- how the locket was tainting that view. Even when the locket was not on.
I loved how you made me doubt Hermione for a moment. But then I realized that this would be Ron's perspective. He of course would think that Hermione would only care about Harry. It made you think about how hard it must be for her (as witnessed in DH when Ron leaves) to be in between the two of them.
Thanks for the great story. Keep writing!
I'm glad you liked it, and thank you for that description: 'intense'. I really hoped I could convey that sense of Ron's nerves ratcheting higher and higher.
It really is all about perspective and the narrative voice, what we perceive as true in writing. I'm glad you doubted Hermione. Another reviewer did, as well, and I take it as the highest compliment.
Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! I'm really glad you enjoyed my story.
Very interesting take on Ron's pov. Also well written!
Thanks! And thank you for reading and reviewing.
I really liked this. I never liked Ron much in the books I found him rather annoying but I enjoyed this story. I normally don't like stories written in first person but I think here it worked great. It was also written very well so yea great job :)
I'm glad you liked it, especially if you don't normally care for a) the character or b)the first person narrative. Thank you for giving it a chance and for finishing it.
And thanks for the review!
This was wonderfully written and I really think you captured the trio's dynamics, at least from Ron's perpsective. I think you really nailed Ron's lack of self esteem - and not just about whether he or Harry would get Hermione, even though that's the focus of the piece. The line I am a piss-poor excuse for a man really showed this.
I think what this showed above all is what a difference perspective can make, because we know that Harry and Hermione have no feelings but friendship for each other and I don't think Harry purposefully went and did something for Hermione's birthday, hoping that Ron hadn't - I'm sure he just found it and wanted to give it to her because she's his friend. I think it shows, though, that Ron underneath believes what he wants to believe, which is that he's not good enough.
I loved your attention to detail - right from the beginning with tucking in Hermione's foot and throughout the story you really maintained that and it gave such an idea of setting and character.
This is probably my favourite line. “If you had green eyes, you’d have been stew,” I think it really sums up what Ron's feeling at this moment.
I have always wondered about Hermione's birthday, because there's never any mention of it in canon (as in, I've known the date for ages, but it always seemed strange that Ron and Harry never did anything). Although I suppose it fits that Hermione would just 'quietly suffer', because she's not the type to complain.
The imagery of the hangman and the locket as a noose worked really effectively. I also loved your use of present tense - it's sometimes hard not to make that sound clunky and this sotry just has a beautiful flow.
I'm very glad I chose to read this, you've really just nailed Ron's feelings during this period and probably the sort of thing that he's been feeling for years, too.
I'm glad you chose to read this, too. I thank you.
I believe Ron has had difficulty all his life establishing himself as a person with his own identity. Take all his frustration from that, put him a bubble, as it were, with the person who has always cast the largest shadow, the person who also happens to be the best friend of the girl he loves, and he's bound to start obsessing about his own inadequacies, real or imagined. I don't think he can help how he feels, though, and that's the angle with which I approached this story.
I'm pleased that you found my noose imagery effective. I found it quite sad that this locket made him feel and think the things it did and yet he was forced to put it on with his own two hands every other day. The title also refers to Ron's innate tendency to sabotage himself at every turn.
Again, I thank you for reading and for the thoughtful review. I am glad you enjoyed my story.
Author's Response: Hey, nevilleherosnape, I'm glad you liked it! Thanks for reading!
I loved that (as a Ron fan there wasn't much of a choice...), however dark and angsty it might have been. Was it very wrong of me to kinda hate Harry... I mean what is with him - always having to be so perfect! I thought this was a great representation of how Ron was most likely feeling during this time - and I'm sure my hate for Harry was b/c of Ron's projecting! I loved the bunny - "if it had green eyes..." wow! The little things that Ron noticed about Hermione were perfect - he comes across as so simple sometimes, but I don't think that's him at all!
Very nice job, I really enjoyed it - give us some more "missing moments" please!
Poor Harry! Forced to play the antagonist in my little drama, he served well. I love the Trio, all of them, but, yeah, Ron had begun to see him as a sort of sexual rival and I had to convey that. The things Harry does in this story are just small things. In the scenario in my head, he's out collecting wood and just happens, for the sake of my plot, to run across this strikingly lovely Spindle bush. He snaps a branch from it and gives it to Hermione. No big deal. He didn't go searching for it, it took no trouble to procur it, and all he had to do was carry it back and hand it to her. But to Ron, it's a whole different thing, and ultimately, he hurts himself because he can't see Hermione past the looming 'threat' of Harry.
I agree with you. Ron is not simple, no matter how flat he sometimes becomes in the books. He's flawed and I think he's quite passionate, but he's not prone to contemplating why he feels what he does and so he often blunders.
I'm glad you liked it, and thanks for reading and for the review!
This is marvelous - my heart is aching for Ron.
Thank you, DaisyMaeEvans. I'm glad I could make your heart hurt.
Thank you for reading and for the lovely review.
I really enjoyed this, weirdly. You have an excellent talent for making a reader sympathize with the narrator. I really liked how you portrayed Ron's perspective on Harry and Hermione's relationship. Though we know they are just platonic (as indicated by her pause before leaving to see the other side of the ridge), this helps explain Ron's outburst later on and the emotions that led up to it, as well as establishing the power of the locket. Excellent job :)
I'm really glad you enjoyed this- weirdly or otherwise.
I'm happy I could garner some sympathy for Ron, even when he's not at his finest. Even though he's probably- let's say 'mistaken' about some things, I tried to show how and why he made those mistakes. I can only hope I was successful.
Thank you for reading and for the review!
I liked it. I really liked your writing style, also. but I think they were still at Grimuald Place when it was Hermione's birthday. I could be wrong, though. Great story
I'm glad you liked it. Of cours, I fact-checked the dates before I began writing this, and the Ministry was infiltrated and the locket taken on Sept. 2nd, while Hermione's birthday is on Sept. 19th. Do you really think I would be so sloppy as to risk the ire of the canon police in this joint? No way. :-)
Thank you so much for reading!
oh.. i dun rememebr any writer writing about feeling of Ron at that time.. really there is so much to explain about him. I liked the way you expressed his emotions and in the end we all know why he would be thinking like that.. the locket !
It seems to me that, sometimes, Ron gets turned into this simple, single-minded, single-celled organism. While he is pretty terrible at reading the emotions of others, that does not mean that he is without any of his own, right?
Having said that, there is a line in DH before Ron destroys the Horcrux where he admits the locket made him "think stuff-stuff I was thinking, anyway..." That line always intrigued me, mainly because he says it before anything is revealed. I wonder if he would have made such an open confession if he had known what was going to snake out at him.
Anyway, I'm glad you liked my story.
Thanks for reading!
It was very well written, I liked the whole thing about Ron hating the locket. I don't think that Harry and Hermione would go off on their own, though, and even though Ron isn't wearing the locket, it does seem like they like each other. (Harry and Hermione). It's not exactly canon, so was that the point? Or was Ron going insane or something?
Thanks for reading and for the questions. I love questions. It means that I've left some room for interpretation. Anyway....on to the answers.
This story was an experiment in establishing the authority of the narrator. Do you trust everything Ron is communicating just because he's the one telling the story? Is it possible that, maybe, his perceptions are a bit skewed? Perhaps he is erroneously filling in blank after blank in his own head, making nothings into somethings? Maybe. Maybe not.
You, as the reader, can decide that for yourself. I was just telling a story from one point of view. If I made you question what you know from canon (Harry's POV), I'm glad. That's what I was attempting.
Again, thank you for reading!
Oh! This was fantastic. I teared up at the end. Poor Ron!
I'm glad you enjoyed it. I think Ron probably hurt quite a lot, not knowing where he stood. It's an awful feeling, that sort of uncertainty, and wanting someone so badly. But I had to be a little cruel to show what he's made of.
I hope I wasn't melodramatic. I didn't set out to make anyone tear up, but if I made you feel some honest emotion, hey, that's the best compliment I could get!
Thanks for reading!