This story is heartbreaking. At first I was a little confused by the fact that Cho and Colin were in school together during what would have been Harry's seventh year... just so you know, a Book 7 Disregarded warning doesn't quite encompass this issue, because you're not disregarding events specific to Book 7. Cho's a year older than Harry in any of the books, so I think an Alternate Universe warning might be more appropriate, unless you come up with a rational reason Cho is spending the year after her graduation at Hogwarts--in which case, yes, the Book 7 Disregarded warning is adequate because you're just making up an extra fact about Cho that doesn't exist in Book 7, not changing her age/year in school entirely.
Anyway, sorry to start with such a technical warnings-centric point--onto the content focused critique! The characterizations, I felt, were very realistic. We've seen Cho be angst-ridden and Colin be naively happy in canon before, and I appreciated that you used these qualities to shape this story because it helped me to believe that these characters could meet in this way. I also got this vague undercurrent of an unrequited romance on Colin's part--I thought it was very clever, how you managed to impart that hunch to me as a reader without ever referring to it directly (or even indirectly, as far as I could tell... I honestly cannot pinpoint the line/moment where I felt like Colin might have a crush on Cho, it's a perfectly narrated dynamic).
I do think Cho veers off a bit into melodrama from heartfelt angst--though we've seen her do this in canon, so it is somewhat in character, she herself says at the start of this story that she has grown older. For me, part of maturity is a tendency to be more realistic and down-to-earth, so lines like "Now I’m tempted to think that no changes will happen to me for the better"... ring a little untrue to me, sound a bit like histrionics. I suppose someone with a poorer opinion of Cho would find this believable, based on her constant crying in OOtP, but I'd like to think she's stronger than that, especially since she did go ahead and join the DA/come to Hogwarts to fight at the end of Book 7.
I really wish the ending could have been happier. This is not a criticism in any way; what you wrote sounds realistic and sounds like a reaction someone who's been through such a trauma could have, so please don't take this as "Change the ending!"... I'm not saying that at all. But I could have just as easily seen Cho taking this as, "Wow, he was right... let me go prove to the world that he's right and live a happy life full of joy in his honor!" ... I've done that in response to some trauma myself, and I find it a pity that she took the other option.
That said, the ending--particularly the part where she leaves his body behind for someone else to find--was so moving. I imagine I wouldn't feel as torn as a reader at the end if you changed Cho's reaction a single iota.
Good work! I enjoyed this story a lot. Without further ado, write on! :)
Author's Response: Wow. I haven't logged onto MNFF in.. a long while now, but I thought of it today and decided to see if anything was new. And I saw this review and was just blown away. I don't know that I've ever received a review with the quality and effort and time put into it that this one demonstrated... I appreciate it very much. It's things like this review that make me think that maybe I should start writing again. So thank you.
I never actually thought of Cho and Colin as friends, but I guess that was the point: two people united by a common hope. Personally,I thought it was really sad that he died, because he was always so hopeful. Anyway, good job on this, I liked it.
I agree with you totally. Thanks for reading and reviewing! :)
First of all I shall start off by saying that you have some really lovely imagery here, and Cho's feelings are very evocative. The end where she sees Colin dead is really rather sad, and I'm pleased you chose to depict a friendship on her side rather than a romance, although I think it very possible that Colin would have had a little crush on her, which you very nicely hinted at.
I wanted to comment on the plot bunny when it appeared on the boards, but didn't at the time. So, I shall comment here. Unfortunately, Colin and Cho were not at Hogwarts for that year. Cho was a year older than Harry so had left, and Colin - being a Muggleborn - would not have been allowed to attend Hogwarts and was probably on the run. There's no real explanation here as to why they're at Hogwarts together. In canon, both came back to the RoR because they had Galleons and were alerted by Neville's message.
All that said, this is a touching piece, but I think it would have worked better if you'd used a different couple. Sorry, that's rather negative and I know you were using someone else's bunny, but for me, as a canon fiend, it didn't ring true. ~Carole~
Thanks Carole! I don't know HOW that never occured to me. Oh well. I added a 'book 7 disregarded' tag, if that fixes anything. But thanks for the compliments.