This was really lovely, Lori. I remember this challenge and the banner you wrote it for and it fits perfectly. I thought you did a great job getting into Fleur's head. You showed us the start of her doubts really well, and then how they related to the situation at the time. It made perfect sense, especially between Remus and Tonks having a baby and Harry, Ron, and Hermione plotting secretly at Shell Cottage. Her connection to Bill was particularly nice and really shows just why they fell for one another. It was all very real, sweet, and touching. Great job, I enjoyed reading it!
Author's Response: Oh, yay, Gina, I'm so happy you read this and that you liked it. It was fun to write Fleur, more than I expected it to be, but the real fun was writing this time frame again. Just love this part of Harry's story. I want to be a fly on the wall at Shell Cottage for all the stuff Rowling didn't write. Haha. Thanks so much for the review. Hugs!!
You may have read my review of this in SBBC. So, what can I POSSIBLY add to this masterpiece except ...
Author's Response: I can feel the love, Carole. :D Thanks for throwing me a bone... more than two months of no reviews, and I start to get the shakes. hugs!!
I've been meaning to read this for months but seeing Carole's rec in the SBBC just reminded me. And I'm so very, very glad because this is just beautiful, Lori. I love your Fleur. She is strong and courageous and humble and everything I imagine her to be. The way you interwove her thoughts and memories, her worries and fears, her love for Bill and her anxiety for the Trio, it was just stunning and I regret not reading this sooner. I'm sorry that this review is so fangirly but I can't really form a coherent sentence at the moment let alone leave a review worthy of this fic. You're an amazing writer, Lori, and I can't wait to see what you come up with next.
Author's Response: Julia! I'm so glad you were able to connect with this. I loved Toni's banner, but kept thing, what in the world am I going to say about Fleur??? ;) It was fun imagining what life at Shell Cottage would have been like for her during those times though, especially considering what the first few months of married life *should* have been like. Thanks for reading and taking the time to review, my friend. I consider it high praise indeed, coming from you. <3
This isn't a review specific to this piece alone, though it certainly applies, but of your work in general. I am pretty new to the world of Harry Potter fanfiction, and I cannot say that my overall experience has been blissful. More often than not, the works I find around here are so far removed from how the characters I have come to love would actually behave that I feel like my love for Harry Potter has been poisoned by falsity and delusion. Such is not the case with you. I just wanted to thank you for writing faithfully to the characters that JK has given us. Your works make up a large percentage of the few that I have actually enjoyed reading. So, thank you, WeasleyMom, for respecting the sanctity of the world JK has spun for us.
Author's Response: Thanks so much for this lovely note. I have branched out with my own reading, though my f-list would probably not give me so much credit. Hehe. I read some non-canon, but to be honest, I don't read the trio characters with non-canon partners... it just makes me sad. I'm glad you think I've handled the characters in a believable way, and thrilled that you've found my stories entertaining. I hope I don't disappoint you anytime soon. Thanks again for taking the time to let me know. :) ~Lori
Hello, Lori :)
I’ve been meaning to read this story for a while, especially after seeing Toni’s lovely banner for it. And I was just completely blown away by it. It’s such an injustice that this hasn’t received as many reviews as some of your other pieces, because it is just as good, if not better. I really like missing moments such as this one; when written well, as yours was, it actually seems like it was written by JKR herself, and that makes it all the more enjoyable. I’ve always wondered what went through Fleur’s head when Remus arrived with the news of Teddy’s birth, and you really did this moment justice.
Fleur is a character who I think has often been abused in the fandom. She has been made over-girly or stupid or in some other way OOC. But you took her character and maintained her characterisation steadily throughout the story, despite it being a situation which we never saw Fleur in during canon. Despite it being written in third person, there was still a very personal feel to the story, and I think that was effective in making us understand Fleur as a character more, especially her emotions during such a difficult period of her life. You also maintained the darkness of it, without it appearing overly angsty. I was constantly reminded of the war, of Voldemort and how he had ruined so many lives, and this, I think, made it so raw emotionally.
I particularly liked the imagery used. I love me some good description, but also when something is described, not necessarily in a poetic way but vividly, bringing out the emotions of the story. For example, She imagined his tiny fist clutching one of his mum’s fingers. There’s just something so touching about this sentence because you painted such a clear picture of baby Teddy with Tonks. And I could just tell that Fleur was... if not jealous, then certainly broody :) Then, in the flashback to the second Triwizard Tournament task, I thought it was really well-written and again, it was described, this time very poetically. This, once again, was a missing moment in GoF I’ve always wondered about so reading it was really interesting.
Another moment that I thought was well-done was the interaction between Fleur and Madame Maxime. I’ve always been curious about their relationship as student and headteacher, something which was only touched upon in the books, so I really liked that you expanded on that too. Possibly something I wasn’t entirely sure of was Madame Maxime greeting Fleur with “’Ello” instead of “Salut” or “Bonjour”. I know that Fleur would normally revert to French when around French speakers, particularly those she is close to (like her sister Gabrielle in DH) so I thought it might be better to have the conversation in French. After all, they only exchange a few words anyway.
Apart from this minor qualm (and I think you wrote Fleur’s accent very, very well) I thoroughly enjoyed the Bill/Fleur aspect in the story. Bill was fully in character and so was Fleur. I can definitely see him underestimating Fleur, just like most of the Weasley family probably did. I thought the Gryffindor comments were very funny, too, and I think the way you wrote dialogue was very natural-sounding and definitely a strength of yours. And yet somehow, you managed to have a solid, dark tone throughout the fic - right until the end when it is a little more optimistic - and yet still include laughing and teasing and even romance. This, I think, is the mark of a truly talented writer, which you most certainly are, Lori.
Well done on an excellent story which I thoroughly enjoyed, and I hope to read/review more of your work in the future!
P.S. Apologies if you got multiple notifications for this review, Lori. The formatting messed up several times.
Author's Response: Soraya. Wow, wow, wow. I am always overwhelmed (in a wonderful way) when I get an incredible spewly review like this one, and a little intimidated about responding. This is why it has taken me so long to get around to replying, but don't feel bad: I owe Jess a response from a review she left me months ago. LOL. I'm so pleased you liked this. I had never considered writing a Fleur POV story, but Toni's banner really inspired me. I do imagine that before she came to the tournament, she was successful at most everything she touched. I imagine the same would have been true for both Cedric and Krum, to a degree. But Fleur was not the strongest in the tournament, and as the only girl, I think it would have really affected her. I do see that as teh time when her confidence may have begun to be stretched, at least. It was challenging and rewarding to explore that here. Thanks for your suggestion about changing that line to Salut. I actually went in to do just that, but realized I posted this before the Nargles messed up the quotes and stuff, and now if I change it... it turns to those icky boxes. So I think I will hold off until the Nargles are subdued. But thanks for that suggestion--I quite agree with you and will change it as soon as I can. I have to say, Soraya, that you are a very good reviewer. You've left a couple on the archives now I think, and in TTB, and I find them always encouraging and--at the same time--helpful. Thanks for reading this and for taking the time to leave me such a thoughtful review. I appreciate it so much. ~Lori~
Very well done! I enjoy all your character POVs.
Author's Response: Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it!
This is exactly what I needed; some quality fanfic that really gets me thinking about stuff of the hp universe and adds depth to characters I had never really analyzed before. As the series progressed, it turned out Fleur was more than just a pretty face (and a gifted witch.)
But this story really brought that point home to me, moreso than any other piece had before. (Not to sound blasphemous or anything.) D:
Anyway, kudos for another great yarn, albeit a short one. :D
Author's Response: Aw, thanks so much. It's fun exploring some of the characters that are not as often the focus of fanfic stories. I was inspired by the banner for this story and the mood it portrayed... it was fun to write. Thanks for always taking the time to leave a review... I appreciate it so much!
I really enjoyed reading this story. You are a wonderful writer.
You have made Fleur into a more 3-dimensional character - a more real, feeling character, than she was in the books.
Author's Response: JKR gets the credit for making her 3-dimensional, especially with her response to Bill's disfigurement in HBP, but I do appreciate what you mean. :) I enjoyed writing this and am thrilled you liked it. Thanks again for the review!
I'm not sure why this doesn't have any reviews yet - it really is very well-written. You really captured Fleur in this story, which can be hard, because I think the DH Fleur we see has changed from the "An Excess of Phlegm" Fleur, as well as the GoF Fleur. I think the title and main theme of this story, about doubt, really showed that, because in GoF she really didn't have any doubts.
That night under the blankets, in the dark of her room, a seed of doubtâ€”planted by visions of fire-breathing monstersâ€”stirred inside her. Perhaps it was new, the result of hearing the details of the first task; perhaps it had been there all along, sleeping, waiting for a situation with edges sharp enough to warrant its rising. - I just loved that paragraph, because I think it really shows when Fleur started to change, although she kept her confident exterior for much longer.
Just a tiny nitpick - you've written she had found the air but not the relief sheâ€™d hope it would - I think it should be "she'd hoped".
I loved the ending and Fleur finding something certain in her life. The two of them, togetherâ€¦ this she could count on. This was enough. I think it's amazing that in so few words you can show all her doubts and yet still resolve them in showing what's most important to her.
I loved this story, Lori, and I hope it gets the reviews it deserves!
Author's Response: Katrina! Yay, you always leave the most lovely reviews--I get excited when I see your name. :) I'm so glad you liked this and thought it worked. I get nervous where there are so few reviews, but I think that is because I write so much Romione, and those readers leave a LOT of reviews. So I'm spoiled. Not a lot of demand out there for a Fleur commentary. Hehe. But I was inspired by Toni's great banner, and I do love writing Bill... so Fleur is a natural extension of that. I think there has always been more to Fleur than what meets the eye. Rowling nearly tells us this herself in HBP with how she handles Bill's attack. Anyway. Thanks as always for the review (and the error you found... I've changed it now)! I appreciate it more than you know! Take care. ~ Lori