What a very lovely story, Carole!
I loved the introduction. There was a real JKR feel to it that I really liked. I am given just enough description to give me a picture and just enough mystery regarding the characters to keep me intrigued. I think this is excellently done, as I think that the first paragraph is often the most important in capturing the attention of the reader.
I love all the little hints that you give us as to who all the characters are at the beginning. I think it’s really great. Like you know that Oliver is going to be in it, obviously, as is Angelina, but I love the way that no names are immediately given. We are told of a girl with dark curls and that the man has faced Beaters, which gives us a perfect insight into exactly who the characters are before we are straight up told.
I love Roxanne. She is just a hilarious little five year old. She is perfectly witty and snarky and so much fun. I loved reading her. I thought that her little exchanges were just so adorable with Oliver, and honestly, it made me fall in love with him all over again.
I’m also quite pleased that your George is not a drunk who is always depressed. I often grow weary of that characterisation of him, so I am very glad that you had him back to his normal cheerful self.
I did find Daphne a bit off at the beginning. One second she’s all “watch what you’re doing”, and the next second she was all nice and stuff. But as her character developed, I found I really liked her.
I think that the magic of this story is really in the characterisation of the characters. I love how much the characters develop in the span of a one-shot. I love how all the characters really balance each other out, and none are too extreme. For me, it was just really lovely.
I thought that the plot moved along really well. The flow felt very natural, and a lot of things happened without it feeling rushed. The moods you create are lovely as well. I loved how you went from cheerful banter to complete awkwardness in a span of a few hundred words. Furthermore, I was very pleased with the resolution. As someone who completely adores Oliver, I find it hard to read stories where he is gay, because it leaves very little room for the imagination, but when he is discerning, it’s better, because there’s still hope for the reader, who really wants nothing more than to pretend that she is Daphne. I liked how there was nothing overly explicit in terms of the sexual situations. It was enough for those readers who crave it, but it was toned down enough that those who still hold a sense of innocent are blushing and hiding their faces.
I think that you handled the serious situations in this story very well. It felt very natural. Yes, you included alcoholism, but you wrote it in a very real-world way that is sensitive and unlikely to offend. I think that you show real maturity in your writing in that way, which makes it a lovely read. It’s wonderful because it’s real. You don’t skate over the issues, but neither do you abuse it.
Just a little grammar nitpick for you:
““Well, anytime, Harry. I always have comps.” He meant it sincerely; he had no one to give his tickets too”
It should be “give his tickets to”.
Also, I’m kind of very pleased that you mentioned the Oliver as a Slytherin thing. And to think I almost missed this story because I haven’t perused MNFF in a long time, and almost never venture into the land of Other Pairings :)
Author's Response: Maple - thank youuuu. I hope you saw the note at the end crediting you because it was your discussion in SBBC that made me think of his Slyth qualities. Thank you so much for such a wonderful review. I'm glad you enjoyed the story.
With Daphne I was trying to convey a confusion in her character. She wants to be liked (hence her coming to the party and talking to Roger) but she's not sure she's worth it. But when she realises it's Oliver who's knocked into her, she's interested - ha ha.
Gay Oliver ... hmm, I kind of scuttled my own ship here. I still ship him with Cedric, but he has to continue somehow and maybe he'll find some happiness with Daphne. Mind you, I need to write the follow up to DNW, soon.
I shall take care of the nit pick .... eeep. Thanks again ~Carole~
I keep coming back here to review you :)This is lovely. (More Puff points for us!) I swear that you can pull off any ship you want to. I would say that's unfair, but I'm still in awe because this is so shiny.
Author's Response: Aww, Lily, thank you. Hmm, I don;t start writing pairings unless I'm sure I've got a hook into the relationship. For instance I never thought I'd write Dramione, but managed to somehow. I'm a bit in love with Oliver, at the moment, and also Daphne who keeps popping up in my stories. Thanks again ~Carole~
Thank you, is Oliver bi in this story?
Author's Response: Um, well, he's 'discerning' as he tells Daphne. I don't think he particularly applies a label to himself anymore. Although he did in Drowning not Waving. So, I think he can be attracted to girls, but hasn't been attracted to anyone particularly since Cedric - but that was love. (I will write the follow up to DNW very soon as I have half of it written. Not sure you've read Zeitgeist, which is another Oliver story. It's not compliant with this, btw. Thank you ~Carole~
Beautiful absolutely beautiful. Write more oliver wood stories please. Oh yeah finish the story of High.
Author's Response: I will finish High. It's second on my list. Thank you for reading and reviewing this. I enjoyed writing it. ~Carole~
Simply fabulous - I did not want it to end!
Author's Response: It had to, unfortunately. But maybe I'll write some more about Oliver and ... hmmm, who knows? Thank you ~Carole~
I liked it! At first I thought it was Oliver/ Angelina. I wouldnt have read it if it was.
Author's Response: Ahh, I couldn't have done that to the lovely George ... Glad you liked it. Thank you. ~Carole~
I have to admit I was pretty attached to your first choice of title - but this one is nice anyway :).
I didn't plan to read this entire thing today; I'm supposed to be helping my mother stamp Christmas cards and bake Italian wedding cookies. But once you threw Daphne in there…well it's Daphne, so I had to keep reading (plus it's YOU, so I probably would have kept reading regardless of the characters).
This was such a gorgeous story, Carole, and without sounding rude to other entries I think this story will do fabulously. I thought at first that Oliver and Jerome would be leaving together but thank god that fell through because I never warmed up to Jerome (and I don't think I was supposed to either :P).
The scene by the graveyard was so sweet - I loved it. I also really liked how you mentioned the red rose was probably from Cho who probably never really moved on…but I don't know why. That part stuck with me for some reason.
What I love most about your stories is that I can trust them to blow me away and they never fail to do so. This was so sweet, and I hope you write more about these two in the future if only in a brief mention :).
Author's Response: Awwww, thank you. I have to admit I teared up a bit when I wrote the red rose from Cho. Ha - no you weren;t supposed to warm to Jerome; I nearly camped him up rather extravagantly, but decided to go with the fact that Oliver just didn't warm to him. I'd like to write more about Daphne because she's fast becoming my favourite Slyth (apart from Blaise). She seemed to fit here with Oliver ... I wonder if I can keep it up ... I think my problem is that I can't think of another man that Oliver could possibly be happy with after losing Cedric :(.
OOOH Italian wedding cookies - they sound yummy.
Thank youuuuuu ~Carole~
Ooooooooooh. Carole, this was a lovely story! I must admit that when I saw the length of it, it did seem a little daunting, but by the time I reached the end of it, I was actually surprised that it had already finished -- meaning that despite its length, it never dragged or anything.
And wow, what a cool pairing! Oliver/Daphne -- now, that's a rarepair and a half, hehe. And as you always do, this seemingly random pairing was made believable and plausible, while maintaining the Oliver/Cedric pairing at the same time, as in, it was clear Oliver had loved Cedric, but there was still that chemistry between Daphne and Oliver. And that chemistry, along with the excellent dialogue, made the pairing so believable and natural.
I liked the little touches of the French guy, and Roger, and I thought it was interesting that Oliver had basically outed himself in the paper, which was very Gryffindor :) Also, I thought it interesting that you had Oliver almost in Slytherin. It definitely makes sense to me -- though, as I was saying in my SBBC discussion, most people have a bit of every House in them so this isn't surprising.
I loved the interaction with Roxy at the beginning, too, and I couldn't help but be reminded of another story. *coughWildCardcough* LOL. I also liked the fact that Oliver went and confronted his past by going to the grave, and with Daphne. By the way, why was Oliver's licence taken off him?
Anyway, I shall stop rambling now. Terrible review, but this was a wonderful wonderful wonderful story. Congrats on the 101 as well XD
Author's Response: Helloooo. Thank you for the review. Ummm, answers to questions first. I have it in mind that you have to get your licence renewed, and Oliver never bothered because he hates Apparition. I think I mentioned this in DNW and it just kind of stuck in my head. I have paired these two up before, btw in Zeitgeist, but this isn;t really compliant with that. I like Daphne at the moment, so I want to pair her with people - hee.
Yes, the length daunted me a little - ha. I nearly split it, but I thought it worked better as a oneshot because there was no convenient break point.
You've just reminded me that I wanted to thank someone (I think it's Maple) who mentioned in that SBBC convo about Oliver being a Slyth because that prompted that bit of dialogue. Must go and ferret that out.
Oh and yeah, the bit with Roxy was ... ha ha ... either a tribute to my birthday fic, or a very unsubtle attempt to suck up to one of the GH judges.
Thank you again :D ~Carole~
You should write another chapter for it.
Author's Response: Um, well, not for this fic, but I might write some more with this pairing, and I have another Oliver fic that I'm in the middle of, which precedes this and is more about Cedric. Thank you for reading and reviewing ~Carole~