What a sweet story! I loved it! I could tell that Barnabas was an ass. I think one of the funniest parts was when Molly helped the two professors at the Anniversary. They both sounded like eccentric old ladies--like I hope to grow into. You have a really nice way about writing about sex. It just sounds like romance.
That was wonderful. How stupid for Barnabas to be out with a married woman during his engagement party or whatever you call the party. I'll bet Molly's not as plain looking as she thinks she is. I'll also bet that Aaron's photos of Molly are gorgeous. Can't wait to read chapter two.
What a cute little story! Audrey is just so delightfully terrible, and Aaron is so adorable! Definately a good read :)
Author's Response: Thank you! I'm planning more about aaron, but from earlier at Hogwarts. Yeah, Audrey is a piece of work and based on my sisters' friends' mum - ha ha. ~Carole~
Yayyyyy, they got their happy ending. And Audrey can go rot >.< Seriously, I don't know *who* in their right mind would expect their daughter to overlook something like that.
And I loved the thing about pearls. I never knew that! I really like how, while being entertained, I can also be educated :D
Anyway, I've got to dash, but this was definitely one of my favouritest stories in the challenge :)
Author's Response: I think Percy had the measure of Audrey when he said she hated being wrong and couldn't believe she'd made such a colossal error of judgement with Barnabas. I hope she'll calm down and become more decent if I ever write a follow up, but for some reason I've always seen her as a shrew.
Thank you so much for all the reviews, Soraya. It is much appreciated. ~Carole~
You may or may not have noticed that I'm kind of spamming you today, hehe. But I wanted to get through my TBR list tonight, so yeah.
I loved this! (What's new, eh?) I think you've given Molly a really interesting personality, and Audrey and Lucy too. Ahhhh, NGL, Aaron is rather gorgeous :) But Hebe is such a biatch, and Barney is bloody horrible and mean and thoughtless. Good for Molly for getting rid of him, lol. He didn't deserve her.
I love the swans and everything. They're such graceful creatures, and I think it's so original for you to use that as the premise of your story. Ooooh, and the age difference between them is interesting -- especially with Molly being older, though it's not a significant age gap so it's all good. I'd love to see where this goes, so I shall see you on teh next chapter, Croll!
Author's Response: Thank youuuuuuuu. Oh, age gap age gap age gap - hahahahahahha.
Aaron is in High - very briefly - and I plan on featuring him in another story - post High, but pre-Swans - which will explain his rivalry with Hugo, so I'm pleased you liked him. ~Carole~
You are an amazing writer! Your imagery and structure is astonishing, and beautiful to read.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for the lovely review. I'm pleased you enjoyed the story. ~Carole~
Really enjoyed this fic. I usually avoid next gen like the plague because of how horribly cliched it can be, but this caught my eye on the most recent and I was intrigued. You create such a believable world around an excellently written character. Your Molly is wonderful, and so is Aaron.
I love the addition of the other characters into the story. It makes it feel more realistic and natural for me. The bit with Kingsley made me smile, and McGonagall and Sprout's little argument as well.
I am rather tired at the moment and am failing to write anything constructive in this review. My apologies. Really enjoyed the story though. Excellent work.
Author's Response: Thanks Ash. I know how you feel about NG. Sometimes they just turn into Trio clones which is annoying, so I'm pleased you decided to give this one a shot. I can generally not resist adding other characters into a story even when it's a pairing. So I have some more in the next chapter - ha ha.
Thanks again ~Carole~
I loved the stuff at the beginning, especially with Grandma Weasley. Seeing all the other characters was just brilliant. And seeing Molly stick to her decision was also wonderful, not to mention Percy coming around and showing his support. Your Audrey is such a witch, lol! But it was bound to happen to the Weasleys sometime, I suppose.
You've really created a delicious character in Aaron here. He's so sweet, yet we can see an edge here that takes off the perfect. He has a history, too, which could be interesting. I loved all the bits about pearls that he dropped...and I'm wondering if there is a double meaning to the 'pearls are meant to be worn against the skin' going on. ;)
Seeing them get caught outside in a perfectly innocent walk was really sort of shocking and sad. Molly didn't deserve that, and it really emphasize just how much of a cow her mother truly is, to bring Barnabas back like that, ugh. The escape was nicely done, and then of course there was some smut. If it seemed a bit fast, oh well! You set it up so that it felt like Aaron really liked her, and we knew that Molly needed to break free somewhow. Good a way as any. ;) I just can't even begin to imagine the repercussions!
Lovely story, wonderful take on the characters, and great details throughout. Good luck!
Author's Response: Thank youuuu. The information about pearls is true. I'd heard it years ago and then actually did a bit of research in case it was a myth - heh heh. Of course it is a bit of a metaphor for Molly losing lustre, and at the end he's obviously making a more sensual connection ...
I agree the smut was a bit fast. I did want to convey the fact that Molly has waited rather a long time and she is kind of overwhelmed by this bloke. Plus, I remember amongst my peer group one or two girls fell very quickly for a bloke or two at parties - ha ha. So ... I decided Molly could be like that. The other factor is that I was seriously restricted by the word count, or I would have written another chapter. I had a whole scene with Dominique planned out as well which I couldn;t use :( Maybe when the comp is over, I'll restructure it.
I need to write the Hogwarts stuff with Aaron and Hugo. Hmm, I wonder if you know who the girl is.
Thanks again. ~Carole~
“But if you’d like to come around to fetch the ring, then you’re more than welcome. I dropped it behind the summerhouse, so I imagine it’s still there.”
I love Molly. I love how quietly determined, and thorough and sensible she is, even if she was caught up in Barnabas’ whirl somewhat. I really loved the part where she thought about how she was going to deal with Hebe, and thought ”I could ruin you”. It was a darker but stronger side to her, that she had the knowledge that she had that power, but was content in just the knowledge of it. And I love Molly Weasley Senior--she’s my go-to when a next-gen character is angry with her/his life too, and I think it’s very realistic that she’d occupy that position. And I liked the way she immediately said she’d never liked Barnabas. Also- Charlie has decided not to marry! I’m not sure whether I love him or Aaron more in this story (and his gf has a lovely name).
Your characterisation of the minor characters (to your story that is) was uniformly good, although I was thrown a bit by McGonagall saying “His eyes were far too close together, which is never a good sign.” Just she’s always struck me as a highly rational person, so that didn’t quite make sense.
But Aaron-ah what a sweetheart. And you saw him in a pub! No age gap problem for me....I love the way he is obviously very, very attracted to her, but is consciously trying not to pressurise her/ trying to take things slowly to suit her, and very aware of how uncomfortable she might be given how they, really, first met. And I love it that he doesn’t like swans (I never have--they’ve always struck me as arrogant/ one broke my best friend’s leg when she was five). I also like that when he says ”This could be a Muggle photograph” it’s clearly something he respects, and he appreciates the value of both types of photography- a bit like liking both colour ad black and white films.
I loved the bra strap. You mention Aaron stopping when in chapter one when he notices the strap of her dress is torn and here you mention it when they’re making out, but it’s not loaded with the same awfulness as it is in chapter one. And the pearl imagery as well was beautiful. I also liked the emphasis on taking it slowly (their relationship, if not the sex which I’m sure most readers, and Aaron and Molly, were very glad they didn’t take slowly) in contrast to Barnabas insisting on marriage/ proposing after such a short time.
Anyway, I loved this story. Best of luck with the challenge and thank you :) Alex
Author's Response: Thank youuuuuu.
Actually, I kind of agree with you about McGonagall, because she sounds more like Aunt Muriel in that section. I'm thinking she's less rational as she's got older and more inclined to say what she wants rather than be tactful, but the line isn;t quite her, unless I think up some other way of explaining it. I shall ponder, so ta lots.
Swans are evil. They do look so beautiful but I remember being terrified when I was told to stay away because they could break your arm. When I go to our local pond, I always try to feed the ducks first (geese scare me as well - ha!)
yes, the Aaron-a-like was in London last night - heh heh. I wanted to take a picture, but that might have looked a tad stalkery *snigger*. I know the sex wasn't being taken slowly, but sometimes that type of thing (uncontrollable lust) just happens.
Molly snr is full of no nonsense advice and I'm sure she'd be a lot less strict with her grandchildren so, yeah, go-to grownup in my book too. And Charlie is a lovegod. Ha ha - I'm glad we both like him. Hmm, him not marrying isn't just down to him. Darnnit, I need to write my follow up to Mirrors. It's Penelope Clearwater that he's with, in case you didn't know.
Back off, girls. That GQMF is MINE. I claimed it when I was betaing.
And oh! Of course this story kicks serious ass and Hebe/Barnabas deserve to die in a fire.
Author's Response: But he was in the pub last night. You need to get to London, pronto!
I might set fire to them. I could resurrect Crabbe to cast Fiendfyre.
This is making me giggle so much - LOLOLOLOLOL Thank youuuuu ♥ ~Croll~
Oh Molly…I want to hug her right now. And I am absolutely outraged on her behalf at what that disgusting Barnabas decided to do. He's a horrible excuse for a man and I hated him so much during that scene. Thank god for Aaron who - in about 6 or 7k - you've made me fall in love with. I love that he's a Slytherin and I love that he's not in the family business. Also the fact that he has stubble is slightly amazing ;).
My favorite, though, is Molly. I could probably count on one hand the number of stories about her on this site. You managed to take a character I've barely ever thought about and make me care so much about her. She's absolutely lovely - from her caring for the ducks to her empathetic acceptance of her cousin's sexuality.
This story is beautiful. Incredibly so.
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Ariana. If there's one regret I have about this story, it's that the word count meant I had to cut certain scenes I'd planned in my mind. One of them was Molly talking to Dominique and another would have been more build up in the second chapter because it's rather fast moving. Thing is, whilst I had about 1k left to play with, I knew that by including these other scenes, I'd write far more than I could. What I'm trying to say is that I'm pleased you liked the concern for Dominique. I have them as same school year, with Victoire the year above. Poor Molly is always going to get overlooked with a pair of Veela cousins in tow. :(
I hope you like the rest of the story. :) ~Carole~
Okay, I should not have read this at work. I'm rather flustered right now. OH MY EFFING GODRIC. I'm honestly not entirely sure how to respond to this. This is going to be a barely coherent review but WOW. That was hot. So hot.
I was cheering on Molly as she stood up to that awful mother of hers and then after... heheheh. Sorry for this crap review but you've left me speechless (and very much in lust with this wonderful Aaron).
Author's Response: I should have put a NSFW warning on it - heh heh heh.
Glad you liked this chapter, Julz, even if you did get 'flustered'. It possibly went a bit to fast from kissing to ... yeah ... but Molly has been waiting for twenty-seven years and Aarons don't come along every day (pun intended). Hmmm, wonder what will happen when the weekend is over. heh heh ~Carole~
Oh goodness, Carole, this is brilliant. Molly is so wonderfully written, I felt myself being drawn to her right from the start, as if I've known her for a long time rather than her being merely a character on a computer screen... seriously, I think she's a triumph. You have such a knack for capturing the heart of a character. Even the smaller roles, like Percy and Kingsley, are so well drawn, subtle yet firmly grounded in what we know from canon. Percy posing for the photo, his small frown at the inconvenience of waiting, just stood out to me so much. And the amiability and humility of Kingsley was just so right.
Hebe and Barnabas are suitably horrid although Barnabas definitely transitioned into horrific. That I despised those two before the worst of them was revealed is a true mark of brilliant writing. And then we have Aaron. Another dishy photographer. What am I supposed to do with myself, eh?
As Alex said, I appreciated the way he didn't weaken Molly's own strength after the incident. He empowered her, reassured her of her own self-worth. It was great.
This chapter was truly brilliant and may just give me the courage to read the final chapter of High which I am trying to save. I just don't want it to end. But, you know what, as long as you're still writing fics like this, it shouldn't matter that High has ended because there will always be more amazing Croll!fic to discover and devour.
Author's Response: I wanted it to be important that Molly wasn;t weak and that someone else recognises that. She might not sparkle like her sister, and may have been dragooned into the engagement, but I felt it was important that Aaron recognised and made her recognise that she was strong.
Snigger - dishy photographers seem to be taking over. I don;t know about Natalie, but my inspiration was the fact that he could legitimately watch her and see the changes as she talked to people - (and the pearls which are in the next chapter)
Glad you like Kingsley. I find it hard not to put other characters in - probably because I'm in love with them all *sigh*. My favourite exchange in in the next chapter between Mc G and Sprout - for some reason it makes me giggle when I picture them.
Thank you so much for the review. Means a lot. Oh and :( to High as well, but there'll be spin offs and I'm plotting a sequel with Kara's assistance. ~Carole~
Carole-this was so good. As you know, I probably shouldn't have read this, but I'm very glad I did as it's excellent. I sympathise a lot with Molly, and so quickly, and I liked the way Aaron was rather sweet even before Molly really noticed him, if that makes sense. Barnabas was a sh*t from the first mention of him, and I liked Molly shouting at him. While it's horrific what he was trying to do to her, and lucky that Aaron heard and could stop it, I liked the fact Aaron said that if he hadn't been there, someone else would have, or Molly would have fought him off. It empowers her, rather than making her weak and helpless, if that makes sense.
I love how smoothly the ducks/swans imagery fits into your story, and I LOVED the mention of Dominique. And yes, Audrey is awful. I liked the way Kingsley talked to her, and the way he talked about Percy--it was interesting to see him as the next Minister. And, of course, I loved the mention of Dominique. I don't think I ever reviewed Stars Or Carousels, which is one of my favourites of yours, but will try to rectify that. If I don't review this now, the same thing might happen.
I love the last few paragraphs in particularly, and how much clarity Molly has gained from her experience. And the last paragraph is a beautiful image, and I love the way you Potter-ise it smoothly, without that seeming clumsy.
I can't wait for the next update. Alex x
Author's Response: YAY!!! thank youuuu. I don;t deserve such a fabulous review as I'm so so behind on my flist reading/reviewing. But ♥ anyway. Glad you like Molly - poor love. Yes, I empowered her because whilst she might not be as forthright as other members of her family, I don;t want her to be perceived as a wimp. She wouldn't have lasted as Kingsley's secretary if she hadn't had a bit of fight in her. And, yeah, she would have totally fought very very hard against Barnabas if he'd gone any further - I feel sure of that.
I find it difficult to resist the urge of writing more characters into my stories, so there are a few more Weasleys and some other old favourites in chapter 2.
Thank you, once again. Now, GET BACK TO YOUR REVISION, WOMAN!!!!!
Wow, I really liked this! This was really well done. I have to admit, that sometimes I have my doubts about the more peripheral next-gen kids, and OCs as well, but you effortlessly made me care about Molly almost immediately. You made me dislike Barnabas just as quick, and fall in love with Aaron just like that.
What is really amazing is how detailed everything is. From fleshing out Percy and Audrey, to the little hints of other Weasleys, to Kingsley's wonderful appearance, you always paint the whole picture. All these things contribute to the character you are writing about, and then of course you give her her own personality-appearance, style, feelings, quirks-that just complete it. It's really just so well done (I said that already but it just really struck me here since Molly might as well be an original character when you think about it!)
I thought the attack was well done--not to graphic and horrible, and I was glad to see Molly fight back as much as she could. Aaron is right: she would have kept fighting, I think. Her reaction to finding Barnabas in the first place was telling: she didn't get hysterical, but was cooly damning and defiant. I liked that.
I really liked Aaron. It was obvious he was picking up on her feelings in a way almost no one else did, and he was so nice about it. Probably part of what makes him a good photographer, too. I'm glad he found her and helped her. I wasn't quite sure about the kiss. On the one hand, it's obvious he's liked he from the beginning so I liked seeing them together; on the other, she's just been attacked and it seems dangerous to turn to the guy who rescues you and let him kiss you. But, she recognized what was going on, and so did he, and he felt properly upset about it. I do hope you address it more in the next chapter, though. And I hope it does NOT get Molly in trouble. She doesn't deserve that, and you've made me care about her being happy and Barnabas getting what he deserves.
So really great start. This is why I am so envious: it's just seems so effortless for you to come up with well-rounded minor characters, strong, original plots, and lots of detail --and all so quick!! Good luck in the challenge and with your next pairing!
Author's Response: I do hope you address it more in the next chapter, though.
Yes, I do. hee hee. I'm glad you picked up on his hesitation. It was when he got to the torn dress strap that he hesitated. Obvioulsy he's still a bit of a crass prat (he is only 20) but Aaron was able to pick up on her unease with everything in a far more intuitive way than her family and the awful Barnabas.
Thank you very much for this review, Gina. that first one is always so important, cause it makes it appear of teh list - ha ha ha. (I've gone very giggly here).
What you said about me bringing Kingsley in pleased me. I have this tendency to want to write not just a pairing but also the other characters and world around them. I've placed this in Next Gen rather than Other Pairing because in the next chapter there's far more about the world they live in. Plus this is a story more about Molly than the actual 'pairing' as it were.
As for Aaron and this story. I had it in mind last month, I think, so the characters and basic story were already in place when Jess and Viv came up with the challenge. So I've not really had to start from scratch with this pairing for the challenge. It's the same with the next one which I thought about when I did my last disappearing act - ha ha. Being MIA on AIM (oooh an anagram) leads to dangerous thoughts - MWAHAHAHAHAHA!
Good luck to you, btw. I am on my way to pay a visit very very soon. ~Carole~