Very nice: believeable and a good read. I especially appreciate the amount of character conversation and interaction, plus the shorter and succinct descriptive passages. Are we seeing a Luna/Ernie matchup here??? The "L" names allude to our favorite Ravenclaw...more seasoned and changed, perhaps?
Author's Response: Glad you liked it. I will go ahead and tell you it isn't Luna. Since she and Ernie were in Dumbledore's Army together, I'm sure he would not forget her. I really need to finish chapter two and put you all out of your guessing... haha. Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to review. I really appreciate it! ~ Lori
Wow. I can't believe that I haven't taken the time to partake of your great characterizations and flowing prose before, Lori, but now that I've started I have to say I'm hooked. This is such a great start; so much that, inconsiderate of your artistry as it may sound, if this doesn't get updated soon I'll be forced to send my author-who-doesn't-update-fast-enough avenging elves after you ;). Ernie always seemed a very decent sort in the books, even if a tad difficult to stomach sometimes (and we didn't see a lot of him). I think both aspects were captured perfectly here in order to form a very fully fleshed out person. My favorite bit here was the vexed "Women". It suggested that Ernie did not appreciate being on the subject's wrong side, but also that he is in general rather perplexed by the fairer gender. Nice little suggestive sentences are worth their weight in gold! The only two faintly puzzling details I found here were: 1) that Neville didn't really stick up for Hannah in the kitchen. He may have disagreed with the harebrained scheme, or at least not thought Ernie's possible response worth it, but in other pieces I've read by you Neville acted rather intuitive and protective of Hannah; and 2) The first sentence provides an intriguing beginning, but it was a bit jarring to read "His owl, Belladonna... had just returned and was pecking insistently at the window of his second story flat" right afterwards and to have the story continue along that vein of thought for the next five sentences, then jump back to the topic of the dinner party- not that it wasn't interesting- it just interrupted thethe magnificent flow you usually established. Overall- a lovely read! Can't wait to read the next installment (... pst... Lisa Turpin???)
Author's Response: Hello, Cloak. :) You have made my day. Thank you so much for taking the time--not only to read my story--but to leave this lovely and thoughtful review. I'm so glad you liked Ernie here. He was described as "pompass" is canon, but he was young and I imagine surviving a war would tinker a bit with one's arrogance. I see him mellowing out quite a bit in that regard. Regarding your crit, I will tackle the second part first, the flow of the beginning. I think you make a valid point with this, and after looking at it until my eyes were glazing over, I asked a couple of other writers to look at it with me. I've decided to remove that first sentence and make it a paragraph unto itself, which allows for more of a hint that a diversion is coming, rather than slamming it all-together in one. That said, I'm not completely satisfied with this either, and have considered going back to the original way I had it. LOL. I'm not so much with the decisiveness. Some things are just going to boil down to style preferences. I think the story would be boring and draw in NO ONE if I didn't have that first sentence as a bit of a tease regarding what is to come. But I appreciate your thoughts on that and do see your point. I will continue to consider (and go mad over) the possibilities on that. ;) Neville. You are right: I do usually write him as intuitive (which I think is a canon characteristic) and he would certainly be protective of Hannah in most cases. But Hannah and Ernie are unusually close friends, and I see Neville as being supportive of that (having been close friends with girls himself) and okay with it. Hannah and Ernie have a history and I think Neville respects it enough to not get into the middle of stuff with them. He is uncomfortable in the scene because Ernie is pretty mad at Hannah (unusual), but he isn't saying anything because he has to let them deal with it. I actually felt like I was stretching it a little by having him tell Hannah that he'd told her so, and telling Ernie to give her a break. But in the end, that felt right to me. *shrug* Thanks so much for the comment about this, but I think this is the right choice for the way these three operate in my own head canon. :) This review rocked--thanks again. I truly am working on chapter two. It's half written, so hopefully it won't be too much longer. Hehe... good guess, but no. :) ~Lori
Hi Lori :)
I’ve been meaning to read this for a while, so I’m glad to have finally done so, because I really am enjoying this story so far. I think you’ve got an intriguing take on Ernie in terms of his characterisation and backstory, and this is only the first chapter, so I’d love to see where this goes from here.
Ernie’s characterisation was one of the biggest strengths here. I really liked how you introduced him, with his attachment to his owl. I remember reading Deathly Hallows and feeling just as sad as Harry was when Hedwig died, so it was interesting to see something similar go on with Ernie. And I love how Ernie thinks, Women, when he thinks of Belle -- I think that shows a lot about how considerate he is as a character, to the extent that he doesn’t just think of his pet as a pet, but also a “woman”, which I think is rather sweet. As well as this, Ernie feeling as lonely and broken as he is was beautifully and realistically written, especially as he even admitted it himself.
And I also love Hannah here. Even in the letter, you established her voice so well -- as someone who is firm and who isn’t afraid to say her mind, but also an honest person, especially when she says Besides, I miss you. Again, I thought it was really sweet, and I think it said a lot about their friendship, and how concerned Hannah was for him. And I think it’s interesting that you mention how their positions were reversed in their sixth year, and that they were best friends, because it gives them a connection I didn't really think of before. I also am interested to know exactly why Ernie’s father passed away; I hope this is mentioned in the next chapter.
I think you brought out both of their characters when they started arguing. While I understand why Hannah would try to set Ernie up, it wasn’t that fair for Ernie not to know that he was being set up, so I think his annoyance was justified. I also liked the inclusion of Neville here, and I’m wondering exactly when this was set (Hermione and Ron are married at this point, so I was thinking it’s probably a few years after the Battle). Either way, though, I am glad Ernie and Hannah made up, at least :) Along with all of this, I’m also eager to know who “the girl he’d lost three weeks later” was. I really do hope you update soon, because I very much would like to know what happens next.
Lastly, the scene at the end of the story was lovely and awkward. I loved how the girl (and who is she? I hope it’s Lisa Turpin...) and Ernie, although both embarrassed, were able to somehow have a conversation, even if it was a small one. I thought Ernie’s blushing and social awkwardness was just adorable, and I really do sympathise with him for being set up like that, though it seems he’s attracted to the girl, so I’d like to see who she is. There’s a certain wonderful mysteriousness about the story, which I think is just excellent, Lori, and there are so many things I want to find out in the next chapter.
So, all in all, this was an excellent first chapter. I can’t wait for the next.
Oh, and happy belated birthday :)
Author's Response: Oh my, Soraya, I really did think I'd responded to this! So glad for Carole's comments today about responding to reviews--it made me check my stats and here you've been all this time with no response to such a wonderful review. Thanks! Well, you can see what has happened to my good intentions. I do not excel at follow-through when it comes to fanfic, I am learning. I'm just now working on the conclusion to a two-shot I first posted about three years ago. Yes, YEARS. I'm such a slacker. BUt I truly have not forgotten about sweet Ernie and L.... ;) Hehe, I shall make you wait a bit more, I think. I have written half of the next chapter, and I don't imagine it being much more than 4 or 5 chapters. It's not abandoned, though it does appear so. I'm glad you thought the characterization worked. He's a bit tricky because we know his actions in canon were eventually brave and loyal, but the main character trait he's always had is "pompass." Not a lot to work with really. Also, I think a lot of teenage boys can be that way. It doesn't necessarily mean he will always be so, especially not after much hardship and the war and then some more hardship. He's grown up some, in my thinking. The backstory of these losses (his dad and the girl) will be mentioned in the next chapter or two, so that will not remain a mystery. You are correct in believing he had a right to be angry with Hannah. I love their friendship because they both do things wrong but somehow they still can rely on one another. The mistakes are honest ones made with good intentions, and forgiveness tends to follow. Though they did end well in this chapter, a proper resolution to that argument is already written in the next. They were both at fault really... Hannah in setting him up without telling her, him for being extremely rude about it when he could have just slipped out and left. Again, I'm so glad you liked this. Especially with a fic that is still only a beginning, the encouragement is greatly appreciated. And your review, as your reviews always are, is LOVE. Thanks so much! <3
Great start, Lori! You've immediately made Ernie such a sympathetic character that I want this to work out for him! And I don't even want to hit him, because he's obviously struggling with things. What is so neat about this is how you've dribbled out just enough information to make me want more - what happened to his dad, this girl? And most importantly, who is this person Hannah is trying to set him up with?? I like her already just from her reactions. And I love Hannah here! She's brilliant. So I hope the next chapter is coming along well for you because I look forward to reading it! ~Gina :)
Author's Response: Thanks so much, Gina. :) I'm glad you don't want to hit Ernie (do you usually have that impulse? hehe) ~ if you did, I would not have done my job well. I'm glad you are intrigued and think it's going well so far. As for the next chapter, it's going just splendidly in my head, but not so much on "paper" just yet. Still have six days though. Hopefully I will get it in hand. I'm so glad you stopped by to read this, and thanks for the review, friend!
This was very well done! I love your characterization, it's so realistic. I'm excited to see how the story unfolds :)
Author's Response: Thanks. The deadline is end of February, so more will be coming soon (or else!). I'm glad you think the characterization is working... hope you come back to read the rest. :)
OH OH OH OH OH - Who is it? I neeeeeeed to know who the girl is. My mind is buzzing now. It can't be a Hufflepuff, he'd remember them. Ummmm, Leanne? Lisa? (thinking of 'L's now) Demelza (no she's with Tracey - giggle).
Lorriiiiiiii I love this story. You've captured Ernie brilliantly, but not just him, your Hannah and Neville are so perfect - s right (and not a mention of her tits anywhere - snigger). Seriously, that scene in the kitchen between the three of them had me gulping. Neville was just so fantastic. I think it's the sign of a really good writer that even the minor players can make such an impression, and he was so so good.
Looking at Hannah now, pretty even with the sheen of sweat from cooking visible at her hairline, he wondered why he couldn’t have just fallen in love with her. Life would have been so much simpler in his estimation.
This passage is particularly good. I love how Hannah isn;t perfect, yet he still recognises that she's pretty and, yeah, perhaps it would have been good for him to fall in love with her,but then we wouldn;t have the fabulousness that is Neville and Hannah. - ha ha.
Lori, please never doubt yourself again. This is lovely. Somehow you always manage to get to the heart of these characters with such ease and gentleness, my heart melts. Fabulous!~Carole~
Author's Response: Have you figured out who it is yet? Mwahahaha! I won't tell, but it may be the first line of the next chapter, so you'll at least know by the end of February. Hehe. I'm so glad you liked Neville and Hannah. They are just after Ron/Hermione when it comes to my OTPs, and writing them is starting to feel a bit more natural lately. I'm glad they seemed substantial even though their roles here are small. Hannah will actually show up some more, but Neville is getting a bit part in this saga. :) This review is just love, Carole. I'm thrilled you like the fic, and I am quite unable to express how much I appreciate the encouragement you continue to give me at every turn with regard to writing in general (not just this story). I admire your writing and your barmaidy skills very much, so it means that much more coming from you. *hugs*