I’ve wanted to read this for quite a while now, and I’ve finally managed the time to go through this. I’m glad I did, Jamie, because so far this is wonderful.
I loved how your first chapter started directly with a mission. It sets up the pace directly from the beginning, without unnecessary information about anything else. Your first line itself managed to establish a scene, and we know what to visualise all throughout regarding the weather. It also manages to build up suspense from the start, as the reader starts to wonder what on earth Neville’s doing in such conditions. It makes me want to read the rest of the chapter.
The use of short or medium paragraphs was a good idea, for it stops the story from becoming monotonous or dull. I’m personally not a fan of giant paragraphs, so I’m glad your ones were concise and to the point. The descriptions you’ve added are very vivid and help the reader to imagine what goes on. “Terrifyingly dangerous folly” is an interesting phrase, and it sums up their mission quite nicely! Furthermore, “dull roar” and “low growl” create a very daunting, horror-movie-type scenario that tends to make one more eager to read the story. I also liked your use of “powerful lupine form”. It was a very short yet accurate portrayal of a werewolf. Your descriptions, I’d say, is one of the strong points in all of your stories that make me want to read them over and over again, for visualization is an important aspect of a good story.
The plot you’ve started with is really exciting, too. We don’t usually see Neville around werewolves much, and the situation you’ve put them in is rather horrible. Taking out a pack of wolves alone can be quite… perilous, especially for only two Aurors. I felt really bad when Ballinger died -- poor man. I’m glad you didn’t draw out his death long enough, however, because the simple phrase “suddenly very dead body” leaves a much stronger impact on the reader due to its simple blatancy. I did like how Neville worked the rescue out, though. Taking two children at a time was a better idea than trying to lug five of them together. I did like his characterisation as well, for it is completely in sync with the Neville in Deathly Hallows -- trying to save whomever he can. It reminds me of that moment when he refused to cast a Cruciatus curse on the people who got detentions. Poor Neville, he did end up getting bitten in the end :(. I wonder what’s going to happen to him now.
Moving on, I like your introduction of the new Apparition rule: “He couldn't Apparate from within a magically expanded space, not if he wanted to keep all his organs where they were supposed to be.” Frankly, it does make sense, because since the area is physically expanded against the laws of traditional physics, Neville would be having to Apparate to a place with a different space-time continuum. Apparating between two different types of space may be a bad idea. You always have this knack for technicality in your stories, whether it is official documents or science, and this is one thing I enjoy about your writing :).
Now, I wonder why he’s going off to Hermione. This is something I have to see, so I’m off to read the next chapter now. Good job on this one! Can’t wait to see where this goes.
I'm really falling in love with this story! The relationship between Hermione and Neville is so sweet. I can't wait to read more!
Wow fantastic story I love the way its portrays Ron and Hermione
All right then! Lots of stuff happening here. First off, is Neville a sleaze? Abusive? No. He's still Neville. But he does seem manipulative to me. Is he aware of being manipulative? I don't know. I doubt it. But he seems to be overreacting to Ron thinking he would sleep with Hermione. To me, Ron has more than every right to be the one who is angry and hurt, but Neville claims that prize instead and tries to make both of them feel guilty. Now, my guess would be that it's quite the defensive reaction on his part - he does like Hermione, he does want to kiss her - so he takes even greater offense at someone else thinking it. That makes sense to me, anyway - hope I'm not a thousand miles off, lol.
The bit about suggesting Ron and Hermione get counseling seemed off though. It seemed a more deliberate attempt at putting doubt in Ron and Hermione's marriage so he could have Hermione. Plus I wasn't sure why he really thought that, although I could have forgotten. Just because Ron thought Hermione was sleeping with Neville - most logical conclusion ever as far as I'm concerned - doesn't mean they need major counseling. And Hermione had to tell her husband what she was really doing, simple as that, he has to understand. But I know Neville is scared of people finding out, I do. I imagine that's a huge part of it as well. Which is why I think those bum reviews you've had aren't maybe reading close enough to see the layers that contribute to the character's motivations. And I think too that a person's life experience will really influence the way they read something like this. I know it is for me, especially these last two chapters. That said, whatever people say should still be said with thoughtful respect and not ignorant virulence. And since I can clearly see that you are doling out the clues that give us the reasons for the character's actions - learning R/H's backstory on the pregnancy and marriage, for example - I think readers need to remember the story is not finished.
Okay, so two more things.
I thought this was brilliant: "You'll do stupid shit, and I'll get angry. And then I'll do stupid shit, and you'll get angry. Then we'll apologise and forgive and everything will be okay again for a while. That's how it works." Yes yes yes. But you may have readers who don't see it that way because they view relationships differently. I loved those lines and thought it was perfectly Ron. :)
That said...I'm worried about Hermione having those thoughts at the end. I can't say I'll be happy if she acts on them. I think it's one of those things that may strike a chord with some people. I just can't relate to her in this situation so I can't really empathize yet. Obviously I can't relate to Neville as a werewolf either, so it gets even more tricky, lol. But that said, perhaps it's not your goal or your job to get me to relate or empathize or anything like that. Perhaps you are telling a story and leaving it up to the reader to bring their own experience to how they interpret and relate to it. And you do tell it well. I always enjoy reading your words. The page goes by so quickly, without a single nitpick over style or silly grammatical errors. It flows. It's confident. So don't let the negative reviews get you down: if there is something you can take from them to improve (without compromising the story you want to tell!), then take it. Otherwise leave the baggage behind. You've got a long journey ahead of you as a writer (don't you LOVE my metaphor! LOL)
That should do it. Hope that was a good balance. Happy to chat more, as always. *hugs*
The scrabble was a nice touch. How did Neville get so good at it? Especially good enough to beat Hermione? LOL That was well done, with Neville accepting things a bit more. But the real kicker here was Ron and Hermione. OF COURSE he would think she was seeing Neville. Merlin, how could he not. Maybe it's just my perspective, but I thought that was really the only way to play it. And Ron reacted really well, all things considered. It's a hard, hard thing to deal with, just the very thought of a spouse seeing someone else. Here's the thing, though: Hermione made a mistake and she knew it. I know I could never ever do what she did in helping Neville and NOT tell my husband. But she did so she has to deal with the consequences now. I thought it was very realistic. And the thing is, you are giving us little pieces, here and there, about why it's happened this way so I can believe it. Do i think Hermione was a bit stupid? Yes. But people make mistakes and so can she, especially with what you give us in the next chapter. So I'm off to review that next.
Oh, and Neville is not a sleaze. No idea where that came from. I thought it was a good chapter!
Oh, that is a super cool twist - the new skill set. This Evan kid is both tragic and worrying - the 'yet' makes me nervous, as does the fact that he knows what Neville is. The whole thing about his going alpha male even in human form was very cool. And of course Hermione was very lovely and level-headed about it. So of course Neville is going to end up under the shower trying to pound those feelings away. Poor guy. I think he needs to use some sort of Transfiguration Charm and go to a Werewolves Anonymous meeting and meet a lady wolf. Like, for real. Please give him some happiness /says the writer who also beats the snot out of her characters most of the time.
Enjoyed it! ~Gina :)
Oh wow, that was so, so well done. It was just the right balance, really, of the macabre and the tragic and Hermione's usual bit of distance. I still think you're doing so great with both of their characters, but it was lovely to see some of their history mentioned here.
I think using Hermione's POV was the perfect way to go, because we got to experience her terror and helpnessless first, but still with such a great empathy for Neville. Merlin, you have really made me think of just how horrible it must have been for Remus (I do love the Marauders, as you might know, lol) Your research here was amazing, as usual.
I really liked the hint at the end of Hermione telling Ron, because I'd really like to see that. She's already lied and feels guilty and even though it's all for a good reason, it's still lying. I can't begin to imagine Ron's reaction, though, so I look forward to that...if you are planning it, of course. ;)
Hermione's right. Neville can do this. He'll survive, because you make him so brilliant. Good luck as you continue!
I read this at lunch and now that I am at a proper cafe with wi-fi I can leave a review.
First of all, I liked it. Your writing is very tight and terrifically in character. I know you said you struggled with Ron, but I think you got both his good bits and his annoying bits down pretty well here. There is still a part of me that is thinking "Hermione! Just tell him!" I mean, she could even put him under a spell it he tells anyone, lol. But then his insensitivity to Neville's losing a partner clearly demonstrates that Ron probably couldn't deal. So it's going to get tricky for Hermione I think and I see all sorts of awkward situations that make me cringe when I'm watching a TV show and I just want the characters to be honest and figure out what is going on. LOL
Second of all, good luck with the transformation. You'll have a bit of pity on Neville, yeah? ;)
I like this chapter because it has a birthday and a wink.
Author's Response: Wink.
I'm not usually into non-canon pairings, but I'm very much into Neville, very much into werewolves, and very much into your fic! I checked it out on a whim and now I find myself happily awaiting the next chapter. I especially like what you did with Hermione, adapting her to her changing roles as a wife and mother but still keeping her so very...Hermione :) Post chapter 4 soon!
Author's Response: Thank you so much! It always means a lot to me when I've "converted" someone who normally wouldn't read a non-canon pairing, and I hope to make it believable for you. Chapter 4 is on its way, worry not, and thank you so much for the review! :)
You've done a fantastic job of explaining why Neville would want to keep it secret - from his job to his name and inheritance. That was well done. And Hermione is SO perfectly Hermione! Really, the way she reacted and thought through everything - esp. with the free clinic - was also well done. She's in character and yet grown up. And the scene with Ron was very sweet. :)
I'm sure I'll say it a lot, but poor Neville. I hope you do at least one nice thing for him, lol!
Author's Response: Thank you! You know me, I try to make things as plausible and as close to character as I can, and I always like to hear when I'm doing it well.
And yes, poor Neville. I should bake him a cake.
Great start! It's very exciting, very realistic. Also very grim, the idea that werewolves took these children. I'm so glad Neville was able to save them. And I loved the Locus charm, that was super cool.
I'm curious why he's gone to Hermione and not opted for treatment elsewhere, so I'll read the next chapter soon.
I see lots of pain for Neville, though. You do like to put him through the ringer, don't you? ;)
And yet - I so totally understand, lol!