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A great story - I was sceptical of the pairing at first but your intricate storytelling pulled at my heartstrings and made me believe in them. Please keep writing!
Is there more coming? I'd love to see it!
Hello Jamie! I definitely think that you have a very strong start to this story, and Iâ€™m very excited to see where it goes. Everything feels very natural and balanced. So far, it has been a pleasure to read.
I love how you captured Nevilleâ€™s character in only the first few paragraphs of the story. With only a few small observances from the bartender, the reader knows that this is the Neville we know from canon. By saying that he never wanted to inconvenience people, that he hid his tears, and that he stayed to himself, we see the young Neville and immediately think of how he dealt with his parents. He kept them a secret, not because he was ashamed, but because he didnâ€™t want to impose his problems on other people. With your strong Neville characterisation throughout the first two chapters, you have made the story believable. Creating a relationship while keeping the characters in character is very important, and I think you have done it superbly.
In addition to the excellent characterisation of Neville, you have created a very likable OC in Molly. What I found interesting about her was that she was just enough of her dad to make her seem believable. Her lack of great ability to really notice the change in Neville as being something personal until the rumours and the not wanting to approach him about him definitely reminds us of Percy and his lack of emotional understanding. What is interesting, however, is that even within one chapter, there is character development for Molly. No longer is she the 17/18 year old girl who didnâ€™t see the signs. Her interaction with Neville makes her so much more likable, as she has already developed as a character. While she still may not be overly in tune to peopleâ€™s emotions (like mentioning Hannah when he seemed happy), she handles working with them so much better.
The character of Molly is definitely one that is relatable. By including small little details in how Molly is feeling, such as her awkwardness at the table and the swooping sensation in her tummy, you have created a character than I am sure just about any person can relate to. This is so important in a story, as you need to relate to a character in order to enjoy the story, and I feel that you have really hit the mark on this one.
I loved how the hints at attraction were already there for Molly, in the fact that she knew his drink and remembered the little things about them. I especially like how she questioned herself. It really contributed to the believability of the beginning of the story, and gave a good foundation for what will happen in the future. It adds just the right amount of foreshadowing that keeps the reader interested, but doesnâ€™t give too much of story away.
I really liked how you contrasted the two chapters. The first chapter opens with control, fine drinks, and good crystal, while the second opens with a much bleaker outlook. I thought that this created a very effective parallel to how Neville and Molly complement each other as characters. The repetition of â€śhe did not want to think about itâ€ť in the second chapter parallels Mollyâ€™s repeated questioning. The contrast exists in how the characters deal with it. While Molly is slightly more open to the idea of trying to figure her feelings out, Neville is much more closed off and ignoring any feelings he might have.
You have really created a very interesting plot. I like watching the character development and the relationship grow. The pace of your story is very good. Itâ€™s believable and nothing feels rushed. Every aspect of the plot really blends into the other. To me, no detail felt unnecessary or out of place. The subplot of Hannahâ€™s and Nevilleâ€™s relationship is one such aspect that blends perfectly. The triggers are believable and the plot feels necessary to develop Nevilleâ€™s character, his past, and how it affects his future with Molly. From the way that everything fits together now, I am really looking forward to how Hermione is going to fit into this story.
While the characterisation, plot, and ease of reading make this story great, I think that the most amazing part of this story are the emotions. Every emotion feels so real that I find myself feeling them. The two emotions that really stick out for me are the awkwardness of Molly and the sadness of Neville. When Molly felt awkward, I felt awkward with her, especially at the whole Neville bringing her home thing. With Neville, I actually felt very, very sad. The moment where Neville is on the brink of sleep really got to me emotionally. Iâ€™m not sure why, but it totally made me feel depressed. This, I think, is the mark of a great artist â€“ the ability to make a person feel.
Finally, I think that you have really created a story that can appeal to everyone. You give a little bit of everything. For those people who love description, you create a beautiful picture. The way you describe things such as the silence of the cloak is so poetic. Yet at the same time, you please the people who, like me, donâ€™t want to be overloaded with description. The scene is described so poetically and the image is very clear in the mindâ€™s eye, but I am not skipping over details because there is too much. There is enough dialogue and banter to please the dialogue lovers and enough basic action to please those who like the action. The story just perfectly balances everything.
As usual, I am fully drawn into your Neville story. The Neville you write never ceases to make me fall in love with him, and in extension, with your story.
Well, I thought Iâ€™d leave you a (rather belated) birthday review for your Nevlly, given I planted the idea in your head in the first place :)
I think youâ€™ve done an excellent job giving Neville a backstory in this story. Itâ€™s easy to make it an infodump, but here, I loved how you presented Neville as such a broken and hollow man. We could see how formulaic and lonely his life was, with him going to the same pub every Friday, and itâ€™s even sadder seeing it through Mollyâ€™s eyes, especially as Neville was Mollyâ€™s teacher. But also, the fact that this is a few years on from when Hannah and her baby died makes me feel even more sympathetic towards Neville, even when itâ€™s from Mollyâ€™s POV. Her seeing him suffer and drown his sorrows in whisky made me feel so sorry for him, so well done there. And I loved how, in the next chapter, we got to see Nevilleâ€™s side to things too -- the monotonousness of his drinking, especially He sat. Just sat. Neville is often your best-written character (given that heâ€™s your favourite character, thatâ€™s not a surprise), and what I liked the most was that he wasnâ€™t filled with angst or anything. He had a tragic story, yes, but I liked that you didnâ€™t over-dramatise it.
But I think your other victory here is Molly. The thing that makes this cross-generational pairing convincing is the characterisation of both characters, but especially Molly -- her attention to detail, the fact that she knew exactly how Neville liked his drink, and even the way in which she read too much into Neville offering her a drink, all these aspects of her character were excellently chosen and really made me understand, as a reader, why Molly was attracted to Neville -- possibly before Molly understood that herself, come to think of it. Also, I'm glad the whole issue of student/teacher was addressed, because even though Molly had left school, I think it still is something which could potentially affect their relationship. Iâ€™d definitely like to see Percyâ€™s reaction to it :)
I also thought you did a great job with the two settings -- in the first chapter, the Leaky Cauldron, and in the second, Harry and Ginnyâ€™s party. I liked the contrast between them, with the pub being quiet and the party being a lot louder. The humour in Harry and Ginnyâ€™s note to Neville was welcomed as a moment of light relief compared to the far darker parts of the story, and even though it wasnâ€™t a major part of the story, I loved the mentions of Teddy/Victoire in there too. Teddy in particular was adorable, the way he was drunk and how he forgot his speech while proposing to Victoire -- it was a very sweet scene, and I felt even sadder for Neville because I knew that it would bring back memories of Hannah and his proposal to her.
Oh, and Hermioneâ€™s perceptiveness with Neville was really well done too. I think itâ€™s more realistic that someone, at least, would pick up on Nevilleâ€™s and Mollyâ€™s changing relationship, so it was fitting as well as quite amusing that Hermione was aware of it. So far, though, this storyâ€™s been quite character-driven, so it will be interesting to see where things go from here. Iâ€™ve thoroughly enjoyed this so far, Jamie; youâ€™ve really brought this cross-gen rarepair to life (even if I had meant the idea to be a joke). Dark!Neville is so intriguing, and youâ€™ve explored his character excellently. I look forward to the next chapter!
Yay, 2nd chapter! Omg, this is so sad but so good!! Keep on writing, I know I want more :)
Wow, I legitimately love this. Your characterization is great - I love seeing this side of Neville. And Molly is the perfect combination of well-meaning and respectful. She's not too pushy. I can't wait to see where you take this story! A lot of teacher/former-student fics are really painful to read, but this is so fluid and natural that I'm really sold so far. Keep up the good work!!
Ooh, I like this very much! You write a killer Neville, as I think I might have said to you in a previous review. I"m anticipating much more "former student/child of my friends" angst from Neville in future chapters...and of course, I'm really looking forward to how this develops, and especially, to seeing more of Molly as a character, since the glimpses I've caught so far are quite wonderful. :)
Interesting story line and very moving.
OH EM SQUEEE I LOVE THIS. Jamieeeeeeeee, this is so wonderful, every bit as wonderful as I thought it would be. Nevlly ftw, man!
Anyway, this will be a very short and useless review, but I just wanted to say how much I loved dark!Neville here. And Molly is lovely -- slightly forward, but still quite shy, and I like how she still thought of him as Professor Longbottom :D
I might leave you a proper review after my exams are over... until then, I can't wait for the next chapter! (Oh, and I am honoured to be in your summary, lolol.)
I love it! I wasn't sure when I started the chapter but as it developed I got hooked!