Reviews For A Stolen Kiss
Reviewer: TeamCedric
Date: 03/02/13 21:08
Chapter: Cedric and Penelope

My favourite part of this is the muggle studies coursework; I'd never thought about what NEWT level muggle studies would be like! Also the idea that Cedric isn't good at at least one thing.

Author's Response: Oh, I'm glad you liked that part. :D I was equally amused while writing it. And I couldn't bear the idea of perfect!Cedric, ha, so I had to introduce some weak point. ;)

Reviewer: hestiajones
Date: 02/27/13 9:37
Chapter: Cedric and Penelope

Namaste ji!

Now that my little confusion about Clearwater's years at Hogwarts has been cleared up, I can review!

I was intrigued by the pairing, which is why I chose this one over the Romione. I'll be reading that next. There are so many moments about this fic I liked: Cedric's obvious embarrassment at entering an already occupied bathroom (with a girl inside it!); Myrtle's anticipation of watching Cedric bathe (a nice little nod to canon ;)). The gradual demise of her relationship with Percy was also properly dealt with. I've always wondered how it went wrong, although it's not very difficult to imagine, is it? Percy went a bit power hungry post-Hogwarts, and it's easy to believe the distance you've created her.

What I liked was that you chose Penelope to break it off, not Percy. I'd always imagined it'd be Percy. But I like this much better. He was detaching himself without being aware of it, taking her for granted, and she chose to cut the tie altogether. NICE!

I felt bad for her, though. Although it's obvious that she rushed into it - in a way - from her POV, I can understand why she did it. She didn't choose the best moment, but it had been building up for long, what with the lack of love and with Cedric being a nice gentleman, as always. And now, I feel sad he had to die :( I mean, reading what you said about his ambitions for the future just made it all the more heartbreaking. All those dreams just vanishing. -sob- I adored the part about Muggle Studies, though. I can easily picture him taking up the subject :D

I think of this fic not as a romance one, but a sort of character study; what I carried away is Penelope's angst, and Cedric's loveliness. Would they have made a good couple? Yes. Your portrayal of them shows their relationship could have been healthy. Alas! Cho just had to butt in.

Keep writing, and good luck with the challenge, behn.

~Natalie

Author's Response: Nat! Namastey! :D

Haha, yes, personally, this ship was harder to write than the Ronmione because Ronmione is established, with canon support, while here, according to canon, both Cedric and Penelope were with different people and it was an actual challenge to cook up a plot for this and actually make it plausible. The Ronmione, on the other hand, was like a missing moment, and it was enjoyable, more than anything (which is why I chose that in the middle of my exams).

I quite enjoyed writing Cedric. He's a fun fellow to write, and carving out faults in him was awesome, ha! Tbh, I enjoyed writing the bathroom scene. :) As for the Percy/Penelope problem, I've been the unfortunate witness to a lot of gradual relationship deaths, and this just felt like the right way that they would have broken up (I have written a story where the reason for the split is that Percy fell in love with Audrey while Penelope was on the run from the Ministry, but this was more plausible).

I needed Penelope to break off the relationship in this, ha, because I was in a hurry to get her to Cedric. That part was a product of my frustration while writing this. I wanted so badly for the fic to move quicker, that I just got Penelope to split with Percy :D.

She rushed into it because I rushed her into it :p. I'm glad that it took a natural shape, though, ha! It would be incredible awkward otherwise. I think the credit goes to my beta, Ari, for her wonderful way with helping me sort all of this out. :) Cedric is annoying when he's a gentleman, but I felt terrible that he died too. I figured he'd have been ambitious, though, he seemed like quite a person. I wish JKR hadn't killed him now. Sigh.

I find that I churn out a lot of angst and unrequited love these days. Probably because I've looked at too many people too closely. But I am really pleased that the fic resembled something -- a character study, if not a romance. And I wish Cho hadn't come at all. She ALWAYS ruins things for everyone.

I am so honoured that you liked the fic. Thank you for stopping by, behna! :) <3

Reviewer: xxbabewithbrainsxx
Date: 02/16/13 12:13
Chapter: Cedric and Penelope

Hey Pooja! So I am slowly working my way through the Cotillion fics, and when I came across yours, I'll admit that I was wondering how you could make the pairing work, because I've never come across Cedric/Penelope before. But I did like your take on it, and I think it was plausible, especially after what we see of Percy in GoF.

I really liked Penelope's characterisation here. I think you got into her head really well -- from the start, when Cedric died, I could definitely feel her grief at what just happened. It makes me sad to see their relationship was basically non-existent in the end :( It shouldn't have been, but at the same time, I get why they weren't together in the end. That is one thing I really like about this story, Pooja: it's realistic, with a plausible ending, and I'm glad you went down that route because it worked really well for you. I think it also showed Cedric's imperfections, and that's important -- if I remember correctly, you were saying how you didn't like how perfect Cedric is in a lot of fanfic. I get that. I don't think you had that here at all, especially because he was the one who eventually turned Penelope down.

Anyway, this is an awful review, but I enjoyed this! Good luck with the Cotillion, my dear :)

Author's Response: Hellow, Soraya! So glad you stopped by. :D I have a lot of fics to read too, and it has been a busy month for me. But, haha, I was wondering how I'd make it work myself. I just had a set of situations that I wanted to write, and I had Cedric and Penelope. The entire Percy thing struck me right in the end, actually. :D

I am really, really glad that Penelope's characterisation agreed with you. I wanted to get her right -- I wanted her to be justified in liking Cedric, and also to like him for something apart from his looks. In the books, there's no mention of Cedric and Penelope even interacting, but I guess a story could be woven between them. They couldn't end-up together, of course, because we get to know later in the story that Cedric is with Cho. But then I noticed that automatically, it seemed that all the characters were concerned about how Cho was doing, which meant that even if Cedric did have another secret relationship with anyone else, we'd never know.

Cedric in the books comes across as perfect too, actually -- mainly because we see him from Harry's PoV, and Harry has a major complex there. This is misinterpreted in many fics as Cedric being perfect. But he couldn't possibly be that way. But I'm really happy that he comes off more realistically in this fic. :D

This is a perfectly fantabulous review, and thank you so much for this! :D Good luck to you too, and *hugs, hugs, hugsssss*

Reviewer: The owl
Date: 02/14/13 17:39
Chapter: Cedric and Penelope

Hey Pooja,

I've been reading a lot of Cotillion fics of late, and I've really loved having the chance to read so many new and unusual pairings. Cedric and Penelope are both characters I've read about before, but never together, as there would seem to be a lot standing between them. However, I thought that you brought them together really convincingly in this story.

The first thing that drew me into this story was your style. The opening was very gripping because of those three verbs and all of the short sentences that followed. You threw me straight into the action, which I found very effective. It didn't give me time to think; I was hooked from the off. There were lots of little stylistic things throughout the story that helped to engage me. For example, I really liked how you wrote, “It was impossible… impossible…” The repetition reflected Penelope's shock, and the shock of the people around her, making me feel more involved in the scene.

Another place where your writing really stood out to me was in your description of the prefects' bathroom. I would really love to be in a “citrus-scented” bath right now, actually! Your choice of adjectives gave me a really clear image of the bathroom, and I liked Penny's relaxed mood, too. It was a total change of mood from the tension and sadness of Cedric's death, and I thought that the contrast was highlighted by how short the first section was. Somehow, that made me feel even more invested, made me even more eager to find out what had happened between Cedric and Penny.

The last thing I want to say about your style is that I was very impressed by how you structured this. Non-linear structures can be really challenging (or, at least, they are for me), but I thought you had this just right. The sections were all linked coherently and convincingly; it didn't ever feel like you were just jumping back and forth at random. It was a really good way of engaging my attention because there was always some new thought, some new memory, to interest me. Also, that structure meant that I could never forget what was going to happen to Cedric. It was almost hard to watch Penelope develop feelings for him, knowing how things would end. There were so many things that helped me grow attached to her!

That structure was also, in a strange way, a good feature of Penny's characterisation. I could follow her thought processes really smoothly, and it made her grief feel stronger. Just seeing that there were so many little things in her life that made her remember Cedric “ it convinced me of her feelings for him, far more than anything she could have said. Of course, some of the things she said were very effective, too. I particularly liked how you described her as “Almost dancing with happiness” when she had broken up with Percy. Her relief was palpable and showed how into Cedric she was.

Actually, one of the things I really liked about Penelope was the way she thought about Cedric. Of course she reacts to his blatant good looks, but she's never as obvious about it as the girls around her are. I loved Myrtle's line “Oooooh, I’d love to see him have a bath!”, but equally, I liked that Penelope seemed to have a bit more respect for Cedric. You contrasted her with Myrtle really well. Penelope didn't treat him as just a pretty face that she could ogle; she was interested in him as a person too, and that made me more sympathetic towards her.

Cedric, while he clearly had a very pretty face, had more depth to his character than that. As a canon character, he comes across as pretty much flawless, and not a very rounded character. However, I though you managed to make him so much more than that, while of course being faithful to the what we see in canon. When he refused to kiss her, he seemed almost (but not quite) too good to be true; that must have taken an awful lot of willpower for him. And then came Cho. I don't suppose that he meant to hurt Penelope, but that's what happened. He made a mistake and she got hurt and that's something that happens to everyone, no matter how perfect they are. That made him feel more alive to me than he ever had in canon.

I was also very impressed by your minor characters. Percy played a minimal role, but I could just imagine him, diligently writing to Penelope over the summer, but then being too engrossed in his work to give her any real time. His cluelessness, too, felt very familiar from canon. Then there was Professor Snape. In the few lines you gave him, he oozed venom and callousness, and leapt of the page at me. I liked Penelope's unnamed friend, too. Like with Myrtle, I loved her one line of dialogue, and completely understood where she was coming from. She sounds like a good sort of friend for straight-laced Penelope to have. It would have been nice to have had a name for her, though. Given this is from Penelope's P.O.V., it felt a little odd to me that she was just referred to as Penelope's friend.

In terms of plot, I thought you paced this really well. The shortness of each section meant that there was always something new happening. One of the stand-out moments for me was their first kiss. I really liked the way that you didn't make it too smooth and easy. It was awkward and borne of an accident and a moment of impulsiveness. It felt natural, like something that could happen to me too, and that was good to read.

The last thing I want to mention was that I thought you linked this all into canon really well. There would seem to be a lot standing between Cedric and Penelope “ Percy and Cho mainly. However, you worked around that effortlessly, and I spotted little canon references “ Percy's letters over the summer, for example “ which made this story fit in even better.

Overall, I thought this was a really well written fic. I can't quite say that I enjoyed it when it was so sad, but I certainly appreciated it. Your prose, characterisation, structure and plot came together brilliantly to convince me of a seemingly unlikely pairing. Best of luck in the Cotillion!

Sophie

Author's Response: Sophie!

Wow, sorry it took me so long to respond to this, but it's so gorgeous, that gah... you just made me flail and squee and die! Thank you so, so much for this lovely insight on my story! :D

Haha, I just wanted to choose a pair that (hopefully) had never been written, and this seemed like one. :p I didn't have a solid idea at first, but at least my plot was properly determined by the time I wrote this. But I am really, really glad that you found it convincing enough. :D

The points in my writing style -- the verbs, and the repetitions, then the show/tell thing, the gestures, etc are all things I've learned from some of my wonderful betas (including you). These things were never present in my older pieces (and I cringe as I think of it now) but I'm glad it's finally all coming to me, ha! The non-linear format is not too difficult, actually, but maybe that's because I'm used to writing it. But you should try it sometime, it's fun. :D As for the contrast between the feel of the first portion and the second, I did that on purpose, because I wanted the unease and unrest to show at first, and then move into a soothing atmosphere, depicting happier times. I've also learned, over the last few months, that mentioning certain gestures, and specifying certain actions of the characters can be really useful in pulling the reader closer to them, as this creates a bond between the reader and the characters. :)

What makes me really happy is that you identified some of the things regarding Penny's character, which I wanted to put across. Because of the way Penny felt for Cedric, it was essential to stick to the tinier memories, because even if you look at regular psychology, when you remember a person you know, who's dead, you tend to think about these small, insignificant things first, and they seem even more significant. Also, the poor girl did not really have much time with Cedric. It was rather unfortunate, really.

Penelope did not seem like a vain girl to me-- considering she dated Percy. She was far more serious and thoughtful, I guess, and I thought that she'd possibly respect Cedric more than the other girls who swooned over him unabashedly. But of course, we know from the books that Cedric was unmistakably good-looking, so I couldn't forget about that. I thought, maybe, just talking to him once, or knowing him a little would make Penelope respect him more. We're all like that. The respect arises once we know the person, hahaha. :) I was definitely giggling while I wrote Myrtle's line, so I'm glad you liked that!

In the books, we see Cedric from Harry's PoV. Harry, the poor guy, is always competing with Cedric and everyone around him seems to support Cedric so much, Harry bitterly seems to think that Cedric is too perfect (though at times, his initial dislike for Cedric is rather hilarious). But yeah. Since everyone is awestruck by this chap here, he comes off as perfect. We never do get to see how Cedric is with the people he knows well (all of us are nice to people we're merely acquainted with). We don't get to see any insecurities or imperfections. But I wanted to bring some of those out, because I was presenting a close-up of Cedric in this fic, and I couldn't let it be flawless. As for refusing to kiss Penny, it was something he'd do, from his canon representation. Plus, he's a Hufflepuff. He must support loyalty. :)

Ahh, Percy! He wasn't part of the plan, really, and later, I realised I'd left him out. I don't remember my plot before Percy stepped in, but I'm glad I remembered him. I had help from Croll on this, actually, she reminded me of how silly Percy was being in GoF. I figured that if he and Penelope broke-up at some point, it could be here, because of the all-too-common *he doesn't have time for me.*

The fact that you liked my two lines with Snape made me squee because he's one character I can't write. I am, however, good at passing such remarks in RL, so I just wrote what I'd say to a student who wasn't paying attention in my class. :p Plus, the detention and the points, which Snape always seems to be happy to hand out/cut off. Haha. And aah, I realise now that the friend should have a name. I shall think of a name and edit it, lol. Thank you for pointing that out!

The sections were short because I was bored of writing. Heh. :p But honestly, I hate to drag-on, and it just made better sense to keep the episodes short. It has a better impact too, I guess. And I'm so happy you liked the kiss! Awkward kisses and impulsive kisses are the easiest to write, because you can giggle to yourself while doing so, lol. Of course, this is from the various kinds of snogging that they show in movies and TV shows, which make ME feel as though they could happen to me. :p But thank you so very much!

I am very particular when it comes to canon, because, ha, I'm a proud fan, and hate going wrong in something I've read so many times, lol. But yes, I did refer to the books and the lexicon a lot, just to get my facts double checked. The Percy and Cho things were easy to resolve because there's no exact mention of when Penny/Percy broke-up, or when Cedric/Cho got together. I mainly took advantage of that. :D

Thank you soo much for that totally awesome review! I loved it so much, and it made me flail! I'm really glad you appreciated it, and this piece of loveliness has left me gasping at your excellent ability to review. Thank youuuu! <33333333333333

Reviewer: Gmariam
Date: 02/04/13 11:24
Chapter: Cedric and Penelope

Aww, I really like that pairing! So much that I really wish it had worked out. I liked how much of a gentleman Cedric was here, that seemed really in character since we see some of that in GoF. And I could totally see Penelope and Percy having those problems--even though Percy wasn't in the story, that seemed very in character as well. Nice job weaving in a bit of Muggle studies, that's always tricky. I enjoyed reading your story - Good luck in the Cotillion! ~Gina :)

Author's Response: Gina! Thank you so much for that beautiful review!

Once I'd written these two, I felt terrible that it didn't happen. Cedric shouldn't have died, really, it's so cruel! I hate writing him, though, because he's a little Sue-ish with his prettiness and his perfection. But I decided to build a plot upon his gentlemanly behaviour-- and I hated that even though I showed him in a bit of a negative light, he'd done no wrong lol.

I'm flattered that you found the Percy/Penelope problems realistic, and liked Percy's characterisation because honestly, I was very frustrated with this story by the time I'd typed in that last sentence :p. Once again, thank you so very much for the review, and good luck to you too. :D

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