Hi, Nicole. This is Vicki of Slytherin House. I have read your story over and over, trying to decide what to say about it. I understand why you say in your Chapter End Note that you have never written anything like it before. It certainly is different.
It is odd and disturbing, but I do not mean that in any bad way. It is, after all, about Tom Riddle, and he is odd and disturbing. Ginny and Irma are being so controlled and manipulated by this book, which is a Riddle Horcrux; they are frightened, horrified, but at the same time fascinated. It’s like having a nightmare in which bad things are happening that you can’t control. I have seen fics written about Horcruxes, but generally from a fairly objective viewpoint; at most, they depict Ron or Hermione being taunted by their inner fears at the moment when they try to destroy the Horcrux, but those other stories don’t have the consummate creepiness that you have achieved here. The voice of the Horcrux speaks to us, pretending to be a friend, but ultimately to our misery; you have gotten the voice very well.
George and Fred struck me as irritating in their insensitive ragging of Ginny and their failure to see that they are carrying it to extremes, but I see their function in the story, giving Horcrux Tom another topic to torment Ginny with, and leading to their tossing the Dungbombs in the library, resulting in Ginny’s expulsion and her sudden, desperate attempt to ditch the book by hiding it on the trolley cart where Irma can find it.
But it is not clear to me why it was necessary (for the sake of the story) for Irma to go into the diary and see Myrtle’s death, since we know about her death from other sources, and it is not clear what the significance is of Irma’s vision of being at her mother’s funeral. Why did Horcrux Tom do that to her?
You have added a lot of detail, dialogue, and action to this particular moment in canon, all very thoroughly and graphically expressed, in an emotionally intense style, but I believe it doesn’t violate canon; it could have happened that way. (I have been flipping through CoS hunting for a reference to Ginny’s having an injured hand, but short of rereading the whole book, I have not found it.) So I think you can be satisfied that you accomplished what you set out to do, to show us how horrible this whole experience was for Ginny. I hope that horror did not rub off on you while you were writing it!
Different. Very dark.
Author's Response: Thanks for reading and reviewing :) I'm glad you found it different.