How did I miss this when it hit the archives? Hello, again. I love your story, again. Big shocker! Haha! Seriously, this is a lovely little snapshot of a wonderful missing moment. JKR could have just had Neville ask Ginny from the start, but I've always thought it such a complement to his character (and Hermione's, for that matter) that he asked Hermione first. I actually have head-canon that Neville had a very real crush on Hermione briefly leading up to this, but that is neither here nor there. As always, your characterization is so good, and just right tone for their ages, too. I think it's so hard to get that right, but you've captured the awkwardness that was there for both of them. Even that crease in her forehead... I could see Emma doing it, though I've never paid attention to it in the films. In fact, the writing was so vivid that I could picture the scene at every point--the boring lecture, the stumbling, the conversation in the hall. Really nice description without bogging down the dialogue with a ton of wordage. There's a strength in the style, too, that is very akin to the style of the books. Perhaps it's the humor or the way you've so firmly grounded the scene in the classroom, but it felt as if it could have been lifted straight from canon. I found this story on the review drive and hit it up first because I knew it would be good and it's NEVILLE, for crying out loud. But my review falls short because I have no crit to offer. I don't think this sweet missing moment could be improved upon by changing a single thing. Nice work. I enjoyed reading, as always. ~ Lori
Hi, H. S. I have concluded that you are the Master of the Missing Moment. I will have to print this story off and put it in my binder next to Seven Simple Years, to keep the binder up-to-date.
Neville is a character who has always surprised us, and in this story, true to his nature, he shows his fourteen-year-old courage by asking not just one but two girls to the Yule Ball. Your line Come on, Longbottom! Think Gryffindor! is inspired. Although he never says those words in the seven books, we can easily believe that he has been thinking them, over and over, in countless situations.And though you depict him as thinking that he doesn’t have a plan of action, he obviously does,
lying awake at night in anticipation, thinking about it during Binns’ class, chasing Hermione out the door so as not to lose her at the end of class, using his mental mantra to encourage himself, and saying something,, even though he didn’t have his speech memorized. In this way you depict Neville as different from the masses of adolescent boys who just behave randomly, never thinking more than five minutes ahead.
In vivid contrast to Neville’s positive action, you plainly show his nervousness and trepidation, with concrete details like his inability to sleep or take notes, and his tentative opening conversation with Hermione. This contrast is very effective.
You also differentiate Neville from Harry and Ron in that you show Neville taking timely action, not procrastinating like Harry and Ron, even though asking a girl was not easier for Neville that it was for the other boys. Perhaps the difference is that Ron and Harry, each having a best mate to discuss the matter with, spend all their time discussing instead of doing, whereas Neville, not having a best buddy, forges ahead, as if he is trying to outrun his own cold feet.
Your characterization of Hermione is so appropriate. You show her very kind heart and her genuine liking for Neville, and also her dedication to using every opportunity as a teaching moment, explaining at length to Neville a philosophy about asking girls out. She has it thoroughly analyzed and is eager to help him.
I had to smile about your clever way of opening the story, alternating lines about Neville with four lines, all very interesting, about the history of Gutnik the Greedy. It is plain that these history lessons could have been lively and exciting; the fact that the students were going to sleep in class emphasizes how soporific Pressor Binns’ delivery must have been, if he could make even Gutnik sound boring!
This is just a short little story, but it reveals a little about Binns, some more about Hermione, and a lot about Neville. It is fun to see how much can be said, and revealed, about a five-minute seemingly unremarkable Missing Moment. Thanks for writing.
Enjoyed reading this :)
Author's Response: Thanks for the review!
What a sweet story! in the end, Hermione had many invitations. And now we know how Ginny was invited to the Ball by Neville.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for reviewing!