|Reviews for The Universe is a Great and Beautiful Thing|
| green-jedi chapter 2 . 1/26
Oh my gosh, this was amazing. I cried on the bus.
| Guest chapter 1 . 1/1
| experiencetoday chapter 1 . 7/4/2014
Refreshing and humbling as to what a full life really is. You're quite the writer, Attica, and I've enjoyed every minute of this piece.
| FadingAshes chapter 2 . 5/26/2014
This is a really beautiful story
| Nauro chapter 2 . 4/22/2014
I'm reposting a review from a forum, where this story was recommended:
I liked some aspects of the story, but it's not a fanfic. This isn't a story about Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger. This is a story of a muggle with the same name, and presumably similar appearance, lying in their deathbed.
The man in question is a Muggle through and through, thinking in modern terms and modern concepts. The television in the hospital is of the same importance as a window next to the bed - and the boredom with a certain sense of hopelesness drive the piece.
It's a story about a person being trapped in their own body, and listening to someone else talk. It could have been a muggle named Hermione, it could have been whatever person talking to an unwilling listener. And after listening for a longer while, this Draco realises that she is better than a TV, because she at least pretends she is talking to him.
And with whatever strength he has left, the last quarter of the story is Draco, desperatelly trying to raise his last boner.
(If you want to know, he fails.)
As a purely Muggle story, it's actually half decent. Probably even 3/5.
As a Harry Potter fanfic, this story fails to, well to be a fanfic in the first place. I'm not going to do a recount, but I think there were two mentions of the 'Dark Lord' and one of those was amidst the paragraph where Draco's daydreaming is mentioned. Right next to the line about having supper with Napoleon.
Otherwise, Draco only keeps a certain rudeness which is supposed to have come from Rowling's Malfoy, but it manages to be even more shallow than in canon.
So yeah. Not a fanfic.
Some other things of note:
It's a static piece. In a strange way, the story is meant to be about Draco and his changes inside, the way his worldview shifts and turns for the better. Yet, even as he changes, he remains the same, narrativelly speaking. There's some depth, but it's compeletely alike Draco's condition, unmoving. He starts thinking about Granger differently, but he never changes inside, never has that promised revelation - or if he does, it slides into the pattern with other thoughts and is forgotten.
The unanswered half-questions are never answered, nor are they really asked. The only resolution we get is from Hermione's younger brother's subplot, and that is also unsatisfactory. In a way, "unsatisfactory" seems to be the general message of the story, thus resolving by leaving thing unresolved, but it removes the visible depth.
Well, what did I expect?
Oh, and there was a weird moment when Hermione reads Malfoy 'the Alchemic'. Leaving aside the quality of Paulo Coelho, the message of the book has only one thing in common with the story. "It's the journey that's important." But, there's not even a goal reached, even if the last thoughts of Draco point to him dying with a measure of the satisfaction, that satisfaction is fake. Oh, sorry, spoiler alert, Draco dies at the end.
His last goodbie is an illusion, same as his imagined romance - and that makes me doubt if there ever was a 'journey' to have in this story.
As a final note, I remembered one of the more interesting characters of The Count of Monte Cristo - an old man who never moved, but for his eyes. That man was everything this Malfoy is not. Forgetting the fact that there's Legillimency, and other, oh so easily thinkable magcal ways of reaching and communicating with a thinking wizard stuck in his near lifeless body, I've been mostly let down by the lack of any sort of fight. Any attempts at communication. Any experments.
He could move his eyes easily, he could open and close them - yet, it never occured for anyone to try the older than dirt method of 'one-blink-yes-two-blinks-no'?
That would have been believable. That would have made a fight for something tangible a central piece of the story. That very conflict could have shaped and driven their interaction, and... Gah, I'll just use other names for what could have been:
Imagine Noirtier de Villefort, a young man who has lost his body, but retained his mind. He has been a ponce and a pompous arse his whole short life, and no one ever visits his almost-deathbed. His wife hates him, so he never tries to get her attention, and she never visits again. His former friend despises him for he had betrayed their frenchship before succumbing to the sickness.
Yet, he gets a frequent visit from someone he hated, someone he never really knew, but that someone is the only means to any sort of communication. First, he is hopeful, then, he is angry for her not noticing, and then, when he decides that he hates the world and wants nothing to do with Héloïse, she notices his look - his tired roll of the eyes, and asks him about it. She asks him a yes or no question, gets an answer, an leaves for a while. He waits for her, more than he has waited for anything.
Here comes the fun part. See, she was gloating to him. She thought that he couldn't talk, couldn't respond, and had gotten careless in her self-made therapy. And now, if she helps him communicate with the world again, she would never look at him the same way again. And what if, what if that rich Villefort family man gets a 'word' outside? What if someone else starts to talk with him, and tells all about her misdeeds and misthoughts?
Thus, we have a man, desperate to reach out, and a woman, wanting for her secrets to stay burried. Yet, as she cannot help but pour her problems into him, he cannot help but become enamored with her tales, with living life through her.
The story could be a tragedy, where he dies after using her help in establishing communication with his family, and accidentally revealing her poisonings, or it could end on a bittersweet note where the romance part could come in.
There would be a bond, a communication, a common ground to bind them tighter than any schoolyard romance, yet they never would find happyness beyond simple comfort. And then he could pass away, and she would be one of the many attending his funeral. Many, many unimportant faces, waiting for their piece of old family riches, and a lone woman, who understood that old bastard better than anyone else. After all, no one else came to visit.
Now that story I'd like to read.
I'm rating this one as 2/5.
| regsi chapter 2 . 3/6/2014
oh my.. wow
| Linn chapter 2 . 1/25/2014
Absolutely beautiful. This work had me feeling so many different things as it progressed and then sobbing at the end. Great job.
| Guest chapter 2 . 10/27/2013
I've been steadily working my way through your writing today, and I've been enjoying it all, really. This, however, is particularly lovely. You have a way of articulating emotions without ever stooping to describe them. It's really wonderful. Thank you.
| xItachi-lover18 chapter 2 . 7/9/2013
So beautiful! It makes you value even the little things in life...
| mondaytrain chapter 2 . 4/25/2013
Such a refreshing piece after reading the usual fare about this ship. I love how this fic captures something that all of us, the human population, knows but at the same time fleeting as well. I'm sorry for the lack of proper words but that is how I felt as I was reading this fic. Like I feel like I'm close to knowing something so important but I never seem to catch it.
I knew from the very start that it won't have a miracle ending and for the first time I appreciated that it didn't end that way. It just won't feel right and it would just lose the whole point of the story. But I cannot deny how much I wanted for everything to be okay, despite me knowing that it would never happen beforehand. I love the subtle connection between Draco and Hermione, how it gradually changes over time. And it made me sadder as the story ends. Don't get me wrong though, this is brilliant. Something that I would think about for a time. Thank you for the unintended inspiration that had instilled in me after reading this. :)
P.S: I'm really curious about The Alchemist now though and with my friend also recommending this I think I might read it after months of putting it off. :)) Also, I want to ask (if you don't mind), as to how you got the idea to write this fic. Merely curious, because this fic is something else compared to the usual fics I encounter with Dramione.
| cypris88 chapter 2 . 4/21/2013
Very strange, sad and wonderful story. I loved the end, when he's 'talking' to her. Somehow I hope she heard him.
| anonymous chapter 2 . 3/16/2013
| inner soul chapter 2 . 3/11/2013
Have you watched the french movie "The diving bell and the butterfly"? It's somehow like this, I recommend that you watch it if you haven't already. It's like this story, very insightful and thought provoking, it makes you appreciate life more.
This is somewhat different from your other stories, well, all of them have a certain heaviness, but this one is more so. It's very adherent to the angst genre. More so, although this has romance, it's different from the others in that, for me, romance wasn't the main focus. It's here and there, there's even a hint at the first chapter that this might be where it will lead to, but it's not like the others where you immediately know because it's a different circumstance, the conversations (the actual talking) are one-sided and his condition is permanent. It's also different in that it was purely in Draco's point of view and I felt the anger he felt (and the others' feelings too in relation to the bad decisions he made), but I somehow have mixed feelings about it because Rowling didn't give as much focus on Draco in the books and so I can't really discern whether the depth of his anger is as deep as this which makes this particular story seem like OOC. BUT then again, I think anyone who's done bad in his life and had experienced a life- altering experience such as this would in one way or another change drastically as well. That is, if he has the courage to accept it first. It's realistic.
I wasn't able to pay particular attention to the grammar though, because the angst weighed me down as I read on. But seeing as I understood the story, I'd say any errors that might have been there did not greatly alter the quality of your plot/story.
For the last scene though, I'm curious, did he have the surge? Or he told her in her dreams or something? I'm thinking the first one, but I'm not sure if it can really happen, haha!
I've been wanting to read the Alchemist for quite some time (a long time), because of this, I think I'll read it this summer :)
| variableviolet chapter 2 . 11/12/2012
the flow was well paced and you did an amazing job on keeping me interested
| BelleJ chapter 2 . 9/28/2012
This was wonderful to read. Terrible and wonderful at the same time. Thank you.