|Reviews for of circuitry and circular thinking|
| MissScorp chapter 1 . 1/28
Oh, love how you play upon the theme found in the Epilogue of the final Harry Potter novel. It’s pretty clear to me that this is from Harry’s point of view and comes at a time when Harry and Draco are meeting, perhaps at the Hogwarts Express, or some other place, but at a point in time which is quite a few years after the events of the final battle with Voldemort. Love the inner monologue and tone of voice that you give to the narrator here, it’s very powerful and flavors the piece with the right set of emotions necessary to explain the moment being captured.
I really loved this line: ((you weren't nearly fool enough to believe you'd see this one wrapped up in fireworks and firewhiskey band-aids)). I imagine this as an allegorical reference to Fred, whom died in the final battle at Hogwarts and George who lost an ear. Both brothers were known for their mischievousness, and their love for fireworks. Neither was going to be able to be fixed with a band-aid.
Love the tone of voice here: (('you were never so lucky')). It’s snarky and accurately displays the amount of bitter anger that Harry must still be feeling even all these years later.
This here: ((you see him again, all hollow cheekbones and haughty eyes, half the man he was before and it's almost sad except you'd expected it.)) is when I figured out that it was Draco whom Harry was looking at, that he was about and in a way, talking too.
This ending is absolutely perfect: ((You can't. And you know this and he knows this, and even so you almost want to try.)). It shows that no matter what Draco has done, that no matter what all that was said, the bitter hatred and rivalry between them, there’s still this wanting to try and forgive just so that the same things don’t happen with their own children.
In all, excellent job!
| Rosawyn chapter 1 . 1/25
I'm not at all fandom-blind when it comes to Harry Potter (read all the books and watched all the movies at least once), but I have to admit I don't really know who Emmeline is. I'm guessing she's one of those background characters with a name and not much else said about her.
I love the way "the war-the first one" is specified in the first line. It points out just how surreal it must be for anyone who had to live though both Wizzarding wars.
The "you" pov is a bit disconcerting, if only because I don't know who it refers to. Sirius? Emmeline? Me? lol Reading on, it seems "you" is probably Emmaline, since "you" is seeing what appears to be Sirius.
"Firewhisky band-aids" is a complicated image. Is it meant to suggest "drowning sorrows" in alcohol?
I imagine many people look more hollow after a war, more haunted, as Sirius does here. It makes sense that she expected it, I guess, because it's probably how most people look.
I do wonder why she hated him for so many years, but I can understand the frustration of knowing her hatred is probably unwarranted but being unable to actually change how she feels.
I like how this ends with her almost wanting to try. It's like a little flicker of hope.
| Ersatz Einstein chapter 24 . 1/19
Wow, the cut-off there was painful, to say the least. The emphasis on clarity - through the glass metaphor, the emphasis on "lucidity" and the senses - worked well with the impression of her you were conveying. The only negative thing I'd note is that substance is a noun, but spectral is an adjective, so their appearance together looks like a mistake. (I don't know whether or not it's intentional. That's just how it seems.)
| Ersatz Einstein chapter 23 . 1/19
Unfortunately, the punctuation problems are more noticeable when you're using a lot of dialogue. Also, isn't this supposed to be "one hundred times their lives intersect?" Even if he's sneaking off to see her, she isn't really involved here.
That said, I don't think that this was at all embolism-causing. Frankly, I was starting to think that you were getting too much into the navel-gazing that this subject inevitably inspires. It's nice to see some humor, particularly the bit about Potter and supervision.
| Ersatz Einstein chapter 22 . 1/19
The lack of a comma in the direct address was a little annoying, but Sirius' reply was perfectly in-character. The last sentence gave the impression of an old romantic movie cliché cut off suddenly by real life. "Out of place" was an interesting choice of words. I can't tell whether you meant that he was out of place around her in public, on the train, at her compartment, or in her life. (Probably not the last, as that was only the second sentence.)
| Ersatz Einstein chapter 21 . 1/19
The quotes in italics were interestingly placed. Were you implying the presence of two hypothetical gossips? The dashes kept a nice sense of rhythm in the first and second paragraphs. I don't think that you got the idea of curiosity across particularly well in the earlier bits, since they seemed to suggest that Emmeline and Sirius are, in fact, the opposite of innocent, inquisitive children.
| Ersatz Einstein chapter 20 . 1/11
This one leaves me with more questions than answers. Who are Lyra and Benjamin? Does she imagine this at any particular point, or is this the omniscient narrator talking? The description of the First World callousness to terrible news was (unfortunately) realistic. The italicization in the last sentence was interestingly placed. It reminded me of something a nine-year-old girl would say to a curious adult who wasn't expecting such frankness. ("He's over at the hotel with his niece. Of course, she's not *really* his niece." You know what I mean?)
| Ersatz Einstein chapter 19 . 1/11
This is sweet, and not in a sickening, dear-God-will-you-make-them-shut-up sort of way. The shift from Emmeline to Sirius is new. Is this a way of transitioning to narrating mostly from his perspective?
| Ersatz Einstein chapter 18 . 1/11
The ending of this one really brought home how little time they really had together. "In" his motorbike? Is that a typo, or do you mean something else? The run-on-ish structure showed the "craziness" without expounding upon it, and the dashes - except maybe the last - pull the style of light pauses and continuous thoughts together. (I usually try to avoid them when writing, but this alone makes me wonder if I've underestimated the dash.)
| Ersatz Einstein chapter 17 . 1/11
Wow. You took something as classic, as possibly stereotypical, as thinking about death in connection with the sky, and turned it into something truly original. You even have some of the thoughts we've all had on the subject - do we become vapor or go somewhere else? does dying mean vanishing or feeling free? - and made them your own. The one thought parenthesis in the chapter felt a bit unnecessary, and it sort of took the reader out of the mental state necessary to appreciate the drama of the situation. The occasional modern details brought the thoughts out of the realm of cliché and made them feel real. "Horribly romantic" shouldn't have been amusing, I know, but I couldn't help but think of an upper-class woman rolling her eyes at the thought that she would be so jejune.
| Ersatz Einstein chapter 16 . 1/11
The comma after "maybe" and the running sequence of quick words at the end of the third paragraph ("the thrill of feeling the snap of a...") draw the reading out a little in a way that doesn't quite make sense. The asyndeton elsewhere is much more suitable ("full moon nights, adolescents laughing"). The expansion on the theme of rawness fits this format far better than it would a standard 2,000-word one-shot.
| Ersatz Einstein chapter 15 . 1/11
The last word was well-chosen and different. It's not the first word anyone would think of, which is what makes it perfect. You could imagine this scene as a moment in a flashback in a movie or halfway through a college romantic comedy, and it provides some much-needed lightening. The lack of an apostrophe in the second-to-last sentence is a little weird, but the rest of the scene mixed the teenaged absurdity of the moment, the sadness and wonder of the mature gaze, and the slight chuckle of nostalgia at their behavior well.
| Ersatz Einstein chapter 14 . 1/11
The "happy endings" line felt like a reference to Chapter 12. Was that intentional? The summary of what happened to Neville's and Harry's parents was heartbreaking, even though it had to come. I could actually feel my eyes growing a little wet at the thought.
| Ersatz Einstein chapter 13 . 1/11
The colloquial level of discourse in the dialogue lends this one a sense of reality. The narration was a little stilted in places ("she is much more practical, however") and I can't help but notice your first typo ("agasint"), which wouldn't be an issue in a larger piece, but is a tad noticeable here. The detail of her forehead makes the otherwise slightly-too-romantic first sentence more original. The last line sums it up well.
| Ersatz Einstein chapter 12 . 1/11
I love the idea behind this one. Witches and wizards are seldom seen contemplating the way they're viewed by Muggles. The shift from that into the harsh reality and the individual case was shocking. The "they" at the beginning of the second thought seemed to refer to "maidens," not princes and knights, but the idea was clear enough that it doesn't really matter.