Reviews for Scent of the Breeze
Citty L. Summer chapter 1 . 1/13/2015
Are you kidding me? This is awesome! How did you do that? I really, really love Emmeline, Alice, and Marlene now! Admit it, you used magic…
Now, let me try to pull myself together enough to attempt a half-way decent review.
… No, sorry, I can’t. This is just so good. I loved how you got right in there in the beginning. Your first sentence – perfect and to the point. All description really was very well done and I felt like I was standing beside Alice, looking down on what was left of the house.
The gestures Alice made (“folding it tenderly and tucking it against her heart” / “squeezing as though it could bring life back”) succeeded to set the atmosphere.
I don’t really know how Emmeline could keep it together so well during their conversation. Maybe it’s just how she’s built, but that made me wonder for a moment.
And just when I thought it was over (and I must admit, I did not see the ending coming, though I think I should have – being a fan and all :D) you made me care for Emmeline so much. “We’re fighters. Every last one of us.” And then there was Emmeline at the door, the very last of the three of them.
And you last sentence “But the smile that crossed her lips…” – Merlin, can you be any more genius? :D Thanks so much for sharing, I really enjoyed this!
jack63kids chapter 1 . 3/9/2014
Oh this is sweet and unexpected. Lovely to have a back story for characters we know so little about in earlier life. And very tenderly written with a lot of their feelings and thoughts.

You don't try to smooth over how messy relationships can be or explain away their feelings. Really good use of tea! Fantastic for English people talking about emotions. Spot on.

Such a poetic entrance leading us into devastation and hard emotional times. Works so well and the use of the mundane with the dramatic too - the tea again and the things that Alice is noticing as she surveys the wreck of her friend's home and her body.

Hopeful ending, very in tune with the HP world. Lovely.
Luna Rapunzel chapter 1 . 12/1/2013
Just dropping you a review because I love you!

I like the synesthesia you use in the opening paragraph and your use of ellipses-it's not only aesthetic/nice writing but also really serves to elaborate on Alice's sort of faraway reminiscence. Functional writing tactics for the win. Same thing when you say, "And she was next to the body, on her knees, gently reaching a hand out to touch the skin that was left on her face." - I found really effective the immediacy you lent to Alice being in the moment with the sort of tense construction you have here ("and she was there" instead of something like "then she crouched down on her knees," describing it like it's happening instead of like it happened).

I can really appreciate the way you introduce the premise early on, too, like dropping in Alice's memory of being told about the deaths and describing the murders through Alice's thoughts on the imagery of the house instead of straight-up plot summary. That kind of tell-not-show exposition too often crops up in people's writing too often, I feel like, and I thought you did a great job of avoiding that in the way you started the story.

"The killing curse that must have done away with her had left her body without blemish. Her hair was singed at the ends, but still soft and smooth, as though some magical potion was keeping it perfect through every imaginable circumstance." - pretty sure "Killing Curse" should be capitalized here, and should be "potion were keeping" instead of "was" because this is written in subjunctive mood, since it's a hypothetical statement. (Same thing later where you say, "she carefully folded Marlene's arms across her chest, making her look as though she was merely sleeping.") Also, for some reason, I'm not sure I'm a fan of your choice of metaphor here-it feels a little clumsily/wordily phrased to me, and it's not nearly as elegant as some of your earlier metaphors, like the crimson scent one that I pointed out earlier.

"I think Frank knew… wish I had… please understand… live for me… my dearest one… be the witch that I canno… for me…" - I really liked here how the disjointedness of the charred bit of the letter mirrors your elliptical tone from Alice's POV earlier and Alice's sort of shocked and scattered mental state. In general, I have a personal preference against letters and bits of writing like that appearing in stories I read, but I do want to point out that I thought this was a great technique in the context of you having included it.

"She sat in her kitchen, absently building up the flames under the kettle with her wand, passively watching the flames turn" - I thought it was a little bit awkward here the repeated adverb-gerund construction.

"Emmeline nodded slowly, taking the meaning. One thing that she prided herself on was her ability to not judge a situation until the proper moment. And now, she showed that ability, keeping a straight face, and allowing her brain to take a neutral stance." - This might be a bit nitpicky, but also in the vein of show-don't-tell, I thought it would work better to delete the second sentence here and accordingly reword a little bit the third as just "She kept... and allowed..."

"You are a beautiful woman, who sees the best in everyone." - Shouldn't be a comma here.

"The words had sounded so childish and pitiful on the day they had been asked… " - Since you're reiterating this for a second time here, I think it would work best to delete the point about it sounding childish when you mentioned it the first time in the previous scene-comes off as a little repetitive to me.

"I know, Emme. She jumped in panic at the sound of the voice, whipping her head around to find the source. But no one else appeared to have heard it." - I love that you've inserted Alice's memory of her own voice as a piece of her madness here-it both ties this scene in with the previous and characterizes more for us what life is like for Alice now that she's had her mind addled, which isn't something that I've ever seen done in fanfic before. At any rate, I also thought it was a realistic thing for Alice to experience in this condition: hearing her own memories as if they're actually happening aloud.

"But the smile that crossed her lips…" - Nice sort of ambiguous ending here!

Aside from the nitpicks above, I really enjoyed this, mainly for the characterization and your organization of your ideas. (As a side note, I also thought you did a good job of bouncing between Em and Alice's POVs, which can be difficult to pull off.) Nicely done!
SiriuslyPeeved chapter 1 . 10/2/2013
You put a lot of emotion into a short piece, I found it to be moving. I felt like there were a few places that could be tightened up. The triple use of "How many times..." near the beginning weighs me down a little bit as a reader, if you were to revise you might want to take a look at that passage. The ending packs an emotional punch - particularly for readers who are familiar with the minor characters in the Order. I loved the idea of a friend who has gone caring for Frank and Alice's spirits while they are locked in their bodies. It brings a new depth to the magical world for me. Nice work.
Alicia Mirza chapter 1 . 7/20/2013
Hey!

I'm not sure I trust my voice at the moment, not even my thoughts.
This was... I'm thinking I'm going to cry now :p
I must admit, usually I'm not fan of femmslash or slash, but this story... It was way more than that.

[I see you with your husband, and, although it breaks my heart, I know that he is right for you.]

I loved, how the whole idea of femmslash didn't seem forced. It seem natural that they were really close, they were good friends who would have done everything for each other and during the years they became more, they feelings became stronger.

The whole Marlene/Alice/Frank love tringle was a very interesting idea. I loved how Alice married Frank and how she loved him really too, but how she had feelings for Marlene.

["Why did she have to die?"]
It's the question of life. I loved it how you have inclueded that. It made the whole emotional and overhelming story even more food for thought.

I liked Emmeline's character, she seems like a very great friend in your story.
The letter of course was sweet, bittersweet and fabolous at the same time, as was the whole story.
I must say, it was really great. I mean really.

Keep up the good work!

Alicia :)
ReadingBlueWolf chapter 1 . 7/4/2013
The opening paragraph blew me away. I was startled by the immediate ambiance you set into place. The scent of fruit and blood was a really nice description. I’m wondering why fruit though? I love the description of what’s left of the house. Between the smoking ash and blobs of furniture I really feel like I’m there with her.

I feel horrible for Alice. The feelings felt by the fact her friend was targeted and killed are shown really nicely in the sentence “taste the agony…”. I love the way you bring her desperation and despair through in the fact she’s on her knees crying and wishing she was with Marlene.

The fact Alice saw her made things worse. It’s almost poetic the way that you describe what she looks like. The fact her hair is still soft and she’s mostly unblemished are really pretty lines. I was a bit confused though. Was she burned in the fire or not? I’m thinking there was something with her body that allowed it to remain mostly unscathed because you mentioned parts of her had been burned, but at the same time I wasn’t completely sure. Even more so when the note was brought into play.

I was sort of expecting that to be in the note. I thought it was neat that part of the note was burned and Alice kept on trying to read anyway. When the others started appearing I really like Alice’s emotions that she has to get away, she needs to be on her own. That was done really well.

I love the conversation with Emmeline. I thought the fact that she knew Alice needed space but also needed to talk was lovely. The balance shown in that and especially with the way she pours the tea is really nice. I like the way the conversations not rushed. It opens up in little fragments here and there as Alice starts to come out of shock. I thought that was handled really well.

Oh my gosh… I knew this would end up in St. Mungo’s and I had a feeling it was going to be something similar but I was not expecting the ending to come across like that. It left chills. I absolutely loved it. This was really well done. Nice job!
SunnyStorms chapter 1 . 7/2/2013
This was a lovely, poignant little piece. I am also quite impressed you managed to cram so many prompts in there and yet still manage for them to not come across as forced. I sometimes have trouble doing so with just one line, but with yours, I didn't pick out the lines as being out of place in the story. I wouldn't have even guessed that they were prompts used.

The image of Marlene's body lying in the ruins of her home was particularly well portrayed - it came across vividly and hauntingly along with Alice's response to it.

I think the only part I'm not quite taken with is the first couple of lines - separately, they're vivid images, but put together I think they tread into mixed-metaphor category as you have a scent that also has two colors (red and grey) that also froths and glistens. I feel it's a bit too much such that you lose the effectiveness of the image because it makes it hard to picture this particular "scent". Perhaps consider taking out the second line. Leaving just: The scent on the breeze was as crimson as a rosebush during the height of June. She inhaled the scent of fruit and blood, wishing…

Overall, you had great flow in your writing all through out, and it was executed in a way that I felt for the character's respective losses. Great job with the prompts.
Edhla chapter 1 . 7/1/2013
Giry, that first paragraph is amazing. I absolutely love it. 'Fruit and blood', 'frothed'... damn.

"Known that it would..." There's nothing wrong with this sentence (and the one that follows it) exactly, but I did find it a weak spot amongst so much awesome. I suppose it's because it's a little imprecise... *shrugs* It didn't have that razor-sharp edge the rest of this has, and seemed like it could have been written by anybody (and you are not just anybody! x)

"And she was..." I love this transition... it's so smooth and well-wrought, so much so that you barely even notice it.

"Beautiful, perfect... a friend." Oh, Giry, this is less-is-more in action. So very, very beautiful. x

Loved the earnestness of the letter. I can't help thinking, though, that the beginning sounds a little leisurely for someone writing under fear and duress? I'd be tempted to start it with something more urgent, like launching straight into "we only have a few minutes..." or even, "they've trapped us..." same with cutting out things like "in the moments before my death..." the sentence is stronger without it, IMHO.

"A gentle popping sound." Total aside, but I always found the apparate noise oddly dissonant with tragedy, but you can't help it 'cause it's canon, right?

"Didn't quite surprise me." It never does. People who "come out" are so frequently the very last to know- or admit.

"All of us..." I don't know Emmeline in canon, but her naivete here was striking and poignant.

"Her mind is with me now." Chilling. Seriously, as was the ending.

Lovely work, as always. I know you were particularly seeking feedback on the pairing. I'm not familiar with the latter HP books so I'm afraid I can't say if it's in-character or not, but for what it's worth, it does work for me.

And yes, damn, that's a lot of prompts x

SPaG:

Minor typo: "Alice cold not..."
darkaccalia520 chapter 1 . 7/1/2013
Okay, I absolutely adored this. Yes, it was something quite different from you, but I thought it was fabulous. I have a special soft spot for Marlene, and I always thought it was sad when she died. No, I've never read the HP books, as you know, but I've read about her in other stories, which is how I know. :P Anyway, I loved the letter. It was so lovely and sad. And it was so sweet that in her last few minutes, she took the time to write to Alice. I could quite figure out why until the second part of the story.

Ah, there we go. Well, I agree very much with Emmeline. Alice could indeed love her husband and Marlene...in that way. And as I said, which this is something very different, I really liked it. It wasn't too suggestive...yet just enough. And JK herself said that Dumbledore was supposed to be homosexual, so why not other characters as well? I love that Alice decides to fight.

Ah, but the ending was fabulous. I love that Marlene and Frank were both with her in the end, and that Marlene reassured Emme of that.

In case I haven't said it already, I absolutely loved it. I thought the flow was awesome, and I love how you used the many prompts. This was such a lovely piece. I would very much enjoy if you tried other pieces like this. Fantastic job, my love. :)