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  1. #1
    'Til the end of the line Ravenclaw
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    November Activities 2012

    There are a number of transformations in the Potterverse. People can turn into animals, and can turn objects into other objects and even objects into animals, as well. Beyond the physical, though, there are other examples of transformation, such as Tom Riddle going from an orphan boy to the Dark Lord, or Harry from 'just Harry' to The Boy Who Won. Also, there is the definite transformation of the wizarding world of one full of pure-blood corruption to one of dystopia and the to one of peace. There is plenty of material on this subject in the books, indeed.

    Your challenge is to write a drabble that features a transformation, either one of an object/animal/person in a physical sense, or one of a more abstract manner — such as an emotional, psychological, or social change. As long as it's firmly based in the Potterverse, the subject matter is up to you. Just a few rules, though:

    ~All drabbles must be between 300-800 words.
    ~All drabbles must be rated no higher than 6th/7th years, and heavy trigger warnings, such as Strong Profanity, Non-Consensual Sex, Dubious Consent, and Self-Injury are not allowed.
    ~All drabbles must have reasonably clean SPaG, as well as be plausible and of submission standard, or the activity might be disallowed for your monthly requirements. Treat this drabble activity as you would a story challenge; it should be of quality and as free of errors as you can make it. A beta is not required, but care and attention to things a beta might look over is.
    ~Please use this form on all drabbles:
    PHP Code:
    [b]Title: [/b]
    [
    b]Rating/Warnings: [/b]
    [
    b]Word count: [/b]
    [
    b]Author's Notes: [/b] 

    As always, this activity is due by the end of the day on the 15th (midnight US Pacific time/8am GMT on the 16th). Happy drabbling!
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  2. #2
    'Til the end of the line Ravenclaw
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    November Feature: Holiday Fic

    As the dreaded shopping hordes descend upon shops across the world, many of us are confronted with the inevitability of the holiday season. Several religions and cultures around the world have major observances in November and December, and many stories have been written in their name.

    Your job, lovely SPEWers, is to find a story that is either focused on a holiday or is set during any recognisable holiday season and is influenced by it. The holiday in question should be set between late November and early January and have information readily available about its nature on free information sites such as Wikipedia.

    As usual, ask and answer at least one TQ, but feel free to answer or contribute more than that. Returning to discussions is always encouraged. Here are a couple to get you started:



    Many holiday fics tend to be on the fluffy, warm/fuzzy side, when under other circumstances, this would be a strike against a story for some readers. Do you feel like giving holiday stories automatic happy endings is to be expected or is just another cliché in the writing world?

    Would you purposely read a holiday fic that depicts an observance that is either outside your religion/social view/creed or contradicts it? Would this affect your view on its quality?




    With that, go forth and review! As always, your reviews are due on December 15th at the end of the day (midnight US Pacific time/8am GMT on the 16th).
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  3. #3
    Third Year Ravenclaw
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    Many holiday fics tend to be on the fluffy, warm/fuzzy side, when under other circumstances, this would be a strike against a story for some readers. Do you feel like giving holiday stories automatic happy endings is to be expected or is just another cliché in the writing world?
    I don't at all think it's to be expected that holiday stories ought to have happy endings. For many people seasonal holidays aren't a cause to celebrate for a variety of reasons, and I'm sure there are plenty of characters in the Potter books who don't feel like having a laugh. What would the Weasleys feel like during the first Christmas after Fred died? (I nearly make myself weep just by thinking about it). There are many stories that need to be told which don't involve happy endings, and which would suffer if a happy ending was forced upon them.

    That said, I personally prefer holiday stories with happy endings - at least, when I'm reading one around the holiday period. Right now, for instance, the amount of work I have to do is ridiculously stressful, so when I come on here in the evenings I'm looking for something that's going to lighten my mood. Then there's the fact that when I think Christmas, I think of happy, cheesy, fuzzy things, and I therefore automatically look for fics that stick to the bright side.

    Overall, I don't think a happy ending in a holiday fic is a cliche, and I don't think there needs to be one to make it a "true" holiday fic. It all depends on the subject matter, and ultimately, however generically cheesy a storyline is, it won't be a cliche if it's written convincingly.

    Do you read holiday fics when it's nowhere near holiday time or do you think, as some people say about Christmas songs, that it would be bad luck?! What about writing them?



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  4. #4
    Sixth Year Hufflepuff
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    Would you purposely read a holiday fic that depicts an observance that is either outside your religion/social view/creed or contradicts it? Would this affect your view on its quality?

    I'm Hindu, so I'm not sure I'd find anything contradicting my religion out there but even if there is one, I wouldn't really mind reading it. I think it doesn't matter to me, as long as the fic is interesting enough, and has substance. Religion, as such, is rarely important in fanfiction and I'm prepared to overlook that in order to read something good. I don't think it would affect me anyway, I wouldn't be angry or offended, as I think everyone's entitled to their own opinions.

    I do not have a very restricted view on religions anyway. I'm open to all ideas and am very excited to read and know about other cultures, and how things are done elsewhere. I haven't, however, come across any such fics, because I think people are cautious about offending others, and wouldn't write about such things anyway. However, as I said before, I'm open to everyone's take on my religion, and that would be interesting to read as I've never come across anything that portrays Hinduism.

    My TQ: Have you ever written about a holiday that you've never actually celebrated? How much research did you put into it?
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  5. #5
    Fourth Year Hufflepuff
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    Do you read holiday fics when it's nowhere near holiday time or do you think, as some people say about Christmas songs, that it would be bad luck?! What about writing them?
    I don't tend to read holiday fics outside of the season, but I certainly don't think it's bad luck. For me, it's more that I usually need to be in a Christmassy mood to want to read a Christmassy story, and the same tends to go for other holiday seasons. I suppose if I was looking for something to read in the middle of the summer and I found a Christmas fic that seemed interesting, I would give it a go. However, it's just not something I tend to do.

    As to writing holiday fics, so far the only one I've done has been for the SPEW swap, which is clearly top secret. Like with reading, though, I don't think I'd really want to write a fic for a holiday unless that particular holiday was coming up. It just wouldn't be on my mind otherwise and it would be of less interest to me.

    New TQ: Would you be put off a holiday fic if it seemed to have sad themes running through it? Do you tend to want holiday fics to be in a happy, holiday mood?
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  6. #6
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    Many holiday fics tend to be on the fluffy, warm/fuzzy side, when under other circumstances, this would be a strike against a story for some readers. Do you feel like giving holiday stories automatic happy endings is to be expected or is just another cliché in the writing world?

    I certainly don't think that giving holiday fics is expected. The fic I reviewed wasn't, I would say, fluffy, warm or fuzzy at all and quite honestly I preferred it that way However, I do see what you mean when saying that fluffy endings are much more common during the holiday season--probably because people prefer to read things that ARE happy. I'm really not in the Christmas spirit at all this year, so even I would like to read something that would make me smile for an afternoon (at some point, maybe.)

    But I don't think that a holiday fic is an excuse to give something a cheesy, unrealistic ending. No matter what.

    Like I said, I'm really not in the Christmas spirit yet this year. Have you found that reading holiday fics helps you get into the spirit more?

    Lily
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  7. #7
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
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    Many holiday fics tend to be on the fluffy, warm/fuzzy side, when under other circumstances, this would be a strike against a story for some readers. Do you feel like giving holiday stories automatic happy endings is to be expected or is just another cliché in the writing world?

    I don't really think it's a cliché so much. I think that when you seek out holiday stories, it's because you want something to get you hoppin and into the season and, especially with Christmas, often times you want things that make you smile or make you feel the warm fuzzies. I think I find that using New Years as a way to make things all better can occasionally be cloying (even though I've written a Happy New Year fic), but for the most part, I want a happy ending with my holiday fic. For me, it's definately expected.

    NEW TQ Does writing holiday fics get you excited for the holidays?
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  8. #8
    Fifth Year Hufflepuff
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    Title: Lycanthropy
    Rating/Warnings: 3rd-5th year, violence, I guess. Vivid descriptions.
    Word count: 510 on word.
    Author's Notes:
    _____________________________

    He looked around the small room. The wooden floorboards were caked with dust, and the small bed at the corner looked very uncomfortable. The wooden door, the only way out, was bolted shut. It was splintered in various places, littered with what looked like claw marks. He shuddered, knowing well what they were and how they had got there.

    Sighing, he folded his legs and brought his knees closer, hugging them. He rested his head on his forearms, closing his eyes as a tiny, silvery drop fell to the ground. Not much longer now, he thought bitterly. He sat in the corner of the room for a few minutes, wondering how life would be without his condition. He would be up at the castle, enjoying dinner with his friends, probably helping them with their homework in the Great Hall. Just for once, for one month, he wished he could get rid of his condition and live life like a normal boy.

    Light streamed in through the bars, casting long shadows on the floor.

    His head snapped up to look at the window. His eyes widened.

    Through the open windows in the tiny shack, twelve-year-old Remus Lupin barely managed to see a glimpse of the full moon as it peeked out from beneath the rumbling clouds.

    And then in an instant, it hit him.

    Pain.

    It was blinding him. Snapping his bones, tearing at his flesh. The monster inside him tore its way out, trying to find an escape.

    He let out a scream, feeling his limbs twisting and tangling as they formed a new structure. His skin seared as though he were being burned alive. Bile rose up his throat, gagging him. He clawed at his body, feeling his newly formed claws pierce his skin, trying to rip himself apart, willing the monster to come out quickly, to end this agony once and for all.

    There was no mirror in the room, and he was grateful for that. If he could see how his lean body was contorting, how his bones bubbled and his skin sizzled as it turned into a vicious creature, he’d have died in horror.

    A guttural, strangled cry left his throat. He’d gone through this before, many a times, but each new transformation hurt worse than the previous ones. They killed him. He’d hoped that he would slowly get used to the torture, and yet he could never prepare himself for that feeling of being crushed underneath a steamroller. Every month it got worse, and someday he’d probably die from the pain.

    A flash of light. Snapping. Blood.

    The pain reached its peak, and Remus thought he had died. And as fast as it had come, it stopped. With a loud howl, he collapsed to the floor, rasping, breathing heavily. No conscious thought remained in him, and all ties between himself and his human form snapped like a cord. Animal instincts took over as inhaled, dying to sink his teeth into human flesh, to rip apart the tender meat underneath.

    Remus Lupin was now a werewolf.

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  9. #9
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    Title: Cage Fight
    Rating/Warnings: 1st-2nd years; no warnings, really, except maybe violence?
    Word count: 789
    Author's Notes: I have no idea where this came from, but I want to expand it one day. (I realise I say this about pretty much every drabble I write and hardly ever do, but whatever.) OOH, actually, I think this was inspired, at least by part, by Being Human and the werewolf cage fights that happened in that. Really fascinating stuff.

    “Tonks!” barked Moody, rousing his protégée from her half-slumber. She sat up, peeling off the parchment that had stuck to her cheek.

    “Hmm?” she said sleepily.

    “Get up. We have a case.”

    “Oh!” Immediately, Tonks brightened, getting to her feet. Anything would be better than the growing mountain of paperwork waiting on her desk. “Sounds great. Where?”

    “I’ll tell you on the way. We have to hurry.” Nodding, she withdrew her wand from her robes and followed Moody out of her cubicle until they reached the Apparition point.

    “Where—” Tonks began, but Moody quickly cut her off.

    “Epping Forest. You’ve been there?”

    “N-no—”

    “Fine. Take my arm.”

    “Mad-Eye…”

    “Tonks, d’you hear me? We have no time!”

    She relented, taking his arm and preparing herself for the discomfort of Apparition. Once they had landed on mossy ground, she had barely taken in her surroundings or reoriented herself when Moody took off, walking down the path and gesturing to Tonks to follow him.

    “We just got a tip-off about a werewolf cage fight,” Moody told her tersely. “These things haven’t happened in years. Not in Britain, not since You-Know-Who’s days — and even then, they were kept pretty hush-hush, considering.”

    “Why do you think they’re happening now?” Tonks asked, struggling to keep up.

    “We don’t even know if it’s genuine,” he replied, “but if it is, we don’t really have time to go into the nitty-gritties of it. We just have to check the place out, and if there is something going on, we’ve got to get the werewolf to somewhere safe so they can transform without harming anyone. And we’ve got to at least try to arrest whoever’s behind it, but our priority is the werewolf. Got that?”

    “Yep,” she said determinedly. She wondered briefly why he was taking her, the newest (and by far the clumsiest) Auror, to this obviously dangerous case. There were far more experienced Aurors than Tonks, who had only just qualified. “Why didn’t you ask Dawlish? Or Robards? Scrimgeour?”

    “Because this isn’t official Auror business.” He slowed a little, his limp finally taking its toll on his stride, and he seemed to be hesitating. “The person who tipped me off told me that someone I know is involved.”

    “You know a werewolf?” she asked curiously.

    “Yes,” he said. “Not many people know of his condition, though.”

    “Well, I hope he’s okay.”

    “Get a move on, then.”

    Her back was a little straighter as she continued down the path, a renewed sense of duty about her that she hadn’t felt before. This — this was what she had signed up for. Not paperwork. And even though she knew she wasn’t exactly safe, she had Moody with her. With any luck, she might even get to make her first arrest.

    When they finally came to a halt in front of a small shack in the middle of the forest, the sudden sounds of jeering put her on alert, even though the hut itself seemed empty. “So it wasn’t a hoax,” she found herself saying under her breath.

    “No,” Moody muttered back. “Follow me.”

    The stealth with which he moved was unmistakeable; with barely a sound, Moody made it into the hut. Tonks was at his heels, her wand raised and lit. Some stairs led downwards, and she could hear a loud rattling sound from below. Moody said, “Stand back.”

    And without warning, only a couple of steps down, a bolt of light left his wand, and the sound of uproar followed. Immediately, she heard several cracks as the onlookers Disapparated, but as she raced down the stairs behind Moody, three masked people remained.

    “The werewolf!” Moody yelled. “Tonks, get the werewolf!”

    It was only then that she realised where the rattling was coming from, for, in the middle of the cavernous room was a large cage, one scared-looking man inside, another with thick, brown hair growing rapidly on his chest and spreading across his body.

    “He’s already transforming!” she yelled back, only just dodging a jet of green light in her direction and praying her own non-verbal Stunning spell worked. “I won’t be able to get him out in time!”

    “Get the other one out, then!”

    Running to the cage door, she jabbed her wand at the lock, saying, “Alohomora!

    The door remained locked.

    Accio key!” she cried, frustrated, and to her relief, a silver key flew into her hand just as the half-man, half-wolf began to howl. Once Tonks managed to unlock the door, she felt guilty, ashamed, at how quickly she locked it again, because at that moment, the werewolf lunged at her, clinging to the bars of the cage. “I’m sorry,” she whispered hopelessly, even though she knew he wouldn’t understand her. “I’m sorry.”

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