and ya, i know this one is NOT at ALL your fault, do you realise that in DH, when Hermione became Bellatrix, she went to Gringotts with Travers? So he's actually alive. Buuuuuuut good job, anyways.
Author's Response: Please note my disclaimer at the bottom of my story.
This was quite a dramatic one-shot. It had me on the edge of my seat the entire time, wondering what on earth was going on with Travers, and what was to become of him. You did a fantastic job on taking two tiny quotes and turning them into a dark story full of suspense.
*cries* This story was so sad! Especially when Mary died, and then when Marlene was begging Travers to fight the Imperius Curse, but he did, and then killed her anyway. =(((((( I've always been interested about the other Order members, so I really liked this story. 10/10!~
As I'm sure you are aware, we analyzed this fic in DADA first years. I thought you might be interested to see what I wrote. I really did like this. It was an interesting take on the Potterverse and on a topic not usually written about. I applaud your efforts, you did a great job.
My analyzation (I'm sorry if some of the HTML coding doesn't come through properly):
[QUOTE][i] The woman’s arm is outstretched, as if in her dying moment, she had reached for her lost little girl.[/i][/QUOTE]
This is a very clear example of love. Even in death, this woman (who I assume is Marlene) professes her love to her daughter through posture, a form of appearance. This adds to the dark/angst in the story because it paints a coherent image in the mind of the reader of a dead body reaching out of love and life. That is pretty dark if you ask me! It is also angsty, because it is almost as if she is asking for the love of her “lost little girl.” This makes the reader anxious about what is to come.
[QUOTE] the woman’s brown eyes widened.[/QUOTE]
The widening of eyes can symbolize many things. The context this quote is used in suggests that the woman’s (Marlene’s) eyes are widening in terror. For one that is easily scared, a less dramatic action usually occurs, but here, you can tell that Marlene is not one that is easily scared, thus the widening of the eyes so elaborately put in the piece. This adds a lot to the dark/angst of the story because of the symbolic fear suggested by the widening of the eyes. The reader wonders what she is scared of, what will become of her, and why she was so surprised by the events previous to this statement.
[QUOTE]He stands in the middle of the room, staring at his hands incredulously.[/QUOTE]
This tells us that the character (Travers) is surprised at this moment. He clearly doesn’t understand something, namely what has been going on with him. For Travers not to understand this, he usually must have a grasp on his thoughts, emotions, and actions, so when they were under the control of someone else, he was extremely surprised. This adds to the dark/angst of the story because of many small details. One, the prolonged silence. This sentence makes it clear that Travers was staring at his hands, thinking, for quite a bit before he reacted. This makes the reader anxious; what exactly is he thinking? Why does this come as a surprise to him? Why the sudden change in actions? Why the pause? The language used also makes this dark. “Incredulously” shows an almost skeptical take on the fic. This could easily be interpreted as dark.
[QUOTE] He shakes her brutally before pulling her hair back to force her head up.[/QUOTE]
Some of the adjectives the author used in this sentence describe the character in itself. “Brutal” is one such adjective. By the actions described here, you clearly see the brutality of the character. Travers can also be described as vicious, violent, and cruel from simply this sentence! The addition to dark/angst is brutally clear here. The reader is anxious about what will happen because of this action, as well as appalled at Traver’s actions here and previous to this statement. The violence of his movements are dark in themselves.
[QUOTE][I]Marlene wasn’t the weakling, I realize. I was. [/I][/QUOTE]
Here we see Travers' thoughts. This is all the way at the end of the fic, right before he is killed. Travers finally realises that this whole time, he has thought he was strong and other were weak, but it wasn't until his life flashed before his eyes that he realised who the weakling was. This tells us that Travers is in possesion of a healthy self-esteem, yet he realises the truth once it hits him. The statement adds to the D/A for obvious reasons. An epiphany like such always makes the reader wonder anxiously about what the realisation will bring.
[QUOTE][I]I hear Karkaroff shout the Killing Curse at me. And I welcome the green light.[/I][/QUOTE]
Another thought closer to the end of the fic, actually, the last sentence! Here we see Travers thoughts again, this time as he is dying. The fact that he is welcoming death tells us that he isn't as bad as he thinks, because anyone purely evil will do anything to evade death, as clearly shown by Voldemorts Horcruxes. Travers knows when he has failed, and what he deserves because of it. This adds to the D/A (1) because it involves death, which is dark in itself, and (2) because of the way it is put. Welcoming death is almost as bad as suicide, another dark piece, which is angsty because the reasons behind the suicide/welcoming of death are often pondered.
[QUOTE]“Cy…Cy…nusss.” ... “Cy…nusssss.” [/QUOTE]
These two lines are spoken by Marlene as she dies. The words are a plea for help and a question. The question asks in these words is simple, why. This tells us that Marlene is compassionate, because at ones death, many brode over there own situation and become angry at the killer. Marlene, however, embraces her death and instead worries over the one still living. This is D/A again because of character death, and also because of the anxious pleas she is making in her speech. The words themselves are angsty as well, simply because of the way they are written.
[QUOTE]The man sighs, bored. “[I]Liberacorpus[/I],” he says with a flick of his wand. [/QUOTE]
Here we see the pure evil of Travers. He has no compassion for the person he tortures, and is simply doing it. The D/A is easily shown in the boredom of his speech and the spell spoken, one that will torture the target.
[b]Other Characters Reactions[/b]
[QUOTE]To his surprise, Marlene turns her head to stare into his menacing eyes. Her face is soft and beautiful, despite the fatigue that mars it. “Cynus,” she whispers. “Cynus, this isn’t you.”[/QUOTE]
Again, a show of compassion from Marlene. Her reaction to Travers' pure adulterated evil is to help him, how much more compassionate can you get? This adds to the D/A because of her [B]appearance [/B] when she says this and the simplicity of her words.
[QUOTE]“Oh, Marlene,” he sobs as he kneels down next to the deranged woman. “I’m sorry, old friend.” He places his wand tenderly on Marlene’s back. “[I]Avada Kedavra[/I],” he whispers. [/QUOTE]
Here, Travers realises his mistake in killing Marlene, and instead of letting her die a slow and painful death, he quickly AK's her. This is a true example of the statement: People can surprise you. This tells us that deep down, Travers is compassionate, but it isn't usually showed. As far as adding to the D/A goes, there is death, apologies, and sobbing. Plus, the whisper he speaks in and the tender in his actions are also D/A.
Beth, I can’t believe this is your first D/A story. It completely blew me away. How you took those two tiny quotes and made such an exciting, dramatic story out of them is simply amazing. I had no images of these particular characters in my mind from reading the books and have never come across them anywhere else, but now I’ll definitely remember their names. Both were very well characterised and I especially liked how they contrast each other with Marlene being strong, courageous and fighting to the end and Travers being weak, a bit cowardly and with him giving up without a fight in the end. They played off each other very well. The bitter end of both of them just added to the sad and haunting atmosphere of the story.
I adored how you alternated passages told in 3rd person POV with those in 1st person POV and kept the identity of the 1st person narrator hidden until the very end. It created suspense and the 1st person passages made the killings seem even more horrifying than the account of the murders already had. Plus finding out at the end that the 1st person narrator who has just found the bodies and is disgusted with the display is also the murderer was a perfect twist.
On the subject of twists I also have to mention Travers trying to fight the Imperius curse when it is placed on him a second time. For a while there I thought there was still hope left for Marlene and Travers, that they could maybe escape or that at least one of them could. Travers not being able to fight the curse and thus sealing Marlene’s fate was a brilliant twist and it made the story all that much darker.
I don’t have any concrit to offer you, you did such a brilliant job with this story, I doubt I could find anything that could be improved. *huggles*
I drop my wand as I stumbled backwards. I stare at my hands in shock. I feel myself stepping on something soft, and I fall backwards, landing on top of –
A little girl.
Wow. What an amazing start to an amazing fic. You really know how to get someone's attention in writing. For some odd reason, this sentence reminded me of The Green Mile.
The blond man falls forward, dead before his nose smashes with a sickening crunch against the wooden stairs.
I think that you meant for 'blond' to be 'blonde'.
“You ended it too soon” comes the heavily-accented voice I know too well.
I think that you had meant to have a comma after soon.
I find that sentence terribly sad. "You killed her too soon?" He already tortured her SO much, and to know that somebody even thought that is horrible. That person is a terrible person, but you have them characterized nicely.
The brown-haired man flies backward, his head hitting the glass of the picture frame before he hits the ground hard. Screams pour out of a nearby room. The stranger smiled – those screams will intensify by the time the sun rises.
Ooh. That's really chilling. You have amazing description here. Once again, you really get my attention by the first few sentences, but I keep on getting pulled in by your wording. That's really deep, and scary.
The way that you wrote this story makes you 'feel' like you are actually in this story. It's bloody scary, really, and that's a great aspect to have as a writer.
I like how you don't really identify the characters until later in this fic. Saying 'brown-haired man' and others doesn't usually work in some fics, but it definitely did in yours. The sense of mystery is great, because in other fics it is a bit confusing, but in yours; perfect.
I hear Karkaroff shout the Killing Curse at me. And I welcome the green light.
What a truly chilling and sad ending! Well, not really sad, because from what I gathered in the fic, the one that is about to die just killed the poor woman!
'And I welcome the green light' That is a truly amazing group of words. How did you come up with such a great sentence?
It's nice to see that you wrote about Karkaroff. I haven't seen many fics about him, and even though he is only here for a bit, he was awful the entire time; perfect characterization.
Truly deep and crazy amazing story. I like the cliffie ending that you put, and basically all of your ideas and the plot put into this story. Great job! It's going on my favorites list.
Beth, I’m so glad I chose to read this out of all your fics! It’s amazing.
From the first few paragraphs of this story, the reader is drawn in and can’t help reading on even as the horror steadily grows. Starting the beginning with an event that doesn’t occur until later in the story was a great way to create intrigue, and your use of italics and present tense throughout create a wonderfully creepy mood that kept me reading, riveted. It makes for many tense moments, as the man sneaks in, and as he fights for the control of his mind.
But what I can’t get over is the mastery with which you write the action of this story, and the gut-wrenching fear of such an experience. This is more like a horror story than anything, but in a good way. The scene where Philip dies was where I really began to get involved. The action is, again, well described, as was the imagery of his mouth forming an “o”. The torture scene…perfectly shocking; Marlene’s terror is palpable. Good job. ;)
And then there’s my favorite part of the one-shot—“Cynus closes his eyes. ‘No, Marlene,’ his voice flat. ‘No one escapes him. Not me. Not you.” This is just so unexpected and terrifying. It’s a brilliant idea, and your title is very chilling now that I know the meaning behind it. There’s a burst of sadness and horror when Marlene becomes insane and all she can say is his name. I’m quite in awe of you.
I would have a liked a little background on the friendship between Cynus and Marlene, though, because it would have given this story some more depth. Just a few lines would have sufficed, because otherwise the switch from murderer to victim is a bit too sudden to feel right. I did have a few nitpicks as well:
“I drop my wand as I stumbled backwards.” You appear to switch tense here—that should be fixed.
“He enters the house quietly, careful not to tip anyone off with his presence.” Normally the phrase is, “tip off to.” If you meant it to be the first way, however, I’m sorry.
“Before the man could react, the green light hits the man’s chest.” Man is repeated twice. Replacing it with “his” the second time would improve it.
In the end, you’ve written a powerful and fascinating one-shot; I’m surprised by how few reviews it has! This will definitely be added to my favorites. “Escape” might be your first D/A, but you pulled it off well.
That was so interesting. There was good plot to it, and the opening paragraph really caught my eye, made me want to kep reading! Great job!!
The Order of Ravenclaw House Elves
Now that I can actually speak, I figure I owe you a really review. First, let me get this off my chest... This was Bloody Brilliant.
You say that Karkaroff killed Travers, which would not work within the context of canon. Let me explain...
In canon, while Karkaroff is in Azkaban, Travers is alive. He gives Travers' and Mulcibers' names to the Wizengamot and Crouch Sr. during his trial. Crouch says the Ministry "has them."
So...Karkaroff, even after being released, wouldn't have been able to kill Travers because Travers is in the custody of the Ministry.
Therefore this needs an AU warning. ;)
That's my only true complaint. Wonderful use of emotion and a great ending (though AU).
Wow. Just...Wow. You took a few words from canon and made them into the most poignant angst piece I have read in months.
Wonderful job, Beth. I would call this your best work. It was an honor to read it.
P.S. This is the second of three reviews you receive from me as a reward for participating in the LilyEvans34 Review Challenge.
I really liked the mystique you created in this. From the two quotes in the beginning, we know that it would be about Marlene McKinnon and her family's death, but up until the end, I was utterly unable to figure out who the friend was. I must say, it was a nice twist.
You captured the emotions wonderfully, I think. The mother frantic attempts at saving her daughter's life, the two men feeling duty to protect, the daughter's reluctance to leave her mother, and not quite understanding of the situation, all perfectly captured at the moment.
I also liked how Marlene and Travers seemed to know each other. It tensed the situation. Two friends, or at least aquantinces, at the pitch of battle. It was interesting to see how it progeressed.
My favorite part was that little end scene. When Travers realises his mistake. He seems regretful that he killed her, but thankful he didn't torture her. I also smiled as he welcomed death. That shows that he must be good (or have some in him) because Voldemort, currently the most evil wizard alive, is afraid of death. So if he welcomes death, he can't be too much like Voldemort, can he?
Nicely done! I like fics that flesh out characters mentioned in passing in the books, and this is one of the best I've read.
Wow..that was brilliant! It made me so sad, but it was so wonderfully written. The last sentence was so fitting...
WOW!!! THAT WAS AWSOME!