Thank you to Fresca for the beautiful author banner.
Hi, my name is Hannah, I'm 19 and live in the UK. I'm in my first year of university and spend more time on MNFF then I probably should. My fairly light university schedule has only made it easier to continue spending more time on here, even if I do occasionally get weighed down by essays.
I first discovered fanfiction between the publication of HBP and DH though it wasn't until after DH that I tried writing anything. I have started more fanfics than I can count but very few materialise into anything as I will often lose sight of my plot or realise halfway through that I don't like what I am writing. I am proud of the few stories I have written, however, and hope that if you take the time to read them, you will too.
I tend to be very open about what I will read and write so I don't generally have category or character preferences though if I had to pick Teddy Lupin is probably my favourite person to write about. My preferred pairing is Ron/Hermione, though you will notice a bit of Dramione on my author page. As a mod, I look after the categories of Ron/Hermione, Remus/Tonks and Post-Hogwarts so these tend to be where I enjoy spending most time.
I am quite active on the Beta Boards and am a proud Slytherin, as well as a moderator.
I have tried all sorts of new things on the forums, from writing drabbles on things I wouldn't usually to taking part in beta and bannermaking classes, as well as other more writing specific challenges. My favourite challenge on the Boards as always been the QWC and I have been in several teams, including one which we won (the story we wrote can be found posted below). If you are a member of the archives who hasn't yet found their way over to the forums yet, I really would urge you to try it out as there is so much to do over there and so many new things to get involved in.
While most of my stories work as standalone one shots, I have been planning and writing a series of Teddy Lupin one-shots. They do not fit together as such, but are all set in the same 'world' and some may make references to others. Therefore they are best to read chronologically (by the age Teddy is when they are set, rather than the order they were posted as I was inspired by different things at different times). I only have three up at the moment, but have more planned. The current best order to read them in is:
-->The Balancing Act
-->Loved and Lost
-->A Proper Goodbye
Summary: Peter Pettigrew wasn't always a traitor. He was a Marauder, a prankster and a good friend.
Peter Pettigrew wasn't always called Wormtail.
Perhaps, one change led to the other?
Disclaimer: I'm not JK Rowling but I doubt you're surprised by that revelation.
Hi, Carole and Happy Easter! I'm sorry your egg is a little late - now that I've finally got around to this hopefully it'll be worth it (though I'm no SPEWer)
Firstly, good on you for taking a character that so many like to pretend only existed to betray Lily and James and giving him a character of his own. I felt you had really thought about Peter and his place in the Marauders as well as his life at home and his relationship with his mother. As a character study, this is really excellent. I could feel how even though Peter was one of the Marauders, his self-esteem was still low and gradually being eroded by the little things he picked up on, such as Sirius muttering under his breath or Peter realising the reasoning behind his nickname. You showed how he allowed himself to be bullied and controlled by a relative from a young age and how, to an extent, this continued at Hogwarts, culminating in the anger he feels in his seventh year when he thinks, Why can’t I use the Map? I think. I helped create it. I think this perfectly shows his feelings of never quite living up to rest of the Marauders.
The other Marauders were presented well also, and it was interesting that to me it seemed that most of the time it was Sirius who cause Peter the most problems, while James remained relatively calm and friendly.
I think my favourite segment in this would be the one where Peter finally managed to transform - you showed the support his friends gave him, as well as his nerves and even though they all cheer when he achieves it, he cannot help but question himself and the animal he has turned into. This showed he is constantly doubting his true status as a Marauder, even when his friends are being kind to him.
Technically I think I only have one nitpick and that is with the dialogue punctuation here: “That’s good, because my mum bakes the best cakes in the world,” she beams at me, “and I need someone to share this with.” As she beams at me is not a dialogue tag I feel that it should be capitalised. The only other part which seems slightly out of place is We creep in, and then Sirius leaps on him rather like a dog would. I'm not completely sure I can imagine twelve-year-old boys being comfortable enough to start leaping on each other and it seems a little early for Sirius to already be showing dog-like characteristics.
Overall, as always, this is really well-written, well thought out and was a good read.
Author's Response: OOOH, thank you for such a lovely Easter Egg (It's almost as good as the Galaxy egg I have waiting for me!). I'm glad you enjoyed the story. I still find it hard to write sympathetically about Peter - but I have to sometimes.
I'm not too sure about the punctuation nit-pick. I know it's not a dialogue tag, but I thought it was supposed to be in commas as splitting up a sentence *confused*. You're right about Sirius, though. I wasn't totally sure at the time about the 'leaping on like a dog' and I'm going to replace or remove that bit. It's too heavy-handed on the irony. But I do think twelve-year-old boys jump around on each other in a rough-and-tumble way.
Thank you for the review and the excedllent concrit. Carole xxx
"It’s like a safe place, somewhere to watch the world, somewhere... magical."
When the rain stops and the sun comes out, a magical moment is etched in gold.
Chelsea, this is a truly wonderful fic, which is just a sweet and lovely snapshot of a fledging relationship, but with such a tragic ending (for the reader who knows what is to come, at least). It was also impeccably written and there was not a single mistake to be found, which is wonderful!
It did take me a couple of paragraphs to ‘settle in’ to the story. I felt the first paragraph, while necessary in order to quickly set the scene and be able to move in to the main focus of the story, was rather wordy and it took me a couple of reads to make sure I completely understood everything I was reading. I think it would have flowed better if it was a little shorter, perhaps without the extra detail about the exams, in order to reach the main detail of the story quicker.
As soon as you introduced Cedric, however, the story became instantly engaging, due to the excellent characterisation. I loved this moment of description: He looked around to see a Gryffindor girl approaching, her brown hair tousled and her cheeks pink from the wind that battered her face. She looked tired, but undeniably pleased, in heavy contrast with Cedric’s tense mood. It was so vivid and allowed me to really picture Katie as she approached. The description tied in with your earlier phrase on the unusually cloudy and blustery weather, and the detail shows the depth to which you thought about your character. The idea of her being tired, but pleased, was a perfect portrayal of the mix of feelings of relief and exhaustion that come from sitting an exam and the contrast to Cedric’s mood was very effective.
I liked the build up of the normal conversation, with them simply chatting about every day things, such as Cedric’s parents, the tournament and exams. The little details about how she had found her exam or Cedric’s thoughts about his parents worry for him, were excellent additions as they added more depth to the characters and as a reader I found myself becoming more and more interested in the couple. Every detail such as the picking blades of grass one by one seemed to have been thought out and be there for a reason. Nothing felt as if it had just been added for the sake of it.
I think it’s great that you included an explanation of why Cedric is turning to Katie over Cho and I think it’s a realistic and believable one, which is important to pull off when writing a non-canon pairing. I also thought it was good that at first he thinks of Katie as just a friend, and that the kiss or the promise of a relationship is not something pre-planned but a spur of the moment event.
I absolutely adored this moment: So this was where the boats that carried the first-years from the trains were kept throughout the year. He couldn’t believe he’d never wondered what this was for. I love it when authors take such a random canon question such as where the boats are stored and use it to create a whole new place and setting. And it worked so well for this particular fic. Cedric and Katie needed a special, unusual setting to provide the spark to their relationship.
Finally, the ending was so terrible tragic, but just perfect. It was moment of irony for the reader as we know that Cedric won’t be alive for long enough to follow through with the relationship and that he will die with Cho still believing he loved her and Katie always knowing what could have been.
I loved this fic and I think you handled the pairing and the prompt excellently!
Author's Response: Hannah, thank you so much for this lovely review! I definitely appreciate all the things you said and will keep your suggestions in mind in the future. Thanks a million for the feedback, dear! ♥
Summary: Despite their best efforts, the word "wait" is always in the vocabulary of Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley. Kicking off after the final battle is done and Voldemort is gone, this is how Harry and Ginny sent "wait" to the wayside. *one-shot*
One of the good things about modding is that it does mean I get to find fics which are a great read and make me want to come back and tell you the author so. And I have to say wow – you took a period of time that most people would cover in several chapters and squeezed it all in to a long one-shot and it still worked. I felt that each segment gave me enough detail to understand Harry and Ginny’s thoughts and feelings and the development of their relationship, but without any of them going too far and becoming boring or repetitive. I liked the restatement of the definition of wait used to split the sections, rather than just the simple use of a horizontal rule, as I felt it really emphasised the point of your story.
It is hard to pick a favourite segment of this story as one of its strengths is that they all fit together extremely well. I did like Harry’s proposal, however, and the wedding scene, particularly this part: Hermione and Ron both protested and tried to convince them to reconsider. Ginny told them if they didn’t want to come, then she’d owl Luna to act as witness. made me smile.
The plot was good and addressed some interesting issues. I like that you stuck closely to canon, incorporating all of the information that JK has given in interviews. It is true that with Harry and Ginny both starting such hectic careers they would have struggled to find time to spend with each other and even after the war, waiting still would have played a part in their relationship. I found the idea of elopement believable as Harry, especially, has shown his hatred of extra attention. It was interesting that they were able to convince a priest to marry them in the middle of the night, but sweet nonetheless.
Your characterisation of Harry and Ginny was excellent and I really felt you understood the characters you were writing about. The Christmas Eve scene was especially fitting and it is very easy to believe Harry reacting to Ginny’s letter so literally, by quitting the program to be with her. His actions seemed perfectly natural for Harry and exactly the way he would deal with such a problem. Ginny’s reaction: “Harry, you’re an idiot!” she exclaimed. was very fitting and a realistic response to Harry’s behaviour.
Being nit-picky, I did notice that there were some canon capitalisation errors in this sentence: All the bodies had been taken to the great hall and the House Elves had already done quite a job cleaning up most of the blood and lesser debris. Great Hall should be capitalised while house-elves shouldn’t and should also be hyphenated. Other than that, however, it was technically strong.
The only other thing I noticed while reading was that the tone of the dialogue occasionally became Americanised which did have an affect on the flow of the chapter and moments of the characterisation. It was mainly only simple things, such as the use of the word ‘candy’ and Ginny saying “You smell like arse,” which are simple to change but have a big impact on the way a British reader, especially, might read something.
All in all, this is a great one-shot and a really good example of a Harry/Ginny romance.
Author's Response: Thanks so much! I greatly appreciate you taking the time to leave such a wonderful review -- and for pointing out those errors, which I'm about to go fix. My biggest problem with writing Harry Potter fanfiction is the tendency to Americanize, and I apologize for that. I'm glad you enjoyed it otherwise! I've read a lot of fanfiction that takes place in those years right after the end and while I have enjoyed most of them, I've always wanted to try my own hand at it without having to devote myself to a chaptered-story. It's good to know you think I was able to write it out well in only one chapter! :) And as for understanding Harry and Ginny -- that's high praise and I think you very much! I love Lily and James and Ron and Hermione, but Harry and Ginny always have been and always will be my favorite.
I was giving this another read and wanted to leave a follow up reveiw because I noticed some changes since my review and wanted you to know that it's always nice to think that the comments you make in a review can have an effect on the author. The changes you have made may only be small, such as the odd American to British word here and there but they really make a difference to way I read it and it's good that you took the time to do them.
Author's Response: I always like it when people leave help in reviews -- if there are typos or small words I can change that will help the story, then I want to know. So thank you for telling me! I'm glad you appreciate the changes :)
Summary: As kids, they were best friends. Practically inseperable, climbing trees every day at the Potters. It was always them. Teddy and Victoire.
But things change. And so do people. They grow up, move on. Make new friends, and forget all about lazy summers spent sitting in treetops. For a while.
But it doesn't take much to bring the memories back. And Teddy is determined to do just that.
Aw, Jen, this was so unbelievably sweet. I’ve recently developed a liking for Teddy and the Teddy/Victoire pairing and this fic was a wonderful example. The thing that struck me most as I was reading was that this felt so real all the way through. There were moments, such as this one: At first they would stop and say hello. Then that drifted into smiles and nods, until finally there was just ignorance. And it was over that I could relate to so completely because I’ve experienced exactly the same thing and it is a perfect description of how it happens.
This part: Then there was the fact that Victoire was a girl, something he wouldn’t have minded if it weren’t for his fellow Gryffindor boys. also jumped out at me as being very real and I felt it showed a real awareness of the characters’ ages. My experience of being twelve (several years ago) and having a twelve-year-old brother is that there is certainly a separation between girls and boys and I’m glad that you showed this and that it would have caused problems in Teddy and Victoire’s friendship, as opposed to so many fics in which characters fall in love the instant they step on the train.
Your characterisation is really excellent, and I loved Teddy’s gradual realisation of his feelings for Victoire, which was summed up particularly well in this part: She was funny, interesting, clever. And beautiful. How had he not noticed that, in all those years passing her in halls? I love how his realisation of his attraction to her crept up on him so subtly that he didn’t even notice it happening until that one link. The build up to the relationship seemed very natural and not forced or unrealistic – I found it very believable.
I loved that you used Harry and Ginny’s as the setting for a great deal of the story - Harry and Ginny were babysitting, like always - I thought it was great that you used Harry and Ginny almost to replace Molly and Arthur, having their house become the central hub for the children rather than The Burrow – I can really imagine that happening and it was a sweet addition.
I loved the style of your writing. You created a really nice story around the focus of the relationship. I liked the little additions to the story such as here - Teddy graduated, passing every subject (although Charms was a close call) because even though it was not directly related to the relationship, which was the main focus of the story, it really added to the overall feel and the development of the characters.
I do have a nit-pick to point out with this line: He was at that age where all girls supposedly had cooties. Cooties is, well usually I’d say an Americanism but you’re Australian so I’ll settle with saying it’s not British. While I understand the meaning through American TV programmes, it’s not something that is used in Britain itself.
I also felt that the repetition of the ‘but it changed’ in this line, But it changed. He didn’t notice at first, but it changed, didn’t quite work as it didn’t flow as well as the rest of the story.
Finally, I had a question about this part: He spent time with his grandparents. I wasn’t sure if you were referring to both his sets of grandparents as the Lupins have never been brought up before in canon, but if you were referring to just the Tonks side of the family then it shouldn’t have been a plural as Ted Tonks died in DH. However, I did consider that you could have meant the Lupins as well – I just wasn’t sure.
All in all, this was wonderful and really enjoyable to read.
Author's Response: *grins* Oh, what a truly wonderful review, Hannah! I am so flattered by this. I am so pleased that you liked this - it just fills me with so much pride.I apologise for the cooties and grandparents things - the first I didn't realise wasn't British, and the second was just a slip of the mind, I did only mean Andromeda. ;) I'll fix those straightaway. Thank you again for such a lovely review! *hugs*
Summary: ‘Hope shall die last, Minerva.’
A bright morning, but will it be bright for everyone? Or is the rising sun painting an illusion only?
Ooh, Bine, what an interesting take on a prologue to the series, and congratulations on your first place! This short one-shot definitely had all the elements that a good prologue should have; it raised plenty of questions, rather than answering them and made the reader want to know so more about the situation. I can imagine myself as a reader never having read the books, being very intrigued by this story and wanting to immediately go out and buy the books!
I felt as if you had thought very carefully about the fact that this was a prologue and therefore perhaps aimed more at people who hadn’t yet read the books and so don’t have a lot of prior knowledge of the series. Referring to Dumbledore as ‘the man’ throughout, rather than using the more casual ‘Dumbledore’, familiar to most readers was very effective. It built the suspense, making the reader wonder who this man could be and created a slightly mysterious atmosphere. The subtle insertions of magic, such as the behaviour of Fawkes, and the single mention of the word ‘wizarding’ at the end were also effective as they helped to set the scene and prepare the reader for the world they had entered.
To the experienced reader, Dumbledore’s character was immediately obvious due to the strength of his characterisation, even without being named. This line in particular caught my attention: he held his pacing line short, counting it to twenty steps in either direction as it seemed very in character for Dumbledore to be very precise about his pacing, counting the exact number of steps each way and not straying from his pattern, almost as if he had some specific purpose for his actions. The other hints – the metal instruments, Fawkes, his twinkling blue eyes, his ability to read McGonagall’s true purpose – all pointed instantly to Dumbledore and you kept him completely in character throughout, not always an easy task with Dumbledore in particular.
McGonagall’s characterisation was also spot-on and it was so typical of her to want to know what is happening but attempting to hide her curiosity by appearing to come on other business, but then pushing for more once she is given an opening to. However, it was also in character for her to be accepting of Albus’ word that she can not be told what is happening, as she has always been seen to respect his decisions and actions.
I was surprised when I realised when you had chosen to set it. My initial thought was that you were writing the morning of the Potter’s death but on reflection I realise the story and the events make much more sense set when they are. I think it was a good choice as it could be argued that it is at this point, just as the Potters are about to go into hiding, that Harry’s story really begins. The last line was a very powerful one and worked wonderfully at the end of this prologue. It was so in keeping with Dumbledore’s character and his constant, unwavering belief that dark could ultimately be defeated. It gave some optimism at the end of a story which sets up for something bad to be about to happen and goes some way to relieve the reader’s trepidation at what could be about to happen to the Potters, and that even with McGonagall’s worries there is still hope.
Overall this was a great story and a very appropriate prologue to the beginning of the Harry Potter series.
Author's Response: Thank you, thank you, thank you for such a lovely review, Hannah. It was a very pleasant surprise and made me smile. *hugs tight* I'm so very happy that you liked the story.
As for the point this story is set: Well, I still clearly remember the mod (Julie, myownmuggle) answering a question with "How would you introduce the Harry Potter books to someone who hasn't yet read them?" I wrote this short one-shot according to that and I'm glad I did. :D
Thank you, again, for writing me another fabulous review. Love you, hon.
Summary: Ginny went back to Hogwarts for her sixth year, without Harry at her side. The school has been “taken over” by Voldemort’s forces. How will it be like, the new school year?
Follow Ginny back to school when there was nothing worth going for.
Firstly, you should know that Hogwarts during the year of DH is my absolute favourite thing to read about, and so I was incredibly excited to stumble across this on your author page. And you did not disappoint with the story!
I love being grabbed by opening lines, but in this case, it was the second line/paragraph that really drew me in. I felt the opening line you chose was a little stiff, but the second paragraph, and in fact the remainder of the whole of the first section was completely gripping, and in my opinion, the story would have been just as effective starting with that part. The atmosphere you created was amazing and I was feeling tense and nervous just reading it.
The opening contrasted greatly with the ending, which I also thought was very effective. The line And it had shown me that together you’re strong. Standing alone, you’re nothing. seems filled with so much hope and optimism, making the reader feel that perhaps everything is not going to be as bad as first thought from the opening of the story. I loved the change in mood from the despair to the promise that things would get better.
The tone and the mood you created throughout the whole of this story was incredibly powerful and I think the use of the first person was really important in helping to create this. There were so many ‘wow’ moments in this story that really made me shiver, such as here Have you ever felt it? When nothing was there – although you were surrounded by hundreds of people? when I felt as if I could really feel Ginny’s pain and the misery she was experiencing without Harry. And even though her feelings are very extreme, they are believable. Strong as she is, I can imagine Ginny would struggle at first with the idea of Hogwarts during her sixth year.
I found that this moment - Squinting my eyes to see in the swirling misty smoke, I saw feeble shadows moving around. - was particularly powerful as it seemed to mirror what happens in the DH epilogue, only the contrast in the mood and the tone is about as extreme as it could be. In the epilogue the characters are happy and even with the train’s smoke, there is a positive atmosphere. Here, the smoke seems somehow ominous and the description of the figures emerging from the smoke is very sinister.
The transition in mood between the opening and the ending was done very well and I liked how you used Neville to show Ginny that everything could be okay. We can guess from canon that the pair became close during the year and his conversation with her at this point is a strong start to that friendship. Here - He cared; his eyes told me he wanted everything to be all right. And he was determined to make it right – the glitter in his eyes told me this much. you showed just how strong Neville was prepared to be for Ginny and how determined he was to fight against the Carrows and Snape. However, I also thought it was good that even though Ginny allowed herself to be comforted by him, she couldn’t help but wish she were with Harry instead, showing that Neville could never quite be a substitute for Harry’s love.
The one-shot was everything I could have wanted and I would love to see more of your interpretation of Hogwarts during that year. ~Hannah
Author's Response: Oh, what a lovely review, hon. Thank you so much. I'm really glad you liked the story and enjoyed reading it. And I'm also glad that I decided to write Ginny here, instead of Crabbe how I envisioned it before. But that somehow didn't work like I thought, so the switch to Ginny. And who knows, maybe I'll make it a chaptered. Right now, my muse is engaged in other projects.
Anywho, thanks a lot for that brilliant review, Hannah. *hugs*
Summary: Five years since the defeat of the Dark Lord, Draco Malfoy is finally getting his life back on track. Married, employed by the Ministry, slowly gaining back the trust of the wizarding world, Malfoy is finally free from the oppression and terror of Voldemort. Until one day his Dark Mark burns again. Why is this happening? Who is summoning him back to a world of darkness and fear? As the new life he has built from scratch begins to fall apart around him Draco can turn to only one man for help.
Ooh, Julia, this was such an interesting opening, and you’ve really set up the story effectively – I can’t wait to read on further, but first I thought I’d stop by and leave you a review for your prologue. And also to wish you a belated Happy Halloween ;)
The first thing that I immediately liked about this story was the fact that you allowed five years to pass between the Battle and the Draco’s wedding. I think this was an important thing to do as while a transformation in Draco’s character is believable after the events of DH, I do think it would take a certain amount of time for him to truly become the better person he is presented as in this prologue.
The second paragraph immediately made me smile; it was just so completely Draco. I thought this line in particular, Draco’s lip curled up into a sneer as he thought of the man who had, unfortunately, saved his life was an excellent moment of characterisation. Draco may have changed, as we see later in the chapter, but I don’t think there is anything that could stop him feeling a certain amount of bitterness towards Harry. The ‘unfortunately’ added a brief moment of humour because of course Draco would still rather be alive but doesn’t exactly like that it’s as a result of Harry’s actions.
I think you presented the transformed Draco effectively. There are still aspects of the old Draco in there but you can also see his true desire to change, and show himself to be a better person. He is no longer so reliant on his father’s opinion as he once was though perhaps he has transferred this need for acceptance away from his father and on to the wizarding world in general, as he longs for their approval. I also thought it was particularly good that Draco’s transformation has come about as a result of his love for Katie – it provided a nice reference to the importance of love in the series itself.
Katie Bell was an interesting choice of partner for Draco, particularly because she was one the victims of his plans in HBP, but as we know very little about her, it was a pairing that could be believed. I did think that perhaps her reaction to his dark mark was a little understated. I can see how she would be prepared to accept it as part of his past, but may not go as far as to smile ‘warmly’ upon touching the mark. I think she would possibly be a bit more reluctant to embrace the darkest aspect of his past than shown here. But hopefully we’ll get to see more of her in later chapters and experience some more of their relationship.
The time jumps in this chapter were a little bit confusing, mainly down to the use of tense. You used the word ‘now’ several times, as if to suggest that was the time in which the prologue was set and I initially thought, as a result of this sentence: Now, as Draco stepped into his morning suit and checked (again) that Blaise had the wedding bands safely in his pocket, he would have to face Potter once more - on the day of his marriage, for heaven’s sake. that the prologue was set on the day of the wedding. The transitions to the honeymoon, then back to the home and the dark mark scene, were rather disjointed and could have done with being smoothed out a bit – there was a sense that you were trying to fit quite a bit into the prologue but that it didn’t all quite join together. The time changed quite frequently jumping forward and backwards and leaving me a little bit confused. You did show one clear transition in the time at the beginning but the others would have benefitted from being more clearly marked. When you then used now again here: But now Draco lay writhing beneath an ancient tapestry in the front parlour, clawing at his wrist. I wasn’t completely sure how it fit in to the rest of the chronology, except for the brief reference to it at the beginning.
Having said that, however, the ending was very good, and it fulfilled one of the most important roles of an prologue in making me want to read more. You have shown earlier in the chapter that Draco is still not exactly best friends with Harry and so I am looking forward to seeing some interaction between them when Draco shares his experience with him, as well as finding out exactly what is behind Draco’s mark burning once again.
Thanks for a great read and hopefully I’ll be back to let you know what I think of the rest soon!
Author's Response: Ah, Hannah! This is such a great Halloween gift. Thank you very much for the review. I really appreciate it, especially for this fic as it takes quite a bit of work! I'm glad you thought Draco's transition was believable. Katie and Draco's relationship is explained (to a certain degree) later on in the fic. I really wanted Draco to be redeemed by love so it's good to know that came through. The time jumps. Yes, they are really confusing. This is one of the first FFs I wrote and it makes me cringe when I read the earlier parts. Sometime in the future I am going to have to go back and rewrite those bits! The Draco and Harry relationship is very interesting to write. That has been the most fun for me in this fic. Angsty!Draco can be a little tiring at times and I feel I can explore his surly, sarcastic side through his interactions with Harry. Katie and Draco is a strange pairing but I thought it would be interesting since she was a victim of his cursed necklace. As I said before, it is explained later on. I'm also working on a sort of prequel to this fic to show how Katie and Draco's relationship developed. It's going to be one of my summer projects (along with a Flich/Pince lol). I hope you enjoy the rest of the fic! Thanks for the lovely review. -Julia XD
The first chapter was a great follow on from you prologue and I feel that you really settled in to the flow of the writing in this chapter. The timing and transitions were written much more smoothly and it was a lot easier to follow the action. I always felt I knew where I was in the story and how it fitted in to the overall picture
I continued to enjoy your characterisation of Draco. He is different to his time at Hogwarts and this is shown most effectively through his relationship with Katie. When he is with her, he becomes funny, kind and loving, and is able to reveal quite how much he has changed as a result of having her. Underneath, however, there is still so much of the old Draco left in him. My heart sank at this moment: “Nothing,” he lied seamlessly because I so desperately wanted him to tell her and share his problems, but of course the old Draco within him still has the natural instinct to lie, and you wrote that element of his character very well. It came through in several moments throughout the chapter. When he goes to visit Harry for example he still is unable to stop himself sneering involuntarily and the use of that particular word showed quite how deeply Draco’s actions and reactions to Harry are imbedded in his character.
The plot in this chapter is progressing at a good pace – you are feeding us some hints about the mystery but without giving too much away. The suspense is building up slowly and I am definitely curious to find out more of the story. The actions of all the characters are believable and fit well into your overall story.
I think you show a great skill for balancing different emotions in a fic. Within this chapter alone, you were able to carefully mix the more angsty moments of Draco reflecting on his relationship with Katie and its ability to last under the threat of a dark power, with the sweet moments of romance between the couple, and also the subtle injections of humour. There are, both in this and the previous chapter, some lines that are written in a dry, very humorous style and made me chuckle. In this chapter, the line, .This was embarrassing, this sharing stuck out to me as a rather funny one. Draco is involved in a serious situation and clearly very worried but is still able to somewhat sarcastically reflect on the sharing of emotion between the two and how strange and unusual it was. But even within the humour, there were touching moments of emotion, particularly when Harry and Draco realise they share a common bond. However, none of this emotion is created through sacrifice of characterisation and their dialogue shows them to still not feel any particular affection for the other and to be naturally inclined to argue than to chat with one another.
Keep up the great writing, and I hope that in the next few chapters we get to learn more of the mystery behind the mark.
Author's Response: Thanks, Bob!
Summary: Anne and Peter have been friends since they can remember. They saw themselves more as siblings than simply friends, promising each other to always stay together.
Can this promise be held, or will a years-long friendship break over the words uttered by a neutral force?
As your BeBr prof, I thought I’d come and share my opinion on your wonderful final. This was a really interesting read and a great one-shot. Firstly, I must just comment on the ending, particularly the revelation of who Peter really was. For some reason, it never even occurred to me who he was and then when his name was read out I had a moment of complete surprise, as it took me totally unawares! I think it really added to the story, finding out that the boy I assumed to just be an OC was in fact Pettigrew. I like how you presented him as a completely normal child, with a pretty normal family and life as well as a friend who he is close to (and is a Muggle nonetheless – interesting considering the side he later chooses!). It also makes me wonder how different he could have been, had he and Anne been the same house, as it seems that she is a friend that treated him very much as an equal, and could perhaps have helped him stay on the ‘right path’.
The characterisation was a real strength in this one-shot and I think you presented Anne as very real and very likeable. Her doubts about leaving were very believable, particularly with this line: ‘I’ll miss Mum and Dad and all my things I can’t take with me.’ because it was so completely realistic of the things an eleven-year-old would worry about. It’s easy to imagine that any child would be scared about leaving their family behind to go to boarding school, even if that school is Hogwarts! And I’m glad you showed that even with the excitement of discovering she was a witch, Anne still had the same nerves as any ordinary person.
As I was reading, I did wonder where you would have Anne sorted and based on the way you presented her character, I think Hufflepuff was definitely the right decision. Obviously we know that Peter goes in to Gryffindor and part of me thought you might send Anne in the same place but even as I was questioning it, I was also thinking that it just wouldn’t be right for her to be in Gryffindor and I was so relieved that you took the path you did.
The friendship between the pair was presented very naturally and it was sweet how they were both dropping hints about their magic, until Anne finally cracked and gave it away. I loved her reaction to finding out that Peter was also a wizard: Squealing loudly, Anne threw the box in which she had hidden the letter away and flung her arms around Peter’s neck. ‘I can’t believe it!’ she screamed in his ear; Peter grimaced. Then, she held him at arm’s distance. ‘We’re going to the same school!’ and I was feeling just as excited as she was when I read this. It was a perfect portrayal of a young girl’s excitement and really made me feel I was there too.
This is not the first time we have seen a Muggle-born experience the excitement of preparing for the Hogwarts but even though it is a storyline that has been used before, you still managed to make it unique and interesting. The use of this part - ‘What do you want to know?’ he asked, to which she exclaimed, passionately, ‘Everything, of course!’ ‘All right, there are four Houses…’ - struck me as a particularly effective part of keeping the plot original. It showed Anne’s excitement and desire to know everything she can about Hogwarts, as well as the closeness of the friends, but the use of the fade off meant that the reader knew they witnessing the beginning of a long conversation about Hogwarts, which would tell Anne a lot of what she needed to know, without having to re-read the things we already know from canon.
I also liked how you showed that every Muggle-born finds different things to be excited/apprehensive about in the wizarding world. Anne’s fears about the fire - ‘But – but – but –,’ she stuttered, ashen-faced, ‘fire is hot!’ were rather amusing and of course, perfectly understandable for a child who will have been told to always stay away from fire!
As far as Brit-picking goes (which is of course an important part of the final), I felt you really thought about everything you wrote and tried to incorporate the things you’d learnt in class in to your writing. The names of the characters were simple and perfectly appropriate for the era, particularly as Anne is a Muggle-born. The language was almost completely perfect, both for the time and place, for example the various items of clothing and the use of cassettes. The only part which was slightly out of place was the use of the words ‘sand box’ which in Britain would be more likely referred to as a ‘sand pit’. All the cultural references such as Anne’s love of the Beatles fitted well in to the era. However, there were moments when I felt the Beatles in particular were a little bit over referenced, though it is true that for many they were an obsession.
All in all, I loved reading this, and it was an excellent final piece. The whole thing was written technically wonderfully and definitely deserving of its full marks! ~Hannah
Author's Response: I love getting reviews from you. Your feedback is just wow. Thanks a lot. I'm really glad you liked it and that it incorporated what it needed for a worthy final. Also, thanks for being a great professor.
I wasn't entirely sure where to put Anne. At first, Gryffindor came to mind, but since the whole plot was that both she and Peter get separated through the Sorting, and Peter's house is Gryffindor from canon, I needed another place. Slytherin was out of bounds right away for this purpose (more so that Anne is a Muggle-born), so there were only Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff left. And the choice for the latter was on the one hand because I didn't see Anne as being the studious type of girl, and on the second hand, I have a soft spot for my own house. ;) So the characterisation of the story worked towards Anne fit into Hufflepuff. Funny, how things come while writing, right?
The revelation about Peter: You're not the first to be surprised about it. My one beta was taken unaware as well. I'm glad it worked like I intended it. :D
Anyway, thanks a lot for a lovely review, Hannah. *squishes*
Summary: Draco Malfoy and Ronald Weasley loathed each other at Hogwarts, and little has changed over the years. No one in their right wand would have ever expected them to become in-laws. But Hogwarts is a funny place where many things become possible. And now, everyone has to accept it – Scorpius Malfoy and Rose Weasley are getting married today…
So, I was looking through your author page for something that looked interesting and frankly, everything looks interesting, so I figured why not start from the top? You’ve got plenty of stories to keep me entertained after all. I was particularly intrigued by this one because it is one of your earlier fics and I wanted to see how you started out.
I love wedding fics, and Rose/Scorpius make a great couple to write about, particularly with all their family history and the problems that come with it. I like the way you started to deal with the fic, taking it through one PoV at a time, so that we get to fully appreciate the different people involved in the wedding and just how much potential there is for them to clash.
I think you found the balance with Draco just right. He has changed, and become a better person later in his life, particularly after the birth of his son, to whom he seems he felt a responsibility to raise in a better way than he had been. I think it was very revealing that If there was one thing Draco could be proud of, it was the fact that his son had managed to get the life that he had not lived This suggests that Draco made a conscious effort to ensure Scorpius was not subjected to the same beliefs or troubles that Draco himself had gone through. Obviously this was easier with no Lord Voldemort on the scene, but Draco could very easily have succumbed to his father’s will, allowing Scorpius to be raised with ideas of blood superiority, therefore damaging his chances of a normal social life at Hogwarts and certainly of ever meeting and falling in love with Rose Weasley.
However, Draco is by no means a saint. Even with the ‘wary peacefulness’ behind his eyes, as soon as his thoughts turn to Ron and Hermione, he once again becomes slightly mean and very scathing of them, turning him back to the Draco we all know. I think it was significant, however that he thinks of Hermione as Granger now, and not Mudblood as he might once have done. He does not like them still, but that is more to do with their shared history than with Hermione’s blood status. I found his rivalry with them slightly amusing, particularly with this line: I would never do that to my child; I love my son far too much to let old grudges destroy his present and, possibly, his future. The topic may have changed but Draco is still comparing himself favourably to the Weasleys, though now using his son to prove that he is a better father and able to be more accepting and tolerant of the marriage than Ron.
The other characters were also well done. I particularly liked the back story to Draco and Astoria’s relationship and how Daphne’s slight joke at forcing her sister to be introduced to him in spite of how much she disliked him, actually backfired on her and ended up leading to a real relationship. I would be curious to read the story of how Draco eventually managed to convince her to date him sixteen months later! I also found the name Ria as a shortened form to be rather sweet. She comes across as a nice character, who has played a big part in keeping Draco on his reformed path, and gives us an insight into his reformed character.
I found the elder Malfoys to also be strong and believable. It is not really possible to think that Lucius would ever have changed, and even though he was able to put on a front in society until Draco was married, it was obvious that he had been through too much, and his beliefs too firmly embedded, to ever change his mind. I liked that the presence of Scorpius in the family temporarily helped him appear more lively and involved in family affairs, but then this small glimmer of hope was crushed with the realisation that Lucius still believed in the pureblood superiority. Draco’s reaction to this really showed how much he had changed, and that family loyalty no longer held him bound to beliefs he knew to be wrong. Narcissa could be counted on to be more tolerable, but still I think there is a marked improvement from one generation to the next, and this will hopefully have continued down to Scorpius. I did think that Draco allowing his parents to find out about the engagement via the Daily Prophet was a nice touch and fitted well with his character.
You started a strong story here and it was interesting to get to know post-war Draco a bit better, within the context of his son’s wedding. I hope that at some point you may develop the story beyond the two chapters posted at the moment.
Author's Response: Hannah!
Whatever response I give isn't going to do justice to this godamazing review.
At first, I was apprehensive when I saw which fic you'd reviewed for. It was one of my very first. EEP! But I'm happy to find you liked it.
I don't know why but writing Draco was easier than the other characters. But I do think he was clever enough to realise that if he returned to his old ways, the wizarding world wasn't going to be kind to him. He'd always find it a task not to be remembered as a Death Eater. And yet, Draco would still be snark-y towards Ron and the others. I think it is a habit so deeply ingrained that he wouldn't be able to completely get rid of it.
Lucius, of course, cannot change, and I wanted to show that. In spite of everything, he'd still think Muggle-borns weren't as good as Pure-bloods.
I had actually finished writing this story, but I lost the complete drafts TWICE. >.< I really don't know if I'll ever pick it up again, but...maybe I will. :) Thank you for this fantastic review, Hannah. It really means a lot to me.
Summary: Three years after Voldemort won the war, Hermione Granger is a fugitive concealed in the ruins of Hogwarts. For three years, she has sent up signals for the Order, and hoped someone would answer. And at last, someone has - the last person she wants to see... D / Hr
Having just read the entire fic (I started off on MNFF and then moved to another site when I discovered there were more chapters posted - it would be great if you could get them up on this site as well) I am absolutely hooked. The tension you build is incredible and I am so immersed in the world you have created that when I finished, it took me a few minutes to realise that I wasn't actually in it!
Generally I am not a Dramione fan but so many fics of this type now are Dramione that I decided to give yours a go and it has definitely been well worth it. I am particularly enjoying how much focus you have given to the plot and other characterisations and have not laboured too long over forcing a relationship between Draco and Hermione. It is clear that it is going to come but it feels more like an organic process than romance for the sake of romance. And for the moment, they remain completely in character, with their traditional hatred still present, even if other feelings are beginning to surface.
Draco’s character in particular fascinates me, and I think the dark elements you have given him are excellent and fit perfectly in to this new darker world. He is a person who has been forced to do terrible things and it is right that Draco would be very different after this.
As for Hermione, I think the choice she made at the end of the war is interesting. It is hard to imagine her as one in hiding, rather than being there with the rest of them, keeping the order going. But on the other hand, she had no choice and there would obviously have been a complete lack of mercy from the DEs so I think her decision was probably the only one she could have taken.
You have paid so much attention to the details of the world you have created and it is a truly believable Alternate universe. I can really see this being the way Voldemort would have wanted things run. There is clearly so much thought behind every part of this. I think that in particular, the comments about Voldemort preferring pain and suffering to immediate death are a great inside into the mind of the Dark Lord.
My only comment would be that occasionally the transitions between characters were confusing. I would almost have preferred some sort of line break or symbol between characters and it would often take me a paragraph or two to adjust into the new voice, which would then change again almost as quickly, especially in the later chapters. Generally, I enjoyed the technique of showing us different characters and how their lives were intertwining with each other and I definitely think including them all helped build a clear picture of the world and everyone’s role in the story.
Anyway, I have really loved this story and I hope that perhaps this review will encourage you to post more chapters on here as I know many other people would enjoy reading it, and maybe also to continue on from the cliffhanger of the final chapter!
Author's Response: Hi Hannah! Thank you so much for such a thoughtful and detailed review. It's wonderful to get such considered commentary and you really made my day! I shall move the continuation of the story onto this site as well (I'd forgotten about it, to tell you the truth). I know Dramione isn't everyone's cup of tea, so thanks for giving the fic a go despite that :) Hopefully this is a story that happens to have Dramione in it rather than a story which is all about Draco & Hermione. The romance is secondary to the main plot, for me (mostly because the main plot has become rather larger and more complex than I ever intended, but I'm having tremendous fun with it.) I'm very keen on keeping the characters IC, so if anything goes wayward, please let me know! Yes, Draco has been in a position where he has had to make some horrific choices; and Hermione, I think, would not agree that he should have made those he did. I view it more that Hermione had no choice - she found herself hidden in the castle with no opportunity to escape for the first few months (as you can imagine how afraid Voldemort would be that Hogwarts could be used as a base / rallying point for his opponents), and later no way of knowing how to contact anyone. I have really enjoyed the world-builiding side of it :) I wanted to think through the way the world worked and how Voldemort control the world once he had it. After all, no use running the world if everyone else is dead. Ack! You are the first person to have pointed this out to me - I've just realised that fanfiction.net has swallowed all of my breaks between characters. I do put breaks in - unfortunately I used symbols that FFN eats (~*~ is my usual break). I've gone back and amended all the scene breaks - they show in the editor for me, but not on the page the reader sees. Apologies for that. I shall go back to using my old break. I'm midway through the next chapter and going ot get stuck in today. Lots of turmoil in my personal life recently, hence the elongated break, but it's all settling down now, thank god! Thank you again for the review :D Halo
"James Sirius Potter, it is the judgment of the Wizengamot that you have been found guilty. You knowingly, in possession of sound mind and body, used the Cruciatus Curse and the Killing Curse in the intentional torture and murder of one Gregory Goyle the Third."
James Potter was going to Azkaban for the rest of his natural life, and his whole family was in shambles. His wife and child have fled the country, his sister was missing, and his parents were a wreck. However, James knew that he had larger problems: his guilt was coming more and more in question.
Though he knew that James was withholding information about the circumstances of the murder of which he had been found guilty, Harry had secrets of his own; however, even he could not handle this torrent of trouble alone. Can Harry trust his darkest confidences to anyone? Even family?
How will the Potter clan stop the downward spiral into pain and disaster, and can they recover what they've lost?
This fic was nominated for a 2010 Quicksilver Quill Award - Best Next-Generation Story.
You know, I thought I was going crazy. Because I remember reading the memory of Augusta and I couldn't understand why it wasn't there when I re-read so I just assumed either I had imagined things or else it was later in the story. For some reason it didn't occur to me that you might have cut it. I do think, however, that it works better without it. The James/Augusta relationship isn't really hugely important in this story, not in the same way that the Anne/Albus, Harry/Ginny or even Katie/Draco are and therefore the back-story, while nice wasn't really necessary and I think added padding that wasn't really needed. There's plenty going on with the story without it and I guess we don't really need to see anything about James/Augusta, other than perhaps to add a bit more to James' character, but I think you flesh him out perfectly well without it!
Sorry this is just a short one - I wanted to respond to your response and this was the only way to do it! I hope my reviews last night made sense - it was rather late when I was writing them. Oh and for the record, I have no objections to your style or word choice!
Ah, no, you're not crazy...it was there. :)
I agree about its relevance, which is why I'm glad I took it out. The story flows from chapter to chapter much better this way.
Until we meet again!
Ah, no, you're not crazy...it was there. :)
I agree about its relevance, which is why I'm glad I took it out. The story flows from chapter to chapter much better this way.
Until we meet again!
I’ve owed you a review for this fic for who knows how long but now it’s (almost – I’m still waiting on that epilogue!) complete, I thought I should come and give you the review(s) you deserve. However, there is no possible way I could do the review justice without re-reading and to fit everything I want to say into one review would be an epic task so I’m going to review as I go along, this time reading solely for pleasure rather than work! I can’t promise you one for every chapter, but definitely for as many as I find something interesting to say.
Reading this first chapter again is a lot like reading the Harry Potter books after you already know how the series has ended. There are so many hints and signs, which on a first read through you wouldn’t even give a second thought, as they are so effortlessly and expertly woven into the storytelling, but which now scream out to me. It really shows how much you planned this story before you began writing and how you knew what was going to happen long before the reader did, making it easier to insert little hints and clues that were guiding the reader towards what was happening, even if they didn’t realise it. Particular moments where this was obvious to me in this chapter were the references to Lily. We can guess that her absence from the trial is significant and that there is possibly a link to Lily and the murder but from the way the first chapter is presented, it’s impossible to guess just what the final conclusion is going to be. James’ guilt in this chapter just seems so final and so certain – his father, brother and even he, never try to deny it – that it seems hard to think there could be an alternative explanation. I did like the line, The outburst before getting in the car was unplanned, which seemed to drop in the smallest of hints that perhaps James was in control after all, and planning the whole thing, rather than completely helpless as he appears, therefore suggesting another explanation for the murder.
There were also the hints about Barnaby that I can’t believe I had forgotten and which appear so early on in the story without anyone realising. Granted here, he does appear to be planning to cause some sort of trouble due to his ambitions and plans for future promotion, but still I was surprised when I later read of his involvement in the events which follow this chapter.
You create very powerful and effective images in this opening and it certainly sets the scene for a dramatic story. I really felt I could feel the pain of all those present at the trial as James was sentenced to life imprisonment and on a first read, I remember hoping so much that James was not responsible for what happened, but struggling to understand how else he would have been convicted. Even reading it again, I still felt a little bit anxious as I read James’ sentence, so excellently is his guilt portrayed. This line was particularly vivid for me: The sound of snapping wands always made him a little queasy, but to break the wand of a man whose father had been his friend for over four decades, was doubly nauseating. We have seen references to wands being snapped in canon, but never seen the actual event and I felt I shared Peakes’ feelings of nausea as he had to snap someone’s most important link to the wizarding world, leaving them almost completely powerless. The image is made even more effective by featuring a character from canon and sharing their own individual moment of pain, giving us a glimpse of how important Harry and his family still are to the wizarding world and how hard it is for their friends to accept what has happened.
You set up the characters well; obviously, this story takes place some years after the last canon event we see and therefore you are able to play with the characters a certain amount. It’s interesting to read from the beginning and compare it with the transformation some people have undergone by the end. Even though only a moment of Albus is seen in this chapter, I immediately warm to him (and indeed, I think he is one of my favourite characters in the story) as you show us his helplessness as being unable to prevent his brother’s sentence. My initial feelings of James were, interestingly, somewhat negative. Obviously, in this first chapter there is the belief that he is actually responsible for murdering someone, and his acceptance and seeming lack of regret for his actions makes it hard to feel particularly sympathetic towards him, though I do feel pain for those around him. The Harry and Ginny relationship at the opening is an interesting contrast to how it is by the end and it took me several chapters when I was first reading through to realise what your intentions with it were. However, once again, there is here a hint towards the future of Harry’s character when you say: His father often had a far away look when he though no one was watching. You show that clearly Harry is someone who remains troubled and bothered by things even after the worst part of his life is supposedly over and it makes a reader wonder what could still be happening to him.
The final thing I wanted to comment on in this chapter is your style. The story is a good read, but occasionally I found some of the sentences were becoming quite long or wordy, making me need to go back and re-read to get the proper point of the sentence. Other than that, there were only the very occasional minor technical slips though nothing which affected the readability of the story (which I would hope since I’m the one responsible for approving it!)
I can’t wait to continue my read through as I think it’s going to be quite an interesting experience to remember things I have probably forgotten.
It's going to be odd, interesting, and useful to go through all these chapters again, especially if you're planning on reviewing them fairly frequently. I dislike my style quite a lot in the first chapter, and as the future chapters progress, I hate it less and less. This was the very, very, very first thing that I had written since high school (7 years ago), and while it wasn't terrible for a first time outing, I really wish that I had got some practice in TTB or the mini-Nano. I did the real NaNo while writing this story, and I still managed four chapters and my 50K. I was pretty impressed with myself, lol.
The reason why I waited until I wrote 20 chapters before starting this through the queue is precisely because of the small flashes of things to come. I knew, mostly, what I wanted, though most everything past chapter 23 was developed as I was writing the preceding chapters, so the details were all poked in there, just to see if anyone could see what was coming. Honestly, I don't know how anyone could possibly guess the end from anything in the first chapter, let alone the first 20 chapters, but ideas needed to be formed.
About Barnaby - I couldn't have someone that just hates Harry for the hell of it...I needed him to be legitimate. He seems Gary-Stu here, but it was basically a name-drop for future references.
Albus, by far, was my greatest victory in this story, but in terms of this chapter, I wanted to show him as a little less pumped full of bravado than James, as well as a bit of a nerd/geek. Normally, I'm sure family does not represent family in a court of law, but I really needed Albus, as well as the rest of them, to think that James was guilty.
Harry's far away look meant a lot of things. First, I wanted him to not be able to watch, I mean really watch, as his son was sent to prison for something he knew that James didn't do. Second, Harry is a keeper of many secrets, all of which weigh heavily on his mind. Not only does his job entail many secrets of national security, but between eventual revelations and the matter at hand, how could they not?
Ginny still clings to Harry at this point because she doesn't yet know how much Harry isn't telling her. It was when she starts picking up on just how much he's keeping from her 'for her own good' that she starts saying 'enough is enough.' Any sane woman would do so - I don't care if your spouse is Harry freaking Potter...he shouldn't be allowed to keep that much and still call it a healthy relationship.
Well, anyway, again, thanks for reviewing, and I look forward to further installments. I'm still debating hard about what I want to include in the epilogue, or it would have been written by now. When it is, I'll drop you a line on LJ or something so you can get to it first. Don't want any 'sweepers' coming to carry it away, lol. I'm just glad that my semi-atrocious writing from these chapters filtered down into the way I ended the book.
Take care and good luck with food-nicking flatmates!
This chapter is an interesting one. Little happens in the way of actual story development and its length, especially when compared to the others, reflects this. However, it provides an important transition to James’ life in Azkaban, and gives a brief glimpse into his character. I think you right to have it as a standalone chapter rather than attaching it to the one before, which is clearly about the trial and would be overloaded with any more information, or the one after, where the PoV completely changes. You introduce the prison well, and this chapter really goes a long way to building the tension and atmosphere of the whole story.
I liked the way that more than half the chapter was about the time before James even reached his cell. You set the scene really well and really painted a vivid picture of the terrible place in which James found himself, which made me feel like I was actually there walking alongside the group. I knew how the chapter was going to end – with James’ imprisonment, but still the way you led up to it, almost stalling the inevitable, was really good. One particular part which stood out to me the most was the description of the large, wooden doors, all of which were weathered and scarred from decades, possibly centuries, of use. which I feel is a really good example of the way you managed to really show the reader Azkaban and make them appreciate just what an old and dark place it is to be. And even though the reality of James’ cell turns out to not be as bad as the reader might have expected, there is still a sense of pessimism in this chapter and that nothing is going to change his fate, no matter how comfortable his cell.
The inclusion of Dung was a nice touch, as it brought in a familiar character from canon, which helps root the story back in the original series. The role reversal, with Dung suddenly the one in charge while a Potter is beneath him is nicely handled and you show how little Dung has changed in the amount of pleasure he takes at being able to use his rare chance at having authority. However, his fear at the mention of Kingsley and quick submission to the word of Hugo show he is still the same weak person he always was and that is power of James is in fact not quite to the extent he would perhaps like it to be.
There is a definite moment of Harry coming through in James when he does not want to accept the special treatment of the better cell, and I like the way that even though James is most definitely his own person, there are still recognisable hints of his parents in him. My heart really broke for James in this chapter and I began to feel real sympathy for his plight, in spite of what he is supposed to have done. In the latter half of the chapter, when he finally gets the chance to speak alone with Hugo, we get to see quite how scared and worried he his, not only for himself but for his family, particularly his wife and child. I definitely think it is here, through the genuine emotion that he shows, that it becomes even more obvious that the murder is not as simple as first appears. The conversation between the cousins is very powerful and you portray both of them well, including Hugo’s pain at having to leave him, and his determination that he will not be forgotten about. When the end came and James knew he was about to be alone I really felt for him and wanted so badly for something to happen that might change his fate. James’ character is really becoming to come out and with this part: even though he was a mischievous child, James never truly had enemies, you make the reader question how he could possibly have transitioned from there to here.
I felt that there was a slight moment of mary-sue-ism with slightly too perfect description of Hugo’s girlfriend but there is not enough about her to truly judge her character and equally I don’t remember reading much more about her later in the story, so I do not know a huge deal about her. However, there was one American slip at the end of the chapter which was rather noticeable, and my Britishness forced my to point out, as describing James sleeping in a cot would in fact mean sleeping in something suitable for a baby, or a crib!
All in all, a different but interesting chapter, and I look forward to the beginning of the ‘proper’ action, which I know is coming very soon.
Le squeak! Review!!!!!
Thank you for stopping by. Getting a SPEW review is like getting a kickass Christmas present. :)
This chapter was originally about 6000 words, but I got a review from Inverarity, which basically told me my writing is bad, my word choice blows, and that the entire sequence where James remembers his first real encounter with his wife were extraneous. I summarily ignored the first two (I had already written 17 chapters by then...no bowing out now, lol), but the third made me think. I removed that whole part and posted it as a one-shot, which in itself was pretty good. I am also toying with the idea of chopping the first chapter in half for a prologue and using the second half as part of this chapter, the new Chapter 1. I probably will, down the line do so, also with taking this whole thing, editing the bejeezus out of it and sending it to a beta. I want this to be archived in its best form, and the first 7 chapters sort of make me cringe when I read them, lol.
I really wanted the reader to like James, in spite of what he had done (or thought he'd done). Though he was a certifiable pain in the ass while he was a kid/teenager, he really did grow into a decent human being, much like what I'd expect James Potter classic would have, if he'd have lived to 32.
I know Sarah is ridiculously Mary-Sue, but I really didn't need her for much more than a name, a shoulder to cry on, and eventual Hugo arm candy. I might develop her character more in further offshoots of this fic that I am planning (and there are a crapload of those), but she was basically a rent-a-character.
Thanks so much for reviewing, and now I'm off to looky at the other one. :)
Summary: Kingsley Shacklebolt deals with the death of a young Auror who showed promise. He doesn't plan to get involved in the investigation for personal reasons, but Dumbledore shows interest, so the Order offers up its protection services. Kingsley understands honour, perserverance and dedication. He follows orders well, and takes on responsibity, but he sees himself through this unexpected charge. The Wizarding world is collaspsing around him and he already covers up his own tracks. He reflects on this fine line between dedication and temptation.
Ooh, now this is a really interesting opening to a story. I was drawn to this on your author’s page because the summary mentioned Kingsley and I find him a fascinating character that not many people write about it, so I was looking forward to reading your portrayal of him. And I did really enjoy this chapter.
It’s interesting, because I had never really considered how strange it must have been for Kingsley to one day go from hating Sirius Black and attempting to hunt him down, to being asked to embrace him as a member of the Order, and even as a friend. It was very perceptive of you to bring out those thoughts and really made me think about how awkward that situation might have been in the beginning. Not to mention the fact that it remained Kingsley’s job to hunt Sirius long after they became friends, which makes you wonder how much job satisfaction Kingsley was getting from the Ministry at that time.
I was impressed by your characterisation of all the order members; Moody in particular was well-written. You really seemed to understand his way of speaking and thinking, and everything he said felt very believable and perfectly in keeping with the Moody we see in canon. He is blunt and to the point; he isn’t prepared to accept Tonks’ denial or sugar-coat the issues. He just tells it like it is, and you presented him in exactly the way I could imagine in this situation.
Tonks was another stand out. I felt so terrible for her as she struggled to accept the death of her best friend. Her denial was very realistic and I really ached as I read of her desperation for it not to be true. We don’t really know who Aidan is/was, but it is very clear that he was incredibly important to Tonks and you did an excellent job of portraying her pain. She so obviously did not want to listen to what they needed to tell her and was instead convinced that Aidan was going to turn up, and it was heart-wrenching.
It did strike me as slightly strange that Tonks’ initial reaction was to declare that she intended to care for the child that night. It seems odd that she would be so quick to separate mother and child after such a terrible incident and it probably would have provided comfort to Kate to have Sophie with her. Even if Kate was not capable of looking after her, perhaps Tonks would have at least asked if she needed her help, rather than just doing it.
I hope we get to learn more about Aidan, Kate and Sophie as the story progresses. They are, I assume OCs and it’ll be interesting to see your creations in action. They seemed to fit well into the existing order set-up, and you gave hints about them and their place within the Order, but I don’t feel I know very much about them yet, and I want to.
You did an excellent job of creating an atmosphere here. You do a good job with portraying the level of fear that comes with someone as skilful and respected as an Auror being killed, and in fact you phrased it perfectly with this paragraph: With the sudden announcement, tempers ran high with everyone. Voldemort might not have acted, but these crafted moves certainly made a statement. It is a very real example of the climate of fear that Voldemort’s actions left behind, particularly when he was still acting undercover rather than out in the open. In canon, we only get to see how these things affect the children and Hogwarts, and it was good to see it from the perspective of the Order as well, and that the same worries and fears affected the adults.
The pacing was also very good. It started off as an ordinary meeting with only the slightest hints that there might be something wrong, such as the Sophie’s daddy not yet being there and Kingsley’s thought that A meeting never started late. There was even some comic relief at Tonks’ arrival with Sophie and I liked that you started off with what felt like a very natural scene for the Order, and then proceeded to create a more dark tone as events unfolded. What started off as a regular, light-hearted meeting, became a sad, terrible affair by the end, especially as we learnt of the nature of Aidan’s death and that his wife, and daughter witnessed it. (Though here, I must confess to being a little confused. Sophie arrived with Tonks, who didn’t know anything about the death of Aidan, so if Sophie did witness the death, then how did Tonks manage to fetch her and spend time with her, without finding out anything about it?)
There were occasions when I think some things were missed from the narrative. For example, I assume that Kate arrived with Dumbledore but this is not really clear, and the paragraph beginning Kingsley got lost in a pair of blank grey eyes came slightly out of nowhere, and was a little confusing as to whether this woman had been there all along, or had just arrived, or who she even was. Obviously, you understand because you are picturing the scene in your head, but sometimes it would be helpful to give your readers markers, even something as simple as an added, ‘accompanied by a woman’ to the sentence, Silence fell the moment Dumbledore strolled into the kitchen so that the readers are able to catch up.
Overall, this was a great opening and I look forward to seeing more of your presentation of the Order.
I have only told you privately how much I love this story, so I thought I’d come and gush so everyone else can see too. I was in the mood for something to read so I thought I’d start from the beginning again.
First of all, I love Lily’s characterisation in this chapter. I really have known girls like this. Lily’s entire attitude, from the way she talks back to McGonagall (I have heard people talking to their teachers like this, though it takes some nerve to do it in front of one like McGonagall!) It’s quite amusing that Lily is surprised that McGonagall doesn’t have the same ‘soft spot’ for her as she does for the other Potters. She’s almost completely oblivious to the fact that she’s not exactly a model student, and that is actually quite real. A lot of teenagers don’t realise what a pain in the neck they can be and have a tendency to blame the adult instead.
However, in spite of this, Lily does not come across in a bitchy way and is a likeable character who I engage with her pretty much from the beginning. The interaction with her friends is very age-appropriate – talking about school, boys and not much else, and gives a good idea of her character.
I also like that Lily and Lysander’s relationship is already established, and very serious, at the beginning of the story. It lets the reader know that it’s not going to be a Romance story with the plot all about the chase and them getting together etc, but that it will be about what happens after that. The reader already knows from the summary what is going to happen of course, so not beating around the bush with half a fic about how they reached the point of making the baby is a good thing.
The scene at the end is done tastefully with the right level of detail for what we might need to know later on. Overall you’ve given a good opening with this chaptered and have set up a story and characters, that anyone would want to read more of.
p.s You haven’t sent me another chapter recently, have you? I didn’t think so but it would be typical of me to have missed it.
Summary: Ginny is entering her 6th year at Hogwarts, but this year will be very different than any previous. Harry, Ron, and Hermione never came back for their last year, and the students are losing faith. Teachers are being replaced by Death Eaters and Snape is taking charge. Ginny struggles to keep her faith strong during dark times; Harry, their last tie to hope, has disappeared. She finds new inner strength when darkness encroaches on one of the last safe places left.
This is actually my favourite era/type of fanfiction to read, and there are so few decent, chaptered ones out there. This is a really great start so I definitely hope you continue with it. Ginny’s PoV during DH invites a great story – even though we know the basics of what happened to her and the others at Hogwarts, there is so much that you can elaborate on and interpret and I really look forward to seeing where else you go with this.
The first two chapters are great. I feel like you’ve really captured Ginny’s character and voice, though I’m glad you’ve kept it in the third person as I feel it flows better than it might have done in the first. I found the relationship between Ron and Ginny in the first chapter really interesting and I think you wrote the awkwardness and snappy dialogue between the two very believably. I can certainly picture the two feeling like that towards each other, in spite of the family’s usual closeness.
I also think you put just the right amount of focus on Harry in the first chapter. With Ginny knowing she is about to see him again for the first time, it is obvious that she would be thinking about him a lot and you did a good job with her thoughts and feelings about him. However, I liked that it was not the focus of the entire chapter and that were other thoughts and characters presented here. Everyone you introduced came across as in character and great to read. I wasn’t completely convinced by Moody’s dialogue though, as I don’t remember him ever using ‘ye’ in canon, but it’s a very minor issue.
In the second chapter, you used the DH quotes well, using enough to help keep the story flowing but with plenty of new material from Ginny’s reactions so that it remains interesting and new. I really liked the waiting scene with Ginny and Molly. The idea of Molly leaving her house in such a state emphasises the worry and tension as it would usually be unheard of for Molly not to be tidying or busying herself with chores. And seeing her actions through Ginny’s eyes as she cared for George really showed the strength and comfort that Molly provides to her family and how Ginny is able to feel reassured that her mother can make everything better.
The only thing I think that perhaps could be improved is the chapter length. I almost felt these first two did not need to be separated, and not enough is happening in each one to make them standalone in their own right. Splitting it as you did stopped it from flowing as well as it could, and had I not found your story with two chapters already posted, I’m not sure whether I would have been satisfied with just the first chapter on its own. Your summary suggests you are taking this story all the way through the year at Hogwarts, and so I don’t necessarily think such short chapters are needed, especially so early on. Perhaps in the future, you might like to think about covering more in one chapter, though this is of course completely up to you.
All in all a great start, and I can’t wait for the next update!
Author's Response: Thank you so much! This made me smile so much! i love getting reviews from everyone! they keep me writing! I do plan on really lengthening my chapters. All the advice is wonderful! Thanks!
After it was all said and done, Harry wanted a sandwich. However, Ron knew that what he wanted was far deeper and complex and maddening and insufferable. But could Hermione ever forgive him for leaving her behind? Could he ever forgive himself?
This story was nominated for a 2011 Quicksilver Quill Award: Best Canon Romance.
Ok, so I know that this was my birthday present, and that my birthday was two weeks ago now, therefore making this a very late review, but I still wanted to come and tell you how wonderful this fic is.
It was a perfect Ron/Hermione. This conversation is one that they so obviously needed to have after the events of DH and I think you chose an excellent setting for it. I chuckled with the opening line about Harry and his sandwich. I liked the reference to Harry’s rather mundane end of DH thoughts, when what we really wanted to know, and what you’ve done an excellent job of filling in, was what was going to happen next.
While on the subject of Harry, I think you put an interesting focus on the fact that it was never just Ron and Hermione together in canon. Harry was always there, and they were hardly likely to get an intimate moment alone together, particularly in DH. Ron and Hermione’s lives have been dominated by Harry’s issues just as much as Harry’s was, to the extent where they had to sacrifice parts of their own lives. They know all about Harry, his life, and his troubles, but still have so much to learn about each other, away from the context of being Harry Potter’s best friends. Ron even knew Harry’s middle name before he knew Hermione’s – a sign of just how much their school lives have been about Harry.
I found this line particularly effective in showing the relationship between the trio: “But I never said it to you, Hermione. Before, it was like I was saying it to Harry, because he is my best mate and all. Ron apologised to Harry for abandoning the mission and letting him down in that respect but he never really got the chance to apologise to Hermione for everything else, for the stuff beyond just leaving the fight for Horcruxes and the fight against Voldemort. This is the first time we see him properly acknowledging his feelings about Harry/Hermione and admitting that no matter how ridiculous it might have seemed, his paranoia was very real, and that he let it damage his relationship with Hermione. I’m glad that he was able to tell her that, but I also felt like Hermione’s reaction was well-thought out. There was little that could be said in response to his admission and so I think her course of action was much more effective than any words could have been.
The characterisation of both Ron and Hermione was believable and well thought out the whole way through. The little details – Hermione being the one to initiate the conversation, Ron’s continued stupidity when he said, “Listen, if you want to forget the whole thing and—“ were just so right and a very natural way to behave. You managed to achieve the balance between setting a romantic tone and keeping the couple in character. They didn’t just fall into each other’s arms straight away, and I think it was right that there was still a lot to be said between them. Ron didn’t suddenly become a gushing romantic but he did eventually manage to express his feelings, and the dialogue really sounded like him. It was slightly awkward but it got the message across. I really liked that even though it was Hermione who kissed him, he was the first ones to actually say the words I love you. I think that struck the right balance between the two of them. And the last line was just perfect – a really great way to end – it showed Ron for who he was as himself not as the best friend of Harry Potter or anything else.
Overall, Jess, this was a wonderful, fluffy piece of Ron/Hermione writing and a lovely birthday present so thank you very much for writing it.
*stares stupidly at the screen*
I'm so glad you liked the story. You picked up on all the little things that I wanted to put into it, and it's a relief that Ron/Hermione shippers actually think it's plausible and well-characterised. I feel like this is a win for me in the canon department, not to mention I didn't kill anyone off. :)
Again, lovely review, and I'm so glad you liked it. Thank you for making my night. :)
In the midst of the war, the Marauders and Lily have joined the Order, resolute in their decision to fight for justice. But times are hard, and soon, even the strongest of loyalties begin to wear thin.
This is lucca4 of Gryffindor writing for the final in the MWPP class on the Beta Boards.
Nominated for a 2011 QSQ - Best Marauder era Story
I discovered this fic through reading Jess’ review and being so intrigued that I had to come and read the story for myself. It really should be getting more attention because it is a great story.
I really liked the idea behind this story and the fact that all of that any one of the marauders could have ended up being the traitor, had they taken up the chance offered to them. It was interesting and believable that all of them had that moment where they wavered, tempted by something only Voldemort could offer them. What that was was different for each of them, and I think you managed to hit on the one thing in each case that could have tempted them – it showed a great understanding of their characters.
The structure was good, and I liked that each of the characters (though James and Lily were combined, of course), had their own self-contained story within the story. At the same time, however, they flowed well and fitted neatly together.
I found it quite sad, that the four of them seemed to have drifted apart somewhat. From what we know of them at school, they were incredibly close all the way through and it’s upsetting to think that once they no longer in the confines of Hogwarts, their relationship changed. However, I do think it’s believable, with the fact that all of them were needed by the order for different things, and with Lily and James in a new and different stage of their life. It also helped to explain why Peter did what he did. Had they kept up the same bond they’d experienced at school, then I think he would have been much less likely to accept the offer. As it was, he felt abandoned and when offered the chance to be included in something, he took it, perhaps not really appreciating the longer term consequences.
You effectively showed how the war changed all of them, and I think this was first apparent with Remus rejecting Sirius’ offer to be present for the transformation. This line, He sighed, and closed his eyes, remembering the times before the war, when it had actually felt as though he and Sirius were friends. sums it up perfectly, and it’s clear just how much the war is affecting them all.
I think you made really great insights into each of the four marauders, and really made me think about things that I hadn’t previously considered. It’s difficult to pick out them all but I did particularly like this one about Remus: he wondered if the intruder knew that he sometimes woke up at night ready to retch, having dreamed of being a werewolf once more. I suppose we in canon we see Remus as a tame werewolf and I’ve never really thought about it him as anything but, but it makes so much sense that he, like any other werewolf, would occasionally feel a craving for real flesh. I think you’ve shown a lot about his character that even though he has these feelings, he is, ultimately able to suppress them and recognise that the human part of him is more important than the wolf.
I’m glad that you included a mention of Regulus, since we never really hear Sirius say much about him in canon and it seems natural that he would have been somehow affected by his death. It also quite a sad moment, with Sirius’ thought that he couldn’t afford to care that much about anyone else. Knowing how much Sirius is going to lose in the next few years, made this moment especially effective.
You almost, very nearly managed to make me feel sorry for Peter. I think most people have felt the sense of drifting away from the people you thought you were closest to, and it’s horrible. I kind of like that he was drunk when the offer was first made – it makes me wonder whether he would been quite so tempted had been sober and his problems not seemed so exaggerated by the drink. I also liked that you didn’t need to explicitly refer to Peter actually accepting the offer. We all know what is going to happen and I think it is better than his section ended like everyone else’s, without needing to spell out exactly what is going to happen. Ultimately, no matter how much I could perhaps understand his motives, I still disliked him, though of course that is an impression coloured by knowledge of what is to come.
It was good that is was Lily, out of the Potters who was the one to waver. I don’t think I would have believed it as much of James, but Lily has a reason and even though you quickly realises what she would have to become in return, it is very easy to understand the desire for comfort and security. These two lines were a really great summary of much of the story: She would lose her fear, yes. But she would also lose her soul. All of them have the opportunity to gain something, but most of them are able to recognise that the price they would have to pay would be so much higher than any possible benefits.
I liked the ending and the way you tied all four of the characters’ stories together, singling out Peter as the only one who doesn’t come forward to admit the offer. The atmosphere of suspicion and tension within the meeting, with everyone coming under scrutiny was effective and tied in well with the way the period is described in canon. Dumbledore, as usual, was great for providing the message to the story and I liked his line, the further we drift away from our friends, the easier it is for Voldemort to infiltrate the Order. It really did finalise the story and emphasise your explanation for how one of the Marauders could possibly have ever betrayed one of the others.
This was a great story that was really well-written and kept me engaged throughout. I’ll definitely be recommending it to people!
Author's Response: Thank you so much for this lovely review! I was beginning to think this story was done with its reviews. I'm glad you didn't think the separation of POVs was too abrupt or sudden -- but that it flowed together nicely. I wrote this to show how each of the Marauders, in their own way, had been changed by the onset of the war. It's funny, because their drifting apart is exactly what I dislike reading about in Marauder-era fics normally because it makes me too sad…but somehow I don't have a problem writing about it. I'm glad Peter almost got some sympathy from you, as he is really my least favorite Marauder and I'm afraid of that showing through in my writing. Hannah, thank you again for reviewing. It makes me so happy to hear that you like it. xx Ariana