Welcome to my Author's Page
Banner by Meda
You can call me luinrina or Bine. I am
+ a proud Hufflepuff (banners by Heather and Lucia)
+ a (sometimes) inspired poet (banner by Meda), and
+ (if my muse cooperates) a fairly wordy writer.
List of completed one-shots:
Across the Pumpkin
A little one-shot about how Lily and Sirius became friends. Inspired by an inhouse challenge: Sirius, Lily, and a pumpkin.
Be Strong From Within
So far a one-shot about Ginny's sixth year. Originally written for the Back to School inhouse challenge on the beta boards. Received second place.
So far a one-shot about two friends and their Sorting. Written as the final for the Being British class, summer 2009, on the beta boards.
Envy and Fondness
This is a one-shot about the friendship of Lily and Severus. The arrival of James ensures that trouble is about to happen.
Fears - and Hope
Originally written for the Perfect Plot in a Prologue Challenge in June/July 2008: How would I introduce the Harry Potter series? Received first place.
In Due Time
Banner by Sitara
This one-shot is a foray into D/A and features Lucy Herberg, an OC. It was inspired by a discussion about Metamorphmagi in the Hufflepuff common room on the beta boards.
Banner by Helen
This one-shot was a co-author-project with Helen (helz_belz) for the Interhouse Co-op Challenge in the Great Hall on the Beta Boards. It features Anna Krum, the famous Quidditch player Viktor Krum's grandmother, and her story in the year 1944.
Received First Place.
Long Lost Lupine Laugh
Banner by Meda
This is a one-shot about Remus Lupin and how he prepares for his new teaching position at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
A tiny one-shot about Hagrid and Olympe Maxime becoming parents. Written for the I Challenge Thee Challenge (September) on the Beta Boards.
A longer one-shot about Susan Bones, her friends and family, and a mystery that hid below her living room. Written for the extra credit challenge of the Bookbasilisk Summer challenge, One Flew Over The Fwooper's Nest.
A short story about Andromeda a year after the Battle of Hogwarts. It was my first foray into second person POV. Originally written for the May drabble challenge in SPEW, then expanded to a one-shot.
The Bridge to Happiness
Banner by Rhi
A little one-shot about an afternoon of Sirius' and Regulus' childhood. This has been inspired by the third week of the Drabble Brawl, round two.
This Is Where You Belong
Banner by Sitara
A one-shot for the Winter Snows challenge. Harry reflects about the Christmases he has experienced.
Want You To Want Me
A one-shot about Scorpius Malfoy and Rose Weasley, written for SPEW LoveNotes 2009. Romance.
Whispers From Azkaban
A dialogue between brothers. Written for the Bookbasilisk Summer Challenge, Gift of Gab.
List of poems:
Always The Same, Yet Always Different
Banner by Meda
This is a (very long) Sorting Hat's song, poem-style, written for the extra credit challenge in the Summer Challenge 2008. Complete.
Black but Bright
Banner by Kate
This is a poem about the Black brothers Sirius and Regulus. Complete.
A short poem about how Sirius managed to break out from Azkaban. Complete.
From the Ashes: The Order of the Phoenix
Banner by Meda
This is a two-part poem about the Order of the Phoenix, of which the second part is still not done.
Banner by Suzie
A little sonnet in English rhyming style about Lycantrophy and the curse of being a werewolf. Complete.
What Imagination Has To Offer
A poem about fantasy and imagination, with stanzas in haiku-form. Complete.
List of series:
A Christmas To Remember
A wintery one-shot about Draco and Astoria and the birth of their son. Written for the Christmas SPEW swap 2008, for Alison (R_Ravenclaw).
A Truth Universally Acknowledged
This is a one-shot featuring Draco and Astoria and how their relationship began. Prequel to A Christmas To Remember, written for SPEW LoveNotes 2009.
Arising From Nothing...
A one-shot about the founders and how Hogwarts came to be built. Prequel.
Shining Through Blackness
Banner by Lucia
This is the story about Isla Black and how she came to love a Muggle-born whereas her family was set on marrying her into an influential pure-blood family. This story is posted up to chapter seventeen. On hold.
First story (1).
What Is To Happen
Banner by Meda
This is the story I've written for Round 7 of the Gauntlet, featuring Isla Black. Four chapters, complete.
Companion to Shining Through Blackness (1.1).
From Here On Out
A songfic to Decode by Paramore. Written for SPEW 007 in 2009.
Companion to Shining Through Blackness (1.2).
Banner by me
A compliant story (may be chaptered, so far it's a one-shot only) to my Shining Through Blackness series. The story is a co-author-project with Terri (mudbloodproud).
List of uncompleted chaptered stories and their status:
Magical Moments - A Special Issue
The Marauders have to serve detention and are set to help writing the current month's school paper edition. The story is chaptered and posted up to chapter two. It's currently, sadly, resting due to time constraint and lack of further inspiration, but I will continue it one day.
Vain Or - C'est ton Destin
I adopted this (medieval) plot bunny from Pinkcess of the Abyss in the Adoption Centre. It features Harry growing up not with the Dursleys, but in the Founders' era. The story is AU, and the prologue and first chapter are up.
I try to keep that list up to date, but I'm rather bad at writing and keeping to lists...
I hope you enjoy my stories. Feel free to contact me if you have questions about them.
After the excellent last chapter I was wondering if your next chapter could live up to it. It could. I really liked the quieter scenes with the conversations. They are as important as the actions, and you set the pace wonderfully with them. Also, the conversations allowed more room for characterisation which you pulled of nicely. Great job, Carole.
The continuation of the houses and the prejudices towards them in Charlie and Tonks’ conversation was great, and I liked it very much that you got that topic rounded up so nicely. I also enjoyed the conversation between Tonks and Severus. She with her seventeen years of age only sees so much in her professor what other adults fail to see for years. You do Sev great justice; you should write more about him really.
What I noticed though is some mistakes in dialogue punctuation. For example, in the sentence “I...I.” she stuttered, and Remus could see she was trembling., the full stop after the second “I” in Pomona’s speech should either be an ellipse or a comma. Another mistake that jumped at me was the capitalisation in the second part of the speech in the sentence “Yeah,” he laughed, “Sodding know-it-alls!” . “Sodding” should be in lower case or there should be a full stop at the end of the interrupting narration.
All in all, though, the chapter was a nice contrast but great continuation of chapter four. Keep it going like that. The story is a very enjoyable read.
Author's Response: *beams again* Thank you, Bine. I shall fix the punctuation blip. I probably will write more of Snape and he turns up in this again at some stage. (He is an Order member, after all.)The whole Snape idea is actually based around his disparaging remarks to her in HBP when her Patronus changes. I kinda think there's more to that conversation than we see. *thinks subtext*. Hope you read the rest ... Thanks again. Carole xxx
Arabella is a normal girl, from a normal wizarding family. A worry is constantly sitting on her stomach, though, and soon that worry has to be confirmed.
*Profanity minor, and one incident only*
After having modded this one-shot, I thought – when seeing it in the review circle – that I should tell you how beautiful I found it when first reading it. I really liked how you portrayed Bella and Fiona, how you told about Bella’s lie in the hope of ever going to Hogwarts. I could really feel with her; I was sad when it came out she was a Squib.
And alas, it should be when rereading your one-shot for this review that I only then notice the story is written in present tense.
I really admire what you have built up with this one-shot. Arabella seems like a sweet girl with a terrible fate. She has no choice but to accept it, but she does everything possible to hold up, even for herself, the illusion of her being magical and one day being able to go to Hogwarts. Bella is written about in a very believable way, and even her parents are characters that live and feel. You’ve given the Lynchs a life, and it makes the reader feel sorry for them. You created a really fantastic atmosphere.
What you did really well was the dialogue. You have only little narrative around the dialogue to describe what the persons speaking are expressing – are they angry, exaggerated or happy? But with the dialogue you more than just compensate for that. The words spoken by the characters are enough to imagine the tone the characters use when speaking, in exactly the way you intended it, I’m sure. Wonderful job you’ve done with that.
However, I have some small nitpicks – and I’m a bit miffed at myself for not having noticed them before:
“Apparating” as well as “Disapparating” are capitalised. At least my (British edition) books have the words written in capital letters. If your books have it down differently, ignore little old me. =]
Instantly, I think, ‘Oh God! He knows my secret’, and I’m not far off. –– Thoughts are usually italicised. Also, because your dialogue tags are single, it’s a bit confusing if she spoke those words aloud or not.
I shake my head rapidly. ‘No I’m not!’ I say, a little too defensive. –– There needs to be a comma after “No”.
‘Your Mother and I have been talking,’ Dad says gruffly, startling me after his rigid silence. –– In my opinion, “mother” should be written in lower case in that sentence because she’s not spoken to but talked about.
‘Looks ok,’ I croak out. –– “Okay” should always be written out, not abbreviated.
‘You will write to Fiona this afternoon, informing her that you will be going to St. Mary’s. Not Hogwarts,’ Dad tells me, leaving the room before I can protest. –– I would replace the full stop after “St. Mary’s” with a comma; it just sounds a bit better in my opinion.
Also, what wonders me a bit, how can Bella write a letter to her sister when they’re on summer holidays? To me it seems that Fiona would be at home and not at Hogwarts when it would have been the time for Bella to receive her letter. The letters arrive at their recipients’ in July or August, I believe, by which time both Bella and Fiona would have been at home. A letter isn’t therefore necessary at this point. It’s nonetheless a nice part in your story though.
Tears splash the page as I feel the injustice. The ink smudges in places, but I don’t care. This’ll just be a pinprick to Fiona’s perfect world. My world is crumbling before my eyes though – it’ll never be the same. I hope my tears serve as a reminder to my sister that it isn’t she who has to go through this. It’s me.
This is such a wonderful paragraph. It tells the reader exactly what’s going on with Bella, what she’s feeling, and that she really loves her sister and would like to be with her, in Hogwarts. Also, it shows that she’s heart-broken and sad about her fate. You managed to draw the reader in so that we could feel with and for Bella. It’s my favourite part of the story, because it’s fantastically written and really spot-on.
When reading on, I get an answer to my question about the time when the letter is written. But still; the summer holidays seem to be about two months long – but when the parents go to fetch Fiona from the station at the end of July, there will be only August for the summer holidays. However, from canon we know that Harry had been in Privet Drive and thus out of Hogwarts in July because he had to celebrate his birthday at the Dursleys’ house. I doubt the holidays would have been only four weeks long at the time of Arabella’s childhood.
Fiona’s cold attitude towards her sister annoys me, but I can understand her. I wonder how I would react, and this is a good sign. When a story is able to have me feel for the characters and wonder how I would react in the different characters’ positions, then it’s definitely a very well written and believable story I’m reading.
Last but not least: Olive Figg – the name rings bells with me. I know that Arabella is later known as Arabella Figg, the old, cats-obsessed lady who sometimes took Harry in when the Dursleys went on a journey. Did Bella marry Olive’s brother? And who is Olive? Is she a Squib, too? I’ll end my many questions which could be answered in another story. You’ve created a wonderful basis for more stories around Arabella Lynch and Olive Figg. Please do write more about them.
To sum up, it’s a pity your story has not yet received the praise it is worth. I hope this review is a small compensation.
Author's Response: Thank-you so much! I'll get down to those nit-picks in a moment - I don't know how I missed 'Apparating'. I know that has a capital. And I must've overlooked the holiday when I wrote it, so I'll do something about that :) And, Bine, nobody will spot every mistake first time round. :P
Olive Figg is an OC I made up because I think Bella would've married at some point. I imagine Olive as a Muggle. Somebody kind, and lovely, but shunned by her parents to boarding school because they don't partically want her. She has an older brother, who Bella would marry. I hadn't thought of writing another story about Bella and Olive, but now you've said it, the idea kind of appeals to me. And thanks again, Bine. That was a fantastic review. :) x
Wow, that's beautiful. It's so simply written, and yet expressing so much. I can literally see her or him sitting at the morning table, the partner coming down, smiling shortly and then leaving. For good. For ever. And he or she wonders, why?
What I especially like is the question
How can I tell you
Exactly what you mean to me?
You take each line separately, creating a kind of chorus for in-between your stanzas, thus building a bridge that holds it together and yet separating the entire poem into stanzas.
Marvellous job, Roxy, dear, marvellous job. *hugs*
Sirius Black stumbles onto a most curious scene while checking up on one of his closest friends, the wife of his best mate. Lost and confused he follows the signs until they reach into a depth unknown to him. From this point, he seeks the help of another dear friend, and together they think, suffer, and laugh their way to some answers and some dead ends. Only in the end, do they find the answer to the one question that burns in their minds: how will we go on?
I am MerryD of Hufflepuff and this was written for the Gauntlet Round Seven
Mere, this story starts off interestingly. I really like the mystery you’ve created. What happened to Lily? Is she really dead? If so, where’s her body? Those are the questions that run through my head at the end of chapter one. I also like how you’ve written Sirius’ emotions, what he feels when he sees the blood. What he’s thinking, what he fears.
What drew me in was the light humour at the beginning. Being a mother hen, James had asked Sirius to stop by every once in awhile to check on his beloved wife – meaning he wanted daily reports that she was alive and coping without him. I laughed out loud when I read that. You might want to change “awhile” to “a while” though.
And then you dive into the angsty part, and the mood of the scene changes entirely. The change is done smoothly, captivating me right away. Awesome job. I especially liked those parts:
It looked as though Lily had taken paint and splattered it all over the chair.
Crimson paint. Scarlet paint. Blood red paint.
It screamed of eeriness. It screamed of stillness. It screamed of emptiness.
It screamed of death.
The death of Lily Potter.
They fit the scene so nicely, and the repetitive pattern of the sentences let a cold shiver run down my spine. It’s spooky, the scene and the way you set it. You’ve worked magic here.
Wonderful chapter to start off with. I’m looking forward to read the rest.
Again, a nice chapter. You keep the mystery going and the reader drawn in. I still don’t really know who killed Lily and especially why; it urges me to read on to find out exactly that. What I especially liked in this chapter was Remus and Lily’s way of secretly communicating with each other, and that Lily – if it was her – left the message for Remus and that Sirius had to find it. It adds smoothly to the flair of the story.
Though, did you maybe forget a word in the sentence Sirius could practically hear the gears cranking around in his.? To me, right now, it sounds as if there’s missing a noun like “head” or “mind” at the end of the sentence.
All in all, another great chapter. :)
Terri, that was lovely. A cute little Christmas story, with lots of sadness over Fred’s death, but “sunny” moments as well when children were laughing. Really good. I especially liked the symbolism you used with the Golden Gnome; and I have to admit, I forgot that the twins used a gnome instead of an angel for the top of the tree. Your story brought the memory back. :)
I love the little dialogue Arthur and Fred have when Arthur tells the boy about the twins’ gnome-“joke” some years back. It was so sweet. And this line is really fantastic and true on so many levels:
Arthur knew that he could not lie to the child.
First of all, children will notice – not always, but very often – when someone is lying; they’re still so innocent but at the same time perceiving so much more than adults. And it’s so lovely that Arthur has such a good heart that he can’t bring himself to lie to little Fred. It’s just such a great line which I adore.
“Make him gold, Grandpa,” he said.
This is so sweet, too. Simply lovely. It fits so very well into the Christmas time.
But nitpicks: commas. I noticed some missing ones as well as unnecessary ones – at least unnecessary in my opinion.
It amazed him every time, when everyone came home at the same time just how noisy this house could be.
I’d say there should be a comma after “same time”.
George, Angelina and their two, in his old room;
In my opinion, the comma after “their two” isn’t needed. In the other listings of the sentence you didn’t use one.
The only new addition was Teddy and he was only there for a few hours in the afternoon.
I’d put a comma after “Teddy” because in the first part of the sentence, “new addition” is the noun whereas in the second part, it’s “he”, referring to “Teddy”.
Next year there would be a new baby as Ginny had told them just last month she was again expecting.
Shouldn’t there be a comma after “next year”?
Arthur was so deep in thought; he didn’t hear the patter of the tiny feet coming down the stairs.
The semicolon should be a comma. Otherwise, the “so” in the first part is unnecessary.
He smiled down at him to soften the gruff question and sliding his chair back, opened his arms for Fred to climb onto his lap.
There should be a comma after “gruff question”.
Arthur stopped talking briefly wondering how to explain to a five year old why he had the name he did.
As far as I know, there should be a comma after “briefly”.
“I can help, Grandpa,” Fred said squirming to be put down.
I’d say there should be a comma after “Fred said”.
He went directly to the tree and lifting Fred up onto his shoulders, helped him to attach the gnome to the top of the tree.
Like a few sentences above, I’m pretty sure there’s a comma missing after the first “tree”.
What I don’t know, is why you two decided to use a gnome,” said Arthur.
The comma after “know” is wrongly set, in my opinion.
George turned and started towards the kitchen followed by Arthur.
After “kitchen” should be a comma.
Several hours later all the presents had been opened and dinner finished.
There’s a missing comma after “hours later”.
Every adult stood at the same time and rushed into towards the noise.
*confused* Could it be that the “into” should be a “to” only?
“Grandpa, Roxie spoiled our surprise,” Fred said looking at Arthur.
Again, there’s a missing comma, after “Fred said”.
*looks back at the listing* Oops, hehee… *hides* Well, I suppose since I’m modding, I’m more and more into commas. Lol
Ron looked around the table. Smiling, he said, “We’re pregnant.”
“We?” asked Hermione.
Arthur looked at his son and grandson. He knew Christmas would never be the same without Fred, but, perhaps, it could still be something special.
Beautiful ending, really sad and yet happy-hopeful at the same time. Well done, my dear.
When Rose Weasley finds her best friend dead, she risks her job and forms an unlikely alliance to track down the murderer...
An entry to the Gauntlet Round 7 by Cirelondiel of Hufflepuff.
Wow, Chels, that chapter is sure an interesting beginning to an even more interesting story. I really hope you get around writing more than just this one chapter. It has a lot of potential for a gripping plot, and you made sure of that with the cliffhanger at the end. I personally don’t like cliffhangers because they leave me wanting for more, but that’s the good thing about them. By using a cliffhanger, you leave your readers suspended and craving for more. It was an excellent thing to do here, dear.
What I also like is the humour you included. The sentence He’d always liked to get her roses for her birthday and other special occasions – it was a running joke, for she’d always respond with “And how am I supposed to get you a constellation, Scorpius?” adds a lighter tone to the otherwise quite dark plot. It also helps to deepen the connection I as the reader have towards the characters as well as give more insight into the characters’ relationship. Additionally, humour this subtle speaks of great craftsmanship. Your entire narrating style is fluent and works wonderfully in a thriller-like plot mingled with subtle humour. I really like how the chapter is written; it is a great entertaining read.
An interesting way to show Rose’s Auror instincts is the logical way Rose piles the facts:
The situation: a wizard dead in his home for no apparent reason.
The appropriate response to be performed by an Auror: report to the Department. If foul play is suspected, open a formal investigation.
The response of Rose Weasley, recently qualified Auror: follow instincts – this was murder. Search for clues and find the killer at any cost.
The repetition of style works magnificently and is tastefully done. Also, especially the last sentence, adds another light touch of humour with The response of Rose Weasley, recently qualified Auror. It doesn’t read humorous when standing alone, but within the chapter’s narration and your take on Rose’s characterisation – which you did really well because I find her to be a well-rounded character – it feels like humour to me.
All in all, a wonderful kick-off for your Gauntlet entry. Please do continue it at some point. I would like to find out who murdered Scorpius.
Aww, what a sweet ending. Also, what began as a George/Hermione date, ended as George/Angelina. Nicely done, Carole. I enjoyed it very much.
The description of the scenes was splendid. The entire time, I envisioned the ballroom to look like a crystal cave.
I found the characterisations to be done great. The groaning of Hermione over Ron gave an added touch to the two’s quarrels in their relationship, giving it more depths. But nonetheless, it shone through that Hermione still loved Ron. What I thought to be a bit over the top was Viktor Krum. I can imagine he’d be surprised and angry to see someone else wear the robes he ordered, but in my eyes, his reaction was a bit too strong. I would have rather liked to see Krum being a bit calmer about the entire situation.
What I also noticed were some punctuation mistakes. For example, in the sentence Okay, I’m calm now, lead the way, Oh heir of Slytherin , the second comma should be a full stop, thus dividing the sentence into two, or a semi-colon. Also, shouldn’t the “oh” be in lower case? Another example would be Hermione, don’t be daft, you’ll love the Winter Ball. where the second comma should either be a full stop or a semi-colon. Furthermore, in the first quarter of the story, you didn’t italicise thoughts, and in the sentence “George,” said Angelina in delight, “How wonderful to see you., the continued speech needs to begin with lower case. I noticed that mistake in several places and not only in this one-shot. This and commas instead of semi-colons or full stops seems to be a greater problem of yours.
But all over, the one-shot was fantastically written and an entertaining read.
Author's Response: Hi, Bine. Thank you for the review. I'm very pleased you liked the description as it's something I had to work at for this - description is not my strong suit. And neither is punctuation - LOL. Actually, I understand the rules much better now (thanks to people like yourself explaining!) so I have far less errors in my later stories. It's amazing the difference five months can make *grins*. I think I've caught all the errors now. Thanks again for keeping me on my toes. Carole xxx
*snortygiggleheapoverkeyboard* LOL Carole. That's a good poem. I admit, I've never before heard the song, but some strange melody weaved its way into my sleepy brain while reading your parody. lol
Some grammatical nitpicks: You'll need to be careful with commas; you're putting them on inconsistently:
You see, in the first line, you start with Sirius, baby, but already in the first line of the second stanza, you miss the comma after “Sirius”. That weaves through the entire poem. Also, not all periods are set.
Next year I’ll be hard to resist,
‘Cause I’ve put Amortentia on my Christmas list
*snorts* That’s so… typically you. Hahahaha. I love how you’ve brought yourself into a song about Sirius. Nice, and I loved it.
Immensely enjoyed reading it. :)
Author's Response: I shall look into the commas, thank you, Bine. As for listening to the tune. Hmmmm, maybe I'll send you a version of me singing it. For the tune, Kylie and Madonna have recorded versions but Eartha Kitt's is the best and much smuttier than mine ;-). Glad I made you laugh.
After modding the one-shot, I had to leave a review, telling you how much I loved reading the fic in the queue.
The beginning is awesome. We get to know Dominique as a dreamer, a person good at imagination. I think it’s been a very good idea to show a daydream of hers, walking down the aisle as the bride instead of standing next by as the Maid of Honour. But life isn’t a dream; it’s hard reality. And Dominique comes crashing back down into that reality all of a sudden which makes me feel pity for her.
I really liked how you fleshed out Dominique. She’s appearing very real, as if I stood next to her and could start a conversation right now. She’s so lovely, and I can see why Teddy would like her and prefer to play with her rather than with Victoire. Also, what I found really great was that in her appearance she is like her older sister, but without that star-like gleam that seems to surround Victoire. It was nice reading this. I was very much able to relate to Dominique’s feelings, that she would hate her sister for always being in the centre of attention, but at the same time she still loves her because they are sisters. It created an inner conflict within Dominique which you have drawn and written about fantastically.
It’s not easy to live with a rainbow. How could it be? Being her sister is like being the sister of a queen or a star. No matter what I do, it’s nothing compared to Victoire. She’s the sun, and I’m just the pinprick of a laser. In school, at home, Victoire was number one.
That’s a wonderful part, playing with simple enough imagery everyone can understand to describe Victoire’s superiority over Dominique. It’s one of my favourite parts in this one-shot.
He saw that I was different from Victoire – maybe even better.
This marks where it starts really getting so beautifully sad. Dominique knows Teddy recognises her as equal to Victoire and has respect and love for her, too, and yet he chooses the older sister. I was mesmerised with your story from the beginning, and yet this one sentence was the turning point that captured me completely. It nearly brought me to my tears.
I also liked the interaction of Dominique with her father while dancing. Bill had this wise aura. He loves his daughters and wants no one hurt, that’s clearly visible, but he also wants the family to be friendly and peaceful with each other. He doesn’t want a rift between his two daughters over the same man. And with Teddy out of reach for Dominique, he needed to act, and he acted brilliantly. I simply love the dialogue you have created for the father-daughter-talk. It’s precise to the point and sincere in meaning and sense, but it’s still humorous enough to lighten the sad mood of the one-shot. Fantastic job.
I don’t know it now, but I will. Teddy Lupin will always be a friend, but over time, he’ll stop being the love of my life. Instead, he’ll morph into my sister’s husband, my nieces’ father, my brother-in-law. I will always have a fondness, a tender spot, for him and I’ll always imagine, but that’s all it is. No longer longing and wanting, merely imagining.
This is a very beautiful ending and paragraph. It’s foreshadowing and yet not giving anything away. Also, it leaves things open for a sequel. It’s nothing definite concerning the story’s status but a definite ending in Dominique’s life.
I really hope this one-shot gets showered with reviews because it has clearly earned it.
What a lovely story. I really like it although I had difficulties getting into it at the beginning. I read the nightmare scene and wondered where it would lead, not seeing any link to the wizarding world at all. So in order to completely grasp the significance of the scene and find the missing link, I started again, and this time paid close attention to the details. It left me in awe. You wrote the first paragraphs so fantastically and detailed, it felt so very real, as if it was me in the dream, not Sheelin.
And I simply love your characterisation of Sheelin, especially when she is rescued. She doesn’t know anymore who to trust, and you portrayed nicely that misery and her responses. Again, it felt so real, as if I as the reader am in her place. Awesome job.
Sheelin tentatively stepped in front of the mirror, not sure what to expect. She found herself staring into the eyes of a stranger. They were dull but still contained the same colour. Her chestnut hair hung lifeless and dirty on her cheeks and all color was drained from her face. She looked a mess. Sheelin signed, disheartened. This girl was a far cry from the person she had once been.
The way you described her looks is simply but brilliantly done. I as the reader could visualise Sheelin easily, giving me something to fully imagine what she had gone through. And I think this is the right place to tell you that I loved the way you’ve woven in description into all the scenes and settings. Great job.
The scenes in the headquarters are written nicely as well. I felt relieved to know Sheelin was finally safe, under the protection of Dumbledore and the Order, and it gave me the link to the wizarding world I was looking for. I also very much liked that she had something to do to help, brewing potions. It added to her character, who she is and why she had been captured by the Death Eaters in the first place.
What confused me a bit, and what in my opinion was quite rushed, is the romance of Sheelin and Regulus, especially the last scene when they talk to each other. I didn’t understand how they got together this fast. I believe it could have been expanded more. You’ve so nicely woven a story around Sheelin that the rushing at the end kind of destroyed – for me – the feeling I gained with reading the story. It was especially the sentence “Sheelin, I don’t need an excuse to kiss you.” that ended the so far well written scene abruptly and made it rushed and artificial. I would have loved to read more small encounters between them before they were to kiss beneath the burning mistletoe – which, by the by, made me chuckle.
But on the whole, I enjoyed reading your one-shot. Great work.
Author's Response: Well, thank you! =) I'm glad you liked Sheelin and that the beginning scene was realistic. I actually started to write it in first person but that didn't quite work out. I'm glad that it was easy to relate to. I wouldn't quite say it was artificial and I didn't think it destroyed the story, but I see what you mean. >.> Eeep... that was one of my favorite lines. >.< Oh well, I can only do so much... Thanks again! Glad you liked it.
Let me begin with how much I love this story. It’s so wonderfully describing Christmas seen by two children as well as the rather stiff and cold traditions of the Black family.
I adore the way you started. You begin with both boys in the early morning, and the way Regulus pokes Sirius to get up reminds me of what my younger sister used to do when we were little. It draws me in immediately because I can rely to what both boys feel, and I get excited, too.
When reading on, I discover small but beautiful details like The sky outside slowly started to lighten as dawn came closer. The two boys were still sitting in their beds wearing their pyjamas, surrounded by ripped wrapping paper and piles of toys. It adds more to the lovely scene you’ve drawn until now, but with Kreacher’s entrance, this peaceful morning finds an end:
In their house, breakfast was served at half past seven each morning, and they all had to be sitting at the table by then. Being late was not an option.
Now the real Black Christmas begins, and these two sentences convey that in a simple yet subtle way. Also, this already gives us inside into the rules of the boys’ life – another detail enriching the story in a very charming way.
I also like the way you described the Black sisters. I could easily imagine myself sitting in the drawing room when they enter and see them standing there. And the way that Bella and Sirius stare at each other until the older girl turns away conveys two things to me: Firstly, they didn’t like each other very much despite being blood relatives, and secondly, with Bella looking away, it shows that Sirius was the stronger one of both despite him being younger. He’d already been powerful, as the heir, and I love the subtle way you showed that.
However, the silent and stiff atmosphere that has by now grabbed my heart, too (but not in a negative way), is lightened up again when Uncle Alphard appeared. Sirius clearly loved him, giving him a hug right away. Sirius jumped into them, giving his uncle a hug, but Regulus hung back, glancing at his parents nervously. They didn’t really approve of showing outright affection, such as hugging and whatnot. I love that you wove those two sentences into the paragraph. It’s beautiful and again rich in details, telling me a lot about how Blacks raise their children. Simply brilliant.
The exchanges between Sirius and Bella and later between Andromeda and Sirius are lovely to read. They tell so much between the actually spoken words about their relationships, the characters’ feelings, and I adore the way you characterised them all. Sirius is spot on, like I imagine him to have been at that age. Also, the sisters, first and foremost Bella and Andromeda, are characterised in a very good way. It adds to their beliefs, their education, to how they turn out years later.
Though, I wonder if any of the children would have used “Mum” or “Dad” when talking to or about their parents. I myself have always imagined them to be more the kind of people who say “Mother” and “Father”, because it adds even more to the Black’s belief of being practically royal. They feel like aristocrats, and saying “Mum” and “Dad” takes that feel a bit away, in my opinion.
Also, at the beginning, there are these two sentences:
‘Really? Wow! Thanks! This’ll be so much fun ... just wait until Bella hears you have a broomstick ...’ he kept talking, but Sirius was no longer listening.
Here the “he” after you close the speech should be capitalised. The ellipsis at the end of the speech shows that Regulus keeps babbling on, so you don’t need a dialogue narrative. The sentence afterwards can stand alone, so the beginning should to be capitalised.
But other than what I already said, I most of all love the relationship Sirius and Regulus have in the story. It’s very brotherly, and I’m in awe how you convey that. It’s brilliant, and I love it. And my absolutely favourite part of the one-shot is this one:
‘Eat your vegetables, Reg,’ Andromeda teased, when her cousin ate just his roast and left the vegetables sitting on the plate. He scowled at her, and she grinned back, taking a bite of her carrots. He raised a forkful of beans and aimed it at her. Bellatrix raised an eyebrow, waiting to see where this would lead.
‘Whoa,’ Dromeda said. ‘Put the fork down, Regulus.’ She glanced at her parents nervously; they were roaring with laughter over a joke someone had just told. However, Sirius doubted they would be so happy if Regulus started throwing food.
Thankfully, Regulus shoved his fork into his mouth instead, and gave them a smile filled with vegetables. They all groaned in disgust, looking away as he piled more food onto his fork. Dromeda threw a napkin at him playfully.
Thank you so much for that wonderful SPEWly Christmas present. *hugs*
Author's Response: *flail* Oh, thank you, Bine! What a fabulous review. I'm so pleased that you liked it so much. I was a bit wary of my characterisation, so to hear someone say that it's good just warms my heart. ^_^ I see what you mean about Mum and Dad - I just didn't think about it when I was writing, I guess. I'll probably go back and change it soon. Thank you again, dearest!
Minna, let me begin with complimenting your awesome summary. It sounds so mysterious and intriguing. I can’t wait to read the actual story when the summary itself is so fantastic.
I then get thrown right into Elaine leaving her home. Beginning the story like this propels the reader right in; the story charms itself into the readers mind and won’t let go. I read the prologue a few days ago, but was unable to leave a review at that time. Over the next few days this chapter stayed in my mind as my thoughts were steered back to the captivating beginning of this surely fantastic tale of Wildwood. It’s a brilliant way to open a story and ensure readership, Minna, and you’ve mastered this difficult step fantastically well.
I love the description of Carrick Manor. It paints a beautiful image in my head, and I can imagine how sad Elaine feels that she has to leave. The feeling of mystery from the summary continues, building gradually until I learn from Elaine’s thoughts why she leaves her home for Wildwood. The description continues throughout the chapter, showing in clear details and with a wide choice of words what the estate and surrounding wood is like. I especially liked the mural in Elaine’s room. Your usage of words to describe the mural was fantastic, and though you never mention the colour blue, it creeps into my mind all the time, referring back to Carrick Manor and the sea. It shows how deep both estates are connected with each other, and not only because they are the property of Elaine’s family. This connection gives me the impression that the sea in its infinity is a part of Elaine’s character and Wildwood, although the estate lies within a wood and far away from the sea. The sea is a powerful thing and should never be underestimated, and the same I believe can be said about Elaine and Wildwood. The name “Wildwood” itself is mysterious and wonderfully chosen. The references to Merlin in Wildwood’s history and naming your main character Elaine promise a legend in its own, and this is wonderfully shown by the title of the story itself. Minna, the overall picture of the story is just wow.
What I loved most about the chapter is the way you interwove narration, description and dialogue. Nothing is too short or too much, balancing out exceptionally. Great job. But the thoughts Elaine has at the end, It’s the strong, the brave that make history. The heroes., I love just as much. They end the prologue with a sense of finality and yet leave room for a lot of interpretation and future chapters. I have the feeling these two sentences are a foreshadowing of what will happen to Elaine. I sense danger that will come upon her, but also that she will be all right at the end of her adventure.
I don’t yet see much of Elaine’s characterisation, but the basis of her being a young woman with an interest in history promises that enticing adventures in and around Wildwood will unfold in future chapters. I can’t wait to read more about the story and get to know Elaine better. Please continue writing and updating.
Author's Response: Oh thanks Bine, that review was so sweet! -hugs- Since I usually go all plain-spoken in fics, I decided this was teh one where I would pursue my love of cool description/mysteriousness/etc. Glad that worked out. =) ...And that's the problem with writing a fic that will jump between eras. Elaine is currently not coming back until the epilogue, whenever that happens. I guess you could say the main character of this fic is Wildwood. xD But seriously, thanks for the lovely review. -hugs again-
What an interesting character study. I really liked it. In my opinion, you showed Lavender's dilemma really well. Of course she would be afraid of the situation, more so that her mother was a Muggle-born; who wouldn't be afraid in dark times like these? I especially loved that Lavender kept repeating the promise she had given her father (to keep a low profile) over and over, to remind herself that it was dangerous to meddle with the Carrows and Snape. You perfectly showed the angst she lived through, and that in dark times like these, friends show their real selves. Do they fight, no matter the cost, or do they hide like a coward?
What really clicked was at the end when she decided to break her promise and fight against the terror regime. It was a very powerful scene to show her nearly broken after what Crabbe did with her and remember the last words her mother had said. They conflict with the promise she had given her father, but they give her the strength she needs. You showed that extremely well in just a couple of sentences.
I also liked the twists you included with Crabbe lusting after Lavender. He comes across as the biggest git ever, someone I don't want to cross. He's changed a lot from what we know from the earlier books, but it fits completely with what we get to see of him at the end of DH.
Zabini is an interesting case as well. He's really reserved and cool, proud to have been made Head Boy. I liked the scene of his calm attitude at the platform, when he overhears Lavender and the girls talking. The way he talked makes him even more dangerous than he already is.
I found it quite surprising that he is a half-blood only. But it fits the way you characterised him. Though, still, I can't shake off the feeling that the scene where Zabini rescues Lavender from Crabbe's assault is a little overdone. Would he really tell Lavender his little secret? I assume his mother has told him and no one besides both knows Blaise isn't the child of Mr Zabini. And with Voldemort at large, wouldn't everyone not being a pure-blood and following the views of him and his Death Eaters be in danger, even half-bloods? Blaise has the perfect chance to say he's a pure-blood but he simply gives away the secret, to a Gryffindor no less? I doubt he would do that, even if he wanted to protect Lavender and help her out of the situation she was in. He didn't know if he could trust her. After all, she could have gone and told people about it. I doubt she would, but Zabini doesn't know that. I find that you have gone a little bit overboard here. However, it provides an interesting reason for him to show up and save her, and I liked how you used that to characterise Zabini, despite me being conflicted with him giving away the secret about his blood status so easily.
Overall, I enjoyed reading this chapter. You showed splendidly the situation Lavender, the DA members and everyone else find themselves in, the relationships between the various characters and how they try to deal with the fear Voldemort creates as well as the inner conflict Lavender has to battle out with herself. You balanced out narration and dialogue nicely, allowing the story to flow smoothly and be easy to read and follow – and of course enjoy.
Great work, Carole.
Author's Response: Thanks for the review. I take your point about Blaise admitting he was a half-blood to Lavender especially as she's a Gryffindor. I wanted a bit of dramatic licence, I suppose, because this was only going to be a oneshot (I say that a lot) It is explained more fully in the next chapter about his parentage and also the reason he told Lavender is hinted at too. At this stage, though, Lavender doesn't know what his parentage is. She doesn't know that he's not the son of Chester Zabini. A half-blood is basically anyone who can't prove their pure-blood line going back generations, so until Lavender looks into it - it could be his mother was a half-blood or something. As far as Lavender telling people - well, Blaise said it all really - who would believe her? I shall, however make sure I include that thinking in chapter three. So, Bine, my love, thank you very much for pointing it out. I think you've saved me from a glaring plot hole.
Your review, as ever, has given me much to think about. It is lovely to have your view as well as your wonderfully constructive criticism. Thanks again. Carole xxx
Hannah, this is a really lovely piece. You’ve captured the sadness of the moment, the sadness of death, and yet, it gives so much hope – not only to Teddy, but to the reader as well. Death of beloved ones is always hard to accept, and even harder to live with, but it’s important that we move on, that we live in the now and not in the past. It would ultimately destroy our souls, making us unhappy. You brought that point across in your one-shot in a fantastic way.
Your writing flowed smoothly, taking me as the reader into Teddy’s world. I felt as if I were Teddy. I felt his emotions, I heard his thoughts. And this touched me deeply, so much I cried for the most part of the story. It takes a lot, and especially depth in a story, to have me cry over a story or character, and that I did cry shows how deep your one-shot goes. Truly amazing work.
Though, I noticed some issues with commas. There were some missing ones, like for example in the sentence From when he was a little boy, he would help his grandma with the cooking, usually making a mess, but always having fun. or Then, without thinking about it, he went over to them and hugged them.
But overall, it was an absolutely smashing story. I loved it.
Interesting one-shot, Carole. The narration is tastefully done and the story reads fluent. I enjoyed reading it. Also, you characterised Severus and his misery nicely, and I could clearly picture the entire scene. Great job. And now I feel so sorry for Sev… *sniffles*
A few nitpicks though:
At the beginning, you hyphenated “Mudblood”, and in the sentence “So, Severus,” he said, “Did you hear about my O.W.L.s?, the continuation of speech needs to be in lower case. And I think you got confused over the Black brothers in the sentence Stunned to be included in a conversation, Severus began to congratulate him, aware nevertheless that Regulus Black was barely listening.. When Regulus was talking to Sev, how can he be the one listening into their conversation? Shouldn’t that be Sirius?
All in all, nice one-shot. Loved it.
Author's Response: Thank you for the review, Bine. I shall deal with the punctuation lapse and the Mudblood hyphen. This was written so long ago, I guess I forgot. No, I got the right brother. Severus is congratulating him, but is aware that Regulus isn't actually listening. Regulus only spoke to Severus to wind up Sirius - he's not actually interested in his replies. Thanks again. Carole xxx
I have to say, wow. That was a truly intense first chapter. I know that asthma is a pretty serious illness and can cause quite a lot of discomfort for the affected person, but I didn’t know it could be deadly. And I didn’t know that so many people die because of the illness every year. You find me quite shocked and touched.
I really admire that you decided to dedicate this work for the cause Asthma UK, and I think it’s great that you could bring in personal experience although, of course, I wished your daughter wasn’t suffering from asthma. I who never got in contact – personally – with anyone having asthma couldn’t begin to imagine what life with someone suffering from this illness would be like. But you managed to bring across in your story exactly what you experience every day. The way Harry and Ginny react when Lily suddenly stops breathing is incredibly well-written and realistic – because it’s based on your own experiences with your daughter. You managed wonderfully to bridge from our world to the world of Harry Potter without losing any realism. Bravo.
I don’t want to be nitpicky because it really is such a great chapter, but I noticed some mistakes in punctuation. For example, if you interrupt a speech with narration, you need to go on with lower case. Therefore, in the sentence “Keep calm, Lily, darling,” whispered Harry urgently, “We’re going to get you to St. Mungo’s very soon.” “we’re” should be in lower case rather than upper case. I believe there were one to three more such cases in this chapter.
But like I said, I really like this story. The plot is educating and interesting, the characterization is well thought-out and everything fits together neatly. Wonderful beginning. Keep it up and I can’t wait to read the other chapters.
Author's Response: Thank you for the review, Bine. It's much appreciated especially as you have to read through so much these days. *grins*. I'm pleased I've brought the condition to people's attention because it's so often dismissed as nothing particularly serious. Having said that, I am going to show in a later chapter that it certainly isn't all doom and gloom. Ginny and Harry are just going through the initial stages of realising that it can be serious.
Thank you for bringing the nit picks to my attention. I have fixed the errors.
Thanks again. Carole xxx
Continuing straight where you left off at the end of chapter one, the story never loses any of its charm. Like others already said, the plot is original and placed neatly into the wizarding world. Your characterisation is one of the best I’ve seen and everything together – plot, characterisation, the gravity of the story – creates a wonderful mix that is an enjoying read and educating at the same time.
What I liked especially was that despite the seriousness of asthma and how Ginny and Harry try to work around their daughter being ill, you still kept the story light-hearted enough to cause some funnier moments – well, at least funnier for me. I chuckled a bit at the end especially: “HEALER?” the doctor exclaimed. “You took your baby to a new-age crackpot?”
Can’t wait for chapter three. Please update quickly.
Author's Response: EEEP! can't believe I didn't respond to this. Wow! I haven't written this fic for ages. I MUST get back to it. There ahould be two more chapters ... I just need to write them. Thanks Bine, I adore your reviews- they're so friendly.
This was a very sweet piece, Terri. Nice job. I really liked the emotional part of it. And although James is murdered so cruelly, I loved the small snippets of memories. Memories of happier times, of friendship, of love and care. It flowed so naturally and touched my heart.
Though, there were a few places that left me confused, like for example in the part James was sitting on the sofa, making puffs of coloured smoke come out of the tip of his wand when Lily entered the room. He picked Harry up and handed him to Lily. He threw his wand on the sofa as he stretched.. The “he” at the beginning of the second sentence confused me. You see, at the end of the first sentence, you talk about Lily. Naturally, when finishing reading the first sentence, my thoughts are still with Lily, but with the “he”, you bring the reader rather abruptly back to James. In my opinion, changing the “he” to “James”, or rephrasing the second sentence to maybe “Picking Harry up, James handed him to Lily” would help break the momentary confusion and let it flow better.
Also, what I would have liked to see a bit more is description, to give the entire story more background feeling. It mustn’t be much, but some more imagery to show where the characters are or what they are doing would help draw a better imagine in my head. What you have is great really, but at times, I had the feeling the sentences weren’t flowing so smoothly, like in the memory when Sirius changes back from his first Animagus transfiguration. I would have liked a bit more description on how Sirius looked like after performing this advanced piece of magic. Was he feeling tired? Elated? Did he look dishevelled or did he change back without any hair ruffled? Even though the scene is a small memory that flashes up in front of James’ eyes in his last moments, I believe he would have seen details like clothes’ neatness and such. Also, the remark of Sirius “Oh, and I suppose you being a stag matches your personality?” Sirius asked. is kind of hanging loosely around there, I found. What did he mean by saying that? Did he refer to something special?
Characterisation-wise, though, I like the way you depicted James. I believe he would be feeling truly lucky and happy to have Lily and Harry in his life, especially in hard times like these. I found your portrayal of James – especially through the memories – spot on. Great work, dear. Looking forward to read the other final thoughts you present.
Author's Response: Bine,
It has been a long time since I have gotten a review from you. I do understand what you are saying. I am fixing the first issue now and will work on adding a bit more to the description as you suggested. Thank you so much for your review.
Carole, you’re such a great poet. I enjoyed it when I beta-read the poem, and now that I reread it, I enjoyed it even more. You’re truly talented on various fields, and poetry is one of the stronger ones. You should really write more.
The poem has style, has a fantastic story intermingled with irony and the more important one for me: it has rhythm and rhyme. And especially with the last two, it makes it so easy and fluent to read. Wonderful job, dear.
Also, the first stanza where you wrote about becoming a star being such a difficult step for someone so young, it holds so much truth to our time, and is done exquisitely. And interesting turn at the end with Chester’s family name being Zabini; you gave the entire poem a surprise twist, making it even more interesting to read and enjoy. Absolutely fantastic job, hon.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review, Bine. It means a lot because you are such an accomplished poet. I used to write a lot of poetry (some of it was truly dreadful) but I got out of the habit. Perhaps I'll dust off my old poetry book from college and Potterfy some verses. Thank yoy again. Carole xxx