Summary: James writes his best friend a letter from Heaven.
Do you miss our conversations that encompassed everything and nothing all at once?
What an opening line! Isn’t that how real conservations go with friends? Sometimes you’re so in sync with them. and other times, there simply isn’t a damn thing that clicks, but you’re still there. Conversation is supposed to be confusing. Hell, how many times do we need things repeated throughout the day with those who are closest to us? These are the people we rely on for everything in our lives. Language, especially if we know the tongue, is layered with semantics, intonations and all that. How can it not be confusing? Isn’t every conversation where we hope to make a connection? I hope you understand this.
The Sirius I know doesn’t regret anything. Don’t tell me you regret what has happened.
Here, I feel I must disagree with you. That’s true Sirius might not have taken regret because he looked at the positives, but how could he not have been lost? Think of when he’s in Grimmuald Place with Harry. How could he not regret the things that happened around him? Yes, this is a letter from James. If James truly understood and was watching over him or whatever you think he views this as, he would have seen that. How can Sirius not have shared some regret with his best mate with people, friends, mind you, dropped like flies. Sirius is not a one-dimensional, impenetrable character because he’s Sirius.
The next paragraph about ‘something Pads,’ threw me off, really. The whole sequence here has me wondering whether Sirius, too, is indeed dead. I’m trying think that of course he couldn’t be as he placed the stag figurine, or carving, on the grave, but I don’t know. That needs to be explained or fleshed out because you’re missing something. I understand the symbolism of it, I do, and perhaps you should have placed the letter in the stag as a roll because that could easily blow away. Saying they were reflecting on Peter again, as you just said that in the introduction and pulled that back into it, is quite unnecessary. So, I admit I glazed through this paragraph, but, lucky for you, I stumbled back with this:
Don’t believe them, Sirius, when they say that it’s better when you leave everything behind. Don’t believe them when they say it’s a ‘better place’, where nothing hurts, where everything bad is taken from you, every bad feeling, everything that hurts. Don’t believe them when they say the weather is perfect when you die. It’s not.
Is that not powerful? Oh my God, there is so much that I can say about this passage. You are very insightful. Like before, I have to say you’ve caught me off guard and you threw me away. I’m not going to throw faith in here, partially because I’m simply not religious and the connotations are just bloody obvious, but this is exactly how I feel about death. We don’t know. We don’t know what’s going to happen. We don’t know who were leaving behind. Why would you listen to the consolations of the living? Granted, all right, there is nobody else to listen to, yeah, but what the hell do they know? What do we all think we know? Death is a perfect experience? I’m not dead. When you’re dead, what would it natter that you drop everything? It’s not.
I can barely look at you, Sirius. It hurts. It hurts so badly. I feel so guilty. This guilt presses down on me, like the darkness of this night. I’ll never forgive myself for leaving you alone. I’m afraid they’re going to lock you up in Azkaban and take away all the light inside you. And I’m angry; I’m angry that Remus is going believe the lies. I’m angry that he’s going to betray you too. He’s going to mourn Peter as though he was innocent, and he’s going to be glad that you’re wasting away in Azkaban, and that makes me furious, Sirius.
Sorry I’m going by this paragraph by paragraph, but I find you bring up things that I can’t help but move the discussion. The first few sentences her sound rather weak and cheesy. You shouldn’t that sentence with ‘and’ and you perhaps shouldn’t have written ‘But’ in the previous sentence either. I agree with you that Remus believed the lies. How could he not? We judge by what we hear and force ourselves toward rationalization. In Remus’s case, he’s going to be handed thirteen years to mull and analyse this every way possible. He will mourn Peter because they were friends, yes, but he won’t be glad that Sirius has wasted away in prison.
Look at his reaction in Book 3. Either way you view this issue, he has to deal with the guilt. He doesn’t discuss Sirius with harry for this very. He dodges the matter altogether when Harry brings it up a few times. It’s not because he’s a werewolf who’s reputation can’t be tainted with the association with a mass murderer. That entire scene when they embrace in the Shrieking Shack is not simply a ‘missed you, brother’ type of thing. I’d argue that it’s as powerful as Harry being reunited with his godfather. Being reunited with a family member let me tell you, after years of separation, is no small thing. There are no words.
Have I bored you yet? I didn’t connect with the rest of it. Shouldn't James feel something for Peter? Yes, he killed them, but for years, they were friends, He might not have gotten as cllose to James as Sirius and Remus, but I think Peter is quicly overshadowed by us.
You made me think. Let me know your thoughts. Well done.
Author's Response: Wow, that was an amzing review, so thank you so much for taking the time to leave it! I understand completely what you mean about conversation and friends, and I agreed completely. I tried to convey that connection that James and Sirius have - they're best mates, and not even death can change that. I think regret is different from being lost. James is already dead in this fic - the Sirius he knew in life didn't take the time to regret things, and James wants to convince himself that Sirius can still be that person he was. He's almost talking to himself in that particular section, like he can't really stand the thought of Sirius being changed by what happened. Sirius isn't impenetrable, but I don't think he'd be the melodramatic, over-emotional type. We saw in the books that he had a tendency to bottle things up until someone/something pushed him that little bit too far. Am I making sense? Probably not, but it made sense in my head :D I'm glad you like the passage about death and heaven. I'm not particularly religious either, which is why I thought a lot about us not knowing. You're right, of course, we don't know. We can't know, and we when do, there's no popping back to chat about it. Maybe ther's something more, maybe their isn't, but humans have that innate need for consolation, for something to cling to when everything else fails. I know what you're saying about Remus not being glad that Sirius is in prison, and your right about him having over a decade to think on what happened. But I have to disagree with you a little - this story depicts a very small snippet of time, very soon after James and Lily's death. Grief changes people, we've all seen it. Remus has just had his world turned over - two of his best friends are dead, for all appearances, it seems Sirius has betrayed them all and then gone after Peter too. I think, that so soon after, Remus would be very angry, very confused and in those few days after, a little part of him would be glad that the person he percieves as a traitor is going to be locked up. I think as time went by this would change, and he would properly mourn his mate, but so soon after would be a tumult of emotions. And you're right about guilt - Remus had plenty of it. Obviously what I was getting at didn't come out properly in the fic, but thank you for taking the time to discuss it, so I could explain what I was getting at. Hopefully this answer will help you see what I was intending. I'm sorry you didn't connect with the rest of it. As for James in regards to Peter, I just want to draw attention to the time frame again. This is a tiny snippet of time just after James' death, and obviously the feeling of anger and betrayal is going to overshadow everything else at such a time. I'm glad it made you think - that's the point, eh? - and I hope you enjoyed it, despite the weaker points. Lyd.
Summary: A poem written in honour of those who fought in the Battle of Hogwarts, May 2nd, 1998.
This poem won the Last Line Standing Challenge at Poetry Anyone. :) It also won a QSQ for Best Poetry. Thanks to Carole (Equinox Chick) for beta-ing this.
DISCLAIMER: Not J.K.Rowling, though I wish I was. Haha!
If I had the time, I would look up this poem and do you justice. I do not, but Burns is one of my favorite Romance poets (outside of Shelley who blows my mind), and you seem to have kept with the theme and not made this flowery, but open. I don’t know if this is just me, but that line of ‘hold your brothers and sisters and let all this be done’ reminds me of that universal gesture in WWI where they just stopped, stopped killing, and because of the devastating horror and amazing technology, just reached over and hugged the solider =next to them. In that rare moment, they were all so frightened that they were, as you say, brothers.
War, and I’m saying this from a historical view, is a wound in itself because people are so damned and determined they are in the right. We don’t learn from history, although we think we do. No, these ‘mistakes’ of human nature on the whole mean only that we ignore the past, and that is something that even those who sign onto war don’t see until after the fact. It’s interesting you don’t take a side here as the speaker, and that speaks volumes.
The notion of time here is riveting, and just going to say in an offhand way, it recalls Andrew Marvell’s ‘To His Coy Mistress’. You are right that people get desperate enough in a war where you just want it to end. I’m not too sure because I’m not familiar with the poem so I can’t say. It’s a cleaver move on your part.
The only thing that I see here is the last line. Having studied wars, I don’t think things are easily forgotten or forgiven. I get what you are trying to get at here, but with wounds and hatred that deep, I don’t see things forgiven the next day. This isn’t an argument that you hear very much, and believe you me I do not stand on this side of the fence, for it frightens me to the core, but the Aryans who followed Hitler believed they had a rationale claim – the Death Eaters had a logical idea. Mind you, it’s not a good one, but the hatchet would not have been buried so easily. Whispers of arrogant racism still exist (albeit stupidly) years, centuries, after a war and declared proclamation.
Nice insight, here, though. I love that you imitated Burns. RAB nods to you with his mouse. (RAB wrote a well known ditty titled ‘To A Mouse’).
Author's Response: Well, the last line is meant to draw attention to exactly what you said: the dubious claim of war being a rational strategy. It is a seductive argument, and I italicized the word “you” to show that the speaker was aware of it, too. Of course, there is too much pain and too many losses in each war; it is not easy to forgive and forget when it comes to taking lives by the numbers. But what logic would work during the heat of the moment? The speaker fully understands the answer: to rouse your fighter, you make things easy for their conscience first. You tell them, “Hey! Don’t worry, it will be fine. Whatever you’re going to have to do, it is for good. Even if you’re going to kill, it is for a better world.” It would certainly be more effective than “You are going to have to commit murder. Yes, it stinks for your soul, and you’ll find it hard to get forgiveness for your sins, but still.”
It wasn’t really a question of being right or wrong, or even of being aware of the fact if the speaker was right or wrong. The poem is a battle speech per se, and battle speeches often paint war in heroic and adulatory words. They speak of the necessity of taking up arms against the forces of evil, of destroying the other side for what is “good”.
As for imitating Burns, I didn’t. Hey, you should know better; you participated in the Last Line Standing Challenge at Poetry Anyone as well, if I recall correctly. No one knew where the words had come from, remember? We just used the given words as the last words of each line of our entries, so you don’t really need to read Burns’s poem in order to appreciate my poem. They have no association save for the last words of each line.
Thanks for reading and reviewing, Jen. It was a bit unnerving to get two SPEW reviews for the same poem in the same month.
It didn’t seem possible. He had been standing before her merely five minutes ago, but now he was gone. She stared up at the empty archway. He had mentioned voices, but there was no sound. Someone was holding her, pulling her arm, calling for her to run, but she couldn’t move. Where had he gone? Where had Sirius gone? Why weren’t they coming back?
Ginny thinks back to that fateful night in the Department of Mysteries—the night she lost Harry Potter.
I strolled in here planning to review something else. Really, I could not remember if I had reviewed it, and I still haven’t found it. We’ll hold that one out for later, I love the idea of Harry slipping in behind the veil. Interestingly, and I don’t know whether this occurred to JKR, but it seems too close to be a coincidence. But this is Percy Shelley’s idea of Death extending beyond that painted veil. This seems as though it really could have been a take, you know? Harry spilling in? I would want to, especially if I’d just lost my one person.
Greek, indeed. Think on that. How would that feel it be ripped from your family and left with two people? Yes, she knew Dean, for she dated him for a short period, but can you imagine this chaos? Maybe you need a deeper explanation there, maybe not, because the surface area covers it a bit, but I find myself wanting a bit more of an explanation. It makes sense the way you have it written, of course. Oh, you’re playing with the Greek thing, twisting it back and forth? Honestly, I don’t know that you’re doing any of that, but I like it. You usually write like that and I peel back these layers, so I might want it to be there.
She’s drunk and still thinking on it. That makes since on so many levels. Just because people die and move on, they still think about people, especially as young as Ginny, and the way you pictured her. How can she not be like this? Why would she not be comfortable stuck in the past? With everything painted in this Greek image, it’s al very artificial, and that is such an effect, Julia, because she wants nothing to be real. It’s written in a rather confusing way. In truth, that would usually annoy the hell out of me, butte wants to be in that cloudy limbo.
Interesting. I like the insight into the character. Well done.
Thanks for the review. I love that you mentioned Shelley's poem - I've never really thought about that in terms of the veil in the Ministry but now that you mention it... it seems so fitting, and as you say, too close to be a coincidence.
"Lift not the painted veil which those who live Call Life: though unreal shapes be pictured there, And it but mimic all we would believe With colours idly spread,—behind, lurk Fear And Hope, twin Destinies; who ever weave Their shadows, o’er the chasm, sightless and drear. "
Wow, it really does seem fitting. Gosh, how I would love to ask JKR about that now! The veil has always fascinated me and I've often thought about how I personally would react to it. I just know the temptation to walk through would be so great - to see the one's I've loved and lost again, perhaps, if that's what happens when you pass through - and I sort of projected that feeling onto Ginny. I did try to keep it in her character, though.
I guess the reason I didn't go into the back story of Ginny and Dean escaping to the continent was because of how I wanted to structure the fic. I didn't feel like it added to what I wanted to write so I didn't go into a more detailed explanation. I don't know what it's like to lose everyone I love and be left with only two people, but I do know what it's like to lose a parent and to nearly lose another so I worked from that experience. I always imagine that Ginny was someone comfortable around people and to have almost everyone ripped from her like that would be unbearable. Perhaps she latched onto all that was familiar left to her and that was Dean?
I imagine her drinking and her memories are something of a luxury for her. She can completely lose herself in the past and try to imagine a different future for herself - a future with everyone she has lost, reunited once again. I like how you mentioned the Greek reality to seem artificial. I wanted to make her 'real' world to seem less real than her memories and her imagination. Walking through the veil seems more real to her than this reality that she never expected and never, ever wanted.
I hope it wasn't too confusing. It was an extended drabble which is why it is rather short but as soon as I started adding more into the story I felt it took away from what I wanted to portray, if you know what I mean?
Again, thanks for the thoughtful review!
You really have captured the teenage voice here and Lily’s relationship with her friends. Even though you had explanation in the last chapter, there seems to be a lot of dialogue here. As I’m sure you know, that makes nice for hinting at characterization, but it moves a little fast. That’s good for a quick read, but, usually, in writing, there is still some balance between narration and dialogue. Incorporating the lake here, tying that in with the other Lily, is something interesting that ties it to canon. It brings that scene back from Order, even though it’s an everyday thing; it’s the simple things that make this piece more believable.
The Quidditch game has all the elements. I especially like that you are running through introductions with a ‘whack’ to make this more comical. You are developing Lily as a character. May I say that I am so pleased that you do not have her as a copy of Ginny, or a weak girl protected by her brothers, or just another cliché Potter. No, she is a girl who has quite a style and stays on her feet. Your description has improved during this second scene, especially with the explanation after the game, which moves your plot. This is the part, if you were wondering, where Liam is discussed and the girls are talking about another teenager who was caught in the act.
I would recommend that you have more explanation and feed through more of a back story. I don’t know how to say this other than looking at other pieces of fiction. The explanation continues, so it isn’t just ‘this happens and then this happens’ in a plot. You know, if your piece is going to be about an unplanned pregnancy, the mention of ‘the period’ is necessary for that clue, and it’s not overdone. The rebellious acts make me smile, but they sound a bit too Muggle at times, if you get what I’m saying.
Keep Writing. An interesting chapter,
So, I was afraid to do this since you’re ‘Queen ‘o SPEW’ and all, lady, but love the opening scene. I was expecting you to jump right in there, but you didn’t. I love being proved wrong in writing. You don’t have Lily as ‘Little Miss Innocent’ or ‘Little Miss Sympathetic Novel’, so thank you. For cliché death, thank you. The title, although I can’t remember the style, I like that. I can’t see McGonagall beaming regularly simply because she a Potter. In that case, I think she would have beamed often at Harry, for she loved James as that Quidditch player, but maybe you’re going for that teenage view?
All right. Now, a little further down, I have to say you’ve swung back into McGonagall, and this girl … this girl. You know, this characterization is spot on for the youngest, rebellious, identity of the youngest child (at least that’s what I’ve learned in sociology classes.) This might just be something you might what to consider: everyone, everyone (even though you might be trying to make that point) except for Lily is drop dead gorgeous; it’s leaning toward cliché a little, if you catch my drift. They don’t sound like real people, almost, and I guess that’s what I’m trying to say. Lily certainly doesn’t sound insecure on the surface, and certainly not that swallow (thank you, Jen), but it sounds a far cry from believable. Well, everyone but Lily and Lysander, but the dividing white line’s there: one of the things that I’m struggling with my OF and learned from a writing professor is this: never make your characters either too good or too bad because you are not the judge of your fiction, the audience is. I’m learning that and many other things myself. It’s not wrong, but do you get what I’m trying to say?
The Room of Requirement whatever you what it to be indeed! I wonder what they were thinking to open it: ‘We need a place to ... you know.’ (Sorry, is that going too far?) Nice. Not too explicit. Lily and Lysander is a nice pair, especially, since, hey, weird, she was called after his mother. It’s a nice pair. I like that you bring up real societal issues in this word because many won’t tap that vein, but they were young ranging hormone teens too, and it happens. That’s part of the reason I read this; you challenge norms with a realistic spin and you question things, no sheltering.
Well done, Queen o’ SPEW. I’d like to know your thoughts.
Keep writing. Interesting.
Summary: Peter Pettigrew has fallen hard for a girl. The only trouble is, she's not his usual type...or any guy's usual type, for that matter...
“No, Remus. I like her, like her. A lot.”
“Well, you’ve got eyes, Pete. Have they been checked recently?”
Salad or Cellar Door,
I like this pairing you have chosen as well. Most people don’t give Peter a shot. On the whole, and I admit top doing this once myself, people forget him, which is a shame because he deserves some pity. He’s a man and men err, even if it’s over and over again. My first thought when I read your representation of Remus that he is rather cliché, but on second thought, you have portrayed this half-listening thing well. I feel the pity for Peter a bit, but I do the same thing to people that I know. You simply don’t want to listen when you know what they’re going to say. I’m laughing here with him wanting to finish the d*** chapter. He just wants to finish reading. I’m sorry; I’m the same way because I’ll starve myself to reach the ending.
I have to say that you are relying too much on the dialogue here because there are areas here where I feel as though you’re walking my through a script. There is so significant action matching the piece, so it doesn’t move, really. It might sound like I’m nitpicking here, but I’m not, even though it might sound that way. Remus used to be one of my favorite characters, especially when I read to enjoy the series, but these characters should be seen as people on the page. They do not, nor have they ever in the imagination, lived on a two-dimensional page. It’s not like Remus can’t joke. (Unless you’re like me and you truly lack that gene for a sense of humour). James and Sirius, for that matter, are not just jokesters. Human nature is not defined by one or two details. Really, though, fiction or any other story telling, needs that balance between narration, description and detail.
I like that you show Peter here, but as I said before,, you simply haven’t written this as a story. It looks like a script, without much of an explanation. You can’t really tell something and make it move by a ‘he said’/ ‘she said’, and I see you’ve done that all the way through. It’s rather like you have written for something that they had up here once like the ‘Monologue Challenge’, and that’s not wrong, but you might want to consider that factor in your further writing. You don’t want the scales weighing down neither too far left nor too far right. It’s quirky with speech to hint at the characterization, but you tell, no, show. You show the audience nothing. Think primary level show and tell. When you bought the huge turtle to class to show your perky teacher and overexcited friends, yeah?
I hope this helps. Consider it. Keep writing.
Summary: At age eleven, Dudley's daughter receives a letter he recognizes very well. As Sinead Dursley embarks on her journey of magical education at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, she strikes up a strange friendship with Lorcan Scamandar. Soon, Lorcan and Sinead rule over a reign of terror at Hogwarts as they subject their fellow students to cruel and dangerous pranks.
The title of this story comes from the poem "Child" by Sylvia Plath. Also, I would like to thank Royari for being an amazing beta.
When you say ‘country house’ in Britain, I instantly think that you are aiming for the Lake District or something, but that might simply be because I’ve recently come off of a spin with the Romantics. The simple setting here is rustic, which is nice. This is your personal choice, of course, and that’s in discretion with the writer, but I’m going to point this out anyway. Sinead: it seems like a strange name, especially when you consider Dudley and the rigid atmosphere where he was raised. Yes, I’d argue that he could change here and there, but it seems a little like you are trying a little hard to make a unique name. People do this when they name their characters ‘Moon’ or some really weird terra symbol. To me, it makes the character sound way too OC, and you don’t necessarily have to have a weird name to enter Hogwarts Castle, especially when no history is applied, yes?
You know, I like the simplicity of the piece that you are setting up here because that’s what is expected in such a scene. You repeat words a little here and there. A thesaurus often helps when you play round with words and experiment with word choice. Certainly don’t pick the first word, but that might help a bit here and there for a bit of spice and variety.
The piece is reminiscent of the ‘Letters from Nowhere’ chapter in the first novel, so I think you did a good job there. It’s not too like it, and I’m trying to remember it’s an introductory chapter, so there you are. Your details of the letter might be a little excess, but you learn that later on with more writing. Adjectives aren’t meant to be fluffy or fill in space. You don’t do that all the time, and it comes with practice.
You might not know this, and I’m looking at the whole piece here, but you misplaced personification twice with the eyebrows and the piercing sun rays; you have given action to inanimate objects without having an excuse like magical properties. The reaction from Dudley is like a mirror image, well, on a level, of his father. Really, depending on how much that DH chapter mattered to you along the line, he might not have been that resistant, but I’m guessing the reaction comes later. It leaves the reader open, I was hoping that it would be a bit longer. It is the introductory chapter.
Well, I hope this helps. Keep writing.
Author's Response: First of all, thank you for such a detailed review! About the name; I was planning to reveal it in the later chapters, but I've had a couple of people ask me about it already, so: the idea is that Sinead is half-Irish through, of course, her mother, Elaine, who had more authority in naming her kids (and Sinead is a rather popular name in Ireland, I believe). And yes, I do think Dudley would have changed a lot after he distanced himself from his parents. Certain remnants of his old personality would still remain, but I like to think that he did indeed change and become someone better than his father. I'm taking that chapter in DH to heart. I'll keep your advice about variety of language in mind - thanks again!
Summary: This story of Frank and Alice Longbottom's blossoming relationship at Hogwarts reveals the origins of the gum wrapper mystery that surrounds their time at St. Mungo's.
Salad or Cellar Door,
I like when people pick up these other characters and really show that they had a life behind their minority. This one, I have to say, is one that I have often wondered about myself, so it’s interesting when people pick them up. The opening paragraph here is just interestingly woven, especially with all of the colors sprinkled here and there. A man contemplating his reflection is often reminiscent of someone looking into his soul. It’s interesting if you were indeed attacking that from this angle. Or, perhaps, I was just looking into that too much, but this is what has drawn me in.
You might want to consider this as a style thing, but not many good paragraphs are split up like this in single sentences. That’s usually not done unless the writer knows what he is doing and it makes a powerful statement. I am suggesting that you join some of this together because it looks rather weak, but that could just be me. You need more detail, even if you have this mystic atmosphere thing going on because it does not feel that there’s much to grab on. I don’t know if you are catching on, and you can disagree, it sounds airy, although the mystery element here is nice.
I think you meant ‘dessert’ and not the dry hell of ‘desert’ there. Remember, with late night sweets, you want to indulge. Always ask for more. That’s a nitpick, but it makes a difference with all those foods. I don’t think that many wizards would know who this ‘Mr. Darcy’ was. Yes, Jane Austen in all her flair had three such gentlemen, but that is a literary mark that they might have indeed missed because it went over their heads. You’ll only find a handful of Muggles who appreciate and understand P&P and Northstead Abbey and suffer through the d*** things, mind you. However, I do have to say that Alice’s large eyes are a nice touch to the characterization.
Really, since I’m germ person, the gum switching thing or the taste thing is just gross. I do like how that was illustrated even though I’m going ‘eww’ in the back of my head. The Jane Austen thing might have been played up a bit much, but as I say, that’s your choice as a writer. The reflection wrap was an interesting touch. We do remember by our sensory factors than anything else. The figments remain in pieces. I really expected this to end differently, but it was a nice little snapshot.
In the Battle of Hogwarts, Tonks has nothing left but promises to keep.
I'll be back. I promise.
Now, if you must know, I hate Tonks as a character, and I despise things written in second person, but those are just my personal preferences. However, the mention of Tonks so keyed into the nature around her is fascinating. This drew me in immediately. You incorporate the canon well, and the repetition gets certain flair to the panic your character is feeling. I was thinking of that ‘Good girl,’ line the other night, and, I must say that I’m still rather confused (though this is no fault of yours) whether Aberforth was addressing either Tonks or Ginny. The quoted lines here really help to set up your scene, and you have kept the quick flashiness of the ‘Battle of Hogwarts’ chapter; that’s not an easy feat. I an, however, wondering why she’s just now pulling out her wand in the middle of all this chaos. Wouldn’t Mad-Eye tell her off for that?
It’s going to be hard for this not to sound like a preference thing, for I did just admit it, but this might have been better written in the third-person, present-tense. You are trying to get the reader to imagine himself as Tonks, yeah? Well, I’d argue because this is so fast-paced and carries a confusing air about it, this would have a wider range there. Walking through the battle as a character is interesting is interesting, but it is limited and might close off to the empathy or panic the reader is supposed to feel. Plus, if you’ll suffice my grammar for a moment, you are essentially limited to ‘you’ and ‘your’ as the writer. That’s just something to think about along the way. However, putting myself in Tonks’s shoes, this element about her truly struggling with who to save as an Auror is a mark on the conscience
The flashback here is rather touching. The mother/child is universal. It’s written in a simple matter, as a glimpse, and it isn’t fraught with clichés. It’s not a flowery romance, but the character of Andromeda is quite interesting. She’s wise. The woman sounds as though she speaks with experience, and she has a point. Tonks says that the war has started? Hasn’t the war started a long time ago? This is a battle, not the war, albeit the finishing piece to be played, but isn’t that what they’ve done all along? Your Bella is quite interesting. The theme of ‘promise is kept throughout. One last thing that I would say is Tonks probably would not have thought that she aimed a pretty good jinx in the middle of a duel. She wouldn’t have thought like that when she was faced with Bella; it would have hardly mattered, for she would have been focused on the next attempt and just getting back home.
It’s a nice glimpse into the canon that was hardly touched, Emma, so good job there.
Summary: Lia Thompson is a sixteen-year-old Australian girl about to enter her fifth year at The Glenvale College of Magical Arts. But the Wizarding World is at war, and although Lia may think she's far away from trouble, she's about to learn exactly how wrong she is.
The opening to this is simple, and I have to say it’s rather believable or any opening, so good job there, yeah? I’m hooked. Would a character honestly start out with such a reveal of whatever’s happening in such an experience? What I mean to say here, and think about this, is whether a character, whoever that might be, might just come out and say such a mundane statement about torture. Really, the only issue that I’m taking with this prologue is even though you’ve hooked an audience, I feel rather like it’s a bit too open. There’s nothing to savor the morsel, if you will forgive the food analogy, for usually a prologue hooks to something. However, you’ve done quite well with the emotional aspect and not gone overly angst as far as getting into someone’s head, yeah? There are no answers, no hooks, but perhaps something will be there in the next chapter.
Right, so the first thing I notice through these first few chapters of the next chapter is that you have quite a few obvious, simple errors that simply require a read over, yeah? Proofreading is a powerful arsenal in any writer’s toolbox, whether practicing or not. See? I just contradicted myself there. Any writing, like any other skill, is practice, for you can revise till the cows come home. Revision saves lives.
Okay, and I’m trying not to play beta here, but one of your recurring problems seems to be adverbs or this tendency to go overly descriptive with the adjectives after speech verbs with connective hyphens. Some of that is apparent for a teenager voice on one level, but on the other hand, you should not rely on that too often; it simply seems repetitive and might be more effective without it. For one, I know JKR never played that card in excess and kept the teenage voice. I’m going to mention this next point because it’s a recurring flaw that I am religiously known for; you are jumping here and there within this plot so that your characters simply come off as names and appear rather flat. There is little explanation in the background. Fill in those gaps. Just because you, the writer, see it, doesn’t mean the audience sees the full picture. It’s hard, believe me, but you cannot live by those assumptions.
I like the plot, I do. You have something here. I just recommend you look back over it and consider a few things. Keep writing.
Author's Response: First, thanks for reading :) I'm surprised that anyone can be bothered writing such an intese review for my story, so I 'spose that's a good sign. I know what you mean about the whole 'jumping around' thing...I do that a lot, and not just in my writing. Sometimes things make perfect sense in my head, but when I try to explain them to other people they just come out as a jumbled mess... The thing about Lia being too open in this chapter...well, I dunno, I think that's what she'd be like in that situation, that she'd have to be casual and almost cold about the whole torture thing 'cause it's the only way she can deal with it. Thanks for your advice, though, 'cause I'm definitely going to keep the whole over-adverbing thing in mind for later.
Over fifty people died at the Battle of Hogwarts. There are dozens of stories of loss, betrayal, heroism and sacrifice. These are some of those stories.
Nominated for: Best General (Chaptered) story – Quicksilver Quills 2011
Okay, I don’t know what happened with the first draft of that review, so we are trying again. I love that you have a snapshot of this scene. You have such a voice, a voice in your writing that is rarely seen in fanfiction. Well, as far as you choosing the Nurse, which is a rather clever move, you bring in an aspect that I admit I’ve never really considered. Nurses are, of course, the backbone of the medical field; I’ve spent enough time in hospitals and critical care units to know that. Of course, the higher ups are important too, and I’m certainly not knocking them, but the nurses are the ones who are there through all the hell and the chaos. The Nurse is certainly not given justice and is rather forgotten, but you are right. She is the one who works behind the scenes and holds everything – and everyone – together.
She knows the goings on within the place, as you have illustrated quite well. I guess that I am guilty of what I stated above because you know, you don’t think of the Nurse till Harry or company’s gone and done something completely stupid. She is certainly entitled to have a forceful opinion about anything that goes on in that place. I wonder if she would refuse the Carrows’ treatment. She probably wouldn’t, because she lives by that motif. Have I already hinted at that ‘do no harm’ thing? That is a universal truth in the medical field, and I’m glad you put it here. Another thing that I never really wasted my time troubling with is the legalities of handling patients within the Ward. It seems as though it would make sense to have a trail like that. That’s a clever move.
The most powerful thing here, and forgive me because I am a language nerd, is that you go into the etymology of Nurse. I think that drives the point home, and perhaps that would have added a humorous flair had she actually spoken that aloud to the dimwitted Carrow. Going after the Standard English thing? Good! Oh, well, I never considered that both the Librarian and the Nurse were never actually in the battle, and you have given such life to these minor characters that it’s almost creepy how well this would have fit in. It would have just fallen into place like a snug puzzle piece without a problem; you’re giving that chapter justice in ways I’ve never imagined. The Librarian is still, still clutching to this moody, stick-up-the-butt attitude, and she’s cynical, but it shows in ways that I can’t remember ever seeing in canon that she cares.
Yet, all they can do is wait. Really well done. Keep writing.
Thanks for the long and detailed review.
When I first started planning these “Tales of the Battle” my plan was to use Madam Pomfrey in one of the later chapters, at a point where her ward was full to overflowing. But as I wrote the other stories I found that I was describing chaotic hospital scenes anyway. It wasn’t until I thought about “the calm before the storm” that I realised that Poppy’s story really had to be set in the run up to the battle.
I agree, if someone had brought one of the Carrows into the ward, Poppy would treat them, too, because that’s what she does. Knowing the etymology of Matron and Nurse certainly helped to make Carrow look like the fool he is. As for Irma, I’ve always seen Irma and Poppy as a couple of elderly spinsters surrounded by children. They (and Filtch) appear to be the only people in the school who are neither teachers nor pupils, so putting them together seemed sensible. Neil
Summary: *”Not if he thought I was the spy, Peter,” said Lupin. “I assume that’s why you didn’t tell me, Sirius?” he said casually over Pettigrew’s head.
“Forgive me, Remus,” said Black.
“Not at all, Padfoot, old friend,” said Lupin, who was now rolling up his sleeves. “And will you, in turn, forgive me for thinking you were the spy?”
“Of course,” said Black, and the ghost of a grin flitted across his gaunt face…*
Those words, spoken between two old friends, lead one to wonder why two friends could have ever suspected each other of being a traitor. What could have happened once they left school to make them distrust each other?
**Quote is directly from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – Chapter 19 – The Servant of Lord Voldemort - page 273
Everything you recognize belongs to J. K. Rowling. I am just thankful to be able to play in her world for a little while.
This story is dedicated to Carole. She gave me the prompt to inspire my muse again and without her, I think my muse would still be in hiding. Carole, thank you for bring back the voices in my head. And your invaluable Brit-picking.
I must also thank Bine for doing a quick and valuable beta job for me on this. Muse wasn’t interested in making sure it was all correct, she just wanted to write.
First off, let me say that I’m glad you are writing again. The passage from your excerpt or summary drew me in because that’s one of the pivotal points in Rowling’s plot where she hits the nail on the head; that being said, not that this is a bad thing, but I did not expect this opening. In the opening, since we are there, your dialogue is interesting, and as always, you bring across that friendship element, but there is, perhaps, an overuse of that element. There is no background scene here because it lacks hints of description that might be used better to set it up. I often use this argument as the description/narration pairing; they both have to be there to move the plot. They don’t have to be equal, of course, but perhaps there should be more.
The bits of humor here and there are interesting. That has always been one of the strengths of yours, I’m assuming, because you know the canon like the back of your hand. The plot moves fast, which is a good thing, especially since this centers around a speedy argument, but it’s all (and I hate wording it this way) a ‘he said/she said’ spat that jumps off the wall like a tennis match. Well, not all of it, for you do have this and that, but I guess what I’m trying to say is this: Yes, we have all presumably read the canon, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t weave the backstory to weave through some of your fodder.
Okay, as I move down this thing, the idea of interacting with the kid fits really well. That’s something I’ve failed to matter myself, so that is another strength that you have here that gives Harry a life other than that kid who got jipped when Voldemort acted on a plan. I really don’t know how to say this, and perhaps it needs further explanation. Okay, yes, now I remember. The reason let a skit is because there is so little character development and there is no central character or point from which this revolves. The plot picks up with the werewolf move, though, so that’s a spin.
Sirius’s inner thought and confusion picks up in the last portion, but I can’t help thinking that all of this can be covered in one sentence. Very few things can be covered and carry such a weight in a single sentence. I mean, Faulkner mastered that, but the man knew punctuation manipulation, so he used comma and semicolons like they were candy. What goes on in somebody’s head, especially if they overanalyze something to such a degree, will not be covered in such few words. Perhaps, when we write fan fiction, we shouldn’t think of it in the context that this stuff has already been covered and somebody else covered it a thousand times already. I’m not saying that’s what you are doing, Terri, but writing for writing’s sake (and I’m only saying this because I’ve done it and paid hell for it) cannot be an assumed summary.
It’s interesting that you use Remus as the comparative link here that makes that Secret Keeper connection. I personally have never thought of it that way, but that is interesting. The movement of the piece and Lily’s err brings an element of human nature there, which is nice because we all make stupid mistakes. The strongest part of this piece is the ending because it carries a reminiscence of a newspaper clipping or a notation seen in a record. It’s in the reporter fashion, in a way, and that adds a nice touch.
Overall, it’s an interesting perspective. You understand, I think, that the Marauder Era is your niche. Keep writing. Glad to see that you have returned.