Kara's bio was over a year old and needs to be updated, so watch this space.
Haha, your story really made me laugh out loud. I especially like your characterisation of Lockhart, particularly this bit:
“Fine! Fine! But only because this seems dreadfully urgent, Dumbledore. . . . I’m sorry everyone! I have a brief meeting to attend to in the back, but dry your tears! I shall return to sign more books. And I might even act out my defeat of the Bandon Banshee! Now if you’ll excuse me. . . .”
However, your Dumbledore was great too, and the characterisation was more subtle, I thought, which suits Dumbledore. The thing about the joke was very him :D
What I liked even more than the characterisation in your story was how you managed to give an image of the room, even the smell of it, without actually describing it. At some points I even forgot that I was reading a Gift of Gab story, because you did it so neatly.
Great job :)
Author's Response: Thanks a whole lot for the review! Honestly, I don't think I've ever had so much fun writing a fic before (though it took me a few weeks of on-again-off-again writing to get it all finished because I was in the middle of moving). Dumbledore and Lockhart are a strange brew indeed, especially when in a room together. The Gift of Gab challenge was a good contest indeed; I hope the beta forums has another challenge like this again soon.
Oh Ariiii! You already got a ton of reviews, but it can never be enough for such a lovely story. This is not going to be a particularly eloquent review, just a lot of fuzzyhearted blabberdiblab.
This was just SO lovely. Of course it was clear all the time that he was going to propose, but it was so funny to watch Ginny go mad! I purely admire how you've woven all this stuff into a relatively short oneshot – their relationship, their past, Ginny's concern about Harry, the thoughts that Harry has obviously been having, and the characterisation of the two... (seriously, the characterisation is just brilliant. Ginny is spot on, and I loved how she keeps calling him a pig, haha; and Harry... well - you made him look hot without even describing his looks.)
All this stuff is just hinted at, yet it doesn't need more than a hint to understand it all. You don't give this giant page-long backstory, but still I feel like I've just known the two of them through all this time. Even though it's not written down here, it feels as though we were there for all these memories (and now I'm an implied pig..). This is just the most wonderful way to write such a story there (in my opinion) is.
And then it comes to the last couple of paragraphs, and they just broke my heart, but instantly mended it again with a giant load of fluff-paste =D
Just to imagine how much it has to pain Harry to think of Godric's Hollow.. I never really thought of this (surprisingly); James and Sirius going to the pub together, Lily going to meet a neighbour, the two of them taking a late-night stroll... and then it's all taken away... that's just unfair! But Harry isn't stupid. The ending, and the last line especially were just the tip of the brilliant, beautiful, amazing, fluffy iceberg.
This was such a lovely (could I use that word more often in tis review?) story from beginning to end. It gave a really clear picture of their lives up to this point in this snapshot fashion that I really admire here.
Wriiiite moooore fluuuuff! I'll go review your other fluff story soon =D
Hey! I really enjoyed reading your story, so I thought I'd leave you a review, because it's so awfully review-less...
It's very interesting to see your take on how Fudge became Minister – and how Lucius Malfoy forged his first connections with him. Though I don't like the idea of Fudge as a Minister of former (and later) Death Eaters, I have to admit that you make it believable. I also really liked how Narcissa half pressured Lucius into bribing the Ministry. It almost makes him seem like a nice character, just trying to make his wife feel better, like she did with her parents.
I also have to say that I liked your choice of the former Minister. She's an OC right? I don't think I ever read about the MoM right before Fudge...
It's a really nice story, and I think it works best as the oneshot you chose to make it. It's a quick read, but still gives the reader a clear idea about all the feelings (and intrigues) that are building up here.
I also couldn't tell that more than one person wrote this – well done with the co-authoring! :)
I won't say much here right now, just a couple of lines.
I loved everything about this prologue. Even if it had just been the stuff between the +++ and not the explanatory "Four months earlier" bit after that, I think I still would have been hooked.
There's a great difference between a prologue and a first chapter, I think. A prologue can be somewhat disconnected from the story, if only slightly, and doesn't actually have to carry the plot – though of course that's only my opinion. In the very beginning of your prologue, you just show snippets of what Harry's friends are going through. They aren't in any order time- or place-wise, yet they still are all connected. People are searching for Harry. People are desperate to find him. Those bits of interrogation and search are just as unconnected, random and confused as the thoughts of the people who were closest to Harry probably are. And personally, I think once you read the summary, it's quite clear what's going on, and the beginning shouldn't be too confusing for the reader.
Now, about the second half of the prologue; I thought you captured that atmosphere right after the war and all the losses very well. I don't know if this is how Rowling would have written it (perhaps she would have had a giant party instead with everyone focussing on the bright future ahead instead of the losses in the past) but if it isn't, I like yours better. They must have been so heartbroken, and Harry was facing quite another dilemma in addition to that: it was his fault that all those people died, or at least I'm sure he could talk himself into believing this. The emotion and ... just the whole atmosphere in this scene is so extremely powerful, I don't even have the words to describe it.
Which is why I'll stop here.
Because I want you to write more. And I swear (solemnly!) that if you do, I'll practise reviewing, and I'll get amazing and fantastic at it, and then I'll leave you a thousand word long review (or several ones in a row that add up to a thousand)! But PLEASE don't abandon this story! It looks so so so promising! *begs*
Author's Response: -giant, giant squiggles- Thank yoooooou! -more squiggles- Powerful. -beams- Coming from you, especially, gives me about a world's worth of happiness. I'm glad you enjoyed the prologue and erm... well again I say we'll have to pretend I didn't abandon it for months and months. :D Updating soon! Promise! -hugs-
I can't believe I haven't left you a review yet. Actually I really can't so if I've written this before, forgive me... I actually added this story to my favourites, but forgot that it was YOU who wrote it! Now, now, now. This is lovely. I absolutely love (in a bitter-sweet way) how you show those last moments of James' and Lily's lives. I'm completely convinced that this is exactly how it happened... with such few words, you manage to create such a great atmosphere... you actually make this little happy bubble of normality (even in the war) grow and grow... and then it bursts again, reminding me that this is a canon story and everything *sad sigh* But that's not speaking against your story of course! It's lovely and great... I didn't know you knew your way around with James and Lily so well!
Author's Response: Oh wow. Thanks so much, Kara! Can't really think of much more to say than that!
Oh oh oh. The description here is GREAT. Wow. I'm half lost for words. This is amazing – the way James wakes up and is all confused... and that little ray of hope as Lily wakes up... and then (again) it all goes down to the end. I love your chapters. They are short, yet they show so much, and cause so many emotions. I feel so sorry for the two of them.... I mean, sure, I always have, but this puts their situation in a whole new light. I hardly ever thought about James and Lily in that light – how they would feel after that night.
Only one minor thing though... "..., but Lily didn't look so happy."
This sounds a bit.. odd. I don't know, It doesn't seem to fit the rest of your amazing description... But maybe it's just me :D
Author's Response: Again, thanks so much! I'll have a look at the line you mean. Thanks for pointing it out.
Your characterisation is flawless here. Ooh I can't wait to see where you're taking him.. (to me, no doubt. hee hee. sorry, couldn't resist. Never can resist Sirius!)
The way you show his confusion at his situation, and what he experiences after he fell through the veil... great.
ARGH, this is so sad... How they don't realise that they're dead... I wonder how long they've been dead for – you know, since the paper is peeling off the walls... has Hagrid just left with Harry, or have their souls been around for years and years?
And they still think Peter hasn't betrayed them... this is insanely sad.
Oh god and they still don't realise it... it's crushing my poor old heart, Sarah!
But at least I know now that the war has been over for a while... but for how long? And when are they going to meet Sirius? And WHERE/what exactly are they? So many questions... so much for you to answer... in your next chapter? *wink wink, nudge nudge*
Overall to your story... it's a great, and very original idea. I think you're doing really really well so far. The rather short chapters work really well for the style and pace of your story. I feel a lot with your characters, and while you're not throwing them in our faces, I think your subtle characterisation works great too. Your description just rocks, I don't have other words for it. Also, the progress you show James and Lily making in trying to figure things out seems very... well, realistic. I really can't wait for more now!
Ooh I really liked this, Bellatrix character gave me goosebumps. Girl-Bella, scary, eh?
“Ahh, well I ‘ope yer less lively than yer brothers. I was ‘opin yer was a Weasley – they don’t give me ‘alf as much trouble.” He held out his hand. “I’m Hagrid, by the way.”
I really liked that line, it made me grin a lot :D
It's just again that thing why I love your story so much – you pay attention to those little canon details, like Ogg. I really love that you remembered him.
Your characterisation of Molly was very interesting too... I'd really like to read some more school-age-Molly from you... why not write about that one time when she and Arthur got back to the tower late and Orion Pringle or whatever his name was punished them? I think you could do a great job :D
SO jealous of your awesome in-house challenge :D but ours was ok too :P
Author's Response: Thank you, Kara. I did like writing this, but it was tough being eleven again. I wanted Mollly to be the parent most like Gred and Forge. Arthur's never struck me as the mischevious type. The challenge was all down to the lovely Terri *hats off to our Prefect*. ~Carole~
This is the untold story of Dolores Umbridge.
Russirussirussia! I already told you my opinion for your story, but I figured it was so long ago, I should remind you how much I liked it!
I thought it was wonderful that you put those little notes in between ("Dolores Umbridge hates..."). It gave the story almost a flashback-like structure, like.. what she is reminded of when she faces, for example, children.
Then, I also liked how you show us that there can be a bad side to people/creatures we only know as (mostly) good from the books - like Centaurs. They can't all be educated and sophisticated, and a bunch of "black sheep" certainly would leave Umbridge prejudiced for life.
And then, in response to the review before mine, I actually think Umbridge is a solo-fighter, in a way. She does work with and for the Ministry, but she adapts to new regimes very quickly. She seems mostly concerned with her own well-being, and she fights for herself - but her ways include sucking up to the people who have power.
Your story really made me feel for Dolores Umbridge, and that is some achievement, as she is one of the characters I hated most when reading the books! Your description especially in the second half makes this a very emotional and moving read... And everything, as always :D just fits perfectly.
I have no ConCrit for you. sigh. I'm a bad reviewer...
Author's Response: No, Kara, you are a WONDERFUL reviewer! *squiggles* This story owes a lot to you! I agree with what you said about Umbridge being a solo fighter, thanks for that ^_^ Thankyou soooo much for such a lovely review! I am SO glad you liked it <3 ~Russia xxxxx
Awww :D First of all, I really like what you came up with for this prompt. The whole story is just sweet, especially Arthur's explanation, and how little Percy is all confused about it in the end :D
I also thought the dialogue between Charlie and Percy was done really well. They actually sound like little children, not many authors manage that. Also the way the village-children talk to each other. Minor thing though - are you sure that "'cuz" is era-appropriate? I just don't know if they would have used it in.. what, late 70's? early 80's? Britain. Maybe it's just the spelling that irks me. I don't think I would mind it if it was 'cause...
Anywayyy... your characterisation of Percy is great :D I love little!Percy with the library books... ooh and imagine how Mr Weasley would have loved to go to the Muggle Library with him :D
Very cute story. I hope you get lots more reviews soon, your story deserves it.
Author's Response: You're right -- using "'cuz" most likely isn't era appropriate. Even if it is, the spelling is probably an Americanism. Thanks for pointing this out. I'm so glad you otherwise liked my dialogue and characterization. Your lovely review has made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. :D Thank you.
Ooh I really like that ... well, snapshot of their lives. It's a really important point for Sirius, and I think you made a realistic picture of that.
The only thing that I have to nag about though is that you switch to present tense at some points, namely here: He didn’t follow Sirius immediately. They both, he sensed, need to tread carefully with this one. Something bigger than usual had happened there and James feels a little scared at the look on Sirius’ face. He’s never been shocked when Sirius comes to visit.
But other than that, I really enjoyed your story :)
Author's Response: oooops thank you for catching this - it's because I first wrote it in present and then changed it to past! Obviously some little bits didn't get changed :x
I was scared all the time that he would get in trouble for selling, whatever, his mother's favourite inherited lucky gobstones set or something... or that Lily's parents had already bought her an umbrella... but it was really just cute. How relieving :D
Author's Response: Sorry to worry you! Glad you ended up liking it, though.
This story looks really promising... I don't know a lot about your OC (she is on OC, right?) at this point, yet she has already captivated me, and I am extremely interested in hearing/reading her story. She doesn't come across as particularly extraordinary, yet in her normal-ness she draws me right in, because I can relate to her so much better (even if she's from a pureblood wizarding family and I'm still sitting here in my stupid old Muggle house). Your characterisation is really good here. You don't force the reader to believe anything; you just show the situations and the story the way Clariss sees it, and let the picture unfold itself. And I also oddly like the way she hero-worships Lily.
Another very nice characterisation was that of Lily. I really enjoyed reading her so far. She's proud of what her father did, and while I think later she wouldn't be so proud of everything (those stories can get boring when you hear them the five thousandth time - yeah dad, you rode a Thestral, I get it, you're so cool. Can I go meet my friends now?) for an eleven-year-old this is still quite believable. Also I can imagine her being just a tiny bit big-headed (when you look at who she's related to that's no wonder), and then it would be natural for her to even show off a bit with those stories.
And speaking of age: You did get the first-years right too. I'm actually impressed at this. Not only Clariss, but all the other children she talks to just sound like they would around that age – as far as I can tell anyway. And it was really interesting to see Harry's and the Trio's fame through someone else's eyes too.
Two things that bothered me – though they both are very minor: You do mention other first-year girls, but in the end they don't make another appearance. I think I would have liked to see through Clariss' eyes who she shares a dormitory with and what she thinks of the girls after the evening's conversation. But maybe this is something you're going to deal with in the second chapter, and I'll have to run right off and read that as soon as I submit this review.
The second thing: you sometimes put an apostrophe when the word is just in the plural... I noticed this with "Potter's", "parent's" and "Ravenclaw's". But this is just nitpicking. I'm off to read the second chapter, so see you there! :D
Author's Response: Thanks Kara! As you've no doubt found out, the other girls do play a part in the next chapter, but I'll think about what you said if I ever find time to go back and revise the chapter. And thanks for the apostophe thing, I'll go check that out!
(I messed up with the formatting before so I just deleted a review, sorry about any confusion. It said the same as this one)
Nitpicking: Six years later - wouldn't that be the start of year seven then? In that case, is he really very slow or why is he asking about her OWL results now? Or is my math very off, that's always a possibility... Also, I was a bit confused at first, as you talk of "exactly the same seat" after she just went to bed... perhaps if you'd written "...the same seat in the Great Hall" it would have helped me. But then perhaps I'm just very slow tonight :D
Another nitpick: "for the most part I believed that the subject was mainly based on interpreting signs that prevented themselves to me when I concentrated"
I think it should be "presented", not "prevented here. Sorry about all the pettyness, I'm apparently very picky tonight -.-
Now that I have that out of the way, praise! I love how we meet the characters that you introduced in the first chapter again and see how they and their relationships developed.
Also – Sprout as the Headmistress, I love her! I'm not sure how old she is at that point, so no idea if it's canon-plausible, but you write her so brilliantly that I don't even care. She has everyone thank the kitchens– such a Puff thing to do! I just want to hug her.
Ooh and you had Parvati as the previous Divination teacher, lovely.
OH DEAR PYGMYPUFF I just got got a right shock at the point where she switches to the other time-thing. This is spookier than watching a movie *shudders* You wrote this incredibly well. It was so very unexpected, and all the better written! I especially liked this line, it's just brilliant description:
As I stared, I saw his head flick up, and he looked straight at me, causing my heart to beat wildly, as if some caged bird was struggling for freedom.
I just love your description and sentence structure in general. Your writing is just so amazing; I can't stop reading your stuff (and this story in particular) because you manage not only to create suspense a lot, but also to give your writing such a flow that it simply feels impossible to break it by going to sleep like I probably should.
One last thing about this chapter though that bothered me, and, again, it's just something minor. Did Neville really call his son Frank, as in - is this canon? If not, it just feels like... ah, I can't even explain it properly. On the one hand, it's very Rowlingesque and only logical for Neville to name his child after his father who must have been a great hero for him. But then, among Lily and James Sirius, we have Frank Longbottom in Gryffindor too... this just seems a bit like Marauders pt.2 (I know Frank wasn't in the same year as them but you probably know what I mean). I guess just too many people named their children after their parents for my taste...
Still, this chapter was brilliant and gave me goosebumps! I need to read on now.
Author's Response: I'm so bad at maths and dates, I had trouble thinking about that one. The are supposed to be in sixth year, I'll go back and change that one! Thanks for pointing it out, and the other things as well (don't worry about being nitpicky!) And Frank's name, it's not really important to the story, so I suppose it could be changed. I made a character list for Albus, James and Lily's years before I started this story, so the characters come from that. I never really expected to use it in as much detail, so I just named him Frank as I was probably feeling a little uncreative. Changing the name wouldn't be too much bother, but he's not a very important character and won't be mentioned much from now on. Thanks for the lovely review! Sarah x
I knew I had read this before... anyway, now I finally get around to reviewing it too!
First of all, I'm not a Harry/Hermione shipper AT ALL! But since I liked this story quite much, I won't let that influence my review :D
What I really liked about your story was how you drew the parallels between different times and situations. First, there's the Ron/Lavender thing that stands as an opposite to Harry/Hermione. While Ron and Lavender snog most of the time and don't talk too much (doesn't Ron even admit that himself at some point?), Harry and Hermione mostly talk. While Ron abandons his friend a lot, Harry and Hermione take care of each other – as friends too. And then you draw another line to the end of the story, when Hermione is there for Harry like he was there for her a year before.
While I liked that a lot, there was something that bothered me, too, though. There are bits in the beginning and the end that just feel... somewhat disconnected.
You told him what you had read in the books about him. He had heard some of it before, but he sounded excited nonetheless. You liked hearing him like that. But, when you stopped talking to him, you felt lost. You didn’t get to hear him, not to mention that you didn’t have anyone to talk to at all. It was just so hard when you didn’t talk. You never wanted to fight like that again.
When you started talking to him again, you felt better.
You jump from their train journey and arrival at Hogwarts to some point in the books when they had a fight... Is this about the Firebolt? I probably should know, but at this point, I have no idea really. What is she talking about? You lost me a bit there. I think it's a good idea to insert this fight as a point where she couldn't talk to him (since at the very end you mention the importance for Hermione of having Harry around), but it would be better if you had said just what the fight was about. If this is about the Firebolt, for example, you could have written something like "...., not to mention that you didn't have anyone to talk to at all – and all because of a racing broom."
But maybe it's not as important really. It just confused me at that point, and in a way because of that I only really started seeing it as a proper story when the main part started after the *.
Another thing about this paragraph is that you said "Ronald" instead of Ron. It's the only time in the story that you do it, and – consistency etcetera aside – I think the only people who call Ron by his full name are teachers like Dumbledore and Ron's Auntie Muriel. Would Hermione (and I'm speaking about her here because this story is somehow told from her POV and therefore I'm assuming the narrator sits in her head) really call him Ronald in this situation?
Now, about the ending - I liked this a lot, actually. I just wish you had made it a bit longer. While I see the connection in a way – as I said above, Harry needs Hermione's support like she needed his before – I don't see it in many others. How does Hermione feel about Ron now that he's left again (because you mentioned how she felt about him not spending time with them before)? How does Hermione feel about Harry now? The thing is, I'm not opposed to open endings in general, and I don't think it always has to be absolutely clear if two characters end up married with children and everything. But if you draw the parallel to the situation earlier – does this mean they get romantically involved again too in your story? And what do you mean, she "couldn't stand to be without him"? This, as a last sentence, left me a bit... well, thought-less, in a way, and I really wish that if you want to leave the ending open, it was thought-provoking, you know?
As I already said, I liked your ending and the way you built up the whole story. I just wish you had used a couple more words to tell it. The ending seems incredibly rushed, and while it does, in a way, achieve a positive effect too, I think you could have a different and much better effect if you chose to add more to it.
You mentioned that this was a challenge, so possibly you had a word limit. But you know, now that you've shown you can tell the story in 850 words (I think this is the shortest oneshot I ever read!), why not go back and edit it? I think it would be absolutely worth it, and you could get a really wonderful story out of it, because the potential is all there.
Now, to end this on a happy note :D – I really have to compliment you on your writing here. Second person is not easy to write, but this was surprisingly enjoyable to read. I'm very impressed by this, and it's just another reason for me to really really hope that you chose to have another look at this story and edit the beginning and the ending a bit.
Author's Response: Hi Kara! Thank you so, so much fir the review and the compliments! I want to write a sequel and I've started it, but I'm having trouble with Hermione's characterization. It's not working too well. :( And, on top of that, I have writers block. Yeah. But I can't wait to write it! Thanks for the comments!
Oooh Natalie, that was a great story! Ah, curse you Puffs, you are too good, and too nice (I can't hate you for being so good, because I like you too much)...
You did a wonderful job here. Although I don't like Fortescue dying - He was such a great character! But then that's the war, I guess... I love it how you brought in the values of bravery and how it doesn't have to do with what house you're in... Very moving, I think you wrote exactly what the prompt was about!
Author's Response: YAY!
Thank you for noticing the part about houses and traits - that is one thing which I've been mulling over for ages. I didn't like Florean dying, but Rowling...well, we'll all find out in The Scottish Book. :D
Thanks for the review, Kara.
Anything you recognise does not belong to me, but to JKR or 'Plain White T's'
Oooh Russia, this was absolutely brilliant! It fits the song perfectly - the words, but also the meaning in general.. And that also expresses exactly what Harry must be feeling with Ginny back at Hogwarts, and himself in Auror training...
I don't usually read a lot in the Poetry category (I really should change that, I like poetry), but I do hope that you'll submit more soon, because this is really really good!
/still loves it
Author's Response: Thankyou so much, Kara ^_^ It just came to me in a flash of inspiration when I had lost my iPod and had to listen to the music on my mobile phone instead... (I only have like 3 songs on there XD). I am very glad you liked it =D ~Rush xxxxx
Oooh Carole! I finally got around to reading this, and I have to say, it's such a lovely piece of fluff. I like how you captured that moment/night - there's no giant conflict, there's no drama, just a wonderful night for two people who are in love for the first time.
I can very well imagine that the way you wrote Seamus here shows what actually goes on in a boy's mind at a time like that. I also thought it was good that you didn't shy away from showing the.. eh.. physical side of this too. Of course he would look at her cleavage - he's fourteen/fifteen and she's pretty.
What I thought was best about this story though is the ending. I felt like watching a movie, in a way. You pulled this off wonderfully - of course at first I thought it was Seamus marrying her, as a sparkly diamond crown on a huge pink fluff cake. But then they remained best friends for all this time, and they both seem happy (I don't see unrequited feelings from Seamus here, not sure if you had any intentions here... He seems like a best friend who just realises once more that his female friend is actually really hot. But the wink at the end makes him seem happy about her marriage). And this ending gives the story sort of your ... uh.. mark. It just makes the whole thing feel like something you wrote, so that I probably would have recognised your story-style even if I hadn't known it was you.
I'm very impressed by your fluff skills, and I just adore Seamus/Lavender here.
Author's Response: Thank you, Kara. I was trying to convey a certain wistfulness that you always have for your first love (unless it ends REALLY badly). Seamus will always see her as that pretty girl he danced with and kissed, and lavender was far more suitable for him than Angelina - LOL. Thanks again ~Carole~