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Stories by Karaley Dargen [14]
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Reviews by Karaley Dargen

Safe and Sound by welshdevondragon

Rated: 6th-7th Years • Past Featured Story
“They locked me up. Told me you weren’t real, told me I’d imagined you, told me you were no better than a voice in my head.”

am real. And if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t let you wake up.”

The Ravenclaw boy and the mad, quiet Slytherin girl.

Inspired by the Taylor Swift and Civil Wars song Safe and Sound.

This is a slightly belated birthday present for the wonderful Jess/ToBeOrNotToBeGryffindor. She is someone I feel very lucky to call a friend, and hope she has a fantastic year.

Nominated for the 2012 Best Non-Canon Romance and Best Dark/Angsty Quicksilver Quills.
Reviewer: Karaley Dargen Signed
Date: 10/02/12 Title: Chapter 1: One-shot

FINALLY I can review this story!

Alex, I thought this piece was absolutely beautiful. It's just... magical, in a very special sort of way. It all seemed so unreal, and yet at the same time painfully realistic. This is, in my opinion, some of your most lyrical writing (even if I'm not an expert). I couldn't stop reading because it was all so trance-y.

It's strange - in one of our review responses I just saw that you said you wanted there to be a slight chance for them to survive. In my hopelessly naïve and simple view, I was completely optimistic and didn't doubt for a moment that they would survive. I could actually see the world crashing around them, but them sitting there solid and protected.

Somehow, when in the battle all the turmoil and the screaming that was raging inside her is transported to the battlefield, I oddly feel that after this, she can find peace. They can find peace together, somehow, somewhere quiet.

To me, this was a very hopeful story. Again, maybe I'm being naïve, but that's the way I read it, and I thought it was beautiful in its darkness.

Quiet In Our Town by the opaleye

Rated: 6th-7th Years • Past Featured Story

The earth is taking back what it’s lost. There are new terrors to battle now.

The end of the world comes not from the hand of Lord Voldemort, but an incurable disease. When Britain falls, those that are left must keep on running.

And never stop.

Winner of the 2012 Quicksilver Quill Award for Best Alternate Universe!

Reviewer: Karaley Dargen Signed
Date: 07/02/12 Title: Chapter 1: Today we heard that someone left this earth.

Oh Julia, this was so very, very worth the (short) wait. I love the way you've constructed this story. The backwards structure works really well, and makes the ending (of the story)/beginning (of the catastrophe) so much more meaningful.

I loved your characters. Hermione, who just functions, even though she's overwhelmed. Ron, who has hope, but is broken because he lost his friends and family “ those would have been so important to him, since he's always had someone around him at all times. Harry, who is reduced to a creature, and who has to be left behind. Ginny, who is so brave and practical and so very very stubborn. She doesn't bargain, she just knows what has to happen. And poor Draco, not only abandoned by his mother for possibly the first time ever, but basically assaulted by her. I loved the part from his POV “ that was hilarious. Xenophilius going to the Weasleys for help, because Luna trusts her friends... wow. That was so well thought out. I loved how it wasn't random at all, but everything was connected.

Every section had its own voice, and that just worked perfectly. (Also the dates really helped me place things.) I had a fairly vague picture in my head the whole time, and the only reason it was vague was that I never lingered for very long but had to read on.

There's so much I loved about this, but I feel like I can't go on forever, and I don't know how to phrase my amazement anyway :x One thing I have to say though is that I loved the gaps you left. There's so much other stuff that is possible, other people, fates, events... and that engages my own brain, which always makes stories very very cool. People should write missing moments fanfiction for this fanfiction.

I can picture them living at Malfoy Manor so well. It's a huge place, and they could set up those large rooms to accommodate hundreds of people, probably. It's fenced and walled in, so they'd just need guards to make sure nothing climbs the walls, and they might work with slashing hexes or whatever. Apparition could make things easier if you needed special supplies, but considering they can multiply their medical supplies and even food to an extent, that might not be necessary at all. They can grow food in a garden, and if they're very lucky, there's something like hunting grounds attached to the estate...

One last thing I wonder is whether other countries would ever take them in as refugees or whether they'd be too scared of an infection that might already have taken place. Probably a good thing that they were on an island :x

Wow, Julia. This was such a fast and thrilling read. I don't see any way this story could be improved.

Author's Response: Kara, Kara, Kara. Thank you so much. Really. You might not realise it but your enthusiasm for this fic is what kept me going, especially when I felt like I was going around in circles. So thank you. And thank you for this amazing review. It was so important to keep everyone in characters. AUs are much maligned because of their reputation for poor characterisation, so I'm really glad you loved them. I do have this weird little backstory with their life at Malfoy Manor. Maybe I will write it down sometime but it is very similar to the way you imagine it - like a commune. As for other countries taking them in, I imagine that other nations blocked the British Isles off with anti-Apparition wards, like a quarantine, to make sure infected people didn't try to escape. In my mind, the wards would eventually be lifted but not for many, many years so survivors would have to make do and try to rebuild their lives in constant fear. It's a very bleak world :\ But how could a zombie apocalypse be anything but bleak, let's be honest hahaha! Anyway, thank you so much for this review! It means so much.

Julia x

Dragons on the Water by Gmariam

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: Charlie Weasley loves his job in Romania: he was born to lead the life of a carefree dragon keeper. Yet when a new keeper from Wales arrives to help with a difficult Chinese Fireball, Charlie is forced to take on a partner, when he'd rather work alone. And this new keeper challenges him in more ways than one…
Reviewer: Karaley Dargen Signed
Date: 07/19/12 Title: Chapter 3: Chapter Three

This is as far as I got so far, so I'll leave you a review now and one tomorrow when I read the rest! I do like this story a lot. You've given them a proper profession as Dragon Keepers, and I think that's maybe the part that appeals to me most about this fic - the way you describe their work and the dragons.

The third chapter is my favourite out of the first three. I just love this line so much:
"If you want your rock, you can come sit on your rock." Terrence stood, surprisingly alone, and motioned to the edge. "I'm done with it."

I feel like Terrence's voice is getting better and better with every chapter. The dialogue in general in this chapter was really good, and you're developing the characters and their relationship so well. I love the part when they get to settling down vs living with the dragons. IDK if it's intentional, but the dragons work very well on a symbolic level in this fic too.

Can't wait to read the rest tomorrow!

Author's Response: KARA! Thank you!!!! Yes yes yes it was intentional! YAY! I'm so glad you picked up on it, lol. It was both planned and unplanned as I started the story and I'm really happy with the way it turned out. I actually made dragon characters!! I'm so glad you enjoyed the dragon parts, it was fun to write. I think it'd be fun to write again, too. Better than Quidditch, lol. Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoy the rest! ~Gina :)

The Absent Guests by hestiajones

Rated: 1st-2nd Years • Past Featured Story
Summary: On May 4th, 2012, Petunia Dursley found herself hanging.

This is a prose-poem written for the Who Arted? challenge at Poetry Anyone (?). It is based on a sketch done by welshdevondragon/Alex.
Reviewer: Karaley Dargen Signed
Date: 09/30/13 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

PSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSST Natatatatatatalie my eternal love and sunshine!

I really, really love this. I never thought I could get into a prose poem as much as this, but there you are! The more I look at this poem, the more I realise how structured and how poetry-like it is. The repetition of the date, for one, gives it such clear structure.

But most of all, what I love about this is the language. It's very VERY rhythmical, and just so touching in its simplicity. I felt so, SO sorry for Petunia, because deep down, she's not a terrible person. We saw glimpses of that in the books, and she would have changed after the war as well. Especially since Dudley changed. So yes, I was incredibly sad that she was alone on her birthday, that she had to eat on her own - and then of course so happy and relieved when Dudley and Harry arrived! And yes, there was a tear in the corner of my eye!

The language paints such a beautiful picture of Petunia's neat and orderly life, how she's built it forever, and works so hard to maintain it. All that makes the emotions so much stronger.

I can't properly talk about poetry, but I want you to know that this is great, and it's so deserving of the joint win! Congraaaatulations on that and well done!!! I'm glad I got to read this.

Author's Response: THANK YOU! :D I am glad I won (along with Her Excellence) and that brought you here! This review gives me so much happinesssss <333

How come I never responded to the other reviews? I am such a grade-A butthole. >.<

Flower by Equinox Chick

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: Lily Evans is different things to different people.

This poem was originally written for The Sharp Challenge in PA. Thank you Julia, for bringing such inspiration.

Disclaimer: Tis not I who be JK Rowling.
Reviewer: Karaley Dargen Signed
Date: 07/19/12 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

I finally got around to reading this ““ yaay!

I love this. It gets stronger with every line. I love how you go from the very superficial nice and pretty girl to the Gryffindor red and golden Tigerlily (I always loved when you call her that, haha) to the girl who breaks rules and then the sad ending, because that's all she can be for anyone who never knew her.

This is also the perfect length, and a great form. I really enjoyed reading this.

Author's Response: Ah, yes, the superficial girl and the rule-breaker. I believe someone not a million miles away from me pointed that out :D. I like Lily very much - is that sad to say about a fictional character who wasn't even in the books that much? - and adore writing her.

Anyway. Thank you for the review. MUCH appreciated. ~Carole~

The Girl In Madam Malkin's by the opaleye

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: A man walks into Madam Malkin's and hands over some torn robes that need to be fixed.

Reviewer: Karaley Dargen Signed
Date: 09/30/13 Title: Chapter 1: The Girl In Madam Malkin's

Julia! This poem! *gasps* I'll try to put my feelings into words, but I can't promis that I will be coherent.

It's just so... incredible. I love how the structure of the poem sort of echoes the fragmented and torn fabric of Cedric's robes, which in turn echoes the broken family, the pain, the hole that can't be mended. It's not a perfect poem structurally, but that's the beauty about it. Nothing is whole here. Almost every line is an enjambement, because everything has been pushed into chaos.

Your choice of words is just so beautiful as well. "Please please: fix them." - that's almost my favourite line. But it'd be impossible to pick, since it's all so perfect. Especially the actions of the characters: "The girl tilts her head this way and that in a shake that / clearly means no, I’m sorry, I wish I could"

I can't coherently express how much I love this, especially the contrast between the grieving parents and the girl that sympathises but doesn't understand. She shows them the new robes, but the hole in their family can't be filled because Cedric can't be replaced.

The robes are fantastic as a metaphor and a stand-in for Cedric both in terms of the poem and the poetic language and in terms of the parents' grief, holding on to this one thing, if this can be fixed, then everything can....

I feel sort of stupid reviewing your poem, because you're so good at this, and I know you know everything I've said above, because you clearly thought this through incredibly well. Before I make more of a fool of myself, I just want you to know that I am completely in love with this and I admire your breathtakingly beautiful use of language - not just here, but in everything that you write.

Author's Response: Ahhh thank you so much, Kara! I was so excited to see this win alongside The Absent Guests, which is one of my favourites. It was quite emotional writing this poem so it's great to see that translate onto the readers, as well. Don't feel stupid!!! I love getting reviews from everybody, and this one has left a huge grin on my face. Thanks again xoxo