Hi there! I’m Soraya. I’m seventeen years old and am a proud Muslim British Bangladeshi. I live in East London and have loved reading and writing from a young age. I’m rather obsessed with Harry Potter (aren’t we all?), tea (not a surprise considering I’m a Brit) and good grammar. Recently, I've also got into the Supernatural fandom. After watching the first episode, I had already fallen head over heels in love with Sam Winchester, so it's no surprise that I am now a huge SPN fangirl as well as a Potterhead.
My writing has changed quite a bit over the years, and I think you'll probably notice that, the further down my author page you go, the more the quality seems to drop :P I started posting stories on here at the age of fourteen, and at nearly eighteen, I can see how much my writing has improved since those Dark Ages. So, for that reason, I would advise you stick to the more recent stuff, if you choose to read anything of mine.
Just so you know, these are posted firstly according to what kind of pairing, if any, is in the story, and then in chronological order in accordance to my own canon, not necessarily the order in which they were posted.
My first chaptered fic. It’s terribly written, but I still have a place in my heart for it because of how much fun it was to write. This story has now been deleted on MNFF, but if you really, really want to read it, you can still find it on FF.net and HPFF. (I advise you don't, though :P)
Second Childishness and Mere Oblivion (James/Lily)
Written for Round One (Major Characters) of Madam Pomfrey’s Character Clinic Triathlon, this one-shot is about James and Lily’s relationship getting rockier and rockier after they left Hogwarts, especially when Lily is faced with the trials of being a wife and motherhood. A little smutty.
My Love is Always Here (James/Lily)
This was a belated birthday present for the wonderful Gina/Gmariam, aka the queen of James/Lily. This is mostly about Lily dealing with becoming a mother for the first time and the problems (as well as the joys) that come with that.
There's an Answer (Remus/Tonks)
Written for Sophie/The owl for SPEW Summer Swap IV. Tonks is sent on an interesting baby Auror assignment to do with werewolves. Remus and a dangerous Muggle are thrown into the mix, with interesting results.
Left Behind (Remus/Tonks)
An expanded version of one of my LoveNotes, written for SPEW. It's a missing moment set between OOTP and HBP, where in my head canon Remus and Tonks have been together, in secret, for a few weeks already and Remus is then told to go on his werewolf mission. Slightly smutty.
One and Only (Remus/Tonks)
Written for the lovely Alex/Ithinkrabis2people in the Ravenclaw Christmas Drabble Exchange. This is a missing moment set just after Tonks’s outburst to Remus in the hospital wing at the end of HBP.
Out of My Life (Harry/Ginny)
My only AU (kind of). I tweaked a small part of canon in this -- basically, Harry actually said goodbye to Ginny properly when he broke up with her. Very angsty, and this is only up for sentimental reasons, as I wrote it during The Dark Ages (aka when I was fourteen).
A Different Kind of Magic (Harry/Ginny)
Written for the You’re Having My Baby challenge at SIYE. Ginny finds out she’s pregnant, but Harry receives the news before her and therefore has to tell his wife. This was my first ever story at MNFF. It was written when I was thirteen, and it definitely shows.
A Different Kind of Magic 2: Parenthood (Harry/Ginny)
A sequel, obviously, to A Different Kind of Magic. Ginny goes into labour, and both Harry and Ginny realise what it means to be parents. Again, this was written from Back in the Days.
The Caustic Ticking of the Clock (Rowena/Helga)
Written for the Great Hall Cotillion, this story is my only Founders story so far, and it’s about Rowena and Helga’s secret relationship. I am proud of this one, which doesn’t usually happen :)
Catching Fire (James/Sirius)
This was written for SPEW 007. My prompt was “Embers”, and it’s set just after Remus’s second transformation with the Marauders. James is badly injured, and he and Sirius realise, inadvertently, that they might just have feelings for each other. I like the pairing but still think the story needs work. One day I will go back and edit.
Flicker and Fail (Katie/Leanne)
This was written forSecret SPEW, and my recipient was the absolutely fabulous Alex/welshdevondragon. It’s my take on Leanne and Katie’s relationship from way before they were even at Hogwarts as well as what eventually happens to Katie in HBP, when she was cursed.
Skinny Love (Louis/Lily)
Written for the 2013 Great Hall Cotillion. Set during Teddy and Victoire's wedding, Louis helps Lily come to terms with her bulimia. This one was pretty difficult to write.
Blood and Roses (Scorpius/Rose, Scorpius/Dominique, Dominique/OC)
Written for the Great Hall Mysterious Maychallenge, this was my first Next Generation fic about Scorpius, mostly, and the trials he faces after his daughter is murdered.
Broken Glass (Louis/Lily)
This is the story of when Loulily really began. After the deaths of his immediate family, Louis is finding it hard to cope, even six months later. Lily somehow helps. It’s a little smutty. I’m proud of this one, too :)
The Highway of Regret (Scorpius/Lily, Scorpius/Rose, Louis/Lily)
Also written for the Great Hall Cotillion. It’s my one and only Scily. This is all about secret relationships and mistakes people make. Lily’s angry at Louis, and Scorpius has just broken up with Rose; when Lily gets drunk in the pub, things... happen. :P
I Will Lay Down My Heart (Albus/Rose, Scorpius/Rose)
Written for Round Two (Minor Characters) of Madam Pomfrey’s Character Clinic Triathlon. Albus has been in love with Rose for years, but what happened with them when they were younger has put a dent in their relationship. It doesn’t help that Rose is actually in love with Scorpius, either. This is smutty too.
One More Night (Albus/Rose, Rose/Scorpius)
Companion piece to I Will Lay Down My Heart. This goes into more detail about Rose and Albus's changing relationship as well as the aftermath of the events in said companion story. Probably the smuttiest thing on my page. :D Written for the Great Hall Cotillion 2013.
This was written for the Great Hall-iday challenge for the Operation: Mistletoe prompt, and this was where my love for Loulily began.
This is about how five men in Potterverse dealt with remorse in different ways.
This poem is about how Remus feels about Sirius (not slashy, btw).
Written for the Magic in Music challenge over inPoetry, Anyone? This was set to the track “Obliviate” in DH1 and is about Hermione modifying her parents’ memories.
Written for the Goodbyechallenge in Poetry, Anyone? This was about saying goodbye, and how difficult it could be.
After All This Time
Written for the Deathly Hallows challenge inPoetry, Anyone?. I ship unrequited Snape/Lily, and this is probably the only time Snape will be on my author page, lol.
Written for the MC Kreacher challenge inPoetry, Anyone? This was written from the POV of Bill Weasley after his wife’s death.
Written for the Great Bannermakers’ Hallchallenge. The banner I picked had Merope Gaunt on it, and it’s probably my darkest story; it’s definitely the only one to have a dubious consent warning. It’s about, as you might guess, the abuse Merope suffered from her father and brother.
In Care (Marlene/OC)
Marlene McKinnon, as a care kid, eventually falls in love with another care kid, Jamal Olawumi. But he's a Muggle, and keeping her world secret proves difficult. This is definitely a story I would like to revisit and tidy up.
Just Across the Bar (Sirius/Rosmerta)
Sirius is just about of age, but obviously Rosmerta has misgivings about having feelings for Sirius, who is still a student. Written for the 2013 Great Hall Cotillion and also smutty.
Written for SPEW 007. My prompt was “Juggling”, and it’s just a silly piece of dialogue-only banter between Remus and Sirius. Sirius realises Remus likes Tonks, and he tries to persuade Remus to act on his feelings.
Hanging by a Thread (Katie/Oliver)
Written for the lovely Jess/ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor for Secret SPEW VII. Katie is grieving and drowning her sorrows in alcohol and Oliver is trying his best to save Muggles, while trying also to bury feelings for Katie that he thought he had long since forgotten about. There is also, surprise surprise, some smut in this.
And that’s it! Along with being a moderator, I’m also a member of SPEWand SBBC. I hope to see you around on the forums; feel free to contact me via PM or review if you have any questions or comments about my stories!
It was going to happen eventually: Oliver Wood had to retire. But when the decision was made for him, he allowed himself to be tricked into grooming his replacement. However, coaching proved to be a completely different animal, especially when the untried and unbridled Roxanne Weasley pushed his limits every step of the way.
This story was nominated for a 2011 Quicksilver Quill Award: Best Non-Canon Romance.
Well, I know that this is more than a month overdue, but happy birthday, Carole!
In fact, speaking of Carole, when I duelled her for that 5 words duelling challenge thingy, I asked her what the wildest pairing she'd read, and she said it was Oliver/Roxanne, by you. I just had to go and read it. And I'm so glad I did. I mean, I loved that Dean/Hestia story you wrote and I thought that topped my favourite rarepair stories list, but Wild Card is joint first with it, because it was just so good and just completely unheard of (in a good way, of course).
Your characterisation of Oliver was just...lovely. Honestly. In the books, he's described as maniacal, definitely, and it's amazing how you managed to chnage that so he's matured, especially after having such a difficult childhood. You filled him with regret, regret that he took out as defensiveness and (occasional) harshness. I used to think that the characterisation of Oliver is never very well done in fanfiction, but your story proved me completely and utterly wrong, and I'm very happy for that.
So often, Oliver is shipped with Alicia or Katie or Ginny or someone in their generation, but never next gen. Kudos to you for taking on such a wonderfully bizarre pairing, this time with a much bigger age difference than Hestia and Dean. It's a commonly-used scenario and yet you gave it a fresh twist, I think, by using the characters you did.
And now...onto Roxanne. Since she's practically an OC in terms of her character, I think you did so, so well in fleshing her out. I really understand where she was coming from with the whole drink thing, and it saddened me to hear that she seduced Logan by plying him with drink. At the same time, though, I think it's realistic, because George would definitely have had to cope with Fred's death, and I suppose everyone has a coping mechanism. Plus, one thing that really, really annoys me about some Post-Hogwarts fics is when they make everyone out to be happy after the war, when in reality, so many lives had been taken that it was inevitable that there would be grief and darkness and depression. So I'm glad you addressed that, not only in this story, but in others, like VoJP. (On that subject, I've heard that it's had/going through a revamp. I might have to give it another read when my exams are over :D)
The storyline was great. I really liked the beginning bit, when Oliver was getting sort-of fired and then hired as a coach. I think he was a great coach at Hogwarts, so it's completely plausible that he would become the coach of his own team.
Now, as someone who really, really hates any kind of sport, I've never fully understood the rivalry in football, cricket, snooker, tennis, or -- more importantly -- Quidditch. But after reading this, I think I understood why playing a sport is so very important to certain people, and I reckon this story has taught me to stop complaining when my brothers are so obsessed when the footie's on telly ;)
I absolutely adored the chemistry between Oliver and Roxanne. You could see it from the very beginning, when Roxy first started training with Oliver. I don't know how I can describe it without sounding cliched, but it really seemed like there was some kind of spark between them from that moment. And it was really nice how Oliver slowly started to realise that he was more than a little attracted to her, first by taking her to dinner, then walking her home, then his jealousy when he found out that she'd slept with Logan...yeah, I think you nailed it.
This should be the point, really, Jess, when I say something to improve on, but for once, I honestly can't think of any faults. There were no grammar mistakes (I can't remember ever having to point out an error for you) and I can't think of any way for you to improve your characterisation, because it really was perfect here. So I shall bid you adieu now, after saying thank you very much for writing this wonderful, amazing, fabulous, beautiful and just-smutty-enough story, as I was definitely in the need of some good Jess-written fanfiction after revising for my exams.
Lol, where am I supposed to start?
Well, first off, how about kudos for a lovely and organised review. It's always nice to get some feedback on fics that I love, so yay for that. :)
One thing I knew when I decided over an AIM convo with Gina (we were both brainstorming ideas for Carole's bday) was that a cross-generational fic would have to be done right. I just couldn't cork plotholes with smut as most other rarepairs tend to do and call it good, since the theme is, as we've discussed this month, rather controversial.
What I wanted to get from Oliver was the underlying need to be around the game but a maturity that comes with age and 'been there, done that'. I don't know if you caught it or not, but I very subtly referenced parts of Carole's Drowning, Not Waving in this story, with both the details about Oliver's dad and his long ago love. Since that's one of those things that everyone seems to have read, I was hoping someone would catch onto it (Carole did, lol). Doing that gave him a deeper dimension and maybe a bit of explanation for his slightly maniacal behavior when it came to Quidditch.
Furthermore, what I truly needed to get across was that Oliver was more ready to move on from the sport than he realised. He just needed Roxanne to show him that at the midpoint of his life, some things just didn't matter so much as just being happy -- something Oliver had never truly allowed himself to do.
Roxanne, well... she's a pistol. She's sharp, defiant, competitive almost to a fault, and driven to be the best. More or less, she's like her mum with an understated layer of George's cheekiness. Also, she's probably the one person on the planet who could truly commiserate with Oliver with his own dad's problems, because her dad was a bit of the same. And maybe they needed each other just a bit.
I have always been and always be a complete sports nut. I love almost all sports, or at least just following them a bit. I can sit in front of the tv and watch ESPN almost any day, so I'm pretty versed in sports culture. When I do write about Quidditch (which I will fully confess that I don't particularly care to write, lol), I try to incorporate as many things as I can to make it both a genuine sports experience as well as entertaining enough to hold someone's attention who may be just skim reading the action bits. I'm glad that the gameplay was done so you as a non-sports fan could both follow and not get bored. It's a challenge sometimes.
Anyway, my response is getting rambly and all that, so I'm going to cut myself off. Wonderful review, and I'm glad you enjoyed my story and my characters. *hugs*
Barty Crouch Jr. and Regulus Black; two boys with different expectations thrust upon them.
This is the story of how their paths cross, merge and then divide, leading towards two different endings; one tragic, one heroic.
"The Death Eaters, I want to join." I stared at him. His blue eyes were steady, his mouth set. He looked resolute. He had thought this over.
And then I got it. I finally got Sirius.
Nominated for Best Dark/Angsty Story in the 2011 Quicksilver Quills and for Best Marauder Era in 2012. Thank you so much!
It's me again! Eeep, sorry I kind of died on you (review-wise, anyway). It's mainly because of Ramadan -- I've been kind of busy. Sorry sorry. Anyway, I'm back now :D
Hmmm, interesting chapter. I think this was a bit too much telling, tbh -- I mean, we did see scenes between Barty and Miranda, and obviously, you don't want it to be repetitive, but I found it less convincing at the end when Miranda told Barty that it wasn't working anymore. Maybe if they had had a proper fight or something, I would have been more convinced, but I think we were being told too much and not shown enough.
Having said that, there were some lovely character moments in this. Miranda, I think, is right in that it's not the right kind of life for him -- sleeping rough never is, tbh.
Oops, I have to dash -- family to visit and stuff. Sorry to cut this review short, but just to let you know that I am definitely still reading this, lol. see you on teh next chapter!
Ooooooh, sneaky Regulus, lying to Sirius like that about being a DE. Poor James and his family, too.
Okay, backing up a bit. The beginning of this chapter felt, to me, a bit clunky at times. I mean, I wasn't alive in the 70s, lol, but "are you for real" sounded a bit... modern. I think the flow was slightly shaky/laboured to begin with, but after that scene in History of Magic, I think it got better. I liked Reg's interaction with Avery and Mulciber; it was well-written and realistic. I also thought the part with Sirius was wonderful. It's nice to see the, er, serious side to him (no pun intended, lolol).
I also liked that you haven't rushed things so far. The pace of the story is going well -- it's good that only now, after six chapters, Regulus and Barty's lives are really beginning to intertwine.
So again, characterisation- and plot-wise, this is fab. I think the only issues I really have are to do with technical things like phrasing and punctuation. For example, I don't always think you use the semicolon correctly. Like here --
“No,” he said simply, then added; “Father’s got his hands full with work now, so there’s no point going home.”
It should really be
“No,” he said simply, and then he added: “Father’s got his hands full with work now, so there’s no point going home.”
Honestly, that's the only thing I can call you out on right now. Otherwise, though, this is great :) I'll see you on the next chapter!
Hahahahaha, I'm finally here! Eeep sorry it's taken me so long. Exams and everything.
This is fabbbbb. Barty is one of those characters who we have quite a bit of background on but who not many people have written about in fanfic. I think you did a great job in establishing his voice, and I was rather sad about how much his dad pressurised him with internships and stuff.
There were a few places where I think you needed commas (and it's meant to be Christmas *holiday* rather than break), but they're minor, technical things, really, and I still enjoyed reading this chapter :) I'm interested to see where this goes, so I'm off to the next chapter!
Yay Soraya! So glad you've started reading this!
It's weird because, as you might know, I started writing this aaaaages ago. So I'm a bit unsure about the first few chapters -- I'm not sure how I feel about them, because it's been so long since I wrote them. The original idea for the story and the plot has stayed the same throughout though, despite the fact that I've expanded on it very much, so I do think they still work, but my favourite chapters come later in the story (obviously). I do think this story is sort of a record of me developing as a writer but I'm very glad you like these first two chapters - even though I don't think they're my best, I am proud of them.
Barty has a weird relationship with his parents. I do honestly think the main problem is that he never objects. I think if he dared speak up and tell them that this isn't what he wants then they'd fight but afterwards things would be much easier. But he wants to please his parents too badly, which is his main flaw. I think most parents, including Barty's, want their children to be happy and that's it. Barty's father mistakes what he wanted as a young man for what Barty wants now and I think that's a common mistake parents do. There will be more on Barty Senior's background later in the story, though.
This became a rather long response, I think. I guess I'm a bit to eager to discuss this with someone who doesn't know the whole thing yet... :) Thank you so much for reading.
ooooooh. Lovisa, I love your writing style. I would pick my favourite phrase, but that's impossible, lol. The whole bit about comparing things to cancer, and the stage, and everything. It's so beautifully phrased :)
But also, your characterisation of Sirius and the other Blacks is really good. I've had a lot of trouble with Sirius lately (and he's my character for SPEW 007 -- I don't know why I chose him, lol), and you portrayed him in this effortlessly.But, more importantly, of course, given whose POV this is from, Regulus's characterisation is excellent. I love how he's so-- dangerous and kind of scary.
This is a great setup so far for the story, Lovisa! Without making it an infodump, you've given both characters great backstories :)
I'm looking forward to reading the next chapter!
Oh no, I had written a response I was really pleased with and then somehow I managed to hit the back button :/ But anyway, yay, Soraya, more reviews! Thank you!
Thank you for the compliments. Phrasing is important to me and it is often the reason that it sometimes takes me ages to update this thing... I'm glad you liked it, because I do put a lot of effort into it and I think it's one of my strengths as a writer.
And thank you for commenting on the characterisation. Before I even started writing this I spent a lot of time and energy figuring out *who* Barty and Regulus were and I'm glad the effort paid off. This is a character-driven story and the decisions they make really is what the story is about. Apart from that, there's honestly not much of a plot (that would be one of my weaknessess and a writer....). This is a story about two boys growing up and struggling to come to terms with who they are and where they come from. Kind of simple, I know :PI guess Regulus is scary and dangerous, but I think it's because he's very confused. As the youngest in my family, I sometimes found it very hard to balance the influence of my two great role models- my parents and my sisters. Sirius did leave Regulus and I can see how that must have felt like a betrayal to him... He's only fifteen and his brother leaving the family puts him in a difficult situation. How can he continue to love his brother if he still loves his parents, who have denounced him? I hope this makes any sense. While writing FM, Regulus has really become one of my favourtie characters in the potterverse. Thank you, again, for reading and reviewing!
This was a nice filler chapter :) I would have liked to see what happened to Barty when he came home -- exactly what his father said to him, etc. But I did like the fact that Barty appreciated Regulus's beauty. That was a fab point, and I suppose it makes sense since Sirius was hot, too, lol.
I do think that, again, certain things were *told* rather than shown. I would have liked to see more Barty/Regulus conversation to develop their relationship rather than just having it in narrative.
Eeep, I sound really nitpicky here D: This was a nice chapter, probably not one of your strongest, but still a good chapter nevertheless. I enjoyed it, at any rate :)
I love Miranda. She's an excellently well-rounded character, and I love how rebellious she is but also her fragility. I mean, she tries to put on a front, with the dyed hair, etc., and yet it's easy to see through that and understand how vulnerable she really is. fab fab fab.
What I like the most is Barty's and Miranda's chemistry -- they are an interesting couple, and I'd like to see where things go from there. And eeeeep. I'm sure there will be problems with Miranda leaving/Barty joining her, etc.
Oh, and I read your response to my first review -- I so get what you mean about being unsure about the first chapters of something when you've spent a long time writing it. But really, the only thing which I could criticise you on is something technical: you could do with some commas. Like here:
That night we fell asleep on the couch in the common room.
There should be a comma after "night". But that is very minor, and it definitely hasn't prevented me from enjoying the story or anything. I just wanted to point out that that is really the only thing I can think of that could be improved at this stage. I'd love to see where things go from here :)
MIranda originally started out as a plot device, intended to propel Barty in a certain way, though I am now very fond of her. I think there's both strength and fragility to her character, hopefully you'll see what I mean about the strength in the next chapter.
In manhy ways, I think Miranda is more mature then Barty. She is more experienced and she knows how the *real world* works. He is very much a dreamer, while she's a realist, which is, I think what draws her to him. Because the one thing she is very immature about is herself. She has no clue about how to "tackle" herself and her demons and she thinks far worse of herself then what is actually true. I think Hogwarts must have been a rather close-minded place and it must have been nice to have someone who didn't put her down. On the other hand, and I think this goes for many first loves, I don't think Barty is in love with her only because of who she is, but what she represents to him, and that is freedom. I think it's common at that age to fall in love more with an idea than a real person.
Aaah, comme placement. Honestly, I've never really learned "the rules", mainly because I think there are different views on how to teach in Sweden and I think the teachers I had didn't think it was important. I do recall one of them saying; "Put them where you feel a need for a natural break!" which isn't very helpful. I actually learned more about comma placement from studying German than I did from studying Swedish and even less English. That may be because Swedish German teachers are generally old ladies with firm grammatical beliefs. Which I like in a teacher. God, I'm rambling, sorry. But thank you so much for these reviews - they are so lovely and they make me re-experience writing these early chapters. Thank you.
I love your Sirius. He's jokey and cocky and could pretty much be canon. And I can see how fond Regulus was of him and everything -- it makes me sad that he doesn't talk to him anymore :( It's also nice to see some lightheartedness, despite the clearly dark tone of the story as a whole. It's difficult to have the funny bits among the dark bits because a joke might seem out of place, but you pulled it off flawlessly, so well done :)
And ZOMG I love your Bella. (I've had so, so much trouble with her lately -- *sigh*) Anyway, I think the dynamics between the Black family are excellently portrayed, especially between Bella and Regulus, but also, now, Lucius. I so loled at the comment about his hair, hahahahaha. And I loved the bit about "to be honest" -- I never thought about it like that.
I'm off to eat some noodles (woooot) but I shall return, and soon, so expect more spamming from me later. :)
Thank you, again, for all these wonderful reviews! I'm glad you like my Sirius- in this story I try to write him from the eyes of a little brother i.e. with admiration but also (later) resentment and bottled up, unexpressed emotion. I think that if I wrote from Sirius's perspective he would be different- probably darker.
Haha, writing Bella comes easy for me. I don't know what that says about me as a person. But it's weird actually, because I do struggle to *get* sometimes. In canon, she's portrayed like such a monster that I find it hard to write/read her as anything else... I honestly think she is one of the few characters JKR failed to flesh out and give both good and bad traits.
Anyway, I'm glad you're enjoying the story, it makes it worth writing. And the so-called spamming makes my day, really, so if you want to leave more than I'd of course be very happy. But if you won't then I'm grateful for these four (!) you've already written. Thank you.
Carole, this just blew me away the first time I read it, and when I decided to reread it because it was so good, I was again almost heartbroken. Wow. Just wow. Your stories have always been excellent but I think The Golden Boy really brought out your amazingness. The fact that it only has four reviews does annoy me, though, because it's a truly wonderful and amazing and fabulous and moving and touching (and every other synonym you can think of) story and it deserves way more reviews than it has at the moment. I mean, two of the reviews are SPEW ones, which sort of compensates, but still!
You really deserved first place in the challenge. This was just wow in so many different ways and it's stories like these that I love the most because it was just so poignant and unique and lovely. I'm sorry I can't be more coherent than that but I really really loved it and I'd love to know what Oliver's reaction to Cedric's death was. Is that what Riptide is about?
~Soraya, who really should be revising~
Author's Response: Hi Soraya, thank you very much for the review. I'm rather fond of this story because I thought it was different from my usual style and it made me sad, too. Riptide, when I get the courage to write it, will be about Cedric and Oliver, but will be from Cedric's POV (mainly). It will pick up from where Drowning, not Waving, left off, so that's GOF onwards. ~Carole~
Hi, Meg :) I'm sorry for being such an absent SPEW buddy. Things have been so busy for me lately; I really haven't had much time on my hands.
You may or may not know that I normally am very snobby about poetry, and that I very rarely enjoy poetry that doesn’t rhyme in some way. Yet in your poem, the way you’ve structured it is ingenious, and I loved your minimalist approach to the words. The minimalism enhances the rawness of the feelings in the poem, and given that I have just written — essentially — James and Lily Potter’s deaths (in the epilogue of Checkmate), I understand how powerful the emotions there would be.
Your choice of words — “billows” and “blemishes” in particular stood out for me — were wonderful, and I really loved the lyricism in your poem. My only criticism, really, is that it could have been longer. I honestly felt like you described the emotions so well, and the whole premise of the poem is brilliant, but at the same time, there is something... unfinished about the poem. I think, perhaps, if you expand it a little, it will have more of a completed feel to it. Yet, maybe that’s the beauty of your poem: it was like you took a snapshot of Lily and James’s death and put it into a poem, which is why it stands by itself.
A lovely, lovely poem, SPEW buddy, and I really hope you write more.
Author's Response: Sorry about the lateness of my response. Real life has just been very busy over the past several months. I wrote a poem in the same style as this in eighth grade, which was honestly a statement to a teacher that loved long poetry. (For future reference, I don't like long poetry.) To respond to your criticism, I can't think of any way to expand it without breaking the flow of the poem. I felt like ending with James and Lily's deaths was a natural way to end the piece. When I wrote this poem, I had a picture in my mind, and in the poem I tried to describe that picture. I wasn't trying to tell a story, which may contribute to the unfinished feeling. I really appreciate your review, which was much longer than the poem, and I hope my response is half as coherent as your review. -Meg
The harsh realities of life separated them, but the even harsher realities of death brought them back together. But could an apology bring back the loss of innocence?
A companion piece to Hollow Soldiers.
This story has been nominated for a 2011 Quicksilver Quill Award: Best Dark/Angst Story.
Well, Jess, tell Xelina happy birthday from me, and that she has a very fascinating name :)
Despite its dark tone, I really liked this fic. I never really read stuff about Padma or Michael. I tend to stick with the Gryffindors and Slytherins for some reason, and I sort of forget about the Claws and the Puffs. Call me cruel, but there you go :) And that's my own house, as well! Perhaps it's because in the books, the Gryffindors and Slytherins are the main focus, really. The Gryffindors more so, I suppose, but the Puffs and Claws, while still being characterised, tend to be in the background -- with the exception of Luna, of course.
Shamefully, for this very reason, I can't actually remember when Lisa Turpin's name was even mentioned in Harry Potter. It can't have been a big thing, otherwise I'm sure I would've remembered her name. Still, this was a great premise to base a story on, although I would've liked to have known more about why Lisa was in a coma in the first place, and what caused her to relapse the way she did. I have a strange feeling that that's already on your author page, and I will trawl through it later, but if you haven't wrote one yet, Jess, I suggest you do so -- NOW.
The memory, while being surprisingly short, said so much more than its length. The interlude was timed perfectly and it really intensified the moment. I can imagine Padma's pain because you painted the picture so very clearly, so well done on that. It must've been awful to see your boyfriend with a prostitute, taking drugs. I mean, that's just...ugh. What I thought was most effective was that you didn't waste time on description or anything -- you just got straight to the point and I think, here, you proved to me that quality really is better than quantity, because the memory spoke volumes.
The transition back to the present was smoothly done, although I did wonder what happened to Padma and Michael when she had that breakdown. I feel you could've gone into more depth about that, as it seemed to be...missing, somehow. Even just a sentence would've sufficed, to be honest, just to tell us what happened in the gap.
Finally, I think you portrayed Padma's and Michael's self-hatred so very well in this fic, and I think that that was so effectively done that it deserves (unheard) applause from me. The fact that Padma's friend was as good as dead and was going to die any time soon and supposedly, the only thing Padma could think about was herself speaks volumes about her character. Similarly, with Michael, he clearly showed that he hated himself, but this time, I think it was justified. The thing with self hatred is, in my opinion, that while it's never healthy, sometimes -- just sometimes -- it shows your humility more than anything, and I think you've displayed that fabulously in this fic. So overall, Jess, ta for writing, and let me know if you've written or are planning to write any Lisa Turpin fics, since I'd love to know her side of the story.
If you haven't noticed, I have an affinity for very minor characters. Lisa is the most minor of all, since she was only mentioned in JKR's class list for Harry's year. She never made an appearance in the books. What I wanted, though, was to show how painful memories and past events could tear people apart, but it could also bring them back together. What happened to Lisa occurred during the battle, and that story will come eventually, but this was meant to focus on Padma's pain from all that had happened and how it had affected her broken relationship with Michael. Hopefully sooner rather than later, I'll get that prequel written.
I'm glad you picked up on the self-hatred both of them were harbouring. Michael hated himself for betraying Padma, and Padma blamed herself for whatever she had done to drive him to it. She simply didn't understand that things just don't work that way.
As for what happened right before the memory sequence... nothing, really. As soon as she was fit, they went straight for St Mungo's. I didn't remark upon it because there was nothing there to relay, honestly. She cried for a while, he held onto her, she stopped crying, and they left. I had originally had a bit like that in there, but it sounded too 'He did this. She did that. They did this.', so I cut it. Trust me... it sounds better the way it is, lol.
Drugs are a delicate subject to tackle in fan fiction, because they are often used as a plot device or, worse, glorified. I didn't want to make my story about the addiction, but rather about loss and maybe a bit about healing. And though there is a fair amount of hidden backstory, most of it is fairly easily gleaned, at least enough to understand the toll something like a comatose friend could affect a group of people who had been together for over half a decade.
Anyway, I'll stop rambling now. This was an excellent review, and I'm humbled that you chose my story to visit. Take care and happy SPEWing!
Hmm. This is interesting. I've never heard of Albus being paired with Rose, since they're cousins. But it's not uncommon for cousins to marry, even first cousins, so I think you did a good job with it. I do think it was a little on the short side and that you could've made it a bit longer, in order for a full plot to develop. I wonder how Harry, Ron and Hermione took to Rose and Albus going out? That's something to think about, if you ever plan on writing a sequel. This was intriguing and well written, so well done.
Author's Response: I've always pictured Albus and Rose together, because they were, in my mind, inseperable friends. I don't know if they'll get married, I don't usually think past my plot. I'm not quite sure....I still see them as kids, not really as married adults. Harry was releived that Albus chose Rose, and not some freaky Slytherin, Ron was happy that his daughter had someone as nice as Al, and Hermione was just happy he wasn't on the dim side. Ginny, however, thought it was hilarious and never got over it....=)
Hi Katrina! I know I promised you a ginormous review a while back, so I'm sorry it took so long. I blame it on RL — exams and revision and exams and revision and...you get my drift.
This story was a lovely way for me to have a break, so I'm glad I chose your story to read and review. Teddy/Victoire, while not being my OTP, has always had a special place in my heart, and I was very happy that you kept him paired with Victoire. What annoys me is when people ship Teddy with anyone except Victoire, because I honestly can’t think of anyone except her to be with him.
I think I’ll get the nitpicks out of the way first, and then I shall ladle on the praise.
I saw your friends there, and I went to wave to you, but there was no sign of your turquoise hair.
It took a couple of reads of that sentence and then the next one to figure out that you meant Teddy wasn’t there at all. At first, I thought Teddy was there, just not with turquoise hair. I think it’s better if you have the sentence like this:
I saw your friends there, and I went to wave to you, but you weren’t there.
Or something like that, anyway. Just...I got the wrong impression, that’s all.
“I wonder what it was like for him to be here, all alone, scratching himself to bits, trapped inside a monster.”
I paused at this. Surely Remus did more than scratching himself? I was under the impression that Remus bit himself, not just scratched. That sounds like a bit of an understatement, to be honest, so I would suggest changing it to something a bit...stronger.
Also, the way you sometimes used Victoire’s family’s names — like Harry and Fred. I kind of feel like she’d refer to them as Uncle Harry and Uncle Fred. But maybe that’s just me, because I come from an Asian family and we have to address our elders by their titles and not their names — as in, aunty, uncle, etc.
But they’re tiny, tiny things that don't even really need changing, because what overrides my nitpicks is the style and the thoughtfulness in this piece. Lately, I've actually been getting into second person, and since you’ve pulled off second person before, flawlessly, may I add, I wasn’t apprehensive when I saw it was written in that way. And I kind of think that it wasn’t exactly in second person since you used “I”, but I'm not an expert on this kind of thing. Whatever the style is called, you made brilliant use of it.
I really like how you began it, because it just made it sound more real, the way you used just the one word at the beginning. And the way Victoire addressed Teddy throughout the story was just in such a loving and caring way. It really was like they were meant to be. The way she listed the events, how she realised why Teddy was so special to her and why she loved him...it was beautiful, honestly.
In fact, this story has a poetic quality to it, an almost lyrical one, and it’s got nothing to do with being based on a song. It’s just the words you’ve chosen and the questions Victoire asks that make me just go “Aww” every time. And the way Victoire tries to assure Teddy that he's been through so much and that he doesn’t have to live up to Harry, and that he’s her hero...that was just so sweet.
If there was one thing I could change in DH, it’s Remus and Tonks’ deaths. It really made me cry, and it saddened me to know that Teddy would be brought up an orphan, just like Harry. In the same way, though, I can’t imagine what Teddy’s life would be like if he had his parents, any more than I can imagine Harry’s life with his parents. Victoire is definitely one wise girl, and you portrayed that beautifully.
I loved how Teddy’s hair became mousy when he was upset. That’s just so incredibly Tonks, and it was a lovely tribute to her, so I smiled when you put that in. I also really appreciated that Victoire didn't make a big hoo-ha when Teddy was crying. Boys/men cry — it’s a fact. It’s far from a miracle, I can tell you, so I was very, very glad when you had him as a normal boy, or as normal as you could get, given who his parents were.
Thank you very much, Katrina, for your lovely, lovely reviews, your much-needed criticism, the praise you give me that I never, ever deserve and most importantly, for writing stories like these, which touch my heart and make me remember why I bother writing/reading fanfiction.
P.S. I'm sorry if you got two notifications for this review. First time round the formatting was messed up, so that's why.
Author's Response: Soraya, this was such a lovely review!! It really made my day!! And sorry about the slightly late response... I have changed the first thing about Teddy's hair - I wasn't thinking about the fact that he could change it instantly when I wrote that sentence. As for Remus - I think you're right, I didn't really capture how terrible it was... I have tried to fix it, but I still don't think it's great. Somehow it works though, because it's in Teddy's dialogue and he really can't imagine what it was like for his father... if that makes any sense. But thanks for the comment. With the family names - this was something I actually thought about quite a lot. I'm not sure if you missed it, but in her direct speech, Victoire refers to "Uncle George". I didn't use it in the body of the text because even though I was using Victoire's voice, I wanted to focus on Teddy, and I don't think he would say uncle/aunty. Plus since I mentioned Harry quite a few times, it just sounded a bit clunky saying "Uncle Harry" repeatedly. But it was certainly a valid question. I have no idea what this style is called, I just like playing around with different perspectives and tenses. In this case, it really came from the song. But thanks for saying that I've pulled off second person before and that whatever the style I used in this is called worked for this story as well. I have to say, I was a little bit apprehensive about it. I wrote this story in about 1-2 hours, and even though it's one of my least read, it's almost the most reviewed of all my stories. I'm glad you liked the opening - not wanting to sound arrogant, but I do too. I think it contrasts well with the title, and it captures Teddy's emotion. I'm glad you found Victoire loving and caring and that her and Teddy fit so well together. Teddy's a character who I've always felt drawn to, and I just love the idea of him officially becoming a part of the Weasley clan, which presumably he has grown up as a part of. And I think Teddy would be one of those people who never realises how much he means to others. Mostly because his father was like that and Harry is like that, and I think in a slightly different way Tonks is too. This is also why I think he would think that he shouldn't complain or grieve, because he has it so much better than Harry did. That you say that it's beautiful and lyrical really means a lot. I agree, Remus and Tonks' deaths are tragic, but you're right, I can't imagine Teddy not being an orphan. I'm glad you thought Victoire wise - I think seeing someone you deeply care about try to bottle up their pain when they have every right to feel it would be quite heart-wrenching. And yes, I agree. Boys/men certainly cry, though perhaps not as often as some females. And I don't think Victoire would have any weird ideas about it not being manly to cry... after all, she just really cared about Teddy. I'm so glad that you enjoy my reviews, yours are certainly helpful and I love seeing your name appearing in my inbox. You've really given me very high praise in this story, and I can't think I deserve it. So thanks. Also, if you read Gina's reviews below, I am thinking of writing a companion to this story from Teddy's point of view. So look out for that. ~Katrina
Awwww. Carole, I was just trawling your author page because I was craving some Remus/Tonks, and I came across this :) The story is so sweet and the style is rather quirky which I found adorable. And it was just so well-written -- I liked how you intertwined old traditions with new. And I so giggled whenever I read "young wizard", lol.
Anyway, lovely story, Carole, and it's certainly satisfied my need for a Remus/Tonks story :) Well done!
Megan Jones had managed to successfully dodge all the normal pitfalls of adulthood: marriage, children, and the need to impress anyone. She didn't understand why everyone insisted that she was miserable, when she was, in fact, enjoying her current lifestyle.
Who would've thought one night could change everything?
Squee, Jess! Here I was, feeling very down and craving a good bit of fanfic, and I remembered you mentioned somewhere that you invented Megan/Charlie, so I thought I'd trawl through your author page and find the story :)
And once again, you have converted me! Megan Jones is a character I've never really considered, because I honestly can't remember when she was mentioned in the books. But you wrote her so well, and her characterisation was such an interesting interpretation of what she could have been like.
Also, I liked how you wrote the tension between them, especially considering the fact that they just met, lol. Anyway, lovely story, useless review from me, hehe. Well done :)
And here I thought my notifications were working again >.>
Glad you liked it. To me, the 30-somethings who are independent are a woefully underrepresented demographic in fanfic. And, of course, I couldn't let this go unremedied. Megan is that person people always talk about behind her back, speculating why she's alone and simply not accepting that she chooses to be. In a way, she's probably the closest I've come to self-insertion in fanfic, because I'm that way myself. I understand that drive to not compromise my wants and values for the sake of companionship.
Charlie and Megan's story will be continued soon (though hopefully before Lea's next birthday, hehe), in which we find out whether Megan really does go to Romania and why Charlie doesn't want to go home.
And this was so not a useless review. It made me smile and nod to myself that this was one of my favourite things I'd written this year. :D
Wow. Wow. Mere, this was so hauntingly beautiful in terms of its style. Never before have I read something that took my breath away so much simply by you wrote it. Your words were so carefully selected and in general, this piece was just gorgeous.
You wrote in third person present tense -- which I always thought was a rather difficult style, and yet you pulled it off and made it look effortless, so well done on that. The use of present tense made me feel more in the moment, and even though it was written in third person, I still felt a personal connection to Percy, especially as the story progressed. I really felt in touch with his emotions throughout, and the way you portrayed Percy's guilt, his self-hate, his regret -- you just nailed it, Mere. And I congratulate you on that.
Before I continue dishing out the praise, I'll get the nitpicks out of the way. You had a few typos, such as:
It if wasn’t for the look Mum had given him
I'm assuming you meant to write:
If it wasn't for the look Mum had given him
He sits there are stares at George.
I think you meant:
He sits there and stares at George.
The nineteen-year-old witch fixed her blue eyes on him piercingly.
You used the past tense here, and I think you were meant to use the present, as in:
The nineteen-year-old witch fixes her blue eyes on him piercingly.
"Firewhiskey" should always be capitalised, as far as I know.
Finally (as far as nitpicks are concerned) the use of "Mum" instead of "Molly" or "Mrs Weasley", given that this is written in third person, seemed a little odd, to me. But maybe you were trying to add to the personal feel of the story? I don't know.
Percy's characterisation, I think, was spot on. The fact that he couldn't bear to look at George because he looked exactly like Fred...oh, that was just awful. But you nailed it. (And of course, I meant awful in a good way, if that's possible.) What I really liked was that you didn't get all the Weasleys to just forgive him like that. They were all still uncomfortable with him. No surprises there. And then George's reaction to Percy was just so terrible. So terribly accurate. And he was portrayed brilliantly -- as a grieving twin, one who had lost his other half, in a way. I think you really hit the mark with George. His demeanour was so flat and grief-stricken, which is just so realistic, even if it is more than a little depressing.
Percy trying to drown his sorrows in drink is not unexpected. I'm really glad you confronted the not-so-nice aspects of life in this fic, because it held true to both canon and RL. I know you were saying in the controversial topics discussion in SPEW that if they have a place in RL, they should have a place in fanfiction too, and you displayed this brilliantly and sensitively here.
By the way, I don't normally comment on summaries, but yours was an amazing one. I find it so difficult to write summaries, and I have to say that your ones are so very intriguing -- and they most definitely live up to the actual story! One thing that I do have to mention is that you didn't have a strong profanity warning. Now, I have no problems with strong language, since I use it quite regularly in my fics (but not that much in RL) but still, I think it would've been good to have a warning.
I really liked Harry's comment about the gnomes, and the whole meeting in the Hog's Head about remembering the fallen was very well done. What I like the most about this fic, Mere, is that you've not made it cliched or anything. More often than not, I read Post-Hogwarts stories when straight after the battle, everyone acts like they're on happy pills or something. It's ridiculous and certainly not realistic, given how many casualties there were in the battle. So I really loved how you portrayed the grief of the survivors in this fic, because it was a far truer portrayal than a lot of Post-battle fics. You've managed to interweave your stunning prose with your great characterisation and your incredibly moving plot, making me sympathise with a character that I never liked very much until the end of DH when he appeared. And for that, I commend you highly and thank you for writing such a wonderful story.
Author's Response: AHHHHH thank you SO much for this wonderful review, Soraya! I think I'm still blushing from all your praise. I'm so glad that the present tense comes off as effortless because it really wasn't! The opening line came to me in present tense, but the through out the rest of it I had to constantly remind myself I was writing in present, not past. >.> Thank you for those nitpicks. I'm *facepalm*ing repeatedly for missing some of those. I'm glad you like my summary! I pride myself a little bit on my summaries, so it's always good to hear that someone likes them. :D As for the warning, though, this story is rated 6th-7th years and I think there's only one particularly strong word... Or maybe I just swear too much, haha. I'm glad that you pointed out the gnome part because it's one of my favourites, but it's also one of the parts that I was a little unsure of how it would be received. :D Thank you so much again for this fantastic review. It makes me so happy to know that this story came across as a realistic portrayal of the aftermath of the Battle. :) <3Mere
Oooh! I knew Sofia would be going to Hogwarts eventually. I really like Dumbledore's characterisation here, by the way. Almost always in fanfiction, even after DH came out, Dumbledore's portrayed as a really, really nice guy. But in your story, you've shown he has flaws and he's not as perfect as he might seem.
As usual, your description is lovely and I'm really, really enjoying this story so far. It's a shame there haven't been many reviews for this, but I think that this is a very underrated story. Well done and looking forward to the next chapter!
Author's Response: Thank you so much for your ridiculously kind words! Your reviews really motivated me and I've just completed chapter five, hopefully chapter four should be validated soon xx
Oooh, this was good! As usual, I'm sort of on the go while reading this, so it won't be long. I liked the way you began it with the dream and everything -- it was an interesting way to start a chapter. And the idea of Kindertransport sounds great!
Dumbledore has been characterised really well too and once again, your description is definitely your strong point, although I have to say, I think Mrs Brigham is more than a little annoying. Lovely chapter again!
Author's Response: Aha, you'll learn to love her! She's not all bad! She has a rather interesting daughter. I'm glad you liked the chapter; I really look forward to your reviews, they're always so nice :) Thank you so much for reading xxx Good luck with your exams!
I don't have much time but this was a great chapter! This was an authentic chapter and it was very well written. Well done!
Author's Response: Thank you so much! It's just lovely knowing you've kept coming back for more!
This was possibly the best chapter yet. A lot more went on, and I really think Sofia is very well fleshed out as an OC. I've come to like Mrs Brigham, although as a Muslim, I did sympathise with Sofia when she didn't want to eat the bacon sandwich, even though meat was difficult to get hold of as it was during the war.
I think that as we move on in the story, Sofia will prove to us that she can wheedle her way into anything -- she certainly managed to persuade Mrs Brigham in this chapter. I reckon it'll prove to be one of Sofia's talents. And I love how you haven't suddenly got them speaking perfect English -- it takes a while for you to learn no matter how young you are.
I have a feeling the Polish students will be facing a lot more grief from their fellow pupils, and I'm looking forward to the next chapter. Update soon, and well done!
Author's Response: Thank you very much, that's a lovely review. The bacon sandwich is actually pretty important as the fiction progresses, as strange as that may seem, and you are spot on with Sofia's talent! She's very good with persuasion and words. Thank you for your lovely review. :)