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, lol?), tea (not a surprise considering I’m a Brit) and good grammar. School eats me up most of the time, but the last year or so has been made far, far more bearable because of MNFF and all the wonderful, fabulous friends I’ve made here.
Some of those friends are, in no particular order: Alex, Jess, Carole, Gina, Natalie, Kara, Hannah!Bob, Lori, Pooja, Nadia, Julia, Minna, Maple, Emma, the Ebil One, Sophie, Ellie, Lily, Lovisa, Ariana, Jamie, Meg, Lisa, Sarah and Dinny. You guys are amazing and you all rock!
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. This is rather dark James/Lily, despite its many clichés, lol. 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, 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. This has a bit of smut in it, hehe.
My Love is Always Here (James/Lily)
This was a belated birthday present for the wonderful Gina/Gmariam, aka the queen of James/Lily. Motherhood is getting to Lily, and Harry is being a pain.
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. 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.
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, so it would not be wise to read it, lol. I was, however, thrilled with the reception it got, which is something :)
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 and is hence not worth your time, hehe.
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.
Flicker and Fail (Katie/Leanne)
This was written for Secret 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.
Blood and Roses (Scorpius/Rose, Scorpius/Dominique, Dominique/OC)
Written for the Great Hall Mysterious May challenge, 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.
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 in Poetry, Anyone? This was set to the track “Obliviate” in DH1 and is about Hermione modifying her parents’ memories.
Written for the Goodbye challenge in Poetry, Anyone? This was about saying goodbye, and how difficult it could be.
After All This Time
Written for the Deathly Hallows challenge in Poetry, 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 in Poetry, Anyone? This was written from the POV of Bill Weasley after his wife’s death.
Written for the Great Bannermakers’ Hall challenge. 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.
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.
And that’s it! Along with being a moderator, I’m also a member of SPEW and 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!
He returned with a quiet sadness and a surprising new responsibility to keep him focused. She returned with a misplaced bitterness and the matching position that forced them to work with one another. Yet fear, resentment, and stubborn arrogance kept pushing them apart, even when they were meant to be together.
Winner, Quicksilver Quill for Best Canon Romance. Thank you!!
:O Gina, Gina, Gina. This is so brilliant!
Of all the things I expected to happen in this, I did NOT expect that. OMP. That's just... just... perfect. The curse was a great way of having a sort of flashback, but it fit in seamlessly with the story without being confusing.
I just loved James here. He's so gallant and brave and so very Gryffindor in this chapter, and I love him for that. I just wanted to hug him after Sirius recounted how much he'd been through in the last few days.
I think the most brilliant thing about the curse is that it's unique and it's deadly; a perfect example of Dark Magic, and a sick one at that. Imagine, being locked in your own head! Just thinking about that gives me the shivers, so that curse was a clever invention on your part.
Lovely chapter, Gina, and I hope things improve with Lily and James in the next chapter :)
Ginaaaaaaaaaaaaa. I was so glad you lowered the rating -- I needed that J/L fix today!
I think this was an excellent chapter, as usual. Even though there wasn't any James/Lily action, I loved the interaction at the beginning between them. It was so realistic and the whole chapter had such a raw and real and emotion feel to it.
And Aberforth! Wow, I never would have guessed that he would intervene like that, but he had me laughing -- what he said to James was so different yet kind of similar to what he said to Harry. I loved your characterisation of Aberforth -- if I didn't know any better, I would have thought you were JKR in an American disguise!
I can't believe there are only two chapters left :( Update soon!
Gina!!! You are pure evil, I tell you. I knew something suspicious was going on, I just wasn't sure what. But typical Sirius for thinking up something like that!
Sorry this review isn't longer/more substantial but it's time for me to eat so I'll leave a more coherent review some other time. Update soon, pretty please?
Author's Response: Thanks Soraya! Heh heh I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm enjoying the reaction, lol. Thanks again for reading this story and all your lovely reviews! I really appreciate it. Hope you enjoy the rest, update will be soon! ~Gina :)
I snorted at the end notes LOL.
Gina, you are killing me here! I really want them to properly get together, but of course, you're far too evil to allow that to happen.
In all seriousness, though, this was a lovely chapter after the erm... unexpectedness of the last one LOL. It was well-written (as per usual) and I just loved my husband even more in this chapter. I could really feel the awkwardness and the tension between James and Lily and I thought you did really well with it :)
I can't wait for the next chapter!
ZOMG ZOMG ZOMG! Gina, what a wonderful end to a wonderful, wonderful story. I have enjoyed the ride, and I thought you ended it wonderfully.
I thought this chapter was just lovely, and a perfect end to the story, with a finality about it that I liked. And even though their ending, ultimately, was tragic, I loved that you maintained optimism for James and Lily til the end. And you still had that aura of mystery about the story as well -- just what was in that box? I don't think it was a ring, but I'm not sure what else it could have been. I shall pester you on AIM until you tell me, lol.
Once again, an excellent story, Gina, and one that I'm sure I will raed again at some point. Great job!
Hi Gina! I did say I would get started on this when I had a moment free, so here you are!
I loved this. You probably know about my love for James (hence Soraya Potter on AIM) and I LOVED what you did with him in this chapter. I felt so sorry for him! I honestly just wanted to hug him for what he had had to go through with his mum and everything. Your characterisation in this chapter was perfect, and I particularly liked the dialogue between the Marauders -- so hard to get right, and you do it flawlessly. *jealous*
I have a small Britpick:
He was acutely aware that the majority of the student body would be as surprised as Sirius had been to see the badge on his chest.
If I were you, I'd just say "majority of the students"; no need for the "body".
Truthfully, though, even if your story was packed with gottens and Christmas breaks and Moms, I would still thoroughly enjoy it. :D
Ginaaaa. This story is just amazing. I had actually sort of gone off James/Lily stories when they started getting a bit formulaic for my liking (as in the Marauders' seventh year) but this is definitely the most enjoyable one. I love all the chapters and I want to hug this story, it's so brilliant. I really just loved James and Lily's kiss in the rain... made me swoon, let me tell you.
I could pick out all the wonderful things in this story but unfortunately, that would take far too long since it's practically all of it :) Please please please update soon -- I need chapter 17!
Author's Response: Squeee! Soraya! Thank you so much for the amazing review! I know what you mean about J/L stories getting like that, so I'm glad this one doesn't come off that way (I'm trying but don't always feel like it's succeeding!) I tend to stay off the J/L reading so it doesn't slip into my writing, since they are my obsession for the last, oh, sixteen months, lol. I'm so glad you enjoyed the kiss, I couldn't wait to post that!! Thanks for reading this, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. And the next chapter will be up soon. Not sure what your personal preferences are, but do heed the warnings. ;) Thanks again!! ~Gina :)
Summary: When George thinks of her, he thinks of Fred.
So, he tries not to think at all.
Nominated for a 2011 Quicksilver Quill Award in Best Dark/Angsty, Best Canon Romance, and Best Post Hogwarts.
I really wasn't sure about what the pairing was when I read the summary, but I thought I'd give it a go, especially since you wrote it, Julia. This was just so, so, so, so amazing. I loved everything about it; it was beautifully poetic, with your signature lyricism (I have no idea if I've phrased that right) and the use of such gorgeous, wonderful descriptions, the realistic and, at times, heartbreaking dialogue, made this story a very, very enjoyable read. I shall add it to my favourites (for once, I actually remembered!) and I will definitely nominate this for the Post-Hogwarts QSQ. :D Please write more -- your stories are bloody amazing. And sorry for such a sqee-y review :S
Author's Response: Thanks so much, Soraya! I'm glad the summary didn't put you off too much xD I hate writing summaries and I usually get lazy and just type out something rather minimalist. Don't worry about leaving a squee-y review! I love them just as much as essay length SPEW reviews! And thanks so much for the favourite and nomination, as well :) -Julia.
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet
– William Shakespeare
But for Lily and James Potter, it wasn't that simple.
Annie, it seems like a lifetime ago that I beta’d this fic. But I’m glad I did, because it was a truly delightful read, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it a second time round.
The thing with James/Lily stories is that because it’s such a common pairing, there are lots of clichés that are created, so it was really nice to see something more original than the usual stuff. I loved the idea of a Shakespeare quote at the beginning — it’s one of my favourite sections of Romeo and Juliet. (That is where it’s from, right? Unless my English Literature is failing me... :S)
This is a dialogue-heavy story, and I think dialogue is definitely your strength in writing. In fact, it was so good that I only remembered the story was written in present tense at the end. You have a knack at creating perfect Marauder banter, as well as, most importantly, James/Lily banter, because that was what kept the characters in character the entire time. What’s more, the dialogue is realistic, and that made the story realistic along with the plot.
Speaking of which, the concept was just ingeniously simple and tied in with the title perfectly. I loved how you linked it back with the quote, and how the plot was uncomplicated and easy to understand and follow. I did pause at how it sort of jumped from Lily being not-very-pregnant to eight months pregnant. I just felt it was a big jump for me, and made the story sound just a little hollow in the middle.
I also think that one thing you could watch for next time is the use of words like “grin” to describe how somebody’s speaking. For example, ‘Hey, Lily,’ he grins, kissing me on the cheek. You can’t really “grin” a word. But anyway, that wasn’t a big deal, and it definitely didn't detract anything from the story, don’t worry. I just thought I’d point it out since I was your beta ;)
The humour included in this piece made me laugh out loud at times. James and Lily’s over-fussiness of names was really funny, yet so believable too; I know a lot of people who are even fussier with names. The reference to JKR’s short piece she did for charity was just hilarious, and I love how you included that. Sirius’ comments were very funny as well, and this use of humour in the form of dialogue, mainly, was good for the story’s flow. At no point did the story drag; there was always something interesting or funny around the corner.
I thought the connection between Neville and Harry was really interesting. The depiction of Alice pre-torture was rather heartbreaking, frankly; yet, the thing I liked most about this story is that you didn't portray the Longbottoms or the Potters as perfect couples as their sons probably think they were.
And then, the ending segment was simply beautiful. You had the description there, but it wasn’t over the top or melodramatic or anything, and I really appreciated that. Then, James ends their moment of bliss by demanding a name — so typical James! I loved how the whole name debate kind of became the story’s arc, and it was never overused or anything — and it’s always easy to go overboard with stuff like that.
In this story, Annie, you had the right mix of romance, angst and humour. In doing so, you also ensured every character’s characterisation was spot-on, seemingly flawlessly, as well as having a proper plot. The premise of this story was intriguing from start to finish and it was simply a lovely read.
P.S. You may or may not have noticed that I’ve also nominated this for the Best Humour QSQ. :D
Author's Response: Soraya, thank you so much! Yeah, the quote's from Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet (which, in all honesty, I didn't like very much, but the quote was good). You've commented on everything that I wanted to get across, seriously, thank you. You were, or course, the most amazing, fabulous beta in the world. A QSQ nominationation? Are you kidding me? omg, I can't stop smiling. Thanks so much! Annie x
The darkness looms the harshest before dawn, but light will always cross lines drawn in the sand.
This is the story of the battle of Hogwarts.
This poem has been nominated for a 2011 Quicksilver Quill: Best Poem.
This poem has also been nominated for a 2012 Quicksilver Quill: Best Poem.
Squeeeee!!!! Jess, this poem is just AMAZING. The words flowed beautifully and I just loved it. This is soooo getting a QSQ nomination :)
Oh, wow! Hehe, when I wrote this, it was solely with the intention of making it decent enough for Bella not to defriend me for giving her a crap birthday present. Thank you. :)
Summary: Pius Thicknesse is under the Imperius Curse. When it is lifted, he feels the course of his actions.
Hi there. I clicked on this not knowing what to expect, since I’ve never read your work before. I was glad I did, though, because I really liked what I read. I don’t normally comment on titles or summaries, but may I just say, your title really ties in with your story. And your summary was short and to the point, and that drew me in, especially because you didn't give anything away. Summaries and titles are so important, and I thought you nailed it here.
Having said that, I think you repeated the title in the story itself a bit too much. I understood what you were trying to get at here, but it was just a little overdone, and I think a few deletions of “smoke and mirrors” would do. The title arc was intriguing, and I loved the idea — I just think that when it comes to repeating your title in your story, less is more, really. This is especially significant considering how short it was, although its length was by no means a bad thing; I actually think that the story had a good length, and that meant it didn't drag and flowed nicely.
A few things regarding spells: in the books, the spells are always italicised, and Avada Kedavra was spelt incorrectly. These errors didn't detract anything from what I thought of the story — I was just slightly distracted by the mistakes to focus on it, so another read-through would iron these errors out. Or, alternatively, you could use a beta.
I will never leave Him.
I thought this line was intriguing; capitalising the “him”, which is only ever done to describe God (as far as I know) was a great way of emphasising just what Voldemort meant to him, as well as how much power he had over Pius. I really liked this — it was subtle, and far better than just stating this outright.
Present tense has always been something I love, but only when written well. Here, it added to the tension in the atmosphere of the story, and it made Pius’s predicament even more unfortunate, making me feel almost (almost!) sorry for him. Well done for managing that — I’ve never sympathised with Thicknesse before now, yet now I come to mention it, I suppose it was rather unfair of me to think that, given he was Imperiused. That was one of the things that drew me into your story; I've always been... curious, if you like, about Thicknesse, and the whole premise of this was so interesting and definitely unique. I’m yet to find a decent fanfic other than yours which explores Thicknesse’s character as well as yours has.
Since we don’t really see much of Thicknesse in DH — in terms of characterisation, at least — I thought you did a good job with him, considering he’s an OC, to all intents and purposes. I would have thought it impossible to write a story in the first person, whilst that very character is under the Imperius Curse, but I thought, again, you did extremely well. The narrative and the tone is just so, so... subservient, to Voldemort, which was fitting and appropriate given that he was under the Imperius Curse. I applaud you for being able to maintain that tone from start to finish; Pius’s voice is clear and sustained throughout.
I also thought Rufus’s characterisation was spot on. He, unlike Thicknesse, was more fleshed out in the books, but whenever we saw Scrimgeour, he seemed tough, or, at least, pretending to be. At no point did he seem weak, in canon. The fact that you drew on the parallels of their characters was very interesting, and Scrimgeour’s display of weakness was very in character and effective, so well done.
“It was Imperius, we know,” says Hermione Granger, the second of the Trio.
Something I wasn’t too sure about was the use of “the Trio”. I thought it was unnecessary and, to be frank, a little clichéd, and this really sort of stood out for me because up until that point, I thought the story wasn’t clichéd and was wholly original both in its premise and its plot. I would suggest taking this part away entirely, because I’m not really convinced that Hermione was “the second”, either, since that kind of undermined Ron in a way, assuming Harry was “the first of the Trio”. I don't think that was entirely accurate, and nowhere in canon were Harry, Ron and Hermione described as “the Trio”. I still hold to my opinion that this story is unique and un-clichéd; the lapse in cliché, really, is very minor and certainly didn't affect my overall thoughts of the story once I’d finished it.
Aside from my quibbles, I thought this story was superbly written; the dialogue was excellent, and you really fulfilled my curiosity in Pius Thicknesse. If I didn't know any better, this story could’ve been canon. An excellent read, with not quite as many reviews as it deserves, and I hope you continue to write more.
Author's Response: Hello Soraya. Thanks for giving me such a lovely long review. I am very aware that I spelled things wrong (I wrote this at 1 in the morning, submitted it and promptly forgot about it.) And as for the ‘smoke and mirrors’ thing, I did think that I used it a little too much while rereading, but see the 1 in the morning thing. And finally, the Trio quibble. Remember that Pius has been under Voldykins’ control for nearly a year and been thinking of H R and Hr as a unit rather than humans, hence ‘Trio.’ Other than that, I’m considering writing a sequel to this starring Stan Shunpike. It’s good to know all the best things about my story and thanks again for reviewing! ~Lily~
Summary: Remus Lupin is an outsider by the very nature of his condition. But whilst his friends dream in colour, his nights are monochrome. It doesn't disturb him much, it's just the way he is.
Then a late night conversation changes his mindset in a way that scares him and makes him wonder what he actually 'is'. He cannot feel that way - not about Sirius Black.
OMM&P This jointly won BEST SSP QSQ at the 2011 awards. Thank you. And yay for Ariana who wrote Two to Tango - the other winner.
I am not JK Rowling, in fact I'm not even sure I'm Equinox Chick at this moment ...
This story is for Gina (Gmariam) who is celebrating her 21st birthday. :) It is a measure of how much I adore her that I'm writing this pairing for her.
Thank you very much, Kara (Karaley Dargen) for beta'ing this story for me.
Thanks also for teh flist for sticking by me when I was haranguing them. I owe you.
Due to an MNFF glitch, I have lowered the rating on this to 3rd-5th so people can read it. However this is normally a Professors rating. You click at your own risk.
Hello, Carole :)
First of all, I’d like to congratulate you on winning that QSQ. This story was an amazing one and it thoroughly deserved that award.
I thought the poetic style of this piece was very unlike your other stories, and the descriptions really were beautifully written. While I have always enjoyed your stories, Carole, it’s nice to read something in a different style, because you pulled it off so well. The lyricism in it was so honest and real, and I think the same could be said about the entire story. The style also worked because the poetic-ness made it such an intense read, and it emphasised the emotions too.
I must say, though, that I was surprised when I saw what category this was in. I know you’re a Remus/Tonks shipper, and I think it’s a real achievement, being able to write a ship you don't even ship so well and making a pairing that has become clichéd original and wholly believable. And with your signature Marauder Era banter which meant tangible chemistry between the four boys — not just Sirius and Remus — you made the situations presented plausible in canon. I could really feel the Marauders’ friendship throughout the story, even though the main focus was Remus and Sirius. What was even better, though, was that at the end, you tied it back to canon. Remus ended up with Tonks, and this connection to a canon event made me realise how realistic the story was.
The premise of the story is an interesting one, one of dreams, and I think the concept of dreaming in monochrome and in colour is an unusual observation. I also thought that it linked in with how Remus might have had dreams to go a lot further in life, but due to his lycanthropy, he couldn’t, and then he settled for less. It was a really touching thing to mention, and I think the entire concept of Remus’s life being black and white and then in colour with Tonks, was just brilliant.
Can I just say, Carole, kudos to you for kicking the chocolate!Remus out of the window? Seriously, I’m so impressed with how you made this pairing and the clichés that come with it your own, in a sense. You did this in several ways — firstly, Remus’s characterisation was spot-on. He wasn’t exactly like he was in PoA; you had him act like a teenager, and a troubled one at that. Yet you didn't make it overly angsty — Remus’s problems were internal and he tried coping with them himself, by “settling” as Sirius pointed out. The only part that I paused at, however, was when Remus labels himself, and effectively, Sirius, as poofs. I just don't know if Remus would refer to himself in such a derogatory term, and while I understand where he’s coming from, I’m not entirely sure he would say that.
And speaking of Sirius... well, he is often your best written character. I definitely thought this was the case here. He had the right combination of bitterness and snark and humour. The section in the Shrieking Shack emphasised his cockiness, especially how Sirius led him on in such a way, and I think Sirius displayed his ruthlessness, or perhaps something else, by pushing Remus admit his feelings for him. That showed a different side to Sirius, and it brought out Remus’s feelings when he was at his most vulnerable. I also thought the irony of it all was just heartbreaking — Sirius kept telling Remus not to settle, and yet at the end of it, Sirius was settling for less by being with Remus instead of James.
That was the most unexpected, shocking plot twist, Carole. Of all things that could happen in the story, I didn't expect that to happen. But when I thought about it more and more, it made sense. And once again, you made a ship I wasn’t sure about believable, but in a much more subtle way. I thought the plot twist was really clever and gut-wrenching, and I felt so sorry for Remus as a result. Still, at least Tonks brought a bit of colour in his life, and I like that this ends on a canony note, if you know what I mean.
Carole, as you know, I read a lot of your work. I was stupefied by this, honestly, and I think this is one of your best pieces (tied with The Dance We Do and The Golden Boy). Well done :)
There's something Lily's been waiting to hear since Harry said his first word.
Written in anticipation for Deathly Hallows, part two.
Nominated for the 2011 Best Dark/Angsty QSQ. Thank you, Maple!
Lisa, I must say that I wasn’t sure what to expect with this story. I must say, the summary was an excellent one. Sometimes all you need is a one-liner to draw readers in, and you certainly managed that. Congratulations on both the QSQ nomination and the number of reviews you’ve already received for this - you really deserve it :) Initially, though, I thought it would perhaps be fluffy, or overly angsty, as many James/Lily, Marauder Era and Dark/Angsty stories tend to be, but it was neither. It was a beautifully written story that reduced me to tears.
I’m probably in the minority in that I enjoy second person. It’s so very personal, by addressing someone as “you”, and it makes me as a reader understand that character’s emotions so much more. And this was such an emotional piece that I could not possibly imagine it in any other POV. You really brought out Lily’s character in this story, without making it seem like a formulaic character study as such. I particularly liked the fact that you tied the story in with the title so well - you painted the picture of Lily as a mother figure but also, you never let us forget the war. For example, the part when James is calling Lily and she reaches for her wand - this is a really good instance of letting us remember the war in a subtle way, and this is better than shoving it in the reader’s face.
I think the whole premise of this story is such an ingenious one in its simplicity. A baby’s first word is always a really excitable thing, and I think you did an excellent job of portraying that in both James and Lily, especially in their competition against each other. I thought it was nice that Lily got one over on James too. I thought James’s characterisation was spot on, with his signature arrogance - something that is really easy to overdo but you did it perfectly :) And in doing so, you really showed James and Lily’s love for Harry as parents, which is the main theme of Harry Potter anyway.
There was just one point where I questioned your wording. It’s been more than a month since her death, but you still cringe at the thought of Marlene. I wasn’t sure about the use of the word “cringe”. It just sounded a little awkward. But that was the only thing that really stuck out for me; as a whole, the story was worded beautifully.
I think the scene with Harry in the room with James was the saddest, the most bittersweet. The fact that we saw this moment in canon but not what James and Lily were doing has always made me curious about what actually went on inside. I can definitely see this happening in the book, and I thought it was so heart-breaking that Harry only said the magic word when Lily and James were about to die. I loved the way the story was written - snapshots of James and Lily’s lives with Harry until they died.
The end scenes were painful to read. Not because it wasn’t written well (it definitely was!) but because I felt so bad for Harry having to be fed by Petunia instead of his own mum, just after he had learned to say the word. The use of short, sharp, almost choppy dialogue worked really well there. I can imagine Petunia acting like that and I think you had characterisation down perfectly for her. But even more painful for me was Lily’s reaction. I thought it was really interesting that you had Lily watching over him the whole time he was suffering at the hands of the Dursleys. You really conveyed Lily’s and Harry’s emotions so very well throughout but particularly at the end, especially the part with the Mirror of Erised.
Lisa, I really think this is your best story yet. It was emotional, touching, personal and so very unlike any other James/Lily story I’ve ever read. I can’t wait to read what you write next. Excellent job.
Summary: The story of Susan Bones and Theodore Nott must come to an end, but she has one last tale to tell before accepting that some things are simply too broken to be fixed.
Hi Hannah :)
I must say, I was surprised that this only had one review (though that review is a lovely one and I definitely agree with everything Katrina said). It certainly deserves more, and I hope that in time, you receive the recognition you deserve, because this was a lovely and moving one-shot.
Scheherazade is a story that has always intrigued and, I will admit, frightened me. I thought you put a wonderful spin on it, making it original and yours, and I especially liked the characters you chose to be Scheherazade and the king — Theo and Susan. I could not have picked better characters myself. The thing with Theo is that he is one of the quieter Slytherins, which means you can go two ways: either he is more evil than he lets on, or less. I think it really worked using Theo as the king, and your characterisation of him was an interesting interpretation that is a believable one.
I really liked the use of present tense in this piece. It added to the sense of urgency, how they don't want it to be dawn, and given Susan narrates the tale in past tense, it really worked. Stylistically, this story is faultless, and I loved the lyrical description too. It fit the prompt of “darkness” nicely, and I thought the juxtaposition with dark and light was really interesting, particularly with the actual darkness of the sky, and the metaphor of the darkness within Theo. I also thought the imagery added to the chemistry between Susan and Theo, and this was particularly important because with rarepairs, the chemistry is essential. Needless to say, this pairing, and this story, could have been canon for me.
I thought the way Susan told the story of their relationship was a brilliant way of illustrating their backstories, but without making it an infodump. It was really touching, actually, that Susan was the little girl who liked broken things, and I think this is how you made Scheherazade your own, by adding details such as this. It was really effective in making me feel quite sorry for Susan, especially when she told Theo how she fell in love with a broken man — him. And given how short the piece is, I'm really impressed with how not once was I left confused or overloaded with information, but at the same time, you really nailed the characters and the emotions in the story.
At the same time, I loved how you maintained the sensuality as well, which helped in making the pairing believable and added to the couple’s chemistry. It was subtle; in fact, the subtlety of the whole story was one of the most impressive things about it.
Finally, the ending was a fitting one, because while it was different from the ending of Scheherazade, it was emotional. I could really feel for Theo, which I think is a big accomplishment on your part given how broken a man he is. Also, in a way, the story ended on a similar note to the original tale: Theo spared Susan’s life, so the resolution was the same, and it was a moving one, at that.
This was an excellent story, Hannah, and it really is an injustice that it doesn’t have as many reviews as it deserves.
Summary: For me, the start of my grand love affair with the Potterverse didn't begin with Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. No, it started with Prisoner of Azkaban because of the Marauders. This poem is about them and my attempt at a goodbye to four people who inspired me. (Well, Peter - not so much)
Thank you, Julia, for the challenge and for teaching me about villanelles.
Disclaimer: I am not JKR, or Julia, or anyone with talent.
I've commented on this already on Poetry Anyone, but I wanted to squee about it again :) This is an amazing poem, just gorgeous. I honestly felt rather teary rereading it, Carole, and I can see how hard it was to say goodbye to the Marauders.
And I loved that you had one stanza for each Marauder... and that last stanza -- *sniff*
Well done :)
Author's Response: Thanks Soraya. I enjoyed writing this even though I struggled with it so really appreciate the review. ~Carole~
Summary: I cannot see their bodies, buried beneath the ruins of their life together, but I know they are there. I can imagine their green and hazel eyes, staring into the dark emptiness. It is all I can do to stay upright, filled with equal parts rage and grief as I gaze unseeing at the heartbreaking scene.
How did it come to this?
Gina — that was amazing!
Honestly, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this piece, considering its length. I didn't think it would be possible to create such a moving story (and nearly reduce me to tears in the process) within 883 words! But I clicked on this for several reasons: firstly, because I know you are a wonderful author. Also because the summary intrigued me; I always think it’s a good idea to have an extract of the bigger picture in your summary, and I adored your title too. I thought that how the title fitted in with the story (and vice versa) was ingenious on your part. Well done there.
Perhaps it’s because I read a lot of your James/Lily fics (I promise I will get started on Raindrops soon!) but I am really glad I chose to read this. I know this is in the Marauder Era cat, but the mood in this piece was very dark, whereas your James/Lilys are more focused on the romance aspect of it, and the use of the present tense made the atmosphere very urgent. I really liked your use of first person, too; you pulled off Sirius’s voice flawlessly here.
There is a real frankness in your writing style here, Gina. Nothing is overdone; it’s so easy to slip into melodrama when writing a fic that is angsty, but you sidestepped well away from that. There is rawness in your writing that I really loved — the absence of dialogue really worked here. I didn't even notice it at first, actually. It was as if I was in Sirius’s head, and the lack of dialogue was because of how Sirius wasn’t really paying attention to what was going on around him, only about James and Lily’s deaths.
Which brings me to the plot. The story of James and Lily’s deaths is an oft-explored event, and almost always, it is written from James and Lily’s point of view. I really liked your fresh take on that, and that you picked the aftermath rather than the actual thing. It is almost as if this is a prequel to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and if I didn't know that this was fanfiction, I would have been thoroughly convinced that this was canon. I loved the part when Sirius kissed Harry’s forehead, too; so very Sirius, and very sweet. Enough to make a girl swoon, I tell you.
I love your poetic use of language in this piece, as well; and from Sirius’s point of view, no less. The description was artistically and tastefully executed, and was simply beautiful. I wasn’t entirely sure about the over formalness of Sirius’s words, at times. I know that it was written from his point of view, so it technically counts as narrative, but occasionally, the absence of an apostrophe. One example of this is the use of the word “cannot”. However, I don't think it sounds right or appropriate to use “can’t”, yet “cannot” sounds very formal and a little un-Sirius. I’m assuming that this was your intention, since the mood of the fic is sombre. So in that respect, I suppose it is fitting to use formal words. Never mind, I just answered my own question :)
As such a short piece, I thought it flowed very well. It was neither fast-paced nor did it drag, and you covered the events seamlessly. You put a lot in those few words, and I think that gave the piece a wonderful quality. The ending was particularly powerful, and overall, Gina, I think this fic’s greatest strength is that you answered a lot of questions in canon. You added to certain aspects of canon, too, and made them more believable.
So all in all, Gina, an absolutely magnificent fic, and definitely going on my favourites list. Well done.
Author's Response: Wow, thank you so much for the amazing review! Squeeeeee! I'm so glad you read it. I'm so glad you liked it. I'm so speechless at your lovely comments I don't even know what to say. I wrote this for a TTB drabble challenge, which is why it's so short. When I decided to submit it, I really wanted to expand it, but there just wasn't anything else to say. It says what it needs to say. I think a lot of what you commented on flowed first from the very strong visual I had of this happening, and then second from the decision to write it first person present tense - which wasn't really a decision, it just happened naturally. So I'm glad it all worked, lol. And since I have been known to whine about getting Sirius right, I'm glad *he* worked, although those darn contractions and the formality/informality they lend a piece are always tricky! Really, I think I just lucked out on this one, lol. Having said that, I am suddenly curious to see if I could try for another...hm...like I need more plot bunnies...:D Thanks again Soraya!! ~Gina :)
Summary: Snape reflects on losing his one true love.
Hello! Carole/Equinox Chick just recommended this poem to me, and I have to say, I loved it :) I'm a huge fan of Adele and rhyming poems, so I really enjoyed reading this. I loved the structure of it as well, and I think my favourite line was Slowly but surely their love grew.
You did very well in conveying the feel of Someone Like You. Well done :)
Summary: Scorpius Malfoy is the Seeker for Slytherin. Not only that, he's the best Seeker at Hogwarts, and it's his catches that win matches. But this year things are different; Albus Potter has switched to Chaser and the new Gryffindor Seeker is his annoying little sister.
This is the story of how one match and one missed catch can change your life.
This story was accidentally deleted, so is being resubmitted ... very very quickly.
SQUEEEEE! High won the Best Next Generation QSQ award. Thank you so much for the everyone who has helped, either by beta'ing or encouraging me.
Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling. I'm not sure who I am at the moment, but there must be some Arthur Weasley blood in me.
Thank you Natalie (hestiajones) for doing the vast majority of the beta work on this, and Apurva for work on the early chapters
Squish for Natalie, Jess, Kara and Bob for helping me sort this out.
Due to an archive hissy fit regarding any story with a rating about 3rd-5th, I have temporarily lowered the rating on this story. However, I have NOT changed the content. This story is still a 6th-7th. You click at your own risk.
Ooooh, things are getting exciting. I hope her baby's okay, and I'm glad I don't have to wait for updates, LOL.
Your dialogue is delightful and real and I particularly liked the last sentence.
I've got to read on so this will be a very short review. Oh, you mentioned Apparently Asleep in your last response -- when are you getting back to that? *wags finger*
Author's Response: EEEP! Apparently Asleep. Um, I need to finish this, write two shortish things, and get cracking on Lions and Dean Thomas. Then ... back to AA. Sorry. Of course the baby is okay, I had to give Lavender and Blaise some joy. Thank you. ~Carole~
Carole! That was a brilliant chapter (but hey, what's new?). I'm glad Lavender and Blaise got the happiness they deserved. I'm really happy for them :)
And I can finally understand why Ginny had such a problem with Scorpius. Tbh, I forgot about that connection they had, and I can definitely sympathise with Scorpius for wanting to deny it. I would want to deny it too -- no matter what Lucius was, he's still family for Scorpius so I totally see where he was coming from.
And I *knew* there was more to that letter! Haha.
Anyway, excellent chapter, Madam, and I shall see you on the next one! I'm hoping to finish all of High by this weekend. We'll see how things go...
Author's Response: Yay! Everyone thought Ginny was acting unfairly, and she was a bit, but there was a reason nand she realised she was being unfair. This was the reason I wanted to write Scily. I think the history betweenGinny and Lucius is far more interesting than Ron and Draco. That can get boorish and comical - this, imo, has more edge. Thanks again ~Carole~
That was a really emotional chapter, Carole. I love that you have the angst and the seriousness and the fun of their relationship and yet there's a really good balance, never too much of one thing. This, I think, is what makes a good story.
I did think they were going to guess eventually -- though, now I come to mention it, I knew the charm would wear off eventually or someone would recognise Lily's freckles, for example.
But then Lucius died! I'm not sure what to think. Part of me thinks good riddance because he was never the best of people, but another part of me feels sorry for him for having to go through that -- plus, I feel really sorry for Scorpius having to go through all of that. Especially the fact that Scorpius was actually there when Lucius died, only for him to be kicked out... so sad :(
Onto the next chapter!