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!
Helloooo, Gina :)
You know I've had a soft spot for this pairing -- ever since I read that amazing on on LJ. So I've really been looking forward to reading this ever since you claimed the pairing and were discussing it on the LS, and you definitely didn't disappoint! (But then, you never do, and I haven't read a single thing by you that wasn't fab so that's just a given :D)
I think the best thing about this story was the amount of emotion packed into what is actually a relatively short one-shot. And you did that through using some well-chosen words in both dialogue and description (the description at the beginning was particularly beautiful). The humour in it was quirky and well-placed -- my favourite one is definitely this line:
"It's the name," Remus replies blandly. "My inner wolf thinks it's good for glossy fur."
It's nice to see some humour injected into the piece -- it really brought out the overall bittersweet tone of the story. I also liked that you stayed away from including the... erm... details of their relationship, if you will. (Not that I don't like smut, lol.) I think it's actually more impressive that you managed to show how James and Remus's relationship changed without really going into a lot of detail about it.
Excellent story, Gina, and good luck in the challenge!
Author's Response: A very belated thank you for this review, Soraya! I'm so glad you enjoyed this story. I may have to revisit this pairing someday. That story on LJ was just so good I don't think I could ever do it justice, but it's fun to explore. Thanks again!! ~Gina :)
Hi Lori :)
I’ve been meaning to read this for a while, so I’m glad to have finally done so, because I really am enjoying this story so far. I think you’ve got an intriguing take on Ernie in terms of his characterisation and backstory, and this is only the first chapter, so I’d love to see where this goes from here.
Ernie’s characterisation was one of the biggest strengths here. I really liked how you introduced him, with his attachment to his owl. I remember reading Deathly Hallows and feeling just as sad as Harry was when Hedwig died, so it was interesting to see something similar go on with Ernie. And I love how Ernie thinks, Women, when he thinks of Belle -- I think that shows a lot about how considerate he is as a character, to the extent that he doesn’t just think of his pet as a pet, but also a “woman”, which I think is rather sweet. As well as this, Ernie feeling as lonely and broken as he is was beautifully and realistically written, especially as he even admitted it himself.
And I also love Hannah here. Even in the letter, you established her voice so well -- as someone who is firm and who isn’t afraid to say her mind, but also an honest person, especially when she says Besides, I miss you. Again, I thought it was really sweet, and I think it said a lot about their friendship, and how concerned Hannah was for him. And I think it’s interesting that you mention how their positions were reversed in their sixth year, and that they were best friends, because it gives them a connection I didn't really think of before. I also am interested to know exactly why Ernie’s father passed away; I hope this is mentioned in the next chapter.
I think you brought out both of their characters when they started arguing. While I understand why Hannah would try to set Ernie up, it wasn’t that fair for Ernie not to know that he was being set up, so I think his annoyance was justified. I also liked the inclusion of Neville here, and I’m wondering exactly when this was set (Hermione and Ron are married at this point, so I was thinking it’s probably a few years after the Battle). Either way, though, I am glad Ernie and Hannah made up, at least :) Along with all of this, I’m also eager to know who “the girl he’d lost three weeks later” was. I really do hope you update soon, because I very much would like to know what happens next.
Lastly, the scene at the end of the story was lovely and awkward. I loved how the girl (and who is she? I hope it’s Lisa Turpin...) and Ernie, although both embarrassed, were able to somehow have a conversation, even if it was a small one. I thought Ernie’s blushing and social awkwardness was just adorable, and I really do sympathise with him for being set up like that, though it seems he’s attracted to the girl, so I’d like to see who she is. There’s a certain wonderful mysteriousness about the story, which I think is just excellent, Lori, and there are so many things I want to find out in the next chapter.
So, all in all, this was an excellent first chapter. I can’t wait for the next.
Oh, and happy belated birthday :)
Author's Response: Oh my, Soraya, I really did think I'd responded to this! So glad for Carole's comments today about responding to reviews--it made me check my stats and here you've been all this time with no response to such a wonderful review. Thanks!
Ginaaaaaaaaaa, this was lovely :) Charlie is a gorgeous character, and I think you did a great job characterising him in this.
I think it's interesting that JKR said how Charlie didn't marry (or something like that) and I think you built on that really well. And I was a bit miffed at Daphne for bailing on him like that. That was a bit... meh. (To her, not you :))
Anyway, I'm not really very coherent atm, so I'll go away now, lol. Well done!
Author's Response: A very belated thank you, Soraya! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Charlie was was great character to write so I'm glad he turned out all right. I have more plans for him. And yes, Daphne was a bit of a you-know-what there at the end. I toyed with that but had to go with it since I have other plans, heh heh. Thanks again for the lovely review! ~Gina :)
LOLOL. The Amir bits were just too funnnnnny, and Sybill is sooooo delusional, hehehehehe.
Honestly, this made me laugh so much. I really like how you characterised Sybill and Gilderoy, too -- Gilderoy in particular is so cocky and sure of himself and I think it was just really amusing that just because he had a bump on his finger (I get it too >.
Author's Response: I used to get that bump too, but I don't use a pen and paper much these days - hahahahah. Thank you for the review. I had a lot of fun writing this - especially the Amir bits - heheheheheheh. ~Carole~
Helloooo, Carole. (Or is it Croll, or Con? :P) Just popping in before I get back to the electromagnetic spectrum and red shift >.>
This is just fab. I think you got into Demelza's head really well in this chapter, and seeing her perspective on what has happened so far was important especially after the conversation she had with Andrew. I knew there was more to it than that, and I just hope Tracey can see it that way.
If there was one nitpick of mine, it would be that the time shift at the beginning threw me slightly. I think it's because, despite going back in time, you still had it in present tense, and that's why I was slightly confused to begin with. But that's really minor, and as soon as I realised that Demelza was recounting what happened before, it made sense and I got lost in the story again. So it's all good :)
I can't wait for the final chapter :D
Author's Response: Hiiiiii, yes, the time shift was an issue with both me and Kara. The thing was, that I really wanted to start the chapter with that line, and I also needed to show Demelza's story. I thought about adding a date, but that seemed a bit out of place in the story as a whole (I might consider it again, though). In the end, I decided a small amount of confusion was okay as long as you got it by the end of that section.
Thank youuuu for the review. Now, get back to electromagnetic spectrum and red shift. :p ~Croll~
Carole! I must say, the GH challenge has meant some excellent stories have been written -- including yours, naturally :) I think you mentioned on the LS that you were slightly concerned about the style and so on, and I honestly do not know why you were so worried because it flowed so well and so smoothly.
I also LOVED Forbidden Colours, and I think you captured the mood of the song really well :) I loved the chemistry between Demelza and Tracey, and the subtle hints of Tracey's attraction to Demelza. And Pansy was characterised wonderfully too, as annoying as she was in canon.
Lovely start, Carole, and I'd like to know where this goes :D
Author's Response: Thank youuuu. I agree about the GHchallenge. Perhaps the fact that it's so open has led to some great stories both canon and non-canon. It's certainly a lot of fun exploring characters we know very little about.
Ah, I was googling Fobidden colours last night and couldn;t resist using it, and the lyrics as chapter titles. *sigh* Thanks again ~Carole~
Ooooh, Natalie, this was lovely :) I haven't heard the song, but I Googled the lyrics and I can definitely see how you've integrated them here, and where the inspiration comes from.
I think you captured Alicia's voice really well, and it helped in making a rarepair believable, imo. And I loved how you repeated "Susan" with a different description of her each time -- that worked really well.
So yeah, nice. :)
Author's Response: YAY! Thank you! :) <3333
Pooja, this was a really interesting story! It's a real shame it doesn't have any reviews, because I think it certainly deserves them.
I think this was a really good premise -- that Padma is pressured by her family to marry, and that she eventually falls in love with one of her suitors. So, it's not exactly an arranged marriage, since they spent a lot of time together before they married, but it's also not entirely a love marriage. That was quite unique, imo, and I think the subject of arranged marriage was dealt with really well. So many people, although more with OF than fanfic (though it still happens in both), tend to mishandle arranged marriage, and make it out to be completely wrong and for there to be no chance of success that way. I liked how you put your own original twist to that, because it worked really well.
I thought the way you built up on their relationship and then when Padma wanted to introduce Parvati to Vineet was really shocking. I was, initially, a little confused, especially because I'm sure Vineet would have remembered seeing Parvati. But then it all made sense, especially when Mrs Patil explained it to Vineet. And looking back on it, I can't believe I missed how Parvati was only spoken to by Padma! That was really clever of you, Pooja. You definitely had me fooled!
I don't always like happy endings, but I will say that I was pleased that Padma got the right ending here. Having suffered too much, I don't think it would have been right for her to have a sad ending (that would so break my heart). Soooo, all in all, Pooja, great story, and here's to hoping you get more reviews for this
Author's Response: Sorry about the epic lateness, Soraya! This review had me squealing in low! Thank you so very much. Actually arranged marriages are not uncommon in India and this plot bunny had been hopping about the corners of my mind for a while before I got the perfect opportunity to write it. ;-)
Hello, Helena :) I really think it's so unjust when well-written, original stories are ignored on the Most Recent list. So here's a semi-coherent review (partly because it's 12.30am and I'm kind of sleepy...) and sorry if there are any typos.
The story of Helena and the Bloody Baron has always intrigued me, so this was a really interesting read, and an excellent attempt to fill in a DH missing moment. I loved your characterisation of both Charles and Helena, and how you created that chemistry right from the very beginning.
I especially liked how you kind of redeemed the Bloody Baron for me. As in, he's painted in a rather bad light in the books, and you made me feel really sorry for him and kind of understand his actions. That in itself is an achievement -- well done there.
Something I think I'll have to pull you up on is that, occasionally, the paragraphs looked rather long, and it did wreak my head a little looking at quite large chunks of writing on the page, so I suggest you cut some of them down. It's more for aesthetic reasons than anything, tbh.
When I wrote my Founders story (in case you're interested, it's a Helga/Rowena called The Caustic Ticking of the Clock /shameless self-promotion), I had a lot of timeline errors that both my beta and my mod had to point out to me. You didn't have any that I could see; well done on that too.
I loved the ending. I think it summed up Charles's feelings perfectly, and it was decidedly rather bloody. (On that note, perhaps bump up the rating to 6th-7th years? It was pretty intense, but it is your choice, I know.) Soooo, excellent story, Helena (what a coincidence, lol) and good luck in the challenge!
Author's Response: Thanks Soraya! I did always find Helena Ravenclaw very interesting (ok, partly because of the name!) and this challenge was the perfect opportunity for me to explore her story. I also really like looking at things from different perspectives, and the Bloody Baron almost wrote himself for me, which was pretty fascinating! Thanks for the heads up about the paragraphs - duly noted! And also for the rating. I think I got so caught up in the writing, and because I always knew it would end that way, it didn't seem as bad for me, but it's good to know your reaction! But thanks for the great review, it was really appreciated!! (Think I'll go and read your Helga/Rowena now..)
Hey, I've finally got on to this :) NGL, this is one pairing that I've never particularly cared for, until Jess's Up In The Air changed my mind. So I was definitely interested in seeing what story you'd give Katie and Harry here.
And, ooooh, I like that Katie is a curse-breaker type person. Suits her, especially after everything that happened with the necklace :) I also think that whoever's behind this drugging is horrible, and it's a good thing Dean's sis was saved, obviously.
You've got an interesting premise to the story, Carole, and I'd like to see where this goes :)
Author's Response: Thank you. i hope you like the rest of it. Katie has been a Curse-breaker in another story of mine so that seems to be my canon for her now, largely down to the necklace.
Mmm, Jess got me into thinking about this pairing, too - hah hah hah ~Carole~
*sniggers* Roger and Alicia's, er, antics are rather funny, hehehe.
I like how natural they are together. Harry was rather sweet, kissing her like that, and you've created lovely chemistry between them which was definitely necessary in order to make this pairing believable.
Ooooh, and I liked how you wrote Mundungus. Though I am wondering who his granddaugher is...
Anyway, on to the next chapter!
Author's Response: Haven't thought of his granddaughter yet, I just didn;t want him coming over as pervy when he talked to katie - hee hee. Glad the chemistry works. It was hard splitting him from Ginny and also giving Harry some spice because he's so dull *sigh* Thank youuuuu ~Carole~
Ooooh, that was a nice end to the story :)
“If you shout ‘Score’, then it’s over.”
lolol. That was just far too funny :P
I liked that you tied together the loose ends, despite the word count limit, and I definitely was cheering Katie on when she gave Dave a good ol' knee in the goolies, hehe.
I think you've made this pairing really original, and the only thing I was wondering about, and this isn't crit or anything and I certainly don't think it should be in the story, is that I'd like to know how Harry and Ginny got back together. Because you haven't given it an EWE warning, so how did Harry and Katie break up?
Great story, Carole :)
Author's Response: UHHHHM, not sure yet. I might add an EWE - hahahahahahahahahhahhahaha - especially as Ginny's now engaged to Dean - ooops! Here's something evil to share with you, I named Dave after an ex of mine - hahahahaha- he wasn't that horrible mind you, but I liked getting my revenge. Thanks again ~Carole~
Oooooh, Natalie, this was fab :) I've been meaning to read your Flabini for a while (though I think Zleur sounds better :P) and I definitely think it's one of the challenge's strongest entries. You got into Mrs Zabini's head so, so well, and the use of first person really helped in establishing her voice.
Well done, Natalieeeeee. I never thought I would be convinced of this pairing, so yay to that.
Author's Response: A REVIEW FOR FLABINI! Of course, that made my day. :) Glad you liked it!
You know, I was very pleased to see that you’d written a Bill/Fleur fic. Having read Acorns (which was a lovely story; I believe it was one of the first stories I’d read on the site, actually), I’ve always wanted to read more of this pairing by you, because you write it so well. And I think, in this story, you took it to a whole new level, so it’s a shame it hasn’t got as many reviews as some of your other works, because this is definitely another story of yours that is going on my favourites list.
Okay, I will admit that I was only convinced of Bill/Fleur when I reached the end of HBP, so I loved your take on the pairing before their big moment, or, rather, Fleur’s big moment regarding looks, and how she doesn’t care about them. I’ve always wondered exactly how Bill and Fleur met and got together, and I do think part of it was to do with looks. Bill and Fleur were both good-looking people, and I think your description of them was excellent. My favourite line was definitely this one: His eyes are blue, like hers, except not at all the same. Hers, she’s been told, sparkle like ice diamonds, arctic blue. His are darker, warm - if that is possible for a cold colour. They brim with laughter and tease with promise.
The contrast between them even there, so early on in the story, is wonderful, and it shows, perhaps, how well they complement each other. It also makes the whole concept of love at first sight believable. On that subject, I thought the premise of the story was a really interesting one, especially considering your opinions about love at first sight. I’ve never been one to be convinced at that, so it was a great idea to explore, and I think you did it well. I liked the use of the expression “coup de foudre” (and I’m glad you provided the translation, because even though I’m learning French, I wouldn’t have understood it at first) especially considering everyone’s reactions to Fleur in canon, how they were starstruck by her.
I also thought that their attraction to each other was made more plausible because their relationship didn't start particularly smoothly. The awkwardness in the restaurant was written very well, and I couldn’t help but feel very sorry for Bill for having chosen a bad place to eat, and Fleur, too. But I also liked how that situation was turned around and how it became a good thing in the end, for them, especially when they kissed. That was very sweet, not to mention romantic :)
I thought the style in which this was written, from beginning to end, was very good. One thing I loved was the use of the short sentences at the start to describe how they first met, with the repetition of “that look”. It worked really well, and it firmly established the foundations of their relationship. Also, I know you’re not always keen on present tense, but it was the perfect choice here. It kept me in the moment with both Bill and Fleur, and it helped maintain the story’s pace -- you covered a lot of ground here, I think, in not that many words, and yet not once was I confused, and not once did it drag or seem too fast either.
The characterisation of Fleur was simply excellent. Fleur, sadly, is one of the most abused characters in the fandom, and possibly in canon too. She’s seen as a girl who is merely pretty, and I liked that you changed that around completely here. Yes, she’s still beautiful, but you added a lot more substance to her character. For example, when Bill flicks the steak at her, she laughs, whereas I would have expected her to be annoyed and possibly just leave there and then. I think a moment like that threw me off a little, but in a good way -- it kind of reminded me that Fleur is human, which she obviously is, despite her looks :) Oh, and I also thought you wrote her accent very well. You did a great job on that without overdoing it, and I think that’s one of the most difficult things about writing Fleur sometimes. As well as that, I think Fleur’s refusal to use her Veela charm on Bill was interesting, and it showed, again, that she was a normal person, and a genuine one at that, because she wanted her relationship with Bill to actually last.
I really liked Bill’s characterisation too -- what I think is the best about him is that he’s not bothered about being particularly romantic, what with the fish and chips, and his impromptu proposal. But I think it works, too, because romantic gestures can go horribly over the top, and you kept it from getting to that stage, in my opinion. And the ending, when Bill says that he doesn’t love Fleur and doesn’t want to marry her, is heartbreaking. In HBP, when I read that scene, Bill was unconscious, so I always did want to know what his reaction to his attack would be. And, once again, his characterisation was spot-on; he seems like the noble sort of person who would try and protect Fleur by trying to reject her (like Remus). But, unlike Remus, I’m glad that Bill didn't go through with that and married Fleur anyway, because -- especially after reading this story -- Bill and Fleur make a beautiful couple.
So, as you can tell, I really enjoyed reading this. I think you did a wonderful job with this story, and it’s definitely a strong contender for at least one award (maybe Best Canon Couple?), so good luck in the challenge.
Bon anniversaire, mon amie!
Alexxxxxx. I think you know how much I hearted the original, but I love the expanded one even more :D
It was gorgeous and romantic and still kind of angsty and rather hot as well and I just loved it as you can see by the complete lack of commas lol. And the progression of their relationship was beautifully written and I liked that Katie was chasing Leanne and not the other way round hehe.
Author's Response: Sorayaaa--yes, I did think the ZOMG (even though I've been meaning to ask someone what the Z stands for in that for ages) comment meant that you liked it. I'm glad you like the expanded version more--would be kind of awkward if you preferred the drabble. Anyway, thanks again--I hope my comma errors didn't offend you too much...thanks so much for reviewing :) Alex
A photograph and a slew of memories were all that remained of Remus Lupin's schoolboy romance with Marlene McKinnon. But she was gone, and he gagged on all the things he never said.
This story is dedicated to the gorgeous and always-inspiring Equinox Chick/Carole/Croll of the Dungeon. May your minions never stray in their worship of you. It was inspired by a rather gorgeous song by The Cure, called Pictures of You.
This story has been nominated for a 2012 Quicksilver Quill Award: Best Marauder Era.
Bonjour, Reine de SPEW :)
It’s been a while since I’ve read anything by you, so it was lovely having something of yours on my TBR list for once. And, wow, I was really impressed with this piece, for several reasons.
Firstly, I think Remus/Marlene is a wonderful pairing, partly because it’s pre-Remus/Tonks and still fully canon compliant (and your take on the pairing was another excellent one) but also because Remus’s reluctance to be with Tonks later on is understood more. Clearly, he had experienced a similar problem with someone else before Tonks, and it explains, also, why Remus seized the opportunity with Tonks in HBP -- because he knew that he missed the chance with Marlene. I think that was such a powerful aspect of his character to explore, and it was done incredibly well. I also know you’re not a huge fan of Marauder Era, so this is even more impressive, in my opinion, because the characterisation throughout was just stellar.
Second, we don’t know much about Marlene from canon, so I liked that you drew from that and characterised her really well, firstly by her actions and her ideals (which we know, partially, because she was in the Order and therefore cared about what was right) but by her description. I think it was necessary, because Marlene is essentially an OC in terms of characterisation. I find, usually, with your writing, that you don’t linger on description much, so it was a nice change to read more description in this one at the beginning. And it was beautifully and poetically written, right from the start of the story -- I got a really vivid image of Marlene, which was important because, of course, Remus remembers her vividly too.
I also loved the style in which this story is written -- I know you’re not a fan of present tense, but if I didn’t know your preferences when writing, I would never be able to guess that you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone at all, because it was written so effortlessly that it’s impossible to tell that you and present tense aren’t best friends. Present tense was definitely the right choice here, because it really made me feel in the moment, and there’s also something ominous about it which suited the mood of the story perfectly.
The flashbacks were also gut-wrenching, in that they showed when Remus and Marlene were happy, and that just added to the sad tone in the piece. The part at the end when Marlene proposed to Remus was gorgeously done, and I really liked that she was not a traditionalist in that respect. The shifts back to the past and then the present again were flawlessly done, and not once were they jarring, or abrupt. I think the non-linear structure here worked really well; it’s amazing how many memories one can get from just a photo, and the image of Remus lying in his bed and looking at the picture of him and Marlene is so powerful, and it really emphasises the gloominess Remus feels, especially when he tears the photo in two.
Finally, I think the story flowed really well. It is a relatively short one-shot, but it was the perfect length, I think, and there was a lot of emotion packed in for such a short piece, which I really liked, especially with the non-chronological way in which the story was written. You explored a lot of Remus’s feelings throughout -- love, of course, but also, anger (when Remus discovered the Dark Mark above Marlene’s body) which was executed really well, and it was perfectly in character when he obliterated it with his wand. That was a really good scene, and it emphasised how badly Remus was affected by Marlene’s death, and how much he loved her.
So, overall, Jess, this was a wonderfully-written and poignant story, even more so because it’s not your usual style or era, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Well done :)
Sorry it's taken epically long to respond, but it never fails that I don't have the proper words to respond to a SPEW review. /bad Monarch
Somehow, in my head, Remus/Marlene is totally canon. Remus is the one Marauder I genuinely don't dislike, but he is, to me, the most tragic. Peter was thought to be dead, James *was* dead, and Sirius had supposedly committed both crimes. Remus was left with the burden of knowledge that he had not been able to stop any of it. Add his furry little problem, and he is the person I would least want to be between 1981 and 1993. He went at it all alone, but there was only one conceivable reason why he would tackle such a difficult life alone, and that is because he wasn't alone and it didn't work out well.
And as for Marlene, I thought it was important for the reader to see her as Remus saw her at that moment, idyllically pretty and sweet to a fault. Naturally, this isn't the sum of what she was. At this moment in time, though, she was a flawless flower that Remus thought that he destroyed because of what he was and ultimately lived with that burden. To see her as anything else after she had just been buried would've been abominable to Remus. He loved her too much to let himself love her. Noble git. >.>
Present tense just ended up being a necessity. In terms of functionality, it would've been more awkward using flashbacks if all of it had been in past tense, rather than having a present that drifted into memories. It just seemed the logical choice. However, using first person present tense (which I've done once before) would've melted my brain. I think I don't have a POV I dislike more other than second person anything. I just picked what felt the best whilst writing, and weirdly enough, that was it, hehe.
Speaking of the memories/flashbacks, I really had to reign myself in while writing those so they didn't overtake the rest of the story completely. I felt it was more important to show Remus's heartbreak and use the memories to demonstrate why that is, rather than make the story about the flashbacks and using the present tense bits to mark their sad ending. That probably doesn't make any sense, but there ya go.
I had a really strong image of the picture, and that was what I wrote the story around. There is something really poignant about the image of a photograph being ripped, and I thought it fitting that not even magic could put it back together properly. And with it being likely the last photograph left of Marlene, as her house had been burned down, it kind of has a finality to it in that respect, especially for Remus.
As for the length of the story, I think a longer story might've ended up being too draining, both for me and the reader, or worse, run the risk of rambling rather than being emotive. I like to think that those 1100 something words say more than I probably could've done in 5000 writing it differently. It's probably pretentious to say that, but that's me for you, lol.
I think Remus obliterating the Dark Mark was probably my favourite thing to write. His rage was almost palpable in my brain, and I'm reasonably confident that it translated well onto the page. To be honest, I had the image of the HBP film where the students all held up their wands after Dumbledore died, but I wanted it to be the antithesis of that. Remus rarely loses his temper, but everyone has a breaking point. That, to me, was his.
That breaking point was very important to his future relationship with Tonks. Not even someone afflicted with lycanthropy could cut himself off from possible romance as solidly as Remus did. In the first war, he thought it was too much to overcome and he lost a chance at happiness because the dark times they lived in took Marlene away. But when Tonks came along, Remus refused to let himself feel that way again. I think he eventually realised that he couldn't stop himself from feeling the way he did no matter how hard he tried, so he decided to take happiness where he could get it, because things were even worse than they had been during the first war...and we know how that turned out. It's better to die regretting things you've done than die regretting things you didn't do.
All in all, if I were to write a Marauder story, this kind, with non J/L and all those characters that bore me, this is it. There are so many good characters to implement, and I prefer to give the ones who don't have a story a life of their own. Like Marlene. And maybe read through the lines a bit about Remus and his travails with romance. And so forth.
Anyway, I will shut up now. This was an excellent review, almost to the point where it was exceedingly difficult to respond in a manner fitting its quality. I fear I have failed, but thank you for visiting and reading this story. It's the best thing I've written of late, maybe save for Carole's birthday story. I appreciate the visit, and have a lovely evening. :D
Helloooooo Natalieeeeeee. Again :D
I think you've discussed this fic a lot on the LS, so it was nice to finally read it :) And, once again, even though this prologue is really short, you've drawn me in already. I loved how you drew on what we know about Krum from canon (or cannon :P) about him swimming even in January, and there's something quite dark and foreboding about him swimming in the black river. Excellent imagery there, Nat.
A couple of things -- "reveled" should be "revelled" and I think "degrees Celsius" makes more sense than "degree Celcius".
But they're very minor points. All in all, I loved this, and I'm only 500 words in, lol. Onwards and upwards! (To the next chapter in other words lol.)
Author's Response: I am such an a******! >.< I completely forgot about responding to these reviews :/ First of all, thanks for catching those errors! I've edited the draft. Secondly, thanks for taking the time to read and review! :D
ooooooooooooooooooh. Natalie, this was fab. And I've still got two chapters to go, yippeeeeee! :D
I think you created a lovely chemistry between Gabrielle and Krum in this. I mean, things were awkward to begin with, but I liked how their relationship progressed as the chapter went on. I *was* wondering why Krum didn't want to be seen with Gabrielle myself, so it was good that he explained himself. I suppose it kind of makes sense, and I loved this line: “I will kiss you in front of the cameramen if you want.”
Hehehehhe, that just was so funny. And I loved Monsieur Melancolique -- hilarious :D My form tutor is a French teacher so next time he annoys me, I'll just call him that :P
Finally, I loved your characterisation of Gabrielle -- in canon, we see her as a rather immature girl but who is also quite open about her crush on Harry. I liked how you built on that and made her quite forward.
Anyway, onto the next chapter!
Author's Response: Hahaha! Credit for Melancolique goes to Croll. I'm happy to know you enjoyed the chapter and characterisation.
Hmmmm. Natalie, I'm not really sure what to say (in a good way). So, what, Gabby's dead? If so, :( I was growing quite fond of her, and I think you did a great job in depicting how their relationship developed at the beginning.
And I knew somethign was up about the article. there was no way Gabrielle would actually say all of that, but I think would be easy for Krum to not see that.
Okay, I shall continue my spammage in the last chapter because I'm now rambling about nothing, lol.
Author's Response: The article was one of those things which the reader should be dubious about but the character shouldn't; it's good to know it worked. :D I was getting quite fond of writing her. However, I'd always planned for her to die and I had to stick to it. :/
Ahhh, I like the girl :) She's very noble and rather gallant, and I love her character. Granted, I'm still upset that Gabrielle died, but it's also nice to know Krum found love in the end, and that he didn't die.
While I loved the chemistry between Gabrielle and Krum, I somehow don't think it would have worked between them. They were too similar, in some ways, and I think maybe the fact that their relationship would always be in the limelight if they were together might have been something that could have pushed them apart too.
Anyway, this is just becoming incoherent mush so I'll stop here. Great story, Nat :D
Author's Response: Ideally, I'd have either drawn out the story and killed Krum in the end or forced myself to let Gabrielle live and separate them after some time. But I am JKR's slave. -sigh- You're right about Krum and Gabrielle's relationship too. There are quite a few factors why it wouldn't have worked out. They spent such a short time together, and Krum is so idealistic, which is why I think he plummeted into depression.