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!
DUN DUN DUN!!!!!!! Definitely the same person killed Jilly and Lenore. I think that someone's definitely got it in for Lily's mates. The arguing between Sirius and Lily is really funny, and "she dresses like a ninety-two-year-old librarian" is my favourite line.
You should become a crime writer, your stuff is really good and original work would be even better.
Can't wait for the next update!
Author's Response: Thanks so much! I love reading mysteries, so I'm so glad you think I write it well :) And I'm always nervous when I try to write humour, so I'm so relieved you found their bickering funny!
This is such a cool story. Seriously. On MNFF, I've only been hooked on a few as much as your one. I'm kind of sad that it will only be another four chapters long, but that's OK. Life goes on.
Anyway, besides that, I think Marlie sounds ever so slightly suspicious by not saying Jilly's name - but she's still one of the good girls, and Grace is definitely not a baddy either. I feel sorry for her in a way.
I also loved the way James just left Lily alone when he heard her crying (at least the guy's sensitive). I think nowadays, everyone thinks that girls need a shoulder to cry on, and that's not true. Lily's one of those girls who probably doesn't want anyone to see her cry, because that's just embarrassing.
Finally, I hope you post the next chapter soon. I can't wait!
P.S. I just looked at the lyrics of the song you were referring to in your A/N, and I just clocked on that the lyrics are the names of the chapters! God, I'm so stupid sometimes!
Author's Response: I'm glad you like it so much! I'm a little sad it's almost over, too, but I guess I'll just have to start another multi-chapter Lily/James after :) And I feel a little bad for Grace, too. I'm glad you liked how James left Lily be -- that's certainly what I would want someone to do if I were in Lily's position. Thanks for the review! The next chapter should be up soon.
I didn't skip the memory, I just didn't read it with as much attention as the other parts of the chapter. I guess I was too busy trying to figure out what was going to happen next. For some reason, I didn't expect Regulus to be the killer. I mean, after all of what happened, wasn't Reg a good guy in the end? But I suppose it makes sense, because Regulus would've had to be a bad person first. At least he saw the error in his ways. Too little, too late, if you ask me.
I was so scared with how you made Lily act with the Imperious Curse. And I think although Harry Potter is just fantasy, not real, a certain kind of Imperius Curse does exist in a way, like how some people can wrap a person around their finger so easily it's unbelievable. Anyway, that bit gave me goosebumps. By the way, while I was reading this chapter, I kept gasping, which made my little brother think I was seeing something really scary on my laptop screen, which was kind of funny.
When they were transported by the Portkey, did the Imperius Curse get removed from Lily, or is she still under the power of it?
The more chapters you've got left, the better. Can't wait for the encounter with Mouldy Voldy!
Author's Response: At one point I switched the memory to the start of the chapter as I thought it would work better there, but then the scene with Grace and the scene with Regulus and the scene with Rosier would all be one long, long scene . . . and I thought a divider was needed. I'm glad you still read the memory! I do think that, as sad as it is to imagine, Regulus did bad things before redeeming himself. Every story I write starts with one scene, and the one scene for this story simply wouldn't have worked if Regulus hadn't been the killer . . . but you'll see in the next chapter ;) Oh, and yes, I definitely think part of what makes the Imperius Curse so terrifying is that people can be controlled and manipulated without magic interfering. On that happy note -- thanks for the review! :)
That was such a brilliant story. You should definitely think about writing crime with your own OCs. I'd totally read any books you write.
The fact that Sirius didn't want Lily and James to say anything about Regulus is quite touching, really. Even though Sirius despised his brother, he didn't want him to go to Azkaban or whatever, and it shows that sibling love is pretty deep. I should know, I've got two brothers and a sister and there's no way I'd just let my friends snitch on them if they do anything wrong. It's like an unspoken rule.
I also like how Sirius used Snape as an example. Even though Lily didn't love Snape like that, she still loved him, in a strange way. I think the characterisation of Lily in this story has been brilliant: the sarcasm, the bluntness, the effortless intelligence and the stubbornness is all very Lily - and very Harry. It was great that Lily comforted Sirius in the end, because of all people, I thought Sirius would have been the most mad at Lily, but he wasn't.
Just one thing, there are several typos in this chapter, for example:
"I'll you chaps later, then," James said quietly.
I don't mean to be picky, just that I noticed that there were more typos in this chapter than usual. I just wanted to let you know.
All in all, this is one of the best stories ever written on MNFF, seriously. I hope you write another chaptered James/Lily fic soon. I'm looking forward to the epilogue and what happened to Regulus and Snape as well!
Author's Response: Thank you! One of my main goals (probably the main goal I had) when I started writing this was to write Lily and James well, to write them in-character and with more depth. So I'm so glad that you like how Lily was written -- and that you think her similar to Lily! In my head, Harry is so much Lily's son, even if he looks more like his father. And I completely agree about siblings -- I have two brothers and a sister as well, and I can't imagine anything could happen that would ever make me truly hate them, even if they did do something terrible. As for the typos -- *sigh* -- they'll be the death of me. Please point them out, and don't feel bad about it!
Oh my God...I got scared there thinking that James and Lily had actually broken up or something! Brilliant chapter, as always. I still don't think it's Grace who killed Jilly and Lenore, but I can't for the life of me figure out who did! It's really frustrating, to be honest. Usually, with crime novels and stuff, I can figure out the perpetrator really early in the story. This one is really hard, though. Keep it up, hope the next chapter comes up soon!
Author's Response: Oh, I couldn't really break them up -- and if they did fight, James would never be that terrible! I'm glad I can keep you guessing -- you'll find out soon enough! Thanks for the review.
Hi, Neil. It’s Soraya here. I thought it was about time I reviewed some of your stories (!) since I've started beta’ing your work.
I really enjoyed this! You told me that this was your first story that got accepted on SIYE and even though I think I’ve read it before I thoroughly relished reading it a second time. Harry’s comments to Ron were delightfully tongue-in-cheek (and so very Harry) and I became quite fond of this Steve character too, believe it or not. What I liked best was how everyone was together — everyone from Hogwarts, who was in Harry’s speech. I like how you characterised the Grangers too.
The humour was probably the best part of it all, because as you wrote “Harry let the cheers subside”, I was also cheering and laughing (in my head of course). That’s the most brilliant way of a writer saying “I know I'm funny”. Harry and Ron definitely have good senses of humour!
Since I read the epilogue of DH more than three years ago, I've always wondered about what Ron and Hermione’s wedding was like, but I never once imagined what their wedding breakfast would be like — most likely because in Asian weddings, there are no wedding breakfasts, so I didn't know about it until now. I think you did a great job on it and really filled in that crack of canon very well, so well done.
Erm, a couple of nitpicks: Demelza “Robins” should be Demelza “Robbins” if my canon memory serves me correctly; “galleons” should be “Galleons”. “In-law’s” doesn’t need the apostrophe. Plus, when someone is speaking for more than a paragraph, the rule is that you start it with a speech mark, but you don't end the paragraph with one, although the next paragraph starts with a speech mark, and this goes on until the paragraphs are broken by narrative. Does that make sense?
OK, I won’t point out any more typos! Seriously though, nice one. And was this your first fic? My first was awful, so well done!
This was the first story I had approved anywhere. Itís probably been rewritten half a dozen times since it first appeared, and itís still not right. In my experience there is a ďSteveĒ at most weddings. A loud and brash relative who is keen to score (at the last one I attended he was a she).
The reception, or the wedding breakfast is a big part of UK weddings. JKR showed us Bills, but she skirted over the speeches and that was a wizard wedding. I wanted something more traditionally English (like Hermione). After all, itís traditionally the brideís family who host, and they are Muggles marrying off their only daughter. The speeches take a set order, brideís father, groom, best man and they all say what they are traditionally supposed to say.
Itís definitely Robins, not Robbins, but youíre right about Galleons. Also, when I wrote this I wasnít aware of the speech mark rule. I am now, so I really should fix this. Given that youíve left me five reviews, Iíll make correcting these stories a job for the weekend.
I take a deep breath so my voice won’t shake.
“What would you do if we died tomorrow?”
He takes a step away from me, but still keeps me in his arms. “What?”
“What would you do if you knew that we died tomorrow?”
“What kind of question is that?”
“Don’t give me that, James. You know that we are going to die soon. There is no point in pretending that we aren’t.”
James and Lily have a conversation two days before Halloween.
Aww! This is one of the few oneshots on MNFF where I can genuinely go "awww" every time I read it. It's really sweet, from start to finish and I love how it ends. I especially like the reference to redheads. Well done, you really deserved the QSQ!!
Author's Response: That is such a high complimant! I really like that reference too, and I'm glad it wasn't to cheesy. Thank you so very much!
Carole. I was planning on reading this for a long, long time, but I just kept forgetting. It was after you said something on the beta boards about how you put a lot of yourself in this story, since we were discussing self-insertion (although how we got onto the subject I can't remember).
This story was very touching. The way Ginny kept putting things off, the fact that for two weeks, she found it impossible to go and see him...it was so sad. It really touched my heart and very nearly made me cry. At first, I didn't know it was Arthur, but then when Ginny said "Your grandad" my heart really went out for her.
The title was very clever and the ending was heartbreaking. Gosh, why am I using the word "heart" so much? I'm always telling other people off for repeating themselves when I'm beta'ing and yet here I am, saying the same word over and over. I guess that's because it really was heart-wrenching, and I fully sympathise with you. The ending was perfectly fitting, with Ginny dreaming about her dad getting better, when really, he wasn't. The use of the garden, too, was interesting.
One tiny, tiny nitpick: '“Ahh, Midas touch, I think,” says Arthur as he leans in inhale the fragrance once more.'
There should be a "to" after the "in" and before the "inhale."
Thank you for writing, as always, Carole, but especially with this story because it was based on something close to my heart (I'm doing it again!!) and I don't think I've been touched by a story more.
Author's Response: Thank you very much for the review, Soraya. This was a hard subject to approach but one of the quickest I'd written simply because I wanted to get it down. I think there was a question on the boards about using RL experiences which is why I mentioned it. I'm not sure I'd do anything quite so revealing again. Thanks again and I shall fix that type. ~Carole~
Oh, forgot to add, Carole, that I'm sorry about your dad. I hope that one day Alzheimers can be cured, because it really is a cruel disease to have. And again, thank you for writing the story because it must've been difficult. Hopefully you'll still remember the times when your dad's "actual self" was around.
Author's Response: Thank you. I hope science finds something, too. ~Carole~
Squeeeeeee!!!! Carole, this is the shortest review I've ever left you (I think) but I just wanted to say that I've been meaning to read this for ages, and I'm very, very glad I did. Nice job!!
Author's Response: Thank you. This is possibly my favourite story I've written. Not totally sure why, but I do remember me angsting over it. Glad you enjoyed the story, anyway. ~Carole~
Carole, I really loved this, and I am wondering why on earth I haven't read and reviewed it before. As you're teh queen of Marauders, I'm not surprised in the slightest that your portrayal of them was absolutely stellar. The thing with your Marauder stories is that you're consistent with their characterisations, and little details, like Remus not liking chocolate (which I so LOL'd at :D) and Peter wanting to be an Auror, and McGonagall with her Ginger Newts, they really are reminiscient of JKR.
And while I am occasionally partial to a well-written MWPP cliche, I loved that you kicked the cliches out of the window with this story. By the way, I loved Sirius, James, Peter and Remus in this fic, but especially Remus, because I just felt so sorry for him. Of course, James, my dear husband, was more assured, and I liked the way you had him being jokey but then becoming serious. That's very James. Well done :)
Author's Response: Ha ha - this was a story for the MWPP class so kicking cliches was a must. I was fond of this story because it tied up a lot of my head canon, namely the fact that Sirius playing that 'trick' on Snape, probably impacted on him as much as it did Snape. I find it hard to believe Dumbledore would have just let it go, and by association McGonagall would have been ruthless towards him. Remus just makes me so sad so much of the time and this story didn;t so him any favours except he became closer to Sirius.
Between you and me, James made me LOL. I could picture him so vividly nicking the biscuits, taking the piss, and then suddenly snapping out of it. Thank you so much for the review ~Carole~
Hi, Akay. When you left all those lovely reviews on Checkmate, I did tell myself that I was going to review one of your stories. And I am so, so glad I did. You're truly a talented author and I really like your writing style.
The premise of Harry Potter dying from natural causes -- or as natural as you can get, with smoking, anyway -- is one that I have never, ever come across in fanfiction. Never. So it pleasantly surprised me to see something more original being used in this oneshot, which isn't at all like ordinary Next Generation oneshots, in more ways than one.
Before I ladle on the praise, I have a question. When Harry says, "Never marry twice", and it's Hermione who's telling him off, does that mean they're married? Perhaps it's because I'm a bit sleepy today or because I'm completely knackered after such a long day, but I'm baffled, to be honest. I reread the first few paragraphs several times and it didn't really sink in, and by the end of the story it still hasn't sunk in, so if you want to tell me, I'd be glad to know what you meant.
OK, nitpick aside (and it's probably my fault about misunderstanding) I really loved Harry's characterisation. You've really bridged the time gap between this story and the epilogue, and I have to say that he hasn't changed much since the book. I thought that his manner was just Harry-like enough and not still adolescent, which is how many bad fanfiction writers portray an adult Harry. Well done on that, because I think, even though Harry's the central character, characterisation is made all the harder due to such firm foundations on his character, and especially years after the epilogue, which most Next Generation stories don't really deal with.
This story, really, was emotionally draining. The insertion of my least-favourite Next Gen ship, Lily/Scorpius, didn't deter me, and that, I think, is the mark of a good author. Even with things I don't like, you can get away with it, and keep me reading as well. I really like how you used that as a backdrop to Albus delivering the news of Harry's death, especially Albus noticing the little details like Lily's smile resembling Harry's.
Often, I'm not a big fan of first person, and especially not present tense. However, after reading this, I have to admit that you have converted me entirely, and that I will have to attempt that style at some point in the future. I mean, yeah, I use it in OF, but I find it so difficult to do so in fanfiction, purely because I don't think I know the character well enough and that I'm not really "in" the moment enough for me to be able to put myself in said character's shoes to write him/her properly. For you to pull this off so flawlessly is a great achievement. You're a great writer and commend you for this oneshot. It's one you should be proud of. Ta for writing. And ta for all your lovely reviews for Checkmate! (Are you still reading it? Or did you get bored?)
When Harry says, "Never marry twice" what he actually means is that Hermione is almost always on his case when he's smoking, and he feels like he has another wife in addition to Ginny. Somehow I see Ginny as just dealing with Harry smoking without trying to stop him much. At least not always. Hermione's concern and friendship and relationship with Harry is a different one. I think she'd always be full of reprimands. Harry takes it good naturedly as one would do with a friend of so many years. I hope that explains it.
I think Harry is a hard character to write about effectively. I'm glad that you liked how he came off in the story. My inspiration behind him are known personalities today, people who are celebrated for the work they do. I find it intriguing the way they come off in media and I often wonder whether they really are like that in real life. When I thought of this as I planned to write it, I'd remembered the quote I included by AurorKeefy who is a former member of the beta boards. I thought it summed my original idea very well. Keeping that in mind, I let myself in Grimmauld Place for a day and let the rest of the story write itself.
"Emotionally draining" is such a compliment. Thank you for that! I have given a thought to what you mention next, and I realised one time that my story was probably an amalgam of some ideas we usually come across in next-gen stories and some ideas which were entirely new. I think I just didn't want Albus (who is the narrator) to think about anything far too deeply besides the idea of how different people had viewed Harry throughout his life and viewed him now that he was gone.
It's interesting what you say about the present tense because people tell me that often. To realise that I have you converted is such an amazing surprise. Usually the present tense is the only tense I'm able to reasonably pull off. The reason I write so scarcely and with tonnes of trouble given to me by the characters in my stories is because, I find it hard at times also to get into their heads. Yet, I still love that with the present tense there's somehow a chance of taking myself away from the story entirely and let you connect with only the character in it. If I do it well, they tell you their story and I'm nowhere to be seen.
I'm still reading Checkmate, but exams are chugging forth like Hogwarts Express on the first of September and that's why I haven't been there much. The first few chapters are the most important ones for any author, so I wanted to let you know that you were doing brilliantly with it. Those reviews I delivered. Will drop by as I get time.
Thank you for taking the time to review this, Soraya Ė Akay
A very moving fic. I've always felt that JKR made happiness way too short for my liking, but I guess that just adds to the tragedy of it all, doesn't it? It's like Romeo and Juliet; it's inevitable that they're both going to end up dead. When I read that Remus and Tonks were both dead, I was outraged, frankly, that JKR could do that to them. It was awful, almost as bad as Sirius' death and Dumbledore's too. But I suppose that death is just part of every story, and definitely every Harry Potter one.
Anyway, what I meant to say was, nice job! (Sorry for the longish review!)
Author's Response: Hah, never ever apologise for that - the longer the review, the better! ;)
I'm glad you enjoyed the story. Tonks' and Remus' deaths are among the most painful ones in the story. It sort of brings you back to the whole reality of war and everything. I just wish she could have given them a... reason, or at least a proper death, you know... so that is, I suppose, a bit of what I was trying to do here.
Thank you very much for your review!
This was really good. I enjoyed reading this, because there have been loads of different versions of this that I've read and this is by far one of my favourites. It seemed a very realistic missing moment from the book. Well done!
Author's Response: Thank you so much! Glad you liked it!
"James Sirius Potter, it is the judgment of the Wizengamot that you have been found guilty. You knowingly, in possession of sound mind and body, used the Cruciatus Curse and the Killing Curse in the intentional torture and murder of one Gregory Goyle the Third."
James Potter was going to Azkaban for the rest of his natural life, and his whole family was in shambles. His wife and child have fled the country, his sister was missing, and his parents were a wreck. However, James knew that he had larger problems: his guilt was coming more and more in question.
Though he knew that James was withholding information about the circumstances of the murder of which he had been found guilty, Harry had secrets of his own; however, even he could not handle this torrent of trouble alone. Can Harry trust his darkest confidences to anyone? Even family?¬†
How will the Potter clan stop the downward spiral into pain and disaster, and can they recover what they've lost?
This fic was nominated for a 2010 Quicksilver Quill Award - Best Next-Generation Story.
Hi again, Jess.
OK, well, because this story is so long I don't want to be reviewing with every chapter I've decided to leave you one massive review at the epilogue instead. I just want to say, before I start, that this story was one of the best that I've ever read, and that’s a promise.
So, at the beginning it’s really good, how you started it and everything. The fact that James killed someone was enough to get me really curious and made me want to read on, so much so that I've been neglecting my GCSE homework because I wanted to read more and more. I do think that everyone speaks really…properly, if you like. There are almost no apostrophes, which strikes me as slightly odd. For example, “Yes, James, I will. You are my friend, and you are family. Name it and I shall do what I can. What is this message you need me to take to your father?” But, hey, maybe you were trying to go for the serious effect of the whole chapter?
Also I realised immediately that it was Lily, the woman who was in a coma. It gave it away when you said she had red hair, but still, it was really interesting and I'm dying to know what’s going on and how Lily ended up there. I like how you’ve managed to stick to canon throughout so far and I also like that Lily was sorted into Slytherin, not Albus. Everyone expected that Al would but he didn't. And you're right, there are almost no fics about what the Next Gen gang get up to when they're actually adults and Molly and Arthur are great-grandparents already. So it’s great that you wrote this because I've never come across anything quite like it.
When I got to Chapter 7 I immediately thought oh my God, LILY did it? Lily? No way. No. Apart from if what Greg did to Lily was so bad that she had to do the Cruciatus and kill him? Even that…or maybe if someone made Lily do it? I thought that it had to be something really bad that James wanted to cover for her. When I finished chapter 11, I knew that Gregory did something to Lily! I feel so sorry for James though, I felt like crying when I read what he had to go through. I like how you included Scorpius and Hermione’s insistence that he stay outside while Rose gave birth. It was so overprotective and motherly and totally Hermioneish, particularly when Hermione knew that Scorpius would be allowed in the room if Rose was to have another child.
I knew that Lily’s definitely going to escape. I love how you included wandless magic in this story, about how Harry can do it and so can Lily yet James and Al can’t. That will definitely come in handy later on when she's trying to get away from Greg. I'm intrigued about what’s going to happen later on, because you’ve answered quite a few of my questions that I had initially, when I started reading the story.
When I got to chapter 13 I had to say, I’ve fallen in love with Scorpius. If I was Anne I’d probably swoon on the spot, to be honest. I really liked how it was all tying in together now, making more sense in my head. I feel really bad for Albus, how angry he was when he found out what really happened to Lily. Oh, I wished so badly that James could just come out of Azkaban so he could help find Lily! I also really liked the whole interaction with Albus and Draco; of all people, I didn’t expect Draco to open up to him at all, but maybe I've just underestimated him. I've never liked Draco but now I'm starting to warm to him, just like Albus, really. This story has got to be one of the best I’ve read on MNFF, I swear. And I don't say that about a lot of stories, let me tell you.
At Chapter 14 I thought oh my God, what does Draco have to do that’s so bad Harry has to be tied to his bed?? But I knew Harry will survive. If JKR couldn’t kill him off, I don't think you can either. Goyle is so horrible – how could he do that to Eric? And then tell Lily to “tend to him”? What a son of a b*tch! I think you’ve characterised Harry and Albus really well, and especially how Albus suddenly has this new angry kind of persona, which reminds me of Harry in OOTP.
I didn't think that Ginny would be an alcoholic. How could you? Then again, I guess it was always inevitable. I can’t blame her. After all she's been through…well she's got no excuse, not really. One criticism, more on my personal preferences than anything, I do think that it was wrong to split Harry and Ginny up like that (being a rabid H/G shipper) but it’s your opinion, after all. I was so glad when Goyle was locked up. He so deserved it. I wished Scorpius killed him, to be honest. It was so inevitable that Draco would die as well.
Draco and Katie was an unexpected pairing but a good one all the same. And I can’t believe that they had a child together! I felt sorry for Mira too – none of it was fair for her, she didn't deserve any of what happened. I've never heard of anyone being allergic to strawberries and certainly not committing suicide with an allergy, but it was such a great idea and I looked it up and I was surprised to find that it was actually true.
James’ trial was more than fair, in my opinion. It was Lily’s trial that I didn't like, but I suppose Kingsley couldn’t be biased or anything. And it made me smile to hear Ginny ask to join her in Azkaban. And I suppose anyone would need psychiatric help after what she went through. I like how everyone understands each other at long last, in the epilogue. Your characterization of Astoria was a bit too harsh for my liking, though. Other than that, I do think that the funeral was fabulously written, and I have to say that I wasn’t surprised when Harry made a pass for Katie. It was obvious from the beginning that there was something between them but it wasn’t like that, if you know what I mean.
I love the fact that you have managed to tackle so many sensitive issues within this story: rape, murder, manslaughter, pregnancy, euthanasia, suicide, death…all of these things have been explored so well. I'm really impressed with how this story has grown on me as I've read it. At first I thought it was written ever so slightly shakily but it got better very quickly and I especially liked the Albus/Anne pairing. Finally, I liked the symbolism of Harry setting fire to his house. It was a brilliant way to end what has been, as you said, a roller coaster. It has certainly been the longest roller coaster that I've ever been on and definitely one of the best. I totally get why this story is your baby. If I had written it, it would be my baby too.
Thanks so much, Jess, for writing this story, which has really touched my heart and made me remember why I bother to read stories at all.
*slaps self in face*
What a wonderful review! Seriously, that you liked the story well enough to take the amount of time that one would spend writing such a substantial write-up is touching and reminds me why I adore writing fan fiction so much. I poured a lot of myself into this story, staying up until six or seven in teh morning, sometimes even later than that, in the pursuit of finishing it, so I like to think that it was worth the effort. Your review just gave me warm fuzzies to the point where I would write it all over again in a heartbeat just because of that.
I'll address your concerns first, which were the writing style in the beginning and a couple characterization choices. This story was the very first thing that I had written for both fan fiction and frankly at all since I was in school, which was longer ago than I would care to admit, so the beginning is rather wordy, melodramatic and even slightly pedantic. That you chose to read on because of the story makes me glad, because I really do think my style improved as the piece wore on. Now, in terms of my other pieces, this one is written rather poorly, but if I may be so bold, I do think the story is enough to compensate for much of that.
I chose to break up Harry and Ginny because ther were so many other unincluded events leading up to it that, in context, would make far more sense. You remember, i trust, when Ginny said that Harry's life had been threatened seven times, and Ginny had endured his lack of seriousness on teh subject, knowing that he was being reckless and stupid. Then there was what was going on with Katie, and from an outsider standpoint, it probably did look like an affair. All of that, combined with the fact that she had been kept in the dark about what was going on with Lily and james was certainly enough to drive a normal person to drink and definitely to divorce. They made up in the end when Ginny finally understood the enormous burden that Harry had borne for so long, but things can't be unsaid, and some deeds cannot be undone.
I am actually surprised that you disliked Astoria as a character, because I never pictured Draco's marriage as a happy one. First off, he had been in love with another woman, and she (at least in my universe) had only been pushed into marrying him because she wanted to take advantage of his diminished social status and her her hands on Malfoy money. I checked canon everywhere I could, and there was nothing that said she was a nice person at all. I just chose that because after all that he had done, Draco almost didn't deserve to be happy. Fate wouldn't have chosen it for him anyway.
I wanted Draco to realize that he had been warped from birth into believing that he was superior, and I didn't want him to want that for his son. Even if Astoria is a frosty b!tch, Draco would know that it is his duty as a father to raise a good man for a son, if only to atone for his own past. Hence you get the Scorpius of this story, the one that Albus could care for as a brother and one that Rose could let herself fall for. I'm actually going to tie in my other story, Written in the Stars, to this one so readers can see how this all happened.
Albus, to me, was the real victory in the story. I know I made him seem a rather pathetic person, but in reality, he was. He was coasting through life, living in the shadow of his bloody perfect older brother and outshined by his beautiful, attention-seeking sister. He existed in silence and was not really even a whole person for reasons that I will not divulge due to WitS spoilers. There was no way that I could bear to make my favorite character that miserable, and random chance afforded me the opportunity to make him whole again.
I am indebted to you for this fabulous review. Truly, I am. There are, as you said, a score of sensitive topics in this story, and I've not truly experienced any of them, so that I handled them with care and tact relieves me. It is never my wish to offend anyone, so it's good to know that I have not thus far done so.
All in all, this story was a masochistic rollercoaster for me. It was painful at times, and at others, it was bliss and harmony. I even managed to keep myself from imprinting my favorite ship (Harmony) onto it and stuck to canon. I wrote it with the full realization that there really was nothing out there like it, especially amongst a very small pool of adult Next-Gen character stories. I wanted this to be one of those stories that made one think, "Yes, I believe this. It sucks, but it makes sense."
Complete hugs for the awesome review, and I really hope to see you again on my review page. Until next time!
Wow, this was a very long one-shot, but it was so well written I barely noticed its length.
I thought this story proved that perhaps Rita Skeeter wasn't that bad in her heart. I definitely thought that she had a troubled childhood if she acted as she did in GoF and OOTP and especially DH.
What I liked about this the most was that you broke it down. It wasn't one long waffling of Rita's life. It started with her childhood and slowly led to her adolescence, and adulthood. I can understand how she got into journalism and why she felt the need to twist words as she did.
I think you gave an interesting backstory to the Rosiers. The Thorntons (I'm thinking of the chocolate brand, though :D) were also very fascinating and I smiled when I read about the family scandals -- a great source for a Rita Skeeter style article. I did think that the Thorntons would've been mentioned as a prominent pureblood family, though.
Rita's unrequited love was also another point when I pitied her. Making a reader feel sorry for Rita Skeeter, of all people, is no easy feat, so kudos to you for achieving that, seemingly effortlessly.
I also agree that perhaps an eleven-year-old is more likely to get bullied into gossiping about X family, but a fourteen-year-old is more likely to be enthusiastic about spreading gossip. So I reckon it's fine either way here.
I also loved the way Ritalina changed to Rita once Emmeline Vance called her that -- Margaret was right; it does sound like an illness! What I loved about this piece the most, Natalie, was the fact that you created an entire story for Rita Skeeter which not only provided an explanation to her behaviour but also made me feel sorry for her and sympathise a lot with.
I adored the part where Nathan told Rita how she was changing herself to become another Margaret. That's completely true -- and I'm not sure if you intended for this to happen, but what Rita did is similar to what Hitler's wife did. Hitler abused his niece sexually and I think she killed herself and then Hitler's wife, Eva Braun, changed herself to look like Hitler's niece. She changed her hair colour and her makeup and everything. I have no idea if this was intentional but if it was, it's an ingenious idea on your part.
I really enjoyed reading this, Natalie, so thanks a lot for writing it.
Author's Response: Hellooooo!
That was really good! You definitely deserved the award for best Dark/Angsty!
Author's Response: Thank you Soraya! I am very honoured to have won, and I am glad you enjoyed it.
Nominated for the 2010 QSQ Awards for Best Poetry!
Wow, that was brilliant! That was just...wow. Sorry, I'm usually more coherent than this--I'm actually pretty verbose in reviews but just...wow.
Author's Response: Thank you for such a lovely review :)
That was soo good!! I've always looked for a good fanfic about what actually happened with Merope and I think you've done a fabulous job of it. I really like the whole theme of green, it's one colour that I love and hate. Finally, I really like how you've ended it, it's so ironic about how famous, illustrious and celebrated Tom ended up being - only amongst the Death Eaters of course.
Author's Response: Oh, I wouldn't say Voldemort was a Death Eater. That was the name given to his band of followers. ;)
Haha. This was really funny - it reminds me of a Marauder Era fic when Remus, I think, Transfigured Mrs Norris into a girl by accident or something, and Filch was all over her, which explained why he was so attached to her. This really made me LOL. Nice one!
Author's Response: Thank you. I had a lot of fun writing this one, especially Flossy the goat. Glad you enjoyed it. ~Carole~