I am a serious Harry Potter fan who, according to one friend, "needs rehab." I like canon-compliant stories and pairings, especially Romione, which is probably evident from my stories.
You will notice I don't use British spellings. I strive to accurately portray British culture in my fics and have my characters (and JK's) behaving in culturally appropriate ways. But spelling and punctuation are tools of the writer, and I'm an American writer. I would feel incredibly pretentious using British spellings.
This isn't a story about first love. But it is a story about childhood, and making the decision to leave it.
This is really a sweet little fic. I'm glad I stumbled upon in it the review drive. I should know better than to skip over fics featuring OCs (because I'm always complaining no one reads mine--lol), but I suppose I'm as guilty as anyone. I like Archie, and I like him as a friend for Luna. You've connected them well, even though their situations are quite different. Being misunderstood can be a powerful connection. Misfits finding other misfits is an idea that connects with readers for a reason, and you used that element well here.I'm impressed with how gently you came at this relationship. It's not easy to climax a relationship with holding hands, but you built it up nicely and the simplicity of the gesture was both meaningful and suitable to the pair of them. We often think of Luna as bold and kind of "out there" with her honesty and always saying a bit too much. So at first, when you said Archie was the first she'd told about her mum, I sort of wondered at it. But I think you're quite right in having her not share it with her house. She's the kind of person who chooses who she's going to trust, and we see this in that she tells it all to Harry only to explain the way she can see the thestrals, to make him realize he's not the only one. So well done there, I think you got right to the heart of her. My only question would be regarding this: " She didn’t regret anything. Those months with Archie had helped her when she thought everything else had been lost." With this bit at the beginning, I expected their relationship to end suddenly or something. You say it only lasted for months, and I just wondered why it didn't endure. ?? If you ever feel like expanding this, it might be a good addition. Really enjoyed reading. Nice look into Luna's young mind. ~Lori
Okay, so literally, by the end of this, I had my elbow at the keyboard, chin in hand, mouth open, with my eyes about three inches from the screen. This story is absolutely fantastic, Carole. Wow. It might be my favorite of all your stories, actually, which is saying something. Even Lavender, I'm conflicted to say. Haha!Though a romance, this is also a post-Hogwarts story. I'm wondering now where you put it in terms of category. The journey into George's psyche as he deals with the loss of Fred is brilliantly done. I did cry in the section where he saw Fred. I too have always imagined that he knew the moment it happened, and that description here was heartbreaking, including the journey with Angelina to find him. The romance too was lovely. I've always thought it strange when fans don't like the idea of George with Angelina because she was with Fred. It couldn't have been long that they were together or I think it would have been mentioned. Do you suppose she would have said yes to whichever of them asked her to the ball? I think so, but that she grew into a deeper friendship with George over the years. You wrote this so, so well. My reviews are always rubbish, but please know how fabulous this is. It's going right into my favorites, and I'm stinking ecstatic that I get to be the recipient of it! Right up my canon alley! Oh, and does she get her sight back or not? ;) I must know these things. Thanks again, friend.
This was lovely Carole. I particularly enjoyed the way it rhymed but was formatted untraditionally in that regard. Sweet Colin... sniff. Well done.
Author's Response: Thanks Lori. Mmm, I liked making the rhymes internal so it didn't disrupt the flow. Colin's one of those characters that I always sigh over when he dies. He was sweet. ~Carole~
To fluff or not to fluff, that is the question. ;) I think you once told me in a review that fluflf could have substance, and this really does. I'm sure all of us Romione writers have our own ideas of how these things might have gone down, but we have a bit in common here. I, too, imagine they had to try for a while before getting pregnant, and I think the emotional response you gave to both Ron and Hermione show that well. This was a nice read, Neil. I will have to look up your first piece in this series in the next few days.Oh, I liked that George commented on Ron talking like Hermione. As soon as I read his line, I was thinking how it didn't sound like him at all... nice idea to include that bit.
Congratulations on a well-deserved QSQ award. This fic was truly staggering. The language with which you wrote Minerva's story was absolutely perfect for the time, for her, for the relationship. I loved everything about it.A fic spanning so many years in a person's life could be very boring or tedious, but you included all the right moments, all the right pitches, and it was compelling throughout. I'm glad you included the relationships with her parents, particularly her father. It's important, it shapes who she is, and yet you didn't keep hammering us with her "father issues" either. It was all so well-balanced. The characterization is just perfect, especially regarding her love for her students and for teaching, and how diffilcult it was for her to balance that with her personal life. That really rang true to who she was in the books--that devotion. Lovely, lovely work. One of the best fanfics I've ever read about a character's life and loves. Congrats again! ~Lori
Oh, how I love some Remus/Tonks, and this is very sweet. I like the comparison to the roller-coaster and that rise and fall that is love in anyone's life really, but yes, particularly for these two. Nice analogy, and the memory of Tonks and her father is a nice addition.One thing I think might make the story a big stronger is simply to flesh it out a bit more, add some description into the diaglogue. I love the scene by the lake -- nicely done setting this after Bill's injury -- but the lines come very quickly and it's such serious subject matter. Remus is such a brooder and thinker, I think some pauses there for description might make the transition to his proposal feel less sudden. But that's only an idea. :) The fic is lovely, and my favorite part is easy to choose. This line: “It’s not about what I have to lose. It’s about what you have to lose.” I think that is right on the money, in terms of characterizing where Remus is and how he thinks about his relationship with her. He wants it because he loves her, but he feels he would be stealing her life. I love that line! Well done! I enjoyed reading!
This is minnabird of Hufflepuff writing for Round Two of the 2012 Character Triathlon.
It earned an honorable mention in that round and won joint first for Best Humour Story in the 2013 Quicksilver Quill Awards.
Oh, Minna, this is so much fun! Absolutely loved it, and laughed out loud when the boatman made fun of their accents... especially "gov'nah"! Hilarious! Loved the voice you created for Scabior, how self-aware he was, and that he blamed Harry for everything.A deserving win! Congratulations! ~Lori
What a lovely depiction of my all time favorite friendship. Love the use of the numbers... so creative. Congratulations on the win! ~ Lori
Ooh, what a little gem this fic is! You have a great take on Narcissa here. She's very stoic, which is how I always see her, and so methodically watching everything in her world that matters "freeze" while she waits... such a powerful image. I like the use of the color green (and the title, drought or not) to represent growth and health and money and honor and Slytherin... you've wound so much into it, and yet you stopped short of overdoing it. Well done.She's such a complicated character, especially in HBP and DH, where we begin to see that maybe her family does trump her Slytherin values and her dedication to the Dark Lord. You've communicated that well, and the idea of her walkign around in those old party robes is such a tragic image, but seems like something she might do. Your language is the real strength. "Honor is just a word." "All of it, dying." Really powerful writing, and I enjoyed reading very much. ~Lori
Aw, I love Neville so much. You've captured the sweetness of him here, and the tragedy of his current relationship with his parents. I love the meaning he assigns to the sweet wrappers--I've always seen him the same way, treasuring those as the only tangible thing he has from either of them.I noticed quite a few spag errors, and I do think the piece would be greatly improved by including the traditional structure with proper paragraphs. That said, it was a nice look at who Neville is. I love that, in his own way, he stands up to his Gran by appreciating his Mum's hands and keeping the wrappers in spite of her instruction to toss them away. I think its consistent with his character in canon--he usually follows authority, but when he knows something is the wrong thing to do, he won't do it. Well done with that. I paused at the idea of Neville being able to legitimately remember anything at all from his life with his parents. He would only have been about a year old when he lost them (I think), and I've never heard of a child remembering anything from their first year of life. The memory is good though, and I think if you wanted to make a change, you could just mention that it felt like a real memory because he'd heard it so many times from his Gran, and seen it in pictures. Well done with this. Your Neville is true to canon and I just want to squeeze him. I enjoyed reading. ~Lori
So I decided to go get some points for Hufflepuff in the Review Drive, and what joy do I find but a story from you with hardly any reviews? Readers should be ashamed of themselves. And Arlienne??? I adore her!Once I saw this, I did remember you writing something about her but I must have been too swamped to read at the time. She is one of my favorite OCs of all I've read in the Potterverse, as I loved her and Sirius' tragic story in Raindrops. She is well-done here, too, and I like the inclusion of Regulus playing both sides of the fence on this one. He is such an intriguing character and I was surprised that he was the one to warn her. It worked very well, though. Sirius is so often a player in everything I read, and of course, there is evidence to support such a thing. But the real strength of this story for me is that she is the one who got to him. He fell in love, even if their time was short, and it adds so much to his character, to give him that story. No surprises here really, since I know a lot of their story from Raindrops, but I really enjoyed this, Gina. Both of their scenes together were beautiful and beautifully-written, and the whole thing is just so, so sad. In a good way. I have no crit (drat, hopefully Jess will still give me points) except that I noticed a couple of typos, but that didn't stop me loving this story one little bit. Well done.
Oh dear, this was so much fun! I love trio missing moments, and this did not disappoint. You've captured their voices well, and I was smiling throughout. Well done.Favorite part: Hermione asking if Harry was trained to do that. LOL!
Jess, this is so good. I loved your characterization of both Adrian and Miles, and the complexity of their friendship (which became that much more complex as the story moved on). You did such a good job with Adrian--he wasn't perfect, but he was a hero of sorts, certainly. I'm glad Samuel was punished. Miles's story was such a tragic one, and I loved that Adrian insisted on justice. Nice twist at the end, with them being brothers. I paused a bit that Adrian seemed so merciful to his own father at the end, but I see it as Adrian maybe seeing his father as a human finally. Though his actions toward his son were certainly inexcusable.This kind of subject matter is not easy to write with sensitivity and realism, but you managed it well. With you, I would expect nothing less. Well done, and congratulations on the nomination! ~ Lori
I've known this story since I wrote Hollow Soldiers, but it took a lot to actually write it. I wanted to give it my best (which is why I actually went through five drafts of this story before even considering publishing it), but also make sure that I got the *feel* of it right. I do believe I did that, and if asked by anyone which story of mine is the best, this would be it. I tried the hardest, it meant the most, and while I'm saddened that it wasn't up to par enough to do better in D/A, it is nice that the sequel to it won a QSQ.
In this story, I must confess that Adrian is a bit of a self-insertion in terms of how he deals with things that suck. Basically, he ignored the problems Miles had until they were so much in his face that he no longer could, but it niggled him that he was ignoring it. Inwardly, I believe that Adrian wanted his own problems to be the focus of his life (aren't all teenagers selfish in that regard, at least to a point?), but Adrian just isn't built to be that selfish and his apathy does eat at him. And he does end up doing the right thing because he liberated himself from his own personal hell (his father's abuse) and understood the power of doing so. Even posthumously, he fought for Miles because no one else ever did - both because he needed to for himself and because he lost his brother almost before he ever knew he had one.
In terms of Adrian's dad, it does seem odd that he would want to start fresh, but as I mentioned before, Adrian removed any power his dad had over him or his mother. The man lays one hand on either him or his mum and Adrian will turn his nose from an outtie to an innie. And I think Adrian finally understands that it was never his fault or his mother's fault that they were abused, but while he lay blame where it was due, he saw fit to help his father be a better man than just pretend he doesn't exist. Pretending Miles's problems didn't exist ended up with his brother being a Death Eater and, in the end, dead. He wanted to do better this time. It wasn't his responsibility, but at this point, he just didn't want to lose anyone else. Plus, despite his numerous and inexcusable sins, Adrian's father was not nearly the monster Samuel was, and forgiveness didn't seem like such a far-off thing when the two things were put side-by-side.
Anyway, thanks for reading, and if you ever want to know more about the characters, let me know. I have so much headcanon for all of them that it's ridiculous.
Aida, I think this is such a compelling little fic. You've got into Peter's head very convincingly, and I love all the comparison between who he is as a human and who he is as a rat. The idea of the colors being different. I had a strong reaction to his desire to see some Gryffindor red, in that I wanted to pummel him for thinking he should get that priviledge. And yet, you made me feel for him in the first section, that he wasn't ready to die, and he wasn't like the others. Which he wasn't.Unlike the previous reviewer, I see no issue with Peter being able to get around Hogwarts as a rat. First, rats get around, and people are in and out of Gryffindor constantly, so he would have been able to use the portrait hole at those times. Second, and more importantly, the books tell us he got around the castle. End of story. ;) The bit with the Bloody Baron takes this fic up a notch, in my opinion. We see so much there, that he was tested by the others intentionally, that he was brave enough to do and cared enough to prove it. The Peter you've written here does have something to prove, and I found that very interesting, character-wise. Also, the Baron's response... wow. Perfect, perfect to include this bit, and it adds layers to everything you're writing here. The idea that James and Sirius brought the scene about and heard the answer, and Peter... just so very good. "After a few minutes of struggling and failing accept what he has done, he transforms back into a rat." I think this sentence is missing a word or two. I know its a niggly little thing, but here at the end of the fic, when you've introduced his guilt and are about to land a powerful ending line, I think it might warrant an edit. I stumbed there and had to reread a few times to understand what Peter was truly feeling. But again, that's so nitpicky of me, I realize. The end is so, so good. The idea that life as a rat is simpler makes perfect sense and yet, it leaves me unsettled (as it should) knowing Peter is able to escape the guilt and punishment he so well deserves to feel. But I imagine that is exactly how it would have been for him. Beautifully written, Aida. ~ Lori
Oh, how I love them all, especially when you are writing them. You can have James if I can have Remus. :)On the edge of my seat here....
I knew it would be a dreadful cliffhanger, you tease. ;) Really enjoying this--your use of magic is very good as always, and the J/L tension is just LOVE. Bring more soon....
Author's Response: Thank you Lori!! I'm so glad you enjoy my J/L stories. I always worry I am the only one who does, lol. And of course there is a cliffhanger. I love cliffhangers!! LOL Thanks again - more soon! ~Gina :)
Ooh, a diagram--I was wondering how in the world you keep such excellent track of all your battles. You are just so good at it. Nice action, with lots of emotion as well. I especially liked the inclusion of Dorcas's reaction and Orsino trying to save his staff. Well done, as always.
Ooh, look what I found on the most recents? With QSQ responsibilities taking up all my reading time and energy, I'm so behind on what my favorite authors have been doing. So this is me getting caught up.This is a great read so far! The awkwardness between them in the first chapter is just painful, and I'm glad its resolving a bit here at the end of the second chapter. Still, why did she say nooooo?? Clearly, she isn't sure that was the right call. Am I right? Well? ;) I adore your James, you know that, and this is no exception. I clicked on this knowing it was J/L, and was even more thrilled to see it was from his POV, because you are the master. Can't wait to see where this is going! Well done! ~Lori
Did I not review after chapter eight? Strange. I really loved the charmed ring--nice touch, and perfectly Sirius. This was a fitting end. I enjoyed the bit with the portkey and the fact that the other three didn't get to see the proposal. Get your own lives, people! Haha!Well done, as always, Gina. I've enjoyed reading! ~Lori
A companion piece to The Fire I Yearn For . It's not strictly necessary to read that first, though it may help you understand the events that unfold.
I enjoy stories like this, in which the seventh year is experienced through the eyes of a character other than Harry. Your Michael is interesting, and I liked being in his head, particularly on the platform and as he entered the train.You've really got me interested in Mandy. She's nearly an unknown character and yet she obviously trusts Michael. I wondered if they were a couple, or if they were just especially good friends, that she was comfortable grabbing his hand and crying into his chest. I'm interested in what she had to go through over the summer, and look forward to learning more about her in upcoming chapters. I thought your characterization of Ginny was interesting. I agree that she would have considered that first day back a very difficult one. But she does bounce back from those days, I think, as she was a leader in the D.A. that year. I look forward to seeing where you take her in upcoming chapters. I was going to niggle you about the "golden trio" bit, but I see Carole has already mentioned it. I certainly don't want to pile on, but the phrase has become such a joke in fanon that it really did startle me to see it coming out of Anthony's mouth. But it's your story, of course. I'm glad to see you plan to continue this, and look forward to seeing what these characters get up to next. Happy writing! ~Lori