I am a recent member of the Harry Potter fandom, but I have always had a passion for the written word, and I hope to fulfill it here. I live in a relatively boring corner of Idaho, and I like Kokanee and a good book!
So, I suppose you're wondering what's up with my username. Even if you're not, this is how that happened. No, I was not aspiring to be a Gryffindor. I can't think of any house to which I would belong less than Gryffindor, in fact. It was a moment of clarity that I got while I was battling with myself about whether I should want to be Sorted into Gryffindor to be like Harry or to be Sorted elsewhere and follow my own path. I thought it to be much like the contemplative scene in Hamlet when he weighed taking his own life. I'm not trying to be melodramatic. That's simply is what popped into my head when I was trying to sign up to leave a review. :D
Any questions or comments about my work? Please shoot me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org — I'd love to hear from you!
Summary: A Christmas classic gets the Luna Lovegood treatment (sort of) ...
Merlin's twisted knickers, you're brilliant! I just love how you can take something as random as a Snorkack, give it a backstory, and do so in such wonderful fashion. I really have no words for it. I do wish that you did more parodies, because you're a supreme talent at it. Bravo!
Grins and giggles,
gosh, I'm REALLY sorry that I haven't responded to your reviews earlier. I don't always get notification from mnff that one has arrived and I just logged in after a break to find I had 8 unanswered reviews ...
Wow, you really like your song parodies, don't you? Actually, I rather enjoy writing them :) It's an absolute gas matching an HP moment with a well-known hit and seeing what happens. Fortunately, I've been lucky so far in my song selection ...
This one was really a tribute to Luna. I think she would've enjoyed waltzing around Hogwarts belting this one out to anyone who'd listen! She's such a sweetie!
And so are you :) Thanks again for R & R-ing and making my day :)
Summary: After his recklessness leads to a savage attack on someone he loves, Teddy Lupin sets off on a quest to discover a black unicorn.
The black unicorn is reputed to have magical healing properties.
The black unicorn could be Lily Potter’s only chance of a future.
The black unicorn, he is told, does not exist.
But Teddy is not alone in believing in the animal. Backed by the Scamanders, he travels across three continents in search of a myth, all the while aware that he’s following in his mother’s footsteps.
I am Equinox Chick from Hufflepuff and this is my entry in Round 8 of The Gauntlet.
Disclaimer: I'm not JK Rowling. I doubt that shocks anyone.
Tough challenge indeed! I'm glad to see you had the good sense not to write a bloody novel, like I did.
As I know the bastard nature of these prompts, let me say that this is very well thought out - much more so than most of the rest, I'm sure. Finding a cure for lycanthropy is awesome, of course, but the journey itself was bitchin'. :D
I really loved how Teddy talked to him mum's picture and the flashbacks that showed why Lily was in such dire straits. It flowed pretty good (especially for a Gauntlet piece, hehe), and I really enjoyed reading it.
I hope one of us wins. Your story is pretty friggin good. :)
Summary: Have you ever felt undermined, discouraged, shadowed? I have. For all of my life, I have been pushed deep under the surface, struggling to break free.
The worse part, the person who daily commits this crime is the person I call; Mother.
Smothered and suffocated by her darkness, still I search for light. Can I ever break free?
This story was written as a character study for the characterisation class on the MNFF beta boards.
I want to thank my amazing beta Becca aka ringobeatlesfan4, or for those who know her on the boards, twilightHPgirl18. Thank you, without your amazing talent this would never be :)
Also I want to thank my Prof's, Prof Nikki, Prof Haylee, your class has been amazing.
I really like this characterization of Pansy, because we, as fans, treat her rather mercilessly for trying to sell out Harry; even JKR is guilty of bastardizing the Slytherins to us by only outlining all of their mistakes.
It's easy to see how Pansy could be the way she was in the books with a beast of a mother like that. It makes a lot of sense, at least to me, that she would radiate these qualities, no matter how much she hated her mum. In a way, you actually characterized her mother as much as you did Pansy, but that works very well here, because in essence, Pansy started out like her mother until she took a good look into the mirror and realized that she was exactly what she hated in her mother. It's just a shame it took so long for her to notice.
I can see how Pansy could care for Draco, because I imagine he was only a mean little git to non-Slytherins, so he was most likely pretty good to her. She should have known, though, that the Dark Mark on his arm would spell the end for them as a couple, but truthfully, she's probably so worried about keeping up appearances that she didn't really stop to think about it until it was too late.
Well, anyhow, I really like this piece, and I hope Teacher gives you a gold star. Good luck! :)
Take care and happy writing,
Note: I spotted a couple typos, and since this is for a class, I figured you'd want to know. :)
I was sure that Mother could hear me, and this made ___ cry even more,
Missing a 'me,' I assume.
She nodded. "I still don't understand...it is hideous," she" said rudely.
Author's Response: Well i'm glad that you took to my characterization of Pansy, it was a worry because we know so little about her. You really seemed to get what i was trying to portray, especially the Draco situation. I'm glad that you enjoyed it, and thank you for your comment- believe it or not the comments are the best bit. Lauren :)
Summary: Bill Weasley was the coolest, the most accomplished, and in many ways, the wisest among the Weasley siblings. But he also got something which no other Weasley did – a cursed letter sent by a mysterious pen-pal that made his ears shrivel up. This is the story behind that unfortunate incident.
This is hestiajones of Hufflepuff writing for the final task of the Winter Character Exploration Class over at the beta-boards.
Thanks to two BRILLIANT GIRLS who made this one-shot possible – Jess (ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor), who took care of all the technical errors and saved me from besmirching the Portuguese language, and Carole (Equinox Chick) who rescued me with her feedback on the writing and also with Briticisms.
DISCLAIMER So not J.K.Rowling.
Though I've already read this (a few times, actually), I thought I should leave a review, just as a congratulatory present, as well as a thank you gift for teaching me the finer points of the 'Track Changes' function.
I really liked your premise for the story, though it would have been awesome times twelve if I knew how Bill met/got in contact with Beatriz in the first place, but I'm sure you'll share. :)
One of the parts that I enjoyed the most was the attack of Bill's conscience, which was a gigantic factor in this story. Without it, none of it would have ever happened. Not only would his parents still feel rotten about not being able to give him the gift of a trip to Brasil, he would have never made amends with his former penpal/first crush, which would have, IMO, thrown him out of character.
I always saw Bill as edgy, but a bit of all right. He cares deeply for his family, but just like every kid his age when he got his last letter from Beatriz, he says/does stupid and insensitive things. Those of us who love our characters tend to (and wrongly so) skip those traits in favor of more admirable ones, but I love that you didn't.
Yay for Portuguese being so similar to Spanish! I could read through all the Portuguese sequences without missing a beat, and not just because I already knew what they said, lol. I like her mama a lot, especially her derision at Beatriz cursing Bill.
Well, that's all for now, and I should SO not still be awake. So consider this my official *squee*, and I look forward to your next piece.
Luv ya bunches, and as always, happy writing!
Author's Response: Lol to the Track Changes part.
Yes, ahem, about how Bill and Beatriz met - I have no effing clue as of now. I didn't think much of it because it really wasn't important to my one-shot, but I knew I'd have to deal with it later on.
Bill seemed too perfect for me (though I am not pointing fingers at Rowling), but that incident always nagged me. How do you think a teenager would receive an incident like that? I've been one, and shortage of money can be a bit daunting when you're of any age, but somehow it cuts you deeper when you're a teenager. So, yes, that was why I chose that topic over others for the final task.
Apart from that, Bill seemed to understand Ron so well. Something had to be there. Plus, how could I end it without him making up with Beatriz? hehe.
I have to thank you again for the Portuguese, though. I mean, if you hadn't noticed that mishap with BabelFish, I'd have had been murdered by a real Portuguese.
Love ya lots!
Summary: When Draco Malfoy reads an article in The Cavendish Examiner about a sighting of a Nundu for the first time in years, he has no idea where the journey will finally lead him.
I've been meaning to read this for a while now, and I adore how you utilized the prompts. Instead of thinking of anything so clever, I drug poor James across the whole planet, but you, ever the Draco expert, made him go to exotic places without even setting foot in a single one! I LOVE the ending...it's so very Malfoy.
Harry is so freaking gullible, it's great. He was even starting to warm to Draco (which, I admit, gives me warm fuzzies), but it was all a neatly-crafted, very in character, Malfoy fabrication.
Very well done. Good luck in the judging. :)
Summary: Hermione finds herself alone in the corridor after the Final Battle, trapped by two men who want very different things from her. How will she react to their demands?
I've been meaning to read this for a while, but with my current logjam of things I have yet to write, it sort of slipped by the wayside.
Wow! I mean, this is a very intense story. The themes and concepts are new and terrible (not the bad kind, well, yeah, the bad kind... >.> you know what I mean), but they're not implausible. People do hideous things to one another without magic; imagine what they can do with the assistance of magic. The possibilities are startling.
I have to admit that it's not easy to swallow Goyle doing that at first. Sure, he has just been traumatized and will probably go to prison for what he did while at Hogwarts, but it was marked in the Fiendfyre scene that it was Crabbe who was the cruel and violent one. Personally, I always thought that Crabbe and Goyle were a 'thing', so the death of his best 'friend' could send him over the edge. What saved it for me was him describing the Fiendfyre eating at his flesh. That he believed her responsible, even though it was his own dumbass friend that cast the curse, could definitely drive him to violate her magically and physically.
I read all the other reviews before I read the story, and I don't see how it could seem at all implausible that she could bash him over the head and kill him in a primal way. Obviously, whoever thinks that it's not possible has never been attacked by anyone before. It's not fun, and it's terrifying. Would I kill someone with a rock like she did in that situation? Fuck yeah, I would. No hesitation. And profanity for an exclamation point!
The scene with Draco was interesting. At this point, I'm sure that Draco is not half the entitled bastard that he was pre-HBP. I sort of picture him rolling up his sleeve to expose his Dark Mark and say something like, "You don't believe I would do anything for my family? This is what I'll do for family!" I suppose I drink the Reformed!Draco kool-aid, but if he was really that desperate to not go to prison (and face it, who wouldn't be?), I do see him crossing one last line to get what he wants. Yet again, I had questions at first, but you answered them further in the story. Well done.
And the last part is probably the best. Hermione was so happy with herself in that split second, but it hit her that she had just done something terrible and covered it up by doing something nearly as reprehensible. And it all had happened in a few minutes. It's a trap (title reference...yeah!) into which anyone could fall, and Hermione is deliciously imperfect. I don't begrudge her at all what she did, as I probably would have killed Goyle, burnt the body, toasted marshmallows over the flames and pissed on the ashes. But she's of a different moral ilk than me, so her guilt and shame was extraordinarily fitting. She was supposed to be one of the good guys, but...awesome!
Great read, and shame on me for not reading it sooner! Take care and happy writing,
Summary: Harry and Lord Voldemort were connected. It tortured Harry to his very core, but he could not shut it down, until ...
Disclaimer; I am not JK Rowling. That doesn't surprise anyone, I'm sure.
Normally, I steer (very) clear of poetry, as I don't particularly understand its appeal or the hidden meanings that are supposed to be in it (Emily Dickenson be damned, nothing but the original EMO chick). But, as YOU wrote this, I read it anyway, and I have to say, I actually like it. It may have something to do with knowing what it's actually about and not some vague subject that nobody can figure out, but yeah...
The imagery of Harry's internal struggles is pretty powerful, which concisely outlines the way he takes everyone's pain, everyone's suffering, on himself, as if it was somehow his fault, all the while battling the growing intensity of the connection with Voldemort's conscious mind. The way you captured the burdens of his mind is pretty wicked.
Yay for you, writing a poem that I like. :D
Author's Response: Thank you very much, Jess. I've only just got back into writing poetry having written some truly dreadful love poetry in the past. Glad you enjoyed it.
Summary: Hermione has to chose between Harry and Ron, between friendship and love.
Er, I don't know how I never noticed this story in the queue when it came out, considering I normally watch for Harmony like a hawk.
Lyss, this was lovely. You managed to take canon events and give them a slight, what-if-this-happened-instead push, thus creating a little pocket of AU inside of established events. It's a lovely idea, one which I would have adored, had it happened in the series, but it was nice to see such a neat little snippet of what might have been.
I don't hide the fact that second person really isn't my thing, mainly because of the overload of the word 'you', just as the word 'I' drives me nuts about first person, butyou do well with it. Most novice 2nd person writers will begin every.damned.sentence. with 'you', but you thankfully keep it fresh and enticing. The focus is on the story, not the pronouns. Thank you for that. :)
All in all, this was a wonderful drabble-come-one-shot. I'm glad I decided to stalk the SBBCer story thread, because that led me to this story. :D
Take care and happy writing,
What would the official song of Dumbledore’s Army sound like?
Haha, what a charming read. I can picture the music video for this song in my head as I read it (in all of its disturbing glory), and I relate it so easily to the DA standing up to the Carrows and making Snape's life a living hell. Very nicely done. :)
Take care and happy writing,
Hello ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor (Jess),
Your comment about picturing the music video for the song made me smile so much! I'm so chuffed it evoked such a vivid mental image! That's probably one of the nicest compliments I've ever had!
And I would LOVE to see such a video, too! Most especially the part where the Carrows are getting the poo kicked out of them by the same students they tortured for a year!
Erm, I may be a bit sadistic, which worries me slightly ...
Thanks for R & R-ing,
Summary: On the morning of Christmas Day, 2000, Hermione Granger (soon-to-be-Weasley) wakes up from a delightful dream to find herself in a bathroom at Grimmauld Place.
As various Weasleys queue up to tell her all about her behaviour the night before at Aunt Muriel's birthday party, Hermione is in a state of shock.
She knows she didn't drink anything stronger than Butterbeer. So why was she wearing a toga and teaching everyone how to perform Greek dancing?
And what, in the name of Merlin, was she doing with George?
This is Equinox Chick and this is my entry for the extra credit challenge 'In Vino Veritas' for the Winter Snows 09 competition over at the MNFF beta boards.
Thank you to Apurva for beta'ing this tale in time. Thanks also to various people on AIM for telling me to get on with this (Jess, Natalie, Hannah, Russia, Kara, BB)
Disclaimer: I'm not JK Rowling. She would never have written anything quite so daft.
Claimer: I have disgraced myself wearing a toga before now.
I laughed throughout this entire thing, I hope you know. At every turn, Hermione was finding out that she had done something ridiculously uncharacteristic, each one of which was more outrageous than the next.
The use of a cursed book is a stroke of creativity that I personally adore. To take something that is unique to Hermione amongst her friends (books) and turn it into her downfall is excellent.
And McLaggen. I mean...seriously, in his underpants? Freaking hysterical - so much so that I'm still laughing periodically at the mental image. I love you for that. :D
George nodded solemnly. “That’s all there was to it, Hermione.”
She grinned at him. “Oh, thank goodness for that. I was afraid I’d done something really awful.” She stopped and blushed again. “Not that being with you would be at all awful, George. I’m sure you’re very ... um...”
He laughed. “Yes, Hermione, I’m very ... ‘um’.’”
This. Part. Is. Classic. It just seems like such a George thing to say, not to mention a very Hermione attempt to remove her foot from her mouth. :D
Until we meet YET again (no, I'm not done),
Summary: : Remembering the forgotten ice-cream man of Diagon Alley.
This is hestiajones of Hufflepuff writing for the Stirring prompt of the Winter Snows Challenge at the beta boards
Thanks to Elene (CoolCatElly) for beta-ing this. And Jess (ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor) and Carole(Equinox Chick), where would I be without your help?
Disclaimer: This is not J.K.Rowling. However, this is someone who wishes she was J.K.Rowling.
Ah, so now, I finally get around to reviewing...I fail, lol.
Of course, as you know, the thought, research, and care you put into this was stupendous. Andrew seems to come to life, as if he's reading this to us and we're not just reading it out of the Prophet.
Florean was another stroke of brilliance on your part; taking this small role from canon and making it a much larger part of the DH picture. There are so many unexplored facets in the tangled web of that book, so it's great to see one of them explored so beautifully.
Well, get well soon (thought maybe a review would cheer you up), and I shall bump into thee at a later time.
Summary: “Victoire …?” The realization that has popped into his head is not a welcome one. Sure he is mistaken, he rubs his tired eyes, but the naked angel on his bed doesn’t go away. “Oh, shit.”
After a drunken night of intimacy together, Teddy and Victoire have some decisions to make regarding their relationship.
Haha, now I'm going to leave you a less crappy review than I did on LJ!
Just as the other reviewers pointed out, I really like how you characterised Teddy. He seemed like he was in such a state, and his emotions and doubts were so real for me as a reader. I really don't think I've read a better rendition of him during my time in fan fiction (I haven't read Teddy/Victoire as a pairing, but I've read them as separate characters). He is just so genuine and human, it really adds so much to your story.
Victoire was good for as much facetime as she got. Though Teddy was the main focus of the fic, Victoire was a huge part of this, and I really loved how you had her lie to Teddy. Imperfect people make perfect stories to me, and the way both she and Teddy were imperfect, flawed human beings really added so much to their believability.
Your Harry made me laugh. He's so much like the Harry I know in my head. He was a star, covering for Teddy, even against he fearsome flock of redheaded Weasley women. That takes some stones, hehe. He didn't judge, but he was understanding. Contrary to popular belief, Harry had a lot of growing up to do after DH, and learning to accept mistakes and so forth was part of that. You showed an appropriate amount of insight into his personality, and since he's my favourite major character, I really love that about this piece.
Your meticulous work with the timeline was... I have no words. There was not one canon mistake. Not a single one. I can't even describe the number of times that I've read Next-Gen stories and figuratively - and sometimes literally - beat my head on my desk, frustrated because a simple fact in canon, easily accessed through the Lexicon, was missed because the author couldn't be arsed to look it up.
The fact that you got everyone's age right, the characters in general, and it was well-written makes this an awesome fic - one which I intend to put in the recommendation thread on the Beta Boards for this category. You made me smile the first time I read it, and I loved it just as much the second time around.
The pacing and flow of the story were spectacular. There were no dead moments in the story, and there were none that were too overloaded with information or drama. It was structured just so beautifully for readability and enjoyability. It is a gift among writers (and one that I do not have, I'm afraid) for ease in reading their work. Enjoy this gift, and don't you dare waste it!
I hope you love this fic as much as I do, because you've really done a stellar piece of characterisation for Teddy. Total win for you!
Well, that's all for now, so take care and happy writing. I am, of course, on the lookout for new chapters of The Torment Bred in the Race. ^_^
Summary: A snippet taken from a Sunday Prophet of December 2000.
The aftermath of the Battle marked some of the darkest hours for Charlie Weasley and his family. But just when he can't possibly think of how to find happiness again, a chance encounter might light the way.
This is Karaley Dargen from Gryffindor, writing for the Winter Snows ’09 prompt Stirring.
From the prompt: “Stirring (a column with a self-stirring cauldron as an icon) is the Sunday edition’s main feature. In it, readers can contribute their own inspiring anecdotes.”
Thank you, Emma (Amortentia x), for betaing this story for me :)
Also, I'm not JKR. GASP!
Hmm, Charlie/Oliver. I'm definitely interested. :-D
Charlie is, without a doubt, the most overlooked Weasley in the Potterverse, and every time I read something about him, I learn a bit about him and what I think he's like, as well as the author's POV.
I really like the way you portrayed him, uncomfortable with a 'day job,' confined by a desk, when what he really wanted was open air and activity. When a person is grieving, the last thing he needs is to have too much time to sit on his duff and think about what he's lost, but the change of career was perfect for him.
Very kind of Carole to lend you Oliver, because I believe that he works extremely well here. Catching up with an old friend after many years, only to find that your feelings have changed about them, is a great way to move on from a tragedy. Friends have that unique ability.
Your style really fulfilled my own personal notions of Charlie - not a big talker, but when he does, he's very well-spoken. The way you wrote it made him seem real, and that was powerful in itself without the story. The story, though, is a complete gem.
All right, I think that's enough out of me. My brain refuses to spit out anything more coherent than this at this point in time, so I shall check in with you again when the second part comes through the queue. Happy writing, and good luck with the Challenge!
P.S. - I noticed a couple of odd bits that might need fixing. Feel free to ignore me if I'm completely wrong (it happens...a lot).
I, in turn, told him about my new colleagues and my boss: Frank Alderton, and the Roman Rampart, an Italian Quidditch team Frank and I were going to meet at the end of the week.
The colon looks sort of wonky used this way. Maybe a plain old comma would fit more. And just a question...was 'Rampart' intentionally unpluralised, or was that a typo? I have no idea, so...(this is the part where you are more than free to ignore me, lol)
Summary: Amelia Bones is a diligent student. Head Girl, with a handsome and well-connected boyfriend, she has her whole future mapped out for her.
She does not expect to fall in love quite so hard, and quite so fast with someone totally unsuitable.
I am Equinox Chick from Hufflepuff and this is my entry fot the February Love Challenge - category Forbidden Love - in the Great Hall on the MNFF beta boards.
I am indebted to Natalie (hestiajones) for beta'ing this fic and for all her support whilst I was writing it.
Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling. I doubt that surprises anyone.
The Dance We Do won the QSQ in 2010 for Best Same Sex Pairing. Thank you.
Ooh, my first Femmeslash!
This story is passionate, feisty, raw, and heartbreaking all at once. Poor Amelia for having to live her life alone, and poor Bellatrix for having to kill the one she really wanted to be with.
This doesn't feel like normal slash at all; it gives me the 'this really could have happened' feeling, which is a super, mega bonus.
Very nice, and I'm glad to see you beat this one into submission, considering the amount of angst it caused you, lol.
Until we meet again!
Summary: Even as a grown woman, Parvati Patil still has a small box that holds her memories. A fraction of the countless letters she received from her best friend (and copies of the letters she sent her) and notes passed between them at school are in there too - and even a page of the diary she hardly ever used.
One part of those old letters are the only reminder of Parvati's first love; a love never openly admitted to, and a love never requited.
This is Karaley Dargen of Gryffindor writing for the Great Hall February Month of Love Challenge, First Love Prompt
The way you did this story with letters, notes, and a diary entry is so unique. It tells a story in a roundabout way, not just 'this is what happened.' I can soooooo see Parvati crushing on Harry and never say anything, because he is, after all, 'The Boy Who Lived.' That makes him sort of untouchable, not to mention her parents would probably not like her dating someone who had the darkest wizard of all time trying to kill him.
All in all, very nice. :) Good luck with the challenge.
Nominated for a 2010 QSQ Award!
*crossing fingers, hoping this thing will let me review*
Aw, Jules, it was gorgeous. The way you manipulate the words, make them more than the sum of their syllables, is truly amazing. The language supersedes mere characters on a page, each word blending together so soulfully, glued together with an extra helping of amazing that seems to flow from you when you write poetry. Every line of this poem makes me remember that part. I will admit, I DID see the movie before I read the book, but I will also admit that I CRIED IN PUBLIC.
You, dear, have given me a tear or two on this day, a little bit of heartbreak, and an overall sense of awe. So much happened around Harry as he knelt at Dumbledore's side, so much that he missed. You brought it to life, you gave it tangibility outside of what we 'know' happened.
I really love how your use of iambic pentameter allows it to roll of the tongue with ease. There just isn't anything in it that is sloppy or difficult to handle. The repetition really helps to tie it in so well, bringing the reader (that's me!) back to Harry, but each foray into the background from Harry and Dumbledore's body brings a new, powerful emotion to the surface. I have no idea if you do that intentionally (I'm guessing you do), or whether it's just something that comes naturally, but I am so glad that I can type this out, since I seriously can't talk right now.
Absolutely stunning. It's absolutely stunning, and the moment the nomination threads for QSQs go up, this bad boy is going on there.
PS-Please excuse my rambliness. You do that to me sometimes with your awesomeness.
Author's Response: Oh, Jess! Thanks for the read and lovely review! I always like hearing what you think. Is it mean that I'm quite proud of giving you a tear? That's made grin like a complete lunatic! Oh well. Anyway, thank you so much for the glowing review and hope for a possible QSQ nomination :p You're awesome as well! Julia XD
Summary: To Dean Thomas, it seems like the rest of the wizarding world is moving on with their post-war lives while he remains stuck in the past. But a near-terrible action shows Dean than perhaps he is not as alone as he thinks, and that with the help of the people close to him, he may eventually be able to move on.
Rut roh… Jess is paying a visit to Hannah now. [cue doom music] Hide the cheese and the Cherry Coke!
I really like how this starts out. Dean is not unlike how I portray Harry after the battle. It’s over, he knows it’s over, yet there is almost a sense of loss, because now, he doesn’t know what to do with himself. I imagine that it’s the same for those coming back from war overseas; the soldier comes back from his tour of duty, but now that he’s left behind the only reality that he’s known for months – maybe even years – he’s not entirely sure what to do with himself. From the opening couple paragraphs, you’re already deep inside his head, and I know right away that this piece will pack a lot of meaning into 2200+ words.
Even though Dean had his ‘other world’ as they referred to it, and even though his Mum and her new husband had had children of their own, he had always felt like a Thomas. But he didn’t anymore.
He was completely alone.
This part tells so much in so few words. It’s like Dean realises that, now that he had been through one of the most gruesome wizarding wars in history, he didn’t feel like he could fit into a Muggle environment anymore. He had been forcibly detached from everything that he loved and knew as a child, and now that he has that chance to go back, he can’t do it. It isn’t his world anymore, no matter how much he wants it to be. This is also another mark of a battle-hardened soldier – difficulty acclimating to a civilian environment after the trauma of war.
Dean’s ‘almost’ relationship with Luna at Shell Cottage is definitely something that makes one think, to want to see between the lines. JKR said herself that many things happened between the pages of Deathly Hallows, and to me, one of the most fascinating has been the Dean/Luna interaction. I can see how, after spending time with cantankerous Goblins, being chased by Snatcher squads, and eventually being imprisoned in the cellar of Malfoy Manor, when he was finally free of that, he would come to crave the almost childlike spirit of Luna. Her personality makes her so unflappable in the face of everything horrible that she must feel like an oasis to him – the eye of the hurricane, so to speak.
I thought it was interesting how the phone sat there, almost mocking him, challenging him to do what he probably should have done the day after the Battle. The fact that he actually dialled the numbers seemed to me like he was acknowledging the need for a new order to things, a sense of normalcy. But when he hung up, I think my heart broke a little bit. He’s so broken and lost and alone, it’s almost like he doesn’t know how to be any other way, or worse – how to get out of it.
It’s interesting how his righteous anger starts to turn into hate. He hates Voldemort, that’s a given (many do), but it seemed like he hated himself and the life that he should have had that he would never get back. His coming of age should have been a joyous occasion, one worthy of celebration, but instead, he had been running for his life. The bitterness that’s taking over him is really starting to show now.
Okay, I like Neville. I really do. But I really wanted him to NOT be there when Dean showed up at the Lovegood’s home. It just seemed so damned unfair that he needed that time with Luna and someone else was there to take that from him, just like everything else was taken from him. His feelings of near betrayal that she wasn’t as sad and miserable as he was… it was heart-wrenching. When Luna said what she said, that Dean was ‘kind’ to her, it made me want to pull her hair. I know, that’s not very sporting of me, but knowing what I know of Dean’s emotional state, it just seems plain cruel that his last comfort in the world had been stolen by the ‘f’ word (She didn’t say it exactly, but ‘friend’ is one on the largest relationship killers known to man).
The way you wrote Neville during this was great. Though he is the heroic, Horcrux-killing, newly confident, Voldemort-spiting man that had once been the trembling boy on the Sorting stool, he still has that air of uncertainty about him. He really wanted to make sure that he wasn’t crossing any lines or overstepping any boundaries, especially when it came to someone that he had essentially lived with for 6 years and the girl come woman that he obviously cared about.
“But he wasn’t there for all of it.”
Oh, stab! Seriously, if Dean had vomited on the spot, I wouldn’t have blamed him one bit. I can just picture him, screaming in his mind that no one had been through what he had, either, but that didn’t mean that he didn’t need her. He felt betrayed, even more alone than ever, and that soooo sucked for him. You’ve really carved out a well of sympathy in me for Dean’s plight. This makes me want to write a story about him, just so I can resolve some of these feelings that he, as well as myself, is having.
When he ran from her and Neville, I knew it would not end well. He couldn’t have thought that she wouldn’t come after him, considering the fact that both of them had been startled by someone who could have been an intruder, not to mention that she would go after him anyway once she knew who it was. She did care for him, after all, even if she was in love with Neville.
And as Jenny said in her review, the small detail of the wands being brandished at the sound of a disturbance, purely by instinct, was awesome. Nobody could live the lives that they had in the past year and not be at least a little jumpy; it was a nice touch, which also added an entire new dimension to the characterisation of Neville and Luna with three simple words.
Their confrontation is so awkward, since Dean’s head is obviously spinning from the dissolution of his illusions. It felt like he had held out one last hope that she would pull him out of his self-pitying rut, but Neville had dashed that away and Luna didn’t seem to do anything to stop it. To me, he felt betrayed and completely alone, more now than ever, even to the point when he wasn’t sure if he even wanted to talk to her. I just want to hug him. :-
Then his outrage started. He was angry and hurt at her implication – or at least that was what he thought it was – that her and Neville’s struggles at Hogwarts were worse or more valid than his own. That rush of bitterness and hate inside of him was so strong, and I think he fought it as much as he could, but I feel like he was almost watching someone else try to hit Luna. It was like that monster that had been dwelling inside of him roared to attention when he felt like she had left him behind. The possessiveness is, indeed, indicative of early childhood abuse, but that’s still no excuse. I do, however, understand why he felt that way, even if I by no means condone it.
Oh, thank you, Neville! I knew that there was a reason why I like you so much. I had rather hoped that this form of Neville would never have to make an appearance again, the one that would protect his own at all costs, but it was nice to see that he kept Dean from making one of the worst mistakes of his life.
I could see the wheels turning in Dean’s head as he processed what had just happened, as well as what had almost happened. The inner turmoil was so clear and defined, and the way you built it was phenomenal. He knew that he needed help; he knew that he couldn’t deal with everything alone. It only made sense that he sought Harry’s help. Harry had, after all, essentially saved the whole world – why shouldn’t he be able to save Dean from himself.
For a moment, I had almost forgotten that Dean and Ginny had been an item, so I was confused for a second when Harry looked so annoyed. Once my brain kicked back into thinking gear, I felt a bit of warmth toward Ginny that I usually don’t have (and as you probably well know, lol). Despite the rather awkward ending of Dean/Ginny, I was happy to see her take him into her realm of calm when he needed it the most. I also didn’t see Harry saying ‘no’ to someone with whom he had lived for so long as a friend and someone who had always stood by him, even when the wizarding world didn’t think very highly of Harry Potter.
At this point, I’m really proud of Dean, realising that he had made a mistake and that he needed help. Even more so, though, I’m just glad that he went to someone who could understand what he’d been through and what it was like to run in fear of one’s life from crazy pure-blood, Mudblood-hating maniacs.
It was fitting that Dean didn’t share what had happened at Luna’s house. There would almost certainly have been reprobation from Harry, Ginny, or both. Instead, he finally started to understand that the solution to his problems, his first step to recovery, had been on the other side of that telephone, which had mocked him at the time, yet it beckons to him now.
That he stayed for dinner with the Weasleys was a step in the right direction. He understands that he really isn’t alone, and there are those who went on with their lives, despite all that had happened. Voldemort had stolen so much from them all, so it doesn’t seem right that he could, from death, steal their happiness and sense of peace. That’s just plain unfair.
The fact that you ended this with a ray of hope for Dean did my heart a lot of good. After everything that had happened, both during the War and just moments before with Luna, it just didn’t sit right that he could be so destitute when others seemed to be getting on with things. Thank you for that. : -D
All in all, I really enjoyed reading this. I really hadn’t meant for this review to be so long, but I started jotting down notes and such, and it just sort of came out this way. I really appreciate the amount of characterisation you added to Dean. It just seems so real and so powerful, like it really happened this way. Very seldom to Post-Hogwarts angst stories ring true for me, but you made me believe in this one with your first three paragraphs.
Dean is such a fascinating character, and this new dimension, the one of not being perfect, of almost doing something reprehensible, makes him more human than ever. He’s so flat in the series, so it’s awesome to see him come to life in so few words in your fic. I’m glad I took the time to read and review it.
The way you said so much about the characters in this fic in so few words was spectacular. I feel like I was there the whole time, watching the scene develop, empathising with Dean about the way his life was turning out. I love pieces that can place me inside of a character and make me see what they see, and you, dearest, have done that. Bravo to you!
Well, that’s all I have for today, so I leave you hoping that you feel good about writing this piece, since it is so well done. I really enjoyed reading and reviewing it, and I hope this finds you in good spirits.
Take care and happy writing!
P.S. – I’m not sure if I’m supposed to do this or not, but I spotted a couple minor word errors that you will probably want to fix.
He was always aware of the neighbours’ activities behind the shared walls __ either side,
I believe that ‘on’ was supposed to be there.
He froze on the spot, unable to decide whether to stay __ go,
A missing ‘or’…
…the garden gate clanged shut behind with him so much force that it disturbed the couple…
I think those words were meant to be the other way around.
Again, it’s minor and nitpicky, but it was the only thing at all that bothered me. Cheers!
Sunshine spilled down onto the small grassy spot through a window in the tall trees. She stood a couple of yards back, staring at eleven letters cut into rock. It was beautiful, and yet, to Hermione’s eyes, nowhere near a worthy enough tribute for a life so full of rambunctious joy.
I think my largest decision of the day was to read or not to read a canon-based story. Of course, when canon seemed the decent thing to do for the night, your author page was one of the first that popped into my head. So, I picked a story of yours that I was fairly certain I’d never read before and clicked on it. Silly me, I found that I indeed had read this before and had just forgotten and not reviewed. For shame! However, after another close read of the story, I would dearly like to rectify that matter.
There are so many beautiful elements to this story. First off, as usual with your work, the characterisation was flawless. I don’t know if anyone has a better grasp on the Weasleys and Hermione other than JKR herself. Your use of imagery is sparkling and vivid, to the point where the tangible was being moulded into the abstract, yet they melded perfectly. And, naturally, the sheer magnetism of your writing style is so wonderful and engaging. I can’t tell you how jealous I am of your ability to wrap me up into a word blanket and show me this little slice of what cannot be anything other than pure fact.
First off, the most stunning part of the whole story was the melancholy voice that underlined Hermione’s narrative. It really brought out so many facets of her character. One thing that I think people miss about Hermione is that she does have the ability to laugh at herself when she knows she’s being difficult. For instance, in SS/PS, she told Harry that he was a great wizard — greater than her books and cleverness, specifically. And, just like then, in this story, when she saw herself as more of a hindrance to the twins than a friend, it reminded me of that very canon instance.
Another brilliant part of how well you have drawn her was when she observed that she wasn’t sure where she really had stood with Fred. Most people would have assumed that they were friends because she saw Fred more than 90% of her classmates. Yet she, ever sharp individual that she is, had the ability to see that their interactions weren’t indicative of the common view of friendship. Just like when Hermione noticed that Cho spent a lot of time crying and upset and why that was, when Harry, her boyfriend, didn’t particularly notice or have much idea. As in that case, she had a similar crisis about her true place in Fred’s life and in his death. While it was true that it was moot in the end, it fits her so well that she questioned it at all.
George in this story was just so unmistakably him. Every line, every quip, every gesture, just spoke so much of how I saw him in the series. Yet, you managed to postulate such a convincing scenario about how he might have mourned Fred, using both what we know for certain and that little person inside your head that just seems to get the Weasleys. In particular, where he said, “I have magic powers” when Hermione asked how he was able to make her feel better in her grief when he was so very stricken himself, I totally wanted to giggle and hug George all at once. The way you structured his attitude and demeanour during the rest of the story really gave him life and body when he said this.
Even the role-players in the story were fabulous. In particular, I think Ron was well done. He was in just the right place that he should’ve been at this point after the Battle. He was just starting to build on his feelings and relationship with Hermione while simultaneously carrying around the albatross that is watching a sibling being murdered. From Hermione’s perspective, I can actually see that battle in his head, the one that is happy that they’re finally going somewhere besides in circles, but feeling sick for thinking he was allowed a bit of joy without Fred there to share it with. Every subliminal message, every buried meaning, built this very well, and in the end when he was freaking out over her being gone after dark, showed how masterfully you did this. So, so good! And even Harry’s brief appearance was good, because he’s in his own little world and has every faith in Hermione to be able to keep herself safe and sound. It fit splendidly.
Your gorgeous use of characters almost made me forget about your utter drool-worthy use of imagery. Every descriptive sentence built toward the story and tied into the theme in some way, with not a wasted word. I appreciate this quality so much because it is something I wish I could do. So often, it’s tempting to use that poetic, sing-song language to put surface emotion onto weak prose (and I am guilty as charged), but for you to super glue it to the actual plot itself is pure deliciousness. In the first paragraph, you use vivid, bright colours to describe the vista, and then there was that alarmingly lurid chair, both of which were things that associated my brain to the twins.
I freely admit that, while the summary uses the phrase ‘rambunctious joy’, the eleven letters part made my mind quickly assume that the story was AU and that Harry had died. I’ve no idea why, but it’s actually what hooked me onto the story. But when I saw that it was about Hermione and Fred’s dynamics and how she saw herself, it was so much better than what I had expected. I mean, how many people think about how Fred saw Hermione? How many actually take the time to explore the characters’ relationship in a story and enrich canon so wonderfully? Well, I hope no one else does, because this story is damned near perfect in the sense of what you set out to do.
There is so much that can be said for how you wrote this story. It’s in a limited narrative, yes, but it’s so much more than that. It’s like dropping an Extendable Ear into Hermione’s head. It feels so richly and truly her, and every thought and carefully placed word adds to that. For instance, when she tried to suss out how the Weasleys saw her, since Harry was the ‘fun’ one and she the ‘responsible’ one because he used his Triwizard earnings to fund WWW. But the truly great part was next, when she still added that she’d thought she was right to do so then. It is a classic example of her logic asserting itself firmly, even though it didn’t make her the most fun or exciting person to be around. The narrative was just so indelibly her that it was fantastic.
There was one small slip-up in the voice of the following passage:
He tried to smile at this, but it was always hard hearing Fred and himself complimented as one person. It made him hurt more, but at the same time, it was a kind of comfort. George had learned one thing since May: Grief had no rules, and plenty of contradictions.
This paragraph is quite distinctly in George’s point of view, whereas the rest of the piece is all Hermione. It is a bit jarring, trying to figure out whether Hermione is a super genius about people’s emotions or if the point of view had changed. I adore the message, especially the last line that grief had no rules, but it didn’t fit into the rest of the story quite as well because of the voice slip-up. However, a little bit of jiggery pokery could easily put that as Hermione observing his facial expressions and knowing what was going on in his head. Just a suggestion.
All in all, the way you built the characters and surrounded them by such lovely prose is a testament to the brilliant author you are. I’m so glad I’m a dunce who can’t properly read a summary, or else I might not have clicked on this story first. I’m constantly amazed by how little you think of the way you write when you have stupidly beautiful things like this on your author page to prove just how wrong you are about this. Please, please never stop writing the Weasleys. I know they aren’t my favourite Potter group, but you truly do them justice. And the more people who read this story and ones like it, the better the whole Potterverse will be.
Scorpius had never looked forward to anything the way he looked forward to leaving Hogwarts with Rose. He planned a holiday with no friends, no family, and nothing to do but be together—until a tampered Portkey changed their destination.
Aww, Paige! Your summer seems cursed! That truly sucks. I hope everything goes well in your surgery, and I hope the poor pup's tummy gets bettter. If only it was hard-wired into brains not to eat plastic... >.>
Lovely updates. I've had some catching up to do, but it was worth the wait. Take care of yourself, and I hope to see you around soon.
You might have something there, Jess....a microchip to hardwire dog brains into not eating plastic! I'd pay. The morning after I got home from the hospital I heard something suspicious in the kitchen, dragged my medicated arse in to look, and found Courage happily gnawing on the plastic handle of a steak knife!
Thank you for catching up, I'll try to give you something to read sooner rather than later. ;D
A sequel to OLS is just what the doctor ordered. It's sort of fitting that the sequel to the first fan fiction I ever read is at the same time as the sequel to the first fan fiction I ever wrote.
While it took a while for me to remember all of the characters, I realised that I really miss reading the original story. Since I'm in too good a mood to write right now (for various reasons), I think I'm going to re-read it.
I really like how Lucius still manages to stick his nose into Scorpius's business from afar. It's just so... in character.
The way Albus acts toward Scorpius is absolutely a gem. He likes the guy, doesn't want to admit it, but he still has to let him know that he means business. Since I write about him a lot, I like to think I know Albus, a character near and dear to my heart, and you make him become what I expect. Yay!
Anyway, great chapter, and I love all the little details, like Quidditch Illustrated. It takes concepts with which we're all familiar and incorporates them into your world, and it adds an air of commonality with the teenagers in this fic and the ones that are probably reading it. I love pieces in which a reader can identify with the story and characters.
Cheers, great chapter, and I'm looking forward to the next.
Take care (you and the puppy) and happy writing!
Aw, your review made my day (or dawn, since I'm reading it at 6:30 AM). It's been awhile since the original story posted, so I went with full names at first mention and hoped interaction and dialogue would jog the memory.
It's so interesting that you're in too good a mood to write. I want to pick your brain. What do you mean by that, it's too hard to concentrate when you feel bubbly? You're writing angst and need your mood to match?
Lucius will never give up trying to sway Scorpius to the Dark side. He really does love his grandson . . . and he's arrogant.
Thank you for saying that about Albus! I know sometimes it's hard to read other writers' portrayals of characters near and dear to you because they don't act and speak exactly as they do in your head and your stories.
Courage has dragged his fleece blanket out of the crate to sleep in the middle of the kitchen floor, so he's easy to take care of . . . for the moment . . . dun, dun dun!