Penname: ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor [Contact]
Real name: Jessica
Member Since: 08/29/09
Website:
Beta-reader: Yes
Status: Administrator
Bio:

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: tobeornottobeagryffindor@mugglenet.com — I'd love to hear from you!


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Reviews by ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor
 

The Two Left Behind by the opaleye
Rated: 1st-2nd Years [Reviews - 13]

Summary: Past Featured StoryIn the dead of winter, two friends continue their hunt for something they may never find.

Nominated for a 2011 Quicksilver Quill Award in Best General Story.

Categories: General Fics Genre: Warnings: Mild Profanity

Word count: 1014 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
02/16/11 Updated: 02/16/11


Reviewer: ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor Signed
Date: 02/16/11 Title: Chapter 1: Is it any wonder I can't sleep?

Hello!

I’d like to first say that you and I are in the minority that enjoyed the dance in the tent scene in the movie, so I knew right away that this would be a brand new extension of your fabulousness. However, I have to confess that I’m rather torn, because even though I adore the movie scene in question, honestly, your version makes much more sense. XD

One of your shining qualities as an author has always been your ability to not only keep a character true to canon, but to supersede that underlying basis and add a new, equally plausible dimension. For example, we know the dance never happened in canon or that there is no evidence that it did, but you wove so many gorgeous canon details, such as Harry trying to imagine that his fingers were stroking red hair, not brown, and feeling Quidditch robes and not rough, serviceable fabric. At first, I will admit that I wasn’t sure if Book!Harry would ever have the jewels to ask (well, demand) Hermione to dance with him, but once the sequence proceeded, I felt his need to alter their cold reality — change the facts, as it were — and the song gave him inspiration.

I think the song, too, was a brilliant addition. Normally, at least from my experience, song fics often suffer from lyric overload, but the few interwoven lines just seemed to come at the right time and the right place to add just that little bit to the story. The lyrics were just so well-suited to the mood and theme to the song that I decided to YouTube it and listen to the song whilst reading. It was, of course, a great idea. The song’s rich melodies and auras match up well with the emotive properties of the story. You make your selections well. Well done, you!

The amount of description that you put into such a short piece was phenomenal. In one paragraph, you managed to paint a vivid scene and set up a metaphor for later in the story. I could have been watching this scene happening in my head and it wasn’t lacking in the slightest in sensory information. How you did this is a mystery to me, and I am so in awe of your ability to do so with such brevity and fluidity. In particular, this part was striking:

She stares at him, her eyes half-closed, before sniffing softly and taking his out-stretched hand. Harry picks the wireless up from the armchair and carefully places it on the side table before pulling her close against him. She lets out a huff of breath and their eyes meet.

In three sentences, you convey Hermione’s feelings at the time, as well as what Harry is doing, all while not missing a beat. It seems like a random point in the fic, but it’s indicative of how you do it so gracefully. I don’t have to ‘read between the lines’ or interpret things; you set up everything, and all one has to do is let one’s mind absorb the subliminal details and not even realise that it’s happening.

I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t start reading this with the preconception that this was a Harmony piece and would be one of our favourite things — a pocket of non-canon/what could have been encased in canon. It was that, but not what I’d expected. There was not that overt shippy undertone that made me think that there was anything but grief and wishing things had gone differently between them, and in a way, it’s far more beautiful as such. It’s not something written to spite canon and to show that certain ‘delusions’ could have happened; instead, there is a peace, or ironically enough, a harmony, between the two, where Harry was daydreaming about Ginny, and Hermione finally said that she missed Ron, indicated that she cared about him on a different level. It was just so lovely.

All in all, if I had known that all that kept you from submitting this story was the lack of a title, I would’ve beat down your door and made one for you so I would have got to read this before now. Thank you so much for your fabulous work and letting the rest of us be a part of it. I look forward to future submissions from you. Simply splendid.

~Jess



Author's Response:

What an epic review! My jaw literally dropped when I opened this up. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me this. It was such a pleasure to read. And yes, I did squee out loud. Please don't hold that against me xD

First of all, yes, I think we are a minority. Although, my friend Bronwyn LOVES than scene and she is a canon shipper. My mum is a total Harmony shipper like me so she loved it, too. LOL. I remember when I saw the film for the first time, I was really surprised that my version was so close to it. I think you get the same feeling of loss and abandonment and that longing for lost innocence. I love that you can take it either way, though. You can see it as something more than friendship if you want, or you can take it as a platonic moment of shared friendship. This fic is more the latter but I'm glad you still enjoyed it as such! Thank you :)

As for the song, I deliberately went through songs that were released around the time the Trio were on the run and as soon as I saw Eye I knew that it would be perfect and not just because I'm a huge Smashing Pumpkins fan. There is something about that song that really matches the melancholic feeling I imagine Harry and Hermione to feel. Also, when I wrote this, I tried to match the pacing to the song in real time. Of course, it sort of ran away from me but I'm glad that you were still able to see that structure as you read. When it comes to songfics, I believe that the lyrics should be there to add to rather than distract from the fic so it's good to know that they worked here. Again, like the structure of the melody, I tried to incorporate them within the prose to match the pacing and atmosphere.

As I said to Lori, I never set out to write a romance with this. I deliberately wanted to show a tender and platonic moment between Harry and Hermione. For me, they are as much of a pleasure to read as any good Harmony romance. Of course, people are able to interpret it as such but I like that a canon-carder can read this and still like it. I love how you describe the 'harmony' between the two. I really enjoy exploring that bond between the two of them that is sometimes ignored in fear of coming across as delusional. Whether there is a possibility of romance, Harry and Hermione are still really close friends and they have some great moments together in canon. This is more of a missing canon moment. Something that could have happened without taking anything away from Ron or Ginny.

Thank you so much for this review. It really made my day :) It means a lot to me that you liked this fic and that you took the time to write me that whopper is even more special. Sorry if this reply is a little convoluted and incoherent at times. I'm a little giddy from grinning so much. Now, I'm going to brush my teeth, wash my face, get into my pyjamas, and curl up on the couch and read some Katie/Oliver. Perfect plan!

Julia xxx

 

Modus Vivendi by Liandrin
Rated: 3rd-5th Years [Reviews - 18]

Summary: Writer’s block is to stress as Dragon Pox is to sickness. And banter is to romance as Draco is to Ginny. Or something like that. I dunno. Put down something witty and then tell everyone I wrote it.

Categories: Humor Fics Genre: Warnings: Alternate Universe, Epilogue? What Epilogue?

Word count: 17734 Chapters: 5 Completed: Yes
Published:
02/18/11 Updated: 03/26/11


Reviewer: ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor Signed
Date: 02/18/11 Title: Chapter 1: Exposition

I'd be more coherent now, but I'm tired. You've been warned.

This is absolutely clever. I don't know how you did it, but you've taken a completely ridiculous circumstance and made it utterly riveting. I want to watch this movie, read the book, and buy the DVD. It makes me lol very much.

The way you wrote it is slightly madcap and florid, but it works so well that way. It adds to the overall predicament.

Oh, and I love that it was in Draco's POV. That is a great place to be. :D

Wonderful fic. Me likey.

~Jess



Author's Response: I have been warned. Lol. I'm glad you like it. When I got the prompt, I was like "how can I make this different?" And as I was trying to get my characters to work for me, they wouldn't. So I thought I'd write about that process as well as the narrative itself. Yay for double narratives, right? Hehe. Thank you so much for the review, Jess. ^_^

 

Remembering Lily by Gmariam
Rated: 3rd-5th Years [Reviews - 39]

Summary: Past Featured StoryA lonely figure walks down the street, long auburn hair trailing behind her in the blustery wind. She pulls a red wool coat snug around her, gloved hands tucked into pockets as she wanders the sidewalk, glancing up at the shop fronts. She is young, but her face is lined with sadness, as if searching for something she has lost. Her green eyes long for answers.

Across the way a young man stops and stares at the woman in the red coat, hardly daring to believe it might be her. And yet as she turns and walks back up the street, he knows it is, and his heart stops beating for a moment. He blinks, just to see if she will disappear from his life once more, like she did over a year ago.

She doesn't.

Categories: James/Lily Genre: Warnings: Mental Disorders, Sexual Situations, Violence

Word count: 13306 Chapters: 3 Completed: Yes
Published:
03/05/11 Updated: 04/08/11


Reviewer: ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor Signed
Date: 03/28/11 Title: Chapter 1: Part One

I couldn't take it anymore. I've been putting off reading this because I knew I'd love it and didn't want to wait for updates, and woehdvhdskfjh, I was right.

This story is fab. This is just so fresh and inspired, which could only come from someoen who's written James/Lily in more ways than is imaginable. I'm using this story as a warm-up, as well as One to Remember, to finally tackle Things Change. Even though canon isn't my thing, YOU are most definitely good at what you do. If I am to sugar my brain, only the best will do.

See you next chapter!



Author's Response: Wow, Jess! Thanks so much for coming to read this story! Given it's slightly different approach to both the characters and the style, it's probably a good one for you to start with in terms of keeping your glycemic index down, lol. Well, at least until the end. ;) Thank you for the compliments, I'm glad you enjoyed it even if it was James/Lily canon, hee hee. I appreciate the compliments, Twin! ~Gina :)

 
Reviewer: ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor Signed
Date: 03/28/11 Title: Chapter 2: Part Two

Yay, action! And Sirius has such a potty mouth. It pleases me. :D

I really admire how you've skimmed over the less important parts and kept the structure of the story limited to important events. It really allows me to stay immersed in the story (and jonesing for me, damn you) and stay in James's head. 

I love James in this. He's contrite, and he's also a gentleman. His 17 year old self would probably not have been so honourable, but he was lovely. He wanted her to be her before anything happened (if that makes any sense at all), or it would have invariably ruined their relationship had her memory somehow returned.

I adored the flashes of the old Lily when confronted with Snape. It was rather reminiscentof SWM with the fire she showed.

Anyway, you will get a better review from me upon further updates. Gorgeous story, Twin!

~Jess



Author's Response: Thanks, Jess! You sort of hit the nail on the head: I've skimmed over the less important parts because I intentionally wanted to just focus on a few key events. There are two more and then the story is done. That's it. I'm glad that worked for you. And I'm giggling that you actually like James. Are you joining our fan club now? If you read any of my other ones, you'll see how I beat up on him. He gets off easy in this story. ;) And Snape! So glad you liked that - so glad Lea suggested it! Thanks again for the lovely review. I do hope you enjoy how it wraps up! ~Gina :)

 
Reviewer: ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor Signed
Date: 07/16/11 Title: Chapter 3: Part Three

*sigh*

I could've sworn I'd read the final chapter, but when I went to recommend this for discussion, I rightly couldn't remember how it ended. D'oh!

Oh, James... so bold, yet so unsure. And the way you've kept Lily as Lily, despite her never recovering her memories. You, Twin, are fabulous. :)

At the beginning of the chapter, I was fully expecting Lily to confess that she was pregnant, hence why she wouldn't get on a broom, but the idea that she was in a bit of shock over everything she'd absorbed over the past weeks makes just as much sense. Cramming years of knowledge into a short time WOULD fritz out anyone's brain, and you illustrated that so well. 

I wanted to facepalm at James's proposal. 'Too soon! Too soon!' I said to myself. But yay, Lily didn't dump him flat on his face. I didn't like the James we knew from SWM, the prankster Marauder, but you truly made me like this James who got a second chance at a first impression. 

Lovely fic, Twin! Good luck in the QSQs.

~Jess



Author's Response: Hey Jess! I'm glad you came back to read this. I'm even more glad you gave a J/L fic a try! And I'm glad it didn't make you vomit all over your netbook, lol.Thanks so much for the review, and especially for the recommendation. I really felt like I managed something different with this one and am glad you thought so too, even more glad you enjoyed it. Thanks again, twin! ~Gina :)

 

Nightmare by armagod679
Rated: 1st-2nd Years [Reviews - 8]

Summary: Past Featured StoryIt's three in the morning and one nightmare just melts into another.

Categories: General Fics Genre: Warnings: None

Word count: 1126 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
03/05/11 Updated: 03/10/11


Reviewer: ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor Signed
Date: 03/11/11 Title: Chapter 1: Nightmare

Good (does some sleuthing) afternoon, Julie!

Your author page was recommended to me by hestiajones, so I decided that I’d pop in when I saw your rather compelling summary pop up on the Most Recent list.

I have to say, I wasn’t expecting this particular characterisation of Neville. Not many focus on his less-than-Gryffindor moments during Year Seven, but I really appreciate that you did the focus on Neville’s apprehension about being in a room that used to have ambient noises but no longer does. It’s sort of like being used to falling asleep with the telly on and then sleeping over at someone else’s place — someone who requires quiet. You took one of those tiny little details about being in a strange place and made it work for this all-too-familiar situation. These are the types of things that really help me identify with a character and with a scene, and you did it well.

The idea of a bell going off is sort of strange, since most clock towers and regular clocks don’t ring after ten, but I’m guessing it’s a part of the dream rather than reality. Anything could happen in dreams. Did the bell ring in the dream? I’m curious, now.  I also hesitated on the bit where Neville thinks that Harry is better off, because he would know that wasn’t true. By that point, Harry would’ve already been Undesirable No. 1, which would make him a fugitive from the Ministry. I’m not sure anyone would call the constant terror and running as being better off. Maybe if Neville hoped that Harry was doing better, it would have been more in-character.

Neville going to the common room to feel less lonely does strike me as sort of strange, since it’s a cavernous room with no one else but him in it rather than a smaller space where he isn’t actually by himself. I get that he’s imagining he’s with people that formerly occupied the room, hence the allusion to Hermione, but I’m not entirely certain it would help him in that situation. It might be a personal preference, but I thought I’d point it out just the same.

I really like the interaction with Seamus. They commune on one of the deepest level because of what they endured together. I never really considered that Seamus and Neville would become more than mere roommates during Year Seven, but the way you present it makes so much sense. They went from being two guys who happened to share a room to being brothers in arms. Even the bit about fancying Ginny a bit was an interesting detail, since even Blaise Zabini carried a bit of a torch for her. It just adds to the very nice picture of camaraderie and understanding between the two boys.

I do have one minor nitpick about spelling/usage, and it’s here:

McGonagall would gauge out her eyes with her own wand before helping the Carrows.

‘Gauge’ is a completely different word. The appropriate term would be ‘gouge’.

The way you painted Neville’s nightmare, about him being in his cot as Bellatrix essentially took away his parents’ humanity is both horrific and striking. You did it delicately, since it is a rather touchy subject, but you also made it portray the necessary intensity to both touch the reader and tie it into the scene. It was so well done, and I can’t help but think that it did happen that way in canon. Those are my favourite types of stories, the ones that add to what we know of canon and bring a new dimension to it.

Your writing is very easy to read. There are times when an author will lack in variety and put out ‘noun + predicate + comma + repeat’ sentences over and over, but you don’t do that. It allows the actual narration voice to take a backseat to the story itself so the reader can be vested in the characters instead of the prose. Plus, my personal pet peeve is starting two paragraphs in a row with the same world. I could hug you for avoiding that, because things like that can ruin a story. Actually, the opposite is true for your fic, because your attentive writing in essence blends itself out of the picture. It’s hard to explain, but it really makes the story stand out in that certain aspects of it don’t stand out.

The end is just… love. Pure love. In particular, the last line just ties your fic into canon so very well. There had to be some point where Neville decided that he was going to fight the war inside the walls, and I think you picked a good moment. They’d had their small rebellions and pushed the Carrows’ buttons a little bit, but something had to necessitate that the entire DA go into hiding in the Room of Requirement. Now, I’ll forever think of it as a bad night’s sleep for Neville and a declaration that his nightmare would pale in comparison to the one that he’d make for Carrow. It’s a very fist-pumping moment, like it’s Score One for the coming out party of Neville’s bravado.

In conclusion, this is an excellent story. There were a couple bumps, which I pointed out, but they’re rather subjective and you may feel free to ignore me. I think you’re a talented writer, and I hope to read more of your work soon. Thanks for writing such a good piece, and I’m glad I picked it to read.

Take care and happy writing,

~Jess

Author's Response: Thank you very much for your review! I'll have to write Natalie a thank you note. The bell can be interpreted any way you like. It's just an easy way to start a nighttime story. The common room has a fire, and the illusion. It is a place where Neville can be. Right, sorry about the typo. I'll fix that ASAP. Thank you for all your positive comments. Julie

 

The Other Woman by hestiajones
Rated: 1st-2nd Years [Reviews - 3]

Summary: He loves his wife, but that other girl will never leave his heart.

Written as a birthday present for the vivacious coolcatelly/Elene. This poem was inspired by Equinox Chick's Shrouds. If you haven't read it yet, and if you ARE a Dramione fan, then shame on you! I mean, hey, it nearly converted me.

DISCLAIMER: J.K.Rowling is not me. HA!

Categories: Poetry Genre: Warnings: None

Word count: 123 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
03/23/11 Updated: 03/29/11


Reviewer: ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor Signed
Date: 05/31/11 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Love poems are some of the most sultry and evocative of all. Some writers can mould their words into sculptures of image so rich in the mind with only a few syllables, and others can turn them into marching soldiers, carrying on with staccato hearts pumping in unison. I’m just baffled as to who you had to bribe in the talent department to be able to do both!

The theme of infidelity and forbidden longing is almost a guarantee of sexy description, and you do deliver in spades, Natalie. I think this says it all:

There was that brazen brown hair,
Its heady scent filling up the air.
It was his daily disquiet,
From it there was no respite.

It just feels so very Hermione to me. Just this little nugget of characterisation is great, since I can rightly imagine that Hermione would love passionately and wouldn’t be quiet in a relationship. The Draco canon in this poem shows that he prefers the quiet, but he can’t give up the addictive noise that Hermione makes in his life. I find this detail to both be in character and to be a fabulous little detail that just proves everything I said in the first paragraph.

Tied to him for ever,
A tie he wouldn’t sever.

This does make me curious about how Draco views his relationship with Astoria. Had you used ‘couldn’t’, that would imply that he wanted Hermione more, but instead, the use of ‘wouldn’t’ makes me think that he does care for Hermione and desires her, but Astoria is and always will be the first woman in his heart. I wonder if this is what you intended or if I’m reading far too much into your word choice (also a possibility).

There was his Hermione,
His eternal agony,
Forbidden to him forever,
An absent endeavour.

If I could pick your brain for a moment, I have a hypothesis here. In Astoria’s paragraph, you didn’t italicise ‘his’, yet in Hermione’s you did. I conjecture that you’re implying a sort of ownership over Hermione, whereas Astoria is simply there and officially his. I would love to hear your thoughts on this choice of yours.

All in all, this poem was just so stunning and well-characterised, even as a poem for a non-canon romance. You managed to lend it plausibility and a richness that melts into silky smooth flow and vivid imagery. I  cannot honestly think of anything that I would change, and I am still mildly jealous of your mad poeting skills.

Until we meet again, Madam Jones!

~Jess



Author's Response: I am horrible.

No, wait. "Horrible" doesn't even begin to describe my horribleness. >.> I apologise for the late, very late, reply, because your review is awesome and deserve a lot more than my tardiness. <.<

I'm not sure if I deserved the praise you gave me. :D It's funny how our work gets interpreted by readers, and if my work impressed you, I should be proud of it. As a love poem, I thought this was my least sensual, but perhaps, sensuality doesn't need to have sex in it.

You're right about the relationship between Draco and Astoria. Draco is kind of caught in the cliched love triangle here: he can't have Hermione, but he wants her. He has Astoria, and he won't - not just can't - leave her either. Well, at any rate, he is a Slytherin and knows what he wants and is ready to keep it.

The "his" in the final stanza has a two-way meaning: First, it means Ron, to whom Hermione now belongs. Second, it refers to Draco, insisting her to be his, while knowing it really isn't possible. So, you're right about it in a way!

Dear Jess, this really was a fantastic review and it made me glow the first time I read it. Still does. Do forgive me for being an arse about responding, and thanks a bazillion!

Natalie

 

The Golden Boy by Equinox Chick
Rated: 6th-7th Years [Reviews - 9]

Summary: Past Featured Story"Remember Cedric. Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. Remember Cedric Diggory." ***

The night Cedric died, four people reacted in very different ways. Here are their stories.

This is Equinox Chick of Hufflepuff writing for the 2011 Aprils Fools' Day Challenge in the Great Hall, Prompt # 3 - Trio Era.

IT WON ITS SECTION _ YAY!!!!!!

Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling. I doubt I could write anything as moving as Cedric's death.

A HUGE thank you to Natalie (hestiajones) and Gina (gmariam) who have beta'd this into submission. This really would not have made it without their help.

** indicates a line taken from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Nominated for two QSQ's in Dark/Angsty and Best General Story in 2011. Thank you very much.



Categories: Dark/Angsty Fics Genre: Warnings: Sexual Situations

Word count: 4007 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
03/27/11 Updated: 03/27/11


Reviewer: ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor Signed
Date: 03/28/11 Title: Chapter 1: The Golden Boy

Ooh, Carole, this story is so interesting! Somehow, you managed to take four characters and paint four completely different and completely unique reactions to the death of Hogwarts ‘Golden Boy’. I thought the way you set up the story, as well as the character choice, was inspired. Each of the voices were clearly defined.

For Pomona, I suppose I never really thought about her being a person of faith. I don’t know if I even considered how the ‘Fat Friar’ became a friar in the first place. I love how you consider details like this in your writing and fill in the gaps, so to speak. I adored how you have her that one commonality with her House’s ghost, where not many would’ve been able to share Christianity with others at a school full of magical people who probably don’t share that belief.

I did pause at her being a Muggle-born, though. It has nothing to do with her characterisation so much as if she had been a Muggle-born, she never would’ve been allowed to teach at Hogwarts during Year Seven, just as no students were allowed to attend. I suppose it’s subjective, but it is something to consider. Personally, I like her in the story just the way she is; her story makes sense and just reeks of raw humanity.

The end part of her segment was just… *sniff*. It made me want to hug her when she felt so guilty for praying for a Triwizard victory when she felt she should’ve been praying for the safety of the participants. Would it have changed the outcome? No, but her faith would’ve given her comfort in that time of grief, but instead, it stood as a testament of how it had let her down.

The Fat Friar was another victory in this part. He was given a life, not just a name and the title of the Hufflepuff House ghost. He was emotive and honest, and his background felt so fitting for both the supporting role as well as for a Hufflepuff in general. I think he really made this segment one of my favourites.

There was something base and rudimentary about Seamus and Lavender in this. Not everyone deals with grief in the same way or for the same reasons, and having these two right after Pomona illustrates this point so well. While Sprout chose to blame herself, Seamus decided that a bit of denial was in order, and physical grief was Lavender’s choice.

 By all rights, Seamus and Lavender barely knew Cedric at all, but having been that same age and lost a classmate, I know how it affects people. Everywhere you go, you notice something that you can associate with that person, even if it’s someone you hardly ever talked to. You might even hear a joke and wonder if said person would’ve laughed at it or thought it was stupid. I even remember being in JC Penney’s and seeing a message T-shirt that reminded me of the boy who died. I think you captured the relative… weirdness that it brings quite accurately, as well as the mental funk that surrounds the time when you find out about it. There’s the disbelief, then the confusion, and then the angst.

When they had sex, I felt bad for both of them. It was not a good idea at all, and you showed that when Lavender later dumped Seamus, but they didn’t know how to feel. Right then, neither of them wanted to think about Cedric lying on the ground mere feet away, knowing very well that, if Voldemort had indeed returned, that body could someday be them, taken in some dark place and brought back by a screaming bystander.

Overall, this segment was poignant in the sense of lost innocence. They hadn’t known death until this point — not really. Now they understood heartache, grief, and shame, and they started to become the Gryffindors that proudly signed their names on the Dumbledore’s Army roster.

I think Theo was the most heart-breaking of all. In a way, he has it worse than Cho in terms of losing the object of his affection. He never got to touch Cedric or to taste the lips that peppered his dreams. Theo never got to laugh at a joke or smile at something Cedric said. He never got that dance. Cho had memories, but all Theo would have was bitterness. I wanted to hug him tightly and point him in the direction of another of Cedric’s mourning admirers *coughOlivercough*.

It just wasn’t fair, and the way you had him listening in disgust at Seamus and Lavender’s lovemaking, convincing himself he was angry that they weren’t honouring Cedric properly and not that he was hurting because no one cared about him like that and he didn’t think anyone would. And when I read ‘No one ever did’, I wanted to steal him away and mother him, poor lad.

Hagrid, as we discussed in SBBC, is a very difficult character to get right, but I thought you did brilliantly. There was something so simple and earthy about him, about how he dealt with the tragedy and the imminence of Voldemort’s return. From the feelings of guilt he had over having created the maze to the simple act of tearing up the shrubs one by one. It was such an appropriate gesture for him, because it was one of the few things he could do to take his mind off of everything.

His brief bond with Flitwick felt right, as well. There are far fewer commonalities between the two than differences, yet they understood each other for that one moment. And them working together to erase the maze so no one else had to see it the next day and think of Cedric’s death, that the pitch could go back to its more innocent purpose as a place of fun and House unity. It was a major *eep* moment, as well as a cruel irony, when they finished and all they’d accomplished was to create a desolate expanse that mirrored the world that Cedric’s death had changed and the darker realm that his murder was going to bring with it.

Overall, this was an excellent story, and if you don’t win the challenge, I will abstain from chocolate for an entire month. This was so well written, with your signature style of fluid prose and touching characterisation. This fic was gorgeous and a great distraction from the bajillion other things I should be doing but don’t want to.

Oh, and good morning. :D

~Jess

 



Author's Response: It has nothing to do with her characterisation so much as if she had been a Muggle-born, she never would’ve been allowed to teach at Hogwarts during Year Seven, just as no students were allowed to attend. Shit, I hadn;t thoight of that ... will now go and change this (she'll have a Muggle mother ... ha ha.)

Jess, thank you so much for pointing that out and also for giving me such a monstrously long and really rather poetical review.

I had the idea for this when I wrote the Hermione/Lavender story (Lavender's side of the shag with Seamus is there). I didn't want it to be just Seamus so wrote a long list of characters and thought about them. Pomona was always on there, Theo was at the end, and Hagrid only appeared because I needed his name in the prompt. I tell you the Hagrid bit caused the most problems - but I think has given me the most satisfaction, although I'm gagging to write more Theo now.

Thank you again and also for pointing out the idiocy of Pomona being a Muggle born - Ack! Dumb, dumb error. ~Carole~

 

Flight Song by minnabird
Rated: 1st-2nd Years [Reviews - 5]

Summary:

During the second war, many must leave their homes and run for their lives. What must they feel, forced to hide from a government that hates their very existence?

Nominated for Best Poem in the 2011 Quicksilver Quill Awards.

Categories: Poetry Genre: Warnings: None

Word count: 194 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
04/04/11 Updated: 04/06/11


Reviewer: ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor Signed
Date: 04/06/11 Title: Chapter 1: Flight Song

incomprehensible ramble

Oh my Merlin, this poem is just so many fabulous things all in one. Each stanza, even the repeating ones, stands for a different emotion by the narrative voice, and they're so well-defined. Awareness. Terror. Wistfulness. Regret. Desolation. Hope. Confidence. Will. It really shows the darkness, coupled with the joy of having someone to stand next to against that darkness.

My only critique would be that, in order to better suit your set rhythm, perhaps the last stanza should be italicised as well, but other than that, it is utterly fabulous. I think my favourite part was the refrain, but that it only repeated the first two lines. It showed that continual fear, that neverending need to run, but it also allowed for the stanza to work with the changing emotions before and after, bridging them together very fluidly.

Such a beautiful poem, Minna, and it well deserved to win first place. Now I know what Julia meant when she squeed over it. I confess that I didn't properly read the other entries past skimming them to make sure we weren't using the same music or writing the same thing. Now I feel like a dunce, because I could've read this ages ago and enjoyed it then!

Gorgeous piece!

~Jess



Author's Response: That was so not incomprehensible ramble, Jess. xD You captured really well in that first paragraph what I was going for in the poem. I'm glad you could see it. =) As for the last stanza - I kept arguing back and forth in my head whether or not to italicize it because you're right that it would fit my pattern better italicized. I think I decided not to in the end because it felt like it was...stronger that way? The italicized bits were sort of the undercurrent of the piece I based the poem on, whereas the last two verses were both sort of the triumphant burst of music at the end. With regards to your other comment about the choruses, I am a fan of repetition with some room for change, so I'm glad you think that worked out as well. And your last paragraph totally made me blush. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing. <3

 

Mirrors by Equinox Chick
Rated: Professors [Reviews - 21]

Summary: Past Featured StoryIt's 2012 and for Charlie Weasley, life in Romania with his dragons is good. Okay, his mum doesn't stop nagging him about his love-life, but at least she's not attacking his hair with scissors. The only cloud is the Ministry of Magic's threat to slash their funding. What Charlie needs to do is charm the visiting Ministry official. Unfortunately, he hadn't expected it to be his brother's prim ex-girlfriend.

Will she slash his budget? Or can he make her change her mind?

This is Equinox Chick of Hufflepuff and this is my entry in the April Fool's Challenge ~ Prompt #3 Next Gen.

A huge thank you to Sarah (SapphireatDawn) for beta'ing this at record speed.

Inspiration for this pairing came from Julia - she features in the fic ... sort of ...

Disclaimer: You must know by now that I'm not JK Rowling.

Categories: Other Pairing Genre: Warnings: Sexual Situations

Word count: 9630 Chapters: 2 Completed: Yes
Published:
04/15/11 Updated: 04/17/11


Reviewer: ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor Signed
Date: 08/03/11 Title: Chapter 1: Bean Counting

Gah, I am so in love with their banter. Put a few drinks in her, and Penelope is a whole other person, comprised of everything she denies herself for the sake of her career. And I love the note of wistfulness in Charlie's tone, especially the nod to his lost love (who is not permitted to be anyone but Tonks).

On to the next chapter!



Author's Response: Yes, it's Tonks. I can't not see them together now. Chonks is love. Ta for reading. There is smut somewhere. ~Carole~

 
Reviewer: ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor Signed
Date: 08/03/11 Title: Chapter 2: Full Pelt

This story is just stupidly good. How dare you write such an ultra-rare rarepair and make it so demmed sexy! I can't believe how much I just know about both characters, not only from their shared stories, but even in how they thought and how they shagged. Simply splendid.

I really wanted to strangle Charlie when he read Penelope's 'report' on the desk. I had a feeling of dread (as you likely recall), and when he turned all cold on her, I wanted to shout at him that she was just doing her job. I wasn't sure what was going to happen in the last part during the meeting, but I was hoping to hell that he was overreacting and that Penelope wouldn't do that. It made my day when she simply pointed out that Nico was hosing them. 

She's going back! Yes yes yes yes YES! Lots more Charlope smut just waiting to pepper the senses! Gah, what a fabulous story! Wow, what a lot of exclamation points!

~Jess



Author's Response: This was Julia's idea, actually, which is why she features in the fic (heh heh). Once I'd started writing, the pairing sort of took over and Charlie, in particular, became this rather hot to trot bloke that I think I want to run off with. Thank you so much for the review, and the trolling of the author page. Much appreciated. ~Carole~

 

Better than Chocolate by Equinox Chick
Rated: 3rd-5th Years [Reviews - 10]

Summary: It is the Easter holiday at Hogwarts and Charlie Weasley has decided to stay at school instead of going home. He told his mother that he needed to study, but Charlie has something, or rather someone, on his mind.

Maybe this year a certain Metamorphmagus will become more than a friend?

Thank you to Natalie (hestiajones) for beta'ing this story.

Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling. She is far richer, far taller and is far more talented.

Happy Easter, MNFF'ers.

Categories: Other Pairing Genre: Warnings: None

Word count: 1093 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
04/21/11 Updated: 04/21/11


Reviewer: ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor Signed
Date: 08/03/11 Title: Chapter 1: Better than Chocolate

I know you said this was fluffy, but I like this sort of fluffy rumination. I always got the vibe from Tonks that she was a special sort of girl who could break the heart of a discerning wizard or two who could appreciate her brand of individuality. I always wanted Charlie to be that guy. And it overjoys me that SHE was the one who decided that she wasn't going to wait for him to wear the pants and take the initiative.

But I think my favourite part is actually this:

And they’d stood in line together and tried to predict who would get Sorted into which House. Tonks, he remembered, had been particularly bad at the game. When she was Sorted into Hufflepuff, the eleven-year-old Charlie Weasley had felt rather sad at losing his new friend because he knew he’d be a Gryffindor like his brother. However, after the Feast, she’d walked across the Great Hall and had whispered in his ear that she still wanted to be friends.  

It shows that quirky and loyal side to Tonks that not only identifies her as a true Hufflepuff, but as a girl worthy to steal the heart of a sex god like Charlie. :D

Nice little piece!

~Jess



Author's Response: Thank you. I have a strand of Chonks running through AA and also Mirrors, but it's generally unrequited on Charlie's part. This was meant to give him a bit more hope. I love Charlie a lot more since first starting AA, so perhaps I should have let him have more of a chance with Tonks. : ( - Thanks for the review. ~Carole~

 

Timing by Equinox Chick
Rated: 1st-2nd Years [Reviews - 11]

Summary: For Remus Lupin, Easter has always been his favourite time of year. It has nothing to do with chocolate, he tells his friends, and everything to do with timing...

Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling or the Easter Bunny, but here's a little Easter gift for everyone at MNFF.

Thank you Natalie (hestiajones) for beta'ing this story and for being all round a ... a ... amazing.



Categories: General Fics Genre: Warnings: None

Word count: 1177 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
04/24/11 Updated: 04/24/11


Reviewer: ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor Signed
Date: 08/03/11 Title: Chapter 1: Timing

Aww, I love that there was one thing — besides the obvious — that Remus could share with Tonks that no one else could, not even his best mates. I think it gives them a really touching moment as a couple, and that's not even considering the baby being born. Pieces like these are what make me believe in ships like Remus/Tonks.

Lovely story!

~Jess



Author's Response: Thank you. I like to think he found something extra with Tonks that he didn't get with the others. Shame JK killed them -GRRRRRRRR! ~Carole~

 

At the End of It by hestiajones
Rated: 6th-7th Years [Reviews - 9]

Summary: Life is never smooth between lovers, especially when you wake up with them everyday.

A tiny and fun one-shot featuring Scorpius/Hugo. This is for you, Lea. I really hope you like it!

Thanks to Kara for being my eternal beta-reader. :D

DISCLAIMER: I am not JK Rowling.

Categories: Same-Sex Pairings Genre: Warnings: Mild Profanity, Sexual Situations

Word count: 1145 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
04/28/11 Updated: 04/28/11


Reviewer: ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor Signed
Date: 04/28/11 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Yayayayay!

There are just so many wonderful things about this story that make it beautiful. I think what struck me was the normalcy of it. No one writes about domestic pettiness that often, but the way you've painted it is so realistic and well done. Relationships aren't about great love and all that junk; they're about overcoming stupid obstacles that no one ever thinks about but tend to topple the best of lovers. My brother's marriage actually ended over him not taking out the trash. Sure, that wasn't the whole story, but it was the tipping point. 

My breath caught in my throat when Hugo rolled over clean-shaven. He is the ultimate piss-taker, and that he didn't let Scorpius have his way right away was giggly and perfect. It means that he knows and understands Scorpius's bitchy stread but loves him anyway and is prepared to deal with it. 

You write these two so well, and I'm glad you cranked out this little tidbit of snazziness in the middle of the night. :D

~Jess



Author's Response: Jezza!

Yeah. Relationships are not about 'twoo wob' and all that jazz. It's sticking it out through the little things. (Hahaha at my sentences mirroring yours.) Hugo really is the generous one in this relationship; it's been like that since I started writing the pairing, so when I saw that you'd picked this up here, I felt a little bubble of pride popping up inside of me. Thankkkks for reading and reviewing! It made my night.

~Nazza

 

Mourning/Morning by Gmariam
Rated: 1st-2nd Years [Reviews - 4]

Summary: A short poem written for the brother left behind.

Categories: Poetry Genre: Warnings: Character Death

Word count: 142 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
05/02/11 Updated: 05/02/11


Reviewer: ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor Signed
Date: 05/02/11 Title: Chapter 1: Mourning/Morning

I love how beautiful and potent the imagery is. You write death and despair and angst so well, I may or may not  be jealous.

Heart, Twin. I truly heart this poem. :D

~Jess



Author's Response: A very belated thank you, twin! I appreciate you reading and leaving a review for this poem. It makes me want to see if I can write something angsty again, since my brain has been filled with fluff ever since. Thanks again! ~Gina :)

 

Watching From A Distance by Gmariam
Rated: 6th-7th Years [Reviews - 7]

Summary: Past Featured StoryScorpius Malfoy is celebrating the end of seventh year when he runs into a former girlfriend. She brings him over to the Gryffindor table, where he finally interacts with someone he's been watching for a while, someone he thinks about far too often. Their interaction and future plans give him hope, but the night ends with a crushing reminder that he wants someone he cannot have.

Categories: Next Generation Genre: Warnings: Sexual Situations, Slash, Substance Abuse

Word count: 4139 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
06/01/11 Updated: 06/01/11


Reviewer: ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor Signed
Date: 06/02/11 Title: Chapter 1: One Shot

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Holy crap, how do I have such an amazing e-Twin? I don't even... this story was like you sucked it out of my imagination and planted it (rather beautifully) on the page just for me. 

I think what I adore the most, besides your mastery of easy dialogue, is the subtle characterisation you do. Like when Albus thanks the bartender and calls her by name, or Roxy's demeanour showing that she still digs Scorpius, even early in the fic when we don't know that she still pines for him for sure. These are the reasons why I fall in love with your fics. 

I really do they end up having... something in the end. My boys deserve a bit of smut. :D

Heart you, Twinnnnnnnnnnnn!

~Jess



Author's Response: "...this story was like you sucked it out of my imagination..." YES! That was sort of the point, to take your couple and reverse it and throw in a rarepair to boot. Hee hee. I had fun with this. It came really easily - well, not the title, but the rest of it. I'm so, so glad you like it. YAY! Happy birthday once more and thanks for the lovely review!! ~Gina :)

 

Orphans of the Storm by Equinox Chick
Rated: 6th-7th Years [Reviews - 10]

Summary: On the run for nine months, Dean spent his time deliberately not thinking of his friends as he struggled to survive, but he could not control his thoughts at night.

In his final year, Seamus longed for release from the daily torture of the Carrows' regime.

In her room, Parvati had made a list of all the things she wished to do if she survived, but wasn’t sure she could carry it through.

After the Battle, the three of them relax by the lake.

Who knew their thoughts had been so intertwined?

Disclaimer: I am no JKR, JFK, J-Lo or whatever initials are famous.

Jess (ToBeOrNotToHaveTheLongestUserNameOnTheBoard), this is for you. Happy Birthday, mate.

Ta, lots, Gina, for the speedy beta job and Emma for the Irish help.

Categories: Other Pairing Genre: Warnings: Sexual Situations, Strong Profanity

Word count: 5472 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
06/02/11 Updated: 06/02/11


Reviewer: ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor Signed
Date: 06/03/11 Title: Chapter 1: Orphans of the Storm

Gah, the grass! I laughed for a solid five minutes. You are just supurb.

This story is gorgeous in many, many ways. First, it's got the hurt/comfort element that I love so much in post war fics, but then it's also got that easy camaraderie of characters, that believability that I crave in their interactions. It just felt like a slice of super!canon (what I call not quite canon, but it's better so nyah!). I will admit, I was rooting for a threesome, but you said there was no smut due to archive restraints. I guess I'm at your mercy that you'll post more on clickysmut at some point. :D

Btw, my favourite character in all of this was Seamus. Just the way he talked and acted... he was perfect.

Thank you so much for the gorgeous birthday gift, but I do demand that you tell me who the couple in the common room was. I need to knowwwwwwww, because I'm too thick to figure it out on my own. 

Very much lubs, 

~Jess



Author's Response: Ummm, that couple ... I have no idea. He was a Gryff who would have been in year six/seven when they were sorted. He shall be ... Edwin Coulson, and she is a Hufflepuff who I do have more of an idea about. Fluffy hair - she's a Cadwallader.

Glad you liked the fic. The grass was my favourite bit and so was Seamus. Emma helped me immensely with his vocab, but I just think he's a fun character to write. he'd make it through all the crap and still smile.

clickysmut will get a version as some stage. I want to write a follow up.

Hope the Romione reference wasn't too vomit inducing. It happened almost without me realising it - LOL.

Thanks again ~Carole~

 

Picking Up the Pieces by lucca4
Rated: 6th-7th Years [Reviews - 5]

Summary:

A year ago, two damaged people found they made each other whole.

Little did they know that the fault lines were still there, waiting for the right moment to break apart once more.

A companion to ‘Not Broken.’

Nominated for a 2011 QSQ - Best Non-Canon Romance

Nominated for a 2012 QSQ - Best Dark/Angsty Story

This is a birthday present for the absolutely fabulous Jess/ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor.

I owe an indefinite amount of thanks to my super speedy and gorgeously amazing beta Elen� for making this story readable.

And while we're here I should probably mention that I'm not JKR


Categories: Other Pairing Genre: Warnings: Character Death, Mental Disorders, Sexual Situations, Strong Profanity, Substance Abuse

Word count: 2439 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
06/02/11 Updated: 06/10/11


Reviewer: ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor Signed
Date: 06/11/11 Title: Chapter 1: Picking Up the Pieces

Has anyone ever told you that you're utterly fabulous? No? But you areeeeeee! Oh my Salazar, I couldn't have picked a better fic to have written for me. It's just so melancholy and sad and sexual and perfect. You just picked up all the right things to put into the story for me, and you did it with your usually mind-blowing style. I can't even... gahhhhh!

I think my favourite part was the... blase reaction from Theo when he was told the baby was no longer coming (I wonder whether it was an abortion or a miscarriage). He wasn't angry or crying or melodramatic... just numb. That feels so right for the Theo in my head. 

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for the lovely gift. You are an amazing friend, and I want to squish you right now. 

~Jess



Author's Response: Yay! I'm so, so happy you liked the story :). I really owe you so much because I think that if it wasn't for you and your help with my writing, I probably wouldn't write rare-pairs or anything remotely interesting -- I credit you for any improvement (large or small) in my stories. So it means a lot that you actually enjoyed reading this! :)

I'm glad you liked Theo in this story. Originally, I'd planned it as being a miscarriage but when my lovely beta mentioned she thought it was abortion, I decided to leave it ambiguous (I didn't want it to be interpreted by people as a pro-life campaign where only bad things arise from abortion, so in order to leave it as unpolitical as possible it's up for interpretation).

You are so welcome, and I am so happy you liked this! I decided I should write Susan/Theo since you were the one who undoubtedly convinced me that it *could* happen -- and probably did :).

xx Ariana

 

Funny Business by ChocolateInTheLibrary
Rated: 1st-2nd Years [Reviews - 9]

Summary: Past Featured StoryThis is ChocolateInTheLibrary of Gryffindor writing for the 2011 Mysterious May Challenge in the Great Hall, Prompt #1.

When a beautiful silver pendant shaped like a lily goes missing from the Dursleys' attic, ten-year-old Harry is naturally blamed. Determined to locate the necklace, which he suspects may have belonged to his mother, he discovers an even more bizarre mystery in the process.

Categories: General Fics Genre: Warnings: None

Word count: 3524 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
06/12/11 Updated: 06/16/11


Reviewer: ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor Signed
Date: 07/01/11 Title: Chapter 1: Funny Business

You know, I’m going to preface my review with a bit of honesty. I’ve recently read a story focused on Petunia and Harry’s interaction before Hogwarts and really didn’t like what was done with it. So much so, in fact, that I nearly didn’t read this story because of it. But now I’m here to admit to the entire planet that it was a good thing I did so anyway.

It is a fine line to walk when writing Petunia. There is such a temptation to either turn her into a fire-breathing monster or to make her out to be a carbon copy of that sad little girl who lost her best friend/sister in The Prince’s Tale, but you were able to use a bit of both and turn her into the Petunia we knew from the very early chapters of Sorcerer’s Stone. She still resented Harry’s presence but showed the signs of knowing what was happening and being spooked by the tell-tale signs of magic in Harry. The title in itself is evidence to that with the recurrence of ‘funny business’.

Harry well and truly had my sympathy in this story. You did so well in illustrating the subtle neglect that he had suffered but not making it sound so…it’s hard to pick a word, but I’ll go with demonic. It’s just a fact of life to him that when he is perceived to have misbehaved, he gets pent up in the cupboard and doesn’t get fed. Yet when he shows outrage at this, it’s not because of the treatment itself, it’s because he had honestly not done it. This shows the true mettle of Harry’s character as seen in the series, and it underscored his characterisation tidily.

I really like how Harry was able to work this out. We see in the series that, while Hermione is the major brain behind the Trio, he is not without powers of deduction himself. While his stealth left something to be desired, he knew that Dudley was a prime suspect in setting him up and that the necklace had to be connected to his mum in some way for Petunia to treat it with such disregard. I adore his fearlessness and his bravado in being willing to attack Dudley for screwing with him and getting him into trouble. That is just so indelibly Harry, charging into action with little regard for personal safety.

And as for Dudley, I think for the time period he was in the story, he was appropriately meat-headed and manipulative, so that makes a triad of wonderful characterisations on your part.

The tokens of Lily ate at me a little for a couple of reasons — one good and one not so much. When Harry was musing over his prior adventures in the attic, I wanted to mother him so badly. No child should have to wonder about their parents in such ways, hardly knowing their names, let alone what their hobbies were. Sure, we all know that it wasn’t a knitting needle he was holding, but for him not to realise, it’s truly heart-breaking to contemplate.

On the same vein, though, Harry playing around with the wand did sort of seem strange to me. We know from Ollivander’s that one swish of the wrong wand could decimate a room, so it strikes me as a bit odd that he could fiddle around with a wand and not have anything of note happen. Also, I do hesitate a bit at the idea of Petunia storing an envelope from the magical world without the letter it came with, if at all. If, because she subliminally misses her sister, she is hanging onto this missive, it makes sense that it would actually be in the envelope. I’m definitely not saying that your version is wrong, but it is something to think about.

The plot! You’ve managed to spin a tale of intrigue without even setting foot outdoors or having to involve police to find the culprit. And what a culprit! You genuinely had me wondering what awful git was lurking in the house, nicking jewellery, and then blaming Dudley for being an awful, awful brat for framing Harry. But you managed to throw a neat little kink into the works by having the necklace in essence steal itself when it sensed that it was about to be taken away from its rightful place.

In terms of the story being a mystery, I think it was suitably so. I think it was a proper mystery in that Harry, the main character, was still trying to figure out what had just happened and never quite did, but as an audience, readers are satisfactorily informed of important events and facts. The most notable instance of this was the end. I understood what the necklace was, and I wanted to badly to tell Harry about his mother and about how she and Petunia used to be friends and that the necklace had likely been Lily’s attempt at an olive branch between them. But this is part of the wonderful way you told the story, the way you spun your mystery. The fun was almost more in Harry’s personal exploration than it was in figuring out the whodunit aspect.

Your writing style is very clean and easy to read. I appreciate how you use clear, concise language to depict two different stories in the necklace’s history and the current events in the search for it, yet I was never lost or wondering which subject you were on. The duality of the tale was so well done, and I felt satisfied at the end with both the results of the story and how I got there as a reader.

If I were to offer one piece of advice, it would be to do something about the way you add dashes. The way they currently read, they look like plain old hyphens. It does present a minor challenge when reading to discern whether it is a strange hyphenated word or a dash. This isn’t hard to fix, especially if you use Microsoft Word (in any edition from 97 and newer). You can either add a space after a word, type out your dash, and then add another space, which makes work out like this – a clear and legible dash. Or you can type your word, add two dashes, and just type the next word. It auto-connects the dashes and elongates it—which is also easy to see and tidy (whether to add spaces before and after is up to you). It’s by no means a flaw in the story, but I think fixing this would greatly add to the flow of your story and take away the chance of the minor hiccups I had while reading.

Overall, this is one fabulous story, especially for a first-timer. I seriously cannot believe that this is your first fic. I lurked your author page and was gobsmacked to find that you’d never published anything here before. There is such good quality in your work that I would expect from someone whose page is a bit more lengthy, so hurray for you! That just tells me that, if you stick with it and keep writing, you can easily become one of the better authors in MNFF. Definitely one with the best usernames (unlike my obnoxious one, lol).

Thank you for reading my thoughts on your story, and I hope that I was able to encourage and help you today. You’ve written a lovely fic, and I sincerely hope that you continue to publish on the site. You’re a decent storyteller, and with any luck, I hope to see you again soon on the most recent list.

Cheers!

~Jess



Author's Response: Wow, Jess! Thank you so much for this incredible review! I appreciate everyone who has posted a review for me, but you really took a lot of time. As for this being my first story and not having much in my profile, I do hope to do lots more. I am definitely an "older fan." Let's just say my first fandom was Star Wars -- when the originals were out! And I wrote a little bit of fan fiction then, but that was before the Internet. Since then, I've been writing novels and trying to get published, and even landed a literary agent, but you know what? It's no fun. And until you get published, you really don't have readers to interact with -- just critiquers and editors and people you're trying to sell to. When I discovered HP a short three years ago, I really started wanting to write fan fiction again but until I saw the May challenge, didn't really know what to write. Hopefully this will inspire me! And I will work on the dashes. The submission process and the HTML were a bit alien to me. Thanks again. (and I hope it was okay to post this kind of response here. Again, I'm definitely a newbie here.) Robin

 

Peace and Quiet by Simply Being
Rated: 1st-2nd Years [Reviews - 16]

Summary: “And quite honestly,” he turned away from the painted portraits, thinking now only of the four-poster bed lying waiting for him in Gryffindor Tower, and wondering whether Kreacher might bring him a sandwich there, “I’ve had enough trouble for a life time.”*


In search of some peace and quiet, The Gryffindor boys are reunited after the Final Battle.


*Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, page 749, American edition


Nominated for Best General Story in the Quicksilver Quills 2011!

Categories: General Fics Genre: Warnings: None

Word count: 2320 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
06/28/11 Updated: 07/04/11


Reviewer: ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor Signed
Date: 08/01/11 Title: Chapter 1: One-Shot

A bit sentimental? Maybe.

But that’s hardly a bad thing, I think. This is what I refer to as a Sandwich Fic, as in it’s focused on what happened immediately after the last line in Deathly Hallows. There are so many stories to be told, varying greatly in mood, but this one is a very special one indeed. There is a great feeling of bringing the whole Hogwarts experience for this particular group of Gryffindors full circle. They crossed the lake on the boats, got sorted, and spent their first night in the castle together. You picked such a fitting atmosphere for them, when all was said and done, to pass the time. No parties, no backslapping congratulations — just a bit of a lie-in. The simplicity of it is gorgeous.

One of the best things you could’ve done in this story was separate each boy, give each of them their own segment, save for Harry. We already knew what was going on with him. However, that being said, he was characterised so wonderfully through the eyes of his peers. Everything, from his dialogue to his attitude toward each of his mates was so spot on.

I thought Dean, Seamus and Neville were all done extremely well, too. I like the way each of them have a defined thought pattern, and even what they said felt right. And the fact that Dean conversed the longest with Harry was fitting, as they had the most in common outside of Ron in that they were on the run for ages. There was a great air of commiseration there. I did notice that Dean was the only one referred to with his last name, which is a bit odd. I would recommend deleting the ‘Thomas’ for the sake of continuity.

Seamus was great, even if I’m not sure I could put my finger on why it is. Though I theorise that the moment you really sold me on him was when he made the mental note that his bed was just a bit too small. For me, I saw a lot of things there. He was his own man at that moment, not a boy whose mother formed his opinions. That he didn’t apologise for waking anyone said quite a bit, as well, because he knew that he’d earned their respect, as well as a good kip.

Of all the segments, though, Neville’s was my favourite by far. First off, a nod of kudos for the Neville/Luna moment. It just should’ve been canon, but I digress. It’s one of the few things that Steve Kloves will have got right. Anyway, back to Neville… You captured his excitement at being the centre of attention, but he didn’t lose that solemnity that came with the knowledge that so many people he’d cared about were dead. That he patiently waited for the Fat Lady to tend to her mourning portrait fellows was such a lovely way of showing that. You really took him from his BAMF element and demonstrated that deep emotion that made him a true Gryffindor, one worthy of pulling the sword out of the Hat in his time of need. But the best part was when he set the sword down next to Harry. That sword, still crusted in Nagini’s blood, stood as a testament to the man he was, that no one thought he would become (not even himself), yet he relinquished it out of deference. How much better a friend and comrade can he be? That is dangerously close to a sniffle moment for me.

Ron’s portion was good. I’m not sure I liked it as well as the others’, but it was still well-done. I really liked that he was with his family and even sharing a tender moment with Ginny. I’m not entirely sure he’d fend off his mum like that, especially knowing what she’s lost and how she is, but that just might be my own personal opinion and entirely subjective. But the ending was so, so fabulous. No words of acknowledgment, no ‘hello’s, no ‘thank you’s, no ‘good night’s… just ‘I’m going to take a nap’. That is just Ron. It is ridiculously Ron. Just that line alone doubled my enjoyment of his part.

The last few lines just brings that whole full circle feeling to a good ending point. No great speeches or profound thoughts from any of them, just a firm denial of really being grown-ups and a unanimous confirmation of it. They truly were the kids who saved the world who wanted to be kids for just that one last time, just snoozing away in their dorms like they hadn’t a care in the world. That = love.

If I were to offer one suggestion for improvement, it would be the parts about traversing the castle to get to the Tower. The first time, it was fine, but over and over, it got a bit repetitive. To me, it would’ve been more effective to reference detours with no particular detail for the first three and show the long, arduous journey through alternate routes for Ron, as he’d been there the longest on Harry’s journey to beat Voldemort, and he was the last one up. There is a bit of a continuity error, or possibly just something ill-clarified. Dean nods to Seamus and Neville before heading up, but Seamus in his bit was sitting in a circle while holding hands with Lavender. I’m not entirely sure how much time has passed between sequences, so it felt a bit off.

Really, though, in summation, this story was a triumph in simplicity. Your style really gave it a colloquial, mellow feeling of real life, and each time the boys fell asleep or came close, your description and language slowed in kind, almost as if I the reader was falling into slumber with each of them (and not in that ‘you put me to sleep with your writing way’). It was very effective in tying me as a reader to the characters and to the concept of the story.

I’m so glad I picked this story, as I’m on a major battle / post-battle kick of late, so this really fit into what I’ve been looking for. You managed to make a sweet moment out of a potentially pained situation, with the losses in the battle, and I applaud you for that. In my opinion, your QSQ nomination is well-deserved, and I hope you do well in the judging.

~Jess

 

 



Author's Response: This is a ridiculously fantastic review. Thank you so much for all the kind words. I do kind of agree about the repetition with their journeys up to the Tower, but I couldn't think of any other way to do it. Also, thank you for pointing out the continuity errors--I'll have to look at those again. I understand your feedback on Ron as well. I thought he would be easier to write than Seamus and Dean because we see so much more of him in the books, but I did struggle a bit. And Neville's bit is my favorite part too :) Neville is just such a ridiculously good person, and I really wanted to do him justice. His gesture to Harry with the sword came very naturally when I was writing it, and I'm glad you liked it! Thanks again for such a lovely review -Danielle

 
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