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: email@example.com — I'd love to hear from you!
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.
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!
Summary: It'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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
Summary: A short poem written for the brother left behind.
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
Summary: Scorpius 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.
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!
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.
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,
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
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.
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 :).
Summary: This 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.
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.
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!
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.
Summary: When George thinks of her, he thinks of Fred.
So, he tries not to think at all.
Nominated for a 2011 Quicksilver Quill Award in Best Dark/Angsty, Best Canon Romance, and Best Post Hogwarts.
At this point, it's almost ridiculous for me to review, as I have nothing coherent to say that hasn't already been said. Suffice it to say that you make my monitor weep for joy every time something you've written comes on it. Simply gorgeous.
Summary: Remus Lupin is an outsider by the very nature of his condition. But whilst his friends dream in colour, his nights are monochrome. It doesn't disturb him much, it's just the way he is.
Then a late night conversation changes his mindset in a way that scares him and makes him wonder what he actually 'is'. He cannot feel that way - not about Sirius Black.
OMM&P This jointly won BEST SSP QSQ at the 2011 awards. Thank you. And yay for Ariana who wrote Two to Tango - the other winner.
I am not JK Rowling, in fact I'm not even sure I'm Equinox Chick at this moment ...
This story is for Gina (Gmariam) who is celebrating her 21st birthday. :) It is a measure of how much I adore her that I'm writing this pairing for her.
Thank you very much, Kara (Karaley Dargen) for beta'ing this story for me.
Thanks also for teh flist for sticking by me when I was haranguing them. I owe you.
Due to an MNFF glitch, I have lowered the rating on this to 3rd-5th so people can read it. However this is normally a Professors rating. You click at your own risk.
I should really be working on my SPEW Swap story, but I couldn't resist anymore. Riding along while you plotted and shaped this story, not to mention a rather colourful chat about the logistics of aquatic activities, there was no way I could miss this.
Honestly, this is pretty much the way I'd always pictured the Remus/Sirius dynamic. There was always a sort of tension between them, even after Remus knew that Sirius hadn't caused James and Lily's deaths, which was likely just hard-to-displace seeds of mistrust and that one of them had grown up a bit more than the other. But a girl can dream, eh?
Honestly, I was expecting a nice round of hearty smut, but again, you managed to far exceed expectations (pun not intended but giggly nonetheless). The story fits into canon well and still manages to keep the characters so wonderfully them. Even when they're younger, they're distinct. And the way you used their already-present fears and desires to fuel their trysts was well done, as well.
Shame on Sirius for taking advantage of Remus! But I can see that happening. :/ He was just that needy boy who took more than he gave, and Remus was just so willing to give and give, just for a taste of what Sirius had to offer.
I do wonder if their final sexual encounter would've happened if they hadn't stumbled upon Lily and James getting it on. My theory is that Sirius was a bit jealous but also turned on by the sight of James getting off. Poor Remus. But you managed to fix that by having the true Miss Outstanding give him what he'd truly needed: someone who gave more than they took.
I really enjoyed the understated presence of the grading scale. It seems more youthful and child-like than the X-out-of-10 that tends to be the norm. It adds a bit of magical interest into otherwise typical thoughts of teenage boys. Plus, the let-down about Grace's jugs was quite symbolic of Sirius's newfound lack of interest/attraction to them.
I had a feeling when Sirius mentioned that he and James had went off in fourth-year and messed about with Grace that the ending was going to be what it was. But it was no less heartbreaking when it happened, though. I wanted to hug Remus and punch Sirius, though it wasn't his fault. Gah, I love how screwed up people are, hehe.
Lovely story, Carole, and I'm happy that, if I am to shirk my duties, that it was with you. :)
Summary: There were blind spots in his mind. They said he might recover the lost memories; they also said there was a high possibility he might not. Along came a girl, and everything changed.Warning: This story is originally rated Professors, for the bunch of warning tags applicable to it. The rating has been changed temporarily only because we're having some technical problem with stories that have higher ratings. So, please click at your own discretion. This story is written for ToBeOrNot..../Jess, my close friend and one of the most gifted writers I know. O Believer of Rarepairs, this is my fluff-free, dark and angsty present for you.
At the best of times, one may rely on words to nurse one’s way through periods of incoherence, despite not having a single orderly thought. I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is one of those times.
Theo. Parvati. Padma. Death. Could this be any more sickeningly gorgeous? I don’t think so, because my mind = kablooey! I’m not sure how you’ve done it, but you managed to take everything I thought I knew about post-battle minor characters and topple it. Just the way it was written and formed with such certainty, it had to have happened. There couldn’t be any other possible outcome.
I think what struck me right away about the story was that, save for the memory lapses, Theo reminded me a lot of myself. He was quiet, didn’t talk to many people, and worked a job generally considered a waste of his talent. Whether you did so intentionally or not, it immediately wrapped me up in the story and made me care about Theo. I felt the need to know what he was missing in his memory just as much as he did, and I was trying to work out who both the ‘Healer’ and the dark-haired mystery girl were from the get-go.
The kicker for me about Theo is when his St Mungo’s record was shown. I couldn’t help but think that someone like him couldn’t possibly be capable of stuff like this. He just seemed so level-headed and mellow. Ironically, the only part of his ‘rap sheet’ I found plausible as you portrayed him was the killing in self-defence, since he was considered on the side of bad by many and could easily have been attacked. It also ended up being the worst thing he’d ever done in his life, which ends up a giant plot twist in the end. How fabulous. :D
What you did with Parvati-come-Padma was so subtle. I was so sure that she was the mystery girl. So sure! And Padma had to be the ‘Healer’, who was studying her sister’s supposedly unbalanced boyfriend. Normally, when I have an inkling of plot lines, I end up being right, so I can’t tell you how refreshing it is that I was completely wrong. It was a mystery of different proportions, unlike the gumchew stories typically associated with the genre. This mystery was about people and about loss and about wondering whether certain things are better left unexplored.
I think one of the most interesting parts about this story is the lack of other surrounding characters. There were a couple here and there, but the story was strictly focused on Theo and Padma/Parvati and their points of view. It really adds to the myopia of both of them. Theo really isn’t bothered to know or care about other people until he meets this girl he feels like he should know, and Padma is so attuned to her mission of getting back at him for what he ‘did’. Without the distraction of a supporting cast, I could really get into the main characters’ points of view and what they were feeling.
But the most victorious part of the story is the end. I mean… I am gobsmacked. I knew from the end of the second chapter that the Healer character was plotting to kill Theo, likely over the events that he can’t remember, but holy hell, what it was and how it happened was breath-taking. By then, I just KNEW that Theo couldn’t have done anything so terrible, despite what his medical history said. It didn’t feel right at all, but when I saw what all those things actually meant, I wanted to hex Padma. She never bothered asking him what happened, at the very least to see if he was willing to lie to her. Being a Ravenclaw doesn’t in the slightest mean that she is either fair-minded or into justice in the sense of the law. However, being distraught as she was, I can forgive her for not wanting to know more about what happened in favour of making him as miserable as she was until it was time to strike.
And then she killed him! Oh my ever-loving Prongs, she killed him! I almost thought he’d get through to her, explain to her what happened, but he didn’t. He just dared her to kill him and be done with it. It seemed like he was so sickened by what he remembered that he didn’t want to remember anymore, and her bloodlust was a quick means to that end. But then how will she know what she’s done? Gah, this will drive me mad, I swear. I feel this intense need to find her, shake her violently, and tell her what she’s done to an innocent man. You rob me of my sanity, Natalie, you really do! I love how I can be so worked up over the end of a story.
Overall, I have concluded that you are positively genius and that I will love you even more than I already do forever. I know how hard you slaved on this (in hindsight), so that you did it for me will always be a monument of the sort of person you are: genius writer, master plotter, rarepair aficionado, and above all, stellar friend.
I heart you so much!
Summary: Two gentlemen, close friends, stayed with each other through happiness and hell. Until one of them fell and left everything in pieces.
Here I am on a late night reading session, and your summary was an excellent one and drew me in quickly. I was really intrigued by Gawain's thought processes and his views on the people he worked with, or rather, his low opinion of them.
I confessed to being a bit taken aback by, in the course of a single paragraph, Gawain musing on Moody, their prey, screaming, and smoking. It felt like a bit of an information overload for a single paragraph. I would've loved to hear more about Gawain's new on Moody, considering the latter is a featured part of the story.
There is a sort of appreciation on my part that you were able to include such grievous injuries in the story and not make them tragic — for the lack of a better term. It was suitably horrid, as being burned alive should be, but it was approached in a non-frenzied fashion, as I would've expected from someone like Gawain — cool under pressure.
Admittedly, I was a bit baffled by Minerva's appearance. Is she an Auror or Ministry official? Since, considering Moody's relative age, this mission would've predated the existence of the Order. I'm not sure if this information is in one of your other stories or not, but it seems highly irregular that she would stumble in on official baddie-chasing business. I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on that.
I found the walk to St Mungo's to be one of the more powerful moments in the story. Gawain referring to the stench of charred flesh gave a tangible note of horror to Moody's injuries, as well as the amount of guilt the man bore for his role in a young Auror's nearly-fatal incident. Also, it showed that he wasn't just some gruff, bastard old man who hated everyone who wasn't as good as he was (which I find ironic, since Moody became almost his clone in that respect), but that he really did carry a conscience around with him concerning the young men he trained.
Benjy is an interesting character, but I'm not entirely certain what his role is in the story. Yes, he seems to be Gawain's mate and has some sort of relationship with Minerva, but I don't think I as of yet know what that is. My leading theory is a bizarre love triangle where something is going on between Minerva and Bengy, yet Minerva and Gawain have a spark. Not sure. Again, if you care to share in a non-spoilery fashion...
There's a bit of a typo in this line:
“Oh, I just said we’d make a detour to Tower Bridge on the way.” Benjy laughed. “I bet she’s ripping the ribbon out of my typewriter, the wrench.”
Not sure if you were going for 'wench' or 'wretch', buuuuuuuut you ended up in the hardware store, hehe. Just thought you might want to change it. :D
Overall, this is an interesting start to a story here. I'm intrigued to find out the nature of the relationships between Gawain, Benjy, and Minerva. There are a couple spots that lost me a bit, but otherwise, it was a nice read. Take care.
Summary: She was suffering from the change in a relationship, he from a broken heart. In a moment of weakness, with the pangs of lonliness, the two find their relationship take a turn from friendship into something with the potential for more.
Awww, thank you. :)
This story is so warm and fuzzy. Well, to me it is, since this is my cup of tea. I adore Hermione's voice, the one that chatters on in her head and occasionally out loud, trying to reason everything, as Harry mentioned. You just put so much of what we know about her into this, even the part where she decides that she wants to go out right away and test the dating waters. Not because she's desperate for contact, but because she needs to prove to herself that the end of her relationship with Ron wasn't just her not having enough to offer someone else.
You made Harry very huggable, in that he was so sad. But also, I could feel him deflect and keep the focus on Hermione's issues instead of bringing his own to the forefront. It felt in-character that he only admitted it when he would've had to lie to Hermione directly to keep it out of the open. Both of them together felt right for me.
And yayyyyyyy, they kissed! I have to admit that I was a bit giddy when they did. I sort of felt the 'we can't' moment coming, but part of the enjoyment was the waiting to see if things might be different and the borderline enjoyment of sadness when it doesn't work. It's probably sadistic of me to enjoy being saddened by what I read, yet I do.
Thank you so, so much for this story. I know how hard you worked on it, and I feel not only rewarded as the recipient, but on your behalf as well for the pleasure of a job completed. You are lovely, and I'm glad that I've got the chance to get to know you. Thank you so very much.
Summary: Little Rosie has lost her Teddy bear. Whatever shall we do about it?
This was a really sweet story. Hermione was really well-characterised in this, as well. It is quite her to treat her daughter's concerns with respect and not to just roll over and tell her to go back to bed.
The actual events in the story were lovely. It had a Toy Story feel to it, and I like that each of the dolls had a distinct mannerism. Mr Ted was a bit gluttonous, while Maggie was a giver and the Harpy doll a problem solver.
I really like the overall concept, and your writing really lent it a bedtime story. It's nice to find little bits like this, tucked into the Potterverse, giving us a picture of how magical little girls go about a late night snack. Very charming. :)
Summary: For me, the start of my grand love affair with the Potterverse didn't begin with Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. No, it started with Prisoner of Azkaban because of the Marauders. This poem is about them and my attempt at a goodbye to four people who inspired me. (Well, Peter - not so much)
Thank you, Julia, for the challenge and for teaching me about villanelles.
Disclaimer: I am not JKR, or Julia, or anyone with talent.
Hahahaha, now who's writing villanelles without being required to do so?
At any rate, mickey-taking aside, this really is a gorgeous poem. Not only is the villainous villanelle most suited to the subject matter — four boys-come-men who all met their end one by one — it also aptly shows that each man died in different ways.
The way you captured the essence of each Marauder's death was so good. James stood up to an impossible enemy unarmed because he couldn't NOT. Sirius just kind of... poof. Peter died like a traitorous coward who realised that he had erred on several accounts. And Remus died like a BAMF in battle. Worf would be proud.
Really, though, the last stanza is melt-worthy, and the imagery of an unravelling knot is so apt and perfect. I get the mental visual of a plait that first gets a few flyaways, the a few larger chunks fall out, and then it's just a ball of frizz/no more. That probably sounds ridiculous, but it fits in my head.
Great poem, Croll, and congrats on doing well in the challenge!
Summary: I cannot see their bodies, buried beneath the ruins of their life together, but I know they are there. I can imagine their green and hazel eyes, staring into the dark emptiness. It is all I can do to stay upright, filled with equal parts rage and grief as I gaze unseeing at the heartbreaking scene.
How did it come to this?
OMP, Twin, this is so powerful. In a way, I'm glad it was so short, because it is strong and emotive as it, and Sirius's feelings are so well-drawn and potent. The way he goes from devastation, to joy at Harry's survival ,to grief over parting with his godson and at the loss of good friend, and finally to rage at Peter, it is such a perfect sequence.
And the last line is just a giant exclamation on the whole piece. Such a wonderful piece! Thanks for sharing.