ƸӜƷ I solemnly swear that I am up to no good... ƸӜƷ
I apologise for all the weird symbols in my stories. Apparently there was a format change and MNFF now hates most punctuation and most definitely accents. My OCD nature will not allow me to ignore this and eventually I will fix the format of all my stories. Sadly, my French will be butchered and accent-less.
Summary: A pair of sonnets, beginning with the birth of Tom Riddle and ending with the death of Harry Potter.
Gina, such an original premise. I like how you broke it up in two parts, two themes. One of my favourite stanzas in Destiny is the second one.
He split his soul to live forever bold. And gathered servants 'round him as a lord. They set upon the world as hooded hoard. Then one was born, his destiny foretold. He fought with love, to end the brutal war: The world would fear such evil nevermore.
You really capture the essence that is Voldemort and slowly make that transition from Tom's tale to Harry's.
A few critiques:
He turned to darkness 'fore he was full grown, And learned the arts of magic most unknown, To realize his power over life.
I love the first two lines, as they flow so beautifully, yet the last line seems superfluous or out of sync with the flow. You could easily omit this last line, and the stanza would still hold, imho.
She died in birth; the boy was left alone, To lead a childhood loveless, filled with strife. With rage and hate his heart was sadly rife.
My suggestions here are for punctuation: the comma after 'alone' should be omitted, and the period after 'strife' should be replaced with a comma. ^^
While the first part is intriguing, your true brilliance is shown in Harry's stanzas. The first stanza of Fate is filled with such lovely imagery:
The sky was drenched with blood red clouds on high, As stars rose to their heights amid the glow. The field was dark and silent down below,
Lovely. Just lovely. The real emotional scene, however, is the end:
The boy had saved them all from evil's threat. His strength of heart had moved him to prevail: The world would be forever in his debt. Yet time had come for him to pass the veil. His last breath left cold lips with no regret - And so concluded Harry Potter's tale.
Dah geez. *sighs* So sad yet uplifting. I really love how you juxtaposed Riddle's life and death with Harry's defeat of him and his own death. It just comes full circle, really. Well done, m'dear.
Author's Response: Lia! Wow, what a review! Thank you so much! I really appreciate your comments. They tell me you get it, that the poem did what it was supposed to do. Yay! I appreciate the suggestions. I'll tweak the punctuation someday (I hate punctuating poems, lol) I can't take out that one line, however, because it is part of the sonnet form. The rhythm is a bit off depending on whether you say 'real-ize' or 're-a-lize' so that may be what is throwing you off. It's one of those things where no amount of tweaking was going to fix it, I think, so it is what it is. You know, I wrote this before DH, so it's a bit AU now. And yet in some ways, it's not. I wrote another poem after DH, called 'Sure on This Shining Night' that is sort of similar, except more canon. I actually wrote this one with one of my own stories in mind, 'A Destiny in Time.' I guess you can figure out how it ends. ;) Thanks again for the great review! ~Gina :)
Summary: Alice Longbottom lives in a terrifying world; a world surrounded by darkness and unknowingness. Occasionally, these rare moments occur where the fog is lifted and everything just makes sense. At least, until she is once again thrust into devastating oblivion.
Can now be found on Audiofictions - Episode 126!
This is an extremely emotional piece with a tragic ‘heroine’, Alice. Your ability to have us be moved by her plight is through your use of the first person narrative (specifically the inner monologue technique) and your simple yet moving diction. You make me feel and experience Alice’s frustration, as well as sense Neville’s pain—even though he is a secondary character only briefly mentioned through Alice’s eyes. There is a fluid character development, of sorts, where I can see the transition from Alice not recognising Neville, to acknowledging him, and finally to needing him. Again, all of this is expertly executed with the right diction and structure.
I especially like your utilisation of motifs such as frustration, helplessness, confusion to convey your overarching theme of losing control of one’s mind or memories. This unfortunate truth can come with age and/or disease (or in Alice’s case, torture). It is the inevitability of losing one’s cogitative senses, and it is a terrifying notion. You do a wonderful job of portraying this sentiment. You manage to show Alice’s feeble attempts to cope with her condition and the frustration that she feels because of it. One could imagine that it would be like being trapped in a body, unable to move or speak. It forces us to stop and think of our own life, comparing it to Alice’s, and we become grateful. This is a story that is supposed to make us feel sad and cry, but it also uplifts us in a selfish way—making us all appreciative that we are not her, or Neville.
You certainly did an excellent job. I really did get misty eyes. Mission accomplished, my dear. ^_~
Author's Response: Um, WOW. Thank you so much for the absolutely lovely review - you actually made my day :)
Thanks for all of your wonderful observances, too - every little detail is SO unbelievably appreciated :)
This is an amazing insight into Narcissa's character, and I'm quite impressed with your use of second person, especially since it's a PoV that is so unpopular amongst most readers. You utilise it brilliantly though, in order to make us, the reader, become Narcissa.
The ending, especially, is beautiful and resonant:
Draco is a warrior like his father. You hope – just maybe – that Draco will more like you. You want to see him shimmer and shine. You know this child – your son – is too good to simply be another star in the sky. You want this child to be more than a warrior. He does not need to wield a sword to be great.
Beautiful prose here and such a clever way to bring the reader full circle, back to the beginning of the story.
You are rather consistent with the second person, but there is one part where you switch into first: He thinks he’s so pretty. I hate to tell him he isn’t special. The 'I' should be a 'You', and, personally, I don't think this should be in italics as it isn't really her inner thoughts; however the first part of that sentence could be (the second sentence really shouldn't be italicised though).
You also need to watch your space of the paragraphs. I know I'm being nitpicky, but I just like to help you make your wonderful work even more wonderful and readable. ^_^
Overall, though, this is an excellent and original story. I loved it.
Author's Response: Thanks for your review!
Summary: Draco Malfoy is and always will be a fighter. It's when we're put on the battlefield with our own demons that fighting becomes a challenge.
I pulled up Into the Ocean on my iTunes, just to put me in the mood. ^_^ I do love Blue October.
What I like about this is seeing Draco's thought process through a limited point of a view. It makes it feel more genuine. My only qualm with this is location. Draco lives in Wiltshire, which is the country. He's not that close to the ocean. In the reading, I felt like he just instantly appeared there, like Wiltshire is so close to the ocean, which it's not. I would have liked to have felt that when he made the decision to head towards the ocean instead of back home, it should have been a longer journey.
The journey in Draco's mind, however, while drowning, was quite engaging, and I felt for him, actually pitied him.
I have a few little SPaG nitpicks, to help you purty-fy your fic:
He thought of his parent's as sparingly as possible...
That should be parents. ^^
He didn't care if someone broke in, be it enemy or thief. He had nothing of importance, and money was needless spare for food, and he had enough of that in vaults at Gringotts.
Hehe, this implies that he stored food in vaults at Gringotts. Heheh. You might want to say 'and he had enough of the former in vaults...', unless he does store food there. ^_~
You seem to like to capitalise the next word after a colon. I'm not sure if you mean to have periods instead of colons.You do it quite a lot. You're also semi-colon crazy. Hehe. Always remember to use semi-colons sparingly and to replace a conjunction use to separate two related independent clauses (or replacing commas in a super list! Lol).
Now that nasty business is out of the way, I want to draw your attention to a few lines that really pulled at me, capturing the essence that is Draco:
It felt as if with every wrenching kick, the ocean itself kicked back, willing him to give up. All Draco did his entire life was give up.
This is just perfect: a perfect description of the ocean and of Draco's life, and the juxtaposition of both is artful, to say the least.
The rock he had jumped from was too far to reach; the current had pulled him too far away. His arms felt broken down but he pushed with all of his might towards it, breathing through the crashing of the waves, screaming through the pain in his limbs. He was pulled down again by the water but he thrashed himself back upwards, taking gasping gulps of air as he bobbed up and down, into the water and into the air, his legs hitting bits of rock as he drew nearer to the protruding bit of safety. When he finally reached the slippery stone he threw his arms on the jagged pieces, cutting his palms so that they leaked blood into the demanding ocean. With every painstaking pull, Draco drew himself out of the water until he was finally completely out of it; as he reached level ground his hand slipped and he fell, his ankles converging into the water again. It was only when he gave one last, painful pull that he came clumsily onto the surface, coughing and spluttering and gasping for air.
This, to me, is Draco's resolution, this is Draco becoming a man, actually fighting, trying, pulling, living--he is someone we can begin to respect. And, for me, this was the best part of the entire story. Draco has been baptised--a real baptism that washes away his sins, his failures, and lets him start again.
Summary: In any man who dies there dies with him,
his first snow and kiss and fight . . .
Not people die but worlds die in them
~Yevgeny Yevtushenko, "People"
His twin is dead, and as far as George can see, the whole world might as well have died, too. In other words, this is the story of how George Weasley grieved in seven steps. *one-shot*
Dammit. It's been a long time since a fic made me cry. You manage it so effortlessly, without really meaning to. *sighs * I really don't know what to say. You don't burden the story with a bunch of flowery prose or melodrama. You're straight, to the point--cutting to the quick. The feeling is like a knife plunging through the heart: painful, abrupt, searing, hot.
You wove a wonderful, real story through an often-used device: the five stages of grief. Each stage provoked an emotional response in me, and I felt myself going through these stages with George. What really hit me, out of all the stages, was bargaining: He'd never really thought much about God one way or another. "But if you can bring him back," George whispered, "I'll believe in you."
The emotion is so palpable and relatable, for all of us. This was the part where tears came to my eyes because we have all been there, at some point, in some small way.
You use of anger was so violent, like a maelstrom of emotions, and what George said to Percy is what some of us may have thought ("It should have been you."), but when actually seen, when actually heard, it's so raw and harsh and wrong. This is something he can't ever take back--even though it is said in anger and grief--there is a truth to it that tears down walls of feelings repressed, of resentments unsung. How do you come back from that? And what he said to Harry…Ugh.
In depression, I really appreciated Harry's talk with George, relating to him and having George actually listen. Harry was right though: we all need time. And, George's admittance that he's never been George, always Fred and George, always a twin, really made me feel sorry for him on so many levels. He lost a piece of himself.
The one thing that I didn't like in acceptance was how George's apology to Percy seemed forced and there was no real resolution. I know that it would take time for them to repair their relationship, but I felt that this should have at least been mentioned. Maybe it's because I have a soft spot for the redemption of Percy, like I had for the redemption of Snape. ^_^ (Additional nitpick: you had a lot of 'its'--meant as contraction--without the apostrophe, such as George's “Its hard”.)
All in all, this was an excellent fic, and you did an amazing job taking me, the reader, along for the ride on George's journey of dealing with his grief. Thank you.
Author's Response: Thank you so much! This is such an amazing, detailed review :) I was really nervous about this piece -- it was the first non-romance-focused story I'd ever written, or one that featured a Weasley other than Ron. I'm glad you liked it and it could actually evoke some emotions in you! You're right about the "its" -- there were a lot of them, but I've gone back just now and fixed them all! As for Percy -- I feel like a lot of this story was hard to write because I was trying to fit so much into so little; it would have been, you're right, if there had been more of a redemption for Percy. Thanks again! :)
Summary: Even our favourite bunch of Slytherins were adolescents once. Now we get to laugh at the expense of Draco, Pansy, Crabbe and Goyle, and all the others!
This was hilarious. I loved the little insight into male and female puberty in the Slytherin house. Pansy's melodramatic bleating was especially humorous: "I'm bleeding! I'm hemorrhaging!" she wailed. "Help me, I'm dying!"
Really, this was just great. I could quote all my favourite lines, but everything was fantastic--especially Millicent and Pansy's scenes. Also, I loved how you juxtaposed the males versus the females, each thinking the other had it worse off. Plus, nice touch with ending the story the same way it begun (and features in almost everyone's little backdrop story): about Millicent's tits! Lol!
Summary: I hadn't seen him since I was eleven, but he had a rather distinct look about him. It was hard, after all, to forget that black hair that stuck up in the back and the bright green eyes behind those glasses. And the scar — I had always thought it neat to have a scar shaped like a lightening bolt.
Jane Martin sees the odd, quiet boy she went to primary school with years ago in a jewellery shop and she's shocked to see how much things have changed for the boy with taped glasses and baggy clothes. *one-shot*
Wow, this was amazing. And that is a feat for any Harry/Ginny author to get me, an ardent Draco/Ginny shipper, to actually like this ship!
Janie: This OC is…well, she’s just lovely. She is a perfect foil to Harry’s past, as a lonely child. Janie is sympathetic, kind, and real. She becomes a wonderful instrument to showcase Harry and Ginny’s relationship.
Ginny: She exudes confidence. She is savvy, opinionated, and bubbly—in a bright way. The characterisation is spot-on.
Harry: I love how you show his metamorphosis through Janie and still maintain that bashful, awkward boyish charm that is Harry Potter.
2. Narration: By showing Harry and his relationship with Ginny through a stranger’s eyes makes someone like me, who avoids H/G like the plague, really appreciate the relationship. The use of the third person omniscient (limited to one character) was the best way to go.
3. Imagery: You have a gift for imagery. You paint such lovely imagery with so few words.
And I thought of a class assignment when we were eight, an assignment which required us to draw pictures of our family. Harry had gotten in trouble, because he'd drawn a picture of himself and only himself.
Gah. It’s one of those lines that chokes you up. And it’s so Harry.
4. Dialogue and Flow: You.really captured Harry’s speech and how people talk and act in real life. It added to the overall flow of the story and made it a delightful read. There were no guesses. It was simple yet beautiful. Nothing was forced; nothing was convoluted. It was pure bliss to read.
"I was just — I — " Harry seemed unable to come up with a proper response.
"Three hours, Harry," said Ginny, "three hours. I finally went looking for you and it’s a good thing I noticed you through the window of this place; finally that hair of yours comes in handy." She smiled brightly before glancing around and furrowing her brow a little. "Um, Harry, what are you doing in here?"
Needless to say, I loved this piece. The attention to detail was fantastic, including Janie’s observation of Harry’s ‘I must not tell lies’ scar on his hand. I love little things like that. The only negative thing I have to say about this piece is that it wasn’t D/G! *pouts*
Author's Response: Oh, this has got to be one of the best reviews I've ever received. Thanks for commenting on all the specific aspects you liked :) I'm glad you liked Janie and appreciated that it was written from her POV; and of course I'm glad you thought Harry and Ginny in character! And I'm happy to have made a Draco/Ginny shipper enjoy a Harry/Ginny story. One of my closest friends adores Draco/Ginny, and she's always saying I should give them a shot, but I'm too endeared to Harry/Ginny! Thanks for the review :)
Oh, I made an error when I wrote: 'The use of the third person omniscient (limited to one character) was the best way to go.'--I meant first person. *face palms* So sorry. I need coffee in the morning, really. ^_~
Also, I think you should try a hand at D/G. But, at the same time, I think you should always write what you love and what you're best at. So there's no pressure from me. I'm fine just pouting here in the corner. ^_~
Author's Response: Haha -- anyone who doesn't need coffee in the morning is a crazy! :)
The smell was powerful, so magnificently intense…so very, very alluring.
There was a war going on. Fear was prevalent everywhere and these species were free to roam the city of London. Free to breed…free to feed on whoever they desired. It’s one thing to get afraid when being attacked, but the fear goes to a whole new level when you can’t see your attacker…
Follow the lives of two Muggles running through the narrow alleyways of London, when they’re suddenly confronted by one of the most feared creatures in the Wizarding world.
First off, you quoted my favourite weird science/gothic horror author. You are made of awesome sauce!
I have never read a story from a Dementor’s point of view. The fact that you chose that particular epigram from that particular author was very clever, in my opinion. The premise behind this story is interesting and clever. To me, it is a piece with potential. You have some great lines and imagery in some places; however, I feel as though you should have expanded on them:
To add to this mad fear, I skillfully brought forth his most terrible memories and drowned him with them.
This is a good sentence, but I feel that it should have been expanded. Show us a terrible memory, show us how the Dementor drowned his victim with his own memories. Demonstrate that fear! I know that you end up doing that, later on, through the eyes of Adrien, but the reader’s attention span is short. You’re writing to a generation raised by television, video games, and the Internet. Our needs have to be satisfied immediately or else we move on. ^_~
Aside from my critique, the images I do like are the ones that you keep simple and clean:
Instantly, my deep cavern of a mouth yawned wide open as an immense pleasure swept through me. I let out a deep rattling breath as I sucked the air in front of him, rendering him completely speechless. It was only a matter of seconds now…his soul was mine to take and I relished in that thought alone.
Now, this is actually chilling, if only in the simplicity of its description. The reader is not laden with an over-abundance of adjectives and cheap metaphors. I like this.
White fog blurred his senses as the cold clenched at his heart – the uncanny sensation causing the hairs on the back of his neck to stand on end.
Here, again, more simple imagery, which really helps the flow of your work: I want to see more of this type of prose!
I knew what it was and I knew there was nothing I could do to go anywhere near it, but I stretched my arm out anyway as the slightly translucent creature took flight and soared into the morning sky.
This was made of WIN. I really liked this and the description beforehand. In fact, the last scene is moving and pretty darn close to brilliant. IMHO.
To end on a positive note, I really did like the twist told from the Demontor’s PoV. Please don’t be discouraged by any of my seemingly negative concrit. I just think you have great potential, especially with these creative plots of yours.
Summary: Rita Skeeter is an infamous journalist whose "savage quill has punctured many inflated reputations." But was she always like the annoying pest who Harry knows? What about her story? How did she become the Rita Skeeter we all love to hate?
This is hestiajones of Hufflepuff House writing for the Untold Story Challenge. It won the challenge, and has been nominated recently for a QSQ in Best General category. :D
Thanks to Fresca (Colores) for betaing! You really helped me give the story a coherent whole. And to Carole (Equinox Chick) too, for the “revenge against the ex” tip. :D
DISCLAIMER: All characters and premises belong to J.K.Rowling. However, the Corner brothers, Simon Rosier and the Thorntons are mine. ;)
I must say that I was pleasantly surprised when I read this. The length was daunting, at first, but it was a painless and enjoyable read…so, you are forgiven. ^_~
What I really liked about this piece is how it is structured, like a chronology of vignettes--snap-shots in Rita's life. I do have one qualm with the ordering, and it is very small. Near the beginning, you kind of go backwards a bit, talking about Emmeline graduating and Rita being teased again, etc. I know you were just filling us in on the details, but, to me, it seemed superfluous for a one-shot that is structured the way yours is. Now, if that had been the start of the second chapter, it would have worked perfectly. Again, it doesn’t affect your work--it's just my reading preference with certain structures/styles. However, overall, I do like how you structured it.
You do a really good job of keeping everything in order, tracked. One inconsistency, however, is where Bertha Jorkins is described a first-year when Rita interviews her but later recalls her as a second-year, at the wedding. Perhaps Rita is referring to another incident. It's not clear.
Your dialogue is great, in my opinion. It's engaging and real. Nothing is forced or contrived. My one qualm is how precocious Bertha is. I don't know many eleven-year-olds who gossip the way she does, especially referring to Henry as Margaret's toy. However, if you had made Bertha fourteen, I would have totally believed her behaviour.
Overall, I believe this was rather well-written and realistic. I love how everything was woven together to show both the growth and degradation of Rita. I would have loved a snap-shot about Rita becoming an Animagus, but that would have made a long one-shot even longer. Lol. You really made me feel empathy for Rita and able to sympathise with her, even at her worst moments. Great dialogue and great character. This is definitely a rec!
Some minor edits:
/You ran away and your parents could nothing to get him out of his misery./ -- (could do nothing…)
/You grew distant from me, you became different./ -- (The comma should be a semi-colon).
Also, don't forget your commas before ‘which’. ^_^
Author's Response: Lia,
Thank you so much for this detailed review. :) I have edited th story as per your nitpicks.
Summary: Severus knows that he’s going down. It’s too late for him. The best thing he can do for the love of his life is refuse to drag her under as well. This is the toughest decision he has ever been forced to make.
Oh, I really wish it went like this. *sighs dramatically* I could see Snape saying most of this to protect Lily, but I couldn't see him saying that she's be safer with James. He despises James way too much. Other than that, I do like this one-shot. It's very bitter-sweet. ^^
Author's Response: Yeah, I was going for bittersweet. I'm glad you liked it! -Virgil-
Summary: Her voice is firm and fiery and it reminds him of the rose-coloured past and too bright sunshine and a giggling girl with unruly curls and dirt under her nails, who says with a voice too loud and an attitude too large,"Oh, Sev."
He doesn't know why Lily has come, why her husband has let her, or what they're even doing. All he knows is that he's right beside her in the car, and they're leaving the rest of the world behind. (Two-shot.)
I plan to come back and write a proper review for this, but I just wanted to let you to know that this story is beautiful. *sighs*
Author's Response: Thank you! I'm glad you like it :)
Summary: The Masque was her chance to get over a broken relationship and move on, her appearance magically charmed for a night of escapist pleasure. She had no expectations, least of all that she might fall for a fellow masked player. And yet she did, their identities a secret as their relationship blossomed. When they take off the masks and reveal their true selves, can they move beyond their past and try to build something for the future?
This is Gmariam of Ravenclaw writing for the February Month of Love Challenge: Surprise Love.
For having never written D/G before, you did a really good job on this, Gina. Your characterisation of Ginny is quite impressive. You make her hesitant to partake in such debauchery, yet you make her bold and feisty enough to follow through. While Draco is softer than I normally like him, you do explain that he has changed through his time spent at Azkaban.
I think what I love the most about this story is the premise. A Masque? Very cool idea. Really. It’s very original and sexy, and I like how you utilised it. I also like how you left the story very open-ended, like there could be a sequel.
You diction was fitting and your imagery was lovely. It was a well-written piece, which is always a pleasure to read.
Amazing first time writing this pairing, Gina. You are made of WIN! ^_^
Author's Response: Aw, you came and read it! Thank you so much for reading this! I really appreciate the comments. I'm glad you liked the Masque. It's about as close as I'm ever come to smut, lol. I can totally see your point about Draco. I even sort of agree. But I remember when I was writing this thinking very deliberately that time in Azkaban would have made him a bit more reserved with his snarkiness. More bitter. Maybe the bitterness doesn't come out, but that's what I was thinking. Snarky banter is great and probably more in character, but it just didn't fit this story. Hm. Maybe I should try again. ;) Thanks again for reading this story and for the great review!! ~Gina :)
Nominated for a 2010 QSQ Award!
This one of those pieces where free-verse is a necessity. Adding any type of rhyming scheme would only take away from the emotions conveyed, in my humble opinion. And what a gamut of emotions you run me through. You have me feeling sad, disgusted, loved, angry, and hopeless. You also did a wonderful job of expressing your theme of death through the motifs of sorrow and loss. You did this, of course, through repetition of certain lines, 'As the boy crouched low and cried'.
Your choice of diction is fitting--words like 'broken' and 'death' are repeated throughout to symbolise not just Dumbledore's death but also the breaking of Harry's heart and spirit. You do provide a measure of solace by offering Harry Ginny's warmth and comfort. It is the juxtaposition of terror (the Dark Mark) with hope (breaking the curse and freeing the sky) that offers this piece a sombre realism, which adds to the overall effect of the poem.
The most haunting stanza for me is the second last:
A scream so soft, shuddering, lost,
They broke the curse and they freed the sky
Yet the body remained, broken and dead,
As the boy crouched low and cried.
For me, this is where the idea hits home, before the poem comes full circle. It shows that while they may experience loss and victory with this war, the dead remain just that: dead. It is sacrifice for the sake of liberty--and liberty cannot be obtained without bloodshed. An excellent poem. Well done.
Thank you for the wonderful review. It it true, I feel most comfortable writing free-verse and I think you're right in saying that this poem would not work under more stringent guidelines that other forms use. I like to take moments and transform them into poetry from the books and in this case from the HBP film. I'm glad you found this poem to be an emotional journey as that was what I aimed to create.
Again, thank you for such a lovely review!
When he realises the deadly plan set before him by Dumbledore, Harry's heart goes through an incredible journey to find calm in the eye of the storm.
This sonnet won The Diamond Challenge on the Poetry Anyone forum. The prompt that inspired it was 'Loyalty'.
This poem was nominated for a 2010 Quicksilver Quill Award - Best Poem
While I'm not normally fan of iambic pentameter, your choice of 'feet' is wonderfully apt in The March. I commend you for your well-execute technical device, which manages to keep a marching rhythm, echoing Harry's footsteps. The rhythm of the first stanza is especially effective, keeping those five feet in order, and the concept behind the story within the poem is just lovely. Often, poems can sacrifice content for technical brilliance; you are able to combine both, which is an incredibly feat for a seasoned poet let alone a novice.
Well done. I am always impressed when a novice poet can accomplish what you have. ^_^
Aww, you're a star. :)
I actually had a midnight inspiration for this poem. It jarred me out of sleep, so I drifted over to the computer, typed out what was in my head, and then went back to bed. Later, when I got up, I slaved over word choice, meter, and flow for at least three hours. I don't think I've ever put so much work into something so short, but in the end, it was worth it. This is my poetic masterpiece, and while I don't know if I'll ever write anything like this again, it was a pleasure to work on. I'm glad you like it and appreciate the difficulty and the work that had to go into it.
I Like a Healthy Breeze Around My Privates, Thanks! by hestiajones
Rated: 1st-2nd Years [Reviews - 13]
Summary: “Muggle women wear them, Archie, not the men, they wear this.”
Remember ol’ Archie from GOF? Well, now you’ll know why he refused to give up his flowery gown for a pair of trousers.
Written for the April Fool Challenge at the beta boards. Nominated for a QSQ in the Best Humour category. :D Many thanks to Rachel (lily_evans34) for her help with Latin.
DISCLAIMER: This is not J.K.Rowling, though characters you recognize and story premises belong to her.
Oh, this was made of WIN and three parts awesomesauce! I loved it. It made me giggle (and cackle).
Author's Response: Lia!
We meet again. Thanks for reading and reviewing. M happy it made you cackle. Hehe.
*These are the times that try men's souls.
Well, that couldn't be any more real for Draco Malfoy than on the eve of his wedding. He was getting married the next day, but all he could think about is how his life was about to become so much more damned complicated.
He had no idea.
*Quote - Thomas Paine, American revolutionary.
This fic was nominated for a 2010 Quicksilver Quill Award - Best Humour
Poor, poor Draco. =(
Jess, this is brilliant. I love your characterisation of Draco. It is so spot on for what I’d believe him to act Post Hogwarts, especially for his impending nuptials. And your Astoria is just plain evil! I want to slap her silly.
You have written some great moments with Draco and Lucius and Draco and Pansy--but my favourite interaction is Draco’s confrontation with Harry. Draco vomiting on Harry's leg equals priceless moment.
In addition to setting us up with multiple humorous scenes, you have managed a great fluidity to your prose, which has resulted in some excellent lines: He was getting married, and if he was to be restricted to one woman for the rest of his life, he wasn’t going into it sober.--Lol, not only is this well-written and true, it’s bloody hilarious.
My favourite exchange of dialogue would have to be the lead up to the vows and the vows themselves:
“What did I miss?” He looked back and forth between Astoria and the minister, both of whom seemed extremely annoyed that he was ruining things.
“Your vows, you prat! You’re supposed to say your vows!”
Draco is just downright comical. Even though he’s a hapless smuck here, I still love him! ^^
Well done, my dear.
Thank you, dear, for the lovely review. You appreciate the value of a good, old-fashioned, ribald tale, and this is certainly it. Draco just lends himself to hilarity so much with his attitude and mannerisms. While I typically believe in a reformed, humbler Draco, sometimes I just want him to be an a******. :D
Plus, I just wanted to write a fic with a lot of gratuitous swearing and sexual innuendo. Yay for crude humour!
I'm glad you liked it, and thank you again for the review. Take care and happy writing!
Summary: At the start of term feast, Severus Snape watches the first years being Sorted with a little more interest than usual, and a little more regret, as he finds one child’s presence brings back too many memories of a woman he once loved…and betrayed. Even if Severus could forgive Harry Potter for who his father was, forgiving him for who his father was not may be harder.
I'm gutted. Ugh. I have a soft, warm place in my heart for Snape and Snape/Lily fics. The problem with most SS/LE fics is that they're not realistic or they're too fluffy. You need either dark/angsty or bitter-sweet. You managed to achieve both sentiments. (Please forgive the rest of my disjointed review, as I am being naughty and reading and reviewing at work). ^_~
First off, I love the little AU aspect of your story: where Snape and Lily stopped being friends because of a moment of passion rather than Snape calling Lily a Mudblood. In addition, the faint, faint possibility that Harry could be Snape's son (while you essentially prove that he isn't) is just a pleasant plot device, for me. ^^
But, you see, what truly pulls me into this fic is how you make me feel for Snape. I am forced to empathise with him completely, and his pain becomes my pain.
He bore her blood on his hands, he knew. The stain was as indelible as if he himself had spoken the curse.
See, this is the Snape I love: the one who feels guilt for what he had done and repents. So many readers despise him, even after all he had done to help the Order. And, sometimes, I feel like readers would forgive Peter before they forgave Severus. However, I am so very glad that you were able to show Snape's guilt as genuine.
Speaking of guilt, I absolutely adore how your phrased this (when Snape saw Harry being Sorted):
Guilt? Oh yes, there was always guilt, but to see those eyes, so similar to hers, it just brought everything back, ripping open the old wounds. Wounds that had never closed, like a poisoned bite that would never heal.
I love the simile here. Your descriptions really put the reader in Snape's mind, seeing his thoughts as something visible and tangible. It makes us active participants in your story--and that's always an impressive accomplishment.
Well, the boy was undeniably Potter’s son and that was the end of the matter as far as Severus Snape was concerned, or so he told himself.
I can't even begin to describe how accurate that quote is--as in those are Snape's actual thoughts. And, really, it is the beginning of bringing the reader full circle, alluding to the title: Snape can't forgive Harry for being James's son, but he can't forget that Harry is Lily's son.
Besides from your wonderful characterisation of Snape, I do like the subtle observations you make of other characters, especially Dumbledore:
No, Dumbledore’s methods were far more subtle and far more pervasive. Dumbledore read faces and voices, not thoughts, and there was no way Severus knew to counter what was simply a study of human nature.
Honestly, this is brilliant. You managed to sum Dumbledore's ability to read people (wonderfully) and juxtaposed it with Snape's inability to fully comprehend or emulate the act. I also love that you draw Dumbledore through Snape's eyes, showing him as someone that Snape respects (and deserves respect and awe) but also hints at the Headmaster's dodgy, clandestine self (at least according to Snape...and me). ^_~
Finally, it is the ending that does me in, like a fist to the gut:
But now, Severus felt strangely hollow as the boy who would never be his son was sorted into his true father’s House.
I have no words for that right now, but I don't think I have ever felt more sorry for Snape than when I did reading The Prince's Tale in DH.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for such a lovely review, Lia. I completely agree that fluffy Snape/Lily doesn't work. The angst and bittersweetness are exactly what I love about this pairing, and I always think Severus is at his most interesting when he's brooding and guilt-ridden. I'm really glad especially that you enjoyed the Dumbledore reference, because he's a character I struggle with so much, so it's lovely to know that worked.
Summary: It’s a small town; bad news travels fast.
Spinners End was not somewhere Lily Potter had ever had any intention of returning, but then she’d always tended to put others’ needs above her own, and familiar habits are hard to shake when it comes to old friends.
I have never been a huge fan of Lily, and yet I was always a Lily/Snape shipper. I think it's because whenever they discussed the good in Harry, it was always when he was being compared to his mother. And I thought, If she’s so good, why didn't she accept Snape's apology? But later I came to accept that Lily had to draw a line and Snape needed to grow up. You have managed to capture the essence of Lily and Snape at a crossroads.
What I think I like the most about this fic is the characterisation of both Snape and Lily – especially Snape.
The briefest glimpse of shock flashed through his eyes, all but invisible had she not known him as she once did, before he schooled his expression. The only hint remaining of any emotion was a slight tightening around his eyes and a thinning of his top lip, which paled at the tautness.
This was just a perfect description of Snape: cold, in control, quickly recovers. You don't make Snape some emotional young boy in the presence of Lily, which I greatly appreciate.
What she had not expected was this impersonally cruel tone, as if she had done him – or perhaps society itself – some vague and nebulous wrong to which he had no immediate personal connection.
Not only do I approve how Snape reacts to Lily’s presence (in a negative way), I like how Lily responds to his tone. In my mind, Snape has every right to be angry with her: she broke off all ties, said she couldn’t be his friend any more, and now she comes out of nowhere to 'pretend' for just one day? As much as I believe Lily to be a caring person, sometimes she appears cruel – toying with Snape (even if that's not her intention).
“Don’t push me away,” Lily urged him gently. “I know you’re hurting. I understand that. You don’t have to pretend it’s all fine. She was your mother; you’re allowed to grieve.”
“You don’t understand anything. You never did understand half as much as you thought.”
Snape is so vindicated in saying this. I’m going to stop myself before I wind myself up into a rant. So I will end by saying that I think you did a great job here creating a moment that could have very well been part of JKR’s tale. ^^
Author's Response: Thanks for the lovely review, Lia
This was quite a challenge to write in some ways, especially because whilst I was writing from Lily's POV, I didn't want her to be entirely sympathetic, and you caught what I was going for perfectly. She goes with the best of intentions but doesn't really think about what would be kindest to Severus and whether it's fair to just waltz back into his life for the day. It's always so gratifying when a reviewer clearly gets what I was trying to do with a story.
He cannot bring himself to think the name. There is a glimpse of red. A laugh. A fumbled apology. A friendship.
How a death may change a life or two.
Winner of Best Non-Canon Romance in the Quick Silver Quill Awards 2010
Julia, this is beautiful. You have managed to turn a one-shot into poetry or poetry into a one-shot - I do not know.
I'm not a Pumpkin Pie fan, but I find this to be so believable and right. It is right.
Your prose is wonderful, gorgeous, gripping, terrifyingly emotional. The pain and the hurt and the loss is palpable.
Sometimes he just wants her to scream, because then at least one of them will feel.
This is one of many examples where you are able to convey so much truth and feeling to a situation that most of us have been in at some point in our lives. Why can't we cry out, feel the pain, be the pain?
I particularly love your structure here - how you begin with a waking - the hurtful realisation that one of his best friends is dead - and end with a reawakening, realising that not everything - not everyone - dies. He has Hermione. And it is enough.
Beautiful, Julia. Just beautiful.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for such a lovely review, Lia! I'm glad I could evoke such a positive response from a Draco/Ginny shipper like yourself XD This fic is all about that journey of complete and utter hopelessness to the realisation that life does go on. As you said, it is something deeply familiar (or eventually will be) to most of us and I am so glad you thought I wrote that well. I always aim to be genuine with my fics, so thank you :) And thank you for the rec in the SBBC, too! ~Julia.