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lucca4 [Contact]

I am:

- between the ages of 0 and 21.
- an American
- a girl
- married to Teddy Lupin
- afraid of commas

I am not:

- JK Rowling
- tired of Harry Potter
- a moose (or any other forest animal)
- divorcing any time soon

Check out my stories - if you dare :).

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Stories by lucca4 [23]
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Reviews by lucca4

Close Your Eyes by Equinox Chick

Rated: 6th-7th Years •
Summary: Hermione and Lavender weren't particular friends. It was true they shared a dormitory, but for much of their school time they lived parallel and separate lives. Then Lavender helped Hermione get ready for the Yule Ball and that set off a chain of events that left both girls confused.

This story was inspired by a suggestion from Gina (Gmariam) and a drabble written for Natalie (hestiajones). This story is in no way 'caron -compliant' with Lavender, blue - a Gryffindor true.

Thank you Natalie for beta'ing this story.

Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling, her lawyers agree, so don't confuse us. Lawyers for Miss Brown and Miss Granger were unavailable for comment.
Reviewer: lucca4 Signed
Date: 01/28/11 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

What I loved most about this fic was how well you were able to interweave it with canon. And even though you were jumping through the years, it read so smoothly and fluently and gave more to the story since readers could see Hermione and Lavender's relationship progress.

I like the idea of Lavender/Hermione unrequited (or Lavender/Hermione-won't-admit-it), especially as you've portrayed it. I love how it was Lavender that was able to comfort Hermione after SIrius's death, and how Hermione uses that as an excuse to say that what happened meant nothing.

Hermione and Lavender's chemistry was so well-written. Their developing relationship was sad at times, because it seemed like the closer they got to confronting how they felt about one another the farther away they became. Great job with the whole dynamics of that, by the way :)

I know it's been commented on already, but my favorite part of the story is the ending. I love how you've given a believable reason as to why Lavender pursued Ron in the beginning of 6th year, and how it sort of gives a double-meaning to Hermione's vehemence against it.

This is such a good read, Carole! Amazing job :).

xx Ariana

Author's Response: Thank you so much. Since writing a few Lavender stories, I've been annoyed at the fanfic portrayal of her as this air-head who remains an airhead for the rest of her life. This story did come about through an LJ pairing conversation (ha ha) but it is now making me think about that awful necklace she gave Won-Won. There might be a sequel ... I do appreciate the read and review, Ariana, thanks again. ~Carole~

One Day in the Life Of by hestiajones

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: Happy endings? What are happy endings? They saved the world for the future, and the kids are here. Life, meanwhile, just goes on.

DISCLAIMER: I am not J.K.Rowling. I just wish she would hurry up and publish The Scottish Book.
Reviewer: lucca4 Signed
Date: 02/28/11 Title: Chapter 2: Hugo

Hey Natalie,

First of all, I am in love with the premise of your story. I really like the idea of telling each chapter through one of the next-gen character’s point of view in order to get a picture of what a day in the life is like. One of the things I like most about next-gen stories is seeing how each author portrays the characters differently, and this story looks like it will be a wonderful character study, in part (but also intriguing plot-wise). You did a great job crafting the characters. In some ways, they are like their parents, but they are also completely unique individuals and you expressed that very nicely.

Hugo’s chapter was incredibly well done. Your use of present tense is subtle and flows nicely throughout the story. This is one of the things that struck me most while reading this story — it read so easily. The tone of Hugo’s chapter is much different from Lucy’s, and I think that shows great talent as a writer for you to be able to jump first-person personalities so fluidly in the story. Hugo sounds very much like a teenage boy, and it was really refreshing to read that.

The confession in this chapter was well-done. It wasn’t necessarily surprising (but maybe that’s just because I’ve read a few next-gen slash stories and expected one of the characters in this fiction to be gay), but that fact didn’t take away from the emotion of the moment. I think it was very realistic in how Lily knew and was pressuring her brother to come out, because in my experience siblings can very rarely hide things from one another. It also gave us a good look at Hugo and Lily’s relationship as brother and sister.

I liked how Hugo chose to tell his mother, and keep it a secret from his father. I think it follows the very rigidly opinionated Ron that we know from the books, and somehow I don’t think he would be able to put his own emotions aside in this situation and be empathetic towards his son. I thought this detail was great in showing how you’ve kept the canon characters — what little we see of them, anyway — in character. It’s details like this that I feel really add to the oomph of your story.

On a side note, I enjoyed the reference in this chapter to your one-shot Cut and I’m looking forward to reading Dominique’s chapter (if it appears).

Xx Ariana

Author's Response: Hey Ariana!

WOW. Uh. This review made me speechless. :D

*so speechless it took me ages to respond D:*

First of all, I’m glad you found the characters having their own personalities, and aren’t carbon copies of their parents. I think I’ve written and read enough Next-Gen to learn my lesson as far as this is concerned. It’s also great to know that the narrative tense worked! I honestly didn’t mean to write an entire chaptered fic using first person, present tense, but once Lucy’s chapter had been completed, I took it on as a personal challenge.

Hugo’s sister would be Rose, though. :D In my story, however, he’s closer to Lily as they’re of the same age and were together at school.

While I don’t plan to focus on most of the older canon generation, they do need to be there, and when they are there, they do need to be in character. I’m anal when it comes to keeping things canon. I’m encouraged by the fact that Ron has been well-received. As for Dominique, she’ll come!

Thanks for the review, Ariana. It was a complete joy to read.


Curiosity by The_Real_Hermione

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: Despite outward appearances, Tom Riddle has always had a certain curiosity when it comes to girls, but will curiosity drive him to lose the one thing he never thought he even had?
Reviewer: lucca4 Signed
Date: 03/15/11 Title: Chapter 1: Curiosity

Hello there,

When I first clicked on this story, I honestly had no idea what to expect. I have never read an official Tom Riddle pairing before for the sole reason that Rowling said he could never love (and I know you mentioned that in your end notes). But I’m happy to say that I was very pleasantly surprised when reading your story. You did a wonderful job pulling this off while still keeping Tom Riddle in character — and it’s difficult enough to write him in character when he’s not in love. I was really impressed by that, as well as the way you unfolded the story behind the girl’s smile in the beginning. Very well done!

As I mentioned above, I think my favorite aspect of this story is your characterization of Tom Riddle. I like how in the beginning, catching Myrtle’s attention and spending time with her was just to satisfy his curiosity and nothing more. I don’t know if I read into this too much, but I got the feeling that he was going to hurt her emotionally at some point in their strange relationship as a way to end it. From the beginning, I don’t think he planned to kill her — just fulfill his interest while it lasted. I thought this was very Riddle-like; he felt separated from the outside world, almost superior to it, and he would most definitely see the Ravenclaw girl as just one of his experiments. I thought this line really emphasized his feeling of separate-ness from the rest of the world: How silly humans can be, you thought. I liked how you have him think of others as ‘humans’, as though he is somehow above them. It really stayed true to Riddle’s character and the person he inevitably becomes in the end.

Their relationship was unique and not over-done. I’m glad you didn’t make this into a fluffy, soppy mess and have Tom fall in love with her in the usual way. I thought it was very realistic and in character for him to notice her because of their similarities. It is this, after all, that draws him to Harry instead of Neville when he sought out to stop the prophecy from happening. I think Tom Riddle is a person who was so alienated from the rest of the world that any similarities he had to other people were comforting, in a way. I like how the Ravenclaw girl (who we later find out is Myrtle) isn’t very attractive or special in any way. She has her brains, but then Tom Riddle seems much smarter than her. I like how their relationship begins slowly, with Tom Riddle coaxing her to confide in him and trust him, all the while planning to leave her in the end. I thought it was interesting how you showed the subtle change in their relationship, how it went from him wanting information from her to him giving her information about him and his childhood. And still you kept him in character, putting his business first and not letting her get in the way of what he was doing. Brilliant job.

Maybe the one thing I had qualms about was the fact that the Ravenclaw girl was a Muggleborn. I know that was the dichotomy in the story, between what his head told him to follow and what his heart felt, but I can’t see him ever putting himself in that position with a Muggleborn. This was a race that he wanted to murder, a race he hated so much that he wanted to make them suffer. He didn’t even like half-bloods that much, so Tom falling in love with a Muggleborn seemed a bit off. But later in the story, it’s revealed that the girl is Moaning Myrtle, and I think that is what really sealed the believability for me. Knowing that she gets murdered at the end anyway, knowing that Tom Riddle didn’t sacrifice his ideals for love, was what made the Muggleborn dilemma waver.

Speaking of which, I loved how it was Moaning Myrtle that Tom Riddle fell in love with. I didn’t realize this or guess this until the mention of Olive Hornby, and I thought it was wonderfully underplayed. It was a great twist in the story, and something completely unique and well thought out on your part. I think the introduction of her, how you kept her nameless, was very smart and let us as readers see the reasoning behind Tom Riddle’s attraction to her rather than prejudging their relationship with our canon knowledge of her. And, sad as it may be, I am glad that the girl Tom loved was killed by him in the end. I think it showed a lot about Tom and how much he valued being above such humanly feelings — and how in order to secure his position as becoming one of the most powerful wizards in the world, he rationally thought he had to kill the one girl who could change him. In a way, also, I think him killing her was almost more compassionate than him breaking it off with her and traumatizing her emotionally. He could have done that, and it might have stopped the feelings on her part, but it wouldn’t ensure that he didn’t succumb to his desires. It was tragic, but rather inevitable in a Riddle pairing.

Lastly, your use of second person was great. I wasn’t sure how this would work, seeing as I don’t read much second person and ‘you’ referring to Tom Riddle seemed strange to me. However, I thought this was extremely well executed and now that I have finished reading, I can’t think of a better way for the story to have been told.

Great job with this story!

xx Ariana

Author's Response: Hi Ariana, WOW what a review! This is at least 10 times longer than any other review I've ever received... thank you so much. I'm really happy that you liked my characterisation of Tom - I find him quite difficult to write, because with most characters I write, I feel at least a bit of empathy or understanding for why they do things, but I do struggle to with him. As I was writing this, I was sort of thinking about how he possessed Ginny in CoS - I think he's the sort of person who was initially curious, and then loved the thrill of being able to control someone's emotions with his actions. In a way in this story, he's not just satisfying his curiosity, but also testing his ability to control other people. It also affirms his belief that love is weakness. Yes I agree, he certainly believes that he's better than other people - I think this is one of the defining differences between him and Harry. I think Tom Riddle is a person who was so alienated from the rest of the world that any similarities he had to other people were comforting, in a way. I think you're right here, and as you pointed out, that is why he picked Harry over Neville. I don't think he was curious about girls in a physical way - after all, he was handsome and popular, that curiosity wouldn't have been hard to satisfy. I think Tom's interesting in the way that he knows other peoples' weakness is to get them to trust him, yet he has never trusted anyone in his life. Yes, he initially coaxes Myrtle to talk, and then adds something of his own as he realises that that will increase her trust of him, but he always tempers it and doesn't necessarily tell whole truths. I completely understand that you think it unrealistic that he fell for a muggleborn, you could be right there. The way I thought of it, he felt a connection to her from the first time he met her eyes, but he pretended to himself that he just picked her by random to satisfy his curiosity. So that's how I explain that. I'm glad you like that I picked Myrtle - quite a while ago, before I wrote "The Wrong Secret" (which you might be interested in, by the way, it's this story but from Myrtle's point of view and ties in how she becomes in canon), I was planning a story about a girl who fell for Tom, and I just sort of came across Myrtle. I think there may have been an untold story there, after all he did kill her, and he made his first Horcrux from that death - and as we know, he liked to make his Horcruxes from significant deaths. I see him killing her almost as killing his heart. Yes, I personally kept her nameless for the reason you said - to show their interaction without the reader judging her by her appearance in canon. how in order to secure his position as becoming one of the most powerful wizards in the world, he rationally thought he had to kill the one girl who could change him. That's exactly what I think, you really do understand my writing!! Second person. Yes, it is a bit weird reading it at times. I'm not quite sure why, but I quite like writing in it. I think it makes the character seem like they're taking away their responsibility by trying to push what they went through on to the reader. I'm glad you found it worked in the end, though. So thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on my fic. I think I'm a little like you... usually I'm not so keen on Tom Riddle pairings (and here I am, writing one...) but this came to me and I really had to write it, so I'm glad you still enjoyed it. ~Katrina

March Madness by Equinox Chick

Rated: 6th-7th Years •
Summary: Professor Dumbledore always referred to it as 'March Madness', that time of year when a certain band of Gryffindors ran amok. But in the Spring of nineteen-seventy-eight, one of the Marauders had other things on his mind.

Perhaps things will finally quieten down.

This is Equinox Chick of Hufflepuff writing for the 2011 Aprils Fools' Day Challenge in the Great Hall, Prompt 3 (Marauder)

A word about the warnings: The SSP is minor and I'm only using a 'warning' because otherwise I might get angry letters *snort*. The Sexual Situations are evident.

I am not JK Rowling. I'd like to be, but alas she got there first
Reviewer: lucca4 Signed
Date: 03/26/11 Title: Chapter 1: March Madness


I loved this. I am so jealous of your ability to seamlessly slip into one day in the life of the Marauders and write it so thoroughly and convincingly.

Your "not" mentioning Mary Macdonald made me smile, and I thought you did a great job incorporating the prompts subtly so it didn't feel as though you were constructing a story around the prompts, but rather that the words just happened to be in this lovely story you were telling :).

I liked the bit with Regulus and Barty--it's such a unique rare pair that I would never have thought of. I'm happy that James didn't plan on spreading the news to Sirius. I think you really emphasized his honorable side here, the side of James that Dumbledore saw Head-Boy potential in.

Gorgeous writing here, Carole. The only thing I could have asked for was a bit of Martha Macdonald and Sirius, but the story was really more about James and Lily (loved The Scene, by the way) and I thoroughly enjoyed it :)

xx Ariana

Author's Response: Thank you very much, Ariana. I wasn't sure how far to go with The Scene, but decided to veer on the side of subtlety, so I'm pleased it worked. Barty/Regulus just sort of evolved as I wrote the story ... not sure why, but I may write another story about them.

Ah, Martha/Sirius, well, I'm not sure what to say about them at the moment. I didn't want to make this too compliant with Lions and because I haven't quite worked out the mechanics of the seventh year.

Thanks for the review. ~Carole~

The Golden Boy by Equinox Chick

Rated: 6th-7th Years • Past Featured Story
Summary: "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.


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.

Reviewer: lucca4 Signed
Date: 03/27/11 Title: Chapter 1: The Golden Boy

Hi again,

What sprung to mind immediately after I read this story is how well put together it is. When writing a story with multiple perspectives, it is usually difficult to unite the separate pieces so that the story feels complete and whole, but I thought you did this flawlessly — so much so that it didn’t even read like four separate parts, but rather as one unified story.

Pomona Sprout’s side was heartbreaking, yet so true to her character. I love how you gave her grief a back-story, and a very realistic one at that. After facing a particularly difficult death, it follows that she would question whether her faith in god was well-placed and whether it had actually benefited anyone in the equation. Her sorrow was not overdone or dramatized but spot-on for a teacher who is mourning the loss of one of her better students — a student whom she had hoped would make a name for her house during a time when Harry Potter was all anyone could talk about. I liked her friendship with the Friar, as well. In the books, we don’t see a lot of interaction between the Heads of House and the ghosts, and I thought it was interesting that you chose to give them some sort of close relationship. It really emphasizes how close the entire House was — not just the students, but the Hufflepuff staff and ghosts as well — making it all the more tragic that one of their own had died at such a young age.

I appreciated Seamus’s perspective on the tragedy, after reading Lavender’s side of it in ‘Close Your Eyes.’ I liked how you juxtaposed his reaction to Cedric’s death with Pomona’s — how Seamus had been rooting for Harry wholeheartedly and never cared about Cedric as much as Pomona had, yet he too shared in the grief in his own way. He is such an adolescent boy in the way he deals with his feelings…how he is there to comfort Lavender but isn’t using their physical closeness as a way to get through his grief as much as she is. We know he is not being entirely honorable in this when you point out that he subconsciously realizes that Lavender needed their closeness to feel something and didn’t necessarily want to go all the way. And yet, it is impossible to resent him for this because we see how much he does care about her. You wrote him so well in this scene; his characterization is wonderful in how he pities Harry for believing that Voldemort has returned and doesn’t accept it himself. I loved his side of the story the most. Brilliant job here.

When I saw the slash warning on the story, I immediately thought you were going to write Oliver and his reaction to Cedric’s death. I was only a little disappointed when you didn’t, because I think the story would have been almost too depressing with that scene. However, I liked Theo’s part a lot. He’s a character that we don’t know much about, which makes him so interesting to read as it’s unpredictable how he will be written. I thought your Theo was very intriguing. You set him apart from the other Slytherins and made him unique, and yet he is still very recognizably a Slytherin. His reaction to finding out that he is gay and his control over his feelings for Cedric were very well-written, and reflect his age and maturity. I thought it was sad that he sees himself as the one who is always overlooked, but it really does represent how we see him in canon. He is likable, in his own way, especially how he resents Seamus and Lavender for marring Cedric’s death — but still true to his Slytherin side in how he realizes that if the time comes, his choice will be to side with his family and not his own beliefs.

I know Hagrid was one of the words that had to be mentioned in the story at some point, but once I got to his POV it really didn’t feel as though he had been added for that purpose. I thought he was a great way to end this story, as his relationship to Cedric was similar to Pomona’s but in a much lesser degree, so it felt as though the story had come full-circle. He is also the only one beside her to feel personal guilt at Cedric’s death. The way he and Flitwick worked together to dismantle the maze was lovely. It was a simple but elegant way to end the story.

I hadn’t realized you used present tense until I reread the story to write this review. It goes to show how seamlessly you were able to use a difficult tense to fit the story. And it does fit beautifully, as they are all in the same moment, all experiencing the loss of Cedric in their own way. Beautiful writing, Carole. This was a wonderful read.

xx Ariana

Author's Response: Ariana, thank you so much for such a beautiful review. It is truly appreciated.

I had the idea for this story when I wrote 'Close Your Eyes' because I wanted to write Seamus' side. then I thought about writing other characters. The fact that the GH prompt came up made me focus on the idea. Hagrid was only added because the prompt asked for him. I rarely write Hagrid, but I thought he juxtaposed Sprout and Flitwick because he has a very simplistic wisdom. Theo Nott was going to be Ernie ... but Ernie was boring (poor boy). Theo is more intriguing because we know so little about him. Pomona was always someone I wanted to write and I had this idea about religion because the Fat Friar had to have been religious so it went from there.

I did wonder if people thought I'd be writing Oliver. I hesitated about using the slash warning because of that. There is no SSP in this story, after all, just wistful longing on Theo's part.

Thanks again. ~Carole~

Commencement by hestiajones

Rated: 6th-7th Years •
Summary: There is a boy in this orphanage, and something is not quite right about him.

Written as a birthday present for lily_evans34/Rachel, who is lovely, talented and wonderfully funny. :) I hope you have a great day.

Nominated for a QSQ in the Dark/Angsty category.

Thanks to Kara and Carole for their help! This story would still be full of holes if it weren't for you two.

DISCLAIMER: J.K.Rowling is not me. :p
Reviewer: lucca4 Signed
Date: 03/31/11 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Hey there,

I really enjoyed reading your snippet into the life of Tom Riddle. It was a bit morbid, but then again, it was in the Dark/Angsty category and written about a future psycho-killer, so I didn’t expect it to be any less so. Morbid for this story was, I think, one of its numerous strong points.

What really stood out for me was your raw portrayal of Tom Riddle. It was so incredibly in-character for the boy we only see glimpses of in the books. I liked how you made sure to point out that solitude was a choice for him, based on his inability to understand the minds of other children, not because he himself felt alienated. There is an air to him, present especially in the opening paragraphs, which belies that he feels a certain amount of superiority over the other children. He does not see them as his equals, but as inferiors, and he doesn’t even attempt to understand them or conjure any amount of empathy for them. Tom’s thinking is so logical yet so unnatural because he is supposed to be a child and not think so rationally. I think this part of the story illustrated that especially well: He hated apples, and the fight could have been avoided if he had just given his share to Billy, but the latter was a glutton, and the apple – his. He was cool and calculated when he took revenge; it wasn’t something done in a fit of rage and passion. I think this in particular really hinted at the individual he was to become: someone who was methodical and carefully planned everything out, someone who felt a constant hatred towards the Muggles that never ceased.

Your writing style was outstanding — it captured the feel and mindset of a merciless-killer-in-the-making perfectly. I liked how you used more sophisticated words to describe, with disdain, the things that Tom considered ‘mundane’ or ‘childish.’ It really emphasized the fact that he viewed himself as so much better than everyone else, so above the rest of the children, that he made degrading comments about the things they enjoyed or the way they acted. But what I enjoyed most about your writing is that it wasn’t completely made up of technical, detached words that fit Tom’s way of thinking; you managed to conjure wonderful pictures and imagery through your words that were just so beautiful. Perhaps my favorite line in the story is: Insomnia cradled him at times, trapping him in endless nights that he spent resenting every nook and corner of his cold and cheerless room. Your personification was so subtly and smoothly done, and it didn’t feel over-dramatized at all. It was really quite lovely to read.

The main scene in this story — the hanging of the rabbit — was morbid and dark. But as I said earlier, I don’t think this is a problem at all. In fact, I might have been disappointed if it was any less so, because through this scene you were able to show absolutely flawless characterization of Tom Riddle. He is a morbid person, and I’m glad you didn’t downplay that scene because it wouldn’t have illustrated the core of the person that he was so clearly. He hung the rabbit for one sole reason: revenge. His mind never once faltered in its conviction, or felt a twinge of regret afterwards. He had a purpose, he had an idea, and he carried it out. In fact, at the end, he seems almost proud of what he’s done — as though it’s some sort of show for him and he’s just displayed the finale. It was perfect. And in a way, this was the same thing he had done to all of his victims (though on a much larger scale). He took what he wanted from them, or took away what they most wanted, to gain personal satisfaction.

It also seemed as though he was gaining the energy or ‘power,’ for lack of a better word, to do magic through anger and hatred, such as when he is trying to summon up the feelings of pain that Billy inflicted on him before the hanging. This was in such a sharp contrast to Harry’s first experiences with magic. It had come by accident, he hadn’t wanted these terrible things to happen to Dudley or the others that bullied him. It had been uncontrolled magic, in other words. Tom’s was perfectly tuned, and he was able to summon it at such a young age. It really highlights the amount of power he must have possessed, even then.

Great writing here, Natalie! It was a really intriguing read.

xx Ariana

Author's Response: Five reviews, and this is the fourth time the word "morbid" has been used. Mission accomplished! ;)

Ariana, you have captured in your review all those things I was trying to convey while writing the story. Yes, Tom is rational, but he is also unnatural. Yes, he is as much an orphan as the others, but he also has an immense superiority complex. Yes, he is focused, but merciless as well.

As you must have noticed, I did not use the word "magic" once in the entire story, because he seemed genuinely surprised when Dumbledore told him he was a wizard. But I think he identified his magical ability as a "power", and a "beautiful thing" at that. It's also my belief that he had gained control over it, that while Harry;s magic burst automatically to protect him (or retaliate), Tom summoned and used it deliberately. That is apparent from canon examples - the hanging of the rabbit, what he did to the kids in the cave, etc. He must have been powerful, even as a ten year old, and that is what I wanted to show in my fic.

I knew there was no way I would succeed if I didn't get the right mood and tone, so I purposely used sophisticated words. That part you quoted was my favourite, too. (Yes, I have no shame.)

Thank you for the fantastic review, Ariana. I squeed when I read it.


In The Stars by Equinox Chick

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: A year after divorcing the impossible Draco Malfoy, Astoria Greengrass is preparing for her perfect wedding to the perfect Roger Davies. The only possible thing that could mar her day is the need to accommodate a journalist and a photographer from The Prophet

Then her sister turns up with her ex in tow, and Astoria realises her day is not going to be quite so 'yar' after all.

This story has been written for Lori (Weasley Mom) who is a big fan of the film The Philadelphia Story.This story has been inspired by that film. If you haven't seen the film, then you should because it's a classic.

Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling, Philip Barry or Katherine Hepburn.

Thank you, Natalie, for the beta work.

** - indicates a line from the film High Society.
Reviewer: lucca4 Signed
Date: 04/18/11 Title: Chapter 1: What a Swell Party this is

Oh my god. That was so great! I haven't seen this movie before, but reading your story made me want to go rent it immediately :).

I loved how you kept Draco in-character but still romantic -- I especially liked his coming in at the end when Astoria is talking about how she thought he wanted her to be a 'yar' wife.

I also really enjoyed the back-story with Daphne, as well, with her drinking and I hope a reunion with Anthony happens soon in her future (…maybe? If you were to write a companion to this story, which I know is very unlikely as it's a birthday fic).

Anyways, I'm sorry I can't leave you a proper, long review but I just wanted to tell you that I clicked on this story expecting one thing and got something completely unique and wonderful. It was such an enjoyable, lovely read!

xx Ariana

Author's Response: Thank you, Ariana. I did enjoy writing this, basically because I knew exactly how it was going to pan out. I just needed to add some Draco snark - ha ha. ~Carole~

Beyond Beseeching by Equinox Chick

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: Sometimes leaving someone is the only thing you can do ...

Disclaimer: The only thing I have in common with JK Rowling, is that neither of us can drive.
Reviewer: lucca4 Signed
Date: 04/22/11 Title: Chapter 1: ~~~

It’s a shame that poetry seems to get so few reviews, because I thought this poem was absolutely magnificent. I’ll admit I don’t read a lot of poetry on the boards, but I’m so glad I chose to read this one. You did a wonderful job of weaving the lyrics between the lines of the poem, giving the piece a meaning of its own.

I love the opening lines you used for the poem. The reference to the moon in the sky was a good allusion to the man being Remus. I also liked your description of the soft starlight, firstly because I thought that sounded beautiful, but also because it really helps to set up the scene and the mood for the rest of the poem. You portray a solemn, yet gentle tone throughout this stanza, and its effect is lovely. Reading the first few lines is almost like the night itself: quiet and mellow, but there is a sense of melancholy to this that really presents a wonderful stage for the next few stanzas. The only thing that struck me as I read this stanza was your reference to Tonks as a “girl”, however, I can see how that word usage might also allude to the couple being Remus and Tonks (in reference to the age difference), or perhaps showing Remus’s perception of her, maybe in an emphasis of how he views her as innocent (in comparison to how he views himself as a werewolf). This might just be me, reading too much into it, but what I meant to get across was that I can understand the “girl” word choice; it just struck me as odd reading it for a second time but it in no way takes away from the poem.

What I admire so much about this poem is the little descriptions you add that make the imagery so realistic it is almost palpable. I especially noticed this in the lines “ A tender smile/ A whispered caress”. To me, these lines mean so much more with words such as “tender” or “whispered”. Reading this, I can picture Remus brushing a stray lock of hair from his wife’s face, staring at her lovingly as he prepares to leave her. I feel as though the simple words you used here imply so many more words that maybe you didn’t physically write, but it’s as though the reader can sense them being there. The next two lines in this stanza eliminate any doubt as to which couple you refer to. They also begin to draw out the more sad tone of the poem, the realization that the happiness of this couple is about to end, at least for a while. I thought the juxtaposition of the sweet, loving gestures and the foreshadowing that “…by the morrow/ She will be weeping” was very well done. It also showed that Remus knew the consequences of what he was doing, but he felt so justified in his actions to leave her, so sure that this was what would be best for Tonks, that he was willing to go through with it anyway. In the last few lines I can almost see Remus’s smile darkening as he turns away, not wanting to be reminded of how much this will hurt her in the morning. It’s another instance where your writing is so beautiful, so tangible, that the scene becomes real. I’ve seen very few stories like this and even fewer poems, so this is very amazing to me.

The second to last stanza contains subtle hints as to Tonks’s pregnancy, and I loved the way you went about doing that. So much of poetry is about “showing, not telling,” as my teachers say, or putting something into words without stating the obvious. I thought it was clever how the words you chose — “seeds,” “sown,” “harvest,” and “reaping” — are all related words themselves, and I liked how in your context they referred to Tonks and Remus’s child. My favorite lines in that stanza were “Their love’s harvest/ Awaits its reaping” because of the word choice, as I stated before, but also because I feel as though it refers to their child being the product of their love, as though if their love was personified it would be their child. The entire stanza just flows so smoothly and gracefully.

The tones evident in the last few lines are heartbreaking. As a reader, I could feel Remus’s yearning to stay with his wife and his child, to live a normal life with them. I thought the reference to Remus’s soul being darkened was very in-character for his feelings and perceptions about himself, how he felt as though he was less of a person because he was a werewolf. I also thought the ‘darkened soul’ was a good indicator of how he felt guilt over this situation, as though the pregnancy was his fault entirely. This last stanza makes Remus a very sympathetic character, and I thought that was brilliantly done. In the seventh book, his decision comes across as hurtful, and maybe a little selfish, at least from Harry’s eyes. I think because we don’t get to see inside of Remus’s mind, it is difficult to sympathize with him. This is definitely not so in your poem, where his feelings and thoughts and wishes become one with the readers, at least for the few moments it takes to read this poem. I thought your writing was absolutely beautiful here, Carole.

To be honest, I think rhyming poems are more difficult to write because I feel myself molding the poem to fit the words instead of vice versa. But when I read your poem, I almost didn’t notice a rhyming scheme; the words just seemed to flow together naturally and with ease. Rhyming the last word of every stanza was subtle, yet upon re-reading I think that’s where the soft, steady rhythm of the poem comes from. It makes the word “beseeching,” which is an imperfect rhyme compared to the rest, stand out and really emphasize the last line of the poem with a stern tone of finality. It really pronounces Remus’s determined resignation to leave definitely.

Ooh, I feel like there was something important I wanted to add, but I can’t think of it just yet, so I will end this review before it gets out of hand. Reading this poem felt like opening a gift: you can read it quickly, or savor each line, but the end result remains the same. I think I use the word ‘beautiful’ too often, but it describes this poem so much better than words like ‘handsome’ or ‘good-looking’, which is what my thesaurus tells me to use. I absolutely loved this poem, Carole, and I have written a note on my computer to remember this when QSQs come around.

xx Ariana

Author's Response: Wow. I'm really not sure how to respond to that. Um ... yeah. ha ha - I'm so coherent.

I do take your point totally about the use of the word 'girl'; the trouble is that I can't see the word 'woman' or 'lady' having the same effect at all. It was the word I dithered over the most, basically because the connotations of that word. Clearly Tonks at the age of 23 and pregnant is not in the true sense of the word 'a girl', but I think she's still 'girlish'. The Tonks in my mind is a strange mix between mature Auror, joking friend, and innocent-in-love. I also imagine her looking far younger and less careworn when she's asleep. Plus, as you pointed out, Remus is older than her and I do think the age gap was always something that bothered him.

Thank you for the review. Oh, yes, and QSQ nominations .... you haven't been forgotten ,,,

Jordan by armagod679

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: Lee Jordan loves radio, loves reporting, and loves interviewing famous and important people.
Reviewer: lucca4 Signed
Date: 04/30/11 Title: Chapter 1: WZRD

Hey there,

First of all, I thought it was really interesting how you chose to explore Lee Jordan’s character. He is a person we rarely read about in fan-fiction unless he’s paired with someone, and I liked the fact that you chose to dedicate this story fully to Lee, and seeing how he was affected by the war. I also liked how you took his love of giving commentary at Hogwarts and gave him the perfect career based on that.

What I noticed immediately while reading this story was the great tone you used when writing Lee Jordan. Reading his dialogue when he is talking into the radio microphone, I could actually hear his voice as a radio announcer’s voice — so really good job with that. I also liked your insight as to how Lee Jordan would be a coveted asset for radio shows, because of his connections with Harry Potter and the fact tha the ran the PotterWatch broadcasting during the war. The only thing off I noticed was Lee’s lack of pushing-the-limits. Especially as a commentator for Gryffindor, he never hesitated to weigh in his own, sometimes biased, opinions and I think that in particular would have been what made him such a fun host to listen to. There is some leeway for this, of course; perhaps he outgrew his need to tell everyone exactly what he thought, so it’s not as though this isn’t canonically correct. But I think it would have a more ‘Lee Jordan’ feel to it if the things he said got him into trouble sometimes, and reflected his own opinions not just straight facts.

I thought your characterizations of Kingsley Shacklebolt and Harry were very well-done. Harry has never been one to accept or want the constant fame that is given to him, and I thought you showed that well with his reluctance to give an interview even to Lee Jordan, who had been Fred and George’s friend for years. However, I can also see him choosing to give Lee the interview later, as you wrote, because he would rather Lee get the information than some other reporter who might twist the information. Kingsley is a difficult character for me to write, but I thought you had his measured, calm voice and reassuring words down nicely. I wondered, though, whom ‘the top Death Eater’ was that Kingsley dueled. In the books, it definitely seemed as though there were some segregations within the Death Eaters as to who was the most powerful, but it never really felt like there was one particular Death Eater who was supremely powerful. I think more attention was given to Bellatrix Lestrange, maybe, but while she was cruel I think there were others who were equally as high-ranking as she was.

After Sherman Henderson is talking to Lee about getting a better interview with Harry Potter, I thought the transitions seemed a little shaky. They suddenly jumped from separating moments of time to several years, and it was a little disorienting. I’ve written a few fics that jump around time-wise, as well. I think it might work better if you wrote in bold, above the new paragraph ‘Five Years Later,’ or used specific dates such as June 1998 for the beginning of the story and May 2003 for the gap between the five years.

I thought it was clever how the book that Lee Jordan ended up writing did not, in fact, reflect the years that Harry had spent fighting Voldemort, but told about his past (at least, that’s the gist I got from it). It’s unique because at that time everyone would be curious as to what Harry had been doing to fight Voldemort, and Lee would help redirect their attention to aspects of his life they had been curious about previously. I thought it was nice and really showed insights into Lee’s character how he decided to take everyone’s mind off the war. I thought it was questionable, however, how Lee felt that Out of all the people who had been at Hogwarts that night, Lee had probably lost the least. The loss of a best friend is extremely difficult, I don’t think that Lee would feel he had lost the ‘least’ of anyone, because he was always extremely close to Fred and in times of grief especially one doesn’t feel as though they have lost less compared to anyone else. Also, according to Rowling, over fifty people lost their lives at the Battle of Hogwarts that she did not name, so it is very, very likely that Lee would have lost someone else he was close to.

I liked the way you chose to end the story. Like I said before, one of the strongest points about this story I think is your ability to change the tone of the dialogue. The lack of dialogue tags really works here; it gives the story the more rushed, loud, radio-voice feel. I thought it was ironic how one of his interviews was with McGonagall, who always had to keep his commentating in line at Quidditch matches. I wonder how their interview went…ha!

Good job with this story, I liked the detail you put into figuring out Lee’s character.

Xx Ariana

Author's Response: Thank you very much for your review! Just a few answers: Top Death Eater=Voldemort. During Potterwatch, they said "Chief Death Eater" so they wouldn't be tracked down.I'm sorry if the time jumps are a little confusing-- it's snapshots and that's how I do snapshots. I'm very glad you like the story! Julie

Him, Alice and Me by hestiajones

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: They were returning to a life full of hope and dreams, but they never got there.

Originally written for the TTB Brawl:Round 3. Inspired by the quote ""When we get home, Frank, then there'll be kisses, kisses with dreams in them. Kisses that come from life, not death." - The Postman Always Rings Twice

Nominated for a QSQ in the Best General Category.
Reviewer: lucca4 Signed
Date: 04/26/11 Title: Chapter 1: Kisses from Life

Oh god that was so sad. I love your writing here, it was absolutely brilliant and I think adding the first little bit made it so much more poignant.

I still don't know how you managed to pull off writing Alice in part two but it was brilliantly done. I think if anyone else tried to enter the mind of a mad-woman through writing it would have turned out either over-played or too weak, but yours was so beautiful and poetically written. I didn't find it confusing at all.

xx Ariana

Author's Response: Ariana!

First of all, thank you for dropping by. :) It was a real challenge writing Alice in part two, partly because it is difficult writing from the POV of someone who has no recollection of her early life, and partly because it was so, so sad. I'm super-glad you didn't find it confusing. Thanks for reading and reviewing!


Zeitgeist by Equinox Chick

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: She was the Zeitgeist Girl – the face of the Spirit of the Age. Beautiful, talented and engaged to one of the most famous men in the wizarding world. Astoria Greengrass had it all – except now she was dead.

Oliver Wood, ex Quidditch professional, is the detective in charge. Tough and experienced, he can break the most hardened criminal, but how will he manage to prise information from the Malfoys?

This is Equinox Chick of Hufflepuff writing for the 2011 Mysterious May Challenge in the Great Hall, Prompt #2.

This is also Carole of a house in London writing a mystery especially for Kara, a visitor to this fair land, because it's her birthday (and not because she's the judge).

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

Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling. She would probably come up with something far more original.
Reviewer: lucca4 Signed
Date: 07/04/11 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1 - The Hero Enters

Oh interesting! I was wondering how it was going to fit into canon with Astoria being dead…for some reason I assumed it was set later on. I love this take so much better though, I honestly did not suspect the Polyjuice Potion.

I love what you've done with the characters here. Daphne is an enigma but I can't help but like her and I do think she's worried about her sister (just watch, she'll be the murderer). The entire case is so puzzling. Why did Daphne want to be in the room while Oliver inspected? And what happened with the real Astoria?

Don't actually answer those, of course :). Already I'm rushing as I type this because I want to read the next chapter. My next review will be much more review-like, don't worry.

xx Ariana

Author's Response: Ah yes, Carole the canon bound. Obviously I wasn;t going to kill Astoria (who I have a sneaking regard for). Thank you for reviewing. It is much appreciated and I'm pleased the first chapter didn't turn you off. ~Carole~

Reviewer: lucca4 Signed
Date: 07/04/11 Title: Chapter 2: Chapter 2 - A Spirit Revived

Ugh, Pansy is absolutely creepy. Or maybe 'was' is a better word. I don't think that really sunk in for me until this chapter. Especially since she kept Astoria in a crate and messed up her hair…sorry, I'm just picturing Glenn Close-type person from Fatal Attraction.

I like the interaction and romance between Astoria and Draco. You write them so well, and they remind me a bit of Narcissa and Lucius in that you wouldn't think they were marrying based on love by a first glance -- but it turns out they are.

I'm also starting to like the tiny bits and hints of Daphne/Oliver that's going on…maybe? You've created such a complex, intriguing character with Daphne and it's made this story that much more gripping.

Okay, I swear my next review will be better. But as there's only one more chapter I can hardly just sit here and type, can I? ;)

xx Ariana

Author's Response: I forgot to mention in the review for chapter 3 that I basically thought up the title for this story before anything else. So once I thought of Zeitgeist, I needed a Zeitgeist girl and one who was single and unhampered by the past. That was why I picked Astoria, then Draco followed suit.

That's by-the-by but sometimes I like explaining my thought process. I think Pansy chopped the hair because she was a bitch and hated Astoria for actually being the one Draco loved. There was an element of Glenn Close in her, but I doubt she really wanted Draco, just wanted to mess things up for him.

Thanks again ~Carole~

Reviewer: lucca4 Signed
Date: 07/04/11 Title: Chapter 3: Chapter 3 -Denouement

Ooooh yay! A lovely Oliver/Daphne ending :).

And it was Flint…for someone who doesn't really write mysteries, so far you've written them so perfectly that I was blindsided when I found out it was him. For a horrible moment I thought you were going to make Daphne the culprit.

Anyways, I really really liked this story. I thought it was clever how you incorporated the 'Zeitgeist' role for Astoria, and the way you've described it definitely makes sense for the era they were in. I feel like the Wizarding Society would have needed a distraction from the aftermath of the war and grievances, something more frivolous and lighthearted. And Daphne says it herself in the second chapter: Astoria was perfect for that role.

The entire fic was so well written--fast paced, but not in a way that was overly confusing. The suspects were laid out nicely and you did a wonderful job of giving each of them a motive. And in the end, I don't think Pansy was as psychotic as I wrote in the last review. Previously I pictured her acting as Astoria to have one last chance with Draco or something equally desperate ;).

This was a great fic, Carole. It unfurled so neatly and beautifully. Please, please, please write more Daphne/Oliver!

xx Ariana

Author's Response: Daphne/Oliver have snuck under my radar. This is not good as I'm a diehard Oliver/Cedric shipper. But Oliver needs some fun and maybe Daphne can provide that.

Thank you so much for the reviews and kind words. I find mysteries so difficult because I'm always more interested in the subplot rather than the actual crime - ha ha. Cheers again ~Carole~

The Foolhardy Boys and Parvati, too by Equinox Chick

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: Staring out of her dusty office window, Parvati Patil - now running a detective agency with Seamus Finnigan and Dean Thomas - is surprised when the glamorous Karis Flint arrives. Why would a rich society woman hire such an inexperienced firm? But when Karis explains that the Cordalis Diamonds have gone missing, along with her son, they know they have to take the case. For Karis' son is Blaise Zabini, the Slytherin from their year currently involved with Lavender Brown.

With Jonah Flint threatening to call in the Law Enforcers, can they find Blaise and the diamonds before the day is out?

This is Equinox Chick of Hufflepuff and this is my entry into the Great Hall Mysterious May Challenge - Prompt #3 - The Private Detective.

I am not JK Rowling, whoever told you that defamed her dreadfully.

Thank you Hannah/Bob (coolh5000) for beta'ing this story.

All chapter titles are songs from Elvis Costello. I'm not him either.
Reviewer: lucca4 Signed
Date: 07/04/11 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1 - Watching the Detectives

So, as I've finally finished my own mystery fic I now have time to read the ones I've bookmarked :). It's late so this won't be a SPEW-worthy review, but it's a very sincere review nonetheless.

I thought this opening chapter was wonderful. It encompasses everything about your writing that makes your stories so addictive -- jumping right into the plot, bringing back characters and scenarios from your other fics, gorgeous characterization and careful handling of the nature of the mystery.

I love Parvati/Dean/Seamus from the other story you wrote about them, and it's so interesting to see their interactions with the business they've set up together. I like how Dean and Seamus are still able to be close friends whilst it's come down to Parvati to keep them in line. And the disappearance of Blaise is just…. EEP! I hope Lavender appears in the fic; you've really made me love them as a couple.

Off to read the next chapter now.

xx Ariana

Author's Response: Yay! I'm glad you like Lavender and Blaise because they do feature rather heavily in this story as I can't seem to leave them alone. Thank you for reading. This story was fun to write - just not sure it's mysterious enough -LOL. ~Carole~

Reviewer: lucca4 Signed
Date: 07/04/11 Title: Chapter 6: Chapter 6 -Femme Fatale

Aw, I wasn't right. I had my bets on Karis testing her husband or something with the diamond switch.

And then for a moment I thought you'd made a mistake with the Daltonism and Tracey having it. But it's you--I really should have known better.

Carole, I really really enjoyed this story. I didn't realize how much I missed Lavender/Blaise until I began reading this and you have no idea how happy I was that they were the backdrop. I especially liked Lavender's flashback in chapter two and then Blaise going after Marcus in this last chapter. Just absolutely lovely. You have a way of writing them that just made the entire story so much more addictive. Parvati/Dean/Seamus were fun to read about too, although I have to admit I'm starting to like her and Dean better together than her and Seamus and I don't know why.

Anyways, I'm rambling. Beautiful story, and wonderfully subtle incorporation of the clues. You're making me very glad I didn't submit a story for this prompt, as I think I would already be balking.

xx Ariana

Author's Response: Wow,thanks for the reviews and I';m glad I kept you guessing as I was sure everyone would guess. Then again, because I always knew who'd done it, I suppose I assumed everyone else would. This has made me want to write much more about Lavender and Blaise - plus Parvati/Dean/Seamus. Now I think that Parvati/Dean is too explosive, so Seamus is needed to calm them both down. I know Seamus has a short fuse at times as well (plus he makes things explode) but he's the joker between the three of them. She can't choose, that's the trouble. *sigh* Maybe I should write more about them. ~Carole~

The Lady Hufflepuff by minnabird

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: Much has been made of the rift between Gryffindor and Slytherin and Slytherin's subsequent flight from Hogwarts, but history has all but forgotten the tragic end to that night.

For, when Slytherin left, his faithful lover followed...

Tied for Best Poetry in the 2011 Quicksilver Quill Awards (!!)

Reviewer: lucca4 Signed
Date: 07/05/11 Title: Chapter 1: The Lady Hufflepuff


What I love most about this poem is that it reads like a story. The beginning is both carefree and portentous, as readers realize that the ending is an unhappy one for the Founders. It tells a tragic story, but this poem doesn’t use superfluous words or glamorous language to dress up the fact. It is simple, yet through each stanza you are able to tell so much. This is probably one of the best poems I have read on the archives.

I don’t read a lot of poetry – but I’m getting better! – so when I do come across a poem like this I am reminded of why I should lurk this category more often. I love the pairing you’ve created here with Helga and Salazar. Occasionally I have seen him paired with Rowena, but I find the way you write this is so much more plausible. I liked how you showed that despite having different means, they really were happy in the beginning. However, Salazar’s fatal faults were subtly aligned throughout the piece, so his betrayal was not completely out of the blue and still fit what his twisted ideals must have been.

The poem’s tone morphing from the almost frivolous happiness in the beginning to the somber tragedy at the end so wonderfully mirrored the progression of the Founders’ fading friendship as they created the school. One of my favorite lines was: Red and green: contrasting hues/Doomed to clash as discord grew. I liked how you provided a physical metaphor to the opposing views of Godric and Salazar and how their fierce support of their personal ideas would undoubtedly lead to the demise of their friendship. It really shows what a time bomb the group’s entire cooperation was – working until one day they had to snap.

I loved the dueling scene between Godric and Salazar. I thought it was extremely realistic, fitting both the time period and the personalities of the two men. It was interesting how Salazar almost triumphed, as at first I thought Godric would be the one to win on his own because of his being the first Gryffindor. But then, a Slytherin’s cunning would have made a bigger long-term impact on the duel, most likely. Anyway, I like how Godric didn’t win completely fairly, embodying an absolute ‘good’ and ‘bad’ side to the fight. You did a great job of showing how Godric Gryffindor, who is so revered by the main characters of canon, was not perfect. Not only did this scene have me reading with bated breath, but I also thought your characterization here was magnificent.

The end was written so potently. I thought you did a great job of showing how it took Helga’s death to make Godric and Rowena face their own flaws as well has how the discord might have been prevented if they had been loyal and able to look past differences, like the Lady Hufflepuff. It was especially clever how you wove in the origin of the first years taking boats across the lake to the castle. It was details like this that really made this poem feel like it could slip seamlessly into canon. I feel as though if Rowling read this poem, she would have few – if any – changes in your portrayal of the Founders and how they began to fall apart.

In the books especially, Hufflepuff is probably the most understated House. It was refreshing to read your poem on Helga Hufflepuff. She really was the most good of the three; she had the best intentions, in any case, of the four of them. I think that the way you’ve written her shows very clearly her acceptance and genuine love towards the school and all the students. The line in the books (and I’m very roughly paraphrasing here) that states ‘Good Hufflepuff, she took the rest’ in one of the Sorting ceremonies really rang true throughout this poem. Helga, in this, wasn’t prejudiced or biased towards a group of students that had certain qualities – she loved them all the same. That is one message that will be ubiquitously taken by readers of this poem, as it is arguably the most important.

Thank you for this poem, I really did enjoy reading it.

Xx Ariana

Author's Response: Hi, Ariana. Thank you for the lovely, long review. -loves Jess for doing poems in SPEW- I will attempt to address *most* of what you've said. xD

Re: no superfluous words or glamorous language for the tragedy. Hmm I'll agree with no superfluous words - I was trying to keep the amount of words down as I was writing it, it just kept *growing* as it was - I'm not so sure about glamorous language. I had a bit of fun using old fashioned/poetic words or wording. (Off the top of my head - "bourn" and "bower" spring to mind). I have way too much fun with that. But the next bit set me blushing. <3

Haha - I have never lurked this cat. Eep! I do most of my poetry-reading in PA, lol. Helga and Salazar were...never a pairing I shipped before this poem (I always vaguely thought Ravenclaw/Slytherin, Gryffindor/Hufflepuff if anything) but honestly it worked with the...theme, I guess...of loyalty that I wanted to slip in here. And then I started liking it because...really, Helga's best and most characteristic trait was her compassion. I'm not sure Rowena would put up with Salazar's nonsense, while Helga would be willing to overlook his flaws and see the best in him. Like you said, though, Godric and Salazar had opposing sets of ideals, and they both had their pride, so eventually something bad was bound to happen.

Honestly, the original reason I had Godric not win outright was that it didn't make sense - logistically - for Salazar to just be beaten because then he'd be under their power. Whereas if he hurt Gryffindor, then faced another battle, he might run. However I do think they were at their very least evenly matched, and the duel might have gone either way. And really I don't think the duel was about good and bad. I don't agree with Salazar's point of view, but neither should Gryffindor have been setting himself at their head, and it was really a clash of their egos in the end. Rowena, by stepping in, showed herself loyal to Gryffindor, and Salazar, outnumbered and out to save his own skin at this point, simply ran. Helga, however, had to choose between her loyalties at this point: friends or lover? She chose Salazar at first, but in the end she realized that was a mistake and that he knew no loyalties except to himself, so she returned to her friends.

Rowena's flaws are not really central to this, because really it's Godric's and Salazar's fight (some things never change), but I did want to underscore how in their pride and arrogance they forgot about bonds of loyalty and friendship, whereas Helga was unwaveringly loyal and trusting. I think here lies the difference between Godric and Salazar: Godric immediately regretted the fight and its consequences, whereas Salazar left a legacy of hatred and intolerance and probably (though who knows, really) never truly regretted the events of that night.

The origin of the first years taking boats is something I've wanted to work into a story for ages, and I'm glad I finally found both a reason for it and an excuse to use it. And aww - that's really sweet, that you think Rowling would approve.

Haha I think I am ridiculously loyal to the fictional founder of my fictional house. This was sort of a love letter to my house, trying to show that in the end it's not the useless good-loser house. I love love love her compassion. The line, by the way, is "Said Hufflepuff, 'I'll take the lot,/And teach them just the same.'" It could be interpreted as "Hufflepuff is the misfit house," but really it's "Hufflepuff is the house of compassion and looking past differences." I'm very very glad you took that message from this poem, and hope that others will, as you predicted.

Thank you so so much for this lovely review, and I'm sorry about the tl;dr response. I really did love writing this poem (even if rhyming sucks while doing it!) and get me talking about Hufflepuff's virtues...lol.

Thanks again!


Hogwarts Hymn by Virgil

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: Written for the Copycat Challenge of Poetry Anyone? - this poem's style and meter is directly copied from William Blake's masterpiece, And Did Those Feet in Ancient Time, which is far better known in the version put to music, an Anglican hymn called "Jerusalem."

This poem describes the joy that I feel when reading the Harry Potter books.

Reviewer: lucca4 Signed
Date: 06/30/11 Title: Chapter 1: And Did Those Brooms in Winter Time

Hi there,

I’m going to jump straight to the point, as I don’t know how else to start this review — I really liked it. Sometimes, when basing a poem off an original, it begins to feel forced, as though you are trying to fit your own words into the mold of the other poem. It definitely did not feel so here. I thought you did a wonderful job of copying the original poem’s style while still maintaining your own tone throughout. Just… amazing.

One of the things I really liked about the poem was that it covered the entire series of the Harry Potter books. It didn’t just focus on one year or one event, but rather encompassed the entire magical experience of the novels. I thought it was nice how you had it progress from book to book, from the moving staircases to the Triwizard Tournament. Throughout the poem, you managed to capture the feel and tone of the books, even though the poem you were basing this off of was not written by J.K. Rowling.

The first stanza I thought maintained the fresh excitement of the first book. Everything — from flying broomsticks to moving staircases — was new to both Harry and us as readers. Though Harry wasn’t referred to as ‘The Chosen One’ until after the fifth book, I liked that line because of the reference to love. Rowling made it quite obvious that love was one of the major themes of the book, and I thought mentioning it in the first stanza really set up the tone for the rest of the poem. It was a great way to start off the poem, and really draws in the reader.

The second and third stanzas were really powerful juxtaposed. The second I thought was more about Harry’s achievements and everything he accomplished, such as being a superb Seeker for Gryffindor as well as winning the Triwizard Tournament at such a young age. I thought the tone there was more triumphant and celebratory. In stanza three, I thought the lightheartedness of the poem began to fade, as it did in the fourth Potter book. This line really stood out to me for that reason: ‘Accio friends with weary smiles!’ I felt like here it began to show the repercussions that all the triumphs had on Harry as well as his friends by the mention of their ‘weary smiles.’ I thought it was a great turning point for the poem to go on to darker material.

The final stanza was just so powerfully written and wonderfully done. It showed that every triumph Harry and his friends had was working towards something much bigger — the ‘righteous war,’ as you called it. And most of all it ended on a hopeful note, showing why good would triumph over evil in the end — because of the pure-heartedness of the students. It was such a great way to end the poem, and I felt as though this ending sort of reflected the ending to the Potter books in that it wasn’t completely happy, but wasn’t sad and it did leave room for hope.

I admit I don’t read much poetry on the archives, but I’m getting better about clicking on them in case a gem like yours pops up. Great job with this, really!

Xx Ariana

Inch of Dust by the opaleye

Rated: 6th-7th Years •
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.

Reviewer: lucca4 Signed
Date: 07/05/11 Title: Chapter 1: Inch of Dust.


When I first read this in drabble form during the Three Broomsticks Brawl, I thought it was written to perfection. I was wrong – this is perfection. It’s the tiramisu of wonderful stories. Just…amazing. It’s one of those stories that you can read over and over till the point where you have it almost completely memorized and still not be tired of it. If it were legal on the boards, I would second this QSQ nomination.

I know I’ve commented on this before, but your style and tone of writing is truly magnificent. Each of your stories reads like a poem – and this one is a delicate, gorgeously tragic one at that. I have read a lot of wonderful, mind-blowing stories on this site, but there is something about the way you write that just makes each of your stories … beautiful. You write as though you’re creating a piece of art, and it really does show. The repetition of words is done in just the right places, the breaks with the song lyrics fit seamlessly, and most of all the atmosphere of your story was just fantastic. Each of the words you used just felt right for George in the grief he was going through. And I liked how each of the girls sort of represented the phases of George’s grief and the stages of where he was at in his life. I don’t think I can stress enough how brilliantly this story was written.

One of the best facets of this story is how you let the women tell George’s story; how each ‘relationship’ George had meant something important to the story. His experience with Verity was so complex, because in your story she had once, like Angelina, belonged to Fred. But unlike Angelina, I don’t think George was in love with Verity and it was definitely the deciding factor in the situation. Perhaps my favorite part of the story is when George is in the Muggle club and chooses the girl that looks like Angelina. I loved this line: Don’t speak, he says, because then he can pretend she’s not some random Muggle girl at a London club but someone else entirely. It was one of the lines that really stood out in the original drabble. I’m not sure why I like it so much, only that I know it seems to portray just how messed up (for lack of better words) George has become since Fred died.

I admit, in the drabble my eyes sort of scanned over the part with Daphne – not because it wasn’t interesting, but because I didn’t think it was that important. I love how you’ve fleshed it out here. Her character was so interesting and so well written. This line I thought was amazing: It’s like he chokes on a cry and out comes a burst of laughter rather than the tears he so desperately needs to fall. I just feel like with your writing, you are able to describe exactly what it is you mean rather than settling for a poor substitute of words. It brings so much power and oomph to the fic.

The part with Luna was probably, I think, one of the most compelling, best scenes I have ever read. Maybe even the most compelling, best scene I have ever read. I find her such a difficult character to write, personally, but it didn’t even feel like she was being written, if that makes sense. It felt like she was just herself. I love what she says here and how she is able to complete the circle of advice given to him by his previous relationships. My favorite line of hers was this: “It will never stop so you’ll never forget.” I don’t usually cry when I read, but I did tear up at this. Just absolutely brilliant.

The closing line felt like the perfect ending to the story – and even though it ended happily, it was probably the furthest thing away from being fluffy because of all the tragedy and emotion put into this piece. I think it is definitely one of the gems of this site, and I really want you to know how much I enjoyed this story. It’s tied up there with ‘Waking’ (maybe even surpassing it) as my favorites.

Xx Ariana

Author's Response: Oh my goodness, Ariana. How do I respond to a review like this? Thank you so much! There is a stupid grin on my face right now so I'm glad I'm alone. First of all, thank you for the lovely compliments about my writing. I am quite self-conscious about the fact that I can be over repetitive so I'm glad you enjoyed it and it's always good to hear it didn't bore you. Second, I'm glad you mentioned the night-club section. It's the one part of the drabble that I didn't change. I really liked the imagery of George going a bit crazy in this uninhibited environment. So thanks! Also, I'm glad you enjoyed Daphne. She was certainly interesting to write. I had written a lot more in her section of the drabble but had to cut it out for the word limit (grumblegrumble) and so she was neglected, originally. But it was great getting to flesh her out more in the final fic. I see her as the one to snap George out of his down-ward spiral. And dear dear Luna. She is incredibly hard to write but she can really relate to George. Like Daphne she is honest but in a much less harsh manner. I was worried that she wouldn't come across as Luna-ish so it's nice to hear she convinced you :) Again, thanks so much for such a wonderful review, Ariana. It was a fabulous surprise. - Julia xD

All That's Beautiful Drifts Away by forsakenphoenix

Rated: 3rd-5th Years • Past Featured Story
Summary: We knew, though she’d not said a word, that even the best of love must die, and had been savagely undone. - W.B. Yeats
Reviewer: lucca4 Signed
Date: 08/24/11 Title: Chapter 2: ii. The Marauders Map

Well hello there,

I used to peruse the Marauder category a lot, but I can honestly say that I have never come across a fic quite like yours. The writing style is very unique, and you have successfully avoided most of the clichés that tend to bombard stories within the category. So first and foremost, I praise you for that. For your first story submitted to this category, you have done a fantastic job.

Throughout the chapter, I really enjoyed your distinct style of writing. The sentence structure is simple, yet so much is conveyed in so few words. No time is wasted with detail; the story here is told in a very deliberate way. In all honesty I wasn’t completely sure of how this would work for a full chapter, but my worries were soon put to rest. It was very effective here. It unfurled like a storybook, and had an almost fable-type feel to it, which is incredibly unique in this category of fan fiction.

I found it interesting that the majority of this fic – not just this chapter – is told from Peter’s third-person perspective. I really like how you’ve characterized him, also. He’s not the wimpy, brainless idiot often seen in fics of his teenage years, but there’s an obvious disparity between how he views the world and how the other Marauders view the world. I loved this line: Peter was thrilled to realize the potential for his Animagus, being small enough to disappear into the shadows would prove to be a valuable asset. It really encompasses both his value to the group, but also his desire to be accepted by them. You had several lines that I felt really nailed the complex character that Peter is, and this was one of them. I also thought it was really neat that Peter was the one who, in the end, figured out the spell to show the names on the Marauders Map.

The only thing I was worried about in this chapter was the portrayal of Remus. In the other chapter he was fairly well-rounded, and I think that probably comes from a portion of the chapter being told from his point of view. However I felt that here, he was leaning a little toward the cliché ‘brains’ of the group, so to speak. It is mentioned that Remus was smart, but in the books it’s almost inferred that James and Sirius were even more so without having to study. Just the way he was the one casting all the spells for the map made me think this way, but as I said before, it might just be because that portion wasn’t from his point of view.

Finally, the story itself – the creation of the Marauder’s Map – was well-told. It has been the focus of many, many one-shots or chaptered stories, yet somehow you managed to make it a refreshing tale. Maybe this was because of the interesting style used, but I feel it had more to do with the way you showed them really collaborating, working as a group to create it. Through this one instance you gave insight to the dynamic of their friendship and how they worked together. Even the way they came up with each other’s nicknames was really clever. I liked how it didn’t seem as though one particular person was the ‘leader’ of the group, so to speak – although you very clearly showed that Peter did not consider himself one. It made the friendship seem more plausible overall, and I think you did a very good job with it.

I look forward to reading more of this story. Great job so far!

Xx Ariana

Her Tomorrows by Equinox Chick

Rated: 6th-7th Years •
Summary: Since the Battle, Parvati struggles to feel.

Since the Battle, Harry feels too much.

Can a chance meeting help them heal?

Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling, so don't bug me about Pottermore!

This story is for Ariana (lucca4) because she set the prompt in SBBC and she's one of the most talented writers on the site.
Reviewer: lucca4 Signed
Date: 08/10/11 Title: Chapter 1: Her Tomorrows


Okay so I’ve promised myself to make this a SPEW-length review because this story deserves this and more, but it’s not going to be one of my SPEW reviews as there’s far too much squee-ing and repetition of punctuation marks :). (Plus little smilies added for emphasis).

I read this when it was just a drabble, and I thought it was wonderful. I loved your rendition of the prompt and how you set the entire story after the Battle when they were both hurting (because that kind of romance makes for the best, doesn’t it? :P) and how they needed each other. Maybe one of my favoUrite lines in this story puts it better than I can: This is not love. This is not comfort. This is lust and need and greed and base desire. Just absolutely gorgeous writing right there, and it also weaves neatly into canon in that Parvati and Harry probably won’t stay together (well...maybe a few affairs along the way because I like the way they’re written here so much :D) but they needed each other in that moment above anything else.

So this was supposed to flow nicely as a review but apparently that’s not going to happen. What I was going to say here was that I thought the drabble was wonderful but after reading the full-length fic, I think this one-shot is amazinglysplendidlyperfect. I love it I love it I love it so so much and it’s some of the most gorgeous writing I’ve ever read. I love how Harry and Parvati fit together perfectly because he feels too much and she feels too little and the heat between them is breath-taking. I love that they have no one to turn to but each other.

Did I mention that I love this so much? Because I doooooooooo!! And okay maybe this isn’t becoming a SPEW-length review but it’s close, right? Because I’m running out of words to describe how beautiful this piece of writing is and how much I love it without being redundant.

And I have to thank you, so very ver much for writing this for me. I’ve never had a story written for me before outside of SPEW and it was so surprising and lovely of you to do this. You were the very first author I read on this site and loved, so it means so much that you would say that. Considering your story updates make my day, this probably made my entire month :).

You are so fabulous.

Xx Ariana

Author's Response: Thank you for the prompt! I was so down about drabbling until I tried this and then had to massacre it for the SBBC - ha ha. Anyway, I was still fretting over it and especially three certain lines which YAY you pulled out as your favourites - hee hee.

I kind of like Harry and Parvati now, although in my canon head she's having a lot more fun with Dean and Seamus - LOL. Might come back to this. Might decided Harry can't live totally without her. *ponders*

Thanks for the review ~Carole~