Hi! I'm Katrina and I am not J.K. Rowling (just to avoid any confusion there).
I've been writing on MNFF since about 2010, but up until a few months ago had not written anything for quite some time. So I am trying to get back into writing, and have quite a few stories percolating in my head, but I just need to find the time to write them.
I basically only write one-shots (I have one three chaptered story), and they're usually character explorations and snapshots rather than long plots, but I've written about a variety of characters, so hopefully there's something you'll enjoy. I like experimenting a bit with form too.
Anyway if you have stumbled here by accident, I do hope you enjoy something.
Wow... this was really well written and really interesting, definitely a different take on Harry's story. It makes a lot of sense, though, as the Dursleys' treatment of him must have had some effect, and Harry in reality feels worth nothing, so it would make sense that he create a world in which he is at the centre and which he solely has the ability to save.
I loved how you made Harry realise that they were right - that was really ingenious. Throughout the fic, I wasn't really sure how you were going to do that, as he was so adamant that the wizarding world existed.
Just a small nitpick - at the end you've written Admitted on Aprial 1990 and it should say "in".
You also have a bit of a tense problem - the story keeps randomly switching between present and past tense (eg Harry croaks and He wanted to get his wand.. Personally, I would put it all in the present tense, it gives the reader an immediacy and a connection to Harry, but that's up to you.
It's an interesting and disturbing point you bring up in this fic... it makes me wonder, is the human mind really capable of making something like this up and believing it? But then again... the entire HP universe was made up by someone and I have to admit that at least a few times I've tried to kid myself that it actually exists. Interesting.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot, I thought the beginning was really interesting - in that opening section, I had no idea where this fic was headed... I thought perhaps you were going down the track of Harry got hit by some speel in the last battle and is changed forever etc. So anyway... great fic and well written (except for the small tenses thing).
Sorry for this exceedingly long and rambly review which probably makes little sense... anyway... thanks for writing such a great and thought-provoking fic.
Author's Response: Wow. That had to be my longest-ever review; thanks so much for being so keen on the story and for taking the time to write such a review ^_^ I'll fix the 'Admitted' thing soon and, if I find the time, will try to rewrite the bits that have the past tense (I agree with you that the present tense would be much more appropriate for something like this). Thank YOU, again, for taking the time to read and review this fic!
I just have to review this fic again... All I can say is 'wow'. Such an interesting scenario here - and I love what you conclude at the end - that magic is just an excuse for Derek to blame his problems with Linda on (to be honest, she does sound quite a handful!). I loved the idea that he's gone to see a councillor about it, I also thought it was interesting that you don't use speech marks - any particular reason?
Hmm anyway I'm not sure if this review has made a huge amount of sense... but I absolutely LOVE your work and I thought that this story was really interesting. Keep it up!!!
Author's Response: Thanks for reviewing again, Katrina. Yes, I did mean to suggest that Linda's selfishness was a large part of what was wrong with their marriage, although Derek is so pointedly dull that one wonders if he does it deliberately. I thought speech marks would get in the way of a "stream of consciousness" story. The counsellor isn't really important to the set-up; she's a bit of an interruption to the narrative. And thank you so much for liking a story about characters who have such minimal canon tie-in! For the record, I think Robert Rivers will marry Su Li and take over the management of her parents' Chinese restaurant. His older sister will marry and divorce Roger Davies, remarry into the Fawcetts and keep a little goose-farm (wizards need the feathers to make quills). The younger sister marries into the Macmillans and becomes a bee-keeper. At one time I assumed Derek and Linda would separate, although neither would ever remarry, but now I'm not so sure. I think they might be perfeclty capable of pecking and poking their way through the rest of their lives together.
I recall you mentioning in a response that there would be 11 chapters... but you haven't ticked the "completed" thing, so I was wondering if there's more?
Anyway. The stories.
Redemption: Once again, this one was totally different, as it didn't deal with a family member discovering magic, and the person who discovered it later had no memory of it. I think you made a great point about how one could still be magical and religious - that they're not mutually exclusive. It's also interesting because I know of some Christian people who refuse to let children read HP because it's supposedly "satanic", which is kind of ironic, because the values presented in the books are all about friendship, love, loyalty, defeating evil etc. Anyway, nice idea, something totally different, and I really liked Lucy. It was interesting that it didn't seem to bother her that she wasn't magical. Also, I know in some of your other stories you've touched on the ethics of Obliviating Muggles, and I thought perhaps you could have explored that a bit more here. Anyway, great story :).
Resources: Here is another great example of your brilliance and your attention to detail - including Muggle history like the miners' strike was really interesting (also I love how everyone comes from such different backgrounds). When the money thing started, I thought it was a bit weird as I thought you were breaking Gramp's Laws of Transfiguration... which seemed weird, as you'd quoted from it at the beginning, so I was glad that you explained that one properly. And you cheated!! The fic wasn't from the perspective of a Muggle at all... not that I mind lol, it was a great story and Louise was an interesting character.
Refutation: I'm so glad you included something about a Squib... this was fantastic! It was hard to read (in a good way) as I knew from the beginning (because of your quote) that Miles would be a Squib and that would be a major problem in his family. I wasn't expecting them to throw him out, though! That was horrendous. Kind of interesting that although some of the Muggles when first exposed to magic acted despicably, none were as bad as the wizards who had a Squib. Interesting. I loved the bit about genetics at the end - it made a lot of sense and the last line was just perfect. I loved how at the beginning, Marcus was telling Miles to make friends with Harry Potter... and then Miles ended up taking Harry's place at school! I also loved your characterisation of Malfoy, Nott and Neville, particularly Neville who was just, so, well... Neville (I can't think of a better way of explaining him, but I thought you nailed the characterisation).
One thing - I'd love it if you wrote a fic about Miles at Stonewall High, and him encountering Dudley or something. It would be fascinating.
There were two lines in this story that I thought were beautiful - There was no point in disillusioning them a minute before I had to. On this, the very last day of my childhood, I would be the son whom my parents expected me to be.. This was so sad, and hints at the fact that even if Miles isn't sent away, he will never really be 'part of the family'. The other one was So the last kind words I had ever heard my father speak had been addressed to Marcus. Now here I really should have picked up that he was going to be kicked out... but I remember thinking it was a little strange, but I didn't really put it together. Anyway, great foreshadowing, I was definitely uneasy about what would happen to him.
I really do hope more stories are coming!!!
Oh by the way, I have two posted stories on a similar theme to these - called "July the twenty-fourth" and "Magic" in case you're interested, though they're definitely not as good as your fics.
Author's Response: Dear Katrina, ~ Put it this way: I wrote 13 stories and I may post the last two eventually. But I wasn’t able to find beta readers for them, and the difference in quality really shows. So I don’t want to post them yet. The missing stories should have been 9th and 10th in the sequence. ~ In “Redemption”, it’s safe to say that Pastor Evald isn’t the important character. It’s a story about Lucy and Terry negotiating their faith through unchartered waters, because they don’t know any adult Christian wizards to help them. There must be some, of course, but Terry hasn’t met them yet. I don’t think Lucy thinks much about the Obliviation ethics. She is only 15 or 16 and she doesn’t like Evald, so she is only focused on what will help Terry and keep her local church sane. ~ The real point of the Harry Potter books is not the “Christian values”, some of which which you’ll actually find in any worthwhile story, but the literary point that Harry himself is a Christ-figure. The book that Lucy describes in the antepenultimate paragraph is, of course, “Deathly Hallows”. It’s a book that can never exist in her universe, but it does in ours, and it’s the best possible answer to the real-life Pastor Evalds. Fortunately there aren’t very many of those in Britain, but I’m told there are a few in America who have never quite shut up! ~ One of the points of writing a series like this is that all the Muggles should indeed come from different backgrounds. Justin is an aristocrat, so Sophie is his opposite, from the underclass of British society. I think the two of them would get along fine in Hufflepuff because they both have a fundamental honesty. ~ To be more precise about Gamp’s Law: the “money” Sophie and Louise produce is leprechaun gold. It doesn’t look quite right and it only lasts a few hours. Because they are desperate, they are able to get it to the Muggle shops before it vanishes, but more than one shop assistant would have had some explaining to do at the end of the day! ~ Yes, I cheated. That’s why this story is placed at the end of the series, after the pattern is set. Louise thought she was a Muggle right up to the time she produced those coins. She was half way to the shop before she remembered that Sophie’s coins are always dated to the current year yet Sophie hadn’t been in the house at any time in the 1992 calendar year so she couldn’t have conjured these particular specimens. After that, Louise began to ask herself what else she might have done but attributed to Sophie, but she kept quiet about her conclusion because she knew that the Hogwarts letter would be the only real proof. ~ I think “Refutation” is actually a very vicious story. I assumed prejudiced wizards would behave worse than prejudiced Muggles because they are not *afraid* of Squibs – they know they have all the power in the situation. I did wonder whether the Flints would really have thrown an 11-year-old out of the house; but the Blacks could be pretty nasty, and I think the Malfoys wouldn’t have hesitated. ~ The point about Miles taking Harry’s place is that Miles is a boy who *should* have been in Harry’s year at Hogwarts but wasn’t. So it was natural to pair him with Neville, the alternative-destiny boy who wasn’t the Chosen One, and who was a loner at Hogwarts because his friend ended up not accompanying him there. I love Neville; anyone who wants to be his friend must be a decent person. ~ Dudley wasn’t at Stonewall because he went to that pretentious private school, but it’s quite plausible that Miles might have met him around Little Whinging. Perhaps Miles and his new friends try to break up a fight or a raid? I wonder if Miles ever met Mrs Figg? There’s certainly potential for a story about Little Whinging in Harry’s absence... ~ Thanks for all your support and for the detail and depth of your reviews. They have really made the writing worthwhile. Best wishes, GhV
I had been planning to review this when I finished it... but I'm so impressed particularly with this chapter that I just had to say something now!!
In general, I think you have a great idea here, and I think it's something that JKR doesn't explore a huge amount in canon, but it's very interesting. I particularly loved the quote at the beginning of "Revulsion" - I think that's really true.
Anyway, I'll write something quick about each of the ones you've written so far.
Rapture: What an ingenious idea that Lavender would exercise magic over clothing particularly! I loved how in this one, it ended up being for the best that Jasmine wasn't magical as well, as she had something else to focus her life on. I loved how you showed that it's possible to keep a family together through magic. Just one question - when they meet the Patils, where's Padma?
Revulsion: Well this one was almost the opposite... such a tragic story, and it really shows how magic - or something unknown and incomprehensible - can tear a family apart. Your characters were great, and I loved the detail you put into your research (particularly in how you connected Lisa to Thorfinn Rowle). Beautifully written.
Recognition: I really, really loved this one! I think you did a fantastic job of characterising Justin and explaining his background. I especially loved the bit when his mother discovers Gilderoy Lockhart, and the fact that Justin responded to his letter. But I particularly loved your attention to detail - for example the explanation of the Finch's over the centuries, which seems insignificant but just gives your story so much depth. Another example is how you mentioned that Prince William would be going to Eton a few years behind Justin... it just adds so much!
So anyway... fantastic idea for a story, I'm looking forward to reading the rest!!
Author's Response: Dear Katrina, Thanks for such a long and thoughtful review. I'll try to do it justice; I'm really impressed by how well you understand my writing. ~ I tried to give a different kind of accidental magic to each young wizard, and of course it's fashion for Lavender. You might have noticed that Lisa is the scientist who defies the laws of physics amd Justin would consider it vulgar (even subconsciously) to use magic unless some other person really needs it. In forthcoming chapters, Hermione's magic is all related to verbal cues and puns, while Kevin's is tied to plants and animals. ~ Padma might have been in Lavender's way at Madam Malkins. I saw very fast that she didn't need to be there at all because Madam Malkin didn't need to fit both sisters if they were identical. So obviously Padma and her father had already moved on to Flourish & Blott's to buy the textbooks. Their brother needed a fitting, though. Even though he isn't relevant to the story, I've somehow always seen Parvati & Padma as having an older brother. ~ Yes, "Revulsion" was a deliberate opposite, and you are very right: it's the "something unknown and incomprehensible" rather than magic as such that can tear a family apart. I think both Lisa's fathers would be terrified of anything they couldn't control - that must be how her natural father found the will to give up drinking. The mother was a closet intellectual, though: she would have loved the chance for more education, and that's why she was pleased - if bewildered - that Lisa would have opportunities. Turpin/Thorfinn was a no-brainer. After all, I AM the author of the Classlist essay! ~ And I am so touched that you liked "Recognition" because I did wonder if anyone would even understand what it was about. Evidently I underestimated the fandom, because you're not the only reader to recognise that the Baroness's dilemma wasn't really about magic or even class snobbery. It was the more universal theme of "I expected my child to do something ELSE!" Prince William did indeed go to Eton just two years after Justin should have, so Justin truly did throw away a massive worldly advantage. I wrote the Finch family history as a personal indulgence because I didn't think anyone else would be interested. Again, I under-estimated the readers of fanfic, and I am so glad to be wrong about that! ~ Thank you so much for writing in, and I hope you enjoy the subsequent episodes too. GhV
Thanks for such a long response to my review!!! So here's another one, on the four chapters since I last reviewed.
Resignation: Such excellent characterisation of Hermione! I loved the back story about her mum - how she'd wanted so many children but hadn't been able to - it made the whole story so much more tragic. I think you really picked up on something with Hermione being called a 'freak' at school... it makes me see how she connects so well with Harry (after all, at the beginning of PoS, it's Ron who really doesn't like her and Harry won't disagree with him because Ron's his first friend). I also think you picked up on something great with the lack of relationship with her parents once she found somewhere she belonged - from canon I got the impression that the Granger's never quite grasped the wizarding world, and Hermione spent so little time with them...
Rationalism: Well this one was certainly interesting... I'm not quite sure if I agree with the ethics of it, but it was certainly a new perspective on Muggle/magical relations within a family. I loved both Kevin and Callum as characters, and the two letters Kevin wrote home made me smile.
Riddlement: I have to say that I didn't like this one as much as the others... I can't quite put my finger on why, but I think maybe I didn't find it quite as brilliant as everything else. I think perhaps it wasn't quite as poignant as the other stories because it was about two boys finding out, not adults, and children believe things more easily. But don't get me wrong, it certainly wasn't bad. I think it made me laugh more than the others, and perhaps it was good to have something lighter, as some of the others have been quite dark... no that's not really the word, just sad really.
Rejection: Firstly, I loved how you connected Maeve to the resistance and how she'd left because of her brother, because it makes so much sense that in OoTP Seamus refuses to believe Harry because of his Mum - also because she lost her husband basically because of Voldemort. I always imagined it that Seamus' father hadn't actually left when he found out... not sure if it actually says in canon or not... anyway, this was beautifully written and I really loved the ending (though it's terribly sad).
So, all in all, your writing is captivating and really interesting and I can't wait for more (how many chapters will it be?). I also wanted to say, I love your creativity with showing the first signs of the children's magic, and what you said in your last response about how their magic relates to their personalities works so well. I also love how you give lots of different perspectives (as in parent, sibling, step-parent, husband) and how each story is something completely new and fresh; I don't think any of these stories have doubled up on ideas, which is really quite amazing, because often these kinds of stories are very similar (as in the parents reaction to their kids being magical scenario).
Anyway... I'll stop rambling now. I can't wait for more!!!
Author's Response: Another amazing review! I hardly know where to start... Yes, I wanted to portray the Grangers as loviing their daughter but never quite knowing where to start with the wizarding world. They knew it was better for Hermione, which meant I had to couch that "better" in terms that they would understand, i.e. to get her away from the bullying. We know that JKR was bullied at school: she says it wasn't all that serious, but Hermione is an exaggerated JKR, so I exaggerated the bullying too. ~ Yes, I agree that in PS Harry only found Hermione mildly annoying; he would have been quite happy to ignore her completely if Ron hadn't been so fascinated by maintaining hostilties.~ I don't agree with the ehics of "Rationalism" but I think it's what some wizards would do. JKR uses violence for comedic effect, yet at thet same time she tells us that it isn't really funny (think of Neville being bounced off Blackpool Pier). The wizards who would drown a child rather than let him be a happy Squib would not hesitate to deceive a Muggle about the real nature of Hogwarts or to laugh their heads off at how easy it was to exploit his materialism. ~ Now you mention it, "Riddlement" is the one place where I probably did repeat a theme. The Muggle stepbrothers react with delight, rather like Jasmine in "Rapture", and there's not much more to it. Unlike Jasmine, who will know about magic but live separately from it, the Slater brothers will be forced to live with it. It does make a difference to the tone of the household whether the witch is a parent or just a sibling. Jeremy will even marry a witch: I think it's a natural scenario that one way wizards marry Muggles is because they meet their Muggleborn friends' siblings or their Muggle siblings' friends. ~ I had to admit, I couldn't quite decide whether Seamus's father had left or not. Seamus talks in PS as if his father still lives with them. But we never see him in canon and he doesn't seem to have any authority in Seamus's family. Obviously, Muggles can't enter Hogwarts or attend the Quidditch World Cup, so that's why the mother is the only parent whom we meet directly; but they give so little consideration to Mr Finnigan that I really wondered if he was there at all. I did want to think that the "nasty shock" was something bigger than just "I don't like magic," and I once I found out what the nature of the shock was, it explained Seamus's mother's attitudes rather well. ~ I wrote 13 chapters (a coven-full!), but I couldn't find betas for two of them (both about mixed marriages), so I'm only posting 11 for now. The next one that I'll actually post is also about a mixed marriage, then the last three deal with the Big Issues of how magic fits into the universe. The final few stories have stings in the tail as I cheat progressively more on the original paradigm for this collection. ~ Thanks for all your support. Reviews like yours really make the writing worthwhile! GhV
Gina, you always seem to get James and Lily so right. This story was completely different to any James/Lily story I've read before, and it worked so beautifully.
I have always wondered why it's a "Memory Charm", not a "Memory Curse", because I think stealing someone's memories is like stealing the most private part of their lives... anyway, ranting a bit here... I loved how you explored how Lily's memory loss impacted her and more significantly, those around her, specifically James. You really showed how hard it is for him, having known her for so long and everything she experienced and yet knowing that she'll never remember it.
The beginning was captivating, and throughout the fic I was quietly hoping with James that she'd get her memory back... but I think how you ended this was even better. And he hopes that for all that she has lost, something new has now been found. That is a great way to end a story, because it's just so true in general.
I liked how both James and Lily were like the small amount we see of them in canon and yet both so different. Lovely job with the characterisation there.
Personally I thought Lily would have been more angry with James for not telling her about Severus... but that's just my opinion.
You used present tense flawlessly, and the story flowed well.
Author's Response: Katrina, a very belated thank you for the lovely review! I really appreciate it and am so glad you liked the story. I'm glad you enjoyed the characterization and the slightly different approach to one of my favorite couples. As for Lily being more angry at James regarding Severus - I could see that, but then, she doesn't remember just how close she was with Snape, so at the same time maybe she doesn't have a basis for getting more angry. Or maybe I just like to avoid writing about Snape, lol. Kidding! Thanks again! ~Gina :)
This made me laugh. It was just so... well... Ron. You really did his characterisation fantastically - particularly the part when he doubted himself. I think it's really interesting that you chose to focus on his thoughts leading up to proposing, rather than actually proposing itself, it really gave insight into Ron. I loved the last line, too. It finished this off nicely.
Like some other reviewers, I am hoping you'll write the story of Harry's proposal to Ginny, I'm sure it could be equally as interesting.
Anyway, thanks for a great read.
Thanks for the review.
I think Ron gained a lot of maturity and confidence in DH. But regardless of that, this is a situation where confidence fails unless you have an ego the size of a planet.
Harry? Possibly, but not soon, unless inspiration strikes.-N
Beautiful fic, you portrayed so much character in so few words!! I think it's very interesting that Neville's nightmare is something from his childhood, but something that's still connected to Voldemort. It did remind me of Harry - especially what he sees when Dementors come near him. Of course, your Neville reminded me quite a lot of Harry, I suppose that's the point, in the way that he becomes a leader amongst the students and is willing to take their pain. There is something very fitting about how Neville becomes like this at the end... after all, he very nearly had Harry's fate. Anyway, I'm rambling here... point is, you really showed how he had become brave like Harry.
I liked your point that Neville wishes he was on the run, because at least he'd be doing something. I think that's something very realistic to think; also kind of ironic because the trio spent months camping and feeling like they were doing nothing.
I also liked Seamus in this - obviously something about him changes at the end of OotP, when he believes Harry, but we never really see him stand up to authority as he wasn't in the original DA, until we hear about it in DH. I thought it was likely that he'd been beaten up more than Neville too, as he could never keep his mouth shut.
I loved the details like the bunny slippers, and how in an unfamiliar world we (as humans) always love to grasp on to something familiar, even if it's something we hate. After all, change is always much harder than staying the same. Also I loved how Neville continuously thinks of how things should be - noise in the dorm, Hermione studying etc.
One small thing - you wrote: Neville and Seamus were the only ones who had bothered turning up. . I know the point you're making, but I think indicating that the other boys hadn't bothered to turn up isn't quite right...
Oh dear... I've gone on rather a lot... sorry about that! Loved the fic :)
Author's Response: Thank you! I'm very glad you enjoyed it. Julie
Great one-shot! I think you have a great insight into Harry's mind - it seems very realistic that after all that time of having a purpose- and something extremly important as well - he would search for something else in his life which would make him feel needed. After all, he hardly steps back from the danger by becoming Head of the Auror Office - obviously there's still something he feels he needs in it for himself. I love that it's Andromeda who makes him see it - she's perfect for the role as she sees so clearly how it affects Teddy - who, after all, is affected more than Harry's own children as their time together is already limited. Also, Ginny doesn't seem the type to complain, and she would understand the importance of Harry's job to him, so it makes sense that she doesn't confront him about it.
Andromeda's characterisation and dialogue were fantastic, I almost felt like I was being told off!
I also think it's typical Harry to let things slide without really noticing... after all he's never the best at noticing things. Also interesting that Ron has made the effort to be home - I think this is in character as I can't see anything being more important to Ron than his family, which I think is in a way a big difference between him and Harry (not that Harry doesn't love his family) because of how they grew up.
Anyway... long ramble... but really great story :).
On the same night he gets branded with the Dark Mark, he meets with Albus Dumbledore who begs to differ.
Thanks to the lovely Alex aka welshdevondragon for beta'ing this!
Very interesting fic, particularly as it's your first one!! (My first fic was definitely nowhere near this good...). So. Firstly, of course, I have to commend your characterisation of Snape. The idea that he joined Voldemort simply to experiment with magic and his own ability is very fitting, but personally I think there is an underlying security, a desire to belong, which he is too arrogant to admit to himself. Lines like this - I knew I didn’t belong anywhere and I didn’t need a gang. I simply wanted to explore. - I think were great - it shows his arrogance in his own abilities so well. I loved how you showed that he believes he's got things under control, that he won't be forced to do things he doesn't want to. I think in general this fic really sets his character up for who he becomes.
And Albus was just fantastic in this! I loved how you drew the two of them together - after all, they are very similar. Brilliant men who thought they deserved better from society than what they got. Who hated life being mundane. So that interaction between them was great.
I also like the point you made about how sometimes we just have to put up with life being boring or uninteresting. That's just life. But Severus doesn't like to see it that way.
Anyway... rambling here a bit... great character story!
Author's Response: Thanks for reading and the apprecation! I'm really glad you got the underlying insecurity in Snape. He IS brilliant but he's also a complete failure when it comes to his social life. And everyone, unless really mentally disturbed, has a desire to belong. So instead of thinking of himself as a failure who can't make friends, he thinks of himself as this brilliant loner of a genius. Thanks again, for reviewing! :)
Thanks to Natalie for her mad, QSQ-winning beta skills
This was really sweet!! I loved your characterisations of Ron and Hermione - just perfect. The resolutions you picked for each of them were just genius, and the way you tied it together in the end and showed how no-one needs to be perfect was really beautiful.
Your writing flows really well, and I love the little details in this, like how Hermione begins by commending Hannah's cooking, and then Hannah suggests that she make that her resolution.
Just one small thing - I think you forgot to tick the "completed" box, as the page says this fic isn't completed, and I assume from your author's notes that this is a one shot?
Anyway, spot on characterisation and very funny but also endearing. Loved it :).
Author's Response: Hey Katrina, thanks as always for the thoughtful review. I thought I had already responded to this, so I'm sorry I'm just now getting to it. I had a fun time with this one, which was originally a drabble. I like to think their bickering became a little less harmful into their married life, such as this scene I've imagined. I'm glad you caught that error on the submission form--thanks, I've changed it now. :) Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to review!
This story definitely gave me food for thought. Firstly, I have to praise the idea - it's very intriguing to think of the Marauders finding the Mirror of Erised. It's also interesting to read from our perspective, as there's a sort of dramatic irony in that we know their futures and they don't.
Sirius: Firstly, I thought it very likely that he was the one who stumbled across it in the middle of the night. Of course it makes sense that he sees his friends in the mirror, closer than ever, although I do wonder - was Sirius aware that there was something amiss amongst his friends? Because often our heart's desire is something we don't actually have... if that makes sense. So I wonder if perhaps Sirius would have seen himself as part of a happy family or something like that, because personally I see Sirius as someone who underneath values family, but he wasn't born into the right one to value. (Sorry, I am rather going on here). I liked the sense of adventure he felt about being an Auror without thinking much of the consequences - that was very Sirius.
Remus: I think you do a wonderful job of his character - the way he puts on a smile for Sirius while he's actually deep in thought. And I do think it's perfect that he sees himself not as a werewolf - and I think that's also an apt time for the quote about not dwelling on dreams, because while what Sirius sees in the mirror is attainable, what Remus sees isn't (it's almost like Harry and Ron in PS).
James: I liked the anticipation he felt during the day before seeing the Mirror, and his thoughts that Quidditch might feature, only to find out that that's not really the important thing in his life. I agree that he would see Lily, but I do have a quibble with you saying that she's more important than his friends. I see James as extremely loyal, and personally I think if he had the choice between Lily and friends, he would choose his friends. But that's just personal opinion.
Peter: Fabulous. You got into his character so well, and I liked how he realised that his friends did value him, although he wasn't as smart, sporty, popular etc. It's an interesting choice, as we suspect that this is the reason that he betrayed them in the end - the desire to be different, to shine above them. So him thinking those thoughts and then discarding them and saying friends matter above all else really shows his Gryffindor side. Which is really great, as I find Peter completely loathsome, but you showed a different side to him here. It's interesting, because apart from what Remus sees, everything the Marauders see is possible, though Peter doesn't believe that. (Kind of ironic - he does receive an Order of Merlin supposedly 'post-humously'.)
Another thing - to me having the end of each section in bold sort of took away from the flow of the story, and sometimes what you'd written in those parts seemed like a bit of over-writing, as in you'd already shown that and to me as a reader those things seemed obvious, so you didn't really need to reiterate that. If that makes sense.
Anyway, you certainly made me think and I really enjoyed this :) (Sorry for rambling).
Author's Response: Thanks so much for all the feedback! I love to know what others think was pos/neg about a story. As far as the bolding goes, I apologize, lol. It was a friend's suggestion and it seemed like an okay idea at the time. I like it less and less as I reread the fic. I'll probably change it if I can... I do think that Sirius has fmily issues, and I was a little lax in trying to portray that the Marauders sort of ARE his family. I fell like he sees them more as brothers than friends, you know? Remus is very close to my heart, by far my favorite Marauder, so I'm glad to have done him justice. :D With James I struggled a bit, trying to get out the emotions correctly. I didn't mean to imply that she would replace them, but more that she was just as important as they were. Does that make sense? Ha ha. As for Peter... I fought with writing Peter for over two weeks. I can't stand Peter and it took a lot not to let that colour my writing of him, ha ha. I read a fic about the Marauders where Harry dreams that James is narrating a memory of the four and says "Don't turn away when you see him. Yes, he will betray me, but right now, he hasn't and he isn't ever going to." It really helped me to get in a mindset where he's not so much a villan yet, but a nervous young boy with an inferiority complex. He's seventeen, and hero-worshipping his friends is getting a little tiring, you know? But thanks so much for the imput! Helpful comments like this makes me a better writer! ( And glad you caught the Order of Merlin thing X) )
Once again, your work is fantastic. What I like best about this fic is how you make Pansy so much more interesting without making her at all out of character. You wrote her so well, in fact, that by the end I really wanted her to say no to Draco and go get a life for herself... in other words, you made my sort of like her, which is really amazing.
All the Slytherins in this were really three-dimensional, and I loved the interaction between Pansy, Theo and Blaise - you showed the complexity of their relationship well.
I think this is interesting, as at the top you say it's a Pansy/Seamus, but it almost seems more of a Pansy/any boy who actually cares about her. Seamus just happens to be a boy she sees caring about another girl. Well that's how I read it, anyway. (By the way, Seamus and Parvati, interesting...)
Just a few nitpicks:
Madame Puddifoot’s - I think it should be Madam, though I'm not totally sure.
She’d rather dine at the posh restaurants in London where her wealthier friends went to. - it should be either "...in London which her wealther friends went to" or "... in London where here wealthier friends went."
Anyway, I was really impressed with this fic.
Author's Response: Thank you for that nitpick! :D And thanks for the review! Writing Pansy was tricky as I don't like her at all. In fact, I was quite dispassionate about her as a character even while I was typing this out, but I do love writing power games, and I hope that came across in my portrayal of the Slytherins. I also intend to write more of Pansy/Seamus in the near future. Thank you, once again!
Another day, and another fic by Natalie appears on the most recent list... I don't know how you manage to write so many fics!! Particularly considering I'm yet to read something bad or even mediocre...
I really enjoyed this fic, I think I particularly loved Lucy's characterisation - it's understandable to feel 'just normal' when you're in a family such as the Weasley's, and I loved that she realised that she hadn't been giving and therefore hadn't been taking... I think people often think they're the only one who feels a certain way and don't realise that that's just being selfish.
Lorcan was interesting - I could definitely see some Luna in there! I also think he was perfect for Lucy, as she was so uptight and he so relaxed.
I loved the ending line and how it connected back to the beginning and her wanting to feel anonymous etc. Good job on tying that in.
I do wonder though, was Lucy a little bit too snappy/mean to Lorcan? I mean, I understand that she hadn't seen him for a long time and that she was thrown, but she just seemed a little... uptight. I guess that was her personality, though, and that Lorcan helped her let go of it.
Anyway, once again your brilliance astounds me!
Author's Response: Hahaha! Between you and me, I've actually slowed down. Last year, I was a fanfiction factory. o.O It took me less than two years to get into that Top Ten Most Prolific Authors list, so...yes. I can be quite scary.
Barty Crouch Jr. and Regulus Black; two boys with different expectations thrust upon them.
This is the story of how their paths cross, merge and then divide, leading towards two different endings; one tragic, one heroic.
"The Death Eaters, I want to join." I stared at him. His blue eyes were steady, his mouth set. He looked resolute. He had thought this over.
And then I got it. I finally got Sirius.
Nominated for Best Dark/Angsty Story in the 2011 Quicksilver Quills and for Best Marauder Era in 2012. Thank you so much!
I love this chapter - I think it's very interesting how Barty views the Ministry as Power for the sake of power., because that's how many people would describe Voldemort. I also like the idea that he feels he has to be a part of something (liket he line Freedom was not for me. I didnâ€™t trust myself enough to be able to handle that.), and this chapter really sets up a logical reason why he would join the Death Eaters... because at first they would seem a group who stood for something, who worked together - therefore pretty much opposite to what he experiences at the Ministry. Also with the end of the chapter it's clear he's longing for camaraderie, and he will find that with the Death Eaters.
I think Barty Crouch Sr is also very interesting here - I think underneath he wants the best for his son, he just has no concept of how to love him, and always focusses on what he wants, not what his son wants. But nonetheless I think he's an interesting character, because he will eventually disown his son, but then later break the rules he loves so much to set him free.
This, like the rest of this story, is really well-written and I love how you really get inside the characters' heads.
Thank you for another lovely review! They truly make my day.
I do think that in the beginning of the First War the Death Eaters' ideas would seem rather appealing to many. I think that usually when extremist groups gain power and support, it's partly because the actual government isn't doing its job properly, i e people lose confidence in the establishment. I do think that might have been the case in the Wizarding World too, and that many changes were made after Voldemort had disappeared. In my head canon, it was much more "okay" to be opposed to Muggles/Muggleborns before the First War, than in the books, when it really seems like something rather controversial that one wouldn't boast about.
I'm glad you find senior interesting and that what I intended shone through- I do believe that he loved his son very much but that in his mind there's only one way for Barty to be happy which is following the same route as he did. Did that make sense? I hope so. Also, in my head canon, Crouch Sr come from a "working class" family. He's Pureblood but he doesn't have the connections like, say, Lucius Malfoy. He's worked his way up from the bottom and is very afraid on not being taken seriously/losing what he's been working for. But there will be more about that later.
I hope you'll like the rest and again, thank you.
I've been away for a week and was so glad to see another chapter of this fic up. It really is excellent.
You create a great sense of mood, particularly in the first few parts.
The lack of sound seemed to reinforce what still was to be heard. Mum’s attempts at conversation became even more desperate, her voice more shrill than ever before. Father walking around downstairs boomed through the entire house. The scraping of a quill against parchment, the squeaking of a fork trying to stake a piece of potato, even the soft sound of a newspaper being folded, all those normal everyday sounds were to me like earthquakes. - This paragraph really showed Barty's frame of mind at this time, and it was just so beautifully written. You did a great job of putting the reader into Barty's head, and the pain he feels.
I thought his reaction to Dorothea was interesting, because her comment about wishing she'd had adventures doesn't reassure as you'd expect it to in this kind of situation. I didn’t know what to think. She was repulsive. I wanted to be nothing like her. I think that really shows how he's changing.
I liked how Regulus was different after his encounter with Bella in the last chapter. I wasn't surprised that Barty noticed it immediately either - he is very observant, and Regulus is starting to let down his guard with Barty a little.
Had I been wrong my entire life?
Had I been fed lies about everything for as long as I could remember? - I loved this ending, particularly as you used questions when Regulus had just been talking about doubt... it just works so effectively.
Just a tiny nitpick - you wrote when he continued he sounded so matter-of-factly (it's quite near the end) and it should be "matter-of-fact". Anyway, just a tiny little thing, I loved this chapter!
Author's Response: Thank you for the review! It makes me truly very very happy that you're glad to see this updated. When you know people are actually reading and caring it makes it even more fun to write. Thank you for the compliments of the mood in the beginning, I rewrote that part several times because I knew that I wanted to create a very specific atmosphere; I knew what I wanted to convey but I wasn't sure I could put it in words successfully. I'm glad that you thought it worked! The Dorothea part was actually quite fun to write; I think Dorothea is the sort of person I would find really fun today but would have been repulsed by when I was younger. Regulus is definitely changing very fast now; this will continue in the next chapter. Thanks again for reading and reviewing! (After re-reading my responses to your other reviews I realise that I must start checking them for mistakes; I get so excited that my grammar is completely off).
I'm so glad I've come back to this story, it's been quite a while since I've read it, but I got back into the story and the characters really well. Your interpretation of them is really unique and interesting.
I loved what you did with Regulus in this chapter - how you started with the line I could feel myself corrupting, and then really showed that darkness inside him with Barty's fever. The title of the chapter also worked really well - not just in terms of the change in Regulus, but also the swamped sort of feeling he had at the beginning.
I am intrigued as to how Bella got inside Hogwarts. Anyway, I think it's interesting that Regulus thought of her first - I really like how you've developed their relationship in this story - and you really show how Bella seems to be constantly in control of herself, which contrasts with what Regulus feels.
Just a small thing - â€śItâ€™s my friend. He said he didnâ€™t feel well and then he just started raving, I donâ€™t know whatâ€™s going but it must be some kind of curse, no?â€ť - it would sound more natural to say "right?" or something like that at the end - I know English isn't your first language (which constantly astonishes me by the way because you grasp it so well), but having the "no?" at the end just doesn't sound quite right in English.
Anyway, I loved this, can't wait to get onto the next chapter.
Also, the italicised bit in the middle fit in perfectly - were they song lyrics or did you just write them? Either way, they really add to what Regulus is feeling.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for the wonderful review! (and thank you for coming back to this story - I'm glad you found it easy to get into again). This chapter is, as the title suggests, when Regulus finally stops fighting the idea of becoming a Death Eater. I spent very much time on trying to figure out how to get that across - I'm so happy you feel like it payed off :) Hah, I was actually thinking about that while I was writing (no vs. right); I'll edit that. The italicised bit was all me, it's supposed to be Regulus' innermost feelings that he just doesn't dare express. Anyway; so glad you liked this! To see anew review made my day. I hope you'll keep reading. It's so nice to know that someone is following your story and cares about what you write. Thanks, again.
I've finally got around to reading further than the first two chapters of this story... I wasn't thinking of reviewing again so soon, but I loved this chapter. Particularly the beginning part, because scenarios when Sirius and Regulus are really close and there's not too much underlying tension are quite rare. And I thought you wrote it beautifully - because at no point did I forget that they were in different houses, and yet there was such a sense of brotherly love between them.
There was something lovely about this line “Oh, Reg. Looks like you will be a man one day.” It made me feel rather sad about how their relationship eventually turns out.
I'm loving your take on the the Pureblood families (or family, I should say, since they're basically all related). I thought Regulus' Dad was quite interesting in this one, and your Bella is so well-characterised. And so is Lucius.
As for the last chapter - I find your Barty extremely interesting. He certainly went through a rapid change, but I suppose when all your life you've controlled yourself so much, and suddenly you drop that, things change quickly. Interesting that he runs off with a half-blood and ends up a Death Eater... Miranda is also quite interesting, I hope there's more of her back story in this (although I know the focus isn't on her). The idea that Barty disgraced his family so early also works well with that scene in canon when his father says 'I have no son' (I think that's what he says anyway).
I'm looking forward to more.
Author's Response: I love your reviews so I'm glad you decided to do it again! Thank you! This chapter was actually one of the hardest ones to write because I really wanted to show that brothers usually do love each other and I don't think that Regulus and Sirius are an exception. I like that you found their father interesting, because he's not described at all in canon, while we get a very clear picture of their mum. Therefore I do believe he wasn't as "vocal" (can't think of a better word right now) as his wife, or he would have been remembered as such. As for Barty; I see him as a too-controlled boy who is really bad at rebelling if that makes any sense. But he really wants to, and therefore he do it "through" Miranda. Thank you so much for reviewing, it means a lot!
I can't say I'm surprised by this... firstly, because Miranda's right - he wouldn't last a day by himself - and secondly the title suggested it. And his relationship with Miranda didn't seem like it would last... I liked how it was always Barty who said how he felt, like when he said "I love you", she just said "I know you do". He seems so innocent in this, which I think is interesting because he's used to being at school, in an environment in which he excels. The thing I am sad about is that I suspect this is the last we'll see of Miranda, and yet I think there's a lot more to her than you've shown sofar.
That quote at the end was just perfect for this chapter.
Author's Response: Thanks again for another review, they make my day. No, more like my week. Miranda was created as a catalyst for Barty really. I needed her to be a person that he would fall in love with but never make it work. Then when it all fails he's forced to go back to his parents and become even more suppressed which will have consequences, of course. I really like Miranda too, she's capable of a lot of love but doesn't really know what to do with it. This was supposed to be the last of her when I first plotted the story but she will make further appearances (not very soon though.) I hope you like the rest... :)
I've been meaning to read this for a while... both because I enjoyed your Snape one-shot (was it called "Education"?) and because Alex nominated this for the Dark/Angsty QSQ.
It's a great start to a story and very unique - I don't think I've read a teenage Barty Crouch before. I loved how you created the family dynamics between him and his parents as well as all the extended family/aquaintances. It's interesting because Barty Crouch Sr is so anit-dark arts, and yet seems to be pro-pureblood, whilst we usually assosciate the two. I loved the line They say shy people make great actors. I would know. because it just highlights what you'd already shown. There's great contrast in this fic between what Barty thinks and what he does/says. I think first person is ideal for this story, as you can really highlight that contrast.
I liked the idea that Barty isn't in Slytherin as well. It really suits your characterisation of him. He also struck me as an observer, so it made perfect sense that he sat in the library watching people. Interesting that he's fascinated by seeing the difference between how people act publicly and privately. Also, it's a great narrative tool to have an observant narrator, because you showed a lot of Avery, Mulciber, Severus and Regulus' characters in this, which was interesting too.
I'm quite interested in Miranda and I hope she has future appearances. This line - It was not suitable. just perfectly shows how Barty's been brought up.
Anyway, I'll leave this review here. This is a great start, and I have to say it's incredibly impressive that English isn't your first language as well... I certainly wouldn't be able to tell from your writing.
Author's Response: Hello :) A huge thank you for this review; that you actually took the time to write this long review makes me so happy, so thank you, really. Yes, the Snape one-shot is called Education, glad you remember it! When I read GOF the first time all those years ago I was really touched by the Crouch family. It was all so tragic and since then I've had this backstory in my head about them... Then I realised that Barty and Regulus must have known each other as they're both roughly the same age and turned out to be DEs. Regulus from the very pro-Voldemort family who eventually changed his mind and Barty, whose father seemed to be sort of the leader for the Ministry's resistance who turned out to be a devoted follower of Voldemort's... I'm glad you liked my characterization of Barty. I thought perhaps he's too likable or at least too weak but I really think he would have been an observer. How else could he impersonate Moody so well that he even fooled Dumbledore? Anyway, don't know what to write other than THANK YOU, because it's so amazing to get this kind of a review. I hope you'll keep reading.