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.
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'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.
This was an excellent second chapter. I really like your characterisation of Regulus. I think it's a great idea that Regulus became what he became because of Sirius, not in spite of Sirius. I get that impression that your Regulus wasn't necessarily into the Death Eater stuff, and he didn't just go along with it because his family wanted him to, but rather because Sirius had done the opposite... if that makes any sense.
The star had resigned and there was a vacancy at the theatre. I chose to step on stage. I adored this line, because it follows Regulus observing Barty and it's such a wonderful connection between them. I like the idea of this story alternating between their perspectives, too, because you really contrast how they see each other and how they see themselves.
I loved Bella in this - wonderful characterisation of her. She's great at manipulating existing feelings into serving her purpose... as is her master.
I'm intrigued by Regulus' 'anger'. I put it in inverted commas because the word doesn't seem to quite sum up the extent of it. Your writing was particularly evocative as you described that as well.
In fact, your writing throughout this chapter was excellent. The second last paragraph was just so well-crafted. You contrasted short, truncated sentences really well with longer ones.
You really created tension between Regulus and Sirius when they chatted, and, even though he's quite a minor character, I think you really grasped Sirius in this - in that he's always trying to make things light but underneath he feels a lot. I loved the idea that he grinned at Regulus - when underneath he's probably upset about what's come between them and worried how Regulus will turn out.
Author's Response: Another wonderful review; Thank you so much. I'm really happy that you got the idea that Regulus wanted to rebel against Sirius (sort of) because I really believe having your big brother leave you at fifteen is really traumatic. Or at least I would feel really hurt. And Regulus did join the DEs acoording to canon about a year after Sirius ran away so to me it really seemed like a reaction. And Regulus is so devoted to he's family (in canon he for example seemed to care even for his house-elf) so I think he perceived Sirus' leaving as a huge betrayal. And of course he misses his brother! I'm a little sister myself and whatever we might say in our early teens we do adore and admire our older brothers and sisters. I don't think Sirus and Regulus were any different even though Sirius had grown to despise him later. I think he (Sirius) was very disappointed and his resentment was an expression of that. Thanks again for the review, I really really hope you'll keep reading and that you'll like the rest of it :)
Initially when I was reading this fic, I thought your Barty was a more interesting character than your Regulus... but I think I'm beginning to change my mind. Often in fanfiction, Regulus is written as a bit of a wimp - the opposite of Sirius - who takes ages to realise what Voldemort is really upto, and I think your Regulus is so much more believable. He's extremely intelligent and knows how to manipulate people - except Bella, who's probably the queen of manipulators - and good at hiding his feelings, and yet there's a side of him which is clearly fed up with the superficiality of Pureblood society and which longs to be a rebel like Sirius.
The idea of Regulus tasting Bellatrix's blood in his mouth and remembering it was a very powerful image which really stuck in my head, as was the way you used fire in this chapter.
I felt like he replaced something I had lost, but I couldn’t really put the finger on what. I loved this line, because it connected back to the end of the last chapter, when Reg describes to Barty what having a brother is like, and Barty sees Reg as a sort of brother.
I'm not sure if you've realised... this comes up as chapter 9, but there's no chapter 8, which confused me initially... I'm not sure why that's happened. Also, I was wondering, how long is this fic going to be?
I think it's very interesting the way you alternate between the two boys' perspectives and show us how they both see the world and each other. This is a great fic and I can't wait til you update!
Author's Response: That's interesting, because my original idea was to tell Barty's story "with help" from Regulus but the more I wrote the more I started to like Regulus. Sometimes I think I've made Barty too much of a wimp but he will toughen up... Thank you for the compliments about Regulus! I do think he understands SOME things better than Sirius like Barty said but he's not as smart as he thinks. I'm really glad you "got" the brotherhood relationship between them because I was really not sure whether that was really vague or too obvious. The story will be about 25 chapters (but I', constantly expanding so I'm not sure... This was originally meant to be a one-shot..) Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! I'll try to update as soon as possible.
Susan Bones had far too much time over the summer to think about her Aunt Amelia's murder, but one of these nights of contemplation gave her inspiration to pay homage to her slain family members from both the First and Second Wizarding Wars..
This fic is a giant Happy Birthday to Minna/minnabird. I know you like Susan Bones, so here's hoping I can bring you a smile on your special day. :D
I had intended on reviewing this when I first read it a while ago... but didn't get around to it. Anyway, I loved how it was a beautiful and simple demonstration of a way of dealing with loss. You always hear that it sometimes helps people to write something down or something like that when they've been through something traumatic, so I suppose painting her family is sort of like that for Susan.
I really loved the detail in your writing, and how you described each member of her family. I thought it was interesting that she painted them as though they had aged and were still alive... it sort of shows how people continue to live on in our hearts and our memories.
You characterised Susan really well, and I loved the last paragraph, because it reminds the reader that she is coping with something really difficult, but that family can give us strength.
While I was writing this, for a while, I was worried that it would start to sound, well, a bit trite. Grief and coping mechanisms are complex and very personal, but I wanted there to be a moment of hope in the darkness for Susan. We know she lost a lot to the Dark Lord, but we also know she was a fighter, so I wanted to show both without mangling either. I'm glad you can appreciate that, because it wasn't easy. :/
When I described the members of her family, I wanted to make them about as real to the reader as they were for Susan. As you know, she'd hardly met them, and it was so long ago that she could barely remember them outside of stories from her mum, so painting them was almost a process of getting to know them all over. Hence, she used her instincts to conjecture about them.
Again, thank you for such a lovely review. Every time I get review emails, I hope they're from you. :)
I really liked this fic - you did such a good job of getting inside Ron's head. I think what made this fic great was how you explored what Harry meant to Ron specifically - not who he meant to the wizarding world, or to Ginny or Hermione or his children, but to Ron, his first friend.
I’ve never really thought he was a hero, not after I met him. - I loved this line, because I think it's so true. It would be so easy to think Harry - saviour of the wizarding world, but Ron thinks Harry - my best friend. I liked how Ron went through the process of finding something - moving from Harry's achievements, to what Harry enjoyed, to what Harry really meant. (I almost cried at "An Honorary Weasley".)
You really showed Ron's devastation about losing Harry through simple things, like the lines Who will I beat at Wizard’s chess? Who’ll play Quidditch with me and all of the kids on weekends?.
Your story showed grief and loss, and yet the celebration of someone's life so effectively.
Just one thing - you may (or may not) have made a canon error - you refer to James and Lily and "young Albus" - Albus is actually two years older than Lily.
Anyway, I apologise for rambling so much here.
Author's Response: I'm so glad you enjoyed reading this, the plot bunny appeared whilst I was in bed one night, and forced me up at gunpoint to write it. Long story short, I spent the early hours of the morn googling epitaphs and writing this. Thanks for pointing out the canon error regarding Lily and Albus, it's now been changed around. I suppose that James and Lily, and Albus seems to work better in my mind due to reading copious amounts of Marauder-Era fics. Thanks for reviewing this, it means a lot to feel appreciated :)
I think this is a very original and intriguing start to a story, and I'm definitely curious as to what happens next.
Your characterisation so far is very interesting, though I'm not so sure I like your characterisation of Molly... to me, hse only ended up becoming a housewife and mother so young because of the war... although I guess it could appear differently to her brother, who obviously has a completely different view of the world. The Prewett family dynamics were certainly interesting, particularly considering family is so important to Molly in canon.
There are a few times when the plot wasn't so clear to me... I wasn't sure, did Emmeline lose the baby when she fell? Or is she still pregnant? Maybe that's just me not quite following though... It also seems that things happen very quickly here, and right at the beginning we're introduced to a whole lot of characters and at times I found it a little confusing.
There's a few times when you've made small typos, like missing full stops (first sentence) or capital letters, too, but that's not a big deal.
Emmeline is very interesting, and I like the way you've set up her and Gideon's relationship, as well as the way she interacts with her father and Auguste.
Anyway, I hope I don't sound too negative here... I do really enjoy this story, and I"m looking forward to the next chapter.
Well I was expecting something morbid/mildly disturbing (after all, what about Tom Riddle isn't disturbing?) but this was a whole new level of disturbing... in a good way (haha, is that even possible?) Your characterisation of Tom is just perfect. The idea that he tried to be friends with some of the children is fascinating, and you showed those instances really well. It shows that at some point, there was at least a little bit of humanity in Tom Riddle.
They couldn’t, for instance, raise their fingers, touch the cold, merciless mirror in their room, and make it melt. But he could – and he was doing the exact thing. The fingers of his left hand were pressed upon the screen, creating a small ripple that disturbed the smooth glass so that his own reflection blurred. It lasted only for a few seconds, but that wasn’t important. What mattered was the fact that he could do something, which no one else would ever imagine of trying.
He smiled – and somewhere in the disturbed outline of flesh and clothes, he could detect the same smile forming. (Sorry for quoting all that back at you...) I think this part is fabulous. The idea of using a mirror works really well, and I loved the bit about him looking in the "disturbed" mirror and seeing his smile - it was a beautiful metaphor for the madness in his own mind.
Your writing is perfect here - very chilling. Tom's voice (as in the tone you used when writing) was perfectly detached and unemotional when he killed the rabbit.
One little nitpick - which no one else would ever imagine of trying. - the "of" is unnecessary here.
Anyway, as usual, beautiful writing, though this one was definitely on the chilling/creepy/disturbing side of things.
Author's Response: First of all, thank you for pointing out that error. I have edited the story accordingly. Secondly, thank you for reading and reviewing! It's nice to know that you found the tone of the writing suitable for Tom Riddle. The mirror also seemed a good choice because he is already changing, yet his true nature is coming out. The blurring reflection was a vivid image in my mind, and I actually pictured the whole thing happening as I wrote it.
Your story has definitely made me think. I think Peter is a very interesting character, and obviously being apart of the Marauders and yet always feeling not good enough would be part of his betrayal. I've always seen it as a mixture between a desire to outshine his friends and be different and fear of Voldemort, so I think your take on it is very interesting. Peter is certainly more of a man in your fic than I've ever seen him as - I never would have imagined him having the guts to tell James that he'd effectively murdered him. But I think it's a very interesting interpretation. Peter was in Gryffindor, after all. And Voldemort is terrifying.
I really liked James' thoughts at the end about Peter's betrayal, it really ended off the fic nicely and gave me some empathy for Peter, which is a hard thing to do.
I think your portrayal of Peter is interesting, too, because in canon (as in particularly in PoA but also later) he just seems so pathetic, but I suppose that comes from living in fear as a rat for 12 years and from the guilt eating away at him.
I think it's very in character for James not to want to tell Lily, and yet it seems tragic, as perhaps that could have saved their lives. I was wondering - how did James think Lily would be able to escape whilst he was distracting Voldemort? Wouldn't she have to leave through the front door to be able to Apparate? Just a small thing... anyway, I think James was well-written throughout, actually. His conversation with Peter was just perfect.
I do apologise for this review which is rather all over the place... I usually have some kind of structure in reviews... but the main point is that your story is well-written, well-characterised and poignant and truly amazing for a first fic. Can't wait for more :). (I hope you do more Peter fics, perhaps one about him after killing all those Muggles and Sirius going to Azkaban - I'm sure you would write it very intriguingly.) Anyway, loved this fic!!
Author's Response: Wow, thank you so much for the review! I've always been interested in looking at the antagonist's point of view, and especially with Peter, I really wanted to look at how he could possibly justify his actions. I mean, I think that James, more than any of the other Marauders, was the almost-super-hero that Peter looked up to. I'd like to think that there's always been a part of Peter that remains loyal to his friends, because no matter what happened with Voldemort or anything else, he'll always remember the friendship that the four of them had. That's the main point that I was trying to get across through this fic. To answer your question about Lily leaving, I think that's one area where a bit of the Gryffindor recklessness/rushing-into-things comes into play. James is mostly thinking about how he can protect Lily at /that/ moment, instead of necessarily wondering how she can escape. Maybe he thought that if distracted Voldemort for long enough, she could get a safe distance away and Apparate with Harry? I honestly don't think that he was looking too far ahead when he made the decision to not tell her. I haven't given too much thought to other Peter stories, although you've definitely given me a good idea for another one :). Thank you again for the review!! ~Artsy_Werewolf
Firstly, I loved the AVPS song! As I was reading the chapter it reminded me of that song so I smiled when I saw you actually based it on that. (I've also written a story based on one of those songs - "Not Alone" from AVPM. They're good writing material. Anyway... back to the review.)
I like the way you've set up the characters here, particularly the friendship between Lily, Marlene and Marauders. I liked Lily's friendship with Sirius, because a lot of people seem to write them hating each other because Sirius has some sort of complex about James or something... and I think the way you've written it is more likely.
I quite liked your Severus. He seemed a tad dramatic at times, but then that's not entirely unbelievable, because the man we see in canon is obviously a long way from the teenager he was. You've set up this interesting contradiction in his character - he doesn't want Lily to be ruined, and yet essentially he is ruining his own life (in moral terms anyway).
I don't want you to take this the wrong way, because this is certainly an enjoyable story, but there are a few James/Lily cliches in it. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, anyway. I noticed it particularly with Spencer - he seems like the perfect boyfriend, but I suspect he has a secret or something to that effect. Anyway, as I said, cliches don't necessarily worsen a story - and with James/Lily it must be hard to write something original because there's so much of it.
I like how you include Peter and how you don't make him out to be the stupid tagalong, because that really annoys me. Obviously the Marauders trusted him implicitly.
I also think you integrate the war quite well without it becoming their lives as it presumably will when they leave school. You've written it so it's never far from the reader's mind, but it doesn't take over the story. Which really suits this.
Anyway, I have very much enjoyed reading this, I hope you don't think my review is negative, because that's not my intention.
Author's Response: Yay! Another AVPM/S Fan! Haha. "Guys Like Potter" saved the chapter because I was having a hard time trying to figure out how to write in Snape here but the song played on my itunes and it was like a light bulb was switched on. Is you story called "Not Alone"? I love that song! And I'm glad you like the friendships, and I agree, I hate it when people make Sirius and Lily hate each other. In Deathly Hallows it seems Lily it was Lily who would write all the letters fer her and James and it was not just James who trusted Sirius enough to want him as Secret-Keeper. If Lily didn't like Sirius, I doubt she and James would have wanted him in the first place. I'm SO glad you caught my contradiction! I love you for that. That chapter was the turning point for Severus. Without Lily he could care less about his own life, Lily was the only person at Hogwarts who was a true friend to him, so he joins the Death Eaters to try to feel like he belongs somewhere, and if he's on the inside Severus feels like maybe he can protect Lily, which is something he did in fact take to his advantage and try to do. And, I don't mind any sort of criticism! Alas, some cliches are hard to avoid, but the thing with Spencer was very much intentional. Spencer is one of the few people in this that I wrote with a specific person in mind (he is based of an ex-boyfriend of my friend's.) One other character that I created with a very specific person in mind is Pippa, who will pop up later. I love that you love Peter, thank you! I always pictured Peter as sort of a Neville type, probably because that is how Harry pictured him in PoA, only Peter is not even half the man Neville turns out being. I think this is my favorite review! Thank you so much for reading!
Hello... yes it's me again.
So this shows that this is a great story because I'm back reviewing again. And I wish there was more because I'm rather into by now.
I have to say I'm not entirely surprised that Spencer was cheating on her... particularly after you left that cliffhanger and all Lily wanted was to be alone. Well, at least it gave Lily a good reason to break up with him. Also I forgot to mention in my last review - when Lily, James, Sirius, Severus, Spencer get into that fight in Transfiguration - I'm assuming Spencer's a Ravenclaw, and as far as I know there's only two houses in a class at a time. Anyway, that's just a small thing.
Moving on. â€œIf Lily wanted to talk to anyone, she would have simply said so. She didnâ€™t, so you should probably just leave her alone." I really do love your Peter, because he's observant and yet there's something slightly... cold about it. The others chasing after her showed how much they care. So well done there.
Your dialogue has sofar been written excellently. You have shown just the perfect amount of awkwardness and tension between Lily and James. But throughout the story, you've used it really well to communicate the action and move the plot forwards, and I know from personal experience that dialogue is harder than it looks.
I'm quite interesting in what's going on between Mary and Marlene - at the beginning of this story, I'd assumed that Mary, Natalie and Aleaha were 'bimbos' and that's why Lily and Marlene kept away from them, so it's interesting to see that they (well at least Mary) aren't actually like that... I'm hoping Mary and Marlene will finally get over themselves now.
I also loved the scene between Marlene and Fabian, and I'm glad you're not following the Lily's-best-friend-hooks-up-with-Sirius trend. I had thought you might be heading that way, having shown her similarities to him.
Anyway, lovely story so far Kelsey, keep writing more!!
Author's Response: Yeah, Spencer is in Ravenclaw. But, I thought that after everyone had taken their O.W.Ls the classes for sixth and seventh-years were filled with all the student's continuing on with the class. I could be very wrong, so I'm going to need to take a look at HBP, oh hey! I'm reading that one right now! I'm quite fond of my Peter, I'm not even going to lie. He is the one I really have to work on when I'm writing because of how my I hate him. I feel like Peter HAD to be very observant because he was Voldemort's spy when ti came to the Potter's for over a year, and he is also very good when he needs to keep his head down. Deception and observation are Peter's best skills. Dialogue is a nightmare sometimes. I try to use it more than some people because I know it's a skill that I really need to work on. So, I'm very thankful that all of that is paying off. Thank you : ) I'm not even going to hide anything when it comes to Mary and Marlene, they stopped talking to each other after an argument over something REALLY stupid. They dislike each other so much because they let themselves get so worked up over something really small. Haha, when this story was still in it's planning stages I was planning on hooking up Marlene with Sirius, but having everything fall apart, but when I was reading DH i had to change that. In Lily's letter to Sirius she mentions the death of the McKinnions, if Sirius and Marlene had been together he would have already known about the death of the family. So I stuck Marlene and Fabian together mainly because they both die and the more I write this, the better Fabian is for Marlene. Sirius loves Marlene, but he loves her like he loves Lily. I seriously loved your two reviews! They make me very happy! The next chapter is, finally, going through it's final edit. AP Tests are a major pain. So is HIgh School. Haha!
This was a really interesting story. I really loved how you explored the relationships between the Marauders without explicitly saying that they were falling apart.
I thought your characterisations were great. Firstly, James: I thought it was typical of him to put Galleons in Remus' account. I think this fic is an interesting exploration of him coming to distrust Remus, despite not wanting to, and that works really well, as he is someone who really values loyalty and friendship. Sirius was depicted well, too. To me it seemed like he was trying to hold everyone together in this fic, which is in character as his friends are his family. The dialogue between James and Sirius near the beginning worked well; it showed that they were comfortable together, yet also gave the indication that they bicker more and have less fun than before. (I hope that makes sense.)
I was a tiny bit confused - when James is looking at Lily's initials and talks to Peter, is that in his imagination? As in, he's remembering Remus and Lily at the tree and then he imagines a conversation with Peter? That's what I understood, anyway, and it seems that James is suffering from fever and hallucinations... is it to do with blood loss?
Your writing was excellent. I loved the imagery and you use dialogue very effectively, and particularly when Sirius and James are talking near the beginning, the dialogue also tells the action, as in what the characters are doing, which is really hard to do and works really well.
So I really loved this story, your writing is just so wonderful and you've really mastered the art of showing, not telling. Fantastic :)
All the reviews you leave for the stories on MNFF are so very encouraging and lovely. So thank you for this one. What makes this special is that I was expecting at least two highly confused reviewers before someone who really understood the story for what I'd tried to do with it. You saved me, my friend.
You got that right about James and Remus. I think this was a very tough time for James. This is August of 1981 and incidentally after the event of this full moon I see this as becoming the last time James accompanies Remus for the transformation. James values loyalty and that's why for him to come to that conclusion, to withdraw from his friends especially Remus was so hard and breaking. Your comment about Sirius and James bickering more often makes perfect sense. In my imagination I see that when they'd have first found out about Remus, it would be James who took it without fear and Sirius would somehow take a quiet debate with himself to overcome the prejudice that were harboured in his family. But as it happens later in the years, James cracks first. His fear that Remus might be betraying him translates to Moony also, so that James vaguely, reluctantly thinks that Remus is dangerous when he'd transformed.
What you mention about your confusion is actually exactly the way I meant it to be. I couldn't have put my whole idea in words better than you did. In addition to the fever and hallucinations, he's also claustrophobic which is why he's struggling with breathing throughout.
I wrote the setting after having staring for long minutes at photographs of forests in order to transport myself and James there so we could get a feel of it. That seems to have paid off. Dialogue is usually never my forte, but I was experimenting here and for that reason, I eliminated most dialogue tags in order to focus on the content of the speech and let it do most of the talking.
I'm very glad you liked this, Katrina
This was beautiful, Natalie, as usual. I loved your characterisation of Molly, she was just so realistic. This reminded me of the scene in OotP when she was trying to get rid of the boggart and kept seeing her family members dead. I guess in canon it's easy to forget how much Molly has already suffered in losing her brothers and her parents.
I loved your exploration of healing - as in healing not only saved human lives but required you to be inhuman yourselves. I think that's a really interesting idea, it definitely had me thinking, as it does seem to be a common thing for people to say 'I want to help people, I'll be a doctor'. I loved how you show that you have to distance yourself to actually save people.
I really liked the ending, particularly "they ran away, even if they didn't have to". I think that's very fitting. I do wonder though if you need the last sentence ("finally, she was content.") - to me the story would end better without that line, I think that's sort of obvious to a reader.
Anyway, loved the fic :)
Author's Response: Healing and being inhuman. My dad's a doctor, so I should know. :D I've seen him checking up on people and he's just so disconnected. It always made me wonder. I do think it is true, that you need to detach yourself from feeling scared or sorry or worried and just get your emotions out of the way. I just don't think someone like Molly, especially when she's in the state where I have put her in this fic, would be capable of doing that.
The harsh realities of life separated them, but the even harsher realities of death brought them back together. But could an apology bring back the loss of innocence?
A companion piece to Hollow Soldiers.
This story has been nominated for a 2011 Quicksilver Quill Award: Best Dark/Angst Story.
Firstly, congrats on your 50th fic!! That's pretty impressive for something like two years of writing.
Anyway, great fic. This was really well written and very realistic. I thought your characterisations of everyone were great, particularly Padma and Michael. I guess this story has things in it that we'd rather no think about, but happen anyway.
Your writing really impressed me, you have such an ability to show human emotions, particularly pain, and yet somehow show hope as well. Lisa's death worked really well as a backdrop, and it made me curious too about why she was in a coma.
The scene outside her hospital room, with Anthony, Michael, Padma and Terry at the end was perfectly tense and it really showed how friendships can be torn apart (after all, in canon, Michael, Terry and Anthony seem fairly close). I especially loved that part.
Although I have to admit, I thought the idea of Ron being at Lisa's deathbed was a little unlikely... surely there were a lot of people who knew Lisa better than him?
Anyway, loved the story. Oh yeah, one more thing, I loved references to the Battle, like "his battle-scarred face austere". I imagine for these people that the Battle remains a constant backdrop to their lives, and I think that worked really well.
What I wanted from this story was to tell a tale of people who might not have had the picture perfect Epilogue that the series' main characters did. I know Harry and friends had their fair share of trials, and I've written about them quite a bit, but our Ravenclaw friends go ignored so often. Also, not everyone has the strong moral compass that the usual protagonists have. For instance, Michael was overwrought by job stress and just being damaged by what he'd seen in the Battle and even a few of the things he'd done. How all that happened will end up being another story altogether, but the short of it was that Lisa was cursed in the Battle. She hadn't wanted to stay behind for the fight, but her friends who had been in the DA told her that it was the right thing to do. In the end, she was the one who had died for it. That's why they were all so screwed up.
And about Ron... I need to fix that part. Originally, I had more DA members there, but the paragraph got long and rambly, so I cut it. He is there with Hermione, who would've felt obligated to come, and Ron would've come with her. However, Padma would've noticed Ron's presence before Hermione's due to the date disaster. I need to add a couple more sentences explaining that, so thanks for pointing that out.
So, I'm glad you enjoyed the story, and thank you as always for reviewing. :D
Hi Jess (again lol),
So I don't usually read poetry... but this looked interesting, and since everything else of yours that I've read has been good, I thought I'd give it a go.
The first one... someone materialistic, who sees getting married as a pretty white dress and a comfortable future. Narcissa? I wondered about Bella too, although I can't actually imagine what she'd be like on her wedding day... it's bizarre thinking about someone to whom love means so little getting married...hence glorifying love. Anyway. I don't really think it's her, I think it's Narcissa.
The second one - I'm thinking perhaps Molly? You have a focus on family here, and I can completely imagine her in a homemade gown. It's a nice contrast to Narcissa. But if it's Molly, I wonder, what are the "obstacles that never cease"? Is it perhaps to do with the first war?
The third one seems to be someone who's been through a lot of hardship and battle... first people that come to mind are Lily or Ginny, I suppose Hermione, but someone it didn't really seem like her. But I can't decide between Lily and Ginny.
Anyway, I think you've done a great job at showing what marriage means to different people, and how their views can vary, but they are all linked by the fact that they will become a bride. I think using that line at the end of each stanza really showed that link.
So to me, even though you say you had a specific person in mind for each stanza, I think they're all representative of different perspectives in general to marriage. If that makes any sense...
As I've said, I'm not a great expert on poetry... but your rhyming and rhythm flowed really well when I read this.
I have to say, your instincts are good. I did, indeed, have Narcissa, Molly, and Ginny in mind. To me, they're all pretty much completely different. As you mentioned, Narcissa thinks of shallow things and of how her marriage would improve her lifestyle. Molly was a product of the First War political climate and was rather poor, much like she and Arthur were. Her 'obstacles' were worrying about Arthur getting involved with the war effort, as well as trying to put together a nice wedding on a shoestring budget and possibly, just maybe, having a bun in the oven. :D And then there's Ginny, who was, to be blunt, tired as hell from everything. It was her chance at a normal life for the first time since she was ten. There were no more Chamber of Secrets or diaries or Umbridges or dead professors or Death Eaters. It was relief, crammed into 64 syllables, lol.
Gahhhh, the rhyme scheme! *headdesk* It fought me like a bear with an attitude problem! The format is a ballade, which is very rigidly structured. Plus, there are very few words that rhyme with 'peace', which I never would've guessed had I not run out of ideas not derived from RhymeZone halfway in, lol. I guess you live, you learn, and you move on, hehe.
Anyway, welcome to the experience of being in my head. Strange things going on in here. :D
Generally I think this was a good story. Your characterisation of Hermione was good - I think she would be ashamed of her scars and it would be hard for her to move past them. I wonder if perhaps you could have included a bit of how mentally she was coping? As in, something like mentioning how it's painful to remember or something like that. Anyway, that's not important. You pick up on a good point that we often forget what the rest of the characters went through while the trio were off Horcrux hunting. Personally I suspect that Ginny would have a fair few scars too from her 6th year at Hogwarts.
I liked the interaction between Hermione and Luna. I think in canon they're sort of opposites, in the way that Hermione requires everything to be logical and to be proved and Luna will accept anything, so I thought it was nice to tie them in together. I really liked your perspective, that people being tortured was a distraction from killing other people. I think that's very fitting, especially for these characters, as they both sacrificed so much for others.
To me this line Hermione, in her self-centered greif, didn't remember that she was not the only one ever to suffer. didn't quite fir the tone of this piece, as mostly you were writing from inside Hermione's head, and this is very definitely a comment from an omniscient narrator. I also think it's self-evident from your previous sentences. (Also, it's grief not greif.)
Another nitpick - when writing dialogue, if you start a new paragraph you should put a quotation mark at the start of it, even if it's a continuation from the previous paragraph.
I wondered about how Luna laughs at Hermione's outburst - I can't really see that. I think it would be more in character if she were to smile serenely in her sort of way... but laughing didn't seem right.
The door clicked, and Hermione turned away from Ginny’s mirror. She didn’t need to see her face. I really liked this sentence, it worked really well as an idea for the story.
The scene at the end with Ron was well-written too, especially the last line, although I wonder if putting this in Ron/Hermione category is really the right place? After all, to me it's not really a romance between them... yes I know it's set on their wedding day, but the focus is more about moving on after the war. Perhaps Post-Hogwarts would be a better category.
Anyway... sorry I have gone on rather a lot in this review, I think this is a great story, particularly for your first fic :).
Author's Response: Don't be sorry, I really appreciate the constructive critizism. Thanks especially for the spelling help. (I need way more help than a pointer). I wrote almost the whole thing in Word, and only added grief as a second thought when submitting. The line about Hermione from an omniscient narrator, I actually was trying to write it in third Person, and it's not supposed to be 'in her head', it's more supposed to be from an omniscent narrator. Apparently that didn't work out so well.... I do think, however, that the story does belong in Ron/Hermione, because the whole time she's worrying about what Ron will think when he sees her scars, she's afraid he'll dump her. About Ginny having scars, I do think she would have scars, but Hogwarts had Madam Pomfrey, and I think Madam Pomfrey would have fixed her up. About Luna's laughing tendency, I think that she could have smiled, or she could have laughed. She almost died laughing about Goyle looking like a 'baboon's backside'. However, I know that Hermione and Luna's relationship is touchy at best, and I had Luna laugh because I wanted the readers to remember that they are very different. In other words, I knew it wouldn't be Hermione upset without some screaming. I didn't even notice I made a dialouge mistake, (oops!) because dialouge is not my thing. I can't write dialouge that well, because I don't know the other characters beside my main one that well. Sorry if I make any more dialouge mistakes, because apparently it wasn't so atrocoius that the mod wouldn't submit it. Thanks for all your nitpicks though, I'm kinda new to writing fanfiction. Thanks for what you thought of it, and don't worry, I have way too many stories coming soon....
It seems to be the time to write poetry about brides... I read another one just a few days ago... anyway, loved this poem. I'm 99% sure the character's Hermione - near the beginning, I could tell it was someone who'd survived the Battle, and then your reference to "flaming hair" on the train when they first met and the tent made it clear.
The imagery of winter for the war and spring being a time of healing and something new growing was well done. Also your references to a white rose worked well, as it is a wedding and white is the traditional colour and symbolises purity.
I think this poem really shows that life can go on after something like hte war they've survived. Beautifully written.
I wonder though if you need to put in the quote at the end of the author's note? It didn't particularly add to the story of the poem to me, as you'd focussed on Hermione's perspective, plus it made it pretty obvious who the character was... anyway, that's just my opinion.
Author's Response: Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you for your lovely, thought-filled review! I believe I read the same one about brides that you did, and it was part of the inspiration. Thank you so much for your thoughts and compliments, it really means so much to a writer with low self-esteem. I don't really know why I put the quote there- I guess you'd have to be really thick or Potter-ignorant not to realize it was Hermione. I just love all of J.K. Rowling's words, and they give me such inspiration. Thank you again for reading my poem, it really helps a LOT. I'm glad you enjoyed it!!!
I think this is an interesting idea for a story. I'm rather inclined to agree with you that Lily had feelings for Severus, (as in more than friendship), but her own beliefs became too important for her. Your descriptions of emotion and character were very good, I thought you really portrayed Lily, Sev and the Marauders well. It was nice to see a fic focussing on Lily and not James for once, although I noticed the hints of their future relationship.
As Carole pointed out in her review below, I think you have a timing issue here - JKR never explicitly states that Sev hadn't called Lily a Mudblood before the incident at the lake after the DADA OWL, but given Lily's reaction and the way she ends her friendship with Snape after that event, I don't think it likely. Perhaps you could set this in their sixth year, so they'd both be 17, and it would be nearly a year since they'd stopped being friends, but Lily still had lingering feelings?
The last line of this fic is just brilliant. It was just so poignant and well-written - not overdone, just a simple finishing line. Perfect way for this to end.
Some of Sev's dialogue didn't sound natural to me... like the line "Sorry. I know it's creepy." It just sounds a little too... obviously nervous or something for him. Personally I don't think he ever really let his guard down, even with Lily. I think it would have worked better just to leave it at "I followed you." I suppose that's just my opinion though.
Anyway, I hope you don't find this review too negative or anything... that's totally not the point, I really did enjoy your insight into Lily's mind. (I loved the idea about the prank - or lack thereof - too. Very clever.)
Author's Response: Ahaha, yes. I did debate that line, and honestly I don't have a very good reason as to why I kept it in, except for the fact that "I followed you" did in fact sound massively creepy. Thank you so much for the review!
This was the year. This was the year that Puddlemere United and Keeper Roxanne Weasley were going all the way.
One problem: her brother Fred might have something to say about that... while playing for the opposition.
Another great fic! You showed Roxanne and Fred's relationship so well - the rivalry and yet the underlying admiration and love was very realistic. I loved the idea that Roxanne thanked Fred in her speech and later refuted that she meant it... it really fit her characterisation here.
Your detail in describing the Quidditch match was also great, I really felt like I was inside Roxanne's head watching everything that happened. It had just the right amount of detail and action so it was exciting rather than boring.
I also liked the idea of starting off with Ginny's news article and then focussing on the trophy, rather than just writing about the actual match - it really added to the characters, and the newspaper article added to the sense of excitement. You wrote it really well. If it wasn't about a fictitious sport, I would have believed that it was real.
So, once again you've produced another impressive story... I really don't know how you turn them out so quickly and with such quality!
I decided, when writing this story, that I would focus on things know about. I know all about sibling rivalry (we were rather wicked), sports, and that surreal feeling surrounding a championship. It's exciting, but at the same time, it's almost like it's happening to someone else and you're watching it on TV. There wasn't too much description of the match because, well, in writing the actual gameplay, I was struggling to keep my own attention. It's so difficult to write Quidditch, which is why all my other fics with Quidditch in it usually work around the actual games.
I thought that the article was a good way to get the reader into what was going on without spoiling future events. It was supposed to be like an, "Ooh, how does this come out?" moment. And the scene in the shop was supposed to both introduce the competitive nature of both Roxy and Fred, plus introduce the object of their desire. I think they sort of assumed that they would win the championship, focusing instead on winning the MVP. In this, they're both still young athletes and susceptible to incorrect focus, but they're more entertaining this way. :D
I'm glad you like the story. It was rather difficult to write, but in the end, it was worth it. Thank you as always for your visit!
I thought this was a really sweet fic, particularly as we as the reader know what happens to them. I loved the idea of mixing traditions with a modern world... as in they sort of followed the traditions, but already after they were married and she pregnant.
There's something bittersweet about it. Sweet, because it's nice to know that they had some opportunity to enjoy each other, particularly Remus as he'd lived such a hard life, but bitter because such good people deserve so much more...
Your characterisations were great, particularly of Andromeda. I really liked how she fitted in. I loved Remus' (hence your) creativity in following the steps too, it really fit his character.
So all in all, loved this fic :)
Author's Response: Thank you, Katrina. I also hate the fact that Remus and Tonks had so little time as a couple so I try and write some good times for them. Thank you for your compliments on the characterisation because these are characters I love writing and am very fond of, so it's good to know that someone shares my view. ~Carole~
Megan Jones had managed to successfully dodge all the normal pitfalls of adulthood: marriage, children, and the need to impress anyone. She didn't understand why everyone insisted that she was miserable, when she was, in fact, enjoying her current lifestyle.
Who would've thought one night could change everything?
Jess, your ability to take rare characters in canon and write them so beautifully continues to astound me. After all, we know nothing about Megan except that she was in Harry's year and Hufflepuff, and really not that much about Charlie either... except what he does, but we see little of him as a person.
I really liked the beginning, when Megan felt annoyed about how other people pitied her for a life that she actually quite liked... I think it the fact that it bothers her shows that there is an underlying part of her that agrees with them. But that could just be me.
As a few other people have said in reviews, I'm really intrigued by this and very keen for you to explore this relationship/these characters more. I wonder why Charlie doesn't want to go home, and why he's become like this... Plus I'm curious. Does Megan go to Romania? I hope so.
I like rare characters for the very reason that they have little or no prior history. It's like creating an OC, but using a canon name so people will actually read the story. Yes, I am that pathetic, hehe. Plus, every character has a story, and it feels like the duty of fan fiction writers to make them into something more than a name and a paragraph on the HP Wiki. Not everyone is the ideal protagonist, and I think Megan is one of those.
Does Megan go to Romania? Well, of course she does, lol. Why she goes, she doesn't even know, but really, there was no reason not to for her. No one was going to miss her if she left. And Charlie presented a unique challenge for her.
Anyway, thank you for reading yet again. It makes me feel like I have a fan club, hehe. :D