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.
Louis Weasley had always assumed that the worst of his problems had been falling for someone he wasn't supposed to. This was, however, until that very someone turns up missing from one the biggest societal events of the century.
He was willing to break every rule and taboo to find her, but could he succeed where the entire might of the Ministry's Magical Law Enforcement Department failed?
This is a great start to a story, Jess... I have to admit, initially I was a bit squeamish about Louis and Lucy, but once I got over that, it was a great story.
For a start, I like that you're writing about these two... I don't think I've read a story yet in which Louis is a main character. And you've really made him a great main character.
I also like Lucy - she seems quite enigmatic now (what is her 'condition'?) and I'm intrigued by her fear of being in large crowds, and also exactly how she feels about Louis.
And then on top of all this you've added a mystery to it... I can only guess that it may be to do with Percy (who I agree will eventually become Minister of Magic), but I'm pretty hopeless at guessing mystery stories, so I'll just wait til you reveal it.
The flashback worked really well in this chapter - sometimes I find they slow down the pace, but this one didn't at all and it flowed really naturally.
And in response to your last response to one of my reviews- yes I am back. I hadn't actually read any fanfic for about a month until a few days ago, but I'm a lot less busy now and have finally got back to doing some of my own writing...
Anyway, back to your story, I'm very intrigued and mystified and looking forward to more.
Yay, I'm glad you liked the beginning of the story. There is one more chapter after this one, and a few more to come before the story wraps up. I think that a lot of what bonds Lucy and Louis is indeed her 'condition', which you'll find out about in the next chapter. Louis feels not only a sense of responsibility to make sure she's okay, but it also causes him to focus on her more intently than he normally would've done. And when coupled with a young boy's normal changes in the early to late teen years, it's not hard to see him falling for the person he feels responsibility to protect.
The flashback is meant to show the shift in their relationship from cousins to something more. They're almost like memories in a way, misty and idyllic.
Anyway, thank you for reading and reviewing. I hope you enjoy subsequent chapters. :) I'm glad you're back, because you are such a brilliant reviewer and should be told that loads of times for the sake of justice.
This was wonderfully written and I really think you captured the trio's dynamics, at least from Ron's perpsective. I think you really nailed Ron's lack of self esteem - and not just about whether he or Harry would get Hermione, even though that's the focus of the piece. The line I am a piss-poor excuse for a man really showed this.
I think what this showed above all is what a difference perspective can make, because we know that Harry and Hermione have no feelings but friendship for each other and I don't think Harry purposefully went and did something for Hermione's birthday, hoping that Ron hadn't - I'm sure he just found it and wanted to give it to her because she's his friend. I think it shows, though, that Ron underneath believes what he wants to believe, which is that he's not good enough.
I loved your attention to detail - right from the beginning with tucking in Hermione's foot and throughout the story you really maintained that and it gave such an idea of setting and character.
This is probably my favourite line. “If you had green eyes, you’d have been stew,” I think it really sums up what Ron's feeling at this moment.
I have always wondered about Hermione's birthday, because there's never any mention of it in canon (as in, I've known the date for ages, but it always seemed strange that Ron and Harry never did anything). Although I suppose it fits that Hermione would just 'quietly suffer', because she's not the type to complain.
The imagery of the hangman and the locket as a noose worked really effectively. I also loved your use of present tense - it's sometimes hard not to make that sound clunky and this sotry just has a beautiful flow.
I'm very glad I chose to read this, you've really just nailed Ron's feelings during this period and probably the sort of thing that he's been feeling for years, too.
I'm glad you chose to read this, too. I thank you.
I believe Ron has had difficulty all his life establishing himself as a person with his own identity. Take all his frustration from that, put him a bubble, as it were, with the person who has always cast the largest shadow, the person who also happens to be the best friend of the girl he loves, and he's bound to start obsessing about his own inadequacies, real or imagined. I don't think he can help how he feels, though, and that's the angle with which I approached this story.
I'm pleased that you found my noose imagery effective. I found it quite sad that this locket made him feel and think the things it did and yet he was forced to put it on with his own two hands every other day. The title also refers to Ron's innate tendency to sabotage himself at every turn.
Again, I thank you for reading and for the thoughtful review. I am glad you enjoyed my story.
This was an interesting story, Jess. Considering you don't write a lot of Marauder Era, you completely nailed the characters. I loved all the dialogue - it was just so wonderfully in character. I loved how it was from Sirius' perspective and we really got a glimpse of how vulnerable he was being and how difficult he found that, and yet simultaneously how much he wanted to.
This is a ship that I've neither particularly liked nor disliked before... but you've made me really like it. You just made it so believable. I loved that it was Sirius who'd thought about it for years and Remus who decided on the spot, because people tend to write Remus as extremely controlled and Sirius as impulsive, so I loved that you broke the cliche with that.
The premise of the story - meaning the game truth or dare - was very believable for a pair of Marauders at a loose end. Also your title was excellent and really fitted in with this.
Anyway, I'm getting to the rambly stage here and I think I must have missed a lot of the good points about this story... there really were a lot.
You know, I'm actually surprised you wanted to read this, for all its non-canon-ness. This story is pretty much case in point as to why I don't write Marauder Era. Here and there, I can conjure up some in-character prose and make it work, but anything regular, and I would so be one of those cliched, smoking rubble authors that we both know lurk in that category, hehe.
I wrote this in a banter-y tone because I don't often write dialogue heavy stories. And I had like a day to write it (it was for a SPEW prompt), and since dialogue is quicker to write... I am found out!
Anyway, thanks for reading, and I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)
This was a very interesting story, Jess. As you said, it's an extreme way that George could have dealt with his trauma, and personally I don't think it would have happened that way but it was still an interesting read, and very well written (not that I expected anything different from you).
I loved the use of second person - it's one of my favourite perspectives to read and to write (I've used it in three of my stories). It works wonderfully in this story, because I almost felt like I was that character in that situation having to make that decision.
I liked how you used the drug dealer as the focalising character, but the story was really about George through this character's perspective. I thought that worked really well, and in a way it's more tragic to watch George's demise (not sure that's the right word... anyway) from the outside, rather than from inside his head.
I loved the repetition of the first paragraph at the end - it gave the story a cyclical feeling, or the idea that George is only one case and that this situation will repeat itself for many other people.
Right from the beginning of the story, you wove in a sort of inevitability. In the line It was always going to happen it was more obvious, but even before that I had a sense of... impending doom? (I don't think that's the best way of phrasing that either...).
Just one little thing - second last paragraph, you wrote "You feel good about the decision you, because this George...." - I think you're missing "made" after the you.
I think you caught the essence of what I was going for exactly. It was supposed to be a sort of outside view that gave us a foreboding of someone we DO know and care about succumbing to the evils of temptation. Drug dealers would almost have to have an... adjusted sense of right and wrong in order to be able to continue with their line of work, so in selling to people, they're not screwing up lives; they're meeting a demand -- no more, no less. In a way, I think I wanted the 'narrator' to be a neutral party, and George be a primary focus.
Not going to lie, I am not a fan of second person. Done wrong or overlong, it's almost taxing on the brain, so I don't think I could've made this fic any longer, despite my best go at making it over 1000 words. It's really hard to sustain the flow and not overload the 'you's and 'your's. I think I did fairly well for my first go at this POV.
Anyway, thanks for the review. Honestly, I half expected my first review for this to be something like, 'How depressinggggg!' (I get that a lot, lol). Also, thanks for pointing out that typo. Ironically, I think I accidentally chopped it out while proofreading. :/
Wonderful. I think the most amazing thing about this story is how you got inside Greyback's head. I loved the idea that he had been 'different' and already savage before he was bitten, because I think that's more believable than saying he just became that way.
I loved the idea that he wanted to breed a pack, in a way. And the way he sees himself almost as a father figure who guides them. And I got a sense that he almost feels protective for this pack, which was an interesting contrast in his character.
Author's Response: Thank you. I knew that he couldn't just change his nature-- Remus didn't. And the idea of protecting his pack seemed natural. After all, nobody's all bad.
I'm not really sure what happened with my last review... because it was about twice as long as it appears... so I'll try to remember what I wrote.
You're right, if Remus' nature doesn't change, why should anyone else's?
Someday, your world will be built, a world run by your species. A world where lesser humans don’t control you, where you are the king.
Or at least not hunted. Not hated. I loved those lines, because it conrasted his desire for power and control with a simple human desire simply to be accepted as you are.
I loved the use of second person - it's one of my favourite perspectives to write/read - and you really pulled it off here. Greyback is a character with whom I don't exactly empathise and so by using this perspective you really made me feel what it was like to be him.
Your writing was fantastic - as usual - particularly the ending. Your use of short sentences was really effective - it somehow really fitted Greyback's character and they seemed to get shorter as the action built up.
Excellent story, though a little creepy.
Author's Response: Thank you again. I really like to look at different perspectives in fanfiction, and Greyback's in too often overlooked. A villain's mind is just as complex as a hero's. I've never attempted full second-person before-- it was mostly an experience. i'm glad you think so much of my storytelling. Julie
It has been said that we can only see angels when we are children. At some point we outgrow this ability, but what happens to our angels then? Are they still there watching over us or do they move on?
Your writing is wonderful and the whole idea of this story is just breathtaking. I can't think of a story that embodies what Dumbledore (at least I think it's him) says in one of the books... something along the lines of 'those who we love never leave us'. Well that's probably quoted wrong, but anyway, this story had a really strong sense of that.
I loved how it drifted from her memories of when she was alive into her death seemlessly, because this story is really about a mother and her son. Some of the ideas in this story almost seemed a bit cliched, for example the line You will go to the ends of the earth and defy all that you can to keep your child safe from harm. But it didn't feel at all cliched or sentimental - it almost made me want to cry and it felt like you were tapping into a really deep emotion. (If that makes any sense.)
Your writing and imagery and just the way you express yourself is really beautiful - there's almost something poetic about it and I had such a vivid image of everything you described in this story. The idea of the flower collector was beautiful, and the last line of the story really tied in that and just summarised the tone and feel of the whole story.
I just noticed - in the third last paragraph you've written "his once bulky frame barley makes..." instead of "barely".
I think you really grasped Tonks in this story - particularly in these two lines.
We would sit on his bed at night talking until his grandmother would call out to be quiet. We would giggle together knowing that she wasn’t really mad. and
I would reassure him that it was okay to be different, that the world would be boring if everyone were the same.
I think those line really show her character from canon - slightly mischievous and always determined to be different.
Thank you Katrina (I went and fixed that typo ;~) .....This was orginally written about 4 years ago and was up as part of a competition but I can't even remember what it was. My son is 12 now :~0...but the story still fits. When I write something that I have knowledge of it makes it flow much better. I have another one written in a similar style but it didn't get very forable reviews because it shows Hermione at a low point in her life and thats all the readers looked at. Im slowly adding all my stories back to the site after taken them down for a while. I look forward to sitting down and reading your stories too.
Who could possibly have got past both Elaine and the locking spells on the studio undetected?
This story was written for Prompt 1 in the Mysterious May challenge, and it won first place in that category! It was also nominated for two QSQs in 2012 (Best General story and Best OC).
This is a lovely story - I'm impressed that you went through all that effort to research art restoration for this fic, and all that detail really added to the story. In fact, this story was just packed with details in general - the fast food and the fact that Elaine had Muggle money, the disposable cups, the argument at the beginning - which make it a really good mystery story.
Elaine was a very likeable and believable main character. She is very observant and knows her craft well, which makes her a good detective, and yet she also had that feel of an apprentice who's really trying to prove herself.
You painted a wonderful picture (excuse the pun) of an old Pureblood family in the Selwyns. You wrote the house-elf really well (I know she's not a main character, but she came across so believably without being a copy of Dobby, Kreacher or Winky.) Even the stepson secretly selling the old paintings because he's too lazy to get a job really fits into the way JKR represents the Purebloods in canon.
I very much enjoyed this story, and it was very well-written.
Author's Response: Haha. As any of the various friends I talk to over AIM will tell you, I am *addicted* to research. Details I'm good with...packing them into the story, not so much! Good to hear you think it worked for the mystery, though.
I think Elaine's not really qualified to be a detective-detective - too much running, for one thing! - so she's very much an apprentice wanting to prove herself who just happens to do a little detective work because she loves her craft and something is just not right here. I'm definitely glad you liked her. =)
Hahaha that old cliche does fit quite well here. The house-elf I didn't really think too much about except the mannerism with the blinking suddenly popped into my head and I thought that sounded unnerving but something a house-elf would do. And haha yes the stepson is definitely a lazy, rich manchild. I wasn't really thinking of canon so much as old-fashioned stuff, though, to be honest...I'd just come off reading a silly Georgian-era historical romance/mystery. -rolls eyes at self- But then, I do picture pureblood society as very Austenesque...
I'm glad you liked the story! I'm blushing, thank you so much for the review. =)
As the war progresses, Percy begins to have doubts - doubts that will, eventually, lead him back towards his family.
You do like writing about the Selwyns, don't you? (Or maybe that's because I only just read "An Artful Dodge"... anyway.)
I think this was a lovely story, and you really showed another side of Percy and why he acted the way he did. You really showed his pride and ambition but also his strong sense of right and wrong (although the first two sometimes overshadow this) and the times he really longs for his family.
Including Penelope was a wonderful idea. Percy has chosen to believe in the Ministry, which cost him his family, but also means that he can hide from reality and seeing her and the unfairness of how she's treated really conflicts him all over again. (I hope that sentence made sense.) You've really shown that he believes what he wants to believe, and obviously he likes believing in the Ministry - who doesn't want to believe that the authority is right. Anyway, sorry for that long rant, but I really think you've nailed Percy's character in this.
The one thing I question about this story is Aberforth. It's a while since I've read DH, but I thought Aberforth was quite hopeless about the war (which you have shown), and that he therefore encouraged people to keep themselves out of danger and get out of the country. But I suppose Percy chose not to put himself in danger, and Aberforth understood that. So it's not really a big thing, it just clashed a little the first time I read it.
At the same time, I think Aberforth understands that what Percy really wants is unrelated to the war, he really wants to redeem himself with his family and Aberforth knows he can help him to do that.
I think my favourite scene was possibly when Percy and Aberforth ate together - it was a really small moment in the story but really significant for Percy and really well written.
Wonderful story, and particularly good characterisation of Percy.
Author's Response: Ooh, busted. The Selwyns are my go-to not-obviously-one-side-or-the-other pureblood family. I should find a few new ones, or at least make one up next time. xD
I think with this story I was trying to reconcile the Percy who sent that awful letter to Ron in OOTP with a boy brought up in the Weasley family - and maybe also a little of why he was a Gryffindor, finally finding the courage to stand up for what's right. I'm glad you thought it worked out.
I'm not sure why I decided to include Penny - I think Carole mentioned her being Muggleborn and how Percy's list would have an impact on her and this confrontation sort of was a reality check for him as well as a demonstration of the consequences of his actions. So yeah, your sentence totally makes sense and is what I was going for.
Ab was quite hopeless when Harry saw him, but it was early days yet when Percy went to see him - September, only a month after the Ministry takeover. The narrative skipped quite a few months between the bit where Ab invites Percy to dinner and the night of the battle. And I think it's also different circumstances - Percy has admitted that he feels he needs to make up for helping bad things to happen and I think maybe Ab can understand that. Which you have mentioned in the next paragraph.
I think the scene with dinner in Ab's rooms is also my favorite. It is small, but I think it's something Percy desperately needed. He's been very, very alone in all this, and it's good that he has someone to turn to. I didn't originally plan for this scene to take place, but when I re-read the bit of DH with Ab in it couldn't help but like him...and maybe think he would understand that that's what Percy needs right then.
Thank you so much for reading and leaving me this lovely review, and I'm glad you liked the characterization of Percy. He is a bit hard for me to understand at times, so it was hard writing this story, and I think without my friends to talk it over with I might have butchered it utterly.
Nominated for a 2011 Quicksilver Quill Award in Best Dark/Angsty, Best Canon Romance, and Best Post Hogwarts.
Wow! It's hard to know what to write here... it seems like I can't possibly add to what everyone else has written. Like Lori said, I would write out my favourite phrases, but it would be the whole story...
What really stands out to me is that you've written about a topic which a lot of people write about - how George copes without Fred and the fact that Angelina was Fred's and now he loves her. But your writing is just incredible. I really wanted this story to just keep going and going, it was just wonderful to read.
I think the part with Luna was my favourite - you just nailed her! I think she is one of the most original characters in canon, and it's so hard to write her without her just being crazy, but you just got her right.
I loved this line.
And for the first time since he held his brother’s head in his lap, while the Great Hall erupted into chaos around him, all George remembers is Fred at his best, his most brilliant, his star shining bright enough to crack the sky. I just loved the idea of Fred being like a star and that this is how George is finally able to both remember and move on.
I loved this repeated image. He thought of a boy’s laugh, and a girl tilting her head towards the light. It's a really vivid image and I could just see it in my mind's eye every time you used it.
He closes his eyes and tries so very hard not to think of Fred. Fred and her and him and her and Fred and… oh God, he can’t think. He can’t think about anything. I loved the repetitions in this line (and in the whole story). You just really capture George's feelings and emotion so well in that.
I can't really think of a way of describing this story other than perfection.
Author's Response: Hi Katrina! Thank you so much :) When I began to expand the drabble, I had this very clear image of Fred, George, and Angelina sitting on the banks of the lake at Hogwarts. I'm glad you liked that imagery and that it stood out for you. Also, That line about Fred and the stars is definitely one of my favourites, too. It was one of the first things I added when I began to expand the drabble and one of the only things I didn't tweak at all along the editing process. I'm glad you liked it. Again, thanks for such a lovely review xD - Julia.
Firstly, I have to applaud you for choosing to write Petunia and really pulling her character off. She's hard to write because there's almost nothing sympathetic about her in the books.
Right from the first few lines, you captured the idea that Petunia feels out of place here.
Imagine, I was the one feeling ridiculous for wearing a normal dress. This line was just fantastic, for a few reasons. You just completely captured Petunia in it, but I also loved your use of the word "imagine", because it's not a word usually in her vocabulary and it really highlights how out of place she is in this magical world.
Just a small nitpick - you've written and when we were in the same room, arguments tended to fill the room. (second paragraph). The repetition of room feels a bit awkard, perhaps you could write "place" for the first one?
I don't joke. Jokes are ridiculous and juvenile. Once he realized it was true, he was outraged that I had never told him. He’s still not quite speaking to me. Dudley is the only thing that’s holding us together, if it weren’t for him, I would be at some lousy hotel with that little boy, Harry. (Sorry for quoting so much back at you). This is just fantastic - the line about joking is so in character, but then you move onto the harsh reality of Dudley being the glue between her and Vernon, which is almost hard for the reader to imagine because throughout the series Vernon and Petunia seem very together, but I think it's also very realistic. As Carole pointed out, there is a bit of a timing error there, but if you do get to fix it up I don't think it will change it that much... I can imagine Vernon not talking to Petunia for a while simply because it's her fault that they have to look after Harry now.
Another little thing - you've written there was hardly any chairs that I could see and it should say "there were...".
The house elf was a wonderful touch and very believable, both from how you wrote Petunia and the elf's reactions. I also loved the scene with Hagrid, and almost smiled when Petunia thought he might be dangerous... some things are the same in the wizarding and Muggle worlds.
And then Remus. Wow. As other reviewers have said, Remus is usually cool, calm and collected, but in a different way to Petunia, who refuses to let others see her emotions, and I think it's entirely realistic that Remus is so upset, because as he says in the story, he has lost everyone.
I turned around and nodded mutely at the young man standing. He sat beside me, placing his head in his hands. I couldn't decipher his age, for though his hair was greying, and the bags under his eyes seemed darker than his black robes, his face conveyed youth. His eyes portrayed the fear of a young child, though they also showed the sorrow of an old man. He looked tired, so tired. His eyes were hidden by his hands, and I wondered if he were sleeping. The sleeves of his robes were pushed up, and I gasped at the long scar that stood out on his arm. He looked up, and saw me staring. I blushed as he winced, and tugged his sleeves back to his hands. This whole paragraph is just a perfect introduction to Remus and you just capture everything he's feeling. I loved how you wrote him as being both old and young, because he has been through so much and yet he also just wants to be comforted.
Your writing is beautiful throughout the story, and you have the ability to write wonderful paragraphs and dialogue, but then bring out a single sentence which just stands out, like
His sorrow was enough for the both of us. (Although I would cut out the "the" before "both of us".)
I wished Vernon was with me. He could defend me properly, he could keep me safe. I liked that you've explained what Petunia sees in Vernon - she sees him as her protector (after all, there's not much positive to say about him...) I particularly liked when she compared him to James and showed why she thinks Vernon is the perfect husband. Also showing her vulnerability and her need for him makes it seem like there is at least a part of their relationship that is tender, or where they need each other.
I loved your characterisation of Dumbledore. He was only in the story briefly, but immediately I knew who he was and all his lines of dialogue and actions were wonderfully in character, particularly his comment to Remus.
I walked towards my car, shaking off the grief that people had left on me. I'm going to keep my family away from all this. I thought to myself. Keep Harry away, keep my family and me away from the many horrors in this wizarding world. Those lines are just so well-written and help me understand (at least a little bit) why she and Vernon behave the way they do in canon. It's natural for humans to be scared of the unknown, or what they don't understand, or where they don't belong, and I think the way Petunia suffered (although it was partly her own fault) during her childhood/teen years with Lily being a witch only adds to this. I loved the idea, too, that what she wants is to protect her family.
I really enjoyed this story, it was so well-written and you really achieved something difficult by making the reader empathise with Petunia.
Author's Response: Thanks so much for the review! You're very right about the repitition there, I hate awkward redundances like that, I'll go and change it later. It really means a lot what you said about Remus, as he is one of my favorite characters and I'd like to do him justice. Thanks for reading!
This story really made me smile, Annie. At first when I saw the title and the R&J quote, I thought this was going to be a cliched 'two people from opposite houses fall in love' sort of story... so I'm glad you took that quote and used it in another context.
As Soraya said, the dialogue in this is so well-written. The characters really come alive through it. I smiled constantly at how opinionated and picky James and Lily were, but it was sweet at the same time because they wanted something to be perfect for their little baby.
There are a fair few fics around which are James/Lily and quite light, which seem to ignore Voldemort and the war entirely, which seems unrealistic (especially considering how dark things get in the last 3 HP books... and the characters say it was worse last time), but this story is more one of those "finding the good times amongst the bad" moments. Because you mention the war, and not wanting to bring a child up in it, and you mention Death Eaters and the Order, and yet the characters are also able to have fun.
Just a small little nitpick - you've written There’s eight days to go., when it should say "there are..."
Anyway, I loved this fic. The dialogue was excellent as were the characters and the humour.
Author's Response: Thanks very much for your review Katrina! I'm glad it made you smile, 'cause believe me, it was a lot of fun to write. Yeah, I did want to try and write something Lily/James that hadn't really been done before, for fear of falling into clichéd plotlines. Regarding the nitpick, I will fix that as soon as I submit this response. Thanks for reading and reviewing! ~Annie
This was a beautiful set of fragments, and I loved how you used that line "We Never Left". It's a theme throughout the HP books - that the loved ones who die live on inside us, and you really extended that well in this story.
The lines in italics were beautiful and really summed up each part. I read them all through together and it almost sounded like a poem.
I'm going to write about each section... because there's so much to say about this fic!
James/Harry: In those two short paragraphs you capture so much emotion - the thrill of the Quidditch match and yet the sadness that James can't experience it properly with Harry.
But the noise doesn’t reach me, not really. This sentence is short, but it really summed it up for me.
I want to be here with him forever, waving and smiling, all three of us together. But his eyes look sad now. Once again, in a few simple words you've really captured so much emotion.
Oh, and James was only a Seeker in the movies - JK Rowling has said on her website that he was actually a Chaser.
Fred/George: What really struck me about this section was just how well Fred knows George and how he can still read all his little habits. This fragment really just showed the love the two of them shared.
It’s nice to see him smile. That was a great line, because Fred would know how hard it would be for George to be happy without him.
By the way, George actually marries Angelina Johnson. But that's just a little thing and it doesn't detract from the story.
Ariana/Albus: What stood out for me in this section was the way you captured the childish voice of Ariana. There are a lot of things she doesn't understand, and she sounds childish (eg "the angry man"), and yet she manages to describe both her brothers' emotions and the way they've dealt with her death so well. I thought it was interesting that you picked a point in time when Albus nearly died, because in the other fragmanets you'd written about times when the characters were really living. (In the case of George, perhaps learning to live again.) I loved the simple line I wanted my big brother with me.
Sirius/Remus: I have to be honest, I didn't like this fragment as much as the others. I did like the image of Remus in a corner of Grimmauld Place, crying shamelessly with a bottle of alcohol. (It reminded me a little of another fic I read just recently and I know you reviewed - "Funeral" by Ascendio - in which Remus has also lost everyone.) You certainly captured his desperation. I think somehow the voice of Sirius just didn't feel quite right or something... I'm sorry, I can't really pinpoint it. But it was still an excellent section.
Remus/Teddy: I think this might just be my favourite... or perhaps along with Lily's part at the end. It could be because I adore both of these characters... Remus is so tender towards his son, and yet it's so heart-breaking as all he longs to do is reach out and touch his son.
Albus/Harry: This was beautifully written, and I loved that you set it at the time that Harry and Hermione visit Godric's Hollow. As with his parents, Harry idolised Dumbledore and it is sometimes hard to hear the truth... that no-one is perfect. You nailed Albus' voice.
The words I once chose for the headstone are empty to him by now, too used, as he is, to the finality of death. I quite understand.
But where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. This was a lovely set of lines, and I really liked how you developed the connection between Albus and Harry.
Lily/Harry: I think there is something special about the bond between a mother and child, and I liked that you kept this one til the end. I have just watched DH part 2 and I thought the saddest moment was when Harry reached his hand out to his mother and went straight through her. Those last two paragraphs are just so beautiful, I would quote them all back at you lol. It's a great ending for this story and really sums up everything you've written sofar.
Another great thing about this story is how you included a lot of small, seemingly insignificant memories (eg Ab and the baubles, Remus and Tonks waiting for Teddy to change his hair). Those small moments really show the love that existed between each of these pairs.
This is wonderfully written, particularly considering it's your first story on MNFF! Well done!
Author's Response: Dear Katrina, I can't believe I'm only noticing your response now! Sorry, I am new to this website and completely overlooked your review. I hope you see this response. I can't put into words how happy your review made me. It is so rare to get a detailed response, and yours was so long and rich, so systematic and thorough, I can tell you put a lot of effort into it. I don't think I have ever received as detailed a review as that and it means a lot. I'm glad you enjoyed the story and I appreciate the constructive criticism. The fragment with Sirius was not my favourite, either, and I somehow find him hard to grasp. It could have been done better. Regarding James not being a Seeker and Angeline marrying George - thank you for telling me that JKR has stated this. It is certainly interesting to know that this is how she imagines it, but as it isn't part of the books, to me it isn't part of the fictitious universe in my head. :) I had, however, forgotten that the whole Seeker thing comes from the films rather than the books. It's interesting how the two can merge in your head. Anyway, thank you for your review!
This was a very enjoyable and well-written Ron/Hermione story. I loved the way you really developed Ron's character and added in little details to show how he cares for Hermione (eg when he notices how her hair is when she sleeps). I smiled when you wrote that Hermione had taught him the word 'disconcerting' - both because it was funny and quite likely. Also I thought Ron's thoughts about Hermione being in his bed were realistic but not overdeon - he is a teenage boy after all.
I loved the idea that three weeks after the Battle, the trio are still sleeping in the same bedroom. Somehow that little gesture really sums up how difficult it is for them to move on to normal life after the year they've had - and only the three of them can really understand what it's like.
I can really see Cormac McLaggen milking his exceptionally brief 'relationship' (for want of a better word) for all its worth in the newspapers, and even the idea that there are all sorts of mad rumours going about is completely likely - after all, we see in canon how ridiculous the 'news' can be. I thought it was quite fitting that they were going to tell the full story in the Quibbler, after all that magazine did for them.
You really nailed Ron when he was asked to talk about Hermione - I can't imagine him answering that question in any other way. It was also a nice plot device that Xenophilius didn't ask Hermione what she thought of Ron, because Ron could easily have fallen into his insecurities again, but I think in this story you show a Ron who has really faced those and moved on.
There were some wonderful lines in this story, for example:
“In the seven years I’ve known you, Ron Weasley, this is the first time you haven’t had seconds.” That's so Hermione-ish and also so true, it made me smile.
"I’ve never had someone say such nice things.”
Ron frowned. “But you know we’re all thinking them, don’t you?” Somehow you just nailed both their characters in that exchange - after all, Ron isn't the only one with insecurities, and Ron's response is so typical, because for him Hermione is perfect so who on earth wouldn't think that about her.
Author's Response: Thank you for the lovely review! This may sound kind of strange, but the END of the whole HP universe this past week has had me thinking constantly about how the story continues, and this is my own little way to take Ron and Hermione's ending in the book (pre-epilogue) and keep it going.
I loved the beginning of this story, because I think it really exemplified the point of the whole story - people may seem one way, but there's usually a lot more going on underneath. The thing I loved about this story is that you didn't try to make Lavender different than she is in canon - and all those things you listed that "everyone" knows about her at the beginning are probably true of her, but you go beyond that and show the other side of her.
I loved the repetitions in the last bit - showing everything she could no longer do after Greyback's attack. I think by using your own earlier words it really emphasised this contrast and made it all the more painful for the reader (in a good way!).
The last few lines were such a wonderful way of showing the importance of friendship and just so well-written.
Anyway, this was a lovely idea for a story about Lavender and I really enjoyed it.
Author's Response: Thank you very much!
There's something Lily's been waiting to hear since Harry said his first word.
Written in anticipation for Deathly Hallows, part two.
Nominated for the 2011 Best Dark/Angsty QSQ. Thank you, Maple!
This was a wonderful read, and I think 'bittersweet' is the perfect word to describe it. Choosing the scene with the Mirror of Erised to finish this story was perfect, because I think that is the moment at which Harry really starts his own life despite the lack of his parents in his life (if that makes sense).
I loved the use of second person. I love writing in that perspective (three of my stories are in second person) and it's fantastic to read, particularly when it's been pulled off as effortlessly as you have in this story.
The banter between Lily and James was just perfect, particularly when contrasted with Lily's thoughts about being stuck in the house, eg trying to shake off the feeling that you’ll never leave this house again, that this war will never end. Lines like that just fit into this story seamlessly. I think it's very likely that James and Lily would have tried their best not to think/talk about the war and to be happy that they had each other and Harry.
The short scene with Petunia I think might be the best in the whole story. This line He can’t hear it. nearly brought me to tears. The neglect Harry suffered at the hands of the Dursleys just really hit me, and it must have been so heartbreaking for Lily not to be able to comfort her son.
I think what this story really captures is the beautiful connection between mother and child, and how heartbreaking it is when this is torn apart.
A beautiful and extremely well-written story.
Author's Response: I'm so glad you thought the second person effortless, I worked hard on it. ;D Thank you for that wonderful review, Katrina!
I'm quite surprised this fic has no reviews yet... I read it a few days ago and thought that by now someone would have left you a note to tell you how great it is.
You made Petunia so believable in this. And you really showed her mixture of love/affection and jealousy for Lily, and somehow the idea of her going to Lily's graves, which I never would have believed before, just works perfectly in this story. When you described their school years and showed how little their parents cared for Petunia, I actually felt sorry for her.
I've always assumed that Petunia married Vernon because she wanted someone normal, but I liked your idea that he was just a man who would put her first, and who was naturally disposed to like her better than her 'abnormal' sister.
Just a little thing - when Lily was Head Girl, Petunia would have left school a few years before as she's a few years older, and you suggested that she was still at school then.
Anyway, your writing was fabulous in this, and you really grasped Petunia's character in such a short story. Considering there was no dialogue and direct action, you moved the plot along quickly and it was a very enjoyable read.
Author's Response: Thank you for reviewing. Petunia's relationship with Lily is partly based off the relationship I have with my own sister, if a little exaggerated. I always felt that there had to be more to the Dursley's relationship than just being normal. I'm sorry about the dates-- I thought that I conveyed that Petunia was an average girl while at school and felt a little aftermath that Lily was perfect. Thanks again! Julie.
This was an interesting story, and certainly very creative. The idea of the 'time stop' spell was a new idea, and while it's not quite compatible with JKR's world (if it was, everyone would use it rather than making philosopher's stones etc), it did work in this story.
Ollie/Ollivander was an interesting character, and I could really see how you drew from the books in creating him. There are a few times when it seems that Ollivander finds great power fascinating in canon - for example when he says the idea of Voldemort with the Elder Wand is "formidable", and he doesn't really seem to fear it, but seems more excited about this possibility. His obsessive nature in this story really fits with that, particularly when his work in wandlore took over from any sort of personal relationships. In the books, it's hard to imagine Ollivander having any kind of friend - I'm sure he has aquaintances, but probably more on a professional basis - in canon. His selfishness at the beginning about the difficulty of his family fitted in with this - for some reason it reminded me of Ron, who always complained about Scabbers until he died. Anyway, that's a bit of a tangent.
Malazed was a wonderful character - I think it's interesting how a simple line such as You’re a wizard, Ollie – you can do whatever you want! completely changed Ollie's life. I also loved his line about being the sword - that was an excellent metaphor for magic.
The idea that Ollivander first came up with the idea of using wands is very interesting too, and I thought you put a lot of thought into the process of him figuring out how wands function best and creating them. I also liked the conflict it brought up between him and Malazed, who initially seems to be the perfect tutor and father figure.
Ilia was a wonderful character too. In the dialogue at the beginning, you really showed how what she loved about Ollie was his personality, not his magic or any of his abilities, but those things were more important to him, which is what drew them apart.
I loved the final scene - I thought it was a great choice to include Albus and I loved the parallels you drew between Ollivander and Albus. After all, Albus did confess that the hallow which most attracted him was the Elder Wand. The last line was also excellent.
I found that you often repeated lines in this story, for example you often introduced Ilia as the breadmaker's daughter - you only need to do this once, at the beginning - the reader won't forget who she is. There were other times when you repeated words or ideas. I also think some of your longer paragraphs could be cut down a bit - I think you fell into the trap of telling, not showing.
Anyway, I think this was a great idea for a story, but it would be even better if you edited this a bit and fixed up some of your writing.
Author's Response: i may edit it at some point, it was written in a hurry. Some of the descriptors are repetitive and perhaps I do tell when I should show. while i do like repeating words/phrases to recall details for the audience, i've found that not everyone does, so i will be careful about that in the future... i must politely disagree about the Rowlingability of the Time Stop - after all, there were many time-turners in the ministry at one point and not everyone used those. Plus, the Time Stop had dire consequences - everyone outside the room aged and died while time was frozen inside, so not everyone would be so quick to use it (and Malazed says in the story that it was not meant to be used for more than a few minutes). And really, I had intended that the magic that Ollie was using was old and lost to time - these are ancient spells, I worked carefully to make sure no modern JKR spells would be used. I wanted to get across that the wizards of old were MORE powerful than modern wizards, because we as a people had gotten soft and lazy. anyway, thanks for reading! i am taking your criticisms to heart whilst i prepare my second tale...
This was a very creative idea, and I think you really nailed both of them as little children. I really liked that it was from Ron's perspective, and you managed second person really well, because people often write Ron as a bit of an idiot, and you did a great job at getting inside his head and showing what was really going on, even though he was a bit mean to her at the beginning. (wow that was a really long sentence...)
I also thought it was interesting that Ron was the last to show magical ability in his family - it made me think of Neville, whose family thought he was a Squib - and I think that connection really worked, because both Ron and Neville have little or no self belief and it takes them some time to find their courage. I think throughout canon, Ron struggles to see his own self worth in comparison to all his siblings, so it was great that you showed that right at the beginning.
I loved the idea of Ron being at home and looking after the kids in the last scene, that was really well done. Also Hermione's characterisation, particularly at the beginning, was excellent - I smiled when she said “You just wait! Someday, you are going to be BEST FRIENDS with a girl, and you’ll be eating your words!” because I could just imagine her saying that. As Carole said in her review, I found it a little unlikely that Hermione would have forgotten the whole thing, but other than that, this was an enjoyable read.
I clicked on this story simply because of the absurdity of the idea... and with reassurance from the fact that it was in the humour category that you wouldn't try and take this seriously. And I'm glad I did, because this was both funny and cleverly written.
I loved how you characterised the Dursleys - I really smiled at “I hope they’re not expecting us to pay any medical bills.”. Actually every line including them was good. Also Ernie's Dad was quite like Ernie and Lucius was well-written.
There's just something wonderful about Voldemort announcing to everyone - "I AM SIMPLY HERE TO COLLECT MY DAUGHTER. PLEASE RESPECT MY FAMILY'S PRIVACY AND LET US HAVE OUR MOMENT IN PEACE. THANK YOU." - because it couldn't really ever happen.
Anyway, this chapter made me laugh and I'm intrigued to see how you continue it.