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.
Summary: Katrina Lestrange, daughter of Rodolphus and Bellatrix Lestrange, follows the seven years of Hogwarts. She is torn between what her family expects of her and what she herself wants. To make things more difficult, she meets Harry Potter on the train to Hogwarts and he intrigues her. Why is this little boy so feared? Katrina is not one to follow the rules set up for her.
Which path will she tread at Hogwarts? Why is she mostly unknown to the wizarding world of the 1990s'? And what is it that attracts her to Harry Potter?
This is the life of Katrina Lestrange. (STORY IS ON HOLD / NOT BEING WORKED ON AT THE MOMENT.)
I just had to read this fic because I don't think I've ever read a story in which the protagonist shares my name before... anyway.
This is a promising start, particularly considering it's your first attempt at fanfiction. Whilst I personally can't see Bellatrix having children, it does work as an interesting premise for a story.
You've started out with strong characterisation of Katrina - she's clearly determined to be different and independent. She also has remarkable control of her feelings and what she shows to other people for an 11-year-old. This reminded me of a few people - she's a little like how I imagine a young Sirius to be in terms of wanting to be different, but she's fare more scornful of other people (like the line Hogwarts disgusted her – all the kids who did as they were told, who sat where they were ordered to sit...). She also reminded me of a young Tom Riddle, and the way you've constructed her, I wouldn't be surprised if her control of magic was beyond most other kids her age. I also liked how she always called the other students "kids" or "children" in a way which showed that she clearly excludes herself from that group - she's certainly got some 'Black' arrogance.
I think Katrina also has some of her mother's characteristics. Whilst Bellatrix follows the 'Pureblood supremacy' route her family prefers, she does it in an unconventional way. There are only two female Death Eaters in canon - her and Alecto - and Bellatrix seems to be the only one who is in Voldemort 'closer circle'. Anyway, I'm getting a little off topic here...
I think it's interesting that the Sorting Hat doesn't take her choice into consideration - in my opinion, one of JKR's main themes in the series is that "It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities". I wonder - is there a part of Katrina who does want to be in Slytherin, or for whom saving face with her family is more important than she thinks? (Not that I expect you to answer that question... I'm assuming this story will lol).
I found the last paragraph a little bit awkward... particularly the line And shortly she met the gaze of the boy she’d been seeking, the boy of whom she knew that his choice had been considered,.... Perhaps you could say "... the boy whose choice she knew had been considered..." - I think it just flows a bit better. It's also a bit unclear how she actually knows this - does she see it when she makes eye contact with him? Or did she just guess? Also, you've written even though she couldn’t possibly have heard the words of the Sorting Hat. - Your use of the conditional here suggests that even though she shouldn't have been able to, she actually did hear the sorting hat or something to that effect - do you actually mean to say "even though she hadn't heard the words of the Sorting Hat"? I just thought that was a bit unclear.
Anyway, those are just small things. I think this is an intriguing beginning with a strong character at its centre.
Author's Response: Thank you very, very much for this helpful review! And also thank you for reading! I'm sorry to disappoint you, however, by saying that the story of Katrina (which is, by the way, a beautiful name!) is currently on hold, because I started it rather spontaneously and did not think it through much. I started working on something else also because it took so long to be validated, and I did a lot more research on that one. It's called "The Life and Lies of Bellatrix Lestrange" and the first chapter is now waiting as well. Maybe I'll pick up Katrina's story again one day, but for now I'm working on that of Bellatrix. Sorry about that but I hope you'll read Bellatrix' as well! Thank you so much! Yours, Inge-Vera
Summary: We all know Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger met at Hogwarts, became best friends, saved the world, fell in love, and got married.
But did they really meet for the very first time on the Hogwarts Express, or was there perhaps another moment in time, long forgotten by the time they turned eleven?
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.
Summary: Whew, those thirteen years were nasty, but Voldemort's back and better than ever. He's got plenty to do, consolidating a power base, punishing traitors, and not letting the haters get him down, but he's spared some time to look over the custody agreement he signed fourteen years ago...
Annabel Curry wanted to spend the summer getting a tan, perfecting her Cheering Charms, and ensnaring Terry Boot. Instead, she's spending it with her dad the mass murderer and his unshaven goons. Oh yeah, and the shower doesn't work, AND NO ONE BUT HER SEEMS TO CARE.
First dates. Sparkly nail polish. Magical plumbing fiascos. Some heartwarming father-daughter moments. And some not-so-heartwarming ones.
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.
Summary: I cannot see their bodies, buried beneath the ruins of their life together, but I know they are there. I can imagine their green and hazel eyes, staring into the dark emptiness. It is all I can do to stay upright, filled with equal parts rage and grief as I gaze unseeing at the heartbreaking scene.
How did it come to this?
How can you show a character going through so many emotions in less than 1000 words? You have such a wonderful grasp of Sirius' character, and what James and Lily really meant to him. I loved the line I cannot fail my friend in this one last duty, when I have failed him in all else. I think that's just so Sirius.
I loved the few one-line paragraphs you used - they really stand out and amongst all the other paragraphs it's very effective. I also liked that you didn't write any of the dialogue - even though obviously Sirius and Hagrid actually would talk, the way you wrote it sort of showed Sirius' numbness and attempt to put everything together in his mind.
Excellent story, Gina!
Author's Response: Thanks so much, Katrina. You know, it never occurred to me to write dialogue. I don't know why, it just didn't. It just wouldn't fit the style I set out with when I first drabbled this piece. I'm glad you liked the one-line paragraphs, sometimes those can be as obstructive as they are meaningful. I really appreciate your lovely review. Thank you so much for reading this story! ~Gina :)
Summary: Since the Battle, Parvati struggles to feel.
Since the Battle, Harry feels too much.
Can a chance meeting help them heal?
Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling, so don't bug me about Pottermore!
This story is for Ariana (lucca4) because she set the prompt in SBBC and she's one of the most talented writers on the site.
This was excellently written, as usual, Carole. I particularly loved the first part, from Parvati's point of view. You just really capture exactly what she would be feeling in a situation like that.
Nothing can take away that last image of her sister, the face mashed to pulp. Now when Parvati looks in the mirror, she wonders how her own face remained intact. Those two sentences are just beautiful - the idea of Padma being trampled on and her face mashed is so heart-breaking, and the next sentence just really shows how Parvati feels. I also loved the flashback to the DA meeting and Parvati's guilt about that, as well as this line But Parvati had been laughing as her opponent reeled backwards, exhilarated that she’d defeated the older witch., because it shows Parvati feeling like she wasn't as close to Padma as she should have been or something like that.
Harry's section was very short, but in thinking about that it makes sense, because we know what he thought/felt during the battle, and I think you really capture how lonely he is in this fragment. I think it's also very believable that he would retreat like that, and I loved how you repeated the line "He has ____, but...".
The last section I have mixed reactions to. It's certainly well written, in fact, it's perfectly written. But I still find it a little hard to believe. If I had no prior knowledge of the characters, only the first two fragments you'd written, I would find it very believable, but somehow I can't really see Harry doing this... but I suppose even during it, Harry finds it hard to believe that he's doing it... if that makes any sense. And that's probably just my interpretation of him anyway. And, as I said, the writing is really wonderful. Particularly from the line "This is not love" until the end.
Author's Response: Hi there, thanks for the review. The prompt for the drabble that this is based on was 'Harry/Parvati' and a doomed relationship. As I couldn;t really see them getting together at Hogwarts and also while he was married, I thought this was the best chance of them ever getting together when both are suffering. I also think harry probably went off the rails a bit after being so strong and responsible. I do take on board what you say, though, because it is hard to see Harry acting like that, although - technically - in my mind, he's not with Ginny as a boyfriend at that moment and just needs something unconnected to everything ... if that makes sense.
Thank you again for the review, it made my day. And you liked the lines I liked best as well - so YAY! ~Carole~
Summary: Various characters throughout generations learn of the importance of names.
This was a well-written story, and each of the characters came across really well, which is difficult considering how short each section was. I'll go through and write a bit about each part now.
James/Lily: Your James was just ridiculously adorable! I liked how you had Lily noticing the change in him, and how that culminated with him calling her by her first name. It was a really sweet section and a great opening for this story.
Luna/Anthony: For most of this section, I thought you really nailed Luna, and she's a difficult character to write without her being entirely spacey or too normal.
The girls looked at each other and giggled nervously. Luna waited patiently for them to tell her what was so funny. She loved laughing, she was always much happier when she was laughing than when she wasn't. But it didn't work simply to laugh to try to be happier. She had tried it. Laughing without something to laugh about wasn't quite the same. This was a great paragraph, and it felt really IC for Luna - I also loved the line about it being terrible when someone forgets your birthday.
I have to say, I found her reaction to Anthony helping her was a little bit over the top, or something. I don't think Luna would really think that they'd be friends just after him helping her... although I suppose she would get helped so rarely. I don't know, that bit just didn't quite sit right with me. It was great that he called her by her real name though.
Remus/Tonks: A drunk Remus, nice one! Tonks is an interesting character to pick in a story about names. I liked the way you ended with him calling her Dora. It provided a nice explanation for why he does in canon, when everyone else (except her Dad I think) calls her Tonks. It was also rather amusing to see him drunk.
George: This part was interesting, because most of this story is quite humorous and light-hearted, and this part was just heart-wrenching. You really captured his pain and his loneliness and this was just such a great characterisation of George in such a short section.
At times, he wished he could, but all it took was a look in the mirror. That line was just so sad and really showed what it's like to be George after Fred's death.
Harry/Molly: (That looks weird lol but it's not meant as a pairing...) I've always found it strange that Harry still calls her Mrs Weasley, even when he's practically an adult and has stayed with them so often, so I enjoyed you showing the first time he calls her Molly, and I loved the idea that she would walk down the aisle with him. This whole scene was heart-warming but also funny - particularly Ron's reaction about Ginny already being pregnant. You got the trio really well in character.
Hannah/Neville: You have a knack of making the guys in this story absolutely adorable... actually Hannah was pretty adorable in this part too. It was a really well-written part and just really cute.
James: This one really made me smile, I particularly liked how you incorporated quotes relating to Harry and James in canon. It worked very nicely. Your James junior was really how I imagine Harry's Dad to have been at that age. Anyway, this was a lovely scene, Albus and Severus were also really in character. I smiled at the chocolate frog cards thing.
Anyway, this was a great read and a really well-written story.
Author's Response: Thank you for the fabulous review! Yes, I didn't want the entire thing to end up in a pairings sort of thing, and I wanted to get a different mood in each section which is why I included the George one. Luna's was the hardest to write, I see what you're saying about her over-reacting, I kind of thought it out beforehand that she was maybe in her second year but that doesn't really work if Anthony's a prefect. Ah, well. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!
Summary: After her brother's Potter-assisting activities are discovered by Death Eaters, Ginny's Easter holiday take a bit of a sour turn.A missing moment from Deathly Hallows I'm not J.K. Rowling, which should be obvious as soon as you being reading. Haha.
I'll begin by agreeing with Neil... this story is certainly not pointless. In fact, it's wonderful. You just get into Ginny's head so well - I loved the way you started off with her noticing all those details about the posters. It captures what she's thinking and feeling at that moment much better than if you'd said "Ginny was feeling distraught..." or something.
I loved Fred and George in this, because to the exterior they always try to make the best of things. And I loved Ginny's little bit of jealousy - And, of course, they always had each other, didn’t they?. Somehow that line was just really sad.
Bill's characterisation was spot on, and I loved the way you set up their relationship - it was as if they'd always been close, but right now Ginny just wants her space... I particularly loved the paragraph you wrote about their hug.
I also loved the ending. It just summed this piece up nicely as she entered another safe place with her family. In a way, I agree with a few other reviewers that more would have been great, but at the same time, you've reallyu captured a moment in this short one-shot and I think it's great just the way it is.
Author's Response: Hugs to you, Katrina. :) I actually sighed a little happy sigh when I saw you had read and reviewed this. Hehe. I'm so glad you liked it and felt the characterization worked, particularly Ginny, who I've been writing a bit more of but still find very persnickity to write well. I adore writing Bill, and always see him as almost a parental figure (thought cooler, of course) to Ginny and Ron.
In the Great Hall, the crowd is celebrating Reconstruction. Here, in this cupboard, things have just begun to fall apart.
I've read this story twice now, and I still find it a little hard to have a handle on it... in a good way, because your writing is so lush and rich, and I think I could read this several more times and pick up more details in each one.
I'm generally not much of a Harry/Hermione fan, I don't think that it's really likely based on their characters and their relationship in canon, but I found this very believable, because I think at this moment, Harry really needs a girl who understands, and Hermione can provide that, if only a little bit.
I liked that he was in a broom cupboard, because it was somehow cyclical and brought me back to the eleven-year-old boy we first meet in PS.
Your wealth of detail and description in this is really wonderful, and at no point does it take over from the characters or feel long and boring. For example, this opening paragraph - The even tock, tock, tock grows louder, and then stops. My toes scrunch around the seam of my socks, and my shoulders draw up tight as I watch the slow twisting of the knob. My eyes close, and I breathe in as the high notes of a far-away melody spill in through the opening door. I wait for the assault of gardenia to overtake the cold, mineral smell of stones and mortar, but it never comes. - that's just beautiful description, and I really felt like I was inside Harry's head.
So certainly flowers from me!
I am glad you liked it, even though you aren't a H/Hr fan. I did have the fleeting thought, writing this, that I might offend the sensibilities of the canon shippers (not that you seem offended, or are, indeed, a canon shipper), but I would ask them to look a bit closer. I won't go into the back-story in my head, but I will say that this is not as much about two people coming together as it is about their inevitable seperation. Perhaps this is why you found it believable.
Like Akay said earlier, the descriptions are the story, here, and I am pleased you found them effective.
Thank you for joining my short journey into Harry's head, and for reviewing!
Summary: Allow the infamous Mrs Zabini to give you a peek into her mind.Adapted from my drabble, Her First Kill, written for Brawl Round 4. DISCLAIMER: I am not J.K.Rowling.
I read this a few days ago and wasn't really sure what to think about it... so I came back today to read it again and write this review.
I think what stands out to me is your amazing ability to get into character - as I read this, I forgot I was reading something written by an author whose work I've read before... it felt like I was reading something written by Sesen Zabini. It was almost like she was speaking to me, maybe flicking her hair over he shoulder or looking at her nails... (well that's how I imagined it anyway).
I liked how you compared fact and fiction in this, for example. Remember that this is a factual declaration.
For years, I have been the subject of much speculation, gossip and rumour on account of these statistics. That's a great juxtaposition, and I think it works well in this fic, because at no point do we as readers know how much Sesen is telling the truth.
I loved how you really delved into this character and considered why she might be how she is... Demeke was the boy who taught me something about men which I’ve put to use so many times in my life. Men find it hard to resist the temptation offered by a welcoming, beautiful woman; when that woman is me, it is impossible to do so. My name is, after all, Sesen – desire. I think it's really amazing how you gave such a sense of her childhood and how little she was accepted, and then the incident with Demeke, in so few words, and yet it was so powerful.
This was very well-written, Natalie, and a great read.
Author's Response: Katrinaaa!
Ron is trapped in his grief for Hermione, killed on the Horcrux hunt so many years ago. His memories take over as he goes through the same repetitive motions until he is lost in his emotions.
Post DH, AU, implied R/Hr. Character death.
Nominated in the 2012 Quicksilver Quills for Best Alternate Universe
This is a very interesting and well-written story, and in general I think you have a great grasp of Ron's character. I liked how he noticed details about her - for example how he recognised her wand so easily - because I think that's definitely a part of his character, and in fanfiction people often seem to write him as rather insensitive (which he can be, but that's not the total sum).
I cannot go even an hour without opening my mouth to tell her something before I remember. That's a really heart-breaking line... for some reason it made me think of what George's life must be like without Fred, and I think that Ron without Hermione would be sort of similar, and you've really evoked that emotion.
I don't think there's a single paragraph in this story which doesn't say 'her' or refer to Hermione is Ron's dialogue, and that really shows the last line I quoted, because he really just can't stop thinking of her.
I loved the ending, because throughout the story you show that Ron's life is all about his memory of her, and stating that at the end really finishes the story off well.
I don't know that Ron would really desert Harry like that - the first time he walked out, he regretted it instantly, although I suppose that could have been more about Hermione than Harry, and obviously the depression he'd sink into after Hermione's death would be far worse than the locket, but I think after leaving that first time, Ron really learnt something about the value of friendship.
Anyway, I know you can't really change it because it's the premise of your story, and it is sort of believable.
I thought your use of present tense was very effective, because the reader is in that moment with Ron the whole way through, and I think you did a great job at really getting inside his head.
One small thing - you've written Even if Harry had chased me it wouldn’t have made a difference. I still would have run. Because I failed him. Failed you. - now I think that's a great line, but I would make it "I failed you" at the end, because I think the "I" just adds to Ron's feeling of guilty and responsibility for her death. Just a little thing.
Lovely story, and I checked on your author page and saw that this was your first one. Really great job!
Wow, Katrina, thanks for such a fantastic in-depth review. I agree that Ron in fanfiction is often written shallowly, but he is human after all and humans are complex beings. I'm glad you think I managed to get good characterisation of him.
I thought through his desertion of Harry for a good while and rewrote that section several times because you're right, he would be reluctant to abandon Harry again. I think he might eventually try and make contact with him again, it's just that witnessing first hand Hermione's death had such a huge emotional impact which he's only just getting his head around it. The pain he felt would have prevented him from fully realising what he was doing. When he did realise I think he would face a dilemma going back, feeling embarrassed and guilty but after time, he would probably return. But yeah, I knew I was kind of stretching things a lot even with that explanation.
Thanks for the suggestion about improving that line, I went and changed it.
A thousand more thanks for such great feedback!
Summary: Oliver Wood has just destroyed dinner and begs his Muggle neighbor for help. She's a natural in the kitchen, and Oliver is attracted to both her culinary skills and her quick wit. When he reveals a bit more than he had planned, he in turns gets a bit more than he could have ever imagined. Is his pretty Muggle chef all she seems—or something else entirely?
That is a great cliffhanger, Gina... if I had read this a week ago when it first appeared, I might have been throwing things at the screen by now... but anyway, I thought I'd give you a review of what I think sofar before I continue.
I may be a bit gullible, but I thought for a while that this was just a romance story that was a bit different, although once Oliver started performing magic and Julia didn't really seem to react enough, I was a bit suspicious... but I thought perhaps she was a witch who lived with Muggles or a Squib or a Muggle related to a wizard/witch or something... I certainly wasn't expecting the ending. And I think that is probably testament to your writing.
I liked your characterisation of Oliver - he did seem a little drunk in this, but in general he seems quite level-headed and adorable, and it still seems like Quidditch is quite a focus in his life.
The more I think about it, the more I can see the hints that Julia certainly isn't who she appears to be - she prompts Oliver about what he does/who he is in a way that doesn't just seem curious, like the line "Although you still haven't told me what you play, you know.".
I like the idea that Oliver thinks she might be scared of him, when in fact she's playing him the whole time and he ends up being scared of her.
Anyway, sorry for this slightly nonsensical review... it's a great story sofar, Gina, and certainly not mental.
WHAT??? You're not telling us??? How is this a conclusion??? This is probably going to bug me for ages... which is actually a compliment to you, because your story is original and well-written and memorable.
Well personally I think she must be a banshee or something, with that ending, but you really had me second-guessing it earlier in the story, and along with Oliver, I started to believe it was just a dream.
Julia is a great character - she seems very sweet and lovely and helpful, but she's also extremely manipulative and knows exactly how to play Oliver.
She laughed again, and the sound was infectiously cheerful. He was slowly starting to believe that her red eyes, the evil cackle, the piercing scream were all a dream. I really like how you explore the idea of believing what you want to believe, rather than what you think is necessarily true, and you culminate this idea with he didn't want to know at the end - it also juxtaposes really well with the idea of "No secrets" - because Oliver no longer cares about hers. (That was a long sentence...)
This was a very enjoyable read, there was plenty of humour and romance in it and it was certainly original and memorable as well.
Summary: Arthur Weasley, as he has no shame in admitting, is prone to taking his work home with him. How, then, do a couple of enchanted storybooks confiscated by the Ministry, lead to a night where he realizes that his daughter may be pursuing her own happy ending? And how, exactly, does he take to this information?
This was a very sweet story and I think you did a great job with Arthur. I think you're right, people do sometimes view him as a bit slow, but I think he's just different to Molly, and I think he intuitively understands his children - particularly his sons - in a way she doesn't always. And that really came through here, but there was enough of the sweet, Muggle-loving man as well.
I liked how you wandered back and forth in time through this story - as in, occasionally you'd return to the present, and then go back again - it worked really well for a reflective story like this.
I think Ginny is very much Daddy's little princess, and I think she knows it, and that really came across in this, particularly in how Arthur didn't want to tell Molly or anyone about the storybook. He couldn’t help but feel slightly left out as he considered that it was not his secret to share. I think this line really highlighted what it's like for Arthur to lose his little girl to someone else.
I also loved that Arthur changed the hair colour of the princess' hair to be red.
It seems, however, that Ginny had made sure that there was no question that the forgotten princess’s hair was still a shade of fiery red. That was a beautiful finish, although I would delete the "forgotten", because it seems quite clear that neither the story nor the special relationship they shared have been forgotten.
This was sweet and well-written, enjoyable story. Great job!
Author's Response: Thank you! Looking back, I think the 'forgotten' was referring more to the story of Rapunzel than the relationship, but since the meaning doesn't come across clearly in that context, I'll edit that part to make it fit. Thanks for pointing it out! :]
Summary: "After all this time?"*
"Always," said Snape.*
*Page 522, The Prince's Tale, of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, British Edition
Written for the Deathly Hallows challenge over on Poetry, Anyone?
Thank you to Julia for introducing me to pantoums, and Wendelin and Maple for the crit.
I don't really know anything about poetry, and I don't think I've ever heard of pantoums before, so I really have no idea if you did a terrible job of it. But I really doubt you did. To me, it read really well. The repetitions (which I assume are part of the form) flowed so beautifully and it was great subject matter to have those sorts of repetitions.
Yes, after all this time. That was a great way to end it, I think it's just so Snape, because he never did forget her.
Anyway, great poem. I really enjoyed reading it.
Author's Response: Katrina! It's nice to get two visits from you in one day, particularly after a long, boring day of shopping. :D
I think Minna/minnabird once mentioned pantoums in her poetry thread over on the boards, but I only really understood the form when Julia set up the challenge for Poetry Anyone. Thank you for saying it read well -- that means a lot :)
The repetitions are part of the form, and I'm glad you thought it flowed well too. Thank you for such a lovely review, Katrina! I really appreciate it.
Summary: Summary: A torn jacket is soon mended; but hard words bruise the heart of a child. --Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American poet
Merope is covered in bruises -- inflicted psychologically, physically and verbally. But to what lengths will she go to escape this?
This is babewithbrains of Ravenclaw writing for the Great Bannermakersâ€™ Hall Challenge. The banner used was Bruises -- they cover you -- Merope Gaunt, made by the very talented lullaby BANG/Jess.
:D This story has been nominated for a 2012 Quicksilver Quill Award: Best Dark/Angsty. Thank you! ♥
It's a real shame that this fic only has 1 review (although it's certainly a lovely review and I echo everything Gina said). And as she said, without you saying it, I never would have guessed that this story gave you grief. I don't know if enjoyable is quite the right word, but it was an excellent read.
I loved the idea of using dictionary definitions of bruise (and heal) as the 'titles' for each section - it was something really different and really emphasised how many ways Merope had been hurt.
Right from the first paragraph, you create a great sense of empathy for Merope from the reader, which really made me want to keep reading despite all the violence. I think that opening scene really showed why she became how she did.
I think it was very brave of you to take on writing what happened after Ogden left, and I think you did it really well. The whole idea of Marvolo cutting her and demanding if her blood was pure is just chilling and disturbing, and yet so right for his character.
There's great irony... I think that's the word... that what stops Merope killing herself is hope for her child, and yet if she had, she would have saved a lot of lives. And yet despite knowing that her and her son's ends are not at all hopeful, you really showed a sense of hope that Merope could be healed.
Despite this, and the fact that she is covered in bruises, the baby fills the otherwise empty void within her, and it is all she has to live for. And that, however little, is enough for Merope. - That was such a well-written paragraph.
The present tense was really effective, because even though this was third person, it was like I was with Merope the whole time and it really gave the story a sense of immediacy.
Great story, and sorry it took me so long to review.
Author's Response: I know, I thought I'd have more, but it appears not :( Gina's review, I agree, was a lovely one, as lovely as yours, in fact! Thank you for such a thorough review.
The reason this story gave me so much grief was partly because I had never written in that era, but also because I hadn't written anything in months (due to school and RL stuff). Thank you for saying it was an excellent read (even though I have to disagree with you :P).
This story originally had no structure whatsoever, so it was good to have something to work from and the dictionary definitions are something I've seen before in fanfic. And you empathised with Merope? Yay. Thank you so much. I really struggled with the part when Ogden left, and this entire story has been redrafted about a billion times -- Marvolo cutting her was a scene I added after the first draft, possibly. (See? I can't even remember that :D)
I don't know how you do it, Katrina -- you point out these things that I did unintentionally. I had no idea of that irony, but now you mention it, it definitely rings true for me. That last paragraph was so, so hard to write, and it took about a billion rewrites before I was semi-satisfied with it. By that point, I was too frustrated with the damn thing for me to care anymore, so I just submitted -- my point is, thank you for saying it was well-written.
You happen to leave some of the most gorgeous and thorough reviews ever, so thank you so much for this gorgeous and thorough one. <3
This was an interesting story - it's not that rare to read a story which starts from an outsider's perspective and then changes to the main character's, but it's rare to find a whole story about a magical character without a single explicit reference to magic, narrated from a Muggle point of view. And you did it so well.
You did a great job of characterising Remus - his actions the whole way through were completely believable and exactly as I would have imagined it. I smiled a bit early on at the scenes with Justine and Johnny trying to ask him out, and I think you chose a great spot to end this story, with Remus leaving Little Devinton forever and finally having found happiness - though it will be short-lived.
I liked the repetition of the beginning line at the end (yes I know you replaced 'mysterious' with 'interesting', but it's still essentially repeated). I also liked how you explored the idea that while the Muggles are curious about Remus, they would never ever consider that he was a wizard. In fact, they constantly look for solutions which seem natural to them and they can understand. I think that's an interesting comment on human nature, as we do always grasp for things we understand to believe.
This was a very unique and interesting read, great job!
Author's Response: Thanks so much for reviewing! Yes, this was pretty difficult to write as I was trying to give a big idea of what Remus was like, but I essentially couldn't really reveal anything about him. I like your comment on how humans tend to grasp for the things we can understand, it seems quite true, especially regarding the Potterverse. Thanks for reading!
Neville Longbottom is about to be measured for his first set of Hogwarts' robes when Gregory Goyle's father makes the mistake of insulting him. And in front of his grandmother, too ...
NOTE: Contains one (mild) sexual reference only.
This story certainly made me smile, and you really nailed Augusta's characterisation. This line in particular - "A rather foolish supposition on your part, don't you think? After all, they admitted you."
I think it was nice that you showed a rare moment of Augusta actually expressing her love for Neville... because clearly in canon he feels unloved and like he can never live up to her expectations, so it was different to see a bit of a tender moment between them.
I thought Augusta's spell was funny and original... although it did make me think a bit of the Imperius Curse... but I suppose it's harmless in this form.
It felt like a few times you overwrote a little bit... for example this line The elder Goyle turned crimson at the slur on both his offspring and himself. - You don't really need anything from "at the slur..." because you've just shown that situation.
It was a sweet story though and it brought a smile to my face.
thanks very much for a well thought out and constructive review. The line you mentioned in particular is one that's been bothering me for days - I kept chopping and changing it, but in the end I grew so fed up I just left it as it was. But sometimes less is more, so I've whipped away everything from after the word 'slur'. And you're right: it does look better.
See? Your concrit in action! Thanks muchly for that.
It would have been so easy to depict Augusta and Neville's relationship as it is so oft implied in canon, and indeed writing it differently felt a bit ... strange. But I believe that despite all the comparisons to his his father, Augusta really did love her grandson for his own sake too. I'm delighted you liked the portrayal.
Imperius Curse, eh? Gosh, I never thought about that, though I can see why you might think it. Luckily. it's not a mind-controlling spell (not that Goyle Snr has much of a mind to control anyway), just something a grieving mother who abhors unnecessary violence concocted to make life difficult for the kind of thugs that destroyed her son and daughter-in-law ;)
I really appreciate the fact that you took the time not only to read, but to review too. It's always helpful to get some good constructive criticism.
Summary: As Lord Voldemort and his Eeath Eaters approach Hogwarts, those within the castle walls prepare for the attack. Friends and families share what they understand may be their final moments together.
This was an interesting and well-written story. I think what you captured best is the love these people have for each other, and how horrible it is for them to even imagine losing each other, and yet they are still willing to fight.
The present tense is very effective throughout the story, because it really forces the reader to be in the moment with these characters.
I think Minerva was a great starting place. She's one of those characters who in my mind is simply a part of Hogwarts, much in the way Dumbledore was, and she becomes a form of leader in the Battle. Just a little nitpick - you wrote She had spent forty-one years of her life here - it would make more sense if you wrote "She has...", as the rest is in present tense. She will do her duty to her school. - That was a perfect ending to her section, and it really moved me.
I think this line - Because never before has he said it, knowing they may well be the last words he ever gives her. - was the best part of Bill and Fleur's section, because that really sums up what I said at the beginning - he loves her and doesn't dare to think of life without her, yet he still fights.
I liked your Remus - the first time he appeared, he was appropriately pessimistic, eg the line - And who waits to oppose them? A mixed group of students, teachers, and members of the Order of the Phoenix. Those that are left, that is. Although I think I preferred his dialogue with Kingsley... I just think you wrote that better.
I loved Molly's mothering instincts in her section. It was especially heart-breaking knowing what will happen in the Battle. I think you really nailed her character though.
Fred and George's section was perhaps the best in the whole piece. It was short, but it really had that spark of life and humour which is so much part of their characters, and the final lines of that part were just heart-breaking. In a way, I think that might have been a better ending for the story.
However, the ending you did write is also good, particularly the repetition of "You have until midnight", but somehow I don't think it's quite as poignant as "See you later, Fred", knowing what happens in the Battle.
This was well-written, well-characterised and moving. Great job :).
Summary: Lily-centric. When she was little, she hated her name. It wasn’t quite right, not for her, and although she didn’t know exactly what it was that was missing, she knew that something was missing.
She’d listen with abated breath to the nicknames others gave her, hoping she’d find the answers in them. In all her short life, she’d been called many different things, and she was determined that at least one of them would fit.
This is a very sweet story, and I think you really encapsulated Lily's life well, simply through what she's called. I think my favourite part was when she considered that she might have chosen Sev over her sister, and then he called her a Mudblood - there was a great parallel between Petunia and Sev there which worked really effectively.
You really grasped Lily's development as a character, through all the different names. I also enjoyed Sirius calling her Morgana - it gave this story a fresh touch. After all, the idea that Sirius got jealous of Lily is hardly new, but the way you used it felt really fresh and I really loved how she resolved it - on his terms, rather than hers.
One little comment - this paragraph - He’d started calling her that in their fourth year, and interspersed it between Evans and other ridiculous pet names that she hated. Fortunately, he’d given up on those – possibly because she threatened to hex him into oblivion when he used names like cookie and peach – but love had stuck, and he’d never stopped calling her that. - felt a bit repetitive, because you'd written all that in earlier sections. I think the story would work better without it.
I loved the ending, and the way you connect Lily and love, particularly because it works well with canon, as it is Lily - and love - which save Harry.
You did a great job of balancing Lily and James' relationship, her childhood, her friendship with Sev and the war so that this really feels like a story about Lily and everything she went through.
So this was a well-written and well-characterised sweet story, which I really enjoyed.
Author's Response: Thanks for all the feedback! I'm glad you liked the Sirius bit, that was actually the hardest for me to write and I wasn't sure it would work well. The Freak-Mudblood section was one of the first that I wrote, and quite possibly my favorite. And you are completely right about the paragraph you pointed out. I wrote that section (Lily and love) before writing the pet names section (James comes up with weird pet names), and so at the time, the paragraph was necessary. But then when I wrote the other section, I didn't realize that the paragraph in question was now redundant. Thanks for pointing it out.
Summary: A sorting hat song that I actually wrote for a fic I'm currently working on, set in the Next Gen.
Also, this is my first ever posted fic-- I hope you like it!
Firstly I have to commend you for managing to write this entirely in rhyme and with a good rhythm, which flowed really well and reminded me of the Sorting Hat song in PS. It had a sing-song sort of feel to it, almost like an extended limerick, which worked really effectively.
I enjoyed the message as well, and I thought you did a great job of explaining the past of the four founders in verse, although perhaps you might have mentioned the names of the houses?
I like the idea about "the choice is in you", but I'm not sure the Sorting Hat would actually say that... this is hard to explain, but I think the fact that Harry even thought to say what he wanted showed something unique in him... sorry, I can't really explain it, but I suppose times have changed and the hat might say this.
It can’t be decided by color, house, wars. - I really liked this line, I think it really summed up the whole message of the poem.
Great job, I really enjoyed reading this!
Author's Response: Thanks for the review! I've actually never written much poetry before, so I'm glad you thought it worked. I think with not mentioning the house names, I was trying to stress that it really doesn't matter, and the division is more superficial than everyone makes it. As I said in the summary, this was written to be in a next generation story, of which a main theme is: the war is over, this continued prejudice and division is ridiculous. So, I rather pictured that the Sorting Hat is getting quite fed up with all this fighting between houses. I also feel like more kids need to hear that, "It's our choices that make us who we are, far more than our abilities," because that's always been a really powerful quote for me. Thanks again for reviewing, it truly means a lot to me! -Claire