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.
Over fifty brave souls perished during the fight that took down You-Know-Who’s regime. However, not all of the victims of the clash that ended just this morning set foot on the grounds of Hogwarts last night. Numerous family members and friends will be spending these next weeks not celebrating, but planning funerals while raking up the pieces of their lives and wondering where they are supposed to go from here.
One boy was lost and alone -- looking for a lifeline, crying for help. But is anyone listening?
This story was nominated for two 2012 Quicksilver Quill Awards: Best Dark/Angst Story and Best General Story.
Wow. I read this before knowing the song, and then listened to the song, and you've got me thinking so much that I can't really concentrate on what I should be doing...
So little is written about Dennis in fanfiction, and I'm so glad you brought his story out... even if it has a horrible end in this version. There is just so much sheer desperation in his letters - I loved this part How do you do it? Sometimes, it feels like someone ripped something out of me and it hurts to just breathe. I’ll go to sleep and have normal dreams, but then I’ll wake up and want to tell him about them. And then I remember that I can’t. I don’t know how much longer I can live like this. Somehow I think it's a lot more effective that he doesn't have nightmares... just that he wants to share his dreams with Colin.
There's a lovely juxtaposition between Dennis' letters, where he feels like no-one cares, and the Daily Prophet articles, which first tell everyone to care for each other and later to help find Dennis. I think it's interesting that you mention survivor's guilt in one of the articles, because Dennis doesn't quite seem to be feeling that - as in that it's his fault Colin died, or that he could have prevented it in any way - but he still seems to feel his life isn't worth living anymore.
There is a strange (in a good way) amount of optimism in the letters, especially the first two, when Dennis really seems to engage with Harry's life and hope that Harry can help him and even believe that he will someday make it out of this mess, and I think that really shows Dennis - after all, few people are as optimistic and enthusiastic as Dennis and Colin (although I always thought Dennis may have been like this because of Colin and could easily swing the other way... anyway).
I loved this bit too - And Muggles truly do notice nothing. Every day, I’ve applied to jobs in various places and passed the same homeless bloke in the same alley several times per day, and no one has ever stopped to give him food or ask him if he was warm enough. I have done a couple times, and he looked at me like I was a nutter. I suppose I am at this point. - I think, as well as really showing us something about Dennis, it's a simple yet poignant comment on our society. I loved the way you used the line "muggles don't see anything" to refer to what we don't want to know about, rather than magic which we actually don't know about (if that makes sense?)
Could Harry have saved Dennis? I suppose so, and yet I find it hard to blame Harry entirely for it. He would have had so many letters from fans and probably would have seen his work as an Auror as far more important than reading and responding to all that... and at the same time, he would have hated even getting fan letters. I think that's the interesting thing in the song and this about celebrity - the fan letters aren't really for the sake of the celebrity, but for the fan. And as much as celebrities want to just be normal people (well at least Harry would), they aren't, and that is not what they represent to society. In Harry, Dennis sees someone almost superhuman, and yet someone he can also relate to, and also someone who connects him to Colin.
I loved the format - it's so much more effective than a straight narrative. The news articles really felt authentic - especially the Muggle one was very impersonal, while the Daily Prophet showed a society trying to recuperate.
The "Oh." at the end is just beautiful, even though as readers we already know what's going to happen, in that one word (well I guess it's not a word... sound then?) there's Harry's realisation and guilt and it works well. I liked the way you spaced it out as well.
There is so much I could say about this story, in my opinion it's one of your best (which is really saying something considering the qualibre of all your work).
Wow, I’m really not good at responding to wonderful reviews. This one kind of asplodes my brain, I won’t lie. I am simply not equipped to handle your loveliness right now.
If I were to pick a fic to put amongst my best, I don’t think this one would’ve made the list or even the honourable mentions. But then, just about everything I write that I truly love ends up not on that list. I think why I put a lot into this story is because of the song. I remembered this song from when I was younger and remembered the haunting, obsessive quality of it. While I in no way thing Dennis is creepy, I think he needed something to obsess over in the state he was in, something all-consuming as he tried to deal with the loss of his brother, his own trauma, and essentially losing his father, as well. He was asked to be an adult before he was an adult, and it broke him. I wanted to mother him so badly. :/
The thing you mentioned about the dreams comes from personal experience. Nightmares are terrifying; waking up from one and not being able to put it out of your mind or, worse, distinguish it from reality is doubly so. I think Dennis found that being awake was worse than being asleep because he was smart enough to know that dreams ended and were not what one should be afraid of. What waited for him in real life was worse.
I do think that both Colin and Dennis were optimistic and exuberant. Just look at when Dennis ended up in the lake on his first day. He just stuck his arms up in the air like he’d just done something badass, rather than feel embarrassed. His actions in canon just suggest someone who is positive. And he was for a while. Then reality came and swatted it right out of him, and no one was there to brush him off and put him back in the right direction. I don’t know if Harry could’ve done that with a miracle, let alone a letter, but no one did anything at all. And that is just sad.
I did go a bit activist in this with both the gun and the mention of the homeless man and even Dennis himself. It just shows that we are all so wrapped up in our own problems that we unconsciously (or even consciously) write off others’ problems as not as important. Sure, we could go to a restaurant, eat too much, and take home the leftovers for breakfast. We could pass someone sleeping in a cardboard box and not once thing to offer them that extra food that we probably don’t need or could easily replace. It just doesn’t click in our heads. But Dennis, as someone who is suffering, albeit in a different way than that homeless man (or maybe not so different), sees it and all the hypocrisy surrounding it. It squelches his hopes and his general opinion on humanity more effectively than losing his brother, perhaps. And the most dangerous thing that we as a society can do is stop caring. It’s already happening in the world today, and in truly revolting ways. It might have even given Dennis the urge to take what he needed to survive rather than hope that human decency would afford it to him, because he didn’t see any of that decency.
Harry in this is deceptively complicated. I agree that he can’t be blamed for Dennis’s death. It is unreasonable to ask more of Harry than he has already given. He did die, after all, even if he did come back. But whose fault is it? The shop owner for owning a gun to protect his livelihood? The people who didn’t give Dennis the job he needed to make it? The people who were meant to look after him, only for him to appear fine outwardly? His teachers for not noticing he was hurting? His father for not being stronger after losing Colin? These are hard to affix with blame, because while none of them were singularly responsible, all of them were partially responsible. It’s undeniable that Colin died because of Voldemort, but who killed Dennis Creevey? Everyone, and no one. Could Harry have ‘saved’ Dennis? Perhaps, but if wishes were Horcruxes, then no one would ever die. :/
I don’t feel remorse for making Harry feel guilty in this. I think someone should feel guilty over what happened to Dennis, and as the one person Dennis had reached out to, the one who didn’t answer, Harry was as logical a choice as any. But it was important for people to know how Dennis died and why he died, even if ‘people’ is just Harry. Maybe a few people could put two and two together and work it out, but it would be my hope that Harry would let others know just how badly everyone had let down a boy who just needed a bit of guidance and someone to just be there for him.
Well, I’ve soap boxed for long enough. I’m so glad you picked up on some of the themes I sneakily planted in this. While I’m not sure this is one of my best, I think this is one of the more important things I’ve written in terms of social conscience. It’s not perfect, but I’m happy that you appreciated it. Thank you so much for your thoughtful review. ♥
It’s New Year’s Eve, and it’s the Potters’ turn to host this year’s party. Lily Luna Potter, however, has no idea that they are trying to set her up with a certain someone, despite the fact that Lily already has that certain someone, though her family doesn't know that...
This is babewithbrains of Ravenclaw, writing for the Great Hall-iday Challenge 2011, Prompt Three -- Operation: Mistletoe.
It's quite interesting that you wrote these 3 stories (this, Broken Glass and Highway to Regret) in reverse order... and I've read them in their chronological order. It kind of works both ways... I think the way I read it, I was never sure until the end of this that they really would stay together. Anyway.
I looooove the ending of this. I love that Louis is finally brave enough to 'come out' to the family, and to be honest, I think the family might have less issues with this relationship than Scorose haha. But I think it shows a great development in his character from the beginning.
Also the scene at the beginning between the two of them was so cute - haha you're really making me start to believe in this pairing. I also liked the development in Lily's character in terms of starting to believe she's beautiful, at least for Louis, because I think a body image issue can cause problems in a relationship - it's nice that at the end they both believe in each other and themselves.
I loved the idea that Lily told Victoire first - you've shown that Louis and Victoire are fairly close, so it adds something to have Lily and Victoire having that kind of relationship.
Also, thanks for welcoming me back - hopefully I'll actually have some new stories up soon too.
Author's Response: I'm at school at the moment, and I'm having to stop myself from squeeing out loud :D I'm so glad you liked this. At the time, I was going through a real slump in my writing, having just written Flicker and Fail in a complete rush and beating myself up about how crap it is, and then the Great Hall-iday Challenge cropped up. Although at the time, I didn't think I would enter, inspiration struck as I was looking at some of my 100-word drabbles I wrote for this pairing. (Basically, this pairing stemmed from a, erm, discussion we had over on the boards about cousin pairings. Someone expressed their distaste for stories where Weasley cousins were shipped together, and, well, I feel quite strongly about it, being someone with several close relatives who have married their first cousins -- in fact, I know a couple very, very well who have been married for the last twenty years. So the pairing began as a sort of rebuttal to that, as well as the fact that the dynamics of that kind of relationship really fascinate me, especially having read Carole's James/Dominique (Stars or Carousels) and Jess's Louis/Lucy (Never Let Me Go).)
That was a rather long explanation, lol. Oops. Anyway, I seem to always work better backwards -- I usually write the endings of stories first. My mind works in weird ways, hehehe. I'm glad I had that element of surprise, though :) Yay to you liking the ending. I think it was a bit too -- open, but I do hope to maybe write a follow-up (right now, I'm more concerned about converting this to OF and revising for my GCSEs -- eeeep). Rest assured, their coming out will not, um, be pretty :P
Yayyyyyyy, I think I've become slightly obsessed with this pairing, putting it lightly, so it's good to know you're convinced of the pairing, even with your qualms to begin with. I think it's easy to have this sort of pairing if you don't think of them as cousins in a relationship, but, rather, two people in love who just happen to be related. And yeah, as someone with body image issues, it was nice writing that bit, even if I am totally channelling Lily in the process, lol.
And I think Victoire is very astute, and she probably guessed at it anyway. Louis and Victoire are very close, so it made sense that Lily would be able to confide in her too.
Once again, I'm so glad you're back. I don't know what I've done to receive such loveliness :D
Well I'm reading this right after reading "Broken Glass" (what made me come and read this actually), and it's really fantastic. I hadn't even realised Lily was overweight in that... it adds a really different dynamic to this relationship, because in "Broken Glass" it's all about Louis being damaged and Lily helping him heal, and this shows another side. I loved the lines “Hey, we haven’t exactly found it a walk in the park either, you know,” Lily reminded him. “Your family was my family too.”
“You don't have to tell me that,” Louis said quietly. “I get told often enough. Now go on.” - It just flowed really naturally and showed the problem in their relationship.
I liked how you put both these pairings in one story (okay, I know from your end notes that we're leading up to Scily), because you paralleled them really well.
I think Rose is interesting in this - at first I thought it was terribly selfish that she said she loved her job more than Scorpius, but in a way there's a brave honesty about that - I think we all like to think that love is the most important thing, but it can often play out differently in a practical sense.
Hmm anyway I'm going to stop here because this chapter was pretty short and I want to keep reading!!
Author's Response: You know, this is one story that I wasn't happy with at the time, but looking back on it, there are certain moments that make me smile. Perhaps it's not as bad as I thought :)
I think I wanted to have a different slant on Lily -- some stories have Lily as practically a clone of Ginny, which I don't think is right, but I think it's entirely plausible for Lily to have issues with her weight/size. I haven't come across many fanfics which really deal with the issue of body image, and I realised recently that I write about a lot of beautiful people (I know you haven't read it, but in Flicker and Fail, my Katie/Leanne story, both Katie and Leanne are just really pretty, and Scorpius and Rose in Blood and Roses are also gorgeous in my head), so this was my attempt to try and understand why I do that. And that's not to say Lily isn't beautiful -- to Louis, she is, and to a lesser extent, to Scorpius. It's more about perceptions, really.
I'm so glad you thought this flowed naturally! I love this pairing so much, to the point where I'm actually in the process of converting it to OF, so it's so nice to hear that you liked it :) Yes, Lily helped him heal, but Louis's insecurities and fears always seem to show, sadly.
I am anything but a Scily shipper, so naturally I would have a different slant to the pairing from others, lol. This is for the GH Cotillion, and while I don't think it could win anything, if there were an Anti-OTP award, I could get maybe third place if I'm lucky, hehehehe.
The idea of Rose loving her job more than Scorpius comes from the Mentalist, where a similar relationship takes place -- they're not allowed to be together, and when faced with the choice of whether or not they were going to stay together, the woman decides that she'd rather not be responsible for her boyfriend losing her job. I seem to be inspired by the Mentalist a lot, as well as Adele, lol. I wonder why...
I'm so glad you didn't hate this. I certainly did :P Seriously, thank you so much for the review.
This is a great second half to the story! This is actually a lot less Scily than I expected after your end notes on chapter 1... I mean, they were both drunk (especially her) and regretted it afterwards. Anyway, I liked that Lily and Louis made up, but I wonder how Lily is going to cope with the guilt she feels now and the problems that might cause between her and Louis.
It's a small thing, but I liked how protective Harry was of Lily - certainly annoying for her, but very much in character for him.
I think Scorpius gets the worst deal in all this... and he's such a decent guy too. The small fragment when Scorpius gets to work late is really well-done, and I felt so bad for him. Obviously Rose still has feelings for him, and he can see that, which makes it harder for him to try and move on.
Also, from some of your notes and responses to reviews, you seem to think that this isn't very good... I think you underestimate your writing. The characters, writing, dialogue... it's all really good.
Author's Response: Yeah, it wasn't really very Scily, lol. But I was bound by my OTP card, and I knew I couldn't split Louis and Lily up. Besides which, yes, they were both drunk, and they were both dealing with rejection in a way. And, of course, they didn't actually have sex. :P
I actually had Harry as more protective of Lily, but Alex and Carole suggested I tone it down a little, as Lily is nineteen in this, and therefore old enough to make decisions/go out/etc on her own without her parents' permission. So I'm glad you liked it -- I do think he would allow his kids some freedom, but not as much as Lily would want, lol.
Scorpius *is* a decent guy, and he will always have feelings for Rose. Whether or not they'll get back together remains unknown for the time being :) I'm glad you liked that section -- one of my betas said I should include some kind of follow-up with Scorpius, as Lily's story is kind of given closure, but not Scorpius's. Hence this scene.
I thank you for the wonderful compliment, Katrina, but I honestly don't think my writing is all that. I occasionally have a burst of inspiration that results in a story I like, but apart from that, I think my writing is kind of average. It means so much to me that you said that, though, so thank you :)
These reviews have really, really brightened up my day. I'm so honoured to have been reviewed by you thrice (I seriously do not deserve such loveliness), and like I said before, welcome back. :D
A photograph and a slew of memories were all that remained of Remus Lupin's schoolboy romance with Marlene McKinnon. But she was gone, and he gagged on all the things he never said.
This story is dedicated to the gorgeous and always-inspiring Equinox Chick/Carole/Croll of the Dungeon. May your minions never stray in their worship of you. It was inspired by a rather gorgeous song by The Cure, called Pictures of You.
This story has been nominated for a 2012 Quicksilver Quill Award: Best Marauder Era.
So you're probably feeling now like I'm spamming you with all these reviews... basically I haven't read any fanfic for a while, so I'm reading most of what you've written in the last few months...
I loved this. I loved the present tense and past tense - you used them so well that I hardly noticed the shift for the memories, and while present tense can often sound clunky/unnatural, it flowed perfectly here.
I loved the bit when Remus tried to obliterate the dark mark - for some reason it made me think of that scene in the fifth movie when Sirius dies and Remus holds Harry back from going through the veil - although possibly this was more poignant, because Harry can be quite hot-headed, whereas Remus practically never loses it.
I love the background this gives for Remus/Tonks too - it seems very likely that Remus would have loved someone before her, and that adds to his hesitancy - after all, he may have more obvious reasons than most, but I think he's just afraid of being hurt - and if he's been hurt in that way before, it makes more sense.
The scene when Marlene essentially proposed was so well-written - I could really feel the whole mood slip from happy to broken just in that short scene.
Even though this is short and as much about Remus as Marlene, you really developed her character well, considering the books don't give us much. I also liked how, because this is told in Remus' eyes, she seems perfect, when presumably there would be more to her.
Anyway, I really loved this story.
Spam away, dearie. I will ogle every word hungrily, like a starving vegetarian at a salad bar. And, as it's nearly 7am and I should really sleep, I will apologise for the crappiness of that simile.
This is one thing I was really happy with after I finished and am still happy with now. I don't get that sensation often, so I was glad that I could write this as a pick-me-up for Carole.
When starting this, I had a vivid image of Remus tearing a photograph but immediately realising his mistake as soon as it's done. He needed that connection to Marlene to cope with her death, but his inability to cope had destroyed it. And yes, it does indeed explore Remus's irrational reluctance to pursue any relationships. While his lycanthropy never actually killed Marlene, or his not telling her, he would look and look for a reason to blame himself for it to the point where he might as well have done. That's all it takes.
I think one of the reasons why Remus is so measured in his grief later on is because of this (in my head canon). He's seen that ranting and carrying on does nothing but make one do things one regrets. Like mauling the one last piece left of someone beloved.
Anyway, me = rambling; you = superior to none other for visiting my page. I actually had a thought while writing this that it would be right up your alley. I can't say it for certainty, but I'm glad you liked it. Thank you again for your support. :D
Yet another lovely story, Alex. Firstly I really liked how you did your research and brought Melbourne to life, especially including the trams (although to suggest that a Melbourne winter is as warm as a British summer is a little exaggerated) - bringing the setting in like that really enhances the story, especially in one like this where place is really important to the characters.
I love this concept - after all, as powerful as Hermione may be, completely erasing herself from her parents' life would have taken an awful lot of power and perhaps she didn't quite pull it off. The whole idea of feeling loss for something you can't remember is really interesting, and you show it really well here. There's an unresolved and unsettled feeling throughout the story - starting with the first line Beatrice was walking down the street, clinging her shawl tightly around her arms as protection against the evening breeze., which suggests subtly that something isn't quite right.
I also love the subtlety of this story - you don't always make the tension really obvious, and it is balanced by the enduring relationship between Beatrice and Stephen.
Just one thing - I thought Beatrice's memory of Stephen saying 'don't swear in front of the baby' was a bit obvious, and she didn't really seem to follow up on it - she acted to me like someone with memory loss, not someone who can't remember a specific thing... if that makes any sense? Anyway, it's just a small thing.
Otherwise I really loved this :).
Summary: In the closed ward of St Mungo's, Frank sees:
This is based on a 2012 SPEW Lovenotes I wrote for Lily/Padfoot1333, but the lovenote aspect has been somewhat removed.
This fic almost had me in tears... especially that last line He has nothing to do with us. I think as well as getting inside Frank's head in this, you show really well how awful it is for Neville to see them and them not to recognise him - probably more poignantly than had you written it from Neville's perspective.
I like what Frank can actually recognise about Neville - that he's only recently a man and that he's seen far too much - and yet he has no idea who this is. I also liked his memory of Alice and the connection you gave the two of them.
Also the detail about the food and how he can't eat it was really thoughtful and adds to the characterisation.
The way he can't remember specific words is really well done - it interrupts the story in a good way and really shows what it's like for him - it reminds me of someone with Alzheimer's, which I think is interesting, because Frank and Alice's illness often reminds me of that - there's something really terrible about losing your mind, as opposed to a more physical illness.
Anyway sorry this was a bit rushed, but I loved the story, and you really pulled this off.
I know I have a fickle heart,
And a bitterness
And a wandering eye
And a heaviness
In my head...
But don’t you remember?
Don’t you remember?
The reason you loved me before
Baby, please remember me once more...
Leanne Starr watches Katie Bell anxiously as she awakens at last, six months after she was cursed in Hogsmeade. She is waiting for that spark of recognition to flicker in Katie’s eyes. But that spark never appears, and Katie just doesn’t remember her.
This story was written for the wonderful and fabulous Alex/welshdevondragon, my alpha-beta, who also happens to be a wicked writer, super mod and also my first ever friend on MNFF :D
:D :D :D This story has been nominated for a 2012 Quicksilver Quill Award: Best Same-Sex Pairing. Thank you!
It took me a bit of time to get into this story... but by the end of the chapter, I've fallen in love with it.
I think at the beginning, I found you over-wrote it a bit, for example the line but instead, they are dull and blank and confused - I think that would be more effective with just one adjective. Anyway, that's just a really small thing.
At the same time, though, I was intrigued from the beginning - as to how much Katie would remember, and exactly what their relationship had been like in the past.
You flowed really naturally from the present tense at the beginning to the past for all the flashbacks.
I think the chapter got really interesting from their kiss onwards - that introduced a really interesting element of tension and drama between them. I thought it was interesting that you mentioned Cedric right at the beginning, especially because he turns out to be so important to the story.
I think the very last section was the best - you really managed to show both girls' emotion and it almost made me want to cry... and that last line was just absolutely beautiful.
One other small thing - I found that the scene when they get on the train through to their Sorting was a little long - obviously it's important, especially the Sorting, but it dragged a little for me.
The dynamics between their parents were also really interesting and I think they add something really different to the story... I'm hoping you explore that a bit more in the next two chapters... although I'm also very interested to see how their relationship moves from here and what impact Katie's memory loss will have on all of it.
I like the way you've contrasted the two of them - Katie is extroverted, and in that final scene it is her expressing all her emotion, while Leanne is more quite and studious and always holding her feelings inside... and the one time (the kiss) when she ran with her emotions, it had horrible implications.
So basically I can't wait to keep reading, which is why this isn't really a very good review, sorry.
Author's Response: Yayyyyyy, I did a happy dance when I saw four more reviews from you, Katrina! Thank you so much for all of them.
This is, I admit, not one of my stronger stories, but it's also one that's rather dear to my heart because of just how much I angsted over it. I swear I must have shed a few tears over how crap certain parts were, and then I rewrote those parts. I agree that it was overwritten to begin with, and I totally get why you couldn't get into it at the start.
I'm glad you thought the transition between present and past was done well -- that was something I was quite concerned about. And yeah, the kiss was kind of like *the* moment between them. Cedric does play a fairly large part in the story, yes. He is a good guy; it's just that Leanne was jealous of him, lol.
I always feel bad when I make people cry, not gonna lie, but I'm hoping it was a good thing that you *nearly* cried :P It was meant to be emotional, so I'm glad you thought it was too.
I do see what you mean about the Sorting scene, but it was something my first beta (Sarah/Sapphire at Dawn) asked about, so I kind of expanded on the idea after the original was posted on LJ for Alex. And yeah, the dynamics between the parents are something I was interested in.
Katie and Leanne are intentionally very different, though I find that opposites attract a lot, so I hope it's believable.
Anyway, thank you for the lovely review!
Well I said in my last review I was interested in their parents... I wasn't quite expecting this though. I loved the bit when Katie was saying to Leanne that basically their lives were reversed - as in, Leanne should be the one with the addicted mother etc - that drew a really interesting connection between the two of them.
In the first chapter, I felt more sorry for Leanne, although bad for Katie too, and I don't think Katie could be blamed for not realising Leanne loved her... anyway, in this chapter, it sort of went the other way - because at least Leanne has a family and a job and a life.
The dialogue between them is very well-written and at times tense, at others like old friends, which really fits this relationship.
I can't wait for the last chapter, so I'm going to leave this just as a short review and keep reading.
Author's Response: Yeah, it was a bit unexpected, lol. Buuuut I hope you thought it was believable/accurate, because that was a big concern of mine also. And yep, that was what I was going for about Leanne and Katie's positions reversing.
Yay to you liking the dialogue! I do think that's one of my strengths, one of my few strengths, hehehehe. Thank you for the reviewwwwwwww!
Firstly, I have had no desire whatsoever to cleach my eyeballs while reading this. Secondly, I did enjoy this very much.
I was quite surprised by the ending - with all the angst of the first two chapters, I hadn't expected such a happy ending. But it did actually follow on quite naturally.
I really liked how you did their day in Hogsmeade, leading up to when she gets the necklace - it blended really well with what was already set out in canon.
I liked the tension between them at the start of the chapter - I thought you did a good job with Leanne, who is obviously conflicted between wanting to talk to Katie and wanting to be angry with her for just walking out like that.
I loved how you wrote the scene when Katie wouldn't let Leanne say she loved her and Katie was dressing her... somehow by writing that, it was a lot more powerful than if they'd talked - there was such great tension between the two of them.
If I have one criticism for this story, it's that everything seems to happen very quickly, and the whole story doesn't seem to have the same tone - especially the end of this chapter is fairly light and focussed only on their relationship, whereas the previous chapter had a lot more darker themes in it. It just seems to move between the two very quickly. But it's really only a small thing, I actually liked the story very much.
Author's Response: Hahahahaha, I'm glad of that :) I really am very happy you enjoyed this, despite your occasional criticisms.
I wanted to give them a happy ending. They deserved it, after all the crap I put them through, lol. It's good to know it was a natural ending, though.
And I'm glad you liked the tension between them. Also, the scene where Leanne wanted to tell Katie she loved her was another addition -- it wasn't in the original version. It was meant to be completely packed with tension, lolol. And yeah, it wouldn't quite work as well if they just had that conversation.
Yeah, everything happens too quickly for my liking too, but I couldn't make it too long, because it was originally for a swap. (Also, exams and so on get in the way >.<) However, I am planning on converting parts of this into an OF, where I'm basically combining with Flicker and Fail -- the aspects of amnesia and so on -- with my Loulily stories.
I'm really glad you enjoyed it, though! Thanks for the lovely review. :)
Until near twelve the strange girl all at once
Guilt-stricken halts, pales, clings to the prince
As amid the hectic music and cocktail talk
She hears the caustic ticking of the clock.*
The students at Hogwarts have left for their Christmas holidays, but in the castle, a celebration of a betrothal is taking place. However, one woman watches the couple, waiting for midnight.
*Taken from the poem Cinderella by Sylvia Plath.
This is babewithbrains of Ravenclaw writing for the Great Hall Cotillion challenge.ZOMG. This story has been nominated for a 2012 Quicksilver Quill Award: Best Same-Sex Pairing. Thank you!
I love this, Soraya. You know already that I love second person stories when they're well-written, and you really pulled this one off. It's the perfect length, too, because second person can become waring on the reader, but this is just beautiful. I also love how the characters are nameless until the end (although I figured out who they were) - it really makes the story more about the characters and what they're feeling in these moments, rather than who they've become in a historical sense (I hope that makes sense to you).
The second person also really helps the reader get inside Helga's head, and empathise with her.
I think the dynamic of a secret relationship is really interesting, and that's something that SSP really explores. The reasons why the characters are in this relationship is also interesting (sorry I'm really overusing that word) - because from Helga's perspective, clearly she loves Rowena, but I think Rowena's feelings are more complicated - does she love Helga, but marry a man because of the constraints of society? Is she only with Helga for a physical reason, or to try something new? I'm not sure which it is, you leave it a bit open (in a good way), but I don't think she loves Helga more than anything, because if she did, I think she would be willing to keep up the relationship and not marry someone else, even if it had to be secret forever.
Also I think it's great that you haven't tried to "anitiquitise" this in any way - I've read Founders era before where the author has tried to do that in the dialogue, and it feels very unnatural and isn't usually that accurate - I mean if you look at Chaucer (which is a good 200-300 years later than this), the language is very different to what it is now. Anyway, sorry about that tangent - what I'm trying to say is I'm glad you wrote this as you would write anything else, even though it's set 1000 years ago.
I loved how Helga and Rowena sort of showed the qualities they value in their Houses - Helga is loyal, and she is the one betrayed, Rowena is clever and aware of it, like in another great mind -- though, as you were quick to note, not as great as hers, of course. In my opinion, Helga was probably just as great a witch as Rowena (this could be because I was sorted into Hufflepuff on Pottermore though haha... although I am a Ravenclaw on the forums), but it makes sense that neither Helga nor Rowena would see it that way.
I'm not a huge Plath fan, but you used the lines from the poem beautifully and they really added to the story.
Your writing is stunning in this too - especially the times you use repetition (eg She’s marrying a good man, and in time, they will have children together. A good man.) - that really shows how Helga is struggling to come to terms with Rowena's engagement and what it will mean for her.
Well I think I've rambled enough about how amazing this story is now haha.
Author's Response: This is one of my better stories, lolol. I'm glad you liked it. I love second person when it's written well and not cloying, so it's nice to know what you think too. And I know what you mean about the length, too. Originally it was only 700 words, so I just wanted to get it up to the minimum word count for the challenge (1500 words).
And I like being in Helga's head :) Second person was the best choice, only because of the namelessness and the fact that writing third person SSP is a b!tch >.<
I'm not quite sure of Rowena's feelings either, hahahaha. I tried answering Abi's (the review below) questions as best as I could, but I'm kind of confused myself, lol.
I'm rubbish with historical details and so on, hence why I didn't try to make it seem like too historical :) It was me being lazy, really. Also, there isn't any real dialogue for that very reason.
I'm a Slytherin on Pottermore :) I'm glad you liked the qualities of Rowena and Helga -- it was very much meant to be a character study, exploring their personalities.
I love Sylvia Plath, and I'm glad you liked how I used the lines from the poem. And yay to you liking my writing style -- it's different from how I usually write.
You did NOT ramble. Thank you, so, so much, for all the lovely reviews, which I appreciate and have made my day so much.
It's been quite a while since I've read any fanfiction... and picking one of yours to get back into it definitely reminded me of how good it can be!
You have a great knack with characters - there is nothing hugely unique about the plot in this per se (recently divorced man turns to alcohol and looks back on a time when his relationship was perfect), but the way you write it and get into the characters makes it wonderful.
I absolutely loved the ending - leaving us with the image of George lying there, having been taken to bed by his daughter, is so poignant... especially as he realises that she shouldn't have to do that for him, but he's still unable to stop himself from drinking.
I loved the repetition of "George, please sit down" - it gave the story a cyclical effect which works really well since George is constantly revisiting the past.
Author's Response: KATRINA! I was so delighted to receive this gorgeous review (and sorry for taking a while replying to it). Thank you for saying I took a common plot, and made it fresh and interesting through the characterisation. Really, thank you. And I'm glad you liked the ending--the importance in Roxanne in looking after him, something she shouldn't have to do, was soemthing I really wanted to emphasise. And I'm glad you liked the repeated line. I was worried it would feel limp--so am really glad you thought it worked. Thank you so much for this review--I really appreciate it. Alex
Summary: Romilda Vane was working on the biggest writing assignment of her life, yet her imagination and eloquence, which had held her in good stead for most of her career, suddenly decided to abandon her. However, when she looked for inspiration in the bottom of a pint, she found that it was sitting on the stool next to her.
For someone who didn't believe in muses, she had certainly encountered evidence to the contrary in Oliver Wood.
This is a belated (hey, it's one day...not too delinquent) birthday gift for the fabulous Carole/Equinox Chick, who has served as a lighthouse for me during some tremulous times and has always been a capital friend. I honestly couldn't imagine a day without seeing her name somewhere. This is for you, dear.
This story has been nominated for two 2012 Quicksilver Quill Awards: Best Post-Hogwarts Story and Best Non-Canon Romance.
I think you have the perfect opening in this story - Ink idly dripped onto the parchment, but it went largely unheeded. At least there was something on the page other than flickering candlelight and a vast expanse of eggshell-coloured nothingness. It was probably best that the Dictaquill had given out a few weeks back and was too expensive to replace, since it probably would’ve curled up and died from the lack of activity. - It just shows so beautifully where Romilda is at and how she's struggling. I love how the Battle is a topic she knows plenty about and could easily get more information, but she's still got nowhere to go.
I loved the bit with the DA coin - it really seemed to fit well into the story.
The dialogue between the two of them was great throughout the story and really carried it - from the banter at the beginning, to the tension after she told Oliver, to his admiration after he started reading.
I also loved the bit you wrote as the opening to her book - it really captures what Oliver said and I think it's a beautiful opening to a story about the Battle.
I just noticed this - the line But she had missed it, but luckily, Oliver was sharp and very forgiving. doesn't quite flow - maybe you could cut one of the 'buts'?
Anyway, loved this story, like everything else you write.
Yayyyyy, you're back!
I love this story on a deep level, and how people see it, probably more than most all of my other stories, means a lot. I poured a large amount of myself into it, mainly because I wrote this for Carole. It was something she was feeling, too. And, of course, being Post-Hogwarts, it falls right into my wheelhouse.
To be perfectly honest, I had originally planned this to be short and for Romilda and Oliver's relationship to be more platonic, but you know that goes. It does what it'll do. And it didn't hurt that Carole was jonesing for some Oliver smut, lol.
I think the link to the battle was really important for this story, because it showed two opposite sides of the story. There is the girl who knows them all by name and could talk to them at any time, and there is the man who has been there and sat precariously on the fence between acceptance and grief. In a way, they needed each other more than anything: more than Romilda needed her story and more than Oliver needed to beat the bottle.
The DA coin was originally supposed to be something different, like a car wash token or something of the like. Then I had the thought of how Oliver knew that the battle was happening and to go back. The natural answer was that he was with someone who had a coin. And I decided that this person was going to die in the battle. Angelina was out, and I don't have the heart to kill Katie. Alicia it is. :/ Poor love.
Well, I fixed that line. I have been told by the lovely Soraya that I use far too many 'but's, and I have been working to curb that.
I'm glad you liked the dialogue. Dialogue isn't my thing, so if I do it well, it makes me happy. :D
That's it from me! Ta!
Six months after the deaths of Louis Weasley’s immediate family, he is only just holding himself together, and it is with much reluctance that he attends the New Year’s Eve party at the Burrow. But an unexpected drunken kiss leads to things taking a turn for the worst, and Louis has to deal with the consequences.
Thank you to Jamie, Carole, Natalie and Jess for helping me figure out what name I should give to Lily’s owl, and especially Carole for telling me to go for a goddess’s name :) Oh, and thank you to Kara for helping me with the summary!
This is a great story. Louis' character is really well constructed - I could really feel his discomfort when he was at the Burrow, and you showed really well how much better he felt when Lily was there.
I loved that you included Victoire giving birth in this - given that she is his only direct family left, it's very likely that this would be a really significant moment for him. I think it also showed his character really well - yes he feels uncomfortable with the whole family, but clearly family is still very important to him. I liked that he argued with the Healers to stay - because at the beginning of the story he seemed a bit listless, and it really worked to show different sides of him.
I think possibly one of the best parts was when Louis went into Victoire's room right after Cara was born - you wrote the awkwardness well when he mentions Fleur, but I also liked the love it showed between the siblings. Also I thought it was great that Victoire called him kid - I guess in your head canon there's quite an age gap between them, because I usually imagine Louis to be more like James' age.
Lily was also fantastic in this. She makes me think a bit of how I imagine her grandmother to be - naturally very caring and aware of others and drawn to people who are, for want of a better word, a bit damaged. But I could also see a bit of her parents in her, and just all round I thought she was constructed well.
Okay so I'm not super keen on first cousins being together... but you did warn about it at the beginning, so I just tried not to think about that too much... and as characters, they really worked beautifully together.
So, as usual from you, a lovely story - and it's great to read a sequel of sorts to Blood and Roses and to see how Louis especially, but also Victoire, are coping with everything that happened then.
Author's Response: Katrinaaaaaaaaaa! You have no idea how much I was squeeing when I saw you had returned, and even more so when I came home after a horrible day at school only to find not one, not two, but three reviews from you. Thank you so much. It means a lot. :D
This story has given me a lot of grief, and I'm still not sure about this version, but I am so glad you enjoyed reading it. There are bits in this which I actually loved writing, but I think I had about ten drafts of the thing. It's interesting you commented on the section at the beginning -- I had originally deleted that part from the draft I sent to my betas, and Carole said it was too abrupt a beginning without any kind of introduction. It's nice to know I *seem* to have made the right decision there :)
Victoire being pregnant when the events in Blood and Roses happened is something Alex commented on while betaing -- she was saying that it was nice how even though things were going terribly in Dominique's family, there was something nice, too, about Victoire having a baby.So it's good to know you liked it. Something else I was a litte concerned about was how Louis stayed there all this time, but as you said, Victoire is his only remaining direct relative, so I think/hope it makes sense.
Oh, I did like writing the bit with Louis seeing Victoire after she gave birth. Yes, that was a rather awkward moment, lol, though I'm glad you liked the sibling love :) Speaking as someone with two brothers and a sister, I think I drew a little from personal experience there (my aunty recently had a baby, and her brother, my uncle, was telling me how awful it was just hearing her screaming when she was in labour).
What I love about Next Gen is how much free reign I had in terms of ages and so on. I think the age gap between Louis and Victoire was mostly so Louis/Lily could work -- the mere fact that they're cousins is difficult enough, so being almost the same age does kind of help :)
Yayay, you liked Lily! I won't lie; there's a bit of me in there, with how she's a writer, and she has insecurities about her weight (haha, you've learnt something new about me :P), but also how she can do things without really thinking about them, like kissing Louis. I honestly didn't notice the resemblance in terms of Lily's parents, but you're right, ditto Molly.
As someone who is surrounded by cousin couples (quite literally, lol) in her family, it's not really *that* unusual for me to write first cousins together, though I can totally understand why it might not be something you're keen on. And, actually, I am really flattered that you chose to read this story anyway, smut and all, despite your qualms. I do think they make a beautiful couple, not in terms of how they're written, as I am hardly the right person to judge that, but just in my head, I can see them very clearly, and if you hop over to the boards, my banner for this story is just beyond gorgeous.
I'm so glad you chose to read this. It ate a bit of my soul, seriously, and it just completely made my day to find so many lovely reviews from you. The flist and I have celebrated your return to MNFF -- you've been missed greatly. :)
I just read your response to my review - when I was talking about Lily being like her grandmother, I actually meant her other grandmother (as in Lily Evans), although there are certainly elements of Molly in your Lily Luna. I just thought that was kind of amusing. But I think in my head, Lily Luna is always a little like Lily, and we know very little about Lily from the books, so that's probably just me haha. Anyway, going to review "Glass" now...
Author's Response: Oooh, haha. Right. I think it's because there was a bit of Molly in the story, lol. I do see what you mean about the similarities between Lily Luna and Lily Evans. In fact, I have a one-shot in mind for later on which features Lily Evans, so it's interesting you mentioned that :) And yayyyyy, you're reviewing Glass too! I don't know if you're planning on reviewing everything I've ever written, but either way, I'm not complaining. :D Thank youuuuu for the reviews!
My mother always called me the good daughter (and I was good, perhaps too much so).
I was perfect (except I wasn’t, really).
I was flawless in every way but one.
Based off of the drabble I wrote for the SBBC Battle of the Genres challenge (it won first place). Thank you to the elves for such a lovely challenge!
Nominated for a 2012 Quicksilver Quill Award - Best Same Sex Pairing.
Did you know that you're amazing? Okay you probably do, because every story of yours I've read has been amazing... I can't believe this story is less than 1500 words, because it tells such an amazing and complete story and it's just done so perfectly.
I loved that you chose to write about Elladora - it's more common for people to write about someone like Isla, who we know was different, but I love the idea that no matter how people seem to conform, everyone has their own story, and everyone will always be different.
Ella is a fantastic character. I loved the reiterations of how she's the "good daughter" and how she always keeps quiet and seems to do the right thing around her mother, but in reality she's not living like that. There's a wonderful contrast in that, and also a really believable side - I think in that situation, many people would pretend that they were doing the right thing rather than do what Isla did and throw everything they've ever had away.
I loved your use of repetition in this - often it can be overdone and grating, but it's just perfect in this. I also don't think I've ever read such a great use of brackets - lines like I was perfect (except I wasn’t, really). are just amazing.
I also liked that you put the dialogue in italics, I think it put the focus on Ella and how she felt/what she thought about everything, rather than strictly what was happening.
Darius was interesting too - I loved the contrast between how rough and violent he was, in comparison to the gentleness of Isabel.
I wasn't expecting them to be found, but it made a lot of sense because I think they suddenly felt a desperation to be together and nothing else mattered.
It was so sad to read Isabel had killed herself - I think it's interesting too, because she seemed the more confident in their relationship, and the one who was less scared, and yet it's Ella left at the end, and considering her marriage started like this, I can't imagine she would have had an easy life.
So basically, this is really fantastic - beautifully written with intriguing characters and a really original idea...
Author's Response: Your reviews always leave me speechless and smiling - thank you so much for that :). They are a pleasure to read after a trying day.
I've been planning to write about Elladora for a while (first of all, because I think her name is gorgeous, and secondly because like you said, she's far less written about than Isla). I thought it would be difficult to suddenly have all the pressure on you to be the one that upheld the family honor and make everyone proud. If Isla hadn't been disowned I think it would have been easier (but not easy) for Ella to disappoint her family, but instead she was forced into a role she wasn't ready to play.
I'm glad the repetition wasn't too boring, or the brackets too distracting. When I type stories and read them in my head it sounds a certain way, and I have no idea if it will sound the same way to readers (or if it will just confuse them). Similarly, I never know if I'm overusing the italics-as-dialogue thing, because I see it a lot in my stories. It always makes me extra happy to hear that everything worked and that nothing took away from the story itself.
Darius was horrible to write. I found towards the end that I didn't really want to kill Isabel off anymore, so it was hard to finish this story. Did she kill herself - or did Darius have a hand in her death? Either way, her death ensured that Ella would not end up with Darius, so maybe the story did end positively in a way :).
Thank you again, so so much for this review. I am beyond flattered :). xx Ariana
Summary: She was a girl with dreams in her head. Dreams that people said would come to nothing.
He was a boy with brains to spare. But quiet so no one knew.
Orla Quirke and Stewart Ackerley. Two Ravenclaws with nothing in common except their house.
In their fourth year, everything changed.
This is a birthday present for the wonderful, lovely, amazing Alex (welshdevondragon) who has been a superb friend over the past year (and I hope for many more).
Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling, but my Spag Bol is sublime.
(Note about the warnings. They are a precaution only.)
I loved this, Carole, even though it's very sad.
The style was really interesting - I loved the repetition and the rhythmic nature of it, it worked really beautifully. I also loved the contrast between longer sentences/paragraphs and then really short ones, eg Stewart died. Caught with a ricocheted spell, his black eyes dulled before Orla could reach him.
One of the fifty.
I also loved the idea of wings and how you tied that in with Thestrals - which for these characters symbolise grief and freedom and dreams.
I also loved their characterisations - you made them both different, but in a subtle way, they both seemed to belong to Ravenclaw in the most obvious way. As in, what I'm trying to say is that you could have gone for the 'they don't belong' angle by making them both really brave and rash and foolhardy... but instead you showed a subtler difference. I think that is interesting, because you can't really class people into 4 personality types. I also liked how Orla had been a hatstall, and that she did have a moment of rash Gryffindor bravery, which ultimately cost her everything she loved... that was very interesting in terms of her character (not that I'm saying I blame her for Stewart's death, but that is why it happened).
I loved the last two lines Both had seen Thestrals.
Now only one could. That almost made me cry... it's just written perfectly. If you'd written something longer, I don't think it would have had the same impact it does like this.
Anyway, as you can probably tell by my rather long review... I loved this.
Author's Response: yaya, Katrina, thank you very much for the review. The style, I agree is different, and I was aware as I wrote it that it was starting to come across as a prose poem. I did cut some lines and phrases which had made it seem more of a patois piece rather than a story. (I had a recurring phrase 'that bitch Bellatrix' but it didn't fir with the rest of the narrative)
Orla and Stewart are canon Claws, but I needed them to be a little different, and Ravenclaws to me are ones who 'prize' intelligence and are curious, not necessarily the ones who are brightest. Stewart i think had curiosity of his own thoughts (like Luna) and Orla thought intelligence was important and that came uppermost in her thoughts - but she was also creative, (a bit like Luna too). So, I'm pleased you picked up on that.
Thanks again ~Carole~ Anyway, thank you so much for reviewing and enjoying even though it was a sad story. :( ~Carole~
Summary: This story is a missing moment from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. We know Ron and Hermione descend into the Chamber of Secrets in search of basilisk fangs, and we know they succeed. But what exactly happened down there? This story provides a possible answer to that question.This is WeasleyMom of Hufflepuff writing for the Illustration for Inspiration Challenge in the Great Hall. My inspiration was a drawing done by Carole/EquinoxChick, featuring Hermione's hand stabbing the cup with a basilisk fang. Thanks, Carole! You unknowingly pushed me to write something I've had in my head since DH came out. Thrilled to announce this story tied for third place in the challenge! Holy Hufflepuff! This won a 2012 QSQ Award for Best Canon Romance, one-shot! I am thrilled and so, so grateful!
This was an excellent missing moment, Lori. As usual, you captured Ron and Hermione's characterisations perfectly. It's certainly interesting to think about what Hermione's experience with the Horcrux might have been - after all, Ron's insecurities were always rather obvious, but Hermione keeps those things to herself. I'm glad you didn't make it something to do with marks/intelligence, like her Boggart in third year, though, because this Hermione has matured far beyond that, and I think she wouldn't be convinced at all.
To start off with, I loved that it was a book, because if anything could persuade Hermione, it would be a book. The narration over the images was also perfect, because while those images were essentially true, the narrator can manipulate them the way he wants.
You've done a great job with Ron here too - he is often seen as the lesser of the trio, but I think he's just as important (you just have to look at how Harry and Hermione coped when he left), and you've really shown that here. I loved it when his only advice to Hermione was "He lies", because that's so much more useful to her than explaining a lot.
You've really set up the chemistry between them well, through the dialogue especially. I so wanted them to kiss at that moment... but of course they couldn't. I like how you linked it to canon though - Hermione seems a bit unsure about what to do with her feelings at the start of this, and I think that almost kiss enables her to kiss Ron later (if that makes any sense).
Just one small canon detail - I think the entrance to the Chamber lay in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom, just a normal girls' bathroom, not the Prefect's bathroom.
Anyway, you've really captured this pair at such an important moment for them so well!
Author's Response: Oh, Katrina, how you have saved me. :) I was sick to my stomach when I saw that you were right about my canon error--and a mongo-huge, glaring one at that. (hangs head shamefully) Believe it or not, I did research that, but have only skimmed because I left the research believing the two bathrooms (Myrtle's and the Prefects one) were one and the same. Anyway. Thanks so much for pointing out so I could correct it, which I did immediately upon realizing it. This is why you are one of the best reviewers around this place. You aren't afraid to point out crit/problems, and yet I always leave your reviews feeling like a million bucks as I head off to correct an error. That is a gift, my dear. :)
The end of the world comes not from the hand of Lord Voldemort, but an incurable disease. When Britain falls, those that are left must keep on running.
And never stop.
Winner of the 2012 Quicksilver Quill Award for Best Alternate Universe!
I don't often actually cry when I'm reading, but I certainly did in this, because you just poured so much emotion into your writing. The idea and the plot were unique, but it's your beautiful writing that pulls this off.
I loved how you started from the end - I've read fanfictions with flashbacks or jumps in time, but I don't think I've read one entirely backwards before, and I think it made the story a lot more emotive than if you'd started at the beginning - that scene with Xeno and Luna right at the end certainly wouldn't have had the impact it does if it had come first.
I also liked how Rose's section at the beginning was full of questions, because as a reader you immediately start thinking about what the answers might be, and it's a perfect way for this story to unfold.
When Ron had to shoot Harry... you just wrote that beautifully. She smiles at Harry through the tears, keeps on smiling, never wanting to stop even as Ron aims, closes his eyes, and shoots his best friend in the head. It is just so sad because there really is no alternative.
Your characterisations were also excellent - Ginny was just spot on, fiery and determined to do what's best for those she loves. I liked that it was Hermione who had to drag Harry and Ron away from Ginny - I think the boys would be so emotional and would try to think there was another way, whereas Hermione would understand.
It's also an interesting idea for a story... I"ve never thought of a zombie apocalypse in the wizarding world. And usually I'm not really a zombie fan, but this isn't really about zombies, it's about the characters, and that's why I just loved it.
Author's Response: Thank you, Katrina! Wow, I find that one of the highest compliments I can get, to be honest. I'm quite an open crier but if someone else cries reading my fics (for good reasons haha and not because I've burnt their brain with terrible writing) then I feel very flattered. It certainly was an interesting structure to write and I found myself at the end going back and editing in certain details to allude to what was to come later in fic/earlier in the timeline. I'm also glad you liked Ginny. I don't write her often and have never been too fond of her as a character but after writing her I definitely have a new appreciation of her, and for you to say she was spot on gives me much more confidence to write her in the future. I'm not a zombie fan, either! I can't watch zombie movies or on TV, I don't even read zombie books. It was odd but I actually enjoyed writing it a lot. As you said, it was character focused so perhaps that's why it didn't turn my stomach hehe. Anyway, thanks again for this lovely review, Katrina :)
Summary: Pansy rolled over, and her eyes found a white wall staring back at her. Everything here was white: sanitized, blinding, annoyingly bright white. Even the loose cotton she had been forced to wear was white. But there was a reason Pansy was there. She was crazy. Pansy knew she was, but couldn’t bring herself to care.
Yes, life wasn't turning out the way Pansy planned, but it was manageable. Until he came along ...
This is iMusic17 from Slytherin writing for Round II of the CC Triathalon (2012).
I thought this was a very interesting story - you really made Pansy into a fascinating character. It's interesting how you mix the spell the Carrows cast on her with what's already going on in her head - even without the spell, she would probably have been in a mess, but it just exacerbates it. It was sometimes painful (in a good way) to read what the voices were saying, because people who suffer mental disorders really do hear those things, and clearly they're so real for Pansy... it was heart-breaking when she almost killed herself.
Ron is very interesting in this too - while this doesn't fit my head canon, it's a believable path he could have taken, especially if Hermione broke up with him. And I liked that he did learn to care for Pansy, because he can be quite prejudiced towards Slytherins in canon (and not just the ones who've done badly by him), but he learns to see her as a human.
I liked your idea of Pansy's Mum, and that she started Pansy's problems and then went into hiding and left her daughter to fend for herself - it sounds like she was a pretty cold and selfless person, and the constant telling Pansy she wasn't good enough would obviously have had an effect.
I thought you did a really good job handling a difficult topic like a mental disorder, especially since a lot of it was more or less from Pansy's point of view (thought not first person) - it was believable, and I really felt like I got inside Pansy's very messed-up head.
Author's Response: Yay! Thanks for the lovely review, Katrina! :D
Pansy is a challenge. This is the second time I've tried writing her, and I'm glad it was believable. I was worried about the 'voices' when I was writing this as well; I didn't want it to seem (as horrible as it is) cliché, so I'm glad that it was right. Ron: I kind of played off his angstier side. The hardest part about this fic was actually getting them together because of their obvious differences. Pansy's Mum, well, I always think there's a reason Pansy was the way she was at school. When it was just her mum, I think Pansy was more angry than anything.
Thank you so much for the amazing review, Katrina, and I'm really glad you liked it! :D