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.
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
Summary: Dudley has a strange way of celebrating his cousin’s birthday.
This is noblefate of Ravenclaw writing for Round Two of the 2012 Madam Pomfrey’s One-Shot Character Triathlon.
This was a nice character piece on Dudley - I liked the way you presented him here. I thought the refrain of And he regretted that. at the beginning worked really well, because it gave a good glimpse of Dudley's life post-school, before leading up to the greatest regret, being Harry of course.
I liked the little details you put in, like Dudley thinking of Lily and James as Auntie Lily and Uncle James in his head, as though that's some kind of redemption. I just really liked that idea.
I think Dudley is really interesting here - he's aware of the life he's leading, and the one he's going to lead, and that he'll find little joy from it, but he still won't do anything about it. But he is so very human, and there is definitely a bit of goodness in him. In my head I start to hope that someone might be able to pull this Dudley out of the cycle he's got himself stuck into (maybe a nice girl, who he doesn't treat as an object...?)
The idea of Dudley going to a pub on Harry's birthday and drinking away his regrets is just such a lovely idea, and I liked the references to Harry's wedding and children, because it really contrasts where Dudley is at and where Harry's at, and how Harry really won out in the end.
Anyway, this was a very good character piece and a great idea and I very much enjoyed it.
Author's Response: Thank you for that lovely review! I too have hope for Dudley, that something will change, because we know from JKR that he and Harry exchange Christmas cards and their kids have met. I see this as sort of Dudley's rock bottom; there's nowhere to go but up from here. And he's already made the biggest step of realizing all his mistakes. He knows what went wrong, and why, and hopefully he can change it. I wanted him to be more human than we get from most of canon. He's a bully yes, but he becomes a man able to establish a relationship with his cousin. I'm glad you enjoyed the story. ~ Megan
“I haven’t seen you this hot and bothered since Marlene, you know. Reminds me of our schooldays.”
Sparks are flying between Remus and Tonks, however much Remus wants to deny it. When Sirius notices, he tries to persuade Remus to do something about it.
Written for prompt #5 of SPEW 007: Juggling.
Soraya - you may call this fluff or silliness, but it does take certain skill to write a dialogue only story (it's certainly something I can't see myself attempting... I really can't get dialogue very well) - and it's clear the whole way through what's happening and who's talking, which means you've written and characterised it well.
I loved all the references to Sirius being drunk and how, even though it's really about Remus and Tonks, he ties them together and just seems to be there all the time... I hadn't really thought about Sirius as their connection before, rather that they would have just met at the Order, but it's rather interesting.
I liked the friendship you showed between Sirius and Remus - the silly jokes etc, and the way they get involved in each other's lives... also Remus was very in character with all the "she's too good for me" stuff.
Anyway, sorry this isn't a particularly long/good review, but I did very much enjoy this fic :).
Author's Response: KATRINAAAA
Yay, you're back to review me again! I really do not deserve all this loveliness from you, seriously. (No pun intended, lol.) It was very much just a bit of silliness that went on for too long, but I'm delighted that you enjoyed it. Dialogue is a lot of fun. I adore writing banter between people, especially the Marauders, so this came easier for me than, say, my Albus/Rose, which I'm sure ate a bit of my soul (that was how much I angsted about it, lol). I think it was a bit confusing at one point, when Remus and Tonks and Sirius were all in the same room together, but it's lovely to know that you thought it was characterised well :)
Haha, yes, I always intended Sirius to be the one to set up Remus and Tonks. Plus it's fun to write Sirius taking the mick out of Remus about Tonks XD And yayyyyy to you liking their silly jokes! I'm assuming you're referring to the Sirius/Serious jokes, lolol, which I so blame Gina for :P
The idea of this story actually came from the UK Being Human (I have no idea whether or not you watch it, but if you don't, you should -- it's so fab). One character realised that his housemate fancied him and was talking about it with his best friend, and his best friend was just like "Did you seriously not pick up on any of this" and the guy was so insistent that he wasn't right for this woman because of... various things :) Kinda hard to explain it without spoiling things, but there you go :)
Anyway, it's lovely to see you back on my author page again :) This was an excellent review, and I thank you very very much for enjoying it.
Summary: Luna is wandering around her childhood home, talking to her stomach.
This is a really sweet story, and written really well. It's not easy to tackle Luna, and particularly in this kind of interior monologue form because you really have to be inside her head, but I think you did a great job. This line pretty much capped the story perfectly for me - You’ll discover that it’s very tricky to make people think and speak logically; I still haven’t given up trying though. - how much more Luna can you get? You just articulated that perfectly.
I loved how she was constantly preoccupied with her feet, it just seemed like the kind of thing she would get caught up with and keep thinking about. I liked that she wanted to tell her twins so much about her life and the people around her too, that was really sweet.
I liked the allusions to canon characters - obviously her father, who was wonderfully crazy as always (I liked that he's taken to Welsh, that was a nice unique touch), but also the idea that Luna and Molly might disagree about child-rearing, or how she relates to Ginny versus Hermione.
I loved how you slipped Rolf's character in there, I got the impression that there would be plenty of healthy debate about magical creatures in their household, like in this section Of course, Rolf would rather talk about whether or not I could fit a Mooncalf inside me yet. It is rather more pleasing to be Snorkack-sized, I think. Rolf thinks I might be so big because of the dirigible plums, but I’m not so sure. I feel like they would both have their opinions. But also you showed how much he really cared for her, and I think after what Luna has suffered she really does deserve that.
There is also such a beautiful honesty to Luna, I think that's why she's become such a favourite character for so many people, and you really showed that here, for example with her opinions on Rolf's Great Aunt Bernice, or her opinions bout how other people ignore things like the Rotfang Conspiracy.
This was also beautifully peppered with references to some of the weird and crazy things she mentions in canon, like the Rotfang Conspiracy, the Snorkacks, the Heliopaths etc - it didn't seem like you were trying hard to show off your knowledge, it just fit in seamlessly with her characterisation. I also loved the reference to conspiracy in the newspaper article - so Quibbler!
Anyway, loved this story, you really got spot on with Luna.
Summary: With a bit of help from their dad, Rose and Hugo Weasley prepare a short play for their mum's birthday.
This is Gmariam of Ravenclaw submitting for the Character Clinic Triatholon-Minor Characters.
This was a lovely story, Gina. You captured the children so well (though to me they seemed older than 4 and 6, but if you have a four yeard old, you would know better) - things like Hugo starting too loudly and Rose telling him off were just perfect. I liked how she took control of the whole thing, and Ron really just helped a bit.
Your characterisation of Ron was also great - all the details of what he did for Hermione (ruining the cake, almost buying a book she already had, doing some beautiful magic to change Rose's dress) just fit so well with what we know from canon, and yet of course he's an older version and a lot more mature.
Anyway, this was a sweet story which was just really fun to read.
Here in the dark
In these lonely hours
I will lay down my heart
And I’ll feel the power
That you won’t
--I Can’t Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt
Albus realises just how much Rose means to him -- and how much he doesn’t mean to her.
This is babewithbrains of Ravenclaw writing for Round Two of Madam Alex’s Character Clinic Triathlon.
:) This story has been nominated for a 2012 Quicksilver Quill Award: Best Next Generation.
This story has also been nominated for a 2013 Quicksilver Quill Award: Best Next Generation. Thank you again! ♥
I liked this story, and I feel so bad for Albus! You've written him as such a sweet character, and all his emotions seem so natural. I especially liked the part on the Quidditch pitch when he realised he was falling for her, and how he thought about her being his cousin, about how she would never like him anyway - it just felt perfectly drawn. When they were older at Rose's appartment, I really wanted Albus to say no to her, but understood as well why he didn't, and I think you showed his emotions there perfectly as well.
As for Rose, she's not that nice in this, and yet she's also very hurt and upset, so it does make sense in terms of her character. She is manipulative of Albus, because she knows what she wants and how to get it, but at the same time I had the sense that she doesn't realise how much he actually cares for her.
I liked their relationship, even just as friends. Rose seems quite vulnerable with Albus - as in when she told Scorpius she loved her job more than him, but tells Albus that that's not true, and it feels like Albus knew her so well that he could anticipate her responses.
The writing was beautiful, eg He had laid down his heart, and she could do with it as she pleased: treasure it, push it away, or, more likely, crush it to pieces. Yet it belonged to her now, and he was helpless to think otherwise. That was written so vividly I felt Albus' heartbreak so much. Personally I prefer less detail in the sex scenes, but I guess that's just a personal preference. And there's just a tiny grammar mistake - you can’t be in a relationship with people into your office.” - The "into" should be "in".
Anyway, overall I thought this was a really well-written, though rather sad (but that's kind of the point I guess) story.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for the fabulous review, Katrina :) I think this is one of the few, if not the only, story I actually like, to be honest, and it means a lot to me that you enjoyed reading. Although I do think I gave Albus a pretty hard time, eep.
And I'm so glad you liked the scene on the Quidditch pitch! That was haaaaard to write. In fact, most of the story was hard to write, I'll admit; there were points when I was pretty close to throwing in the towel, actually, and it was only thanks to my lovely flist that I didn't, really. I'm really flattered you understood Albus's character in the way I wanted him to be conveyed. Basically, yeah, he should have said no to her, really, but he was unable to because at the end of the day, he still wanted her.
I loved writing Rose here, although she was definitely a byotch in this. At the same time, I'm glad you took into account the fact that she must have been pretty upset too because that is definitely a key part of the story, too. I think she does care for Albus, but she just doesn't love him the way he loves her? I don't fully understand her tbh, haha.
What I wanted to put across -- and to understand myself, actually -- is basically how it would be possible for two people who slept together at fifteen would still be friends. For a while, I guess I found it hard to reconcile the idea of both of them being so young and vulnerable at the time with them eventually managing to put that behind them and become friends. I cover this more in the companion piece (One More Night) but it is smutty, ha, so I don't think you'd want to read :P But the first (non-smutty) chapter at least does kind of address how they eventually decide to become friends again after months of not talking to each other. Sorry, rambling response is rambly D: The long and short of that is that I'm glad you liked their relationship even as friends. :)
And yayyy, I'm so glad you liked the actual writing! Style isn't always my strongest point, and certainly in this story I did have trouble with maintaining a certain style. Like I said, I kind of tore my hair out writing this, lol, so it means a lot that you thought it was written well.
Hmm, I did kind of stretch the 6th-7th rating here, but I hope the smut didn't put you off! It is about personal preference, I agree, and I think my personal preferences have changed quite a bit in the last couple of years. Also, thanks for pointing out the typo -- when I've got a moment, I will edit :)
Your review was lovely, Katrina, so thank you lots. Yeah, it was sad, and I did shed a tear or two writing, but hey, that is kind of the point, as you said. Thanks again and have a fabulous day/night/whatever time it is in your timezone, whichever that is :D
Summary: Andromeda Black is not a girl who is reckless. Risks are for the foolhardy, and she is too clever for that. But she hasn't factored Ted Tonks' persistence into the equation of her life.
And Ted wants to teach her how to fly ...
This is Equinox Chick of Hufflepuff writing for Round 2 of the Character Clinic Triathlon - Minor Characters. I chose the Music prompt.
The song that Andromeda listens to in this story is River by Joni Mitchell. It is beautiful.
Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling. I am not Joni Mitchell. I am someone who admires both artists greatly.
Ta lotsly to the lovely Natalie (hestiajones) who beta'd this and is a truly fabulous friend.
I love this story, Carole (not that that surprises me...). I think this is one of the best songfics I've read, because instead of the lyrics being thoughts/feelings of the character, she is actually hearing them... I'm hoping this is making sense. I also loved how you used the lyrics to jump between times, because they reminded her of things... it worked beautifully.
At first I was a little surprised that Andromeda was pregnant so young, because as far as I know she had Dora when she was about 20... but of course you wouldn't have made a mistake like that. I think the miscarriage is very interesting here... because, as sad as it is for both of them, it also really draws them together.
I liked your Ted in this - and the contrast you showed when he met Andromeda at the park and was cold, when he'd always been so laid-back. I think he would have to be someone with guts who didn't care what others thought, to have caught her attention in the first place.
I also liked how Andromeda wasn't completely disillusioned with her family - how she somehow wanted to believe that they'd accept Ted/his baby (at the beginning of the fic) - because she's not the same as, say, Sirius, and I think she would want to believe the best of them, if only for herself. (I hope this makes sense?)
I liked the ending - how Andromeda had a sense of foreboding about Ted leaving and perhaps not returning, it just somehow fit with the whole story.
Anyway, I thought this was a great one-shot, and well-written of course as always.
Author's Response: Katrina, thank you so much for the lovely review. This was written for Ales's challenge which I think says the song needs to be physically playing, so credit has to given to her :). I'm glad you liked Andromeda not being completely disillusioned with her family. It's very easy to portray her as exactly the same as Sirius, but she didn;t rebel and get put in a different house, so it's possibly Ted was her first sign of rebellion.
Really appreciate this review, so thank you again. ~Carole~
Summary: O.W.L. results have arrived, and Scorpius is certain his parents will be less than pleased.
This is Acacia Carter of Hufflepuff, writing for the Minor Character Challenge of July 2012.
Many thanks to Julie/Peppermint Toads for the beta, Jess for the nudge to write Scorpius, Gina for the nudge to write Please note that this is a companion piece to another of my works, An Intervention. It can be read alone, but if you are interested in Scorpius's past, the beginnings of it are available on my author page.
It's not my fault I seem to be incapable of writing a story without Neville in it. Really, it's not my fault this time - blame Gina.
Many thanks to Julie/Peppermint Toads for the beta, Jess for the nudge to write Scorpius, Gina for the nudge to writethis Scorpius, and Soraya for listening to my angst.
Please note that this is a companion piece to another of my works, An Intervention. It can be read alone, but if you are interested in Scorpius's past, the beginnings of it are available on my author page.
It's not my fault I seem to be incapable of writing a story without Neville in it. Really, it's not my fault this time - blame Gina.
I haven't read your other story about Scorpius, but I thought this worked really well on its own. Your characterisation of Scorpius is really interesting - I've read about Scorpius being a carbon copy of his father, Scorpius being a rebel in Gryffindor, Scorpius being a shy high achiever... but somehow in all of those, he's effortlessly intelligent. I liked your Scorpius who really had to work for his marks, and whose favourite subject is Herbology.
I also liked the relationship you created with his parents - often in fanfiction, Astoria is presented as the easy option who's secretly on Scorpius' side, whereas here she and Draco seemed on the same page - and clearly they do love their son, and want something good for him, even though they're too blinded by what they expect to really understand what's best for him. I also liked how Scorpius really wanted them to approve and wants to please them.
I liked Scorpius' relationship with Neville, and the way Neville really took him under his wing, despite being a Malfoy - he sees Scorpius just for who he is, not his family, which I think is something Neville would definitely do.
Anyway, over all, I thought this was interesting and well-written.