Hi! I'm Katrina and I am not J.K. Rowling (just to avoid any confusion there).
I've been writing on MNFF since about 2010, but up until a few months ago had not written anything for quite some time. So I am trying to get back into writing, and have quite a few stories percolating in my head, but I just need to find the time to write them.
I basically only write one-shots (I have one three chaptered story), and they're usually character explorations and snapshots rather than long plots, but I've written about a variety of characters, so hopefully there's something you'll enjoy. I like experimenting a bit with form too.
Anyway if you have stumbled here by accident, I do hope you enjoy something.
Summary: 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.
Falling in love teaches Dennis Creevey that sometimes, needing someone isn't a bad thing, especially as it helps him forget all that he's lost.
It fails, however, to show him that forgetting can only go on for so long.
Thank you to Ari for her loveliness in betaing this story.
This is a fascinating and well-written story... I read it a couple of days ago, but didn't have time to leave a review, but it has stuck with me. I really feel for Dennis in this - he's already messed up and grieving for Colin, and presumably went through something in the war, and then he finds someone to hold onto, and it's so heartbreaking for him to lose her all over again. I also liked the dynamic of their relationship before Gabrielle died - it was like Dennis was already holding on too tight, with always asking her to marry him etc.
I loved this part - When Colin died it was like the world was collapsing, falling to pieces, disintegrating in his own heart. Dennis was still struggling to clean up the aftermath.
Gabrielle Delacour was not dead, because Dennis’s world did not collapse. His heart did not ache and he breathed with the ease of a cloud. He was numb, and beautifully so, warm and comfortable and content. This was why she was not dead -- because with Gabrielle, Dennis always felt too much, and if she were gone he knew his head and his heart would explode with feeling. (Sorry for quoting that much back at you...). It's interesting, because with Colin's death, Dennis couldn't possibly refute it, but I think the idea of losing Gabrielle as well is so terrifying that he has to come up with something else.
I think you did a great job of showing the mess Dennis got himself into with the drugs - in the way you revealed he was self-harming, for example, through the landlady, because it really hits the reader as it hits him (I mean, we're aware from the beginning that he's taking drugs and it's not good for him, but I thought that was a great way to show the extent of the damage).
I was glad that he recovered in the end, though, and learnt to live without needing someone. I thought the last paragraph was fantastic and really finished the piece off nicely.
So all in all, I thought this was a great and very interesting story and examination of Dennis' character.
Author's Response: Katrina, you have made my day with this review. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! It almost killed me to write this because Colin's death is the one I find the most sad in DH and I felt awful making Dennis's life even more messed up. I wanted to explore what it would be like for a person to reach his breaking point, and it makes me so incredibly happy to hear you liked it! Also, thanks for commenting on the last paragraph, because that was the hardest for me to write and I'm still not sure I'm entirely happy with it :). xx Ariana
Summary: Peace. Trust. Grief. Bitterness.
Four Stories that tell one tale.
We are majestic_ginny and Ginny Weasley Potter, both of Hufflepuff, writing for The Rainbow Challenge over at the Great Hall.
This was a really interesting concept, to connect four completely different couples through the colour blue, and I liked how you used blue as a representation of trust and used that as the common theme. It felt like a bit of a refrain, which I thought worked really well.
I know these were just meant to be snapshots, but I would have liked a bit more of Albus' story - I think you mentioned her name (Andrea) once, but I would have liked to have known more about her character and their relationship together. But I thought the section was well-written and showed his sadness and regret - or at least wish that he could change something. That was evoked really well.
I thought the Scorpius/Rose section worked really well - it was very complete, even though you didn't show that much of their relationship, because from what you did show they were really in love with each other. I thought it was sad that they both got married without their fathers' approvals, although it drew a nice link between them that both their fathers were against it and both their mothers agreed. And I felt like there was some hope that their fathers might come around to the idea. Rose writing that message on the handkerchief felt very heartfelt.
I likd Parvati and Danyal's story - it's nice to read a fanfic with forbidden love that's not about Purebloods/muggleborns.You really showed Parvati's unhappiness about it, and so I really felt her joy when she realised that she would actually be with the man she loved - it was very romantic and sweet. It might have been nice to see a bit more aobut their religions though - clearly Parvati believes in her religion, and it would be interesting to explore the conflict that might be there between them, not just their families. I hope that makes sense. But as a snapshot it did work really well.
The last part really went somewhere I wasn't expecting, but the way you set Genevieve's character up, I really understood why she did that. I liked the way you explored the idea of power and victimhood - because initially Genevieve seems like the powerless one, but in the end she turns the tables on him, and I think she gets her strength from her child - which I interpret as being love which ultimately causes her to do that. Because before she was pregnant, she didn't really have anything to live for.
Just one little thing - I didn't like the opening few lines of the story that much. I would have liked it more if you'd got straight into the characters and maybe incorporated in later the different meanings of the colour blue. I just didn't feel that drawn in initially.
I actually came to this story because you both left me such lovely reviews, but I really enjoyed it so I'll be going to read more of both of your stuff soon. :).
Author's Response: Pooja:
Hey Katrina! Thank you for that amazing review! This was actually for a challenge, and since Nadia and I liked the themes it suggested, we chose the blue colour. Nadia wrote Albus and Mrs Zabini, and she’ll be responding to you about those, while I’ll stick to Scorpius and Parvati. Although I have to tell you- she does have a wonderful Albus/Andrea story called ‘Patchwork’, and is planning on writing them properly in another story too.
For Scorpius and Rose, it was just like a drabble, to be honest. It continues in Rubies, the sequel to this, and I really felt that there was nothing to add after that. I felt that Rose would be closer to her father than her mother, hence, she’d feel terrible if he didn’t accept her marriage. But then again, she trusted her relationship with Scorpius, so I guess she decided to go with it. I think Ron would forgive her when later on. :) I am glad you liked it, though.
The Parvati/Danyal theme is a very common, and very real thing in India. People die over this kind of thing, and this, in comparison, is pretty mild, actually. Well, as Nadia and I wrote this story in a rush, it didn’t leave much time to explore the intricacies of the religious conflicts here. But yes, it was mainly to explore a story theme I hadn’t really done before, as I don’t write religion much. But then again, you liked it, and nothing makes me happier!
Again, thank you for the amazing review! :D It really made both our days. The sequel is called Rubies, if you want to check it out, and though I haven’t expanded upon my snippets, Nadia has written another Albus and Andrea story, like I’ve said. Thank you! *hearts*
Nadia:Katrina, thank you! This review is really nice, and I'm glad you liked the story. I am glad you agree with me about Genevieve; that's exactly the effect I was hoping for. I wanted to show that, though people think that Mrs Zabini was an evil person, she was the victim of it. I've wondered about her a lot, and I find this to be a plausible answer. It's true that after her child came, she couldn't take it anymore and whatever she did, was for him and to provide him a better life. This, probably, is what caused a series of events that lead to each husband's death. I think that maybe initially she killed him to protect her son, but later with her other husbands, I guess she just got the thrill and realised she liked doing it. But yes, overall in this scene, she did it all for her son. I tried to show her courage here, and I'm happy you picked it up :)
As for Al and Andrea, I have written a story about them! It's called Patchwork, and it shows how they got together. I'm also planning on a sequel and a prequel to this, too; at least I'll write it once I'm over my major writers block, hah. Anyway, thank you so much for the lovely review! I'm glad you liked our story! Don't forget to check out part II of this, though! This won't make much sense without it :) Thanks again, Katrina! <3
Summary: There was bitterness, grief and betrayal. Peace, trust and calm. But now love, lust, blood and anger come together for yet another tale.
We are Ginny Weasley Potter and majestic_ginny, both from Hufflepuff house, writing for The Rainbow Challenge in the Great Hall.
I read this a while ago but didn't get a chance to review it - so here's the review.
I liked that you changed up the order from Sapphires (it's reversed isn't it?), that worked really well.
Although I think it's slightly unbelievable that Genevieve could get away with killing her husband and writing his suicide note that so obviously benefited her, I did really like the first section. (And I guess she was known for killing her husbands, maybe no-one ever found any proof.) I liked the idea of her killing for her child - for some reason it made me think of James and Lily, who are killed for their child, but I think they might have killed for him too. So while murder is a terrible thing, you do really make us sympathise with her. I also liked the use of the apple - although perhaps you could have used the symbolism more subtly (that's probably just my opinion). I also liked the part when she washed her hands of his blood - and then you used the words "clean and pure", which shows that she doesn't feel any remorse or guilt for what she's done, which is quite an interesting concept.
I really thought that Parvati and Danyal were going to have a happy ever after at the end of Sapphires, so initially I was surprised at the start of this part, but it soon made sense. I liked how it was Yash's note which really started Parvati's thoughts about changin her mind, and I think you showed her dilemma really well and I really felt for her in having to make that decision. Just one comment - in the second paragraph you use "beautiful" three times, you might want to change on of those.
The Rose and Scorpius part was again quite sweet - you showed their relationship and their love for each other really well, and it was very interesting to do it by showing their first time together. I really liked the ending of that section too, it felt very sweet and hopeful.
So then you moved from a very sweet story to regret, which was a really nice contrast. The image at the end of Albus breaking down was really vivid and I could feel his pain at potentially losing Andrea over a misunderstanding.
Anyway I thought the whole story was great and the fours stories connected nicely, and worked really well as a sequel to Sapphires.
Author's Response: Hey Katrina! Sorry it's been so long, we usually collaborate for responses, but for a while Nadia and I lost contact because of her college and I remembered this, so I'll take the liberty of replying for her as well. :)
Yes, the order was reversed. All Nadia's idea! Genevieve, though, she did kill a lot of her husbands, right (it's been implied)? So we thought maybe she did get off easy after all. So happy you liked it, though! I loved it too. Nadia is brilliant. :) I think anyone is capable for killing for a child. It probably takes quite a lot to get there, but I believe people could do it if pushed hard enough. And everything else about Genevieve was all Nadia, hehe. But the blood part was lovely, yes.
I wasn't sure what I was doing when I wrote Yash/Parvati/Danyal. I really don't know what I did with that, now that I look back at it. Hehe, Glad you liked it, though! Rose and Scorpius too! I think I struggled quite a bit with their awkward sex, but I'm happy it turned out okay! I'll go check out that 'beautiful' bit. Thank you for pointing it out! :)
Albus/Andrea, again Nadia's creation, is like my headcanon for Albus. Love those two. They're my perfect a**butt couple, hehe. Yes, it was quite sad, I think, especially as I liked him too!
Thank you for the review, and again, sorry about how long it took us to reply! Pooja and Nadia. :)
Summary: Adrian Pucey has always had a tumultuous relationship with Miles Bletchley, but as the years tread on, 'tumultuous' is just the beginning. And when Miles is found dead at the Battle of Hogwarts -- and as a Death Eater -- Adrian's sense of loss pales in comparison to what he finds at the funeral.
This story has been nominated for a 2013 Quicksilver Quill Award: Best Dark/Angst.
This is reall well-written, Jess. You handle some pretty intense and difficult topcis really well; you're respectful while at the same time drawing attention to a very real problem that a lot of people have to deal with, and the awful consequences it can have.
I loved your characterisation of Adrian and he came across really well. He seems very... human, he has his faults but ultimately he wants to do what's right. I also liked that while he might be small and the poorest and lack social status, he still has his own strength (eg saying no to the Knights).
One of the moments that had a real impact on me was when Miles said Adrian was lucky to have his Dad; it feels pretty confronting to consider the abuse that Adrian suffered as a good thing, but in comparison to what Miles suffered it was.
I also thought Miles was a really well-drawn character. It's interesting reading him from other character's points of view (eg Michael - I've read this whole series), because he really does seem like a pretty violent bully, but when you put it into context it is understandable. You've made him very human too.
I loved the way you wrote this, in jumping back and forth from the funeral. It's effective to see the impact the funeral has on Adrian and then go back through time to find out why exactly. I also thought you did a good job on the relationship between them; it is clear that Adrian doesn't exactly like Miles, but there is still a connection.
I thought the ending was interesting, with Adrian and his father sort of reconciling. I thought you did that in a very real way, because it woud be easy (in terms of hte story I mean) for Adrian to just hate his father forever, but he is still his father. I think it shows how Adrian has grown over the story, and really shows that things aren't simple and black and white.
I probably haven't picked up on everything that's good about this story, but I think it is fantastic. I love the whole series, you do a great job of showing both sides of the war and showing again that things are not black and white. So I should get to reviewing the other stories soon.
I will admit, while the subject matter is grim, dense, and taxing to the emotions, this is one of my favourite stories I've written and in the top three in terms of quality. There is something about writing contrasting characters that turn out to not be so different at all that captivates me as a writer, such as how Michael and Miles both had an innate violent tendency that the correct circumstances could bring forth, and also their respective social differences determined how they dealt with those things.
Adrian is probably my favourite minor character who didn't have much besides a name in the series. That meant I could shape his life any way I wanted or needed, but his entire existence was just...there, in my head, from the moment I started writing Hollow Soldiers. I just had to get around to writing it.
The part with Adrian's father in the end actually sparked some controversy for some readers, but to me it was the only conclusion. Hating everything and wanting to exert power over it was what had got Miles killed, and it was what had spurred Adrian's dad to be the way he was. But once Adrian's dad lost the power he had over his wife and child, he finally appeared to Adrian as what he truly was: a tortured man who knew awful things he couldn't live with. Adrian knew a little bit about not being able to live with a secret and, while he didn't invite his father to Sunday dinner after hugging it out, gave the man a chance to rectify his mistakes and pay penance for them. Punishment is a prevailing theme in the Hollow Soldiers series, and this element was an extension of that.
The timeline was basically made to converge. The past continued until it turned into the beginning!present (I literally do not know how else to put that), and the beginning!present evolved to shape the future of the series. Seen through the light of this fic, I think it makes the rest of the series more difficult to read and identify who is really a villain or who has made poor choices. Except Samuel. He's definitely a villain. Jerk.
Thank you for reading this story and reviewing. It means a lot to me, especially from one of MNFF's most accomplished reader/reviewers. This is a special story to me, and I'm glad people are still reading it and taking away important things from it.
Summary: In his new home, Ron Weasley stumbles across a Boggart. What he sees chills him to the core.
This is majestic_ginny of Hufflepuff writing for the October mini-challenge over at the Great Hall.
Since you left me such a lovely review on my story, I thought I'd come and read something of yours. I really liked this story, you've captured the characters so well and I really liked the premise.
You described really vivdly what it felt like for Ron, both at Malfoy Manor and facing the Boggart, having to watch/listen to Hermione's screams and knowing he was helpless, and particularly in the first situation knowing that he'd never told her how much he cared about her. I particularly liked how you drew on the idea of helplessness, because I think that makes it so much worse for Ron.
I find Boggarts really interesting, because sometimes they're not that hard to overcome (say for example Lupin's class in third year, where they're in a classroom environment surrounded by friends and a teach so nothing will get out of hand), but at other times they can be truly terrifying, like this one, or Molly's Boggart in OotP. I think they're often similar to Dementors in that way. I also liked how you drew it in with Ron's fear of spiders - because when he was younger, he thought he was most terrified of spiders, but as he grew up, he realised that their were things more terrifying, like losing someone he loved, which makes this Boggart so much harder to face, because how do you make your wife's dying body funny?
I also liked how you drew it in the end to bravery, which is conquering fear, not avoiding it. I think that's one of the most important themes in the books - because Harry is very often afraid, and yet he still finds courage. Because courage isn't courage if you're not afraid in the first place.
I smiled at their interactions at the beginning and end - it felt very natural and exactly the way I imagine them relating as a married couple.
I loved your Hermione too, because she knows how difficult that was for Ron and she knows how to comfort him and help him. I thought it was a nice touch adding that he was the reason she held on when being tortured, it really showed their relationship and the strength of love and it worked really well here.
So overall I really enjoyed this story, I think you really got the characters and it was a nice moment between them.
Author's Response: Ooh, Katrina, thank you! I'm really glad you liked this story; I don't think I've written Ron/Hermione before, and this story just came to my head as I was reading some R/Hr headcanons on the internet. I couldn't get rid of the plot-bunny, and when the challenge came up, I just had to do it (plus it was Pooja's birthday and she loves the pairing so it just fell together in place, lol).
I'm glad you liked my descriptions. I felt so bad for him during the Malfoy Manor scene, because that's when I think he realised that he really and truly loved her. It took me a while, but I thought I'd got the right emotions through, and I'm glad you approve :). That is the reason that I had his Boggart change, too. I think that at Malfoy Manor, things changed for him a lot. What happened to Hermione scared him far more than spiders ever could (and I've experienced this myself; I have arachnophobia too, but really, that fear is nothing compared to what I felt when I heard my boyfriend having an accident over the phone. It really feels like the life drained out of you). That incident must have changed his perspective on fear, and that's how his new Boggart was born. And you're right; there was no way he could make that funny. either, and that's why he couldn't even do anything.
I'm so glad you liked the ending, too, and that you could relate it to the books. Thank you! And as for Hermione, she'd always been there for both the boys in terms of trouble. Ever since day one. And Ron and Hermione had suffered through a lot, and over the years their relation had strengthened a lot. I'm glad you liked how I portrayed her; I was bit worried about it. It's hard to keep a balance between bookish Hermione and Gryffindor Hermione, so I really appreciate your words :).
Thank you so much for the lovely review, Katrina. I really, really appreciate it. :D
Failure: fail·ure: a fracturing or giving way under stress, a falling short.
Hermione has faced a boggart before. The problem is, she didn't succeed.
This is Padfoot11333 of Hufflepuff writing for the Great Hall Mini-Challenge: The Boggart Challenge.
IT WON--alongside Gmariam's Afraid of the Dark. I am shocked.
Nominated for a 2013 Quicksilver Quill - Best Dark/Angst.
This story is really interesting, and your characterisation of Hermione is great. I liked how her fear of failure carries through the whole thing, and the images of Hermione as a six-year-old were very interesting, because I've always imagined her as working really hard at primary school (probably because she felt socially inadequate) - but your interpretation works really well and makes so much sense with how she is when she's older.
I also liked the comparison between her boggart at the end of third year, and then at Grimmauld Place, and how much she, and the world she is in, have changed in that time. I liked as well that it was Harry's dead body she saw, because, as you wrote, that would be like a failure for her; but the moment with Ron afterwards was very sweet and really reflected where there relationship was at at that point in DH.
I think it's really interesting that she laughs at the Boggart, but very believable, because she's seen Harry be in so many life-threatening situations and survive that she can't really be terrified every time - does that make sense? It's hard to explain exactly what I mean, but I think you captured it really well in the story.
Anyway, I'm not sure why you're not happy with this, because I really enjoyed and think it's really well-written.
Summary: Lily has a theory. James thinks she’s mad. Remus and Sirius don’t know what their friends are discussing, but they would be very amused if they did. How long will it take for Lily to win the argument this time?
I am very grateful to Pooja/Ginny Weasley Potter for looking over this for me.
This story is dedicated to the inestimably fabulous Soraya/xxbabewithbrainsxx, as a rather late birthday present. Happy birthday, my lovely, and I hope you enjoy this. It’s officially the first time I’ve written an SSP!
This was a really sweet story, and you got the tone of it so well. Great dialogue between James and Lily too - nice mixture between banter and showing their love. You really showed their characterisations through it perfectly.
Even though you mention the war briefly, this mostly feels quite light, which I really liked because they are all still at Hogwarts and in this moment they're all feeling pretty... happy.
I loved the juxtaposition of the two scenes, as you had Lily describing what she thought was happening, and then immediately showed it happening afterwards. Of course she would have it figured out and James would be totally clueless, I loved the last line - a perfect way to finish the fic.
I really liked the light quality to this fic I mentioned before, these are some of my favourite characters and it is nice to think they had fun/good times before they had to go through so much other stuff. (Does that make sense?)
Anyway, this was a lovely fic to brighten up my day :).
Summary: 'Sometimes I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror or a window, and I do not recognise the face staring back. Even the eyes, which never truly change, seem dulled in comparison to what they once were.
It is not age that dulled them but you, and him, and her, and the myriad of dreams that came to nothing.'
Albus Dumbledore dwells on his life, and love, and the Hogwarts' students he shaped.
This story is for Natalie (hestiajones) because it is her birthday and she is a fantastic friend. Have a good one, my love.
Disclaimer: I'm not JK Rowling. I think that's obvious.
Thank you very much, Kara (Karaley Dargen) for beta'ing this story and helping me rethink bits. :)
I really love the premise of this story... I think a teacher (especially one so experienced as Albus) has an interesting relationship with their pupils and an amazing ability to observe people when they're young, and sometimes see some of their best and worst moments.
It's perfect that you started with Tom and ended with Harry, because to me their Sorting shows the difference in what each chose. And those last few lines about Harry are just so perfect.
I thought the interspersed sections where Albus was talking to Gellert in his head, because everything that happened back then had such a profound effect on him essentially for the next hundred years, especially in how he related to people.
I thought the way you described Sirius was interesting, especially when he is signing up for the Order. It's like, because of what Sirius did to Snape, he has an understanding with Dumbledore, and Dumbledore knows that Sirius knows what it will take to fight in the war (I apologise for that terribly constructed sentence).
I loved the duplication of the line that Gellert used and then Albus used with Snape... it draws some interesting connections, and shows that love can lead you the wrong way as much as the right.
I loved the idea that Albus sorts all of the students in his head... it seems like exactly the kind of thing he would do, and I also liked that he didn't want to sort Harry, because I think even now he can see the mistakes he has made with Harry, and might have an inkling of the mistakes he will make.
Just one small thing - to me it didn't seem quite natural for the Bloody Baron to say "Mwahaha"... of the whole story, which generally flowed so well, that just felt a bit awkward to me.
Oh and I loved both sections which featured Minerva, I thought your reason for her choosing to become an Animagus was very plausible and really fit with character.
Lovely story, Carole, and well-written as always.
Author's Response: Katrinaaaaa - Thank you so much for reviewing and I'm very pleased you liked the story. I do always like writing Dumbledore, although for a long while I could never quite get his voice (think lyrical, was the advice given to me). This story (for the lovely Natalie) was a chance to devote a whole story to him because he's her favourite character. You seem to have picked out the bits I enjoyed writing the best, namely Minerva, Sirius saying he would die and could kill, the repeated lines and then the last line of the fic which I'd had in mind from the beginning.
I take your point about the line from the Bloody Baron and it does seem a little off to me, as well, but I wanted something scary, I suppose, and yet something that we'd realise isn't that frightening.
Thanks again fro the great review ~Carole~
Summary: And James was walking on air, floating through his own life. Everything was wonderful and spectacular and fantastic and Sirius was happy for him - really.
I haven't read much fanfic recently, and this was a fantastic story to remind me how good it can be.
I think your interpretation of Sirius is very interesting, and you address his problems with complexity. A lot of writers just write about Sirius having a problem with Lily, but in this (the way I understand it) she's just a catalyst to the unravelling of his life, and to me, the cause is really his family. I thought Sirius' hesitancy about joining the Order was very good, because so often he is interpreted as almost enjoying fighting in the Order. His relationship with Regulus here is very interesting, and especially the notion of what a brother is, and how he has tried to replace Regulus with the Marauders, but he can't ignore his brother.
I loved the repetition near the beginning about Sirius being happy for James ("really"), and the way you set it up as being cracks that gradually opened up. The writing in general was beautiful - just one comment, right near the beginning you wrote Only because Evans wants you too. - I think you probably meant 'to'?
You achieved the style of Sirius' point of view really well... it feels like we really are inside his thoughts, and the whole piece flowed and fit together beautifully. To me it seems like this story is tragic, even in the traditional sense, because in one way, Sirius really does have it all at school - popular and with three close friends, and by the end of this story he's in prison, but innocent, and going mad.
The first and last lines were fantastic and created a great connection between the beginning and the end.
So clearly I really loved this story and think you wrote it really well.
Author's Response: Thanks! I'm glad you liked the story. It was actually inspired by the countless stories I've read where Sirius has a problem with Lily, which got me thinking about whether he really would have had a problem with her or if she would just be a proxy for everything else going wrong in his life. And thanks for pointing out the "too" "to" error, I went back and fixed it.
Katie Bell fought hard to build a relationship with a difficult and reclusive Draco Malfoy, despite their dire past, but she felt like she was losing him more the closer they came to their wedding date. However, when Draco manages to strand himself far in the past with his newly-discovered Temporal Displacement Potion, Katie follows him back, only to find more than she bargained for.
She found the truth.
This is ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor of Ravenclaw, writing for the Ninth Round of the Gauntlet.
I agree, the story is a little weird, but it's also well-written and enjoyable. I like how you focus on the relationship between Katie and Draco, even though there's crazy time travel stuff going on, I feel like this story is really about them. I thought the ending of this chapter was great and really showed that. Although I was a bit surprised that Katie apologised to him for shouting and seemed less angry at the end, I expected her to still be angry at him leaving without saying anything.
I am also curious for the next chapters, especially to know why Draco chose this particular time to go back to (clearly he wants to escape his life, but why the 11th Century), and what he's been doing for three months.
As usual, it's well-written, but personally I found it a little bit longer than it needed to be... it's not that there's a particular section I would cut, but I just found it took me until almost the end of the chapter to really get into it.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to the rest. I hope Draco's got some proper answers.
Gah, I miss you!
This story was a handful because of the nature of the Gauntlet prompts (and probably the crux of the pacing issue). I probably could've worked it a bit better, but by the time the fourth or fifth prompt hit, I just wanted the whole thing to end. Hence the patchy pacing.
Draco's trip back in time is explained in the final chapter, but as for what he was doing for three months, the answer is mainly surviving. What else could he do, when his potion to send him a couple years back in time sends him a millennium? Most of the ingredients he used were imported from elsewhere, and in that day and age, that meant unavailable. He thought he was going to spend the rest of his life in the land that time forgot, lol.
Katie apologised to Draco for shouting because she can see that he had already suffered enough. After all, he did spend months scraping by in a barbaric time period. Plus, she loves him to the point where, if she bitched about every inconsiderate thing he ever did, they'd never speak to each other again.
Anyway, off to respond to the rest. I hope things have proven illuminating.
Well a lot of things make a lot more sense now. I like your reason for Draco wanting to go back... I really didn't think he was going back to change the necklace, because of the reasons Katie mentions, even though he probably feels guilty about it. Also there's a nice connection with your reason - in trying to prevent himself from losing her, she lost him (by him being consumed by his work) and then almost lost him to time.
I liked the beginning of this chapter, with Katie waking up by herself, and the way she felt like that was normal. And in a way Draco getting the rabbit was like him being busy with his potions... it was to help/protect her.
I know I said in my last review I found the pacing a bit slow, but it was much better in this one - it flowed really well and I've really got into the story.
Yeah, I think a lot of the story flow stemmed from me having to establish a lot of backstory in order to make the upcoming information palatable. Once that nonsense was out of the way, the rest just kind of happened of its own accord.
This was where I wanted both the cracks and the strengths of Draco and Katie's bond to show. They are, after all, together for a reason, and I wanted to make sure that was explored to at least some extent. As you mentioned, Draco off hunting as Katie slept was indicative of their relationship; he worked hard to take care of her while she wished he were there for her to be with.
Anyway, I'm glad the story started to clarify itself. It's not the clearest thing ever, so that you could work through the weirdness and get to the explanation was good. Thank youuuu for being you and for visiting!
I did think she would die, but nonetheless I was sad she did, although it was sort of bittersweet, because she was with Draco.
It was rather a complicated story... this paragraph had me a little confused “I just couldn’t believe I missed by that much. You somehow got the formula out of me, but you even managed to convince my past self -- the one who came to the future -- that it was the right formula to go a year or so in the past after I returned to my own time using the potion I had already made. You set me up!” - but I got the general idea, and I find I can never really get my head around time travel anyway. And I did like the idea that it was Baltain all along. He did seem too good to be true (when he helped them with the potion). I thought it was interesting that he called his father weak and blind, I feel like there's a story in that.
The scene of Katie's death was really well-written... it felt like one of those moments in a movie where everything suddenly goes quiet and slows down (kind of like Sirius' death in OotP), which I really liked. Somehow that has the right drama for a death that you sort of knew would happen.
I don't think Baltain's attempts at modern English are that believable though... if he was from the 11th Century, he would have spoken Old English, and possibly a form of Old French, and Latin, and all of those have verbs and are predecessors of English, so he's unlikely to say something like "This English a stupid language", because it's lacking a verb. Anyway. I've just gone on for a paragraph about a really small thing that I probably only noticed because I'm interesting in the history of the English language.
So after that sidetrack, I did think this was a satisfactory ending to the story, and it sounds like the prompt was a bit difficult, but this does flow as a (mostly) believable story, that's certainly well-written.
Ah, what to address first?
Of course, Katie was going to die. It had already happened, and by making himself a part of that timeline, Draco trapped himself as a catalyst of Katie's fate. I think that is one of the more heartbreaking things I've had to do to him, but it was a necessary evil.
The explanation was confusing, but the situation was confusing. Draco was just starting to piece together what had happened and how, and more importantly, how to keep it from happening again. This will and did cause a bit of dodgy logic. Hopefully, though, it worked itself out.
I did some research on England's primary languages in this era, and most every source I could find said that, due to the Roman conquest, most of the island spoke Latin - especially learned folks. It also makes sense, since spells in HP have always been in Latin; the Founders having taught a lot of those spells, they would have spoken Latin as compared to Old English. And as for Baltain trying to speak modern English, I will cite personal experience as my inspiration. He is learning a language on his own from only listening and comparing to words he does know; he is going to have syntax problems. Also, the difference between Latin and English sentence structure is hilariously huge. There just...is no comparison. It reminds me of when I was learning Spanish in school. I could say things, but a lot of times, I'd either leave out words, use the wrong modifier or pronoun or suffix and end up with a Spanish milkshake of a sentence instead of something someone who actually speaks it could understand. That's why I made his struggles with English a thing. I will leave that for you to decide.
I wanted Katie's death to be the end of the story because we already know what happens after. And before. *shakes fist at causality* It was important that it happened and that you as a reader knew it did. I'm glad it was a good coda for the story. :)
Anyway, this is definitely not one of my stronger pieces, but I'll take any Katrina reviews I can get. Thank you for reading and for your support over the years. *hugs*
This is Hokey from Slytherin submitting for Round 9 of the Gauntlet.
Her mind was already set. Hermione had never abandoned Harry before, and she wasn’t very well going to start now.
I think this is a really interesting and different story. I liked the way you set up the friendship between Harry and Hermione, especially the line She had never abandoned Harry before and she wasn’t very well going to start now - that reminded me of the end of HBP, which I thought was really appropriate given the situation.
It was an intriguing choice that Harry wanted to talk to Salazar... to me it made sense that he went back to the beginnings of Hogwarts, because the school always had so much meaning to him, but I wasn't quite sure why he spoke to Salazar. I understand that you refer to it being about what makes a good person etc, but it would have been nice if the story was expanded a bit more. I know the story is more about Hermione and how she relates to Harry, but I would have liked to have seen a bit more of Harry and what went on with Salazar... to me Hermione's final line "I'm glad you found yourself" doesn't quite make sense, because even though Harry doesn't seem depressed anymore, there's not that much evidence that something has really changed for him.
I also think it would have been good if you'd expanded a bit on Harry's fits of depression... you refer to them not having interfered with his work, but I think it would add to the story to know a bit more.
Having said that, I found it an enjoyable story to read, and I thought Hermione's character was done excellently, and you really showed her point of view and thoughts.
Author's Response: I really would have liked to expand more on this, too, I've had a lot of ideas about why Harry would go back to when Hogwarts was founded. But, as this was a challenge entry and there was a deadline (which I just about managed to keep), there wasn't much time for me to delve deeper... Anyway, what I mean is that I agree with you :) A bit more substance wouldn't have hurt. I'm glad you liked the characterization and that you took the time to read and review! Thank you :)