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: 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 :)
Summary: The smell of home-of my sister- is long gone. My sister should be the one wearing it.
A story about growing up, family, and most importantly- a yellow knit hat.
This is an intriguing story. I really liked the idea of putting Down's syndrome into the wizarding world. I think with disabilities, it will always have an effect on the whole family, and especially a sibling. I liked how Lucy feels an intense love for Molly, but at the same time she has suffered from a lack of attention from her parents, or perhaps a lack of awareness of her own problems.
I had a little bit of trouble with your characterisation of Lucy - I would have liked to have seen more of what drove her to that place of self-loathing. The section that begins The mirror was my worst enemy confused me a little - sofar you had shown Lucy's anger at the world for Molly's condition, but this felt a bit unexpected. I guess I know the point up until she runs away is probably supposed to happen quickly and feel out of her control, but I just felt something in the lead up to it was missing, to show the real darkness she was living in and how she got there. It would also have been interesting if you'd explored a bit why she/the hate chose Slytherin - it definitely adds something to her character, but I would have liked to have known more.
I really liked your interpretation of James - so often in fanfic he is a bit of a bully, a prankster, not very sensitive, very popular etc. I liked that here he is the only one who really notices how bad things are for her, and that he really sticks with her.
The motif of the yellow hat worked really well, too, to tie the sisters together, and I liked the opening scene and how you used the hat there. Just one thing - be careful with the difference between dashes and hyphens - eg The smell of home-of my sister- is long gone. - It should be "The smell of home - of my sister - is long gone."
One other small thing - I'm not sure Lucy would have been that successful running away - even if her parents were always focussed more on Molly, surely they would do everything they could if their daughter ran away.
Anyway, I thought this was a really original concept that was generally well-written and a good read.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for the amazing review. :)
Disabilities do have an effect on the whole family, at least for me. My oldest sister has Down's, and sometimes it *is* hard, because of how much attention and focus she does need. I also feel like disabilites aren't something common in the wizarding world- we never saw a character with one in canon.
I agree with you that I should have written more about Lucy. I guess I was trying to 'show' rather than 'tell', but it does need a little preamble. We know that she is left out in her dorm, and at that age (I know, because it's my age) it's when a lot of girls start thinking like that. Not to that extreme- but I should have made it more clear. Maple wants me to do a sequel- I'll probably explore a lot of that more. :)
As for James, well, I never saw him as another James Potter I. I think in the epilogue he was being a jerk, yes, but that he really wasn't like that. I don't like it when fics put him in that light, so I try not to. :) Or at least without reason.
Lucy running away: I agree that it would have been easy to run away initially, but staying hidden was harder. In my head, she hid out in Muggle London, where it would be extremely hard for her parents to find her, even though I think they did try very hard. If she didn't use magic and stayed generally out of sight, it would be very hard to find her.
Thank you so much for the amazing review!
Summary: Leanne Gamp hadn't wanted to be at that party, even though it was Christmas. However, a chance meeting behind the curtains meant that her evening wasn't at all what she expected.
Written for the There's Snow Such Thing As Magic challenge in the Great Hall. I chose to do the bonus prompt: The Mistletoe-Rag Challenge.
I read this a while ago but didn't get around to reviewing it... so after getting your lovely review today I came back to it, and I'm really glad I did. It's a nice unique story and well-characterised.
I liked how you set up Leanne's situation at the start - she is clearly dealing with something potentially traumatic, but you don't let us know what it is, which works really well. Plus she's unhappy because of the party she's at, so I think those two things worked well together.
I also really liked the whole idea of the party being as you described it "an exercise in bridge-building" and that families like the Bulstrodes were taking a chance to climb the social ladder - that fits so perfectly into what we know of the pureblood society from canon.
I liked Malfoy's entrance - you showed their awkwardness really well through the dialogue, but I think you also show a connection between them straight away - I guess because they're both hiding.
Having Katie Bell as their connection worked so perfectly - it feels like it's her memory and both of their guilt about it that draws them together. I really liked this line - The look of shock on Malfoy's face and the satisfaction she derived from it made the risk she had just taken worthwhile., because I think it would be very natural for her to get some satisfaction from surprising him, particularly when he expects her to hate him.
I really liked Draco's response to Leanne's confession - while her friends and family just didn't know what to do with her to help her, he knew exactly what to say, and that's probably because he understands guilt probably better than anyone. I liked how that honesty from him did really help her and made them both able to laugh for the first time; somehow I feel like Katie would have been happy for them.
I thought it was really cute that they didn't notice the party had finished because they were so caught up in talking to each other. I also thought it was realistic that Leanne didn't want to go to Malfoy Manor - there would definitely be something very difficult about going to a place that had witnessed so many terrible things.
Just a few notes, sometimes it seems like you overwrite a bit, eg quite an unexpected and unusual occurrence - you probably only need one of the adjectives, or the same thing with not something she usually did easily. Also I think somewhere you wrote "wondered" instaed of "wandered", but I can't find the spot anymore, sorry that's not too helpful!
But I did really enjoy this slightly unusual pairing and their characterisation was so canon and it worked so perfectly. It had a nice mixture between grief and awareness of the war and love and trying to build something better, which can be really hard to get right. So overall I enjoyed it :).
Summary: “I’ve always been chubby. Admit it.”
“You’ve never been skinny, Lily, no. So what?”
“So I don’t like it! So I want to actually look like I’m related to everyone else and not be the bloody odd one out. Is that so bad, that I want to be -- beautiful? Really?”
On the day of Teddy and Victoire's wedding, Lily Luna Potter faces some home truths.
This is babewithbrains of Ravenclaw writing for the 2013 Great Hall Valentine's Day Cotillion.
This story has been nominated for a 2013 Quicksilver Quill Award: Best Next Generation. Thank you!
I think I read this a while ago, but never got around to reviewing it until I found it again today. It's really really good... Eating disorders are awful and I think they're still so rarely recognised and people often don't really understand what's going on for the sufferers and think they can just stop it. But I think you handled the topic really well. I liked that the story was from Lily's perspective, because you really see what it's like for her, and you never get a clear idea of exactly if she's overweight, or how much she is, if she even is. I would guess that her weight is fine, but that perhaps she's not naturally as slim as her cousins. But I just liked that by putting us in her head, we really see what it feels like to her - because her perspective on herself is so different to everyone else's.
I loved Louis. I think his honesty/bluntness is really good, because Lily really needs someone who says what he thinks, rather than someone who tells her that she's fine. (I hope that makes sense.) I also liked that he refused to drop the subject with Lily, even though it was obvious that she didn't want to talk about it and she was pushing him away, because he cared about her that much. Everyone else doesn't realise what's wrong for her, even Victoire, who is kind to her, just tells her she looks fine, rather than seeing the problem.
I loooved Louis at the end - he just knew exactly the right thing to say to her to make her feel at least a little bit better.
I also liked how you described their feelings for each other - even though it's from Lily's perspective, and she doesn't realise Louis likes her (probably because she couldn't believe anyone would like her), but you showed the reader that he does. So good work there :).
And in response to your last response to my review (that's a convoluted sentence...) - I think I'll be back on mnff a bit, I've actually got a new story up for the first time in about 9 months. I didn't feel I had anything to write for ages, so I didn't really read much fanfiction either. But I've got some new ideas, so you'll probably see me on a bit more. Good luck for your exams though :).
Author's Response: Yayyayyayay, I'm so happy you reviewed this, Katrina. Loulily as a pairing has been bothering me a lot lately especially because I have been trying and failing to convert to OF for the best part of a year. (I think I'm having issues because I just really don't know if I should give them a happy ending... but I won't start plot ranting in a review response, lol. Anyway back to your review - I'm so glad you thought the issue of eating disorders was handled well. This is a pretty personal story, not necessarily in twnrs of actions but more because I share a lot of Lily's insecurities, so I'm pleased to hear you thought I dealt with the topic well.
I do think there needed to be a bit of ambiguity regarding if Lily is fat or if it's just in her head - partly because I'm not sure myself, ha. Also I think this story was one about perspective, so I'm glad you picked up on that.
And yayyyayayyay, you liked Louis! :D Louis is kind of my fictional husband so I feel I know him well, as weird as that sounds, and I'm flattered that you liked his blunt honesty because that's a big part of his character.
what I liked about writing this story was that it was about romance but far more about unresolved sexual tension than any actual action - on Louis's part, this was also unrealised tension, lol. I think Louis didn't fully realise how he felt about Lily to begin with, basically. After all, it takes a long time for them to finally get together, haha.
Finally I'm so glad you're back! :D I will be far more active after my exams are over - in June, I'm planning on teaching a reviewing class and a betaing class and possibly running a three month character clinic challenge. But thank you so much for your lovely reviews! Responding to them in between revision has been a joy, so ♥
Summary: When Charity Burbage became the Muggle Studies professor, she was looking for a new life, safe in the enclave of Hogwarts.
She certainly wasn't looking for love.
Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling.
This is Equinox Chick of Hufflepuff writing for the Second Great Hall Cotillion.
Thank you, Natalie, (hestiajones) for an on the hoof beta job.
I loved this, and it's a different take on student/teacher fics than what I've come across before. I liked the way you spread this out over several years, and didn't go for any cliches of love potions, detentions etc and made their relationship seem natural. The connections over domestic abuse would obviously draw them together. I think you handled that topic really well, when it can be quite hard to write about. I thought it was good that you didn't say that Marcus necessarily abused women all the time, and so avoided the stereotype of him being exactly the same as his brother (I hope that makes sense).
I loved all the secondary characters and side story lines in this, especially Dorinda and how Charity in a way turned her life around. I loved how you depicted Charity as the kind of teacher who really cares for her students and tries to help them personally as well as in class... she just generally seemed like an awesome teacher.
I thought you drew the canon events into the story really well - they're not the focus obviously, as they are in the books, but those events would have had an impact on the whole school and I think you showed that well. I also liked your inclusion of canon characters, like Remus, Percy or Fred and George.
I think I've read another one of your stories that describes Oliver's back story in more detail, but it worked self-sufficiently in this. His father's abuse really shows why he would be so fanatical about Quidditch.
I thought Charity and Oliver worked really well together as a couple... I don't know whether they would last a long time, but at this point, Charity was still struggling with her past relationship with Jonah, and I think being with Oliver would really help her with that. While she seems quite mature as a teacher, I think in some ways she is still quite immature and it would be interesting to see how they both grow up together and how much they change.
Anyway, I really loved this whole story.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for this review. I have been wanting to write a teacher/student romance for a while now but wanted it to be un-icky and not featuring Snape - ha ha. For some young teachers, it must be hard teaching kids who are only a few years younger, so i wanted to capture that. I'm glad it worked for you.
Regarding Marcus, I don't think he was an abuser like Jonah was. He might have had the same upbringing and been tempted to act in a similar way, but although he did lash out and didn't treat Dorinda at all well, my intention was that he wasn't a controller in the way Jonah was.
Oliver's backstory is written about in more detail in Drowning, not Waving and also a story called 'Footprints in the Sand' - However the stories aren't linked because in those, Oliver's gay, but I like the background for Oliver's obsession with Quidditch so kept it in.
I agree that Charity is quite immature. There's a part of her still in limbo after Jonah left, so she's essentially still seventeen. I think that's why her and Oliver connect together. Will it last? I would like it to, but she dies. Charity's death seems to be upsetting me more than the other deaths these days. I've become rather attached to her - sigh -.
Thank you again for the lovely review - Carole-
Summary: Nobody really wins in a war. Scenes from Teddy Lupin’s complicated childhood. The story of the last two casualties of the war against Voldemort.
I discovered this today in the featured list, and I can't believe firstly that I didn't read it before, and secondly that it only has one review! This is really a beautiful story, you've captured the characters so perfectly, and the writing is stunning.
Teddy is one of my favourite characters, and though my interpretation of him is a bit different to yours, I definitely think he would feel the effects of the war more strongly than all the Potter/Weasley kids, because obviously he doesn't have his parents. I liked how you drew his connection with Victoire initially over her birthday being the 2nd May - I'd never thought much about how that would make her feel, and how that would always overshadow her birthday.
There are parts of this story that are just perfect, like this one Harry’s told him that when he first came to Hogwarts, he was famous for doing something he couldn’t remember.
Teddy thinks that’s probably better than being famous for doing nothing at all. - In so few words you just get Teddy's character spot on and exactly what he's feeling.
I thought Harry's and Teddy's relationship was interesting - I liked how you hinted at some tension, or that Teddy doesn't always agree with Harry, like this part It’s a lie, but a pretty one, and Teddy carries it with him. Or also the part when Teddy inwardly feels angry at Harry when he talks about winning the war. And yet I liked how they sort of came together when they were looking at Remus and Tonks' graves, and perhaps Harry is the most vulnerable with Teddy that he has been, and is willing to admit that everything is not always okay.
I think starting off with showing Teddy changing his appearance all the time was really cool - it's something that connects him to his parents, especially his mother, but is also so much a part of him and his identity.
I also loved your characterisation of Andromeda - especially the part when she told him she'd need to see him heal someone before she could really be proud, or when you described her as being four parents - it's just perfect. I was intrigued that she didn't go to the big victory celebration - I know she had family on both sides, but she had cut herself off from her family. I've always thought that she might have reconciled with Narcissa though, so maybe that does make sense.
The present tense flows perfectly in this, and it gives Teddy's thoughts such an immediacy that works well. I loved how you used and nobody remembered Victoire as a sort of refrain too.
And as to your comment at the start that maybe this doesn't fit with the "All is well" at the end of DH, I think it sort of does. I don't think JK Rowling intended to mean that life would really go on as if nothing had ever happened, more that there was some hope. And even though this is a sad story, I think you've put hope in there too, that maybe at least for some people, or some day, the world won't be broken anymore.
I also loved how you put snippets of other characters in this - like the way all the children handled being famous at Hogwarts, or Percy crying all through the victory ceremony and George being snappish. They were all showed so well, but didn't take over from the main characters at all.
There's probably more I could say about this... it is really a fantastic story, and I hope you get more reviews soon, because this really deserves them!
Author's Response: Wow! Thank you so much for such a lovely, thoughtful review. I am blown away that this is in the featured list, and I am so happy you enjoyed it. Thank you for taking the time to write all this, it made my day :)
Summary: Marlene McKinnon was raised in a care home from the age of seven. As she grows up, she comes to know and fall in love with Jamal Olawumi, a boy with as many secrets as she has. But Jamal is a Muggle, and telling him anything about Marlene's real world would jeopardise the Statute of Secrecy. So when, in a fit of anger and hurt, he spills out his deepest secrets to her, can she find it in her to reciprocate, or does she care too much for her magical reputation?
This is babewithbrains of Ravenclaw writing for the 2013 Great Hall Cotillion.
Jamal Olawumi has been nominated for a 2013 Quicksilver Quill Award: Best Original Character. Woot! :D
I really liked this story, although the ending was rather sad. I thought it worked well though that Marlene never got to tell Jamal what they were running from, it just added something tragic to the ending.
I liked that you started off with Marlene finding out she was a witch, it just seemd the perfect place to start given that this is a story about the complexity of relationships between muggles and magical people.
Jamal's first introduction was great, and I liked the link you set up between the racism he suffered and how Marlene felt about being a muggleborn - I felt you could have explored this a bit more, at least from Marlene's perspective because obviously Jamal doesn't know.
I thought both the main characters were really well fleshed out, I could imagine them as real people. The care home gave them both a hardness to life which I think worked well, and enabled them to understand each other in a way others perhas couldn't.
I also liked how you explored the idea of the truth. Jamal tells Marlene his fears and thoughts and really lets her in, but she is very guarded.
As some other reviewers have said, I found this a little bit rushed, and I hope you get to write more about these characters another time!
Author's Response: Yayayyayayyay, Katrinaaaaaaaa, you're back! :D
Wow, of all the stores I've written lately, especially for the cotillion, this one is by far the story I need to go back to and revise thoroughly. I reread this morning when I received your lovely review and I agree entirely that the ending is rushed - in fact, the last chapter needs major editing, ha. Still, I'm so glad you enjoyed reading this. Jamal is probably theory OC I've created that I actually like, tbqh. As an Asian and someone who live in a majority Asian area in London, I've never really experienced racism - at least not anything like what Jamal went through - so yeah, I found it interesting to link the two and also show changing attitudes because I think at this point it was becoming more politically incorrect to abhor people of other races.
This is far from my best story - I think my Sirius/Rosmerta story is much better, as are my two Albus/Rose stories - but that's just me self pimping haha. Thank you so much for your usual loveliness - it's fab to have you back! X
Andromeda Tonks lost everything after the war except her infant grandson, but when he approaches adulthood, is she afraid of letting him go, of being alone, or that she didn't do enough to steer him in the right direction?
Of course, children are always full of surprises.
This is a (slightly late) present of birthday-ness for the wonderful Sophie/the owl. She's a great writer, supreme beta, fabulous reviewer, and wonderful friend. I'm so glad we bonded over fic, because it would just be wrong to never get to know you. ♥
This was a really sweet story - you got inside Andromeda's head so well. Having lost her husband, daughter and son-in-law, of course the last thing she would want is her grandson to work in a dangerous profession. I liked this line But their daughter is dead; she isn’t sure if she’d survive if the same thing happened to Teddy. , because I don't know how she would be able to cope if she lost him, and it really shows what she's giving up by "letting" him be an Auror - or maybe agreeing to it is a better way of putting it, because he can technically do what he wants.
I also thought you showed beautifully what it must feel like when your child has become an adult and it suddenly hits you that they don't need you anymore... not that I've ever been in that position, but it felt really natural and accurate the way you described it.
I thought it was very sweet that Teddy learnt to cook so he could look after Andromeda - it really shows that he's grown up. I also liked how he stood up to Harry and said that his parents would have wanted him to live, not just exist.
I liked the section where Andromeda wanted to blame Harry - I think there would be a bit of conflict between those two, but also like you wrote, it would be easier for her to blame it on Harry, rather than accept that it is Teddy's choice.
But overall I really enjoyed this - it was characterised so well and you really captured Andromeda's emotions - fear, love, pride.
Summary: There were a few short moments that taught Cormac to love, truly. And it was all Eloise's fault.
This was written for the 2013 Great Hall Cotillion. It is also for Jess, or ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor. Not only did she dare me to write this, the lovely SPEW monarch deserves a present after all of the LoveNotes she's been writing.
This is a really sweet and enjoyable story. It's nice to think that Cormac redeemed himself eventually, and I think you did a great job of sticking to the way he was in canon but also showing a different side to him.
Eloise was an interesting choice - she is so rarely mentioned in canon, but I liked that you suggested that Cormac's comments pushed her to try to hex her acne off - it gave them an interesting dynamic. I liked the dialogue when Eloise said he didn't have to apologise because she knew he'd changed - it seems to fit with her character and really shows how actions speak louder than words.
I liked the way you showed Cormac's character development retrospectively - as in from the start, he is aware that he was a complete arse, but you still showed the development really well. I especially thought it was realistic that he would take on all the dangerous missions to try and assuage his guilt.
I also loved the idea that their relationship came about because of books - I loved how you described what it's like to read a good book, and how Cormac became intrigued by Eloise because of that, and then how reading taught him to grow up and finally drew them together. Books are a lot more powerful than people often give them credit for. I also liked how you referred to novels in the storyline - like Cormac and Eloise as Darcy and Elizabeth, or the DA as like the rebel students - it made sense that they read and enjoyed books which they could relate to in a way.
I am curious though as to your reason for Eloise not being there during the year of HBP - it might have been nice if you'd explained that in the story, because it didn't quite make sense to me.
But over all I really loved the story - I thought you did a nice mix of a growing up story, a romance, but also including the war. Plus it was an unusual pairing, which is always nice to read.
Author's Response: Kantrinnaaaaaa. Thank you so much for your (as always) amazing review!
This story was a dare from Jess, because she wanted someone to make him be able to love by having him fall in love with someone who's not very attractive. That's why I chose Eloise, because in canon she's essentially the butt of so many of the jokes. I'm really glad you liked her, because now I fear I'm growing attached and may write more of her. Oh, and it said in HBP that her father pulled her out of school at the beginning of the year, so I had to pull her out, though I didn't want to.
I'm thrilled you liked the integration of literature, and how it helped Cormac. I'm on a classics kick right now, so when I wrote this I had just reread Les Mis and P&P. And I'm smiling that you caught the parallels.
Thank you so much, Katrina, and I'm really glad you enjoyed it.
Summary: The year is 1543, and the heir to the Malfoy estate, Lucius, encounters the young Lady Elizabeth Tudor in the grounds of Hatfield House. It is a meeting, he later discovers, of his mother's engineering, for it is of the utmost importance that he strikes up a friendship with the King's daughter. But the Lady Elizabeth has a powerful protector in her governess, and only the highest political machinations can overcome the will of Kat Champernowne.
In the ensuing Tudor power struggle, no one factored love into the equation, least of all Elizabeth.
Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling, but I think you know that by now.
This is Equinox Chick with her fourth entry for The Great Hall Cotillion.
I really love this story, Carole. It's really different to a lot of fanfiction, and you've really researched the Pottermore canon as well as the real history and made them fit together seamlessly in this... plus adding your own parts to the story.
I loved your characterisation of Elizabeth. She was obviously a remarkable woman and had a huge influence on history. I liked how you showed her as strong and someone who knew her own mind, but also fragile at times, and always curious.
I thought Lucius was interesting too - I thought it was interesting that you made him aware of his mothers' hypocrisy in sucking up to muggles when she actually thought herself superior, because of course he does the same thing - he may feel some affection for Elizabeth, but most of his actions are out of his ambition and desire for power. Nonetheless I thought their relationship was very believable, and I liked the way you showed their changing feelings as they grew up.
The falcon and peacock imagery also worked in beautifully and really added to their characterisations.
I also loved your ending and how, even though Lucius curses her to being alone, Elizabeth is emancipated through her own choices. And I am inclined to agree with you that she wouldn't have cared about Lucius' curse.
It was quite funny when I came across this story... I have just spent the last week doing an assignment on Elizabethan poetry and the underlying powerplay between Elizabeth and her courtiers. Anyway that's sort of unrelated... the point is that I really loved this story.
Author's Response: Thank you, Katrina. I have to admit to getting very caught up in this story. I've always been fascinated by that period, so when I discovered a connection on Pottermore, I couldn't wait to write a story. I thn got very caught up in the research and there was so much more I wanted to add, but couldn't because of the challenge constraints. I'm pleased you enjoyed the story and appreciated Elizabeth's emancipation. I sometimes think that had Elizabethe married her reign would have been a lot shorter because it would have been hard finding the right spouse. Remaining single and playing off possible suitors was a shrewd thing to do. In this story, Lucius could have kept her on the throne but I dounbt he'd have been good for England.
Thank you so much for the review ~Carole~