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.
Lily Evans had a lot of thinking to do, and what better time to do it than the crack of dawn on a Saturday? Not a person in sight...usually. That was, however, until she happened upon a certain group of boys, but without their normal mischief.
Follow Lily as she investigates this awkward run-in with James Potter and his friends.
I really loved this fic. It's incredibly considering it's your first Marauder fic - you wrote the characters with such ease and gave insight into all the minor characters as well as Remus and Lily.
I liked your take on the James/Lily story - that Lily realises that she has misjudged James for all these years and graudally has to reverse it... it reminds me a bit of Pride and Prejudice (which the Lily/James story has always reminded me of anyway) and I think it's great that you didn't go with cliches when writing these characters.
Lily's outburst at Remus was fantastic and really showed up what I see as Remus' main flaw - his lack of self belief. It was very IC for both of them. You really did draw these characters perfectly!!
Just a few grammatical nitipicks -
He looked so small to Lily, like a child, but his face. Did you mean to write "but for his face"? Because that would make more sense. And... I think there was something else but I've forgotten it lol.
Anyway, great fic!!
You know, after I wrote this fic, I almost didn't post it. Most of my MNFF friends are Marauder aficionados, and I'm the polar opposite; I don't even read the category. But I posted it anyway, and I was surprised how well people liked it. I never bought into the idea that Lily hated James -- just that she thought he was a bit of a self-centred tool -- but finding out what he was willing to do for his friend made her see that, yes, he's a toerag, but not such a bad one. They had to start somewhere, so this is what I chose. Plus, the fic propmt for which I worte this was supposed to be inspired by movie canon, and I picked PofA where Remus told Harry that his mum was there for him.
Anyway, this is probably more of an earful than you were expecting, but there you go, hehe. Thanks for reading and reviewing, and I will make the correction you pointed out.
Your characterisation of Draco was excellent (the other characters were great too, but especially him). The whole story was a nice depiction of how our society treats people. Draco's death was sad but definitely ended the story well. I really enjoyed this :).
He cannot bring himself to think the name. There is a glimpse of red. A laugh. A fumbled apology. A friendship.
How a death may change a life or two.
Winner of Best Non-Canon Romance in the Quick Silver Quill Awards 2010
Absolutely beautiful! Your prose is so poetic and so emotive and just absolutely beautiful. Normally I would give an example of what I thought was best in a fic... but there's so much beautiful imagery and writing here that I can't pick anything specific. I loved your use of short or truncated sentences interspersed with the longer, more complex ones - it really created the emotion. The present tense was also great - I really felt in the moment with Harry and Hermione.
Usually I'm not a Harmony fan... I prefer canon ships, but I think you really pulled off their characters here and it felt like this was more out of need to heal than love.
Anyway, this was so beautiful I can't really say anything else.
Author's Response: Thank you for the lovely review! Yes, you are right about the need to heal. I am a Harmony shipper but when writing this it was more of an exploration of how the two would deal with Ron's loss rather than a way to get them together. The state they're in, I doubt a romantic relationship could work in the long run, in all honesty. It's more of a union out of comfort more than anything else. Again, thanks for reading and leaving this review :)
It was a great story, especially the sweet ending. I felt like it was a bit longer than it needed to be... for example the section at the zoo, although it was cute, didn't seem to build toward the plot much to me. Also the continuous references to golf kind of pulled me out of the story a little, and it didn't seem to tie in particularly.
Having said that, I still enjoyed it and it was a very sweet and cute story :).
Once again you've done a really great job with characterisation... I really liked Ron, and Hermione was also very good. I thought that at times she was still a tad too uptight though. I think after hanging around Harry and Ron for all those years she would have loosened up a bit more... but maybe that's just me.
The part in the restaurant made me laugh. Very funny and very Ron. I also really liked that you developed your characters - especially Hermione - in this fic, which is hard to do in a one-shot, but she had definitely learnt something by the end.
This fic was written really well as well and I really enjoyed it :).
Thanks for the review.
This Hermione is a lot less uptight than she was in the original version of the story (thanks to WeasleyMom’s pre-publication criticism). My defence is that this is the Easter Holidays and Hermione has endured two terms at school, as Head Girl, without “her boys”. On top of that, her NEWTs are approaching. Personally, I think that I could have made her more manic.
Ron, I’m certain, can bring out the best in Hermione. He can make her relax, and his humour is usually teasing and fun. Ron, unlike his friends, would certainly use his fame to his advantage and he’d think that it was a huge joke. The restaurant scene simply flowed from Ron’s attitude, and eventually Hermione gets caught up in the fun. N
Such a bittersweet fic. I liked your characterisation of Draco, and how he came to change. Hermione Granger had just saved his life with her own. - I think this line really sums up the whole fic and it's really beautiful. Just a small thing - you wrote Never again would he belittle those below himself. - this seems a little weird, as his whole realisation is that they aren't below him... perhaps you could say "Never again would he belittle those he thought to be below himself."
I loved the part where their blood mingled - it really symbolised Draco's change. I also think you did a good job of mixing in the song lyrics - they really added.
Just one thing - perhaps you should have put in an AU warning because Hermione dies? After all, that isn't canon.
Anyway, this was a beautifully written and haunting fic, but also a great tale of redemption.
Author's Response: Wow, thank you very much for this awesome review. I really like your suggestion about the line, thanks for letting me know. I will look into editing that and the Warning section soon. Thank you again for an insightful review :D
I loved your portrayal of Regulus in this fic, as a confused and impressionable teenager who is only trying to please. I especially loved your ending - I guess it really enforced your message.
I also liked the beginning about Regulus being scared of everything, and also how you included his feelings of being lesser than Sirius - which is perhaps why he stayed loyal to his family. Then at least he'd done something better than Sirius.
I also liked the way you used present tense - I really felt like I was in the moment and inside Regulus' head.
Your characterisation of his mother confused me a little - perhaps she just needed filling out a bit more. I was confused as to if she felt fondness for Regulus, if she actually missed Sirius... anyway, that could just be me. I guess what you wrote left me wondering a bit about her.
But the rest I thought was great, I really loved your insight into Regulus :).
The name and summary of this fic really caught my attention, and I absolutely loved this fic. Your characterisation of Albus was spot on - I could imagine him being like that at age 11. I think he's an interesting character, because although he seems to have left the idea of "For the Greater Good" behind, what he does to Harry seems to follow that ideal exactly (if that makes sense.)
I also loved Snape in this story and the way you connect Dumbledore and Snape as being far more similar than you would think initially.
Author's Response: Hello!
It was a really great story, I liked how you got into Remus' and Tonks' characters. I think at the start there were a few tense mix-ups... it seemed like you had the odd sentence in the past tense, but it was still good. I liked the present tense too.
Just two small things. I thought Remus called her Dora in the books, though I'm not really sure on that. Also, Ted Tonks wasn't mentioned until his death... I thought this was a bit strange, but nothing major.
I especially love the last line :).
Author's Response: Thankyou, I'm glad you enjoyed it... I had always thought that Remus had called her Tonks - I'm pretty sure he calls her that to Harry & Co, but I could be wrong. And I didn't put Ted Tonks into there... because he was in hiding whislt Remus was staying at their house! Yes, that's my story, and I'm going to stick to it! (I just competely forgot about it... I'm not really overly-interested in him as a character. Oooops.) And I'm especially glad you liked the last line, I wasn't sure whether to cut it or not, so I'm glad you think it works!
I loved this story - your descriptions were really great and detailed. I loved your interpretation of Tom's character and the way you brought Harry in... it was a great explanation for how Tom ended up as Voldemort. Usually I don't read dark fics... but I think I'll check out your other ones!
Author's Response: Thanks a lot! I'm glad you enjoyed it. It was really fun to write, and exploring Tom's character was an interesting journey. :) I hope you enjoy my other (and older, eek!) stories.
I really enjoyed this, it was a nice sweet story. I'm glad you didn't try to tackle hate to love all in a one-shot. I liked that they were friends first and it also seems logical how tentative they were. Well done!
Author's Response: Thank you! I'm glad you thought their levels of apprehension were logical. I debated for a long time how awkward I should make their encounter after the night's events, and it's good to hear that I settled on the right amount! :) Cheers. --Nia x
I liked it. I found it a little repetitive though having "the eyes of a tortured soul" at the end of almost every stanza. I liked how your rhyme scheme change from stanza to stanza - it gave the poem an uncertain feel which fitted. I also loved the line "He sits, then he stands" - really summed up the restlessness/confusion etc. So great poem!
Author's Response: Thank you! I used the repetitiveness as a way to tie it all together, but I'm glad to hear your opinion. Thanks again and I'm glad you like it! ~Thestral
I really liked how you set up the story and Remus' feelings of confusion - I thought you could have honed in a bit more on his feelings of guilt though. To be honest, I found the last paragrah a bit of a let-down... it doesn't really sum up Remus' feelings or how they've changed, or his love for his family no matter what. Your title was nice, perhaps you could have put something about that in the last line?
Overall I enjoyed it though :). A creative idea.
Author's Response: Thanks for the review! Yeah, I know what you mean about the ending. I was having difficulty ending it, and I still go back and re-write it, and each time I still don't feel satisfied with it. I'll change it when I can find something better!
This was a really nice insight into Hermione's character, and written really nicely. You touched on some great ideas, like 'Why do we always think there is so much time?' and 'I never stop trying to see'. Also it was great that when Ron looks at the scars he says they're barely noticeable - it touches on the idea that fears are bigger in our minds than they are when you bring them out into reality. I also loved how going swimming is so intricately important to Ron and Hermione's relationship, and to Hermione overcoming her hardships. 'I fight the memory of the smell of that carpet, of Ron screaming my name from the confines of his own hell. Of brothers kneeling over the lost one in a corridor at Hogwarts,' is a nice line, especially adding in the smell. The ending was really sweet but perfect for your story. Only one teeny little criticism - your paragraph about Hermione's vanity was a bit repetitive I found, maybe you could have cut some of the sentences. But otherwise a really great fic!
Author's Response: Hi there. Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to leave a review. They are always so very helpful. I'm glad you liked the story... those are some of my favorite lines as well. I didn't mean to convey that swimming is important to their relationship, though. More like, it's just something they do at the Burrow, and now it has become kind of a hump she is going to have to get over, and so he helps her. Does that make sense? You are right that it is important to her overcoming this, though. I'm big on smell for setting the tone of a scene. Perhaps I have an overly sensitive sniffer ;) but many of my memories are triggered by smells. Another person actually commented on that "vanity" paragraph when this fic was in its drabble form, so I know that rubs a few the wrong way. I will look at it again, but am just rather attached to it. None of the sentences can be cut, but perhaps I could reword a few things there. We'll see. Thanks again for taking the time to leave such a thorough review. I really appreciate it.
I've finally got around to reading this - I've been planning to for quite a while. Firstly, I think it's a great concept and that you've really thought it out well - all the different plots link up with each other (and all your other stories) really well and you don't make any mistakes there.
I really loved "The Calm Before" - what an interesting idea to give Madam Pomfrey a perspective. You portrayed her so well, and you wrote that sense of a fear of the future and not knowing what's going to happen so well that I almost felt nervous.
"Galleon" - I liked the idea of getting inside Cho's head and I think you did it very well, though somehow it wasn't quite as compelling as the first story... but still very good. Near the end, when she thought something about how Harry was intense and difficult to like, in my head I was wondering 'now I wonder what Ginny would say about that?'
"Great to be Back" - wonderfully Luna. Seeming to be a little eccentric and flighty, and yet having all the right values underneath. I think she's a very difficult character not to caricature and I think you did a great job (also loved Ginny's description of Terry - very Ginny).
"Protheroe's Perspective" - now this was something completely different! I loved her characterisation and how you made her unique and different. The ending was bittersweet, as in a sense I felt happy that she was alive, but it brought back the loss of Tonks and Colin. I think it was very realistic that Polly often had thoughts about the children and how she didn't think they'd be capable (particularly about Colin).
"The Confession of Augusta Longbottom" - you just nailed her character so well. Just the whole idea of the letters and her confession, and that she couldn't face up to telling Neville in person was just so her. I also liked the sense that life had moved on from the battle, as (at least sofar) the rest of the stories are in the thick of the pain and death.
"Good Bones" - I liked Susan, particularly the way she admired her aunt and liked to figure out where words came from (just on that note - as far as I know, "vol" in French is a noun, so it means "flight", not "flees". It also means "theft", which I think is rather interesting, as it's almost like Voldemort is stealing himself from death... and I'm rambling here, back to the review.) I think Susan had a sort of understated bravery; she didn't openly defy the Carrows as the likes of Neville did, but there was something about her, determined to fight for good.
"Ernest Endeavours". I'm sorry to say I didn't enjoy this as much as the others. I know Ernie is pompous, I just never saw him, well, quite like this. I felt sad at the ending, as I was hoping that in this story, Ernie would see his own prejudice... anyway, having said that, you still wrote him well and created empathy for him, particularly when Hannah and Justin come in and he suddenly feels inferior. Personally that's why I've always thought he was pompous - because he wanted to prove something. Anyway, even though I didn't like Ernie so much, this was still well written.
So basically the main thing I really love about this is your spot on characterisations and the variety of perspectives and different ways of looking at the same event. Great work.
Thanks for the comprehensive review of the first seven chapters. I’ll try to respond to all of your comments.
The original versions of these stories were not written in the order they now appear, but flitted back and forth across the battle. I think that Protheroe’s Perspective was the first one I wrote. My original plan was for a “hospital” chapter midway through the battle. But Madam Pomfrey wanted to make sure that she was ready for anything, and I wanted to try to make readers worry about what might happen.
Cho was one of the first DA members to arrive. I simply had to know why, and “Galleon” was the result.
Luna is extremely difficult for me to get right, so I use her sparingly. Here are, I hope, several places in this story (notably her unasked question to Terry) where she would appear barmy to outsiders, but it all makes sense inside her head. I enjoyed this so much that there’s a Terry/Luna story later (Worn Out Boot, of course) and I toyed with the idea of making them a couple.
Polly Protheroe, Muggle-born Goth Auror was a rather eccentric creation, but she allowed me to present an outsiders view of the DA, and to provide a bit more background on “my” Colin. She appears (briefly) in “It Takes Two”.
I’ve been fascinated by epistolary fiction ever since I read Dracula. Most fanfic sites ban it, so “The Confession of Augusta Longbottom” was my way of sneaking a letter-based story in. The fact that I named (and calculated birthdays) for Neville and Hannah’s kids just for this story says a lot about me.
The Susan I now write about grew from this story. Sensible, serious and rather severe, possibly even a bit repressed, her character is becoming more fixed in my mind. I think that she’s a thinker and a planner. She won’t rush into things.
Ernie is interesting, I didn’t want to make everyone perfect, but I gave poor Ernie more flaws than most. He means well, he really does, and he works hard too. I’m quite happy for you sympathise with him, but not to like him much. He is (vaguely) based on someone I worked with (who was NOT racist).
Yes I know, this is my second review on this story today... but I just adore your characterisation of Lavender, so I had to drop you another review. But I'll go back to Chapter 8, as that's what I got upto last time.
"Abbot Ails" - I really liked how you showed a grown-up Hannah - after all, the last time we see her in canon is basically HBP when she's devastated about her mother, and you really showed a more mature and stronger woman. I thought it was really interesting that when talking about the twins, she differentiated between them. It was a nice touch, as people don't seem to do that very often.
"Justin Time" - firstly, great pun in the title. I really enjoyed Justin in this, particularly how you explored his guilt about Colin with the comparison to how Colin had stopped Dennis.
"Voldemort doesn't play Quidditch" - this one made me laugh, but it was also very effective as a battle story. I like how you switch text types sometimes (eg the letters from Augusta and this). It gives a nice variety in the story. I think it was fantastic what you did her, showing that Voldemort really affected everyone and everything through the example of Quidditch. A great way to connect Oliver as well.
"Waning Moon" - the end of this one was just completely heart-breaking, and even in such a short space, you really made me like Mark (although this could also be because I've read "Moon"). So once again I find myself praising your characterisation....
And finally, "Epiphany and Fall". Well, as previously stated, I really adore this story. You develop Lavender so much beyond the flirty girl we see in HBP and you've just given her a fantastic story. I loved the idea that she enjoys her time with Susan because Susan is honest and real, where everyone else doesn't treat her normally. I love the idea that Lavender wants to "fight her own battles" so to speak and not have others fawning over her, it shows real Gryffindor spirit. I hope you write more fics which include Lavender, I think she's one of your best characters (though they're all really good!)
Katrina, thanks for these too.
This Hannah is the Hannah who worked in the Cauldron in “Fred and George’s Busy Day” and she’s very familiar with the twins, and the resistance. Justin isn’t the only one with a punning title; the Greene King brewery (in Bury St Edmunds) brew Abbot Ale. Justin’s chapter once again dealt with Colin’s death. As I think about it, I realise that many of these stories revolve around Colin’s death.
I had the idea for a “Lee Jordan interviews” story way back when I wrote Grave Days. This particular story would have been much more grim had I written it as it happened, the interview allowed me to give an overview.
Mark will reappear in other stories (rather like other of my original characters) and this story was easy for me to write, as I knew the story (though I hadn’t written it) when I wrote Moon.
Lavender proves (I hope) that it’s possible to be brave and honourable, and obsessed with boys and clothes. Lavender and Susan will appear in “M.I.T.: Muggle Interface Team and I have four other Lavender stories in the planning stages. “Moons” will be set in 2010 (Lavender is 30), “Down” will be set more than a year before “Bare”, “Exsanguination” is set before “Moon” and “Dinner” is set immediately after “Moon”. I like the idea of giving my Lavender stories one word titles, but it will be some time before they arrive.
So here's a long overdue review for this fic.
Seamus Awake: I really enjoyed seeing Seamus' perspective on his relationship with Lavender... and I sort of felt a bit bad for him about it, too. I liked his thoughts about Neville and your Luna was really good in this fic. I think this story was a nice reminder that Seamus belongs in Gryffindor, as obviously when the DA first forms, he's not in it and as a reader sometimes you forget that he fought in the final battle.
Bad Faith: I think your Draco was realistic... throughout the whole story, just doing anything and everything to save himself. I liked the way he kept saying "I'm on your side..." to people from both sides. Although I did sort of feel a bit sorry for him...
Die Dumb: This one has me a bit divided... I had never really imagined Goyle to be as stupid as you show him... it almost feels like he's mentally disabled somehow in this. Which I suppose is a really interesting take on the situation. I really liked the way you developed his character through this, and how he had been using Malfoy as much as Malfoy had been using him. Very interesting. But yeah, I'd never really imagined him like this.
Cornered: I think this is one of the most poignant fics of the series. That last line... I really wasn't expecting it, and it was just so heartbreaking for Michael. I think you just showed how scarred he was from that session of torture. I really don't know what else to say about this one... except that I just loved it. Fantastic writing.
Well, you'll probably hear from me again soon after I've read the next few chapters. I am really enjoying this fic, it's fantastic.
Seamus’ was one of the hardest stories for me to write, for some reason his character took a long time for me to find. Luna, of course, had to appear as, of course, did Ernie. JKR gave us Ernie, Luna and Seamus in the Battle, and they struck me as an odd trio.
Thanks, I know that a lot of girls like Draco, but he’s one of those who would bribe his way onto a lifeboat on the Titanic. I’m glad, however that you felt sorry for him.
I read every tiny think I could find about Goyle before I wrote Die Dumb. He has virtually no dialogue, and it seems that he was the lowest of the three. Crabbe was the one who did most of the talking. I don’t think that he’s mentally disabled, just a not very clever sadist. I think he stuck with Draco because he likes hurting people. It’s the only thing he’s good at.
I wanted to write a story about mental scarring. We know that Michael was tortured, and we know what happened to Neville’s parents. Those two facts combined to make this story arrive in my head almost fully formed.
Thanks for the reviews.
Here comes my next review of this fic.
Worn Out Boot: This was a great fic of self-discovery for Terry, I thought. You made him such a likeable character, and I loved how he became sure of himself and decided to become an Auror at the end. Luna seems to appear in a number of your stories, and you always write her so well. It's typical of her to know/believe that Voldemort's lying about Harry, and that her optimism is catching to Terry.
Falling Angel: Wonderful characterisation again. It definitely throws a new light on Fred... I liked how you distinguished between the two twins in this and made them different people. I also liked Angelina's realisation about Tony. The ending was sad... I guess that's always the thing when someone dies, you see all the lost opportunities rather than the opportunities you took.
Parents: I think Lavender's parents were very typical here, particularly in how they blamed Harry. After all, when bad things happen people always want to blame someone else. And, although they came across as cowardly, I suppose parents always worry about their children. I think this was a very realistic story.
Son of the Air: Wow, this one really impressed me. I love fics in second person, but the idea to use Buckbeak as a focalising character is just fantastic. The detached way of telling the story and the way the scene is described really shows how pointless killing is and really shows up humanity. Definitely one of your more poignant stories from this series. I loved the ending, too. There's something great about Buckbeak getting revenge...
I'm looking forward to the last 5 chapters!!
JKR says that Kingsley recruits Harry, Ron and Neville to the Auror Office. I wanted to add a Hufflepuff and a Ravenclaw DA member. The Hufflepuff was easy (I couldn’t imagine Ernie or Justin and I definitely didn’t want Hannah). I considered Padma as the Ravenclaw, but I finally decided on Terry, who is no more than a name in canon. Terry appeared in Luna’s chapter, so I returned the favour (and I liked them so much I considered making them a couple.
Both Angelina/George and Angelina/Fred are canon. That seemed very weird to me, so I wanted to explore it. Really her relationship with Fred was short, It was there in GoF, but not in OotP. This is my explanation, and a reason why in my stories it will be a few years before they finally get together.
I loved writing Parents. Don and Carmine are in a very difficult position. He could lose everything whatever he does, so doing nothing seems to be the best option. It is cowardice, but it’s also an attempt to protect the family.
I’m a strictly canon writer, I reread the Battle chapters dozens of times and wrote copious notes. I missed something. This chapter isn’t canon :( Hagrid fights Macnair in the great hall just before the face-off with Voldemort. But I liked writing this little experiment in second person, though it wasn’t easy, so it’s staying unchanged as my only AU story.
Neville is one of my favourite characters, so I just had to leave a review after this story, too... (I think it's my fifth review on Tales of the Battle).
You really are incredible at taking what JKR gives us in canon and recreating her characters with your own additions. Neville was just perfect in this. I liked the comparisons you drew between him and Harry, because really I see them as very similar. Neither thinks they're particularly brave, but when it comes down to it, they find something inside themselves. I suppose in a way it is because both of them have lead such a damaged childhood and are fighting the people who caused them to lose their parents.
I liked the constant reminder of "Kill the snake", particularly as it tied in with the title. It shows that Neville has a focus, despite the chaos surrounding him during the battle.
I loved the ending... in so few words you managed to convey such an important idea. Particularly the line "I have no idea how Harry copes with this". I guess this is another way in which Neville is similar to Harry and has to go through many of the same things, even though he goes through them later than Harry.
I think it's interesting that Neville kills a Horcrux... I think there's a link between the people who killed the Horcruxes - Harry, Dumbledore, Ron, Hermione, Neville... and then there's Crabbe, who doesn't seem to quite fit, but I suppose it's fitting that someone from Voldemort's side actually killed a Horcrux. Anyway, I think that just highlights the connection between Neville and Harry, which we of course see in OotP as well. And I'm really rambling here...
Absolutely loved your characterisation of Neville!
(Oh and by the way referring to your last response - I doubt anyone will notice that you made a canon error with Macnair... it's hardly an important part of the Battle...)
Neville, it seems to me, is one of JKR’s finest creations. He, like Ginny and Luna, is always there in the background. In the early books she uses him as comic relief, although even then he’s prepared to stand up for himself, sometimes foolishly (I seem to remember him taking on Crabbe and Goyle in a fist fight). Like Ron, when his second-hand wand is broken and he gets a new one, he becomes more adept magically. Neville is probably one of the bravest of the Gryffindors, recklessly so sometimes. Towards the end of the Battle, it’s possible to sum up his contribution very easily. Harry gave him a job, kill the snake, he did it. I’m certain that, like Harry, Neville will have no idea how to cope with suddenly being famous.
ps Macnair bothers me, but not enough to delete this chapter, as I like my version of events, and it isn’t exactly a major change.
Broken Flint: Very interesting. I'm really glad you wrote a story which shows what the 'bad guys' did after the battle. I think your characterisation of Millicent is very interesting... and it certainly fit her to carve Marcus' initials into her skin... and yet, despite her seeming to be 'bad', it was obvious that she cared about Marcus, which somehow seems to redeem her a bit, at least in my perspective.
Ouroboros: What a perfectly manipulative Narcissa. That was so realistic - at one point you wrote something about how Lucius adopted a bored/aloof look that he wore so well or something, it really shows how the only thing the Malfoys seem to be good at is acting. You've made them seem so interesting in this, I'd love to see your take on how they're holding up a few years down the track. Particularly Draco.
Paperwork: It's funny how sometimes seeing the pain and loss in the world can lead us to rediscover what's important... This story was one of my favourites from the series. Finding the killer didn’t stop her victims from being dead. That's just so true. I imagine it would be extremely difficult to be 'professionally detached' when you're dealing with dead people, who, as you point out, are all someone's daughter or son, or friend, or brother or sister.
Anyway, I'm rather curious to see how you'll tie everything up in the last story... I suspect you'll hear from me again soon. Sofar everything has been well-written, well-characterised, poignant, true to canon... fantastic.
Broken Flint was my chance to create a few minor villains (apart from Goyle, the others are little more than names). Bigoted Mudblood-hating racists can love people (just not Mudbloods). This chapter gave me four villains (including Colin’s killer) for Harry and co. to chase in other stories. I don’t believe that Millicent is as stupid as many people think, she simply knows when to get physical.
I hate stories featuring nice, redeemed, and contrite Malfoys. They are great villains, and stories need great villains. Draco was never witty, simply cruel and Narcissa needs to keep him quiet. Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny should never be certain whether the Malfoys have changed, or are merely pretending they have changed. It worked for the Malfoy’s after the first war.
Paperwork underwent several rewrites (the final version had a “happy” ending because the original was simply too bleak). Whether Auror Al (don’t call him Spider) Webb reappears in my other stories is something I haven’t decided. Neil