Penname: Maple_and_PheonixFeather [Contact]
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Member Since: 08/08/10
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Status: Member
Bio:
I am a starving music student who spends more time with her piano than she does anything else.

Many of my stories overlap into each other, so here is a quick guideline as to what to read and in what order.

A Part of Me is a standalone poem, and currently the only poetry on my author’s page.

Crashing Down Around Me exists in its own universe. While I am rather proud of this fic and would love for you to take the time to read it, it contains a cousin pairing, as it was written with my friend in mind, who invented the pairing.

Crush is a chaptered prequel to my story Fly. Crush is chaptered and will be slowly updated. As such, you do not need to read the one to understand the other. They exist in the same universe and are more like companion pieces in this Next-Gen universe.

What the Stories Say and Happy New Year, Darling exist in the same universe. What the Stories Say is the first in this duo, though you do not really have to read it in order to enjoy Happy New Year, Darling, it simply makes certain aspects of it easier to understand.

Lucky and Tongue-Tied together create a full story of Lily and Scorpius’ lives. It is probably best to read Tongue-Tied first, though both could be read alone or even in the opposite order.

Rebound is a single story written for ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor for her birthday.

Realisation was my first fic and was written for a fic exchange for FawkesToTheRescue. It stands alone.

I’m Moving On is more of a introspective character study than anything else. Someday, I hope to complete it.

Unspoken, Lost in the Stars, and Casts all exist in what I call the Andrew universe. The complete story of Andrew is yet to be told, but these three in themselves create a small story arc. Unspoken and Lost in the Stars could be read alone, but Casts will make no sense without reading the other two.

Today is Victory Day is a fic in itself. It started off as a drabble and grew to be so much more. In the last few months, it has become the pride of my author’s page, and I would love if you took the time to read this one.
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Reviews by Maple_and_PheonixFeather
 

Little Angel Wings by Ginny Weasley Potter
Rated: 6th-7th Years [Reviews - 38]

Summary: Past Featured StoryRon and Hermione have a normal married life, complete with the good and bad moments: they have the small fights, the passionate kisses and every other thing that a normal marriage consists of. They can handle anything together and a slightly sick son is no problem at all.

But then it becomes a big problem. Hugo is not just ‘slightly sick’ anymore. He has something bigger and much worse than anything Ron or Hermione could ever imagine. And that is when the normalcy of their marriage truly begins to be tested as their ‘small fights’ no longer remain so.

Will they get out of this without any permanent damage, and most importantly, will they get out of it with two children instead of just one?

This is Ginny Weasley Potter of Hufflepuff house writing for the ‘Bonded’ prompt of the Great Hall chapter challenge. Nominated for the 2013 QSQ awards in the best canon romance catergory!

Categories: Ron/Hermione Genre: Warnings: Mild Profanity, Sexual Situations

Word count: 22341 Chapters: 8 Completed: Yes
Published:
09/07/12 Updated: 10/30/12


Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather Signed
Date: 11/16/12 Title: Chapter 1: Buttery Passion

Hey Pooja!

This fic is one I’ve watched for a long time, and you have no idea how much I want to finish it, but, alas, I shall stop and take a moment to review this chapter, but I may take some stuff from the other chapters I’ve read as well.

I love the opening. It’s just so inviting to the readers. The use of sunshine and bed makes me feel relaxed and happy. I can envision it immediately in my head, and the feeling of relaxedness makes me sit and say yes, this is something I want to read. I am relaxed and this story makes me feel warm. Then he wakes up and he smells food and sees Hermione. Ron feels relaxed and happy, and I feel relaxed, happy, and excited to read on. What I love is that this is oh so deceiving. Instead, the chapter takes a turn for the darker, but yet I keep reading, because I have been engrossed already by the easy, relaxed opening.

I felt a little off when Hermione calls Ron “Ronald Weasley”. I just found it so reminiscent of his mother, which made it a little awkward. I do think, however, that Hermione’s mood is really well shown. She is clearly cross, and we would have seen that even if Ron hadn’t said it. It’s nice as I don’t have to be told what she’s feeling, I can infer it for myself, which makes the story feel more natural. I think that this is a reoccurring theme through what I have read of this story. The emotions just feel so real and honest without us having to be told what exactly they are feeling. I think that this is the greatest strength of the entire chapter and story, actually.

For me, Rose and Hugo were very well done. Rose showing the jealous older sister side just felt so right. I like that she shows some intelligence already and she has a sort of defined personality. You could take Rose as she is right now and easily describe her at 14 or even 16, which I think is great. I especially liked how she was mad about being woken up by Hugo. I remember when I was three and my sister was born and being so annoyed at the fact that she would wake me up in the middle of the night with her crying, so I was able to really connect and understand this part. What I thought was especially great was how you portrayed Hugo. I think it’s easy to forget how articulate and intelligent two year olds really are. But really, there are two year olds reading, talking, and expressing themselves, and I really think you did Hugo justice with this.

I love the family interactions. They were fun to read, especially as each person clearly has their distinct role and voice. I especially loved the line : ‘“You mean,” Hugo said sadly’. I don’t know why, but I just get this really clear image of the kitchen table here, and Hugo hanging his head and looking all sad and dejected. It’s really fantastic. Everything just feel so natural and I could just read banter like this for a lot longer in the fic because it is so fun and so real.

Lastly, I’m really impressed that you manage to do this completely from Ron’s POV. I don’t know why, but I find it easier to write from the female POV, but you make Ron feel believable, and for that, I’m impressed.

Overall, I’m really excited to see where this will go. Right now, it has already shown some dark overtones, so I’m really excited to watch this go from a darkish happy the deep roots of this story.

I will finish this soon, I promise!

Maple

Author's Response: Maple!

Sorry, I'm late with this! But then to be honest, I didn't know how to go about a reply at first, and then my exams came along. Anyway, I am so happy to have received this review! November was really an awesome month for me, with the number of reviews I've received!

A part of the opening was from a drabble challenge I wrote on LJ for smut. I wanted Ron and Hermione to have fought-- so the sunlight seemed a good atart to give everyone a false sense of hope. But that seems to have worked here too. Hehe. Yes, I will be evil enough to say I'm glad it made everyone feel warm and relaxed, especially when you see what comes later.

Hermione does call Ron 'Ronald Weasley' in the book. I posted this on LS, as king if she would call him that, and Croll reminded me that she did. It's in DH, when Ron returns with Harry after destroying the Horcrux. "You complete ar*e, Ronald Weasley!", I think, but I can't be exact as I don't have the book on me atm. The moods and the gestures were all with the help of my wonderful Beta, who actually told me how those little gestures would convey a lot more emotions than me mentioning them word-for-word. :)

I loved writing Rose and Hugo. They felt so cute to me-- and sibling rivalry is a very important part of sibling relationship. In fact, I was such a jealous, stubborn kid, I forbade my parents from having another child. I let them know that I wasn't about to tolerate a sibling, and I'm not sure whether they wanted just one child, or if they took me seriously. But I do have a sibling-like cousin, who made up for the absence of siblings. We fought over everything, and I managed to get jealous too. So yes, I can say that I could relate to Rose too-- in many ways, ha! As for Hugo, the same cousin of mine spoke perfectly, and could sing when he was two. My mum says that I could talk too, and recognise colours, shapes and recite the alphabet. It differs from child-to-child, actually-- I saw a two year old three days ago, who could only say 'mummy'. But then he was vey sick, so maybe he could speak more, but chose not to.

I can't tell you what a sweetheart Hugo was to write. :) I had a clear picture-- which I wanted translated, and I wanted my readers to understand Hugo the way I did. I'm glad I was successful in that! And Ron is one of my favourite characters to write. He's such a darling-- I enjoy writing him! I trule enjoyed writing the entire family conversation, and Ron, and am very happy that you liked Ron's PoV.

Thank you for this lovely review! :)

 

Yellow Knit Hat by iLuna17
Rated: 6th-7th Years [Reviews - 3]

Summary: Past Featured Story 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.

Categories: Next Generation Genre: Warnings: Abuse, Dubious Consent, Mental Disorders, Sexual Situations, Strong Profanity, Substance Abuse, Violence

Word count: 4669 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
11/21/12 Updated: 11/24/12


Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather Signed
Date: 12/13/12 Title: Chapter 1: one-shot

Hey Ellie,
I think that this is actually your strongest fic to date. There’s just something much more mature about it, and it’s nice to see a bit of light in your normally dark stories. This fic definitely shows improvement, and I’m so glad that I read it.

Your opening is so, so shocking, I love it. I remember, when I was reading this for the first time, thinking how it seems like Lucy has gone through a war. I remember thinking that this story was going to be so dark and gloomy. I remember thinking that Molly must have been killed in some horrific battle and that Lucy had just left her there to die. The opening is so effective because of this and in so many other ways. I think that this opening really softens what follows, because we are expecting something horrific, but instead we get this story of a single girl just struggling and, while it is a war for her, it’s a lot less dark than what was expected. The second big stand out for this opening is the use of colour imagery. I love how you use the contrast of muted and bright. What’s especially effective is that you use pastels but give them a double meaning “ they are peaceful, but at the same time they are dark and depressing “ almost complete opposites, but yet very effective in making the scene you are trying to make and in establishing Lucy as a character.

I love the scene between Lucy and Molly. There is something so easy and light about it, especially after the intensity of the first section. I love that, even though Molly is suffering from Down’s, there is something so care free and happy about this section. It gives the reader a chance to breathe, which I think is really important to a story, as I find too much angst can get a little overbearing.

I liked how, even though there is a lot of angsty stuff, it’s mostly believable. I could connect to Lucy on the grounds of how she felt about her body, because, really, who hasn’t felt that way about their body at some point or another. Also, I think fighting with your mum is common at that age, so it felt real and not over the top.

One small timeline error in the fic, I think. In October, 2024, James is a prefect at Hogwarts, but in March, 2025, which would have been the same school year, James is gone. I’m a little confused as to where he went, so I would love some clarification here.

Another small quibble for me was the characterisation of Percy and Audrey. Lucy says that they don’t answer her letters, but I’m not sure if that’s completely believable. I mean, yes, they would be totally worried about Molly and what’s going on in the hospital, but I think that the prospect of potentially losing a child would mean that they would try and connect to their other child as well. A lot of time that they would spend in the hospital would be waiting and watching their sleeping child, so I can’t see them cutting off Lucy all together. Also, when she runs away, I feel like there would be so much more effort put into finding her. I can’t see her not getting caught, especially when she’s in the hospital all the time. Wouldn’t the healers recognize her and tell her parents?

I think the greatest strength of this story isn’t the story itself or the way everything is handled “ it’s James. You have created this amazing three-dimensional character who is a foil to Lucy in every way, but is there for her, no matter what. He is the reason I love this story so much. You have created this fresh James who is just so mature and so loving, and he gives the reader hope in this story. No matter how dark this story gets, James is always there, a bright light in the world of muted colours you created. It’s just lovely.

Overall, this story is handled really well, and besides a few little issues here and there, I think it is a stellar story, and I’m very glad you decided to write a sequel.

Maple

Author's Response: Um ... wow. That's pretty much the only thing I can say right now, Maple. It's taken me so long to respond because I just can't stop blushing and or think coherently.

I'm not sure how to respond to your huge compliment. Honestly, I wasn't thinking when I was writing this. It just ... happened. I didn't mean for it to go the direction it did. I know my stories are incredibly dark, and I guess having that touch of light is great, too. :)

I know the beginning was dramatic. :) To Lucy, though, she *did* go through a war. I was trying to convey how broken she was, and I'm glad that got across. As for the pastels, I can't believe how thrilled I am you liked them. I know white!hospital is a bit of a cliche, and using pastels (as something that's normally calming and such) as that, well, to Lucy the pastels seemed like hell. Again, I was trying to show how Lucy was. But ... just *blushes*.

In all honesty, I was really worried about Molly as a character. I wasn't sure how the site would react, and what people would think. I almost didn't post the fic. I'm glad I did, though, and that the contrast worked. I wanted to show how someone deteriorates because of all the pressure. :) Gosh, I'm glad it actually made sense. I'm also glad that it was believable. And *curses*. That was a dumb math error on my part.

On Percy and Aubrey: you make very valid points. Sometimes, though, it's easy to lose someone. Especially in bigger families. Part of it may have been exaggeration on Lucy's part, as I sometimes do, but also Lucy might have sent one letter and given up. I will go back and probably edit, though. On the running away: in my head, they did try. Lucy hid in the muggle world on purpose, where it is much harder to find a missing teenager. As for the 'Yellow'; Lucy, to me, was unrecognizable at that point, to anyone who didn't really search her face. She would be drawn, almost dead looking, and very, very dirty. How James found her, to me, was a combination of luck and desperateness, on his part.

Speaking of James ... I really need to write him more often. :) I have a lot of ideas about him, and how he'd really mature. He's honestly my favorite part of this, and Losing Neverland. He's just James. :)

Basically, thank you so much for the amazing review. It means more than I could ever write, and just <3.
Ellie

 

Nights Beneath the Stars by lucca4
Rated: 3rd-5th Years [Reviews - 3]

Summary:

An unexpected event forces Lily to examine her relationship with Scorpius.

If that relationship even exists.

Written for Maple for the SPEW Swap.

Thank you to Natalie for last-minute betaing - you're fabulous!

Categories: Next Generation Genre: Warnings: Sexual Situations, Strong Profanity, Student/Teacher Romance

Word count: 2923 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
12/26/12 Updated: 12/26/12


Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather Signed
Date: 02/15/13 Title: Chapter 1: Stars

Ariana,

I know I've told you this before, but I love this story. It is so unique from any Scorpius/Lily I've read, but it isn't inconceivable. I love how you used not just one of my pairing prompts (Scorpius/Lily), but two of them (cross-gen) while intertwining them into a seamless plot that just worked. This story also challenged my comfort zone a bit, but in a really good way, because the "heavier" subjects (drunkenness and sex) were not so pronounced that they made the whole story, rather they were there as something that naturally exists in the relationships and lives of youth in today's society.

Everything you write is so clear and beautifully painted. From the first paragraph, I could picture exactly what was happening and the exact location. You use just enough description for me to be able to make a mental image, but not so much that I found myself skimming through. I really enjoyed how you really didn't describe the characters in any physical way. Nowhere did I read "Lily's red hair" or "Scorpius' blue eyes". I think this actually made it easier for me to connect with the story, because I do not have to conform my images to ones you give me, instead, I can continue to see these characters how I want to see them. Yet, you still gave enough for me to picture them in your way, by briefly describing what they are wearing. It was enough to keep me in your world while keeping my own images in tact.

I thought that the whole structure of the piece was quite clever. It wasn't so not linear that it was hard to follow, but the fact that it wasn't linear really added to the story. I don't think that the first scene would have had nearly as much impact if it had occurred after the Christmas scene. The first scene really helped drive forward what was happening in that scene. That being said, I liked how you ended the story with an ending that made perfect sense. It was happy, but not so much that it was like sticky sweet to the taste. Instead, it was realistic, which was quite refreshing to me as a reader.

Everything about your characters felt natural and believable. They really just felt like regular teenagers with regular teenager problems, just some exaggerated a bit. Because the characters felt so normal, it was easy to accept the someone extreme situations in which they found themselves in. The anger and resentment, for example, that Scorpius felt is something that could have been felt by anyone, and his reaction towards Eva was so real. Basically, every reaction and every feeling felt as such because they were feelings that I think that everyone can connect to, whether or not we've been in those situations. The feelings are universal and cross over to many different situations, so I felt I was able to connect with the characters in a very personal way.

I think that the character that really shines the most in this fic is Albus. He goes from the student that slept with his teacher to the snarky older brother in such a fun and creative way. I thought that you handled the student/teacher relationship well. It was there, but it wasn't to create extra drama and tension in the story, rather it felt like it was naturally part of this family's history. If I had one little nitpick about Albus, it would be that I really wanted to know who, exactly, Hannah is.

Lastly, I love that you included stars in the story. Stars are possibly one of my favourite things to gaze at and just be in touch with. I don't know if you knew of my connection with them, but I loved the touch. It just added a whole new depth to the story for me. The stars just made it so personal and beautiful, and I loved the reference to them.

Thanks again for this wonderful story, Ariana. It was definitely a great fit for what I was looking for, and the writing was absolutely lush and really captured me.

~Maple

Author's Response: Maple, I am so incredibly happy you enjoyed this story! I was crossing my fingers I would get a chance to write for the swap, since that is one of the biggest things I miss about SPEW. Your prompts were fabulous and I had probably like a hundred different ideas floating around - I'm glad you liked the one I finally picked. Thank you so much for leaving such a wonderfully thought out review! I haven't been the most active person on this site for a while, and it was really such a fantastic surprise to receive this. xx Ariana

 

Skinny Love by xxbabewithbrainsxx
Rated: 6th-7th Years [Reviews - 5]

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!


Categories: Next Generation Genre: Warnings: Strong Profanity

Word count: 4053 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
01/13/13 Updated: 01/14/13


Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather Signed
Date: 03/15/13 Title: Chapter 1: bursting at the seams

Hello Soraya!
I really enjoyed this fic! I think that you handled the subject matter very sensitively and accurately. Your characters were very strong and the story, in general, just meshed together really well.

I really liked how you opened the fic. I think it really set the whole tone of the story. Yes, this is clearly going to have some romance, given that it was for the Cotillion, and yes, there is a wedding, but this story is actually very dark and really quite scary. I think that having the wedding as the backdrop to the fic really help soften what was going on at the time. It gives the story a bit of a glimmer of hope and happiness in the midst of a disease that is anything but. In fact, I think that you use comic relief quite effectively in this fic. From the first scene, you use it to ease tension in ways that add to the story in terms of characterisation, but also make things a lot easier to swallow. For example, when Lily says " From what Dad told me, Aunt Fleur and Nana planning a wedding together was a recipe for disaster", it's funny because it's so true, even if the tension is heightened a little due to the awkwardness of the situation following.

One thing that I would have loved to known more of was the general relationship between Victoire and her Potter cousins. Is Louis close to their age? Did Fleur and Bill have kids late? Otherwise, it seems a little bit off to me that they would be so close, especially as Victoire would be quite older than her cousins. It definitely could work, given that we aren't given birthdates for Dom, Louis, and James, but it would have been nice to know how the kids of the oldest Weasley was so close with the kids of the youngest.


It was interesting how your Lily was basically the anti-Lily. Even though there is no real characterisation for the Next-Gen kids, Lily seems to have a very consistent characterisation. You have basically switched around every single one of these character traits that we normally see. First off, your Lily is an exceptionally self-centered person. While it's not fully apparent in the story, it is seen in instances where she just brushes off Victoire's mourning or how she's more concerned about how she looks than the wedding in general, like how when Victoire is remembering her mother, she just brings up her weight again. While I can sympathise with her about her insecurities, it really shows how she is more focussed on herself than anyone else. I was actually quite surprised when it is revealed that she doesn't like to fly. I think that this is the only time that I've ever read a Next-Gen fic where Lily isn't a star Quidditch player, and it was a bit of a refreshing look at the Next-Gen world.

I thought that your characterisation of Nana Weasley was so, so good. Her obsession over the perfection of a wedding was so reminiscent of DH that there was no doubt in my mind that this was indeed Molly, putting 101% of everything she has into ensuring that the wedding goes off without a hitch.

I think that Louis is the real star of this story. He's just such a fun character to read. When we first meet him, he goes from super nice dude to super snarky dude and it's just a lot of fun to read. I think the moment when he Silencios Lily was my favourite moment of the entire fic. It was just funny and super snarky, and I loved that.
Overall, I thought that your premise of Lily's bulimia was very believable. From the start, you really her mindset. When I read " Lily took one more look in the mirror and tried to convince herself that her bridesmaid’s dress didn’t look that tight, that she didn’t look quite as fat as she felt, but it didn’t do much", I was immediately convinced that this could be a girl with bulimia. Not only that, but it was an excellent sentence to connect to Lily. How many girls haven't had days where they look into the mirror and think "I could really lose some weight"? There was a moment where it did all of a sudden feel like it just popped out of nowhere. When Lily first complains of feeling dizzy, it felt very sudden. It would have been nice to know that she was feeling a little under the weather earlier so that her dizziness didn't feel sudden and like an effect to Louis saying she looked ill. The following scene in the kitchen really convinced me, though. Every feeling felt accurate, and the whole situation was just so vivid that I didn't doubt for a second that Lily was truly sick. I think that section is the best written section of the whole story. Lastly, I'm really glad that you didn't just have Lily say "yeah, I can stop for you". The fact that she says she doesn't know if she can stop is so accurate to the disease. It never just stops, it's a constant struggle, and I'm glad that you touched on that.

Overall, this was a fantastic read, and I really enjoyed reading the it.

Maple

Author's Response: Maple! :D I am so glad you enjoyed this fic, especially given the subject matter. You know we’ve talked about this, about how personal this story was in certain ways, so it means so much to me that you enjoyed this, even more so because I know you love Lily as a character.

I definitely agree with you that the story is dark and pretty scary, even if on the surface it doesn’t look like that. Yeah, it was for the Cotillion, and of course you know the story for Loulily, but yes, there are some really dark undertones to this. Hence the backdrop of the wedding. I also think it was nice to have a supposedly “happy” couple there, with Teddy/Victoire?

And hmm, Louis’s age -- she’s a few months older than him, but they’re in different years. I didn’t really think much about Fleur and Bill, ha -- in my head canon, Dominique is two years older than Albus and Rose, so yeah, there is a bit of a gap between Dominique and Louis. Maybe that’s something I should have added. Thanks for that; I’ll try to add it if I can.

Also, I know Lily isn’t the conventional Lily. She doesn’t like Quidditch, no, and she is pretty self-centred, but I thought it would be interesting to have a different take on Lily than the usual characterisation. I hope that worked and I'm glad you found it refreshing. And yay, you liked Molly! :D I'm so flattered you liked her because I really don’t write her as a character much.

Yayayay, you liked my dear Louis! I won’t lie, he is very much my husband, and I did do my best to make him likeable, especially with the snark :D As for Lily and her bulimia, I agree that it was sudden, when she felt dizzy and everything, but the thing with Lily was that she was still getting used to what she was doing to herself, so I think that feeling must have felt sudden for her too. And OMG, I was so, so worried about that scene in the kitchen so it means a lot to me that you thought that was accurate.

Thank you so much for the fabulous review, Maple. I'm really glad this story got your stamp of approval if only because you’re so invested in Lily yourself. I heart youuuu!

Soraya xxx

 

One More Night by xxbabewithbrainsxx
Rated: Professors [Reviews - 8]

Summary: Past Featured StoryRose and Albus are forced to confront her changing relationship over the years, and Rose does not want to face the consequences.

This is babewithbrains of Ravenclaw writing for the Great Hall Valentine's Day Cotillion 2013.

This is a companion piece to I Will Lay Down My Heart, and though you don't have to have read that to understand this, you might want to if you want to know more about Albus and Rose's backstory ;)

This story has been nominated for a 2013 Quicksilver Quill Award: Best Next Generation. Thank you!

Categories: Next Generation Genre: Warnings: Sexual Situations, Strong Profanity

Word count: 12372 Chapters: 3 Completed: Yes
Published:
01/28/13 Updated: 02/28/13


Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather Signed
Date: 07/15/13 Title: Chapter 3: Chapter 3

Hey Soraya!

This was a very exciting story that got me really involved in the characters and relationships and thrust me into Rose's head in such a way that everything was painted with her perceptions.

One of the things that I liked most about this story was the fact that you made me ship Scorpius and Rose, even though I hate that pairing normally. The chemistry you managed to convey was extraordinary, and I was just so convinced from the Potions lesson that they were bound to be together - even though I knew that this was an AlRose romance. The banter between the two of them was perfect and felt so real. What I also really enjoyed was that they grew to end up together in the second chapter. It wasn't a quick thing - they developed a sort of weird friendship first. This really helped give them an emotional connection, rather than just a physical one.

I don't know whether you meant to do this or not, but throughout the story, I just didn't want Albus and Rose to get together. For me, I felt really attached to Rose, and it felt like she didn't want them to get together either. Throughout the story, there were subtle hints on how crushed Albus was and how much he loved Rose, but I just really didn't care about how he must have been feeling at that time. In the scene in the Three Broomsticks, where Rose is upset and Albus is trying to keep himself together and support her, I felt bad for Rose. I liked Albus for being there to listen, but I really didn't care that he is trying very hard not to seem upset. I think this is because you really managed to paint the world through Rose's perceptions, making it so I only saw things the way she saw them.

What was striking about this story is how very one-sided Albus and Rose's relationship seems to be. It's clear that Albus does really love Rose, but Rose is really just using him to get over Scorpius. In the end, it feels like their relationship is just bound for failure (which, if I'm thinking of the right story, it will fail). Even though this is an Albus/Rose romance, it's almost like the antiromance, as there is really no hope that I can see for the couple. I think that you really show this in the way that Rose is constantly comparing Albus to Scorpius, and whenever she does, Scorpius' way is always better.

What I loved about this story was how well rounded all of the characters are. Rose has her bad habits, Scorpius has his quirks, and Albus just sits there and listens. It's interesting to see how Scorpius and Albus react to Rose's personality traits. For Scorpius, he almost controls them, like not allowing them to be late or not letting her smoke on the bed. With Albus, he bends to her habits and is almost afraid to contradict her or offend her. With him, it's like she can do no wrong.

It's not only the main characters that you make so realistic, but also the minor ones. Lily's character is so well solidified as being forceful and being the one to diffuse situations, as we see with both Albus' and Rose's fight and the awkward dinner at Nana Weasley's. I also liked your subtle hint at a Louis/Lily romance. For someone who has read enough of your writing, it gives a slight moment of relief. I definitely smirked when I read that. I also thought that you really managed keep Ron's and Hermione's characters in line with their characters in the book. I especially found this effective in Hermione, as he speech patterns very clearly echoed the way she speaks in the books.

This was a lovely read, Soraya. You really managed to get me involved in Rose's emotions, which is what writing is all about.

~Maple~

 

The Last Casualty by trinsy
Rated: 1st-2nd Years [Reviews - 6]

Summary: Past Featured StoryNobody really wins in a war. Scenes from Teddy Lupin’s complicated childhood. The story of the last two casualties of the war against Voldemort.

Categories: Next Generation Genre: Warnings: None

Word count: 2098 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
02/02/13 Updated: 02/05/13


Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather Signed
Date: 05/14/13 Title: Chapter 1: one-shot

Hello,
This is one of those rare pieces of fanfiction that pleasantly surprise me. It's one of those stories that not only tells a story, but gives a sort of message to the reader, making them think. At the same time, you give us this beautiful story about a boy who grows into teenagehood without his parents and with only the stories of war and heroics that he has grown up in. In the end, we are given this well written story that touches the hearts of the readers.

Your characterisation in this story is phenomenal. Every character is believable and fleshed out, allowing us to really connect with the story and the characters. I think that this is best exemplified in Andromeda. Of all of the major players in this story, Andromeda's character really stands out as the most definable. From the very beginning, we see her emotions and reactions, and they just make perfect sense to who Andromeda is at the specific times. In the very first scene, we see her as a mother who lost a daughter, but yet she hides her emotions from her grandson, as if trying to spare him her pain. This just rings so true to where Andromeda must be - she is a strong woman, but she has experienced great pain, yet she stays strong for Teddy. Furthermore, you keep this consistent throughout the entirety of the narrative. I think the greatest example of this characterisation is "It’s a relief to Andromeda, though she’d never tell him that. If Teddy had wanted to be an Auror, she would have let him, would have helped him study and drilled him until he was the best Auror of his generation, but it’s not what she wants for him, just like it’s not what she ever wanted for her daughter". This just speaks volumes and I think really captures the essence of who Andromeda is.

Another aspect of your characterisation that I found intriguing was how you managed to characterise the Weasley/Potter children that are only briefly mentioned. Most of these characters get single words, and yet I can imagine their roles in the family dynamic. With others, we see a little bit more, like James, who is outgoing. The fact that you could create characters that fit with single words really shows the power behind your characterisation.

Throughout the story, Teddy's thoughts and feelings really shine, especially through the use of his relationships and his skills as a Metamorphmagus. Teddy's relationship with Harry and Victoire are the two that really allow us to see how he has reacted to the aftermath of the war. With Harry, we really see the anger and resentment that he feels towards the war. From the story, I get the impression that though Teddy loves his godfather, there is also tension between them. He and Harry have grown up in very similar situations, but it's harder for Teddy, who has to deal with fame for what his family did, and not what he did, so it's easy to feel a sense of resentment towards Harry. At the same time, when it comes to it, Harry is the one who helps him see exactly why his parents did what he did. I think that this is the most beautiful scene of the story. Harry and Teddy connect on this deep level, and Teddy finally understands what it must of been like for Harry and why his parents did what he did. It's like his first step towards full healing.

How you brought Teddy and Victoire together was unusual, but it totally worked. Teddy and Victoire would likely be the two children with the closest connection to the war and the Battle. While the other kids had parents who fought, they really are less connected to it, as they are just stories. Teddy, however, was born right in the middle of it, and his parents died to make his world a better place. Victoire was born right on Victory Day and is named for it. For her, it must feel like her life revolves around the Battle of Hogwarts. Her birthday is often overshadowed by the event, and she was named for the result. She would have grown up with the burden of the past war on her shoulders not because she was a part of it, but because she is tied so closely with the victory.

As a Metamorphagus, Teddy appears to mirror the people with whom he feels a close connection. I thought it was interesting that you chose to have Teddy's first conscious effort at changing his appearance be that he decided to look like his mother. I think this really reflects one of the main themes throughout this entire story. Even though Teddy never knew his parents, he closely identifies with them and feels anger over losing them. While I think this is a natural reaction given the circumstances in which they died, I think that his powers really show how deep these feelings run. The fact that he is a Metamorphmagus ties him with his mother in a more intimate way than sharing a physical trait does, and I think that you touched on this perfectly.

The last aspect of Teddy's personality I'd like to touch on is how he develops throughout the course of the story. When we first see him, he's four, and he's probably at that age where is first starting to really understand who his parents are and why they aren't around. It is the first time he has real control over his abilities, and he chooses to be his mother. I think that this is perfect for a child his age, because I think he really just wants some way to know his mother, but he can't, and this is the only way his young brain can deduct how to do it - by mirroring her. This is so reflective of a young child's personality, as they often mirror the people they are around, which you further cement in the further description of his appearances. As Teddy gets older, he begins to understand things more. He goes from being completely oblivious of Andromeda's feelings ("he’s not sure she made the connection") to knowing exactly what upsets the people he loves (he’s learned by now which appearances upset the adults in his life the least). As he gets older, especially in his teens, Teddy gets more resentful to everything about the war. You chose such a perfect age to do this. Anyone who has grown up with a teenage boy can tell you that they are moody and struggle a lot with life in general at that age, so the fact that this is when he really shows the greatest sign of struggle is so believable and makes Teddy's development feel real.

In your author's note, you said that you felt this didn't really match with the "all was well" tone of the epilogue, but I happen to think that it fits perfectly. Yes, Teddy is surrounded by family and friends who love him in a world that is at peace, but this doesn't mean he can't still feel hurt. All of the feelings he is feeling are natural and completely understandable. Teddy's life is good, but there are moments and times where he feels like he's living under his parents shadow and feels all the repercussions of a war, but he'll learn to get past those feelings, something which I think you alluded to at the end of the story. Things may not be peachy in Teddy's heart, but there is hope that someday, it will be.

There is so much more I could touch on in this story. I think that you have really dug into something extremely touching and beautiful. I have read this story a few times already, and I know I'll read it again. Everything about this story is marvelous. It was one of those stories that just left me with chills. You should be very proud of what you've done here.

~Maple~

 

Humbling Prejudice by iLuna17
Rated: 6th-7th Years [Reviews - 6]

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.

Categories: Other Pairing Genre: Warnings: Sexual Situations, Strong Profanity, Violence

Word count: 3851 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
02/17/13 Updated: 02/20/13


Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather Signed
Date: 07/16/13 Title: Chapter 1: The girl at the back of the library.

Hey Ellie!

This is one of my favourite stories by you. It's happy and hopeful, which is unlike your regular writing style, but it doesn't feel forced or unnatural. It's one of those stories that, when I read, I just get this huge grin on my face because the characters are so likeable and the storyline is unusual. Mostly though, this felt like a bit of a look into a young man growing up, and I thought you managed to mature him wonderfully.

The strongest part of this story is Cormac's characterisation. Cormac is a bit hard to characterise, as we only ever see him through the shades of Harry's perception, which isn't at all favourable. He is arrogant, rude, and a little forceful, and those are the characteristics that Harry really sees in his personality. Here, too, we see these attributes. From the opening scene, he harasses Eloise really just because he is bored and he can. Yet, in the books, we also see that Cormac is dedicated (he worked hard at Quidditch and at getting Hermione) and, you could also argue, adventuresome. This is why it is no surprise when I read this that Cormac is willing to jump headfirst into the books.

Cormac's development throughout the story is very realistic. At fifteen, he is a rude, arrogant, and drunk on his own perceived power. As someone who has a younger brother, I totally agreed with the portrayal. At fifteen, my brother was big, rude, and had a mean streak. It's a natural teenage boy thing. Then, as he started to read, he began to understand himself a little more. You even managed to justify his behaviour in Half Blood Prince. I think Eloise defined his attitude in the beginning of the story perfectly - teenage boy syndrome. Near the end, we really get to see the more positive side to Cormac, and interestingly, they are the traits that we do see in the books but they are painted as so silly in Harry's perception. For example, Cormac runs towards a Death Eater shooting Killing Curses. You could definitely argue that it's because he loves Eloise, but at the same time, it could be that wild stupid side of him that we see when he Doxy eggs on a dare. You managed to develop these qualities from the annoying Cormac in the books (well, annoying for some people) to this attractive young man in this story.

If there was one thing that I would have liked to have been added, it would be why Eloise is missing HBP. As I said earlier, it really justifies his actions, but I would have loved to have known the background of Eloise's departure from Hogwarts.

I really enjoyed the use of Muggle books in this story. A lot of times, the inclusion of Muggle culture can really through off the feel of a story and make it seem unrealistic. Some might question why Hogwarts would have Muggle books, but really, why wouldn't they? They teach Muggle studies and the arts and literature really have a way of transcending all cultures and times to deliver the message that they are supposed to deliver. The story that you chose to connect the two was perfect. In Pride and Prejudice, Darcy is a general jerk, like Cormac is. In the novel, Darcy refers to Elizabeth as "barely tolerable", similar to how Cormac picks on Eloise about her acne. And like Darcy, Cormac actually turns out to be an all right guy. The parallels are perfect, but not so forced as to feel cliched.

Ellie, you surprised me when you sent me to beta this on how you managed to make Cormac, a character I love, into someone so amazing, and I love every part of his development. It's definitely a very unique story from you, and I'd love to see you write more stories like this :)

~Maple~

Author's Response: Eeep Maple. I'm so sorry it's taken me this long to respond, but I've flailed every time I've tried.

Cormac was a challenge. It's hard to make him a protagonist, simply because he was such an antagonist in the limited view we see of him in the books. I had to search for the character traits you mentioned to be able to even attempt this, and I think that Cormac is an 'all or nothing' kind of bloke, so I decided to throw him into the world of classical literature. I'm also thrilled his development seemed ordinary, because for someone like Eloise to even give him a second glance, most of his prat-ishness had to disappear. :) I believe that at some point he would have to mature, and I think the war probably sped that along quite a lot. And yes, though Cormac wanted to keep Eloise safe, most would not barrel towards someone intent on killing everyone in his path. I do truly think Cormac has the capacity to be a good person, and I tried to explore that here.

I've gotten a lot of comments on Eloise disappearing: I didn't want her to, but it's canon. JK says in HBP that she's pulled out of school, so I had to leave her out of that year. Then, once attendance is compulsory, she'd have to return.

I'm also shocked by the positive reaction to including Muggle literature, based on all the SBBC discussions. I did feel like Hogwarts would have to have some, if only for Muggle studies, but I think it would help the Muggleborns feel more at home. I love P&P, and when I decided Eloise would read it, the parallel clicked into my brain and I sat there grinning. They do have some differences, and different environments, and I think that helped separate the two.

Thank you so much for the simply stunning review. I'm blushing and grinning like an idiot, and I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

Ellie

 

Chased by Daylight by iLuna17
Rated: 3rd-5th Years [Reviews - 4]

Summary: Past Featured StoryIn the morning, she knows he'll never be there.

This is for Maple, as a rather late birthday present. It's not much, but I hope you like it.

Categories: Other Pairing Genre: Warnings: Mild Profanity, Sexual Situations

Word count: 2488 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
03/02/13 Updated: 03/05/13


Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather Signed
Date: 03/15/13 Title: Chapter 1: he is gone

Ellie,

I know I've told you this before, but eep, I love this so much! I'm so glad that you chose to write a Teddy/Lily, and I think that you did a fabulous job!

I think that the premise of this story is interesting. The fact that they are both essentially trying to protect and save each other, but they are failing miserably. It's like this puzzle that the reader has to figure out, and I think that this is the magic behind the whole thing. It was as if every detail had to be filed somewhere in my brain because it would come back and be explained in the end. While it may have made more sense to keep things in a logical order and have everything explained at once, it kept me reading actively, rather than the passive reading that I do.

I love how that with every story you write, you know that it is Ellie who has written it. The themes that run through your stories normally are in this story, too, even though they are a little more subtle than usual. The use of a child with behavioural issues is definitely your trademark, and it's used here, too. What's interesting is that it's definitely a quieter use of it, which makes this story softer.

The level of description in this story really worked well, I think. Even though you really haven't described much, I was given a very clear picture of what was going on in the story. You didn't really describe the room, but I could clearly picture exactly where they are. I could see the soft glow of the sun as it peeped through the curtains and made Teddy squirm. I could see Teddy and Lily clearly, how they look and how they are positioned in the setting. I was very pleased that they weren't just placed up against a white backdrop, rather enough was laid out for me to understand the setting.

It's interesting how similar the characterisation of Teddy and Lily are. Both are struggling just to keep afloat in their respective worlds, both are dependent on each other, and both are worrying their families. Teddy's background was very interesting. The fact that he always struggled with his behaviour, even though he had all the right support systems in place, is so different than how people normally portray him in fanfiction. Even though this is definitely not how I see Teddy's characterisation at all, I was able to fully believe that he was a bit of a problem child, especially since he spends so much time away from home at school as a child.

Lily also intrigued me. She has this very sweet personality that is just trying to help everyone and anyone, especially the ones she loves, as seen with Teddy. It's like she gives a thousand and one percent into every person, but I felt that it's almost like Teddy pulled her down with him, because she's just so involved with him. I love how we see so many sides of her personality in such a short time: love, anger, frustration, insecurity, understanding, and disappointment to name a few. She was so easy to connect to in that sense. It's almost as if she's trying to figure out things, but her emotions keep going out of control, a feeling that I have definitely experienced, and so made the story resonate with me.

I was very sad to see this story end -- I want to know what happens with their relationship! I think you should write a sequel so that I can figure out and so that we can spread some more Teddy/Lily love around this site.

Thank you so much for the birthday story :D

Maple

Author's Response: Of all the people who reviewed this, I was honestly most worried about yours. It is, after all for you and your OTP. :)

I know it was a weird idea, but I just heard the song 'Daylight' by Maroon Five, and knew how I wanted this piece to be. Even though he loves her, he has to go when the morning comes. I'm sorry it was confusing, because of the little hints, but more of my writing is like that than you think, as you will soon see in RTS. Those fluff chapters weren't for nothing. :) And I never really knew before that I had a signature in my writing, but now I realize just how much I do, even subtly. Overall I thought this piece was quieter and softer than most of mine are, so I'm glad that worked.

I know I don't explain a lot, and I was banking on the familiarity of the readers to what it would feel like to know what was happening, so I am extremely glad you got it. The sun was the major part, and I generally don't like a lot of description because then it lets the reader imagine their own scene (without the blank white backdrop issue) and see it how they will.

On characterization: I am so glad that you caught how similar they were, even though they acted completely different. I know that most people don't picture Teddy as nearly as dark as I do, but I think that even with his brilliant family and Gran that he would struggle. His parents left him to fight a war - his father twice - and that's a lot to carry around, especially as a teenager or young adult. As for Lily, I felt so guilty doing this to her. Everyone else sees what Teddy needs to fix, but Lily just sees the person she knows he can be, and it's hurting her being in this relationship with him, and making her emotions fluctuate a lot. Because, no matter what, she loves him. And it's destroying both of them.

I honestly doesn't know what happens after this, but now you've got me thinking, and I have an idea based on something we were discussing on AIM a few days ago. Thank you so much for the perfect SPEW review, and I am so glad you liked your present.

Ellie

 
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