I write, more and more sparingly, and peck at reviews like a raven for breadcrumbs. I moderate on the forums, but am taking up a side job in lurking. I spend my days catching up on old episodes of Doctor Who, continually pressing the "reblog" button on Tumblr, and spending far too much time on AIM - yet somehow, at the same time, not enough.
I adore Sarah Finnegan and Victoria Moors but not as much as I adore Harry Potter - hence the reason I spend my days here in my journey to pair Sirius with everything possible and create terrifying head canon. Most of my stories fit into the same canon. Notably, The One Left Behind and Cartoon Heart fit into a seperate continuity than my other stories. However, these can be read in any order: there may simply be allusions to each other within these two continuities of stories.
Thank you for reading through this and I hope you have time to read or review one of my fics.
Two minds or one? It is hard to tell where one ends and the other begins.
Hi there, Julia!
This poem was beautiful. I’m not the type of reviewer who admits that they were brought to tears, because usually I’m not, but this did leave me a little dumbstruck. I love the imagery created by the words you used. I felt like they really fit.
I really loved how you wrote the song based off of a piece in the Harry Potter score. As someone who often listens to or plays music and also writes poetry, I can definitely see how the two are connected. Even though there are no specific words, you can still create a specific mood from the music made. I think what I like about this poem is that you took the mood created from the music and put it into words. Yet even though this transition, you still managed to keep the feeling the composer meant to portray.
I must admit, the first time I read this, I wasn’t sure whether it was talking about Harry or Voldemort. Now, I think (and please correct me if I’m wrong) that it’s definitely talking about Harry. I say this not because of the words used (although that played a part in it) but because of the tone showed throughout the poem. While Voldemort’s side of the war wouldn’t have been sunshine and roses, I think the people who were on Harry’s side would definitely have had a darker path. Everything that they used to have would be ruined, while the Death Eaters rose to the top, and I think you really accentuated that here.
I did feel like the last line was a little bit…off. The rest of the poem had this beautiful imagery, and it was describing all this awful stuff that was happening. I kind of feel like you just added the last line to give it a little bit more of a Potter connection, and as a last line, I expected it to hold something to think about: a thought-provoker, if you will. While this held a closure that definitely left me thinking about the poem after I read it, it didn’t leave anything in itself for me to think about, and I think that’s what makes a good last line…a great last line.
I love the imagery used in the first two lines especially. I’m doing a poetry unit in English class recently, and one of the things we’ve been learning about is personification…how you have to be careful to use it but not overdo the metaphor you’re trying to create. When I first read the line “The sky bleeds tears of glass,” I felt like you were simply trying to say how gloomy and dangerous it was during HBP, but when you segued into the next line and spoke about how skin and life were being torn, that was just amazing.
The next three lines, after the ones I just discussed, were really interesting in themselves. Since the book is told from Harry’s point of view, we never really know how the rest of the wizarding world really sees him, just how he sees himself. But in these lines I think you emphasised that everyone thought he was this wonderful, brave, powerful man. How, as you put it, “nothing but his purpose strengthens him.” I felt like this was just a little ironic, since through most of DH Harry isn’t sure what his purpose is.
I also thought the free verse style worked very well. In my opinion, it really emphasized what you were trying to say with this poem when the form was unscripted, rather than having a set rhyme or rhythm scheme.
Overall, Julia, this was a fabulous piece of poetry. The way you can take simple words and turn them into something so beautiful is beyond me. You definitely deserve the featured author position in SPEW. This may sound redundant, but I hope you continue to write poetry for a long time.
Author's Response: Sorry for taking so long to reply, Lily! I always find it hard to response to wonderful SPEW reviews because they leave me rather speechless :) Thank you for this lovely review. The focus of this poem could be interpreted as being more on Harry but it's hard to single him out because it really is about the connection between them. I wanted to keep it ambiguous, keep the lines blurred, keep shifting between one or the other until it wasn't clear who I was writing about. It's interesting that you didn't like the final line. I do like it and will keep it because I feel it punctuates the true meaning behind the poem i.e. the connection between Voldemort and Harry while leaving it open. I'm sorry it didn't work for you, though, and thanks for sharing your thoughts. I do really appreciate it.
Again, thank you so much for this review, Lily. I loved reading your thoughts and interpretation.
Summary: It was the biggest secret of Auror training, and everyone knew about it.
Nobody talked about it, of course. It was a secret. But everyone knew that one day, it would happen to them, and Neville is no exception to the rule.
This story is second in my Long Way Down continuity.
Eternal thanks to my beta Soraya. :D
This is going to be an awful review :0 But I know how it feels to be stuck in the lands of obscurity, lol! So as a result of that, here you are.
I liked Neville's characterisation~he might not be the most talented but he is definitely brave, he shows that from the first book where he stands up to H, R and Hr all the way up until the last where he stands up to Voldemort.
I did think it was a little odd that Carrow was raping Neville, especially since I think Neville's punishment during DH was mostly physical pain ie cuts and bruises; I didn't think Carrow would do that. But we never do see that much of him so you're free to do that :P
I liked how Neville was unsure of everything after he got out of the training~this is awful but it kind of reminds me of A Midsummer Night's Dream where Helena and Hermia and Lysander and Demetrius all wake up and they're like "oh my gosh, what happened to me, what did I do, I don't think that really happened?" But of course your example was much harsher.
The training thing was interesting. I thought Aurors were definitely pushed beyond their limits when learning, but not that far and DEFINITELY wouldn't be allowed by the Ministry of Magic imho, even just Legilimency (I think I spelled that wrong but I'm too lazy to go look, lol)
Anyway, this was a great read, I'm not sure why it doesn't have any reviews yet, I thought it was lovely.
p.s. I may end up using this as a SPEW review...shows how low I'm sinking :P
Author's Response: YAY! ::huggles:: Thank you from saving me from obscurity! My fellow puffs are the best.
Given Fenrir's permission from Voldemort to do whatever he pleases with his victims (and iirc JKR did allude to him being a child molester) it didn't take too much suspension of disbelief for me to see Carrow as a sadistic monster who wouldn't do a thing because he wanted the sexual gratification - he'd do it because it's such a horrible punishment that lasts. Anyone who gets their kicks by making kids practice the Cruciatus on one another is plenty horrid enough to like punishing someone by any means necessary.
And even though the story is over, I really want to know what Neville and Harry did to make Unspeakable Ross completely flip his lid and pull out all the stops, even though it was extremely illegal to do so. I may have to explore Ross's psyche a bit. You're right, that level of anti-torture training is definitely NOT allowed by the Ministry. Some is necessary, but certainly not what happened here.
Thank you kindly for the R&R. I shall have to return the favour once I perfect my method for shoving 4 extra hours into the day. :)
Summary: 421 hours. That’s how long I spent in hell.
Hell was humid and hot, and was a ten-meter concrete box. It was filled with blackouts, and mind tricks. It was filled with pain. It was filled with memories; so horrid you wish you would die again just to escape it. The only thing hell wasn’t was lonely. The devil was always there to remind me exactly where I was.
Above all, hell was painful. And I couldn’t escape it.
This is a companion piece to All That’s Left. It isn’t completely necessary to read it before this, but I would recommend it.
Hi Ellie :)
I thought that this story was just wonderfully dark and honestly, it had me guessing all the way to the very end. I had the wonderful privilege of getting to read this story before you submitted it to the archives, and I loved it then and still love it now.
I thought the idea of a “next-generation Voldemort” was really interesting. I definitely think Harry and Ginny’s children (if not Harry and Ginny themselves!) would be the first to be targeted. I also really liked the title, “421 Hours,” because I thought it captured the time that James spent under Ezra’s control very well.
That being said, however, I think that you repeated the title of the story a little too much, especially towards the end. I thought it seemed a little unlikely that a Healer would literally count out the number of hours that James spent under Ezra’s control. Maybe an approximate amount of days, but I think that counting out 421 hours seemed a little bit unneccessary.
I liked that you didn’t sugarcoat anything throughout the entire story. This story had so much torture, pain and violence that I think the action (and plot!) would have been cut down by a lot if you hadn’t included James’s pain. At the same time, I think the torture and violence was a very sensitive topic and had to be handled very carefully, which you did. It was very dark to read, but I think you did a wonderful job of it.
I liked how it was told from first person POV, too. I think if it was told from third person it wouldn’t have been immediate and you wouldn’t have felt like you were truly there.
I loved your characterisation of Harry, Ginny and Lily at the end. Harry was in typical Auror mood, but also was like a worried father, and seemed so glad that James was alive. Ginny was relieved, but also heartbroken to see what James had gone through. Lily seemed just wonderstruck to see her brother again, because I don’t think Harry and Ginny would have told her what really happened to James when he was missing. I think it would have been just too “scary,” for a lack of a better word, for her.
All in all, I thought this was just a wonderful fic. You did a lovely job of characterisation and plot and overall dark/angsty-ness, which I know you love. Thank you for a great read! :)
Author's Response: Wow, thank you so much for the SPEW review, Lily. :)
I, too, think that the next Voldemort would target the Potters. Certain thins run in families, right? :)
I was really hesitant with submitting this, because, like All That's Left, it's very dark. I didn't want to just, as you say, smooth over the violence, (because that's *not* what would have happened) but again, I'm concerned with the darkness. I'm really glad you liked it, though, and that you think I handled it correctly.
I totally get what you're saying with 421 Hours. I do tend to over-emphasize it, and I'll go back and edit it soon. :) And with the Lily bit . . . she'd be fifteen, and though I don't think they'd tell her everything, she'd know something bad happened. . . seeing the aftermath. And I'm glad you think I did Ginny and Harry well, because for some odd reason I have such a hard time with them. It drives me mad, because I know what they *should* be like, but I'm glad you thought it worked.
Thank you so much for reading this, and I'm glad you still like it. It means a lot when you read my stories first, before I go and change a bunch of things, and I'm really glad you still like it. I promise to go read one of your Cotillion ones soon, twin. :)
Summary: Lily has always been one to chase the wrong person, so what happens when a new Quidditch coach comes along?
I wasn’t certain about reading this fic since I usually avoid Student-Teacher romances at all costs, but I know you do a good job in keeping the smut to a minimum and I’ve been intrigued by this ever since it first came out. McLaggen/Anyone is hard to pull off, as Harry clearly did not like him and it’s hard to keep McLaggen’s personality the same while still keeping him desirable. McLaggen/Lily is even more difficult, I think, because you have to make McLaggen desirable to someone younger, and Harry’s daughter to boot.
I liked Emma in this. It’s often hard to write Next-Gen because you have to either come up with totally new characters or characterise the few that we have so that their friendship fits, but I think you pulled it off well here.
I also liked the background that you had with Lily and Neville. It did seem a bit odd, at first, to have Lily automatically fall for McLaggen. Certainly he doesn’t seem very desirable in the books, although that may have to do with the fact that it’s told from Harry’s perspective. But the fact that this isn’t the first time that Lily’s fallen for a teacher made it much easier to process, although I do wish it had been touched on a little bit more.
The story really did just fly by, no pun intended, of course. ;) It was very, very easy to read, but I did feel like it advanced quickly. One moment, Lily’s in McLaggen’s office signing up for the Quidditch Pitch, the next, she’s drinking tea in his office. There must have been a lot going on between those two moments, and I’d love to hear more about it. Although after those two moments you did do a nice job of explaining how Lily and McLaggen came to be, I would like a little more insight as to how she became a frequent visitor in his office in the first place.
McLaggen getting (slightly) drunk was to me one of the only plausible ways you could initiate the relationship--certainly the chemistry in itself was lovely, but it would take a bit more than that in order to really fulfill the pairing. And the way you did describe the first kiss was lovely. McLaggen is certainly one to argue, and Lily has always struck me as one to really push back. A combination of those two, to me, was probably the best (and most fun to read) way to have a first kiss.
And what a kiss it was! The last line--and I know you don’t intend it to be--was such a cliffhanger for me. Really, the whole story just had me wanting to know more about it. More about how their relationship came to be, more about how it progressed. And I know you have sequels up on here, and I will certainly be going to read them as soon as possible! :P I know this was written in quite a hurry for the Cotillion, and while the actual story certainly didn’t seem rushed, it did seem like there were quite a few holes. I’d love to hear more about them--this might seem like a crit, but really it’s fabulous that you have me wanting to know more like this.
I didn’t know how McLily (copyright me) would ever, ever possibly work, but you have certainly proved me wrong with such a fabulous story. I can’t believe this doesn’t have more reviews--it deserves them :/
Author's Response: Hey Lily! Thanks for the review. A little background to why I chose McLaggen. Neville had already been chosen twice, and I wanted the most ridiculous pairing I could think of with Lily that wouldn't require time turners, thus, McLaggen was selected. I think part of the reason I felt more comfortable with trying to make him desirable was the fact that, as I did research into him, I found him very visually attractive, but also a challenge, so I thought that would be fun! As for Lily and Neville, I have been (sort of) working on a Lily/Neville (Crush) that hopefully explains it better, but yes, I think it could have been touched on more. Reading back, you are 100% right - I needed some more detail in how she got to be a "frequent visitor". As for the sequel - I really, really want to write one, but I'm just not sure how it is going to go right now ahaha. As for "McLily" - I love it! Especially as I have yet to find another "McLily" anywhere ahaha! Thanks, Lily!!
A photograph and a slew of memories were all that remained of Remus Lupin's schoolboy romance with Marlene McKinnon. But she was gone, and he gagged on all the things he never said.
This story is dedicated to the gorgeous and always-inspiring Equinox Chick/Carole/Croll of the Dungeon. May your minions never stray in their worship of you. It was inspired by a rather gorgeous song by The Cure, called Pictures of You.
This story has been nominated for a 2012 Quicksilver Quill Award: Best Marauder Era.
Hello, SPEW queen!
Agh. I was completely planning on making this a SPEWly review, but I can’t. The simple reason being that I can’t hold back the squee. For some reason I’ve always disliked Remus/Marlene, because I felt like Marlene would be a couple years older than Remus would be. But you have totally changed my mind on that….LOVE LOVE LOVE.
But ahhhh. This is so incredibly beautiful. I love the descriptions you’ve given, especially about Marlene’s death [not a good thing, the imagery you’ve used is just fab.] And I love the flashbacks to the past that you’ve used…I think it was a really good idea to tell the story from Remus’s POV after Marlene died and then have him remember with the picture.
And the end. AAAHHH, the end was so, so sad, Jess. When the picture rips…I don’t cry when I read fanfic, I never have, but this made me so sad. Actually, the whole fic just made me sad. The reason I don’t ship Remus with anyone besides Tonks, tbh, is because the person ALWAYS dies. ALWAYS. But you did it so, so well here!
One thing I have to ask. Marlene didn’t know that Remus was a werewolf, did she? I realise that’s why he couldn’t marry her, I was just wondering if she knew in the first place.
Anyway this is just so lovely and poignant and beautiful and I love it. This is losing me SPEW kudos by the second, but I don’t even care.
Oh, you have made me smile this day. First with Peeta!love, and now with such a lovely review. ♥
I did as much research as I could to determine who Marlene's family was and whether they were her husband/kids or her parents/siblings who were killed by Death Eaters. When I unearthed nothing that suggested that her 'family' was her own nuclear family rather than her living at home with her parents, I decided to make her yet another young idealist who fought the good fight and never came out of the war.
Normally, flashbacks are kind of meh for me, but in this story, they are memories - painful ones that the photograph is dredging up. These memories set up the story as much as the present narrative tells it, so without them, it's just kind of a reflective pool of angstiness in which the reader can't see why Remus feels this loss so acutely.
When I started this fic, it was as a pick-me-up for Carole. Well, for something meant to cheer her up, it went into an awful angst spiral, but it was inspired by a Cure song. A gorgeous Cure song, if you're so inclined to youtube it. The song just gave me this mental image of a tearing photograph, and then this bunny just hopped into the yard and practically wrote itself. The format, the theme, the pairing...everything just fell into place. I miss being inspired like that.
But more than that, I really felt that Remus's objections about dating Tonks came from somewhere other than his condition. Everyone but him thought he was overreacting, and he'd found it within himself to gallivant around the woods as a werewolf with his friends. There had to be something else to it, and he was using his condition as an excuse. This is what I came up with.
Death is the age-old issue with Order/DE romance stories. One of them nearly always dies, but it sort of makes sense. When Moody is showing Harry the Order photograph in OotP, half of everyone is dead. It makes sense that if anyone in the group decided they wanted to date each other, the odds are not ever in their favour, hehe.
And about Marlene...no, she didn't know he was a werewolf. He made sure she didn't because he cared about her so much that he didn't want to lose her. Stupid and overly noble, but Remus had this gorgeous, wonderful thing for the first time in his life and didn't want to ruin it because of it. Well, he did ruin it, but because of him not being straightforward, rather than because of something he couldn't help.
And as for this not being SPEW kudos, I couldn't disagree more. You made points about the story you appreciated and were friendly. These are reviews that most authors would sacrifice lambs at alters for, hehe. Thank you for stopping by. It's been lovely.
Summary: In the closed ward of St Mungo's, Frank sees:
This is based on a 2012 SPEW Lovenotes I wrote for Lily/Padfoot1333, but the lovenote aspect has been somewhat removed.
I loved this when I first read it and I love it even more now. I love reading stuff about Frank and Alice because I love getting inside their heads and this was just a lovely lovely lovely lovely example of that.
(And it was somewhat written for ME! Alex, I love you!)
I was planning on telling you my favorite part but I realised that I just can't decide. I love this line:
I try to say it again, yearning with my eyes, to let her know that I don’t know her name, but I know something happened between us.
I love the palpability between Frank and Alice throughout this whole thing and I think this line is just a beautiful description of all that.
I like how it was soo short but you still managed to tell an entire story (psshhh who am I talking about writing short things…) in just over a thousand words.
I love the poetic style that you’ve written this in maybe most of all. You have so much imagery and even though usually runon sentences would be kind of a turnoff, I think they really accentuate the story here.
Beautiful. I love it.
Author's Response: Hello LIly!! I was hoping you'd drop by, even though the Alice/Frank-ness was kind of removed. This is how I originally wrote it, and I felt the ending in your lovenote was kind of forced. I'm glad you like it this way as well. And <3 to you wanting to tell me your favourite part, but not being able to choose. And even though I removed some of the Lovenotey aspect, you still found the relationship between Frank and Alice palpable.
This is my shortest story, so I'm delighted that you thought it was dense, and that the poetic style and run-on sentences worked well as a reflection of Frank's thoughts. Stories of Frank and Alice tend to have their thoughts broken (and do so excellently) and I wanted to see how it would work like this. Thank you again for such a lovely review-Alex.
I know I have a fickle heart,
And a bitterness
And a wandering eye
And a heaviness
In my head...
But don’t you remember?
Don’t you remember?
The reason you loved me before
Baby, please remember me once more...
Leanne Starr watches Katie Bell anxiously as she awakens at last, six months after she was cursed in Hogsmeade. She is waiting for that spark of recognition to flicker in Katie’s eyes. But that spark never appears, and Katie just doesn’t remember her.
This story was written for the wonderful and fabulous Alex/welshdevondragon, my alpha-beta, who also happens to be a wicked writer, super mod and also my first ever friend on MNFF :D
:D :D :D This story has been nominated for a 2012 Quicksilver Quill Award: Best Same-Sex Pairing. Thank you!
This is one of the many stories I've been meaning to read for forever but haven't >.> In this case forever started during SPEW buddies when you mentioned writing this and shipping Katie/Leanne.
I think that's a pretty interesting ship in itself, especially since we get so sparse a glimpse of Leanne in HBP. She's mostly an OC, so I think you gave her a good background and she's a pretty fun character to read.
I love how there's not a particular amount of romance yet, but it's still such a great relationship between Katie and Leanne friend-wise.
If I had a crit, it would probably be the last line. It just seemed like you were trying to get the chapter over with, just a little. It seemed very sudden.
This isn't much of a review, but I think this story definitely deserves more than two reviews D:
Author's Response: Oooooh, Lily, thank you for the review :)
Seriously, the fact that you've reviewed this (while IMing me, hehehe) means a lot, especially given how unloved this story has been thus far. So thank you. I'm glad you seemed to have liked it, and that I sparked your interest from the SPEW buddies chat :)
The idea of Katie/Leanne, funnily enough, came about in the weirdest way. Basically, I was brainstorming ideas for Alex's Secret SPEW story, and the one ship I was thinking about was Katie/Penelope, and as a side pairing, Katie/Leanne. But I liked the dynamics of Katie/Leanne, so it kind of stuck out to me more than Katie/Penelope, so in the end, I just ditched Katie/Penelope and wrote Katie/Leanne instead. So yeah, I'm glad you liked the background I gave her.
Oh, but the romance is coming! In the next chapter, that is. Things will get... interesting :P I see what you mean about that last line. The thing is, this started off as a two-shot and mushroomed into a three-shot, so the place I decided to cut it at was probably not the most suitable. Oops.
Anyway, thank you for the lovely review, and I hope to see you on the next chapter!
Summary: Mafalda Hopkirk is only too pleased when her transfer to the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Department come through. For one thing it means she won't have to work with the bumbling Cornelius Fudge anymore.
And for another, there's a new and rather shy clerk working alongside her.
Confiding in her diary, she tells her tale of passion and primroses.
Disclaimer: I have no idea who I am, but I'm certainly not JK Rowling.
Another entry for the Inaugral Great Hall Cotillion. Thank you Jess and Viv for such an amazing competition. Let's leave it a while for the next one, eh?
When I read this I wasn't expecting it to be told from the POV of a diary...and to be so darned funny!
This line made me LOL...along with the last one:
I shall ask him to lunch tomorrow. I shall wear my prettiest robes and let him talk about plugs.
I must say, I never pictured Mafalda in that light. Thank you for a fresh look on her! :P
Author's Response: Thank youuuuuu. Yeah, I wonder if I should put this in humour. Hmmmm, I'll have to think because most people are probably thinking badly of poor Arthur. heh heh heh. Thank you for the review. It's been a mad mad mad mad month and a half, hasn't it?
I must resume my real life as a crime fighter ... or whatever it is I did before I found this challenge. Thanks again. ~Carole~
Summary: Things were never what they seemed to be.Written for the lovely Gmariam/Gina whose J/L fics make my knees go weak :)
Natalie! What the hell [heck if mnff bleeps it out] was this? It was all smutty Snily, and then...
You have left me speechless with confusion. This is sooooo....PETER? SNAPE? PETER USING LILY TO GET TO SNAPE?
Since this should have some tiny semblance to a review, I thought it was really interestingthat it started off all melancholy and ended up like...like THAT.
Agh, to hell with leaving a proper review. What went through your mind when you were writing this?
...and now I kind of want to see a sequel of Snape's revenge.
IBut first I think I need to go bleach my brain.
Author's Response: Blame Gina. That's all I am saying.
Summary: Neville is a herbologist, not an undercover Auror, and certainly not a pharmacological and criminal mastermind. But somehow he's been swept up in a plot much bigger than he is and he must be both - and he only has until springtime to make good on his promises, one way or another.
This is Acacia Carter of Hufflepuff, writing for the Great Hall School of Mischief challenge.
--- I'm not JKR. Everything in this universe belongs to her.
This story comes fourth in my Long Way Down continuity.
A gold medal and a year's supply of Rice-a-Roni to my lovely beta, Soraya/xxbabewithbrainsxx.
I knew I wanted to be the first reviewer on this, but I didn't want to be the second, too. *sigh* the reviewing button has not been put to good use lately..
Anyhow, now I know exactly why you wanted to know about narcotics on ls, and I think you did a good job explaining it without going into excessive detail :)
I feel sooo bad for poor Neville :/ I mean, really, Jamie? You are so cruel to someone who is supposedly your favourite character! But honestly, as always, I do think you did a lovely job in portraying him.
If there was one thing I wasn't sure about it would be the fact that Neville says he isn't amazing with plants, although, on second thought, that may have been an excuse. Continuing as if it wasn't, though, I do feel Herbology was the one thing he took pride in and he would have admitted to it.
Gah, you make me want to know what happens next NOW. Forget the queue, just let me read it.
I must go poke the rest of teh flist to review. Lovely story, really :)
Author's Response: Oh, things are going to get even worse for poor Neville, although I think he can handle it, if just barely.
As for the herbology thing... yeah, he's good with plants, and he knows it. But I think he also knows that he's far from a genius. It's something he's knowledgeable about and he's proud of it, but he knows when things are beyond his ken and he knows he's not Mr Big Shot. It actually kind of irritates me when fics treat Neville as Foremost Herbology Expert Of The Universe, because really... he's Neville. He's good with plants, but he's no genius.
I look forward to your reaction to future chapters. Thank you for the lovely reviews. :)
Ooh, Jamie, I like this. I love the way everything happens so quickly but there's still a ton of questions and "fun" (ha! yeah right.) yet to come.
I am totally jealous of your characterisation of Neville yet again >.> I love how you just...get him. And tbh I love love love the way this is a totally different contiuum of Neville but he's still the same bamf guy (in a nutshell)
I would continue in this gushy review but I believe that all that can be said is that there is very little I didn't love about this first chapter. I could say slow down teh pace a little but I know you have a word limit and I kind of like it the way it is :)
Good luck in the challenge, hon.
(p.s. I am sorry this is by no means a good review, but it is the first, and I can lord it over people's heads one day :P)
Author's Response: LIly,
So glad I make Neville resonate. As if you couldn't tell, he's my favourite character to write because I feel like he's an old friend. I'm glad that it comes across in my writing. :)
I'm kind of having fun with the breakneck pace things are going, especially since that's really the trademark of a good heist or caper film, and that's what I'm trying to capture: a lot of moving parts coming together all at once. I hope that I've set them up nicely, because I can't wait to knock them all down.
Thanks so much for the review! I can't wait to post the rest.
(Lord away. :P)
Sometimes, there is little else to hold onto except dreams and moments.
Because sometimes, when all else is lost, they are all we have left.
I owe infinite thanks to Alex/welshdevondragon, who took the time to beta and primp this story and is also just a wonderful person.
Winner of the 2012 Quicksilver Quill Award - Best General Story, along with Julia/theopaleye's fabulous fic Maps
This is beautifully told, Ariana. I had chills after I finished reading it. The way that you’ve captured Mona in so few words and told her story when she doesn’t even know it is amazing. I could read this again and again.
Something that I notice throughout your writing is that you tend to leave out punctuation, especially commas. Somehow, this always seems to work well for you. In your story Love is Like a Wrong Turn on a Cold Night it gave the story a very breathless feel. In this, it’s like we’re really feeling what Mona is trying to say. She’s doesn’t always have words, but when she does, they are told in a voice that is chillingly her own.
Neville is wonderful in this. At the beginning, I was wondering why he was working at St. Mungo’s since he’s supposed to be the Herbology teacher, but as the story became clearer and Mona’s character began to come to life, so did Neville’s. And I wasn’t sure who Mona was at the beginning of this. I thought perhaps an older Pomona Sprout, and at some point I thought maybe an older love interest of Neville’s, but I think the mystery of her identity was one of the things that made the story wonderful for me.
When I first started reading this and I noticed that the dialogue was told in parentheses rather than quotation marks, I was a bit apprehensive. Yet, as I finished the story, I think that it was better with those parentheses than it would be without them. There are so many little things that go on in creating Mona’s voice, because it’s so much harder to speak the mind of a mentally insane person than it is to speak the mind of a normal character. But you managed to capture every single one of those little things--whether it’s the punctuation, the parentheses, or even just the way that she speaks--and it’s amazing.
That being said, I think if you’re going to use parentheses for the dialogue, you should use them throughout the entire fic, and there was a section, where Neville is telling Mona goodnight, where you suddenly switch to quotation marks. For me, I think that threw the style of the story off a bit, and it would probably fit better if you used the parentheses the entire way. I’m not sure if there’s anything different about that segment that makes it where you should use quotation marks, but if there is, please feel free to explain it to me. :)
The descriptions that Mona uses, especially about butterflies, are undoubtedly some of my favourite parts of the piece. If done right, with a proper amount of corresponding plot and with the right voice, descriptions can be even more beautiful.
A butterfly cannot fly if it gets wet. It will simply flutter its wings in vain for a few moments but the weight of the water is too much for the delicate wings and it will soon quiver and fall down, down, down to the ground.
This last line really packs a punch for me. And I think, as I’ve said on more than one occasion, that the last line can really be one of the most important lines in a piece. It’s what makes you think about a story for hours afterward or what makes it fall flat. And I think that this line was beautiful.
I don’t know what else I can say. I have no criticism for this story. It was one of the best I’ve read in a long time. Congratulations on the QSQ, and keep writing :)
Author's Response: Thank you so much for this review, Lily! After being shut in a windowless room for 4 hours taking the SAT for the second time, this has brightened everything. Writing this story was kind of frustrating because I was never sure if I could attain the balance of giving enough information to not confuse the reader as well as keep the 'air' of Mona's insanity. I'm so happy you think it's amazing, that makes me smile :).
The deviation from the use of parentheses has to do with Mona's consciousness. With the parentheses, the things she 'says' are attached more to her thoughts than to her having a conversation with someone else in the room. But when she asks Neville who she is, when they have that small interaction as he tells her good night, there is a part of her that is actually there and present during the conversation. If that makes sense -- quite possibly this fic has ironically rendered me insane as well.
Thank you again for this lovely review! xx Ariana
Summary: For Angelina Weasley birthdays were something she'd rather forget. But then George takes her at her word and decides to watch a Quidditch game with Lee instead of spending time with her. So what's a witch to do? She could spend her evening crouched over the accounts ... or perhaps she could crash her favourite haunt and see what transpires.
Disclaimer: I'm not JK Rowling, but I think she'd understand that marriage doesn't mean your life ends with that ring on your finger.
HA! Birthday girl--LIKE YOU! (Oh yes, I am incredibly insightful...)
I really have nothing else to say beyond what I always say to you ( a huge flowy gush on how amazing you are)
But it is your birthday so I will attempt to shower you with compliments: I love your smut, how incredibly insightful your writing is, how incredibly versatile you are, how you can give characters that someone else invented so much of their own life.
I envy your ninja skills, tbh...
Anyway this review didn't really mention the fic, but I really like it.
Happy birthday, Croll. (And no. I don't have a song. Or a fic. Or an anything. My humble apologies)
Author's Response: Thank you, Lilyyyyyyy. This review is very sweet of you.
I had quite a good birthday in the end, turning out better as the day progressed - hee! Thanks again - Carole
Summary: Remus Lupin as rendered in terms of a meagre lunar chart.Written for The Sharp Challenge at Poetry Anyone (?).
It is poems like this one that prevent me from winning PA challenges. They are just so lovely.
I love the metaphors that you've used here, which was really what the challenge was about. My favourite stanza was def the last, for no specific reason (or a reason that I can't put into words).
If I had a crit it would be the use of the word 'pulsating.' this is because that word reminds me of a sentence like 'the disgusting red blister was pulsating slowly.' And that's what I connotated with that metaphor which is certainly not what you intended :3
This poem is wonderful. Really. Good luck in the challenge, Natalie!
Author's Response: "Pulsating" was used to give you that feeling exactly! It's the full moon, and I think to Remus, the full moon would be the most fearsome and repellent image ever.
Summary: A life-changing disaster at work drives Neville Longbottom to seek aid from the only ally he thinks he can trust - Hermione Weasley. She's more than willing to help, but keeping it a secret puts nearly as much of a strain on herself and her family as it does on Neville, though for entirely different reasons.
I'm not JKR. (I don't think JKR would get such a kick out of putting Neville in such horrid situations.) She owns the Potterverse and everything in it.
Title and various chapter names are from the LeeAnn Rimes song Can't Fight the Moonlight.
Once again, this is a Brand New Neville, completely different to every other Neville you've read about from me. And if you're curious about following along, find yourself a moon phase chart from 2007.
Many thanks and delicious baked goods (but not bagels) to the Marvellous Maple for the beta.
I like this chapter because it has a birthday and a wink.
Author's Response: Wink.
My mother always called me the good daughter (and I was good, perhaps too much so).
I was perfect (except I wasn’t, really).
I was flawless in every way but one.
Based off of the drabble I wrote for the SBBC Battle of the Genres challenge (it won first place). Thank you to the elves for such a lovely challenge!
Nominated for a 2012 Quicksilver Quill Award - Best Same Sex Pairing.
Ariana, this was amazing for too many reasons to count. This was amazing for so many ways that I can't give you a reason. Alex recced this for me and I went straight to read it, and honestly I didn't expect it to be this...amazing.
I love the style that this is written in--the italics, the parentheses, and above all the figurative language that you've used here. Like this line:
She would whisper scream my name but I would never let myself say hers because I was afraid and Isabel was not.
I think this is maybe my favourite line in the whole fic because of the weight that it carries, especially towards the end. I also loved the end. I feel so terrible for Ella though, honestly. You kill off Isabel and give her Darius? :(
Anyway this was a craptacular review for a spectacular story that flew by far too fast. I just have no idea what to say--this was lovely.
Author's Response: Lily, thanks for stopping by! I am so happy that you liked this story more than you thought you would (one of my biggest fears in writing is that someone will expect a story to be better than it actually is, because I hate disappointing people like that). Writing this felt like a deviation from my normal style, although it might just be the historical aspect of it, but whatever it is I'm glad you liked it! And yes, Ella does suffer the most in the end - though according to JKR's Black Family Tree she never technically marries anyone…make of that what you will :). Thank you again for the review! xx Ariana
Summary: A few years after the war, Pansy Parkinson has hit rock bottom. She works in a bookshop, lives above a pub, and was pining over someone she could never have. When bad news hits, Pansy doesn't think it could get any worse.
But then Susan Bones came and changed everything.
This is a birthday present written for the simply indescribable Lily (Padfoot11333). Hope you like it, twin. :)
OH MY this is beautiful and perfect and....beautiful and perfect and absolutely I love it. Thank you so very, very, very much.
I love every single aspect of this. Maybe especially most I love how you have Pansy admitting that she was a bitch and wanting to be different. This is my inner Hufflepuff showing up but I think in this story Pansy is incredibly sweet because of that.
And Pansy/Susan? That is a rarepair of the HIGHEST ORDER and I love you for trying and absolutely, absolutely succeeding in writing it. I love how they appear so completely different on the outside and are so very alike on the inside--LIKE US! (hahahahaha...had to say that)
And maybe most of all I love Draco and Pansy (not together but their attitude towards each other.) I always thought it was weird that Draco didn't marry Pansy but now I see it was because Pansy loved SUSAN--HA!
In all seriousness, though, I would have thought that Pansy would have been very hurt by the breakup--because I think it would be painful between them but that may be just me--and I think you did that very well.
Anyway this is a crap review but I need to go to sleep BUT I wanted to be the first reviewer on this story, and I AM. So...this was Jess's countdown, JUST FOR US.
I LOVE YOU TWIN AND I LOVE THIS STORY AND THIS IS AMAZING AND WAY BETTER THAN YOU THINK IT IS AND WAY BETTER THAN I DESERVE.
And that is all I will say....
Author's Response: Lily, any review that long could not have been a crap review. :) First of all ... had to take care of that. :)
As I said on AIM last night, you have no idea how relieved I am you like it. Pansy/Susan is quite a rarepair, and I'm glad you caught the Hufflepuff/Slytherin and very subtle references to character. (but not in a femmeslash way for us, that'd be weird ...) :) Draco *was* a big challenge to think about, simply because Pansy was all over him, but I guess in the end he really hurt her and yes, he didn't marry her because she loved Susan.
I am so glad you like it. :) Pansy was, well, a bitch to write (and I guess it is kind of sweet she admits it ...), but it was worth it a hundred times over reading your review. And, believe me, you deserve it ... and a lot more. :) You're amazing, twin. (This is probably one big ramble but its before 7:00 in the morning so I think it is worth it. :D)
Happy birthday, twin.
Summary: Lily is awoken yet again in the middle of the night by Harry, and this time, she's close to snapping.
Written for the amazing Gina/Gmariam, a wonderful friend and fabulous James/Lily writer ♥
(Title taken from My Love Is Always Here -- a bonus track on the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Soundtrack, by Alexandre Desplat.)
Sorayaaa--this was lovely. You characterised both Lily and James so, so well in such a short amount of time. I think you did a very good job describing what having a newborn is like, what with getting no sleep, and the baby making you practically crazy, and then the baby smiles and it's all worth it.
Anyway, this was such a sweet, fluffy piece and I'm sorry I've forgotten how to review.
Author's Response: LILY! Thank youuuu for the lovely review! Haha, my cousin was born last December, and it's the first time I've really seen a baby develop right from the beginning, so I guess that;s why there's a lot of description of baby!Harry. And my aunty is constantly complaining about her baby keeping her up, lol.
Heart youuuu :)
Summary: The Marauders have left school behind them just as war has fallen across the Wizarding World at last--quiet and invisible, but war nonetheless. And on the front lines is this small group of young Hogwarts graduates who have moved from pranking battles to something far more serious.
In this third and final installment to the James and Lily story begun in “Trickster” and “Stars Apart,” the Marauders join their friends in the Order as a part of what feels more and more like a fight they have no chance of winning. In the middle of it all, love grows and friendships break, trust forms and wavers, and warriors who are barely more than children must learn not only how to fight but what they are fighting for.
OH, this is fabulous. I think Stars Apart was one of the first things I read on the archives, when I still had a huge love for James/Lily. I've moved on a bit since then, except for your fics, which aren't perfect by any means but do get me caught up in the story--and that's why you're one of my favourite authors.
I love, love, love the way that you use dialogue--you seem to have a real grasp on it, which I'm slightly jealous of, hehe. It's what makes the story amazing for me, that use of dialogue. Because while straight narrative prose can be nice, you somehow have a grasp on both.
Like I said, this story isn't perfect, but it has very few flaws. I love how you're NOT rushing the story--you're letting it go at its own pace, which makes everything seem much more realistic.
This is by no means a SPEW review but I do adore this story and I hope updates come, um, slightly faster :P
Author's Response: ahaaa i know everything went to hell in a handbasket last year when it came to timely reviews. but don't worry i did write a lot of it in advance this time, so the next chapter is all ready to be queued up! and thank you so much for the lovely review. i have no idea where my own james/lily obsession started, but it's still going strong, and it's nice to know that people are still with me :)
Summary: While in Azkaban, Sirius has a lot of time to think about things best forgotten. And then he leaves, and he is confronted with these things head-on. They even follow him to death.
YAYAYAYAYAYAY SHINEDOWN SQUEE.
(and later on comes a story squee but it's not in all capital letters.)
The thing was with this story, you managed to pack so much punch into a story that, all things considered, really wasn't very long. And the ending was wonderful.
I want to refute what James says, sure that Harry will live forever because I want him to.
This line, I think, sums up Sirius in so few words--he's so sure of himself all the time, and that's his fatal flaw.
AND the song lyrics...you knew I would get to this...hee hee hee. Not only was it just a total Shinedown yayyyy moment, all the lyrics just fit so well with the story, especially the way that you split it into segments. And each section...I think what I usually don't like about songfics (and I shouldn't say this because I write too many songfics) is that the author will nearly always try to fit the story to match exactly what is happening in the song. And this didn't happen. I think I'm phrasing this badly but what I'm trying to say is that you managed to capture the song but you didn't overpower us with it.
*sigh* Beautiful story, Jess. I'm jealous of Soraya.