Hi, I'm CA. I used to be a college student studying (in a loose sense of the word) Genetics and Biotechnology with a minor in Music. Now I'm a part-time secretary with no delusions of grandeur whatsoever.
I am an avid reader. Sometimes I write. Other preferred activities include playing piano, dancing, singing, and generally loving life.
I'm a member of Hufflepuff House. One of those "we'll take the lot" cases more than hard work or loyalty, I'm afraid.
Before I started writing fanfiction seriously, I hated romance. I wouldn't even read it here. Then I discovered Other Pairings and I've unleashed a great power of fluff. I hope you enjoy my work. Feel free to drop me a review if you get the notion.
My favorites right now are "We Need All the Allies We Can Get" and "Catchphrase." "Gratification and Justification" has its moments. "Don't Get Caught" is my one featured story.
Summary: Remus has twelve years to come to term with Sirius's betrayal of James and Lily. Twelve years for memories to haunt and the thirteenth year to threaten.
Now, normally I don't read slash, but the title reminded me of a certain Broadway play I went to see last week so I decided to click on it.
Too bad I'm not in Ravenclaw.
And besides the fact that it wasn't that shippy, I really quite enjoyed this fic. I think that you did a pretty good job of talking about how Remus would've felt betrayed and stuff (even if he weren't gay).
Also a nice interpretation of the song - which, probably, will be running around in my head for a while, all one line I know: "It's Easy."
Author's Response: *loves on you for not giving show title away* What are you sorted into? It wasn\'t supposed to be TOO shippy. What\'s nice and kinda easy about writing the two of them is that they do have the longest relationship and the deepest from the lot of them. I mean, James and Sirius were best friends in school, but then James died, and everyone thought that Peter did. And then when he escaped and they discovered Peter alive, there was over a decade of catch up time and then two more years together. There\'s just SO much time and levels of friendship and maturity to work with, from eleven years old to thirty six. (Which, you know, also makes it such a great ship.) So glad you enjoyed it and think that it stays true to the song, which, mind, was driving me insane for two weeks or so until I penned this. Thanks so much!
Summary: Tom Riddle has to deliver a package to the Malfoy Manor, but that isn’t the only thing he has in mind. One Shot.
What a clever little story! The last sentence was my favorite by far. I also like what atkarid said, how Isla lost the evilness crown at the end when Tom stole the tiara and killed her. He had no reason, while she wanted revenge. There were a lot of good ties to the HP universe here, like how “Potter” was killed for being too much of a Muggle-lover. It must be a family failing.
So when you described Tom as surveying the Malfoy Manor “greedily” it made me wonder if he’d only come there to find an artifact of Ravenclaw’s. Helping Isla be a nasty little girl, could that have been an excuse to get there? That is what I’m sort of wondering.
Just one little thing that I might consider changing: your first sentence. I think I would rearrange it so that it would be: “It was impossible for even a blind man to overlook Malfoy Manor.” It’s just a tad confusing the way it is right now. Other than that, it’s quite well-written and very engaging.
Have a nice day! *D*
Author's Response: Wow, CA, what a wonderfully long review! Thanks, dear! Regarding the comment you made on Isla, well, she isn\'t exactly \"evil\" but maybe a little nasty, but basically she was humiliated and so wanted revenge but Tom was rotten from the beginning, and so Isla lost the evilness crown. And Tom surveying the Malfoy Manor greedily was intentional because all he wanted to do with that place was to get the tiara from Isla and he could go easily on the pretext of selling the cupboard to her. And I\'ll change that first sentence ASAP. Thanks again for the superb review! You rock!
Summary: This was written for Rob Matthews of Hufflepuff House for the Covert Cupid Valentine's Day Fic Exchange. Hagrid has a very special Birthday present for Madame Maxime.
So, so cute, you guys! It really made me smile. It was a really sweet poem and I liked the part about how her attire wouldn't acknowledge her desire ...
If there was a cute rating, this would top the chart. Very, very sweet and a nice little read.
Author's Response: LOL! Thank so much CA!!!
Summary: Twelve years after Voldemort’s fall, Remus Lupin returns to Hogwarts as a teacher, haunted by the Potters’ death and Sirius Black’s betrayal. On the eve of Buckbeak’s execution, he sits in his office, reminiscing old memories and evaluating worn-out theories about what had really happened…One-shot.
The first part is great! The second part is a little confusing, but let me talk about the first part for a bit before I get into that.
I loved the Remus/Lily goodness. I wish there could have been a little more of it - it seemed like after he lost himself in thoughts of her he forgot about it. Which is okay; the whole beginning is obviously his random thoughts and musings.
I like the Marauder's Map little meme too. It's when we get to James' letter that I got a little confused . . .
The letter itself is fine, besides the fact that I'm not sure why it was written in the first place, but the whole Remus/Sirius fight just seems a little ... odd. I didn't understand who was accusing whom at first. Also, it seems a little unlike Sirius to be so quick to suspect Remus.
And the rest ... is history.
I love how you set this up. Nostalgia, confusion ... the emotions Remus is feeling are very well represented. When I clicked on this story it was marked incomplete - I think that it could work as a one-shot, but if you've got more coming that's okay too.
It's still worthy of being published on MNFF. Don't be silly. Have a nice day! *D*
Summary: A mist of curiosity, suspiscion and gossip has surrounded the aged and secretive old man living in the shabbiest cottage in the village of Polpenny with his orphaned grandson, Jon. When a strange visitor comes looking for Jon, old Ivor Landreth's mysterious past is in danger of being dug open again.
This was a nice little story. I liked the way you wrote Old Ivor coming to terms with Jon leaving him like Ian did. Of course it would be hard for him, but it was the right thing to do, I’m sure of it.
Interesting that Dumbledore himself came to talk Ivor into letting him come; that man knows (or is it, now, knew?) so much, and cares so much about each individual – you could tell he was sorry that Ian had died in the war, but that he still wanted the best for Jon and for Ivor as well. I mean, how would the old man feel if he refused to let his boy go?
The part when Jon told his grandfather he didn’t want to leave him alone (or when Dumbledore told him so) was one of the best parts; Jon seems a very solid, loyal, loving boy. I would put him in Hufflepuff if I were to Sort him.
I liked the gossips; you did a good job with those. Ivor was [i]very[/i] odd, to me, hiding his money and watching people moodily. I might have reacted in much the same way as the gossips.
Let’s see...I have no nitpicks or flypicks or mosquitopicks at this time, your story was very good in that respect. I know it’s just a one-shot, but I still look forward to hearing more about this little family, if possible.
Have a nice day! *D*
Author's Response: Thanks for the lovely review, CA! I\'m glad you liked the gossips, because those were what worried me - I figured they might make it dragged... ~bL
Summary: Gauntlet Challenge (Trial Run) submission by songbook99 of Hufflepuff house.
Hermione must get past the obstacles set out for her to claim her prize.
I think it only fitting for me to review the story that caused me to owe you a review in the first place. Don’t you?
You write Hermione very well, and the prize at the end is completely fitting. It reminds us that even though Hermione is amazing and all that, she’s still insecure sometimes and desperately needed the reassurance that she was ready to fight with her friends.
Hermione was a really good character for this activity, and you maximized the opportunity; all of the little memories that you had were well placed and very likely what she would have thought of in that instance. The knitting spell was my favorite – the sort of “so there” attitude she had was very fetching.
I’d have to agree with Pat that the boggart seems a little out of place. I’m amused by the thought of the hedge rustling and Professor McGonagall appearing, as well as Draco Malfoy in a dress. But it works well enough; since we know that it was Hermione’s boggart before. To make it a little more believable I might have liked to see more fear, hopelessness, stuff.
Just found out Lian is also reviewing this. I’m going to finish first, you just watch.
Twice in this story you mention the Shrinking Solution, but you have it in different years; either 2nd or 3rd year. Which is it? I think it might be a little redundant to go into such detail both times, personally. Maybe the second time around you can have her recall the garden and stuff, with a thought to that memorable Potions lesson.
I thought the Sphinx part was very clever on your...part, even though the beginning bore a distinct resemblance to Harry’s experience in the maze. That only makes sense, however, because how different can sphinxes be if they’re stuck in a maze? I liked how you confused her, too. Logic is one of Hermione’s high points and you showed it quite well.
Sort of wish I knew who had made the maze, but you can’t have everything in life. To illustrate that fact, I refuse to give you a proper ending to the review (possibly to try and beat Lian, but that’s a secret).
Have a nice day.
Hey, CA, I\'m really glad you reviewed my story, especially since it was the one to cause you to owe me a review. It really made me happy that you thought I had done Hermione so well since that is really what I was trying to do throughout the maze.
As I said in my response to Pat\'s review, I can definitely see how the bit with the boggart was a little odd. But, it was what came to mind in the time I had to send it in to the person passing out the tasks.
As for the Shrinking Solution, I\'ll have to go back and look at that so I can adjust it. You\'re right, I probably shouldn\'t go into that much detail twice as that can make a story redundant and boring. Thanks for pointing it out.
I really enjoyed your review, and I\'m happy you liked my story!
Summary: Sarah Vance is ambitious.
Percy Weasley is ambitious.
A mutual attraction will be sparked while they're both carrying out plans to further their careers. Written for Nan. Pre-Deathly Hallows.
Seeing as this is one of my favorite stories and I’ve never reviewed it and I’m sort of scrambling, this is a marvelous time for me to review.
First of all, I love the character you’ve created here. Sarah is smart, ambitious, tall (gotta love tall girls), and a Squib. Now, I know you didn’t make her a Squib entirely of your own volition, but the way you portrayed it was great. And being a reporter is a perfect job for her.
I also think you got Percy spot on. I wish you had him answer the question about his family, but of course I can see why you didn’t. It’s better to leave some things to the imagination, and you got the rest of it right.
The Chocolate Explosion sounds just as delectable as ever, and I still love their interchange right before they get it. In fact, I would have to say that the interaction between Percy and Sarah is my favorite bit of the whole story. Except for the part where she leans up to kiss him. But that’s just me thinking how I could never do that. It works all right in the story, I guess. For a brazen gal like Sarah.
I don’t know what your original ending was (except that it was all happy and stuff) but I do know that I like this ending better. I think Shanae’s review reinforces that. You do sort of know all this already but it’s nice to be reminded after a few months that yes you do have talent as an author.
You don’t know this next part, though, because I never told you. You see, it’s a nitpick. Third and fourth sentences. The first has an ‘it’ as the subject. The next has a ‘they’. Something doesn’t quite match. Are we being picky? Perhaps. But, like you, I like to relish in the machinations of the words. [/being mean]
Good story. Since I am scrambling I won’t bother to go in too deeply about ... everything. But I will say I love it and I love you too. Have a nice day! *D*
Neville receives a snappy Slytherin girl as his Care of Magical Creatures parter. He doesn't really get along with her, but together they discover something wonderful - the gift of an animal's love, and the knowledge that sometimes, people are deeper than they are willing to show.
Written for Anna (Fantasium). You are love.
Yeah. I like this story better every time I read it. Which has been a few times by now. I especially like the interplay between the three main characters – Neville, Skit, and Farrah.
I like how we find out just how Neville views Skit right away – she’s intimidating and hard and emotionless. But even from the beginning he senses that there’s something more to her; he just can’t figure it out. It takes the introduction of a third character to show him the sort of girl Skit is. Neville also changes as a result of Farrah.
Skit’s characterization is great. I like how she’s obviously a Slytherin – she frightens Neville, laughs when he falls down, and knows how to get what she wants (i.e. Object Barrier Charm). But it’s also clear that she isn’t that bad at all; she really cares about Farrah. And sometimes we get a little tiny glimpse of someone truly sensitive underneath.
Farrah, as an animal, doesn’t really have character to analyze – she’s just a nice playful animal. But her effect on Neville and Skit it clearly visible and it changes their relationship with each other as well. Something about loving the same creature makes a bond between them.
The section headings reflect Neville’s changing perspective. First it’s “The Slytherin.” Then “The Tadfoal.” Then, simply, “The Girl.” I really like that.
I don’t have any particular grammar nitpicks but I just saw something a little strange. In the last paragraph or so, Neville and Skit are making their way back to Hogwarts and the trees are going by “in a blur.” They’d have to be going pretty fast for that to happen, unless you mean that his turmoil of mind is making them blurry. You might consider making that more clear. Or not. It’s not a big thing.
It’s so hard to say all I want to on this. I really like it. It’s an engaging little story. And, yeah. It’s nice. *feels herself going in circles* I guess I ought to just tell you to have a nice day, Ashley, and run away before I can’t get out of this hole I’ve dug. Have a nice day! *D*
Oh PS I like the way you characterize Neville too. With the allergies and stuff...you did a good job on him. I forgot.
Summary: Ginny enters Madam Fray's Dancing School expecting another normal session. But when she finds out that Draco is in her same class and not only that, but is her partner as well, Ginny has to learn to put the past behind and dance in the present.
Choosing a Ginny/Draco ship as the basis for a sensual ballroom dancing scene was probably the best choice; they traditionally have the dynamic that works well with dancing, and you took advantage of it very well in this fic.
I will admit to liking this version a lot better than the original one I saw – there is more explanation of the reason they got together in the first place which, as in any fanon ship, is necessary to the coherence of a fic. I even think there could be a little more of it; naturally the original relationship is not the focus, but all we get in this story is that it was based on lust.
I particularly like the fourth paragraph – the imagery is very nice in the first sentence. The little interchange at the end – including the contrast between warmth and chill – is also a part I like. You have real potential as a writer and I love you (just so at the end you don’t think I hate you, you know).
A few nitpicks, etc. This is an example of a couple instances I found: Ginny breathed in deeply as Draco began to move, she followed him in perfect succession. Instead of the comma, an “and” would be better used. Another example... When their eyes met his gaze almost tore her apartIt was so fierce, so strong, as his eyes glared into her own. The second sentence just doesn’t make grammatical sense. Perhaps if you combined the two and maybe even got rid of the “glaring” part, though it qualifies just what is fierce and strong...I don’t know. I’m not doing so well at this whole suggestion business. How about you say “When their eyes met his glaring gaze almost tore her apart; it was so fierce, so strong.” However, that is just a matter of opinion for clarity, you can do as you choose.
Finally, I would like to bring up a bit about the actual dancing part. I don’t pretend to know anything about the Argentine Tango, but I still would like to suggest, if you haven’t already, closing your eyes and imagining the moves as you have them written. There are a couple places where I can no longer follow what position they are in, though you are describing it. A few phrases like “facing him” or “looking over his shoulder” would help a lot. *is vague* In your defence, probably very few people will actually be paying too much attention to the actual movements of the dance, as they will rightly be paying attention to Ginny’s thoughts and the feelings that Draco arouses in her. I’m just an anal dancer like that.
I think you have Ginny’s character down pretty well in this and while Draco doesn’t feature very largely, what we see of him is pretty good too. It’s a nice little story. Have a lovely day, Anna dear!
Author's Response: *huggles to death* Thank you for the absolutely lovely review, dear. I\'m so glad that you liked it and will look onto those aforementioned sentences when I get the time. Again, love, thank you so much! *grins and hugs*
Summary: Exploring the relationship between Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall... A story of trust. Of faith. Of... love.
You did a wonderful job really examining and analyzing the love of Minerva McGonagall and Albus Dumbledore. I really think that’s the way their relationship was, and I applaud you muchly for getting it so right.
I also think you did a good job with your ... similes, metaphors, general diction, etc. When you describe the loss of Dumbledore as “a solid wall that crumbled, a limb lost, a crutch gone,” etc, that was really powerful and made it clear just how much Minerva missed him. And just the right kind of missing, too. No lust in leaning against a wall.
The situations you put the two of them in, too, really illustrate the mentor-like status Dumbledore had with Minerva. And (this is just me being a canon freak) I liked that you were careful to make McGonagall become a teacher in December. Because that is when she started. It was a little weird that Dippet, who was an old man anyway, had to be murdered by his son, but it was a nice contrivance.
I do have a couple little picky things to mention about this story. First up is it’s actually “A Cauldron Full of Hot, Strong Love.”
The first paragraph was mostly good, I would just get rid of one word to really get your point across. (My favorite part is the Ancient Runes expert part, incidentally.) You said that the expression on her face was “neither a smile or a frown,” but then when you describe the way her lips curved, you mention it as a “smile.” I would probably change that to “her lips curved vaguely.”
In the next paragraph, that comma right before the parantheses is unnecessary.
And since that’s been a couple little picky things, I shall now stop being picky. Because really, good stories like this don’t need an awful lot of nitpicks. And you really got across the message of your story quite well, and that’s the important thing.
*hug* Miss you. Have a nice day!
Author's Response: Aw, thanks for reviewing, dear! And for pointing out those typos; I\'ll fix it asap. :)
Summary: All his life, Percy has built and gathered, painted and carved, and now everything is falling down around him.
Standing in the shambles of the Ministry, Percy questions the life he has built for himself.
Okay. So I go to review this and realize that every single sentence is beautiful. How does one review that? I have no nitpicks whatsoever. This review will be unadulterated praise of the lovely Nan who can weave words in a way that makes me want to weep for their beauty.
Let’s start with the first sentence/paragraph. A queer sort of grace. What superb imagery that is, especially coupled with the crumbling facade and the qualifiers in the dashes (agreement with Eliza that dashes are love). It sets the stage for the rest of the fic beautifully. It is with a queer sort of grace that Percy’s thoughts unfold, methinks.
It’s true; Percy has always prided himself on exactness, which is making things difficult for him. He can no longer justify the justification of his actions in light of what he now knows. I love how we somehow know exactly where Percy is feeling this without you ever coming right out and saying it. The power of inference is strong.
The trouble was that it had been so easy, so simple to set up a spectrum as harsh and unyielding as the black and white squares of the Ministry floor, a spectrum with only two categories — those who were working for the Ministry (for the country, for the people, for the sake of all that’s good) and those who were working against it. This is one of my favorite lines. It combines the theme of black and white/light and shadow and what we know of Percy and his loyalty to the Ministry.
He kisses her heedless of the people milling around him, his coworkers drowning in the shambles of their beliefs (though there is a twisted sort of satisfaction in the fact that they were all wrong together). He can feel her body pressing against his own, can feel himself flowing into her. He wonders vaguely if kissing is the purest form of Legilimency and if through the kiss they can become one body, one soul. First of all, it struck me how unlike Percy – who was always so pompous and proper – to kiss her heedless of everyone else around him. For him, what other people think, especially in relation to him and his ambition, has always been foremost. The phrase “drowning in the shambles of their beliefs” is also powerful to me. This is definitely what Percy is going through, and the “twisted satisfaction” that he, and perhaps all of them, feel(s) [stupid grammar] is not enough to assuage the terrible turmoil inside them. I like that he “wonders vaguely.” I don’t know why. It just seems to me so SPEWly. I wonder if this line is what prompted the sudden rash of vague wondering that infected SPEW for a short while; I bet it was. The content of his wondering is also very nice; I don’t believe I’ve ever been kissed in such a manner that would prompt this sort of thinking, but it’s very romantic and a powerful thought. To skip ahead to the end, when Penelope cuts him short with a simple “I know,” it makes one wonder (vaguely) if some sort of Legilimency has occurred, or if the kiss is symbolic of the relationship that allows her to know him so well.
Percy’s childhood musings about what being an adult meant, and when it all became black and white – for it seemed to him, once, his parents did see things that way – were very thought-provoking and powerful. He knew more than he let on. He saw more through those horn-rimmed glasses than one would expect; one of my favorite lines is Percy, watching Uncle Bilius refill his glass again and again, realized that perhaps some people never learn, and so he ate the apples and was sick in silence, ashamed of his own imperfection.
I remember when you were writing this fic and you were trying to find a girl that it would seem plausible for Percy to be paired with. I am so glad you chose Penelope. As such a minor character, you can build her any way you want and you chose to make her the “realest person he has ever met.” They also have a clear history you can build from, and you certainly do. When he wonders if this is what being an adult means, “these tentative movements, first towards people and then away,” it is poetry and it’s nice to reference back when we know they were together. Any other character you may have chosen wouldn’t have had that.
His apology to her is lovely, and how she knows that he is struggling to say “thousands” of words that will prove to her how much he appreciates her and her sweet reality. And her sweet smile that silences him...it is love. Can I say that? It’s pure love, what you’ve written. The taste of forgiveness apple-sweet on his lips is a good line too.
Perhaps this is what it means to be an adult, this uncertainty and acceptance, regret and understanding. Perhaps it is. Nonetheless, this philosophical conclusion Percy has drawn from his kiss with Penelope is the perfect conclusion to the story itself. The little apple-sweetness at the end that I know I mentioned before is like the light dusting of sugar on lemon bars or something. It just makes it more perfect than ever. This whole story is ... not perfect, for nothing ever is, but it’s closer to perfect than I could ever attain, and so I look up to you and fangirl you like whoa. And that’s all I have to say at this time. Have a most lovely day, dearest Nan.
Author's Response: Getting emotions across without ever explicitly stating them is something I\'ve been focussing on a lot in my writing, and I\'m thrilled that you think I did it well. I\'m not sure about the Legilimency - it was a line that just popped into my head and I went with it, on the grounds that Percy is feeling extremely vulnerable and extremely transparent, and hes also afraid that Penelope is going to finally see him for who he really is and dislike that person; hence he\'s in some way afraid that if he gets close to her, she\'ll see through him. Or something. As for pairing him with Penelope, the reason I didn\'t want to was that I don\'t like the tendency of fandom to assume that because they were together in school, and because she\'s the only girl we ever see him with, therefore they must end up in a lasting relationship. The reason I ended up going with it was because the story is not about the relationship, it\'s about Percy, and I wanted to have as minimal explanation devoted to the pairing as possible - I\'m glad you thought it was a good choice. Thanks!
Summary: "Arbitratus" is Latin for "indecision".
On the eve of her wedding, Alana wonders if she did the right thing by choosing Severus Snape over her parents. One shot.
Hi. :) You did a great job showing Alana’s indecision in this story. She’s already made her choice, but she’s doubting, and we can definitely tell. This story also seems to fit neatly in with your other one, with Rosina Black. However, if I hadn’t known that, I would have been wondering the whole time which Lily it was, and who these characters were. Since I did know, it wasn’t much of an issue.
It was a little confusing at the beginning because you switched from present tense to past tense after a few paragraphs. I wondered if the first bit was like a journal entry because it sounded like one. I’d suggest making everything in past tense as that seems to be the easiest tense for most to understand.
One other little nitpick: I spent ten minutes, wriggling over the bed.... That comma is unnecessary.
I really liked the Alana/Severus dynamic. He didn’t seem too out of character to me (though any Severus in love is a little shocking). One thing I’d love to see more of is how they met, why Alan’s parents dislike him so much, and just the build-up of their romance. The wedding (good idea on that, by the way) was nice, but it would be even better to see more. I hope you consider making a prequel or something to this story, as that would be really good to see.
Have a nice day! (Oh, and happy late birthday.) *D*
Author's Response: Aw, CA, thanks very much for reviewing and the birthday wish! And about the present tense, the thing is I tried to write it in present tense at first but then changed my mind half-way through, so apparently, didn\'t change all the verbs properly. >.> I\'ll look into that, thanks, and I\'m gonna put an A/N about how it fits in with the other one. And a prequel, is planned, yes; it\'s still in the making. Thanks again, for your review! You made my day. :D
Summary: She was impossible to keep up with, but he found himself running after her anyway. Cedric reflects at the Yule Ball. Cedric/Hermione.
I remember reading this story on your LJ a while ago. I’m glad you decided to post it to MNFF because it’s a sweet little story. The banter between Cedric and Hermione, while perhaps not in quite in character for Hermione as we often see her in the books, is just lovable.
The way you interpreted the prompt was pretty original, too – at least, I thought so. The fact that all these boys see different things in Hermione, but somehow Cedric sees the real her (or at least something captivating) was nice. Because of you I’ve been a closet Cedric/Hermione shipper for a while now.
The flashbacks work really well with the present tense at the Yule Ball, I think. And the part at the end where he admits that he really wanted to ask her and they dance was possibly my favorite. Possibly not. But I like the idea that this is what happened after she stormed away — after all, we don’t really know what happened. I like your versatility in scenes; you showed what happened after she stormed away Viktory style and now it’s...Cedric/Hermione style.
Any corrections I might make are a matter of your personal style, so I wouldn’t ask you to change that and even if it were important you probably wouldn’t, so...I curb my natural tendency to nitpick in respect of that.
And PS: In case it wasn't clear, I like this story and I'm glad you're posting things to MNFF again. And now I'm done being random-like and wandery and disturbing your fragile peace.
Summary: There are more ways than one to kill a man, as Fred Weasley well knows, for as the war goes on he's sure he must have experienced nearly every one. As Fred feels he's lost everything else in his life, he may as well join the Death Eaters - whether to stop what's happened to him happen to other people, of finally lose the only thing he has left; his life, by joining Voldemort, there are plenty of twists and turns along the way - and Fred isn't sure how long he has left to find out...
Written for the third Gauntlet challenge by Oppungo of Gryffindor.
This story was really good. Quite incredible, actually. You made Fred Weasley becoming a Death Eater almost believable. The ... I’m not sure if it was the images, the description, or what, but I really felt like I understood Fred’s life. The constant references to George were probably the best part of whatever it is I’m trying to describe. It was quite shocking to find out that while we knew from the very start that he was doing this for George, it wasn’t for him, as if he were avenging him. It was to pay him back. Incredible.
The part where Bill talks to Fred was very powerful and almost convincing. (Yeah, I keep using the word ‘almost’. That’s because even as good as this was I still couldn’t quite see it but don’t know what to say to fix that so it won’t be brought up again.) It was a good shock to find out that Bill was a Death Eater too, though they seemed to be in it for slightly different reasons.
The theme...more than one way to destroy a man...was very well illustrated, I thought. It’s an interesting thought. True, too, and the way you presented it didn’t necessarily preach about it. It just stated it and proved it. A good tactic for papers, perhaps? (Don’t listen to me about that. *fails English*)
Possibly my favorite thing you did in this story was the riddle, and how you used the riddle in the retrieval obstacle. It was...it was a nice touch. And having it be Angelina that had it and that he had to kill was perfect for the way you were building it up with George and all.
Okay. Nitpicks. Just for your information, since I am a lazy author and thus expect everyone else to be lazy too and not go back and fix the mistakes I note. Right after the Dark Lord asks what special services he can give to the Death Eaters, there is an “it’s” that must needs become an “its” if the grammar nazis of the world will ever be pleased. A couple paragraphs down, where “he said what?” There’s an italics code you need to shut. In the paragraph before the riddle, there’s another “it’s”...incidentally, the diligo donatus is a nice touch...
Overall, the writing style on this fic is really good. The emotions are well described and the overall tone of the fic is pleasing in a dark, terrible sort of way. And...that’s all for now. Have a nice day! *D*
Author's Response: *hugs* Thank you so much for this lovely review, Leslie! I can\'t say how much it means to me how that it was almost believable. I felt that the references to George were important, as he is such an important part of Fred\'s life - and that\'s what made it hurt so much more.
I am so glad you liked how it wasn\'t \'for\' George in the conventional sense, as that was a part I really enjoyed writing - however awful it was for all the characters involved. Yes - Bill was in it for different reasons, but I quite liked how all these different experiences happened to everyone, and how they all dealt with it.
I\'m glad you liked the riddle, as I remember that took quite a while to come up with and connect to everything. But how ironic that it was Angelina - I wonder if things would have been different if it had been someone else? *giggles* I forget sometimes that I wrote this! So I guess I should know... Merci for the nitpicks - I\'ll try to go and change them when I get a minute - but likely as not that\'ll be another year or so!
Thank you so, so much for this lovely review, I\'m so glad that you enjoyed this fic and it\'s dark, terrible tone - as that\'s exactly as it should be. Thank you!
Summary: Harry receives some solid advice from a friend on the eve of the Yule Ball.
This poem was written by Gmariam of Ravenclaw for the December Challenge. It is for the third prompt, a parody of a Christmas Carol.
Philbert, Toaster, Turnip, and Tiramisu?
I too must add my appreciation of the names chosen there. Also, I find that this is a very well-done parody. I don't really believe that Hagrid would've flown up to give Harry advice but with regards to the actual poem that it's a spoof off of that's probably the best choice.
For it being a poem, Harry was characterized pretty well, I have to say. Good luck on the challenge and all!
Have a nice day! *D*
Author's Response: Hi there! Thank you so much for reading this poem and leaving such a nice review!I really appreciate the compliment on Harry. I\'m so glad you liked the hippogriff names - it is such fun to see forum members come by and pick up on that little bit! *Of course* Hagrid would never fly up to give Harry advice - he\'s way too big for a hippogriff, and his romantic advice is really a bit sketchy. ;o) Like you said - it\'s a parody, all in fun! I\'m glad you liked it, it was fun to work with this particular piece. Thanks again for reading it and leaving such a lovely review!! ~Gina :)
Summary: On the eve of her wedding, Angelina Johnson is filled with looming regrets, before finally accepting her fate. But when old friends come back, Angelina is faced with a descision that could alter the course of her life. It's only then that she realises that she doesn't have time to be afraid, or live with regrets—after all, she had a life to live.
This story was very lovely. A nice tale of Angelina choosing to follow her heart after all the plans are set. My favorite part was when Alicia came (even though there’s an extra word or two in her welcome you might want to look out for) because she’s the one that really catalyzed the whole thing. Angelina might have gone into a marriage she would have regretted if it weren’t for the serendipitous arrival of her old school friend. It made me laugh when Angelina and Andreas had only been dating for six months when they got engaged, because honey, where I’m from, six months is almost entirely a shoo-in that you’re gonna get married. But I realize that I’m sort of in the minority here.
I liked when Fred came, even though I could feel Angelina’s discomfort at the whole notion. Angelina’s reasons for marrying Andreas are justifiable but begin to seem so weak in comparison to Fred’s insistence that there’s love. It made me think. That’s a good thing for a story to do. And you're a third of the way to your goal now ;)
Author's Response: *SQUEE* Thank you so much for this amazing review, Leslie! *huggles* Hehe, yes, 6 months is pretty much a guarentee here, too, but this was set in England in the past, and I don\'t know anything about that, so I just guessed a time-range. *giggles* Thanks for your comments, and glad you liked it!
Summary: Christmas Eve never came so strangely to Sirius or Remus.
Prompt, "O Christmas Tree!"; Author, stardust; House, Hufflepuff.
Your writing style is so lovely. The premise of the story is very original and lovely too, set in the awkward time where Remus and Sirius are growing apart. But they can grow together through the magic of the Christmas-spirit tree, as you called it there at the end.
The descriptions of nature are breathtaking. I especially like the paragraph about the moon waltzing her Christmas waltz. However, the way you describe most things is evocative and sends a very nice picture to my mind.
I really like your characterizations, especially the characterizations as revealed by the other characters. Remus and Sirius are plagued by mistrust and worry and nostalgia, and they see things that before were just parts of their character and now are...worrisome. When Remus says something simple about his present to Harry, for example.
My favorite part is the dressing of the Christmas tree. The decorations you chose were so apt and correctly symbolic for what they were to symbolize. Fireflies for Harry, irises for Lily, and the garland of icicles for James. I loved the part where Sirius tells Remus about what Lily said about James and garlands, especially when Sirius clarified, “When everything reminded her of James” because that seemed so true to me. I’ve had crushes and not been able to look at a single thing without tying it to my current flame. So amusing.
“Transfiguration’s a breeze” was another of my favorite lines. So very much Sirius. I like how you’ve incorproated what we know of the characters into a story. It makes me rather desire to read “Something Out of Nature” again because of the superlative characterization there too.
I was impressed with your syntax but I did manage to find a couple misplaced commas after much fine-tooth combing. In two separate instances, you have Remus/Sirius said, adverbly. The comma (the adverbs are lightly and humorously respectively) is unnecessary. And also “Eastern” needs no capitalization. But other than that it was very beautifully written.
As usual, I could go through every single sentence and say what I like about it and stuff, but I think I’d better not. Wonderful work, stardust.
Author's Response: Once again, Cinderella_Angelina., I find I don\'t know how to respond to a review of yours. You read intuitively and it\'s immensely gratifying to hear your responses. Thank you seems trite, but - thank you.
You liked the Christmas waltz? =) I have to give kudos to a fellow writer (The_Half_Blood_Prince on here) who suggested that I try to personify non-human things and see what arises. It\'s an experiment for me but a fun one.
You know, I would have felt uneasy crediting such words to Lily if I didn\'t know the feeling myself! Crushes have a way of dominating thought, don\'t they? I hope many, many more readers can relate and share the laugh.
And I\'m so glad you didn\'t think Remus and Sirius out of character - I\'ve never written them together, before, and this was so rushed for the \"Winter Tales\" challenge that I feared they\'d fall completely flat. (Thanks a million for fine-combing, by the way. I\'m going to edit the story as soon as this is submitted).
You remember \"Something out of Nature\". I am officially obliged! Thanks again.
Summary: Dean must tell his muggle fiancee, Abigail about his magical past. With the help of his wand and the magic of Narnia he hopes that she'll understand.
(A general fic romance between Dean Thomas and OC Abigail)
I’m going to do something that I haven’t often done with your stories. I’m going to read it and review it not as your beta, but as your recipient. Which is, for this story, what I am first and foremost. *squish almost to suffocation*
First, your OC: Abigail is the sweetest little thing. The most distinguishable characteristic I see in her is her childlike-ness. Not her childishness, necessarily, though there is a little bit of that. The way Dean remembered her at Harry’s wedding, with her facial expressions changing whether or not she knew he was watching, was so endearing. And her naivety about the whole world around her at that time was sweet, too. I guess it would make sense to be a Muggle wedding considering Harry was marrying Hermione and all. I never got that before. Smart stuff, Ashley. :-)
I thought it perfectly believable that Dean would run away from the Wizarding world and it’s only natural that he’d become a football player after that. The scars on his wand were particularly poignant to me. Really brought home why he’d want to run away. And of course he would keep in touch with his friends from before.
Now I’m in the mood for Dean/Ginny. You made it look believable – she kept flirting with him for goodness’ sake! Maybe I’ll have to write it sometime...or maybe you can. ;)
I only have a couple of quibbles with the story as a whole. When Dean and Abigail are first together she asks why they’re not going outside, “dressed like this.” You never actually say what they’re wearing. We figure it out later – especially when she touches the lamppost with a gloved hand, but it’s a little confusing there.
Also, Abigail seems awfully quick to just put it behind her – she’s not even sure she believes him but just lets the day get better and better; which is great. It’s just...I don’t know. Dean never even does any magic with his wand. [A suggestion may be to Conjure up some Turkish Delight or hot chocolate or something...] Besides that, though, it’s way cute. He really does make magic without a wand; I felt the way they felt toward each other and it was positively heartwarming. This story makes me feel good – a bit of a departure from your other work, I must say. I like it much. Much much. Thank you a million times infinity for writing it for me – and for being so dashed clever about it. That might be my favorite part, all this secrecy. I love you like whoa. Have a nice day! *D*
Author's Response: I love you like woah! I love that you comment on my stories, especially when you beta them, it\'s so cute, you\'re so cute. I was never happy with the way Abigail put it behind her so quickly either but I didn\'t want to make it too realistic because I thought it was angst up the story too much and this was supposed to be fluffy. I know what you mean but I\'m too dramatic to write a good reaction for her. As for Dean not using any magic, that was the point, that he could do magic without a wand, and the fact that he had already scared her to death, he didn\'t want to seem too forward about the entire thing. I love you Leslie, you deserve so much more than this story but I\'m glad you liked it. By the way, Dean/Ginny is so hawt.
Summary: After the Yule Ball, Neville goes back to the Great Hall to retrieve his coat. Instead, he finds Ginny Weasley, dancing with no partner but her sadness.
You did a beautiful job with this story. I’ve always liked Neville and you really got into his head. The beginning is just how I’d have imagined Neville felt at the end of the Ball. What I like about your Neville is how observant he is – he notes the furtive glances across the common room, where the moonlight falls as he walks through the halls, and the height to which Ginny’s hands rise when she dances with her imaginary partner. My roommate likes to tease me that the quiet waters run deep, and that’s how your Neville is. I really like that.
Your relation of the word seven to the story is fragile, but I can’t make fun of it because mine was the same. And this is a touching story nonetheless.
I love the last line.
I do have a few criticisms to make. The first one is my observation – I always skip the songs at the beginning of stories. I skipped yours. After I’d read it I decided to read it and see where your inspiration came from, but if I hadn’t liked it I wouldn’t have bothered. I might suggest putting it at the end so people are more likely to read it. But I sort of like the end the way it ends, too. I guess you can just leave it the way you have it.
This sentence: His eyes in his round face pleaded for her approval, her yes, said, Let me help. mostly makes sense, but isn’t grammatically correct. I ... am not sure how you would fix it. But I would like it better if it were tweaked a little bit.
And then I just have to be difficult and mention that Neville’s not allowed in Ginny’s room. Perhaps he escorted her to the girl’s dormitory instead?
The Ginny/Neville you’ve written here is heartwrenching. Neville likes her so much but knows her heart lies elsewhere so has to be her friend instead...and that’s all he’ll be, ever, we know that. But ... I don’t know what I’m trying to say here. It makes me sad, but I still have read this story a few times because I like it. This is a nice piece of work. *loves*
Author's Response: SQUEEE!!! I mean, thank you! I wasn\'t expecting another lovely review. Um. *clears throat* I\'m not sure if it\'s IC for Neville to be as observant as I made him, but then, it\'s not OOC. Yes, the \"seven\" connection was barely there...but I wanted to write this story, and then I picked a word and stuck it in. And I\'ll think about moving the song -- I\'d not really thought too much about it, just kind of stuck it there. So moving it wouldn\'t be a big deal.
Thanks so much for liking my Neville -- you know how much I like happy endings, but I couldn\'t bring myself to go AU, so it had to be sad. But I\'m proud of it, too. I think it\'s the dreamy kind of atmosphere, the unreality of it all. I wanted it to be that way, and I\'m quite proud that I managed to do it.
And thank you so much for your thoughtful comments. I\'m glad you pick over it so thoroughly, criticism and all! It\'s really great to know someone cared enough to put that muc work into it.
Summary: RATED THIRD YEARS FOR STRONG LANGUAGE
"Come to the right side, and we can hide you more completely than you can possibly imagine."
Explores a life in exile for of some of those who have been hidden.
(VERY slightly A/U, and even then, only if you take all interviews really literally.)
Your five chapters are up. Most everything is revealed. But. This cannot be the end. I am buoyed in hope by the fact that this story is not marked as complete. Because the image of Albus Dumbledore has something to say, if I'm not mistaken.
Your characterization seems so realistic to me. When Molly ran down screaming at her brothers, that's exactly how she'd act. And, naturally, you have Snape down to a tee. Your Snape is always pretty good.
Way back in the first chapter, with the spidery, long fingers presenting potions and whatnot, it could have been Snape or Dumbledore. Finally in this chapter it is revealed to be Snape. But you did it so cleverly -- and helped to further the plot at the same time as this revelation.
How interesting that Snape and Regulus are Parselmouths. For a rare gift, it's remarkably prevalent.
There at the end of the chapter, when Hermione is talking about the notes from Fawkes, I got confused. Is this something we haven't learned yet or am I just not a careful reader? Hopefully this will be explained in the next chapter.
The twins are probably my favorites.
A couple things: I thought that the QWC stadium was built just for the occasion and disassembled when the occasion was over, because the QWC is held all over the world so it's not very useful to have something as big as that around all the time.
Also, the prosecutor, when he becomes flustered-looking, becomes flustered-looking -- not flustered looking. I think. If that makes any sense whatsoever.
Please, write another chapter. And Have a nice day (unless you have other plans)! *D*