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.
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.
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.
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.
"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*
This story is incredibly intriguing. The first time I read it I couldn’t understand the timing, but I know now that I mixed up who Geoff and Frank were (and now I’m mind-boggled by the connections JKR has slipped in without us even noticing). I still have no idea who Mary Anne or some of the others can be, but I can simply look forward to reading more.
You do a great job of slowly hinting at who Reginald is (though of course by the time we know his name we’ve figured it out). Thanks to your summary, I thought at first Snape had dragged Draco somewhere. The story you’ve chosen to tell is more interesting, I think.
Reginald’s thoughts, as well as being illuminating as to who he was, are very interesting to me; I think you have characterized him well. Especially about his brother and cousin. Very good clues to his identity and all that, but beyond that showing a side of his character that people sometimes overlook.
I loved the aspirin part. A perfect illustration of the helplessness these people find themselves experiencing in their new lives.
There are a couple of things I disagree with in this chapter. First of all, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone with ruby red lips unless they’ve been drinking punch. I’m not sure I would use that description if I were you. This may just be me being strange, but it distracted me from the overall tone of that section.
Also, and this is definitely me being strange, but I would have preferred a warning for the language Reginald uses at the end of the chapter. It’s not something I really like to see. However, it did get his emotions across. It took this second time through for me to realize what had happened, on Halloween night. And why he would be so upset.
I’m glad that this story is completed and I only have to worry about the queue, because I really like it. Looking forward to reading what comes next! Have a nice day! *D*
Author's Response: WOW, what a review!
It took me reading a few times to figure out what you were talking about a Geoff and Frank, but I think I understand you now. ;)
I had troubles with this fic initially because I only thought to a particular part (which is in chapter 5), and not past that, and that was not an ending point. And because I hadn\'t really thought about it, I wasn\'t going to tell it, but then, you know how your muse takes over your whole life sometimes. *facedesk*
All of the named characters are canon - at least alluded to.
It\'s very, very difficult to characterise a character we\'ve seen little of . . . thank you for that. :)
I do think I\'m going to keep the lips, mainly because the whole family is supposed to be unusually good looking, but I do see your point.
I thought I\'d put a warning for language, but I may have missed that on this archive. I\'ll go do it, because I do like people to at least have the OPTION of not reading it! Although, yeah - I\'d have been upset if I were him. >:_>
Thanks for the lovely review!!!
What an attention-grabbing first chapter! Not only the accents, but the Quidditch game itself was fascinating – and I don’t always go for the Quidditch stuff. It really felt like I was watching a bunch of kids having a match. The part about the “dragon,” especially.
I do have one possible suggestion. The story in general has captivating and realistic descriptions, but there was a sentence that struck me wrong: She slapped a sweeping tendril of Coldwort away from her sweep and flew up to the net to take stock of the situation. The use of “sweeping” and “sweep” so near each other is a little distracting to me. I might suggest avoiding that in future if you’re too lazy to fix that one. Other than that, marvelous job!
Author's Response: Fixed it! Thanks for your input, C.A. The Quidditch \'scrum\' comes out of my own childhood whenpick-up games of tag, dodgeball, kickball, spud, etc. were the norm after school. And I love JKR\'s \'Fantastic Beasts\' so I just had to mention the herd of Hebridean Blacks that have their own clan to keep them in check.
This is my favorite chapter of your story so far (even including the fourth chapter, which I don’t have time to review tonight...). It has the most character exposition and also more of Minerva’s history – which was very interesting, I do have to say. I do like Gig, and all the possibilities you presented for her having trouble with words. That would be a real struggle at Hogwarts, where everything is verbal. Poor Gig.
I like Jupiter. He is pretty much a typical single father, but very thoughtful nonetheless. It was good of him to have Minerva’s “fag” shined up for school.
This chapter also made a mystery of how Minerva got out of the Quaffle net. I’m really interested in what happened there.
Different wizarding families’ traditions in preparing for Hogwarts are very rarely explored. I just started wondering if Ollivander is right – and that there is one want for one wizard – or if using family heirloom wands (for lack of a better term) works better. Or if...they both work. Interesting concept. Thank you for such an intriguing story.
Author's Response: Gig is a favorite of mine. She will have her ups and downs throughout the series and will have influence on characters who become important in the HP books. Glad you like Jupiter. He\'s a bit like my dad--brawny, an inventor, not all that clued in to feminine needs--but quite loveable. Glad you picked up on the \'mystery\'. It ties into several upcoming chapters and becomes very important in book two. I\'m not trying to contradict Ollivander; I\'m thinking of the idea of wands being passed down as a tradition that belongs to families of ancient lineage like Minerva\'s. Ollivander would have no reason to mention it to Harry, since his family wouldn\'t likely subscribe to that tradition.
I decided to just choose one chapter to review and this one won. Hooray, because it’s the last one and I refused to review this story until you finished it, then I didn’t know you’d finished it, and now you have, so I’m reviewing.
Last night the Fray song that has “the hardest thing and the right thing are the same” came on and I wanted to listen to it to improve my analysis of this story, but I had to go inside. Despite that inconvenience, this is a very, very good story! You knew that. This is my favorite chapter of the three, as well.
I really liked Cedric’s mother. She was sort of a typical mother in that she knows everything, but also it was clear why Cedric turned out so well with her exemplary guidance and understanding of him. I liked also that we saw a different side of Mr Amos Diggory than we usually saw in Goblet of Fire – reenacting the action of old scrapes, et cetera. He really had wonderful parents.
A very powerful line in this chapter that has already been mentioned is Ironic that he saved her from the Black Lake in February, and now he felt like he was constantly drowning in their relationship. Sometimes I’ve felt that way with different relationships, like I’m drowning, but to point out that irony while making it so clear that how Cedric is feeling is how I – and lots of other people – feel in situations like these was cool. That sentence is really convoluted but I think you’ll understand what I’m trying to say.
I thought when Cedric kissed Cho to shut her up, and felt terrible about it, was where I had the most sympathy for the struggle he was going through. It seemed like he felt so helpless. and the way she kept jabbering on and on reminded me of Kelly Kapur or however you spell it
The part where Cedric sees Katie talking to his parents is one of my favorites, because it sort of just makes it clear to me who would really fit into the family best. And I don’t doubt that the Diggorys have thought several times about setting them up, since Miss Bell is such a nice girl and all.
I like where Cedric and Katie work it all out and when Katie shuts Cedric up by kissing him – after inserting some Imogen Heap lyrics (I so win for noticing that). And when Ed and Porter are so in favor of the pairing, that made me smile.
I do have some criticisms for this chapter. In the first part, where you’re listing everything: “He remembered...” it’s good to have the parallel structure of everything he remembers because it makes it almost more of a view of his memories or something. However, later on in the chapter when Cedric and Katie are walking out together, you start almost every word in the paragraph with “They.” This makes the whole paragraph seem very choppy, in my opinion. You could combine a couple of the sentences or use “The two of them” or something just so it’s not all “they.”
As a random side comment, I think those flowers should make an appearance in the epilogue.
Another thing, right near the end when they’re sharing a guilty look, your sentence is: “They all shared a guilty look, all but Ed, and Katie frowned at him.” Two “alls” in one sentence compromise the grammatical sense of it, so I would get rid of the first one, because it’s pretty clear right after the comma that they’re all sharing the guilty look except Ed (who I’m having a hard time not accidentally calling Fred because he reminds me of my friend Fred). So I would dispose of that in a nonviolent manner.
One last note: Ed and Porter find Cedric and Katie and they mention that the feast is almost over. Cedric replies, “Not that hungry.” I think there could be just a little more to this statement, a little more description to how he said it. Did he say it with a glance at Katie so his friends knew he was more worried about her than food? Did he say it with a grimace because he’s nervous about the task? I wonder that every time I read it.
I really like this story, though, even though I was critical of some parts of it. And I hear through the grapevine that you’re working on an epilogue, so that makes me happy because the ending is so bittersweet, those of us that know what happens. Good job and all, Marie. :)
I really think you did the reactions between Andromeda and her daughter quite well. When I thought about it, that is exactly how both of them would act. In your other stories you’ve shown how Andromeda was raised, and that characterization continued in this fic. And we know from canon that Tonks and her mom didn’t get along so well, so with Tonks being all defensive all the time, I thought that was good.
Something that confused me was the flashbacks. At first it seemed like you were arbitrarily italicizing portions of your story, but then I figured out that they were flashbacks – you wouldn’t want to use “had” in front of all your verbs, so I totally understand that. I think what confused me is there wasn’t really a static “present,” so to speak. While Tonks was thinking about all these conversations, where was she? It’s not until the end we find out that she’s in some room with a window and Remus nearby. It’d be nice to have some setting to this story.
I liked the disagreement between Tonks and Andromeda. It was totally right on for both of them – a worried mother and a defiant daughter that are both sure they’re right. I was confused about that, too, though. Where was Remus during all of this? Was he listening to what Andromeda was saying about him, or was he elsewhere? I felt bad for Ted, caught in the middle of that.
The father-daughter dynamic was really fun to read. They get along really well, we can see that. And when Remus laughed at all Ted’s jokes it reminded me of my own father. At the end, too, when Remus divulges his selfish motives for going to visit Mum, that makes me laugh.
One more thing that threw me off: When Delia the owl drops off a roll of parchment, Tonks ends up reading 2 rolls of parchment. That was weird.
Let’s see, a couple nitpicks:
A werewolf isn’t exactly cuddly.” Anyway, I approve of Remus.” An extra little quotation mark there.
“Is everything alright,” he asked worriedly. If he’s asking something, you need to use a question mark. Also, I’m pretty sure that “alright” isn’t a word, despite my word processor assuring me it is. I prefer “all right.”
I liked your last line. :) It was a nice ending. Hee. Have a nice day and good job! *D*
Author's Response: Thanks! I had a lot of problems writing this fic, so it\'s good to have some feedback on it. I\'m glad you liked the relationship between Tonks and her parents; it was one of the things I really wanted to stand out about the story. I have a hard time with flashbacks and connecting them to the current action, so I\'ll definitely try to include more about the setting. Thanks for your review! ~ Teresa
I have never seen an Amelia/Severus pairing before! I really like the idea of Severus coming to Amelia, worried about her because he knows Lord Voldemort is after her, and I thought her reaction – that it would be suicide for him to even try something like that – was very good and rational, as we’ve always had Amelia’s character suggested to us.
It would have been really nice to see more of the story. We get just a few hints of the relationship between the two of them, but the story is mostly focused on Severus’ worry that she won’t ake it through the war and everything will be left hanging. I’d have liked to see more explained about why they got together in the first place, why Severus and Amelia seem to even like each other at all, that sort of thing.
My favorite part of the story was at the beginning when Amelia was sipping her drink and pondering on the sad state of things at the Ministry – you did a great job on the insider’s view at the beginnning of book 6 (or end of book 5, depending). They didn’t have a clue how to go about stopping Voldemort, and sadly, neither did she. I liked the whole bit about Susan, too, because she’s one of my favorite characters and it was vindicating to me to have her described as a warrior. (And Susan liking Harry has always had a soft spot in me too.)
I found it interesting that they haven’t seen each other for years and they start right in on conversation. If it were me, I would’ve felt a little more awkwardness at seeing an old lover that was coming to protect me. I think this is, again, not knowing enough of the story for me to really understand why they’re reacting the way they do toward each other.
The last scene was done quite well. You got the interaction between Wormtail and Snape just how it would probably go – especially when Wormtail is too afraid to tell Severus about Amelia being dead. The old coward.
Just a couple nitpicks then I’m done. When Severus comes in behind her, we see Amelia “sitting” her drink down; it should be “setting.” And at the end, Severus growls and pulls the rat-like man toward him; you used the pronoun “it” instead of “him” here. That might have been on purpose because it made it clear how little Severus thought of him, but it is a little confusing – I might suggest changing it even if it was intended.
Congratulations on making me feel a little sorry for Severus in this story – you made it clear how much he cared for Amelia, and then ... she died. It was very poignant and just a little more description, detail, and backstory would have made this story great. Have a nice day! *D*
Author's Response: :D I doubt there are too many Severus/Amelia stories kicking around. I tend to be a bit original with my pairings.
And I have also become rather fond of Susan. I do see her as someone who would be willing to fight, although she was no mentioned in Book Seven that I can recall.
And I totally agree that this story could use some fleshing out. It was actually written for a class and then got rushed. I suppose I really should try to add something to it. Maybe a second chapter where Severus\' relives their relationship. I will think about doing that, someday.
Anyway, thanks so much for the review. And thank you for pointing out the errors. The it was intentional, but if it is confusing, I will consider changing it.
This is a really good Neville story, Katie! We saw in Deathly Hallows how Neville stepped into the shoes left for him by Harry’s absence and you showed just that: his determination to fight, to keep Hogwarts from the bad guys, and his compassion for the other students at Hogwarts.
I really love the first portion of this, where we’re thrust right into the situation with an exhausted Neville and what is clearly a battle situation. You don’t even need to say that it’s a battle situation – your descriptions do the trick for us. The fact that the long shadows cast by the setting sun make blood seem redder – there’s blood? And there’s dark shapes dotting the goound that have a pronoun of “who”? There’s clearly something dreadful going on at Hogwarts.
The last paragraph between the plain print and the italicized print was a little confusing because it was hard to tell if it was in the ‘present’ (Neville sitting at a tree on the grounds) or the ‘past’ (He’d been eating lunch in the Great Hall). After we realize that he’s vibrating through the floorboards we know which one it is, but a ‘had’ instead of a ‘was’ in the first sentence would make it much clearer. i.e., There had been a sound like a great bell....
I loved it when everybody stood up, determined to fight the Death Eaters. Even Blaise Zabini, who I wouldn’t have expected, but I really liked it. One thing that disappointed me about Deathly Hallows was that the Slytherins were the stereotypical evil, save-their-own-skins that the Sorting Hat warned against. Here in this story, you have a Slytherin standing up for the right. Hoorah! This whole scene was written so well, I could feel the tension among the students, aching to fight, and the fear of those to be left behind.
One tiny picky thing that I would mention about this scene is after McGonagall (great characterization of her, I might add) puts up the barrier, and Neville and Dennis stare at each other, Neville can hear Lavender and Seamus. I was confused for just a second about whether they were on the outside or the inside of the barrier. A little “Next to him, Neville could hear...” would remedy that quite nicely, I think. Or you can leave it. I’m just being picky.
Most other students would notice that the greenhouses were ruined and just shake their heads at the tragedy of it all then walk on. Not Neville. The greenhouses seem almost to be Hogwarts to him, and for them to be ravaged like this is the “greatest insult to life and humanity and green growing things” that he’s ever seen. And it’s only because he ventures inside that he sees little Ned Wright, so that’s perfect.
When Harry says something about Voldemort not feeling his soul, and Neville puzzles over it, I puzzled over it too. I still don’t know what it means. But I guess Neville never would figure it out, because he’s not Harry.
Another confusing part was at the end, when they’re all at the Hospital Wing. The dialogue and the action is all fine, I just couldn’t figure out who was actually in the infirmary for damage and who was there visiting. Other than that, it was a fitting ending to the story. Especially when Neville looks out at the greenhouses – they’re just visible, which connotes to me that you can’t see what a wreck they are, which has got to be hopeful.
There. I totally wrote this while talking to you because I hate when good stories have no reviews. I hope my review was helpful to you, Starmaiden fair. Have a nice day! *D*
Author's Response: Leslie!! Ah! Your review, Lady Leslie, is wonderful and helpful and many good things. Thank you for picking out all those confusing bits and whatnot. I do really like this story and obviously, errors tend to put a bit of a damper on preening over one\'s work. You caught that Blaise stayed to fight! Yes, I was also disappointed when all the Slytherins left, that there weren\'t any brave enough to stand up. I really wanted someone -- if only one someone -- to stay and show that \"Slytherin\" is is not necessarily synonymous with \"evil\". Herbology is the only place (as far as we know) where Neville really shines. He\'s very at home in Herbology and the greenhouses, so it was the best -- or worst -- place to demonstrate the real impact of the War on him. Especially when he found Ned, because then Death had walked into his sanctuary. (Random trivia: I came up with the idea of an \"insult to growing things\" first, then found a story to fit it. And reworded the original sentence to be more impressive.) Thank you so much for taking the time to review this! I also hate when good stories have no reviews, and I\'m afraid I\'m not at all modest about this particular one. *huggles*
I...like this story! I almost never read Ron/Hermione, but I recognized the author name and figured I’d give it a shot. Your characterization is very good and I love the interactions between the characters. Going chronologically through the parts I loved...
Ron probably thought he was being so sneaky in dividing up the names the way he did, but Harry caught on, didn’t he? I liked how he was (justly) miffed by it, and loved the line “whilst Ron had been fed brownies, Harry had been forced to make a quick escape from a rather accurate string of them...” I thought it was in-character for Harry to mention Krum the way he did and to take pleasure from Ron’s “hundred and one reasons.” And, of course, it was in character for Ron to maunder on and on about how he hated Krum.
I liked how you didn’t have to actually say anything about the way Hermione felt about the wedding: the fact that the invitation was untouched on the table gives the reader all they need to know.
I liked the little three-way interaction between Ron, Mrs Weasley, and Hermione. I especially loved the grammatical interchange – it was obvious they’ve had this discussion before. Also in this section are the little details that give so much to a story – for example, when Mrs Weasley goes to “rescue” dinner. And also, of course, I liked the way that Ron never got over his habit of treating Hermione like his girlfriend – “pick you up at eight?” Hee.
The things I’m going to be picky about in this chapter are not glaring typos or really bad grammar that I can’t stand to look at, just things that I’ve learned to notice that you might like to be aware of in future.
First of all, this line here: “I’m so glad you decided to stop by, dear, even if it is only for a few hours,” Mrs. Weasley smiled as Hermione bit into her baked potato. This is a habit I still haven’t broken, the usage of non-verbal words as the action when someone is speaking. “Smiling” is not an act of speech. I don’t know of any physical way that someone can simply smile and be heard. If you want, you could trade out the comma at the end of the dialogue with a period and simply make the following sentence its own independent thought – it’ll be pretty clear that it was Mrs Weasley talking. Or you could use a word like “said” or “remarked”, i.e., Mrs Weasley remarked, smiling as Hermione....But as I said, this is a pitfall that I often fall into and I don’t blame you if you don’t ever get around to taking my advice.
And then this one here: ”...Harry said something about decorations?” Ron squirmed slightly, and Hermione realised that she might have come off a bit more frosty than she had intended. It was really confusing to me to figure out who was talking, because you mentioned Ron first after the quotation marks. You should probably either mention Hermione first or make it a different paragraph. Just to lessen the confusion of poor ADD and OCD readers like myself.
But anyway, that’s all the criticisms I had for this chapter! I’m pretty excited to see what happens next. I mean, obviously something’s going on with Ron, and I want to find out the way that unfolds.
Author's Response: Leslie, thank you so much for this lovely review! You totally made my day! *huggles* Thank you! And I can\'t say how pleased I am that you like it, despite the infamousness that can be Ron/Hermione! *giggles* Yes - Ron definitely planned that, even if subtlety isn\'t exactly his forte! Of course he\'s still a bit raw about Krum - unluckily for Harry who has to hear about it all - although he\'d rather eat slugs again that admit it to Hermione!
I\'m particularly glad that you noticed and understood how Hermione felt about the wedding, as I did feel that not saying anything would say much more - but I was a little worried that reading it, it might not translate as well, so I\'m happy you liked that! Especially as I really feel that Hermione\'s feelings on the wedding are such a big part of this story, it\'s good to track them through the chapters.
The interaction between Ron and Hermione is another thing I\'m so happy you picked out, as I\'m always worried about not getting it right, as with those two especially it has to be just on beat - as it does reveal a lot about the characters and the past bit that we haven\'t seen - between school and the present. =)
Oh, thank you for pointing out those things, Les! As I actually didn\'t know that, and it will definitely be useful for the future =) *giggles* It\'d be interesting to hear what a smile would be like though! I\'ll go and change those things in a minute =)
I really hope that you carry on reading, as I\'m just dying to hear what you think of the rest, especially the end! Thank you so much for this lovely review, and for deciding to read this in the first place! *huggles*
Schmergo, I'm not sure I ever got around to telling you I love you. Now's as good a time as any, I guess, as I'm supposed to be getting ready for work and instead I'm battling my deep desires to turn on the HSM soundtrack and sing along to your spoof. It was very good. If I knew any guys, I'd get them to sing along with me in a heartbeat. And I also love how you're still spoofing in your Author's Responses. Absolutely wonderful. Anyway. Good job on this one -- probably my favorite so far! I really need to move away from my computer now because the longer I stay the more likely I am to turn on HSM and sing....
Have a nice day! *D*
Author's Response: Hi! *Waves like a loony* Oh, thank you! I definitely recommend singing this! ^_^ I went to this performing arts institute over the summer, and about six people and I were singing these songs on the bus ride home (driving everyone crazy).
*Mails my ridiculously musical brother to you so you can have a guy to sing with*
Author's Response: I can\'t help spoofing the author\'s responses... I get these ideas, and I have to write them down!
You know what, I’m very intrigued by this story. There are so few, so very few stories about the Dursleys in Harry Potter fanfiction. Granted, until the seventh book their lives must have been very boring to read about – somehow, normality isn’t very exciting – but the family as a whole are not very well-loved as characters. But you’ve got a great story started here and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.
I love your descriptions. I can just see Mr Dursley getting closer and closer to blowing up, and Dudley as he freaked out when Dedalus pulled his wand. I especially like the line Dudley looked from his mother to his father, much like a little boy who won’t admit he’s afraid of a ride at the carnival, hoping one of them would protest. That is exactly how he would react to being confronted with Apparition.
The way Hestia and Dedalus don’t really seem to understand how confused the Dursleys are and the way the Muggle world works is very well noted. Elevators should just sense the presence of people nearby and everyone’s heard of Apparition, right? We see even more of this in the next chapter, which...I’ll get to in a minute. I have to bring up something first.
And that thing is point of view. I’m having a hard time placing whose point of view your story is in. Mostly it appears to be Dudley’s, but during the course of the story you refer to his mother as Petunia and his father as Mr. Dursley, which is probably not how Dudley thinks of them (not to mention Mr Diggle as Dedalus and Ms Jones as Hestia – it was a very short time to first-name basis). Also, near the end of the chapter we get an insight into Hestia’s thoughts as well. It would be too much work for you to go in and fix the names and stuff to whatever point of view you decided was your main one, so I’m just going to mention it to you for future chapters.
Just a couple nitpicks that you can go in and change without too much hassle – your story is very good without me doing this, I just think that even the small improvements can make a difference.
Dudley’s ponderings were interrupted by his father’s raised voice, and he jerked his head up to see what it could be about. He seemed ready to kick Hestia Jones out of the car. “TELL ME WHERE YOU’RE TAKING US!” Mr. Dursley roared.
In this paragraph, the way you use the pronouns makes it seem like Dudley’s about to kick Hestia out of the car. I would suggest you rearrange the “He” that I bolded and “Mr. Dursley” at the end of the paragraph just to make it more clear.
“For the thousandth time, I can’t tell you,” Hestia replied, exasperated, but in no way intimidated by the large, blonde man on her right.
This is a stylistic preference; I read it out loud and decided that it sounds better not to have either of the bolded commas. If you want to keep the first comma, I would suggest either getting rid of the conjunction or replacing it with a word like “clearly”, i.e., “Hestia replied, exasperated, clearly in no way intimidated...” And as for the second comma – you only need commas separating 3 or more adjectives. I think. Either way, it sounds better to me to just get rid of the comma.
Why? It already knows we’re here.” A simple case of apostrophe addition.
And for a couple of canon things: “Silencing” and “Summoning Charm” are usually capitalized. Muffliato is the correct spelling of that spell. I love that you remembered Diggle’s top hat.
This chapter was great at setting the stage – where the Dursleys are going, how they’re dealing so far with their chaperones. I’m looking forward to great things with this story. :)
Have a nice day! *D*
Author's Response: Thanks...I love reviews like this! My characterization is good, yay!
The story is told from Dudley\'s point of view, much like the books are told from Harry\'s point of view. I couldn\'t decide what to call his parents, because they are Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon in the books and I wasn\'t going to call them mom and dad (that would be strange - James and Lily weren\'t refered to as mom and dad except in dialogue) He\'s not on a first name basis with Dedalus and Hestia yet, but I wasn\'t really thinking about POV when I wrote their characters.
Thanks for noticing those other little mistakes! I\'ll go change them! : )
Oh, poor Petunia, to move into a house that is so filthy! I really liked her characterization in this chapter: the way she flicked her hand when Hestia removed the dust from it and was scrubbing at an immaculate counter and rushed to her Dudders – all very Petunia. I could even imagine her leaving Dudley’s bedroom door open so she could perhaps – completely by accident, of course – hear what Dudley was talking about with their captors protectors, that’s how well you characterized her in the beginning of the chapter.
You’ve got me really sympathetic for Dudley. He’s changing, but his parents and the wizards don’t really seem to expect him to change. Hestia looked at him curiously when he thanked her. Mr Dursley didn’t even seem to entertain the idea that his son had initiated the exchange – no, it was just “Why are you talking to my son” not “Dudders, why are you talking to them.” And Dudley’s really curious, too. Understandably. I’m not quite sure why Diggle thought that Harry would’ve told them these things. Anyway, this chapter was important because it informed Dudley at least about how big the trouble is, and that people are going to die for this cause – have already died. I can see that being pretty big.
I liked the way Hestia finally lost her temper with Mr. Dursley. He had it coming.
Once again, a few nitpicks:
He looked as if he could go a few days without sleep, and that goofy grin would still be plastered on his face.
“Yeah, me too,” Dudley said, after an uncomfortable silence.
I’m pretty sure you don’t need either of those commas.
Oh, you’re room must be filthy!” “you’re” should be “your.”
Dudley wondered who He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is Your story is set in past tense; an “is” sort of breaks the flow. I would suggest changing it to “could be”: “Dudley wondered who He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named could be; he was in three of the headlines.”
And on a similar note,
He had killed so many people that most people won’t speak his name “won’t” should probably be switched to “wouldn’t” to fit the tense.
And that’s all I can see in this chapter! It’s very good writing: funny, descriptive, and solid characterization. Can’t wait to see what happens next. :)
Have a nice day! *D*
Author's Response: I thought it would be fun to put Petunia in such a filthy place! Dudley\'s changing but he\'s never had opinions of his own, so it\'s certainly unexpected. Again, thanks for pointing out those errors.
Fascinating concept! I would’ve liked to hear a bit more about why wands came into fashion. I thought it was really interesting that they went back exactly 1000 years, and that was when the Founders were working. It would be so cool to meet them!
I thought your characterization was right on. Minerva was snippy, Tom was sneaky, and Dumbledore was calm and helpful. I was confused about whether or not Dumbledore was actually Headmaster because that was how it seemed. Even though Dippet was the Headmaster. So I would suggest a word or two to make it clear who’s really in charge. I still agree with Minerva going to Dumbledore – that is definitely the first thought I would have if Perfect Prefect Tom Riddle had just broken my wand.
I wish Minerva had used more wandless magic. It looks way cool. But also seeing Tom’s reaction to another power would frighten me off using it too. I can understand why she blamed herself for Riddle going wrong, but she really ought to realize that he was wrong way before there was wandless magic.
Just a couple nitpicks:
“Why don’t ye try some simple spells while I fix ye devic?” “device,” you mean, I think. :)
The once dark eyes were cold, and he had a maniacal smile on his face. I don’t see any reason for there to be a “once” in that sentence. Just because his eyes are cold doesn’t preclude them from still being dark.
And! “I wish I could say that was true, Minerva.” What?! I totally understand why Minerva’s confused. How I wish Snape hadn’t walked in at that moment. Because I definitely didn’t expect Dumbledore to say that.
I liked your opening line, too. Sucked me right into the story. Tom Riddle? Dead? Very clever, I say. :)
That’s about all I had to say about this one. Have a nice day! *D*
Author's Response: Thank you! This is my latest fic, so I love hearing what people think. I was really worried about Tom\'s character; I\'m glad he came good(well, really bad) in the end. I loved writing this fic, and I\'m glad to have your feedback. ~ Teresa
I like this story.
oh. Your writing is beautiful. It echoes the snippet of poem you posted at the beginning of the chapter. I can just see the city in my mind’s eye – damp, desolate, dingy.
You really did well with the flashbacks every so often. It gave a feeling of the scope of the danger Remus was getting himself into. In real time, we don’t particularly see a whole lot of how Remus is feeling, but when we see the conversation with Dumbledore we know that, just as he did when talking to him, he is hiding his fear. And...I would be scared too. I am scared. He’s doing something very frightening and I’m sitting here with my heart pounding and hoping that everything’s going to be okay. Here Remus is, just learning what being a werewolf means to most people, er, werewolves. He’s praying that he won’t hurt someone! That’s really when it hit me. I mean, Remus would never hurt someone, right? Not when he’s a human.
Gah. Now I’m all worried. Usually I don’t have such an emotional reaction to stories – your writing is very powerful indeed. I’m glad that I’m doing this in the morning and not at night, when I’d be sure to have nightmares about Bur Sceadugenga.
I really liked your last paragraph, especially in relation to the T.S. Eliot. The prose is just very nice. (How insipid. It’s effective, potent, rather beautiful in a strange way. Silly of me to use the word “nice” to describe it.)
Just a couple small corrections I would make:
Darkthroat vaulted over the desk again with inhumane grace and settled back in his chair.
When I see the word “inhumane” I think more about uncivilized, sort of cannibalism or making children live in the rotting remains of their parents sort of thing. Maybe you could change it to “inhuman,” but my thesaurus says they mean about the same thing. I think I know what you’re trying to say – that humans could never achieve the grace he exhibits here – but I’m not sure what word would be best, only that I don’t really think I like the word you’ve used. If I had to make a final judgment, I would perhaps ask you to consider the word “inhuman,” just because it doesn’t contain “humane.”
He had only just got back up when Keelan came tearing by in, grabbed his arm again, and took off down the tunnels
Do you mean “back”? This sentence is a bit confusing to me.
Other than that, I love your writing. It’s not flowery, but it’s descriptive and powerful all the same. And I’m sort of anxious to see if you continue this, because I’m worried.
Thanks and have a nice day! *D*
Author's Response: I hadn\'t thought of that--\"inhuman\" does have more appropriate connotations. I\'ll fix that... The other sentence, the one with an extra preposition..I think I\'ll change that to \"when Keelan came tearing down the stairs\". Hopefully that\'s clearer. Thank you for the review! I enjoyed reading your reactions, and I will update as soon as possible...
How embarrassing. I get a mention in the chapter and vanish for a few months instead of reviewing. Thank you for your acknowledgement – I’m glad to know you’ve appreciated my reviews, and I’m looking forward to reviewing this, your final chapter of this small tale.
I think it was perfect. The subtle allusions to the poem were very nice in this chapter – like when the gentleman stuffs and smokes his pipe, and the tolling of the hours. Once again you matched the tone of the poem with the tone of the prose, and I’m really impressed by that.
One of my favorite lines was this: On both sides of the street, the preoccupied pedestrians were little planets trapped in perfectly elusive orbits, faceless behind raised newspapers, train schedules, and letters from strangers. I’ve never lived in a big city, but I’ve often imagined it to be somewhat like this – especially in the days when we actually used newspapers more often. But then you follow it up with the occasional greeting: “Good afternoon, my friend, good afternoon!” At first we’ve got a very impersonal world, everyone in their own little bubble and not really interested in anyone else, but then a personable feeling to touch it up with, and it seems to me to give a little hope to the world Remus lives in. But I might be extrapolating. It happens. ;)
To have this as your final chapter worked just fine for me. I’m not put out with you at all – we already know Remus rejected Tonks a few times before they got together, and to have this first time be what we see really fits well with the rest of the chapter, and with the poem.
I liked this chapter because it felt like, for the first time, Remus was starting to make a difference in the young werewolves’ lives. Sivey almost listened to him, and it’s clear they all look up to him a lot. To say that gratitude wasn’t the werewolf way was a nice touch; it reminds us how depraved and pathetic they really are.
(A “Muggle” house in Little Hangleton? Of course it would have a boggart.)
There is so much I like about this chapter, particularly your lovely word choice and diction. I can’t possibly talk about it all. I suppose I’ll move on to being picky, then.
Remus was walking up Tower Street and opening his book,when a resounding “crack!” rang through the din An extraneous comma!
they were standing on a garden path half-way between a run-down cottage and a large manor. I’m pretty sure you can just use “halfway” instead of “half-way,” but that is a personal choice. You do use hyphens in two other words in the sentence, if that makes a difference one way or the other.
“Keelan–Jared–lie low here for now. I disagree with your use of dashes here. It makes it seem like he’s forgotten Keelan’s name so has to fix it and call him Jared. Perhaps what I would do to adjust that is use “Keelan, Jared – lie low...” The dash then makes it clear that he’s addressing them while the comma makes the list.
But that’s all I could find. And I keep getting distracted because the story is so entrancing. If it’s not already on my favorites, it will go there now because I really really like what you did here. It was a very masterful interpretation of Eliot’s poem and I hope you’re proud of what you’ve accomplished here. :)
Have a nice day! *D*
Author's Response: Ah. I do seem to be overly fond of punctuation. Thank you for pointing those out; I will go back and fix them!... Your commentary was, as always, amazingly insightful. Sometimes I wonder if you know the characters better than I do myself. I wish...I dunno, I ended it because I ran out of poem, and there was nothing left to say, but I really like Remus as a character, and I wish it could have been different for him. He deserved more, he really did. Somehow, he just always gets the short end of the stick. Of course, I never gave him more than the bittersweet almost-successes of this last chapter, so I can\'t complain. All right, too much said... Um...two more things: I\'m glad you liked what I did with the younger werewwolves. I almost used Aidan instead of Sivey, because I didn\'t want people to think she\'s weaker, just cause she\'s a girl. She\'s probably the toughest of the bunch, after Jared, but also the only one who ever seems to listen. Oh, yes, I was going to say I thought the Tonks/Lupin scene was...painful. It was brutal to write...I\'m flattered by how nice you were about it. It was a really nice surprise, getting your review after having disappeared myself for a couple of months. It definitely made my day! Thanks so much again for all your encouragement!
I like this chapter better on a second, careful read. At first I didn’t understand what was going on, but I’ve stared at the poem for a couple minutes and now I’m really impressed with the way you incorporated it. Again. The part where Remus lectures the young werewolves about “the hands” that Tiber nicks handbags from was really nice, I thought, but then I saw it in the poem and it was even cooler, the way you chose to interpret that for the story.
Even though it’s disjointed, there’s a sort of...cohesiveness to this chapter that came to me this second time reading it. Probably because I can see threads of the poetry running through it, but also perhaps because each scene has a common character that’s going through...hard times. I’m really proud of Remus. He’s doing a job he knows is hopeless, but he’s doing it anyway.
It was cool the way the werewolves take “revenge” on normal people. I mean, not cool that they do that, but that you chose that as a suitable revenge for them to take. I had to smirk when Remus pretended he didn’t know anything about the Malfoys. He certainly is living a lot of masquerades.
And I liked the suggestion that his realest life is just lounging with a good book, Sirius by his side. It saddens me that he doesn’t ever get as much of that as he should. Excellent use of that Dickens quote, as well. It pretty much exemplifies Remus’ life – heavy on the worst of times, of course, but things could be worse. He could be dead. (Okay, that’s pretty much the only thing I can think of that’s worse than what he’s going through. I still like the use of that quote.)
Just a couple little things I noticed:
Tremors wracked his boy violently I’m pretty sure you mean “body” there, not “boy.”
“Would you read it…out loud?” Remus smiled. Sirius stared back up at the ceiling ...
It just sounds like Remus is the one making the plea because of the placement of the names. I couldn’t tell if there were actually two spaces between the quotes and Remus’ name – that would help. It’s hard with question marks to make it clear whether or not the statement’s being made by the person named afterward. You might even consider rearranging the words a bit, though I hesitate to mention it because I do like it better the way it is. Just thought I might draw your attention to it.
Finally, I like how you use Old English. It’s a very nice literary touch. Your writing remains wonderful. Have a nice day! *D*
Author's Response: \"Boy\" was a typo, but I can fix it...and I think if I start a new paragraph after \"Would you read it out loud?\" it might be less confusing as to who\'s speaking. I hope. I hadn\'t noticed that before, so I really appreciate the comment. I couldn\'t resist throwing in the Malfoys. I mean, the Malfoy Manor? It\'s got to be every looter\'s dream! Not that Keelan and Co. would have ever come close to breaking in, even with permission...*evil grin* It makes me happy that you liked \"the hands\" speech. The original version of that was too long, and I was afraid that when I cut it down, it was incoherent. As you noticed, the poem provided the inpsiration. The poem seems to drive a lot of this story, mainly because we don\'t really know exactly what it is that Remus does; I wish J.K. had written more about Remus\' time with the werewolves in the Christmas scene of HBP, but alas! I am reduced to guesswork. Thanks for the amazing review!