Penname: Oregonian [Contact]
Real name: Vicki
Member Since: 04/13/12
Website:
Beta-reader: No
Status: Member
Bio:
I'm an American, have been married for "a long time", and have a son and a daughter, so to me the characters are like sons and daughters. I like to study history and science, and I usually don't write (or talk) unless I have something to say, so I tend to be serious. I try to stretch my writing skills by entering challenges and forcing myself to write to prompts that I would otherwise not write, such as romance or vigorous action, and am surprised to discover that it can be done.
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Reviews by Oregonian
 

Stars Above by ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor
Rated: 1st-2nd Years [Reviews - 3]

Summary: Severus Snape's guilty conscience is magnified with scrutiny, and every star stares at him and what he has done.



Categories: Poetry Genre: Warnings: None

Word count: 150 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
04/10/13 Updated: 04/10/13


Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 04/17/14 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Hi, Jess,

Here are some thoughts about the ideas you expressed in your interesting poem, a glimpse into the conscience of Severus Snape.

He senses the stars as unblinking eyes that see everything he does, eyes from whose gaze he cannot escape. He says, in effect: the stars know what I have done; my treachery cannot be forgotten. The stars are my watchmen and celestial jailers. I have made my bed and now I must lie in it.

Harry’s eyes (Lily’s eyes) “stalk” Snape during the day (as perceived by Snape, not by Harry). Harry is surviving just to spite Snape. (Again Snape’s perception, his choice to take Harry’s existence personally. Whatever Harry survived for, it wasn’t to spite Snape.)

Snape blames the stars, but no, the stars are only inorganic heavenly bodies. It is Snape’s own conscience that torments him at night, when the events of the day, sunny or not, are no longer present to distract his attention from self-examination.

He sounds obsessed with where his life’s choices have taken him, if he thinks about it every night. As long as Voldemort remains alive, this mess will never be cleaned up; these wrongs will not be made right. Until Lord Voldemort is dead, Snape can never just put this sorry business behind him and try to build a new life with the time he has left.

This poem has many good lines, for example “I pull back the covers of the bed I made all those years ago.” A double reference, first to the actual action of going to bed at night, when the stars are out and the reproachful thoughts come flooding back, and to the old saying that I mentioned above.

A line that worked less well for me was “But from my task, I dare not stray, for I will feel those eyes again.” The first eight words sounded a bit stilted, though it was plain what you were talking about and they followed from the previous verse, and the final seven words surprised me, because I had thought that he was feeling the watchful, reproaching eyes all the time anyway.

A very eloquent and sensitive expression of something that Snape may have been thinking, one aspect of his perpetually tortured and regretful existence. Thank you for writing.

 

Tooth in the Brain by teh tarik
Rated: 6th-7th Years [Reviews - 2]

Summary:

It's funny, Tom, the way you eat my words.

Ginny Weasley hates books. Irma Pince loves them.

Categories: General Fics Genre: Warnings: Character Death, Self Injury, Violence

Word count: 3895 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
04/19/13 Updated: 04/21/13


Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 01/12/14 Title: Chapter 1: tooth in the brain

Hi, Nicole. This is Vicki of Slytherin House. I have read your story over and over, trying to decide what to say about it. I understand why you say in your Chapter End Note that you have never written anything like it before. It certainly is different.

It is odd and disturbing, but I do not mean that in any bad way. It is, after all, about Tom Riddle, and he is odd and disturbing. Ginny and Irma are being so controlled and manipulated by this book, which is a Riddle Horcrux; they are frightened, horrified, but at the same time fascinated. It’s like having a nightmare in which bad things are happening that you can’t control. I have seen fics written about Horcruxes, but generally from a fairly objective viewpoint; at most, they depict Ron or Hermione being taunted by their inner fears at the moment when they try to destroy the Horcrux, but those other stories don’t have the consummate creepiness that you have achieved here. The voice of the Horcrux speaks to us, pretending to be a friend, but ultimately to our misery; you have gotten the voice very well.

George and Fred struck me as irritating in their insensitive ragging of Ginny and their failure to see that they are carrying it to extremes, but I see their function in the story, giving Horcrux Tom another topic to torment Ginny with, and leading to their tossing the Dungbombs in the library, resulting in Ginny’s expulsion and her sudden, desperate attempt to ditch the book by hiding it on the trolley cart where Irma can find it.

But it is not clear to me why it was necessary (for the sake of the story) for Irma to go into the diary and see Myrtle’s death, since we know about her death from other sources, and it is not clear what the significance is of Irma’s vision of being at her mother’s funeral. Why did Horcrux Tom do that to her?

You have added a lot of detail, dialogue, and action to this particular moment in canon, all very thoroughly and graphically expressed, in an emotionally intense style, but I believe it doesn’t violate canon; it could have happened that way. (I have been flipping through CoS hunting for a reference to Ginny’s having an injured hand, but short of rereading the whole book, I have not found it.) So I think you can be satisfied that you accomplished what you set out to do, to show us how horrible this whole experience was for Ginny. I hope that horror did not rub off on you while you were writing it!

 

You're Safe With Me by phoenix_tearPatronus
Rated: 3rd-5th Years [Reviews - 2]

Summary: Teddy and Victoire. Victoire and Teddy. That's how it had always been. Growing up, the two had been best friends, but feelings change and even the best of friends can be divided.

Categories: Other Pairing Genre: Warnings: Strong Profanity

Word count: 3492 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
05/13/13 Updated: 05/21/13


Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 01/19/14 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Hi, Abi. This is Vicki From Slytherin House again. I have been reading your chaptered story, Forever In Her Shadow, and this chapter, as you say, fits into that narrative, but from a different viewpoint, Victoire’s instead of Dominique’s, and presents a basic premise of the story in a very different light. Just goes to show you that you can’t really judge a situation accurately until you’ve heard both sides.

In this story, we actually meet Amelia, but apparently Victoire already knows what Amelia is like, from having observed her behavior at Hogwarts; Victoire knows that Amelia is scheming and manipulative, but she cannot help allowing herself to be manipulated by Amelia, and as soon as the two girls are together, Victoire rises to Amelia’s bait. It is frustrating to watch a teenager like Victoire be so stupid.

One wonders why she never just sits down calmly with Teddy and tells him calmly what was going on between her and Amelia. When Teddy asks, “What happened to us, Victoire?” is her perfect chance to do this, but she throws it away. ”I’m not going to tell you anything until you answer [my question] honestly.” She let the conversation get sidetracked into another issue and gets angry again. It’s a wonder she can manage her personal affairs at all, being completely ruled by her emotions in a way that is painful to read.

Concerning the final scene, I compared it with the Epilogue of Deathly Hallows to see how closely the two fit together, and the only discrepancy I noticed was that, if the family all thought that Teddy and Amelia were engaged at that point, then the family would have mentioned that fact when James breathlessly reported that he had seen Teddy kissing Victoire. Otherwise it was a clever way of tying your story into canon.

Your writing is smooth and fluid. Even though it deals mainly with Victoire’s acute unhappiness over Teddy’s romantic relationship with another woman, it avoids saying the same thing over and over tediously, which a story of this theme could easily have done.

The picture you give of Victoire in Forever In Her Shadow is so different from this one that I am left wondering if the continuation of that story will all be from Dominique’s viewpoint, which is acutely unflattering to Victoire, or whether we will hear more from Victoire’s viewpoint also. I would recommend the latter. Perhaps these wizarding characters should not even contemplate getting married at such a young age. They all desperately need to grow up.

I have enjoyed this story so far, both this title and the story it relates to. Hope to see more in the future.

 

The Peverell Prophecy by Equinox Chick
Rated: 1st-2nd Years [Reviews - 3]

Summary: The Peverell brothers attempted to cheat Death.

Only one came close.

Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling.



Categories: Poetry Genre: Warnings: None

Word count: 105 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
05/13/13 Updated: 05/13/13


Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 04/15/14 Title: Chapter 1: The Peverell Prophecy

Hi, Carole,

This is Vicki Of Slytherin House, commenting on your compact little poem about the Peverell brothers.

The structure is atypical for you, three four-line verses with the simplest rhyme scheme, rhyming the second and fourth lines, but it is good to see you doing a variety of different poetic styles. I notice that there is some variation in line lengths and some uneven meter, but since well-known poets whose books are featured in displays at the public library also do this, that must mean it’s quite okay to have these irregularities.

The parallel construction of the three verses ties them firmly together. The rhymes in the first two verses are exact, grown-own and stone-own, so when we get to the last verse and the rhyme is is not absolute, home-own, there’s no problem because the rhyme scheme is already firmly established. And the identical final lines of verses one and two accentuate the variation in the final line, and idea, of the last verse.

Since the character of the poem is compactness, I appreciated the single well-chosen adjectives, “combative”, “doleful”, and “clever”, to describe each of the brothers.

You emphasized the behavior and outcome of the last brother by putting “clever and “…less” in italics to differentiate him from his imprudent brothers, but I do not think that the italics were necessary; the words alone would have provided the contrast.

I noticed that you wrote this poem in future tense, “will meet an inglorious end,” “will meet his fate,” and “his lifelong days will be strifeless.” When a story is told concerning something that happened long ago, it’s generally expressed in past tense. By putting it in future tense, you suggest that these principles still apply to people today.

In summary, your poem is a neat précis of the story of the Peverell brothers’ dealings with death, and an emphasis on the moral that is there for us all. Nice job.

Author's Response: This is Carole of Hufflepuff House responding.

Thank you very much for the review and the points raised. It's good to have poetry reviewed because it's so often ignored.

'Atypical'? Hmm, I'm not sure I have a typical style, so I can't really comment on the fact that you found it 'atypical' for my poetry. Basically, I have some free verse on this site and some with a more rigid structure, so I don't think there's anything that can be pointed out as my particular way of writing poetry. The only thing I suppose I could say about my poetry is that it's always short, or compact, because for some reason whilst I cannot contain my words in prose, in poetry I'm far more concise.

I used the italics because that's how I read the poem. I'm pleased you didn;t think they needed them because the words were enough to drive the message home, but I still speak the poem out loud and emphasise those words, which is why I've left them as italicised. Basically, I always write poetry as I'd speak it rather than read in my head (it's the actor in me).

The reason for the future tense was actually more simple than the fact that this will continue to happen (I hadn't thought of that, to be honest). It was because the prompt called for a prophecy which by it's very nature has to be written in the future.

Thank you very much for the review. I'm satisfied with this poem although I seem to remember, at the time, being overcome with the inability to string anything together and flying into a mad panic.
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Summary: This has been the hardest time to be a Ravenclaw that I’ve yet known.

Categories: Poetry Genre: Warnings: None

Word count: 133 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
05/13/13 Updated: 05/18/13


Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 04/18/14 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Hi Jenny,

You say that this is not one of your best poems, but your work fits the old saying, “When it’s good it’s very, very good, and when it’s bad it’s still pretty good.” In short, I liked this poem.

The title of the poem was prescribed, “Today I Do Not WantTo Be A ””, so that pretty much set the structure of your lines, four iambs and then a “secundus paeon” (I confess I had to look that up, a foot of short-long-short-short), but you handled it very adroitly, alternating with good old iambic pentameter. Interestingly, no matter what House you insert into the title, the result would have been the same, since all the House names are long-short-short.

The speaker of this poem (I’ll say “she”, but it could be either sex) is feeling that she’s not living up to her house, with words like “rebellious,” “shockingly,” “better Claws,” and “blow it off” (not just “take a break”), as if it’s a moral failing not to be perfect or at least not to be the top in every class. She says she is “supposed to academically succeed” (the Pacific Northwest accent there again), but supposed by whom? Where did all this pressure come from? They plop a Hat on your head and suddenly you’re in the pressure cooker.

The fact is, in the seven books we don’t see a lot of Ravenclaw; it’s probably the House that leaves the least impression on us, outside of Luna. Where were the Claws? Holed up in their common room, missing out on everything that’s not found within the covers of a book? (They did have a Quidditch team, I grant them that.)

The sad part is the last verse, ruining the speaker’s love of learning, not to speak of damaging her health by sleep deprivation, lack of exercise, etc. (Ironically, getting enough sleep, enough exercise, and change-of-pace break time actually makes the brain work better!)

The thoughts of the poem are well organized, and you have many good lines. The one that flows the least well for me is “My once-strong zeal for learning’s on the wane,” though I don’t have any suggestions for improving it.

This poem has a lesson for us all, that there is more in life that is valuable, other than simply book learning and memorization. Hermione is a good example of a person who came to understand that. Could a Ravenclaw like the one in your poem have done what she did? Thank you for writing.

Vicki/Oregonian

 

Ice Cream Man by HalfASlug
Rated: 3rd-5th Years [Reviews - 3]

Summary: Draco Malfoy, still desperately trying to find a way to carry out the Dark Lord’s wishes, discovers his family’s involvement in the recent disappearances from up and down the country.

Categories: General Fics Genre: Warnings: Violence

Word count: 3206 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
05/16/13 Updated: 05/17/13


Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 01/11/14 Title: Chapter 1: One-shot

Hi, H.S. This story is another great missing moment, though it’s different from your other missing moments in a couple of respects.

First of all, it seems a lot darker than your other missing moments, although the choice of Draco as a subject doesn’t necessarily mean that the tone will be dark; you could have chosen to write about Draco as a ferret, for example.

And second, it seems to have fewer solid connection points to canon than your other missing moments. In fact, there is only one, the fact that Florean Fortescue had disappeared several months earlier under violent circumstances. Everything else is very reasonable and plausible supposition: that he researched poisons while at home over Christmas, that kidnapped persons were already being held in the cellar of his family home and were being executed, that he discovered this due to the wishes of his mad aunt, that his mother was powerless to affect the course of events in any way.

I really love the way you have gotten into the mind of Draco, filling out this fairly bare-bones story with a richness of Draco’s increasing understanding of what is happening and how things stand with his family, the Dark Lord, and the war. You have skillfully avoided the trap of saying the same things over and over, which one sometimes sees in an intensely introspective piece like this. You have managed to turn Draco into a sympathetic but tragic character, much different from the swaggering, bullying pre-adolescent whom we first met in book one. He feels increasingly trapped, his choices being taken away one by one until he has, as he thinks, “no other option.”

However, you did right in not portraying Draco as beginning to question his family values of blood purity and pureblood dominance; that change of heart did not occur until the very end of the tale. At this time of his life, all he felt was anguish, stress, confusion, desperation, and you express these feelings very well.

I was intrigued by your treatment of Draco’s mother. At the beginning of the story you imply that she removed the books dealing with poisons from the Malfoy family library, suggesting that she did not want Draco to learn to make a poison, but at the end of the story she answers, “I know” when Draco assures her he will succeed in killing Professor Dumbledore. She cannot change the course of events (or so she thinks at this point), but you have shown the love that existed between her and Draco, perhaps the only love in the household, and we know how that played out in the end.

Your writing is, as usual, hard to find fault with. In this story there is not a lot of physical description of the scenes, but I don’t miss it at all, since the focus is mostly what’s going on in Draco’s head, not what’s going on around him. In the cellar scene, your description is rightly limited to the abandoned and foreign (to him) clothes; the stone walls or cold air don’t matter here. My only suggestion would be in the second half of the final sentence: it seems to end a bit abruptly, and I would like to expand that sentence a little more, so that it trails off a little longer.

I really like the canon-compliant stories that you write. The saga in the seven books is a serious tale, and the missing moments add to its weightiness in a way that fluffy post-Hogwarts stories cannot. Thank you for writing.

Vicki

 

Wheelbarrow by BrokenPromise
Rated: 1st-2nd Years [Reviews - 1]

Summary: Frank Bryce remembers his brother.

Categories: Poetry Genre: Warnings: None

Word count: 111 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
05/16/13 Updated: 05/18/13


Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 04/18/14 Title: Chapter 1: Sonnet

Hi, BP,

I read this poem a long time ago, when you first posted it, and it always seemed to me to be something of an oddity, since it is so far outside the Harry-Ron-Hermione mainstream of the seven books.

I went back to The Goblet of Fire to refresh my memory about Frank Bryce. He was born in about 1918, so he would have been 21 at the outbreak of WWII. Bert was probably a couple of years younger, if Frank could push him in the wheelbarrow when they were children, probably in the late 1920’s. Is the streamlined silver arrow a brand of motorcar?

The Goblet of Fire tells us that Frank was wounded in the war; your poem implies that Bert was wounded, or worse, killed in the war, because Frank is now alone.

I pondered the line ”Earth means life and death.” I guess that it means life because Frank is a gardener, and grows plants in the earth, but it also means death because Bert was buried in the earth. So Frank is comparing his happy youth to the cataclysm of the war and its aftermath, long years of being crippled and alone. When he uses the old wheelbarrow, it reminds him of the brother and the happiness that he lost.

As is typical for your poetry, you write very compactly, and you package a lot of information into a short space, choosing the one word that precisely conveys what you mean, without talking all around the subject. For example, “I pushed, Bert perched…” I often spend long minutes searching for just the word I need, writing lists of almost-synonyms that encircle my desired meaning but never quite hit the target, finally giving up the task until the next day, when the sought-after word suddenly pops into my head. But it is worth it, in the long run, to get that one perfect word.

Sometimes I wonder if we writers will ever run out of things to say about the Potterverse, but it seems unlikely, since there are so many tiny characters, events, objects, all ripe for expansion into a story or poem. Like this one. Thank you for writing.

Vicki/Oregonian

 

The Final Duel by BrokenPromise
Rated: 1st-2nd Years [Reviews - 2]

Summary: A sonnet on the Battle of Hogwarts.

Categories: Poetry Genre: Warnings: Character Death

Word count: 121 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
05/19/13 Updated: 05/21/13


Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 04/18/14 Title: Chapter 1: Sonnet

Hi, BP,

This is Vicki of Slytherin House, and I am happy to review your poem , even though the Slytherin is the Bad Guy and dies in the end. :) I particularly like sonnets, because they have just the right amount of volume (fourteen lines of ten syllables each) to tell the story thoroughly without being wordy. And I just finished writing a 2014 Cotillion story in which the Battle of Hogwarts features prominently, so my brain is full of this scene right now.

I like the way you reference the sun at the beginning and then at the end of the poem; it makes the poem feel as if it’s neatly tied up. And of course the fact that the good guys won just as the sun rose over the horizon has always given the scene high drama, sufficient to declare, as you did, that the suddenly-blazing sun and the explosion of spells that annihilated the evil are one and the same.

It was good of you to highlight something that other writers never do: Harry addresses the Dark Lord by his given name, Tom, and urges him to have remorse for his monstrously evil deeds. This is not just a throwaway line in the books; without these elements, Lord Voldemort is almost like a mechanical evil robot; we need to be reminded that, at his core, he is simply a person.

Another good line is “The boy lets fate run its disarming course. The wand was fated to come back to him, so he needed no stronger spell than Expelliarmus. And it did my heart good to read the line about the cackling witch who met her rightful end! Couldn’t happen to a more worthy person!

When I read in line five “victorious the red,” I did not realize at first that red equaled Gryffindor; I was trying to make it into blood, but all became clear in line twelve where you mentioned “green and red”.

One suggestion: in line three, where you say “knifes,” I think you want ”knives”.

In summary, I liked this sonnet very much. You use the language well; your sentences are succinct and accessible, with fresh ideas and images. Thank you for writing.

 

Taboos by William Brennan
Rated: 3rd-5th Years [Reviews - 8]

Summary: After the war, the Auror Office decides to Taboo the Unforgivable Curses so that any use of them can be detected. This doesn't quite go as planned however...

Categories: Humor Fics Genre: Warnings: None

Word count: 1879 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
05/20/13 Updated: 05/30/13


Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 05/31/13 Title: Chapter 1: Taboos

This was hilarious! I laughed out loud in a couple of places. Lots of fun. Thank you so much.

 

Holiday Spirits by abovelevel
Rated: 6th-7th Years [Reviews - 3]

Summary:

It is Christmas Eve 2014 and instead of playing games with his nieces and nephews, Charlie Weasley is drinking. Stuck in Romania watching the dragon preserve over the holidays, Charlie decides a night at the pub is just what he needs. After a few ruckus hours exchanging stories with the bartender, Charlie is about to head out.

Then, the door opens ...

Disclaimer: I am most certainly not JK Rowling

Categories: Post-Hogwarts Genre: Warnings: Sexual Situations, Strong Profanity, Substance Abuse

Word count: 3092 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
05/31/13 Updated: 06/04/13


Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 08/30/13 Title: Chapter 1: Holiday Spirits

Hi, Claire. This is Vicki of Slytherin House. I enjoyed your Christmas story. It has a refreshingly even tone, perhaps because Charlie is now 42 years old, and not thinking or acting like an adolescent. You write with a light, gently humorous style, and I loved the line "The room was silent with everyone hoping someone else would volunteer," because that's how it so often really is.

For a brief story, your tale includes a lot of historical detail, in individual sentences here and there, that really fleshes out the story well. The reader is left with a vivid impression of the staffing of the Dragon Reserve, and the quick characterizations of Charlie's fellow staffers really bring this group of people to life.

Charlie is well-characterized; we can see him as a cheerful, easy-going, competent guy, but still, even at age 42, intimidated by his indomitable Mum and struggling to write a frank letter, finally resorting to a white lie to explain a decision that he cannot explain even to himself.

I liked the fact that when Charlie went into the bar on Christmas Eve, he was happy and looking for fun ("a slightly ruckus evening"). I have read a lot of fics involving depressed people sitting in bars, often on holidays, feeling sorry for themselves, and that kind of story, frankly, gets boring, so I was very glad you didn't go there.

Charlie's initial interaction with Emma seemed cautious and tentative; even though they found that they had something in common, Quidditch, they seemed to be circling each other warily. That seemed realistic; after all, they were strangers to each other. The kiss in the barroom doorway might seem unrealistic, except that it could be the Firewhiskey talking, and the spirit of the season. (Maybe Fane had some mistletoe hanging over his door.)

The humorous undercurrent of your story breaks forth at the end, to give your story a neat wrap-up. Poor Charlie -- he was too old for her anyway, and as her boss he can't have a relationship with her, but he sees the humor in the situation, so all ends happily.

It is fun to read a story about Charlie; he gets stuck off in Romania, generally out of sight and out of mind, except for occasional brief appearances at The Burrow. You have shown him as a very likeable character. Nice job.

 

Letters by dmbw7052
Rated: 1st-2nd Years [Reviews - 3]

Summary: Dudley never imagined his daughter would be a witch.

Harry never imagined what kind of news he would have to deliver to his cousin.

Categories: Post-Hogwarts Genre: Warnings: None

Word count: 2721 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
06/04/13 Updated: 06/11/13


Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 05/09/14 Title: Chapter 1: One-shot

Hi, Georgia. I don’t know how I missed reading this cute little story from last year, but now I’ll make up for lost time.

This story is really charming, without angst or problems more than the day-to-day annoyances that we all have to put up with. You tell the story in a spare style with a minimum of characters and not an overload of inner reflections, so the tone remains light. Given that the theme of the story, Dudley’s daughter receives an invitation to Hogwarts, is one single little event, a more heavy-handed treatment of the event would have been out of proportion. This is a story we can read quickly and enjoy while sitting in the waiting room of some office.

Obviously Dudley has had a long time to ponder his earlier life — what happened to his cousin, what happened to himself and his parents. You give a good description of the kind of thoughts he must have been having, both remembrances of what actually occurred and speculations of how things might have been different. For this reason, the arrival of the letter is not a total surprise, and he realizes that he has already made his decision, what he would do if ever…

I like your characterization of Dudley in this story: a kindly and loving father, relaxed, at peace with his life, with only one regret, which was the lack of resolution in his relationship with his cousin Harry. By letting his daughter go to Hogwarts, Dudley not only does what he thinks is best for her, but he builds a bridge across the gulf that has separated him from Harry for so many years, and puts to rest that troubled part of his mind.

There are two measures of Dudley’s maturity. He has obviously already discussed this possibility with his wife, who is not present at the moment, so that he can convey their joint decision to Harry immediately. This means that he has not tried to totally repress his memory of his boyhood contact with the magical world, but has tried to integrate it into his lifetime experiences. And he does not concern himself for a moment about what his parents would think about Trudy’s going to Hogwarts; if they still live at Number Four Privet Drive, their probably-unchanged opinion about magic simply doesn’t affect him anymore.

I also liked your characterization of Harry. After fifteen years he is still a celebrity, harassed by fans and reporters, but he still patiently answers their letters. That is a tiny indicator of his basic kindheartedness. His total lack of contact with Dudley for sixteen years is revealed in his concern that Dudley might resemble his father Vernon in his animosity toward the magical world; even the number thirteen on Dudley’s house triggers a foreboding that their meeting might prove to be unpleasant and difficult. This mirrors the statements made earlier that Dudley felt guilty about how his family had treated Harry during their childhood and his assumption that Harry despised him. So both of these cousins, now grown men, are still held back by memories of unhappy times decades earlier.

It was good to see the final meeting of the cousins described from each of their points of view. Harry suggests that they sit down and talk because he is anticipating a difficult conversation and thinks it would be better conducted sitting down. Dudley probably doesn’t sense that; instead he rushes to assure Harry, even as they take the first steps toward the library to find seats, that his answer is “Yes”, or, in other words, that he is eager to let bygones be bygones and to re-establish their friendship in a new way.

I enjoyed seeing this brief glimpse of Harry and of Dudley at age thirty-three, their two different lives, and the brief intersection at the end of each vignette, bringing their relationship full circle. This is a sweet story and you told it well.

 

Firework by 1000timesingoldenink
Rated: 1st-2nd Years [Reviews - 1]

Summary: Umbridge embraces her inner firework.

Or not.

Categories: Poetry Genre: Warnings: None

Word count: 104 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
06/04/13 Updated: 06/12/13


Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 04/18/14 Title: Chapter 1: cuz baby you're a fiiiiiiiirework

Hi, Jenny,

This is Vicki (the Oregonian) of Slytherin House, here to say that it’s a boom-hiss shame that no one has written a review for this cute little poem.

I don’t know if it fits the definition of a double dactyl precisely, since the six-syllable word is typically found in line seven of each eight-line group, but it’s great fun anyway. I love the phrase “Toad-slash-Inquisitor’s guts-haters muttering…”, a delightful compaction of the concept: “those who hate the guts of the Toad/Inquisitor are muttering…”

I’m also pleased by the frequent appearance of words ending in “…utter”: splutters, sputtering, nutter, buttered, clutter, muttering. Maybe you found some of them in a rhyming dictionary, but they all fit into the thought of the poem just fine. (Sometimes we see a word used for the rhyme when it doesn’t really fit the thought of the poem, but no problems here!) I think that in a double dactyl, you are required to rhyme only the final words of the verses, sounds-crowned and around-abounds, but you threw in a whole lot more.

And I liked that the first three verses were all about Umbridge (though in language revealing Fred’s and George’s point of view: “ministry nutter”) and the last verse was about Fred and George, expressing their emotion perfectly: “What bloody glorious chaos abounds.”

In order for the word “antipathetically” to be six syllables, one must elide the syllable “al” and pronounce it “antipathetic-ly”, which is fine by me, since the Pacific Northwest accent (my daughter knows all about this; I didn’t realize that not everyone pronounces it thus) elides syllables anyway, changing “victory” to “vict-ry”, and so on. (Readers sometimes chide me for assuming that they will read my poems with a Pacific Northwest accent, and they tell me my meter is wrong, and I say “What?”)

As a closing thought, something that I have noticed about your poetry is that you write in a wide variety of styles, so my hat is off to you for that. It is a pleasure to read your works.

Author's Response: Oh, this was a great prompt. I had a few -utter words I really liked (especially "ministry nutter" and "ash-buttered cardigan," and then decided to go all out and sprinkle them everywhere they'd fit. The rules for these poems were quite constricting, so it took a long time to make everything sound just right, but I was pleased with the final piece. It's such a cheeky little poem. :D Thanks again for your lovely review!

 

Look At Me by 1000timesingoldenink
Rated: 1st-2nd Years [Reviews - 2]

Summary: But give them me, the mouth, the eyes, the brow!
Let them once more absorb me! One look now
Will lap me round for ever, not to pass
Out of its lights, though darkness lie beyond:
Hold me but safe again within the bond
Of one immortal look! All woe that was,
Forgotten, and all terror that may be,
Defied, -no past is mine, no future: look at me!

--Robert Browning



His guide in life, his guardian in death: the silver doe.

Categories: Poetry Genre: Warnings: Character Death

Word count: 112 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
06/12/13 Updated: 06/15/13


Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 04/18/14 Title: Chapter 1: the green eyes found the black

Hi, Jenny,

This is Vicki of Slytherin House. I remember reading this poem last year and thinking how beautiful and how perfect it was. Excellent rhyme, excellent meter, nothing that jars the effortless flow of the words.

It touches on the moment of Snape’s death, but the events that came before this moment are mentioned in only two lines, “Have they not seen the sins for which he pays?” and “No battle-ravaged penance need remain.” The present moment is represented by only the first line, in which, as Snape looks on Harry, Harry morphs into Lily in Snape’s mind.

All the rest of the lines, eleven in total, are about Snape’s perception of himself going forward, aided and welcomed by the spirit of Lily into an afterlife Paradise where he finally achieves what he always wanted.

One can debate whether this vision is the final hallucination or dream of a dying man, or an actual transition towards an afterlife, such as Harry experienced at “King’s Cross”. If the latter, one wonders where James fits into this afterlife. Clearly Snape is dreaming of a time before James. Does this suggest that souls in the HP afterlife are allowed to choose which era of their lives they wish to persist in?

This poem is full of beautiful turns of phrase, perfectly evoking the mood of an outdoor paradise of grass and flowers, where pain and struggle are no more, and one’s heart’s desire is finally at hand. I like the variation in sentence structure of line eleven; as we are about to float away in a soporific cloud, it wakens us again to finish the poem. And I notice that you capitalize Garden, granting it a celestial status above ordinary gardens.

I hope you won an award in the Scholastic Art and Writing competition; it is hard to believe that any other entries were better. Thank you so much for sharing this poem with us.

 

Uncertainty by 1000timesingoldenink
Rated: 1st-2nd Years [Reviews - 2]

Summary: Somebody seems to have written a quintet of impatient love couplets and then cast Diffindo on each one.

Definitely wasn't me.

Categories: Poetry Genre: Warnings: Mild Profanity

Word count: 107 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
06/15/13 Updated: 06/22/13


Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 04/18/14 Title: Chapter 1: Fluff

Hi, Jenny,

This is Vicki of Slytherin House. I don’t know how I missed this poem when you posted it; I guess it’s so slender that it just slipped past me.

It’s a cute little poem, with a careful syllable-and-rhyme scheme that I didn’t notice in my first reading of it. :p You must have had fun in writing a poem with so few words, but with meter and rhyme. I did one like that once, but not on a HP theme.

Because of the uncertainty, the tentativeness of the words, I would say that it is the guy speaking, not the girl. The mild swearing (damn; Merlin! used as an expletive) also sounds more like what a guy would say. And traditionally it is the guy who is expected to make the first move. But, as you say, it could be any of a number of pairings; only the words Knuts and Merlin tie this poem to the Potterverse and not to the world at large.

It sounds like a very young pair, perhaps 13 years old. Lots of readers could recall a similar situation in their own lives when they were in their early teens. Frustrating it must have felt at the time, but now we can laugh about it.

Thanks for writing. It was fun to read.

Author's Response: Funny you should say 13--I took the idea for this poem, and a phrase or two, from something I wrote at the age of 12. It certainly is humorous now...if only the speaker of the poem (who, to me, feel closest to Ron or Hermione, but really could well be any one of own younger selves) knew how adorable they were! It's a fun poem, and it was definitely fun to write--took me a while to get the meter pattern all consistent, though! Anyway, thanks for reviewing, and glad you like it.

 

A Passing Fancy by HalfASlug
Rated: 1st-2nd Years [Reviews - 4]

Summary: The Yule Ball is on the horizon and Neville knows only one girl that he wants to go with. GoF missing moment.

Categories: General Fics Genre: Warnings: None

Word count: 1388 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
06/18/13 Updated: 06/19/13


Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 01/10/14 Title: Chapter 1: one-shot

Hi, H. S. I have concluded that you are the Master of the Missing Moment. I will have to print this story off and put it in my binder next to Seven Simple Years, to keep the binder up-to-date.

Neville is a character who has always surprised us, and in this story, true to his nature, he shows his fourteen-year-old courage by asking not just one but two girls to the Yule Ball. Your line Come on, Longbottom! Think Gryffindor! is inspired. Although he never says those words in the seven books, we can easily believe that he has been thinking them, over and over, in countless situations.And though you depict him as thinking that he doesn’t have a plan of action, he obviously does,

lying awake at night in anticipation, thinking about it during Binns’ class, chasing Hermione out the door so as not to lose her at the end of class, using his mental mantra to encourage himself, and saying something,, even though he didn’t have his speech memorized. In this way you depict Neville as different from the masses of adolescent boys who just behave randomly, never thinking more than five minutes ahead.

In vivid contrast to Neville’s positive action, you plainly show his nervousness and trepidation, with concrete details like his inability to sleep or take notes, and his tentative opening conversation with Hermione. This contrast is very effective.

You also differentiate Neville from Harry and Ron in that you show Neville taking timely action, not procrastinating like Harry and Ron, even though asking a girl was not easier for Neville that it was for the other boys. Perhaps the difference is that Ron and Harry, each having a best mate to discuss the matter with, spend all their time discussing instead of doing, whereas Neville, not having a best buddy, forges ahead, as if he is trying to outrun his own cold feet.

Your characterization of Hermione is so appropriate. You show her very kind heart and her genuine liking for Neville, and also her dedication to using every opportunity as a teaching moment, explaining at length to Neville a philosophy about asking girls out. She has it thoroughly analyzed and is eager to help him.

I had to smile about your clever way of opening the story, alternating lines about Neville with four lines, all very interesting, about the history of Gutnik the Greedy. It is plain that these history lessons could have been lively and exciting; the fact that the students were going to sleep in class emphasizes how soporific Pressor Binns’ delivery must have been, if he could make even Gutnik sound boring!

This is just a short little story, but it reveals a little about Binns, some more about Hermione, and a lot about Neville. It is fun to see how much can be said, and revealed, about a five-minute seemingly unremarkable Missing Moment. Thanks for writing.

Vicki

 

Dark and Light by 1000timesingoldenink
Rated: 1st-2nd Years [Reviews - 4]

Summary: In which Ron encounters some very strange things while staying in a Muggle hotel in America.

Categories: Ron/Hermione Genre: Warnings: None

Word count: 2336 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
06/30/13 Updated: 07/02/13


Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 07/11/13 Title: Chapter 1: more fluff

Hi, Jenny. This is Vicki, here to say that I was really happy to read your story set in the context of the Fourth of July, which so many Americans say is their favorite holiday, surpassing even Christmas (for many reasons). And it was really neat that your story was posted just a few days before the holiday, when we were all in the mood. (I'm sure you must have planned it that way.)

There were lots of things that I liked about this story. The structure was good, the first half being like a mystery (what's going on?) and then the second half evolving into an exploration of what this holiday implies in a much larger sense. You are lucky to have your history-nerd brother to help you with the background, but you did a wonderful job in developing those bare facts into the moral discussion that runs through the latter half of the story.

Your characterizations of Ron and Hermione were spot-on. Hermione gives Ron a lot of information, but in a succinct way, not going on and on or overwhelming him (and us readers) with too much detail. And she doesn't talk down to him or belittle him for not knowing this stuff already; this makes her seem very lovable, and fits in perfectly with her caring personality that we know so well.

Ron praises Hermione for having so much factual knowledge, but I like the fact that you show that he's pretty smart too, in recognizing the philosophical conclusion "It's not always just good or evil...", and seeing how that philosophy applies to so many different situations.

(I was glad to see that you completely avoided the common stereotypes of Hermione as a bickering, critical shrew and Ron as a clueless oaf. The Ron and Hermione that you depict are much more believable, as maturing adults who have grown beyond their adolescent selves.)

Your descriptive passages of the hotel room were just right. We have all been in Ron's place, looking out the big windows onto the night scene below, with the streetlights and the occasional passing car. It is so easy to see in the mind's eye, and I loved your description of the heavy drapes and the thin curtains -- only in a hotel room! There was a tone of gentle, sympathetic humor in your treatment of Ron's experience with the Muggle world, and I smiled when Ron momentarily wondered if someone had cast the Dark Mark.

I particularly admired your brief phrase "...she transferred into textbook mode." So succinctly and gracefully put.

Finally, the moral discussion in the latter half of your story is what lifts the story high above merely an entertaining piece about Ron's not recognizing fireworks. I went back through the story and listed all the examples you had subtly managed to tuck in: wizarding world vs. Voldemort, British vs. Americans, British vs. Irish, wealthy merchants vs. ordinary people, and people of varying opinions regarding elf rights. That's pretty impressive because it all flowed naturally, and the effect was to make Ron seem wise and reflective. I, and probably others, have wondered what a smart girl like Hermione saw in Ron, enough to make her want to marry him. Your story suggests that, at an intellectual level, they did have more in common than we may have surmised.

You are to be congratulated for taking an amusing little episode from your own life and expanding it so imaginatively into this philosophical piece. Being one of those Americans whose favorite holiday is Independence Day, I enjoyed your story thoroughly. Good job!

Author's Response: Oh my goodness, what an amazing review! Thank you so much, Vicki! I'm glad you liked the R/Hr dynamic here--Ron is so often given the role of loyal friend to Harry, or just comic relief, that it feels like we rarely see the rest of his personality. Characterization and relationships between characters, far more than plot, seem to be the centerpieces of my fics. The moral discussion was actually not really a part of the original idea for the fic, but I couldn't figure out how to end it, so I started thinking about using the fireworks as a metaphor for something...and I think it ended up improving the fic significantly! I guess part of it came from having often heard a point made by people less enthusiastic about Harry Potter than I--that the Harry Potter books have no moral grey area (except Snape). This fic is, in part, my answer to that. And, although I may lament the fact that my brother is not the most eager audience when it comes to my mathematical rants, I am definitely grateful for his wealth of history understanding, which he is happy to share with me. I wish I had time to respond more at length...Thank you, again, for your lovely review!

 

The Mirror of Erised by beth1191
Rated: 3rd-5th Years [Reviews - 3]

Summary: Severus Snape's thoughts when he looks in the Mirror of Erised. One-shot.

Categories: Severus/Lily Genre: Warnings: None

Word count: 974 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
07/08/13 Updated: 07/15/13


Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 01/27/14 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Hi, Bethany. This is Vicki of Slytherin House. I really enjoyed your story because it is refreshingly different. When we encounter the Mirror of Erised in the first book, I think we regard it as a source of fascinating entertainment for children, but you thought of its being used by a teacher also, and not just any teacher, but Professor Snape.

You have portrayed Snape as an interesting combination of sentimentality and logic. Logically, he knows that Lily is dead and that the image in the mirror stems from his own imagination. He knows that her image says and does only the things he wants her to say and do; it talks only because he wants it to talk. This knowledge breaks through in the conversation when his mind causes the image to say, “I’m as real as you want me to be.” But sentimentally Severus cannot stay away from the Mirror; hopeless love temporary overrules his logic. I liked your statement that, although Dumbledore did not approved of Severus’ use of the mirror, “Dumbledore couldn’t understand…no matter what he said.” When in the clutches of strong emotion, we all believe that no one else could understand our feelings. And in the final paragraphs of your story, you show him wavering between wanting to believe that if he had “played his cards right,” he and Lily could have been a family, and knowing the bare truth that that would never have happened under any circumstances.

You make several interesting points in your story. For one thing, Snape is usually depicted as blaming himself for telling Voldemort the prophecy, as if that were the only thing that led to Lily’s death. But in your story Snape also thinks that calling Lily “mudblood” drove her into James Potter’s arms and to her death; other writers don’t mention this.

Another point not usually mentioned is the idea that Snape never imagined that Lily would be willing to die for her child; he “could not understand that, not completely.” This makes perfect sense. It is a reflection of his own childhood, when he believed, with good reason, that his parents, or at least his father, did not love him and would not have died for him. That kind of parental love is completely outside his realm of experience.

The only part of your story that I hesitated over was the final line, “Part of her had always belonged to James Potter.” I don’t think that this can be interpreted as meaning that she always loved Potter, deep down, because she didn’t. It ties in with your line early in the story “…he could see why she would end up with a guy like Potter. A girl like her, she would always be too good for a man like himself.” The key words are “…a guy like Potter.” Not necessarily Potter himself, but someone in his social class.

The flow of your writing is good, and you have packed a lot into this fairly short story. A couple of things that seemed a little repetitious: stating in five places, fairly close together, that Lily was smiling, and stating seven times, fairly close together, that one of them loved the other. But this is not serious.

This story is just a tiny glimpse, one little moment, and it could fit into the canon at any point over a wide range of time. But it gives us one more unexpected peek at Snape’s character and is certainly believable. Snape was a complex character, perhaps the most complex of all of them, and much can be speculated about him. Thank you for writing.

 

Goodbye by phoenix_tearPatronus
Rated: 1st-2nd Years [Reviews - 2]

Summary: It's time for Ted to turn and face his fate.

Categories: Poetry Genre: Warnings: None

Word count: 193 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
07/20/13 Updated: 07/21/13


Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 04/15/14 Title: Chapter 1: Goodbye

Hah! And I was going to write this review for no rewards at all, but now that I see that you’re really handing out cookies…

Hi, Abi. This is Vicki of Slytherin House, and I’m not just cadging for cookies when I say that your poem has a sparkle, a spirit that gives it life. It has a lively pace, with plenty of active verbs. And it tells a lot of story within twenty compact lines. There are no wasted words here, no unnecessary redundancy (hence the lively pace).

We see Ted Tonks’ essential nature in these lines:

“You tell them to run; you tell them not to wait.”
“You will not give them the satisfaction of a win, so you turn to face them with a defiant grin.”
“You try to buy your friends some precious time.”

All those lines reveal Ted’s character. He is brave, gallant, down-to-earth. He recognizes when his time is up, he makes his last moments count for something, and he hopes his wife will survive to see the dawn of the peace that he has been fighting for.

Your poem has a very storytelling nature: a few details to set the scene, a rapid series of events, tension and danger, a climax and inevitable bittersweet ending. There is a strict rhyme scheme, but not a strict meter; that adds to the narrative feel of the piece.

And I liked the tie between verses two and five, where Ted mentions “those to whom your blood is a sin” and then again “your supposed crime”. Referencing the first phrase with the latter phrase helps keep the poem from having a rambling feel.

All in all, I enjoyed this poem; this tiny moment in the Harry Potter history is a good choice for a poem. Perhaps there will be another poetry class this summer and you will be able to work on your poetry some more.

(Will accept cookies now.)

Author's Response: Oh wow, I've only just seen this! Thank you so much for the kind words, and I'm very glad you enjoyed it as poetry is not something I'm used to writing. You are very much welcome to some cookies now =)

 

For the Man on the Street by Nagini Riddle
Rated: 3rd-5th Years [Reviews - 1]

Summary: Merope Gaunt changes when she sees Tom Riddle, and it causes her own simple dreams to suddenly take on a life of their own that she feels she must fulfill...

Categories: Poetry Genre: Warnings: Sexual Situations

Word count: 121 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
07/25/13 Updated: 08/02/13


Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 04/20/14 Title: Chapter 1: To the Man on the Street

Hi, Nagini,

Here is another of your tiny gems, a poem about Merope’s yearning for Tom Sr when she fixes her hopes on the almost-unattainable person who could give her the one thing she longs for.

Your first verse is an introduction, an overview of the basic principle of a neglected and abused girl longing for love. How true: “In life, the paths of wanton love unseen consume the mind…” Then we segue into Merope’s own voice. She is looking for freedom from her life of neglect and abuse, and then there it appears, walking down the street, in the person of Tom. The poem is just her fervid imagination, her hope and dream for love and tenderness. She isn’t asking for much — a touch and a kiss.

The last line shows that the escape from her past is as important a goal as is the gaining of love and affection, and the second-to-last line shows that, at this point, she is already, out of desperation, planning to use a love potion because she knows he would never love her for herself. This is so tragic, a disaster in the making.

This poem is very accessible, but the one line that I am still puzzling over a bit is “His presence but the notion of conceit.” What do you mean by “conceit”?

Your meter is strictly adhered to, and your rhymes are good — exact or nearly so. You have adhered well to the sonnet form, and the subject is a serious, philosophical one which we associate with sonnets. The language is a little old-fashioned, but uniformly so; you never jar the mood by including too-modern phrases.

So I would say that this poem is very successful. As I recall, much of your Merope writings are less reflective and more factual, the stark description of Merope’s tragic final months or days. This is interesting for being a glimpse of her before she set out on her final, fatal path. Thank you for writing.

Vicki

Author's Response: Concerning "conceit:" I meant it more as he is the very idea of pride, as Tom really does seem to embody pride. At the same time, "conceit" means a fanciful notion or idea, or perhaps dream, so in a way, the word is twofold: it shows that Tom is the embodiment of pride and also an embodiment of her dreams. I also tend to use old-fashioned language for sonnets, or for most of my poetry, for that matter. :p I suppose it may be because it sounds smarter to me, but of course, I need to make sure that I use it correctly, or I just look like someone who is trying too hard and failing. But yes, most of my Merope poetry focuses on the aftermath of her decisions, and I wanted to show this time around the lead up to her decisions and focus on why she did what she did, and the fact that she already had in her mind of escape when Tom came along was a way to emphasize that she would do anything to get away. Thanks for reading and reviewing! I really am enjoying these spree of in depth reviews... 0.o I look forward to more! ~Nagini

 

To Lose a Love by Theloonyhermione
Rated: 3rd-5th Years [Reviews - 2]

Summary: He’s already lost someone, and that was one too many. He’s not going to see the last thing he has go.

Theloonyhermione's final for the D/A class on the boards.

Categories: Dark/Angsty Fics Genre: Warnings: Character Death

Word count: 1075 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
08/01/13 Updated: 08/12/13


Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 03/16/14 Title: Chapter 1: To Lose a Love

Hi, Emma. I enjoyed coming across this sweet little story of yours, which, although short, packs a lot into its limited word-count.

I like the structure of the story, alternating the present time (after Luna has been taken by the Death Eaters) and past time (the events of her mother’s death). It had not occurred to me before that these two losses are parallels for her father Xenophilus. Your writing style is spare, with no extra verbiage, but every sentence does its duty. The old story, printed in italic type, is all narrative, and thus it contrasts with the present-day story, in Roman type, which is mostly his thoughts, but presented very matter-of-factly. The simple presentation makes this gentle story shine.

Your detailed, lively, imaginative description of the fatal accident that took Mrs. Lovegood’s life is vivid, and even though it’s tragic, it’s charming too, up to the moment of the tragedy, and appears to reflect her light-hearted spirit, which Luna seems to have inherited, in lines like “Luna’s bare feet scampered outside…

It makes sense now how Xenophilus is affected so strongly by the loss of his daughter because he has already experienced the loss of his wife. I had not realized until I read your story, how tightly these two events are related for him, to the point of his being willing to betray Harry, Ron, and Hermione in order to get Luna back again. But it struck me a little odd that he had burned all the memorabilia and photos of his late wife; I am mystified as to why he thought that this was the best way of dealing with grief. I liked your explanation of how he came to realize that all this destruction was a bad idea after all. In general, your characterization of Xenophilus is good; he seems a bit more human, not just the eccentric wedding guest and the nervous would-be betrayer of our Horcrux-hunting friends.

The use of tenses in writing this story, present, past, and past perfect, is sometimes inconsistent, and this distracts the reader’s attention just a little bit, not much; a beta reader who is a good grammarian could help polish this up.

I liked this little missing-moment story very much. Xenophilus had a small but important role to play in the larger story, so it is good to be able to understand him a little better. Nice job.

 
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