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.
Summary: A strange and seemingly inexplicable death in London's West End brings an unlikely collection of individuals together. Can Aurors Creevey and Cresswell, and Detective Chief Inspector Wood make any sense of the crime?
Hi, Neil. I am enjoying your story, as I do with all your works. Just wanted to let you know that you have done me a favor. I am writing a story for my creative writing class here in Oregon, based loosely on some hpff ideas I have had, but with all the names changed, of course, and I have a scene in which members of the police inspect a skeleton that has been uncovered in the course of an excavation. I didn't know what title to call these policemen, but I saw that you had characters who were identified as Detective Constables, so I googled that term and found much information on the British police; that turned out to be the very title that I needed. So thank you.
Author's Response: Thanks Vicki. I try to keep the "Muggle police" aspects of my stories (particularly the MIT stories) as accurate as possible, to the extent that I've even noted the date the Metropolitan Police's specialist firearms unit stopped being SO19 and became CO19 (2005). Now, they're SCO19. I'm no expert, but if you need any information, just ask. -N-
Summary: Albus has dreamed about attending Hogwarts his entire life. Now, he is able to get this rare opportunity to experience life as a student, for one day, at his future school. However, when confronted with a blond haired boy, Albus must decide if he will follow in his father's footsteps or create new adventures of his own.
Hi, Laura. This is Vicki of Slytherin House. I have just read your story, and I really enjoyed it
. I like the characterization of the three Next-Generation kids, showing the influence of their families but definitely not just clones of their parents. You show them as eager, optimistic, and well-adjusted, but still like children, as seen in the delightful scene of playing make-believe with pretend twig "wands" and in their awe at seeing how big the lake really is. We can see the changes that have developed with the passing of time: Scorpius speaks freely of the damage to the Slytherins' reputation because of the events of the war, and there seems to be less stereotyping in the children's minds based on House affiliation.
The sudden arrival of their parents and Professor McGonagall at the lakeside seemed a little fortuitous, since I wasn't sure why the parents had realized that their children had left the tour or that the lake was where the children had gone, so I would suggest including something to indicate how that came to be. Since the whole story is from Albus' point of view, you can't just suddenly cut back to Harry or Hermione, so maybe you could have one of the parents say something on the dock, such as saying that the tour had ended and they had asked somebody where the three kids were, and someone had said they saw the kids sneaking toward the lake or overheard the kids saying that they were going to the lake. If you edit in a few sentences of that sort, then the transition point where the parents arrive on the dock would be a little clearer.
Your idea of some children being able to visit Hogwarts before their initial enrollment is a good one. It always seemed to me that it was a bit of a shock for eleven-year-olds to come to Hogwarts for the very first time on the night of their Sorting, and then be thrown into classes the very next day in such an unfamiliar environment.
You have neatly tied the beginning and the end of the sort together with the theme of Albus' learning about the Second Wizarding War, so that your story has an arc. Interesting that you didn't deal with Allbus' siblings; since James had already been in school for at least a year, James must have known something about the War, but apparently he didn't pass that knowledge on to Albus. I wonder if this was a secret between James and his parents, that they had told him not to tell Albus or to tease Albus by saying "I know something you don't know," as kids so often do. :)
Nice job. Thanks for writing.
Summary: Harry and Ginny visit Portugal for sun, sea, sand, and something else.
An interesting idea, to have Harry playing with and against professional Quidditch players. We tend to think of him as the boy wonder of Quidditch because of his youthful start on the Gryffindor team, but he did not actually play for several of his school years, and you remind us that the caliber of school-yard play is less than that of the professional leagues. And the unique setting makes this game less ho-hum than many of the other games we've read about.
Thanks for noting the 10th anniversary of MNFF. It deserved to be mentioned somewhere. I enjoyed your story.
Author's Response: Thanks Vicki.
A reviewer on another site wasn't happy about which side won, so I'm glad you can see my reasoning. Even if Harry is a good amateur, he's likely to be a little out of his depth against professionals. He missed at least one (possibly two) of the three games in his sixth year, and didn't play at all in his seventh. At the time I've set this story he's a few days shy of his 22nd birthday.-N-
Summary: One moonlit night, a mysterious sorcerer raises up an army of Inferi.
Disclaimer: the following is purely fiction and any resemblance to any real or fictitious persons is clearly coincidental, unless the resemblance is to Voldemort, in which case, this poem was no accident.
Written for the 6th Annual Race To Halloween poetry challenge
Nagini, I loved this poem. You have such a vivid image of these rotting corpses rising up from the graves. Every little detail is so perfect and so spot-on. I loved the dirt in their unhinged jaws. Your choices of words never falter. All the line are imaginative but keenly observant and perfectly clear. Very, very good job.
Author's Response: Thank you! I really liked this one, too. :) If only more people had entered the challenge... Then it might have won a place!!!! Keep reading. ;) ~Nagini
Summary: Three renegade Blacks, Alphard, Andromeda, and Sirius, must find ways to mourn the loss of two family members.
Hi, Neil. An interesting idea you have here, a formal funeral ceremony which is unique to the Black family and which suggests that their custom of choosing star names for family members is based on something more than a consultation with a celestial encyclopedia.
I liked your portrayal of 'Dora as a six-year-old girl. My granddaughter is also six years old, and you have hit the right note of young but not babyish.
Thanks for continuing to write (and for that kind plug you gave me, much appreciated).
Summary: Ollivander of Croton arrives in Athens in 382 BC with big dreams, none
of which include opening a wand shop. His ambition is to study magic at the newly
opened Platonic Academy. But that's before he meets Plato, and a young witch, and
a Dark wizard, and a Dementor or two -- all of whom seem to have their own ideas
about where Ollivander's attention ought to be directed.
Hi, Geoff. How nice to see another story from you. I presume that your young Ollivander is a distant ancestor of the Ollivander who sold Harry his wand. Interesting to see your use of the word 'mugloi'. I had always thought that 'Muggle' sounded derogatory, but 'mugloi' does sound as if it could be a Greek word, so it is more satisfying simply to think of 'Muggle' as derived from the Greek.
It will be fun to see a magical story played out against the sunny Mediterranean scenery instead of the darker, damper climes of northern Europe. I look forward to your subsequent chapters. Thanks for writing.
Author's Response: Hi Vicki. Yes, I'm imagining an unbroken line of descent: 24 centuries' worth of Ollivanders. I'm afraid I didn't invent "Mugloi": the Ancient Greek translation of Philosopher's Stone (which I'm sadly unable to read) uses "Mugaloi", which the translator says means "field-mice". Hope you like the story; there's another chapter already in the queue.