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: As Cera Hipkiss begins her sixth year at Hogwarts, she is pretty used to feeling like a social outcast. With both an ex-friend and ex-boyfriend in her year, what else is there? She gets by. She tells everyone she's fine. However, deep down, she knows that life is about more than just being alone. And maybe this is the year she finally reaches out?
Sort of, kind of a Sirius/OC intermingled with some drama sprinkled here and there, a couple of charmingly chubby Hufflepuffs, and enough kissing to make things interesting for everyone who is not, in fact, Cera Hipkiss.
Hi, Kylee. This is Vicki of Slytherin House. I have read your first two chapters, and so far you have some interesting scenes that are enjoyable to read. The Marauders at the end of Chapter Two are well characterized. I hope that your main character Cera will not be a “permanent chip on the shoulder” type of person, and that we will see other aspects of her personality other than the whiny one in the upcoming chapters. I have read fics in which the main character (almost always female) is whiny throughout the whole story, and it got pretty old pretty fast. But there is plenty of room yet for exciting things to start happening which will show her particular strengths of character and reveal sides of her personality not immediately apparent. I am looking forward to reading more. Thank you for writing.
Author's Response: Hey, thanks for dropping a review. It is 1) nice to hear from a fellow Slytherin and 2) wonderful to hear that my characterization of the Marauders is good. Writing the Marauders means that I have to worry if I'm doing them justice. As for Cera, I do worry about her a bit. I mean, she has to make the choice to be happy, and sometimes, we make the wrong decision. In the end, though, it's my job to entertain even if my main character is a whiner who holds grudges and wants nothing to do with forgiveness, hope, and reaching out to people. So hopefully you'll enjoy the story that surrounds the annoying main character. And maybe she'll stop being annoying at some point.
Summary: What would happen if Tom Marvolo Riddle had been adopted by well-meaning squibs? He would learn the jitterbug! An unabashedly AU story about the life and times of T.M. Riddle, set to a backdrop of Big Band hits and Wartime Blitz. Nazi-hexing, swing-dancing, ancient artifact-hunting, basilisk-taming hijinks will ensue!
Have You Seen The Yellow Sign?
Hi, Andria. this is Vicki from Slytherin House. I'm really enjoying this story. It's imaginative and different, and I am always pleased to read about the Second World War. You seem to have a good handle on the culture of that time period. The writing style is polished and there are just enough details to set the scenes well without being overstuffed or draggy. I am looking forward to the upcoming chapters.
Author's Response: Thank you for the review. I was born in the wrong period. I've always been fascinated by WWII (and WWI and the Persian Gulf and the Bosnian War...) and I felt that Rowling dropped the ball by not doing more with Grindelwald and his potential influence on Potterverse politics. Heck, IRL we're still dealing with the fallout of WWII, so it made no sense to ignore such a big chunk of history. Also, I really really like Big Band music. Hellzapoppin!
Summary: It's three years after the end of the war, and it seems like Draco Malfoy can finally return to a somewhat normal life. He is still tormented by memories, but the last person he would expect to help him just might be his savior.
Hi, Marissa. This is Vicki of Slytherin House commenting on your interesting story. I liked it and am interested to read further. In your second paragraph you stated, “Draco felt ashamed and isolated,” and I wondered if we readers were going to hear more narrative that illustrated his shame and isolation, and yes, we did.
I was interested to read the third paragraph, the listing of Draco’s sins. At first I thought it was what he was thinking, that he was reviewing his faults in his head, but then in the fourth paragraph you reveal that it was a synopsis of what the members of the Wizengamot were discussing aloud. A neat touch.
It’s true that there is a lot of reflection in this opening chapter, and not a lot of dialogue (well, Draco didn’t have anyone to talk to in prison and wasn’t allowed to say much in court), but that’s okay for this opening chapter that sets the scene and the situation. In fact, an entire story done this way can be successful: read Vanishing Green by Armagod 679 in these archives for a good example of that. And I’m sure that, this story being a romance, there will be plenty of action and dialogue in the chapters to come.
But you have a good start here. There is some unusual development, in the surprising testimony of Hermione, and some mystery: what will the Wizengamot’s decision be, and why? How will Draco be changed? What exactly happened to the members of the Malfoy family after the war ended, and how they coped with their terrible situation, has always been a source of great speculation among us readers. Thank you for writing.
Summary: The smallest detail can influence thousands of lives. An other universe story where the first meeting between Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy goes slightly differently.
Hi, EmmaGM. This is Vicki of Slytherin House, commenting on your interesting and imaginative story. It has lots of nice, clever touches. I like the way you take so many of the details of the first book and turn them all, neatly but believably, upside down. There’s a lot of imagination here to make the plot flow so well. The bits of dialogue, although completely opposite to what is in the original book, are quite in character for the people being portrayed.
What is the favor that the Sorting Hat is going to extract from Harry later? (How clever, to include this idea.) And what will Snape’s relationship with Harry be, now that Harry is a member of Snape’s own house? You have set up a lot of intriguing possibilities here, and that is what AU is all about —familiar characters being themselves in very unfamiliar circumstances. Thank you for writing.
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.
Summary: I couldn't imagine it was gone. But then, the magic never really is gone, is it? No, it never really ends. So what if? What if the journey continues? What if... Voldemort had a Grand-daughter? Now she must make a decission; she can choose to be good, or she follow in her grandparents' wake - and take it out on Harry Potter's youngest son.
You have certainly left us with a lot of unanswered questions in this teaser of a prologue, such as who T.M. Riddle's mother was, who his wife was, who his pursuers are, and why. I will keep my eye out for your second chapter, curious to see why you are going to do with this baby girl.
I wonder if, in your original manuscript that you posted on this site, you accidentally left off the final after "Avada Kedavra," because right now everything on the right-hand side of this screen is in italics. :) It might be a good idea to use the Chapter Edit feature to check your manuscript, and if indeed that tag has been omitted, restoring it will make the right-hand column of the screen revert to normal type. Thanks!