Summary: There was something about him that made him irresistible to her. Siobhan Murphy will go to any lengths to ascertain her deepest desires - but when the object of those desires is a married man twice her age with secrets darker than she can imagine, she will find herself caught in a scandalous liaison that she can't walk away from. Not Canon-Compliant.
Believe me, I didn’t miss that it was here... But I had to read it a couple of times and then allow it some think-time before reviewing. To start with, the tone is remarkably like something I’m reading (on-paper) at the moment, it almost startled me. Also, it surprised me to see it begin in such a familiar environment, for some reason I had pictured something completely different.
You know already what I think of the “other Siobhan” you have presented, this one is more personal, much more captivating – clearly because it’s from her perspective. Your words feel carefully chosen and weighed, to introduce her exactly right, spot-on. The thoughts, the monologue; her character grows quickly and confidently before my eyes. Her choices and decisions, the way she looks at “fellow students”, it all paints a colourful and in a way a rather frightening person. I already love her attitude towards Draco, I can’t wait to see the way he will serve her purposes.
The arrival of Ginny had me jumping slightly and I had to remind myself for a second, what I was doing, what I was reading. Hehe, I would really have liked you to write something Ginny, yours beats most versions I have come along. But never mind, this is not about her.
I find it very interesting to compare this story to your others, since I’ve read all that’s there. My English is starting to falter me now, I don’t know what to say about the comparison – this is deeper, the language is better (no, different, but yes, better)... What can I say? Well done! - I suppose!
Here was I, thinking I had escaped recent years of reading into the fairly innocent world of hp – and all of a sudden I’m back in a place I had not realised I missed. (Argh, I need to go to the library again!) It’s a brilliant opening chapter, but I still feel as teased as when I first read the title long ago… Sins of the Father. *more think-time* The hawk eye will be watching for chapter two, be so sure.
Well hello there, älskling. Better late than never, I hope?
Sigh. How do I make this review even remotely helpful, when all I want to do is glare at you and Bellatrix for killing Ron?
*takes deep breath* Well, I’d better start somewhere.
Not just his touch, but his cold eyes and his silky mannerisms, his egotism and his infallibility, his arguments and his retorts.
Siobhan always was a very original OC, and you never fail to show us, or cleverly remind us, of this. Of all the many reasons a woman might miss a man, the things she misses about Lucius are… well, not strange, because when I read this I can relate to it easily enough, but they are not stereotypical in any way. It makes me think that we, people, are not only defined by what we say and do, but also by who we are attracted to.
Oh, and Liam. By the way - he uses green ink? As if I needed another reason to love him. *sigh* But, that wasn’t what I wanted to say. Rather, I want you to know how much I enjoyed that glimpse of him in this chapter; a very well-placed glimpse, both because of Siobhan herself, but because of other events and the role he will play in the future. Also, I’m very much looking forward to an actual conversation between the half-siblings, whether it’s going to be uncomfortable or not.
The beginning of Siobhan’s and Draco’s conversation amuses me greatly, I must admit. I have a hard time sorting out my feelings on Sins!Draco, but that is probably due to the information you have so generously shared with me. But, all things considered, you make him very interesting – which is saying something, as I have never been particularly interested in canon!Draco.
Also, you’ve got my mind spinning around the matter of arranged marriages. It’s one thing to have the knowledge of their existence in the back of your mind, but a whole other to discuss it in broad daylight and face the reality of it - ‘And, they were pretty anxious to make sure Pansy was set, right out of school –’ To the traditional pure-blood youngsters, it must be such a pressure, and such a strange thing to walk around and think about when at school, that you must one day marry someone suitable out of a rather limited selection. Hmm. I’m fairly sure that you’re going to write more on the subject, if not directly… and I’m looking forward to that, too.
Sigh. Now, let me just take a moment to tell you how upset I am with you for making Ron so extra loveable, right before…
If I remember correctly (which we can never count on), you weren’t entirely happy with the school -> Forbidden Forest transition? Well, I paid extra attention to it again, and I think that it works very well. And it so makes sense for Hermione to be the Confunded one; I trust that she would have noticed it earlier, had it been Ron, and I doubt that the two of them had followed Siobhan without a question, had it been her.
It just struck me that, even though it wasn’t her fault in any way, Ron died as a result of Hermione being Confunded. Is this something she will berate herself for? I know that Hermione is intelligent enough to know that she’s not to blame, but will that knowledge help her from feeling that she should, somehow, have resisted it? Also, part of me is crying – loudly – for a small Harry & Hermione piece, dealing with the loss of Ron in Sins. I think it could be… well, emotional. Important. But most of all it’s just a fangirl craving. We get those, you know.
You mentioned something about Siobhan’s magic being ‘temperamental’, and I was intrigued. I would have to go back and read to make sure, but, really, we haven’t seen her do that much magic. This isn’t necessarily something good or something bad, but it makes me curious. I would love to see some ‘temperamental magic’ in action… perhaps in response to Lucius, somehow?
It was interesting, I thought, to hear Bellatrix refer to Siobhan as ‘Shannon Murphy’s daughter’, but I suppose that’s what she would be recognised as, in those crowds. Ah, and I just wanted to shout at Bellatrix to shut up, to stop spoiling things when Lucius is trying to… well, when he’s trying.
Hermione. Jenna, you write The Best Hermione – the one who makes up for all of the fandom Hermiones I cannot stand. She’s so brave, so strong, so intelligent and so worthy. It’s not much of a consolation, but I’m glad what this chapter meant for her and Siobhan’s friendship, at least.
And… the stolen moments in the forest. I’ve read it before, and I read it three times today. It’s magical, and perfect. It pains me so much, that they are so entirely right for each other, but that this world is so wrong for them to be together in. Foolish as that thought was, I just wanted them to disappear into the depths of the woods together, far, far, from that evil world. Though, sigh, I suppose there is some amends-making to be done, first. I’m very curious, I admit it, how that will come about – will she forgive him because he will somehow deserve it, or will she do so because she simply can’t not? Or… will she not forgive him at all, but be with him still? Oh, älskling, so many questions.
Brilliant, as always. But you knew that already, didn’t you?
Now, read the following very carefully, because I’m only going to write it once and after that I’ll be in deep denial about ever having thought it: You should really stop writing on Blood Debt to get more time for Sins of the Father. There, I’m going to deny that opinion now, and get on with reviewing.
Pardon me for skipping past the wonder that is Siobhan, but I’m going to begin with Draco. *shudder* He’s so well written it makes me sick. ‘She scowled, and he once again misjudged her face, licking his lips in satisfaction.’ - revolting, thank you very much. Siobhan’s thought of him, ‘unworthy heir’, was just spot on. Still, as he’s fairly important for the plot, I guess it would be pointless to ask for less of him? At first I felt sorry for her, guessing they were going to serve detention together – then I realised that’s probably one of the least painful things she’s going to have to share with the slimeball. Still, what I suppose I want to get through here, is that you display great skill in writing such a detestable Draco.
Harry, Harry dear. Nice to see that even Siobhan Superior has a real interest in his person.
And so, the lady in question. *little smile* I don’t really know what to say. You know I’m besotted with her person, and how I admire you for creating and writing her. She was all and everything I wanted her to be in this chapter, from determination, to conversation, to dreams. It’s difficult to write this without making it look weird, but I can’t wait until the day I get to read her dream fulfilled. I somehow don’t think it’ll be exactly like her visions, and what you’re going to do with her emotions in that situation is what I look forward the most. It looks a little feeble to quote the last line, but I will still do it; ‘ Lucius sure as hell better be worth all of this.’ - it was outstanding and yes, he sure had better!
I mentioned Blood Debt, which is looking brilliant at the moment. But still I think that ‘Sins’ is doing your talent more justice. Even closer to perfection, I found only one tiny mistake:
‘ Siobhan gave a exasperated groan of boredom-’ - it needs to be ‘an exasperated groan’.
To me, your pennames have always stood for quality. It’s just that this quality has reached a new level lately. I feel privileged to read your works.
And I'm priviledged to have you as a reader.
So, if Haley called last chapter The Chapter, then this must be The Other The Chapter. :)
The silence and the tension… the insecurity began to wrap itself around her. It might be because we’ve talked a bit about Lucius lately, but all I’m doing here is wondering what’s going through his mind, if he’s thinking and making decisions, or if he’s simply quiet to create the “unnerving silence”. I know that wondering is a big part of reading and following a fanfic, but what I’d give to know what’s going on in his thoughts…
I know this chapter takes place over a very short period of time, but I’d still like to point out how well I think it flows. One event leads seamlessly to another here, which is, in my opinion, typical for your writing when at its best. Siobhan’s treatment of Draco is indeed impressive, but I like even better how the event leads onto the next encounter with Lucius. :)
One of my absolute favourite lines: The winter chill that crept through the manor swept over her and raised goosebumps along her skin, causing her to shiver slightly. - splendid. In this one line, you capture the entire mood of the season and place we’re in, you add to Siobhan’s feeling of being exposed and tensed, and with it you’re leading us to the next move in the chapter.
I’ve been thinking a bit about how much, or how little, Siobhan cares what other people think. And I’m not talking of being caught up against a stone wall, but of her general involvement with Lucius. I’ve been comparing her with some canon characters, thinking of what they would be like in her situation. And, I find that all of them would have so many people to be concerned about, so many people’s opinions that would matter to them. Siobhan, it seems, would only have two people to be troubled with – Liam and Harry. Interesting, I think, because it tells me four things. One, of the freedom she possesses. Two, that she is, in a way, very lonely. Three, how important Harry actually is to her. And four, of the determination she has, to go with her own decision although the two people who care most about her (excluding Lucius, who I’m guessing will care more and more) will strongly disagree with what she’s doing. And, connected to this, I love how Siobhan doesn’t care about Narcissa at all, about what the blonde woman might see, know or tell others. It unites Siobhan and Lucius in some odd way, and that pleases me.
Another favourite line: “Call me ‘Lucius’,” he whispered. “When we’re alone, of course – which I’m expecting should be rather often.” - I don’t have to explain or motivate that one, do I? :)
There are four small things I’d like to point out, being one of those annoying SPEW members after all. *giggles*
- Drawing away from her,, he got out of the bed and walked to where his clothes were laying forgotten on the floor. - there’s a double comma after ‘her’.
- One softened by the years, perhaps, but Siobhan found it more attractive than the idea of a hardened, muscular body favoured by other woman. - I’m guessing the last word should be “women”?
- Despite his cold and virtually silent departure, she saw and felt flashes of what had just happened,; the memories of his touch thrilled her, even warmed her. - there’s both a comma and a semicolon after “happened”.
- …the blankets that Lucius had pulled across her when she shivered She smiled again in spite of her worries, pulling on her clothes and standing up straight. - there is a full stop missing between the two sentences.
And, you know, after re-reading this chapter I’ve a) temporarily set S/L to be my ultimate OTP (sorry, H/K…) and b) snorted at the idea that anyone could ever leave the HMS Tiramisu with this much goodness onboard. And if this was Siobhan’s birthday and its aftermath… to think what Christmas and New Year’s Eve has in store for her, before she has to return to Hogwarts. *dreams*
Mmm, this chapter is as yummy as its title…
Incredibly surprised to find Muggle literature in the house of the Malfoys, she pulled out a copy of Robinson Crusoe and read it late into the night.
- Siobhan is not the only one who is incredibly surprised. I wonder why you’ve added this detail, and I wonder who’s book this is? Wouldn’t it be a bit embarrassing for the Malfoys, usually disapproving of all things Muggle or Mud-blood, to have such a book discovered in their own home? Or is this a sign that in all honesty, they might not mind all that is Muggle, it’s just that they wouldn’t admit it? Curious…
Well-written Narcissa in this chapter, I thought that this was very fitting:
She handed it to her husband, along with a kiss on the cheek and a look that told Siobhan exactly where Lucius had been and what he had been doing.
- I might not be a fan of Narcissa’s character in Sins, but that is only because of how you portray her, through Siobhan’s eyes. You’ve made Narcissa, in a way, into someone simple, a spoiled and gossiping lady with a silver spoon up her… well. :) At the same time though, she possesses this clear intelligence, which sometimes seems to have sprung from her paranoia. In any case, you’ve made sure that she’s not daft, and very interesting to read.
Siobhan hadn’t considered before that Lucius had only been toying with her, but now that her mind wandered upon that possibility, it made perfect sense. Here she was, a young, stupid girl walking into Malfoy Manor and expecting to be taken into the bed of Lucius himself.
Siobhan’s doubts after her discovery are a brilliant addition. I never expected this to be a smooth road to travel, and I very much enjoy the bumps you write. Still, I like how you turn things back to “normal” so soon, because self-doubt is not very becoming of Siobhan’s character. Believable, yes, but not something we haven’t seen a lot of. This is much more like her, and brilliantly Slytherinish: Siobhan knew what she wanted, and before she left Malfoy Manor, she was going to have it, one way or another.
I found two tiny mistakes, both are blank spaces missing:
…and, most importantly,no dessert.”
…at my word, Miss Murphy.I do intend to follow through.”
As much as I like the other details, to me this story lives from the energy created between Siobhan and Lucius. I don’t know if you write anything else as well as the two of them together. This is more than two fictional characters talking to each other, I’d rather say it’s interaction between two real, alive human beings. Their feelings and curiosity for each other is infectious, I never cared that much for Lucius Malfoy or men like him, but all of a sudden I’m interested in finding out more. Through Siobhan, of course. ;) I’m going to quote this:
“How is it?” Lucius asked, leaning closer to her and inhaling softly, as though attempting to know her thoughts from the scent of the dessert still on her lips.
- in my opinion one of the best pieces of this chapter. Especially the last part, after the comma, is very original and vivid.
I find it quite hard to understand, how these characters are playing hard to get at the moment. Perhaps Siobhan thinks she needs a bit of time, but personally I’m screaming inside for this to continue. I want the birthday celebrations, I’m wondering if you will write some more Pansy Parkinson during that evening (I would surely enjoy reading it), but most of all I’m craving more of the closeness - His kiss was slow, and sensual, but filled with a fervent passion that reminded Siobhan of her own desires. I know it might be a disaster coming, I realise not all dreams will be fulfilled, that they might even be thoroughly smashed – but oh, it will be beautiful, and I can’t wait to read it.
As for the rest, I'm grinning as usual :D
Fanfiction is such a fine thing. A thing over which one can squeal and shout when it is first revealed in a secret LJ post (if one should be so privileged, I mean), but also a thing to which one can return, much later, to quietly ponder over its finer points while eating pear slices and enjoying a cup of Earl Grey.
You have got an unusually good chapter here, my love, in all senses, but most noticeably in the sense that it’s seamlessly written and thus very difficult to chop up into easily reviewable pieces. But I will try to start at the very beginning.
Yes, for a moment there you fooled me, and made me think that what I was so desperately hoping for had already happened, without more suffering and struggle. But as far as I’ve learned about your writing, you’re not in the habit of taking easy shortcuts, so I wasn’t really surprised to find that Siobhan was only dreaming. It’s kind of cruel of you, you know, to show me exactly what I want Siobhan and Lucius to be, and then so mercilessly slap us back into reality. It’s effective though, and my sympathy for her is as strong and real and overwhelming as ever.
It was not a simple weariness of the hours, but of an age. She had never before understood the concept of eternity as she did now that her soul felt stretched across it, as if she had known the world since before her birth, and would suffer existence long beyond her death. The ticking of the second hand did nothing to cure her of the tedious trials of living. The rising sun renewed nothing. Meaning and purpose evaded her as she sought, with a tired spirit something, to live for, and found nothing.
…did I just quote all of that? Hm. It seems I did. I guess I really couldn’t help myself, seeing as it’s possibly the most beautiful thing you have ever written. Like, her soul stretched across eternity? How do you do it? How does your mind come up with these things? *sighs and is in awe* Only, in that very last sentence, the comma after ‘something’ needs to step back one word, I believe.
Those are two very interesting paragraphs you’ve written on immortality. It fits our HP-verse very well, with Voldemort and his cheating of death, Hallows, and such. I like the idea, the contrast, that a bad character like Voldemort has become immortal by evil deeds, while Lucius, also bad, has become immortal because of his ability to make a woman love and lust for him.
And, then… Ron and Hermione. The way you bring them back – together, as, if not a couple, then at least a team – is for some reason breaking my heart. I don’t know, perhaps I accidentally took a potion that turned me into a hardcore R/Hr shipper, but I’m getting a thrill simply from seeing them walking next to each other. Sigh.
It’s excellent, how you start the third scene of the story that reflects the end of the first – with the thought of Lucius’ death, and the one of Harry being alive.
For the first time since the war had begun, Siobhan had a deeply personal stake in the fight. […]Now, after the Lucius-ordeal and with Potter’s disappearance, they were a personal enemy.
Sometimes they’re quite alike, our OC’s. Maybe they were not exactly content with the parts they had been assigned to play in the world, but they had at least accepted them. And then a war breaks out, they meet people, and all of a sudden there is something to care about, something to fight for, something to make a difference. Perhaps they ought to have a chat sometime? Oh, wait, they already did, didn’t they? Well, a chat under less miserable circumstances, then.
LUCIUS! LUCIUS IS HERE! :D Ehm, yes, what was it that I said about returning to quietly ponder? Scratch that, because – just – I – LUCIUS! :D Now, to those of us who have read The Only Answer, this is just… gah, such a THRILL. Knowing what Lucius has done, what he’s thinking and feeling, and what he wants… Maybe you ought to mention the companion in your A/N? Because, without it this is excellent, but with it this part of the story is completely mind-blowing.
And when Siobhan walks down to the dungeons, and Lucius calls her name – oh, Jenna, the conversation between them, and the looks and the politeness and the underlying battle, it’s exactly what I’ve been wanting and waiting for. I want to slap Lucius for what he’s doing to Siobhan, but at the same time I’m grateful he’s doing something to win her back. Or, well, not win her back, but… um… reclaim his possession? Oh, if only Siobhan knew what he had done to help Harry… But Lucius won’t be telling her about that, will he? It would be a very easy way for him to regain her favour, but perhaps it’s not the kind of thing he would want to admit? Maybe he wouldn’t want Siobhan to know that he took such a risk for her, because that would be the same as telling her how much she actually means to him? I mean, he hints at it in the end of this chapter… but he’s still his arrogant self, and makes sure to end the conversation on his terms. He’s such a prick! And completely irresistible at the same time, of course. Sigh.
Okay. There. Now I have the right to say it: I’m DESPERATE for the next chapter! Stop torturing me like this! I NEED it! *displays severe withdrawal symptoms* This chapter was beyond excellent, but I can’t sit quietly and simply appreciate it, because I’m so busy CRAVING chapter 21! See, it’s all your fault!
Oh, and PS: I love you. =)
You already know about the lateness and the guilt bits, my dear Jenna, so I’ll get straight to reviewing.
I’m going to begin with jumping to Lucius’ letter. At first glace it was just a straightforward note, telling exactly what it needed to say. But when Siobhan noticed the fact that he had not signed with his name, I came to think of the fact that he started the name with hers – and her first name. I know they use their first names when they talk to each other, but there was just such a clear closeness in seeing it in ink. It’s like they share this great secret (duh, Anna, but you know what I mean) and their first names, which they are really not supposed to use when addressing each other, become some kind of code names. Yes, I know, I’m confusing everything. What I mean is that in that simple fact – I am Siobhan to you, and you are Lucius to me – lies something so great.
…and Siobhan was pleased that her friendship with him was proving to be so beneficial.
*nods* Yes, and I suspect Harry is not only convenient to Siobhan as a character but also to Jenna as an author? Really, Harry is the heaviest canon anchor, and it’s very giving for a reader to see how your OC acts (I can’t believe I just called Siobhan that) around him, especially as you write him as well as ever. The Jenna-Harry has always been my favourite, and he’s just as wonderful in Sins as he was when I first got to know him in Year Six.
“Please,” Siobhan scoffed. “Lucius Malfoy is too concerned about keeping his hair groomed and his boots polished to go around with the likes of those maniacs. If anything, he probably sits in his Manor ranting about the inferiority of Muggles, but wouldn’t be bothered to get off his arse and do anything about it himself.”
She likes to believe that herself, doesn’t she? I know it’s one of the strongest parts of the chapters, hence its title, so I want to comment on how clever I think it is of you to bring Lucius up around other people. The lines above could just as well have been spoken by Siobhan in her own head, but they’re ever so much more interesting when heard in a conversation. And Ginny… yeah, you know, I never thought of it (in relation to Sins) before you first showed me this chapter; obviously she wouldn’t be very fond of Mr Malfoy. (And, do tell me, is that why you are not very fond of her? *snigger*) Of course, there were other absolute gems in this conversation:
“What are you, president for the Society of Lucius Malfoy Advocates?” Potter said with a small, grimly-amused laugh.
“Maybe you can get an affiliation with ‘spew’…” Ron chimed in with a snigger.
But of course she can! *giggles* Seriously, Jenna, you know how to make your friends laugh.
“But, it doesn’t matter anyway. Why on earth would I pursue a man old enough to be my father?”
You have certainly picked an extremely good title. I can’t see the words ‘sin’ or ‘father’ appear anywhere these days without thinking about this precious story. And every time either of them appears in the actual text, they have such weight and significance. I’m sure you’ve already planned to do so, but I’d still like to encourage you to use these words really well, because I can’t imagine that I’m the only one who reacts like this.
Friday lessons seemed to drag onward with all the speed of a dying Flobberworm.
I love it when you make spontaneous HP references like that. It makes all the difference.
You know… The whole Tessie scene made me think a lot about Sirius Black and his “judge a man by how he treats his inferiors”, and it got me wondering why you chose to show it to us so clearly. It makes Lucius look like a bastard, yes. But not necessarily evil, as he agrees to take better care of the creature on Siobhan’s wish. I still don’t think that he gives a bugger about Tessie, and I despise him for that, but it’s nevertheless touching that Siobhan’s opinion matters so much to him. *small sigh*
Oh, and… I don’t suppose I could ask you for a warning in the A/N every time you’re going to mention Liam in a chapter? Because my heart sort of does this stupid somersault every time I see his name mentioned. Yes. Ahem. He needs more screen time in Sins, definitely, but with the proper warnings attached.
The Siobhan/Lucius scene is the best you’ve written in a long while; possibly the best yet in the story. Perhaps it’s the change of location, perhaps it’s Siobhan’s anger, perhaps it’s… I don’t know, but it’s… thrilling. I love Lucius’ eagerness, from the guiding her footsteps to his ‘At the moment, all I can think about is holding you down on this bed… Oh my gosh! I know I like to blabber about him loving her, but never mind that now! As long as he lusts for her like that, I’m not sure if I’m going to be demanding love as well. *grin* I’m saying it again: First Fangirl needs non-MNFF-able Tiramisu!
Can I be a bore? Good, because now I am going to be.
“Well, there issomething,” she said quietly.
- You’ve got a blank space missing between ‘is’ and ‘something’.
Her outburst sent Ginny into giggles and Ron into fits of laughter, while Potter just gaped in wide-eyed shock
- Full stop missing at the end there.
That, after all, had been the singular condition on which he had given her the secret of the passageway: …can you at least assure me you’re not doing anything dangerous…?
- I don’t know about the ellipsis there at the end; there wasn’t one in the original dialogue line by Harry.
“Is that so?” Ron asked, still snickering, and turning to his sister for her opinion.
- Here you’ve used the word ‘snickering’, whereas earlier on in the scene you said that Ron ‘sniggered’. I might have got it completely wrong, but I the idea I had was that ‘snicker’ is more American, and ‘snigger’ is British? But then again, this might just be me being ignorant. ;)
*happy sigh* I love your writing, Jenna. Just like that. There is no one else I’d rather fangirl. I know I have no right to beg for more Sins, and you already know that I’m eagerly awaiting the next chapter, so… :) JÄD!
Author's Response: *sighs happily* I love you so much, min älskling. And I love that you overanalyse everything, because otherwise I\'d feel like all the little things I write mean nothing. I love that you often unbury my intentions :) Obviously, my writing is nothing without your reading.
Another neglected chapter I should be tending to. :) Actually, when focusing on Blood Debt and Sins so closely after one another, I find myself chuckling and being very impressed with how you keep the two universes apart. Take Katie for example, after reading BD just now I wouldn’t have reacted if she and Siobhan had acted as if they knew each other – silly of me, isn’t it?
I very much enjoyed Siobhan’s and Draco’s conversation in Diagon Alley. You know… he might be a slime ball and all, but at least I prefer him here to Canon, as a person. I haven’t fully figured out yet how you intend to do with future “official” relationships and marriages to make things work, but during this little walk I suddenly imagined Siobhan and Draco at the Manor a few years from now, and for a second I felt that it could actually work in a civilised way. And you gave me a good reason to smile with this:
“Bloody hell. I thought my parents were bad,” Draco shuddered.
- *giggles* I didn’t think of it at first, but “Bloody hell” is just such a typical Ron phrase. No, don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t look out of place here, but it made me smile. Same thing with the following sentence, I thought it was interesting that you chose to let Draco use the word “Muggleborn” instead of “Mudblood”. He sounds much more civil this way, and respectful towards Siobhan. (Hey, wait… Why am I feeling this way about Sins-Draco? Why are you doing this? What’s the purpose of him appearing semi-good at the moment? *raises eyebrows*)
Siobhan’s eyes darted between the two of them. She didn’t want either of them to get hurt, but she hardly understood the point of standing around and fighting Death Eaters.
- At first sight this seems very Slytherinish of Siobhan, which it perhaps also is. But then I realise that she’s just displaying a very logical reaction, that Harry is really the one with the odd behaviour. It also marks the distance between Siobhan and Harry in Sins; they know each other and are getting friendlier, but it’s still very different from Blood Debt.
And Oh My God… The scene with the Death Eater… it’s just overwhelming. We’re getting closer to Siobhan in this story, but the fear and panic she experiences here is a completely new side of her. And, all right, I know it’s Lucius, and I can’t help but wonder about his thoughts, his face expression under that mask. Also, lol, you must forgive me, but I had such a V/Evey moment there when I re-read…
*sigh* Is it odd to feel sorry for Lucius? I wonder what he would do at this point, if he wasn’t a Death Eater… It’s all there: the care, the comfort, the devotion. He’s so tender, damnit! How long is it going to be until those two understand the weight of this, until they get it into their pretty heads that this is more than delicious sex? Gah, they’ll probably figure it out just about when she finds out about the whole Death Eater business. Jenna, do you understand what an amazing job you’re doing with this story, making me react like this? I’m so incredibly frustrated with the whole situation, yet I love every minute of it.
*does First Fangirl salute and whispers of a desire to see chapter thirteen soon*
Author's Response: *is not sure what to say and just sits, smiling stupidly*. I loved the V for Vendetta comment, *hugs*
For some reason, it\'s so much easier to write chapters after Anna has given me a reviews. *sighs*
[…and now I’m messing up your review page even more, since my shifty eyes deleted half of the review. *crosses fingers for it to work this time* Please delete the review I posted first, my love.]
*mutters* When I go to review, the chapter is not there. And when I come back - twelve people have beaten me to it! -_-
Okay. I’m thinking a bit about Snape. I read in your response to Kasey’s review that you weren’t entirely pleased with some of the dialogue, but I’m in awe of the whole scene. I have read this chapter about seven times or so, but it wasn’t until now that the resemblance to Snape’s acting in Philosopher’s Stone struck me. We know that he has been a Death Eater, but I’m also under the impression that you and I share a view that he is loyal to Dumbledore, and that he is, if not exactly “good”, then at least a complex character who has learned to choose the right one of two equally horrible options. Hence, it makes sense that he acts the way he does – Snape has repeatedly tried to protect Harry, so why not Siobhan? He even displays similar attitudes to the both of them. Well done, min älskling.
He very well might have been avoiding her presence purposely but it was hard to tell, as she did nothing all morning to give him any reason to look in her direction.
- that sentence makes me feel as though there’s something wrong with my grasp of English. It’s one of those cases where I think that ‘He might well have been –’ sounds better than ‘He very well might have been –’, but where I also think that this is just because I’m Swedish and not just getting a fancy English sentence structure. Just ignore me if I’m being ignorant. >.>
“I do not care to hear the details of your relationships or the insane reasoning behind your foolish choices — I simply feel the need to warn you to tread very carefully around your ‘lover’.”
- can I just say that I love that line? I need to tell you how wonderfully it chimes in my head. And also, how Snape uses the word ‘choices’, as if knowing fully well that Siobhan hasn’t just been randomly seduced by Lucius, but was in fact the one who made sure they’d end up together.
Lucius did not quite fit that image, and to imagine that there might be another side to him that dark… it was simply impossible for her to comprehend.
- even if I would have assumed it was so, it is nice to have some of Siobhan’s reasoning typed out to read. It is interesting and enlightening to see that she doesn’t think that Lucius fits the stereotype of a Death Eater, as Harry and the others were suspicious of this as soon as they found out there were Death Eaters. Of course, some might argue that Siobhan’s perception of him is… ehm, slightly coloured by their relationship, but I like to think that it’s more because of her background. Being raised in the pure-blood upper class she will know some things about the foulness of it, but it might also be more difficult for her to imagine that the well-known and well-polished types of this society can also be ruthless Death Eaters. And, why am I saying ‘might be’? I know that it is. *cough*Blind!Siobhan*cough*
And so she decided the best thing to do, for now, was to just ask Lucius, himself. She really didn’t care how he managed relieve her anxiety, just as long as he forced it from her mind.
- oh, EVIL AUTHOR! And oh, dearest Siobhan… Did she just say to herself that she knows that Lucius will relieve her anxiety? And did she just say to herself that she doesn’t care if he lies, as long as he does it well enough? O.o
“Do you know,” Lucius rasped, “how incredible you are?”
- ahem. *DIES* AWWW! Lucius is just… is just… And you, EVIL AUTHOR, letting him say it NOW!
And I don’t know what you meant in your reply to Mini’s review, that some of the readers you “know” force you to write smut? Whoever could you be referring to then? *perplexed*
“You’re the one who’s incredible, you know,” Siobhan said softly, feeling enraptured by the man that lay beside her.
- *cries!* Stop making them so… so… you know! It is NOT FAIR!
“Any excuse to have you lick me, my love,” Lucius said with a devilish smirk.
- *sigh* And I had just revived since the last time I *DIED*, just to have you KEEL me with THAT line. *dead*
“He’s not the first,” Siobhan said quietly, staring ahead. She could feel Lucius’ hot breath on the side of her face, and she wondered if he could feel the pounding of her heart against him.
- *sighs again* Oh, Jenna… for being an EBIL AUTHOR, you’re writing all of this so incredibly, extremely, unbelievably well. If it wasn’t all so sad, I’d be squeeing at the sheer quality of your writing. Never once do you bluntly tell us that Siobhan is nervous about the conversation, or of how she must feel when she summons the courage to initiate it… but oh, I can feel the pounding of her heart in my chest, and I can feel how her eyes would stare at some point of nothingness; all not to focus on Lucius.
“I didn’t know you were friends with Harry Potter,” he stated finally, tonelessly.
- >.> A little inconvenient, isn’t it, Lucius? What are you going to do about this? Surely, you… *shuts up*
“And can you imagine ever possibly regretting a life with me?”
- if Lucius is going to be smooth-talking like he does in this scene, I can’t see how anyone would regret a life with him!
He did not look at her face, but tried to softly guide her off him so he could stand up from the bed.
- I know I’m quoting like mad and probably annoying the wits out of you (if you’ve even made it this far), but… this makes me genuinely sad. Reading it brings tears to my eyes. The way he tries to ‘softly guide her off him’ is just heart-breaking… I know that Lucius is an itty bit evil and all that, and that he most certainly became a Death Eater by his own choice… but here you make me feel that he is trapped; caught in his service to Voldemort, and that, if he only could, he would leave his ranks at once. But he can’t. He knows that he can’t, and he probably knows that he’s going to have to talk to Siobhan sooner or later, and… *SIGHS* He’s trying to be gentle! He’s only trying to protect her!! He loves her, for crying out loud!
So, yes, of course he won’t, and shouldn’t, tolerate Siobhan speaking of herself like that. End of discussion.
Hatred for his sins and her own; for his wicked deeds and beliefs, and her stubborn ignorance of them. Her heart ached with the pain of disappointment, and her thoughts suffered from the icy chill of fear as it crept through her.
- *hugs Siobhan* Don’t hate. You can’t help who you’re attracted to, and even less who you fall in love with. You’re just not supposed to. And Jenna, the way you describe it – with both Siobhan’s heart aching and her thoughts suffering – makes the pain appear so harsh, real and complete. =(
This is probably the best and most complicated chapter of Sins you’ve written so far… and I wish I could give it the squeeing it’s worthy of, but for one it wouldn’t be at all appropriate and also, I simply don’t feel like it. I’ll just go and cry in a corner somewhere, and you’ll simply have to believe me when I say that it is great praise indeed.
(PS: Your review page is quite the strikethrough mess, min älskling. Scourgify!)
Another chapter… After a bit of pondering, we have now come to review-time.
You are providing a fairly unique view of Pansy Parkinson, through Siobhan’s eyes. There are fics in which she belongs with Draco, and yes, I would be quite quick to guess that there are fics where she stands in the way of another girl who wishes to be with young Mr Malfoy. But here, Siobhan has no interest in Draco apart from him being a tool towards success in her own plan, and so the little notice she takes of Pansy becomes original. Through Siobhan, I also come to pity Pansy in a way. She’s foolish indeed, I see nothing to respect about her, but she is being used and to me she seems like a product straight from the society of Pure-bloods. I liked the sentence in which you wrapped up the situation: ‘His behaviour was disgusting, and Parkinson’s continued devotion was pathetic.’
Trust you to be unpredictable! ;) ‘Siobhan turned from McGonagall to see Potter walking quietly into the office; relief swept over her.’ - relief, of course not because it is Harry, but because it is not Draco. Naturally, I had expected to see a bit of Harry in SotF since I knew he would be friends with Siobhan later on in life. But I thought for sure she would have to live through a detention with Draco long before she would find herself in the much envied company of Harry. (Much envied by me, that is.) I know this is Siobhan’s story, but oh! the Harry you’re writing. He seems more troubled than in any of your other fics, quite understandable too. At the same time he’s the Harry he has always been, hexing Malfoy and being his sweet and simple self with, ‘“Draco Malfoy’s a git, isn’t he?” he offered.’
The deaths! *gasp* Molly – how could you!?! No… if I should try and be sensible. I thought it was a very believable follow-up to the happenings in the Department of Mysteries, with the Death Eaters going after their families. Again, this is perhaps not relevant to the story of Siobhan, but it is to all of us who know the characters. You’re quite right to mention it, and you upset at least me maybe more than intended to, but what I like most is that you don’t go too deep into it. Yes, Harry speaks of Petunia and in a very interesting way, but the chapter is not about these deaths. It’s about Siobhan meeting Harry.
‘His green eyes were stormy as they rested a moment on the stone wall of the room; his discordant emotions were swirling and clashing within him, and she could see he didn’t know what to feel.’ - I feel like a copy-cat quoting the same thing as Insecurity. Like her I enjoy the word-art of it, as do I like the repeated references to Harry’s eyes that are different to what you normally see in fanfiction. But more importantly, I like how it shows Siobhan’s ability to watch people and find out things about them. She does know this about Harry merely by watching him, and her ability to draw accurate conclusions from studying people a lot, and talking to them only very little, is remarkable.
Having read Siobhan’s character survey, I feel like all the pieces of information I’ve got of her are like precious pearls, now coming to their right as they are slowly and carefully put together to a necklace.
I’ll once again repeat a quote: ‘This drew a smile from Siobhan, and the two passed the rest of their tedious evening with a steady dialogue very much at the expense of their mutual blonde-haired nemesis.’ - there was something so warm about these words. Not only has Harry found a way to connect with Siobhan, he made her smile and led her into a ‘steady dialogue’ – something I think they could both do with.
I’ve only got two things I’d like to add something to. Firstly, this line: ‘“I had no doubt you had were a smart girl, Miss Murphy,” McGonagall said with a stern but forgiving smile.’ - I’m not sure that McGonagall would use the word ‘smart’, I think she would be much more likely to say ‘clever’. ‘Smart’ in this sentence looks like American English to me.
And here: ‘To some, their exchange might have seemed brief, the silence a final punctuation to their words.’ - a tiny thing, but I think I would have preferred if it had said ‘To most people’ or ‘To an/any outsider’, or something similar. That would have made the pause even more private to Siobhan and Harry.
Lovely, Jenna. You know my loyalties are hopelessly torn between Sins and Blood Debt, and after the latest chapter of the latter I thought again that the matter was solved. Now, when you deliver this – I’m back to where I started!
First Fangirl reporting for duty, Miss H and Miss M. *salutes*
I’ll start with something not-so-related to the chapter. I’ve been reading some other things than Jenna-fic lately, and… I don’t know. Letting my gaze travel along your sentences feels like putting on a comfortable, well-worn piece of clothing, like hugging a loved one you haven’t seen for very long, or simply like being home. For all I appreciate different styles of writing, nothing can ever even compare with your writing, to me.
Now, that over and done with, I will talk about chapter 18. No one who possesses any trace of compassion or empathy, or even a heart in their body, can help but feeling sorry for Siobhan. So you can imagine that I, who take a rather keen interest in her life, am completely devastated on her behalf. I want to shout at Lucius, and I want to shout at you, Jenna, for doing this to Siobhan, but I can’t, because you are also the two people who are able to make her happy again.
Before I forget about it, I’m going to say a few words about this sentence:
She imagined that will would eventually be born of a moving hatred against her ex-lover.
Now that I’ve read it a couple of times, it makes perfect sense. But when I first read it I had to stop and think (yes, I do sometimes think) to figure out what you meant. It’s the “will would” part that confuses me, because I read “will” like the verb, and not the noun. It might just be me who read it like that, but if you wished to make it a little clearer, this could be an option: That will, she imagined, would eventually… And then it’s the word “ex-lover”. I’m a bit divided on it. On the one hand, it doesn’t exactly sound wrong. But on the other hand, it doesn’t sound entirely Sins either. Perhaps something like, “…against the man she had called her lover.” /feeble attempt at being helpful
Pansy! That – that – gah! How sorely I am tempted to call her something so nasty that this review would be instantly deleted. But I won’t. I will just sit here and admire you for writing her in such a way that it makes me feel like this. Jenna, the way Pansy acts towards Siobhan almost makes me hate her.
“So, I’m right then?” Parkinson asked, smug. “Tell me it wasn’t Potter?”
This is interesting. When I read it, I thought at once that, Ha! Harry would never hurt a woman so that she shut herself away for three days! Then, of course, I realised that he practically did, in another story of yours. I don’t know why, but this got me thinking of the relationships you write, and that even though they are all different, they are all so real.
You know, I really enjoy reading scenes with Siobhan and Snape in them. As Head of House, we know that he is usually rather patient with the Slytherins. But he has never been very nice to Siobhan, has he? Perhaps it’s because she isn’t a very typical Slytherin? And I find that I’m always wondering if Snape cares about her, at least as a teacher ought to care for a student, or if he’s just trying to interfere because he feels that he ought to, or because he doesn’t like Lucius. I am fairly indifferent to Snape as a character, but his position in Sins certainly makes him worthy of attention. Not that I would want you to spend your writing time and energy on it, but it would be interesting to read something Sins-related from a Snape point of view.
I don’t even dare to think about what Liam would have done if Siobhan had written to him in that state. Though, I almost wished she had, because that might have meant some screen time for Mr Connolly, and it might have made Siobhan feel better. But, yes, Liam would hardly just have comforted his sister, and I definitely don’t want Lucius in prison (or beaten/duelled to pieces, for that matter). We’ve seen enough of that, I think.
Harry. He’s in the chapter, yes, and I’m a little surprised that Pansy’s mentioning him didn’t trigger some thoughts of Siobhan’s about where he might be or do. But I also think the fact that she doesn’t care, or at least doesn’t think enough about it for you to mention it, really says something about the state she’s in. =/ Poor Siobhan.
And the end of the chapter… Fascinating. Siobhan is so sad and she is carrying such heavy thoughts, and yet, all of a sudden, she has so much power. Power over Lucius, and over his destiny. Her decision on whether to turn him in or not (which I know nothing further about, >.>) will not only mean that he goes free or goes to prison, but will also, somehow, mean that she might consider to be with him again, or that she will remove him from her life for good. Gah, the difficult situations and choices you create for Siobhan, Jenna.
You know… Though I suppose I have no right to be, I’m very impatient for next chapter. *pesters a little* And… what else can I say? Nothing that you don’t already know. I love this story, I love you, and now I need to go and give Pandamanda a Tiramisu pamphlet.
*sneaks in and pretends that review was here all along*
In this episode of The Adventures of Tiramisu, our ship and its crew come across the most paradise-like island, something far more beautiful and wondrous than they could ever have dreamed of…
Seriously, this chapter is amazing – timing and details make it a success. I know I have waited a long time for it, but even for someone who sat down and read all the chapters in one go, this is perfectly timed. You’ve withheld the end of this chapter just long enough, yes, it’s been a bit of a torture, but had you given it to us any sooner it might have seemed rushed. In fact, I think that’s one of your great gifts as an author – to make things happen at the right time, whether it’s something your readers have been expecting, or if it’s something that surprises us.
I find it difficult to know where to start looking at the chapter. I will not quote the entire first paragraph (although I would like to…), but I will tell you that it’s perfect. I have no other words for it. It’s perfect in itself, and as an introduction to this chapter. I’ve carried great expectations, and this first paragraph told me at once that all these expectations would be met. I will, however, quote one sentence before I move on: ‘The dinner party at Malfoy Manor proved to be no exception to the rule that such annual celebrations be dull as ditchwater.’ - *content sigh*
The assembly of guests suits the occasion so well. I enjoy the words on the characters we know a bit about, especially Siobhan’s view of Mrs Zabini – you’re not going against canon words that she is beautiful, but she’s still not perfect. The comparison to an insect is great, it makes me think of something parasite-like, someone who would infect their prey and consume it before moving on to their next husb- victim.
The dinner itself, apart from being a simply fabulous read, really reinforces what you’ve shown so far of Siobhan’s and Lucius’ characters, it’s perfectly placed here, before we’re head off to more serious business. And the tiramisu part, even if it was only there for certain obsessive fans, *cough*, serves the exact same reason. You’re reminding us of what has happened, you put more coal on the anticipation fire, and you make sure your readers are, by then, truly desperate for the end of this chapter. >.>
Now then… *looks for something solid to hold onto herself* *finds nothing and falls* So… where do I begin? Jenna, all of this is… splendid. Siobhan is all I expected her to be and more – uncertain, tense and nervous, but still trying to keep her composure, still able to see sense and focus on what she wants. And Lucius. Lucius! I’m so impressed by how he’s written. You’ve managed to bring out gentleness in him, as well as desire and passion, but he’s still 100% Lucius, the man from the books. He’s confident, and his usual air of arrogance is there, but his interest in Siobhan still seems… genuine. I’ve been thinking a bit about his “ability”, and found it very suitable. At some point, before I read this, I doubted that he would be very nice at all, that he would perhaps only think about himself, be egoistic. But upon reading this, I realised he’s much more complicated than that. Firstly, I don’t doubt for a second that he gets a lot from being… talented, but more importantly it gives him power, makes him (in the eyes of some…) even more irresistible. I do realise that this story would have become very difficult to write if he was as a lousy lover – but, *blushes*, you’ve done an incredible job writing him as a man who will be allowed back into Siobhan’s bed.
I’m completely happy with how the experience turned out for Siobhan. I’ve hear the general arguments floating around on this subject, about how it should be wrong to write something like this at all enjoyable. But, putting aside the fact that those arguments are entirely wrong in some cases, I think what happens here suits the story. There are, and will be, plenty of other difficulties along the road – I see no reason to why this should be one. Also, it becomes much more believable when considering that Lucius is experienced and knows what he’s doing. Had Siobhan’s company been someone as young as herself, *glares at Cult members*, what she feels here might have seemed too good to be true.
I’ve got some tiny things to bother you about:
‘The man, still moronically ignorant to Siobhan’s rudeness, grinned excitedly and opened his mouth to enquire after her further
“Conversing with our guest of honour, Graves?”
- there is a full stop missing after ‘further’, and also a blank line missing before Lucius’ words.
“So, it would seem,” Lucius answered with satisfaction…’ - I’m killing commas! :) Or at least attempting to kill one, because the one after ‘So’ at the beginning makes the sentence a bit odd.
‘…Siobhan felt his body shudder against her’ - again, just a full stop missing at the end.
The end, I love it: ‘…leaving her completely breathless.’ - I know I babbled about it in a Blood Debt review once, but once again it’s your ability to incorporate such golden, glowing details. He did promise to take her breath away, didn’t he? *is a very pleased fan*
To finish this review - it could of course be because I have a tiny idea of how things will eventually turn out, but somehow I don’t see this chapter as the climax of what you’ve built up so far, no, to me this is simply The Beginning. I’m terribly curious about what will come next, and my whole mind is just begging to see glances between the two, how they will act around keeping this secret. Oh, and I long for the other serious aspects, especially when Siobhan discovers something about her lover… *borrows Siobhan’s wand and blasts old Writer’s Block into a million pieces*
I'm glad you thought the timing was done well. I always feel I have an issue with that. And you totally got the implication with Mrs Zabini's description. WOOT.
And everything else... just. wow. You're analysis makes me grin and giggle and glow with pride. You're the kind of reader a writer writes for -- because you catch all the little details. *sighs happily*. Thanks!
*mutters at half-written review left on the computer in Hudiksvall* Ah well, it won’t be the first time I’ve re-written a Sins review, and most certainly not the last. =)
She found that he did his job well and that, while either in his arms or simply his company, she found a certain peace with the world and with herself.
That ‘certain peace’ gives me such mixed feelings. I am happy for Siobhan that Lucius can give her comfort… but also afraid that it is all she will ever get, this frail peace. I know my words don’t really make sense, because if I would have wanted to see her in a normal, functional relationship I wouldn’t have liked the idea of Tiramisu to begin with. All I want is to see Siobhan Murphy and Lucius Malfoy being truly peaceful and comfortable and secure with each other – is that too much to ask, oh Great Creator? >.>
And, ahem? Exactly where has Harry gone to, and what is he doing? I mean, just as Siobhan I assume it’s got something to do with the war, but I want details! Which, by the way, makes me very curious about how much we will find out about the fall of Voldemort (oh, come on, don’t give me that look – I refuse to believe that you will let Voldemort live). With Harry being Siobhan’s friend, you really have the option of letting her know very little or a lot… interesting.
A small smile passed her lips as she passed through the hidden corridor as she admitted to herself the honesty of her longing for him.
Mmm. Little moments such as this one… Siobhan thinking about Lucius, or Lucius thinking about Siobhan; there’s some real magic there, and you make your readers feel the desire and devotion between them.
And then, *fangirl alert!*, the scene with Snape is just so bloody brilliant and squee-worthy. I feel rather bad about it, because I find that I like how Lucius acts towards Snape. Oh, he’s being so supremely arrogant and superior, and it suits him so well. Which leads me to –
…pleased not only with being termed a ‘fine woman’, but at the ease Lucius showed at dealing with those inferior her to him.
- interesting! I’m not sure what I had expected of Siobhan… I wouldn’t have thought she’d be upset with Lucius for treating Snape like this, simply because he’s Snape, but I also was a bit surprised to see her pleased with it. But don’t get me wrong, it fits perfectly. If this side of Lucius appeals to me (oh, my poor, corrupted mind), I can only imagine how Siobhan must like it.
“It is fortunate that you are quick-thinking enough for the both of us.”
*sniggers* Oh, the old smooth talker. I love it.
“Or is your grasp of manners disadvantaged by the blood of your filthy father?”
Gah. That line is so well-placed that it took me like 5-6 reads of the chapter to react properly on it. At this point your readers are so distracted by Snape’s intrusion and upset because he’s disturbing Siobhan and Lucius (well, at least I am), so why should we care about such a remark? But it is there. Your Lucius is truly Lucius, with his disgusting ideals. I don’t get it, how you can make me smirk at his superior behaviour in one sentence, and then scowl at his views on purity of blood in the next.
“I could not have expected something quite so scandalous.”
*pauses to snigger* Oh, really?
“How would you have me to that?” he asked with a smirk.
“Make love to me,” she offered readily.
“Yes, that sounds like a fine idea,” Lucius murmured. “Come, let us go upstairs, so I can properly put your mind to ease.”
Sorry for the long quote, but - *dies a sweet death of Tiramisu*. And as if that wasn’t enough –
…and her mind found tranquillity as his mouth and fingers found all their favourite places.
Gah. I can’t believe that although I’m regularly spoiled by, well, you know, smut, lines like the one quoted above can still affect me more.
Now then, I wonder what will happen in chapter 17? >.> Excellent work, my Personal Genius.
At last, at the edge of these shores, our Fellowship has settled down to review. >.>
Ahem. Yes. Let me share with you some of the thoughts I’ve had during my multiple readings of this stunning chapters.
First, I’d like to talk about your subtle yet amazing ability to build relationships between characters. And I’m not just talking about romantic connections; this thought actually struck me when I read the snippet of conversation between Siobhan and Harry, and it became clearer during the scene with Siobhan and Hermione. See, since you’ve been so kind to share many details of this story with me, I’ve always had a fairly comprehensive idea of what will happen, and thus I haven’t ever had a reason to question any of the dynamics you’ve woven between characters – not that I would have anyway, which is my point. If I hadn’t known anything about this story, and someone had described Siobhan to me – well enough to give me the same understanding of her that you’ve provided me with – and then told me that she would be involved with Lucius, and also befriend Hermione and Harry, I would have been intrigued for sure, but also sceptical. Now, fanfiction is full of imperfection, and writers often cheat – letting characters bump into each other under the most random circumstances, and then just focus on the emotions that follow. I tend to be forgiving of this – I think most readers are – because we like what we see after the relationship is set up. Well, when I read your writing, there’s nothing to forgive; there’s nothing random about the bonds you forge between fictional people. Yes, Siobhan and Hermione’s friendship took a long time to happen, and it was at a great cost too, but that’s what makes it so extraordinary and true.. I don’t know if I can put it any more comprehensively than that; there are no short-cuts in your stories, and I feel very safe as a reader, being able to trust your abilities fully.
Alright, what’s next may sound similar to what I just droned on about, but it’s slightly different, I promise. Often when I read your chapters I find myself at a loss on what to comment on, concerning your style. I’d like to say that your narration is very complex, but it’s more than that. It is… somehow well-balanced. When you and I discuss things, I can see a very clear, straightforward and confident side of your personality, and I think that plays a significant part in your writing. Again I’m very comfortable when reading, because there’s always the feeling that you have things under control.
Let’s get chapter specific, shall we? Siobhan’s observation of Hermione on the train completely broke my heart, much more than the sight of a sobbing Hermione would have. We discussed that, didn’t we, about possible concerns people might have about Hermione carrying out a “normal” conversation so soon after Ron’s death? *rolls eyes* I can’t stop admiring the Hermione you’ve written here, because she’s perfect, just what she ought to be at a time like this. She’s calm, she’s herself, but through the whole scene I can just sense, through your writing, how she’s grieving. It’s difficult to tell exactly how you do that, but you do; it works, heartbreakingly beautiful.
I don’t really know how much more we’ll see of Hermione in Sins or Acts, but I’m greatly anticipating every little bit of the Hermione and Siobhan friendship that you will share with us. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to accept the events that led to what they have at this point, but nonetheless I so enjoy reading them together; they’re so open with each other.
Which, entirely randomly I assure you, leads me to my next note which deals with a certain Liam. Even though I was already well aware of the deep affection between them, it becomes very clear in this chapter how much he really means to Siobhan. I find myself aching for the moment when they’ll meet again, and not only to see him, but to see them, together. And, as I mused about Liam and his time at Gaillimh, I randomly realised how similarly passionate these half-siblings are about… well, you know. Is it a hereditary trait, I wonder, or just a coincidence? Maybe it’s the Irish blood? ;)
Ah, yes. Just a quick line to say that I have complete envy of Siobhan’s room, and that your description of it is delicious.
Only one last note in my Word document now, which is simply made up of two words and excessive use of exclamation marks: “THE ENDING!!!!!” I think this is the fourth time I’ve read this chapter, and AH! It still knocks me down, breathless and with my hands covering my face. I wouldn’t call it a cliff-hanger, not really – it’s much more wonderful and cruel than what I comprehend in the idea of that word.
And, alas, here comes the end of this review, and all I have left to tell you is that the chapter was wonderful, you’re amazingly talented, and I’m one unworthy reader.
*decides to leave BD reviewing for another day and turns to Sins instead*
The first scene is very interesting – Siobhan is rather skilled at convincing herself of things she wants to believe to be true, isn’t she? I see why she is doing this, naturally, it would not suit her at all to be seen as some Pansy Parkinson, but –
and she certainly wasn’t going to let Lucius believe she was going to spend her days away from him nursing some wound caused by lost love; the thought made her shudder.
- she would be nursing some wound, I’m sure. Perhaps not consciously, but still. It makes me wonder on which level her awareness is, concerning her real feelings for Lucius. How much does she feel at this point? How much does she confess to herself? And the feelings she doesn’t admit to, does she really believe that they don’t exist, or is she only pretending?
My love. My Tiramisu soul rejoices every time I read that well-chosen pet name, and it seems that you’ve got the ability to put it into the most suitable contexts.
And as for rejoicing in the Tiramisu soul, you have written such a beautiful waking up scene in this chapter. There was such closeness and tenderness, and yet the Lucius/Siobhan dynamics that I never tire of reading. I love how you included his hand running along her side; such an intimate gesture, even more adorable because it was just the touch, not something that had to lead up to sex. And, am I presuming to much if I think that old Lucius spending the whole night with his Siobhan means that he is getting more comfortable in her company?
The Sins Narcissa continues to amuse me. It’s a good thing that we’re seeing her from Siobhan’s perspective, or else I might ask you for a little more sensibility from Narcissa’s part… now and then. ;) I agree that she committed a horrible crime by marrying Lucius, but you’re going to work your way around that in Sins, aren’t you?
Oh, the business-like Lucius makes me want to ask you to write all of Sins from his point of view. Surely, he wouldn’t have had such an air about him if he wasn’t hiding something? He must have thought it was necessary to act “professional”, so not to reveal his true feelings for her. Right? (*wonders if Jenna has noticed yet that she’s putting a lot of questions into the review, so that she will have something to respond to*) The conversation on the subject of “using” was completely hot, by the way.
“Hogsmeade will be safe. I will do everything in my power to assure you of that.” - Siobhan must be in love, or at least falling. Otherwise, I would have expected her to be too clever to not be suspicious of such a statement.
The good-bye scene is quite spectacular, dear. Very interesting use of the word falling there, and please tell Siobhan that if she doesn’t realise what that sensation is about, I’ll come over and spell it out to her. And I realise when reading this part that your Lucius has pretty much become a canon image of him for me. This is quite natural, of course, as nothing you write of him seems grasped out of thin air, but always carefully built upon the limited canon knowledge we have of the man. All of his appearances in Sins are expertly written; there is always a certain essence of Lucius Malfoy-ness to them.
You and Jan have both done a wonderful job here, because there was no nitpickiness for me to do. So now I’m only really eager to see Chapter Fourteen, even if I’m not expecting to be spoiled with a S/L meeting just yet I’m still looking forward to reading Siobhan, Draco and Harry back at school. =)
Author's Response: *SQUEE*. And, btw, you\'ve made Siobhan\'s day by choosing Sins ;)
\"How much does she feel at this point? How much does she confess to herself?\" -- This is actually another instance of Siobhan and Lucius taking me somewhere I hadn\'t planned. Siobhan wasn\'t really supposed to feel anything more than lust for Lucius until he -- er, gave her reason to, *coughspoilercough* -- but it\'s feeling more natural to plant those seeds of connection there. What she feels is still just physical and the emotions connected with sensuality, but she\'s getting more attached to him then she expected, or would have liked. And she won\'t admit it of course, because in Siobhan\'s mind, love is a weakness that just causes more pain than happiness.
\"And, am I presuming to much if I think that old Lucius spending the whole night with his Siobhan means that he is getting more comfortable in her company?\" -- *cough* If my comfortable you mean warm, content and complete, then perhaps, yes. I don\'t know, maybe it\'s comparable to staying up all night just to chat with someone who is further away than you\'d like them to be. Grasping for any closenss you can manage. :)
As to Narcissa, she will become more well-rounded later. In Siobhan\'s PoV though, she\'s still that rotten wench that Lucius is married to. Like Draco, with time and circumstance, we do see more of who she is without complete bias.
*snickers about Lucius\' professionalism*. Yes, yes, yes, you couldn\'t be more spot on. It\'s an arrangement, nothing more. It\'s the best way to get what he wants without revealing why he wants it, or how badly.
As to everything else, *giant hugs*. And maybe some subtle questions that I shall subtly evade. Danke, meine Liebe.
Why am I coughing? Because the first paragraph of this chapter totally reminds me of the very beginning of my relationship with Teddy. The sneaking out, especially after nightfall, the excitement, the lingering thrill when creeping back into your own bed in the small hours of the morning… Yep. You’ve got it all there, Miss Brilliant Creator.
“I didn’t think your observations were so keen.”
None of us did, Siobhan. One might almost think he’s got a crush on you or something…
“Look — I’m well able to look after myself,” she insisted. “I know you’ve got that hero complex bit going on, and that’s lovely, it really is — but I don’t need saving.”
Sure you do. But Harry’s just not the man for the job, is he?
“I don’t want to risk getting detention this weekend,” she admitted honestly, inwardly making a wish “Just in case.”
Potter was too curious for his own good, and, perhaps, it was time to come up with a way to divert his attentions elsewhere.
Oh? I wonder what kind of diversion you had on your mind there, Miss Murphy?
Perhaps I should address your author for a while? Jenna, it’s quite wonderful how Siobhan and Lucius have come to enjoy the weekends, and Friday evenings in particular. Because Fridays are just nice like that, you know. I’m grateful for all the Tiramisu banter you put into this chapter, because really, I could read nothing but that for the rest of my life and never get tired of it. And there’s something new every time, like:
“Sorry. I’ll try not to unjustly attack your overwhelming masculinity again.”
Ahem. Why would you put this sentence in a place where it felt completely inappropriate for me to giggle at it? ;) Seriously though, it’s amazing how you can have a character say this to Lucius Malfoy. Siobhan is not “like made for the Harry Potter world”, no, it’s like she has always been a part of it, like the very purpose of Lucius Malfoy was to be her lover.
Lucius escorted her to the door, and they kissed once more on the doorstep before saying their last goodbye.
Mmm… You know what? I think I like these casual Tiramisu kisses even better than the foreplayish ones. You don’t really have to write it; every reader who knows Siobhan and Lucius will feel the closeness, the affection and the belonging in such kisses. Had I not had someone to be close with whenever I want to, I know that S/L kisses would have been the thing to make me most jealous when reading Sins.
Oh, it makes perfect sense for Harry to be following Siobhan under the invisibility cloak! It’s such a very Harry thing to do, out of curiosity, concern, rashness and love. And all of the following Harry/Siobhan dialogue, it’s wonderful, and although I had not missed it before I felt when reading it that it was needed.
“And that, to you, is a lie?”
“That, to me, is a betrayal.”
*small shudder* You win at dialogue, dear.
“There is nothing within that man I could ever love.”
*turns to Siobhan* Yeah right. Sure. And my name is Mrs Connolly.
I do not plan on being swept off my feet by a white knight for a happily ever after.
*turns back to Jenna* But she will be, won’t she? Pretty please? Especially the ‘white knight’ part. 0=) Anyway. Wonderful chapter, min älskling. Much love.
I don’t know if any chapter of Sins has ever left me with such mixed feelings. If that’s the right way to put it; it’s not really conflicting feelings, as two opposed events – one good and one bad – might have given me, but rather different feelings sprung from the same thing.
I had expected to be relieved when Lucius and Siobhan were finally rejoined, and I am. But it’s not a complete reunion, I’m still hoping for a conversation where they might… I don’t know, not express their love with exact words, obviously, but maybe share a smile and some optimism for the future, somehow. And also… I think I’ve mentioned this in an IM conversation, Lucius and Siobhan’s relationship makes me sad, because I have an idea of the struggles still ahead of them, and even without them things wouldn’t be easy; you haven’t even written it yet, still my heart aches for them and the fact that life can’t give them a break and just let them… be all that they could be. Though, at the same time, I guess it wouldn’t really be Lucius and Siobhan if all was rosy, would it?
Their dialogue is stunning as ever in this chapter; I can just hear their voices, with every intonation. It would be difficult to watch Sins as a movie and accept the actors’ interpretation of their words, because it’s all so clear in my mind. And the dialogue itself, ah, it’s exactly that… I don’t want to say ‘battle’, but maybe ‘dance’ of words that I will always connect with this pairing. It’s beautifully layered with so many meanings, and you use your narration perfectly to show us that.
The chessboard analogy made me a little sad, both because it made me think of Ron, and because of what I mentioned above – I wish their life wouldn’t have to be that kind of game, that they could just act without considering the circumstances and future moves.
I’m a little curious of what Lucius had in mind when he showed up in Siobhan’s room. The way things proceeded, one might have guess that he had intended to seduce her. Yet, part of me thinks that his intentions were to talk (not that he would say no to anything else), but that once he was there, he simply couldn’t resist her, just like she couldn’t resist him. I feel a little foolish quoting this to you, since I’m fairly sure that it was graciously excerpted to me, but I will still do so:
He was like a man who had just reacquired a long-lost, most cherished possession, relishing in its perfection and carefully searching for damages it may have suffered in the time it had evaded his yearning.
That is just… Jenna, I don’t really have words to describe how I feel about that; I’m just awed. The same goes for the whole lovemaking scene (by the way, my congratulations on such excellent MNFFable smut). I wish I had something eloquent and suitably appreciative to say about it, but I simply can’t think how to put my thoughts into words.
When Aisee appeared, and I recalled how you told me more about Shannon’s abusiveness, I suddenly thought of how Liam must disapprove of that. And then, I thought of what Hermione might have to say if she knew. I wonder what would occur if she ever came over and witnessed something like that… not that I think that Shannon might be terribly obvious about it, but Hermione pays attention. Ah yes, sidetrack, sorry.
JENNA! *DIES* Riding?! That’s just… just… You’re so NAUGHTY! *shakes head*
Speaking of which, I can’t help but quote this:
“Liam is strong-willed. Badgering him will do nothing to change his mind.”
- don’t I know it. *badger pout*
Ah, Greer! There’s something about his character that really piques my interest – my personal interest, not just my interest as a reader. He’s just… so civilised and polite, just kind and decent, through and through. Little as I know about him, I feel terribly sorry for him; he must have suffered a great deal in his life, and yet he’s so… likeable. And I don’t know if it’s just something I’ve made up in my mind, but the line I quoted above seems to agree, that he’s very patient with Liam as well, although a lesser man might have been very unforgiving about a child of such parentage. Yes, I wouldn’t mind seeing you write some fanfic from Greer’s point of view – I think it could be extremely interesting. And also… I’m feeling very fond of him. Darn you and your captivating male characters.
I like that Lucius is so straightforward when Siobhan returns to her room, and the mood of the following conversation. There’s so much in there, such powerful words and phrasings, and I can only repeat myself: no one writes dialogue like you, and Lucius/Siobhan dialogue is, to me, the best conversations you write. Serious as the subjects were, reading is still a treat.
And part of her knew that this time she was taking for her decision was merely part of her own plan. If she took the time to deliberate, nobody could say she rushed back into his arms, his bed, without thinking it through. It was all a validation of the choice she knew she’d already made.
And so you show us that Siobhan is quite an accomplished player, and a ‘most worthy competitor’. How could Lucius and her possibly not be intended for one another? *sigh*
Oh, I’m a bad Number One Fan, taking so long to review. Still, I do believe that I’ve made it pretty clear, how much I liked the two latest chapters? :) Now, this will be a non-SPEWly muddle of quotes, so beware…
…and had drifted into a wonderful deep sleep filled with dreams of Lucius that gave her a strong need for a cold shower upon waking up.
- he-hee. I know exactly why I like this line, it’s because that need for a cold shower appears so frequently in fanfiction – but it’s always men who crave them! As if women couldn’t harbour the very same feelings! *shakes head* You know, we talk about the scandalous thing happening here, we joke about how naughty Siobhan is, but I don’t think we mention often enough how honest her feelings are. Yes, fine, she is scheming here, but not just for the sake of doing so, no, she does really want Lucius.
Siobhan selected a few random books off the shelf, barely considering that she might be intruding, and settled herself down on one of the seats.
- Mmm, I love this self-confidence of Siobhan’s. Somehow, it is one of the things that actually make her a Slytherin to me. Not bothering, or rather being so relaxed in someone else’s home, is in a way like her habit of being late for class… She is, on a level, so comfortable in her own person. Why should it matter if she’s a few minutes late, or if she walks around in her pyjamas at Malfoy manor?
The Siobhan/Lucius interaction and dialogue are… delicious. When he approaches her in the seat, towering over her and speaking in challenging words, followed by her giving the strong response, standing up from her lower position and taking - not being given – the glass, mmm, it’s pure delight.
He knows. - *dies* Yes, I know I displayed the very same reaction the first time I read this chapter, but here I am, *dying* again. So powerful, so… well, it’s like the whole story speeds up, from here we are accelerating towards a point I can’t see, but it feels like it’s going to be very difficult to brake in time.
“You have the potential, Mr Malfoy,” she said without the slightest tremor in her voice, as she turned to face him. “But it will take much more than mind-games to do so.”
- That strength! Oh, she will certainly hate it for me, but Siobhan – I adore you! *faces the author again* Nothing half-measure here, but I had of course not expected you to rush things. We’re playing a complicated game, and your character is very aware of making the right moves. I wonder how long she will be able to control her ways on the board?
“Only as much as I detested being left here with your father,” she replied, and the answer seemed to gratify him. - *snickers* Clever, amusing Siobhan. No further comment.
She had felt his energy and it had taken hold of her. Running her fingers through her red curls she felt him there in that moment, his own hands in her hair.
- As if I didn’t admire you enough already, I have to mention something about this. You’ve always had an ability to communicate Siobhan’s emotions to me, and this is no exception. Surprised, but still, I feel her longing in myself, and it takes quite a violent shake of my head to re-focus. :)
Sneaky bastard, Siobhan thought with a smirk. - Sneaky bastard, yes, but sexy bastard – oh yes.
Poor Jenna. I will leave you a more intelligent review for Chapter 7, whenever intelligence returns to me. *looks above* Did I say it was brilliant? If not, I’m still convinced you know I think so.
Summary: Three years after Voldemort’s first fall, Tonks and Ninette, a metamorphmagus and a dancer, each struggle to find their own identities apart from the deceptions of mirrors. Meanwhile, in the caves underneath Hogwarts, someone may be searching for things better left lost.
I glanced at this chapter the day after your birthday, when it was first validated, but it wasn’t until today that I finally sat down and read it. And it’s wonderful, but that really goes without saying.
I don’t know who I adore more – Charlie or Tonks. Well, that said, I am especially fond of Charlie, and have always been. I’m also so impressed by how you write him, because I always thought that you specialised in more “serious” characters, such as Ninette, Percy and Neville, and also on the more serious sides of characters like Tonks. But in this story, Charlie is so… happy, full of light and laughter, and you manage to write him just perfect as well. Bravo!
Hee. I love the purple slime scene. But I wanted to point this out:
Should I keep the slime in the hair as well?
I think that you really mean, ‘in my hair’?
Professor Snith is absolutely brilliant! I don’t know what else to say; she’s just a fantastic character. Her behaviour, her dialogue, how the students see her – I’m just amazed that you’ve managed to create someone like her in just a few paragraphs. The only negative thing I must mention is that I find it a little unlikely that there would have been a different Herbology professor when these students went to Hogwarts, than when Harry & Co go there. I know there are a fair few years between Charlie, Tonks and Ninette’s first hear and Harry’s first year, but Sprout is not just Herbology professor but also Hufflepuff Head of House, and I’m guessing that she would have been at Hogwarts for quite some time before she was made HoH. Anyway, that was just a note. I wouldn’t want you to trade Snith for Sprout for anything, because she’s just excellent.
And Ninette! Nan, you make me ache for her. With this:
She wondered what it would be like to be able to cover someone with purple slime and then to laugh about it.
She knew even less about having friends than she did about making them.
It just breaks my heart. In my head, what Ninette’s grandmother has put her through is far worse than what the Dursleys ever did to Harry. At least Harry was able to start enjoying his life once he arrived at Hogwarts – he was only trapped within Dursley’s house and by their power, but poor Ninette is trapped within herself. I can’t even begin to explain how sorry I feel for her. And, of course, when you have made me ache from those lines, you give me this:
The warmth of the touch seemed to spread through Ninette’s body — she could not remember the last time someone had touched her on purpose, apart from dancing. It gave her a sudden surge of strength, and she looked into Professor Snith’s dark eyes and asked, “Please, will you tell me about my father?”
And, I swear to Helga, I started crying. I can’t even really say why, but I think it’s got something to do with how Ninette reacts to normal kindness and care. I think my tears were both sad, because Ninette is so starved of human contact and affection, and happy, because of what just a moment of such contact awakens in her. It’s like a promise of the closeness I’m desperately hoping Ninette will know someday.
Wonderful, Nan. I must now rush to read the next chapter. =)
*giggles* Wizard fiction, Nan? Have you got any idea how much I envy that marvellous story-telling ability of yours? And then I don’t mean the story Tonks was reading, of course, but all the lovely details you come up with and include. They really set this story apart from others; it gives it such life.
You probably found my last review sadly lacking in constructive criticism, and I’m afraid this one won’t be any better. But that’s not my fault, really; I’m blaming it on you and your devoted beta reader. So there. ;)
I think it’s wonderful that Tonks is so determined to find out what’s going on with Mavis Rosier. I can see an Auror in her already – and how fitting that she’s reading a mystery novel! Oh yes, that reminds me! I was going to suggest that Tonks’ clumsiness interferes with her spying on someone at some point. It was just something that I came to think of while catching a glimpse of the future Auror Tonks, as she nearly failed the Stealth and Tracking part of her Auror examination.
It bothered her that they had planned to go without asking her ahead of time, and she considered turning them down to prove that she did not need to do everything they did — she was tired of being the tag-a-long. On the other hand, if she refused they would just go without her.
I quoted that part because I want to talk about how well you nurture the feminine sides of Tonks. Not that she was ever described as masculine, but I think that a lot of people see her as bit of a tomboy. But you show us so many aspects of her feelings (like, perhaps not crushing on, but clearly being a bit enthralled by Bill), and the part I quoted is just. So. Girly. Or perhaps it’s in the contrast between how the boys think and how she thinks. Kevin and Charlie probably never even considered that Tonks would be offended by not being asked to go sooner; at least it’s my belief that many boys don’t think that way. Whereas Tonks reacts exactly like I would have myself. Fortunately, Tonks decides to go with them anyway, which, in my eyes, makes her a strong person. She would rather go along and get a chance to have some fun, than stay and mope because it wasn’t on her conditions. And, *cough*, the conclusion of all this babbling is that I think you write Tonks perfectly, Nan dear.
“Who put you in charge?” asked Charlie. Tonks blinked at the unusual tone of his voice.
This is very interesting, since I mentioned the almost-constantly-happy Charlie in my last review. So perhaps he has a jolly disposition and is generally optimistic about things, but no believable character is happy all the time. You so efficiently remind us that although there are more Weasley children, Charlie is still a little brother. I thought I could hear an echo of Ron here, and you made me realise that having Bill for a big brother must put some pressure on Charlie too, if not as much as having five older brothers puts on Ron. Lovely.
“Myself,” answered Bill lightly. “But I assure you, I am a benevolent dictator.”
Hee. Nothing interesting to say here, really. I just love how you write Bill, and I felt that it was very important to tell you this. *wink*
I should probably mention something about the plot too; you know, with the mysterious ring and all. But… even though Tonks continues with her investigations, it’s all very subtle. (Or else I’m just not very good at picking up plot “clues”, but let’s not talk about that. >.> ) You’re weaving your story so very carefully, and it develops smoothly and flawlessly.
And then, to round off, there is of course the Tonks and Ninette scene. Oh, Nan, when will Tonks and Ninette discover the truth about each other? (That is of course not a question I expect you to answer, but just me worrying for your characters. Bad habit of mine, I know.) I want them to be friends so badly. To tell you the truth, I care much more about their prospective friendship than about what happens with the ring or about Ninette’s mysterious past.
Mesmerising, Nan. Mesmerising.