I'm 19 years old and just graduated school, which leaves me with four months of summer holidays until I will hopefully start university in October.
I plan to spend most of that time writing or around the beta boards. I really want to finish Wedding Complications this summer, but other than that I won't make any promises as to what I write. All my plot bunnies pop up randomly and I never know what I might work on next. *giggles*
I'm a member of SPEW and the SBBC over on the beta boards and always looking for new stories to readand review. So if you want me to review one of your stories drop me a PM or write an email and I'll try to review your story within the week.^^
Anna! *hugs* I still owe you a review from when we were SPEW buddies back in November. I know that was ages ago, but better late than never, right? I read this story for the first time on LJ sometime this summer but never got around to reviewing it. I loved “Oh, Johnny” in Narnia and was really disappointed that it wasn’t on the soundtrack, but after reading your story I just had to listen to it again. So I googled it and found a website where you could listen to it but not download it. I listened to the song for two days straight, all because of your wonderful story. Sadly I didn’t save the link anywhere and can’t find it anymore.
I absolutely love this story. It’s marvellous, my dear. I love historical fictions, but most of the fan fictions I’ve read or skimmed in this category didn’t really make the time they were set in come to life for me. This story though made the 1920s seem so vivid and every little detail seemed to fit. I don’t know too much about this particular period, but the atmosphere of your story seemed fitting.
Your characters, too, are completely adorable. Mrs Weasley is hilarious in her shocked and later scandalised state. Charles was fun, too. I love how you also included one of Trelawney’s ancestors and let her make a prophecy about John that would come true only in a later generation of Weasleys and thus connected Arthur more strongly to John, very nice. I also found it amusing that the Weasleys are a family of Muggle-haters and John would be the first Weasley to be interested in Muggles, and one Muggle singer in particular. I can just see his branch of the family being more and more interested in Muggles, until finally Arthur comes along who is nearly obsessed with anything Muggle.
Now John and Elsie, they are perfect in every sense of the word. I love how John is so sure of himself and confident with Ben and his family, but then doesn’t know what to say or do when faced with Elsie. I love her boldness, too. It’s such a sharp contrast to Mrs Weasley that it makes sense that John would be drawn to her just because she is so different from his mother and from what his mother would deem a respectable woman. Once or twice you spelled her first name ‘Elise’ and not Elsie. Once when she introduces herself on stage, and a second time a bit later, but I can’t remember exactly where.
As I said, what a marvellous story, Anna love. You are truly gifted and I have to give your compliment right back, the way you write in English even though it’s not your first language is nothing short of spectacular! *loves*
I wasn’t sure which chapter I was meant to review, or if I had to review both, because as a NEWT level student I have to read both, so I decided to review chapter 2, because it’s the last one I read.
So basically I’m here to say that I did indeed read the whole lesson and enjoyed it immensely. Ancient Egypt has always had a special part in my heart, it’s my ultimate love in history, so I knew quite a bit before I started reading the lesson. I myself own various non-fiction books on Ancient Egypt and borrowed a variety of others from several libraries, but there were little bits and pieces of information I didn’t know before. For example, the fact that there were two gods called Horus, the actual Horus and his grandson, who were fused together later on, was completely new to me. I also didn’t know that Osirius was associated with the sun in later decades/centuries of the Ancient Egyptian civilisation, I only knew him as the god of the underworld.
As for the list of gods in chapter 2, there were a few I knew about, others whose names I had heard and some whom I had never heard of before. I always get confused because there are just so many different gods in Ancient Egyptian mythology, so it’s nice to have a list that includes at least the most important gods and goddesses and names of some other related gods and goddesses.
I hope this review is kind of what you had in mind, Slian, and that it proves I read the lesson.
Author's Response: *marks your attendance*
Hanna, you wrote a brilliant story here. Romilda was one of those characters that I just love to hate at first, vain and utterly spoiled, but by the end of the story I felt bad for thinking that about her. It’s true, of course, but after what happened to her I really can’t hate her anymore. The reaction of her grandfather, his guilt and the fact that he suddenly thinks she is precious when before he didn’t like her at all reflects exactly what I felt in this moment, so I could relate to him very well.
Mary was a lot like Romilda in that I thought she was incredibly vain, but still felt sorry for her when she found out that Daniel would be marrying her best friend. Both Mary’s and Romilda’s stories were very sad and for all their differences alike in a way. Romilda might not have harmed herself like Mary did, but her behaviour towards her family (and I’m guessing towards everyone else) was just insufferable and sooner or later something would have happened to her because of it, if she didn’t change.
Archibald looked down at his granddaughter. What had he done to her? Why did he have to tell that story? He always knew what would happen, her having Daniel’s blood. It had happened. Does this mean this happened before? Who was attacked and why didn’t Romilda’s mother know about it? I don’t think she would have let her father tell this particular story if she had known her daughter could get attacked. Or is it just that he suspected she would be attacked, but there has been no actual attack on a member of the family before?
Even though she was only ten, already knew her mother was old-fashioned. I would repeat the pronoun ‘she’ after the comma, because there needs to be a subject in the main clause, I think.
“Well,” he exhaled, “that was the best I could some up with.” I believe you meant to write ‘come’ here.
I liked this story a lot, and even though it’s summer and birds are singing outside my window and it’s a lovely day, your story made me shudder and I felt the cold creeping down my spine. You probably won’t believe it but I actually jumped when a dog started barking outside just now…
Author's Response: Thanks so much for your lovely review, Ilka! :]
I have a thick book full of Greek Myths standing on my book shelf and although I've read most of them, I wouldn't be able to retell a lot of them, simply because I always mix up the different gods, goddesses and heros. I know the most important ones and their stories, but all the lesser gods confuse me every time.
I like that you listed just the most important gods and goddesses because otherwise this could become really confusing very quickly.
I do have one question though: Am I right in thinking that Zeus didn't only cheat on Hera (for lack of better terms) with other goddesses but with mortals, too? Perhaps that might be an interesting thing to add when you metion those women (Leto, Artemis and Apollo's mother; Maia, Hermes's mother and Dione, Aphrodite's mother) I would be really interested in knowing if they were goddesses or mortals, but I suppose I can just look it up myself.
I like this look at Ancient Egyptian wizards very much. I love how you took the Egyptian Lullaby and constructed a whole story around it. The atmosphere was tightly woven and I felt the Ancient Egyptian setting come to life, not because you described the places Panya goes a lot, but because of little details like the sand covered streets.
I also loved the little connections with the HP-verse you wove into your story, the dagger being some kind of wand, the cloak being an early, primitive invisibility cloak and Panya being a Parselmouth. Very very nice.
A few nit-picks:
“Tension in the air, he hissed. “Tonight we hunt?” you forgot to put quotation marks at the end of the first part of Asim’s speech here.
She would have to be careful, for many sons of the Pharaoh lived here, and had she had no wish to cause trouble for any of the faithful. The word I bolded shouldn’t be in this sentence at all, you only need to put had once here and the one after ‘she’ is placed correctly, the other isn’t.
His accusations rung in her ears, but she just fulfilled the will gods. This would have to be either ‘the will of the gods’ or ‘the gods’ will’, the way you have it now is confusing and hinders the flow of the sentence.
The Temples have split into two alliances: one with the Pharaoh, the other with his some of his sons. Again, the word I bolded is superfluous and should be deleted.
Another thing I noticed is that you took your story’s conflict straight from the class’s discussion, where we tried to come up with a theory on relations between wizards and Muggles in Ancient Egypt. I like how you took what some of us said, that they lived side by side, interwove that with some other’s opinion of wizards still being special and not everybody being a wizard and then had your story end with Panya, Asim and Rashidi leaving the Muggle world behind and living on their own apart from the Muggles. Lovely story, my dear!
Author's Response: Thanks for reviewing! I don\'t if it\'s clear, but I wrote the Egyptian Lullaby to summarize what a Daughter of Buto is so I didn\'t have to spend have my story explaining it. I had alot of fun with it. I\'m gald the connections came through. Egyptian society wouldn\'t be the same, but I still wanted the reader to see the connections to the HP world. I got the idea for tunic from \"Fanastic Beasts...\" I was flipping through the book and searching for any beast that said Africa (the wand core was from that book too). Got to hand to the whole class for such a great discussion that gave me plently of ideas to choose from. Finally, thanks for nit-picking. I will go make the changes now. Thanks again.
Wow, just wow! I knew you wrote and excellent Bellatrix from when I was your guide during the Gauntlet, but this was simply amazing! Poor Bellatrix, I’ve never felt more sorry for her. To be haunted by the ghost of her husband when she thought she’d finally be free of him would make anyone nervous. Narcissa coming in right at that moment was sheer bad luck.
Since escaping Azkaban, she had hardly spent a single night that she wasn’t hiding from him. But that was over. He was gone. You sure had me fooled with this line, I thought she was talking about Voldemort and wondered why she would hide from him, but I never imagined she could have referred to Rodolphus. In every story I’ve read about them so far, Bellatrix was always the dominant partner, with Rodolphus either fearing her or at least being wary of her; but to see the roles reversed was very unique.
“I AM NOT WEAK!” Bella bellowed at the top of her lungs. I love how she doesn’t react to him calling her a whore at all and just takes offence to being called weak. It shows a lot about her character, how she perceives herself and what kind of a person she wants to be. Strength seems to be more important to her than image, and I think this is also reflected in the Bellatrix we see in canon. She never does seem to be bothered by what others say about her.
From what little we saw of the interaction of Bellatrix and Narcissa in HBP, we could gather that they are close and look out for each other. I had the feeling that it was more Bellatrix trying to protect Narcissa and you showed that very well by saying that Bella only went to her sister after Rodolphus was dead and she wouldn’t put her in danger, that sounds like something the Bellatrix we see in JKR’s books would do.
“Lumos, she cried frantically. You are missing quotation marks after ‘Lumos’ here.
She would never have do endure another torture curse at the end of his wand. I believe you meant to write ‘to endure’ here. The combination ‘torture curse’ sounds strange to me, maybe ‘another torture session’ would sound less strange.
Elle, I really liked your story. Once again you’ve written an excellent Bellatrix and a deeply chilling story.
Author's Response: Wow, thanks so much for the lovely review. *huggles*
Hehe, you were supposed to think it was Voldy at first. I thought it would have more shock appeal that way. :D
And yes, I agree that Bella doesn\'t much care what others think of her, but she would not appreciate being called weak. If nothing else, she sees herself as strong.
I\'ve always thought of Bella and Narcissa as close. Book Six really sealed the deal. However, I think all three sisters were close at one time.
Thanks for pointing out the errors. I have fixed them.
And thanks again for the great review.
Suzie, I just read this whole story out loud. I never do that, but the words of this one begged to be spoken out loud. It’s the perfect piece of writing for reading out loud. Your language is truly beautiful and just flowed so well. It sounds very poetic at times.
If it weren’t for the spells every now and then, I believe I would have forgotten that Fabian and Gideon are in the middle of a fight. The point of view, too, made me forget who you were talking about at times, because the thoughts could belong to anyone fighting on the light side, in my opinion, and that made it even more powerful.
Fear. Some know it — some meet it everyday. Some sense it, lingering in the air like a crowd of swirling, sinking dust motes, and each time a particle grazes the ground , an impatient wind sweeps them up again, afraid that they might fall, perhaps, and never wake; afraid that there is nothing after stillness, except stillness and nothingness themselves. Afraid of what may never happen (the unknown) - death, so they run. Silence and motion — ever a circle.
This opening paragraph was simply gorgeous. This lingering fear is a hard thing to describe, but the image of the dust motes fit the feeling perfectly. You can’t see these tiny dust particles usually, only when the light falls on them in a particular way, but they’re still in the air. You can’t see fear either, of course you can’t, but sometimes when I walk down a darkened street at night, I can just feel it, lingering on a stretch of road and then a few hundred meters further down the street the feeling is gone, or at least not as pronounced. The imagery here and the last sentence of the opening paragraph especially, really intrigued me and drew me into the story. They also set the tone for the story, how it’s more about feelings and thoughts than actions.
We understand that it may be for a greater good if we were ever to perish in battle; it may be for the greater good if our deaths could help save the wizarding world. I went back and looked at the date you submitted this story and it was way before DH came out. I love how you use the words ‘for the greater good’ here, before we have ever heard them in connection with Grindelwald and Dumbledore, and how they mean something completely different and yet the same thing. Both instances talk about lives that have to be sacrificed, but in DH these sacrifices are no more than collateral damage, while the Prewett brothers sacrifice their own lives willingly for what they believe in.
I’m glad Steph suggested turning the drabble into a one-shot, because otherwise I would have never read it and missed out on a truly moving and all-around fabulous piece of writing.
Hi Preethi! *hugs SPEW buddy* I enjoyed reading this story, because it was different from the other historical stories I’ve read lately in that it didn’t focus on descriptions but on dialogue. The Founders, apart from Rowena, who is also characterised through her thoughts and emotions, are only characterised through speech and actions, but you still manage to convey a lot about their personalities.
During Rowena’s dream you show us that Helga and Rowena are less hot-headed than Godric, because they sit down during the confrontation with Salazar and are not standing to demonstrate their power like the men, they also try to view the situation objectively while both Godric and Salazar are were much angry. Then later you show how Rowena tries to rationalize her dream and make herself believe that it wasn’t important or prophetic, even though she feels that it was. This shows the traits Rowena valued in her students in her own character and is nicely contrasted by Helga, who seems to believe in the importance of dreams and Divination, judging by Rowena’s comment to herself (Foreseeing the future, indeed. Smirking, she realised that was something Helga would say, not she, Rowena.). Before this turns into some kind of characterisation of the Founders, I just wanted to say again how well you managed to convey these traits through dialogue and actions and made your characters more than just the silhouettes they are in canon.
Before anyone could stop her, she ran to the window and jumped, falling through the air… This sentence would, in my opinion, have a greater impact, if you ended it after ‘jumped’. That she would then fall through the air is something the reader can imagine himself, as the picture of someone jumping out of the window suggests them falling afterwards. For your plot it doesn’t make a difference if Rowena feels herself falling or wakes up right after she jumps, so your story won’t suffer if you leave the falling part out.
Right after Rowena wakes up she hears an owl hoot in the distance, but then she glares at said owl. If it was in the distance, would she really be able to know where exactly it sits in order to glare at it? Maybe she could just glare in the direction the sound came from without seeing the owl?
Time seems to pass awfully fast after Rowena wakes up. First it is shortly before midnight and then all of a sudden the sun rises and Rowena has hardly done more than drink some water. What did she do in all the time between midnight and sunrise? Maybe you could include a few sentences about how her thoughts went in circles and even though she tried she couldn’t forget about the dream and go back to sleep, so it won’t seem as though a few hours are missing somewhere between her waking up and sunrise.
I love the last sentence of your story. You end it on a really strong note, showing the readers the cute scene between Salazar and Rowena they just witnessed was only the calm before the storm and that Divination and dreams shouldn’t be ignored after all. Well not all dreams at least, the one Rowena had with the radishes in it can be ignored, I would say. *giggles*
Author's Response: Hi Ilka! *hugs teh SPEW buddy* Thanks so much for the lovely review! I\'m glad you found the characterisation of the Founders believable :) That was something I was quite worried about. I completely see what you mean about the time factor; I hadn\'t really thought about it. Thanks for pointing it out to me! Oh, and the last line of the dream. I\'ll try and fix those two ASAP. Thanks again for the review, dear! *hugs*
Sarah, you’ve got a truly lovely story here. Pat can be honoured to have gotten a birthday gift like that!
She knows she should have expected it. Everyone else had lost someone; whether it was a close friend or just a distant acquaintance does not matter. She could not put reason to it, but somehow she had simply thought that it couldn’t touch her. Oh isn’t that what everyone thinks? Very well done including that in her thoughts, I couldn’t really relate to Lavender before, but that’s one thought I’m very familiar with and it kind of built a connection between me and Lavender and let me feel for her.
For in her mind, if she does not enter the house, it is not real. Yes, another one of these thoughts most people are familiar with. I think it’s very important that you put these thoughts in there to make people relate to your character. I hope there are only very few people who have ever had to deal with a loved one being murdered, so it’s a situation that is hard to grasp for many, myself included, and I find these thoughts that I myself have had very good to relate to the character and get around the unfamiliar situation.
So, goodbye, Lavender, I’m glad to see you’ve survived it all. This sounds as if the war is already over and made me pause for a moment, because from what Lavender thought before I got the impression that it was still raging. But it’s not too distracting and what stood out most about this line is how such a simple statement can make a truly big impact on someone. I don’t think condolences or a pep-talk would have given her back her resolve, but these simple words did, very well done.
What I have to say though is that Harry telling her he would want to talk if he didn’t have something else to do seemed slightly odd. Harry and Lavender have never been close or talked much as far as I know. I think it’s perfectly fine for him to say hello and be glad that she survived, but I just can’t see him sitting down to catch up with Lavender Brown, there doesn’t seem to be enough of a relationship between the two for that to happen.
After all, hours spent in the cold often helps one get used to it. You don’t need the ‘s’ at the end of ‘helps’ here, your subject ‘hours’ is plural, so the verb should be as well.
Because of course the stars keep shining even through the dark. I think there should be commas around ‘of course’ to make the sentence less rushed and have a greater effect.
Overall a lovely story, Sarah, I enjoyed reading it a lot.
Author's Response: Thank you! I think he did like it, hee! I\'m pleased to hear that you could relate to Lavender, particularly around such a difficult topic - when I was writing it, these expressions seemed natural, so I\'m glad that worked for you. It may be a bit of a bad sign that I had to go back an read it to be sure of this [!], but it was intended to be written about when the war had finished. And I agree that a big long chat wasn\'t needed at all; and although I had planned the exchange to be a little longer originally, this just felt right in the end. The reason I give for Harry wanting to talk is simply that he would be glad of someone to remind him of how simple life used to be - in my mind, you see, Ron and Hermione are dead, so Harry has to clutch onto whatever memories he can. I\'ve made the improvemnets you suggested - thanks for those. All in all, thank you so much for this lovely review, and I\'m really glad you liked the story!
Once again I am unsure what to say in the face of such brilliance. I really should delve into the depths of MNFF more often, seeing as I could be finding jewels like this story. I’m in love with your story, your writing and most importantly Draco and so far I only read the very first chapter. Spectacular!
Your characterisation of Draco is spot-on, it’s one of the best portrayals of him I have ever come across. I love how he is still sarcastic even though he is in pain and completely lost in a strange place, it’s how I see Draco dealing with hardships: sarcasm to mask how scared he really is, and that he is doing it in his own mind and then wonders about it shows, at least I think it does, that he doesn’t want to dwell on his fear, maybe because he doesn’t ant to admit that he is scared even to himself, or maybe because he knows dwelling on his fear isn’t going to help him any. Standing up to Lucius like that took great courage and I liked how you showed Draco to possess this quality that we don’t really see in canon a lot, but this very same encounter also showed his Slytherin nature, because Draco wasn’t ready to die for what he believed in and chose instead to flee when he got the chance, which some might take for cowardice, but it really shows that he can still think somewhat clearly even in a perilous situation like that.
Lucius’ eyes fired up in anger as he gracefully clasped his hand around his wand. I absolutely love how Lucius is still graceful and calm outwardly, even though his anger is visible in his eyes. Such self-control seems fitting for a character like him.
No! Don’t think about that, he scorned himself, trying his very best not to close his eyes. Every time he did blinked a black canvas of everlasting darkness played in his head. If I understood what you wanted to say here correctly, this should be ‘he did blink’, because after did you put the infinitive.
I love the image you conjure in this sentence, by the way, just like I love your use of imagery throughout this first chapter. You’re showing us how Draco feels, showing how the darkness seems hostile with the verbs you use, and not simply telling us and that makes it all the more powerful and dark.
What is this place? he wondered as he continued to slump down the road, the dark shadows and complete silence eerily creeping up on him. A shred of fear sliced through his body as he thought he saw something whip past him in the darkness. Swallowing hard as the fear chilled his blood, he looked around. For the second time that day, he feared for his life. Sorry about quoting a whole paragraph, but these are my favourite lines from this chapter and I wanted to let you know why. While reading I could really feel the eerie atmosphere of that place. Your use of verbs, as I said above, is splendid in showing us how scared Draco really is and then the last sentence of this paragraph, where Draco’s fear is expressed in words for the first time is immensely chilling.
Draco fell to the floor in unimaginable pain. It had no affect on Lucius, who kept aiming spells at his own son. A blue light. A red one, next. Yellow. Silver. Orange. Black. ‘To affect’ is the verb which corresponds with the noun ‘effect’, so since you’re using a noun here, it should be ‘effect’.
A very powerful first chapter, I’m completely hooked!
Author's Response: Ah! Thank you so much for such an amazing review (and the two others, which I shall get to)! I\'m glad you liked my characterization of Draco - he is my favorite character, and I did love writing him in this story. In the first chapter, I think it\'s noticable how much more I wanted to show the \'dark\' or \'fear; around Draco and the area. The next two chapters aren\'t as dark as the first, and it\'s noticable. . . but I hope you liked them just the same. Thanks so much for your kind words, and I\'ll go fix those errors right away!
*laughs at self for writing \'he did blinked\'*. . .
Lovely second chapter! Draco is still perfectly characterised. His annoyance with Blenk is very well done and, really, why should he open up to a strange man like that when in HBP he didn’t talk to anyone either (Myrtle doesn’t count, because she’s a ghost and couldn’t really help). I see Draco as a very private person and can see him acting just like you portrayed.
One thing I found odd though was that he hardly had the strength to stand up and knock on the door to the Green Dragon, but then he can follow Blenk inside and is seemingly fine until they climb the stairs, where he also only has minor problems. Judging from the first chapter his injuries seemed much graver and I would have expected him to need help up the stairs, even though he wouldn’t have wanted it.
On the other side he could hear Blenk ‘hmm-ing’ to himself, his footsteps dwindling away as he quietly spoke to himself, murmuring, “Impatient, no nonsense, temper…” as though he were memorizing a list. Oh my. *giggles* I’m totally loving Blenk and his analysis of Draco’s character. I can see why he would be someone Draco would hate/be annoyed by, but I think he’s incredibly funny trying to get a feel for who Draco is and what brought him to his doorstep. He reminds me of Dumbledore in a way with his seemingly random comments and questions that he should already know the answers to, especially when he asks Draco if he’s alright, why he is there and why he had to get away from his father at breakfast the next morning.
One tiny nitpick: Draco was out on his own, one of his once-in-a-blue-moon outings from Malfoy Manner. I think you meant ‘Malfoy Manor’ here.
I’m not a fan of Draco/Hermione, I actually can’t see them working out and have never read a story about them, but from your last few paragraphs I’m guessing there will be a bit D/Hr in the final chapter. I’m curious to see how you will make them work.
Author's Response: Not a fan of Dramione, you say! *huggles Dramione* [/pushes Alesha towards my other fics] Haha, kidding.
I really enjoyed writing the exchanges between Blenk and Draco. I love writing/reading witty!Draco. My beta and I also tried to make sure we were in depth with Blenk, trying to make him feel like a normal character who had been there all along. Thank you again for this fantastic review and for catching my mistakes.
So it didn’t end up a real D/Hr after all. In a way I’m glad about that, because you didn’t get the chance to shatter my carefully constructed views about the couple and how they wouldn’t work, but then again, maybe it would have been nice to have these views shattered, maybe I’m really missing out on something here. *giggles*
I still loved this last chapter though, just like I loved the rest of this story. I admit that I don’t really understand why Hermione was lost enough after her encounter with Draco to find the Green Dragon, but without her there Draco wouldn’t have been able to work through his problems, because he would have never accepted a word of what Blenk had to say without Hermione saying it first. So in the end it all worked out fine and Draco’s behaviour remained in character throughout the chapter.
“Great. Go listen to someone else,” he huffed, trying to shake Blenk away. I love, love, love this line! It’s brilliant and so perfectly Draco!
“Nothing happened, alright? When you finally left me alone, I looked out the window and think I might’ve seen someone familiar, but I’m not really sure. Nothing to go write bloody novel about!” I think in the last sentence of these it should be ‘Nothing to go write a bloody novel about’, just to make it flow better.
This story is truly a gem. Draco’s characterisation was brilliant throughout and you showed the changes in him and his attitude very gradually and made all of them believable. Excellent work!
Author's Response: Anyone who has not read a really good Dramione fic is definitely missing out on something! *snort*
Well, it\'s possible that Hermione had other problems as well, but I was thinking more about how disoriented she was after seeing Draco, someone who she had had an experience with during Hogwarts. If you remember, the first chapter states that Lucius got mad at Draco for having feelings for a Mudblood. Their encounter may have simply re-aroused those feelings they had for each other, that had been tucked away after Hogwarts.
Once again, thank you so much for these reviews - they really made my day! I\'ll get right to those mistakes that you caught. Thanks again! *huggles*
First off I wanted to say that I love The Picture of Dorian Gray, but that I’m also very glad that there are only some parallels in your story and that the two are not too similar. In fact while I read your story another aspect stood out to me much more than the whole Portrait-thing, well, it is connected with the portrait but is more about what Mark thinks and feels while he paints it.
When he sees Merda he comes in contact with a whole new race and culture, one he knows hardly anything about, but what does he do when he returns? He tries to make her look more familiar, like a witch, so he gives her legs etc. I think that is typical of a lot of people, we see something knew, something we don’t understand and we don’t even try to understand, we try to mould it to fit our culture and our perception of things and we’re satisfied with what we have done. Mark, too, is satisfied with his painting until it changes and shows the mermaid the way she was when he encountered her under water and all of a sudden he sees the exotic beauty this image holds, even before he encountered the mermaid again after she turned human. I have no idea if you intended this issue to be an important part of your story or not, but it is the thing I most remembered after reading and it made me think about how I myself have done the same thing, seen Turkish women wearing Muslim headscarves on the streets and compared them to what I consider normal. The very first reaction I always have is that it’s different, not that it might just be a different kind of beauty or style, but that it’s not normal. It makes me really sad to admit that because I do consider myself relatively open to new cultures, but in a way none of us are and Mark’s painting raised that issue with a lot of subtlety. I loved that aspect of the story.
Your descriptions and generally the language you used were also superb. Your word choice and sentence structure have a very magical quality about them and I can actually see pictures in my head when I read your story (and that usually doesn’t happen to me). Both Merda’s underwater world and the Ravenclaw common room and dormitories come to life through your words, but most of all Mark and Merda are incredibly real and vivid characters. The way you alternate between Merda’s and Mark’s worlds was also very well done.
At last, the water's surface smoothed out its ripples, and reformed into the very-solid border between two unbridgeable worlds. This line gives Merda’s storyline a perfect ending and because the water’s surface, which we know can be broken quite easily, acts as a barrier here it just shows how the merpeople and the wizards made the barrier themselves, in their mind, because physically, nothing stops the wizards from immersing themselves in the world of the merpeople and to build bridges between the two worlds. This line is one of my favourites in the entire story.
He would never paint again. The last line of Mark’s story line is also very well done as it leaves it open what will happen to his thirst for knowledge. Will it be changed by his encounter with Merda or will he keep up his intensive studies and quest for knowledge? Another one of my favourite lines in your story.
I ought to thank you for taking me on this wondrous journey with your story. Lately a lot of Harry Potter fanfictions have lost their magic for me, but your story shrouded the HP world in mystery and magic once more and made me long to read more fanfictions. So thank you for writing such a brilliant story
Author's Response: Wow! Thank you so much! You know, I think that\'s an amazing reading of the story, and I wish I could take credit for consciously putting all those themes in there. :P But seriously, I think your take on the story meshes very well with many themes in the series - concerning tolerance and even appreciation for the differences that should, rather than separate us, unite us. Anyway, I\'m super-excited that you liked my story, and thanks so much for the amazing review!! <3
I have to admit that I had no idea who the story was talking about after I first read it. At one time I thought maybe Draco, but that couldn’t be because it talks about a prophecy, so I fleetingly thought it was Harry, but he just didn’t fit the picture of the character you paint either. Then I read it was Voldemort in one of your reviews and went back to reread the story, and now, knowing who the character is and reading it for the second time, I found a whole bunch of clues that point towards him and exclude any other character, but even though they are not hidden per say, it’s hard to make them out at first.
Not that that’s a bad thing, it actually makes readers slow down and pay attention to every sentence carefully in hope of finding a clue as to the character’s identity. But I could imagine that there are some people out there who would be terribly confused and stop reading the story halfway through if they haven’t found out who the character is yet. I personally liked the secret identity thing very much.
Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. - Oscar Wilde I liked this quote a lot, it sets the mood for the story even before the actual story begins. It also fits very well with Voldemort’s realization that there are no choices, just destiny, because in a way destiny forms people then and they are not themselves anymore.
I like your writing style and your imagery, especially your use of colours. The story is beautifully dark and effortless prose, but sometimes I felt that some of your sentences were too long and would have had a greater effect if you had made two or three shorter ones out of them, instead of one long sentence.
No, he doesn’t know the meaning of the word, insanity is for the people who lock themselves in cages and look out at the world through windows, insanity is for the people whose eyes are barely slits of a fiery red. This sentence is such a case. I would divide this in at least two sentences. The first should in my opinion end before you explain who ‘insanity is for’ and just include that he doesn’t know the meaning of insanity. That way this statement becomes more weight and the reader notices it more. Then, if you want to only make two sentences, I would replace the comma before the second ‘insanity’ with a semicolon. If you wanted to you could also begin a new sentence here.
The blue betrays innocence, the child-like innocence of which we dream about on a summery day when may blossoms float in the air, first this way, then that way, never really belonging anywhere. You don’t need two prepositions in the bolded part of this letter. It’s either ‘innocence of which we dream’ or ‘innocence we dream about’. Using both is redundant and as far as I know, even a grammar mistake.
Intriguing story. I usually don’t read stories solely about Voldemort, but I really enjoyed this one.
Nan, your writing is so very beautiful and captivating. It stands out among other pieces of writing because it has this poetic quality. Your story is very smooth and the sentences just flow together to make a whole. You said in your author’s note that you edited the story and that there would be a combination of writing styles, but I don’t see that at all, I couldn’t point at one paragraph and say it was edited or not, because everything seems like it belongs and if there are indeed different writing styles, they compliment each other and don’t work against each other.
The way you wrote this story, not really in Alice’s head, but not quite in Neville’s either, was very moving. For me it captured how Neville must be feeling while he is visiting his parents perfectly, somewhat awkward, but still full of love for these two people who he will never be able to really talk to. Being there must be hard for him, but I also couldn’t imagine him not wanting to go anymore. I love that he brings her violets every time he visits. They’re the only flower she didn’t give him in the book she made for him, so in a way he gives her the one thing she didn’t have enough time to give him. They are not just flowers, but show that Neville has kind of taken over his mothers role, now she is the one being taken care of and he takes care of her and brings her the flowers, if that makes sense.
I really love how Neville’s mother had this garden and dried these flowers for her son. It’s like his passion for Herbology comes from her passion for her garden and the flowers in it. Even though Neville was essentially brought up by his grandmother and was to young to remember much of anything about his parents before they were tortured by the Lestranges, the flowers are a tangible connection between Neville and his mum. Spending time in the greenhouses at Hogwarts must make Neville feel closer to his mother in a way, which would explain why he enjoys Herbology that much, it’s familiar and safe because he associates it with his mother back when she was a strong and intelligent witch.
I really really loved this story. The only bit of concrit that I can give is that I would have liked to see Frank Longbottom some more and not just in the photo, which doesn’t really say anything about it. Anyway, you wrote a wonderfully moving and powerful story that I enjoyed reading.
Hadeer, first off congrats on winning the EMEA and having your fic discussed by the SBBC this month. I don’t recall ever reading one of your stories before, and I really enjoyed this, so look out for me browsing your author’s page again some time.
You made me feel really sorry for Peter in the first scene when Sirius and James were teasing him and even Remus was smiling instead of telling them to leave Peter alone. I don’t like Peter, I never have, but I could relate to him in this scene, because I, too, know someone who constantly teases and belittles me. Thankfully though I don’t call him my best friend or even a close friend. For Peter to be treated like that by his best friends while none of them notice how much it hurts him must have been awful. I’m glad you showed Peter as someone likeable in this scene.
Whatever sympathy I had for him was dwindling while he thought about the wedding though. I refuse to believe that James, Sirius and Remus excluded him knowingly. All the time I was asking myself why Peter didn’t just go up to them and congratulated James with them? I’m sure Sirius and Remus wouldn’t have sent him away but let him join in on their fun. So in a way I think it’s Peter’s own fault that he felt like he was being separated from his friends.
I like how you showed his sly and cunning side in his conversation with James about switching Secret Keepers. He knew just what to say and how to play it to make James feel guilty and agree to the switch without a second thought. Sirius might have been suspicious when Peter wanted to meet with James in private, but I don’t think James was suspicious of Peter’s motives at all during that scene. It’s good to see Peter as more than just a bumbling fool, even though he is driven by slightly irrational hatred here.
He was intent on despising Sirius and James. He wouldn’t allow anything to allay his hate.
Peter at that time seemed to be driven by pure hate. No happy memories came to Peter of the foursome’s time together. Only memories of cruel taunting and hurt. It fed his hate as it continued to grow to immeasurable size.
In both of these paragraphs I would suggest replacing ‘hate’ with ‘hatred’. I don’t know if ‘hate’ is grammatically correct or not, but either way ‘hatred’ sounds better in these cases, in my opinion.
I really liked this one-shot, while it didn’t change my dislike of Peter, I think he is portrayed very well and, while I don’t agree with his reasons, I can see why they would have made him do what he did. Very well done, Hadeer.
Author's Response: Hey, Ilka! I\'m glad you and many others caught the bit about the wedding; you are right, it is Peter\'s own fault he was not included. Call him delusional and paranoid. I appreciate the review!
When I saw the link to this story in your signature, I just had to click on it. Wizarding fairytales? That’s an awesome idea and I can’t wait to see what twists you can come up with to make our fairytales more magical.
This prologue is awesome! Ron and Hermione are one of my favourite couples and you write them perfectly. I love how Hermione is already collecting books for her child even though it’s not born yet, and the items Ron took out of his trunk before he found his book, the tiny Quidditch shirts and the teddies, tied their preparations back to his childhood and gave the whole prologue a context and warmth. It’s nice to see them carefree and content like this. Ron’s enthusiasm and the complete chaos in his trunk were nice little hints at his character, and the story about his grandfather was heart-warming and showed what a loving family the Weasleys are.
Hermione was surprised that he hadn’t fallen in he was leaning over so much, she was beginning to wonder if the chest had been magically modified to fit so many things inside when a muffled voice called from inside.
This sentence is pretty long and a bit of a run-on. I would start a new sentence before ‘she was beginning to wonder’ and put a comma into the sentence before that after ‘fallen in’, that should take care of the run-on bit.
I love how you said and hinted at so much in such a short prologue, it’s lovely!
Aww! That was just too cute, Roxy. I’m absolutely loving this Wizarding Tale. I don’t think I know the Brother’s Grimm fairytale that this is based on, but I love what you have done with it.
This is such a nice explanation of what house elves are and how they came to serve humans. Sure, families like the Malfoys probably wouldn’t let their children read stories like this, because it would most likely cause the children to set their house elves free, but I can just imagine this becoming the favourite story of Ron and Hermione’s child; seeing as how Hermione was all about saving the house elves herself, I believe she would like this tale especially, because the shoemaker sets the house elves free, even though he does it unwittingly.
He sketched how he wanted to the shoes to look and cut the leather ready to be put together in the morning.
The bolded word doesn’t have to be there, in fact it isn’t supposed to be there at all. The preposition ‘to’ that has to follow ‘wanted’ is there after ‘shoes’ and using the prepostition twice is not needed here.
At first, they looked puzzled to find clothes on the bench instead of leather, but suddenly the realized that the clothes were a present to them.
‘The’ should be ‘they’ here, just a small typo.
A wonderful first ‘Wizarding Tale’, Roxy dear, I’m looking forward to reading more of them.
Another wonderful tale that is just as sweet as the last one. You are very talented in writing enchanting, child-friendly fairytales. I am deeply in love with this story. Using the Founders in this story and explaining how the Forbidden Forest came to be was quite the brilliant idea. Salazar Slytherin and Godric Gryffindor were very nicely portrayed.
What I loved most about this tale though were the descriptions of the forest, the tower and all the animals and plants surrounding it. They were beautifully enchanting and created a wonderful and magical atmosphere.
Then, as Gryffindor was about to give his gift when a loud Crack! shook the room. You only need either ‘as’ or ‘when’ in this sentence, not both of them.
“We’ll build her a tower in the grounds,” ‘In’ should be ‘on’ here.
“Sleeping Beauty,” he murmured to himself as her crouched beside her. This should be ‘he crouched beside her’.
I hope there will be more Wizarding fairytales soon, because they brightened my day considerably.
I don’t think I’ve ever read a story with Hagrid as the main focus before as he is usually only used as a supporting character and a lot of authors have trouble with getting his accent right. I enjoyed this character study immensely. It was very well thought out and I think you captured Hagrid perfectly. In the parts of the story where he actually speaks or thinks directly, I think you managed to copy his accent as well. Especially the repetition of ‘dad’ in his thoughts sounded like something Hagrid would do.
Both of the scenes you chose to show us from Hagrid’s part were also shown to have had quite an impact on him, especially since he remembers them right before a huge battle. I like how Hagrid’s only goal seems to be to make his father proud. It ties in nicely with him telling Harry his parents would be proud of him and the importance the picture of him and his dad has for him can be one of the reasons why he made a photo album for Harry with pictures of his (Harry’s) parents. So everything you show here ties back in with canon very subtly, which I like a lot.
Two small nit-picks:
Hagrid wasn’t aware of his own screams or pleads anymore; his mind had blocked all noise and sense. I believe the noun is ‘pleas’ not ‘pleads’, ‘pleads’ would be a verb form.
No, Dad, I promise, he was my friend, dad, not a murder. Aragog was my friend, Dad. The person who commits a murder is a murderer, so this should read ‘he was my friend, dad, not a murderer’, because Aragog certainly isn’t the crime of murder personified, but the Ministry thought him to be a murderer.
You end your story on a high note with a very powerful sentence and if I had to judge Hagrid’s actions, I would agree with him completely. There’s no way he didn’t make his dad proud! A very nice story! Thank you for writing it.
Author's Response: Wow - I\'m on holiday right now, yet here I am sitting infront of the computer and reading your review. Thank you so much about your comments, they\'re really appreciated - it really made my day. =) As to your corrections, I\'m pretty sure both are the right versions, thanks for pointing them out - I\'ll fix them in a few seconds. Again, thank you for the awesome review. Senem.