Hello all, I'm Caren, or Pauline as I go by in real life. I've been on MNFF for close to four years, but I've been inactive for an extremely long while. I have a single one-shot up here, which I love, and was featured a bit ago. I've written every now and then for the past two years, but not regularly. My muse and I have come to agreement (I sort of sold my soul, really) and I'm starting to write on a regular basis again, though there isn't much posting. I have a writing community that's set up for new fanfiction; all I have to do is actually post some. I rarely write in the Harry Potter fandom now, and I've branched out to writing original fiction or other fandoms. Feel free to look it up @ synthalia. See you around, and have a gorgeous day. :)
firstname.lastname@example.org | cherise @ LJ (personal journal) | synthalia @ LJ (writing comm, along with music, graphics and photography)
Okay, yes, I'll admit it... I'm here because of Josh. :P And I'm reviewing because I think your fic is vondabar! (To, er, steal Josh's word.) Anyway, I'm not much of shippy person, or a canon one at that, so I decided I'd read a one-shot about an unknown.I must say, I first thought it was about Hermione by default. Super, amazing, morphing!Hermione who is the star of so many dark and angsty one-shots. How refreshing to find out that it was about Luna! After reading about the life of the Sorting Hat, I started to realise that no, Hermione was not calm and serene as she was sorted... and no, she definitely did not get sorted into Ravenclaw.
The glimpse of the life of a hat was amusing. Yes, I said smelly. What did you expect? I've been jammed on children's heads my whole life! And some of them - okay, most of them - have not learned proper hygiene. How hard can it be to wash their hair before coming to school? LOL! I loved that. It was subtle, but the voice is perfect. The hat is wise, but it does have its exasperated moments.Souls full of bravery and ambition, dedication and genius. Ooh, nicely done. I liked how you named all the houses, because it obviously includes everyone. I had to read that twice to understand Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. Good quote!
Your characterisation of Luna is two words: well done. She is quirky, yes, and tends to have her moments, but you showed the calm, serene person we know so well. She said exactly what I thought she would. She's very in character, just to make it even more obvious. Her answers were perfect. Not much, now that you mention it. But bravery isn't really about fear, is it? I always thought it was about being strong in the face of your fear, not being fearless altogether. Don't you agree? Excellent point. I've never actually thought of that before. It's very interesting and just the thing Luna would say.This is beautiful, albeit short and sweet. The title fits very well; the story was enchanting, like Luna. The style, whether intentional or not, was like how you described her-uncluttered and simple, in a good way. A job well done. I look forward to seeing more!
How bittersweet to see this story come to an end. I've enjoyed every moment of it, and that in itself is more of a compliment than it appears, because I'm more sympathetic to other pairings than Harry/Ginny. I must say, though, that reading fanfiction of many different pairings does open one's eyes-and this one certainly did open mine.If anything, your writing is beautiful-it challenges the reader to think of other ways. I think you've taken a well-spread cliché and transformed it into a marvelous story. I seem to remember once that you said you liked to take clichés and twist them until they were your own. Well, you certainly accomplished your goal. The proposal at the end was not very extraordinary, but I can't help melting over it. It was very sweet and well-written; it's so evident that they love each other. Not only in their actions and words, but that which is unspoken.
Back to chronological order, so the review won't be so disorganised. One thing I love is how you write your women; they are strong but they do have their weaknesses. At first I was adverse to seeing a motherly Petunia, but now I smile when I think of her being protective of her grand-niece. It's almost different to say Petunia Dursley instead of simply “Petunia,” because now I see her in another light. I don't mean to say you've disregarded canon and fabricated a character. You've simply shown a side of her that readers do not see very well in Rowling's work. Excellently done.It's ironic how gloomy and depressing life after the war is, especially in Grimmauld Place. One would expect glorious celebrations and new lives after Voldemort had been defeated. But here are two heroes of the war, even if Remus is an unsung hero, sitting in a dark and dreary place, drinking their lives away. I despise happy endings because they usually don't show the flip side of things. Not everything will remain as everyone would like it.
“What the hell are we doing!” raged Remus. “We paid for our freedom with the blood of our hearts! We've earned it! We deserve our happiness!” Very nicely done, MJ. It's an excellent quote if anything. And too true-at least those who fought the hardest should have happiness. It seems that those-the ones who “paid . . . with the blood of [their] hearts”-often have the hardest time finding their normal lives. Those who suffered but watched on the sidelines have the easiest time forgetting. Ironic, isn't it? You made a good point there.“So,” began Remus, softly, “what you're telling me is, we've both got wonderful women who are desperately in love with us and bearing our children and rather than going out and building a future with them, we're moldering here in this crypt.” Another Remus quote, but I couldn't help resisting. Ah yes . . . moldering should be spelled “mouldering,” if you want a Brit-pick. Another good line; take a point or two.
Oh, and a side note: I LOVE YOU for bringing in Isabelle into this story. :D I had a reaction when I first read: ”Isabelle is pregnant,” whispered Remus. I was somewhere between surprised/happy because Isabelle was mentioned and confused if she was ever mentioned before. The author's note did help a lot, LOL.You know what I think of the proposal, but having Arthur Weasley there was a nice touch. Different, definitely. I loved Ginny's answer: “Yeah, I think I could do that.” A perfect answer. A formal one wouldn't have fit so well, and Ginny's easygoing nature is shown with the right words. But Molly and Arthur were so cute! (For lack of a better word.) I had to smirk at the line: Molly turned her head up expectantly and he rewarded her with a kiss that showed just how inexperienced Harry and Ginny were. And Fred and George made me laugh. They seemed so much younger then, as they “scrambled over one another to get out of the kitchen.”
Ginny doesn't do nearly as much as Harry in this chapter, but I wanted to comment on her. She's characterized really well throughout the story, from chapter one to the end. Mainly the problem I have with Harry/Ginny is that I don't really like her as much as I do Hermione. She's never shown strong enough, and I know she's under there somewhere, under the bit of immaturity and inexperience. But I love the Ginny is your story. Just like Petunia, she's strong, but she has her own weaknesses too. Thank you for that, MJ.Thumbs-up for the last scene with Harry and Ron. It was resolved with the right hint of conflict. The “one-upmanship” was amusing, from the Apparating to the summoning of Ginny's comforts. At first I wanted the ending to be longer, with rounding up a lot of memories and such, but after reading it again, I like it. It does resolve everything-Petunia, Ginny, Ron and Mr and Mrs Weasley. It's sad to see this story end, but it's so nice to see the end. It's so hard to finish a story, and I know you were getting caught up in Another Life. Congratulations for finishing! Yes, I know this review is getting ridiculously long, but I had a lot to say. If nothing else has been said with this review, then I want you to know I want to thank you for letting us read your work. It's been wonderful to see this story develop and then come to a beautiful close. I'll keep this on my favorites always, to read when I want to remember that there are excellent authors on Mugglenet Fanfiction. :)
I’ve read your work before, and I liked it, so here I am again. :) I also liked this one-shot, and maybe you’ll see exactly why as I go on and on about the beautiful simplicities—*cough*—I mean, review. Yeah.
At the beginning you jump right into the story without an introduction other than the poem from Robert Frost. My simple reader’s brain went, “What? Who’s talking?” but that was probably what you were aiming for. As I read more, I realised that the mystery of the speaker was really intriguing and sparking my curiosity. Then of course, when I figured out it was Hermione, I appreciated that you didn’t hand it to me on a silver platter, which would have ruined the mystery, of course.
You make use of short, to the point sentences to grab our attention and keep it, and I have to applaud. They have a tendency of being overused all. the. time. But your diction kept them from being repetitive, although in some places, it was the repetition that kept it from getting old. In this part where it says, “He won’t take Ron. He won’t take Harry. He won’t take me,” the anaphora kept it fresh and drove the meaning in deeper. (Yay for me for paying attention in English, LOL.) You also use this in other places, and I did nod along as the sentences progressed.
I love my friends. I love this magical world in which I live. I love the freedom I have to be myself. I love a great many things, but I daresay that sometimes I hate with more passion than I love. Two things about that. Once again you use the repetition to great effect. Each sentences expands on the one before it, which I noticed since it’s so, well, noticeable. ;) The other thing was the last sentence. It’s a very different perspective that earned my respect. It definitely sounds like something that Hermione would say. Throughout the fic, her voice is also very casual and informal; I feel like Hermione is standing next to me talking, glancing at me every few moments. A good job on that.
Also, kudos on the paragraph following that. After repeating “I love,” the appearance of “I hate,” “I hate,” “I hate,” draws out a nice contrast. The words are stronger too, backing up that Hermione does hate with more passion than she does love. The ideas are much stronger too, as she actually contemplates attacking him. That’s obvious, of course, but it’s also kind of subtle. It takes a second glance to catch that, methinks.
The end builds to a nice climax. Even the length of the sentences build up to a climax, as they’re all in separate paragraphs. The last statement is beautiful and strong, like Hermione. I really liked this, even if it was short. It was powerful, and that was what mattered. Yet another time I’m very happy to read your work, and I will definitely keep reading more (and perhaps reviewing). Great job and I believe you still write consistently, so no need to poke you to do that. ;)
Jenna! Chapter five! *dies* Lucius and Siobhan and Narcissa and Draco and Harry and . . . Okay, I'll shut up. But seriously, this chapter's got me practically bouncing off of the walls. The chapter title started it, but now that Siobhan is finally at Malfoy Manor, I'm really ecstatic. My reviews aren't all *squee*-you-updated-now-update-some-more (though they seem like it). :DI really had to appreciate how you've portrayed Harry. He's still got some of his old, less mature self in him, but you've clearly shown that he's much more mature now. The opening dialogue was perfect. It's evident they've become a lot closer in the last few months. “And even if I asked, you wouldn't tell me. So there's no point, is there?” That right there was dead on. He's one of Siobhan's best friends, yet he still retains his loathing for Malfoy. I love how you've balanced it; how Harry and Draco both mind very much but still like Siobhan too much to do anything drastic. I like how concerned for Siobhan and the danger she's in while at Malfoy Manor. It really established their bond.
Oh goddess, how I laughed at Ron's attention span. “Sounds like a tough role,” Weasley said with a pitiful sigh. “Good luck with that - wait… where's Hermione?” LOL! That is so true. Luna... mmm. I love it. Well, actually, I love that you made an allusion to Narnia and magical wardrobes. (*<3s Jenna*) I was reading Haley's fic today, and I even reviewed. She made a reference to Narnia too; the Horse and his Boy are a Thestral and its rider, Harry. Strange, isn't it?“Here,” she whispered, removing chocolate frogs from her pocked and holding them out to the elves that had busied themselves with Siobhan and Draco's trunks. “Have some chocolate…” When I first read that part, I was a little confused about who was talking. You just mentioned both Narcissa and Siobhan the sentence before, and while logic told me it was Siobhan who was handing out chocolate, the “Siobhan and Draco's trunks” suggested that Siobhan was not speaking. I would substitute the first “she” with Siobhan and replace “Siobhan and Draco's trunks” with “the heavy trunks.”
Now on to Narcissa. She's so two-dimensional in canon; well, we hardly see anything of her but her moments of weakness at Spinner's End. I found myself nodding along to your descriptions: the fur probably demanding “the lives of a dozen small mammals” (haha) and her cold appraisal, so quickly done that she gives Siobhan a “weak smile” right afterward. Her incessant gossiping and prattling is so irritating; I can understand why Lucius wants to infuriate his wife so much. And why he gives Siobhan special treatment. ;)I held off my paragraph of little things that I suggest you fix. So, without further ado, here it is. :D Siobhan's cat, Mian, was curled in the blonde Ravenclaw's arms That sentence needs a period at the end, and wouldn't Mian be “curled up” in Luna's arms? That would make more sense to me. After retrieving a purring Mian from Luna Siobhan spun around in search of Draco, finally finding him trying to shake Parkinson off his robes. A comma after Luna, please? I got really confused by the five names in that sentence. After what felt like an eternity the Hogwarts Express finally pulled into the platform, causing Siobhan's stomach to twist nervously as she felt the train shudder to a stop. I would do the same thing on this sentence and add a comma after eternity. But other than that, this chapter was error-free and clean.
*contented sigh* That was really good, and fulfilled my occasional craving for Lucius/Siobhan. ;) I simply cannot wait for the next chapter-finally, some action! Or, at least, interaction between Siobhan and Lucius. *cough* I meant as in, they actually talk to each other. Or something. You know what I mean. Anyway, update as soon as you can and you will have one very happy reader. (And reviewer, if she's in a reviewing mood. Or if the deadline for SPEW sneaks up on her. *dies*) And oh! I just noticed I was your first reviewer! That makes me happy too. *grins*
I'm trying with Narcissa - I have an image of her for this story that has to work. I'm trying to get in who she is, and how Siobhan sees her, how Lucius sees her, how Draco sees her. She's not as important as the other three, but she's reasonably so. I'm glad you picked up on what I've done so far :)
I love the suggestions, and again, I'll be sure to fix them when I get around to it. >.> *cough*
Hello Jan, this is Caren under her new name. (Which finally happened.) I can't believe it's taken me this long to review your first chapter! I meant to do it two weeks ago, but I kept on getting lost in homework. :( Anyway, your review for your lovely fic:My first reaction: whoa. I knew that after you finished HPDL you had this plot written out and developed, but the amount of HBP-related material is astounding. I loved how you worked in Dumbledore's death, Severus' flight, Harry's account of the story and the overall adaptability. It's too bad this has to be called AU, because you've done so much to incorporate HBP it deserves a "Well done."
One reason why I like your writing so much is because of the imagery, the senses coming alive. The first three--three!--paragraphs are just . . . alive. Loss pervaded the room as she opened her eyes to a pitch-black night, percolated only by the occasional owl-hoot and the sound of the hard wind in the trees outside the window. You also have a vast vocabulary, or at least you employ it well; percolated is not a common word. :) I'm not going to do a workshop over that one sentence, but it has a lot of things that you show through your writing. And I honestly thought that the first part was real. I had to blink and read over the sentence that stated that it was a dream. It really did draw me in.The Remus and Maeve scene was written well. I like how you keep on commenting about they were once brother and sister, but now they are so distant. Here was the woman he regarded as his sister and she was afraid to sit by him. How true. As for the rest of the scene, Remus' hesitation was paced nicely, and Maeve's adamant denials were worded nicely too. But I've forgotten; does Maeve know of Harry's (and Voldemort's) prophecy? If she does, then she would just be using any sort of logic, valid or invalid, to escape from her situation. Perhaps you could include that something told her her reasoning wasn't sound. It would add to how much she'd stand up for her husband.
Oh, and one small thing about Remus: has Felicia disappeared? I'm not talking about this chapter, but is she going to be around? I hope so. She seemed like the right person for Remus, if I can say that. Better than him with Tonks, anyway. LOL.I don't what it is about Roderick that always make me smile... hmm, would it be his constant smile, boyish charm or playful words? (Or all of the above? *grin*) "I know, I'm an enigma... I think it suits me, don't you?" What a line, lol. Nice transition into being serious and relaying the rest of the news to Maeve, though. Roderick managed to keep up his cheerfulness up until the transcript, but not too overbearingly. Roderick's a piece of work. Nice job.
Yes, I forgot to include something: Snape and Narcissa. I like how you put that in too. (I personally loved the second chapter of HBP. It was my favorite scene out of the entire book. Don't ask me why, though.) I saw Narcissa mentioned in another summary as I clicked to read. I'm really interested to see how that works out. I do think that Narcissa and Snape were as close as you said. I mean, she ran to Snape when her husband was in jail. (But did her husband ever allow her to be on more intimate terms than followers of Lord Voldemort? Intriguing.) I have a feeling there's enough of Narcissa to come, so I don't have to ask for some. ;)Great start to your sequel! Yes, I will go and dutifully read more, though 10,000 words + 10 chapters = Caren sitting at a computer for a long time. Hehe. But at least I'd enjoy every moment of it. Can't wait to read the next chapter, Jan! I don't have to tell you to keep it up, because you will anyway. :D
Author's Response: Hi, Caren! Good to have you back. :-) I did have some of this plotted but HBP gave me so many juicy new ideas that it was fun to combine the two. I always like to see people enjoying imagery, because it gives me so much pleasure to write. I had to create an awkwardness between Maeve and Remus that would set the tone for the whole fic. It's going to be very awkward for everyone throughout, given that Maeve is now completely torn between everyone. And Roderick seems to make everyone smile! LOL I don't know where he came from really, but it looks like he's around to stay. I can't believe now that I had planned to kill him off in DoL. :-) And Snape and Narcissa seem to be a popular new ship...We'll have to see what happens with them in this story. :-)
Here is your review, lovely Seren. I was going to review chapter three of The Simple Evolution of a Faceless Butterfly, but no, it's not uploaded yet! *glares* But it was a wonderful thing to discover this little gem. Anyway, your review:Oh, goddess. It was beautiful. Time and time again I find myself describing your stories as “beautiful,” but I run out of words to call them. For the number of fics you've written with a Last Battle, it's astonishing how you manage to make each and every one of them different, special. This one cut me to the heart as you told of how they died. I could feel Hermione's pain right here, in this chest. I could also see each scene-Ginny, Neville and Luna, all separately. Vivid, truly in color imagery.
I love the recurring themes you subtly remind us of throughout-being a child, the yellow grass, the flowers and the sacrifices they made for the war. The flowers were perfect symbols of re-growth, of coming back and facing what happened that day. The sacrifices were heartbreaking, especially as you put them in Hermione's point of view. Of course, being a child and the “fields of gold” comes to a glorious conclusion at the end.I must say, the title of this piece brings a melody to mind. I can hear Eva Cassidy in my ear as I review, but I think someone else has sung it too-Sting? I'm not sure, but a touching part of the story. The dull yellow grass turns to gold. I can imagine how the colors must brighten as Hermione comes to term with her past.
A masterpiece, Seren. Another story with more than just a plot and characters. It's 3-D, as I often find your stories are. You brought a story to life for the readers, and I thank you for that. This will stay on my favorites always, as will another piece . . . Now hurry up and upload The Simple Evolution of a Faceless Butterfly!
What a pleasure to stumble upon your story. A friend recommended it to me and I don't regret looking for it. I'm really interested to see how this story turns out. I'm also glad to see there are eight more chapters-that way, I don't have to plead for another chapter to read. ;)Starting out, I liked all the different parts of the plot you showed. From what I can see, it's pretty elaborate and has obviously been thought out very well. I know I would have difficulty writing out a story with so many intersecting parts, but it looks good so far. The only problem I have is with the balance. In the beginning, you begin with some vivid imagery and Hagrid, then you progress to Fudge, then the Prime Minister. This is the part that sticks out, mainly because it contains dialogue and is more down-to-earth than the other parts. I would suggest saving that little bit for later; perhaps in the next chapter, early on? You did a good job at the very end withholding names and making the story seem ethereal. Try that with this part. Perhaps the Prime Minister could be agonizing over all the mess the former left behind.
The next part with Liam and Tiernan Keane is also a bit more down-to-earth, though less so. It's good backstory, but once again, I think it would flow better if you added it on later. By no means take out the part; still include this story, but give us a glimpse of both Liam and Tiernan, or only Liam, just like you did at the end. Right after this part, you go into what I call “snapshots,” brief glimpses of their lives. This is a prologue, so to speak, and the while you certainly did get the plot off the ground, I would suggest making it more uniform. The end was written well and the chapter would flow smoothly that way.You have a lot of good lines in this chapter, but I did like this part from the Liam and Tiernan Keane part: If he pressed further, Tiernan would simply smile and charm Liam with a vague answer that left the elder brother both satisfied and feeling a bit like his pocket had been picked. That made me smile. Excellent use of diction. Oh, and very nice Irish names for Liam and Tiernan. I have a strange fascination with Irish names like Siobhan and Maeve. If you want to know where those came from, check out my Favorite Stories list. I'm sure you would enjoy them. :D
I'm terrible with guessing who the following characters are. I have no idea who the red-haired man is, but I think the weeping wife and her husband are the Weasleys. Logically, they aren't mentioned anywhere else, and it wouldn't surprise me if they lost children to the war. The next two would be Mr and Mrs Granger, then Neville, lover of the plants. Once again, no idea who the pardoned criminal is. Then it would Ron with Hermione and Fred and George, right? Then Remus and Tonks waiting for news. Then Harry with Ginny, though you described her in such a way that I'm unsure. Using logic again, I don't think she's dead-I think Bill and Charlie are dead-and she wasn't mentioned. * shrug*What a lovely read and excellent start to a story! I'll keep an eye out for updates as I read the next chapters. Luckily, I don't have to prod you to update, like I usually do good authors. Can't wait for the next chapter!
Author's Response: Thank you for the detailed review. The Irish names (you'll see a few more) came from my daughter. The identities of the "mystery" people are all uncovered by chapter three. Also, I use A LOT more dialog in future chapters; the initial imagery is used for, as you say, the prologue. Thank you again. I am glad you're enjoying the story. S.
Yes, I’m back with another review, but I did like this chapter too. Seven more chapters! You’re making me a very, very happy reader. :D So on with the thing.I can hardly find anything wrong with the first part with Ginny Weasley, except for some nitpicky things I’ll mention later. Very well-written and applause for you. I’d just like to comment that I think it’s terrible that Charlie and Bill died. (I just found myself writing Fred and George on accident—how tragic that would be!) Anyway, they are my favorite Weasleys, but every war has its casualties. But what are Remus and Tonks still doing there? Did they have some important part in the Battle? Are they feeling overprotective? Or are they feeling very concerned for Harry?
Harry coming back to consciousness was well-done. I liked the part with his mum and dad calling to him, though you might want to fix the formatting problem there. But I have no idea why they’re telling him “please.” Do they want him to stay? If I were a parent, I’d want my child to go back to the life of the living and enjoy it. Of course, I’m not, but that’s my point of view. Also, when asks for Ginny, I would put Molly Weasley’s reply in the next paragraph. That would sort of interrupt the flow to make a new paragraph, but if you added Mrs Weasley’s reaction to Harry finally sleeping peacefully, then it would be less choppy.When she asked for something to eat Fred ran over to her and held her arm up cheering: “A true Weasley if ever there was one. Bring the wench some food!” Everyone broke into a cry of acutely needed laughter, except his mother who tried to look reprovingly at him, but could barely keep a straight face. I loved that part! It lightened the mood perfectly and made me smile after reading depressing (yes, the parts before are slightly depressing) and dark material. Okay, enough on the first part; if I keep on going like this, your review will be a novel. (Hehe, ‘tis your fault for writing such a long chapter. ;) ) Anyway, the Prime Minister, Brian Thompson, and the former one, Anthony Linden, are very well-developed. We didn’t see much of Linden’s personality in book the sixth, so it’s refreshing to see another side of the man. He also says, “bugger” and “bugger off” quite a lot; was that intended? If it was, I’d include something about how annoying it was getting to Thompson. Also, when Brian says, “You know, Anthony, I have had a few minor problems to deal with, left over, you know, from MY PREDECESSOR!” I would revise that and show a little more hesitation. How about, “ You know, Anthony, I’ve had just a few minor problems to deal with, left over, you know, from . . . hmm, my PREDECESSOR?” The original seemed rushed and less sarcastic.
Here comes Fudge and a world of questions! I think this Fudge needs to be fidgety, because he’s not supposed to meet with the Muggles. He seems anxious to go at the end, practically flying out. :) I’d imagine him twiddling his green hat between his fingers. I know he’s annoyed, but he does mention that he’s not supposed to be summoned like that. But on the interaction with the Prime Minister, I’m a little iffy. I think on the part where Thompson is yelling, you should only have capital letters. The capitals plus italics plus bold is a little too much, and it looks unprofessional, seeing as the rest of your story is polished.I liked the little interjection with Headmistress McGonagall. It gave us the readers some backstory and it was refreshing, almost like taking a break from the real world and having to concentrate on issues like N.E.W.T.s. Filch’s request to exorcise Peeves was a perennial issue. Albus has left it alone but…come to think of it, she had neither seen nor heard from Peeves all week. Thank the stars for small miracles. Oh, that was amusing. It’s one thing to ban a poltergeist, and quite another to exorcise one. Hehe.
:: stares :: Yes, my review’s getting way too long. Just a couple more paragraphs? Forward to Liam Keane and his brother Tiernan. I can see both of their very distinct personalities already, just through their ways of thinking and a little dialogue. Very good! Subtle, but not rambling. Liam being confused at how Tiernan would move so quickly was perfect, if there is perfection. It played out really well. But how would we know Tiernan’s thoughts. Since the plotline so far resolves around Liam, how is that? I would advise changing it to: “An expression flashing, ’THERE, I’ve said it, now let’s move on.’ flitted across Tiernan’s face. Also, the “CRACK” should at least have a period after that, and Tiernan’s remark right afterward shouldn’t be in italics. Also, when Tiernan’s summoning his wand, kudos for putting the spell in italics, put quotes around it. And why is it in capitals? Try switching it to lower caps and see the effect.Nitpickiness: “healers” should be capitalized in the beginning. Check OotP if you want to see it in canon. Two instances where you should have the apostrophe after the “s”: “son’s” in the fourth paragraph and “magicians” when Liam is not awake and confused about Hogwarts. I also saw an unusual number of dialogue issues. Here’s one example: “And I can assume that it cannot wait till morning?” Was the grumpy reply. The “Was” should be in lower caps, and if the question mark was originally a period, then it would have to changed to a comma. I know you know this because I see it, but I think it slips by you once in a while. It’s tedious, but re-checking for that would give your chapter more polish than it already has.
Okay, I’ll finally stop talking—er, reviewing—and end this. (You must be so tired of me by now.) I’m so impatient to get to the next chapter, but I have all these other real-life obligations that I have to go do. I’m stretching it reading and reviewing, actually. I hope to continue reading up until chapter nine. This story is so good, for lack of better words. (I’m pretty sure I used them up for your review.) I have a feeling that this is just the beginning, and it’s going to get better and better. :)
When Harry’s quest for the horcruxes turns desperate, he leaves the security of his homeland to seek out the advice of an ancient and most unusual Council – one whose allegiance is only to themselves but whose knowledge is so vast it may be his only chance. What Harry discovers there will change everything. Soon, he comes to see that this is all so much bigger than just he and Dark Lord – his role, though pivotal, is terribly minute compared to the challenges the Wizarding World must now face.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic Ocean, a young witch uncovers the truth about her bloodline. But only when catastrophic events begin to unfold, does she realise her importance in the greater scheme of things...
It is a tale of epic proportions: bringing in the truth behind Slytherin's betrayal, and the choices the Founders had to make to ensure the longevity of their world. Enemies must unite, lines must be crossed, and children must forgo their innocence. And behind it all, fly the Spirits of the Storm, waiting, watching, scheming. Welcome to the greatest epic war the Wizarding World has ever seen.
Chapter 11 is posted.
I finally got around to reviewing! I know I promised you one, but it’s not uncommon to decide I’ll do one and then finally review a couple days later. :: hides :: But anyway, I enjoyed reading this, so here is a literary analysis of your story—I mean, *cough * a review. :DThe first two—two!—paragraphs really drew me in. You’ve a talent for imagery--wrought with a heaviness that forced the Thestral to pump its dark wings with an extra ferocity; his skin, so drained from lack of sleep and prolonged exposure to the cold, was as pale as death--and it showed. I feel like it’s a movie, with the scene opening up to Harry on the back of a Thestral in a storm, the sound effects loud and the music very dark.
I also really liked the allusions to Narnia; it really added to your story. I also really, really like the Chronicles of Narnia, so extra points for you. :D The Horse and his Boy was nicely added in. This first part of your story had an excellent tone for a prologue; not too revealing and didn’t jump right into the story and slightly mysterious, making the reader want more. Yes, it was kind of short, but that’s usually justified by how long the next chapters are. Kudos for the Author’s Note at the end.This story’s very clean, free of the usual mistakes that first stories have. (Run-on sentences, improper syntax, canon contradictions, etc.) I can tell it’s not just beta-ing, though. But, there are just a few nitpicky things I want to comment on . . . The boy’s hair and robes were as dark as his Thestral’s mane; but his skin, so drained from lack of sleep and prolonged exposure to the cold, was as pale as death. The semi-colon should be a comma, unless you take out the “but.” Then the second part will become a clause perfect for a semi-colon. The dark haired boy felt for his horse, which he had appropriately named Falcor, but he knew also that speed and secrecy were the differences between survival and death. “Dark haired” should be dark-haired. Also, the Horse references later on are justified by the Narnia reference, but Thestral would probably work better here. I also note that it wouldn’t be too repetitive, since it’s not mentioned too often in the paragraphs surrounding it. I did like steed, though. Very creative. “We’re close, Falcor,” Harry murmured, “It shouldn’t be long now.” After “murmured,” there should be a period. Harry’s saying two different sentences. “Ok boy,” he yelled against a wave of rain . . . (I didn’t include the last part of that sentence; too lazy.) “Ok” should be seen as okay or OK. Whichever you choose, it’s still right.
See? I’m very, very nitpicky. Normally I get down to small things like punctuation when there’s nothing else I can bother the author about, LOL. So I don’t think you’re a horrible writer, but there are a few small things you can fix. This is a good start, and the problem with stories like these is that I often nag the author to update. Usually after a week or two I get impatient. :POh! I know where Falcor is from! It’s from The Neverending Story, isn’t it? Can I have a cookie? Please? :D
Author's Response: I can't believe this! I wrote this fabulous reply last night and I guess I forgot to press submit... and well, it went away. How absolutely demoralizing :(
No matter, since the fact that it isn't here doesn't change the fact that I really appreciate this review. Wonderful. I love you SPEWers, you really make writing fanfiction worth it.
I'm so glad you mentioned that it felt like a movie, because while I was writing this sequence, I was very much thinking of it in visual, movie-like terms. There was a lot of "Hey... this would look cool in a movie" stuff going through my head.
You say that you're incredibly nitpicky; I just think you're incredibly awesome at finding stuff I managed to miss. I'm actually quite suprised there isn't more, since I didn't use a Beta for this chapter.
The "horse" references in the beginning are the only things I will leave. Jo refered to the Thestrals as such in OotP, and I really tire of using "Thestral" and "steed" over and over, though I'm glad you like "steed". Me too. :)
Thank you for all your compliments as well. I can tell you are someone who appreciates good writing, so they mean a lot to me.
Anyway, I'm very much looking forward to working with you as my Beta. (Actually, I'm ecstatic! hee.) And here's your cookie! *hands over a pink cookie* Sorry, it's the only color I had left ;)
How nice to find a good fiction submitted as a challenge for the Winter Snows Challenge. I have to admit I found it by clicking on the list and then seeing what kind of stories were being accepted. I do like it, though, so here is your review. :)
The beginning part with Dumbledore at Hogwarts really captured my attention. The first sentence was effective too: He was restless. I’m sure I reacted the way you wanted a reader to: “Who’s restless? Why? When? How?” and so on. I also liked the symbolism of the firework and how you clearly tied that in to Dumbledore’s grief. I also adored this part: Ironic, really, that the time when sympathy is given is when it is least wanted or needed. How true, and how like something Dumbledore would say. In fact, I can almost hear him say it in my head, with that smile of his.
The imagery was vivid in the part where you describe Spinner’s End. Words and phrases like “small, disused mill,” “few flakes of silvery snow” and “particularly dismal” gave me a clear image of the scene. You didn’t go on about it in great length, which I found I liked. That leads me to another thing: your pace. The events and emotions are well played and it’s almost like they’re well timed. Nobody reacted strangely and too quickly. I tend to see that a lot in highly emotional fics. Suddenly a monologue turns into a bursting epiphany when you have no idea how it got there. It’s a relief, then, to say that didn’t happen.
I’d also like to talk about the dialogue. I really loved this line here about going on holiday: Snape curled his lip in disdain as he replied, “Oh yes, I remember now; my last holiday application to the Dark Lord got turned down. The reply was something along the lines of ‘not unless you want to die’ followed by ‘Crucio’ if I remember rightly.” It was delightful! It was also completely Snape, so thank you for that. Dumbledore’s reaction was in character too, sort of what I expected but not out of bounds.
Also, when you get to the part about the Potters and how Harry will hate him, kudos to you for the dialogue there too. It was very tense as Dumbledore tried to skirt the subject but failed anyway, and as Snape completely snapped. The word choice is good too; nothing sticks out or is awkward. But this part did stand out: “Oh, he will know. You just wait. When he goes to Hogwarts someone will tell him eventually; probably at the most inappropriate time possible. Merlin help me when somebody does - I will be as good as dead in his eyes. He will kill me.” Wow. That just swept me away. It’s chock-full of irony, as Harry is told at the “most inappropriate time possible” and that he will want to kill him. I love that; excellent job. It’s one of the best parts in this fic, a quote in the making if I saw one.
I like the actual part about the redemption too. The idea of New Year’s and starting over is not a new idea, certainly, but I never would have thought about it for a fiction like this. The time was perfect too: two months afterward would have allowed time for the guilt to set in and for Snape to gradually become, well, depressed about the Potters. The end is a little unfinished too, but it leaves the very end to the imagination of the reader, and that’s nicely done. I don’t want to see Snape turn around and become a good two-shoes by any means anyway.
Eeek, sorry for running so long, but I had a lot to say. It’s a great story and sticks to the topic very well. I haven’t read anything of yours before (well, I don’t know if you have anything posted, really, since I’ve only just seen this), but if there’s something else, I’ll probably check it out. Keep writing and a good job!
Author's Response: Woah...! The first thing I want to say is thank you so much for such a fantastically detailed review! I just hope my response now doesn't look really stingy...
You're right in saying that I wanted the reader to ask who I was describing so I'm really pleased you did! Also, the bit about the firework was what started this whole story off - my inspiration really. For me, that line os probably my favourite of everything I have written in the past.
I'm really pleased that you don't think I rushed the story too much! I've often felt, as you mentioned, that the very emotional fics happen a little bit too fast to plausible so I did my best to slow this one down without making it drag. I'm also very pleased that you liked the imagery - I'm so pleased that GCSE English with descriptive writing has come in useful at last!
It was too good an opportunity to miss - Snape being sarcastic is something that is really fun to write! As for the characters being in character, I'm glad you think so as I didn't want to stray too far from the canon.
To be honest, I'm so pleased you mentioned that! The irony is just something that seemed to fit so well into the story - I do think that Harry was told at the most innapropriate time posible and I do think that Harry views Snape now 'as good as dead'. I just couldn't resist a little HBP foreshadowing when it presented itself so readily.
New Year has always been seen as a time for new starts and it just seemed to be so appropriate for this story. I tried to stay as close to the challenge task as I could and a new begginging seemed to be the best way of tying in the theme of redemption. As for the two month time lapse at the end, it was coincidence really but it seemed to fit when I wrote it. Without wanting to sound morbid, I am pleased that the Potters were killed on Hallowe'en as any closer to Christmas and this story would never have come into material. Also, the unfinished end was done to let everyone interpret this in the way they wanted to; I didn't want to, as you said, end up with a goody two shoes Snape!
No worries for running too long, I hope I haven't either! Thank you very much for such a fabulous review and I hope you will enjoy my other fics if you do check them out. Thanks very much though and Happy Christmas! ~ Stormy x
It's Seventh Year, and the new Headmaster has decreed that students must take some sort of course to fulfill the new Art Requirement. Our favourite characters have decided to take Drama. What kind of hilarity will ensue when the night of the first dress rehearsal arrives? Expect Hagrid as a Tree, Ron as Godric Gryffindor and Malfoy as the Amazing "Dancing" Ferret.
Ron/Luna, Prof. Pat/Hermione, Blaise/Himself
Haley, I have to say that that was hysterical. Our dear “Professor Pat” recommended it to me, and it was a jolly good read! : ) Every part of had me chuckling or even laughing outright. What a good piece to wrap up my night! The intro was very nice; I liked how you didn’t introduce names right away. While it was easy to guess [Ron, Harry, Hermione, Luna] it kept the beginning from being really redundant. Just thought I’d interject that.
Ron as Godric Gryffindor. Oh my, when I read “The red head was attired head-to-toe in luminous red and gold fabric. It was a very puffy outfit, and gave the impression that Ron was quite rotund, when in fact, the effect was attributed to the enormous sleeves.” the imagery popped into my head and wouldn’t go away. I can imagine the sleeves overtaking him and Harry and Hermione trying not to laugh in the mirror.
“Why don't I get to be Salazar Slytherin?” whined a boy with very very very very blonde hair, and a very very very very very whiny voice. [skip] “And also, I look much better with my shirt off. Hate to break it to you, Malfoy, but you're really pale and flabby.”
LOL! Blaise/Himself! That cracked me up. I was wondering what you were going to do with that. And very very very nice description of Malfoy. It was so easy to guess who that was, because only he’s like that. Haha.
“MERLIN: I am here to save the day!” over and over again was one of those lines that just made you giggle every time Harry said that. I can imagine that look on his face perfectly. I also loved Hagrid as a tree! I can’t believe he was almost a tumbleweed. Hehe.
The last part was best, though. Lavender, Won-Won and the random Chicago song! I love that movie, and you used it in just the right place. It was a great way to wrap this up. Yes, I know this is mostly a fluff review, but I couldn’t resist telling you how much I adored this. You should so much more humor; I would be a loyal fangirl! [Not that I already am...] Keep on writing humor, even if it’s random things like Blaise/Himself. :D
Author's Response: Yayyyyyyy! You know how much your praise means to me! *huggles Phline* I still can't believe how much of a hit this thing was... Maybe I just might write more, we'll see ;)
Good God, that was amazing. I hardly even know what to say.
Honestly. This is the best piece of fanfiction I’ve read for a long time. I think it’s been almost a year since I’ve written a real review. I won’t blow you away with a long review [which I used to be infamous for, somewhat] but here’s what’s on my mind right now.
First, tone. I think it was one of the best parts of it. I don’t know what it was, exactly, but it was completely your own, not the usual angsty, moody, griping, why-do-I-have-to-save-the-world Harry. It wasn’t funny, it was just ironic. It’s easy to forget that Harry is a person, because he’s got this whole weight of the world crushing him thing, but it was so refreshing to read this. You gave Harry a personality. Thank God for you.
Second, to mention, this whole thing is a work of art. Perfect organization, pace, diction, all those literary things we’re supposed to know about. It never stopped, never faltered, never had a weak point. I wonder if you wrote it as it is, or had it beta’d, because there’s not much you should do to change it. Perhaps I’m a little blinded by bias, but I’m an extremely nit-picky person and I encourage you to keep it the way it is. It is yours, after all, but then there’s the fact that it’s already done.
It’s finished, really. There aren’t chinks to fill in, because you already did with the little things. I love the part where Harry deflected the suggestions of Hermione, Ron and Ginny—I don’t know, I think I like the rhythm of it, but it’s another part of the whole that really filled it in. The lucid moments were perfect too—like when Harry was cleaning his glasses, this quote: Of course, why do things simply when they can be complicated?, Peeves’ cry: “Ooooh, a flying weasel!” and all that.
Also the part where Harry wakes up in the Owlery the morning after. When he was comforting Hermione, what rolled across my mind was, “Uh, this is . . . interesting. . . .” and then Scrimgeour showed up and then that became, “HA! Then reality hits!” Not that I didn’t like that part, but it was a good interlude, only to highlight more what Harry’s life wasn’t going to be. And ugh, that Ginny. I don’t like her particularly, and she did deserve a slap in the face for being all, “Oh, Harry, our future! Let’s frolic together!” Guh. I gagged.
I’m sort of blabbing on, writing what comes to mind, but I hope one thing shines through: I am in awe. Usually writers can do one thing well: the tone, pace, feel of the work, etc. But you did many things well, and seemingly without effort. I think it’s a pity you don’t have time to write more. I still follow Marie-Antoinette, which is brilliant as well. [Oh dear, this is getting long.] I won’t push you to write more, because I know what feels like, but I do want to give you some little ray of light as you’re buried in studying and books: You are, truly, an author.
This doesn't actually count as a review, but -- Anna, goodness, I'm floored! The writing was very well done, the pace speeding up at the end. My heart started to beat faster as Lucille followed Lucius, honestly. The imagery was incredibly vivid, from the drab tones at the beginning and the lights of the party to the scene at the end.
I think how amazing the characters are goes without saying. First, Lucille. Lucille! And the fact that she's under Lucas' care must be explained. Next companion please! And then the Swedish housekeeper! *giggles* You are incredibly sly. Love the names. Then Liam and Hermione, which I didn't expect but really, I should have. Harry wasn't mentioned at all, but I'm assuming that Siobhan is still with him. Oh my. I have three different universes bouncing around my head -- Sins of the Father, which I know doesn't end up with the situation in The Magnificent Malfoy (well, I suppose at this point it can) and now this. Excuse me while I try to reconcile all three. O.O
Anyway, this is just fantastic and it's giving my head a spin, but a good one. I'm going to beat you over the head with a, um, flower? until you realise that you in fact a wonderful writer, and that you really should be proud of what you create. :)