I'm an avid reader turned fanfiction writer who aims to one day be paid for original stories, but for now is satisfied with the invaluable reward of reviews (and three Quicksilver Quill awards). ^_^
ETA: Like Bilbo, I was There and Back Again (There being out in the non-fanfiction-world) a Writer's Tale filled with adventure, battles, and a return to the Shire of MNFF.
Summary: Minerva McGonagall recounts her brief relationship with Tom Riddle, which began during their years at Hogwarts and ended with horrifying revelations.
This is a very Non-Canon Romance, but sometimes that makes things interesting, the what if relationships. I like the way you parallel Dumbledore's keeping Grindlewald a secret with McGonagall keeping her knowledge of Riddle (in every sense of the word) a secret. It's definitely a Lady GaGa Bad Romance.
Summary: Scorpius is looking for answers in the constellation that bears his name. He becomes what he was not, and stumbles into Hogwarts' past, thanks to an unexpected arrival from the heavens.
This is Vicki of Slytherin House, writing for the 2014 TV Challenge. This story is also my final exam of "So This Is Romance" Independent Study Class, 2014, at the Mugglenet Fanfiction Beta Boards.
Hi, this is my second try at a review. I had a brain fart when I tried before and accidentally used bold instead of italics for a couple of quotes and it looked bloody awful, like shouting when I was just trying to make the quotes stand out from the rest of the review. So here I go again.
I've begun a couple of Scorpius and Rose stories with owls delivering letters or packets, so of course I said, "Oh, excellent choice, classic beginning" when I read yours. :) I liked the hint that the summer solstice is important to the story by the almost casual mention. I loved the description of Professor Sinistra's office. It's one of those offices that you want to look and touch everything because everything is awesome.
Your characterization of Scorpius is interesting. His age isn't told right away, so I had the impression that he was young since he gave a thumbs up to Professor Longbottom and envied the professor's personal telescope. But you reveal he's a seventh year wanting to see the constellation he's named after before he leaves school.
Since he hasn't been one of Sinistra's students for the last two years, hasn't even been in her office before, I wondered why he would be so blunt in responding to her statement about the tower being locked to prevent trysts. He says,“If I just wanted some snogging and groping, I could do that anywhere, anytime. I wouldn’t have to come up here with you as a chaperone. And if all I wanted was snogging and groping, I wouldn’t be worth much as a boyfriend. which comes across as protesting too much. He could have just said, "I could do that anywhere, anytime." and followed it with the ending part "I want to get a good look at Scorpius, including through the telescope. And I want to share it with her. I want her to see what I see and know what I know.” and it would have been as effective without the jarring bluntness.
In the end, I think Sinistra did respond to the sincerity of his desire, if not the sincerity of his words, and readers also hope he finds what he's looking for.
Author's Response: I see Scorpius as having enough self-confidence to be blunt when he wants to be, and he could sense that Professor Sinistra was deeply suspicious of his intentions at first, so that he did not want to jeopardize his chances by p****-footing around the issue. In fact, he is stealing some of her thunder by being blunter than she is.
Interesting that you see his giving Neville the thumbs-up signal as the action of a younger person. I saw it as the action of someone who is treating Neville as an equal rather than as a superior. And as regards Professor Sinistra's telescope, I see Scorpius as old enough to know what he really wants, and he really wants a telescope like hers, although he has no practical plans for one. He can see that, after all these years, and after being out of Astronomy class for two years, he still really loves the subject; it is a part of who he is, not just a passing whimsy. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing. Vicki
Lovely descriptions this chapter. You make me wish I took better care of my roses, but then mine are wild roses and thankfully only need trimming, not greenhouse care. Enjoyed the hints about the rose being more than a gesture and Scorpius finding out what a tangled web he's weaving by trying to deceive Sinistra.
The only concrit I have is words and phrases like "gonna", "gotta" and "little kids" make Scorpius sound younger than a seventh year and very informal for someone used to formality and things of beauty and skilled craftsmanship.
I smiled at the thought of him enjoying his parents thinking him insane to look at the stars too.
Author's Response: Thanks for the concrit. One thing that I am learning while writing for this site is that there are surprising regional differences in how people use language and, in the case of poetry, how they pronounce words. I used the forms 'gonna' and 'gotta' because that represented how I heard my characters talking, rushing quickly over the syllables as they spoke. But perhaps it is a feature of the Pacific Northwest Accent, which my linguist daughter clued me in on, the speech patterns found in a stretch of territory extending from the Napa Valley in northern California to Vancouver in British Columbia. We tend to elide syllables, pronouncing three-syllable words as two syllables, and so on. This has caused humorous moments when people were criticizing the meter of my poetry, and I answered, "Of course I pronounce that word as two syllables. Doesn't everyone?" Apparently not.
Yes, the web gets more tangled than he intended at the beginning, but he is still confident that he can carry it off.
Thanks again for reviewing.
This chapter made me want to visit a planetarium and see all the constellations overhead. Excellent descriptions of the stars. You would have made a good astronomy teacher. :)
Author's Response: Thank you so much for the compliment. I worried a little bit about whether the technical information about celestial mechanics would put readers off, and I am glad to know that it did not.
Curiouser and curiouser!
Author's Response: What a night! This is far beyond Scorpius's original concept of what this night was going to be like. Thank you for continuing to read and review!
A mysterious empty chamber from the past! This rivals the meteorite for excitement. Seventh year is ending with a blast in more ways than one. ;)
Author's Response: I love your comment: "Seventh year is ending with a blast in more ways than one." After this, N.E.W.T.s will be downright boring. Thanks so much for continuing to read and review.
There the founders lay, under a dome of stars. He was glad that it was stars.
I'm glad, too, and glad I read (and reread to review properly instead of for nomination hunting purposes) this story. It reminds me of a Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew mystery, wizarding version, with its likeable characters, enjoyable adventure, and satisfying ending. :)
Author's Response: I'm all in favor of likable characters, fast-paced adventure and satisfying endings. I read Nancy Drew books as a young girl, and my brothers' Hardy Boys books also, and enjoyed them in my uncritical child's mindset. But I read one recently that my six-year-old granddaughter had received as a prize for some activity at the local library, and my gosh, the writing was bad! But yes, the story elements were there, the characters, the mystery, and the final solution of the puzzle. :)
Thank you very much for reading my story and commenting on each chapter. I'm glad you were glad.
Summary: Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over
But had me believing it was always something that I'd done
But I don't wanna live that way
Reading into every word you say -Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye
Abraxas has a wake up call when his girlfriend becomes engaged to another man.
This is the prequel to The Purity of The Turf, although you do not have to read that story in order to understand this one.
This is Nagini Riddle of Gryffindor, writing for the TV challenge.
I think you did a good job of conveying characters through dialogue. I missed everything that wasn't in the story, though. What's missing is the difference between an overheard conversation between people you don't know and can't see and people who are "real" and who you can see and know what they think and feel that gives context and depth and emotional weight to what they say.
Author's Response: Thanks, it is rather difficult to write in all dialogue. But when I tried to write something other than dialogue with the first story I wrote of this series, I found the descriptive writing to weigh the story down and I wasn't going anywhere. So, I wrote out all the dialogue, because that is what I heard in my head. One day, I will go back and add descriptions, but I thought for having never done an all dialogue story, it worked the way I wanted it to. It works better as a script for a play, though. ;) Thanks for reviewing!
Summary: The Marauders, in the Shrieking Shack at moonset.
I enjoyed your imagery and the palpable emotional connection you have with your subjects. There are some very nice turns of phrase. Haphazard grace, quiescent dreams ,howl-weary lips and youth-bright gazes.
It's a poem of conscious loveliness. :)
Summary: It's Halloween, and the mismatched team of Scabior and Greyback are at it again. A simple visit to a Halloween party to scrounge free food turns into a chase across Orlando. Why does Scabior stay with Greyback again?
I just found your story, and as someone who hasn't read the Fear and Loathing original, I think you did a great job of making this one stand alone while making me want to go back and read the first adventure. You have me wondering how many mini golf places are in Orlando and why Scabior would be able to Apparate to them. Does he like playing mini golf? :D
Author's Response: Thanks! Also, there are a lot of mini golf places in the Orlando area. I wanna say, looking at Google maps, there's nearly twenty, but it's a large area. Personally, it was a thing I noticed while in Orlando at one point, so I reckoned maybe Scabior had noticed as well in his time there - maybe they were landmarks for him. (I very much doubt Scabior and Greyback would choose to play mini golf, though thinking on it I can fully imagine Scabior (unhappily) taking a job at a seedier course at some point in their Florida travels). Anyway, thanks so much for reading and reviewing, and making me think a little!
Summary: Jeffery Potter always had sensed he was somehow different from his playmates, and at eight years old he found out how different when he overhead his father, Pontius, tell Jeffery’s mother, Portia, “Our boy doesn’t have a magical bone in his body. He’s a Squib.”
This was a blow to his parents for two reasons. The first was they were both the only children in a long lines of highly respected magical families, and the second was Jeffery had not been born until his mother was thirty-two years old and his father forty.
To his parent great surprise and greater joy, Portia became pregnant at forty-one. His brother, James, was born about two months after Jeffery’s tenth birthday. From an early age it was evident that James had inherited his parents’ magical talent.
Since James’ birth their mother was frequently bedridden, Jeffery had to tend to his baby brother’s needs quite often and James came to rely on Jeffery. As for Jeffery, all his friends had gone off to school at Hogwarts and he would have very lonely without James. The boys became almost inseparable.
Ever since his seventeenth birthday Jeffery had been feeling that there was no future for him in Godric’s Hollow. James could now take care of himself and be helpful to their mother. Jeffery felt if he stayed any longer he would be destined to the menial life of a Squib. It was time to move on. The question was where and how.
The finding of Jeffery’s journal thirty-five years later will lead Harry Potter on a journey to discover his roots and also something about himself.
Hello! I've almost started reading your story several times and I'm glad I finally did! If they allowed multiple categories, I think you could have put this in Dark/Angsty too. There's angst in the premise of learning about your squib uncle through a journal in a memory box, and Uncle Jeffrey's entries have angst, sometimes openly, sometimes a subtle undercurrent.
Love Clay and the Forrest Gump homage to Greenbow Ala-bama!
The jungle must be like the Forbidden Forest, only many times worse.
You do an excellent job of showing that Harry is still naive about war in some ways.
I'm beginning to think I'll be needing to beg someone with nominations left (they limit them to five this year!) to nominate this story for a Best Dark/Angsty QSQ.
I'm sad Clay was a Bubba Gump and not Lt. Dan.
Worrying about grades and tests isn't exciting reading like war injuries and travel and family drama. There's a reason why fiction is said to be like real life without the boring parts. ; ) Harry isn't being insensitive as much as a typical reader, and you were a sensitive author to summarize the boring bits, heh.
That paragraph about Harry wondering if Ginny ever had someone force himself on her during her "numerous affairs" when they were apart and him still thinking fondly of his affair with Luna was the one WTF? moment in this chapter, but since this story's canon reflects your previous stories that readers (like me) may not know, I got over it. Every writer has his or her own head canon.
I'm liking the Jeffrey will eventually hook up with Skeeter, like uncle, like nephew vibe.
Came back and copied, then deleted review so I could resubmit it with a final thought: If Harry had a romance with Luna (or even a friends with benefits relationship), then naming his daughter Lily Luna seems crass, unless you imagine a wizarding version of the show Coupling where everyone slept with everyone else and they were all still friends (and it's still crass, but amusing).
Harry thought about the first time he kissed Ginny, and how he hadn't fallen in love with her, he had grown to love her.
Your impressions of Harry during HBP and in general differ from mine, so I just say, "Have a cup of shut the heck up, Harry, I'm reading this for your uncle, not you," when moments like this happen and go back to reading. :D
So sad about Sarah. Have you ever read Herman Wouk's The Winds of War (it was also a miniseries). Sarah and Jeffrey remind me of Byron and Natalie, although Natalie was American and didn't go to Israel until War and Remembrance. I had a nice mental image of the couple.
There is so much to like about this chapter, how hard Jeffrey is studying, his "hearing" Clay and Sarah, and Jeffrey returning to Godric's Hollow like a non party-hardy prodigal son. I'm glad Jeffrey's still alive and Harry gets to meet him.
My one slight nit pick is your characterization of Ginny. Do you really think she didn't "realize" that university requires a terrific amount of work when both Harry and Hermione in your story attended Muggle universities? All the many nights Harry spent working on papers or revising for exams, she never noticed because she was reading romance novels or going to bed early to be fresh for Quidditch practice? You made Ginny sound thick and Harry and Hermione deserving of Bat Bogey Hexes for patronizing. Maybe the Ginny dreamt of in your philosophy is thick as well as a bit of a slag with those numerous affairs Harry wondered about in an earlier chapter(idly, now that I think of it, not even concerned or upset at the idea that someone could have forced himself on her).
OK, enough of that, I'm getting a bit tetchy. It's good when readers have strong reactions, right? ;) And it's your story, you're free to characterize her and everyone else anyway you like.
Author's Response: Dear Kerichi - My turn to nit-pick (chuckle). Ginny isn't around until almost the end of Harry's college days - my take on Harry's post Hogwarts life in my first story. I see Ginny as a very independent and adventurous. I do give her a bad cast of PTSD from her time in the Chamber of Secrets.Poetic License.
Bit disappointed that Jeffrey married Clay's old girlfriend instead of Skeeter, but in the end I'm glad because now I don't think he's too much of an ass for preferring memories of a past love to a love that could grow and deepen past the first flush of romance. The ending with the family reunion beyond the veil and the reunion with Sarah was touching. I'm already thinking of someone to hit up to nominate this story for a Dark/Angsty QSQ (General cat is filled, sadly, but not too much, since this is great angst).
I saw another reviewer's comment that she knew you would finish the story because that was...I thought the phrase was "your wont" (lovely old fashioned term that fits this story) but went back and found out it was your "custom". It's a good one. I finish every story, too, because when we start posting, there's an implied promise to readers to make the story worth the reading and to finish what we started. I know real life gets in the way of doing that sometimes, but that just makes me appreciate writers who keep their promises to readers even more. :)
Author's Response: I agree, The only stories I now read are one shots or one's that show complete. I've been sucked into too many that have never been finished.
Summary: In December of 1997, Harry visits his parents' graves in Godric's Hollow and realizes that they are the end toward which we all are headed.
Written for the Sixth Annual October Triathlon: Race to Hallowe'en.
Inspired by this fragment of verse:
We do lie beneath the grass
In the moonlight, in the shade
Of the yew-tree. They that pass
Hear us not. We are afraid
They would envy our delight
In our graves by glow-worm light.
��”Thomas Beddoes, Dirge
Yule conjures up olde English times as well as language and traditions. The use of a railroad train as imagery for a Yule wheel was unexpected, bleak, and striking.
The tone is so inexorably grim, to cheer myself up I'm going to sing Wheels on Fire, the theme of Absolutely Fabulous.
Well done, feel free to sing with me. :)
Author's Response: It's a really grim scene, a cold, desolate graveyard at night with dead bodies not that far underneath one's feet, and the reminder that the path to death is a one-way street upon which we all must travel. Not really compatible in tone with the merriment of the holiday season. Scary, in fact.
Thank you for reading and reviewing. You are the first person to dare to say anything, maybe because of the grim tone. I too need to be cheered up, but first I have to look up that song, with which I am not familiar, so that I can sing with you!
Summary: Ollivander of Croton arrives in Athens in 382 BC with big dreams, none
of which include opening a wand shop. His ambition is to study magic at the newly
opened Platonic Academy. But that's before he meets Plato, and a young witch, and
a Dark wizard, and a Dementor or two -- all of whom seem to have their own ideas
about where Ollivander's attention ought to be directed.
I love historical mysteries, (Lindsey Davis's Marcus Didius Falco, Steven Saylor's Gordianus the Finder, Ellis Peters's Brother Cadfael) so your story of the young Ollivander being followed by the mysterious figure in the cloak of foreign cut has hooked my interest. I love the contrast between the languid setting with the triremes dozing at anchor and Ollivander leaping ashore and heading for his destination at a brisk pace. The meeting at the wine shop was well done.
The only concrit I have is that Ollivander and Callias traded encyclopedia entry type monologues when telling each other about their ancestors. It came across as info dumps instead of a natural exchange like the ones at the end of the chapter when they interrupt each other "Well, yes" and "But that's what I'm doing, too!"
Just an observation. Going to the next chapter.
Author's Response: Guilty as charged, I'm afraid. If ever I get around to re-doing this chapter, making the honey-cake stories fit in to the dialogue better will be the first priority.
“It's all just words, then, this philosophy?” Ollivander tried hard not to sound plaintive. “There's no proper magic taught here at all?”
“There's a kind of magic in words, too, you know. A wand isn't the only way to heal your friends, or harm your enemies.”
Very nicely phrased! Poor Ollivander. Plan A is out, now he's having to figure out a Plan B. Interesting that Ollivander didn't mention that the third assailant hadn't looked ghostly. He seems so self-confident most of the time.
I've noticed a few modern sounding words and phrases in the last chapter and this one. "Mind if I sit here", "Nice move" "Thanks" and "Let's get out of here." I'm not saying use stilted wording, but consider tweaking modern phrasing to sound more in keeping with your time period. "My thanks" perhaps, or "Let us take our leave."
You're making me hungry mentioning the bread and honey. Will see what they eat. ;)
Author's Response: I can't really claim credit for Callias' comment about the magic in words, as he's just paraphrasing Dumbledore. (Or maybe Dumbledore's quoting him; either way, JKR thought of it first.) As for modern-sounding language, I had a similar problem with one of my other stories on this site, which is set in 1519. In that case I settled for a vaguely antiquated phrasing that is still well short of authentic pre-Shakespearean English. But ancient Greece is so far removed from our own time that one really has to treat it as another culture entirely; the only help one can expect from the language itself is the occasional evocative word or phrase.