Lovely Fatima is an English Teacher living in Miyakonojo, Japan.
When she is not attempting to finish the next chapter of her HP fanfic, she is either practicing kyudo, Japanese archery, studying Japanese, or working on her original novel.
A Voice Upon The Waves is her sole venture into the world of fan-fiction, and is intended as a novel-length work.
I started writing this story in November of 2005, and it was my first attempt at novel-length fiction. As such, it was always a writing experiment for me. Here in 2007 and at the mid-point of the story, I decided that it was time for a major re-write. The reasons for this were many. Primarily, I felt that I had made some unsatisfactory characterization choices. I also had some woefully underdeveloped characters, issues with phrasing, and scenes/dialogue that needed to wear more flesh.
As these changes were extreme, I was told I needed to delete the old story from the MNFF archive and re-submit the new chapters as I would a new story. I'm posting the old version [marked (O)]on my website (see above) so that readers can still access it. I will also post the new version [marked (R)] in later days so you can see the differences between the two versions.
Beautiful. Your settings are well crafted, as is your pace of dialogue. I also liked how many other people wander about the school at night. Well written.
Whoa. I'm just stunned. I loved the tenderness between Maeve and Remus and the gift was so appropriate. The sense of nervous anticipation on the part of Maeve and Molly was so palpable, you could cut it with a knife. But the deaths of Bill and Arthur were heartwrenching in a way I can't yet describe in words. I have always loved the relationship that exists within the Weasley family, and Arthur has always come across with such a quiet nobility as to make him just as valliant as Dumbledore. Your revelation that Niall bet Maeve's mother's life in a nefarious card game was spot on - in a day of tragedy, it was just one more thing that Maeve had to deal with. Excellently written and emotionally intense!
Author's Response: I haven't finished with Niall yet. I do like the concept of revenge and I think Maeve deserves some sort of revenge for the crap life she has had to endure so far. *rubs hands together in an evil manner!*
Here I am supposed to be writing extensive, critical reviews, and I'm so blown away at the end of the chapter, I can only say WOW. My heart is racing and I'm so exhillarated by the story that I can't think of anything critical to say! There were so many outstanding moments in this chapter, it's hard to list the best, but here are the ones I liked: Maeve and Remus in the car; the pillow fight; the argument between Snape and Maeve at the end. I, too, can't wait to see whether or not she makes the potion for Remus. I'm also wondering how bad it will be for HARRY when he gets back to school, given that Snape likes to take out his frustrations on other people. Great job!
Author's Response: I enjoyed writing that scene in the car. It's based on my own driving *shamefully hangs head* and my husbands reaction whenever he is in the car with me is exactly how Remus reacts in that scene.
You are a very clever, very evil woman! The whole time I was reading about Maeve in St. Mungo's I was CONVINCED that Healer Hurtmore was in league with Voldemort. Imagine my surprise when the collaborator turned out to be someone else! I thought the scene with Arthur and his family was well done. Charlie breaks my heart, and Maeve's observation that he had "seen too much too soon" was right on the money.
I felt that the scene between Remus and Maeve as they felt they were about to meet their deaths. That she felt compelled to kiss him was so sweet and loving, it blew me away! Speaking of interesting scenes, the one with Rampton and the harp was well done. I liked that he felt he had to scratch the beauty of the instrument to "make his mark" and prove his presence. That was quite powerful.
Finally, I must say that I want Severus to smack Harry Potter five ways to Sunday! What an obnoxious little prat! I felt SO sorry for Snape that Harry's snide comments really grated at me. That's a sign of a truly gifted writer!
I must say, first of all, that I LOVE Ron Weasley! This line had me rolling on the couch in tears:
“Wow!” Ron was still looking shell-shocked. “Who would have thought the greasy git had it in him. She doesn’t set herself high standards, does she? Imagine him kissing you…it would be like being kissed by a sweaty Horklump.”
Once again, you show that it's the little nuances of character that make this story shine! Ron's part fascination, part disgust at the idea of Snape being intimate with someone is such a funny moment and really provides a great contrast to Harry's hurt and revulsion.
Overall I liked this chapter. There was a great flow of information and action. I loved how Maeve very deftly managed to get some critical information out of Malfoy. Very nicely written! I also liked her chat with Harry about what he saw in the Pensieve. It's about time he found someone who could help him come to terms with his father's not-so-nice side, and I felt she gave a great explanation.
Finally, I enjoyed discovering along with Maeve all of the implications of the gum. You have created an interesting theory here and I can't wait to see where it goes from here. Excellent job!
Nicely done. I loved your description of the house, the grounds, and the weather. I also feel you have a great grasp of dialogue. Some things I noticed: watch out for "head popping" - sometimes your transitions in point of view are abrupt. You start out the chapter in Maeve's pov, but then it switches for a sentence or two. Also, try not to over-use words like "seemed", "felt like", etc. I'd go for the metaphor - it makes your writing stronger and more powerful. In all, this was a great first chapter and I'm looking forward to reading the rest. I like your characters and I can't wait to see what develops between Maeve and Snape.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for such a constructive review. I've been told about head popping before and I'm a bad, bad author because I fear I might still have a tendency to do it. I went back over the story with the word finder and I was appalled at just how many times the word 'like' popped up so thank you so much for pointing that out.. I would never have spotted it.
Once again, you've completely enveloped me in the story. I loved the animosity between Pomfrey and Hurtmore, and I hope to see more of these characters in the future. The bit about the potions being "broomed in" by some witch who "may or may not know what she is doing" had me laughing. The other thing that made me laugh out loud was the acronym for the "official" protective agency for magical creatures: SPAMM!
In terms of advancing the mystery, you do an excellent job. More and more, I want to know who this Meaney is and, more importantly, WHERE he is. Someone is leaking vital information out of Hogwarts, and I shudder to think that my gut feeling might be right.
The most outstanding thing about this chapter, however, was Maeve's willingness to trust Neville's knowledge of Herbology. The mark of a truly great teacher is the ability to learn from one's students. It made me feel all golden, warm and buttery inside to see her seize hold of the information in Neville's paper and recognize it as the link they needed. Again, excellent work!
Nice. I love your way of describing things. Very vivid. I also loved the idea of the intimacy of watching someone sleep as well as Snape's wonderment at how everything in his life always ends up centered around Harry! Word choice was better in this chapter and your characterization was spot on. Well done.
Author's Response: Thanks again for reviewing Lovely Fatima. I went back over Chapter One and removed some of those 'seemed' and 'likes' and it's made me think a lot more about word choice as I write. Glad you liked this chapter too and thanks again for the constructive comments...as a writer they are extremely useful.
What a wonderful idea - having a Winter Festival for the students! This reminded me of student days at the Renaissance Festival when I worked selling pewter or roses. I also continue to wonder about Snape and his secrets. The revelation of the weasel Animagus is interesting. Can't wait to see who that is. I caught one word choice thing: you wrote “Do you think Niall has always worked for Voldemort or is this a recent affectation?” I would use affiliation rather than affectation. As usual, your descriptions are amazing and you manage to keep a good dose of suspense brewing even in your quieter chapters.
Author's Response: Ah, well affectation was used deliberately and I hope Niall's personality will reveal why. He's a snob, he affects different personalities depending on what he thinks he will gain from it. He was never a Voldemort supporter but he has been convinced into it and is wearing it rather like the latest fashion. God, I hate Niall and I created him!! :-)
You have such a great way of providing suspense throughout your chapters as well as at the end. And talk about tempers flaring! My heart sank as I read Hermione's account of the fight in the Potions classroom and Dumbledore's admission that division was infiltrating the houses at Hogwarts. I think my favorite part of this chapter, though, was Snape's depth of grief and the numbness that went so deed that he would find no pleasure in tormenting Harry. Again, I really want to know what Filch is up to and who these mysterious figures are who seem to be spying.
Author's Response: Filch is slowly building his part! I am glad you liked the way Snape dealt with his grief. It was a good way to convey his depth of feeling, that he would give up the chance to taunt harry.
Once again, you've entertained me immensely. I loved Percy in this chapter - just as pompous as ever. Likewise, I like that Snape just can't seem to get it right with Maeve. He cares, obviously, but his pig-headedness gets in the way of any progress the two of them might make. A rather ominous revelation that Voldy knows she's out and about. As usual, your descriptions and characterizations are wonderful, although I was surprised at Snape's outburst towards Draco and the other Slytherins who snickered at Selene's introduction. That said, I get why you did it. Great chapter.
There were so many great things in this chapter, but I want to focus on Hermione in my review. This is the first time we've seen her take such a huge risk without first considering the consequences. Normally so level-headed, her pride and desire to challenge her own abilities are seriously affecting her ability to rationally judge and weigh the situation. I loved how you took us through each step of her deception including her horror and remorse afterwards. It was so nerve wracking and convincingly tense, that I felt myself holding my breath and getting as impatient as Harry to find out what was going to happen to Remus. As for Harry, it amazes me that he can be so clueless--not that his intentions are malicius. On the contrary, he has complete faith that this will work and that Remus will be able to have a normal life. How sad, then, for us who realize, along with Hermione, just how deadly the scenario could become. I think your foreshadowing with Maeve's vision of her fingers melting was chillingly frightful. I, too, am anxiously awaiting the outcome!
AAAGGGH! You can't leave me with a cliffhanger like that! Great things in this chapter, not the least of which was Draco ending up in the rubbish bin and Snape being out-faced in front of a classroom full of students. I loved the way you conveyed Maeve's determination to remain calm while teaching both of them a lesson. I also thought you did some GREAT characterization of Harry here. I loved his conversation with McGonagall and his slow realization that it was time to grow up a little and accept the realities of his duty in the war against Voldemort. Now I want to know who this mysterious glowing man is and who the ringing rich laughter belongs to! Off to read the next chapter!
Author's Response: I am so glad you think I managed to get Harry right because I have a real problem getting into his head.
One of the first lines that struck me as brilliant was this one:
"Fifteen minutes later Maeve found herself two galleons lighter, considerably better educated about House-Elves, and the new secretary of S.P.E.W. She had no idea how it had happened. Hermione was an altogether trickier prospect than she had first assumed."
I laughed out loud! I also liked that it showed Hermione capable of resuming a normal relationship with someone who had previously embarrassed her in public. That shows a strength of character is Hermione that other scenes might not have.
And then you go and do this: "Could it possibly be true that finally, finally, he had found someone who could reciprocate his feelings?" Poor Poor Poor Remus! Shot down and driven to drink! I felt so badly for him, pouring out his love to Maeve only to realize that she only had feelings for Severus. I wanted to cry!
I think my favourite moment, however, was the drunken conversation between Severus and Remus. First there was this line: "Not quite so impressive without your dead friends around you, are you? Not that you ever were impressive,” he added as an afterthought." I felt like Severus had kicked me in the stomach! However, I think that in listening to what Remus had to say, he grew a little. The line "He was hopelessly out of his depth amongst this maelstrom of emotional conflict and longed for the time when life had consisted of marking substandard homework and handing out spurious detentions." was a nice bookend to that.
Overall I liked this chapter. The frightening connection between Alice and the gum wrappers as well as the strange connection between her and Rampton all serve to make your mystery expand and deepen. I only hope that Maeve hasn't been taken too far and that she's not beyond rescue!
Oh, honey, the romantic and sexual tension in this story is AMAZING! You have a command of dialogue that manages to convey such a wide range of emotion in very little space. That is a gift. I noticed a few comma errors in the beginning - you get some run-on sentences and enjambment, but it's not too terribly distracting. You introduce a little mystery into the mix with Minerva not being herself. Great touch. Now I'm off to read the next chapters! Great job!
Author's Response: He he, my favourite poet, Rupert Brooke, was a master of enjambment so I'll take that as a complement. LOL
I SO can't wait to find out why Snape is so concerned about the transfer of ownership on the house. Again, you had great characterization in this chapter. I could actually feel that beaten-down sensation as Maeve dealt with her father's visit. A few things I noticed in this chapter: you had a couple of word-repetition issues and I saw some comma splices, but they were minor.
How fascinating that Hermione has a secret that she isn't sharing with Ron and Harry. It's about time! I think my favourite thing about this chapter was your descriptions of the changing weather and how that paralleled nicely with the change in events - how very Jane Austen!
Author's Response: Yes, Maeve just wants to escape from that part of her life. She feels that she is finally surrounded by people who don't want her to be seen and not heard so her father is a sad reminder of the way he treated her. Snape doesn't know exactly why the house is such a problem but he does know something of Maeve's family so he knows that nothing is straightforward. This was a rare flash of intuition on his part.
WHEW!!! Thank goodness Arthur is alright...well, relatively alright! You had me very frightened last chapter, but much relieved in this one. It was nice to see Maeve getting some of the comforts of home, especially the portrait of her mother. I also like that she now has Liam. He will be a great sounding board now that Remus is away. I thought you crafted the suspense expertly in this chapter. Your descriptions of Bellatrix through Niall's eyes are brilliant and spot-on. I can't wait to see what's become of Maeve's book. That, to me, is more nervewracking than wondering what will become of Arthur!
Harry! Naughty, naughty boy! He should know better than to pinch magical items that don't belong to him! His almost maniacal zeal to help Remus is clouding his judgement, and I hope he and Hermione don't do anything foolish. I about fell off my couch with the re-appearance of Roderick Rampton. What a flamboyant and colourful character! He always makes me smile. His background story was also quite amusing. I'm curious about the pranks and how they relate to the coming danger that surrounds Maeve. Your story is murder on my fingernails, love!
First of all THANK YOU for not killing Remus! That was a huge relief. Second, I love how you craft your chapters with plenty of suspense and action. Ron's observation that Maeve rides her broom sideways was a nice touch. I was happy that someone FINALLY let Ron shine on his own, and one of the best things about this chapter was seeing Maeve realize what most of us have known all along - that Ron is just as brave and capable as Harry or any of his brothers.
As usual, the appearance of Roderick Rampton was a distinct pleasure. I don't think I've ever enjoyed a character quite as much as I'm enjoying him. He reminds me of what Sirius could have been had he not gone to Azkaban - rich, seemingly nothing more than a playboy, but deeply honorable, steadfast and determined. The fact that he would risk his life, and the intense scrutiny of Voldemort, to allow the others to escape speaks volumes on his behalf. Oh, and my suspicions about the gum still aren't confirmed - that mystery is getting deeper. One nit to pick: you had a few comma splices here and there, but they weren't so bad as to distract me from the story. This is so compelling and you've got me completely enthralled. Great job!
Holy Irish Deities, Batman! This was amazing! I didn't see this coming, and when it did, I didn't mind at all. I think this is because you have set us up with the idea of Maeve being such a strong, independent, NORMAL witch. The revelation comes just as much of a surprise to us as it does to her. Other things I enjoyed about this chapter were Snape's attempt to dance at the party, the descriptions of the costumes - particularly Neville's hairy, shaggy, whatsit - and the fear involved in the Dark Mark appearing so close to Hogwarts. The other thing that absolutely absorbed me was Snape's vulnerability in the face of Maeve's imminent death. Powerful stuff!
Author's Response: The Irish mythological aspect was something I wanted to bring in but I didn't know if it would work. Sometimes I'm still not sure it has worked but I am glad you think it hasn't been too outlandish. I really enjoyed the fancy dress party...making up the costumes was fun to do with all the stress elsewhere in the story. :-)