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.
A quieter chapter, which is good - lets us breathe from all that tension in the first five! I liked your description of Roderick, Wizard About Town - he was hillarious, but I can't help but think that he's got a larger role to play in the future. How interesting that Mrs. Black shuts up for Maeve/Selene. Could it be her Irish magic? I also thought the scene with Harry was well written, especially Maeve's dilemma about lying to the boy. As usual, the descriptions were great and your dialogue sparkled.
Author's Response: Yes it is her Irish magic, I've tried to drop the odd hint here and there that the magic she has has come a long way down the maternal bloodline. It's old and powerful but not invincible. Roderick, as you will see much later, is a swine. He was there for light relief and next thing I know he pops up...well I'll let you see where he pops us. :-)
As usual, Maeve, an excellent chapter. I continue to be dazzled by your attention to detail: the Snapdragons, Molly's disapproval of Mundungus' drinking, things like Leech Lotion in St. Mungos...I especially liked that one! The other thing that I love about this chapter is the vulnerability that you lend to Snape in revealing the rationale behind his cold ambition. I've always felt that men are at their most honest when in the presence of their mothers. It pleased me that Severus was no exception. The other thing I enjoyed was Maeve's discomfort in various situations. You never lose sight of the fact that she's spent a good deal of her life secluded, so that even the dustmen (disguised as they are) make her nervous. I liked that she wasn't immediately paired off with anyone during the Christmas Eve celebration, suggesting that her partner was elsewhere. I also liked her dislike of hospitals (which I share, btw.) I only caught one mistake towards the end: Remus says "We didn't know were you where." That should be "where you were". Again, an excellent quiet chapter. I look forward to reading the next ones.
Author's Response: Where?Were is going to be the death of me!! Yes, for all her outward confidence Maeve is still quite a loner at heart and doesn't do well in group situations. Heaven knows how she's managing to teach classes with all those people staring at her. I think it takes more courage for her to get up in front of that class than it does for her to confront real danger. I love coming up with little details like the scones. That, for me, is the really fun part of writing.
Wow! Another phenomenal chapter! Specific things I liked: The story of Baile-Bhroin - spooky and interesting. It could be featured in its own piece of fiction. Snape plotting against Bran the owl. The curtains that looked like a blancmange taking over - that was particularly funny! I also greatly enjoyed the tension and prickliness that pervaded the argument between Maeve and Snape. Amazing.
Alright, now for the nitpicky stuff. In your first paragraph, the description was SO good, but I wanted to tighten it up just a bit. You wrote:
"Lush, green grass carpeted the top until the very edge where a solitary tree clung to the brink as if in defiance of the gravity that would pull it towards the crashing waves."
I would replace "until" with "up to", and then I would omit "as if" and replace "would pull" with "pulled". But that's just my personal preference. :-)
Also, I think it might be stronger to say that Snape gave her a look that could freeze beer (a la Arthur Miller) rather than freeze ice. In this phrase: "She was starting to worry about her relationship with Severus, which looked like going from bad to worse," you'll want to add an "it was" between "like" and "going".
I love your characters and your descriptions are so vivid and lush, it's like I'm watching a movie in my head! I can't wait until I get more time to read your next chapter!
Author's Response: Until has always bugged me..I'm going to change it. Freeze beer is not a British phrase. (As much as I love the dear, recently departed Arthur.) but you know, freeze Butterbeer/Firewhiskey might just be perfect. Thanks! And thank you for the review in general. I'm trying to combine character with plot with description and I hope it is starting to gel a little. Getting complemented on my descriptions from the queen of description is high praise indeed. :-)
I'm stunned - not only by Remus' death but by all of the amazing imagery in this chapter. You have a singular gift with crafting scenes that come alive for the reader. Having nearly drowned a character in the lake in my own fic, it was neat to see someone else's description of the process. My suspicions about the spy at Hogwarts are being confirmed with this new information about The Weasel. Also, I absolutely giggled with glee at Voldemort's inability to perform the Crucio curse on Lupin. Apparently Maeve did more for him through her vision than she may have realized. Too bad it was all for naught. Now I must hurry on to the next chapter to see how events play out.
It's late as I'm writing this, so I'll be brief. I have never felt so uncomfortable while reading a fic as when Maeve took off on Hermione in front of her Potions class. It was a sublime discomfort. I could feel every ounce of anger and frustration, every bit of Hermione's fear and regret. I, too, feel she got off a bit easily, so I'm waiting to see what punishment Dumbledore has in mind for her. Of course, I now have a sinking feeling in my stomach with Maeve's decision to go to Abbeylara with Ron. Even though she knows it's exactly what Voldemort expects her to do, she's going anyway. On the one hand, that's intense loyalty to Remus. On the other hand, she's being incredibly foolhardy. Who does she really love?
This is going to be an uncharacteristically short review for me, because I only really have one thing to say.
It's about damn time he kissed her!
I think that was one of the most satisfying kisses I've ever read. Brava!
A very interesting chapter! First I must say that it's so satisfying to see Draco get his lights punched out by Ron. But the real heroine is Hermione! The way she chides Ron and Harry for their bickering is so completely in character for her, and I felt that "voice" of hers come to the forefront.
As usual, it is the little things in your fic that give such richness and depth to the landscape! The slimy critters that Hagrid's first years were playing with, Trelawney's class reading bark, the hookah-smoking beetle trap....all of these were so delightful to read about and I could see each and every event. Speaking of plants - hooray for Neville! I love reading fics where he shines and isn't a dope. You gave us a real taste of Neville's true talents. Such a shame that Snape still doesn't see them.
That Drooble's Gum wrapper is bothering me. I've always felt that Alice Longbottom was giving those things to Neville for a reason. Hopefully Maeve will figure out who left it in her room. I have a feeling they aren't working "for" her.
There were, again, many things I liked in this chapter. (I feel like a broken record!) In particular, I thought the confrontation with Draco and his mother was brilliant. You portrayed Narcissa much the way that I've always pictured her - aloof, elitist, and too good for anyone else's time. I did, however, want Maeve to pull the Professor trump card. Call it a teacher thing - when we see other people's children misbehaving, we have an instinct to discipline them. However, I got the impression that she was saving that for later. I enjoyed the continued relationship between Maeve and Remus, and I liked that she felt she had to tell Harry the truth because of his resemblance to his mother. Finally, I don't have to say that the plot bomb you dropped on Harry was well done. I can't wait to see how he deals with it, since both he AND Snape tend to see things and people in black and white.
Author's Response: I don't think Maeve has quite slipped into the teacher role yet. To be honest I think she's a bit in denial about it because the idea scares her just a little. :-) Poor Harry, just when he thought things were looking up, eh? I'm hoping the relationship with Remus and Maeve is looking solid now, I need those to to be very close for later chapters so if it's looking convincing then I'm pleased about that. Than you again for your wonderful reviews, they are very much appreciated!
Nice beginning. I'm not sure quite how I feel yet about Sirius still being alive (even though I'm a huge Sirius advocate), but I'm willing to go with it just to see how the story progresses with him in the picture. I really liked the tone of Harry's voice in the beginning section - where he's thinking that he might just go outside, bother Dudley and his friends, etc. I also like how you convey his boredom. Also the descriptions of the owls are rather spot-on.
The only place where I have any sort of criticism is at the end. You give us such a GREAT ending spot - Harry thinking that he's going to get to see Sirius, but unaware that this will not be the case - and then you over-shoot the ending with the bit about Ron. While that stuff with Ron is good, it comes off as more of an afterthought than part of the chapter as a whole. I would move that text to the beginning of the next chapter, or find somewhere else to incorporate it. Other than that, I thought this was a great opening chapter. It does what it's supposed to do - I want to read more!
Author's Response: Thank you for the first SPEW review I\'ve gotten on this, I really appreciate the critique.
Anne, this is beautiful. I'm not really a 'shipper', but I enjoyed Ginny's observations of Harry as he goes through his process of grieving Sirius. Before I get into the review, I noticed one minor editing thing: "had become a lot less importance to her". I'm guessing that should be "important." Right. Moving onward! What makes this one-shot so effective is it's almost dreamlike, soundless state. Ginny stands above the world of Hogwarts observing Harry's actions, but like an observer in a dream, she is separated from the action and unable to interfere. The use of the glass as a metaphor for this feeling of separation and helplessness is excellent. I also like how you mentioned her sudden lack of interest in Fred and George's swamp and who Michael Corner was with now. I know that all of us in the U.S., before 9-11, had things in our lives that seemed so important, but afterwards they didn't hold any interest. For me, it was soap operas. I used to watch them religiously, every day. Now, I couldn't care less. I think that following such an ordeal as the one in the Department of Mysteries, Ginny would naturally have this reaction. I was pleased that you included it. Another great element was the comparison of her preoccupied voice with that of Luna's dreamy one. Perhaps Luna isn't so looney after all - maybe she's just deep in thought. At any rate, this story was poignant, sad and well crafted to show the after-effects of trauma and loss. I enjoyed it greatly.
Author's Response: LOL, I used to be a soap addict too, but I managed to wean myself off them before 911. Still I know what you mean about a lot of things changing then. I also don't necessarily consider this piece a shippy fic (not like my long ones, anyway -- those are definite shipper fics). It's more a missing scene from canon, or at least the way I see canon. As you know, I am a H/G shipper, but that's partly because I really believe canon is going to work out that way. I wasn't trying to make it sound like Ginny still has a huge crush on Harry at this point though. I think she's moved past that, although I'm not convinced all her feelings are completely gone.
I'm enjoying this greatly! I especially liked Sirius' tumble over the couch. Classic drunk boy move! I look forward to seeing more of this story. If you'd like to read my fic about Sirius, I'd welcome any comments.
Author's Response: Thanks alot! i actually watched my boyfriend do that one night, so i had to work it in! I'll definitely check out your ficcy!
Quite nice! Excellent descriptions of the pranks. Am looking forward to your next installment.
Excellent opening chapter! I know right away where I am in the story and I get a sense of that awkward foreboding and uncertainty that must be lingering over Harry like a cloud. There are a few things that you can do to improve your style a bit: 1. word choice: the ones that stand out to me are in the very beginning when you repeat "letter", "looked", and "window" several times. I understand you're a young writer, and this is very common! I didn't really start getting the hang of word choice until I was out of college, so don't feel bad. A good rule to follow is not to use the same word twice in the same paragraph, if you can help it. 2. take your time: I notice others have mentioned that some of your transitions between Harry's actions as well as transitions between scenes tend to run a bit fast and blur together. Don't be afraid of higher word counts in the name of clarity. Also, what this will do is make you choose only the most vital and plot-important things to relay to your audience. :) Alright, off my English Teacher soapbox! Back to what I liked: I thought the chapter had a good shape to it, and in fact, the speed helped me connect a bit with Harry's feelings about the rushed nature of his extraction from the Dursleys. I also enjoyed Harry's feelings about shredding the portrait of Mrs. Black as well as his envy of Ron's ability to sleep soundly. It's the little details and aside thoughts that bring depth to your storytelling, like Harry's wish for a coat, and Ginny's sighs of relief. I look forward to reading more!
Another enjoyable chapter. I like the sense you give that the house at Grimmauld Place is different now that Sirius is not in it - more businesslike and bureaucratic. I also get a good sense of the rushed weariness everyone in the Order is experiencing. Now, this is a Happy Birthday chapter for Harry. That said, I don't get a sense that he IS happy about his birthday. This is the FIRST time he's really had a celebration with presents and the people he loves. I think we should feel the love a little more than we do. Maybe you could achieve this by having him fall back into his old resentment and assumption that people are keeping things from him, only to have him stumble in on his surprise and be genuinely touched. I liked the gift of the Pensieve, although I don't think a magical device that powerful and amazing would come mass produced. This is just me, but I see them as much more of a "luxury" or "specialty" item, maybe hand-crafted or unique. However, I DID like the reminiscent scenes from PoA. I know your story involved Legilimency. I'm interested to see how this gift of the Pensieve relates to that study. Good work.
What an amazing, original story! I particularly enjoyed your literary references as well as Snape's obsession. There was almost a Frankenstein-esque tone to the whole thing that I admired. Well written and crafted!
I've only read the Prologue, but I'm already quite hooked and ready to see the "hillarity" that ensues when this bright young woman encounters our belovedly gloomy Professor Snape! Your opening line was great and in just a few words gives us an idea of who Aunt Hilly is. I'm curious about your focus on music as a Muggle persuit. Dumbledore has frequently mentioned that music is a magic all to itself, and others in the Wizarding world are noted for their love of music. However, I trust you will explain this, so I will read on!
One thing that truly stood out in this chapter was your description of Snape as a boy, particularly his trusting eyes. The reader knows that as an adult, Snape is anything BUT trusting, so that reference to trust that used to be there was touching. I also love your OC's name. It suggests great moxy! An excellent Prologue. I look forward to the rest.
Author's Response: Thank you very much for leaving such a thoughtful review! I appreciate it.
Again, another brilliant chapter! The death of a loved one can be horrible, so I was pleased to see that you introduced some levity to the situation in the form of Clancy's "Dullness of Being Me" list as well as Aunt Hilly's letter.
There were several great moments in this chapter. I'll only focus on a few:
My absolute favourite line was, " it fell to Clancy to decide what to do about everything -- the clothes, the furnishings, all of her aunt's personal items. What right did they have to exist without their owner? Clancy groused bitterly." It was a funny way to deal with the very real and daunting task of squaring away the items left behind by the dead. I also liked, "Now that I'm dead, I don't really know what I am, but as soon as I find out, you'll be the first to hear." We never really meet Aunt Hilly save through her words and how Clancy reacts to them. I think this line gives her great character and personality as well as a wonderful attitude about death. Finally, I nearly fell over at this line: "DO work on your high notes. You always tend to get screechy around high E." Being a singer myself, as well as a Soprano, I know how funny this truly is. It also was a great echo back to Clancy's own admission that she lives and works in the shadow of a better singer and teacher.
Light and funny without trying to be, your story strikes a great balance between the seriousness of death and the fun Clancy is bound to have in exploring her aunt's "other" life. Excellent work.
Author's Response: Thank you for your very nice review. No one has left such an appreciative review for this chapter before! Later chapters will be quite a bit sillier, I'm afraid.
I've been away from your fic for several weeks now, but I'm back and I'm not disappointed! This review is actually for chapters 5 and 6 because to me, they seemed like two parts of the same chapter. What makes your story so appealing to me is the fact that your OC is a Muggle, and so she approaches Hogwarts and the Wizarding world much the same way you or I would. I also like your subtle references to things that are happening in canon without having Clancy be directly involved in them. The bit with the sorting hat was hillarious - welcome to my chapeau, indeed! The reason why I feel like chapters 5 and 6 are linked is because 5 sets up what happens between Clancy and Snape in 6. And don'tcha just love those rooms where the accoustics are SO great, and then you hit an off note and it seems like the whole world just heard how awful it was? As a singer myself, I could truly relate! I remember many an hour in college, struggling with my own high notes that didn't really come until I got older and my voice matured. The best moment of chapter 6, by far, however, is Professor Flitwick's observation that Clancy has "an elegant pair of legs." I nearly fell off the couch laughing at that one because it was SO unexpected. You would think that old Gilderoy might make a comment like that, but not kind little Flitwick! Who knew he had it in him? Finally, I enjoyed Clancy's assessment of Snape's looks, and again I was in stitches as she affirmed what every woman knows - a sexy voice can make any man look attractive, but Severus Snape does not have a sexy voice (unless you're talking about the movie version played by Alan Rickman)! A great story. I'm looking forward to reading more of it.
Author's Response: I'm glad you're still hanging in there! And thanks for the detailed feedback.
A wonderful chapter, and at last the length satisfies me. I felt as if it had a good beginning, a solid middle and a resounding end. So let's begin at the beginning. "Next to bungee jumping naked off the Golden Gate Bridge, impromptu public speaking was her least favorite pursuit." I loved that line. It completely captured that sinking feeling most people get when they're put on the spot to speak in public. I also liked how Clancy put emphasis on the word "surprise" as a small indicator to Dumbledore. Your description of Clancy's trials and tribulations with quill and parchment was brilliant. For those of us who have actually tried this archaic form of communication, it is indeed a pain in the butt! The titles of the Wizarding songs were quite funny and I appreciated that you used Eloise as Clancy's star singer. I think, though, that my enjoyment of this chapter was compounded by the brilliant way you handled the scene between Snape and Clancy. "I am vain." Hah! Why can I just see Snape saying that? And her barb about him being a non-entity in her world! What a way for her to turn the tables on him! I was cheering for our girl, laughing at her play on asphodel and then you hit me with the "turned on an eel" and I about fell over. It was a groaner, but you set it up well and I never saw it coming. Good on you for another brilliant chapter!
Author's Response: Thanks. I always appreciate your reviews!
You need to write longer chapters, madam! The way you describe Clancy's reactions to the magical world that we take for granted is so clever and comical that I'm sad when I get to the end of a segment! Things that I liked about the chapter: Clancy's introduction to Harry Potter via Molly Weasley. I loved that Clancy couldn't care less WHO Harry is and is more concerned with having just passed through a solid barrier! I also enjoyed your characterization of Gilderoy Lockheart - how he automatically assumed she wanted his autograph. His long introduction smacked of something he does every time he meets someone new, so I laughed there because it was rediculously long and out of place. Perhaps my favourite part of the fic, however, was your subtle handling of Clancy's first glance at Snape. A great bit of dramatic irony there, as we know exactly who the "hideous, hook-nosed man dressed in black robes" is, but Clancy, with her Aunt's romantic rememberances, does not. Well done! I look forward to reading the next, hopefully longer, chapter!
Author's Response: Thanks, once again, for leaving such a nice review! My later chapters are much longer. Once I converted to MS Word, I was able to keep track of my word count and keep the chapter length more uniform. Also, I'll admit, I was aware while writing the earlier chapters that not many readers would stick with the story if I didn't get to Snape soon! Many readers have no tolerance for an OFC, especially an American one! :-D