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.
Nice chapter, although this one seemed a bit short. You mention that Lily has this immense guilt that she wants to be rid of, but I find that I'm not really connecting with her yet. Her turn to alcohol is, sadly, a true behavior. I think many of us old enough to drink have tried to drown our troubles, but as Lily will probably realize, sorrow floats. James' rescue was very tender and heartfelt, and as someone has mentioned before, I like how you have him consider her a "precious burden". I look forward to future chapters.
Excellent! Excellent! I said in the last chapter that I didn't really connect with Lily, but in this one I finally latched on to why she was feeling so horrible. Your description of the "acid green light" that was like a horrible sunrise was amazingly poetic and fit quite nicely into the string of memories. I also felt that her realization that James was acting more like a man than a boy was well placed. However, I have to agree with Lex that the "knight in shining armor" comment seemed more like something a girl might say, though I see where you are coming from by making it a sarcastic comment. Great work. I look forward to reading more.
A wonderful first chapter! It begins cleanly, quietly and with just the right amount of sorrow. I liked how you managed the interaction between James and Lily. His resignation made his actions all the more self-less, and I think that's important for readers to see. Only one thing I questioned was Peter's struggle under the suitcases. I would think that Sirius might at least offer to carry one....then again, I see where you're going with it. All in all, a great start! I look forward to reading more.
Hmmm. James can see Thestrals. Very nice touch. I have to agree with The Linkster. Usually I complain about chapters not being long enough, but in this case, your chapters are just the right length. I think it's a talent to be able to express exactly what you want in a short amount of space! Only one nit to pick: I don't think Sirius would have said "sucks". That's a relatively modern and American thing to say. Will Lily miss the opening feast and the sorting? I wonder what James will do then...Good chapter.
Wow. I'm really stunned at the amount of emotion you manage to pack into such a small space! It is difficult to watch anyone grieve. It is doubly so to watch Harry grieve for Sirius. I feel you've done an excellent job of capturing the exhaustion, despair, anger and listlessness that comes with mourning. I liked your description of the Quidditch manuals that were left untouched as well as the feeling that all the light was being sucked out of the room by Harry's gloominess. The part that truly moved me, however, was the bit about the obituaries in the Daily Prophet. Now that open war has been engaged, I think those reminders of the innocent who are killed is very poignant. Besides that, Harry's thought that Sirius was the only father he'd ever known made me cry! A great opening chapter! I look forward to reading more.
Author's Response: Aww! I hope you didn't really cry! I honestly was not pleased at the thought of having a thoroughly depressed Harry, but I had to do it to make sure he was IC. I'm glad the description got my point across clearly. I've re-worked this chapter so many times. Thank you for reviewing!
I greatly enjoyed this chapter. Following the dismal atmosphere of Privet Drive, one would expect Grimmauld Place to be even worse for Harry. However, I liked that you had him instantly surrounded by his "second family". Fred's comment about things getting a bit rough in his bed had me rolling on the floor - but then again, I'm partial to the twins. Your handling of Ron and Harry's awkward conversation was brilliant and completely IC. They want to show they care, but they're not quite ready to talk about things yet. Like Harry, I'm curious to see how the Brain Incident has affected Ron. Great chapter - looking forward to reading more.
Author's Response: I'm very very very happy that you've taken time out to read my fic! I do my best to keep my characters very canon. Thanks!
Hello! Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to your story! Again, let me say that I am enjoying your use of POV. Minerva's little comments about Lucius Malfoy are quite funny. Hermione's observations about Draco and Luna are also interesting and and revealing. There are a few things I'm a bit confused about, however. Where does this story fall time-line wise? Is this pre-GOF AND pre-OotP? I note you mention the Quibbler, which we didn't really hear about in-canon until OotP, but Lucius is still at the Ministry, and Fudge is still in denial about Voldemort. Furthermore, Harry, Hermione and Ron seem a bit TOO calm regarding these reports about Voldemort returning. Is this an AU fic and I just missed it?
A few nit-picky things:
[i]Mr. Malfoy, well- spoken and polite as always has very much to share...[/i] add a comma after always. [i]How could anyone read such bull...[/i] I'm not sure "bull" is a word Minerva would use. Also, you may want to look at your formatting in the section where you are describing Draco and you have the repetition of the word "that" to emphasize each sentence. It took me a second reading to realize what you were trying to do there.
I think that because you set us up so well in chapter 1 with Draco's POV, it gives us a greater sense of sympathy for him when we hear about him from Hermione. I'm interested to see where the story goes in the next few chapters. Good work.
Author's Response: Don't worry about not revewing...it takes me a long time as well. ;) You're right...I never did officially declare a timeline, but it is pre GOF. I'm going to edit that at some point into my summary. I'll also take a look at your suggestions...thanks!
Great beginning! I never thought I'd actually LIKE Draco Malfoy or at least empathize with him. Let me get the structure and craft stuff out of the way first:
1. " Draco was enwrapped in sleep as he rolled over in his bed roughly..." I would use the word enveloped and pair rolled and roughly together. You CAN be poetic even in prose. :)
2. "As it was, Draco Malfoy was not aware of his surroundings; it was the dream itself that had held his mind." Leave out "had".
3. I love the repetition of the word "pain". You use that quite effectively.
4. Adverbs. Used sparingly (ha, ha) they add to the richness of a story, but over-used they weaken your prose. I also struggle with this in my writing, so here's my suggestion. For every adverb that you use, question whether it needs to be there or whether you can use a stronger verb.
5. "And his refrained but obvious hate for Albus Dumbledore and his followers. " Use "restrained" rather than "refrained".
6. "Incedio." InceNdio. :)
Now that the nitpicky stuff is done, onto the really great things you did in this chapter.
First, I loved that you showed vulnerability and that Draco's normal attitude is actually a protective facade. Writing a cannon "adversary" as a hero in a fanfic is difficult, since we're supposed to relate to someone we've been conditioned to dislike in the novels. I think you do this well in your first few paragraphs.
I like Draco's ruminations about his father. We've always gotten the impression that Draco has a sort of hero-worship thing for his father, but I liked the suggestion that it's fear that motivates Draco's relationship with his father and not really love.
The third thing I really liked was Draco's reaction to the rumours, gossip and whispers of his classmates. The process of his getting dressed and prepared to face the day was well crafted, succinct and powerful. Like he had to psyche himself up just to walk down the halls as if nothing was wrong. I like that he has to tell himself that he's better than everyone else.
Great chapter. I look forward to reading the rest later this week!
Author's Response: Oh, goody! I love these kinds of reviews. I'm definately going to take your thoughts into mind and edit the little things whenever I get the chance. Thanks for your thoughts, they are more than welcome! :)
Wow! My heart's a-racin' with all the excitement going on in that chapter! I like that it starts "in media res" (in the middle of things) and that we're seeing different perspectives (Hermione, Dumbledore, Dobby) on the impending battle. My favorite part was the awarding of points in the middle of the hysteria. What a very "Dumbledore" thing to do! Things to watch out for: there vs. their; run-on sentences and other common usage errors. Otherwise, this chapter was delightful! I can't wait to read the rest.
First of all, I'd like to congratulate you for making such a bold plot choice at the beginning of your story. That Harry has something to hide from Ron, we all know. That he doesn't much believe in Ron's magical power is something we don't know and came through wonderfully in that scene. I like that you added tension between the two friends and that Ron now knows something went on between Harry and Ginny. I would have liked to have seen or rather heard more of Ron's reaction. However, a punch will do. I've been waiting for someone to smack Harry since this story began!
As for the scene between Ginny and Petunia, I thought it was short, but well done. Again, it was an interesting character and plot choice to have Petunia go so far outside her comfort zone and to truly reflect on and face some of her choices in the past. She is still, however, a Dursley and I applaud you for keeping her in character by having her unwilling to accept her maltreatment of Harry. Personally, I didn't need to see the birth. I feel Ginny can relay that later - perhaps in flashback, perhaps in telling the events to another character. The chapter was short, but I think you moved the story along nicely. Well done.
Yay! New chapters! And you did not disappoint with this one. I kinda did a double-take when I saw that Ginny had been sent to the Dursleys, and I, too, am wondering how Dumbledore managed to bribe Petunia into taking the young witch in. Also, I think I was as astonished as Ginny when you had her pass through the wardrobe. Oh, and can I have that bathroom? It sounds amazing! One last thing -- Harry needs to be smacked in the back of the head and asked "Wossamatta you, eh?" I have nothing but great things to say this time around! I can't wait to get to the next chapters!
Author's Response: *blushes* Glad you liked it! As for smacking Harry in the back of his head, will a knuckle sandwich do? Oh, and there's already a line waiting for that bathroom. It was inspired by the prefects' bath in GoF. What I wouldn't give for a long soak in that tub...
Y'know....Snape always rises to the occasion when a character is having a bad day! I love his dialogue in this chapter - very funny. Also, I liked the pregnancy chat about Persephone (HA! - good one) and the Concealment Charm. I never thought of that. And she's getting letters from Hermione but nothing from Harry??? What's up with that? A good read!
Author's Response: This was, by far, the easiest chapter to write. Now I'm stuck trying to make everythimg else match up! ;) Thank-you so much for the encouragement!
Excellent chapter! You've got me hooked - I'm supposed to be sewing and instead I'm reading your fic! You've gotten much better with word choice and your prose is reading much more smoothly. Also, I felt like I wanted to BEAT Harry for such an emotionless letter! Heck, Percy had more emotion in his letter than Harry. Silly boy! I also like how you "throw away" little things like Charlie's fate and the fact that Ron hasn't written either. De-emphasizing those things gives them much more impact. This is your best chapter yet!
Author's Response: I'm glad my computer skills aren't in question here... I replied to the wrong review! THIS was the easy chapter...
Whoa! I've got chills just thinking about what Ginny must have gone through during that time! Very well done with Dumbledore. He was believable and his decision seemed to be in line with all sides of the situation. I'm also wondering who these "people" will be who will take care of Ginny & Harry's child. They seem rather sinister in their own right. One thing to watch out for (because I do it too!) - be careful of how much you use "just", as in, "I just feel so helpless," etc. I noticed it a few times in there. I'm looking forward to reading the next chapter!
Author's Response: Sinister? I like that! Your occupation is showing through, I love how you so easily point out my bad habits ;) I'm so glad that my characters have "hooked" you. It's wonderful to hear such praise, especially since it's been so long since I've written anything! I hope you keep reading and keep pointing out my foibles so that I can work on them.
I must say that I'm a bit surprised by Petunia in this chapter - especially given her behavior towards Ginny in the previous chapters. You explain her sudden admission of love as being a gradual transition. The problem is that we, the readers, haven't had an opportunity to SEE this transition. We've caught glimpses, but we haven't really been "in Petunia's head" enough times to see her struggling with her dislike of magic but her growing love for Ginny.
Nevertheless, I thought that the scene with Petunia and Ginny worked extremely well. I think that Ginny's forced separation from her child will not be as harsh now that we know Petunia truly loves the child and will not abuse her. I particularly liked Ginny's desire to smash the stained-glass window. It was a subtle choice, seeing as those kinds of windows are facades and usually depict joyful scenes. Ginny must maintain a facade of joyfulness, even though she's breaking apart inside.
What really shone in this chapter was Remus' words of wisdom to Harry. For the first time, I actually had sympathy for Harry because of Remus' observation that he was killing himself before Voldemort even had a chance. I like that you've portrayed Remus as a substitute father for Harry. He's also such a calming agent in the high turmoil and drama that the reader is happy to see him appear, because we know that he will bring a sense of stability to troubling events.
On the whole, I thought it was a great chapter. You know I think you should be writing longer chapters, but that's just me! Keep doing what you're doing!
Author's Response: Thank-you! I love that you think my chapters should be longer... makes me think my writing might be worth reading. I think I may just accomodate you with my latest chapter... 1000 words and I'm only about a third of the way through it. I've said before, but it bears repeating, I hate writing Petunia! I never had any intention of delving so far into her character! But I did begin to realize that we needed to see at least some of her transition in order to accept it when Ginny has to leave the baby with her. :) Thanks again for the absolutely lovely review! :)
What a beautiful reunion for Molly and Percy! I think I was just as overjoyed as she. This was a great chapter, filled with the quiet, family-shared moments of Christmas. What I find so amazing about it, is that all the while I find myself thinking about poor Ginny! She is a constant presence, even though she is not there. Well done! Hopefully we'll see some of the tension between Ron and Percy dissipate, and maybe Remus will find out about Harry and Ginny's relationship. HE, at least, should be able to smack some sense into a certain bespectacled wizard!
Author's Response: Yeah, Remus is another character that wasn't going to play heavily in this fic.... So much for outlines! Remus might just be the one shed some light on the subject...
I was crying with Ginny at the beginning of this chapter, because having just read about all of the wonderful things happening at Grimmauld Place, it only served to drive home how miserable Ginny's Christmas will be! Petunia needs to be slapped for all her muttering about "trollops" and "just deserts". That made me sufficiently angry, and I'm trying hard to understand how one woman who has had a child could be so cold and distant to a younger woman going through her first childbearing experience. By the way, the scene where Ginny realizes she can feel the baby is beautiful! I hope to experience that myself someday.
The only nit I have to pick with you is that it seems like everything is going by very quickly. You had great pacing in the last chapter, but this one, towards the end, seemed a bit rushed in places. Take your time. We're willing to read longer chapters! Other than that, I really enjoyed this. I sort of wish Dumbledore would quit being so vague and spell it out for Harry, but then that would get rid of the dramatic tension!
Author's Response: *sighs* I never intended to investigate so deeply into Petunia's character or into Ginny's stay at Privet Drive... and then I started writing. So I am guilty of trying to rush, I want to get to the rest of the story! lol. It does my heart good though, that I could write a longer chapter and still keep you interested! I have just written a rather long DD monologue where he spells it out for us, if not Harry. We'll have to see if it makes it past my betas ;) Thank-you for the beautiful reviews, they were a very nice treat to come home to!
Oh how my heart went out to Ginny in this chapter! The numbness and exhaustion that you described, I could actually feel as I was reading. To be left so empty by an experience such as hers was gut-wrenching and sad! Another aspect of this entire story that I like, and I think I've mentioned before, is Dumbledore's uncertainty. In the books, the Headmaster always comes across as all-wise and all-knowing. I think you humanize him a bit by giving him some doubt and making him question the rightness of his decisions.
The scene between Ron, Harry and Hermione had just the right amount of tension and just the right flow to it. Not too long and, more importantly, not too short! Harry was spot-on in character with his admonition that "I. Didn't. Do it. Alone," a reminder to Hermione and to the reader as well that Ginny was a willing partner. I look forward to seeing what happens when Harry and Ginny finally meet in Hogsmeade.
Author's Response: If I had written this story pre-OotP, I might not have made Dumbledore so human, but I think that scene in his office with Harry shows us that he is. I think he makes the best decisions from the options that he has, but he has the foresight to know what the consequences will be and he's in a damned if does damned if he doesn't situation. Ginny and Harry have really messed up and it's falling to Dumbledore to do damage control. I must give some credit to Jan who argued the point to death, that Dumbledore was going out on a dangerous limb by not forcing Ginny to tell Molly or by not telling her himself. I honestly hadn't thought about this from Dumbledore's perspective until she made me defend him. Dumbledore's duplicity adds yet another facet that I find interesting to explore, so we'll see more of it in later chapters. I'm also glad that my "shower" scene came across well. It felt minimalistic when I wrote it, but I found that no matter what I added, it lost it's punch and became mellowdramatic. While on one hand the resolution to the trio's troubles may have been anticlimactic on the other, it's not a story about them. So, thank-you for reviewing, it really is fun to see what pieces my readers are picking up on!
I'm running out of great things to say about your fics that I haven't already said before! I enjoyed Ginny's chance to have a bit of fun in Hogsmeade with Mary, who is a wonderful character, by the way. Knowing what she's gone through, it was such a change of tone and pace to have her laughing and having fun like a girl again.
My only gripe, now that read the chapter in its entirety, is that Harry and Ginny seem to fall into loving one another a bit too easily. It isn't the location, it's the lack of hesitation on Harry's part and on Ginny's part. They've both suffered consequences of their initial actions that one would think might make them pause to consider. On the other hand, they are teenagers, and haven't yet developed a complete sense of rational thought. I don't know...I suppose I wanted to see the conversation before the loving.
My personal preferences aside, I did love the reprimand Ginny got from Dumbledore. Very like a teacher (or a parent, for that matter) to feel disappointment in a child when he/she does something dumb. I only hope that Percy is all right! I've come to like him in this fic, and I know that Ginny doesn't need any more tragedy in her life.
Author's Response: Posting a WIP is great in that readers comments can often help you flesh out the plot with their comments and questions. On the other hand, though, there are somethings that have resolutions planned but I haven't got there yet ;) I think that by the end of the story, people will have a greater understanding of Harry's and Ginny's relationship. Others, Lex especially, keep telling me they wish they'd seen the build up of their love, a courtship, but there was none to show. They like each other, certainly, but they are teenagers and so far it's all heat. Right now they are equating sex with love. They do already have a strong foundation in friendship, though, and that will serve them later when Harry finds out about the baby and they'll have to talk... and they'll have to grow up. I think that is really the basis for Dumbledore's response. As an adult who can see the big picture, he knows that Ginny isn't 'in love'with Harry and he knows that the strength for her sacrifices must stem from her love for Gwen, not her crush on Harry. He's pleased that the light has started to dawn on her that the baby is the one she should protect; and he is disappointed in her for making the same mistake twice and thereby putting Gwen in jeopardy. And if that doesn't answer the question... hopefully the end of the story will! ;)
Hey! Very nice. A good, solid beginning. Just a bit of con-crit. Go back and look at your use of proper nouns and pronouns. I think that in some places, your pronouns are confusing. In other places, you use a proper noun when you could easily use a pronoun for smoother reading. Also, try to vary your word choices. A good rule to follow/game to play is to try not to use the same word twice in the same paragraph. This can be quite a challenge, but it provides for much richer writing. Hope that was helpful. I'll read your other chapters and review when I get a chance.
Author's Response: You have called me on my one of my worst habits: once I find a good word, I can't stop using it! and I really like the word REALLY! ;) Thank-you for the con-crit, I appreciate the help!