A 16-year-old Ravenclaw girl who is passionate about reading, music, and the beautiful things in life. She loves language, Vienna Teng, films, Doctor Who, and books of all descriptions, amidst a whole host of other things. It would make her very happy if you took a moment to browse her favorites. There may be quantity, but there is most definitely quality as well.
Lian, this is a story to be proud of. This is the kind of story where I read it once and think it’s lovely. Then I read it again, start dissecting, and think “Holy crap.” (That’s good, by the way. ;)
The description is one of my very favorite parts. It’s so simple and evocative at the same time that the emotion and imagery fairly leap off of the screen. I love how you threaded certain images through the entire fic, such as the stars, and fire, and stone. My very favorite line of my very favorite part would have to be this one: “Surrounded by stillness and stars and tears, Minerva heard the distant chime of the castle clocks.” It’s just…perfect. But the paragraph about the constellations is a very close second, and I will now quote it because I honestly can’t control myself. : P
“Before her tear-blurred eyes, the shimmering sky looked like a dark fire, the constellations like omens. They surrounded her, dancing far beyond her reach. They mocked her. The omens were not real. They had not been real. They meant nothing more than the constellations; they were nothing more than meaninglessness turned to meaning by the human mind.”
*shivers* This is so powerful. Powerful in the way that it connects omens and the stars, in that it creates a vivid image, and then that it concludes with a relevant and profound thought on top of all of that. I love the last line.
Of course, none of this would mean anything without Minerva’s emotions forming the backbone of the fic. I almost laughed after the first sentence, because you had already begun to set up her character: Minerva wrapped her arms firmly around her legs. I’m fascinated by the depth to which you’ve delved into her character in such a short space, and with such subtlety. It’s almost like foreshadowing in a manner of speaking, because the little things that are mentioned all add up to when she is a grown woman in canon; her mouth thinning into a line, her ferocity, and even her dislike of Divination. I enjoyed the thought of her hair streaming free behind her in the wind, because it offers a new perspective on an exceptionally stern woman, and reminds readers that she was once a girl, after all.
This entire idea of bringing together details into a conglomerate whole is something that you are excellent at--I would even venture to say brilliant. It’s just…everything. Her grief as a result of her parents’ death and losing her faith coupled with the motifs of the stars and the fire omens all come together absolutely beautifully. And even then, there’s the overarching purpose of telling why exactly she dislikes Divination. There is something to be said for that--I’m in awe.
The contrasts and parallels are quite interesting. Between the unpredictability and the stability of the stone, Minerva’s mourning on the Astronomy Tower to Dumbledore’s later demise upon the same place, between her normal day and the tortured thinking that she is forced to. It’s great.
There were some areas that I felt you could improve, too. The paragraph where she finds out that her parents are dead didn’t feel quite right to me. If her shock upon receiving the news had been emphasized more, I think that would have made it more real, and raw. Also, the when she switches suddenly from thinking about Arithmancy to Transfiguration, a transition might be in order; it felt abrupt to me. A little nitpick--“Lunch had been unusually tasty -- large helpings of bangers and mash -- and there had been Bread Pudding for dessert.” Why is bread pudding capitalized?
But regardless of any criticism that I have to offer, this fic was a joy to read and review. The beautifully understated emotion and description combined in the best possible way, and I look forward to anything else that you write about Minerva.
Author's Response: Thank you for leaving me such a nice juicy review! You\'re totally right that the moment with her parents death just doesn\'t work. I wanted to get the story written and so I totally rushed through it, and I never went back and fixed it. I might go back and rewrite that section at some point, actually. But thank you for pointing it out and making some incredibly helpful suggestions. *snuggles*
This is my submission to the 'Letters to Heaven' challenge/extra credit assignment, in favor of Ravenclaw House.
This shows a side of your writing that I had yet to see. From what I've read, you can do romantic comedy quite well, and now I know that you can do angst with style also. With style, I mean that it wasn't just a bunch of crying slapped together. Your imagery was exceptionally vivid, as were the emotions that you protrayed. It seemed that you unflinchingly put to writing what the deepest and darkest thoughts of our favorite werewolf must be under all his composure.
I especially liked the unique take you took on the challenge. Letters to "Heaven".....very clever. And the way he sent it was an ingenious idea. I've said it before and I'll say it again; I want your talent. Gimmegimme!
Author's Response: Thanks again, GreyLady. I wish I could think of something other to say than 'Thanks' to all your reviews, but words fail me when I blush a smile so much. I'm very glad you think so well of Remus' Letter!
Completely hilarious and very cute. I was laughing out loud for most of it, a rare occurence!
OMG. I don't think she's going to die, because you were obviously upset about DD dying, but I just don't know. Next chap will only tell...It occured to me that our writing styles are similar. Since I haven't posted anything, I suppose that you'll just have to take my word for it! Now...*glares at fellow reviewers* So that's why the chap wasn't up sooner. Get a move on, people!
Author's Response: Upset? I was devastated. That doesn't mean I won't kill off a character for a plot point, though. I've done it before (not in HP fics, but I have done it before). ----Really? Similar writing styles, you say? Now I really want to read some of your stories! Post 'em, please!
Excellent, excellent. That last line was really, you know, deep. I loved it!*sniffles* Remus' rejection was so very-well-REMUS. In every good RL/NT story it has to happen, eh? At least you didn't make it sound cliche (you really didn't!). As before, your characters are perfectly in-character (that sounds redundant..oh well). Except for Peter. I know, I know, we're supposed to realize from Remus' thoughts that he's more confident because he's protected and whatnot, but he just didn't float my boat. Sorry. And is it just me, or did the kiss come on rather fast? I know it's Tonks we're talking about (not exactly conventional, is she?) but it was too sudden for my tastes. Again, I apologize. Oh, and before I go (this is not a criticism) I read in an interview with JK that silver doesn't hurt werewolves in the Potter-verse. So I didn't know whether you knew whether you are technically going against canon or if you cared. Just thought I should tell you (I must also apologize for my excessive use of parenthesis. Damn! Here's another! I just can't escape them!). Please please please respond [GreyLady smiles winningly]. UPDATE!!!!!!!!!!!oOo!!!!!!!!!
Author's Response: Really? It doesn't? Ooops. I had no idea. Well...uh...oh well. Sorry. I suppose I should have checked, but I've read other fanfiction where it hurts werewolves, so I sort of assumed.... Oops. Ah, yes, the kiss and Peter. Problems that people have with this chapter. Sorry about that, you guys!
Oooh I'm so so happy! I have found another worthy Remus/Tonks fic besides Nursing Tonks! Your style is, in my opinion, reminiscent of Jo, and Remus and Tonks are both wonderfully funny and in character. Thanx! UPDATEEE!!
Author's Response: *stares* Wow...someone thinks I have a style somewhat akin to Jo? *collapses in puddle of fangirlness* Thank you so much!!
You go to one of the top 50 high schools in the nation? Wow. Yes, I can indeed see what you mean. It was hard to read, but much less so that some torture scenes I've come across. Very well written and I can't wait to see where your plot ends up. I might also add that you are quite welcome concerning dear Professor Dumbledore. May he have all the socks he would ever want.
It just keeps getting better! Funny how these things happen....Oooooh! Last review I meant to tell you that I you grieving for our poor Professor Dumbledore too. So sad. *sigh* But I'm not in denial. I'd like add that I have this...let's call it a sorta gut feeling that there's some OTHER reason that Dumbledore put them together.....but I have been known to be wrong. Don't give up on the next chap, just tell yourself "I think I can, I think I can!"
Author's Response: Your condolences in my time of grief are much appreciated. =) I'm sure that there's something that we aren't seeing, with the whole Snape thing, and I do have my own theories as well... But, whatever it is, we'll all just have to wait and see.
I'm sorry! I didn't read this back when I read "A Destiny Fulfilled!" So...I rather think you excel at one-shots, to tell you the truth. So much impact, but so concise! Now, about the subject matter...I used to be a AD/MM shipper back in the days when I was young and naive (not very long ago, quite frankly), but I have since become against it, mainly because of the HUGE age difference. I still, however, think they are a fine match, personality wise. You wrote it splendidly, though (as usual). This made me miss Dumbly a lot. *sniff* The ending was...well, a LITTLE disturbing, but then, it's just not what we're used to reading. It's clever and naughty at the same time. About that disrespectful review down there; you tell that flamer, Wiccan! Your response was so dignified that I couldn't help chuckling and now pointing it out to you.
Author's Response: Well, really the age difference between 75/150 isn't as important as say, 15/30. And he did confess to being a 'cradle robber'. ;-) I got such a kick out of that line. Ever since he said "My dear, I've never seen a cat sit so stiffly" in the first book, this weird coupling tormented my mind until I spit it out here. I'm thrilled that you enjoyed my lapse into strangeness.
I love your banner!!! The story was well-written, verrry interesting...nothing much I can say that no one else has.
Author's Response: Haha I love it, too. She did a great job. Thank you for the review!
Like ravenclawslion17, I don't really think that I have anything to say that no one else has said, but I do want to make sure that you knw how impressed I am. This is one of those fics that wasn't ever in the limelight, but is one of the best written. I really liked the premise and your delivery. *huggles metaphors*
Hermione is (in my opinion) a hard character to get exactly right because she is often miscontrued as just a nagging bookworm. You really gave her some depth. I've put this story on my Favorites and hope to see something else by you.
Author's Response: You know, I appreciate all reviews, but yours was really encouraging--the kind of review every writer wants. :) I agree, it never was in the limelight, but I\'d much rather get nice reviews than spam or even flames. Hermione is, hands-down, my favorite character in HP, and I thank you so much that I got her right. I hope to publish another work soon, and thanks for the support.
Look at that, limelight! Congrats, Aequitus. I knew it was special. :)
Author's Response: Oh, thanks so much for the encouragement. You can\'t even imagine how excited I am! :D I\'m going to literally start bouncing off the walls!
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE! Goodness, that was a rude start, wasn't it? Sorry! (Not really). Completely funny, and I absolutely ADORE the screen names! Except I don't like the whole Harry/Cho thing going on....you're dealing with a firm Harry/Ginny shipper here! (die Cho die!) Like I said (multiple times) before, UPDATE!
Oooh Snape mad me laugh!!!!!!!! Even if he is an evil git, I can't deny that his sarcasm always made me laugh. Christmas!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you, my dear author! But I was rereading HBP for the zillionth time and I remembered your title and I think that it is a little cruel. I mean, that Amycus guy calls Dumbledore 'Dumby'! Oh all right, I'm just a little sensitive, but I was extremely fond of Dumbledore! UPDATEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!
Author's Response: Lol, I'm glad Snape made you laugh!! I actually really enjoyed writing him in this chapter!! That's quite alright!!! Lol!! Oh, I am sorry if anyone thinks I'm insulting Dumbledore, I'm really not!! Well, I don't mean to, anyway!! I just needed to think of a title, and I thought it would seem like something he would do!! So, sorry, I don't mean to insult him!! I'll try to update soon!!
I'm REALLY REALLY looking forward to a Dumbledore fic! Wonderful job, by the way. This is a great b-day present for me to discover! But I thought that Phineas' last name was Nigellus. Can't people be related without the same last name? I don't actually know, so you just do what you think best. Thanx!
Author's Response: Thanks! But Phineas Nigellus is like a double-barrelled first name: his surname is Black.
I agree, this is a gorgeous fic about a horrible and dull person! Who'da thunk it? Despite your warnings in the summary, I found it to be quite funny. "Nose searching for loftier heights..." I swear I chuckled! Though Percy is devoid of humor, the narration makes me grin. Your title is both unique and very fitting, and your prose and vocabulary are pleasantly more sophisticated than one is accostomed to seeing in fanfiction. The only thing I disliked was the way Percy seemed obsessive-compusive...didn't float my boat. Perfect ending, sad, but not too sad. Ever since OotP, I've known that Percy is a git and he can't possibly reconcile. An excellent character study! Now I'm off to read your other fics....[evil cackle sounds].
Author's Response: Hi Grey Lady Grey! Nice to hear from ya! Confession time: I figured someone with a broomstick so firmly stuck...erm...uh, well... My father had OCD and I figured Percy had to have had a (un)healthy touch of it to act the way did. The hand-washing was personal experience so I added that as an example. Trust me, it can get much worse than that! Sorry you didn't like the reference, but it seemed the only explanation for the aforementioned broomstick. You are the first to really 'get' the ending...sad, but not too sympathetic. You know he is hurting inside, but don't quite CARE! LOL! Oh, sorry, off on my tirade again. I just hate the guy. I also look forward to any 'evil cackle sounds' you may issue! I am just thrilled that you read my work and actually enjoy....Wheee....'Happy dance'
Ha! First! First of all, let me say that I tip my hat to you. Quite a theory you have, really. I'm impressed, because I seem to lack the brain capacity to come up with my own theories. I don't see much characterization going on here right now, but that's okay, because I think that you will dig a little deeper later. The new teaching method sounds...interesting. Chaotic. But we'll see how it goes. Good job!
Author's Response: Yeah, I'm kind of nervous about the new way of running the school, but I can't see any other way they'd let Harry within a thousand yards of the DADA job and I had to get him in there.
I’d have to say that I like the characterization a lot except for some minor flaws. Harry and Hermione are just great and I especially love how Hermione felt such a strong need to apologize. This seems a lot like her as she’s such a caring individual. (The good friend line was genius.) However, I did feel like she was very happy, very suddenly after this confession and it didn’t make much sense. That might be something to watch out for in the future; abrupt changes in mood without cause.
Harry’s really superb. His awkwardness with Hermione and his continued grief are sure signs that he’s IC. The lyrics that you’ve included exemplify him perfectly as well. Harry’s a determined sufferer; that’s what gives him his appeal to readers. I’m really glad you saw this so clearly because it’s wonderful to read something this intelligent and angsty.
I was pleased to see how Ron wasn’t put down right away as he is in a lot of H/Hr fics. Instead, he’s put in a favorable light as having believed Harry when no one else did. The friendship that Ron and Harry have was portrayed really well in the beginning of their conversation, but it did go a little sour. I was greatly surprised by Harry’s insensitivity to Ron’s feelings about Hermione. He didn’t even act this way when Ron was with Lavender, so I don’t see why he would think of Ron fancying Hermione as immature even if he likes her himself. I’d expect him to be more jealous than anything.
Your description is fantastic; I was intrigued by the opening image. You really have a way with words, with the exception of a few odd word choices. For example:
“Yeah,” Harry mumbled solemnly.”
I had a hard time thinking of a mumble as able to be solemn. They’re just two ideas that don’t mix well. This happened a few other times, but it was minimal, so never fear. =) Your style of writing is very interesting in that it’s descriptive but also tends to be on the sparse side.
Overall, I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this. We’ve gotten delicious taste of action that I think is a very unique addition to a romance fic. Wonderful job!
Another great chappie! I wanna know what happens next! [GreyLady is decidedly pouting] The moment with Ron was not just thrown in, really. Don't let my pouting make you feel bad, because I harass authors that I like, even though i have no right to. I mean, I'm STILL trying to finish that one-shot that I started (Mostly because I found old Dumbledore fics on fanfiction.net that I couldn't stop reading in my free time, Promises by Miss Laine and Here Be Monsters: Wizards Lament [grins guiltily])! Well, now I'm just rambling...so here's your 10! Cheers.
Author's Response: Thanks! Your ramblings are welcome here. I don't mind. I mean, I ramble enough as is. Anyhoo, I'm so glad that the Ron thing didn't seem random. It's funny though. It was the last part of the chapter I wrote, and I just went, "Hmmm... Where should I put this?" Yeah, I didn't even read the whole chapter again before I put it in there. So basically, it was random (at least to me). Um. now I'm the one rambling. Told you. *sticks out tongue* Just kidding.
Very good! I thought the fair amount of backstory about the marauders was a tad bit unnecessary, but it's not bad at all, really. I have nothing but good feeling for the rest of your chap! I'm really looking forward to seeing how Harry copes. Keep writing! And I sympathize with you; I am currently hard at work on a one-shot that will be probably titled 'The Legend of Harry Potter' and it will be post-final battle and Voldemort will be dead....but Harry will be dead, too. It gonna be based on a quote by Jaqueline Kennedy regarding her husband who was murdered, "So now he is a legend when he would have preferred to be a man." Please read it when it is posted!
Author's Response: Thank you for reviewing! Yeah, the Marauder part is a bit unnecessary, but it shows where Remus is coming from, right? It also made the chapter longer. *laughs softly* Um. Yeah. This story does concern Lily, so the Marauders will most likely be tied in as well. Anyways, I hope you will continue with my story after this chapter. I also look forward to reading your story when you post it. It sounds like it'll be really good!