Oh, I really like this fic. Both Neville and Hermione are well in character. I liked how this was presented.. it's very meaningful and precise and not flowery which is how some of these type of fics might turn out to be. There is a tiny error though, which I thought I might just humbly point out - Herbology is spelled Herbolagy. I hope you don't mind. I particularly liked the last line. Do write more!
Author's Response: Lol, don't worry, I'm going to write more. A lot more. And, about the spelling mistake, thanks for telling me. I hate it when I make spelling mistakes that are so obvious XD
It's a cold, rainy day, and Hermione thinks about the Last Battle, and the effects of it on others.
Runner up in the Spring Challenge #2
*sniff* Anna, dear, this story is incredibly beautiful and emotional. The descriptions were so realistic, especially the beginning, with the rain and the bad weather (I never think of that as bad weather though, because I love rain and storm, lol). You did a wonderful job capturing Hermione's feelings.
I had a particular fondness for this line - I always helped them out; I felt it was my duty.. How true! She's always helped them out of spots and lent a shoulder for them to 'cry' on. But has Hermione ever been in a spot herself yet? Hm, I think not. Even with Umbridge in the end of book 5, she intelligently pulled them all out of trouble. What a girl! However, I do have to agree with Karin that the Narcissus in the title sort of put me off and I only knew it wasn't about that Malfoy when I saw Hermione's name in the summary. But that does nothing to stop this from being a great story, though! Fantastic job!
Amazing work as always. The mood was so well written that I actually felt like I was Sirius at some point. You've shown me that it doesn't require a 1000 words to make a good story. Every word was so suited for that particular line, that the whole thing is actually perfect. Fantastic job! P.S. I miss your use of present tense, though, but I guess you can't do that here as he died... It was wonderful even then! ~bL
Oh Lord. Once again you've completely enchanted me with your story-telling skills. I am in love with your style. It's... simple, and still unique. I never thought I'd read such a good post-hogwarts fic, when I clicked on yours, but I should have, now I think of it: you're the author of Marie-Antoinette!
I love the way you give a detailed view of the situation without dragging the narrative. I think I've learnt a lot from reading your writing. :) I have a great fondness for all the characters and the way you portray them, though, until now, I was never a fan of angsty!Harry. But... now I think of it, the way you portray the after-effects of the fight he suffers is completely believable and natural.
This story travels straight to my favourites, and once again, I find myself eagerly waiting for an update from you.
Author's Response: Oh, here you are! And you leave me another lengthy review, too! Is that Christmas already? :)
The style is slightly different from the one I use in Marie-Antoinette, because the mood of the story is different. Marie-Antoinette is sadder and somehow sweeter than the Song of the Trees. I hope it shows in the writing style...[quote] I\'ve learnt a lot from reading your writing [/quote]. I am really happy I was of some use! :D I\'m also glad you like my characters -- I really enjoy writing some of them. This is the only story where I create that many OCs: Lance, Parletoo, Robards (I didn\'t invent the name, though, JKR mentioned him in HBP)... I\'m having a lot of fun with them. As for Harry, he\'s not exactly what I\'d call angsty... He\'s not suicidal, murderous, alcoholic or anything... He\'s just completely empty. I see what you mean, though. In this story, my Harry was described on another site as an average!Harry. Not super!Harry or boneless!Harry. Just average. That\'s perfectly fine with me.
The update... will have to wait, I\'m sorry. I\'m struggling through chapter 8, and it\'s giving me such trouble I came to think it hates me. Besides, I have to update \'Symphony for Quartet\' first. To make up for it, though, I just sent to my Beta chapter 4 of \'Marie-Antoinette\'. :)Thanks for the great review!
This was an incredibly well-written story. I'm surprised that it's got just one review. You've really got Sirius in character and your Regulus is the best one I've ever read. That was a powerful beginning instrumental in drawing the reader in. I enjoyed it from the beginning to the end, though the mood throughout was wonderfully morbid.
I do have a few nitpicks, though. “We’re brothers Sirius.” There needs to be a comma between 'brothers' and 'Sirius'. Also, words like Death Eater and Muggle need to have the first letter capitalized. Other than that, there were no technical faults, which is incredible. :)
I admit, I never thought it would be about Regulus's stealing the Horcrux. The lines where he was introduced and the way Sirius reacted on seeing him were very good. I thought the promise James forced Sirius to make was exactly what he would do. I liked the closing line Sirius was left with more to consider than simply who the traitor within the Order was. Overall, I think this was a superb fic, with many well-written twists. Great job!
Author's Response: Thanks for the review - I really appreciate you putting the time in to write such a well-thought out response. If I can work out how, I\'ll make the corrections you pointed out :-S.
This is a great story! I totally liked it. It's one of the few fics about Luna that I liked. At first, I thought you'd portray her dad as dotty, but then, we find out that he just does what she asked him to. I just had a thought that Luna is not really dotty. Just... broad-minded! Make sense? Never mind. Superb job!
Author's Response: Thank you, BL! :D And, Luna is not dotty in the beginning of the fic. It\'s the death that sort of changes her. Not into a dotty person exactly, makes sense?
*sniff* Beautiful as ever! It's nice and dark and unbelievably detailed, just the way we Noldo fans love it. It's superbly written from the beginning to the end. It made me lean forward in my chair, my mouth half-open and my eyes glazed, taking everything in greedily. What imagery! Reading this fic was like watching a movie.
I feel like a sadist to say this, but I had a strange fondness for this line - It is almost an hour later, his face lit oddly in a sudden shower of light from a window, when he tells her that his brother is dead.Poor Sirius! What mixed feelings he must have. There are other lines just as mysterious and heart-wrenching. You have such a nice talent for using just the right adjectives, just the right amount, nothing too much, nothing too little. :) Oh, and I had been wondering what Bowdlerise meant. Thank you for clarifying.
I admit, I never really thought much about Andromeda, the Black sister before this. She was just a character's mother, standing in the shadows insignificantly, but this fic brought her into the light and made her a whole person. 10/10!
Oh, my! This poem has such an intelligent use of refrain (isn't that what it is, eh? :)). It was excellent, and it seemed a little touching and a little aloof (to me, at least). As my English teacher would say, it's like the detached attachment of the lily. I enjoyed it, and must add it to my favourites! ;)
Author's Response: *laugh* Even I actually don\'t know what it is ... Thanks for giving mush more credit than I actually merited :)
Wow, that was... really beautiful in an eerie way. So... the ring brainwashes people and makes them do things? How clever! This was an excellent story, really brilliant, superbly written. There's really not much to nit-pick other than that I enjoyed it a lot! :)
I liked the clever way you merged the past and present. - Mr Borgin for the present and Burke for the past. May was a superb character, and so was Quentin. If I remember correctly, this won first place, didn't it? Congrats for a fabulous story, Rhi!! 10/10.
Author's Response: Thank you so much! Yes, it did win first place... major shock at the time! I\'m so glad you liked the characters - I was worried May was a little dull and stale in places, but if she seemed well characterized to you then I\'m happy! Thanks alot.
This is a superbly written poem - with a good word choice and great rhyme scheme. I enjoyed reading it.
Just silently waiting I agree with nutty that it would sound best if you removed the just, because that seems to rather spoil the morbid effect in that particular stanza.
The jet of green light
hit Dumbledore’s chest.
It was all my fault.
I know it, don’t protest!
Then Snape gave a laugh,
ran down the stairs.
Please, someone please come.
Answer my prayers! I think what Anna means by this being choppy is that in these two stanzas alone Harry feels fear, guilt and helplessness. Perhaps you could adjust that by modifying the last two lines in each stanza to fuse each feeling separately. It's not a very major problem, though. It's still an excellent poem! Good job!
Oh, my. I immensely enjoyed this. This was a wonderful story - emotionally engaging in every aspect from the beginning to the end. Here, you have nicely explored all the feelings one feels before one takes forward one's toughest decisions in life: the slight and unexaggerated nervousness in the beginning, the expectation, the rush of happiness on seeing one's love at the altar, at the same time the deep, mixed feeling of pride and sorrow she feels, as she looks at his injuries... One word: Beautiful.
Though I would have liked to see more imagery and description of the surrounding, I must say the atmosphere itself drew me deeply in, not permitting me to think of other trivial things. It's not surprising that I had a particular fondness for this line: It was simple, but in it was everything marriage meant to Fleur.
I really did find nothing for you to improve on... sorry for being very unhelpful, but I think I mustn't let you fiddle with this story. Splendid job, Jerri! I give you a 10!
Author's Response: I\'m glad you enjoyed it so much! And although I suppose I could have out in more description of the setting, I was going for the effect you had- just not noticing the other things. After all, Fleur and Bill only had eyes for each other, just like Ron only had eyes for Hermione. And please, don\'t thik you\'re unhelpful- any review is encouraging. Heehee. \'Fiddle\' with the story. Was that an intentional Fiddler on the Roof pun? The world may never know.... thanks for the review!
1983. In a world where Voldemort has won the First War, where hope has fled from an Earth moaning under the Dark Lord's iron hand, marriages are broken and others are arranged in order to preserve the sacred purity of blood. James Potter loses his wife; now they have to find another for him.
Joy, oh, joy... an update! :)
I was hoping for an encounter between James and Marie-Antoinette in this chapter to perhaps speed things up, but nevertheless, you had us readers gripped by our collars. As always, your work is magnificent... In this chapter I could fully appreciate your talent for characterization. Your characters, canon or original, have a very defining, very solid, an... impeccable outline to them, and I find their personalities absolutely realistic and amazing. Its difficult to do that when the characters aren't giving away too much of their emotion, such as in your story, but their personalities are so... crystal clear and well defined, that I have to bow before your greatness! :) For instance, I would never ever expect Aimee or Olivier to write their letters any differently, and I didn't know I knew that until I read what you'd written... makes sense?
I've been thinking for sometime now, why didn't Voldemort fix up the marriage between Sirius and Marie-Antoinette? How come he chose James instead, when Sirius has his 'noble Black blood' and is a very eligible candidate?
I was really impressed with the way you wrote the scene where the Marauders meet. Though we didn't get to see the entire meeting, I, as a reader, could sense their nervousness and the tension in the bar. It sort of makes sense that the oppressed half-bloods would feel hostility towards purebloods, whether they were involved in their ill-treatment or not. I have never thought of it or seen that side of the public mind when I read stories in which things go as far as they have in this one. I think you have a nice understanding of public psychology. :)
I can't wait to know who the mysterious visitor is... Please write more! :)
Author's Response: Thank you for the nice, lengthy review! :) I know what you mean about Aimée\'s and Olivier\'s letter (yes, that does make sense) and it\'s one of the greatest compliments I have ever received! About Voldemort choosing James over Sirius... James had just been forced to divorce, which undoubtedly doubled his hatred for the Dark Lord and his followers, and thus needed to be brought under control very quickly. This will be explained in a later chapter.
I\'m currently writing more! :D
Hello! Today I read all 4 chapters of your story and I must say I was hooked. Your writing style is quite breathtaking - I can't tell what's different about it, but I assure you it's really good. :)
Though you explained the events quite carefully and slowly, I was never bored with the narrative. That's what I liked a lot - it wasn't rushed. I very much enjoyed reading about Marie Antoinette - she is an exceptional character. You seem to have given a lot of thought before writing her down, and I love everything about her.
Another major plus point to your lovely story is your characterization of James and Sirius. It's just... awesome, there's no other word for it. There are innumerable sides to Sirius that fanfiction authors cleverly and cunningly capture in their stories, but I've read few stories in which James is as three-dimensional. His grief is very well portrayed. Well done!
Now, about the villains. I'm simply... amazed. No other story about Bellatrix or Rodolphus has sent chills crawling up my spine. I must congratulate you for your powerful hold on them! I can't wait to see how you portray the victorious Lord Voldemort.
Finally, the part of the story which captured my heart: Sirius toasting Marie Antoinette. :) My heart just went out to them both at that point. It shows that though Sirius is upset for his suffering friend, he also understands Marie's feelings, and he acts in a kindly way. I could just see what made him a Gryffindor and a Marauder and James's best friend at that point. I'm completely entranced by this story. Please update to make us humble readers happy! :)
Author's Response: Hi, thanks for the great review!
First... wow. I\'m so happy you liked the story that much. The style is very peculiar to this story, it\'s much more studied than in my other stories. Marie-Antoinette\'s character demands a special style of writing -- something that matches her personality and her social class. I simply can\'t imagine a rushed story and a \'brutally direct\' style in this world of noble, haughty wizards. I\'m also happy you liked Marie-Antoinette as a character. I love her, too, and yes, I thought a lot about her before starting to write her down.The Marauders\' characterisation: considering I\'m also writing a Marauders story (mostly in James\' point of view), I now know them by heart :). I work a lot on their characterisation, it\'s one of the most important things in fanfiction for me. I\'m glad you liked it.
Now, about Rodolphus Lestrange: he\'s quite absent from the actual books, isn\'t he? So I was able to write him exactly as I wanted. And I wanted to make of him a refined, haughty character, in the like of Narcissa Malfoy, and as opposed to Bellatrix the combatant. Rodolphus Lestrange is, actually, the only equal to Marie-Antoinette when it comes to keeping their rank as pure-blood wizards of the high society. They have much more in common than they both suspect, just as Bellatrix and Sirius have more in common than they think. Bellatrix, just like Sirius, doesn\'t understand the whole point of \"acting noble\". She\'s completely direct and hates beating around the bush, and that\'s why Marie-Antoinette beats her so easily in their verbal fight. I like writing \'my\' villains, too, they\'re very interesting characters.Sirius toasting Marie-Antoinette was my favourite part of the chapter as well... There\'s more Sirius/Marie-Antoinette interaction in the following chapter, which is giving me quite a lot of trouble. Sirius is a kind-hearted man who is especially moved by Marie-Antoinette\'s young age; and he didn\'t fail to notice how indifferent or scornful everyone was toward her. I like him a lot more in this story than I usually do.
I, humble author, am currently struggling with chapter 4 and it seems to be in a particularly foul mood -- it just won\'t let me write it. It\'s about 50% done, and hopefully I will have finished it soon!
Mmm... this was a sumptuous read - powerful and deeply emotionally engaging. I was thoroughly absorbed in it. In a way, it is chilling, and at the same time, comforting, to us readers - well, to me, anyway. It is always comforting to know that Tom is - or was, maybe - vulnerable to human passions at some time or the other. Reading fics about Tom has that dark, staining effect which is hard to brush away, and this was excellent for that effect.
The way you described how power and pain seduced him, and how he did get the urge to apologise for his spur-of-the-moment acts made me think of the two sides he could possibly have. I never thought that Voldemort as a kid could ever have the thought - or the nerve - to say sorry. D'you think that could be a trait of Merope's? Remember how she couldn't bear to have her husband under magical influence anymore?
Anyway, I am really glad I've read this story now. I admire your powerful description in this story and your exploration of Tom's feelings. I wonder... how old was he then? Was this all just a little before Dumbledore met with him?
Anyhow, splendid job with this story!
Author's Response: Hi Blossomlily :) Thanks for leaving your review! I\'m humbled for your very kind words, Blossomlily; I don\'t deserver them :P I\'ll answer to your post in the forums right away (just after this one), heh.
I suppose that fics about Tom Riddle are dark. I really don\'t know, heh. I haven\'t read any so far, but I know I should :) However, you are right about the \'feeling\' with dark fics, and I\'m glad that you think this one accomplished that!
Well, in this story I wanted to show how Tom Riddle died. In my opinion, Tom Riddle was a good and pure soul, but the problem resides in the circumstances he grew up in. The lack of love and the abandonment he suffered were decisive for when he had to decide: to succumb to his darkness or keep on fighting. In the story, he reaches a point where he feels he just can\'t keep going, where he is almost defeated. Hmm... It could be a trait of his mother :) Despite how his father and brother treated her, I think the only thing Merope wanted was to feel loved and beautiful. It is very probable that she felt guilty and decided to stop giving his husband the love potion.
*Blushes* And I\'m glad that you liked it, and furthermore, that you reviewed :) Well, in my mind, Tom is around seven years old, so yes, it was before Dumbledore met him. He had a lot of time to grow into his dark side, and by the time Dumbledore met him, Tom Riddle didn\'t exist anymore.
Thank you very much for your review, Blossomlily! :)
Hello, Anna, m'dear. :) I must say I was thoroughly taken in by this story. What a sumptuous, superbly written narration! I enjoyed it from the beginning to the end.
First off, the thing that attracted me most was the description in the first paragraph. It was like watching a movie. I could easily envision the entire scene in my mind's eye. One line did strike me as odd, though - It was eerily silent around the home, which would have struck an outsider as thoroughly unnatural.. Since it's a lonely hut in a lonely forest, where no other human lives, why would it seem odd that it's silent? Just a thought.
My favourite part in the entire story is the paragraph in which you describe Rodolphus. In that, I could see that you'd created a unique character who completely fits in with Jo's magical universe. I was particularly entranced by the description of his eyes, and this particular line - He could change minds with those eyes, and only the strongest could overcome the temptations. - mostly because I've experienced how influential a person's features can be. Even the lines in which you describe how little kids got frightened of little Rodolphus were good, because it kind of explains why he ended up 'loving' fearless Bellatrix of all people.
From your portrayal of Rodolphus, I could sense that he was an interesting mix of characters - he liked the Dark arts, but couldn't justify using them. He seems rather intriguing to me, and I liked that you used every possible opportunity to try and make him a three dimensional character. Very well done. The ending was excellent, giving the impression that the tables had been turned on Bellatrix. LOL. I just had to laugh at that. Sorry.
Last, but not the least (...) I must congratulate you for the superb title you've chosen. I completely understand the significance after reading it, and somehow I just think it gives you brownie points for your story. :D. Fantastic job!
Author's Response: *squeals* I haven\'t heard from you for sooo long a time, dear! Thank you for the beautiful reivew -- you should be in SPEW, dear. Ahh, finally someone comments on my title. You know, it\'s one of those titles that come to you when you really think about it -- I\'m glad it fit in with my story. As for that nitpick, I\'ve gotten several similiar comments on it. I\'ll leave it up for now, but as more peeps review and add their own I\'ll go back in and change it [the html screws up my story and I don\'t feel like deleting the br tags]. Thank you for all your lovely comments. I just woke up, seeing this and it has really made my morning!
I really could sense the grimness of this story. I think you captured the heavy stillness the house seems to have very beautifully. You have a light, gripping style of narration that attracts the reader. I like it a lot. :)
I could understand how Sirius felt - coming straight from fun and frolick at Hogwarts to the nag-nag-nagging of his mother.
I had a fondness for this line- Because when, and if, this adolescent does return, he would be viewing it through the eyes of an onlooker. But I think 'did' would work better in this context than 'does', and could give a nice effect to the finish.
There wasn't much else to nitpick for - the grammar and choice of words is really good. The thing I liked most was the way you stuck the phrase - through the eyes of an onlooker both in the beginning and the end. Great work! ;)
Author's Response: Thanks, I\'m rather proud of my narration as well. And I\'m glad you liked how I pulled it all together with the \"onlooker\" thing. Thanks for the review!
Oh my lord. I feel absolutely humbled that you wrote such a beautiful poem for me. *is awed*
Firstly, I loved your choice of words. They are very specific, and do their job perfectly, and I know I can't be as decisive when it comes to choosing words, which is why I drag, I suppose. Second, though I'm not a poetry expert and am ignorant of the term for such a scheme, I thought the fragmented stanzas were very very fitting. They sort of give me the impression of how being in Azkaban sucks away a person's clear thoughts, leaving them with incoherent thoughts which make sense... Splendid.
I so love how you injected the Dementor bit in. I could really understand how Sirius would feel reluctant to even think of the word, judging by the way he talks about them in PoA. *sigh* Poor thing.
Thank you so much, dear Anna. :) I'm terribly pleased and grateful to get such a valuable birthday gift.
-With love and hugs,
Author's Response: *grins and hugglese* I am so glad that you liked this, dear. =) Your comments are just so lovely and it was a pleasure to write this for you. *huggles more and loves*
Once more, I completely enjoyed your sense of humour. It is, as you say, well organized and original; it's been a long time since I read such an enjoyable humour story. You have a wonderful talent for humour and this story was very creative. Good one!
Thanks for the vote of confidence, and I\'m glad you read this story - it\'s definitely the humour fic I\'m most proud of. And thank you so much for reviewing! You\'ve inspired me to attempt to continue working on my next long term project.