I came over here from LJ to read your top five, and of course started with this one. (It was the one on top, after all.)
Very clear, very concise - which is not to say short, but, rather, that you didn't throw anything in here that does not play to the effect of the story - a masterful show of restraint and good judgement.
I don't find myself particularly horrified, but then, I have lived longer and seen more than most of your readers. Yes, life is like this, people have very unclear motivations, the motivations shift from moment to moment, they do things they regret - but they also don't do things they should do, and they also regret things that make no sense to regret. In that sense, I find this story very true to life, indeed, but not so much dark as just the color of the sky - overcast, perhaps.
On a related note, pertaining to one of your responses - yes, many times in history, you find that the disciplined troops are the winners, however, it is by no means always the case. Moreover, to say that the Americans had no real victories until the French came in and taught them how to be an army ignores several important things, including Trenton and Von Steuben, who was by no means French. They were a key ingredient at Yorktown, but they were in some respects mixed blessings and to just hand the Revolution over to their organizing influence is over simplification. The issues of supplies and pressure on an ancient enemy and so forth do not carry through your analogy, if analogy is what you were going for...
But that is in the responses, not the story. Yes, I'm left quite convinced that Michael will be affected by this for the rest of his life. I don't think the Cruciatus should bother him at all, however. Those characters have done far worse for far less.
There are issues here no one else has mentioned. Is it so certain that Miles wouldn't kill him at this point? I have no problem seeing the character you've described hitting him in the back just because he can, as a last grasp at some sort of victory, even if he is on his way to Azkaban. I'd have at least disarmed him and tied him up, myself.
The question of how much of the killing was motivated by previous things the cousin has done is a good little complication.
Overall, a good job, and I think you did what you set out to do. Congratulatoins...
I think you hit the nail on the head in terms of the moral ambiguity of what people did during the war. Even Lupin himself berated Harry for not being willing to kill when he Disarmed Stan Shunpike rather than Stun him or worse, and it's more or less a given that Remus was a man of above-average character. And he was willing to kill people to get done what needed to get done. Many others, I wager, were aiming for the same. That's where I created the baseline for what Michael did and how he reacted to it.
Miles is a character with a story in my head canon, and yes, he has a history with Michael. While I won't go into it because it's convoluted and rather detailed, suffice it to say that neither of them would've cared overmuch if the other dropped dead. What Miles did was throw whatever punches he could before the inevitable happened. They both knew what was happening, and Miles wasn't stupid; he knew where he was going to end up. But goading Michael and hurting him was a battle he thought he could win. He didn't count on Michael snapping, but they were maybe a bit more alike they either of them cared to admit. Neither was a killer by nature, but when their buttons were pressed and the issue forced...well, you see what happened.
The analogy between the non-Death Eater side and the American revolutionaries is actually pretty apt, I think. The Death Eaters were unified in that they dared not stray, but the Order members in canon often had their own agendas and things they had to worry about outside the cause. However, like the Americans, the Order side were fighting for their equality and the right to exist the way they chose, and I think that provides an unique motivation for them that, eventually, might have tipped the scales to be in their favour, or at the very least not so lopsided.
All in all, I wanted to tell a story about a 'winner' who didn't think he was all that much of a winner. Whether Michael hated himself for killing Miles or if he hated himself for not feeling as bad about it as he possibly should've been, I'll leave that for interpretation. But ultimately, this story is about moral dilemmas and how not everyone makes the right choices and, when they go unpunished, they go about punishing themselves in some manner because it's the only way they can cope. Yes, Michael is messed up for a long time, for life, but this is only the beginning of his story and how he learned to live with the man he had let himself become. And this is why I lurve Dark/Angst!
Thank you very much for your visit. I hadn't actually expected anyone to read/review due to the meme, but it made a long, s*** day a lot better because you did. Very much ♥
Summary: Viktor is thankful for uniforms; they make it difficult for him to identify individuals while flying at breakneck speed. But right now, he has to shake her hand. He dreads it, and hates himself for dreading it, so he doesn’t look into her eyes when their skin comes into contact, or when her fingers grip his a little more tightly than necessary.
This is hestiajones' seventh entry for the GH Cotillion Challenge. Thank you, Croll, for your support and ideas and jokes! I am not J.K. Rowling.
Very interesting. I like the way you've characterized Viktor - it is a consistent outgrowth of what we see in canon, and Gabrielle reminds me of a few young girls I've known. You've made good choices about what you've left unsaid, and how you've presented it.
Author's Response: Thea, apologies for this terribly late response! I stopped coming to the archives altogether, thinking I'd leave, but ha! I'm back and writing :) This is a lovely review! Thank you so much for reading and commenting. ~ Natalie
Summary: Cormac McLaggen, a sports journalist for The Daily Prophet is looking for a scoop to make his name.
Zacharias Smith, Chaser for the Falmouth Falcons is looking for acceptance and respect.
Will a game of 'Truth or Dare' get both of them what they want? Or will this collision of two colossal egos leave both licking their wounds?
This is Equinox Chick writing for The Inaugural Great Hall Cotillion Challenge.
This story is dedicated to Ariana (lucca4) because she dared me.
Thanks to Natalie (hestiajones) for betaing this story and also to ma flist for encouraging the impossible.
Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling. I hope she doesn't mind what I've done to two of her 'most-loved' characters.
Completely and utterly overjoyed that this won the award for the Best SSP One-shot in the 2012 QSQ's. I suspect my pairing will grab the glory, which is as it should be ;)
Nice job, Carole. I didn't expect Cormac's secret to be what it was. And you kept me interested in two characters I didn't even like in the books...
There is just one moment that I found confusing - It was not immediately apparent who was speaking: “Why didn’t you choose truth as an option when we played that stupid game?” Cormac groaned, feeling Zach’s breath on his neck. “Were you really that scared of admitting you were gay?”
I think you caught this whole, very male scene very well.
Author's Response: Thank you.
Hmm, Cormac's secret was inspired by a tale I heard of someone sleeping through the events of 9/11 because he'd been out drinking, and him feeling so ashamed he could never tell anyone. Cormac was the sort of person who would have fought and with the type of recklessness that could have got him killed, so I have a feeling this lack of action would haunt him.
Yes, that line is a bit confusing. I shall rejig at some point. Thank you for the review. ~Carole@
Just to respond to your response, Carole... How interesting that anyone should feel that way about 9/11, when there was absolutely nothing anyone could do. The only exception to this I know of is the steelworkers. There were steelworkers up on a building uptown who saw it fall, and went downtown knowing that their skills would be needed to get people out - except that there was very little getting anyone out. People stood around in ER's all over the city waiting for the rush of casualties that never came. And yes, I do have my own story of it, but I would never have thought of anyone feeling oddly because they missed it. I was so so aware that it was not "my" tragedy, that I had not lost anyone, when a town or two over from here they lost more people that day than they lost to fighting in WWII, and the fire department lost more men in one day, I think, than it had in it's entire previous history. (I could be wrong, but that is close.) None of which has anything to do with your story, which took an idea and transformed it AMAZINGLY into a secret shame, an open shame, and a bonding factor between two characters... I think I am even more impressed now than I was before.
Author's Response: I think it was more the fact that an event like that has people forever remembering where they were when it happened. If you were living in the vicinity but slept through it, then perhaps it feels shameful. It was a character on a tv programme that said it, so it's anecdotal, but ti stayed with me. For Cormac, it's different. He could have done something and would have relished the chance, but he wasn't able to. Thanks for reviewing again, Thea.
Summary: "You know, after someone dies, you don't shed tears on their behalf. You're not sad for them because they've passed... You grieve for yourself, because you have to go on living without them." Old age has given Ron Weasley a little wisdom, enough to see that perhaps the world is starting to move on without him.
I hope to see him someday soon.
Er, not too soon, I hope! That is, if you're talking about going to join him...
This is a wonderful story. I like how you've characterized Ron, how you've made him the last one standing but Ginny,
I have one quibble - with your math. If Rose is born in 2006to be on the train in 2017, then Ron was 25 when she was born. That means if he's 90, she's 65. And pregnant. Which is pretty good work, even for a witch. I think you need another generation in there - when my GGma was 92 I was 18. Almost time for a fifth generation...
Other than that and a tiny bit of phrasing at the begining this just goes from strong point to strong point. Good characterization of Ron, no lingering on things that are really outside the realm of the story (That is, no long explanations of how each of his brothers died...) a VERY good use of Dolohoff's curse to explain Hermione dieing before him, and of Voldemort's curse shortening Harry's lifespan to explain that - but, again, math, Muggles live to 92 all the time. A bunch of my grands lived to ninety. So Ron is still at a Muggle lifespan himself.
I really liked it. Really. So much that I am reccing it to my friend who adores Ron...
Summary: This story is a missing moment from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. We know Ron and Hermione descend into the Chamber of Secrets in search of basilisk fangs, and we know they succeed. But what exactly happened down there? This story provides a possible answer to that question.This is WeasleyMom of Hufflepuff writing for the Illustration for Inspiration Challenge in the Great Hall. My inspiration was a drawing done by Carole/EquinoxChick, featuring Hermione's hand stabbing the cup with a basilisk fang. Thanks, Carole! You unknowingly pushed me to write something I've had in my head since DH came out. Thrilled to announce this story tied for third place in the challenge! Holy Hufflepuff! This won a 2012 QSQ Award for Best Canon Romance, one-shot! I am thrilled and so, so grateful!
This is..staggering. I love the important details - that Ron remembers there is no way out but flying, that they are so very careful with the fangs, how long those fangs would be, that the hole small enough for a twelve year old Ron or Harry wouldn't be large enough for them at 17, and how well you integrated them, with no sense of explainy explainy-ness.
I am absolutely floored by how well you've handled what the horcrux actually does to Hermione. I don't really recall anything that amazing happening when Harry destroyed the book, perhaps because he was a Horcrux himself, but what it did to Ron was epic - and you have put what it does to Hermione on the same level. Of course, a book - I wondered to begin with if it just being a book would make it difficult enough for her, but what it said to her...
And Ron's warning is perfect. "He lies." It's not just that it's a simple, powerful truth about Voldemort. It's not just that it is simple and pure enough to hang on to through what she's - it's that it goes back to a name for Satan, the father of lies, and ties in without being explicit just how far gone Voldemort is, in these, the most evil of his "accomplishments..."
(And I love that he misjudged the distance and they sort of ran into the bathroom wall... ;-) )
Author's Response: Wow. I've read this review three times now -- is that wrong? I'm so glad you liked the story and thought it worked as a believable missing moment. I will admit that I was pretty much carrying CoS and DH around with me everywhere for the time I was writing this, afraid I would make some canon error because so much of the physical setting is known in the books. (I actually did make an error in spite of all the research, but was lucky to have it pointed out early on so I could correct it.)
“I haven’t seen you this hot and bothered since Marlene, you know. Reminds me of our schooldays.”
Sparks are flying between Remus and Tonks, however much Remus wants to deny it. When Sirius notices, he tries to persuade Remus to do something about it.
Written for prompt #5 of SPEW 007: Juggling.
So I shall leave you a review, since you've asked so nicely...
It's very nice. Not too hard to understand, since we know the characters, but did I miss there being any sort of conclusion to the story? It is very nice, I like it, and I'd like to see Remus and Tonks having their romance. This would be a good first chapter to a longer fic.
I find it just a little confusing that it's just some dialog, without my (I may be being dim) being able to figure out if something has actually happened or not...
Summary: It takes sixty years, but Minerva finally comes to understand the truth of George Bernard Shaw's pronouncement on tragedy: "Life contains but two tragedies. One is not to get your heart's desire; the other is to get it."
Nicely done. And an unusually nice prose quality.
Author's Response: Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Summary: There is magic the likes of which humans can barely remember and seldom experience. There is, however, a handful of men privileged enough to experience a part of it: the Dryad's Consorts.
Written for the last third of Madame Alex's Character Triathalon!
Many thanks to Maple for the beta; I couldn't see myself sending this one to anyone else.
Anything you recognise is JKR's. Anything you don't recognise is possibly mine, but probably JKR's.
Wood-nymphs, more commonly known as Dryads, are first and last mentioned in the Potterverse by Fleur in Goblet of Fire. In Greek mythology, these cunning magical creatures are entirely female, and must capture and seduce human men in order to bear daughters and heirs to their forests. In other works of literature they are described as bold and highly territorial, with voracious, er, "appetite" for particular intimate activities. So, basically a shy Herbologist's every fantasy...
This is heart-rendingly beautiful.
Summary: As Harry and Ginny eagerly await the birth of their first child and their new lives as parents, Harry discovers that before he can move forward, he must take a journey into his past and revisit what has never been put to rest. He learns the truth of the poetic line "The child is father to the man."
This story has been nominated for a 2013 Quicksilver Quill Award: Best Post-Hogwarts Story.
Oh, how stark! And very well done - I can picture it all. I'm rushing on to the next chapter..
Author's Response: Yes, "stark" is a good word to describe many of Harry's experiences.
I have always thought that the books make too little of Harry's background. I'm not certain the last paragraph here doesn't make too much of it - except for how you have placed it at a time in his life when a person might well worry about such things.
"Only Hermione, the Weasleys, and a few others knew him also as the Survivor of Sixteen Years in the Dursley Household."
And I do hope he does talk to one of them...
Author's Response: I am hoping that when you read the subsequent chapters you will see why I made that statement. Despite what I wrote in response to an earlier review, this story is not really my first work of fiction; except for the characters and locales created by JKR, it is all taken from real life. The book Harry finds in Chapter 6 really exists as depicted and would affect any survivor of childhood abuse in the way it affected him. Patricia's statements in Chapter 7, that it takes time to rebuild a healthy personality from a foundation of abuse, that she is still working on it at age 48, and that "it will always be a part of the definition of who you are", are accurate. People who were blessed enough to avoid being part of a Dursley-like household may feel that some of this story is over the top, but people who lived through that experience will identify with it. Thank you very much for reading and commenting on my story, and I hope you will also enjoy the coming chapters.
Summary: The Collier's Virus is highly contagious, magically virulent, and always fatal. Junior Healers Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger are called in to help find a cure before the virus claims another life. If they can.
I have to tell you that after I read chapter four, I had to turn off my computer. That is, the story did that to me. You should be extremely proud of yourself.
Author's Response: Oooh, I am!! What a reaction! Thank you so much for reading!!
This is...lovely. Really lovely.
I think the Theresa part is the weakest link. I can't see Hermione settling for nothing more than sex with Draco if she thought Draco had an interest in someone else, and his constantly trying to get more out of her denies it. Besides, Theresa is just not a purebred name - Gypsophelia, maybe, or Melodia, or Cassiopeia - but Theresa? Somehow, just not magical enough. That's clearly my own little prejudice, but I will admit to it...;-)
But really, that is a small quibble compared to the rest of the story, and re-writing this five times was worth it - I think you got it exactly right... (I love the part where he tells her it's up to the Malfoy legal team to figure out where her notebook came from...)
Author's Response: Lol, I really didn't even think about the name. But then, I never considered Theresa a pure-blood, either. In my head, she was a half-blood. :shrugs: I get what you mean about it being a weak link, though. I probably should've added more of her throughout the story, given her a fleshier character, and really made Draco's change of behavior near her obvious, as well as shown Hermione's reaction to it. Ah well, maybe on a re-write someday, I guess. Good spot, though, and thank you for that! As far as Hermione settling for sex, I'm not going to say she was desperate because I honestly don't think she'd gotten that far, but I do think that she had it firmly in her mind that she and Draco weren't going to be anything more than 'bedroom buddies'. She could've construed his asking her out as mocking or a way to have both Theresa and her at the same time. Not very flattering. However, since Hermione doesn't like Theresa, I don't think she'd have too much of a problem with getting what she wants from Draco. He's a grown man, after all, and if sex with two women is something he wants, then that's his choice. And since a serious relationship between them would be nonexistent, and she knows it, then it doesn't really hurt her, either. Does that make sense? Anyway, I'm glad you thought the wait was worth it! I wanted to get it exactly right, and the previous drafts had no where near the emotional punch they needed to. Thank you so much for you patience and for leaving such a great review!!
Summary: All Scorpius Malfoy had wanted on the Saturday before Halloween was to spend some time in Hogsmeade alone with his girlfriend, Lily Potter. But Fate appeared to have other plans. Not only is her annoying cousin Hugo Weasley tagging along, but in the aftermath of a violent storm, a body is uncovered.
Working with his boss, Head Auror Harry Potter, to discover the identity of the victim, and the truth of her death, Scorpius quickly learns that not all skeletons are buried underground.
This is a the sequel to High. It is not necessary to read that to understand this, but what the heck, you might just enjoy it!
Many, many thanks to Kara (Karaley Dargen) for not only beta'ing this story, but putting up with the tortuous search for a title.
Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling, but I think you know that.
Uncovered by Death won the 2013 QSQ for Best Chaptered Next Generation Story. Thank you very much.
I have to agree that the wand may have been planted - and I suspect that auror, the nasty one, of having something to do with the murder or the murderer...
I find it interesting that people keep telling Scorpius he is the reason his mother dropped out - it seems to me that even a powerful wizard would have difficulty impregnating his mother before his own conception, but then, maybe these people know something I don't... silly me, if I were them, I'd more likely blame Astoria and Draco... but interesting how he is reacting to being connected to his mother, and then Ollivander brings it up at the end of the chapter - nice for someone besides Harry to finally have an "important" mother...
The whole pine wand business is very interesting. Did you make up pine being protective, or find it somewhere? Here a 'pine box" is (or was - my slang is behind the times) is slang for a coffin. hm...
Am now trying to picture using my double point sock knitting needles as wands, as they are about the same length. no - a pencil, I just measured. Will now go around practicing with a pencil for days, I suppose...
Waiting for next chapter!
Author's Response: I'm not sure Astoria is necessarily important in this story, it's more the way he's more like his mother (his core) than his father, despite people mixing them up because of the way he looks.
The pine wand business is from Pottermore. I was researching the wand woods and cores and pine fitted Sally-Ann's character to me, but there was this thing attached about longevity and protectiveness. However, that also suited, in my mind, the way the person died, so I decided she had a pine wand.
Interesting suspicions you have. Next chapter is written and beta'd, just waiting for me to edit and add (next week probably. I'm a little ahead of myself, but need to get back to this soon before I lose track of the story.
Thank you for reading and reviewing! ~Carole~
How will they read it? Someone will find a way... One of the girls, I'll bet - Ginny, or Hermione, or maybe even Lily, although of course none of them should be touching it, or maybe Scorpius will show his mettle...
Author's Response: Ah, well, the diary reader might be revealed in the next chapter ... and ... um ... no, I'll let you find out. I'm not sure Ginny would want to go near one again, mind you. Thank you ~Carole~
That review seems to have submitted itself by accident before was finished, so you get two for one here... ;-)
I really don't know who did it, which impresses me. Could be Cormac, he's such an idiot, could have done it by accident - but that's so obvious. I'm sort of hoping Draco is at least under suspicion for a bit... not that I think he did it, but it would be so delightful to have poor Scorpius pulled in so many directions, and while I do believe he would do the right thing in the long run, I can see you doing so much with the suspense...
BTW, her robes probably have a fair percentage of something like polyester, which works perfectly with her being on the assisted students scholarship...(I got the suggestion that they were probably synthetic at least in part from my expert..)
Author's Response: It could be Cormac, the idiot, or it could be Draco, or maybe it's ... No, I can't say. No hints at all. She certainly wore cheap robes and nothing bespoke. That does fit with Sally-Ann's profile, but it's not been confirmed yet. ;p ~Carole~
I especially like the Draco vs. Harry by-play. And I would write more, but I am on my Nook and the touch screen is very,very annoying.
Note to self, do NOT get Iphone...
Author's Response: I have an iPhone . . . I am pleased you liked Draco. When I had the idea about including him, I was hugging myself with girlish glee because I do so like writing his snark and also the dynamic between him and Harry. At times they're still the schoolboys they were and can never quite leave the past behind. Thanks for the review ~Carole~
I can't say what I love more, your devious mind, or your ability to do the most amazing things with characters who are barely a by-line in the books in a way that is canon-consistent...
I don't know who this girl is, although I have a feeling she may be the one he eliminated first day...
I will be terribly evil, though - I've a friend who does forensic archeology in Britain - I'm dying to ask her if the condition of the body as presented tells her anything...
Author's Response: ASK!!! I have nothing to fear! (Um, well, I may have taken one or two liberties, but basically I did some research on the net and through watching Csi and reading Patricia Cornwall, so who knows what is accurate now - It's all MAGIC - is my cop out - ha ha)
Thea!!!!!! Thank you for reading. I'm glad you're enjoying the story as I have had a lot of fun writing it, but also some tortuous moments when I was plugging plot holes.
Glad you're enjoying the story. There's plenty more to come. ~Carole~
I feel dreadful because I didn’t really like her much, and all I wanted was my necklace, but if that body is her, then -” She gulped and her face drained of all colour. “Merlin, this is worse than I thought. All those years of thinking badly of her ... it was my grandmother’s necklace, you see, and ... and ... and she couldn’t have returned the necklace to me, anyway - not if she was dead. Neville, what am I -”
This is so finely handled! Very in-character, very human. What a shock it must have been for her to see it in the paper!
I like the party scene as well - very true to life. Although I think you and I must agree to disagree about Oliver, because in another universe he and I are married and ...I shall be tactful and just smirk... :-)
That's the beauty of the characters who are less fleshed out, isn't it? There's so much more you can do with them, or rather, so much more that needs doing with them.
Lovely, as usual!
Author's Response: Oh, we can agree about Oliver. He says in another fic I wrote, that he's 'discerning', that leaves the field wide open :D .
Yes, the beauty of minor characters, especially more or less non existent ones like Scorpiuswho I have so much fun writing.
Thea, thank you very much for your review and support. I'm glad you appreciated Hannah's 'human' reaction. I think she's feeling a lot of guilt now for feeling badly towards the girl, but nothing is certain ... yet (although I might have just left you another red herring - heh heh heh) ~Carole~
Summary: It’s time for Lucius Malfoy to get a reminder about the important things in life. And what better time for a life lesson than Christmas Eve? This is a parody of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
A very interesting take on things. I think you've made Lucius's love for his son believable. I do feel he'd have fought the whole thing much harder, but then, Scrooge only fights so much and no more. And you have put him in a situation where he's been thinking about all this for quite some time.
I can't see why he hates Potter, though, if he regrets his former choices. Does he still wish that Voldemort had killed Harry, or does he blame Harry for his own bad choices?
Interesting story. I'm watching for each chapter.
Author's Response: Thanks so much for the review. I'm glad you're enjoying the story.
Hmmm...I considered having Lucius fight the whole thing a bit harder, but it really didn't seem worth it. It's not like he'd find the whole scenerio that unbelieveable given what the norm is for him and the threat of losing Narcissa and Draco really subdued him.
Lucius and Harry. Well, they were never exactly buddies. Lucius would not have prefered that the Dark Lord killed Harry. That wouldn't have ended well for him. He doesn't blame Harry for his bad choices, but he does blame him for the bad affects of those choices. Harry was the reason Lucius went to prison, at least, that's what Draco said in HBP so I went with it. And we all know Lucius didn't do so well in Azkaban. He also wasn't there for Draco and Narcissa when Draco was given the impossible task of killing Dumbledore. He can't forgive Harry for keeping him away from his family at this pivotal time. Hope that clears it up for you. :)
Thanks again for the review.