22 July 2008: It's been quite a while since I've updated this, so I'm giving it a shot, trying to do it without all the banners/links. You can, however, see all of the banners for my stories by going to the profile for my LiveJournal community, fics_by_megan:
There are the pretty banners made by the artists here on MNFF, as well as those made by the artists over on TDA, since I also post my stories on HPFF.
As of today, I have 40 stories posted on this account, and I don't plan on stopping anytime soon. (Even with starting university in a few months.) Another one-shot, as a matter of fact, is with betas right now.
Lately, I've fallen in love with reading and writing Sirius/Hermione stories, although of course, my current WIPs are still, definitely, being worked on.
Hello. The name is Megan, and the age is 19 (though I'll be 20 quite soon).
My Award-Winning Stories:
-- Thousands Say Farewell (Third)
-- Are You Brave Enough? (Second)
-- Fortune Favours the Brave (First)
-- Messages of Heart and Mind (Honourable Mention)
-- Recolitus Optimus (First)
-- Never Leave You (Second)
-- Adoris Integare (First)
-- Justify (Third)
My Upcoming/Planned Stories:
1) "Untitled": a chaptered fic, it'll be the largest part that tells the overal story that I have planned for Sirius and Hermione. Both "Come Back To Me" and "Watching Him Remember" are parts of this story, and there are hints in both of them about the overall mystery, but it's in this longer fic that everything will be told. [Expected Release: TBA]
2) "Once Upon a Time": a short story, this is another Sirius/Hermione story that's being planned out right now. It's written in response to a challenge given over on the HPFF forums. And of course, it will star Sirius Black and Hermione Granger. [Expected Release: TBA]
3) "Untitled": a short story, this is an idea that's been in my head for ages, though I haven't gone much further with it than dwelling on the basic plot. Will be an Alternate Universe fic, using canon up until around mid-OotP. Mainly starring Sirius Black and Lord Voldemort, with plenty of appearances by the other characters of the books. [Expected Release: TBA]
4) "Caught": a one-shot, it will be the sequel to "Brothers", and will basically pick up right where that one left off. Currently in the planning stages, and starring Sirius Black. [Expected Release: TBA]
First off, I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed this story. You're stories have always been some of my favourites, and your writing style just seems very powerful, to me. It's clear that you have a lot of talent, not only with this story, but also with others -- Sins of the Father being my favourite of all, perhaps.
Anyway, as for a review mainly concerning Grant Me Mercy. Where to start? I particularly liked the way that the focus was really on Rowena; she told the story and it was her thoughts and such that we were reading about. The beginning paragraphs, I think, were some of the strongest parts of non-dialog in this brief one-shot. You describe and show Rowena's emotions and feelings without ever coming right out and just telling it. That's a great thing for writers to do, in my opinion -- it shows a trust and faith in the reader's intelligence that they can figure out a character's emotions without needing the writer to say "She was worried" or something. As such, I applaud you on that.
Secondly, I love the dialog for the most part. It's powerful, really, and I think it fits the characters quite well, in my opinion. Just by the words you have Rowena and Salazar speak, their characters are revealed fantastically and fit with some of the information on the Founders that is in canon. (Rowena's logic and orderly intelligence are shown in her words, as are Salazar's strengths and pride, for want of a better word.)
Oh, there's so much for me to say about this story. I don't really have the time to make this review as long as I'd like it to be -- I could pretty write on this bit for awhile. But, I will close with my (two) favourite bits of dialog throughout the entire story:
“It is a plea for all.”
“Then it is a sad day for all; for it is not a plea I can acquiesce.”
And Bit Two:
“Farewell, Rowena. I am sorry you could not save me.”
I don't think I would necessarily have to explain why these hit me as strongly as they do, but I will leave a quick comment about them. The first bit really hits on both Salazar and Rowena's character with only a few words. You get that "justice for all" vibe from Rowena's statement, and you experience the . . . oh, what's the word? . . . Gah, I don't have it . . . strength of Salazar's resolve, I guess.
The second bit is just plainly fabulous. It's short and sweet, and it's just perfect. There's a lot deeper depth that could be seen of Salazar in those words, in my opinion, and it's just . . . well, it's just quite profound, I guess is a word that'll have to work.
Once again, though, Jenna, allow me to say that I loved this story. It was very well-written, and, while I believe I still prefer Sins of the Father, this is an entertaining and powerful one-shot nonetheless.
Oh, so very good, so good. This has been on my favourites list for awhile, but for some reason, I'd never reviewed. Anyway, better late than never?
Firstly, I'll say that I really liked the beginning of this. The way you started out with the general description of the scene, with the nature and all that, worked very well. It seemed to set a very serene type feeling over the fic in the beginning, before there was that bit of a change in emotions for the latter half.
The Knight Bus was a nice touch, and the way you described it was good. It was also a good way to introduce Sirius, in my opinion, and you seemed to keep both Black brothers remarkably in character throughout the piece. Particularly, the introduction of him -- hiding behind the mask, the 'hard man' exterior -- It's how I've always seen young-Sirius acting at times.
In terms of personality/characteristics of Sirius, I think you hit several key parts. I've already pointed out the bit about hiding behind a mask, and you've also shown a bit of the anger (a fiercely beating heart; "uncontrolled rage" in his eyes, etc.) that he can have by his reaction to Regulus claiming he's acting in a Slytherin manner.
You also managed to get a bit of the self-guilt that we see Sirius portraying in the post-Azkaban years, yet it's in terms of his brother here, rather than the whole James/Lily deal. Like I've already mentioned, I like seeing a deeper, young-Sirius, and seeing him show these aspects of his personality *before* Azkaban, and not just afterwards. (The main difference being, of course, the subject and the *amount* of the guilt.)
I also like your portrayal of the relationship between Sirius and Regulus, but then again, I've always been more fond of those stories that make Regulus more than a one-dimensional villain and have a deeper relationship between the two Black brothers.
Now, though, I have a few nit-picking things that I came across, though they're really just typos:
But Regulus wasn’t finished he strode towards his brother, I think you're missing a period or semicolon between "finished" and "he".
I haven't forgotten Sirius. You would need a comma between "forgotten" and "Sirius", as Regulus is addressing Sirius.
it was all his parents fault. There needs to be an apostrophe at the end of "parents", as the "fault" is their possession.
I think that's it for now.
Author's Response: Thankyou so much for this review! This is my favourite story I\'ve written so I\'m always delighted to find new people who\'ve read it :-) I completely agree about it being hard to find an \'in character\' Sirius and a three dimensional Regulus. I find it odd that the Black Family seems to be the least explored area of fandom as I think it\'s the most fascinating one! I love stories about the Black brothers as you can see from my mentions at the end of my fic. Anyway, I\'m very flattered that you think I got the relationship right and that you\'ve put the story on your faves list! As for the nitpicks, I\'ll correct them now. Thanks again, ~Claire
First off, I just want to say really quickly that I loved this story; I thought it was very good in portraying this sort of pairing. (And I'm actually a bit surprised by how much I like it, mainly considering that I'm not usually a huge fan of slash or having Lucius in any other relationship other than Narcissa.) But anyway ...
And now, I'll go a bit deeper in my review.
I think the way that you portrayed Narcissa, Lucius, and Severus was excellent. They seemed to remain in-character, for the most part, regardless of the situation / unconventional relations that they were in.
The ending, I think, was great, too. It provided the one-shot a complete tie back into canon -- almost as if the entire thing could actually have taken place in the books. Also, you seem to provide Severus with a bit more events to make him into the bitterer person that he is in the series, like his losing Lucius and the ending of their relationship increased his bitter temperament, turning him more into the Potions Master that we know in the present time.
The only thing that didn't quite seem right, for me, was that the dialogue seemed a bit unnatural or forced in several parts. Some of that had to do with the "dears" that seemed to run a bit too rampant in the Severus/Lucius moments, but I don't believe it was anything too drastic or such.
On the whole, the story was really good, like I said earlier, and I enjoyed it quite a lot.
Author's Response: Thank you for such a thorough review! I\'m really, really glad that you liked it - this story is like my baby. :D It\'s my absolute favorite writing project I\'ve finished to date. (And the funny thing is, I don\'t do slash that much, either!) You know, the dialogue DOES sound a little funny in parts, but I\'d attribute that (not to make excuses :P) to my obsessive reading of Oscar Wilde and all his \"dandy\" characters, and to the fact that I thought I\'d have to \"change\" or show a different side of Lucius and Severus both to get this story to work. Because honestly, I don\'t think of it as canon in the least, but sometimes, reading through this story, I start to convince myself otherwise. :P Hahaha, but seriously, I\'m THRILLED that you liked it! And thanks for reviewing so nicely! <3
Oh, Alyssa, this poem was wonderful, I'd have to say. I absolutely love Harry/Ginny, and you wrote this piece so well.
You're portrayal of Harry is very good, in my opinion. And several of the lines in this poem are just fantastic -- very emotional, but I think the best part of the entire thing was the final verse, especially those last two lines.
Time will erase all regrets, / And we'll be nothing more than silhouettes." It's an absolutely wonderful bit of skillful writing, Alyssa -- it really hits in the heart and soul, if you know what I mean.
I can't really offer a good deal of poetry-specific criticism, as I'm not extremely well-versed in that area of study, but I can say that I enjoyed this.
And in the end, that's the goal of any piece of writing -- to be enjoyed.
Oh, Stacey, that was utter wonderfulness! There's absolutely no question in my mind how this one-shot was able to snag the first place win!
Your idea on what the deathly hallows were was very unique, and extremely believable as well. The first-person point of view also works very well in this story, especially since the focus is on the mind and whatnot.
I'd have to say that one of my favourite parts through the whole thing (other than the ending, but I'll get to that later) was the comments about the grammatical definitions, etc. of "deathly" and "hallows." It gave a bit of comic relief to such a dark piece, and really worked extremely well.
And lastly, the ending. Stacey, it was the BEST part of the story, in my opinion. Truly chilling and visual and . . . Oh, there just aren't words to describe the skill and feeling in those ending paragraphs, especially that final line, those last three words. It is just utter brilliance!
I applaud you once again on an excellent and well-written story, and again, congratulations on the first place win. You definitely deserved it!
Author's Response: Thank you very much! I have to say that I\'m pretty proud of \"Fallen\" ::pets it:: And, yeah, I thought throwing in the defintions would be both educational and funny ;)
I think this is a really good one-shot, Wendelin! It really succeeded in portraying Voldemort well; it's a very philosophical piece, I guess you could say.
This was from the "Challenge a Gryff" thread on the forums, wasn't it? (If not, just completely ignore by sleepy brain's ramblings.)
Oh, I just don't know what I want to say about this story. It's so wonderful, I can't seem to find the right words to express my awe with it.
My favourite part was the way it was told, I guess, what with the poem separating the sections and all. I like how you brought Voldemort through time, really, showing his changes and such without actually coming right out and telling what was happening.
In short, this was a very good piece of writing, and I applaud you on a job well done.
And now, I'm going to quit rambling now.
Author's Response: No! Don\'t quit rambling! Studies show that it is actually quite good for your sanity. Thank you for the wonderful review!
Firstly, permit to say that I found this story utterly fabulous; really emotional and powerful. Normally, I'm more of a fan of Rowena/Salazar than putting Salazar with Helga (I just feel that Rowena goes better with Salazar than Helga), but your story made their relationship very believable, and has made me even like the pairing now. I congratulate you on that!
Now, onto some more comments. I particularly liked your portrayal of both Salazar and Helga. So little is known about the Founders that one can basically make almost anything work, but I've seen too much where the Founders, or at least Salazar, is portrayed in a very one-dimensional manner. Your story, however, did not have that in the slightest, and I was very pleased to see that.
You still manage to have the parts of Salazar that we do know about -- his desire for purebloods / hatred of Muggleborns, his distant/colder nature, etc. while at the same time, presenting him in a manner that makes a relationship with Helga (whose characterisation you also did wonderfully, with her fairness and innocence and such) believable and utterly realistic. I applaud you once again.
Another thing that I particularly enjoyed in this story was your description. I loved the symbolism and imagery created with the whole storm being like the romantic relationship between Helga and Salazar. Perfect use of some intensive imagery right there, and it also makes your title have a whole deeper meaning as well.
The ending was also fabulous, once again bringing in the storm and some wonderful description with Helga and Salazar's final farewell. Really, I loved just about everything about this story.
And now, for a bit of critique:
I noticed a few typos while reading, though none of it was vastly horrible or anything ;)
few calming breathes
In this statement, I believe it should "breaths," without the "e".
"If I recall if was, in fact, Godric who cast the first spell.
This statement didn't have a typo, but it just seems a bit awkward in its wording, in my opinion. Something that might work a bit better would be "If I recall, it was Godric who cast the first spell." The phrase "in fact" isn't really needed, and at the very least, it's awkward in its current place in the sentence. You could even add the word "correctly" to come after "recall," but that may seem a little too modern; I'm not 100% sure. Personally, I'd just go with leaving out the "in fact" and the sentence would sound a lot better, in my opinion -- not that's it horrible like it is, mind you.
I'm also a bit curious on why there was no mention or hinting at the Chamber as Salazar left. (Of course, it could just be a slight oversight, as I did the same in a story of mine.) With or without that, though, it was still very good.
Lastly, my favourite scene in the entire story would probably have to be the very beginning, with Salazar and Helga's dialogue going on. It is utterly realistic and believable, and it was a great way to begin the story, providing a wonderful feeling that carries throughout the fic.
On the whole, though, this was a very well-written and wonderful one-shot. To just briefly repeat a bit, the characterisation was fabulous, and I believe it was probably your strongest part throughout the story.
Okay, I think I've rambled enough.
Author's Response: Thanks for this lovely review, Megan =) You seem to be in the vast majority that prefer Rowena with Salazar, though I have found, if written properly, you can pair any of the founders together and create a lovely, believable story. As for there being no mention of the Chamber, it really didn\'t play into the main plot of this story, which was the turbulent nature of Helga and Salazar\'s love. His leaving the school was more of a catalyst, a side note to the focus of the plot, so mentioning the chamber of secrets just didn\'t flash on my radar. Thanks for reading! I\'m glad you enjoyed it! ~Ashley
Oh . . . my . . . god . . .
Kristy, this story is absolutely AMAZING, I'd have to say. You had my eyes glued to the screen the entire time; I couldn't bear to leave it just for a moment before finishing.
The detail was wonderful, first off. I especially like your description of the setting in Grimmauld Place, and the way that you used the storm to add to the story and really up the creepy factor was brilliant; it really made the story even better, yet the storm didn't wander into a horrible cliche area, so that was great.
And, my god, Kristy, the twist at the end! It was 100%, completely unexpected; I never would have figured anything like it in years, yet it works brilliantly, and makes this one-shot not only a good story, but a GREAT one! I can't seem to find the words to describe that ending; it was simply perfect!
Lastly, I thought your portrayal of Harry throughout the whole thing was very good, and the interaction between him and little Catherine was so sweet and adorable; it was beautiful, I'd have to say. My favourite part, however, probably is going to be the ending, yes. Everything about those last scenes were wonderful, and I can't think of any sort of thing I would have changed in that.
In short, this was a truly, truly wonderful story. You did a very good job!
Author's Response: Ok, you made me blush! Getting reviews from people whose writing I admire is wonderful. I tried very hard to make this a cliche ending. I know there are a few others but I didn\'t want him to be a complete loss to everyone. I have to say this is the first story I have written that I was truly proud of. Thank you for the wonderful review. ~Kristy
I really like this story, regardless of the fact that I don't usually read Andromeda-based stories. Your characterisation of her is wonderful, too, as well as Sirius.
My only criticism would be that some of the dialogue seemed slightly forced or a little unnatural, in my opinion, but it was nothing too grand. (It didn't take away from the story, basically.) In the fourth part, with Sirius's lines of "I am leaving" and when he's speaking to Andromeda just seem a little too formal, I guess. It seemed to read easier if there were some contractions used, but maybe that's just me.
Other than that, the story was very nice, and I especially like that final bit. Those final two lines are just absolutely splendid.
Author's Response: Thank you for the crits and compliments! Choppy dialogues hmmmm? I guess I\'ll get to work on that when I do my spring cleaning this year. :)
Firstly, I'll say that I love your portrayal of Narcissa, and though I've always seen the Malfoys' relationship in a bit of a different light than you've portrayed here, I think your characters work very well in their parts.
I really like the final paragraph, and I think it brings the story together in such a great way, especially the last couple of lines. "He had only prolonged her suffering." Excellent line, and a great way to conclude the story.
I also think that having the suicide aspect with the lake -- a place that had always been important to Narcissa and held a deeper level than just any old thing -- was an excellent touch. I've read several stories where characters try suicide, but rarely is there an important thing with the method. Here, you have great symbolism in that the lake was always a sort of freeing place for her in her past, and she chooses to have it "free" her from the world. Again, great job on that.
Now, I have a few nit-picky typos:
He remained quite for quite a long time,
The "quite" here, I'm sure, is meant to be "quiet".
Narcissa stood dully in front of her mirror, as her sister Bellatrix gushed happily,
I don't believe you'd need a comma after "mirror".
Other than that, I didn't see much wrong with the tale. Like I said earlier, your portrayal of the characters -- though different than how I like to portray them -- was quite realistic and believable, especially with Narcissa.
Like I said, great story.
Author's Response: Thanks for your detailed review and your nitpicks! I\'m also very glad you caught the bit of symbolism with the lake, it\'s one of my favorite parts of the story.
Well, I'll start by saying that you have a very nice beginning here, and the portrayal of all of these characters are quite well done in this prologue.
I think my favourite one was with Remus; it just seemed so nice, but all of the characters were in character, of course. Remus just seemed to be a bit more like how I've pictured him at 11.
You got James's attitude right, I also think, though the stretching out of his response after reading the letter annoyed me a bit; I'm not that fond of dialogue that gets stretched out like that, though I can understand his enthusiasm.
And the scene with Lily and Snape was also done well, perfect when taking 'Deathly Hallows' into consideration.
First off, I think the story seems like it's off to a good start; it's an interesting premise, at the very least, and though there isn't a lot here in this first bit, I see Clare as becoming a well-rounded character -- always a good thing.
My main criticism would be that the events of the Final Battle and the aftereffects were sort of just breezed over. It seemed too basic, too rushed, I suppose. (Of course, this just being the first part, I have no idea if it will be gradually revealed a bit more later on. It might be.)
It seems that Clare is old enough to have felt a bit more of the war's impact than what she's revealing here, and it just seemed like it was rushed through, really. I'm assuming you're not taking much of the canon from DH into effect here, but I think there should probably be a bit more of a human or emotional level to the end of the war ...
Please don't take this the wrong way, as I've already mentioned that I think the story has promise. Your character seems like she's going to work well, but I just wanted to mention the bit about the war.
Oh, and lastly, I liked the touch about the house-elves, but like with the war, I felt that it could have been expanded a bit more on. Why, after so many years of wizards using house-elves, have they suddenly been deemed to inferior? Just something to think about.
Author's Response: Wow, thank you so much, Megan! Definitely don\'t worry about me taking this the wrong way - it was really helpful. Some of what you mentioned is worked in to later chapters, but if I have a chance, I think I\'m going to edit the prologue a bit. Thanks again! =D
Well, Sammy, I have to say that you've done an excellent job with this piece. I was browsing through the forums and saw it had been recommended in the QSQs multiple times for this category, so I just had to see what the fascination was.
And wow, Sammy, just wow. While I've never been a grand fan of Snape/Lily, especially as anything greater than normal friends, you've made this little piece both very nice, and very believable.
I like the way you've told it in here, like a bedtime story. A unique format, and it really works for this story (plus, it's interesting to see a different side to Snape than what I usually see). Generally, a lot of the times that I see a 'kind' Snape, for lack of a better word, he doesn't seem realistic to me; it doesn't seem plausible or believable that the Snape we know in the normal canon could have EVER been the way certain stories try to make him out to be, regardless of how things did or didn't change.
You, however, have found the right formula for giving a realistic kind Snape. A different side to him, and it's believable, so I congratulate you on that.
All in all, while I'm still not a fan of Snape/Lily, I did really appreciate the characterisation and writing in this story. It's a true gem of the AU category, I think.
Author's Response: Thanks so very much, Megan love. Yes, I often see Severus portrayed as the "malligned angel" and I myself don't agree with that. He was not nice in the typical way but he cared about those he loved and would do "anything" for then, "always". And in this fic, I have given him two to care about. Thanks so much for your praise Megan, this review made me blush. And I am keeping my fingers crossed for the QSQs. :o=Sammy
Oh, you did a very good job on that. I like that each scene isn't stretched out indefinitely. They're short and to the point, yet still powerful/meaningful.
The first-person point of view was also a good way to tell this little one-shot. Normally, I'm not a fan of stories written in that PoV, but like I said, it works here.
You also did a good job with getting inside each character's head, and I like your portrayal of Peter here, especially. So many fan fic writers portray him in a butchered manner, and while I'll admit that I hate him with utmost passion, one needs to be fair to the character. And you do that, here.
The quotes from the book were nice in here, as well, and I liked the fact that you had the Map's lines start the fic and end it. Nice touch, there, as was the last bit at the end, uniting them all.
My only quip would be what amounts to a typo, I'm sure:
I am Prongs. I am Sirius Black.
I'm sure you meant to type "Padfoot" there ;)
All in all, though, like I said before, you did a nice job with this.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review! This was my first Marauder one-shot (I didn\'t realize I\'d put Prongs instead of Padfoot, I\'ll fix it, thank you for telling me). I love that you liked how I did Peter\'s part, I didn\'t want to get too sappy or anything over the top so I\'m glad you liked it!\r\n>Maxi