Hello everyone who decided to grace this boring page!
I am a native Floridian, recent college graduate, happily married (even though the hubby doesn't understand the obession...)! I have been reading for years, but only recently taken a dive into writing. I'm a proud Hufflepuff and have recently taken to drabbling as well, so some of those might turn into stories as well.
Stories (click for banner on all):
A Life From the Ashes:
Third Task challenge fic, centered on Ron.
Banner by whomovedmyquill.
A True Weasley
Why Percy Weasley was sorted into Gryffindor. For the Hufflepuff Back to Hogwarts Challenge.
A one-shot about Luna as a child.
For the Halloween Challenge - Halloween Explained.
This series highlights important, pivotal moments in a characters' life.
It did not start as a series, but has taken flight in my mind, and you can't really tell those things "no", can you?
Each summary is purposefully vague, for telling you the moment ahead of time is anticlimatic, in my opinion.
Series banner by psijupiter.
A Harry/Ginny story, a missing moment from the HBP.
Banner by lilykinslove.
A Ron/Hermione story, Post-Hogwarts.
Banner by Bine/luinrina.
All reviews are appreciated and cherished.
Oh, Remus. The little Maurader coming out already! Sneaking down the stairs, skipping the one he knew would creak! He seems to have been instilled with a sense of "Children are meant to be seen and not heard," for he was more of an observer of this tale than a participant. And he followed his father - on the face of the instructions. :) I thought having Remus simply not understand most of what they were talking about was a good way to gloss over the details of what we already know about his life at Hogwarts and how he was able to attend.
I simply adore your characterization of Dumbledore. He appeared at a time to meet Remus. He answered Mr. Lupin's questions without hesitation, and politely. But he led Mr. Lupin to where he wanted him to go in the discussion…that Remus being a werewolf meat nothing in terms of his attendance at Hogwarts. And did it such a way that he was unfailingly polite and upbeat, but Mr. Lupin undoubtedly felt ashamed of himself. Especially as Dumbledore seemed to have put a lot of thought into making it work, whereas his father had simply written off the idea.
Remus' first impression of Dumbledore also helped this along: the stars on his hat, his nod to the Muggle reading, and the way his voice influenced him and intrigued him. Me thinks Dumbledore knew Remus would be listening, so that's why he didn't protest…and then this was made clear to me when he offered to go get him. :p
I think the most "Dumbledore"-ish line was: “Oh, I do know that Remus is a werewolf,” Dumbledore replied earnestly, “but I don’t see how this should render him unable to attend Hogwarts. Straight out of the books. The part, however, where he says, “I don’t see why the other parents need to know. If all goes well, and I’m sure it will, there is nothing they need to worry about, so I don’t see why we should put them in unnecessary distress.” just didn't feel right for some reason. I can't quite put my finger on it, and it didn't negate your characterization of Dumbledore, but that line stood out to me. Maybe because it was kind of a run-on for Dumbledore. Or maybe the phrase "and I'm sure it will." Or maybe it's just a little blasé as a reason in general to keep it a secret.
The last line begins somewhat out of synch with what is before it. I'm having trouble coming up with something different, but I know what you are trying to accomplish here…perhaps something like, "With that…", but I’m not sure if that sounds any better. :( Don't know if you get what I'm trying to say, or if I'm making any sense…
Overall, this story is so very cute, and your 11 year old Remus is quite cute as well. (Sorry for the over-usage of the word cute, here.) I'm very interested to see what Chapter 2 brings…
Author's Response: Oooh Amanda, thank you SO much for your review! I'm so surprised that you thought I did well with Dumbledore. I remember writing this – I was on the train, and I HAD to finish it because of the deadline in MWPP class... So I just wrote it very quickly – I did edit it later, but not Dumbledore's lines. Maybe it's a good thing that I didn't :D I get what you mean about that one sentence though. I think it is the "I'm sure it will". I guess I'll cut that out later; you're right, it doesn't fit him and makes the sentence sound odd too.
Or maybe it's just a little blasé as a reason in general to keep it a secret. Mmmh, the trouble I'm having with that is – why else would he keep it secret from the other parents?
Ooh you're right by the way – of course Dumbledore knew all along :D
I'm really excited about your next review now, I hope you aren't gone for too long :D Oooh and I love that you think Remus is cute, haha.
I don't think I ever put thought into how lonely Remus must have felt that morning, standing on Platform 9 3/4. Your first paragraph captured it very well - "never in all of his life had he seen so many people in one place" - "Remus could not help but notice that everybody seemed to know someone already". But poor Remus! All excited about facing his school year, and his father keeps telling him it's not going to work. I'm so glad that you chose to have Remus be determined and a firm believer in his own future rather than let his father get him down. And then…
At the same time, the way you wrote the part where his dad takes him by the shoulders, you can't help but sympathize with his father, who must just be so afraid for his son, facing the world alone now, knowing things his son might face that his son doesn't yet understand and wanting to protect him from all of that. *tear* The way he becomes somehow more serious and strict, grasping him by his shoulders, emphasizing the full moon and the word "anything"…well, that was my impression. I suddenly saw it from his father's eyes instead of Remus' eyes. That little scene made me soften towards his father. Especially when he gave him Peter Pan.
So once again I must say how freaking cute this story is. I can just imagine scared, determined little Remus, walking down the corridor of the train with his Peter Pan book clutched to his chest. Did you write this for the Back to Hogwart's challenge drabble contest? I think the Gryff's had one, too…which means we'll get to see his Sorting next? Yes? Please? :D
Last chapter comment about Dumbledore: See, I'm not sure either. I guess what I mean to say was that I'm not sure if Dumbledore would just say: "Oh let's not cause trouble!" I guess (oh, lots of "I guess") what I'm trying to say is that he would say it more diplomatically? *head scratch* Because I think you are right: why else would he keep it secret? (Well, that and for Remus' sake. I've always thought a lot of it had to do with protecting Remus' reputation.) But I've always been terrible at writing Dumbledore-speak and have thus not attempted it. So I don't really have an improvement on diplomatic, Dumbledore-speak…but does that make sense?
Author's Response: YEY your other review! Yeah, little Remus is far, far too excited to enter this world to be discouraged by anyone or anything – after all, most of his childhood he could only read about other people and adventures and now he's going to live his very own story! But at the same time he loves his dad a lot – and I'm glad you felt the same way I did when I wrote this chapter. It must be very hard for Remus' father, and there probably are a lot of things going on in his head that Remus doesn't know of and wouldn't understand yet. By him giving Remus the book, I tried to show that he's not only stern and strict and pessimistic, but also loves his son and only wants what's best for him.
We did have a Back to Hogwarts challenge, but it was only a drabble, and it had to be about a character returning to Hogwarts in the year after the second war... it was not as cool as your Puff challenge :D (but still good! *hides from mods*) But yes, the Sorting (and Remus' first impressions of Hogwarts) will be next. Eek I hope you'll like what I have planned for the next chapter!
In the post Deathly Hallows world Harry Potter is a broken man, rejecting the public’s view of him as a hero and seeing himself as a destroyer of lives. Although married to Ginny and embraced by the boisterous Weasley clan, he holds himself apart from true happiness. The only solace he finds is among the other shell-shocked victims of the war: George Weasley and Andromeda Tonks. But young Teddy Lupin is determined to unearth the joy his godfather once had for life and in so doing adds to the alternate dimension where the cost of Voldemort’s defeat was not so high.
In the alternate reality, it has been seven years since Voldemort’s defeat. Reclaiming his own destiny, Harry has built a new life for himself from the ruins of the Potter estate. Although he did not hesitate to claim Ginny as his own, it has been an unusually long engagement period as neither of them has been a hurry to take that next irrevocable step. For Harry, these extra years have allowed him to recapture some of the carefree days of youth as he established his career in the Auror Department. Determined not to follow in her mother’s footsteps, Ginny has been making the most of the intervening years to cement her career with the WWN. The Lupin clan has been steadily expanding with the eldest, Teddy, immediately establishing himself as a Metamorphmagus, sporting bright turquoise hair at birth. In contrast, his younger sister inherited the delicate beauty of the Black family. As her parents await the signs that will identify her as a witch, one has to wonder whether she has any unique powers of her own.
Although this story starts on a dark and disturbing note, it is ultimately a tale of hope, healing and survival. It serves as an epilogue to both, Cruel Moon for the Misbegotten and Harry Potter and the Hero’s Lament; and consequently, contains all manner of spoilers for the canon series as well as the alternate universe my prior tales have established. Reading those two previous stories is recommended. Contains original characters who were established in prior narratives.
I missed the 2nd chapter but I finally caught up this Saturday afternoon.
Your stories are just such lovely, engrossing reads. I'm assuming based on the extensive back story and the other reviews that Sera is part of Remus/Tonks story (*that I still haven't read yet but am planning to...*)?
I love the children's personalities as well. The attitude and the humor and the intelligence and boldness is something I'd expect from Tonks and Remus children, especially with Harry and Ginny as their godparents.
Great chapters, and I hopefully will be checking more often for updates!
Author's Response: Nice that you're caught up for now. Another chapter is in queue. I was really worried that I had made the children too precocious, but I wanted them to contribute to the plot and the dialogue as well. Your comments eased my worries.
Sera is from the prequel tale that traces Remus' undercover work with the werewolves that takes place during a major portion of HBP. Will Overstreet is the alias that the Order prepares for him to assume. After all, you know what happens to spies who are discovered...
Oh, an update that I see! And get to read!
I was sort of sad you skipped Harry and Ginny's wedding, but you know I like the fluff. :)
I think your characterization of Umbridge was fantastic - your adjectives to describe her voice, her ambition overall, the way she interrupted the reporter. She's still the awful, slimy Umbridge we all came to love to hate - and I think actually agree with Remus' assessment that she's simply in it for herself. If Voldemort offered her opportunities to get ahead, she might have taken them, but she's still hanging around, getting whatever she can offer.
What's sad about this whole chapter is that it that it is a reflection of media and political reality - depending on who's telling the story (and where you hear it from), you get a different idea of what's happening. I feel like Tonks sometimes, yelling, "But that's insane!" to Remus' grim analysis of the reality of the public's sometimes astonishing acceptance of some things. But I think you wrote a very realistic situation here.
I really liked this chapter…how you set up the conversations, how you had them analyze the current situation. It let us see everyone's thought pattern - Tonks' optimism, everyone's trust in Remus, Harry's determination that Umbridge is evil, etc. And it allowed the reader to be involved - does that make sense? Even though I couldn't participate, I still felt like I was sitting right there in the room with them, participating in the conversation. It's something you're very good at, and did frequently in A Hero's Lament, and I don't know if I ever commented on it.
The scene with Fleur was adorable, as well as the one later with Remus (though that was was a little on the bittersweet side, too). I just love Teddy's personality. He's so…I'm having trouble finding the right word. He's got that way of saying things only children can say because they don't know better, like when he smelled his father's drink and interrupted his their conversation, but at the same time, he's definitely Remus' child - he's intelligent and witty, with the dry humor. And he giggled at his father, very cute, still a child. Sometimes he uses rather large words though, and Remus doesn't really talk different to him than he does to the adults (using words like "veritable" seems to be a word his son might not understand).
Very interesting conversation with Remus and Teddy concerning the fact that he's a werewolf. I've seen different takes on this idea, because - how open would you be with your children about something like this? Poor Remus, Teddy was pretty relentless, as children could be, and I thought you made this scene very…I don't know if realistic was the right word, but once again I must comment on Teddy's characterization as a child - he brought up questions in a way that only a child would, and it was kind of like a "But why?" over and over again. I don't know if it makes sense to say that I think you kept your version of Teddy "in character" from what we've seen so far, but he took it in stride and just accepted it and probably made Remus very proud.
Great chapter once again!
Author's Response: Somehow, I knew you would make that comment about the wedding, Amanda. Doing things chronologically here just seemed so boring. But don’t despair, we revisit those scenes in flashback by other characters which reveal so much more. You also get to see some of the back-stage action that would not be visible to a guest who was seated for the ceremony itself. Admittedly, you don’t get to see Ginny walk down the aisle, but her dress is described enough to see that it’s a formal wedding. It’s pretty easy to imagine the rest.
Just to show I’m not anti-wedding though, I did include the ceremony between Remus and Tonks in the prequel – although that was a rather unconventional event as well befitted the participants.
Remus is one of those people who just doesn’t talk down to children. Consequently, his children learn to understand things beyond their tender years, yet he doesn’t overburden Teddy with the word werewolf yet. Knowing him, it will probably be loup-garou that falls from his lips instead. Since Teddy and Phoebe live in a house among four other adults, it is likely that they see themselves as miniature adults more than anything else.
I think part of Remus’ obvious popularity with his students is a by product of this as well. At one point, I actually have him suggest to Snape that if he treated his students more like adults they might surprise him. Needless to say, this doesn’t sit well with Snape. (That particular conversation is not part of this tale, but there are quite a few Remus/Snape confrontations coming up; they are particular favorites of mine.)
Thanks for the glowing compliments about the conversations. Perhaps it’s just a theatrical technique, but moving the action via dialogue does seem to give you insights into the characters much more than simple narration would. I find I really enjoy searching out just the right words that Remus, Snape, or Hermione would use.
I’ve tried to make Fleur seem a lot less vacuous than other versions, allowing her a rather wry sense of humor that is so very, very Gallic. Many will scratch their heads about her friendship with Remus; but it has a lot to do with the kind letter he wrote to her in her native language after Bill was attacked at the end of HBP. Another missing moment that I supply in my previous stories. After all, this is labeled as a sequel so it builds upon the previous foundations.
I was so excited to see this was posted.
It is so late and I am so tired, but I have to tell you that this prologue eases my concerns about the epilogue of Hero's Lament. It helps paint the larger picture of this universe you've created. Does that make sense?
Dark Phoenix = ridiculously good name for a story. Just want to throw that out there.
This is a terrible review, and I'm so sorry for that. But I am very interested to see where this story goes, and I sincerely hope poor Harry finds healing. That was one of the joys of the end of DH (amidst the vagueness, lol) was that he was able to overcome and just live. I hope to see that journey here. But even if it doesn't necessarily turn out roses and doves, I have every confidence that the journey I'm about to take with you will be eloquent and beautiful and intensely wonderful.
Author's Response: So glad you like the title. It actually comes from a discussion that Dumbledore had with Tonks at her graduation from Hogwarts. (It's somewhere in a flashback in the middle of the Purgatory Section of Cruel Moon for the Misbegotten.) Energized that I was able to flesh out Harry inner struggle so that it made a bit more sense. Just remember that this is a tale of hope and redemption -- it just starts from a place where healing in call for. Am submitting next chapter today which introduces the major characters and is much more playful in tone.
What a delightful story!
I enjoy the stories that take place immediately after the battle, but I have trouble finding ones that aren't Harry and Ginny throwing themselves at each other, declaring their undying love and then...well...you know. ;) Or something like that. Or else they are brilliant one-shots. But chaptered fics that really explore the rebuilding of the wizarding world and the character development...those are the rare ones.
I'm not sure how I missed the first two chapters, because I would have been all over this, but I will be following this one, dear.
I thought Harry was pretty much on point...though I'm not sure he'd cry so much from happiness. At this point, he might, though. And I am conflicted as to whether I believe that they would ever tell anyone about the Horcruxes, for safety's sake. But their reasoning about Voldemort's body - very interesting.
Ron and Hermione are too cute - not overly so, but it is obvious that they seem to have crossed some barrier that they just couldn't get over before. And the nightmares are something that I agree that Harry would deal, at least for a while.
Author's Response: Thank you! The horcrux story reveal came out of my head because I had a hard time believing that everyone would have just let them off with "sorry we can't tell you" for very long. Plus, it was a small group of people, all of whom would never think about going as far as Voldemort had. I appreciate the feedback, all of this helps me look at the rest of the story to make sure it flows nicely. I too wanted a "after the war" detail story. I hope you enjoy it!
Here I am, as promised. It's much too late again, but I'm going to stop procrastinating. This fic deserves this review.
I should first mention that you are scarily good at characterizing Bella. You have understood the root cause of what drives her character…at least, as I understand what you have come to understand through reading this story, if that makes sense.
She is completely insane. She lives for Voldemort. Period. Every decision she makes is for him and what she believes around him. Some of those beliefs are reinforced from her childhood, but the point still stands that she lives for his approval.
"Her wand hand was trembling a little with excitement; rewards from the Dark Lord lay ahead for her."
"However, the Dark Lord's mocking was very different."
"She was going to spill her own family blood, an act she felt honoured to commit."
"Soon, very soon, she was going to show the Dark Lord she always kept her promises."
If you assume, as she does, that this is the correct way to base decisions in your life, she is completely rational. She is cold, calculated, powerful, and not a woman to mess with.
She also lives moment by moment while simultaneously keeping the bigger picture at hand - this is most evident in duels, where she will jump from the most advantageous target to another, but relent or move targets sometimes when she sees advantages or her bigger picture in mind.
For example, right in the beginning, she moves to Tonks: "Forgetting about Potter, and with murder in her heart, she rushed forward to duel with the girl." But then when Sirius sends a spell her way, she decides he's a much better target because: a) she can get to Tonks another day, and b) it seems to be a part of her personality that she enjoys revenge, torture, the possibilities it presented to kill. So she just switch *snap!* just like that. The duality theme of her personality is present throughout the piece in different forms.
Another example of duality, and my *second* favorite part (my first will come next :D ) is the part about the photographs. She spends some time reminiscing. I found it surprising that she would get the photograph out, until I realized it was spurning her angry - she was relishing in it. But at the same time, there is a bittersweet quality to the memory. She remembers Cissy as a sister she can be proud of, even though she saved the photograph, and she let her save it this long. I think these qualities of stopping, thinking about her past…and then suddenly dropping the picture and burning it with those hateful thoughts are two twisted sides to her personality you've managed to portray quite well. It makes unpredictable.
The scenes you've chose to represent from the book, in particular the last two - fantastic. Her motivation and the way you've written them make them fresh. I didn't feel like I was reading the scene again, I felt like I was reading a new scene, and I was actually worried for Tonks in the 7 Potters scene, even though I know she makes it to safety.
Her obsession with Tonks is scary. The final scene at the Battle of Hogwarts is frightening in its intensity: " The wandless girl turned around at the sound of the approaching footsteps, but Bellatrix was too quick for her; she grabbed the girl’s hair, pulling her head to expose the neck, and slit her throat in a smooth semi-circle." And like the 7 Potters scene, though we know what happens, it still feels like I’m reading a new scene. (On a side note, I like your Tonks, you should write her more.) I like the fact that you didn't have her kill Remus.
I am conflicted about how you decided to have Tonks die. *sobs* On the one hand, I would like her to go out fighting, no matter what. On the other hand, I was strangely satisfied that Bella didn't take her down fighting; it was cowardly (even though she still felt a sadistic pleasure from it).
The last four words: quite chilling, and thus quite a fitting ending for Bella's tale.
I hope this makes sense…I don't know if there is anything constructive in there, but…I seriously fangirl what you've written about Bella.
I knew before I started reading that this would be good…it would satisfy a version of how this could have happened. *I knew this from stalking the MWPP threads from last term, from your theories on how this could have happened. :)
And your opening statements on solidified my belief that I was about to read a really good theory on how Peter betrayed his friends: "Back then, he merely thought it was a slip of the tongue, to someone who did not even seem interested." That section was so. Good. It was the kind of paragraph that could happen to anyone, even though as you read it, a part of you still feels like it wouldn't happen to you. But I think that's because I'm jaded and I know the ending…I firmly believe that Peter is THE hardest Maurader to characterize, but I am saying authoritatively (on what grounds I have no idea - lack of sleep?) that you need to use this opening in the MWPP class this term as an illustration for Peter. Somewhere.
Eleanor's scene was touching, and revealing about their relationship, and it made me laugh, thinking about the fact that she thought James and Sirius were stupid but she remembered Peter. But then I kept reading. She's a slick one. Ooooh, what an ego booster. And the apologies and the hand on the leg…but nothing comes of it, and he watches Lily and James and is sort of in the background once everyone else arrives. It's not hard to imagine how Peter starts to feel every day with this scene you've set up.
And then she just sets him up hook, line, and sinker. Such a sneaky Slytherin, lol.
But seriously, she was quite smart to wait several months of dating and let him slip a few times before she tried to get information out of him and trap him rather than ask him questions. And Voldemort was quite smart to send the type of spy after him that Peter wouldn't suspect - a pretty, innocent-looking woman who falls in love with him, preying on his weaknesses.
I think we've seen throughout the series that Peter is not the type to stand up to his friends or to put himself in jeopardy, and it quite honestly makes me wonder why he was sorted into Gryffindor.
I am actually disappointed this is the end of the story…for this is only the beginning of Peter's slow turn. He is now in a place where he knows he's made a mistake, but how does he actually come to betray the Potters? That is a significant difference from accidently revealing information and becoming a spy for Voldemort. I'm inclined to believe it is simply blackmail. "I will kill you/harm your friends/etc. if you don't do this for me?" He becomes secret keeper and within a week the Potters are dead, so he must be quite close to Voldemort at that point for Voldemort to obtain that kind of information from him, but I'm not sure even simple blackmail would get him to that point, especially since he is also willing to frame Sirius and fake his own death, though he is protecting himself at that point above all.
Overall, I think is an extremely great theory about how Peter would have started down that path, and I completely agree with your theory about the fact that it would have been a slow moving path.
Great story, and great characterization as usual!
Author's Response: Amanda , WOW! How to I respond to such an in-depth review? I'm pleased you enjoyed it and found it plausible. Peter's betrayal has always seemed so difficult for me, not so much the fact that he betrayed them, but that they never suspected him. It had to be something slow, in my opinion. It was never really going to be for money ... so that left personal safety (and of those he loved) or ... sex/love. I don't buy the 'family being threatened factor - because he was on Dumbledore's side and he never mentioned it in the Shrieking shack, but seducyion ... mmm, that I can see. Perhaps I'm just odd that way.
I think I shall have to write some more about Peter and Eleanor. I do have an idea for her, and Peter's ultimate betrayal is intriguing me, but is hard to write. One day ....
Thanks for the review, Amanda. ~Carole~
Oh, I love the twins. They were characterized similar, yet different from Fred and George, whom I know they were compared to in the books. I'm not sure if F/G would have been comfortable comforting Ginny…they reverted to humor rather than sincere comfort. I chuckled:
"The girl wiped away her tears. “It’s just that…I am going to miss the two of you,” she said sadly.
The two boys gagged and took several steps backwards."
I thought Molly was characterized great. From what I've seen so far, you certainly don't need that class. She dealt with her emotion, and then moved on. She stood up for herself in the compartment (and didn't take no for an answer…). And this: ' “Same place as everyone,” said Molly. “And, Hestia, if you see those two idiots again, please point them out to me.” ' I don't think I'd have enough cheek to say that at 11, but Molly growing up with her older brothers…
I think the only inconsistency with that is that they talk about in the compartment how Molly wants to be a Prefect, and then she turns and sends a hex right in front of McGonagall at the Carrows. I know how strongly she feels about it, but…it seemed somewhat inconsistent to me.
I had to stop reading because I was laughing:
'Molly glared at him. It hurt her to hear her brothers talk to her in that tone while she was with his friends. “Since you are getting so defensive, I’m sure this is something you’re not allowed to bring to school. Is that it, Arthur?”
“Erm…” said Arthur, not looking at her. “Nothing like that, Molly. Just a -” '
I love Arthur Weasley, because in the series he obviously loves his wife so much but still manages to get into trouble with her. Looks like he started early in that relationship, lol. I really, really liked the scene in the compartment. It was so…realistic of a big brother/little sister relationship. She was trying to stand up for herself in front of her big brothers' friends, but her big brothers were just embarrassing her, after they were being so nice to her earlier when no one was around.
*On a canon note, the game keeper at Hogwarts during Molly and Arthur's time was a man named Og. Not sure where they mention it, maybe somewhere during CoS when they are talking about how Hagrid became the gamekeeper.
Oooh, I got all giggly when I read Hestia Jones. Is that weird? Lol. Because it's you! I'm silly, it's too late once again for me to be up.
I really liked the ending, that the Hat was somewhat laughing at her. I imaging the poor Sorting Hat having to deal with a lot of students arguing with it throughout the years, though it probably sees that as the highlight of its years, those students it interacts with.
I'm really glad this got validated…I quite like this story, my dear!
So, as I opened it up, the story notes tell me that this is more like a companion piece to a story I adore, AND that it's to expand on Astoria/Daphne. Which is also fangirl. WHY HAVEN'T I READ THIS YET?!
Anyhoo. Oooh you made Astoria a Ravenclaw Prefect…interesting. Veeeery interesting. If someone else was going to be with Draco, I would make it a Ravenclaw, I think. But we've discussed why before…and then I went back and reread that chapter in A Marriage Made in Hogwarts, where you completely mention it there, lol. *Sigh* Oh well. I think diving headfirst myself into their world has made me analyze her character deeper. But I'm glad I did that, because now I see the tie in better.
Oh, the dialogue was so good between them. I can imagine having so many conversations with my sisters with such a similar tone - pushing buttons subtlety, using that ability to make each other annoyed and even angry quicker than any one else on the planet, but they are family - loving and protecting each other no matter what. The part that struck me the most was when Daphne asked if she wanted to "break Ma's heart?" and Astoria went "You didn't tell her!" Daphne goes, "Oh yes I did!" Reminded me a lot of my sisters and siblings in general. Very easy to read, it just flows through your mind rapidly, like it's happening without any delay or miscue.
I think Daphne would have intimated me in real life; cool, aloof, always seems to have an answer…she seems to almost be baiting Astoria to where she wants her to go, answering ambivalently to Astoria's questions and letting her come to her own conclusions.
“Zabini,” cut in Daphne, “may hang around with them, but he has not joined their league.”
“So you and he are alike, then!” cried Astoria nastily.
“Yes, we are.”
Astoria also seems to have more passion, more emotion - she wouldn't have made a good Slytherin in this version, as she seems too conflicted over what to do - she's not thinking about herself as much, but about others. At the same time, though, she still thinks about herself in terms of her reputation, for example - she doesn't want to be associated with her Slytherin sister, so she avoids her all year. I found her characterization in this period in her life very neat - she's got conflicting views, from her home life and upbringing to what she feels is right and sees her classmates doing and talking about. Would she feel the same way if she had been sorted into Slytherin - how much is because of the fact that she is in Ravenclaw with people discussing it everyday from the "good" POV?
I thought it was really neat (hrmph) again that you choose a very cool moment from the books to place this moment in. As a plot device, I think it helped them discuss Draco subtly.
I'm totally falling asleep now xp but I thought this was really well written and a wonderful piece of characterization from what we can derive of Draco and his relationship after the war.
Author's Response: I know Rowling said somewhere that Astoria was a Slytherin Prefect, and in my mind, a younger, warmer version of Narcissa sprang up for some reason. Lol! But I wanted it to be tougher for Draco to get the girl. Someone who didn’t understand his values, someone who found him an abhorrent creature – yes, I wanted a girl like that so that he would come around. And in came Astoria. : D For some reason, I couldn’t picture her as a Gryffindor – the recklessness was absent, or a Hufflepuff – she would have to be friendly and hard-working – again, a no-no. I wanted a clever, non-nonsense, hard-to-please girl who, if you really tried to understand and get close to, would be the perfect lover for you.
I’m so glad you two found the sisterly banter realistic. Lol! Although I’m the only girl, I have plenty of aunts who converse like that. So much politics, yet so much harmless fun.
And the sisters set them off each other rather well, don’t they? Daphne is one of those characters who I’m most satisfied with – yes, she would come first, followed by the horrible Margaret Thornton. ; ) And there is that little bit of Slytherin-ness in Astoria, but ultimately, she is too bookish, and a bit more righteous. But, of course, the ambivalence is still there.
Thank you so much for the “dman” review, my lovely Twin!
I know diddly-squat about poetry-all I know is how the words look on the page and how it makes me feel when I read it. So I have to tell you how your poem makes me feel.
Snape and Lily's story is tragic at best. I like the dualities you show: "loneliness…yet he's not always alone. I had one once, but I still have you." I thought that even while the language was beautiful - which I still find amazing, your command of the English language to write something like this - the description great…it is still simple. And it transitions and still tells a story in 108 short words.
The transition at the end is brilliantly done as well, and seems to convey a sense of regret that Snape probably carried with him his entire life. I felt sad, like I was watching someone look back on their life, and wonder something simple and profound but complex at the same time, because we [i]know[/i]. Which…just makes it sadder. The imagery of having Lily as that "void in his heart" is quite possibly one of the most depressing things ever, if you really and truly think about it. But so so so good at describing how he carries himself and how he just keeps doing what he needs to do for that sole reason.
Doesn't make you like him more, just makes the entire thing more tragic.
You should not make this your last.
Author's Response: Hey there Twin!
"all I know is how the words look on the page and how it makes me feel when I read it." Same sentiments here, love. I am not really good at writing poems, and I think I got lucky with this one.
Dualities...ah. I seem to have a fetish for them, don't I? I think that was how poor Severus felt. He never actually had Lily that way, but Lily was always within him, even as an absence. I think that was what made the whole thing so sad and forlorn. And you are right, I don't mean this poem to make anyone like him more - I mean, of course, Snape is someone to be admired. All I am saying is that the poem does not necessarily make him him a better person.
But isn't love just so powerful?
Thanks for the lovely, lovely review.
This story is brilliant. Amazing. Depressing at times. It sucks in slowly, and before you realize it, you are reading about the Rita you hate, but at the same time, she's the same girl at the beginning that you pitied and liked a little bit, and somehow they are the same person. Writing a transformation like that can be tricky - you picked amazing moments, showed it at a wonderful pace, and nothing felt forced or fake.
It almost seems that now we have someone else to hate to balance against Rita - Margaret is such a horrible person to her from such an early age that we immediately side with the weaker person - which in this case happens to be Rita. We feel justified, vindicated, when she writes her story, though we of course have an inkling of where it might lead. "She had waited four years for her revenge. Two hours was nothing in comparison." Oooh, that is good! We just…dislike Margaret so much that we ignore Rita's faults for a bit, and get sucked in with her; we watch her as she starts to go down that "slippery slope"…
I like the small mentions throughout that give clues to Rita without becoming overwhelming or cheesy - the girl who taunts her is actually the girl she is jealous of, and she therefore ends up imitating her. She is lonely as a child, and bonds with the insects, which helps explain her Animagus form.
I think it is simply a character flaw with Rita that she starts to believe she's in the right…which you also show developing. She gets sick the first time, then she questions it hesitatingly with Henry for reactions - and gets positive feedback from the man she loves. Then she becomes more comfortable with it. Once she gets her revenge on Margaret, she actually attempts to argue her points with Dumbledore, and we get the impression that she hasn't heard a word he said. And then her dinner with Nathan was heartbreaking…it just keeps going and going…the ending scene, with her ultimate revenge on a man who also used her…the entire piece is quite tragic now that I'm thinking about it, lol.
Deciding on Rita for this challenge was a great choice - we know nothing about her past, and she's not really a [i]bad[/i] person, so to say…everyone just hates her. She is clever, ambitious, but manipulative, and cunning…I just can't say enough how brilliant I think this piece is, and you showed all of these throughout. Not just that she possesses them all, but how, and why she allows herself to let her reputation rule her life.
Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.
Author's Response: Brilliant review, mate!
I mean, I write for reviews like these, to be honest - it sums everything up, everything that I hoped would get across to the readers.
I don't know how Rowling envisaged Rita's childhood; she could have simply grown up that way. However, she was such a perfect subject for the prompt that I had to write her. She did seem lonely and starved for attention, so that was the first thing I caught on. The love triangle came later on but it helped in tying up all loose ends.
Love you, Natalie.
This is the untold story of Dolores Umbridge.
I think part of the reason Umbridge is so hated in the series is because 1) she is fake- she’s not up front with what she believes in, and 2) we don’t know her motivations, or at least, anything about her history, except that she seems to only think about herself. This was a really great version of what could have happened. It almost read like a night time ghost story…it had spooky elements and the language was dark and almost gothic at times. The idea of running around an empty town with a storm looming and then running into the dark gloomy forest....for example: The playground was empty; the swings creaked spookily in the wind that was now whipping up all around her. The old bridge stood by itself, alone and un-loved, and the abandoned log cabin was empty save for a few birds hiding from the tempest.
I think the way you interspersed the ”Dolores Umbridge… sections throughout also helped lend to that tone. Speaking of that…I thought it was BRILLIANT. It felt creepy to me…partially because Umbridge creeps me out, and partially because of the fact that the lines were so simple, but so…harsh? Forboding? It was almost as if I could imagine it were a movie and the lines were whispered in a voice over. I have NO IDEA if that makes sense…
I thought names were a strong suit in this, which is something that I personally struggle with. “Dolly” is such a cute nickname for Dolores…which, while it is never an adjective I would associate with her, it helped us picture the relationship between the two girls. And Agnes is just as atrocious a name as “Dolores”, lol, which makes sense as they are sisters.
Dolores’ characterization still managed to be reminiscent of the person we love to hate, even at this young age. When she yells at her sister, calling her “a horrid little girl”…that’s not only quite a terrible thing to say to someone at a young age, but she’s not that much older than her sister, so calling your younger sister a “little girl” is kind of a bratty thing to do, lol. And the transition into the part in OOTP with Harry and Hermione is probably the strongest part in the entire piece. The ending is tragic, and it made me actually feel something for her, as I believe that she loves her sister through the relationship you’ve built up throughout the piece. Then you take that one thing I believe she loves away from her, and show me how it got taken away: mean children and centaurs. And THEN you open transition to: Dolores Umbridge stumbled through the Forbidden Forest, following the two children, that filthy lying boy and that know-it-all girl.” Just….gaaaaaaaaah. It doesn’t make me LIKE her, because I know what happens before they led her into the forest…she’s still Umbridge. But…when she freaks out on the Centaurs in the forest, it’s easy to see that THIS could have played through her mind. That final scene, looking at the blood and her sister…all of the imagery is powerful, and I think it works.
I thought it was kind of odd in the beginning that she kept calling her sister “the girl”, and there were quite a few grammar mistakes throughout, enough that I felt the need to point it out. Mainly punctuation around dialogue tags, but there are others as well. I know you had a beta, but I thought I’d mention that while it didn’t necessarily detract from the overall story, it was noticeable.
Overall, great story and enjoyable read!
Wow, Ali, that was beautiful.
The imagery, the description...it was haunting and sad and beaufitul and just...wow.
That was all I could say when I finished reading it.
"Andromeda and Ted walked hand in hand down the road, the heavy solid weight of him tethering her body to the ground while her mind floated dizzily and distantly away from herself."
"She stands on wet grass, shoes slipping, sinking, sticking in the mud, surrounded by hard grey tombstones that graze her hands when she tries to touch them, and all the ashes buried beneath her."
I really enjoyed your characterization of Sirius as well...boldly proclaiming what he knows she's been keeping secret, because he is completely proud of her.
Author's Response: My first review! *hugs* Thank you so much for such a lovely review Amanda, I'm really glad you enjoyed it. :) You've made me all smiley! :D
You didn’t tell me this got validated!! Grrrr….Anyway – a warning. This is the most epically long review I’ve ever left in my life, and I overuse the word “brilliant.”
I’ll take each person in turn before commenting on the work as a whole:
James: his need to be alone is reflected in his son, and I found his characterization to be completely believable. That he would act recklessly to save her, and feel completely inadequate about it and THEN not care because he recognized that was who he was – I loved it. Most of all, I loved this part: “Stupid? Perhaps. Arrogant? Possibly. Cowardly? No. Pessimistic? Never.” And I think that last part is a quintessential difference between James and Harry, because Harry was often pessimistic, though he never once gave up, and he was only pessimistic in his mind and never let it overcome him.
/James & Harry comparison
Severus: at first I wondered where you were going with him – and oh man. To have a sixteen year old boy realize that was profoundly disturbing and eerily scary and completely Snape. There were already moments of Snape in that passage – he’s dismissive of Mulciber, unimpressed with his talents, bored by their meetings, etc. – but he’s still Severus in most of it. A boy at a Quidditch game, annoyed by a girl who wants to be tutored. The way you wrote this allowed us to see his thought process, which I’ve determined that, while you do it very well, I’m not sure I want to see again, because you managed to make him very canon which = unpleasant and scary, lol. But I have a question for you, because Snape never answered this question: “How would he feel if it had been Black or Potter? Potter, because of whom he had lost Lily?”
Sirius: The longer I’m reading this, the more brilliant this is becoming. To use an incident involving death to show how they would each react differently to it – James thinking about how he can’t save everyone, Severus and how he’s going to have to become accustomed to it, and Sirius about how he feels about his own death. You know this is going to be what I quote as my favorite: “He didn’t care what he was involved in during the last few minutes leading up to it, but he’d love to be… laughing merrily at death’s ugly face. Yes, that was how he pictured it. Laughing. Full of life. Like a paradox.” Like he decides right there while he’s looking for James to go “To hell with you, death.” And because WE know what happens to Sirius…
Peter: The “sending a letter to his mother” thing – seemed a bit cliché in the beginning, hearing Sirius talk about it. I couldn’t tell whether he was making fun of Peter or whether he was annoyed Peter was talking to someone besides them – it started as the former, ended up as the latter. I liked it better from Peter’s POV, talking about wanted to alleviate his mother’s concerns and to head off her annoying letters if he didn’t writer her first. I also wondered where you were going with Peter – these lines:
“No one needed to die when they were so young, so…busy and vibrant with life. So hopeful and happy. No one needed to have their dreams snatched away like that.”
are so ironic, of course, but then…it talks of how Peter is utterly and truly afraid of his own life above all, and he is afraid also of ridicule. So you are BRILLIANTE. And I liked it, even if I wished for more from Peter.
Lily: Aaah, Ms. Evans. GAAAH How do you so brilliantly manage to hit the nail on the head and get to the crux of who they are so…so…brilliantly?! (I warned you.) I mean…we know Lily and her thing with the swings from Snape’s memories, but to take it, tie it in with an original event that you are tying everyone else in with, and then to lead in into “She didn’t care when she’d have to go, as a wrinkly old woman or the sixteen-year-old she was now, she’d hate to go without having served a purpose.” And…it’s so simple, and it makes sense, now that I’m reading it. Like, I should have known these things about all of them before you wrote it.
Remus: If I was a bit hesitant about Peter, I was eager to read about Remus from his own POV, as he sat quietly on his bed and seemed to know what everyone was doing and what everyone needed just fine. Which, I’m actually okay with in a teenage boy who is that close to his friends after observing my husband with his friends, but considering this is for the MWPP final, I thought I’d mention that before I got to the Remus section, I thought that was the closest thing to a cliché (besides the Peter-letter writing thing) I’d seen in this entire piece.
So AFTER I read Remus’ section: That stuff wasn’t 100% confronted, but in a way it was: because Remus is the only one who sees James try to catch her, and so he understands that James is feeling upset he didn’t, etc., etc. But, moving on from that, I sort of liked the discreet, deceptive, closed-off Remus aspect. He lets everyone do their own thing, and when the time came naturally, he lets his emotions out. He lets everyone do what they needed to do, including himself, which was think about his own confusing feelings.
I was confused about a few parts in the Remus section that had nothing to do with anything, purely random stuff. I didn’t know why “split-seconds” was in quotes. The last few parts, starting with that line with "split-seconds", and excluding the ending lines (“So, that was what was troubling him. Smiling, he took up his wand and went downstairs in search of his friends. He intended to cherish that gift for the time being.”) were somewhat awkward, or else I’m just confused, as I didn’t get the headache thing, but I got the overall idea of what you were getting at, and I really liked that Remus was the one to pull them all together (in this situation, theoretically, as he runs downstairs). He seemed to be the glue as the adult as well. Okay, so really it was just two parts that I was confused on. xP
So, the piece as a whole: the Mauraders, Lily, and Snape are such tragic figures in the books – we see only a broken Sirius, a traitor Peter, and a rough and worn Remus, as well as a dark and foreboding Snape whose past we only find out about after his death. Their prime is all past them by the start of the books (except perhaps Snape – did he ever have one?), and I think it’s the idea of their lives being full of life and laughter and joy as a group of five who cherish one another is an idea that captivates us all. Unfortunately, they are all associated with death somehow, so I find it utterly BRILLIANT that you showed their reactions to death, and how unique they all are. The way you presented the scene, with literally one line from each, was just GAAAH and set up the scene that was necessary for the story but not necessary to be seen. Another thing I really really liked, was how you had the four boys reacting together - well, specifically, that you had Sirius upset that Peter wasn't with them to talk about it (I've decided this is what you were going for and that's how I'm interpreting it). Like - he's an essential part of their group and he should turn to them when he needs to talk about something. I really liked that brotherly bond that Sirius is displaying he feels, because he's showing serious annoyance that Peter is confiding in them, lol.
Umm, hopefully you realize how I feel about this story, and I think you did an amazing job on the final, although my opinion doesn’t really matter for your grade, lololol. :D
Author's Response: I know I have responded to you via yahoomail, lol, but I just wanted to say, THANK YOU FOR THE HUMONGOUS REVIEW again.
LOVE LOVE LOVE the fifth Christmas – the way Ted quails under his wife but loves it all the same, the way he thinks about her crackpot sister, the way he laughs at himself. And Andromeda – waking him up from the couch roughly, staring at him forebodingly (in the way I’ve always wished would scare Will but makes him laugh AT me), but smirking at him as he hurries away. It is just cute but amusing and not overly fluffy but the kind of “romance” I completely ADORE. As in, if I could make the font size obnoxiously big, I would.
I love your version of Ted Tonks – he simultaneously seems to be somewhat scared of her and enjoys ticking her off. And he knows her before he really knows her, which I personally find sweet. And the wallet thing reminds us of where Tonks gets her clumsiness/absentmindedness from. And that “the audacity of what he and Andromeda were about to do still made him chuckle. But – gah the end of the First Christmas was awesome, it made me literally laugh out loud when she tricked him by kissing him and then hexed him with his own wand. HA!
I think the third Christmas is my favorite because of the lines below, and I just love the interaction between Ted and Andromeda:
“But that is what I want, damn you, Ted!” she cried at last. “That is what I want. To be with you. Just…be with you.”
“Because,” she began, and then she stopped. “You really are a berk.”
“Will you stop with the insults!” cried Ted in exasperation.
“I don’t have to learn them,” replied Andromeda, whacking him on the head. “I know them already. We don’t keep house-elves at my house, you presumptuous berk.”
“Okay,” he said, leaning in to resume the kiss.
“But,” she said, putting a finger on his lips. “I might have to teach you.”
But the Fourth Christmas I think is the strongest - the dialogue between the Black sisters is so strong and entrancing – those are some of the parts I can’t tear my eyes away from the page.
I hope you know – this story is delightful in and of itself. But when I read the A/N – it never fails to tug on my heart and give me that gushy feeling. I am so blessed to have my twin, and I love this story. It was the best Christmas gift.
Author's Response: YAY!
It would have sucked if you didn’t like it. It was written for YOU, after all. :D
I imagine Ted being that way – a cheekier version of Arthur? And I honestly still dunno which Christmas is my favorite, but I rather like the second one, when Ted rashly decides to stay back. In my mind, that last part always plays out in slow motion. Lol.
The Third one was the hardest to write because there was so much going on there. That conversation was a heavy one, and I wanted to include the fears and insecurities which the two of them felt at the moment. On the other hand, the fourth was “MUAHAHAHA” I originally planned to develop that one further, as I think I said to you in one of my emails. I really wanted Ted to show his Claus to the Blacks. But…in the end, I just didn’t want to ruin it. I was so happy with how it had turned out, the urgency of it all, that I decided to leave it that way.
And I just love writing the Black sisters. ;)
THANKS FOR THE REVIEW, TWIN!
That. Was. Awesome.
It was...awesome. I have no other words. I hope you'll get all the meanings of what I'm trying to convey.
And as I'm supposed to be working instead of reading random stories, I'm running away now, but I'll be laughing all the way. Seriously, Carole, this was a great story, and I laughed all the way through. It was a very enjoyable read.
Author's Response: Thank you, Amanda. That means a lot because I know you're a big Hermione writer and I was anxious to get her right despite being OOC because of that book. It was fun to write ... especially her scene with george and the letter written to Caramac Cloggan. ~Carole~
Ummm, wow. Why is it I always feel that way after I've read one of your stories?
There was something so weird and bitter and tragic and shocking about Florean's death in DH (or was it HBP?)- it felt so unnecessary and abrupt. I think it helped to continue to add to those lost moments of Harry's innocennce as he remembered eating sundae's there during PoA, and Florean's ice cream parlour was such a staple to Diagon Alley. And he seemed like such an innocent man to attack - the ice cream man?!
Carole hit it right on the nose when she said that you've not only made his place greater in the HP world, but you've given Andrew breath and life through his telling of the story. I know now when I read of Harry eating sundae's, it will mean something:
"For him, it was never about the business of business; I suspect it was rather about the business of friendship. "
I think that line for me helped sum up his character better than anything else, and yet helped make his death more tragic. I have such a burning desire now to want to go to Diagon Alley and share in his memory with poor Andrew and eat some free ice cream.
I think it's brilliant the way that you incorporated the time line of the prompt in as well. I don't remember the prompt exactly, but as it's "Winter Snows", and it ends on Christmas Eve...you are a genius.
That is all. :) I love you.
Author's Response: I know about the reaction to Florean's death. Abrupt, and so cruel- and we never got to know why he died. So, I did some research and found out it had to do with the Elder Wand. Since that discovery, I've been wanting to write a one-shot on him. You know how I planned that for the Watching the Mirror final task, but...ah...fate intervened in the form of Merope Gaunt.
I'm proud of Andrew and his quirks. :D Seriously, he's the only OC of my creation that I can look back to with satisfaction. I'm thinking of featuring him in future works.
Yes, that line was meant to sum up Florean. That was the first impression I got when I read about him in POA, and I don't think it was just Harry. I rather have a feeling Florean was generally kind and generous. Something about ice-creams, right? And...can you imagine him in any other house but Ravenclaw? He seems to have been very knowledgeable and reserved about his sentiment. No one originally knew why he died, and so I thought he must have been a bit quiet about his opinions.
Thanks for the lovely review, Amanda. Your reviews always make me delve further into my story.
I was really excited you decided to put this up on the archives, because I never got a chance to discuss it. But, I don’t know how much of an actually discussion it would have been. Because this is going to be the worst review I’ve ever left for you…it’s going to be like the one I left for Sunday Lunch where I just gushed tearfully about how much I loved it, and that was about all. Because daggum it I love your Ted and Andromeda. Seriously seriously seriously.
You really have a gift at giving Ted a voice, a personality. He really comes alive in so many ways, but especially for how he and Andromeda could have come together: “We don’t really speak, although I can feel her presence as though my senses were built solely for that purpose.”. That line is amazing. And the whole paragraph where he describes the building of their relationship…even in those few lines you FEEL it. And yet, she doesn’t feel stronger than him, somehow. Maybe that’s just me, but they do feel balanced in a way, because you know in the end, she dancing FOR him. She left her family FOR him. She’s amused that her dancing worked, and wants him to look at her, to kiss her. AARGH! So so good.
I love your knack of using sentence fragments without overdoing them:
“I asked. I accepted. I ran away.”
‘ “Look at me,” she whispers. I obey. Lovely brown eyes.’
And yet you contrast it so beautifully with the massive run on sentence at the end that works wondrously.
So…you are marvelous and I fangirl you more and more with everything you write.
b29; Your twin.
I so admire your amazing characterization, and this story is no different. It was a joy to read, and it has given me a completely different way to view Arthur, while still being completely and 100% in character. I love the little things he thinks about the children that he'll never tell them, his relationship with Molly, the things he notices about the couples that speak volumes about their relationships...it was simply wonderful to read.
Author's Response: Thank you. I’ll admit that Arthur was something of a revelation to me, too. As I wrote I discovered a lot about him. I realised that he is a brave member of the Order of the Phoenix. Given Molly’s often explosive character, it seemed to me that he must be the calm in the centre of a storm of Weaseys. But to keep some sort of order he must know what is going on. -N-