Summary: Theresa McGonagall returns from twelve years of self-imposed exile to find that nothing has changed: the Ministry still suspects her, Minerva still blames her, and Severus still wants more than she’s willing to give. Then Sirius Black breaks out of Azkaban, and even the Boy Who Lived may not be able to rescue her from the mistakes of her past.
This is the story of Prisoner of Azkaban with only one character added. Packed with action, drama, and a touch of humor, this story is for fans of Sirius Black and Severus Snape.
Oh, wow. I love this story, and I’m in awe of your imagination! Where did you get this fantastic idea? It’s a wonderful twist on the long-lost sister idea, and one of the best first-time fics I’ve ever seen. You have everyone in character, your dialogue is believable, the plot is intriguing … I could go on and on!
And this chapter … oh my gosh. I love that Harry is asking McGonagall and Hagrid about Tess, and I’m so curious about her now! Like Harry, I’m convinced there is more to Tess than meets the eye, but she obviously lied to him. Why? I can’t wait to find out more about her. And mixed up with Harry again! Oh, the suspense …
And … *dies* The Acromantulas … that whole scene was terrifying. I was so scared. I’m with Ron – I hate spiders. You wrote the whole thing amazingly well. I could picture everything (much to my horror), and I honestly didn’t know how she was going to get out of it! Great job pulling in the Hippogriffs! That was unexpected, but it tied in to canon nicely.
Whoa, and the last part with Snape, McGonagall and Dumbledore is just awesome. I love that you altered the scene from the book – it’s totally believable. And no way … Theresa Black? She was married to Sirius? *gasp* I’m sure I saw that coming, but still! I love it!
This is so fabulous! I can’t wait for the next chapter. This is definitely on my favourites list! Keep up the excellent work!
Author's Response: Ooh, thanks for the long and gushy review -- my favorite kind! To answer your question, Theresa is total wish fulfillment for me -- she gets to have all the relationships I wanted when I read the books: mothering Harry, snogging Sirius, and trading barbs with Snape. ::sigh:: The plot and everything sort of grew naturally out of that. I\'m glad you\'re curious about Tess--she\'s a very complicated person. Action scenes are my forte, so you\'ll see more of those. In fact, the next chapter is called \"Inhalus,\" and you might find yourself having to catch your breath after it\'s over!
Summary: After Lavender's break up with Ron and Dean's break up with Ginny, the two find comfort and healing in each other.
Amanda, I didn't realise YOU wrote this lovely gem! I had read it ages ago, long before I knew who you were, and coming back to it now ... Gosh, it's fabulous! Lavender is so real to me here, as is Dean, both people that can be hard to sympathise with when reading the books from Harry's POV. That's hard to do, I think, but you pulled it off fabulously!
Lavender was sweet, yet forceful, and I loved that she kissed Dean first. That seems completely in character. And Dean is just wonderful. *loves* And whoa ... *fans self* Guh. Yeah, that part was amazing, too. This is definitely one of my favourites!
Author's Response: Oh! you just made my day, my dear! Thank you so much! I\'m glad you liked it! *HUGS*
Summary: New Year's contest submission to the Green Dragon prompt from pheonixflame of Gryffindor House.
Young Albus Dumbledore has just lost his family at the hands of Grindelwald. He finds himself wandering aimlessly, until he stumbles upon the Green Dragon Inn...
Ooh … another “At the Sign of the Green Dragon” submission! Is this Albus who is lost? It certainly seems that way, but you’re leaving the readers a bit lost, as well! Which I love, by the way – just so we’re clear. I also really enjoyed the title of this chapter. It has a very nice mirror imagery with Snape.
You have a lovely writing style. It seems very effortless and smooth, though I’m sure it might not feel that way to you! From the very first paragraph, I was completely drawn in to the scene. You painted a perfect picture. Just from reading it, I’m feeling hot and sweaty and dusty and exhausted, and I can hear those cicadas as if there wasn’t two feet of snow outside right now! I’m envious of your talent here!
I also enjoyed that a lot of this chapter was flashback. Hmm, it makes sense, considering the title!
And here, my pleasure ended. Don’t worry, though! It’s not your fault! Well, actually it is. This is so sad! I nearly cried. I had never, ever considered that Dumbledore might have had a family, and that Grindelwald killed them. I’m … shocked that you came up with such an idea. It’s fabulous, and I’m jealous of your imagination! Just as you made me hot and dry in the first paragraph, in the rest of the chapter I was aching for Dumbledore. It’s no wonder he’s feeling lost and desolate.
I didn’t see any errors in grammar or spelling, but you have a fabulous beta! Kate has just taken me on, and while I haven’t gotten my chapter back yet, I’m thrilled to see that your chapter is flawless. Kudos to you and to Kate!
The only problem that I can see – and I really had to search for it – is that you have Grindelwald down as a Gryffindor. That’s a very interesting choice, one that I certainly would not have made, and one that you don’t see very often – a Dark wizard who wasn’t in Slytherin. But I think there is a basis for this in canon. Hagrid says in chapter five of Philosopher’s Stone that “there’s not a single witch or wizard who went bad who wasn’t in Slytherin.” So, you might want to change that little detail. I don’t think it will throw anything else.
This is a stunning first chapter, and I cannot wait for the next one to be validated! Good luck in the challenge, Mari! I’d certainly place this!
Knight of the Turnip Table
PS – I’m loving the title – Draconis Viridans – that’s brilliant!
Author's Response: Yay, a nice, long review! *happy dance* Thanks so much for reviewing! :] Yes, Kate is a fab beta! You know, I really don\'t know how I came up with this plot bunny, but you know in HBP when Dumbledore is screaming after he drinks the potion? I was kind of basing it off of that. And I put Grindelwald as a Gryffindor, because I imagine that that\'s how Albus would get to be friends with him. Then again, Albus is nice enough to befriend all the Houses... Hehe, thanks again for reviewing, and keep reading cause the next chapter\'s in the queue! :]
Summary: A young witch unaware of her extraordinary powers must find the stregth to overcome her troubled past and save a man she can't completly trust.
OH. MY. GOSH.
This is fantastic! Your writing is so smooth and lovely, and it paints beautiful, haunting pictures. I love your word choice, and ... I'm already captivated! What is going to happen? Who is this Miss Bennet, and why does she have special powers? Wow. I'm not sure what else to say ... Just ... update as soon as you can! I know you obviously just got this up, and I know from experience that there are lots of issues with submission and writing, but let me assure you that I love your story and I can't wait to see what happens! Keep up the fantastic work! I think I'm going to have to read this again now ...
The Great Wizard War has ended and a lot of things have changed in the magical world as a result. Perhaps the most significant change is the fact that the existence of wizards and witches is no longer a secret to Muggles. Hermione Granger is the new head of the Muggle Liaison Office and her life has become hectic since the end of the war. Historically under utilized and under funded, the Muggle Liaison Office has become one of the busiest arms of the Ministry. Ten to eighteen hour days have become standard for her and it is beginning to take a serious toll on her personal life, namely in her relationship with Ron.
This story was written for the February One-Shot Challenge and got an honourable mention!
Hey James! I’m finally getting around to reviewing this. I still can’t believe how few reviews you have – you deserve a lot more!
Like Lex, I’m still astounded at your characterisation. Every time I get a chapter or a one-shot from you, I’m just shocked by … everything. It’s clear to me that these people are the same people from JK’s world, just older. Ron is still Ron – hot-headed, stubborn, impatient, and endearing, and Hermione is still Hermione – hardworking, dedicated, stubborn, and a little clueless about emotions. *shakes head in awe* How do you do that?
My other favourite thing about this story is that the readers can sympathise with both characters’ points of view – they’re both valid. Hermione IS the only one at the Ministry who cares about the Summit, but she’s also neglecting Ron. If she doesn’t get the Summit to happen, people could die, but if she doesn’t start spending time with Ron, then their relationship could die. And Ron has been extremely understanding up to this point. He has every right to feel frustrated and neglected. There isn’t just one person in the wrong here.
And heh, no mistakes here! I wonder why? (Not that there were many to begin with!)
Well, I hope your muse finds you soon, James, because I can’t wait to see more from you, whether it’s more of The Curse or just another fabulous one-shot like this. I definitely wouldn’t mind a one-shot about Harry and Ginny! Keep writing, okay?
You know, I\'ll take two reviews like this one from you and the one you mention from AlexisTaylor in lieu of a higher number of reviews that say much less. Don\'t get me wrong, I like the good old fashion ego-stroke too. But, it\'s always nice to get specifics.
I do feel like there are a handful of characters from the HP world that I have a pretty good bead on, Ron and Hermione being two of them. I feel pretty good about Harry also. Ginny, however, that is a different story. I think she is a very hard character to get right as she is exceedingly dynamic (in my opinion). I wouldn\'t rule out a Harry / Ginny one-shot some day ;).
Why is this story so flawless? I\'ll have to ask my beta and get back to you. :)
I just did another one-shot for Skele-gro, which I will be submitting soon. Also, I am continually working on chapter four of the curse. Hopefully, I can beat the release of DH. Just kidding. Thanks for the review and for being so much help to me as a beta, JB. I appreciate it very much!
Summary: Sometimes Luna remembers the explosion of sound against her eardrums, the blast of hot air (throat raw, the insides of her nostrils burning), the shower of tiny sparks like fireflies, but flaming. Sometimes she just remembers running through the damp grass, feet bare, her mother dancing on the lawn before her, white dress and shining hair, singing.
Oh, Nan! Oh, oh, oh! *tries to breathe* Oh. I think I’m going to have to read this again, and maybe go take a walk, before I can review properly, because oh.
Okay. Let’s try this again, shall we? Nan, this is absolutely stunning. If I didn’t love this so much I’d be so jealous of your writing ability. Wow. I don’t even know what to say about this – I have no criticism whatsoever, because it’s perfect. I adore the different sections, and the repetition of the first phrase, and the absolutely perfect ending. You’ve told Luna’s life story in just one short story, and I know her so much better now. I’m still slightly speechless with astonishment, because I cannot write this way at all, and I don’t know how you do it. It’s like poetry in prose form. I love absolutely everything about this story, and it’s totally going in my favourites.
My little moment of incoherency came at the end, when you repeated the description of her cottage.
The cottage is small, but it is just the right size of small, with two bedrooms and a garden full of roses and a cellar where her husband paints magic paintings that speak and move.
I had been wondering who the man was, but oh, it’s Dean, it has to be Dean, yes? Especially after reading DH, even though this fic isn’t DH compliant, that just has to be Dean. And even if it isn’t you never say, so it’s Dean in my head.
My heart aches at the sweet perfection of everything. The castle is being rebuilt, she has a daughter, everything has come full circle, and Luna is complete, now.
The creatures Luna believes in are beautiful – Starbringers, Mistwalkers, Wingriders – and the Snorkacks that live in Sweden. =) Just, oh, every single word of this fits so perfectly, like it was designed to be this way and no other way, and I don’t know how you do it … Okay. Probably a really pointless review, and I’m sorry I have nothing to offer in the way of crit, but it’s perfect the way it is. Unless you want to make it DH compliant – I wouldn’t complain, hee. And by the way, I’m very impressed with your ability to write in present tense. That’s hard to pull off, but obviously, it works so well here. I’m also impressed with your writing in general, in case you couldn’t tell by my incoherency. Really, this is probably the most beautiful fic I’ve read in a very long time, perhaps ever, and it’s like a perfect piece of art. Wonderful, just wonderful. Nan, you’re so talented. *hugs*
Summary: At a time, when the world is an uncertain thing, one man realises who he truly is.
Wow, what a dark piece. I think you’ve done several things pretty well here – your extensive vocabulary, your use of colour imagery, and keeping the main character unknown for the entirety of the fic. There are some very beautiful words strewn throughout the text, some haunting, some perfect, some jarring. And the colours – ooh, they change all over the place! I was also confused right to the very end who this fic was about. At first I thought it was Sirius, but the red eyes and the mention of a Muggle school make me think this is about Voldemort. And I think that must be right, given the other reviews here.
However, there are also a few things that just didn’t sit right with me. While your vocabulary is indeed impressive, I wonder how much of it is strictly necessary. It seems like a lot of it is there for effect, or for looking more complicated than it really is. This could just be me, but I was really struggling to understand a lot of the metaphors and similes you used. Sometimes simpler is better, and it takes wisdom to know when to cut out excess flowery language. It is good to have a balance of simple and complicated in a narrative.
Also, I’m catching a lot of dropped commas. There are way too many for me to list here, but the missing commas changes the meaning of some of the sentences. You might want to go back through and check for that, or find a really picky beta to help you out.
And wow, reading back through this, I’m struck again by just how dark the piece is. I can really sense the anguish and turmoil the main character is going through. Some of your lines, like ”falls down with an empty cry that reverberates throughout his skull like a thousand voices screaming when the only voice shouting is his own.” … wow. That’s beautiful. I also really like the pieces of poetry sprinkled in there. It’s a nice touch. Great work!
Summary: Harry has lost those closest to him and he is drowning in his grief, can anyone help pull him out? One invitation to a dance may help him move on, if he lets himself open up.
Hi, Leah! I stumbled upon this while doing Marie’s scavenger hunt, and then I realised that you had written this for that hunt last term, lol. And Anna has already left a review that is like Tolstoy long, so I’m not sure how helpful this will be. Let me start by saying that I really enjoyed it. =) I always felt sorry for Eloise – we only know her as the girl with horrible acne, but I’m sure she grew out of it. Good for her for asking Harry to the end of term ball!
Speaking of the ball, you did a fabulous job weaving that in without making it seem cliché. Since Dumbledore is gone, it would be natural for McGonagall to change things a little, and the ball itself was simple and understated. No masks, no hidden identities, no sudden proclamations of love, etc.
And oh, Eloise is so wise! I love that she questioned Harry about his goals. Somebody needed to do that – Harry must be so lost without Ron, Hermione, and Ginny. Her words after the memorial were profound, too. She’s so honest, yet she does it in a quiet way. Her dreams of becoming a mum so she could do it right … that really hit me. Her description of her father, especially. I liked that she didn’t actually accuse her parents of being horrible, but at the same time, she was able to acknowledge that they hadn’t been supportive. Good job with her character, Leah. Not even a hint of a Mary Sue there.
There really isn’t very much to critique here. The only suggestion I have would be to add some contractions. For example:
“I am going to work at a portrait studio, a magical one. I am a painter, so I am going to learn the trade from a few people there until…yeah that is what I am doing.” She looked down at her hand on his shoulder.
The repeated “I am” is very formal, but then Eloise says “yeah.” Since this is dialogue, it would be more natural for her to say “I’m.”
Also, I noticed that Eloise asks Harry only a week before the Summer Ball. If Harry really has a queue of girls trailing after him, wouldn’t one of them have asked him already, like Romilda? That was the only thing that felt off to me.
While I was reading this, it didn’t feel like I was reading a story. Does that make sense? It was written in such a lovely, smooth manner that it drew me in until it wasn’t fanfic any more. Very, very nice. *hugs*
Author's Response: ABU! *hugs* Thank you for the review! I will change that dialogue thing. As for other girls, they all annoy Harry. Some have asked him, but they just want to be seen with him. He could tell Eloise wasn\'t like that. Thanks hun! ~Leah
Author's Response: ABU! *hugs* Thank you for the review! I will change that dialogue thing. As for other girls, they all annoy Harry. Some have asked him, but they just want to be seen with him. He could tell Eloise wasn\'t like that. Thanks hun! ~Leah
Author's Response: ABU! *hugs* Thank you for the review! I will change that dialogue thing. As for other girls, they all annoy Harry. Some have asked him, but they just want to be seen with him. He could tell Eloise wasn\'t like that. Thanks hun! ~Leah
Summary: In the aftermath of the final battle against evil, Ron is given the chance of a lifetime, a chance that has only been given to less than a dozen people throughout all history.
Mar, this story is just so adorable! You already know that I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, but now I'm going to leave some solid proof! This is a fabulously inventive idea, and you did such a great job with it. I love that Hermione gets a chance to ask questions and analyse her feelings while Ron is getting his do-over. I think both of them are very much in character, and they're just so adorable together! *loves* And oh, the ending is just too perfect. *claps* Well done!
Summary: "Everything has a price, Miss Granger. Do not fool yourself."
Hermione has been trying all year to get even an E on her Defense Against the Dark Arts essays. During a chance meeting with Professor Snape late one night, Hermione discovers that even making good marks is not as clear-cut as it seems. Set during HBP.
Lian, SPEW buddy! *loves* I read this last week sometime, just to let the story soak in before I had to review, and let me say that I loved it then. I remember when you were writing the second chapter of this – you were struggling with Hermione’s thoughts. Well, that certainly turned out perfectly! But wait … this is a review for the first chapter. *cough*
I don’t think I could critique this, since you’re a much more talented writer than I am, so I won’t try to find problems that don’t exist. I’ll just tell you what parts I loved and what parts didn’t quite work for me, but that’s just the opinion of one person.
Hermione is one of my favourite characters, and I’m loving that this is from her POV! So realistic. Hee, she’s re-copying … that means this is the third copy. Ha. And she has a runny nose, and she’s reviewing her third copy … Oh my heck, I love it! She’s trying so hard to stay focused, but she just can’t. Good job portraying that feeling – I totally know where she’s coming from. Although, she would never have stopped to take a bath if Ron had been there, would she? *grins*
And *squeeflail* for Snape! You have him perfectly here! Guh. He’s snarky, totally in control, and he’s being polite to her! *flails again* He gives her a handkerchief, and doesn’t take points, and lets her go to her bath! I freaking love it! And bwahaha, she meets him again after her bath. *smirk* And he gives her a potion … Lian, I am not a fan of Snape, but you just might convert me if you continue to write him in this utterly delicious way. Especially when he can give such a plausible explanation for his show of dislike for her. I had honestly never thought of that before – it had always just been that he couldn’t show any respect to a Mudblood or someone on Dumbledore’s side – but he’s giving her lower marks to protect her! I think you’ve killed me dead, Lian.
And here we come to the end of this delectable chapter, and there is nothing that didn’t work for me. After finishing DH, I can’t see Snape acting this way in canon, but it’s absolutely perfect here. In fact, who cares if it’s not canon? It’s utter love. Sorry I wasn’t very coherent in this review – you blew away with Snape. I love you for writing him this way. *hugs*
Author's Response: I\'ve killed you dead? Oh no! I prefer my Abigail entirely alive. *sigh* I realize my Snape, at least as portrayed here, is not in canon with DH. I\'ve decided that I like what I\'ve started here and that I want to get it right, even if that means stopping and thinking about it for quite a while before continuing with it. Thank you for reviewing, and for being such a lovely SPEW buddy!
Summary: When you refuse to make choices, life has a tendency to make them for you.
Being the illegitimate son of a particularly noticeable wizard, Lucas Malory has spent all of his life practicing the art of inconspicuousness. But when the brutal waves of war break upon the world, every man must make a stand for what he believes in. Lucas, determined to keep his distance and only mind his own business, suddenly finds his options banging impatiently on the door. When indifference is no longer an option, how will he decide where his loyalties lie?
A/N: This story was plotted out before the release of the 7th book, but as I continue writing after having read it, chapters may be inspired by/include spoilers from Deathly Hallows.
Anna! When I saw that you had a new story validated, I knew I had to read it. And wow, I was not disappointed! You have a beautiful way with words – you can paint images and scenes with your language and choice of words that are just as beautiful as your photography or banners. Each one seems tailor-made for its purpose.
I read this when it was first validated and made a mental note to review it for this review period, and here I am getting it done at the last minute. Coming back to this chapter after several weeks, I’m finding new emotions and realisations as I read. I’m falling for Lucius in a way I never have before, sympathising with him and with the way his life must inevitably end.
I love that the title of this chapter fits so wonderfully with the content! Three letters to Lucius and his emotional responses to them. The difference in tone from Grace’s first letter to the one eleven and a half years later says so much. What a great device – telling your readers what has transpired since then while Grace tells Lucius. It’s incredibly effective and extremely subtle – much less jarring than if you had simply listed the details as a narrative.
After the first letter, Lucius’s determination to keep his engagement to Narcissa might seem cold-hearted and maybe stupid, but it doesn’t at all! You explained his motives so very well. Not only does he have to keep up appearances, but Voldemort himself would question him. He’d have to face much more than just unforgiving family members. As a side note, however, I wonder if Voldemort had red eyes at that point in time. I’d thought that the red eyes were only in his “new” body, the one he received from bone, flesh, and blood in Goblet of Fire. Either way, I like how subtle your reference is to the Dark Lord.
And oh, after the second letter! The way Lucius still thinks about his son, the way he knew that he would be starting school soon, just makes him so much more human to me. I love your explanation for Lucius’s insistence that Draco attend Durmstrang – of course he would want that, given the circumstances. And Narcissa’s over-protectiveness makes sense given that she can’t have more children. Teeny, tiny details like these make your characters live and breathe for me, Anna. It’s just fabulous the way you’ve made me like such hateful characters. Even just telling this from Lucius’s point of view helps so much.
I noticed two typos in this section, right before the third letter. There’s a missing “a” in the word “education” in the last sentence of the second to last paragraph there. Also, “brake” was misspelled as “break”.
And wow, with just three letters, nearly twenty years have passed! Just amazing. Mr Malory’s letter is brilliant. His coldness toward Lucius, his love for his daughter, and his protectiveness for his grandchild – all while he passes on the news that Grace is dead. And ooh, I just shiver when I picture the encounter between Lucius and Lucas. Gah, I can’t wait to read about Lucas all grown up! He’s fascinating even in this brief cameo. And lol, poor Draco, “seemingly incapable of accomplishing anything” and perhaps “better suited as a common Hufflepuff.” Hee. That’s Draco, exactly. I love it!
*contented sigh* I absolutely adore your writing, Anna. Whether it’s reading your latest LJ entry or a fabulously constructed chapter such as this one, I always get such a comforting feeling. You have the gift of a storyteller, and you just draw your readers right into your world with you. You really are wonderfully talented. Bravo!
Author's Response: Abigail, I don’t know what else to say, but THANK YOU for such a lovely review! Encouraging and helpful – I couldn’t have asked for anything more. *grins* And it made you fall for Lucius in a way you never have before, you say? *cough* You haven\'t read Sins of the Father then, have you? If you haven’t, I can really recomm – eh, what am I saying? If you haven’t, then you must. MUST! ;) Seriously though, I couldn’t deny that my interpretation of Lucius has been affected by Jenna’s story. Good point about Voldemort’s eyes – I shall have to have a look at that in the chapter and see if I can rewrite it somehow. I’m sure Voldemort was creepy enough even before his… eh, rebirth. Also, thank you for those typo corrections. I’ll take a look at those too. I’m just so happy that you like what I’ve written, if a little nervous if I’ll be able to live up to your expectations when you get to meet Lucas in the next chapter. The next chapter, which I submitted today… =)
Summary: As the Final Task approaches, Cedric Diggory begins to doubt himself. He knows he’s not perfect, and he knows he doesn’t have all the answers. Afraid of failure and disappointment, he questions his relationship with Cho Chang. Sure, she’s the ideal girlfriend, but is she right for him?
*grin* I adore this story so much. I really do think it's one of the best things you've written, and all of it is so real and believable. Some of it is so sweet and heartbreaking that it makes me ache – especially the ending. I don't want Cedric to die! I always hate reading or watching GoF because I keep wanting that to turn out differently, but this makes that feeling even worse. I want Cedric and Katie to live happily ever after. But maybe it's like "Stranger Than Fiction" – maybe this fic is so good because we know that they don't get their happily ever after. And you could write it AU and have Cedric live, but maybe it wouldn't be as good. I don't know. I'm really glad you chose to end it where you did, though. Just heartbreaking.
One quick nitpick – I noticed a double word in there – right at the end -- Katie smiled and blushed, and then bid farewell to the the three lads. Everything else is correct, of course. =P
Ack, I envy your writing ability. Instead of just starting right in with the action, you start with Cedric's memories. How did you know to do that? Or did you add that in later? I love that Mr Diggory is telling stories of his youth – so like a dad – and I love that Cedric isn't rolling his eyes. That shows what a great guy he is without telling us that he's a great guy. You do a very good job with that "showing" rather than "telling" all throughout this chapter, actually.
Poor Cho – I sort of feel sorry for her. I'm glad you did it that way – it would have been too easy to make her super annoying or mean. As it is, she's a nice girl, but just not right for Cedric. And we already know that Katie is totally right for Cedric. Yay. I really don't like that Cedric kissed her to shut her up. I mean, it was really smart of you, and it works, but it makes me think less of Cedric. Even though I know he couldn't be perfect, but really, that's just awful, kissing a girl when you're trying to break up with her because you're in love with another girl. At least Cedric realises that he's pathetic. I understand why he does it; I'd just kind of hate him if I were in Cho's position.
Getting away from her felt like finally being able to breathe again after being underwater.
I LOVE that simile. It's so perfect. And then later, when he's hugging Katie …
He felt very content, like a part of him had slipped into place, and he felt prepared and energized, like he could now face the Final Task.
*flail* Such wonderful comparison between the two girls!
And I can't bear any mention of the Final Task. And that Cho never knew that Cedric was going to break up with her, and that Katie had no "real" claim over Cedric after his death. It's so tragic. Wonderful job hinting at that – not that you could really say anything about his impending doom, since the characters have no idea.
I am such a fan of Ed and Porter! They are the greatest best friends ever. I love that they like Katie better.
And also, I love that you introduced me to The Fray so I could catch the amazing reference to "All At Once". Brilliant use of that lyric. You're brilliant, really. I wish so much that there could be more of this pairing, but it would either have to be before they got together or AU with Cedric surviving. Oh, well. This is the best canon story pairing Cedric with someone other than Cho that I've ever seen. Actually, it might be the best canon story of Cedric that I've ever seen. I adore your writing.
Summary: Only at the point of death does Lucius Malfoy regret the suffering he has wrought on himself and his family. It is far too late to save himself, but for his son, there is still hope.
Written by crazy_purple_hp_freak of Slytherin for the Rondeau Challenge
Hi, Suzie! Here's my thank you for that amazing "Always Watching" banner you made for me. I love it so much – all your graphics are always gorgeous, actually. I wish I had another story so I could ask you to make me another banner …
Okay, this is a poem, again, so here goes. I can't write poetry at all, so I'm always impressed with those who can manage to say something while rhyming and just being amazing at the same time. This poem gives me shivers. I can feel the speaker's anguish and despair, and I really want to know who the speaker is. My first thought was Lucius Malfoy, and I couldn't think of somebody else it could be, so I'm just going to stick with that. And ha – just read the summary, and I was right!
I love all the imagery in here, the similes (crash like rain) and well, the title is a metaphor, isn't it? Hatred doesn't really flow within a person's veins, but that image is so effective. It's completely taken control of Lucius, and it feeds him and feeds off him. It's in his core. And yet, he knows it's destructive, and he wants more than anything for Draco to take a different path. He knows it's been the cause of so much pain and torture, and like a good father, he wants something different for his son. Poor Lucius. I actually feel sorry for him, reading this. And I see you wrote this before Deathly Hallows, so … wow. This is actually canon-compliant. Woot! I can totally see Lucius thinking this. Not quite so poetically, lol, but still. In DH we saw that his main priority is his family, and this poem goes along with that perfectly. I bet you were thrilled to find that out.
And wow, re-reading this … how do you make it all rhyme?! Inconceivable. Very, very well done, very powerful. You've got some talent, girl.
Summary: The year is 1758. Another five years have passed since the last Triwizard Tournament, and the excitement in Hogwarts is almost tangible. Like the rest of his schoolmates, sixth-year Hufflepuff Richard Cudney, a quiet boy with no enemies, has thought long and hard about what he'd do with his prize money, but when finally presented with the opportunity to participate in the prestigious event, he has second thoughts about the risks, his knowledge, and his abilities.
As he travels to Durmstrang for the tournament, he meets several friends, and enemies, all of whom watch his every move intently. Amidst the animosity cleverly hidden behind each face, even the faces he knew so well, could Richard find someone to embrace?
Title subject to change as I toy with the various themes in this story.
This is Marauder by Midnight from Gryffindor.
Hello, dear SPEW buddy! Here is my review at the last minute …
Wow. I hope I can find more words in a minute, but right now, all I can say is wow. This is so good! I'm not letting myself read the second chapter until I've reviewed, but I really, really want to. I love your characterisations of everyone, but Richard, Cecil, and Eliza are so great. The three of them remind me a little of Harry, Ron, and Hermione, just the way there are two guys and a girl, but their personalities are certainly different. Hee. I love the way Eliza totally doesn't care about being proper, that she's eager to compete in the Tournament, and that she wants to spend the winnings on opening her own robes shop, lol. She's awesome! And the way she and Cecil bicker – is that an indication of romance in the future? *grins* Cecil isn't like Ron, either – always making a fuss about propriety? Nope, that's not Ron.
But Richard is my favourite at this point, which I suppose is a good thing, considering he's the main character. And aw, he's a Hufflepuff, like Cedric. Hopefully he doesn't meet the same end. Well, he won't, since Voldemort isn't in existence yet, but yeah. Dying is bad. I haven't quite gotten a good feel for his personality in this first chapter. He's eager to be in the Tournament, and nervous about not being chosen. He's helpful and polite, and he cares about his large family. Hmm. If anything, Richard is more like Ron. He doesn't like to hear his friends bickering, which is a common trait of a Hufflepuff, I guess – wanting to keep the peace.
I like that he pays attention to what Headmistress Derwent has to say, even if he really only cares about the Tournament. On a side note, I was surprised to see that the Headmaster was a woman, especially after hearing that no girl has been Triwizard Champion or opened a shop in Diagon Alley, and then seeing that Eliza is the only girl chosen to go to Durmstrang. It's canon, I suppose, but it still seems a little off. I really like your description of the Headmistress, PS. Reminds me of McGonagall a little.
And oh, I didn't even think about how they were going to get to Hogwarts without a train! I love the idea of the carriages flying. That makes a lot of sense. Very creative.
And I love that they're going to Durmstrang! I can't wait to see how you describe that school. Yay.
Beth, you're so talented. You've created your own world here, and your attention to detail is wonderful. I don't really have any critique for you since this whole chapter is fabulous. *gigglesnort* I just saw this line – "Cecil also had a look of disbelief, his mouth open to reveal half-masticated turkey." I love it! *grins madly* I can't wait to read more, dear. Very, very good job.
Summary: Ashes, ashes, they all fall down ...
On a cold morning in midwinter, Sybil Trelawney is born.
Written for the Slytherin in-house banner challenge by crazy_purple_hp_freak
*shakes head* I think I need to stop reading your stuff, Suzie. It depresses me because it's so good. Your prose has echoes of poetry in it – from the very first paragraph, you're painting pictures and implying that there is so much more than meets the eye.
I'm going to go ahead and get the few mistakes I spotted out of the way … The baby had not cried nor whimpered though a storm raged in its eyes. I'm not sure if those are the words you intended, but having just "no cried no whimpered" can't have been what you meant. Also, there are several places where you place the ending dialogue punctuation outside of the quotation marks – that's a no-no. ;) Always inside! And "great-great-grandmother" should be hyphenated, like so.
Okay, now that that's out of the way … I really like that the baby didn't cry until the grandmother pronounced that she would be a Seer. I also like the way she said it: "See before you See." The capitalisation gives it more meaning than it normally would. Really nice. And then, her tears! – pearly grey, and her eyes with the dark grey swirls within her pupils like heavy anvils weighing down on her mind, the burden of a thousand futures that were wanted and not-wanted, loaded but blessed with curiosity. I fangirl that line. It's beautiful. I also really like that you call it a cruel gift – because it so is. I can't imagine having that kind of knowledge, not being able to control it. And then the way you end it, with the characters not knowing the future of their new daughter, but we, the readers, do. How sad. I do wonder what Prof Trelawney might have been like had she not been a Seer – or if nobody had ever told her that she was a Seer. I also wonder if maybe she was an atypical kind of Seer, one who can't control what they See or when. It certainly seems that Prof McGonagall believes that a real Seer can See whenever they choose. But I digress.
Reading this, I want to see the banner that inspired it! Just from reading, I predict that it has some grey in it … LOL, I "See" that there will be grey in the banner … *cough* But really, Suzie, you are very talented, and I hope you keep writing even when life gets crazy. *hugs*
Summary: Hermione's life has been very, very difficult since entering the wizarding world. She has spent a great deal of her time fighting Voldemort, but even after the Dark Lord's death, the battle is not over. Hermione continues the Order's work, throwing herself into recovering the prisoners of the Death Eaters to stifle her emotions. But when she sleeps, there is nothing she can do to prevent nightmares from bleeding into her mind. And for some reason, she finds that the only things that can comfort her are the strong arms of a certain Highland Quidditch enthusiast.
Hi there! I was scanning through the Hermione/OC category and saw a potential Hermione/Oliver fic, and woot, I was right! I love that pairing, especially after Nyruserra’s Consequentially Yours. You should check that out, if you haven’t already.
Anyway, I was so pleased to see good writing when I opened the first chapter! So many of the romance fics are just a little immature, but you’ve done a really good job with this. From the very beginning, the chapter grabs the readers’ attention while still giving crucial background information – and all of without being boring. I enjoy the way you’ve characterised Hermione. She’s strong and capable, and yet still human – she gets tired and overwhelmed just like everyone else. And she isn’t being all bossy and obnoxious, but when she discovers Oliver in her room, I can definitely see that part of her personality come through. Except, here, it’s not annoying, because we’re seeing things from her point of view.
One thing I noticed about your writing is your excellent vocabulary and nearly flawless grammar. That’s always such a pleasure to see! It’s so much easier to get involved with the story when it isn’t full of mistakes. I also like the way you’ve imagined the wizarding world post-final-battle. It’s very real. I hadn’t considered other prisoners being held hostage, but wow, that’s so plausible. Aside from wanting more of the Hermione/Oliver, I’m curious to see what else you’ll come up with in regards to the rest of the world and the aftermath of the battle.
And oh, your Oliver is so perfect! It’s really hard to get his accent right, but you’re doing a really good job with it. Your descriptions of him are just wonderful. Hee, I can totally picture him all tousled and sleepy and hot when he’s woken by Hermione. And of course he’s smug for having seen her just out of the shower … lol. He’s so sweet, too, rubbing lotion on her bruises for her. *grins* I sure wouldn’t mind that at all!
There were just a few typos that I caught – “I came from Scotland this afternoon.”
“[…] having little time for things as trivial as Quidditch, and being four years younger than he,”
“Something stirred inside him, something he couldn’t quite put a name to, but which he knew wasn’t all that safe.”
“Oh, I think so, yes,” said Oliver.
Also, you really don’t need a comma after ellipses. I know MS Word likes to put them in, but it’s actually incorrect. Aside from that, I’m very impressed with the overall lack of errors here. Good job! I’m really looking forward to reading more of your story. Keep up the good work!
Summary: In the beginning of the end, he was a loyal follower. In the end of the end, he was a faceless buoy, a protector of that which he had striven to destroy.
Did he know what would come to be in the hands of one of the most foul five-fingers thieves, that his will's destiny was to be prolonged?
Or were his only thoughts as he was dragged into the icy water that of Lord Voldemort, his life finally extinguished by a stab of the loyal house's sword.
Who was he, other than the Black family's highly regarded Fallen Star?
*flail* A Regulus story from Steph! And a beautiful one, at that, even if it's a little short. You certainly don't waste words – each one does its job. I especially like the first paragraph – it paints a picture in my head, so vividly. I adore all the adjectives, and you use them perfectly. It's not overdone at all. And mm, your Regulus is powerful and frightening, and he's smirking, and wow. I really like him, and I do not blame Borgin in the least for telling him what he wants to hear.
There are a few lines I found … funny, and I wasn't sure if you did that on purpose, but if you did, hee. I like that it's such a serious situation but there's still room for the characters to be not perfect. If that makes any sense. I guess I'm trying to say that in reality, people don't have their conversations scripted, so I like how believable you've made this.
This line made me giggle, at the repeated "name" … but there's also a typo. It should be "the pinned man" … 'Sir, with all respect,' he pinned man gasped, ‘who are you to speak He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’s name on your lips?’ And this, too …'Don’t fool me, fool.' I love that. *snickers* I wonder if Borgin was trying not to laugh at the repetition – surely he wouldn't have dared to do so in that situation, but haha. It's fabulous.
I'm puzzled by this line, though …Did he know that his soul that he hoped for her to wear next to her heart would never fit between the gold? I see that Regulus explains, but the line is still really confusing. What does he mean by "soul"? Just his picture? I wonder if it's a reference to the piece of Voldemort's soul that's inside, but I also wonder if Regulus would slip something like that casually into his speech.
Another thing that puzzles me: At the beginning, Borgin doesn't know who Regulus is, but later, he calls him "Master Black". When he asks Regulus who he is to be using Voldemort's name, is that just like … "who do you think you are" instead of "what is your name"? *shrug* It's not a huge deal whichever way; it's just something that caught my attention. And oh, here's another typo … Towards Knockturn Ally … it should be "alley".
Wow, sorry this is so disjointed! I really adore your characterisation of Regulus – it's different, but wonderfully so. And omg, I just noticed that this isn't complete! Ack! I can't wait to read more! *squishes*
Summary: After graduating from Hogwarts, Penelope Clearwater feels lost. While her boyfriend Percy has his whole life planned out, she searches for her place in a world she is only barely beginning to understand. A journey through time and space brings her into contact with wizarding communities all over the world and helps her find within herself the missing piece to the puzzle that is her future.
Hi, Ilka! Sorry I’ve been such a horrible buddy this review period. We didn’t get to chat even once, and my review is barely making it under the deadline. But since I waited so long, I get to review your new story! I also suspect this might have stemmed from my study abroad class, which petered out at the end. Sorry for that, as well. You were one of my best students. One of these days, I’ll get around to grading … but I digress. *ahem*
I enjoyed this first chapter very much. I knew you already had a plot bunny for the final, and I was curious to see how it would turn out. I’m so glad you didn’t quit just because I did! I really like your premise for Penelope’s travels. As someone just a little older than she, and as someone who has felt as she does, I empathise with her feelings – they are very real for someone her age, regardless of whether they are a Squib, Muggleborn, pureblood, half-blood, or Muggle. And truthfully, I had forgotten that Penelope was Muggleborn, but that makes sense – why else would she have been Petrified? Good job on picking up that little detail.
And oh, I love your characterisation of her and Percy, and their relationship! Percy isn’t too emotional – he’s trying to stay detached – but it’s clear he cares about her. And good for Penelope for sticking up for herself and choosing to leave, even when there is stability right in front of her with Percy and a job at the Ministry. Many girls wouldn’t choose that, but Penelope does. *applauds*
Hmm. I’m not sure whether I like the different sections or not. I mean, I like the content – I can’t decide whether I like the format, how separate each section is. I really would have liked a little more story surrounding each vignette – what did she learn from reading Alberti’s diary? How did that impact her? It just seemed a little disconnected, as though it didn’t mean anything, as though it was just plopped in there to fulfil a requirement, but not as a part of the story. Since this is only the first chapter, maybe you’re planning to tie it in later? I hope so.
I was startled to see that you’d jumped straight from Alberti’s last diary entry to Penelope’s wanderings in Alexandria. There was no warning, except for the Roman numeral II, and it was a little disconcerting. I really would have liked to see some kind of conclusion to her time in Florence before moving on to another city. It seemed a little unfinished for those reasons.
I love, love, love your descriptions of the foreign cities. I’m there when I’m reading – you’ve captured the flavour and essence of each place marvellously. Wonderful job there. I can tell you’ve researched each locale thoroughly, and I’d be able to tell even if I hadn’t seen your research already. =) And whoa, the history in Alberti’s diary! What a fabulous technique. I love it! And the bookstore in Alex. Very nice. If I were there, I wouldn’t be able to resist either. Hee, I love that you mention her Ravenclaw affinity to learning, and how she just had to go in. It’s so true of us Claws – bookstores are irresistible. I also like that with this section, you applied her experience to her “quest”. Omar’s words sparked something within her. I really missed having that in the first section.
A few quick typos – “She had only stepped into the narrow corner store by chance, but it proved to be the best thing she had done since arriving in Florence.”
” This was the closest Penelope had come to wizarding Florence and she hadn’t been all that confident that she would actually get to meet another Florentine witch or wizard during her stay.”
“Penelope bent down to help her gather her things up at once, apologising profusely as she worked.”
There are also several places that could use a semi-colon, a comma, or a full stop, but nothing too jarring, and nothing that really distracts from what you’re saying. I’d let a really nit-picky beta look over this maybe one more time, but it did make it through the queue. ;) Oh, one more thing just occurred to me. How is Penelope able to read Alberti’s diary? Isn’t it written in Italian? Maybe it’s Charmed so that it can be read in any language … *shrugs*
Once again, Ilka, this is very well done. I’m sure you know that most people have issues writing settings that aren’t familiar to them, but you seem to have accomplished this flawlessly. I really enjoyed reading about Penelope’s adventures, and I’m looking forward to seeing where she goes next! This would have gotten full points from me if I had actually assigned the final. Sorry again about that. Good luck with the next chapter!
And OH! Happy birthday! Very belated, but I never did tell you. I hope you have a wonderful year! *hugs*
Author's Response: Abi! This is indeed what I wrote for your class, I simply couldn\'t let it collect dust on my desk and had to submit even though you never did assign the final. I\'ll look into writing some sort of conclusion for Penelope\'s experience in Florence and I\'ll make sure to pay extra attention to these conclusions in the next chapter. I actually have no idea how she could read the diary *facepalm* I totally forgot the language issue. Thanks for catching those typos. I\'m very glad you liked the story so far, I\'m quite fond of it and really did enjoy your class. *huggles*
Summary: Of love and luck and pain and death and Hope.
In dying, the bleeding pearl whispers aloud and secrets revealed, will change everything.
Written for the Autumn Ode Challenge by crazy_purple_hp_freak of Slytherin
Suzie. It is so not fair that you can make beautiful banners, are good at science, write beautiful prose, AND write genius poetry. Just wanted to get that out of the way.
I've had to read this through like three times in order to get more than a taste at the beauty and meaning here. It's incredibly deep. I love all the amazing symbolism, and I'm trying to grasp what it all means … gah. Wow. To me, it's almost like there are several people portrayed here, and perhaps several places? I see Hogwarts, and number twelve Grimmauld Place, and Azkaban, and number four Privet Drive. I see Harry, Remus, Sirius, Regulus. But what seems most real to me is Regulus, remembering his life, his house, his master, and giving it up for what is right. Again, I love how writing can be open to interpretation, for I'm sure I haven't grasped what you were intending as you wrote this, but that even so I can get something from it.
Everything about this screams "bittersweet". It's just achingly beautiful, and sad … I was trying to find a line to quote back at you, but I couldn't choose just one or two. The imagery is just exquisite, and the word choice, and the feelings that it invokes without spelling it out – yes, this is why poetry is so powerful. I just can't get over this, dear. Simply stunning.
Summary: Victoire Weasley can hardly believe it herself. How is it that she's suddenly developed feelings for her best friend, Teddy Lupin, and in his last year of Hogwarts too? Now she must spend her sixth year not only adjusting her long-held sensibilities of how their relationship should work, but his as well.
There's not always a reason for everything that happens, and sometimes the reward for action looks more like a consequence. But that's just how life goes sometimes.
*squee* A happy ending! Yay! Oh, Teddy and Victoire are so cute. =)