Candy Cane Unwrapped
Who am I?
I'll give you a clue: I am the sort of person who would spell "candy cane" as one word.
I'm also a bookworm, an animal and strawberry-cheesecake smoothie lover, very international, and a rain dancer. Sometimes I ponder on the meaning of life. Other times I ponder on how exactly it would be possible to smuggle a tube of toothpaste on my carry on bag. I check mugglenet every ten seconds. I quote the Harry Potter books randomly.
No, I am not Harry Potter obsessed.
I ship Hermione/Ron and Harry/Ginny, but rarely read or write fanfiction that includes these pairings.
The Un-Striped Stories
Currently, I only submit one-shots for fear of starting a story, getting to the point of interest, then losing interest. No-one would like that.
If you are interested in reading my work, I would recommend starting with Shades of Black, as it has the best characterisation. As a general rule, my more recent stories will be better than older ones.
Summary: Four women stand at four different windows.
I LOVE this. Putting each woman in a similar position really brings out their different points of views. Each woman is characterised brilliantly and uniquely. In fact, this entire one-shot is much like a window: it brings one short yet poignant glance at a person, at a life…
Summary: It is just after Dumbledore's funeral. Harry has parted ways with Ginny, Hermione and Ron seem to have finally gotten together and everyone is getting ready to leave Hogwarts for possibly the last time. Harry's future is looking bleak with one bright spot- Bill and Fleur's wedding, which will take place at The Burrow towards the end of the summer. It promises to be a wonderful event that will take everyone's mind off the horrors to come. There's one catch, Ginny will be there. Will "The Boy Who Lived" survive the retribution of "The Girl He Broke Up With"?
This is a great start to your fanfic submissions! Before I tell you everything I liked about this, I just wanted to tell you that I found the descriptions slightly lacking. It seems like you are on the right track, but why not add a bit of metaphors for colour? I'm sure they would improve the piece. Another negative point: when Harry meets Ginny at the Burrow, she seems a little too snappy. Sure, at the end of HBP she seemed sad, but I didn't think she was angry at Harry. She understood his reasons for breaking up with her.
Despite this, I thought the dialogue was relatively realistic, and enjoyed how you portrayed Hermione and the Weasely twins. Harry's dreams called up interesting images in the mind. And I liked how you ended this on a positive note, without an over-load of angst or marshmallow fluff.
Summary: Hermione spills all her feelings for our Ron and of course, her favourite colour red. A fluffy sweet poem.
Interesting idea…the rhyming isn't forced (for which I give you major points), and it flows relatively well. The fluffiness isn't over done either. I especially liked the verse "Red is the colour of sorrow and sinned". Thumbs up!
Author's Response: Thanks a lot! I was afraid the rhyming could end up all over the top.
Summary: The seventh child is always special.
Andromeda is depressed, the world is grey and Ted doesn't know what to do.
Very interesting…the second person narration gives this an incredible feel and intimacy. The love for Andromeda that radiates from this piece is amazing, and the forlornness of Andromeda herself a real work of art. Each sentence has its own charm, and the dialogue portrays each person's character remarkably well. The twist at the end with Andromeda "determined to break a thousand years of tradition, determined to have her own way and to besmirch the name of the Blacks…" makes for a very satisfying finish to a very satisfying piece. Great work!
Summary: Lily always picked the wrong guys for her. She was always left broken hearted. James was the one who wanted to be with her the whole time and knew that they would be perfect together. He just needed to wait for Lily to realise it. He just needed to wait for his chance....
This is a songfic to To Be With You by Mr. Big.
This was cute without being so fluffy that the reader feels like throwing up. You seemed to hit the right note in between overly-angsty and never-ending sunshine. The song fits, the dialogue is realistic, the descriptions relatively effective, and the characters canon (though it is slightly questionable as to whether Lily would date and fall for so many guys). My favourite part of this was the end: you didn't make Lily and James start an intense snogging session, but instead ended it on a gentler, more hopeful (and very sweet) note. Thumbs up!
Author's Response: Thank you. It was just a plot that popped into my head when listening to the song. Wrote it on a whim, you could say. :)
Summary: This is a small collection of 2 limericks including one on Ginny and one on Harry.
Very smart, very witty. I think I liked the second one the best, as it captures such strong emotions. These are bite-sized bits of real talent, and leave the reader craving for more!
Author's Response: Thank you!! This was my first attempt at limericks, but it was worth the challenge!
Summary: The future is looking bright for Dorcas Meadowes.
This is a very interesting coming-of-age one shot! The descriptions are effective, the emotions vivid, and the main character well-drawn: even though the reader only gets a brief glimpse of her life, they can still understand and relate to her personality. The last sentence summed this piece perfectly, especially the "walked out of her childhood" part. Great work!
Author's Response: Thanks a lot for your feedback!
Summary: Eyes are the most expressive part of anyone's body. They are bottomless pits, conveying even your deepest and darkest secrets through raw emotion. Here is an exploration through the eyes.
These poems are so wonderful…I really can just see the different eyes following eachother about, and the emotions reflected in each of them. I especially liked how Draco was “little Grey”; it shows just how much he wants to be like his father, and leaves Narcissa looking so sad and blue in the background.
I also greatly enjoyed the last couple of stanzas in the first poem:
Hazel and Brown,
Go on, Together.
Go on, Alone.
The image that this brings is very haunting, even though few words are used.
I also thought the formatting was interesting, what with all the capitalizations. It really intensifies the personalities of each eye, and underlines their characteristics.
Overall, these poems are short, bittersweet, and to the point: they get a lot done in a little. Thumbs up!
Summary: Was it possible to save two lives in the past without altering history? Was it possible to give his parents a future twenty years after they had supposedly died? Teddy Lupin thought so...
This is EXTREAMLY original and astonishing well-written. This is a piece that takes a common fanfiction idea (time travel), and give it your own personal twist, exploiting the scenario wonderfully. You also seem to have your own style, making this a very refreshing read.
I'm definitely looking forwards to the next update!
Summary: There was a time when the Bloody Baron sought for the Grey Lady’s affections. That time has long passed, but Ravenclaw’s daughter has realized the cruelty she inflicted upon him. Nineteen years after the defeat of Voldemort, she decides to mend the past, but the Baron has always been unreadable…
First place winner in 'The Epilogue' prompt for the Autumn Challenge!
This is a truly brilliant piece. It is written in such an elegant style, one that lingers in the reader’s mind. The Grey Lady is wonderfully portrayed: we get a very clear picture of her haughty past and remorseful present. The little touches of an almost-romance are also very well done. You don’t try to drown the reader in them, but rather immerse them slowly, so that they are completely mesmerised.
But it is the theme of redemption that truly brings another dimension into the piece. The Grey Lady’s struggles to forgive and therefore be forgiven really make the reader think, and the final removing of the chains is wonderfully poignant and symbolic. Great work!
- The Order of Ravenclaw House Elves
Summary: Dear Diary….
No, only girls keep diaries. Sirius and James would murder me if they found out.
Nah, that's rubbish, too.
Don't be such a pansy, Peter. Man-diary? You must want to be mocked out of this century.
Well, that's not so bad. It could be a temporary title, anyway.
Peter Pettigrew's mother wants him to let out his feelings in a "diary". Here is the first (and last) entry of his man-journal.
Many thanks goes to ix3thehpseries and Mistletoe for being faboulous and helpful betas!
This is hilarious, but also rings strangely true. This Peter isn’t an evil traitor or a fat, slightly gross teenager but a real person. In fact, his only real “crime” that we can read in this story is the fact that he wants to be like the Maraunders, which he thinks will make him special.
I loved, loved, loved this part:
“Severus Snape- The most loathsome, disgusting person to ever walk the earth. Public Enemy Number One. Reminds me slightly of Peter.
This quote is absolute perfection. Great work!
Author's Response: Thank you so much! I\'m glad you liked it. I do agree, Peter is a real person and he is mistreated by all our fanfiction writers. As for the quote, I\'m glad you liked it. I figure Peter would have low self-esteem and it sort of turned into a mild case of Boderline Personality Disorder. I actucally have BPD, so it gave me some inisght into what Peter might have gone through. Thanks! =]
Can a book really help Ron win Hermione's heart?
Ron Weasley has liked Hermione Granger for quite some time. There's only one problem: she doesn't know it yet.
It's their sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and Ron is finally ready to confess his feelings to her.
But a new heartthrob roams the halls, and he seems to have his eye on Hermione. And it turns out that she has his eye on him, too.
With the help of a magical book, Ron will try to win Hermione's heart, before somebody else does.
For you very first fanfiction, this wasn’t bad at all! I really enjoyed the lively dialogue, which you seem to be very good at. None of it was flat or awkward.
The only thing I suggest you work on are the descriptions…I know they can seem boring, but they really flesh out a piece, give it more general body. Perhaps a beta could help you with this?
I’m really looking forwards to seeing more from you! Keep writing!
Author's Response: Thank you! I\'m glad my story wasn\'t a complete failure. Also, thank you so much for the advice. Hopefully, I\'ll be able to find a beta and my story will be better. Thanks again!
Summary: Hermione reflects on her relationship with Ron, beginning with his walking out in DH.
Each moment was well-crafted, and you managed to pull it all together neatly with a good closing line. I would like to have seen more “missing moments” rather than what happened in the book from Hermione’s point of view…I think on the whole they would have made this one-shot a little richer.
One very little thing that I absolutely LOVED were Ron’s “sonorous snores”. I can’t tell you why I like this alliteration as much as I do, but I think it is brilliant.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review; it\'s much better than \"I loved it!\" I\'m always trying to improve. And I too was a fan of his \"sonorous snores.\" Thanks again!
~This is LucillaJoanna of Hufflepuff sipping cocoa and waxing poetic By the Fireside for The Winter Tales Challenges
This is a brilliant Weasley one-shot, one that is both very readable and enjoyable. The amount of dialogue was very refreshing: you don’t weigh the reader down with heavy descriptions, but instead stick to delicate and effective paragraphs. The Weasleys were also relatively well drawn (even if Molly Weasley is, to my mind, a little too sweet).
I only have one complaint: the punctuation within the dialogue. In some places you put a comma too many, such as when Molly says: “’I’m just glad you’re back with us, now’”. Without the comma, this sentence would make just as much sense and flow a lot better! The same goes for “Please, scold me.”… I’m sure you get the picture!
Despite the small punctuation problems, I greatly enjoyed this piece. Thumbs up!
Author's Response: Hi Candycane! How apt for this Christmas story to have the first review from a reader with such a sweet Christmassy username! ^_^
Thank you so much for your praise and critique! *hugs*As for the commas, I\'m afraid they\'re intended there. Haven\'t you seen it too in a lot of books? I think the comma before \'now\' doesn\'t indicate time, but is an expression whose meaning I couldn\'t quite touch, but which we understand. Like, if a mother says, \'Now, now,\' we know she means for us to stop bickering or something... *grins* As for the comma after Percy\'s \'please\', its an emphasis on his plea. Without the comma, the sentence reads differently and seems less fervent. I\'m sure you see it, too!
Thank you again, hon! *hugs*
Summary: Neville Longbottom finally has a chance to do what he loves: work with plants. Will this chance be just that, or will it be something bigger?
This was a really neat little one-shot: each word is finely chosen, all the dialogue is realistic. You really write Neville wonderfully. He is a hero, perhaps not in a big and flashy way, but a hero nonetheless, and you capture this stammering, unconfident but heroic side of him very well.
The only thing I suggest is that you expand it a little. As it is, I get a rather incomplete feeling as I read it.
Favorite quote: “Neville pushed forward a bit and climbed awkwardly onto the platform to take his medal. He thought he smiled when the official photographer raised his camera; he was a bit too stunned to be entirely sure.” This is definitely Neville at his best!
Author's Response: *nods* I do feel that this story is missing something; I will undoubtedly go back and flesh it out at some later date. Thanks so much for your compliments and concrit!
Summary: Lucius does not understand what there is to like about snow: it’s cold, it’s wet, and it sticks to everything. Perhaps his mind will be changed once this afternoon is finished . . .
A happy Lucius is very hard to imagine…but you manage to pull it off !
I love Lucuis/Andromeda, and one-shots like these are why. The idea is intriguing: Andromeda rather than Narcissa being engaged to Lucius brings a whole new dimension to the tale. The reader sees this moment, but, having read the Harry Potter books, knows what will really happen (as in Andromeda and Ted Tonks), and this gives the piece a wonderful bitter-sweet feeling. The fact that both this one-shot AND the Harry Potter books can exist in the same universe is what really makes this piece so good.
Author's Response: Teehee . . . well, we gotta let Luci be happy on occasion, eh? :D And yes, it is entirely possible that something of this sort happened in canon -- in fact, I think there are *many* things supporting this, but perhaps I am biased because this is my favorite ship. ;) Anyway, thank you for the nice review!
Summary: Gemma Hilyard's world has been grey, filled with dissapointments and lost dreams. She craves the hope, the color, that she once had, but only the arrival of a stranger helps her to find the strength to reclaim her lost dreams.
Winner of the one shot challenge: the color of loss!
I'm here to tell you that this is brilliant, whether you wanted harsh constructive criticism or not.
The style you chose is wonderfully intimate, the story refreshingly un-sappy. Gordic doesn’t fall in love with Gemma and they don't end up wealthy at Hogwarts with loads of little kids, and that is a HUGE relief. Because although this is a story that is a little bit about love, and, of course, a little bit about loss, I think it is also about independence and learning to live. And that is what makes it so good.
I also adored how you tied in the past to the present with the whole "Potter" idea. It was done very neatly.
Once again, great work! It was a pleasure to read.
Author's Response: Thank you very much for the review and your kind words! From personal experiance as well as watching others, I very much agree that life doesn\'t always work out in the way you planned. But I also believe there is a silver lining in every cloud if you only have enough courage to look for it. So I\'m glad to know that others appreciate such portrayals of a less than perfect world. Thanks again!
Summary: Why was Luna sorted into Ravenclaw? Perhaps her nonsense has more meaning; there is more to her than meets the eye.
Luna's Poems: a look inside some of her thoughts.
The last one, Morning Dawn, is up! It's my favorite of the four :)
Very smooth…I especially loved the first part : the juxtaposition of “smoothness”, “bounce”, and “beam” gave a wonderful airy, light, feel that manages to remain throughout the entire poem.
I would suggest you work a bit more on the way you break up the stanzas, though. Authours sometimes leave this as a “secondary” issue and not as important as the wording, but in a poem it is just as important, and I think there are ways you could develop this dimension a little more. For example: It is like trying to decide whether Nargles are black with white stripes/Or white with black stripes. To me, this is an opportunity lost, because if you say It is like trying to decide whether Nargles/ Are black with white stripes, /Or white with black stripes, then you have this great mirror effect that is formed.
The ending, by contrast, was really well broken up. The last little Laugh really punctures the reader and sends the message home.
All in all, this had a nice ring to it, and is definitely a great base and idea! Keep writing!
Author's Response: Thank you for not just the review, but for the constructive criticism as well! Yeah, I have had a little trouble with the stanzas as you picked up on, and I am continuing to try and find the right stanza breaks as I write more poems from her perspective. I\'m glad you like the word choice in the first part, and in the end; I spent time trying to get the words Luna-ish, and trying to make the end line right, so I\'m glad it payed off! Thanks again, and I will keep the \"mirror effect\" in mind!
Summary: It’s 1940 and Paris has just fallen to the Nazi Regime. The Muggle world is in turmoil, but little do the Muggles know that the Wizarding world is also at war. A weary traveler comes to England carrying a secret that will change both worlds for better or worse . He comes seeking protection and help from the adept Albus Dumbledore, a Professor at the famous Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. But there is more danger about than even Albus has anticipated. Can Dumbledore protect the traveler and his secret?
I'm really surprised you haven't received more reviews, because this story is nothing short of intriguing.
Even though I feel like this is just the beginning of the story, I'm already caught up with the plot, to the point of trying to anticipate what happens next! It has a great political twist, and a very unique, almost gritty feel. The canon characters are nicely portrayed, and the original characters interesting and well-fleshed out.
The Tom Riddle cameo was a great little anchoring point in a fic that is so unique we almost forget it is a piece of fanfiction. Will he play a part in the plot?
I also wanted to know: How long do you think this will be (supposing you plotted it out)? I was just wondering because I have the feeling this story is going to be very epic.
Author's Response: This story is going to be long. This is actually the first story in a series that I am writing. I have this story pretty much mapped out, which means way more intrigue in on the way. I even have the rudimentary beginnings and general plot idea for the second story, including its title.
Summary: The night before Lily's wedding day proves to be a tide of different emotions. As she ponders the upcoming events of the next day, Lily realises she cannot marry James without making one last decision.
Hmmm...as much as I love this idea and the whole Severus/Lily bit, I'm kind of unsure about Lily's characterization. I think its important to remember that she is the one that broke ties with Snape, and she did so in a very firm, decided way. Even though I can see her thinking about Severus on her wedding day, and perhaps even feeling slightly regretful, I can't see her crying over him.
There were, however, many things I did like about this piece, especially the following quote: “ 'Would you have extended James the same courtesy?' I demanded. 'Would you have invited your worst enemy to your wedding, knowing what he meant to your future wife? Knowing that having him there on your wedding day would have meant everything to her?' ”
I thought this was very insightful. I think that Snape harbors an extreme loathing towards James, even if it is perhaps justifiable, while James just feels slightly indifferent, even if he recognizes Snape as an enemy.
I also appreciated James's final characterization, even though as a big Severus/Lily fan I'm a little apt to dislike him. I think it really showed that Lily had a good reason for marrying him other than his good looks.
Author's Response: Yes, your right Lily is a bit OOC. Didn\'t really think about that till after I had written it. The story doesn\'t really work with out it I guess. Ah well. I\'m glad you enjoyed it anyways =)