Hi. I'm James and I write fan fiction. Sorry, was just practicing for the upcoming MNFF-aholics Anonymous meeting. Please feel free to check out some of my stories.
First Place Winner in the June One-Shot Challenge!
Awesome banner by wendelin the wierd
Amazing banner by TyrannoLaurus
Itís always hard for me to remove things from my head, once theyíre in there. I wouldnít call my mind a steel trap, however. Itís more like a mess that information goes into and is never able to find its way out, whether I want it to or not. Typically, thatís my problem when reading fics that disregard one of the books. I just find it very hard to put an entire episode worth of canon out of my mind.
One thing that really made this story interesting for me, at least through the first chapter, is the Charlie/Hermione angle. I donít really ship anything, to be honest. If I did, though, I can promise it would not be Ron/Hermione. For the most part, my reason for this is reading too many bad fanfics about that pair. Even that aside, however, I just never saw what would attract someone like Hermione to Ron Ė I just never got it. Oh well, I digress.
I thought your characters had a very real feel to them, while staying in the spirit that JKR intended them. In particular, in Hermioneís case, I like the idea of here lingering on the hurtful past, especially on a special date, like her birthday. I really think Hermione wouldnít be the same if she lost Harry and Ron, and would be apt to wallow in her loss. So, I thought you characterization was right on for that part.
I like the interaction between Charlie and Hermione overall. It wasnít too much, it wasnít too little Ö it was just right. I also thought the kiss at the end was very believable too, which is more than I can say for a number of fics I have read.
Not much I can say to improve this particular chapter. Technically, you writing seems very sound. Even if it isnít, I didnít notice it, so GREAT job!
Wow, what a fantastic story. I just read the whole. I thought you portrayal of an older Ginny Weasley or Ginerva was oustanding. This is really a good fan fic, maybe one of the best I have ever read. I am adding it to my favorites and plan to read it again soon to see if I missed anything! Great work!
Author's Response: Thank you, James. I\'m honored by your good opinion. ~Ken
One of the most impressive things about this story is your descriptions. I thought you did such a wonderful job setting the scene and it really helped draw me into your story. It started with your opening paragraph (in part one). I think my favorite line is The sun, a gold-yellow orb hanging in the sky, is already reaching out with its million spear-like arms, grasping handfuls of snow and melting them with its gentle heat. There are a couple lines in your opening paragraphs that I really liked, but that was my favorite.
I also liked how you wrote Hermioneís memories of Ron and then the transition from part one to part two. You characterization of Ron was nicely done as well. I liked the spider in the box of chocolates and the snow ball in the face. I also liked Hermione turning the spider on Ron too. I thought you did very well writing these two canon characters.
Finally, I also really liked the message in your story. Itís tragic that it takes an event like the one described here to get people to focus on what truly matters. In all, I really enjoyed reading it.
Good start to the story! I particularly enjoyed your creativity with the magic "things" you introduced here. The flowers that Lupin planted had a seasoned flavor too them similar to that of the HP books. It's the kind of off-the-wall neat-o type deal that I really enjoy about HP and ... your story. Also, do you know where I can get one of those alarm clocks? That is fantastic! My alarm clock stinks and I could really use one. Good start, I'll be looking forward to more.
Author's Response: Thanks, Skipper. It\'s my first fanfic story, and was a lot of fun to write. I\'m sure this alarm is not available yet, but I feel like fiction has inspired a lot of inventions, so maybe in 2050.
Okay, Ron x Hermione, I just read the first two chapters of your story, Unpredicted Happenings. I like the first chapter quite a bit (even a bit more than the second chapter if I were to be totally honest). I really liked your portrayal of Voldemort and Ron in the opening chapter. However, since you requested some attention be directed at the second chapter in the story, Iíll focus my attention there.
As you did in the first chapter, I think you do a good job in your portrayal of Ron. There is great sense of shock and sadness throughout. I like you have Ron gazing off into space, not really knowing what to do next, and even asking himself questions about whether or not he should go on himself. I think these are all things that would go through anyoneís head if something like that ever happened to them. So, well done on that part.
The second half of this chapter was good, though I wished Ron had held on to his wand and come up with something really good for our dear friend, Mr. Mark. More often than not, people who drive Jags and act like Mark was acting in this chapter deserve a good jinx. Gees, did I say that out loud? Anyway, I was glad when Ron demonstrated his aptitude for Muggle dueling. Though, somehow, I wonder if, having just lost my wife and child, not to mention considering suicide myself, I wonder if I would just be too dejected to care. Ah, just a thought.
One constructive note, that I can think of, in this chapter. You did a great job setting the tone here, but there two lines that kind of stuck out like sore thumbs to me. The funeral had been a dismal one. After all, who has ever had a happy funeral? The second sentence just seems, I donít know what to call it. So, how about unnecessary? Maybe this is just me, but the image of a stand up comic telling a funeral joke burst into my head when I read that line. If you intended to be funny there, strike these comments. Otherwise, I would remove that second sentence and then maybe just combine your first two paragraphs.
Right along these same lines comes this sentence, He stepped outside into the- how appropriate- rainy and sleeting weather. You know what might work perfect here? Change it, so Ron steps outside for a walk just as it begins to poor down rain. Then have him look up to the sky and say, ďOh, great!Ē or ďPerfect!Ē You get the same idea across without having the choppy feel that I got reading this the way it was.
Hey, Iím no expert, Iím not an accredited beta, Iím none of the above. So, do what you will with my feedback. Do nothing if you like. Your story is still pretty darn good the way it is. I was just offering my two cents. So long! Keep up the good work.
The moon was not visible from his window, but he left the curtains open anyway, so he could look out at the unreachable stars.
Unreachable. Poor Neville. You did so many wonderful things in this story, Katie, I hope you wonít mind if I tell you about a few of them. First, the whole sense you get of Ginny being out of Nevilleís reach and how he wishes, deep down, that things were different. How he wishes that Harry would be interested in someone else and maybe he would be Ginnyís choice. Itís an undertone that I can feel early on but it is not punctuated until the line above Ö near the end. For me, that is what really makes a one-shot effective: a nice kick at the end.
I also think you have a lot of wonderful imagery in the story without it being overbearing or disrupting the flow. Some of the scenes where you describe the moonlight, in particular, are wonderful. I like: Moonlight poured through the windows lining the hallway, bathing Nevilleís path in ghostly blue, though it did not touch the shadows at the corners of the floor or the deep darkness of the high ceiling. Additionally, I think you did a great job making the moonlight a recurring theme throughout. It has the effect of tying everything together.
I think your characterisation of Neville is nicely done. The range of emotions he feels is very believable. And, the dialogue between the two characters is also nice Ö though I did wonder about something: Ginny turned bright red. ďNo ó he ó I ó he wasnít really going to ask. He might have, but it wasnít because he wanted to go with me, it was because he didnít have a date.Ē I know Ginny can be blunt, but Iím not so sure she would say this Ė this way Ė to Neville. Maybe its just me trying to imagine myself in Ginnyís shoes (awkward) trying to explain this. Doesnít it seem like that might make it awfully plain that Ginny didnít really want to be there with Neville?
I mean, we all know that is the case Ė and so does Neville. I just wonder if its more effective kept in the background. What if she stammers initially, then smiles and tells Neville something along the lines that she is glad that she got to go with someone who wanted to be there with her? It doesnít erase the any of the Harry/Ginny stuff Ö everyone still knows its there. And, Ginny is not lying to Neville Ö just helping him save a little face.
Eh Ö probably just silliness on my part.
Overall I think you do a tremendous job with Neville and I really enjoyed this story. Great job!
Author's Response: Yay! I got two from the same person! Thank you!
Hm. That little stutter of Ginnyís is something of a rejection, but as I see it, it doesnít sting like that might normally. For one, Neville doesnít expect her to want him. Also, this night isnít about saving face; Neville puts his heart on the line for Ginny, and she returns him the courtesy of being honest. Thatís just how this late, wishful night goes. I think he knows that she appreciates him; after all, she lets him comfort her. And no, your comments arenít silly at all. I appreciate your point of view.
It makes me happy that you like the moonlight theme. I love this song and I love moonlight, so when I hit the theme, I just took off with it. As the moon itself really is untouchable, no matter how close it looks, it suited well to end on that note.
I am glad that you like Neville as much as I do. I came to appreciate him a lot after all these. Who knew he had all this romance in him? :) Thank you yet again! I love thoughtful commentary.
I think one of the reasons I like reading your work so much, wendelin, is because no one else (that I know of or read regularly) writes the way you do. I absolutely love how you interleave stanzas or lines of poetry into your stories. I just think it is such a unique approach. Iíve read several of your stories and they have quickly become some of my favourites here on MNFF.
In this one, I think you do a marvellous job working with three sisters. You characterisations are just wonderful. Bella has thick black hair and beautiful ebony eyes that always seemed to be laughing at you, ever so taunting. It captures a lot of what we know about Bella in one simple sentence, especially the end of the sentence. Just brilliant, I really like that part.
It was an awkward decision she made, but she had a respectable pureblood marriage with a man she didnít love and nothing could be more Black than that. Again, I particularly liked the end of the sentence. It does seem so much like Narcissa to put aside what she really feels inside and go with what everyone else would approve of.
But, I think you did the best job with Andromeda here. The fact that the poem is about her (err Ö I hope it is or I totally missed the boat here) really punctuates the way you describe her and her situation in the story. Here are two beautiful sisters who are everything their parents / their circle and another who is quite forgettable. Then, when she breaks tradition, marries someone they all consider undesirable, itís the end of it all.
Great job! I really enjoyed this.
Author's Response: All SPEWers deserve a great big hug for putting so much thought into their reviews.
I enjoyed reading this story quite a bit. There are a certain set of emotions that I kind of associate with first dates and I think you have captured them well. Good first dates always seem to have those little ďit just feels rightĒ things happen and I like some of the scenarios you used. The Side-along Apparation, in particular, just seemed to fit so well. It was a perfect way to put the two characters in close proximity where Ginny could notice how nice it was to be close to Dan.
Any criticisms I have would be decidedly minor in variety and I have trouble sometimes critiquing people I seek advice from regularly. Furthermore, all it would be is nit-picking over one word here versus another. As I read, I cannot honestly say that anything jumped out at me that I would change significantly. I also thought the way you handled the first kiss scene worked very well. It seemed very Ginny-like to me. OH! The reminds me, I would put the As if he were my brother! part, where you are giving us her thoughts in italics. Thatís just what I would do though.
Good job, Abigail. Keep it up!
Hi there, Phily! Great Story! I liked it very much. I think you have done a very good job capturing Ron and Hermioneís character here. I think itís pretty common to see the canon characterizations bent a little by authors in order to suit their plots. However, I think your portrayal parallels these two very well.
I also loved how you have the two of them arguing over something and theyíre not even on the same page on what they are arguing about. Thatís real, it happens to a lot of people (though never to me Ö **cough**). The way you have Hermione storm off in disgust while Ron is just sort of dumbfounded is very good too.
I also liked the spontaneous nature of the kiss at the end. In all this was a nice story. Great job!
Author's Response: Thank you, James! :) Well done for winning the challenge- I\'m priveledged to have already read the winning entry! Hehe! I\'m glad Ron and Hermione came across properly in character here as I haven\'t written much about them before. I see a lot of Hermione in me (hence the name...) so it was perhaps easier to write a realistic situation with her reactions. But I never storm off of course... ; ) Thank you very much for the review! It is much appreciated that you have taken the time to read and leave your comments! Phily :)
Hello, Blood Rayne! Very nice story you have here, I enjoyed reading it very much. The lack of a wedding invitation was a wonderful idea for the last straw, the thing that drove Peter over the edge. I can see where he could endure all the name-calling and still call James, Sirius, and Remus his friends. But, when he gets left out of the most important day of his friendís life, he realizes that he is no longer a part of their tight nit group. That was a great idea!
I also like how you portrayed Lupin as the one who reluctantly went a long with James and Sirius. It seems to me, from everything I know about his character, that he would react that way. So, good job on that too.
I did come across a couple of things, however, that I was not so sure about. First, I have a hard time seeing Peter approaching Voldemort. Yes, I can see him angry and hurt over being shut out of his best friendís wedding. Still, he just seems too cowardly to do that to me. What might have worked better (and this is just my own personal thought) is having Peter wallowing in self-pity and the Dark Lord approaching him with the perfect way to get back at his friends. It seems like it is a little more in character to me. Thatís just my opinion.
Also, I have a hard time seeing James and Lily changing their mind about their Secret Keeper based on Peter pleading for it on his own. I think they would be suspicious. I think the only reason they did it was based on Siriusís insistence that he would be an obvious choice.
Regardless of those things I commented on, I think this is a good story and I enjoyed reading it. Keep up the good work and good luck in the challenge.
Author's Response: James and Lily changed their minds for Peter and for themselves...they did it because of Peter\'s insistence that Sirius would be an obvious choice...that\'s why the story is marked slightly AU. Thanks for the detailed review!
Insecurity, this was a wonderful story! I cannot tell you home much I enjoyed it. You writing style just drew me in! I really think this story should be a strong contender to take top honours in the challenge. Well done!
I loved how you wrote Peter here. I especially liked the parts about the different kinds of bullies, the hallway bullies, the classroom bullies, and the Gryffindor bullies. I also loved how you portrayed him loving the fact that he had friends and felt part of something for the first time in his life, only to end up feeling as though it was all a farce. Itís the kind of thing that would make a person feel so rotten inside and believably drive them to say Ö the dark side. The part where you wrote that his friendship with James was no different than being the lab rat for the Slytherin Bullies was great!
I also really liked how you had him take to Snape, someone with whom he could identify. It makes sense that Snape would be able to aid him in the transition between sides.
Great work! Good luck in the challenge!
This is a very interesting story, Biscuits. I think you have come up with a very believable scenario where Peter might consider joining the Ďdark sideí. Iíve read several of the challenge stories so far, and many of those works pick up on the idea of Peter sensing that something has changed between himself and the other Marauders. I think that is the door the gets cracked open and leaves Peter susceptible to some form of persuasion. You did a great job of making a point of this in your story. Great job!
I also really liked how you had Lucius Malfoy doing the persuading. That seems very much in his nature, from what we know in the books. We see him in OOtP, always around Fudge. We donít know for sure what the two of them discuss behind closed doors. However, the implication is that Malfoy is using his powers of influence to attempt to steer Fudge in directions he desires. Your portrayal falls in line nicely with canon.
However, I would have liked to see even more. Peter is weak and I really thing Lucius would have sensed this and pressed even harder than he did. I really think Lucius, at some point in their meeting, may have attempted some form of intimidation. I think he might sense that Peter would be vulnerable to it. I guess, to make this even better, I would have almost liked to see Lucius work in a bit more of a threat Ö a stronger threat. Do you follow what I mean?
Another thing, though I liked the way you included all of the questions going through Peterís head initially, it became a bit repetitive. I felt like he was asking the same thing over and over again. Now, thatís a real feeling, and those things can go on in a personís head, but that doesnít make it a better read, necessarily. Perhaps what you could have done, as an alternative, you could have worked in some more specific memories illustrating why he had the thoughts that he had. Tell us about some of the pranks they (James, Remus, and Sirius) played on him in greater detail. Give your reader something more to go on, concrete images. Donít just say, Ďthey played pranks on meí.
Okay, Iíve rambled on way too much. I know Iíve pointed out some constructive thoughts here, but I donít want that to detract from your work. I enjoyed the story a lot and wish you luck in the challenge!
Author's Response: I see what you mean, it does repeat a lot. Andrea pointed that out too, I think. Still, I love concrit, so I\'m happy! Thanks for the great review, its all taken on board! Glad you liked it!
Hey, Ron x Hermione. Iíve been reading through the challenge entries and wanted to drop a review on your entry. I thought it was pretty well done. I havenít read everything you have written (youíve got a lot). But, out of everything you have written that I have read, I think I enjoyed this one the most. Very good job!
I liked your portrayal of Peter very much. Heís infuriated with the treatment he received from his friends to the point where he wants them dead. Yet, in the end, he is too cowardly to go through with it.
I would have liked to see some more of the pranks, and why Peter was becoming so upset. You did touch on some of it. For example, Peter had always felt that they could have possibly been staring at him, but those hopes had been shattered as soon as he saw their repulsed faces when he had given them a smile. I loved this line. Itís such a real feeling and so believable. I can totally see where Peter probably had this happen to him Ö on several occasions. Poor guy! That was very good and I would have liked to see more concrete examples like that so I could really feel the transition in Peter from friend to foe. Does that make sense?
One other thing I caught was repetitive words. You used the word matured twice in a matter of a few sentences, both to describe either James or Sirius. I always find myself diving into a thesaurus when I catch myself using the same word in close proximity, or trying to find a way to rephrase the sentence altogether.
Anyway, you did a good job here and I wish you the best of luck in the challenge!
Author's Response: Aw, thanks so much, Skipper! It\'s nice to see a first reviewer! *giggles* I\'m so glad that you liked this. And thank you for that catch. I will definitely go back and change it and hopefully try and prevent it in the future. :) ~Lindsey :)
Neville Longbottom has been a favourite character of mine since either PoA or GoF. As I was browsing through the SPEW 007 thread, this fact is what caused me to check out your thread, and thus, this story. Iím glad I did, because this one was definitely worth the read. You have done a very nice characterisation of the two primary characters in this story, Neville and his Gran, and the storyline is good as well. Short the first chapter maybe, but I think it accomplishes one of the most important tasks I think an opening chapter has: seizing the attention of the reader.
One of the strong points, in the chapter, is how you captured Nevilleís passion for Herbology. The whole idea of the family green house and Neville becoming the main keeper of it works really well. I also liked the idea of the Faire, and how much Neville wanted to go, but was worried about whether or not his Gran would approve. It seemed so much like his Gran to tolerate his fervour for Herbology because he as good at it, while trying to steer him in other directions at the same time. The whole idea of her saying something about his dad was an Auror, which paid well, is definitely something a parental figure would say.
In regards to constructive criticism, I cannot say that I have much. The only thing I would have perhaps liked to see mentioned somewhere was Nevilleís feelings on the darkening situation with Voldemort. I know none of that was really the focus of this chapter (perhaps you deal with it later on). It just seems to me like it became such a central theme in Nevilleís life, as it did for many others, around the time of OoTP.
In this sentence, Neville had never wanted to do anything quite so badly in his life, the word quite feels like an extra word. Personally, I think the sentence would read better without it, and I donít think you alter the meaning at all by dropping it. Is that picky enough for you? Itís a testament to how well this is written, I think, that I have to pull something like that out to have any suggestions for potential improvements.
Great job so far!
Author's Response: Oh, yay! Thanks so much for reviewing. This is one of those stories that I like, but I haven\'t gotten it nearly to its full potential. Pretty much everything I write, I go back and edit into shape much much later. Thanks also for pointing that bit out--nitpicky is fine. Again, thank you so much for leaving such a nice, thoughtful review!
Wow, Just Tink! I thought this was good. It was very touching. I can certainly see where that sort of memory would help someone produce a great Patronus. Good luck in the contest and keep up the good work.
Author's Response: thanks- touching is what I was going for. Thanks for the review!
Well done, Hypatia! I enjoyed reading your contest entry very much. I feel that most parents could easily use the birth of a child as a strong, happy memory for the Patronus Charm. It seemed to fit that this memory was the one that produced the corporeal Patronus. I also really liked is the way you inserted what Silvanus was thinking as he performed the spell. I think it helps the reader really connect with the scene well. Finally, your selection of the form of the Patronus worked nicely too. I donít know if you really needed to explain the presence of the Dementors in an authorís note (in my opinion). I mean, it didnít hurt anything. But, I think the beasts proved on more than one occasion that they were somewhat unruly regardless of whether or not they were under Ministry control. All in all, a very good job! Good luck in the contest.
Author's Response: I\'m really glad you enjoyed it! As to the author\'s note, I\'ll consider removing it. I think you\'re right in that it doesn\'t add to the story (and I certainly hope it doesn\'t take away from it!) Thank you so much for your thoughtful review!
You had some wonderful description in the opening paragraphs of your story, LadyAlesha. Thatís probably what good me hooked in. I could see myself standing right on the same path as Bill, observing as he worked. I also found the idea of Billís wild magic fascinating. It just thought it was cool (Iím simple Ö sorry). You did a nice job explaining how he learned to use this power as a curse breaker. I also thought the memory you selected would work very well for the Patronus charm. Iíll bet a lot of married wizards and witches would use their wedding night as a potent, happy memory when casting that spell. I enjoyed it. Good work, and good luck in the challenge.
Author's Response: Thank you. I especially wanted to show that he doesn\'t choose a memory like his wedding or sleeping with his wife for the charm, but simply being together and enyjoying each others company. I hoped to show that there is a lot of love in their relationship, because that\'s something that isn\'t shown in canon, because in HBP no one seems to really like the idea of Bill and Fleur together until the end and the dynamic of their relationship is never really shown.
I really enjoyed your story Vorona! I am trying to read all the entries for the contest and, so far, I think this is one of the best. I really liked the idea for Percyís Patronus as well the premise for the story (that the whole Percy to the Ministry thing is because he has gone to be a spy). Iím canít really think of any constructive things to say. So, Iíll just close by stating that this is a great story and I think it will be in the hunt to win the contest. Well done!
Author's Response: I\'m really glad you enjoyed the story! I haven\'t read any of the others yet, because I don\'t want to compare right now. Also, there\'s still a lot of time before the contest ends (I know it says June, but it goes until the middle of July). I will admit that of all the Weasleys, I like Percy the most, and although Ron was expecting it, I don\'t think Ron really understands Percy. His change in attitude towards Dumbledore seems suspicious - he really liked and admired him in the first book, and he doesn\'t seem the sort to change his mind based on popular opinion. Thanks again for the great review!
Very nice! I enjoyed it. I think I found one instance in your story were you called it a corporal Patronus. I think you mean corporeal Patronus. Just something check on. Other than that, well done and good luck in the contest.
Author's Response: Thanks so much for reading it! :) Sometimes you just don\'t catch little things. And double thanks for the review!
The thing that I enjoyed the most in your story, Katie, was the characterisation. To be specific, I really enjoyed your portrayals of Professor / Headmistress McGonagall and Neville Longbottom. For one thing, your Neville compares so well to the one in DH, the way he take the lead in areas that might have normally been headed by one the Trio. I thought you did a wonderful job displaying his determination to be involved in the fight against Voldemort as well as how it affected it personally.
I checked the publishing date of this story and noticed it came out before DH Ö so where did you get the inside info of Neville? Iím kidding. You just did such a wonderful job piecing all we know about his character from books 1 to 6 into a nice portrait. Itís almost as if you had inside info.
In the case of McGonagall, I also thought you did a great job with her as well. However, one part I wondered about: the part where she bends on the age, allowing sixteen, then fifteen year olds to leave the safety of the Great Hall. Iím trying to remember the exact sequences in DH to see how that went, to see if she reacted similar to how you have her in your story. I donít know if I can see her allowing students under the age of seventeen to risk their lives, honestly. I think she would absolutely refuse it. I thought she was willing to allow the students who were of age to fight in DH and flatly refused the opportunity to others, though a few underage students did seem to slip into the action without her knowledge.
Iíll have to check that part again (Iíve read the book four times now and ought to have it memorized now Ė but I donít).
Harry himself would tell this to Neville, adding that it was a good thing Voldemort couldnít feel his soul, a remark which Neville puzzled over for some time.
Are you referring to the Destruction of a Horcrux hidden at Hogwarts? If so, wow! If even you werenít, you really seem to have taken in a lot from the first six books and worked them nicely into this story. How well your version of events compares to how everything went down in the last book that impresses me.
Over all, wonderful job Katie! Keep up the fine work!
Author's Response: *smiles* I love this story. It actually gives me goosebumps to read it, which I consider positively amazing. Ahem.
I think this was the last Neville story I wrote. By that time, I\'d gotten a fair grasp on his characters. I really wanted to get him out there. I knew that he had the courage; he just needed a chance.
I knew, even as I wrote this, that McGonagall probably wouldn\'t have let under-ages fight. It\'s probably bad that I ignored that, but I wanted to get Ginny out there, and the rest of the DA. It seemed such a waste to have them just sitting inside, and I\'d devised a watertight way to keep them in, so I had to let them out officially.
I was referring to the destruction of the Horcruxes in general, but it does rather look like I was channeling Jo, hum? Hee.
Thank you so much for this wonderful review! I adore great reviews, and I tend to like them even better when people love my stories >.> Thanks!