Hi! I have pruned back this page recently to show only my best work. In addition I have deleted all chaptered fics that I have no plans for finishing in the near future. I have saved all the reviews from my deleted fics -- I'm sorry if I never replied to the review you left >.> Thanks everyone! In the future I'll hopefully get Weakness finished, and a few more poems up maybe. xx
When he realises the deadly plan set before him by Dumbledore, Harry's heart goes through an incredible journey to find calm in the eye of the storm.
This sonnet won The Diamond Challenge on the Poetry Anyone forum. The prompt that inspired it was 'Loyalty'.
This poem was nominated for a 2010 Quicksilver Quill Award - Best Poem
Ah, I do love a good sonnet. They’re definitely one of my favourite poetry forms to read and write, and your one does the sonnet justice. Many fanfic poems could be applied to so many situations, but something I love about yours is that it is about a specific canon situation, and there’s no mistaking it for something else. It’s really interesting to see canon situations turned from prose to poetry, and think about all the different ways that could be done.
He started out but did not shed a tear,
You know, maybe I’m being a hypocrite because I’ve used that phrase too much, LOL, but ‘shed a tear’ just seems so clichéd at the best of times. There’s nothing wrong with clichés -- I use them all the time, inadvertently :p -- but I just think, in this case, you could’ve had a better impact if you’d worded it in a way to avoid the cliché. Things like ’but did not let go tears’ or ‘but not without his fear’, maybe.
That said, otherwise I only have praise! The sonnet has a very smooth rhythm and rolls off the tongue easily and rhythmically -- as it should -- and I love your choice of rhyming words. Just looking over the rhymes kind of sums up the situation, in those words only, and they so capture Harry’s state, and the progression of his emotions as he nears Voldemort. And then, reading the whole poem, which just furthers those ideas.
All in all, a very nice poem. Thank you :)
Hullo there, Spire. :)
I wrote this for the beta boards, but when I went to post it on the archives, I think I was one word short to make the minimum. If I recall correctly, I think the line you mentioned might have been the one that got changed. I really should explore my options in terms of making it fit better overall with the flow and concept. I do happen to agree that it could have been better.
The rhyme and metre were a labour of love for me, so I love it when someone who understands just how difficult that can be tells me that it's good. I really like this poem, and the events about which it was written are very powerful. I think the fact that it's so time-specific draws power from that event, giving it an extra push.
Thank you for reviewing this one. My poetry is sadly neglected sometimes. :)
Summary: Cho won't be bearing the name of Chang much longer; it's the day before her wedding, and as she arrives at the little church her fiance has picked, she realises that she's been there before. Tucked away in a quite corner of the churchyard is a grave that she hasn't visited for many years.
This is Sapphire at Dawn of Gryffindor writing for Madam Pomfrey's One-Shot Triathlon, Round Two. This is for prompt number three.
Hello, Sarah! Lately I’ve written a few pieces about Cho, and it was a real pleasure to come across another fic about her. All I’ve wrote/read about her is set in the immediate months after Cedric’s death, so it was really interesting to see an interpretation of her years on, when she’s preparing to marry another man.
I love that you’ve depicted her in a state where she’s moved on from Cedric. That’s a realistic development on the Cho we see in DH, but more grown up, naturally. It was interesting that she’d more or less forgotten that Cedric was there – sad at the same time, though. In GoF, they were always like ‘the’ couple. Up until his death, you couldn’t quite imagine them not being a couple. In fact, after Cedric, she only sees Harry, and they never become a couple, really. So it’s nice to see Cho in this situation, moving into a new life with a wonderful man, and at the same time remembering Cedric. You’ve struck a nice balance in emotions here.
Another thing I liked is the inclusion of Mark himself. I know some people don’t like the idea of Cho marrying a Muggle, but I’ve always thought that’s kind of fitting for her. I don’t know how to explain really. But anyway. Yes, I thought the Muggle family and husband fitted in to this story rather flawlessly. There was no narrative dressing up the fact that Mark’s a Muggle, and that just went to show how dissimilar Muggles and wizards are essentially. However, one minor thing I thought could’ve been smoother is the introduction of Mark.
This was her fiancé
Maybe it would’ve been more effective to include his name there, or else leave it to Cho’s exclamation, because I think it would make his dialogue tag flow better.
Finally, I have to comment on the first paragraph. :] I think it was really effective how you just threw us straight into Cho’s mindset, and had us right in there with her, but not really telling us what her dilemma was. That was a great technique for cinching my curiosity, and compelling me to read on and find out more. Lovely story. x
Summary: A poem written in honour of those who fought in the Battle of Hogwarts, May 2nd, 1998.
This poem won the Last Line Standing Challenge at Poetry Anyone. :) It also won a QSQ for Best Poetry. Thanks to Carole (Equinox Chick) for beta-ing this.
DISCLAIMER: Not J.K.Rowling, though I wish I was. Haha!
Natalie, I absolutely love this! First, it just looks good on the page – in the way that some poems just do, LOL – but secondly the lines flow into one another so well. Just, beautiful enjambment. You’ve done a really good job of selecting where to leave off the punctuation, and when you don’t, what punctuation to use to keep up the seamless flow.
Another thing that works with that enjambment to keep the flow smooth is the rhythm of the poem. I know you took words from Burns, but I don’t think that makes too much of a difference to my opinion, because you’ve managed to fit your own words around his, without making it seem like you’ve forced his words to be at the end. They fit completely naturally, and I imagine that must’ve taken quite a while to get right, which makes me admire the poem even more. On a side note, I especially love the first stanza for rhythm, I think because you have hour/valour and that just sounds so nice to the ear. :D
The link between the penultimate and the last stanza -- run and hide -- also is very unobtrusive on the flow of the poem. Generally, I love repetitive poems, where you can’t help but notice the repetition. I like that here, though, I didn’t really note it until my second read. Instead of repetition for emphasis, your use, to me, is more just a natural link that you’ve used to link the stanzas, but at the same time to leap from point A to B. In addition, each run and hide is in a slightly different context, which shows the subtle divide between stanzas.
Finally, I just want to say I think that this captures the spirit surrounding the Battle of Hogwarts perfectly. The unity between houses, the need to believe that your side will win, the suggestion that turning your back on fear will be one above the Dark Lord.
Great poem -- I really, really enjoyed it. I tracked down Burns’ version to read too, and yours is completely different which makes it all the more original, imo. :) xx
Author's Response: Spire!
This Spreview came as a lovely surprise. I am almost blushing as I read this. :D
It did take me a lot of time and energy to write this. First of all, the prompt gave me a hard time; secondly, I lacked confidence as far as the flow was concerned. Credit goes to Carole for instilling enough courage in me to submit it for th challenge - to even post it in PA.
It astounds me how much you have picked up in your review; I seriously didn't see that much while I was writing it. I am really happy you thought it was fitting for the battle, and that you liked the poem as a whole.
Thanks for the wonderful review!
Summary: Hermione knows Draco Malfoy - he is arrogant, mean and has been nothing but hurtful towards her ever since the first time they met. Called to testify at his trial, however, she sees something other than hatred in the face of her old nemesis and begins to wonder if there is something she has been missing all along.
I really like this, Hannah. Despite despising Malfoy mostly, in books 6 and 7 I couldn’t help but feel a little sympathetic for him. For me, this story is a bit of a continuation of the idea JKR represents in those books that Draco isn’t really the cut for a true Death Eater – look at his struggle to kill Dumbledore for example. Through the description of how Hermione views him, you’ve kept me sympathetic to Draco to the point that I hoped he didn’t get locked away.
He was, after all, only the same age as Hermione herself and had been through equally as much pain and trauma during the war. It just happened that his side had been the one that lost. And now he was paying the price for that.
This section really jumped out at me when reading, just because it’s a perspective I’ve never really examined before and it’s an interesting thought. If Voldemort had won, Hermione would be in Draco’s position and he in hers, except she would probably have a lot worse a time of it. It’s interesting to think about if things had worked out another way in the end, everything would be different as a result.
And I really like the little bit of dialogue of Draco’s at the end. You stirred my sympathy for him up, and then I’m disappointed when Draco snubs Hermione. At the same time, I’m smiling because he called her Hermione. I love that you’ve kept his character in true form there, but slipped in her name, showing he hasn’t gone through the war -- the trial -- unchanged.
You know, I’m curious for what happens with Draco next, but at the same time I don’t want to know. There’s a kind of ambiguous finality in that last line that I think works really well to mark the ending. On the one hand, I want to know whether Draco will ever talk to Hermione on the level she’s attempted to talk to him. But on the other hand, the beauty of the one-shot is that it shows Draco has changed, even if it’s just a little, and I don’t need to know any more than that. Great story =) xx
My favourite thing about this chapter has to be your portrayal of Lysander and Lily. Every couple has arguments, and it adds a sharp touch of realism to their relationship to see them on the outs with each other. I particularly like that we see an angry Lysander, because we’ve seen a volatile Lily before, but Lysander has always seemed so measured and calm. You’ve shown he’s reached a breaking-point, in a way, and that makes him more relatable to me. He’s got to be under a lot of stress even if he wants the babies, and the manifestation of stress shown through the anger is perfect here, because everyone wants a successful life of their own too.
Developing on the conflict, the underlying reasons behind it also make these two easier to relate to. I think, when your seventeen, the last thing you’re thinking about is the prospect of children. You just want to enjoy yourself, and this is shown in Lily at the beginning of the story -- and I’m loving seeing her develop over the course of this story. She‘s growing up more and more as she confronts her responsibilities, etc., and becoming more and more likable as a result. Equally, at seventeen, you’re thinking about your career, because that’s really when you start to make major decisions about life. I love that Lysander is clearly thinking about that. So, in short, I think you’ve done a great job of showing the dimensions of both character’s lives, and how their views of themselves and the environment around them are evolving.
Also, and I feel like I’m rambling a bit on the characterisation -- sorry. But, but, but -- you really have got such a perfect McGonagall. I can’t not comment on her. She sounds exactly like the McGonagall Harry knew -- and I think a lot of that is down to how severe you portray her, how she addresses Lily as ‘Potter’. But then she softens towards the end and calls her ‘Lily’ -- and I remember how she used to behave that way around Harry too.
And my final point has to be on this line: ‘say-anything-and-I’ll-castrate-you’
. Just LOL. I love Lily’s one-liners. This is a really excellent story, Jen -- it doesn’t matter how far apart the updates are like with some stories: I still read this one as soon as I see it and I enjoy it every time. Great work :) xx
Jen, I love this story. One thing about it that really stands out to me, and should, is Lily. You’ve given her such a distinctive voice and a character already, and I almost feel as if I know her. Little asides like ‘oops’ in chapter one make her seem all the more real, just because I think that’s the way we think sometimes, like we don’t always think long sentences, if you know what I mean. :/
The chapter titles are very funny, and they indirectly give characterisation to Lily, too, because they seem as if they come from her, despite being in third person. The way they all begin the same reminds me of the episode titles in Friends too which made me smile :)
Lily’s interaction with other characters, particularly Erin, is great. Initially I liked Erin because she is funny and stands really well with Lily, but in this chapter I think we really see how good a friend she is. She’s such a rock for Lily as she discovers she’s pregnant, and doesn’t let Lily pretend everything’s fine while putting off the test. Whether she’ll remain that way throughout the story, I guess we’ll find out, but I’m thinking and hoping she will, judging by her reaction in this chapter.
In this chapter I loved how much more accepting Lysander is of a possible pregnancy than Lily, and it‘s going to be interesting to see whether that attitude continues when Lily confirms the pregnancy to him. He’s been so calm so far, but will that continue? I think he’ll support Lily, but it’s how he handles it and how she handles it, and how they handle it together that I’m looking forward to reading. The conversation in this chapter shows contrast in the characters by Lysander telling her to take the test straight away, and Lily continually putting it off. I’m curious as to how the characters and their relationship will develop as a result of the pregnancy.
So, to conclude, I can’t wait to read more! I’m so anticipating the following chapters, and seeing how they’re going to handle everything, and how people will react to it -- if they’re told at all. Great start to a promising story :) xx
The hallmark of Dumbledore's Army was their refusal to give in to the darkness that was slowly but surely emcompassing their world. As long as there was a hope, the DA would live on. This is a warning, an invitation, a promise, to one and all that they will not back down until the battle is won.
This poem placed third in the Last Line Standing Challenge in Poetry Anyone. The last words of each line are from a non-HP poem (Robert Frost, but the name of the poem escapes me), but we were to build a new poem around it.
You know, I just realised this was for the last-line-standing challenge, and having reviewed Natalie’s entry to that earlier, I’m pleasantly surprised to know this was written for the same cause. As I said to Natalie, it must’ve taken quite a bit of work to get the poem to flow so well, and to just fit, and it makes me like the poem more, knowing you crafted it around a set of words. Great job!
I love the first couple of stanzas, describing the secret-ness of the DA, and how when it comes to it, anybody is welcome, they’re all working towards a common goal. In fact, I think as soon as I began reading it, it sounded like a chant, all their voices uniting. I think it’s the Come one, come all that does that for me, kind of like Roll up, roll up! Whether that’s how you meant it to be read or not, that makes for a really powerful start for me, and drags me more deeply into the words immediately.
Reading back the third stanza now, I think it totally links into what I just said about the chant-effect. Especially Unified in goals and value and in voice makes it seem like they’re standing and speaking together as you read.
I’m actually reviewing this for the archive challenge going on in PA at the moment, and the inspiration for my poem was this line: And paint our dissent on the walls like art. To me that paints such a vibrant picture. I read it as a metaphor for things like what Neville describes in DH to the trio, but equally it can work just as well literally, which I like. Which way did you imagine it, since I really think it could work either way?
To me, the message portrayed in this poem is a strong one, of unity and hope, and I think that’s what makes the poem sing for me. I really like this; it captures the spirit of Dumbledore’s Army perfectly. A really great poem :) xx
Um, like...wow! What a completely sparkling review! This was such a lovely thing to wake up to.:D
I wanted it to feel almost like a song, but more like a battle cry. When I wrote it, I wanted it to have sort of a Braveheart vibe to it, so I'm so happy that that came through properly. Neville became a hero during DH, and this is his voice of dissent and rebellion.
Thank you so much for the lovely review. Good luck with the challenge. :D
Summary: A Remus/Tonks poem, set during Half Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows.
My first comment has to be that I love the imagery you’ve created in this. You’ve painted several pictures in quite a short time, and I think that’s effective in showing Tonks’ state of mind – the incoherence as she kind of jumps from thought-to-thought, but at the same time, they link with the overall theme.
Soaked through, memory-stained.
The burnt out end of a once-lit spill.
I love the link you’ve made here with stain and spill, but I’m not really sure what you mean here. I thought maybe the wax of a candle dripping on a tablecloth or something, especially taking into account the burnt/lit. Still, I’d love to know what you envisioned with this stanza. Reading through this I like that you don’t make it completely clear, though, because of the incoherent idea. It makes me feel almost as if I’m Remus and seeing what I’ve done to Tonks, however unintentional.
These two words kind of jumble together for me when reading because they’re so similar and right next to each other. Again, they do give the sense of incoherence, but I think it would be better if you chose less conflicting words. I’ve done the same thing in my own poetry [a Remus/Tonks funnily], but I had comments about it then, and reading your poem now makes me appreciate how similar words too near each other can make it a little hard to read without stumbling.
Do you hear the incoherence in the words I speak?
As I’ve mentioned, I so love this incoherent theme. But, to me, this line is too... coherent, LOL. The very directness of it contradicts the muddle that is everything else she says, and I think it would be up to Remus to acknowledge her state of mind, not for Tonks to have to tell him. I don’t see Tonks as the type of person to put on an act -- look how genuinely depressed she is in HBP – so I can’t see her being incoherent just to win him. If anything, I believe she would try to make sense if she acknowledges her state of mind at all. Maybe this line would be better suited to the summary?
Carved, cloaked, cranial figures,
Embedded in my mind’s eye.
Immortal arts to haunt.
Gah, I’ve quoted way more lines than I usually do when reviewing, but I have to comment on the imagery here. I love the ghostly image you conjure up in that first line, and then the second line, which I think is so true. Like, where you just can’t get something out of your head -- and the first image here has implanted itself in your mind already, so that the second line is even stronger. Finally here, I just like the use of the word ‘haunt’ to link back to the first image of the stanza.
The only other comment I really have is about the punctuation. Poetry punctuation is so hard! What I think works another person thinks should be changed and so on and so forth. The thing I’ve got with your choice in punctuation is that you’ve used a lot of full stops, and to me that makes it seem a little too abrupt at times. I can see why she would be abrupt, and to a degree I like it, but I think you’ve maybe tipped over the edge into ‘too much.’ If you got rid of some of the full stops, I think you could have some nice enjambment, or at least a little smoother flow. You could change It’s already raining. And I’m already wet. so the first full stop isn’t there for example. I don’t think this needs cutting off into two to make the point. Another example: Tear down the barriers. Make them crumble. Here, maybe change the full stop after ‘barriers’ so it becomes ‘barriers – Make them crumble’. Really, I just think if you played around with the punctuation a bit you could take the poem up a level.
Again, love love love the imagery in this poem and thank you. xx
Author's Response: Thank you ever so much for such a full review! I really appreciate the effort you must have put into that, and all the comments you gave were very very helpful, so thank you.
Summary: Katie Bell discovers the perils of not knowing what (or whom) she wants and taking a close friend for granted.
I really liked this, I just wish there was more. I love a good rare pair, and you captured this one beautifully.
The first paragraph really threw me straight into the story, which is always a good thing, and sets the tone for that section straight away. You didn’t even really need to tell us that Katie was drunk, but I like that it’s stated because it’s so key to the story, in a way.
You introduced Dean’s feelings quite subtly; I like that his comments almost build-up in intensity, in the way he tells Katie she deserves so much better than Percy. "Dull? Staid?" Dean cut in dryly. The word choice there is just perfect -- specifically ‘dryly’. That was the moment when I first thought, ‘aw, he’s jealous/likes her’, and I think that word captures a lot about how he must feel -- he doesn’t like Percy, he doesn’t want to talk about him particularly. That part pulled at the heartstrings for me, and I admire that you get me to that mind-set in so few words.
The scene between friends was great. You could tell immediately what I tight group they are by the way they tease each other. The interplay between Angelina and George was quite upbeat and entertaining, which started to plant a seed of hope for Katie and Dean to make up again, because if it were going to be a sad ending for them, the joking would’ve been slightly out of place. I love this line: He leant over to smooth his wife's ruffled feathers with a quick kiss. -- I thought it was a rather clever play on words.
The open ending left the story on a good note, and a hopeful one too. Although I’d have liked to see what happens next, at the same time leaving it there gives lots of room for my interpretation and brings it to a good halt. Also, it brings the story full circle -- it starts with ‘non-pompous, non-wankers’ and a bottle of wine, and ends with ‘non-pompous, non-wankers’ and a bottle of wine. A great story. Thank you :) xx
Author's Response: Thanks Spire, it's lovely to get such an indepth review on one of my lighter stories, because sometimes I worry that they don't have the same depth or worth as the darker ones.
Writing the interplay between them all in the pub was one of my favourite parts because it was just so much fun, as was the early banter between Katie and Dean.
I always tend to prefer to leave endings a little hopeful I think, because I'm always worried about a happy ending coming off too fluffy, and like you said, it brought everything full circle here that way.
Summary: "Regulus thinks it’s better than way, easier. He tries not to think of fragile bone-masks and bodies that are already dead when they hit the floor with a hollow thump. " Regulus introspective, Regulus/Snape.
I really rather liked this. At first I wasn’t sure about the perspective you’ve used here, and I think the main thing that made me doubt it was that the first two sentences both start with ‘Regulus’, when in my head it would sound better if the second was ‘he’. You did that a few times, and it sounds a bit redundant since we know this is from Regulus’s point of view. However, as the story went on I found myself quite liking the perspective you’ve used. What makes it for me is that it lends an almost apathetic tone to the entire story, but still allows you to show us the emotions where necessary. The main example of how the story’s apathetic, I think, is the way Regulus reacts to Snape‘s advance. You even state that he likes women rather than men, but it seems like he’s almost in another place, almost confused, almost apathetic. There’s that element of he’s just going with the flow, because why not? And he never really thinks any further about it than that. Maybe he doesn’t know what to think, maybe he doesn’t care. Either way, the perspective lends to how I perceive his emotions, since we don’t really go into his thoughts, but we do at the same time, and to me that just brings me into the situation a little more.
This line really stood out to me while reading: when they reappear in front of a dingy pub, Regulus really is sick When I read that, I interpreted it as him being sick because he can’t handle what he’s just done, even if he thinks it’s just the Apparation. Though since he feels sick when he leaves the house, he probably realises it’s the effect of what he’s just done. To me this story is the beginning of Regulus beginning to doubt whether Voldemort is right, and going back to the idea of apathy, that‘s how he responds. He cuts himself off from what he’s done, almost. I don’t know whether you meant any of this to be read the way I’ve read it, but I love that there’s so much room in this story that’s left unsaid, for my interpretations.
Going back to the start of the story again, I want to comment on this line: Regulus throws the frame on the floor and stands on it for good measure. No-one needs it anymore. I think this is a key quote for Regulus’s frame of mind, trying to separate himself from what he’s done kind of, but also the true nature of the murder. It’s painful, breaking another corner of somebody’s world, in a sense.
This is in present tense all the way through, which meant this line really jumped out at me, and I had to read it through a couple times before I figured out why -- His first thought was, why did I do that? His second was, I’m not sorry that I did. I would recommend going in there and changing the two uses of ‘was’ to ‘is’, just to maintain the flow.
This story is obviously about Regulus, but I feel I need to comment of Severus’ part, too. I think the apathy here is even stronger. Lily’s parents, I’m assuming, were just murdered, and Snape has had some kind of part in that. That must be like torture to him, even though they’re Muggles, just because it would hurt the girl he loves. I don’t understand his response to Regulus, though, because I got the impression that Regulus was the one who killed them, since Snape waited outside. If Regulus murdered them, Lily’s parents, I don’t understand Snape’s motivation in letting him tag along behind him. Is he trying to treat them like anyone else they would go out to get? Saying that, though, the story wouldn’t work without the Snape/Regulus dynamic unless you changed the entire foundation context; and Snape’s motives aren’t more important than Regulus’s reactions, which are what this story is about more, in my opinion.
As a final note, I love how you’ve linked the last line to the title, kind of grounding the story and bringing it to a natural halt. Very well done =) xx
Summary: After the war, Draco must be pretty depressed, I should think.
I'm loving the play on 'mirror, mirror, on the wall'. I love how you've manipulated the words. On that count I think it's great, though I can't personally see Draco in the light you've painted him. First stanza, yes, but I don't think Draco would perceive himself as wholly evil as he goes on to say in the next stanza. Of course this is crafted around another rhyme, but I think another word choice would've worked better for the character of Draco possibly. Weak, maybe...? I don't know. He couldn't kill Dumbledore -- that says a lot, imo. That's entirely my view on Draco's character though, and I appreciate that you might see him differently.
Other than my ideas on the characterisation, though, I do like the spin you've put on this. Nice job :) xx
Author's Response: Thanks for the reveiw! Hmmmm... I can see what you're saying about his character. But I think that my charecterization is probable if you throw in five or ten years since the war. He might see himself completely differently. I imagined it five or ten years later, but I suppose I wasn't very clear about that. Again, thank you so much for the reveiw!
Summary: Andromeda knows that Ted loves her, but does she love him? Is five months really long enough to know that you love somebody?
She’s running out of time to answer, and with news of their relationship spreading, she soon finds herself having to make the hardest choice of all. This is a sequel to my Boy Oh Boy.
Hey! Oh, I haven’t read a good ol’ Andromeda/Ted story in too long. I love your characterisation of Ted. I like that he’s quite sweet, and you show that he’s very genuine, but he’s also sure that he wants Andromeda and won’t let himself be distracted from his goal -- which is to propose. And he’s kind of the perfect boyfriend -- being there for her the whole time, supportive as her relationship with her family falls apart.
A lot happens in this story, and the plot moves quite quickly. That’s not a bad thing, but I think that impacts on making the transitions between scenes a little choppy in places, and it also makes it harder for me to relate to Andromeda. I think if the story was a bit longer, the flow would’ve been better, and you could‘ve built on some ideas more. On Andromeda -- in some parts I find I just don’t really understand her motivations. Marriage is a big deal, and she considers it seriously -- I like that the Quidditch match propels her to accept his proposal -- I thought that was a good plot device. Her consideration of marriage was where I could relate with her the most. The main part where I didn’t really connect with Andromeda was the first scene with Narcissa, though. It’s obvious that Narcissa is quite a sly character, and I don’t understand what makes Andromeda trust her. I know they’re sisters, but after being a member of the Black family for seventeen years, I would’ve thought she’d know better than to trust anybody in it to quite that degree. It just surprised me a bit that she would be so trusting of her sister with something so important.
I haven’t read your other fic, so maybe my question’s answered there -- but throughout I was quite confused as to whether Ted and Andromeda were in a public relationship. When anybody comments on their relationship she seems quite angry, almost, but to me they don’t seem to hide themselves -- for example Andromeda running to Ted’s bedside when he’s hurt.
While I‘m on that train of thought, I really liked the hospital wing scenes. They showed the closeness between the two well, partly because she wasn’t sure if Ted could hear but spoke anyway, keeping him company and letting him know she was there -- looking out for him. I think it made her acceptance of his proposal a little more meaningful, since he can’t respond to her, but at the same time, he can, and he squeezes her hand. I just thought that was really sweet, and romantic. That scene characterises the couple, in a way.
The part where she tells her parents about her engagement was played well. I like the quick exchange of dialogue, I like that I can “hear” how it all plays out in my head, without you using too many dialogue tags. There was one thing about it that I questioned a bit, though: but I had never heard Father speak to me in that tone. I was his little girl; we had always had a strong connection. If they had such a strong connection I would imagine her decision would hurt him, but enough that he would discard her so quickly and decisively? It just made me stop twice; maybe if we knew more detail about his character, their relationship, it would be clearer why he reacts as he does.
I loved the ending however. It has such a perfect balance between bittersweet and happy, that I’m not sure which one I think it is. Probably both. And I loved the inclusion of the wave she shares with the girl too, it makes me think of Dora -- almost like this whole situation with the little house and child is what Andromeda and Ted will be content with in a few years time.
Overall, I really enjoyed this. I’ll have to go back and look at the prequel to this when I have a moment :) xx
Author's Response: Wow, this made me smile. I'm so glad you liked it! Your thoughts are very helpful too! Thank you sooo much. :)
Summary: Andromeda learns about an unfamilar tradition and gets an unexpected visitor.
Since I carelessly overlooked her in the other post, I’d like to wish Spire a wonderful pagan/ sugar-high festival/ holiday, with the hopes that she enjoys this as much as I loved drafting it. Benny strolled in my head one day, savoured the rat’s tail, and curled up in bed. Cleo Rose is an inside joke.
This is an entry for the SPEW Spooky Swap 2010.
Jenn! -squishes- Aw, thank you for this amazing fic first off, dear :) I really enjoyed it the first time, and I’ve loved the chance to read it again.
You know you get right into Andromeda’s thoughts, which I found confusing at first, but I kind of like it that way, because thoughts shouldn’t be completely cohesive to an outsider, and when you pull her out of them it just goes to go how deep in contemplation she is. It introduces Andromeda’s character and circumstances well, I think, by throwing us right in the deep end.
I don’t know if you realised that you missed off the whole beginning section when this story was published on SPEW’s LJ, but I’m pleased I’ve had the opportunity to read it with the introduction. It adds a whole new dimension to the story, combining the Muggle joy of Trick-or-treat and the scorn with which wizards look at that Muggle tradition. The beginning really sets that spooky, kind of cheesy, Halloween-tone, which compliments the darker elements of the story that come later quite nicely. The two tones -- spooky and creepy -- balance each other out rather well.
I love you characterisation of Dora. She’s so determined not to go to bed, and Andromeda dismisses this because it’s such a regularity. But then Dora mentions the vampire, and since this is a Halloween story that’s where I started to feel uneasy -- even though Andromeda doesn’t see any ‘vampire’ at this point, the whole scenario plants that creeping feeling that there’s something out there, waiting for them in the night. It sets a great mood for the rest of the story.
The other person I think you characterised perfectly was Sirius. He comes through the door supporting a bloodied Peter, and he is so matter-of-fact about it all, almost unbothered by the situation, that it makes me want to laugh in a way. It’s such a serious situation, but then again -- maybe Sirius sees this sort of thing so often that it ceases to have such an effect on him. It’s an interesting thought, and kind of scary too.
Again, I have to comment on mood. I think you really excel in creating that perfect creepy mood when Andromeda goes outside. As a reader, who’s all ready feeling uneasy from the vampire and Sirius’ arrival, I’m thinking going outside, especially on your own in the dark, is a pretty silly thing to do. She even acknowledges that Sirius could’ve been followed. Then you mention the dogs not barking, and she comes across this obviously dead body. Every thing culminates to produce a seriously creepy tone that had me on the edge of my seat. You’ve done a great job with that aspect.
Overall, I have to say my favourite thing about this story is the way you have the spooky Halloween atmosphere down flawlessly. I really enjoyed this. Thank you again =D xx
Author's Response: Wow, inspirations, I jsut realised that I never responded to this. How rude of me! I am so glad that you liked this. I'd never done anything remotely creepy in my writing, so I'm glad that it somehow got pulled off and you enjoyed it. I tend to stray away from the Marauders in terror, so the fact that you like that floors me. See? I feel really bad about not responding to this now. Three months late. It was a fun write, but the fact that you enjoyed and thought it was creepy makes it a thousand times better for me, Spire. Thank you for the review.
Summary: Christmas 1976 and Severus Snape sits in his room with only his thoughts to keep him company.
This song/poem is a parody of probably the best (and bitterest) Christmas song in the entire universe. The original, called I Believe in Father Christmas' was by Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. I strongly recommend that you listen to the original.
I am Equinox Chick from Hufflepuff, and this is my entry for the Extra Credit in the Great Hall Christmas Challenge.
Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling or Greg Lake. (I never thought I'd ever type that sentence.) Please don't confuse us.
Carole! Aw, I love this song. And I never thought I'd ever see something vaguely Severus/Lily from you :)
Anyway, I rather do like this. I can feel the song interwoven in it, and you capture Severus' love for Lily perfectly. You've got the whole kinda bittersweet tone down, and I can really relate to Severus.
I really enjoyed this. Sorry I don't have time to give you a better review, but I had to comment :) Thank you xx
Author's Response: Thnaks spire. I'm glad you know the song as otherwise I don't think it works. Hmm, I do write one sided Snape/Lily, just not Au where they end up running off together - ha ha. Thank you for the review. ~Carole~
Andromeda survived the war, but she feels like a ghost.
Paige, this is a truly beautiful poem. I was looking for a poem to read and yours caught my eye -- such an intriguing title!
I love the symmetry of this poem, particularly the use of ‘b’ to begin the same two lines in each stanza. It shows Andromeda stuck in this mindset, being this ghost and her moving on simultaneously, perfectly. Is this in a particular poetic form?
I like the use of the different ghosts in chronological order, kind of capturing each stage of loss. It helps us to see how Andromeda is evolving as she comes to terms with it. In addition, I don’t know whether you purposely built it around Scrooge, but the use of the ghosts and all the negative descriptions surrounding her Christmas do give her a Scrooge-esque feel. The difference here, however, if that it is easy to sympathise with Andromeda, and understand why she is acting how she is.
The Christmas theme incorporated puts a spin on the happy feeling that Christmas supposedly represents. However if you’ve lost somebody it’s not going to be all happiness at Christmas, so the sad sort of feeling you’ve produced along with this particular season goes a long way in showing how hard things are for Andromeda, and how hard they can be for real people in this situation too.
Honestly, great poem. I’m pleased I got the chance to read it and feedback. :) xx
Spire! I'm so happy you had the urge to look for a poem to read! Not a lot of people do, and if I had a Galleon for every review that had "I don't ususually like poetry", well, I couldn't spend them, heh, but I'd have a shiny collection. :D
I read poetry, but I don't study it like I do fiction writing (somehow I got the impression poets have super-analytical math brains, and I'm the math for liberal arts type :P). I just write and work out the poem as I go. With the different ghosts making a pattern, the repetition of 'b' seemed to fit.
Yay, you caught that she was feeling Scrooge-ish, bah humbug, until time and perspective changed her heart! Sometimes when you lose someone you feel detached from all the holiday cheer, guilty if you enjoy it, and a bit resentful that everyone else seems to have moved on (which leads to more guilt).
You made my day with your feedback. Thank you!
Summary: I’m hypocritical, I know, hoping that he’ll declare he loves me, when I haven’t even made up my mind about how I feel towards him. He’s attractive and undeniably good company, but I’m not sure yet if there’s enough substance there to love. He’s clearly smart, but that’s not quite it. I don’t know how to love someone who seems so indifferent to me. I don’t know how to love someone who won’t reciprocate my feelings. I don’t know how to love someone like Sirius.
A sequel to Persephone, this time focusing on Persephone’s daughter. It’s recommended that you read Persephone first, but not completely necessary.
This has got to be my favourite chapter. I love how you set it out, I think it worked really well, and kind of got across the bittersweetness. The fact Elisabeth was with him for years, and kept waiting -- charting it with the dates just made it so clear what a big part of her life he was. Good job :) x
Yay, I’m really pleased to see a sequel. Persephone was fantastic, and hopefully Elisabeth is going to match that.
Sirius and Elisabeth are an interesting coupling. He is quite the jerk towards her, and she sees that, but she gives in to him anyway. I thought she was a bit stronger willed than that, especially when she went to confront him about not coming to visit while she was ill, however then she melted. In one way I want her to follow her instincts and dump him, but on the other hand, I like the romance there. It’s passionate, even if Sirius cheats, and there’s a mutual understanding between them that makes their interaction quite realistic.
Being only chapter two, I suppose we might find out more about this as the plot progresses, but this aspect made the chapter a little disappointing for me. Elisabeth being attacked on the train is never really explored. I can understand she’s preoccupied with Sirius, but she doesn’t take a lot of time to wonder about what happened to her. Now she’s in the main school maybe it’ll be touched upon more, but her attack seemed almost random, and no one seems to question it. If anything, if felt to me like you put her in the hospital wing to develop the Sirius plotline. That’s not a bad thing, I just wish there was a little more substance and context in this chapter to show that Elisabeth was attacked, on what should’ve been a safe trip to school. She herself barely seems to dwell on it.
I was in the hospital wing for three days.
Three days, and he didn’t even come to see me.
I love that paragraph. The repetition of ‘three days’ really emphasises how she feels about his absence, without saying too much, just letting the reader imply. The bluntness shows how angry she is, which made me anticipate what was going to happen. This was a great way to start that section.
Overall, this is a good start and I look forward to reading on. I can’t wait to see where it’s going! xx
Author's Response: Thanks so much for the review! I've been really enjoying writing Elisabeth and Sirius's relationship so far. Re: Elisabeth being attacked--it will definitely be explored more in future chapters. Right now, since nobody really knows much about what happened, and she's been separated from the rest of the school for a few days, she's focusing on Sirius instead.
Summary: It is the Easter holiday at Hogwarts and Charlie Weasley has decided to stay at school instead of going home. He told his mother that he needed to study, but Charlie has something, or rather someone, on his mind.
Maybe this year a certain Metamorphmagus will become more than a friend?
Thank you to Natalie (hestiajones) for beta'ing this story.
Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling. She is far richer, far taller and is far more talented.
Happy Easter, MNFF'ers.
Ah, this was so sweet. A very nice snapshot of Charlie and Tonks, and though the scene in itself is simple, the timeline, as such, of their relationship, bulked the story out that much more. The back-story gave a sense of depth to the characters that wouldn’t have been there so much if you’d just kept it to them chatting next to the lake.
I’m sure I’ve probably told you this before, but it can’t hurt to say it again. I love your characterisation of Tonks. There’s something very distinct about the voice you’ve created for her, that you keep consistent every time you write her.
A line that really stood out to me was: They had made the effort to stay friends despite their respective housemates’ surprise and faint scorn. It’s amazing how few people at Hogwarts seem to be friends, close friends, with people from other houses. It’s not until Dumbledore’s Army that Harry, etc., made friends outside of Gryffindor, and even then… That was something I’d never really thought about before, so thank you.
And finally -- poor Charlie. You did a beautiful job of building my sympathy for him, particularly through his guilt at choosing to spend Easter away from home. I almost wish this pairing was canon, and they stayed together… but I like Remus finding love more. :p
I really enjoyed this. I like the Easter chocolate theme underlying it all too. Minor aspect, but you incorporated it well. Great story. xx
Author's Response: Thank you very much for the review, Spire. I'm pleased you liked the line about the surprise and faint scorn from their houses. I do think it was hard to be friends with members from other houses - Slyths and Gryffs I can understand the rivalry, but Hufflepuffs tens to get patronised so much in the books, whereas we know how amazing they are - LOL. ~Carole~
Summary: A short poem about Fleur finding Bill after his werewolf bites.
I have to say, I love the lack of capitalisation and punctuation. It gives such a sense of numbness, I think: it really gets across that feeling of shock but seeing that itâ€™s still Bill, and they can still have a life together despite this. The shock/numb feeling is added to by the lack of conjunctions -- there isnâ€™t any obvious flow from line to line (encouraged by the minimal punctuation), and that has the effect of making the poem slightly fragmented, and I just felt as if we were getting a glimpse into Fleurâ€™s thoughts. Because, you know, thoughts arenâ€™t structured into precise sentences, and I like this quality about your poem.
Usually, Iâ€™m a big fan of second person, but I didnâ€˜t feel it was as effective here. Maybe if it was a longer poem it wouldâ€™ve been more effective as youâ€™d have the time to build the characters. In this case, though, I just found the point of view too detached, and I think itâ€™s because itâ€™s such a small fragment of their relationship condensed into such a small chunk that there isnâ€™t enough time to make the reader empathise properly. Personally, I think third person wouldâ€™ve worked better since as this is only a snippet distance isnâ€™t a problem, and I think you couldâ€™ve focused more on Fleur like that as weâ€™d see her from an outside point of view.
Although I found the second person a bit too awkward for a poem this short, I canâ€™t help but love that youâ€™ve kept it so short. Youâ€™ve cut it down to two simple points 1) she wishes this wasnâ€™t happening, and 2) she loves him anyway. You donâ€™t really need to say any more than that, and it sends a powerful message about their relationship that you havenâ€™t pondered on this further. It just shows that they love each other despite everything, and nothing else needs to matter.
Thanks for the good read :) x
Spire, thank youuu
I'm trying to catch up on responding to reviews so I'm sorry about the quick response :( This truly is a lovely review.
For some reason, I write all my poems in second person. I don't know why or how my brain tells me to do it, but le sigh. It must happen, or else I get angry at myself and can't write the poem. I've only written a few that I liked in third/first person. I doubt I'll change this, since I do like it, but I appreciate the critique.
Summary: It is the beginning of seventh year, and Neville has had just about enough of Amycus Carrow.
This is Acacia Carter of Hufflepuff writing for the first third of the Character Triathalon, for the "missing moment" prompt.
Many thanks to Jess for the lightning-fast beta.
This was fantastic, I really enjoyed it. I genuinely felt like itâ€™s a bit of a missing moment from JKâ€™s books; it was characterised well, and the events played out realistically.
First thing Iâ€™m going to comment on is the ending: I love that youâ€™ve ended on such an intriguing piece of dialogue. It both made me think there should be more to come, but also it linked into the books, since we kind of know what happens next.
My favourite thing about this story is the house unity surrounding the Gryffindors. It really felt like they were a team, how they rallied around Neville, and that is so characteristic of the house they were put in. Theyâ€™re more or less Gryffindors because each is a brave individual -- that really came across in their actions, especially since they couldâ€™ve all been punished for taking him back to the Common Room. I also like that Neville is the only one brave enough to outright stand up to Carrow: it took me back to Harry/Umbridge in OTP, and established Nevilleâ€™s position as the new leader of Dumbledoreâ€™s Army by being the one to speak out.
I like the use of imagery throughout this piece. Thereâ€™s a nice balance between lots of imagery when heâ€™s being tortured, and when youâ€™re building up the scene, and then dialogue when heâ€™s talking at the end. It separates each passage nicely, and emphasises what Neville is going through.
Thanks for the great read!