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
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: 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 it’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 isn’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 Fleur’s thoughts. Because, you know, thoughts aren’t structured into precise sentences, and I like this quality about your poem.
Usually, I’m a big fan of second person, but I didn‘t feel it was as effective here. Maybe if it was a longer poem it would’ve been more effective as you’d have the time to build the characters. In this case, though, I just found the point of view too detached, and I think it’s because it’s such a small fragment of their relationship condensed into such a small chunk that there isn’t enough time to make the reader empathise properly. Personally, I think third person would’ve worked better since as this is only a snippet distance isn’t a problem, and I think you could’ve focused more on Fleur like that as we’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 can’t help but love that you’ve kept it so short. You’ve cut it down to two simple points 1) she wishes this wasn’t happening, and 2) she loves him anyway. You don’t really need to say any more than that, and it sends a powerful message about their relationship that you haven’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 it’s a bit of a missing moment from JK’s books; it was characterised well, and the events played out realistically.
First thing I’m going to comment on is the ending: I love that you’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. They’re more or less Gryffindors because each is a brave individual -- that really came across in their actions, especially since they could’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 Neville’s position as the new leader of Dumbledore’s Army by being the one to speak out.
I like the use of imagery throughout this piece. There’s a nice balance between lots of imagery when he’s being tortured, and when you’re building up the scene, and then dialogue when he’s talking at the end. It separates each passage nicely, and emphasises what Neville is going through.
Thanks for the great read!
The end of the world comes not from the hand of Lord Voldemort, but an incurable disease. When Britain falls, those that are left must keep on running.
And never stop.
Winner of the 2012 Quicksilver Quill Award for Best Alternate Universe!
I love love loved this story. I read this yesterday night, and all day it’s been popping into my head, it was that good.
The backwards structure was a really interesting approach; I don’t think I’ve seen it used before. It made the story so much more engaging than I think it would’ve been if you’d done it chronologically -- I was able to piece together what had happened to the world as we moved backwards in time, but this information was revealed gradually, so that you kept my curiosity throughout.
In addition, the build up to the beginning of the catastrophe made the ending so much more powerful in my opinion. By then, I’d seen the devastation that has been caused, and it makes it so much more devastating that it is all down to Luna (and her father) -- a character that I think you can’t help but love. This was supported by your characterisation of her, I think, as you capture her excitement and enthusiasm at finding the creature perfectly through her actions, but also her overall trust. She reaches out because Xeno believes it’s okay, and ultimately that’s her downfall. Their relationship was beautifully written, in that respect.
Elsewhere, I really enjoyed your characterisation of everyone -- particularly Ron. His bravery when he turned and shot Harry was in keeping with the bravery that Gryffindors exhibit. That scene could have easily been a show of brutality, but instead it shows how much Ron respects his best friend, by allowing him to escape the zombie-life.
Draco was also interesting. You showed his survival instinct by his willing to take Muggles into his home, but also a more sympathetic side that I don’t think we really see until the Malfoy Manor scene in the last book. It was ironic, really, that Hermione and Ron collaborated with Malfoy after years of being enemies -- it shows how dire the situation in the story is, and how they can’t afford to be enemies.
Finally, the third person present point of view is very effective. It pulled me into the story, to the point where I really believed what you were describing was happening -- and perhaps that’s why I’m still thinking about this story 24 hours after I originally read it (something that rarely happens with a short story). Alongside the dark language used, etc., each sentence is used in a way that every word is relevant to the story -- none of it is redundant. This is helped by the exclusion of the exact details like what happened to Molly and Arthur. You hint at what’s happened, but leave most of it to the imagination -- this just emphasises how alone Ron and Hermione are becoming in the world, and shows how they are doing their best to cope by not dwelling on what has happened to people they love. This keeps the focus on their fight perfectly.
Genuinely, I really enjoyed this. Thank you for the excellent read. :)
Author's Response: Wow! Thank you so much! I am flattered that this fic has stayed with you. Draco was a lot of fun to write, not just because of the snark but also because I found the dynamic between him and the situation and Ron/Hermione incredibly interesting. Like you said, it showed the direness of the situation that he was willing to live with Muggles and team up Ron and Hermione to survive. I wanted to parallel the scene in the Room of Requirement with the Fiendfyre. Anyway, thank you so, so, so much. Apologies for taking so long to reply but I was in awe of the responses I've got for this fic. This review made me smile like a maniac. Thank you.