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: In Hannah Abbott’s life plan, when she is twenty-nine, she is married and has two children. But of course, life doesn’t always go according to plan. On her twenty-ninth birthday, Hannah receives a shock that will change her life forever, and will maybe just set her back on the track of her life plan.
Hi, Russia! Oh, I really enjoyed this little fic. I’ve never read a Neville/Hannah before, and it was quite refreshing to have a look at this very under-explored pairing.
I love how you begin with her waking up. Somehow, I got right in to the scene because of that, because it started at the start, with it being morning. If that makes sense...?
I like the whole concept of the pregnancy in this fic: if Neville weren’t on his way to see Hannah anyway, I have a feeling it would’ve brought the two back together. :) And I love how she doesn’t realise she's expecting. It shows how she was wrapped up in other things -- how much Neville means to her. You never really say whether she’s happy to be having a baby [although you mention in the beginning how she thought she’d be married with kids by now] but that doesn’t matter because you show us with this:
“You’re really happy?” She asked.
“Really.” Neville grinned.
She has Neville again, and if Neville’s happy, it just seems to be a natural conclusion that Hannah’s going to be, too. And it begins to complete her plan for ‘29’, too. XD
More than anything, she was glad that those ridiculous rumours of a surprise party were false.
In this paragraph, I couldn’t help but question Hannah, though. She gets one owl – despite requesting nobody bother with her birthday – and she feels glad? She certainly has reason to want to pretend she’s not getting older, but wouldn’t having no owls make her feel even a little sad or unloved? I’d have liked just a twinge of alone-ness or something.
Why was Roger Davis on a Muggle train? When I read that part, I got a little distracted, because I couldn’t see why he was there. He just was. Like others have said and you have admitted: it was too convenient. If you included a reason as to why he was there, I would have found it a little more believable, because then it would seem as if he had a purpose. But, or this is the impression I got from the books, I don’t think wizards generally go to work on Muggle transport.
I really liked it when Neville stumbled in to her. I knew it was him before the name even came; it was such an in-character moment. However, as Neville went in to his ‘I love you’ speech, I thought that could’ve been better. Despite being older and braver, I think it would make him nervous confessing such things all the same: maybe he could have shuffled his feet before just plunging in or something?
And I’d like to compliment you on your dialogue. It sounds really natural, how you’ve made characters trail off, have them say ‘erm’ when they’re embarrassed or whatever. Really nicely done!
By the way, I love how you included the prompt’s name towards the end. That was a nice little connection, and added to the positivity of the conclusion. I really enjoyed this story; I liked how you took a different pairing and you brought them back together. Good work! xx
Author's Response: Hey Spire! It is so nice to have a new review! I totally agree with everything you have said, I hate how convienient the train was... but it was part of the prompt to add it on, but I guess I could have done it better. Now I think of it, i should have included a reason shouldn't I? Hmm maybe I'll give that some thought and maybe add a bit in. Thanks for all your concrit and your compliments! *hugs* Russia xxxx
Summary: Not all Slytherins were planning to join forces with the Dark Lord. Daphne Greengrass was one of them, and so she tells her sister.
Well, I’m not sure why I’m the first review for this story. Honestly, I don’t read many [well, any :p] Astoria or Daphne fics, but this one seems quite different, fresh, to me – there’s not that many fics set during the year the trio should be seventh years.
The characterisation is great. I love your Daphne! She’s so witty, so Slytherin-esque, but she has this unexpected caring quality for her sister, which makes her seem much more... real, and rounded in a way. I’m not sure how to explain, but I do think you wrote her really well. I always imagined the wife of Draco Malfoy to be Slytherin, too, but there’s no doubt that you made Astoria’s character work. I especially liked how good a prefect she is. Quite the opposite to Draco there! LOL.
As far as characterisation goes, my favourite bit about it is how you’ve shown Daphne and Astoria together. They’re not that alike, but they blend so well – as sisters do. I thought the banter between them [particularly on Daphne’s part] was nicely done, because it demonstrated who they are and where they stand [with each other] well.
It was Orla Quirke, a junior at her house. -- this is a tiny quibble, but in Britain you wouldn’t call people ‘junior’ or ‘senior’, etc. So, with the Hogwarts years, I’d stick to ‘first’, ‘second’, etc., for authenticity’s sake.
“No need to get so insecure, Ria. I’m sure she didn’t mean Draco Malfoy.”
Oh, my, that was THE perfect ending. It’s light-hearted [after a conversation that’s not so light-hearted] and really displays that sisterly banter. Also, to the reader it has a serious undertone because of course it IS Draco she’s waiting for, and that Draco’s still seeing Myrtle in his seventh year says a lot about how he’s coping – which reflects on the whole situation in the wizarding world. I know this story isn’t about Draco, at all, but I really like how you’ve incorporated him. You’ve shown there’s strain on him, and of course, because Astoria goes on to marry him, he’s a good character to include.
Overall, this was a nice little one-shot, and I quite enjoyed it. I may have to look in to your A Marriage Made at Hogwarts sometime. :) xox
Author's Response: Hello Spires! *huggles*
Wow! Your review came as a complete surprise. I was beginning to think that no one liked this fic. Lol!
Daphne is probably my favorite Slytherin. *grins* Seriously, though, I think she was different from the Bulstrode/Pansy variety. We don’t hear much about her bullying or hexing people. She could have been a part of “Pansy’s gang of Slytherin girls,” but her silence speaks volumes to me. And I don’t believe that all the Slytherins came to fight alongside Voldemort. Zabini also seems far too cunning for that.
Astoria was the first person about whom I’d drawn a coherent image – Daphne came later as a foil. Yes, they have different values and beliefs, but they do love each other. : )
As for the ending, I so wanted to bring in Draco. I’d started writing this Draco/Astoria fic, where she actually hates him at first, and this one-shot came later. So, yes, I wanted to include the irony of Astoria being repulsive of her future husband.
And thank you for pointing the part about the “junior” part. Briticism will be the death of me .Thanks for such a wonderful review. : D
Summary: In September 1991, Karis McLaggan receives a commission to paint the portrait of the powerful Tiberius Crouch. As the painting develops, so does their relationship.
But does Tiberius really understand Karis' intent?
This is Equinox Chick of Hufflepuff and this is my entry for the Lofty Learning Challenge: The Science of Portraiture.
NB - The purpose of this challenge was to write a monologue so the conversation is all from Karis' point of view.
Many thanks to Colores/Fresca for beta'ing this and making very helpful suggestions.
Well, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this, but I really like the result! If I’d realised Karis were Blaise’s mother in the beginning maybe I would’ve put two and two together sooner, but knowing how the challenge would end and seeing the Karis you painted, I wasn’t sure quite what would happen.
I love a story with twists and turns, and this certainly had them. There was such a back-story for Karis, but when you think about you only glossed over it, hiding the full extent of it from Tiberius. Very well done, because I felt as if I knew more about Karis than I actually did.
“Oh, good, I do hate penny pinchers, don’t you?”
LOL. On looking back through the story for this review, this is the practically the first line I read and it’s so ironic. I love it. Because that’s kind of what Karis seems to be.
It was interesting reading a story with only one character’s dialogue, but I got a feeling for Tiberius’ character by the way he’s spoken to, the way Karis reacts to him. Especially towards the end, I think you really showed both characters’ true colours, and that was interesting. The change was quite abrupt in Tiberius, suddenly not being so keen on her singing and talk, but that didn’t bother me too much because it showed how a few months living with Karis, getting to know her properly, had made him look at her more closely. You could see he was suspicious of her by the way he regarded other men. Although, another scene after the wedding might’ve been nice to balance the change in the character’s perspectives of each other out. By the end, I could see Tiberius as an irritable old man – was he like that all along, or did Karis make him like that? I like to go with the latter theory, though it doesn’t matter so much either way I don’t suppose...
Karis’ advances on Tiberius were quite amusing in a roll-my-eyes kind of way. She was so obvious about it, but it had exactly the desired effect on him. LOL.
Towards the beginning it seemed like the word ‘sir’ or ‘Tiberius’ ended quite a few of Karis’ sentences. It showed her respect for him well, painted a picture of her well, but because she said it so often, it got a little repetitive and needless. I think just cutting a few of them out and dispersing them more would be beneficial – I didn’t notice that towards the end, though, because I suppose they were more familiar with each other by then.
Why would I be interested in him? He hasn’t got two Knuts to rub together.”
“Oh, don’t be so naive; why do you think I married you? And as you’ve admitted, you didn’t marry me for my conversation, which seems to annoy you
Honestly, I think the ending was really well done. Just as the penny drops for Tiberius, but it’s too late!
The way of death was different, too. I didn’t know the thing about Hades and his chair, but it fit in really well. Hades being the God of the Underworld, and Tiberius dying in that way – like earlier, kind of ironic, but quite subtle too. It the sort of thing I’ll only pick up subconsciously [if at all] on the first read, but on looking at the story more in-depth the significance, whether meant or not, is really nice.
Overall, I enjoyed this story. Karis Mclaggen is certainly an interesting character... I’m still not really sure what to think of her – she’s so mysterious, deceptive. Great work, dear. xx
Author's Response: Thanks for the review, Spire. Sorry, I've taken forever to respond, but just to let you know that I do appreciate you taking the trouble to review this. ~Carole~
Summary: She had taken to walking here most nights since he’d gone. The utter loneliness of her life led her to flee her mausoleum of a marriage bed for the solitude of these shores, and Narcissa would stride up and down the coast trying to block out the memories that threatened to break her.
The title for this oneshot is a quote from Charlotte Gray.
I am Equinox Chick of Hufflepuff and this story has been written for Roxy Black's 'Watching the Mirror' class on the MNFF Beta Boards.
Thank you very much to Ari (Royari) for her help in beta'ing this oneshot in super speedy time.
Disclaimer I am not JK Rowling but I doubt that surprises anyone.
Ooh, this was an interesting depiction of Narcissa, Carole. I have to say, she is one of the most interesting characters, I believe – she has such a perfect, kind of apathetic, facade, but underneath she has the rawest emotions in regards to her son, and Lucius too. I think you captured that whole aspect of Narcissa’s character wonderfully here.
I like the exploration of Narcissa’s feelings towards the Death Eaters and Voldemort. Looking back on the story, this line really stands out to me – Draco would die fighting for something he cared nothing for, fighting because he was scared. Although that’s Narcissa’s outlook on why Draco’s where he is, at the same time it makes me think of her, and why she’s where she is. She could’ve turned her back on that life like Andromeda, but really she’s always been a bit like Lucius -- Lucius would have sacrificed her to save his own skin and the Malfoy name -- and she would be afraid to shame her family like that. When Lucius saved Narcissa at the end, and because Narcissa spends the whole story attempting to save Draco, though, it shows how this couple has changed. When Narcissa attempts to slit her wrists, she can’t because of her self-preservation instinct, and that’s characteristic of the entire Malfoy family as a whole, I think. They care for themselves, certainly, but Lucius and Narcissa – by this time – care more for Draco than themselves.
When I was reading this story, I imagined a beach with a backdrop of stormy, grey waves, and – I don’t know if that’s the affect you intended – that really fit this story. The way I imagined the beach was a bit like a reflection of Narcissa’s inner turmoil, so that image made the story just a little more vibrant for me. Another thing the beach symbolises perfectly, I think, is Narcissa’s loneliness. The whole solitariness of the landscape just made her seem more alone. I think you picked a great setting for this story.
I’m not sure I’ve ever read any angst by you – apart from your story about asthma, maybe – so it was interesting to read something is a slightly different style, if you know what I mean. Great story, dear. x
Author's Response: Thank you so much! I don't write a lot of angst because it's not very 'me' so I'm pleased this rang true for you. The beach backdrop scene was actually the prompt for the fic so THANK YOU for seeing that. There's a point in DH where Lucius squeezes Narcissa's knee and that says it all for me. They have a connection, that's bound up with each other and also their son. Anyway, that's how I see the Malfoys. Thanks again for the review, Spire. ~Carole~
Summary: Australia – a land on the other side of the planet, away from the war. Or, at least, that was what Hermione Granger thought when sending her parents there after Obliviating them temporarily. She told them where to go so that she could find them once the war was over, but, when she wants to bring them back, they are no longer there.
Will Hermione find her parents and bring them back to Great Britain, or will she lose the family she tried so hard to save?
Bine, I’ve read several of your fics, and I have to say this one has got to be one of your best. Seriously, such a captivating plot line. And adding that prologue was a great way of getting my attention, and wishing that Hermione would listen to Ron for the rest of the story. At the same time, though, it might’ve been more effective to exclude Ron’s line from the prologue. While that is such a great end point, it somewhat made the impact less when you got to the attack scene in the main story. From the dialogue in the prologue, it just kind of tells you that Ron will turn up and save the day. I don’t know... I just think it would’ve been a little more suspenseful without that line.
‘I think that it’s a couple of miles from Sydney to Warrabri, right?’
This is minor, but ‘a couple of miles’ confused me, because, you know, it obviously wasn’t just ‘a couple of miles’. Unless Ron was being sarcastic, in which case I think you need to make that clearer, I think.
Critique aside, I loved this story. Really. Just... gah >.> I haven’t read any of the other Hermione-going-to-get-her-parents stories floating around the archives, but maybe I should try some of them. Though I knew Jay was no good from the prologue, I would never have guessed that was because he’s a witch-hunter. In fact, the whole witch-hunting prospect is something I’ve never seen explored in fanfiction set in the last century or whatever. It was interesting to read your take on a modern family of witch-hunters, and how they had their own wards against witches. That whole explanation scene, as such, where we learn about the real Jay and a little about his history, had me so intrigued. I would’ve loved a little more detail, but that’s not something that detracted from the fic. That’s just me wanting to know more, LOL.
The characterisation of all three main characters was great. Jay was certainly really skilled at witch-hunting [makes you wonder how long he had been witch-hunting :/], and that really shone through effectively in how he deceives Hermione into trusting him. Ron and Hermione were written well; I liked the little details you added in around them, about Ron’s ears turning red, etc., because it gave that sense that, yes, these are the characters I know.
Like I said at the beginning of this review, Bine, this is one of my favourite stories by you. It was a great read. xx
Author's Response: Thank you so much for the great review, Spire. I certainly had a lot of fun writing the story around a witch-hunter. And who knows? Maybe I'm going to explore witch-hunting in the future.
Summary: Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it, we know it.
It's easy to make a wrong decision. It's a lot harder to rectify it. Remus Lupin knows this far too well. But even in the depths of winter, there's always that one little thing that keeps you going. Hope.
Jen, this is a lovely story. The shortness definitely works in your favour; I feel as if it were much longer it would be dragged out too much, despite maybe making us feel him miss her more.
Yay, you wrote in second person! :) In fanfiction, I very much associate Remus with this point of view – maybe because that’s how I write him generally – and it definitely flows very naturally for his character here. Also I liked how the tense changes; it showed him thinking back, almost, but living in the now, too. However, I have to say the tenses got a bit confusing at times for me. I’m not sure why exactly, because despite liking the structure of it, I couldn’t help but be a bit like ‘wait, where are we now?’ Because in some paragraphs it would just skip from the past to present, or vice versa. For example, here there was an inconsistency and that made me more aware of the tenses – It echoed throughout the silent house, and you startled yourself so much that your teacup fell to the ground and shattered. The mess is cleaned up with a flick of your wand, but you feel foolish regardless.
eating meat nearly raw and fighting to the death with your friends every full moon.
I wondered about that line, as I didn’t really get the impression the Remus was friends with the werewolves, even from the short mention of spending time with them. Is he just being hypothetical here? I would’ve liked maybe a little clarification of what you meant by ‘friends’, as it did make me pause.
The conversation in italics between Remus and Tonks was interesting. You characterised them both perfectly – Tonks angry at how stupid he’s being in her eyes, but Remus being stubborn enough not to back down – and I loved the effect of the italics. The italics made it seem like the words were almost imprinted on his brain, as if he remembered the scene many a time in his loneliest moments. And, of course, he would – the story intertwines that loneliness with his love for her. The two emotions come together so naturally here, and this little scene really works for introducing the couple, set off against his musings and excuses for why.
But as the cold air clears and the snow on the ground starts to melt, so do the ice chambers you’ve built around your heart. -- ooh, I love that metaphor! It reflects the season so perfectly, but also catalogues the change in Remus, showing the toll his love and loneliness has taken on him.
I like how you touch on Remus’ school relationships, and his refusal to acknowledge Peter. It’s effective that you mention Peter at all [I like how you refer to him as ‘Peter’, too, and not ‘the rat’ or something – a nice reflection of who Remus is], as it shows that he can’t help but think of him, even if he does push the image away. That seems very realistic to the way people think. It’d be an acknowledgement you can’t help but have, even if you deny it to yourself.
The ending with the fruit tree was sweet. It’s like a symbol of their relationship, and it’s both sad and nice because as the reader I know that tree will last longer than they – but it’ll survive almost as a symbol or reminder that they were there. To make the tree carry more weight, as such, I would’ve liked it if you’d started the story with the tree somehow – I guess in a way you did, since it’s the chapter’s title – as that would’ve given the sense of coming full circle, which it could be said Remus and Tonks do. Even so, though, I like how you made that tree significant in the second section of the story.
I really enjoyed this look at Remus, and the second person added a lot to it, for me. Remus/Tonks can become quite clichéd, I think, but you gave this a nice spin of difference which I liked. Lovely story, dear. –squishes-
Summary: redemption: n. 1. The act of redeeming or the condition of having been redeemed.
The story of Snape's life.
Hey, Psi! Well, I read this poem on the boards some time ago and thought it was good, so it’s nice to get to read it again and review it, this time around. :]
Severus Snape... hmm, I’m never sure what I think of him. He’s one of the deepest and most interesting characters to explore, but before DH you can’t help but hate him. One of the things I really like about your poem if that you go to Severus’ core, and subtly drag up his disgust in himself.
The story moves on
I think you used that line excellently. It’s short and simple, but right to the point which fits Severus’ character in this nicely, because the story has the element of how he works towards revealing himself for who he is. There’s the fact that he spends most of his life lying, but because this poem shows him confronting himself, in a way, that line is almost like... a twisted kind of resignation. In addition, as you place it at the end of a stanza, the story really does move on.
He does what needs to be done,
the practicalities, the gritty reality.
His life is built on the necessary.
These three lines have to be my favourites. First read, I liked them for the rhythm and flow. Second read, I looked at them deeper and realised they summarise Severus perfectly. His life has shaped itself in a way that all of these ideas are important factors because of his decisions.
Next, I have to comment on the way you’ve structured the poem. I love how you’ve distinguished between his life, death and afterlife. All three deserve to be distinguished because they all are aspects of change – in a way – for him. In life, his true character is only really seen by Dumbledore; in death it is revealed to Harry and later everyone; in the afterlife, I wouldn’t say he’s given up his facade completely, but he’s a different man, who’s endured much. By telling his story, it’s kind of like he’s ready to give up that facade. And what’s more, in death he’s greeted by Dumbledore, which only seems fitting to me since Dumbledore is the only one – besides possibly Lily – who’s ever really trusted him. And at this point he tells Dumbledore his all -- the tale tumbles from his lips. It’s kind of a reflection of what he gives to Harry, but deeper.
Finally – ‘irredeemable’. I love that, because through Severus’s self-contempt, he doesn’t realise it, but he has redeemed himself for what he’s done wrong in the past. At least, that’s how I interpret it. Great poem, dear. xx
Author's Response: Thank you so much for the great review! :) Snape is one of my favourite characters to explore, and I found when writing this that poetry is actually a really good way to do that. I wouldn’t say he’s given up his facade completely, but he’s a different man, who’s endured much. he doesn’t realise it, but he has redeemed himself for what he’s done wrong in the past. Personally, I see the afterlife of Platform 9 and 3/4 as purgatory, and Severus hasn't yet redeemed himself. Regardless of the facts of what he's done, both good and bad, I think until Severus has forgiven himself he won't be redeemed and he won't be able to move on - to get on the train and face all the people who have already moved on, including Lily. Telling his story to Dumbledore is a way of him hopefully finding a way to move forward, eventually. (I also would like to possibly write a companion piece about whether or not Dumbledore is ever able to leave the Platform! :D ) Thank you so much for reviewing, it's great to hear that people have enjoyed reading this! :)
Nominated for a 2010 QSQ Award!
Ooh, what a beautiful poem! Primarily, you’ve told a sad story, but the way you’ve told it is the key. You’ve crafted the poem in such a way that the different components almost seem to bring the story itself to life. One of my favourite types of poems is that which are repetitive, though repetition can both lend and subtract, in my opinion. The repetition definitely lends in this case, I think. The reinforcement of As the boy crouched low and cried creates a solid image for the reader to refer back to. I also love poems that come full circle, and, in this case, the effect was particularly striking. The words you chose just spoke of unwavering respect to Dumbledore’s character, to me; this is an image that’s very fitting and true to what we see in the books. Yes, there’s a lot of respect there, and without that repetition of stanzas, I’m not sure I would’ve got that impression so strongly.
Of comfort and presence and warmth and love
I found this line a lot to get my tongue around. Maybe by replacing the second ‘and’ with a comma or ‘of’, the flow might be improved.
They broke the curse and they freed the sky
Honestly, nothing wrong with this line – in fact, it has a lovely rhythm -- it’s just that in the previous stanza you ended the same line number with this word. Since you don’t follow this pattern in any of the other stanzas, it seems like a bit of an irregularity, if you know what I mean. Maybe switching the word order slightly to something like ‘As they freed the sky by breaking the curse’, for example. :/ You could come up with something better, I’m sure, LOL.
Finally, I want to compliment you on your rhythm and enjambment. While reviewing this I’ve read it aloud several times -- and it sounds so natural; flows so smoothly. Fabulous poem – I very much enjoyed reading and reviewing it. :)
Author's Response: Thank you for the lovely review! I'm glad you enjoyed the poem. Thank you also for pointing some things out. I can see what you mean about that line being a little wordy and when I was writing it I noticed that too. I will keep your advice in mind. As for the other line, I tend to ignore most rules when writing poetry and this poem is quite structured compared to a lot of other things that I write. I didn't intend on repeating 'sky' but it just sort of happened. Hopefully it doesn't detract too much from the poem! But thanks for a thorough review and I'm really pleased that you enjoyed it!
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. :)