Just a normal girl who is in love with writing, painting, photography and all things Potter. I also enjoy Castle, White Collar, anything Disney and, of course, Narnia. It's been around four years since I've been into fanfiction, and I loved every second of it. Now that my A levels are over, I'm back to writing.
Here's a list of my stories. Click on them for the banners:
The Hidden Truth(IN PROGRESS)
Never Let Go(IN PROGRESS and current Priority)
When The Rose Fell (IN PROGRESS)
Albus Potter and the Triwizard Tournament (ABANDONED, BEING REWRITTEN)
Traitors (ON HIATUS)
Ghosts of the Past (COMPLETE)
A Touch of Ice (COMPLETE)
Wisps of Smoke(COMPLETE)
Stars Don't Determine the Future(COMPLETE)
I'm currently working on a Rose/Scorpius along with Ginny Weasley Potter, and I've got around a million other plot bunnies hopping around for other stories. All I've got to do now is write them down... if I ever get the muse :)
Summary: What was Hermione's life like before Hogwarts? Why does she love books so much? Why doesn't she have any friends? What are her parents like and what impact have they had on her life?
A story of Hermione's life before Hogwarts.
I'm not J.K. Rowling. I suppose more than a few of you know that.Edit: Thank you guys so much!! Over 1000 reads on my first story... whoever has read this is amazing.
This seems like a rather interesting take on Hermione’s life before Hogwarts. You’ve written her character really well, and I managed to see the image of the older Hermione in this Hermione. When we are first introduced to her in PS it is rather obvious that she’s never had any other friends and she was a bit bossy. I like how this begins from the very first day of primary school. I especially enjoyed reading her interaction with Rob Crawford; he seems like the typical bully! I started disliking him from the very first moment, and was glad to see how Hermione’s accidental magic outwitted him.
This reminds me about her grandmother. I was like “ahh!” when I read about the great-great-uncle; this was a very nice addition to the story, showing us where Hermione got her magical genes from. I do hope that sometime in the future Hermione realizes that this person was actually a wizard. I also noticed how you had Hermione like books about magic and fantasy from the very beginning. It must have been a dream come true for her when she finally got her Hogwarts letter. I grinned at this line: Maybe I like to leave this world and go to another, because she actually did!
Hermione sighed and went to one of the only places where she felt at home - sometimes even more than her own house. I felt rather bad for Hermione here, but this line is such an accurate representation of Hermione’s love for the library. This seems like a strong development of her character for the future, because whenever she feels lonely or needs to consult someone, her first stop is the library. I was glad to see that you put this in here, for this helped to deepen her character.
Now for some nitpicks: While your grammar and everything is really good, you did use a lot of Americanisms. I take it you’re American? Recess is called “lunch break” and “soccer” is football. I’d suggest you get a beta to look over your story for these, because then it’d be so much more realistic. You can contact many brilliant and lovely betas through the Beta Boards.
Once again, this was a brilliant story, and I certainly look forward to the next chapter! I really hope Mariah stays longer, and Hermione at least finds one friend in the Muggle world. Update soon!
Author's Response: Nadia, Thank you so much for your amazing review!! I have always loved Hermione and studied her character a lot. Rob was actually a character I was nervous about writing, so I'm glad he got across that way to you. I'm glad you recognized the detail about the Great-great uncle, I figured it was possible people might even skip over it. And when I wrote that line, I wasn't even thinking about her adventure to Hogwarts! So ironic! I always imagined Hermione's parents to be sort of strict and overprotective, which is where she got her love of books. I like to make people feel for my characters, if they can't connect with them. Yes, I'm American. I didn't write this in the first place for Mugglenet, so I didn't think about it. I'll try and change those as soon as I can. Yes, I'll update as soon as I can. Last time it took twelve days for this to be validated, so I don't know how long it will be until I get the next chapter up. I have the whole story finished, though. Thanks for your amazing review!!
“I haven’t seen you this hot and bothered since Marlene, you know. Reminds me of our schooldays.”
Sparks are flying between Remus and Tonks, however much Remus wants to deny it. When Sirius notices, he tries to persuade Remus to do something about it.
Written for prompt #5 of SPEW 007: Juggling.
Ooh, Soraya, this was so much fun to read! Even without any sort of descriptions or anything else, this story is good enough to stand on its own, for the dialogues are brilliant and express all the actions done without the actual words. It’s perfectly coherent even without the dialogue tags, and not once does it become tedious or boring. Your formatting worked very well for me =).
I love the inclusion of the juggling prompt here. I think the literal use of the prompt fit the story far better than any metaphor or imagery would, for this made it more fun and more ‘Sirius’-like. It’s something that I can see him doing any day.
Speaking of Sirius, I do love his characterization! You’ve managed to capture his essence perfectly with your witty portrayal of him, and Remus, too was brilliant. I was sure Sirius must have had such discussions with Remus to try and get him settled. You showed that he was prepared to use any angle to get Remus to admit his feelings -- for example, his use of the line “My cousin not good-looking enough for you?” is a good depiction of his obstinacy. I really appreciated his thoughts for his friend in this story, and it goes to show that he’s not always an insensitive prat (though he’s not really good at showing it).
While I read Remus I could feel that same insecurity inside him that we are so used to seeing, and I did feel sorry for him that even though he loved Tonks he couldn’t do anything about it. You managed to portray him as practical and also with a low self-confidence by the use of dialogues like ”… Tonks would be good for me, yes, but I wouldn’t be any good for her.” and his reference to how much older he was than her. You made me want to yell at him for being such a worry-wart.
“That was bloody terrible, Moony. If you want to take the piss out of my name, at least make a good joke out of it. Anyway, forget that. Tonks fancies you.” Hehe, this made me giggle. The pun on Sirius’ name has always been a rather annoying cliché, and yet you’ve brought it across as something hilarious. It also illustrates Remus’ inability to make jokes, and it’s far more believable that he’d crack this just to divert Sirius’ attention instead of someone like James doing it.
All along, the tone was light-hearted and though I was exasperated at Remus, I still loved every bit of the story. The last line however, got me wondering. It was rather sad, really, that even though Sirius said that he had forever to practice, he really didn’t have any time, did he? It made me think “If he just knew...” It left a very strong impact on the reader and that was, I think, a very good place to finish off.
Overall, this was a very wonderful piece of work, and I promise I’ll get around to reviewing more of your fantastic pieces. =D
Author's Response: Nadiaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Thank you for the fabulous review. Really, I have no proper excuse for replying to this so late, other than the fact that I have been uber busy with school. Sorry sorry sorry.
I am so glad you liked this! I kind of felt like I had to shoehorn in the juggling prompt, so it's great that you thought I did a good job with that, especially given there was no narrative, only dialogue, something I've never really tried before, so it's lovely to know it (hopefully) worked. :D
I am so glad you liked Sirius's and Remus's characterisations. They are far from easy characters, but I wanted to show two different sides to at least Sirius and, if I could, Remus. And I think Remus's insecurity is something I very much understand, so it's great to know you liked his characterisation.
And I always have a soft spot for Sirius/serious jokes, lol, so I try to shoehorn them in wherever I can :P And yeah, it was a cliche, but it's a nice cliche, if you know what I mean, and I can so see the Marauders taking the piss out of Sirius's name like that.
I realise the ending is a bit darker than you'd expect given how light-hearted the rest of the story is, but there was a reason Sirius was so tired of being cooped up in Grimmauld Plac and therefore became a bit of an alcoholic as a result.
I am so glad you liked this, Nadia! It's certainly not one of my best stories, but I do have an odd fondness for it :P Once again, thank you a million times over for the fabulous review, and please forgive me for not responding for so long D:
Summary: Lily is awoken yet again in the middle of the night by Harry, and this time, she's close to snapping.
Written for the amazing Gina/Gmariam, a wonderful friend and fabulous James/Lily writer ♥
(Title taken from My Love Is Always Here -- a bonus track on the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Soundtrack, by Alexandre Desplat.)
Ooh, Soraya, this was really nice! I loved the slight bittersweet tones, and how it started off as rather frustrating for Lily but ended up being a special mother-son moment. I know that often young mothers do not feel ready to raise a child, and I realize that Lily is no exception. However, The bond of a mother and child is special, I’m relieved that she understood in the end what was important. Your fic sums up the ups and downs of parenthood quite well. :)
Lily, I think, was nicely developed in this story. She and James had married at a very young age, and with a war going on, it must have been difficult for Lily to raise Harry. I feel that her snappiness towards James, though wrong, is justified because of all the pressure she is under. To add to that, her need for sleep and her fatigued muscles, not to mention her strained relationship with Petunia, all must have piled up on her, causing her to act in such a manner. The line Lily is only Harry’s milk machine, really, is a very caustic expression of just how upset she is, because it quite aptly conveys her frustration and her despondency at herself.
Speaking of Harry, I hadn’t really considered that Harry would be premature, but now that I think of it, it seems sensible. Harry was always described as being skinny and small for his age, and though that might have been due to the Dursleys starving him, I think this is a rather good explanation as well. It also presses down on Lily -- since handling a premature baby is far more stressing that taking care of a healthy baby, further explaining her distress.
Maybe, for once, Harry doesn’t want his milk or his bum cleaned up. Maybe he just wants his mother. This line actually made me so depressed, because I thought that I was actually in Harry’s mind while reading this. It is short and simple, without any complicated wordings, rather like a child’s mentality. The latter line has such an innocent ring to it, too. This, I believe, is the turning point for Lily’s emotions, the point where she goes from aggravated to sad because she hasn’t given Harry any time -- when she realizes where she went wrong and she tries to redeem herself.
The following paragraphs are very adorable due to all the “I love you”s, kisses and hugs, and while reading them I couldn’t help but tear up a bit, remembering that in a year’s time they would be dead and Harry would be left alone. Frankly, I don’t know what would have happened if Lily hadn’t realized how much Harry meant to her. Would she be able to stand up to Voldemort? Would she have died and left Harry with the protection of Lily’s love? Maybe she wouldn’t have.
Leaving aside these off-putting questions, I think James was very in character, especially by calling Lily “babe”. I’m sure he would have called Lily nicknames she didn’t appreciate, simply to annoy her. I also agree to the fact that Harry would be more comfortable around James -- from the book I think that James seems to have that charm that drew everyone in, despite of how cocky he could be. Lily’s ire towards James is also reasonable here too, because as a mother she would want her child to be as comfortable around her as Harry is towards James. However, I’m glad that things worked out in the end.
My only quibble is that this story is short -- I would have loved to see a bit more going on here. But I absolutely loved the last line and how optimistic it is, because despite starting off with dismal undertones, you’ve ended with hope and love. I also liked the connotation here -- though I’m not sure if you meant it -- that despite of being in a war, it is ultimately love and hope that leads the way.
This was an excellent read, Soraya, thank you so much! Hope to see more from you!
Author's Response: Nadiaaaaaaaaaa! Thank you so much for the fabulous review :D
This was a story I had in my head for a long time, and I am just so glad you enjoyed it. I’m not a mother, ha, but I think this was written when I had a strange fondness for babies/baby stories at the time, hence why it had a definite maternal feel. But also, I think this was written around the time my baby cousin was born, and I had heard a lot complaining from my aunt (his mother), so yeah, I wanted to expand on the idea of a mother-son relationship not necessarily being perfect but still being very much special.
The thing about Lily’s age is something I sometimes forget, if I'm honest, and I'm glad you thought I did a good job with that. Again, I really wanted to put across the problems of motherhood, and I definitely think they were exacerbated because of Lily’s age and, yes, her relationship with her sister at the time.
Hahaha, the bit about Harry being premature was just something I thought of on the spot, but yes, now you come to mention it, it does make sense given Harry was skinny and small for his ages. I know quite a few people who have had premature babies, so I can totally sympathise with their stress. :(
I’m sad parts made you depressed, but I did kind of go for that, ha, and yes, I think this story is different in a way from my others because it’s a lot more simply worded. I'm glad you liked that line :)
I’m really flattered you thought the whole mother-son interaction was adorable! I’ll be honest; that bit was difficult to write because I kept thinking, “Is this cheesy?” but ultimately I did want a slightly more optimistic overtone to the story.
YAYAY, you liked James! :D I do love writing him. I personally would love it if my hubby called me babe (or if my hubby was James, full stop, lol) but I can see why Lily found it annoying. And I think, yes, James would have been good with Harry, but also, Lily was good with Harry -- it was just that Lily wasn’t paying as much attention to Harry as James was.
I would have loved to write more, but honestly, I’m not sure what else to add. I might write a followup one day; we’ll see ;)
Thank you again, Nadia, for the lovely review! This one is definitely one of my underreviewed stories so I am so happy you decided to review it. ♥
Summary: I was never one to be at a loss for words. But in my fifth year, all of that changed when I began to spend more time with Scorpius Malfoy. This is the story of how I, Lily, began to fall apart over Scorpius.
Maple, this was a lovely story. People usually pair Rose and Scorpius together (myself included) and I don’t really read Lily/Scorpius, but I think this one turned out to be just fine :).
The story took off splendidly, and that beginning paragraph on words really spiked my interest. It sounded to me like the narration they give in some movies, and as I read the rest of the fic this effect remained. Whenever I read any of Lily’s thoughts it was loud and clear in my head, similar to a sort of background voice giving an overview. That effect is rather hard to achieve, so I commend you for that :).
The interactions between Scorpius and Lily were particularly lovely, especially how they met - it was hilarious. There are several common tropes about how Boy Meets Girl, but the way you arranged it was quite clever and original in my opinion. I appreciated that their relation didn’t go from friends one day to Lily’s crush the next day, but developed over a course of time. The catalyst probably was that Lily thought that Scorpius would stop playing with her because Rose started dating someone; that’s when Lily started to develop her feelings, right? And I think that’s when we first get the hint that Scorpius feels something too. But I did notice that after that, Scorpius’ feelings are hardly mentioned until the end. Sure, Scorpius noticed that Lily was acting awkward around him, but I think that if we were shown a bit more body language, such as Scorpius acting slightly amused, or turning a deep shade of red at something she did would have been great. When he was asking Lily out, for example, I think he could have blushed and smiled at her. Malfoy or not, a guy is usually a bit awkward at these times (unless he’s a playboy/Sirius Black, lol).
Other than that, this was a really enjoyable read. What always struck me about Next Gen fics is how carefree everyone sounds. With no war going on in the background, the only problems the Next-Gen kids have are boys and their studies. You managed to make Lily sound lighthearted and normal, like any normal teenage girl acting around her first crush, and that is what I believe the point of the story.
Once again, awesome story, Maple! Now I’ll go on and wonder about what Harry’s gonna say :D *plotting look on face*
Author's Response: Hey Nadia! Thank you so much for your review! I actually don't know exactly when Lily started developing feelings...this must be what legit author's feel like when English students disect their work ahaha :) As for Scorpius being an emotional rock, I'll cover it by saying that Lily is just too unobservant to notice it ahahaha ;) Maple
Summary: “Hello,” I said, “what’s your name?”
Her mouth opened a tad and she looked at me, confused. Then she looked at the rubbish bag. “Sahib, kachra?”
Scorpius Malfoy travels to India for a Healing program and finds himself in the unlikeliest of situations when he starts to fall for a poor sweeper girl.
This is Ginny Weasley Potter of Hufflepuff house writing Scorpius Malfoy for the second part of the One-Shot Triathlon at the Character Clinic and I would like to dedicate this fic to my very first friend on MNFF: Pauie/ lucilla_pauie. You’re awesome, Pauie!
‘Kachra’ is a Hindi word which directly translates to ‘rubbish’.
Rating is due to the 'sexual situations' warning which is really just a kiss. But I'm not sure how many people will be comfortable with it so I've rated this high.
I know I was supposed to review sooner, but RL happens, lol. Let me start by saying that this was really well done! You’ve left me stunned. It was bittersweet, adorable and heart-breaking all at once. Somehow you’ve managed to put in romance, angst, sadness and humour all in one fic and it turned out to be a brilliant piece of work.
I really loved your depiction of Scorpius and Prachi. As a character, Scorpius feels quite original. He had his own personality, and yet he was explicably a Malfoy. Look at this line, for example: Normally, I wouldn’t even think of talking to such people. My parents had enough, or rather too much wealth and I had never seen that side of the world. At school, I wasn’t very kind with the kids that turned up in second-hand robes. I can imagine Draco’s son doing that! But he still somehow fell for Prachi. It was so adorable how he tried to learn Hindi just to talk to her! He had me in a fit of giggles. He was good enough to not differentiate between the rich and the poor here… but then again, maybe that was all because of love. That pesky little thing has a way to work wonders. Despite of that Scorpius did seem to have his dark side: he managed to get what he wanted in the end. He could guess that Prachi was awkward around him and I think he could sense that she felt something for him -- and he used that for his own gain. How very Slytherin of him.
I think I did like Prachi a lot more, though. She was rather adorable and snarky; her mockery of Scorpius was fun to read about! According to me, she was a well thought out character with good aspects as well as flaws. I found her to be a good natured, typical South Asian girl -- typical as in she considered her dignity to be more important that lust. She tried so hard to stop herself for falling for Scorpius, whether it was by constantly calling his Sahib in spite of his constant disallowance, or by not coming in for her duties just to avoid him. Despite her strong attempts to decline him, though, she was weak enough to give in to him in the end. She did reciprocate Scorpius’ feelings, but she didn’t know how to go about it. I felt really bad for her. You’ve portrayed the conscience of a poor Indian girl well, and to me her dilemma was understandable.
My favourite part was the kiss and the scenes leading up to it. Everything was sort of connected to the other and it was so simple how they set the wheels into motion. The rain, the lights vanishing… it’s like it was all destined to happen. It was so sweet, but behind it all lay the sense of guilt that Prachi felt. I could almost sense how she must have felt at that time: guilty, frightened, distressed, confused, yet finally, blissful. And then she realised what she had let me do - what we had done. This struck me hard for some reason; I felt that the tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife. It was probably the pivotal point of the whole story and you’ve managed to write it so nicely. Well done!
The initial tone was so light-hearted and calm; this lulls the reader into a false sense of security. I was so sure that like other romantic stories, somehow Prachi and Scorpius would end up together. Even up to the part where Scorpius goes to Prachi’s house I was so sure that he would somehow manage to convince her and then there would be a “happily ever after”. I was hoping against that, though -- the malicious!me hoped that Prachi would refuse and Scorpius would end up with Rose, lol. And then, after I finished reading, I suddenly I felt like I was hit by an oncoming truck. I was not expecting that twist at all! That was a mind-boggling idea, and it leaves such a strong impact on the reader that they are sure to remember for a long time.
You left us hanging in the end, though. How did she die? My first idea was suicide. She could have done so thinking that she had been “defiled” by the touch of another man who was not her husband. It wouldn’t be the first time that would have happened. Or maybe she died in an accident? My favourite idea, though, is that she died by a disease -- the same one that Scorpius had gone to gain information of. That would have been so ironic, really, how Scorpius had gone to fight the disease but Prachi had been killed by that same one.
All in all, Di, this was a wonderful read! I wish you the very best for the challenge. Love you!
Author's Response: NADIA!!! OMG, this is such a beautiful, lovely review! I was so, so happy to see this because this fic is very close to my heart. And thank you, thank you! I'm glad you liked this so much and enjoyed reading it! JK Rowling said that 'Scorpius was an improvement over Draco'. Well, though this does convey that maybe he was probably less of a bully or maybe less slimy and more tolerant, this also does mean that he still probably had some Malfoy-like qualities in him. I thought, maybe, since he had grown up rich... he probably wasn't very nice to poor people. The Malfoys, as JK Rowling has stated (Pottermore) were drawn towards wealth. Hence this paradox for Scorpius. He left the Malfoy Manor, lived in a developing country for a while, saw a little bit of normal life and got curious. After the curiosity, came sympathy, then appreciation and love. Love is a pesky, impossible little emotion, yes. And you're right. He was kind of a douche too. He took advantage of Prachi's vulnerability, knowing she felt something for him. :) Hmm, Prachi was a typical South Asian, wasn't she? But I'm glad you liked her. I intended the story to be based upon Prachi's Indian-ness. The prompt was, after all about travel and experiences in a new country, so I wanted to give Scorpius the Indian experience complete with a poor girl who swept for a living complete with her giggly snarkiness. And yes, these people have dignity. All of them, in fact. It's not just Prachi. The kiss. :D:D:D Ha, thank you! I'm glad you liked it. :D This kind of a kiss on a rainy evening in Mumbai... :D Yes, Prachi had to lose herself to Scorpius, somehow, and this was her moment. And you have interpreted her emotions so correctly! And I'm glad you found the awkwardness after that realistic! Ha, you know what, I think Scorpius would have married Rose after all; at the end of this. :D Maybe he went back to Britain and fell in love again with Rose (or Hugo. :p) But frankly, even though I wrote this, I couldn't imagine Scorpius with Prachi. They were good, but not meant to be-- at least according to me. A Malfoy marrying a sweeper girl would be like... O.o for the wizarding world. Of course, that wasn't why I killed Prachi-- that was just the plot. I wanted Scorpius's experience from India to be with him mentally, not physically. Just an experience... a memoir. Like I said, I imagine she died of a disease. Originally, I had plotted for her to get sick and for Scorpius to notice and not be able to do much about it, but then that interrupted the flow, so I decided to leave this vague. Dengue fever was what I had decided for her, in case you're interested. :) But that would make it medical and I didn't want that. Plus the story is about Scorpius more than Prachi, so it didn't make sense to say that much about her. This review was so, so good, Nadia! Thank you, and all the best to you, too! *huggles* Love you, little sis! :*
Di, you know that I don’t usually get emotional when I read, but you must know this is the first fanfiction that ever made me cry. There were a good number of sensitive topics here, and this could have easily gone rolling down the hill. However, you managed to handle it quite well. Your eloquent writing and the use of first-person ends up offering so much emotion that strikes the readers in just the right place. It’s impossible not to be moved.
The use of first person was an excellent choice -- it gives us a much clearer view of what goes on inside Al’s head. There’s so much raw emotion in there from the start, and I can’t help but feel drawn into his despair. The use of the flowy, descriptive language adds to the sensitivity of it. However, I’m glad that the flashback is in third person, for it helps the reader to see the entire scene as if it’s going on right in front of them. It shows the scene instead of telling it, leaving a greater impact on the reader. Having Al recount it would seem rather brutal for the poor guy, and this way it seems like Al is actually just remembering the entire thing.
Albus’ character was one of the major fortes here. He seems so... so genuine. The use of first person certainly helped in this case, for I could feel much more intimate with him. His description of himself certainly showed how much he’d aged just because of the incident. I liked how he had tried to be brave, but in the end he caved in to his “weakness”. It’s just like a boy to refuse to acknowledge what he went through in front of other people, and I felt horrible when he refused to go to the Auror office. You’ve managed to show his insecurities well with the “aftermath” paragraphs, especially him leaving the flat and dating other women. Al is, as you know, my favourite character; seeing him like this nearly killed me. I can’t imagine how much he had suffered through. Though the scenes were heart-rending to read, they just add to the realness of the whole thing, and you managed to handle it so well. Your characterisation of Albus was so realistic, it’s just like any male rape victim would act. His daily ritual of brine-induced vomit just so he could avoid defecating was very horrifying -- the post-traumatic stress disorder he was going through showed just how scarred he was by this incident.
The cutting scene nearly killed me. The descriptions were so vivid and uses of phrases such as “pulsating artery” and “Bright red blood spurts out” add to the poignancy of the whole thing. I couldn’t believe he was going to die, after trying to act so brave in the beginning. When Harry and the others came up, I was so sure that he’d end up saving Al. I really wanted him to, because Al simply couldn’t die, could he? Then again, him dying added to the darkness of the whole story, and that was, in fact, a very good ploy, for you managed to bring across the fact that everything is not a fairytale with happy endings.
By the end of the whole thing, you had me bawling. You managed to create such despair, what with Harry trying to revive Albus. It shows the strong bonding between them, that Harry refuses to believe that Albus is dead. It makes me wonder if the pulse he felt was just wishful thinking because he wanted it to be true. The letter is another thing that brought about Albus’ character. With just a few words you managed to bring across three things: his love for his family, his hopelessness and just how little he managed to open up in the end.
I’m glad you finished the story in a lighter note, with Harry managing to finally catch the culprits. Despite the lightness, there still is a heavy undertone at the end, because though the rapists are caught, Albus’ story reminds us about the dark side of the society, where men are supposed to be considered the strong ones and they are bred up being taught not to show any weakness. Had that not been the case, if Albus hadn’t believed that he was not supposed to show any vulnerability, he could have been alive.
Overall, I salute you for being able to spectacularly pull this off. This certainly deserves the feature. Well done, Di!
Summary: FACT: There had been a death at Hogwarts.
FACT: Deceased was a sixteen-year-old male by the name of Marcus Akers, a Gryffindor student in his sixth year.
FACT: Deceased had had contact with Neville Longbottom between 19:00 and 22:13 the previous evening.
FACT: The poison was administered in a near-exact amount.
FACT: Neville Longbottom is familiar with one of the possible poisons used in the murder.
FACT: Marcus Akers had been romantically involved with Magnolia Longbottom.
SUSPECT: Neville Longbottom. Male, 43, head of Gryffindor House at Hogwarts.
Thank you to the ever inestimable Soraya for the beta and Ellie for helping me reconstruct the story after my planning file was corrupted.
This is Acacia Carter of Hufflepuff writing for the Great Hall Chaptered Challenge of 2012.
Jamie, this was just... wow. It definitely has to be one of the best mystery stories I've read. Your writing style and vocabulary kind of made me feel that I was inside some murder mystery show like Castle, White Collar or CSI. It was electrifying, captivating and, at some times, rather bone-chilling.
Firstly, I must tell you that I absolutely loved Harry. He was so professional and so much more mature than the Harry we've read about in the books, and yet he still retains the sense of loyalty he feels towards his friends (It’s understandable that this is the Harry Potter we know and love, especially here: nor could he quell the odd feeling in the pit of his stomach that he was somehow returning home.) I can understand how guilty he feels by suspecting Neville. Neville has been his good friend since childhood, and suddenly having to suspect him for a murder and then arresting him must have been a huge dilemma for him. Your words have managed to transfer that pressure onto me, and I found myself pursing my lips and hoping that something would come up so Harry doesn't have to do this.
For the barest of moments, Harry closed his eyes, before turning the handle and entering the office. This line was so poignant, and having it as a separate paragraph managed to increase its significance tenfold. I’ve seen you do this a couple of other times (for example, the last line of the prologue, which was completely a bolt from the blue), and they have always rendered the same effect. I ended up sighing and shaking my head when I read the line. I could tell that Harry absolutely hated doing this, but he had no other choice. Duty was duty, and he had simply had to do it. I liked how he dressed up so professionally for this, just so that Neville understood that it was obligatory, no matter how much he hated it. I felt so sorry for both of them.
One thing I found interesting was the way you included all the FACTS and SUSPECT things. I felt like listing them all so that I could form my own folder for the case, haha. This originality is really commendable. I do wonder, though, if it would be better in italics. Having it in bold sort of breaks the flow slightly and looks like a division. I think having it in italics might make it look a bit better.
I love how you so professionally and accurately wrote the toxicology report and the list of licences. As I said above, this makes the story look exactly like a real murder mystery, and I think you’ve researched really, really well... and it makes me think whether you actually deal with these stuff in your real life, hehe ;-).
So far, the case looks like it would go against Neville. The plot twists were baffling, and every piece of evidence that came against Neville was bone chilling. My eyes widened at this line: “but if memory serves, Longbottom keeps a bowl of these on his desk." I know Neville didn’t do this (knowing your reputation, I’m sure you wouldn’t make Neville a murderer, lol) but still, this was a startling piece of evidence. All these facts combined with Neville’s nervousness and stuttering undeniably indicate that Neville is the murderer. You’ve done a good job at making it look like that!
The proof against Neville is substantial. I really want to know what it was that Neville and was talking about with Marcus. While I know that it is shocking for any father to hear that his daughter is sexually involved with a boy, I really, really doubt that he would go to the extent of killing him, and especially so if the dad happens to be Neville. Frankly, I don’t think Neville would do that. That leads me to wonder who would be able to sneak into Neville’s office, let alone his private stash in the room of requirement, to get the dragonbane and slip it into the sweets. This mystery has got me perplexed.
I absolutely can’t wait for the next chapter. You’re stunning and gripping tale has got me hooked, and I am waiting with baited breath for the next chapter.
Summary: Ginny let her temper get the better of her, and said something she shouldn't have to Romilda Vane, who works for Witch Weekly. It's going to be in the news, and now she has to admit it to Harry first - but its not a conversation she's looking forward to. Rated for the implied relationship between the characters, though both are over 18. Takes place 3 years after the DH battle, epilogue disregarded and Fred still alive.
As a person who’s fond of anything Harry/Ginny, this fic was a really pleasant way to start my day. It was fabulously written, and you managed to keep me on tenterhooks all along. Your story flowed together really well and the grammar and your vocabulary are impeccable. Not once did I feel put off from reading this. The tone was so natural that I didn’t even realize when it ended. It was a fantastic read.
You’ve managed to characterize Harry and Ginny perfectly, and that is something many authors struggle to do. I especially adored Harry’s awkwardness with hugging Hermione and Mrs Weasley - that sounds very Harry-like, for I never saw him as an overly emotional person to begin with. Ginny’s snarky attitude with Romilda cracked me up, and I can see her as the same Ginny who spread the word about Harry’s tattoo. Their relationship, too, was believable and extremely adorable, for it was a delicate balance of love and trust. Harry, we know, really loved Ginny from the beginning (him staring into the Marauder’s map looking at her dot). From your characterisation and scenes, especially the part where he can feel her presence and the way he draws her close to him, I feel that this is the way JK Rowling herself would intend it to be. I actually aww-ed at the line: “As they had grown up, and grown closer, so had the touches.”, for you managed to make it sound so intimate and endearing and just so Harry/Ginny.
The Weasleys, too, were spot on. Mrs Weasley was perfect, what with her fuss over Ginny’s sleeping plans and the phrase: “will be glued to chairs with wedding plans by Mum” was completely accurate. All of them and even the descriptions of Bill and Mr Weasley ring as true. …the twins were much lighter about the whole thing and Harry joked with them about it freely). This confuses me slightly, though; what can Harry joke with them about? If it’s the sleeping arrangements, then I have to say I disagree, for no matter how much Fred and George were okay with Harry, I really don’t think that they would take it lightly if Harry mentioned that they were sleeping together. Other than that little thing, though, it’s perfectly and brilliantly characterised.
The way you gradually added descriptions and their backgrounds and careers instead of overloading it all at once worked well for me . It wasn’t dredging at all, and it only came up when I felt that some sort of additional information was needed. And speaking of that, it was a nice idea for Ron to be the head of tactics and strategy -- and I actually have a snarky feeling that he sometimes takes help from Hermione in such matters, hehe ;-). Seeing your authors’ notes, though, I had been wondering where the AU and the Epilogue? What Epilogue warnings are going to creep up, but other that Fred being alive (and I liked that, because I couldn't accept his death either) I didn’t find any hints of those warnings. Their characters didn’t really deviate from canon anyway, so I feel it’s not really necessary to add the EWE warning :).
You kept me on the edge of my seat as I wondered what on earth Ginny had done that made her so nervous about telling Harry. As I kept on reading, the suspense grew up and I ended up saying “come on!” out loud, and that actually made my mum, who was in my room, look at me questioningly. And then finally, when I read It was crunch time. I squeed. It was a very impactful sentence, for it prepares the reader for what was coming. While I do understand why Ginny was so embarrassed by it, I found it very hilarious, and I’m so glad Harry actually asked her to marry him in the end. The proposal was so sweet and delicate, and from the lines Harry was watching her steadily, eyes bright and filled with a tenderness that ran bone deep. "Marry me?" The question mark at the end was only just discernible. It was more of a demand than a question. He had no reason to doubt her, not now. you showed exactly how strong their love for each other was. This and the comical twist at the end bring to life the dynamics of their relationship, making them an all-rounded couple.
I’ll finish off with saying that this was a spectacular read, and that I certainly hope to see more from you in the future.
Author's Response: First, thank you for taking the time to write such an amazing, well rounded review. I've never received one anything like this before and it really means a lot. I am thrilled to know this started off the day well for you, and that you felt I got the characters right and wrote them naturally, since I'm never certain (being my own worst critic). As for grammar/punctuation - that is one of my pet peeves in fiction, so I can get very finicky about it. And I do enjoy using some strange words where mundane ones work just as well :). I definitely wanted to hold onto Ginny's snarky sense of humour and her notorious temper and I've always read Harry as being slightly uncomfortable with the amount of physical affection he gets from Mrs Weasley and Hermione. I always thought it would be different with Ginny, though, and needing that physical contact so subconsciously would be a bit of a throwback from life with the Dursleys. In short, I'm relieved and elated you thought I kept them the people they were intended to be. The Weasleys are fun for me to write, because I can imagine them in a few ways - this interpretation just worked for this story. Sometimes I think her parents would be all too understanding, and sometimes I think Molly would go off the deep end (only about the living situation - she'd be thrilled to plan a wedding in any life). In this instance, the gruding acceptance that Ginny was of age and made her own choices fitted. As for the twins...I tend to disagree. Both of them are rarely serious, and only then for short bursts. If George can get his ear sliced clean off and be joking less than an hour later, I don't think even Ginny's living situation would be something they took too hard. I think it's hinted that they especially know how independent she is and given she's older, I think looking at the entire thing as a bit of a joke would be how they dealt with it (Plus, they like Harry rather more than Michael or Dean). That said, Harry's not the type to joke about a sexual relationship, so that would be a more generalised thing to do with Ginny always being at the cottage, even overnight, but without giving the twins useful blackmail material. As for the EWE warning - I basically wanted to cover my bases. Extra interviews have told us a fair bit about their lives in the 19 years after the battle, and I didn't stick to it strictly - Hermione starts her Law career early, Ron's not needed to help George at the WWW etc. As the focus was on Harry and Ginny, the mentions are subtle and the warning may not have been necessary, but I didn't want another canon nut like me to stumble across something I'd changed if they weren't expecting it. Fred I just can't seem to keep dead, and that alone would change the Epilogue, so that's just me being over precautious for my first time posting on this site :). Lastly, I've had my fair share of exclamations at a computer screen when I read something that keeps me in suspense or makes me do a double take, so its great to hear my story had you in the same position (though maybe I should apologise, too XD). I had a lot of fun writing the twist around at the end. I've read one too many stories about all the pre-proposal nerves and the huge romantic gestures, but they just nag at me a bit because (to me, who's not into marriage) if you're so nervous about asking, maybe you shouldn't be? I'm glad my proposal-that-wasn't-a-question conveyed their surety in their relationship so well. Again, thank you for the amazing review and feedback. I do hope to write more in this altered future soon and I hope you enjoy that, when it finally gets posted. I'm working on a rather more AU short fic, but due to Mugglenet's restrictions with AU, it may not be posted here. I'll see how that goes. Either way, there's definitely more Harry and Ginny from me in the future :). -Tatty
Summary: In his first year at Hogwarts,Louis Weasley hadn't really expected to see Lord Voldemort appearing from a turban, and he never actually imagined that he'd discover the Chamber of Secrets, despite the attempts with his cousin. But he had expected something more from his school than a few mundane magical accidents.
Then, in his third year, he faced his Boggart and everything changed. For how can you defeat a fear that has no form?
Disclaimer: I am no JKR.
Thank you, Jess, for the original prompt and mah flist for encouraging me to write anyway, despite missing the deadline.
Ooh, Carole, this was fantastic! This is the first time I've read a Louis-centric story, and your portrayal of him has me wanting for more. I’ll definitely be trolling your author page in case you decide to write another one. =)
Making Louis have an abstract Boggart was a very interesting premise. Most Boggart stories I've read include the characters having a distinct, physical Boggart that they can see and attack, but the idea of Louis fearing something that he can’t even understand had me very intrigued. You had me gripped, and though I had a vague idea of what his Boggart could be, I couldn't rest till I found out.
Your Louis was an engaging character: slightly withdrawn and yet strong enough to tackle his own fears. I was glad that he wasn't immensely popular and had a small circle of friends -- after all, everyone couldn't be James. This makes him much more believable. I wished, though, that instead of turning a blind eye to Finch he would stand up for himself. If he had, Finch wouldn't have gotten so far. Finch was a prat, and I absolutely hated how he called Louis “Wussley.” Louis would have been more that right to tell him something from the very beginning.
Your writing was, as usual, flawless. Everything strings together perfectly, and it all flows together so naturally that I managed to get through the whole story without getting bored. You have that natural talent for writing, Carole, something that I always aspire for. =) Lines such as but there was something about the way Molly was looking at him, her blue eyes so knowing, that made him turn away. and Louis stared at the now silent wardrobe, aching for another turn, but the Boggart had gone. have a way of striking the reader and making them see the scene as clearly as if they see it through their eyes. Good job, Carole!
I loved the ending, though; it was brilliant how both Laura and Louis managed to get rid of their Boggarts without any outside help. At the end of the day, Louis’ Boggart made perfect sense, really. As shown in the first few paragraphs, he was overshadowed by his older sisters and their family name, expected to be great, but ultimately it wouldn't have mattered because he wouldn't be the first to do it. In some ways, I can draw parallels between him and Ron. In DH we saw that Ron was afraid of being unimportant, and in your story, Louis was afraid of being nothing. That was rather intriguing.
The ending paragraph was very adorable. Throughout the whole story I felt an inkling that something would end up happening between the two of them (She’s pretty when she laughs, Louis thought inconsequentially.). I realize that a kiss on the cheek doesn't really mean “ending up together,” but I do hope that in the future it might bloom into a more intimate relationship. I certainly wish to see a bit more of them.
Overall, this was a fantastic read. Well done, Carole!
Author's Response: I've had to stop flailing before I respond because flailing makes my typing even worse - hee hee.
First off, thank you so much for such a lengthy and in depth review. Hmm, let me go through some parts now.
I've had some thoughts about Louis because he's the one person in NG canon that I can't quite fix. But I had a line in one of my stories from Dominique who was talking to Scorpius about people and the positions they play at Quidditch. For her brother she said 'Louis flies because the rest of us did.' and it was that understatement I wanted to to explore. Now, Dominique in my canon isn't altogether 'nice' but she is fiercely protective of her family. However I can see her being dismissive of Louis and not seeing what's underneath. I'd also written him as very close in age to James, so wanted to play off that dynamic.
The fear being more abstract, I sort of took the idea from the books. Harry fears 'fear' not the Demento but what it provokes, and Hermione fears failure, so it didn;t seem completely off the wall that Loius could have a less tangible fear. The idea that he was scared of being nothing came to me, and then that mixed up with other people's perception that he was scared of nothing, made it more interesting to write. Really pleased you liked his fear and how I represented it.
Hmm, do they end up together? Not sure. Louis is still very young, but I can see them having a sweet type of relationship that fizzles out. I do think they'd remain friends, though. I also liked the fact Louis got a girlfriend before James - heh heh heh.
Thank you again for the fab review. It really made my day :) ~Carole~
PS: I have plans for Louis, just no idea when I'm writing them.
Summary: While the trio is camping after escaping the Ministry, Ron decides to do something special for Hermione on her birthday.
This is Ginny Weasley Potter of Hufflepuff house, writing for the 2013 Great Hall Cotillion.
(Rated high for the profanity)
As an avid reader of all things Ron/Hermione, I think you managed to pull this one off spectacularly. I loved the bittersweet tone this exudes, and I think that it was one of your best Ronmione stories to date.
You managed to clinch my attention with the very first line, for it was hilarious and so much like Ron. It paves the way to the rest of the story in a very casual manner, making the readers feel comfortable with the setting. Starting with the second paragraph, however, by showing Ron’s irritation at the situation, you have managed to justify why he ended up forgetting Hermione’s birthday. I can start to feel his plight at your use of phrases like “breakfast was a luxury they couldn’t afford,” and lines such as “all three of them were perpetually hungry and on edge, and, to add to it, they were clueless about the Horcruxes.” It helps the readers to understand the bad situation they were in, and why Ron was so snappy and forgetful. Furthermore, it’s much easier to relate with the situation in the books when you used the example of Hermione’s weak tea, for it sounds real and something Hermione might be doing at that time. It was great to see how you managed to keep it real and in parallel with the book.
“You… oh.” She bit her lips and looked about. “Oh, it’s nothing. Bye.” -- this line brings about the sympathy of the readers, for you helped bring out Hermione’s hurt feelings. It was smart of you to use the phrase “spoke out to him unsurely”, for it matches Hermione’s character quite well. Your characterization of Hermione was excellent throughout, including how she didn’t kiss Ron but kissed Harry’s cheek at the end -- it reminds me of the CoS movie, and even though it’s not canon, it reminds me so much of Hermione :).
Moving on, you managed to fascinate me with Ron’s idea on the plum cake. It was so sweet of him! Forgetting Hermione’s birthday is something Ron would do, but by showing that he decides to make her a cake all by himself shows how well Ron is maturing. Actually buying the bread for Hermione’s sake was a very nice gesture, as was flipping the hot toasts with his bare hands. It shows how much he cares for her and deeply contradicts with what Hermione said previously about Ron having the emotional range of a teaspoon, and I think that this story shows a part of Ron’s development to the boy who didn’t want the house-elves getting hurt.
I think you have managed to capture Ron’s angst perfectly with the last few paragraphs. I sort of felt like crying when I read the line “That ought to earn him a kiss… one kiss.” Poor Ron! With the use of this, you’ve managed to reveal how desperately Ron wanted Hermione to like him back. His anger at Harry for giving Hermione the gift, as well as Hermione kissing Harry’s cheek, both show his fear that was already established in the book, and your development towards it was well done. I think we know now where his jealousy came from! Furthermore, with your use of the sentence “Be the bigger man again,” you have managed to sum up Ron’s insecurities quite well, and it shows his anger very strongly. Despite of him knowing that it was the locket, somewhere deep down I believe that Ron really was deeply troubled about this. You managed to foretell the impending troubles they’ll have to go through. The last few paragraphs overall sets a much darker tone, deeply contrasting with the first sentence, while the last line shows optimism, changing the tone once again and making the readers feel hope. Overall there was a very interesting transformation of the atmosphere, and it was a great way to end the story.
Thanks so much for the fascinating read, Pooja, and I’d love to read something equally captivating. A sequel, maybe, with Hugo and Rose helping him wrap a present for Mummy? You write next gen well, and I believe that will be wonderful indeed. Good luck!
Hugo Weasley waited for a Hogwarts letter that never came.
Jess, this was a very interesting story. I’ve never considered the possibility of Hugo being a Squib, but your story does this topic justice. By using the Weasleys as the affected family, you’ve managed to describe all the sufferings a family has to go through when there is a Squib in the household. The story flows well nicely, and the characterisations were very accurate, though rather depressing. Under the circumstances, though, it is exactly how I would expect each of them to act.
The first thing that drew me towards the story was the summary. It is short and concise, and I think this is more effective way to have an impact on the reader. One knows that something is going on the moment they read the summary, and this is confirmed in the beginning paragraphs of the story itself. Though we do not exactly know what Hugo is doing, phrases such as “pen stroke”, “green ink” and “expecting from his honorary Uncle Neville at Hogwarts” give us quite a clear indication of what is happening.
The initial couple of paragraphs acts as a mini-prologue, I think, and I like how there is a difference between them and the following scene. It starts off overlooking the dismal tones, and yet as it goes on, I start to notice a few hints scattered here and there. I do like how you do not straight out tell us that Hugo is a Squib, but rather use obscure hints to indicate his condition. For example, the time when Hermione think about how Ron would feel when his brothers would go off to Hogwarts leaving him alone, but Ron did still get to go, eventually. This kind of confirmed for me that Hugo could not go to Hogwarts.
This reality must have been so demoralising for him, and you’ve managed to express this really well. Hugo’s characterisation was perfect for a child of his age -- I imagine that his idea of sending a Hogwarts letter to his parents was a desperate attempt by a child who could not believe he was not going to attend Hogwarts. I especially felt sad when he actually came running down the stairs for his letter -- poor child! His certainty that his parents didn’t want him to go was also another good idea. I’ve often seen many children behave that way, and I myself was guilty of this “You don’t want me to do it” tantrum when I was a child. I also liked how he thought Mums weren’t girls … so they weren’t allowed to cry! This, I think describes a young child’s psychology well, because parents are like gods in their eyes; they are not allowed to show emotions -- just be strong for their children. Poor Hugo. He really didn’t deserve this, and I believe his character couldn’t have been written any better.
Speaking of parents, Ron and Hermione’s characterisation was spot on. I must have been devastating to know that their youngest son was a Squib, especially for Ron, considering that he was a Pureblood and cannot imagine life without magic. His reaction to the letter -- a vein on his forehead pulsed frighteningly. -- seemed accurate to me, because as a father he is bound to be mad at a person playing such a cruel joke. His fierce love for his family is well represented here, and I’m glad to see that, despite of Ron usually being the comical character, he was the strong one here. As the head of the family, he needed to be strong. I’m glad, though, that this did not shrouded the usually comical Ron; the plate crashing and the usual “bloody hell” are enough to keep Ron in his usual character. Hermione, on the other hand, seemed a bit too weak here. Then again, I guess she is allowed to be, considering her son was going through such a hard time.
I do believe that this story could have been a bit longer, though. If we got some insight about Rose, her sympathetic (or probably mocking?) nature, or maybe even the Potters or rest of the Weasleys, it would have been nice. Or maybe at the end you could describe how Hugo went on to be successful in the Muggle world? It would be lovely to see that despite all these, Hugo managed to overcome his sadness and start afresh, excelling in whatever he did.
Going through this again, I realise that the two Squibs we see in the series are usually there for slight comic relief, and hence the readers tend not to feel much for them. However, after reading this story, I can understand how hard it is for both the child and the parents to adjust to the situation. The emotions that the Weasleys show were very well done, especially Hugo’s hysterics. I felt so sorry for him, especially when the latter was snatched out of his hand and destroyed, because that was his only hope of ever going to Hogwarts. Having his dreams crushed must have been so difficult for him, and his description of “poor, tormented son” fits quite well because of that. I can’t imagine any other description that expresses his despair so aptly. You’ve handles this “sensitive” topic very well, and I commend you for this.
Thank you for the amazing read, Jess! I’ll be sure to look at more of your stuff soon.
Summary: Remus and Dora have only just got into this strange and stupid and perfect routine of playing lovers. They shouldn't have to give it up now.
Set between OOTP and HBP.
Eeeeep! This story has been nominated for a 2013 Quicksilver Quill Award: Best Canon Romance. Thank you.
Ooh, Soraya this was really well done! I loved the Lovenote and I’m glad you decided to increase this into a one-shot. :)
I loved Remus and Tonks here. You’ve managed to show their dynamics and their interactions perfectly, according to me -- Dora’s love for him and Remus’ self-contempt at being a werewolf. Remus and Tonks, though not my OTP, are two characters that I adore and their deaths saddened me a lot. I’ve always been interested in their relationship, and I think this was a great portrayal of it. I liked the fact that they bonded over Sirius’s death. It makes sense, since they were both close to Sirius, and they needed someone that would understand their grief perfectly. It seems right that they’d find solace in each other. It’s good to see that their relationship progressed from there -- I'd have thought that Remus would try to back away, and even though that idea crossed his mind, I’m happy that he decided to stick with her, at first at least.
That leads me towards Remus’s characterization: It was perfect, because you’ve captured his insecurities well. The line Remus’s agreement to go underground with the werewolves has reminded him who he is -- he is a monster, and now he will be with other monsters, where he belongs. expresses it well, as does the rest of this paragraph. Despite of him knowing that Dora (or anyone else, for that matter) doesn’t care about his lycanthropy, he cannot get over his condition, and thinks that he’s too dangerous for everyone. This is Remus’ main flaw as per the books, and you’ve managed to nail it.
I do like that he at least attempts to have a normal relation with Dora. He knows he loves her, and seeing him admit his love for her and postpone telling her about the Order business made me smile. However, he goes back to his self-loathing self with the line surely, surely that is more important than a relationship that is doomed to fail as it is? This line is perfect because it goes back to showing that he believes that he is still a monster even though they both love each other. I won’t be lying if I say it did not annoy me.
I also enjoyed that it was Tonks who said that she loves him first, because everyone knows Remus wouldn’t be the one who did it. She always struck me as the independent type, and taking matters into her own hands seemed like her type, so I’m glad you did that. You also managed to stick to the books by showing her attempts at cooking in the initial paragraphs, and with “Even I can’t go wrong with this, Remus,” she’s admitting just how careless she can be around household chores. Furthermore, by presenting that she’s worried that Remus doesn’t love her after she told his she does, you’ve shown a soft side of her - one we’ve hardly seen but we know exists as seen in bits of HBP and DH. I think you’ve characterised both Dora and Remus perfectly.
The ending, though, is beautiful. You’ve implied that while the colour of Dora’s room had hurt his eyes at first, it didn’t anymore -- I like how this expresses how much he loves her as he’s adjusted himself to anything she likes. And he knows he loves her and cares deeply; after all, the only thing he’s leaving behind is her. That last lines leaves a striking impression on the readers by the simple-ness, and yet the emotions are clearly visible underneath. It was very, very well done.
Thank you, Soraya, for the story. It was sad and beautiful, yet an absolutely amazing read! I’d love to see more Remus/Tonks from you in the future -- maybe expand this into a chaptered fic? ;)
Author's Response: Nadiaaaaa! I am so sorry for the late response. I've been really busy preparing for exams and haven't got anywhere near enough laptop time as I would like. And this was such a fabulous review that I felt I would do it an injustice by not giving it the response it deserves. /excuses
I am so glad you liked this! Of all the LoveNotes I wrote, I only really liked this one and my SSP, a James/Sirisu drabble for Sophie. And I hadn't really planned to do much with it -- I only really wanted to add a little bit so it didn't feel so constrained by the end -- but I did feel like I was taking a risk by having it so short because I didn't really establish their relationship but instead dived straight in, if you know what I mean? Anyway the long and short of that, lol, is that I'm glad you enjoyed the romance aspects of this because I think they were difficult to get right.
Remus/Tonks is an interesting pairing because I can happily ship both characters with different people. Remus in particular is someone I readily ship with James, Sirius, Charity, Rosmerta and any other eligible male and female in Marauder Era, lol. Tonks I often ship with Charlie. I agree, though, that they are both fabulous characters and I was sorry to see them both die :(
I think it was believable for them to bond over Sirius's death. I would even argue that in my head canon, they weren't exactly the best of friends before Sirius's death but the common ground helped them become a lot closer. You're right in that Remus would try to back away. He did, at first, according to my head canon, but then he gave in because, well, Tonks was persistent. Even so, their relationship was pretty low-key, tbqh.
I am so happy you liked my portrayal of Remus. I think his self-contempt consumes him, and this makes me rather sad, but it is definitely a part of him. I wanted to put across that self-loathing but not go overboard with it, if you know what I mean. I totally agree that this was Remus's main flaw in the books.
But yes, I also think Remus would at least try to have a normal relationship with Tonks if only because he does love her. Of course Tonks would be the first one to say she loves him; I think Tonks is someone who is very vocal with her emotions. That could be seen in HBP with her having trouble with Metemorphmagusing (lol, I don't know if that's a word), so I think she would always be the one to wear her heart on her sleeve if you know what I mean.
The ending was really sad to write :( It was also painful, ha, because I struggled with it for ages -- I thought it ended abruptly but then wondered if that was kind of the point? I'm really glad you liked the ending because it was bloody difficult to write, lol.
Thank YOU for the fabulous review, Nadia! I am so sorry for replying late, but as you can see, I wanted to respond lengthily, something I could only really do in my lunch break, ha. You are lovely, and I will have to return the favour once exams are over :D
Summary: She sticks her tongue out and catches a snowflake on it. She feels like a child again. Then she remembers that she is only seventeen, barely out of childhood. When was she last a child? Before she had to grow up and fight and suffer and worry and grieve and feel so old, so tired, as though there is nothing left that this world can offer her.
Ginny tries to face her first Christmas since the war, without Fred, without the usual joy, having lost many of her friends, but most importantly without Harry.
It’s been a while since I’ve read a Harry/Ginny here, and from the very start, I think you’ve done a great job. You’ve captured the essence of the post-war really well, as well as the Weasley characterisations. The writing was well done, and the Harry/Ginny vibe is also perfect. Good job!
The first thing I’d like to talk about is the writing. I appreciate how you wrote this in the present tense, because that makes it more real to me, for I think that I’m reading it as it is happening, not how it happened. For me, it’s more interesting this way, and that’s one thing that drew me in. Second, I love how the mood shifted from happy and carefree to sombre. Initially, when Ginny rambles about how Christmas was as a child, it seems very innocent and has this childlike quality, for children tend to speak in one go like that. As she thinks about Fred, though, the mood suddenly shifts, and I think that was well done because for the Weasleys, losing Fred was the hardest thing and a definite transition in the emotions in the family. Even during the war, things were okay because they were together. After the war, though, their family went from being whole to broken. It was a defining moment and that’s why I think that the shift in tone while thinking about Fred was perfect -- it sort of reflected the disposition of the family, as well. This transition was very well done and seems natural to me, so well done on that.
Ginny’s emotions were very well done and I could feel her grief while she talks about Fred and her family. This is very clear in this line: “The problem is that every one of them was happy to die for the war, but none of them were prepared for going on having lost someone else.” I feel that that is exactly what war is about, and it shows just how upsetting losing a family member is. Furthermore, with lines like when her breath caught in her throat every time the post arrived and she saw the Prophet, when she watched children be tortured and heard them scream and stood by, helpless, and Her family needs her, and she will be strong. She will try to make George laugh, and support her mother who can’t stop crying and her father who is grieving more than he lets on, you define two of her most important traits: her strength and her vulnerability. In the books she was defined as very strong and unyielding, and this can be seen in the latter line when she wants to be strong for her family. Her weakness, too, as we see in PS and CoA, is depicted in the first line. These two sentences, I think are great representations of Ginny, and I believe you have nailed her character.
Her interactions with the other characters, too, were well done. Her conversation with her mother seems pretty accurate to me, due to the fighting and the bickering. That’s how their relationship always was and I think you’ve handled it well. I especially loved it when she talks about Ron and Hermione -- Ron writing longer letters to Hermione and shorter ones to the others was very funny. Ron and Hermione are two of my favourite characters in the Potterverse, and this portrayal of them is, I think, perfect. After all, Ron loved her for a long time (though he had no idea) and he’d try to express that in any way, and writing longer letters, even though if it is just mushy stuff, seems to be in his character. Silly Ron. Also, I am touched when Ginny thinks about her and Harry’s relationship and wishes to go forward. Even though he’s ignored her, I’m glad she still wants to work it out and went over to Harry herself. Probably that’s what having a crush forever on someone does to you, hah.
As for Harry, though, while I agree that he has this “saving people thing”, I don’t think he’d cut everyone off. He might be shy, but he would talk with the people closest to him. Having gone through such a big trauma, I’d have thought he would want his family to stick close to him from the beginning. Still, I do like what happened in the end! I’m glad that Ginny could pull him out of his isolation. Harry was characterised well -- I like how he was calm at first and erupted later on, because that’s always been how he was when he was mad (like with Seamus in OotP). Finally I’m really happy that Harry decided to go home and that Ginny got it through his thick skull that he needed to come home in order to heal. This part was very sweet, and it brings the story to a full circle: Happy to sad to finally happy.
Overall, the excellent characterisation and great writing style made me fall in love with this story, and I’m glad I decided to read it. Well done and thank you for that enjoyable read!
Author's Response: Hi Nadia, Thank you for this absolutely lovely review!!! I'm glad you enjoyed the story. I'm glad you liked the present tense - I usually like to play around with tenses and points of view in my stories, and I agree, I think present tense gives a story a certain immediacy. I juxtaposed the innocent and childlike memories with the sadness of Fred's death to make it even sadder, so it's good that came across. And I think you've understood exactly what I meant to show - the Weasley family are broken now in a way they weren't during the war, and I think when people are fighting, they feel like they're fighting for something and itwill all be worth it, and sometiems at the end they've lost so much that it doesn't feel worth it anymore. Thanks for saying Ginny's emotions were done well - I agree, I think her vulnerability and her strength are both important. In the books, she seems to be quite strong and won't let others into her emotions, but I wanted to get inside her head and show her vulnerable side as well. And I'm glad you think I ailed her character... I"ve never written either Harry or Ginny (except as really minor characters) before, so I was a bit nervous about that. I'm glad you thought I got Ron and Hermione, because while I've always found I understood Hermione, I've found it hard to write Ron as well. BUt I think he grew up a lot in DH and he would feel so lucky to have her that he would try really hard. And yeah, his letters probably aren't the best achievements of the ENglish language, but I don't think Hermione would care. I see your point about Harry - and in a way, I think he did want his family/friends close. The way I see it is that he saw all the trauma/loss in his friends and didn't know how to handle it, whereas all the physical things he did to try and fix the wizarding world were things he knew how to do. Plus I think there's a sense of martyrdom about Harry, and he doesn't want himself to be happy while others aren't. But that's just my interpretation, and there are lots of different ones which are equally believable, so I understand why you thought that was a bit OOC. I wanted to end the story on a happy note - probably because generally I'm an optomist, and I like to think that they did fight for something worth having in the war, and they will eventually be able to heal, at least to a point. So I didn't want to end it in a "happy ever after" way, but more in a there's still hope for the future way. Anyway, thank you again so much for this lovely review, it has made my day a lot better!! ~Katrina