Hello, there. I'm Minna. I hail from sunny (muggy, sticky) Florida. I'm a Hufflepuff over on the Beta Boards, and I write fiction and poetry on here, as well as making graphics over on the boards. I have been audiofic'd, won a few QSQs, even finally managed to place higher than third in a few challenges, which took several years of membership to happen, but by far the strangest thing that's happened on here is that I seem to be (as of this writing, Oct 2014) on the Top Ten Most Prolific Authors list on here. Thanks, PA!
Despite that title, I am a very slow writer, and several of my chaptered fics are unlikely to ever be updated and I mostly keep them around just in case. Um, sorry about that. If that kind of thing is going to annoy you too much, perhaps stick to my one-shots and poems.
Summary: Theodore Nott lives his life in pieces. The various fragments of his life are tidied away under a cover of fierce intelligence and distance. But on the first of September 1994, Theo discovers he is not alone in seeing Thestrals, and his carefully compartmentalised life begins to shift.
This is Equinox Chick of Hufflepuff writing for the Great Hall Bannermaker's Challenge. The banner used was Fracture by T M Wandstick..
The rating for this is based on one particular scene, everything else is fairly mild.
Thank you Gina (gmariam) for beta'ing this story. Thank you Toni, for the banner.
Disclaimer: I am not JKR - you all know that - but I do make a damn good spag bol.
That is all.
Actually, no it's not, because that's not very nice, to just leave a keysmash as a review. What I really love is how very thoroughly you've created Justin and Theo's lives here. I also love how they weave into canon, like Theo sabotaging the Muggle-born Register. And as a love story, I also love that this is kind of quiet. They become almost friends at first and understand each other and it just moves from there. I really loved The Hat That Thinks It Is a Chair, and I was really pleased to discover there was a prequel - and I was not disappointed at all. ♥♥♥
Author's Response: Thank youuuu. Ha ha - The Hat story was written in so much fun, to celebrate that day when we all laughed, so I am pleased you liked that. Glad you appreciated that they were friends first, or had at least noticed each other and didn't just leap onto each other. There were still difficulties, obviously, but by the time of Chair, they were fine.
Thanks for the review. ~Carole~
The Hat That Thinks It is a Chair (but is really a reindeer) by Equinox Chick
Rated: 3rd-5th Years [Reviews - 8]
Summary: In April 2011, Justin Finch-Fletchley is attending a very important event in the Muggle social calender. Usually he loathes the formality of these occasions, but now he has someone to share them with, he starts to relax and have fun.
Ten months ago, a plucky band of flisters from all over the world logged onto AIM to watch and discuss a certain event. This story is dedicated to all of you. ♥ forever.
Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling and I don't expect any garden party invitations in the near future. A spell in the Tower might well be in order.
This is Equinox Chick and this is positively my last entry into the Inaugural Great Hall Challenge. So long and thanks for all the flist!
Heeee, WHY have I not read this before. Come for the silly hats, stay for the backstory of Justin and cute Theo/Justin! I liked this - it was simple and a bit daft but very sweet. Plus, the hat.
Author's Response: The hat that bonded us all together in glorious laughter - hahahahahahahahahaha
Thank you very much for reading and reviewing. I really took a flyer on this one because it was my last Cotillion entry, but had a lot of fun. ~Carole~
Summary: Sir Cadogan meets his own portrait -- and he is not amused.
I liked this a lot! I love when historical fic seems to have been well-researched, as yours does, and I like the little touches that show that the wizarding world has changed as well. And the story itself had me giggling - oh, God, silly Sir Cadogan. I love Gosselin. That really is a wonderful way to encourage people to pay their debts to him, and it never occurred to me Sir Cadogan's portrait might be a cruel (but accurate) caricature. Ee sorry inarticulate review but I really do love finding a historical fic I like and this is one!
Author's Response: Glad you thought the caricature was accurate - that was the idea really, to imagine the real Cadogan when all we have of him is his caricature. As for "well-researched", don't go relying on the historical accuracy of this story; I'm no expert on 16th-century England. To begin with it was going to be the 15th century (and Cadogan himself, not just his father, who fought in the Wars of the Roses). But I picked Henry VIII's reign after reading that he was a dedicated fan of stories about knights in shining armour. I think knights as warriors were basically obsolete by then, but still big in popular culture, kind of like cowboys in the 20th century.
Summary: Ms A Cadwallader wishes to improve herself and apply for a better job. Unfortunately, despite her impeccable qualifications, she is thwarted by a certain Junior Under Secretary for the Minister of Magic, who has let it be known that basic spelling errors can never be over looked.
This story, written in the style of a series of letters, first appeared in The Battle of the Genres over at the SBBC forum.
I am not JK Rowling. She would probably have been more amusing.
This story is for Minna because it was her birthday and she likes this pairing.
Thank you Natalie for liking the drabble and encouraging me to expand.
Winner of the Best Humour QSQ in 2012 - GOBSMACKED!!!
Caroleee this was the one drabble I knew for certain I wanted to vote for in the Genre Battle - it really ticks all my boxes hehe. Love epistolaries, love Percy/Audrey, love snark, love poking fun at other peoples' SPAG. And this was so much fun! It made me giggle and made me squee. Percy is so adorable here...especially in the last letter, and Audrey is perfect! Gah. I love you, thank youu.
Author's Response: YAY! thank you for reviewing. I knew i had to expand this for you when you said you'd liked it, so that's what I did. It was a lot of fun to write as well, so I'm pleased it worked.
The Percy and Audrey here are quite different from my usual canon, but I rather liked the idea of a very brainy Ravenclaw being unable to spell. And Percy would correct her, wouldn't he - ha ha.
Glad you liked it and thanks for the review. ~Carole~
Daphne Greengrass had until her twenty-first birthday to pick a husband, or her parents would choose one for her. With only months to go before the deadline, she found herself with a perfect suitor in Theodore Nott.
But when a freak pregnancy landed her in the care of cranky Healer-in-Training Michael Corner, Daphne started to realise that things she thought she knew were slowly being turned upside-down. And what she thought she knew about Michael Corner began to dissolve into something different entirely.
This story has been nominated for two 2012 Quicksilver Quill Awards: Best Non-Canon Romance and Best Post-Hogwarts Story.
This story has also been nominated for a 2013 Quicksilver Quill Award: Best Post-Hogwarts Story.
Oh, Jess. I really enjoyed that. I'm inarticulate as always after finishing a story I like, but just know that I really got to love the four main characters and it was good to see them start to heal and sort themselves out. And I enjoyed the discussion of the wizarding world post-war as well. Just,
I think all the characters are jerks in their own way in the story. Daphne is oblivious; Michael is bitter; Theo is a coward; Terry is . . . well, he's Terry. But one of the most pleasurable things about writing this story was helping them understand each other and the things they could do if they used the tools they've had all along. Daphne isn't really the vapid society witch she played before she met Michael, but now she can't imagine going back to that life because she realises how empty it is.
One thing that I got a lot is that some people didn't totally buy into Michael, but he's a different sort of person. He wasn't indiscriminately mean to Daphne; he was merely disappointed that the reality of her didn't live up to his imagination and had no compunctions about letting her know it. But seeing him get to know her for real and banish the preconceptions he had was as important for him as it was for Daphne to learn to be a more conscientious person.
Anyway, I'll shut up now. I am glad you liked the story, and thank you for stopping in. It always warms my heart to see a story I love that's far off the recents get a little bit of love. And when it's f-list love, so much the better. *squish*
Summary: Dudley has a strange way of celebrating his cousin’s birthday.
This is noblefate of Ravenclaw writing for Round Two of the 2012 Madam Pomfrey’s One-Shot Character Triathlon.
Oh, I loved that. It makes Dudley so...human. Not just that you see him realizing how horrid he'd been as a child, but that he regrets and doesn't do anything much to change it. Because I can very much see that as something Dudley, who never really works for anything besides bullying/belittling people, would do. I'm bad at phrasing this, but it just makes so much sense as a character piece for him. Bravo. :)
Author's Response: Thank you for the review. I wanted Dudley to come across more human than we see him in canon; I think if Petunia hadn't put her foot in it, Dudley might have said more at the start of DH, so I wanted to play with that idea. I also think that if Dementors suck all the happiness away, then Dudley must have seen himself how he truly was and not how his friends and parents saw him, and I would hope that might change him some. ~ Megan
Summary: The year is 1543, and the heir to the Malfoy estate, Lucius, encounters the young Lady Elizabeth Tudor in the grounds of Hatfield House. It is a meeting, he later discovers, of his mother's engineering, for it is of the utmost importance that he strikes up a friendship with the King's daughter. But the Lady Elizabeth has a powerful protector in her governess, and only the highest political machinations can overcome the will of Kat Champernowne.
In the ensuing Tudor power struggle, no one factored love into the equation, least of all Elizabeth.
Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling, but I think you know that by now.
This is Equinox Chick with her fourth entry for The Great Hall Cotillion.
That was amazing, Carole! You worked the wizarding world into the story of Elizabeth so well - it just seems to fit. I don't know much Tudor history, but I did see some when I was looking up the dates, and I like how you worked in the rumor that Elizabeth had had a baby - and the idea that Elizabeth's red hair survives in the Weasleys is certainly interesting. The characterization both of Lucius the first and Elizabeth was really well done, and I loved the way their relationship changed over time (well, not in a 'this is nice' way, but it really held true to their characters, as a Malfoy and the Virgin Queen respectively). All in all, this story took an intriguing premise and did not disappoint.
Author's Response: Thank you very much, minna. Oh, now, then, I don't remember the rumour that she'd had a child, but did think the fact she was incarcerated for so long was a good opportunity to introduce that part of the plot. And, thing is, I really couldn't resist Tudor genes being the reason for the Weasleys red hair - ha ha ha. ~Carole~
Summary: Harry Potter's life began in strife -- alone and unloved in a closet. But the fire inside him never burnt out, and it guided his path through trial and tribulation in the years to come. First an orphan, then a hero, and finally a saviour.
I really liked this poem. It was interesting how you imposed structure on it, as a freeverse poem - 'the child's __ight' at the beginning of each verse, the list of verbs as the second to last line of each verse, etc. I always like seeing that.
I like the juxtaposition of music and the abuse/neglect Harry suffered in the first verse, the claustrophobia of what he's gone through nearly (but not entirely) smothering Harry's song. The language here was very interesting, too - 'a sullen verse of happenstance', 'the noise of passing years.'
The second verse actually reminded me a lot of OOTP and Harry's anger during that book. I love the 'clash' in the second line - it almost seems to reverberate through the next two lines, with the crackling, seething, raging and the shuddering beacon. The imagery here works so well, too - I have vivid pictures in my mind. The only thing that tripped me up slightly was charged with the accent mark - it's kind of an interesting choice. I'm not entirely sure why it was made there, though, despite my love of archaic usages...
I'm not sure entirely what the last verse is getting at, either. Is it the hunt for the Hallows (treasure turned to dust by the centuries)? Or is this going metaphorical again, speaking of maybe an unhappy aftermath for Harry (or the hollowness of Voldemort)?
(Possibly reading in things that make sense. Beginning to feel like an English teacher :P I am curious, though). Either way the imagery persists here, and I like the personification of the trunk (part of the reason I think metaphor over Hallow hunt).
All in all I enjoyed this poem and found it fit the song title very well.
Michael Corner thought that, after ten years, he was finally free of the Battle of Hogwarts and the emotional toll the events of that day had taken. But when he was summoned to the will reading of a late family member, all of Michael's carefully built composure started to crumble, and nothing could prepare him for the intrigues of dangerous family politics.
This is the final instalment of the Hollow Soldiers series.
This story has been nominated for a 2013 Quicksilver Quill Award: Best Post-Hogwarts Story. I am extraordinarily pleased to say that it won.
Ahhhh! You can't just leave it like that!
(I gasped out loud more than once at this chapter, haha. So good.
Luckily for you the story isn't over, then. One more chapter (the epilogue), and it shall be tied up with a neat little bow. I'm still toying with the idea of writing a bit more about the Perry/Cece/Jack love triangle, but that's a story for another day.
Glad you enjoy the story. It's nice to know someone does. :)
Summary: Harry, Ron and Hermione are on a trip in America. Or are they? It's April Fools' Day, and they might just be the victim of one cosmic prank pulled by a red-headed man and a ghost.For my flist, and for you.
I love you.
Author's Response: I love you toooooo.
Summary: The winter solstice, the shortest, harshest days of the year. Would you have wanted to live there?
This is a gorgeous poem. I love a good, consistent rhythm like this, and it seems effortless in many of the verses (the fifth verse gave me pause for a moment, but I see now it adheres to a certain rhythm within the verse). I love the imagery as well - I can picture this winter perfectly, even though I've never lived through such a winter. Also, I think the old-fashioned language lends a sort of reverence that's fitting to the poem as a whole. Beautiful work.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review. ("Gorgeous" is a pretty extravagant word!) It's nice to know that rhythm and rhyme are not too old-fashioned. I too like a good rhythm, and I guess I read a fair amount of poetry of the last century, or earlier, because the language sounds perfectly normal to me, not really old-fashioned or archaic. I too have never spent a winter in Scotland, but I thought of winters in Alaska and Finland, and figured it must be about the same. Good to hear from you!
Summary: The world can stand still.
Nominated in both the 2013 and 2014 QSQs.
I remember being stunned by this when I read it. It just interpreted the prompt so beautifully, that moment, frozen mid-explosion.
I loved the flashes of characterization in it; not just Luna, but her mother - that in that frozen moment she's thinking not only of Luna but also about why this happened.
Equally wonderful is the imagery, and also the distance you managed to create by having an explosion happening and yet all these thoughts running through her head. That, plus the repeated "the world can still," really made it seem as if time was frozen.
Lastly, of everything said, the line that really broke my heart was "For making her ask that question, so young." It's so simple, but it's a reminder of what Luna had to face.
A tale of Dark Age Magic set in Rome, the fading capital of a once great empire and Gefrin, a tiny settlement beyond the edge of that empire.
Cenau doesn't want to die in the Amphitheatre, but escape seems unlikely. Will her friend Rhea be able to keep her promise? Can they escape?
Nominated for: Best General Story (One-shot) story - Quicksilver Quills 2013
Oh, wow. I am blown away by this. I actually googled Falco Aesalon on encountering the chapter title, thinking it sounded familiar, and ran into both the wizard and the bird, so I was both excited by that and excited to see the way that tied into the story. And what a story! The sense of time and place in this fic was simply wonderful, and I loved the way all the elements led to Merlin - while still telling a story of their own. I have to say, I was excited reading the summary, and am even more excited that it more than lived up to such an interesting premise.
Author's Response: Thanks for the review, and the nomination.
When I googled the name, my first thought was: did JKR write the famous wizard cards? (According to the Lexicon, she did.) If so, then she knew axactly what she was doing when she named him. This story was a logical (to me, at least) consequence.The choice of settings was made easy by my decision to set the story around 500AD, and the fact that I've visited both Gefrin and the Coliseum, the Coliseum most recently (which is wrong, as Gefrin is just up the road). I always knew that my interest in local history would come in useful one day.
Summary: She has never been his, and he knows that her love has belonged to another.
A villanelle, written for the first round of the Poetry Anyone Triathlon.
This is a well-done villanelle. I think it was an interesting choice to use the repetition to sort of follow them through the years and show that Bella (I assume this is Rodolphus to Bellatrix) has made the same choice over and over, turning from him to Voldemort. It's also an interesting characterization of Rodolphus - though I suppose one of them probably had to love the other, you don't often see that from some of the more loyal Death Eaters. And I don't see Rodolphus' jealousy of Bellatrix's love for Voldemort explored a lot. So well done. :) I think the "darkness sears your mind"/"piercing flame" line is my favorite - the contrast makes for an interesting image.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for the comprehensive review. I'm glad you thought that it was an interesting choice; it was what the prompt inspired!
I’m surprised this doesn’t have more reviews. I was stunned by this when it showed up in the Random Song Title challenge. It took the two components of the title and worked them into an emotionally-gripping story.
I think the first thing that struck me about this poem was the vivid imagery. I especially enjoyed the image of the night simmering till it boiled down to nothing. However, the recurrence of the color red truly tied the poem together - from the squirming red squirrel to the night giving way to red sunrise. It is truly beautiful to the mind’s eye.
The structure is also worth noting. I enjoyed your use of repetition in this poem. Part of this is that it was another component that tied the two halves of the poem together - the night boiling down in the first verse, and that image returning and expanding in the last. However, it also lent a sense of entrapment in some sections, such as here:
Half and half and half
and half of everything.
The enjambment in these lines and the previous verse also give a sort of disjointed feeling that meshes well with the sentiment of these verses.
Of course, I didn’t just enjoy the beauty of the poem - it took me on an emotional journey, a story in miniature. Fred’s death was one of the worst in the books for me, and I can well imagine George feeling like he’s missing half of himself afterwards. However, I like that you led from loss in the first half to hope in the second. It’s what I would hope for George.
The story worked so well with the imagery and the structure, especially with the pervasive color red seeming to symbolize life. Even George telling Fred, Jr. that he preferred red to blue seems to be him choosing life over sadness at last. By entwining the imagery so closely with the emotional storyline, you made this poem into something unforgettable, Natalie. Bravo.
(And sorry if this seems stilted; I’m trying my hand at SPEW-esque reviewing for the review drive. I love this poem, though.
Author's Response: AAAAAARRGH! Thank you so much! I am sorry for replying super late! This was an amazing review-- thank you lots :D
Summary: The Marauders, in the Shrieking Shack at moonset.
This has no reviews? For shame! I really enjoyed this poem. You've got a great rhythm in the first verse that makes the reader skip and tumble through it, really enhancing the sense of "haphazard grace."
I do think there's maybe an error in the second verse, unless I've misunderstood? "The dawn of conscious, eyes" - that comma seems to break up a phrase that should be together.
I also really liked the imagery. There's something attentive and loving about it - the third 'verse especially reminds me of love poetry a bit. (The "rose-bed of scars" phrase is strangely sweet, to me, and I love "dry, howl-weary lips" and "twitch of tenuous fingertips"). But, if anything, it's a love poem to the Marauders as a whole, to the bond between them; the last four lines really underscore that.
Summary: The 'treat' of autumn's glorious beauty is inevitably follow by the 'trick' of winter's bleak and freezing desolation. Compare this poem with the poem Winter At The Castle, also on my author's page.
Written for Stage Three: Trick Or Treat, of the Sixth Annual October Triathlon: Race To Hallowe'en.
I love this series of poems. You paint such clear and beautiful images in them - with, as another reviewer noted, perfectly credible details. Autumn is my very favorite season, though, and I could practically feel the mix of cool air/sunshine. Lines 3-6 especially conjured a familiar image. Also, the alliteration worked quite well, especially in the lines just mentioned the the crunch and scatter of the leaves, to lend sound. Finally, I liked, at the end, the presentiment of winter. "Color vanishes into the void" was a perfect note/image to end on.
Author's Response: Thank you, Minna, for coming back to my occasional series of seasonal poems. They are a lot of fun to write, ignoring, for the moment, all the magic and intrigue, and just focusing on the sensuous images of the natural world. Your approval is greatly appreciated.
Summary: I didn't know much about Professor Sinistra, the Astronomy Professor, until I wrote her last summer in my story Dark Enough To See The Stars. This poem shows a more personal side of her, even as she references her astronomical knowledge every day. This poem is part of my series (Winter At The Castle, Autumn At The Castle) describing castle life in all the seasons of the year, using various poetic styles. Did Professor Sinistra have a brother? Well, now she does.
Winner of 2015 Quicksilver Quill Award, Best Poetry
Oh, I love this. It's such a soothing piece, a tranquil and quite beautiful view into Sinistra's view from the castle. I think the best way I can sum up how I feel about the imagery is I feel like I just watched an episode of Sunrise Earth. But it's also a solid character piece, showing bits of Sinistra's ways of thinking (her knowledge of the stars and of nature's rhythms, that lovely little moment talking to the small animals, remembering things her brother has told her, and the fact that she's either well-traveled or well-read from the bit about the Spanish word). Basically, it paints a succinct and subtly solid picture of Sinistra. Also, the rhythm is utterly effortless; I never stumbled or noticed anything out of place except perhaps once at "animals" because that's a weird word. One last note: I actually didn't even notice the first line was partially borrowed at first. It works so well, and the green-to-blue transition is as peaceful as the rest of the poem.
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Minna, for commenting on this poem. Your good opinion means a lot to me. I am glad that you think that we can see Professor Sinistra by seeing the natural world through her eyes. My own brother is the farmer who calls this season "early, early spring," so I sent him a copy of the poem and told him that he had inspired it. I do think of Professor Sinistra as well-traveled (she would have to study the sky from various latitudes); she probably encountered this word from her Spanish counterparts and adopted it as a very handy concept, useful for an astronomer who must be up at all hours of the night.