Summary: Molly Weasley lost two boys in the first war. She doesn't think she can bear to lose another.
This is a lovely, delicate and very sensitive piece of writing. It flows wonderfully and you handled the shifting POVs very gracefully. The detail of each character is amazing. I love it.
Neville has the rest of his life ahead of him, but all he can do is look back. Molly feels as though she has already lived, and will spend the rest of her life sifting through her memories and regrets and never living in the moment.
AU in that Arthur Weasley dies in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This is Jamie/AcaciaCarter’s and Soraya/babewithbrains’ fault, and therefore I present it to them.
This is a wonderful story. Breathtaking, emotional, poignant without being sentimental. Great characterisation, lovely attention to detail, smooth transitions between the two POVs. The dialogue is natural, although the metaphor explanation is a bit long. The relationship between Molly and Neville is unusual but so well-developed.
I love the ending paragraph, and I love the usage of future tense for the last couple of sentences e.g. "Neville will write to Romilda...Molly will smile and give advice."
That was perfect. Thanks for writing this.
The end of the world comes not from the hand of Lord Voldemort, but an incurable disease. When Britain falls, those that are left must keep on running.
And never stop.
Winner of the 2012 Quicksilver Quill Award for Best Alternate Universe!
There are so many things about this story that just...left me speechless. I read this some weeks ago but was unable to review because I wasn't sure what to say. And since then, I've read your story several more times over. It's brilliant. I was pretty much crying over my keyboard during my third reading of it :) And then marvelling at the reality that a HP fanfic about a zombie apocalypse (of all things) could make me cry.
So many fantastic things: first of all the structure. The wonderful reverse chronology. There was so much tension and tragedy building up simultaneously and at the same time it was chilling to witness all these dead characters pop back into life the further back the story went. Only that we know just exactly how they'll end up. And by the ending of the final section of the story I was struck by a deep horror, which is strange because the last moments of the narrative seemed to be full of lightness and hope and euphoria and excitement and I really don't know how you achieved this but wow! It's like there really is no escape from the ruined future.
I love the fact that you've chosen to really focus on your characters' emotional and psychological states, and how they cope within this new post-apocalyptic world. Your characterisation is stunning, even for the minor characters. Xeno Lovegood's third person POV was my favourite; you've paid so much attention to detail and the sentence structure is so sensitive and delicate and heartbreaking. The fragmentation of some sentences worked really well - especially these lines:
'If he brews enough Dirigible Plum Tea! If he spoon by slow spoon feeds her Plimpy Soup! If he grinds up Gurdyroots! If he does all this she’ll be fine, he knows, he knows! '
I think if you'd rephrased these words in a different order I wouldn't have been as affected by them. They are so carefully put together and they really do reflect poor Xeno's sense of panic and despair. This is such excellent detailed writing that I'm running out of adjectives.
And then there's Ron and Hermione. And Harry and Ginny. Again your characterisation is wonderful, and I could really feel their hopelessness and despair. I'm very glad that you chose not to focus on the bodily horror of the zombies, or to dwell on too much descriptive detail of the character deaths; these would have interrupted the intense level of emotional engagement the reader has with the characters. I'm also very glad you didn't focus on the other possible technicalities of AU genre fic, such as how they got Muggle weapons or why Malfoy Manor is a safehouse. While all these things would definitely have fleshed out your post-apocalyptic AU setting in greater detail, they would also have broken that level of reader engagement with the characters. I think you made the right choice in investing so much into characterisation.
OK, whew. I've rambled quite a bit. I meant to leave a meaningful review of some sort but looks like I failed. So I'll just say thank you so very much for writing this and I do hope there'll be more. This is my favourite story on the site.
Author's Response: Wow! I am so sorry I didn't notice this review until now. And such a wonderful review, too. Thank you so much! It is so nice to hear you say that about keeping to the characters and not worrying about explaining every detail. I really wanted to keep it about how the characters would act in such a situation, rather than going into technical aspects of the AU setting. And your review is not rambly, at all. It is wonderful and has me grinning like an idiot. Thank you so much :)
Summary: After Harry is picked as the fourth triwizard champion, he feels as though everyone has turned on him. But Hermione hasn't. She listens...
The song that inspired this poem was, "If No One Will Listen," by Kelly Clarkson.
Lovely piece of writing. The opening images were striking - I particularly loved the part about "growing antlers" and "ashy grey". The final stanza was full of warmth and compassion and hope and I loved it!
The only thing that I feel might be better (and this is just my personal opinion...and it mightn't be too helpful since I don't write poetry) would be if you removed words like "tentatively" and perhaps "sombrely" as well. I find adverbs tricky, and even more so in poetry. I think they're not necessary since your other lovely descriptions already evoke a sombre tone.
Once again, lovely piece! Hope you write more =)
Author's Response: Oh, thank you!!! I can see what you mean about adverbs, since too many of them can clog up a piece, which I am sometimes guilty of. :) And if you want to read more, check out my author page. As alex13 can attest to, I have written pretty much poetry for the last five months, and it's filled up quite a chunk of my stories. Thanks again for reviewing! ~Nagini Riddle
Summary: It was true that Daphne and Lee had met at a most inappropriate time, but they had found love, lust and the glimmerings of a life together.
But the power of persuasion should never be underestimated. When they meet again, years later, his indifference cuts to her core. Can the past ever truly be recaptured?
This story is a present for Julia (the opaleye) because she is amazingly talented and has inspired me in so many ways. It is also her brthday.
Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling.
I am not Jane Austen.
I am not Sporty, Scary, Baby, Ginger or Posh.
This is a lovely, witty and very light piece :) It's full of air and charm and I love the tone of it. And of course, Lee Jordan :D, one of my favourite characters. I love the light-hearted exchange between Daphne and Lee!
I'll be waiting to read more of this :) Great writing.
Author's Response: OHH, thank you for your review. Hmm, the prologue is light and witty, but the rest - not so much. There will be lighter chapters halfway through, but whilst this isn't going to be dark and angsty, I had to fit this in with the Potterverse at the time (Daphne meets Lee in the summer of 1997) ... so expect some drama.
Thank you again. ~Carole~
Summary: In the wake of Sirius' arrest, Sirius and Remus must try to deal with the bitter hands dealt them.
Oh, this is a really lovely heartbreaking poem. You've portrayed Remus and Sirius so well here - Sirius with his frustration and rage in Azkaban, and Remus at Sirius's supposed betrayal of trust. I love the image of Remus "blotting" out the memory of Sirius. A wonderful poem :) I can see why this won the challenge!
Summary: The first time she sees him, he is leaning against the brick wall outside Tesco, paper in one hand, cigarette in the other.
A familiar stranger walks into Petunia Dursley's life.
Oh, Julia. This is just...amazing. I was utterly entranced by your writing, the beauty and the frailty of the prose, and it really brings out that idea of perfection in your story, and what a delicate balance Petunia maintains in her life. You've just written her in such an incredibly compassionate manner, and that's my absolute favourite thing I'd love to find in writing - characters wrought with compassion. And Petunia...poor Petunia. Struggling to deal with so many things - the incredible shallowness of her suburban life, her repressed grief at Lily's death and her lasting resentment toward Lily and Harry and how she has been excluded from the world Lily is privileged to belong to...
There are so many brilliant details and you convey Petunia's feelings, especially toward the mystery stranger, in such a subtle way: She’s nearly forgotten him, except in those unsatisfying moments at night when Vernon is asleep beside her and her thighs are still tingling, warm, not quite finished. Gah. I can't even. And yes, Petunia really does immerse herself in all the tiny details of her life, attempting to convince herself that her life is perfect in its hollowness and that she is absolutely not in denial. The roses, the eavesdropping on neighbours, the baking soda, the smiley facade...these are all so canon and yet you've really taken them further and added your own personal touch to them. I might be grossly misinterpreting your fic; I don't know :P
And gaaaaah. Remus :( :( :( :( My heart just dropped like a cannonball when he said that awful awful line: you're nothing like her after all. *SOBS* This piece. I dunno. So full of pain. So full of quiet pain and smoothed-over desperation and you've brought all this up so beautifully. And that lovely change of tone toward the end. Anyway. I really loved this. I think you're an amazing writer.
Author's Response: Thank you so much, teh. After reading your own beautiful, amazing, magnificent writing, it means a lot to receive this review. Petunia was hard to get right. On the one hand, I needed to conjure some sympathy for her as the main protagonist. The reader needs to be compelled to want to read about her, since she is already a disliked character. On the other hand, I could not forget or ignore the horrible life she provided for Harry. Although it was a challenge, it was also interesting juggling those two aspects of the character. In canon we see a woman who relishes keeping her home for her husband and son, but then we also see this explosively bitter side to her towards her sister and nephew, and such ferocious jealousy. Jealousy is borne of dissatisfaction so I am just so happy to see that my interpretation of her character resonates with you, Carole, and my other reviewers. Remus is my favourite Marauder, and when I was challenged to write a drabble pairing Petunia with anyone but Snape or Vernon, my mind jumped to Remus immediately. I can imagine him secretly visiting Harry, watching from a distance, not just to check on Harry but also as a personal comfort after all that he has lost. Harry is the tether to his past life and the people who made him happy. But what would he think of Petunia? The sister of the woman who had been so kind towards him and so many others? What he said to Petunia was so cutting because I imagine he would be disappointed to discover Petunia's true nature after hoping to find another soul like Lily. Again, thank you so much for your review. It brought a smile to my day :D Julia xoxo
Summary: A man walks into Madam Malkin's and hands over some torn robes that need to be fixed.
Oh, this is such a beautiful piece. I never know what to say when it comes to poetry. But there's so much in this sad little piece and you've done an absolutely fantastic job in showing Amos' grief without being melodramatic. I love the mixture of tones (? not sure if this is the right word...), from Amos' overwhelming sense of loss to the salesgirl's pity and discomfort and her very mechanical and rather inappropriate response of "Four Galleons - half price special!"
It's just so beautifully done.
Author's Response: It is certainly a mixture of tones and I am glad you liked that. At first it seems like the straight-forward and banal experience of going into a shop but then the focus really shifts to the grief of a man who has lost his child. I think one of the most powerful scenes in the films is in GoF when Amos discovers Cedric is dead. His raw sobbing still gets me every time. We also see everyone else in the Triwizard audience looking on with such hopelessness, shock, and pity and it was interesting to draw from that. Anyway, I will stop rambling now haha. Thank you so much for your review :D :D :D Julia xoxo
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.
Oh, this was simply heartbreakingly beautiful. All the feels :( Your writing is so delicate, so frail, stretched so thinly that it could tear like tissue any moment. It was such a poignant moment when Ginny comes home to a dark lonely flat only to find all the Bertie Botts' Every Flavour Beans gone. What a lovely piece of writing.
These lines, in particular, really stood out for me: Soft, silky moonlight sifted through the curtains, pouring down her throat, wrapping around her splintery wishy-washy figure, more tenderly than any mollifying embrace of Molly's. Fragmentarily, she wondered if Buckbeak needed his toenails clipped.
Gorgeous imagery. And that was a really unexpected twist, there, with the grand piano! I think you've done a fantastic job in taking two relatively unknown canon characters and really bringing them to life and showing the intricate and complex interactions between them, and by the end of the story, I was all dissolved into a mess of tears, and congrats! You've just convinced me utterly, and my new OTP is now Aragog/Griphook. All the way. Thank you for writing this.
Author's Response: OMGGG! Someone FINALLY got all the things I worked really hard on. I'm so glad you liked those lines because it took me time to hone them to perfection. I just couldn't decide if I should focus on Buckbeak's toenails or Fangs's drooling jaws -- I mean, both sound so sensual. The grand piano was added at the last moment, mind, because -- hey -- they're after all caught in a fifth dimension. I mean, what else could save them, right?
Summary: Voldemort laments his final battle from beyond the grave …
Bahahaha! This completely made my day :D Was singing to this ^.^ Eee thanks for giving me some laughs!
Author's Response: Hello the tarik, glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for R & R-ing, Kara's Aunty ;)
Summary: Stranded in Tom Riddle's seventh year at Hogwarts, Hermione Granger is plagued by cryptic warnings from an intruder hidden somewhere in the school. Time is running out for her in more ways than one, as she attempts to return to her own time both to escape this mysterious threat, and the unavoidable allure of Riddle himself.
Hellooo there :)
This is such an intriguing beginning! I've encountered stories with Hermione travelling back in time to meet Tom Riddle before, but what really made your fic stand out was Riddle's characterisation. He's true to canon, and I can't emphasise enough how much I loved that part where he almost boredly pulls apart Grindelwald's methods and regime in the discussion with the other Slytherins. Also, I really appreciate that you've paid some attention to the world outside of Hogwarts - the rise and reign of Grindelwald, and of course, World War II. I do hope you'll continue to show how complex the world and what a critical and dangerous era this time period is in future chapters.
I found those mirrors really interesting; I suppose JKR never really said that they can't be used this way, so you do have freeway with them. But it's such a lovely idea, that the mirrors are able to communicate with others across time.
Anyway, I've really enjoyed this first chapter! It's a great start and I'll be keeping an eye out for updates (and I do hope you update soon)! Great work :)
Author's Response: Thank you so much for your thoughtful review! I'm glad you approve of the trick with the mirrors. The trio's dynamic is such a powerful influence in Hermione's life and I often find it's missing in time travel fics where Hermione is isolated, so... The world war II era is a fascinating time frame, and although it won't figure too prominently I definitely will continue to sprinkle hints of the social/political scene throughout. I'm submitting the next chapter today (the first dozen are actually pre-written so no worries on steady updates for a while). Thanks again, and cheers! :)
Summary: The Peverell brothers attempted to cheat Death.
Only one came close.
Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling.
Oh, this is a lovely poem! I'm not the best at reviewing poetry but this one had such a good rhyme scheme and rhythm. And I love the tale of the Peverell brothers :) This was done really beautifully, and in so few words as well! That last phrase (and he'll mark death as his own was brilliant. Great work; I enjoyed this a lot :)
Author's Response: Thank you so much fopr the review. I was starting to think this one had lost its way, and I was rather proud of writing something that rhymed - ha ha. Yes, the Peverells are fascinating, I love the story too. Thanks again ~Carole~
Summary: A collection of letters from Lily to Sirius
This was written when I saw it was Lily/Padfoot11333's birthday. I had the idea in my head for a while, and it seemed the perfect time to write it. Sorry it's so late.
Hi there :) This is a lovely start. I really like the letter format of this story. You really showed Lily and James' frustration and sense of entrapment from the letters. These feelings just intensify as the letters go on, and I think you did a great job showing that.
I really loved that bit where baby Harry has his say :D Did he somehow use his infant fists to write those words out or is Lily simply being a scribe and writing down whatever he's gurgling about? At any rate, it was a moment that really made me smile.
This is a great start; I hope to read more soon :)
Author's Response: I'm glad you liked it teh! I actually wasn't planning on continueing it, and had just forgotten to click the little completed button. but you have inspired me to continue it. so i'll try to write some more. I imagined that Lily would be just writing whatever Harry said. It was quite fun to come up with all those nonsense words. my sisters had problems trying to figure out what i was saying, since they dictated it to me while i typed. Anyway, i'm glad you liked it!