Hey there! Here for CTF!
You write description beautifully. I can envision that quiet morning when Evelyn wakes up so well. I love the description of her toes under her blankets and the sun shining through the window. It's such a peaceful, still moment, and I'm feeling almost nostalgic. And to bring To Kill a Mockingbird into this story makes it even better, especially when Evelyn remembers trying to guess the ending when she first read it with her mom. That hits so close to home, and you show a lot about Evelyn's character in this little memory.
Though, I'm curious to see how Minerva McGonagall finds out what's up with Evenlyn. If I were her, I'd be concerned, too. My favorite part of this chapter is this bit: "Evelyn hummed quietly to herself, and Minerva thought. There wasn’t anything she could bring herself to say; she feared, and she felt neglectful. She wore those feelings like a shroud. Both could remember times when the conversation never dropped between them. Only Minerva recognized that time was before and this was after."
Here, you show how much their relationship has changed, and oftentimes, relationships do change like that, such a gradual shift that you can only really see a before and an after.
And that ending is such a sullen note. These are grim circumstances, that's for sure. I do hope the twins are in the same House, since that seems like it will help them cope and heal. You write Minerva and Albus's relationship, well, too. There's a good chemistry between the two of them, long time colleagues.
What an intriguing story! Good work.
[Now time for a little plug, if you become active on the HPFT forums, you can get more feedback on your stories, swap reviews, engage in House activities, etc. Hope to see you around on the forums! :) ]
Thank you so much for the review! I had no idea CTF was happening, so logging on to find so many reviews on my story was such a boost to my day!
I hope you've come back to the story and been able to see the evolution of Minerva and Evelyn's relationship. Minerva is one of my favorite characters in the series, and having the opportunity to explore another side of her while attempting to stay close to the canon has been a wonderful challenge.
I believe I signed u for the forums, but I'm not really sure what I'm doing with them and I've never really engaged with them before... I feel like I struggle to keep up my writing (especially since I work full-time), but maybe I will try them again. I really do love feedback and connecting with other writers! Thanks for the encouragment!
Hi! I’m here for April 2019 CFT.
This chapter raises even more questions than the first one did. It seems that Elizabeth and Evelyn have indeed undergone the memory wipe, and the results are eerie. I love your description of the bubbly Evelyn, who isn’t hungry when she should be. I particularly liked the happy memory ‘tinged with pink.’ And her sister Elizabeth is even darker than she should be.
The cameo of To Kill a Mockingbird was an interesting choice. Is this foreshadowing? Why this particular book?
Minerva seems quite disturbed by what has happened. It is interesting that no one knows what will happen long term with this charm, and that no one knows what will happen since the charm was performed on twins to remove the same memory. I love that the girls are more stable and normal together, but that they become unhinged if they are apart. I fear that they will indeed be sorted into different houses.
I wonder what country and school the girls were in before.
The final conversation between Minerva and Albus is tense. Albus is maintaining that this was the best course of action and Minerva is completely unconvinced. Again, it’s so interesting that a student asking an innocent question might trigger the girls remembering whatever it was that they were trying to forget. And also, why is it that they are still not safe from Voldemort—only the memory is?
Thank you so much for the review! I really did want to set-up the first chapter with questions, so I'm glad that came through in your reading! And, yes, To Kill a Mockingbird is definitely foreshadowing—but not in an overt way. I think it will come through more, especially in the more recent chapters that I'm posting and writing.
I also love the idea of experimental magic. In the canon, we really only see established spellwork with two exceptions: Hermione's accidential transformation into a cat with the corrupted polyjuice potion and the allusion to Luna Lovegood's mother. However, I would imagine that there is a lot more experimentation going on (especially in the Department of Mysteries) and this particularly experimentation has very specific consequences for Evelyn and Elizabeth.
I hope you've stuck with the story to see some of your questions answered, and I would love to hear from you again!
Hi! I am here to review for the April 2019 Capture the Flag.
I must say, this opening chapter is intense, even though it’s just a conversation between these three characters. I like how you have dropped us right into the action with no explanation. I realized that they were talking about erasing Evelyn and Elizabeth’s memory of their mother—but why? Where is their mother? And, since Minerva eventually agrees in order to keep the girls safe, what is it that they know that puts them in danger?
I also see that this is set during the second wizarding war—so how will this dovetail with canon? I love how you’ve set up all these questions right off the bat—it makes the reader need to turn the page.
This idea of Minerva having a sister and nieces is also intriguing. How alike are Minerva and Athena, since it seems that Evelyn and Elizabeth are so different.
I laughed at the reference to George Lucas and the idea of Minerva having to track down a Muggle newspaper to get the joke. I’m also amused that Athena would have more Muggle cultural references after going to America.
Minerva’s point that erasing a memory, while it might save you from short term pain will also prevent you from the joy of the memory is so wise. I wonder, if the girls go through with the memory wipe, if they will regret it. Short term relief is not always worth the cost of long term recovery.
I want to know what houses the girls will be sorted into. And why is Elizabeth ‘fighting the dark side’?
I really love this opening scene, and how much it does to establish the relationship with the three women—so I'm really glad you liked it! I've been working really diligently to dovetail this story with canon. (I have actually been re-reading the novels while writing to help dig into the details.) I was really inspired by some of the other works that I love on here that are canon-centric when I started revising this story, and I've really enjoyed where that shift has been able to take my original characters. If you like fictions that stick close to the canon, I hope that you will keep reading and let me know what you think!
I also love that the George Lucas reference got a laugh! I feel like I've tried to weave some humor throughout the narrative, and I always wonder if it comes through. Yay, that it did this time!
Tasha here for Gryffindor Capture the Flag - Team Gold!
This was a really interesting opening chapter. I like the whole set up here, with Minerva being a guardian to her nieces who now live with her at Hogwarts. I'm really interested in her life outside teaching as there is just so much to explore, she's for sure one of my favourite characters.
I loved this: "Minerva had always encouraged them to question, to be curious, and to be studious." - it just seems exactly true to her character and I can just imagine her being exactly like this, so great job there! You've written her exactly as I imagine; intelligent, strong and a bit stern. It is also very clear she loves her nieces.
Evelyn and Elizabeth Castell seem really intriguing already, I'm really curious as to what has happened to them. Evelyn seems extremely strong-willed and it seems like Elizabeth is the quieter one, so I'm looking forward to getting to know them more. I adored the moment when Minerva remembered their mother and explained about how that may not happen to them and their memories could become artificial after whatever professor Dumbledore does to remove the girls' memories. It was beautifully written. This was a great chapter, I'm off to read more now!
I love Minerva! She is one of my favorite characters in the series, and I really felt like this was an opportunity to explore her character beyond Harry's point of view and outside of the castle walls. I'm so glad you are enjoying her so far!
I'm so touched, too, that you felt the chapter was written beautifully. Honestly, that warms my heart. I hope you did go on to read more, and I hope you drop another review or two so that I can see what you think of the narrative as it progresses!
I think this is really interesting start. I really like how you've created mystery even in the first piece of dialogue here. I have a ton of questions already before you've even got into the main part of the chapter.
It's difficult to know what to make of the girls so far. They seem very hurt I suppose. Their ways seem very different, I think it's going to be intriguing to see that develop if their differences are going to divide them further or at some point help them unite. You've set up a lot in this chapter but it doesn't feel in a forced way. I thought of it was quite natural. Elizabeth seems very slytherin to me. (too much prejudging perhaps?)
It's nice to see Minerva in a caring role, she is a teacher and obviously she cares about her students but it's not the same as family. I look forward to seeing her more in this role throughout the story.
- Abbi xo
Thank you so much for the review! I don't think you were too quick to judge Elizabeth, and if you've kept reading you know that's true! She is very Slytherian, and I really enjoy writing from her point of view. She is so radically different than Evelyn, who we get most of the story from and who is much more naive in the beginning of the story.
Minerva is also a really lovely character to write; she was always one of my favorites in the series and I feel like this story is just as much an opportunity to explore her characterization as it is to introduce new faces and see how they work within the canon.
I hope you'll let me know what you think as you keep reading!
I really like how you begin this story. You get a lot of information in very naturally - that the girls are moving in with their aunt, that she has clearly been a part of their lives and they appear to respect her as they talk about how she encouraged them to question things, that the two girls aren't close to each other and that they appear to be stressed and/or unhappy.
It also seems that Minerva has something to reveal to them and that, perhaps, they might not like it as she seems to be reluctant to tell them whatever it is.
That part about Elizabeth being the only person Evelyn has left now is so sad, particularly when they aren't particularly close. Something like that could well bring them closer.
I wonder what she is asking about when she asks if it will hurt. It must be something quite uncommon if even Minerva cannot answer her as I doubt there's much she doesn't know.
Ah, it seems to be about removing their memories. Whatever happened that night was clearly very traumatic. I am assuming their parents were killed but even that alone does not seem to account for what is taking place here as many people died in the Harry Potter series and they never suggested doing this for anybody so I am guessing there is something particularly upsetting here. Either that or the girls have found it particularly hard to deal with.
I love this line: "She wanted to be rid of the dreams, which had turned to nightmares, and the memories, which had turned to bogs." There's something really emotive about it, something that seems to really capture how she feels.
And I like the part where she asks what the point of being magic is if she can't do this. She seems to be relying on "being magic" to fix everything, when of course, it won't.
Oooh, I find that part about Elizabeth battling the dark side intriguing, especially when combined with the information that the sisters are not close. I wonder if that is foreshadowing that she is going to take the wrong path later on.
Oh, I wonder what their secret is and why they seem to be almost able to make demands of Minerva. She isn't the sort of person who lets teenagers tell her what to do or who responds to blackmail. It seems to be the secret and the need to keep it that really decides her. I wonder what it is.
Review for Quadpot, Match 3: Stories with no reviews.
Thanks, Margaret! I've been working on this story for a long time, and I think what I like most about the beginning is that the girls aren't necessarily likeable. (Which might be a weird thing to say as the author!) Though you're right to see that they respect Minerva, there's definitely tension there.
Thank you, too, for pulling out that line. I think as a writer sometimes you just find lines that you love and that you're proud of—you know what I mean? : )
I hope you kept with it, because some of the answers you're looking for come pretty quickly—especially when it comes to their secrets. The girls each have their own, and htye've really taken a life of their own now! If you're still reading, I hope you'll let me know what you think!