~ nim. twenty three. she/her ~
hp fanfic & original fiction.
angst, suspense, mental illnesses, minor characters.
galadriel on the forums and TDA.
Banner by artemis. @TDA.
The war is over and the Dark Lord has been defeated, but as the Golden Trio return to Hogwarts to complete their seventh year, the scars of the war remain. Hermione has been appointed Head Girl alongside Draco Malfoy. With an unknown threat lurking in the dark, is it possible they can build a new path that leads them all to something brighter?
madi hello! i am so sorry i'm just getting around to reviewing this. i am a terrible friend, i apologise.
so, i am not normally a dramione shipper (drastoria 5ever :P) but i've always found it interesting to read all the different takes on characters and pairings. ever so often, i come across an absolute gem which makes me want to read more of that pairing, and yours is one such story, truly. i love how hermione's reading shakespeare in the opening scene. like, of course she's reading shakespeare. i love her. the sinking feeling when she saw the mysterious stranger (*cough cough* draco) and the connection to the war was so intriguing and i think it's great that we get to jump straight into the history between them.
the transition to first person was super effective in conveying the fear hermione was feeling. your descriptions were so vivid in the flashback, conveying the tenseness and fast pace of the scene so perfectly. my heart was literally racing along with hers and i think i was holding my breath throughout the scene with mcnair and dolohov. you captured the voices of the death eaters so well, it made me shudder. ugh, that was horrifying, i hate them. (well done writing them)
your characterisation of draco was SO GOOD omg. i love how well he played his role and kept up the image of being a faithful death eater to save hermione. the way he controls his emotions and expressions was impressive, so well written. and the way he said "everything." gosh. <3 i need to know more! when did he start feeling something for her? why did he choose to join the death eaters? how does he feel knowing he hurt her with his harsh words? there is so much built up with just that one word and i am hooked.
madi. this is so good. so well written. it's completely believable and fits in with canon since we know draco ultimately realised the error of his choice, so this whole storyline you're spinning has got me really curious about how things will proceed. i will be back to review the second chapter and gush some more, sorry again for the wait. <3
hi madi! here for our swap. <3
okay, i can't get enough of this story now. this chapter is packed with so many details and character arcs, and the angst is so juicy, i love it.
the scene with hermione and her parents was so heartwarming and touching. it's clear that hermione appreciates them and all that they do for her, especially after being away from them and on the run for so long. i've always felt that post-war stories (the ones i've read) don't delve enough into the dynamics of her family life. restoring their memories after a year would not only take a toll on her parents but hermione as well. it was such a difficult, brave decision that she made and it must have torn her apart to do so, not knowing if she'd be able to find them again or what their lives would be like in australia without her. the love and support her parents showed her made me tear up, that was such a poignant moment, and i love that you've included it in this chapter.
the reunion between hermione and her friends was so well-written as well. the relief & happiness at being together again and finally moving forward from the events of the war was so apparent and i love how much emotion there is in such a small scene. and of course she's head girl, no surprise there. :P
draco as head boy. i did not expect that. but honestly, it fits. i mean, dumbledore clearly has plans for the school, he's not going to let something as simple as death stop him. xD seeing the goodness in draco and his willingness to do better is something so characteristic of dumbledore - he was always one for second chances - and throwing everyone in for a surprise is just the kind of thing i can totally see him doing. he'd probably be in the afterlife, sucking on a lemon drop and chortling to himself while twirling his long beard around his finger, watching house rivalries be thrown for a toss while playing cupid at the same time hahaha. i love this so much.
hermione losing her shit is the best thing ever. she's such a nice, generous person most of the time, but when she gets ticked off, her tongue is sharp. the way you've written her lashing out at draco is so good honestly. and the blunt way in which she said “Was Dumbledore barking mad to make the boy who tried to kill him the Head Boy?" – ouch. the truth stings. draco seems genuinely sorry though. i like that he’s not making excuses for his earlier behaviour and everything he put hermione through, but is trying to let his actions speak for themselves, and repent for his prejudice and meanness.
i’m really curious (and devastated) about this blocked memory of hermione’s. at first I wondered whether she’d been obliviated but that doesn’t seem to be the case here. if draco’s right and she’s repressed it to the extent that she can’t remember what happened, then it must be a lot worse than he knows. poor hermione, my heart goes out to her. :( being held under the cruciatus for a long time is not a laughing matter and it must have taken her a lot of willpower and courage to shut it out and continue functioning during the battle. but clearly, her defense mechanism was so effective that she’s completely blocked out the trauma and it’s no doubt going to come back to affect her later on. this is so sad.
i love the bit about hermione handing out papers containing information about PTSD and other problems the students could face. that is such a hermione thing to do. she’s so compassionate and thinks about things that other people may not pay attention to, going the extra mile to put in the effort to make sure they all have the coping mechanisms necessary to deal with the trauma from the war.
i also like how she also doesn’t step in during the tense moment between draco and justin. while she wasn’t attacking or opposing draco, she also wasn’t going to save him from unpleasant situations like this one. he needs to fight his battles himself, prove to the entire school that he’s actually a changed person. she’s willing to give him a chance but not blindly forgive him for everything either.
the amount of development you’ve done and the depth you’ve given to hermione and draco is so brilliant in this chapter. there are so many layers of issues that they both need to get through and deal with on their own before their relationship can evolve to a healthy romance and i’m so excited to see how everything goes. i know this was written ages ago and you haven’t come back to it in a while but I truly think it’s held up well. your writing is such a pleasure to read. <3
We were meant to be friends, Remus. You know it, as well as I do.
Two children who grew up together. Two boys struggling on their paths towards adulthood. Two men faced with darkness too thick for them to get through.
A Peter/Remus story.
Set in the All the truth about Jimmy Portman's universe.
Hufflepuff Story of the Month - November 2016
Sitewide Story of the Month - January 2017
Golden Chalices Awards 2017 Runner Up - Best Drama
Golden Chalices Awards 2017 Winner - Best Minor Canon Character
FROGS 2017 Nomination - Best Marauders Era
FROGS 2017 Nomination - Best Minor Canon Character
FROGS 2018 Winner - Best Minor Canon Character
Beta'ed by Ysh (princesslily_36/Flaming Quilltips), with some help from Bianca (victoria_anne). Stunning banner by Kristin (Stella Blue). Love you, girls!
Hi lovely! Here for our swap. :) I’ve heard so much about the Jimmy Portman universe and I’m ashamed to say I still have to catch up on it, so I thought I'd start with Liar.
The premise here is so interesting and unique. I’ve never read anything that focuses on Remus and Peter, and the whole thing about them being childhood buddies is brand new to me as well. It’s always James and Sirius who are seen in this kind of role so I’m absolutely hooked onto this because of how creative and unique it is.
I love how you’ve built up their first encounter through their mothers being old friends. What a wonderful bit of detail! We don’t know much about their parents, except for Remus’ father offending Greyback, so this is a great base you’ve set for their friendship, I love it.
The children are so cute and their friendship is so lovely to read. It’s so beautiful and sad to see their innocent playfulness here – it makes Peter’s betrayal all the more hard-hitting. I’m SO curious to see how all that will play out. There’s the promise of so much angst and feels, and I’m really captivated by your writing.
I love how you’ve brought in Remus feeling sick and Peter just wanting to spend more time with his friend. It’s one thing to see Remus dealing with being a werewolf as an adult, and a whole other thing reading him as a child. The amount of pain and trauma he has to endure, and all alone, is just unbelievable and my heart goes out to him. The scene around his first transformation is short but so, so powerful. You’ve written his need for comfort and his feeling of betrayal at his father’s absence really well and it’s heartbreaking that his dad can’t be there with him.
“She sat down on the ground, right in front of the garage's door and spent the night there, awake, her eyes fixed on the perfect circle of the bright, full moon.” This sentence is packed with emotion omg. It’s chilling and I have goosebumps at the end of this section. I am in awe at the way you’ve conveyed the depth of pain his mother is feeling with just this one line. Wow.
Ugh those bullies were awful. Remus just can’t get a break. :( It was so brave of Peter to stand up for his friend. His characterisation is so wonderful here and it’s such a powerful way of showing us why he was sorted into Gryffindor as well. I absolutely love your writing, Chiara, and I can’t believe I hadn’t read this before, it’s so good.
I understand why Remus’ family decided to move away and get a fresh start – Remus definitely didn’t deserve to go through even more problems on top of the ones he was already dealing with – but it’s so sad that he had to give up his one friendship. That both the boys had to lose that.
Peter just wants to see his best friend for his birthday. :( You’re giving me all the feels in this chapter, gosh. This section seems to bring out a more Slytherin side to Peter, with the dark tone in his voice and how he hates people who hurt the ones he cares about. Everything seems to have affected him so deeply and it just goes to show how much the events in his life will go on to shape the kind of person he’d become. I love the various dimensions to his personality you’ve brought out I this chapter, from his bravery, to his fierce friendship, to his darker possibly-vengeance-seeking side, and also just the innocent, upset child that he is. I’m so excited to see how his character grows in the coming chapters!
The scene between Remus’ parents has so many layers of emotions packed into it. There’s the fear that every child feels when they’re leaving their parents behind, but Remus has much deeper fears here and his self-loathing is already apparent, at such a young age. The bit where he thinks about his past friends was so powerful with the unstated meaning behind it. At the very least, he hurt them in some way, and at the most, he bit them, neither of those situations something that a child should go through.
I love this chapter so much. You’ve done such an amazing job of writing the voice of children, and the scenes are all packed with layers and layers of detail that build an incredibly powerful backstory. Honestly, I’m a wolfstar shipper through and through but your writing definitely lets me see how these two could come to be and I’m really excited to read more.
Great job with this and thank you for swapping! <3
Nim! Hello, dear! Thank you so much for swapping and for stopping by here with this wonderful review, and sorry if I'm so late with my reply... <3
I have a big love for Remus and I have developed a big interest in Peter, as well. I always thought that since James and Sirius were so close, it would make sense for Remus and Peter to get closer, too. I never really thought about them meeting before Hogwarts, either, but I do love the idea now and I'm glad you found it interesting, too! :)
Glad you loved their first encounter, and the friendship between Mary and Silvia. :) Glad you are enjoying the two children getting closer, too... yes, there will be a lot of heartbreak down the road, with the war and its consequences... but for now they are just innocent little boys... I'm so glad you are captivated by my writing, btw. You flatter me. <3
Poor Remus... it's heartbreaking to think about all the pain and trauma he had to go through at such a young age... :( I'm glad you could feel for him, even if it was sad... :(
And poor Silvia, too. I can't imagine what it would be like for a mother to have to stand aside and leave her child to deal with that alone... I'm glad you liked that sentence.
Those bullies were truly awful, poor Remus... :( and yay for Peter for showing some Gryffindor bravery! So glad you like my characterization of him!
It is very sad that Remus had to move away and separate from Peter... :( But also kind of inevitable, since Remus wasn't safe anymore there...
I wanted to show a darker side to Peter there. He's vendictive and he can hold grudges and he can hate the people who hurt him or those he cares about... He's an extremely complex character and I'm glad it started to show a little in this first chapter, even if he's only a little, innocent child at the moment.
Poor Remus is so scared of going off on his own, with all the risks that his lycanthropy brings along... :( My idea was actually a bit less tragic, I just thought that, pretty much like it happened with Duncan, Remus let slip with the kids he befriended about his condition and lost a lot of friends along the way. And now he's just scared of getting hurt again...
I'm so glad you liked this first chapter and the beginning of my boys' backstory. And I'm so glad you are excited to read more! <3
Thank you so much, this review was just wonderful!
Stunning banner by accursed. @ TDA
WINNER The Pride of Gryffindor Awards 2019 - Best Major Character
WINNER - FROGs 2019 - Best Friendship
WINNER - The Pride of Gryffindor Awards 2017 - Best Post-Hogwarts
FROGS 2017 Runner Up - Best Minor Character
2nd Place - Frankie05's Dobby Challenge
A tale of death, love, and the bond that holds everyone together.
Hi Kaitlin! Here for our swap. :)
I can't believe I haven't read this before. The premise of the story is so original, something I have never come across before, and this prologue has got me hooked onto what comes next.
The first two lines don't indicate anything out of the ordinary. The descriptions of the silent house and warm bed and "perfect Sunday morning" weren't really indicators for Harry being on his deathbed so when it was followed up with Harry's complete exhaustion and his feeling like he was come undone, I was shook. That was such a powerful beginning to the story. I love that we jump straight to the heart of the matter without fanfare or drama, the mood of the scene being calm and peaceful despite the sad event taking place. The line "Harry recalled death like an old friend" was such a great connection to the third brother, and very apt for Harry's character. I also love the bit about him facing death twice already but surviving, and then moving on to how things are different now. That was so strong and poignant.
The small bit of dialogue between Harry and Ginny shows the level of understanding and love they've shared for so many years, and it's so clear from the fact that she is as accepting of his death as Harry himself is. They're in tune with each other on a different level after spending 82 years together. I love the way you've written her quiet understanding.
His final words were also perfectly Harry. All his life, all he wanted was to have a loving family. After everything he faced in his childhood years, he went on to getting this very desire, and it's so beautiful that the very last thing he sees and says and feels before passing on, is love.
I am filled with so much emotion after the prologue and it is amazing that you've packed so many small, meaningful details and wonderful descriptions in such few words. This was truly such a great start to the story and your writing is excellent. I'm looking forward to reading more. :)
Keep an eye out for more reviews over the next few days! :D
Written for The Video Game Fanfiction Challenge on Shadowplay!
Everyone has told Sora that Kairi's dead, to forget her, but he can't get her out of his heart.
Hi Kaitlin! It's been a while since I read something of yours and I thought I'd stop by your AP. :)
The first thought that struck me after reading this fic was the ingenuity of that Story Title! I haven't played Kingdom Hearts so I went into this fic with a blank slate and that ending had me in shock, but then I realised the true meaning of the title and god, what a WHIRLWIND of emotions. You had me doubled up in laughter while feeling incredibly guilty about laughing after such a sad, powerful ending, and while being sad about said powerful ending. xD I never thought that it would refer to literally becoming heartless because he gave up his heartbeat for hers. BRILLIANT.
I love how the entire fic is basically just one scene, but you've captured Sora's thoughts and emotions so wonderfully while building up to that ending. There was a sort of eerie, suspenseful air hanging over the first half, with the mentions of her heart beating against his own and about the keyblade's power. I'm guessing there's a connection to the canon plot of the game here but not having any kind of base to it, I was super enthralled by what was happening. I love that initially there were only hints to the keyblade's power - nothing suggestive of the way he saved Kairi - and his promise of finding a way to bring her back seemed like his journey was just about to begin.
And then BAM. What a twist. I was definitely not expecting it and it hit me with so many emotions. That he so willingly gave his own life to save Kairi's, that his final thought was of relief that he'd managed to... it was all so sad and beautiful and I loved every word of it. I especially love the bit describing how it felt when he used the knife, it was so vivid. The line "Coldness crept into his extremities, chasing the life from his flesh" was my favourite - it really added to the urgency of the situation and the feeling of surrendering his life.
Aaah I've really missed your writing, Kaitlin. This was amazing and packed with so emotion for such a short read! Great work!
Men become accustomed to poison by degrees - Victor Hugo
It is October 1949: Lycus Malfoy is dying, quarantined in his house alone but for his wife, Adelaide, who still hopes there is a miracle cure; Eileen Prince has vanished into a Muggle life, washing the dead and arranging flowers, away from the sneers she endured at school; Cygnus and Orion Black are at war with each other even as they bury their secrets six feet deep.
There is a murderer on the loose, shrouded in paranoia, and the old structures, things of blood and age and time, are starting to crumble.
And a ship arrives from Lübeck bringing Tom Riddle home.
|| Nargles 2018 Winner: Best Description ||
Stunning banner by starbuck @HPFT
Hi Laura! Here for our review swap – so sorry for the wait.
I’ve read the first three chapters of this before, and I remember thinking I couldn’t get enough of your prose – I could re-read the same chapter a million times and still appreciate every word on it. Coming back to it now, months after I first discovered this, it remains as beautiful and fresh as ever, and I can never tire of the way you build up a scene so meticulously. Not only do you painstakingly describe small details in a way that the scene is vividly built up, but your style of writing matches the pace or intensity of the scene itself, and this is so apparent in your first paragraph. I love how the long sentences and the verbs filled in the paragraph build up that sort of hurried feel, and there’s this fast-paced rhythm present throughout it that I absolutely adore.
And then it sort of slows down – the chaos is still present, but in the background, and there’s this whole mysterious air around your introduction of Tom, his appearance a stark contrast to his surroundings. The transition is so beautiful and effortless, I am in awe already, and we’re still just at the beginning of your chapter.
The way you describe Tom taking in his surroundings and feeling “his lip start to curl; so long being surrounded by ineptitude, by worthless, talentless lives, trapped in the same place for hour after hour - his patience was frayed, singed. He held his face impassive, though –“ is just… perfect. Omg. In two lines you managed to convey his sense of elitism, his condescension of other people and his own self-awareness. There’s so much intrigue built up here, I love it. Another thing that stood out to be was his composure, and the way he maintained this perfect image when his stuff was being checked, but then we get a glimpse of his more sinister side breaking through. “a flash of something amused and malevolent, dangerous, skittering across his face.” I love the way you reveal these little details which add to character development so much in such a subtle manner, like you’re sharing this secret with the reader in between an otherwise normal scene. I don’t know if that makes sense? Basically, your writing’s amazing and I fail at putting my awe into words. :P
Full disclosure: sometimes my attention wanders when there are long chapters with a bunch of new characters and description-heavy writing as well. It’s hard for me to keep track of names and what’s happening to each character. But I don’t face that problem with your writing – which is saying a lot, I’m honestly terrible – because like I said earlier, you have a knack of bringing in all these little details that build up characters into their own unique individuals. In Scene II, I love how we get to see more of the characters who are at play, and actually delve into their lives, form a sort of connection to them because of their personality quirks. Like Mr. Simmons trying to seem impressive when someone rich came around, treating Eileen in a harsh manner in the process. And Eileen being used to this kind of behaviour, knowing what to expect when his tone is such. It also shows us the class privilege and mindset that’s in play as well.
Laura, only you can make things like losing limbs sound beautiful.
“the horrible irony of it never failed to escape her: designing funerals for survivors.” The perfection of your writing never fails to escape me. Please teach me your ways.
I also love that you don’t need to mention Tom’s name at all but it’s so apparent that he’s the mysterious stranger. I mean, who else can cause such a reaction in Eileen?
Descriptions!!! <3 <3 <3 I love the heavy, mysterious air that’s built at the very start of Scene III and the way you introduce Tom/Cygnus with images like Cygnus’ lips and the rumpled sheets. I’m also in awe of the way you write dialogue – there’s so little dialogue but every line fits in perfectly, and holds so many layers of meaning. When Tom said “Instructive” it gave me goosebumps. Every time.
The way you brought in Tom’s cruelty and the grim nature of his visit to Europe through that description of his violence was such a contrast to his calm nature during this conversation, and shows us the various dimensions to his character, how far he’s come in his being able to control his outward emotions while manipulating a situation to fit his own purpose, how he’s able to hide his darker nature and put on this mask. Honestly, when I think of Tom in any context, the way you characterise him is all that comes to mind. He’s so, so perfect and I love him. (probably not how I should feel about Tom Riddle, but yeah :P) Tom/Cygnus is so twisted and filled with power plays and I want more.
Adelaide is another, super intriguing character. I love how you’ve introduced so many characters in this chapter while keeping them distinct from one another and I’m really curious to see how all the storylines intersect and what the bigger picture is. Adelaide brings up so many questions – who is she writing this letter to? Why is there this sense of uneasiness and foreboding? I also love the thoughts she has about her husband always dying, but never actually dying. The resentment and frustration she feels, combined with her despair of not knowing what to think, along with her reminiscing the past when he was healthy and handsome – the complexity of emotions you’ve explored through her character in just this single scene amazing and so real. She’s a character I definitely want to know more about.
Laura, gosh. How do you write like this? You somehow strike the exact balance between plot elements and stunning descriptions, and the flow in this chapter is impeccable. It’s what I’d expect from someone who’s planned out every single bit of the story in depth and is really getting into the heart of the characters after tearing them apart and putting them together. and (unless I’m mistaken) I know you haven’t really planned this out so much so howww do you write like this? This is such an incredible first chapter, honestly, I love it so much and I can’t wait to catch up on the rest of this fic.
Thank you so much for the swap and for getting me back to reading this gorgeous piece of art. <3
banner by rebel_heart @ tda
If I'd known a certain messy-haired idiot was going to be in the cottage next to my family's when we went away for winter holidays, I would've stayed at Hogwarts.
Heya! I'm here for the August BvB - Team Blue!
I absolutely loved this first chapter. Your portrayal of the friendship between Lily and Dorcas is so wonderful, and it was so much fun reading their playful banter and talk about boys. Your characterisation of Lily is also spot on, and I love how you've showed her warming up to James after he stopped being so childish. The balance between her studious, school loving nature and her lighthearted teenage spirit is also so well done!
You're so good at writing dialogue - every single line was easy to read and at the same time, revealed enough information to set the background for the story, reveal Lily's feelings about her sister, as well as show the progression of her feelings for James. I am also impressed with how you've brought in different characters and shed light on their personalities and past behaviour through just one conversation!
"It would be hilarious to see Petunia's eyes bug out of her head once she realized that James and Sirius were both wizards. Especially after she no doubt tried to flirt with Sirius." --> This bit cracked me up because I immediately got a visual of her turning bright red after flirting with Sirius and I really hope this actually happens!
I'm really looking forward to seeing how all of this will play out! This chapter got me hooked onto your fic and I enjoyed every single word of it. Moving on to the next chapter now! :)
hello i'm so sorry for taking so long to respond to your review but i'm getting around to answering it now
i'm so glad that you enjoyed the banter between her and dorcas because i was trying really hard to make it flow well, for some reason when i was writing this i just wasn't feeling it so it actually took some work so i'm glad that there's a good balance between the two different aspects of her personality. oh my gosh i'm so flattered that you think i'm so good with dialogue that means so much to me, my biggest fear is always that the conversation will be too stilted no matter how hard i try and that everyone will notice.
thank you so much for your lovely review and i hope you come back for other chapters of the story.
HI I'M BACK! Again, Team Blue for the August BvB.
I cannot tell you how much I love this chapter!! I was squeeing in excitement all through that interaction with the Potters and the ending was absolutely golden! I mean, of course James had to be shirtless in it, of course the boys would be overenthusiastic and all over Lily, of course Dorcas orchestrated the whole thing, that absolutely brilliant witch! Aaah I love it so much!
Your characterisations are brilliantly done; Petunia's contempt of magical folk and her gushing over Vernon are so on point! Her using the word "freak" for her sister, even in front of her parents, just goes to show how deep-rooted her jealousy is and I like how you've written the dynamic between the sisters as well, it ties in with canon perfectly.
I have to admit,the way Vernon greeted Lily for the first time had my blood boiling a bit, but I definitely gushed over your choice of dialogue because "oh, you're the abnormal one" totally sounds like something he would say with all his pompous arrogance. It's also interesting that Petunia told him about magic so early on in the relationship - I haven't really thought about how that conversation might have gone till now, and I like your take on their relationship. (I would also be super interested in reading something from Petunia's PoV if you ever feel like exploring that further)
The way you described Euphemia was so heartwarming and instantly brought a smile to my face. :)
I love how you've captured Lily's thoughts in this and I'm really looking forward to reading more!
omg i'm so glad you came back to review another chapter!!!!!
i'm so excited to write everyone as actively being a participant in trying to get james and lily together even if some of the characters don't even realize that it's exactly what they're doing. we love meddling friends in this household (although i would probably kill my friends if they tried it on me). i'm glad that the relationship between petunia and lily seems realistic i was worried it would come across as caricaturic in a sense???? i don't want it to seem as if i'm forcing the hostility between the two of them. if i ever did write something from petunia's pov it would be a separate oneshot definitely but at the moment i don't really have any ideas for her but you never know i might in the future.
i hope i do james's parents justice throughout this story, they seem like such lovely people i'd hate to write them poorly.
thank u so much for reviewing!!!!
A choice made in a desperate moment leaves Merlin and Arthur having to deal with repercussions neither wanted or expected.
Reveal fic. Friendship.
Written for the Tumblr blog "Merlin Memory Month 2018," Day 4:
Path II - Farewell(s) * Path III - Emotion/Mood: Forgiving * Writing Path - Magic Reveal
Banner by 1917farmgirl.
Jill, hello! Here to spread some holiday cheer and also binge read your Merlin fics because.... well, I just realised I've been missing out on some absolutely fab stories. I mean, the reveal has always been a HUGE part of the show and it used to irk me so much that Arthur never knew how much Merlin had done for him. This is the first Merlin fic I've read and I love that it's around the reveal, I love everything about this so much. Everything.
The banter between Merlin and Arthur is so well written. The characterisation is just PERFECT in this. The line "For what? A move to Gaius's sickbed downstairs?" cracked me up - you've captured his pompous but caring tone incredibly well.
I was squeeing so hard when Arthur finally realised how cruel and unfeeling Agravaine was. When I watched the show, I was shouting at the screen with every episode, like "Arthur how can you listen to Agravaine and not Merlin, why are you such an idiot?" and you turned things around here, showed Agravaine's true colours, showed Arthur being a true friend to Merlin and moving past his blanket hatred of magic and just... my heart is content, thank you for this.
This fic is a gem, honestly, filled with all the best things about Merlin and a cherry on top. I love that you brought in the funny feeling, the way Gwen tells Arthur what happened, the murderous look she directs at Agravaine, Gaius being Gaius, the camaraderie, gosh everything was just so amazing and I had a goofy smile when I finished reading this.
Thank you for writing this, it was SUCH an enjoyable read. I'm going to creep through your page now and read the other Merlin fics you've written.
“So,” said Harry, “the diary. . .the ring. . The cup, the locket, the snake. . . and something that was once Ravenclaw’s or Gryffindor’s.“
“An admirably succinct and accurate summary, yes,” said Dumbledore, bowing his head. (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, p. 507, American Edition.)
Six items-famed for being the vessels of Voldemort’s soul. Set in eight vignettes across ten centuries, this is their stories before their fates were sealed.
Hey Barbara! I thought I'd drop by and check out this fic since you told me about it! :)
I absolutely love the premise here. I've read a bunch of Founders era fics but never one that explores the history of the horcruxes and how it all began. It's so interesting that Rowena is the one who gifts each of the others their respective items - I never thought of it that way!
Her characterisation is brilliant. From judging the Great Hall to wanting to do something spectacular with the ceiling - just that small exchange with Godric says a lot about her. She's obviously someone who goes beyond the ordinary, and wants to stand out from the rest through her ideas and creativity. I also love the casual camaraderie between her and Godric and how he's so welcoming with each of them. Most of all, I love the various reasons you've come up with for Rowena's choice of gifts for the rest of the Founders, especially for Hufflepuff's cup. The angle that you've taken of Helga being an expert in the kitchen is wonderful, and it adds to the motherly, welcoming nature that is characteristic of Hufflepuff.
There was obviously a great deal of respect among the four Founders and the dynamic between them has been explored so wonderfully in just a single scene. This first chapter was an amazing start to your fic and I'm looking forward to reading the rest!
[August BvB - Team Blue]
Hey Barbara, I'm back again for the next chapter!
I love how bittersweet the beginning is, with Rowena's pride over her creation combined with her feeling the loss of the diadem and her daughter's betrayal. I also really like how you've subtly weaved in her need for admiration from others as well as her hiding her daughter's actions from her friends. With just a few lines, you managed to add a lot of depth to Rowena's character and that's brilliant!
The build-up with the argument leading on to the creation of the Sorting Hat was so good! I love how you incorporated the rhythmic verses into it!
Salazar's character is really interesting in this and the fallacious arguments he puts across only serves to show how deep his prejudices and delusions about muggle-borns truly are. I love how you've written about the way the word 'Mudblood' was formed as well. That it came from such a childish, hate-filled proclamation and then got carried on for years because of it - that's a really powerful angle you took. It's also incredibly sad that his relationship with the other Founders devolved from a meaningful friendship to bitter rivalry.
I absolutely love how you've written the ending, and the smooth flow into the next sequence of events. Looking forward to the next chapter!
[August BvB - Team Blue]
Hey Barbara, I'm back for chapter 3!
I definitely wasn't expecting to read about descendents from the Peverells, and it was a wonderful surprise! I love the build-up about the ring and the glimpse of their childhood which reveals that it's the resurrection stone. That the brothers are in search of the diadem, and essentially, this becomes the first encounter between a Hallow and a would-be Horcrux without them knowing it.
The bit with the arachnid attack was so well written, I had chills while reading it. And to know that Amherst had to leave his brother's body to escape was bone-chilling, and to think he kept it all a secret, even though he knew where the diadem was... essentially leading to Tom Riddle finding it in the same place later. I really love the connect here.
This was such a sad chapter and a great twist in the story of the Diadem! I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next. :)
[August BvB - Team Blue]
Thanks Nim for all the feedback!
Each story has at least 2 horcruxes in it. The goal was to weave their stories together before their fate was determined, so I tried to put a lot of connections throughout the story. My favorite are this chapter and #5. I'm not really happy with the ending. I feel it just doesn't have the impact some of the other chapters do, so if you have any feedback on it, I'd appreciate it.
The Ellimist had given him a glimpse of the human body he had always wanted. And then he had taken it away.
Hi Emma! Here for the Magical Menagerie - Team Griffin.
Clearly, I don't care about my mental state because I willingly clicked on a Book 13 fic and ??? what is wrong with me. This is nothing against your writing of course, your writing is amazing as always. But Tobias. *sobs*
Okay, so it wasn't enough for him to have an identity crisis and be depressed already, you had to build it up x10000? My poor boy. I love (and hate) that you've brought in another dimension to his thoughts re: his body and the Ellimist is just... another level of cruel in this. It's like he's mocking Tobias because neither of the choices he has is what he truly wants, and of course, being so powerful and all-knowing, the Ellimist HAS to know that. But nooo it's all just a game for him. Curiosity maybe? Gah.
I love that there's the whole aspect of "experiencing freedom" which comes with remaining a hawk for Tobias. It's not just a choice between human and hawk or human and being a part of the Animorphs - it's tied in so deeply with his identity in a way that fits so well with his canon character as well and just. Like, before he became a nothlit, he was already so uncomfortable in his body and couldn't even breathe properly with the ace bandages but no that wasn't enough, he has to deal with being messed up by the war as well, and no THAT'S not enough for the Ellimist. Gosh this is heartbreaking I'm bawling my eyes out. On a different note, I'm super interested to see how you headcanon Tobias' relationship with Rachel, before and after Tobias becomes a nothlit. So if you ever feel like writing it, I am here for my boy.
I AM NOT HAPPY EMMA. (but i love you for writing this.)
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In all honesty, Albus would rather be literally anywhere else than the wedding between the love of his life and his cousin.
AAAAAH MY HEART!! HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME TAYLOR? :'(
I should have guessed that it wouldn't end well after seeing the story summary but for some reason, my mind was fixated on "scorbus" and "star-crossed romance" but not that it could actually be sad, and now I'm bawling. Why.
Keeping aside the fact that you broke my heart, your writing is absolutely GORGEOUS. The emotions were so hard-hitting from the very first line, and I love how you described his conflicting thoughts and feelings. The most beautiful (and saddest) thing about this fic is that it's so clear that Albus is head-over-heels for Scorpius, but he isn't selfishly ruining the wedding because of false hopes. His love is so clearly portrayed in the way he goes about his duties while it's killing him inside and making sure that Scorpius has the best wedding he could hope for.
I NEED to know more about what happened between the two of them in the common room. Did they talk about it later? Was there any hint of romance between them in the months following that moment? If Scorpius had looked slightly crestfallen when Albus had pulled back, then there were obviously some kind of feelings on both sides and it wasn't completely unrequited. So this is making me have a LOT of questions and I would absolutely love it if you feel like expanding on that moment in a different fic!
That final scene between Albus and James was so poignant and touching. I love how you brought in another dimension to the one-shot by including that encounter and giving us a glimpse of what James is like. He seems like a wonderful brother - not providing unnecessary sympathy but just being there for Albus and understanding what he's going through. Absolutely beautiful.
You're definitely incredibly skilled at writing emotions. This entire piece was packed with it but at the same time, it wasn't too much or overtly descriptive. It flowed so well and was an easy read while being super heartbreaking at the same time.
And now I have to go recover from all these feels.
House Cup Quodpot - Match 1, Category: Star-Crossed Romance
I... oops? I have to admit, I only feel somewhat guilty for doing this to you, because, ya know, that was kinda the point. I apparently very much enjoy breaking hearts. But anyways, this whole review has me kind of flailing around like an idiot because it's just so nice. There was a ton of emotion to juggle, and I'm so happy that it apparently came across well without being too overwhelming. And honestly, could definitely see myself expanding on that past moment, but, in case I never do, I imagined that Albus didn't bring it up because he didn't really know how he felt, Scorpius didn't bring it up because he thought he read the signs wrong and didn't want to ruin his friendship with Albus by bringing it up again, and then all the Rose stuff happened a few months later. The scene with James wasn't really planned and just kind of happened, but it seemed like a good fit and a good note to end on. Thanks so much for reading/reviewing this, and I hope you do recover from these feels eventually. :P
Winner of Theia's Narrative OF Challenge.
A return home leads to a frightening encounter.
Warning: This story contains physical, verbal and emotional child abuse.
God, it's so hard to type out this review, my thoughts are a mess right now just like my emotions. That was so hard-hitting and painful to read. Apologies in advance if I'm a little incoherent and all over the place.
First of all, I love (and hate) your choice of narrator. The themes in this fic are hard enough to read without having the narrator being a child - the whole thing gave me chills to the bone. Her matter-of-fact tone suggested that this was a commonly occurring thing, something that she's resigned herself to, and it's not something that a child barely out of high school should be going through - but it's also so real. Alcoholism and familial abuse is SO widespread but not talked about enough, especially the ones in which the family remains together even when it'd be better off for them to go their separate ways, and the effect that everything has on the children.
It's amazing that there's enough detail to reveal what kind of experience Donna and her siblings go through on a regular basis while not deviating from the perspective of a young girl dealing with what's happening. The way she's thrust into responsibility, has to protect her sister, stop herself from just breaking down even when she's in pain, and all the while focusing on studying for her Leaving Cert. - that was just so heartbreaking and, honestly, I don't have words to describe how distraught I am.
The mentions of her mother and brother also raise a lot of questions about the kind of situation she's in. Judging by her father's alcohol abuse and his temper, plus the fact that he physically hurt Donna (his own child, gah), her mother isn't going to be left alone by him and probably faces a lot of abuse herself. But even though all of this is happening, Donna's mother still remains with the father and hasn't decided to leave him yet. I wonder whether this is because she feels like she's dependent on him, whether it's because of shame/cultural reasons, or if she just feels helpless to do anything. It's so sad and frustrating but it also happens all the time with women in abusive relationships and the fact that you've left her story open-ended just makes it all the more powerful. And at the same time, I love that you've left it open-ended since it's from Donna's PoV and that's not what she's focusing on.
I love how you eased into the darker parts of her family life. It wasn't obvious initially, and she seemed like a responsible teenager who just wanted to do well in school. But then the fact that she needed to do well took on a much larger meaning once the events began to unfold.
The way Donna is incredibly protective of her sister makes my heart hurt - I wish I could just hug them both and take them away from there. I know I'm repeating myself here, but the worst part is how real all this is, it's overwhelming. The bit where Donna is thinking about the situation and analysing the best way to get her sister out of it while worrying about whether she frightened her sister more, along with how she's thinking about all this even though her head must be killing her after what her dad did was TERRIBLE. I hate that she has such a dysfunctional family and that she has to worry about things apart from her exams and school and friendships. God, this must be affecting her interaction with her friends so much as well since she's keeping everything a secret.
I really hope that the future holds better things for her. There's no doubt that she'll get good grades, she works so hard for them, but when she goes off to college, she has to leave her sister and brother behind in that abusive household and I don't know how she's going to deal with that.
While Donna's family life is horrifying, it's incredibly well-written, and you paint a clear picture of what kind of person she is. I look forward to reading more about her and the progression of her story if you plan on continuing this.
Thank you for entering my challenge!
"I really hope that the future holds better things for her. There's no doubt that she'll get good grades, she works so hard for them, but when she goes off to college, she has to leave her sister and brother behind in that abusive household and I don't know how she's going to deal with that."
This is exactly what the main story is about. This is sort of a prequel/background. The full story is set when Donna is at college and dealing with that dilemma. She doesn't want to go home any more than she absolutely has to, for obvious reasons, but she also doesn't want to abandon her younger brother and sister.
I'm really glad the story felt real to you. Donna is one of my own favourite characters, mostly because of the matter-of-fact way she deals with things. I actually have to take a step back to realise just how horrific the situation is because she is so calm and almost accepting of it.
The mother's situation is an interesting one and not one I've gone in to too much detail about at all, because Donna doesn't really care. She's pretty angry with her mother for failing to protect them and doesn't really think about it from her point of view. And Donna is a much stronger character than her mother so I don't think she quite appreciates how difficult her mother finds it to stand up for herself or take initiative. There is definitely an element of helplessness and dependence. My own thought is that she was probably abused by one or both parents herself as a child and probably thinks she deserves to be treated that way or else that it is inevitable and just how people stronger than you are likely to behave towards you. Though it didn't occur to me me beforehand (possibly because I am within the culture) it is possible there is also a cultural element as divorce was not legalised in Ireland until 1995 and then by the narrowest of margins (to the point that there were threats of legal challenges). It was legalised by a vote of something like 50.3% to 49.7% (or 818,842 votes to 809,728). So she would certainly have grown up herself in an era when people did not divorce.
I love the amount of thought you've put into this and your thoughts about Donna's mother and Donna's interactions with her friends. I definitely think the latter would be challenged by the amount of responsibilities she has at home, by how quickly she's had to grow up, by the fact she can't really invite friends home and by the amount of secrets she has to keep. I think she may well only have "at school friends," if that makes sense. I mean, people she sits with at school and hangs out with during her breaks and studies with but that she might not see much of outside school.
Thank you so, so much for this detailed review. It must be nearly as long as the story itself! Really glad you liked it and that it felt real to you. I'm sorry (but also kind of pleased) that it was so upsetting. I mean, I don't want to upset you but I do want it to feel real and for people to sympathise with the characters.
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Fifth year at Hogwarts is hard. Everyone knows that. There are OWLs to sit, first crushes to experience and younger siblings to keep an eye out for. For Abby Albright, things become much more complicated than that, when her parents are killed in a car crash and she has to adjust to a full Muggle lifestyle overnight.
Fortunately, she has her doting sister April, and an adorable little brother, Jason to keep her company. And, surprisingly, Lee Jordan too? Abby doesn't know what's coming, but it's going to be nothing like any of her previous years. So much is uncertain.
Hi Delaney! Dropping by from your wishlist thread - I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! :)
I love that this is a fic about Hufflepuffs! I've always felt that Puffs are such misrepresented and underwritten characters so I was hooked from the very beginning when I got to know that you're looking at canon events through a different perspective - what a great, fun idea!
Three sisters, each with names starting with A. Love it! I hope we get to know more about the dynamics between the sisters. I'm really curious to know why Abby is not close to her twin sister, Amy, and whether they had some kind of falling out, if there are any bigger implications related to the war and the different ideologoes. I found this bit of detail really interesting because I've always read stories in which twins are super close so this a nice twist in the tale.
Hahaha Amos bragging about his son is SO typical of Amos. He's such a proud father and I like how you brought that into the opening scene, especially since this is the Triwizard Tournament year.
I love that Abby has a mean left hook and stinging hex. Keep those boys in line! :D
Ooh I hope we get to know how the nickname Bebe came about. Seems like there's a fun, embarrassing story there!
LEE JORDAN IS A PREFECT OMG HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?? That is so exciting and interesting - I've never read a fic with him as a prefect before and now i'm just so hooked onto this story to see how everything plays out and how you build up the characters!
Great job with this first chapter! Looking forward to the next. :)
Actually, Amy and April are the twins born in 1973. April and Amy are both muggles. Actually, this is the year before the tournament. Lee was the only choice unless Fred and George got Prefect but we knew that wasn't the case.
Hi again! So clearly, I made a terrible mess up in my previous review - I knew it was set in the PoA year but for some reason my thoughts went in two directions when I was thinking of how in-character Amos was while boasting about his son and I typed down Triwizard Tournament year instead. I'm really sorry for my jumbled up thoughts and all the confusion in my previous review. :/
Anyway, I found your characters really intriguing and I'm here to R&R some more!
I like how this starts with Abby not being a morning person and her interactions with the other students. There's a lot more that's revealed about her personality and relationships here, and I love the light tone with which it begins. After introducing a wide cast of characters in the first chapter, this is a nice way of narrowing down on the main ones and focusing on their daily life at Hogwarts.
I love that you've brought Charity Burbage into this as Abby's godmother - we don't see much of Charity in canon and the way she died was so horrific so I think it's great that you're building up on her character here and showing us a new side to her. I also really enjoyed the short but packed conversation between Abby and Charity - I love how you brought in the bit about Abby having a crush on Remus and how she teased Lila about her crush on Lockhart, and I adore the sweet nickname she has for her godmother. :)
Aww the flirtatious banter between Abby and Cedric is so cute - do I sense a budding relationship there?
This was a short chapter but revealed a lot about the setting and the characters involved in the story. I love how Abby reassures her parents in the letter to them and all the little details about her classes and her interests. You've done a great job of developing the scene in this and I'm looking forward to seeing how everything builds up! I hope Lee makes an appearance soon as well - I'm really curious to see how he'd go about his Prefect duties and if there'd be any mischief involved. :D
Great job with this and sorry once again for the mix-up in my previous review!
It's alright. I started this story because I wanted to write a the relatiinship that people wished Remus and Harry could've had. Cedric and Abby may have flirtaous banter but they will not have a relationship. I'll stick him Cho as in canon. Lee makes another appearence in the next chapter.
Hi Paula! Happy birthday!
I've heard so much about this fic that I had to come check it out!
First off - Your writing is FANTASTIC. I love how this entire chapter had absolutely no dialogue but revealed SO much and raised even more questions throughout it. It set the scene perfectly for what I believe is going to be a super thrilling story and I can't wait for more!
Your descriptions are brilliant. I could literally see every single scene that was playing out and it was marvellous. I don't know what your universe is going to contain but I love the subtle hint of magic and the sense of danger that was spread out through the chapter. I especially love how you've introduced so many different characters through Calla's past experiences, each with just a few simple sentences, and built up her own backstory through them. Her character already seems so interesting, from her work at the apothecary to her thoughts about babies (I mean, really, we've all wished babies could just be quiet sometimes) to her well-founded paranoia and self doubt. I'm also super excited to see what the sheriff and Bia will be like - you've brought in just the right amount of detail to intrigue me but at the same time there's so much left to know and I am dying to read more!
The scene with the man following her was truly terrifying! More so because it's really relatable, from her gripping the pepper spray to going over self-defense tactics - you never know when you can be in trouble while walking down a street at night, and with people going missing, it's even more scary. I could feel her emotions every step of the way, and my heart started racing when he grabbed her arm. That was INTENSE. And when she kicked him and then punched him, I really felt the satisfaction of making contact in my own hand - that scene was SO VIVID.
I can't wait to see what the dynamic between Calla and Bia will be like and how they're going to handle this whole situation, especially with their weird equilibrium of being friends and exes. Aaaah I'm so excited to see where you're going with this, I loved every word of this chapter! I hope you update soon!
[House Cup Quadpot - Match 2, Category: Action/Adventure]
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The order is absolute. His elves stands at salute. The butterflies are very important for them. They carries food during the harvest time and are helpful when the elves need long-distance transportation. -
It was written for "The Narrative OF challenge" hosted by Theia.
Thank you for entering the Narrative OF Challenge, this fic was a delight to read and you've done an amazing job of it!
The first thing that struck me was the originality of the world you've set it in. I love that you've created a new clan of elves and focused on their daily lifestyle - I feel like it reveals a lot about the world and the way they elves regard their position in it, just from these simple situations.
It's so interesting that they have a wonderful co-existence with other creatures of the world like butterflies and frogs. The elves seem to a peaceful, simple kind of folk, going about their routines and duties without any harmful intention and really appreciating the dynamics of the environment around them. The description of the mantis and the way the elves view them as scary was also brilliantly written and says a lot about how the scale of their world. I love the line "the elves are in the highest place on the food chain in the small world" because it highlights two sides to the entire universe - the small world of elves and insects and other little beings, and the big world of humans and larger animals. I'm curious to know whether there are other magical beings in the Small World, and how they would interact with the elves.
What I love most about this story is that while the elves lead a simple lifestyle, they're also very intelligent and think about things beyond their world. The facts about the swallowtail butterflies along with the Mako wonders about global warming adds a lot of depth to the fic and shows the Small World is affected by the Big World in ways they can't really understand completely but can only react to and deal with the consequences. It reflects the current state of the world and how the humans don't care about the effects that over-consumption and pollution have on the other beings that inhabit the planet, and I love how you've brought that connection into your story.
I think the style in which you've written it is amazing as well! The narration is kind of rhythmic and very much like a children's fantasy story, and I love the way it adds a sort of mystical feel to the whole setting.
Great job with this fic, Kenny! I loved every word of it and you have a very unique voice. I'm so glad you decided to write this fic and I hope it grows into something bigger! :)
Thank you, Nim for setting an interesting challenge. I really enjoyed writing remembering the first Fantasy books I read in my school library. There are some wonderful fantasy books in my country so I got some tips from my childhood memories. It was really fun. I might be itching to write elves in the plants (forest). It was amazing to imagine my original characters try to find a way to solve the problems such as the environmental issues with romance theme. :)
Gorgeous banner by softbun@TDA!
In the beautiful forest next to the city of metal lives a forest witch who loves making travelers tea.
Third place in galadriel's Narrative OF Challenge!
Hey Madi! Here to review your fic for my challenge!
First off, I'm so proud of you for deciding to jump into OF and begin building your universe! And I am super excited to see read more about it after this one-shot!
I love how there's a fairytale-esque tone throughout this piece, starting from the very first line! The mention of a "metallic city" in the very beginning caught my attention immediately and built up my curiosity about the universe. Your description of the cottage was so lovely and it had an ethereal air to it, the details building up the mood of the setting so perfectly. Reading about the sycamore trees and the puffing chimney immediately filled me with warm, fuzzy feels, and it led on wonderfully to the description of the forest witch herself.
Amaryllis is SUCH a pretty name and the way you've described her paints a gorgeous, vivid picture of what she looks like and the sort of welcoming, kind person that she is. I love that she makes tea for travellers and they feel better afterwards, that's just so beautiful and warm and fills me with so much happiness. <3 And you also brought in a cute little dragon as her familiar!! I am sold on this story 100%.
The way you introduce the fact that science is also a part of this world is seamlessly done. I love that you brought it in through a bit of conversation - it fit in incredibly well with the flow of the piece and didn't seem out of place one bit! And that's amazing because combining fantasy and real-world concepts is tricky and sometimes can seem jarring if the elements aren't properly placed within the story but you've done a great job of it! The way Amaryllis and Myrcella (gosh, another pretty name, I love it) talk about the environment policy guy and the stolen creations is so natural and flows effortlessly, blending really well with the mystical nature of the setting. I also think the line "Could you cast a protective charm for me, though?" was a great choice of dialogue - it's such a simple line and just a normal part of their conversation but introduces the concept of spell magic to the reader and that's brilliant!
The only bit of crit I have is a change in your tenses - you start the piece off in past tense, and then switch into present tense a little into the fic. This line is where the transition happens - "The occupant of the cottage was someone often referred to as a forest witch, but her friends simply know her as Amaryllis." I didn't notice it till my third read-through though, it kind of just fits in and flows along with the piece. xD
Overall, this was a fantastic one-shot and I'm so happy I got to read it! I think you've added the right amount of detail to build up your character's personality in a well-rounded manner but also let us get a glimpse into her inhibitions, building up the mystery and anticipation for what comes next. I can't wait to read more about her and this world you've created, and I'm looking forward to knowing how she reacts to the metallic city if she does decide to go and work there!
Thank you for your entry, lovely! I should have the results up soon. :)
When sixteen-year-old Wren Ferguson is dared to enter the forest and steal a bone from the Bone Troll, he can't say no. The only problem? The Bone Troll doesn't exist.
Or so he thinks.
second place in Theia's Narrative OF challenge
Hi Bianca! Here to review your entry for the Narrative OF Challenge. :)
First off, thank you so much for entering! This piece is such a wonderful glimpse into the world you're creating and I was hooked onto the story from the very first line! I love how you've introduced a new creature at the very beginning - it was a great way of grabbing attention and creating an air of suspense. I was captivated by the progression of events and your introduction of the protagonist in this one-shot. The narrative flows incredibly well and the perfect balance between what Wren's experiences and his thoughts during the sequence of events is just perfect.
I love how his thoughts about the Bone Troll and his three-step mission reveals so much about his character and personality. Initially he seems like an adventurous, brave person but that doesn't mean he's devoid of fear or ignores that he's stepping into a potentially dangerous situation. He also seems really ambitious, sort of reckless, and wanting to discover new things for his own personal gain. But then as the piece progresses, I love that more of his backstory is revealed along with his doubts and the feeling of not really belonging there. It added a lot of depth to his character but also left his story open-ended enough to build up curiosity of what comes next.
The description of Tialdor is excellent! The mention of hartlings and the city's culture is brought in so seamlessly, building up the world and your character's place in it at a great, steady pace! I especially love the line "Wren didn't understand it, the appeal of ruined, broken things, how beauty could be found in something so destroyed." It's so simple but carries SO much meaning and depth in it!
The way you've described the forest is so vivid and I actually had chills while reading it. The line "Tialdor received a lot of rain - the kind that drowns rather than nourishes - but the forest canopy was too dense to let more than a couple of drops through at a time." built up the eerie, dense air of the forest so well that when I moved on to the bit where Wren hears the hiss, my heart was beating so fast - it was scary and thrilling, but also a brilliant mixture of comical moments along with the thrill of the exploration. I was chuckling to myself through Wren's matter-of-fact thoughts and whether he should call for the Bone Troll and anticipating what comes next. Great build up!
And then the big reveal and omg!! What a darling, cute little thing! I sure wasn't expecting that! I was prepared for something horrifying and then all the shock just melted away and I was filled with warm fuzzies. I love how Wren's soft, compassionate side is revealed here and the sense of companionship built up between him and the BT. The scene in which they sit together and make each other feel better is just so beautiful. <3 aah and I love that the BT purrs!!
This was such a wonderful one-shot overall and I'd love to read more about Wren's story and this magnificent, mysterious world you've built. Great job, lovely! <3
credit banner to rock&roll!@ tda
Bee is returning to Hogwarts after a tragic event that changes her outlook on her life at the top of the social ladder.
Albus is at the bottom of that ladder but unsuspectedly someone is there who helps him see his worth.
Joint Winner: Best OC at FROGs '19
3rd Place: Best Dialogue at FROGs '19
Gryffindor's SotM: June '19
Hi Abbi! Here for our swap. :)
The opening lines in this are so intriguing. I love that we’re thrown into the mind of the main character, with a thought that holds so many dark undertones to it with the talk of mortality and dead people. And what an interesting, complex character. Bianca seems to have gone through some recent personal trauma in her life and seems to have buried insecurities, which is a great contrast to the bright smile and confidence she’s outwardly displaying. I wonder what happened to her to make her so accustomed to building a persona for herself.
The friendship between Lou and Bianca is so interesting! Lou seems to suspect that there’s more to Bianca’s story, but is letting it go for the time being, focusing on lighter topics instead. Both of them seem like they have a lot of depth under the image they’re portraying of caring about nothing but their looks. Bianca’s protectiveness towards Lou falling into the same destructive patterns with James Potter suggests that she truly cares about her friends, and I love how you’ve packed in so many dimensions to her personality in this scene.
I’m sort of on Professor Reed’s side here. It would be super annoying to have to deal with a student who thought she owned the place and could influence people to do things the way she preferred. I have a lot of mixed feelings about Bianca. I can tell she’s a lot more than what she shows to people, but I also can’t help wonder why she decided she had to be so dramatic, with the pouty mode and stuff. It’s a great defense mechanism to hide her feelings but also quite annoying. I’m really curious to know her story – you’ve built up an incredibly interesting character here!
Oh gosh, poor Albus. Poor, sweet Albus with his insecurities and feelings of being a loser. My heart goes out to him. I just want to hug him and shield him from Bianca’s harsh words. He’s clearly upset, I wish she’d give him a break. :( Also 500 galleons for a purse??? Geez.
That panic attack was. so hard hitting. You’ve captured the feeling of helplessness and despair, and the way reality feels distant so well. As someone with anxiety and who gets panic attacks, I can relate to this so much, and the way you’ve written it is so powerful and vivid. I just want to hug Albus and tell him everything will be alright.
Oh my. I love that we see Bianca’s compassion show through here. The paragraph where Albus describes her eyes and the kindness filtering through was so beautiful. “I couldn't think straight, and her eyes became my universe. I could see her lips moving, telling me that I was safe and that I was going to be ok. I believed her.” I love this so much.
I am really glad she’s being genuine here. Having an attack in front of someone is not a good experience, and if the person ends up being nasty, it’s just. ugh. I am so relieved she’s being kind and understanding with Albus. It just goes to show how she’s a good person underneath everything, and would ultimately help someone without being petty about it. I love her characterisation, you’ve done such a great job with her, and it’s just the first chapter!
I can’t wait to see how the dynamic between Bianca and Albus develops. I love how Albus feels calmer after being in her company, even though things were a bit rough between them during class. They’ve each seen a vulnerable, softer side to the other person, and this can only serve to create a bond between them, possibly leading to a wonderful, understanding friendship.
The closing lines of the chapter were so hard-hitting and speak volumes without saying much. Albus clearly doesn’t like being famous because of his last name, always in the limelight, and I can totally empathise with him and the anxiety he experiences. I can’t help but wonder if there’s a deeper resentment there towards his parents as well.
Absolutely wonderful first chapter, Abbi! I love reading Next Gen for the sheer number of possibilities present for the era, and I think you’ve done a spectacular job at laying the foundation for this story. I can sense there’s going to be so much angst and a whole lot of complex character development, and I’m so here for it. Really excited to read on!
Thank you for the swap and for introducing me to an amazing story! <3
Sunshine on white-blond hair,
Banks of tall, pointed pine,
A long walk once,
And your hand in mine.
Beautiful banner by ShadowRose @HPFT
Hi Laura! Here for the review you requested in the Staff Review thread. I'm really sorry it took me a while to get to this - I can only hope that my review makes up for it. <3 Since there are six segments to your fic, I'm breaking down my review into six as well so here goes!
I love how this begins with a snapshot into his childhood and that it’s written in first person – from the very beginning, I was pulled into the story because of the style in which it’s written. The long, descriptive lines and the spelled out words were characteristic of his inner thoughts and personality, and just this small glimpse into his life got me so intrigued to know more. The bit where it says “if I couldn’t see them, they must all be dead” was such an amazing touch - I immediately got invested in Scorpius’s character and wanted to know more about his life and why he thinks in such a way. Off the bat, he doesn’t seem like a neurotypical – he views life in such a rich, poetic manner and I love that it’s all from his perspective, that we’re seeing reality through his eyes, in the way he views everything. It’s gorgeous.
The way it transitions into the darker side of his family life with his mother having cancer and the way Scorpius is sort of disconnected from life, going through the motions but feeling trapped or confined by a cycle of forced normality, unable to release the tension that’s bubbling in him was so artistically done. His depressive thoughts and feelings are woven into the story so well and the part about him wanting to leave and wanting to find an escape in the open air of the garden but not really being able to escape reality was so relatable and it took me ages to collect myself to type out words that aren’t just “omg laura your writing omg omg I’m dead.” Like, seriously, it’s just the beginning of your fic and the emotions are overwhelming, how do you even do it.
I love how the satsumas are introduced in this section as well, and how it’s tied into who Scorpius is as a person – there’s already SO much depth to his character, and the way you’ve built up the setting and his favourite spots around the house by bringing in his parents and their experiences as well was just…. WOW. Honestly, I don’t even know what to say. Everything just flows so seamlessly and I’m in awe. (And I’m not even through half the story yet!!)
The way you’ve ended the first part is perfect as well – I was immediately curious to know more about his job and what he currently does in life, how old he is, what makes him keep going on, how he deals with the pressures of life, and why his mother felt it was necessary for him to know he doesn’t need to agree to the interview if he doesn’t want to. The final line “Wordlessly, I nodded and picked at a thin, vein-like string digging into the satsuma” was just gorgeous, your writing is so, SO amazing.
If I have to be nitpicky, there was just one line that was a little awkward in this section. “Dad had laughed later, he admitted when I was old enough I had stopped scowling about it and blushing about it, mortified and furious with my younger, simpler self.” Compared to the rest, this didn’t flow too well, especially the “he admitted when I was old enough I had stopped scowling about it…..” part. Maybe restructure the sentence a bit? Up to you, of course, this was just something that struck me while reading but it’s not too big a deal so if it’s a stylistic choice and you don’t want to change it then don’t worry about it. :)
I love how you skipped the interview itself and moved on to Scorpius’ thoughts and reactions to it. The inner monologue about how he truly feels about Louis and the interview was just… gah, I had tears, and the way it tapers down into “it was fine.” Just. GORGEOUS. I love the sense of rhythm that rises and falls, expressing a distinct divide between what he thinks and the way he communicates his thoughts with other people. The way you’ve described his thoughts on poetry and how it’s a form of magic was just so amazing, a brilliant choice of words and I love how his thoughts on poetry and poetic themselves. Ok now I’m rambling and I really need to look up other words to describe your writing other than beautiful and gorgeous, haha. EXQUISITE. Yes, that’s what your writing is. Unbelievably, outstandingly exquisite.
I also love how you’ve built up this scene between him and Padma – there’s a sort of comfort or familiarity there because he obviously knows her pretty well and she seems like an understanding person who doesn’t pressure him to talk when he doesn’t want to, but at the same time, there’s an undercurrent of tension present, which gets heavier towards the end of this section. I also like how it’s clear that she’s his counsellor without outright stating that she is, or that Scorpius is in a session. Allowing readers to form their own connections, while building it up to direct us towards the right conclusion about what the setting is, is a true skill. You should be proud. :’)
I do wish that Scorpius’ name was revealed somewhere in the second part though – we now have Padma, Louis, and Susan as known characters in the fic, while there’s no mention of Scorpius’ name. Feel free to disagree of course, but I just feel like if his name was revealed somewhere here, sort of eased into the conversation or something, it would help readers build an even better connection with his character. Right now, we know it’s him because of the little hints about his family (and because of the story summary & pairing) but bringing in a mention of his name somewhere would tie it together perfectly.
I love love LOVE how Louis is described in this though. “There had been an eyelash on his cheek in a fine, dark sweep, and a dusting of camel-coloured freckles up his arms, already starting to fade after summer.” SWOON.
The way you’ve described the Malfoys’ home – or rather, house – is spectacular. I love how it’s filled with opulence and has people in it, a family in it, and it should seem like any other warm family home but it’s not. Even with everything it contains and all its splendour, it comes across as cold and empty (even before Scorpius says it’s “cold and big and gloomy”), quite pretentious, and that there’s a greater void between Scorpius and his parents than it seems from the outside. But at the same time, it’s not so black and white – by divulging his past and telling the truth to Scorpius, Draco seems to be have accepted a new reality, and seems to at least be trying with his son. The way Scorpius ends up saying nothing, just spells out Voldemort in his mind, is indicative of his inner conflict, an uneasy mixture of feelings, taking in the signs of a dark history but not knowing how to really process his dad’s involvement. I love how all of this comes across without any direct indication of inner turmoil, and the way Scorpius’ silence said a lot more than words could.
And then, when he’s asked about the letters, I love how Scorpius doesn’t want to share but doesn’t want to lie either, that despite everything that’s happened in the past and despite him being depressed, there are layers of love?? or rather, acceptance, I’d say? of his family and who they all are, and while it’s unbelievably sad that they don’t communicate openly, they’re also not holding things back and lying to each other. There’s a dynamic present that they understand and are used to, and it works for them. Draco definitely seems to be making an effort to at least not push his son away or deny him happiness – the way he accepts Scorpius’ answer about the letters, doesn’t pry for any personal details, but understands what it’s implying says a lot about his character and how much he’s grown. Draco seems to be holding a lot of guilt about his past and seems to still be struggling to come to terms with it, but he’s also trying to be better – the way you’ve written him is so true to canon and indicative of change that’s possible but only with a lot of effort and time. It’s amazing how much depth there is to his character in single scene.
I also love how you’ve added another element to build up Scorpius’ character and backstory even further through the introduction of Albus and how they became friends. The loneliness he felt in his school days just goes to show how different experiences have built up to make him the way he is as well and I love how each segment of this story uncovers more and more of his childhood and teenage years.
I love how you start this segment off with the satsumas and clementines – not only is it a very artistic touch, it’s also a wonderful way of tying it together with the previous segments to read as a beautifully poetic one-shot. I’ve found that longer one-shots and hard to write – they sometimes tend to drag or lose cohesiveness midway through the story since there’s a LOT packed into one piece, in my opinion. I’ve had trouble writing longer one-shots and just end up cutting them down and sticking to something concise, without a lot of elements. But you don’t have that problem here, at all, and that first line stood out to me because it’s placed at the perfect point in the fic. The story has moved on to a different scene with different characters and a sort of lighter topic of discussion, but it flows so wonderfully because of how well you’ve tied everything together with this line and that’s truly brilliant. (I really hope this makes sense haha)
“everything I tried to write sounded wrong” --> I love EVERYTHING about this paragraph. The sort of befuddled state of being attracted to someone, not knowing how to show it, double guessing everything and not knowing if anything he’s written is good enough – it’s adorable and sad at the same time. On one hand, it’s the state of confusion that anyone who’s in a budding romance would go through, but since it’s Scorpius, it also holds a lot more meaning to it since we know that his frustration with not knowing how to pen it all down comes from at least a bit of self doubt and his childhood loneliness.
The reference to Muggle books, plays, and films is amazing, not just because of your beautiful writing and the way you’ve described romance, but also because it adds one more level to Scorpius’ character and life – that he’s not completely disconnected from all things Muggle. And that says a lot about how much Draco has changed as well.
“Beige thoughts, like tepid milky tea” – BEST METAPHOR EVER, OH MY GOD. <3
“I hadn’t noticed” – Oh don’t even try to deny it, Scorpius. :’)
“I'm not used to this, this kind of wool-stuffed feeling, scattered and messy, always jumping back to something else - someone else.” Gosh, I can’t tell you how much I love this line. The inner rush of feelings, the not being able to make sense of the mess of feelings, and how he feels like a completely different person – I’m amazed by how you’ve brought out his lovestruckness along with his unique, beautiful way of thinking about it. It’s hard to tell that you’ve experimented a lot with this piece because everything is so artistically woven together while staying true to your characterisation of him and just. WOW.
Yay they’ve been having coffee together! I never really thought of Scorpius and Louis together before this fic and now I ship them so hard!!
I love everything about this, the way Scorpius pays attention to all the little details – “The sweep of the ‘s', the looped hood of the ‘a' and the flicked dot above the ‘i'.” – the way he (you) describes poetry, and the way such a light situation transitions into more about his difficult childhood and how his dad’s past has affected his life so much. It all comes together so seamlessly, it’s wonderful.
It’s great that you bring his job back into the picture as well and it’s not just let go of after the initial mentions of it. I love how it helps tie it back in with the initial segments and the interview that started it all. It seems like he’s a part of law enforcement – that makes the most sense since people are so firmly against it and think that he shouldn’t do his job – but I guess it could also be some other ministry department with sensitive information? A part of me wants to know what the job is, for it to be a bit clearer, but the other side of me really likes that it’s vague and not directly stated because it also makes it seem like the job itself isn’t important, it doesn’t matter what Scorpius is doing, he’ll be treated the same way irrespective since people have already made up their minds about him. If that’s what you were going for then it’s definitely come across. (I’m not saying you have to change anything; just sharing the thoughts I had while reading it)
I love the way you’ve brought in “the power of youth.” I saw that it’s part of the lyric you were given – it’s been incorporated SO WELL. The ending is so great – it was nice to see something more positive, a small bit of hope peeking through after the heavy emotions associated with his past.
That opening. So gorgeous. Spectacular. Amazing. I can’t even describe it. There’s a rhythm to it, a beautiful rhythm that starts off mellow and then picks up and picks up with the same excitement that Scorpius is feeling and peaks at the point where he says “I want to leave, I want to stay, I want I want I want.” And then it comes down to a sort of steadiness, suddenly a little faster, back to steadiness – a rhythm woven through the whole segment and it’s perfectly in tune to the way you’ve described Scorpius’ inner state. I love it so much.
Everything about this segment is so beautiful – the vividness of the beach, the romance that oozes out of every word, the bits of doubt and anxiety laced into the overpowering emotions of love and want that Scorpius is feeling – it’s so poetic and so real and your writing is just stunning. It seems like this is the first time Scorpius has ever initiated contact, the first time that he’s reaching out to show Louis how he feels, and the way you’ve built it all up is so amazing.
That description of love is just. everything. Your writing is everything.
“He's smiling, that glitter-eyed, blue hydrangea smile, blossoming slow and soft, with his bubbled gilet unzipped, his yellow-checked shirt clinging to his skin, dyed halfway translucent.” MY HEART. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH.
I love how this is the start of something more than a beautiful romance, that it’s also indicative of how much Scorpius has grown as a person, and is consciously trying to hold on to something he wants, not letting his fears get the better of him, that he’s letting himself look forward to things instead of running away.
Gosh, I just realised what a monster of a review this is. But such gorgeous writing deserves several thousand words in a review. I love this fic so much, I love your writing so much, I love how there’s so much packed into this without it ever being too much, and I’m so you wrote this. You’ve done such an amazing job. <3 (and I’ve used “gorgeous” way too many times in this review lol, I really need to expand my vocabulary :P)
I’ll stop rambling and repeating myself now. I just love everything about this, kay? xD
Thank you for such a lovely read and again, sorry for the wait!
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When I was in Kindergarten, the teacher read us a story called My Many Colored Days. I hate many colored days. They always end in red. I hate red.
Nominated FROG Award-Most original stoty
1st place-Stella Blue and Felpata_Lupin's Unreliable Narrator Challenge
Fic Night winner-November 2018
The title, My Many Colored Days, is based on a story by Dr. Seuss
Hi Barbara! Here for your requested review in the Staff Review thread.
I love how you've set the premise for this story and woven colours into the narrative from the very beginning. The mention of the book and how long his understanding of the book has evolved over the years is such a powerful indicator of a difficult journey, that what’s going on here is more complex than a simple dislike of a book.
When we move on to his thoughts about the Harry Potter camp and associating it to the colour Green, there’s such a light, hopeful tone to the scene, and the excitement is infectious. You’ve captured the voice of an eleven year old so well.
My heart goes out to this child. The way he segregates things and days into colours, with Green being Good, and Red being Bad, and Orange as moving towards Bad, is like his coping mechanism to understand the world. By categorising everything into colours and associating them with positive or negative emotions, he’s navigating daily life and making sense of things around him. There are so many details that you’ve packed into the scene with his mom. Lines like “People say you can see those in faces too, but all I see is a face” and “She did? I remember her telling me once at the breakfast table” are packed with so much meaning. He seems to be so absorbed in his thoughts and disconnected from the world around him, genuinely not having heard his mom.
I haven’t even left the house and the day is blue. This is such a powerful ending to this section. I hope I’m interpreting this correctly -- it seems like Green is on one end with Red on the other end, and the spectrum moving like a scale. So Blue is a step in the Bad direction and the day isn’t as good as it was because of the tiff with his mom. I just want to hug them both.
The scene at the camp is so heartbreaking. I haven’t had a lot of interactions with children with autism, and this made me understand so much more about their lives and all the stressors they go through. He’s clearly overwhelmed by all the noises, and I can only imagine what it must be like for him to try and filter everything. I hate that none of the adults pay attention. It’s so sad but also such a realistic way of showing how society still has a long way to go in understanding children on the spectrum.
People are always happier when you are perfect. They aren’t happy when you make mistakes. Gosh, this got to me. I can relate to this sentiment because of my anxiety, but to think that a child is going through such a state of mind and his whole life is affected by such a thought is so difficult, I’m overwhelmed by emotions right now.
He also seems to feel everything so deeply. The way it affects him when the Harry Potter Camp doesn’t have any actual magic is so hard-hitting. Everything that happens just serves to remind him that the world is harsh, and promises are never kept, that his expectations will never remain fulfilled.
There are so many layers to this story and the child’s view of the world. In a way, things are simple – there are rules, steps to be followed, things that are good, and things that are bad. Everything is clear-cut and as long as these rules are followed, things will remain Green. But not everyone is going to behave the same way, and things are going to go wrong. When they do, and they don’t meet the child’s expectations, it’s so intensely bad that he feels like the world is suffocating. This is such a difficult situation to navigate and you’ve written all of these scenes that make up the child’s day in such a clear, powerful manner.
“The whole world should eat me. I am bad. I shouldn’t be loved anymore.” This bit of dialogue broke me. While the child wants the world to work in the way he believes it should, he also experiences so much guilt when he’s unable to contain his emotions and they burst out in this way. His mother clearly loves him a lot and doesn’t blame him one bit, and I feel so much empathy for both of them right now. They’re both trying their best and sometimes it gets really difficult because the world doesn’t understand what it’s like.
I love the tinge of hope in the ending. Both the child and his mother are so amazing, remaining strong even through the worst of days and keeping their thoughts positive, focusing on reaching a place where the world would be easier to deal with.
Gosh, your writing is beautiful in this, and conveyed a really powerful, important message about what it’s like, not only for children with autism, but also their families. <3
All my love.
Thanks, Nim. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. This story is definitely near and dear to my heart.
banner made by me (starbuck.@TDA)
I smiled, painting a work of art with her blood.
Hi Kris, happy holidays!
I am so intrigued by your characters. The cold, almost ritualistic way in which Ethan kills Aurelia was chilling, and I love love LOVE the final line "painting a work of art with her blood." It's gorgeous and morbidly fascinating. I'm also curious to know more about Selene and how she became such a stoic, ruthless killer. They seem to have their own sort of code of conduct though - at least, that's what Lex talionis seemed like to me, with the punishment fitting the offense - and I'm really interested to know how they came up with this and how they ended up blurring the line between justice and revenge.
This one-shot is amazing on its own but it also raises so many questions about what's happening and what they're fighting for. I went into this completely blind (I've only read No Mercy so I don't know much about this universe) and now I'm super invested and am going to binge read TAOBN later today.
Really great job with this!
hey nim! :D
somehow, i really enjoy/love writing ethan doing horrible/chilling things like, er, killing people - i swear i'm not secretly a serial killer! tbh, i'm also curious to know more about selene :P 'Taste of Blood' is a drabble mostly about her and how/why she became the way she is...when i say i want to know more about her - i do have an idea for her backstory and what happened in iceland, but i haven't had the chance to properly weave it into any of the stories i have written. TAOBN is much lighter and the events surrounding ethan and hit wizards are shourded in mystery and not something quinn (the MC and ethan's little sister) would know about so some clues are there but quinn, being still in school, wouldn't know much about it (which at some point really frustrates her because both her brother and her grandfather are involved in something and she has no idea what exactly).
thanks for the lovely review!