~ nim. twenty three. she/her ~
hp fanfic & original fiction.
angst, suspense, mental illnesses, minor characters.
Theia @TDA | graduate artist | available for requests
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!
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! :)
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!
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.
banner by just.a.willow.tree
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.
Calla Greenwich comes from a long line of Green Witches and has become the owner of Rose & Co. Apothecary after her grandmother, Rose, dies suddenly. The town rules it an accident, but Calla is certain that her grandmother's death has something to do with all of the disappearances in town. She's on the case with her best friend/ex-girlfriend, Bia, when strangers from a shadowy government organization that specializes in the supernatural come to town to investigate the missing people. She and her mother are on the top of the list when all evidence points to the occult. Will Calla clear her name and solve the mystery?
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]
banner by starship2016 @ sp
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! :)
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 Theia'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. :)
Hey Jenn! Here to review your entry for the Narrative OF challenge. :)
I love how you've introduced your main character at the very beginning of the piece. The various activities she performs and her thoughts during each of them build up a sense of who she is in a very subtle manner, giving an insight into what kind of setting and emotions are involved in the story. Your description of the writing desk and the wooden walking stick combined with the mention of a burnt orange colour built up a very rustic, nostalgic kind of setting and I was immediately hooked onto your character's story. The bit about the facial cleanser was a very nice touch, building up her bitter thoughts about ageing and giving a glimpse into Jacqueline's perception about her current way of life.
Getting into her backstory brought up a mixture of emotions, from the sweet memories of marrying Raphael and the matter-of-fact tone in which she thinks about the events leading to it, combined with the way her children grew up and moved on with their own families was so poignant. I also love how you've built up Jacqueline's character a lot more through her conflicting thoughts about living in New Orleans while she longed to be back in France.
The part where she speaks to the police officer and has a million thoughts running through her head about Raphael was so powerful and sad. I definitely didn't expect it to take such a solemn turn. I literally had chills when she got to know about the disorder - your descriptions of how the symptoms progressed was scary and really well written.
This one-shot was such a powerful mix of emotions, Jenn, I'm so glad you decided to write it. The only bit of crit I have is that at some places the story jumps around a lot and it's a little difficult to keep track of what's happening with each of the characters. If you're planning on expanding your universe and writing more pieces related to these characters, I'd suggest maybe shortening the length of the piece and maybe focusing on one or two scenarios in more detail. :)
Great work, lovely! And thank you for entering my challenge! I look forward to reading more of your fics and if you'd ever like to discuss something, feel free to send me a PM. <3
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
Sunshine on white-blond hair,
Banks of tall, pointed pine,
A long walk once,
And your hand in mine.
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!
I smiled, painting a work of art with her blood.
banner made by me (starbuck.@TDA)
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!
They carried watering pots and sprinkled water over their art works.
“Yeah, I could tell what was coming..."
This was written for
Prefect's Fall Writing Challenge (2018).
Something pertaining to the Fall Season
Hey Kenny, happy holidays!
This was such a wonderful snapshot of Harry's life, one in which he's just being a father and doing normal things, with nothing related to the war or its aftermath in this. I love the that you've set this in a Muggle park, building up a lovely image of the sandbox and the gingko tree, with Harry just looking out at everything around him while his son plays.
The bit of detail about Hermione telling Ginny about the importance of children playing with sand was a great addition to the story, and such a Hermione-like thing to say. Love it.
The bit where Harry slips into Parseltongue and tries talking to the snake seemed to hold a hint of nostalgia, like he hadn't done it for a while and couldn't resist talking to one when he did.
The description of the ginkgo tree with its golden fan-shaped leaves against the blue sky was gorgeous, and I love that you added in the bit about the stinky nuts and the smell of cheese. I have never seen a ginkgo tree myself, and that was such a vivid, lovely bit of description that made me want to go and read up all about them.
The way Harry interacted James was incredibly cute, and you've really showed him as a fun and caring dad in this, someone content with his new, peaceful life.
Great work, Kenny, I really enjoyed this! :)
[December BvB - Team Bronze]