uncontrollable fandom gremlin, mostly. also companion to a very sweet dog named timmy
wonderful banner by azimuth @TDA!
Johanna Greengrass calls Teddy on a serious case of mentionitis.
For the wonderful ImaRavenclaw's Very Christmassy Love Challenge
I love me some really solid friendship fic and oh boy - even though this is mostly talking about romance it was also a tale of a really solid friendship, and I loved every moment of it :') I haven't read the other fics in this series - though after reading this one I'll really have to get onto that - but I think you've done a fantastic job of keeping a really lovely dynamic between Teddy and Johanna here without needing a lot of background information. I really, really love how she pushes him to open up, but when it's important - when he draws a line, even subtly - she backs off right away (and even apologies!). I love the smell of healthy friendship boundaries in the morning xD
Of course, I can't review this story without looking at the romantic aspect, and I think you knocked that out of the park as well. Victoire isn't even in the story, and yet from the way Teddy talked about her I felt like I could absolutely understand why he was so besotted, and why they would be a good match together.
I really enjoyed reading this - you did a wonderful job, Branwen!
In the year 1313, a young wizard's efforts to record the history of his people ends in death. Seven hundred and sixteen years later, it is read for the first time.
lisa. lisa. L I S A
i am absolutely the most excited that you're writing things again and writing this and centring it on a subject that you so clearly love and can put so much detail into. tragically, my computer's web browser does not share my excitement and is being criminally slow, so that's the reason if this review comes to you a lot later than i started it (this is the problem with having people know when you started your reviews as opposed to just knowing when i finished and submitted them >.<)
i don't know why it never occurred to me that ghosts could move on, i always thought it was a forever-choice to stay, and it lowkey makes me want to go back to canon and get sirius to stay, just for a while. but that has very little to do with this story, whose praises i intended to sing before getting sidetracked
is it terrible that i can see shades of chris in lucy? because especially with the "technically that's illegal" - i feel like that's a very chris thing to say. i love her introduction - there's nothing like nonchalantly suggesting technical illegalities and revering ancient artifacts while belittling hipster dream houses to get a character into my heart, but i feel like you knew that already
oh man, and she just takes her manuscript back. the forensic spellmaster seems kind of patronising, but also i can't help but feel just a lil sorry for those unfortunate patronising souls to underestimate lucy weasley
and yes!! this is so exciting because you are of all people are the best possible person to write about 14th century manuscripts and i am unspeakably excited to see where you go from here
"the unnecessary and, quite frankly, rude, intrusion of her day job" <<< this is so accurate it's wonderful and such a good way to start the chapter
"archimedes chesterfield, the grandeur of whose name did not match his bearing or his character" is quite possibly the best one-sentence takedown of a fictional character that i have ever read. lucy knows how to cut people down to size
and i know i already mentioned this to you but hot damn can a girl negotiate. it made me think alternately of little hailee steinfeld in true grit and my mother, which is not as strange a juxtaposition as it sounds. i love how well she can get her own way - remember what i sad about feeling a lil sorry for the patronising souls who underestimated lucy weasley? that statement definitely applies to archimedes chesterfield
i suppose that it makes sense with binns as a teacher that hogwarts is not turning out very many passionate historians - it makes me even more interested in lucy and how she got into history. and what she's been through, if she considers a "this is so cool" to be good enough to promote an intern to a staff member :P
i love the little bits of translation you have throughout the paragraph, because it builds tension admirably well but also because that seems like the most realistic way a translation would end up going
also: we get old-timey founders story!!! i haven't read much founders so i am very excited to see where you go from here, and also it means that i am probably very gullible and will easily believe any outlandish tales you choose to thrust upon me. this is going to be fun :D :D
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
Laura! I have been meaning to drop by your AP for AGES now, and so I’m finally here -- and what better way to reintroduce myself than by reviewing the long WIP hanging out at the top of the page? Never let it be said that I make things easy for myself :P
Argh, you know how much I love your description and that has absolutely not changed, let me tell you. Gosh, but you introduce all your characters -- them, their world, their emotions -- so well and so vividly it seems as though I could be there. Emotions coiling in Eileen’s stomach like twins in the womb is [ scream ] :’) And your descriptions feel so wry, sometimes! I love the images of “miserable sunlight” and “helpfully dying” in particular, gosh.
You’ve written just enough of each character to feel like a proper introduction into their various lives and situations but not nearly enough to satisfy! I really enjoyed seeing Eileen making a small sort of life for herself in a place that deals in death, and the relationship between Cygnus and Tom was so vivid and makes me feel so sorry for Cygnus because Tom is just so in control it’s not even funny -- and of course, you’ve captured Tom perfectly, his careful preciseness and the way he never lets himself go. And all this is not to mention the fact that I’m already exceedingly nervous for Adelaide Macmillan and why she thinks she needs a letter of insurance, eek.
It’s definitely a good thing you’ve got a multitude of chapters up :P Three (?) intersecting storylines seems like an ambitious undertaking, and I’d certainly be scared to try it, but if anyone could do it I have faith it’d be you :’) I can’t wait to see how these characters interact and play with each other. I am SO keen to read on!
Hey hey Laura! Back again, because I couldn’t keep away xD
Goshhh, Tom’s really in his element in this story, isn’t he? I don’t know what he’s planning at all, besides the immortality that we know from the books, but he’s definitely got something brewing in his brain and I Need to know what it is. He’s so terrifyingly capable as he carries it all out, as well -- poor Eileen just can’t seem to refuse him, and that job interview can’t have lasted more than a few minutes.
Not to mention his relationship with Cygnus, again! Which probably deserves a whole paragraph on its own, so that’s what I’m giving it -- you’ve just shown so effectively how powerful Tom is in the relationship, the way that he toys with Cygnus. And I know that Cygnus says he and his brother grew apart in Hogwarts, but you (or I, at least) can’t help but think that Tom is probably at least somewhat to blame for that, with those little comments he made about Orion -- he doesn’t understand, he means nothing. He’s isolating Cygnus from his family so effectively, ack. Your Tom is shiver-inducing for sure (and not entirely in the fun way) (maybe a little bit in the fun way; Cygnus certainly seems to think so).
But I can’t ignore the ladies in this chapter! I’ve already mentioned that I’m concerned for Eileen, but she does at least seem to know what Tom’s doing, so I’m really interested to see their dynamic going forward! And Adelaide is...still hard to get a read on 8D I certainly get that sense of fatigue from her, that old retreading of the same argument a million times, but I can’t quite rule out Abraxas’s genuine-seeming concern for his father, how convinced he is that Adelaide is up to something. Whatever the case, I can’t wait to see how all these stories unfold and intersect, so onto the next chapter!
OH GOSH, LAURA, this chapter is SO -- [screeches]
Ack, I have to take a moment and calm down so that I don’t just spill all my thoughts right here and shove them at you, but -- this chapter is such a masterwork in slowly bringing together once-disparate pieces of a puzzle, slowly pulling your characters from the edge of the web to reveal that they are all connected or growing connected to each other in strange and perfect ways. The plot thickens!
Druella and Cygnus’s relationship was unexpectedly very nice -- I’m glad that they have something that works for them. Or rather, I suppose I’m glad that they have an understanding and that they seem to get along well -- I don’t know whether I can responsibly be glad for their arrangement because it does rather leave Cygnus vulnerable to the not-so-tender mercies of Tom :P
Ohh, more of Tom’s plans (or more elements of his one, large plan) are coming to light. You’ve really gotten his scumminess down so well, ha, I love how much plain contempt he has for these people who think they’re his friends. And the way he talks to Adelaide -- oh gosh, they’ve finally met and I don’t think this means very good things for poor Adelaide. She’s already in a bad place, I can’t imagine how much opportunity Tom sees in her -- and as he himself points out earlier, he’s a man who has conquered death. I’m really looking forward to seeing where this particular relationship goes [eyes emoji]
Aww, Eileen just wants to live her life in peace and now here she has two guys coming in and messing her life up. At least they’re both handsome? :P I love the little seeds you’ve planted at the beginning of this chapter and the end of the last one mentioning a Little Boots -- I got this delightful little thrill when he gave his name, like Ah, Yes, I’ve Been Waiting For You!
As I guess you have already gathered, I am extremely a fan of this chapter -- I can’t wait to see where all of this is going. Your writing, as always, is amazingly evocative and all-around wonderful, and I am happily along for this ride.
Hey hey again! I shall have to think of new ways to greet you soon :P It’s only chapter 4 and my brain is running out of steam, it just wants to Yell. And who am I to disagree ?
I loooooved Adelaide’s section in this chapter, sdgksdgjksd. She’s holding a lot inside her, that’s for sure -- I really enjoyed the bitterness of her reflections, the way she tamps down so ruthlessly on the almost-resentment that comes when her husband doesn’t ask after her but a little bit just leaks through anyway. And her conversation with Antonin is amazing! They’re dancing around each other so carefully, I am SO into this. Little coded words and barbed remarks are just. Yes. I’m very very here for this :’)
And ack, you capture the atmosphere of the whole party so perfectly, as well -- Cygnus watching Tom command the room, Tom slowly wrapping everyone at the party around his finger. The toast to the Knights of Walpurgis was so chilling -- that brief moment of almost-realisation, of almost thinking about what they’re doing, and then the raucous cheer. And Tom has gotten what he wanted: he’s their king. It’s very quietly scary, that much I will say, and that’s even without the sinister little undertones you’ve got in the final section about who the Knights of Walpurgis might have been, historically or mythologically. If Tom is so interested in them -- I’m with Druella, they can’t have been much good :(
Oh nooo, Tobias Snape makes an appearance v_v Eileen thinks that everything has gone wrong but yet more will be wrong as she gets to know him and I’m sad about it. I am curious as to what exactly has already gone wrong, though - something about this section and the next tells me that Jophiel doesn’t exactly have Eileen’s best interests at heart, hm =/ I’m so curious to see what he’s up to, to see how his story is going to intersect with Druella’s -- and by extension, I suppose, with Cygnus and possibly Tom, too. This is what I mean when I say that you are so good at intertwining stories, aaahhh.
This chapter just ramps up the intrigue, ack. I look forward to reading the next ones!!
I’m back again to bother you, hello Laura :D
I am SO CONCERNED for Eileen here, good lord. So her hiding is so very hidden as to hide her magic even from herself! That seems like an extreme, and yet with the letter -- it seems like a sensible extreme to go to! Which is horrible! The way that she thinks feels so indicative of something that she’s gone through -- how knocking on the door makes her jump, how she’s always wrong. Your descriptions of the flowers are so gorgeous, and that only makes the impact of the letter worse, argh ;-; I don’t know whether this is a threat from someone else for talking to Tom or a threat from Tom not to talk to anyone else, but either way I am HIGHLY unhappy and wish to thwap the sender on the nose.
The conversation between Tom and Rollin was so foreboding, good lord. And the poor rabbit! Why, Laura, why. That rabbit never did anything to you. Tom’s control over other people is so noticeable even in small conversations like this, and I can’t help but wonder whether he’s the serial killer. HE SEEMS THE TYPE, IS ALL, but his later attempts to dig up information seem to refute that. Unless, possibly, he is trying to get a gauge on how much people know about him? Everything is so twisted and my brain is spitting out possibilities like rain xD His possessiveness over Cygnus is also very interesting to me -- perhaps he can care, in his own way. He certainly seems touchy enough about it :P
And oh, Adelaide. Oh no, Adelaide. Her plan seems -- well, from what I can gather she wants to kill Lycus and then bring him back to life, which seems -- I try not to judge, but that seems unwise, on her part! Seems like a slightly foolish thing to do, I will say! I am dreadfully afraid that she’s writing to Tom, which seems even worse! Oh no, Adelaide DX
Things are ramping up! You are spooling tension liberally all through this story and I am breathlessly excited to see where things go from here.
Hey again Laura! Guess who :P
And oh NO, immediately starting off on a bad note here! Is that -- is that Hepzibah Smith? Is that Hepzibah Smith? Laura, I’m so DX about this entire set up. Oh gosh. I’m SURE she will find him more satisfactory, argh. His descriptions of what are, uh, essentially vivisection are extremely beautiful, and I don’t know how I feel about that! I’m going to screech! You have reduced me to this and I’m angry about it (except for how I’m really, really not. Hmph).
Aw, Eileen is so down on herself v_v Poor girl. And -- I mean, I would be glad about Tobias cheering her up just a little, except for the fact that I know how that goes and I feel like I can’t be glad about this! I want her to get away and restart her life somewhere else ;-; Surely she could make another go of it v_v
I feel like I have so many Oh Noes for this chapter, good lord. Adelaide definitely doesn’t...seem like she’s in a good place right now! In fact I would venture so far as to say she seems like she is in a downright terrible place, emotionally and mentally! Her plan with regards to Lycus is not going to end well, I can see it ;-;
And, well -- I can’t say I know exactly what is happening in Cygnus’s section but I really cannot think it means any good, either. Jophiel seems so dangerous, such a loose cannon because I absolutely have no clue what he wants, from Cygnus or from Eileen. All I know is Cygnus has likely poisoned his mother (?) and Blacks don’t owe favours, both of which seem like very foreboding things to know!
Even when you are keeping me confused you are keeping me reeled right into the story, absolutely fascinated with what’s happening and what’s going to happen. I’m sure you know by now to expect me back very presently :P
You shall get no points for correctly guessing who’s back :P
And oh nooooo, but we’re starting on another terrible note for poor Eileen ;-; Your descriptions of her and her fear are so gorgeous, so VIVID -- the image of something “translucent and light, on the back of her neck” is so shivery-gorgeous, as is “frosting over like a garden gnome” which makes me gently want to cry. Poor Eileen ;-; It does make me wonder why she gave up her magic, though, when she wants it so much now. I hope Tom doesn’t get her into too much trouble (but who am I to hope v_v)
Tom’s really getting around, between Eileen and Cygnus and his family and Borgin -- so he’s stolen the hand, but, but, but. Why. What’s he getting at. I don’t trust himmm. Something else I found really interesting was how Eileen saw Tom and Cygnus -- as equals, essentially, the two of them occupying each other instead of Tom being occupied with Cygnus. And she does seem like she would know about that kind of thing -- that she has a basic sort of knowledge about Tom, at least. It’s so interesting to think about how I started out thinking it was such an uneven relationship and now it’s -- not that, anymore! Interesting
Oh gosh, you write Adelaide so well -- her grief and her desperation comes across so well, and I’m so nervous as to what she’s going to try and do. That quiet resolve at the end makes me more nervous that anything that had come before DX Why must you do this to us, Laura DX
So Cygnus did kill his mother?? Oh gosh, what the hell, Laura? :P The more that you reveal to us about the Black family and their dynamics the more I Need to know about them. I’m happy to see Alphard make an appearance, since here is someone I can like now without feeling bad for what they’re going to do in the future xD I’m very curious to see what happens to Orion -- what do these terrible people have in mind, and will it succeed. Important questions! I await the answers impatiently, so expect me back very soon :’)
HELLO AGAIN, LAURA -- back again for chapter eight! And oh boy is this a Chapter, let me say that :P
Tom is just so -- so everything, holy carp. Just growing and growing in sacriness, really! So the Knights of Walpurgis are an organisation all in their own -- Tom’s indignation and resentment at not being included shine through so well and definitely do not mean good things for them, ack. The way that he pressures Dolohov, the way that he causes a man to turn against his friends -- ! I’m extremely shook. And the way he flips like a coin is almost as scary -- from pressuring Dolohov one moment to kissing Cygnus the next, utterly changed. You write Tom Riddle is at once totally different from the man we see in the series, who is -- well, he’s not at the height of his power but he’s pretty close to it, and this Tom is someone I can totally buy as someone who becomes that. I don’t know if that makes any sense at all, but -- I love your Tom, is what I’m saying. And he’s very scary.
Adelaide has so much going on, oh no v_v The tension is building up unbearably, I almost wish that she would just Do The Thing so it would be over -- which, I think, is probably a compliment to you and your very well-done torturously slow pace. I am Anguished DX And then -- to make things even more tangled Dolohov did say that Lycus was one of the Knights of Walpurgis, so I wonder how that’s going to impact Adelaide’s plan? So many questions, Laura DX
In fact it seems like everyone has a lot going on :P I really, really love how you write the Black family dynamic -- the way they care, but almost tentatively, stepping around it instead of admitting it. They circle around each other so deliciously, it’s very [chef kiss] just very good, in my opinion. The description of Alphard’s hedonistic trip around the world -- “tasting tipples and nipples” -- made me cackle.
But then. But then, of course, Walburga. That smooth well-oiled dynamic between the Black men seems suddenly much more sinister, the way that they all back each other up so easily, and possibly everyone in that room knows the truth, only some know more than others. I didn’t think I’d ever be feeling sorry for Walburga Black, but -- looks like your writing can do any number of things, because here we are :P The way that she is now, though, she seems like such a loose cannon! My teeth are already a little on edge as to how she’s going to proceed, what she’s going to end up doing.
Oh gosh, Tom and Eileen -- ! What’s he doing, what’s he making her do! The hopelessness she feels comes through so clearly, you get me to sympathise so strongly :( She follows him so blindly and I am so terribly intrigued. Are they looking for the poison in Cygnus’s mother’s body? Is this something that Cygnus has kept from Tom?? Oh NO, I am extremely nervous about this, Laura!
So much is happening in this chapter and I’m so nervous about all of it! I think this review is a little longer than normal because of it, ack. I shall most assuredly be reading on.
Hello again Laura! I am here yet again to yell but further, as you probably expected :P
First things first, really: Oh No, Eileen?! (Insert Come On Eileen Refrain) She’s under so much strain, it’s not entirely a surprise that something would snap -- or hanging around Tom is having terribly adverse impacts on her state of mind, both possibilities which seem perfectly legitimate to me. Or possibly the Imperius? Only she seems to feel far too strongly for that… Something is definitely leaking out of her, and Saunders seemed to feel it -- God, I feel like I am just repeating “I am nervous” at you but oh GOSH I am nervous DX She’s on the way to Doing Something and I am dreadfully afraid of what Something is.
And Tom’s plans are -- finally starting to come to fruition? Maybe? Or at least one of them? :P He’s definitely juggling a few, but this seems like a rousing success on his part. And Dolohov following him instead of going to Rollin -- ack, but that’s chilling. Tom’s reaction to Cygnus also gives me pause -- I’d thought that it was Cygnus who killed his mother, before, but now I am almost suspecting that Tom did it? Or at least that he’s right in some unwanted way -- “something pinched about the way Cygnus could only breathe in stilted, thudding draws” is beautiful description and deeply uneasy in my chest. I still think that Cygnus had a hand in it, but -- I am too impressionable, and you are too good at casting doubt on everyone and everything :P
Oh, Adelaide ;-; I am surprised that she had his permission to do this, because somehow I was not expecting that, but it just makes everything sadder. Her devastation comes across so well -- the whole situation is so heartbreaking, but you have just added these perfect little touches that make my chest hurt. The way that she wears her prettiest dress for him! Everything is the last thing! Oh gosh, I’m so sad. And Jophiel is the one to do the deed -- what? What?? Another link, the web thickens, etc. I am so curious as to what role he plays -- he seems almost ever-present but ever-mysterious at the same time.
This chapter is full of good stuff, thank you Laura ;-; Can't wait to keep on reading!!
LAST POSTED CHAPTER! I’m Ready to do this but I’m not ready for this to be the end of what I can read, ack :(( But I should review this chapter before I get ahead of myself, so -!
Okay, so it really shouldn’t be any kind of surprise at this point that I really loved this chapter. I think I have really loved all the chapters so far -- maybe this one’s a little sweeter because I’m fully caught up, who knows :P But there’s this whole mood you have created so evocatively of things coming together, little threads of events being picked up and followed. When Hepzibah Smith introduced her treasures to Tom -- ! Goodness, I got shivers. Because we know what’s going to happen, but you pull the anticipation out like sticky taffy and it’s just as delicious. Your descriptions of that entire scene are, as always, absolutely gorgeous -- I loved in particular “a flutter of coquetry” and Tom’s reaction was SO evocative -- “scrub until it was red and raw to the touch, rough and aching and clean again.” [ chef kiss ]
Ugh, your descriptions of Adelaide’s grief is so visceral, I feel so bad for her :( She’s going through a Lot right now, that much is clear. You’re tackling the subject so delicately -- he wanted it, he was suffering, maybe this is better, but there’s still so much grief and pain there, and you capture all of that entire mess of emotions so well, aah. “It rang through her head, the noise, a sunbeam through storm-clouds” i am SADDENED! What is it with you and putting all your characters through the absolute wringer, Laura?? XD Adelaide, and Eileen as well -- she’s so nervous, so awkward even as she is trying to treat herself around people who pose no threat to her :( I just want to pick her up and wrap her in bubble wrap, or something. And Tobias :( he was looking for her :(
So many emotions, and Tom is behind so many of them! You really have to take a step back to look at how he’s truly the driving force behind the entire story, but he really is. He’s so prickly with the three Blacks -- I love the dynamic you have painted between them all, the lazy sniping way they are all kind of casually at each others’ throats, gosh. I REALLY love the line “sloshing wildly like a storm-tossed wine-light sea, gold-white and thin”. And “the same kind of crook...which made Cygnus beg and writhe like he was being tortured” is so DELIGHTFULLY terrible, I adore it.
And -- oh gosh, I’m so torn about who murdered Mother. Now I am thinking -- Orion? He is certainly acting suspicious -- that line about deserving it, about making it an execution, that seems almost like the kind of self-justification that comes after the deed, no? “The sharp, high splotch of a drunken anger pasting itself over Orion's face, shamed and secretive” certainly doesn’t help his case -- all that’s left is a reason, I don’t know why he’d do it. Ugh, it was either Tom and Cygnus together or Orion, and the fact that I am flip-flopping so hard on this only serves to underline your prowess here, so hats off to you XD
This was magnificent, Laura, as always! Gorgeously atmospheric and wonderfully written. I shall, as always, wait with bated breath for your next chapter ❤
Looking back, Harry would remember his third year at Hogwarts as, well, remarkably normal compared to everything that happened all the other years of his schooling. Remus would remember it as the best year of his life. Sirius would remember that time Dumbledore walked in on him and Remus in a compromising position.
Absolutely nothing of consequence happened in the 1993-94 school year. It was perfect.
Hey again Emma!
After reading the weight of living I couldn't pass up the chance to read more everybody lives AU, so here I am - properly this time, at the start of the series :P And oh GOSH this is all the fluffy goodness that I ever wanted in an everybody lives AU, good lord. This is absolutely what should have happened in canon and I am not taking questions at this time - and neither should you! :P
imo, this fluff is all the better because it feels so earned - you make these little references to the war, with Remus's reaction to the red ink and the sneaky reference to Peter, and those things just add a little bitter that makes me revel in the sweetness all the more. I've always loved Remus as a teacher, but wow I love it 10000x more with Sirius in position as his supportive husband :P Their relationship is so good here, as is their friendship with the Potters - everything I could ever have hoped for :')
This is literally everything I have ever wanted in an everybody lives AU. Thank you extremely much for writing this!
“I’ll be fine,” Remus said, kissing Sirius so he would stand still. “Have you ever known me to die?”
Oh noooo this is a departure from the other fics I read, this is saaaaad :( You’ve kept it really brief and yet there’s still so much feeling in here, and you’ve captured their emotions so well: the fear that they’re trying to hide, the way that they want to reassure each other, the resentment towards Dumbledore and the rest of the world for doing this to them. They’re HUSBANDS! And two weeks - especially two dangerous weeks - can feel like such a long time! Just let them be together ;-;
I also really love the line you used in the summary - “Have you ever known me to die?” I feel like it’s a token effort to be reassuring, but something about it seems almost cynical, almost nihilistic. But then, given how much I love cynical and nihilistic that may well be just me projecting - who knows?? xD
Either way, what I DO know is that this was a good little read and I enjoyed it a lot :’)
Gorgeous banner by beyond the rain. @ TDA
It's Christmas Eve, and Ron receives a curious piece of mail from Bill - a letter which forces him to reflect on the past and see how far he's come in his life. And life, in Ron's opinion, is good. It's great. It's everything he's ever hoped for and more.
Hey there! Here for BvB - I hope you don’t mind that I picked an old(er) piece, but I haven’t seen a lot of Ron-centric fic and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity ^^”
And speaking of Ron-centric fic, wow, I really loved your characterisation of him in this! He feels a lot more mellow now than he did in his letters, but ten years is such a long time, and it’s only natural that he’d grow during it! What I really love is that you’ve managed to keep a steady thread of characterisation throughout - he’s a different Ron to the one who’d written that letter, but he’s still Ron, and I think you’ve done a great job capturing that.
The letter itself was, I think, a really great representation of his mindset when he was in Shell Cottage. He says that he regretted walking out as soon as he did it, and we can see that in the letter he wrote -- but then, we can also see the experience acting as a big shock for him, maybe the event that pushes him to grow up all the way, if you will. And as he learns and grows from it he writes himself so that he won’t mess up! I love that :’)
Of course, his present-day interactions with his family were so sweet and comfortable. I LOVED the ending touch of writing another letter to 37-year-old him - that’s such a great touch. I really enjoyed reading this, I think you did a great job with it!
Hi, Emily! Thanks so much for taking the time to review!
There really is a lack of Ron-centric fic, isn't there? And as someone who considers him to be one of my favorite characters, even *I* don't write him that often lol. It's a shame, really!
I definitely have always imagined his time at Shell Cottage being what really kicked him in the pants and made him reassess his behavior. While I don't fault him for his feelings during that time (I mean, for goodness sake, he was 17! No 17-year-old is a saint!), he *did* take it a bit too far. But, I think everyone needs that learning experience, that moment that forces us to take a good, hard look in the mirror. No human is perfect, but the important thing is that we learn from our mistakes. And I really wanted to show Ron doing just that, because for some reason, he has such a bad rap in the fandom.
Thanks again for your kind words! I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Rose Weasley knew that St. Mungo’s could stand to update its ideas on mental health treatment, but it was never going to be as easy as a friendly suggestion. She’d conquered coursework, heartbreak, and family crises, but now she’s up against something entirely different: an institution.
(banner by the incredible bittersweetflames@tda)
hey hey josepheh! you've finished this so i'm here to offer some celebratory reviews, yay [party face emoji]
ack, i really hate thinking that one of the golden trio went on to become a self-medicated mess but at the same time i feel like i can totally see it happening v_v especially ron, who never really seemed to handle fame well - you've described his behaviour here so succinctly and so well that in just a few paragraphs you've totally sold me on the possibility of his degeneration and i'm not so sure i like that :P i really love the image of him "off on tirades against men who were not there" - it drives home so vividly that the war lives on in his mind. and then hermione - maybe not enabling him, but when you've lived with someone for so long and you don't want to let them go it's so easy to just not oppose the behaviour :( i hope they find something that will work for them over time :(
aww, i'm glad that albus and rose are such good friends. he knows what's wrong and what she means instantly ;-; and he's great at pumping her up, ha. i love how he just kind of plants the idea in her mind and then knows to leave it alone because it'll grow on its own. if that ain't the way to get your friends to do something i don't know what is :P "i'm just a junior healer" "you're rose forking weasley" higgity HECK YECK, hype her UP :D
the clock not-quite-metaphor is gorgeous! *-* trapped in an endless circle but rose is going to throw the whole thing out the window and construct an exploratory marvel of a new model - i think i'm allowed to read too far into this clock metaphor considering what you've done with my pen :P
so much has happened to these poor beans v_v i think you did a great job alluding to the (large!) things that have happened to them without letting this story get confusing about it - you've managed to straddle the line between having past events be part of this story without making it confusing really well. and it's so important for them to be brought up here, since so much of rose's motivation must stem from all the things that have happened to her and the people around her.
"James and Fred could find a cute guy in a post apocalyptic wasteland with their eyes blindfolded" made me laugh! i want to read this fic now, lollll xD a crack coda?
argh, rose's supervisor is just. yuck. worst 0/10, dude. but at the same time, so believable - there are always people who are going to stick so rigidly to the status quo. i'm so glad that this galvanised her into taking things into her own hands, ha :') healer adams can go out the window with the clock! y33t :D i look forward to seeing this happen, which it definitely will now that i've predicted it
hihi again i'm determined to get all three of these in a night :') let's see how we goooo
aw yiss rose, hit the books. hermione's daughter through and through :P being well-informed is important! muchly agreed, although - everyone has to start somewhere, but the fact that bulimia nervosa and schizophrenia don't even sound like words to her really hits home how far behind the wizarding world is v_v it's such an interesting issue to explore - how far ahead they think they are, how far ahead they could be, but instead they're just - not. they're too self-satisfied to try to improve despite their impressive resources, and i think that's a dynamic that's all too relevant in today's world =/
aaahh, and again the rose-albus friendship steals my heart. books are great but i LOVE that he's the one to pull her out of them and point her towards talking to actual people about this thing that she's researching. both important aspects! i'm so glad she has him :')
aw, you've made the emotions rose feels so clear here - just in a few clear words you've made it really clear why rose liked scorpius so much. "casual refinement" is such a good term! and i love the image of him "seeping into her skin; etching itself on her every thought." such delicate words, yes [chef kiss] and it gets across the whole mood of infatuation so well, the way that your crush is Literally Every Thought You Have Ever :P
i love that conversation that rose and lysander have, that they're able to have it so openly and un-awkwardly despite their shared scorpius history. and then the conversation that rose and james have - it's so important to have them, and i'm so glad that even despite the awkwardness between them these two are able to have an open and honest conversation. i love that you were able to touch on completely different topics in two really eloquent conversations and pull the both off. and then that her work is bringing hermione and ron closer together and better able to deal with their problems! heck yeck, rose weasley. what a legend
ha, the origin story of the pamphlet :P i love it. al strikes again to pull rose out of her bookishness! incredible, i love their relationship. they're frieeeeends ❤ and i have to register that i love the name misguided ghosts, because i don't think i have done so in our other conversations and it's so fitting :')
maybe because i know what's coming, i love this chapter even more :P seeing her get to where she goes is so exciting!
FINAL CHAPTER! let's go(gurt)
ahh, i've already told you how much i like this but i think it is so effective! i really love how this starts out - her pamphlet-essay is a success and people are loving it, but there are Still Issues To Be Faced And By God Rose Weasley Is Going To Call Out St Mungos On Their Rubbish [language redacted] i love how she stands her ground utterly - she's going to drag st mungo's out of the past if it's the last thing she does and extremely into that [chef kiss] yes
it's so awful that a mental health ward was needed so badly, but i'm so glad that rose was able to mobilise that to Get It Done. and then - her press conference! yes! i told you it feels cathartic, and i absolutely stand by that. overseeing the total overhaul of a ward is going to be really tough for a junior healer but - she's right, she does actually care, and al's right, that absolutely sets her apart. plus, she's probably going to get a lot of leeway since they're starting from basically nothing :P i love that she name-dropped misguided ghosts, what a catchy forking phrase :')
aww, i know i keep harping on about this but i'm so glad that rose has all her friends - so many things have happened to them all but they're still here and still together and still going strong v_v love them! and love the appearance of dorian nott - i'm glad that rose's essay-pamphlet was able to help him and so many others ❤ i'm looking forward to seeing more of him in his own story
i also like to think that you've made something of this banner! it fits together so well that it's almost a surprise that the banner wasn't made for the story - but then, making your story in response to a banner isn't so different. a different type of collaboration but the same general idea. the lack of eyes on the banner is just the perfect touch for me - truly misguided, or un-guided. aimless? (i will absolutely hide behind death of the author if anyone tries to quiz me more thoroughly :P)
i hope you haven't minded me yammering at you throughout all of this :') if i haven't been clear enough, i really enjoyed this - i think you did a really good job of writing a short story and keeping the emotions in it real, giving us a very real sort of catharsis in this. rose weasley's story is not over but this is a good start! a good origin (2x?) story. i really enjoyed it!
Gorgeous banner by starbuck. @TDA!
Andromeda Black has always felt stifled by the rigidity her family's history binds her to. This is how she breaks free.
Written for the 2018-2019 House Cup Great Collab
Round 1 Team Rudolph: New Beginnings | Teen Pregnancy
A WILD TEDROMEDA FIC APPEARS!! Madi, thanks so much for alerting me to its existence -- there is never enough Tedromeda fic anywhere, is my firm opinion, and I shall consume this one heartily ♥ (♥ily. sometimes i think i'm funny)
Ack, these two are so cute, this is extremely rude and it hurts my feelings ;-; Ted fretting about her, insisting that the owls deliver their messages, whether in the great hall or the common room, I love it. He is SO sweet about Andromeda's pregnancy and how they're going to deal with it, gah. And Andromeda herself - I love her ;-; She's so headstrong, and even though she's been raised in a Pureblood family she is so thoroughly her own person, and she's SMART and knows how to be SUBTLE about it until she's NOT, which i love! And she just - she has such careful plans but she's willing to re-work them for the baby, and the way that you build the pregnancy so nicely only makes that miscarriage sadder ;-;
The thought of the baby being "such a lovely dream to look forward to" makes me extremely emotional and I could not even tell you why. A dream! I'm [gentle sobbing] can't do the words. Dreams aren't real! I’m an emotion, goodbye.
Except jokes, not quite goodbye because I need to commend you guys one more time - the way that Andromeda ended up choosing Ted makes me want to cheer. Let them be swept away! I love them, and they shall be happy together, amen. Thank you guys for writing this! I am very emotional about it. Maybe you could tell :P
For as long as she could remember, Marlene wanted to be free.
Winner of Best Minor Character (Marlene McKinnon) FROGS & POGs 2019.
Companion piece to A Woman's Place. Banner by something wicked.
Hey hey, here for our swap! I love Marlene's character, even though she's woefully underdeveloped in canon, so I couldn't pass up the chance to read a novel focused on her :P
And considering the community here I'm pretty sure that you started off on just about the most relatable note ever -- I'm pretty sure we can all relate to having written little stories ages ago that we were self-inserts in, and that make us cringe heavily now, ha. I really love your Marlene and her diary-writing -- her wistful, uncertain tone when she talks about the eagle is so vivid, and I really like the attachment of the image of an eagle to Marlene, because it seems to fit her really well. You've done a really good job introducing her character in this chapter, even -- especially? -- for those of us who haven't read her chapter in the AWP collection (and now want to, but that's for another time).
Aw naw, Jane ;-; Again, you've really hit hard with Marlene's grief here, and then gone and hit her again with the car crash -- everything has to happen all at once, argh. War's a bad time, but Marlene and Agnes are going to get through it together. I really love the bond you've drawn between them. Marlene's a good sister and she's going to be a good aunt, I'm Emotional ;-;
And finally, I really really loved the portrayal of Marlene's job, the rejection of her article and hard work -- not that it happened, obviously, but it's such a good reminder that wars don't have to be fought physically. Misinformation is such a powerful tool, and the suppressing of information is a huge part of that. I'm really interested to see how Marlene's going to combat this going forward, because she certainly doesn't seem like the kind of person to take it lying down :')
This chapter was such good set-up, both of character and of plot -- I really enjoyed reading! Thanks so much for the swap
Albus and Scorpius had all the time in the world.
(Songfic. Alternates between verse and prose with each successive section)
For Finefrenzy__'s The Slytherin-Centric Challenge.
banner by starbuck@tda
April's Sitewide Story of the Month.
Joseph!! It's long past time that I reviewed this beautiful work, and gosh it absolutely IS beautiful - you know how much I love that you can dabble in so many different art styles and types, I think that alone is fantastic, but to put a bunch in one piece truly feels like a next level. Prose and free verse and song is not typically a mix that I would expect to work but I think you really pulled it off here - every part of this flows really beautifully, and nothing seems out of place. I also really like the structure of the piece, which works really well, in my opinion - it's like a collection of all these little moments where their relationship is foregrounded, and it felt like that focus really highlights how much they mean to each other and, interestingly, the dynamic of them vs. the world that they seem to perceive themselves as having (even when it's not necessarily true!).
But then, a lot of this seems to be coming directly from Albus, and I don't just mean his point-of-view; it feels like you've managed to give us a conduit right into his brain, especially in the free verse sections (or perhaps I just think that because I love the free verse sections :P). We can see their relationship, but it, like everything, is tinted through his eyes, and so he sees them together against the world and prepares himself for this sort of Big Momentous Reveal -- even sets himself up for conflict, defensively ready to damn his peers -- that is promptly defused, and we also see this gorgeous idea of a relationship that doesn't so much resemble the mechanics of reality as it does the fantasy of a relationship that lives in someone's head, and that in itself speaks to being deeply in love and thinking incessantly about your relationship. You have Albus and Scorpius falling in the mountains together; you have Scorpius filling the cracks in Albus's soul. And the extraordinary thing I think you have managed to do here is let us sense the truth behind the fantasy despite the narrator's bias that is built into the story, and let us see that Albus is perhaps not all nervousness as he suggests, and Scorpius is not entirely calm.
I really love that each section of this is a different moment in time, and I mentioned that I liked the free verse especially - you've really made those sections feel temporally distant, somehow, like everything is happening all at once and also never, and everything in between. Perhaps it's because those are the sections that feel most viscerally connected to Albus, and the realm of thoughts is a sideways step away from the realm of reality where time is a factor :P Either way, I'm a sucker for description which is not - not vague, exactly, but deeply and purposefully imprecise, that can be applied over a lifetime, and I think your descriptions of their love definitely fits that because they're going to be in love for a long, long time to come :')
I really like the coming-out storylines of this fic - they just keep coming, because that's how you have to come out, in dribs and drabs to different people at different times, and each time they're received happily. Maybe it's idealistic, but who cares? I love that we get happy stories, too.
Anyway, I have probably done a terrible job of over-analysing one of your gorgeous works, but I think (I hope!) you will take it as the compliment it very much is, because I enjoyed this fic a lot, and I'm excited to see more of this universe from you
OMG Emily! I had to sit with this one for a little to figure out how to approach it. You’ve given me quite a lot to discuss here. I didn’t even expect you to come by this one!! I’m so happy that all of the disparate styles were able to come together here!
It’s amazing to me that you brought up this excellent point - that how deeply embedded we are in Albus’ mind has an intense effect on the perceptions we develop here. I was pushing really hard for a bit of an unreliable narrator here; Albus is so anxious about every little thing that oftentime he misleads the reader about the actual severity of certain things. It can be difficult to tell how things will actually go until we see for ourselves.
“let us see that Albus is perhaps not all nervousness as he suggests, and Scorpius is not entirely calm” This is such an astute observation that I had to go back and check whether I wrote this into the story??? You really connected so many dots that I sort of placed haphazardly into the fic like this. Of course Albus sees himself as the one who can’t take a leap and get things done and Scorpius as this perfect person who’s always composed, but reality will never be so cut and dry.
Oh my ‘purposefully imprecise’ is so beautiful. That’s precisely it. I know roughly when all of this takes place, but that is not necessarily important one way or another to Albus, so he wouldn’t mention it. The free verse sections float around back and forth in his mind in a kind of dream-state so it just wouldn’t do to fill in the outlines of those moments too much.
YES! Coming out is such a drawn out process - I’ve often had to come out to single individuals more than once even. I needed this story to be happy because there just isn’t enough out there that gives relationships like this happy endings. I mean, the prequel makes it clear that bigotry doesn’t, like, not exist; they just cut it out of their lives. (Which, honestly, can be sort of possible. Everyone close to me currently was super understanding and if anyone wasn’t, I think it’d be possible to avoid them at this point in my life!)
You’re done such an awesome job analyzing this - you know I’ll never grow tired of chatting about our stories :P This is absolutely the compliment you set out to give. What a wonderful surprise. Thank you so so much!!! I loveeeee you <3
Narcissa and Andromeda see each other for the last time to weigh their choices and to make that one decision that'll change the face of the seconds wizarding war.
Written for Firefrenzy_'s "The Slytherin-Centric Challenge"
Hello! I love Andromeda, and I love the Black sisters, so I couldn’t resist reading this :3
I think your style here was really interesting - I’m sure you’ve had other people comment on the way that this piece is very dialogue-heavy, but I found it so interesting that I want to bring it up again, sorry not sorry :P The fact that there’s so little description really focuses the story on the conversation that’s happening between the two sisters, and I thought that was a really nice touch - because, after all, this is a Really Important conversation and this is probably exactly how Andromeda and Narcissa felt when they were having it, like nothing external mattered.
Andromeda and Narcissa’s relationship was so tragic here ;-; I love that they still love each other despite being on opposite sides of a war, and how they both have these layers and layers of composure that you slowly see being worn down over the course of the conversation. Tragedy - Narcissa sacrifices her composure and Andromeda still leaves ;-;
(I also really love how Andromeda wants to be a dragon tamer! I would absolutely read that fic, omg.)
I really enjoyed this fic! Love reading about the Black sisters ^^
“I’m here as the executor of Walburga Black’s will,” Bellwater said without preamble.
“Sorry?” Sirius said, blinking a few times. “I wasn’t aware I was even still in — hang on,” he said, turning to Remus for some reason. “You only get an executor of your will if you’re dead, right?”
Hi Emma! I’ve been meaning to check out your page forever, and I couldn't scroll past a series called everybody lives, because that's exactly the kind of AU I'm extremely here for xD I'm afraid I haven't read the rest of the series, but from my limited perspective I still really enjoyed this fic - I love seeing Sirius and Remus being together. Not even happy together, just together! I couldn't really call this a happy fic but I think you've done a great job of getting the happiness inherent in their relationship across anyway, how it's something strong enough for Sirius to take comfort in even in this objectively terrible situation. Poor Bellweather was totally out of his depth :')
Somehow I get the feeling that emotions isn't his strong suit, and as much as Sirius would want to pretend otherwise he was feeling a bunch of emotions, and it really showed. I think you did a great job of showing his state of mind, and it made me doubly glad that Remus was there for him.
This was a really fun read! I'm extremely happy that this AU exists - and in a series! Expect me back soon
beauteous banner by the inimiatble Beth/Mrs Darcy@TDA
Phaedra Morley leads a quiet, private life, working at a Diagon Alley apothecary and looking after her infirm mother. But Phaedra has a secret, and now she must retrace her father's footsteps through the Dark Arts and find out what he was working on when he disappeared in the wake of Voldemort's fall. Along the way she enlists the help of a feckless bookseller and -- much to his displeasure -- Severus Snape.
A story of death, madness, haunted houses, true friends, and Cockroach Clusters.
Jane! I thought it was high time that I popped round to read your fic, and wow am I glad I did so!
I’m sure you’ve had a lot of comments about this already, but your writing style is gorgeous - you have quite a lot of short sentences all stacked together at some points, and I really enjoy the layered, atmospheric effect of all the quick, seemingly offhand observations. Phaedra’s dry, understated voice comes through in the narration really clearly, and I really enjoyed seeing the Wizarding world from her perspective, complete with wet toes and herbs hanging from counters.
And speaking of Phaedra - after our conversations I can’t help but notice she shares a name with a particularly tragic figure in Greek mythology, which has me a little wary as to what path her story is going to take :P I like her already; I find her dry narration delightful and funny, and can definitely relate to being quiet and withdrawn. And with resting sullen face! Maybe I can’t quite relate to crushing on Severus Snape, but she also hasn’t seen him at Hogwarts, and we can see that he’s far more pleasant to her than to Harry & Co, even if that’s not a high bar to pass XD
But of all the names in the fic, Genny has got to be the one making me the most nervous. That name, the (possibly) Greek influence on Phaedra’s name, and Mrs. Morley’s ramblings make me think of Iphigenia, and I suspect there is a LOT more to the story of why she hasn’t come to visit her mother, and why Mrs. Morley is on such terrible terms with Mr. Morley (and, by extension, Phaedra). Then again, that could be entirely my feverish brain - either way, between that, the man in Diagon Alley, and Phaedra’s mysterious illness that mimics her mothers, I think you can safely consider the sowing of seeds for a further mystery a job well done on your part. You can count me in as intrigued, at least!
This was a really great first chapter - descriptive and evocative, playing just coy on the plotty details but not so much that I’m frustrated so much as deeply intrigued. I’ll definitely be by once you get the second chapter up!
Em! First of all this review was such a welcome surprise to wake up to, so thank you for that :)
OK, so I'm really glad you like Phaedra. Honestly, I was little worried she was too withdrawn and diffident to be the protagonist of anything, but I also think that withdrawn and diffident is how someone'd turn out coming from her family, so what was I to do. Mostly I've been trying to compensate for this by making her inner life sufficiently distinctive, so I'm glad you're finding her perspective enjoyable to read from! Yeah, Snape. . .He might be, like, my favourite character in HP -- as in, I think he's the most well-developed and interesting -- but he's probably not the character with whom I would most wish to hang :P But in a way this is why I wanted to write about him -- Phaedra's messed up, he's messed up, together they're just gonna be one huge disaster, and I'm kind of down with that?
Dude, you are spot on with Phaedra and Genny's names, and it's so exciting. I don't wanna get into details, but suffice to say that (1) "Genny" is indeed short for "Iphigenia", and (2) the themes of Greek tragedy are definitely relevant to the story. At any rate, there are loads more of these Easter eggs to come, and I'm pumped for you to find them! Also I'm just generally pleased that you're into the plot -- because it's, like, the plot :P
And I'm so flattered by your compliments about my writing! I'm still figuring out this whole creative prose thing, so it's really nice to get positive feedback :3