I'm not so familiar with your work but this was so beautiful. You've managed created such a wonderful little love story into such a short amount of words. I really like how you don't really reveal who the character is by name but it's quite obvious from your words. I love getting the backstory behind why he created the stone and I think it's lovely that his reason was to protect his wife because it seems like such pure reason next to just the idea of making gold.
You have so many simply wonderful lines in this piece. I thought you description about how time passes at the beginning was particularly effective in this time. I loved that imagery when he first sees Perenelle especially the focus you pay to the 'rosy lips'. It's simply lovely. Each word seems so perfectly chosen to create such an effective romantic piece. I'm so impressed. Please come back to bless us with more writing :P
- Abbi xo
I love how you've brought this character and his backstory to life. I think it's really clever, I love how you've chosen to play his character with the accent and his mannerisms make him a super fun quirky character.
I think the interesting plotline to follow of him creating his team with his family members. He's obviously quite a crafty character but I love how his family are also pitching in at his butcher's shop too. These poor Kesterals having to flight across the channel then also play the quidditch match. I loved the humour in the scene with Walter holding his butcher's knife in a persuasive manner then how he congratulates himself on his negoation skills. So funny! It's wonderful that you're able to drop a little humour into this snippet! Great job! :)
- Abbi xo
This is such a wonderful snapshot of the Hogwarts founding era as they struggle with the little details of turning Hogwarts into the smoothly running school it is a thousand years later. I love the way you illustrated the friendship between Helga and Rowena, in how Helga goes to talk to Rowena after she ran out mid-conversation, and the concern she has for her.
I also really like your analysis of who Rowena is and how self-aware she is about her shortcomings and her abilities. (I suppose this isn't surprising for the founder of Ravenclaw house :P) It was especially telling that she wishes she could say her relationships with other people are what she values the most, but she knows that most of them have failed because her desire for knowledge and self improvement always came first. And I like that she's honest with herself at the end and admits that her values are intelligence and wisdom, and even appreciates that about herself. That was really nice, as it's like she's realized how each of them bring a different piece to the table and that is the best thing she has to contribute - it was a nice ending.
Aw, I loved this! Mainly because it shows Zacharias Smith not being a jerk, it'a a totally different side to him who knows a little about history and has friends. And it's nice to see him just being a normal teenager. I must say, Harry's POV didn't do Zacharias any favors. :P I really like Terry and Zacharias' friendship too, btw, and the way they joke around with each other like that, it's like they're brothers.
Interesting explanation for the origin of Hogsmeade, as well - that it was built by someone who was tired of moving around from one place to another because they kept getting threatened with being burned. I like that his inspiration was Hogwarts, as well, since that had been around for so long without anyone finding it - and it makes sense that he'd decide to build his new settlement right near there as well.
Hahaha, this is hilarious. What an interesting origin story for this particular Quidditch team XD It's actually quite easy to believe, as well, because it feels like it takes place quite some time ago and they probably had a lot fewer regulations about Quidditch teams back then. And Walter, omg, just the fact that he got away with all of that! Setting the time to be when the other team can't really play, and threatening the manager with a butcher's knife... what a winner of a guy.
The poor Irish Kestrels! It's no wonder they lost. I wouldn't be surprised if the team is still bitter against the Wanderers and they're rivals in the league hundreds of years later. :P
This was an amusing story and I enjoyed it! It's got just the right amount of quirkiness for it to feel right at home in the history of Quidditch, which itself is rather quirky as I understand :P Great job, this was a fun read :)
I really enjoyed this story, it was so interesting to learn about the origin story for Hogsmeade, and why the statue of Hengist of Woodcroft has such a prominent place in Hogwarts. I thought that they way that you segued into the story of Hengist deciding to set up Hogsmeade was clever, too - with all these chocolate frog card stories, it's quite easy just to write about the moment itself, but I like the way that you merged the modern day with the history, too.
It was surprising to see that Zacharias Smith was the one who knew the history of Hengist, especially when he's with a Ravenclaw. Maybe he's just a big collector of chocolate frog cards :P
I loved the way that you tied in the history of Hogsmeade with the witch hunting in Britain. It's something we already know played a big part in the history of Hogwarts and the wizarding world as a whole, and I thought you conveyed the sense of desperation and the tiredeness at trying to escape really well. The motivation for Hengist wanting to establish somewhere like Hogsmeade to make sure him and his wife could stay safe was really believable, too. I really enjoyed this!
I love the closeness between Helga and Rowena here. They obviously trust and care about each other through all of the work that they have done together.
I also like how you point out that Hogwarts means so much more to Rowena because of how much she values knowledge. I guess I had never really thought about that, but that certainly makes it sound like Rowena could in fact have been one of the largest driving forces behind the castle overall.
Yeah, I agree with the lack of sympathy for Helena (Except for the getting murdered thing, she didn’t deserve that). I like how Rowena wanted to be able to pride herself on her relationships, but knew that they fell short.
She seems to be really upset by this uncertainty about not knowing what her house should stand for, if she ran out because of it. But it makes sense that a Ravenclaw could feel deeply unsettled by not having certainty in self knowledge. But I like how she is able to center herself by thinking about the school and figure out calmly and reasonably exactly what she stands for.
I liked this!
I've read a few stories about the founding of Hogwarts, and especially those set after Salazar has left the school, but I loved the snapshot moment that you captured here, which really dug into Rowena's character. It was a really clever choice of moment, because it allowed you to explore so many aspects of Rowena's characterisation as she was being so introspective and thoughtful herself.
I've always wondered how the four Founders actually decided which of the magical students would be in their houses, when they named houses after themselves - especially since the Sorting Hat had to understand what it was they were looking for in the students when they weren't there to do it themselves. I really enjoyed seeing Rowena struggle with the question herself, trying to work out what it was she prized and valued the most, to then pick out those students. I liked the way that we got a glimpse into her life and her relationships with family before she arrived at the one thing that had been steadfast in her life.
I also liked the fact that you focused on the fact that the sorting is based on the qualities that the students value the most, rather than the qualities they have - which explains some of the more questionable sortings.
It also felt really in character that Helga was the one who came to check that Rowena was okay, and I liked the little comment about the fact that "of course" Salazar would want a house named after him. It helped to build up a great, bigger picture of the time period and the relationship between the Founders.
Lauren! Remind me why you don't write more often, please? Because this was such a wonderful piece of writing, and I loved every word of it, and you should definitely write more. Okay? Okay.
I loved your use of the second person narrative voice here - I think it worked so well to reach out and pull the reader into a perspective that's very difficult for most of us to understand, having never lived for 600+ years. I think it brought us much closer to Nicolas Flamel because of that, and helped us to understand his character. He seemed much more human and far less elusive and brilliant in this than in anything else I've read about him.
The imagery in this was lovely - and I loved the personification of Fate as a character, having an impact on the story. The disease that takes over Perenelle when she gets ill was a great invention, and I loved the way that you used that as his motivation to defy fate and death and all else - it's the strongest motivation that anybody could possibly have, and I can easily accept that as head canon for the reason behind the creation of the Philosopher's Stone. It makes his reasons for creating it far less mercenary than they could seem otherwise - and makes it obvious that the Stone definitely isn't something that Voldemort should be able to possess, because he wouldn't be able to understand the love that it was borne of.
And after all, they couldn't always defy Fate and death - but they were ready to meet it when it eventually came. I loved all the descriptions in this and the way you drew on so many aspects and major themes from the series for your story!
From the first line of this story, I honestly did not expect to find out that what had just happened was that a musician had been carted off to hospital after rehearsing one of Musidora Barkwith's symphonies. I feel like only the composer of a symphony that featured an EXPLODING TUBA could think that a musician being hospitalised could count as a rehearsal that had gone "rather well".
Again, the humour in this was great - she seemed so utterly oblivious to the fact that someone had been hurt in playing her symphony, and the contrast of that against the conductor's incredulity and shock made it really amusing to read.
"We all suffer for our art" - honestly, I think this has to be the best line in the story. She's so unconcerned about anything but the music, and she definitely seems like the sort of musician and artist who doesn't think anything else matters but the production of something beautiful. How on earth an exploding tuba quite fits in with that vision is beyond me, but I can definitely see it happening, and how blase Musidora was just made me laugh.
And of course, the mercenary conductor - who's going to let the musicians go on being hurt because he's being paid a sizeable sum for it. I had a look at the character and apparently the symphony was only banned in 1902 - it just goes to show that the wizarding world either doesn't care, or takes a long time to catch onto safety measures, doesn't it? :P
Time to finally review some of our other maze chapters!
Mel, this story made me laugh so much. I'm really bad at writing humour, but the images you conjured up in this story were so vivid, and I just loved the tone of the whole story, and how much humour you managed to lace into so few words.
Origin stories for things like the Quidditch teams are so interesting, and I liked the fact that you chose the Wigtown Warriors. Walter Parkin seems like a truly upstanding and gentlemanly member of the community :P Of course, if you have seven children, why not try and put together a Quidditch team? It's... enterprising. And rather capitalist. But it made me laugh that he just decided to set up a Quidditch team and then suddenly organised these matches. Imagine the Weasleys trying to do that nowadays!
The poor Kenmare Kestrels, flying across the Irish Sea to get to the match, and then being told (or rather, convinced. I imagine a meat cleaver would do that to people) that you had to play your fixture that same day. It's hardly surprising that the Wigtown Wanderers won their inaugural Quidditch fixture when those were the circumstances, but it did make me laugh, and I like the idea of it starting to change how Quidditch was played - I wonder if the Appleby Arrows' arrows were a defensive effort from them when they played the Wanderers? :P
Hello! After reading two of mel’s fun little chapters, I’m excited to see what yours hold!
You got a beta for your rush maze collab entry? Schmancy Gryffies ;)
Oh, is this one about Nicholas Flamel? I remember we had a drabble about him in our collab, but I can’t for the life of me remember what any of the prompts were.
Wow. I can’t imagine spending one lifetime married to someone, let alone six. I have no idea what to say to that except wow. I guess marriage does work for some people, and Flamel thoroughly seems to be one of those people.
And how remarkable, that after hundreds of years, the memory of the day they first met can remain so clear.
Oh wow, this is an interesting twist on the story! I must admit, I always imagine Flamel inventing the stone out of more or less intellectual curiosity, and never gave too much thought to his wife. But of course someone would need a very strong motivator to make that breakthrough, and I love how you reimagined this story as driven by the couple. It just makes a ton of sense this way.
I cannot begin to fathom how a love like that works, but you did a beautiful job of capturing it.
Hello again! Let’s see what this chapter holds =)
Holy creative name choice, batman! I always have trouble thinking of unique names and you seem to have a knack for it.
Baha once again you jump right into the story with action and humor, making your characters’ personalities shine. I really like this style of writing. Some people feel like they can’t write anything of substance in so few words and so give up on “show don’t tell,” but you do a phenomenal job of making little moments burst to life
Baha I’ve spent a fair amount of time around classical musicians, and I am confident that if they had magic, his would definitely happen.
Hehe and that conductor was easily swayed, wasn’t he? Indignant until pad otherwise.
To be honest, now I kinda want to attend a concert with an exploding tuba… I wonder, would it only explode at the very end of the concert, or would the concert continue amid the explosion? Either way, it sounds like excellent music.
Another fun piece!
Hello! I can’t believe I never checked out Gryffindor’s collab stores from the maze! I remember eying this collab admiringly, but this is my first time reading the stories. About time! lol now to try to remember what the prompts that led to these stories were =P
Aw, right from the start you’ve created a very clear picture, both of this character and the setting. He obviously cares about his family very much, and I can totally picturing him proudly watching them in the rain. He seems like a sweet man.
Oh wow, the actual birth of a Quidditch team! Neat!
Okay, so Walter can both be a sweet father and a bit unscrupulous.
Hehe it sounds like that was Not a Good Day for O’Hare
That final line was both funny, and ied the whole story together really well. The story showed us a bit of quidditch history and a bit of the setting and a few characters, but it was really a little character showcase for this funny little father/butcher turned quidditch manager that you dreampt up, and for such a short story you did a delightful job of taking us on a little ride with him.
That was an unexpected little piece (thanks to a maze prompt I’ve apparently forgotten) but I think it’s very fun and cute. You did a great job with it!
Sian! You are so talented it's unbelievable! I seriously can't believe how fast you whipped this up.
I also can't believe how much you managed to fit into such a small word count. You took this character who BARELY exists in canon (is she even mentioned in canon?) and managed to flesh her out so much in 500 words. That's so impressive!
I really liked the multiple ideas of beauty that you played with - how Sacharissa wasn't attractive by societal standards, but she also wasn't beautiful in her family's way either. It made her so sympathetic and was a big part of why this story was so successful with so few words. That's such a lonely place for her to be, and obviously was the perfect backstory for why she would go on to invent beauty potions.
As always, your use of language is so wonderful; almost moreso than usual, because the word count is so limited and it's clear how much thought has been put into every single word and how every sentence has been put together to make the most of the space and still communicate your ideas clearly.
I really loved the part with the beautiful Muggle woman in the garden, and how that seemed to be sort of what eventually inspired Sacharissa to make beauty potions. And I really liked the idea of her trying Transfiguration and Charms first and eventually decided that she was going to turn to Potions, even though it had never been done before.
Really impressed with this story, Sian :D
Hello Sian, (my gorgeous little double trouble partner!)
This is always just a joy to read your writing, I love how you use minor characters and give them some amazing backstories. It's such a talent so I really must started clipped wings but onto this story first..
I thought the opening was just stunning like all the description in there is amazing, this really beautiful mental image that you've created. you've really chosen your words carefully too. I really love that you can give anything purpose. I always feel with your writing that you always give your words meaning, your words are never empty. I feel reasons behind everything with you. it's a very powerful tool. you could rival Laura with your talents for descprition too, I know you'll see that as high praise too :P . I think it's really clever how you've played with the idea of beauty in this because this is a huge motivator behind the piece.
I think it's so impressive how you've created a character study which makes a character seem so three dimensional in less than 500 words. You've really successfully tapped into what makes her like she is. I love that you used your head-canon for this too! it really comes across like you've thought a lot about this character and story. it's a beautiful piece considering I know how quickly you had to write. :P
- Abbi xo