Pixileanin here, HPFF, Ao3 and ffnet. So excited to be a part of these archives!
For ScorpiusRose17's Sirius Black Challenge | Amazingly perfect banner by arrietty.@tda
What could possibly go wrong?
The answer was simple; everything.
CTF/CTF Jailbreak Review
No, of course nothing could go wrong with a plan that Sirius though up, lol! And of course, the potential for everything to go wrong is high, BECAUSE it’s Sirius’ plan. I love the use of language to convey Sirius’ anticipation for the moment that I’m sure looks so great in his head. The physical sensations of excitement are well penned here.
Wow, that was indeed a close call in Honeydukes, I’m glad the boys are rethinking their plans. I would hate to think what would have happened if Remus had injured that poor woman, or worse. It was good she had that trap door to hide down, which made things easier for them to distract him. But it’s just like them to brush it off if no one got hurt. I’d have voted for the forest as well. It’s interesting that Peter is afraid of that option. I laughed when he said, “Werewolves”, but a part of me cringed that he seemed so thick about what he was saying. And uh oh! They’ve been overheard!
Your buildup to this moment was good. These boys have no care in the world discussing their plans until someone sneaks up on them. I had assumed they were in a secure environment by the way they were talking, and apparently, so did they. In effect, the surprise at the end of the chapter worked out great for me. I did not see that coming.
Hi there! Here's a review that's migrated over from the other site, because you deserve one for this story, you know?
I had a hard time choosing which story to do a review for on your page back then, and I guess I have an opportunity to come back and do it all over again. What fun!
Oh goodness, look how many challenges it's for! That's epic greatness right there, combining all those challenges, and the best thing was that it didn't READ like it was made for all those challenges. The quotes were used seamlessly, like they BELONGED where you put them. I LOVE it when the story is made for those quotes and they just flow like you made it up for that particular moment. Awesome use of quotes!
Also, I wanted to go through and read more entries for the angst challenge because I entered that one too. Congrats on placing! There were SO MANY of those entries, so to get a place is really special. Let me tell you, there were bucketloads of angst in this thing. The second person worked so very well for this, setting the mood, keeping it mysterious, but not annoyingly so... giving the right mood... the right horribly painful mood for this.
I can absolutely feel the anguish from both of these characters. Having lost a child, they must have been in a horrific place, and then to be so lost that they even lost each other... it's unfathomable. You expressed the anguish so vividly that it just hurt to read this. And that's the way it should feel, because you want us to get it, real down deep. Ouch.
I haven't read your other stories, as I said before, so I wasn't sure which Malfoys these were, but in the end, it didn't matter. Just knowing they were Malfoys and that they couldn't help each other heal from their daughter's death was enough for me. It was an all-encompassing story of need and desperation and longing and full blown angst. I can see why you made the list.
So much angst!
He had always lived in ruins, reaching for the sun.
Third Place in TreacleTart's Take It Seriously Challenge
Hi Kevin. So, um, hey... this is... great, for starters. Moving.
Personal. That's the word I was looking for.
That first bit, where he's having to move everything BACK out of the flat, because the answer was "no", and his heart still hopes, but it's just a memory and a stranger. The end of the scene was so simply, but it effectively pulled at me. I felt really sad there for him, where he has to force himself to acknowledge his new reality, where his plans had changed in a way that he hadn't anticipated.
I guess that's the thing that everyone connects to. You highlight that in a big way, and it just... we GET it on a personal level, whether it's this situation, or something else. We've had dreams and expectations, and at one time or another, they've been crushed and we've had to recover from it. To open the story in this manner, you've pulled a lot of people in. This is big, Kevin. It's how great stories start. We're already rooting for Harry, because we've all been there: dream it, make it happen, and then watch it disappear right in front of us.
I love the conversation with Hermione and how you don't have to name her. The characterization is strong here. I've read fics where people are pulling at him to come back to the Burrow when he's been away for a time, being the sullen Harry that we expect for some reason or another. This scenario, and the way you wrote it, was just so compelling. I believe his reasons for staying away, and they don't seem childish or selfish or indulgent. I love the way that his friend is still his Friend. She's acknowledging his worries, but she's also putting aside everything else to focus on how they want him around, making it clear that she cares about him. In the moment, that's all that matters, and I feel that if she'd done it any other way, if she'd said things like 'it doesn't matter', or made anything about his situation feel smaller than it felt to him, Harry wouldn't have been convinced to go to that Sunday meal at all.
"He was here, but where was this?"
So yeah, that saying that you can't go home again... and the complicated situations that he's dealt with make it even more complicated for him. It's great that the rest of the family wants him there, that they try to make it comfortable for him, but I feel him sinking into himself, wondering and doubting where he belongs and where he wants to be. There's no easy answer for this, and I feel the reticence and the tension. The whole conversation with Ginny at the end, the way you pull things from the first scene to cap it off, where he throws those words around and they mean something different. I'm a big fan of symmetry and this was just a fantastic way to make everything lay heavy around your characters.
And of course I want to know what happens next, and whether there is a possibility of resolution. All of this writing was so compelling and real. There's really nothing else to say.
Great first chapter!
I'm loving the chapter titles here, and how you managed to continue the theme throughout the story. It's perfectly reasonable for the goblins to be on high guard after what Harry and friends pulled that one time. I'm surprised that he hasn't been banished to "ATM only" privileges, haha. Ah well, I guess that even the goblins recognize that the stunt was pulled "for the greater good". Aaand I cringe at that last phrase and how much trouble it tends to cause.
You can always count on Aberforth to keep your ego in check. I have Aberforth in my story as well. I figure he'd still be as crotchety as ever, especially after the war, where he can point fingers and say "I told you so" to as many people as will listen.
You've got a lot of narrative packed into the first few paragraphs of... narrative... which is great. Of course we have to place ourselves within the context of what is happening around Harry, and I like the way it's easy to digest and doesn't break the flow, and more importantly that you didn't waste words with it. I particularly appreciate the statement about lots of people wanting to become Aurors after the war. I'm so glad it's not just Harry, but that the war spurned many others to think of wanting to go that way.
I don't find the "talking" out of place here. There's plenty of movement within the chapter to keep the characters doing and being, so it wasn't even a thing that I noticed. After all, what do you do with a friend you haven't seen in ages? Talk. About everything. It felt perfectly natural to me. I do like Katie as you portray her. She's close to one of her personal interests, and found a way to eek out a living as well, so good on her. She's got plans for her future also, which shows she's got ambition and dreams, and she's doing what she can to fulfill them. The way you wrote her as being in the middle of her life, doing what she's doing when she meets Harry is so nice. I feel her as a whole person, who would have been doing all of that regardless of whether they were meeting up. She seems genuine in this respect. I think it was incredibly realistic to jump right into showing her current project to someone with a similar interests. When I get together with people who are musicians, regardless of how long it's been since I've seen them last, and I've been working on a "thing", it's usually the first "thing" I am compelled to share with them, so yeah, that all worked for me.
And the curiosity they have of one another was also authentic. They want to know what's going on, what's been going on since they've seen each other last, but there's am immediate time constraint, and there's been a distance, so they don't want to get too personal up front, but they also want to communicate interest. I felt that bit too.
Another great chapter!
Hermione searches for the love of her life in words.
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Hi Deeds! I heard you had a new one-shot up and I had to come over and see what you were up to. So glad to see you writing again!
This whole thing put a big smile on my face. Everything was great. Characters, Hermione's struggle, and above all, poor Justin, who had to solicit the help of Ron for advice. The guy really went out of his way, and I'm so glad that things worked out for him.
It was cool that you made his attraction for her so obvious, yet Hermione stayed oblivious the whole time. I love when the writer gives us information that the MC has yet to figure out, and makes it believable. She was so wrapped up in herself that she couldn't see it. Ack!
Part of me was still rooting for her to get together with Ron, but Justin's character just wouldn't let go. I loved how he had to come at her sideways with a little trickery, and how she told him in no uncertain terms that she didn't appreciate the trickery. However, in the end, that didn't matter. I just hope Justin likes Kneazles. :P
You really made this whole thing a delightful mess. The way Hermione pines and disupts Ginny and Harry's lives, her messy laments (stained shirts and all), answering the ads and ending up with bald, older men, and all of it. It was a very fun read. I don't think you're rusty at all. Your descriptions were awesome. In truth, I don't think I would have needed anything more than what you showed.
I loved this! So fun!
Hi! Thanks so much for stopping by. I really struggled with writing this which is why Ron is sort of in there as matchmaker. I love writing Ron and Hermione so to write Justin and Hermione felt odd, like a betrayl! At the time I wrote this my boyfriend had broken up with me and for the first time in my life I found myself freaking out because I'm single and I have to do online dating because that's what everyone does. So those ads, just imagine being on social media and talking to these uhh...weirdos out there. The pressure would be tenfold because Hermione is Hermione Granger, extremely well-known. Harry and Ginny were included because I like to put Harry in uncomfortable situations as much as I can. Plus, it's believable to me to have her running to Harry and Ginny because she's not going to run to Ron to tell him about her woes (even though she does from time to time). Thanks so much for the wonderful review! :D
Just once, Minerva McGonagall would like a night of uninterrupted sleep.
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I can so feel this story, from both a teacher's perspective and a mom's. Three AM is a horrible time to deal with anything, especially if it involves thinking about stuff, and doing stuff... and you know, being awake. LOL!
Oh no! It's Dumbledore?? Hahaha! I don't think I would have the words either, not at the given time. I expect that poor, poor Minerva has blown a few vessels in that moment of discovery. A warm shower or bath might be in order, but not THAT sort of shower. The complete obliviousness of Dumbledore is written perfectly!
Boy, you sure know how to pull a surprise. I don't know what the challenge was that you wrote this for, but you caught me completely and utterly off guard in this. I would never have expected what you did here. And it was HILARIOUS!! Great job, perfect comedic timing. And of course, as usual, the great warmth of people-ness is prevalent here, as in all of your fics. Even though it's not the ideal situation, I still get a warm-fuzzy after read ing this. You are a star at capturing slices of humanity.
And yeah, I'd have called in sick the next morning as well. She had a perfectly logical reason. I hope she at least got a taste of the taffy before cleaning herself off. It might have been the tiny bit of a silver lining in the whole experience. Strawberry taffy sounds absolutely delicious!
Loved this so much!