Every year I participate in this brilliant Harry Potter festival--party, really--called hoggywartyxmas or "Hoggywarty". Partially because it takes place at Hogwarts, I'm sure, but also because (much like the fest hp_beholder) it often focuses on the less-conventionally-attractive characters (the young, stunning, green-eyed beauties), more the Hoggier and Wartier among us. (That's a witch pun. It's nearing 2 in the morning and I'm not funny; bear with me.)
My gift went up a week ago (bad Kiwi!) and oh, oh oh oh how I enjoyed it.
The 34th Amelia Bones Solstice Party
Anon. G. ~2900 words. Augusta Longbottom, Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank/Pomona Sprout, and an ensemble cast of witches (including Bathilda Bagshot, Charity Burbage, Rolanda Hooch, Mafalda Hopkirk, Gwennog Jones, Griselda Marchbanks, Minerva McGonagall, Poppy Pomfrey, Rosmerta, & Nymphadora Tonks). This year there is no invitation to Amelia Bones' Solstice party on Augusta's mantelpiece. There is no longer an Amelia to throw it. Yet she always said the party must go on, and Augusta's determined that it will.
Some of my very favourite characters and with some cute femslash (Wilhelmina/Pomona!) stitched in.
I adore, first of all, that it's Augusta who sees the hole in her social calendar (as she would) and community, which she deals with by reaching for some Ogden's to cover her grief (as she would again; lost too many, has she). I love that her response is, however hesitantly, to step up to bat and host the damn thing herself so it's not another thing to miss on top of Amelia. Not when what they most need is to come together for mourning and, more keenly, for celebrating.
There are some amazing lines in there. Some punched my gut (in a good way), some made me cry, some made me smile, some made me laugh, some made me do a bit of it all. Just the sort of thing a story dealing with death and intergenerational friendship should do.
Intergenerational friendship! Mentorship! Women gathering for networking and enjoying each other's company! Holiday party (solstice, no less)! Arguments that end well! Because spirited, strong, dynamic women!
This story was particularly touching for me given that my re-entry into Harry Potter fandom five years ago (five years, really?) was by writing two Amelia Bones fics for fests (and both for tetleythesecond, in fact). That was back when I used to misspell 'Wilhelmina', even.
And losing a dear friend of my own this year--not one who threw a party, but someone my community saw every year--meant this story was precisely the sort of thing I needed. What a wonderful gift. It's well worth the read, so please do, and please comment! ♥ My Mystery Author deserves all sorts of love for this one.
[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]