Dress Your Own…
This is the sort of entry that makes me wish we had better printing paper over here! The two things my father said as we fixed up the printer: "Well, the paper's a bit thin and the ink's a smidge runnier than the last set from Australia, but it should do." And overall it does - sadly doesn't do justice to these dolls!
Many blessings for your Notes: agreed on the loving very, very much of the Marvellous Mod, & not for selfish Hoggywarty reasons, though with entries like these it's hard not to say Very Much Both, a gift that keeps on giving.
- What fashion!
- Mismatched socks - utterly perfect.
- The 'beard-clad' is fantastic. He looks quite comfortable, if not pleased with whatever's going on (being objectified as much as he's tended to of others in life...?)
- The "H"s at the bottom of his dressing gown! Love the way his cuffs, belt, slippers & hat match. His blue-bowed braid is fetching. I wonder what letters are on his shoes?
- The beard tucked in his belt for the more formal apparel! Could absolutely see him in purple and yellow like that, & a rather nice hat. Love those genderless shoes.
- Beard-baubles for the win. And ever with the fascinating colour choices: purple and yellow for the sleeves, blue & yellow for the trim under green robes, & brown shoes.
- He certainly makes a statement in all his outfits, which is rather true to the character. xD
- Her frillies/bloomers are precious & I want to see a whole series of things about Minerva in her underthings xD
- Love the matching tartan between her dressing-gown & formal apparel, & that her evening-wear has a book rather than wand: great touch.
- Truly lovely formal attire there with the belted tartan & matching brooches, the belted hat with a fair tilt, & the sleeves which wrap 'round her fingers. And the boots!! </boot>
- The outdoors/Quidditch outfit made me smile - so Gryffindor, & a jumper any primary school teacher might be proud to wear, no doubt xP And is she wearing legwarmers?
- 10pts to your house for the sideburns because yes. And his green-striped sockies with his union suit, & the tasteful bulge therein.
- The nightgown & simple slippers would look fetching on him.
- The Augusta hat ♥♥♥ Must say it's quite fitting on him & matches the potions belt brilliantly; living for those booted heels.
- Endless adoration for his thick, wrapped scarf, puff-balled hat & fingerless gloves for outdoor weather - and another great pair of boots.
I cut Albus out at the pub when it was first posted; his Santa hat & slippers seem to have buggered off, so I'll have to print them all again on proper paper at some point! Love the idea of using them for Christmas ornaments - know my family would too. A reminder @ self for better printing paper!
These are positively darling. They seem to stay on best with a tab up top & on bottom too, but imagine it'd be easier on more solid paper either way & I'll likely tape my favourite outfits on: formal Dumbles, methinks, Minerva may...stay in her bloomers, ahem... & Augustus Snape xD
Cheers for starting off this fest with such style & pizzazz!
♥ Kiwi ♥
Sufficient Unto the Day
Cannot wait to see Minerva's Muggle father arrive at Hogsmeade/Hogwarts to take it all in - just the sort of missing scene one might hope exists, & here we get to see it. Apologies in advance for how much I’m about to squee over this fic! It's...ample. Religion & magic are two of my favourite subjects; this story seems about perfect for them both, with a character I adore. *excitement intensifies*
he might have laid even odds on "thumbing the harp wi' the angels." ~ Great start with characterisation & setting. xD Best Thestral desc. goes to "a beastie resembling a horse turned inside out." He's a priest, so of course he's seen death. | It was beautiful in a way he remembered from his boyhood Christmases in Cromarty. ~ <3 The appeal of wintertime Hogsmeade. Cute to see Minerva referring to her father as "Dad" - and tucking the rug tighter around him, so beautifully fussy over a frail father.
"I promise I'll not freeze to death before we get to your school." ~ Very in-character for a man who raised our dear Minerva. |...the two of them had wasted an exhausting nine hours travelling back north on very nearly the same mist-shrouded route he'd just traversed. ~ An incredibly valid travel complaint, I should say. Glad the train was at least a pleasant surprise. Well done in dealing with the Platform eyes-a’covered.
It had been so like the first big train he'd ever taken from Inverness to Aberdeen... ~ Tempted to type the whole line as I loved it, but nonetheless a brilliant comparison between the two, & how easily he slips into that school mentality just the way Hogwarts students would, & so similar to his daughter in that.
...the idea of a bespoke train ride just to get his malfunctioning carcass to his daughter's place of dwelling and employment galled... ~ Also valid - can only hope it's an environmental train! | "...It's a hard time of year for her." "Hard for all of us." ~ Good, easy mention of harder aspects of holidays without any specifics - very them.
"A Thestral. They're really quite gentle, despite their appearance." ♥ Always extra love for the Thestrals. He couldn't help feeling it boded ill for the visit. ~ There there, now, don't be prematurely prejudiced. | Grinning at the anti-Muggle signage. Love for the scent of pine & some of the word selections: promontory, vertiginous. Makes for a lovely tale.
Besides, they didn't understand his way of life, nor he theirs. ~ Sad, and clearly about to change, at least one of those directions. Heart-rending to hear about Robert & realise the likelier story. | If Rab hadn't been carried off by whatever it was that left him lying on his kitchen floor... ~ What a paragraph. | Ooof at Parkinson's, and I'm sure he's hardly as unwanted as he seems to think he is. Beautiful first look at Hogwarts - love his absurd thought and latent judgment, plus the ghost of a knowing smile on her face.
Robert shuddered when the thing's tongue darted out to lick the juice from the big man's hand. ~ Awwww much love for affectionate carnivorous skeletal Pegasi! (Orcus is a lovely name, and thin, papery sound seems just right for a Thestral noise.) | Imagining the face to be made at "this is my father, the Reverend..." Not what one might expect of Minerva's lineage.
the handshake was surprisingly gentle ~ ♥. Loving the image of Hagrid helping Minerva's father down - an unsettling if realistic way of entering the grounds! Lends itself well to fanart.
Hearing the origin point for Minerva's magic sounds smack-on. Precious, having a strop over literature vs. Biblical; am sure he learned much of his daughter in that moment: personality, preferences, powers... what a moment. He's perceptive to notice the impact on his wife & thus his life. So telling & a tidge painful to wonder, yes, what might talking about it have changed, connected? But here we learn the it he's been putting off.
He sighed audibly when he saw the enormous staircase that he would no doubt have to climb to get to his daughter's room. AMEN. | "You might change your tune when they start moving," she snapped. ~ Such realistic portrayal of father/daughter familiarity & frustration. And her insistence that he use her bedroom and bath during his stay. ♥
Robert was again reminded of his boyhood when she informed him that there was no electricity in Hogwarts ~ increasingly a rare thing, generationally. Nice touch. Laughed at the fireplaces having ‘quirks’. | "You'll let me know if you get cold," she said. ~ Immensely enjoying her voice & its directiveness in this story.
The Great Hall of Hogwarts was one of the most beautiful things he'd ever seen. ~ I love seeing this line in general, and from a new POV, but from his especially, knowing what he means to one of our most beloved characters (who clearly thinks similarly - enough to live there most her life). Smiled at his inspection & confusion of the house colours. | "Look up," she said softly. How wondrously holiday: Minerva speaking softly to her father and indicating something utterly magical which has mutually captivated them both at different times.
"Yes. It's Albus's favourite, so he always includes it, even in the winter." Such a beautiful, telling moment for all of them - great detail. | It was all so incredibly lovely, but it also made Robert feel odd... ~ Very well-put paragraph, & with it a clear understanding of Robert's similarities & differences with Minerva particularly, & also what he feared at the start of all this. He’s being brave.
He looked both very different and very much the same as the first time Robert had seen him, dressed in a sombre black suit... ~ Intently imagining this scene - of course he'd be there, & in an odd suit - with the likelihood of how it happened only increasing. | He felt a frisson of shame at having taken Minerva's advice not to come to Elphinstone's funeral a few years later. ~ Good inclusion, & not surprised she gave that advice. Would likely be a very different story if he'd not heeded it!
He was startled again to hear Minerva murmur beside him, "Lord, bless these gifts to our use..." ~ A beautiful touch of author & character there - solid prayer choice. Especially after reading it'd been Isobel's choice back in the manse. | He supposed that this food, however it had come into being, was still a gift from the Lord. ...quite as good as anything Mrs McDougal served. (Three) Cheers to the elves! Truly enjoying this more religious-background look at the school, its running & its inhabitants.
...he shooed her out of her rooms each morning, telling her he had his books--both the ones he'd brought and some she had on her shelves, probably got for his benefit--and the chess set. ~ Would keep me well entertained too, & extra love for her having got books just for him. A hard thing to see for the first time, those trembles - touching words on his days of chess. Love Minerva's line of questioning.
"The doctors gave me some pills. They didn't help much." ~ Isn't that the way of it. Bless him for the tears stinging just behind his lids, and this line: One of the hardest parts of growing old was the reversal of roles between oneself and one's children. And comparing it to an old sports car! Nice touch.
...he'd felt secretly at their mercy since the day Minerva had magicked Moorland Mousie from the sitting room shelf. ~ A keen observation - then again, much of the magical world revolves around Minerva's mercy. | This is a Wizard's Chess set... enchanted, so you don't need to do any magic to make it work." ~ What a tender scene - & to see Minerva clearly feeling as much at the mercy of his judgement, even (especially) with all her power. Love his childlike joy at simple toys made accessible to him. One of the things I love most about magic is the accessibility it brings.
He couldn't picture the man doing anything so pleasant as playing a game of chess. He practically radiated "Bah, humbug." ~ Ahahaha that he does - of course, he needn't play it pleasantly. I love her father: "He looks as if he isn't fond of much." | Love the 'partly due to his own choices...' line & Robert's response, even more so his gratitude at his daughter having found a chess partner.
The Lord knew Robert loved his boys, but he'd always been closest to Minerva, his first-born, and her leaving, first for Hogwarts and then for London, had been a blow. ~ I love Minerva the 'solitary little' daddy's girl. Chess as a magical/Muggle bridge is wonderfully utilised in this story.
Magic certainly hadn't saved Rab or Isobel. Or Elphinstone, for that matter. ~ Great line. Magic sure does come with its own set of problems and megalomaniacs. | He looked as if he'd been ridden hard and put away wet, as Granny McGonagall used to say. ~ Eminently interested in meeting Granny McGonagall - but yes, and sadly nothing on how he's soon to be ridden & left wet yet again.
The only person he seemed to speak with of his own volition was Minerva. ~ Ship ship hooray! | Some favourite Scottish lines: But she had come by her own hardness naturally. ... A girl needed a little softness in this world, even in the upper reaches of Caithness. | But she wasn't alone here, he realised. Far from it. ~ Well-spotted - and a great place to be a spinster of whatever sexual appetites.
Hogwarts was a bit like his parish had been, he thought, with its different personalities and relationships, and Minerva was right in the middle of it all, just as he had been. ~ Cannot say how I adore the comparison of Hogwarts to a parish from him, the peek at her life and the similar situations they ended up in despite their outward differences. (Have long said a dream career of mine would be chaplain at Hogwarts/boarding school!)
Adoration for the whole Quidditch scene with Weasley. | The boy opened his mouth as if he were going to argue, but a look from Minerva silenced him. ~ There's that hard streak, eh? ;D Cackling at "bit like football, but on brooms and with more balls" - I'll say, particularly with the kilted ones.
"...The House teams have some players staying over the holidays, and they agreed to put on a demonstration." ~ Would love to see that! Interhouse Quidditch - sounds like a great idea every year to mix things up. Her embarrassment over going a bit overboard to please her Dad is adorable. | she drew her stick--wand, he reminded himself--and pointed it at him. ~ Pah, a spade's a spade. xP Neat conjugation on Leviosa.
It felt a bit like falling in reverse." ~ Nice description for it, simple to picture. And an apt comparison with the loss of agency, balance & proprioception: A bit like his Parkinson's shakes, actually, and he didn't like those much, either.
Well-kept, Keeper! He thought he just might enjoy Quidditch. ~ ♥ Great line - runs in the family. Cracking up at their commentary over the Omnioculars. She's certainly not always the best at 'thank you's but how kind & thoughtful of Severus, & what a wonderful way to make a good impression on Dear Old Dad. | They were acid and drily humorous, and tinged, he thought, with something a bit deeper than wit. ~ Excellent line for him & for describing them. Can see both where Minerva gets much of himself & how he might draw in a woman like Isobel, with all he takes in & realises.
Of course we've got some bad-sport Slytherins... Surprised they didn't catch the girl before the ground. | His view of the injured player was obscured by the other students who had landed and gathered around her... ~ A scene I recall well in sports, & quite a thing to witness after a long fall. Good touch with the side-rubbing and recalling a letter from Hogwarts over the injury - solid school policy, that is. Wonder what hers said.
She had been like him in most ways, but she'd always had Isobel's thirst for physical challenge. ~ And magical prowess, yes! Much appreciation for Minerva's cheeks pink[ing] with the cold or with excitement, or both. | "That's preposterous!" Minerva shrugged. "That's Quidditch." ~ THE PERFECT SUMMARY of the sport.
He was about to blow out the lantern when... ~ *Can't ruddy wait for this.* Four-thirty, daaaamn McG! | Robert was surprised to see his daughter kiss the other person before he slipped out. ~ Oooooeeeer *peeky peaky sneeky sneaky* GET IT GONAGALL-GAL!!! Her hair was dishevelled in a way that confirmed his suspicions. Yeeeeaaaaaas. Love their simple, direct conversation to follow. She's certainly got her spikes out.
"...but if he makes you happy, I can't object." ~ ♥♥♥ good on ya, Dad. | "It's...we have an arrangement." ~ The most Them thing ever. Great ways of showing the emotions she does in fact express, with the jumping spoon & all. | "You're not ashamed of sleeping with a man half your age but you go to pieces when I mention love." ~ Bahahaha call-out line of the century, & all too valid. Quite fitting for her. Endless love for: A flustered Minerva. Well, well. He hadn't seen that for years and years. Certainly a good man with sense enough to see Minerva for the rare thing she is.
She was never more or less than herself. ~ The greatest of beauties to us & the greasy git. | ...a tension at the table that even Dumbledore's joviality and studied dottiness couldn't suppress. ~ Absolutely perfectly put. "Studied dottiness" - love it. Poor Pomona with the nasty hex! Hope she's getting very well cared-for this Christmas.
Minerva's face resembled Isobel's suddenly...a look of private melancholy. ...It pained him to know the he'd been the reason the smile had had a touch of sadness behind it. ~ These lines were a touch heart-breaking for all of them - and yet so many reasons in both worlds & regions for their looks of melancholy.
"[Killing] was not as difficult as I'd thought it would be." ~ Its own difficulty... Robert's unwavering support is inspiring, and Minerva's doubt perfectly understandable. So telling of them both & presents such solid views of their moralities, faiths & values. | She shook her head slowly. "He was murdered." ~ And Robert learns what all of us surmised, takes it about as expected. | "Yes. It's just...just a shock." ~ Can only imagine. Good on Minerva for pulling a chair up close - very pastoral, in fact.
"...they couldn't get to me. So they killed Rab." ~ What a positively horrid feeling to carry around. A hard lesson to learn the most horrendous way: The same day, I made the manse Unplottable. ...They found the village, though. | "If you hadn't fought them, you wouldn't be the woman I raised you to be." ~ Excellent line for him - good father, good minister, good man.
"...I knew you'd never take an unfair advantage." ~ I love hearing of her feisty childhood, solitary daddy's-girl beating down bullies. Unsurprising for a future Gryffindor Head of House. Now I wonder what non-lethal spell she used to kill a man. | "There's only one judge that matters, Minerva, and you have His love forever. And mine." ~ Yes, do love having a minister at Hogwarts, & for Minerva's comfort here. Glad to see him putting his arms around her.
"Different lives, I suppose. I thought you were disappointed in me. For choosing magic." ~ Powerful lines of vulnerable insecurity there, and so understandable on her part. Equally his response of apology for her feeling she had to choose, and the way he admits his fear as the driving force for not trying to understand.
"Any tool can be made to do evil when it's wielded by evil men." ~ Great line to summarise his feelings on the matter - & while he undoubtedly sounds like Albus, neither would be wrong. Grinning over the 'sometimes' line of the Great Wise Albus. | [Robert] gazed into the fire for a few moments, looking for shapes in the flames as he had since he was a boy. ~ Hah, proof even Minerva's father has more appreciation for divination than she! xD Approve of his honesty in being gladder to have come than he was before.
...thanks to the Lord for this chance to get to know one another again before it's too late." ~ Another hearty AMEN. | Robert led them in a general prayer of thanskgiving, and if Minerva stumbled over a few of the words, he tried not to notice. ~ What a lovely, forgiving line. I probably shouldn't be glad she stumbled a bit, & yet...
It was midnight. Christmas day. A time of birth and hope for the world. ~ Such a line to read for where they are in the timeline & what's to come.
A truly lovely Christmas tale to read. The father/daughter relationship is remarkable in all the emotional dynamics portrayed. A delight to get a new sight on Hogwarts over Christmas, from a Muggle adult at all, let alone Minerva's own professionally-religious father. And seeing Severus before the second rising of the Dark Lord - well-writ, & sad in its own happy way.
Stupendous job with Minerva's experience of the war and the guilt she's had every right to carry around, now lightened via her father's presence & pastoral precision - he's really quite good, can see where she gets some of her own skills from (might do well to borrow some of his, in fact!); not many stories seem to get into the impact of war on Minerva's family life like that.
Plenty of insight into all characters involved with just the right balance of tragedy, togetherness, hope, humour & growth. A fine Christmas story, & thank you for it!
♥ Kiwi ♥
Mmmm threesomes mean double-to-triple the fun, & a tripeload'a snark with these three in particular. Sounds perfectly practical: I'm in. Prepare for squee.
It's goose this year, God help him. ~ Sounds perfectly goose to me! Sorry, good. | "I certainly can't imagine you going to the trouble otherwise," Minerva says after listening to his explanation. ~ This line alongside the next is utterly perfect: smirk is permissible, lilt is not. And the very motto of his fine establishment: "...I never do good business on Christmas Eve, and anyone who does turn up won't want reminding."
Besides, he'll wager that Severus's weakness for tradition extends to Christmas trimmings. ~ A thing to think and not say, but touching all the same for Aberforth to know about him & an adorable image to boot. Aberforth's character voice is positively brilliant.
They aren't spending Christmas Eve together in any sense of the phrase except for the bare bones of fact. Shared holidays are the territory of love affairs, not a funny little arrangement that always feels as though it should require more drink than it does. ~ This whole paragraph AMAZING, & what a set-up for them. The first two lines... *guhhhh* at their Arrangement. The drinks line nearly made me spew mine.
Wonders, with a certain unkind satisfaction, if this counts as cuckoldry if you squint. ~ Don't expect it takes much squintin', but I secretly hope so either way. xD They certainly have a preference for one Dumbledore & it's not the Dumblebore. Woops. | Severus has unstopped his second pot of red ink and is threatening harmony by encroaching on Minerva's side of the table. ~ *gasp* Wars were started over smaller things.
This is such a lovely, comfy, homey thing to read, & so much how it might be with them. Except I hope Abe can actually dice an onion. | He'd be just as foolish, however, not to foist off his chopping on a potions teacher. ~ Agreed. It's just high-stakes culinary in a different cauldron. :'D over this whole section. | Severus is even more mouth-watering than the food, & that's saying something.
The wind is throwing itself at the front of the inn with the cold wail it picks up when it comes skimming over the lake. You don't get a picturesque dusting of snow or a silent night when the wind's blowing north. ~ Love these lines to no end, & Aberforth's awareness of weather, his pub & north humour. What a perfect setting.
...at least if it's some pregnant girl on a donkey, but for the moment it's not a bad day to be closed. ~ Ahahahaha a closet Christian, nearly. | They're joined by his stash of Dinah Puddifoote's shortbread, which he transfers from their repurposed toffee tin to one of his few pieces of good china. Aiming to impress there, Aberforth! And well done at it. He makes a great Cupid - indeed, Severus, how thoughtful.
For someone with more than his share of slyness who obviously likes being told he's done a good job, he's shockingly poor at getting himself what he wants. ~ Explains Severus to the very core. Bless every phrasing of this & Aberforth's assist. Agreed on Minerva's leisure!
"I read this essay last year. It wasn't any better when it had her brother's name on it." ~ Bahahaha this is everything I need in a fic, right down to semicolon humour. The. Best. I am absolutely enamoured. (Pahaha misspelling teacher's name to 'conjectural' and semicolons. Dying.) | They look up guiltily all the same, like a pair of rival cats caught unexpectedly cuddling on the hearth. ~ One of the most perfect ways I've ever seen them described.
...having already explained that this is only the result of Maisie Figg's dickering. ~ In hopes it leads to ever more dickering... | ♥ for Severus the potato-thief.
The next thing you know, someone could get the wrong idea and start thinking about presents and parlour games and all manner of things too fraught for a tired old bastard, a widow, and whatever starveling thing the lad might be. ~ Yes, head to Rosmerta's for that nonsense.
Instead, it's nothing but the publican's hospitality from all of them: here's what's on the table, take it or leave it. ~ Take & take & take, please, then take some more 'til the time comes it's all gone again... | It's only a Thursday, he thinks, but it's a happier one than it has any right to be. ~ Guuuuhhhhh. Yes. No better end to a fic of the most perfect voice.
So in love with this cosy vignette & what it speaks for all of them, the setting, the peace... Perfectly Christmas, all of it, & the most fitting gift for Dear Dueltastic. I've marked down on my printed version a star with the note 'Fic & Art alert, all of it!' The sort of fic I'd love to see play out in comic, where Aberforth might be relieved to know it's more possible to see a quirked smirk than catch any lilt to one's brogue.
Why, this is tastier than the Christmas goose!
♥ Kiwi ♥
<3__<3 at Snape/Rosmerta. So excited based on warning & ships - break my heart please! Plenty of imagination to break myself with. ;D
The early evening found Headmaster Snape leaning over the railings of the Astronomy Tower, smoking a Woodbine and contemplating his miserable lot. ~ PERFECT START for Severus & the story. Can quite easily picture it.
Now that he had been forced into his shoes, that memory evoked a sardonic smile. ~ How terribly true of filling new shoes one once scorned. Ah, spell-resistant December cold - a favourite time to be outside. Love these cigs from Dumbledore's desk; wonder very much if they were Albus' or a companion's, useful buggers either way.
Even his frosty heart. ~ A lovely Grinchly moment. And horny slutty Severus Snape is my favourite. But LITTERING, SEVERUS?! Go pick up your fag-butts! Wonderful lines for a stark situation: foolish to expect more. Dangerous even. | Love for the Happy Hanukkah. What a story Augusta introduces us to!
Irma, you will be glad to hear, was given all late afternoons and evenings off over the holidays, and was able to join me here, and will return every night, to light yet another candle. ~ I love this so much. A Jewish Irma friends with Augusta and visiting hospital? Cheers to Severus for giving proper time off for a non-Christian religion.
...when I take a bite and close my eyes, I can hear my Papa say, "Don't gobble like a common girl, Gusti." ~ What a darling picture to admire; I so adore epistolary fic - and properly enjoying food. Such a sadly beautiful thing, to at least be remembered in a Muggle Museum (great inclusion).
A secret-dimension hat - terrifically useful gift in any time! Ahahaha I love the little 'I find your system of magic so very confusing' transatlantic jibe there, very Augusta. This story does so well at lightly depicting hard times. And I love Irma as captain of the Hogwarts library - some of the most valuable educators, those books - & the willingness to go down with her ship.
It will amuse you to hear that I of all people am counselling treading lightly! ~ A perfect line from Augusta, & my how she's grown. There's a rich parallel of settings between hard times & how they’ve impacted Irma. Still coming to understand the family dynamics but then letters seem meant for a little confusion to those not in the know (yet).
I suppose I have [become the longwinded boring kind of old witch who goes on and on] ~ how the cycle continues! Especially in letters. And of course we know her to have become a favourite old witch of that kind. | Pity they’ve similar troubles with their snow-shovels. Know the weather must be mighty bad when even the last-minute consumerism of winter holidays is on hold.
Lovely chaps, most of them. ~ All chaps? D’aw. Do love this Rosmerta & her holiday custom dearly, not to mention her egalitarian ways: ...at Christmas, she always found, there was enough for everybody... | She was lucky to be alive, she supposed. Unlike the Old Headmaster. ~ Ooof, yes, & it could've been 'success' at her own cursed hands - suppose she was still instrumental, given the brooms. What a hard thing to bear.
Irma's cut&dry, simple, logical POV is perfect. And ermm, ooi what a beauraucratic nightmare for Rosmerta. | As she read, Rosmerta panicked, then relaxed, then panicked. ~ Perfectly reasonable given circumstances! And of course no inspective follow-through. Sounds like government to me.
And what idiot did not know Hogsmeade of all places or the name of her pub? ~ The most valid of questions - something's fishy. Love Albus' festive holiday decorations & collection of seasonal spirits. And that Severus' repressed sluttiness is showing. Would it be Christmas without idiots...? | ...it was in the interest of neighbourly relations with the village if he spent some of his own hard-earned galleons in her establishment later tonight. ~ The only kind economic choice after she had to send her 50G to the Tower of London.
--That impertinent librarian needed to be punished. ~ I would so love this sentence in other contexts... Shocked she kept the mistletoe of all things but glad she did & that the library gets to see decorations all the same. | Resistance seemed possible in small doses. ~ Love this line - resistance is...not quite entirely futile. We're here reminded how important Irma is, how rule-abiding & opinionated, how willing she is to maintain defiance; I love it, especially given the background you've shared with us. She's a wonder. (Her natural dry acidity is badass.)
If she does not do as she is told, she may find that she no longer is the librarian in the New Year. ~ Over her dead body, sure. | ...the true strength of Hogwarts was its magical books collection. She would die to protect it. ~ Amen! As well a good librarian of the place should; she was well-selected.
She put the book firmly on her desk, right next to the volume of Muggle Christmas tales and stories she had found as a gift for Charity last spring and now had started reading herself. ~ Ahhhh that breaks my heart too - glad to know Charity had a bookish friend before she passed, at least. And what a story, to see Augusta as aunt to Irma! | Clever trick with Severus' catty drama being a key to clever magic; Albus would approve. Literature does open all kinds of doors.
When the time has come, it is essential that certain books should be removed from Hogwarts and it is your duty, as the Librarian, to see that this is done, in conjunction with the school's headmaster. ~ Well, cat's outta the bag & books into the hat! | Please follow his instructions carefully, or it may be you who will be shrunk. ~ Honey I shrunk the Librarian! That's a very different story. Good to see Albus is still a nosy nifler, more so for each of his names.
Irma Pince was saying good night to her newly sworn-in secret deputy librarian with special portfolio. ~ Deputy librarian - dark times indeed. August Longbottom got lucky in the books department this year. Despite the dark times, such the perfect holiday setting: sneaking away for Hanukkah & acts of protective resistance/liberation in steps - fits the holiday well.
But maybe, the little cake should stay in Scotland. ~ Scotland loves its odd cakes. Good to hear there's much to discuss along mother/daughter lines.
The naked wizard leaning out the upstairs window of the Broomsticks is as beautiful a sight as the moon itself. And mmmm a truly wondrous Christmas image, a line I love: Rosmerta was fast asleep in the bed he had just left, a naked leg dangling out from under the duvet, her golden hair spread on the pillow like an aureole around a saint. Appreciate the comparison to a goddess, her namesake. Though I'm sure she has many methods for getting her way that aren't her cleavage! xD
...needed no reassurance whatsoever about the pleasure his todger could give. ~ Speaks well of him & the vocal pleasure of past lovers, then. Hope he uses more than that alone ;D Ooof at having to make an obliviating decision - rough stuff in tough times. | "Coming, I hope, very soon." ~ Seems likely for Rosmerta, given the todger... And Irma with red-and-green sprinkled hot cocoa: adorable.
Maybe thank you was enough to begin with. ~ Often is, from those waiting to hear it. Love they're reunified. What a tacky card from her father. | "Happy Hanukkah, mother," she added, nodding at the photo of three young Jewish witches standing forlorn among other Jewish children on a gangway between ship and land. ~ Wonderful ending with this and the snow.
Good stop: to know the story offers background & continues on, yes, but the books are saved as the final scenes are set for what we know is to come. Really appreciated the new take on character backgrounds and diversifying them some - always seemed odd to not hear mention of Judaism in the books, & this works to remedy that. Enjoyed the pacing and the snipes at bureaucracy, & seeing the heart-breaking Obliviated relationship between Rosmerta and Severus during times difficult on them both.
Irma & Charity broke my heart in the loveliest way, as did the family dimensions between Irma & Gussie - so glad to see her making an appearance in this background act of resistance. To hear of them sharing Hanukkah together is utterly heart-warming: offers the hope they'll continue after the newer set of dark times have passed, and with a reunited family going forward.
Thank you for this lovely, warming Hanukkah tale of protecting important education via clever literary resistance! (Can see from it how Augusta might end up owning a bookstore. (; )
♥ Kiwi ♥
With Friends Like These
It had a meaty quality to it, suggesting thick parchment and centuries-old binding. ~ Mmmm sounds delicious. And yes, Ron, but does she love your balls? Seems not. Glad they at least get to be comfy as something if not quite their relationship prior. | "...The end for them, that is," Minerva sniffed. ~ Ah, good ol' Minerva the work-horse. Filius ought to be able to display some uncharacteristic bile when confronted with arseholes who don't know the whole story of teaching - & well done on the lecture in Rome, old chap.
"...if you are switching to complaining about being let off I'm sure we can find a way to resolve matters to everyone's satisfaction." ~ Pahahaha practical & snarktastic as always: love her. And a 'gimme gimme' to "Why don't you come into my sitting room? So much more comfortable to argue there, don't you think?" | "Fancy a drop?" ~ Or two... Best cure for dealing with dunderheads.
As he had no intention to be influenced, he may as well reap the benefits of being buttered up. ~ The very best place to start negotiations. We'll see if he's not...influenced. | The kind where the princess eschewed marrying the prince at the end and opened a garage instead. ~ I'm very down for this AU. Hardcore Sevvykids there, rough'n'tumble to Hoggywarts.
"If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always got." ~ Excellent line, another for the Tshirt collection. Hope she's doing similarly. | Just go on your own instead - you may bump into someone there. ~ Who knows what you'll bump. RSVPing Minerva is the perfect nosy aunt; can see how she & Augusta Longbottom ended up friends.
As usual, it was a futile effort. ~ I should hope: how little height means in such matters. | "...Maybe you would unwind a bit if you got that stick up your arse removed…" ~ Or had more fun with said stick.
If he couldn't keep up in his own head, he wouldn't survive five minutes of probing from Minerva. ~ Probably true for all he's the Legilimens. I personally take quite a likin' to lichen but never to lickin'... *ducks thrown shoes* | Lucius Malfoy: the only man who can out-L'Oreal Severus Snape. | Draco hoped so - he was damned if he was meeting in a Muggle coffee shop again. ~ Hah, says him. Adorable AU moment; do love a good Coffee Shop AU.
"Harry - Harry doesn't do well with aunts." That was one way of putting it. ~ Bahahaha the most canon of comments. Another bright Tshirt idea, with a wayward aunt floating away on the back. (Oh, & I happened to be reading through & scribbling away on this story at the Christmas table, & my brother's cracker joke was "What's the biggest ant?" Having just read these lines, I said, "Aunt Marge!" Now I can't remember the proper answer but it was underwhelming compared to Harry's dearly difficult Aunt Marjorie. Scratched it down on bottom of the page.)
That earned her a glare from Neville, which was rather like being savaged by a sheep. ~ Awwwr. She also hasn't met the sort of sheep I have: there's a reason some of 'em are called Rams... xD | "...I thought the heads of houses usually did Friday and Saturday night." ~ Is that how it goes? Goodness yes, what an exhaustive job in need of holidays.
"...I'm beginning to understand his insistence that students belong in bed at night. Their own, preferably." ~ Oh Neville, I do adore you. So glad he's ended up a Professor - well-suited. | "...Just bring her home before she gets stuck into her second bottle of sherry, and you'll do fine." ~ Second bottle? Goodness. (And I somewhat hope she hits her second sherry...)
The fountain provided a pleasant background sound, almost muffling the occasional shrieks from the peacocks outside. ~ Hilarious intro to the Manor. | "...While remembering the vital lessons learnt, of course." ~ I should bloody well hope so. In agreement with Snape here: ...the most vital lesson Lucius had learnt was to never again put a cause before family (and by extension, himself), rather than anything more elevated. | Lucius seems to have exponentially different views on Elevated. I'm also with Severus on his views re: living beneath a lake - chortled.
Severus briefly considered whether he should worry, given that Narcissa was about 100% more proficient as a conspirer than Lucius, before he recollected that she hadn't wanted to join Voldemort in the first place. ~ Agreed on all counts re: the wisdom & comparative conspiratorial competence of one Narcissa (Black) Malfoy. Enjoyed this line quite a lot for the punch it packed at Lucius. Laughed further at the distinctionless honour of being more sensible than he.
Very curious as to the precise sound which would alarm the peacocks so. I scribbled "Punch him." after Lucius sat back with a smug smile. And oh dear, now wizards have seen The Office before I have!
Severus cast his eyes to the sky, hoping there was intelligent life out there somewhere because it was sorely lacking on earth. ~ ♪ Pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space, 'cause there's bugger-all down here on Earth! ♫ Cheers for the Monty Python moment. ^+^
...there was a multitude of things he wanted, and in the great Venn diagram of life almost none of them overlapped with what he was going to get. ~ Pahaha isn't that Severus' life in a nutshell? But not his fandom life. Solid angstfest plan to watch Hermione, though it seems he'll be pleasantly surprised with the meddling going on around him.
"Naturally, I'm always anxious to oblige my elders." ~ Ahhh squabbling Slytherins, the best of holiday sounds. | One of the few benefits of spending one's professional life at Hogwarts was a diminished fear of formidable witches, by dint of much exposure. ~ Fantastic line & all too true. No wonder we love it so.
In the brightly lit ballroom, she looked like a different woman: more polished, less real. ~ Nice line for Hermione: understandable, to compare settings so, & one seem realer than another. Endless love for the respect paid Augusta Longbottom, though what an awkward dinner banquet this makes for - second bottle of sherry already? Not so much a young man at this point.
They stared at each other, lost in the moment until someone wolf-whistled from the corner where Magical Maintenance sat. ~ Thank you, Magical Maintenance, now the suspense has ceased, on with the action. | ...and as for Minerva who was if not bosom friends with Mrs Longbottom, then at least more than a passing acquaintance. ~ Bosom somethin'. Bosom buddies? Oh dear, more bits to bounce xD
If you can't beat them, join them and wreak havoc from within, Severus told his Slytherins. Perhaps he ought to take his own advice. ~ He's certainly taken his advice to heart at other times. | He could feel a cold coming on, or perhaps it was a premonition. ~ Or a hangover ahaha - nice line.
If they were stuck for something to talk about, they could always discuss how to exact revenge on their meddling friends. ~ A popular topic for all generations, & parties of all houses seem plenty skilled in scheming. | The kissing alone could make him dizzy, I'd suspect. He didn't know she could do the eyebrow thing? She's partially raised by Minerva McGonagall; she's built to destroy him in the best of ways.
She surrendered in good grace, mindful of the far larger sum she had pocketed from the Headmistress when Severus actually kissed the Granger chit in front of everyone. ~ Not sure that was a great bet, McG.
Part 2 of the story: Narcissa Malfoy & Minerva McGonagall Conquer the World!
Very cute A/B Ministry prompt. I love the double Longbottom inclusion and a great many of the lines. It paces along beautifully for a fun Christmas tale of mischief & merriment. Makes me wonder if this rebound will last - they certainly have plenty in common - & what Narcissa's going to get herself with that hedged bet of hers.
Thank you for the story! [Severus gets the polar bear for walking on thin ice thinking he’d not get Influenced ending up over his head.]
♥ Kiwi ♥
From the Ashes, a Fire Is Kindled
Filch had no magic that he knew of, despite practising and hoping, but he had a nose for children out of bed later than they should be. ~ A certain power to acknowledge & appreciate, especially given his job, with many thanks to his magic cat. (Could see her making more sense than many a wizard.)
Can't quite deny the girlie sidekick being too clever for her own good & the other one 'just trouble walking' - enjoying this POV. Can't deny the favouritism, either. | She sat down, watching him with something he fancied was reproach. ~ I adore her. Can't imagine trying to be a squib at Hogwarts.
He wasn't sure he had a heart at all, and it was no business of his if he had. ~ Ahahaha I'm sure we're soon to see. Equal-opportunity asshole points: If it was catching, there was a list of people he'd have been breathing on to make sure they caught it. Brilliant.
The Headmaster was an annoying bugger at the best of times, and this didn't look like the best of times. ~ Loved this couplet of lines. How perceptive Argus can be. Grinned at the Frances the Small bit. Ah, how favouritism is one of the most familiar flavours of Hogwarts.
It wasn't like talking to the Headmaster, whose grasp of proper discipline was erratic at best. ~ True 'nuff. And corporal punishment...? | "If that doesn't spread the news round the castle faster than a speeding dragon, I don't know what will." ~ Gossip: the oldest tradition for spreading news at Good Old Hogwarts.
Filch had dreamed of proper discipline and an iron rod and now he had it, he wanted nothing more to do with it. ~ Admirable change of heart & telling first line to the section. Same power to these lines: Filch had just nodded. Speaking out of turn wasn't encouraged under the new regime. He'd learned that already.
A casual mention that the students seemed to be using a particular room after hours resulted in the Carrows being ordered to patrol on the other side of the castle. ~ A clever thing to notice.
Or, "Alecto doesn't like cats." He kept Mrs Norris in his room, which she took with more grace than he expected, for there is no force that can keep a cat penned up against their will. ~ Fairly certain, particularly for a magic cat - & what a horror he need to this. How many students, I wonder, have pet cats...? You paint this disgusting year well.
"The Headmaster said..." he continued stubbornly, and then felt the bitter sting of Crucio along his nerves. ~ The mother-effers! How brave Filch is in his trying to do minimal evil - and his partnership with Severus in the same. They make a powerful pair.
Why do you always spoil my fun?" Alecto said, with a whine. ~ Because you're an amoral paedo-sadist. | Filch was still twitching through the aftershocks and wondering what on earth had possessed him to be brave. ~ Brilliant heart-wrenching line, & all for a Longbottom & a Weasley. Eff yeah to Severus' form of sadism: would love to see Alecto mopping a floor (or shoving the broom up her...)
Now, run along and find your idiot brother and search out some flies to pull the wings off. ~ Ahahahaha at that line. Weasley sums it all up just about as succinctly as she would. Love Filch's comparative, approving softness in referring to Potter as her boy. Cute: "He's not my boy," Weasley said, but smiled.
Neville would know best what helps for all too many reasons. ~ "You shouldn't know that. We shouldn't live in a world where you have to know that." ~ Was just thinking the very same, & here Neville knows it from even Before. I like Weasley's spirit of temporality.
Not for him being a butterfly, but dull colouration would suit him better in the current climate. ~ In wing-plucking days? You betchya. And of course it's a Monday. | He wasn't sure he had the bravery to cope with the world outside this room. ~ Am sure Severus can relate. Well done on making the Head's office feel like a safe-space compared to the rest of the castle.
He had a poacher's pocket, which had been large to start with, but he'd paid a witch to put an extending charm on it to make it even bigger so the book didn't show once it was in there. ~ Clever man for hard times. Love your description of the groaning gargoyle & the sound of their distinct voices coming upstairs.
"...I'm sure that he will be delighted to have his attention taken away from the search for Potter to deal with your petty egos[.]" Severus' acidic wit is my favourite. Bless him protecting Filch, who protects the book. | "The children are hostages. Damaged hostages are worthless." ~ Valid, & ouch, what a year for the school. This Severus is everything: "Don't tell me, and certainly don't tell them I suggested it."
And where were the Aurors I want to know - oh they're all over the place now, asking stupid questions. ~ Of course they are - useless government depending on teens & educators to win their 'world' war. May Potter improve their usefulness having grown up forced to do their jobs.
The Shack was dark and cold, no place for a man to rest in peace, and a shitty place to cough out your last. ~ Starkly & perfectly put.
Where there should have been blood, there were ashes, surrounded by a large scorch mark, and in the midst of the pile one large, black feather. ~ Amazing. And for Filch to be in the know thanks to the book. Beautiful lines: "I wish I'd been able to see it. Fly free, Headmaster. Fly fee." Better than the last time he took flight!
Fly free indeed. Love the vision of Severus as a dark phoenix to Albus' light. Inventive uses of magic and lore, some fantastic humour & cutting lines, and a great post-battle call-out. There's a real sense of connection, care & protectiveness to the characters; I admire their acquired friendship of sorts, the allyship of previously unexpected characters.
Filch's character really shines in this tale in a remarkable way. He's got something better than magic in his resolve and resilience, & even in his nigh-Slytherin resourcefulness with the book. He's clever, perceptive, conscienced & brave - for all he's no magic, we see him embody each of the houses in turn. A real delight to read a story like this about a character like his, and throughout you've woven a realistic portrayal of a godsawful year.
Well done and thank you for this!
♥ Kiwi ♥
[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]