The Weighing of the Wands
The summary excites me & the warning fits the series well. AHO to a decade of hoggywarty!
The platforms were not so busy once the school children were securely installed ~ Love the phrasing – will enjoy this story. Glad Garrick gets the ol' Hogwarts Thestrals. | It was hard to say: years fell on the heads of years in a way that was at once nonchalant and relentless, like dust piling in an untouched vault. ~ Lovely line to summarise the passing of time, & Hogwarts is always home.
Ravenclaws were meant for thinking, not fighting, after all. ~ Some: ask Luna, she's a fighting spirit. Love his attention to wands, witches, wizards & performance - very him. Laughed over Terrence Hinderspark's hacking cough of a Kneazle wand. And over Cassie Black: the wand chooses the wizard or the witch adapts, it seems. He's got his good ol' Ravenclaw snootiness on-board! 'Only thickos were good at flying' - hah.
...the sunlight glinted just so, he looked like some storied medieval king on the threshold of his fortress. A legend; a myth; a fairy-tale come to life. ~ Is he not all of these things? Or at least soon. Well-put. Enjoying his take on the slightly-awkward, over-compensating Albus.
Ollivander sitting there wondering what wands are hidden in robes xD And his ironically snooty thoughts about Fleur. | For Garrick, handling the wand of another was a far more profound experience than it was for the average witch or wizard. ~ Can only imagine - also, *snerk*, very mature reader here.
When asked, he would describe the effect as something like Legilimency, but the mental state required was quite different: absorptive, rather than penetrative; intuitive rather than intellectual. ~ A beautiful sentence & sentiment. Love this whole paragraph - Garrick the Wand Whisperer. Mmmm. Wonder what other wands he whispers.
...regarding one another with a silence that was far more eloquent than any words Garrick might have been able to conjure, just then. ~ Well-expressed. Ollivander's ego seems very canon. Wonderful job with the suspense & the call of The Wand of All Wands.
...and most disturbingly of all, the whole melee was overlaid with a sense of riotous glee - as if this sick thing actually took delight in the pain, the devastation, the grief of it all... showing that it had no purpose other than glorifying in death itself. ~ What a hard & accurate read on a wand & its use through the ages; what a thing to hold in hand at all, yet alone wield. Well done. Realistic to have one as sensitive to wands as he is hit the dirt. No wonder it's called the Deathstick.
But what extraordinary magic. ~ Dangerous & very in-character thoughts. | Albus was merely an inanimate conduit in its journey. There was no fondness there. No bond, no regard. ~ Well-concluded & put - gives a certain hope for Albus' character. | "I promise, my friend. To my death, I promise." ~ A heart-breaking scene given what we know to come. This fits all characters - wand included - so well.
How was it possible to have such conviction without actually being interested in it? ~ Oh Garrick, conviction is interest of a sort - interest enough to form beliefs. Fun to grapple with Garrick's limited perspective: how all he mentions can be part of fairness - inclusion & compassion requiring an open, discerning mind – and how the intellect can cloud intuitive feelings, as is clearly the case with him on occasion. The idea of intuition vs. intellect, when they work wonders together, a thing which Hufflepuffs often employ.
Garrick fancied that he could grow accustomed to this official expert malarkey. ~ Hah! With all its prejudicial ponderings, indeed. Love the language of your writing & the multi-layered narrative it evokes: ...a tired glow about to give up its ghost of day.
Oh Albus, you vexing little queen playing coy. He never wore black. ~ Good of him to notice after the grey halo. | The scene spoke clearly: Albus hadn't been able to concentrate for months. ~ Endless adoration for this deduction & all the lines leading up to it. Brilliant characterisation of both them & the times they face.
"...But I have to do this myself." ~ Of course you do, Albus: you always do. Perhaps why you're Gryffindor & not Ravenclaw... | The description of Cedric Diggory is so lovely my heart hurts. | It had been a long slog. ~ Love the scene this whole paragraph sets. Great use of weather. The 'CALLERS' plaque & sound-box is cute.
"But you're just being stubborn!" That's Albus' 'Always' to Severus' undying love. Undying stubbornness may be even more exasperating. | Garrick's hopes fell down about him like the rain outside. ~ Lovely line for a heart-wrenching scene & another great use of weather. Heartily appreciating their chemistry all the same.
He closed his eyes for a moment, then out gushed a Patronus of such vivid brightness, it transformed the gloom of the turret into a sea of twinkling wonder. ~ Glorious line for Albus, very him-with-new-wand. Another sector of a line well-loved: ...a loosening of tension about the eyes and the brow that looked far more real, far more satisfying, than any actual smile could have.
After that, they spoke more freely with one another, but about nothing of real consequence. ~ Great summary for their exchange. Oooof. Oh Albus, always with the drama in all the protection of self & others. Lovely tender scene between the two of them. | Wandmakers were solitary creatures, after all; secrecy was inherent in the craft. ~ Indeed, & perhaps why I'm so enjoying Garrick's appearance in this fest. Grinning over his conclusion - likely not wrong - that Gregorovitch's wands lack finesse.
An arranged marriage versus a union of soulmates, if you will. ~ Brilliant way of putting it & the perfect comparison between the two. I'm living for this wand lore. Glad, too, that Garrick is not above some wandly immaturity - otherwise I'd worry his career had got to him. | The wand seemed rather suspicious of the intrusion on first touch, but opened up quickly to a fellow carrier of hornbeam. ~ A nice touch of affinity & a lovely touch to give the wands such personality.
Again, Garrick had a dealer for such things. ~ *immediately thinks of Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank sorting through dragon vomit.* | The best, and only the best; that was all. ~ A matter of opinion, I'm sure, but certainly makes for a streamlined workroom.
He was wearing burgundy robes, the colour of red wine and kisses. ~ Great line. Love this paragraph for the history & chemistry of them. | Garrick snorted in amusement. "They don't." ~ Ravenclaw ingenuity & independence at its finest, & doesn't the motto stick well in the end.
The witches at Castlelobruxo have tropical wood wands, as you'd imagine, but I'm afraid I neglected to find out about the cores for you. ~ Oooooer count me curious! Things I suddenly want to see explored in fic. Also, a rakish Albus Dumbledore: hot. Love this line: Albus rearranged his features into an expression of polite enquiry.
...making a bid for freedom straight from the prison of his heart. ~ Well-put - if only we could say the same for Ollivander's rambling. Unlikely to go well for him with the Albus we know. Oof, yeah, glistening eyes & a still face drained of colour. | "We could be dangerous together." ~ Well, he's not quite wrong. And another perfectly true line: "But I, alas, am still very much like me." | To think there might've been some nice smex... ah, Garrick, for all you scorn them, you seem to love like a Hufflepuff, heart on the sleeve and all.
A nervous black haystack-on-legs shuffled toward him. ~ Bahahaha best description of all - how true, & of course always with the speechless silent staring @ Potter. | ...Albus had never indulged a paternal streak - until now. ~ HAHAHAHA IF ONLY DEAR GARRICK. | Were rumors of 'The Chosen One' true? ~ Well, one of the chosen ones, anyway.
It was of holly, harvested in Godric's Hollow on Christmas Eve. ~ Powerful wood. I'd not've been able to resist asking the tree what it had in store, either, despite teasing. Laughing at the thought that Harry's wand is a Dumbledore/Ollivander Christmas babywand lovechild, pahahaha perfect.
...tears borne of injustice at the stupidity of it all; knowing that as he shaped that dark wood, cutting and slicing into angular forms, his life was being irrevocably shaped by fear and bad decisions. ~ Ooof. Tears all too many understand. Also interesting to know that Dumbledore's breakup is part of what made Voldemort's wand. How fitting. Perhaps if Dumbles had handled things differently there would've been more smex & less scary snake-nosed overlords.
By all accounts, Rowena has been a pretty open-minded sort." ~ Oh how I'd like to count the ways & hear the tales sung. And how long their history together! | "Mmm. 'Theoretically', I'd say." He gave a disarming smile." ~ Okay, he's mighty cute; I can see the appeal. Would like very much to read the story of the magical portrait artist in Rome! And they’re friends with Elphie - of course.
Garrick watched as Albus filed that away for future use; there was never a piece of new knowledge that he considered unimportant. ~ A keen insight of character. Seems truer for Albus than Garrick, despite their houses, which seems just right in & of itself. | RE: Giovanni Apollini - well done tying everything together the way you do, all the little details through the decades.
That gave them both pause; Garrick knew how attached Albus was to Fawkes. ~ No shite - Phoenixes make for more valuable lifelong companions than most other witches, wizards and wands. The cleverest decision he's ever made to keep that companionship in place.
"very rarely, a Phoenix may choose to donate a feather. It could be described as, 'an act of love'." ~ That & poaching, which is much less loving. They're both the worst with trying to up & awkwardly leave - glad Garrick is convinced to stay. Albus makes a passionate & attentive lover (& happy to see lubrication mentioned, honestly). Beautifully written for a hot tender scene!
Indeed, for all his Youth-Representative-to-the-Wizengamot and Winner-of-the-Barnabus-Finkley-Exception
From his position on the bed, Garrick could see only Albus' silhouette, framed by the glow of the phoenix, like the encircling flares of the sun. ~ Going down under 'images I'd like to (see) draw(n)'.
"It seems we like you." Albus smiled bashfully. He presented Garrick with the two beautiful, burnished stems. "Use them well, won't you, my dear?" ~ Half well. Guuuh at this scene & how once again Dumbledore's vulnerabilities & sentimentalities can lead toward his own downfall. Beautiful scene.
...even as the feather called to him like an old love. ~ An intensely personal thing to feel, no doubt. And at last he remembers its brother for a well-deserved shudder: not quite so well-used, but then how was he to know when staring at a scared young boy of 11.
It was only afterward that it occurred to Garrick that the wand had not said anything at all of young Harry's tenancy. ~ Fascinating & quite a thing for him to miss, but speaks much of Harry's relationship with his wand & a natural desire for privacy they otherwise don't get.
The two Hogwarts boys left together, the elder taking the younger under his wing. ~ *heart visibly breaks* I love this to no end. | "...My phoenix has a bit of an itchy tail feather, if you see what I mean?" ~ Does the Phoenix want to shake a tail feather, Albus, or do you? Grinning at this. | When they were both within that fascinating chamber of things that whirred and clicked and smelled of fresh ink and great ideas and second chances... ~ Neat description of Albus' space: very in-character.
Albus placed a steadying hand on Garrick's shoulder. "I may have got over myself a bit, in recent years." ~ Glad to ruddy hear it, Albus! Awww. A guess, but a cute one: "My life would have been immeasurably better, together with you." | Enjoy getting right to Task then! Brilliant & so Ravenclaw: ...passionate conversation, or ardent kisses. In Garrick's mind they were almost one of the same.
Guhh again at the next paragraph & what's to come. Glad they have this reprieve in-between: to be brilliant; to be together.
His morals were practical, like that. ~ Indeed - and who knows how she truly feels, or what she gets up to while he's away. Perhaps she has another floral friend...
However fleetingly he was allowed, he had to drink from this chalice - for solace, for renewal, for existence itself. ~ The very essence of holiday spirits, & what a handsome chalice to guzzle. Wand-whisperer extraordinaire.
An excellent tale woven through the years and into the current storyline - a deep tale of chemistry & romance between two of the greatest minds of their age. I loved reading the events of their coming together in youth, their young personalities & prejudices, the emotions & vulnerabilities they shared despite their hearty intellects, all the wand lore and the pacing of this epic tale. It fills in some blanks. So glad, too, that the fic brings them back together in the end for the time they can still steal as their own.
Won't get over the idea of Harry's original wand as their lovechild! Hah. Garrick should be proud he earned the affections of not only a man of so many names & titles, but of a Phoenix who knows how to make a scene and save the day - even when a part of them is behind the hand of evil.
Thank you for this lovely Christmas tale!
♥ Kiwi ♥
A Fine Romance
Oh, excited for another Ollivander! Yesssss to the summary. The book-breaks are an excellent touch.
Quite a monopoly - er, history - the Ollivanders have with wands. Surprised they didn't go for a second location; Hermione's certainly not wrong about the ideal premises. | "...As you may know, Charity Burbage was killed by Voldemort." ~ For some reason one of the deaths that hits me hardest - & to know her sister owned such a collection! Gutting. Love Charity's wand - makes sense for a Muggle Studies professor, somehow.
"...The situation is as follows: both Charity and Mathilda were avid readers." ~ A good start. | "...The shop's aim must be to spread Muggle novels among witches and wizards, so that Charity's work of promoting greater understanding will continue." ~ Bless Mathilda for this & I hope it includes the novel Matilda just for her. | "...But I've never been commercial." ~ A good thing to know from a non-salesman, & a valid point on the difference between selling to needs-shoppers as opposed to wants-shoppers.
"...Thank Merlin for shrinking spells, or I'd have a serious shelf problem." ~ *is a serious shelf problem* I like where this is going: "...We want to attract a whole new group of readers - of non-readers, even." This is living the dream: "...I don't have to worry about making a viable income. I can just have a bookshop!" ~ Bibliophiles drooling everywhere. Can't wait to come & browse either!
Garrick had come late to reading. He had never been bookish as a child. ~ I love the two opposite takes of Ollivander back to back. His father sounds positively darling too, turning every walk into an exploratory adventure - that's where the best learning happens. ♥ (Which would make the pull of the Forbidden Forest too strong for me, too.)
There might, therefore, be a lake. Or a brook. Or something, and it wanted exploring. ~ Indeed it often does! I'd be in. Bless the invincibility & infallibility of youth: ...together they were strong as houses. | Love the phrase all the more thanks to Gus & her temper. How often do we remember the idiot who cause such things when it's the resilience, diversity & friendship that wins out? Strong as Houses - I like it.
My, but they had been given to Thinking in Capitals, in those days. ~ Bahaha yes, how important such lessons can be, to need Emphasised Importance. Love these lines. I'm still sat here drooling over the Forbidden Forest & its several large, ancient trees. | "...We're in a hole." ~ Up a tree by a crabby Shit Creek, seems like. And better a late-thinker than crabfood: better to eat than be eaten. Good teamwork.
"...When you're in a hole, call a Badger." Cute for them to have their little Rules of Life in regards to their Houses - just the sort of Interhouse Teamwork Hogwarts could've used more of, historically-speaking. | In short, when you need subtlety, find a Snake. ~ Indeed - always full of good stories for getting out of bad situations.
Garrick's travels sound amazing, though hardly 'never a moment for reading' xP His priorities have since changed: Garrick made his way upstairs, to ponder what to read for supper, and what to eat with it. ~ Two of the most important questions of any given evening. (Of late, my choice has been Hoggywarty! ...and a lot of kale chips?) What a brilliantly-boisterous childhood.
But if his new business partner was, in fact, Miss Muriel Prewett, the attractions of the bookshop would pall somewhat. ~ And to think for me it would perk! xD | Augusta Goshawk. Augusta Longbottom now. …for most of their lives, actually. ~ YESSSSS!! I love the inclusion of Professor Sprout's wand regarding the wielding of chestnut wands.
Why, she wasn't just clever and brave, she had great legs, amazing hair, a lovely face, and the most beautiful eyes. A man could drown in those eyes. ~ Things I love reading - and to know he notices, personality first. | Never mess with a Lion. ~ Particularly that one, whom even the Lion-wrangler Minerva messes with only carefully. Pleased Gus & Garrick got their night, despite their last, unanswered letter.
And now Gus sat in his most comfy wing chair, saying something nice about the biscuits. ~ *vibrates slightly with excitement.* How kind of her to let the old business drop away as water under the bridge. Interesting to sit there reading & hearing their POVs only to wonder what really went down. Ah, the plans of youth...
But the doubts hadn't been about the catering. They'd been about him. The letter had never been answered. ~ A great many assumptions on the part of Garrick Ollivander, but that seems to fit his character & the situation.| And that's how it would be again, as Augusta had clearly decided. ~ Glad to hear it & more than curious to see what she has in mind.
"Funny, isn't it, how you can get an idea about someone from their kitchen?" ~ All the sense in the world - for studies, bedrooms, kitchens, bookshelves & workspaces alike. I see Garrick is of similar mindset with bookshelves. | "...Do feel free to box up anything you find useful." ~ Oh oh oh, pack up all the antiques & some comfy/cool furniture! And of course a property on Diagon Alley shall be climbing the property ladder xD Love the hints of real-estate you've thrown in with the hintings of young salaried workers nearby.
"...Lots of recipe books on the bookshelves...much-used ones here... A set of knives I just might buy myself." ~ Our kitchen might be misleading, but excellent deductions from Augusta & I want that kitchen. Her exhaustion at the thought of doing things the Muggle way is incredibly validating - my shoulders hurt just to think of it, too, & very much wish I had machines to do all the work! Our own sad version of magic.
"...They really are clever, you know." ~ It's a mixed bag, as always. Followed by more brilliant deductions that would be further misleading in the case of my homes xP | "...No-one walking past the shop could fail to notice that cheerful pottery." ~ Not in a storyworld called Harry Potter, I should think. *ducks* Seems plenty easier to cook the Muggle way with magic than vice-versa. Did definitely misread 'poetry' before, though. Enjoying hearing all these genres mentioned - look at them crafting a small business together & thinking like consumers!
"...They show that [Muggles are] just like us in what they feel and hope." ~ That's the spirit of Charity, there. Immediate disdain for Garrick's dismissive response & glad to see Gus feeling similarly, & reacting as such. The change in her is well-described.
It was, Garrick realized, how her last letters would have sounded, if she read them out loud. ~ Great line - may his perceptivity last. | He was saying she was doing just fine. ~ Oh you hopeless mansplainer. Sorry, not hopeless, only makes Gus a saint for dealing.
"...You and Madam Malkin - it's an art, what you do." ~ And a science, mathematics, some engineering... At least he got the science down. So he's had training from a wife, too - needs a tune-up. | It made him feel wonderful, when she did that. ~ Keen to notice eventually, even with assistance. Now I'd like to read Gus' old letters about the business!
And she'd thought he didn't care. ~ No wonder why She couldn't bring herself to write to a chap who just wasn't interested. | "If you think something is wrong, just ask what it is. Don't assume... don't sulk." ~ Some top words of advice there. Would happily throw that on a poster somewhere.
And, clearly, because he liked his women outspoken. Though not, perhaps, to the level of Muriel Prewett. ~ That's a very specific preference in women, there, and here's my taste: ...and damned rude with it. | "I think I said something wrong. But for the life of me, I don't know what it is. Please tell me." ~ Not a bad start there, Ollivander. You're learning.
Looking down on Gussie, one of the cleverest people he knew? ~ Ah, yes, as mansplaining & stereotyping along gender lines tends to do. So pleased to see her sticking up for herself & all women!
"You really don't get it, do you?" she asked. "Blimey. You really don't get it. You never got it. You didn't get it then, and you don't get it now. Well, I'll spell it out for you, then." ~ I love love love these lines & her dawning realisation that he's not with the programme as well as the emotional labour she'll have to throw in to get him there if she wants to put up with him as even a professional partner.
"...That's what they're called as well, you know, feel-good books." ~ A good defence. Have long hated the term 'chick-lit' or 'chick-flick' (especially given, of the latter, my brother always liked them more than I). Happy to see her tearing into all the binary bullhooey.
"...And then you go telling me they're some sort of simpleton books for uneducated people who need to be weaned to the real classics." ~ Precisely what I thought - & as if books are mutually exclusive & can't be both! | "...Well, if that's not looking down, and being a patronizing sod into the bargain, I don't know what it is." ~ Let'er'rip, Gussie!! Dear gods do I adore her.
"Miss Granger said to ask if there is a system..." ~ Of course she would, & bless her for it. A quaint and realistic touch to have Garrick not use magic when it comes to wood, cute to see him whispering to it & its original crafter. Their bookstore reminds me of my favourite store nearby, just closed recently (gutted - glad to’ve picked up some UK HP books there).
Quite pleased for them in deciding on a design, though I think it'd confuse me to no end as a browser. xD | Clearly, the term still rankled. ~ Gee, couldn't imagine why, or else o many classics might be called 'bastard-lit' - fair's fair. Love Augusta's little dig at displaying "his" classics. | "I also admire Charles Dickens, because I think he's a brilliant writer." ~ And a popular one in this year's fest! A good Christmas choice.
"...It's something I've always done, and it's not good." ~ But realising is, & we're hardly taught otherwise, academically-speaking. Good to see his character growing before our eyes. | "...When he bought his wand - it has a phoenix feather core, you know, and the phoenix gave two feathers." ~ And how beautifully gifted they were, as we read previously in the fest! "...I went and fetched it, and lo and behold... Potter was chosen." ~ Isn't that the very (hor)crux of the situation.
"...Realising what it feels like, and what sort of a mind it takes to do that to other people." ~ Telling - and yet both sides did, even the Chosen One himself. | "...It's using your talent to do good." ~ Admirable sentiment - ah, Dickens & Dumbly, quite a combo. (Reminds me of the joke I'd crack with my grammar teacher in high school: "No, I'm going to do good: I'll do damn well at doing good!") Good on him for catching his babbling - goodness knows I'm not trying, & many apologies for it!
"...Is there such a thing as a classic detective?" ~ Bahaha & also perfectly Augusta - I should think there are! | With the "Mood of the Month" section on prominent display. ~ Good not to accuse of chick-lit there, I'll say. And talk about classic detectives: "...Best of all, we have a nearly complete collection of Agatha Christies."
"...Liked to meet her in real life, I mean." ~ Instashippage, ruh-roh! Was just thinking for myself they'd hit it off fine - and I'd like to give 'em a read too, must visit this bookstore. Such a lovely way to discover: Gus grinned, too. Thank heavens. They were on real speaking terms again. | "Define classic," said Gus. ~ Oooeer asking the big questions here! A thing to love about this fic.
"...for me a classic is a book that several generations find really good... normal people, like you and me, we go home after a long day and we think, yes, tonight I'm going to sit and read...and then simply enjoy the book." ~ I like his definition. Repetition of generations is good, though also susceptible to the biases of publication/advertisement access & historical education of lit (so no wonder Dickens makes the list). Love that he includes simple feel-good books.
"...when she first came out, she described the world she lived in. But when you read them today, it's like a historical novel." ~ A very valid comment of many books contemporary to their time & a thing readers often need reminding of. | ...GARRICK! @ surprise over reading Austen. Good reminders: Don't sound like a patronizing sod. No! Don't be one. ~ Look at him go!
"If she had written today, people would call her books chick lit... Chick Lit is a book written by a woman, with a woman as the main character, mostly read by women." ~ She strikes it home! Good going, Gus! But of course we're to read men's books as ubiquitous *classics*. This is a tale about how & why one reads books - brilliant.
She has more than one point, Garrick, & yes, practical as ever. My frequent mood: "...Sometimes you're in the mood to read a book that makes you feel good but that isn't all about love." Hope she enjoys Oliver Twist! | "...A book that made you feel good is a book that matters." ~ Well done, Garrick. And very true (though curious now as to the substances mentioned xD )
"I'll rustle up a Spanish omelette - I do a fairly decent one, or so I'm told, and then we can sit with our books." ~ Always down for reading & not cooking, sounds like a lovely evening for them both & the start to something beautiful. | Well, it wasn't a date, either, was it? ~ No, Garrick, generally not without clarification. In all the romances he'd read... Not necessarily the greatest source for cues X3
It was the absence, the letter-writing, that had done for them. No point harking back. ~ A solid thing to recognise about a relationship: epistolary doesn't work for everyone, & as Garrick has learned, it takes practise. Sing them fogey blues, Ollivander! My kinda tune - a Duchess is a lady to meet. | Alright, so he still ends on an assumption & semi-rocky terrain for starting a business together, but seems they may just do alright, especially with Gussie leading the charge. Never mess with a Lion!
Thoroughly enjoyed this piece for its somewhat prejudiced narrative nonetheless willing to learn & adapt, for its feminist streak, for tearing the concept of ‘chick-lit’ to shreds & for considering what it means to be a classic. Loved the book-borders and all the book talk of categorising genres, contextualising history, questioning classics, considering what interests readers, what readers should be paying attention to & all things to do with consuming literature: a solid start to opening a bookstore.
Adored Gussie's strong character to no end, as well as Garrick learning from his Training in the arts of working through his clueless semi-toxic masculinity & all it's taught him. Augusta seems prepared for the job ahead of her.
I'm wishing them every luck with their new endeavours & every gratitude to you, dear Author, for bringing this story to us!
♥ Kiwi ♥
Exchanging Christmas cards is a fine tradition. ~ Eff yes it is, & can't wait to see these! Love the idea of characters making their own cards.
- First: love the recipient & their comfortable familiarity.
- The parchment and slanted font!
- The long-lived regard implicit in the card.
- The exasperated love of Severus.
- Eeeiii she & Rolanda waiting to see Wil - & the traditional party on the 24th!! ♥ ♥ ♥ It oughtta be a rambunctious one with the new year/decade approaching.
- Guuuuuh I am all about this. Signed, OLSB [Old Lady Smut Brigade].
- (And signed with "Minnie" - as I imagine she rarely does.)
- The palm trees!!!
- Severus flipping the birdie - absolutely bloody brilliant. The very perfect holiday picture.
- His swimming trunks & all the glorious hair they reveal.
- His two drinks (umbrella!) & full shades.
- The brilliant semi-scripted font ♥ And the fact that he clearly drew this himself (he makes a good doodler xD )
- As scribbled across the bottom of my printed page: ♥ HAMMOCK, LEG HAIR, HAPPY TRAIL!! A furry big T & everything.
- (Also scripted under his card: 'Personally, I'm glad to see him taking it easy' - & the final Y is also a whale for the whale of a tale behind this card.)
- Enjoy the Southern Weather indeed!
- First, what a treat to be opening it up, hope I shan't be hexed.
- Hilarious! Though the Hogwarts Christmas still sounds lovely to me.
- "Humbug! Would you compare it to the sea, the sun, and above all the final, total, complete SOLITUDE?" - Never, never would I, but it misses him all the same.
- "I only wonder if Grubbly-Plank will bring her licorice liquor, that's all." <-- That's an image I'd like to see (alongside the sea) & of course she'll share her liquorice - she always shares.
Hogwarts Christmas Card:
- Sure does look like sticky food - delish all the same, & that lovely roaring fire!
- Love the china as well - & the very fresh decorations. =P
Utterly adorable all together, & quite a tale they tell. One of my favourite parts of this fest may be the camaraderie between Severus Snape and Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank - I can absolutely see them falling into an easy companionship that, without intention or effort, turns into a trusted friendship...especially with something like liquorice liquor on the table. Warms my heart to know she'll be having her "traditional" holiday party - and that Minerva and Rolanda are together, everyone missing Wilhelmina & demanding booze.
Full to the brim with adoration for them all. Thank you for sharing this sneak-peak into their Christmastimes around the globe!
[Oscar the Grouch for dear Severus emerging from his holiday ;D ]
♥ Kiwi ♥
alskdfjhg so excited about this cast list & a circle of pines (trees are my favourite characters). Hear hear for natural mysticism & sentient forests! Agreed on Delphi's work; glad to know your prompts wandered off as the best characters do.
First line has me giddy over trees alone. Love your writing: In the center lies a clearing, needle-pillowed, silent, still. ~ It reads to be read aloud. And singing old songs of older magic... Love the idea that it was this magical place of pines to originally draw the Founders - something had to've, & it likely wasn't the Giant Squid (though I'd be sold on that one too). My headcanon senses are tingling.
You do a great job capturing a scene. Laughing with Hagrid already. Genius of his own: ...coated the runners in his homemade beeswax... Hope that means he's a big ol' bee-charmer. Four trees on one sledge! Do hate to see them killed, though they make a good plot device & delivery system.
A fair lot o' drinking they seemed to do in the old days, to judge from the carols. ~ Isn't that the truth of it. | Glad to see Apollyon Pringle appearing again. A great line to read & imagine: ...his Hogwarts duties safely left in the capable hands of young Argus Filch, with whom Apollyon enjoyed sharing the occasional pint and bit of advice during pleasant evenings at the Hog's Head.
When the Castle had need of him, she found a way to call. Just like now. ~ Me likey - and that he's not sure what's needed. I may ship the Castle and the Forest now? That's one of the weirder ships I've acquired of recent xD
Curious that the Genius wouldn't be called during the wartimes mentioned - if the Castle didn't call because she knew Harry & Co. had it covered, or if it was a fixed timeline, or the connection was cut, or it needed to be a mortal affair...this story makes the mind whir happily away.
Enthusiastic yes to any rushes of affection when it comes to witnessing Filius. | ...and only after he had let the feeling of homecoming seep into him did he set about to discover the purpose of his visit. ~ A lovely & wise line for the Genius.
...and [Minerva had] taken him to task about his "overly-severe" punishments of misbehaving students. ~ Of course she would - so that's where Argus got it! Adore these lines & the growth involved to no end: ...at one time he'd believed that the language of pain was an effective teaching tool... In this new life, he took a broader view. ~ It's good to know death can bring about such things.
He'd always liked [Poppy]; she was smart and suffered no fools. ~ A thing those two have in common. Ah, Minerva has them set for a lovely non-work staff gathering - am sure everyone's entirely enthused. Good to see she knows Severus so well, & to have him onboard after the war. Not sure we'd call the Hog's Head 'socialising' without offending its publican... Hah, glad we're in agreement!
"Are you plotting something?" ~ Whenever is she not, as herself & as Headmistress? I want this one on a Tshirt: McGonagall did indeed have something up her tartan sleeve, or a long-sleeve jumper… | "I'll tell you what everyone needs, Minerva. Some good old-fashioned romance." ~ *wrinkles nose but doesn't turn away* And another brilliant line of needs: "...A certain amount of personal retreat is probably healthy; we all need time to heal. But it can go too far."
Glad to see Poppy differentiating between romance & sex. Now I'll step onboard: "It doesn't even have to be romance. Or people. Just companionship."
"Not everyone does want companionship, Poppy. Some people genuinely want to be left alone." ~ Very much indeed - although quite possible to be companionably alone around people; may we be headed in such a direction. Love all this talk of people's needs & natural differences, healing vs. harming, hosted by two perfect characters for it. | "...I wish there was something we could do for them." ~ Well, there's always meddling.
He'd felt like he could touch the edges of the universe, like he could roll the whole thing into a ball and put it in his pocket. ~ So well-put for both character & author. A huge step up from the ol' Whole World in Your Hand - love the description of feeling. Yaaaaay Christmas Meddling afoot! The most time-honoured of traditions, alongside all that drinking Hagrid pointed out.
Mmmm to the delightfully ghostly touch to this story: A sharp-eyed watcher...might have glimpsed a bright sparkle of light against the darkness of the Highland winter night... experienced a touch of that peace on earth and good will toward their fellows that was trademark of the season. ~ A wondrous thing to be touched by.
There was only the deep, expectant hush of the woods and a smooth pathway that awaited the start of a journey. ~ Really love this line as a descriptor of winter & our place in the story. | *giddy hiphopping over Pomona's appearance* - ah, much like Aurora, it seems. Glad to see she at least remembered the sticking charms, even if it doesn't hold...perhaps she should get in touch with that sticky Swedish House-elf...
Friday nights are a magical time to be fashion-fixably late. And at least they're late together. I'm not going to try to hold back my squee.
For Pomona, "pulling herself together" was a constant and mostly futile endeavour...unless lives or the future of Hogwarts depended on her. Then she had few peers who were any more "together" than she. ~ I love every word of this, although not sure I've ever read such a call-out post @ self, woops. Love her to the end of time for this & Aurora for noticing, for knowing. And amen to this: By the end of the work week, her introverted self needed solitude. ...Well, maybe not total solitude. ~ Adaptive solitude, there we go.
...and she didn't want to waste this intimate walk on more talk about "inter-house cooperation." I appreciate Aurora's no-nonsense grumpiness. I hope they get the very scene she so desires - how heartily I approve of her getting to know Pomona better. Intimately, in fact.
Rosmerta the landlady enshrined its prominence with a reservation spell that made it impossible for anyone but Hogwarts staff to sit down. ~ Hmmm I can see the appeal but it's nice to have a mingle! | "...bribe us with a drink apiece on the Hogwarts tab... A second drink at the very least." ~ Watch it now, Severus, or she'll drag you all on field trips of her choice. I should very well hope he's not lost his sneer - Christmas would be lost.
Love the A/B paragraph - a prompt set all its own! I'm sure direct causal connection between one's A & the other's immediate B, as well. Made me smile something fierce. Your Hogwarts is a darling place.
But Professor McGonagall was Headmistress McGonagall now, and apparently had weightier issues on her plate than truculent subordinates. ~ But does she have him on her palate...? Her amused tolerance sounds much like Albus. | ...set something green and potent-looking in front of Pomona... ~ CANNOT WAIT!! Yess, absinthe cocktail - hoped it, rewarded!!
Pomona pretended to think. "I believe," she said slowly, "that it's called a 'Corpse Reviver.'" ~ BAHAHAHA. Few could need it more than he. So very pleased to see his sense of humour isn't broken - or isn't fixed, whichever it is that would keep Pomona's dark humour funny. I've always loved the potential companionable chemistry between Snape & Sprout. The very picture of Christmas joy: Or at least, that's what she thought he was doing, though he could just as easily have been choking - his strangled snort might have passed for either.
...while Headmistress McGonagall caught Pomona's eye and lifted her glass slightly in a toast of appreciation. ~ Be still my bloody-bleeding beautiful shipper heart. Everyone's fantastic & I love them. | "Humour helps." ~ And again for the back row! About the only thing that consistently does. Love to think of Pomona laughing in the face of danger - certainly proves a Hufflepuff to be as brave as any & then some. Very Badger (do those things even believe in danger...?)
[Aurora] had a sudden vision of stars spread out across the universe and felt as if she could somehow scoop them all up into her cloak. ~ Heaping appreciation for the way you have the characters describe these feelings. | "Would you like to come to my rooms tomorrow night? For some mulled wine and...talk? ~ YAAAAAS It's on babeh!! *enthusiastic hooting*
Anger was easier than...other things he might be feeling. ~ Ahaha can't wait to inevitably get into those. Check & check: Whom the gods would destroy, they first made mad. ~ Will have to research that poem.
For the first time in long memory, he was not succeeding at convincing himself he was badly-done-by. ~ OH GODS WHAT IS THIS HORRID FEELING OF HAPPINESS AND WHAT DO I DO WITH IT. Ahahah oh Severus. And oh dear, how could she: ...now he was being despatched to do the headmistress's bidding at the Hogs Head. ~ Don't have too much fun grumbling over a pint, now. Shocking he prefers Minerva's methodology to Voldemort's - and how well does she reward...? She likely doesn't need telling, dear boy.
Oh, an Albus mission, good ol' Abe should love this. "We'll acknowledge Albus's scrifice and heroism without covering up his flaws." ~ His egoism & homosexuality? This is if Abe hasn't burned the possessions, pissed on them or both, hah. | As a man, he was rock-solid and dependable... ~ Mmm rock-solid... Love reading this paragraph. Someone got a crush?
His astringent honesty and apparent regard had been more healing than any medical potion, and Severus had come to rely on him. ~ Can see why - those do help more than much of medicine. Dear, you saved the world so you can actually do as you please for once in your sorry life - enjoy! | He just went to the Hog's Head. Then went again. And again. ~ Going is great practise for coming.
...he was gradually feeling easy again in [Minerva's] presence, and he thought she felt the same about him. ~ Things I'm immensely glad to read - & she ought be, if she's depending on him for an important social visit. | "What in Merlin's name are you thinking?" seems a perfectly legitimate response to her suggestion. What brother of Albus Dumbledore wouldn't distrust tact and diplomacy?
"...you'll leave that Gryffindor la-la-land you live in and recognise that what you call 'pessimism' is just another word for 'realistic.'" ~ And perhaps she'd still have to do all the work she does either way, so it hardly matters. | "I've come to talk about artefacts of the past," he began. "And what they might mean to the future." ~ Now there's diplomacy & tact right there.
"But maybe the solution is to try to uncover some of their stories, too?" ~ Severus Snape: Severe Historian. A great Snape line: This was where he always felt most comfortable: debating, arguing, challenging intelligent minds. ~ Well done on the venal Rita Skeeter as an arguing chip.
"...You'll come and have dinner with me as many nights as necessary, and we'll see if we can make any sense of Albus. ...That's how it's going to be - my way or no way." ~ Oh, I do like him very much - his way is lovely for both of them - & an ultimate score for them all. How easily this could lead to some of the other cosy trio stories we've seen this fest! ^+^ Should account for plenty of nights, anyway. | "Takes one to know one" ~ Glad they get to know each other better, then! *grins something fierce at Severus smiling*
The Great Hall was magnificent, decked in boughs of holly, glittering with Hagrid's stalwart, fairy-lit Christmas trees. A sense of contentment seeped through the corridors and up the stairs. ~ Succinct & magnificently Hogwarts. All certainly seems well. Smiling at the sugar-mice-nicking first-years as well. | Argus's rooms, now. ~ Shall be good to see him.
A single candle lit the bedroom where Argus Filch sat on the floor. Next to an empty cat basket. ~ Ah, alas - a real hardship for him there. A feeling to know with empathy: [Even young], Argus had bonded with animals over people... And a sadder/harder truth to know & understand: He'd preferred to punish people rather than trust them, too. ~ Great grasp on his character.
...began to rock slowly back and forth, wheezing with sobs... ~ Oh, poor Argus. Well done, Apollyon, & a solid start at a new companionship for the ages: a new familiar friend. | "...Oh, aye, Mrs Danvers." ~ He'll treat her kinder'n a wife. Though perhaps not starting with dairy...
Ah, Apollyon, you beautiful bastard.
What an utterly darling story of Christmas mischief & wise old magic in known once-mortal form! This story was such fun to read: the spot-on depictions of winter, the descriptions of feelings & power, all the offshoot goodies we're able to imagine, the staff moments of fellowship & the sense of understanding for lifelong friendships with all their varied needs - all so realistically set.
Aurora, Pomona, Hooch, Minerva, Severus, Aberforth - brilliant job with all the characters. Can absolutely see how this Hogwarts would be the homiest of homes.
Sinistra/Sprout is going to have to go up there with Grubbly-Plank/Pince, I think, & wouldn't they have a dashing time all out together! My fem-slashin' heart made so very happy.
Thank you for this glorious winter tale of deep magic & connection! Hope Poppy & Minerva are off keeping each other entertained, with Irma & Filius & all the rest. :D
♥ Kiwi ♥
’Twas the Night Before Christmas at Hogwarts
Ooooh this should be oodles of fun. Full disclosure: I already printed it & read aloud on the day of posting. I was complimented on my Scottish accent, which was all sorts of surprising. Away we go - on Dasher, on Dancer…
Always good to set a scene with Snape billowing 'round the grounds. What St Nicholas would ever miss out on Flitwick's careful decorations?
Oh dear - we know things are about to get cranky if Severus heads towards his pillow only to be interrupted & intercepted by something less to his liking than solitude & sleep. Outside - goodness be, what might he see??
(My deer-like dog has come to offer me assistance via resting on me...)
Great choice of lines to keep - that couplet always moves something in me; I'm a sucker for moon & snow & winter landscapes described well. One of my favourite uses of 'lustre'. Not quite the positivity Snape can summon for what he catches sight of.
Thank goodness for Minerva & her softly-clicking heels are there to keep him from hexing St Nick silly. Yes, wouldn't want him joining the ranks of Riddle by assaulting the Head Claus. How beautifully naive: to carry this into adulthood rather than face childhood poverty or tetchy mothers & useless fathers. The story 'The Contest' this year gave mention of how certain Christmas sights could trigger things in him - this has a similar feel (but then, as I recall, he's also asleep on his feet at this point!) It somehow fits his character.
"That's the year you were born, if I'm not mistaken
It's no wonder, young Snape, that you felt forsaken."
D'awwwwwr & also holy smokes St Nick are you alright?! Been cursed for a while there. Extra bastard points to Tom Riddle for curse-napping Santy Claus.
Minerva making tea in a poem-fic is a new favourite. Of course Minerva wouldn't be as surprised at someone dressed all in red, hah. She seems personally knowledgeable - set to wondering her connection with the Clauses.
Nevermind, Minerva making Severus Snape & St Nick hot toddies is my new highbar for poetry.
Wonder if St Nick earns the same scorn over Divination from Minerva that Sybil does - clever way to tell the Nice from the Naughty, though, & quite enjoyed those lines. Brave man, staring down Riddle's wand with a threat on his lips.
Damn. Riddle stoned St Nick, what an utter bugger-bleatin' bellend. Ahem. Talk about childhood issues to resolve - guess that's why Dumbledore had to lock Sybil up at Hogwarts after her own Divining; world doesn't need a stoned Sybil (though Minerva might prefer the stationary-statue form). The idea of the North Pole filled with Snow-elves turned stone is both sad & beautiful.
"Forgive me," he murmured, "For thinking you lied."
Powerful line there - head bent & all. Then, he'd know all about being perceived one way by force of the Dark Lord: what empathy he has here.
Very cute end - hope that was his childhood gift & he gets something better next year - a new potion set, maybe xD Though the promise of another visit following year is gift enough itself after all they shared after toddies.
What a true Christmas moment: the gift of open sharing & sympathy breaking down barriers to connect children-grown with feelings of importance - of being special & remembered. Few need that more than Severus Snape, and how good of Minerva to facilitate it with a spoonful of pacifism & a round of hot toddies. Minerva the Hot-Toddie Mediator - all the extra points for that. Utterly adorable end.
Well done with the poem! Thanks to this ficpoem, I reread the original again & enjoyed it just as thoroughly. Yours is a fun, original, Hogwarts-recognisable take about our favourite gothic Scrooge. Thank you for sharing this with us!
♥ Kiwi ♥
My Charlie Weasley Christmas
First thought: what's the joke in the cracker? xD And onto the list of all the things I love:
- Expressions: Charlie's confident familiarity & glad welcoming; Neville's more nervous delight; the intensity of their eye contact.
- Neville matching the tree in Gryffindor colours - not to mention his shoes! Love the very shape of them.
- The cute patterned cracker!
- Charlie's easy posture of arm-tugging compared to Neville's more rigid full-body pulling.
- Their touching knees & legs - Charlie in jeans, mmm!
- The beautifully snowy landscape outside the window.
- Charlie's sexy freckles.
- Their soft warm jumpers of such bright colours (Molly's knitting, perchance?)
- The colouring of the tree & its ornaments, plus the richly-coloured drapes.
- That gorgeous bay window! I'd sit there all day reading the day away...
- The colour of their hair, Charlie's a full fire of red & Neville's a subtler dirty-blonde.
- (And, because I'm fond of specific little things: the pattern of the slats beneath the bay window - great detail.)
A gorgeous, simple-but-stellar, peaceful Christmas scene of two favourite characters in an idyllic winter-at-home setting. Thank you ever so much for this! Going to take Charlie's gentle smile into the new year.
♥ Kiwi ♥
[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]