The Reformed Man
Incredibly excited for a Severus/Narcissa. Professor Snape certainly won't forget the sex. ~ With her? I should hope not! Away we go. Eep, prepare for squee, I rather took to this story, I’m sorry!
This is hell, Snape thought. Is this my reward for fighting so hard, for doing the best I could? ~ Very Severus - apt question for what one worries is the afterlife. What a scary yet believable state to wake in.
Smell, functioning, worth investigation. ~ "The nose knows." Important for a Potions Master. Brilliantly & convincingly deduced for a beautiful fecking line: This was an old Wizarding house, and if he was not mistaken, hell strongly resembled number twelve, Grimmauld Place. ~ Am sure it's not the first time he's thought such things!
Loving the smart narrative & how easily Severus recognises with the senses he has left - can see how he lived so long. The return to unconsciousness is a good running refrain for an overwhelmed soul of difficult convalescent future. | He felt her breath puff against his ear. ~ I love this scene. Could watch Severus come back to life a million times & be ecstatic to read a million-one.
A number of formidable witches were arguing around his bed. ~ I'm sure he's used to that. Am further sure he'd be delighted to wake up covered in Weasleys. | Then he caught the illusive fragrance of that chypre perfume, just a hint of dry elegance, and his heart rate settled. ~ Shipping them before we've even recognised her - beautiful description of Narcissa in general. Pahaha at their arguments over him - shouldn't a wounded animal have some time for wound-licking?
'Severus,' Narcissa said softly, and from the waft of perfume, he realised that she was leaning over him, 'You do know you're very ill, don't you?' ~ alskdfjhg killer. The humour-in-hard-times of this fic is brilliant. Poor Severus - but he'll win out, no doubt. To slip into anxiety-ridden dreams after that conversation...true torture, the not-knowing even more than the dreams.
'Mother!' Draco exclaimed, scandalised, and Narcissa gave a little huff of laughter. ~ Well-deserved. Their interactions are all too gratingly spot-on. She asks Severus the perfect question after he’s been in the hands of Protectors. Great way to lead to another favourite line: He fell asleep before she had finished, content that his work was done. ~ How telling that he can sleep mid-explanation after his anxiety-ridden dreams before. To sleep knowing he tried is best, succeeded & is not in literal hell, only figurative, & in good company.
This fic is very Potter - he might've had it cleaned at least. Nice castlist of characters in the house. Snerked at the ‘admittedly minimal hospitality’.| 'Yes dear,' Narcissa replied. ~ A very practised line for her, I imagine. Some of my favourite lines from her to underline her character: 'Loyal to whom? To you, always. To a monster...?'
'Stop calling me "dear" like that,' Draco muttered, 'Like I'm a child.' / 'Of course, dear.' ~ BAHAHA I LOVE HER SO MUCH - such sass. And of course she shall: he's quite clearly a child. Scribbled "oh Draco, suck a [rude word]" after his galling statement: 'That's servants' work!' Draco exclaimed, appalled. ~ What's good enough for McGonagall is good enough for you.
'And what,' Narcissa asked in a tone of delicate censure, 'would we have been doing, had the Dark Lord won, if not servants' work? Your father was without a wand, you were in disfavour, I am a mere woman. ~ A mere woman... More stunning lines of their stark reality check here, & still she's lucky. 'A tone of delicate censure' is beautiful for her; love the way you capture her character in dialogue & description. And it's good someone's not too proud - Harry ought to help, given Snape's a namesake to his future child.
All leading to another favourite line: If Potter junior wished to spend his inheritance from Potter senior on James’s rival, why not? ~ Love to see Severus with the new experience of cheering Harry on. And grown Potter himself, issuing demands for a warrant & legal representative before he's got any - bright shining Gryffindor there. Ah, Kreacher was responsible, naughty House-elf.
'Potter,' Draco said warily, 'you do realise that Severus is neither deaf nor completely paralysed, don't you?' ~ Yes - he's s a better Slytherin than you. Violent cheering over the twist of magic reaching out for the borrowed implement.
"...Why d'you keep trying to piss me off?" ~ Canonically speaking, it's one of the only things he's Really Good at. Glad to see Potter turning the manners commentary back on Severus - let House favouritism & uncouth manners die with the war. | He had won, but more significantly, he had grown up. ~ Clearly - love both these lines of Severus taking in the new Harry Potter with new senses of his own (if not yet new eyes). Harry's quite the leader now.
'Of course, dear,' Narcissa purred. Snape would have laughed, had his throat hurt less. ~ Oh how Draco hates his new dependence on Potter - all so realistically-rendered.
'Yes. Muggle hearing aids?' ~ FILIUS FLITWICK EARNS MY UNDYING LOVE AGAIN. Was secretly hoping for Severus to get hearing aids when I read about his hearing. Filius to helping the process along is the perfect thing. Loving the disability representation & storyline: what Severus has been through sticks with him - he didn't get away scot-free, only alive. Especially when it comes to his eyes. Every thanks to the magical world for having better solutions than the Muggle one alone.
Yech, the difficulties of medicine, though, even magical - completely understandable & very in-character: ...a visit which included one of those embarrassing conversations containing apologies and forgiveness and other uncomfortable topics that Snape would rather have avoided forever. Perfectly put. | 'I should have trusted you, and trusted Albus's planning...' / 'Not a good policy,' Snape whispered, 'look where it got me.' ~ Ahahahaha very in-pitch. As is this, for both of them, & warms the heart/brain: 'You did. I had to Obliviate you twice. I'm sorry.'
...but it left him with an unfamiliar warm glow somewhere inside his ribs. ~ Good, blimey bastard deserves some love. And he seems quite right here: ...Snape could easily picture Lucius Malfoy building himself a little empire of influence within its walls. ~ Doesn't sound like good behaviour to me; can’t say I’m overly upset. | 'Who knows what Alastor Moody got up to in secret?' ~ Too much! xD
'Well, I'm as good as widowed,' she responded, 'and neither rich nor merry.' ~ Brilliant heart-wrenching line for her character. Better what she's got than the alternatives... | 'I'm a witch,' she said, 'I should be able to stand on my own two feet.' ~ Indeed. Likely would've done better than Lucius himself, not got them pulled to political doom. PAH at anyone not noticing she's a lovely woman, let alone Sev. ~ Always willing to turn a blind eye from where Lucius' wandered; if only they were both having their fun.
I was the one who went to his bed for the money, wasn't I?' ~ Hardly the first woman or witch to move from father to husband's care; she had more separate means than many. | So vital that Severus learned to interrupt the charms on his magical accessories or I'd fear for his sensory processing – he’s always been so sensitive & that’s a lot of sensory.
This was the brisk and business-like deputy head, to his relief. ~ Well-played on her part. alskdfjhg again for your take with Severus & powerful witches: He flicked his wand, transforming the upright seat into an upholstered armchair beneath her, bringing a hint of a smile to her careworn face. ♥♥~ Can't imagine how relieved she is to see him transfiguring beneath her bottom when he was previously a) dead b) mostly dead to c) slowly recovering from deadness. Shrewd Mcongall is my favourite; of course Narcissa would check up on them.
'Severus Snape, I believe that you're no more helpless than you ever were.' ~ No better words from a better witch - the sort of phrases healing is made of. | Separately, FECK YES FOR SNAKE-'RORA! A great Slytherin up there by the stars. Quite a workload for a recovering soul, if at least somewhat separate from the pesky problem of students.
'...How naughty of me; to wear a Muggle perfume under my pure-blood husband's nose.' ~ Hawt. Also his was not a very knowledgeable nose: doubt the sod noticed a thing. | '...and you're family, aren't you?' ~ Of a sort in desperate need of redefining. Now this is telling: 'I'm more closely related to Lucius than I am to you.' | Good ol' blue-bloods...
Things were looking up; if he wasn't careful, he might even start feeling cheerful. ~ Over being alive, well & surrounded by adoring people? No, that simply wouldn't do. Good. xD
'You were a right bastard the last time.' ~ Just as plainly as she'd put it; love the youngest Weasley. Nothing worse than a surprisingly agreeable Snape when one hopes for a tussle: 'I was, wasn't I?' he agreed, to her palpable surprise. ~ Further proof of character growth to acknowledge it - if not completely ready to stop bastarding (we'd miss him)... great lines about their better selves. He’s a knack for wisdom. | 'But he has nothing to control...' ~ Except potentially you, Draco, hence the testing. Talk about vapid... (Well done.)
'You're saying I should do whatever I want?' ~ Some responsible semblance of… sound advice from the ex-Head of Slytherin with father problems of his own: 'Do whatever you need to do, so that when he is finally released, you can hold your head high and look him in the eye and tell him that no matter what he says, you're proud of what you have achieved.' Wise words again – not bad.
'...it didn't matter if we felt miserable as long as we looked fabulous and made enough money.' ~ Isn't that the Malfoyish trick to things, yes, & at least they made it. Love the sometimes proud. Here's to as good a start as any! | What a fecking delight: Muggle chocolates as Severus would know like few others, & Potter surprised into his old boyish charm - beautiful.
She smiled, cool and aloof, and he wondered what it would take, to ruffle her perfect demeanour. ~ Many things, no doubt, some more fun than others. Of course he would: Andromeda had been too unconventional, Bellatrix too unpredictable, so Lucius had been smugly pleased that the least rebellious one had been the most beautiful of the three. | *gagging sounds in corner* But great line.
'I'm sure that there are,' she said, 'in fact, I'm starting to wonder if I've been missing out on a huge range of experiences.' ~ Indeed - 'cept in fanworks, where you've had a great many experiences. ;D | The fragrance had a tantalising floral-spicy overlay on a base of vanilla. ~ Sounds nice, actually, wish I could give a sniff despite my allergy.
'Oh come on, Severus, you work in a school, you must know what schoolgirls are like!' / 'I try not to,' he muttered. ~ Ahahaha perfectly Severus & schoolgirls. Was just thinking how much I miss Severus' own enormous cock in this fest!
'What can I say? I was a northern teenage lout and you were a young lady.' ~ Also so accurately depicted - enjoying their strong but vulnerable dialogue & Severus parting with childhood insecurities after she does.
'I want to hear your hopes and plans for the future,' he told her, and was ridiculously pleased by the way her face brightened. ~ Ahoy, authentic attention & interest! How novel for them both. | Draco committed no crime? xD Ahaha not sure Rosmerta would see it similarly, or Katie Bell or those who came across the Death Eaters he snuck into the castle.
'But you did,' Narcissa murmured, 'and I admire you enormously for having the courage to admit that you were wrong, and to change.' ~ Agreed, & more than Draco so far. All too true in a great line: 'Potter and I were sacrifices to the greater good, apparently.'
Ah, always the funerals first: '...[Harry] made a point of attending all the funerals unless the families objected; he said that he hadn't wanted anyone to die.' | Honourable boy. Surprised Hermione went along, unless to face her own daemons & keep Harry safe. | '...Draco's problem[:] he hates feeling like a helpless victim being rescued by the big brave hero!' ~ As well he should, some, when he weas part of why they all needed saving.
He did not need Legilimency to know that her memories were filled with Bellatrix as a playful child, as a teen with a wicked sense of humour, and as a young woman, before her obsession with Voldemort corrupted her soul. ~ Such a sentence to read & wonder over; well-put about her obsession corrupting her soul (as much as Voldemort himself). What wondrous Christmas colours everyone makes together, all these Gryffindors & Slytherins.
Yes, Draco, the reason they're paying that level of rent is for the landlord to maintain the buildings -how shocking to find Lucius makes a bad landlord. | No, mother, I'm gentrifying Knockturn Alley - get with the programme. Not sure I'd taken money/investment advice from a Malfoy just yet...
'Teach Muggleborns about Pureblood culture.' ~ & its limitations/prejudices; not a bad suggestion. | 'Do you wish me to come to Hogwarts? ~ & 'at', yes... Doesn't this sound dreadful: 'I'm the bloody Headmaster, I'll have to be there for the entire mistletoe-infested drunken debacle!' | Whole thing sounds a real treat; love Narcissa's questions about it. What a job proposal!
He was so glad that he now had the time and inclination to bathe, shave and wash his hair on a regular basis. ~ That's our L'Oreal Snape there! Am sure she’s glad as well. | 'I neglected to lock the door,' she remarked, 'my oversight; I'm too accustomed to living with Slytherins.' ~ Yes, Gryffindors are more the sock-on-the-knob kind. | 'Are you asking them, or telling them?' Narcissa enquired sweetly. Molly was going an interesting shade of puce... ~ Pahaha points for Narcissa even at her own expense.
Did the woman not even remember that Narcissa was Bella's sister, or did she believe that Slytherins were immune to grief and pain? ~ A good question - not my crazy sister, you bitch... Ahahaha at Narcissa remarking on the need for manners in the next generation after Obliviating someone who hurt her feelings. Morals & manners are relative xP
'Perhaps I'd better add additional sex education to the syllabus, as well,' he said. ~ As should've been there all along, no doubt. At a boarding school with all those schoolmonster children… | 'Severus, I've had a physically unblemished man and I'm divorcing him; I'm far more interested in a man who actually wants me, and who cares about my enjoyment as well as about his own.' ~ Yes, about ruddy time she got it, too. Great lines. Severus has much more to him than looks; Lucius…
'Besides, you've been so terribly ill, perhaps I should do the hard work this time, if you agree?' ~ This moment tops them all, so to say. Whoo needs foreplay when it won't last long anyway? xD Especially after ...the bastard hadn't bothered to apply his skills to his own wife. D=< | They'll have plenty of time to get it right & long.
Not that Granger was daft enough to expect any form of pastoral care from him. ~ I should hope not, though he did well enough with Draco. | 'Still, I regret that anyone should have suffered under our roof,' he told her. ~ Hope the change sticks - abrupt delivery, as he often is, but becoming on him.
'...I want to get my NEWTs on my own merits, thank you very much, not have the press accuse me of getting a free pass.' ~ Always liked that touch to the series. Quick split that was, wonder if it was Mumsy. As if he could keep her out of Hogwarts while McGonagall is there! | '...I should like you to assist her by teaching pure-blood students about the Muggle world. This will amount to two days a week; the rest of your time, you will study for your NEWTs.' ~ Good - if any are set to be a Hogwarts Teacher's Assistant while studying, her. McGonagall’s delight indeed.
'The Muggles learned the folly of totally subjugating the losers of a war,' she said, 'that's how Hitler came to power.' ~ Keen line to have in a fic like this. Pahaha a two-finger salute right here: 'Harry's so glad that at least one of his parents' generation survived; he needs a father figure.' & Severus fires one right back with Draco the Head Boy!
The best of it was that she actually thought that she had gained more from the encounter than he had. ~ Cute line for their growing rapport. | 'That's a little sycophantic, isn't it? What has she done to deserve that - apart from the obvious?' ~ A RIGHT LOT MORE THAN *YOU* DID, DOLTUMS! Ahem, sorry, I do tend to...interact with Draco's strong character. You do him too well here; can tell all the places he gets under one’s skin xD
'You never know, Mother, you might even want to marry again,' he said, 'if you meet the right wizard.' He paused dramatically. 'Or witch, of course, or even a Muggle.' ~ She could always marry the Granger girl herself. Draco’s been opening his mind. | 'it was bad enough getting that from Madam Pomfrey at the age of twelve.' ~ Things I'd pay to be in the room for.
'As for the rest, our head of house was terse but to the point.' ~ Same in the act itself, in fact. Good to hear this: 'I also tell them what I'll do to them if they fail to either use protection or gain consent.' | Grinning at the lines over Dumbledore's partisanship. | And this, Snape realised, was what families should be like. Lucius would not have tolerated this cosy teasing. ~ Absolutely, what comfort. Here Severus gets what Lucius might've wanted but couldn't conduct himself.
Merlin, he'd missed this; he'd missed them, the quirky, squabbling, petty, affectionate, funny and familiar lot of them. ~ Another line for the t-shirt collection & a favourite from the story. Can see precisely why he'd miss them, & that they'd miss him right back: They had even complimented him on his new hair-cut, the sarcastic buggers. | Complimenting the new washing regime xP
'Sybil, your famous sherry trifle?' ~ Sherry trifle doesn't sound half bad, if the spirits permit. Good to see Aurora off Rosmerta & Aberforth's way. Sprout inviting him in for tea - yes, happy holiday feels. | '...However, Septima, Filius and Irma play bridge, and Horace usually makes up the four but is happy to relinquish his place to snooze by the fire.' ~ What a darling image I could absolutely see being true. Well done, Narcissa. Much more subtle than her soon-ex-husband. A very dear sort of day.
They held hands like a couple of teenagers. ~ Good - the sort of thing both’ve needed & not had enough of. Does present a beautiful image: He had never had the experience of strolling arm in arm with an elegant woman, who was at ease with him as they chatted and laughed. | Even if he did rather rudely steal the reservation xP
This woman had talent. ~ Obviously, & we can't forget taste. Thank goodness Lily no longer owns him! Time for his third or fourth life. Can see Bryan Ferry in the younger years - would miss that hooked conker & enormous [fanon] cock, but then so would Narcissa. ;D Bet he'll last longer tonight: He walked to his seat with renewed vitality.
There's a Ravenclaw cackling in a corner somewhere over their homework & hyperfixations while Gryffindor & Slytherin fight to lose. ~ 'If she wants to, why not save myself the effort?' | Right kind of ambitious there; good teamwork. TWO points for Gryffindor? Ahahaha they’ll be cutthroat. | 'Slytherins can be tediously predictable and Gryffindors annoyingly gullible?' ~ True, hardly news. Truer yet on the watching/listening Headmaster & the importance of teamwork - they did rather well.
'I do hope that she likes it.' Book’s good sign; love there's a gift from Narcissa. I'd like to give that book a read myself. 'I'll hex you sideways if you ever dare call me that again!' | Grannie Malfoy, bahahaha, oh boy. Malfoy's loss for losing interest after his precious heir - how tremendously sad for her.
He found himself with a lapful of enthusiastic witch. ~ What a lovely lapful to receive! We're back on the road to marriage - Narcissa's off the market even before Hermione xD Makes all the sense in the world.
Sign me up for a Damn Rebel Witch or two, please! So you're one of the Rebel Witches he's damned, eh McG? 'I've got Damn Rebel Witches; it bites back. Dreadful thing to do to single malt, Filius, simply dreadful!' | Yet on she drinks. Love it!
'They're all drunk. It's traditional.' ~ It's Christmas! The next exchange - you? traditional? drunk. more than likely - utterly adorable.
'I'd have been disappointed if they weren't; it means you're one of us.' ~ The longest-running tradition of Hogwarts, surely, save perhaps gossip. alskdfjhgalskdfjh at Hagrid drenching people in beer (*runs screaming from room to dive in nearest bath/waters*). Besides that, all seems well already!
Strong introduction, believable circumstances & thoroughly enjoyable lines, thoughts & dialogue. I appreciate Hermione & Draco's growing cooperation while on the Hogwarts job under guidance of a man who much deserved a second chance at the job. As expected, he's doing infinitely better this time around. Truly love seeing Severus’ near-death impacting his physical health going forward in surprising and even augmented ways that merge Muggle & magic medicine: magicked hearing aids & the eyes. Seeing that kind of adjustment period and disability representation means the world to me. Makes for a brilliant title, too.
Endless love for the welcome back at Hogwarts & all the exchanges that allowed for. Bonus points for Filius' stiff drinks & Minerva's dry commentary. Good steam to this story as well – sex not to be forgotten. Severus & Narcissa deserved a second chance at things for what they went through the first time around; glad to see them getting that here. Thank you for this darling Christmas tale!
♥ Kiwi ♥
Not My Family
Molly and Arthur Weasley. ~ Good place to settle, separate agency & all - great introduction to the story.
Professor McGonagall just pinched the bridge of her nose and shook her head. ~ The pose of a long-time teacher. Poor hypothetical tortoise. | 'And Miss Prewett, please remain after class.' ~ A student's favourite words to hear. Something Molly has done a number of times, from what we've heard of canon: She put on a contrite face to plead her case with her Head of House.
'...Many young women can become...shall we say, single-minded, when they have a beau?' ~ Indeed they can. I love the writing of this & how Minerva sees right through her charge. Ah, the voices of youth, that teachers might have lived no lives or loves their own. | '...We won't fail or embarrass you or whatever it is that you're afraid of.' ~ Bahaha oh dear, how bold & silly young Molly can be.
Brilliantly put: '...An education will never be a detriment to any woman, and any man who values a stupid woman--something I'm sure we agree that Mr Weasley does not--is a fool, indeed.' | 'But wouldn't it be more helpful if you gave us an optional course in household spells like cleaning and mending?' ~ Oh Molly dear, there's more to life than housewifery & more to housewifery than meets the eye. How hard Minerva's trying here.
She ignored the way her professor's face fell at those words. ~ No wonder. The home Minerva makes beautiful & the family she cares for are some of the most world-renowned. Poor Minerva - more so Molly for whatever wakeup call she's in for. | And then the pair just ran off and finally eloped, fed up with waiting on things to be perfect. ~ Pahaha couldn't wait to get started even with the double the lifespans ahead of them. Fitting.
Molly tried to talk them out of it, beating them upside their heads with whatever soft objects she could find as she yelled at them about their responsibilities to their future nieces and nephews. ~ A thing they perhaps see quite well already - yet aren't they all correct. | Hah, of course Charlie's named partially after Quidditch, perfect touch. Lovely full paragraph here: Whenever Fabian and Gideon came over for Sunday suppers... | That Molly's is such a home for them & how wonderful they are with the young family members - gorgeous & tragic to read.
The Healers talked about stress and miscarriage, and the stress of the times, and Molly stormed out of the hospital. ~ How high the waters of de Nile may run. | ...but it was challenging to go so often without the company of other adults. ~ especially with limited topics, I'd imagine. Good old Arthur catering to his wife. And ah, suddenly housewifing becomes more than cooking & cleaning; how quickly she takes to it.
She would learn to heal. ~ She's a good start already with the home ec. 'Damn' at the state of Fabian & his arm - wounded animal indeed. Ooof, what a scene with her talk of twins. Hard to read knowing what's to come. | 'Minerva,' her old teacher said, interrupting her. 'Please call me Minerva. There is no need to stand on formality when we are working together in such times.' ~ Adore this line to no end - so very her. Their whole interaction is so spot-on.
Minerva took her by the elbow. 'It would not be a waste. Not for me and not for you.' ~ Guuuuh the wise tender willing protectiveness of this scene is killing me. Fantastic job with McGonagall. | 'I'm just not a fighter. I never will be.' ~ Best way to become one is to promise you won't. Something incredibly powerful in the simple line and Minerva let it go. The elbow, the issue… Beautifully done.
'The wards weren't stabilised yet,' Fabian said. 'We were to tackle that this week.' ~ A very important first step in wartimes, boys. Terribly unfair to pay with your lives. | 'Not my sister, you monster!' Gideon yelled. ~ So that's where she got it from - to think he's even politer than she. Hard last words to hear from both of them when all they needed was wards: We'll see you in a bit, Molly.' Oooooof.
How foolish of her. She would have to start doing that again. ~ For a few more people, yes. You write the experience of trauma & panic so well in so few words. | And Molly looked up into the face of Minerva McGonagall. 'I think,' she said, 'that I would like to learn to duel.' ~ And so you shall. Amazing finish here to come full-circle.
To my mind, every word of this is utter perfection. Wondrous grasp of the times evoked incredibly well even through a POV of pointed denial. Positively heart-breaking in all the right ways.
I so admire reading the leaps & bounds of young Molly's ageing, growing, shifting voice of narrative & witnessing her life at these pivotal moments - all with spot-on characterisation & voices, Minerva especially: stunning. Tracking the story from disinterest --> denial --> healing --> harm in a character we meet as a proficient dueller is such a treat, very much the making of a warrior. So clear to see how McGonagall shapes youngsters toward both what they need & what's needed of them: of course she'd see what the girl's family was getting into & what would start landing in her lap.
Truly a magnificent story in so few scenes - Brava & a standing ovation here. This is possibly my favourite story of the fest for contextualising a character often overlooked. Well done & thank you for this tasty (if terrifically heart-rending) treat!
♥ Kiwi ♥
Always excited to read a story that starts with an arboriculture glossary! Glad Garrick is so popular this year.
...you are the youngest Ollivander ever to receive training in the family secrets... ~ Explains much of his skill there. Wonderful idea to be trained by the grandfathers, each skipping down the line, while also trained by fathers in the actual shop. All very well-explained. Good of the family to recognise and support him with pride & not jealousy.
"Hello grandfather, I am ready to learn." ~ Fantastic start to intensive room&board training. Should hope the learning never ends - sure isn't supposed to! Wouldn't want to stagnate in the wand-making field. Of course Merlin would have a good strong Oak wand. Living for all this wand lore: so sensible not to influence a blank-slate wand with any other magic.
Gerbold was surprised by this, as his own examination of that particular blank had not revealed that to him. ~ It's nice to witness & discover Garrick's precocious proficiency through an important family POV right in the moment like this, after hearing about it from his father.
Father says that a vat of soaking blanks is a sign of a poor wandmaker. ~ Fascinating to see the generationally-skipped training in action. Would hate to think of magic users missing out on their own power due to limited wand-maker stock...sounds like bad planning xD Garrick has the right of it there. Clever about keeping the English Oak in its more natural state, too; more excellent wand lore.
"...It is time to return to the house so that your grandmother can fuss over you." ~ What a beautiful family - such a treat for Garrick & both grandparents. With a satisfactory pie to boot! (Gertrude - love all the fine G names. I come from two interesting-G-named parents, so it makes me smile extra. (; )
Learning over festivities - intellect & ambition indeed, what a perfect Ravenclaw. Should help him with the teacher of Patience: a most maddening teacher. Truly enamoured of the clever forms of conservational defensive magic for the property. I loved learning about the old-growth forests of England back when I was in university; forestry talk always brings me great joy.
Suppose he proved unworthy? Seems unlikely. I appreciate Gerbold's kind teaching methodology: "Nothing to be sorry about, that's one of the things you're here to learn." | Great teaching voice. And clever ecology with the manure affinity! A fine touch.
"...There is a unicorn herd resident here." ~ I'm sold! How do I go about changing my name to Ollivander...? And the unicorns are forest-trained - oh that's brilliant. Hats off to you. Their techniques remind me of learning to cultivate the apple orchard back in high school - supposing I might've had a few wands out of that, too. (:
That made him feel like he was truly a part of the family business. ~ And so he is! Much appreciation for Gerbold's familial affection & support; such a wonderful family.
"You may have the 'touch', Garrick." ~ So we come to the title! I love this touch to the story. ;] What a rare gift, that it's been so long - five generations. We're not kidding when we say Garrick has a "fine touch" then!
"...Come, let us wander among the trees for a time, and relax. Few things are more worth doing." ~ How heartily I agree! Magical woods - what better squee? Little I love more than a nap beneath some fine trees. Always & forever love this line from him: Trees are worthwhile things in and of themselves. | Good for him to teach relaxation as much as hard work – work hard, play hard, rest hard eh?
Garrick made no reply, but reached out and took the calloused old hand. ~ What a lovely sentiment & loving 15-year-old - positively precious.
"...This particular yew may well be the oldest tree in the forest." ~ How fine a’yew to include! Old trees are just about my favourite thing in the whole universe; would like to be one someday. *ultimate hearteyes at the enormous old ebony tree* Nothing better than the whisper of trees, & what a helpful holly. The words on blanks & chosen cores sounds so true, intuitive & understandable.
"...perhaps even a few sparks." ~ Hah, core wand dating. How kind of the unicorns to give of themselves like that; can very much imagine they wouldn't forget having their hospitality trampled.
"...as the unicorns scratch on them." ~ All the ecology of this magical forest & the cooperative works of conservation preserves brings me such endless joy. Headcanon accepted.
"...But a holly and phoenix wand will only choose those of the greatest potential." ~ Sounds like quite a combination, & puts another Hoggy fic to light. Bahahaha @ cat/kneazle owners & the dogwood quip xD Good motto to recall: "...Never tweeze a kneazle!"
"Because he tried it once," she said. ~ Well I'm sure that went over well & with minimal scarring. Laughed out loud at Gertrude's simple answer.
"...I see great things ahead for you, young Ollivander." ~ A hat-tip to this phrase; brings more meaning to its use by Garrick to Harry. Have enjoyed that about this fest: learning where some of these phrases might've come from, & all quite realistically.
"...Those with the touch can sense things others cannot." ~ Loved this line, & that Gerbold had Garrick write down a draft first - solid plan.
He felt that they were partners of a sort, and in time they grew to trust him and to actively seek to aid him in his search for suitable blanks. ~ Good boy. Brilliant ecology there & makes for an adorable picture, teenaged Garrick cooperating with friendly bowtruckles.
Being exposed to the resulting intense glow and shower of sparks for the second time turned his eyes their signature silver. ~ Clever detail! Fine ending line: that it's where Garrick's story trails down into the story of Harry Potter we know today. How young to fulfil his potential! Long life of work ahead of him all the same; am sure he wouldn't have it any other way.
Thoroughly enjoyed this piece, starting with all the family fondness & affection (pies!), the simple sass of Grandmother Gertrude and Garrick's sombre dedication even over fun frivolities like festivals. It's packed with excellent, realistic wand lore & enough fabulous forestry to fill my heartwood up again. Their home & grounds are what dreams are made of - down to the potty-trained unicorns & their contracts with other conservatories.
Great end with the creation of the twin phoenix wands for which Garrick will long be known. Thank you for this magical tale of the most magical subject of all--trees! I mean wands. Yes, wands.
~ A Forest Fan
♥ Kiwi ♥
A Hedgewitch’s Receipt Book
I am so excited for this. Headcanon already accepted based on the summary alone.
What cute drawings, & the hearts over the letters! Perfect for setting the scene with her age. And a surname: Boni + face for the witch we know only to be pretty-faced and curvy - well chosen! An adorable first recipe, especially for times of sadness. A notebook is a beautiful birthday gift; what a legacy to leave behind a family.
Propserina is an inventive name to match Rosmerta's. And mmmm sounds like a tasty book: Running her hand over the heavy leather cover... | Bet her grandmother's receipt book would be one of my favourite things too; I'm a sucker for doodles & pressing flowers in books. (I've usually got to be careful opening my own, in fact, or dried flowers may come fluttering out.) A hard start for Rosmerta, then. Glad she's got her gran.
Gather the sweetest, softest flowers very early in the morning on a day that promises much. ~ Love this! So much love for the whole recipe page - the anti-lying linden & the drawing of its shape. We had to draw the shapes of plants for plant identification classes in high school (very much like Herbology) & I was enamoured; should've combined it with recipes & spells like this. Person can learn much from taking a page out've Rosmerta's book.
They were delicate little things, but powerful, persistent, persuasive in a way few other magical plants were. ~ I'd love such a dozing & adore the depiction/description of magical plants here. How tremendously darling: ...promised to come to her in the morning and lie with her in the sweet shade of the trees as the sun rose and the sky turned impossibly blue. | I'd gladly join her if he's to be such an arse!
It was gentle, but there was a kind of implacable truth to it too, and she realised that he wasn't going to come. ~ This whole peaceful, sad scene is written beautifully. And a great line on parenthood & maternal expectations: She curved her hand over her belly and thought of her child growing there, who had a greater claim on her love and protection than any of the men she'd dallied with in any season. | True enough. A good touch that we don’t know the father’s face.
"You're a sweet honeysuckle, child," she said, "Quick to cling, quick to move on." ~ Characterises both of them so well. Quick to cling, quick to move on - great phrasing for a honeysuckle & Rosmerta. A tree laden with heavy fruits: All it would take is someone who needed something from her desperately enough, and she would give it to them, no questions and no hesitation. | Much to take advantage of.
It's a drink for dark, hard times - but just like you puncture each berry to get at the juice, sometimes the prick of hard times is needed. ~ Brilliant line, very Rosmerta & wise beyond her years. Hope she's in for the hard prick of good times soon. Love the detail of going without gloves.
Face up to whatever it gives you. ~ Amen! Festive enough already. I love Rosmerta's recipes & mindset more than I can say. Would love to try these myself!
...to her complicated magical ones for yuletide parties with sparklers and the chance (as everyone got drunker) of an explosion. ~ Can just picture it. Now doesn't that make for a party. Loving the seasonal feel to this fic: This autumn had started hard though, and it was shaping to be a blackthorn winter, as cold and dark as old iron. | Perfectly hedge-witch.
...with thanks to her great-great-great grandmother, who had apparently dallied with pirates and smugglers all along the coast. ~ Now there's a story I'd love to hear! Of course Rosmerta comes from adventurous, dallying stock.
How had she lost most of an afternoon? ~ Oh dear - here we've arrived. You've done well depicting the hazy Imperius times.
A fiercely friendly rivalry had flourished between those two, but Rosmerta was happy to settle for just the friendship. ~ Good on both of them for the friendship being there - would love to see Propserina & Aberforth at their fiercely friendly rivalry xD The blackthorn goat, avoiding open fighting & Aberforth recognising the recipes after so many years - brilliant.
"...It's going to be worse before it's better." ~ As he would know well.
Best to prepare, as blackthorn did, for the inevitability of fate. ~ Great line. So in love with their familiar relationship, how well they know each other & their way of interacting - and how Rosmerta retains her selfhood despite Draco's influence. [I'll pick ginger! Gotta love clingy nettle.]
I conceived my daughter on nettle day, and I received an unsettling prophecy. ~ A thing I'd be most curious to hear about, & glad Propserina died peacefully & knowingly loved. That's my kinda Forbidden Nestle there.
She was starting to see the merits in all the things her grandmother had once insisted on, and she smiled at the thought of growing into her grandmother's habits. ~ As well she should - good solid sturdy shoes to inhabit.
It had been hard to forgive herself, and even now, some years later, she still sometimes felt the guilt lingering when she touched galleons or took them from young men. ~ Can only imagine - the poor dear. Of course it would stick with her.
"I trust you have more caution than your mother," said Rosmerta, though she smiled at the memory. ~ Love the matriarchal lineage - no more dalliances with pirates, then? A pity.
While the leaves seemed to rustle menacingly in their captivity, the great mound itself seemed to shrink back on itself and sulk slightly. ~ I sodding love magical plants - so full of personality. You write them well. Good to hear her daughter's paying attention in Herbology; she's got a fine teacher.
It would be spring again. ~ Isn't that the truth, & many thanks to the wheel of the year for that. Tea on a sunny bank with her granddaughter - couldn't think of a kinder end to this story for dear Rosmerta.
Such an enjoyable story to read with all its illustrations, handwriting & recipes; works so well at hinting what Rosmerta's family journal might look like & a peek into her own life. A real treat to get some insight into her backstory & powerful matrilineal lineage. A full life in one story - well done! A marvel to watch her grow.
The magical plants & properties were lovely with the drawings & their connection to the seasons, to personalities, to people & feelings & events. Rosmerta being the Face of the Boniface family is so very clever.
The recipes & all their kernels of truth! Inspires me to make one of my own - the goal for this decade, really, & glad to know I'll think back to Rosmerta as I do so. The very best way to pass along all those juicy (or juiced) family secrets.
♥ Kiwi ♥
The Wow Factor
Always happy for some McGonagall. Pleased to see where the prompts take off.
Slughorn & his many parties - that's a start I quite like. Suddenly intrigued at what's holding him back. How kind of Minerva & Hermione to pop by; glad to see them getting on for group conscience in the name of a good party.
...albeit [a band] that Hermione had not heard of... ~ not sure that amounts to much xP Can't wait to see what she does to spice up his party. Potion making contest. | Why yes, that wowed me plenty & it's not happened yet - can't wait.
"I don't know how well you'll like the idea, but I think the rest of the staff would enjoy seeing that." ~ And, I should hope, participating. A smaller selection? Aww, shall miss seeing the others at it; sounds like someone's scheming.
"Who else would we have?" ~ A most sensible question. Met with another: "...Who better to judge than the potions professor, after all?" | And a Slytherin turns her on her head!
He'd thought something harder would have been selected. ~ Ah, read the wrong sort of 'hard' there, getting ahead of myself. Bottled Christmas cheer - I'd take a draught of that, would've for the holidays too, misplaced my natural supply.
...watching as he threw it back quickly and with an expression of distaste. ~ Funny to find Christmas tasting so bad. Oh Horace, that sure seems a fair way to judge a contest after presenting oneself as judge. Petty man. Strong words as ever from Ms. Granger.
"And I brewed from his own directions." ~ A joint Slytherin plot there - no wonder he knew her moves so well & struggled with his own task: well-writ.
Well done to the two of them for crafting a teachable moment like that! I'm sure their reveal was a wow indeed; they've certainly proven proficient teamwork. Valid points regarding Severus & his push to rely on more than simply textbook, surely a rarer position in Potions than in some other subjects. Glad to see his voice made so strong by this fic & a well-planned plot-twist by the two of them! I hope his colleagues begin to listen better in the future; they’d have much to learn from him in creativity and deviance (from the text, I mean, of course… ;D )
Cute Christmas setup for the Wow Factor. May even take some of that Christmas brew despite the taste. Thank you!
♥ Kiwi ♥
[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]