Ooooh I'm very excited by the character & ship list! May turn out to be one of my favourites. NEVER EVER shall I skip the smut – also won't skip right there, tempted as I am... Going to try not to squee too much but also most certainly going to fail. [I failed A Lot.]
Two weeks of a castle population scarcely larger than it was in the summer awaited her. ~ Thrilled on her behalf (plus ours). Good to hear Hermione's over-ambitious young self is sleeping adequately these days. Love the humour to this story already: She tapped him on the thigh. "Uncommonly good weather up there for late December, don't you think?"
Yes, much adoration for the humour of this story & how well the characters know each other; enjoying the writing of it immensely (& Severus snorting into his coffee). Of course McG always sniffs it out eventually.
Violet Blacklock’s an excellent teacher name. Wilhelmina's in-castle!! Can see why with a unicorn problem. Thank goodness Minerva has old friends & a network of competent instructors (more than Albus could sometimes say...) These two are shining stars for saving unicorns. Ah, sapphic angst at its finest. The drama! The tail of Irma's robes disappearing away...!
Amazing writing - for the Severus/Minerva dynamic especially. THIS SCENE IS EVERYTHING. ...to cover the fact that he was bang on. Annoying man. x'D
Your turns of phrase make me euphoric - the funny things happening to Minerva's spine. And a favourite running line of the fest appears again: "yours or mine later?" | "Suit yourself, but you'll be at the meeting tomorrow morning along with the rest of us." ~ Love to hear the good ol' HMIC voice. Very Dread Pirate Roberts in the return: "As you wish."
Glad to know Hagrid's off with Olympe still - and Septima & Bathsheda touring Romania! Brill. Ouch, poor Ginny; that's professional sport, there. And who knows what Rolanda got up to in her past? xP But fresh-blood athletes on staff are sure to raise a whisper either way.
Kingsley > Fudge. | He had the look of a man who still couldn't quite believe his good fortune... ~ Good! May he keep it. Of course 1979 would be the year for an impressively engorged snowman.
"Oh, yes, Albus had a great fondness for a dirty joke." ~ Could see that being true - wonder who's got the dirtiest joke of the Dumbledorian brothers. Glad to hear Albus is keeping himself in the right kind of trouble, well & cultured. Bunch of pecky hens to bring the Teacher Tone out; first-year levels is bad.
This is a pretty fabulous contest really - prepared them somewhat for the challenge of the Philosopher's Stone being at Hogwarts.
"Well, I'm not sure I want the Prophet getting hold of rumours surrounding the Minister and a snowman of improper proportions." ~ Bahahaha. Or Rita Skeeter, for that matter. You've excellent timing with the writing: They chatted a little longer, until the clock struck ten and both remembered they still had a lot to get through before the holiday proper.
Minerva was fairly certain that both mugs also contained a hearty slug of peppermint liqueur. ~ Solid way to appreciate a holiday staff meeting... Pomona & Poppy make a great team. Good set of rules still pleasantly pliable. | "Judging by the nature of some of the items I have confiscated this term, I do not think they can be corrupted further." ~ Impossible. Always further corruption!
Ah, the Pesky Pair have had enough cocoa for bald mockery... ;P "It's what you do with it that counts!" choked Pomona, and fell over laughing against Poppy's shoulder. | The motion of the ocean... Filius does just fine, then, & those two are adorable.
"Oh, I wouldn't miss that." Good. Especially the library... Glad Irma’s in. ~ If nothing else, this Christmas promised to be interesting. ~ Oh absolutely. Extra points for Pommy-Poppy dynamics, Ginny channelling the twins & a scheming Severus.
It was odd to have lived when he'd expected to die. ~ Glad he did, & love this paragraph. Mmmm so many amazing lines *swoons*: But she still tasted the same... His name in that voice was who he wanted to be. | <3__<3 He does seem to know much of achieving maximum effect, & many ways to take her edge off or keep her on edge; seems he's heading for some favourites.
...moving quietly but swiftly along the stacks to see what was going on. ~ Sapphism, I hope. Valid, but too bad: Hermione feared that if she started thinking about the library in that way, her last sacred place of academic concentration would be ruined. | Helps some others concentrate. ;D Good on Ginny for tryin'.
A pair of sturdily booted feet. Yesssss! I want this drawn so badly - beautiful images. Please keep watching. Boooo. | Ron had been seeing Susan Bones for about three years now. ~ Oh, I like that well. They've got some good history together too.
The deep, infinite kind of quiet that only a large number of books can create wrapped Irma in a comforting cloak, almost but not quite a substitute for the embrace she'd not long given up. ~ Mmmmmmm I love this line for everything about it. Perfectly Irma. Delicious: ...as her fingers on the smooth leather brought back a flood of tactile memory. | Listless lovestruck Irma is adorable. | ...but this... this was disorder. ~ Aww she got it bad - understandably. Nothin' like those sensible boots & what comes in 'em, keeps a person comin' back for more.
At the treeline, a faint golden flickering made her smile - Wil, with a lantern, going to tend the unicorns. ~ This has been everything I hoped it'd be already. And we get to see it weeee!
Irma was a tough nut to crack, though. Definitely the long game. ~ Good. Glad Wil's in it for that. Oh Wil you're gloriously dense: Wil didn't really see where this was going. | And there are many ways to run a long game. Humans count as this more than any other: ...employing the same technique she used on skittish animals and hoping it wouldn't be noticed.
~wibbles~ *swooning sapphist alert* Also, your Wil must get along fiercely well with Minerva... Eff Yes to these lines: And then, behind the reflections, a fire kindled. / "Prove it," whispered the librarian. | So into this ship of Books & Boots. Glad Wil's picking up her pace to get on home!
Surely Pomona wouldn't mind her popping in for a quick cup of tea to warm up... ~ Whenever does she? | ...it was not Severus but almost his complete opposite: Luna Lovegood ~ I'm excited! And I love her winter outfit. I smell some rule-bending going on...
"...Dunno why I thought decorating a massive outside space in the middle of winter was a good idea, but there it is." ~ Sounds a very Gryffindorian idea. Love this cast of characters! Bahaha @ ...Ginny snorted and went on, "Nah... She's just worried I'll give it to her." | ...and wouldn't you, Ginny? xD
About three quarters of the way through, a pair of arms snuck around her waist and wrapped her in a warm embrace. ~ Mmm how lovely. And ...Minerva thought of her warm bed (and its occupant) and decided she'd leave this as the last word. | Effective. Such a dear image, all these silent faces full of opinions as the current Head goes off to get laid.
She could do this, for him, and she would, dry-eyed, and no-one would know how it affected her. ~ Can't wait to see what she's up to that would impact her so. And bahaha a feeling I'm all too familiar with: There was no way she was climbing five flights of stairs at this time of the - she checked her watch - ugh, morning.
Fairies were all booked but wouldn't be arriving until nine o'clock - it was part of the contract. ~ Always best to have a contract when it comes to fairies. | You didn't get to be three-time European Duelling Champion without enjoying yourself in front of a crowd, so as he moved on to the decoration of his icy masterpiece, he decided to give the audience a proper show. ~ A Filius I adore - three times continental champion, what an utter champ indeed!
"You are thinking extremely loudly. ~ ♥ Love this so very much, particularly from him to her - very fitting of both. | "Perhaps you'd better elaborate, then." ~ Yes, with exacting & excruciating attention to detail. | "Um, I seem to recall the joint shower being your idea." ~ Save water, shower with a girlfriend. | "Perhaps they all stayed up too late decorating." ~ Or got consumed by their beds: Pomona's onto them.
"I always felt Albus, for all his wisdom, was a trifle partisan." ~ Albus, truly? However so?! 10Pts to his own house for Breathing Well. And I've a housemate who thinks similarly, but then they're colour-blind: ...well able to imagine the kind of thing a man who had an affection for whimsy and thought lime green and purple spangles were a perfect match would come up with at Christmas. | I love Ginny's self-confidence & comfort in her position, her relationship - very much at ease with herself.
So close, in fact, that he couldn't see the hand that wasn't holding her wine glass. ~ *shipful squeeing* So comfy they are together. | '2/10, needs less Gryffindor', 'oh Christ, not mistletoe again' ~ AHAHAHA PERFECT. I want to see that notebook; am rather fond of green, silver & snarky Christmases. The affection of this crew is a moving thing to read.
"Bloody hell, he's gone full Ravenclaw. Good show," muttered Wil beside him, and he chuckled. ~ Ice ice baby - yes he has! Winter wonderland. Love the moving ice-eagle & that Wil knows Severus well enough for mutterings. Good on Severus for noticing Filius getting looked over for his skill & eye in previous years. Precious Hogwarts atmosphere: Several of them were wearing pairs of earmuffs he must have charmed onto them at their request.
"Irma, it's beautiful!" came Minerva's voice, followed by Poppy asking when she'd learned to sculpt. ~ Love this. No touch of Wil, then, except upon the artist herself. xD May this get put to good use: ...a bench overlooking a pond covered the entirety of what was normally the students' reading area.
"Now remember," she said gleefully, "look with your eyes, not with your hands!" ~ Good life advice in most circumstances & a good reminder for this handsy lot. A favourite shade of sweet: "Sweet Circe," said Aurora | Can absolutely picture Poppy's decorations as if right off a Muggle biscuits lid – and frightening Severus with what seemed a real hippogriff, 'specially after all the prior litigation of the young Malfoy moron. Loving the train - all aboard! Choo choo.
"Go and have a look in the playhouse." ~ *eyebrows* A room I'd like to see. | ...his breath caught by the dancing shapes of the northern lights shimmering overhead in a sky full of stars. ~ An astronomical snow-globe – wondrous! I'd happily go hang out there. Slytherin Aurora always makes me so happy and ah, the endless emotions of Christmas.
"Not a whole case at once!" ~ Never? Somehow I'm sceptical. Wil would know xD | ...she'd even iced titles onto the spines of the books. The detail was extraordinary. ~ That's pretty impressive. Love how in-character these all are. Wil must be pleased to see all that detail...
"...Welcome to Christmas at the beach!" ~ Glad to see this represented in fic. Another darling scene I'd love to see illustrated: ...even the Headmistress gathered up the skirt of her under-robe and stepped into the water, turning her face up to the sunlight, eyes closed. ~ Just the sort of thing she was looking for with the students gone, I'm sure. Grinning at her pinking Scottish Skin.
The Minister was currently engaged in a splashing contest against Pomona. ~ Doesn't look like enough yet to me! They're absolutely adorable; good to see Kingsley letting loose & as-ever impressed with Pomona's egalitarian sense of fun. Supposing they can always come back...
"You learn something new every day," [Minerva] said. ~ Can only hope so - old dog, new tricks or vice-versa. Ginny's been globe-trotting now; cute to see her surprised at teaching an old mentor something. | In fact, the image of Severus in Bermuda shorts made her want to crack up, but she held it in. ~ She’d be bowled right over by one of the Christmas cards he's sent since, then xD
Aaaaahhhhh my heart: "Fred, wherever you are, this one's for you." ~ No wonder it goes on for a while! A Gryffindor with fireworks - but of course, family tradition: love the wand-raise to Fred there. And bahaha why one must take care trusting a weasel: ...this had her brother written all over it. ~ Bright explosive chaos! Fred would've loved it to death ♥ Great touch.
"...Not to worry, Minister. We've worked around them before." ~ Oh the hilarious backstory of Hogwarts. Another ♥ to this: "They were our favourite lesson back in school" | Irma's crush is heartwarming. Into the Pensieve? Yes, a thing worth keeping... =P
Hermione felt as though they'd all stepped into one of her childhood storybooks. ~ An eerie children's storybook; that's where I'll hang while the others are beaching. | ...oranges are such a festive fruit, don't you think?" ~ They are. Unspeakably pleased to see her working so well with Luna. Fascinated by the little fairy collective with their contract.
She'd known most of Minerva's height was in her legs - that much was obvious as soon as they sat next to each other - but the equally scarlet tights the Headmistress wore seemed to go on forever. ~ All about this image & another great drawing. McG’s got gams! Five points for beard-stroking; Hogwarts ugly jumper party for the win. Has our cocked snowman friend come to town again? Ah, no, just Kingsley. He'll keep his enormity for his wife.
His expression was far from jovial, however, and showed a lot of the pointed teeth one generally forgot he had. ~ A grumpy goblin elf is the best - poor Filius. | Yet another round of angry twittering later, the fairies swooped up to the ceiling as one and then spread out again... in the shape of a very rude word. ~ Well that's one way to do union negotiations. Pomona's were hilarious as well. Great scene all-round!
"I'm still wearing mine tonight," Poppy said, sticking her thumbs in Santa's belt. ~ Is this a new fickink of mine...? Certainly of Poppy's. Definitely want to know what she gets up to in the suit xD And of course Pomona's in the room where everything goes wrong ahaha.
"'Spose it wouldn't help if I told you you looked quite fetching?" Why yes, yes it would. Bet she looks sexier'n a feed sack even as a candy cane. Wilhelmina & a bodice to unbind is a wintry wondrous combination.
I love there's a staffroom journalrack. | ...he thought he might try and wind Minerva up a bit; see if he could tempt her into escaping early. ~ Seems a certain theme to the fest! Ah, the things this castle has seen. Love this line--of course he'd make his own products for pointed effects, & this git is hardly greasy: In the shower, he pondered his wardrobe while using a soap of his own making that for some reason seemed to inspire in Minerva a desperate need to taste his skin. ~ Mmmm. | Good on him: It wouldn't stop him asking, though. ~ Another Hoggywarty tradition this year.
...both returned to their normal appearance after making a thorough and enjoyable exploration of the possibilities offered by Hermione's snowy white beard. ~ Bahaha nothing better than Christmastime kinks. And the elvin differentiation! Can understand why he'd be upset; great scientific names though.
"I need to develop my range if I want an edge." ~ Sounds like a truly mischievous Weasley to me. Filibuster charm! Brilliant name - better here than politics.
The deep red was rather flattering, she considered, even if she still thought that Mrs Claus made clothing choices of questionable sense for someone who lived in a polar climate. ~ Slutty mistletoe we've got, then - am sure she looks divine, as does Mrs Claus. | And a carefully selected undergarment, of course. ...The man did tend to make it difficult to get material to tease him with. ~ I've heard there's a tartan lingerie set around somewhere; and the real purpose of Severus' life is to avoid teasing - wish we'd seen him Mistletoed head to foot xD
'Gryffindor' red it might be, but that had never put Severus off before. ~ Not with his eyes on getting it & her off, I'm sure. | Mmmm sounds utterly lovely: ...mostly because she knew how much Severus liked taking it apart: he had a particular fascination with her hair ~ it's shared. | ...particularly when she hadn't had much sleep the night before. ~ Nothing to do with Severus, I'm sure.
...he had to have a second look as he passed Poppy, because she seemed to be wearing a Muggle Santa suit, of all things. ~ Glad to see she's taken such a liking. Definitely want to see that revisited in future fic xD
"...thought Minerva was going to hex me for a minute," Pomona was saying, with one of her unrepentant grins. "Though if I had legs like hers, I'd wear that all the time." ~ No kidding! And I love your Pomona to no end. Good that Severus has a little regret for missing it all. | "Their bloody union is a nightmare." ~ A rude one, at that! Effective though... | "The delicate, on-gossamer-wings, benevolent godmother thing is an aesthetic they cultivate, but underneath it all, they're ruthless." ~ The truest line of this fic, for certain. This fest saw a few fey-folk & glad of it - yours most certainly the most inventive.
"We even went to Australia!" ~ Cheers for that, Hermione! Ginny gives as well as she takes - all those siblings, no doubt. | "I make it a point not to wear my house on my sleeve at every opportunity." ~ No, just in the sneer. Grinning at him. Of course McGonagall does it on purpose - so very well she does, better even than the (caricature of the) Mistress Claus herself. Good announcement of gratitude from Minerva - makes for a proper staff party & contest.
Well done, Aurora, & well-deserved! Takes it like a champ, too: "I shall think fondly of your wonderful entries during all the free evenings I'm about to have..." ~ Pahaha. How Hoggywarty would go if it were a contest not a festival xD Also, Kingsley's Dad Humour is on point.
And superlatives, too! Kingsley does the thing right. | "Pretty sure most of us couldn't," commented Wil ~ well we know she can't! ;3 Irma deserves to look so pleased. | "For doing her best to get us all in the Prophet," Minerva interrupted with a smirk. ~ Ahahhaa yes, here’s to Pomona & the fairies! Wish I knew their full set of words. Pomona entertains well & extra. Background thanks to Luna Lovegood.
Irma's wand-happy hexy today; she'll be fretting mistletoe for the rest of her mintfree days. Get it Severus! | No good for a satisfying corridor billow, and no good for hiding an inconvenient expression of interest. ...interminable to Severus, since he and Minerva had chosen by unspoken agreement to spend it torturing each other. ~ Good. Though I'm sure there's something to be done about the robes.
...she was sure she'd end up answering to Pomona or Poppy tomorrow... ~ As well she should! Hot stuff: Catching a too-familiar, delicious scent on her intake of breath, she let herself melt against him. And TASTY: ...and her chuckle turned into a hiss when he dragged the collar of her under-robe down and bit on her neck. ~ Week-kneed Minerva.
Perhaps Mrs Claus had her reasons for that little skirt... ~ Because she's a gods-damn finely-wrapped Christmas gift all her own. Good hands-on Christmas lesson there. | She shoved at the endless bloody skirts rucked up between them, half tempted to banish them, too, but knowing they both enjoyed this more if they stayed part-clothed. ~ Nnnnff thank you for this specific line - a true fave, & of course they would. Guh.
So he decorated a room after all, & one they can enjoy for pillow-talk: brilliant. A Merry Christmas indeed. | Bahaha real magic science here: "...it is in fact raining in my former bathroom even now."
I do love Ginny's jock apparel. | "Allow me to introduce you to the Hangover Chaser. Harpy developed, Harpy tested, Harpy approved." ~ Ahahah of course they would - & quite sure Ro's heard of that one herself. xD
So touching to know what Aurora's display came from, & that she won with it - all without anyone knowing what a testament it was. Hope she spent some time in there enjoying the feeling of it with her departed love ♥
There weren't many years she had Christmas off with an empty ward, but this was one of them, and by Merlin, she was going to make the most of it. ~ A book & breakfast in bed? I'll say that's making the most of it. What I'm up to with this fic, in fact. Favourite peaceful time.
She stopped behind his chair and bent over it to kiss the top of his head. ~ I love them so sodding much. Yessss to this ship. Very glad to know Irma & Wilhelmina had a good messy Merry Christmas of their own. | "I think I'd rather stay right here..." ~ Right there seems a rather dear place to stay.
"Turn it off," mumbled Severus, turning into his pillow and throwing an arm upward to block out the light. ~ Bwuahaha what babies - she'll get another sunburn. Of course he forgot about sunrise. Their understanding of one another is admirable & so well-written: she would never deny him a part of his past that offered him comfort. Powerful lines about the staining of his soul & not being ready to trust her tongue around them, that she may never be. 'tisn't a particular skill of hers.
Could she truly justify her affection for this tarnished man - and her faith in his ability to change - if she refused to apply it to anyone else? ~ The most valid Christmas question of all, & well put. 'Not this year' a poignant response - a no, but with a dash of hope, & that's the whole world. Beautiful ending.
Guuuuuuhhhhhh this fic. The ships were stupendous, the contest itself was a positive delight, Wil & Severus' friendship made me smile, the building of sexy suspense... Achieved! The clear history & understanding between all the characters (even in their frustrations) feels so real to the Hogwarts setting; a treat beyond compare to have Wilhelmina in there too, and with Irma... alksdfjhgaiwoefja that is such a weakness of mine, thank you for writing it.
Kingsley the Snowman deserves his own song, let alone Prophet article. Poppy's newly-discovered love of Santa Suits is simply motivational (of more fanworks) - and those fairies with their union were such a hoot. You've got inventive magic paired with utter smex, spot-on characterisation, intergenerational mischief & creativity, one hell of a party, all with a realistic final touch for a mighty-fine fic. I hope they give this contest another go in future!
Also hope the unicorns are okay - but that Wilhelmina finds reason to stay around more often in this long game of theirs. ♥ Thank you for this delightful Christmas gift!
♥ Kiwi ♥
Yes, who's fond of dementors? What an unpleasant year. Immediately appreciating Rosmerta's POV.
When she wasn't aware there was any other way to be. ~ A telling line & great start - no wonder she's so good at what she does. Can see exactly why the image of curling up on Aberforth's knee while he read would be effective against the Dementors.
"He can't be dead. Can he?" she asked in a whisper, as if louder made it more possible. ~ You do the tension of this time well. Clearly she likes to make him blush: she's good at it. What a way to meet a future colleague of sorts.
"Night terrors," Neville said. "They've been getting worse." ~ As one can only imagine with the shite they're going through now; and if she's den mother, she's got plenty of it on her shoulders. How dear Rosmerta is to stay with her for a good night's sleep - good on her, paying it forward, & for Aberforth knowing the score.
"Home." <-- A beloved line there. To some, Hogwarts is home--to others, Three Broomsticks - and certain rare souls, the Hog's Head. Followed soon after by other great lines of jobs, callings & ultimately a home: love this story for these two lines alone, & for knowing to whom she speaks & inspires. Quite like shyly perceptive & bold Hannah.
"No. I can't fall asleep if I attempt it. It has to come over me unexpected." ~ A feeling I recognise all too well, & well-put for author & character. Another feeling too well known: It used to be, when his leg acted up, there was a storm brewing, but these days, his body seemed to always be expecting Armageddon and was preparing to shut down without a moment's notice. ~ As sharp an observation as the pain itself. Dark times & ageing are a bugger.
He wanted, needed these slivers of hope. ~ Just the right sort of optimism & faith in the youths, however much he'd prefer otherwise. Good mix of realism & hope.
"It's the having and then not having ever again." ~ Compliments to Neville for the emotional intelligence of seeing that. | "She sees the fear and heartache that her night terrors remind the others of and she feels so guilty." ~ Very her - & they make a great pair here in how they work together & know one another.
...lifted his shoulder as if a weight had been removed from them. ~ A huge thing to give by taking. | He thought he was done with caring about anything or anyone. ~ Great paragraph to sum up the man & his lonely coping. Aberforth notices all.
...longing for a fight or to melt into the floor simultaneously. ~ Like a lost cat; just like him to first see his sister in her. | "Running away from school?" ~ Wonder how many of these they've both (now Hannah too) encountered. | She'd scowled at him. "Life." ~ A big thing to be running from; love her tough fighter's spirit. | "Well, you've come to the right place. You won't find any of that here." ~ Snorted. He does work very hard at that.
Have suddenly never loved her name so much as when finally giving it to Aberforth. | Rosmerta gave the impression that she never had been [innocent]. ~ Of course he first told himself he wouldn't take her in - the softy. And no, she doesn't strike as the innocent sort, definitely not with what Aberforth notices next about her eyes & skin - oof. Roxanne, you don't have to put on the red light...
...safe space. This is where you come if you want something warm to drink, something to fill your stomach, even a place to sleep and make a living if you want." ~ That's the safest of spaces. Aberforth is a Good Man; I'm glad she takes him up on it.
She was going to have him home for the entire holiday season and not just the weekend and she had so many plans. ~ What a treat to have - & to be loved by a Hufflepuff from a distance & up close. | Then coming back to school only to find what had always been a second home, now just a new sort of battlefield. ~ The ultimate battlefield. Poor Hannah - what a lot to deal with & still champion for others.
...and her evenings either learning from Rosmerta how to tend a bar at The Three Broomsticks or how to mend, bandage, heal and brew medicinal potions at the Hogs Head. ~ That's some useful training there - puts her in good stead for life after school & battle. Wonderful paragraph: how it's a group effort to care for Hannah so well. ♥ Rosmerta.
She liked seeing people celebrate, commiserate or just find ways to lift their spirits. ~ The very essence of pubbery. Another great line: Seeing wounds heal, seeing people coming back from the dark places their pain had taken them, knowing you were partially responsible for their lives. ~ Can see 'exhilarating' making sense there, a certain sort of enjoyment of its own for those who do better on their feet than off.
Funny that magical people to get so turned around by distance with handfuls of nearly-instant transportation styles, but I suppose distance is always distance & both their jobs are pretty damn demanding. | "Yeah? You have a funny way of showing it." ~ Hey man, we all got our ways of wet coping - there, see? You landed a good one. Cute.
She even appreciated Neville's gran, who always met them at the hospital and then took them out for tea or a meal after. ~ It's a good idea, all-told, to love Neville's gran. Hannah's a kind soul for taking to the family so well - & it's good to hear of the change in his parents. A longer life for Neville & Hannah than many (Muggles); glad there's no hurry. Warming to hear Hannah refer to the Hogs Head as 'home' too.
Rosmerta closed for Christmas Eve, Aberforth closed for Christmas Day, Hannah left The Leaky Cauldron to her assistant, Seamus Finnegan. ~ Well organised between the lot of them! Could see Seamus doing well in that position.
She hated how time got away from her, how one week became a month and a month a season in a blink of an eye. ~ Oh abso-bloody-lutely; this sentence is too much truth. Every adoration for Rosmerta pulling her eyes from Neville's bottom to ask that they're still good. | "Hannah walked behind the bar. "What are you, twelve?" ~ Clearly very at home - perfect response to the bawdy barwench.
"Abe, when are you going to make an honest woman of our young Rose here?" ~ Oh, she seems quite honest enough already. Joining in the party at Hogwarts sounds lovely. | She wondered how long it had taken him to not feel this way, to let all of what it had been go and embrace what it was now. ~ Great line. Sure part of him's still doing that every day.
Hannah preferred the subtle and serene, the normal of it. ~ All well-described: the dependency on grandness dwindling down to a normal celebration. Poppy's question is a solid set-up for an exhilarating turn of events: All the lessons she'd learned, all the trials she'd gone through and the ways she'd learned to cope through them all made sense, like they had a purpose. ~ And indeed they did: making her who she needed to be.
A moving piece on how to grow a publican, & how the Hog's Head is the parent of the most-known magical pubs in being home to the most powerful pub-keeps. I loved reading the relationship between Rosmerta & Aberforth - very realistic to see him taking in strays & trying to keep them out of the worse kinds of trouble, the lifelong respect & rapport (potentially even romance/arrangements) to grow out of such an act. The Hog's Head becomes its own setting of safety, very much a Safe Space as Aberforth tells Rosemerta.
Also a great story on the experience & impact of young trauma on different generations: Aberforth knows his own & suffers a certain degree of transference when it comes to his sister & Rosmerta, who has her own difficulties of economics & independence; then onto Hannah, whose life gets battered by wartimes even in a space which should otherwise be safe, & needs a new safe harbour of her own.
The lineage of their training is beautiful - makes Aberforth out to be something of a hero in the wings, which is perfectly fit to his character. Thank you for this thoughtful piece on publicans & their most treasured home!
♥ Kiwi ♥
Mending What Was Never Whole
Agreed on Hoggywarty being one of the few things to bring Christmas spirit!
He hadn't got any white mice this year either, which he never did, but he had got a cracker containing the very small owl that was presently asleep, perched on his shoulder. ~ Awww, bless, new animal friends. I love this depiction of Xmas. Snerking at Professors-Away Repellant Charm. Apparently some people want to remember the Battle & the war, gritty folk are they. At least Minerva & Sibyl are able to reminisce over something in common together eh? A real rarity.
So why people as intelligent as his colleagues were having that kind of a huddle at Christmas was beyond him and his powers of understanding. ~ Which are fairly considerable! | The same horrific little creature he had once brought to the dungeon and let loose on Severus. ~ Oh, fairies - they can be a bit of a nightmare, if this fest has reminded us of anything.
"Severus never ever, ever, ever got drunk at Christmas. Not even once!" ~ Really? Wonder if he's spent many Christmases with Minerva in a while - or the rest of the staff around holidays, when imbibing becomes its own hobby. Ah, yes, arguing with a fairy always goes well, Filius.
"I miss him," she said, looking straight into his eyes, her voice quivering. ~ Don't we all. | "He talked a lot too." ~ To himself, to the room? | Or great, depending on one's view of whatever Severus was meddling in. ~ Perspective's always the most important thing, especially with schemers, yes.
Homogenous? Of course there's no way to be too gay =P Glad to know Severus was of the same mind & to have beat Filius to the word. Laughed at this line: Homo sapiens... everyone should mind those
"And that placing a bunch of idiots, with no concept of risk assessment in the same house, was pure madness." ~ Gryffindor is a bit mad, yes; they all are. What a fairy, doing random somersaults & always in motion - well done. | Miss Granger, who was as close to a Ravenclaw as you could possibly get and still be placed in Gryffindor ~ save Minerva, on occasion, but they've both got Gryffindor tempers xD
Or the Forbidden Forest. ~ Pahaha true, & if that were a House I'd want in! Hufflepuff!Draco sure makes me smile - how his family would've taken to that... | And so had Neville Longbottom. ~ No doubt about it.
Too many people of the same kind, supporting each other in their own shared reality and learning to value only those most like themself was not a good thing. ~ Not particularly - importance of good ol' Interhouse Relations & Community there. | It should have sorted them into the house that would help them to become more than they already were. ~ Well-put & agreed.
"How about you and me do something in-memoriam of Severus?" / "In-mem what?" / "In celebration of his memory." ~ ♥ for these lines.
The kind of mending that, if it had been done earlier, would have kept Severus Snape alive. ~ Perhats. Interesting conjecture, though - only who knows what the wizarding world would look like then in regards to Voldemort. Best of luck for mending a difficult subject & its consequences! If anyone's up for the task, it's Filius.
Fairies sure do stir things up! A few stories here at Hoggywarty this year have so reminded us. Loved some of those final lines - a fine honour to his memory, fixing up that wonky rhyming hat. The resorting of characters & considerations of Houses plus how the Sorting Hat ought to be made for a fascinating read, & a thing we often think of here in fandom.
The idea of Severus talking to himself or a Filius-introduced fairy is rather adorable: end up friends with the pesky fairy a pranking colleague sent down for one's personal doom & annoyance.
Some great thoughts on sorting & Houses with a sensible action there at the end - wishing Filius all the luck for a hard task & luck through him to the Hat, who seems to have much to recover from. Cheers for this story!
♥ Kiwi ♥
Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot
And here arrives the trio I've been waiting for - glad it's self-contained as I recall enjoying the prequel very much but have a gods-awful memory.
The whole introductory segment is the most perfect summary of Harry Potter I've ever read. (Ah, & I see here in my notes midway through this story is when I received the rainbow pens from my household Christmas stocking, as from here on out my scribbles are in rainbow order.)
...using each one as an opportunity to use another epithet for the person who decided apparation wouldn't be allowed on Hogwarts grounds. ~ Things I would be doing all the time. | Telling line about Severus' right-hand tremble & the state of him.
"Must you bring animals here? We have enough of those in the dormitories." ~ *snerk* Perfect, & so Aberforth to BYOG. | Sweet dreams are made of dunderheads gone, seeing no one & doing nothing but sleep/research. Yaaay to Filius refilling Grubbly-Plank's mug (& her being there for it to be refilled).
The other three heads of house turned to her; taciturnity was a novel quality in heads of Gryffindor, in their experience, and it had taken some time to accustom themselves to the quiet pauses that punctuated her thoughts. ~ Hell yeah Gryffindor Wilhelmina! And to these characteristics for a Gryffindor Head. I’m very alskdfjhgalksdfj about her being here as a teacher and head of house.
"Can't be an easy man to live with." ~ Her wisdom is beautiful, as is their compassion for a difficult colleague/housemate. It can be as hard to be around the sick/adjusting as it is to be so - bless Pomona's honesty. Their care is stupendous.
Severus Snape, part-time schoolteacher and full-time unlikely survivor ~ Descriptor of the century there. Love the scene-setting for the Three Broomsticks. Yes, aren't the memories lovely - glad he & Charity got the drinks, all the same. Another Tshirt line I'd like: Happiness, thought Snape, could be a subtle and insidious torture. | Great inclusion of Dickens.
Charity, he remembered, used to bring him Muggle sweets at the Three Broomsticks. ~ The most darling thing to hurt one's heart; hope he doesn't forget that after all. | Sexy x 10: Aberforth put on his glasses and read down the list... ~ The hexing'll be worth it, no doubt.
"I have an enviable constitution," said Aberforth. "Don't like to brag." ~ Top lines, & too true - I sure wish I had his constitution. Surprising & endearing to hear him humming a Warbeck tune (less surprising but just as endearing to see Minerva tidying up after him as he goes).
"Where's your other one? It's Saturday." ~ ♥ for how this is all dealt with. Sev is the very spirit of Christmas huddled over porridge glaring at his gift. Grinning at McG never knowing how disinclined he was toward mornings & their little banter over it. The snark over boxes/gifts/morning people is brilliantly adorable.
Bahahaha at Irma's spot-on decorations. Wish they sold those at the average florist. Someone's gone heavy-handed with the mistletoe there. And the stage is set: ...leaving Horace Slughorn rubbing his hands together with a look of triumph on his face. ~ Ruh-roh.
"They did teach potions back in the seventh century when you went to school, didn't they?" ~ Beautiful spikey bastard. | 'course Pomona would be all about the personal touch - if it's Severus to be personally touching. Love she's got a touch of prejudice showing there with the House-elf commentary.
McGonagall rested the book down with a sigh and looked at him over the rims of her reading glasses. ~ One of the hottest scenes in the story. Immense grinning at the 'she is too short' (know the feeling) & will always love the Pomona-Severus relationship.
"Yes, thank you, The Illustrated Quotations of Helga Hufflepuff," said Snape. ~ It's a hot newly-despectacled illustration, Severus, how about you start in on her advice right away...? | Simple & adorable: Minerva laced her fingers with [Aberforth's]. | & we've got our L'Oreal child with his whirling black robes taking off down the corridor.
"I trust you, Severus." / Snape looked horrified. ~ Ahahaha best recently-wounded Snape surprised by trusting acceptance of him. Well done.
She was a big woman with short-cropped gray hair, more solid from decades of work outdoors than fat, in tweed knee-breeches, waistcoat, blazer, and sensible boots. ~ I'll never tire of reading descriptions of her. Looking forward to her turn too. 100% love for their interactions: "Might do," said Grubbly-Plank. "I always lead, though." ~ Of course she would. The cracks about Minerva, the social call, the whole scene... guuuuh. Beautifully-done, every line of it. I could read endless (even plotless) tales of Grubbly-Plank & Aberforth.
"I hate to inform you, but we currently are someone's maiden auntie." ~ Well-returned. Aberforth deserves the holiday. The lines had me cracking up.
"Are you sure it's only one of those things, sir?" said Windham-Smythe dubiously. ~ The child will do just fine; hope Severus appreciates that, if not his current situation (which seems not to be a bad one at all - only something to happily watch him grouch about).
The problem, thought Snape, was that she was right. ~ A frequent problem with Grubbly-Plank. | And it was, he had found, very difficult to be sarcastic in the face of Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank. ~ Oh, one can, just doesn't amount to much xD | ...there was, in fact, carol singing around that damned cauldron of mulled wine. ~ ♥♥♥ for this. Part of the brewing magic. This fic has Wilhelmina singing carols - I'm in heaven, right? Think so.
"And a day with a friend. Like we used to. Oh, it is good to have you back, Severus. Even with, well, everything." ~ Her openness is as endearing & heart-warming as ever. | God, he loathed Dickens. ~ Pahaha not a bad opinion there, & no doubt a reason to hate Xmas a little extra.
"By the way, you wavered because I wanted it, but it was when I said that bit about them being safe that tipped the scales for you. Didn't know if you knew." ~ Just like her to know & point out. Brilliant characterisation for all of them. | Only, and this couldn't be emphasized enough, annoying. ~ Just the right kind of Interhouse annoyance. So pleased to see Wilhelmina written as this kind of 'annoying' - and practically Slytherin. She hits me as one of those who could be sorted anywhere.
We're friends, Severus, cried a tiny, anguished fragment of memory. ~ Ooofta. And Muggle chocolates after his thoughts - beautifully done. | Cackling about this line, another for the T-shirt collection: ...the ghost of Christmas annoyance was just puffing on her pipe quietly. | Along with this one, which tickled me to no end: "Don't tell me you're just now learning that Dumbledores can keep a secret, lad," he said, "because I won't believe you." ~ Positively perfect!! X'D
As is the final scene - hating them both, her less, Minerva's snort at Aberforth's 'flowery compliments' line: all such snerkable snark.
Aberforth put his arms around Snape and held him close. ~ FECK YES MALE AFFECTION - may Severus' new life be full of it. And this is the dearest final line of all: "You are insufferable, and make me deeply question Minerva's taste in men," muttered Snape into Aberforth's chest. ~ Severus' flirting is some of the most adorable harrumphing around. Perhaps all he needs is to get a taste of it himself...
This is the perfect little Christmas piece to soothe the grumpy soul. The banter is spot-on brilliant in characterisation & humour; the polysharing is warmer than a cup o' kindness yet (even the carolled mulled wine); and the scheming of simple acts of kindness for their grumpy cohort is just like all of them. The fondness between all of them is so evident and realistic it jumps right off the page in each adorable scene (how the Scrooge would grouch to see it considered 'adorable'). It's every bit the familiarity & familial touch of Hogwarts that makes it home. Every little detail is just-so, & much to be admired.
The Ghost of Christmas Annoying is a real heartthrob. Wilhelmina as Head of Gryffindor - yesss, & how proud Minerva should be that her successor is adequately annoying where necessary, even if taciturn while at it (save the Christmas tunes). The Christmas gifts are all so useful or connective - nothing to feel guilty or indebted over, only seen, acknowledged & welcomed back into the fold.
The writing as a whole is stupendous. Very glad to have this story printed out for plucking up & reading whenever. You've such gloriously simple ways of making each character as sexy as they are idiosyncratic, with character voices to die for. Well done! Endless thanks for this gem of a story.
♥ Kiwi ♥
Misc. Staff Photos
I saved all these to zoom in nice & close. I'll have at it, then!
Feliz Feline @ Navidad:
- First, fantastic title.
- Delicious picture all-round, & not just the eggnog!
- The cat posturing - optimal belly for warmth - & the perfect patterning.
- The fact that she's asleep on her own tartan throw.
- The realism of the carpet, stone, fireplace & tree, with every shadow & highlight to perfection - a marvel to take in.
- The shining baubles of rainbow & colours warm as the fire. ♥ (I was scribbling these comments in rainbow down the side of the picture, as well xD )
- Immense desire to slip through the picture & sit by that same fire - likely wouldn't disturb the sleeping cat, though, no more than a sleeping dragon.
- EGGNOG - gotta be warm, no wonder she's asleep!
- The upside-down happy cat smile. What a treat, looking happy as can be.
(Uh-oh, this one's fully surrounded in rainbow squee. Looked at it a good long time.)
- Adore this entire setting of the scene - of course Minerva would come down herself & of course Severus would Meddle.
- All the food: the meat in back, the table of delicious pies, leeks being cut & sauces/curries/soups on the island stove, the bins of mushrooms, potatoes & leeks, the apples, the broccoli or cabbage?, the piecrusts being rolled & the giant roll of cheese. All looks simply scrumptious.
- The kitchen tools are all perfect details, hanging pots to standing oven-stick to knives on the back wall & wooden utensils on the plates: so much attention to detail.
- The angle: up high near the chandelier is a wonderful way to get in the whole room, even all the firewood in back.
- The house-elves themselves: how regal & Grecian they all look in their togas; the elf strolling behind the pans lookin' like he came from the sauna; the elf gesticulating to Minerva (important words, no doubt); the hands-on-hips elf staring down Severus; and perhaps my favourite, the background elf staring at Severus & incidentally picking up a meat-cleaving knife at the perfect time (the House-elf in the kitchen with the meat-cleaver, in a Cluedo game over who killed Severus... xD)
- Severus' intent stare while investigating with the full prominence of his proboscis.
- Minerva's outfit, stance, loose bun & black boots beneath - great aesthetic.
- The sleek stove island, cabinets & stovetops, plus every single texture.
Makes me a bit sad I'd not be able to eat there! Though here's hoping with magic they could sort out a kitchen with no cross-contamination for allergen students & staff. ^+^ I’d love to work in this kitchen.
Closing Time for the Year:
- Hagrid's youthful expression is beautiful: tender, open, receptive, interested, grateful - can see what Olympe sees in him.
- His comfy posture on what appears to be the floor, a logical place for him.
- The size differences of the pints they're clinking.
- The lines of Aberforth's face - craggy & perfect.
- Their fairly equally-muted outfits so far as colour, certainly compared to Hagrid's bright pink umbrella.
- All the different kinds of goblets from assorted collections.
- The woodwork, textures & flames are incredibly realistic.
- The hint of HogHead on high there.
- Looks very clean for the Hog's Head pub - Aberforth must've put in some effort for the holidays. ^-^
Pleased to see these two bringing in the new year together; am sure they have much in common.
A Golden Snitch, Frank's Lucky Threepence, and Myrrh:
- Three Wise Crones! So good to see these three hanging out as grannies, hah. Bahaha it fits the original story well & with some of my favourite witches.
- The conservatory itself - high ceilings, big windows - truly a lovely spot on its own, & part of a house which seems to be as much a character as Hogwarts.
- The little details: the hanging light, the architecture inside, the snow on the trees outside - brings it all to life so well.
- The plants inside! Citrus, palm, flowers & all - Neville's green thumb is showing & I'm sure Sprout is all kinds of proud.
- Their expressions: Hannah's surprise; the baby's soft sleeping face; Neville's mildly concerned 'what can I tell you' face; Augusta's pinched pride; Minerva's closed smile; Pomona's wide beaming grin.
- Their outfits!!! Hannah's chaste collared sleeved dress (looking good post-pregnancy); Neville's overcoat; Augusta's perfectly-accessorised ensemble with such beautiful touches of green (& the lining, plus that brilliant belt, & the creative embroidery!); Minerva's usual belled sleeves, the same tartan as her catly nap, simple hat & touches of muted red; Pomona's earthy brown, the bright yellows, her lovely jacket & the FROG ON HER HAT ♥! (Perhaps that might've made the better gift, would run in the family... xD)
- The hilarious gifts of a coin to swallow, a snitch to catch or lose (goodness knows what's in it), & a plant to get pricked by - wise witches bringing gifts for later in life, certainly.
All of these are simply fantastic. If there were any artist I'd want to watch a tutorial by or job-shadow, it'd be you! Every detail is just-so; it's all so imaginative yet made realistic by the textures & attention to detail plus the knowledge of the characters. I'd happily jump through any of them to join in the fun. Beautiful job with all these precious scenes of the holiday! Thank you for sharing them with us. ♥
♥ Kiwi ♥
The Purloined Portrait, or, Can You Picture This?
...such as scattering krampus repellent along the walls... ~ Ahaha what a task to need doing! Glad there's a repellent at least, or it'd be a very different story. Also, my kind of Hogwarts: ...and in each corner of the room was a small altar honoring one of the Four Elements: EArth, Air, Fire and Water. | Filius' charmed tablecloths are genius.
"I do not wish to spend the entire party staring at people's feet." ~ Mmm, placement is an integral part of the party. | Cute line to include HoggyWartyXmas as the affectionate name for the Hogwarts Yule Party.
"My cousin from Sweden," Mebby explained. "...but we is all calling him Stykki..." ~ A new favourite, travelling House-elves. I love it. Chuckling at Stykki's master. | ...several of them were perfectly willing to use a Repello to launch themselves off the wall when displeased with their placements. ~ Of course they would. Well done, Stykki, for sticking to your name!
Severus was visited for a fleeting moment by the mental image of a hulking Norseman with eight-inch toenails stalking across a glacier. Still, it was rather nice to be known for something other than murder and espionage. ~ Glad to have read this fic for these two lines & their imagery/characterisation alone. Snerk. And a great phrase for Severus: "Ice in the stomach. Always being cool in the nerves and the feelings." ~ Minerva must have lava in the stomach... xD
"What was how I felt most of the time with him anyway." ~ Mmm a very understandable feeling given the shoes he was in. Enjoying Albus' emotional cowardice here. | Beautifully ballsy elf here! I like Swedish elves of mad magical scientists. | House elf magic was known to be both unique and powerful, but shushing Albus Dumbledore was quite a feat. ~ What wonderful magic there. | "Odin's bloody eye-socket" - *snerk* Rosmerta's suddenly aroused in the distance.
A Silence fell, the sort of Silence that was, in fact, rather loud. Candles drifted. Tiny snowflakes fell. ~ Well-put; enjoying the suspense here. Let 'er rip, Sevvy! | ...somehow managing to be tight-lipped even when speaking at the top of her voice. ~ Quite a feat to be managed! | Pomona's a clever one for that spell.
"AND DON'T YOU DARE TWINKLE AT ME OVER THOSE SODDING HALF-MOON GLASSES!" Snape roared, the vibrations making the tip of Minerva's pointed hat quiver. ~ A thing many have wanted to say, I'm sure, & the hat-quiver is an adorably effective touch for implying the volume & power of Severus' current voice. | An image I'd love to see: "Oh, and Mr Filch made valiant efforts with a crowbar."
"He's got a point, you know," Pomona said ~ Indeed he has, & good to see he's got some sensible back-up. | The gleam to Minerva's eyes constitutes flirting to me xD & your Pomona is an absolute dear.
The golden web, fragile as it appeared, defeated all their efforts. ~ Ah, as spiderwebs tend to - strong little devils. | An outrageously cute image: Pomona scratched her nose with her wand thoughtfully. & "I must say, it's rather fun to hear someone give the old bugger what for!" ~ I'm with Pomona there! Not quite the subtle touch with trying to hush him, though xD
Minerva glanced nervously at the pocket-watch pinned to her tartan robes. ~ Practical, stylish & perfectly McGonagall. | With him was Augusta Longbottom, who had magicked two pygmy puffs onto the sides of her head as makeshift ear protection. ~ AHAHAHA I'm sending this to the friend who gave me a Pygmy Puff & has a matched one of her own - sure is inventive thinking, bet they're soft as anything.
"DID I SAY THAT OUT LOUD?" ~ Terribly loud, yes. | Looks like Albus isn't the only scheming git of a Gryffindor - and carols to boot! Yesss. | Professor Trelawney, festooned in beads and a hat topped with a huge blinking star, was wandering about with an entire tray of champagne. ~ Proof of a staff party, there. Hilarious! I want fanart xP
"Virtue signaling," Minerva sniffed. ~ Love her no-bullshite demeanor. | ...Minerva's expression, which appeared to be equal parts admiration, confusion, suspicion, and annoyance. ~ Hahaha sure sounds like her. And bahaha she's had a few then off for another from Sybill & her blinking hat! Love the theme of running fingers down spines to the fest this year.
Minerva gave her an arch look. "Of course I do." ~ And there we have it. Solid Grey reference, too. | ...and even the flocks of doxies that inhabited the Yule Tree and kept the fairy lights flickering were dozing off, draped here and there among the branches like small dirty handkerchiefs. ~ Ahahaha brilliantly poetic there. Dirty handkerchiefs. Snerks.
"I BELIEVE I HAVE EXHAUSTED MY CONSIDERABLE STORE OF FESTERING RESENTMENT." ~ Wow, well done Severus, less time than expected! What a Christmas this is for Albus. | "The same effect can be achieved by blending a bit of the subject - an eyelash, a bit of fingernail - into the paint." ~ Extra love for the portrait lore. Can see Sev doing just this.
"The Dutch are quite good at portraiture." ~ Indeed! There's another great Hooch in that history xD | "Minerva, of course," Lucius said. ~ Minerva knows all. | With a scowl, Snape stepped out of the portrait and onto the wolf-skin rug, regaining his full height as he did so. ~ Yes, we'd all love that to no end! Well done.
**** And to all a good night **** ~ Sounds like they'll have it alright!
What a fun Christmas story with the perfect twist. The travelling House-elf was a fantastic plot device for getting all of this in motion - & a clever being he was, to notice Severus was not a portrait at all but a man hiding away with his feelings. The all-knowing Minerva was an excellent touch. An absolute honour to watch Severus getting his say, both loudly & at length - not to mention him being alive as a portrait, as if in a pocket dimension. Clever! The polyqueerness at the end made my heart happy.
Thanks again for this delightful little tale of twists, turns & tumbling onto the wolf-skin rug!
♥ Kiwi ♥
[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]