1. Fanfic Competition -- Topic -- HOGWARTS DAYS

    Word count? 500-17500 words!

    Due date? October 2nd! CLICK HERE! write now!

    Dismiss Notice
  2. Hi there, Guest

    Only registered users can really experience what DLP has to offer. Many forums are only accessible if you have an account. Why don't you register?
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Introducing for your Perusing Pleasure

    New Thread Thursday
    +
    Shit Post Sunday

    READ ME
    Dismiss Notice

Entry #2

Discussion in 'Q4 2021' started by Xiph0, Jan 19, 2022.

  1. Xiph0

    Xiph0 Yoda Admin

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Messages:
    9,485
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    West Bank
    A Castle Full of Promises​


    Luna was early tonight. She thought someone would catch her slipping by a friendly eagle that guarded the common room and give her an earful, but sometimes it seemed as if she was invisible. Sometimes it was useful and sometimes it was not. Tonight, she decided, it was. It was only fair that she came early for once.

    With a satisfied sigh, she tossed her shoes aside, next to the gargoyle statue who had assured her that he’d guard them with his life, and wiggled her bare toes against the warm tiles. She had expected the floor to be cold and damp the first time she tried it, the way castles were in the stories, but it pleasantly surprised her.

    A long, uncertain moment passed, and then she gave a small cheer of delight when she heard him coming. Sir William had promised he’d be there, but she wasn’t sure. Her housemates promised she could study with them too, and yet… But that didn’t matter. Not now.

    A faint creaking became more prominent, louder, and then she saw him. Sir William’s armor plates squeaked and piped as he strode towards her, much to the annoyment of the portraits that grumbled under their voices. She winced even though she didn’t feel that bad. They’d sleep soon enough. They had all the time in the world.

    “My lady,” he said with a bow. “What vermin shall we hunt down tonight?”

    “Umgubular Slashkilters,” she replied and he gave her a serious nod. He was always serious when it came to the safety of Hogwarts. “I’ve spotted them near the dungeon.”

    “Lead the way, then, and let us bathe in the glory!”

    She beamed up at him, and started hopping down the hall, following the route she knew well by now, and then she remembered. “Oh, and we should stop by Pontiff Linus. I promised I’d teach him how to protect himself from paint-eating grumpkings.”

    “It’s important to keep promises,” the old knight said with sadness in his voice. “Many of my brothers forgot theirs, and now lie stiff and magicless, no more than mere decorations. I hope they regain their honor in the afterlife.”

    She nodded, silently wishing her classmates wouldn’t have to share the same grim fate. They didn’t deserve it.

    They found the Pontiff quick enough and he tipped his silly pink hat in greetings. She had once asked him about it, but he chuckled it away, claiming he wore even sillier one back in his time. “Marvelous evening, isn’t it child?” He frowned at her feet. “Barefoot again? You really ought to take better care of your lady, Sir.”

    His steely face gained darker gray color to it, and his shoulders fell. “I tried. The lady insisted.”

    “I really did. This way it feels like home. It’s like daddy is here, and dirigible plums and… And I rather like it this way.”

    The Pontiff scratched his chin, shaking his head. His hat wrinkled in the middle, imitating his posture. “Hogwarts ought to be your home as well, child. Its founders meant it so.”

    “I know that. I like it here.” Her shoulders fell against her will so she rushed the answer, the same one she had given the day before. “Hagrid and Ginny are nice and so are most of you.”

    He gave another sigh so she quickly started explaining about grumpkins, before he could work on his rant. So what if he and Sir William weren’t strictly alive? She liked them well enough just the way they were.

    Once she finished, and once he promised her he’d take care of himself and be on guard for cunning little creatures, they continued toward dungeons, and she firmly ignored prickles in her neck that told her the Pontiff was looking at her with that soft expression of pity. She shook head, clearing her thoughts. There were more important matters to worry about.

    When she turned around the corner, though, she blinked in surprise. There she was, Ginny, darting down the corridor as if the angry horde of Hippogriffs was after her, and a single feather floated behind her, zig-zagging its way towards the floor.

    Her robes were a mess. It seemed she tried to make some sort of a costume by gluing a plumage to her robes with red paint. It didn’t work well far as Luna was concerned but it would have been a rude thing to comment on.

    “Ginny,” she called and once the girl froze and turned towards her, Luna gave her a small wave. Ginny just narrowed her eyes, tilting her head in hesitation. She gave back a small nod, and disappeared the moment later.

    “Strange,” Sir William muttered, his hand at the hilt of his sword. “Very strange indeed.”

    “She could at least say hi back,” Luna said.

    Sir William nodded. “Manners are important too, with a rare few lapses excusable.”

    “Like what?”

    The knight took a moment to think about it. “Noble work precedes all, and so does duty. Sometimes bad manners are a lesser evil, repentable one.”

    She gave a small, uncertain nood. Perhaps Ginny was after the quest of her own, all for the safety of Hogwarts. After all, Gryffindor house was where the noble dwell. The feather finally made its way to the floor, and she picked it, and examined it. It was about the most common feather she had ever held. Strange indeed.

    “I just wished she said hi.”

    “Me too, child,” the grave voice of Sir William came, as if miles distant, “me too. Fret little, my lady. I’m certain you will cross your paths again.”

    Luna thought for a moment about it and then nodded. It was likely that they would. She was sure Ginny would explain her latest quirkiness the next time, and it made her feel a little lighter, the strange tightness in her chest half-way gone. Humming, she continued down the hall, sounds of Sir William following just behind her.

    The dungeons, despite their dreadiness, were just as warm as the rest of the castle. Its long halls were faintly lit and the portraits spookier, darker, and Baron dragged his chains after himself, adding the never-stopping sound to the atmosphere, but she wasn’t scared.

    “I found no intruders, my lady,” Sir William said as he looked around, his eyes narrowed, his sword drawn. “They must’ve heard us coming.”

    “Yes. I think so too. We should say hi to Madam Savine since we’re already here.”

    “Might as well,” he agreed with a sigh. “She’s been lonely lately, ever since her husband decided to visit his cousins up on the seventh floor.”

    “Let’s go then!” She started walking, but stopped once the sounds of the knight moving hadn't followed her. “What is it?”

    He cleared his throat. “Tobey told me you weren’t at breakfast. Again.”

    “I just forgot the way,” she lied. “And Slashkilters sidetracked me besides. I had to find their clutch.”

    “Perhaps I could show you the way next time? Escort you?”

    She shook her head. “You mustn’t abandon your daily duties.”

    He stood silent for a long moment, still and tall. “Would you do this old knight a kindness?” he asked gently. “Have breakfast with your peers. Perhaps tell them about our adventures. I’ll even put a word with Tobey to make sure he doesn't forget pudding this time. You know how he is.”

    She bit her lip, looking down at the floor. “I have other plans for tomorrow.”

    She felt his strong, cold arm on her shoulder, but it felt warm to her. It made her warm all the way to her belly. She ignored that it felt heavy too. “Another time, then? The day after, if your schedule allows for it?”

    She looked up at him, and met his smile with one of her own, blinking the tears away from her eyes. “Alright,” she said, not sure if she really meant it. It was far easier to just go along with it.

    He then ruffled her hair the way he did sometimes, and she felt horrible for lying to him. He deserved better. Her stomach felt heavy as she gathered the courage to utter the words. It was silly of her, really, but she couldn’t control how her stomach feels, could she?

    “Tomorrow,” she said, this time certain. “I promise.”

    The way back to Ravenclaw tower was something less adventurous and yet Luna was content, beaming from ear to ear. Even though Slashkilters still haunted the halls, somewhere, at least she managed to get rid of Wrackspurts that had infested her brain.
     
  2. Erotic Adventures of S

    Erotic Adventures of S Denarii Host

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,701
    Location:
    New Zealand
    A nice attempt at Luna, who must be in the top 5 hardest characters to do well. I never know if people go to far or not enough with her oddness.

    Enjoyable.
     
  3. BTT

    BTT Viol̀e͜n̛t͝ D̶e͡li͡g҉h̛t҉s̀ ~ Prestige ~

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    408
    Location:
    Cyber City Oedo
    High Score:
    1204
    Good stuff. I like this Luna: a little out there but not unpleasantly so. Not a Seer, not an idiot, not a kooky manic pixie dream girl. Her interacting with the, er, vitally challenged inhabitants of the castle was cute.

    Beyond that, I don't have much to say. Pacing is deft, technical writing is good, I have no issues with your word choices anywhere. Maybe a bit more focus on the resolution? It happens in the final three paragraphs of the story, while a bit more time to give it more weight would've been good.

    3.5/5.
     
  4. haphnepls

    haphnepls Seventh Year

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2019
    Messages:
    233
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Croatia
    A bit livelier Hogwarts than the one we met in canon but all for the story, I guess.

    There's a strong focus on the motives that it sometimes feels as if the plot fell into the second spot for the sake of them. I recognize what you tried to do with a snippets of convo with a knight, and hint at the importance of the promise within this story, but there are others conversation until the end that made it somewhat hurried. There was enough space to build up the ending the way it deserved and make it more heavy on the reader. Heavy in a good way, that is.

    There's a slight dissonance between Luna and the rest of what's going on in the story in a way that doesn't completely feels like Hogwarts at night, but then again it adds the charm to do story. It's a cute story, with beggining and end, all in all, and I enjoyed it for what it was.
     
  5. Mr. Mixed Bag

    Mr. Mixed Bag DA Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2021
    Messages:
    161
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    California
    Hi Luna, let's see what you're up to. The answer would be quite a lot, though nothing for any real length of time. I think you'd be better suited not jumping from the conversation with The Pontiff, to the Ginny sighting, to the eventual destination of the dungeons, and instead focusing on one or maybe two in a bit more detail. Slack should be cut though because the important bit of this story, the actual action, is in Luna's emotional state and the interactions are just ways of introducing and bringing about change in this. Still, even if it wasn't the focus, the rapidity with which each of the three sort of key interactions in the story were passed by felt very abrupt as I was reading.

    And you'll like this section, because it's time for compliments. I've only read three entries so far, but this one has been quite comfortably the best written. You have strong dialogue, distinct character voices, good subtle management of emotions (which is very difficult), and some lines that actually made me smile for how they were constructed. You may snap for yourself.

    I will say this Luna didn't quite match with my image of the character. She seemed a bit more... Self-pitying? She always struck me as an outsider yes, but an outsider with an ability to brush off the comments and prodding of others without much suffering from them. I'm not gonna throw a tantrum about your take though, because at the end of the day it's not all that important. This is a plausible characterization, if not the one I would employ, and she's consistent, which is more important.

    Should be 'the' instead of 'a', no? Or am I misinterpreting your intent, and it isn't a unique figure that's always present there?

    Just a good line. An example of what I was complimenting in my paragraph.

    This is confusing after the comma. I get what you mean (after a second read) but it would be a lot simpler as: "walking, but stopped when she didn't hear the sounds of the knight following" or something like that.

    Just a damn good action beat. Clear image, characterizes, and sounds friggin cool.
     
  6. MonkeyEpoxy

    MonkeyEpoxy Master of Death DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    3,818
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Colorado
    i. I don't have any intention of voting on any of the other entries, I don't really have any interest of even reading them.

    But this is the best one-shot, the best HP fanfiction short characterization that I've read in years. And I only clicked on it since it showed up on the DLP home page as the only un-read post.

    Take that for what it is.

    Magnificent.
     
  7. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box ~ Prestige ~

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1,970
    Location:
    UK
    High Score:
    2,296
    Huh. This actually hit quite hard. I wasn't expecting that from the start, so well done.

    It's a nice take on Luna, that feels believable given what we know about her in canon before she started being friends with Harry and co. I really like the idea of her only friends being portraits, and even those doing it at least somewhat out of pity. It's also an impressive amount of character and thematic work in what I assume is under the 1500 word max.

    Technically sound, nothing major to critique, although I'm not sure 'dreadiness' is a word. Even if there had been though, I'm not sure it would matter; like I said, this actually has a decent emotional heft to it, which I really appreciate. Good job.
     
  8. Drizzy

    Drizzy Second Year

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    Messages:
    62
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Jacksonville
    It's actually very nice to read about Luna in what I assume is her first year—with Ginny covered in blood and feathers from her chicken murders.

    For me that section was the strongest, and I would like it to have been explored further.

    Luna's run-ins with a Ginny Weasley possessed by Tom Riddle and carrying out nefarious deeds would be a sick short story, I think.

    Echoing the previous reviews, I do think Luna comes across as a bit too self-pitying and her nerves over interacting with her classmates over breakfast, etc. does not feel like something she would be worried about. And it seems as though she at least has Ginny as a friend, so she's not entirely outcast.

    I think even at eleven, she would be more independent and unrepentant about going after the things that interest her: the ghosts, the portraits, and (fake) magical creatures.
     
  9. FitzDizzyspells

    FitzDizzyspells Sixth Year DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2018
    Messages:
    183
    This was such a fun idea! But I feel like the author didn't do much with it.

    I wish I could combine the two Luna stories in this comp together. #4 felt a little too simple, but at least Luna had a goal in that story. #2 was much more creative, but Luna had no quest.

    Of all seven stories in this quarter's comp, I feel like this entry had the most creative choice of characters. Luna and a suit of armor go on adventures! What a lovely, fun little idea. But ultimately they had kind of a pointless (and, at times, a little dull) conversation.

    That being said, their friendship was really endearing, and the author did a great job showing how they both cared for each other.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2022
  10. LucyInTheSkye

    LucyInTheSkye Sixth Year

    Joined:
    May 29, 2020
    Messages:
    173
    Location:
    Away with the fairies
    I'm in love with your castle come to life, I think you've made it rather lovely to read about. Well done! It creates a really nice atmosphere for the story, too. The gargoyle promising to guard her shoes with his life is so, so Hogwarts, that's one of the best throwaway lines describing canon Hogwarts I've seen in fanfic. Having visited rather a lot of Scottish castles/ruins in my time, I do shudder at the thought of taking my shoes off in one, though. Maybe the ones i've been to were too muggle.

    I'm not completely convinced by the dialogue from Sir William. I've struggled myself when writing old-timey dialogue á la Nick and Sir Cadogan, I struggle and struggle and never feel like I nail it. However, your attempt doesn't ring quite true to me either, although I'd be hard pressed to suggest ways of fixing it. I'd say some sentences of his use too many words, though, they feel more cumbersome than archaic. On that note, there's a couple grammar things here and there but I'm sure you'll catch them yourself if you do an edit. There's a half-finsihed 'as far as' somewhere and way too much nodding around the mid-section.

    I've not really read many Luna stories before this comp, but I'm now wondering if how writers portray her is almost as contentious as how they portray Snape. I see her very differently than you I can tell from reading this, which is unfortunate. I never feel as though this is Luna I'm reading about, although at the same time I think you've nailed a specific type of girl, a girl I've known quite a few of, and I'm sure many other readers can recognize her, too. It's a type that certainly deserves to be written about, but I can't for the life of me reconcile her with Luna. To me Luna has a very specific subset of self-confidence, the type that likely gives you an armour against potential bullies. She is convinced she knows more than them, that she has that special something they refuse to let into their life, so she wouldn't be affected in any normal way by bullying, instead she'd pity them a little for not understanding that they're missing out. Of course she would feel loneliness, and I think that sense you have captured here to my liking as well. But yeah, difficult to judge when I'm far from convinced by your characterwork, and that's so very important to this particular and very nit-picky reader. Anyway, might just be my tastes that are off or my headcanons intervening.

    Other than that I would have wished for a little more story. You get full marks on description and atmosphere, but the review above mentions quests and I agree with that, the scene is all set for a nice, bitesized quest, the build-up is there but then we never get one, we jump here and there and nothing happens. Maybe I'd have felt differently if I'd agreed more with your characterization, I suppose there is a resulotion there, it just doesn't do what it's supposed to for me. Glancing at the other reviews, I think it did the trick for some, though, so good job :)
     
  11. haphnepls

    haphnepls Seventh Year

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2019
    Messages:
    233
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Croatia
    Coming back here just to claim this entry since I'm pretty sure it's the best thing I've written in the past year.

    It's especially interesting to me because the sole idea I've had was I want to write something different, something I'd never write on my own in thousand years. And so I picked Luna and did my best to make action happen in her head instead of actual action, and what better way to show it than through a couple of different dialogues, right?

    Reading through the reviews once again, I get it that the character isn't that canon for most of us, but that didn't matter to me much, as long as I accomplished what I was out for. The far bigger lapse, in my opinion, is that I was unable to round up the actual quest of hunting those vermin - and still have the kinda same resolution. If I remember correctly, I had some 200 words left, and I do remember trying to use them but whatever I put down just didn't do it for me, and I felt like I was destroying what I already had so I was like, screw it, and tried to think of the title that will help me make the lack of actual round up convincing. I think I did a good job of it.

    It was really fun to write this though, however frustrating.
     
Loading...
Similar Threads
  1. Xiph0
    Replies:
    8
    Views:
    1,503
  2. Xiph0
    Replies:
    6
    Views:
    1,214
  3. Xiph0
    Replies:
    9
    Views:
    620
  4. Xiph0
    Replies:
    8
    Views:
    1,463
  5. Xiph0
    Replies:
    8
    Views:
    600