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Entry #4

Discussion in 'Q4 2019' started by Xiph0, Nov 19, 2019.

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  1. Xiph0

    Xiph0 Yoda Admin

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    When Magic Hears A Wish

    When Luna stepped out onto the porch of the Rook in her favorite yellow dress, the one with sparkles, stars and crooked moons that always made her feel quite special indeed, her father had not moved an inch. He sat motionless in his rocking chair, the steep surface of the Rook clothing him in a long, shadowy robe. The sun was rising to the east, and from the farmland around Ottery St Catchpole sounded the first roosters, proud-plumaged and their beaks full of noise.

    Luna smoothed out her dress and walked over to the rocking chair. Her father’s pipe was wedged between his fingers just as it had been yesterday when she had said goodnight before going to bed. The blanket she had put over his legs had fallen to the ground and now lay at his feet, lifeless, like an outstretched arm. She picked it up, put it back on his lap, and took a look into his eyes even though she would rather not, because lately they had been dull. Life was there, oh yes, but not much of them being alive, which was an important difference. Again, he was only looking through her, not at her, and that despite her favorite dress. She had hoped that he would react to it, given that it had been her mother’s.

    Luna followed her father’s gaze, past the direction in which lay Ottery St Catchpole, past the stream, ever moving on until her eyes found the little hillock in the distance where they had buried her mother seven weeks ago. That day had been the last time father spoke to her; and the first time she’d put the blanket on his lap.

    Today she was determined, though. She wanted to hear his voice.

    She leaned over and gave him a good morning hug, and when that didn’t help, she went inside and made him a cup of coffee and brought it out on a tablet far too large for her to carry. It was a shaky affair. The cup was placed right in the middle, because her mother had always said that symmetry was important, especially when crafting spells. By now Luna was convinced that nothing short of a spell would wake her father up.

    He didn’t even look at the tablet, his gaze far away, fixed onto something that she couldn’t see, and only dimly understood in her own way. She went inside again, and emerged with the Daily Prophet. It had always made him so hilariously angry, and he’d even cussed now and then until mother had cuffed him and he became silent and sullen like a scolded child, like one of the Weasley boys when their mother raised her incredible voice.

    The paper, too, however, changed nothing. She stood next to him on the porch for a moment, and there was a strange feeling in her eyes but she couldn’t acknowledge it, because if she did, who would be strong for him? Again she looked at where he was gazing, saw that depth, that bottomless pit into which he had fallen, reflected in his eyes; and then decided that she ought to follow it, because there was little else she could do anyway, and maybe at the end of that gaze she would find her father at last.

    So she left. The hems of her dress in her hands, Luna jumped over the stream, and then, past fields and trees and sunlight, she walked towards the hillock, knowing that at least her father’s eyes were always on her, even if he couldn’t see.

    The grave was just the same as they had left it. A circle, pure and chiseled, carved from stone. Large oaks clustered around and shaded it so that only dapples of sunlight punctured the surface where the branches had stitched the wrong way when making their leafy tapestry. But a roof, she was sure, could do worse than leak a little sunlight now and then.

    Luna sat down before the stone, and felt again that tingling in her eyes. Once more she pushed it down. She reached out instead, brushing her fingers against the grave. She didn’t know what to say.

    Time went by. Her legs fell asleep, and soon the afternoon sun, westerning, mild and pleasant, was reminding her that she better ought to return to the Rook and put the blanket back on her father’s lap.

    When she looked again at the name on stone circle though, she couldn’t help herself any longer. The tingling came and could not be subdued; and as the first drops mildewed the grass, she remembered the voice of her mother, kind, gentle, a breeze that set to rest whatever worry she had ever had. “Magic, Luna,” she had said, “is alive and always listens. If ever you have a wish that is both honest and true, She will help, never you doubt that.”

    And Luna, wiping at her eyes, said to the stone, “I don’t want to be lonely anymore. I don’t know what to do. Can I have my father back please?”

    #​

    When Magic hears a wish, an honest wish, a true wish, with good intentions and the best of everyone at heart, She moves, shakes up the earth, does everything in Her power to make wish into reality.

    Long after Luna had gone back to the Rook, leaving only her tears behind, the blades of grass where whispering among themselves. “She is so sad,” said one. “We ought to help her,” said another. And on it went, blade for blade, until the news had reached the roots of the strong oaks collaring the grave. One oak leaned down to hear the wish that had been hidden in those tears; and, upon listening, shuddered its might branches.

    The uproar of leaves sent a raven, black and quick, shooting through the night sky. His feathers left a trail of glitter as he sailed, quick as quick can be, to where he knew Brother Wind was currently blowing the strongest, bellying the sails of many a ship. And to Brother Wind the raven said, “Hear me, please, there is a thing that we must do.”

    Brother Wind listened, and once he’d heard what had to be done, blew all the stronger for it. Cloud upon cloud he sent south-east, pushing them to the very edge of his dominion, and then was still, for it had taken all his power.

    Far away from the Rook, farther even than Luna had ever thought to travel in her mind, lay a city called Al-Nabah where it had not rained for days and now towering clouds knitted together in a frown, delivering their message.

    The downpour sent children running in the mud, delighting in their splashing and splaying, throwing mud and yelling without restraint. The rain mingled with the sand of the desert, where it was carried forward, step by step, until it had reached the outer fringes of Al-Nabah. Here the mud-encrusted wish lay still. For a while it looked as if naught would happen to it, and it would remain a wish like many others that lost itself to nothing.

    But there was movement in the sand. Green Emerald emerged, and with her, the richest pattern of diamond any snake had ever sported. The snake slithered through the mud, and then was off in large wavy figures, until she had exhausted herself, and a badger crossed her path. There was no blood that day, no spoiling for a fight. The badger edged closer, put one paw onto the snake’s long trunk, and then moved on, carrying the wish farther and farther until he himself was relieved of his duty.

    The lion who had taken the wish from the honey badger was a beautiful beast, with sharp teeth and the proudest coat of all. Such a fierce creature he was, that when he roared on top of a stony promontory, the scorching desert sun on his back, he blasted the wish far and wide, all the remaining way out onto the sea. There the waves listened and caught on. And the wish, made days ago, finally stranded on the white beach of a small island, fringed with palms, where crabs were dancing in the sand.

    The queen of that island, Old Amara, was small of stature, and wisp-like in nature. Her hair had long lost its glow over the eons, and her back felt best when she was leaning it against a dozen cushions. There was still the spark of mischief in her eyes that had long ago made her the queen of all fair beings, all those that wandered between the realms, now showing themselves and playing tricks on humans, then hiding away, for some humans were quite peculiar and wouldn’t leave you well alone.

    Old Amara, sitting in her castle of cushions, listened as an envoy of crabs clicked their claws together and told her of the wish that had been made. She held back all the coughs and shivers of her age, was as attentive as any being could be, because she knew that a desire which had come this far must be strong indeed, and all the more so for how many strings Magic pulled to make it real.

    Only when the crabs had finished their tale, did she allow herself to cough, and then wearily sunk deeper into the cushions. An attendant fairy emerged beside her, silver-winged, wearing a cheeky grin that made Old Amara relive the passion of her youth with but a glance. To him she said, “Spark, there is a girl that I must see. Bring her to me, and no tomfoolery for now. There will be time for all that later.”

    Spark said, “Of course, Queeny-queen, it will be as you command. No tomfoolery shall escape me, at least not while you’re looking.” He bowed low, and then was gone, and Old Amara looked fondly upon the star-dust he had left in his wake. Some things never changed; and the nature of a foolish fairy least of all.

    #​

    The blanket had fallen off her father’s lap again when Luna returned from Ottery St Catchpole and brought in the groceries. She picked it up, smoothed it out, and put it back where it belonged, directing a wistful look at the hillock so far away.

    Would Magic grant her wish?

    But her mother had never lied to her, not once, and so she kept faith. One day, hopefully very soon, she wouldn’t be lonely anymore. One day, she’d be able to look for creatures with her father again. They’d laugh about the silly looks they sported, or devise plans on how to find the elusive ones that hadn’t yet shown themselves. And maybe, when they had found enough, he would take her with both hands, hold her up like he had done so many times before, right towards the stars, and say, “Look, Luna, one day we will all become stars like those, and then we will know what’s on the other side of all that sky. Wouldn’t that be great? I’m sure from up there you could see any creature you want. The view must be amazing.”

    Until then she would be strong, like her mother had always been. That was the deal she had made with herself that day after leaving the hillock.

    It was late at night when she woke from a strange noise. She sat up in bed, blinking the sleep away, and found a fair-like being sitting on the edge of her bed, silvery wings fluttering lazily in the moonlight streaming through the window.

    “Good evening, sleepyhead, the name’s Spark. How do you do?”

    “Not good,” she said, “but I will manage. Magic will help me.”

    “That’s the right attitude, girl. So, what’s your name?”

    “Luna Lovegood.”

    “A pretty name for a pretty girl. What say you, up for a ride? I’ve got a snazzy carpet that I borrowed from old Hampet over in Al-Nabah. Fastest ride in all the world is what he told me. He’s an old braggart for sure, but not too bad all things considered.”

    Luna stared at Spark, whose grin had not wavered once as he spoke. A magic carpet sounded quite exciting. Then she remembered her father on the porch and shook her head. “I’m sorry, Spark, but I can’t come with you. I have to take care of my father. He isn’t feeling well right now.”

    Spark’s mien turned serious. “You want to help him, huh? Well, then you’d better get on that carpet, girl. I promise we’ll find a way for whatever troubles him. And don’t you worry about a thing, Luna Lovegood. I’m kind of a bigshot myself, you know? I’ve got all the Irish fairies gathering around to help out. He’ll want for nothing.”

    Luna, quite sure now that this was all a dream, nodded slowly. It was the most pleasant dream she’d had in quite a while and she’d rather it kept going on for longer. She didn’t know how many more days she could wake up to put the blanket back on her father’s lap.

    “I’ll come with you then,” she said, and her words lit a fire in Spark’s eyes.

    “Wonderful. You won’t regret it, girl!”

    Spark snapped his thin, long fingers, and a carpet sidled up to the window. A moment later they were off, and Luna watched the landscape pass by under the starry sky. At first she tried to count the stars on the way but then gave up halfway through. Land gave way to the sea, and then turned back to land again, and on it went, her eyelids growing heavier, heavier, until they fell shut and she was sure the next time she opened them, she’d see the same as every other day from her window at the Rook: the view of Ottery St Catchpole.

    #​

    When sleep left Luna the next morning, she was far away from anything she knew. The dream had gone on, and on, and there was no end in sight, and slowly but surely she came to wonder whether this was a dream at all.

    “Spark?”

    “Mhh?”

    “Are you real?”

    “As real as a being in-between can be, girl. Buckle up now, we’re almost there.”

    “So this is real?” she asked again.

    “It better be, girl.”

    “But what about my father?”

    “Him? He’s sitting on his porch, same as yesterday when I got you. Don’t worry, those Irish buggers will take good care of him.” He had procured a hat from somewhere, a threadbare old thing with an anchor sewn to its front, and he slanted it down on his head now. “Captain Spark to control: start the descent! Woooho!”

    The carpet went in a steep decline, and Luna took hold of the long bristles wherever she could. Below them was only turquoise, shimmering like hidden treasure from the sun. Soon they left a flight of gulls behind that seemed quite indignant about the way they had been overtaken.

    “There it is,” Spark said. Not a moment later Luna stood among crabs, disoriented from the flight and frightfully uncertain of what awaited her on this island. Could dreams lie to you?

    Spark took her hand and led her through the screen of greenery, past crabs and monkeys and butterflies, until they reached a tiny wooden hut, thatched with straw. Luna thought she could probably stand upright inside, but she thought if her father were here, or any other adult, they’d tear the roof right off the hut.

    Inside, Old Amara was waiting for them. She had chosen her most beautiful dress, which gave back some vitality to her hoary face, even if the dressing itself had exhausted her very much. But Magic had given her a task; and so she had to prove herself worthy, even as a queen. When Amara saw that Luna was hesitating to step fully inside, she beckoned her forward, and with the bearing of a queen said, “Come on in, child. My name is Amara.”

    “Hello Amara,” Luna said. “I’m Luna Lovegood.” But what now? Why was she here? Wasn’t this all just a dream?

    Amara’s eyes glowed and a smile stretched her lips. “Isn’t life itself a dream? I always thought it much easier to bear while thinking that. But don’t let me confuse you further. You want to know why you are here, and so I will--”

    Mid-sentence, Amara broke out into a coughing fit, and like a crumpled bedsheet had to lean back against her cushions, the glow of her wings fading to a weak pulse. Spark was at her side immediately, but she waved him away. “Excuse me,” Amara said, grinning weakly, “but I’m getting on in age.” Her voice had grown thin; perspiration sprung up on her face. Luna saw how Amara gathered her strength again. “Let me be frank. When you spoke your wish, child, Magic has listened, and all the world has heard. That is why you’re here.”

    Luna’s heart beat faster. She had been heard? Truly?

    “You should rest, Queeny-queen,” Spark said, his face set. “I will explain the rest.” “You shall not,” Amara said to him. “Now give it here, will you?”

    Reluctantly, Spark reached behind his wings, and Luna watched him pull out a very familiar blanket. Spark handed the blanket to Amara, who inspected it with a knowing look, then felt the fabric with closed eyes.

    “It is cold,” she said at last. “And empty bar a tiny flame that bears your essence, child. As it is, this blanket will warm nothing; neither body nor soul.” She handed it back to Spark, composed herself after another fit and said: “This, then, is what you must do, Luna Lovegood. Your wish has been carried on by many, all of whom are there for you. Let Spark show you where to find them, and get a tiny piece from each. Then take it all to Hampet in Al-Nabah and do as he says. It will be much warmer afterwards, I promise.”

    Her verdict spoken, Old Amara sank back into the cushions, exhausted and weary as though the eons of her life were catching up at last, demanding their tribute in full force. Spark took the blanket from her limp hands and placed it back in that mysterious space behind his wings.

    He gripped Luna’s hand and led her outside the hut, where night was soon to fall. Not yet, however, for Amara still had her part to play, and right then the sun was not quite gone just yet and shone lilac-orange through the fronds of palms, bathing the island in a warm glow. A breeze ruffled Luna’s hair. She took her hand out of Spark’s and looked at his eyes, which stood full of worry.

    “Will she be alright?”

    “She is the queen of all fair beings,” Spark said, turning to the carpet, saying not another word as if that title alone was more than enough to ward off any trouble. Yet Luna had seen the way his eyes had narrowed, how his hand had shook, if only for a moment. She climbed onto the carpet next to him.

    “And now?”

    His grin seemed not that powerful anymore; the cheeky nature gone, as night began to settle. “Now we will do as she has bid us, girl. Let’s go.”

    #​

    Just as Old Amara had told her, wherever she went with Spark, the world sought to help her out. From the raven called Ink she received a single feather, black as the night except for a solitary silver spot at its very center. And when their carpet touched the sand before the snake called Emerald, it took no longer than half a minute for a scale of such iridescent glow to fall into Luna’s hand as to make it seem like she could light up the entire world with it. The badger, who everyone called Mountain, too gave up a piece of himself, and the fur proved of such unyielding quality that it could tie together the realms of life and death and never lose an inch of strength over the ages. At last, the lion, Proud, shook out his mane, and completed the set.

    Yet when Proud saw the strand of badger fur in Luna’s hand, he was dismayed. Full-bellied and strong came his roar, jumping from his yawning throat towards the sky, as if trying to leap at all the stars above. On it went, growing louder, more ferocious, and was heard in all the desert. For a long moment Luna thought the lion would roar himself hoarse. Then he stopped abruptly, and with his shaking mane beckoned them forward. There, at his feet, lay a sharp tooth, loosened by the might of his pride. He pushed it over to Luna with his paw, and then trod off, satisfied that of all the helpers he had been the greatest.

    Those were the four that Spark had told her about. When she sat back down next to him and showed him the pieces, he nodded and directed the carpet to Al-Nabah, saying that there they would find whatever else they needed.

    The streets of the small town were silent, the torrential flood reduced to puddles in which the moon stared back, pale and fractured. The carpet whispered through the night, here brushing past palm fronds, there whipping up little puffs of sand. Spark halted in front of a tower-like building from which large tarpaulins, bowed low by the residue of rain, stood stretched in every direction, giving it the curious appearance of an upturned parasol.

    A squat little man was waiting for them at the entrance, his turban crooked as if set askew by the weight of his knowledge.

    He spoke thus: “I have heard of your coming, children of Amara. I am Hampet of Al-Nabah. Follow me inside, and I will show you what must be done.”

    Hampet led them into his workshop, where dozens of tiny furnaces sat silent against the wall, glowing from inside and yet emitting no heat. When Luna showed him the pieces she had gathered and the blanket, he took one look and smiled. “This is well done. Now listen well. A gift such as this must come from your heart and not my withered hand. Use this lion’s tooth as a needle, and the badger’s fur as thread, and then, like this, and this, you move the needle to sew the feather into the middle of the blanket.”

    Until the sun had risen over Al-Nabah, Luna sat silent in the corner of Hampet’s workshop, the needle shaking from memories in her hand as she threaded it through the blanket just as Hampet had shown her. Every stitch she thought of her father and hoped that Spark was true to his word, and that the Irish fairies were taking care of him. When she was done at last, her eyes widened at the result. She had dreamed so much while working, and her hands, which had never done any such work before, had shaken so heavily that the blanket now look ruined. It had small tears on its surface, ripped into it by the sharp lion’s tooth; and the feather hung from it, barely secured by the threads of badger fur.

    Tears sprung up into her eyes, but Hampet was unperturbed. He took the blanket from her and looked at it in wonder and amazement. “Yes, yes, just like this, child. It is almost done, and done so perfectly at that.”

    “It looks strange,” she said, wiping at her eyes with the heel of her hand.

    Hampet harrumphed and set his great red beard to shudder. “I have seen a million glowing jewels, child, and all of them were boring. What makes a thing great is not how blinding it can shine but how much heart went into its making. And this, Luna Lovegood, is all heart, all you. It is the best anyone could ever ask for. Besides, we’re not done yet, are we? At the end there will be little doubt, I promise. Beauty always emerges when doubt has gone to sleep.”

    Encouraged by his words she took the blanket back, and Hampet bid her to take the scale of Emerald and rub it over the blanket. She did so carefully, taking the large scale and brushing around the feather, hoping not to rip a thread and break it loose. When that was done, Hampet took the blanket and went with her to the balcony from which you could see the tarpaulins full of rain below.

    “This here is a present from the sea. Go on now, wash it carefully.”

    She followed his order, hesitantly, afraid that the water would finally see the blanket come undone. Yet it held. Gently, Hampet took it off her hands and hung it out to dry on the balcony. “Let the wind do the rest. Tomorrow, it will be perfect, just you wait.”

    When Luna awoke the next morning, she found that Hampet had been true to his word. Outside, hanging in the gentle breeze, was the blanket, its rips mended, its threads polished and shining, the feather a motif of such complexity as to take her breath away. She fingered it gingerly, letting a whispered oh escape as she felt the incredible smoothness.

    Her heart warm, she skipped over to Hampet and gave him a kiss on his stubbly cheek, thanking him for his help. The turban skewed a little more under his amused snort. He patted her head and then sent them on their way.

    #​

    When Luna and Spark stepped back into Amara’s hut, the sight they found troubled them greatly. Amara had grown even sicklier, her face pale and sweaty. She was shivering from the cold, even though the sun was mild and shone through the thatched roof.

    “Have you done it? Has Hampet helped?” she asked.

    “He did,” Spark said, kneeling down next to her. “Queeny-queen, what is it? How can I--”

    “You fret too much,” Amara said. “I’d much rather you showed me your grin. The forlorn world has never been your realm.”

    “But--“

    “Shh, now. Let me talk to Luna.” Amara gazed up at Luna with eyes full of kindness and pain. “Magic has fulfilled your wish, child. Once you put this blanket on your father, I am sure he will come back to you. Go now, you must be anxious to go back to him. Spark will lead you back.”

    “Queeny . . .”

    Spark still knelt by Amara, holding her hand. Luna looked at the scene and saw in Spark’s eyes an echo of the pit, that bottomless gaze that had made a home in her father’s eyes back at the Rook.

    Her fingers tightened around the blanket. “Will it really make him better?”

    “It was crafted with love,” Amara said weakly. “There is little that cannot be cured by it.”

    “Then I have decided,” Luna said resolutely. She stepped up to Amara’s castle of cushions, unfolded the blanket, and put it over the queen of fairies. Immediately the light began to seep out of the threads, returning life to Amara’s pale cheeks as all the love that Luna had poured into it went out to heal the queen of fairies.

    When all was done, Amara looked at her in astonishment. “Why have you done that, child?”

    The voice of her mother in mind, Luna answered, reciting from memory: “For Magic to hear your wish, it must be honest and true, and have the best of everyone at heart. How could I not?” Then Luna smiled. “I made this blanket once. I can make it again.”

    And Old Amara, who had lived long enough to meet humans of all walks of life, began to laugh, for she had never quite met such a human yet. “Come here, child,” she said, and when Luna knelt before her, gently pulled her head closer and planted a feathery kiss on her brow. “You are indeed a child of magic. And now you are mine as well. Take this gift of sight, and never be afraid to see what others can’t.” She gave Luna a cheeky grin, much like Spark’s had been that night on her bed. “Life is much more entertaining if you see the oddities around you anyway.”

    Later that day, after a long feast where Luna danced with the crabs and Spark and Amara, listening to Brother Wind whistling through the palms, Luna said goodbye to the island. Spark brought her home to the Rook, where the Irish fairies had kept her father healthy and well, but had not changed anything in his gaze.

    She thanked them for their service and sat down next to her father’s rocking chair, the faded blanket around her legs. The whole night she told him of what she had experienced these past weeks. When that story was told, she wandered through Ottery St Catchpole and across the hillock where her mother lay buried, and listened to the spirits that she now saw dancing in every corner. Every morning she would go out, commune with the world and magic; every evening she would return, telling her father of what she had heard between the realms.

    One day, as she told him of a rumor about a strange being that hid in mistletoes and robbed you silly while you looked away, he suddenly turned in his rocking chair and said in a raspy tone: “Nargles? That’s what they’re called? Do you think we could find them if we followed the whispers?”

    She looked up at him with a dreamy smile and a light twinge behind her eyes. “Maybe,” Luna said. “But if we don’t find them from a whisper alone, can’t we look for them from the stars?”
     
  2. BTT

    BTT Viol̀e͜n̛t͝ D̶e͡li͡g҉h̛t҉s̀ ~ Prestige ~

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    Honestly this is pretty much a fairy tale, with only the character's names tying it back to Harry Potter, as well as the last few lines. Despite that, I found that I don't really mind.

    You use typical language and sentence construction for fairy tales, which I thought was neat. Using names like Brother Wind and Pride and whatnot is a good example of that, I think. (Admittedly it only clicked roughly halfway through that the raven, the badger, the lion, the snake - they're Hogwarts' animals. Feels like I ought to have noticed that earlier, but oh well. Same goes for the Nargles - I figured it out when Xenophilius mentioned them, and then I was like oh, of course.)

    The story structure, too, was pretty typical. Set up four animals and their locations, receive payoff that portrays a characteristic of that animal. At the end, a final test of the moral the story wants to teach you, and then once that's passed, happy ending for all.

    Even if I enjoyed it, though, it's not really HP and I do have to detract a point for that. So I'm giving this a 3/5.
     
  3. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box ~ Prestige ~

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    I found this unexpectedly charming.

    You've absolutely nailed the fairy tale atmosphere and style, which is no mean feat. I will say that it doesn't entirely feel like Potter, although maybe I'd feel differently if I'd read the full Beedle the Bard, but that's not a major issue, particularly given how well done it is. It's not just the style that works though; it's very competently written, and did a decent job of emotional engagement as well. Old Amara's near death was very touching, in particular, and I wasn't expecting to care that much about a random fairy (Spark, that is).

    The main criticism I'd make, in this context, is that I didn't especially feel much connection to the different regions the story goes to. Yes, Amara lives on a beach and talks to crabs, and Hampet lives somewhere non-specifically Arabian (I assume), but none of that really felt vital to the story. That's a common fault across all the entries though, to be fair.

    Other than that though, a very nice entry. Kudos.
     
  4. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Chief Warlock DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    Protagonist:
    Your Luna has a clear goal, is sympathetic and makes the right choices. She’s childish and this is in the right way, in the fashion of fairy tales. Particularly at the beginning and and, following her choice to restore the fairy queen, I felt you captured her well and these seemed the formative experiences that shape her from a normal child to the Luna we know and love. There was a distance from her because of the fairy tale, and the middle, where she deals with the badger or creates the blanket did not seem quite so distinct to me, but they weren’t poor. Not at all.

    Antagonist:
    Xenophilus is a wonderful antagonistic force. Facing out towards the grave, was a poignant touch. I think also, you could call the actual format of the story the antagonism, and sure she faced obstacles, but I’m not sure I’d agree. I think that the collection of the materials from the animals perhaps could’ve been used more antagonistically. If they’d challenged her more in collection, it might also have sharpened up middle section Luna too. Conflict reveals character.

    Plot and prompt-use:
    I enjoyed the fairytale format. I feel the turn where Luna gave the rug to the Queen was exactly what was needed and to my shame I didn’t predict it. I thought it was going to turn out to be all a weird fairy tale she was telling her dad. I think the format of following the wish to the queen was good, and the format of her collecting the items and creating the blanket hit the right fairy tale beats but that the queen herself was the weak section. It’s her decision to help and her grandmotherliness that turns the story along its direction least well. It doesn’t feel like she changes the direction of the story on hearing the wish at all. It was a foregone conclusion.

    Theme:
    I enjoyed it. A true fairy tale with a lesson. To help people and not ignore the strange in the world and that being open to phenomenon in true Luna style can be a balm in itself. I think you built on what JK does in all of her Beedle the bard fairy tales. Character, not magic, is the ultimate solution to the big problems in life regardless of whether they get their goal or not. The fact that Luna’s consistent being there for her dad is what pulls him back and her innocence. Yeah that was good.

    Climax:
    As said, I would say that that is the point where she gives the blanket to the queen and I didn’t see it coming. It worked well, and I could see Luna telling this story to Rolf or whatever her kid was called. Even though this is a fairy tale through and through, I enjoy stories that explain characters stepping outside of Canon.

    Dialogue:
    Simple, effective and in keeping with the story. I think Sparks and the Queen could’ve been more otherly. They didn’t feel quite so fairy as they should’ve. Sparks explanation of the care arranged for her Father felt clunky. I think if the story was ultimately about being there and consistent little efforts, then she should’ve abandoned him here with some indecision. To show that she’s not yet learned what she needs to.

    Setting and narrative:
    The various environments are enjoyable and the fairy tale, particularly with the animals and the rugs really captures that feel of a fairy tale. The way you described the lion shaking out it’s tale, or the construction of the blanket felt right to me.

    Copy-edit and prose:
    Technically, I didn’t spot any major issues. You paired action with characters dialogue. You didn’t make consistent comma or spelling mistakes. Stylistically, I think your prose can be more crisp. I think you could make this sharper and cut down the words and push yourself to make the language more poetic every now and then. Fairy tales should be simple to read with the odd flair of description. Sometimes you veer into more unfantastical language.

    General Opinion:

    I liked it. It’s a strong four blankets out of six from me.
    If my prompt had been included in the prompt selection survey, it would've been Magical Fairy Tale. This is the sorta' thing that I wanted to see and it hits the spot, in that regard.
    The podium places are going to be tricky for me this time.
     
  5. Sorrows

    Sorrows Queen of the Flamingos Moderator DLP Gold Supporter

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    I enjoyed this. It was a well written fairytale with all the right components in all the right places. Luna is the perfect protagonist for something like this. She feels like she would be perfectly home with fairytale logic.

    Starting with the tragedy of Luna's mothers death is a great idea. It frames the story well and sets out the stakes in a clear manner. Considering that the rest of the story is far more allegorical it is good to have a firm structure.

    If I had a critisism , it would be that it does not feel like much attention was paid to the other cultures/settings outside the UK. Luna goes to other places sure, but they are hardly described and don't feel particularly integral to the story. It could just have easially happened in a generic fairyland.

    Overall I found this sweet. I think you achieved what you set out to do.
     
  6. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros. Moderator

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    This was a delightful read. It's very much in the style of fairy tales rather than a typical story, given the language and atmopshere used. The names of the animals come to mind (Brother Wind, Spark, etc). It doesn't feel like Harry Potter, but I found that I didn't care so much that it didn't. It was still a charming read.

    Luna is sympathetic here. She's childish and endearing in the way fairy tale protagonists are, yet remained quite her. I particularly liked the touch where she was given the sight, which tied in to who we know of her in canon. This felt very much like the formative experience a younger her would have had to make her as odd and quirky as she is in the books.

    The quest that follows is quite typical, with journeying and a final, moral test before we all live happily ever after.

    Old Amara was a standout here. I didn't expect to care so much about her, but I was really touched when Luna decided to save her.

    If I had to critize this story, I'd probably say that the connection to the different regions we see isn't so strong. More could have been done to distinguish them from each other. Second, that there should have been more conflict in the gathering of ingredients. Conflict builds character, and having Luna go through some trial (not just having to make the right choice), would have made this entry stronger.

    But overall, quite a good piece and a strong entry this quarter.
     
  7. FitzDizzyspells

    FitzDizzyspells Fifth Year DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    This story swept me up and startled me in a way I didn't expect. As I was reading about Luna making the blanket for her father, I wrote a note: "Sure, but what did she learn?" But then, in typical Luna Lovegood fashion, she took me by surprise. She did learn something, and it was the sweetest twist.

    I loved Spark and Amara in this story. Honestly? I think you could cut the elements of this story involving the animals. Ofc, that just could be my own bias. I'm always partial to the parts of stories in which people interact with each other, and I was just less interested in the anthropomorphized animals because they were each kinda doing their own thing.

    I love your decision to make Amara as frail as she is mystical. I loved this line, great writing here:

    This moment of yours also gets a +1 from me:
    This might be unfair, but I’m not sure I love Spark calling Luna “girl.” It sounds very American, and nothing American ever sounds particularly magical to my ears. Spark doesn’t even need to use a regionally specific pet name, I just don’t think “girl” is the right one. Just spitballing here, but maybe something like “little imp” or “little mooncalf” (a mooncalf does have bulging round eyes, after all).

    The interactions you write between Luna and her father are perfect and heart-breaking. I was struggling to remember how old Luna was, canonically, when her mother died, and your scene here gave me everything I needed to know:
    And the idea of Luna walking out to the hillock, "knowing that at least her father's eyes were always on her"? Ow, my heart.

    Really well done, sweet story.
     
  8. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    I can't help but nitpick here - Luna says that she is wearing a dress that had been her mother's. She also says that her mother had been buried seven weeks ago. So either this is an AU or a pre-Hogwarts Luna can wear an adult-sized dress without it falling off her.

    The traveling of Luna's wish through the magic of the land was very surreal to read. It feels rather different from Harry Potter magic in general, and yet... this is Luna. For something involving her it feels right that a more surreal type of magic should come into play.

    She didn’t know how many more days she could wake up to put the blanket back on her father’s lap.

    Damn, that sentence is real, yo.

    Interesting idea that something like this is where Luna got her Gift of Sight that we see in her later.

    Anyway, this is very cute and reads like a fever-dream fairy tail from a distraught child. I don't mean that to be a bad thing, but I'd argue that you side-stepped the prompt somewhat. Technically though, sure, this world is foreign to Wizarding Britain.

    It's good enough?. It's not my top pick, because it didn't grab me in the way that I like to be grabbed by a story, but that doesn't mean it's not well written. It just means it wasn't the type of story that I normally read. There's also not a ton here to connect it to HP beyond Luna and her father being named.
     
  9. Niez

    Niez Seventh Year

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    Beedle the Bard the second shall be your name, anonymous writer of entry number four, from this day onward and till the day you die. Or till you step forward and claim this piece, I guess, assuming you do of course.

    Anyhoo, I find this to be quite the quaint little tale. Nice and warm like a cup of chocolate on Christmas’ eve. It reminded me a bit of those first Miyazaki movies and this is no small praise, for I loved those early fluff pieces. Alas, this is a review thread and I am not a nice person, hence;

    Nothing technically wrong with this sentence, only that it is the first one in your story and I think it ought to be stronger. You are going for whimsy, and achieving it, only how does she know that her father has not moved an inch if she just stepped out onto the porch? She can assume he hasn't moved, but right from the bat my idiot brain was screaming objection! which meant that I couldn't appreciate it in all its glory. Yes, I may be a bit silly, but I do think there is something to be said about that opening.

    Suggestion: replace: 'her father had not moved an inch', with: 'her father was still to move. He was sat motionless in his chair, slightly hunched, in the same position when she had (left to make the chores or whatever) three hours earlier. ' Or something along those lines. Maybe.

    Are we sure that 'incredible' is the correct adjective?

    I know I said I wasn't going to praise you anymore, but I can't help but say that I really enjoyed this line. Everything about it is beautiful.

    Repeating words ('mud') in a single sentence? I don't think writers are allowed to do that. Only I’m allowed to do that. Allowed, allowed, allowed.

    Silliness aside, albeit I consider this to be a strong and well-written piece, I can't help but wonder how it would have turned out if you have kept that dream-like atmosphere of the very beginning (when the wind carries her wish and all that good stuff) throughout, or perhaps left it ambiguous whether what was occurring was indeed a dream, or reality. I know technically you did, but the day and night cycle really did not do it for me. Making it so that the whole thing transcurred underneath the stars... now that's my jam. Really as it stands, there is a possible interpretation of this story which reads as 'Luna's origin story of how she got her power of seeing weird shit', and though this literalist interpretation of the story disgusts me, it is a real possibility with what you have written, and that really shouldn't be the case. I suppose I would have also liked to see the magical places Luna visited a bit better, but I understand there was a word limit.

    Rating:
    4/5 could easily be a 5 tbh, not that these numbers are all that relevant. Just keep on writing fam, you are clearly good at it.
     
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