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Entry #7

Discussion in 'Q4.2 2019' started by Xiph0, Dec 23, 2019.

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  1. Xiph0

    Xiph0 Yoda Admin

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    When the dust settles, Harry Potter doesn’t come back.

    He follows Death down the long, white halls that resemble the insides of bones. His dark hair stands out in stark relief to the white, his eyes the only color in the space.

    “How long will you be gone?”

    Death stills. Sometimes, he comes quickly. Sometimes, he comes slowly.

    I DO NOT KNOW I WILL RETURN, MR. POTTER.

    Harry looks down to the wand in his hand. “How will I know what to do?”

    Death looks deep into Harry Potter’s eyes. Green, something you never see in the afterlife.

    YOU WILL KNOW.

    BREAK

    Ginevra Molly Weasely was born the seventh daughter to a long line of sons. When she was born, the doctor remarked that it was a shame, a seventh son would have been powerful.

    Ginny grew up thinking that sort of superstition was bollocks. After all, Harry Potter had defeated Voldemort, a fact she had known since she was old enough to know who Harry Potter was, and he was an only child. Ginny had absolute faith that power had everything to do with conviction.

    Then Ron and Hermione walked out of the misted wood. Then Hagrid lumbered out behind them carrying a limp body. Then she screamed so deep and so clear the earth screamed with her.

    BREAK

    When she graduated, she packed her train case and set off for places still unknown. When she finally caught up with Luna and the Scamanders in China, her pockets were empty and her clothes threadbare.

    Nearby, a kettle hovered in midair, bubbling merrily. The village they visited didn’t mind wizards. What was magic but a changing of fortunes?

    “Have you found what you’re looking for?” Luna asked. The kettle, looking for some tea leaves, sauntered over to where Ginny sat and popped the cap off.

    “No.” Ginny sprinkled some green tea in and watched the pot saunter off again, this time to Luna’s side where it chirped for cups.

    Luna paused, then brought out the tea cups. “Hollyhead? They’ll pay for you to keep travelling”

    Ginny let the hot tea be poured into her cup by the odd little tea pot, and thought about it.

    Two weeks later, she went to her interview and they gave her a broom and a uniform.

    BREAK

    When she fell, she fell. The people there said it was like watching a falling star. Her mother screamed and that was the last thing Ginny heard before she hit the ground with a crack.

    He’s there. He takes her by the hand and helps her to her feet.

    “Fred…”

    “Hullo, Ginny.” He pulls her into a tight embrace, so tight she wonders if she might stop breathing. Except, she isn’t breathing. She doesn’t need to.

    “Am I dead?” Her voice sounds small.

    Fred pulls away to look her in the eye. “I don’t know. He didn’t bring you here, did he? It’s not supposed to be your time yet. He promised he'd tell me when.”

    “Who is he?” Ginny stares deep into her brother’s eyes, trying to soak in his face again. She saw it every holiday, but it was never the same. Here, he is always twenty, almost twenty-one, and his chest doesn’t rise and fall with his breaths. At home, people stopped saying that George looked like Fred. It had broken his heart.

    “You’ll find out in a mo’, Ginny. Come on,” he says with a smile, leading her towards the woods and mountains..

    She looks around. It is a sunny field as far as the eye can see. There are people milling about chatting, picking flowers, or chasing each other. Peals of laughter fill the air like birdsong.

    George follows her gaze. “Funny how it’s always sunny here. I can’t remember a day it was sunny that last year. Have there been a lot of sunny days since I’ve been gone?”

    Ginny’s chest tightens.

    “Mum and Da don’t cry as often. Fred misses you every day. We all do.” I do.

    George nods, solemn. “I miss you too.”

    BREAK

    Death is at his desk when they arrive at his cold castle of stone and bone. His hair is still dark, though hers has some grey. His face is still boyish, whereas hers is all angles now. His eyes are the only spot of color in the castle and they shine brilliantly green when they see her.

    “Harry…”

    HELLO, GIN.

    His voice echoes from everywhere. It is in her head and Ginny can’t shake the reverberations.

    George steadies her with a firm hand at the waist. “It takes some getting used to, Ginny.”

    Harry is here. Harry is sitting at Death’s desk and drinking from his mug and living in his house. Harry is looking at her like his heart is breaking, like he can’t bear to see her. Ginny wonders if all the nights she begged Death to take her to where Harry was, if Harry had heard her.

    George holds her tight, then lets her go. “I think you have some catching up to do.”

    They stride through the great hall. Her dirty, bloody clothes are replaced with a clean robe. Her messy, bloody hair is clean. She feels lighter, like she can breathe, now that she has him back.

    She doesn’t miss the sadness in his eyes when he looks at her.

    “Harry?”

    YES, GIN?

    “I’m not supposed to be here, am I?”

    YOU ARE NOT…

    They talk long into the night and for the first time in ten years, Death neglects his work.

    BREAK

    “I don’t want to go back to life without you.”

    He takes her by the hand and leads her to his desk. Sherbert lemons. He puts six in her hand.

    YOU ARE LIKE SUMMER, WARMTH AND LIGHT. YOU CAN STAY IN MY HOME AT MOST HALF A YEAR.

    She eats them one by one. Each melts on her tongue, sweet and sour. The fizz burns her nose and she wonders why it has to be a sherbet lemon.

    He presses a kiss to her cheek. I WILL WAIT, GIN.

    Her hands grip him tighter. “For half a year, every year?”

    Harry takes her hand in his. I CAN BEAR THE COLD.

    BREAK

    When people spoke of Ginevra Molly Weasely, they liked to say she was the greatest seeker of her age. She tore through teams to chase the elusive snitch and left battered bodies in her wake as an afterthought. She fell to her death and got back up to play another five seasons.

    When she retired, she signed a contract with the Daily Prophet to cover the regular season, six months out of the year. New reporters would always ask about the desk empty half the year, always clean as if dust didn’t dare settle on it. Then they would see her come with spring flowers and go when the leaves turned as red as her hair. They would understand.
     
  2. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    1155 words - there were lines and bits and pieces of this one that I really liked, but overall it didn't feel to me as if it incorporated the prompt as much as the others so far have done.

    White halls that resemble the insides of bones? That’s a badass description, leaving aside how Harry would know what the insides of bones would look like. Harry can’t see his own eyes though, so it’s a bit odd for him to think of them as the only color? Unless… Death is a copy of Harry? I like this but I feel like I’ve spent too much time thinking about this description rather than envisioning it.

    THE ALL CAPS MAKES ME THINK OF DEMONREACH FROM DRESDEN FILES. IT IS ODDLY APPROPRIATE FOR DEATH.

    Again I find myself overanalyzing some of this story. Luna asked specifically about Hollyhead… but why wouldn’t Luna ask more generally about Quidditch? At this point it seems like Ginny graduated, went exploring/traveling in search of something, and has realized she’s out of cash. Quidditch is the answer for her, obviously, but… why did Luna go straight to suggesting the Harpies if Ginny isn’t associated with them yet?

    When she fell, she fell. The people there said it was like watching a falling star. Her mother screamed and that was the last thing Ginny heard before she hit the ground with a crack.

    Oh damn, nice paragraph there. I really like it. But the “He’s there” that follows that paragraph… at first I thought it was Harry, but then it seemed like it was Fred, and then I got confused and wondered if you’d meant for me to think it was Harry after all.

    Ginny stares deep into her brother’s eyes, trying to soak in his face again. She saw it every holiday, but it was never the same.

    Again, nice line.

    Not entirely sure that this worked for me as a “Fairy Tale” though. I can see elements of a Fairy Tale within it, with Harry as Death, but it doesn’t quite feel as if it meets the topic criteria for me personally.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2019
  3. Lungs

    Lungs KT Loser ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I KIND OF HATE THIS ALL CAPS NONSENSE. Though, I can see why you made this choice.

    I think the original idea must have been a plying of "Harry and Ginny's fairy tale romance" being a common trope in fanfiction.

    But it's still not a fairy tale - I would let it slide if it had some of the other elements of a fairy tale: a morality, a whimsical telling, etc - but the prose reads more like some strange scifi romance.
     
  4. Utsane

    Utsane Groundskeeper DLP Supporter

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    I didn't see the fairytale angle for a long time, but when it hit me, it hit me hard. Very well done.

    I enjoyed this a ton! Especially the end.

    Hmmm. Maybe I was just dopamined by the brain making a connection.

    Either way, well done!
     
  5. BTT

    BTT Viol̀e͜n̛t͝ D̶e͡li͡g҉h̛t҉s̀ ~ Prestige ~

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    So, basically, this is a retelling of Persephone's story from the myth. Harry, in this case, is Hades, and obviously Ginny is Persephone, spending half of every year in the Big Down Below.

    I don't like the all-caps stuff, though. Fucking with the text rarely works out well, even something so simple as italics or bold, let alone Zalgotext or all-caps. Those last two especially are more difficult to read and add very little to the narrative. I also think you could've done without the intro; we don't really need Death as its own entity, as it departs after two sentences and Harry takes over its role and its speech patterns anyway.

    Adding to that, there's the whole thing with it being a shame that Ginny isn't the seventh son of a seventh son and that meaning she lacks power - why? I know that's a popular folk belief, but why bring it up at all? It doesn't seem to matter to the narrative.

    I think you would've had a stronger, more cohesive story if you'd shed everything until Ginny "dying" for the first time. And no allcaps, obviously.
     
  6. FitzDizzyspells

    FitzDizzyspells Fourth Year DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    Ha! I loved this line -- the assumption that having a girl somehow fucks up the ritual magic of seven children and that a girl couldn't gain that power. That line makes this story's mystical ending particularly satisfying. Small note: Wouldn't it be "Healer"? JKR also makes a passing reference to a midwife once on Pottermore, so feel to use or ignore that.

    I enjoyed your characterization of Ginny. As a matter of fact, this story felt Changeling-esque. I like that Ginny rarely voices everything she's thinking, and you make it count when she is honest with people.
    Nice detail.

    Am I crazy, or does "Fred" become "George" halfway through Ginny's scene with him? Is this intentional?

    I have a couple other suggestions that are so minor that I'm going to set them in a different spoiler tag:

    I would use Ginny's name at the beginning of this sentence. The BREAK meant I wasn't immediately sure who we were talking about. Also, I would say "trunk" here, instead of "train case."
    I think you can do better here, especially since it's a turning point in the story. Lots of your prose is very good, and I have faith in your ability to make this line stronger.
     
  7. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Minister of Magic DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    This is interesting, considering the ultimate point of the novel I wonder what you're implying? That she's powerful? That she's a goddess.
    For me, on first reading, with this line (though it's seventh, not eighth) and the ALL CAPS Death speak, I thought you were going for a straight discworld thing, or you were going to be having a Gaiman style endless thing. Ultimately though you don't make any point about the nature of death that I can see.
    At first, I thought this was going to be new love, or a Harry Endless style avatar. I didn't realise it was her falling to her death and it took me a bit of mental agility to go back and figure out what was going on as I read on.
    I think this should be Fred and you made a mistake? Possibly?
    This is from the start, but my first thought on realising what it meant, was how is the rest of this tale progressing? Is this a Voldemort ruled world? What's going on? It's not important to the story per se, except that it's missed opportunity and creates a question in the readers' mind that you don't want and won't be answered.
    So she's Persephone. I think that although this is a well enough written story, it feels like myth not fairy-tale. I think it doesn't feel like it fits the prompt. It's a nice story about Ginny and Harry and conceptual personification which I usually love. I just don't think it suits the prompt and the context here. There's no lesson here. To be fair, unlike myth, it doesn't explain a natural phenomenon or religious mystery either, so far as I can tell.

    Oh, important to say, not a fan of those BREAK either. Gauche.
     
  8. Microwave

    Microwave Professor

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    My first impression was that the story felt a bit too shouty.

    That came in two parts:
    1. The weird section breaks
    2. The Discworld-esque characterisation of Harry
    The first doesn't matter, but the second is a bit jarring. I guess it doesn't really express any of the... angst? that's supposed to be there.

    Other than that, it's a pretty standard retelling of Persephone's story.
     
  9. Gaius

    Gaius Fourth Year

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    Some interesting moments in here. I like that Death leaves Harry and he becomes Death by waiting for him for an eternity. I didn't really mind the all caps since it was a short piece and there wasn't too much of it.

    You mixed up Fred and George at one point.

    The Persephone allusion comes a bit late and falls a bit flat for me. It's cute that Harry offers Ginny sherbet lemons, but in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, Persephone is abducted by Hades and tricked and/or forced to eat the pomegranate seeds and Demeter looks all over the earth for her. In Ovid, Persephone seems to eat the pomegranate willingly. Maybe if you continue this you can think of how Molly and the rest of the Weasleys would mourn Ginny for those six months of the year.
     
  10. H_A_Greene

    H_A_Greene Professor –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    As a retelling of Hades and Persephone, I like it. But this doesn't have the flair of a fairy tale. It comes across as a story told in brief, advancing arcs; Ginny is born, Harry doesn't come back and presumably takes Voldemort's tattered soul with him, Ginny struggles to go on, she dies as an older seeker, she reunites with Harry, and she returns to life several months each year. Is it good? Certainly. A good story. You borrowed the stuff from Greek myth as your foundation, pouring a Potterverse paint over the top, and it works. It just doesn't hit the right notes for me for this round.

    The Discworld-styled DEATH SPEAKS LIKE THIS was fine. Could have done with a different scene break but it didn't break my immersion or anything.
     
  11. Majube

    Majube Order Member

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    Nice twist on Persephone's tale, I liked the fact that Ginny actually dies in this and Harry sends her back. My thoughts on Harry being the master of Death was that it was a bit cliche fanon-wise. Instead of having his speech be all caps what about I dunno italics or just having it told and not shown.

    I feel like he could've been made a more menacing character, and more on why Ginny never got over him. More on why Ginny is powerful, why is it all broken up into snippets? I liked the premise but it could've been better written.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
  12. Niez

    Niez Slug Club Member

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    We begin with a weirdly placed comma in the middle of your opening sentence. Not a good start.
    Also, how would Harry know how the inside of bones look like. Spooky stuff.

    Wut? Which space, the halls? But the halls have colour, you just said they’re white. Technically the halls have all the colours, if you want to be on the spectrum about it (the electromagnetic one).

    Cheesy but also not true. Harry’s mother also had green eyes, and we all know that ho to be 100% dead.

    Earth can’t scream silly.

    Cleary seventh daughters don’t have the same power as seventh sons if they can’t even do basic reparo charms.

    Taure rant incoming.

    Fred is the dead one, George is the half-deaf one. Get it right next time.

    I think you went for something different and that is commendable, but sometimes ‘different’ really is a codename for retarded. Didn’t like. Greek myths are not fairytales. Don’t kill my Harry before his time or I’ll get angry. 2/5.
     
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