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Entry #8

Discussion in 'Q2 - April Flash Competition' started by Xiph0, Apr 21, 2020.

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  1. Xiph0

    Xiph0 Yoda Admin

    Dec 7, 2005
    West Bank
    It felt like eons.

    All around me a formless void. I tried shaping it, to make something out of the nothingness that surrounded me, but nothing ever stuck.

    I spent my time reminiscing. Cursing myself for the choices I had made. If I had known the cost of immortality was an endless, inescapable prison of nothingness I would have thought twice.

    It seemed like a grand joke at the time. Me the Heir of Slytherin, corrupting the sword of the noble Godric Gryffindor to anchor me to life.

    I wondered what my other self had gotten up to, what was going on in the world, how much time had passed…

    And then suddenly, a sliver of light. It came towards me and I found myself looking through a mirror.

    A tall young man who looked to be related to my classmate Walburga Black stood before me. He was clad in Gryffindor robes and had the prefect badge like I had back in the day.

    He grasped the sword and raised it into the air. The only way I could describe the sensation was strength flowing into me.

    For the first time, freedom seemed like a possibility.

    He placed me in his trunk and as days went by, I began to have more of an awareness of my surroundings.

    One day, I was strong enough.

    “Hello”, I said in his mind.

    He dropped the book he was reading in surprise.

    “There’s no need to be alarmed…” I said.

    The more I spoke to him, the more I gained an understanding of who he was.

    “I am the spirit of Godric Gryffindor, left behind in his sword to guide those who are worthy” I said.

    I stopped speaking then, the seeds had been planted. Now I just had to wait for them to sprout.

    Over the next few weeks I tried to be as helpful as I could, giving him advice with his schoolwork, on relationships with his peers, and giving hints of rare and arcane magic that I had discovered over the years.

    From him, I learned what had transpired in my absence. It had been 70 years since I had been bound to the sword. Lord Voldemort was unheard of. I had failed in my quest.

    But there was good news as well. Taurus Black, for that was his name, was a competitor in the Tri-Wizard Tournament. And what worthier way to be reborn, than from the ashes of a champion?

    The first task which he had been fortunate enough to determine in advance was the slaying of a Hydra.

    The day of the task came and my strength had grown.

    Taurus walked into the coliseum, sword raised in the air, cheering all around him and faced the Hydra.

    “Do you trust me Taurus?” I asked.

    “I do.” he replied.

    “Let the spirit of Godric flow through you”, I said and then I leapt.

    Black smoke, soft enough to be invisible from a distance flew from the sword and into Taurus’s wrists.

    The sword trembled in my hands, as the last vestiges of Taurus Black were crushed and I took control.

    My eyes flashed crimson briefly as I settled.

    For the first time in 70 years, I had a body again. I took a breath of the hot air and felt the sand on my feet.

    I dodged nimbly as one of the Hydra’s heads spat acid.

    I looked into the crowd drawing upon my own memories and the memories of Taurus which was now my own.

    Sagittarius and Virgo Black, my two elder brothers stood in the crowd cheering. I saw Dumbledore as well, looking more ancient than ever.

    I bit back a scowl. Dumbledore didn’t matter anymore.

    I raised my wand.

    Deus Luxium”. Golden light speared forth from my wand, scouring everything in its path, blasting into the torso of the hydra and disintegrating it.

    I felt the power of the magic thrumming through my wand. The emotions, the cheers of the crowd around me were deafening.

    I grasped the Sword of Gryffindor and leapt forward.

    After 70 years, Lord Voldemort had returned to the world to claim what was his.
  2. BTT

    BTT Viol̀e͜n̛t͝ D̶e͡li͡g҉h̛t҉s̀ ~ Prestige ~

    Aug 31, 2011
    Cyber City Oedo
    High Score:
    Meh. Ancient Evil (Voldemort) is accidentally unsealed from relic by unsuspecting idiot teenager. Classic setup - except that this time we see it from Voldemort's eyes, leaving us no time to appreciate Taurus' horror at being taken over nor the world that Voldemort finds himself in. We don't really learn how Taurus got his hands on the Sword.

    How did a Black find themselves in Gryffindor, anyway? Who the fuck is this Taurus Black bloke, alive while Dumbledore is alive? Sirius but "different" for an AU that's not shown to be meaningfully different?

    "Dumbledore didn't matter anymore." Why? How? You're still possessing some rando. If he finds out you're fucked, presumably.

    The prose is bare and barely workmanlike, the events happening bland, and I'm not a fan of the lame spellwork either. Deus Luxium, honestly.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2020
  3. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

    Jan 6, 2009
    The South
    ~693 words
  4. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

    Jan 6, 2009
    The South
    Huh, so this is sort of an interesting start. Looks like LV made the SWORD into a horcrux, unlike in canon, and now this particular bit of his soul is stuck in a formless void of nothing. That’s a neat start.

    The phrase “like I had back in the day” doesn’t sound like LV.

    I like the description of how LV slowly becomes aware, however. When no one is near his horcrux he’s stuck in that formless void, but once someone starts using it and keeping it in their vicinity he gets more and more powerful. To the point that he can start speaking to them.

    “I am the spirit of Godric Gryffindor, left behind in his sword to guide those who are worthy” I said.

    Hahahahaaaaa – okay, nice one Riddle.

    Who is Taurus Black? I get that canon implies Voldemort would have made his horcruxes between certain years that weren’t exactly seventy years before canon, but I think it might benefit the story to ground us a bit more in who he is somehow.

    Loved how LV got control. Pretend to be Godric to a naïve Gryffindor, get him to practice/train/use you because you really need the help for the Triwizard, then when he’s at his most scared get him to give over control.

    I can tell that this is different from canon in various ways, presumably all because Voldemort used the sword as a horcrux, but since you have an extra 300 words to play with I think you could connect us back to canon a bit more somehow. Why doesn’t Dumbledore matter? Didn’t he matter because he saw through Tom and could fight toe-to-toe with him? Aren’t both of those things still technically possible?

    But I really like the ending and the emotion that’s rampant throughout this. Great use of a small word count to tell a fun story. I see this one doing well and I really liked it.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2020
  5. soczab

    soczab Professor

    Feb 1, 2016
    High Score:
    Heh, I laughed out loud when Voldie pretended to be the spirit of gryffindor. Hilarious. I also like how you handled the twist here. You didn't hide what was happening from the reader, but did from the characters in the story. A nice change of pace from the "surprise" twists.

    I did feel a little sad for poor Black (and why was he in gryffindor?) But yeah I liked this. I even think you have the potential to turn this into a longer story if you wanted.

    The only thing I would have liked to see more, was a bit more from Taurus. To make him seem more human and what happens to him more evil. Even if you did it subtly (from voldies viewpoint)
  6. bking4

    bking4 Second Year ⭐⭐

    Mar 19, 2017
    High Score:
    Cool concept, an AU where things didn’t go Voldemort’s way and he chose different horcruxes. Overall, I think this would work better less as flash fiction, and more as the introduction to a more fleshed out story. The ending feels less like an ending and more like a beginning. Although it does give resolution to the beginning issue of “everything is a void, I’m trapped.”

    Overall, pretty good. Similar to other submissions, I think this is one that could have really benefited from not being flash fiction, or that it should be the prologue to a story rather than a story unto itself.

    3.5/5 - technically well written, feels a little rushed but that’s understandable given word count constraints.
  7. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Chief Warlock DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

    Oct 16, 2010
    This is very clean, and at the start very compelling. I quite like the wit of young Voldemort, but then the direction it takes doesn't really do it for me I'm afraid to say. I think it has potential, but it' hangs. It's like a drabble, a proof of concept of a longer story, where you're figuring out your voice rather than a complete story in itself, or something that could even stand as a scene by itself. It just ends.

    Further, where before it was a nice sardonic look at a Voldemort who realised he failed (which is what I thought it would be. I'm in a void by my own impulsive decision making and sense of humour -> the real me failed -> perhaps I am not what I thought I was -> I shall overcome, and this time I will succeed. A nice dark Voldemort journey of deliberation and decision. Instead what we get is the start of that, and then frank denial of reality.
    He comes back, he ignores Dumbledore. He ignores subtlety and blows up a hyrda. He leaps. I got nothing in my mind at the end so clearly as the jump freeze-frame of an 80s tv-show, where it ends as they leap out against the enemy in another battle. And it's just done.
    Which were, rather than 'which was'.

    So yeah, good skill, good prose, but poor structure and ending. It undercuts the first half.
  8. Gaius

    Gaius Fifth Year

    Apr 25, 2018
    a neat idea. I wish you had lingered with the feeling of being a self-aware Horcrux longer to get the sense of that suspension of time. The possession of Taurus was ok, but he and the other characters you name feel rather flat to me. the other changes you’ve made to canon are a bit arbitrary as well—how did riddle get the sword of Gryffindor if it requires an act of bravery? Is the creation of this Horcrux the reason Harry isn’t an important player in this story?
  9. Selethe

    Selethe normalphobe

    Feb 13, 2012
    I like the concept, but it does feel a bit bare bones. If a piece of Voldemort had gotten stuck in the Gryffindor sword, I can totally see him reaching out to students, pretending to be Godric himself. The thought is a bit frightening. He'd surely be able to do it quite well. Over-all, I do wish there was more description-- a story full of one-line paragraphs can be a telling sign that whatever you're writing is a bit sparse, and you have quite a few of them.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2020
  10. WierdFoodStuff

    WierdFoodStuff Sixth Year

    May 24, 2018
    Not much to talk about, the writing and prose are solid but it's not particularly original.

    Special mention to this line which I liked:
    >And what worthier way to be reborn, than from the ashes of a champion?

    >I bit back a scowl. Dumbledore didn’t matter anymore.
    Doesn't make sense imo, unless Dumbeldore is in the wizard equivalent of a wheelchair it sounds like he'd matter quite a bit; more importantly it would have made from some much needed tension in this story
    Fleshing out Taurus would have also made a lot of sense, admittedly it'd be hard with the length limit but doable.
    As it is I don't find myself caring about Tom taking over, it just happened.
    Overall 2/5 only because the prose is good.
  11. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros. Moderator

    May 27, 2010
    This would have been so much better if you paragraphed it better. You just spammed that space bar way too hard.
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