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WIP Strangers at Drakeshaug by Northumbrian - T

Discussion in 'General Fics' started by Tasoli, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. Tasoli

    Tasoli Minister of Magic

    Dec 22, 2008
    Behind the keyboard
    Title: Strangers at Drakeshaugh
    Author: Northumbrian
    Rating: T
    Genre: Mystery/Family
    Chapters: 27
    Words: 120,907
    Updated: July 11, 2016
    Published: September 17, 2010

    Status: Work in Progress
    Library Category: General
    Pairings: Harry/Ginny
    Summary: The locals in a sleepy corner of the Cheviot Hills are surprised to discover that they have new neighbours. Who are the strangers at Drakeshaugh?

    Link: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6331126/1/Strangers-at-Drakeshaugh

    My review;
    There was few others reviews in almost recommended section I am also putting up here as well for extra perspective.

    Checked by Minion, October 30, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2016
  2. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Mar 5, 2006
    United Kingdom
    High Score:
    Something to note: after investigating the author's profile page, this story is actually just one of around 50 all set in the same post-Hogwarts universe.

    Luckily, it's not necessary to read the others first - this fic is entirely capable of standing alone.

    Anyway, I finished the fic this morning and it's great. The characterisation is nice, and the focus of the fic. The children are depicted well, with great character voices. They're a bit idyllic though - it's an amusing contrast, for me, comparing the angelic children of this fic to the levels of bitchiness in my own fic - though admittedly, these kids are a few years younger.

    The main "plot", if there is any, revolves around the tension of magicals and Muggles living in close proximity. I'm anticipating magic being revealed at some point... if it does, it'll be interesting to see if the Muggles get obliviated.

    For what the fic is, I'd give it a 5/5. I think it does everything it sets out to do, and does it well. However, this type of fic may not be to everyone's liking. How the fic handles the culmination of the "werewolf murders" subplot will be interesting. Will it be handled off screen? Or will the dangers of the magical world and Harry Potter's place in that world break through into their idyllic Muggle existence, shattering the appearance of peace and exposing magic dramatically to a Muggle or two?

    I'm hoping for the latter.

    How that plot is resolved will determine if I still think it's a 5/5, or if it goes down to 4/5.
  3. Nuit

    Nuit Dark Lord

    Feb 14, 2010
    The Peach State
    It's interesting so far, just starting Chapter 5.

    The single quotes are somewhat annoying and the typos every now and then take away some of the momentum. Otherwise, it's different, in a good way, from what I usually read.


    I'll round up in this case though.
  4. ViolentRed

    ViolentRed Professor

    Dec 11, 2010
    I actually generally like Harry/Ginny stories, so I've read my fair share of them. This is definitely one of my favorites. I'd never actually considered putting it up on DLP though. Still, it's not 2006 anymore and the site has changed, so maybe it actually belongs here now.

    Despite the fact that I find the story very enjoyable, I can't give it more than a 4/5 at the moment. If, like Taure said, the Werewolf subplot picks up a bit, I might up my rating. But for the moment, it doesn't have that little bit extra that I'm looking for.

    I've read several of the other stories from this author and they're all very enjoyable. A lot of them are oneshots and function as minor slice of life stories. Some of the bigger ones have an actual plot and even some drama and action. I'd recommend Hunters and Prey, for those interested. Several of the stories are actually about side characters from the books, providing a little bit more background for these people than Strangers at Drakeshaug does. In the end, none of them will strike you in awe. It's just a nice collection of fun stories about life after the books. And that's something the author is obviously good at.
  5. kalespr

    kalespr Fourth Year

    Feb 22, 2010
    A very nice light read, and one of the very few post-DH stories I've really enjoyed, and so far the second story heavily featuring muggles that I'd consider well done, ever.

    The conclusion of the various possible conflicts will really make or break the story for me. The key one being, to my mind, is how the inevitable discovery of magic by the muggles is handled, while how the sub-plot about the werewolf takes the back seat in terms of how easily it could make or break the enjoyment of the story.

    Overall though, I feel that the interactions between the wizarding families and the muggles is quite realistic, and really highlights why separation is such the easy/obvious choice for many/most wizarding families, centuries after the statute of secrecy was established.
  6. Mage

    Mage Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

    Apr 18, 2006
    Washington, DC
    I was another person that was rather skeptical going into the story, but I really do have to agree that it's a nice and realistic story. The characters all seem rather in line with canon and there's a nice blend of foot-in-mouth moments while not having characters completely oblivious to muggle life styles. One of my favorite parts though was actually the interlude. While I really do enjoy getting an outside look in at the Potters, I also found it really nice getting the inside out look on just how tough it is to try and pretend that there's nothing different going on here. Currently a 4/5, but I could easily see my rating going up depending on where the plot goes from here.
  7. Perspicacity

    Perspicacity Destroyer of Worlds ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Nov 27, 2007
    Where idiots are not legally permitted to vote
    High Score:
    I've been following this author for some time now and this is another (one of the better episodes) of a long series of stories set in the same post-DH world. I generally like the story, though it's slow enough to update that I always have to go back and read the last installment when there's an update.

    One of the interesting aspects of the story is that to my Yankee eyes, there seems to be a high level of authenticity in the author's take on daily life in rural England. I find the attention to detail refreshing. As Taure notes, the characters are believably depicted and the tale is a bit on the lighter side. If one can accept canon pairings and an epilogue-consistent world, then it's among the best offerings out there.
  8. Mock Moniker

    Mock Moniker Professor

    May 12, 2008
    This is one of those fics that regardless of how well written it is, I just can't get into it.

    Maybe someone else who has read the other stories by this author might be more invested in it, but as far as I can see the plot isn't interesting and I don't care about the main character. It's not just that it's from a muggle suburban housewife's point of view, though that is part of it. There is an undercurrent of tension from the fact that the reader knows about magic, but the fic itself hasn't really dealt with the magical world much even though it's been written over the past two years. It might as well be set in the real world with Harry actually being a police chief rather than head of the Aurors.

    If you think you might like reading a fic about gossipy life in the suburbs, than you'll probably enjoy this. For what it is, it's done well. It's just not my cup of tea.
  9. Greener

    Greener Sixth Year

    Oct 18, 2010
    I've got to rate this one 4/5. The first ten or so chapters would get a 5 - I was really enjoying the fic. A nice outside perspective with a mystery that didn't go too fast. But once the author started introducing all (and it does seem to be becoming ALL) the background characters, the charm was lost. The last three I only skimmed, it wasn't interesting enough to actually read. (maybe I should downgrade it it a 3.5, rounded up).

    Take the scene where Jacqui meets the extended clan. It seems to me that the author is trying to convey the nature of each character with a very limited interaction. After that, the number of snappy one liners made me roll my eyes & despair for where it was heading. TOO MANY CHARACTERS!!

    And it's obvious that lil Henry is going to end up going to Hogwarts, I remember wondering that even before the semi-wizarding heritage of Jacqui was mused. And with that, then the characters will be able to intro his parents to the wonders of the wide wizarding world, with chapter upon chapter of bland exposition following.

    I had hopes for this fic, thought that the Ginny/Harry was done well (still do), but I see this one going downhill & becoming something I regretted spending the time to read. I hope it does, I hope the author pulls his head out of his ass & does something interesting (how much you want to bet that Jacqui encounters the 'werewolf' and has some hand in bringing him down? Ugh).

    But I wouldn't lay odds. 4/5 @ chapter 17.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  10. Warlocke

    Warlocke Prisoner

    Sep 17, 2006
    The armpit of Ohio
    Greener, you seem to be borrowing trouble. I can understand despairing over something cliché on the horizon when it becomes obvious it's going to happen, but I'm just not seeing that, here... yet.

    As for the story: As a general rule, I tend not to read post-Hogwarts fics, I don't much care for the canon pairings, I rarely give a hoot about what anyone outside the main HP cast is doing (Lavender, Seamus, Terry, and so on are background characters, AFAIC), I almost always strongly dislike stories that aren't focused on Harry and written from his point of view, and I dislike stories that don't feature magic almost as much as I detest HP stories where magic doesn't exist (A.K.A. stories where the author is too lazy to write their own characters for what is clearly NOT the HP world).

    But, I like this story. 5/5

    It's well written, I like the characters (well, the ones you're supposed to like), and it reads more or less like a professional novel. Jacqui is a likeable, normal, character who doesn't have to resort to mary-sue traits to win your interest. She's pretty observant, so she comes across as one of any of a number of amateur detectives from various mystery series... which is a good thing, really.

    I think I noticed a "too" that was supposed to be "to" all of once, which means it was probably just an overlooked typo. There does appear to be a problem with visible italics tags, but I'll take that over rampant misspelling or being stuck with an entire chapter that's in bold or italics any day of the week.

    Overall, a laid back, relaxed, joy to read.

    Taure's comment about not tearing into it is what initially piqued my interest, and I'm glad I gave it a chance. Cheers, Tasoli.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  11. NoxedSalvation

    NoxedSalvation Temporarily Banhammered

    Jun 24, 2010
    A nice family fic, with good characterisation and some very funny moments. I enjoyed it a lot. Only problem I see is the meandering plot, it's just one meeting, dinner or party after another, nearly no tension building.

  12. Francis D. Saber

    Francis D. Saber Second Year

    Oct 29, 2008
    I've been following this story since chapter four, it's a great little read. The whole story revolves around the interactions between the Potters and their new neighbors, and all the strange little details the mundane folk notice. A fun read. The writing is solid, with great characterization for added mileage and a rather nice look into rural life.

    All that combined actually makes me overlook where the story or plot is actually going. That said it still does make me wonder what the future holds for this little universe that's been created, seeing as the author has done fics set in the future.

    Anyway, I give it a 4/5
  13. Blazzano

    Blazzano Unspeakable

    Aug 6, 2009
    This story is very...safe.

    That may not seem to be much of a compliment, particularly on a site like DLP, which rewards boldness of various stripes. But after reading fic after aborted fic where the author's clumsy "boldness" drives their story off the cliff, it's satisfying to read a safe story.

    This fic is like slipping into a comfortable shirt, because everything in the story is obviously familiar to the author. The setting is fleshed out in a natural way, suggesting familiarity with the area and/or way of life. The young children are convincing, because I strongly suspect the author has experience raising children. The result is a nice fic that goes down smooth, so to speak.

    The only reason I don't give it the full 5/5 is because Jacqui's interest in the Potter family seems to border on slavishness. They seem to be all she ever thinks about. Yes, the author is sort of forced into that, because nobody wants to read a story that's primarily about a Muggle family, where the HP characters only get the occasional mention. I just wish it wasn't laid on so thick at times, and wonder if it's possible to have just as much Potter saturation with more subtlety.

    Still, I'd give it something in the 4.3-4.4 out of 5 range. Great rec.
  14. Warlocke

    Warlocke Prisoner

    Sep 17, 2006
    The armpit of Ohio
    Not a bad way to put it.

    Thankfully there is an explanation for this in the story, so her interest in the Potters doesn't come off as too weird.

    Can't be too safe...
    Basically, from the conversations between Jacqui and her husband, it seems they were in a rut without really realizing it, until someone new and interesting showed up. They're in a small community where everyone knows each other and gossip seems to be the only interesting thing going on.

    The Charltons come off as being less provincial and stuffy than most of the other folk, and the things they were interested in before settling down to raise their children, like motorcycles, would generally be disapproved of by some of the more rigid types in the community. It seems as though they haven't made any close friends, here, either.

    Suddenly, this young couple shows up with their strangely named kids, their loud vintage bike, a husband with a secret career, and (in addition to being something mysterious to gossip about, which the whole community would enjoy) they probably remind the Charltons of the fun they were having not so long ago.

    In addition to shaking the Charltons out of a staid routine they hadn't even noticed they'd fallen into, the Potters present an opportunity to hang out with people they (Jacqui in particular) can spend time with and act more like their old selves, rather than what this small town with its small town social politics expects them to be.

    Of course, none of this is really stated straight out, except for the bit with Mike telling his wife she should go make friends and that they'd apparently been in a rut.

    Plus, I think it's obvious how much Jacqui enjoys the way Ginny continually puts the screws to the worst of the town gossips. :D
  15. h2o

    h2o Professor

    Dec 13, 2007
    I really, really like this. Breath of fresh air when it comes to HP Fanfics... I've sort of seen this type of story before but its never been my cup of tea until now.

    Giving this a 5/5 for what it is and well, most of the positive things about this story have already been said.

    And if anyone knows similar stories that are decent enough I'd love to give em' a read :)
  16. KingRoger

    KingRoger Second Year

    Jun 16, 2012
    This is a great story. It's something new, or at least something I haven't seen before, and it's impeccably well written. Good story, good characters, good grammar. It's a 5/5 for me, no brainer.
  17. Nazgoose

    Nazgoose The Honky-tonk ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter DLP Gold Supporter

    Mar 16, 2011
    High Score:
    I just finished reading the whole thing yesterday, and was surprised to find I liked it. I don't normally like this type of stories, the ones I typically read have a lot more action and "fate of the world" type thing going on, but I liked this one. It's interesting to see how a magical family would interact with a muggle community, even if the way Jacqui's life seems to revolve around the Potter family seems a bit strange at times.
  18. Idiot Rocker

    Idiot Rocker Auror

    Jun 9, 2011
    I'm am thoroughly enjoying this. Makes me feel a bit sheepish to admit it seeing as it's not the edgiest subject matter, but the fact of the is it's quite good. I mean, there are some issues. The one the bothers me the most is how every magical women in the story seems to be stunningly beautiful. Hermione and Luna aren't held up to this pedestal - but almost everyone else seems to be.

    Maybe I just wish Jacqui was more on there level. Whatever.

    I'm very interested to see where the werewolf angle is going to intersect with village-life. I don't think I'm alone in thinking that that 's where the climax is going to come from (Plot twist! Mike is a murderous squib!).
  19. Nauro

    Nauro Headmaster

    Oct 20, 2011
    It is different in a good way, I guess, and many people have pointed out just why it's worth a high mark.

    However, I do feel that the story is heading into a direction of sending Henry along to Hogwards, and this turn, probably planed as sort of an ending to the story, as everything would have to be revealed at that point is something that would be too boring of an ending for me. If they don't make Henry into a little wizard, I'd say that's better.

    Also, with all the subtle misdirections that the magic side should have for the deception, I don't believe it would be this easy to find out that something is wrong or strange.
    My personal belief is that say, Potter's house would look like something Jacqui would expect - that is with the plugs and even a tv or something that don't really exist and at the same time while providing a fake image of normalicity - don't draw too much attention to details - say the tv would be visible, but no one would have ideas of asking about it or inquiring about shows.

    Ah well, let's just say 4.25/5 from me, with the possibility of reaching higher if it turns out that Henry is just another Muggle.
  20. Ceebee

    Ceebee High Inquisitor

    May 5, 2009
    As has been mentioned, this story is just one particular entry in the authors one consistant universe. If you want to you can spoil yourself by reading later stories in the timeline.

    Spoilers for the overarching story, and the likely events of 'Strangers at Drakeshaugh'. Don't read if you don't want to be spoiled.
    Henry + Annie aren't magical. Potter Kids go off to Hogwarts and the relationships sort of dissapear. On Annie's 11th birthday, James, trying to show off to George his pranking skills gives her charmed makeup that causes her face to swell up. Harry flips his shit at James and the event causes a rift between the two families.

    You can read the story 'James Sirius, and Me' for more info.
    One of the chapters of 'Centuries' suggests that James and Annie get married.

    On this story, I've enjoyed it quite a bit. It is not without its fault, but I would call it a good read. 4/5