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WIP Strangers at Drakeshaug by Northumbrian - T

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

  1. BTT

    BTT Headmaster

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    I'll echo the sentiment in that thread: SoD is one of the most comfortable fics I've ever read. It's like something warm after a cold day, it's just so relaxing to read. Northumbrian's other fics all mostly aim for that same atmosphere, and she (presumably) is an expert at hitting just the right notes to accomplish that. Furthermore, while everything takes place in the same universe, it never feels like she's hitting you over the head with that fact or requires you to read everything else first to get everything.

    On the other hand, I feel like when she tries something else she loses something in the transition. I read most of the Muggle Interface Team series and it just doesn't work as well, IMO. It might be because of the heavier reliance on OCs, the fact they mostly revolve around Muggles, or because it sometimes feels like Northumbrian has to pull herself away from writing the more comfy style she's used to, but I feel like those are (while still very readable) more 3/5 to 3.5 material rather than the 4/5s her other fics are.
     
  2. throwaawy

    throwaawy Third Year

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    oh... must have been mistyping it when searching. it looks like the other thread is pretty comprehensive so uhh... someone can delete this then >.>;
     
  3. Socialist

    Socialist Professor

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    Is this completely uninteresting to anyone else? I've read a few chapters of Strangers and a few of the oneshots and I realised I don't care - about any of the characters.

    It reminds me of the old quote by violentacres

     
  4. Snapdragon

    Snapdragon Seventh Year

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    I also consider it quite "uninteresting".
     
  5. Dark Minion

    Dark Minion Bright Henchman Moderator DLP Supporter

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    ... I merged @throaway's strange thread with the original 'Stranger' thread.
     
  6. Prowz

    Prowz Squib

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    I've read the whole story out so far over a couple of days, and I must say I agree with the general stance in this thread that it is surprisingly enjoyable for what it is, due to the high quality of writing and the very cozy family setting.

    I must admit that I'm slightly partial to post-DH stories that expand on the universe in a way I find believeable in relation to the books. This story really hits home for me in that way, same as stories like "Perfectly normal, thank you very much" does, with a more mature Harry seen from an outside muggle perspective.

    I did start to miss magic at times during the read(a feeling that was mitigated slightly by the interlude chapters), and because of this as well as the slow pacing I doubt I would enjoy re-reading this story the way I might enjoy something more fast pace or shorter.

    4.5/5 as of right now for me but if it finishes without draging on for to much longer and keeps the same quality then I'd definitely bump it up to 5/5
     
  7. RDavidson

    RDavidson Disappeared

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    I discovered this fic the other day and powered through the whole thing in an afternoon. I agree with the others who say it's a very "comfortable" fic. The descriptions of the house and grounds at Drakeshaug make me want to go visit and spend a slow afternoon exploring. (I understand the author is writing about a landscape he knows very well; it shows.)
     
  8. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I finally got around to reading this.

    It's... exactly what everyone else says it is, more or less. It's well written with good characterizations.

    But while James and Henry are interesting enough, the other children are too young to be much more than props. The main POV character spends a lot of (realistic) time dealing with her young daughter who is a normal small child... but that just wasn't compelling for me to read.

    On the other hand if James and Henry were older than five then the story wouldn't work as well, because James getting older would mean he'd be better at not saying things he shouldn't say.

    Harry and Ginny, and their relatives/friends, are about right at keeping things secret most of the time... but the sheer amount of things that the main character overhears is astounding. Sometimes I think events in the story are set up just to give her an excuse to hear something but it still feels a bit contrived.

    All that said... yeah, it's good. I wish we had a little bit less focus on the youngest children like Lily and Annie, but overall that's fairly minor.

    I don't love it, but it sets out to tell a specific type of story and it does a damned good job. It doesn't push the right buttons for me but it's still worth a 4/5.
    Ceebee - thanks for making me aware that the authors other stories tie-in. I just read James and Me and a handful of others as well.
     
  9. Peter North

    Peter North Dark Lord

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    I finally decided to give this story a read and I really like it. It definitely keeps you entertained and the idea seems fresh.

    I get a weird vibe though with the way the author has Harry and Ginny talking about the case with the Carltons. If you take the magic away and think of this as just a crime story it seems that Harry is giving a ridiculous amount of information away. Especially since his story to the muggles is that he's in a classified branch of the government. More realistically Mrs. Charlton would get a surprise 'obliviate' from Harry and she'd stop asking about the case entirely.

    Other than that you'd think that muggle raised Harry would be a lot better at keeping magical secrets to himself. All in all though I give 4/5 stars for the freshness of this fic.
     
  10. grheadrick

    grheadrick Muggle

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    I really enjoyed the story! The plot has just started to speed up and get more exciting which is very good. I do think that Harry, Ginny and other wizards are being a little lax with security. I would expect that they would memory charm any muggle too curious. I really loved the descriptions of the landscapes. I would love to have a go on that swing and splash around in the stream with James and Henry.
     
  11. Warlocke

    Warlocke Prisoner

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    Updated!

    And what an update. Spoilers, seriously.

    The cat may finally be out of the bag as regards magic and the Charltons.

    Although, it never said whether Mike saw Polly's ghost or not, so it's still possible the klaxon could get chalked up to a fancy security system, the flashing lights as some kind of law enforcement vehicles, and the ghost sighting could be passed off as the result of Jacqui having polished off an entire bottle of wine that evening (which the author made conspicuously clear).

    Barring that, one wonders whether the Charltons will be getting obliviated before the evening is out...
    unless this has all already come up in the author's other stories, which I have avoided reading so as not to spoil this little gem of a story.
     
  12. Genghiz Khan

    Genghiz Khan Unspeakable

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    Interesting as shit. After such a load of suspense and buildup, Northumbrian's finally getting the Charltons finding out about magic. I hope they get obliviated. Or maybe not. I don't know yet.
     
  13. Nazgus

    Nazgus Minister of Magic

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    I vote for obliviation. It'd be fascinating to see it from her side. Ginny would be acting uncomfortable around her, all the Potter's would, and she'd have absolutely no idea why.
     
  14. Agent One

    Agent One Seventh Year DLP Supporter

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    Just read this and the best way I can describe it is...cozy.

    The writing is sound and this actually seems to be the personality of canon Harry and not some fanon created uber Merlin level Mystic Sorcerer. I got over my Ginny hate boner a couple years ago so that's a non-issue. The OCs are numerous but I do get that most of the non-muggle ones had been featured in previous stories and they stand up pretty well without having read those. The muggle ones that have focus on them also have a clear voice and character so they stand up pretty well.

    The werewolf subplot is interesting and adds a bit of excitement to the sleepy little hamlet. Plus, it's like a bit of a murder mystery.

    I do feel the story would have been better (But perhaps more forgettable) if it had been a series of one shots/slices of life. The only reason it doesn't seems to be because of the werewolf subplot.

    I will however agree with what others have said about reading this story in one sitting rather than waiting for updates. It needs to be read all in one go rather than update by update.

    While we're on the werewolf subplot, it's a bit annoying how much Jacqui obsesses over it. She puts Mary Saville down for being a gossip but she seems no better. In one scene, when she sees Ginny, the first thing she asks her is about the case. Perhaps if she had a personal stake int eh case, even a minuscule one, it would be understandable. Perhaps if the murders were in their own city then it would be understandable. Maybe if one of the people killed had been a distant, distant relative or an old classmate. As it is, she just seems more than a little nosy. It would be the equivalent of asking your neighbour whose husband works as a Police Officer how the serial killer case in the next city is going.

    What does annoy me is the kids. I get that they're young but the way the author writes their words is far too reminiscent of writers trying to get Hagrid's accent down. Whenever they talk, it always manages to grate on my nerves. I get that they're young (5 I think?) but its still grating. My youngest sibling is 8 years old so I can't say if how they talk is accurate but it is particularly annoying. Simply having them miss words rather than butchering them would have been more enjoyable. For example, rather than them saying "I like swimberling", saying "Like Swimming" would have been sufficient.

    Ginny having become a stay at home mum is a bit grating as it just perpetuates all the fanon stereotypes there are but seeing as how this was started only a year or two after the final book was released I don;t suppose it would be accurate to call it a cliche.

    I know I've made quite a few nitpicks but that's all they are, nitpicks. This story is ultimately a character study if anything and is extremely entertaining. All the nitpicks have done is lower my rating from a 5/5 to a 4/5.

    NOTE: I should mention that as evident by the other stories in the same universe, Henry is NOT a wizard and will not be going to Hogwarts as some seem worried about that as it is a bit predictable.
     
  15. Warlocke

    Warlocke Prisoner

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    Well, it looks like the Charltons will be handled not so much with obliviation but with a combination of Jacqui's drunkeness and "far-fetched but more reasonable than magic" explanations.

    Looks like Jacqui's got a bit of magic hiding in her family tree.
    I had a feeling this was basically what would happen.

    Interesting bit of accidental magic on Al's part. I think those kids need a better understanding of how firearms work, though.

    I've never had a hangover, nor eaten Marmite, however, I firmly believe eating Marmite while not feeling well (or at any time at all) would be the thing to make me retch, not feel better.

    It will be interesting to see how Jacqui's upcoming conversation with Ginny will go, since she'll almost undoubtedly bring up seeing Polly's ghost, even if she only mentions it in the vein of, "I was so drunk that..."
     
  16. Distaly

    Distaly Fourth Year

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    We already knew this, Ginny explains it in one of the early chapters. After Jacqui visits the Potters for the first time.
     
  17. Warlocke

    Warlocke Prisoner

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    Yeah, and I would have edited that bit out as soon as I wrote it... if I could have edited my post. Blame my enthusiasm for this story for my hasty posting.

    The fact that Jacqui casually glides right by the same spells that cause the other locals to keep on driving down the road is one of the early clues we get that Jacqui has a touch of magic in her.

    Back to said enthusiasm: I'm hoping this is going to be one of those occasions where the next chapter appears fairly quickly, instead of one of the longer waits. Probably feels like less of a wait if you read the author's other stories in the continuity, but I have been leery of doing so, for fear of spoiling something from this one.
     
  18. CareOtters

    CareOtters Supreme Mugwump DLP Supporter

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    I do really enjoy this fic. There are a few irritating quirks in dialogue which seem to be the author's self-indulgence showing, but they're not too bad. Seeing little hints of magic through the neighbour's eyes somehow adds to the sense of wonder which is so evocative of Harry Potter, and the attention to detail in even mundane matters makes this a rather enjoyable read.

    For the most part, it's pleasant and almost idyllic. The attempt to introduce conflict via the werewolf murder subplot is utterly hamfisted, however. Jacqui's excessive interest in the Potters was excusable as a bored person living out in the sticks. Constantly - and successfully - interrogating Ginny about the sensitive details of Harry's investigation strains credulity too far. Ginny is falling over herself to spill secrets. That's just wrong. I'd expect better from her, especially as this is a fairly complimentary look at her character with none of the unpleasant fanon traits she usually gets saddled with.

    For the first few chapters I would have rated this very highly. The author's mishandling of this subplot knocks it down a fair bit.

    4/5
     
  19. NuitTombee

    NuitTombee Dark Lord

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    Agreed, the werewolf plot and secret spilling is currently what has me paused at chapter twenty-nine. It's enjoyable for the fluff but the mystery is eh. 3/5
     
  20. pbluekan

    pbluekan Auror DLP Supporter

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    Like @CareOtters said, the werewolf subplot is fairly unnecessary. IMO, the real plot and truly entertaining part of this story was and is the collection of strange events that has Jacqui constantly interested in the Potters. Frankly, I had thought it was going to culminate in either the the accidental reveal of magic to her, or one of her kids getting a letter.