Wow, that's a wonderful story. I don't believe in ratings--they distract from reviews--so I left it at the default. I mean, the writing is just amazing, truly. You have such an imagination! I really, especially liked the part where you're describing the rider's dress, and later the way the Hogwarts school is broken up into "vassels." There's a spirit of real story-telling here.
"'It is wrong, simply wrong for women to be teaching men,' said Brother Patrick." Haha!
Good job.Author's Response: This was written in response to a challenge to write about one of the Hogwarts ghosts. Since it seemed that absolutely nobody was interested in the poor friar (maybe he was disrespected for being fat -- who knows?), I thought the competition needed a story about the neglected Hufflepuff ghost. So the "inspiration" was simply to fill an obvious vacancy.
The friar was both a Christian (notwithstanding all the controversy about the religion of witches and wizards) and, more than that, a member of a religious order. So I could see how a very religious young person, who was also magical, could perceive things, and get ideas, that would set him up for disappointment. I also wondered what Hogwarts might be like at a time when Britain was an overwhelmingly Catholic country, and Hogwarts represented a cross-section of the population the same way it does in Harry's day.
I am very glad that you enjoyed the story, and delighted that you were kind enough to take the time to write. Once again: I deeply appreciate your comments. Report Review
This was just excellent, and a great explanation of religion v. magic. I finished it feeling that it was all too short, yet imagining Oliver's further adventures. Excellent capture of the time period as well. 10.Author's Response: A while ago, there was a staff challenge to write a story about one of the Hogwarts ghosts. There were lots of stories about all the ghosts -- except the Fat Friar. Nobody seemed to want to write about him. I thought that, as the ghost who had been a religious in life (and, it would seem, in afterlife as well), he would have an interesting story. So this is what I wrote.
I cannot tell you how much I appreciate, and am encouraged by, your kind remarks.
Bella Report Review
This is incredibly gorgeous. It's really very extraordinary. I loved reading it, I thought you handled the subject and the characters extremely well. Simply lovely work. Well done. 10/10Author's Response: Thank you so much. I actually delayed responding because I just wanted to read your review a few times -- it made my day.
I enjoyed writing this story. And, anyway, I certainly did not want the FF left out of a challenge about ghosts.
Once again, thank you for the wonderful review and for the engaging challenge. Report Review
Wonderfully written. It gives great insite to how the Fat Friar came to be.Author's Response: Thank you so much. I don't think much is written about the Fat Friar. This was the Hogwarts Ghosts challenge, so I wanted to give him a story. Report Review
Great idea, well executed. Clearly one of the best fics on the site. The only thing that could make it more authentic would be to have one of the abbots actually quote a the line from the Bible about witches.Author's Response: You are a writer and reviewer for whom I have great respect. So I was delighted to see this review.
For this particular challenge, nobody took on the Fat Friar, and I felt somebody should.
I have reached the point where I am looking the story over and making small revisions. Your suggestion is a good one.
Thank you very much for reviewing. Report Review
I have never read a story about a Hogwarts ghost like this, but something about it just seemed to grab me and not let me go. This story was beautifully written and I loved it from beginning to end. Fantastic job!Author's Response:
I probably never would have written a "Ghost" story, but for the Staff Challenge. Thank you very much for your generous words. I am very glad you liked the story. Report Review
Wow, this is such a wonderful story! I love it! I'm glad you won the challenge, you definitely deserved it. :)Author's Response: Thank you very much. I didn't win the challenge (Glow did, for her excellent story, "Ugly"), but -- honestly -- if I hadn't read your review, I wouldn't have known there was a competition.
I'm very glad you enjoyed the story, and I truly appreciate your comments. Report Review
Lovely! I so admire you for tackling religion (specifically, Christianity) and the HP universe simultaneously! I imagine it must have been challenging, but you handled it masterfully. I don't think you could have done justice to the Fat Friar without exploring the religious issues and themes of the time.
I like that you started the tale with Oliver's childhood (I am going to be thinking of the Fat Friar as Oliver from now on) and explored how he thought he was "chosen." It made a lot of sense to make him a Muggleborn character. I also liked the tone of the piece. It was formal, but not stiff. It was appropriate to the time period you were writing about. Excellent story! I enjoyed it very much.Author's Response:
It seems to me that the Fat Friar is the most neglected of all Hogwarts ghosts. I'm not sure why. He should be a very interest-generating ghost -- after all, the religion of witches and wizards is a perennial subject of discussion and controversy on the boards, and the Hufflepuff ghost was obviously both a wizard and a Christian.
On the other hand, maybe that is the very thing about this character that prospective writers find off-putting.
Anyway, when I saw this challenge, I particularly wanted to make sure there was a piece about the Friar.
It made sense (to me) to make him Muggleborn, as that would account for his cluelessness and give me something to play with.
Thank you very much for your kind words. I appreciate them enormously.
Believability and character are lent to this story about the Fat Friar using simple, clear language. His reason for remaining at Hogwarts makes perfect sense even though Bella_Portia doesn't clearly explain why Hufflepuff's ghost is afraid of death. The tone of "Answered Prayer" is its greatest asset and leaves readers hoping for a lengthened, more elaborate version of the story in the future. (6/10)Author's Response: "His reason for remaining at Hogwarts makes perfect sense even though Bella_Portia doesn't clearly explain why Hufflepuff's ghost is afraid of death." -- this is a good point, and it was a point of tension between this particular character and the nature of ghosts in canon generally. If and when I do redo this piece, that will be something to address. (I think the challenge called for a one-shot, but, even if it did not, time constraints would not have allowed for a longer piece.)
Thank you very much for you thoughtful review (and PM). Report Review
That was absolutely brilliant! It's thoughtful, well written and believable. I adore it!Author's Response: I appreciate your kind words, and I am very glad you enjoyed the story. Report Review
I was happy to see another story from you. I absolutely loved it! You have a great talent. You should really think about writing professionally.Author's Response: I am very glad you liked the story. I wasn't sure how it would be received, given the religious element. Thank you for your very kind comments. Report Review
I was browsing through my favourite's list, checking if anything was update and so I discovered that I hadn't left a review for your one-shot. Which is.. well.. horrible since the first thing I did after reading it was fav-ing it. The least I can do is leave an explanation for the favourite.
So here goes; it was amazing.
Your writing is flawless and your usage of words breathtaking. I never saw the Fat Friar as anything but just a ghost, but you have made him 3-dimensional. Loved the ending, why he stayed.
9/10Author's Response: This was the "ghost" challenge, and I had been wanting to write something about the Fat Friar. Being a churchman, I figured he had an unusual backstory.
Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review. I'm very glad you enjoyed the story. Report Review
What can I say? It was beautiful and touching. You capture the period wonderfully. It's totally believable and so in character for someone that you describe to stay and help as long as he's needed.
I think you have a real gift for writing children, especially gifted children. I see your own experiences as a mother coloring your writing with a sense of 'it's real, it's true.'
Your knowledge of the classics and the period give it a real sense of something that happened or could have happened. I truly think you are one of the best authors on the site.
I came to your author's page to get a link to nominate you for Best Reviewer and find a beautiful, well-written story about a neglected canon character.Author's Response: I discovered this Staff Challenge about 4 days before it closed, so I wrote this story very quickly.
If memory serves, JKR had commented, in response to claims that Wizards could not be Christians, that one of the House Ghosts, who would in life have been a Wizard stongly connected with his house, was a member of a religious order. I was intrigued by that and wanted to write something about the Fat Friar. I made him a supporting character in a story that is currently in need of an update (Searchers), but as a ghost.
Even in the "ghost" challenge, nobody picked him. I think Sir Nick got a story, the Baron and the Gray Lady got several, and Myrtle got a bunch. The Friar seems to be like the Rodney Dangerfield of the Hogwarts afterlife -- no respect! Maybe it's that word, "fat."
I am still tweaking the story a little, because there are places that, to me, lack clarity.
All that said, I really appreciate that you took the time to read it. The story seems to have worked better than I feared it would. I wasn't sure how people would react to the religious content. Thank you for your generous comments. Report Review
Ok, the very last part would ave to be my favorite. it explains so much! I definitely enjyoed this one-shot. It was the first religious hpff story I'd read and I'm glad it was. It was so well put together and professional. It was a bit confusing at times, but I loved the way Oliver continued praying and dreaming of direction and quidance from God. I loved how he believed in himself and the Lord to get him where he felt he wanted to go and I loved how he wanted to become a Saint for the Lord. The part at the end whe you explain why the Fat Friar continued to 'live' on to help Hufflepuffs was just too good! I have a whole new and clearer outlook on Hufflepuff now and the the Fat Friar. You're a very developed writer and I enjoyed reading your story very, very much so. Thank you very much for requesting!
Author's Response: I think the Friar is a very neglected ghost, and so, I wanted to write about him. But you really can't write about a friar without religion coming into it. Surely, the Hufflepuffs are as fond of him as the Gryffindors are of Sir Nick.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read and review the story. If you enjoyed it, that is fantastic. Report Review
I hate my English. It keeps failing me miserably every time I read anything from your pen. This was an exquisite piece of artwork and I just can't find the correct words to describe my feelings.
The language is simply poetic and is putting the reader into the atmosphere of the fifteenth century even without perusing of "ye olde English". Smoothly tying the words into sentences, the sentences into paragraphs, the stream of this story takes the reader away on a trip through time and space, just like a river rolls your paper boat away on its way to the ocean.
With your permission, I will print this story out and file it into a folder with my most favourite ones.
I enjoyed how you tied some of the most influential wizarding families, most notably the Peverells and the Gryffindors into the flow of events.
Also, you've done a magnificent job of writing the character of a true servant of Christ. His calling, his fears, heck, even the fear of being in the presence of and taught by women... expanding a character to these heights is a treat very few fanfic writers have managed to achieve.
Hate to write it down... but there's one single typo I 've spotted. In the sentence "the figure of Our Lord had been lovingly and carefully carved by an unknown sculpture" I'm sure you meant "by an unknown sculptor."
What are you going to surprise us with next time???
I have enjoyed reading this story very, very much. Thank you for this fantastic experience.Author's Response: I found out about the Staff Challenge #3 around last Thursday; it was ending on Sunday. So I wrote this piece very quickly in an effort to get it in under the wire.
I am very glad you liked it. Your reviews always mean a great deal to me.
I thought the Friar was unique among the Hogwarts ghosts. And yet, he's so neglected among writers. The Baron, The Gray Lady, Moaning Myrtle, even Sir Nick have their stories. But the Friar -- nada so far as I know. (Well, anyone with "fat" in your name will have trouble getting respect, unfortunately.)
The historical talk and details were a shot in the dark, because I had no time for research. (I wanted to make the Carmelite friar newly arrived from the Holy Land, but I couldn't remember what was going on there in 1420 or so, and didn't have the time to do any research.)
Thank you so much for noticing this little piece.
Oh, and thank you for letting me know about the typos. I'm surprised there aren't more. Report Review
I really loved this! The story of a ghost is rarely told, and this one was really interesting! I like how at the end his reason for staying was so clear. It makes me sad just knowing that he'll never be able to leave because ghosts can't once they decide. Anyways, really great job, I love it! Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review. The Staff Challenge #3 is all about ghosts, so there are a number of ghost stories up right now. It's just that I have never seen a story about the Fat Friar, so I wanted to give him his own story. He's a unique ghost, the only known churchman of the lot.
I am so glad you liked it, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate the feedback. Report Review
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