Dear Toujours Padfoot,
I am writing to inform you that you've been nominated for the following category for the Spring-Summer 2013 Round of The HP Fanfic Fan Poll Awards (hpfanficfanpoll dot livejournal dot com):
SHIP: SCOROSE (SCORPIUS X ROSE)
CATEGORY: BEST DARK FIC for "Protego"
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The nominations period is now over (it closed April 28th).
The voting period will commence on May 1, 2013 and close on June 30, 2013 (that gives two full months to read and consider the nominated fics). Our awards ceremony is open to the public to vote, and we encourage you to ask your friends/family to participate. Read the rules here, if you'd like to participate in the voting: hpfanficfanpoll dot livejournal dot com / 1530 dot html.
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Congratulations on your nomination!
Melissa, The HP Fanfic Fan Poll Awards ModeratorAuthor's Response: Awesome! Thank you to whoever nominated me. :) Report Review
amazing . I didn't expect the twist . your fic was intense, brilliant and wonderfully written. impressive .Author's Response: Thank you! I'm so happy you liked it. :) I think this is my favorite one-shot I've ever written, so I'm pleased that others liked it as well. Report Review
(I'll have you know that I read much of this story listening to that Muse song you linked me too, and it naturally fit extremely well with the story.)
PLOT TWIST SAY WHAT. Not even one-shots are safe from the way you continually pull the wool over my eyes! I had to zoom back up and skim over the story again after finishing because I like going through and picking up on all the little clues. I love the way you told this; it wouldn't have had nearly the same impact chronologically, but even the way you did choose to line up events worked very well for building suspense and keeping me reading. Natch.
It's sort of a tragic end for my favorite next generation pairing (which obviously means YAY, I LOVED IT because I am somewhat sick), but I think you pulled it off really masterfully, as always.
I just... I cannot say enough good things about your writing. ♥Author's Response: I THINK I AM CAUGHT UP ON RESPONDING TO YOUR REVIEWS AS OF THIS MOMENT. I feel like I should give myself a reward. I just ate a Reese's Egg, a Mr. Goodbar, and a mini bag of Reese's Pieces, so I'm not sure what still qualifies as a reward. I will have to figure something out.
The random order was a sneaky way for me to make readers attach themselves to characters in the past while simultaneously dreading what happens in the future. You know the beginning and the end, and when the second timeline with adult Benjamin clicks into focus it hits that he's TOTALLY GOING TO OFF HIMSELF. He'd been planning to kill his parents before he was born, but arrived too late to the party. The ironic part is that Scorpius saves his son /from/ his son. TIME TRAVEL, MAN.
You da best. ♥ Report Review
Holy crap! That was intense!
I would love to know how you came up with the major plot twist for this story. It was brilliantly executed and even though I could sort of see it coming by about 2/3 of the way through, the italicized part at the end was still haunting.
I really loved your unconventional characterizations of Rose and Scorpius. For Rose, I thought you pulled the most interesting parts of her mother and father together to build her up. That intensely competitive streak and the need to define herself with an "arch-nemesis of her own" was Ron Weasley up one side and down the other. She obviously has her mother's intellect as well as a passionate fascination with her family's history. Her take-no-prisoners approach to, well, basically everything also reminded me a lot of Hermione, along with her crusade to put helmets on all the Quidditch players.
Scorpius Malfoy as a quiet, bookish, timid boy with glasses who gets ripped out of his element on his first day of school and thrown into Ravenclaw was a really refreshing take on him. At the same time, it was neat to see that there was still an essential strength inside somewhere. One that seemingly waited until Rose lost interest in being his arch-nemesis in order to come out.
The scene where Rose declares him her boyfriend was beyond cute. Also funny and mildly disturbing in the way that she sort of flagrantly abuses him. But he grows out of it and turns into such a confident guy. I guess surviving her abuse was probably good for him in the long run.
The tale of their son, and the way that the loop closes at the end of the story, was heart-breaking. I can completely sympathize with his plight, but the vengeful twist that made it apparent that he was the architect of his own downfall was fate at its cruelest. Again, where did you come up with this idea? It was brilliant!
Now it feels as though your challenge has truly drawn to a close. Once more, thanks so much for organizing it! It was an awesome experience.Author's Response: Hi, Dan!
I'm not sure where the plot twist came from, honestly. Athene told me she wanted a ScoRose and when I started writing, this really dark picture formed in my head of Scorpius and Rose as adults, peacefully asleep with a baby between them, when their bedroom door unexpectedly bursts open. From there I got the idea that Scorpius would protect the child with Protego, which got me wondering if all of the rebounding spellwork might inflict damage on the baby; and then realized that the man in the doorway holding the weapon was the baby himself, many years later.
Something I loved about Ron was his loyalty and how he seemed to hate Draco as much as Harry did. When you're at a certain age it's almost fun to have an arch-nemesis, so Rose was keenly anticipating having someone to hate, no questions asked. XD Oh, Rose. Her disappointment in finding that this artfully-selected arch-nemesis was a scrawny, timid boy was probably wounding.
Confession: When I was in first or second grade, there was this boy who had asthma and I would chase him around the blacktop at recess until he begged for mercy and pulled out his inhaler. I was a really awful child. This may or may not have had a subconscious effect on this story. *hides*
Thank you so much for coming by to read and review this. :)
Oh my God. You are awesome. Seriously... I can’t believe you wrote something so amazing so quickly! Haha!
Each section of this story is fascinating, leaving me wanting to read on. The first section blew me away. There are so many questions raised, and the action is so horrific and frightening, with amazing use of imagery. I could picture the whole scene in my head - or at least, what I knew of it, because I only know as much as Scorpius does at that point. The imagery of the green light of the Avada Kedavra spell reflected in the baby’s eyes is just stunning. The line about reaching to stop the body from falling is just inspired; tragic, and realistic. The brain can’t take it in that there’s no point.
The next section really begins to characterise these people, and you do such an interesting job with it! The chip on Rose’s shoulder is so very like her father’s, although she’s much more outspoken (a legacy of Hermione’s, I would imagine). It’s interesting that in this case, it’s Rose who gets on the train with certain expectations of a relationship (one of enmity), in contrast to Draco getting on the train all those years ago and trying to befriend Harry because of who he is.
I always love Sorting Hat stories, and you’ve done a really excellent, canon-esque job of portraying that nerve wracking moment here. I absolutely love Malfoy accidentally going to the wrong table (I want to hug him), and I also love your idea of the Sorting Hat wanting to teach Rose a lesson.
In the next section, the characterization of a bold, brassy Rose and a somewhat timid Scorpius really begins to endear itself to me. She seems like a bit of a bully, actually... although I remember what it is to be that age and not realise just how scary you’re coming across. Scorpius with an inhaler and glasses! I want to hug him even more now. He reminds me of Mikey Way back in the day. The dialogue in this section is particularly fantastic. You made me laugh in a story that starts in the midst of terror!
And then there’s another shift in tone, time and space. You really kept me on my toes with this story! To go from a budding teenage relationship to this insane, unhappy young man in the cellar with unbelievable imagery... it all feels so acidic and exhausting. What a fascinating idea though - the life of a Squib, untended by his family. Poor young man. Although I do lose my sympathy for him somewhat later on.
The next section is another one that’s strong in imagery but sensitive in feeling. I like the idea that just because Scorpius and Rose got together at school, it doesn’t mean they stayed together throughout! Scorpius seems to have grown in confidence, and Rose seems to have turned her outspokenness to a more worthy cause. Honestly, she’s so Hermione’s daughter (“ It hadn’t made her popular, but it had made her proud. She’d accomplished something.”) and I love it. Although she seems to have continued her bad habit of wanting to ‘show the world’.
I love the next bit. Scorpius really is growing up and overtaking Rose. I feel like he’s showing her she doesn’t always have to have the upper hand, with his patience and his hard work, and his surreptitiously becoming rather good looking and cool. You’ve also written what I believe to be the most romantic thing I’ve ever read about an asthma inhaler.
And then section VII is when it all starts to come together for me. Oh my God, the imagery here is just stunning. I want to pick out a few favourite lines, but it’s just too hard. Oh, this one made me read it again a few times: “ You can feel the heat of the spells, liquefying your hair as they fly right over.”
It’s so horrifying! It’s so awful. It’s incredibly well-written. I really love that you’ve taken an integral part of the Potter (murder of parents, killing spell rebounding etc) and done it in your very own way, with time-travel, paradoxes, Squibs, Rose and Scorpius. The way you describe the protego shield is sublimely beautiful and actually made me put my hand to my own chest.
“ The last thing you see is a man who looks just like you, but bizarrely distorted, like a funhouse mirror. “Please,” you gasp, lungs seizing. “Please. Not Benjamin.”” - You are INCREDIBLE.
The section where Scorpius and Rose finally get together is so lovely. I really love that Scorpius is the one who finally takes charge, and catches this independent, scary, probably vulnerable on the inside (why else have a chip on your shoulder? And the moment where she heads off down the wrong corridor, wrong-footed by Scorpius is so endearing) woman off her guard. It’s such a romantic, realistic relationship moment amongst a really dark and twisted story.
The spell-firing gun is a stroke of genius. Benjamin... oh Benjamin. This story is so tragic. It was him! He made himself an orphan, and he made himself a Squib... and then my thoughts get all muddled up in the continuum and I’m not sure what happened first. And nor is he, I guess. He’s created an eternal loop, surely. Ugh. So although he wanted to die, or to never have existed, he has instead ensured that he will in fact live forever, making the same awful mistake over and over again. But if he hadn’t made it... he wouldn’t be... oh, my head.
His sense of disappointment is so sad. But I feel sadder for Rose and Scorpius, whose life flashed before his and our eyes. All of that hope and love and feeling, gone. And why? For no good reason.
The final section makes me wonder who the useless adoptive parents were - do we know them? Does it matter? They’re just going to be useless again.
Basically, this story is absolutely amazing. I asked for Scorose, I said to go with whatever genre... and you’ve just blown me away. Thank you so much for writing it. I’ve written a lot of words in this rambly review, but really - I’m speechless.Author's Response: Eeep. Hi, Sarah! Sorry it's taken me ages to respond to this review. I get ridiculously nervous when I see long reviews and dither around for weeks before answering them.
First off: I am SO glad you liked this! When you said Scorpius/Rose my mind automatically went to witty banter fluff, since that's the typical ScoRose fare on the archives, but I wanted to do something different with them. Instead of living happily ever after, they die in a split-second with no time to register what is going on, murdered by their own son.
Bold, brassy Rose is indeed a bit of a bully. I based her somewhat off of my younger self. Young Toujours Padfoot was extremely abrasive without realizing it.
I've always been curious about how Squibs would deal with being so incredibly shortchanged. I imagine it would be difficult not to pity yourself when you're swarmed by magical people on a constant basis. To not be able to do anything the same way others do - doing it all the slow Muggle way, enduring teases because of it - it would be a nightmare. It would have been so much more humane to grow up in the Muggle world instead. But Benjamin doesn't make the best of his situation. He definitely lets all of his bitter feelings fester until he turns into a monster of sorts.
"You've also written what I believe to be the most romantic thing I've ever read about an asthma inhaler." - I can't tell you how hard that made me laugh.
The parallels to Lily, James, and Harry were important to me because it's like it happened all over again, but in an extremely warped way. This time it was the father protecting the child instead of the mother, which I did honestly because Lily gets so much more credit than James does when it comes to saving Harry. I mean, he died for BOTH of them just to give them a head-start up the stairs. But people only ever talk about how Lily died for Harry. So I wanted to give fathers their due here.
And then it turns out that it's all his own fault! What an absolutely awful fate. He was the orphaned Squib because he killed his own parents, and the younger Benjamin never got a chance. I hardly know how to explain which came first - young Benjamin or old Benjamin - because the nature of time-travel is so confusing. I think of it as a glitch in time, and now he has to play out the eternal loop of miserable Squib life and miserable death at his own hand.
There are so many people who are killed while they're not paying attention, while they're not looking, and that's what inspired this. Scorpius and Rose were both half-asleep. They weren't lucid enough to know what was going on, and had no time for last words to each other or to form a plan of sorts. It was an attack out of nowhere, in the middle of the night. The randomness of it, and the finality, really intrigued me from a writer's standpoint.
Thank you for your lovely review!! And thank you, once again, for entering my challenge. :) Report Review
Hello Sarah :) Saw this! And because I love your writing I decided to read this. And I don't know what to say except OHMYGOD IT'S A TIMETRAVEL FIC AND I LOVE TIME TRAVEL. Also, I have this bad terrible habit when it comes to long oneshots, to scroll right down and read the ending first and then go back to the beginning. This time, I think I made a good decision because of the nature of your story, and so naturally, when I started reading from the beginning and I got to section IV with the unnamed character stirring potion in the basement and fiddling with the timeturner...I already knew what was going to happen. And that just froze my blood and honestly my fingers are shaking a little and it's not because it's cold because it's summer here. *BREATHES*
OK. I'll try to start from the beginning. OHMYGOD THAT'S SO TERRIFYING. This is just...there's nothing sentimental about this scene and yet and yet. It's just difficult to read, and you don't soften the impact in any way. This must have been how Lily and James were killed, brutally, in cold blood. And I appreciate the reference in there to Harry, the boy who lived, because it really foreshadows what will happen, and by the end of that segment I was already anticipating Scorpius would do that bit with old magic that Lily did with Harry, and that it would somehow rebound all the killer. Also, I absolutely adore the way you shifted POVs throughout the story, and how smooth and natural the changes were, even if the whole story was segmented and all.
And section 2! gah! Rose ♥ It's like you've pretty much taken the ScoRose pairing and broken it down and dissected it and and made your own brilliant notes on it and then put it back together. So much detail. So much analysis and so much realism to why and how these two characters might ever be interested in each other despite the legacy of mutual dislike from their parents, grandparents etc. I love how Rose is determined to continue this tradition of Malfoy-hating without questioning why it exists, and I love how her expectations are pretty much subverted with this awkward pale cowering Scorpius. Section 3 is comic relief! And of course, your humour is just so lovely! Bahaha! Rose cornering Scorp and declaring that he's her boyfriend now because she's avenging her parents. I choked on my tea, even though I wasn't drinking any. Your Scorpius (and to an extent, your Rose) reminds me a little of peppersweet's Scorpius&Rose from Starving Artists, which I'm reading now :D It's hilarious! My fave kind of Scorpius!
And then of course, that segment IV. Which just made me realise everything and filled me with worst horror and gloom and dream and doom and angst. He's going back in time to kill himself. OHMYGODRIC. My jaw is lying on the floor now. It pretty much stayed there as I read the rest of the fic, the lovely lovely Scorpius/Rose scenes undermined by that foreboding inevitable inescapable fate. The tiny details you give of Benjamin are just so vivid, the way his eyes are always red, or how his nose is runny, how he has to walk some distance to make a phone call, staying home in the basement...it's the very picture of misery, but it's also self-imposed misery, and he brought it all on himself and this is literally true, as we see later on in your fic. Ooh, and is his adoptive family mostly a bunch of Hufflepuffs :P
Aahaksdjhjkhasf and Scorpius cornering Rose this time, asking her why won't she give him a chance. That's just such a perfect moment PERFECT I TELL YOU but I can't be too happy because we know what's going to happen to them NONONO. Oh, such lovely contrasts. Such lovely *sobs* sorry I'm jsut a mess of feels now. And the inhaler. Sobs. Again, reminding me of his future son, who's quite possibly asthmatic as well, but ah, to catch back the breath Rose had stolen asjkfhlasjkfhlajs.
And now those final bits. That just smashed my heart up to smithereens. This. Where Scorpius performs that old magic shield charm. This is just amazing. This is just er...speechlessness-rendering. Even though I anticipated it, it was just the way you wrote it, the beauty of it: It's a magic you can’t learn. It's wandless. It makes your heart pump overtime, draining your energy as it strengthens your shield to the thickest and most impenetrable it can possibly get.. So simple. So effective. I think your writing is even more beautiful when it's anticipated. I don't quite know what I mean when I said that...I was wondering why Benjy said "I'm late." Was it because he was planning to kill his parents before he was born?
And TIME TRAVEL. I happen to be reading up stuff on time travel and I'm pleased to see that there are none of those tricky time travel paradoxes in your fic! Because of course, baby Benjy didn't die (otherwise there would be a giant paradox); it was the adult one who perished because the killing curse rebounded. OHMYGOD I SEE IT. I SEE IT NOW WHY BENNY SAID I'M LATE. IT'S THE UNIVERSE. THE UNVIERSE DOES NOT ALLOW PARADOXES. THE GRANDFATHER'S PARADOX OHMYGOD. Right, just showed how much of a nerd I am :P The way you handle time travel is brilliant. There are no paradoxes. You are your past and your future and what you make of them and what you make them out to be and everything is inextricable from one another.
So, end of review really. This is just too brilliant. It's one of the best oneshots I've read, and definitely one of the best time travel stories. Thank you for writing this honestly. I'm going to go off and have a cry and snuggle up with my little boy.
♥ tehAuthor's Response: Not going to lie, this review scared the beans out of me. I have been so terrified to respond to it that it took me eons to do so. -hangs head- But I am here now and will attempt to do your absolutely marvelous, wonderful, kind review justice!
Time travel fics! Eee!! Time-traveling is something I always tell myself, "I will never ever write about this again" because it gives me migraines to think about how everything must go in a continuous loop. I get caught up in the science and impossibility of it. But in this story I think I managed to tie it together fairly well so that it made sense.
Starving Artists Scorpius was my inspiration! Julia is such a brilliant author and her Scorpius has forever invaded my headcanon. So when I started writing this I automatically made him kind of wimpy (at least when he was younger). But then he really grows into his own and becomes a match for Rose.
Self-imposed misery is spot-on. It's Benjamin's own fault that he doesn't have parents. It's his fault that he turned out to be a Squib. And he will be stuck in this loop where he grows up to murder his parents, making the infant version of himself an orphan, over and over and over. And yep, his adoptive family is a bunch of Hufflepuffs! I love how you notice every little detail. It's so incredibly rewarding to receive a review like this, in which you observed every subtle element and connected them all.
Yep!!! He was late. And if he hadn't been late, it would have been a giant paradox. He couldn't go back in time to kill himself because he /hadn't/ killed himself. The baby had always ever grown up. Which means that the only thing that can be done is for the adult version to die, forming a watertight loop.
Thank you SO much for your absolutely mind-blowing review. It's one of the best ones I've ever gotten. :)
♥ Sarah Report Review
Wow that was really good! I really liked the different take you had on Scor and even Rose.
There were times I was a bit confused though. It took me a couple of times of reading to figure out that you were talking in the past when you weren't in 2nd person. I think that could hAve been cleared up a bit.
Also I think maybe a description of who's killing them or why? Could help since it would help the story differ from the past you were trying to explain.
This was really great! The idea was very unique and obviously you had fun w it :)
I'm sorry if I sounded harsh. Not my intention at all. Hope I helped :)
Mya :)Author's Response: Hi! Thank you for your review. :) I was going to add an author's note at the end clearing up any confusion, but didn't want to assume that people wouldn't figure it out on their own. There are actually three different timelines in this story: The present, in which Rose and Scorpius are being murdered, the past, which is actually his life flashing before his eyes, and the future. If you notice in the passage about the adopted teenage Squib whose parents died when he was little, he begins to make a Timeturner. The Timeturner is to take him back so that he can get rid of his parents before he's ever born.
So the young man who enters the room is actually baby Benjamin all grown up. And the reason why he was ever parentless in the first place, as you can see, is his fault. It's also his own fault that he's a Squib, because of the magical damage inflicted on the baby from too many spells.
I would have been a little more clearer about what the different sections represented, but also didn't want to ruin the surprise that the baby Scorpius protected in the last seconds of his life was also the man attacking them all. Scorpius saved his son /from/ his son. It's cyclical, because of the nature of time travel, so baby Benjamin grows up to be teenage Benjamin, who goes back in time and dies while trying to murder his infant self, over and over.
I hope I explained it so that I didn't make it sound more confusing! Thank you for reading and reviewing. :) Report Review
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