Reading Reviews for The Sea Serpent of Cromer
13 Reviews Found

Review #1, by academica Beginning

30th March 2014:
Hey Jenna! Finally here for the Review Exchange :)

I love your opening, especially those last couple of lines that suggest we are living in the times of something dark, perhaps Voldemort's reign. It's sort of ironic that the old man chooses to soothe his grandchildren's fears by telling them a magnificent tale of a horror further away. I liked the broad, elegant strokes with which you set the scene, painting the picture of a fierce, mythical beast and the man bent on slaying it.

You surprised me at a number of points in this chapter, all of which helped to keep the story lively and entertaining. For example, I was surprised by the assertion that the beast wasn't naturally fierce (although the narrator's logic totally makes sense) and the revelation that Peakes was a vegetarian! Very interesting :)

I was also glad to see us brought back down to canon reality there at the end, because my first thought when the narrator tried to help the Muggles calm down and right themselves was that he was going to get in trouble for helping them with magical means. (That's a bit cynical, isn't it? Haha. Oh, well.)

This seems like a great start to your short story. As always, I appreciate the illumination of minor characters and side storylines, and I have to say that the mood here reminded me of the exciting first few chapters of Goblet of Fire. It's too bad I won't have time to read further for this month's exchange. Nice work!


Author's Response: Hi Amanda! :)

I'm pleased you liked the opening! And yes, I agree about his choice of story - he's a bit out of practice with what is appropriate to talk about in front of children. I really enjoyed writing this, and the first chapter flowed especially smoothly, so it's great to hear you liked the initial introductions.

I'm glad this story was surprising! It's full of little twists and the style of narration helped quite a bit with that. The beast not being naturally fierce was an important clue to the story so I'm pleased it stood out to you.

Haha! The Ministry never seem to change, even three hundred years ago. You were right to be suspicious.

I'm glad you liked the minor characters, and that it reminded you of the opening chapters of GoF. Thank you so much for the lovely review! :)

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Review #2, by MargaretLane End

17th March 2014:
I love the "primary sources" you include in this story.

The sentence "do not repeat that to your father and uncle, as employees, they might be forced to bring me in" would probably be better if divided up into two sentences: "do not repeat that to your father and uncle. As employees they might be forced to bring me in" or separated with a semi-colon rather than a comma.

Hmm, I think Bode, or maybe the Gaunts is in some way involved with the sea serpent turning on a child like that, but how, I can't begin to imagine.

Oh gosh, the ring. I wonder is that the ring of the Gaunts and if so, why he has it.

Peakes is a Parseltongue? Or Gaunt? The mention of Salazar having been so makes me think that could explain a certain amount. I SHOULD have thought of that when the sea serpent first started behaving oddly, I guess, though I didn't really think of a sea serpent as a snake. Oh THE CHILD may be a parseltongue.

You have a sentence, "perhaps Gaunt had lost aot Peakes while gambling." I'm guessing the "aot" should be "to".

I also like the story of the children's parents that you have inserted into this. So sad and the epilogue is absolutely brilliant and emotive.

Author's Response: Hello again!

I'm glad you liked the background and the sources! I really enjoyed writing the song, and was actually humming it to myself the other day which was a bit of a strange experience. :P The texts were also interesting to include and contrast with Flamel's memory of history.

Thanks for pointing out the typos, I've gone through and fixed them! :)

Yes! The mystery was sort of all pieced together in this chapter, and I hope you liked it. It was all very sneaky and I debated whether I should explain it in Flamel's words or leave it open-ended. Ah, I know what you mean - I imagine the sea serpent being a bit like a huge, salt-water basilisk, but that is more passive and interested in fish than in people. It was quite fun for me placing all the little clues throughout!

I found it so sad as well, but I suppose it had to show that although the sea serpent story was tragic and corrupt, it was the past and is only really a story to distract from the present tough situation. I'm really pleased you liked the epilogue - I debated putting it in but felt it was right to tie up the loose ends and move away from Flamel's voice and give somebody else's opinion of him.

Thanks you so much for the very thoughtful review, and for the challenge! :) This was such a great idea and I really enjoyed writing for it.

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Review #3, by MargaretLane Middle

17th March 2014:
Apologies for the long delay in getting to this. I've been really busy recently, but today, being our national holiday, I finally have some free time. Results should be up soon, so keep an eye out. *grins*

You capture the speaking pattern of the old man so well. I can really hear him.

Hmm, the French word for king is "roi". That's interesting as the Irish word is "rí".

And I LOVE the way you contrast the situation in Britain and France. It makes sense that different countries would have different customs. And I can totally imagine the French revolution leading to less tolerance for magic, what with the whole Enlightenment and the distaste for frivolous things, understandably, as the people had been starving as the lords and ladies partied. I can well imagine the Sans Culottes seeing magic as just one more waste of money that should be swept aside.

*shivers at the thought of the killing of the enemies of the Crown* That usually doesn't bode well for my little country (and the word "bode" is rather appropriate there).

LOVE the little girl pouting at the implication that girls aren't brave.

OK, it sounds like this story is being told later than I thought. I kind of assumed the story was being told around the 18th or early 19th century, but if Voldemort is being mentioned, it must be after 1970. And before 1992 when Flamel dies.

You know, the Gaunts remind me of the Plantations here when the English and Scottish landowners were allowed only Protestant English and Scottish tenants and servants and not Catholic Irish.

Hmm, I wonder if this is the Peaks who would later get a place on the Gryffindor team and a sister, perhaps? Or no, if they are fighting in the first war, he wouldn't be born yet.

I like the way poorer wizards had to drop out of school early in earlier times. It makes sense the wizarding world would reflect the classism of the time.

Author's Response: Hello! :) Not a problem at all, though I am sorry in return for the lateness of this response!

And happy belated St. Patty's day! :D I was writing an Irish Lit essay all on that day, which is quite fitting.

I'm glad you felt you could hear him! I had a fun time working on his voice and trying to tell the story in the way he would.

That's quite interesting about roi and ri! I suppose all of the old languages lend to one another in certain ways.

Thank you! I'm so pleased you liked the France references. I quite enjoyed imagining what the magical world and magical politics might be like in France and how that would influence England. Yes, that's just what I thought - that magic in France turned into a sort of plaything of the aristocracy and the common people would be angered by this and possibly even afraid of it. I wish I knew even more about the French Revolution as focusing on it in a fanfic would be really fascinating.

I know! :( These times were really not very nice for Ireland - not that most times were, to be fair. And I love your mention of the word 'bode,' haha!

Yes! I actually got quite attached to those two kids by the end of this story. I've been sneakily integrating members of the Peakes family into some of my other stories as well for some reason.

I placed this at some point during Voldemort's first rise, though it's not entirely clear in the story. I wanted to kind of let the reader guess and figure it out instead of stating implicitly, as it would read a little awkwardly if Flamel just dropped in the year.

That's quite interesting! It is rather like that, and I think there are some interesting parallels to be drawn between magic/muggle and religious differences. In some of the poems I've studied this semester in my Irish literature class the poets talk about how Ireland should be unified regardless of the religion of its people (I just wrote a whole essay on this :P) and how differences between "brothers" are tearing "Erin" apart and leaving her a "widow.' I feel that the magical/muggle divide is similar in a way because the biology and culture of the people are the same, yet streamed into two different groups who hate and fear one another. It's quite cool to have a reader like you for this story who has that knowledge of history and can see the Irish historical influences in this story! :)

Ah yes, I imagined that life as a poor wizard would be more difficult.

Thanks so much for the brilliant review, and for choosing this story as one of the winners. I really appreciate it! :)

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Review #4, by ShadowRose End

15th March 2014:
Hi, I'm back again for this last chapter!

I really love the historical excerpts you've included in this whole story, because I feel like it gives so much more factual basis to the story (even though it is fiction of course) and firmly roots it in magical history by providing all of this context.

This chapter in particular features much more conversation with the children than the previous ones have, which provides a great deal of information about the current scenario. It's horrible that the childrens' parents were killed, but at least they show a greater sympathy for Muggles than the Gaunts did, despite past relations. Plus, this allows Flamel to provide so much more wisdom, which is fitting since he's seen so much of the world.

The conclusion to the story itself was dramatic yet straight-forward, but the part that came after was definitely my favourite. I love how all these different plot points begin to connect to show just how involved this whole plot was, and prove that history is rarely ever exactly the way it's portrayed in the books. There's always something no one's telling us.

I really like the conversation between Perenelle and Nicholas, because it shows the combined wisdom between the two of them. I also love that they switch between English and French as they speak, in order to best express themselves. I love when fluent people do that, it's so entertaining.

Finally, I love the parallel at the end, when the children, fully grown, are standing in the same place Flamel once stood, and everything's changed, yet they still have a deep appreciation for their grandfather and all of the things that he did.

Overall, this was just a joy to read and have such a great insight into a little tidbit of magical history. Great job!

-ShadowRose (Taylor)

(Blackout Battle review 11/20 for opposite house)

Author's Response: Hi again! :)

I'm glad you like the historical parts! I had fun incorporating them into the story and imagining how the Muggle and wizarding worlds might intersect.

Yes, I was saving it a little bit for the end. I know, I feel so sorry for them, and I imagine it was a typical situation for so many families during the war. :( And yes, it gave Flamel a reason for being there and needing to distract them with the old story and help them forget about their parents for a little while.

I'm glad you liked the ending! It was one of my favourite parts as well, and I wanted to play with how the act itself wasn't the most colourful part of the story, but all the things that went on behind the scenes. The whole thing kind of being rigged and planned was definitely something that the historians wouldn't know about, so I enjoyed putting that into the story.

I'm pleased you liked Nellie and Flamel! :) They seemed cute in my head-canon, I'm quite impressed they've been married for all these years yet still aren't sick of one another. And the French was fun to write!

I'm so glad you liked this - thank you so much for all the reviews! It was really wonderful to get your thoughtful feedback on the story. :)

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Review #5, by ShadowRose Middle

15th March 2014:
Hello, I'm back again for this second chapter!

Aha, so I was right about it being Flamel! That really does explain so much, and now we know why he's still alive to tell the tale. You've done a great job showing all his wisdom that accompanies his age, and his commentary suggests that he's definitely been around for a long time in order to fully understand how the world works.

Looks like the Ministry's just as corrupt then as it was during the series! Actually, Bode's automatic suspicion of the serpent seemed just like the way the Ministry was with the de mentors in Order of the Phoenix, but at least this time the serpent showed himself to prove that Flamel's story was true.

I always love when little canon details are thrown into stories, so I love that you've mentioned the Gaunts here. You've definitely summarised their family's strangeness well, and captured the character traits we already know about them from the books in your description.

I find it interesting that Peake actually broke into Hogwarts, because that definitely seems like quite a feat. But then again, I'm used to Dumbledore's Hogwarts, so there's probably a wide gap there.

Once again, I really love the style of this story, because it creates two different scenes at once and creates a really great dual nature to the story. I'm intrigued to see ho we defeats the serpent, so I'll be heading on to the next chapter as soon as I get the chance!

-ShadowRose (Taylor)

(Blackout Battle review 10/20 for opposite house)

Author's Response: Hi again! :) Thanks for coming back!

Haha yes! :P I'm glad you liked him, and his portrayal of the world. He's quite negative in some ways but he has seen a lot, and I hoped that would come through even though he was speaking to little children.

Haha yes, I felt the Ministry would be very corrupt for most of its history since it was pretty bad by the time Harry came along. I'm pleased you liked Bode's suspicion and how it tied in with the typical Ministry disbelief. It felt very frustrating for Flamel but realistic for the times.

I love little canon details too! The Gaunts, well I just couldn't resist, they are quite fascinating to me and of course have the connection to Slytherin. At this point in time they're more respected, but still have that slightly wild hatred and suspicion that we see in the books.

Yeah, I imagined Hogwarts would be very different, and he had a bit of... assistance. Plus I was too lazy to find a whole story for him to get the sword, to be fair. :P

I'm glad you like the dual nature of the story and the style! It's quite difficult to write and I'm not sure I would attempt it again, but it's lovely that you liked it.

Thanks so much for the lovely review! :)

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Review #6, by ShadowRose Beginning

15th March 2014:
Hi! I was browsing your author's page for Blackout Bingo and decided this story needed a little love!

Okay, so this centers around the Aged Stranger... This may be off, but I get the feeling he's Nicholas Flamel, since he's so old and able to tell the story to his great times eight grandchildren. Plus, he doesn't seem to be afraid of death or think he's going to die anytime soon, so it sounds like he's in possession of something that makes him immortal, so that's even more like Flamel. And Nellie sounds like a nickname for Perenelle. And if I'm wrong that's gonna be really awkward because I thought really far into this. :P

I really like the premise for this story, with slaying the sea serpent as the main story. I think that's definitely something unique, and it'll be really entertaining to read about. And Peakes is trying to find the Sword of Gryffindor? Well, we know that doesn't exactly come easily, so I have to wonder if he'll actually be successful or not.

Your writing style here is totally different from your usual, but I really like it. It does give the illusion that he's telling the story to his descendants, with all the little parenthetical observations. It's great because it creates two different scenes at once - the scene of the story, and the scene in which he's telling the story - which is so much fun to read.

Overall, the was a really great start to the story, and I can't wait to see where you take it from here!

-ShadowRose (Taylor)

(Blackout Battle review 9/20 for opposite house)

Author's Response: Hi Taylor! :)

Thank you so much for reviewing this story! :D I really appreciate all the feedback on it as it is rather strange. I've really loved your reviews.

Hehe, well you know by now that you were right about him being Flamel. :P I love how people were able to figure that out from the clues.

I'm glad you like the idea for the story! I found the information on the Lexicon and thought it sounded quite interesting. Yes, Peakes is quite crafty, and as you'll know by now he might use some unorthodox methods to get it.

Ah, I know! This writing style was so weird at first, but I'm pleased that I got the chance to try something new and experiment a bit. :) I'm glad you found it fun!

Thank you so much for the lovely review, Taylor! ♥

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Review #7, by LilyEPotter Beginning

1st March 2014:

A very interesting beginning to the story. A dreaded sea serpent. I like how the Aged Stranger can admire the sea serpent after he saved the Muggles and how he wonders if the village has spoken with it. I just have to shake my head at how the village hadn't tried that option and hired someone to take care of it for them. *sigh* It does tend to be the usual response, unfortunately. Not only do I not like Peakes because of his attitude towards the sea serpent, his history is reprehensible and the ring reminds me of the ring that held the Resurrection Stone. Is Peakes a Gryffindor? If not, then how does he expect to find the sword? If he is, what noble deed will he do to be able to use the sword? Isn't that just like the Ministry to send a note about having used magic in the presence of Muggles even though he could use it because lives were in danger. *sigh*

Gryffindor vs. Slytherin Blackout Bingo
Review 10 of 10

Author's Response: Hello! :)

I'm glad you found it interesting! I'm glad you liked his perspective on the serpent, and how he's worried about its welfare. You may have noticed that he doesn't like people that much and is quite sympathetic towards the creature!

Yes, it is quite frustrating at how the village was dealing with the problem! One would hope that if the story were in the present tense they would be a little more attentive in dealing with it.

Peakes is portrayed just horribly here. And hmm, interesting observation about the ring... :) He is a Gryffindor, though not the noblest one really.

It is just like the Ministry! :P Haha, the Ministry is really useless in this story, just as they were in Harry's time.

Thanks so much for the thoughtful review! :)

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Review #8, by Penelope Inkwell Beginning

22nd February 2014:
One thing that does confuse me--is the grandfather more than 300 years old? Because I know wizards can have a long life, but do they really last that long?
--Oh, I just figured it out! This is NIcholas Flamel, isn’t it? Nellie is Perenelle! How clever of you! I really couldn’t fathom how he was so old. You might have noticed how I am about trying to figure out all the little details, so it was just churning around in the back of my mind, driving me crazy, until you mentioned his “nightly dosage” of his “special cordial”. What an idea! You always find the most interesting perspectives for your short-stories and one-shots, and yet I never saw it coming till that moment. :D

Your beginning is beautiful, as they all are. Oy, I do not have any idea how you do it. And the folk song set the stage gorgeously.

“This is why the sea serpent was such a problem.”
--just one of those one-liners that makes you choke on your tea. Understatement, you have it to an art.

I just love the sort of salty tone you’ve added to this tale. Something about your descriptions, I guess. It just fits.

I like that you’ve sort of inverted the way I’d assume the story would be told. Peakes appears to be the monster. And while I’d certainly be interested in your typical David-and-Goliath, man vs. monster tale, this take on it is all the more intriguing. You are just so clever!

Besides which, I’ve been interested in the Sea Serpent of Cromer story for a while. It’s one of those gems I had noticed on the HP wiki, so when I realized that that’s what your story was about, I was so excited!


"I will describe it to you – it had a head like a dragon, but with slippery, soft scales, as you would find on a fish. It had large, intelligent eyes, and very sharp teeth. Its body was long and fluid, and had small fins which protruded and allowed it to swim very quickly.”
--This is a wonderful description. It might flow a bit better, however, if all three sentences didn’t begin with “it” or “its” (Super nitpicky, I know, but your stories are always so good that nitpicking is most of what’s left to do when it comes to CC).

When the narrator describes looking out the inn’s window and seeing “him”--whoever’s leg is too short--is that the boy or the hunter? I’m guessing the boy, but I’m unsure.
--okay, further along, I’ve realized that it was Peakes, but that was momentarily confusing.

Then just some spelling things:

"Something I have often thought about our family was now very dearly we commit ourselves to those we love,”
--“now” = how

twisting the large, black rich

Cadmus Boyne
--“Boyne” = Bode

You’ve done a lovely job, just as you always do. You create such a vibrant world, even for short stories! It’s incredible.


Author's Response: Hello! :)

Hehe, I love how you figured it out! :) There was no place where it felt "right" to outrightly state he was Flamel in this chapter, but I'm really happy that clue was what gave it away. I've really enjoyed hearing reviewers' reactions when they realized!

I'm glad you liked the beginning! The song was so fun to write, it's become a bit of a habit for me to begin historical stories with a song to get into the mindset.

Haha, such an understatement! Glad you liked it! :) I also really like the "salty" quality you described - it's odd, but I know what you mean. This story was a very new perspective and voice for me to write in but it was still very fun.

Thank you, I'm happy you like the perspective! :) It sort of turned out this way, and I enjoyed imagining the mystery surrounding the sea serpent and the actions in Cromer. It's really cool that you noticed it on the Lexicon as well - I looked on hpff and couldn't find any stories about it, but there are so many little gems on the lexicon which I wish there were more stories about!

Can I just hire you to nitpick all my stories? :P Thank you, you're so helpful and I've just gone through and corrected all of that. I'm the laziest editor ever when it comes to my own work, so I love review that take the time to go through and point out the typos! :) (and I often have some pretty odd typos...)

Thank you for the lovely review, I'm so glad you liked this chapter! :D I really appreciate hearing all your thoughts. ♥

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Review #9, by toomanycurls Middle

22nd February 2014:
Hello!!! I read this while I was waiting for my appointment and had to hold in a great deal of oohing and awing. Reading FF in public makes me look almost crazy.

I really enjoyed your quote at the beginning from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It put me in mind of the zooligocial perspective for this story.

This chapter, I connected that it's Nicolas Flamel telling thiss tory. That was my first moment of unabashed excitement. I can't remember if you explicitly pointed out who the narrator was in the last chapter but I was certainly excited about it here. That gives the story so much more credibility as an actual historial record.

I love the idea of the Ministry using informers to catch when magic was done in front of muggles. I imagine that it'd be easy to find out about with technology being so limited so anything magic would stand out greatly.

Bode doubting whether there had been a monster to begin with reminded me of Fudge's treatment of Harry with the dementers. I wonder if this incident caused them to add the amendment about doing magic to save a muggle's life. Ooh, and I like how you mentioned the obliviator looking tired from taking all those memories from the muggles. It's such an interesting idea that it would exact something on the wizard to mess with someone's memory.

I was excited to see the Gaunts make an appearance in this story and to hear a bit about their intermixing with muggle elitist classes. It seems that muggles are worthless unless they have quite a bit of gold.

I really like how you give hints about when this story is being told. I've decided that one of the kids has to the beater Peakes who played quidditch with Harry - that fits with the hints you gave about Voldemort and Dumbledore being alive. Then slipping in that their parents are fighting in the (first?) war is just wonderful. You are a brilliant person.

I couldn't believe that Peakes stole the sorting hat from Hogwarts!! I love the side story on how corrupt the school was then and that muggleborns had to be exceptional to get in. Even the bit about poorer students not studying for the entire time (which you also have in Play the Devil but I love that you're consistent in your HP-lore).

Oily lips - ew. X-|

This story is so multidimensional that my head my explode from your awesome. It's like Princess Bride except your have a more compelling story with the kids here.


Author's Response: Hi Rose! :)

Ah, reading FF in public is so funny! :) I'm sure a lot of us can relate to this. :P

I'm glad you liked the quote! I wanted to drive home the idea that the sea serpent isn't naturally violent and what the official records and authorities might say about things like this.

Yay! Yes, I'm not sure why it didn't feel quite right to explain outright he was Flamel in the last chapter, but I'm glad you like the connection. Despite his biases and generally irritable personality, Flamel definitely has the authority to be telling this story. It's so interesting, thinking of how much he's lived through: it makes me want to write so many more stories about him!

I'm happy you liked the detail about the informers. It gives the chance for corruption but also for how knowledge and law would have worked in those times. The Ministry's corruption at this point and the informers make it quite dangerous to be a wizard.

I love how you connected this to Fudge - Bode is rather like a more violent and brutal version of him. And there might be a little more to his character than just ignorance... :P This would definitely be one of the incidents which people might cause a fuss about and might lead to eventual policy changes, I'd like to think. I'm glad you liked the detail about the Obliviators as well! I felt it would have to be a very difficult and straining job, or else everyone would go around Obliviating everyone else all the time when they did something bad. :P

Yes! In my head canon anyway, wizards have no problem mingling with Muggles if they have the chance to gain from it and exploit the Muggles.

Ooh, interesting connection! :) They definitely have something to do with that boy. You're so perceptive, hehe. :)

I know! Hogwarts in my mind goes through periods of prosperity and corruption depending on the Headmaster. I'm glad you liked the consistency, hehe. It's fun letting the stories link to one another in very subtle ways.

Ew. Agreed.

I'm glad you like the different levels of the story, it was actually so much fun to write and imagine! I'm excited for you to read the next chapter (review swap soon?) and to hear your thoughts on it... the story weirdly ended up turning into a bit of a mystery. I'm happy you find the story with the kids compelling as well, I was quite pleased with how it fit together.

Thank you for the amazing review, Rose! :D I love hearing your thoughts and reactions here, you're just such a great reviewer!

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Review #10, by Red_headed_juliet Beginning

22nd February 2014:
Hello again! Here for the swap! I love the narration style! It reminds me of the Princess Bride, and you've done very well at flowing in and out of the storyline with the narrator, I don't think I could've done it.

I find the story very interesting so far and will be reading/reviewing the second chapter (after I eat something and load the dishwasher.) +] I'm looking forward to it. And don't feel like you need to leave me two reviews, I just like this story is all.

Author's Response: Hello! :)

I'm so glad you like the narration! It was a spur of the moment decision to write it this way but I'm having a lot of fun with it. I'm glad you think it flows well, and love how it reminds you of the Princess Bride!

Ah don't feel you have to review, I'm just so excited to hear you like the story and want to read on! :D Thanks so much for the lovely review!

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Review #11, by MargaretLane Beginning

14th February 2014:
Your song is very believable as a folk song and sounds very "English".

I also like your narrator's "voice." It's very distinctive.

And OH, I do like the mention of the "poor Irish". I have decided I dislike Cadmus Bode.

I also like this character's assertion that giants violent nature have been cultivated by their treatment at the hands of humans. That makes a lot of sense.

Love his rephrasing that sentence to say wives. And the part where he decides the children are too young to find his joke about wand size amusing.

Hmm, I get the impression Peakes is NOT a nice person. Just the description of his hand makes him come across as slimy and untrustworthy.

And the spell he does for the nobleman pretty much confirms my suspicion.

Wonder if it's the Sword of Gryffindor that Peakes seeks. Yeah, I guessed right.

Hmm, I'd guess the stranger is Nicolas Flamel. He is the only person I could think of who lived that long and his wife is Perenelle, which could be shortened to Nellie. He does seem rather less urbane than I would have imagined Flamel, but that is just MY headcanon and not canon at all.

Excellent first chapter. Looking forward to seeing how things continue.

Author's Response: Hello! :)

I'm glad you liked the song! I quite liked writing it and getting in the state of mind for the story. There are a few other stanzas which I wasn't allowed to post in this chapter so they might be making appearances later on.

I'm glad you like his voice as well! This very personal style of first-person narration is something very new for me, and challenging, but in a positive way.

Oh good, I dislike him as well. He's a very nasty, typical power-hungry wizard, I'm afraid. I believe from what I've seen about the forums that you're Irish as well so you'll have to let me know if I get any facts wrong - I've been studying the Irish literature of the period lately so it's been sneaking into my writing.

I figured that giants can't be all bad, and that their isolation and stigma would have lead to enhancing their aggressive natures. The character is very sympathetic to animals as well, and he doesn't like humans quite as much as you might have noticed.

Hehe, I'm glad you liked it! :) I figured he might get a little carried away by the story and have to remember his audience.

Peakes is... well, the narrator doesn't portray him very well, but he is very selfish and a little bloodthirsty. I thought the spell he did was so awful as well, but it felt like the sort of abusive service wizards of the time could make some easy money from.

Good guesses here! :) And yes, it is Flamel. I'm glad you picked up on that! I was going to put his identity in the story directly but there was no perfect place to fit it in. Haha, I know what you mean! His character is so funny to write here because he's been alive for so long. He sort of wrote himself here, but as he's talking to children he is a little more grandfatherly and gentle. He really dislikes a lot of adults and he holds grudges, just because he's seen so much human corruption over his several hundred years. He's... a funny one.

Thank you for the brilliant review, and for the awesome challenge! I had a lot of fun researching the story and writing it, and hope to have the next chapter up in the next couple of days. :)

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Review #12, by toomanycurls Beginning

11th February 2014:
Hello!! Sorry I took a few hours more than I thought. Dinner with friends turned into a long affair of updating a resume and talking about opening a consulting firm.

That's really too bad because I wanted to be the first review on this story!

Starting this off, I feel like I'm being told a story by my grandpa. I could imagine being told this as a bedtime story and staying up late wanting to heart more.

I love that he's explaining that the sea serpant was a problem - I would have assumed that a sea serpant was a problem without explanation. It's interesting though that they aren't ferocious by nature.

mmm, old dirty port smells. x-|

I like the idea of magic having costs and benefits - that feels perfect for an old timey story. I wish that was an aspect of magic that JKR explored more. The sea serpant sounds quite scary though it was probably less intimidating after they killed it.

I'm a bit surprised the muggles didn't react more to the magic. though maybe they were just greatful for being saved.

The narration in this is just perfect. I hope you do a podcast of this story because it was meant to be read aloud.

Yuna has quite the interesting back story. you do a great job making character so rich that I could read a story just about them to learn more.

ooh! He's French!!

I doubt this will surprise you, but I giggled at his comment regarding wand size.

every time I extend my left hand to my husband he asks if I have a weapon in my right (it's also a thing I guess).

hmm, having Peakes try to slay the sea serpant could be interesting. I'm kind of creeped out by Peakes' service too - maybe that's what he did with Yuna! (because Peakes is a bad guy in my head)

It's exciting to have the sword of Gryffindor in the story!! I wonder how Peakes got it.

I was wondering if he'd get in trouble for doing magic in front of muggles - I can't wait to see how things pan out with Cadmus.

Again you're showcasing brilliant story telling and flexibility with your writing style and narrative prose!

Can't wait for more


Author's Response: Hi Rose! Ah, no worries. And opening a consulting firm sounds pretty cool! :P I'm sorry for taking so long with this response! :)

I'm glad you liked the feel of a bedtime story! I had a lot of fun - though it was a little challenging - imagining how his voice might sound.

Yes, I actually got some of the information from the hp lexicon. I imagined them being quite similar to any other wild animal, though there might be more to this magical creature than it seems...

Haha, but it must have smelled so delicious to the serpent at least...

I agree, I really like the idea of dark and light and how magic has dangerous sides. Yes, the creature would be very terrifying especially for the poor Muggles in their boats!

Yeah, I imagined that after being nearly eaten by the serpent they would be a little shell-shocked but happy to be alive. :P His actions do come with consequences though, we get to see how he deals in the next chapter. :)

Ah, I love the idea of this being a podcast! My voice is probably too girly and young and Canadian to do it justice, but maybe I could find somebody who could do it better. :) That would be so cool!

I'm glad you liked Yuna! I really like her as a character, especially since he likes her a lot more than he likes most other people. He's a bit of a hater sometimes. :P

Haha, it does not surprise me at all that you giggled. :P I feel like I might have subconsciously been thinking of you and how you could appreciate it when I wrote it.

Haha that's funny! I've never thought of that but it makes sense, maybe from the medieval times and hiding weapons?

Peakes is a bit of a bad guy here. :P He is really creepy but does what he has to in order to survive.

I'm so glad you're asking quesitons and wondering about what is going to happen! :) this is making me more excited to get the next chapter up.

Aw, thank you! :) I'm so glad you think I'm showing flexibility with my writing. That's one of my goals for this year.

Thank you for the amazing review! :D

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Review #13, by marauderfan Beginning

10th February 2014:
Hello! I love the way you did the narration here, as he tells a story to his great-great (etc) grandchildren. It feels like he is right there telling the story - and it's fantastic that he keeps getting distracted or questioning his memory or adding that werewolves aren't scary or making jokes that would potentially be inappropriate had he not remembered how old his audience was lol. I really like the way the storyis told - the perfect amount of distraction in there for a tale that he's probably told 4637465 times.

I have a feeling the narrator must be Nicholas Flamel. If he arrived in England in 1700 and was already old then, and seems to have seen a number of centuries including what seems like the wars against Voldemort... and I seem to remember Flamel's wife being called Perenelle, or Nellie. I like that you didn't say it outright, though. For the first half of the chapter I was really curious who he was and enjoyed thinking about it.

Ooh, that ring isn't the resurrection stone/future Horcrux, is it? Heh, knowing you and your tendency to slip sneaky details like that in your stories, it probably is :p

I like that Flamel's reasoning for Peakes' weirdness is an imbalance in the humours, quite appropriate to the time - and I love that many years/centuries later, Flamel still thinks of this as a possibility. Old habits die hard.

This is such a great start! I am really eager to read the rest of the story. Thanks for the swap :)

Author's Response: Hello! :)

Ahh, thank you! This story is probably one of the stranger things I've written and I was quite nervous about it, so it's really amazing to get your lovely feedback. I'm glad you like the voice and his little asides, and of course his jokes. :P I had a lot of fun playing with the style of the narration.

Hmm, that's a good guess! :P I'm glad you liked the mystery of it - I felt that it was right not to state it out loud since the kids already know who he is, so he wouldn't need to introduce himself. It was one of the funny little quirks about the very personal narration.

Hehe, interesting thought about the ring. :P I like how you understand my sneakiness. :P

Haha yes! Flamel was an alchemist too and I imagine him as being quite old-fashioned in some ways. He's a lot of fun to write.

Thanks for the brilliant review, I'm glad you like it so far! :) I'm going to try and have the next chapter up soon, a large chunk is already written. Thanks so much! :D

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