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Responses to Quill reviews, pt 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Responses to Quill reviews, pt 1
I always feel weird answering reviews on the review page of a fic, though I do it sometimes, because it looks so odd for an author to have her name pasted all over a review page!

Anyway, I'm starting to look at questions and such on my stories at SQ. I may do more stories at a later date.


Shades
Chapter 5
Starsea: Where did you get the name 'Madrigan'? It sounds lovely.
Dora Madrigan's--aka, Maddie's--name was one of those out-of-thin-air things. I knew her name was Dora and she was called "Maddie," and Madrigan just came out instead of Madison or Madrigal. I googled it and it is a real name, but I haven't found any further information on it.

Senna: What's a Moses basket?
Thanks to my extremely helpful Britpickers, I discovered that this is a better word to use in the setting than "basinet." Google image search on "Moses basket."

Chapter 4
Dzennka: It does make me wonder how sustainable the Greyback subplot will be. I think the interludes will have to get more plot-driven and gloss over some details of inter-personal interaction among the werewolves. I know it's generally a very character-driven story, but having to read these interpersonal dynamics 8/10/12 times is really going to be a bit much.
There is some plot driven stuff in the interludes, but the plot is mainly to explore the character and really put Remus through some grueling paces as he deals with his bestial nature. The interpersonal relationships in the first part are just getting set up, and the guns being set on stage for later firing at Remus's psyche. I'm afraid the interludes are going to get more, not less, intense. Unless I chicken out, of course. But they won't get any more descriptive--the violence and innuendo are at about the level I intend to continue portraying them at: a kind of constant undercurrent, but something Remus isn't going to think about in any great, gory detail.

PygmyPuff: I wondered, though, why Fenrir wouldn't want the males & females to mate, even if only occasionally; presumably that would increase the size of the pack, even if the kids had to be bitten afterwards to become werewolves.
I answered this on the review page, but I actually got this doing research on wolf packs. It surprised me, because I was mostly reading to figure out how to avoid the sex issue when Remus is transformed--would he have to go off alone or something? But it turns out that one of the reasons wolves tend to go "lone" and form new packs is that the male and female alphas reserve mating for themselves alone. (Both sexes are known to try and cheat--and sometimes succeed at it--but it's pretty strictly enforced in the wolf social hierarchy.) So Fenrir behaves as an alpha wolf--the pack belongs to him. And since he's also a little tinhorn dictator, he doesn't really allow the young ones to go off on their own, and frankly, despite his protestations to the contrary, Remus is right that he's not at all happy even when the adults go off and seek companionship outside the pack/his rule.

Chapter 2
Ardie Bea: "TRA.." Is Snape really behind this? You know I actually believe you know the answer?
Yes, I am all-knowing. ;)

I'm just going by what Snape said to Narcissa and Bellatrix. There must be some reason that the DEs assume he was involved, so something is probably connected. Whether Emmeline discovered that Snape really is a traitor or she stumbled across him playing the role of a traitor and had no information that would tell her he wasn't really really traitorous, I don't know. I'm a Snape agnostic as far as what he's doing in HBP, and I'm not going to try and resolve the issue JKR left us with.

PygmyPuff: I wonder what Ted & Andromeda are about to do? And will they have any more children?
I'm still struggling with what the Tonkses are going to do and why Nymphadora is alone on Christmas. Other children? They're still working on it, but I think I'm not going to write one way or another until book 7 comes out and everything is known. Then we can introduce new relatives with great abandon.

David Wolfskill: Remus' note, thopugh -- I was a little surprised that he referred to "Harry Potter's birthday on the thirty-first of July," vs. merely "Harry's birthday on the thirty-first of July."
The mention of the note wasn't meant to be a report of its actual contents. Remus probably did just say "Harry's birthday," but in reporting on the note, it's in a more distant voice, so it felt right to use the full name.

Chapter 1
Aragog: Ye Gods, you're doing another one?

I'll be happy to read it, but you've got the talent to attempt something of your own.

Thanks; I really do appreciate the sentiment! Alas, I don't have a lot of good ideas, and the fic ideas that come to me tend to be very, very tied to canon--not "What if a werewolf were in love with a Shapechanger?" but "What if Remus and Tonks were posing as a couple at Dudley Dursley's school?" I had an oddball idea this morning, which I may try during NaNo if I don't decide to do Hadria's Hope, but I'm just not overflowing with original stories.

Ladybug: Just one small thing that makes me cringe - when Dora tacks 'is all' to the end of a sentence (this annoys me like an 's' on the end of 'anyway'). It sounded really out of place to me because I've never heard that usage before reading fanfic. I would have said 'I'm just worried, that's all.'
Yeah, that probably needed a good Britpicking is all. It's a total Fern-ism, which may or may not be a Western New York-ism (danaedark or chienar... is it just me, or do we all tend to use "is all" at the end of sentences?).

Marauders of the Round Table
Multiple: What year are they, and what's with the first year books?
I screwed up, and got shy about reporting my screw-up and sending in a corrected copy, because that was just a stupid, careless thing. I realized when I was beta-ing it that I needed to expand a bit and nail it down some, so I established third year with their first visit to Hogsmeade, never thought of them as anything but third year, and then proceeded, for reasons that don't make sense in any version of reality, to have James searching first year Transfiguration books and cadging a third year book off an older girl. I fixed it, and as of today, it's a third year book he has and a fifth year book he borrows.

Sara: I like it - where do you want to go? I'll follow out of curiousity!
Nowhere, really. It was just my thought on how they started using "Marauders" and what they were like early on.

Alphie: I hope you submit it to the WWR as I'm sure everyone will get a kick out of it.
I seem not to be getting mail from WWR--I registered and requested a password, but nothing ever came. As soon as it does, I'm definitely going to put it over there.

Lines of Descent
arochwen romen (also asked by Sunami): but in CoS, Hagrid was said to have been caught trying to raise werewolf cubs under his bed. if female werewolves can't conceive, where did they come from?
According to JKR, Tom was telling slanderous lies on Hagrid in CoS--werewolves do not have cubs; they only are created by biting.

Emlow: i dont get the last moons...
That's just me kind of extrapolating about life as a lycanthrope. The transformation seems, by itself, to be a severe physical trauma that causes pain and illness even to otherwise healthy people. The "Last Moon" is a full moon that comes when the werewolf is infirm and too weak to withstand the transformation, and is therefore killed by it.

Lord James: Just a question, why were all the dates in July.
It was just a structural choice to come back to the same time every five years. And I'm a July baby, so I like July. ;)

kitzamaeve (also asked by Leia Naberrie): Was the one who snapped her wand Snape?
Oh, yeah, that's definitely what I intended, though Remus later thinks it might have been Sirius. While I'm an agnostic on current Snape, I think sincere DE Snape back in the first war, before he switched sides, was probably severely deranged on some subjects, and given that he's still obsessed with the Prank as an adult, I'd think werewolves would loom large on his personal hit list, though of course he'd have been forbidden from attacking those who supported Voldemort.

atropos: I wonder if the reason Remus hadn't told Elizabeth that he forgave her before then was because he didn't think there was anything to forgive?
I'm not sure about that, even after in HBP he talks about his feelings about the wolf who actually did bite him. He speaks of trying to be understanding and forgiving because he knew what it was like, but the fact that it was rather hard work suggests that he does have a lot of bitterness, which is what I was thinking when I wrote LoD, though his actual biting allows him a lot more emotional room to be bitter than my version did.

ilene: (hmm, did you get that idea from the classical myth of Remus and Romulus?).
:sheepish look: I forgot about it entirely.

I wonder; was Bellatrix one of the Death Eaters "coupling"?
It was Rodo and Bella. Definitely the kind of thing she'd get off on.

Not Asha: And did you make *both* Lily and Alice aurors?
Ayuh. Just for kicks.

yarrow: part two - Why didn't the Phelans do something about the cage after Remus was bitten?
Barn doors, horses coming home, etc. Also, and more to the point, making some kind of mammoth change to it would have made it a lot more visible and raised questions among the locals. They probably did make some magical adjustments to it.

In the first chapter, I just accpeted that the Phelans had told their neighbours. But in the second when the two families seemed to have kept it secret from all their other neighbours; it seemed a mismatch. Hope you will expand on this more, is is because Remus is a kid? Was it related to Hogwarts hopes?
The Phelans told the Lupins because they wanted to warn them about a present danger; they didn't tell other neighbors generally. Once the Lupins were forced in on the secret, they created a perimeter around both places and kept it all secret.

A Drift of Azaleas
Lady Nagini (also asked by Rachel): Did you get your inspiration from Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily"?
No, I've actually still not gotten around to reading it, though I mean to.

Starsea: The glimpse of Bellatrix was chilling, although it seemed a little pointless - perhaps to illustrate just how bad his memories could be?
At the point Sirius is remembering Bellatrix and his mother not paying attention to him, he's deliberately recalling bad memories, because he's been very unpleasantly surprised by a good memory on first sight of the house--playing blind man's bluff with Regulus, who only wanted to be carried around by his wonderful big brother if he won. Sirius doesn't want good memories of his family--he wants to be totally unambiguous about them, and I'd imagine that thinking about his murdered brother must be painful, especially if they parted on bad terms--so he deliberately calls up memories of his cousin being vindictive and his mother believing her story over his.

Kind Eyes
Chelsea_Evans (also asked by Stella and Pineapple Queen): Good God was that-- Sirius??
Yup. Sirius, James, Remus, and Peter were watching him for the Order, and Sirius, in dog form, was with him in the graveyard. Sirius and James in animal form tracked him into the woods, and tried to stop the final attack.

Stella: Ever think about writing a young Weasley boys series a la Little Men?
Ha! No, not really. I enjoy them--and Little Men was a great favorite of mine--but I can't think of enough adventures to make up for them.

Author By Night: Just out of curiosity - what does he mean by "its time to be one of them again?" Did he come back as Ron or something?
Ugh, that was an unclear line, wasn't it? He was talking to Bill, who was going on about how brothers were supposed to protect each other and fight for each other, and defend people. Bilius feels that he hasn't been pulling his weight in the war, as his brothers have been doing, and saying "It's time to be one of them again" means that he's going to start waging war with Voldemort's people, the same as Gideon and Fabian are.

Banding Together
Anonymous (also asked by Mirlda and Pineapple Queen): Any possibility we here more about M.U.D.S.? Maybe after Shifts is completed or in between, perhaps?
I like the M.U.D.S. and the Tonkses and Gilderoy, but operant conditioning (lotsa nice feedback) has geared me toward writing more popular characters. Call me Pavlova. ;P Seriously, I think the M.U.D.S. would have been a one-thing-after-another type of group, more than anything with an overarching plot possibility. It probably would degenerate fairly quickly into just Andromeda and Ted's story, with a side of how Gilderoy started down his path without anyone taking any notice.

NAR (also asked by Mr. Roberts III): Wow, don't you want to do something with this Benjy guy when the Marauders arrive at Hogwarts? James and Sirius would certanly approve his views and support him in hexing Slytherins :-)
Heh, I've really got to do a serious Marauders fic, which would involve other anti-Voldie types as well. Don't know when I'll get around to it, though.

I Hear Him Laughing
JK Ashavah: I am curious that Remus can see the Thestrals ... have you written anything which includes any further information on that aspect of your characterisation?
When I wrote it, I was thinking of Lines of Descent, when he saw Elizabeth die, but the guy was in the first war; even with LoD obsoleted, I'm sure Remus has seen people die along the way.

Your Very Own Dora
Lamina Court: There were many interesting points that stood out to me: Andromeda bruning Sirius out of photos: Black trait?
I think she was responding in a way she knew, though I have to cop to not thinking about it much. It's really not that weird and pathological. A lot of people deface or destroy pictures of someone who's hurt them.

Lin: One thing- why have a magical school for Squibs? If I were a Squib, I'd much rather live as a Muggle, where nobody would know that I was a shame to the family and everyone else would be like me.
Yeah, but Squibs are born to magical families, and living as a Muggle isn't an option for most of them. They can't go to magic school, because they can't do magic. But going to Muggle school would be equally difficult, especially for pure-blood Squibs, because they're coming from way outside the culture, and might blurt out anything in the early years. Also, their parents might want them to be educated within the wizarding culture. It's most likely that they're all home-schooled, but I wanted to give Remus a job, so I made up an experimental school to address this problem. It didn't last long.

Daroga: I don't know and latin, but the verb Dora was conjugating at the beginning of the story was the word for "lost," right?
Yup. I looked it up. Never let it be said that I don't do thorough and painstaking research. ;p
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Comments
harriet_wimsey From: harriet_wimsey Date: October 3rd, 2005 09:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is interesting, thanks. I enjoy reading you talk about your stories almost as much as I enjoy reading the stories themselves.
dalf From: dalf Date: October 5th, 2005 05:24 am (UTC) (Link)
What is WWR?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 5th, 2005 02:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Werewolf Registry. It's a Lupin-centric site.
dalf From: dalf Date: October 6th, 2005 01:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh yea. I remember, read a number of thing1's stories there.


4 comments or Leave a comment