Me: Here we go, getting straight into chapter eight. *wrinkles nose* I made a joke using the title once. And I sincerely doubt it’s going to be a jolly Christmas. This emo, sulky little pill hasn’t been truly happy once in this story.
Holly: Oh, I quickly grow tired of all the celebrating after the Quidditch win. Oh, whatever shall I do? How on earth do I hold up?
Me: See what I mean?
Holly: We also are looking in the library for information on the vault—the author was kind enough to add in an article mentioning Nicholas Flamel, because we’re that awesome. We also get it confirmed the canon way with Hagrid.
Weekend: *passed quickly, and soon enough, it was Monday*
Me: I hate time jumps. Now, I need to include this section—this again shows another similarity to Rose—friends are to be used, nothing more.
Holly had not seen her Gryffindor friends since the Quidditch match, mostly due to the fact that she had been so involved in the search for Flamel. When she did see them again, she teetered with telling them about the impending mystery.
On one hand, Hermione was an excellent researcher and would be an asset. Further, Ron and Neville, and possibly Fred and George, would be extra hands that could help them search.
On the other, the Slytherins plus Gavin and minus Draco and his stooges had discovered the mystery on their own and were the only ones working on it. Their search and the large amounts of time they spent together resulted in a bond; they were becoming friends, real friends.
Yes, the only real reason that she’d ever consider telling people she’s supposed to be friends with is so she could use them. How very nice. Maybe she is a Slytherin.
Holly: I’m also becoming good friends with all my roommates! Allow me to give a very long, very boring monologue expounding on each of these characters.
Me: Yes, let’s. And I’ll say why it’s wrong after we’re done with it.
Already, Holly was loosening up around them, letting them in. Before she had been on friendly terms with the others, but she had only really spent time with Theo, Milli, and Blaise. Further, she was only truly comfortable with the last. Now, she was relaxing around them, and even laughing and joking with them.
Her relationship with her roommates had improved dramatically. Originally, they had spoken very little, mostly greetings and the usual talk between those who share a living space. Currently, they were involved in each other’s lives.
Holly now knew about Pansy’s crush on Theo and her close bond with her mother. She learned about Autumn’s little brother and the girl’s hope that he was magical, too. She discovered Cynthia’s love for music and her never-ending need to practice her harp, even teaching Holly the basics. She learned about Daphne’s widowed mother, her father dying when Daphne was only a little girl, and about the girl’s hope that her mum would eventually find love again. Finally, she learned more about Milli, discovering her three passions: drawing, Quidditch, and gardening, of all things.
Holly now knew about all of this, and she could honestly say that she was much happier for it.
On the surface, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. She has friends other than the ones Harry knew—it’s understandable that we need some back story for these characters, as well as characterizations other than what JKR offered up to us (the CANON characterizations should stay as they are, however—AUTHOR). So, what’s wrong with this?
It’s an info dump. We found out about the characters of the HP world that were relevant gradually, not in one big giant monologue. This is not characterization—it’s just filler detail, and as a result, we really don’t care because it’s boring. The author’s just so excited to get to the next awesome thing that Holly can do that she’s completely skipping over proper characterization and finding out about these characters. And we aren’t being shown anything about Holly’s “opening up” to her so-called friends—we’re being told. And, as I’ve said before, I know I have a bad habit of telling rather than showing, but damn, I really don’t think I’m this bad.
Holly: I also asked Flitwick about the Fidelius charm.
Me: For no other reason other than the author’s read ahead about it and wants her to know about it now. It seriously doesn’t come up again.
Holly: And after that, I’m a frequent visitor of the Charms professor.
Me: Again, telling us rather than showing. Thank you.
Holly: I hear my friends discussing something behind a closed door! I listen in both physically and mentally, because remember, folks, I’m made of awesome with my mind powahs.
Friends: *discuss inviting Holly to one of their houses for Christmas*
Holly: Isn’t it nice how the whole world revolves around me?
Two weeks: *pass in one sentence*
Me: Have I mentioned how much I hate time jumps?
Blaise: I stay for Christmas to keep Holly company, because I have absolutely nothing better to do.
Me: Time for a sporking, I think. Let’s all marvel at Blaise’s inability to understand personal boundaries.
Blaise sighed contentedly, staring into the fire and occasionally glancing at his best friend.
Because we have to mention this. I seriously can’t tell if this is going to be a Holly/Blaise story or a Holly/Draco story. I’m starting to lean towards Blaise, personally.
After several moments, he unconsciously leaned toward Holly to whisper something to her, only to notice her flinch away automatically.
AS FUCKING USUAL. GODDAMMIT, HOW MANY TIMES ARE WE GONNA HAVE TO HEAR ABOUT THIS???!!!!
“Why do you do that?” he asked suddenly, pulling back to look at her.
Because it garners her attention, that’s why.
I should’ve started up a count, man. I swear I’d be in the fifties by now.
“Do what?” she countered innocently, scanning his surface thoughts in an attempt to discover what he was thinking.
“Scanning.” Maybe she’ll make his head explode next.
“Do this,” Blaise replied, touching her hand with his.
She instinctively recoiled and shifted away.
Bam! We’re probably in the sixties, now. And Blaise? If you notice she does it, maybe you should stop touching her. There’s an idea! If anything, the audience wouldn’t have to endure that godawful wangst she’s constantly throwing on us like blood.
“No reason,” Holly stated steadily, trying to hide the shake in her voice.
See? She’s throwing more and more wangst on us.
Blaise shook his head. “I don’t believe you.” He moved closer to her once more.
Okay, Blaise, now you’re being creepy.
“There is a reason, and you know it.”
Shouldn’t that be “And I know it”?
The girl tried to move away again, but Blaise caught her hand, forcing her to stay. He gazed at her intently before speaking again.
(Blaise): Do you like pancakes?
“It’s your relatives, isn’t it?” He ploughed on before she could even begin to think of an answer. “That’s why you never talk about them. Why you never get any letters from them. Why you didn’t go home for Christmas.” He held her hand in his, running his fingers along her palm.
O_O Okay. I think I’d be flinching at this point, too. Blaise, you are a creepy mo’fo. I demand you cease and desist at once. For the audience’s sake as well, because I know that the next sentence is going to be about Holly’s hatred of touch.
Holly fought the urge to shy away.
Ah, see? I knew it.
“Maybe… possibly.” Seeing his disbelieving look, she continued, “Fine, yes. They are the reason,” she stated faintly.
Yeah, and you know what? You’re whole “My past is angstier than thou” attitude really pisses everybody off.
Blaise whispered, “What did they do?” He stroked her hand again, softly squeezing it.
Blaise, you’re starting to make me mad. You’re being just plain gross now, and highly disturbing. You remind me of Hannibal Lector. Stop it. This is not sweet, this is not friendship, you’re being unimaginably creepy.
“Nothing bad,” Holly declared vehemently, suddenly grateful that there was no one else in the Common Room.
If I were her, I’d be mad there weren’t! Because Jesus, look at this guy!!
“It’s just…” She hesitated and avoided his eye.
Just the one. The other eye she looked at.
“Just?” Blaise questioned, shifting so that she would be forced to look at him.
(Blaise): The lambs, Holly…what about the lambs? *pets her*
She shrugged. “They were never really affectionate when I was little, and… well, I never really had many friends either.
You’re an angsty little cupcake, in other words. Not the gothic twinkie, though. You don’t get that status.
So I guess, I am just not used to it. You know, being touched and all that,” she put in smoothly, telling the truth but not the whole truth.
So help her God.
Blaise gazed at her like he did believe her but also as if he knew she was leaving something out.
Thanks for telling us. It’s so much better than being SHOWN. We appreciate you holding our hands through this fic and telling us what we should feel, see, and believe, rather than let us draw our own conclusions. It makes us feel so good.
“Is that all?” he asked.
But the girl refused to answer. She just gazed steadily at the floor.
It gets her more sympathy and lets Blaise think the worst about the whole thing. It’s a convenient way to be angsty.
After a moment, he sighed. “Well, we’ll just have to fix that won’t we?” he stated amicably, squeezing her hand once more and giving her a genuine smile.
Holly’s head snapped
—off of her neck and she died. We were all much happier for it.
up, and she looked at him in confusion. “What?”
Blaise chuckled. “We’ll just have to get you used to being around people and having them touch you,” he elaborated, clearly liking the idea.
Oh, my heavens. Okay, Blaise is officially the Devil. You know, this is just wrong. She obviously has space issues, and what’s his first thought? “I’d best put my hands all over you and make you like it when I touch you!” If I didn’t hate Holly so much, I’d be completely on her side—as a result, I’m only half on her side. Because, while I think Blaise is totally creepy and a sicko for thinking this is a good idea, I know for a fact all it’s gonna do is give us more chances for Holly to be angsty and flinch and wince and shy away and stiffen and be all anti-touch and it will be very angsty and the audience will want to kill themselves.
She looked at him guardedly and reached out to his thoughts to see if he was sincere. What she found
brought a smile to her face.
“I think that I might like that,” she answered simply.
You’re just as sick as he is. You like the idea of “the good touch.”
I officially hate her touchy, creepy version of Blaise. I mean, seriously. He’s eleven years old and already the type who’d sit out on a corner in his long coat and tell little children there is candy in his van.
Holly: Oh, look at all my presents! I smirk at Mrs. Weasley’s apologetic note, and Blaise laughs at it.
Me: Why you—how dare you! And then you expect me to have sympathy for you as you constantly repeat how abused and timid you are?!
Canon: *takes over for the Invisibility Cloak and continues to be truncated until the Mirror of Erised*
Canon: *takes over a moment more, until—*
Holly: And there are other people! There’s Remus, and there’s another person I vaguely recognize but can’t place—maybe he’s a friend of my parents! But suddenly, the image shifts!
Me: Excuse me? Let’s leave it in, shall we, and marvel at its stupidity?
It was a boy.
He was about sixteen and was wearing Hogwarts robes with a Slytherin crest. He simply stood, staring straight back at her and holding a book in his hand. He smirked merrily at her after a moment before turning to flip through his book.
‘Wait a minute,’ Holly thought quickly, staring at the image of a person she hadn’t even met. ‘Wait, I do know him. He’s the one from my dream. The Slytherin in the Common Room.’ She thought back to the incident several weeks earlier. ‘I dreamt of him, but other than that, I have never seen him before.’
So, the thing she wants most is Tom Riddle? That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Now I’m starting to wonder if this is going to be a Holly/Tom fic.
Holly: This time I bring Blaise.
Blaise: I remain mysterious and don’t tell.
Holly: I consider snooping through his mind, but I won’t, because I’m polite like that.
Me: Keep that in mind, folks. It’s important for later.
Holly: I return to the room!
Dumbledore: Yo, what up?
Conversation: *is squashy canon until—*
Me: I gotta leave this part in. Guardian’s Song, be sure to hold poor Gellert back.
Holly didn’t reach out her mind, but Dumbledore’s thoughts were so strong that she caught them anyway. She had the sudden image of the headmaster with a smile on his face, a real smile, and a phoenix perched on his shoulder. His free arm was wrapped around another man, who had dark, messy hair and who looked somewhat familiar. Very familiar actually. The two were laughing and smiling, sharing a camaraderie that only family can ever have.
The image flashed fleetingly in her mind and was gone in an instant, leaving only a memory behind. Later that night, Holly laid in bed thinking about it and trying to remember the face of the other man. Even as she drifted off to sleep, she wondered why the headmaster had lied.
‘But then,’ she thought sleepily, closing her eyes, ‘it had been a very personal question.’
One: Oh, she won’t poke around in Blaise’s mind because he doesn’t want to tell, but she’ll poke around in Dumbledore’s mind, huh? And don’t you even think about blaming it on him—I know for a fact that you can shut out other people’s thoughts.
Two: Dumbledore would see his family in the mirror. He’d see Kendra and Ariana again. And maybe Grindelwald. Stop making it out like Dumbledore was madly in love with Tom Riddle.
Holly: And now I’m having nightmares. Boo hoo. I tell Blaise.
Blaise: *literally starts petting her in an effort to comfort her and smiles at Holly’s obvious discomfort*
Me: Excuse me while I go vomit.
Holly: I’m having another dream!
Me: Let’s examine it, shall we?
She dreamt that she was in a forest, the deep, dark, and secret parts of the woods. She was surrounded beautiful silvery and ethereal horse-like creatures. Unicorns. She would pet and play with the lovely beings for a time before a thing came, a shade that would chase after them. A monster that hunted the unicorns, killing them and feeding off of their blood.
Holly would try to protect them; she would always go for her wand, but the thing was far too strong and would always overpower her. It was then, when all seemed lost that another person burst onto the scene: a centaur, Firenze. And he would drive off the monster and carry her to safety.
Holly: And I automatically know it’s about Flamel!
Me: You know what? The author’s “read ahead” syndrome is starting to wear me thin.