HP Beholder, my favourite HP fic exchange ever, is over for good. I'm incredibly glad I decided to participate after all. I did dither for a while and, back in February, wrote: Now: do I sign up for this year's HP Beholder or not? It might give me the opportunity to write a sweet tale of underloved, underappreciated souls finding love. But knowing me, I would only end up writing a painful and awkward encounter between two unpleasant people who learn nothing from that experience.

Well, quite. I ended up writing an unpleasant encounter between two people, one of whom mercifully did learn something from it. Still, the whole thing did turn out pretty nasty:

Recipient: [livejournal.com profile] _hannelore
Author/Artist: [livejournal.com profile] donnaimmaculata
Title: By Theft or Force
Rating: NC-17
Pairings: Dolores Umbridge/Arabella Figg
Word Count: 7000
Medium: Fic
Warnings/Content Information (Highlight to View): Dolores Umbridge and all that this entails, i.e. *dub-con, implied use of date-rape drugs, manipulation, incredibly twee and sickening dirty talk*
Summary: The Muggle-born Registration Commission has decreed that magical powers stolen by Muggle-borns are to be retrieved and distributed among Squibs. Arabella finds herself on top of the list.
Author's/Artist's Notes: I hope you don’t mind the lack of romance, Hannelore! I did include the cats, though, to balance out the unpleasantness. I also must apologise for the language, it is unbearably cutesy. Dolores has infected my brain.
My second contribution to the [livejournal.com profile] lupin_snape exchange has been posted. The prompt was:

Not established relationship. R or NC-17. After the death of Dumbledore, R searches for S and for answers. He finds him in hiding and they argue, perhaps even fight, but end up in bed. Tenderness, not hate sex, comforting of mutual pain. In the morning, they must go their separate ways. Tone: bittersweet

A straightforward, old-fashioned hurt/comfort fic:

Title: But the Loom of Life Never Stops
Author: Donna Immaculata
Summary: After the death of Dumbledore, Remus tracks down Severus in hiding.
Rating: NC-17
Genre: angst, hurt/comfort
Word count: 8781
Notes: Title lifted from Henry Ward Beecher's Life Thoughts: "We sleep, but the loom of life never stops; and the pattern which was weaving when the sun went down is weaving when it comes up tomorrow."

But the Loom of Life Never Stops

My Remus, btw, has always looked like this - looong before David Tennant entered our lives and made them brighter:

Single Father 1x02[(023726)16-00-52]

Very thin, with a thin face and good hair that falls into his eyes (canon!), in his late 30s and not too old looking, definitely no moustache. No scars, either, because Harry would have commented on them. I will never forgive the films for what they did to Remus. David Tennant in the scene pictured above made me instantly think of Remus Lupin; there's a certain loneliness and melancholia that fits him well.
Look, I wrote fic! I'm very proud: I hadn't written anything in months, and in the next few weeks I've got two more fics coming up.

This one was written for the Snupin Santa Multimedia Holiday Fest over at [livejournal.com profile] lupin_snape, answering the following prompt:

NC-17. A challenge for you, dear writer! I would like what amounts to nearly a complete monologue. One is talking to the other - doesn't matter which - seducing him. Can be day or night, in bed or in the forest, (over the phone??) established relationship or no. Set the scene through the monologue, though bits of information are allowed. Little bits. Some speech by the other is allowed, but as little as possible. Noises are fine, however. ;) Perhaps he's gagged? You tell me. Can be kinky or not, but this is a consensual situation. Tone: HOT

Title: Knight in Sour Armour
Author: Donna Immaculata
Rating: R
Word count: 1894
Pairing: Snape/Lupin
Disclaimer: Not my characters, I just take them out to play
Summary: After rescuing him from the Department of Mysteries, Snape brings Lupin home and puts him to bed.
Notes: A writing experiment: monologue-only fic is tricky, but it was an interesting exercise.

Knight in Sour Armour
It turns out, [livejournal.com profile] hp_halloween, the Halloween-themed gift exchange, is quite a demanding fest: 70 double-drabbles, all posted on one day, ranging from fluffy rom-com to chilling horror tales... I have finally managed to read my way through this year's batch, and here are some of my favourites:

HP Halloween drabbles )

I wrote A Thinking Cap for [livejournal.com profile] bonfoi, whose pairing requests included the Sorting Hat/Hogwarts Castle. How could I resist?

The moment I decided to give this pairing a go, I knew I would have to write it in verse form, because the Sorting Hat would sing his love to the Castle. So the challenge was to write a poem in exactly 200 words. And the amazing thing was: it worked. As I wrote what I thought was the rough draft, I fully expected I would have to do a lot of editing afterwards. However, it turned out I had hit the word count almost exactly on the first try - the draft had 199 words. All I had to do was change "mind-reading" to "mind reading", and I hit my target. I've no idea how that happened! It did please me immensely, I can tell you.
Over at [livejournal.com profile] hp_halloween, the Harry Potter Halloween drabble exchange, posting has commenced. And I can't tell you how happy I am with my gift: [livejournal.com profile] kellychambliss wrote the perfect Bellatrix, a connoisseur of death, traversing the realms of life and death, familiar with the secrets of the Veil. It's a haunting horror masterpiece in only 200 words: To and Fro
Dear fanfic writers,

Do you ever stumble across a piece of writing in your draft folder that you had completely forgotten and that amuses you when you discover it after all those years? I saw the other day that, back in 2006, I had written a Slobodan Milosevic*/Harry Potter crossover:

"Whatever happened to Slobodan Milosevic? Mystery crack

Milosevic is dead and on his way to larger-than-life martyrdom. There's nothing like being a criminal - alleged or convicted - and dying under mysterious circumstances to become a martyr. Rumour will have it that he's been poisoned by corrupt Dutch authorities. According to my latest information (radio, half an hour ago), his death was caused by anti-leprosy and anti-tuberculosis drugs which counteracted the effects of his heart medication. However, considering all facts, I can't help but see some parallels and notice some evidence that points firmly into a different direction. South-Eastern Europe? Connection to Kosovo-Albanians? A mother's untimely death? High-security prison? Where have I read all this before?

Let's have a look at this letter exchange:

July 1995

Dear Master-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named,

Contrary to all the rumours that might reach you, I have not resigned my strategic position by the side of H. P. because of the threats uttered against me by the escaped convict Black. I have resigned it, because rumours of much more worrying matter has finally made it to Hogwarts: apparently, the region in which you are currently residing is under attack. A maniac who thinks himself fit to challenge the Greatest Wizard of All Times (yourself, Master) is on the war path and attempts to destroy all and everything around him. Including yourself.

I know of course that such rumours are greatly exaggerated, but I have nevertheless decided that I would be of more use at your side than skulking around the Weasley boy's bed. I have therefore set off and am on my way.

Sincerely,

P. Pettigrew

PS. I'm not sending this letter by owl but by wren, as in your present condition an owl might accidentally eat you.



a gust 1995

to: fithfl sssservnt in spe, baartmussss cruoch

havnig hard of ur latst misfortunessss, i hve deciedd to grant u the graet honor of freeng u frmo teh unwrthy cnditoin u hav ben ssssufffring undr. 4 furthr detials rfer to my obdinte sssrvant p.pttetigrw

ur master (exsss & in sssspe)

Lrd vald e mart

ps. plz x-cuse spell.work, hloding qill wehn disssmbodeid fuking hard. LOL!!!11



November 1995

Dear Barty,

I have received the order to inform you that your father is cracking under the strain put upon him by our beloved Master. He spends his evening hours sitting in what I have come to understand was your mother's favourite chair and reliving the story of your escape from Azkaban over and over again. Did you know your mother got the idea of impersonating you from an old school friend from Durmstrang? Apparently, that Mrs. Miloshevich (sp?) faked her own death by hanging, and spent the last 30 years alternately impersonating her son and whispering advice in his ear. It was she who infused him with such hatred against our Master. He has now sent out troops which roam the South-Easter-European forests and kill everything and everyone who looks "foreign" to them. How that Squib could have learned about our Master's whereabouts remains a mystery to me. But at least his trail is now cold. Mua ha ha!

Anyway, we decided it's for the best if your father took it easy from now on and are keeping him locked up in the basement.

Your friend and well-wisher,

Pete"

*Serbian dictator and war criminal responsible for the Bosnian genocide during the Balkan war

I also drafted an idea for an obscure crossover challenge where I brought Emma Woodhouse and Eminem together. (Unsurprisingly, Eminem was introduced to Emma by Mr Frank Churchill. Mr Knightley was not pleased):

Snippet )

So, do you have any weird ficlets lying around that will never see the light of day? Do share!
I watched them, at last (part I on Sunday, part II today). I've got questions:

- First and most importantly: Who was the guy with guyliner? The one who led the band of Snatchers and looked like Bill Weasley should have looked, only with different hair colour? I first thought it was supposed to be Fenrir and that they've made him hot, but I was obviously wrong.

- Why does Narcissa wear a dead badger on her head? And on a similar note: I've finally understood the appeal of Lucius Malfoy. He's hot when he's being drunk and desperate.

- Why does dead!Sirius have a porntache, with 70s pornstar hair to match?

- Why is Bellatrix the only woman who's allowed to be flamboyant? Whilst Fleur, of all people, is downright dowdy.

- They didn't even bother to hide the fact that young!Lily had brown eyes, despite stressing that Harry has her eyes in the same scene.

- The dragon was my favourite. I cheered when he escaped. I hope he'll lead a long and happy life from now on.
Oh, look, a fannish post.

I've signed up for HP Beholder - the only fannish activity I've been involved in for quite a while now. It continues to be my favourite fest, what with characters such as Aberforth Dumbledore, Aunt Muriel and Petunia Dursley getting some serious loving.

In order to get into the spirit of things, I have started to re-read Order of the Phoenix. I think, after all these years, it's obvious that this is my favourite HP novel. OotP is where I first liked Harry Potter the character - I had been rather indifferent towards him prior to that - and I love the atmosphere of the whole book. Reading the very first paragraphs, with the sweltering summer heat and Harry hiding in the hydrangea bush, already catapulted me back into the excited and elevated mood I had been in when I first read the novel (on a hot summer day; I read it in one day, sitting on the windowsill and eating cherries). And the aspects that many readers disliked about OotP, namely the moronic behaviour of the characters and the stagnation of the plot, has always very much appealed to me. These are no heros; these people are petty, narrow-minded, self-centred, resentful idiots, and they are supposed to save the world. Also, I love how they don't share important information due to sheer stupidty, and I love the atmosphere of stagnation that permeates the entire novel. Plus, OotP gave us Dolores Umbridge, who is as fine a villainess as I ever saw.

In conclusion: I <3 OotP
I've got a confession to make.

I've been indulging in rather horrible YA guilty-pleasure fantasy.

(No, not Twilight, I'm not that far gone.)

But, occasionally, I like to listen to Artemis Fowl audiobooks whilst doing household chores.

Now, Artemis Fowl isn't exactly good literature, but I can see the appeal of the books and am pretty sure I would have enjoyed them as a kid. At the age of 10, I would probably have had a crush on Artemis (he's dark-haired and thin, I'm easy), later on Butler and later on Holly. I can enjoy the convoluted plots and brainless action, I can suspend disbelief easily to buy into a world populated with the underground fairies with superior technology etc. etc.

But: the sheer stupidity of these things can be exasperating. Suspension of disbelief does not work if I'm asked to ignore very basic RL facts. I can ignore the fact that Artemis Fowl is a genius who performs better than every expert in any chosen field, from IT, through impressionistic paintings, to psychology and linguistics - it's not his fault that he's a totally unbelievable and hence unrelatable character, he was written that way.

I cannot ignore the fact that Artemis Fowl writes a translation programme for an as-yet unknown language (Gnommish) that provides a perfect translation in rhyme! That's not how translating works, and it's no wonder the kids of today(TM) grow up to believe that running stuff through an online translator will provide them with a perfectly phrased result.

Even worse, because even more rooted in a Real World scenario: When Artemis and Butler pretend to open an account at the super-safe International Bank in Munich, the clerk greets them with: "My name is Bertholt, and I will be assisting you today." WTF? He's not American. An employee at a high-profile bank (or any bank, really) in Germany will not, never, ever invite the customers to be on a first-name basis with him. He will very definitely be "Herr Soandso", and he will not try to get chummy with a sulky teenager. The Berholt bit actually threw me so much, I had to put the book aside for a while. It still makes me cringe.

And then there's the all-knowing, all-expert Artemis himself. God, what an unlikeable... not character, because he isn't, really. How does the author fail to realise that a protagonist who has all the information and skills (apart from physical fitness and social skills, because he's a nerd, donchaknow) is just plain boring? Oh, so Artemis speaks another language now - flawlessly, of course - and has published another article in some specialist magazine. How... exciting.

Probably not so much the author's fault, either, since the all-knowing, albei socially inept hero is very much en vogue, isn't he? It's like writers just couldn't be bothered to introduce relevant information other than having The Hero spout them.

I've read people complain about Harry Potter being only able to solve many of the riddles and get out of many of the dangerous situations by a combination of sheer luck (strategic eavesdropping) and the help of friends who are actually more competent than himself. Which is... kinda the point? What I love about the Harry Potter books is that the heros are very much incompetent and hopeless and that they acknowledge that don't know the anwers until they stumble over them by accident. (Apart from Hermione, but then, I've never liked Hermione.)

Misfits fits the bill, too. The heroes are totally useless, and they know it. Nathan states outright that they're lazy and incompetent, and the authorial voice acknowledges it, too. And the resident nerd is a perv.

I don't know what brought this on. I think it's because Artemis Fowl has annoyed me so much recently - the books might have been good (well, -ish) if they had proper characters in them instead of those ridiculous cardboard cutouts.
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Nevermind the secret featured in this arrangement; I'm more interested in the fact that Tom Felton, in this picture, looks very much like Mackenzie Crook:

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Which is quite fitting, seeing as Draco Malfoy has always borne a strong resemblance to Gareth Keenan from The Office (UK).

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The pinched, pale face, the pointy nose, the slick blond hair... I always, always pictured Draco as having a grey, unhealthy complexion and dark shadows under his eyes - even before these attributes became canon in HBP.

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He even does the "trademark" Malfoy!smirk.
Since everybody's doing it, here's my fic round-up for 2009. I actually did manage to write three things. Fancy that!

Frozen, Poppy Pomfrey/Severus Snape, PG-13, written for HP Beholder 2009

The Full Circle, Doctor Who crossover, Remus Lupin/Tenth Doctor, rated R for some sexual contents and general emo-ness

Not the Model Boy of the Village, gen, Sirius-centric, R (for language), written for the Big Bang Blackout and based on Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer

The last one, I am rather pleased with, as I managed to create a Dumbledore who's so ambiguous that even I myself are not sure whether I can trust him or not. I found myself believing him, even though I knew I shouldn't, seeing as I wrote him and knew what he did last summer.
Title: The Spell that Binds
Author: Donna Immaculata
Rating: NC-17
Pairing: Ron Weasley/Gellert Grindelwald
Summary: The Auror Ron Weasley is sent to inspect Nurmengard
Warning: non-con of sorts, unpretty sex
Word count: 2600
A/N: You know how Harry saw Voldemort murder Grindelwald in the Nurmengard cell? Well, it's not true. Grindelwald lives.

Written for [livejournal.com profile] violet_quill's SLASH SUPERCHALLENGE for the pairing Ron/Grindelwald.

The Spell that Binds )
Title: All Things Right and Proper
Author: Donna Immaculata
Rating: R for darkish themes, language, some sexual contents and allusions to drug abuse
Pairings: Petunia Dursley/Vernon Dursley, Augusta Longbottom/Frank Longbottom Sr., Minerva McGonagall/Aberforth Dumbledore
Word Count: 24,700
Warnings: Vernon Dursley as a lust object. Yeah, I know.
Summary: Glimpses into the lives of Petunia, Minerva and Augusta during the events of The Deathly Hallows
Author's Notes: This was written for the hp_beholder fest on IJ for [livejournal.com profile] lyras. She asked for character studies, women kicking ass, plot, characters who aren't black or white, 'fade to black' rather than PWP, UST, working around canon, angst with hope, and I tried to squeeze in as many of her requests as possible.
I did squeeze in appearances of Remus, Sirius, Snape, Kingsley and Great Uncle Algie, some Weasleys, cats, goats, obscure crossovers, and divers alarums.

Part I
Part II

All Things Right and Proper, Part III )
Title: All Things Right and Proper
Author: Donna Immaculata
Rating: R for darkish themes, language, some sexual contents and allusions to drug abuse
Pairings: Petunia Dursley/Vernon Dursley, Augusta Longbottom/Frank Longbottom Sr., Minerva McGonagall/Aberforth Dumbledore
Word Count: 24,700
Warnings: Vernon Dursley as a lust object. Yeah, I know.
Summary: Glimpses into the lives of Petunia, Minerva and Augusta during the events of The Deathly Hallows
Author's Notes: This was written for the hp_beholder fest on IJ for [livejournal.com profile] lyras. She asked for character studies, women kicking ass, plot, characters who aren't black or white, 'fade to black' rather than PWP, UST, working around canon, angst with hope, and I tried to squeeze in as many of her requests as possible.
I did squeeze in appearances of Remus, Sirius, Snape, Kingsley and Great Uncle Algie, some Weasleys, cats, goats, obscure crossovers, and divers alarums.

Part I
All Things Right and Proper, Part II )
So, the great hp_beholder reveal's been up for two days... Many, many thanks for [livejournal.com profile] bethbethbeth for running this fantastic fest and, particularly, for presenting me with a request which proved so immensely enjoyable to answer.

Title: All Things Right and Proper
Author: Donna Immaculata
Rating: R for darkish themes, language, some sexual contents and allusions to drug abuse
Pairings: Petunia Dursley/Vernon Dursley, Augusta Longbottom/Frank Longbottom Sr., Minerva McGonagall/Aberforth Dumbledore
Word Count: 24,700
Warnings: Vernon Dursley as a lust object. Yeah, I know.
Summary: Glimpses into the lives of Petunia, Minerva and Augusta during the events of The Deathly Hallows
Author's Notes: This was written for the hp_beholder fest on IJ for [livejournal.com profile] lyras. She asked for character studies, women kicking ass, plot, characters who aren't black or white, 'fade to black' rather than PWP, UST, working around canon, angst with hope, and I tried to squeeze in as many of her requests as possible.
I did squeeze in appearances of Remus, Sirius, Snape, Kingsley and Great Uncle Algie, some Weasleys, cats, goats, obscure crossovers, and divers alarums.

On HP Beholder: All Things Right and Proper

And the version with some more typos fixed here on my LJ:

All Things Right and Proper, Part I )
While reading old LJ entries, I came across this:

A long time ago, I made a post about how Remus Lupin = Jane Austen villain. And look what I said:

When I was considering a HP adaptation of "Sense and Sensibility", I settled for the obvious cast of Snape as Col. Brandon (naturally), Sirius as Willoughby and Remus as Edward Ferrars. But this is nonsense. Remus doesn't have any of that moral integrity that is Edward's most striking feature. He should be Willoughby and abandon the girl in an act of self-preservation.

See? I knew it. I knew Remus would run at the first opportunity. And if he and Tonks hadn't died, he would so have abandoned her and Ted some time later - Harry's preaching notwithstanding.

*feels smug*
Am I the only one thinking that the infamous Epilogue lacked something important? Namely an appearance by Snape's daughter? Come on, wouldn't it have been fabulous if Liliana Tomasina Alba Snape had showed up, black eyeliner, black nail polish, sneering expression and all?
I have been checking out the fic folder on my harddrive lately and have come across several fics that I have started writing at some point, liked the concept of, but never finished. This is one of them: I started writing it long before DH and have now adjusted a few details to make it fit into canon a slightly bit better. It's not exactly completely canon-compliant, but hey - it's just a PWP!

I have always been quite amused by the indignant outcry regarding Ginny's resemblance with Lily and how much Harry/Ginny smelled of unresolved mummy issues. Because if Ginny resembles someone, surely that someone is Molly. And there has been ample fodder for Harry/Molly in canon. To quote but a few instances:

GoF, Chap 31: "She bent down and kissed him on the cheek."

GoF, Chap. 36: "Mrs Weasley set the potion down on the bedside cabinet, bent down, and put her arms around Harry. He had no memory of being hugged like this, as though by a mother."

HBP, Chap. 4: "'You are sweet,' beamed Mrs. Weasley."

HBP, Chap. 17: "Mrs. Weasley sobbed harder than ever as she enfolded Harry in her arms."

HBP, Chap 19: "…now Mrs. Weasley seized hold of Harry and hugged him very tightly."

And in OotP Harry leaves the party following Mrs Weasley upstairs in "The Woes of Mrs Weasley", which, as I'm sure everyone will agree, clearly indicates that wild cross-gen orgies were supposed to happen upstairs.

Reasoning thusly, I decided to write the sadly underrepresented pairing Harry/Molly myself:

Title: The Infernal Machine
Author: Donna Immaculata
Pairing: Harry Potter/Molly Weasley
Rating: R
Warnings: Harry/Molly. Set during DH, Harry is 17. PWP.
Summary: Exhausted from the hunt for Horcruxes, Harry wants to go home.

A/N: The title is plagiarised from Jean Cocteau, whose play of the same title retells the story of Oedipus.

The Infernal Machine )

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