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.
April is almost over and I haven't posted anything this month. Therefore, have a couple of long overdue recs:

The HP Beholder is currently running, my favourite HP exchange of all times. And my gift fic is truly fabulous:

Author: ???
Title: No Charity
Rating: PG
Pairing: Aunt Marge/Rita Skeeter
Word Count: 3200
Warnings/Content: None
Summary: Rita sets out on a tough assignment – to interview Miss Marjorie Dursley.

To quote my own comment:

First and foremost, the pairing is inspired. I love the humour of the whole piece, I was grinning all the way through, despite the harsh mood swing brought about by the morning after confrontation. It might seem that their relationship is over even before it began, but this is not how it feels. It feels like the beginning of something, not the end.

The entire story is very Pratchett-esque in that it is a lighthearted humorous piece on the face of it. But just like in Pratchett's books, the humour mostly derives from your turn of phrase. Underneath, it is a poignant and melancholy character piece with a bittersweet ending, sketched very skilfully with only a few words. So much remains unsaid, lurking just outside our field of vision: the ongoing conflict between the magical and the Muggle world, Marjorie's deep trauma, Rita's attempt to leave herself behind and be somebody else.

This fic reads actually like a teaser, the prelude to a bigger story: you can tell that Rita and Marjorie would be a good match. They would fight constantly, but they would fight on equal terms.

Link to fic: No Charity


Today, I read a heartbreaking Aberforth/Severus fic, which pushes so many of my buttons it's unreal:

Author: ???
Title: A Lonely Road
Rating: R
Pairings: Severus Snape/Aberforth Dumbledore
Word Count: 4,800
Warnings/Content Information (Highlight to View): *anal intercourse, age disparity, angst, alcohol, violence towards an animal, reference to a canon death (Albus Dumbledore's)*.
Summary: Two men. Dark times. Conversations which fail to communicate; communication through silence.

Again, quoting my own comment:

Oh, this is exquisite! Such a tense, atmospheric tale, so very dark yet with tiny specks of light interspersed throughout. I love the pairing; I don't think I've ever read it before, which is odd, because it makes a lot of sense. Aberforth and Severus are both torn between and tortured by the love and resentment they have for Albus. Aberforth would be the one to guess what his brother is putting Snape through. The way they understand each other without talking about what is going on, the way they both understand the necessity of secrecy, it all rings very true.

The slow, understated understanding, Severus despair and loneliness, their affection for each other and for Albus - it's all heartbreaking. And the last line is the killer.

Link to fic: A Lonely Road


I also participated in this year's Winter Companions exchange, and here, too, I was gifted with a fantastic fic:

Title: A vignette from the 2nd hour of Dark on an unnamed station orbiting a dead zone planet.
Author: anonymous
Rating: NC-17
Pairing(s): Jack Harkness/Tenth Doctor
Spoilers/warnings: fetishistic self-harm, depression, knifeplay, mild drug use
Summary: Jack doesn't ask to go and the Doctor doesn't offer.

It's dark and needy and absolutely them. They are using the power of the vortex as their fetish, and it is exactly what I imagine Ten to get off on. And Jack, oh, desperate, damaged Jack. His need to feel good, whatever the cost, is palpable.

Link to fic: A vignette from the 2nd hour of Dark on an unnamed station orbiting a dead zone planet
The HP Beholder reveals are up. This year, I did Art.



I've never done art before. Whilst drawing for the Beholder, I did idly wonder why I never have done art before, and then it hit me: When I first joined fandom, my fannish tastes were very much slash-oriented. And while I enjoy writing slash, I don't particularly like drawing men. It's funny, I've never really realised it before: drawing women is so much more enjoyable than drawing men. And so I guess it never occurred to me to create fanart to begin with. As I was branching out in my fannish interests and started to focus on rare pairings, I somehow never thought of drawing them, because by that time I saw myself as a writer

And then I decided to create art for the HP Beholder, and I enjoyed it so much, I will have to take up drawing again.

For now, here are Merope Gaunt and Tom Riddle.

Title: "Triptych: Seduction - Vows - Conception"
Recipient: Albalark
Artist: Donna Immaculata
Rating: NC-17
Pairings: Merope Gaunt/Tom Riddle
Medium: Pencil, crayon, watercolours and charcoal on paper; collage
Warnings: None
Summary: Merope takes matters into her own hands.
Notes: Albalark had said she liked hopeful endings. This is as hopeful as it gets for Merope, I feel.

Seduction Vows Conception )

I always knew that I would try to make it look period-appropriate. My initial idea was to create a surrealistic collage in the style of Max Ernst's Une Semaine de Bonté, but it was surprisingly difficult to find good backgrounds. Eventually I decided to use slightly kitschy art nouveau motifs as frames and create a collage against textured, coloured backgrounds. I was dead-set on collage to make the characters look disconnected - from each other and from the world around them. Also, I could try out different backgrounds and frames without having to draw the characters from scratch every time.

Merope in the Seduction piece was the first character I drew. I spent an insane amount of time on her and still have preliminary sketches lying around. Poor Tom, I fear, never got as much attention as she did. In the first picture, I still managed to put reasonable effort into creating some details, such as his posture and the cigarette, but you can see how I can't be bothered with male characters: in the second pic, he is a grey block, and in the third one, he his mostly hidden behind Merope.

Despite the fact that Tom looks stiff and unnatural in the Vows piece, I am reasonably pleased with it, because by that time he isn't himself anymore. He is an object that Merope uses. They never interact, not once, not even when they're physically close.

So. This, in short, is the rationale behind the pictures. Oh, I should probably add that drawing and water colours are the only techniques I am familiar with. I wouldn't know how to create art digitally if my life depended on it.
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
The HP Beholder reveals went up two days ago and I can now openly and properly thank [livejournal.com profile] florahart for the inspiration and [livejournal.com profile] bethbethbeth for giving me the opportunity to write goblin smut. Serious, non-cracky and non-squicky (well, as non-squicky as it gets, given the subject matter) goblin smut:

The Dog's Days of Summer, Griphook/Aunt Muriel and Arthur Weasley/Arabella Figg, NC-17

I was given the sweet and wistful Swings and Roundabouts by [livejournal.com profile] strav: There's the hopeful story of Dudley's coming of age and coming to terms with girls and with the magical world, interwoven with the poignent and melancholy exploration of Petunia's past almost-love and regrets.

Ever since Big D's worst memory, Dudley has become one of my favourite male characters to be explored in fics, and I love the character development he undergoes in Swings and Roundabouts. (The other surprising favourite among the boys is Aberforth, on whom I have developed a rather embarrassing crush. To think that I've got to compete against goats!)

I have realised that, unlike in the early days in fandom, when it was all about hot guys getting it on with each other, I have become much more interested in exploring the mindsets and sexuality of elderly women. So far I have written:

Minerva McGonagall
Augusta Longbottom
Petunia Dursley
Poppy Pomfrey
Aunt Muriel
Arabella Figg

I've also written Molly Weasley, but I don't like her and can't bring myself to write anything nice for her. Well, she gets to have sex with Remus and Harry respectively, so that's something, I suppose.

Oddly, I don't feel like writing Sybil Trelawney or Pomona Sprout. I would love to tackle Professor Grubbly-Plank, though. Perhaps next time, eh, Beth? *hinthint*
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: 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 )

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