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Neurotica posted a comment on Monday 17th August 2009 2:54pm for Chapter 1 – The Invisible Family Member

So I was reading this story ages ago when it was on, but lost track of it when you took it down and moved it. I've been looking for it for several months, but couldn't remember your pen name or the full name of the story. I am very glad to have found it again and am enjoying the apparent rewrite of the first chapter. Can't wait to catch up on the story! Thanks for writing this!

noylj posted a comment on Sunday 11th January 2009 5:23pm for Chapter 1 – The Invisible Family Member

Why is Harry so emo in fanfics?

Lady Alchymia replied:

Good question, but I can only answer for myself.  This chapter (and story) opens with the first two weeks of the HBP year.  In canon, in these two opening weeks of HBP, Harry is depicted as depressed: he's mourning Sirius, he’s sleeping badly, he’s paranoid Dudley is trying to goad him when he isn't, he's not eating, not bathing, and generally not caring if his room looks and smells like the bottom of Hedwig's cage.  He only perks up when he receives a letter from Dumbledore.  From then on, everything changes and he spends the next seven weeks of summer pretty much having fun at the Weasleys.

So, in terms of the *fact* of his depression, I think I'm genuinely on the same page as canon.  But, and of course this makes all the difference, Rowling tells us that Harry is all those things in about two pages whereas I give it a lot more word-count.  I guess there could be two reasons for me doing this.  One reason could be gratuitous, with me just enjoying writing some angst.  The other would be to support my plot.  I daresay it's a bit of both in my case.

Rowling needed to provide a link between book 5 and 6.  Plot-wise, it was enough for her to show Harry shaking off his grief and show him getting excited about supporting Dumbledore (and then to show Harry reacting to circumstances throughout the rest of the year).  Harry's feelings about Dumbledore are very much more important to the HBP plot than his feelings about Sirius or his family.

For me, the situation is reversed.  The changes in Harry's state of mind about Sirius and the Dursleys and Remus make a difference as to whether the plot works, so I'd be cheating the reader to just say now he feels this and now he feels that without showing how he got to those points.  But -- I can certainly overdo things.  So it's something I should watch out for.  Hope that answered your question!


Lady A

Von posted a comment on Thursday 4th September 2008 11:08pm for Chapter 1 – The Invisible Family Member

It's nice to re-discover this old story, but.. I have to say.. this re-write seems...

Perhaps it's simply because I read the original so long ago, but when I read this chapter I got a powerful sense of choppiness, of moments hanging and loose ends stuggling to connect - of butcher surgery, I guess. Partial scenes taken from the old and re-inserted into the new..

It doesn't flow as well.

Of course, as I mentioned, this could be entirely the feeling of a mind that had read the original so much the pattern of the story is firmly engrained, thus creating a sensation of incorrectness when it isn't followed. :) Maybe a brand new reader wouldn't get the sense that it's jumping and starting all over the place.

Lady Alchymia replied:

Ah, the dilemma of second drafts.  Possibly more than any other, this opening chapter, covering the first few weeks at Privet Drive, is radically different from the first draft (with at least two thirds of the chapter being completely new plot content), and so many elements in the first draft were simply dropped (no musical flier, no piano, no box of keepsakes, etc).  Of course, the re-reader doesn't know they're dropped, so I can understand how expecting one thing and getting another would be quite distracting.  Thanks for the feedback.

Kind regards,

Lady Alchymia

brad posted a comment on Tuesday 10th June 2008 5:46pm for Chapter 1 – The Invisible Family Member

I was going to wait until the re-write was over before re-reading your novel, but I've got a bit of spare time on my hands and just felt like reading your style again, so happily dug into version 2.

Only up to page 3 and you've got Harry thinking about his 'best girl'. Gah. You're going to kill me! You know Hermione is my weak spot, along the lines of who-do-I-have-to-kill-or-bribe-to-get-Lady-A-to-write-a-H/Hr-romance. Ah well. Loved your establishment of what the Trio means to Harry right at the beginning.

I guess we're going to see references to the final canon throughout your epic ... the 'Chosen One' thing woke me up a bit here. And we've got Sirius's bikini-clad babes later on :-)

Remus becoming Harry's guardian is cool, but I'm wondering - what stopped him from being such years ealier? While Sirius was in Azkaban? Was Sirius ever officially declared innocent? I know, it's canon that Harry inherited Sirius's property, but I don't recall canon actually saying anything about Sirius being exonerated. Anyway, while Sirius was incarcerated in Azkaban, why didn't Remus step up to the plate then?

Lady Alchymia replied:

Hi Brad,

I was hoping you might re-read the story :).  It's been lovely seeing your reactions; thank you for providing so much feedback.  And onto the details :).

Harry's return to #12 in Deathly Hallows certainly provided me with some new sets and data to play with.  I always wanted Harry to take Sirius's room, and for Remus to be next door, so the details about Regulus and Sirius having rooms side by side were most welcome.

I imagine Sirius's exoneration was on the same Epilogue to-do list that decided to name that poor child Albus Severus Potter.

Why didn't Remus become Harry's guardian in canon years earlier?  Ah, well that would be terribly inconvenient for supporting the orphan-waif triumphing over adversity, now wouldn't it?  Same reason Madam Pince was so forbidding: having helpful adults makes child-aged adventuring terribly problematic because all problems get solved in the first two chapters.  I imagine the excuse for keeping him at a distance would be a combination of 'Dumbledore knows best' and 'Harry has his own family to take care of him' (Remus said this of Tonks and her being with her family at Christmastime in HBP, if you recall) and a general bag of 'I'm too poor and too unreliable and too sick and not good enough' self doubts.

When I wrote the first version (pre-HBP), I got such flack for Remus being indecisive and self-doubting and having to grow into the role of guardian and father to Harry, with people insisting he was this strong, confident man, and I just never saw that in the books.  I was rather chuffed when I read HBP and Deathly Hallows when he turned out to be just as I thought he'd be: a hero that would need a good kick up the behind to make him believe in himself.

Cheers :)

Lady A

TxA_GunFighter posted a comment on Saturday 1st December 2007 5:11pm for Chapter 1 – The Invisible Family Member

Good chapter, hope it gsts lighter soon, soooo many dark kick and stomp on Harry stories. They get old quick.


Lady Alchymia replied:

Thanks, Gunny.

Been reading too many post-OOTP stories, hmmm?

Harry at 16 in canon experiences grief over Sirius but then a light-hearted summer followed by a year of mostly teen romance dramas whilst gathering information about Voldemort (culminating in a juicy climax with Dumbledore and the cave, of course).   In that sense, my story is thematically similar, so I’m pleased to say that you’ll be seeing plenty of lighter moments coming up.

You know, I hear people talk about clichés in fanfiction, but if the story uses a teenage Harry and more or less follows the original themes, I don’t know how you can avoid certain story elements.  If you write about Harry in the weeks post-OOTP, then he is grieving for Sirius.  So, when does depicting his grief shift from observing a simple fact to indulging in a cliché?

Musing … consider a common expression like ‘how do you do?’.  It’s not a terribly interesting line of dialogue, but its use does not constitute a cliché.  Why is that?  Well, it’s not (automatically) a cliché because it provides a basic service in conversation flow.  Similarly, in creating a conversation with a fanfic reader, in picking up a canon point in time and running with it, there’s an expectation that certain elements will get at least a fleeting mention in order to create a valid link between the original and the fic.  

But if you read the same time period too often, then no matter how well or badly written the fic, it may feel cliché by sheer weight of similar stories you have read, but that can’t be the concern of the writer.  Even if Rowling herself wrote two dozen versions of book 6 (versions that all pretty much started and finished in the same places), then I imagine even they might become wearying to read.  So that doesn’t leave much hope for we poor amateurs :P.

For me, I simply write about what I'd like to read about for Harry, and don't spare any thought at all about what other people might be writing.

Lady A

Memory King posted a comment on Friday 24th August 2007 5:25pm for Chapter 1 – The Invisible Family Member

Interesting, looking forward to more.

Lady Alchymia replied:

Thank you kindly, Trevor!

Lady A

PadyandMoony posted a comment on Thursday 23rd August 2007 3:57pm for Chapter 1 – The Invisible Family Member

"Yanked into a vortex of nothingness, Harry became a very square peg being ferociously sucked through a small, round hole. Vomited back into reality, he bore the indignity of needing to cling to Lupin a while longer"

I liked this description better than the one in Canon.
I think you did a great job. You kept the important points and you managed to introduce Elizabeth earlier. That's good because in Vrsion 1 she kind of seemed to pop out of nowhere and here you prepare us a little.
Great work. I cried at the end.

Lady Alchymia replied:

I so appreciated your comments, thank you!

PadyandMoony: I liked this description [Apparition] better than the one in Canon.

LadyA: Really?  Wow, thanks :).

PadyandMoony: I think you did a great job. You kept the important points and you managed to introduce Elizabeth earlier. That's good because in Vrsion 1 she kind of seemed to pop out of nowhere and here you prepare us a little.

LadyA: I really appreciate you saying that, thank you!  I never even realised there were things called Mary-Sues when I started writing the story (and that *every* unknown character was considered one until proven otherwise LoL).  I'm learning -- slowly :P.

PadyandMoony: Great work. I cried at the end.

LadyA: Oh my goodness, did you really?  That's wonderful!  (I just read that back -- I hope you know what I mean LoL).

Thank you very much.

Lady A

Kira Bouviea posted a comment on Wednesday 22nd August 2007 3:43pm for Chapter 1 – The Invisible Family Member

Absolutly fantastic.

Though I do worry for Harry's mental state. What pairings are you planing for this?

Lady Alchymia replied:

Thank you kindly, Kira!

Harry's mental state is certainly worth worrying about -- I'm glad you're feeling for him.

Pairings?  Terrible question.  Next?  LoL.  I think you'll find not much has changed on the pairings from the first version, let's just put it that way.


Lady A

applesollie posted a comment on Wednesday 22nd August 2007 2:39pm for Chapter 1 – The Invisible Family Member

Ok Lady this is hard as I like your stuff.I was sad to see the music thing go, but the added on phone calls freaking Petunia out was cool.

Lady Alchymia replied:

I sympathise on the music!  It felt so good to write about (but it hasn't gone completely -- you'll see a few (new!) little musical moments coming up in the next few chapters).   The piano was always one of those things that supported the plot, but could be cut without really changing it.  I'm glad you liked the phone calls :).


Lady A

beauty01021 posted a comment on Wednesday 22nd August 2007 11:06am for Chapter 1 – The Invisible Family Member

yeah great chapter can't wait for more so please update again and soon.

Lady Alchymia replied:

Thank you.

Lady A

Wonderbee31 posted a comment on Wednesday 22nd August 2007 8:37am for Chapter 1 – The Invisible Family Member

Looking forward to the rewrite, and to see where things go from here on out, and what minor and major differences come of this.

Lady Alchymia replied:

Cool :).  It's feels odd working on it because there's so much of a butterfly effect with certain changes.  Some things that seem so hard to get to the first time around now feel a lot easier (and vice versa!).

Thanks for reading.

Lady A 

jrma91 posted a comment on Wednesday 22nd August 2007 7:08am for Chapter 1 – The Invisible Family Member

Glad to read the first chapter of Awakenings V2!!

Nice solid start to the story, looking foward to future chapter!


Lady Alchymia replied:

That's lovely to hear, thank you very much!

Lady A