I love, love the Every Word Counts challenge, and this one-shot. I love the concise writing, trying to get in backstory and emotions and characterisation into 500 words, and you've definitely been successful. Your imagery is awesome in this: Now, as he walks through the barren lands of Azkaban, where the slain lie hissing in their pits of frozen fire, he feels like a puppet prince, shoved on a pedestal and instructed to lead. Really, so pretty.
You've got Harry's humbleness, modesty and guilty; I love this picture of him visiting Azkaban and feeling bad about the lives he's ruined by imprisoning (but I'm pretty sure they ruined their own lives by joining Voldy in the first place).
Most likely, it is the smell of rot and decay and hate that smothers each surface like a long-festering parasite, dripping thickly off ledges and gathering like infective slime in the corners of the cells. Phwoarrr, love that.
Azkaban is a festering wound, a slain beast with ulterior motives, a pathogen in the newly-born and glorified world where the equal revel, and the less equal are ingested and vomited into this pit of blackened life-preservation. Sorry, this review has sort of turned into a quote-fest, but your writing is awesome! ♥
I always forget that J.K actually stated that the Malfoys survived and were not imprisoned - mainly because of Narcissa's actions, and the fact that they truly loved and cared for each other (a forgiving quality), but I love how you incorporated it here. So, so good. Really. Well done. Report Review
SPEEDY RANDOM REVIEWING YOU LOTTIE.
This was so good! The imagery your descriptions create is incredibly powerful, and really amazing. Plus, the whole underlying concept as well...I had shivers at one point! Azkaban sounds horrendous, just as I'd imagine, but all your wonderful metaphors just added such a depth to this story.
Annon Report Review
Oh wow this was amazing!
The writing style was so unique, it kind of read like a poem in my head. It had a very hypnotic rhythm to it.
The way you describe Azkaban is perfect.
'Azkaban is a festering wound, a slain beast with ulterior motives, a pathogen in the newly-born and glorified world where the equal revel, and the less equal are ingested and vomited into this pit of blackened life-preservation.'
That sentence is utter perfection! I would never be able to write something like that!
Interesting that you wrote about Harry saving Malfoy again. It is a testament to Harry's character. He was always wanting to save people, he wanted to see the good in them.
Brilliant! Report Review
Ooh this was interesting! The metaphors and figurative descriptions really brought a new dimension to Harry's character. I felt like some of the analogies you chose made everything a lot darker and more sinister. I have so many favourite lines from this, but here are a few:
he feels like a puppet prince, shoved on a pedestal and instructed to lead
That's so true of Harry. He never felt capable of doing what was expected of him, yet he did it anyway. He never wanted to be a leader or the Chosen One, he didn't feel ready for the responsibility yet no one else was there to step up and do the job themselves.
Azkaban is a festering wound, a slain beast with ulterior motives, a pathogen in the newly-born and glorified world where the equal revel, and the less equal are ingested and vomited into this pit of blackened life-preservation.
So wonderfully dark and horrific a description! It really creates an appropriate tone and atmosphere about Azkaban, a pretty horrible place by anyone's standards.
King Potter is here to lay down a flag of peace for the filthy, festering fallen. A shining jewel of a key, glinting in glory, is produced.
I like here how you've compared the relationship to Harry and Draco to a war - it's almost as though they'd reached a stalemate with neither of them wanting to surrender their pride and once again it's Harry who has the responsibility and he is the one who lays down the flag and offers a truce. He's rescued Draco again, I notice. But Harry was really never one to sort of go "it's your turn", was he?
I love the present tense usage. It makes all your lovely descriptions very powerful and immediate. I also like the fact you have no dialogue; I feel like that would have ruined the metaphor you'd built up by bringing it back down to the normal.
All in all, a great one-shot and you created so much atmosphere and story in so few words.
MarinaAuthor's Response: Yay, thank you so much! I do mourn JKR's lack of Harry-metaphors, and after reading so much about Azkaban recently, I ended up slotting them together almost accidentally :P I just like constructing them, adding more to Harry, because when we think about how much of his character was left to us to infer...
Poor Harry; I did so want to show how much he didn't want to lead, because he never wanted to and until the fifth book, he never really accepted it. He always just felt like he was an accident :(
Oooh that was one of my favourite gruesome descriptions, because there are just no words for how awful it must be, but I wanted to still try. I'm glad it puts across such a nasty atmosphere, since I did want to put across the contrasts!
Hehe yes! It's just always seemed that way to me, and while Draco won't ask for help, Harry knows he can't just leave his enemy rotting - he's a better person and they both know it, and won't do anything about it.
I'm glad it worked well, it just seemed too vague and useless, especially with dialogue! It needed to feel more like a dream, and in the present, that was the effect that I (hopefully) managed :D
Thank you so much for this wonderful review! :)
~Lottie Report Review
Hello :) review tag!
I love your characterization here of Harry as a king. It really molds well with the way others call him the chosen one, etc. You continue the metaphor well, extending it to other parts of the story ( like the 'knights,' who kidnapped Malfoy) .
I think you do a great job with the creepy atmosphere. Its chilling to read. Azkaban is horrible in general, but this makes me even more terrified.
For the most part your language is great. You manage to tell a whole story in 500 words. There are a few places though, where individual words seem out of place. For example 'ulterior,' fits in terms of diction in the sentence but its a bit of a cliche word and breaks the rhythm of the sentence.
For really, overall, excellent job!Author's Response: Hi there! :)
Hehe thankyou! I really wanted to make it work, in a more primitive way that forces Harry into the stereotype he would fit into in any other story. And I've probably watched too much Merlin to not include the knights :D
Hehe, I'm really glad you thought that worked! I was so creeped out after reading 'Azkaban' by AC_rules that I just HAD to write something that could use her style!
Yay, thanks! It was pretty difficult, and I'm glad it worked ok :) Yeah, I know what you mean... I should really go back and edit, I couldn't think of a better word at the time :P
Haha thankyou! :D Report Review
I loved this. The words were so wonderful and the descriptions were just lovely in how it wove throughout the whole story. Harry's compassion is just making itself known here. You can already see how much he's changed with the War and his fighting in it. He's wise beyond his years and compassionate than the others probably deserve. Wonderful story.
xCharAuthor's Response: Ahh thankyou! I'm very glad you like it; it was difficult to fit it all into 500 words :P But I'm so glad you can see that, because he's been so changed by the war - but not beyond recognition. Report Review
I really wanted to read this because of the mention of Azkaban in the summary - after just reading the last chapter of Azkaban I definitely wanted to read some more. :D
I'm always really impressed by entries into the Every Word Counts challenged because I feel like it really takes effort to have your story contained in such a short constraint, and yet you still managed to have it feel full of emotions. I very much enjoyed the imagery you had throughout - what can I say, I can't resist metaphors! - and thought that it worked really well for Harry.
I liked the idea of Harry as the king trying to save the fallen - I thought it was very within his character. Despite the fact that Harry was humble might never have seen himself as such, it's definitely what the rest of the world saw him as - and I thought this was a very good representation of that. Nicely characterized!
Your description of Azkaban was awesome. It really captured the feeling and the horror of the place, I think. Wonderfully done.
where the slain lie hissing in their pits of frozen fire, he feels like a puppet prince, shoved on a pedestal and instructed to lead. He has always felt this way about his battle, but it didnít seem to matter when it was won. Favorite line! :) Touches upon Harry's dislike of being a king as well as some excellent imagery.
No grammatical errors that I noticed, nice flow, and I think you did a good job having an appropriately lengthed plot, if that makes sense - I didn't feel like you were trying to cram anything in, it felt quite natural. A lovely job overall, I really enjoyed it!Author's Response: Hehe thankyou! It was Helen's Azkaban that inspired me to write this too :D
Thankyou so much! It was so difficult to fit everything in, so I'm very glad that the emotion comes across still - having tried the Every Word Counts challenge several times and failed for all of them, it wasn't as easy as I'd hoped :P But I'm so glad you liked that! I have a weak spot for metaphors, and I tried to make it work...
Ooh thankyou - I've always thought that Harry could be seen that way, but it was trying to get it across - he's just so pressurised when he never asked for any of it. He's always been the accidental celebrity; thankyou so much!
I think I must have stolen most of it by accident from Helen - thankyou!
Yay, favourite lines! Thankyou so much :) Harry always seemed to hate it so much, and it never changed.
Yay, very glad! It's so easy to mess up all that area :/ and thankyou; a simple plot seemed to work best, because I had to trim it down from the original idea, so I'm glad it seems to work :D Thankyou so much! Report Review
What you did with both challenges is fascinating, and it's amazing how much imagery you were able to include in this minimum-length one-shot. It's only the shortest snapshot, but you paint it with great detail so that every aspect of Harry's walk through Azkaban is very rich and vivid. You evoke all the senses and make Azkaban terribly and disturbingly real with the smell and the cold and soulless atmosphere. It's chilling.
What I like most is how abstract the action becomes because it is so seeped in imagery. Harry is like this victorious Roman striding through the halls of Azkaban, but he is disgusted, not condescending - he wants to save everyone, even his enemies, from this fate. That's so like Harry, and the way that you've captured him here as both a heroic saviour and a merciful king is hugely interesting - it's how I've imagined Harry being after the war, even if he doesn't like either image, but it's how people will see him no matter what. That boy from the cupboard beneath the stairs never really existed for the wizarding world - only for him.
Great work on this story, and thank you for entering the challenge! Azkaban is a great setting to evoke powerful imagery and you did an excellent job at using that imagery to bring the place and its people to life. :)Author's Response: Thankyou so much! It was so difficult to cram everything in, but I'm very glad no words are wasted; I wanted to put the reader in Harry's place as much as possible! Azkaban has always seemed unattainably horrifying and I wanted to capture that.
Ooh thankyou :D yes, I always just thought that Harry has this huge great mantle to uphold and the wizarding world never sees the struggle behind it. He's such a hero who they've crowned king, and I'm really glad you liked the metaphor for that!
Thankyou so much! It was such a brilliant challenge, I so enjoyed entering :D Report Review
Very interesting ...Author's Response: Thankyou :) Report Review
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