Following the Family Footsteps

“But I don’t think I’ve ever known such a natural at Potions!” said Slughorn. “Instinctive, you know — like his mother! I’ve only ever taught a few with this kind of ability, I can tell you that, Sybill — why even Severus —”― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Snape glanced down at the tiny bundle that had been placed into his arms. She was beautiful and he had no idea how he had become this lucky. He had never believed in second chances but now he knew Dumbledore had been right to give him one. This little creature laid in his arms was meant to be in this world.

“Have you thought of a name for her yet, Severus?” His wife asked sleepily. The exhaustion of birth having consumed her whole body, yet she still released a smile to him. Her eyes sparkling as she glanced down at the tiny fist. Dumbledore had given him this life.

“Yes I think I have” his eyes returned from his wife to his new daughter’s eyes, they were deep and dark like his own. “Dora”. He said so softly it was almost a whisper, but when the baby gave a small cry in his arms it made him laugh gently turning to his wife.

“Dora it is.”

–    –    –    –    –    –    –    –    –    –    –    –    –    –    –    –    –    –    –    –    –    –    –    –    –    –    –    –   Wisdom begins in wonder - Socrates Dora glanced uneasily around the room. Potions. Her father had been desperate for her to excel and as much as she had, it was never her dream. Why should she follow what was written in a book? On a page. Someone else’s work and discovery, she wanted to make her own. Fill the world with her magic. She knew her father wouldn’t be happy. She was told to sit, listen and learn and she hated it.

Dora smiled at the others around her. Few of them smiled back. They knew her father. If they didn’t their parents did. Some were suspicious of him. Dora didn’t understand that. Didn’t they know how kind, caring and clever he was? So returned to her book and began scribbling. The recipe was so bland and simple, anyone with a tiny bit of magic in their little finger could do it. She changed it around a little, swapping the seeds for dried flowers, swapping the herbs for spices, swapping the water for wine.

“Right students, time to put the potion to practice”. The teacher Mrs Matilda Viridian said happily, breaking Dora’s concentration.

Dora walked to the shelves and started gathering the ingredients’ she had listed, returning to her bench she set to work. Immediately it was obvious she was doing something different, her potion was blue while those belonging to the other students were pink. Their potions simmered while hers boiled and bubbled. When it came to the end of the lesson and they let out the magic words each student had a tiny plant appear to grow from the pot.

Dora whispered the words into her pot and was knocked off her stool as the room began to vibrate. Out from pot grew gnarling twisting branches, that spread like arms around the classroom. They grabbed at each student and whirled at the Mrs Viridian. Everyone ran for the door but Dora’s teacher ran directly to the tree, standing between Dora and its base. The tree thrashed around the room, hitting tables and lights with its branches. Nevertheless, Mrs Viridian didn’t move she leaned closer and closer looking for something and discovering the knot she was looking for poked her wand into it hard. Instantly the tree was immobilised. Its branches hanging limply by its side.

“Mrs Viridian…” Dora started.

“Save it, Dora,” Mrs Viridian said. “There is no excuses. Now, go get Hagrid.”

Dora scrambled to her feet and headed for the door. “Miss, what do I say to Hagrid?”.

“Well, you quite simply tell him, that another member of the Snape family has grown a whomping willow during potions class and it needs rehoming.”

“Another… Snape…” Dora’s mouth opened and closed as she took in the words.

“Yes, your family always have had their way in a potions class. Now go get Hagrid before the roots settle permanently.”

“Yes, Miss.” Dora said and headed out of the class smiling, it sounded like her and her father had a few things to talk about.

Alan Rickman Quote - came, saw, conjured


 

Bordering on fanfiction this week. Not something I Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge LOGOnormally do but with inspirational words from J.K. Rowling and an image of Alan Rickman that I just couldn’t resist using, the above story was born! 🙂  

The theme this week – Wisdom….the original quote I quite liked was “Wisdom begins in Wonder – Socrates”, this led me down the school storyline and of course the first school that came to mind was the imfamous Hogwarts. Anyway, I hope people enjoyed it, check out Colleen @Silverthreading and Ronovan’s at Ronovan Writes  for more inspirational quotes to keep you writing. 

Hope you enjoyed! KL

 

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Strong Females

J.K Rowling made the following statement: j.k.rowling - feminism

(source of quote – http://www.theatozreview.com/2013/06/23/jk-rowlings-20-quotes-on-writing/)

It made me wonder about selecting your characters and deciding which ones to be strong and which are weak. I am writing a historical fiction based novel which has a duel storyline.

In the historical storyline a woman is rejected from her husband (as he has taken up with a new mistress), blocked from seeing her children, forced from her home, her friends and the society she had once been part of. Her story plays a lot on the trauma her husband puts her through, (but she is not totally without sin!) in some cases she leads to her own downfall, threatening her husband, drinking excessively, even scaring the children. She is by no means a weak female despite what society throws at her and goes through a wide variety of emotions.

In the modern storyline my main female character challenges some traditional female stereotypes. She is a divorced single mother, who has recently been promoted, but she already works at a busy hospital a variety of hours. She is quite envious of her ex’s relationship with their daughter built because he works from home. As it is a modern divorce they both get 50/50 access. Meanwhile she has recently lost her mother, and is trying to support her grieving father. She is struggling to keep on top of everything but there is nothing she wants to sacrifice.cs lewis quote - hardships

Both females are strong but in different ways, they both ultimately just want a happy family life. I never intended to write these things in either a male or a female perspective, the characters drove themselves and the circumstances drove their stories. The characters faced hardships and have to overcome them, as C.S. Lewis put it. I think the modern story could even have been written as a male character I chose female as I felt it fit better with the historical timeline.

Is this something other writers do, openly decide whether their character should be male or female? Does gender of a character make a difference in todays society? What helps them decide that and do you ever change your mind?

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There was a Google+ thread in which a writer asked, “how do you write female characters?” and someone answered:

1) I think of a character. 2) I make them female.

I love this answer, because I think gender plays very little part in what makes a good or strong character.

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Part of #BeWoW and Writer’s Quote Wednesday. #Writer’s Quote Wednesday & #BeWoWClick HERE for more Quotes on SilverThreading.com hosted by Colleen Chesebro or HERE for RonovanWrites.WordPress.com hosted by Ronovan Hester. Sorry guys, I might have cheated a little having two quotes in here but I liked them both. KL

Make sure to share a song, poem, or a quote, by a writer that inspired you in your own life!

Also entered into Just Jot It January to the Just Jot It January – 2016prompt – sacrifice. To find the rules for Just Jot It January, click here and join in today. It’s never too late! And don’t forget to ping back your #Jusjojan post.

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Quote in full (just in case the image isn’t readable)

“Very early on in writing the series, I remember a female journalist saying to me that Mrs Weasley, ‘Well, you know, she’s just a mother.’ And I was absolutely incensed by that comment. Now, I consider myself to be a feminist, and I’d always wanted to show that just because a woman has made a choice, a free choice to say, ‘Well, I’m going to raise my family and that’s going to be my choice. I may go back to a career, I may have a career part time, but that’s my choice.’ Doesn’t mean that that’s all she can do. And as we proved there in that little battle, Molly Weasley comes out and proves herself the equal of any warrior on that battlefield.”

Clouds and Dreams

The dream world can be an amazing thing, it can reveal to you your wildest desires, your worst fears or just away of processing your days trials and tribulations.

I have always been an active dreamer and they can be quite vivid, a while back I had a horrid nightmare and actually remembered to make a record of it – most agreed it was quite creepy. If you have a read, let me know what you think. Who knows I might even have the foundation of a horror story there. 🙂

Unfortunately, I also sleep-talk. This is a family trait and both my parents do it. My mother does it so vividly that while on holiday in Tunisia one year, she picked up the phone and started having a conversation, the hotel had a 24 hour manned reception but unfortunately (or fortunately) their English wasn’t great, so they hung up on her and sent an English speaking member of staff to the room. On answering the door and having an intense discussion with the staff member who insisted the call came from our room, we realised what had happened, and my mother immediately blushed admitting she had dreamt she was on the phone to someone! We moved the phone to the other side of the room after that! Good job she hadn’t ordered room service – lol!  

So here is my Cloud and Quote combo. This photo was taken on a beautiful spot in Scotland, we really did feel like we could reach the clouds.

J.K.Rowling - Dreams quote.png

 ———————————————————–#Writer’s Quote Wednesday & #BeWoWPart of #BeWoW, Be Writing on Wednesday and Writer’s Quote Wednesday – J.K. Rowling. Click HERE for more Quotes on SilverThreading.com hosted by Colleen Chesebro or HERE for RonovanWrites.Wordpress.com hosted by Ronovan Hester.

I combined this with today’sJust Jot It January – 2016 JusJoJan 6th topicCloud

To find the rules for Just Jot It January, click here and join in today. It’s never too late! And don’t forget to ping back your January 6th post! The “Cloud” prompt is brought to you by Geoff Lepard at TanGental. If you don’t already know him, check out his blog!

Hope you enjoyed. Do any of you sleep-talk or experience vivid dreams?

KL ❤

Know Your History – 31st July – Harry Potter born!

On this day… 31st july 1980 – Harry Potter born

 According to Pottermore today would be Harry’s 35th birthday!Harry Potter

Harry James Potter (b. 31 July, 1980) was a half-blood wizard, the only child and son of James and Lily Potter (née Evans), and one of the most famous wizards of modern times. In what proved to be a vain attempt to circumvent a prophecy, that stated a boy born at the end of July of 1980 could be able to defeat him, Lord Voldemort attempted to murder him when he was a year and three months old. Voldemort murdered Harry’s parents as they tried to protect him shortly before attacking Harry himself. This early, unsuccessful attempt to vanquish Harry led to Voldemort’s first downfall, marking the end of the First Wizarding War and to Harry henceforth being known as “the Boy Who Lived”. One consequence of Lily’s loving sacrifice was that her orphaned son had to be raised by her only remaining blood relative. Harry was raised by his Muggle aunt Petunia Dursley in a home where he was neither welcomed nor nurtured, but would be protected from Lord Voldemort, at least until he was seventeen years old. As the only known survivor of the Killing Curse (up to that point) Harry was already famous before he arrived at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Early on his eleventh birthday, Harry learned that he was a wizard. He began attending Hogwarts in 1991.

Know Your History – 14th April 2015 – J.K Rowlings “Very Good Lives” goes on sale

On this day…

jk rowling14th April, 2015 – J.K Rowlings “Very Good Lives” goes on sale

In 2008, J.K. Rowling delivered a deeply affecting commencement speech at Harvard University. Now published for the first time in book form, Very Good Lives offers J.K. Rowling’s words of wisdom for anyone at a turning point in life, asking the profound and provocative questions: How can we embrace failure? And how can we use our imagination to better both ourselves and others? Drawing from stories of her own post-graduate years, the world-famous author addresses some of life’s most important issues with acuity and emotional force. Sales of Very Good Lives will benefit Lumos, a charity organisation founded by J.K. Rowling, which works to transform the lives of disadvantaged children, and university-wide financial aid at Very Good LivesHarvard University.

Did You Know?

Rowling’s publisher suggested she use initials rather than her real name, “Joanne Rowling,” in order to appeal to male readers. She chose J.K., borrowing the “K” from her grandmother’s name, Kathleen. However, neither “Kathleen” nor “K” is part of her legal name.

Sources – The Guardian & Amazon