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You can call me Hal.

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HP Fic: Mast Year (Harry/Neville)

[ I'm a bit backlogged with comment replies, but I hope to get caught up tomorrow. ]

My Woobies of Dessssssstiny fic is up! It's just on the Fest site for now, so I've linked it.

Title: Mast Year
Rating: PG13 for M/M stuff
Spoilers: OotP
Summary: Harry and Neville, sitting in a tree.
Disclaimer: Rowling, not me
Notes: Thanks to kestrelsan for beta.

For challenge 37: His Gran is injured (or falls ill) and Neville spends the summer with the Weasleys. Of course Harry joins them after he's put in his time with the Dursleys.

Feedback here or in email would be just lovely, thanks for asking. *g*

I found this inordinately difficult to write, I must admit. This is actually my third attempt. The first I never even got around to writing. I started outlining and had an interesting Ron subplot and some cool stuff with Mad Eye Moody staying with them and Hermione sending messages from Canada and all was very entertaining. I just didn't have a way to get Harry & Neville together.

The second attempt was fun and I did write out some of it (I won't go into detail, as I may get it out and work on it later) but it went all Neville/Ron on me, or at least Neville -> Ron.

And then this. Which works, I think, but it's not very deep or strong or interesting.

I can't quite remember why I signed up for this challenge. I think I thought it would be fun to try to set Harry and Neville up. Usually I really enjoy that sort of thing. I've done a lot of odd pairings in my time, some randomly assigned, some picked by me, and I pride myself on being able to make it work plausibly, or mostly so. I did the Lupin/Snape challenge to see if I could buy them together and I succeeded in that so thoroughly that I almost see them as the post-Sirius default couple. (Poor Kingsley!)

But Harry and Neville -- I'm still not convinced. I was talking about this with kestrelsan while we were working through the beta and we decided that they're just not that interesting together, not at this point in their lives. We could see them as a "happily ever after" couple, once the whole Voldemort thing is taken care of, but for now, I just don't find any *juice* to them together. No real conflict or passion or deep connection, just friendliness and niceness. Which actually could be really great for a real life relationship, but it's not so interesting to read about.

Maybe I'm just not trying hard enough.

Any thoughts on this topic generally or relating my fic? Please feel free to be critical, if you'd like. I'm not thin-skinned about that sort of thing.

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Thank you, doll. :)

Baby, you gonna write me some Bran/Will?

I'm not sure I have the right touch for Bran/Will. I suggest you bug kestrelsan to write some more. She keeps teasing me with story ideas and half-finished things and I can't seem to pressure her to follow through. *g*

I like it, even though it's not deep or anything. At least for me, most fics meant to be about love, unless heavily seasoned with angsty bits, are like trying to eat straight molasses with a spoon. This was sweet, and nice, but not overpowering. Post-Voldemort would be possible....I can see that. But until then? Ehhh....This works for that. And I agree, when the couple's not interesting, it's hard to make the fic work.

But I think if anyone can, you can.

Thank you. :) I had trouble getting this one down to an acceptable level of sweetness, I must say. It was a little sickly in the first draft.

I've never shipped Harry/Neville...truth be told, if it had come from anyone but you, I probably would've passed this one over! But I'm glad I didn't. It worked, mostly because of its sweetness. Neville would need sweetness (not gushy sweetness, but that innocent sweetness Harry can pull off).

The tree and the fearsome greenhouse were a lovely touch. Neville will be powerful in his own right, and I love seeing hints of it.

My favourite part was the end. "Tell me more." The best ending ever.

I'm glad you liked the tree -- I had a lot of fun with it. :) Plus I learned a lot about oak trees. *g*

I wonder if it's the sweetness that I find problematic, or rather that I don't really see anything *but* the sweetness. But that's probably my own shortcoming.

I can see Harry/Neville being juicy. Like a version of James/Peter that isn't quite doomed yet.

I guess they just don't hit me that way. With James/Peter, for me, part of the attraction is the knowledge that they're doomed, as well as the attention imbalance between them. I don't see that with Harry/Neville.

Hmm. I suppose I just don't see them having the capacity to really hurt each other. And I think that's what makes a relationship interesting to read about. Not that they *do* hurt each other, necessarily, but that they could.

These are obviously my own issues, of course. :) And I do enjoy reading Harry/Neville sometimes.

Huh, I could see Neville as fragile, and Harry as self-absorbed enough to really fuck him up. Or to drive him to stupid heroics.

Hm, I can see Harry/Neville being hard to write, but you definitely pulled it off! Cute! In a very good way. I especially enjoy the tree.

Thank you. :) The tree was my fave bit to write.

The puzzle piece was in the sugar bowl.

I don't know why this made me so inordinately happy- it just fit the story so perfectly, and kept me smiling. I would be more constructive, but I'm consumed by the specific imagery of that puzzle piece being found when someone decides to sweeten their tea.

Hee! Constructiveness is not required, never fear. I'm glad you liked that bit; whenever we did puzzles at holidays, someone was sure to take one piece so they could put it in the very last.

Aw, that was really cute - all understated and lovely. <3333 I really liked it.

Thank you! I'm glad to hear it. :)

Your beautiful, I love you ... will you marry me? Maybe not today ... maybe not tomorrow ... but maybe when I have enough money for a ring! Please ...?


No, really, you have endless talent and you're writing is so sweet, I might get a toothache! ach! ehehe ... :)



Hee! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

Mm, I liked it. It had a real summery feel, and I liked the tree (and Neville's interaction with it) and the thread running through about the puzzle piece.

I had a lot of the same difficulty trying to plot them together. They just don't have the built-in conflict that Snape/Lupin (or Snape/anyone), or many other pairings have. I love Neville, and I like them as a pair, and I love a good story that can pull it off.

...and I have big hopes for Neville in book six. :D

Thank you! Maybe once more things happen to Neville, this pairing will become more viable.

No real conflict or passion or deep connection, just friendliness and niceness. Which actually could be really great for a real life relationship, but it's not so interesting to read about.

Gawd, yes. Neville just doesn't DO anything for me. I like him canonically, but JKR's told me plenty about him and that just seems to be enough for me. Not interested in hearing more.

(Though I did read your story! I loved the jigsaw puzzle tying everything together. You're so deft with things like that. ^_^)

I'm interested in Neville fic in general, but there just doesn't seem to be much to explore with this pairing. Glad to hear you enjoyed the story, though. :)

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