Penname: Spiderwort [Contact]
Real name: Mary Ellis
Member Since: 02/04/2006
Membership status: Member

I'm a fan of the so-called minor characters--McGonagall (my fave), Neville, Luna, Fred and George, Angelina, Colin Creevey, Cho, etc.   

I love new takes on old relationships, though I have a real hard time reading slash (unless it's backed up by believable background, plot twists, and characterizations.)  I have no use for gratuitous violence.

 I also like well-fleshed-out, invented characters.  Grace HasVictory's Ariadne McDougal/Remus Lupin ship comes to mind, as does the character of Alexandra in Cheryl78's 'The Snake and the Eagle.' 

Beta-reader: Yes
Gender: female

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Reviews by Spiderwort
Albus Dumbledore is a genius, the most powerful wizard in the world, the leader of the light, the one who everybody looks up to. He is also just a man, who sometimes needs to forget his mistakes… A companion piece to The Darkest Hour.

Categories: Harry Potter; Characters: None; Archive Challenge: None
Classification: Character Study
Crossover Classes: None
Genres: Angst
Warnings: Alcohol and/or Drug Abuse
Chapters: 1 Table of Contents Series: None
Word count: 1203; Read Count: 682; Completed: Yes

Updated: 11/25/2005; Published: 11/25/2005
Reviewer: Spiderwort (Signed)

Good for Minerva.  He had enough.

I've always wondered what it would be like if Dumbledore and McGonagall ever discussed their tiff in front of the Dursleys' house the night Harry was left with them.  I imagined Minerva saying 'I told you so', but you didn't do that.  You let D. bring it out of himself.  Nice. 

Chapter 1: none
...and joined a tenpin bowling league instead. This crazy, AU ficlet is the result of a writing contest and an insane, persistent plot bunny.

Categories: Harry Potter; Characters: None; Archive Challenge: None
Classification: Humor
Crossover Classes: None
Genres: Fluff
Warnings: None
Chapters: 1 Table of Contents Series: None
Word count: 3296; Read Count: 511; Completed: Yes

Updated: 12/23/2005; Published: 12/23/2005
Reviewer: Spiderwort (Signed)
Oh, this is rich! I remember it from Sugar Quill.  One of my faves!  I love the different balls, especially the 'Dawg Starr.' And the characters are perfect.

Chapter 1: n/a

A new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor arrives at Hogwarts. In her first couple weeks, she manages to ruffle the feathers of many of the faculty, particularily Potions master Severus Snape. Takes place after Goblet of Fire.

Categories: Harry Potter; Characters: None; Archive Challenge: None
Classification: Alternate Universe (AU)
Crossover Classes: None
Genres: Drama, General
Warnings: Alternate Universe, Mild Language, Mild Violence
Chapters: 20 Table of Contents Series: The Great Snape-Deveroux Grudge Match
Word count: 150005; Read Count: 18883; Completed: Yes

Updated: 01/21/2006; Published: 01/04/2006
Reviewer: Spiderwort (Signed)

Your encapsulation of Harry's history with the Dursleys, Lockhart, Krumm, etc. is terse and well-limned.  The story about Dudley's misdemeanors is particularly enjoyable--not just a rehash--and points up his parents' personalities as well.


Love Aurellia's take on the Four Houses of Hogwarts.  Your style changes from practical to elegant here.  A presaging of Mme. Deveroux's personality, perhaps?

 I was especially taken with the dead-on comparison in: "Yellow and black were the colors of Hufflepuff, the house of the loyal, humble *worker bees*..."  

And what a neat device, the reading of residual auras in the classrooms to highlight the characters of the teachers.

Thanks for your kind reading of Minerva McGonagall, one of my favorites.  It dovetails perfectly with my own picture of her.


Some of my favorite lines:

"Wonder why they don't hire a living person to teach this class, Deveroux thought. Then again, how do you fire a ghost?"

Snape's warning to Aurellia: "There are some things in this world that give even the mightiest wizards nightmares. I have seen such things; I have experienced such things. And sometimes... I even am one of these things" gave me the most delicious chills.  I am looking forward to more confrontations between these two.

 (BTW for another luscious take on Snape's wit vis-a-vis another formidable AU opponent, try Anya's "Speak of the Dead" on

"...Dark Cauldron, a fantasy role-playing/trading-card game..." --love it! 

Ron-Hermione gibing with a particular witty edge:

"I needn't ask then if you studied at all this summer," Hermione retorted, fixing Ron with a stern glare.

"I needn't ask you if you did anything besides study," Ron shot back.

"[George] and Fred found the revolving door on the DADA classroom to be a virtually inexhaustible source of joke material."

"...troll and goblin patrols..." in the Hogwarts corridors.  Now I wonder what you're setting us up for there?

Love your famous Slytherin alums:  

"Well, let me see...." replied [Nick], a thoughtful look on his ethereal face. "How about Captain Flabberjakes? Numo Stillmarsh? Or the great dragonslayer Viron Von Arx? Or Reebikah Parrowen, widely considered the greatest sorceress artist of all time?"

And the boys' come-backs:

"Um ... I was thinking more along the lines of the living, Nick," Ron stated sardonically.

"Oh, I don't know, I always thought the only good Slytherin is a dead Slytherin," Lee Jordan chimed in.


Author's Response:

Wow! Thanks you, what a marvelous review! You will see more Dark Cauldron later. Yes, it\'s a wink and a nod to the many RPG games out there (I\'ve played a couple myself and enjoy it)

 My best friend and co-author is responsible for most of the good Snape-Deveroux spats (I generally do Fred and George). I\'m reading Anya\'s story as well :)  My two favorite characters are Snape and Lupin. I\'m having fun creating backstory and history. Thanks again!

Chapter 1: Aurellia Deveroux Comes to Hogwarts
Reviewer: Spiderwort (Signed)

I love your description of Aurellia and especially her clothing. I can just see her there in front of her first class.

I like the way you've managed to link the HP magicosm with the world of D & D.  Very plausible, having that Dark Wizard, Grindelwald, about whom we know almost nothing, be the cause of the difference between the two.

Also: "...the highest magical beings tended to be very secretive and elusive, the way we are with Muggles."  This is so like all of humankind, to think they're at the top of the hierarchy.  (I am reminded of that patronizing fountain in the Ministry of Magic atrium) I wonder if Arthur Weasley, in his kindly superiority, knows there's a race even more powerful than his.

And Aurellia is becoming more and more interesting as a character.  Hmm...Muggle-born and a Mindspeaker...

Love poor Neville, the bumbler as usual: "I was having a time of it. First, I could only get a hand to appear, then half my head..."

And you manage to throw in fun Muggle devices without making them seem hokey, esp. that VR thingie--shades of the Star Trek holo-deck!! 

And Aurellia definitely has a point about points.  But darn, you have my fave Minerva raking her over the coals about it.  But then, at her age, she may have become a bit set in her ways...  : )

I'm usually a canon fanatic, but I don't care.  So it's AU.  It's extremely convincing AU.

Author's Response: Thanks! :) Well, Aurellia can come across as very bossy and opinionated. Aurellia and McGonagall will patch things up.

Chapter 2: The Parvenu vs. The Establishment
Reviewer: Spiderwort (Signed)
Wow! I could never imagine the Hogwarts staff to be so merciless.  Can't quite believe this, I'm afraid.  (But then, I can't quite believe in the Dursleys or the Malfoys either.)  But you must have a reason for 'stacking the deck' against our heroine...

Author's Response:

Well, I look at it this way: Aurellia is very young -- only 23, I believe (I have to double-check my notes.) Also, look at Dumbledore\'s track record. They aren\'t so much hostile with her as exasperated about not being able to get a competent teacher. Unfortunately, Aurellia gets the brunt of it.


Chapter 3: 3a Memories and Meetings
Reviewer: Spiderwort (Signed)

Ooooh, creepy and awesome Deatheater meeting!

"We are the brotherhood of fire and shadow, of might and craft, of knowledge and greatness. We are the masters of life and death! We fear nothing!"  I can easily envision brown shirts, a snap to attention, and a chorus of 'Sieg'Heils'.

And you almost make me feel sorry for the vampires, poor things: "...splintered into hopelessly divided and ineffective warring factions which the Ministry easily dispatched.

Ooh, and Rita and Ludo as Deatheaters--great twist!

Author's Response:

I\'m glad it\'s "almost" ;) Vampires won\'t make much of an appearance in this story, but you will see them in the sequel (if and when that goes up) and some of them can be quite nasty.

 Had fun with Rita and Ludo, heh heh. I\'m glad you got that visual about the meeting, because something like this is exactly what I was aiming for! Yay!

Chapter 4: 3b Memories and Meetings
Reviewer: Spiderwort (Signed)
Love Alicia's game plan, and the zany humor of this chapter.  I never knew magic could be so much fun!

Author's Response:

:) This was a fun chapter to do. I love writing Fred and George, they are so interesting! Also, some of the events/suggestions in this chapter become important later. Verrrry important.

 Thanks for the review!

Chapter 7: 5. Brooms and Gags
This was a contest entry on another site.
Snape, in the sunset of his life, is reflecting on that life with some bitterness. A ghost from his past visits him and offers him one more chance to dance. Hanky alert!

Categories: Harry Potter; Characters: None; Archive Challenge: None
Classification: Character Study
Crossover Classes: None
Genres: Angst, Drama
Warnings: Character Death
Chapters: 1 Table of Contents Series: None
Word count: 1799; Read Count: 404; Completed: Yes

Updated: 01/08/2006; Published: 01/08/2006
Reviewer: Spiderwort (Signed)
Aww...that is touching.  Lenore was a very wise young lady; I'm glad Severus finally got his dance.

Chapter 1: n/a

6-year-old Sirius Black just wouldn’t listen; he snuck into the family cellar despite being forbiddened to do so... A broken artifact brought about a chain of events that’ll bring us to a different world. Although most of the events stayed the same, his absence brought about some minor changes; now Sirius is in Harry’s time.

This is a story that will reveal what will happen if the most mischievous of the Marauders joins forces with the ever-creative Weasley Twins. This is an epic tale that will reveal the mysterious myths and history of the Most Noble and Ancient House of Blacks.

Be mystified, and roll over with laughter, as Sirius bumbled his way through his 1st year at Hogwarts in this alternate tale of the HP tradition.


Categories: Harry Potter; Characters: None; Archive Challenge: None
Classification: Alternate Universe (AU)
Crossover Classes: None
Genres: Action/Adventure, Angst, Drama, Mystery
Warnings: Alternate Universe
Chapters: 19 Table of Contents Series: None
Word count: 86696; Read Count: 16593; Completed: No

Updated: 06/04/2007; Published: 01/09/2006
Reviewer: Spiderwort (Signed)

Love the fact that Kingsley carries around Chocolate Frogs--and thinks Mad-Eye doesn't know about it!

Time has moved on without him. Should we send him back, we might jeopardize our own existence.  --What a tantalizing idea.  And you established that the Blacks were a great threat in the prologue...nice.

Despite some grammatical yuckies (mixing tenses mainly), you have an engaging style.  You limn characters and settings deftly in just a few words.  And your idea for a plot is--to me at least--quite intriguing.

  Having the bad guys adopt Sirius rather than the saintly Tonkses shows a willingness to stick your neck out--just like Sirius.  I like it. 

Just one question: why do you both italicize and place quote marks around your dialog?  Seems superfluous.  I save italics for words I want to emphasize, things people are thinking, but not saying, spirits talking, dreams, etc.

Love, love, love the Malfoys' reasons for taking Sirius in!  And Arthur weasley as a distant relative--of course he would be, as one of an ever-shrinking population of pure-bloods.  Write on, oh Imp!

Author's Response: *lol* ofcourese MAd-Eye can see them. The Italics? well mostly because I started it off that way as a failed technique to try to avoid switching tenses (obviously it didn\'t work so well).

Chapter 2: Chapter 1 - Out of His Time
Reviewer: Spiderwort (Signed)
Like this again.  the humor is fine.  Can't figure out though how Harry would know that Sirius was a 'serious' mischief-maker just by the twinkle in his eye.

Author's Response: I don\'t really know how else to say it, but it\'s how you know some kids are mischievous just by looking at them. :)

Chapter 3: Chapter 2 - Off to Hogwarts We Go