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...the two gifts I received this fest season; they are things of beauty!

The first is from minerva_fest last month. I had asked for a story that explored the differences between Minerva and Molly, and realmer06 delivered a thoughtful series of vignettes, anchored in the aftermath of the final battle, that shows us not only what might have been but what perhaps was always meant to be.

Title: Roads Not Taken
Author: realmer06
Word count: 10,300
Prompt: Minerva has no children; Molly has seven. Minerva led a busy and successful career; Molly was a busy and successful wife and mother. The two of them muse on why they each made these choices, and how they feel about them now.

Eighteen-year-old Minerva McGonagall had never imagined herself the
kind of person to fall madly in love. She had never imagined herself to be the
kind of person who ‘madly’ did anything. But that had been before she met Dougal...


The second is from this year's hp_holidaygen. I had asked for something about how either the Hogwarts ghosts or the Hogwarts House-Elves celebrate the season; what does it mean to them? My Mystery Author (reveals are not up yet) has written a ghostly meditation on the holiday from the viewpoint of the Fat Friar, a true gem composed of love and loss and loyalty entangled.

Title: Doorways
Author: ????
Word count: 1100

The Fat Friar leaned back in his chair and considered the glass on the table
before him. The wine was a deep, rich red, a red that whispered to him of promises to
come. Almost – he licked his lips around the word – seductive. A half-remembered quote
came to him.
I have looked upon the wine when it is red. Indeed.

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