Harry Potter and the Unexpected Enemy
#1
Just outside of Shalour City, the trio of Team Rocket, a villainous organization bent on stealing Pokemon for world domination, sat under a large oak tree and plotted their latest plan to capture Ash Ketchum's Pikachu. This cell of the organization, consisting of Jessie, James, and Meowth, had been chasing Ash and his various friends for years. They always seemingly one step behind the youth, and always failing at whatever their current scheme was, no matter how much they seemed to succeed at first. The group began to talk amongst themselves, unaware that the day would bring a new member to their ranks.
 
 
"Do you have any idea on who that new twerp is, James," Jessie asked, "He seemed to show up out of nowhere a few weeks ago and has stuck with those idiots ever since." Jessie stared at her cohort as he prepared food for the group, hoping that he would have some answer regarding the recent addition to their nemesis' group.
 
 
"What do you think," James whined in reply, "you know exactly the same things that I know. The only thing we've learned is that he has a Hoothoot that Ash Ketchum helped him capture, and that he has an odd lighting-shaped scar on his forehead that we managed to see with binoculars the other day. We could have battled them last week but we were waiting on parts to finish our latest mech, and I guess they got lost in the Delibird Delivery Service mailroom or something." The trainer sighed as he reminded himself to call to complain to the delivery service the next chance he had. "With no new mech or machine for us to test out, what do you think we should do, Jessie? Head-on assaults never exactly work in our favor, as that blasted Pikachu of his can send us flying with two shakes of his tail and a Thunderbolt."
 
 
The female rocket grunt threw her hands up in frustration. "Your guess is as good as mine, James. I say we just try to corner the newbie with the Hoothoot alone and try to get him to believe we're good people. That way he can give us information that we need to try and trap Ash and that Pikachu." She looked towards the final member of their trio who was snoring loudly and threw a small pebble towards his head. "Meowth, the time for cat-naps is over," she yelled, "we're trying to plan our next move to get Pikachu."
 
 
The thrown pebble hit the Cat Pokemon in the cheek, causing the sleeping Pokemon to quickly stir and awoke from his slumber. "Hey, Jessie," he yelled as his brain registered the pebble strike, "you could have asked me to get up first before you threw something at me." He hissed at his ally and then continued to speak. "You do know that cats like me need twelve hours of sleep a day, so naps here or there are perfectly acceptable." He used his three-toed hand to clean the white fur where the pebble had struck, slowly smoothing out his coat from the disruption of the pebble.
 
 
As Meowth continued to clean the impact area, as well as beginning to clean the rest of his body, he saw a flash of white light that appeared a few hundred feet from the group. "Hey you guys," he yelled while pointing towards the direction of the light.  "I just saw some weird light thing over there, we should check it out."
 
 
The two turned around as Jessie pushed her blood-red hair out of her face to see more clearly. "I don't see anything Meowth, are you sure it wasn't just a remnant from one of your cat nap dreams, or something? Even though I don't want to waste my time on your fantasies, but we aren't doing anything important so the five minutes it'll take won't exactly go to waste."
 
 
James rolled his eyes towards his feline companion and spoke. "I don't see anything either, but as Jessie says, we at least owe it to you to check it out."
 
 
The group slowly walked towards the direction that Meowth pointed towards, and when they neared the spot where the Pokemon claimed to have seen an odd light, they found a young girl instead.
 
 
The first thing that the group noticed about her appearance was her striking bright-red hair. "Wow Jessie," James whispered, "she has more red hair than you, and I thought you held the record. “The girl was clothed in black robes, with a red and yellow scarf and black shoes. Her brown eyes stared off in the distance, as her face conveyed a fierce look of determination as she twirled a wooden stick around; the expression shocked the trio by its fierceness. "Should we go introduce ourselves," James asked his companions. "We could always use that plan that we were thinking of for that new twerp, get her to like us and then use her against the group." Jessie and Meowth nodded in agreement and the three of them approached the young girl.
 
 
As the newcomer noticed Team Rocket, she looked at them with curiosity, as if she was deciding what to say to the group. After a moment of staring she began to speak. "Hello, my name is Ginny," she spoke, as she lowered her wooden stick into a pocket of her robes. "Have you seen anyone named Harry Potter around lately? He has messy black hair, green emerald eyes, and a peculiar birthmark on his forehead," she pointed to the middle of her forehead as she ended her sentence. "The birthmark could almost be described as a lightning-bolt, and it would probably be very hard to forget if you have ever seen it. It's very important that I find Harry."
 
 
The group paused for a moment and then Jessie responded. "I'm not sure if we've seen the person you're talking about, please give me a moment while I confer with my colleagues here to compare information." She motioned for James and Meowth to form a huddle, and her two allies came close and began to speak.
 
 
"That sure sounds like the new twerp," Meowth whispered. "What do you think we should tell her?"
 
 
"Hmm," James pondered aloud, "we could always tell her that Ash accosted this Harry, or even hurt him. Then if we find the twerps alone without Harry we can convince her to attack them on our behalf. Four is better than three, you know."
 
 
Jessie nodded and replied, "Good idea, James. We can turn her against the group before she has a chance to be a twerpette." She smiled gleefully and then redirected her attention towards the young girl. "My name is Jessie, and this is James, and the cat is Meowth. The answer is yes, my dear," she began, "we have seen this Harry, and we witnessed an evil group of kids harass him as soon as they saw him and try to capture him. We don't know where Harry is now, but we can take you to where we last saw him."
 
 
The young girl smiled wide and nodded. "Thank you so much, Harry means so much to me and I'd hate to see him hurt or anything. Judging from what I can tell from the time difference from where I came, I either traveled in time, am halfway around the world, or am somewhere else entirely." The redhead noticed the dumbstruck expression on the trio's face and began to explain. "I heard that cat talking earlier, so I'm just going to assume you're wizards and that the cat is your familiar, or someone who underwent a transfiguration or is an animagus. I'd hate it if I had to try and blend in with Muggles." She laughed for a second to herself and then continued to speak. "From where I come from it was roughly eight in the Evening, but here it seems to be Mid-day.  I used a complex tracking spell combined with an experimental teleportation spell from a restricted manual that was supposed to bring me right next to Harry, although obviously that didn't happen. Since you guys have seen him, though, he must have been nearby recently. Harry's been missing from my home for nearly a month, and I, well, I really care about him and I need to find him.” Her voice trailed off and she began to look down at the ground. She then began to speak once again, looking towards the group. "After a week of waiting while the professors tried to find Harry to no avail, I became determined to try to find my own way to get to him, and this is where I ended up after three weeks of research."
 
 
The trio of villains quickly looked at each other, dumbfounded by the girl's explanation and unsure of what to say, until Meowth spoke up. "Of course, Ginny, I was...erm...cursed by a dark sorcerer and was forced into this state. If you are truly so far from home, you must have brought a Pokemon with you for the long journey." Meowth smiled to himself as he imagined all of the potential rare Pokemon that this girl may have for the taking.
 
 
Ginny leaned over so she could easily talk to Meowth, and looked puzzled. "What's a Pokemon? I've never heard the term before at all. The word sounds pretty nice though."
 
 
Meowth raised his paw to his face and stepped back, letting Jessie step forward and speak for the group. "In this World, Pokemon are wild creatures that we can tame and collect. Pokemon can help us in tasks or battle for us. There are even some groups like those who harassed your friend Harry that use Pokemon for evil. If you don't have a Pokemon of your own, perhaps we can help you get one." The older red-head reached deep into her pocket and pulled out a red and white Pokeball.
 
 
"I caught this a few days ago," she explained, as she offered the ball to Ginny. "The Pokemon inside is a Rattata, normally those kind of Pokemon aren't too good, but James used his new gizmo called a Dexnav to examine it when it was wild, and apparently it has a lot of potential for a Pokemon of this species. I was gonna send it to my boss...erm...friend, but you can have it if you want it, instead." She smiled as she formulated her plan. 'Even if I give that Pokemon to miss fire-head over there,' she thought, 'she could use it against Ash and company so we can capture Pikachu. Losing a silly Rattata for the boss doesn't matter at all if we can snag our ultimate prize.'
 
 
Ginny at first looked awkwardly at the Pokeball, but slowly put the ball into her hand. "You say the Pokemon's name is Rattata, as in it's some kind of rat?" She shuddered slightly as she remembered the villain Peter Pettigrew who had hid in her family for years as a pet rat. "I don't have the best relationship with rats, but if you're offering me something I can possibly use to help Harry, how can I refuse. You guys are all such nice people." She beamed at the trio and pressed the button on Rattata’s Pokeball.
 
 
A small rat with four legs and black fur on its backside and tan-colored fur on its underside. The Pokemon had two large teeth that hung from the top of its mouth, and a pair of long black whiskers that extended from the side of its mouth.  Each of its four feet had three small toes, and at the Pokemon's back it had a long tail that curved inward at the tip. Above the mouth it had beady red eyes and a pair of large ears.
 
 
Jessie looked over her old Pokemon and smiled. She turned to Ginny and began to speak. "From the information that James got on his device, he found out that your Rattata has a move called Super Fang, something which it normally would not have until it reached a higher level. If you ever get into a Pokemon battle I'd suggest using that attack first." She then turned her attention back towards the girl and continued to speak. "I'm going to send James ahead and see if he can find where that bad group of kids is hiding. They may know something about where Harry is." She nodded to James, who quickly took off in the direction of Shalour City.
 
 
Within half an hour, Jessie saw James running towards the group on the path, and he quickly began to speak. "I've found the leader of evildoers, but no one else is with him." As he spoke, he nodded towards his teammates, making sure they got the message. "We could try to ambush them nearby and force them to tell us what they did with Harry."
 
 
Ginny nodded and replied. "That sounds like a good idea, I can use the battle to practice using my new Pokemon." She went and hid in a large bush with the trio, and after twenty minutes she saw one human male walking towards them. As she looked at the individual in-depth, she began to have doubts about what Team Rocket had told her. 'That boy is no more than sixteen years old,' she thought, 'and he doesn't look remotely mean at all. Although, why would Jessie give me a Pokemon if she and James and Meowth were the bad guys. I've never known a Death Eater to be generous, so it stands to reason that the same logic would apply here.' As the group neared within five feet of the bush, Ginny and Team Rocket burst out and confronted Ash and company.
 
 
"Team Rocket," Ash exclaimed, "what are you up to, today?" He immediately assumed a battle posture, and held his hand on Frogadier's Pokeball, ready to call it into battle at a moment's notice. The young trainer also quickly took note of one additional person in front of him than normal. "Who's the new girl, Jessie," he asked, "did you actually find someone else to join your team?"
 
 
"The name's Ginny," the younger red-head fired back, "and I want you to tell me everything you know about my friend that you captured, even if I have to hex you...er...I mean, battle you." She reached into her pocket and threw her Pokeball forward. Her Rattata quickly emerged in a flash of light and appeared ready to battle any on comers.
 
 
Ash instinctually responded by grabbing Frogadier's Pokeball and throwing it in front of him. He then watched as his blue Water-type Pokemon entered the fray.  "I don't know who your friend is, but I do know that Team Rocket isn't the sort of people you should go to for help. I don't wanna battle you, but I will if you make me."
 
 
Ginny scoffed at the black-haired Pokemon trainer and spoke. "Yeah, right. I was told by Jessie that you harassed or captured Harry and now he's Merlin knows where. I need to find Harry by any means necessary, even if that means defeating you. Rattata," she commanded her Pokemon, "attack his Pokemon with Super Fang, and then follow it up with Bite."
 
 
"Wait," Ash exclaimed as he put the pieces together, "You know Harry? Harry Potter? We weren't mean to Harry at all, in fact he's off about twenty minutes from here with my other friends to train with his new Pokemon. Harry is our friend, and if you're his friend you can be our friend too."
 
 
"Huh," Ginny exclaimed, "Harry is traveling with you? Jessie and James told me that you insulted him. Rattata, halt your attack on his Pokemon!" The Dark-type Pokemon heeded her commands and stopped just inchers short of Frogadier. As the young woman turned to face and confront Jessie, she found that neither she nor her two cohorts were hiding in the bush as they were several minutes earlier. "Where did they go," she questioned as she began to frantically look around.
 
 
"We're over here," a female voice yelled a few dozen feet away. Both Ash and Ginny looked towards the direction of the voice to see Jessie holding a small Yellow Pokemon inside an oval-shaped container. "We were hoping you'd keep each other occupied long enough for us to escape with Pikachu in this electric-proof and sound-proof capsule, but I guess you figured it out too soon Ginny." The older red-head laughed as she used her right hand to grab a Pokeball. "No matter, we'll just beat both of you the old-fashioned way!" She threw a Pokeball to the ground as an odd Pumpkin-looking Pokemon emerged. "Pumpkaboo," she commanded, "use Shadow Ball on Frogadier!"
 
 
A large purple orb formed in front of Jessie's Pokemon, and as it fired it hit Ash's Pokemon in the head, causing it to fall down and stop moving.
 
 
"Ha" Jessie exclaimed, "I see your Frogadier is down for the count twerp. You already know your Hawlucha isn't effective against my Ghost-type Pokemon, so I guess you're out of luck."
 
 
Ash looked down at his belt and only saw two Pokeballs there. 'Oh yeah,' he thought, 'I left Hawlucha and Fletchinder behind anyway to help Harry's Hoothoot learn how to fly better for Wing Attack. I really don't know what to do. With my only available Pokemon knocked out, I don't have any options.' It was at this moment that Ginny stepped forward and faced Jessie.
 
 
"Hey, Team Rocket," she screamed, 'you thought it was funny to trick me, huh? Well, I'm going to show you exactly what happens when you mess with a Weasley! Rattata, use Crunch on Jessie's Pumpkaboo."
 
 
Her small Pokemon quickly ran towards the floating Ghost-type and jumped on its back, continuously biting its opponent. Pumpkaboo yelled in pain and tried to shake Rattata off of its back, but to no success."
 
 
"Pumpkaboo, do something!" Jessie screeched. "Don't let that little Pokemon hurt you. Fight back with a Dark Pulse." A black orb appeared in front of Pumpkaboo and quickly traveled behind it, striking Rattata hard and causing it to fall off its target. "Good job, Pumpkaboo, now finish it off with Frustration." The Pokemon's body turned red as a white smoke emanated from its body, and within seconds it was charging at Rattata. The attack hit dead-on, causing the Rat Pokemon to shriek in agony.
 
 
"No, Rattata," Ginny sorrowfully exclaimed as she saw her Pokemon get hurt. "Try to fight back, use Pursuit! Her Dark-type Pokemon chased after Jessie's Pumpkaboo as it tried to move back near its trainer. Rattata jumped up and sunk its teeth deep into Pumpkaboo's body, causing the floating Pokemon to slam into the ground. The Grass-type Pokemon stopped moving, causing Jessie to recall it to her Pokeball.
 
 
"You're up next James," she called, telling her partner to prepare to battle. However, as she stepped back from the battle while holding Pikachu, she saw that Rattata was now racing towards her.
 
 
"Rattata, free Ash's Pikachu with Super Fang!" Ginny yelled. Her Pokemon then opened its mouth wide and bit down hard on the capsule that Pikachu was being held in. After several seconds of the capsule cracking, it burst open and Pikachu was free. The Electric Mouse ran back to Ash, who then knew the battle was over.
 
 
"Pikachu, use Thunderbolt on Team Rocket before they can send out another Pokemon," he commanded, and Pikachu quickly complied. The electricity it sent towards the group sent them flying up into the air and far away from Ginny and Ash.
 
 
 Pikachu smiled and looked towards Rattata, seemingly thanking it for its effort in freeing it from Team Rocket. The electric-type Pokemon then ran towards its owner and stood at his side.
 
 
Ash then watched as Ginny recalled her Rattata and began to speak. “Ginny, thanks so much for saving Pikachu. I don’t know what I would have done if they would have gotten away. I’m sure Harry will be glad to see you as soon as he comes back. In the meantime do you mind if I ask you some questions?”
 
 
“Sure,” Ginny replied. “I don’t mind if you ask me anything. I have a lot of questions of my own as well, so it’s only fair to answer yours as well.” The witch stared at the Pokeball in her hand and stared at her new friend as he pressed her with questions. After an hour of Ginny explaining how she got there, as well as Ash answering many of Ginny’s questions about his past and the world he lived in, they heard the sound of footfalls nearby.
 
 
Ash immediately saw Clemont, Bonnie, Serena and Harry coming towards the pair, and he then saw Ginny run towards Harry at a break-neck pace. She flung her arms around Harry and he responded in kind.
 
 
“Ginny,” he exclaimed with joy as her arms reached around him, “I wasn’t sure that I would ever see you again. How did you get here, and, more importantly, do you know how to get home?”
 
 
“It’s a long story Harry,” she replied, “but I don’t know for sure how to get home. Ash and I had to fight off Team Rocket after they tricked me, but I did get this.” She then showed Harry her Pokeball. “I guess I’m a Pokemon Trainer now, at least that’s what Ash said.  They sure do have interesting creatures here, don’t they?”
 
 
“Yeah, I’d say you’re right,” Harry agreed, “Since we can’t get home we might as well just stay with Ash and his friends. They’ve helped me out a lot in the small amount of time I’ve been here, and we can always research more about our predicament in our spare time.” Harry smiled, clutching his beloved in his arms. ‘Everything’s alright now,’ the wizard thought, ‘even though we’re far from home, we’ll find a way back…together.’


Pokemon Attempted: Rattata
CC: 20,287
MCR: 3-5k

Note: I'm having Ash be 16 in this instead of perpetually 10. I just hate that aspect of the anime personally, so any characterizations and responses to him are towards a teen, not a child.
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@Mlouden03

Diction – Basic

You describe some objects visually in great detail, which is a good start. I recall that you created a very detailed description of the Rattata, which helped me to understand that it was an Alolan Rattata and not the Kanto variant.

You have some huge opportunities for growth in your word choices, however. Description encompasses more than explaining what objects look like. Action is important, too. Let me give you an example of a passage that could have used some stronger action words:

Quote: A large purple orb formed in front of Jessie's Pokemon, and as it fired it hit Ash's Pokemon in the head, causing it to fall down and stop moving.

You used the verbs “formed”, “fired”, “causing”, “fall down”, and “stop moving.” These words all describe actions, but they lack intensity and visual interest. “Fired” is okay, actually, but you moved it later in the sentence, which makes it feel less important. Additionally, you’ve written a sentence in such a way that the ball is the object “doing” all of the verbs, which makes Pumpkaboo seem like a bystander rather than an active participant in the action.

Here’s how I would recommend improving this sentence: First, Pumpkaboo should be the star, because it’s the one attacking. Therefore, “Pumpkaboo” should be the first word in the sentence. The next word should describe what Pumpkaboo is doing. “Fired” is a good candidate here. So, the sentence could start with something like “Pumpkaboo fired a large purple orb…”

Now Pumpkaboo’s part in the action is over, so you can focus on what the Shadow Ball is doing. You’ve said it “hit” Frogadier in the head, but “hit” is a low-intensity verb and it doesn’t describe how the action looks, visually. If a Shadow Ball attack hits a Frogadier in the head, how would that actually look? Would the ball explode? Would it bounce off? Would it absorb into Frogadier’s body and dissipate?

Finally, we get to Frogadier. When you say that Frogadier simply stopped moving and fell over, you make it sound like Shadow Ball hasn’t actually impacted it with any kind of force. That makes the action of falling over seem almost cartoonish. It’s like how I imagine Looney Tunes would illustrate the story of David and Goliath: David would flick a tiny pebble at Goliath’s forehead, you’d hear it go plink softly, and then Goliath would fall on his face. You can ensure your action feels realistic by considering how different objects interact with each other. Now that you’ve thought about what would happen to the Shadow Ball on impact, you should think about what would happen to Frogadier when it gets hit. Would Frogadier stagger backwards? Get launched backwards by the force? Skid across the ground?

Make sure you describe actions, and not just objects.

Grammar / Style: Basic

There weren’t any grammatical mistakes in your story that affected its readability, but there were grammatical mistakes.

For example, when Ginny releases Rattata from its Pokeball, you described it with this sentence fragment: “A small rat with four legs and black fur on its backside and tan-colored fur on its underside.”

Earlier, you included a bit of a run-on: “’Even though I don't want to waste my time on your fantasies, but we aren't doing anything important so the five minutes it'll take won't exactly go to waste.’” Both “even though” and “but” can’t fit in this sentence.

There are a couple of other places where you used verbs in the wrong tense and other minor grammatical errors. Altogether, it just looks like your story could’ve used a bit more proofreading.

Character / Plot Unity: Intermediate

Your plot is simple but sensible. Each character in the story has a clear goal: Team Rocket wants to steal Ash’s Pikachu and Ginny wants to find Harry. You’ve intertwined these two goals to create conflict.

I would recommend that you spend some time thinking about the features that make each of these non-original characters unique. For example, why is it Ginny, and not Hermione or Ron, who comes looking for Harry? How do Ginny’s unique traits contribute to her decisions throughout the story? As it stands, you could almost have replaced Ginny with any other Harry Potter character and the story would have only minimally changed.

Also, make sure you pay a little more attention to character motivations and knowledge. At the start of the story, for example, Team Rocket is focused on planning their next move against Pikachu. When Meowth notices a flashing light, it doesn’t make a ton of sense for Jessie and James to just go along with his desire to check out the light. Furthermore, this story ends after Ginny successfully defeats Jessie’s Pumpkaboo using her Rattata’s super effective Bite and Crunch attacks. Ginny, however, shouldn’t know about that at all. The only attack Jessie explained was Super Fang. Therefore, the resolution comes out of nowhere and doesn’t make much sense either.

These two parts of the story stuck out a bit for me because they diminished the unique traits of the characters involved in order to move the story along.

Setting: N/A

You mentioned that the story takes place in Shalour City, but other than that, you don’t really bring up the setting at all.
A story needs a setting to add context. Just as you’ve first displayed Team Rocket sitting under a large oak tree, where is Ginny standing when they meet her? Where does the final battle take place? When Meowth sees the flash of light, does that come from within the city, or farther into the woods? You should work your setting into the story as characters move around. Even a simple act like walking requires interacting with the environment, and you can add details about the kind of surface your character’s walking on to breathe more life into the story.

Dialogue: Basic

There’s plenty of dialogue in the story, and some of it reveals character. Jessie shows her disdain for Meowth, for Harry, and for Ash, in the way that she talks to and about them, for example.

In other places, your dialogue spends a little too much time on exposition. For example, I recall that at one point, Ginny launches into a long explanation of how she arrived in the Pokemon world. She says “I used a complex tracking spell combined with an experimental teleportation spell from a restricted manual…” At this point, it feels like you’re trying to make Ginny explain the backstory so that it will make sense to the reader. The thing is, it’s not going to make sense. You’ve combined two fictional worlds that are both filled to the brim with fantasy/science fiction elements. It’s okay to just let those things be. If your reader wasn’t cool with magic + Pokemon, they wouldn’t be reading your story to begin with.

It’s okay to have characters explain things through dialogue, but only if those things will be relevant later on. Is the complex tracking spell or the experimental teleportation spell going to matter again? If so, then it’s fine to have Ginny introduce them here, but otherwise, those are details best left out.

Pokemon Integration: Intermediate

Plenty of Pokemon appear in this story, but they are somewhat generic. I’ve given you an Intermediate rank here because Rattata’s Dark-type attacks were important for defeating Pumpkaboo, and its Super Fang was important for freeing Pikachu. That being said, there are probably lots of Pokemon that could’ve served those roles, so it wasn’t overly reliant on Rattata’s unique features.

If you wanted to bump this category up a little bit, you’ve actually got quite a good opportunity. You briefly alluded to the fact that Ginny’s family had a poor experience with a certain rat in the past. If you had worked that into the story by making Ginny reluctant to trust her Rattata, for example, that could have earned you some major points.

Verdict: Simple

For achieving the Simple rank in this story, you’ve earned your Rattata, and you’ve also earned a bonus $3,500. You may claim that now, or ping me if you decide to try and improve! Otherwise, well done, and I’ll see you in the next installment.
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