WEP August - Spectacular Settings

The first part of this challenge requires us to choose a setting from a novel, poem or photograph that stopped our hearts. I decided to go with a setting from my favourite book series, which is Harry Potter. There were a lot of settings I could choose from, of course, but I decided to go with the church graveyard from Deathly Hallows, because that scene really moved me, and I think the setting was perfect. 

Here are a few extracts that set the scene:

"Then the little lane along which they were walking curved to the left and the heart of the village, a small square, was revealed to them.
Strung all around with coloured lights, there was what looked like a war memorial in the middle, partly obscured by a windblown Christmas tree. There were several shops, a post office, a pub and a little church whose stained glass windows were glowing jewel bright across the square.
The snow here had become impacted: it was hard and slippery where people had trodden on it all day. Villagers were criss-crossing in front of them, their figures briefly illuminated by street lamps. They heard a snatch of laughter and pop music as the pub door opened and closed; then they heard a carol start up inside the little church."

"There was a kissing gate at the entrance to the graveyard. Hermione pushed it open as quietly as possible and they edged through it. On either side of the slippery path to the church doors the snow lay deep and untouched. They moved off through the snow, carving deep trenches behind them as they walked round the building, keeping to the shadows beneath the brilliant windows.
Behind the church, row upon row of snowy tombstones protruded from a blanket of pale blue that was flecked with dazzling red, gold and green wherever the reflections from the stained glass hit the snow."

"The darkness and the silence seemed to become, all of a sudden, much deeper. Harry looked around, worried, thinking of Dementors, then realised that the carols had finished, that the chatter and flurry of church-goers were fading away as they made their way back into the square. Somebody inside the church had just turned off the lights."

I just love the way that this scene is set up. It really broadcasts just how alone Harry and Hermione are at this point in the story. This is probably the loneliest part of the story for them, and in this scene it's really emphasised; everyone else is enjoying Christmas eve, and Harry and Hermione are so out of touch that they didn't even know it was Christmas Eve. And then everyone leaves, and they are the only ones still at the church, in the darkness. 
It's a beautifully written scene, and that's why I chose to use it for today's challenge. 

Here's an extract from my WIP, for the third part of the challenge. I've always loved forests as a setting, which is why I've used one in this story. 

"Suddenly everything was a swirl of colour; it was as though I’d entered some kind of vortex, and it reminded me horribly of those I often sent demons through. A couple of minutes passed before I felt solid ground beneath my feet again, and I let out a breath before turning to examine my surroundings. 
We were in a dense woodland; the night had been dark around the house, but it was pitch black here. The canopy of the trees stopped most of the moonlight from reaching the forest floor. Morena conjured a large witch-light in the palm of her hand, illuminating the thin trail snaking between the trees. 
I could feel the magic in the air around us; it was practically tingling with it. I had never felt so much magic concentrated in one place before. I could tell that there were a lot of witches nearby, and that this forest had seen a lot of witchcraft. The trees were tall with thick trunks, their spidery limbs reaching out to the sky. The forest was ancient, I could tell, and it felt as though it had been used as a haven for witches for centuries."


  1. Hi Laura! You just made it! Lovely to read the Harry Potter extract. I'm sure there's a lot of HP fans around who would love reading this piece. It does bring out the loneliness of Harry and Hermoine. But the descriptions are quite dazzling, aren't they?

    I love forests too. You've done a great job setting the scene here- 'The trees were tall with thick trunks, their spidery limbs reaching out to the sky.' Spidery limbs...hmm...I can see them. I wish you well with your WIP Laura. I think this is a great peek into your writing.

    Thanks so much for joining the challenge! Hope you've got your thinking cap on for October now! Something creepy in the forest by any chance?

    Denise :-)

  2. Laura

    There are many settings in the Harry Potter books that would count as spectacular, and the one you've chosen is special because of the deep emotions involved. Excellent choice.

    I too, love the forest for setting; there is so much atmosphere in a woodland regardless the time of day. But when you know it's a witch's haven, the mystery deepens and the possibilities are endless. Your WIP has that mystery and atmosphere and I can't wait to read more.

    Thanks so much for contributing to the WEP Spectacular Settings Challenge. Please join us again in October for the Halloween challenge. Witches will fit the theme wonderfully!

  3. Harry Potter is always a source for good extracts. In your scene, I love the way you described the forest setting because it draws me into the story. I want to keep reading so I can learn more about the magic there and what's going to happen next.

  4. Great to have an adventure this morning and in a forest--one of my favorite settings. They're perfect "havens" for witches.

  5. Good stuff as always Miss Laura.

  6. Very nice, Laura! Forests provide great settings, and great variety in atmospheres. Good post!
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

  7. Just wonderful and exciting. I love spooky, witchy things especially setting in forests.

  8. I like magic tales. Add a few witches or wizards and I'm usually hooked. I like Harry Potter and especially the wizardly games and tests of skill. Your entry was a pleasure to read!

  9. Hi, Laura,

    LOVE HP... excellent choice for setting atmosphere and the scene....

    I also enjoyed reading your excerpt... I can feel the magic in the air....

  10. The Harry Potter scene was vividly desolate as yours was vividly spooky. Magical! ☺

  11. The Harry Potter scene was vividly desolate as yours was vividly spooky. Magical! ☺


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