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Reading Reviews for Periphery
  
56 Reviews Found

Review #26, by Panacea Chapter Three

27th March 2017:
Your writing is beautiful!

Author's Response: Hey there, thank you! Chapter six is going into the queue as we speak :)

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Review #27, by AdinaPuff Chapter Five

14th March 2017:
Hi!

I really, really enjoy this story so far. Chloe is developing so well, and honestly there's just so many questions and the plot right now is so thin, I'm just anxious to find out where this is going. From the prologue, it's obvious that a lot is meant to happen, and I really just cannot wait for you to update so I can find out! I love how you've characterized everyone so far, particularly Peter. He's just always kind of there, the only one amongst the Gryffindors that Chloe ever interacted with, which makes so much sense. It all fit so well. I love Sirius too, and I am so angry at him for how he's treated Chloe so far. Obviously, I ship them, and can't wait to see how their relationship develops.

This is so good so far!!! Please please please update soon!

Leigh xx

Author's Response: Hiya!

Thanks so much for taking the time to review! This story is still in the fledgling stages, completely open to edits, any feedback is appreciated :)

Hooboy, you are right, this plot is eventually going to get ridiculously thick. I tend to get an idea for a fic and just go for it until there are, like, twelve sub-plots going on. So get ready for that!

Peter is really important to this story--if not just because so many fics don't give him the time of day and I wanted to change that. But they're two sides of the same coin, Peter and Chloe. They're both on the sidelines of the real heart of the group, in a lot of ways, and both end up in a situation with the War that they hadn't wanted.

Yes! Sirius, at this point, is so irritating to me as a character, haha. He's fun and loyal (literally a dog) but obnoxious. To somebody as self-conscious and rule-abiding as Chloe, it's frustrating. I'm excited to explore how they both grow as people and mature. That goes for everyone in this fic!

The next chapter is written, but needs some tweaking. Things definitely take a turn, I'll say ;)

Thank you! ♥


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Review #28, by Agirlnamedjen Chapter Four

28th February 2017:
Hello again,

Please stop worrying I think it has a really good progression- it reads like a story, not just filler.

I'm currently writing a novel at the moment, however, and I know exactly what it feels like. You just have to make sure you only include things that are important to the story and I really don't think you could of cut any of this out.

Like I said before, this story is really good, a different storyline to the usual and I'm looking forward to seeing how it becomes AU and splits away from Rowlings creation.

Hoping for an update soon and I've fave'd for later ;)

Xxx

Author's Response: Hey!

Haha, thank you for the reassurance. My last fic was a humor fic and, honestly, I didn't think anyone was going to read it so I just kind of word-vomited every chapter. They were all interesting and fast-paced and fun and, in a lot of ways, unrealistic. But this story has been plotted and premeditated to the point of having three possible endings (I still can't choose, eep!) and I worry that the lack of a fast pace will lose readers' interest. Plus I need, like, constant reassurance about my writing. Oy vey. So thank you for being so insistent ;)

Your words about only including things that are important to the story have resonated with me in the weeks since I've read this review. So thank you! It's crucial to remember, especially because, as I mentioned, my last fic started off as more fluff and fun than quality content.

Thank you so much! Chapter five has been validated and most of chapter six is already written ♥


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Review #29, by Agirlnamedjen Chapter Three

28th February 2017:
I didn't think this chapter was slow at all- it really gives the reader a good impression of each of the characters. It flows well and has a good inclusion of speech and descriptive writing so keeps the audience engaged.

I also really like your writing style and the silly details you include like the Slughorn moustaches- really funny and it adds a sense of realism to the story.

I'll start reading the next one now!

Author's Response: Hey there! Thank you for your review!

I'm glad that this chapter flowed well. Most scenes that depict the everyday activities of Hogwarts students make me nervous, because we've read countless instances as fic readers. I'm always searching for ways to keep them fresh and interesting because they've been done *so* many times. That's why I was concerned about this chapter--so thank you for your reassurance!

Yes, Marlene drawing Slughorn mustaches on all of the illustrations was a fun little part to write. I want to make it clear that she's very much a part of the group--and even a driving force, in many ways--without the "Female Marauder" stereotype. She's honestly my favorite character to write about so I'm glad that she's accepted so well!



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Review #30, by dreamgazer220 Chapter One

20th February 2017:
Hey Sarah! I'm here with your review ♥

Okay so I'm super excited to see that we're going to go back into their Hogwarts years, at least for this particular chapter. I loved both Emily and Chloe; both characters have very strong voices, and it made me so mad that Emily ended up feeding her to the wolves. I also like that you broke house stereotype there. I'm assuming they're both Hufflepuffs, but it's also like Peter Pettigrew and Gryffindor; not everyone is textbook definition of their House, and I really, really liked how you showcased that here.

Again, your descriptions and language are fantastic. It was very easy to picture everything that was going on, although the only time I was mildly confused was when they were carving the mark, so to speak. However, I think it works for this story because it's told in first person, and Chloe wouldn't know immediately what was happening to her - only that something hurt.

I know we're not supposed to, but I don't like Michael Flint. I can't help but wonder if he targeted them for a reason or just because they're Hufflepuff muggleborns? Either way, I really liked how this chapter fit so easily into pre-War at Hogwarts. Voldemort's followers might not have infiltrated yet, but there are definitely Purebloods like Flint and Macnair who would still feel strongly about the muggleborns being there.

You asked about Chloe's characterization in your request, and again, I really enjoyed her. She had a bit of humor in this chapter and I felt for her when she was betrayed by her cousin. I'm curious to see how that's going to affect their relationship. Emily also reminds me of one of the girls from a Jane Austen novel; kind of gossipy and interested in boys. She actually reminded me a bit of Lydia Bennet, to be honest :)

Flow here was good. Even though it was a longer chapter, it was really easy to read because it captured my attention the entire time. And the descriptions again were great as was dialogue. You had a good mix of short and longer paragraphs that helped balance things out.

I'm SO HAPPY that Sirius (and I'm guessing Marlene?) rescued her! That seems like such a natural way for them to get close and I love how he's just James Potter's friend to her at the moment. It makes a lot of sense and I can't wait to see how this develops.

And the end was perfect. It was chilling and dramatic with enough intrigue to get a reader to the next chapter to see what happens next.

Overall this was another fantastic chapter. Thank you for the request! I'm really excited to see where you take this.

♥Jill

Author's Response: Hi, Jill! Here you are leaving me such a lovely and thoughtful review (that I, um, REQUESTED from you!!!) and it's taken me this long to respond. Please forgive me for being trash. You and your feedback are so greatly appreciated!

Yes, you are hitting the nail right on the head by comparing Emily to Peter (and even Chloe). I can't count how many times I've harped on this in previous responses, but this story is going to be expelling what I believe has become folklore around the Marauders. They're martyred because they died and we loved their characters, but they were certainly flawed. At the same time, yes, Peter betrayed his friends. But for those of us who have never been put under such a situation, I don't think we can really say what we would do under the threat of torture or murder. So Emily betrayed her cousin here--but do we write her off as a monster?

I'm glad you mentioned being confused about drawing the mark! I wanted to leave a little mystery, because Chloe doesn't even realize, until the end, that it's an actual letter "M." But maybe the entire scene was a little confusing. I definitely want it to be clear that Michael is using his wand as a weapon to burn Chloe's skin. I'll have to go back and make sure that it's clear enough!

Technically, Michael was targeting Emily, and the attack was originally meant for her. Unfortunately it was just because she is a Muggle-born. He probably felt that she would be an easy target, too, because she is frivolous and eager to be accepted, and he recognized the power he could have over her. You're totally right about her being like one of the Bennett girls! Especially Lydia. Omg and Michael is such a Wickham, but, times like one thousand and with way worse intentions. And I'm glad that this seemed to fit into the Pre-War canon. Obviously Chloe has heard of Voldemort, and associates a general bad feeling with him, but she's so far separated from it (at this point) that it's just a name.

Yes! The way that Chloe met Marlene and Sirius is very important to the story. She feels, and will feel for years, indebted to them--particularly Marlene. It's essential in creating the strange power dynamic between them as friends. I won't go too into it, but you're right to point it out!

Thank you again, Jill, so much. I apoogize again for taking so long to respond. Your reviews are always so thoughtful and I love to read them!





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Review #31, by scintillated Chapter Four

19th February 2017:
wow, this was great! i'm a little sad that i didn't get to see much of chloe and marlene's development, but then i just think back to the prologue where marlene dies and they haven't been speaking for a month and cry. that's the thing about an AU, you don't know how it ends!

also, i feel like you're setting up this war quite nicely. like you know the supporters are out there, and they're slowly getting more and more brazen. question, though - who knows about the full extent of chloe's attack? because surely madam pomfrey saw when she was healing chloe, so did she tell dumbledore? are those the only people that know?

and i actually really liked the sirius scene! it was written very well, and it just makes me like sirius that bit more. honestly, every time i think of these marauders-era characters, i get sad. because all i can think of is that sirius, cooped up in the house he just got exiled from. but that's a testament to your writing, that i can compare him with the sirius from canon.

cannot wait for the next chapter!

Author's Response: Thank you for mentioning that you want to see more of Chloe and Marlene's development. In another attempt to eschew traditional Marauder fics, I plan for the bulk of the story to take place after graduation. (In my experience, most of the fics focus on their time at Hogwarts, but I could be wrong here). So I glossed over their initial friendship-building interactions because there is *so* much to cover in this story, and I'm trying to keep the scenes that are entirely about relationship building to a minimum. So we see their friendship as they're studying, but we also are learning about Chloe's relationship with her parents and the attacks on the Muggle rights activist. And with Sirius's scene, we're learning that he was banished from his home.

Don't worry, though, they still have to come back for their Seventh Year, when we will see Chloe get much closer to them as a group.

I'm all about spoiling things for you in these reviews, eh?

You're asking some good questions that need clarification! I'm adding them to my editing notes :D So Madame Pomfrey and McGonagall were specifically mentioned, regarding trying to talk to Chloe about the attack. It's implied that McGonagall mentioned it to Dumbledore, because it's a serious offense, but I don't think Dumbledore would approach her. I usually explore Whimsical!Dumbledore with his socks and Christmas poppers and Bertie Botts in my fic, but this time I want to explore his flaws (as I will with all of the martyred HP characters). Anwyay, because Chloe is refusing to talk about who attacked her, there isn't much they can do. Or maybe they're dropping the ball and should be more proactive in helping her during her PTSD and her inability to talk about it. (Pssst, this is an allusion to sexual assault, and the lack of follow-through by authority, and perpetrators walking free. But I didn't want to write a sexual assault scene for obvious reasons.) But back to the attack--something that happens in canon will happen in their Seventh Year that will revisit this theme.

Yes! Sirius! As I mentioned, he and Chloe are far too early on in their friendship to be much more than an awkward run-in here and there, but this at least allowed her to glimpse into his personality a little better. She has known in the back of her mind that the Blacks are bigoted, and probably associated him with that subconsciously, so this was a good moment for her to understand that he doesn't stand for those beliefs.

Thank you so much, I really cannot tell you how exciting it was to see all of these reviews! I'm stuck halfway through the next chapter, but hopefully I have something to show you all soon!




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Review #32, by scintillated Chapter Three

19th February 2017:
wow, this was great! i know that in the prologue, chloe mentioned that marlene was her best friend of six years, so i'm excited to see the development happening. i actually love chloe's character so much; she's not the typical heroine, full of bravery and courage and all that - she's flawed, and she's real. and it's really refreshing to read, you know?

on another note, the sirius/chloe interaction. i liked it, but honestly, not as much as the chloe/marlene one. i actually hope any buildup doesn't happen until later - me, being the cynical anti-romance person i am in real life, of course. i just think that chloe needs to build herself up more before any real romance can happen. of course, that's my opinion, and you, as the author know much more about her than i do! this was a great chapter, though, i loved it!!

Author's Response: You're so right about Chloe's character. She is *not* brave in the traditional, Gryffindor sense of the word--which is why I chose to place her in another house from the Marauders. She is deeply frightened of the War and doesn't exactly join the Order of her own accord (but I don't want to spoil anything.) Her bravery is going to come out in another, softer way as the story goes on.

The scenes with Marlene are my absolute favorite. She's such a driving force of this fic, and Chloe is completely enamored with her in a way. She's everything that Chloe isn't, but they form a friendship through those differences.

And I think your response to the Chloe and Sirius scene is spot on! I mentioned in my last response that this fic is going to span 20 years. If I had to describe their relationship at this point in the story, it would be that Chloe finds him confusing. Obviously he's cute--the whole school thinks so--but she's troubled by his Devil May Care attitude and his arrogance. As for the slow burn, it will be the slowest of slow, and might not even amount to anything.

Thank you! ♥


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Review #33, by scintillated Chapter One

19th February 2017:
oh my goodness, this was amazing! like i mean this completely genuinely: your writing was absolutely gorgeous. i'm not sure if they're exactly in wartime yet, but this chapter certainly captures the buildup perfectly. poor chloe! but honestly, i love this chapter so much. it's amazing, especially the end. it was so dramatic - the m for mudblood.

there's so many compliments i could give you about this chapter, but it would take forever to write them all. just know this - it was absolutely amazing!

Author's Response: YOU ARE SO KIND.

I was nervous about this chapter, and the "action scene," but it seems to have gone over well in general? And Michael Flint won't be in the forefront of this fic, as it will span 20 years, but something about him as a character is alluring to me. He's a horrible person but I just love to write about him. I can just see his face so clearly. Actually I imagine him as Tom Sturridge, if you're curious ;)

Thank you, again!



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Review #34, by scintillated Introduction

19th February 2017:
this story is great! i love marauders era, and after a while, you just get tired of canon, you know? so i can't wait to see the other ways that this differs from canon.

now, i could talk about your writing for years. it's beautiful, and i love it. like this paragraph about marlene's death:

"It wasn’t how it was with the news of Lily and James. The room wasn’t spinning; I didn’t have to run and be sick in the bin. It felt like the walls were expanding around me, or like I was growing smaller. The silence was becoming a sound itself, a kind of pressure in my eardrums."

it's simple in a way, but it's so powerful. and this was a really good introductory chapter, as a whole - i cannot wait to read the next chapter.

Author's Response: Wow, you are so kind! Thank you so much for all of these reviews!

"you just get tired of canon, you know?" Haha, I sure do! Like I said, it *has* been done before, and well done. I thought the only way to make Chloe's story interesting was to divert canon by the fact that she exists around these characters. There's no telling how hugely or insignificantly she will change things, at this point (as in I haven't quite decided that. I have two very different endings planned.)

Ahhh thank you so much! I spent the last three+ years writing a humor fic and, while it was challenging and fun and I love it dearly, this voice and narration style is much more my speed. I'm glad that it reads well!

These reviews brightened my day. Sorry it took me so long to respond! I really appreciate them.



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Review #35, by Illuminate Introduction

17th February 2017:
Hi! Here for your long overdue review!

I love the idea of butterfly effect that you mention in your author's note. Definitely a gripping idea.

I know this is an introduction, but so far the pacing is very good, though I think it will probably be something you'd like me to focus on more if you rerequest for further chapters.

I like your characterisation. It looks like she has an interesting family life and relationship with her parents. I find myself curious about her! Good job! :)

So, so far I think this is very enjoyable! Well done!

Author's Response: HERE FOR YOUR LONG OVERDUE RESPONSE WOW

Thanks for taking the time to read. Glad to hear that everything reads smoothly for now. I tend to info-dump in the first chapter and tried hard to "ask more questions than I answered" here. Chloe's relationship with her parents will be a crux of this story, for sure.

Thank you! ♥


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Review #36, by ataxaphobia Chapter Three

19th January 2017:
I am 100% hooked. It's different that your other stories but in a good way.

Author's Response: Hey there! Thank you so much. Comments like this are very motivating because it's always stressful (at leat for me) starting a new story. Thank you for the encouragement! I've written the next chapter but it's missing something. Will update soon, though ♥

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Review #37, by Allie Chapter Two

8th January 2017:
This has really caught my attention so far! I'd love an update soon :)

Author's Response: The next chapter is in the queue. Thanks for reading!

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Review #38, by dreamgazer220 Introduction

31st December 2016:
Hi there! Here with your requested review!

Wow. To be honest, I wasn't sure what I was expecting when I opened this story up, but it wasn't that, and I mean this in the absolute best possible way.

This is a powerful introduction. At first, it seems normal, someone waking up early and making breakfast, and then you get hit with the James and Lily paragraph and I'm immediately drawn in. I want to know what happened and why she appears to feel so guilty or just awful about something. She's lying, and I want to know why. I want to know why her mother doesn't like the magical world. I want to know about her relationship with Sirius and the Potters, and I can't even imagine what it's like, finding out that your best friend is dead.

Your writing in this is great; it played like a movie in my mind. I could feel the cold and I could see everything happening. There is clearly more to your characters than what meets the eye, and those are my absolute favorites.

It does start off a bit slow, but I think it works here; especially when you drop the bomb, so to speak, about Marlene; everything else picks up right from there. The descriptions are lovely and not overbearing or overly poetic; there's a good balance here.

An excellent start to this story. I'm adding this to my favorites so that I can come back and read more, but please feel free to re-request the following chapters as well!

♥Jill

Author's Response: Hello! Thank you so much for taking the time to review, and I'm so sorry it took me ALMOST A MONTH to respond. Who do I think I am? Seriously, I appreciate this so much, your review is so lovely and thoughtful.

I'm so glad that this chapter has been generally successful (at least with reviewers)! Usually I end up doing an "information dump" in my first chapter, so I was actively trying not to this time.

I wanted to start with a scene that was outwardly calm and somber (wintry morning, childhood home, gray light, mundane tasks like making breakfast) but disperse little hints of the awful events that have been happening. First, her mother's illness, second, Lily and James and lastly Marlene. I'm glad that it played well in your mind. Without spoiling too much I want to say that this fic is going to deal a lot with Chloe straddling the line between two worlds, the Magical and Muggle, and how it affects her relationships with her family, Marlene, Sirius--everyone. So scenes like this feel calm and safe, outwardly, because they're far removed from the war. But clearly, as evidenced by Sirius's letter, she won't ever be truly in one world and not the other.

Thank you so so much, Jill! I may request another review from you, if I'm allowed after being such a jerk and never responding ♥


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Review #39, by Elena Chapter Two

29th December 2016:
I love how you are slowly connecting your characters together, I particularly liked the Marauders in the Hospital wing. It defiantly shows their bond.

I'm intrigued to know more about Marlene and Sirius too and how their friendship /relationship goes and how Chloe gets closer.

I really do not like Emily. I'd have hexed her. Poor Chloe...I just wanted to hug her in that moment.

This is a brilliant story. I want more of this. Thank you for sharing it with me. 10/10

Author's Response: Hello again!

The Marauders in the hospital wing were so much fun to write. I had to actually be careful, because while this story needs levity of tension, it can't be *too* light. It would have felt non-cohesive and clunky, after everything else that had happened. James in particular is fun to write, and I had to mentally remind myself to chill out with the one-liners, hehe.

MARLENE AND SIRIUS YES. I think I mentioned this in your last review, but Marlene is such an integral part of this story, and really the entire plot pivots on her relationships with Chloe and Sirius. Without her there would definitely be no story! Yay, Marlene!

Thank you for another lovely review ♥


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Review #40, by LunaStellaCat Chapter One

28th December 2016:
Okay, yes this was an addition of many characters, but hopefully that will be fleshed out and life will be breathed into them. Ah, this is where I fear about stepping away for the children's literature thing. I usually write from the adult characters. and this clears this problem for me, at least in my head, i think.


Your blatant curse words are a step so far to the right. Jo places such wording in her other pieces: I've see them, gotten shocked she struck down to that level, and then remembered she's a regular person.

I don't think that it would be so easy to get drinks at Hogwarts. I don't want to say "Harry Potter' was written in a childish way because it wan't. The story grew with Harry. Does that make sense? Well, Ron had his phrases, it wasn't a shock and awe thing purely for the shock and awe thing.

It wouldn't be so easy to get your hands on drinks. Think about it. If boys couldn't get into the girls' sleeping quarters - gained the founders at Hogwarts are old-fashioned - do you think some kid would hide drink? Remember it's not there for a reason. Rowling broke rules - she invited the Marauders, come on dear - but there are lines. Especially with the children.

This is written well, it is. You should flesh it out more. The one thing that's weird, especially given the Era. Forgive me. This was huge in HBP. Where is the Slug Club? Slughorn has such a connection with Lily Evans. Now, saying that, for there was a point as to why I said that, I can see someone sneaking drink into a Slug Club gathering and having just as much effect or more here. Do you see where I'm going here?


Just something to consider.

LSC

Author's Response: Hello again!

Oh gosh, I hope it wasn't too many characters. I'm cutting out, like, half of the people in the Marauders' timeline simply because there are so many of them--and who we know a lot about--and honestly I don't have the time. I don't want this fic to be a canonical retelling of the books, so I'm not trying to stuff as many people in as possible. In fact, I don't really have a use for Severus Snape at all, at this point in my plotting. Hopefully this number of characters didn't seem too overwhelming! The Marauders will all be present, as will Lily and Marlene, and Frank and Alice. Plus minor Order members. Plus Chloe and her family.

Ugh. God, WHY do I always have giant ensemble casts in my fics.

As for the swearing, I don't think it's a big deal? Hopefully you weren't offended in any way, that certainly wasn't my intention! Or if it was the fact that it's a kid swearing? But I can recall my friends, at seventeen, with having horrifically dirty mouths. And if I remember correctly, it's just one person, in a moment of frustration and panic, who uses a curse word. I don't intend to sprinkle curse words throughout this fic because I think it takes away their impact, and they certainly help with impact!

And the kids are definitely going to drink a little. It was, in my experience, a part of growing up, in that everyone else did it but I didn't. I'm not trying to glamorize it and make it seem like it's what The Cool Kids do. But a lot of this fic is going to deal with coming of age, and I think that a bunch of silly boys like the Marauders would get their hands on cheap liquor any time they could.

And you make a good point, and one that I've often struggled with: the Hogwarts Rules paradigm. You can't sneak into the boy's and girl's dormitories, but students are completely capable of sneaking out of their dorms at night. You can't go to Hogsmeade without an adult's permission, but you don't need it to fight a live dragon in the Triwizard Tournament. I think there are spaces in JKR's world of Hogwarts safety for reasons. Otherwise we could point to magic as ending every single plot hole ever, which I won't get in to, because it's not the point.

Interesting plot about the Slug Club! I guess it makes more sense for kids to drink here? Haha. I'm not sure if that will have a place in this fic or not, but it is an interesting idea!

Thanks again! I appreciate the thoughtful feedback.

♥ Sarah


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Review #41, by LunaStellaCat Introduction

28th December 2016:
I found this on HPFT and decided to give this a shot. It's been a while since I've read a good Marauder fic that's given the Marauders, the boys, justice. The idea behind this with your OC is written rather well. You chose a good angle with a Muggle girl. I like that she hides things from the mother. The mother seems rather unbalanced, which is a nice touch, as far as characterization goes.

I've always wondered how Muggle parents deal with their obviousl magical children. This is going off topic with your writing, but go with me, okay? You know how magical children, some of them, are obviously magical? I'm thinking Minerva McGonagall versus Neville Longbottom here. Got me? Here's what I would ask JKR. I'm surprised I haven't thought of this in the past. Do non-magical children show, small, insignificant signs of magic? Maybe they were magic without the parents realizing it as such? Dunno.

So, the Chloe character seems nice, and I'm sure you continue to build on that as you progress. We shall see.

So, here's where I point out other stuff. Your wording on things, and you'll get stronger on this as you write more, dear, is odd in pieces. There are misplaced adjectives, or sometimes adjectives that are clearly unnecessary and actually change the meaning of your sentences. (I would hope that's unintentional.)

I'm only saying this because I'm getting new windows on Friday. They cost a bloody fortune ... but I digress. You can't pull windows in and you certainly could not do that in 1981. Think about that.

I want to tell Chloe if she can't master the basics and pay attention whilst cooking, she doesn't need to use a cast iron skillet. Cooking is a hobby of mine. That's not a criticism towards your writing. Pass that along to your fictional character, yeah? HAHA. Cooking is a difficult art, Chloe, pay attention. You mess up breakfast, you mess up the day. The hobbitses would be disappointed.

So, semantics and word choice. Consider those. Otherwise, well done. By the way, if you need someone else to request reviews for on HPFF or HPFT, I'm game.


I'd be glad to help you. Well done. Oh. wait. In writing, an "Introduction" is considered ib a play. In novel writing, this is generally referred tp as a "prologue" or "first chapter"

-LSC

Author's Response: Hey there! Thanks so much for offering a review thread, they've been so helpful in getting some feedback for this new fic.

That's an interesting thought about non-magical children (if I understand correctly). Do you mean Muggle children exhibiting small signs of magic, kind of in the vein of "there's a little magic in all of us?" Because I love that idea. It also makes me less bitter that my Hogwarts letter never came, if there's a chance I'm still ~a little magical~

Glad Chloe seems interesting so far! And I'm excited to get to her mother's illness and their strained relationship, as odd as that may sound.

I'm a little confused about the confusing adjectives, but I definitely want to clear up any confusion in the narration. If you happen to read this response, and feel like elaborating, could you please point out some specifics? I certainly don't claim to have The Ultimate Grasp of grammar and where adjectives must go in sentences, but I prefer to take some more "poetic liberties" with my writing, if that makes sense. As in, using language and grammar that isn't necessarily correct, but it helps convey the narrator's thoughts in a more expressive way. An example of that would be in an unpublished chapter I wrote, where Chloe narrates:

"And then the oak door behind him was creaking open, and my voice died in shock alarm sickness panic..."

Obviously the punctuation and sentence structure here isn't correct. But! That's the great thing about writing: it doesn't have to be. I appreciate you pointing out that it isn't correct grammar, but if you mean sentences like the aforementioned one, I'm choosing to keep them because I like to take artistic liberties with my own writing. But if there are specific sentences that are confusing or off-putting because of the way they're worded, I'd be happy to take a look at them! I'm just not sure which ones you mean :)

Oh, and windows can open out. You can Google image search them! Specifically I was imagining what are apparently "French push out casement windows." They were opened (pushed out) so to close them she had to pull them in, and tighten the little latch to lock them.

I agree, I would be so upset if I went through the trouble of making eggs and they were ruined! I don't even know if a cast iron skillet is correct for cooking eggs, actually, but I wanted her to be literally carrying something heavy (ie. a big ol' pan) because ~symbolism~

Oh, and thanks for pointing that out about the introduction vs. prologue. I'll be sure to change that in my next edits.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read, and for your review! I'm off to respond to the next.

♥ Sarah


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Review #42, by Elena Chapter One

28th December 2016:
I read this last night, but I needed time to digest.

This chapter was sooo good. Can't say I like Flint, at all. But Emily made me so angry. I know her type and to just leave Chloe!

I love the glimpse of Marlene we get here, and with Sirius. From the intro to this chapter things are unfolding, but there are still so many unanswered questions.

I still need to know more. Well done, I am hooked. 😊 10/10

Author's Response: Hey again!

Ugh, Michael Flint. He's inspired by boys like Brock Turner and Ethan Couch (though slightly less obnoxious) in that they're wealthy and white and can get away with whatever. Hogwarts staff *must* be aware that the Black Adders exist but, unless Chloe comes forward, they don't have any hard evidence that they're doing anything wrong. So they just are allowed to go on being bigoted and prejudiced.

I don't seem to hate Emily as much as everybody else. Okay, totally harping on the same thing as all my other review responses, so sorry if you've read those, but: I want to explore the notions of self-preservation, loyalty, pacifism, and the like for the Marauders. They're all martyred as heroes, willing to die for one another, but I don't know if I buy it. When Sirius tells Peter in the Shrieking Shack that he should have died for Lily and James, I thought, "Well, of course." But then I imagined being put in that situation and being tortured or threatened and what would happen--I mean realistically, honestly happen--to someone in that situation. Maybe I'm a cynic but I don't think everyone would have died for everyone. Basic human instinct and all.

So anyway! Emily betrays Chloe in a moment of sheer panic, but does that totally write her off as an evil, wicked person? Maybe. Maybe not.

(And so ends another coffee-fueled, rambling response.)

Thank you again! ♥


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Review #43, by Elena Introduction

28th December 2016:
I don't know who Chloe is, but I want to know her. I loved this first chapter. I was sucked right in. It seems odd that the mundane things can be that 'hook'. But its familiar.

I want Bacon!!!

I loved the counting of the lies, though, I suspect Mum knows.

I want to know who Marlene was and why her death is so significant to Chloe. Yes, I get they are best friends, but I want to know their bond, their connection. Basically, I want to know more :)

As a side note, I have read many Marauder fics - the telling of their lives to their death. Although they are "done", if you ever really want to do it - I say, DO IT!!! No one is the master of your pen other than yourself. You can give them life and adventure too, if you wanted to - But enough about that. I must read more about Chloe.

Author's Response: ~*~HELLO I AM TERRIBLE~*~ Thank you so much for this review, and I am so sorry to have been such a lazy jerk. I am here to respond and greatly appreciate that you took the time to do this!

Hahaha I totally forgot that bacon was casually mentioned in this chapter, I thought maybe you just wanted to let me know about a craving? It's funny because I don't even eat meat but all of my MCs eat bacon at some point in my fic. Maybe I'm living vicariously through them ;)

Oh gosh, Marlene is probably the #1 thing that inspired me to write this fic, even over wanting to write a Sirius/OC. I'm glad that you're interested in her relationship with Chloe, and I can't wait to get to the bulk of their tumultuous and complicated friendship!

Thank you so much for the encouragement. Next Gen fics seem to be the most popular right now and I don't know why but I just really can't bring myself to write them? So I keep revisiting old topics and just hoping people will enjoy reading them. Your encouragement is very helpful, so thank you!



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Review #44, by Beeezie Introduction

27th December 2016:
Hey, I'm here for our swap!

Thus far, you're doing a really amazing job. This is a great introduction to the story; you've set the stage beautifully, with just enough information to help the reader get their bearings. I love the paradigm you've set up - parents who are uncomfortable with magic, a young woman just trying to do what's right - it's all really well done. Within a setting that's far removed from the war, you managed to allow Chloe to confront the war without making it feel jarring to the reader; instead, there's a very clear sense that Chloe is grappling with a lot of things on her own. Both her thoughts of James and Lily and her memory of Marlene is heartbreaking, and they make her lies to her mother seem not only reasonable but necessary.

And speaking of Marlene - what is up with that last line?? I think I'm particularly intrigued because this is AU - is Sirius a bad guy in this timeline? Was he using the Cruciatus Curse - presumably on someone on his side! - for another reason? I need to read more!

This is really excellent thus far.

Author's Response: Hey there! Thanks so much for agreeing to swap, I really enjoyed reading your fic.

The paradigm you mentioned will certainly continue throguhout the fic, and though things get a bit grim, I'm excited to get to writing them! Chloe will struggle with maintaining a relationship with her parents who are uncomfortable with magic, as you said, and also trying to work with the Order, who she doesn't fully back anyway.

Yes! You're so spot on with everything! Her parents' house is far away from the war both literally and figuratively. I'm excited for Chloe to feel stretched further and further between her two loyalties because, well, I just love torturing my MCs, haha.

THE LAST LINE. Man, I must be pretty sadistic because I get such a kick out of everyone's comments over it. Your guesses about Sirius being the bad guy are the most interesting so far, but I don't want to spoil anything!

Thank you again, so much. I really appreciate it!



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Review #45, by CambAngst Chapter Two

26th December 2016:
Hey, Sarah!

I've really enjoyed getting a chance to read this story! Thanks for the swap!

The chapter starts off feeling like a dull ache. I think that's about the right feeling for Chloe, having been through the assault at the hands of the Slytherins. Everything was grim and empty and all of the emotion stripped away.

At least until Emily comes along. When I reviewed the last chapter, I meant to mention Emily's betrayal and it slipped my mind. That felt like the cruelest twist of all, to be betrayed by her own cousin in such a way. It makes perfect sense that Chloe wouldn't even want to see her.

“Please, Chloe,” Emily whispered when Pomfrey left us. Fat tears were falling down her cheeks. “I said I’m sorry.” -- Ah, yes, the unerring logic of people who feel no real responsibility for their own actions. I know I did something terrible, but I feel badly about it. Haven't I suffered enough? I'm with Chloe. Except I might not have mentioned the poisonous lilies.

I enjoyed the way you introduced Sirius and the Marauders. Visiting poor Remus after his monthly transformation, joking, jostling, being a pain in Madam Pomfrey's backside... it all fit perfectly well.

Marlene has such power over people. Sirius, for starters. But she exerts quite an influence on Chloe, too. Everything about the way you've set up her character speaks to her charisma and presence. It starts with her physical appearance -- striking -- and extends to her ability to rein in the unruly Marauders.

The chapter started off with a dull ache and ended with an icy weight on the chest. The Black Adder Society has shown that they can reach Chloe even in the safety of her own dorm. I suppose if I stop to think about it, it's not as big a deal as it seems. The Slytherins almost certainly have friends inside Hufflepuff. It wasn't some huge feat to pull this off. Still, the effect is very chilling to a victim. Chloe is completely trapped in the feelings of shame and powerlessness that plague so many victims of assault. You are doing a great job of writing her reactions.

I had a lot of fun reading through this! Thank you!

Author's Response: Hey again!

Chloe's PTSD is going to be a struggle throughout this fic, I think. I keep finding myself writing scenes with her walking in the corridors alone, but I doubt that she'd be comfortable doing that for a long time, or possibly ever. Is it so bad that she has trouble with situations dealing with water (bathing, swimming, etc.), or is she the kind of person to repress her emotions and continue about life? I think I'm asking these questions because I literally need help from readers, haha. Either way, I figured the "dull ache" phase, as you described it, would be appropriate for her character, at least this soon after the event.

I am so excited to explore Emily's character. Are we going to write her off completely as a bad person, because her survival instincts took over? (Am I going to stop asking you questions?) The notion of Peter betraying the Potters has always been interesting to me, and so betrayal and how that shapes a character will play a large role in this story. In the Shrieking Shack in POA, Sirius told Peter he should have died for Lily and James just like they would have for him--but really, would they have? Would James have sacrificed his wife and unborn child for Peter? These are all things that I find very interesting and grim and, well, there will be a lot more of that to come.

Yes, exactly, Marlene does have power over people. She's one of those magnetic people who doesn't seem to know, or care, that they have a sway over others. Sirius is in love with her but she doesn't even seem to have space in her brain for relationships, sexuality, attraction, etc. But that will definitely come in to play later, and that's all I can say about that for now.

You're right, physically getting the note into Chloe's bed isn't too terribly surprising. But knowing that there is someone, somewhere--someone unknown--with access to her common room and especially to her *bed* where she sleeps, is wildly unsettling. I like what you said, "Chloe is completely trapped in the feelings of shame and powerlessness that plague so many victims of assault." Most victims of said assaults rarely come forward. The Black Adders are keeping her under their thumb, reminding her of her powerlessness.

Thank you so much, Dan! Your reviews are so thoughtful and a joy to respond to. I appreciate you taking the time to read!


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Review #46, by CambAngst Chapter One

26th December 2016:
Wow! I'll start with that. Wow. Let's elaborate, shall we?

That was some really good writing. The chapter started off a little slow, with Chloe doing her little dance of teenage insecurity with Emily, but I almost feel like you were lulling me into a false sense of security. Once things started to roll downhill... Wow.

You added depth and subtlety to Chloe's character in this chapter. She's insecure and a bit of a loner, but she also seems to have that strength that goes along with many loners.

Emily seems like an emotional basket case. She's both victim and perpetrator, wounded by her mother's emotional manipulativeness and using the same techniques on others without much remorse.

If you made me take a guess, it would be that the Black Adder Society is mostly composed of Slytherins who aspire to join the Death Eaters. Perhaps it's simply a code name for that. And I guessed that before the scene shifted out of the Great Hall.

Once the scene moves to the Hufflepuff Common Room, you really turned up the dial on the atmospheric details. From the shadowy hallways to the dark steaming baths, everything was defined by dim, flickering light and concealed details. Beautifully done.

The scene inside the baths was incredibly tense. I was sitting here, feeling my stomach twist. It was pretty apparent that nothing good was going to happen, but I still didn't expect things to turn out this badly. It was kind of like sexual assault, but in that sense where rape is always more about power than sex. All that mixed with a huge dollop of bigotry. Horrifying stuff.

I'm not sure what Sirius and Marlene were doing in the halls at night, but it's a good thing they were there.

I saw a couple of things as I was reading that struck me as worth pointing out:

Gingerly extracting the note from a pool of gravy, she held it up to the light as if it were a relic form Tutankhamen’s tomb. -- from, not form

At times Hogwarts felt as much a comforting home as it did unsettlingly creepy. -- I would consider reversing the order here, since in the immediate situation it's unsettlingly creepy.

Otherwise, excellent writing. Good job!

Author's Response: Hi again!

Urrgghh, I totally agree about this chapter starting off slowly. I can't decide if the language needs reworking, or it should start with another scene? Maybe another solitary moment with Chloe working in the greenhouses or something, to continue the language of the last chapter but show how she's younger and (before the end of this chapter) more carefree. But I also didn't want to start waxing about the start of the new year, and the Sorting, and the chatter in the Great Hall, and the Hogwarts Express, and so on. I appreciate you pointing that out, and if you have any further thoughts or suggestions on the matter, I'd be happy to hear them!

Yes, Chloe is definitely a bit of a loner, but I hope it was clear that it wasn't by her own choice. Her friends all graduated the previous year, and she was left with only her cousin for company. I definitely wanted to avoid the loner MC for the sake of being a loner; it seemed a little too cliche with what will be going on with the rest of this story. She's more alienated by a situation that's out of her control than someone who chooses to spend time alone.

Okay, I'm actually glad that you pointed out that the attack was like sexual assault in many ways. I didn't want to write a rape scene because it would be totally unnecessary. With the way it's presented in pop culture now (ie. Game of Thrones, and basically every HBO drama ever) it's definitely becoming fetishized. You could use the argument, in GOT's case, "But it was a part of life during that time!" But as someone pointed out, Medieval soldiers often got so sick while traveling for war that they frequently soiled themselves, and most people didn't have all their teeth, and other unattractive aspects--So if rape is so ugly to you, why is it the only "ugly" aspect of that time that makes it onto your show? I wanted to allude to the fact that things like that happen--at schools, parties, other situations--and if you're rich and white enough you won't be penalized. Hence Michael Corner. Chloe is physically marred and psychologically changed for life. But I didn't want the characters to actually be sexually motivated in their attack.

Hopefully that made sense.

Thank you for pointing out the errors, and the suggestion to rework that sentence. It's easy for me to overlook these things when I've read and reread the same passages over and over.

Thank you for another lovely review!


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Review #47, by CambAngst Introduction

26th December 2016:
Hi, Sarah!

OK, so that ending line was way, way unexpected. I am really curious to find out what **that's** all about. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I really love the way you started this chapter. You set the scene really well without an overload of information. Chloe is a witch. She (sometimes) shares a small home with her (muggle, I think?) parents in a place that's pretty far removed from the war. It feels like a rural area, judging by the presence of a sheep fence. Aside from the useful information, your description and detail was lovely. It painted a gorgeous picture.

You did a really good job adding imagery that gave life to her grief and sadness. The images of Lily and James after the murder, and poor baby Harry. She was obviously close to all of them.

The enumeration of the lies she tells her mother was also a very effective bit of writing. It highlighted the tension between her life in the muggle world and the magical. The guilt that she feels for continuing to risk her life instead of abandoning the magical world to help with her sick mother. But also the guilt she feels for hiding in the muggle world when James and Lily are already dead and now Marlene has apparently joined them.

Very nice job with this. It was a nice, easy read and everything flowed beautifully.

Author's Response: Why hello there!

Huehuehue, I'm glad the last line was as much of a shock as I'd hoped. It just kind of came out when I wrote it and there was a moment when I paused, my mind went through all of the plot possibilities, and I got very very very excited about it.

Yes, Chloe visits her Muggle parents quite often 1) as a means to ignore everything that's going on in the Wizarding World and also 2) because her parents are sheltering and hermits and it's a part of their strange relationship. But there will be more of that to come.

I'm glad that you mentioned that Chloe was close to Lily and James, because actually she isn't supposed to be. (And I'm being serious; I don't want this to be a fic where she's LIly's best friend, etc etc etc.) She's meant to be on the outside of their group in a lot of ways (on the...PERIPHERY) and though she did a service for Lily in helping her with creating prenatal tinctures and helping with homeopathic medicine, she's not supposed to be really ingrained in their group. Hence a lot of her struggle in this fic with risking her life fighting with the Order, when she doesn't truly feel like a part of their circle despite the danger they're constantly in. I don't want to give too much away, or ramble for too long--but I really appreciate that you mentioned that. Maybe I need to throw in a quick line about how they weren't her best friends.

Yes, exactly! Not only does she fell like she's on the outside of the Marauders and the Order, but she's stranded between two worlds as well. This will actually work to her advantage, when Lily and James die and Remus starts doubting Sirius, and Frank and Alice are tortured, and everything falls apart--she'll have an integral role to play, as she wasn't emotionally invested in their relationships in the way that the others were, and will be the only one disconnected enough to try and hold things together.

Hope that wasn't a spoiler? Not really? I don't know.

Anyway, thank you so much for this first review. I love a good discussion!



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Review #48, by Felpata Lupin Introduction

3rd October 2016:
Hello!
Here for our swap!
Okay, so... I must confess that I was a tiny bit confused by the AU aspects of this first chapter... and now I'm very intrigued about the relationship between Chloe, Sirius and Marlene and what happened among them... but let's go with order...

Your description... your description was just breathtaking through the whole chapter! You had me hooked since the very first sentence. Such atmosphere, with the winter cold and the eerie quietness of the village. Beautiful.

I found really interesting the relationship between Chloe and her parents, her mother in particular. I loved how you wrote the fragility of it, the unsaid things, everything. I mean, it's sad... especially thinking that Chloe's mother can't really understand her and that Chloe feels like she can't be herself with her... but you wrote it beautifully.

I also loved how you wrote her reaction at Marlene's death and the comparison to James and Lily's deaths. You manage to write every single emotion so powerfully and I could actually feel her grief and her shock.

I'm sorry, I have to go now... but I hope the message passed that I loved every bit of this! I'll hopefully be back soon for more!

Thank you for swapping and much love!
Chiara

Author's Response: Hi there! Please forgive me for my abysmal response time; lately I've been trying to spend more time writing than on the actual site, but that's no excuse for leaving your review unanswered for these months. Thank you so much for swapping reviews with me :)

Yes, the AU bits will probably be off-putting to some, and I hope to make it clearer that this does not follow canon! But I'm glad that the storyline at least managed to interest you despite the confusion.

Thank you so much for mentioning the description :3 The last fic I wrote was humor, and the narrative style was very conversational (in parts actually addressing the reader, WHOA FOURTH WALL) and really didn't lend itself to much description or poetic language at all. That's what I was most excited about in beginning this fic. I love scenes like this: quiet, somber, understated, grey. I like what you said even better. "Eerie quietness."

This will definitely be a coming of age story, and Chloe will be sucked into a world of fighting Voldemort when she doesn't really want to. That's something that interested me with HP. I certainly would never, ever, EVER have been brave enough to join the Order. Probably not even Dumbledore's Army. Chloe is a pacifist and definitely frightened of the whole War, and juggling that with her mother who is ill and even more frightened of magic in general. Their relationship will definitely only get worse, so fear not ;)

Thank you again, so much, and if you ever come back around to read this, I'm sorry it took so long to respond! Your review is so appreciated ♥


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Review #49, by long_live_luna_bellatrix Chapter One

24th July 2016:
Hi again! I'm so glad to be back!

I love how much better we get to know Chloe in just the first handful of paragraphs in this chapter. I totally empathize with her-- in situations like this, I'm never the Emily, always the Chloe (I've never gone to a school with a uniform but I sure have gone to parties in t-shirts, which is nearly the same as what Chloe's done, ie, not changing. Ahh I love Chloe.) :P I do have to wonder, though-- if Emily wants to insult Chloe by insinuating that Chloe hasn't got any other friends, what does it say about Emily that when she gets invited to a party, the only person she wants to go with is her fifth year cousin?

I was just thinking the other day about how students might try to get away with partying at Hogwarts! It's so interesting to consider, and I don't have a doubt that it's something that would have happened. Unfortunately J.K. Rowling had to keep the books kid friendly so we'll never know for sure.

Oh my god... I was on board with the suspicious party, you were doing a good job of showing us that this wasn't going to be just some ordinary fun, but I was NOT expecting Emily's betrayal! Just... horrifying. You did that really well, too, I swear I remembered that Chloe's parents were both Muggles about twenty seconds before I read what Emily did.

It's interesting that Micheal and co. clearly lured Emily (and Chloe) down to the baths for a purpose, and yet, once they'd marked Chloe, they acted like they hadn't planned on doing anything quite so extreme. Given that they were wondering if she'd tell, and all. My read would be that the Black Adder Society are Death Eater wannabes (if they even know what Death Eaters are) and ape everything their parents say about the necessity of pure blood, but are also still immature teenagers who aren't great at thinking about consequences until after the fact. Is that right?

I loved meeting Sirius and Marlene. It was perfect, the way they were sneaking out together at night, but that they also helped Chloe... The perfect cool kids, right? Also, the way you ended the chapter-- you nailed it again. So powerful!

Ok I apologize in advance for the total lack of organization in this review. The above I jotted down while reading; now I'll address some of your areas of concern. Hopefully it won't get too messy. :P

Your comment about the characters and action in this chapter forcing you to change the narrative voice is interesting. Because I think both chapters read really well! So you pulled off the two voices well, anyway. But I totally get why you'd want a more cohesive voice throughout the whole story. In keeping with the jumbled nature of this review, I have a couple different thoughts...

1) Six years separate this chapter from the introduction, and Chloe clearly faces a lot of hardship in between. Considering that, it makes a lot of sense that she would sound more jaded, more thoughtful, and more reserved in the "future" chapter than in this one. So in this case, the discrepancy really isn't that much of a problem. In fact, if Chloe was exactly the same person in both chapters, it would be problematic-- indicating that little had changed her in this six year timespan.

2) Chapters with more action and more characters are going to sound different than shorter, more contained introductory chapters. So again, the shift is rather natural. Also, given that the style shifted on its own for you between the two chapters, and given that the rest of the story will probably sound more like this one than the introduction (just due to the fact that things are going to keep happening, even if it's not always as dramatic as this chapter), you don't want to spend the rest of the story fighting the style it wants to be told in. If you write it naturally, it will sound natural; if you fight your writing style every inch of the way, it's not going to sound natural. So in this scenario, I would again say that that the shift isn't a problem.

3) But then, well, the first chapter's tone was so lovely! So I don't think it would be terrible to play with this chapter a tiny bit to see what changes could be made. Looking back at the first chapter, some of what I loved was Chloe interacting with her deeply familiar setting, plus her own thoughtfulness. Could you show more of her love/neutrality/irritation with Hogwarts (whatever it is she feels about it)? Could you show her not only understanding how Emily works but also analyzing Emily a little bit? That seems like something Chloe could do. Also, there was one moment that caught my eye, which was when Sirius asked if she was all right and she said, "Fantastic." That seemed a little too sarcastic a thing to say for Chloe, especially when she was in so much pain. I'd think, that when a person truly suffers, they show one side of their true personality, you know? So if that was Chloe's deep inner toughness, great. But if not, maybe it should go. That would help keep her in line with the person we see in the introduction, too.

Now, for the action scene. As you can probably tell by my reaction, I think that worked really well. The tense buildup was good, and the horrifying part was, well, horrifying. I personally found her cousin's betrayal almost worse than the physical harm done to Chloe, although both are atrocious. Overall, it was well done in that way. For some reason, I found myself wanting some more basic details in that scene, and that could either be a legitimate thing for you to look into or it could be me reading too fast because I was too into it. But I kept wondering-- how high is the water? up to her waist, her chest? how light or dark is it when they're fighting? how big a space are we talking? I also have some lingering questions about that person who Chloe saw watching, but I think I'm supposed to, so that's cool. :P

I'm seriously running out of space so I'm gonna wrap this up fast. EXCELLENT JOB. Looking forward to the next chapter quite a bit!!!

Author's Response: Hey there! Thank you again, so much, for offering to check out this story. It's such a big help, really! ♥

That's a good point about Emily inviting her younger cousin to a party. I'd imagine that she has a few close friends other than Chloe, so maybe I should mention that they were studying/unable to come? It would make more sense as to why she put so much pressure on Chloe, too.

I always thought that Dumbledore would have purposefully chosen to make it easier for students to get up to mischief. He could have cast spells preventing them from leaving their dormitories after a certain hour, or the portraits could have helped relay information. Even boy-girl canoodling could have been prevented, I'm assuming, because, well, magic. But Dumbledore *does* throw First-Years into the Forbidden Forest as detention and allows them to compete in the Triwizard Tournament without parental permission, so I'm assuming he almost encourages some trouble!

I'm glad that Emily's betrayal was a shock! It was, obviously, quite a shock to Chloe so it was important that the reader felt that way too.

That's a very good assessment of the Black Adder Society. They hadn't worked out an escape plan because of their smugness. They were fully confident that their Silencing Charms had worked, and that Chloe wouldn't tell on them because, as they put it, "Look at her." This scene is a parallel to certain activities that males subject to female counterparts, and often with little to no punishment if they are athletic or affluent enough. The Black Adders are equal parts racist bigoted purebloods and soon-to-be Death Eaters (I mean Walden Macnair is literally right there) and also a "Boy's Club" to try to run their school with little to no punishment.

Those are wise words about not fighting narrative tone! I'm worried that people had been drawn in by Chloe's initial voice and that too great of a shift would cause disinterest (a writer's! Worst! Nightmare!) so thank you for making that point.

The "Fantastic" line has been giving me some angst! I don't want Chloe to be *so* timid that she is almost not worth reading. The characters around her--especially Marlene--are going to be so colorful that Chloe's role might pale in comparison. I think that she is sarcastic, and will become more so as the story continues. But you're right, it could be more apparent. I tried with her saying that she highly doubted that the Silencing Charms of Seventh-Years were stronger than those of Hogwarts staff, but I could dispense a little more cynicism throughout, particularly when dealing with Emily in the beginning. It's difficult because Chloe *is* a doormat, especially to her aggressive cousin, but she's got a sense of humor and wit as well. I'll re-work some of her inner thoughts in this chapter and hopefully that will come across better.

Those are SUCH GOOD POINTS about the action scene. I imagine the water to be about chest-level, and that there are several "benches" along the edges of the bathing pool where Emily and Michael were sitting. It was pretty dark; when the torch was extinguished I mentioned the light from the moon through the glass ceiling being the only light (A FULL MOON, WINK WINK). I think I mentioned that a lot of the steam had escaped through the open portrait, making it easier to see. I imagine a bluish, eerie light from the moon, reflecting on the water, in an otherwise a very dark room. The room was fairly large; about the size of an indoor swimming pool. These are all things that I can make clearer in the chapter, now that you've brought them to my attention!

I'm also running out of space, I think! haha. Thank you again, so so so much! Your review has given me a lot to think about and pointed out some areas where I was already concerned. I really appreciate your help! ♥


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Review #50, by marauderfan Chapter One

24th July 2016:
WOW this was a fantastic chapter! Very intense but I thought it was really well written.

The tone in the previous chapter was somber, mostly due to its stillness - and I don't necessarily think that you could use the same tone when telling this part of the story. This part is much earlier in time, and there's a lot more action. But starting at the point where Chloe first gets suspicious about the party invitation, the chapter still has a strong sense of unease and anxiety which, although different from the feeling in the first chapter, ties in really well with it. It's kind of like you've carried a similar tone to a very different setting. So yeah, I really like how you did the voice in this chapter.

Especially when they first walked into the baths. My first thought was "SLOW DOWN WASN'T THERE A ROMAN EMPEROR WHO WAS MURDERED IN THE BATHS?!?!" (and in fact I don't think there was, but I still got all kinds of nervous feelings about how that night would end the minute Emily and Chloe found the party.

the Fat Friar, on his way to the kitchens, where I’d heard he liked to look at the food he could no longer eat. -- haha, for some reason I just love that you chose to include this detail. It's not important for scene setting, but somehow it adds a lot of richness to the story - character background is so important, even if it is in little side anecdotes like this. Characters are never just there for that one moment, they have back stories and secrets and stuff like this contributes to a more comprehensive character next time they show up. (I don't know if that makes sense. but I love the details you choose to include and how that shapes characterization)

The way you show Chloe's personality in this, in regards to what she prioritizes in situations where she feels unsafe, is so effective at indicating what kind of a person she is. She didn't want to go to the party in the first place, and then her thoughts are occupied by how she can get Emily out of there, and her last resort is to escape alone and then tell a Prefect so she can get Emily out safely. Whereas Emily... Emily is the worst Hufflepuff. I really hope that when she left she was going to tell someone to help Chloe, much like Chloe was thinking when Chloe tried to escape, but... I don't know. I mean I get that she was scared and ran, but COME ON, THAT'S YOUR OWN COUSIN WHO WOULD NOT EVEN BE THERE IF NOT FOR YOU AND YOU LEAVE HER TO BE BURNED AND HALF DROWNED. UGhhh I have no respect for her right now. I'm interested to see what the fallout of this is going to be though.

The moment when she's shrieking that Chloe is a Mudblood kind of reminded me of that scene in the novel 1984 when Winston is being tortured. like, I don't think Emily hates Chloe, but betrays her because she's scared and in pain. That said, I'm still furious with her for leaving Chloe to endure that all alone.

I think your portrayal of Sirius was right on. Kind of joking and clueless at first, but once he catches on he's kind and helps take care of her.

And the Slytherins in the baths were terrifying, which means you did a really good job writing them, particularly the way they have such control over the situation and the way they hold that power over the two Hufflepuffs to make them feel vulnerable. It's sick. But effectively written.

I couldn’t remember how the way to the Hufflepuff basement. -- how to get to? or maybe just take out the word 'how'

I dully registered him kneel beside me -- kneeling?

One thing I did find myself wondering about - in the previous chapter, which takes place in 1981, Chloe states that she and Marlene have been best friends for 12 years. But in this chapter, which is 7 years prior to the first chapter, Chloe didn't seem to recognize Marlene and only referred to her by her last name. I mean, this could be because of the mental state she's in at the moment, dizzy, in pain, and half-drowned, but it seemed odd that she doesn't recognize Marlene at all. (Or is it a different McKinnon mentioned here?)

Well. I think that's everything I wanted to cover. Sorry I deteriorated into shouty CAPSLOCK for some of that haha I just have a lot of feelings. Anyway, I think this was a great chapter and even though it's different from the setting of the previous one, they complement each other nicely. Great work.

(eep I'm about to run out of characters)

Author's Response: Hello again! Thank you so so so much for offering to read this chapter! I appreciate it so much ♥

I'm glad the voice seems to have carried over well enough. You're right; this is really the moment when Chloe's life begins to turn, so the tone wouldn't be the same as it was in the introduction when she's already lost so much. I thought about starting the first chapter a little further away from the action of this chapter; maybe instead of the night of the party, a week before, or even a year before, just to establish Chloe's character as a timid, school-minded thing. But I decided against it since this fic is already going to span from 1975 to possibly 1995 (I haven't quite decided, whoops), I'd better make it as trim as possible ;)

Now you have me really interested in the Roman emperor bath murder! Fausta (daughter to Emperor Maximianus) was suffocated to death in an overheated bath. And thank you for mentioning this because I'm trying to stuff this fic with metaphor, and that's all I'll say about Fausta for now.

This scene took place in the baths because Chloe's induction into this world that she comes to loathe--of Death Eaters, the Order, heroes and villains--is a rebirth. She has gone from the aforementioned girl just concerned with getting her Herbology fellowship and becoming a top Herbologist, to having everything ruined and changed because she happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Water is a symbol of rebirth in religion and literature, but if she was reborn then it also means that a part of her has died--which it has. Starting with this chapter, she is no longer the person she once was. PTSD, anxiety and a change in her personality will be a large part of this story as well.

I love that you said "Emily is the worst Hufflepuff." You're right; she isn't being very loyal here to her cousin. Then I started thinking about loyalty and maybe her loyalty is to her own self-preservation? I love all of the discussion that has come out post-books, and especially with Pottermore, about how not all Slytherins are evil, not all Gryffindors are brave, etc. But you're right! Emily is pretty terrible. She is another character who was completely changed by one moment. Fear overtook her and unlike Chloe, who like you said was concerned with how to help Emily, she was more concerned with escaping herself. Like the house discussions, I like the discourse that's been circulating about character redemption (the best example I can think of in this case is Malfoy) and whether a moment such as this, when you turn into a horrible monster out of fear, is your Defining Moment.

Yes! "Do it to Julia!" You're totally right, this scene is reminiscent of 1984.

Ugh Sirius was so scary to write. Tbh I've never read any Marauders fic in great length. All I know is that I want to tone down the swaggering, womanizing character that tends to be his portrayal and flesh him out. I'm 100% sure any of his womanizing tendencies that do remain are the result of never feeling adequate to his mother (hey thanks Freud) and I'm really excited to explore that, and his constant need for affirmation. The male protagonist is always the most difficult for me to write in fic, and their true personality usually shows itself a few chapters in, so be prepared for some inconsistencies until I can go back and edit ;)

And also, I am cracking up because I really have no idea where that "twelve years of friendship" thing came from. I noticed it a few weeks ago and never fixed it until you reminded me, so thank you. I don't know if I had originally intended for them to meet much earlier, or if my math was just terrible (that is the far more likely option) but yes, sorry for the confusion! The McKinnon in this chapter is actually Marlene. Thank you for pointing that out, as well as your other grammar edits!

I'm also running out of characters, so I will just say THANK YOU once more. Your reviews are so helpful, really! ♥


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