Reading Reviews for Magpie
38 Reviews Found

Review #26, by nott theodore The Clearwater Remains

15th August 2013:
Hi darling! It's taken me far longer than it should have to get here and leave this review, but I finally made it!

The opening of this chapter, with Verity visiting Mrs Clearwater, was lovely to read. I think that you're managing to portray the grief that they share very well. You're really a master of showing and not telling, with the subtle mentions of Mrs Clearwater's trembling hands and the way that it seemed like someone had been hugging the pillow, both of which help to convey her suffering without just telling us it's happening. It's such a pleasure to read such high quality writing.

I was really struck in this chapter by just how much Verity's actually lost in her life. So far the main focus of this story has been the loss of Penny, her best friend - it's completely understandable and is going to impact her a lot. I'm curious to see how the grieving process continues in future chapters. There were subtle mentions at times, like the glimpse of Penelope out of the corner of her eye and the fact that she still couldn't perform magic, which emphasised the effects that the loss is having on her. But then there was also the reminder that Verity, at only 19, has lost both her father and her mother as well as her best friend. All of this and the war hasn't even properly begun - I'm a bit nervous about how many more people she's going to lose through the course of it.

Another aspect I loved here was the fact that Verity remembered - and wasn't afraid to remember - Penelope as she actually was. When people die it is so easy to be afraid to think about their faults and flaws, but they're what makes people real, so it's quite good to see that Verity is actually remembering those elements of Penny's character.

Gemma's introduction was great! I loved the description in that scene, and the Hunted Unicorn even sounds like an English pub, without your beautiful descriptions of it. The atmosphere was built up well and I thought it fit to see Gemma and Verity meeting there. Gemma seems like quite a different character to what we know so far of Penelope, but I think it's good for Verity to still have friends she can meet. I'm looking forward to seeing the pair of them go to this Irish night (there had to be one, didn't there? :P) with Dray. I have a sneaking suspicion that George will be there...

The flashback to their fifth year at Hogwarts was really interesting to read. I felt like we definitely got to see Penelope's character develop through that section, and understand more of Verity's memories of her. She's such a big influence on her life and this story, even though she's died. It was great to see another side to Percy portrayed as well, since there must have been something that attracted them to each other and meant that the relationship lasted for at least two years (that we know about).

I absolutely love the way that you weave history and different people's stories into this one. It really helps to set Verity up as someone who does collect stories and is interested in other people's lives, perhaps as an escape from her own, when we witness her recalling the story of Gemma, which she discovered over a bottle of wine, or little Bess. I have a feeling that the presence of Bess is symbolic, as well. I had goosebumps when I read about it, actually, but it's the perfect ghost story.

The mystery that you're building up here is so intriguing! I want to know what Penelope was doing meeting Aaron Hall, since I'm presuming that there is a reason the two of them were murdered. I wonder if this Christian character will be the next, or if Verity will find him and be able to ask him about what Penelope was doing? But even though I don't think Penny's been a part of the Order, she's clearly started working something out to do with Voldemort and I suspect that's why she was killed. M.M as well - I'm running through all the possibilities and the best I've come up with (I think the most likely) so far is Minerva McGonagall. I'm really so curious about this!

Verity and George! ♥ They're just so cute together and I love the way that you're building up a gradual friendship and then relationship between them. George seems more serious than usual, and I suppose that's partly because he likes Verity and is trying to impress her, but it fits since he's normally the quieter twin.

I thought you characterised the twins perfectly! The relationship between the pair of them is hard to get right but I definitely think you managed it here. Fred seemed more boisterous while George was calmer, but there's this understanding between the two which comes from them being so close - the way that Fred was almost teasing when he saw Verity but also got out of the way for George (who had clearly been talking about meeting Verity in the shop!). You've also managed to start adding some more depth to George's character and a vulnerability (with his claustrophobia) that we don't really see in the books.

You almost killed me with this line:
"I've never known anyone who died"
How can you put something like that in there so casually?! Within a couple of years he'll know lots of people who've been killed, including poor Fred! Gah, it's just so horrible to think about!

There were just a few typos I noticed:
"with the serious, be-speckled face of my old headmaster" - I think you mean 'bespectacled'
"I'm a little clausterphobic" - claustrophobic

I'm so excited to see how you're going to develop the friendship and then relationship between Verity and George. She's definitely in denial at the moment about Voldemort being back, but I hope that George will help her to see that he really has returned and that they'll be able to work on the mystery surrounding Penelope's death together. The Aurors are useless (which fits with the facts from canon) at this time, so they'll have to do it themselves!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hello! Ah, this is the review to end all reviews!!! Really, you've out-done yourself, and I absolutely love this review and knowing your thoughts on this chapter.

I'm very happy to hear you like the portrayal of grief so far, and Mrs. Clearwater making an appearance. I thought that she would be quite important to Verity and that they would want to reach out to each other after losing Penelope, and I'm glad the relationship comes across as believable while still leaving some things unsaid through the little details.

You're right, Verity really has lost a lot of people, the poor girl! As you might have noticed, she conceals her grief for both her parents very well, almost as if she can hardly admit it to herself, and focuses a lot of attention on mourning Penelope, a loss which she feels especially poignant since Penelope was there for her when her mother died (more about this in the next chapter! :P).

I'm so pleased you noticed how Verity doesn't idealize Penny, but remembers her as she was, faults and all. You're so perceptive, as always! I thought it an important trait of Verity as a "collector" to notice truthful things about people nad tell their stories honestly, not sugar-coated, though of course this is tricky for her to keep up at all times, especially when she misses Penny!

I'm glad you also liked Gemma, and the scene at the pub! My love for all things English is definitely coming through in this story... Gemma is very different from Penelope, but certainly a good friend for Verity. And yes, of course there had to be an Irish night... anything to include leprechauns! :P

I thought that to ground the story in canon and expand on who Penelope really was, it's really important to show what she would have been like at Hogwarts and how the friendship dynamic would have been. I think Percy is a great character and of course important to Penelope's canon, so adding him into the memories was enjoyable as well.

Ah, thank you! :) That's my favourite part of this story as well, including the little anecdotes and stories and how Verity focuses on them, as you said, to avoid dealing with her own problems. Bess' ghost story was so sad, and quite creepy to write as well, but yes, could be symbolic, so I'm glad you liked it! :)

Writing these mysterious aspects of the story is actually so intimidating, I'm so worried I'm going to forget a crucial detail or leave an obvious plothole! That being said, it's really interesting and fun to come up with the mystery surrounding Penelope's death and whether Verity will figure anything out or not. So, perhaps a little more will be revealed in the next chapter! :)

I'm really, really happy to hear you like how George comes across, and how him being a little more serious works well for potentially having a crush on Verity. Writing JK's original characters so intimately is very intimidating, but rewarding to know if I did them justice. I'm glad you thought the relationship between the ttwins fit well as well, and that George comes across as a little deeper than in the books: of course, Verity is getting to know him as an individual and in a different way than Harry! :P

Ah, I know, that line was very ironically cruel! :( Writing about these characters just before the war is so saddening, since they have no idea what is going to happen.

I'm so glad you're excited about reading on, and I really hope to have the next chapter up in the near future! (It's turning into a beast of epic long proportions, why does this keep happening to me?!) Thank you so much for leaving this amazing review, you wonderful lady! :)

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Review #27, by marauderfan One for Sorrow

20th July 2013:
Ahh! I'm excited to see you've got another WIP going, because I love your writing. And this is really cool. You've managed to do it again - pick a really obscure minor canon character and tell a very rich story.

The first thing that impressed me about this was Old Wendy, actually. I remember reading about some old hag selling fingernails or something in Knockturn Alley during HBP, and never thought much of her - but just the fact that you've made her a caring and lonely person with a back story is so impressive. She's so much more human now.

I also like the personality you've ascribed to Penelope Clearwater, who in the books is just "Percy's girlfriend" and nothing more. But here, I feel as if I've known her for years too.

Also, I'm so curious about Verity! The daughter of Burke (As in Borgin and Burke's), but I'm assuming this is the same Verity that later goes to work for Fred and George, which should be interesting to see.

And as always, you writing style truly is amazing. Your description flows so easily and naturally, it's poetic. I really liked the description of Verity sliding away from Sebastian "like rainwater over glass".

This is such a sad chapter, detailing the grief of Penelope's death and all the memories of her in the past, and how Verity and Sebastian's once idealised relationship has started to change in ways they don't like but it seems they're trying to ignore.

What a powerful opening chapter. You are amazing Lululuna :)

Author's Response: Hello! :) Ah, I'm so sorry for this late response, but this review was really lovely to receive and I'm very excited that you took the time to check out my other WIP.

I really enjoyed the character of Old Wendy as well, and I'm very glad she stood out to you. Knockturn seems like such a rich and unique place to me and I wanted to populate it with dogdy characters who have more depth to them than seems at first glance.

I'm glad you're enjoying the development of Penelope and her personality, and find her likeable. And that you're intrigued about Verity as well! She's such a fun character to explore and I'm glad you like her so far and are curious about her future.

Thank you so much for your lovely comments about my writing style! I'm very honoured that you enjoyed it. It was a sad chapter, and there's a lot more angst and reflection coming in future chapters, but I'm so happy you liked the chapter and the story so far! :) Thank you for taking the time to leave me a lovely review, it really made my day! :D

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Review #28, by patronus_charm The Clearwater Remains

15th July 2013:
Woo I finally made it here!

I thought the scene with Verity and Mrs Clearwater was really lovely. Even though the conversation between the pair of them was limited I felt as if there were a lot of things left unsaid and left like that for the better. You really captured there silent understanding and it was a really lovely moment. When they were talking about the other one killed it was really heart-breaking, because I could tell that they were going to be a lot more to come and they could to. The feelings you captured really were wonderful.

The description in the scene with Gemma was really great. I could really feel the atmosphere of the Hunted Unicorn and sense everything in there and I rarely get that in stories. Another thing which I really liked was how you didnít just stick to setting description but went into detail with Gemma and her personality and that was really great. Iíve really got a sense of her and I canít wait to see more as that conversation intrigued me and I feel as if sheís going to have an impact on the rest of the story.

The way that Penelope continues to play in Verityís mind is really interesting and I canít wait to see how her death shapes the rest of the story and Verityís life. Seeing her in the flashback was really great too because Iím building my own opinion of her now and not just what Verity thinks of her. The way her and Percy got together was really lovely and I liked how you made him seem romantic which I never thought would happen. Learning about Seb and Verity was really interesting too, and it was if they were pushed a little together which may explain the friction between them now.

The mystery seems to think with the story about Bess acting as great prelude to this part of the chapter. I liked the connection Penny had with Bertha and Aaron and it just adds so much mystery and suspense to the story, I canít wait to see what itís about as Iím sure it will be great. Then the mystery ink! I need to know now!

The conversation between Verity + George = &hearts. I really love how youíre slowly building it up to their friendship and then I guess more. I really loved all of their little banter. One thing I did notice was that George seems to be taking himself more seriously than usual so itís making me wonder whether he does feel something more towards Verity than being acquaintances. I especially loved it when they went to the shop because the romance and mystery developed there!

Another excellent chapter and I canít wait to read on!


Author's Response: Hola! I'm sorry for taking so long to respond to your amazing review! I'm glad you liked the interaction with Mrs. Clearwater and found it believable and left things unsaid. I'm pleased to do their grief justice and explore the dynamic!

Ah I'm really pleased you liked Gemma, she was one of the first characters I came up with while planning the story. Since I love English pubs it's great to hear the atmosphere of the Hunted Unicorn came across well. She'll definitely be making more appearances as the story goes on!

I'm glad you find the lingering memories of Penelope interesting and I'm glad you're getting your own impression of her. The flashback was very fun to imagine and I'm planning to have many more to give a strong idea of Verity's memories of Penny. Ah, I'm glad you thought Percy had some romance and a different side to his character.

It's great to know you're enjoying the mysterious aspects and the connections between the different deaths. It's tricky to write, since there are so many plotlines and characters, but I'm really enjoying it! :)

Aw, I'm so glad you like George! They are cute and I really enjoy writing him and how they interact. You're right, George definitely does have a little attraction at least for Ver. :)

Thank you for a wonderful review! :D I hope to have the next chapter written and up sooner than later. Also, thank you so much for the questions on my MTA page, I've been so busy with traveling but loved recieving them and have been slowly working on my response! You're awesome my dear! :D

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Review #29, by marauder5 The Clearwater Remains

14th July 2013:
I feel bad that it took me this long to read and review this chapter, but here I am, finally! And I'm so glad to see that your brilliance continues, haha :) Really, you have such a talent for story-telling, it's incredible. Honestly, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you will become a published author in the future, so that I can buy all your books and read them over and over and again!

Okay, let's move on from my obsession over your writing skills to the chapter. I think you describe Verity's grief very realistically, like in the beginning when she's talking to her mother and almost see Penelope in the corner of her eye. I can't quite explain why, but it was so touching. Perhaps it was because I think of it as Verity's way of trying to comfort herself - pretending that she's still there.

I also really enjoyed the scene with Gemma. She sounds like a lovely character that I can't wait to see more of, and I really liked the waitress as well. The live music night at the bar seems interesting. I can't wait for it, as I have a really strong feeling that George will be there :D

And getting a glimpse of Penelope and Percy's relationship was absolutely wonderful. I'd love to see more it; for example, will you include why they broke up? From that little fragment we got to see, they seemed to be so happy together!

The idea of Verity being a collector of stories is just so clever. The story about Bess the ghost was so good, so tragic and horrible, and probably my favourite part of this chapter. It was perfectly written, not too long but detailed enough for it to really make an impression.

I was also absolutely thrilled when she ran into George again! I know I said it in the last chapter, but it's worth repeating: you write him so, so well! I just love him as a character. Reading this, I've realized how little we really see of him in the books. He's always around with his funny comments, but I look forward to reading this story, in which I assume you'll explore his character more deeply. I can't wait for it. It was also really nice to see how he relaxed when Fred was around (and it made me sad too because Fred only has two years to live...) :(

And Geoge will convince her that Voldemort is back! Then, I'm sure they'll be able to solve Penelope's murder, and Aaron Holden's murder.. I just realized now that is why the Aurors haven't really done anything, because they, like Fudge, claim that it's not true. It's great that you include those details to make it compatible with canon and what's going on in Harry's world at the same time.

I loved this chapter, and as always, I look forward to the next one. Keep up the wonderful work! :)

Author's Response: Hi! Ah, I don't even know where to start, this review was just so incredible and lovely and awesome! This story is quickly becoming my baby so getting this positive feedback is really encouraging and makes me happy. So thank you! :D

How sweet are you?! Really, I'm so flattered you like my writing and story-telling, that is such amazing praise. :)

Ah, well I'm glad you're still liking Verity and finding her grief believable and interesting. I feel so sorry for her experiencing all of these feelings, but the grieving process is a really important part of the story and I think she would still be seeing and having trouble believing Penelope is entirely gone.

I'm also so pleased you like Gemma, her character and her appearance in the story was one of the first things I came up with and wrote while planning the story. As for your suspicion about George making an apperance, well that is definitely a good guess! :P

I'm definitely going to include a lot more about Percy and his relationship with Penny, since the fact that they dated is one of the only real canon facts about her and because Percy is such an intruiging character to me. We definitely haven't see the last of him, or of the flashbacks to Verity's Hogwarts years- they're so fun to come up with! :D

I'm so glad you liked the Bess anecdote because the little minor characters and side stories are so interesting and exciting for me to come up with. Hopefully it wasn't too creepy, and was interesting and symbolic instead! :P

I'm so pleased you like the way I've been writing George, I'm always concerned about doing him properly. I agree, he's not really particularly deep in the books and I want to go into depth with his character and give him more emotion and diverse qualities. I'm glad you liked the little detail about Fred, and yes, it's just so upsetting to think about Fred's death while I'm writing this! :(

Haha I love your predictions! It's great to hear you like the connections to canon, and the useless-ness of the Aurors at the moment. There's definitely a lot more to come. :)

Thank you thank you thank you for your amazing support and feedback on this story, it's so lovely of you and I really enjoy reading your words! Hopefully I'll be able to update this story soon! :D

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Review #30, by Gillian Knockturn Alley

30th June 2013:
I love your story so far. Good intro about Clearwater and I like the blushing bits with George and Verity. Hope you update soon, really love it :)

Author's Response: Hi! :) I'm so glad you're liking the story, and especially the little interaction between George and Verity. I really love writing the story, and the next chapter is in the works. Thank you so much for the review! :D

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Review #31, by marauder5 Knockturn Alley

23rd June 2013:
Okay, so this was the perfect way to continue to the story for many reasons. Since we didn't really learn much about Veirty's background in Chapter 1, I think that was my favourite part about this chapter. I really like the fact that her father married a Muggle, and that he wasn't evil just because he had a shop in Knockturn Alley! Also, Borgin doesn't seem bad either - he's like a nice old uncle to Verity, isn't he? I think I like him (at least so far). The story of her parents was very good, and the fact that Mrs Burke stayed out of Knockturn Alley after her husband's death was believable, and also made the story of Verity claiming her share of the shop much more interesting, because we got to see it through her eyes for the first time. The small details of it all really brings it to life - like the fact that Borgin stops her from touching the necklace that Malfoy will give Katie Bell later on. How very JKRish of you (yes, I'll pretend that is an adjective), because one of the brilliant things about her writing is how she includes little details about what will turn out to become a really important object further on in the story (like how Harry notices the lost diadem in the Room of Requirements in HPB, but doesn't really reflect over it until he's trying to find it in DH). I love that sort of things ;)

And then George popped into the shop and just made me fall in love with this chapter! Next to Ron and Ginny, he is one of my favourite characters, and you, my dear, have portrayed him perfectly. I might has well have been reading the original HP books when I read the conversation between the two of them. So yes, you're going to do just fine in writing a story about him ;) Well, actually, you'll do it brilliantly, as always.

It was quite a nice detail that she didn't recognize him at first, which I think says a lot about her. After all, most people, older or younger than them, would know the Weasley twins' faces, as they definitely attract attention wherever they go at Hogwarts. But I guess Verity wasn't interested in their pranks when she went to Hogwarts, which makes her friendship with Percy's girlfriend much more believable. Also, she's the girl who'll work at their shop later on, right? That means that she'll probably change a bit after hanging out with the twins, and that she'll stop working at Borgin & Burkes? I wonder what will happen - maybe it will be too risky for her, because her mum is a Muggle? I don't know..

One detail that really stood out to me was Fred not being able to come, because he'd been testing their product - and George saying that he'd only been making bullfrog sounds for the last couple of days. Haha, the idea of it was so funny, and so typical for their inventions that we see them testing out while still at Hogwarts. I loved it! :D

And oh, I wonder who else died... my first thought was Sebastian. Maybe someone is out to get Verity? But that would just be so cruel to the poor girl! Of course, cruelty is becoming ordinary at those times in Wizarding UK, isn't it? Whoever the victim is, I can't wait to find out in the next chapter. I also really want to know who's behind it. And of course, I look forward to more interaction between George and Verity!

This chapter was absolutely amazing, and I have a feeling that I'm going to love this story as much as I love The Girl From Slytherin soon :D

Author's Response: You are just so wonderful for leaving this brilliant review! It made my day, I just keep re-reading it! :)

I'm so glad you like how the story is progressing, and enjoyed the backstory into Verity. I loved imagining her background and parents' history: her father is such an interesting character to me, and I loved the idea of him marrying a Muggle, even just to show how he wasn't prejudiced and give Verity a diverse background. Haha, I'm so pleased you liked the foreshadowing and little details, like the necklace! Also, I really like Borgin too, at least so far. He shows a very different side to Verity than to prestigious customers like the Malfoys.

I'm so glad you liked George! I love writing him, he's just so funny and quirky and had such a fun vibe with Verity. Thank you for your amazing compliments on his portrayal, that makes me so thrilled! :D

Yes, I thought that since she was older his face wouldn't immediately ring a bell, plus it gives them a little more of a clean slate. I think Verity would have recognized the twins together, just George as an individual is still a little mysterious. I'm glad you're making guesses about the future, there's certainly a lot which will happen and affect Verity and everyone around her.

You'll find out in the next chapter, which should hopefully be posted soon! :) Thank you for your brilliant words, I really appreciate all your encouragement and support and I'm so excited that you're enjoying both stories! Thank you for being awesome! :D

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Review #32, by grg One for Sorrow

19th June 2013:
This is so powerful. The summary is what drew me to the story itself, but the writing is so eloquent.

Author's Response: Hello! I'm so glad you like the story, and the writing. Thank you for reading and reviewing, it really means a lot to me! :) I hope you continue to enjoy the story!

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Review #33, by patronus_charm Knockturn Alley

19th June 2013:
I have a feeling this is going to be another massive review, so be prepared!

I really loved the beginning part. The narrator of it was really strange. It was as if it was someone observing from above, maybe it was a magical god or something like that but either way I really liked it. It added a touch of a mystery and the narrator seemed to know the end to the story. I have a feeling Verityís going to die. I think itís mainly due to George marrying Angelina so sheís got to disappear in one way or another.

I felt so bad for Verity when she was getting interrogated. I thought you showed her confusion really well, and I felt really proud of her because I donít think I could be that kept together if my best friend just died. I always imagined Dawlish to be really evil so I adored your characterisation of him. He seemed exactly like a surly Auror should be. Aw imagine if Tonks interviewed her, that would have been awesome!

The way youíve shown that grief is still haunting Verity was really good. Sheís not yelling out my best friend just died this is a cry for help but youíre showing and itís a great case of show vs. tell. One thing which I felt really pulled it off was her night time wandering around Sebastianís flat. She seemed to have lost her grip of reality almost and the way she hadnít been outside show how much sheís suffering.

Her dad is the Burke of Borgin and Burkeís? My mind is officially blown. I never put the pieces together and I just assumed it to be a normal surname. Ah but Verityís so sweet and thatís her father, I canít deal with it! I suppose her mother has something to do with it though. Wait a second; it all makes sense now like how her father is a collector so she is. My mind is blown again.

This is so weird dealing with someone who liked Borgin and Burkes and how they could be nice to Borgin. I canít deal with it in a good way mind. It shows that your story is really original having never come across it before and the way you piece together bits of canon is truly outstanding. Then the way you made Burke dead, I always wondered why he never appeared in the shop so I liked that backstory.

One teeny tiny thing, in the second flashback it took place twenty-six years ago, and correct me if Iím wrong, it seemed as if from the way it was written that Verity was born twenty-five years ago and that would make her a little too old. This may just be my bad maths skills showing but I thought I should point it out :)

Ooh I forgot to say! I adored the backstory between Verityís mother and father it was so cute and adorable and I was sitting there awing away happily. I think itís the way Caractus was all smug and like yeah I proved you wrong when he announced he got married to Borgin as that made me crack up a lot.

AH ITíS GEORGE! At first I thought it was Malfoy then I thought it must be Ron because of the freckles but I was happily proved to be wrong. Eek Iíve been longing for this moment and I loved it ♥ there whole conversation was so cute but this line made it ĎďIíd like to hear it someday,Ē I say boldly.í I was cheering her on and I can see that George is going to be the one to pull her out of her grief for Penelope.

AHAHAHA! CLIFF-HANGER! How could you do that to us? Iím dreading who it could be. Perhaps itís Sebastian and thatís how she ends up with George? Ooh I love theories so Iím going to go and make up some more :D Another amazing chapter, dear!


Author's Response: Hello! You are so wonderful for this really long and thoughtful review, I'm so happy that you're following up with the story and still enjoying it! This really made my day! :D

I'm glad you liked the foreboding voice at the beginning, and the suspense and mystery it brought to the chapter! That's a very interesting prediction, I love hearing these speculations about the future of the story! :)

I know, I felt sorry for putting Verity through that. She was very confused, and I think it helps her to put on her shop persona when confronting these things, because her personal self is still grieving. Aw, I wish it had been Tonks now! But yes, Dawlish is quite rude and also fairly useless as we'll continue to discover... he does work for Fudge, after all.

Poor Verity, I'm pleased you thought her grief was being shown well. She gets reminded about losing Penelope and these waves of grief and desperation that come and go.

Haha, well I'm glad your mind is blown! :) It's funny, she was originally going to work elsewhere in Diagon Alley but I gave her that surname and was like... wait a minute... and the whole story kind of took shape! I want to show how Borgin and Burke weren't bad guys per say, they're just in a rotten business and have to act accordingly. Borgin is quite sweet to Verity for the most part, he's just a normal family man... but who sells shrunken heads and deals to Death Eaters...

I think I'll clear up the flashbacks, basically Verity was just re-telling her parents' story before she was born. I imagined them being married for a few years before having her (to give them some time together before Burke died!) so I'll clear that up! :)

And I'm so glad you liked that backstory as well! :) I thought they were quite funny as well, and would make a really functional couple for unexpected reasons.

I'm so glad that you liked George! He was really fun to write, especially the cute little conversation. I was so proud of Verity too, and yes, George is certainly a very positive influence. :) I love being able to capture the twins at this really crucial time in their lives, when they've just left Hogwarts and are opening up the shop.

Haha, well the next chapter will hopefully be up very shortly! :D I love writing this story and getting this positive response means so much to me. Thank you so much for your INCREDIBLE review darling! :)

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Review #34, by nott theodore Knockturn Alley

18th June 2013:
Hi darling!

You've been spoiling us with updates recently, and I'm definitely not complaining! I saw your status about the latest chapter of this on the forums and came straight over.

That opening paragraph was so compelling and effective! I found it quite chilling, the almost poetic way that you were able to describe what was happening and the horrors of the war. It must have been horrible to know that Penny's death has been completely futile and the first of many, in a way that they are powerless of stopping.

I liked the fact that you included Dawlish as the Auror interviewing Verity, because that helps anchor us to the HP books and the familiarity makes it more believable. We don't learn much about Dawlish in the books other than him being a bit of a useless Auror, and he came across as quite a cold, removed character here, but that worked for that scene. The way that Verity was finding it difficult to speak and form sentences was realistic to me and showed that her grief is still massively affecting her life.

You also managed to continue that theme through the chapter without pushing it to the forefront. Except for the incident in Sebastian's flat when she was unable to repair the mug she'd dropped, the other allusions to her magic 'not working' were quite subtle. She seems to have enough to deal with without the loss of her magic as well, and I feel really sorry for Verity here. There's so much that she's going to have to go through and cope with and it's not likely to get much easier for her in the near future.

My favourite part of this chapter were probably the flashbacks to explain how her parents met and how Verity came to be working in the shop. There's something quite detached in those sections, as if she's just commenting on events without any real emotional connection to them. One part I particularly enjoyed there was the way she described, so matter-of-factly (yes, that is a word :P) the illegal goods that the shop sells and the customers that they deal with. It's very business-like and I think that reflects her personality when it comes to work.

I was really pleased to see Verity returning to work and realising that she needs to interact with other people herself. From the impression I got in the first chapter, being cooped up for weeks with only Sebastian for company probably wasn't a good thing for her. I like the relationship she has with Borgin; very warm and almost like a father-daughter relationship, especially the way that he was happy to see her return to claim her property.

George was characterised well in this chapter. I can easily imagine the twins popping over to Borgin and Burkes to find ingredients or items for their products. He seemed outgoing and cheerful, which the twins definitely were at that point, and his enthusiasm about the shop is infectious. I can understand why Verity seems to be attracted to him, even though she's embarrassed by it and will probably feel guilty. You got the humour right as well, with the mention of what their product development has done to Fred.

The ending was a bit of a cliffhanger, and I'm really intrigued (in a none morbid way) about who has died next. Obviously the deaths were at the hands of the Death Eaters but since at this point (I think) the Ministry are still denying the return of ol' Voldy, I'm interested who they'll try and attribute the deaths to - Sirius Black, maybe?

There were a few little typos in this chapter but nothing really major, and I'm sure a quick read through would sort that out.

You really have such a lovely, natural writing style and I seem to love absolutely everything you write - I hope you update soon!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hi dear! I'm loving this short queue, but you're the one who spoils me with reviews! I'm so excited that you're keeping up with and enjoying this story. Seriously, this made my day! :)

I'm glad you liked that bit at the beginning, and found it chilling. Since this story happens right before Voldy actually became public news, I imagined the DE as smugly taking out potential enemies one by one to garner fear and suspicion.

I'm also pleased you liked the addition of Dawlish, I thought he was quite a weak and almost pathetic character in the books and I knew he and Verity would clash. It's also good to hear the grief is still coming across well, even if she's had a little more time to process it than in the first chapter.

Ok good, I'm glad you thought it was subtle. Verity has sort of accepted that her magic has left her for now and there's nothing she can do about it. You're right, things are going to get harder before they get easier.

I'm very happy you liked the flashbacks, I felt they were very important stories that Verity would have collected and wanted to tell. And yes, she is very business-like when it comes to the shop, and these dark and mysterious objects are in a way just products. I loved imagining and writing these sections, so I'm very glad you liked them! :)

I know, I'm glad she got out there again as well! I think a good way for her to deal with grief is to go about her daily activities and talk to her friends. I'm so glad you liked the portrayal of Borgin as well: he's such a slimy, two-faced character in the books, but I think Verity brings out the fatherly role in him. Also, since Verity never really knew her dad, she sees Borgin as a sort of fill-in parent. :)

Ok good, I'm glad you thought George was alright. I had this clear image of his character, but not sure how it will match up perfectly with the books since we never really see the twins as separate and in a adult-world or talking to girls situation. And you're right, Verity is a little confused! :P

As for what happens, well more will be revealed in the next chapter! :) I do want to give a bit of an original spin on the DE rising to power and killing people, and there's more than meets the eye... or there will be, if I figure out how to write it properly! :P

Thank you for another wonderful review on this story my dear, and hopefully updates will be up soon! :D

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Review #35, by patronus_charm One for Sorrow

13th June 2013:
Hello there! Sorry if this review is short/makes no sense I should be asleep! Iíve been meaning to come and read this story ever since you posted the status as I love George/OC stories, so I finally made it here :P

What Penelope is dead and she wasnít going out with Percy at that time? I did not expect that, but then the unexpectedness of it all was brilliant. Iím glad that you tied her into canon in some way, because when people create OCs and donít it really bothers me.

I have a question! Is Verity the Verity from the joke shop? If so, thatís really cool because I love it when people take a minor character and turn her into major plotline. If not, thatís also cool because I like the name :D

I really liked Old Wendy. Iíve noticed in each of your stories you put a lot of care and thought into each characterís dialog given each one their own dialect and thatís really great because it requires a lot of effort and itís so rare to come across so I was pleased to see it here :) You also put a of thought into the way she appeared even though she only took up a few lines and that was really great.

This line, ĎLike my father, like my grandfather, I am a collector. I am a collector of memories and ghosts, of thoughts and passions and regrets.í ♥ it was so beautiful; Iím just sitting here in awe of it. To tell you the truth, I saw it on your banner request over at TDA and that made me want to read the story even more and it was perfect.

Thereís something poetic in the way you write this. I think itís your use of description and the choice of words you use like here ĎAn old man, white beard poking out beneath his cloak, whispered to me the tale of his lost love, a beautiful Muggle boy of seventeení and here ĎIn trinkets I find a mass of souls, of stories,í it really is quite beautiful and it creates an almost melodic flow to the story.

I liked how you developed the beginning of the end of Sebastian and Verity by him having a go at embarrassing herself, and it leads to her and George being together. One other thing I really liked was the mention of Percy at the funeral. We donít really know much about him at this point due to him leaving his family, but the fact that he showed up to the funeral added a touch of humanity to it and made me all teary eyed.

I think the funeral scene was also really well written. It was interesting how Verity seemed to comment more on other peopleís reactions than her own and it related back to the idea that she collect memories and, therefore, is an observer of people so it was nice to see it all tie in. This line made me even more teary eyed Ė ĎI can see the grieving parents clinging to each other, helplesslyí.

I liked learning more about Penelopeís background as it allowed me to have more of a picture of her in my head. She does sound like a wonderful person and I can see it by the way her death if provoking a different reaction in Verity as opposed to Sebastian. Heís on the nonplussed side of the war whereas with her I can sense this growing discontent.

Well, that was an absolutely amazing first chapter and Iím eagerly awaiting the next! If this review makes no sense or is typo ridden I apologise in advance and Iím going to go to bed to prevent any more of these reviews from happening!


Author's Response: Hello! :) Please know how excited I was upon seeing this review this morning. It was the best possible start to the day, and really made me so happy! :D

I'm so excited that you enjoyed the first chapter of this new little baby of mine. I actually have quite a bit of the story written and have been hesitating at posting another WIP, but getting this positive feedback is so encouraging and lovely.

Yes, Penelope is dead! :) In this story at least, she and Percy had been broken up since leaving Hogwarts, though of course he still came to the funeral. Percy will make some appearances in the Diagon/Knockturn Alley crowd, and like you said it's interesting to see what he was up to during his absence from the family! I want to tie Verity in with canon as much as possible while still giving her an original take on the events of the books, which is the best part about writing Hogwarts era in my opinion. :)

And yes, Verity is the girl from the joke shop! Although it will still take her a while to actually get there. :) I'm glad you picked up on that, and she just so happened to come with an excellent name! :D

Aw, thank you! :) I'm glad you liked Wendy, and the other little anecdotes and stories Verity "collects." Thank you for what you said about my characterization, that makes me very happy!

I'm so pleased you liked the lines about her being a collector of stories. It's funny, that line just sort of came to me, and fit perfectly with her job at Borgin and Burkes, with the future I see for her, and with the symbolism of magpies. :)

You are just too good to me, thank you for the lovely comments about the writing style! :)

I haven't actually been to a lot of funerals, but tried to incorporate what Verity might be focusing on, like the others' reactions and grief instead of her own. It's both challenging and exciting to write through her eyes, and to in fact notice and collect the stories and thoughts of others.

There will be lots more background coming, in terms of Verity, Sebastian and Penelope! :) I'm so excited to keep writing this, and your words have really boosted my inspiration and encouraged me to get updating! Thank you so much for this truly amazing review my darling! :D

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Review #36, by nott theodore One for Sorrow

2nd June 2013:
Hi darling! You know how excited I was that you'd put this into the queue, and when you mentioned it was validated, I came over to read this straight away.

Well, it shouldn't really surprise you that I love this, since I love almost everything you write. The title is a brilliant choice, since there are so many different things that a magpie can symbolise. Already in this chapter I can see how one aspect ties in with Verity, as a collector of stories. I was actually thinking the other day how good the magpie poem would be to tie into a story, so it was brilliant to see it here. I wonder if the sight of different amounts of magpies will continue throughout the story and tie in with the poem?

Characterisation here was brilliant. Because of the events in this chapter I feel we maybe get to know more about Penny than Verity, simply because she is the main focus of Verity's thoughts here. I really like the fact that she's a strong, moral character because we see so little of her in the books, and as Percy's girlfriend there it's easy to think of her as a someone with a similar personality. I can see from this chapter that she wasn't the same, and to me it's completely understandable that Verity misses her so much, because she was obviously an important person and big influence on her life.

I'm not sure if I like Sebastian here, but I'm going to reserve judgement for the next few chapters. I can see some of the reasons he and Verity got together but it's equally obvious that they've grown apart since they left Hogwarts and that they want very different things in life. Sebastian doesn't really seem to understand the way Verity's feeling in this chapter, especially when he seems more concerned about people staring at her at the funeral, and essentially blames Penny for making herself into a target. It clearly wasn't what Verity needed at that point, but he doesn't understand that.

I love Verity's character here too. Although the main focus of her thoughts is really Penny, we still learn things about her personality and background. I think the grief of losing her best friend seems to have made her more introspective; the way she lists details about herself suggest that she's trying to reaffirm facts she already knows, to prove that she is real and to stop her from losing herself. There are so many interesting elements to her character - one that particularly interests me is the way she collects stories. I'd love to know more about why she does it and what she does with them.

I think you explore her grief very well. Naturally there's a lot more to come and it will last for much more than this one chapter, but the guilt, anger and denial are all here. The shock of losing her best friend at such a young age must compound the anguish she's feeling as well, because it was so unexpected and much harder to deal with because of that.

Another aspect I enjoyed in this was the inclusion of people such as McGonagall and Dumbledore at the funeral, because that sort of thing always makes stories seem more authentic and believable to me. I also liked the fact that for the majority of the people the war is still not real. It fits with what we know of canon and makes me wonder how differently people would have behaved during that year if they had believed Harry and Dumbledore. Does Verity have more of an idea about what is coming because of the shop she works in? It's really interesting to think about!

As for CC, there was just one typo I noticed in this chapter:
"I took the day of work" -- off
I'm not sure it's necessary to include the location of each new scene, since it's mentioned within the body of the story already. I also noticed one slight inconsistency with dates; at the beginning you tell us that it's March 1996 but go on to say "It is spring, London, 1997." which confused me a little.

I enjoyed this so much, and I'm looking forward to reading the next chapter when it's up!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hello! :) Thank you so much for reading and reviewing this story and giving Verity some love, it really means so much to me and was so wonderful to read! :D

I'm glad you like the title, and yes, I love the idea of the magpie as a symbol and a plot device! :) I'm so glad you like the idea of the nursery rhyme, and magpies and Verity as collectors. It just came to me as something that might fit, and I ended up with a significant title! :D

I'm glad you liked both Verity and Penelope, and how Verity is so upset about suddenly losing her friend and what Penny meant to her. She's certainly very different from Percy, and we'll be learning a lot more about all those characters in coming chapters! :)

I'm glad you're giving Sebastian a chance, especially as we're mostly seeing him through Verity's eyes. A lot of relationships are ideal and perfect, and I really want to show a relationship that has gone on for a long time and started to degrade here as both of them have changed without admitting it!

I'm glad you liked the inclusion of the professors, as I felt like they would be helpful to ground the story to Hogwarts as much as possible. And yes, I like writing the innocent disbelief of people who don't necessarily believe Dumbledore and Harry! It's really fun to write outside of the Hogwarts sphere and wonder what it was like to live in the general wizarding world.

Thank you for this really lovely review, my dear! :) I absolutely loved reading it, you are the best! :D

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Review #37, by marauder5 One for Sorrow

2nd June 2013:
Well, I'm certainly not sorry to hear that you've started writing another story (I was beginning to feel the withdrawal when you hadn't update the Girl From Slytherin in a while, but that's all better now). Needless to say, this was outstanding. I've never read another author's work on this site that pulls me in the way yours does - you write so beautifully, you don't just put words together. Instead, you create beautiful sentences and stories, and I could read your stories for that reason alone. But then there's the fact that the stories themselves are brilliant as well! This is a bit like the Girl From Slytherin in a way, because it takes place during the books, only from another perspective. I love it.

I found it a bit confusing in the beginning, though. I have to ask about it: at first, you said it was 1996. Then she remembered the spring of 1997? And then she went back to 1996. Maybe you could make that part a bit clearer :)

Verity seems very interesting, indeed. I love how she liked to collect stories - and those she heard were just horrible. The part with Old Wendy was so tragic! How fate just had no mercy on her, and how she ended up in Azkaban, and how it drove her mad... so sad.

Sebastian is quite interesting as well. However, since you said that this is a George/OC story, I assume that he won't be around for very long. I could almost feel in the air between them that they were about to break up sometime soon - after all, Verity misses who he used to be.

There were little details that just made me sure that I'm going to love this story, so I thought I'd point out my favourite parts:

- Her parents being co-owners of Borgin and Burkes. I can't wait to see what they're like! Maybe it will be a bit like Tor/Yaxley, only I don't think Verity's parents will be nearly as bad as Yaxley is.

- How you had Ernie Macmillan's brother shake their hands and say "terrible, terrible." How very much alike they must be. It's so interesting to think about the life at Hogwarts from the POV of someone a few years older than Harry. It must be completely different.

- Giving Penelope an identity besides being Percy's girlfriend. I hope to get to know more about her story.

- Sebastian, Percy and Penelope competing against each other to be the best student in their year.

- And lastly, these words: "her song trapped within the walls close to my heartbeat, its steady rhythm just out of tune. Her story forever stored within me" Are you sure you're not a reincarnation of some old, famous poet?? I do hope you'll write a book one day. I know I'd buy it.

I noticed one typo: "the three faces to alike and so unlike" I think 'to' should be 'so'.

So to sum things up: I absolutely loved it, and I'm adding it to my favourites. I can't wait to see where it will lead. (I hope you're not sick of me showering you with praise, which is basically all I do when I review your stories, haha!). I look forward to reading more. I also hope you'll update the Girl From Slytherin soon! (yes, that was a hint.) ;)

Author's Response: Hello! :D Please know how much I loved receiving this review, and how excited I am that you enjoyed this new story! :) It really made me so, so happy!

You are seriously just too nice to me. All your kind words are so thoughtful and encouraging for me, and I'm very flattered that you enjoy my writing! :) I just can't handle the wonderful!

I'm glad you enjoyed the first chapter and Verity, and I'll clear up the confusion about the dates! Basically, it takes place near the end of OoP. :) I'm glad you like Verity, and Old Wendy, who I really enjoyed adding in there. Knockturn Alley is really fun to imagine, and I enjoyed populating it with interesting characters!

Yes, Sebastian doesn't come across in the best light, does he? He's not a bad guy, they've just grown apart a lot and Verity does see him with sometimes red-tinted glasses, which isn't very healthy in a relationship! And as for George, well he'll be coming along soon! :P

Thank you for pointing out those enjoyable details, it's very helpful and reassuring to find out what you noticed and enjoyed! :) I had so much fun coming up with these minor characters and placing people in Verity's year. Even though the story doesn't place at Hogwarts, there will be a lot of references and probably flashbacks.

Thank you so much for this review, really I can't express how lovely it was! :D (And updates are coming... soon! I was on hiatus because of exams but have the next chapter of GfS written, minus one scene which I can't quite get right! :P) Thank you again! :)

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Review #38, by WitnesstoitAll One for Sorrow

2nd June 2013:
I saw your status on the forums promoting this story and as an author of a George-centric story, I couldn't help but creep over here to check this out. Boy, am I glad I did! I love the potential that the character of Verity brings to a story -- we really don't know anything canonical about her, and so the possibilities are endless!

I love the set up you present in this chapter. I know Penelope doesn't appear in this chapter, but I feel like I know a lot about her and I really like the character you've crafted her to be. I love the dynamic between Sebastian and Verity and the way she reflects on Penelope and Percy. You've really brought a depth to a year of students we literally know next to nothing about.

I feel like a broken record, but I also love what you've revealed of Verity so far. I like how introspective she is. I am intrigued by the fact that she works at borgin and burkes. I can't wait to see how this story is going to develop. How she ends up at WWW, meets the twins, how her introspective nature complements their brash, extroverted nature.

Can't wait to read more!! Definitely looking forward to chapter 2. Keep up the good work. :)

Author's Response: Hello! :D

Thank you so much for checking out this story and leaving the very first review, it really made my day! :D I've been working on this story for a while and decided to just go through with it and publish it, so it's wonderful that you enjoyed the first chapter.

You're right, Verity is barely mentioned, so I enjoyed coming up with this whole backstory for her! She originally was going to work at the Leaky Cauldron, but being at Borgin's was just such a fun idea that I couldn't resist. :P

I'm very thrilled that you liked Verity, and are looking forward to the next chapter, which is mostly already written. Thank you so, so much for this lovely review! :D

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