Reading Reviews From Member: Pookha
205 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Pookha19 years: Year 1: The first day

21st December 2014:
No language errors that I noticed, and I'm fairly strict that way. It's so nice to come back to HPFF and find quality fanfic still lives.

This is one of the best stories I've read in a while and it's so nice to see someone trying to stay canon while telling a missing moments story. Looking forward to reading more of your work.

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Review #2, by PookhaAshes of Dust: The Constant Vigil

18th February 2011:
This is beautiful. I love your style in this piece. You capture their emotions wonderfully, especially Helen's. They have a very real and complicated family dynamic and it directly gives the reader a view of what made Alastor what he is.

I can see the line from here to Mad-Eye. His monomania and paranoia are very well drawn out by you. I wish I could write in this style; you are beautifully evocative in your ability to be poignant without being cloying or over-the-top.

A very rare 10/10 from me.

Author's Response: This review has left me speechless - it's absolutely fantastic to hear that you think so highly of this story. When writing it, I was uncertain about the simplicity of Helen's memories and emotions - it's very everyday, which I don't usually deal with, so I really stripped away metaphor and description to find something surprisingly moving. It's not my usual style, either, I think I'm trying to say in a feeble way, but I am very pleased to hear that you liked it.

For once, I'd wanted to write a growing up story that didn't include grand tragedy or sweeping drama, but that was fairly normal (for the wizarding world, of course). I'm glad you could see the themes of paranoia and watchfulness slowly emerging in the young Alastor, especially inspired by his mother's warnings. His childhood and adolescence set him on the road to becoming Mad-Eye - the war with Voldemort ends up being the figurative straw that broke the camel's back for him.

Thank you very much for reading and reviewing this story. I really appreciate hearing any opinion from you, and that your opinion on this story was so favourable only makes it better. ^_^

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Review #3, by PookhaFighting Is Perfection: Fighting is What we Do

26th June 2010:
Well, first of all, I want to say that I have a quite different view of Ron and Hermione. But, that's what I love about fanfic, I can find a piece written from another view and find things to enjoy about it.

What I love about this piece is the dialogue driven story. The dialogue really makes this story shine. Ginny's character was minor in the story, but the way she speaks makes her character come alive.

Ron's and Hermione's characterisations through the dialogue were very good, too. I can totally hear Ron speaking his lines and Hermione's responses to them.

Some people might tell you that there's a lack of description in this story, but I would urge you not to listen to them. It's rare to find a story that leaves the descriptions up to the reader so the reader can picture the scenes. What I mean is, if you add too much description to this story, the wonderful dialogue would take a back-seat.

Author's Response: I am really intrigued about how you view Ron and Hermione. I felt that the dialogue would be most important and in the forefront with Ron and Hermione. I'm not exactly sure why, I just felt it had to be that way.

I am very glad you liked the characterizations. I mostly write Next-Gen because I am deathly afraid of writing a character we all know and love and not being able to do them justice.

Thank you for your kind review!

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Review #4, by PookhaFinally Got It Right: Part Three

7th May 2010:
Xeno is slowly realising that the Muggle girlfriend just isn't right for him and you do a great job showing that slow realization as she rejects him. Capria's a much better fit.

I find it interesting that Capria was a fan of Xeno's before she met him. That makes the relationship a bit more interesting and more likely than just a chance meeting and it's a great bit of imagination from you. It makes Capria a more interesting character and gives her a bit of more real feel.

Again, I love your characterisations of Xeno and Capria and we can see the growing attraction between the two of them. They are learning that they're soul-mates

The scene with the two of them releasing the animal from the trap was brilliant and perfect for the two of them to bond over.

Author's Response: He's becoming more and more aware as the story goes on, yet not losing his dreamy quality. I definitely think this is progress. (:

Glad you liked that detail! I imagine Capria to be quirky enough to read silly little nature magazines. So, I had to add it. It just seemed so... quaint to me. Perfect.

Ah, yes. The animal in its cage. That image was one of the first that came to me, back when the story was just a vague idea in the back of my mind. I loved writing it.

Thank you again!

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Review #5, by PookhaFinally Got It Right: Part Two

1st May 2010:
I really enjoyed this chapter as well. We see so much more of Xeno's personality here. I love the way the he moons a bit over his girlfriend, but then moves on when something else catches his eye. He really seemed ill-matched with her. I could picture his unsaid past conversations when he tried to explain wizards to her.

I also really like the way that people react favorably to Xeno. He's a very likeable, but eccentric character and you show that with his actions and people's reactions very well.

Capria's characterisation is very well-done. She's intriguing, but strange and you can just picture her passing that on to her daughter. The scene with the spider web really got my attention, since I love spider webs covered in rain or dew. They're beautiful and says a lot about Capria that she can see that.

While very minor in this chapter, I enjoyed Astrelius, too. He's very caring about his brother, but still determined to live his own life.

The potion draws my interest, because I always had the idea that Luna was good at potions, but never precisely followed the recipes, which would have driven Snape mad.

One last thing. Often in fanfic, I see the author making the characters too pretty or charming and that's not the case here. We see two realistic characters with flaws, but also with redeeming qualities. They feel human and not carboard cutouts. Bravo for defying stereotypes of fanfic.

Author's Response: Ah! Your reviews are just fantastic!

Yes, they are very unmatched. Yet the strange this is, Xeno doesn't really seem to see it. He's content to just go along with it, without knowing why. Oh, Xeno.

He is likeable, despite his eccentricities. I think it's because he can be so clueless. It's kind of adorable. (: But he's also just a nice guy. Really, he wouldn't hurt a fly.

I added the potion bit because all we really know about Luna's mom is that she liked to experiment with magic. Now, I know it was a spell gone awry that killed her... but I figured, hey, if she's experimenting with spells, she's probably experimenting with other facets of magic as well. Why not potions! So it's her own concoction, an experimental stuttering remedy that may or may not work.

What a compliment! Thank you! I strive to make my characters real, and through doing that, fall in love with them (an author/character relationship is so rewarding - and now I sound like a mad person! haha). I appreciate you saying that they feel human.

Again, thank you!

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Review #6, by PookhaFinally Got It Right: Part One

30th April 2010:
I really like this chapter of the story. I think you capture Xenophilius very well. It says a lot about him that he doesn't like to waste time, but doesn't consider the time he spent cloud-watching while waiting for the pain to pass to be wasted. What's important to him isn't necessarily what would be important to another, but he's not crazy, just eccentric.

I really enjoyed Capria's characterisation as well. You can see traces of Luna in both her parents and you can see the sort of woman, who while plain has a great sense of being comfortable with who she is.

When I look at them together, I see a sort of destiny that draws them nearer and I can tell that's what you're going for in the writing.

I must say that I don't think the addition of the Muggle girlfriend did much. Her character is so one-dimensional that I have a hard time seeing what Xeno saw in her. Maybe like most guys, he could still have his head turned by a pretty face.

Overall, I really enjoyed the story, and knowing where it's going to come out in the end doesn't detract from being interested in the story.

The addition of Xeno's brother, Astrelius also helped to round out Xeno's character. He's good to have a brother that understands and supports his writing.

I've already read the next two chapters, and as I re-read them, I'll review them. I was glad to get a story to review on the review exchange that I had already favourited to read.

Author's Response: Pookha! So so sorry it's taken me so long to respond to this. But I hope you know I really appreciate you taking the time to review! So thank you.

Wow, great catch there! Yes, he does consider his daydreaming time well spent. His priorities are a bit different than those of other people, which may or may not be a weakness. We'll see. ;)

Thank you for bringing the Muggle girlfriend up. Yes, I did want her to be somewhat one-dimensional, and for reasons that aren't apparent until later chapters. Although, when the story is done and I re-read and make edits, I may work on her character a bit. You're not the first to point that out, and I wonder if I what I had in mind is coming across.

So glad you enjoy Astrelius and Xeno's interaction. I didn't want Xeno to live entirely alone, even though he is a loner character, so a sibling seemed perfect, especially one who encourages him in his somewhat eccentric pursuits. There just aren't enough people like that in the world.

Again, thank you. I really appreciate all you've said!

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Review #7, by PookhaSocks.: No socks?

28th April 2010:
This is super cute and fluffy and worthy of my challenge. I enjoyed reading it very much.

I apologize that it took me a while to get this review in. The real world is definitely not 12-.

I rally like the way the mystery of the missing socks is set up and that Vicky calls Teddy 'Teddy Bear.'

This was a wonderful, cute little story and it fit the challenge very well. Thanks for taking it up.

Author's Response: hahahaha...thanks!

I'm sorry for the delay in responding, and I must agree. The real world is definitely not 12-. Ugh.

Your challenge was so much fun. The whole 12- joke was a blast, and I really couldnt resist getting into the spirit with a story. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I have tons of free time now, so i may get around to updating it soon.

Thanks again for the review!!

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Review #8, by PookhaHarry Potter and Making Friends in Cupcake Land: Harry Potter in Cupcake Land

28th April 2010:
I promised I would review each of the stories from my challenge; sorry it took me so long to get to it.

I really like this; it has the wacky, weird parts and just funny parts. The sparkly vampire bat just cracked me up; should have named it Edward (lol).

I also liked the ending very much with DD talking about Cupcake land. This is a very different take on the Battle of the Department of Mysteries and I enjoyed it very much.

I'm always a fan of original, silly songs and yours is wonderful. Great job on this story.

Author's Response: Thank you very, VERY much! This was my first only-humor story and I wasn't quite sure if I didn't go over the top with it.

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Review #9, by PookhaThe Silence of the Night: we all break sometime.

9th April 2010:
I can't believe that I'm the first to review this. It's poignant, beautiful and moving. I love the descriptions that you use. They really draw the reader into Dominique's pain. You write like someone who's experienced the loss yourself.

This is probably the best portrayal of grief and its stages that I've read in fanfic and one of the best portrayals that I've read in any fictional format.

You have a great eye for dialogue and for the mental state of someone grieving.

The 'Bargaining' section seems especially poignant to me. It really captures the way that someone grieving can fall into a fugue and try mad things.

It's so very beautiful. A very rare 10/10 from me.

Author's Response:
Yes, grief is a very touchy subject, and it was quite difficult to find a happy medium between being too overdone or not done enough. I'm glad you liked the 'Bargaining' section, since - in my opinion - it is the climax of the fic, the highest (or lowest, depending on how you look at it) point of Dominique's grief.

Thank you so much for the lovely review :) I'm so happy you liked this!

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Review #10, by PookhaFull Circle: Full Circle

9th April 2010:
I will state first off that the story's written in a style that I don't personally care for, but it shows that style very well and I think you hit the mark on what you were going for.

It's very well written grammatically, which is always a joy to find with fanfic.

The strength of this story lies in its portrayal of a heart-rended Andromeda, trying to reconnect with her estranged family. It rings true and it feels right. I particularly like the scene with Andromeda and Narcissa as girls when Narcissa receives the necklace. It seems very sisterly to me from before the familial rift.

I also like that Bella is mentioned, but not shown. Her outright cruelty would have jarred with the style of the story.

A very good story of a family that's had problems, but is still a family.

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Review #11, by PookhaWe Both Go Down Together: all the way down

25th March 2010:
The link you gave when you requested the review pointed to a different story, but I reviewed the one you named rather than the one you linked to.

Since you specifically asked about sentence structure and grammar, I'll start there. Yes, there are a number of awkward, strange sentences in the story and there is some strange grammar, but it generally adds to the mood you're trying to set. What I mean is that poor grammar is sometimes distracting from the story, but in this case it doesn't distract from the story. I do believe that with a beta who fits your style, and one who concentrates on grammar rather than style, you could improve this even more.

I thought the heart-rending meeting between Albus and Gellert was very well done and it rang true to the heart-break that people feel when meeting a past love who's done them wrong.
The tension was palpable and you made the reader feel as if he were in the room with them watching them; fascinated and uncomfortable at the same time.

It's not boring and the ending is very satisfying because it ties into what we know of Albus' personality and what he did later in his life. This helps to explain a lot of why Albus delayed before finally confronting Gellert. Personally, I don't think they actually duelled; I think Albus convinced Gellert that he was going down the wrong path (think Luke turning his father back in SW).

Overall, a very moving and interesting piece.

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Review #12, by PookhaEsperanza: She Will Wait

28th February 2010:
I love drabbles and short pieces, especially when they are as well done as this. A lot of people will tell you that you can't write a coherent story in 500 words, but they're wrong. You do a beautiful job setting the tone of this story with the descriptions of the seascape and how they relate to Teddy.

The flow of the story seems very natural and the descriptions that you use are simple but powerful. I like the ending, as well. It's really left up to the reader to decide whether or not take it at face value. Did Teddy really die on the water, or is it just metaphor for what Rose is feeling? You do a good job showing ambiguity there.

I can't say a lot about development, because that's one thing that a drabble doesn't do well, but it does catch a snapshot of a moment in time.

This was a very nice read and I even overcame my aversion to second-person writing. Usually I find it experimental and off-putting. I think the reason I could tolerate it here was because it was short and beautifully described.

Author's Response: I love drabbles and short pieces too! It's not that common to find someone who does actually. I'm glad you think this was done well :D. All of the participants in this challenge have proved that 500 words is enough to form a coherent story

Thank you! I try never to overdo it on descriptions, otherwise I find my stories have no substance whatsover (although they still seem to go that way).

In my mind, Teddy did drown, and I wrote it with that as the backstory. It could be interpreted any way you want though.

Yeah, second person can be a lot to take sometimes. It is very experimental, but it's the way this story came out.

Thank you so much, this review made my day! :D

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Review #13, by PookhaShot in the Dark: Shot in the Dark

16th February 2010:
Wow! Easily the best of the stories for my challenge and a wonderful stand-alone story. You capture Colin's essence very well. We see the side of him that wants to document and know what's going on and the side of him that wants to expose the DEs to support Harry. He's very much like the small dog in the cartoons that's always bugging the bulldog that he idolizes. It's idolatry out of love.

I was particularly moved by the way he discovered and recovered Fred's body so it wouldn't be discovered by anyone else. You also captured me with the other minor characters all playing a supporting part and being worried about Colin, but also supportive him; he made his choice to stay and they understand that, even if they don't fully understand his reasoning.

As far as I can tell, you do a wonderful job staying canon with it as well. Your writing is beautiful, impeccable and perfectly descriptive. I truly believe you are one of the best writers on the site; don't doubt your talent.

Looking at this another way, it's a large action scene that you wrote without the action being repetitive or boring; something that's harder to do than most people take credit for.

As you know I enjoy your work immensely and now I must go and write for your 'Four Seasons' challenge.

Author's Response: Thank you very much, Pookha. As you know, I enjoy your work as well. :-D

I am so pleased you found the action in this piece to come off all right. I've never written an action sequence before, and I struggled immensely! The biggest problem was having Colin near the action but enough apart from it to document it. In my initial draft, Colin didn't cast a single spell, did not speak to a single person, and did not even have a spell cast at him until his death. I completely scrapped that version and started over--more than once.

I have to credit Jackson Robles for giving me the impetus to finish this . . . I asked him how he writes action, and he said something like, "You'll be fine. Just plan it out." I already knew what pictures I wanted Colin to take, but after re-reading the battle scene a few times and taking notes, I had a much better idea of the timeline and feeling of the battle, and everything fell into place.

There were two things consistent among my numerous drafts: the idea of Colin taking 24 pictures and Colin finding Fred. I just fed off the emotion JKR created already. I used minor canon characters for a few reasons. One, it's easy. Two, Colin's photographs take on greater significance if the readers are familiar with their subjects. Three, viewing Colin through the lens of other characters (pun intended) gives greater depth and understanding to his character.

I'm pleased Colin's characterization came off convincingly, as I struggled with it also. For the purpose of this story, he had to have a more serious agenda, consistent with having died in battle, yet it's impossible to ignore the "small dog" side of him.

I've practically written another one-shot in response, so I'll be quiet now. Thank you again for reviewing (and issuing the challenge--it was truly a challenge for me and very inspiring!) and for all your lovely compliments.

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Review #14, by PookhaPhoto: Photo

16th February 2010:
I loved this story. You captured one of my favourite scenes in the books with Colin's last picture. I was reading DH late in the evening and almost woke up my wife when I got to the scene where Neville cut off Nagini's head, so to see it captured as the final picture in the story moved me.

I can feel Harry's emotion as he looks through the pictures and it feels just right to me. It always amazes me when someone captures good emotion in a short piece. You do a good job showing Colin's personality through Harry's reminiscences.

Beautiful and moving.

Author's Response: Wow, thank you so much! This plot bunny hit me as soon as I read your challenge, and I worked really hard to make it just right, so I'm really pleased that it went over so well :]

I really don't know what else to say! I'm pleasantly stunned with your review! Thanks so much! :D

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Review #15, by PookhaDancing Lessons: Dancing Lessons.

10th November 2009:
It's always good to see author's who don't always take the subject matter so siriusly. A good, strange, but funny story is always welcome. I haven't watched AVPM, but from this story, I could picture the song.

I was very amused by this and it lifted my spirits a bit. I've not been feeling great lately, so a new story from one of my fave authors is always a good mood lightener.

As always, your stories are well-edited grammatically and well written.

Thank you for brightening my day. :)

Author's Response: Sirius subject matter? Pshaw! Yep, this is about as far from serious (I almost spelled that "sirious") as you can get. The whole point was to be silly. I'm so glad you found it funny. I myself thought it was funny, but . . . you know. Sometimes we find ourselves a lot more amusing than anyone else finds us.

The "Shall We Dance" song is nowhere to be found in AVPM, though Voldy is a tap-dancer (and he has a Death Eater kickline!) in it. The song just seemed appropriate to the subject matter. I originally had this as a songfic, but copyright issues = TOS violation, obviously, so I had to change it.

I am a bit of a stickler for grammar. Heck, I'm only human like everyone else, but grammar comes easily to me. I've got to give a nod to Weasley_Twin_Mom for correcting my spelling of "Quirrell" though.

Thank YOU, pookha, for brightening MY day with a review and kind words! :-)

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Review #16, by PookhaAfrican Violets: How it Happened

2nd October 2009:
I'll be honest; the story was so gripping and moving that I didn't notice the two different times. You did a very good job of keeping the present tense in the main part with the past tense in the flashback parts. It was seamless and easy to read. I normally find present tense reading to be distracting, but you did it very well and it gives your story an immediateness (if I can coin a word).

I had figured it to be a Neville/Hannah before I was too far in and I loved your descriptions of the way he would potter (pun) in the garden and she would watch him. This is sort of the reverse of what I do with my wife; I watch her in the garden; of course she has roses, not a venomous tentacula (or whatever killed him, I suspect a hybrid he was creating, a la Hagrid).

You do a very good job of showing that Hannah's barely keeping her emotions in check. The reader gets the feeling that one more little thing and she could break. Wonderful emotion and great prose.

If this isn't a featured story for this challenge, I'll eat my hat.

It also seems like you write the part about sitting by a bedside waiting for a loved one to die from experience as it rings so true. I have experienced something like it, so I can say it with certainty.

Beautiful, heart-rending and it makes this old man a bit weepy.

Author's Response: I believe you are aware of my general distrust of flashbacks. Therefore, it was with reluctance that I used them in my own story, because I wasn't sure I'd be good enough to pull it off. I tried a few other ways of telling the story, but I kept running into the same problem: there were events I wanted to describe as happening now and events I wanted to describe as happening in the past.

I really wanted what is the beginning (the men at the door) to be the beginning, but I couldn't make it work without a flashback. So I figured I might as well embrace it and try to weave the two parts together. I'm gratified to hear it came across well to you. Present tense writing can be difficult to read, but I do like the sense of immediacy (though immediateness is a fine word too) it imparts.

I'm so glad you commented about Hannah barely keeping her emotions in check! That is precisely what I wished to convey. After all, the funeral was the day before yesterday, so her grief is still very raw.

Yes, Neville was breeding hybrids a la Hagrid, although we may never know if he bred this one on purpose or if it mixed itself while he was incapacitated. I actually pictured the Tentacula crossing with a fanged geranium, but I couldn't find an appropriate place to slip that in.

I'm relieved the bedside part rang true for you. I actually have never experienced it firsthand, so I was quite worried about it. I wanted to be honest, respectful, and realistic without being overly sentimental.

Thank you very much for such a detailed review. I respect your opinion a lot.

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Review #17, by PookhaSunday Morning: Chapter 2

13th September 2009:
For me, the best part of this chapter was the conversation between Yaxley and Travers. It really set up that there's dissension in the ranks of the DEs. I could easily picture that conversation happening exactly as you wrote it. I think you have a good ear for what makes dialogue sound real. Your dialogue never seemed forced or stilted.

James and Aidan have a predilection for action and it's perfectly in character for both of them as Gryffindors. I was glad to see Aidan be a bit more confident in himself in this chapter. I see that James has a bit of Harry's overconfidence as well. He should have sent as many letters as he could to lots of different recipients. This is an important insight into him; he's brave, a bit reckless and not always able to see the long run; a lot like his dad, in other words.

I also really liked the scene with the DEs asking for new recruits that they obviously are planning to use a shock troops or distractions. Again, you have given them very real motivations for what they're doing, even though we don't know exactly why they're there.

Also, again a very well-edited and well-written chapter. It was a joy to read and I would be happy to review more. Feel free to re-request when my review thread opens up again.

Author's Response: Again, sorry this response took so long!

The conversation between the two was originally going to have a much bigger part than it ended up having, but the idea between it was, yeah, that there is going to be some dissension in the ranks. Not everyone is going to like Rodolphus being in charge because he's no Voldemort. James' recklessness can get him into some trouble, and it certainly does in this particular situation. He is a lot like Harry. The main difference is he doesn't have his dad's luck. Again, thank you for reviewing and giving me feedback! I appreciate it! Thanks again!

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Review #18, by PookhaSunday Morning: Chapter 1

13th September 2009:
Sorry for how long it took me to get to this review. Real life has been quite hectic lately.

Firstly, it's an extremely well-edited chapter with no typos, misspellings or glaring grammatical errors that I could spot. It's nice to read something that the author obviously cares enough about to ensure readability.

I found James and Aidan to be very likeable and interesting characters. James is obviously more brave than Aidan, but Aidan is a Gryffindor as well, so I think we'll see more from him later. I like the way you started the story with Aidan trying to get James out of bed. It immediately established their friendship and the quality of their friendship.

I found it slightly strange that no one from the attackers had checked the Gryffindor dormitories, but it didn't bother me much as they couldn't have possibly checked everywhere.

The scene with the professor being 'gunned down' on the base of the stairs was especially well done, IMHO. It showed the DEs would brook no opposition and that they were there for a specific purpose.

I must admit that when I started, I was confused because I missed that it was Next-Gen and thought it was Harry's dad. I quickly realised my error when I saw how old the DEs were; I really should learn to read the summaries better first, lol.

This looks like the great beginning to an interesting action/adventure type story. Very nicely done.

Author's Response: Wow, I am SO sorry that I took so long to get to this! Geez, it's been months.

I'm a bit of a spelling and grammar nut, so I hope all of that looks good! Otherwise it would bug me quite a bit to know that I made a mistake. My reasoning behind not checking the dormitories was, firstly, I assumed they couldn't even get in them. A few chapters later and I realized that the only thing standing between them and the Gryffindors is a portrait, so that was rather poor logic but... whatever. XD Anyway, the Death Eaters weren't concerned about getting everyone in the castle. That was the main reasoning behind it. Yeah. Thank you for the compliments, thanks for reviewing, and I'm glad you liked it! Again, sorry it took so long for me to get to replying!

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Review #19, by PookhaAn Ordinary Day: An Ordinary Day

11th September 2009:
Wow! That's so sad, and so real. So many people die in so many stupid and useless ways. I feel for Sarah and the Weasleys.

You tell a story beautifully and with a grace that makes everything you write so easy to read.

The way that Charlie recounts his last day is so well done. His typical day that turned out to be not-so-typical really gives us insight into his personality.

Usually my reviews are fairly long and full of praise and CC for things I think need improvement. This one is rather shorter because I don't see anything that needs improvement.

A masterpiece.

Author's Response: Wow! Such high praise! Thank-you so much! (Sorry about the overuse of exclamation marks, but I'm honestly astounded you thought it was 'a masterpiece'!)

It is true that people die every day in the most silly and mundane ways. Poor Molly loses another son before his time, I feel kind of mean for doing that to her.

I'm glad you were able to glean insight into Charlie's character from this piece, as you mentioned in my blog he is really quite an interesting character to write.

Thank you so much for the lovely review! I can't wait to read your entry for the staff challenge :)

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Review #20, by PookhaPurified: Falling Through

30th August 2009:
I've read the story of Regulus retrieving the locket a few different times and from a few different POVs, and this is one of the best I've read. Your flashbacks add depth to Regulus' characterization and give the reader a way to care bout Regulus.

As a male, with two older brothers, I can assure you that you wrote from a male perspective just fine. You caught the 'brotherly bonding' with their fight just right. I also really liked the way that Walburga reacted, obviously treating Sirius differently than Regulus. It rings so true to the canonical stories and gives Sirius another reason to hate the Black name.

You do an excellent job showing the differences between the two with the Hogwarts flashbacks. I love the way the Sirius is so unforgiving. He just can't bring himself to see that Regulus is just a scared little boy at heart, trying to please his family. Only at the very end does Regulus have the strength to live for himself.

For me, the flashback parts of the story were what gave it the drama and interest and the lake with the Inferi was a good backdrop to present that. You do a great job interweaving the two to keep interest and to move the scenes along in time.

I don't usually like the Sirius/Regulus stories, so for me to enjoy this is unusual and a tribute to your skills.

Author's Response: Thank you! :)

I'm so glad that you liked it, especially since this isn't what you typically go for. That really does mean a lot.

Yay! It's a major relief to know that I managed to make Regulus sound like a guy and not a girl as it so often happens. :)

Thank you again! :D You're review is greatly appreciated and thanks for being detailed about it. :)

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Review #21, by PookhaMoonlit Silhouettes: Moonlit Silhouettes

30th August 2009:
There's an art to writing a drabble/short one-shot and you have this art. You have to give enough description to keep the reader interested and you also have to have a self-contained plot that makes sense. You have both of those here.

I absolutely love the poetic way that you describe things here. It comes across like a gauzy dream, which is what I think you were trying to do. I find that we have quite different 'mental vocabularies,' but, I can see and understand yours. You make every word count as you evoke your style from your words effortlessly.

I've noticed you love the word 'bedizen' and I commented on it the last time. I've got to comment on it here again. 'Bedizen' has a connotation of gaudiness or bad taste that I find doesn't fit what you're portraying at the start. I know you're interested in linguisitics, so I thought I'd mention it, as the denotation that you would in a dictionary might not mention the connotation of gaudiness. If this is what you actually meant, then it's what I mean about our 'mental vocabularies' being different. That doesn't mean bad or wrong, just different. (For example, I detest Whitman and love Frost; which in some people's mind would make me a simple plebe, incapable of understanding Whitman's deepers meanings, etc.).

I love the drabble art form and I think is a marvelous example of how to craft one. This description of a tender encounter would work just as well if it were het, but as a male slash, it works wonderfully as well-it shows that men have pretty much the same feelings as girls when they're first encountering those first few loves.

Beautiful, poetic and artistic.

Author's Response: An art to writing drabble, never thought of it that way. I'm happy you feel I have the gift of such an art though.

Yes. I admit it. I love writing things to have an almost dreamy or surreal demeanor, especially those concerning love. I suspect that it, love, would feel at first as something unfathomable and untangible.

I had never known that the word bedizen had a connotation of gaudiness. I think I'll have ot keep that in mind (how I do love words with the letter z.) And I believe you're right again: that is not the connotation I would want suggested to my readers, so that word may have to change.

I think I understand what you mean by mental vocabularies. I suppose it goes hand and hand with connotation: how an individual has learned to perceive a word will affect how much it describes to them. ~ Or something of that nature.

I suspect that everyone has the same feelings upon that first encounter, and I'm glad that you could take that from this piece. It goes to show that people, no matter how different, were made the same.

Beautiful, poetic and artistic. You compliment me so.

Thank you for yet another wonderful review.

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Review #22, by PookhaConstant Vigilance: Constant Vigilance

25th August 2009:
This story was really a mixed bag for me. I'll start with the things I loved. I loved your characterization of Moody. You presented him as clever, a bit vain about his abilities, and very paranoid, even at his young age. I loved the way that he interacted with his mentor and the way he sprang to action when needed, even against incredible odds.

I loved the detail of the actual duel itself. You didn't overdo or overexplain the action and the fight seemed believable based on the canon books. I also loved the coded letter; in a story I'm writing now, Harry's going to receive a coded letter from his chief, so I was interested in how you did it. My way's going to be different, but it will have some similiarities.

I also loved the aside about the Minister and the sticky fog. I love little details like this; they add background to a story.

My negatives. There are a lot of typos, spelling errors and strange grammar throughout. I would suggest getting a beta for spelling/grammar. I don't think you need a plot beta because your plot was fine. I only mention the errors because they were numerous enough to be distracting.

I found their dialogue to be a bit stilted. Use contractions more in your dialogue and it'll sound better. When writing dialogue, I often read it aloud to see if it sounds like conversation or if it's too formal sounding.

Since you specifically asked about the action. I found the duel itself to be great. I'm no expert in this, though, as I've only written one battle sequence myself. I thought your use of canon spells was interesting and made the battle seem real. I also enjoyed the way the Chief Auror planned the battle and divvied out the assignments. This seemed well-planned on your part.

The story's pacing is fine and it goes from gathering info to action seamlessly and smoothly. The ending was great and it shows a lot about Alastor's life in a way that makes us care about Alastor.

You also specifically asked about the plot. I think the plot is actually very good. It's well-thought out and the actions of the characters flow from their limited intel (knowledge of the DE's actions). I can totally see the Auror department operating this way (even though it's not my vision of how it works. We each have different ways of thinking and I like your vision).

So, overall, I enjoyed it. Your plot and characterizations were good and believable. The spelling errors and typos took away some of the enjoyment for me, as did the slightly strange dialogue at times. An enjoyable read of a canon character in his younger days.

Author's Response: Thank you very much for your review. As in for the spelling errors I'm already getting a Beta, because I know my grammar isn't perfect - far from it - since English is not my first language.

You pointed out a thing I've never noticed: how dialogue sounds. I'll pay more attention to it in the editing of this story.

Thank you very much for your time. :]

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Review #23, by PookhaFragments: Red Lipstick

24th August 2009:
I went to the recently added stories list to see if mine was near the top (yes, I do that) and saw this set of stories. I love your writing and had to check it out. Of course, I read most of these stories during the LDWS challeng at eHPF, but this one was new.

Imagine my surprise when I found it was from my drabble prompt! Imagine my further surprise when I read the story. No, not surprise that you had written an excellent story, because you always do.

My further surprise was Mr. Urquhart. When I gave the prompt, I must admit that I was picturing Narcissa looking for Lucius who had gone into hiding and going to a hard-boiled, noir-type detective. While this isn't exactly the same thing, it's very similar. I swear that you read my mind.

I love your characterisation of Mr. U. He wants what he wants and he's not afraid to say what he thinks. I also like that he's going to send the owl in the morning to take the case. That makes me think better of him than if he was a 'Mike Hammer love 'em and leave 'em type.'

I think you capture Hermione well here as well. She's very proper and doesn't want to give him the wrong idea so she's very clear. When she's annoyed, she's direct and cutting. I can totally see her reactions being just as you described.

Wonderful, and thanks for taking my drabble prompt and doing something with it.

Author's Response: I didn't think you would stumble onto this quite so quickly! I only just posted it moments ago. I've been meaning to post my drabbles from the LDWS challenge for some time, and thought perhaps before the queue closure might be a good time to do it. I've also been meaning to write a few drabbles in response to the great prompts you've been posting and got inspired this afternoon to have a go at the first one.

It is quite interesting that you had that same idea in mind when you gave the prompt, perhaps I really am a mind reader and I just didn't know it lol. It was a great prompt and the words just seemed to flow onto the page.

I'm glad you liked my characterisation. I think Mr. U. would have been a Slytherin at Hogwarts, well at least that's how I picture him. When I first started writing this I still didn't have a clear idea on which character I was going to use, but I could just see Hermione's indignity and thought she would be perfect.

Thanks so much for reviewing, and thanks for the great prompt! I plan to attempt a few more of them in the near future.

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Review #24, by PookhaSilver Lake: Firefly

23rd August 2009:
I love the opening three paragraphs of this. They set a beautiful, slightly out-of-focus mood that gives the reader a sense of a lazy day. The present tense adds to this. Present tense can be very tricky to use well, and I applaud you for both your guts in attempting it and the way you pulled it off.

There are a couple of small errors. When she 'shutters,' it should be 'shudders.' 'Bedizened' should probably be 'blazoned' or 'emblazoned.' Êtes-vous française? Is English a second language for you? If so, you write it very well.

I love the flow of the story and it unfolds at a very natural pace. Gabrielle is very likeable here and she treats Colin with great dignity and respect. Colin seems very in character for a boy of 13 who's run into something that scared him or disturbed him.

I'm very curious to see where this is going.

I really like that she gives the firefly to Colin even though it means a lot to her. There's one small problem in that there aren't fireflies in Scotland where Hogwarts is. This can be gotten around a bit by saying that Hogwarts and the forest are magical, but I thought you'd want to know about that.

A truly beautiful and moving start to the story. I'm honoured to have read it.

Author's Response: You're too kind. The first three paragraphs were suppose to show that kind of lazy, seemingly romantic, if you will, mood. A mood where she lays waiting and waiting.

Did I write shutter? Like window shutters? I'm so very silly! Thank you very much for pointing it out! Hmm Bedizend vs Blazoned... "Decorated with" vs "sewn with" right? Hmmm I guess (em)blazoned would be more appropriate, (but how I love the word bedizen.) I think I'll change that too!

Oh no! Je ne suis pas francais! Je susi americain! Mais j'ai suivi une classe de francais depuis 6 ans! I still have to change some of what I've written to make it more fluent! The French are very, well, demanding when it comes to grammar.

A natural pace, hmm? I didn't think of it that way. I feel rather complimented. Oh, by the way, this takes place Post-Hogwarts where Colin would be 16. Emphasis on "would be".

I'm glad you found it moving thus far and would be equally honoured if you would review the next chapter whenever it is up!

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Review #25, by PookhaIn My Last Breath: Mudbloods Sin Too

22nd August 2009:
I like the way that you start us 'in media res' with some things being left unsaid. It's an excellent way to draw a reader into a story and make them want to read more.

I believe you should get a beta who specializes in style. You have a slight tendancy to overdescribe: 'her white blonde hair flowing behind her' 'Her black skirt fell inches short above her knees, revealing her tan legs, and for a second he felt like ravaging her without any words spoken.' In the first example, we know that Narcissa's a pale blonde, so it can go unspoken and just be 'her hair flowing behind her,' in the second, it's overdescriptive and strange for Hermione to have tan legs-she's not really an outdoor person, so why would her legs be tan?

Also sometimes your word choice is very strange: 'awing the magical merchandise displayed at the front.' I think you might mean 'awed by the magical...' 'but her irritating questions were left stagnant after the interrogation upon greeting each other at the Burrow.' This sentence doesn't make sense. Did you mean 'she ceased her irritating questions after arriving at the Burrow and getting swept up in greeting each other.'?

I really don't like the sexy!Draco fanon characterization. Draco's not a sexy beast; he's weasely, skinny and pale. He's absolutely not a hard-bodied sex god. Hermione also seems OoC here and it falls into the cliched part of a Dramione where they can't keep their hands off each other, even when they might get caught.

This is more romance novel fantasy than Harry Potter to me.

I'm sorry, but this story just doesn't speak to me, but it may speak more to your target audience.

Author's Response: As far as description goes, you'll either love it or hate it. So I am sorry you don't love it =/

I definitely need to change it to "awed by the magical merchandise" but no, not the second correction you advised. Ginny's questions were left stagnant after she interrogated Hermione. Not because they greeted each other, but because her interrogation was over.

To me, Draco is not weasely. He can be skinny, but he's absolutely sexy. It all depends on who the heart throb is. I don't find Ron sexy one bit, but I'm sure there are hundreds of fanfics that portray him as that because that's who the author loves.

Thanks for reviewing anyway. I obviously won't be requesting from you again.

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