Reading Reviews From Member: Bella_Portia
522 Reviews Found


1st May 2011:
Well, welcome back. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed your story. (Like I'm anyone to talk -- I think I had an 18 month gap between installments.)

Count on Draco to behave as a child of entitlement, whatever the circumstances. What would he have done if the only place open had been a McDonald's?

I am so glad you brought back Father Sean. I always thought he was an excellent character, almost a stand-in for the reasonable, moral Muggle forced to confront facts that shattered his world-view.

Now, perhaps I forgot the thread of the story, but I'm guessing that Molly wasn't Molly but was another Order member (given the darkness at the end, I'm guessing Fred or George) under the influence of polyjuice potion.

I know how difficult it is (believe me, I do), but I really hope you'll find the time to write more. I like this story so much.

Author's Response: Oh, I have been meaning to reply to this for ages; in fact I thought I had done (going senile here lol). I was actually watching all the movies this weekend and I think I might have got a little of the inspiration back. It has been such a long time that I am going to re-read my own story so that I can make a note of loose ends that still need tying up.

Draco yes, although this character is going through a considerable transformation I thought I ought to let him retain some of his aloofness.

Father Sean will play some role in the end, not 100% certain re the exact details yet though. I really like this character too. When you get into pottermore check the backstory for McGonagall... I thought Jo's original thoughts somehow have elements that I have also used (telephathy? lol).

You are totally right, Molly wasn't Molly and your guess is actually very close...

I know. I definitely must make an effort to continue writing this. Thanks so much for your encouragement, it really is helping me get the motivation back.

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Review #2, by Bella_PortiaRunning With Wolves : The Journals and Correspondences of Cerridwyn Lupin (Year 4): The Burden

18th April 2011:
Late, late.

I thought the scene between Severus and Kerry, where he was asking about her life with her mother, was the part of this chapter I liked best. It was believable and touching. Also witty, as your S/K scenes always are.

Your characterization of Sirius was on the money, in your own way. (". . . short fuse that burns hot but fast." )

The howler at breakfast, and the reactions thereto, was terrific.

Good for Hybrid finally winning. (But, without Kerry, does their name still fit?) I enjoyed the character development with Basil.

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Review #3, by Bella_PortiaRunning With Wolves : The Journals and Correspondences of Cerridwyn Lupin (Year 4): The Dark Mark

24th February 2011:
This was an outstanding chapter.

Let me start with the final scene, the long-awaited reconciliation between Severus and Kerri. First of all, I enjoyed the refresher-set-up of Severus' apartments, which we have not visited for awhile. I imagined him being continually spied upon by a couple of curious mer-children -- nice touch (and only suggested!)
The little bit where Kerri's professional self kicks in and she starts describing the correct way to disable a dragon until she realizes that Severus is paying way too much attention -- that was great and typical of your wonderful use of imaginative detail. It just enhances this world.

I thought the set-up to the inveiling of the Dark Mark was nice -- this that I'm going to show you is so bad, here's a stiff drink, trust me, you're going to need it. You don't drink? You will when you hear what I have to say. Loved it.

The explanation of the DM was really interesting, but I particulary liked the reference to Frankenstein. It just expanded the frame of reference of, not so much Kerri (because she was educated as a Muggle), but Severus. It shows him as a widely educated wizard. (As I've always imagined him.)

The part where he tries to convince her to leave the country for her own safety and offers to pay her debt to Hogwarts is lovely. Shows that however much of a jerk he may have been at times, he truly cares. It was touching.

And the final conversation about her mastering the AK curse and doing their best to foil Moody shows they really are getting back together. Of course, we want to see Severus confide in his sister about that debt of his own.

Moving forward: the scene at the beginning between Kerri and Roland was charming. Particularly the part where he was not quite getting why she was so interested in Mme. Maxime.

Your description of poor Hagrid at the feast was priceless.

I have to say, I love Septima. How does she manage to eat with her foot constantly blocking her mouth?

Once again, I thoroughly enjoyed this chapter. Both times.
(And I'm glad you liked the Sookie Stackhouse stories.)

Author's Response: --- First off, you'd better email Victoria before she has your entire European itinerary planned out for you.

--- Yes, I'm having lots of fun with those books. I'm maybe halfway through the series right now.
She has a better sense of humor than Stephenie Meyer but Meyer has a better editor because I've spotted a few continuity errors.

I realized that I was talking to you about this chapter way back in Sept., so it's really been a long time coming. Before I got to year 3, I really looked forward to it because I thought all the Snape-Kerri feuding would be fun. It was, but I found that I missed "good" Snape too much. I've really looked forward to getting to this point.

For Snape's living quarters, I just really like them myself. I think it would be so neat to live under the lake and have that glass ceiling. I also try to use people's rooms to tell things about their personalities. I like to make Snape's rooms very Slytherin, but also very warm at the same time. I also try to make them seem like they belong to an intelligent, well read kind of person, hence books, the piano, etc. I don't think it would be much of a stretch to imagine Snape having some awareness of Muggle literary canon. You wouldn't expect a Weasley to be that well read, but Snape, yes.

Snape does care about Kerri, as Remus has been trying to tell her. However I don't think he's above risking her life to further his agenda of protecting Lily's son. He would feel bad about it, which is one reason he'd prefer it if she'd just go ahead and leave.

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Review #4, by Bella_PortiaRunning With Wolves : The Journals and Correspondences of Cerridwyn Lupin (Year 4): Heritage

13th February 2011:
Well, I'm looking forward to that next scene with S and K.

The scene with Remus and Kerri et al was very funny. Remus should have known better than to leave any room for misinterpretation when he made his suggestion to the boys. On the other hand, Vashti generally needs something to shut her up. I liked the little history you created for the Goblet of Fire -- sitting on Filch's desk as a holder for his switches, in hopeful anticipation of the day he'll be able to use them. (Why, o why, does Dumbledore keep this nasty little sadist on the payroll? Unlike Snape (who, in all honesty, might be described the same way), Filch doesn't seem to have any redeeming features.) It must have been a long time since the last Tri-Wizard Tournament.

I think you do a wonderful job with Sirius. You get the picture of someone with the best and worst Gryffindor traits -- both very brave but very impetuous, and not too disposed to waste time thinking things through (which, he would consider, is what wimps do). It's pretty miraculous that one of those three didn't turn themselves into some ghastly, nonviable hybrid, in the course of learning to self-transfigure, and die. Oh, and poor Snape -- firecrabs down his shorts? James and Sirius were very bad boys.

I thought the last part was great, but now, I have to worry about poor Hagrid, getting his heart broken. He seems so smitten.

Author's Response: I'm working on that scene right now. I think it's almost done and I might finish today. If so then the chapter will probably be up on the day after tomorrow.

I have no idea why Dumbledore kept Filch around because I think he was genuinely a bad person. Look at how he got along with Umbridge. I've thought about it and tried to come up with a backstory but just can't seem to. The guy is a complete sadist. Did Dumbledore underestimate that? Did he think he could control it? Why have him there in the first place? It makes no sense. It's easier just to use Filch for humor than to try to go into any depth with him.

I'm glad you like how I'm portraying Sirius since I know he's not one of your favorite characters. I know he's not a saint and I'm not going to make him out to be one. (No, the only saint in this series is the Chosen One or the Golden Boy or whatever it is that they call him, right?)

Actually the firecrabs down the shorts came from an incident from my childhood. My oldest nephew and I (who are about the same age) used to stick sand fleas down his little brother's swimming trunks. They aren't really fleas. They're little bitty shelled creatures that burrow into the sand every time a wave comes and displaces them. I'm not sure what their real name is but we always called them sand fleas.

We all know that Hagrid is set to get his heart broken when Madam Maxime gets mad at him at the Yule Ball. But what I want to know is what went on while they were on that trip together during the start of year 5.

I'm still reading the Charlaine Harris books. I've been scouring used bookstores trying to find them cheaper but didn't have much luck until today. They had all of them but at six dollars each I couldn't afford to get all of them so I compromised and just bought the next three that I needed.

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Review #5, by Bella_PortiaRunning With Wolves : The Journals and Correspondences of Cerridwyn Lupin (Year 4): The Shark

31st January 2011:
Sorry I took so long to post a review. I really did enjoy this chapter, and I read it right after you put it up.

I have to wonder what Snape is up to, also. Does he think Roland and Kerry are an item? Or that they might be an item, and he wants to do what he can to help the relationship blossom? Like set them up for a nice romantic dinner and then disappear?

Or is it just his way or making nice?

Anyway, I could totally identify with Kerry, wondering, what's this guy up to? Is he messing with me? Or has something stolen his brain?

I also really enjoyed that scene with the screwts. So clever, so well done. So in character for Hagrid to call those monstrosities "cute." I loved the way Kerri pulled her class together. (I always imagined 6th year, NEWT level classes being mixed because of the limited numbers, but who knows?)

I am glad Kerri and Remus are sort of back to normal. I just hope this won't be a terrible disappointment for Snape.

Author's Response: Hey -- I know have the first Charlaine Harris book in my possession. But book four of the Green Rider series comes out tomorrow so that has to come first. And also book...I forget which number...of the Chronicles of Elantra. But it's definitely on my list.

Snape has spent time getting to know Roland and thinks that Kerri should dump Remus and take up with him instead. Roland is the wizarding world's version of a doctor and doesn't everyone want their daughter or sister to marry a doctor? Snape has decided that this is the solution to the werewolf problem and most likely thinks he's being subtle and sneaky about it although from the reviews I've gotten from this chapter, it looks like 90 percent of my readers have figured him out.

I hadn't considered that those NEWT level classes might be smaller, but you're probably right now that I think about it. I envision them getting even smaller after Hagrid took over, although Kerri probably has more luck getting students to sign up for her class since ordinarily she doesn't make them play with skrewts.

Oh poor Snape. Well, he has a little ray of hope in Roland. In his mind, there's no rational reason for Kerri not to dump Remus in favor of Roland. He does have other things to worry about now though because his dark mark is becoming more prominent and "Moody" is driving him nuts.

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Review #6, by Bella_PortiaRunning With Wolves : The Journals and Correspondences of Cerridwyn Lupin (Year 4): When Nobility Meets Stupidity

16th January 2011:
So much for going back and getting up to date with all the past chapters I never got to reviewing.

I loved the scene with the two girls. I always enjoy the way you take minor characters -- often ones, like Eloise, that readers don't particularly notice -- and make them full, three-dimensional characters. It meshed with the tiny bit in canon about Eloise (that she was so desperate about her acne she tried to curse it) -- it fits with the introverted, self-conscious little girl you set in your story. That she's a knitter is also quite in character -- a quiet, homey thing that she could do by herself when the more social kids were out doing stuff. Actually, she and Hermione have a bit in common. It makes sense that the would bond.

I heard her say to Snape recently, "It's starting to look like Moody thinks you're up to something. You didn't kill anyone, did you?"

Mad magazine used to have a feature called "Mad's snappy answers to stupid questions -- and that line of Vector's brought it to mind, because you know Snape would have had a Snappy Answer:

--- "Why, did you finally decide that if you couldn't have Mr. Filch, no one could, and you wanted someone with experience to do the job?"
--- "If I told you, I'd have to kill you. Actually, come to think of it, why don't you shut the door and have a seat."

I enjoyed the detailed exposition of the animagus process in the scene with McGonagall.

I am definitely NOT warming up to Vashti. I think I was for about a nanosecond, but it passed. Send her to Wales or something. Or put her on the British version of American Idol. Anything.

The chapter with Roland was interesting and fun to read, but what's up with Roland? Kerri remind him of his sister? Gay? He certainly seems disinterested in anything but a platonic relationship. Conversely, Remus just seems sort of passive aggressive. He won't be gracious about Kerri's male friend, won't disclose his own feelings, and just sort of punishes her by being morose but refusing to talk about it. Jerk.

As always, I look forward to more.

Author's Response: I brought Eloise into the story for a few reasons. Partly to build on Cedric's character and relationship with Kerri, since he was the one who found her in distress. Partly because I can use her to develop Hermione's character too. We don't see her interact with very many girls in canon do we? She's usually just hanging out with the boys. She was also thrown in for humor's sake (poor girl) and to show Kerri interacting with her students (which I don't do as much as I'd like). I think I'll probably continue to include her on occasion if things go as planned. I want Kerri to gradually amass a group of admiring students, sort of like Slughorn had his little followers.

It's probably fortunate that Snape doesn't say half of the things that he thinks of saying. He'd have gotten killed a long time ago otherwise. Knowing how to keep his mouth shut and hide his true feelings is one of his talents. He needs to teach it to Kerri before Umbridge takes over the school.

McGonagall's part wasn't strictly necessary but I wanted to throw in a little background information about her.

Vashti can go on the wizarding version of American Idol where she will be judged by "Singing Sorceress Celestina Warbeck." And then get arrested for ripping Celestina's hair out by the roots when she votes her off the show.

Roland's not gay. He's just a nice guy who knows that Kerri is taken and doesn't want to interfere with that. Although if I feel that the story needs livening up I can always change that. I don't want it to turn into a Edward--Bella--Jacob type triangle though.

The new chapter is up. Remus does talk about his feelings and of course, there's a scene with Snape that I told you was coming. I'm going to have them make up in the chapter after that and am really looking forward to it. We're about up to Oct 31 - Nov 1 which is when the delegates from the other schools arrive and Harry gets chosen as champion. Really looking forward to writing this next chapter which I do have a small start on already.

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Review #7, by Bella_PortiaRunning With Wolves : The Journals and Correspondences of Cerridwyn Lupin (Year 4): Sirius Black

27th December 2010:
Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.

I read this right after you posted it but didn't feel up to writing a review. I think it's a wonderful characterization. The dialogue you give Sirius is right in character. The image of him putting away that ham, and of Kerri pouring out her heart -- so nicely done.

I had an image of a patronus cat fight between McGonagall's tough old cat and Umbridge's cute little kitten. Nice little insight, since those two were always going at it in OOP.

This was a wonderful chapter. I look forward to more.


Author's Response: Have you seen the emails I sent you on Facebook? Has a package of homemade cookies showed up at your PO box yet? I'm getting worried about them.

This scene was a pre-written one and the only one I've had to almost completely re-write. Originally I hadn't planned on Kerri and Remus having problems in their relationship at this point so that meant changing much of the conversation. (I'm actually thinking of posting another pre-written scene soon in appreciation for all you people sticking with me since chapters have been coming so slowly).

The boys could bet on the outcome of that cat fight. It would be safe to bet on McGonagall because you know she'd win.

Glad you liked the chapter. Getting ready to go work on the next one right now.

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Review #8, by Bella_PortiaRunning With Wolves : The Journals and Correspondences of Cerridwyn Lupin (Year 4): The Chinese Fireball

26th November 2010:
I was surprised to see this posted on Thanksgiving. I thought you'd surely be far too busy.

This will be short; I'm gonna try to avoid falling farther behind.

The descriptions, as they portrayed not only the dragons (beautiful on the intricate reds of the Fireball!) but Kerri's wonder and affection for them, was wonderful. Loved, also, the really clever suspense, as Kerri and Charlie rushed to get the eggs all checked before the mother's heartbeat reached 30 bpm and she woke up. I shuddered to think of them accio'ing a delicate egg.

Who was Gideon? Was that a typo, or did Tonks' ex get in with the crowd?

I liked the way you handle Kerri's ambivalence with Roland. You get the feeling that she feels guilty because she probably dreams about him.

I am very glad to see that she and Snape are re-aligning; and you are doing a great job plotting it. I thought the bit where she lied about him breaking into her lab was an outstanding development. Also, I am so intrigued by those flowers. (I thought Draco's spelling was better than that, if he's the one who wrote the note. On the other hand, if it was Pansy, the spelling is a little too good.)

I'm looking forward to reading the meeting of Kerri and Sirius Black.

Happy Thanksgiving to you.

Author's Response: Just sent you an email today.

The dragon part is another one of those scenes that isn't strictly necessary to the story but was fun to do just to add onto the wizarding world.

You're the second person to catch the Gideon typo. I think the problem is that I picture Gideon and Roland as looking somewhat alike. I kept doing that over and over again and thought I'd fixed them all but evidently not.

I have absolutely got to get back to work on this story. I haven't touched it in the last week. I'm trying to get back into the groove of things and map the timeline out in my mind again. One thing I'm really thinking about is Snape and Kerri's reconciliation which already does exist as a detached scene that I wrote some time ago. I know for certain that it will happen before December and since this is now October it ought to be coming somewhat soon. Finally. Things are so much more fun with him around.

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Review #9, by Bella_PortiaRunning With Wolves : The Journals and Correspondences of Cerridwyn Lupin (Year 4): The Great Canary Caper

14th November 2010:
I was actually worried about you, because you are never late with your stories. Glad to hear you're registered in school, and best of luck with that.

I think I owe you about ten reviews, but anyway . . .

Someone slipped some to my friend Charlie as a joke and he fell in love with Professor Snape and proposed to him in class I'm sorry, but this cries out for elaboration. How very funny! Someone must have really disliked poor Charlie.

I think of healers being rather like doctors, that is, brighter than average, because they have to qualify for, and complete, intellectually rigorous training. But then, the sparring match with the Whomping Willow sort of cuts against that idea.

Kudos for making that vignette out of the Canary Cream bit. Really clever. (I would have thought turning people into canaries against their will would be pretty dangerous. for one thing, some students have cats as pets.) I liked Kerri's rather droll reaction to it all.

I really enjoyed seeing Mary Ann again, and, particularly, seeing her at a differnt stage in her life, older and having the benefit of being raised by people who care about her. The bits about Tonks the Auror, and about Mary Ann learning to drive -- I mean, Apparate -- were very enjoyable.

I hope you're going to do something about that Rita Skeeter.

Author's Response: Well, originally I was going to have Charlie propose to Professor Sprout but then I decided that if I was going to do it, I might as well go all the way and have it be Snape instead. It's no wonder Snape hates his job so much.

Yes, I think of the healers as doctors too, but Roland is a young male and young males aren't always wrapped quite right. He would balance Kerri out a bit because she's serious so much of the time and he's more the fun loving adventurous type.

Canary cremes.I was setting this scene up back at the Burrow when Fred and George were trying to slip something to Kerri in a cinnamon roll. Hopefully the canary cremes actually taste good. I've been thinking of that aspect of Fred and George's business. They have to actually be making the candies themselves unless they're buying them from somewhere else and then doing magic on them. I can't picture Fred and George cooking somehow.

I would love to fix Rita Skeeter one day. I think about it every time I'm listening to the year 4 cd. Fenrir Grayback and Dolores Umbridge are at the top of my list of people-I'd-love-to-take-apart. Bellatrix would be in there too but Mrs. Weasley is going to take care of that for me. I think it would be fun to turn Umbridge into a werewolf and force her to live under her own anti-werewolf laws. For Fenrir, I'd like to let Kerri get a few minutes alone with him. For Rita Skeeter, I'm not sure yet.

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Review #10, by Bella_PortiaRunning With Wolves : The Journals and Correspondences of Cerridwyn Lupin (Year 4): The Quidditch World Cup, Part 2

16th October 2010:
This was, like the one before it, a really exciting, action-packed chapter. Great, the part where Kerri makes Kincaid stop and change directions.

George's sarcasm was all George, but he's lucky he didn't get knocked upside the head. It must have struck the adults as a tad unseemly.

The scene with good old Fenrir -- you do get a lot of mileage out of him -- was interesting and telling. Big bad wolf, indeed. And, it seems as though Kerri is a chip off the old block on both sides. No wonder Voldemort chose to pick on Kerri's mother -- he was probably afraid he might not walk away from a fight with Kincaid.

I can understand Kerri being exasperated at the kids' ignorance. Aren't their history books supposed to cover the Wizarding War period? Even if their parents don't sit them down and draw a picture for them.

I liked the way you created a plot: were the bad guys after Harry? The Malfoys were DEs and they knew he was there and what he looked like. I also liked the way you maintained suspense until the end, when Mr. Weasley finally turned up with Harry et al.

Really fine chapter.

Author's Response: Thanks.

I decided to bring Fenrir in for a little added tension. We all know what happens with the canon narration but Fenrir brought some extra uncertainty. Also, we haven't seen much of him lately and I thought that it was time. Harry has Voldemort to play with but Kerri has Fenrir.

The kids probably do learn about the Dark Mark and the Death Eaters and Lord--Whatever-His-Name is in school. The problem is that Binns is the teacher and no one ever listens.

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Review #11, by Bella_PortiaRunning With Wolves : The Journals and Correspondences of Cerridwyn Lupin (Year 4): The Quidditch World Cup, Part 1

9th October 2010:
First of all, that was a terrific first paragraph.

This chapter has a really great flow. It is funny (for instance, the Malfoys and their peacocks); the characterizations are spot on (Percy in particular), and the action just keeps moving. Indeed, it seems like Kerri just keeps moving throught the time that this chapter covers. It is never static.

It's also a really visual chapter --- you can "see" the actions.

My note says "poor peacocks." Not their fault they belong to the Malfoys. Instead of plucking their feathers, perhaps Kincaid should go to the source and perform a baldness curse on Lucius.

Great chapter.

Author's Response: Thanks.

This chapter was a lot of fun to write. It seems like the ones I enjoyed writing the most are usually the ones that people like reading the most.

There is actually a part in GOF where it's mentioned that there is a tent that has peacocks in the front yard. I remembered from DH that the Malfoys had peacocks and decided to accuse them of being the culprits at the World Cup. (Though they probably bribed the Ministry not to notice their peacocks just as Kincaid bribed them not to notice his castle).

And I can't believe you wan the Howards to make Malfoy go bald. I thought you liked the Malfoys. I bet you and Lucius even have matching Slytherin socks !

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Review #12, by Bella_PortiaRunning With Wolves : The Journals and Correspondences of Cerridwyn Lupin (Year 4): Girl Talk

6th October 2010:
So Charlie was stuck without a Designated Apparator, and splinched himself (a great idea). But, what happened to Tonks? Wasn't she supposed to make sure the boys got home okay? Splinched, and with a hangover -- poor Charlie.

On the other hand, what's up with him implying that Kerri spent the night with someone she barely knew? First Snape with the unwarranted sexual innuendo, then Charlie. He deserved having her sic Mrs. Weasley on him.

Spiking cinnamon rolls with Skelegro? I realize you didn't say they actually did it, but what a ghastly idea. And, whatever was wrong with the rolls, they tried to get Kerri (of all people) to eat it? The twins must have a death wish, because I don't think she'd take it well.

In the scene with Tonks:
"They must pay Aurors -- even young ones --very good." You may have left off a word -- "very good wages" or, in the alternative, "very well".

It seemed a little unusual for Tonks to be the voice of reason as to what Kerri should do about her relationship with Remus. This advice leads nicely into Kerri's later moves with respect to Remus. Also, the little bit of information -- that she'd offered Remus her old place for nothing, but he'd refused it -- was insightful as to both Tonks, a generous character, and Remus.

And, BTW, I expect sexual innuendo from Tonks, but with the understanding that she is not quite serious.

The scene with Hermione opened the door onto Hermione's private life. (Marshmallow? Poor kid.) I completely believed her mother (Beth Granger, DDS.) and the actions between her and her daughter.

Author's Response: Oh you know Tonks, she'd probably moved off to another party by the time the Weasleys were ready to go. I doubt Bill and Charlie can keep up with her.

Charlie does somewhat think of himself as a brother to Kerri. There was a letter way back when Kerri first started dating Remus where he said something about how he'd have to come and check Remus over to make sure he was okay. Charlie reminds me a bit of my brother-in-law actually who is also kind of a goodnatured, blustering idiot.

It's not skelegrow in the rolls. But this is the year that Fred and George began seriously planning their joke shop. They haven't started paying first years to test their inventions yet so they're resorting to other ways of having them tested. Canary creme?

It is unusual for Tonks to come up with good advice but she can't be completely reckless and flighty all the time. Really, she's just boiling things down to common place terms. Are you going to be happy without him? No? Then you'll just have to deal with it.

Poor little marshmallow Hermione. We don't know much about her life before Hogwarts or about her parents either. I'd have liked to have done more with this, but could only take it so far. Maybe another time.

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Review #13, by Bella_PortiaRunning With Wolves : The Journals and Correspondences of Cerridwyn Lupin (Year 4): Roland

6th October 2010:
I am now trying to begin to get caught up. Reading and reviewing your stories is good for my stress level. I need to keep reminding myself of that.

I thought the dialogue on the trip to Howards was very well done. You have a knack for creating dialogue. "Dart the Death Eater" -- brilliant! As was the shading on the character of old Kincaid when he appears. He's the annoying, hard-line extremist relative, nearly always wrong about just about everything, who still has a core of humor and humanity.

Designated Apparator? What a really clever idea.

The scene with Rhys was also fun to read. Kind of nice to see Kerry getting out. She's a witty chick. Her constant worries about turning into Snape were kind of funny, because they are so completely different.


Author's Response: Thanks.

Maybe my ability to do dialogue comes from working on it while I'm doing papers. It's a couple of hours alone in the car where I can think out the story which usually takes the form of imagining bits of dialogue. I honestly don't remember where Dart the Death Eater came from. I think it was a last minute addition as I was writing. Won't Kincaid have fun when they all escape Azkaban? He'll have Death Eater posters all over the walls.

Designated apparator kind of made sense to me. (And we all know that Charlie failed his apparition test in the first place).

Snape and Kerri do have some similarities. We just don't see them much anymore because they spend all their time hating each other. I'm going to use "Moody" to reunite them though and I'm starting to work on that now.

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Review #14, by Bella_PortiaRunning With Wolves : The Journals and Correspondences of Cerridwyn Lupin (Year 4): High Hopes

5th September 2010:
I particularly liked the bit about Moody, especially the realization that she and Snape have more in common than Kerry would like to admit.

I originally read this at the office, and when I came to the part about the leaked farts, it was all I could do to keep from laughing out loud. (I think I was alone, fortunately.) It was just hysterical, and really Fred-and-George. I could so imagine them doing that to Percy.

By the way, I thought you did a nice job with Percy, both his prissy attitude and everyone's reactions to him. Poor Percy. With his personality, and the family's reaction to it, you can almost see why he turns out the way he does.

I thought the scene with Sophia was very interesting. It gave Kerri a chance to talk about her deeper feelings about Remus. I thought it was a very good device to give the reader a greater sense of her motives and character -- and also, to a lesser extent, those of Remus.

Author's Response: Kerri and Snape are often on the same wavelength and I kind of think that's going to come out more in this story. They have their mutual dislike of 'Moody' now and also the problem of Snape's dark mark returning so they'll be working together again soon.

As I've been writing these scenes with Percy, I've been feeling a bit sorry for him too. It's occurred to me that everyone is a bit hard on him so maybe it is little wonder that he ended up like he did. I think that with the exception of Mrs. Weasley, no one in the family gave him much approval.

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Review #15, by Bella_PortiaRunning With Wolves : The Journals and Correspondences of Cerridwyn Lupin (Year 4): The Staff Luncheon

3rd September 2010:
It seems odd to have little 13 year old Ginny talking to Kerri like a peer. Come to think of it, she talks to her a lot like Mary Ann did.

I very much liked the scene with the two children at Fortesque's. I have seen scenes almost exactly like the one you described.

". . . unimpressed by either his looks or his manners . . ." Really? She sounded impressed a few paragraphs back.

The description with of the staff luncheon was (as usual) a lot of fun, with everyone in character. Septima is, once agan, so wonderfully cringe-inducing. The little vignette of Filch cluelessly carrying on -- of course, he had a good chance of getting what he wanted if he only made a good presentation -- was great.

I loved your imagining of the way the presentation of the Tri-Wizard Tasks went down. Mme. Pomfrey would react to the dragons just about the way she did.

And the entrance of Moody -- the real one -- poor Snape must have nearly -- well, you know. How very disconcerting for him. Wonderful moment. I thought Dumbledore's explanation for bringing in his old associate was well done and made a lot of sense.

I liked Rhys a lot. He should make Remus think twice.

I enjoyed this chapter a lot.

Author's Response: Does Ginny sound too old for her age or is it just the way she talks to Kerri? Kerri has slept over at the Weasley's before so that makes it easier for Ginny to think of her as a friend rather than a teacher.

The scene at Fortesque's was taken from real life. It happened with my niece at a buffet when she was about five years old. She tripped on her way back from the ice cream machine and the bowl rolled one way and the ice cream another.

Kerri's thoughts about Roland will be completely mixed throughout the year. He's everything that Gilderoy Lockhart tried to be but wasn't. It's kind of hard not to be aware of a guy like that.

I like writing staff luncheon scenes and Kerri-Tonks talking about relationships scenes. It's kind of a shame I don't use Vector more often because she's so much fun to play with.

You're right -- this is the real Moody. A few people have been confused between the two and thought this was the fake one. It doesn't really matter because Kerri and Snape don't like either one and it's that mutual dislike that will ally them to one another again.

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Review #16, by Bella_PortiaRunning With Wolves : The Journals and Correspondences of Cerridwyn Lupin (Year 3): Weasel, Kneazle and Butterfly

27th August 2010:
This was an outstanding chapter. The final scene with Remus -- and I'm including the whole long scene, from the artificial cave to the bedroom -- was crafted into a perfect transition in their relationship. We knew it was coming, of course. But I just thought you worked it out beautifully, and touchingly, and in a truly inventive meshing of your story with the canon story.

I wondered about the moment when Mme. Pomfrey said she was going to see Severus. I had visions of his barely surviving the encounter -- I imagined Mme. Pomfrey letting him have it. (Perhaps that's why he was so subdued when Kerri saw him.)

The moment with the butterfly and the AK spell was just perfect.

Author's Response: Thanks.

Some people thought this chapter was a bit boring after the last one because they felt that I glossed over the canon events. I did that on purpose because everyone has read the books and I felt it would be redundant. Also, I don't like to re-stage canon scenes (like where Harry tries to convince Remus to stay) because of the rules about quoting. So I focused on Kerri and Remus and went for emotion rather than action.

Yes, maybe Madam Pomfrey has had Snape cornered somewhere, shaking her finger at him.

And finally Kerri can do the spell. Which will no doubt come in handy in the years to come.

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Review #17, by Bella_PortiaRunning With Wolves : The Journals and Correspondences of Cerridwyn Lupin (Year 4): Irresolute

25th August 2010:
Wonderful opening chapter.
You really gave Ms. Howard, Kerri's mother, a nice little scene (especially considering that it was a flashback). She is a character that I have come to like more and more.

The scene at The Burrow was absolutely charming. You captured those Weasleys and their inter-relationships. Percy is certainly his own prissy self. Mr. Weasley getting a little simple enjoyment out of feeding the gnomes was lovely. I thought you nailed the twins.

I still owe you a review for the last chapter of year 3.

Author's Response: I'm kind of trying to repair inadvertent damage to Kerri's mother's popularity. In the past I've actually had some readers ask me to kill her off so whenever I get the chance I try to develop her character more to hopefully change some of those opinions.

I've had varying opinions on the twins. Victoria thought their behavior was too over the top.

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Review #18, by Bella_PortiaRunning With Wolves : The Journals and Correspondences of Cerridwyn Lupin (Year 3): Hippogriff, Centaur and Werewolf

25th August 2010:
Your description of Hagrid was so enormously touching, was he prepared for Buckbeak's nearing execution. The way you handled his inability to process, the way things had to be repeated to him, really underscored his state of mind.

The part about the two dogs was lovely and absolutely true.

I could just imagine the chagrin of the Three when they realized that Hagrid had a visitor who'd witnessed them under the Invisibility Cloak. Nice, the way you (like JKR in the book) noted, but underplayed, the finding of Scabbers.

You could feel poor Kerri's stress while all this was going on.

Good point about Fudge. What, indeed, was he doing there with all he had on his plate? I think you are the first one to make this point.

The scene with Kerri asking Hagrid to walk her down the aisle was very touching (apparently, Kerri had relaxed a bit by then).

The scene with August was actually pretty shocking. And I knew it was coming. I even knew what happened to Buckbeak.

The scene that follows -- with Dumbledore and Snape -- is an exciting jolt, a complete change of pace, and rather invigorating. (So much fun to see Kerri and Severus at it again!)

The section with the centaurs was outstanding. Athena is a wonderful character -- I think she rules the centaurs, except she makes sure the males donít know it. And Kerri finally came through with the AK spell.

This was a great chapter, with lots of substance.

I'm so sorry it took me so long to get this up.

Author's Response: Where in the heck have you been? I was getting ready to send an email. Victoria told me about the accident. Is it going to prevent you from going to Universal next month?

By the way, I'm on Facebook if you're interested. I don't use it much but I have some pictures and things and since elderlies is gone now, at least we can keep in touch. I'm in there among Victoria's friends, which would probably be the easiest way for you to find me. You know what my real name is, right?

You read a part of this chapter once before I think when I previewed it at elderlies. It's one of my favorites because of the scene in the forest. It was my favorite of all my pre-written scenes.

Hagrid's part was easy for me to do because at the time, I thought one of my cats was dying. I wasn't really planning to go into detail with that part until my cat got sick and then it just came naturally. Also, the story about the two dogs was taken from reality. They belonged to my next door neighbors.

Kerri's an adult so I guess she would be more alert to taxpayer money being wasted by the Minister of Magic attending a hippogriff beheading. He couldn't catch Sirius so I guess he wanted to show that he had Buckbeak in hand...sort of. Kind of. Almost?

This will be Snape and Kerri's last major fight for a while. Hopefully the last major one ever. Right now in year 4 they're just sort of ignoring each other although they both already seem to share the same opinion about Moody. (Either one)

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Review #19, by Bella_PortiaRunning With Wolves : The Journals and Correspondences of Cerridwyn Lupin (Year 3): Tying Loose Ends

14th July 2010:
In your world, does Voldemort know that Snape is his son? Do any of his followers? No, I'm not asking you to tell me anything I'm not suppposed to know, yet. The reason I'm asking is -- I do so hope that you include a scene where ancestry-conscious Franklin, who treats Kerri like she's barely worth the time of day, finds out who she's related to. It would be so priceless.

I thought the "plotting" scene between Kerri and August was brilliant -- nicely written, cleverly thought out, very logical. I could just picture the timely entrance of Cedric. The following scene with Cedric was very funny. Hufflepuffs with ice cream -- sounds about right. I liked the line about Ravenclaws and complex math equations; figured that Cedric wouldn't be sure it was a joke.

I always enjoy the Kerri/Severus banter. I'm waiting for them to get back together, so to speak.

Great scene with Remus. The Rita Skeeter book about Gilderoy -- lovely touch.

Author's Response: Voldemort knows Snape is his. I've left it open as to whether or not his followers do in the event that I want to use that as part of the plot later. I'm not sure who or how many people will eventually know about Kerri, although several more people will by the end of year 4. (Harry and friends, the Weasleys). I'm not sure yet about the Death Eaters although probably some of them will. I'm not sure that Franklin will live that long though as I do have definite plans for his demise. (Year 5)

Ravenclaws probably don't joke much so maybe Cedric is to be forgiven for his confusion. Probably most of them are a lot like Percy who evidently thinks he's smart enough to be a Ravenclaw, but clearly wasn't. (Shame on me. That's not nice)

There are a couple of hugely ugly fights left for Snape and Kerri before the end of the story. It ends with her threatening him within an inch of his life.

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Review #20, by Bella_PortiaRunning With Wolves : The Journals and Correspondences of Cerridwyn Lupin (Year 3): Kerri's Decision

12th July 2010:
Nice scene at the Howards' store. What was particularly interesting (I thought) was the suggestion that Dolores Umbridge might be using Dementors to abuse the werewolves. Hm . . . doesn't Dolores have a thing for using Dementors as a tool, as is demonstrated a couple of novels down the line? Interesting bit of foreshadowing.

The scene between Kerri and Hagrid was a wonderful scene. It illuminated both of their characters, as well as their relationship. Hagrid's willingness to hold himself responsible for everything -- I thought you hit the nail on the head, as far as describing that self-deprecating aspect of his character. Also, the protective, absolute refusal to allow Kerri to put herself in harm's way showed how deeply he felt for her. Really nicely done.

Author's Response: Yes, Umbridge likes the dementors doesn't she? I think it would be fun to throw her to the dementors. That, or let Fenrir get hold of her and force her to live under her own anti-werewolf laws.

Hagrid is strongly contrasted with August here. August ignores his possibly pregnant girlfriend in favor of the animals. Hagrid is willing to sacrifice an animal in favor of protecting Kerri from possible arrest.

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Review #21, by Bella_PortiaRunning With Wolves : The Journals and Correspondences of Cerridwyn Lupin (Year 3): August is a Weasel

12th July 2010:
I have a lot to catch up on. I can't believe this "volume" is almost over.

I absolutely loved this chapter. While I was waiting to find out if I passed a certain professional examination, I did volunteer work as a pregnancy counselor for a well-known group of women's clinics. I suppose most women find the subject engrossing, but I certainly do. I enjoyed reading about Tonk's predicament -- which I did not see coming -- and her discussion with Kerri. Your description of Tonks' emotions, and the dialogue you gave her, rang very true to life. I just thought the whole section was very well done.

Loved the Juno Women's Clinic. Was it named as an homage to Juno, the movie and the character? (As well as naming it after the goddess, of course.)

I always thought August was a bit -- too preoccupied about the animals, too self-centered. Weasel is kind of kind, at least in my opinion. Jerk. I loved that you made his patronus a cow.

Not to pass over the beginning: I very much enjoyed the scene with Flitwick (I love this character, and he doesn't get used enough), where he and Kerri talk about Luna. Luna is such a sweetheart of a character, it is good that she gets this sort of attention.

Wonderful chapter. Catching up . . .

Author's Response: Sorry it's taken so long for me to catch up on reviews. My car was broken into so I've been dealing with that.

I can't believe the end of this story is already here either. It was a very weird feeling when I started a chapter and went to put it in the Year 3 file before realizing that it's time to start a brand new file for Year 4. It seems like the ending sneaked up on me.

Everyone keeps asking about the symbolism behind the name of the clinic. It's named for the goddess, not the movie. I had a feeling when I gave it that name that it would raise a lot of questions.

I made August's patronus a cow because cows are associated with nurturing, etc. and that fits with how he relates to animals since he is very protective of them. Unfortunately, his priorities are not in the best order and the animals come first above everything else. (And also it was kind of funny to make it a cow too)

When I sent Kerri to Hogwarts, I really wanted to work on deepening the characterization of some of the other staff members like Flitwick. That's one goal I haven't met at all. There were just too many other plot threads going on to have time for it. Maybe in the next one.

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Review #22, by Bella_PortiaRunning With Wolves : The Journals and Correspondences of Cerridwyn Lupin (Year 3): Power Struggles in Werewolf Land

12th July 2010:
How do you pickle eels' eyes? I suppose you prepare a brine solution, then put a limited number of eyes into it, then seal it. It's been years since I've made cucumber pickles, but I suppose it's the same principle.

The scene with Severus was hilarious. I imagined Cedric looking back and forth between them, like at a tennis match (have I already written that about another scene?)

The part where Kerri astutely suggests that August's information about Lucius Malfoy may be libelous was very clever. It would have been fun to read Cedric's interview with Lucius, but -- sigh! All in all, a very fine section.

Vashti is starting to grow on me. Once again: sigh. I so much enjoyed hating her.

The inter (intra?) werewolf feud was a fun scene to read. No surprise who had the upper hand. So to speak.

Voldemort started being a wacko when he was still as student, so anything going on between him and Dumbledore would have been serously inappropriate. (Not that the word is in Tommy Riddle's vocabulary.)

Remus truly is an amazingly diplomatic character. (Hard to reconcile with the guy who wanted to run out on his wife in DH -- as I think I've said before, I kind of like yours better.)

Author's Response: I've been missing you. I'm down to the last two chapters now -- the conclusion goes up next week.

In the south we have picked pig's feet so maybe you do the eels the same way.

You might have made the tennis analogy before...I'm not sure. Probably in reference to these two again. The conclusion ends with the two of them, watching Remus leave. One final ugly little encounter. They'll make friends again next year.

I wouldn't have minded reading Cedric's interview either. I could still include it I suppose, but then I'd have to come up with the rest of the essay too. Or maybe I could just find a pretense for quoting that one part. I'm sure that one little part would make Kerri absolutely furious. She'd have to comment on it.

Some people still don't like Vashti much. I never planned for her to be a villain because she wouldn't be the type to join Voldemort. She's not evil, just irritating. I can't ever see her being friends with Kerri though, no matter what happens in the future.

That rumor about Voldemort and Dumbledore is just crap anyway. Maybe one of Rita Skeeter's fabrications? In a few chapters she's published another book, just a small detail but I had fun inventing it. Part of the title is "Gilderoy Gone Ga-Ga," so no one ever really escapes her, not even locked up in St. Mungo's.

I think that Rowling had Remus acting out of character in the last book. Maybe she wanted some extra drama? His behavior in the other books was always solidly responsible and dependable. Why would his personality suddenly change? It didn't make sense to me at all. I don't think I'm being biased because he's my favorite character. I know that he has flaws and Kerri points some of them out in the last chapter. "You're just feeling sorry for yourself and hiding it behind morals" or something like that. I wrote it, but I don't recall the exact quote. Oh well.

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Review #23, by Bella_PortiaRunning With Wolves : The Journals and Correspondences of Cerridwyn Lupin (Year 3): Loyalty is a Hufflepuff Trait

25th June 2010:
While Kerri's inner turmoil is the plot-point that moves this chapter, I thought the heart of it was the scene between Kerri and Luna. It was sweet and scary, in the sense that it really displayed the acuteness of Luna's intelligence and why she is in Ravenclaw, and eccentric and true to character.

I also thought it was clever (and really welcome) the way you introduced the idea of Xenophilus, and his magazine, and a possible market for Mary Ann's photographs. I particularly liked the way you tied in the whole werewolf notion -- ingenious!

I'm sorry this is so short. I am trying to get caught up, and I just don't have much time any more.

Author's Response: One person thought that this chapter didn't have much action but I was meant to be more of a psychological chapter than an action one. It's about Kerri having to make a moral decision that will of course have some effect on the canon events at the end. (I'm working on the chapter where she makes her final decision right now. Which reminds me, I was supposed to proof-read one today too, and forgot).

I'm thinking about sending Kerri to meet Xenophilius sometime next year. So far I don't have the fine details figured out though. It depends on how much time I have to devote to each plot line. I think that the canon events are possibly going to take precedence this time around.

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Review #24, by Bella_PortiaRunning With Wolves : The Journals and Correspondences of Cerridwyn Lupin (Year 3): Pansies and Weasels

25th June 2010:
I must hand it to you, getting all that mileage out of those Monster Books of Monsters. Very clever! I also really liked the collective characterization of the Hufflepuffs. Complimentary and true.

The scene with Severus and Kerri made me impatient to see them patch up their differences. Very nice scene.

Fudge and pizza. Both times I read that -- it made me feel stuffed just to picture the combination. This was also a very good scene, in the way it brought Kerri's feelings to the surface.

Author's Response: There's a Harry Potter video game where you have to battle Monster Books. Maybe that's where the idea came from. (Haven't played that in a long time). I'm trying to decide now what to have the prankster leave outside Snape's door next year.
(Harry Potter, bound and gagged maybe?)

I am plotting Kerri and Snape's eventual reconciliation. It's coming in year 4. I'm doing a lot of work in preparation for year four now. This story has between 5-10 chapters left to go. I have the new banner made but I need to write a synopsis.

Fudge and pizza. I could do it. My mother says I should enjoy having a young stomach while I can.

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Review #25, by Bella_PortiaRunning With Wolves : The Journals and Correspondences of Cerridwyn Lupin (Year 3): Buckbeak's Appeal or Protesters Gone Wild

3rd June 2010:
First of all, really good beginning to this chapter. You can just feel poor Kerri's frustration.

I just always knew August had his head up his . . . . , even if only a little bit. Remember back when he seemed to be micromanaging Tonks? Too much!

I really like the way you are filling out Cedric's character. I believe I've already said that, but I'll say it again. You show the kid that JKR hints at. "If Buckbeak dies, it's going to be Hagrid's fault." Really, what a jerk!

The scene with Remus and Basil and Kerri was really quite delightful. But I can see it building toward a possible problem over that mundane little problem, money. Is that line of Remus's, about it being a problem where members of a couple have different ideas about money, a bit of foreshadowing?

I thought this was a really nicely written chapter.

Author's Response: Wow, you're early this week, aren't you?

I knew you would be happy to see Kerri having to restrain herself from strangling August. His time is limited now. I'm about to start writing the month of May so all the loose ends need to be resolved soon. Actually, it's time for me to start thinking of having a banner made for year four. I can't believe how fast this story is concluding. Year 3 canon ends with the first week of June.

Kerri and Remus are getting ready to have some very serious relationship problems, but it's actually not going to be money. This story is going to end with Kerri trying to decide whether to leave him or not. I can't resist a dramatic ending.

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