Reading Reviews From Member: long_live_luna_bellatrix
  
613 Reviews Found

Review #26, by long_live_luna_bellatrixIn Crimson Ink: April 3rd, 2024

18th July 2012:
Wow, you've totally sucked me into this in just 1300 words. You would have had me at the beginning, when it was clear something huge had happened to Lily and you clearly weren't going to give anything away, but it just kept getting better. You got a fairly good amount of background information in, you showed that Lily had a pretty good relationship with her brothers, and just generally made me curious as heck. ;)

But the best part was the ending. By about halfway through the chapter, I understood the beginnings of what was going on with Lily, and thought I knew that you were going to leave it there. So imagine my surprise (and delight) when you bring up this mysterious "him" that changes everything! That added the perfect second layer to the story, and complex stories blow two-dimensional ones out of the water every time. (I just compared layers to complexity to dimensions, but you get the picture.)

The ending completely caught me by surprise, not only because of its content, but because it came on so fast. Don't get me wrong, I loved it where it was, and you did transition into it. But I don't know, it still came on a little strong for me. I think I would have liked another short paragraph between the last and second to last ones. Then again, if you had done that, the last sentence might not have had its impact. So I'm split. Maybe I was just reading it so fast I had to do a double take. ;)

Either way, great start to a story, you can bet I'll be reading on.

Author's Response: I can't even tell you how much these reviews mean to me. Wow. Made my day/week/year! THank you so much for taking the time to leave such thoughtful reviews. You were definitely one of the first authors I looked up to when I joined, and getting these reviews has just blown me away ♥

I'm really glad you liked the prologue :D I love a sense of mystery in the first chapter so I tried to hint enough that you would be curious, and I'm glad that you were. Background is always fun to write, so I had to throw that in as well :D

I debated a lot about the ending, actually. I never actually meant for "him" to be such a secret, but people really loved that :P And that is a huge compliment! Wow. So in awe of that. I'm all about subplots in this particular story, so sque! :D

Yeah, and I did think a lot about the ending. I completely see where you're coming from with that. It is a bit quick, but I like shorter prologues so I wanted to end it quickly. It's worth a read through though, to see if I could soften that transition at all. Thank you again for this loveeely review :D You should have seen my face when I woke up to two lovely long review from you; I still haven't stopped smiling :P

-Naida


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Review #27, by long_live_luna_bellatrixThe Song of Silence: Fragments, Not Yet Lost

4th July 2012:
Ah, there are so, so many things I could talk about here. I read it this morning, let it sink in, then came back and reread it just to see where things stood. Things stand very well. ;)

I suppose the biggest piece of the story, for me, was the emotion it evoked. Sitting here, all I feel is a deep, deep wistfulness for Dorcas and Sirius. You introduced them gently, and through her words and his thoughts I became attached to them with ease. I know, it was clear that it wasn't going to be a happy story with peaches and cream and singing fairies, I could see what path it would take, but I was still disappointed by Dorcas's death. She was such a likable person (and I see your literature knowledge reflected in her).

There were so many human bits to this: the part I'm thinking about is when Sirius reads that she would have kissed him, that time, and he wished he'd known. Except then he admitted to himself that he really had known, had just hesitated, and I was crushed for him. That's pretty darn relatable.

Then there's the fact that you continue to be a freaking amazing writer. ;) Couldn't forget to mention that. Sirius and Dorcas's stories melded perfectly together, to the point where some of their stories flowed into each other as if they were almost finishing each other's sentences (not an accident, I think). There was that section where you wrote what Dorcas did, then spliced in with parentheses what she could have been doing, and it was just lovely. That passage could easily be turned into a choppy run-on sentences that got on one's nerves, but you handled it perfectly.

Any other praise I should lay on you, while I'm at it? I'm sure I could think of something. Or I could just chat for a bit. ;) You know, there's this relatively unknown author whose books I reread a couple times a year, and she tells her stories with the most breathtaking language. I can tell when I'm reading too much of her because I begin to subconsciously mimic her style as I write. But there are some authors here who elicit the same reaction in my writing, and I swear you're becoming one of them. Which is just fabulous for your ego and terrible for my writing, because there's really no sense in trying to write as other people when you can just write as yourself.

Perhaps I've gone on long enough here. You're well aware of my thoughts on your stories by now, I think. I'll keep coming back until I've finished the reviews I promised for my challenge, plus I need to catch up on Out of Time, and so on... You'll keep hearing from me. Thanks for such an enjoyable task; I love getting sucked into your stories.

Author's Response: You're not the first person to say that they need to read some of my stories twice before they can review, that they need to let the story sink in first. I'm never sure whether I'm making my stories too complicated and layered, or whether I'm doing something right and the stories are somehow thought-provoking. It makes me wonder whether that's why I have trouble getting reviews unless I ask - maybe readers just aren't able to come back that second time. It's something for me to puzzle over, at the very least. ;)

It's wonderful to hear that Dorcas was likeable. I wasn't really sure about it because she gave up in the end so easily - I thought that would be a mark against her, making her weak. It's not even a sacrifice for her, but rather a letting go of a world she just can't exist within. That giving up aligns her closely with the authors she most loves, particularly Woolf (though that whole era of literature generally failed when it came to WWII). I think that I had more of a problem with Dorcas's actions in the end - I knew that she had to die, but I hated how she let it happen without fighting, and I still haven't gotten over that. *hides*

My favourite part about writing this story, apart from sneaking in as many literary references as I could, was the fact that it came in fragments, the little scenes that brought Sirius and Dorcas together. It made them feel more real to me - those moments are just normal to everyone else, but to Sirius and Dorcas, they hold more meaning.

Being able to write both sides of the story - Dorcas's experiences and Sirius's act of reading/re-experiencing them - filled each scene with more emotion than if I'd only told it from Dorcas's point of view. Sirius is the literal reader, guiding us through the story like someone telling a bedtime story - skipping over some parts he can't handle while pouring more closely over those he desperately wishes he could change. At the same time, Dorcas herself is a reader, going over the same book again and again, telling only the parts she loves most. She is also a writer, but her reading so influences her that her writing really comes as a result of reading - it does the same thing that Sirius does as he reads fragments of her diary - writing becomes an act of interpretation rather than of creation. So it's all a story about reading and what it means to read, the power of reading to evaluate and to heal. Oh my god, I never thought of it this way, but it's so perfect. What kind of monster have I created here?

*blushes* I don't know how to better thank you to thank yell it from the tops of the trees and towers of the world. That compliment... it's more than I know how to handle. There's still so much that I have to learn about writing that I never know how to take these amazingly complimentary reviews - I don't think I deserve them at all. When I re-read this story, all I see are the things that need to be fixed - it's frustrating that my eyes do that, rather than let me see what readers like you do.

Thank you so much for all of your reviews! I've loved reading them, and I look forward to more. They do boost my confidence a lot, which is something I'm ever thankful for. ^_^


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Review #28, by long_live_luna_bellatrixSupernatural Proofed: Arriving at Hogwarts

4th July 2012:
When I clicked on this I hadn't checked the genre, so I didn't know it was a crossover until I read the A/N. Then I figured I might as well give it a go, I know absolutely nothing about Supernatural but your story looked interesting.

You do have an interesting plot here. I haven't read too many crossovers, but to me this seems like a good way to cross worlds in a fairly plausible way. I came here because the summary suggested something new, and you're off to a good start. You've clearly established the two main characters you're dealing with, you've introduced at least two possible romances, and you've given us a good idea of what we can expect Sam and Dean to do here. I liked the fact that they had a classroom as headquarters, an office for a bedroom and got majorly lost, because all of those seem realistic of a first-time stay at Hogwarts.

However, I'd like to offer some CC as well. The readability of the story could be improved, specifically regarding the dialogue. From the first few words spoken I could tell that you were not a fan of the word "said," and were going to search for alternatives to it. In the end, you only used it five or six times in a story with a lot of dialogue. But the the thing with those alternatives is that if they're used to heavily, they seriously detract from the story as the reader begins to get distracted. "Said" is expected, you see, so the eye skims right over it. Other words are louder and more visible, so too many of them make us pause and wonder why the story isn't flowing so well. Does that make any sense? Obviously the exact variations you choose to use are personal preference, but in my opinion you were a bit heavy here. In particular, the use of the word "stated" made for some awkward wording.

Also concerning dialogue, I spotted some grammatical errors. When writing dialogue, a comma always comes before the last quotation mark (unless it's a question mark or an exclamation point), otherwise you're left with a sentence fragment for your speech tag. For example, "'I don't know but the one is really dreamy.' Ginny stated" should be: "'I don't know but the one is really dreamy,' Ginny stated." There's more on the in the Writer's Resources section of the forums.

Other than that, you're off to a good start. You certainly caught my attention with this first chapter, and having no experience with Supernatural or crossovers did not affect my read at all.

Author's Response: Well, thank you for reading this. I'm glad you enjoyed it even though you know nothing about Supernatural.

I'm glad you liked the possibility of the love interests and everything else. I'm glad you think it is plausible.

As for the stated, replied, or whatever, I had an English teacher in high school who told us not to use said all the time because it's typical, it's boring. She said to spice it up a bit and so that's what I've done. As for the comma after the dialogue, I was also taught to do it that way. You put a comma if they're not done speaking, but if it's the end of their speech, you put a period. I could be wrong, but oh well.

I did write this ages ago too, so I can go back through and fix some things.

Thank you again for the review.

-Sara-


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Review #29, by long_live_luna_bellatrixThe Curse-Breaker Who Loved Me: In Which Bill Meets Babbling Belinda

2nd July 2012:
Hello! This was a good start to a story, for sure. The first line was quite an opener, with all the drama, and yet I figured out soon enough that it might not be set in stone as I met the young narrator. I like the idea a lot, this big question mark that will huddle over Bill as he grows up, leaving him to wonder if she was a batty old witch or if he encountered a legitimate Seer. You set it up nicely, giving her the creepiness factor as well as the sort of prophecy that we saw from Trelawney in the HP books: vague but sudden.

For the most part you told the story of a six-year-old well. Adjusting to his point of view, you did a good job with keeping things as he'd see them, from the unfairness of being an older brother to the naive memory of his father coming home drunk. At one point you used the word "relegated," which sounded a bit odd coming from such a young mouth, but otherwise it really worked.

The only thing I can think of to work on here are the details. You gave the expected description of Charlie's irritating habits and the expected description of a witch. I would've liked to see what Diagon Alley looked like through Bill's eyes, or some details that were as original as your idea.

It spoke loads about Bill's character that he wanted to protect his mother even from such a young age. I think that sort of chivalry can be expected from a young boy, even when he can't put it into words, and I can certainly see it coming from Bill Weasley. You can tell he'll be a good man, growing up.

So, overall, well done here. It was an enjoyable first chapter, and from your summary, it sounds like things will continue to be interesting.

Author's Response: This first chapter was one of my favorites to write. It was written in one sitting and posted because I was so enthusiastic so I definitely could stand to go back over it and edit as necessary :) I do want to work out the details but I also don't want to make this overly long - it's meant to balance out the heaviness of my other WIP.

I'm so glad that you like little Bill!! I kind of wish I could just write the whole story about him :) Maybe I can do flashbacks :P


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Review #30, by long_live_luna_bellatrixVital: Chapter 19

29th June 2012:
Wow. This is a really, really impressive story, and I don't need to have read the previous eighteen chapters to recognize that here (though that may have helped). You've got a well-written, well-paced chapter here, no messing around with flowery description while you've got a plot that's taking off. I love the way the suspense grew from the beginning, growing larger as I waited for something to happen in the Tawny Owl. You didn't even limit the action to that one room, but kept it going as they jumped out, and were trapped under the table. All that flowed extremely well.

You did a great job with Moody's character, too. He was just like the Moody we all know and love from the books, scarred and blunt and constantly vigilant. It was good to see a familiar face in there.

I also liked the nuances of Simon and Elena's relationship. From this chapter, I can imagine a boatload of possible situations they went through prior to this, enough to understand Elena's pain at the end. It was interesting to watch Simon's tendency to improvise, paired with the more nervous Elena, and the way she acted around him in general.

I was surprised that such an anxious person as Elena would be involved in such a serious endeavor. Sure, I don't have the whole story, so I'm not too worried, and I understand that not only brave people were against the Death Eaters. But I did notice that, twenty chapters in, Elena was still looking like a rookie on the job and not one hundred percent confident about it. Just an observation, do with it what you will; this is, after all, the first chapter I've read.

Really, not much more I can comment on/compliment/critcize here. I was most impressed with the way you continued to up the pace throughout the chapter, really giving it an intense feel throughout. Despite jumping into this so far in, I still enjoyed the chapter and had no issues with understand. Well done.

Author's Response: Hello! (I am so sorry that I didn't respond to this sooner!)

Thank you for leaving a review without having read the whole story. I realize that asking you to do that might not have been fair at all.

This chapter is definitely less descriptive because things are getting more action-y. I'm glad that the pacing worked here, for you.

Yes, you're right in picking up that Simon and Elena's relationship is complicated (it absolutely is). And Simon does improvise a lot, which makes sense because he is the Auror while Elena doesn't still have the same training that he does. I think in this case, Elena's anxiety is a bit of an anomaly, and reading earlier chapters would show that she is thrown into this. But I certainly am not blaming you for not knowing.

Thanks again for the review! I appreciate it and your willingness to just jump in and critique this chapter without the context of everything else.


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Review #31, by long_live_luna_bellatrixA Light in the Dark: A Light in the Dark

27th June 2012:
Hello again. This was yet another solid story, very tidy, very sweet.

You accurately portrayed a lot of the bits and pieces that were involved in James and Lily's relationship at that time: the scene at the lake, James's improving attitude, Lily's home life, Sirius staying with James, all of those had a role here. There are a lot of those types of things floating around in the Marauders era, and you did a nice job with them.

There were a few things that did catch my eye as I read, however. Two of them are small: James made a comment about "that Vernon bloke," or something similar, though Lily hadn't mentioned the boyfriend's name to him at all during the conversation. So I wasn't sure how he could have known that. Also, I thought his "pushing one hundred" comment about his parents didn't sit quite right. Coming from James, I couldn't tell if it was a joke or not. Plus, even if wizards do live longer than Muggles, that doesn't necessarily mean they can still reproduce longer... Menopause and such would still limit them. It felt like too big an idea to pass off so casually. "My parents had me quite late" would have sufficed, in my opinion.

The only other thing that I felt you could have done better concerns the predictability of the story. You don't have a ton of wiggle room if you're keeping it canon, as you've done here: we all know the timeline of Lily and James, we know when he starts to shape up and she starts to fall for him. I knew what was going to happen as soon as James made an appearance. I would've liked to see something fresher than that, something either to make me wonder about the ending or to shed some light on one of the characters. It was a nicely done story, as it is, it just didn't leave me with any particular feelings at the end (as opposed to the last story of yours I read, with Daphne and Astoria).

So you've got a well written story here, as always, don't get me wrong. You've got none of that awkward phrasing or pacing that I see plenty of other places, you've got a grasp on your details, and can set a scene. Well done.

Author's Response: I actually summarised Lily's telling James about the problem, rather than spell it out with dialogue (When she’d finished outlining exactly what the problem was...) - it didn't seem necessary, and I felt like it would just slow the story down unnecessarily. She mentioned Vernon's name then.

I do see what you mean about James's parents - I actually do subscribe to the idea that they had him that late (I have them both at about 80 when he was born), for a few reasons. First, JKR has said that his parents died of natural causes. Since witches and wizards seem to live much longer than Muggles, even having children late by Muggle standards (say, 50) would have them die fairly young by Wizarding standards. I tend to think that things like childbearing years are extended, though his parents were quite abnormal in just how late they had him. YMMV; it is probably unnecessary in this story, though, since it's just a side mention, so I'll change it. :)

I do know what you mean about predictability, but I'm not quite sure what I could do differently - as you said, canon is a bit limiting in terms of the timeframe, and I want to show a gradual mellowing, since I see them as getting together early on in their seventh year. Hmm.

Thank you so much for the review, and again, I'm very sorry that it's taken me so long to answer it.


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Review #32, by long_live_luna_bellatrixFools and Heroes: Fools and Heroes

27th June 2012:
It's lllb here, with the three reviews I promised you from my Repetition Challenge. It's a not-so-impressive three months later, and I apologize for that, but I never forgot, just got steadily busier. Now I'm finally here, and excited to do a good chunk of reading. :)

What you did well here was exploring several characters in a short period of time. Daphne and Astoria were the main show, of course, and I like the way you let them clash. Once they got talking, the story coasted on down right towards the last, terrible word. They worked well together. But you also touched upon Brandon (who I thought at first would be Astoria's boyfriend or ex, but brother makes far more sense), and the character I was most surprised by was actually Celeste. You spoke quite a bit about her at the beginning, and I liked the picture you painted of her, in particular the part where Celeste didn't look back in order not to feel guilty. That's a very, very human thing to do.

As I've already begun to mention, I also liked the way you dealt with the plot. It was a snappy, dramatic story, fraught with the sense that time was running out and a battle would explode at any minute, without you ever quite coming out and saying so. The ending was equal to the rest of it, appropriately short and meaningful.

One thing I would have liked to see more of was detail. Yes, I've already said how I liked the way you set Daphne and Astoria up against each other, but that was my dramatic side. My more nit-picky side is still poking and prodding, wondering how two sisters could drift so drastically apart. I would have liked you to just dip into an explanation here. It could even be told by a few quick memories, or thoughts, something to prove Daphne and Astoria weren't plain good and bad. Surely one or the other had some regrets, second thoughts, or hesitations. I would have liked a closer look at their relationship, not just the obvious, but the gray areas as well.

So, all in all, a story that worked. There are some things to be improved upon, but there always are, and on the whole I enjoyed this. Nice job here, and I'll be back with two more reviews shortly.

Author's Response: Hey! I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond to your reviews - I've been busy, and I had a bit of a review backup. :( So your not-so-impressive three months later is nothing to worry about, seriously.

I definitely see what you mean about the detail - looking back, I feel like it's lacking a bit of that as well. I'll definitely go back and add more in. Thank you so much for your review, and I'm really, really glad you liked everything else!


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Review #33, by long_live_luna_bellatrixAs the Green Light Glows: A Werewolf

10th June 2012:
What made this chapter work, for me, were the smallest details you included. I'm always a fan of little moments in time adding up in order to give a fuller portrait of a character, and you did that very, very well here. I loved the part where you talked about how Remus and Tonks could run and dodge without losing each others' hands, and the story of how he and Sirius turned Butterbeer into candles in order to sneak them back into the castle. They were both brief and sweet, a great combination.

I also liked the very end, where Remus entered his own version of "King's Cross," this time a castle, where he would switch over from the living world to another. Yet, for such a gloomy prospect, it was not an entirely sad story. You showed us a full, happy life, and gave Remus hope in the form of watching over his son with Tonks.

I think you captured Remus's character nicely here, from his protective instincts to his old worries and pains to his life as a werewolf. You included images of all his favorite people, as his life literally flashed before his eyes. Honestly, if we all relived our happiest moments before our death, that would be a nice way to go. Great job here.

Author's Response: It's great you liked the details because that is what this one-shot was mostly about. How details build up your life, "an eternity caught in a second" to quote. I loved writing them because they showed how despite all, he lived, and am glad you appreciated them :)

If you read the second chapter, you'll see I think each person should have a different way to death. It's great you liked Remus's and his characterization!

Thanks for reading and reviewing, your reviews are lovely!


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Review #34, by long_live_luna_bellatrixThe Hummingbird's Wings: Funeral

10th June 2012:
Let me start off by saying that this story had many good qualities, and I can see the amount of care you put into it. One does not just whip off something like this, with the attention to the flow of the sentences and the small, gentle way you built up your message about the passage of time. However, there were a few finer details that I'd like to point out as well.

The story, to me, felt a little too long for the way you wrote it. You included several metaphors (more on that in a minute) and told the story of two characters' lives, no small feat for a one shot. When stories are told like this, in what I suppose you would call a stream of consciousness way, the fragments of thought can only be sustained for so long. By the last third or so of the story, I was ready for you to make your point. You'd spoken about time quite a bit, you had a lot of little parts floating around (the addition of the fiery-haired children, for example) and my head was just swimming with all the ideas you were putting out there. This is a personal opinion, mind you, so it's nothing worth worrying about, just mentioning. ;)

Another thing that drew my attention away from the piece as a whole was the number of metaphors you included. From the title, I expected the whole thing to revolve around this image of a bird, yet you introduced it, left it, and didn't revisit it until the last quarter or so of the story. My mind kept wandering as I waited for the significance of the bird to really come to the forefront, but instead, you spent a great deal of time, on, well, time. ;) It's entirely possible that I missed something, but for the most part, I think I was just thrown off by your title. You also had a number of other, smaller metaphors, which worked. But once again, there are only so many things that can fit into a one shot like this, and personally I was spending a great deal of time just trying to keep them all straight in my head when what I really wanted to do was absorb the story as a whole.

Those were the two major things, and I hope I've done an okay job of explaining them. Other than that, this was skillfully done. You dealt with a heavy subject delicately, you built up your characters' identities slowly, and your word choice was well done. In fact, it was the simple ones that I liked most, such as this one: "Fifteen years means nothing now. Fifteen years would mean it all." The whole atmosphere of the story may have been the best part of all, in my opinion. It never wavered for a second.

So, overall, a successful story. The things I mentioned were just things that crossed my mind that I thought might be helpful to know, at the very least if you attempt a similar story in the future. Once again, I could really appreciate the care and detail you put into this, it was evident. Nice job.

Author's Response: First of all, let me thank you for this great review. It is really helpful and I'll think of all you said :)

I actually wrote this for several days, trying to make sure it was smooth and understandable, so I imagine that affecting the pace.

It was based on the quote for a challenge, and so I did spend a lot of time pondering on time, teehee. And I see how I forgot a little the bird metaphor, I thought giving it tail and beak, but as more metaphors flowed it messed with the proportions I guess.

I don't think I could get rid of the extra metaphors, but you're right about the lack of conclusion! I guess I just don't know it myself, but I'll think of it.

Once again, thanks for the very complete review! Me needz CC :3


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Review #35, by long_live_luna_bellatrixEmerald: Emerald

3rd June 2012:
You've done a nice job here of fitting quite a lot of information into two-thousand-something words. Between the line breaks, flashbacks, and your mini epilogue at the end, it did not feel rushed at all. That's also thanks to your amount of detail in each scene, so that they were long enough to satisfy the reader. The flashbacks too included just enough information, but not so much that they detracted from the story.

One thing I did notice, however, was how black and white this story was. Rolf and Hannah were the bad guys, the unfaithful ones, while Luna and Neville were the poor loved ones left behind, unaware that anything was amiss. In real life, things rarely go that way. Everyone has both flaws and redeeming qualities, which is why relationships can be so tricky; maybe it's easy to make excuses for someone, or it's incredibly painful to break up even when you know you need to. I would really have loved to see more of that sort of depth to your four characters here. When a reader sees that, they are more emotionally engaged in the story, because they have to decide who to root for and the choice is not always easy. That's the sort of detail that makes a story truly complex.

I would also suggest checking out the Writers Resources section of the forums for some grammar guidelines. In many places you were missing punctuation for your dialogue, such as in this example, there should be a comma after 'sorry': "'Look I'm sorry' Rolf muttered,"

But grammar is easy enough to fix, and overall, you did a good job with this. As soon as you mentioned the legend about the emerald, I could imagine what was going to happen, so that was a very nice bit of foreshadowing there. Plus, you tied it all in at the end, giving the reader a real sense of closure. And, of course, Neville and Luna got married and lived happily ever after, which is always a pleasure to read. I was pleased that they were not set back by Rolf and Hannah's affair for too long.

I also liked the way you treated Luna. She was not over-the-top weird, nor a hundred percent normal, and you got in some of her well-known traits. For example, the Crumple-Horned Snorkack and her love of her friends, as well as her general insightfulness. That's not always easy to do. Nice job!

Author's Response: Ok I will keep all of your advice in mind, so thankyou! I think that the grammar problems are probably mostly typos, so I'll have a look soon.

Thnx :)


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Review #36, by long_live_luna_bellatrixMeet the Muggles: Chapter One: Lies Upon Lies Upon Lies

2nd June 2012:
Hello! I think you've got a good premise for a story here. Not only does Cassie have to manage the wizard-Muggle relationship, but she's also going to have to get into the British vs American thing soon, which should add more fun.

I like the way you immediately introduced us to the issue by bringing Cassie and Logan to King's Cross on the one day of the year it's absolutely flooded with witches and wizards. You also let us in on the James background, something that looks like it will keep coming back to bite Cassie in the butt, no matter where she is.

I hope to see some of Cassie's Ravenclaw side soon. I see far too many of the pretty, social, accident-prone girls in stories where some other traits are throw their way for the sake of it, then are completely forgotten about. She has potential, as does Logan, so it would be nice to exactly what makes her a Ravenclaw in future chapters. This is the first one, so it's not necessarily something I'd need to see here. But certainly later on.

Overall, nice job! You've started off well here.

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Review #37, by long_live_luna_bellatrixVenom: A Tragedy: Act One

23rd May 2012:
So remember that time when you won a challenge and I promised you five reviews? Well, I never forgot about it, honestly. I just had to get through exams and whatnot. Now I'm here. :)

What jumped out at me here was how you described falling in love at the end-- It really sounded like something sinister, or dangerous. I can see how one might think that, but it's rare to see it down on paper, so blunt, and without any mention of the better parts. Which I guess goes along with what you warned in your summary to be a pretty dark story.

You did a really nice job with the characters in this as well (not much of a surprise). Rose in particular stood out in about five seconds as a strong girl, not to be ignored or crossed. She oozed a sort of energy, too. She was extremely likable.

Speaking of likable, that adjective can pretty much describe the rest of the chapter as well. I'm not the biggest fan of the whole head-over-heels in love at first sight, but tied into your Romeo and Juliet theme (and helped by a hearty dose of good writing), I'm happy to go along with it here and see where it takes me. Nice job.

Four more reviews to come (hopefully) in all due speed.

Author's Response: Haha, I think the one who forgot about it was me. I was surprised to see a new review for this story (it's been so long!), so thank you for being able to leave feedback. It's a story that I really have to finish this year, but it's been hard, not only because it's a Scorose, but also because I'm not getting enough feedback to feel confident about it.

Anyway, I am planning on changing that falling in love scene at the end to make it less drastic, instead showing Scorpius to have an unhealthy obsession for Rose. She's a strange character - and I'm glad to hear that you like her - and I'd like to emphasize that Scorpius is drawn to her. He can't help it, but something about her personality is just magnetic - dangerous, overwhelming, but magnetic. That's why there's that ominous note to the falling in love - for Romeo and Juliet, it's the moment that seals their fates and instigates the tragedy, and it's much the same for Cathy and Heathcliff. There's going to be very little happiness and fluff here. :P

Thank you very much for reading and reviewing this story! I'm going to be editing it soon, and hopefully I can get that done before you read the rest. ^_^


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Review #38, by long_live_luna_bellatrixThe Divide That Corrupts Us: A Better Path

9th May 2012:
Wow, I can't believe this is over. Four years went into this, and I'm glad I'm still around to see how well it turned out. Once again, thanks for all the hard work you put into this, Alopex, the whole thing.

It was a nice touch to tie the title back into it all. Especially since it was thought up so long ago, doing that really showed how Barty (and this collab) have come full circle. And yet, it didn't feel artificial; we've really kept to our plans and themes and the only straying we did was to add detail, not take away from it. It only feels natural at this point to see that the seed of this story also lies in the Grey Lady, and those brilliant insights that weren't planned have been by far my favorite part of this entire collab. Perhaps it's easier for me to see because I've seen the original plans, but following each author's contribution and how it grows has been amazing to watch.

You caught a lot of the Grey Lady's character here as well. When Flitwick mentioned he wasn't sure if he were silencing her or trying to keep her from fleeing, I realized how accurate an action that was, considering Harry's difficulty getting to her in the first place. It's funny, she and Flitwick (getting nostalgic again, sorry!) have followed all the precedents set up in early chapters, and all fifteen or twenty authors in this have kept them strikingly similar from chapter to chapter.

If I don't stop here I may ramble on forever. So, fantastic job Alopex and penny with this chapter, and I'm so proud of all the effort that went into this so that I can be sitting here right now, reviewing the final chapter of this collab. Well done!!!

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Review #39, by long_live_luna_bellatrixThe Divide That Corrupts Us: The Unity That Makes Us Stronger

9th May 2012:
Really nice job with this chapter. As the story begins to tie up, it's nice to see the legacy of Barty, and not only how other Ravenclaws were different, but how he can be a comfort too-- my favorite part of this was how you tied it to the Grey Lady's image of herself. That's a really good point, and yet another dimension uncovered.

The flashbacks were nicely done as well. I think it's important to remember that Gryffindors aren't the only ones capable of bravery, and you demonstrated that here as well. At the same time, you tied intelligence into the fight; that troll scene was brilliant! Yet another enjoyable chapter.

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Review #40, by long_live_luna_bellatrixWhen Glory Has Gone: The Morning After

30th March 2012:
This was an accurate depiction of after the battle, I think. You really captured Harry's guilt here, and in the sort of way that reader was going, "What, of course we don't blame him!" while he was absolutely beside himself. Well done there. I think you understand him well.

One part you could perhaps work on is the dialogue. People don't generally break into long speeches like McGonagall does here; for the most part, they speak in a sentence or two at a time, with pauses or people interrupting them or distractions. She, however, had several long parts which may have sounded better broken up. The way you have it now is a bit stiff and formal on the ears.

Overall, nicely done. It was an enjoyable, rather hopeful read.

Author's Response: Thanks for the review! Good advice with the dialogue, that's very true. I think I'll edit that at some point. And I guess I treated this whole thing as an exercise at really getting an understanding of a character, so the fact that you wrote what you did just made me feel pretty awesome. :) Thank you!

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Review #41, by long_live_luna_bellatrixHarry Potter and The Omniscient: The Worrying Wife

29th March 2012:
Hi there. I stumbled upon this in the recently added section, and though it's a sequel to something I've never read, I figured I'd give it a shot on the off-chance I could understand it. And I do understand it. Perhaps not perfectly, but enough to intrigue me! My goodness, you've got a lot going on here. Lots of surprises, but some really interesting ideas that you referenced that I'm guessing are from the story prior to this. You did a good enough job explaining Hannah and Ron's backstory to keep me in the loop, but left a lot of good hints as well, such as the fact that Harry isn't entirely innocent this time.

From what I can gauge, it looks like you've got an elaborate plot here that's continuing on from the first story, what with this whole Voldemort/hallows/Metamorphmagus thing. It's a lot of fascinating ideas all pulled together, in my opinion.

It feels odd to critique this since I haven't read the first story (so ignore anything that's just blatantly wrong), but I felt this could have used more emotion. Harry remembering killing his own sister sounded too calm, too resigned to the fact that she was gone and it was necessary. And if Hermione was learning about this Voldemort stealing a Metamorphmagus body for the first time, I'd expect a lot more shock or surprise on her end. Again, I could definitely be missing something, but it's worth pointing out.

Overall, looks like you're doing a good job here. I can't believe this doesn't have other reviews.

Author's Response: I know...the thing is, I'm not in tune with the characters enough to accurately portray emotions. I fear I will misrepresent the emotions in some way...

Hermione knew that Hannah had the last shred of Voldemort in her. She just didn't know he would take it so far.

Yes, I know...I would appreciate more reviews. The lack of reviews is one reason I'm not sure I'll write the last trilogy. Thank you for reviewing.


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Review #42, by long_live_luna_bellatrixGlass Memories: Glass Memories

27th March 2012:
Wow. I'm a bit speechless here. I have a hundred things I'd love to say about this story, but that would require finding the words to say them.

I guess I can talk about the repetition, the reason I'm here in the first place. That was incredible. The glass cage image prevailed throughout the whole story, though it built on itself slowly, so it wasn't distracting or confusing, just another detail until I realized how often I'd seen it. I think these were my two favorite references, because they said so much in so few words:

"...since she had locked her heart in its tiny glass cage, still visible so that she would always know of her weakness," and "But rules were not glass; they did not shatter like her nerves, nor break like her heart."

The first one rings so, so true. Everyone feels like love is a weakness at some point, I think, that it's making you too fragile, so the glass idea fit that beautifully. As for the second one, I thought that was interesting, because though it made sense, many would say the opposite. To McGonagall rules are not breakable, and I see that. But many would say rules are there for the breaking as well. ;)

What else? Well, there was just this idea of her two loves, sort of floating around one another. I don't know the updated version of McGonagall's story (waiting for Pottermore to open to the public to get into that...), so though I don't think I had all the pieces here, I didn't really feel like I needed them. I watched her complicated feelings for this other man, and I saw the simpler ones she'd had for Dumbledore all along, and the beautiful thing is it's all completely canon! Got to love that.

And then there was how absolutely sad this story was. You spun this lovely history of two people, a sort of love that's not there for all to see but truer than many other loves, and then at the end you have to remind us that Dumbledore's dead. You chose your details well and your moments better, because I always felt like the story was moving forward, in a way, even though it jumped around in time. That's hard to do. But the end really hit home.

I was going to end the review there... but then I saw the notes I'd jotted down while reading this, because I knew I wouldn't have time to review it the same day. I remembered I wanted to point out that I loved the idea of them mirroring each other. That thread running through the story was beautiful as well.

This is far too long, isn't it? That seems to keep happening these days, I think I'm rambling more and more as time goes by. I'll just end on the same general note I end on in every review I leave you, that I am in awe. Thanks for entering this in the challenge!

Author's Response: First of all, thank you for the challenge! I'd begun writing this at the end of December (originally for the writer's duel, but the muse wasn't taking to this story), and when I picked it up again, I needed a bump in the right direction - your challenge was the perfect one. I love being able to include consistent elements - either in the style or an object/image that keeps reappearing - and it was fun to highlight that rather than keep it subtle (and hope that no one complains, because some do).

Also thank you for this amazing review! I'm sorry to have taken so long to respond to it, but I've been astounded by the reactions to this story. I wanted to write something moving, a tear-jerker, but I didn't expect it to become as deep a story as it did. A lot of this depth did come from adding the repetition, which helped give the story more focus - it wasn't just the glass lamp that carried through, but the whole idea of glass - the cage, the shattered heart, things being breakable. You've described it all much better than I ever could - fragility! I never thought of using that word for some reason, but it describes everything in this story perfectly. The one thing that isn't fragile is their relationship - even though they're both shattered and damaged, together, they find strength in their friendship (which isn't even the right word for what it really is, but it will have to do). This relationship is strong enough to continue on after his death - he never really leaves because, like Harry was told, the loved one keeps living in one's heart (but Dumbledore also possesses a pretty powerful presence, which helps :P).

I'm glad to hear that the structure still had the story moving forward for all that it jumped around (mostly moving back in time - I originally meant it to be straight back, but then the parts fit together better this way - I still think of it as a form of reverse chronology).

I don't know if my response has made any sense, but know that I'm incredibly happy that you liked this story. I never expected it to win the challenge - do have done so means a lot and has done wonders for my confidence levels. Thank you very much! ^_^


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Review #43, by long_live_luna_bellatrixFred and George and the Birthday Surprise: Stuffed frogs and fuzzy bunnies

27th March 2012:
Hello. :) I figured I'd come by and give a larger review at the end of the story rather than bits and pieces for each chapter. Hope that's all right with you.

One thing I think you really got here were the little details about being a kid. A lot of the things you described Fred and George doing were things I remembered doing myself (is that a good thing?!). I was always that kid who didn't run to my mother unless I had bones sticking out, because I didn't want her to get mad at me, so George's splinter situation made perfect sense. As did the notion of stuffing the contents of your room into your closet; whether it's the closet or under the bed or in your siblings' rooms, I feel like that's one thing many of us have done. It's always good to get relatable bits in there.

I would have liked to see more surprises in this story. The ending was brilliant; it all lined up perfectly, that Charlie thought they were pulling a prank, and to tell two boys (especially Fred and George) that they can pull whatever they want on their birthdays and get away with it is hilarious. It makes perfect sense. That is the sort of logic that I love to see as a reader, because it's so believable it feels like I should have known it beforehand, yet you made it sound new. It's also one of those details that works perfectly for HP fanfiction. However, The other surprises of the story didn't feel as surprising to me. For instance, you could tell the moment they handed Ginny the whipped cream that it would get everywhere, just because that sort of thing has been done many times before. I'm not against using it, because it's great for building suspense, but you could play off it more, and get more material out of it.

You got the theme across of the importance of age and growing up to little kids. Ginny kept saying "Not a baby!" and Fred counted the seconds down religiously, and it felt like the world would open up for them once they were six, from the way they talked. All the bits and pieces there came together, which was nice to see. And yet they kept proving that they were not that mature, or responsible, or really any different from before. It was the classic, cute kid story.

I do hope that the whole growing up, every second counting was the repetition you were going for, because that was what I clued into. There were a few times when I wondered if I was on the right track.

You did a pretty good job with Fred's voice as well. It felt legitimately like an almost six year old, the way he focused so intensely on things and made assumptions that anyone older could see were unrealistic. It sounded quite authentic.

On the whole, a good job with this one. It felt real, and my favorite part was by far the ending. Thanks for joining my challenge, hope you enjoyed it!

Author's Response: Wow, thanks for the long review! I don't mind at all that you put it all at the end. :)

I agree with you that there weren't a lot (if any) surprises in this story. I suppose that a lot of people expect "surprise" in a Fred and George fic, because they are known for their pranks and pranks are supposed to be surprising. Honestly, I wasn't going for the element of surprise, but I do think that perhaps a little more of the unexpected might have strengthened the story as a whole. I also agree that I could have drawn out the ending a little more, because I didn't take complete advantage of the setup. That's something I'll have to definitely keep in mind for future projects. Good point.

I was going for the "cute kid story" vibe, so I'm glad you saw that. And yes, the countdown was the repetition I was going for, so it's good that you picked up on that, since that was the point. Haha! I hope it wasn't too too subtle...

I'm so glad you thought the little kid voices sounded authentic and that you liked the ending. I did enjoy your challenge and I did enjoy writing this!


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Review #44, by long_live_luna_bellatrixSnooze: Snooze

5th March 2012:
I already knew you wrote Luna particularly well, but this just confirmed it even more. There are so many bits and pieces to Luna that are hard to put together sometimes: her lack of attention to things she finds unimportant, her eagerness about those things she does like, her ability to make the sort of assumptions that others can't, her easy acceptance of oddities, her loyalty to her friends... I think I could continue listing, but you get the idea. :P I saw a little of all of those and more here, which was delightful. As someone who isn't a big fan of small talk, I often come out with half a sentence then backtrack to what I was actually going to say, so I could relate to Rolf here and was pleased that Luna could too.

I also liked Charlie's appearance. It's always nice to see a friendly face, and you did well to have him spur on Rolf's curiosity about Luna and her connections. It was interesting to see Luna as the war veteran in Rolf's eyes, and Harry the celebrity, as those aren't the first words that pop to my mind when describing those two. However, both are accurate, and it put a bit of a twist on how I saw them here.

And I especially adored the last line. I love seeing those sort of connections that really bring two halves of the story together and show how they're both separate and entirely relevant. Pressing the snooze button on the alarm clocks lined up perfectly with Rolf's reluctance to ask her out. If you press snooze, the alarm clock inevitably goes off, and I was never too worried about Rolf and Luna's relationship. Obviously there was a question, otherwise there wouldn't have been any tension in the story, but the snooze theme still worked.

The only part I felt was a little lacking was when Rolf exited the last lecture and wondered if he'd ever see Luna again. If he already had as strong feelings for her as you suggested, and knew it was the last lecture, I would have expected at least a half-hearted plan to speak to her afterward. Then, when she didn't show up, some real disappointment that his big, final chance was crushed. The story was fine without it, of course, but I was under the impression he really wanted to see her more and I was left wondering a bit.

Anyway, it was a lovely story. Luna's characterization was certainly the highlight for me, although the whole thing was really sweet. Nice job!

Author's Response: Thanks for such a lovely long review! Wow! The compliment on how I write luna is really amazing! And I'm glad you could relate to Rolf as well.

Hehe, Charlie. Sometimes I just can't resist adding him somewhere. I think he's made a couple of other short guest appearances in my stories, apart from where he has a more major role. I just can't resist him.

Um, I've got to admit that I never thought about the snooze theme as that big in the story. It just seemed like a funny name and from the point when they finally got together, which is why I gave the story that title. Also in the story it sort of served as something light that helped them to talk in the end and that made them or Rolf not get too scared at the starting to date and moving forward in the relationship thought. In this story he is sort of more a man of action and straight forward things, who might be a bit romantic but finds that bit scary at the same time. So a good laugh helps him out and sort of shows that it will all be all right from here on. But yeah, after that rambling, what I'm saying is that I didn't really realise that there was a sort of snooze in how he was slow to ask her out, but you're right in that it fits. :)

You're probably right about the fact that something could be added to the story when Rolf is not sure if he will se Luna again. I should read that bit again to see what I thought. But I think that in my head it was something like that he was a bit distracted at the moment and didn't quite get as far as a plan. Or maybe he just somewhere in his mind thought that he will come across her in the fairly small wizarding circles. Anyway, if that's just in my head it doesn't help the story, does it?

I really appreciate the review and the advice. Thank you! :)


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Review #45, by long_live_luna_bellatrixRenaissance: the child of time

4th March 2012:
So I'm finally here with your review, as promised in my challenge. :)

One of the things I liked about this story was how you delved into the two characters and their love. When Cho said that Cedric had made her her a better person, I felt how much that meant to her and what it spoke of their relationship. But she also admitted that she was not perfect, that she did not know everything, when she said that she wished she could have said she knew their perfect love would die. To me, that was a pretty good display of maturity, even if the Cho we know is always crying.

Even if you didn't mention at the end that this was for the "Find Your Style" challenge, I still would have seen that that was what you were going for. In many cases, I think it worked. You had some beautiful lines in here, and they wove plenty of images. My favorites were these: "The serpent of her uneasiness wormed its way through the throng, leaving its seeds of doubt behind to take root in their minds" and "their love had been forged in fire, set in cool waters."

However, there were still moments when it seemed, to me, that you were trying a bit too hard. For instance, some of the words felt more out of a thesaurus than anything else, and a little out of place. This is only how it came across to me, remember. These are a few of the places I'm thinking of: "The present was merely transitory for him, a respite before he ascended to his destiny," and "her life was not yet ossified." The difference between these and the ones above, which I liked better, is unnecessarily large words. My favorite images were conjured up with simple words in complex arrangements, not complex words in simple sentences. This may be a personal preference, but it's worth mentioning.

But the repetition, the main reason I'm here, was spot on. I think one of the reasons I put up the challenge was because I love that moment in a story when everything clicks, when what's already been said in bits and pieces lines up and the story falls into place. I don't think I'm alone in that, and thus the challenge was born. Here, my aha moment was in this line: "And they never lived in the past." It all made sense from there, even though you'd been saying the same thing all along. It turned it from a sad story of a boy with potential to a hopeful story of girl who will continue the boy's practice of looking ahead instead back. It's comforting to see that by remembering Cedric, Cho can both respect him and move on at the same time. The repetition really turned the story around, which was great.

So, overall, well done. It was an enjoyable story to read, and about as happy as a story about death can get (unless you're into comedy, I suppose :P) Good luck in "finding your style," and thanks for joining my challenge!

Author's Response: Hello!

Thanks for the review-sorry it took me so long to respond.

Definitely, this Cho is more mature than the girl in the books. This was intentional, partly because I think this is set when she's older, but also because I feel like Cho really was upset at Cedric's death and needed to come to terms with it.

I'm glad you liked the language, for the most part. You make a good point about simple words in complex sentences being more affective. While I didn't use a thesaurus when writing this, ossified maybe is too clunky for this story. I think I see your point about it sounding out of place.

The line you mentioned was what I had intended for the turning point in the story to be. :D I think you've got it just right: it does go from memories to looking to the future at that moment. I really found it fun to try to put repetition into your challenge, because, while it is something I do naturally, here I tried to think about where it would be most effective.

Thanks for posting such a wonderful challenge! And I'm glad you enjoyed this piece.


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Review #46, by long_live_luna_bellatrixIris: Prologue

3rd March 2012:
Hi there. Once again, you've demonstrated that you really know how to take a common occurrence, such as a mother-daughter relationship, and make it feel warm and new. This chapter caught the multiple sides both Ginny and Molly have: the energy, temper, adventurous trait, mothering quality, tenderness, and exasperation I've seen in both of them at various points in the books. You took all that on in a short chapter, and certainly got it across.

The details were by far what I liked best about this chapter, which makes sense, because in describing an everyday relationship the details you choose are what will make it extraordinary. The idea that one needs to match a knitting spell with the correct needle is brilliant, and you'd think that everyone would stumble across the the line "sooner fly on a broom than use it to sweep" all over hpff, yet I've never seen it before and it makes perfect sense. It takes talent to take an idea like that and make it seem both new and also so right you're surprised you've never encountered it.

At first I was disappointed that you were painting Molly to be the sort of mother that wants nothing more than to dress her daughter up and use her like a doll, but that evaporated quickly. I can definitely believe that thanks to Molly, Ginny already knew how to tickle the pear when she got to Hogwarts, and it speaks a lot about how Molly lived her life. And all that from one sentence! Amazing.

Another line I adored was this: "I can't help but think that it was the Weasley in him that made him leave but the Prewett part of him which brought him home." Wow :D It's a strong statement, and again, totally believable. There's no doubt that Weasleys have an issue coming back once they've left (Ron in DH, anyone?) and I can see that they'd get that from Molly. Arthur's a bit gentler, sweeter, perhaps easier to mislead, so it has to be Molly that brings that strength to bow your head and admit your wrongs.

I'll pause in my praise to point out this typo: "Molly Weasley either has eyes in the back of her head and can smell a lie a mile away." It looks like that "and" should be an "or," otherwise the "either" is unnecessary. ;)

Finally, as it went on I grew wary that you were focusing so much on Ginny and Molly's relationship, considering your summary indicates a story about the men in Ginny's life. But I should not have doubted you, because you transitioned perfectly into reading the eyes of the one you love, and I couldn't agree more. One could argue that you might want to hint at that earlier, and I'm sure you could, but it worked either way. Above all, you made this prologue work beautifully: it set up Ginny's background and how you want us to see her, yet it obviously ties in with the rest of the story, so we'll know where you're coming from. It's rare to see one of those.

I'll continue onto future chapters when I get a moment. I was not at all surprised that this was a well-written start to a story: it's why I dropped by your page in the first place.

Author's Response: Wow, you leave the most gorgeous reviews, you know that? I would expect such a detailed review if I requested one on the forums (if I was lucky), but to get one like this out of the blue is a real surprise. And a lovely one ,at that!

Thank you for saying that you liked the little details in this! Some of them were hard to come up with because we aren't really given a whole lot about the relationship between Ginny and Molly so I had to make a lot of guesses as to the things that they would have in common and the things they would disagree across. So for you to think that this worked well with the books is a huge compliment.

I don't think that Molly was simple a mother hen. Yes, that was a huge part of her but I think that we were only really shown her motherly concern because of the circumstances the books were written in. She had seven children and there was a war so of course she would have been worried and concerned about her family's safety. However, I think that there is more about her which is why I tried to show the other side of her with how she told Ginny about the pear. I'm glad you liked that!

I'm blushing at how much you liked the Weasley/Prewett sentence. I honestly didn't think it was anything really that special but the way you are going on about it would make anyone smile, so thank you!

Thank you for also pointing out that typo! I completely missed it and I will edit it in once I get around to editing. I'm horrible with editing (I still have typos to fix that were pointed out to me years ago in some of my other stories) but I promise I will get around to it!

The rest of this story will focus on the men in Ginny's life and I understand what you mean about me hinting about the eyes earlier and I will have a think about it! I think part of me wanted to make sure that, yes, I do have the eyes of people you love as a theme to the story but not make it glaringly obvious. I want it more as an undercurrent than an in-your-face theme so I was hesitant at putting too much in the prologue. I will think about what you have said, though!

Thank you so much for all your praise, this review really picked me up and put a huge smile on my face.

Joop.


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Review #47, by long_live_luna_bellatrixAny Port in a Storm: Any Port in a Storm

1st March 2012:
First off, I think you fulfilled both challenges nicely here. I'll go into my own in a bit more detail, but you really used the figurative language to your advantage as well, and it certainly transformed this from what could have been a angsty love story into a meaningful one. So bravo on that.

Another area you did well in was characterization, specifically, the bits and pieces that make a character real. The line about Marlene being in the Order so that she could live with herself said a lot about her, and I can easily see others feeling the same way. You could write a whole novel about that, if you wanted: the not-so-selfless reasons people joined the Order. Another part that stood out was when Marlene's mother asked if there was news of Marlene's brother, and Marlene resented it, because her mother only made it hard by asking questions she knew the answers to. That speaks a lot about the hope Marlene's mother clung to, and also how Marlene saw the situation.

As for the repetition I challenged you to include, that was also handled well. It introduced an extra layer of tension into the story, that time was ticking away and would only hold out as long as the weather did. A lot of stories here take The War with a capital T and W and let it hang in the background and just let the reader make all the assumptions that go along with it, but you really brought the situation to the forefront by emphasizing how brief Marlene's safety really was.

It was interesting to watch Marlene's inner conflict, not the more obvious one over Gideon, but concerning the temperature. As you made clear, the cold was safe because it kept the Death Eaters away, and she obviously took comfort in the cold. But she was also attracted to Gideon's warmth, and as much comfort as she took from the cold, it still made her physically uncomfortable (such as when she made the comment about her hands cracking open). I'm not entirely sure if or how much of that you intended, but it made sense to me that she would be conflicted; all people are, in some form.

The only part that made me step back and say, "Really?" was when Marlene whispered, involuntarily, for Gideon to stay, and he didn't notice. Then she couldn't figure out if she'd actually said it. Now, I talk to myself all the time (don't laugh! :P) but it's not like the words slip out of my mouth without my permission; it's just part of the thought process sometimes. So personally, I found it a bit hard to believe that Marlene would accidentally ask him to stay. I could have bought her thinking the words, or purposely asking him, but I wasn't so sure about having a bit of both.

Occasionally it seemed like you were juggling one too many things: you had the figurative language tied into the repetition, you had her missing brother, sick mother, history with Gideon, and then Marlene's general state of being. For the most part you did well, and it's certainly a believable situation, but there were parts where it felt like you were just looking for plights to pile on. For instance, the beginning was more focused on her mother and brother, then you switched to Gideon and never looked back. You could've mentioned how she wished her brother were in the house to look after her, and woven that into wanting Gideon there, for instance.

But, to sum things up, you did a nice job here. You took a lot of the issues with the war and poured them in characters that I had no trouble relating to, because they felt quite real. You also brightened up a sad story with a bit of romance, which is always a pleasure. Well done.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for such a lovely, detailed review. I really appreciate it, and I'm sorry it's taken me a few days to respond.

I read back over the story after I read this review, and I could completely understand what you meant about the missing thread connecting Marlene's feelings about Gideon from her portrayal throughout the first part of the story. I'd kind of meant to put the bit about her brother making her feel safer, but I ended up skipping over that without really realising it.

I went through and edited the story a little to make that transition smoother and to deal with Marlene not being sure that she spoke at all (because you're absolutely right, that was silly of me). Hopefully it will be much stronger once the revision gets validated.

Thank you again for the review. You have been so, so helpful, and I'm very glad that you enjoyed the story.


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Review #48, by long_live_luna_bellatrixOut of Time: Behind the Times

24th February 2012:
You know Moody so, so well. I know you've written quite a bit of him outside this story, but even so, your respect for him comes out both in Lily and just in the depth you went into him here. When he drank from his flask to test Lily, and visibly relaxed when she failed to take advantage of him, I was absolutely blown away.

I actually lied in my last review. I said I'd be loud about any suggestions or criticisms, and I already broke that promise. Last chapter, I kept waiting to see how Lily and Moody's relationship was different than the prior chapter, if thirty fewer years would mean he knew her less. It was obvious Moody was a different man, but I found only slight examples of them knowing each other less well. Here, however, it is now far more obvious, so I need not have worried. ;)

Lily is increasingly fascinating. In addition to Moody, you've also developed her very well. She's very human, with her contradictions (wanting to be alone but also tying herself to Moody as she tells herself this), her worries, her confusion, and her bits of self-loathing.

This still rings if Rebecca, I can see, what with the way Moody left all his late wife's things just so and her presence that bothers Lily. And is her excuse for leaving. I suppose the big difference is that here, Lily knows he loves her.

There are so many things I love about this story. I love that you had three moments here that left me breathless: the chase up the stairs (we all love a good chase, don't we?), the kiss (of course, the kiss! And I wasn't expecting one so early on, though now I realize I should have, what with their huge history that only Moody knows of) and also the introduction to major consequences. I was so focused on Lily and Moody that I forgot that her time traveling could unravel the conclusion we waited seven books for, the death of Voldemort. It's all just incredible. Incredible.

Author's Response: Thank you again for coming to read this story! It's wonderful to follow along with you - it's very helpful for me as I try to think of the best ways to write the two final chapters. They're planned, but I want to get them just right. :D

I'm glad that you like my characterization of Moody. Looking back, I have written him a lot, all in smaller roles, but he keeps reappearing. He's one of those interesting characters in the series that I'm continuously curious about. Trying to find a satisfactory answer to my questions about Moody just hasn't happened, though, so I've created my own headcanon. :D I like your use of the word "respect" because, when I think about it, I do respect him, both as a detective-like character and as a person dealing with a psychological condition. People call him mad, but I've never been sure enough to agree - a serious case of PTSD sounds more like it. I like being able to explore characters such as him in greater detail to fill in the blanks - it's the draw of fanfiction. :D

It means a lot that you like how Lily is turning out, especially since, unlike Moody, I've never written her in this way before, nor any other character. Although she's literally had it all - a happy and supportive family, a good time at school and good friends - but there's always been something missing for her: a sense of purpose. The problem comes from inside of her rather than from the outside world, which makes the first person perspective more important to this story.

*squees* Your compliments! They're amazing! I wasn't expecting something so many of them, and I appreciate them very much. ^_^ It's funny because I've been purposely including cliched romance elements because I've never written a true romance before - one of heart-stopping drama and swoon-worthy moments. Every other pairing I've written is fractured in some way, either pulled apart by circumstance or constantly having to fight to stay together. But there's something about Moody and Lily that's just meant to be - they're constantly pushed together and don't even try to resist it. It's a wonderful experience to write this kind of story - an indulgence equivalent to eating lots of ice cream. :D

Thank you so much again!


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Review #49, by long_live_luna_bellatrixOut of Time: The Worst Time

23rd February 2012:
So here I am again, slowly making my way along. I read this chapter in bits in pieces, so I'll just chat a little about some of the ones that stood out for me. :)

Firstly, I can't believe Lily's been going back in time for at least thirty years of Moody's life. Well, I can believe it, but that's a long span of time for them to cover. And because she remains the same age, it means the adventures must come one after the other for her. It's so odd to try and balance the two in your mind. Time travel is tricky business, but you're handling it well so far.

It's also fascinating to think that Lily is the cause of Moody's true madness. If that's what you were going for. Because it makes perfect sense that Moody would go mad watching Lily come in and out of his life for thirty-plus years, and it's as original an idea as I've ever seen.

Yet another good wrinkle was the introduction of Moody's late wife. I've read Rebecca far more recently than Jane Eyre, and I see the connection. I'd love to know why he married her and more of their relationship, and how Lily plays into it all. It's not exactly a common situation. ;)

So, once again, great job all around. If I find anything worth suggesting I assure you I won't be quiet about it, but until that day I'll just keep heaping on the praise.

Author's Response: Bits and pieces works very well - I do it all the time, too, mostly because of a lack of time, but that's the fun about fanfiction; it never has to go back to the library on time. :P It's fantastic that you've come back to continue reading this story - I really appreciate being able to hear from you!

The strangest and perhaps most difficult part of this story is the way that Lily doesn't age at all while she's travelling through someone else's lifetime. Yet although she's not aging, she is developing because of the amount of time that she travels through; she changes considerably, and that's what odd about the schematics of this story, but I'm glad to hear that it's working out. :)

It would be maddening to have someone continuously appear in your life who doesn't change while you keep growing. It's a pretty common plot in science fiction, when I think about it, so I knew the basics of how it should work. It doesn't happen in fanfiction very much for some reason, though Doctor Who has done it, as have a lot of books I read when younger. However, making it work for Moody is the challenge: fitting the whole plot into his background in a way that's canon - taking his character in the books and pulling it apart slowly as I move further back in time.

I can't say anything else about the plot, though, if you'll excuse me. :P I look forward to hearing your opinions on how things develop! Thank you again for reading and reviewing this story!


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Review #50, by long_live_luna_bellatrixDaydream: Daydream

10th February 2012:
This was really cute. I guess I haven't read too much fluff recently, but I still enjoyed it. Perhaps my favorite aspect was how you got the classic kiss in the rain to be, well, not so classic. :P It was sweet and quite original and both your characters were very likable.

You tied the whole thing together nicely with the bit about the daydreams, at the beginning and end. It gave the whole thing a nice, finished feel to it. And the pie comment was brilliant as well, since the reader didn't miss a beat but if you weren't in the main character's head then it would sound absolutely ridiculous.

The whole thing was relatable as well. We've all had those daydreams of the perfect moment with the perfect person, and often those are during inconvenient times such as school. So when Stephen started wriggling his fingers and your main character decided he meant rain, my heart went out to him. Out of curiosity, what did Stephen actually mean?

The only thing I can possibly think of that may have needed work were tiny bits of your wording. The sentence I'm thinking of in particular is, "I could nearly see the light on the lake again, when my name being said called me abruptly back. " Placing "said" and "called" next to each other is a little awkward, so rearranging that might make it sound better. Even "I was called abruptly back when I heard my name" would do it. And there were other absolutely minuscule things, like "The golden tipped waves lapped" might sound better with one less syllable, such as "The gold-tipped waves lapped."

It was a sweet read, overall. Well done. :D

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