Reading Reviews From Member: crestwood
  
491 Reviews Found

Review #1, by crestwoodYear Five: The Presence of Love

28th September 2014:
Hi Roisin!

It's been awhile, so I thought I'd come back and continue with this story.

There's something so sincere about Emily's letter to Tristan. A lot of people say they don't know what to say, but she honestly is thankful in such a way that she seems legitimately at a loss for words. For some reason the lack of embellishments in her signature meant something to me as well, even if that wasn't supposed to be important. And she's right, working out why Tristan does what he does IS tiring, but also incredibly entertaining, I must say.

And you've brought back Laurel's conversation with Dumbledore because again, nothing exists in a vacuum here. Their time-out is something I've employed before and it's usually a good sign that things can be fixed, if they can be ignored for the span of a conversation.

Somehow I think Dumbledore did all of this on purpose. In the same way he knew that Ron would want to be able to find Harry and Hermione in Deathly Hallows, he guessed that one of Laurel's friends would find it useful to know the way to guess his password.

I love the way you've described Dumbledore's office. The words in that scene felt like one of Wes Anderson's tracking shots; beautiful in it's perspective.

I think I can picture Dumbledore reading about Socrates. His thoughts on Azkaban here are something I was just talking about not too long ago. As a prison system, it's actually quite terrible, as I think it makes people more dangerous for having been there in the grand scheme of things.

Overall, you've written Dumbledore so perfectly as a Headmaster. I've seen quite a few stories about him in his teenage years or as the leader of the Order, but I've really enjoyed reading about him at Hogwarts, doing his job. You've captured exactly what makes him such an amazing character.

'deep affection, fierce defensiveness, private intimacy, infinite loyalty, unconditional acceptance, mutual respect, intellectual joy, and fundamental contrast' No one understands their characters like you do. I'm a subscriber to the 'Death of the Author' line of thinking and everything, but from a literary analysis standpoint if you tell me something about these characters, I'm going to take your word for it.

This look into Laurel's home life is striking. There's a great number of things that could be cited as the cause of her troubles and I suppose they weren't helped by her being around the other's so often. But at the same time, who knows what she could have ended up like if that wouldn't have happened? I'm inclined to think (or at least hope) that the group is ultimately good for each other. But, I think that's up for debate.

I'm glad Isobel's parents have finally realized that something's wrong. I can't believe you had Voldemort steal Ahmad's research in order to learn to fly!! That's such a clever thread back into the main canon storyline because it gives the sense that these guys are actively affecting the way things are happening in regards to the series. I like the idea that this could all very well have happened and maybe we've seen some of the effects of it before without knowing.

I can certainly buy that Isobel's eating disorder stems from her desire to control things. After all, we've seen evidence of that throughout the entire story.

I'm so relieved to see Laurel and her mother having a positive interaction. And again with the ties into canon with Rita Skeeter. Your plans for this must have been the length of a football field.

Tristan's anxiety attack was almost difficult to read. I don't like to see him like this in the same way that you wouldn't want to hear about the same thing happening to one of your friends.

Feeling intense empathy for fictional characters is always a bit jarring. His confession is so fitting. "I might have done, I'm not above it, but I didn't." Even in his innocence, he can't be bothered to paint himself as a gallant savior of sorts. Also, Mary is, by far, my favorite of all of the parents. I find her to be an excellent mother to Tristan, even if he has his troubles.

Well, the story about Andrew was absolutely nothing like I thought. I mean, I didn't really think about it and it seems as though no one's ever acknowledged it out loud, but it definitely was not okay. The age difference, the "I dunno," all of it. Just not okay. You've really hit on so many different topics in this story.

And lastly, I adore the meeting with Sprout at the end because, well, I adore any scene with her that you write.

It almost feels trite to tell you that you're wonderful at this point, but you're wonderful.

Author's Response: Schmargloffputerfiggleshmorp!!1!1!! Joeyyy! You are the best reviewer EVAR!

As for what Tristan does and why--I think that has a lot to do with why him and Emily love eachother so much. She's one of the most philosophically interested of the bunch (HUFFLEPUFF, FUNK YEAH!), and has all these deep probing ideas about moral relativism, and the simultanaity of Truth. Does Tristan do something because he loves someone else, or because he hates himself? Does he do something because he's a coward, or because he's brave? Is Schrodinger's Cat dead or alive? Emily is uniquely qualified to answer those questions.

Dude, yes! The fight-time-out is a powerful thing!

And yes-yes-yes! Dumbledore did everything on purpose! Because Dumbledore really is a master manipulator--and you're totally right about DH, and how he managed to set up this whole plot before he died. Some people have criticized that as absurd story-telling, so I really wanted to kind of justify it here. No, it's not a silly plot, IT IS A FASCINATING CHARACTER. So here, basically, I'm suggesting that Dumbledore is meddling with all his students, even on their relatively petty issues. Because sure, "teenage angst" might pale in comparison to VOLDEMORT, but these things still MATTER to the people experiencing them, and I think Dumbledore is wise enough to know that.

'deep affection ... and fundamental contrast.' Gosh what a long sentence. I should really consider cutting that.

I'm really glad that you're starting to wonder whether or not their friendship with each other is healthy or not--because that's for sure a question I was hoping readers would raise. As with a lot of questions in this story, the answer is pretty much up to you the reader (and the best answer is probably "both.")

YEE! The Voldemort robbery! EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE IS CONNECTED! No one is an island! No series of events exist in a vacuum! Every life matters, and influences so many people outside of itself!

Blagh--Tristan's anxiety attack was difficult to write :( And what's worse: I rewrote it about 40 times.

Feeling intense empathy for fictional characters is, I think, important! If you haven't already, I highly recommend watching John Green's analysis of "To Kill a Mockingbird" on youtube! (And really, all of his Crash Course videos). Also: JK Rowling's address at the Harvard Commencement. It's one of the most stunning speeches ever given, and I cry every time I read it!

Mary is for sure my favorite! I lovelovedloved writing her!

Blargh, Andrew. That was not at all fun to write.

On a lighter note: glad you liked the Sprout scene! I don't know if it came across, but it was meant to be something of an inversion of Harry's guidance with McGonnagall! (Because, to quote Teh Tarik: "MO META IS MO BETTA")

You really are the best reviewer ever, like, SJLKHFEKHFMBFKHVBW!!

xoxo
xo
XOXOXO
-Roisin


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Review #2, by crestwoodAbandon: Yes and No

27th September 2014:
Hey Gabbie!

I'm here a lot sooner than last time. I've actually been clearing out my review thread in a reasonable amount of time and I'm rather proud of myself.

I definitely get the feeling from this chapter that Roxanne and Benjamin were more than just friends whenever it was that they knew each other. Is their past going to be explained in later chapters or was that addressed in some other story that has escaped my notice? Because I actually would really like to know what went down between these two that got them to this point.

Honestly, Benjamin seems incredibly rude from the word go in the flashback. I don't think I'd ever speak to him again after that. Apparently Roxanne can take a lot more verbal abuse than I can because she barely seems phased by him at all. I wonder what it is that makes him so hostile.

In the present day he's no nicer, I see. Roxanne isn't taking his attitude quite so easily anymore though, something he did must have changed things drastically. I really can't believe she agreed to go back to his house with him. But then, I kind of can because he's clearly alluring to her in a strange way. I wonder what kind of trouble these two will get into..

Your characters are always so interesting and never predictable. Really outstanding writing!

Author's Response: Hello!

Yay, you're back! I wasn't expecting to hear from you so soon but this is a nice surprise, it's always good hearing from you.

A lot of people have said that Roxanne and Benjamin have something more between them and they're both right and wrong. I think that in all honesty, there was a lot of sexual tension between them that never was released so it DOES make you wonder if they were a couple at some point.

They had a bad falling out but it's obvious that they still have that something between them. >:)

HAHAHAHA. Oh, you haven't been introduced to how rude Benjamin can be and I'm serious, you'll just have to keep on reading. HIs hostility comes from always being treated badly by others but you'll understand if you keep on reading.

Benjamin rarely shares his nice side but Roxanne isn't so much of a pushover either so they clash. Hahaha, that trip to his house will not go well for her...

Thanks for stopping by, I'll re-request soon. I think I'll wait until your thread is a bit lighter though. ;)

Thanks again!

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #3, by crestwoodLove, Not War: The Spy

27th September 2014:
Hi Deana!

I really should be asleep right now. It's 6 am and I'm supposed to be going to D.C. tomorrow. Or today I suppose. But, I've been distracted all night (morning) and if I don't review this now it'll have to wait through another day entirely.

I found it so realistic that Molly and Arthur's room would be sort of barren in a way. I can't imagine them going to any extreme expenses furnishing their room, when that money could be spent on one of their children. They're both such selfless, family-oriented people and that little detail really accentuated that.

The scene in which Draco is being egged on by McGonagall to offer up a name is really emotional because you can really feel just how much he doesn't want to do it. He would rather be the source of, or possibly the witness of such pain in Molly and Arthur. It's amazing how far he's come, just to be able to see that their feelings are important. Of course, that hasn't exactly stretched to the entire Weasley family, but the rest of them are hardly giving him a break either, so I cannot blame him in the slightest. He's changed a bit, but he's not yet to a place where he'd forgive those who still treat him the way they do.

I cannot deal with Molly realizing who the spy is on her own. It was almost worse than Draco having to spring it on her. I can't imagine how they must feel. We're never given any canon examples of the parents of a Death Eater being those who fight against them. Usually Death Eaters are raised on the pureblood mania and will swear to it up and down, but Percy is a member of the most notorious 'blood traitor' family there is and not only that, but as far as I've thought it out, he is not a subscriber to their way of thinking. I doubt he really feels that Muggleborns are beneath him, but he does has an insatiable hunger for power and he truly believes that following Voldemort will give him just that. He is willing to betray his family and everything he was raised for if he believes that it'll make him more powerful in the ministry. Voldemort is despicable, but there's an argument for Percy being the more interesting villain here.

I was not only correct in believing that Percy was the spy, but I actually figured out that he must have been manipulating Arthur for information. After all, it was established that the Death Eaters were always a step ahead and I believed Percy to be the spy. That only really leaves Arthur, as no one else in his family would regularly be at the Ministry in order to speak to him. It's horrible that he would use his father's trust in him like that. And here I was thinking that the night Molly almost got arrested was the worst he could get.

I haven't read the last part of this chapter before now, but I must say, I am almost glad to have things settle down a bit toward the end. It was interesting seeing McGonagall get exasperated with everyone doubting her at the end. I like this new lineup of The Order. Luna and Neville are two people that I wish could have participated more in canon, so I do love to see them having a say in this version of events.

As always, this chapter was absolutely amazing!

Author's Response: hey, Joey!! As always, you spoil me with your reviews, lol! D.C. sounds like SO much fun tho. I've never been, unfortunately. Hope you had a good trip. :)

I'm so glad you liked my description of Molly & Arthur's room. We were never really given a glimpse into this space in Cannon, so it was a lot of fun to imagine it. And I appreciate everything you had to say about Draco and his attitude of care only extending to a few members of the Weasley family. Your assumptions about Percy and his attitude towards everything are spot-on also. Gosh, you're so insightful Joey, lo! =P

I can't believe you got it right, haha! Honestly, I did insert alot more clues as to who the spy was when I rewrote this tho. There weren't nearly as many hints beforehand, lol. Just remember what you said about Percy being the more interesting villian in events to come. Because he certainy does have a much larger role to play in the upcoming chapters. He certainly does get a LOT worse than even this. I am just getting started with this evil Percy, haha!! ;)

Things are settled down for now, by the end of this chapter... But how long can that last? Just wait til you see the end of next chapter, lol!! *evilgrin* Thanks so much for such an incredible review, Joey. you are awesome, man!! I seriously appreciate all of your help and dedication that you have given to this story. =D


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Review #4, by crestwoodReincarnation: Back

26th September 2014:
Hi Sana!

I'm here for the September Review Exchange finally because I realized that the month will be over before I know it and I'd hate to forget to do this!

I must say that I have never read anything to do with this subject before. It's an interesting idea, Reincarnation, especially the kind in which the person doesn't immediately recall all of the details of their past life.

I thought you handled this really well here. You kind of had details spill out randomly, as if they were flooding back to her all at once. I thought that was an intriguing take on things.

I'm certainly interested in what happened to her to cause her death and the significance of Scorpius. I think I'll read Night of Betrayal when I find time because I do want to know. I was thinking about reviewing that for this since it comes first, but I couldn't resist seeing how you wrote this idea.

I wonder about this new body that she's inhabiting as well. This girl must have her story as well and I'm curious about if we'll get to find how who she is as well.

The flashback to Rose's family was kind of sad, considering I have a feeling that the person she had a school-time grudge against had a hand in her death. Can't be sure though, just a feeling.
This was a good, attention grabbing first chapter!

Author's Response: Hi Joey!
I'm so glad you liked it! I don't want to write anything else because I'll end up sounding like an idiot.

THANK YOU FOR THAT LOVELY REVIEW, YOU ARE JUST SO LOVELY!


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Review #5, by crestwoodL'optimisme: Bulgaria

26th September 2014:
Hi Laura!

I've never read any depiction of Grindelwald's point of view before, so I can't be entirely sure, but something tells me that the typical portrayal is not half as sophisticated as you've managed to make it here.

Before I even begin to attempt to review this I just have to ask, do you, have you ever or do you ever plan to write original fiction? The way you write deserves to make you a lot of money. In fact, when you request these reviews and tell me that you're worried about certain aspects, I deliberately approach reading the chapters with a mind ready to find mistakes and explain something I'd do a bit different or just want I'd prefer to read. There's almost always some suggestion I could offer when given specific areas of concern, but you have stumped me. So, instead I will spend this review pointing out the ways you have written something that I do not find fault with at all.

First, you mentioned worrying about the characterization and I have to say.. there is no need to. You're correct in calling this chapter a character study of sorts. It's certainly character-driven and depends heavily on our interest in the inner workings of Gellert's mind and what he was feeling and going through during this time period. Because you've been pacing yourself so well and taking us through both Albus and Gellert's minds up until this point, we're already very acquainted and familiar with who he is and I can't speak for anyone else, but I am really intrigued by his point of view. We never get to hear his side of the story in canon and no matter how dark or sinister he can be, he does have a viewpoint in all of this. You've done this amazing job depicting him as someone who has that darkness, who is completely unabashed to be enthralled by power. But, you've also given him this human center, highlighted each and every time he mentions or thinks about Albus. It's such a fine line to walk, but you have managed to emphasize his capacity for love and evil and all of the contradictions that I believe he'd feel because of that. I don't think I'll ever be able to separate this Grindelwald from how I read him in canon.

As for the plot, I loved the stealing of the Elder Wand. A story about that alone would have drawn me in, but the way you've written it is special because you haven't just described the events, but given us such an insight into the way it was stolen and the way Grindelwald felt before, during and after. I feel like I'm quite literally inside of his head in real time as thoughts fly left and right.

And because you mentioned the language, I will include what I thought. I was very happy to see that someone else had nominated this story for the Best Quote Dobby before me, enabling me to simply second their nomination, because I never would have been capable of choosing only one passage to single out. You write as if the shaping of words was what you were born to do. The fact that you are writing what are essentially two absolute geniuses is never allowed to be forgotten because the language they use, the sheer gravity of their words is all too present. I can't give you an example of every sentence I enjoyed for fear of nearing the character limit, but I will pick a few out to just sing your praises.

"Then, I was nothing and everything, no one and everyone, a living dimorphism in myself" - Here is that duality of this character that I mentioned earlier. Absolutely beautiful.

"Did you think of that, in your grand scheme to hide yourself from the world? Or did your courage die at the end of that summer, cradled so delicately in the girl’s hands as she fell?" He's almost taunting Albus now. The bitterness is very clearly expressed without an explicit 'he said, bitterly.' Oh, how easy you make this look.

"It would be difficult, a path strewn with dangers (of course, for what revolution is without peril?) but I would match it, whatever came my way, and the glory in the end would be worth all the cost of the beginning." This passage is a summation of the entire 'Greater Good' philosophy in only so many words. I do not think one could write the underlying idea behind everything Gellert believed in any better than this. I don't know where you learned to wield the English language like this, but I think any writer on this site that wants to learn the correct way to write an internal monologue should be referred to this story. I really do apologize about my lack of helpful criticism, but sometimes things are just beyond my ability to find fault. Just brilliance all around. Thank you for requesting.

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Review #6, by crestwoodThe Memory Book: Prologue

25th September 2014:
Hi Grace!

The first line is really telling here. Based on what canon tells us, Knockturn is a place generally populated with no one but the darkest and lowest of Wizarding society. That one line leads us to assume a lot about this character, despite not knowing anything about her, really.

I love your descriptions right away! Telling us how the colours of the sunset reflect onto Knockturn alley is a perfect way to introduce us to the setting. I was surprised to find this person sitting on a rooftop. I want to know immediately who she is and what it is she requires from this man. She doesn't seem to know him well, since she got her information about him from the Prophet, so I wonder what it is that she could want from him.

She's incredible manipulative, having planned to convince him that she was innocent and lost, rather than impatiently use force right away to get what she wants. I was not expecting her to be planning on taking his memories, but that is certainly something that could come in handy if he's an important or knowledgeable person. I do wonder where she sent the stretcher with his body, it seems like it'd take some powerful magic to just make it fly off into the night like that.

This was such a good start! I wasn't expecting anything like this to start off a Dramione. I'm happy to see that this will also be a murder mystery it seems. I can't wait to see how you handle Hermione and Draco's working together. Really great first chapter!

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Review #7, by crestwoodThe Internal Monologue of Annett Sinclaire Kluge: Yang’s Audacity

24th September 2014:
Hi Emilie!

I noticed that you were sitting at 99 reviews and saw it fit that I'd leave the 100th review on this. I've been giving you feedback all along through the pm system and Google Drive, but there's been a startling lack of actual reviews left here on the archives. This only means that you're soon to have the review count of this story grow hugely.

It feels funny seeing Annett just beginning her sixth year. Almost nostalgic even. It's been quite a while since I've read this, but it's amazing the way you drop these hints about future plot points. I love the way Annett goes about talking to people. Even before she is aware that people find her intimidating, she is doing the Kluge glare. It just comes naturally for her.

You've just written such an interesting Next-Gen universe. I've seen a lot of people's ideas of what the Next-Gen would look like and this one stands out. You've written in an OC, but you haven't necessarily made her the center of the universe. Thanks to her observational talents, we get so much information about even those that she doesn't know very well and thus, the point of view doesn't feel so limited.

The story of her family is kind of sad. A stillbirth/miscarriage as well as victims of gang violence just within her close family tree. Certainly explains her lack of cousins.

Scorpius saying that this is going to be a fun year is more correct than he could possibly know.
You've set up the story to come so perfectly here. I'm so impressed all over again. I can't wait to re-read all of this. I am so happy I choose to beta this story and I'm so proud of the success it's seeing. Congratulations on 100 reviews!!

Author's Response: Joseph!

I spent so long trying to reply to your review the first time that I got logged out and I lost whatever I wrote.

Regardless, my facial muscles ache with this grin on my face and I can't seem to get it off. I blame your review.

The three digits make a rather larger seat to sit on. It's remarkably comfortable. Thank you so much for my 100th review! It means so much to me, especially coming from you. Yes, it is very fit that it should be you.

Very nostalgic, indeed. I feel like a sniffling mother (quite fitting when you take into account that Annett's mother here is named Emilie) remembering when her child was, well, little-er. She's grown so much, as you well know. So has everyone else in this compartment.

One of her many charms is most definitely her inherent ability to intimidate without always intending to. I have so much fun with this.

Thank you so much! I do try to write things that readers have never seen before, so it means a lot for me for you to say that.

Annett certainly dislikes talking too much about herself as you know. I feel that it is reflected in her thoughts. Despite her position as narrator, she is quite far from being egocentric.

It does exactly that and a little bit more after. I thought it would be revealing to at least hint at Annett's mother being a Pathologist because of her unborn brother (although I've never said this explicitly except within my own mind and here, right now, to you).

That is precisely the case. It'll be a fun year, even for him. ;)

Joseph, thank you so much for this lovely review and for being the spectacular beta and friend that you are. I cannot wait to read more of your reviews as you go through this story again.

Cheers and pancakes,
Emilie


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Review #8, by crestwoodRun: Run

24th September 2014:
Hi Erin!

I think I'll stray away from analyzing this as a period piece since I am probably one of the least knowledgeable people on this site when it comes to Founders Era, so I'll simply look at this as I would any other romance. (Although I give you major props on this because Founders Era is totally WAY more challenging to write)

You did not use second person again! You can't have! How do you do this?! I really could never manage, but you do and you do it perfectly. This time the entire story is written this way and it really does allow us to step into the protagonists shoes a bit more, being talked to directly like this.

You gave us something of a cold open there at the beginning. It was pretty effective and I think a good start is really important - especially to a one-shot. Throwing us into the story in medias res is an interesting technique here because we are shown that Rowena is running desperately through the forest, away from her father and we have no clue why. And now we're reading on not only to figure out what will happen, but what led us to this point in the first place. I really love the approach.

You did a really good job writing the speech patterns of the time period. I'm not totally familiar with them, but nothing seems terribly out of place.

Somehow, even as Salazar was being so warm toward Rowena, I had this feeling that something was wrong. I certainly noticed that her father hadn't been heard from at all. I do understand why she didn't think to ask, seeing how charming he was. Also, something about that particular use of 'familiar' in regards to his snake was so spot on and made me geek out over a word. I'm a bit of a linguist and the rare meanings of words can really be used to great effect.

Rowena's disbelief that Salazar would kill her father so readily was incredibly well written. His reaction even more so. It's scary how cold he is in regards to it all. I don't know what I thought he'd give as a reason, but 'he was a mudblood' is probably the most impactful thing he could have said and the one thing that would have caused her to run like that. Honestly, I don't think many people would stick around after that.

The end tied in really well. I would have loved to know what happened in those seven years, but of course this is only a one-shot. I did enjoy this backstory we got on both Rowena and Salazar. You managed to write a Founders Era story that didn't bore me at any time all the way through and that is an accomplish, I must say. Really great job on this!

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Review #9, by crestwoodAnd Just Like That: Chapter 2

22nd September 2014:
Hi Jess! I'm actually getting to your request reasonably quick here.

I must say, this is my favorite Muggle AU I've ever read. A lot of them lose their urgency for some reason and seem a bit trivial, but here you've given us a realistic parallel to the Wizarding world.

Severus is still being an absolute creep, following Lily around like that. She's correct in thinking that he just doesn't get it. He seems to think getting her the job and saying sorry will completely absolve himself of any responsibility for his past actions. I love the way you mirror canon events in this. You make these characters and events really fit completely into the Muggle world. I wonder where you got the idea of a restaurant AU, that's certainly not something I've seen done before.

"Lily has heard of phantom limbs and she wonders if that applies to people as well." This is a gorgeous sentence in every way.

I love Mary in this story so much. She's such a solid friend and support system to Lily, their phone call was done really, really well.

The scene in which Lily wants to be annoyed at James for being cliche is so great. "Fancy meeting you here" and the way it may look as though nothing ever happened between them to an onlooker. Just excellent writing. We don't have all that many canon details for this part of the story, but this is really good speculation on your part.

Lily's new job is a step up from her last at least, still not exactly ideal with the costumers being a bit too touchy and condescending. Until she sees a boy there; 'a very, very stupid boy who's too clever for his own good.' That may be the most accurate description of James ever, haha. There's some amazing lines in this chapter.

Lily and James have a wonderful dynamic here. I adore how you've written them and I'm SO glad he left his number and it's so perfect that he wants her to open a food van and be the head chef. This is all so perfect, I can see them working together inside and driving around and having the time of their life. This is so good. I can't wait for the rest! Awesome work on this, really!

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Review #10, by crestwoodTrixangela Snape: Year 1: Chapter 9; The Tutoring

21st September 2014:
Hey! I've taken forever to respond to your request, but I'm here now!

Thomas is still a perfect, amazing friend to Trixi and my favorite character by far. I just love how innocent and sweet he is. He reminds me of what the Trio could have been like if they weren't always so preoccupied by their various schemes and sneaking off to save people. (Although I do love their schemes)

I'll tell you, I do like the group of first year Gryffindors here and their takedown of the second year a lot. You introduce these kids and I almost want to read a whole separate story telling me all about their time at Hogwarts too. That's always a good sign when even the characters on the periphery of the story are interesting enough to warrant my attention.

Dorian is a terrible person. I can't believe he hexed a little girl, that is so low of him. I think I've spent so much time reading Next-Gen novels that I've forgotten how nasty some people could be about blood status in this time period. It shows a lot about Trixi's character that she stood with her head held high and didn't fight back against this kid. I have a feeling she knew some things that could have taught him a lesson. Her dedication to pacifism is something that I was not expecting coming into the story.

Her dormmates are just SO mean to her. I can't find a reason for their extreme behaviour other than, "kids are cruel." It just seems as though no one will give her a break, for one reason or another, not even her own father. I'm glad that she told Thomas about her mother being muggleborn, I hope he's trustworthy so he can continue being my favorite!

I suppose Snape finally convinced Trixi to show the full extent of her power to Lupin. I knew she'd be able to take down Thomas with ease, but I had no clue that she'd be able to trip up her father. It's funny that she keeps saying that Lupin is clearly "sick with something." I wonder how all of this will affect her regular lessons with Lupin. Trixi is seriously skilled with magic.

I wonder when Snape will ever have a real conversation with Trixi about Harry. That seems like it'd be a significant thing to discuss with her. I suppose not if you're Snape. He seems to be avoiding the subject altogether. I did enjoy this chapter as much as the ones before it. Your characterizations are falling into place and I'm curious as to where this plot is headed. Another good chapter!

Author's Response: Thanks for another kind review. My strong points are characters, and I noticed I have poor discriptions, but it doesn't stop people from reading and raving about my character developement.

I am happy to have plased you again ;) and yes, Thomas is just... sweet. It is possible for a boy to be that way, even at that age, I have met a few of them. But it's rare, hehe.

Trixi is very skilled in more ways than one, she's just afraid to use it a lot of it, after all, she hurt her only friend just last year. Even though she understood the dangers with permforming magic, she never witnessed it until then.

Yeah, Snape will eventually explain, but you know how reserved and bitter he is about anything with his life.


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Review #11, by crestwoodAbandon: Strangers and Fireworks

20th September 2014:
It's been a ridiculously long time since you requested for this. I can't even believe I've taken so long. But, I'm here now!

I am really loving your version of the Next-Gen Wotter family. I've read quite a bit of your stories, so I have a pretty solid wealth of information to work off of when it comes to some of these characters. I'm really interested in a story about Roxanne, as she's someone I've only met briefly during other characters' stories.

I found it believable that Percy would still feel some level of guilt about abandoning his family all those years ago and want to throw them these awesome parties and throw around his influence a bit in order to prove that he's sorry for it; even if they forgave him a long time ago.

It's actually really sad that George still goes into moods about Fred, but of course he does. I can't imagine him ever really getting over that honestly.

Loved the little details you slipped in about Oliver Wood and his daughters. And you have George telling Rose to slip a spider down Ron's shirt! You give these one off things that pack so much information or recall things from canon and it's just really, really good.

Percy and George seem to be actually quite close now in your world, which I always appreciate. I think your Audrey has loosened him up a bit.

And I finally get to meet Benjamin Malfoy! I've heard talk of him in a lot of your other stories, but I've always wondered who exactly he is. All I know now is that he is the son (possibly adopted) of Draco and has some strong ties with Roxanne. It's a little creepy that he was hiding out in Arthur's shed though. I wonder what he was doing there and I wonder if Roxanne is happy to see him or not. She called him her dearest friend, but also said that she knew everything was about to go wrong, so I'm not entirely sure. It might be that she likes him, but knows that he's a troublemaker. As if she doesn't have enough of those in her own family. This world is as intriguing and detailed as ever. I really liked this! I will be coming back to this story eventually when I'm a little less busy. I want to make my way through this one!

Author's Response: Hello!

Thanks for stopping by and don't worry about being so late, I can totally understand that you were busy. I really like writing the Weasley/Potter clan and I'm glad that you're able to get a feel for each of them. Roxanne I hope, you'll enjoy since there aren't that many stories of her on the archives and you haven't gotten a chance to really meet her yet.

I don't think Percy would ever really be able to forgive himself for what he's done in the past. It kind of makes me sad but his family still loves him so I guess that's all that matters.

George would probably still be thinking about Fred for a long time, I think. I didn't want it to be really heavy on that note just yet but I wanted to hint that the pain was still there.

Bwhah, I think the old Quidditch team would still be friends after the War. Hahah, George is naughty and I try to weave in canon as easily as I can!

Hahaha, Percy is kind of an odd ball himself though but he's loosened up a lot. I can't imagine him and George not getting along after writing them for so long.

Hahaha, I'm glad that you're excited to finally meet Benjamin. He's been talked about but never seen, I'm thinking of having him show up in "Transparent" for a brief cameo. Yes, it's creepy that he was in Arthur's shed. Roxanne is happy to see him but there are a lot of issues between them right now so you'll have to read on. :D

I hope you come back soon, it's been good swapping and reviewing with you!

Much love,

Gabbie



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Review #12, by crestwoodDefine Me: How It All Began

20th September 2014:
Arnold Jenkins, for some reason, really reminded me of the old man from Up. The way he's kind of rough around the edges and does things to remember his late wife by. I felt really bad for him, especially because if someone is in his spot he actually sits and waits for it to open up. I wonder if it was the place he and his wife had their first date or something similar. His character was just really well developed.

I love seeing Wizards in Muggle settings. I wonder what brought James to this restaurant that she works at. Just in the neighborhood? I love how James acts toward Taylor, he seems like a really good guy. Unless it's all an act, that is. I have seen him portrayed as a heartbreaker, but I hope that he isn't that in this story considering how much Taylor actually does need him to show some responsibility.

Their conversation at the park is excellently done. I'm surprised that Taylor actually does share about her mother! I can understand why she wouldn't explain what her dad is like though..
You didn't overwrite the sex scene thankfully. you give us as much detail as we needed and then kind of cut to black. Some don't ever really master getting that balance right. You also made it believable that they were a bit caught up in the moment and weren't thinking much about protection or consequences. You did an awesome job with that scene.

I do wonder about the present time. Namely, where James is at this point. Are they still in touch? Did he bolt after that night? Is he at Hogwarts now? I'd love to find out if he's going to try and help her out with this child. Even better, if he introduces her to his family. That'd be something I've never seen before in these kinds of stories. Her being a Muggle does change things, doesn't it? Another great chapter!

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Review #13, by crestwoodDefine Me: Prologue: Positive

20th September 2014:
You requested this ages ago and I'm horrible and I'm only just now getting around to it and I have no excuse. Anyway, hi I'm Joey and I've been slacking on my review thread, but here I am!

The beginning of this draws in you in really well. I'm a big fan of one word opening lines, especially when the lines that follow are so, well, interesting. I want to know more about this Taylor and who she slept with and what her life is like.

There's something about pregnancy stories that are really alluring if done correctly. This one seems to place the protagonist in an even worse position than these stories do normally. You've given us a whole lot of backstory in a short amount of words. We can see that she and her brother are being raised by this abusive alcoholic father and that she is doing all she can to keep her brother from being taken away from them and this is all before she ever got pregnant. This aren't looking great for Taylor, but I have a feeling that the father of the baby is going to play a larger part in her life than she expects. I love her definitions of bravery. That's an excellent device there. This is a great prologue. It sets up the story in a really great way!

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Review #14, by crestwoodComplicated: In Which Scorpius Is A Moody Cow

20th September 2014:
I was almost going to sleep now but then I decided that reviewing apparently is a lot more important to me. (??) I just have to tell you my thoughts about this chapter! First, off the title is great. Scorpius is a bit moody, isn't he? Although, his girlfriend is missing.. that may be a factor.

I am all for Rose becoming a more important character to this story. ALL FOR IT. She is just so nice and approachable and everyone should love her. Funny how she calls Olivia Liv. That seems like a symbolic way to separate her from Scorpius and Cass. And she told Laura Brogan that Al finds Ollie prettier than her!! That's so funny. She seems really protective of her family.

I like the idea that Scorpius would like Rose if he stopped disliking her on principle, (and not just because I'm a Scorose shipper) I feel like these guys dislike a lot of people that they could potentially be friends with if they gave them a real chance.

Louis seems really manipulative and deeply flawed from what I can see here. And this is only his first sober appearance of the story. But, that said, he doesn't seem all too malicious per se.
Wow, Louis is really, really touchy. Luckily Rose is there to stop him from talking and be reasonable.

I love how Ollie decided to get Laura off her back! What a snarky takedown. She's probably going to be angry beyond belief after that one. Al's uncontrollable laughter was basically my reaction.
I actually completely understand Scorpius' point about how much time Ollie has been making for him. It's been a lot less than he's used to and this is all without Cass. I think she's right in thinking that he's been alone most of the times that she isn't with him. He doesn't seem to have all that many friends and I can understand why, coming from his family. He's certainly not interested in Weasleys, possibly out of guilt. He's bound to know some of the things that happened in the war, even things that happened in Malfoy manor itself. I mean, Rose's mother was tortured in his home and I don't think that's something totally easy to just forget.

So, Scorpius is being a moody cow, but I see where he's coming from. Ollie is very right to tell Cass that they need her.

Another excellent chapter!

Author's Response: Joey! Sorry for keeping you up!

I was actually unsure about the chapter title, so you've reassured me :) Some of my titles seem really straightforward but others, like this one, don't quite feel natural when I'm writing.

The Ollie/Liv thing kind of happened by accident but now I'm enjoying using it. I like separating the Slytherin friends from the Gryffindors like that.

Rose is one of my favourites. She's one of the characters in this I feel confident I'd really like in real life.

It's really interesting to hear your thoughts on Louis. I don't know that I necessarily meant him to seem manipulative but now that you've mentioned it I can see how he is. Like everyone, I think he's just too focussed on his own problems to notice how easy it is to hurt somebody else.

And I'm glad you think Scorpius is reasonable to be upset. I didn't want him to seem like he was being too difficult, but he's hurting at the moment and that's definitely affecting his behaviour. The Weasley situation can't be easy for him, and obviously he's really missing Cassie.

Thank you so much for reviewing again! I'm really really happy that you're enjoying reading :)

Emma xx


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Review #15, by crestwoodYear Five: The Question

20th September 2014:
Okay, I'm back to once again immerse myself in this wonderful story.

It says a lot about the distance that has grown between Tristan and his friends that they haven't noticed his absence at all throughout the week. The fact that Laurel is still giving up for wand to Isobel willingly is probably the biggest sign of her recovery that we've seen all story. But then again, the way her relapses go, I can see what spurred her to realize enough is enough. The House elves fear of wands is a really huge contrast to Griphook's assertion that Wizards should share the secrets of wandlore with other magical creatures. House Elves seem a bit brainwashed compared to goblins honestly.

I always love a bit of Sprout POV. I'm happy that Isobel was at least upset at the idea of Tristan hexing out. That shows that she has some sort of sympathy left for him deep down.

I wonder how Emily will react knowing that Tristan took all of the blame rather than let anything come back to her. I feel uncomfortable with Isobel and Emily fighting like this. It just seems like they *should* be friends.

It's interesting that Laurel says that Emily's the best and Tristan says that Emily's "better" than the other two. It seems everyone holds her in the highest regard. Which, I suppose is because she's the nicest, by far and the most stable and put together as well. So, in that sense, she is the best.

You've made Isobel give Voldemort the idea of unassisted flight!! That's such a perfect piece of canon. Genius, really.

I am SO confused. Quirrel with Voldemort on the back of his head kissing Isobel?? WHY. This is the grossest thing ever. She's weirded out and doesn't even know about the whole Dark Lord under the turban thing. I have so many questions about that scene. I wonder whose idea that was, but then again, I'm not sure if I even want to know. She is going to be scarred for life.

George calling Tristan an enigma is the perfect description of him. That's exactly what that boy is.

Funny that Isobel and the twins have worked out that Tristan's dad isn't Eddie and then figured that Emily knew. It just goes to show that the signs have always been there if they cared to pay attention. Especially with him looking a lot like a pureblood.

You include every single bit of canon possible, even Lockhart's book on the radio gets a mention.

EAR OFF :(

Hagrid was just buying the dragon egg I suppose. His line about teenage folk wisdom was gold.
I always love seeing people answer the riddles to enter the Ravenclaw common room. I wonder if you come up with those yourself. They always strike me as insightful and yours always seem to have a relevance to the plot as well.

I feel like this story has made me a better reviewer as it's taught me to pay attention to every little thing because you pack so much meaning into it all. Seriously, I've learned LIFE LESSONS from this story. Still amazing in every way, it is.

Author's Response: Yay, hello!

Laurel giving up her wand is definitely a HUGE step for her! As for the elves, oh man, I have so many *feelings* about House Elves! So after the big fuss about Winky having a wand at the World Cup, and how she really didn't want to steal a wand for Barty, I wanted to include that cultural difference. Because, the way I see it, House Elves aren't like some sort of slave race. I think that they are actually these super powerful beings (can apparate ANYWWHERE, can do magic without wands), and so *power* only doesn't corrupt if it's used for *service.* The only time we ever see a properly treated elf in his element, is Kreacher in DH--but, he's far from a servant. When treated with proper respect, he serves the Trio more like a mum, and commands them to sit down for dinner and all. ANYway, I just think that exploitation is a big theme about elves, which is why the Hufflepuffs kept the kitchens a secret (they didn't want people to take advantage, as Emily says). So here, Isobel really is kind of taking advantage of them :( Then again, it's hard to argue with her reasoning.

I'm gonna skip ahead to the biggy here: the Quirrel assault. GOSH THAT WAS SO HARD TO WRITE. I ended up writing very little instead, and being as terse with the language as possible (because really, who wants any more detail than that). I feel like "teacher/student" is a trope that crops up a LOT in teen-drama-media, and it's one I have issues with (I HATE seeing it romanticized, because it's pretty much universally creepy and terrible and inappropriate and a power imbalance and exploitative, etc). For that reason, I decided to include it to subvert it, and show how awful it is (and Quirrel was really the only candidate for a teacher-villain here). As for how it came to pass, I think that Quirrel is pretty far off the reservation at this point. He's been drinking unicorn blood, and playing host to the Dark Lord, which has violently compromised any lingering sense of proper behavior he might have had. Additionally, I feel like he's existing in this weird state of both hubris and anxiety (he referenced getting "punished" regularly by Voldemort in PS). I think that it's a confluence of these factors that lead him to basically throwing himself at the pretty young girl who seems to admire him, because really, OF COURSE HE WOULD. So, basically, I think it was Quirrel's idea. Now, as to Voldemort's involvement in that decision making: that's open to interpretation. Canon isn't clear about whether they can do any psychic communication, but if so, it's actually a pretty dark implication. It's not like Voldy would egg him for sentimental reasons, and so if he DID, it would be more... practical. Which is rather awful. Like, basically treating Isobel as some expendable thing to keep his servant/host in high spirits. TERRIBLE.

Also, the idea that Voldemort ended up breaking his legs and then "just patching them up" later seemed like such a HIM thing to do.

Oh gosh, Lockhart's book! I definitely counted up how many weeks it would have been a best-seller for, and then shook my head at myself.

Yay! The Ravenclaw Riddles! I thought SO HARD about them when I tried to come up with clever ones, and man, writing riddles/deep questions that are plot-relevant is SUPER NOT EASY. I am sososososo glad you liked them!

and AH THANK YOU SO MUCH! I am consistently so amazed by the level of thought you put into your reviews, and I appreciate them SO MUCH.

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #16, by crestwoodComplicated: In Which Questions Are Asked

20th September 2014:
Hey Emma!

This is really one of the most realistic portrayals of how Slytherins think. I was surprised to see that you yourself aren't one.
I love the letters that Ollie is sending to Cassie. She's doing a good job of not being a concerned friend without being too overbearing, but at this point I'd totally be freaking out. I think that's to come though. I really do wonder where Cass is off to. I hope beyond anything that nothing terrible happened to her. I can hardly imagine what that'd do to Scorpius.

It was hilarious in a dark way that Ollie knew her mother would suggest weight loss potions. I'm not entirely sure, but most times people write them, they're especially dangerous if not monitored perfectly and it just seems irresponsible of her mother to constantly pressure Ollie in that way. Luckily, she ignores most things her mother says.

I wonder what her dad wants to talk to her about. I absolutely love the little detail about Draco wanting to make sure to tell Scorpius that he loves him in all of his letter because Lucius wouldn't have done the same for him. This version of Draco is pretty much exactly how I like to imagine him.

Neville's conversation with Al melts my heart. Godfather is a huge deal in the Wizarding world, I think even more than in our world and it's so perfect that Harry gave that to Neville.
I'm tempted to agree with Al about Louis. He probably shouldn't continue drinking if it's ruining the lives of everyone around him. I'm not sure if he's even attempting to or not, but it doesn't sound like he is.

The Law Enforcement people didn't really handle that tactfully. They certainly were framing Ollie as a liar trying to cover up for her Cass. I don't think that is how they should have approached the situation.

I was panicking just as much as Neville when Ollie got bit by the Venomous Tentacula, I thought she'd be more badly injured than she is even. I found it interesting that you made Millicent Bulstrode the school nurse. I often forget all about her.

Scorpius seems really jealous of Al in my opinion. The way he walks in on him laughing with Ollie and nearly has a conniption. Of course, that's understandable considering how much time Ollie has been spending with him.

Again you give us a wonderful piece of Scorpius' backstory when you tell us why he's scared of Magical Law Enforcement. That just made so much sense to me. Excellent way to give us a little bit of insight into his childhood.

This is really, really great. I've long since been a fan, but just know that I'm still completely drawn in and allured by these characters you've created. You're doing a great job with this and this chapter is amazing!

Author's Response: Joey! You're back!

Maybe I should be a Slytherin...I've wondered this a few times while writing 'Complicated'. Although I'm having a lot of fun writing the Gryffindors too.

Olivia's definitely a bit more worried about Cass than she realises, but you're right that she's dealing with it pretty well compared to how most of us would.

And general opinion is that Pansy is a terrible mother. I 100% agree with this. If Ollie didn't have Scor being so supportive her mother's words might really hurt her, and that's just not okay.

I'm glad you liked the Scorpius back story! I enjoyed putting in these bits about growing up with Draco. I think Draco definitely would have softened and grown as a person after war, and I'm trying to show that through his son.

Neville would be a fantastic godfather. You're right about Godfather seeming to be a bigger deal in the wizarding world. I hadn't really thought about that but it's very true. I think Harry would have wanted to recognise Neville's friendship, and Ron would have been James's godfather already.

Scorpius is definitely struggling with some jealousy. He's lonely without Cass and he's struggling with the idea of Ollie having other friends.

Thank you so much for the review!! All your feedback is so so kind and it really means a lot that you've taken the time to read and review :)

Emma xxx


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Review #17, by crestwoodMy (Fake) Wedding: So... I'm Engaged?

18th September 2014:
Sadly, I was beaten to 150!

But like I said, I'm already pulled in. There's no turning back now.

This premise is so unique! I've seen pretend relationships on this site, but obviously an entire fake marriage, even if only for a month, would be a LOT bigger.

I like how matter of fact James just tells Elle "I need you to pretend to be my fiancee. I'm not surprised that she agreed to it because she so desperately does need the money.

You've written James' family so perfectly. I just love them all together. Everyone is so nice and they've practically already accepted Elle into the family. The way she is with Annabel is SO cute oh my!

James and are really good at coming up with explanations on the spot. Molly was really grilling them. She's going to be really, really mad if she finds out that they're faking. I can tell that about her right away.

It's the absolute PERFECT touch to have him go back and get the ring she really wanted and it made the shock seem really authentic and just everything about that was beautiful. This chapter is just awesome and congratulations for hitting 150 reviews on this story, I can't wait to read on!

Author's Response: I just felt like doing an evil laugh when I read that you'd already been pulled in and that there was no turning back. I don't know why but I just had the urge, haha.

At first it was going to be fake girlfriend/boyfriend story but I honestly could not get it to work so I left it, watched a few movies, wrote a few one-shots and then came back to it with a completely new perspective. And that's where this story came from :)

I was worried about how quickly they all accepted her, I wasn't sure whether it was realistic or not but I don't think there's been any complaints about it so I guess it's okay! And I'm really going to enjoy writing what happens when Molly finds out, I think she'd just explode at both of them.

I was going to write it with the ring she originally chose but then I thought if James went back and bought the ring she actually wanted, it would help make the family believe it more so I changed it just before I uploaded this chapter and I'm glad that I changed it :) It sounds better than before.

~Aimee xxx


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Review #18, by crestwoodMy (Fake) Wedding: Welcome to my Crappy Life

18th September 2014:
Hey! I saw you posting about how close this is to 150 reviews on the forums and I thought, "Hey, why not come and get her there, I've got time."

I've seen this story floating around before and I always thought the title was funny and memorable, so I knew eventually I'd end up here. I'm dying to know why this fake wedding is happening. But, that's besides the point of this chapter.

You've already made it impossible not to read on from the very beginning by establishing that something *really* bad happened, but that we aren't going to get to know about it yet. Things don't seem to be going too great for Elle at the moment, staying with her sister and all, but at least she does have a job and does want to get out of the situation it seems.

I wonder what caused her to end up working at a muggle café, of all places. Her sister's kids are just adorable! And I really love the name Ruari, I don't think I've ever seen it spelled like that.

It's interesting that you've written Molly as a party goer. Most times you see her a sort of stuck up, studious type, but I think I like this version of her better. And I love that they're hanging out with Fred and Al too! I just love reading stories full of the Weasley/Potter family. I do wonder about James' supposed girlfriend. I think I share the suspicions of Al in this situation. I think we'll find out a ton more about that as the story goes on, though.

This is a really good start. It pulls you in and gives you an idea of all of the characters, but it doesn't drag on, heaping too much description and explanation into this one chapter. Just a nice, quick set up. Good chapter!

- Joey

Author's Response: First off, thank you very much, Joey, for taking the time to come and read and review my story! It's greatly appreciated :)
And I wanted to make her realistic so I knew she had to have quiet a bad life and want to change that, but it would be hard for her especially considering what happened (hint hint for later chapters). I think it was more to do with her Dad that she ended up at a muggle cafe instead of working in a wizarding one because she wants to appease me (in my opinion).
And that was the many things I knew I wanted in my story. Seen as loads of stories have already had Molly as really stuck-up and rigid, I just knew that I needed her to be the complete opposite :)

Thank you again for reviewing and I'm glad that it's pulled you in to read more, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the story.
~Aimee xxx


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Review #19, by crestwoodThis is Audrey Tang: The Bad Taste: A Bad Taste

17th September 2014:
Hey Gabbie! I'm finally here for our swap!

I have to say, I knew that Audrey used to be a stripper from all of your other stories that I've read, but this is still kind of shocking to read. This is not anything like I pictured before I come here and saw what actually happened.

I love that you didn't immediately reveal the setting at the very beginning. You just focused in on a pair of eyes. 'They were the eyes of a dead man' is a VERY good opening line. That's a hook if I've ever read one. Audrey's fascination with this man is probably not something that happens often. The amount of time she spends shyly trying to get a peek at him is, for lack of a better word, just insanely cute!

Already she has this strange crush-like thing for this guy and she hasn't even spoken to him or seen him up close even. Mr. Remmington seems like an absolute piece of scum. I'm so glad that Audrey has the strength of character to put him in check, I'm not sure if most people would talk to their boss like that. I don't know what kind of person you'd have to be to try to force your way into an employees space like that, regardless of the kind of work it is. Great job getting me a little fired up about that part haha.

You wrote the actual dance really tastefully. You gave us enough detail to understand what was going on, but you understand exactly where that limit before 'too much detail' was and steered clear of it. Really awesome job with that.

I knew the guy was Percy of course, but I did not expect her to go and kiss him like that. At all! Also, your characterization of George was spot on as well. Percy is a proper guarded sort of guy here. Although, I'd be weary of anyone that'd been staring at me all night. I can't believe he saw her behind the curtain, that is SO embarrassing.

I love their flirting and how they insist that they don't like each other when they so clearly have such intense chemistry. And Audrey's a Muggle! I never thought of her as anything but a witch, I don't know why. We were never told for sure, but I just never had it come to mind that she could be a Muggle, even though I knew and accepted that she was a stripper and that should be the more shocking news.

When he left, I wasn't surprised that she followed him outside. I wonder what caused him to get up and leave like that.. was it that she was a stripper or Muggle? Hm, I'd love to see where they go from this point. She even chased after him as he ran away, but of course he could just Apparate out of there. Something tells me she isn't about to just forget about Percy Weasley.

I found some typos:

In the sentence, "Audrey was electrofied and ended her performance with a dance that would have had her dead mother gawping in horro and received cheers that made the ceiling shake" electrofied should be electrified and horro should be horror.

And in the sentence, "Remmington took her in with a lascivious smile and closed the meager space bewteen them until she was swamped in the strong scent of cheap cologne" bewteen should be between.
Just minor stuff if you wanted to edit it out!

This was really entertaining and unique! I don't know where you come up with these ideas for your stories, but the characters always shock me a bit honestly. Really great work all around! Thank you for the swap!

Author's Response: Hello!

Thanks so much for stopping by with this awesome review. I'm sorry that it's taken me so long to get back to you though, I've been trying to get through all of my unanswered reviews and have been making slow progress.

D':

So, I know a lot of people have heard about Audrey from my other stories but I'm sure that this first chapter did come off as a bit of a shock. Hahahah.

Audrey's attraction to Percy makes no sense in the classical sense. Usually a girl would be attracted to a handsome man but in this story, I strayed away from that. I didn't want to immediately give away that Audrey was a stripper, I wanted to built up to it and I'm glad that it came off okay.

This is one of my more risky stories...

Yes, Remmington is a piece of scum.

I tried to write the actual dance as nicely as I could. Audrey isn't just a stripper, she's more of an exotic dancer and there was a lot that I couldn't actually write. Haha.

The best thin about this chapter to me was Audrey and Percy's flirting. It was so adorable and I liked that they didn't really fall over one another either, I didn't want this to go easy for either of them.

I've never been able to think of Audrey as a witch for some reason. I have no idea why and I'm not sure if they have strip clubs in the Wizarding world. Hahahha.

Percy left but he'll be back, you'll get an explanation on it at some point. Audrey isn't going to forget about him of course but there's going to be something between them later on that neither of them can run away from. :D

I checked over those typos and formatting things a while back. I'll do a quick edit sometime down the line but right now, I'm trying to get the story rolling again. Hahaha.

Thanks a bunch for this swap!

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #20, by crestwoodYear Five: The Disappearing Room

17th September 2014:
The best thing that happened to me today was that my review got (almost) caught up. You may wonder why I am informing you of such a thing and why a cleared review thread would go so far as to make my day. And to that I answer, in the most dramatic voice I can muster, "My review thread is the only thing between me and getting to the end of Year Five and it will delay me no more!"

I don't believe that this story is best read with such long, twenty four hour breaks in between each chapter. This story merits my sitting down and getting acquainted with it. I want to give my days to probing the inner workings of and monumental questions posed by this story, rather than just my nights. I am going to severely miss these characters when I finish, yes, but I have heard talks of a sequel and I am soon putting all of my faith in those rumors floating about and going for the plunge of finishing up this story and saying goodbye to my good friends the Ex-Hex Heads. (try saying that five times fast!)

I haven't even begun reading yet. I'm just trying out new ways of telling you how much I appreciate this story's existence. I will just never be able to comprehend that you've never written fanfiction before this. If this is only the beginning, you can be certain I'll be here for the rest.

But, I'm ahead of myself. I'll actually read the chapter now, I think.

You start out this chapter with the personification of the weather and that's quite beautiful. Tristan is ever the observant fellow, noticing that Emily has stopped speaking to not only himself, but Isobel and Laurel and deducing what she must really be upset about. With any other character I would find it strange that Tristan is fully aware that he's jealous of Cedric getting to spend time with Emily and is still convinced that he doesn't deserve to be around her. I believe some people might come to the conclusion that Tristan is selfish because of how cold he can sometimes be, but I don't think that's true. I think Tristan is so incredibly selfless that it's harmful. He completely puts the well being of Emily above his own. No matter how much he likes her, he's convinced that he'd be bad for her and that she's better off with the Hufflepuffs, so he actively gives away his happiness in exchange for hers. If only he realized that he doesn't have to be bad, he'd probably understand that their happiness is not mutually exclusive, but his mind will never allow it. I think what everyone brushes off as his personality, (although he *is* a naturally dark person) may be severe warning signs of depression. And somehow, I doubt you're just throwing those around for no reason, never to come back again as a relevant plot point because that's just not how you seem to work.

It's funny that Tristan is kind of taken aback by how small his world has become. I don't think he really even realized how much he relied on the group for human interaction. He must not be coping all too well if he convinced himself to attend a Quidditch.

I wanted him to send that letter so badly. Furthermore, I wanted to know what was on that letter, but that's besides the point.

After everything that's happened, it's nearly insane for them to be drinking the stolen Draught of Tranquility. Not even just because it's bad for them. This is the very thing that would have gotten Laurel expelled if she was found to possess it! And they're out in the open just drinking it by the lake! Oh, man these kids have no fear.
Tristan is right about the amount of punches pulled in his and Laurel's friendship: approximately zero.

Tristan is now on weed, that potion, Alacratus (which you compared to cocaine!!) and a Cheer to boot. This is probably the worst concoction he's been on through this entire story. You write these blurry drug fueled hazes so well. I love the paintings' reactions to their wild behavior. And this line "Tristan and Laurel had left themselves out by the lake a long time ago." is just amazing. You really drive home how out of themselves they were by having Laurel feel as though she'd never felt so out of control. After everything that happened to her.. that's saying a lot.

When Dumbledore walked into the room that Laurel was in, knowing what book this takes place during, I already knew exactly where she was. I can't believe you've had her only see herself smiling in the mirror. That takes J.K.'s little bit of symbolism and giving it this whole new profound meaning. That honestly made me just so sad for her. I guess when you've been so low for so long, happiness really is your deepest wish, isn't it? That was just one of the best scenes of this entire story so far. You did such an excellent job capturing the wisdom of Dumbledore's dialogue. When Laurel hugged him I was just so sad and happy all together and I don't know how to even react. This was super unexpected, but such an awesome surprise.

You're going for tears in this chapter apparently.. having Tristan see himself as the Bryce's biological son. I don't even have words..
And now he's having his dormitory search and they're finding all of his things.. and he hasn't been selling and he didn't steal the potion.. this is a bad chapter for Tristan. When he says that doesn't have friends anymore it was just so well placed and made worse by the fact that he's right.

I knew that Tristan was adopted, but to find out how close he came to being a Malfoy is scary.. I am now imagining an alternate universe in which he's Draco's older brother and he certainly doesn't have the heart of gold that I've come to know.

I didn't see a day coming when I saw a HP crossover with High Fidelity, but here it is. Even that turned sad, since it discouraged him about his job prospects should he choose to return to the Muggle world if he fails out. Honestly, this is the saddest chapter yet. I'm just feeling really bad for everyone.

Running out of space, amazing job!

Author's Response: I definitely agree with you on that point! I "completed" this story before even finding HPFF (and oh man THANK HEAVENS for HPFF, so much better than anything I could have hoped for!), so it really wasn't originally intended to be serialized. I tend to read stories in bursts, and usually devour a few chapters at a time--if not the whole thing at once. I so appreciate all the people who stuck with this story chapter-to-chapter during uploading, and I'm actually really glad that I had to do it that way, because I ended up doing a lot of revision to this story for that reason. But, I'm also really glad that it's all up now, so that people can read at whatever pace they like!

I MAY have written like three paragraphs of (very bad) fanfiction when I was like 10, not knowing what fanfic really *was*. Anyway.

I'm so glad you mentioned the weather-personification! Definitely says more about the person observing it, than the weather itself ;) And your analysis on Tristan re: selfless vs selfish is super great. "Self-destructive" is certainly in there somewhere to, but the thing about being self-destructive is that it necessarily hurts the people around someone too.

A secret: I really wanted to know what was in the letter too! I tried, at one point, to write out all of Tristan's unsent letters to Emily, but nothing I came up with was as good as straight up imagination.

I'm SO GLAD you liked their hazy dash-through-the-castle! I really fretted over the tone of that sequence, and of what information I was able to give from Laurel's (addled) POV. You were spot-on about them taking substances just TOO FRIKKEN FAR by the Lake, so I really wanted *something* to offer condemnation (hence the paintings). Plus I liked the idea that Hogwarts has a level of semi-sentience, and would try to kind of fight them off.

I *so appreciate* what you said about being low for so long you only want to be happy. That was definitely what I was going for there, and was very much supposed to show just how DANGEROUS the idea of mood altering charms are. I mean, that's been obvious in the story, but I wanted to show it on a more emotional level. I also kind of wanted to redeem Laurel there. She's behaved so badly throughout the story, and been really thoughtless and self-absorbed, but giving her such a pure desire kind of legitimizes the motivation behind her actions.

I'm SO. GLAD. you liked Dumbledore's characterization! Without a doubt, he's the most difficult of all to get right, and writing him at all is rather presumptuous. I read his mirror scene with Harry several times to get him right!

I definitely sort of think that Tristan takes punishment for granted. He just assumes he deserves it all the time, and surrenders easily :(

RIGHT?! Tristan would have been AWFUL as a Malfoy!

Hahaha, High Fidelity! When I decided to send him to a record store, in this era, in London, I just couldn't resist! I ended up researching a lot into the High Fidelity fandom (which exists), to find out the precise location of Champion Vinyl!

Thank you for another amazing, insightful, encouraging, FANTASTIC review!

Love,
Roisin


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Review #21, by crestwoodBonds of Blood : Brothers

16th September 2014:
What an interesting one-shot this is! I feel like there's so much backstory here that you have to read between the lines to find. I have quite a bit to say about this.

So, we get dropped right into the aftermath of some kind of action here. I do wonder who this injured man is who would rather get drunk than be properly healed. And then we dive into his thoughts and find out that this man is a Death Eater. Thorfinn Rowle, to be exact. I have not seen anyone write this character before, so I am interested to see how you decide to characterize him.

We're dropped in the middle of a duel and apparently the site of Gideon Prewett's death! That's something that you don't read about every day. Although, that doesn't seem to be the focal point here, as it is just added as a side note. And then the bomb is dropped! Thorfinn is actually facing off against his own younger brother. It was at this moment, I knew this was about to get grisly.

To turn and face a Death Eater and exclaim that there will be no more death that night takes an awful lot of courage, which plays off of Thorfinn's first thought about the running man being a coward. It seems that most of Thorfinn's reservations about dueling to kill with his brother stem from how he'll break it to his mother; who evidently still loves Egil his mixing in with the "wrong side."

It's amazing the way Voldemort has brainwashed these people. Just.. the hold he has over these people's minds and decisions is appalling. I think you've touched on that so well. Even with his brother recognizing him, he looks him in the eye, just as determined to kill him because it's his Voldemort given "duty." He seems to feel some level of guilt as he looks at his portrait in his home, but then he shrugs it off as Egil's fault and derives some kind of pleasure from the entire ordeal. I think this line "There was no higher pleasure than proving his loyalty to the Dark Lord." summed it all up perfectly. Chilling to really explore the mind of a Death Eater, it is.

I really wasn't planning on making this review so long with all of the other's that I have to do today! I suppose I just like rambling.. in any case I really enjoyed this story. Thank you so much for the swap!

Author's Response: I love Thorfinn Rowle, he's such a minor death eater but since I use him in Building Dollhouses in the Sand I have a lot of headcanon involving him. It is amazing how Voldemort managed to brainwash his followers into believing in his ideals. It is chilling to explore the mind of a Death Eater. Thank you for the swap.

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Review #22, by crestwoodDeath on the First: Chapter One

16th September 2014:
Hey Sian! I've seen you all over the forums, but I don't think we've ever formally met. If not, hello, I'm Joey!

You have gotten so many votes for Best Reviewer and I was really excited when you offered to swap with me! If only because I think great reviewers deserve some great reviews of their own.

How could I not pick this story? This summary may be the most alluring that I've ever seen. It really told me all I needed to know. This is definitely my kind of story. I just can't pass up a bit of dramatic irony. A mystery in which I know the answer from the very beginning is a mystery that I can have a lot of fun with.

And now that I've begun reading this, it seems that the actual mystery is going to be the identity of the murderer, even though we're seeing things from his point of view. That adds yet another layer to this. How interesting!

I thought the beginning in which the murderer refers to the characters as "the cast" was so great. This reminded me a lot of the Twilight Zone if the Twilight Zone was told in first person. It had that same chilling kind of air and I can definitely see this leading up to a shocking plot twist that no one could see coming.

I did a bit of re-reading to see if I could narrow it down by who he thinks of objectively and who he refers to as a separate entity, but it isn't possible to get a sure suspect just yet. I wonder if you'll let the reader be able to deduce it before the end. And even if you do, whether you wont hit us with another surprise right as we think we've got it figured out.

Honestly, I wish I had thought of this. I enjoy thinking up surprising and unique plots, but I think you may have subverted the expectations of the subverter. You've really got my brain working!

Whoever the narrator is, they've certainly mastered the art of acting. They not only deflect suspicion from themselves, but heap it onto someone else. And they were careful not to seem too eager to do so and seem as though they just want to deflect blame. Just absolutely genius. You've gotten inside of this person's head so well.

I can't wait to see this second stage that is supposed to begin soon. I can't even describe my excitement to see what you've thought up for the rest. Phenomenal start! I'll be back as soon as I possibly can be. Thank you so much for the swap and congratulations on all of your Dobby nominations, they're well deserved!

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Review #23, by crestwoodLife As We Know It: chapter one

16th September 2014:
Hey, here for our review swap!

I'll say, I don't typically read a ton of Dramione fics. I don't hate them, but I don't seek them out either. I have heard that you are an excellent writer now though, so I decided to give yours a chance. I was not disappointed by this first chapter.

I can't believe this chapter has 75 reviews, by the way. That is such a huge accomplishment to be proud of!

A lot of times Lavender does end up sparking these Dramione romances, but I think you've gone about this a bit differently. Usually, the case is that Ron and Hermione are already together and Ron cheats on her with Lavender, pushing her into Draco's comforting arms. And while there's nothing wrong with that approach, I think this way of going about things is even more interesting, as the war is still going on and they're still at Hogwarts and the stigma must be much worse than if it were to occur after everything is over.

I thought Ron's reaction to coming across Hermione was really in character for him. He almost stopped and made sure that she was okay, but something in his pride caused him to leave with Lavender instead. It's that insensitive streak in him that usually pushes Hermione toward Draco in these kinds of stories.

The end with Draco was really impactful. Luckily he's taken joy in witnessing her humiliation so it seems as though we're going to get a lot of drama before we ever end up having them together. I prefer to see the process of them getting together happen in real time rather than skipping ahead. I think you'll handle that well down the line. You handled Hermione's emotions really well so far. We got a good look inside of her head and you laid her state of mind on full display. Really well done as far as pacing and characterization. I can't wait to see where the rest of the plot goes. Thank you for the swap!

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Review #24, by crestwoodThe Rise of the A.W.L.: Professor Blackburn's Secret.

16th September 2014:
Hey! Here for our review swap!

I didn't see that this was the sequel to another story until I had already started reading! I think I'll retroactively read The Writing on the Wall anyway before I move on with this story in the future. But, for now I'm fine with reviewing this chapter even if I haven't gotten through all of the backstory available.

Well Rose is certainly a Ravenclaw, flipping through her textbook over the break! You did a good job writing Hugo as that irritating little brother. He's just teeming for insider info about Hogwarts and a Quidditch analysis and to do a bit of magic. While Rose is just hoping he'll tire himself out and go away.

I'm not entirely sure what happened, but it sounds a lot like something huge occurred the last time Rose was at Hogwarts. The Rita Skeeter article was spot on. I don't know how you wrote as her just, SO well. Of course she starts out her article taking shots at Dumbledore and then plugging her book she wrote about him!

And, Rita has not gotten kinder with age... for her to bring up the spat with Lupin in relation to Ms. Blackburn is a bit underhanded. And not to mention interviewing Marcus Flint, who is certainly not least prejudiced of people.

I do enjoy the second printing of the Prophet as well, with that catching headline. (They always play up events don't they?) The fact that they butchered up Hermione's letter is of no surprise. Again, you've written these articles extremely well. I think this is setting up a really interesting plotline in which we get to see this political process of protecting Ms. Blackburn's rights through the eyes of a child. Even one who seems to have a pretty comprehensive grasp of the situation. Adding in the letter from Alicia Spinnet was a nice touch, I tend to forget about her, to be honest. I would like to see where this is headed. It has a great deal of potential, no doubt. I can't wait to read on. Thanks for the swap!

Author's Response: Yeah, this is the second year of my next gen, series, so there are a few things that might not be entirely clear. The events of The Writing on the Wall aren't THAT huge, certainly not compared with the Harry Potter books, where Harry comes close to death at the end of most years, but they are pretty major to Rose.

Glad you liked the articles. They were NOT easy to write. Skeeter has such a specific style that it's hard to get her quite right. It's not just a matter of getting her nastiness right, but also capturing the tone in which she does it.

And yeah, being raised by Hermione, Rose has a pretty good grasp of the actual facts. And she is almost 13. I'd been following the news for about 4 years at that stage. However, she does have a pretty naive idea of how events can be dealt with, like "can't they just be stopped from publishing stuff like that?"

I wanted to reference a couple of characters other than the central ones, because it is pretty unlikely that the only people to be interviewed or quoted would be Harry's friends. And the fact that Alicia Spinnet would have been in an exam year when Remus was teaching and they'd such a useless teacher for the year before made her a pretty useful example.

Hope you continue to enjoy the series and thank you so much for the awesome review.


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Review #25, by crestwoodRainfall: King's Cross

16th September 2014:
Hey Leonore!

I am terribly late on getting around to this story. It seems like everything just blew up simultaneously and I was a little swamped. But, I like to think I make up for my tardiness by returning to review every chapter.

When I started reading this chapter earlier today, I was struck by this strong sense of deja vu. I was just reading lines and something was so familiar about them. I went to go see if you had put up a preview on the forums and then I looked through your comment on a thread about writing a blind character and I was sure that'd be it, but it wasn't. After a lot of confusion I realized that I had previously read this chapter months ago and forgotten to come back to review and read on! Really glad you requested this now because I've had the lines 'My throat's hard and painful, my eyes stinging. That's all they're good for, isn't it? Making me look like a baby' floating around my head for months and could not figure out where they were from or what character said them. I love the scene in which Hugo interacts with that Muggle kid, by the way. Excellent way to display his annoyance with how people treat him.

I'll tell you, I wasn't totally sure how this would work. I didn't know how well a story from the perspective of a blind individual would flow. It completely strips you of most writers' greatest tool, which is visuals. It does seem as though you've found some miraculous way to get around that though. You use touch, sound and even smell to give us some of the description you'd think we would miss out on. And in the rare case we need to understand what something looks like, there's always someone there to explain it to him. Which, is realistic as I spent a good portion of my childhood explaining what mundane objects looked like to my grandmother haha.

Okay, do you know someone who is blind? Or did you research somehow or what, because this is a really, really accurate portrayal. I've seen you talk about this story around the forums and I could tell that you were really passionate about it, but I never imagined that you'd have slipped into the mind of a blind child so effectively.

Hugo's home life doesn't really sound like something he particularly enjoys. I can understand why he'd want to sit in his room and write stories (beyond that being more or less what I do) because, as he tells it, when he spends time with his parents it becomes awkward. It would be unnerving to have a room be silent and not know if people are staring at you or watching everything you do or exchanging meaningful looks as they observe you. And not to mention how annoying it must be to have people constantly surprised that he has overheard their conversations they have when he is right near them! Obviously he'd listen more intently than someone with sight not the other way around. It just must be hard living like he does. I would love to see him at his Muggle school in which he feels like he fits in because everyone else is also blind. I'd like to see the change in him between feeling left out and feeling like he belongs.

Hugo is a very smart ten year old kid. Not in the sense that I feel as though you've written him too mature or adult-like though, he certainly still seems as though he is a child. Just a smart child for his age. I think having the disability he has necessitated some sped up maturity. As he has always had a disadvantage, he's always had to accept the unfair nature of life as far back as he remembers. I imagine that'd be a strange feeling to never be naive enough to imagine that the world as fair and just. Just a little thing I thought worth mentioning. I am rambling now, aren't I?

The point of all of this, is that you've written a spectacular opening chapter with a character and plot that is really difficult to pull off. I attempt to write some pretty challenging ideas myself, but I don't think I would have had the nerve to write this story, and for that I applaud you. This is endlessly intriguing and impressive and I can't wait to read further!

Author's Response: Hey!

THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU SO SO MUCH, I am sitting here staring at this review and it has just made my day completely and now I'm going to walk around for the entire evening with this giant stupid smile on my face.

You've had that floating round your head? This response is going to consist of me giving up on sounding like an intelligent adult and just thumping my keyboard because asdfghjklkjhgfdsdlshilhdaiud

Oh, I love the scene with the muggle kid. The mood's so positive, and I wanted to bring it crashing down, and I think that scene did it perfectly. And actually for a start it's a reminder of the fact that other people treat him differently - and especially coming from a kid, who's likely to say what he's thinking and not be sympathetic or politically correct or anything.

Visuals. I miss visuals so much. I just wrote a one-shot, the first story apart from this one that I've really gotten into for months now (I've started a few and abandoned them half a chapter in and gone back to this novel) and it was just so nice to be able to use visual description and all my usual imagery! Writing from Hugo's POV is certainly restrictive, but I've had to find those ways around it and I'm actually really proud of my (visual-less) descriptions. And I think it's done my description in general wonders because I've HAD to think about senses that I wouldn't usually consider, and I don't think I'll end up suddenly forgetting them again when I leave Hugo and can use visuals again.

No, I don't actually know anyone who's blind. Not beyond blind adults I've seen on trains and in the streets. I come up with characters by imagining what it would be like to be in that situation, by considering all the factors and just thinking "what would my reaction be?" and actually I have a really good feel for Hugo's character now so I know how he reacts and how he thinks and the kinds of things he says. I don't know quite HOW I developed him, actually. I just sort of had this picture in my head and he grew and he was there as you see him in the story. Everything he says and does is just what seems logical and RIGHT to me. If that makes sense.

Yeah, I'm passionate about it, and I'm so so happy reading this and seeing that I've managed to pull it off and other people like it too and that it's not exactly standard but the risks are paying off and it does actually work.

Sitting in room writing. Yeah, that's what I do too. But then we sit in our rooms and communicating with other authors over the internet, while he sits there writing on his own (yeah, he's too young to be chatting to people over the internet, and it would be worrying if he was, but you know...) Yeah, I bet it would be unnerving to not know whether people are watching you and even whether they're still in the room if they're being quiet. Oh, you'll get to see him at his Muggle school later!

That's just what I feel about him, with the maturity! Everything I've thought about whilst writing you're mentioning now and it's amazing people are able to pick up on these things!

Rambling is the best. You may have noticed that I do it occasionally...

Thank you so much! I'm still grinning and I'm really looking forward to hearing what you think of the rest! I love this story and it makes me so happy when I hear that other people like it too and it's not just me.

Um, intelligent conclusion to response... *flails* THANK YOU!!!


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