Reading Reviews From Member: writeyourheartout
129 Reviews Found

Review #1, by writeyourheartoutApogee: Waxing Crescent

12th July 2014:
Hello there! *waves*

So, I've been wanting to read and review some of your stories for awhile now and just couldn't say no to a Remus-centric fic! I'm a huge fan of Lupin and he is hands down my favorite character, for all the reasons you mentioned in your Author's Note and a million more, and nothing grabs me like a well-written, true to character story starring Moony, and that's exactly what this was. Just brilliant.

The way this begins is so gripping, which, considering how common the act of a crying newborn baby tends to be, is really saying something. This opening section with the list of thoughts and emotions that Remus experiences at the sound of his child crying is just so raw and real and terribly truthful given the time. The war is clearly at a point where every little thing has you on edge. When the worry of his child's safety fades a bit in this moment, though, the progression his thoughts take afterward are just so very much who Remus is. You really, truly captured his self-deprecating nature, which was both wonderful and heart-breaking to see. It's always been so upsetting for me to understand the battle Remus always has raging inside of his own mind, because he's such a wonderful person really, but he struggles so much to see it and he never lets himself off the hook, and in this scene I just want to shake him and hold him and knock some sense into him, force him to realize just how good he actually is... but then I suppose he wouldn't be Remus if he accepted all that, would he? haha Really phenomenal job capturing all of that.

I've never been a big fan of the Remus/Tonks ship, most probably because I'm a little obsessed with the idea of Remus/Sirius (are you rolling your eyes at me? :-p), but there was something really beautiful and natural and lovely about how you wrote the two together. This line in particular just beautifully captures their dynamic: "But you know what's most important about your Mum? She never gives up on people she loves."

And then when it's followed by this: ""That means us," I quickly added, looking wistfully toward the staircase that led to our bedroom, where 'Dora was fast asleep. "Don't ask me why she chose me. I can't explain that. But I'll tell you this.(maybe a colon here instead of a period?) She saved us both when she did(comma) your Mum. She saved us both." - This line is too perfect. Perfectly Remus.

Oh gosh, the further along I read, the sadder you make me feel, because I saw the little note in the summary about this being Remus' last 24 hours to live, and so I know what's coming; I know what you're leading me to! Don't do it! hahaha Your choice to focus in part on the more arbitrary, every day dealings of life - things like your kids cry waking you up in the middle of the night, or watching your wife and child goofily wave at you through the window - really made for a heavy impact, because it shows just how normal the day can begin, only to be turned entirely on its head at a moment's notice. We take so much for granted in those little every day moments, and I was glad to see Remus appreciating them for what they were. I like to think that even if the war weren't there to influence his actions, Remus is the type of person who would appreciate those moments with his son anyway, without the threat of potentially losing each other.

"This time he squirmed, scrunching his fate (face, not fate) tightly and inadvertently turning his eyes green. He was sleepy. Our time together was fading." - The end of this sentence - ah, so heartbreaking! If only it were just a nap that was going to separate them! :-(

"It's (It, not It's) would've been better-"

""Don't you dare talk about yourself like that!" she snarled. "As if you're dispensable."" - You tell him, Tonks! ^.^ This entire scene, with Remus trying to sneak off to Hogwarts on his own so that 'Dora doesn't know the war has finally come to fruition, so that he can spare her life for both her own and Teddy's sake, is something I can absolutely see having happened.

"Tell him I loved him. That I fought for him." - *holds back tears*

I've not yet imagined for myself exactly how Remus' death may have happened. I knew it was during the battle, I knew it was Dolohov who killed him, but I've never been able to bring myself to consider what dying was actually like for Remus - what those final moments held. Mostly because I didn't want to, because he's my favorite character, and because life has been so unkind to him in general that I like to focus on the moments when he maybe did feel some unadulterated joy. But this moment you created, with a death that comes slower than Avada Kedavra, one that leaves him staring up at the moon and knowing it's all over, was just so flawlessly executed; what a brilliant choice you made with that. And your Dolohov, though only there for a moment, made an incredible impact. A very powerful image, his enjoying Remus' death - pausing, even, to show his happiness that he's taken a life.

Before I conclude this review, I wanted to ask out of pure curiosity: In canon Tonks obviously is at the battle as well and dies there, too. Is that something that you imagine happened here as well, only Remus doesn't know of her having shown up? Or did you give her and Teddy a bit of a happier ending? Either way, it was really lovely that at least Remus died believing his family was together and safe without him.

I don't know what else to say other than I truly enjoyed this. It's beautifully written and your portrayal of every character spoken of was just spot on for me. Oh, and as far as the goals mentioned in your Author's Note? You certainly did all of those things you set out to do. Wonderful, wonderful job.

House Cup 2014 Review

Author's Response: Howdy Tanya! Thanks for the wonderful (and wonderfully detailed review)!

I definitely wanted to go for a very raw feel in the beginning and I'm glad that came across. I wanted to capture his combined feelings about the things that would be weighing most heavily on his mind - the war and his family. Of course, as you mention, he would hardly be Lupin if this didn't make him immediately wrestle with his more negative emotions.

I'm also glad you thought I did Remus/Tonks justice. I only have three ships I'm really "into" and Remus/Tonks is not one of them (and I'd never written it before), so I was interested to see how it would be received and it's nice to hear you thought their relationship was handled well.

I also definitely wanted to make his last day more of an "every day" type of day. These were the things Lupin noticed and thought about and cared deeply about. While the war tinged his view of them (how could it not?), I definitely still think war or no war, he would have focused on them. I picture Lupin as a very introspective character (at least partly due to his condition) and so I think he'd definitely be reflecting on them and experiencing them deeply too, especially the moments with Teddy what with him being a new parent.

When it comes to his death, I suppose we don't really know what curse killed him. Since it was Dolohov, I just kind of fudged it and made it "Dolohov's Curse" (which also shows no external signs of injury) so I could lengthen it out like you mentioned. I definitely wanted to have that moment with Dolohov looking down on him, as well as the chance for Lupin have his reflection under the light of the moon.

As for the timing, as we see it in canon, Tonks arrives and asks where Lupin is, seeming to indicate they haven't seen each other yet at the Battle of Hogwarts. They mention that he was last seen dueling Dolohov, and so I basically concluded that once Tonks arrived, Lupin was either already dead (or about to be) and did not learn that Tonks had come before he was killed.

Thanks so much again for the splendid review!

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Review #2, by writeyourheartoutFred and George's Lollypops: Langlock Lollies

9th July 2014:
Well, this is just too cute! Who doesn't love a scheming Fred and George Weasley, I ask you? ^.^

The flow and the pacing of this story is really nice for a comedy piece. The dialogue-heavy writing was really great for keeping the story upbeat and quickly paced. There's nothing worse than a story trying to be humorous and dragging us through a sea of paragraphs filled with unnecessary descriptions. It was a very smart choice to allow the dialogue to do the talking (literally, hehehe) and fill in the necessary background information as opposed to getting too caught up in arbitrary details.

I love, love, love the way you tied in so many of Fred and George's idea's for their products as having been influenced by Harry in some capacity! Such a cute idea, and it provided a really excellent little glimpse into the thought processes of the twins! And some of those products you mentioned I've not heard of before, so I'm assuming you thought them up all on your own! If that's the case, kudos! I could see every product mentioned here being somewhere in their store someday!

The little exchange between Fred and George as they talk about the potential of Harry and Ginny is ADORABLE. Daww. Gave me the warm fuzzies. ^.^ And I LOVE that it turns into a bet over who gets together first! My money's on Harry/Ginny. ;)

I think I actually laughed out loud during the exchanges that occurred after Ron and Hermione were finally forced to shut up. :-p This fic is full of cute, funny, and clever ideas; I really enjoyed it.

There are a few small grammatical errors, so I thought I'd take a minute to point some out for you, using this sentence here as a prime example: ""Anywhere those two aren't.(comma, not period)" he replied(comma) indicating Ron and Hermione arguing by the chess board,(period, not comma) "I'm ready to hex them both into next week. If I didn't think Hermione would kill me I'd use Lang Lock on the both of them."" - Tiny details! But even just making those small changes allows for the story to have a nicer fluidity, in my opinion! Your grammatical missteps are almost entirely in relation to sentence structure when dealing with quotations, so if you ever came back to tidy this adorable fic up a bit, I think you'd have any easy time making those few adjustments!

The transitions between different scenes and moments in time were a bit rough in parts, I thought, and tended to break up the otherwise great flow of the story. It's definitely a challenge for anyone and everyone to smoothly and effectively transition from one scene to another, myself included, so you're certainly not alone! If you ever do plan to make edits, I would simply consider trying to smooth them out!

Another small detail, and I could be off on this (please ignore if that's the case!), but I was looking up the spell, and "Lang Lock" is actually just "Langlock", as one word. Assuming the lollypops title is based off of the jinx itself, I would consider writing it out the same way that the jinx is written. Not a big deal either way, though, but I thought I'd point it out anyhow! ^.^

The ending! hahaha Too cute! You know, when I'm ignoring the fact that Fred is dead and all... *holds back tears* I really love how very close to canon you were able to make this! So many references to things we dealt with in the books; it really brought up a lot of good memories for me in regards to the first time I experienced the products and scenes you refer to. Just really lovely.

Overall I really enjoyed this little fic! It was really cute and had some really clever canon moments pulled in and expanded upon! I'm glad I stumbled upon this little guy in my search for a Weasley Wizard Wheezes related story, as I thoroughly enjoyed it! Congrats on such a sweet little story and thanks for the read! :-D

House Cup 2014 Review
Educational Decree #6

Author's Response: Thanks for your review, I'm glad you liked it. I'm not using this site any longer. I am using the same id on a different fan fic site and this story is posted there, along with all my newest stuff.

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Review #3, by writeyourheartoutHarry Potter and the Conspiracy of Blood: Everything That Ever Mattered

28th April 2014:
Why hello again, Dan! ^.^ I've come back for more!

So, I have to start by pointing out what is quite possibly an extremely arbitrary detail to be bringing up at all, but whatever, I'm doing it anyway: that opening paragraph cracks me up! Not because it's particularly funny, but because it's just this long list of honorable and/or cherished titles - ranging from Order of Merlin First Class to grandfather - that comes to a close with Harry doing the most normal thing in the world: simply chillin' outside sipping on some water and chatting with his wife! LOL All he ever really wanted was normalcy, and there it is. hahaha Love it.

There is something so endearing about 64 year old, grandfather Harry. The way he talks about his granddaughter, Lillian, getting sorted, and then about their interaction after one of his classes (love that he's teaching, by the way - I assume DADA?) and it makes him all misty eyed... ugh, so sweet. In fact, every time he thinks fondly about any of his children or grandchildren, it just warms my heart! It says to me that life after the war was mostly good to him, which is really what he deserved. After a childhood with the Dursley's, it's just nice to see that he got a true family of his own in the end. :)

And the Neville bit! Ha! I think he'd be a great Headmaster, and it was a really sweet touch to mention how the portraits of all the Headmaster's past seem to approve of him, with the exception of the ever surly Snape, still with the power to frighten Neville, even in pint-sized proportion! hehehe Poor kid can't catch a break from that man, can he? ;)

...So I'm about a quarter of the way through this chapter, and I was just hit with the overwhelming feeling that Ginny might be dead... She hasn't said a word yet and Harry's just rambling on and... I don't know, man, did you kill her off? *reads on* Still hasn't said what's happening outright yet, but the more I read, the more I think that perhaps she's still there and alive, only there's something seriously wrong with her... like Alzheimer's or something akin to what Alice and Frank Longbottom suffered from... Eep! I'm all nervous now! *bites nails* OH GOD HE'S CRYING, IT'S COMING - WHAT IS IT? O_O

No! Dan! She's dead! Ugh, my heart! I don't even like Ginny all that much, but the way you built that up and revealed it was so gut-wrenching! I mean, this right here: "Why her? Why not me? . . . I'm supposed to protect everybody. Why couldn't I save her?" Rip my heart out, why don't you? Really, it's beautifully unfolded and incredibly sad. Harry always did struggle with survivor's guilt, and he's so hard on himself when someone passes and he's unable to stop it. I can't tell if whatever took Ginny's life was something that he actually could have prevented, but I think it's probably just him taking responsibility for something that he would never have been able to control, no matter what he'd done differently. I assume we'll eventually learn what killed her? *pokes for information* :-p

Even after he sobers, the ending is still quite heavy and emotional. This part is particularly poignant: "At the moment, it sat empty with all the children off at school and the adults going about their daily lives. Almost as empty as Harry felt." It must feel impossible at times to be all alone in that big house, and it sounds like he's about at his wits end. I have to hope that he doesn't do anything so foolish as give up on his own life to be with Ginny, because as someone with a relatable experience, I can tell you that that would be really unfair of him to do to his kids and grandchildren and friends - anyone who cares about him, really - because you don't walk on your family like that. It's selfish, and Harry is better than that. At least I certainly hope he is... *glares at Dan* ;) I'm under the impression that he'll soldier on, though, because that intro springs to my mind... I feel like he must have died much more heroically... ah, I don't know! I suppose I'll just have to keep reading to find all of this out, huh? I have no problem doing that. :-p

Anyway, back to some other stuff: I love the way you've worked in details about Harry's family and the life he's grown into during the 20+ years since we last saw him in the epilogue. It's just small little bits and pieces that help us string together the time that's passed without overloading us with information. I think I mentioned this in my last review, but I really dislike it when too much information is doled out all at once, because it just becomes too much to keep track of so immediately. You've spread it out and really only given us the bare minimum to hang onto for now, which is perfect because it's still enough to connect the dots. It makes for a really pleasant read.

So basically, after all of that which has now been said, I've drawn but one conclusion: You're a great writer, dude. ^.^ Seriously, this was another excellent chapter, my friend, and I sincerely look forward to reading on!

Tanya ^.^

P.S. Happy 1,000th review, Dan. ;)

Author's Response: Hi, Tanya! Time to catch up on answering reviews and that means responding to this one, probably the most rewarding review I've gotten since the very first one. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I did want to start this chapter off by showing Harry in a completely relaxed moment of total, mundane, bland, ordinary normalcy. Because I agree with you. That's what he always wanted growing up and he could never really have it.

Believe me, I got *very* endeared to "grandpa Harry" while I was writing this. Again, I just loved that idea of his life ending up happy and normal. Well, as normal as Harry Potter's life was ever going to be, at any rate. Harry is sort of like a guest lecturer at Hogwarts. He teaches a basic defense class for first years and an advanced dueling class for sixth and seventh years. It winds up being a form of recruiting for the Aurors, not that he doesn't enjoy doing it just because.

Neville is a fantastic Headmaster. You'll find out just how good later on...

Your intuition is... well, I'm sad to say that it's accurate. One thing I learned while writing this story is that finishing a long novel involves making a lot of tough choices. The choice to not have Ginny be part of this story -- well, most of it, anyway -- was the hardest choice I made. It was really sad for me, because here Harry is living this relatively charmed life and he loses the one person he most wants to share it all with. You'll find out much more about the circumstances surrounding her untimely death as the story unfolds. There isn't much I could tell you at this point without totally ruining it for you.

I think I've said it in a dozen or more review responses: at the time, this chapter was the most emotional thing I'd ever written. I wasn't at all sure I'd done it justice until I had a few more chapters under my belt and I could go back and reread it. Reading it still makes me sad, even to this day. I guess that suggests I did an OK job with it.

Sometimes when I reread this chapter -- which I don't do often because it's sad -- I feel like maybe I dumped too much back story into it. Other times I don't. Eh, who am I kidding, I'm almost certainly not changing it at this point. I'd have to probably reword the next 4 chapters to get all of the information back in.

What can I say? You made my day, my week, and I think I'll always look back fondly on the month of April 2014. Thank you so much!

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Review #4, by writeyourheartoutHow I Saved the Wizarding World with Hair Potions, By Gilderoy Lockhart: Hair-Care Potion Maker Extraordinaire

25th April 2014:
Kristin. I can't. I can't even deal with this. IT'S TOO FUNNY. (Which reminds me: CONGRATULATIONS ON WINNING THE KECKER FOR BEST QUOTE! So well-deserved! Between this story and Death Eater's Kitchen, there are so many quotable moments - many of which I'm sure to share below in a minute - that it's no surprise at all you took it! Gilderoy is not the only one who's marvelous! ;))

This particular brand of humor is just so right up my alley. I can't decide if it's a parody or not, because in most cases it would be, except for Gilderoy Lockhart is sort of a one-man parody himself, so perhaps it's just him that's so parody-like, while the writing is really just an honest portrayal of a parodical character? *head explodes*

Does any of that even matter, though? No. Because whatever the case may be, THIS STORY IS BRILLIANT.

Warning: I will try to use restraint, but it's possible that what follows will be nothing more than an onslaught of me quoting you.

OMG THIS: "Wilhelm Wigworthy is Head Boy. I really don't understand why; he is intelligent of course, but his eyebrows connect in the middle." - hahaha It's so very much who Gilderoy Lockhart is at the core of his being, to judge a persons worth by the space between their eyebrows. And what follows, with the acne cream suggestions... Omg, I can't. What I love about this is that it's so, so funny, and it's also so, so terribly true of his character! hahaha He's such a back-handed piece of work! Like, he's the type of person who can only dole out a compliment or a bit of advice if it's tacked onto something negative about that same person! "I would love to help you with your issue, because your issue is gross and I'm a nice person." hahaha What a tool... Makes for a great read, though. ;)

Love the scene with James and Sirius! Of course, Lockhart gets the spell wrong, and poor James gets turned into a half-fish! hehehe I think you were really clever, too, about how you worked in little canon details about the two of them, so that they didn't feel interchangeable with any other other pair of guys sparring in the corridor. And ZOMG, I just lerv the excuses Lockhart makes for himself as to why things don't go quite as planned, or as to why the younger kids don't respect him and call him a git, and why he's not Head Boy, etc. He's so... so... just... stupid, really! How'd someone so delusional get sorted into Ravenclaw?? LOL What's funny is that's there's something sadly charming about his naivety - almost like a lost little puppy with its head stuck in a box - you just sort of want to pet them for being so adorably dumb... hehehe

Between the winking and the smiling that goes on throughout this entire story, I just... I can't, I can't. He's so... Kristen, how did you handle writing this? hahaha He's so... ugh! There aren't words. Let's move past it. :-p


"My dearest ambition is to sell these potions someday, and while I'm promoting my hair potions I'll create peace and cooperation between all magical folk just through mutual appreciation of my hair-care potions." - Ahahaha! And it all comes together. He will save the world... through pretty hair. Brilliant.

"It must be dreadful to not have people be jealous of you all the time. I wouldn't know." - Bahaha *wipes tears* I'm doing terribly at this whole over-quoting thing, aren't I? BUT IT'S JUST SO QUOTABLE! Your sense of humor and your comedic timing and the way each joke lands so perfectly has me laughing throughout this entire story. I don't think a lot of people could write this brand of humor well, so it really speaks a lot to your level of talent in all things quirky and bizarre that you were able to craft such a fabulous fic with such an outrageous character! What goes on in that mind of yours, I ask? :-p

The way it ends... Omg. hahaha I just adore the way you're able to touch on so many aspects of his character, including his habit of stretching the truth or flat out lying to make himself seem better than he actually is! And the reference to 'Holidays with Hags' is a perfect conclusion. I love when those tiny details from canon pop up in a fanfic! ^.^

Kristen, I... just... he's just such... he's such a buffoon! LOL But YOU! You are absolutely wonderful. You wrote him phenomenally. Like, I can't even wrap my head around how fantastic this is. I can't imagine a better, funnier, or more accurate representation of Gilderoy Lockhart anywhere else. He's so spot on that it almost makes me sad that a character so out of touch with reality exists. But mostly it just makes me laugh non-stop. :-p

Brilliance, my friend. That is all.


Author's Response: Tanya! I can't even with this review. IT'S TOO NICE! I seriously don't know how to respond to it without simply fangirling about your review and about how amazing you are.

Bahhh thank you so much! I was so surprised - and congrats to you too on your Keckers awards, so well deserved!!

You know, I've never really thought of this one as a parody - I think it's more that Lockhart IS a parody. I have no idea either :P Oh no, your head can't explode, you need your head so you can write chapter 5 of Lying Josephine which I love! ;)

I love your comparison of Lockhart to a lost puppy, I find it a very apt description in fact. Honestly, I put him in Ravenclaw because he didn't fit into the other houses :p and he had to be at least mildly intelligent to invent hair potions, and use all those obliviating spells on people years later.

Gah, thank you so much! I'm so glad you like my (bizarre) sense of humour and that you think Lockhart is in character! What does go on in my mind? Well, in real life I'm extremely narcissistic and spend all day lying about myself to sound cooler, so it wasn't too much of a stretch to write this. :P Joking, but really I have no idea. I was just having fun writing something silly, and then it turned out that people liked it!

Thank you sooo sosososo much for this review, I am seriously so flattered reading your compliments!! Especially since I admire your writing a lot and then to get this review from you I kind of became a Victorian lady and had to fan myself and sit down because I was hyperventilating. :P But you really did make my day with this review! Thank you!!! ♥ ♥ ♥

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Review #5, by writeyourheartoutA Basket Full of Love: Easter Egg Hunts

19th April 2014:
Sarah! *waves* Well, you obviously know I've already read through this once, but I came back for more (and to leave you a lovely review, of course ;))!

This is such a perfect little Easter story! Sweet and charming and family-centric - it's really all just too cute in the best of ways! I love the family dynamic you've created, and how many characters you span over in such a short story! Next gen can be hard to write if you involve the entire Weasley clan, because there are just so many of them to keep straight, but you offer us these small, distinct glimpses into who each of them are as individuals without bombarding us with so much new information that we can't keep up. It's a tricky thing to balance, but you pull it off wonderfully! I think it helps that some of the people we see through present day versions of themselves, while others are presented as their past, child-like selves. It just allows for a little more distinction, which is helpful, I think. ^.^

This right here: ""Hey, momma." She winked at me." - Every time I read through this story (this is about the fourth time, by the way), this part ALWAYS makes me smile. I can't even put my finger on exactly why, but there's something so incredibly charming about Rose in that moment. I just adore it; it's as simple as that. :-p OH, AND TWINS FOR VICTOIRE, YAY! That'll be fun, I'm sure. hehehe

I love that this is centered around an Easter egg hunt! It feels very nostalgic for me to be reading this story because it takes me back to my own childhood, when I would do Easter egg hunts with my family or my church or school, whoever! And that goes doubly because once I grew up, I was the one who began hiding eggs and watching the new generation of eager searches hunt them down, which is what we see Victoire going through! When I was looking at the three prompts we were given, I couldn't for the life of me think up a single plot line to base around Easter (sad, I know), and then I read this and was like... OMG DUH! Feels like I've done too much growing up and forgot about all those fun, innocent moments that occur during the holidays, and this story really brought me back to that, so thank you. :)

I adore the moment with Teddy. It's just a small little thing, as he picks up Gabrielle (presumably named for Victoire's Aunt? Love that!), because we get the briefest glimpse of him as a father and a peak into the love that Victoire holds for him and for their daughter. And then later when he helps her up off the bench - such a cute scene, by the way - is another highlight for the two as a couple. It's a smaller family to focus on within the giant Weasley clan, and it's very sweet. ^.^

And of course that final moment with Nana! Molly must be the sweetest grandmother, and this moment where she's all teary-eyed and sentimental is just too sweet! And the way Victoire reflects on her surroundings immediately afterwards, watching from the same window as Molly, really made me smile and was a very nice touch; a great way to bring the story to its close.

And then that final line. It is so, so, so, SO cheesy, but I'm kind of in love with it, anyway. :-p hahahaha How's that, for you? hehehe

I think you should be really proud of this piece; especially considering how lightning fast you threw it all together! It's simple, but lovely, and an excellent reflection on family and Easter and love and tradition and nostalgia and many other things - which is a lot, for such a simple story to hold! Means you wrote it really well. ^.^ Anyway, thank you for pulling this out last minute for our team! You've been wonderful to work with and I'm so happy that the competition led to this story! Yay! :-D


Author's Response: Tanya. I do not deserve this lovely review. I really just don't. ♥

I'm glad you liked the way I've included the whole family into this. I really wanted to show how they come together at the holidays, and the family unity. I'm so flattered that you think I pulled it off well. I definitely don't think this is my best writing, but it's nice to know that it was at least moderately liked!! ♥

I'M SO GLAD YOU LIKED THAT PART. When I started writing it, I was trying to picture it, and I could just SEE Vic sitting down and Rose saying that. Especially with them being older, and having kids and married and what not. It was cute and fun and I'm so glad it made you laugh because it does make me giggle.

YES. Easter Egg Hunts were like my life at Easter time. I don't even have words for how serious I was about them. I'm pretty sure I was a mix of Vic/Rose. Pushing everyone down to get all of the eggs. Haha, funny, because I couldn't think of anything to do for the other two prompts but this just jumped out at me! I definitely feel like growing up happens too fast, but I organize an easter egg hunt each year, so it was kind of in my face.

Yes, Gabrielle was named for Vic's aunt. I'm glad you liked it. I figured they'd probably keep up the Weasley tradition of naming kids after family members. I'm so glad you liked it!!!

Ugh. That part was a bit of a tear jerker. I love the whole generational thing. I definitely went for the full on cheesy effect here. So I'm glad you noticed that, and loved it anyways.

Thanks hon! It's not one of my favourites, but I did throw it together in a couple of hours. So yay! Thanks for this review, it was so sweet, and I'm so sorry it took me so long to reply to it. Of course of course! I loved working with you too! ♥ you're really way too sweet.

xoxo Sarah ♥

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Review #6, by writeyourheartoutHarry Potter and the Conspiracy of Blood: Prologue

11th April 2014:

Ah, wait, hold on - let me backtrack for a second: Hi Dan! Just thought I would stop by and help you on your journey to that elusive 1,000 reviews mark! You're so close, it's crazy! And now that I've begun reading this fic, I can absolutely see why it's racked up such a huge following! I've only just begun and already I'm loving it. So onto the actual review, now, yes? ^.^

Wow, what a prologue! Where do I even begin?

I love the opening, the sort of soft mystery. It's not a panicked onslaught of handfuls of characters mid-attack with a thousand things happening around them and none of which I would understand, but it's a gentler introduction to the world we're about to experience, which makes it just as intriguing, but easier to follow. I much prefer this sort of introduction to the crazed, high-energy ones that throw you into some high-stakes scenario and then cut you off with too many things to wonder about - I tend to feel overwhelmed with the quantity of information I'm meant to contain and usually just forget the scene entirely, but this prologue leaves us with the same sort of mystery, sans the overwhelming case load to try to remember. It's all a balancing act and you've done it fantastically!

""Great," he mumbled to himself, "you're dead again."" - Hahaha! I actually laughed out loud when I came across this line. Too funny, and I love when stories tie back to canon moments in this way; it makes the story in its entirety feel so very authentic and plausible. I also love when stories that are generally darker and more intense fit in these small moments of humor to lighten it up now and again. And this is just the prologue! Ah, I'm very excited to read on. ^.^

"He thought that perhaps he would get to see Professor Dumbledore again and it brought a smile to his face." - Awww, this breaks my heart a little (in a good way, of course ;)).

"He noticed a clock on the wall that unfortunately seemed to be missing its hands." - Is this meant to sound creepy? Cause it's giving me the creeps... haha A handless clock - a clock without a time... HE'S DEAD, ISN'T HE? CAUSE NO ONE TELLS TIME IN THE AFTERLIFE, RIGHT? *shakes fist*

Oh man, Dan! Is this really death?? Harry's no help at all - he can't even remember how he ended up here! I'm trying to consider a scenario in which he ended up at an empty and silent King's Cross Station, surrounded by nothing but eery white mist and a clock without a time, and I just have no clue how he could be alive under these circumstances! But then part of me is all like, 'Well, Dan probably wants us to think Harry's dead, which means he can't be! It's just meant to seem that way, right?' Ugh. I don't know, my head's spinning.

And then Ginny shows up! Of course, this too is no help at all, thank you very much! Is she dead, too, then? HOW DID THEY GET HERE, DAN!

In case you can't tell, this short, sweet, and precise little intro has stirred up just a whole plethora of questions and intrigue in me, which is really just phenomenal. Nothing better than beginning a new story and feeling immediately pulled into it! It takes a lot of talent to pull that off, too, so kudos to you! Again, it's right back to your ability to balance. I've always believed that the mystery genre must be the most difficult to write because you have to give us enough to keep us interested, but not so much that you give yourself away. I can already tell the rest of this story is going to be just an adventure of epic proportions, and I really can't wait to dig in deeper! I've so many questions already that make me want to just shake you and yell, 'TELL ME NOW', but I suppose the better option would simply be to continue reading... And so I shall. :-D

It's a great start, Dan; it really is. I'll try to be back soon with another review! Only four left, now! Woot!


Author's Response: Tanya! This is far and away the longest review I've ever received for a 500 word prologue. I love it!

I'm with you, I really don't like opening chapters that throw too much information at the reader. I'd much rather ease into the story and set the mood. In the case of this story, the whole thing is a mystery, so I thought a mysterious tone was the way to go.

That line is definitely one that I'm proud of. It just sounds like something Harry would say. He's so fatalistic.

Is he going to see Dumbledore again? Is he dead? Is Ginny? Well, all I can tell you without ruining the surprise is that the prologue is actually the first part of a scene that takes place in chapter 38. All of your questions and more are answered there, I promise. And I agree, the hand-less clock is creepy. ;)

If you have a lot of questions and intrigue, then the prologue has done its job. I didn't want to hit the reader with too much, just to pull them into the story by dangling a mystery or three in front of their eyes. I hope I've done the mystery genre justice with the story. Lots of people have tried to shake the truth out of me along the way and I haven't broken yet. Well, not completely. I confess to slipping Jami some hints from time to time, but she's threatening and scary. ;)

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!

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Review #7, by writeyourheartoutSeized: Is Anyone Who they Say they are?

8th April 2014:
Hey Dee! I'm back for more! And happy to be, because I loved this chapter. ^.^

The beginning is great. I thought it was really clever of you to give Draco and Hermione some tension over the case here, especially after their hand-holding moment in the previous chapter - it's the perfect way to continue building their relationship slowly without making them feel out of character. You continue to take your time with them by doing this; allowing them to get along and even hinting at a spark for the first time, but not harping on that moment or overdoing it so that we're suddenly rushed into a new level of relationship. Balance is key, and you're doing it flawlessly. It also helped that Astoria was dragged into the conversation as a key factor of the disagreement, with Draco defending himself in regards to wanting to find her. This line in particular was great: "You more than anyone should know that just because we weren't the perfect couple she made us out to be does not mean that I want her to be in danger."

I really do love your Hermione. Her mannerisms and way of thinking are so very much in character - the impatient tapping of the foot, the annoyed tutting, the mirroring of Draco's actions, the stubborn 'I refuse to speak first' mentality - it's all great! And it plays so well against Draco. They actually have quite a bit in common in regards to the way they react to certain situations, which is fun to see considering how fundamentally different they once were. It's hard to write a good post-war Draco, but you continue to handle him well. Yay! ^.^

Stan is great, too! His accent is perfect and his attitude in regards to everything he's been put through (parts of it his own fault, of course) feels very authentic. I feel a bit badly for him as well. He was such a sweet boy when we first met him in the books, but even nice people fall into traps like these when money is involved. And now he's gotten himself stuck between two sides... That middle ground he's walking makes for a very interesting character and some awesome scenes.

I really liked the Head Guard, Rodger! He's a great balance for someone in that position - friendly and flexible in regards to those trying to ascertain the truth (even if it means putting into question one of his own), but direct and authoritative in regards to the prisoners in question - very no-nonsense when he has to be, but truly good at heart... or so it seems. You've got me on alert of all the guards now, though, because of Corbin, you brat! Though Rodger truly does seem like a good egg. I really hope he continues to be the good guy he seems to be! Don't you go pulling a fast one on me, Dee! :-p

Even as a shorter chapter, it still contained a lot of great moments and important occurrences! You really excel in the art of pacing, in case I haven't mentioned that before, and not only in regards to this chapter, but the story as a whole. It covers a lot of bases at a quick pace, but still slows down for the moments that need it.

"He walked over to the table and put both of his hands on it, looked Stan in the eyes and spoke very slowly to him, "You tell me everything and you tell me now, Shunpike." - So, because of the way the first half of this sentence is setup, I think it would read smoother if you changed the second half to something more like: "...looking Stan in the eyes as he spoke slowly to him." Also, I think that instead of a comma before the dialogue begins, it should either be a period or a colon. All minor things, though, and definitely just opinions! ^.^

"Stan opened his mouth to reply but was stopped when
(spacing here is wonky)
Hermione gasped and stood up so rapidly that she (the, not she) chair she had been sitting in was knocked over behind her; she ignored it."

OMG ENDING! WHERE IS SHE? Part of me is really itching to go back to the chapter with the interview and see if I can figure it out for myself, but I'm forcing myself to hold off and be surprised instead! You've done a great job at not giving the mystery away, which is something I feel like I'd fail spectacularly at if I attempted a mystery novel, so kudos to you! Honestly, you're doing such a great job at keeping the mystery going and revealing facts and clues little by little - it keeps me on my toes and unsure of what's to come, but excited to find out! And that was such a great way to end this chapter! CHAPTER TWENTY COME QUICKLY! (Not that I have any room to beg, seeing as I'm the slowest updater ever, huh? :-p) It's really great, Dee, and I look forward to the next update!

Tanya :)

Author's Response: Tanya :D It has taken me too long to reply to this gorgeous review, I'm very sorry!

I'm glad you still like the Draco/Hermione dynamic, I'm definitely dragging out the development of their relationship, but it's the way I'd always wanted it to be :)

Hermione is definitely the character I find the easiest to write, I can totally relate to her. I'm glad you like the way I write her and Draco seperately as well as together. Post-war Draco here is pretty different to Draco from the books, but I try to keep his basic character in his stubborn-ness and sarcasm the same.

Ah, Stan. I really loved his character in the books, he's just so clueless and naive and I can't not have a soft spot for him. As soon as I had the idea for this story I knew I wanted him in it somehow. He's certainly gotten himself in a sticky situation here, and if I'm honest, I still haven't decided how things will end up for him.

Rodger was a really fun character to write. I knew I didn't want him to be a typical surly guard who communicated through grunting, I ended up getting a little ahead of myself with him, in my head he has a wife and kids and a love of gardening :p You can rest assured he won't be going down the same route as Corbin did though :p

Thank you for pointing out the spacing and grammar issues, somehow something always slips through the net :p

I'm not sure if you've read the next chapter yet or not so I won't say anything about Astoria's whereabouts. Chapter 21 is also up now too, and 22 is currently being written. I have lots of motivation at the minute :D Thank you again for this lovely review, you are far too kind!

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Review #8, by writeyourheartoutThe Wrinkles of the Road: Anxieties

22nd March 2014:
Hey again, Beeezie! So sorry it's taken me so long to get to this second review! March has been a little hectic, and while it's not exactly slowed yet, I'm taking a break from the madness to review again! Yay! ^.^

This was another great chapter! Sort of simple, though not at all boring or slow or without purpose! Nothing wrong with simplicity! And in this case, it really gave us a more in depth look at your main pairing!

I really do love the relationship between Rose and Scorpius, and this chapter in particular really showcases the two as a couple and their dynamic with one another. We get to see a lot of sides to them here - the way they wheedle information out of one another, the forms of distraction they use to get away from something they don't want to admit to or talk about, the way they can go from annoyed to comforting to scared and helpless to... adult time happiness. hehehe There's just something so real about the two of them. It's great.

Rose is such a fun character to follow. I love when we get to see the sneakier side to her, because I think most people have that side to them, and so it's easy to relate to her when she uses Scorpius' mention of Van and the face he pulls to poke for information without having to bring up the fact that she'd been eavesdropping. She wanted him to know that she knew he was feeling insecure about Van, but she did it in a way that kept her out of trouble - it's very compelling to read her thoughts during that section - especially because she's still such a likeable character.

I loved seeing the broken down side of Scorpius, sad as it was. I imagine this is probably how a lot of people who work in medicine might feel because they know how easily people break and how often they don't recover. They start seeing the world for all the ways it can hurt the people they love and how, ultimately, there is only ever so much a person - even a professional Healer - can do to fight off permanent damage or death. Having so many people so close to Scorpius being off with their dangerous jobs must be really hard for him to handle all the time. But I bet he feels better after a nice cry; I know I always do! :-p Still, makes me want to snuggle him! Poor thing.

So I know I mentioned this in my last review, but I really do like the bit of trouble that Van's stirred up between Rose and Scorpius - it's just a fun additional level that adds a bit of tension to the story without feeling overbearing or overly-dramatic. I also love that Van is a character who's going to be around (unless he gets hurt or killed or something), and so Rose will continue working with him while Scorpius has to fight his insecurities. It'll be interesting to see how it continues to play out! I still have it in my head that it won't actually be a thing that comes between them, but hey, what do I know? ^.^

The pacing of this chapter is really great. You fit a lot of details through dialogue into this chapter, but still pause for more descriptive phrasing where it's needed, allowing the more emotional moments to have some reflective depth. It gives the chapter, as a whole, a really great flow - quickly paced in some sections, but slowed down in the moments that require a bit more feeling. Really good.

And just a few very minor things:

"Be... be careful tomorrow. You might not care much about your life, but I do." - I think this is the first time something was said about one of your characters that I didn't quite feel like I understood - like maybe I'm missing some information (possibly from the prequel). Of course, it's very possible that I just missed or forgot something mentioned earlier in this story, but I'll ask anyway: Is there a reason Scorpius doesn't think Rose values her life all that much? I've never gotten that feeling from her. I know she has a dangerous job and was a Gryffindor at school, but I don't think there's been anything that's made me question her self-preservation in a dangerous situation. Not that she wouldn't be the type of person to risk her life for someone else, but I think there's a difference between that and not valuing your life.

"It (The, not It) door suddenly opened wider, and Scorpius stumbled back into his cousin Johanna."

"But... Scorpius, look, our jobs our (are, not our) dangerous, but it's not like we're Hit Wizards."

Overall, I really liked this chapter! I'm really enjoying the story and like your characters more and more with each new chapter! They're all developing really well, as individuals and in relation to one another. And the hints of action and adventure and mystery to come still have me intrigued! I look forward to the next chapter!

Tanya :)

Author's Response: Aw, no worries - my March has been hectic, too. I haven't forgotten your third chapter, though, and I'll head over to do the review soon. :)

I'm so glad you liked this chapter! Thank you so much for all your kind words.

I definitely agree about Scorpius - a huge part of what's fueling this is that at this point, he really is very aware of how easily it is to break human beings and how hard it can be to put them back together (metaphorically speaking), and he hasn't really been doing this long enough to get real perspective... because Rose is right, too - there are plenty of people in dangerous professions who live to retire in perfectly good health.

I can see how that line could come off a bit strange. It's not something that I think would really have been clarified if you've read Curiosity is not a Sin, though. Rose can definitely be a bit reckless sometimes and doesn't always think out what she's going to do, which is what Scorpius is talking about... but he's definitely taking that and making an assumption that isn't completely warranted.

Thank you so much for the review! :)

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Review #9, by writeyourheartoutThe Wrinkles of the Road: A Coming Storm

28th February 2014:
Hello Beeezie! ^.^

So I've been reading this story for the past two days and have really, really been enjoying it! I wanted to leave reviews on these final two chapters because your fic - like many chaptered stories - has hit a bit of a review decline for the last two - which is quite silly, really, because this one was so great and I expect the next one will be as well! The entire story has been great, to be honest! I'm not a particular fan of Next Gen either, so the fact that I've enjoyed this so thoroughly should tell you how good it is. :)

Before anything else, I want to tell you that I know this is a sequel to another Next Gen story you have - presumably a Hogwarts-centric fic where we see where this Rose/Scorpius relationship began - but it really has worked as a stand alone story too! I don't know if there are a lot of hints back to the first story, but if so, you've managed to make it easy to follow for those who haven't read the original, which is great, in my opinion! I think a big reason for this is because even though the Weasley clan in the next generation is absolutely huge, you plucked out a few stand-outs to focus in and concentrate on, and that's been really helpful in keeping track of everyone's lives and personalities and relationships!

Anyway let me shift my focus now to this chapter in particular! ^.^

I love your Rose. She's so real! Lines like this are what really do it for me: "On the other, she was feeling more than a little petty, and if he wasn't going to be open with her, she didn't see why she should be honest with him." - hahaha It's such an imperfect trait, her pettiness, but one that is so vastly human that it makes Rose as a character feel so authentic! You've struck a perfect balance with her as far as making her likeable without being even the slightest bit indicative of a Mary Sue! She's flawed, but good at heart, and that's what makes me root for her.

In fact, all of your characters are greatly layered in this way! I'll stick to the ones we see this chapter, though, for now! I love your James! He doesn't seem quite so over the top as I've seen him portrayed often in other stories - like a photo-copy of James I or something - which is really nice! But he's still got that sort of free-spirited thing about him, which feels very fitting given the small glimpse we had of him in the epilogue. And look who's finally admitting to some relationship problems! Poor guy... I just want to hug him in this scene! hehe I don't know if I'm meant to be rooting for James and this Marion person, but I am rooting for James and his happiness, at least. I can't believe Roxanne would do that to them both, though! haha She seems a little intense of a character, from the brief times I've seen and heard about her! I love how you've been able to make each character so distinct - that's really hard to do with so many people!

Van has been fun! He walks that line between intimidating boss and crush-worthy older guy! And I love the little bit of trouble that his presence alone stirs up, even though it doesn't feel (right now, at least) like something that will be acted upon in any way - from either Rose or Van - but is still enough to add that extra layer of conflict into the story without it being this giant, overly-dramatic mess, like we see so often in fanfiction. I love that the conflicts you give to Rose and Scorpius as a couple are all things that a lot of real life couples have to go through themselves - like meeting families and trying to suppress jealousies when they're meant to trust one another fully.

(Albus doesn't make an appearance here, but in case he's not in the next chapter either, let me just tell you now that I've adored him so much so far. I'll expand this thought if he shows up in chapter 11. :-p)

I love the way this chapter ended! So much stuff is happening all at once for the D.C.B. and it's got me really intrigued about where this story is heading! You built the suspense really well and it was so intense when the fact that these may not be coincidences was brought up. Very exciting and scary and you've definitely captured my interest! I find myself trusting you very much as an author because you seem to have this effortless control over the story - you know exactly where it's headed and it's got me anxious to follow you as you take us there!

"It's been pushing acromantulas have started coming closer to Hogsmeade and Hogwarts." - This sentence is just a little wonky. ^.^

My only small critique is that I wish when you introduce us to a new magical creature in this story (regardless of whether or not you did in the prequel) that you would explain what the creature is exactly so we can understand the danger better! Only for things we probably don't know off the top of our heads, of course - like we obviously know enough about basilisks, but lethifolds could've used a little more information. The erklings from a few chapters back made me feel the same way, though we slowly (in later chapters after they were first introduced) learned a little bit more about them, but I had to google them to fully understand their danger. Even if you plan to expand on lethifolds during the potential investigation, I think it would be beneficial to give us a little more insight on them when they're first mentioned as a threat, cause at the moment I don't really know what they're up against. But that's honestly my only CC! And not just of this chapter, but of the entire story thus far! It's that good. ^.^

I don't know what else to say! I'm gonna have to favorite this, though. I think I'm slowly opening up to next gen stories and it's because of fics like this. Excellent work, Beeezie! Yay!

Tanya :)

P.S. I'll be over to chapter 11 within the next few days!

Author's Response: Oh, thank you so much! I'm going to leave you your reviews tomorrow - I'm so sorry about the delay, I've been under the weather and school has been very busy.

I totally know what you mean, re: your critique - that's a great point, and I'll definitely start doing that in the future (at the very least). I forget that not everyone is as in love with Magical Beasts and Where to Find Them as I am. :P

The decline in reviews is actually mostly my fault - I took a long hiatus. When I was updating this regularly, it got a lot of reviews, but at this point, I think it's going to take a little time to draw everyone back. Which is okay!

It's really interesting hearing from someone who hasn't read the prequel. I'm really glad you feel like it can stand alone, because that was definitely my goal, and you're definitely coming at it from a bit of a different pov than people who read CINAS - though Rose continues to come off exactly the same! I'm glad - I definitely wanted Rose to be likable-but-highly-flawed, haha.

The prequel actually takes place during their fifth year, so while there are a few hints (Rose and James talking about wanting to join the DCB, Marion being tense about James's career aspirations, Albus being bad with relationships), it really is a very different kind of story. Roxanne was a major part of that story, and I miss writing about her more, but… yeah, she definitely messed up with James. A lot.

I'm also really glad you like Van! Along with Johanna, he's my favorite OC. I actually set pretty much all my fics in the same universe, so they both pop up a lot. They're so much fun to write.

Thank you so so much for this lovely review. I will be off to return the favor shortly, and I hope that it can live up to yours!

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Review #10, by writeyourheartoutBow, Begin.: Bow, Begin.

25th February 2014:
Hi Sian! :)

Wow, what a beautiful story. I can't believe you wrote this for the Speed Dating challenge - less than 72 hours AND your group was the first to finish. It's a true testament to your talent that you were able to write so speedily without compromising the quality. Not to mention the fact that the style of writing was so indicative of the actual time of the piece, rather than a stab at modern writing. How did you do this? haha It's just wonderful.

I love a story that gives us a glimpse at the future before telling us how the character ended up there, in a place of such distress and solitude. The way the story opens allows for immediate intrigue to take over and propel the readers forward. I had to know more - had to know exactly what Godric and Helena (fabulous pairing choice, by the way!) had been through - that got him to this place.

You've done such a great job at carving out Godric as a complete character. The tension between him and his wife allows for a perfect foundation to be laid for the not-so-appropriate relationship between him and Helena. Not only is he married, but there's also an age gap and she's the daughter of his colleague! Sort of a lot working against them... no wonder the story opens with everything falling apart! LOL I really love how it begins with a very public dance, so that their first connection is almost innocent, if it weren't for Godric's inability to ignore her femininity or Helena's meaningful look as she leaves. Of course, such details and looks never can stay as simply that, can they? Especially when in the next scene, Godric is saving Helena!

Speaking of, what a great scene! You really captured the high-stakes and energy of the battle taking place in the forest. We also got a great glimpse of Helena's character! I know that your partner takes the reigns on her, but I'm glad we were at least allowed enough information about her to understand Godric's attachment. This line here is when we really see her starting to take shape: "I heard tell of the creature and wanted to see for myself... to see if I was equal to its might and fury." - Ah, it's so perfectly fitting of who I can see Helena being. And what I love is that you've actually given her a bit of a Gryffindor quality, which makes perfect sense as to why Godric falls for her - she reflects a value he holds higher than all others, even with her intelligence and wit as her defining qualities. Perfect.

"They are not quite love letters, not yet, but he knows that he would like them to be." - Ah, I love this sentence! They're just toeing the line until one of them finally crosses it. And this, too: "The parchment is devoured silently, greedily." - It's obviously not right of him to be doing this behind his wife's back because, though they aren't love letters yet, the fact that he feels the need to sneakily write and read them speaks volumes.

"Setting down the letter, he pulls out his own parchment and begins to write, wondering whether words of love can come too soon." - Ah, so good.

Their relationship is so great. You've given them so much to work with - so much that makes sense as to why they would fall for each other, regardless of the fact that it's wrong. They both feel stuck, longing for escape, and perhaps escaping wouldn't be so troubling if they had someone to run away with. I love that they even toy with the idea by going undercover for an evening. Their secret meeting place becomes almost like an escape, too, and when you speak about his cold, harsh wife, it makes me wish they would just run away together! Except that now I'm remembering the beginning of the story and how things are going to fall apart instead! Why are you doing this to me, Sian!?

Ah, and there it is. Though his heart belongs to Helena, his duty is to his wife and school. :'(

The ending! Ah! It's so sad! But more than that, it's made me incredibly curious as to what the next installment holds! Because I know it's from Helena's POV, so now I'm wondering if we'll get to see the reason as to why she doesn't show up! Is it true that she loves him no longer? And if so, why?! What happened between yesterday, when she nearly busted down the door begging him to run away with her, and today, in which she doesn't show up to say a final goodbye? I MUST KNOW! So clever of you to have set the ending up for your partner's story.

The structure of this story was really fun for me. The small glimpses at their more important moments allowed for us to see their relationship from start to finish in such a short amount of time while also keeping the pace really uptempo, never dragging. I think it's easy for stories in this era or using this style of more formal writing to feel a bit slow, almost like pulling teeth, because people tend to feel the urge to over-describe and flourish, and while sometimes that's a beautiful way to approach a story, other times it feels like I'm walking through molasses to get to the point. You managed to both capture the formal style of the era, still describe the surroundings and the emotions, and not for a second let it lose its pace. Seriously impressive.

This was just fantastic, Sian! From top to bottom - every word was precisely chosen and executed! I know you said this to me, and now I have to say it to you: "I've never read anything of yours before and now I'm questioning why on earth that is, because this was amazing!" hehehe It really was amazing, Sian. I will definitely be checking more of your stories out as soon as I've gotten through the rest of these Speed Dating entries! Thank you for the great read and good luck in the competition! This was wonderful!


Author's Response: Hi Tanya!

When I first got the idea for this story I couldn't imagine it starting in any other place - that scene came into my mind straight away and I started writing it to see whether the story would work as a concept. I'm really pleased you liked it! I always like seeing a glimpse of the future in a story because it makes me want to read on more, and it's great it worked here. And you like Godric and Helena! Yay!

I have to thank Rose a lot for helping shape Godric as a character; I was really so eager to start writing that I hadn't thought about him in as much depth as I should have. It was great to work with someone else who plans so thoroughly (normally when it comes to one-shots, I just write and hope for the best :P) to improve my writing. So a lot of those aspects that you mentioned are really thanks to Rose, but I'm glad you enjoyed them! Haha it was always sort of inevitable that things would fall apart between them, especially with my love of tragic endings. But I'm so happy you liked the dance scene! I did want their first connection to seem almost innocent, and it's brilliant I seem to have managed that.

Again, I have Rose to thank for the inspiration behind the rescue scene! I've only written action a few times before but it was fun to imagine Godric racing to try and reach Helena in time and that the scene allowed me to explore Helena's character a little more, to give some more ideas about why Godric is so attracted to her. I think that she must have been a very brave woman to do what we know she did in canon - taking the diadem and abandoning her family, even though some people might say that running away isn't brave. But for the time she was in she seems pretty incredible to me, and it felt that Godric would admire her because of her difference to the traditional and conventional women - like his wife - that he's surrounded with.

I'm so happy you picked up on that part, too! It didn't feel quite realistic that the two of them would delve into an affair of any sort, not when there was so much at stake, so the letters are kind of what carried them to it. Besides, I love the idea of people sending love letters to each other, so when it was so fitting with the period I really couldn't resist the idea.

I can't tell you how pleased I am that you can understand why they would fall for each other even though it's wrong. I surprised myself by wanting to write this sort of relationship, but found myself warming to it more as I wrote it - there are reasons behind it and I tried to make them as plausible as possible, not that it could ever make something like that right. Haha I may secretly love torturing my readers, Tanya ;) didn't I mention that before you read this? Oops!

Well I'm sure that by now you'll have read Rose's entry and will have seen the story from Helena's perspective, so you know the truth about why she didn't turn up... but I'm really happy that you wanted to know what was going to happen and the truth behind it all, because that's what I was hoping for! And yes, I loved making the links to Rose's story so that the two fit together really well.

I'm so happy you thought I managed to capture the style and description at the same time as keeping the pace and flow right! Ah, thank you so, so, so much for this fantastic review, Tanya! I'm ashamed not to have responded before now but it's so amazing that every time I read it I couldn't think of what to say. But thank you so much!

Sian :)

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Review #11, by writeyourheartoutWhere Rainbows End: Where Rainbows End

23rd February 2014:
Why hello again, Miss Isobel! ^.^

So every time I read a piece of your writing, I always find myself with a long list of things to love about it, and this story was no exception! What's even more impressive is the time frame in which this was written (congratulations on finishing, by the way!) and how it didn't effect the quality a bit. Seriously impressive. :)

And onto the actual story now! This was so good! I thought the way you opened it up with the scene between Rose and her grandfather was just the sweetest thing - and bonus for having the structure line up with your partners as well! You both started off with a past scene that laid the foundation for the story and tied directly into the title. Great partner work on that!

"I asked her out on a date, and she refused to go until I proved I had pure intentions." - Aha! Aww! If that's not one of the sweetest grandparent lines ever, I don't know what is. :-p I love your version of him - he feels very fitting for having been Hermione's dad. And I love how it's very casual the way you slip in the information that lets us know it's not Arthur Weasley that's the grandpa here, with the small reference to his being a Muggle and the line about dentistry. You show rather than tell - it's great! And the entire rainbow story and theme is just too cute. ^.^

Is it weird that I read every line of dear old grandpa's in a Southern American accent? I just can't help but picture him in a rocking chair on the porch, chewing on a piece of straw as he watches over his crops... Probably wearing dirty overalls, too. hehehe

I love the little details sprinkled throughout this section. Things like the water droplets peppering Rose's face in similar patterns to her freckles, and the way she splashes in puddles and makes a mess, but her grandparents don't seem to mind on these such occasions. They're sort of arbitrary in terms of plot, but they're the details that make well-rounded and authentic characters and relationships while also upping the quality of writing. Your writing is so pretty in this first section because of those moments of description. Really lovely, Isobel. :)

The second half is just as wonderful! I about laughed out loud when you said this: "- like last week, with my parents, Hugo and Granddad as well as some of the others, although it didn't go well, which is why I'm absolutely terrified right now." Hahaha No kidding it didn't go well. :-p Too funny.

I really love the how this section begins with Rose reflecting on her age and how young she feels. I think a lot of women in their twenties find themselves caught at an age in which they feel too old to be a child but too young to be an adult, and so when they do something childish, they feel badly and as if they should know better, and vice versa. So Rose being so anxious about how young she might appear to the Malfoy's makes total sense, because getting engaged is an adult decision and, though she's obviously secure in her decision when alone with Scorpius, it's hard to ignore the fact that others might look at them as too young to be making such a huge commitment. It's a great way to show us that you understand Rose as both a child and an adult with your ability to separate the two while still showcasing their similarities.

OMG HINKY! LOL Sorry, but I've just remembered Hinky from kenpo's chapter and the drama he caused! hahaha Great continuity again, by the way!

Speaking of, you've managed to include a handful of references back to kenpo's piece! Like the blurting out of the engagement at the Weasley's! And, on top of that, I think you created very similar versions of Scorpius and Rose to each others! A big reason my partner and I chose James and Lily to work with is because they're already established personalities and we didn't want the added task of having to agree upon versions of characters who are practically OC's themselves! But you two were able to remain consistent even with that added challenge! Kudos!

It's just too perfect that the Malfoy's take the news about a thousand times better than the Weasley's did! hahaha In fact, Lucius and Narcissa said nothing and the only jab Draco got in was, "Just don't ask me to sit next to your father at the wedding"! It's great, I love it, and it feels very fitting, to be honest. At first glance one might think it should be the opposite, but I agree with how you two chose to showcase each announcement here. ^.^

Oh, before I forget, I also wanted to mention that even though we only got small glimpses of each of them, I thought your versions of Lucius, Narcissa, and Draco were all really well done! You instilled that sense of formality that has always surrounded the Malfoy's with just the greetings alone.

I love the way that the story ends just as it began - like a pretty little bow being tied around the fic! ^.^

I don't know what else to say, Isobel! The story was thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish! The situation you and kenpo chose to base the challenge around was perfect for Valentine's Day and both left me with a smile on my face! I wish it weren't the case, but you both did a great job with this challenge... You're gonna kick my team right out of the running, ya brats! :-p

Lerv yer.
Tanya ^.^

Author's Response: Hello again, Miss Tanya ^.^

Awww, thank you so much! *blushes* And haha, thanks so much! (Belated congrats to you for a) finishing and b) winning!) I’m honoured that you enjoyed this story so much!

Haha, thank you so much! We were sending each other tidbits of our stories as we were writing them, so it helped to establish our stories and help them remain consistent with each other. As for the scene with Rose and her grandfather, that’s something I imagine grandfathers doing — telling their grandchildren stories about the good old days and helping to shape their personalities.

Hehehehe! Obviously, I wasn't around back in dear old grandpa's youth, but that seems like something a woman would do, especially since female dentists would've been something of a rarity at the time and she would've worked incredibly hard to get onto the university course, so she wouldn't want to date a man who was determined to make her a housewife. I'm really glad you thought he really could be Hermione's dad! And haha -- Rose obviously wouldn't refer to him as Mr Granger, so I needed to incorporate something that made it clear that he wasn't Arthur, like most would assume. And thank you so much! ^.^

As someone who has no idea what a Southern American accent sounds like (well, I've heard American accents from films/TV shows but I don't know which ones are "Southern", if any) I'll sit on the fence on this one. I swear you've got telepathy, though -- I imagine Rose's grandpa to wear dirty blue overalls when he does his gardening, and he sits on a folding chair on his back porch when he isn't kneeling down amongst the bushes :P

Awww! Thank you so much! I wanted to really incorporate the surroundings, particularly as the location was quite vivid in my head and I wanted to get that across on screen. I'm really pleased that you enjoyed the details, and that you felt they contributed to the one-shot instead of distracting from it ^.^

Haha! I know -- I think Rose was quite confident at first, because she had this ideal scenario in her head and then at the Burrow, things went completely wrong. And now she's nervous because she's had a dose of reality, and she's doubting the Malfoys and second-guessing everything. Poor Rosie!

As someone who's caught in the position you're describing, about being too old to be a child and too young to be an adult (despite what the law says :P), I really love your insight into Rose's character! You're absolutely right -- she /knows/ that this is how she feels, she's 100% sure she's making the right decision, and yet she knows that at her age, Hermione was forging a career of her own at the Ministry and Astoria was breaking down the societal barriers between the pure-blood elite and normal wizarding society. She isn't doing anything major like that, just being normal and living a decent life, and I think she's worried they'll feel she's being pigeon-holed into a marriage because it seems like the logical next step, not because she actually /wants/ to be a Malfoy. And that was a long analysis :P

Hehehehe! Hinky definitely caused trouble! And thank you! Like I said before, Georgia and I kept each other updated as we wrote and she was wonderfully flexible as we both tweaked bits here and there to really mesh them together. I think we had similar ideas of Scorpius and Rose too, so that was lucky! Thank you so much though, I'm really pleased! :D

LOL! Georgia and I wanted to add some originality to our stories, to make them different from other ScoRose engagement annoucements, and we decided that flipping their reactions would be appropriate, as well as fitting in better with our plots. I'm really glad that you agree with this decision!

Pretty little bow :P That's such lovely symbolism. And it's really fun reading this review, because LOOK. TANYA. MURPHY'S LAW BLEW THIS COMPLETELY OUT OF THE WATER AND OVER THE RAINBOW. (I'm /so/ sorry but I couldn't resist the pun!)

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Review #12, by writeyourheartoutBirdie (Speed Dating Entry): Birdie

23rd February 2014:
Hi kenpo! First of all, congratulations on finishing this story in time for the challenge, and secondly, double points for making it so stinkin' good! Please forgive all impending gushing! ^.^

I suppose begin at the beginning makes sense, yes? That opening scene was just adorable! What I love about it - outside of the great writing, of course - is the simplicity of it. There are times when simplicity walks a thin line beside boring, but when it's used correctly, it creates these truly memorable moments of either poignancy or insignificant significance! And this scene was so insignificantly significant in the best way imaginable that I about *squee*d out loud. I love the way you've tied the title into the story, with the little 'Birdie' anecdote. It's such a basic sort of foundation to have set Rose and Scorpius up with, but it's really effective in the fact that it gives them that bit of history, so we aren't being told to accept their engagement without any idea of who your versions of each of them are or where their relationship stemmed from. It was a very clever way to open the story - and one that your partner uses as well!

Speaking of, I love the idea you and Isobel came up with in regards to this competition! Two sides of an engagement announcement, both of which were a joy to read about (though I've yet to leave a review for Isobel's just yet)! Really great! ^.^

This middle section... I just... I lost track of how many times I laughed out loud or stumbled upon a moment of brilliance, but I suppose I ought to pick at least a choice few to relay here:

HAHAHA WEASLEY FLASHCARDS? Oh man... I need to get me some of those... I can't keep any of the next gen kids straight for the life of me! I totally feel for Scorpius.

Aww, I love the little exchange about the Burrow! It's really sweet that even though the Weasley's surely are much wealthier these days, they still kept their family home. It's really only fitting; I'd be sad to see them move on from it. Plus, with the possible exceptions of Percy and Ron, I don't think any of the Weasley's have even been particularly lavish people... And the Burrow has too many memories! Somebody tell Scorpius that he'd better learn to appreciate the Burro- oh wait, he sort of gets it. Okay, I'll not rant, then... ;)

"You've got my support, but you should know that the last male that was added to the Weasley family by marriage was Harry Potter." - LOL! Oh boy, Hugo... That is NOT helpful! And then Ron! "I'm an Auror." Bahaha! I can't. This is so funny. Poor Scorpius! hahaha And then Hermione with this sound advice: "Just make a few jokes and don't talk about your father." *dies* My God, you've done just a marvelous job at balancing the entire family in this story! There are so many people to handle that it easily could have gone wrong, but you've managed to write each familiar character from the books perfectly while giving the newbies distinct personalities! How did you manage all of that in just 72 hours? I expect it must be similar to juggling flaming torches - which is apparently a skill you possess, because every character was brilliant!

DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD YOU'VE MADE IT NOT TO JUST QUOTE THIS ENTIRE STORY BACK AT YOU? hahaha Seriously, there are so many great lines and moments... When Scorpius mentions his House-elf, I about died. The stillness that filled the Weasley house-hold gripped me as well!

""You're a filthy Malfoy," he spat. "Rose, you better not take his last name."" - Wow, that first part was harsh - even for Ron. The second half made me chuckle, though. hehehe What I love most about this section was how you were able to bring us down from all the hilarious insanity that ensued and make us feel truly sorry for Scorpius. He's really beaten down at this moment, fighting back tears as the world seems to crumble around him. The moment with Harry, though, I really loved - there was something very gentle and almost surreal about its effect - though I desperately wish I could have heard the conversation that followed! Perhaps when the winners are announced and you're allowed to go over the 2500 word cap, you can add it in for me, yeah? ;)

"Her nose would scrunch up a bit, and she'd constantly push her long, bushy red hair out of (her) face."

"Scorpius swallowed hard and had to fight his instincts, which were telling him to slither under the table and reside there for the rest of (his) life." - hahaha This part was too cute. "Rose wouldn't mind moving in under the table, would she?" :-p

I thought the ending - and I'm referring strictly to the last two or three lines, not the entire section - could have packed a little more punch, as it felt like it sort of just deflated out... but that's strictly my opinion and literally the only criticism I have! Everything else was just... oh my goodness, so brilliant. hahaha

I really loved this. Honestly, it was such a joy to read and I laughed so hard a few times that I had to actually take a break from reading! You're a very talented writer and I'm definitely going to have to check out some of your other stories after reading this. I mean, you wrote this fantastic one-shot in less than 72 hours, so I can only imagine the quality of writing you can produce under far less pressure! You're just great. I have no more words.

Tanya :)

P.S. As I proof-read this review, I literally cannot stop giggling to myself. I sound like an idiot, to be honest; thank goodness I live alone! :-p

Author's Response: THIS REVIEW WAS SO NICE!

You're so sweet. I can't even articulate how nice this was.

Both my partner and I independently decided to start the stories with little snippets that aren't completely related to the engagement, so it worked out really well!! I'm glad you liked the simplicity of it.

I can't imagine them ever giving up the Burrow!! It would break my heart. The Burrow will stay. And Scorpius will learn to love it, too. He does see a little bit of the magic for a moment.

I balance the Weasley family by having massive amounts of headcanon and making up random reasons for some of them to not be there (oh, uh... They're at Quidditch! There was a big order at WWW! Yup! Yup!)

Ron was harsh. He'll eventually understand that he was too harsh. He was bombarded with not only having to deal with his baby girl growing up... but growing up with Scorpius!

I keep just rereading this review and smiling because it's so stinkin' nice!!!

Harry! Honestly, the only reason that Harry was the one to intervene was because I realized that I didn't really mention him (other than the Hugo bit) in the entire story, and I didn't give a reason for he and Ginny to not be there... but then once I wrote it I was really pleased with it!!

The ending, yes. I completely agree. My partner and I actually initially had different endings planned, but the word-counts got us!!

And about adding more... there may or may not be a sequel that's getting a foundation set... may or may not... you didn't hear anything from me...

This review was seriously just so ridiculously sweet and thankyouthankyouthankyou!


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Review #13, by writeyourheartoutBeing In Love - Speed Dating Entry: Harry and Ginny

22nd February 2014:
Hello Mae! I've just finished reading Violet's entry and was excited to read yours next! It didn't disappoint! ^.^

I mentioned this already in the previous chapter, but I really like the idea you two came up with as far as the connection between these two pieces - and that was before I even recognized the fountain for what it was! What a great idea to have crafted this story around! It was really clever of you, too, because the James/Lily chapter now has me looking at it like a missing moment (and who doesn't love missing moment stories?), while this one here brings a really great sense of nostalgia along with it, both to the moment in the books when Hagrid gives Harry the picture, and to the previous chapter, where we see the moment come to life! Very clever of you both! :-D

I have to tell you that I am not generally a fan of Harry/Ginny. In fact, I'm not really a fan of Ginny at all! I'm going to set my bias aside, however, because... well that wouldn't be very fair of me if I didn't look at your story objectively, would it? :-p All of that said, I thought you made some really lovely remarks about their relationship in this story - so much so that I actually thought for a minute that perhaps they aren't so bad together... ;) This line here was exceptionally sweet: "Maybe it was the thought of how she had always been there, or the fact that she never saw him as Harry Potter, but just Harry." - Dawww. And while I think it could be argued that in the very beginning, Ginny's feelings for Harry were probably based more on his fame than on who he actually was as a person (strictly because she didn't know him at that point), it's still a really sweet sentiment, and I'm thoroughly on board with the idea that after she got over her terror of being in the same room as him, she did see him in this way, which is exactly the sort of thing Harry's always been partial to. It gives me a better idea of why J.K. Rowling created them for each other. You have swayed me at least a small amount. :-p

"He pocketed his wand in the back of his trousers, not keeping Mad-Eye's words in mind at the moment, and skipped down the stairs two at a time." - Bahaha! This line! I actually laughed out loud at the memory of Mad-Eye Moody's warning... Too funny.

I mentioned in Violet's entry about how I was hopeful that you would follow a similar structure to her story in regards to splitting the POV between your couple, and even though that's not what you ended up doing, I found myself really enjoying the entire story from Harry's perspective, regardless! I think that what's even more impressive about this is the fact that Harry is probably one the harder character's a person could attempt to write, simply because he's the POV we see 99% of the time in canon! So the feat of taking him on is definitely risky and a challenge, as we're all already so familiar with him, but I thought you handled him very well! The nervous pacing as he prepares himself to go downstairs to find Ginny, the search for reassurance as he looks to his parents photo, the tongue-tied attempt at a romantic speech - it all felt very authentic to me. A lot of people would butcher the attempt, but you managed to pull it off! Kudos to you, Mae!

"Her red hair was blowing in little wisps around her face, and her cheeks and nose were already starting to turn nearly as red." - There are some really delightful moments of seemingly arbitrary details that really take the quality of writing up a notch. This is one of my favorites. Simple, sweet, prettily written. OH AND THIS ONE TOO: "Every freckle was scrunched up and her brown eyes were shining, searching for answers he wasn't properly providing." :)

"Ginny, who was happy to see *harry (*Harry) hadn't offended her mum, smiled and nodded in agreement." - Love the earlier remark in this section about how no one turns down Molly's food. hehehe Too true. A very accurate representation of Molly, even with just the small glimpse we're given! ^.^

Your syntax in a few places is a little wonky, which makes a few of your sentences a little hard to understand the first time through, so should you ever go back and edit, I would take a look at certain spots and make sure they're clear and easy to understand! But that's it for constructive criticism!

I love the parallel's you drew between James/Lily and Harry/Ginny. Not just physically, either, but the very way in which Harry views Ginny is quite similar to the way James viewed Lily.

The ending was so cute! Gah! I really love that originally Harry wanted to say all of these things to Ginny, but the words wouldn't come out. It's something I can totally see the real Harry experiencing. He's definitely not one for big romantic gestures - I agree with you there - and so this simple, sweet proposal all felt very fitting. You've got me all smiles and I don't even like Harry/Ginny! Witchcraft, I tell you! ;)

Anyway, this story was all around just very sweet and cute and fluffy and adorable; the perfect one-shot for a Valentine's Day inspired challenge! It's clear that you and Violet worked well together, and congratulations on finishing this story on time! Can you believe you wrote this in less than 72 hours? You did a really good job with this story, Mae, and your collaboration with Violet is clear and precise. Excellent work, the both of you! Yay!

Tanya ^.^

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I got to see a little bit if Violet's entry before she completely finished, so I was able to start planning my bit. I really wanted to use emotions between father and son as a common link, and some of the things she added was just so perfect I thought it'd be great to add over here! Like how James' mouth was tugged at the corner before he smiled, I wanted that to be how Harry smiles. When Lily introduces James the first time in her story, she goes: "'James,' she breathed." I wanted to recapture that moment completely with the way Ginny introduces Harry. The fountain was just the bonus of awesomeness we came up with. Missing moments, after all, are the best. Especially when you don't realize that's what you're reading!

YES! Thanks, though, I really wanted to make people like this couple as much as I always have. I didn't want to go over the top with them, because that would be a lie, so keeping it simple was the way to go. To show everyone just how I view their relationship and why it makes so much sense to me, so I'm glad you felt that way just a little bit. It was one of my ultimate goals in the beginning!

On her feelings in the beginning. She was so young, and he was so new to who he really was, that at the time, I doubt he realized why she was so shy and embarrassed around him all the time. And by the time she could really start falling in love with him, I'd imagine she loved him for just being himself. That's what Harry would see. So you're exactly right as to where I was going with that! And yay! You're a little swayed! I couldn't be happier!

The bit I got to read of Violet's story was before she added Lily's POV, and by the time I got to read it, I had an hour to finish, edit, and submit my own entry, and submit Violet's entry. As much as I would have liked to add a little bit of Ginny, I think I'm pretty happy with the turnout on just Harry's side. And I'm glad you thought so, too. After all, they were his parents, and we wanted the generational gap more than a boys feel and girls feel moment. Though I do hope Ginny's reactions were good enough to help convey exactly what was going through her mind! As for the rest if that huge wall of text, I'm too busy squeeing at just how amazing and nice you are! I was very nervous to take on Harry, and for you to say that - well, I'm on cloud nine right now! Just thank you so so much! You're amazing! Really!

Oops. Dumb phone. It doesn't recognize Harry as a proper noun half the time. Thanks for pointing that out! And I'm glad you like the detail added. It's normally one of my weaknesses, but I really tried to pick up things from Violet's style of writing so it wouldn't feel like you were reading two similar stories, but reading from one chapter to the next. So I took note on how descriptive she was and gave it a go!

Thanks for pointing that out! Though, maybe I'll have to wait a little bit (I'm still caught up in the glow of "OHMYGOODNESSWEFINISHEDASTORYIN72HOURSHOWAWESOME!" so I've read both entries several times haha). I'll stop reading it for now and go back to see what I come up with!

So the convincing has come to an even further development, yes? Absolute witchcraft it must be! Seriously though, that makes me so happy! I can't stop smiling right now! And here I am just happy I wrote something that makes sense and wasn't over-kill on Harry and Ginny getting engaged! Thank you!

Thank you so much for such a lovely, awesome, amazing, super fantabulous review! You're the best, I swear! 72 hours Haha a whole short story out of the way and here I'm just trying to update my own stories! This contest was such a blast, and it loved working with Violet the whole way through. She truly is amazing. Thank you for reading both entries, leaving such incredible reviews, and being awesome.


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Review #14, by writeyourheartoutBeing In Love - Speed Dating Entry: James and Lily

22nd February 2014:
Hi there, Violet! ^.^

What a sweet story you've crafted here! It's very fluffy and romantic and adorable, which is rather perfect for a Valentine's Day inspired challenge, but it's also got an undercurrent of the darker times ahead of them! And it also happens to be James/Lily, whom I adore. Yay!

The opening paragraphs were both really great; my two favorites of the entire story, I think. Without overdoing it, you managed to remind us of how different the world these days is and how scary and uncertain all things are in regards to the future. You remind us of just how young James and Lily are, having only just left school, and wishing still for the extra bit of safety that life at Hogwarts under Dumbledore's watchful eye once provided for them. This line in particular is a stand-out: "She made him want to fight for a future where they could live free from the persecution of those that hated people like Lily simply because of her magical origins." You remind us with that line of what exactly this war is about and the importance of fighting for equality and fairness.

You've done a great job at balancing both the romantic and the nostalgic, with a light sprinkling of the uncertainty that lay beyond due to impending war. It made for a rather simple story on the surface, but with a much more complex undertone to it. That can be tricky to pull off, but I think you accomplished it without any signs of struggle. :)

I really enjoyed the foundation of this story, being James seeking out Lily on what could very well be a final day of decent weather and walking her around her hometown, knowing that soon enough they'll be moving and she'll be leaving this place possibly for good. It's a very kind gesture on James' part to appreciate what she's giving up to be closer to him and to the Order.

The inclusion of Petunia was great, even with just the small glimpse we get to see of her. I love the idea of her having the ability to frighten the sun away with her face alone! Bahaha Too funny. You really captured her distaste of James and his relationship with Lily without spending too much time on the subject, keeping the focus where it should be - on James and Lily.

This probably seems like a really arbitrary detail to be pointing out, but this line here: "The leaves crunched beneath his feet with an audible crack as he walked closer to her door and he relished the sound that brought him back to happier days." - it really stuck out to me simply because that small description about the crunching leaves just gave the story an extra layer of realism and sense of environment, in my opinion. It's the small details in writing that culminate together to create a good story, and so these seemingly insignificant moments are actually really important in the overall effect a story can have. I just really loved the line. :) There were some other moments too, like the way the red and gold leaves kick up around them as they rush out of the house, or how James' glasses slide down his nose a bit as he spins Lily around, and she gently slides them back into place. Just little touches that make a big impact.

I like how you switched POV's! It gave us a look inside the head of both of them, and I'm hoping it's something Maelody has done with her own piece as well! I loved getting the chance to see Lily's hometown through her eyes because it allowed for a very poignant sense of nostalgia to surface. We get a little glimpse at her favorite places, some references to her relationship with Snape, and just a sense of what it is exactly that she's leaving behind. As someone who had to leave my childhood home a few years ago, I was very touched by the moments of revisiting significant places. Very sweet. :)

I've only got one very minor critique, which you can absolutely ignore, as it really is a very tiny detail! It's quite simply the fact that I noticed there were a few places in which you would say or use similar words or phrases really close together so it would feel a bit repetitive. Here's an example: "He had come today to *surprise her and take her out for the afternoon on the *surprisingly warm autumn day..." - Like I said, super minor, but I think the sentence would read nicer if you replaced one of the variations of the word 'surprise' with something else. There were some other small occurrences, but it's a really nitpicky thing to be pointing out anyway. :-p

hehehe The ending is very cute. I like the idea of James being the type of person who doesn't care about making a fool of himself dancing in public without any music, and that he can influence a slightly more reluctant Lily to follow his lead. ^.^

Overall, this story was really cute and thoroughly enjoyable. I'm excited to see how Maelody's will reflect your own! The description you wrote about on the forums about the two stories connection(s) was really intriguing and I look forward to seeing the similarities in the next chapter! Also, congratulations on finishing this lovely story on time for the competition! It was a seriously hard challenge, right? haha Great job, Violet!

Tanya ^.^

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Review #15, by writeyourheartoutDouble Trouble: All's Fair in Love and War

22nd February 2014:
Hello again, farmgirl! :-D

So I've just come from Sarah's entry and am forcing myself to get this review in before going to bed tonight, like I chose to do yesterday when I was meant to be reviewing you instead of sleeping... and the night before that as well... :-p

Anyhoo... moving forward! I am indeed here now! So, shall I stop rambling and get to the actual reviewing part? ...I take your silence as a yes. Here we go!

I'm sorry, but... you didn't really write this in one night, did you? I mean... I know I was there with you while it was happening, but... I don't understand how! This turned out so great! Surely you, too, slaved away at it for three sleepless nights like -some- of us lowly folk have to do in order to craft something even halfway decent! You're killing me here! Unfair. Just... unfair.

Alright, I'll set aside my jealousy and bitterness for the rest of this review. ;)

It's so great, farmgirl! It's funny and charming and your versions of each Weasley present is as good as ever!

I already mentioned this in my review to Sarah, but I really love the idea you guys came up with. It's always great to see you writing right in your sweet spot, and this was no exception. Your twins are so funny and mischievousness and unforgettable. The whole undercover wedding thing was just perfect; it's so exactly the type of ceremony I would expect from the two of them. It makes me nearly desperate to try my hand at my own George wedding in regards to 'Lying Josephine', but I think I'll leave it here with you and Sarah and these two stories rather than trying to mess about with my own. I'm certain any attempt of my own would pale in comparison!

Molly is a stand-out here, as well. You've given her the perfect balance of angry and hurt and upset, but also so proud and pleased and emotional! She's conflicted in the most motherly of ways and it's just such a sweet moment when she finally sets aside her feelings of discontent and her inability to keep from scolding and lecturing to cry about her boys getting married! She's so sweet, really. I know you mentioned to me about how you felt this story was purely comical without any moments of depth, but when Molly can't help but to blurt out her, "And...and...oh my baby boys! I can't believe it! You're married!" it's really a very touching moment of both depth and poignancy. I love it. :)

Aunt Muriel was a fun little addition and a great way to open the story! She's such a crabby old thing, isn't she? I just love seeing the twins poke the dragon when she's already got smoke billowing from her nostrils.

Even though we only get a few small glimpses of Aziza and Akila in your version of the story, I really loved what you wrote about them. The fact that they were the ones who came up with the majority of the idea behind the outlandish prank of a wedding just speaks volumes about them both, which is really a lovely touch, considering they're both OC's and we only get a short amount of time to feel any sort of connection to them. As someone you know to be particularly fond of the twins, finding correct women to pair them each with is something that easily could have gone wrong from my perspective, but you managed to give them these really great girls that I know will make them forever happy in alternate universe land. ^.^

*blushes* FARMGIRL! Exactly what type of festivities could you possibly be alluding to here? hehehehe :-p

There are so many quotable lines throughout this story that I must limit myself to just a choice few before I regurgitate your entire fic back at you!

Of course there's this gem: "You two! I can't believe you just...! Grass mats and a llama? Tibetan chanting? Belly dancing House-elves?" - HAHAHAHA Omg, I knew it was coming and STILL I laughed out loud! So funny. How you came up with it, I will never know. hahaha Oh, and I love how it's not just a crazily made-up idea from Fred and George, but that there is actually a House-elf Belly Dancing Club of its own! Beyond ridiculous, my friend. I can't. Ahaha

"The moment their mum heard the word "wedding" she turned into a giddy, crying, planning monster." - LOL Poor Mrs. Weasley. hahaha

And last, but not least, this final exchange: ""Looks like Muriel found the cake!" he said between chortles. - "See, Mum! Weddings are a blast," George added, laughing so hard he had to lean forward on his knees." - hahahaha Omg, I can't. It just wouldn't be a Weasley twin wedding without some exploding cake and silly pun, would it? I can't stop giggling. hehehe

Sheesh, farmgirl, you've done it again. Another fantastic story that has me laughing uncontrollably throughout its entirety! I mean it, though: this story was honestly enjoyable and thoroughly entertaining from start to finish. It's quick and simple and easy and just absolutely delightful. Oh, and congratulations on finishing on time for the competition! I still can't believe you did this all in one night... I won't harp on it again though... I'll just tuck my bitter envy away for safe-keeping... ;)

Wonderful, as always.

Tanya ^.^

Author's Response: Hey T :)

I am a huge fan of sleep. It's probably my favorite hobby. So, I will never hold it against you for sleeping instead of reviewing. Seriously. LOL.

Now, stop with the over-exaggerating. You know I wrote it in one night, and it totally shows. Not my best writing ever, but I am glad you enjoyed it anyway. So, stop being silly with the gushing.

As for writing about the twins, that was totally me putting pressure on, hehehe. I really wanted to do something with them and Sarah was so sweet and game to go along with it.

What do you mean you won't write a George/Jo wedding? I WANNA SEE THE WEDDING! You have to do it, now that you've hinted at it. I really, really would love to read that.

You are so sweet about your comments on Molly. I was worried I'd gone overboard with her, but you make me feel better. And I honestly don't know how you can find so much amazing stuff to write in this review for a story as short and hurried as this on. The review is practically longer than the story!

I am very glad your team helped me out with the idea to include Muriel. She IS a blast to write. At this rate, I'm gonna let her get to 150 just so I can keep including her in stories. And you know, under all the crabbiness, I somehow get the feeling the twins might actually be her favorites.

Glad the girls came off okay in this. It WAS such a short fic to try and give them personalities. I was worried.

And stop the blushing. You know exactly what I'm talking about. They are married after all...

As for the house elves and their strange club...I give total credit to that one to the late nights. Strange things come out of my mind when it's sleep deprived.

So glad you liked it, and it made you laugh, and stop with the jealous cause it's not worth it. hehehe. It was fun to right and I'm honored you graced it with such an amazing review. Thanks, as ever, for your support my friend. You rock!

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Review #16, by writeyourheartoutDouble Trouble: A Twin Affair

22nd February 2014:
Hi Sarah!!! *waves frantically* ^.^

This was too cute! Where do I even begin?

I just absolutely adore the idea behind this story. First of all, I love me some Fred and George. What happened to each of them due to the war has always been a lot of people's most difficult Harry Potter death to accept and move forward from - myself included - and so seeing them get this alternate ending, in which both are alive and well and truly happy, is just wonderful. *holds back tears* ;)

"If one studied the dynamics of Fred and George Weasley they would see that Fred is the one who starts, he's more quick to speak, and get angry, he's also the one who puts it all in action. George, on the other hand, is less hot-headed, he's the inventor of the two, he always finishes, and pulls Fred back when he goes to (too, not to) far." - I really love that you gave the boys some distinction! I've read too many Fred and George stories that clump them together as a singular unit with no differing characteristics, and it's just not the case. They are two separate people who, yes, are quite similar, but are not the exact same! Actually, it's this sort of pet peeve that inspired a lot of my own Fred and George novel, so I'm very happy to see someone else giving them a bit of contrast! Yay! :-D

Aziza and Akila are both very sweet and funny and seemingly perfect for Fred and George! I love to see that they've each found someone (another set of twins, as luck would have it!) that makes them happy, can keep up with their craziness, and who enjoy a bit of mischief just as much as their counterparts! It's very idealistic, but I find that very fitting for a Valentine's Day challenge - plus, Fred and George deserve the best. ;) I'm totally on board with these pairs. hehehe Also, their Egyptian background and the influence it has on the wedding is really cool; what a great character choice! (And their names are so pretty. ^.^)

I also love how we get little glimpses into their relationships and how they started and grew closer so that it doesn't feel like Fred and George are marrying two strangers with very little information for us readers to hold onto. I feel invested in the girls, which is quite the accomplishment for such a short fic, and it makes me root for both sets of twins!

""For heaven's sake! What is going on?" Molly was getting flustered and she clearly didn't like being on the attending side of parties." - Ahaha This is so perfectly Molly! As is this: "Mrs. Weasley went from frustrated to flustered to pleased to upset." - Great job playing with her character and keeping her authentic in these small moments!

And, of course, the piece de resistance: the ultimate wedding prank! Ahaha! What a clever idea! I love it! It's so perfectly fitting and feels like a very plausible scenario for canon Fred and George, had Fred survived the war! Honestly, this actually makes me want to write a wedding scene for my George/OC novel! Must... resist... urge... :-p

The inclusion of Bill was great, as well! I don't read a lot of Bill, but I really enjoyed what you did with him here; making him just nutty enough to agree to officiate the wedding, though still giggling through it the entire time! And I really enjoyed the fact that he actually knew the girls separately from his time spent in Egypt! You managed to squeeze a whole lot of details and back-story into this little one-shot, which is very impressive given both the time-frame you had to write it in and the 2500 word count limit! Kudos to you!

A few minor details now:

I was a little confused about this one thing here: First you said this: "Aziza was always finishing Akila's sentences..." and then later you said this: "She remembered being completely entranced by the way Fred would start saying something and George would end it. The opposite of herself and Akila." - It sounds to me like you're saying in the second sentence that Aziza and Akila, unlike Fred and George, do not finish each others sentences, but that directly contradicts the first sentence. It's just a bit unclear, is all! (Although perhaps I'm reading it wrong? A very plausible scenario! If so, please ignore! hehehe :-p)

Also, there's one technical aspect of your writing that I'd like to suggest you take a closer look at, and that's simply the use of semi-colon's in certain places as opposed to comma's! Here's an example: "Both Fred and George looked utterly ridiculous in their traditional Egyptian robes(semi-colon here instead of comma), it was almost unflattering, if they didn't wear it with a smile." - So because both the the first and second half of the sentence could technically stand alone as their own separate sentences, they get a semi-colon instead of a comma. Comma's get used when the sentence being connected would leave one half incomplete without the other half. Does that make sense? That said, however, I love how this sentence touches on their attire! Only the twins would get married in outfits that made them look so ridiculous! hehehe I can just imagine... Too funny. ^.^ Anyway, there were a couple other examples throughout the the fic, but you get the idea! Just take notice each time you're about to use a comma and ask yourself if the sentence following it is one that could otherwise stand alone and, if the answer is yes, use a semi-colon instead! ^.^

That's it, though! It's so great and cute and fun and adorable and clever and happy! I wish this were the reality of Fred and George's lives, but I will have to simply be pleased enough to see them get a happy alternative ending here, instead! It really was enjoyable from top to bottom; from start to finish! Congratulations on both finishing your entry on time and making it such an adorable little story on top of that!

Tanya ^.^

Author's Response: Hi! Wow! This is a really long review, it was completely awesome!! Thank you so so much!!

I'm so glad that you liked it and the names too! It was tough finding the names, but once I saw those two they fit so perfectly. Mrs. Weasley mixing the names up was actually the first real scene I thought of!

Thanks! I'm so glad that you liked all of those little details!

As for when I said the comment about the girls being opposites of the boys, I meant that Aziza does finish Akila's sentences. I meant to say that the girls are paired up with the twin that compliments them, without outright saying it. I can see how that'd be a bit confusing.

As for the semi-colons, I'll definitely look into it. Thanks for pointing that out!!

Thanks for the review! It was absolutely lovely!!

xoxo Sarah

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Review #17, by writeyourheartoutPut On Notice: Put On Notice

21st February 2014:
Hi there, Pix! I come bearing the gift of a review! Yay! ^.^

Ugh, this came out so great! How did you do this? I can't believe how critical you were of it at first because it really turned out pretty darn awesome - especially considering the time frame and circumstances! Not that I ever doubted it would be anything less than that - you've always been able to craft these funny, witty, interesting, and surprising stories in no time at all! You've simply done it again here. The whole story from start to finish was just delightful, it really was. :)

I hate you.

haha No, I kid, I kid. It's really, really great, Pix! Not to mention the fact that you were also able to fit in a handful of connections to your partners story, as well, which I wasn't expecting at all because of how little time you two had to compare details! I'll tell you this much: I couldn't have done it if I'd been in your boat. But I won't dwell on that train of thought here... to the story!

"Scorpius Malfoy walked into the Dripping Dregs pub, utterly chuffed over his good fortune." - Perfect opening line. 'Utterly chuffed' - love it. hehehe

Scorpius came out wonderfully! I love how you chose to develop his character! He's a great balance of all things: stubborn, but kind, stuck in the past, but building a future, a criminal, but a good samaritan. He's almost an oxymoron with all of these opposing characteristics battling it out, but that's what makes him such a great character; he very realistically reflects human nature. And he's so in denial. SO. MUCH. DENIAL. I just love that so much of who he is these days is based on the idea of what Rose might think of him; a few years worth of becoming this person he might someday get to rub Rose's nose in and yell, 'Ha!' at. As sort of sad and pathetic as that is, it's also a very real trait that a lot of people have - this desire to prove to those who have hurt them wrong, especially when it's someone as deep seeded as a person you once had feelings for.

Rose is great as well, even though we only get a second-hand look at her in this story. The way Scorpius talks about her paints a very clear - if not somewhat bias - picture of who she is and of the relationship the two have had. From her love of all things rule-related to her "sterling reputation" to her ability to always gain the upper hand and best Scorpius, she's the exact type of person a Malfoy would feel so bitterly towards. I particularly loved this line about her: " Following rules, creating rules, altering rules to be fair and equitable for all... if it was in the name of justice and righteousness, Rose Weasley jumped on the Troll Trolley." - Troll Trolley... Hahaha

The twist ending was perfect. So funny and the exact kind of surprise I should know to expect from you by now, but still always manage to be fooled by. It's great, because you really set us up for that idea that he's clearly following her very closely and being a little creepy about it all, but leading us astray with the distraction of how if he's going to get into trouble, it will be for his illegal smuggling, and not for being a creeper. hehehe "He'd only seen her a handful of times in the last two years. Ten, or fifteen times at the most, he decided. And all those instances had been purely unintentional (on her part) and random (also on her part). The back of her head had never looked so good." and "He thought for a second of looking her up (she was still in the Ministry building at this hour), for old times' sake (because he'd seen her leave for an early lunch, which probably meant she'd be working late tonight), so he could rub his successful, useful self in her face." - You are literally dangling his stalkerish behavior in front of, but distracting us with this illegal smuggling business so that I can't see the trickery - you're a magician! :-p

I love how clever he thinks he is, even as he's being arrested - so certain that he's covered all his tracks. Although I feel like bringing up the smuggling before the brunette said a word and the fact that he has actual blood on his sleeve might be incriminating, but hey - at least he's not getting taken away for that after all, is he? :-p Too funny.

"Face it, he grumbled to himself." - I might consider italicizing the 'Face it' here, but it's a minor thing either way. ^.^

"Scorpius' face went slack. "Weasley?" His face contorted. "Oh, blimey! You're that assistant that sits behind her with the paperclip chain hanging off your lamp!"" - I thought this moment/line felt just a tiny bit rushed. I think something as simple as giving Scorpius an internal moment of recognition, in which we see it finally dawn upon him that he's seen this girl before, before announcing who she is, would take care of that. Literally that was the only spot that felt even slightly that way, though, which is insane considering how quickly this was written. :-p

Overall, this was just fantastic. It really was enjoyable and clever and fun the entire way through, and it's got a very distinctly you sort of feel to it, which is just great. I know you weren't thrilled with this story when it first went up and I know it was a struggle for you getting it to come together, but you should honestly be really proud of yourself, because it turned out wonderfully. :)

*hands over Spoon of Kudos* ;)

Tanya ^.^

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Review #18, by writeyourheartoutYhprum's Law: Expectation

20th February 2014:
My beautiful, wonderful, phenomenally talented PIC! I bestow upon you my first Speed-Dating review! ;)

So, after more or less memorizing my version of events from compulsive editing, to now getting the chance to reread yours, I just have to say that it is crazy ridiculous how many things we managed to integrate into both stories to make them connect! Seriously, there are so many parallels drawn throughout literally the entire story, from the itinerary of the date to Lily's final dialogue to Remus' "All good things..." to even our very structure (the titles, the chapter names, the Law quotes at the top, the similar ending quotes at the bottom); I mean, how did we even do this in 72 hours? It's all a blur, I tell you; a blur! :-p Really, though, I can't believe we pulled it off and, honestly, I couldn't possibly imagine having had a more collaborative partner than you. Regardless of the final results as far as the competition goes, I'm really proud of us. TANIFER! *hugs*

Okay, got the collaborative gushing out of my system! Now away from 'Us' and onto 'You'! :-D

This entire first half of the story, with the fantastical dream date, is just such a perfect reflection of the ever-optimistic James Potter! He's always been so certain that one day he would win the affections of one Lily Evans, and even though most of their relationship before this moment seemed to be a series of hostile exchanges, he's still just so sure that the date will have no set-backs! She's gonna laugh at all his corny jokes, share seventeen pastries with him, blush and fawn over his every action, and be completely smitten from start to finish! Because he's James Potter. And if James Potter is sure of one thing, it's that Lily Evans can absolutely not continue to resist him now that he's been given this chance. The exaggerated fantasy is just so spot on; this is exactly what he would imagine their date to be like. hehehe

Madame Puddifoot's just cracks me up. "The tiny tea shop was filled with mostly empty tables surrounded by sophisticated, high-backed chairs. A fireplace crackled at one end of the room, while the opposite side housed a large display of various cakes and tarts. James couldn't help but breathe a sigh of contentment at the smell of freshly baked pastries that wafted through the air." - HA. Oh, James, you poor, naive fool. I just adore the way you set the cafe up - it actually sounds like a really nice spot here! Too bad it's totally untrue, but whatever. ;) And omg, the pastry scene... I can't... I can't even... it's so... so perfectly cheesy! In the greatest way imaginable! Just all of it: the corny dialogue, the hysterical bouts of laughter - and can we please discuss the waddling?! LOL

"To you, Miss Evans, and to ridiculous teenagers everywhere." - Dawww, I really love this toast, actually. ^.^

What I adore about this story is that even though the first half is so ridiculous and over-the-top and fantastical and silly, we still get to see how talented of a writer you are. I think this really shines through during the scene with Mr. Wiseacre. He's such a character and it's hard to believe you just created him out of thin air in no time at all! I mean, he made such an impression right off the cuff! I wish I could have written him in my story being this way instead of forgetting who James even was, cause he's so much fun! :-p He's just so charming and kind, but with a little pinch of feisty! This line here is great: "Though he showed all signs of being a tired old man, when he looked up at them, his eyes sparkled with youth." - Perfect.

And, of course, I can't talk about that scene without bringing up the incredible snow/season globe. Have I mentioned how happy I am that you ended up as my partner? Because I may have suggested snow globe, but you're the one who brought it to life; who made it magical. It was the perfect gift. Your description here is so lovely. :)

Hahaha The whole carriage scene, oh man. He's such a cheese-ball in the most delightful way! The dialogue here is my favorite! LOL Too good.


I am so, so happy that you suggested we make the Yhprum's Law story a fake! I mean, seriously, I can't even imagine having done it any differently now that it's finished! It allowed for that hilarious ending of yours and for our stories to have even more compatibility and synchronicity! Brilliant, I tell you. And speaking of, can we talk about the difference between this ending in its rough draft form to what it is now? Ah! I can't even tell you how excited I am that you were able to rearrange the story to fit all of those hilarious observations and one-liners in! That was so clever of you and it made a great impact; it really solidified just how ridiculous the first half of the story is; how over the top and bright and bubbly and cheerful and far too perfect it all was to be real! hahaha And the switch to Sirius was just seamless! My only regret is that I wish I could have just once experienced this story without the knowledge of the twist ending! hehehe Oh well. :-p

The ending was also an excellent showcase of the Marauder dynamic, which was such a bonus on top of everything else! I loved getting that glimpse into their friendship; it felt very authentic. And the way you ended it is the perfect combination of wrapping up your story with a pretty little bow, while still leading effortlessly into mine - in which I tear said bow apart and torture it through the use of painful humiliation. hehehe

I don't know what else to say! It's just really, really great, PIC. I feel like the luckiest girl at the ball, having been paired with you. ;) I had just an absolute blast working with you and I wouldn't take back those three days on nothing but coffee, five hours of sleep, and desperate panic for anything in the world.

You simply rock,

P.S. (huh) to you as well, ya brat. :-p

Author's Response: Holy cow! I've written one-shots shorter than your review! (I ran your review through a word count and confirmed this, btw :P) Thank you so much for this. It's so overwhelmingly kind. I feel loved :*

I'm with you on the entire experience being a bit of a blur. On one hand, it seems like it was such a struggle, trying to get everything written on time, editing down the word counts, making sure details meshed. But on the other hand, something about it seemed really effortless, and I think that's because I had a really great partner :) I'm really proud of us, too. TANIFER!

I really enjoyed writing this chapter. It was fun to step a bit out of reality and write everything just a little over the top. I usually try to be so careful with my characterizations, and I kind of agonize over whether or not I am 'ruining' characters, so it was a bit refreshing to not have to do that so much in this chapter. James and Lily were a bit out of character because that's how James imagined them to be, and he was far more concerned with perfection than reality.

I also really loved the bit with Madam Puddifoots. Although, I was a touch sad at first that I didn't get to write the ridiculousness that is the canon version of this tea shop, I really grew to love this scene. It's certainly one of the most over the top parts (what with the pastries and the giggling) but it was super fun to write. I also really enjoy that toast. :)

I don't really write original characters, because I don't think I'm really that good at it, but I'm glad you enjoyed Mr. Wiseacre. He was fun.

Thank you for being so sweet about the snow globe, but I still insist that you wrote it better. ;) (Side note, I /really/ want one of those snow globes. I bet Lily does too...ouch, too soon? ;))

It's probably good that there was a word limit to this challege, because I /really/ want to write the scene where Lily and James are riding in the carriage. It would be full of sentimental drivel that I (shamelessly) adore, but is completely ridiculous. Oh! Kind of like the twirly scene when they exit the carriage :P Love that I got to include something that ridiculous.

Thanks, PIC, I'm really glad the expectation vs. reality idea worked out. I really like it, too, and think it worked out really well.

You'd better like the ending, since you totally inspired this version! After you had done all of your magnificent beta-ing, you mentioned that if I had extra words (hahahahaha) I should include some segments of the Marauder's mocking James for his story. It was something that had crossed my mind previously, but when you said it, it all clicked into place, that was /exactly/ the ending this needed. James was far too angsty in the other versions.

I love your bow analogy. That fits perfectly! Poor, poor, James :(

I think we're going to have to agree to disagree, because /I/ was the luckiest girl at the ball. Thank you again for being the best PIC I could have imagined, and for making this experience (that I was a bit wary of and reluctant to fully jump into) so utterly amazing. And thank you for this awesome novel of a review. I think that it's proof that I was, in fact, luckier than you :P.


P.S. 0:-)

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Review #19, by writeyourheartoutEquilibrium: Prologue

10th February 2014:
Isobel! Hi! And also ugh! It's so good! I don't even know where to start!

*organizes sporadic thoughts*

Okay, first of all, I just adore the style you've chosen to write this in. It's immediately captivating and unique and feels quite mysterious even from the very first line, which is almost odd considering you're mostly talking about coffee at the start... And yet I'm all like 'WHO DAT?' about this cafe girl! The way you speak about her and the descriptions and details that piece her together have me so curious to find out who she is! I love that! And sort of hate it cause I want to know things... but LOVE!

Speaking of, I was actually going to start up a big monologue of pestering along the lines of, "WHO'S THE GIRL WRITING THE BOOK?" but as I was sifting through previous reviews to see what TenthWeasley might have said (cause after that dedication, I just had to see her response) and it seems to actually be Rachel herself that is the girl in the cafe with the coffee and the book and the Snape obsession - which totally makes sense now that I think about it. hehehe I just adore the way she was described; in particular the comment about dog-earing her precious book! LOL Not only did you paint a really clear picture of who this woman was without actually telling us who is she is directly, but you also snuck in some humor, which I always love to see lightly sprinkled throughout darker stories; it adds a really special element, in my opinion.

"Your blonde hair is tied in a ponytail, although a few stray wisps have gotten loose; one of them is millimetres away from your coffee and is curling as the steam emitting from the hot liquid heats it, but you appear to be so engrossed in your book that you haven't noticed." - This line is so great; I love the small details that piece 'the girl' together for us little by little. The description in the opening paragraph is to die for.

The plot, though only just touched upon thus far, is already so intriguing. To be honest, I have no idea where this is going, other than to the telling of Tobias Snape and his story, but you've set it up so that the only thing we know about him is that his story deserves to be told, and that alone is enough to have me desperately curious about exactly why it is that his story deserves to be told! I want to point out that this is particularly impressive because I don't generally gravitate towards Snape-esque stories, and even then, I don't think I've ever spared a second thought about Tobias. In fact - and don't tell anyone I'm admitting to this - but I had to look up who exactly Tobias was before I started reading. Seriously, he's never been a character I've particularly cared to learn more about, but this story, this prologue, has completely turned that around. I cannot wait to find out more about your version of Tobias Snape.

My knowledge of Eileen is about the same. I remembered who she was, at least, but never really spared much thought outside of what's spoken about her in the books; yet you've crafted her so well here, as if she hadn't simply had only a brief appearance in canon. You speak through her with this level of understanding and wisdom that, as a person much younger than Eileen, doesn't even seem quite possible. Perhaps you are simply an old soul? Regardless, the voice you've given her is just stunning. She feels like this perfect combination of gentle and fragile, but still strong and determined, which is exactly what I might expect from a mother who was beaten to the grave by her son.

I love this line: "It's ironic, isn't it, that of all the diseases a pure-blood witch could suffer from, I'm recovering from a Muggle illness I happen to share a star sign with?" Beautifully phrased.

What I also love about your choice to give a pure-blood witch a Muggle disease - and this is something that's totally subjective to me but that I'm going to mention anyway because I want to - is that it's a reflection of the personal canons we make for ourselves and how differing they can be from other HP fanfiction authors. What I mean is that in my own personal canon, I've decided that Muggles cannot get Wizarding diseases and pure-bloods cannot get Muggle diseases, but half-bloods are exposed and prone to both. Because of that, I think it's seriously unique from my point of view to see Eileen suffering in this way, and that it's just so beautiful and tragic an idea. I simply love the choice.

"When I suggest simply turning the corner of the page to mark your place, your head jerks up abruptly and you're looking at me as if I've just confessed to harbouring a secret desire to resurrect Voldemort..." hahaha I had to bring it up again; it's just that good.

It's a phenomenal beginning, Isobel. You're an author who knows her way around words and doesn't dare throw stray ones around; each serves a purpose and that's what makes your writing so exceptional. I'm so ridiculously intrigued by what the following chapter(s) of this story will hold because I know that based on how fantastically executed Eileen was, Tobias and his story are going to be just as - if not more - captivating. Hopefully I'll be back sooner than later to leave my next review on chapter two, but either way I definitely plan on reading it right now, cause I simply cannot wait! Just don't tell my boss, yeah? ;)

This is so great. Yay!
Tanya :)

Author's Response: Hi Tanya! That is quite a long essay you've written, and I just want you to know that I appreciate every word. (I'm also hoping that there isn't a review response character limit, haha!)

I'm so, so pleased that you like the style of this prologue! I'm definitely writing the interludes (where we go back to the present) and the epilogue in the same way, because all the lovely feedback is fabulous to hear. I'm afraid I can't take credit for the style, though; it was inspired by teh tarik's one-shot Sanguini, the Vampire, which I definitely recommend.

I'm also really pleased that you enjoyed the balance of information I gave out and withheld with regard to that cafe girl. You're absolutely correct in your guess that she's inspired by Rachel - since this is Rachel's story, I wanted to give her a connection to the story and really tailor it to her, so I created a fictional character based off of some of her traits. Now you understand why there's so much coffee in this chapter ;) I will give you a little spoiler though - as if you don't already have enough - and say that this cafe girl has more to her than meets the eye. ;)

I'm glad you like the humour that I included! When I was a little girl, my grandma's OAP club used to organize day trips, and my mum and I used to go on those too. Often, I was the only child around, so I chatted often with the pensioners and I drew on my memories to create an elderly Eileen, who's clinging to the past in a changing world, and who's sorely missing the good old traditions of the past.

Hehehehe. My headcanon about Tobias is intertwined with a lot of spoilers, which is why I've sent that info through PM. However, I'm so pleased that my writing has made you want to know more about a particularly obscure character in canon, especially one you had to Google! :P As someone who likes a well-written Severus, I can tell you that often, Tobias is alluded to as an unpleasant man who isn't particularly nice to his wife and son, and I wanted to put a whole new spin on that.

This also applies to Eileen, who doesn't seem to get much attention in fanfic (I can only think of one novel about her right now) and again, I wanted to change that. I laughed when you called me an old soul; the explanation for that is above. Clearly, spending time with pensioners turns you into a very youthful-looking pensioner :P I'm really excited that you're enjoying her voice, because that's one of the things I enjoy most about writing this story. (It also probably explains why this was originally a one-shot and expanded into a novella, haha!)

Oooh, I'm going to share some of my headcanon with you, too! Basically, a Muggle-born child pre-Hogwarts would be susceptible to Muggle illnesses but not magical ones, because they don't practice their magic deliberately (Lily Evans was an exception). Once they're at Hogwarts, when they're practicing magic, they /can/ be vulnerable to magical diseases. With a Squib, it's vice-versa - growing up, they're surrounded by magic so they're susceptible to magical illnesses, but when they try to build a life in the Muggle world and leave their families, they risk contracting Muggle diseases. Using this theory, Eileen, although a pure-blood witch, hasn't been using magic for decades now, and has been living as a Muggle away from magic in general. I hope that makes sense, but regardless, I’m insanely happy that you love the choice! :D

OMG YES. It was actually an educated guess that Rachel would react in that way; I didn't realize until she said so in her review! I just knew she loved books and was blonde, and expanded that into a character :P

Thank you so much, Tanya! I'm so grateful for this absolutely lovely review, and I can't imagine how long it took you to write - especially at work! I look forward to your chapter two with eager anticipation (and chapter four of Lying Josephine ;)) and I'm so pleased that you're enjoying this story so much; I hope you continue to!

-Isobel ♥

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Review #20, by writeyourheartoutThe Anatomy of Genius: The Anatomy of Genius

7th February 2014:
Oh God, I love it so much.

I've actually been meaning to review this for a long time now, but December and January both left me with very little wiggle room. I'm here now, though! Except I feel like nothing I could say in this review would do any justice to this story; especially when all I really want to do is just throw a long list of quotes back at you and tack 'OMG THIS LINE I DIED' at the end of each. In the interest of not sounding like a complete and utterly daft loon, however, I'm going to at least attempt to be a bit more articulate than that.

*takes deep breath*

NOPE, I HAVE TO QUOTE FIRST: "Her eyes would follow the motion of his hands as he wrote his essay, a rare moment of labour for one who never knew the meaning of "try". He simply did." - OMG THIS LINE I DIED. Okay, that's the only time I'll do that, I promise. Seriously though, this line (and the entire paragraph that follows this line, too) showcases just how perfectly you get them. I adore James/Lily (they're my canon OTP) and you understand them so thoroughly both as individuals and as a pair, which is evident right from the start and throughout this entire section and story. This line just captures so well how I've always imagined James to be, with his ability to excel using what seems to be absolutely no effort whatsoever; he just does - exactly. I love the brief touch on the struggle Lily is going through as far her feelings for James go, with "the painful realization of attraction" she's trying to suppress, to battle. I love how she watches James. The hand thing is such a lovely touch.

*fights urge to quote every other line here* I love seeing this side of Lily, in her hometown where life is average and she is just another Muggle girl on another Muggle street instead of the princess on the pedestal that she despises so much. There's something so tragic about her here, but what really stands out to me is the big reason you gave for her having never accepted James and his feelings towards her: "It was what she despised most: that he should love her without knowing her." This is one of the few times I've read about a Lily not stationed strictly at Hogwarts and it opened up a whole new side to her character for me; one that feels so very genuine in its telling that it seems like it must have come from J. K. Rowling's mind herself. I think that speaks volumes for your level of talent.

"Untouched by flame, blind to the shadow, James Potter did not understand. Did he know the smell of Muggle streets, the endless din of machines and thick, black smoke blocking out the sun? Did he know of corruption and suffering, of loneliness and betrayal?" The way Lily sees James... it's just so exactly how I've always imagined it to be. It's like you looked around my head, gathered up all my stray thoughts on them both, polished up all of my incessant rambling, upped the quality tenfold, and wrote this story for me. It's just incredible to see them portrayed in a way that I could only dream to have articulated myself. Lily's desire for more, always more, even in the face of so much wonder, is so palpable and relatable. I too always want more, more discoveries, more knowledge, more experience, more awe; I think most people do. I certainly hope most people do. The end of this section! Ha! I... I can't find the words, so whatever, I'm quoting you again: "Never before had she seen so much contradiction in a person's face. Was he elated or disappointed? Annoyed or excited? It seemed that he was all of these things at once, and she had to admire his facial features for taking on this challenge." This. haha

"The others had their demons, only half-concealed by pranks and childishness, but there was ever a shadow in their eyes. James knew nothing of darkness or demons. He was, as ever, naive." I've just given up on the whole attempt at not over-quoting you, haven't I? I blame you. I mean really, though, it's just... it's perfect, really. It's a stunning journey through Lily's mind as she goes from this idea of James and his blessed life, one that she believes has never known a true moment of struggle or worry, into the final moments where we do see that bit of James that is bruised and blemished and nearly broken, and it's her. "You think everything I do is stupid." *cries in the corner*

Ugh. You are so truly talented. Every aspect of this story is so precisely executed so that every word bears weight, bears significance. Your versions of James and Lily are to die for; it's as if you crafted them yourself and Jo Rowling was all like, "Yo, I'mma borrow them." I can't in my wildest imagination fathom crafting a story as wholly stunning as this. It's actually unfair that one person should be so gifted. Exactly who did you sell your soul to and where can I make my own offer?

OH BUT WAIT: "His self-induced state of oblivion implied an (a, not an) pain that gripped him from within, a sense of suffering that she'd never ascribed to his disposition." - Ha! An error! She is imperfect! :-p It's cruel, but that little 'an' makes me feel a bit better about myself. Muahaha!

Honestly, I just want to copy and paste the entire story into this review and yell, "THIS WAS MY FAVORITE PART!" But oh well. I suppose this will have to suffice. *bows down to your greatness*


Author's Response: How is a person meant to respond to a review like this?! I'm floored that you enjoyed this story so much. It was my first foray into the Lily and James relationship in years, and it does look at that relationship differently - there's still the mild antagonism and rivalry, but there's no romance here, nor is Lily like she appears in fanon. So to see someone flailing over this story makes me ridiculously happy and confident that I'm not insane after all.

You did each part individually too! ^_^ It's perfect because I wrote the parts individually - only III was written to fit in between. The others were like three separate episodes that I pieced together. But in part III, I wanted to return to Lily's observations of James and the problem of creation. For James, creating things is easy - he does spells and understands them unlike most of his peers, whereas Lily, who knows of all these things through reading, having had to catch up after the missed 11 years of childhood, has to work for everything. Or at least she feels like she has to. In this way, she's a bit like Hermione, feeling the need to overcompensate for being a muggleborn - and Lily is very sensitive to her Muggle-ness, both because of the insults of her sister and the Slytherins. She gets it from both sides, and it affects her deeply, more than she'd ever show.

But she can't help admiring how good James is at magic. He's like a highly talented artist, making everything seem effortless. Yet even he has cracks beneath his veneer, and it takes Lily a long time to see past the art, the surface of the talented, cocky prankster pulling back to reveal someone as troubled as her.

I'm surprised that there aren't more stories about Lily's life at home. The contrast of it with her life at Hogwarts has so much in it to explore. At times with Marauder fics, it's almost easy to imagine that Lily isn't a muggleborn, that she's always at Hogwarts, always part of the magical world. Yet JKR not only makes her a muggleborn, but one from a lower-middle class family in a shabby industrial town, a girl whose sister escapes by marrying someone like Vernon Dursley, seeking greater financial security. Lily's story would make a fantastic novel on its own, beyond the romance and her experiences with Snape and James - what were her private struggles? how did she fit within Hogwarts' society? she became popular, but how? what was it like for her to learn magic? It's a story that we don't get in the books, and sadly we also don't get it in fanfiction either.

It's fantastic to hear that you like how Lily sees James in this story - not just likes, but agrees! *dances* She almost falls in love with his naivety for the outside world, like he's the princess in the tower while she's always been on the outside, battling the dragons. But James is the privileged pureblood, like a Malfoy or even like Ron in his ignorance of the Muggle world. James may be a positive example of a pureblood, but he still comes that background, and it shapes him. Lily can't figure him out, and she becomes more and more interested in him as she puzzles over him.

But like Bluebeard's wife, she sees too much. She sees that he's shattered too - despite his privilege, he can still bleed. She was in danger of treating James as he was treating her - idealizing him, placing him on a pedestal of a sort, only to watch the idol smash to the ground. I thought it was interesting that he made it her fault, believing that she despises him although, throughout the whole story, we've seen quite the opposite. Although she has seen him for what he truly is, he still does not see her - he still can't read her - and that's where that feeling of emptiness emerges.

I just can't with your compliments. You're much, much too kind! It means a lot that you have enjoyed this story so much. Haha, thank you for pointing out that typo - there are always a few that escape me. Oh, I can't thank you enough for this review! Thank you! *glomps*

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Review #21, by writeyourheartoutSeized: Must Friends Always Meddle?

4th February 2014:
Hi Dee! I'm really enjoying this story and wanted to leave a few reviews while I have some free time! (My boss just left for vacation and will be gone until Saturday! Woot!) ^.^

First, touching on what's come before now, I just have to tell you that I absolutely love the characters and relationships you've crafted thus far. Everyone is so very in canon and that's a really tricky thing to accomplish, especially when all four of your main characters are really well-known and well-loved. I mean, really: Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Draco? Could you have made it any harder for yourself? haha But you handle them all with beautiful accuracy. Hermione, ever the professional, fighting for the rights of those who cannot fight for themselves with so much determination that her engagement falls through. (I LOVE the entire Dobby's Law thing, by the way.) Ron reacts exactly how I might expect him to. A part of me would hope that for the versions of Hermione and Ron who actually do make it in canon, Ron would learn to overcome these sorts of fits, but the way they fell apart felt very authentic and like the sort of thing that could come between a lot of couples. Harry is turning out to me one of my favorites, to be honest. I really love seeing his leadership still in tact, but with that side of professionalism, where he's not breaking the rules as he might have in school. He's so good at his job without stepping outside the lines, and he (unlike Ron) can look past his old prejudices with Draco for the sake of being a good Auror. Draco is really good, too, and he's a hard one to do right post-Hogwarts, so kudos to you. This chapter in particular showcases one of my favorite moments of him thus far, but I'll expand on that thought in a bit.

The plot of this story so far is just so great! I love the idea behind the Knights of Walpurgis and the kidnapping of Astoria! Since I read ahead, I know some of the new surprises to come, but I'll comment on those later. At this point it's simply intriguing and mysterious and exciting and original! Not to mention a perfectly plausible basis for a Draco/Hermione romance to develop.

Loretta is hilarious here. Her infatuation with Harry makes me chuckle. And Harry is so sneaky; though you have to feel a bit bad for Ron and Hermione here. hehehe

The entire scene that takes place at the Manor is great in its entirety. I love your descriptions here; I can visualize the manor and the destruction within it with ease.

Back to Draco! I love him in this section. You do a really great job at balancing his former self with his new self, especially in regards to his relationships with the trio. This line stands out: "Granger, come away from there..." because, simple as it is, it shows his formality with Hermione by calling her Granger still, as well as his commanding nature without please or thank you's or descriptions of major concern, but it still implies that what happened in that room still remains a distinct memory for him. The conversation that follows stays away from becoming too emotional, which I feel is exactly right, because regardless of what happened there for both of them, they are definitely not ready to have any discussion too in depth about it. I love how slow you're taking their relationship; it's exactly why this story is working. The other line I love is after Hermione calls his act of burying the House-Elves decent and he says, "Whatever, I couldn't exactly leave them could I?" Perfect.

This chapter ended really well, too, with the newest fight between Ron and Hermione, causing her to walk out and quit the case. Can't really blame her, can you? But I do feel badly for Ron too here; it's not an easy situation for either, though he's always quick to act immaturely when in a bad mood.

As far as I can tell, the only grammatical issue you tend to have on a semi-regular basis is with comma's before names. Here are a few examples of what I mean:

"Good morning(,) Loretta..."

Of course, immediately following that line, you do use the comma correctly when you say, "Morning, Hermione!" But I have seen the comma left out on a handful of occasions, so just keep your eyes peeled for those moments in all of your chapters! (Later in this chapter you say, "Morning(,) Harry." For consistency, I would consider revising if you get the chance - but they really are minor things, so always feel free to ignore! ^.^)

"You're not firing me(,) are you?"

"The Ministry could use more witches like you, (semi-colon, not comma) we're not going to let you go any time soon."

"We'll have to do slide-along (side-along, not slide-along)..."

"He took a firm grip of Hermione's arm, who in turn held Harry's hand, (semi-colon or start new sentence) luckily, this left Ron to hold on to Harry. Hermione squeezed her eyes shut waiting (and waited, not waiting) for the uncomfortable sensation that came with apparition passed (to pass, not passed)." - There are other ways to fix the second sentence, that's just one example; right now it doesn't quite make sense because the tenses are flip-flopped here.

"He leant past hear (her, not hear) and pulled the door closed."

"I'm not wanted around here(,) Harry."

All the little grammatical things are just tiny details and hardly take away from this great story at all. I'm really, really enjoying this so far and will try to review more chapters because you certainly deserve it! This is one of my favorite chapters, though, so I wanted to make sure to review it (I can't believe it had none before now)! I'm really looking forward to how this story progresses; both the twist and turns dealing with the search for Astoria and the development of Draco and Hermione's relationship. :-D

Author's Response: Tanya! This is like, one of the longest and nicest reviews anyone has ever left me, thank you so so much.

I can't express how happy it makes me when someone thinks that the characters I'm using are in canon, it's really the biggest compliment I can get, and the thing I worry most about, especially when writing Dramione stories. I definitely chose some challenging ones for this story, I'm not going to argue with you there haha!

I'm glad you mentioned the break up between Ron and Hermione, I've had mixed feelings about it because it's the first time I've written a break up between anyone, nevermind 2 of the main characters. I always thought even in JKR's version of events that they would argue about Hermione's work, she just can't help but throw herself into everything she does 100% and I think Ron would have wanted a far easier life after the war.

The plot is different to anything I've written so far, I'm trying to keep readers guessing and changing their mind about who is behind it and truthfully, I've changed my mind about the end result a fair few times already, I'm happy with the ending I've got planned now though :)

I'm so happy that you chose this chapter to review because it was one of my favourites so far too. I have a terrible habbit of getting myself so involved in the plot of a story that I forget to include description so I really had to focus myself to write about Malfoy Manor in this one. Plus it's the first real interaction with Draco and Hermione (again, so glad you commented on that) I really wanted them to acknowledge the events that happened in the drawing room but without their being an in-depth conversation about it, because as you said, they're definitely not there yet.

I feel bad for Ron in this too, to be honest he's a petulant teenager a lot in this story even though it was ultimately his decision for them to break up, I don't think that would mean he would find it any easier to be around Hermione.

Thank you for pointing out the errors for me too, I admit I am absolutely AWFUL with my comma use, I either over-use them or hardly have them in at all. I'll definitely go back and be more scrutinous with my editing before posting chapters.

Thank you again for this really wonderful and thoughtful review and for the recommendation on the forums too, this story might not have a ton of reviews but just one like this more than makes up for it. I really hope you continue to read and enjoy the story :)

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Review #22, by writeyourheartoutEffortlessly Dead: In the Nest of Shrikes

29th January 2014:
Hi again, likeness_of_a_seabird! I'm finally back with another review, and I'm so happy to have gotten the chance to reread this chapter! It's just phenomenal.

First, though, after having read your previous review response, I just have to bring this up: English isn't your first language?! Are you kidding me?! Wow. I'm blown away. You've honestly got just an incredibly grasp on the English language and I'm so impressed that writing of this caliber comes from somebody who didn't have it as a first language. You should be doubly proud of your work, in that case. I know I am! Just... wow!

All of your characters are still just so great; and now there are even more of them to love! Menna is fantastic. I love delving deeper into her and discovering who she is outside of the job. She's very intense and stubborn and strong-willed and not easily shaken, but she takes her job with extreme seriousness so that making a slip is detrimental (which makes sense considering what a slip up in her particular profession could mean). She has a lot of pride in her work and doing it well, which is so absurd seeing as she's an assassin... hehehe But it's great, she's very complex and I'm really loving her development! The whole family you built is very clear as well, though, and the relations between them, their dynamics, are so authentic. Ifan was great fun to be introduced to. He's a bit wary to pick fights or start trouble when it truly isn't necessary, but when something goes wrong, he takes his stand and doesn't allow her to bully him at all; it's great to see a character who only takes a stand when it's necessary, and not simply for drama. I love his and Menna's relationship as well; how he does his best to appease her simply because she's as stubborn and relentless as she is, and how even in their casual exchanges, like when she says, "Make sure you don't burn my eggs," she's still got that attitude about her. Rhian is great as well. I love the command she has garnered through her age and experience and how she can shut an argument down with just a few words gently spoken.

It's a very serious subject matter with a lot of drama and angst and suspense, but I love that even with all of that going on, you still managed a few moments of light humor, like the thing with the cat! You've got a great balance going on that keeps me intrigued without feeling tired or drained by the end of the chapter and instead wishing there were more to read!

I really loved this line: "If nature had wanted magic to be the solution to everything, he reasoned, it wouldn't have given them hands." It sounds like something you might find in a book of wisdom and proverbs for Wizarding folk.

The second section of this story with Harry and Ron is fantastic as well. It's great to see that your exceptional grasp on characters and characterization extends past OC's and reaches those in canon too. As fantastically written as Harry and Ron both are, however, the stand-out to me in this bottom half is Bea! My goodness, you have a way with crafting OC's that just paints a picture of exactly who they are without dragging it out or making it feel too explainy or boring. You created this image of who Bea is in just one paragraph and filled the rest in with her dialogue and Harry's thoughts on her. It's just wonderful.

The final section was a perfect way to end the chapter. Seriously, I am so intrigued due to the first glimpse at the magpies! The son of the last known Magpie is also so alluring and I can't help but wonder who it might be! My only potential guess is the morgue guy (who's name slips my memory at the moment), but I really don't know! I'm just excited to find out! Also, I simply adore how you tied in both the shrikes and the magpies style of warfare with their clan names; so very clever!

Here are just a few minor things!:

"Mornings where (were) hardly Ifan Goodwin's favourite time of the day."

"I take (it) everything went well?"

"And that's how we like it", Ifan replied as he took a seat across the table from her. "No extra fuss and nothing", he looked at the *other (or rather, the back of her book) sternly, "to tie it back to us." - *I'm a little confused here about the 'he looked at the other...' bit - the other what?

"She sounded close to tears, but Ifan thought (it) was just him hearing things."

"Besides, hadn't he himself been a long time ago in almost (the) exact same position as she was now?"

"Gawain Robards, the head of the Aurors, had decided to sent (send, not sent) someone more qualified with dealing dangerous curses."

"The victim's neck artillery (artery, not artillery) was severed and he consequently bled to death." - I would consider maybe using the technical term for the artery in the neck (carotid artery) rather than saying 'neck artery' considering it's a briefing; it sounds more professional, but that's simply my opinion! ^.^

"Had Aled not been born when he did (was, not did), she might have repeated her father's every mistake with Ifan."

"This was why Rhian knew that Aled was not merely concerned (with) his mother's health; he had come to talk about Menna."

I know you commented on this already in my last review, but I figured I'd point it out again just in case: Comma's and punctuation in general go inside of quotations. (Obviously, since it's different in your country, it makes complete sense why you wrote it this way, though! I'm still in complete and total awe of you.)

And that's everything! What a truly fantastic second chapter! I really cannot wait to see where you take this next! Your ideas and characters are so original and so well thought out that you've captured my interest so intensely! I hope chapter three is on the horizon because I'd love to see where this goes next! It's a fantastic story, it really is. Yay! ^.^

Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review! It means so much to me to know that people enjoy reading this story!

I do study English in a university, so that explains my knowledge about the language:)

First of all, thank you for pointing out the mistakes to me. I try to proofread the story the best I can before sending it to the queu but something always escapes me. I intend to edit these chapters according to your suggestions as soon as I progress a little further in the story.

You have grasped Menna and Ifan's characters so well. That's good! It means that I've done my job well! They are both very complex characters and not the easiest to write. They tend to have minds of their own:) I'm glad to hear that you like the OCs. I was worried about how people would react to them but so far the reception has been good.

I'm also happy to hear that you like my portrayal of Harry and Ron. I was a bit worried about if they were in in character and it's a relief to hear that they were. Yes, Bea is great, isn't she? Hopefully she can get more appearances in the future.

As for the magpie... Who can say? *smiles mysteriously* All I'm saying that it's not the person you're probably thinking about. More about the magpies coming in the next chapter!

Again, thank you so much for this review! It really made my day! Now I really must get the next chapter written soon!

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Review #23, by writeyourheartoutA Chance Encounter: Imperfections Included

8th January 2014:
Hi, hi! Here for Day 12 of the 12 Days of Reviewing challenge! Can you believe it's finally over?! You're my last review I'm giving out for the challenge and I'm so happy to be handing it out to this story!

(First, though, please allow me to apologize before hand for any rambling or nonsensical sentences - it's quite late and I'm a little sleepy, but needed to review you! hehehe)

This was really very good; a wonderful portrayal of how completely a person can be affected by the trauma of war and how deeply it can change them. On the other hand, it's also an excellent example of how some people seem able to handle these situations with ease and are actually able to hold onto the person they've always been on a fundamental level, despite the fact that things around them have changed so drastically. It's two very different reactions to the same experience that we see reflected in both your versions of Hannah and Neville.

Speaking of them...

I love your version of Hannah. She's so real and so very relatable. I think that any person who has ever struggled in the path of their lives or felt less than memorable or was stuck in a job that constantly reminded them of their failure to have succeeded by now or who has simply lost hope can relate to Hannah. I know that I went through some really traumatic stuff a few years ago myself and that I've been on what feels like the very same path that Hannah has been on. I can relate to her situation with such ease, and that's a reflection of how deeply you understood her character and the effects such trauma can have on a person. In the books, before the war, she was this lovely, kind, somewhat shy Hufflepuff who was happy and sweet, but after the war she's lost so much of that warmth she once had and is instead bitter and angry and stuck and hopeless and ah! I have been exactly where she is, and still am some days. I just want to shake her and tell her not to give up and that everything will be okay someday! It's a true testament to your writing that I feel so passionately about her. :)

Neville is just such a sweety-pie! And he is so exactly what she needs; a truly good and hopeful guy with a heart of gold. I love how level-headed he's remained after his rise to fame and how sweet he is to Hannah - especially before he even recognizes who she is. As someone who once worked as a waitress, I can tell you that that sort of treatment is not always easy to come by. I thought he was quite in character and really loved how you worked a lot of Herbology and rare plant references in along side is ever-present clumsiness. He's just as lovable as ever here!

The opening paragraph was actually one of my favorites of the entire story. It started off with a poignant opening line only to end in one that really hit me hard: "The marriages of the great war heroes were all over the papers and it seemed like love was being waved in her face, as if to say, "See what you could've had if you'd been someone great!"" - Wow, what a striking moment.

"The statement was a promise, not just a token of courtesy." - I loved this one here, too. It's just such a beautifully written line that perfectly reflects Neville's kind and selfless nature.

My only real criticism came right at the close: I thought the ending felt just a bit rushed, is all. It was really only this line that felt a bit out of place: " It was enough to make her believe in love again, or at least the distant possibility of it." It struck me as odd simply because throughout the entire story that precedes this moment, we don't really see Hannah undergo any sort of thought process in which she experiences even the beginning stages of a newly-forming crush, let alone enough of an emotional shift to warrant the word 'love'. I think if you either incorporated developing feelings throughout the story or changed that last line to maybe something simply about hope rather than reigniting her belief in true love, that it would fit much better! Does that make sense? It's a little late, I might be rambling nonsense at you, in which case I apologize! :-p

Also, I just wanted to point out that your story information says that this is both a one-shot and a work in progress, so I assume one of those is not in fact correct, as they seem to cancel each other out. ;-)

Overall, this was thoroughly enjoyable! I'm so glad I got the chance to read it! It's a really perfect blend of angst and fluff, and it felt very real and relatable which I appreciated greatly! Really well done! *hugs*

Author's Response: Hihihi!! I'm sorry that I've taken AGES to respond to this lovely, lovely review! I'll try to make up for it with a thoughtful response (if I can stop squeeing, that is!).

Aggh, any review is a good review, and I'd like to thank you a million times for staying up to write such a great one. Seriously, it made my night when I saw it! :)

Aw, thank you so, so much! I'm so glad that you liked Hannah and that you thought she was portrayed in a realistic manner! Of course, I'm not at all happy that you can relate to her--I'm sorry that you had a bad time in your life. :( But bad things, though we don't know why they happen, sometimes make us stronger people. I think that the war made Hannah a stronger person, even though she lost her mother, because it taught her that life goes on. She still misses her mother, though, and that's why she's a bit cynical, which is super sad.

Neville Longbottom was never really on my radar when I read the Harry Potter books for the first time (many years ago, hahaha). I was fascinated by the Trio and I think I had a huge crush on Harry at one point... But I recently reread the books as a sort of marathon reading session, and because I had started this story prior to my marathon, I paid a lot more attention to Neville. I saw that he wasn't lame in the first six books and then suddenly SUPERCOOL in DH. He was always doing things for other people and looking out for the Trio. He's brave, no question about that, but instead of being a loud, in-the-spotlight character, he prefers to do good stuff in the background. He's always been a sweetheart. ;) I think that he would never be mean to a waitress. The restaurants of the world need more Neville Longbottoms as customers. :D

Aw, striking?!?! You're so, so sweet. I didn't mean for that line to be especially powerful, but I was really trying to convey the bitterness and loneliness that Hannah felt. It makes me SO happy to hear that it had an impact. :)

Yeah... That line is sort of out of place. The story was for a Love Quote challenge, and towards the end I felt like I should put some "romance-y stuff" in to sort of justify the quote. It was probably a little too quick--I totally agree with you!! I will definitely take your suggestions when I go back and edit this!

The reason that the one-shot isn't marked "Completed" is because I felt like it wasn't very complete when I posted it. I needed to post it to meet the deadline for the challenge, but I wanted to come back to it and work on it some more to polish it up. Actually, I might turn it into a short story or novel if I find the time! :)

Thank you so, so, so much for your marvelous review. It made me smile so much. :D


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Review #24, by writeyourheartoutDrummer Boy: run boy, run.

8th January 2014:
Happy Day 12, you! This is, of course, for the 12 Days of Reviewing challenge, and I'm so excited about today's task because it immediately led me to you and to this story!

Wow. This was just beautiful. I really loved it.

Aesthetically it caught my eye right from the start, which is sort of a weird thing to comment on, but hey! I just found it very pleasing! hehehe Stylistically, this was exceptional, in my opinion. I love the way you wrote it, with the purposeful flipping of tenses while still always in Teddy's POV; the way you sort of slowly led us into certain details so that we were given some surprises; the almost casual stringing together of events and moments that piece by piece constructed a relationship - all of it was fantastic.

I love how every snippet into their lives is rather short and to the point without every sounding choppy or losing its really beautiful flow. One of my favorite sections was this very short, seemingly insignificant exchange: ""Your smile," he said. "What about it?" "It's nice." "Thanks," she muttered." There's something about its simplicity that really makes it stand out. It's such a quiet little exchange, but it speaks volumes. It shows the innocence of where they once were, which makes the moments of doubt and distress and heartbreak all the more real and raw and upsetting.

The ending is almost sad, even though it's technically happy, but it's not really the ending of their story either, is it?! The beginning is the ending, and it isn't happy! You're trying to trick us into believing they work out and find true and lasting happiness in one another, despite the feuds and drama we see earlier, by ending it with this "Merry Christmas" business, but pfft. Pfft, I say! haha It's pretty great how invested you've gotten me, though. I'm not a big Next Gen fan, but I could totally ship Rose/Teddy after reading this.

Speaking of: I really love your versions of each of them. They feel so very real and authentic to me, with their imperfections and saying the wrong things and jumping to conclusions, but still trying so hard to hold themselves together. Teddy is so sweet and such a romantic, and though I don't think I could ever date a guy like that in real life, he's pretty great on paper. He cares deeply for Rose and that point is driven home so poignantly throughout the story, thanks mostly in part to those few italicized first-person thoughts he has. I love that you let us journey into his mind every so often; it brought a really personal level to him. And Rose was very distinct - a Ravenclaw, a bit of a loner, kind of impatient and blunt, but with a kind heart beneath it. I really loved them together, too, though it's sad that the beginning seems to have them fated to not work out.

There were a few little technical things, so I figured I'd point them out!:

"You wish(,) Weasley."

""You don't, but you should," he mused. (")You deserve to be loved. Tell me, how does it feel to be so awesome?""

"Where ever (Wherever, not Where ever) you want."

""With you(,) Lupin," she whispered, grabbing his hand."

"There was a lot he could so (do, not so), a lot he could say."

"He carried in her arms..." - I think you meant 'He carried her in his arms'?

"You could have asked(,) Teddy Lupin!"

""Merry Christmas(,) Weasley," you reply."

Anyway, all of those details were miniscule! The story was just wonderful, I truly enjoyed it from start to finish! And for your first attempt at fluff especially, you should be extremely proud of yourself! I'm so happy I had the chance to read this, it was just great! :-D


I have never been this terrible with review responding, I swear!

I'm really pleased you like how the piece looke dlol. That was something new to try, and I'm glad it worked for you. You have no idea how much it means for me that you liked this piece, since your writing is some of the most beautiful things I have ever read. You are so talented and it means the world, hearing you say this.

I was worried a lot of the times, wondering whwtehr the snippets were too short, or too lacking of description. Your words are so encouraging and I thank you for that. That moment with her smiles was one of my favourite moments actually, it showed how much of a sweetheart Teddy really is.

Haha, I like that! I don't think they end up with each other, actually, so you're right. The point of the whole thing was to show that... maybe they're supposed to work out, but they can't because Teddy's too much a romantic and he's too perfect and Rose holds back a lot. Susan later said in a review how she doens't think a baby can help with their bond, and I agree. I think Rose is still too young and Teddy doesn't understand that this isn't the right time for him to be asking what he wants from her, because she won't respect his feelings the same way.

Thank you for those typos!

And as far as characterization is concerned, I also worried that maybe it wasn't right for me to make them the way I did, but it was necessary for the fluff haha :P

Thank you so much for your kind words, and the review. You were one of the strongest people I eveer saw going at every day for the competition, so congrats. It means so much! ♥

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Review #25, by writeyourheartoutWhy?!: Why?!

7th January 2014:
Hey there! I'm here for the 12 Days of Reviewing challenge that's taking place over on the forums! Today's task was to read and review mystery stories, and I was pleased to stumble upon a Remus/Sirius fic, so I had to check it out! :)

I thought this was pretty cute! It's always nice to see Sirius and Remus having innocent fun together and enjoying these sweet little goofy moments. I love both characters, but they both carry very dark demons with them, so reading about fluffy moments makes me smile for them and it made your story enjoyable.

The switching back and forth between the two point of views was pretty nifty, I thought! It was a little hard to follow a couple of times when you would write an entire section without saying anything that really distinguished who's point of view we were in this time, but ultimately is was easy enough to figure out! I also liked how you didn't announce every time the point of view shifted with one of those "Sirius' POV" announcements that are sometimes found in fics. Those sorts of interruptions always bother me a bit and tend to stunt the flow of the story.

I thought both Remus and Sirius were pretty well done. I liked seeing their mischievous sides and the fun ways in which they interact. The chase was really cute.

The mystery of the piece was quite fun! I certainly was intrigued right from the top, wanting to know what exactly was going on between the two of them. It sounded a whole lot more dramatic than a simple act of thievery into the others chocolate stash, but it made the ending quite silly when we did finally find out. I also really liked the repetition of the question, "Why?" It added a nice layer of suspense to the story and tied in really well with the title.

All of that said, however, you did struggle with a good amount of technical details (spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.), so I'm just going to point out a few of them for you now!

"Those eyes which made that I could never stay angry with him." - This sentence is just a bit wonky. I know what you're trying to say, but it's written in a way that doesn't make perfect sense. Something more like, "Those eyes which always made certain that I could never stay angry with him."

"How much time had past (passed, not past)? A quick glance at the watch on his wrist told me that just a few seconds had past (passed, not past)." - Personally, I would change one of the 'passed's to something else, simply because it sounds repetitive ending two lines in a row with the same word. Maybe you could say something like, "How much time had gone by?" instead, to add a little variety?

"Wouldn't word (work), he's not one to be distracted."

"A mischievous smile crept (on)to my face and before I knew (it) I turned and stated (started, not stated) to run."

"Then the ritmic (rhythmic, not ritmic) drumming of four paws was behind me."

"I'd always wanted to know how (what, not how) it felt (would feel, not felt) like to jump from the top of this tree right into the lake."

"I looked up at the black dog when he changed back in(to) my best friend."

Overall I thought this was a cute story, but there are a lot of little details that could use some smoothing out! I would suggest maybe looking for a beta over on the forums who specializes in technical details! You've got a really great foundation as far as story line and characterization; what's holding you back right now is simply the grammar and spelling and punctuation! Your Author's Note mentions how you want to learn and grow as a writer, so I hope this review has been helpful! You have so much potential, I can see that, so just concentrate on those small details and you'll begin improving drastically; I know it! ^.^

Author's Response: Hii,

Maybe a bit late to respond to this review you gave me concerning the one-shot Why?!

I love it that finally someone responded to it to be honest ;)
It was actually my first story in english and it made me rather uncertain if it would be allright at all.

To take your advice, I shall look for a beta to improve my technical problems (quite certain I will still have some problems)

Thanks so much for the review, allways good to know that people enjoy reading my stuff. So I shall try to keep up the good work and start writing more often again :)

Again thank you (this review actually restored some of my faith in my own writing)

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