Reading Reviews From Member: writeyourheartout
143 Reviews Found

Review #26, 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 #27, 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 #28, 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 #29, 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 #30, 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 #31, 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 #32, 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 #33, 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 #34, 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 #35, 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 #36, 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 #37, 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 #38, 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 #39, 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 #40, 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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Review #41, by writeyourheartoutThaw: Thaw

6th January 2014:
Hi Julia! I'm here for Day 10 of the 12 Days of Reviewing challenge on the forums! Plus, special bonus: I've been slowly attempting to review every Writer's Duel entry, so high five for killing two birds with one stone! ^.^

Ah, this was so great!!! I can certainly see why you won your prompt! (Congratulations on that, by the way! So exciting!)

I adore Remus Lupin. He is probably my favorite character in the entire series and I'm very picky about his portrayal. I think you did just an excellent job with him. My heart is so heavy for him here and for all of things he has to go through his entire life due to his lycanthropy. Your writing is beautiful and gripping and so very emotive. I loved this story from start to finish.

"On Christmas morning the wolf breakfasted alone on condensation licked from the windows." - Right from the top you give us this beautifully written yet terribly upsetting line, and it's the perfect way to have begun this piece. It immediately paints this picture for us about how very solitary his condition is; that not even Christmas can free him from this cycle that comes "round again like clockwork." It's just heartbreaking.

When I first started reading this, I had sort of just made the assumption that Remus was an adult in this story, until the moment that took my breath a little bit away and he says "Mum?" Heart shattered. He's so young! And what's worse is that he's already been going through this for so many years now!

"The thing about Lycanthropy, however, was that the worst came round again like clockwork." - I noticed several people who reviewed before me have already pointed this line out, but I have to do it again because it's simply that good. It's a never-ending cycle, as reliable as anything; as sure as death and taxes is Remus' lycanthropy.

I adore the parents you gave him. They are so very kind and gentle and reassuring, doing everything they can to make him feel happy and strong and good and normal. His father's consistent comforting words of "It'll pass" are so sweet and sad and aching to be believed. I always imagined that Remus had some of the loveliest parents a person could hope for and these two were exactly that. You made me not only feel for the struggles that Remus faces, but for his parents as well and how helpless they must feel with only their words and their salves to help him. It's all so tragic.

The ending might as well have killed me it was so heavy! Gorgeously written, of course. It's so upsetting to see Remus at such a young age facing all of these demons, because his condition is not simply physical, but it takes a huge toll on him mentally and you showcase that in such a well-crafted way here.

I don't know what else to say, honestly! It was just such a beautifully constructed story about one of my very favorite characters that showed just how talented of a writer you are. Incredible job. :)

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Review #42, by writeyourheartoutWe Were Brave Once: We Were Brave Once

4th January 2014:
Hello there! I'm here for Day 9 of the 12 Days of Reviewing challenge over on the forums! I actually read this story a long time ago, but apparently never reviewed way back then - how rude of me! I'm so glad I found my way back to it, but also kind of upset because as I continue to read, I remember how very much this story just broke my heart. But alas, I'm going to suck it up and review it anyway. Please ignore any bitter tone you find in this; I'm simply not over the fact that you've taken all my well-wishes for these four characters and stomped all over them. :-p

This is just such a crazy good story in the most upsetting way imaginable: because it could so easily be the truth. And the truth is just the worst sometimes.

This story upsets me the most on Harry's behalf, because Harry's life, for as long as he can remember, has never been easy or uncomplicated or wholly good. His parents die before he can even know them, the Dursley's stick him in a cupboard and treat him like dirt, and when he finally breaks away from them at age eleven, he finds an entire complicated world resting on his shoulders, relying on him to carry them forward. It's just so much nicer to think that he gets his happily ever after after everything he's gone through, but no. You have to be awful and throw out some way too potential truths about his relationships and not give him his happily ever after. I'm a little upset with you, but please understand that it's only because this story was so, so, so good.

Ron breaks my heart here. He's always felt inadequate and overshadowed and you've rehashed all of those insecurities through Hermione, who I would have hoped would actually be the one to make them go away! But then I feel badly for her as well, because she has gotten to the point where she doesn't even yell or fight anymore, she just tries to bury her unhappiness with Ron by making jokes out of the situations he gets her into!

I love the internal switch from Hermione's POV into Ginny's, where we see that Hermione is jealous of Ginny and her 'perfect' marriage with Harry (Harry, who thinks she's fat and reminds him of Mrs. Weasley these days), only to find out that Ginny is jealous of Hermione and the freedom she will soon acquire (of course, only for a fleeting moment, because Ginny is apparently going to be a negative Nancy whether she's with Harry or not)!

OH BUT WAIT! Now Hermione's changing her mind? And just when we've heard poor, sweet, young, innocent Rose accept and almost even wish for the divorce! Why must you toy with my emotions so??

It's like you took everybody's baggage that was so close to being stuffed away when the books ended and said 'Ha ha! Not so fast!' before dumping it right back on top of them. Do you feel good about yourself for doing this to your poor readers?? I just want them to be happy! Why would you do this to them? (I hope you understand that I'm just being dramatic and that I truly think you're fantastic! hahaha)

"Her words were unsure and low, but it doesn't matter how you say the word "divorce." It still sounds like "destruction."" - Great line. Your writing is just wonderful. It's so fluid and the transitions between different POV's is so smooth; you never lose your flow. I also love the small, seemingly arbitrary details that you have strewn about the story. It adds this layer of... normalcy, even though to me it's all so abnormal, these four falling apart the way they are! It's almost surreal reading this! Especially with this line: "She wondered, though, that her parents had been in Gryffindor. They never did anything brave." It's like they aren't even themselves anymore. It's so upsetting. I'm very upset.

Man, this whole story was just... phenomenal, really. Like, as much as I kind of really hate you for this, I can't deny how absolutely fantastic of a story it is, in every way. I feel like just curling up in the corner and crying for every character here. And for myself. And for you and your clearly non-existent heart.

I kid. Sort of. ;)

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Review #43, by writeyourheartoutRabbit Heart: Have a Heart

2nd January 2014:
Pix! I'm so glad Angst didn't end up being one of your genre picks, because now I can double up on this review and use it for Day Seven of the 12 Days of Reviewing challenge! *high fives*

I know I already told you this last night, but this is so great; an excellent beginning to what I know is going to shape up to be a fantastic novel!

The mystery of the flashing light in the forest was built up so well and it created a huge amount of curiosity and intrigue for me; which is saying something even more exceptional than usual, considering I have a vague idea of where this is going based on our conversations! hehehe What I love about seeing you write this way is that it shows off your absolutely enviable versatility. I know you were a bit worried that you might not have pulled off the more serious tone of this story, but if this chapter is any indication, then I am absolutely certain you have nothing to worry about. Between the characters you've created and the situations you've put them into, this story's tone is exactly where I think you wanted it (and at the very least, it's exactly where I love it)!

Of course, it's always good to balance out that heaviness with a bit of light humor, which is exactly what you've done. The embarrassingly awkward underwear scene had me giggling, as did James' very frank announcement of, "Nice funeral, Mrs. L." hehehe I love knowing how well you can write parody and wit and then still have the ability to create a more subtle and subdued humor that blended in perfectly with the tone of this chapter.

I'm really loving all of your characters so far. Wren is just great. I don't know if I told you this before, but I really like the name! Her love of her home and the surrounding woods and these poor broken animals was just so sweet and it really breaks my heart that she has to leave. I can certainly relate to growing up in one home your whole life and losing it quite suddenly, way before you're prepared to let go of it. You try to tell yourself that it's just a house (or your adorable oldest friend tries to comfort you with that thought instead), but it's so much more; it's a part of you, it's your history, it's where you came from. It's hard to let go and I really sympathized with her on that. Her attachment to her camera is another nice touch. She strikes me as someone a bit more reserved and quiet who would rather observe than be the center of attention, and it's something I relate to deeply and can appreciate. Photography for a person like that is just something that makes sense to me; it fits her well and there's something intriguing about it too that I can't quite put my finger on... Hmm...

Albus is so great, too. I love that you've made him so short! It seems like such an arbitrary detail, but it makes him stand out to me already from all the Gary Stu's we might see out there who are tall and broad and yadda yadda yadda. The way he tries to comfort Wren is very sweet and his awkwardness about the underwear packing was too cute. I really like how subtle the hints at romance are right now between him and Wren, it's got me really intrigued to see how they might (hopefully!) come together in future chapters! Also, his competitiveness with Rose was really fun to read about!

Rose and James are both fun characters. James has that bluntness to him and I'm expecting some great one-liners from him in the future. Rose is a bit pushy and relentless and impatient and sort of a great mix of Ron and Hermione so far. I think these two will both be fun to see develop further! And while I don't know much about Next Gen charcaters or how Rose, Albus, and James are generally written, I can at the very least say that I'm so far really liking your versions of them all!

Gran breaks my heart. I remember Augusta and the lively spark-fire she was in the books with Neville, how much strength she had and how she was able to keep her life moving forward and make sure not to allow life's difficulties to stop her or her grandson. It's very upsetting to see her finally crack with the death of Alice and Frank, and to such drastic measures as well. I hope we get to see a bit of the fire rekindle in her as time progresses, but she's very old by this time and I worry that you may have different plans in store. Don't break my heart, Pix! Don't do it!

And finally... the bunny! Ah! I know too much of the things to come! The second that rabbit entered the story I was like 'IT'S HAPPENING!' LOL I was mostly wrong though, until that last sentence... It's so sweet and innocent right now, Pix... what's going to happen later? I don't want to think about it! Ah! (Seriously, though, the bunny scene was too cute, but when the light got it, I was like 'DUN DUN DUUUNNN!')

Before I wrap this review up, I just have to tell you that you write some beautiful descriptions. The moment at the end really sticks with me, when Wren is remembering all of the small details of the woods, where the water pools and all of that, it feels like such a real place which makes it all the more heartbreaking that she's being forced to leave it behind. -le sigh-

Well, Pix, what else can I say? This is such an excellent start. I've been looking forward to your posting this story for a long time now, and now that I've finally gotten to experience chapter one, I can honestly say that I'm more excited than ever to continue reading. You're wonderful; don't you ever doubt that. :)

Author's Response:

If I knew how to make a heart icon, I would do it right now, probably a bunch of times.

Angst. *sneezes* *eyes water* *breaks out in horrible rash*

Me and angst. We're not compatible. As you probably heard, (over and over and over...) I struggled with the tone of this story for quite a while. If you love it, then I'm happy. I'm starting to like it too. :) Parts of it I love. The rest of it, I'm completely insecure about, but then we are our own worst critics, right?

When I wrote that scene at the Longbottom's house, I thought to myself, "What would be the most awkward thing that someone could say in a situation like this?" and then I gave that line to James Sirius. (I think he's going to prank me in my sleep for that. Payback is brutal.)

I've got a lot invested in Wren. Do you know how difficult a job it is to be the MC in a novel? Oh, the pressure! The expectations! I think she's going to do fine... I hope. I've gotten rather attached to her. Albus and Rose and James, they were fun to write. I hope that they continue to intrigue you. It's their job, after all. :) Let me know if one of them starts slacking off, and I'll cut back on their daily cookies until they shape up.

Augusta Longbottom really got my attention in the books. I would have loved to have heard more about her, and I haven't read many stories with Neville's children in them, so it got me thinking that I could really do something fresh with that. I can't tell you what's going to happen to your heart in this story, but I can tell you... no I can't. Never mind. :P

Bunny!! Bunny is so sweet. I've never owned a rabbit, but my neighbors have one. A few months ago, I went to see it and hold it. They really aren't very cuddly animals. The experience made me rewrite a few bits. Good thing I did some hands-on research. Rabbits are not like cats, that's for sure!

Ah, descriptions! I'm glad those worked for you. It is very heartbreaking for poor Wren that she has to leave her home. No one likes to be uprooted.

Wow. Thank you for such a long, detailed, and wonderful review! You can imagine a bunch of heart icons right about here...

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Review #44, by writeyourheartoutTheir Perfect Picture: The First Crack in Their Perfect Picture

1st January 2014:
Hello there! So I'm here for Day Six of the 12 Days of Reviewing challenge that the forums are hosting! I'm very happy to have stumbled upon your fic in my search for new stories! ^.^

I really enjoyed this. And what a contrast between the two chapters!

We start with this adorably sweet, intimate moment between Sirius and Remus, alone in the shack, being cute and kind and comforting. I loved the way Sirius presses his nose to Remus and how he wants to be nearer to him and just stare at his too-close face. Their small amount of dialogue felt perfectly in character, with that casual ease between them. It's funny because chapter one starts with the line, "It was never easy; how could it be?" and yet it's not until chapter two that we really experience any of the difficulties they face. It feels so simple and natural during that shared moment, away from prying eyes and circulating rumors.

The picture gift from Sirius was so sweet and it brought along my favorite moment of the fic: "Remus internally winced as he remembered that this was how his mother used to wrap all his presents since she couldn't afford anything else. Sirius' disowning had affected him more than he liked to let on." - Drawing the parallels between Remus' mother and Sirius' situation was just really clever and definitely pulled at my heartstrings.

The second chapter was such a drastic shift from the first, yet still so good! You did a great job at making me feel bad for both Remus and Sirius and recognizing that the situation was hard on both of them. As much as I hate to see them in such a fight, the whole scenario felt very authentic. The fact that the situation gets away from them and Sirius finally just breaks out in a crazed laughter and outs Remus to James and Peter was so exactly something I could see him doing, unfortunately. And Remus' reaction - I mean, can you blame him? Poor guy. I thought it was just brilliant of you to pull that picture frame back into the plot in such an opposing way - used as weapon rather than a token of affection. Just heart-breaking and real and perfect.

I've only got a few, very small critiques!

This is a pretty nitpicky detail, and probably mostly an opinion thing, but in this sentence here, you have the word 'her' in bold: ""Well from the sounds of it you were the only one there apart from *her and it is pretty obvious what her story is." and in general, I think italicizing words that you want emphasized is a better option. It's just more aesthetically pleasing.

"Sirius looked towards Remus who turned his back on his friends and stood by the edge of the dilapidated bed. He clenched his hands into fists(,) tensing the muscles in his arm. Shoulders heaving(,) he repressed a shudder at the thought of what Sirius was about to do." - The beginning of this paragraph is a little confusing because it's hard to know until the end of the third line which 'he' you're referring to. When I read it the first time, I actually thought it was Sirius being described in this moment. When Sirius' name was dropped, though, and I realized it was actually Remus you were talking about, I had to go back and reread. It's really hard sometimes to keep everybody straight when you're writing a story that involves so many characters of the same gender, but you do a really great job remaining clear about who every 'he' is except in this one moment!

"Unfortunately, Sirius' Quidditch reflexes didn't help as he was rather unaccustomed to having rectangular objects to doge (dodge, not doge)."

And lastly, there were a handful of places that I thought could have used comma's, but nothing so drastic that I felt the need to pinpoint them all, either. But should you ever edit through this story one day, I would maybe keep an eye out for sentences with natural pauses in them that left out the guidance of a comma.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this! I love Remus/Sirius stories and this one made me smile and then made me sad and now it makes me want to find more Remus/Sirius fics because you've reignited the flame of my love for them! Anyway, really great job - I'm so glad I found this story! :)

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Review #45, by writeyourheartoutTurn to Stone: (let's take a better look beyond a storybook)

31st December 2013:
Hello there! So I'm here for the 12 Days of Reviewing challenge over on the forums! Today's task was to review stories without any reviews, and my God, am I happy I found yours.

This was beautiful.

First of all, what a seriously unique idea! I don't think I've read a story that even comes close to this sort of thing! It's just crazy original and compelling and intriguing!

The storyline on its own is fantastic, but what's truly memorable about this piece is your execution of it! The way you wrote this was simply stunning. Right from the top I was captivated. I think those two opening paragraphs were my favorite. It immediately evoked all sorts of emotions and endless thought processes as I considered the lives of these two marble statues! I felt so terribly sad for them that they had the ability to think but not the ability to move, and it made me ask all of these questions, like how long have they been there, stuck in these positions, watching the world go by and change and grow while they do nothing but remain? You gave so much life to these inanimate stone carvings and it just broke my heart. Seriously, all of that came about from those first two paragraphs alone. Magnificent.

I love the way you chose to position them; her turned away but reaching back for him, him reaching forward as he's forced to stare forever at this single side of her, longing for more, unable to close that small distance between their hands; frozen in these marble bodies. It's absolutely incredible how much you made me feel for these statues.

I love that you gave her crooked teeth and that he, even with his expectations most likely impossibly high, finds her more perfect than he ever could have imagined. It's a beautiful moment when he sees perfection in her imperfection. How very human of him. :)

I love their innocence and their ability to so fully love even the most simple of things - things like spinning around in circles and experiencing the feeling of grass between their toes and the beauty of the night sky. They are like children, discovering the magic of the world for the first time.

I love that they named themselves Colin and Luna. That was just such a nice touch and it's such a perfect pair to have used for inspiration.

Do you notice how my past four paragraphs all started with the words 'I love...'? It's because I love this. All around. In every way.

I do have just a couple of questions!

So first you wrote this: "If she were human, she'd have dimples..." and later you reference - twice - that she actually does have dimples. Here's one of them: "He loves her dimples." - I'm not sure if that was something you accidentally overlooked, or if you did it on purpose to show maybe that she becomes more human as the night goes on (until it's time to change back, of course)? Or if it was something else entirely! But I thought I'd point it out just in case it was a mistake and I wasn't simply missing the point! hehehe ^.^

Also, is there a reason that this happened to them? I would have liked a small explanation about why and how they were given this chance! I tried to research the Calends of July in case it was something to do with that, but I couldn't find anything. I was expecting maybe an urban myth or a Roman God-like story that went along with it and explained why they might have come to life, but I couldn't find anything. Just curiosity, is all!

And that's it! I can't believe I'm the first to review this beautiful piece of work! Every moment in this story is perfect. Nothing was thrown away or misplaced or misused. Every word served a purpose and it takes a truly talented writer to pull something like that off. You are just phenomenal and I will have to check out more of your stories. I'm so glad I found this. :)

P.S. I LOVE Ingrid Michaelson. As soon as I saw your credit to her in the summary, I was like 'MUST READ.' She's brilliant. And this song is one of my favorite's. *squee*

Author's Response: I'm speechless at the moment. I don't know how to thank you for such an amazing review (and to be honest I didn't think this story would ever get a review).

Okay, the only thing I can really do is try to answer your questions. For the first one, that was honestly something I did subconsciously, but now I like it too much to let it go. As I wrote this story, I got more and more attached to the statues as they spent more time alive, and really got more human. I guess he didn't want to beleive that he wasn't human, so he started projecting that idea onto her, hence the 'if she had dimples' v. 'I love her dimples'.

On the backstory, I honestly wasn't completely sure what I was doing when I was writing it. I chose the Calends of July because I had just read the date in a Percy Jackson book, and I thought it sounded magical. So, of course, I decided to use it. Also, my headcanon is that the two statues were made in Greco-Roman time, so that date would be important. This isn't based off a real myth, but listening to that song (I love Ingrid Michaelson, too) just kind of got my brain working, and this was the result.

Thank you so, so much for the kind words, and I'm thrilled you enjoyed it. This review has made my week!


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Review #46, by writeyourheartoutMerry Christmas: The Winter Air

30th December 2013:
Hello there! I'm here for the 12 Days of Reviewing challenge that's taking place on the forums, and today you and your story fit the criteria! I've also been meaning to review all of the Writer's Duel entries, so I'm killing two birds with one stone! Yay! ^.^

A very cute story! Very romantic and fluffy and almost fairytale-ish! The setting was beautiful and I'm pretty sure most girls would enjoy finding themselves in a similar scenario as Eleanor!

Speaking of, I liked your OC! I think you have a good grasp on who she is and did a really good job at remaining consistent with her throughout the story. The way her pureblood upbringing affects her life was really interesting to see, and I liked that she didn't seem too stuck in the rules of what's expected of a pureblood woman. I thought Sirius was very in character as well; witty and mischievous and with that casual elegance and arrogance. I thought that he and Eleanor fit well together, playing off one another's sarcasm and both trying hard to seem nonchalant about the other. They were cute together and very fun to read about!

I really enjoyed the way you described the room that Mrs. Potter set up for the party. Some great imagery in there!

"What could have possibly started as an innocent kiss under the mistletoe, had turned into a sordid game of tonsil hockey." - LOL This line made me chuckle. Tonsil hockey. hahaha

Some critiques:

So you switch tenses a lot throughout the story. In fact, the majority of the first half is in present tense, while the majority of the second half is in past tense. Here's a good example: "I coward away, drawing closer to Sirius' side subconsciously (all present tense). I'd bumped (past tense) into him before I could stop myself. I moved (past tense) away slightly, feeling claustrophobic at his touch, as he turned (past tense) around and noticed my small petite figure against his tall, broad one." Because it's sort of evenly distributed throughout the story, you can easily choose to go with one or the other, whichever you prefer, but just make sure that whichever you go with you stay consistent with!

"On such a cold night, my breath could be seen condensing in the winter breeze air as my family and I made our way to the big wooden oak doors." - Really pretty sentence, but when you say 'winter breeze air', I think you only need either breeze or air - both together sounds a little redundant. Same with 'wooden oak doors' - oak is really just a type of wood, so using both words to describe the door is unnecessary.

""Oh Sarah it's good to see you(,)" Mrs Potter greets, kissing my mother affectionately on both cheeks." - You do this pretty consistently throughout the story: forget to put a punctuation mark of some kind at the end of a quote.

""It's good to see you Caroline(,)" My (my, not My) father reply (replies, not reply), similarly kissing both cheeks affectionately."

"... and dimly light (lit, not light)..."

"Already were they (Already there were, not Already were they) couples snogging each other's faces off, as if their lives depended on it."

There are actually quite a lot of little grammatical and spelling errors throughout the otherwise very good story, so I would maybe suggest finding a beta who specializes in grammar/punctuation/spelling - all the technical details, just to help clean it up! It'll take your story to a whole other level, which will be great because it's already so good!

Anyway, overall I enjoyed this very much! Good luck in the Writer's Duel! Happy Holidays!

Author's Response: Oh wow, this is honestly the most helpful review I've come by. I'm really glad you liked the story and that the basis is there. I do plan to go back once to queue reopens and fix all the things. Some I picked up myself, others I noticed from yours and others critics. Thankyou very much for the detailed review, because I'm really keen to grow as a writer. Happy Holidays to you, and a Happy New Year as well! May 2014 bring joy to you and others. :)

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Review #47, by writeyourheartoutBroken Silence: Long Nights

30th December 2013:
Curie! Hi! You only have six stories on your page, so I'm here reviewing you for the 12 Days of Reviewing challenge on the forums! Also, I've been meaning to review all of the Writer's Duel entries, and what a bonus that I also have the chance to read some of your writing in return for all the wonderful things you've said about my own! Yay! Let's get started! :-D

Ah, this was so sad! That prompt four, man, it really made for some darker stories! I really enjoyed the angle you took this story; where something so joyous and romantic turned into something so upsetting! Of course, it makes me want to punch Dominique in the face, but hey - at least you're evoking emotions, right? :-p

Teddy and Victoire I found very sweet. I feel so badly for them that they're meant to be experiencing some of the happiest moments of their lives right now, but it's been ripped away from them because her sister is bitter and angry and jealous. I don't know that much about next gen characters or how your versions of these three compare to others, but I really enjoyed them all. Teddy is such a sweetheart for his tracking Victoire down and not leaving her alone, and I personally love that he couldn't keep himself from proposing any longer! When you love somebody that much and you want to spend your life with them so badly that you can't wait any longer, it's just very romantic. It's really too bad that he didn't get to enjoy the moment really at all. Only the one memory of "She had been so happy then. Her eyes dancing, the fire in her eyes lit with elation." (Love this line, by the way.) And Victoire cares so much about her sister to let her little temper tantrum destroy her so deeply. You would think that for Victoire to care so deeply about Dominique's feelings, Dominique in return would care enough about Victoire to suck up her sadness and congratulate her sister. But unfortunately, a lot of relationships tend to see this sort of one-sided-ness.

Dominique... Gah, what a brat, amiright? I mean, first off, she shouldn't be taking out her own relationship issues on Teddy and Victoire in the first place, but the fact that she actually blames Victoire for -getting- proposed to, like she's the one who did it, just shows the level of crazy Dom is at in this moment. "How could you do this to me, Vic?!" She's not doing it to you, Dom; she's saying yes for herself and for Teddy! Ah, she's such a Grinch, ruining Christmas. :-p

I think you did a really good job at flipping between Victoire and Teddy's thoughts! They're sort of these small POV changes that were both easy to follow and didn't require those annoying announcements of *So-and-So's POV*. Kudos to you, my friend!

I love the third to last paragraph that talks about Victoire and Dominique's childhood traditions in regards to the snow. It's very prettily written and so sweet. :)

I just have a few small critiques!:

"She couldn't bring herself to say something, she didn't know what to say." - This sentence is a little wonky; it doesn't quite sit right. I think just a few of the word choices and the phrasing don't allow it to flow as smoothly as it should. I think it would read more fluidly reworded similar to this: "She couldn't bring herself to say anything, for there was nothing to be said."

"The only thing she wanted to do was continue her search, but she was tired and her search so far was just as she had expected: futile." - I really like this line! My only tweak is that the twice used phrase 'her search' sounds a little repetitive so close together. I would try to substitute one of them for something else.

"She spat (present tense) out her older sister's name, a mocking tone seeped (past tense) into her voice." - You flipped tenses here. The majority of your story seems to be in present tense, though, so I would edit the 'seeped' to fit correctly.

"'Of course they were in vain!' She (she, not She) thought, bitterly." - (In the story, that first part is italicized, but Idk how to do it in a review! LOL) I think with these internal thoughts, you can get away with simply italicizing, and not both italicizing and putting them in single quotes. It would be just as easy to follow for us readers and I think it would just be more aesthetically pleasing, is all! But it's up to you! :-p

Anyway, overall I really enjoyed this, Curie! I think you did a really good job with prompt four and I'm excited to see the results of the competition! Congratulations on a great entry! *hugs*


Author's Response: Thank you so much! :D Haha, yeah! Very happy to be evoking emotions! :D

I'm so glad that you understood the idea behind it. Ive got a few reviews where they've said that they didn't get some of the ideas, so, this was very reassuring! :D Yeah, Dom is a bit of a drama queen...

Thank you so much! This is the best writing I've done, not the plot and etc, but the actual style :)

Thanks so much for the CC! I really really appreciate that! I'll change it in the next edit! :D Thanks so much! I'm so glad u liked it!! :D

Thanks for a fantabulous review, Tanya!

-Curie :)

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Review #48, by writeyourheartoutCold as the Sea: Cold

29th December 2013:
Hello there! I'm here for the 12 Days of Reviewing challenge that's taking place on the forums! Today I am meant to review stories starring Hagrid, and can I just say that I am beyond thrilled that yours is one of the ones I came across! This was just an absolute pleasure to read.

Right from the top with that opening paragraph: Wow. Gorgeous descriptions. It's immediate how talented a writer you are, and it only becomes more apparent the further I read along.

I love the topic you chose to write about. Missing moments from canon are always really cool to read about in fanfiction, but I've never read one about Hagrid's stay in Azkaban; and to be honest, I never really even thought about what it must have been like for him before today! I thought you did a brilliant job at not only describing Azkaban itself, but in the exploration of memories that would be replaying themselves in Hagrid's minds; of the painful things in his past most likely to haunt him in his cell. This feels so very canon in its choices. I loved it.

"Don't think, or they'll steal that away too - along with your freedom." - Ah, what a poignant line. It's so heartbreaking to think of Hagrid in a place such as this, wrongfully accused and punished. And oh God, the whole back and forth between the version of Hagrid fighting to stay in his right mind versus the Hagrid being affected by the Dementor's and the thoughts they provoke is just so heart-wrenching! It's such a terrible internal struggle to be faced with, and the entire time I can't help but think that he's going to lose this battle and succumb to the devastation more often than not. And sure enough... :-( So heart-breaking.

This whole sea analogy that is weaved throughout the fic is just perfect; it fits so perfectly every time you bring it back to that. Like when Hagrid thinks, "Keep your head above the water." or, "Fighting is useless. You'll just sink faster." And that final line: "There was no escape from the sea." There are a handful of other examples I could use, each as flawlessly integrated as the next. I love the cleverness of it all. It's just wonderful.

So, before I wrap this review up, I have to tell you this: When this story began, it was immediately captivating and beautifully written and perfectly constructed, but I didn't feel as though I could really relate to the subject of being thrown into a jail cell in the middle of the sea surrounded by soul-sucking creatures (naturally, because there is not actually a place quite like that in the real world). Not that not relating to the story line really matters all that much, especially when it's written as beautifully as this was. But then you twisted everything I thought I knew right at the end with this line: "There was almost a perverse pleasure in the prospect of sinking into the pain." All of a sudden, at the very end of this story, I suddenly felt like I could understand Hagrid's pain in some way. That line, how you said that, is such a human way of thinking sometimes - usually when we are at our worst. It can become so easy to just drown in our sorrows rather than to fight our way out of it, and obviously Hagrid has a lot less of a choice given his location, but still. That line just clicked everything into place for me and reminded me of all the times I was faced with hardships and found it almost comforting to sink into the darkness rather than fight for the light. I'm not sure I'm even making any sense, but I just had to tell you that I thought your story was stunning the first time through, and just absolutely brilliant on a whole other level the second time.

Grammatically, structurally, and all of that fun stuff, the entire story was perfection. In fact, the only mistake I found at all was in your Author's Note where you spelled 'feeling' 'fealing'! LOL And speaking of your Author's Note: it is not too much; it is not overloaded; it is perfect. Your hard work certainly paid off.

I have no critiques. This was wonderful. :)

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Review #49, by writeyourheartoutSpiders, Dragons, and Love: Spiders, Dragons, and Love

29th December 2013:
Hello there! I'm here for the 12 Days of Reviewing challenge that's taking place on the forums! Today I am meant to review stories starring Hagrid, and I am so glad I stumbled across yours!

I love the decision to have this fic set from the Mirror of Erised's POV! Very cool! And I think it's incredible how distinct of a personality you gave it; so much character! It has such a strong voice throughout the entire story and it seems so animate, so truly alive! This may sound weird, but the mirror almost reminds me of the personality of a dog! LOL Very hyper and energetic and so eager to please and be paid attention to. What's more is that you actually made me feel really bad for it! Poor lonely Mirror of Erised, always being hidden away from onlookers...

You've done a great job with all of the canon characters here as well! Even though we only see Harry and Dumbledore for a bit, they were both perfectly in character in both their dialogue and their descriptions. I loved when the Mirror compared the two of them to one another based on what each sees - their lost families. Drawing that parallel between their two deepest desires really struck a chord with me; so many feels.

Hagrid was great. It's certainly believable that he would see some magnificent magical creatures and a beautiful woman to settle down with in his reflection, and the discovery of those visions being untrue was a really wonderful scene. I loved how slowly and analytically he seemed to approach what was happening in his reflection, being cautious with his approach. The moment that really broke my heart was when he was trying to reach out and touch the woman of his dreams but couldn't and said, "This 's no' real," - True. Sad. Perfect.

"Somehow, I cannot help but feel this is the last time Professor Dumbledore will talk to me." - Why does this make me so sad? :-( There were actually a handful of great, poignant one-liners throughout the story that melted my heart each time. I think the reason they worked so well is because you gave the Mirror such an innocent persona, so its sadness really lands hard.

"Fitting the two of them into my mirror image is a stretch, but I can do it." - hahaha This line made me chuckle. I love the Mirror's personality. Too funny.

I only have a few critiques!:

One thing I notice you do quite often is switch between the past and present tense. Here's a great example of it: ""Yeh asked me ter mee' yeh 'ere, Professor Dumbledore?" Hagrid asked (past tense), his beady little black eyes looking at my direction and then immediately back to Dumbledore. Even though it is (present tense) dreadfully late at night, Hagrid was (past tense) wearing a long, red shirt covered by a moleskin vest and some of the furriest pants and boots I have (present) ever seen." So you switched back and forth between past and present tense four times just in this little section. Personally, I would try to stick to present tense, because I think that's what makes your mirror feel so personable, but whatever you prefer, make sure you're only using one tense!

"Next I told him about the spider he always wanted." - This line I'm not too sure about, only because Hagrid did (and at this point in time still does) have a spider: Aragog. He got to raise him for a bit inside of the castle, but after Tom Riddle tried to blame Aragog for being the beast that killed Moaning Myrtle, he ran off and hid in the Forbidden Forrest, where Hagrid still visits not only Aragog, but all of his thousands of children as well.

"I assume they are dead, because he nearly cries every time he *sees thinks of them." - *sees thinks of them? I assume you either meant one or the other, or you meant to say 'he nearly cries every time he sees or thinks of them.'

"...Hagrid asked, his beady little black eyes looking at (in, not at) my direction and then immediately back to Dumbledore."

"Who knows how long it will be before someone comes to see me again." - This is a question, not a statement; question mark, not period.

Overall, I really very much so enjoyed this! That last line! Gah, break my heart, why don't you? It's so perfect, but so deeply upsetting! I just want to hunt down the Mirror of Erised myself and give it a hug! I can't believe you've made me feel so strongly for an inanimate object; it's crazy! This was just wonderful to read. So cute and sweet and sad and lovely and I'm so happy I stumbled upon it. Yay! :)

Author's Response: I hadn't heard of the 12 days of reviewing deal, but I'm so glad it existed! :D Thank you so much for stopping by this story and giving it a chance! It has made my day and I love being surprised like this! I'm so happy that you loved it and thank you for pointing out bits I didn't catch before. My biggest flaw in any of my writing is my tense verbs. I don't really know why .

Thank you again so much! It really did make me smile and I hope the story did the same to you!

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Review #50, by writeyourheartoutRumors to Keep Secret: Their Secrets Keep

29th December 2013:
Hi Kay! I'm here for the 12 Days of Reviewing challenge over on the forums and was so glad to find not only a story that fit today's criteria - a story starring Hagrid - but that was also written by a friend and was really enjoyable! Lucky me, huh? ^.^

Wow. Just... what an obscurely perfect scenario you've concocted here. Like, I can't even understand what has just happened. It feels like my brain has been rewired to ship Hagrid/Myrtle. LOL I just adore what you did with them, both as individuals and as a pairing!

Hagrid is exactly as he should be, I think; a bit of an outcast, pining for another outcast, kind and gentle and caring and immediately prepared to run to Myrtle's aid at the first sign of trouble. The way he sees Myrtle is just so perfectly written, to the point where I wonder how I never saw it for myself because it feels so very canon now.

The first few paragraphs have to be my favorite things of the entire story, to be honest. It ended up being really sad to see Myrtle from Hagrid's perspective in this! She's always alone, she gets teased so much that she doesn't believe his compliments, he eventually becomes her first friend; it makes me feel so badly for her! It's almost strange to think that way because she's so annoying in the books! haha I think it's wonderful that you could offer us such a new, refreshing, and heartbreaking side of her that also weaves into canon in a believable and intriguing way.

"He was her first friend. She was his first love." - I love this moment. Hagrid is too sweet in this. Honestly, it's just a great relationship to have written a story around. You did a great job with them, Kay! Kudos!

One thing I did notice, though, is that you tend to start a lot of sentences in the same way; so much so that it actually becomes quite repetitive in places. The further I read, the more I realized that almost every sentence in this story starts either with the words He, She, His, Her, or somebody's name. A great example of this is in the section starting with the line, "He walked out of the Great Hall searching for her-" and ending with the line, "She sat in the stall for hours on end." Of the 15 sentences between those two lines, 10 of them start with the word 'He' and the other 5 start with the word 'She'. It just becomes too repetitive, is all. Playing around with the opening words to sentences will add a nicer variety, I think!

Something else I noticed is that there were a handful of times when I felt you rushed through certain moments that I would have liked to see expanded upon a bit more. For example: After Hagrid learns about Myrtle dying, he doesn't really seem to grieve at all, far too concerned with the idea that he was being blamed and not that the girl he loves has just been killed. I think by skipping how he took this news, you missed a great opportunity to break our hearts a bit with some description emotions about his loss; maybe a panic about whether or not she would choose to become a ghost and if he would be able to talk to her still, at least. Anything would have been nice here, but you sort of skipped over the entire ordeal. The ending felt very abrupt as well. All of that said, however, I still enjoyed myself the whole way through, so I suppose it's not that big of a deal! :-p

Some typo's/grammatical errors:

"But as the years past (passed, not past) she grew fond of him and the guarded girl let him into her life."

"He maybe (may be, not maybe) her best friend, but he was still a person."

"Olive had said really set her off this time and Myrtle had missed two classes before someone was sent to try to find her." - I think you forgot to put the word 'What' at the beginning of this sentence.

"People had started to avoid that bathroom just incase (in case, not incase) she was there. Olive checked ever (every, not ever) floor before that one(,) wanting to be out of class for as long as possible."

"Hagrid knew that Myrtle deserved so much more then (than, not then) what she got."

Overall, I really enjoyed this! I adore the pairing and the way you fit it so perfectly into canon! I'm glad I stumbled upon in it my search for Hagrid-centric stories! Great job, Kay! :-D

Author's Response: Thank you for the lovely review. I'm currently working on expanding it a little bit more to show just how much this affected both Hagrid and Myrtle.

I read this a few weeks back and cringed at how repetitive it is. I'm really glad that you enjoyed it, it's one of my babies. I think it's really ready to grow up a little bit though.

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