Reading Reviews From Member: Reuben
54 Reviews Found

Review #1, by ReubenThe Time-Traveler: Prologue

12th August 2011:
Fantastic first chapter. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing more of this story. You write well, setting the scene very nicely in the future. Voldemort came across as evil, yet intelligent, which I was glad to see. I'm not sure about Harry yet; he seemed a little slow on the uptake, but that's probably just the months of torture getting to him.

Showing the younger Harry's thoughts as he's displaced by the older Harry is a very original touch, and I've never seen it done before. You did it well, portraying him very much as a child, which can often be difficult.

You could use a bit of work in some areas -- be careful not to make the Dursleys too fond of the word 'Freak', for one thing. In this chapter, you didn't go overboard, but a lot of authors tend to do that later on. However, overall I didn't see much to complain about. Technically, your writing is sound -- I didn't notice any mistakes, though admittedly I wasn't reading for them.

I really want to see how this goes -- update soon :)


Author's Response: I'm glad you liked the first chapter! I'm just going to go ahead and reply to all the things you brought up - sorry if it sounds like word vomit. Heh.

I always prefer reading stories where Voldemort is not completely consumed by blood-lust. Voldemort wouldn't be successful if he didn't have some grasp on strategy.

It was definitely months of torture getting to Harry. If anything, later readers might accuse me of making Harry too strong. I'm thinking of going back and making Harry's condition in this chapter more obvious.

I'm happy to hear you liked reading from eleven-year-old Harry's point of view. I was surprised at how much fun I had writing that, for some reason.

I'll be careful about not making the Dursley's hatred towards Harry too extreme, though it's hard. On one hand, some people strongly believe that Petunia and Vernon, in canon, are acting out on fear and could be significantly changed by circumstances. I subscribe to the belief that the Dursleys JKR wrote are rotten, ignorant people who mistreat Harry and get away with it. Heh, heh. I'll try to make them rounder characters in this story, though, since they do have a role in it. I agree that the endearment "Freak" is a little extreme.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your review! It was really helpful!


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Review #2, by ReubenDropkick: Children of the Damned

31st May 2011:
Hello again! It's been a while, and I do apologize for that, but this damn thing known as life kept getting in the way... though it sounds like you're familiar with that from your author's note at the end of the chapter ;)

This was a good chapter. I loved the 'Frank' part at the beginning, and I think I'm going to start quoting that in conversation now, whenever someone says that they're being Frank, haha. The transition from explanation to story was good - I can see your skill increasing with each chapter, which is awesome. Expounding on Alyson was good, though I'm sensing a bit of backstory near her - after all, nobody is that much of a bitch naturally... or are they? Also, while I'm on the subject of Alyson, the part where she floored Fred was good, and I was glad to see that you weren't going to make her the cliche 'dead weight beauty queen'.

The interaction between everyone was excellent. While many authors struggle when their group of characters grows larger than three, you seem to be managing quite well. Everyone seemed to get time to speak, even when - in Neroli's case - this was through not speaking (if that makes any sense whatsoever). I admit that as your story began I was a bit concerned about the amount of description you have for each character - telling, rather than showing who they are - but I think you're managing it well and improving with each chapter.

The Dom/Neroli interaction was nice, in an awkward way. It seemed that Neroli was starting to open up a bit more just as they got interrupted, which was a bit unfortunate, but I think they'll become friends in the future. I can really see Neroli and Dom as friends, perhaps because they're so different yet similar. They remain my two favorite characters in your story so far, so pretty much anything involving them grabs my interest right off :D

As for the ending sequence, holy [censored]! The Ministry isn't messing around anymore! I assume there must be a lot of backstory going on here in order to make executing people on the spot legal in the span of a few days, and I'm excited to see how it all goes down. Also, I loved the varied reactions of everyone - again, you keep portraying them very well and very consistently (though, I don't think you mentioned Alyson's reaction - how does she feel about seeing a man murdered in front of her?). I loved the way Dom and James responded most, of course, probably because they were the most badass ;) But as I said, spot on with everyone else as well.

Oh, by the way? Chapter title was made of win. So much.

Not much to criticize in this one, though that may be due to the fact that it's currently so late at night that it's early, and I haven't slept in around forty hours >.< Oh yes, here's one thing: pretty sure it's Zabini, rather than Zambini, presuming Alyson is Blaise's daughter.

So I think maybe I gushed and fanboyed a bit much in this review, but in all honesty, it's too late to care, and your new chapter was great, a well-deserved 10/10. It's really nice to read an action/adventure next-gen story, they're far too rare - most next-gen seems to be Hogwarts-based romantic comedy and drama, which is far from my liking.

Speaking of action/adventure next-gen stories, I'm going to try writing my own novel-length next-gen story, though I don't know how it will turn out. I've had it outlined for ages, but I'm just now starting to actually write it out in its entirety. It's kind of a political thriller/action/adventure story. The reason I'm choosing to start it now is that Dropkick kind of... dropkicked me into gear (see what I did there? ;D).

And... you just read a shameless plug, and I'm starting to ramble. So I'll end this review now.

PS: My personal view on Osama Bin Laden's death is that President Obama is risking a lot on it if it is a conspiracy - his entire reputation. And though I'm not educated in the entire situation, I can only assume that proving he was alive after Obama claimed he was dead so stridently could only benefit Bin Laden, so chances are he's actually dead. I can't imagine Obama risking his political neck like that with only a year till elections.

On another note regarding his death, some people I talk to were mad that the men sent after Bin Laden killed him. They seem to think that killing is wrong, even during a war, even after the chance to surrender is given. I personally think that it's a nice ideal, but until everybody is willing to adhere to it, it's essentially meaningless. What are your thoughts on that?

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Review #3, by ReubenInside Death: Prologue: June 1980

7th May 2011:

So first off, I was drawn here by your sig on The Golden Snitches - I was fascinated by the quote about how 'The enemy is anyone who's going to get you killed... no matter which side he's on.' I clicked, came to the story page, and was similarly drawn in by your summary. Awesome. I love brilliant manipulative characters.

I don't know about you, but personally the most difficult characters for me to write and to read in fanfiction are OCs. Writing them is difficult because they must be realistic and fit in the universe, and reading them is difficult because beside the canon characters, they often don't feel as fleshed-out or interesting. On the other hand, a well-written OC can be a wonderfully novel character, somebody who lends new depth to a story and brings out new sides of the world or the established characters. Julienne Macnair is one such OC. In under two thousand words, you convinced me that she was interesting and that I wanted to know more about her, her situation, and her life in general. Lines such as

'...marriage to her once-loved Walden...'

are very good, hinting at a past which we may never get to see, yet add depth to both the characters and the story. I felt a connection to Julienne, and the description of her despair was creepy in the best possible way.

I was, as you may have noticed thus far, very impressed by the fact that you really made me care about Julienne's life and situation. The faltering nursery rhyme was a very clever way to weave in her uncertainty about the world she lived in, being as it was apparently rather exclusive to the Pureblooded culture. I was wondering at first why you changed the words, but it was well done.

Your writing style is excellent. It draws the reader in, provides a good balance of description and emotion, and really made me able to envision the scene in my head. I felt it got a tad wordy at times, but it was nothing too serious. Technically the writing is very well done; I didn't spot any mistakes, though I was quite caught up in the emotion of the chapter, and thus wasn't looking as closely as I might normally (I can be a bit of a grammar nazi, you see).

I'd like to mention that I think the image for this chapter was perfect. The woman in the picture looks much like I was imagining Julienne; beautiful, but distant and with a smile that doesn't touch her eyes. Good call.

In summary, this is a great introductory chapter, introducing a believable and sympathetic character who (if my assumption is correct) isn't even the protagonist, and using some extremely well-written third-person prose - I've read published books whose writing wasn't near as polished as this. I'm definitely giving this chapter 10/10, and I'm off to read the other two.

Author's Response: I totally thought that I responded to this a million years ago. I fail at life, please forgive me XD Anywho, this is one of the most FANTASTICLICIOUS reviews I have ever gotten on HPFF. I'm printing it and plan to hug it lol.

So...where to begin officially! Uhm, your review leaves me aghast! It is the sweetest review ever and you praised everything! My summary, image selection, prose, characterization, OC, writing, on and on everything! I'm so floored by your response to my work that I can only hope (and potentially beg) that my next chapters can live up to the standard I seemed to create for myself with this prologue. Please, let me know -I love CC btw.

But in all seriousness, thank you so much for this review! It makes me feel so fantastic and mughy (I don't feel this often about my writing) and I just don't know what else to write in response to you.

Thank you so much, Reuben! I'm glad you enjoyed the prologue :)


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Review #4, by ReubenDropkick: This Is How We Do

7th April 2011:
And the plot continues to thicken!

I like how this is developing. You're doing a great job of doling out little hints of what they're running from (the Animal Farm reference, the armbands, etc) without making it go too slow. It feels like the story is barreling along toward awesomeness, in the best possible way.

James certainly accepted Neroli's interpretation of her dream quickly - just a mark of how much he trusts her as a friend, I suppose. I liked the interaction between Dom and Neroli, it really seemed like their reactions to one another were spot on, what with Dom being a little dismissive of Neroli at first and becoming more interested as she remembers her as 'the Dreamer'. Also:

"I'm Dom, by the way."

"Not Dominique?" Neroli asked, curious.

"Never Dominique."

I'm not entirely sure why, but I just liked this line. It felt very much like Dom; short and to-the-point, leaving no room for doubt.

Again, I envy your skills at bringing characters into stories. I fully admit that I am easily overwhelmed by large casts of characters, and most next-gen fics confuse the hell out of me, as they jump between every character the author can think of. You've done far better than that in this story so far, bringing characters in slowly enough that we can get to know them, and meanwhile introducing us to peripheral characters in the... periphery.

That said, I do have a few criticisms and suggestions. The first of which regards your POV. I can tell that you're still developing the 'voice' of the story, if you get what I mean, and I have a suggestion. In sequences like:

'"Sorry. I didn't mean to get like that." Dom said, calming down quickly. Veela can control the... I'll call it 'veela-ness' that shows. Being part veela, Dom couldnít charm someone to their death, but emotions had the ability to turn her veela-ness onto full throttle. She smiled weakly. "I'm Dom, by the way."'

From 'Veela...' to '...full-throttle.' feels like it doesn't quite fit with the story. However, as this is supposed to be the narrator speaking, perhaps you could make this more clear, and separate this from the rest of your words, and word it in a less-neutral tone. Something like:

"Sorry. I didn't mean to get like that," Dom said, calming down quickly.

(pretend this paragraph is italicized, mmmkay? ;D)
You see, Veela can control their... 'Veela-ness', for lack of a better term. Part-Veela as she was, Dom had a weaker charm than a full Veela, but strong emotions always drew it to the surface at full-throttle.

"I'm Dom, by the way," she continued.'

I changed the wording just to give the narrator a bit more voice - remember, the narrator is a character who can be developed by displaying her views of others. I do, however, think that those litte 'explanation sections' ought to be separated somehow (a separate paragraph and italics was just my first thought).

Feel free to disregard all of this, of course, as it's only a suggestion. I think that your developing POV is really the main thing making your story 'good' rather than 'awesome', but I also think you'll get the hang of it with a bit more experimenting. Oh - and 'good' is still head and shoulders above 90% of everything else in the fandom, so please don't take offense at that.

In all honesty, Dropkick is the main reason I visit HPFF lately; there are so few action/adventure stories being written today. It seems almost every story is a romantically comedic high school love story set in Hogwarts, and honestly I don't enjoy those stories at all. Plus, I go to high school every day and I sure as hell don't want to come home and read stories about high school >.< So I just wanted to say I'm enjoying your story a lot :)

I'm really looking forward to the next chapter. The story seems to be setting up to be awesome real soon :D Can't wait.

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Review #5, by ReubenDropkick: I Think I'm Paranoid

28th March 2011:
So before I review this third chapter, let me say that your corrections in chapter 2 helped immensely (I would've told you sooner, but I'd already reviewed the chapter). I was pleased to see that just about everything I mentioned was addressed, and a bit flattered that my review apparently had such an effect on you. The whole chapter seemed to flow much easier after your edit. Also, Dom is awesome (but I think I mentioned that in my last review :P).

Onward to chapter 3 then!

Most of the time I would caution an author against introducing a large cast of characters. Many can't develop them all equally, and few can show multiple stories at once and tie them together well. However, so far I'm impressed. We've been introduced to two characters in-depth so far, and several others peripherally, and all of them seem interesting and-most importantly-real. Dom is extremely perceptive, yet seems to be something of a loner, and she manipulates people. Neroli has this awesome power to see the future in her dreams, but she hates it and doesn't sleep, and so isn't healthy. Both have what seem to be realistic relationships with other characters. And so you made two believable characters, which puts you ahead of about 80% of the fandom immediately-and I think you're going to be one fo those rare authors who can juggle the separate storylines and combine them together into one big arc.

So, yeah. Awesome.

The stuff about Neroli's sleeping habits was good. I do wonder if sleeping once a week is realistic-personally, I have issues with sleep myself, and after four days without I'm about dead. But I've never pushed it past that, so...

I really like how Neroli dislikes her power so much. How refreshing! After so many characters with Seer powers who use it all the time and love it, or don't like it but deal with it, it's nice to see a realistic response-somebody trying to run from her abilities (in this case, by not sleeping). This is one of the things that's great about the character-she's got real flaws.

The banter between James and Neroli was nice. Not too much, not too little, and it felt believable. Though I do have a question: Neroli has a foreign name, and doesn't use many contractions-is she Russian, perhaps? (I think Vablatsky is a Russian name, isn't it?)

This sentence:

'And it meant, for Neroli, that every Saturday she got to have a friend.'

^ Seems so sad. I wanted to give her a hug :(

You're really beginning to suck me into the plot. What was in the letter last chapter, specifically? And WHAT IS HAPPENING IN SEVENTEEN HOURS?!


'Neroli glance up at him harshly, her grey eyes burning with a passion that made his Gryffindor courage shake. "Because someone needs to fight what is coming." '

(by the by, your 'glance' should be 'glanced')

But, awesome. So what's coming?

Grammar/conventions errors:

'"Your coffee?" the serving-witch...'
'The' should be capitalized.

'Neroli whispered tearing...'
Should have a comma after 'whispered'

'"The regular, Neroli? He asked,'
Quotation mark after 'Neroli?', lowercase 'he'

^Just a few things I noticed. There are probably a few more, but they're all comparatively minor and don't affect the story's readability (I'm just a bit of a grammar nazi).

So, verdict: chapter 2 edit was great, chapter 3 is awesome, plot is engaging, Neroli is badass. Congrats. Eagerly awaiting chapter 4 :)

Also: I'm shipping Neroli/James. Just sayin' ;D

Author's Response: Thank you SO much for your helpful review. I actually cannot express in words how much your advice meant to me, so just imagine the biggest, cheesiest grin ever and that's me.

And I am glad you like Dom. I hope that the ways in which I develop her character don't make you disappointed. Because I don't really like it when characters DON'T develop. That is like eating the raw ingredients instead of the cake.

I have always had a big focus on characters and how they would interact and their own roles in the plot. So I don't really see it as separate story lines, just different perceptions. Though I will have more story lines gradually introduced. I don't believe in dumping everything in at once.

I do have quite a few characters and sometimes it is hard to juggle them, but I can't cut any of them out. So any advice on that would simply be freaking rocking. Though I do think that what really MAKES a character are their realistic personality ticks. Their flaws, their own way of interpreting information.

I think that the human psyche is very interesting, and how a person's fears can control them beyond what is healthy. So I am really aiming to explore that with Neroli. And in future chapters, also explore WHY Neroli has those fears. I always thought it was rock to be able to see into the future etc, but if you couldn't control that how freaking horrible would that be!?

Neroli is actually an aromatherapy oil from orange blossoms and is used to calm and relax people and remove tension/anxiety, which, incidentally, is why orange blossoms are traditionally used in bridal bouquets and wreaths. It smells lovely and is in a lot of perfumes. I use it in my baths, which is totally where I came up with her character.

And Vablatsky is a Russian name, and in Harry Potter one of the Divination books was written by a Vablatsky, who was a seer.

Realistically, a sleep deprived person is probably not going to attract many friends. Crankyness isn't an admirable quality. And seeing what people are capable of, I know that I would be wary of people.

Hufflepuffs are the most misunderstood house. And unfortunately, in most fanfiction, a character's personality is too dictated by what house they are in. If Hufflepuffs are loyal and just, wouldn't that mean that a vigilante would most likely be in Hufflepuff? Hufflepuffs have such potential but people ignore that. Neroli is a 'Puff.

Hence, if Neroli = Hufflepuff, and Hufflepuff = badasses, then Neroli = Badass.

See, mathematics :-) I *DID* learn something in school.

And I will get to chapter corrections when I finish my university essay. Which, mathematically, = boring x 10^93

You should wear the grammar nazi tag with pride. I usually am one, but I notice stuff better in other people's writing than I do with mine because I remember writing it so my mine glosses over everything.

And maybe there will be a Neroli/James ship, maybe there won't ;-)


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Review #6, by ReubenDropkick: Just My Imagination

6th March 2011:
Alright, so I had some mixed feelings about this chapter. I'll try and sum them up as best as I can, starting with the good:

-Firstly, I like Dominique's character so far. She's interesting, seems to have good depth to her, and is inherently flawed (her manipulative streak is very interesting). Her relationship with Lorcan, though hardly being the focus of this chapter, was extremely well-represented in the few paragraphs allotted to it, and intrigues me.

-The letter was a good, if slightly overused catalyst to kick off the action. Already your characters are going into hiding-clearly you're planning on starting right off with the action and adventure. Already I'm being pulled into the story more fully; I'm just itching to know what the letter said in full, and exactly why they have to hide.

-This really has nothing to do with the chapter, but I thought the actress you picked for Dominique fit the character well, lol. Just how I pictured her.

-Dominique's observant-ness (is that a word? Probably not... oh well) is cool. I liked how she was evaluating the expressions of the teachers as they reacted to the news. I'm actually writing a story centering around Teddy Lupin where he views the world in a manner similar to Dominique's.

-Ha, and I just had to throw this in here: is Dominique on Lorcan's list of things he wants to do, list of things he regretted, or both? :P Had to say it, couldn't help myself...

Right, so now the things I had a bit of trouble with:

-I didn't particularly care for the narration style in this chapter. Through most of the chapter, it felt like we were being told things about the characters rather than shown them; the first four paragraphs, for example. Another problem was that the narration style threw me off-track a bit as I was reading; transitions between places and such weren't always clear, leading to a rather foggy idea of how everything happened until I reread the chapter once or twice, looking specifically for how things happened.

-A suggestion, regarding the narration style and the first four paragraphs in general: remember, we don't necessarily need to know everything about Dominique right away. For example, you could have not told us that she was manipulative, and we would have seen it when she manipulated Lucy later on.

-I didn't care for this line:

'Her powers of manipulation she believes are best used against people who are against her. She has a strong sense of justice.'

To begin with, the first sentence sounds a tad awkward and should probably be structured 'She believes her powers...' Also, the tense sounds a bit wonky, and I'm really not sure the proper way to set that up...

But I'm not really concerned about that right now. The problem I have with this line is it kind of dismisses her big flaw, making it so Dominique doesn't really seem to have any flaws. So I'd suggest getting rid of these two sentences.

I thought chapter 2 was good overall. It gave me a good introduction to the plot and Dominique. It also gave me a glimpse of Dominique's relationship with Lorcan (which, as I said earlier, I thought was very well done, with a lot said with few words) and showed me how she interacted with the world in general. At the end of the chapter, I was definitely left wondering what would happen next. I did have a few issues with it, but they can be fixed. Hopefully this obscenely long review didn't come across as too harsh at some points...

Oh, by the way, glad to hear you found a beta :) It's rather funny-I was going to volunteer when I read your response to my review, but I went on the forums and Peaches had already offered about five minutes before I was going to, lol.

Author's Response: Wow long review!!! Haha. So I'll start from the top.

Firstly, I hope I didn't dissapoint you with this chapter! So I'll definitely take what you have said on board.

-I am working really hard on Dom's character since she is the first character I am introducing. I want to bring out other flaws as her character developes.

-I think one of the reasons letters are overused is because that is the main form of communication in the wizarding world. I wanted to have something that would get the ball rolling because no one wants a few chapters of nothing, but the action will develop slower in the latter chapters.

-Melanie Laurent. Fell inlove with her in the Inglorious Bastards.

-I always thought it would be great to be able to read people. I know all the theory behind it, but can NEVER read someone. Seriously. I am the single WORST judge of character. SO I wanted to put all that theory into practice.

-Haha I never thought of that. She is definitely on *both* lists ;-)

-I am trying something new with the narration where I have an actual narration. Never done it before. So I will definitely look over the things you pointed out. It is like a new language for me; I prefer writing in first person, but after many hours of contemplation, I figured there would be too much jumping around later on in the story where I have many more characters.

-I will certainly omit/rethink some of that. Thank you! :-)

-I think that line came out wrong. Obviously. The tone I was trying with there was that Dom is a bit selfrighteous in that she holds the delusion that she has control over herself to the extent that she doesn't always manipulate.

Your review was certainly not harsh. I love feedback. I am definitely not one of those people who ask for it and then go have a cry when they get it. Haha. I want this story to be the best I can make it. But the timing with the beta thing!? Wow. Haha. At least you get to read the story AFTER the worst of it has been edited :p

Thank you again for your review!!! Made me smile :-D


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Review #7, by ReubenDon't Choke: Don't Choke

21st February 2011:
'First ever attempt at a Dark/Horror. Written for bamboomeiís Comfort Zone: D E N I E D challenge.'


That was your first attempt at a Dark/Horror?


I am impressed. This story was excellent. Very evocative, very creepy, very visceral. Minor flaws here and there-mixed up words that a spellcheck would overlook, etc. Overall, very well-written.

I thought that the depth of Hayley and Lucy was well-balanced; we got to see a bit more of Hayley, while still definitely viewing the whole thing with Lucy's slant on things.

I thought the introduction to this piece was excellent, as it gave us some background information on both Scorpius, Lucy, and Hayley, while providing just a bit of information about the Wizarding world at present and how Scorpius and Lucy are viewed. The transition from introduction to action wasn't quite as smooth as it might have been-when I read it, it seemed like one paragraph we were discussing the possibility of Hayley taking him away, and in the next she had killed a shopkeeper to take him. However, reading back on it, it seems a bit clearer-perhaps I was reading too fast (I do that on occasion, lol).

Other minor issues included some tense changes:

'Scorpius who I knew would help me fight against the darkness that now resides inside me.'

...and similar small things.

I also really like the implication that using the Killing Curse wasn't without consequences. Lately it seems like I've been reading a lot of stories where magic like that is thrown about and there never seems to be any effect on the caster. I find it extremely likely that the Unforgivables in general and the Killing Curse in particular would affect someone like this-after all, they must be considered the darkest magic around for some reason other than their effects... if that makes sense.

So I read this after reading chapter one of 'Dropkick' which I found to be excellent, and I discovered that you seem to be a writer of high caliber. I'll look forward to more from you in the future, and particularly more of 'Dropkick' which seems to be very intriguing so far... :)

Author's Response: Thank you for such a lovely review!! It was my first attempt, and I spent hours working on it. My first version was shocking. So embarrassingly shocking. But I did manage eventually... I hope :-)

I appologise for my tenses. Writing in present tense is a challenge for me, and sometimes what I wanted to say came out all wrong. Like

"Scorpius who I knew would help me fight against the darkness that now resides inside me."

Should have been "know"... I'll get to correcting that.

But yes, I majorly annoys me that people don't consider the implications of certain magic. If the Killing Curse was dark enough that Voldemort could use it and accidentally rip apart his soul (in the case of Harry), then I doubt it would be all nice and dandy for other people to use it with no effects. People need to stop having their characters using it like they would use accio.

But yes, thank you SOO much for your reviews :-D I already have heaps written for Dropkick, and have planned it to be part of a trilogy set. Initially my plan had it going on for 40+ chapters, so certainly it is better for me to split it up. I have a beta reader now, so those chapters should come out wayy better and hopefully be up regularly.


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Review #8, by ReubenDropkick: Never Say Never

21st February 2011:
I love this first chapter. Both the history and the more personal section from Victoire (I'm assuming it's Victoire, V.L. standing for Victoire Lupin?)

I do have one thing to mention: simply to match up more with canon, you might consider changing the name of the UMN. In canon, an organization that sounds similar to this was mentioned-the International Confederation of Wizards. Just a thought.

I favorited this, and I'm definitely wanting to read more. Also, this line:

'In normalcy, people are just people. But when that normalcy is lost... people become something more.

Or something less.'

Epicness. Love it.

So yeah, great first chapter, can't wait for the next one :)

Author's Response: Haha yes, Victoire is the Author. Her part in the story shall come into play later on though.

But yes, I decided they needed a United Nations thing because I figured that the concept of wizards being the at the top of the magical world would eventually become out-dated and a more representtive council would come into play. But all of that shall be later elaborated on :-)

But yay, this story's first review!!! And it isn't a negative one, which freaking rocks. I have most of this story written, but am now going to begin the search for a beta reader, so it may take a while before the next chapter... maybe. I hate waiting to publish things. Haha :-)


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Review #9, by ReubenShaping Up With A Marauder: Much Ado About Nothing

29th December 2010:
How do you come up with this stuff? Really, how? I fail so hard at writing humor-every time, it comes out forced, idiotic, or an utter waste of time. Share your secret, Tinny! D:

Assuming that there is no 'secret' to it and it's just natural talent, then... you must have boatloads of it :D I laughed so hard at the various theories for Quin's sudden weight loss.

And James Potter's discussion with her about it? I lol'd, Tin. I lol'd hard. Clanker, indeed.

As I read this chapter, I came across these lines:

'I heard a clearing of throat and I turned around to see my saviour standing there, mighty and resolute, ready to catch me just in case I happened to collapse on the bloody floor.

And that, my friends, was the exact moment I fell in love with Remus Lupin. '

...and went o.o

Then I scrolled down and breathed sigh of relief, because I knew deep down inside that you wouldn't toss something random like that into this fic. Sadly, I've read fics before where the author has done just that >.< Hence my wariness.

Sirius seems rather interested in Quin now, and I find myself wondering where that will go.

Didn't note anything that needed criticism this chapter. I suppose I'd like chapters that were a bit longer, but... I tend to like 10k word chapters or better >.> So I'm just odd. Ignore that.

I would like to make it clearly known that I now expect four shipments of cookies, Tin. Four.


Author's Response: I don't have a secret - I just have a weird sense of humour and I find a lot of things funny, so that can be part of the reason how I pull this off... right? That makes no sense at all. lol And it's not as much as natural talent as the fact that I just enjoy making things hard for myself - humour is not an easy thing to write, I tell you. A lot of times, I have to force it as well and it doesn't usually come out right, so I usually just wait for my muse to get into one of her comedic modes. :P

The theories! Yay! I'm glad you like them. It's been really fun writing them, tbh. I find humour in the most unlikely places - I actually got the ideas for the theories while I was researching for spells and potions and magical devices etc. :P I dunno, I just read like Entrail-Expelling Curse and immediately thought 'this could be good for this and for that'. It was crazy having all those ideas and I didn't actually know what to do with all of them, so I just crammed them all in this chapter. lol

That James Potter scene is actually one of my favourites as well. I enjoy writing James when he's being his usual joker self and it's even funnier when he's actually trying to be serious. Loling hard is great! *happy dance*

Ahh. That line about Remus Lupin... You now what? I actually asked my beta if she thought it was tacky and we agreed that it's not that bad, because Quin's actually just kidding. I intentionally put it there, because I was aware of how overused that line was and I thought I'd make a sort of parody out of it. lol I had some people confusing that line to be a hint for a possible Remus/Quin romance, though, which I found rather odd, because I thought I made it quite clear that it was meant to be a joke. :/ It's weird, though, that you kind of knew I wouldn't throw something like that line randomly - is my style really that transparent already? lol Maybe you just know me better than I thought. *shifty* :P

Sirius being interested in Quin... hmm. No comment. Hahaha. We don't really want to go to spoiler town now, do we? *wink*

Hahaha I kinda know that you like longer chapters... is that weird? lol I'm basing in on the stories you've recommended to me so far. :P I'm kinda limiting my chapters to at most 5k, though, which might change in the near future. lol Let's just leave it at that.

Did I mention you're awesome? Yes, you are! You spoil me so much with all the reviews you left me, I don't even know how to thank you enough. You seem to enjoy the cookies very much, though, so I guess I'll have to give you a one year supply. Haha. But seriously, Sam, thank you for all the lovely comments. *sniffles* I'll see you around, my dear! ^_^

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Review #10, by ReubenShaping Up With A Marauder: High Time

29th December 2010:
Bahaha, I love Quin!



And the Marauders... *shakes his head sorrowfully* foolish young men. I can actually see some of my friends making idiots of themselves exactly the same way, lol.

About Quin's feeling's toward Sirius-'tis good. I don't especially care for Sirius/OC stories where the OC is a fangirl. Not for me, I suppose. And to this:

'Have you experienced that kind of infatuation where you hear a soft, sexy strumming of a guitar whenever the person you like comes around?'

>.> No comment.

'...spawn of Don Juan.'

Very nice rhyming there, my friend ;)

Only problem I might have noted-I'm unsure about this-but is 'ignominy' used correctly? I don't know (I've never used the word before, and only vaguely remember hearing it used sometime).

I can haz cookiez? :D

Author's Response: Oh hi, Sam! :P

You love her! Yay! Thank you for saying that. I like it when people tell me that, because I do intend you guys to like Quin. She's essentially a quiet, keeps-to-herself type of girl, but everyone has their limits and is allowed to lose their temper sometimes. I'm glad you like that line - she kinda pwns the Marauders right there. Haha. It's one of the reasons why this chapter is rather short, btw. I want to end this on Quin's terms using that line and I'm glad it works for you! The boys are rather rude here, I know, but I suppose most guys are at that age. Heehee. I enjoyed making up those nicknames, though, which slightly bothers me a little, because I don't really make it a habit to name people. Oh well. :P

I'm glad you like my decision not to make her a fangirl. I thought about it in the beginning, but it just didn't feel right for her character, you know? He was one of the people who teased her constantly and she couldn't really fancy someone like that, could she? She kinda did, though, when she was younger - I intentionally slip that tidbit in, because my characterization of Sirius was him being this sort of a charismatic, mysterious person (please don't cringe :P). People were naturally drawn to him at first, but Quin's not really dense enough to linger on it - that's my premise for their relationship anyway. lol Leaves room for development.

Bahaha! I'm not sure if that 'no comment' is a good or a bad thing, Sam. I owe that line from watching too much chick flicks - 90's chick flicks, to be exact. Eh, you can tell me you're a manly man and you don't watch those types of movies, but I'm SURE you know one of those scenes where the boy enters the scene for the first time and everything just slows down and there'll be this sort of them song, right? lol I've seen a lot of those, so I guess I just want to pay homage. :P

'Spawn of dawn Juan' was actually an afterthought. Hahaha. It used to be 'slut' but it didn't feel right for me to describe Sirius that way - I mean, it was bad enough already that he was a womanizer, but I dunno, it just didn't feel right for me, so I had to think of an alternative word/phrase to replace it. Glad you like it. Oh and I'm pretty sure 'ignominy' is used correctly. ^_^

Yes, you can haz cookies, my dear friend. You can take all the cookies you want. Cyber cookies are really magical - they never run out.

Gah! Again, thank you very, very much for this review. You're the best! I'll see you in the next chapter! Woohoo! ^_^

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Review #11, by ReubenShaping Up With A Marauder: The Game Is Afoot

29th December 2010:
Hi again! :)

One of the things I liked a lot about this chapter was the realism in the character interactions. I liked how her parents reacted to the 'new' Quin, and I liked how they were with sending her off. Good scene. The one with McGonagall was well-done as well-I can totally see McGonagall being embarrassed at her reaction to Quin's weight loss.

The scene where Sirius mistakes Quin for his girlfriend then doesn't recognize her was quite funny, and I liked the intro to both his character and Lily's. Sirius seems to be currently portrayed as a bit of a player, which is good-he's an easy character to Mary-Sue-ify if an author isn't careful.

I did like the girls; they seemed to fit well together as a group and their interactions were realistic. I especially liked:

'"You're only saying that because you're worried Sirius Black might go for Quin next and not you," Mary said carelessly.'

Isn't there always that one friend who's just a bit too truthful?

Okay, so for criticisms (I'm a terrible reviewer, really, I never seem to find anything to criticize in anything I review :P) Er, a few more minor grammar problems, such as:

'The girl got spunk.'

Could be 'The girl's got spunk' but as this is past-tense, it would really work better as 'The girl had spunk.'

'...Sirius lunged himself in front me.'

Could be '...Sirius lunged in front of me.' Or, alternately, '...Sirius placed himself in front of me.'

So yeah, minor issues, nothing to be too worried about. Good second chapter.

And yes. Yes I would like some cookies. Ship 'em over ;)

And yes. Yes I do want cookies. Ship em over :P

Author's Response: Hello, my dear! ^_^

Oh wow. Thank you for the kind words about the interaction between my characters. Yay! It's one of the things that I'm really trying my best to nail on this fic, because as much as this is a humour story (which obviously means that it requires some slapstick comedy every once in a while :P), I also want to make the interactions natural and plausible. Pretty ambitious, I know, but I really do want to do that. Haha. Real life and simple events can be funny as well. It all depends on how you choose to view them and I want to show that in this story, I guess.

Sirius Black as a player... *snickers* I'm really surprised you're not turned off by that, tbh. A lot of people are and I can't really blame them. FF has made the guy a notorious womanizer for some reason and I guess people are kinda tired of that. I sincerely thank you for not judging this story because of that, though. I know the premise to this is not entirely original, so I can understand any misgivings you might have, but I'm trying my best to make it my own and tell the story my way, you know? So your open-mindedness is very much appreciated. Haha

And that scene outside the portrait was actually the first scene that came to mind during the earlier stages of planning for this story. I'm happy that you enjoyed it. It's always like that, if you noticed, when it comes to my story ideas - they always come in these weird images in my head like clips from a movie. I try my best to translate them on paper, which is kinda weird, because I never really see my writing as the type that's rich on descriptions. lol And now I'm rambling. :P

And yes! Gosh. Don't we all have one of those ridiculously blunt characters in any story? Heehee. I have friends like those in RL, so I know how annoying that can be, but I still love people like that. As a reader, it's enjoyable for me when one of the characters actually says what I think sometimes. Hahaha. Mary's just one of those people who can't ignore the elephant in the room. :P

OMG Criticisms! Yes! I can see what you mean. Those sentences did sound kind of off, didn't it? I'll surely fix that on my next edit. Thank you for that! And shush - you're a good reviewer! You have no idea how your reviews really made my day. ^_^

Aha! I just sent that truckload of cookies for you this morning, so expect a knock on your door soon! lol Looks like my bribing for reviews really works. :P

Thank you for this lovely review, Sam. I'll see you in chapter three! ^_^

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Review #12, by ReubenShaping Up With A Marauder: A Sea Change

29th December 2010:
So like I told you earlier today, I had some thoughts on your Sirius/OC story, so here I am to share them :)

Firstly, kudos for originality. 'Butteroinks' made me laugh (and caused my parents to give me very odd looks, as I was reading your story while watching the sad part of a movie >.

Author's Response: Awwe. I'm sorry you got cut, Sam. :S

When you told me you have thoughts about my story, I was half-assuming that you'd put them all on the fourth chapter, but woah! You actually reviewed all of them! :DDD Thank you! I say this all the time, but you're spoiling me! Haha. Not that I'm complaining, of course. *wink*

Thank your for saying that this is original! One of the best compliment an author can get, eh? Thank you. *tackles* Butteroinks... that word has a lot of following. lol I have a trivia for you! Least I could do, since you're so nice to me. Do you know that the thyroid glands resemble a butterfly? Yep, you guessed it - that's where I got the idea for that word. I just added the 'oink' as a hint that it was sort of responsible for her weight problems. Heehee. Sorry, but that part about your parents giving you odd looks made me laugh. :P

I'll see you in chapter two! Again, I'm sorry your review got cut, but thank you very much. ^_^

PS. You have to tell me what the rest of this review says, because I'm dying to know. :P

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Review #13, by ReubenMagical Thinking: Midnight

28th December 2010:
Hey Tinny!

First off-this was really well written. Exceptional. I love how you were really able to capture the thought processes of a five-year-old, that magical suspension of disbelief which makes everything possible at that age. So I'll give those cookies I got for reviewing right back to you, for an amazing one-shot! :D

Technically, I saw nothing wrong with the story. Well-written, with good grammar, spelling, and flow. The story continued at a constant rate, and didn't speed up or slow down at any point, which is good.

On to the actual storyline: sad, moving, with a hint of hope at the end. Beautiful. The whole thing felt like it really came from the heart. I also love how you showed the reason Poppy Pomfrey became a Healer-so believable. The bit showing how her father's condition declined was so sad! Slowly moving diseases are some of the cruelest of all.

A well-deserved 10/10 for you, my friend. I believe you said this won one of the challenges you wrote it for, yes? I'm surprised-I would have thought you'd have won both :)

Sorry for the gushing review. I really tried to look for things to criticize, I did! But alas, I didn't find them :P

Author's Response: *is blushing like a tomato*

I must admit, I was rather surprised when I first saw this review; after reading it, I was simply speechless. Thank you, thank you for taking time to leave me this lovely comment, Sam. I really appreciated it. You were actually the first person to give me cookies back, which was awesome, and very nice of you, btw. lol

The image on my mind that actually inspired me to write this story was that of a little girl perched on a bed looking at a man. I just had to figure out what age I'd put the girl in and decided that since preschoolers were more adept with magical thinking than any other age group, might as well make her one. The whole concept of magical thinking just fascinates me, tbh. In adults, of course, I find it silly; in children, exactly the opposite. They see the world in a different, arguably better light, and that's what makes it so much more appealing. Reality can be exhausting sometimes. Thank you for saying that I 'captured the thought processes of a five-year-old' - I think I also have my Pediatrics notes to thank for that. Haha

Hooray for the story being well-written! Woo! :P I'd be honest with you and tell you that I was a little worried of the flow of this story. There was a lot of flashbacks and I didn't really like the idea of italicizing huge chunks of paragraphs - it looked odd, in my opinion :P - so I just polished the transition a bit, which obviously worked for you, so yay!

Gosh. You really made me blush and grin like crazy with all your compliments, Sam. Thank you for saying that this was believable. As I said, the challenge was for me to relate why Poppy wanted to become a Healer (which she eventually did, of course), and I thought I'd put in something personal and memorable and strong enough to make her carry that aspiration as she got older, because let's face it, what we wanted to be when we were five was not always what we wanted to be when we got older, right? And yes, there's nothing really more draining than watching someone you love wither because of a disease. :S I didn't want this to be a sad, depressing story, though, so I was glad that you found this hopeful - exactly what I intended. ^_^

Wowowow. 10/10 was just... thank you! Heehee. Challenges are fun, especially when you win it and I totally respect the decisions of the challengers, but thank you for thinking that this was good enough to win both. You're very kind. :P

And gah! Don't be sorry, sweetheart. This review really made me happy and gushing or not, I didn't really mind. lol Thank you very much for this review. See you around! ^_^

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Review #14, by ReubenAlbus. S Potter: Not quite as Deja vu as you would think

19th December 2010:
Wow, a very different take on Albus' perspective in the Epilogue-I don't think I'd ever have thought he was actually worried about getting into Gryffindor. I'm wondering if there's something more to his dislike of James than just James' teasing and such. guess we'll see, yes?

I liked Albus, he seemed very in-character, if extremely different than I expected him to be (not that there's anything wrong with that!). I noticed a few minor grammar issues which weren't serious:

'looked aback' ought to be 'looked taken aback'

'said Scorpius, blankly' ought to be 'said Scorpius blankly'

...but as I said, nothing major. Cool start to your story, can't wait to read more :)

Author's Response: Thank you so much for reviewing my chapter. I'm glad you liked it. =)

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Review #15, by ReubenA Darker Dream: A Rescue

7th October 2010:
Hmm, I like it so far. Believable, intriguing, makes me want more :) Update soon please!

Author's Response: Thank you for the review! I hope to have A Darker Dream updated next month after NaNoWriMo has finished.

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Review #16, by ReubenBlink: Annie

7th October 2010:

Amazingly, hauntingly, grippingly horrifying.

My hat goes off to you. I wish I could write this exceptionally. I really don't know what else to say. Wow.

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Review #17, by ReubenHazard: Finally

1st October 2010:
I loved this chapter! The interaction between Rose and Jace was great, I thought their argument was very realistic. Also, it seems they've gotten some things out in the open now, which is good.

On another note, Rose has now conquered her darkness it seems. I wonder how they'll escape?

Glad to see another chapter up, keep 'em coming! :D

Author's Response: Oooh...I don't know how they'll escape...haha I actually to, but YOU don't! Lol, more coming soon, I promise!


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Review #18, by ReubenHarry Potter and the Rise To Power: Chapter 04

1st October 2010:
Good job so far, I really like your story. It seems a very believable alternative to Harry's fifth year so far. I'm guessing Kane is the DADA teacher? Seems like he'll be good at it if he is. Anyway, great story so far, can't wait for the next chapter :)

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Review #19, by ReubenWar Games: 2

24th September 2010:
Hmm, an interesting start to a story. When I read the first chapter, I was surprised at how believable it really was that Dumbledore would be willing to allow these 'War Games'. I thought that scene was well thought-out, and honestly much better than I was expecting (the fact that you didn't once mention some irrational attraction toward Malfoy on Hermione's behalf may have something to do with it, lol).

I was a bit surprised that Hermione didn't tell Ron or Harry about the new class, but assumed it was most likely because she hadn't really come to terms with it herself yet. I will admit, Ron as Head Boy is... different ;P But different isn't necessarily bad, lol.

Now I'm fairly intrigued about the 'heartbeat' of the castle, and why Malfoy knows about it as well. I'm also wondering why he's hanging around her so much (perhaps he thinks he can try for some sort of atonement, if he believes he was wrong as he said?).

Probably the part I'm most interested in is this new class. What will they be learning here? Will they have to learn to kill and use magic that is Dark? Seems like it will be interesting any way that it's done, so I'll have to wait and see what you've got planned...

Now; as for criticisms and suggestions:

-Malfoy suddenly hanging out around Hermione. Please tell me there is a better reason for this than 'he thinks she's hot'. Judging by the story so far, I doubt that's the reason, but... after reading enough cliches, you get a little wary. On the other hand, remember that as long as there is a good reason for it, there isn't anything wrong with putting it in...

-Malfoy and Hermione getting together unrealistically fast. Another thing I doubt you will do, but I've been disappointed by other fics before and hope this doesn't happen here, lol. Just something I've noticed: if the ship takes place parallel to the story or in the background, it seems to almost always be more believable than if it's completely in the spotlight. Dunno if that helps, but.

-This is more like my personal preference, but I tend to like chapters a bit longer (dunno about other readers). Just tossing that out there :)

Wow... this is an obscenely long review. Sorry for writing a novel here, if you read it all you are officially awesome ;)

Author's Response: First off, thank you.
Thank you for being honest, and for giving my poor little fic a chance.
thank you for giving me such excellent advice.
And thank you for not fluffing it up with poofy complements.
Complements are good, but they can be excessive.
Okay, now, in response.
I've been reading Dramiones for a long time now, and I'm trying to go for original. That being said, some of the old cliches will likely be utilized, though hopefully in new ways.
The story is set in an alternate 7th year, as you can probably tell. There will be references to the other books, though most of the 6th is likely to be disregarded (Dumbledore dying and all).
As for Malfoy, he's curious.
He's new to the good guy thing, and he's curious about his new playmates.
This sucker is likely to get pretty, maybe not Dark, but charcoal. Yeah this thing's gonna get pretty charcoal before all is said and done ;)
And that's all I can say.
Thank you again for an awsome review, I hope I can do it justice.

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Review #20, by ReubenHarry Potter and the Other Path: Harry Potter and the Three Mysteries: Chapter 3: Death(2)

14th September 2010:
In short: what an epic tale! I love this story! It's really well-written, and I especially love Harry's character. Also, I feel smart now, because I predicted that he and the Pythea would end up together way back at the Yule Ball ^_^ Can't wait to read the sequel, if it's half as good as this I'll be delighted! :D

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Review #21, by ReubenAt Peace.: New Dawn

4th September 2010:
Hey! This looks like a solid starting point :) I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's something I really like about your prose. It seems wonderfully descriptive while not being long winded, and really makes me feel like I'm there.

Now, as for critiques: this chapter's biggest issue was run-on sentences. A few well placed periods can break things up and make them sound a lot more natural:

"He had no doubts, no fear, no worries an no unanswered questions. Just the grief for his lost companions, he felt guilty, but knew they didn't die in vain."

Could be changed to:

"He had no doubts, no fear, no worries, and no unanswered questions. All that was left was grief for his lost companions. He felt guilty, but knew they didn't die in vain."

So my suggestion would be to get a beta-reader to help with things such as that. I think this is an excellent start, keep going!

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Review #22, by ReubenHarry Potter and the Remnants of the Soul: Minerva's Two Cents

2nd September 2010:
Wow. Your story is really, really good. The descriptions of everything so far-battles, deaths, emotions- are flawless, and make the reader really see the scene occurring. You really like to make Harry suffer, though! Ouch... I don't think I've read many fics where he loses so many people close to him in the final battle, and normally I don't care for that. But the way you wrote it was exceptional.

Also: you get extra points because you like great stories :P Greengecko is also one of my favorite authors on here, as well as a few others you mentioned. I noticed the Resonance references in there and thought they were cool :)

Are we looking at possibly Harry/Susan Bones? Not really sure yet, it is a bit early to tell... but you did say Susan would be important, and now McGonagall is telling him to find love...

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Review #23, by ReubenHarry Potter and the Trial of Darkness: And so ends Another Year

1st September 2010:
Wow... just wow :) I really enjoyed your story. Your views on the Dark Arts are very similar to my own. An entertaining read!

I didn't have too many problems with the story. The few times when it seemed the characters were getting too powerful, you stepped it down nicely, rebalancing things. The only thing I didn't like so much was Katie's abrupt character shift. I think that could have been foreshadowed a bit better, because one minute she seems normal, and nice, then we don't see her for a bunch of chapters, then she's Dark. Also, I was hoping for her over Ginny, just because Ginny tends to annoy me... but meh. It's your story, and you did a very good job with it, so I'm not going to argue with your plot points :)

So I'm off to read your sequel... I don't have any idea if it's done already, or abandoned, or what, but here's my take on it: I like the idea of Harry coming out at the end not necessarily completely fallen, but much more hard-hearted and callous than before, because I feel his experiences would scar him. But... if you were going to do that... I would probably suggest that he push away everyone he cares about and have a third story, wherein they save him, by drawing the old Harry back :p I might need to write something like that now ;)

Wow, this turned out to be a pretty long review, lol. Good story, gonna go read the sequel now.

Author's Response: The Katie issue is one I tried to explain in the sequel. Its not so much that she just jumped to being dark, but more that Harry notices things he never noticed before a lot easier.

It was also quick because I kind of figure thats how it would seem to a person who purely felt against what they had to do. Harry saw it instantly when she started talking about how far behind she him and the others she was. They never talked about that before in the entire story. Her only hint at feeling behind was the newt scores.

I've already gotten to the third story, though I lost it for a long time. I'm glad you like the story, and I hope you liked the others too.

Wow, this turned a long response too... I'll stop here.

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Review #24, by ReubenSecretive: Known

27th August 2010:
Hi! So, I've been meaning to read and review this ever since I saw your post in the forum, because the idea of Voldy having a daughter is one of my favorites :) So far I'm enjoying your story a lot.

I have got one thing to point out-when you do a segment from Garrett's POV, I'm assuming his father's death messed him up and that's why he thinks as he does. I'd suggest that you're careful and make sure he still sounds like an eleven year old... if that makes sense?

Hmmm... who is Sammy's mother... I would say Bellatrix, but that seems too obvious. Let's see, now... Sammy would have been conceived in the year of DH, yeah? I'll have to think about this more ^_^

Author's Response: Yay!! Thank you:)

I'll keep your advice in mind. Garrett really became more than I planned him to be, so thank you SO MUCH for the advice!!!

Thank you so much (again) for the review!!! --L

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Review #25, by ReubenDemented: All Silent in the Broom Closet

27th August 2010:
No... cliffie! Wow... Sirius is being quite an idiot right now, lol. Funny how people have trouble seeing their own hypocrisy sometimes. Hopefully this incident will alter his perceptions a bit...

Yes, I did watch Between the Lions, lol! I vaguely remember Cliff Hanger... Also, I promise not to hate you... if your next chapter comes soon ;)

And, I know about your reviews, because I was your 200th! Which makes me awesome, right? ;P Happy Birthday, by the way!

Author's Response: From my experience, people are more hypocritical than they think!

What with being my 200th reviewer and knowing Between the Lions, I think you are pretty awesome! But I think all my reviewers are awesome as well...can't have any favorites :D


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