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Reading Reviews From Member: MargaretLane
  
1,024 Reviews Found

Review #1, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Sway of Felicis: Careers

14th September 2017:
I like the sound of this chapter. Always interesting to get a hint about characters' futures. I was actually sort of disappointed that the epilogue to Harry Potter told us nothing about the Trio's careers and future lives, except that they married the obvious person and had kids.

Oooh, that makes sense; that they could fake the results. And since I assume Amanda will be applying for something like "politics" or "international relations" (not quite sure of the degrees in the UK but I am sure they'd have something along those lines), she would have the background, from her uncle and all. And working on a comparison with the O.W.L. and N.E.W.T. grades is fair. There are actually official comparisons between the Leaving Cert. here and the A-levels and the N.E.W.T.S. would probably be easier to match up, as they do closer to the same number of subjects.

I always sort of thought 11 was extremely young to close off so many career opportunities.

I might have said this before, but I love the variety of careers your characters show an interest in. In a lot of stories, it seems like pretty much everybody becomes an Auror, a Healer or a professional Quidditch player, with maybe one person going into a Ministry Department or becoming a teacher at Hogwarts. It's good to see more variety, especially careers that either don't appear in canon or aren't developed.

Aw. I love the way Albus makes an excuse to walk with Matt so it doesn't seem like he's just being nice.

And yeah, I can see why Weasley's might not be the best choice for Matt.

I'd actually been expecting Matt to feel better after the meeting - I'd thought Neville might have reassured him in some way - until I got to the point where Matt wasn't in the Marauder's Den or his dormitory or common room. That kind of indicated he was hiding, which gave the impression he wasn't too happy.

LOVE the fact that Albus suggests Lily could be an Auror. I don't think I've ever read a story where Lily or Rose became Aurors and even though Lily isn't interested in that career here, it's good to see an acknowledgement that she would be good enough and that it's not a male-only career.

Poor Matt. Even if he DOES find something he can do, he's going to be stuck with what will take him regardless of whether or not it's a job he'll actually enjoy.

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Review #2, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Sway of Felicis: Felix Felicis

6th September 2017:
I'd be inclined to capitalise the subjects.

I probably mentioned this before but as a child, I read a lot of British and American books and as a result thought I'd have free classes in secondary school. *laughs*

That's pretty good - Longbottom meeting students about careers plans once a month. We were MEANT to have a meeting with the career guidance teacher to discuss our college/career choices, but the teacher was out sick or something so it never happened. And it would have been once in the year anyway. I guess Hogwarts is small enough that they can afford the time. Harder when there are over 100 in each year. We did have a career guidance class each week.

And I am intrigued as to what this potion that requires aconite is. I doubt you'd have placed so much emphasis on it if it wasn't important in some way.

I LOVE how you portray the issues related to the International Confederation of Wizards. My big historical hero, de Valera, went on a bit of a rant in the League of Nations back in the 30s (well, a de Valera rant - in other ways, phrased very politely and delivered in a monotone so that it's only afterwards you realise just how scathing he was really being - he was quite like Dumbledore) and criticised just what Matt is complaining about - Italy getting away with invading Ethiopia because it had trade deals with various countries and nobody really cared about Ethiopia. The way powerful countries can exert their will is naturally something that bothers those of us in small, insignificant countries.

And I like the way you show a world beyond Britain.

Hmm, Felix Felicis... And it takes six months to make. I figure that is going to play a significant part in this story, given both its inclusion in the title and the fact that it will take most of the year to make. I can't really see how it CAN be significant though. The title makes it sound like somebody is going to be under its influence and maybe get something they wouldn't otherwise. Matt? I suspect it might be for him that Rose wants to make it.

I've forgotten what Rose wants to do.

I like your inclusion of the application requirements. I don't think I've seen anybody describe the requirements. I guess I always assumed it would be pretty much a job application. I would never have thought of an essay. I know universities in some countries have them as part of their application process though. The Auror application process makes a lot of sense. Mental and physical good health would be kind of important for them.

That's interesting that they have a bit of freedom in seventh year. It's the exact opposite here. There is far more freedom in earlier years with the final year being focused very much on the exam and the questions likely to come up on it.

Hmm, Callahan's comment about all having different morals is interesting.

And I could completely see Malfoy using it before a job interview. Now that I think of it, that potion could be dodgy in the wrong hands. I know it has limited effect. Using it in Half Blood Prince didn't prevent Dumbledore from being killed or make the Death Eaters just walk away. But still. If Washburn or one of your villains had used it or if Lubar or one of the Willinsons had used it when trying to bring Voldemort back, it might not have ended well.

I really like the idea of discussing the ethics of various potions. I can see it both ways with Felix Felicis. Nothing wrong with making yourself lucky but there are so many situations when luck for one person means lack of luck for another. And not just in situations as simple as elections or sports contests. Like luck for a criminal is getting away with your crime or getting a good opportunity to attack somebody or luck for a bully again would be not getting caught. And even when nobody is really in the wrong, luck for one person bidding say for a house or land or a contract means bad luck for those bidding against them.

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Review #3, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Sway of Felicis: Head Girl

28th August 2017:
The last year at school is such a mixture of feelings. Everything depends on the exams so you don't know what is ahead of you. Here, like I said yesterday, college offers only went out last Monday, so people end the school year still not knowing what is ahead of them. Not sure when the N.E.W.T. results come out but they can't have much time either. And while it is great to be finished with school, it also means leaving friends and everything you've gotten used to. Leaving a boarding school must be even more difficult, more like finishing college, as it would have become your home.

I am kind of seeing similarities between the situation here and American politics at the moment.

Love the explanation of all the confusion in wizarding law. I'm looking forward to seeing how things get figured out, if they do.

SO in character for Harry to express his understanding of James wanting to avoid people staring.

*grins at Albus wishing he could apply anonymously* That is one thing I love about our system. We DO apply to college anonymously and it's all done through a central applications office so whether you are the president's kid or the kid from a notorious estate, nobody knows. There are other problems, for example judging people solely by their performance in one set of exams and including subjects that have no bearing on a person's ability to actually do the job, but anonymity is definitely good, especially in a small country. And the wizarding world is even smaller. The odds of somebody knowing each applicant there must be huge.

Yikes, Albus is going to be busy! Preparing for final exams take up enough time without two extra-curriculars, prefect duties and tutoring. We used have about 3-4 hours homework and study each night after about 7 hours of school. Add on an hour or two of sports or other activities and you'd be going around the clock.

Rose seem to be running the prefects well, which is unsurprising given what we know of her personality.

*laughs at Ashtyn not having to do any chores and getting a new broom*

I think Amanda and Kaden would find it hard to get into a Muggle university with no G.C.S.E.s or A-levels or even any record of attending secondary school at all. I know their system isn't as "A-level only" as ours but I still think you'd need them and G.C.S.E.s to stand much chance. It looks as if their application form requires you to fill in your school. And your G.C.S.E. or equivalent results.

Not that either of them seems too enthusiastic about the idea anyway, but I wonder how feasible it would be even if they wanted to. Suppose they could study for the exams as adults. It's a big decision required of 11 year olds. Especially when they have no idea what careers they can even get as wizards.

I like the idea of 17 year olds being allowed into Hogwarts any weekend. It makes sense as they are now adults.

Yikes, Albus does have the most difficult task but it makes sense both that somebody would have to ensure the first years get where they are supposed to and that it would be 7th year prefects doing it. Being the most involved task, it should be those who are most experienced.

*grins* I started some revision before returning to school for my final year. Only had a vague schedule though.

Looks like things are really about to begin now. Looking forward to the next chapter.

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Review #4, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Sway of Felicis: The Test

27th August 2017:
Aw, poor Albus. I don't know if it would make it easier or harder to have a cousin you feel sure will pass taking the test the same day as you. On the one hand, like he says, it means the attention isn't entirely on you but it also means there's an inevitable comparison if she passes and he fails. And the person who passed might feel uncomfortable about celebrating.

But I think Albus will pass anyway. I wouldn't even be surprised if Rose failed. Completely reverse Albus's expectations.

LOVE the part about having to do it without being seen by the fake Muggles.

Oooh, I can see a romance developing between Albus and Emily.

I'll be back for the last chapter. Tomorrow probably. It's late now.

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Review #5, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Sway of Felicis: The Protest

27th August 2017:
Hmmm, the title of this chapter sounds interesting.

I'm really looking forward to seeing how Matt's last year goes.

Oh, I'd forgotten how much I look forward to seeing new teachers. I haven't read any next gens in a while. I do wonder who they will have for Potions.

This seems a bit like the Fudge situation, with people calling for the minister to be sacked. It never really explained WHO chooses or sacks the minister or how he or she is replaced. I know you had an election in...was it year four? Here, the party can vote out their leader and the parliament can vote out a Taoiseach. Generally, the party in power can decide on the Taoiseach, assuming whoever they are in coalition with (as overall majorities are rare) agrees. We had great craic recently with the governing party wanting their leader to go and him continually saying, "oh, I'll go after St. Patrick's day. We have to have somebody to visit the White House," "I'll go when things are more sorted about Brexit" and so on. He did eventually step down; you may have heard of our new Taoiseach. As he is gay, about 37, has an Indian father and comes from a privileged background, he isn't a typical Irish Taoiseach.

Sounds like getting rid of Laurentis is more complicated though.

*grins* The second story in my series has a discussion on making something into a spectacle for werewolf rights, basically. Though it's more unavoidable there as the villains are determined to create a spectacle against werewolf rights. Looking forward to seeing how it plays out here. I love your werewolf lore.

OK, this review is sort of a ramble of vaguely related stuff.

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Review #6, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Sway of Felicis: Owls

27th August 2017:
Wow, I just decided to check and see if by any chance you might have started this and you have! I think this is the first time I've read a series that went the whole way - well, I read one that stopped either after the sixth year or midway through the seventh, which was close enough.

Anyway, the title here is intriguing. The sway of felicis. I immediately assumed somebody under the control of the potion but then I thought it might not be that literal. Hmm.

Of course, Albus's first day at Hogwarts is only days away, which has me thinking I really should get back to my series, but the third year just isn't working for me.

Poor James. I really like the way you don't give any easy solution to his problems.

That's a string of inquiries worthy of Ireland, though generally what happens here is they run on for so long that the people involved are dead or retired by the time they are finished. We had a really corrupt Taoiseach (Prime Minister) in the '80s and he promoted a load of other corrupt people who went on the lead the party afterwards, so... (Let's put it this way, he used a friend's cancer treatment as a way to line his own pockets.)

I ought to read back over some of your series. I thought I remembered what was going on, but I keep coming across things I'd forgotten. It's "oh YEAH," when I do read them but I'm going to run into something that I've completely forgotten.

*grins* The Leaving Cert. results came out a week and a half ago and the college offers came out last Monday, so the papers have been FULL of "people who succeeded without the Leaving Cert." One actually included ABRAHAM LINCOLN, which had me thinking, "um, if you have to include somebody from a different country that doesn't even HAVE the Leaving Cert. and who lived in an era when qualifications were less important, you might just be contradicting your own point." Not that I believe college IS necessary in order to be successful. I just think that was an incredibly bad argument.

Poor James. But I do like the fact that you made him actually get bad grades. It's realistic.

Anyway, great to see Albus back. You know I've loved the series so far.

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Review #7, by MargaretLanePicking Flowers: Picking Flowers

23rd June 2017:
OK, I'm getting around to reading this.

Your Scorpius seems an interesting character. It's clear the Gryffindor/Slytherin divide still exists to some extent and yet he is attending a Gryffindor party.

His motivations don't seem entirely benign though. For one thing, he is dating Lily but still hoping for something to happen with her cousin and he also seems to have little respect for Rose's wishes as he is hoping to take advantage of the fact that she may not be fully compos mentis. Not exactly how one treats somebody they purport to care about.

"I mean, I wasn't going to pass up the chance to see Rose Weasley would be there, presumably drunk." I think this line is missing a "who" or something.

I like the fact that Lily is a Beater. It's not a position I've seen a female character play before.

*laughs* If the N.E.W.T.S. are anything like the Leaving the Lily has NO IDEA. But who does until you face into it? Nope, you really don't notice anything else that year. My sister wasn't speaking to me for who knows how long before I noticed my Leaving Cert. year and I still have no idea why. You just get to a point where you're so exhausted anyway. And obviously the N.E.W.T.S. matter a whole lot more than who your 15 year old cousin is currently dating. The latter probably isn't something that would matter to most 17 year olds (unless the boyfriend or girlfriend was somebody dreadful) anyway.

You've got an extra paragraph break in this sentence: "If the name Malfoy hadn't already made me well known at Hogwarts, I was
now. I was known to every girl at school as 'that boy who just uses his girlfriends to make Weasley jealous'."

And I hope he learns his lesson about his behaviour. He REALLY needs to learn some respect for girls. He owes a whole lot of apologies - to Rose, to Lily and to all the other girls he used to make Rose jealous. He also needs to do a bit of growing up and maybe stop dating until he's mature enough to do it for the right reasons.

"Yes, Lily was a bit different from all my previous girlfriends, but in p end," Think that should be "in the end".

I guess at least he apologised and meant it and realised what a horrible person he was.

It is kind of concerning that Rose thinks it's good enough that he would never leave her for somebody else and MIGHT even love her. We haven't heard of one positive trait he has, just that she doesn't think his negative traits will be directed at her. That in itself doesn't make him worth dating.

I do think the ending seemed a little abrupt because we didn't get to see how Scorpius changes into a person she could like, let alone love. At the end, he seems to be beginning to realise his behaviour was wrong, but there is still a long way to go from "meaning it a little bit" when he apologies for taking advantage of her when she is drunk, almost causing a serious rift between her and her cousin, using her cousin and other girls and showing no respect whatsoever for her or Lily or any of the girls at Hogwarts to being somebody she isn't just willing to forgive but would actually fall in love with.

She mentions that he has become the person he was only pretending to be in order to manipulate people in the past, but we don't actually get to see it.

It is realistic that she would feel somewhat wary about their relationship. If he could use other girls without their noticing, for all she knows, he could well be using her too. And it also makes sense that he would still have some of his old habits. People don't change completely and certainly not without working really hard on themselves.

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Review #8, by MargaretLaneThe Fifth House: The Choice

7th May 2017:
*grins* That portrait seems a little like Sir Cadogen, only a more recent version.

I always found it strange that the students at Hogwarts and their families were so matter-of-fact about going to boarding school, especially the Muggleborns,for whom it wouldn't be expected.

Hmm,that means there's STILL a mystery about how they escaped the crash. I assumed it was like Harry ending up on the roof of the school- managing difficult magic at a time of crisis, but it looks like there could be more to it.

I can see a lot of people opening the blue envelope. Magic means closing a lot of doors as well as opening them. Witches and wizards are not qualified for any Muggle careers, have to hide a good deal of their lives from Muggle friends and relatives and take a whole load of new subjects they know nothing about while dropping all those they are comfortable with, including those they enjoy. As this is not a boarding school, the change is not as huge as Hogwarts - they can still see their friends after school, but still, having none of them attending the same school as you is a big deal when you're 11.

I like the names of the schoolbooks.

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Review #9, by MargaretLaneThe Fifth House: Ilvermorny

7th May 2017:
Hmm, so Mr. Puterschimdt is an Animagus. I guess he will teach Transfiguration.

And Willow already appears to have some degree of control over her magic. Interesting.

The idea of having a nom-magical parent to help explain things is a good one. It seems like there are less Muggleborns at this school than at Hogwarts, where there were two amoung the Gryffindors alone. I wonder if there is a reason for that or if it's just a case of it not being the exact same in every group.

I think it's sort of sad that by the age of 8, Willow already had the impression it was bad to be in any way different.

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Review #10, by MargaretLaneHarry Potter and Drudic Magic: A Currach on the Shore

29th December 2016:
Apologies for the delay in reading this. I have had a very busy year and with the forums here closing, I didn't have direct links so easy to overlook things.

Love the mention of the currach.

*grins at their having taken part in a boat race*

Sadly, the Traveller's wife dying young is only too realistic. The life expectancy among the Travelling Community is extremely low - 61 for men and 70 for women.

This sentence sounds a little odd: "James sensed Lily use the magic." Did you mean "James sensed that Lily had used magic"?

There should be a comma after "she isn't a doctor's daughter," and not a full stop as "he replied" is part of the same sentence.

I'm also not sure he would say that at all. While it was usual in the '70s and '80s for members of the Travelling Community to leave school after primary school and he probably WOULDN'T expect his daughter to go on to any kind of secondary school, it was also the law that children had to attend school until the age of 15 and pretty much everybody except the Travelling Community would have done so. Free secondary education had been introduced more than 10 years before this story, so I'm not sure remaining at school beyond the age of 14 (which had been the legal age for a long time before it was raised to 15) would be associated with the wealthy. Especially when the Mercy, Presentation and Christian Brothers orders had been providing education to the sons and daughters of the poor for over 100 years by this point.

The Travelling Community leaving school so early is partly due to discrimination that meant schools probably didn't care to try and ensure their attendance and partly due to cultural differences between the Travelling and settled communities.

I like the fact that Snape tried to warn her.

I imagine Hogwarts would be quite difficult for a girl from the Travelling Community - being completely unable to leave the school for two years and then only leaving on the odd weekend when she is used to being outside almost constantly, continuing her education and being treated in many ways as a child at an age when her culture would say she should be an adult and thinking of marriage, being surrounded by settled people who she would certainly have had negative experiences with. And then all the difficulties of being a Muggleborn at Hogwarts.

The Travelling Community are vastly underrepresented in fiction so good to see them here.

Author's Response: Hi, Margaret. Thank you so much for your advice on the Travelling Community. My imagination about Frank's family, he hated to stay in the same place, 'cause he loves travelling and working when he likes. As I got the image from only the photo of the travelling people, your information is so helpful for me. And thank you for pointing out the comma. :)

I'm happy to know you grinned at the boat race.
While writing this one-shot, I couldn't avoid mentioning Severus Snape. It's hard to write about him for me, I managed to do it and I'm glad you like it. :)

Your challenge was so fun to write. I wish you'll have time to set another story challenge. Your thoughtful prompts and your voice in the community is our treasure!

I decided to set this one-shot as chapter 1 to begin with the new story.

Kenny


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Review #11, by MargaretLaneHermione Granger: White

18th December 2016:
I like the mention of the different paper this time.

Ah! An Australian paper. I created an Irish paper or two in various stories. It makes total sense that something like that would make international news, especially given the links between Britain and Australia.

It strikes me as worrying that her nightmares are getting MORE detailed and terrifying. It indicates things are getting more difficult for her rather than easier.

Absolutely agreed about the part they all played. I find it quite irritating the way Irish history focuses on the military battle of the War of Independence and a BIT on the parliament. What about all the county councils that swore loyalty to the illegal parliament? The trade unions that hampered British efforts to defeat the rebels? The G.A.A. and writers and teachers who revived Irish culture? What about de Valera's tour of America collecting money and gaining support?

I can see why she would be reluctant to once again interfere with their lives but I am sure it's the right thing to do. It's not even as if she's bringing THEM back to a post-war situation and even if she was, I think they would want the right to decide.

It does make sense that the love of a parent for their child should come through even a memory charm. It is such a special bond.

It really is so much to deal with - the war, being tortured, the deaths of her friends, a year of constant fear and then the difficulty of finding her parents and probably some guilt for having forced the decision upon them. It would be hard to explain to your PARENTS that you had modified their memories and sent them to a foreign country for their own good. I think it would be hard for them too, to realise their daughter had been fighting a war and they hadn't been able to protect her.

I love the way you contrast the calm of the beach with the turmoil Hermione is experiencing. You can feel the story calm down at that point.

Fall is an American term. I really don't think Hermione and her parents would use it. They'd say "autumn". I have never heard the word "fall" used outside American books and TV shows.

And her parents choosing to remain in Australia is one more difficult thing for her to deal with. Maybe they don't need her, but I am quite certain she needs them. She may be technically grown, but 18 going on 19 is still very young. I think most 18/19 year olds still need considerable support from their parents and that is without going through the trauma of a war.

This story is excellent. 10 out of 10.

Wishing you a very happy Christmas.

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Review #12, by MargaretLaneHermione Granger: Ron Needed Her.

18th December 2016:
LOVE the use of the Daily Prophet headlines at the start of each chapter. And I should have mentioned in the last chapter that Ireland is just coming to the end of the centenary year for the 1916 Rising, so anniversaries of battles have resonance for me this year. Though of course a centenary is very different from a one year anniversary, when the pain is still there for so many people.

The list of deaths is so sad. I mean it's hardly surprising in a war but when you see them listed like that.

That part about Hermione feeling weak is so sad. She is not weak. She is anything BUT weak. But I can definitely see how much that would hurt her, perhaps even more than being tortured. Throughout the series, Hermione is really characterised by her need for success, her need to prove herself. Feeling she failed to do so would be really hard for her.

Hermione's thoughts about the loss are something that was discussed this year with relation to 1916. WAS is right to start a rebellion right in the centre of Ireland's largest city? Should the rebels not have been able to guess that numerous civilians would be killed?

I LOVE the way you describe the ongoing effects. Too often it seems like the war is over and things end neatly. I am probably somewhat guilty of this myself.

". No more did Ronís solid, frame hold her through the night. Hermione thought sleeping by the rules of proper society would make her feel more normal and the thrumming undercurrent of her mind racing would be replaced by a hint of normality. But his absence simply left her feeling hollow and restless."
This part is so good I'm not even sure how to compliment it. Her feelings are so REAL.

And again we see her put everybody else first as she goes to see who needs her when she is struggling herself. Poor Hermione.

You describe her feelings so brilliantly.

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Review #13, by MargaretLaneHermione Granger: Prologue: Harry Needed Her

18th December 2016:
I had to check all the reviews on this to see if I had reviewed anonymously or something. I can't believe I haven't read it. I intended to read most of the entries to the After-Effects challenge and I know from "Actions Speak Louder than Words" that you do write trauma well.

I really like the opening paragraphs and how all of Ron's concern is about getting to Hermione.

"His breath let out" sounds a bit awkward. Something like "he let out a breath" might sound better.

I really like your description of how frail she seems, especially the description of her body. It gives us a real understanding of the change in her. In the past Hermione seemed anything but breakable and this must be particularly hard for Ron to deal with because he isn't the sort of person who finds discussing things like this easy. Not that anybody does really, but he seems to find it harder than most.

And the last paragraph of the first section is so sad. Poor Hermione.

It is so in character for Hermione to pass the pain off because after all, there is a war to be won. It did seem in the book like she was consciously pushing it aside. She moved on almost immediately, which can't be healthy. Even the most resilient person in the world would need some time to recover from torture.

And it is totally in character for Bellatrix to exacerbate the curses she uses. And that fits so well with "Actions Speak Louder than Words" too, when the changes to the curse are increased.

Oh, the last part really shows how she is pushing her own feelings aside, a bit like Rose will do later in your story. And this DOES kind of show how Hermione is able to understand so well what Rose is feeling.

It was a coincidence the After Effects and Angst Challenge coming so close together, wasn't it? I entered my story in both too.

And this story has encouraged me to go back to work on a short story I was writing about Hermione.

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Review #14, by MargaretLaneAileen O'Heidin and the Sword of Godric Gryffindor: The Hogwarts Express

30th October 2016:
Hmmm, this stuff about her finding a way to teach herself elemental manipulation could get ominous. A 1st year trying to learn complicated magic by themselves is unlikely to end well. She DEFINITELY seems a pretty headstrong character and I bet she'll have a pretty tough time once school starts. She seems way too used to being able to do things her own way. If there are any teachers like Snape, she's in for a really tough time.

Poor Albus. He really DOES have a lot to live up to. His father is a war hero. His aunt and uncle are war heroes. Presumably his aunt is also a high-ranking Ministry official who is rumoured to be a possible future Minister of Magic. His mother is a famous Quidditch player. His dad was the youngest Quidditch player on a Hogwarts team in something like a hundred years. He must feel like whatever he does, he's going to fall short.

"Hazing" is a pretty American term for James to use. I've never heard it outside American college stories.

One of your characters describes something as a "bias statement" when it should be "biased statement."

Also, this is all one sentence: ""What a ridiculously bias statement." A female's voice broke in." So there shouldn't be a full stop in the middle of it. It should be "'What a ridiculously biased statement,' a female's voice broke in."

*grins* Rose really seems like Hermione all over again. I suspect the other kids are going to get rather irritated with her on occasion.

*laughs* Albus doesn't have that many cousins - only 9. That's probably below average as most people have cousins on both sides of the family. Say both parents were one of three and each of the siblings had three kids, that would be six cousins on each side, which would be 12, three more than Albus has. And that's assuming all small to average families. Having no cousins on his father's side sort of makes up for having a biggish family on his mother's. And even that isn't THAT big. Despite the Weasleys' reputation for big families, it seems like all of Ron's generation had small to medium ones. It probably seems like more when they are all attending the same school though.

*laughs at him blaming Slytherin for GRINDLEWALD* Your portrayal of James really seems to fit with how he appears in the epilogue.

Hmm, this part about her father attending Hogwarts but "not being able to" finish makes things even more intriguing. Perhaps his parents pulled him out when Voldemort started to rise.

"Candy" is an American term. I rather doubt Hogwarts students would use it. Albus would ask for "a sweet" or "a bar of chocolate" or "a cake" depending on what he wanted, not "a piece of candy."

Okay, this teacher seems interesting. Even his name sounds like it has some dark meaning.

And it sounds like the Headmaster wasn't even a teacher beforehand. That's interesting. Maybe none of the teachers wanted it. Or maybe this person was promoted over their heads for a reason - the Ministry interfering in Hogwarts again?

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Review #15, by MargaretLaneAileen O'Heidin and the Sword of Godric Gryffindor: Diagon Alley

30th October 2016:
She's a parselmouth? Hmm, I wasn't expecting that. I don't suppose she can have any connection to the Slytherin family, since Voldemort was supposed to be the last heir. Probably just a coincidence. There are probably other families that have the same talent.

Scorpius seems to take after his dad. I always find it interesting how people portray him because I've seen everything from Draco Mark II to Draco's complete opposite. He's an interesting character, having been raised by a father who experienced so much trauma and growing up in a family that has by that point learnt that so many of their ideals were wrong.

"Aye" is more of a Scottish word than an Irish one. I think it might be used in Northern Ireland, not sure, but I have certainly never heard anybody use it.

Hmm, that comment about wanting to be extraordinary sounds somewhat Slytherin, though the strength could fit with Gryffindor.

Yikes, that wand sounds a bit creepy. I wonder what is in store for Aileen.

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Review #16, by MargaretLaneAileen O'Heidin and the Sword of Godric Gryffindor: New Beginning

30th October 2016:
Had to read this between the indication of a next generation mystery and the Irish setting.

If her father has the same accent as her then she wouldn't see him as having an accent. A thick accent would be one that differed greatly from her own like an American accent or something. It's unlikely she'd consider her father's accent thick unless he had a very different accent from her for some reason, like he wasn't Irish and hadn't raised her.

"Oughta" doesn't sound quite right. I get teased about "sounding English" when I use the word "ought" - result of reading too many old fashioned English books growing up. "Should have" would be more usual.

Hmm, I wonder why the father didn't have the opportunity to get an education - political reasons, perhaps. There was a time when going to school in the UK might not have been too popular. Or perhaps he grew up in the era of Voldemort and his parents didn't consider Hogwarts safe. Or maybe it has something to do with the mystery.

I think it's very interesting that she grew up in a carnival and I like the way you've highlighted how difficult it will be for her to conform to the restrictions of school.

Hmm, her parents' names sound kind of American. Not of course that there aren't people in Ireland with British or American names, but it would be less common among her parents' generation than hers and she has a very common name.

The father sounds pretty stern. Of course he's quite right that 11 is too young to make your own decisions about your future, but the way he says it sounds almost threatening.

A dirt road is called a boreen in Ireland.

*laughs at her not liking to be bossed around* She's going to have a rough time at Hogwarts in the beginning, I reckon, considering all its strict rules.

I don't blame her for being horrified at the idea of attending Hogwarts. Living away from your family for months on end at the age of 11, six weeks' summer holidays instead of the three months normal in Ireland. It can't be easy and I like that you addressed that. A lot of authors have the characters as positive about Hogwarts as Harry was despite those characters having much closer relationships with their families and being far more likely to miss them.

I'm looking forward to seeing what house Aileen ends up in - she seems like a Gryffindor so far - and what new teachers Hogwarts will now have.

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Review #17, by MargaretLaneHidden: The Request

17th September 2016:
Hmm, that part about the children not being registered for any magic school is mysterious. I wonder how they managed to remain hidden.

McGonagall is taking quite a risk going to meet him like that. The whole thing COULD be a trap. I don't think it is, but she has no way of knowing if the letter is from who she thinks it is and there are plenty of people with a grudge against her.

I think Ginny is being pretty unfair to Albus. He is not responsible for what James does. And as he pointed out, he probably COULDN'T have done so anyway.

In fact, it sounds as if he hasn't been treated too well in general. I know his family can't help not having anything in common with him, but it doesn't sound as if they've made much effort to share his interests. Something as minor as the house you are placed in at school shouldn't have any affect on your relationship with your parents and Harry and Ginny ought to have made sure Albus knew that.

Of course some people just DO prefer their own company and there's nothing wrong with that but it sounds like there's a little bit more to this.

At least Ginny seems to be concerned about him, but she doesn't seem to be DOING much.

Harry does have a point that the Weasley family for the most part are rather outgoing, sporty, talkative people, so being quiet seems out of place and doesn't necessarily mean there is something wrong.

This story sounds intriguing in a number of ways - what is going on with Albus, how those kids were hidden, who this Sartorius is.

Author's Response: Thanks so much for reading my chapter. I can't say much as I didn't want to ruin anything. But you are on the right track. I am really surprised and grateful that someone is able to pick up on so many things that I am trying to express, as it took a lot of research and hard work to produce this chapter. Keep reading and have a great day.

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Review #18, by MargaretLaneThe Element of Surprise: Chapter 3 - Transformations

25th August 2016:
*laughs at Dumbledore having to be cryptic about everything* That is VERY much in character. His words do seem to imply there's something more to Sophia than he's revealing though, that there is some reason not to tell Harry beyond the fact that it is YET MORE tragedy, beyond "both your parents died in the war and all your grandparents died when your parents were barely out of school and your godfather is in prison for involvement in your father's murder and an evil wizard is determined to kill you."

You're missing an inverted comma at the beginning of McGonagall's explanation as to why Harry wasn't told. The first couple of sentences of that are also a bit awkward. It might sound better to say something like, "after everybody you'd lost, we thought it better not to introduce any more relatives you'd never meet. I'd did once ask Professor Dumbledore if Sophia should be mentioned to you, but..."

Poor Sophia. That is a really horrendeous amount of bad news to take in at once. I'm sure she knew when she was at Hogwarts that they were all in danger, but you don't expect your brother and his wife AND two of his friends to all die young and your parents to die before you turn 25.

All that stuff about erasing her from people's memories is quite mysterious. I'm guessing there was something traumatic about her disappearance and the teachers felt students shouldn't have to deal with that on top of living during a war. So the question is WHAT exactly was so strange about her disappearance?

I like the way you have them discussing whether or not Sophia should go back to Hogwarts. I was guessing she would and was hoping it wouldn't just be taken for granted, as 6th and 7th year aren't even compulsory. The idea that there is something she needs to learn both makes sense and hints at, as Albus says, something they are not being told.

You've written "I think you should so your nephews..." I presume it should be "show your nephews."

I REALLY like the fact that Sophia makes it clear that it's her choice whether or not to return to school. She is legally an adult in the wizarding world, after all.

And I like McGonagall's comment at the end which gives us some insight into Albus's character.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for all the reviews! I'm sorry for my horrible grammar, it has always been a flaw of mine. As well I'm getting the impression that I should proof read more and will try my best in the up coming chapters.

I'm extremely happy that you are enjoying the story and all the details and mystery I'm putting into it. I promise that everything gets explained eventually!!!


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Review #19, by MargaretLaneThe Element of Surprise: Finding Answers While Creating More Questions

25th August 2016:
OK, I'm guess Sophie is the girl in the crystal ball and she seems to be in some kind of trouble. This really DOES raise more questions - how he is seeing her, what kind of trouble she is in...

When Albus says, "I don't know what happened, Dad," "Dad" should have a capital letter, as he is using it as a title and there should also be a comma before it and another after it. Similarly, there should be a comma after James in the next line.

James has a sister? And she's somehow been transported into Albus's era? Poor girl. She's going to get some shock when she hears what eventually happened to her brother. Though I guess she will be glad to know Voldemort was eventually defeated. Her teenage years were probably blighted by him, depending on her exact age.

That part about how she is 17 and turns of age in May is kind of confusing as if she's seventeen, she's already of age. Did you mean "I came of age in May."

Oooh, missing for 46 years. *tries to work it out* Albus is presumably going into either his 6th or 7th year, so it is about 25 years after the final battle. That means she went missing about three years before Harry was born. I assume she was 17 when she went missing, which would make her very close in age to James, possibly a twin. Hmm.

Author's Response: So happy that you're paying attention to the details!

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Review #20, by MargaretLaneThe Element of Surprise: Searching Through the Past

25th August 2016:
I really like the beginning of this story. It sends us right into the action rather than spending ages on background that can usually be incorporated anyway.

And it's quite atmospheric. All he's done is enter an attic, but there's already an indication of something creepy. And the piles of books and old things allow him to find quite a lot.

It should probably be "Blacks'" rather than "Black's" as there is more than one of them.

Hmm, the idea of him being able to boost his grade by doing a project seems a bit out of place. In the books, whether or not a student can take a subject for the N.E.W.T.S. depends on their grade in the O.W.L.S., which appear to be marked externally, so Professor Merriweather would have no say in it. Of course, it is possible they have moved to a continuous assessment system since Harry's day. Ireland was ATTEMPTING that for the Junior Cert. in the last couple of years, so perhaps the wizarding world is doing something similar. Or it is possible Professor Merriweather may allow those with poor O.W.L.S. to carry on with the subject if they do this project, but that still wouldn't really be boosting his grade.

I LOVE the fact that he wants to work in the Department of Intermagical Affairs. So many stories have him becoming an Auror and while there's nothing wrong with that, it's good to see a few other careers apart from Auror, Quidditch player, Healer and Hogwarts teacher.

I also really like the way this mystery seems to be set in train by something historical.

I also like the way you mention some relatively insignificant objects. Some writers just have the character go straight for the object of significance which always seems a bit rushed and unrealistic.

And ooh, this item DOES seem mysterious.

"Uncle's" should have an apostrophe in it.

I wonder who the girl is.

Really good first chapter. There's an amazing level of detail. I'm not a very descriptive author so I'm always impressed when somebody sets the scene so well.

Author's Response: Thank you once again for your multiple reviews, sorry that I am answering them backwards.

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Review #21, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Mystic Ruins: The Attacks

20th August 2016:
Oooh, I love next generation mysteries and this sounds intriguing.

I wonder what part Albus's position as assistant is going to play in this story. You must have included it for a reason. And it's interesting to see how different writers portray the next generation classes.

And I'm now interested to know what house he's in.

Rose is doing History of Magic for her N.E.W.T.S.? She doesn't seem to enjoy it much, so I'm guessing she needs it for whatever career she's choosing?

Oooh, she's quite a different character than she is in a lot of stories. I do like seeing different interpretations of characters.

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Review #22, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Sceptre of Herpo: The Story Begins

1st August 2016:
This story does sound interesting. The title is intriguing as is the comment about the foe being both new and ancient.

And I totally agree that you don't need to include everything revealed in an interview. They change so often anyway. I stick as close as possible but if things don't fit with what I need - or I just hate them - I ignore them.

This is a bit nitpicky and it's one of those things a beta reader will sort out anyway, but you really need some commas and a question mark in this sentence: 'ďUm Lily I need to change and get ready. Could you tell mum Iíll be down in a moment pleaseĒ asked Albus as he grabbed a clean shirt and jeans from his drawer.' You should have a comma after Lily's name and you also need punctuation at the end of what Albus says. In this case it would be a question mark, as it's a question. If it wasn't a question it would be a comma.

There really must be a lot of pressure on Albus and his siblings. Being the children of a national hero can't be easy.

I'm looking forward to meeting James and seeing how you portray him.

Oooh, that comment about getting "you know what" out of the vault in Gringott's is intriguing. Wonder what's going on here.

This is a dramatic opening to the story. A load of Death Eaters escaping! I think Harry's reaction is very realistic too. He really wouldn't want to return to the days of the war that blighted his entire childhood.

Considering the Dementors supported Voldemort in the war, I'm surprised they'd be trusted to guard Azkaban again. I wonder if they did this deliberately in order to aid the escape.

Hmm, I wonder if Herpo the Foul is in some way connected to the ancient evil.

Author's Response: Thanks so much for reading! I am posting on another site as well and actually got that same dementor question/statement.Not all left for Voldemort.some of the older ones stayed for an easy meal.they could either still be those older ones or bred new ones that are still loyal or to lazy to search for its own food :p

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Review #23, by MargaretLaneBraver than Most: Braver than Most

1st August 2016:
That is so sad about so many of the Weasleys suffering from post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety. Not exactly surprising given what they've been through, but sad.

Hmm, I wonder how her father's decision to run for Minister of Magic is going to impact on her life. I'm guessing it will put her under some pressure, especially if the media brings families into it. One thing I've noticed watching the American elections is the amount of talk about the spouses and children of the candidates. I wouldn't even recognise the children of either our Taoiseach (Prime Minister) or President, nor do I know any of the names of the Taoiseach's kids and I THINK I know the name of one of our President's kids. I get the impression this is NOT the norm worldwide though. In fact, it's been argued that one of the reasons Mary Robinson won the presidential election back in 1990 is that this guy from one of the other parties made a dig that she was only acting like she cared about her kids to get votes and the comment was considered so inappropriate that it gained her a lot of support.

The wizarding world doesn't seem to have many scruples about people's private lives though, so might not be the best experience for Lucy if she suffers from anxiety.

LOVE the idea of the elections being held on the anniversary of Voldemort's downfall.

Election counts take DAYS here and people usually know they are winning or losing well before the announcement. This kind of sudden announcement must be even more stressful.

Love the differences in personality between Molly and Lucy. I think you could make a longer story or even a series out of this actually, but I get the impression you've more than enough ideas already.

LOVE that line about Percy running despite knowing it would make Lucy miserable. It's so sad.

I really like the conversation she has with Harry. I can't even imagine what it would be like to deal with that kind of stress on a daily basis.

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Review #24, by MargaretLaneBlank: Blank.

24th May 2016:
Aw, I think it's kind of sad this character didn't contact any of their old schoolmates because they were worried about being asked if they were in a relationship. It sounds as if they feel they'll be judged for that or as if people will think there's something wrong with it. People in the wizarding world do seem to marry fairly young, so I guess that added to her feelings of being different.

I'm glad she eventually came to realise there was nothing wrong with being aromantic asexual. If anything, it has made my life a whole lot easier. No worries about "does he fancy me?" or upsetting break-ups or worries about how your family or friends will get on with your partner. If you want to be in a relationship, it's not something you can entirely control, especially as most people want a relationship with a specific person, but if you want to be single, there's no difficulty getting what you want.

I like the way you mention the girls working hard. I've read quite a few stories where characters seem to spend their whole time partying and still get top grades and while that CAN happen, it's not exactly the most common. It makes far more sense that your characters would top their classes because they work hard as WELL as being bright.

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Review #25, by MargaretLaneHarry Potter and the New Centennials: Harry

1st May 2016:
Yikes, those last lines was somewhat surprising. It was obvious something odd had happened, but I didn't expect that Harry and Hermione would be talking after they had died.

I'm also somewhat intrigued by the jump in Harry's memories. Most seem to be about the war - presumably decades ago at this point - but it then moves to his granddaughter.

It sounds as if there may have been further wars since the one of which we know.

Author's Response: Hi!

Yay, it's a review on my new story! I wasn't able to get the last three scenes up before the deadline, but I'm still working on them very hard. I hope they'll be up by June, but I can't hold my breath. May is a busy month for me.

Yeah, it is strange having a conversation when you're no longer "there" any longer. I hope I didn't write this scene as too confusing. The story sort of evolved beyond what I could handle given my time constraints. Ah, Muse, how you do me wrong!

There might have been a lot of things going on after the Epilogue. This was meant to hint at a greater history without really explaining much before the next chapter. I don't know if that was such a great choice, but there it is.

Pix


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