Reading Reviews From Member: MargaretLane
  
922 Reviews Found

Review #1, by MargaretLaneJigsaw: Piece #11

23rd April 2015:
Gosh, that does sound dramatic.

Poor, poor Roxanne. I'm sure living in an era when so many people she knows have faced war, it must make her feel inadequate being upset at something like this. But it's not a competition and seeing something like that IS upsetting. I like the way you show the cousins reacting differently, because people do.

Your Louis is quite different from mine. Not that Louis plays a large part in my story. Ironically, his joking about being a radio presenter, girls loving his voice and so on is pretty much the way my Louis really thinks. I'm not sure what his career will be, but wireless presenter is one I've considered.

LOVE the detail about Tinworth and the football/soccer match (sorry, had to). And the shop taking both currencies.

This phrase: "I know that, if I visit them, Aunt Fleur and Uncle Bill will be bombarding me" sounds a bit awkward to me. "Aunt Fleur and Uncle Bill will bombard me" might sound better. Might be a dialect thing or something, but it just sounded a bit off to me.

And I think the word "know" might be missing from this sentence: "My parents and aunts and uncles talk about us like they think we don’t the extent to which they discuss our lives."

Miranda and Violet are so nasty. I hope Roxanne can keep her cool. They're obviously just trying to wind her up, but it would be hard not to react.

*cheers for Andy* He seems cool.

Fair play to the Seeker for ending things quickly. I think everybody would have felt uncomfortable, continuing that match indefinitely with a player in danger of dying. It would seem like taking advantage, for one thing.

Ah! NOW I'm seeing a possible connection with the murders. What if the villains are somehow involved with the creation of/supply of illegal potions and the murders are in some way related to that. The two victims might know something. Wasn't one of them involved in marketing or something?

Miranda's logic doesn't even make much sense. If she HADN'T been taken off the Armstrong story, there could be some argument about her not being able to accompany him, as she might be needed if something else broke in that, but surely being taken off it just means she's available. I guess Miranda is trying to imply being taken off the story implies some kind of deficit in her that would make her little use in this situation, but it's still sort of stretching it.

She really seems to have it in for Roxanne. Maybe Roxanne is a better journalist than she realises and Miranda is worried about her likely rise.

OK, this stuff about Jane is really weird and I can't figure out if Aggie knows more than she's saying or not. That emphasis on "friend" and the unexpected grin makes it seem like maybe she does.

My immediate thought is that Daniel and Jane are having an affair, but it doesn't seem to explain all the facts. It would explain Aggie's strange emphasis on "friend," why Daniel spent six months acting like somebody having an affair, why Jane's been avoiding Roxanne and where she is when she's claiming she's working. But it doesn't explain WHY she left her job. I can't really think of an alternative explanation though.

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Review #2, by MargaretLaneThe Story of You: The Story of You

22nd April 2015:
I'm not even sure WHAT to say about the opening paragraph of this story - it's just so perfect, almost poetic. And it is, in my opinion, in character for Albus, to describe things in terms of books. And as for the dreams of riches and glory. It's such a majestic image, yet we know it will be a hollow, even harmful mirage in the end.

Second person is something I'm often wary of, but THIS is exactly how it should be written. It reminds me of one of the few published novels written in the second person I have come across, one where it was handled so deftly, I could almost hear the accent. Here, it's not so much the accent I hear as the thoughtfulness and reminiscence. There is an element of Albus addressing his younger self or something.

I love the way you show how Albus's intelligence isolates him from the rest of his family.

LOVE the part about how part of him knew he had to take care of his siblings and was resigned to the idea that that was far more important than a "gap year," but that another part still resented it. I think Albus's attitude was very understandable. What 18 year old wouldn't feel some resentment at the thought of giving up a glittering future to care for an ungrateful and wayward younger brother and a sister with mental health problems. However much they loved them, it would hardly be natural if they didn't feel some reluctance.

And I love the line about Gellert being "as golden as your summer was supposed to have been." It both captures his infatuation with the other boy and also shows how Gellert becomes a substitute or replacement for everything he feels he's lost - his old schoolfriends, the trip abroad, the challenge of academia, the planned future.

I really love the way you introduce the issue of the Deathly Hallows. It would be a difficult subject for either of them to raise, as it isn't something a teen would necessarily admit to believing in to somebody they were trying to impress, but the way it happens here REALLY makes sense, Gellert seeing the sign and thinking Albus already has a belief in it.

The imagery of the hurricane is really interesting, as it would usually be a negative, frightening, threatening one, yet Albus uses it as a positive one. But it's more usual interpretation lurks in the background, reminding us of the turbulence Gellert will bring into Albus's life and how he will not only blow down the walls of his prison, but also so much of what he cares for.

It's actually an interesting question - what would have happened if Albus and Gellert had carried out their original plans? Of course, it could never have happened, since Albus would have been hard put to leave home and go on that journey and I think if he did, the gradual revelation of Gellert's true character would have forced them apart anyway. But if they did: would Albus have been able to rein in Gellert's excesses, creating perhaps a rather less vicious regime. Of course, forced government is never good, but there ARE degrees. Or would Gellert (or even the conviction he was doing what was right and the end justified the means) have corrupted him completely and created an even more powerful regime. I find it hard to imagine Albus countenancing things like Grindelwald's infamous prison. Perhaps even, Gellert could have been defeated sooner, if a breach between them caused a fight in which Albus defeated him.

I like the way you connect Albus's view of the romance with the books he read. There's a feeling that none of this is reality, which of course, it wasn't.

And you've actually made me appreciate the romance, which isn't easy, but then again, you once made me feel some sympathy for Crouch's predicament and after THAT, anything is a possibility.

I LOVE the way he cannot entirely cast Gellert Grindelwald as the villain, because even after everything he later did, he still remembers his more endearing characteristics. And of course, the end of his life indicates that he wasn't a complete villain. It doesn't justify anything he did, but it does add some complexity to his character.

And I love the part about him only being "the fool, the half-wit." Again, it is almost poetic.

One thing that seemed a little off to me. In the late 19th century, I think it would be difficult to find books about men who loved men.

And I LOVE the part about him stealing the pen from life.

This is a fantastic story. 10 out of 10.

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Review #3, by MargaretLaneCold Blood: Code Red

21st April 2015:
Yikes, I wonder what has happened to Harry. This IS mysterious. I really hadn't expected it to end with something like that.

I like the way Harry is more concerned about Harry than Hermione, because he knows Hermione'll take care of herself, but firstly, Harry might not - barreling into danger is sort of his thing - and secondly, they don't know if he's in a position to do so. If he has been murdered (which I doubt) or kidnapped or injured, which is more likely, he might not be able to do much about it.

Hmm, I wonder if the character speaking in the "you" part is Marietta or somebody else. Perhaps there is somebody else in this conspiracy, something going on.

The reference to Dumbledore makes it seem like it's somebody older, somebody who had a part in the war.

*grins* I was WONDERING if Hermione was pregnant when she mentioned feeling queasy.

That is a really intriguing ending. Looking forward to the sequel.

Thanks for the mention in the end note.

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Review #4, by MargaretLaneCold Blood: Clearing Up

21st April 2015:
Apologies for the delay in getting to this. I can't remember why I didn't read it when it first went up - was probably busy with one thing or another and then it kind of got lost among my "must read" list. Anyway, I'm getting to it now.

Oh, gosh, EMBARRASSING, Ron showing up at that moment.

Hmm, I wonder is there any more to that push. You've drawn a lot of attention to it which makes me wonder if it's as minor an issue as it seems. I mean, of course, it was serious enough at the time, but I've a feeling something more might come of it.

And that part about Harry's mind becoming blank and him punching the wall is a little ominous. I understand that he wants to protect his wife, but it IS over the top.

Love the linking of a divorce scandal with a pureblood going against tradition by dating a Muggleborn scandal. It makes sense the wizarding world would find the combination scandalous, especially as, while the wizarding world seems liberal in some ways, things like divorce and unmarried pregnancy seem uncommon, indicating they may be frowned upon.

Harry seems like he's heading for some kind of breakdown. I'm surprised Ron is more worried about him than Hermione. She's normally more perspective than he is.

I wonder what Hermione feels isn't right - whether it's something to do with Harry, something to do with the case or both. There could be a connection, though I can't see what.

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Review #5, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Pureblood's Secret: Quidditch Protocols

21st April 2015:
I'm glad Meg seems happy. She's had a pretty upsetting time too and it's good it hasn't affected her too badly.

The sentence "the awkward went both ways" might sound better if you said "the awkwardness".

I can definitely see why Albus is worried about James. I would never have imagined him reacting to something like this that way. Mind you, I never imagined something like this happening to him at all. But his behaviour does seem out of character. For somebody like Rose or Amanda or even Matt, time alone might be what they needed after a crisis or a major change to their life, but James doesn't seem like the sort of person who'd feel better alone and he definitely doesn't seem the type to enjoy being in the library. It SEEMS to be just because it's quiet.

Though, of course, he could be thinking about his future. I think it's not necessarily a bad thing he hasn't made any decisions about that yet. After all, he's only recently realised he'll have to rethink his whole future. That isn't something you do overnight.

Yeah, I think Harry and Ginny are likely to be understanding of the risks involved in Quidditch. I totally understand the demand for an inquiry though.

Aw, that concept of Kiddie Quidditch is absolutely adorable. I LOVE IT.

Oh, you've written "none of us wold be prepared for being recruited by a team," leaving out the "u" in "would."

I wonder would some of these parents worrying about the dangers of Quidditch react negatively to the idea of their child attending school with a werewolf too, if they found out about Matt. It's kind of understandable he's so anxious when you think that people probably WOULD react quite negatively.

And all this talk of changing Quidditch rules and opposition to Kiddie Quidditch reminds me of when our P.E. teacher wouldn't let us play soccer, because she apparently considered it just a well, less robust version of (Gaelic) football.

Hmm, I suspect Hermione would be rather attuned to the idea of students eavesdropping considering what she and her friends got up to in their schooldays. John and Albus would want to be careful if they don't want to be caught.

In this case, I think the age of the board might go in favour of what the students want. People who've seen things done this way for 50-100 years are less likely to see any need for change than a younger person with children who'd be attending Hogwarts in a few years might be.

OH! Now I'm intrigued. This actually kind of sounds like the ending of a story, like the mystery is about to be solved, but as it's still only March, I doubt that is the case. Although of course, you'd probably have plenty to get you through the final term between James's injury and his N.E.W.T.S. and the Quidditch and everything.

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Review #6, by MargaretLanePast Tense: third.

18th April 2015:
*laughs* This is a little coincidental, as I am planning to have a Muggle character teach Muggle Studies in my characters' third year, which I'll be starting soon.

Poor Connor. It's really disappointing when you don't get into the course you'd hoped for.

I'm glad you addressed the question of how he is going to be able to see Hogwarts and the way she can see it, but he can't. Yeah, this sounds a bit obvious, but some stories gloss over stuff like that or it just feels like the author's forgotten about it. I'm saying this badly, but I guess what I mean is that the conversation between them feels realistic and I am interested to see how they will get around it. I'm still debating if my Muggle Studies class should take place outside the castle like Hagrid's classes.

As a history teacher, I'm inclined to agree with Steph on a lot of things. Except one - the comment about their being no sources or bibliography at the back of the textbook. I don't think I've ever SEEN a secondary school textbook with sources at the back. Maybe it's different in the UK, but that's sort of one of the way secondary school texts differ from university ones.

I could go on a rant about Binns' teaching and his dismissal of mythology and legends. THESE CAN BE IMPORTANT HISTORICAL SOURCES.

*laughs* I REALLY, REALLY love the part about her thrill at seeing a room with her name on it, because when I was a college student doing work experience in an after school programme, I was at one point given a room to take some of the young people in for homework (before that I'd been helping the qualified staff) and spent the whole time thinking about "my homework room" and going in to make sure everything was set up properly. It just feels so realistic for somebody just qualified and getting used to themselves as a "professional".

And nobody at Hogwarts really comes close to deserving the title of "Professor" in the Muggle sense. It just seems to be their word for "teacher." But as Steph is probably used to it as a term for only the most highly qualified lecturers, I'm not surprised she'd be thrilled to be given that title.

Hmm, the Headmistress is raising more difficulties than I would have expected.

*laughs* An honours degree is a LONG way from failing, but I guess it feels that way to him right now. Poor Connor.

I like the fact that Steph's friends aren't all overawed by magic and delighted at the chance to enter the magical world. Even canon seems to assume everybody would choose it, given the choice, but I don't really think that's true. The world has a lot of flaws and I like the fact that you're exploring them here.

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Review #7, by MargaretLaneActions Speak Louder than Words: Blackout: Rose and Scorpius POV

18th April 2015:
Oh, the summary for this sounds ominous. Hope Rose will be OK.

Aw, poor Rose, but it's hardly surprising she's so unhappy. She's dealing with so much. She's actually an amazingly strong person. I think most people would struggle to deal just with the idea that a guy who tortured them is not only still out there, but is still looking for a chance to hurt her again. And she's not only dealing with that, but also with Scorpius's issues and with an unplanned pregnancy, which, while it's very welcome, could have waited for a more convenient time. Considering everything, she's dealing really well, but it would be amazing if there wasn't some reaction.

I hope Scorpius cops himself on soon. I totally understand his immediate reaction, but not speaking to her for days or weeks on end isn't on. A few hours to get over the initial shock, yeah, but after that, he should deal with things like an adult. Of course, he's going to be upset, but avoiding Rose won't help him or her.

LOVE the reference to a vaccine for Dragon Pox. I always like these little details that show the world as a dynamic one. They add a degree of realism to a story. And I LOVE Charlie's involvement. I would never have expected him to discover something like that, but since he's in close contact with dragons, it's not exactly surprising.

I'd like that puzzle solving too. But then again, I would HATE to be a doctor.

That is a really interesting exam, but also a really tough one. If QUALIFIED Healers made mistakes, it's tough to expect trainees to do any better. But it would definitely be more fun than just writing what you've memorised. And it's a better test, as it shows they can apply their knowledge.

That sounds like a REALLY good idea, that she take a year off. Her maternity leave would probably be most of that anyway, if she were working. Not sure how long maternity leave is in the UK, but it's six months here, and I'm pretty sure that's considered rather short by the standards of most of Europe. Of course, it might be different in the wizarding world. And it would be better to take a break if she's not sure what she wants. It's an important decision.

Oh wow, I assumed you'd just included this as an interesting description of an assignment and to give us some insight into what her course is like, but if they were murdered, perhaps it has something to do with Stannous.

I've a feeling Rose has noticed SOME connection with her own experiences. OH! An idea has occurred to me. I was about to say I can't think what it could be, but while typing the first sentence of this paragraph, the way she was tortured occurred to me. The woman in this case has been tortured too. Maybe she's noticed some indication the same spell was used.

Oh gosh, I hope the baby is OK. I'm expecting it will be. I think this is probably a way to make Scorpius realise how much the baby, and Rose, mean to him. But you never know and this story has surprised me before. I really, really hope the baby'll be OK.

Three weeks is far too long for Scorpius to be behaving as he is. Not too long for him to be processing it, of course; that could take years. But too long for him to be treating Rose so terribly on the grounds that he's upset. None of this is her fault. It's just becoming selfish at this point.

To be honest, I sort of want to yell some sense into him. He's talking about how what he wanted was snatched from him, but the only thing that's stopping him from having it is himself. I'm sure it doesn't feel that way to him, but it's true.

He needs somebody to yell at him like Harry did at Remus. The situations are rather similar.

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Review #8, by MargaretLaneJigsaw: Piece #10

17th April 2015:
Apologies for the delay in getting to this. I've been pretty busy for the last week or two and of course, the rare good weather hasn't exactly inclined me to spend any more time inside than necessary.

These letters have started reminding me of the Basilisk's game. And hmm, we still don't know who the Basilisk really is.

One tiny, nit-picky thing, you've written that "Higgins instructed Miranda and I". It should be "Miranda and me," since you wouldn't say, "Higgins instructed I."

Hmm, that part about how Miranda doesn't seem particularly anxious to find out more about what is surely one of the more interesting stories to which she has been assigned is intriguing. I hadn't considered her as a suspect up to this point, but that makes me wonder. Though of course, if she WERE the villain, she'd probably want to know how the case was progressing, so as to know if anybody had any suspicions.

Her attitude is odd though. I wonder what is going on with her.

I'm now sort of suspicious Miranda is going to go out while Roxanne is with Higgins and deliberately leave her behind. It sounds like something she'd do.

Love the metaphor of the spider curling up in its web.

Oh, I wasn't expecting Roxanne to be taken off the story, though I suppose it's hardly surprising. It's bound to be assigned to the more experienced reporters. And Miranda clearly knew. Poor Roxanne.

I've a feeling she won't give up that easily though. Well, she can't or there wouldn't be much of a story.

Yikes, I definitely didn't expect that ending to the chapter. I suppose I should have figured out there'd be some significance to the match when you went into it in such detail, but I got so caught up in what was going on that I didn't think about it.

I wonder if this is in some way connected to the murders. I can't see how it COULD be: even if she has been murdered somehow, it doesn't seem the same KIND of murder as the other two. And yet, I feel there must be some connection or you probably wouldn't bring it up. Hmmm.

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Review #9, by MargaretLaneTidal Wave: Tidal Wave

17th April 2015:
The first paragraph plunges us straight into the story and sets me wondering. I want to know why Pansy is so angry and what exactly is going on in her head.

You also write it really well. Your imagery is fantastic.

I would say though, and this is a minor thing, but I'd leave out the "on the table" in the first line. It kind of states the obvious and distracts a little from the impact of the statement.

I also like the way you give us an immediate insight into the relationship Pansy has with her mother. It is clearly an unhappy one and helps to explain some of Pansy's behaviour in the books.

This sentence is quite awkwardly phrased: "All her life she’d been close with Draco Malfoy and Blaise Zabini, and on more than one occasion had day-dreamed about what it might be like to one day be wife to one of the boys in her life." I'd be inclined to write it as, "all her life she'd been close to Draco and Blaise and had often dreamed that one day, she might marry one of them."

I think they way she refers to Hermione and Ginny is very much in character. Not that we KNOW that much about Pansy's character, but we do know she was raised in a pretty prejudiced, pure-blood supremacist environment, so it would make sense for her to find it difficult to understand how anybody, let alone Draco, who was raised in a similar environment, could choose Hermione over her.

I also like the way you delve into a point of view we rarely see in Draco/Hermione fics. The question of how Pansy feels at seeing the boy she fancies in love with somebody she has been taught to see as beneath contempt is something I don't think I've ever read and I must admit, it didn't really occur to me as a question either. But it's an interesting one.

*laughs* That is SUCH a typical Ron comment. Hermione would probably hex him if she heard him say something so blatantly misogynistic as to imply that girls should choose their attitudes based on what might attract a guy. But he just doesn't THINK, does he? I don't think he really IS that misogynistic. I think he just says things without properly thinking through how problematic they are.

You have Pansy saying, "you came over her". I assume it should be, "you came over here."

It's quite a while before it becomes clear where they are. I'd assumed they were at Hogwarts until Pansy has made it clear they weren't.

I like the way she expresses her disdain for Ron by referring to him repeatedly as "Blood Traitor." It seems like something she'd do.

And you sort of draw a comparison between the situation they are both in here. Neither can imagine how the person they fancy can prefer something they have complete disdain for.

I'd be inclined to put commas around "even in hell" in this sentence: "Although even in hell I’d be hard-pressed to find anyone as awful as you." "Although, even in hell, I'd be hard-pressed to find anyone as awful as you."

I always find it a little odd that in the wizarding world, where people live longer, they seem to marry so much younger, but given how many people in that world seem to marry in their early 20s, it makes sense Pansy would feel that at 26, she should be at least thinking of marriage.

I was WONDERING how you were going to get from her being appalled at the thought of dating a blood traitor to some kind of relationship between her and Ron, but I think you did it very convincingly. I like the way she hates herself for what happens between them and sees it as a mistake. It fits with her attitudes about going out with the "right" people.

Author's Response: Thanks so much for reviewing for me! I'm glad you liked ti and that you think I caught Pansy's character. I was worried I might not have done her justice. It's so nice of you to come over and leave me a review. Thanks so much!

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Review #10, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Pureblood's Secret: The Break-Up

14th April 2015:
Poor Albus. It must be awful to feel everybody else is doing so much better than you. Obviously, it's not a race or anything, but it must make him feel a bit incompetent.

I'd almost forgotten about Elsie. Hmm, I hope we get a bit more info on her and her family soon.

I don't think Kaden should be so dismissive of the harm done by committing crimes while impersonating people. After all Young nearly went to Azkaban for a crime he hadn't committed because of Boone's impersonation of him and Boone didn't even mean that. Some of the people jailed for crimes they didn't really commit during the Troubles are still suffering PTSD and other issues after their experiences. It might not KILL people, but setting somebody up for a crime you committed is still pretty serious and likely to have very severe lifelong implications for the person impersonated, especially if they never manage to prove their innocence and either spend their life in Azkaban or come out to find they are unemployable and depending on the crime, possibly treated as a pariah.

I can't help liking Burke, but I don't think funding his research is really justification for what he did. And I do wonder how much was about helping people and how much just his love of research.

And in the following line, they mention Young.

I don't think Burke is a bad person, but I do think you can believe somebody's done something seriously wrong and still believe they did other things that were good. Few people are one thing or the other. It must be hard though, to learn somebody you admired was involved in something seriously wrong. Somebody I admired was once accused of something illegal - not by the police or anything, just by somebody whose testimony I wouldn't be too convinced by anyway, but even that was enough to make me question how I judge people and to make me feel pretty uncomfortable, so I can kind of imagine how Kaden feels.

I wonder if Meg has already broken up with James. It doesn't SOUND that way exactly. It sounds more like she's looking for him to break up with him or something (yeah, I'm making assumptions from the title), but she might be worried if he disappeared after they broke up and it would certainly explain his disappearance.

Oh, the conversation between James and Albus is so sad. You've really managed to capture how much James has lost and how he is trying to hold onto any bit of hope that he might be able to play the game he loves again. The thought he'll never be able to play even for fun is even worse than thinking he'll never have a career in it.

Aw, I actually sort of like the way the break up happens. It's clear the whole situation was just too heavy for a teen relationship - well, for Meg; some teenagers could deal with it, but she doesn't seem to be able to - and it would probably be worse for them both in the end if she just stayed with him out of guilt or loyalty or because she was afraid other people would judge her. She'd probably end up resenting him and he'd feel guilty or resenting her for making him feel worse. It's probably for the best if they can break up amicably and remain friend, even though I'm sure it'll still hurt. But it's probably the least bad option.

I like the way you had Meg react actually. While some people would probably deal pretty well with a situation like this, others wouldn't and at her age, it's quite likely she didn't expect the situation to get so heavy. In fiction, it seems like the world is often divided up between those who deal really well with these situations and those who just don't care and cut the person off completely. Reactions like this seem to be underrepresented.

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Review #11, by MargaretLaneUnconfirmed Reports: [S1:E1] Pilot/"The Pluckley Anomaly"

13th April 2015:
Wow, this is a pretty long chapter. It sounds like a really original story though, and I've always been intrigued by the Unspeakables. There are so many ways you can interpret them. Looking forward to seeing how you do.

Really like the introduction. The shoes clacking sort of create a bit of suspense. We wonder where he is going and why and who he is.

And you somehow manage to create a very formal and businesslike atmosphere straight off. Not sure how you do that.

You've also managed to give us an impression of the characters before we even meet them. Cuthbert is boring and rambles, Atwater is a born politician or high ranking civil servant. And when he does appear, he speaks in such typical "civil service speak". You characterise these people perfectly, important in an all-OC story. Or mostly OC; I don't know, of course, whether canon characters will appear later.

Hmm, sounds like Samuel Hatch has a unique role. I'm looking forward to seeing what it is.

LOVE this comparison: "this portion would undoubtedly be the mediocre bowl of pre-entrée tomato basil – ubiquitous, yet entirely devoid of substance."

I like the mention of the time-turners being replaced. And I'm now wondering when this is. Probably after 2000, because he refers to '96 as if it were quite a while ago. And I can't imagine replacing time-turners would be the priority in the immediate aftermath of the war.

I've a feeling Samuel will turn out to have underestimated his new colleague.

This might be a different versions of English thing, but "it's both yours now" didn't sound quite right to me. "It's both of yours" might sound better, unless, of course, you are trying to show his speech pattern.

And this might be personal preference, but the references to hair colour are starting to seem a little out of place. It's generally best to use characters' names or pronouns, unless there is some reason that the viewpoint character WOULDN'T describe somebody that way, like they are trying to distinguish between two people of the same gender whose names they don't know or they are attracted to somebody and thinking of them in terms of their attractiveness.

And since there is only one man and one woman present for most of the time, "he" and "she" are probably the best things to use. They don't stand out or sound awkward, no matter how often you use them, whereas words like "the brunette" and "the older agent" really do.

Hmm, he seems to have some prejudices against Slytherins, hardly surprising in the post-war period.

I like the reference to the lack of communication between departments. It's typical of the sort of bureaucracy between government departments and very believable.

Hmm, I wonder if the bizarre design for the age of the house is relevant in some way.

Hmm, I wonder what the owl's hooting is warning of.

Yikes, she must have read quickly.

Hmm, I wonder what a seven stone is. And I like the detail about how people said lethifolds were fictional.

Kellyn is pretty confident in herself. She's not afraid to speak up and disagree with Samuel, even though she'd only just started in a new job.

I would have expected them to use miles rather than kilometers.

Hmm, I'm probably being overly suspicious here, but I wonder if there is some relevance to her headache. I can't imagine why there would be, but I suspect you included it for a reason. I just can't think what the reason could be.

Hmm, these references to the Ancient Runes are pretty interesting. I've rarely seen runes play an important part in stories. And I have never seen such detail about the history of them. I really like the hint that in other wizarding schools in other countries, runes might be a core subject. English speakers tend to be notoriously bad at languages anyway and it seems to be the same in the wizarding world. Hogwarts teaches no foreign languages, yet all the visiting students and staff can speak English, implying they DO learn it. So that might well have an effect when it comes to the teaching of runes too.

I really like the difficulty they had getting the runes to work. It makes sense that it wouldn't work easily.

This sentence could do with a few commas: "In the Speaker’s office two days again she’d been entirely done up and even on departure she’d failed to entirely abandon cosmetics and well-coiffed hair." I'd be inclined to write it as "In the Speaker's office, two days ago, she'd been entirely done up and even on departure, she'd failed to entirely abandon cosmetics and well-coiffed hair."

*laughs at the comment at the end that "unconfirmed reports" are "their words". I'm guessing that's a hint as to what the next chapter will involve.

Author's Response: You beat me to the punch! I was totally planning on getting home tonight and being the first to complete the Prefect Review Exchange! Oh well...better luck next time I suppose.

First off, thank you for such a thorough and detailed review. And thank you again for not pulling punches. PART of why I've been delayed moving on is wanting to get great CC like this, so it's very appreciated.

To speak to the length of the story, I'll say that the vision of this piece is actually (as the title of this chapter suggests) to be an "episode" in a "series" styled somewhat after a TV series.

Since Hatch and Landreth and definitely going to be the main characters throughout, I'm glad you liked them and their dynamic well enough (though I'll pay heed to the whole hair color thing - I tend to do that in longer stories to avoid repeating names and pronouns so much, but you make a great point about it possibly being more annoying).

I'm also MOST glad that you liked the dynamic with the Ministry and the first "different" kind of magic that the duo were forced to deal with. The whole idea behind the plot of this story anyway will be all the different things they have to deal with with from phenomena, to spells, to objects, to creatures, to whatever (with some broader arcs and villains/antagonists in there too).

You're absolutely right about Hatch underestimating his new colleague though. He'll start to learn about that soon enough in a variety of different ways and parts of the remainder of the season will involve peering into each of their pasts to give a better idea of their true identities and how they came to be in their present positions.

Thanks again for all your thoughtful feedback! It means the world!


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Review #12, by MargaretLaneLily Potter And The Lunar Problem: Hogwarts

13th April 2015:
Can't believe I'm only getting around to reading this now. I love sorting chapters. It's so interesting to see where the main characters end up. It gives an insight into their characters. I can see Lily in Gryffindor actually; so far she seems to have dealt amazingly well with her condition. And I also love meeting the classmates and teachers and seeing how they're developed.

And of course, THIS story also has the issue of how Hogwarts will deal with the full moons. Even with Wolfsbane, I doubt they'd just let Lily transform in her dormitory. Apart from anything else, she probably wouldn't want her dorm mates knowing. Maybe she'll use a teacher's study or something. Or the Shrieking Shack. I expect that's something SHE'D want to know fairly early too.

Harry hasn't been at Hogwarts since the battle? That's sad. I guess he'd have no great reason to, but you'd think with both his boys there and a good friend teaching there, he'd have called there some time. I wonder if it's just because he never had reason to and didn't want to get in the way, or if he's deliberately avoiding it. It must bring back pretty bad memories after all. Poor Harry. And now he's dealing with his daughter's condition, which must be very upsetting for him too - knowing she'll go through such pain each month and possibly face a good deal of prejudice. I'm looking forward to seeing if attitudes towards werewolves have changed much since Harry's day. Or at all.

Oooh, one Death Eater is still on the run? I'm guessing you didn't mention that just in passing. I think that's a clue and that whoever it is possibly played a part in Lily's being bitten.

And as I assumed, Lily is given information about how to deal with the full moon before she starts Hogwarts. She'd have to be really. It would be too scary for her if she were waiting until the last minute for information.

I'm sorry she has to transform in the Shrieking Shack though, as it's far from pleasant.

I think you set up the situation well. Everything Madame Pomfrey says makes sense and they seem to have provided for most eventualities.

Hopefully, the injuries won't be TOO bad, as she can use Wolfsbane, so the werewolf won't attack itself. A person's whole body being transformed is bound to be painful though. Poor Lily.

Like the comment, "before Lily could say Quidditch."

While it's unlikely to arise until the next year at the earliest, I wonder if this will prevent Lily having an opportunity to PLAY Quidditch for her house. After all, she'd probably be unable to play in the days after the full moon if there was a match then.

I'd like to see a little more of the conversation that passes between Lily and her new classmates. I don't really know anything about them, except that Eloise is Muggleborn. I'm sure we'll get to know them better as the story progresses, but it's nice to get an indication of each person's personality when you first meet them. It makes them easier to remember and lets us build a connection with them.

And poor Lily. It seems like she just wants to be treated as normal, but of COURSE her brothers would be worried. It's scary enough to be going away to boarding school at the mere age of eleven, without adding a recently acquired, lifelong and very painful condition. I really like the way you show them irritating her by wanting to help. Often in fiction, people either know exactly what to say and do or they just seem not to care at all. The fact that their very concern is getting on her nerves is really realistic.

LOVE the way Hagrid refers to Lily as "little Lily Potter."

Poor Ben. That REALLY isn't a nice way to begin your time at a new school. I don't blame him for glaring at them.

There's a lack of agreement in this sentence: "whose family had always refused to tell her about Hogwarts, no matter how much they begged." The first part says "her" and the second part "them". It would sound better as "whose families had always refused to tell them about Hogwarts, no matter how much they begged."

Really good chapter. I think it's the best one yet. Looking forward to meeting the new teachers, finding out more about Lily's classmates and hearing more about this Death Eater.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review. I love all the feedback that people are giving me, and your suggestions make sense. Oh, and not to give anything away, but you have ideas in your review that I've been planning on using.

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Review #13, by MargaretLaneBruises: Terror

12th April 2015:
OK, I'm really glad you posted about that review swap, because I went to read this yesterday, then realised how long it was and thought I'd leave it until I'd more time and it was only when I saw your review swap that I remembered, "oh yeah, I meant to read that."

Yikes, that part about being strapped to the bed sent shivers down my spine. It must be such a terrifying experience - just waking up to find yourself tied down like that.

You really capture the sense of being trapped and terrified and her lack of understanding as to what is going on in the first few paragraphs. I really feel her lack of control.

The fact she can't remember anything must be terrifying too. You create the atmosphere so well. There's a real FEELING of horror and confusion as to what has happened here. But whatever it is, it's clear it's nothing good.

Oh gosh, that part where she thinks he means to torture her is terrifying.

So she knows her age anyway. I was beginning to wonder if she'd completely forgotten everything.

You write the sensory stuff very well - the taste of iron in her mouth, for example. I find that kind of descriptive stuff difficult, so I am always impressed to read it.

I was WONDERING about her parents. She never mentioned them, which, I think, was partly why I'd wondered if she'd forgotten everything until she mentioned her age. And why are they being prevented from seeing her? This gets more and more intriguing.

The mystery as to what is going on and why she is in some kind of psychiatric hospital works really well, I think, as it allows us to empathise with her confusion. SHE doesn't appear to have any idea why she's there and neither do we.

Hmm, the procedure? That gives a little clue as to what's going on. It fits with her legs being weak anyway.

Yikes, it sounds like the procedure was some attempt to remove her magical powers.

And I'm wondering WHY her parents seem to have such little understanding of them. If she is 17, she should have received a visitor from Hogwarts six years beforehand, explaining it all. Even if they had religious objections to magic or something, they'd still at least KNOW what it was. Or maybe they do. We are only hearing the doctor's words and they may not have told him everything, since it would sound pretty crazy.

It certainly sounds as if their daughter has never been to a magical school, which could explain her apparent lack of control over her powers. I have often wondered what happens in the case that a Muggleborn refuses their place at Hogwarts - I would expect many would. Would they continue to have those strange things happen because of uncontrolled magic or would they begin to gain a certain amount of control over it, just because of the maturation process - probably not enough to cast spells, certainly not without a want, but enough to stop it erupting unintentionally, or would their magic fade from lack of use? I think it could be written any way. Hmm, this would make an interesting fic.

It sounds like the "procedure", whatever it is, has succeeded in removing her magic. That's kind of creepy.

And that part with Katherine is so sad. It's nearly easier when she can just hate and fear the people, whereas when it somebody who seems nice, but who she still distrusts...that must be more frightening and disconcerting.

Hmm, that sharp aching pain is intriguing.

I'm a bit confused by the fact she seems to shake her head to express agreement, when a shake of the head usually expresses dissent and a nod agreement. I keep thinking she's disagreeing, but then people react as if she's agreed.

One mistake I've noticed is that the doctor says, "your parent's are coming to see you." There shouldn't be an apostrophe in "parents". That's the first mistake I've noticed though.

Oh, the fact she can't remember her parents' faces is CREEPY. That must be REALLY frightening.

Hmm, the use of the word "witchcraft" rather than magic is interesting. It's an old-fashioned kind of word and this story definitely seems 20th or 21st century. My feeling is that her family, and probably the doctor, belong to one of those religious denominations that believe magic is evil - I think those groups might use terms like "witchcraft," though I'm not at all familiar with them, so I don't really know.

Another TINY thing I'd say is that I'd be inclined to put a comma before "Sarah," when they say, "your sister, Sarah."

Somehow I've the impression Sarah is younger than her. Just from the way the parents refer to her. And a few lines later, this is confirmed. It's pretty impressive that you could express that just by the parents' few comments about her.

Yikes, that part where she feels something is wrong about going home is ominous. I wonder if the parents have treated her badly because of her "witchcraft." They SEEM loving, but the fact that they had her put through the procedure is a little concerning, although of course, they MAY have believed they were acting for the best. And now this anxiety.

Yikes, a lot of that sounds REALLY creepy. Well, obviously beating a child and having them sent to an asylum is more than creepy, but there's something creepy about how normal Sarah seems to think it - "you know how he gets" - and how Caroline has no memory of this. I guess that explains her anxiety about returning home.

And poor Sarah - feeling guilty for not being able to save her sister.

I think the part where Sarah says "it gets worse" is a bit insensitive, because it's like saying it's worse that something might happen to her than that something DID happen to Caroline.

I would love to read a follow up to this, finding out what happens with Sarah and if Caroline manages to protect her.

And I am delighted they failed to remove her magic.

Excellent story and very original.

Author's Response: Hi Margaret,

So I have to tell you first that I smile every time I see one of your reviews pop up in my unanswered reviews section! You give such amazingly detailed feedback that it really helps.

I'm so glad that the opening did what is was supposed to. I wanted it to be terrifying, confusing and disorienting. I kind of hoped the reader would be in for the ride with Caroline as she figures things out.

The descriptive stuff is something I really work hard at. When I decide what I'm going to write I always imagine the scenario and then try to imagine how I would personally describe it if it was happening to me. Then I take the descriptions that fit the story best and incorporate them.

You've hit the nail on the head in regards to "the procedure". I read a book awhile back called "My Lobotomy" and that's kind of what triggered this little foray into muggle medicine here.

You've stumbled across one of my Americanisms. In the US it is acceptable to say shake your head yes and shake your head no. I could see why this would get confusing within the story. When I re-edit I will probably adjust it to nodded as you've suggested.

In regards to the words witchcraft, I sort of intended this story to be taking place in the Southern States of the U.S. where very fervent religious belief is a bit more common. I imagine her parents thinking that her magic is coming from the devil and trying to rid her of it.

Caroline's relationship with her younger sister Sarah is in my eyes, her saving grace. Sarah triggers the memories. Sarah gives her a reason to fight on. I think that it's safe to say from here on out the two of them will be alright.

I don't know if I'll ever do a follow up on this one. I kind of like that it has an ambiguous ending. It kind of leaves it open to imagination I suppose.

Thank you once again for taking out so much time to leave me such detailed feedback. During re-edit I will definitely fix the typos as well!

~Kaitlin


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Review #14, by MargaretLaneAfter: One.

11th April 2015:
Wow, you got this up quickly. I thought I was moving quickly, being part-way through the first chapter of mine.

Poor guy. I don't know if you'd even come to terms with a child's death, particularly when it seems like Cedric was his only child. And six months seems like a pretty short time to have got anywhere near coming to terms with it.

Oh, that part about the tensions between Amos and Elaine and how their grief is driving them apart is so stark, so sad and so believable. It sounds like they are grieving differently and unable to support each other.

Ooh, that part about the green light made me shiver.

Oh poor, poor Amos. How guilty he must feel about encouraging his son to take part. But of course, he couldn't know what had happened.

I really like the fact that Dumbledore clearly does not believe it when he tells them time heals all pain. He, of all people, must know that is not true, as it's obvious he has never fully recovered from the death of his sister, almost a century before.

I found it interesting the way you chose to tell this story backwards. It worked well to have it end with him first being told that time heals all wounds.

I think you expressed his grief very well here.

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Review #15, by MargaretLaneBecause my name is Ava Yaxley: because my name is Ava Yaxley

10th April 2015:
I was considering writing a story about the child of a Death Eater, but never got around to it. I'd imagine it would be a VERY difficult position to be in.

I really like the "Acts of Equality." It's always nice to see some detail about how the wizarding world recovered from the war and rebuilt itself.

I'd be inclined to put an "or" in this sentence: "And the children who ended up in the orphanage were most often those who had parents in Azkaban, whose parents had died resisting capture by Aurors or hit-wizards." "Or whose parents had died resisting capture by Aurors."

Poor girl. The way she is being treated is very unfair, though I suppose in a way it's hardly surprising. People are bound to be angry and scared too. But she can hardly help what her father did.

This sentence: "Even though house divides and stereotypes had faded a good deal, there was still expected that the sons and daughters of Death Eaters and other criminals would find their home in Slytherin," might sound better as "it was still expected" or "there was still an expectation."

Oh, she's the same age as Teddy Lupin.

If she's correct about how the teachers are treating her, that's totally unprofessional. But I guess teachers are people too and some of them have issues that they allow to impact on their teaching.

You've written "neither of us could bare to return to the orphanage." I think it should be "bear."

Wow, 7 N.E.W.T.S. appears quite impressive. I'm never sure what the normal amount of N.E.W.T.S. to do is, but didn't Hermione do 7. If so, I think we can assume that's a pretty impressive amount. And then to get 5 Os.

I do think she's being a little pessimistic though. Although I can understand why - in your late teens, it does feel like these things are a one-off, now or never deal. But she probably has another 100 years alive, judging by the lifespans wizards seem to have in canon. And the more time moves on, the less the war will dominate people's thoughts. And of course, people her age won't care as much as older people, as they won't have any memories of the war, so when they start to move into the "hiring" positions, she will have a far better chance of getting a better job.

This is such a sad story; the way she's been treated is terribly unfair.

Author's Response: For quite a while I was planning on writing something about the 'Acts of Equality' and how the wizarding world rebuilt after the war, but then I came across that quote from the Merchant of Venice and I hit upon the idea of focussing on events from the perspective of one of the children who grew up amongst the prejudice of a war they were barely alive for.

Thank you for pointing out the spelling and grammar mistakes (I'm awful at spotting mistakes in my writing).

Yes, Ava is the same age as Teddy Lupin, or a month or two older than him, born during the war only a few months before her parents died. Thinking about it, they have quite a lot in common.

The way the teachers and the nurses at the orphanage treat her is completely unprofessional, though, as you say, teachers are people too and it is understandable that they still carry with them the terrible memories of the war they lived through.

I think that Ava would have poured everything into working for her O.W.L.S. and N.E.W.T.S. because she wanted to prove to everyone that she actually is worth something. But yes, she definitely is being a little pessimistic, and while she thinks that everything is over for her she will definitely have other chances and opportunities.

Thank you very much for your review!


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Review #16, by MargaretLaneGlass: A New Beginning

8th April 2015:
I love next generation mysteries, so this sounds interesting. And your title is intriguing. I am trying to think what it could refer to.

I do think your summary could give a little more information. There's nothing really to distinguish this from any other next generation mystery from Albus's point of view. I wouldn't even know it WAS a mystery if it wasn't for the genres. I know mysteries can be REALLY hard to write summaries for, as a lot of the important information is something you don't want to give away, but you might get more readers if people had some idea as to what might happen. Is something going to threaten Albus? Is he going to come across a mysterious teacher? Is there some sign of a Dark revival?

Oh! Albus is in his fourth year already. I assumed it would be a first year fic. This is interest, as we're going to be thrown right in to the story, with things like the houses each character was sorted into already known.

That's actually something you could include in your summary. Something like "Albus doesn't expect his fourth year to be much different from those that went before, but..." and then an indication that something mysterious is going to happen.

You've done a good job of giving us a fair amount of information in the couple of paragraphs. That's important when this fic takes place so long after the epilogue. We already know how old Albus is, that Rose and Scorpius are friends and will possibly become more, that Hugo loves Quidditch, that McGonagall is Headmistress. and that she has opened up Quidditch to first years.

I like the fact that you've already indicated something at Hogwarts has changed a little. It helps indicate the passing of time and it makes sense, as McGonagall was certainly impressed with Harry and we know she loves Quidditch herself, so she'd probably have like to have been able to play herself when SHE was in first year.

One thing minor, but when you're putting a story up online, it can help to skip a line between each paragraph, just to make it easier for your readers to read. A large block of text can look kind of daunting.

Also, when the characters are talking, it can get a little confusing as to who's speaking if you don't have them do anything OTHER than talk. Like you could include a little about what Albus is thinking when Scorpius keeps avoiding answering him or some sign of amusement when Scorpius admits he doesn't know what "procrastinating" means. Like "I chuckled at his admission, but had no intention of allowing him to deflect me from my purpose. 'Answer me.'"

I'm guessing Albus and Scorpius are in Gryffindor, since you've kind of ruled out Slytherin and Gryffindor.

I'm getting a real impression of the personalities of your main characters and of the relationships between them. Scorpius and Albus seem to tease and mess around with each other a lot, but I get the impression Albus is really concerned about him behind it.

I'm looking forward to meeting the teachers who've replaced people like McGonagall (since it sounds like she's not Headmistress) and all the Defence Against the Dark Arts teachers and maybe Charity Burbage too, if Albus does Muggle Studies. I've just realised he'll have already started his optional subjects, which may give you the opportunity to introduce even more new teachers, depending on which subjects he is doing. Or to just build on people like Vector that we don't know much about.

A good opening chapter that gives us a lot of the background we need without doing so in a way that sounds boring or unrealistic. Like it'd be unrealistic if Albus started thinking, "I am in fourth year and I am friends with Scorpius." It can be hard to cover three years of information without lapsing into stuff like that, but you've done it.

Author's Response: Thanks so much for your input. I'm just stoked that within one day someone has already read my story. I will most definitely add some action between speech, you're right, it must be really difficult to follow what''s actually going on without paragraphs. Thanks so much. I will certainly take everything into account and hopefully change something in the summary to help other readers.

Thanks again!


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Review #17, by MargaretLanebad blood: one; prologue

7th April 2015:
The description at the start reminds me rather of 1995, the hottest summer I ever lived through, and which is referred to at the beginning of Order of the Phoenix, which I guess is an indication of how well you have captured the heat of this month.

I find the last part rather interesting. I like when people add extra details about aspects of the wizarding world we don't know much about, such as pregnancy.

I do find the way they describe it a little unusual though. The Healer seems to explain what magical interference is after she's already confirmed that she's experienced it in the past. It might make more sense if they began by saying something like, "as you already have two children, I assume your Healers have told you that the vast majority of witches experience some degree of magical interference in pregnancy - vanishing buttons, levitating thimbles..." and then mention something about how it happens in all but about two percent of pregnancies in the wizarding world and almost all those children were born without magic, before asking if she's noticed any of those signs yet.

I think it is interesting that she's already so worried that she lies about it, even though the Healers have only asked if the signs have appeared yet, indicating there is still time for it to happen if it hasn't done so. I'm guessing it happened earlier in her previous pregnancies and that's why she's worried.

I also find it interesting that it worries her enough to make her lie. It sort of shows that even though she is from a pretty open-minded background, she still views people without magic as almost disabled, which is hardly surprising. If you always had magic and all your family could perform magic, the idea of trying to manage without it would probably seem like a disability.

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Review #18, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Pureblood's Secret: Captain Albus Potter

7th April 2015:
We're actually getting some sunshine here - I mean, honestly, today is a typical Irish summer's day, and considering it was winter weather up until about three days ago - so I've only just settled down inside to read this.

Oooh, the psychology wing. That has me intrigued for rather obvious reasons.

Burke's immediate realisation that Johnson isn't there to make polite conversation amused me. He hasn't changed, even if he is extremely ill.

And I'm now intrigued by Burke's niece. Was she just playing middleman to help her uncle out or is she going to play a larger part in all this?

He seems fairly certain his niece won't give anything away. Is that just because he knows her and knows she's not the kind of person who can be browbeaten or is there something else going on? I'm starting to suspect there is something more going on here, but exactly what it could be, I don't know. I'm thinking of his possibly using her name without her knowledge or her having been involved in something illegal that goes deeper than just selling potions illegally to help her uncle and his agreeing to help her because it's the only way he can pay his medical bills.

He's almost admitted involvement, because how else could he know his niece had nothing incriminating? But not in a way that can be held against him or her and I doubt he cares anyway, since clearly they will never get him in court.

I've recently done a bit of plotting about my version of the wizarding legal system - basically as a future career for Rose. This is REALLY going off on a tangent, but you reminded me of it a little, as you go into a lot of detail about wizarding law here. Your version is pretty different and WAY more detailed than mine.

I can understand why Albus is rooting for Burke. He is being rather enigmatic. And, I'm not at all sure this makes much sense, but I think he is living up to his Irish name. Taunting the British was quite a thing in the days before independence, right down to replying in Irish to confuse them.

Aw, I like the part where Burke sends his apologies to Kaden.

I think you meant Johnson rather than Burke in the early part of this sentence: "
But regardless of Burke’s fruitless efforts in putting the person behind the illegal potions trade behind bars..."

I'm glad James' head injury is healing. When it comes to his general life, that would probably be a far greater problem than the hand. But the hand is bad enough. Poor James.

Three or four migraines a week is pretty bad too.

Hadn't realised Albus had played under that many captains, but I guess this is about his fifth year on the team, so it's hardly surprising.

Yeah, I can imagine being captain would put extra pressure on Albus. Poor guy. Especially as he's bound to want to win the Cup for James. Of course, he'd want to win anyway, but that adds an extra incentive.

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Review #19, by MargaretLaneJust Breathe: Dominique's Third Diary Entry

3rd April 2015:
*grins* There's a certain naivety to Dominique's feeling that she'll have to stick with this job and that her employer will expect her to take over the business if she trains her. I worked in a supermarket between my degree and post-grad and there was this one guy who trained as a manager, then left within the week of finishing training.

And she seems determined to make herself feel she's done something wrong - like she thinks she'll let her employer down if she DOES decide to leave and do something else and that she'll let her teachers down if she doesn't.

Those jokes are a bit cruel, but I guess people just don't THINK.

Oh, students start Beaubatons a year and a half later than Hogwarts? That is interesting from this side of the Irish sea, since Irish students start secondary school a year later than in Britain. Makes you wonder how Irish students at Hogwarts explain leaving for boarding school before their last year of primary school.

Poor, poor Dominique. I hope her first day at work goes well.

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Review #20, by MargaretLanea slow shattering: one for sorrow

3rd April 2015:
OK, we've already talked about this, but I had to review it properly, because it is just so amazing.

Poor Lavender; she seems to be completely doubting herself. The way she's thinking of herself as "the crazy girl" REALLY can't be healthy.

As I already indicated, when I first read this, I'd a moment's confusion as to where she was and which was real, but then the mention of it being the end of the battle cleared that up and made it obvious she is having some kind of nightmare or flashback about the horrible things she's experienced.

LOVE the part about neither side really winning. Nobody ever does in war, do they? The best you can do is prevent worse disaster, like in this case, winning prevented Voldemort killing more people or the Death Eaters continuing to torture people, but it didn't undo the harm already done.

The way she keeps calling herself a coward is so sad. There is really nothing cowardly about being afraid of somebody who hurt her so badly. In fact, the very fact she can face him at all, even in a dream, is indicative of great courage. There are parts here where her thought processes remind me of Demelza's in "Guilt."

The "hello, sugar" is SO creepy.

I love the part about her not knowing which of them smells like gut-wrenching terror. It sort of creates a comparison between his smell and her fear.

The part about her making it real kind of fits with what Dumbledore said about how things happening in your head can be real. And the way she KNOWS it isn't real, but still can't wake up must be pretty terrifying.

I thought at the end of the last chapter that she was beginning to improve, so this chapter is particularly sad. It's realistic though, as recovery doesn't just happen overnight and just because she was well enough to start seeing a counsellor doesn't mean she's not going to have setbacks or relapses.

Yikes, the part where he drags her to him is scary and the way you have punctuated his dialogue really emphasises it.

The last part of this sentence seems a bit awkward to me: "She's breathing raggedly, her voice caught in her throat, words too terrified to crawl out of her mouth into his face."

It's hard to be sure as you've now told me what it should be, but I think it's clearer now that the voice is one from outside her dream. And the fact it's the same voice that says "give her another dose" makes it pretty clear.

The way she blames herself for her family's deaths is so irrational, but it's understandable. Of course she's going to wish there was more she could have done, but even if she'd survived the battle, it's unlikely she'd have got there just in time AND managed to defeat the Death Eaters. Apart from the fact it's hardly her fault she was attacked anyway.

This sentence - "The weight in gut doesn't go away, though" would probably sound better as "the weight in her gut."

The part where the magpies divide really shows the nightmarish quality of what is happening.

And the part about their having all the power... Terrifying.

I've never heard the part about "nine for hell" in that rhyme before, but it works so well. In a way, she IS in a hell, a hell her mind has created.

The part about how everybody she loves has already died is so, so sad. I find it hard to imagine a happy ending for her, because even if she DOES recover, she's lost so much. I don't know what I'd even DO if all my family and my best friend had died and I had only just finished school so I'd no career to focus on or workmates to support me and my school mates were probably moving on and scattered across the country. Leaving school can be a lonely time itself and means that she doesn't really have anything of her old life to go back to.

That description of Parvati is so creepy. I've a mental image of some kind of living patchwork doll or Frankenstein's monster. And the idea of seeing her friend like that...

You're welcome. Was glad of the chance to read this chapter. The whole story is SO well-written, but I think this chapter is the best of all. It's hard to write that sort of disconnect from reality without it seeming over the top, but this is so believable and so sad, as well as being terrifying.

10 out of 10 and I don't give that very often.

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Review #21, by MargaretLanea slow shattering: he wants to put a ceiling on her soul

2nd April 2015:
Ugh, that part about their crowding into the room on the full moon is sort of creepy and must have been yet another stressor for her. I know if a load of doctors crowded in to observe me in a situation like that, I'd be convinced something horrible was going to happen.

The second section of this story is so unbelievably sad. She has lost so much - her parents, her friends, been attacked and traumatised and it's very likely she experienced some degree of torture, or at least the threat of torture under the Carrows. Hard to imagine how one would deal with all that; it's just unimaginable.

And now she's doubting that she deserves to be a Gryffindor. The poor, poor girl.

Even if she does manage to recover, she'll have so much to do to rebuild her life. It seems like she has lost everybody of importance in her life, so she'll have to build a life that doesn't include any of them.

And I LOVE the relationship you show as existing between her and Parvati, and how she knows her in a way nobody else does. And the part about how there will ALWAYS be room in her heart for Parvati is bringing tears to my eyes. You just show the love between them SO well.

That part about white meaning soulless also nearly brought tears to my eyes. It's just such a sad line and a reminder of how much she's been dealing with.

I'm glad they are trying to help her though, rather than just contain her, which is basically what they seem to have been doing all along.

And it seems like she is beginning to recover slightly. I'm still not sure if she will ever fully recover or not. She has SO much to deal with. But if she can become more functional, that's SOMEthing.

Mrs. Reid seems nice. I really like the way she immediately understands how very important Parvati is in Lavender's live.

Coincidentally, I recently added a chapter to a collab chapter in which somebody (somebody with lycanthropy, actually) is talking to a Healer and he begins by asking them about their job and they start worrying they're telling him the wrong things. This has some similarities.

I love that idea about how the things she loved about Parvati are now everywhere.

And oh dear, she appeared to be improving, but then the last part makes it seem like she's sinking into denial again. It's understandable, of course, and OF COURSE, having it confirmed that her parents are dead is likely to cause her a setback. Even without existing mental health issues, hearing both your parents were murdered would be bound to affect anybody badly.

This whole story is so brilliantly written. I'm really glad it finally occurred to me to stop by.

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Review #22, by MargaretLanea slow shattering: the mirror thrown to the ground

2nd April 2015:
OK, the reviews you gave me were so awesome, I decided I really ought to repay the favour and then I took a look at your author page and was like "WHY exactly have I not read these stories before?" In fact, I checked the reviews on this twice to make sure I didn't include it in my St. Patrick's day anonymous reviewing, because stories about trauma are so much my thing.

I really like the way your capture her denial at the beginning of the story. I can totally imagine how hard it would be to believe that THAT was actually happening, that you wouldn't just wake up the next day and find everything back the way it had been beforehand.

And oh gosh, that part about how all she feels is pain is STARK. The part about tasting the metal made me literally shiver.

I like the vagueness and blurriness of the second section. It makes sense that she'd be sort of drifting in and out of consciousness, considering the level of pain she's endured.

And that last line (of that section) about how she doesn't know the destination and has no say in it is just perfect. It really shows how her life is drifting out of her control.

Yikes, that part about how she no longer knows who she is is kind of worrying, as is her inability to speak. I'm not sure whether the latter is physical or psychological, but I'm leaning towards the latter. I think the former would be preferable, as it would probably be easier to overcome.

And virtually the next line confirms that it's psychological and that she is, unsurprisingly, experiencing other symptoms of trauma.

The doctors' diagnoses is so callous. After all, nightmares and screaming would surely be within the realms of normal after what she has been through. But I think their attitude fits very well with a setting in which a young boy supposedly hallucinating about the man who killed his parents coming back to life to kill a classmate in front of him is treated as a reason to dismiss the boy and mock him and where the Longbottoms are essentially just locked away, rather than treated for their mental health problems. They do seem rather backward when it comes to mental health, so this attitude does seem more realistic than their diagnosing her in Muggle medical jargon.

It is rather ominous though. I can't see her getting the support and help she so badly needs.

Yikes, that's quite creepy, and realistic - how once people think she's "crazy", they interpret everything she does in light of that. I suppose you read of that study done where people pretended to be suffering mental health symptoms and then, when in a psychiatric hospital, found that perfectly ordinary behaviours were attributed to their supposed conditions.

And their treatment of her strikes me as more likely to exacerbate than alleviate her symptoms. Poor Lavender.

And oooh, that part comparing the jam in the doughnut to the attack again sent shivers down my spine. This story is so chilling and you portray that so well.

And her comment about how "noble" it sounds calling it the Battle of Hogwarts has some resonance here, as we prepare to celebrate the centenary of 1916, an event that has been sanitised beyond belief. And certainly, nobody knew WHAT was going on in 1916, with contradictory orders being given.

I'd be inclined to put an ellipse at the end of "you might be allowed to go, if..."

I don't think it's shallow for her to worry about the scars on her face. They're not just a mark; they are also a visible reminder, to her and to everybody who sees her, of what has happened. Just seeing them could trigger memories of the attack. And then there's the fact that how you look is part of who you are. Considering she has been changed mentally and physically by the attack, it's hardly surprising if she questions if she's even still herself.

I've thought a fair amount about this, as I have a character who is scarred during a pretty traumatic event in one of my fanfics and it is a pretty major issue for them, although they wouldn't be as invested in their appearance as Lavender might be. She seems somebody who would care a good deal about her appearance.

Oh gosh, that didn't even occur to me - where ARE her parents? There's no good answer really. I'm guessing they must have been injured or killed, or they'd surely want to be there for her, and it's hard to imagine how she'll cope with that on top of everything else she's been through.

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Review #23, by MargaretLaneA Single Point In Time: 1983

31st March 2015:
I've already commented on how well you set the scene in your opening paragraphs, but this one is particularly atmospheric. The part about him holding on to some fringe of his sanity is STARK.

I really like this line: "though often the need to change called him, coursed through his tired body as the day slipped by slowly." Very well written.

I also like the comparison between the box of the prison cell and the box of James's coffin.

That weird laugh is kind of creepy, a reminder of just how awful Azkaban is and the effect it has on people.

The part about wondering whether a child he thinks might be four could even walk seemed a little odd. Four year olds could well be in primary school. I know he's been cut off from the world and that his mind is being affected by the Dementors, but it still seemed a little strange.

Poor Sirius. You really capture how desperate he is and how horrific his life is here.

Author's Response: Heya,

Eek, thanks a lot for the review again! :D It's been so great to have this confidence boost from you, thank you so much!

I was a bit hesitant about posting this one because the tone was so different from the previous two, but it's really good to know that you got a lot from this piece, and that Sirius' fading mind was on your mind too.

Thank you so much for the reviews! :D

Laura xxx


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Review #24, by MargaretLaneA Single Point In Time: 1982

31st March 2015:
Oh, this chapter should be interesting. Petunia's attitude to Harry appears quite conflicted and seeing how she expresses it herself should be quite revealing.

The fact that she expresses concern at the thought of Harry crying indicates she does feel some concern for him. Vernon, on the other hand, seems quite dismissive.

And he's not sleeping in the cupboard under the stairs yet. I wonder what had him moved there - maybe Dudley wanted more space.

I really like the way you interpret Petunia's feelings about Lily - that she feels she doesn't love and miss her as much as she should - and Harry is a constant reminder. There's an indication that it is her guilt that makes her treat him as she does.

The conflict you create at the end of the chapter is REALLY well done - the way you show her realisation that she DOESN'T love him as she does her own son, and she knows she should, as she's raising them both and she feels for him, knowing she isn't treating him as he deserves.

And it's easy to see how as time passes, she could come to resent him more and more for being a reminder of what a bad sister she was and what a bad aunt she is being to Harry, failing to treat him as a son, even though he has basically been her son for nearly his entire life. That sort of resentment could easily prevent love growing and become a vicious cycle - the worse she treats him, the more guilty she feels, the more guilty she feels, the more anger and resentment she feels towards him and the more anger and resentment she feels, the worse she treats him. It's sad and there are no winners really.

Author's Response: Heya!

I'm glad you thought Petunia was interesting. I really enjoyed writing her because there is so much unsaid about her character in the books and it was very rewarding to explore that.

I always imagine Petunia as someone that would hold on to a lot of bitterness from her childhood, especially towards Lily, and I imagine that part of her knows that that is incredibly foolish.

I'm so pleased this chapter had you thinking a lot about her, and it makes me so happy that you think I wrote the conflict well! :D Thank you so much for your lovely review!

Laura xxx


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Review #25, by MargaretLaneA Single Point In Time: 1981

31st March 2015:
OK, when I first saw this story, I assumed it'd be from Harry's point of view, so I didn't expect this.

I really like the setting of the scene at the beginning of this. You've obviously a talent for creating atmosphere.

You also do a good job of indicating Albus's regrets and doubts. In the books, he SEEMS so confident, but there are hints, which are confirmed at the end of the series, that he isn't really.

Hmm, that is an interesting suggestion - bringing Harry up at Hogwarts. It would keep him relatively safe, but it might not be very practical - raising a baby and then a toddler, in a school. And while Hogwarts is supposed to be one of the safest places possible and Dumbledore, the only one Voldemort feared, it is clear from the books that Harry is far more vulnerable to attack there than in his aunt's home.

It must have been such a difficult time for people who knew the Potters - they would have WANTED to celebrate Voldemort's defeat, but at the same time, would have been dealing with the shock of their friends' deaths and the knowledge that a child - a baby - had just been left orphaned.

Author's Response: Heya!

Ah, I'm glad this (pleasantly) surprised you!

Ooh, why thank you! I'm glad you think so - I do always try really hard to set the atmosphere okay. Writing with Dumbledore felt kinda tricky, but I'm glad you could see into his character a little more here.

Yeah, I agree with you. Bringing Harry up at the castle I think wouldn't work - but at the same time, I wonder whether it was something they considered, especially with Sirius being arrested too and everything going generally downhill?

Absolutely, like even though its a time of celebration its also really sad because so many people have lost friends. I'm so glad that feeling shone through because it was really important to this piece.

Thank you so much for the review! :)

Laura xxx


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