Reading Reviews From Member: MargaretLane
1,025 Reviews Found

Review #1, 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 #2, 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 #3, 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 #4, 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 #5, 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 #6, 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 #7, 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 #8, 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 #9, 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: '“Um Lily I need to change and get ready. Could you tell mum I’ll be down in a moment please” 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 #10, 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 #11, 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 #12, 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.


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Review #13, by MargaretLaneOur Children's Work: The Order of The Phoenix

1st May 2016:
My thought when including this quote was James and Lily, but of course it works equally well for Alice and Frank. I'm guessing this story is going to be heartbreaking.

I really like the way you show the differences in personality between Frank and Alice here. We don't know much about them and they are always sort of referenced as a pair so it's good to see them portrayed as individuals.

It's interesting that rumours are going around Hogwarts about Dumbledore leading the Order of the Phoenix and makes sense that they WOULD.

ACTUALLY, Dumbledore recruiting students into the Order is a pretty apt story to go with a quote from Padraig Pearse since Pearse was a headmaster and his school was something of a recruiting ground as well. Some of the older boys helped in the Rising.

Oh, I have to laugh at your comment about Augusta locking a Death Eater in a trash bin, since there is an Irish rebel song called "Lid of Me Granny's Bin" and it has always struck me that it fits well with Augusta's escape from the Aurors in Deathly Hallows.

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Review #14, by MargaretLaneend of an era: page zero.

3rd April 2016:
I have the same impression with regards to mental health. They don't seem too advanced on the matter, do they? A lot of people seem to write Lavender as having mental health issues after the war. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it.

Really like the opening paragraph. There's something very conversational about it and it just sort of rings true for some reason.

I've actually kept a diary since...let's say a few years before the dates in this story.

That last line of the first entry is quite sobering for some reason. I think because the conversation they were having as teens is so casual and cheerful and then we are reminded of what has happened. It works really well because we sort of feel Lavender's sadness.

I really LOVE the way you've rounded out Parvati's character here. I think as teenagers a lot of us believe people are simply as they appear and it is only as we get older that we realise it's rarely that simple. Lavender knew Parvati better and saw who she was in total, but other people just saw the way she first appeared.

I think doing something even though you are terrified is pretty much the definition of bravery. I am not brave. There is no way in a million years I would voluntarily take part in a war.

I like the way you mention them being terrified though. Ireland is currently commemorating the centenary of the 1916 Rising and the picture given is always that of the rebels singing as they marched out to surrender or James Connolly declaring cheerfully, "none whatsoever" when asked what their chances were. They must have been frightened - the city was being shelled around them - but that is never the impression given.

I really like the language used here - the way Lavender sounds annoyed and dismissive of things. It's very true to life and believable.

You really portray her perceptions so clearly when she talks about how she wants to believe the Healers and cooperate but can see no light left in the world.

The reference to the true or false game made me laugh and I can see how it would also be a good way of discussing painful things.

I really like the part where Tracey indicates that Parvati would want Lavender to move on.

Oh one thing: you've said on the 2nd of August, that it was five months to the day since Parvati died. I think you mean three months.

I'm now intrigued as to what is wrong with Chloe, because she seems like a pretty confident and well-adjusted person, but I guess Lavender doesn't know how she feels, so neither do we.

And a few lines later, Lavender begins to wonder the same thing and then it is explained. Poor Chloe. She does seem to have a fair amount of determination though.

I can totally imagine it would feel different to be told by Chloe that they have to move on than to be told the same thing by the Healers or her parents, because she knows how it feels.

There are tears in my eyes now. This is an excellent story.

Author's Response: Hey!

Thank you so much for the review and I'm so sorry I'm so late with this reply. Especially because this really is a lovely one

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Review #15, by MargaretLaneBehavioral Analysis: One

3rd April 2016:
OK, I am not at all familiar with Criminal Minds, but as a lover of mysteries, I'll give this a go and just hope I'm not missing too much.

LOVE the way you begin the story. It gives us an insight into Lucy's character, gives us the background of the organisation she's involved in and makes us wonder why she joined and all without sounding contrived, which stories with a lot of background to them can.

I really like the part about Emily pulling more strings than any politician or diplomat. Gives us a bit of insight into who SHE is too. You're really good at getting information across naturally and succinctly.

*grins at the computers* One of the characters in my next gen series has a father who's a policeman and he and Harry were discussing methods of law enforcement.

I like the part about the standard issue wands. I can see a lot of witches and wizards finding that quite difficult as they are used to their own wands and Ollivander did say you'd never get as good a result with a wand that hadn't chosen you, but you can see why the organisation would want to ensure wands were standardised.

These wands sound a little like guns. I mean wands DO sort of perform that function anyway, but the fact that these are specifically TO be used in law enforcement make them seem more specifically for those kind of tasks.

Slightly random comment, but comparing stories to Irish history seems to be my thing: in World War II, some members of the Irish army deserted to join the British army and go to fight in the war. Deserting TO fight in a war sounds kind of odd, doesn't it? Anyway, they were essentially blacklisted for government jobs afterwards, which a lot of people consider to have been quite harsh. The warning Lucy got just reminded me of that.

Profiling sounds like a pretty interesting job actually.

And hmm, I really wonder why Lucy was recruited. I've a feeling there's more to this than is immediately apparent.

*grins at her looking at pictures of kittens*

Lucy's workmates seem helpful and supportive anyway.

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Review #16, by MargaretLaneNot the Best Apology: Chapter 1

3rd April 2016:
Just thought I'd take a look at this as it features an Irishman.

I really like the opening. It throws us right into the action and also creates some suspense because we want to know why he's in such a hurry. The way you write it also creates a sense of hurry.

Love the comment about people being spectators in a cruel sport. When people do that crowding around, I always feel like saying, "if you can't DO anything to help, at least get out of the way so somebody else can."

I also really like the way you brought up the argument they'd had. Sometimes things like that can come across as contrived, but Harry's thoughts about it here sound perfectly natural.

Love the reference to him being his next of kin.

And I really like the last line.

As most people on HPFF are probably aware, I'm not a great fan of romance but you wrote this really well.

Author's Response: I'm glad that you liked this, I wrote this in a hurry so that I could get it out for a challenge.

I know, right?! That really annoys me when people do that, I wish that I could say that too!

Thank you so much :D I'm glad that you enjoyed this even if you're not a fan of romance.

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Review #17, by MargaretLaneKeeping Appearances: Calculated Risk

1st April 2016:
Procrastinating on a job application I don't want to do - 9 page long form - so I'll read this. Always interesting to read something from a villain's point of view.

"Mother" should probably begin with a capital "m" in the third paragraph as she is using it as a title.

The idea of Bellatrix needing somebody to take care of her... And it is so characteristic of her to dismiss anything that might detract from her opportunities to support Voldemort.

You've given us quite a bit of insight into the coldness of both Bellatrix and her father here. It even explains her actions a little if her father were that dictatorial and uncaring. And her casual consideration of how she felt she could kill him if she had to - well, it's pretty Bellatrix-like. It's like she's making a cold appraisal of which of them would win in a duel without any thought being given to the fact that they are father and daughter.

I was wondering why she agreed to marry. It seemed surprising that she would give in to her father when she had already considered that she could kill him, but I can see how marrying a loyal lieutenant of Voldemort's could increase her support and her position within the Death Eaters.

I think you have really captured Bellatrix's ruthlessness in this. It's not just that she considers killing both her father and future husband. It's how calm and matter of fact she is about it, as if killing is nothing to her.

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Review #18, by MargaretLanea slow shattering: voice as thin as spider-silk

31st March 2016:
Really like the first paragraph. You can sort of feel her apprehension and confusion, as the doctors ask their questions.

That doctor's reaction to her saying "magpies" is pretty unprofessional.

Love the reference to Parvati's beauty living on.

That part about how being "crazy" completely defines her in the doctors' minds is sad, but very believable. Especially in the wizarding world, where they seem to be somewhat behind us when it comes to mental health, not that the Muggle world is exactly enlightened.

I also like the way you connect her fears to her love of Divination.

The long term effects of war on people generally seem to get written out of history. Ireland has been commemorating the 1916 Rising this week and the personalities seem to be divided into "those who died" - either immediately after the Rising or in the following War of Independence and Civil War - and "those who went on to lead the country." The idea it might have effected people long term tends to get ignored. I guess it's hard to fit into the heroism narrative. It's one thing to think somebody died to defeat somebody like the Death Eaters, another to think their entire life was blighted by it.

The reference to how badly she wanted to live during the war reminds me of something I read somewhere about how suicide rates often go down during wars, but rise afterwards.

The "d" on "doctor" when you say "Doctor Dave" should probably be capitalised because it's being used as a title.

I like her reaction to the word "survivor."

And now, I've finally caught up. Really like this story.

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Review #19, by MargaretLanea slow shattering: dreams of fools' gold

30th March 2016:
Woops, I seem to have lost track of this story somewhere along the line. Time to start catching up now.

This may be a dialect thing, but I feel the first paragraph is slowed down a bit by more words than it needs. I'd be inclined to say something like "she's terrified, scared she'll still be in the Great Hall or her home. She's terrified the blank staring faces of her parents and little brother will be there to confront her or even worse, that Parvati will be there, sewn together in a macabre parody of her life."

You've also repeated a few words - she opens her eyes twice and you've used the word "terrified" twice.

Love the use of the word "keening".

That part where Lavender talks about how much she missed Parvati is so sad. Especially the line about how the dearest things in your life are taken away from you in nightmares.

You've misspelled "afraid" as "afriad" when she is talking about saying the names of Voldemort and Greyback.

Your portray the confusion in Lavender's mind so well. And the way the scene changes from one thing to another is very realistic for dreams.

I am really sorry for Lavender here. I hope she recovers and manages to move on with her life, but I imagine it will be difficult. She's been through an awful lot.

Sorry this review is a bit negative. I do like the chapter. The nitpicks just took more explaining that the stuff I liked.

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Review #20, by MargaretLaneTyranny: Prologue: A New Dark Lord

29th March 2016:
This sounds like a really interesting premise. I've seen Voldemort wins stories, but never one in which Bellatrix ruled. In some ways, I think it would be worse than Voldemort, since she is so insane. He was pretty irrational at times, but there were also points, like the Battle of Hogwarts where he was willing to show leniency if he thought it beneficial. I doubt she would have given the Hogwarts staff the opportunity of handing Harry over. Or given Snape a second chance either, for that matter.

You've written "the body of both Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort." Since they don't share a body, I'm assuming it should be "bodies".

There is something cold about the way she ensures Harry is dead, which seems right for Bellatrix.

And *grins* I was thinking she wouldn't compromise and then she orders the decimation of the "blood traitors" at Hogwarts.

Love your characterisation of Lucius. He comes across as something of a contrast to Bellatrix here - far less fanatical. I think his reaction is very much in character and we seem to be seeing the beginning of a power play between him and Bellatrix. My immediate question when I saw that Bellatrix was about to take charge was what part Lucius would play - whether this would be after his defection or if she would have to gain control despite him. I doubt he'll take too kindly to playing second fiddle to her.

OK, her method of ensuring he doesn't challenge her wasn't one I expected, although I guess I should have.

That last comment to Narcissa is really an indication of her brutality - that she would be willing to kill her nephew in order to punish her sister. She clearly has no loyalty to anybody except Voldemort, which was already indicated in canon.

This is a really interesting story so far and I am really looking forward to seeing what happens and finding out if she can be defeated.

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Review #21, by MargaretLaneDetermination: The First Day

29th March 2016:
Actually, it's just occurred to me this story isn't a bad one to be reading just after the Easter commemorations, as women did play a part in 1916 - Countess Markievicz was one of the leaders - and the Proclamation of the Irish Republic addressed men and women equally and is apparently unusual for its time in doing so. Countess Markievicz would become Minister for Labour in the illegal Dáil a few years later, but it would be many decades before another woman repeated that.

It also seems pretty characteristic of Augusta to achieve something like that and could help to explain why she was so demanding of Neville.

*laughs at her response about not asking her husband*

UGH, that idea that a woman getting a position is likely to have gotten it because of her gender whereas if a profession is 90% male, well, that's not indicative the men got the positions because of their gender at all is so annoying.

Hmm, that last part is interesting. It sounds like there may be more going on here than is already apparent.

Good start to the story.

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Review #22, by MargaretLaneGrave upon Grave: Grave upon Grave

29th March 2016:
I'd have liked to read this yesterday, after I got home from the commemoration ceremonies in Dublin, but it was late and I had to unpack and stuff, so I didn't have much time. It seems sort of appropriate that it was posted on Easter Monday.

The title reminds me of Yeats' poem, "Easter 1916," where he talks about "murmur name upon name."

I really like the introductory paragraphs. The present tense really seems to work for the story somehow.

Yikes, that part about how the narrator is not alive and how they fear they will live is emotive.

And that is an interesting way to use the quote. I had expected it to be used in a positive way, but it really does work as propaganda and in fact, you could easily argue the original was propaganda as Pearse planned for revolution.

"Grandparents" is all one word.

I am now wondering exactly what is going on in the background to this story and how and why the Death Eaters returned. You've intrigued me as to what is going on.

There should be a comma before Lily's name when Lorcan says, "we have to fight, Lily."

I really liked this story. It sort of questions whether the fight is really worth it and whether victory is even possible. And it's hardly surprising Lily wants to give up if all her family have been killed.

Great story.

Author's Response: Squeee.thank you so much. I really struggled to work out what to do with the quote but I was determined not to change it and to get such a lovely review from you has just totally made my day.

I didn't really know what to call this but I had to get it posted and this was about the best I had. It came from the image in my mind of Lily seeing all her families graves lined up side by side.

While I struggled a little with how to use the quote, when the idea formed, it did come quite easily. Working in first person helped with this because I could look at the scene through Lily's eyes and see the things she saw and the small details she was fixated on in her emotional state, like the moss. The line from Lily about 'not being alive' was one of the earliest thoughts I had for her character and everything flowed from here.

I see the quote as propaganda, whether to encourage people to fight or to honour those who fought. Lily can see through it though. She has nothing left and no words from the Ministry will bring back the world she's lost.

Thanks for the corrections. I didn't have time to get a beta (I'm away through April) so I had to rely on my own somewhat suspect self beta skills.

The world I created for Lily is not a happy one. You're right that Lily is wondering if the fight is worth it. She struggles to keep going, falls into a dark abyss, but Lorcan manages to bring her back and encourages her on with the small hope that one day it might end.

Thanks so much for the review and for the challenge. It tested me and took my writing out of it's comfort zone which is what I need.


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Review #23, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Chosen Four: The First Day (And Night)

21st March 2016:
Oh wow, I totally missed that this was updated. I'm really pleased because, as you know, I'm pretty curious about a fair few things.

Oooh, that part where Albus is beginning to wonder if Slytherins other than Snape fought against Voldemort is kind of interesting. I wonder if you are leading up to something here. Not sure WHAT exactly, but perhaps a Slytherin who fought against Voldemort will be relevant or perhaps Albus will befriend somebody in Slytherin now.

By the way, I think you have a space before the apostrophe in "Snape's" when you are talking about how he contrasts with the stereotype of Slytherin house.

Oooh, this new teacher seems kind of interesting. I wonder if the "satanic grin" means he's going to be a nasty character or if it's a red herring.

I also wonder if he could possibly be some relation of Harry's or something. After all, we don't know anything about James's family.

Poor Flitwick. I really like the way you indicate he's still suffering (although we don't know for sure if it's because of what happened the previous year or if he knows something else that Albus doesn't). I always like it when characters show some reaction to what they have been through.

Hmm, you've now started me wondering about Albus's skill with non-verbal spells. I assumed you just meant it as characterisation - everybody has some skills and some weaknesses after all - and maybe as something that would later help him to defeat or escape from the villains, but now I'm wondering if there is more to it. It DOES appear rather unusual.

Oooh, I really like the reference to how wizards contribute to damage to the environment. That stuff about the war makes sense.

Three friends is fairly average at that age, I'd say. From my own memories of being a young teenager, most people hung around in groups of between 2 and 5. It was really only when we got to about the age of 15 or 16 that people started hanging out with different groups at different times. I guess it might be a bit different at a boarding school, where you are with classmates all day, but I still wouldn't class it as anything unusual. Harry really only had two friends his first four or five years. It wasn't until Order of the Phoenix that he started to befriend Neville, Ginny and Luna.

*grins at the prefect being too tired to bother punishing them* Pretty realistic really.

I'm a bit confused. Albus said Marc was Muggleborn, but then Marc talks about his mother being Muggleborn, indicating he's at least half-blood. If it's still Marc talking then. It's not really clear.

I am really intrigued as to what David is hiding.

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Review #24, by MargaretLaneUnfair: An Accident

21st March 2016:
Poor Scorpius. He really is the obvious target for suspicion when odd things happen, isn't he? Honestly, I think the kid could well have a pretty tough time at Hogwarts, as the Death Eater types would probably see the Malfoys as traitors and virtually everybody else would see them as having managed to trick their way out of punishment for Death Eater involvement not once, but twice now.

Oh, I like your portrayal of Albus and Rose. It's interesting to see them portrayed in something of a negative light.

And good for Madame Bell, realising there is more going on here.

"Professors" should have a small "p" when Scorpius is talking about them hating him as it's mid-sentence and not being used as a title.

LOVE the fact that Neville is one of the few who doesn't treat the trio's kids as something special. Being a friend of theirs and having looked up to them so much in his childhood, it would probably be even harder for him to be strict with their kids (incidentally, I HATE teaching the kids of people I know), but given his own difficulties as a teen/preteen and the inner courage that was gradually revealed, it does make a lot of sense.

I wonder if Harry knows how Albus and Rose are behaving. Given the bullying he underwent at the hands of Dudley and his friends, I'd imagine he'd be horrified to think of his son behaving that way.

I am utterly amazed at how much writing you manage to do.

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Review #25, by MargaretLaneRainbow: House Elves

18th March 2016:
*laughs* My immediate thought was that the whole "master" and "mistress" thing was a little overly servile. I can well imagine Hermione disliking it.

Yikes, stuff like audiobooks and so on not being available at Hogwarts does make his life more difficult. You'd think there'd be some way of enchanting books so they would either "speak" for him or else convert to and from braille.

I can definitely see problems with Kordy acting as a scribe. It's one thing for Hugo's schoolwork, but when it comes to his stories...he wouldn't necessarily want Kordy hearing them before they've been perfected. Or even at all necessarily.

Rose seems to have improved a lot. And that means she might improve even more as more time passes.

Rose wanting to be a rainbow reminds me of that children's story/play where all the colours are arguing about who is most important and then in the end they all join together to form a rainbow.

Hugo as a grumpy old man is sort of...fitting in a way.

This is getting...a little St. Patrick's dayish.

*grins at Kordy's attitude to being free* And I really like the way you filled in the details about what happens to house elves who are released from cruel masters and what they learn as children and so on.

Hugo seems pretty mature as a writer, for his age. I mean, the way he tries to give the master a balanced character rather than making him cruel or completely perfect.

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