Reading Reviews From Member: MargaretLane
  
936 Reviews Found

Review #1, by MargaretLaneThe Trials: Chapter 1

26th May 2015:
Sorry about the delay. Really enjoyed Cold Blood, so wanted to take a look at the prequel.

I like the mention of how only one of the previous batch of trainees has remained in the profession. It's a good reminder of how tough it is.

This sentence sounds a little odd: "something that Robards had to constantly remind himself." I'd be inclined to end that sentence after "crumbling faster on the field" and then write the next sentence as, "he had to constantly remind himself of the difference between that and the safe training room..."

I like the way Roberts notices, and approves of, the messages Ron and Harry pass between him. It makes sense he'd notice; after all being observant is an important part of his job, and also makes sense that he'd recognise the value of such signals.

Hmm, I can't help expecting Harry to go against what he's told. It would be in character and there's something about that instruction that makes me think it's going to be broken.

Ooh, based on what they've gone through and their worst fears. Considering how recent the war was, I'd imagine most of them have had some traumatic experiences that could be drawn on.

Violet seems to have a pretty high opinion of herself. Despite her admission that she felt intimidated, she seems to feel a lot less so than most people would. After all, they already have significant experience, they have ALREADY defeated villains the entire AUROR DEPARTMENT couldn't. It takes a fair amount of confidence to imply the man who defeated Voldemort is "lacking" as a fighter.

Interesting beginning. I wonder if this is just going to be about their training or if they will stumble into a real crime.

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Review #2, by MargaretLaneCharity: Death And Destruction

25th May 2015:
Oooh, Charity Burbage. I don't see much of her on the archives, which is odd really, since she's an intriguing character.

*grins* Even just from the amount of luggage she's brought, we get a hint at her personality. She's clearly somebody who likes clothes. Those kind of hints are helpful at getting to know characters like her, who are practically OCs, as all we know about her from canon is that she's a teacher and she supports Muggle rights and she's brave enough to argue that despite the Death Eaters.

Oooh, I like the way the man's appearance changes from ordinary to ominous.

Since Charity is British, I think she'd be more likely to think in terms of miles than kilometres, especially since the wizarding world is sort of traditional on these things.

Wow, that part where he hits her with the suitcase is STARK. It just really portrays the shock of the situation.

I really like the way Charity fears Bellatrix above all the other Death Eaters. It makes sense, considering her extreme cruelty. Those little details add a certain amount of verisimilitude to the scene.

And gosh, the scene between her and Severus, when she sees her colleague and appeals to him. And I like the way you have him turn away. It must be horrible for him too, seeing a colleague killed and not being able to do anything to help.

And that little detail about how she wants to protect Draco - even knowing she's going to die, she's still thinking like a teacher, a teacher who puts her students first.

Hmm, Charity seems to suspect Snape's killing of Dumbledore might not be entirely because his loyalty was to Voldemort. I wonder why that is - if she has greater knowledge now that she's died or if she's guessed it from his reaction or what. A little bit more detail on that might make things clearer.

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Review #3, by MargaretLaneLife, and Death, and Love: She's gone

21st May 2015:
It's nice that Molly got to see her great-grandchildren. My own grandmother died a couple of weeks ago and I think it was nice that her first great-grandchild was born a year ago.

Oh wow, I hadn't thought of how Molly is often portrayed as sort of being at the centre of the Weasley gatherings and being the one to insist they all get together. I can well imagine that that would make it feel as if everything is going to change now she's gone.

That is SO in character for Hermione and Percy.

This sentence seems a little odd: "Heís the one of my many uncles and while I donít know him as well as the others, heís always been very kind to me." I kind of feel it should be something like, "he's the one of my many uncles I know least, but he's always been very kind to me" or "he's one of my many uncles and while I don't know him as well as the others, he's always been very kind to me."

Oh, poor Lily, it must be tough to think her grandmother will never see her child.

And you've really given the impression of how close she must have been to her grandmother. I'm glad her mum is comforting her, although then she feels guilty about that too. Poor Lily. She can't help how she feels and there are no rules about these things.

Love the part about how she wants to be a little girl again and be taken care of. I'm actually writing a story at the moment, in which the main character really seems to revert to childhood, despite being twenty-five, so maybe that's partly why it has resonance with me, but it just seems realistic that she'd want to be taken care of in a time like that.

As soon as you mentioned Harry, I realised how terrible it must be for him. She was about the closest he ever knew to a mother and in a way, it must be harder for him than the Weasleys, since he knew what it was to lack a mother figure and probably appreciated her role more than anybody.

Like Lily, my grandmother was the first person I lost. Weirdly, I was smiling through most of the funeral, because I kept thinking of the stuff she'd say or had said.

LOVE the way Al calls the baby a pygmy puff. And I really like the fact he's a Healer. That's the career I'm planning for him in my series too, but since he's currently 13 in that, it's not going to arise for a while.

This sentence also sounds a little odd: "He is equally happy for this baby as Ibrahim and I are." Something like "He is just as happy about this baby as Ibrahim and I are," might sound better.

That part about Albus not being able to sleep with potions is kind of worrying. I'm kind of wondering if there's more to this that might be explained in your main story.

*laughs* Uncle Percy did strike me as one of the characters most likely to be a little awkward with the idea of same sex relationships.

Lily is so hard on herself. Just because people went through worse doesn't mean what she's feeling isn't valid.

Love the idea of Arthur saying he'd be proud of Lily if she became a Muggle. And also love how she thought he was so strong because he could lift her up.

This is a fantastic story. Really glad I got to read it.

Author's Response: Thanks for swapping with me! And thanks for a great review!

I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother! It's never easy to accept the death of a loved one, even if it's someone old who has lived their life.

Molly has been the center of the family, and it might very well be the case that they're not going to have those great family parties without her, because they are so many now, and without somebody holding them together it would be hard. But I think that they're close anyway, and that they're are going to stick together in other ways.

Albus is ambitous and works too hard, and he has trouble sleeping at times. This story is set ten years after my main story, so it's not explicitly told why, but in my head canon he might be stressing too much and caring too much about others, and too little about himself.

Thanks for pointing out those awkward sentences. I'm going to edit the story with the help of your suggestions!

Molly


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Review #4, by MargaretLaneA Christmas in Azkaban: A Flickering Flame

19th May 2015:
I really LOVE the description of Azkaban and the black hound huddled there in the first paragraph. You REALLY capture the atmosphere.

You are really good at sort of sensual writing - in the sense of describing senses, like the feel of the blanket. That is hard to do.

I actually have an angsty Christmas story too. And I wrote a fic about Sirius in prison - a songfic, because his ordeal reminds me of some real world events. Events I can still get angry hearing about.

I think the part where he can't remember how many years he's been in Azkaban is really realistic. It would be VERY hard to keep track of the days for 12 years when every day is the exact same and there is no break in routine whatsoever.

OH, I never thought of Sirius having been an Auror. I assumed he'd only fought for the Order of the Phoenix. It does seem like a career that'd appeal to him though.

I love the depth you give the situation here. I assumed they were just sneering at him because they hated Death Eaters in general, but the combination of one of them having a brother who died in the war and the disillusionment he appears to have felt, having looked up to Sirius as a kid adds extra detail. And it makes so much SENSE. The Marauders, James and Sirius, in particular are exactly the kind of teens that would appeal to young teens and preteens - a few years older, good-looking, intelligent, disrespectful to the teachers, brave, cool. I can really imagine the younger students looking up to them en mass.

Aw, it's so sad that he still feels he might has well have killed them himself.

Your description of Christmas and Lily giving out to James made me smile straight away. You are so good at scene setting.

LOVE the part about them watching films. It makes sense that Lily'd want a TV and while electronics don't work at Hogwarts, there's no reason they wouldn't in an ordinary wizarding home, where there'd be much less magic around.

And yikes, the change in his mood as the Dementors approach is STARK. You can really FEEL it while reading.

And you REALLY show the way the Dementors bring back all his worst memories. I've rarely if even seen that done that well.

Love the line about how he was drowning and nobody could see.

And I love the mention of the dog star at the end.

I'm not a big Sirius fan, but like I said, his ordeal does remind me of the men who DID spend about 15 year in jail for terrorist crimes they hadn't committed - even the dates almost match. So I certainly have sympathy for him. And now, I'm completely rambling.

This was an awesome story.

Author's Response: It actually says in the books that Sirius was partnered with James after Prongs dropped out of professional Quiddich because of the war to join the Aurors. That was what the tale was about where they got chased on Sirius' motorbike by some policemen and they few off. I think they had something to drink that night and then saw some death eaters and tried chasing them. I think. But it was during that time.

I try to give some logic to my stories. I get kinda irritated when people gloss over things they could have easily come up with an explanation for. It takes away depth and makes it less realistic. I feel like it doesn't give the stories the justice they deserve, and try my best to avoid falling into those traps. I also find it best just to go with it and improvise, because plotting can also do that. It makes it seem TOO thought out, like it doesn't just go naturally. At least, with some. I really admire people who can actually pull that off, but I do better coming up as I go and fleshing out in my head.

It's fine, I ramble all the time. Thanks for the review, your story was awesome too! (I think I just did a slant rhyme...)


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Review #5, by MargaretLaneRainbow: Back Home

18th May 2015:
You mentioned these first few lines to me before, I'm sure - the stuff about Neil being "all important." *laughs* I'm sure he'll LOVE being described like that.

And I LOVE his comment about how Hugo SHOULD be afraid of magic. If you're not afraid of something like that, you're more likely to be reckless.

And he REALLY has the measure of the family and how much Hermione is struggling, doesn't he? Although it does seem like he's placing a lot of responsibility on Hugo's shoulders. Controlling your temper is HARD when you're ten years old. I should know if anybody should.

Between Hugo's temper and his discomfort with being hugged...hmm, it's not too hard to identify with this kid. And the writing too.

*laughs at the British insisting things be done properly* Yeah, does make life more difficult.

*cracks up at his reference to Percy*

LOVE the line "what use is light to the blind?"

*laughs at Hermione's attitude to gambling*

And yes, DEFINITELY a good idea to give Muggleborns a bit more advance knowledge. I think many parents would be reluctant to let their kids go away to boarding school at all with only a few months notice, let alone into a world they didn't even know existed.

I'm assuming there has to be something more to this match fixing, because you've gone into a lot of detail about it now. At first, I thought it might be the second story that was significant, but with all the uncertainty about exactly what the accusations are about, I suspect this is going to be relevant.

That whole coming up with inventive, but valid answers to the door knockers sounds like something YOU'D do.

I can understand why Hugo feels as he does about Rose, but it's rather demeaning.

I wonder if the girl in his story is a representation of Rose - lost in an unfamiliar world.

And YES, stories do their own thing.

Great to see Rainbow being continued.

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Review #6, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Incanters Staff: Impatience

16th May 2015:
Hmm, the summary of this story does sound intriguing. I've read a lot of next gen. mysteries, but none that sounded quite like this. Della sounds like a really interesting character.

This is more a formatting thing than anything else, but there are rather big blocks of text in this chapter which make it kind of easy to lose where you are. Also, you should go down to a new paragraph each time somebody speaks. It gets a bit confusing when it's all in together.

Oh, it sounds like Hugo will start Hogwarts the following year here. Most people tend to have him two years younger, like Lily, but that's not actually said in the epilogue and I think it's a bit coincidental for two of Harry's children to start Hogwarts the same year one of Ron and Hermione's does.

Are you planning a full series here? To follow Rose and Albus until they are in 7th year?

LOVE the idea of Lovegood writing a textbook and it makes sense that Flitwick and McGonagall would have updated some of the textbooks. Textbooks are often written by teachers.

A slight typo towards the end of the chapter: Ollivander speaks of a "wanf".

I wonder why he wants updates on it. Sounds like there's a mystery about the wand too.

You could maybe expand a little on why he wants those details, unless you want to keep it mysterious for a while. And even then, I think Albus or somebody might ask. And the mystery would be increased if Ollivander refused to answer.

Author's Response: Thank you for the review. I will take your suggestions on board, that typo would be because I write on a Samsung tablet. But I can tell you that Della Hauora will have a very interesting backstory and a twist.

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Review #7, by MargaretLaneSilent Rumors: A Letter

13th May 2015:
OK, as my review for our swap was kind of short, I thought I'd review something else and this sounds kind of intriguing. I DO like a mystery.

You are fantastic at physical description and scene setting. I am not very good at physical description and tend to avoid it, so that impresses me.

I love to see different careers in the wizarding world. So many fics include Aurors, Healers, Ministry Heads of Department, Quidditch players and Hogwarts teachers. Not that there's anything wrong with any of those careers, but I do like to see something different. I don't think I've ever seen somebody running an Apothecary before.

I think you could maybe give a bit more of an indication as to why the owl worries Ernie. I'm guessing it's because it arrives so late, but it's not really clear. And if he runs an Apothecary, it could just be somebody in urgent need of a potion, which must be something he deals with on a regular basis. Unless of course, this is meant to be unexplained at the moment.

OK, first thoughts about the letter: it says "we". That indicates some new organisation rising, rather than a specific individual who wants revenge on him. It also appears to be HIM they want revenge on. My feeling is that they are targeting his family to get at him. I'm not sure exactly why that is. Possibly because they sent the letter to him rather than the family home or possibly because it says "you and your family" rather than just "we're watching your whole family" or possibly because of the word "precious", which seems to imply they are targeting his family BECAUSE his family members are precious to him. Or maybe some mix of all of this.

Being on a winning side of a war DOES seem like a possible reason one could be targeted for revenge.

And *grins at his wife's name* The main character of my entry to your challenge is called Lydia. Not that it's that uncommon a name or anything, but it just caught my eye, having been writing about a character with that name.

D.A. Hmm, if that DOESN'T refer to Dumbledore's Army, it's quite a coincidence. And yet, why would they want revenge on him.

I think it makes a lot of sense that he'd think it was a mistake. After all, if somebody wanted revenge on you, you'd think you'd know about it. And even if it WERE somebody connected to the Death Eaters or a supporter, there are far more important people they could be targeting. Ernie may have fought in the Battle of Hogwarts, but he hardly played the role the Trio did or Neville or any of the Weasley family or Kingsley or even somebody like Hagrid.

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Review #8, by MargaretLaneIsabella: Thirteen Candles

13th May 2015:
Hmm, the summary for this story sounds rather interesting. I'm not sure what to expect from it.

LOVE the way you set the scene in the beginning. You describe it in such detail.

Hmm, I wonder why thirteen would be unlucky for her. I have a sort of feeling the old woman is a witch, but so far, there are no signs of magic in this story. I'm guessing it will be revealed as we go along. I'm not sure yet if the main character is a witch or a Muggle. She APPEARS to be a Muggle, but as this is not set in Britain, it's possible witches and wizards in other countries start magical schools later. Hogwarts corresponds to a British secondary school, after all, so perhaps people in other countries start whenever they would finish their elementary/primary education.

OK, that is a REALLY intriguing ending to the first chapter. I have no idea what's going on. Even if she is a witch, that doesn't explain what she wants with the family or what she has broken down the door.

I really like the way you write about aspects of the wizarding world that don't appear in the books at all. I mean, a lot of people write about things that don't appear in the books, but they are often things that are at least hinted at, like the Founders' lives or the lives of other historical wizarding characters or various magical creatures that we know exist even if we haven't seen them, whereas your stories explore areas that weren't even hinted at.

I don't know anything about Mexico. I didn't even know it HAD states.

Author's Response: Hi Margaret!

Thank you for the review!

So the school system is different in Mexico, which is why 13 becomes the focus instead of 11. At this age, students are entering Secundaria, which is similar to a Junior Highschool or secondary school. At age 15 they have to option to go to Preparatoria, which would be similar to the last few years of high school in the US.

There will definitely be some revelations about the magical world as the story progresses. I won't say anymore because I don't want to give it away.

I'm so glad you appreciate me stepping outside of the box that JKR created. That is something that always has a hit or miss response. Some people like it. Others don't. Personally, I love the idea of expanding on what JKR started. If there are wizards and magic in the UK, it seems only likely that they would exist in other parts of the world as well.

I'm sure a lot of people who read this won't know much about Mexico, but that's why it's for the Diversity Challenge. I want to expand people's view of the magic world to a culture not usually discussed. :D

Thanks again for the review! I always look forward to your reviews as well because of the massive amount of detail you put into them.

~Kaitlin


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Review #9, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Pureblood's Secret: The Protest

12th May 2015:
Hmm, this is interesting. Elsie seems to have gotten a good deal more confident all of a sudden. Being caught out of the castle by a prefect who is quite a few years older than you would normally be pretty intimidating for a student, especially one as shy as Elsie APPEARED to be. It's looking more and more as if the key word is "appeared."

I wonder if she intended to let the mask slip a little there.

Telling Harry is a good idea. And even if he DID get a detention, it would be worth it to report Elsie if she IS doing something illegal.

I keep forgetting Harry is teaching at Hogwarts again. It actually makes Dawlish's behaviour even stranger, because if Harry is with Albus all year 'round, it would make far more sense for him to be the one to inform Albus of the things Dawlish did. Hmm.

And a few paragraphs later this is explained. Dawlish seems to have a bit of his own agenda here.

I sort of think it should be "I won't go to any more (meetings)" rather than "I won't go to anymore."

I very much doubt a protest would do James's migraines much good anyway.

Pity Hogwarts didn't pay as much attention to parents' complaints when Umbridge was around. The Ministry must have gotten complaints when she was basically torturing students.

Yeah, it's probably good that James is getting some kind of psychological help. He has a LOT to adjust to, and he does seem to be struggling with it, understandably. Hopefully, they can help him get his life back on track.

Hmm, I wonder what James is hiding.

The fact he's so opposed to the idea of counselling is concerning, since it's unlikely to help unless he engages fully with it.

Your update schedule is amazing. I think we can all wait an extra week here and there.

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Review #10, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Chosen Four: The Hogwarts Express

12th May 2015:
*laughs at your Rose being horrified at the idea of eavesdropping* It seems like mine does little else.

I'm not at all surprised Art is horrified by the thought of Dementors. They are pretty horrific.

Hmm, the fact that this Dementor has long-term effects that go beyond leaving people shaking for a while afterwards and actually cause them to need hospitalisation is a good indication of how it differs from the norm.

This sounds a bit awkward: "Daniel Killingston said, one of the Australians on the scene in Antarctica." Something like "one of the Australians on the scene, in Antarctica, Daniel Killingston, said..." or "Daniel Killingston, who was one of the Australians on the scene, said..." might sound better.

Aw, poor Lily. She seems rather more sensitive than her brothers. Of course she is younger too.

Albus always has a string of questions about everything.

I wonder what is going on with Harry. I guess he's just overworked because of the amount of coordination and all he has to do in order to sort out this crisis, but he does seem tireder even than in Deathly Hallows, when he was spending months on the run.

I think it makes sense that they'd solve things better when they are together. If somebody asks a question, it can sometimes start you thinking in a way you wouldn't otherwise. And of course, they all have different strengths. Rose may be a genius, but Albus has greater curiosity, I think and is more likely to bring up a particular issue that she may not have considered.

VERY nit-picky, but the term "vacation" is kind of an Americanism and it seems a little out of place for Albus to think of his summer holidays as "the summer vacation".

And you've written "James's grumpiness returned away." That sounds kind of odd. Should it have been something like "James's grumpiness disappeared"?

And he is SO mean to poor Lily.

Oh, I FORGOT about the mystery with David. Hmm, I wonder what is going on there. Yeah, hating writing letters really DOESN'T explain why he couldn't write and say, "yes, I'd like to come" or "no, I can't come." It's not like that requires a great deal of effort. There HAS to be more to it.

There should be a comma before Marc, in "have a seat, Marc."

David is clearly trying to distract them from the subject of his holidays. They are less likely to ask about why he didn't visit with somebody else around.

Again, VERY nit-picky, but I'd be inclined to have them say, "we HAD to get all of Lockhart's books" rather than "we have to", as they've already got them. "We have to" makes it sound like they haven't bought them yet.

Yikes, I should have realised Albus would now be able to see the Thestrals.

Author's Response: Well, I had a review response all typed out... and then the page refreshed. Sigh. So let me try again.

Our Rose's differ a lot, don't they? My Rose is the voice of logic, trying to keep Albus from doing things, and your characters are flipped.

If dementors were real, they would probably be my boggart. They are terrifying. That's like my one similarity with Harry.

To be honest, Harry being on the run wasn't too bad. They didn't really do much. It was like a really long extended camping trip. Sure, there was the threat of Voldemort hanging over his head, but other than that, there wasn't a whole lot going on. Meanwhile, now Harry is one of the most important officials of the British government. That's a lot of work, and a lot of stress.

Lily is really young- she becomes tougher later on, don't worry.

You have a good point about the whole "vacation" term. It's just so common in America that I often forget that the British don't use it.

And thank you for all the corrections. I will edit that!

James isn't super mean, and Lily didn't even hear James insulting her.

Yup, Albus can see thestrals. That's kind of scary, especially since Harry couldn't see them until the beginning of his fifth.

Thank you so much for the review!


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Review #11, by MargaretLanebad blood: two; a dispute of quidditch

11th May 2015:
I'd forgotten I'd read the first chapter of this.

Really like the first couple of lines. Poor Lily.

And poor Hugo. It seems like he doesn't really know how to deal with the situation. I like the way Rose is trying to be the big cousin and reassure her.

You've written "she realise everything would change". I'm assuming it should be "realised".

You give us a sense of the various characters so naturally - the reference to Louis playing pranks and Rose trying to reassure Lily. Immediately, we can guess a little about the kind of people they are.

Sounds like Lily's summer was spent enjoying the best of both worlds. And hmm, Teddy seems a bit of a campaigner here, as he is in my series. I haven't seen anybody else portray him that way, but it seems to make sense, considering his father. He'd be what? About 27 at this point?

And oh! Lily and Hugo don't seem to get on here. I've come across a lot of versions in which they are best friends, so that surprised me. You seem to be avoiding a lot of the fanon here, which I like, as it's interesting to read different versions. It gets a bit monotonous when characters are portrayed in the same way in nearly every story.

I can see why she doesn't like him. He seems pretty dismissive of anything that doesn't interest him personally. You'd think he'd at least bother to remember the NAME of the game his cousin plays, especially when it's not like there's a great variety of sports his cousins are playing.

*cheers for Hermione telling Hugo to do something for others himself rather than just being "my mum does all that"*

Love the detail about having a day trip to New Zealand.

And I also like the fact that Luna's kids are so much younger. In a lot of fanfictions, it seems like everybody the same age has children at exactly the same time. I do understand why - it means less OCs to create from scratch - but in the real world, people have children at any age from about 15 or 16 to somewhere well into their forties. And Teddy is nearly 18 years younger than Harry, despite their fathers being the same age.

I really like the fact that Lily is clearly very intelligent and yet doesn't get the best grades. It makes her a specific character, rather than just a smart one or an underachiever.

I wonder if her dismissive attitude to exams will affect her negatively in the long run. While they don't prove intelligence and getting as stressed as some of her classmates appear to be is more likely to negatively affect their grades than anything else, the fact is that grades DO impact on your future. Not as much as teenagers often think they will, but enough that it's worth doing the best you can. And I already sort of get the impression that Lily will WANT to do something academic, if only because it is more likely to make people listen to her and allow her make a greater impact on the world.

She seems a bit like Hermione - smart, wanting to change the world and perhaps a little bossy and of the opinion she knows best in all circumstances. The big difference, of course, is her attitude to school and she also seems, in some ways, at least, to be less insecure. She doesn't seem to be so anxious to prove herself.

This story is actually a lot different than I expected. I expected it to be about her finding out she was a Squib and how she dealt with it, but instead, it seems like being a Squib is just part of her backstory and the story itself will involve a good deal more.

I think she is a very realistic and well-rounded character. She's more than just a token Squib and is interesting for more reasons than just because of that.

I would like to see more of her with her family and how her relationship with them is affected by her being a Squib. I'd also like to see what Albus, Rose and James and doing with their lives at this point. Especially since this story seems to be quite an original one, so their personalities and life paths may be a little different than the typical ones too.

Author's Response: hi!

ah yes you did, and I took your comments on board and did a little snazzy edit edit ;)

hugo is kind of thick-headed like his dad tbh. 'emotional range of a teaspoon' comes to mind. he just doesn't know what to do with himself when the activities don't include quidditch and his other faves. he's clueless to life, esp the muggle world. rose is of course much more active a member of it as she goes to campaigns and rallies with lily quite often

good typo pointer! will edit asap

oooh I haven't had the pleasure of reading much of your work yet but I am so here for campaigner!teddy so I think I might have to have a proper venture over when I get the time, I'm really intrigued! you're right - I can't be bothered to get the figures up right now but he's probably about 27-ish yup as lily is 17 and rose is 19

hmm I wouldn't necesserily say they don't get along but they're definitely not particularly close, no. lily isn't close to many of her cousins aside rose tbh purely because they're all rather clueless to the muggle world and her situation. she's a bit isolated, if I'm honest. hugo is very dismissive though yes and like I said above, entirely clueless. like other than quidditch the only other sports he's likely ever come across are football, perhaps rugby ?? netball isn't a hard game to understand. you'd think he'd take at least a little interest.. get the name right at any rate ;)

~WOO YES GO HERMIONE~

I'm pretty sure rowling said somewhere that luna didn't have children until MUCH later than the others, which is what I was sticking to here even though they're usually similar ages to the other next gen lot in fic. much more interesting to throw in a little older mama luna I feel! and wayyy more realistic.

OH YES lily will soon come to find that exams kind of are important even if she (and I) don't agree with the message of them. she'll soon learn she can't coast through life and she'll be much better off doing as well as she possibly can in her a-levels to give her a good boost for the next step in life.

ooh yes the story isn't going to be about her discovery as a squib. there'll be much moer and although 'squib' won't be background it will be constantly present as a fight for rights rather than an 'oh no I'm a squib welp better just accept it way'. it's going to be about changing the norms, rather than accepting them.

thank you for the input and lovely long review! again, very very helpful ♥ her relationship with ginny is going to be in the next, though unfortunately probably not al or james (though maybe, we'll see)

again, thanks!

- jess, xo


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Review #12, by MargaretLaneActions Speak Louder than Words: Beating Heart: Scorpius POV

10th May 2015:
Hmm, that part about James not hearing anything sounds a little mysterious.

That receptionist is REALLY sympathetic! I'm sure the last thing visitors need is that kind of attitude when they are worried about somebody.

She's probably right to be a little suspicious about somebody who wants to visit the daughter of two war heroes in hospital though. Especially since I'm getting the impression more and more that Ireland's "we give people their privacy" might not be ENTIRELY just self-congratulatory nonsense and that being the child of well-known parents might put people under more scrutiny in other countries.

YIKES, this sounds way more serious than I'd imagined. I mean, obviously falling when pregnant is going to be serious, but I didn't think Rose would be unconscious this long or that there'd be this much panic. I never considered anything like Rose going into cardiac arrest. I really hope she and the baby will be OK. I'd imagine they will be.

Yikes, I really don't think Rose could handle losing the baby on top of everything else. Or Scorpius either. How would he feel if anything happened to the baby or Rose after the way he'd been avoiding them?

Hmm, that's really strange. I'm not sure what's going on here. Could she have been poisoned or something and the effects of the poison caused her fall? I don't see HOW though. Or perhaps somebody in the hospital is in league with Stannous and took a chance to do something with her while they had her under their control. Scary thought.

The Weasley family are so kind to think of Scorpius like that. I mean, obviously, he's one of the people it's worst for as he could lose his child, but so could Ron and Hermione, although that is probably rather less likely. I could easily imagine everybody being so caught up in their own worry and trying to support family members that he'd get overlooked.

And it IS good Selenia is with her.

I really don't think Draco could have helped Hermione at that point without getting himself and possibly his parents killed. He really DIDN'T have much choice.

I think it is understandable though, that Ron would never forgive him, not just for that, but also for the way he nearly killed Ron in an attempt to murder Dumbledore and for his involvement with the Death Eaters in the first place.

I think Scorpius is putting too much emphasis on backgrounds, with his thoughts about how he and Rose can't be the same because their families are different. As Ron said, they are not their parents and just because their parents were different doesn't mean they are.

At least Scorpius has copped on a bit. Now, we just have to hope it isn't too late, but I don't think it will be.

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Review #13, by MargaretLaneLion Without a Roar: A Mysterious Newcomer

9th May 2015:
Yeah, that is really weird. She's missed more than a term, really. She's missed two years and a term. I mean, I assume she's attended one of the other wizarding schools or she'd be WAY behind, but it still appears to be unusual for magical children to change schools. I'm not at all surprised the students are surprised. I wonder why she is and how hard she will find it to fit in with classmates who've spent two and a bit years living together.

*laughs at Harry still thinking in terms of the Muggle world and forgetting that ALL magical children in the UK and, presumably Ireland are offered a place at Hogwarts on their 11th birthday* I think it's realistic that he'd occasionally think in terms of the world he has, at this point, spent most of his life in.

I really don't think you need to explain that he was raised by Muggles or that his parents were murdered though. Anybody reading this is going to know his background. The same is true when it comes to introducing Draco. Everybody reading will already know who he is, so you don't need to describe the colour of his hair, tell us he's a snob or that Harry dislikes him. I wouldn't even bother mentioning he was there. You said the Slytherin students were and since we know he's in Slytherin and that he chose Care of Magical Creatures as one of his options, we'd assume that includes him. So I'd just go from "the Slytherin students were already there" to "the lesson was about to begin."

Hmm, I'm assuming the bruise on her forehead is relevant.

I wonder when she was sorted into Gryffindor. Maybe she had a private sorting in Dumbledore's office or something, since it would be sort of embarrassing to have the sorting hat brought out just for you.

When Harry says, "Leave her alone, Malfoy," there should be a comma before "Malfoy".

Draco certainly seems to be in character here. And her reaction IS intriguing. I'm wondering if she CAN'T speak or if it's something like selective mutism. I'm guessing more the latter. I guess because of the way she's changed BOARDING SCHOOLS, which is hard to think of a reason it'd be necessary and she has a bruise on her forehead, so some sort of trauma appears to be indicated. Maybe she was being bullied in her previous school or something.

Hmm, odd they are having a Hogmeade visit on a schoolday. I think all the ones in the book were on the weekends and I assumed all of them would be during weekends.

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Review #14, by MargaretLaneGhost in the Machine: Rebirth

9th May 2015:
I really like the way you show time as passing here - that it was a year before she managed to make any progress in hospital, then some time longer before she reached a point where she could leave the hospital and then another year while she felt she was stagnating. After all, these things DO take time.

I mentioned similarities between Lavender in "Ice" and the character in the story I am writing. Well, in the chapter, I'm currently working on, my character is going to dealing with facing people for the first time after her trauma and feeling them staring at her. I can understand Lavender feeling the same way. After all, people staring would remind her of how her face looks, which would, in turn, remind her of what happened.

That part about the wizarding world starting to forget is kind of scary. There are a LOT of underlying problems to be addressed - ones that led to Voldemort gaining support. Problems like pureblood prejudice and fear of magical creatures.

Ah! I was wondering how she was supporting herself, as it seems like she is living away from her parents. It makes sense the Ministry would have some fund to support those who were injured as a result of the fight for freedom. Pensions were given to those who fought for Irish freedom, although some weren't given for quite a long time afterwards.

She really shouldn't feel ashamed. The Ministry wouldn't even EXIST in its current form if people like her hadn't stood up against Voldemort. And having health conditions that prevent you from working shouldn't be something to be ashamed of anyway.

I like the Healer's initial reaction. I was afraid they might be over-cautious, especially when she looked surprised, but it seems like she recognises this as a good sign.

But then, of course, she is concerned by the particular job, which I guess is understandable.

I like the ending and the reminder that she can't just go ack to the way she was before all this happened, but that she CAN move on with her life. It's hopeful without being unrealistic.

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Review #15, by MargaretLaneGhost in the Machine: Nightmares

9th May 2015:
I think she is underestimating her recovery. It's like she's expecting to work like a fairy tale or a story where things can be magically fixed by the wave of a wand or something, and real life doesn't work like that. Getting from spending a year in hospital, not speaking or caring about anything to a point where she can go home and take care of herself is a huge achievement. Especially considering the lack of support there appears to be for mental health issues in the wizarding world. The locked ward appears to be more about containment than treatment. And it sounds here as if Lavender has done a lot of it on her own.

Love the part about how nightmares can be as bad as Dementors for preventing you from casting a spell. I think J.K. Rowling indicated that Dementors were a metaphor for depression, so it makes sense that being depressed would have a similar effect to their presence.

I wonder if she has any parents actually. They didn't seem to be around either to visit her in the hospital or to care for her now.

It seems like she really needs somebody to take care of her and offer some reassurance when she panics. The way she is trying to comfort herself is so sad, as it makes it seem like there's nobody else to do it for her.

This line sounds a bit awkward: "She was tired of being too terrified of the darkness and what she couldnít seem to leave her room before the morning sun flooded her flat with light." The "what" seems out of place or something.

I love the detail about Parvati being afraid of the dark until she was a teenager and the way Lavender didn't understand how anybody could be until now. It sort of adds a depth of detail to things, as does the part about how all the remaining seventh years usually slept in one room during the year the Carrows were in charge. I can understand that. I think it would both feel safer to have four people in a room than two and it would also make it easier to forget all the people who weren't there. Seeing the empty beds in both rooms would be a reminder of how many people were in mortal danger.

Poor, poor Lavender. People are being kind of harsh. It's hardly surprising that somebody still suffering the effects of war trauma wouldn't want to take dangerous jobs like being an Auror or working with dragons. But I can understand their reactions too. Everybody's had a hard time and they probably think she's not even trying. And for some people, her obvious trauma might even be a reminder of the events they are trying to put behind them.

And of course, it's possible they aren't thinking that way at all and that her assumption they are is just a result of her depression.

And for reading "Ice", I'm pretty sure she will take this job. I hope it'll help her. "Ice" left that unclear. On the one hand, she certainly seemed better in that than here and she certainly seemed to care about her job, but on the other hand, it seemed as if she was using it to avoid things she didn't want to face.

Having read that part about recording prophecies, I'm now wondering if she has a job. I assumed she didn't, that she hadn't been able to bring herself to even apply for anything.

It does seem like Parvati and Seamus have come through things reasonably unscathed.

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Review #16, by MargaretLaneGhost in the Machine: St. Mungo's

9th May 2015:
I really can't believe I haven't read this story already.

And I really like the way you describe her dreams. It's not at all surprising that those things would turn up in them. I'm imagine most of those who fought in the Battle of Hogwarts suffered SOME level of nightmares.

You describe the sound of glass shattering so well. You can almost hear it.

And you also really capture her mental state. Just the part about how her anxiety paralyses her and how miserable her feelings are.

I'm glad she has some friends who keep coming back. I can understand why so many drifted away. Something like that is hard to deal with and it must feel pointless when she barely acknowledges them. And despite everything they've been through, they're still only teenagers. I don't think I could have dealt with something like that at the age of 18. And of course, most of them have their own problems too. Most people are probably grieving for somebody they've lost or coming to terms with having lived through a war. While they may not be suffering as she is, I'd imagine they do have other things on their minds.

I really like the part about her being able to smell the blood and so on when she goes to sleep. It really shows how her experiences are haunting her.

One slight criticism I would have is that the part about how one day the boy snapped seems to come in kind of quickly. I know there are parts of my own stories that come across that way too, so I'm not sure how to make it seem less rushed. Maybe putting a scene break before it would help?

I like the way you tell us how long she'd been there. It comes in really naturally and it IS important, because the more time has passed without improvement, the more serious her condition appears to be. There's a difference between having nightmares for a couple of weeks after something like that and having nightmares every night for a year.

I did get the impression a long time had passed, but I think knowing the exact length confirms my impressions and indicates just how much she is struggling. Poor Lavender.

Hmm, I think the fact she cares, even a little, is a good sign, a sign some feeling is coming back to her and that she might eventually recover.

All thought it hasn't provoked an immediate recovery (which would be pretty unrealistic anyway), there do appear to be signs of slight improvement.

Wow, the fact that she manages to whisper "congratulations" is a bit step, I think. It shows that she is still able to care about her friends.

I love the part about the unicorn and how much it clearly means to her.

Excellent first chapter.

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Review #17, by MargaretLaneIce.: Ice.

7th May 2015:
This has some weird similarities with my entry to the same challenge - the facial scarring, the Healers saying to take things easier.

I like the way the healers are speaking in sort of vague euphemisms, as if they don't want to address issues of mental health directly.

Oooh, you brought in that part about how your character's "best friend or something" is married so casually and I'm now wondering if the husband knows about this relationship.

And aw that part about feeling like a waste of space!

Oh, the last few paragraphs make things sound rather more serious than I'd imagined them as being up to that point. And they are so sad.

This story is really well-written and intriguing. There's sort of so much left unsaid about the full details of the main character's life.

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Review #18, by MargaretLaneA Single Point In Time: 1984

26th April 2015:
Hmm, this is an interesting interpretation of Narcissa. I always imagined her as adoring her child and wanting nothing more than to be the perfect wife and mother, but we don't really know much about her, and she'd probably be too proud to express any dissatisfaction with her life and of course, adoring your child doesn't necessarily mean you don't get slightly annoyed about having to leave your guests to tend to them. I think it gives her a bit of depth to show her as not enjoying all parts of motherhood, so most parents probably have moments when they'd like to enjoy something without their child.

One thing I will say is that the first description of Draco here made him sound like a baby. Four and five year olds are pretty tall and heavy. She could certainly still carry him, but I'm not sure about lifting him higher on her side.

Like the mention of Belarus, as it's an unusual place to mention and I like reminders that there's a wizarding world outside Britain. Considering the date, he's probably lucky to be arriving in Britain.

LOVE the reference to how the war was reported abroad. And it's extremely believable. In Ireland, the papers were hugely censored during World War II, so no country could use something as an excuse to invade or anything. Doubt that'd be a concern here, but it still fits pretty well.

You give a certain insight into Evelyn's character just by the blank look on her face.

"It had it's own value" - there shouldn't be an apostrophe in "its". That's only when it's short for "it is".

I like the comparison between Harry's name and a "wound." It expresses how painful it is to them.

Coming from a neutral country, I think you have captured how difficult it is to really grasp the reality of a war your country hasn't been involved in. That's phrased badly, but it's clear the war hasn't affected them as it has people in Britain and even though they probably know logically how horrific it must have been, there is a feeling that they haven't quite grasped it on a more emotional level.

I've no idea what the word "kitsune" means and it doesn't really seem like a word an upper-class British woman would use in the early '80s. OK, googling tells me it's Japanese for "fox", so I think she'd just say "fox".

LOVE the last line. It encapsulates Narcissa's world view perfectly.

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Review #19, 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 donít 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 #20, 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 #21, 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 #22, 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 #23, 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 #24, 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 #25, 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.

Author's Response: Hi there!

Gosh - you review so fast and I've taken so long to respond - sorry!

Yes! Rose *is* really strong! She still doesn't see it the way she should, but she's come so very far from the beginning of the story. I've really tried to make her recovery be at a pace that was believable - but she *has* gotten much, much better.

Scorpius, Scorpius - he really is being a fool, here. He's pulled himself away from everyone. The shock of his family's actions during the war is too great for him to bear. I know that is not always the way that other authors have chosen to portray him, but in my view, Draco -ever the coward - wouldn't have ever volunteered the information about the war. He also truly loved his son, and didn't want him to live with the stigma hanging over his head - so he took the easy route and never mentioned it to him.

:) Glad you like the dragon-pox... I originally had Hagrid as the discoverer, but I changed it to Charlie.

I should probably look at the requirements for that assignment. It would make more sense for the trainees to only have ONE unsolved assignment. You're right - if Healers with years of experience couldn't solve it - perhaps they dole out just one really difficult one in the hopes that "fresh eyes" might see something else.

Haha - I guess I should research what the maternity leave policy is for the UK. Here in the US, it's abysmal. The law states that an employer only has to HOLD a woman's job for six weeks - no pay at all. Even that law is dependent on the size of the employer as really, really small businesses aren't even held to the 6 week rule. Fortunately for me, I was allowed to use up my sick days for the six weeks, but any time after that I had to take without pay - up to a total of 10 months. In addition, I had to cover the cost of my family health insurance during the unpaid leave time - which is NOT CHEAP in the US. Also - when I returned to work, I had almost no sick days left (which had to be used for personal or family sickness) - so I had to cross my fingers that the baby didn't get sick - which is really unlikely when they are in daycare with other kids. Okay, I'm done with my rant about how archaic our maternity leave policy is in the US.

BUT - my intent with this story is to explore the pressures that Rose feels being torn between her family and her career - that will come a bit later :)

Yes, let's ALL yell some sense into Scorpius - he is being a complete prat!

Thanks again for this review! I smiled every time I read it (which was quite a bit)


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