Reading Reviews From Member: MargaretLane
  
575 Reviews Found

Review #26, by MargaretLaneDudley Dursley: A Study in Parody: Dudley Dursley’s Devastating Day

29th March 2014:
This story sounds rather unusual. *goes to read*

Hmm, I'm guessing this shop has some connection with the wizarding world.

The lamp reminds me of Aladdin.

And I'm amused by the shopkeeper saying "good riddance to you" instead of "good day to you".

That part about him being alarmed and not knowing why is rather intriguing.

I'm wondering who the "he" is in the part in italics, whether it's Dudley himself or Harry or somebody else. I assume it's Dudley, but I'm not 100% sure.

Ah, this guy is Ron. That explains how he knows who Dudley is. I was wondering.

Did you mean to have Arthur tell Ron to "banish" or "vanish" the bag?

I never expected it to be an imp. That was a surprising ending. Actually, I wasn't sure WHAT to expect.

Poor Dudley; he did end up in a fairly confusing situation.

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Review #27, by MargaretLaneThe Enchanted Ground: One

29th March 2014:
OK, I've decided to take a look at this to find out a little about Thackeray.

*grins at his criticism of John Locke*

I like your introduction of the new class. It makes sense after everything that has happened.

LOVE the way Roxanne is good at the practical aspects of Transfiguration but not so much at the theory behind it. I like it when writers give that bit of depth to what students are good or bad at, rather than just choosing subjects which they are good or bad at.

*laughs at Dominique breaking two wands* Sounds like she's pretty careless.

*also laughs at his society only having about three members*

I also like the part about her reading slowly. I wonder is she dyslexic or something or just not traditionally academic. Difficulty reading at her age usually indicates some kind of difficulty though, so I'm guessing there's something up.

*laughs at Filch feeding the posters to his cat* That sounds like him.

"Nobody loses against Dumbledore"? Considering she's talking about it not being worth taking the fight on, I would have thought it would make more sense if she said "nobody wins against Dumbledore."

Author's Response: Hello! :)

I'm glad you were curious about Thackeray, and it's quite interesting to see your reactions to this story after having read Go Softly first.

Haha, I'm glad you liked the criticism of Locke - this is partly me trying to get the word out. We talked about Locke in one of my classes this year.

I'm pleased you thought it made sense! I imagined that the wizarding world would keep up a bit with the Muggle world in terms of social justice and human rights, or that students like Thackeray would begin to be more interested.

In my mind, Roxy is dyslexic and much more comfortable with visual and oral learning than reading and writing. I'm glad you liked that aspect of her character, and how it gives a reason for her to do less well in some classes.

The society really isn't very popular! I'm glad you liked the mention of Filch as well - he's a favourite mini-nemesis of the students of mine.

Good point about the sentence about losing against Dumbledore - I'll go and fix that now. :)

Thank you for the lovely review! :)


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Review #28, by MargaretLaneGo Softly: Go Softly

29th March 2014:
Hmm, I like the sort of dreamy atmosphere you set up at the beginning of this story.

Considering the number of single-sex schools in this country, things could probably have got more confusing for your character. Or maybe it would have been less confusing, as teachers would be questioning whether they were a boy or a girl. I don't know.

*grins at growing up with Moore's melodies* I learnt rebel songs with my nursery rhymes and actually wrote about the poetry of Thomas Moore and Thomas Davis for my final year project at college.

One thing: it's more common to say "principal" than "headmaster" over here. I'd mainly hear "Headmaster" used by Protestant and maybe some paying schools.

Oh, you've written "my parents tell I about verbal bullying" when it should be "tell me."

This is ridiculously nitpicky, but cremation isn't that common in Ireland, though it is becoming more so. It is still unusual enough that burial would be taken for granted, though. Apparently, there are four crematoria in Ireland - three in Dublin and one in Cork. (This compares with over 200 in the UK, which has about 12 times our population Of course, Wicklow is fairly near Dublin and there is no reason your character COULDN'T be cremated, but it wouldn't exactly be the norm. Your characters do sound like the sort who might go for a less common option though.

I really like this story, well you could probably have guessed that. I am rather interested by these characters. I might take a look at your Enchanted Garden story sometime to find out a little more about Thackeray.

I particularly like the part where Thackeray talks about having read about magical wardrobes and so on.

Author's Response: Hello! :)

I'm glad you liked it! That was the sort of mood I was in while writing this so I'm pleased it came across.

That's an interesting point! I think I'll imagine Thackeray at a non-single-sex school, but I imagine being a fairly gender-neutral person would be tricky either way.

That's awesome! I'm glad you liked that mention - I've been studying the melodies in my class this year so they just had to make it into the story. I just wrote an essay featuring Moore's 'Oh blame not the bard" and Ferguson's "Thomas Davis: An Elegy" so it's quite funny you should mention them.

Thank you for letting me know about the principal and the cremation! I'll go and change that right away when I'm done responding to this. :) That's actually fascinating about how cremation is less popular, and I never would have assumed that. Here in Canada cremation is definitely the norm and burial is both really expensive and generally rare. I actually really like the idea of Swift not being cremated, but buried.

I'm happy you noticed the magical wardrobe reference and the books - I love tying in my favourite childhood books to stories.

Thank you so much for the lovely review! :)


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Review #29, by MargaretLaneThe Moon Maiden: The North Window

24th March 2014:
I'm guessing Bathilda is dead here and the "heaven" is meant literally. I'm not 100% sure. At first I assumed it was, but then the stranger coming in and ruining her day started me wondering if that'd happen in heaven and then when she wondered if she was in hell, I thought it probably was literal again. *laughs*

I love your description of it and your style of writing also. There's something almost old-fashioned in the style of writing that allows me "hear" Bathilda. You appear to be very good at characterising people through the narrative itself. Even though this isn't first person, the slightly formal language fits with the era she comes from.

Hmm, the part where you describe how she imagines the children and their laughter being that "of hungry monsters" is rather ominous. I'm guessing the implications of that will become clear later.

I wonder who the visitor is and why she is accusing Bathilda of not telling the truth. Something to do with Grindlewald, perhaps. Or Dumbledore.

*grins at the idea of Bathilda being "scandalously unmarried"* I was just yesterday commenting how many of our leaders of 1916 were unmarried in their 30s, but that is Ireland and there are rather especial reasons why marriage was delayed here (1/8 of the country starving to death in the space of five year tends to have long-term effects).

I do like the idea of an unmarried historian. *laughs*

And ooh, the Imperius Curse on Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell is probably the most hated character in Irish history, so that amuses me. There are some theories now that say he wasn't as bad as he was painted, but on the whole, NOT a popular character here.

Ah, your note at the end confirms that this is literally heaven.

A part of me sort of suspects the visitor in question is Muriel, but I don't think she'd be dead yet, so I'm not sure. *ponders*

Author's Response: Hello! :)

That's a good guess! I wanted to give the story a unique spin and writing it from an afterlife perspective was very interesting and challenging for me. I imagined her being in a sort of confusing limbo, though explaining the full extent of heaven and hell is a little much for a short story like this. :)

Thank you! I'm very pleased you liked the style of writing, and that it fit the era and the character. That really means a lot to hear as it's one way in which I try to get into the characters' heads.

The children are eventually sort of explained - they're quite creepy to write, but do have a certain significance.

Ah, very good point about Ireland! That's quite interesting. I imagined that for a woman like Bathilda, especially since she lives alone, it would be a little improper and she might be criticized by society.

Haha! That is very true, I personally think he was such an extreme historical character. It would be interesting to learn more about how history has portrayed him in comparison to how he actually was, but yes, not good for Ireland. I liked imagining what effects and consequences it might have if he were controlled by wizards as well.

Hmm, interesting guess! :)

Thanks so much for the review! :)


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Review #30, by MargaretLaneAmerican Wizardry: An M.D.I. Wizard’s Journey: Gathering the Team

23rd March 2014:
Hmm, this sounds interesting.

This is REALLY nitpicky, but the sentence, "two men sat opposite each other studying the other man", might sound better as either "two men sat opposite each other, each studying the other man" or "two men sat opposite each other, studying each other." As it is, it just sounds slightly awkward to me.

I like your description of the American Minister of Magic.

And of course, I am reminded of one of my "de Valera stories for all occasions". He was Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland during World War II and when Belfast was bombed, they contacted the Republic for assistance and de Valera's response was "get every available (fire engine) and send them to Belfast." The Minister of Magic seems to be giving a similar order here. I'm not quite sure what the M.D.I. are, but I guess that'll become clear.

I also like the way they aren't quite sure what is going on. It makes sense, as the Death Eaters certainly wouldn't want information getting out.

I'd go onto a new line when Timothy Walker asks how he got the information.

LOVE the line, "Bill wore his power like a cloak".

*laughs at the Minister's comment that he didn't see anybody disappear* There again, there are similarities with the whole sending fire fighters to Belfast, as that was, of course, technically a breach of neutrality. It wasn't done so secretly, but still.

Timothy DOES seem to have some similarities with Mad-Eye Moody.

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Review #31, by MargaretLaneThe Serpent's Tale: The Serpent's Tale

21st March 2014:
One thing immediately: you've said "with not prey". I presume it should be "with no prey."

LOVE the line "bound with magic she could neither wield nor understand". And I love the explanation that she has to obey when he speaks parseltongue. That's definitely implied in canon, that snakes obey parseltongues.

And this explains how Voldemort knew so much about his ancestry. I wondered how he figured out so much about it. If Slytherin has ordered her to tell him everything, that explains a lot.

I also like the description of the heir as a "hatchling".

And this also explains how the Basilisk survived so long without food.

The part where she eats Rafeek because he's no more use to her is...I'm not sure how to explain it. I guess it sort of shows her non-humanness, if that makes sense. She doesn't see friendship at all as a human would. She's fond of him, but if she can't have him as a friend, he makes a good meal. In a way, it's jolting, because it's so utterly disinterested and detached, but it makes sense because after all, she is a Basilisk.

Author's Response: Hello! Can't think who this review might be from... ;)

Sorted that :P - thanks for pointing it out.

Thank you! Rather pleased with it myself.

She has to obey HIM, not because of the parseltongue but because of some magic she doesn't understand (going back to her hatching). I think most snakes obey parselmouths because they choose to, but can you imagine a basilisk choosing to obey a person? Given the chance, she'd just eat him!

I think I got the idea of the basilisk telling Voldemort things from another fic I read, but I didn't note it down and I can't remember which. So I can't take all the credit for that.

Well, you don't expect her to respect him, do you? And the "suspended animation" idea is canon, although I only realised when I was researching ;P

She is, indeed, a basilisk. I had a few ideas for the ending - her not realising that he wouldn't be there when she woke up and thinking she'd see him again as she fell asleep, her looking at him and killing him like that, or asking Salazar to send him to sleep too and him refusing (jealousy that she actually speaks to someone other than him) and maybe killing Rafeek, but I decided that her eating him would have the best effect - and I'm pleased to hear it did show her personality well! (I don't like to go all cliché and give her a conscience!)

Thank you for yet another lovely review - I hope I didn't steal too much of your writing time...


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Review #32, by MargaretLaneThe Sea Serpent of Cromer : End

17th March 2014:
I love the "primary sources" you include in this story.

The sentence "do not repeat that to your father and uncle, as employees, they might be forced to bring me in" would probably be better if divided up into two sentences: "do not repeat that to your father and uncle. As employees they might be forced to bring me in" or separated with a semi-colon rather than a comma.

Hmm, I think Bode, or maybe the Gaunts is in some way involved with the sea serpent turning on a child like that, but how, I can't begin to imagine.

Oh gosh, the ring. I wonder is that the ring of the Gaunts and if so, why he has it.

Peakes is a Parseltongue? Or Gaunt? The mention of Salazar having been so makes me think that could explain a certain amount. I SHOULD have thought of that when the sea serpent first started behaving oddly, I guess, though I didn't really think of a sea serpent as a snake. Oh THE CHILD may be a parseltongue.

You have a sentence, "perhaps Gaunt had lost aot Peakes while gambling." I'm guessing the "aot" should be "to".

I also like the story of the children's parents that you have inserted into this. So sad and the epilogue is absolutely brilliant and emotive.

Author's Response: Hello again!

I'm glad you liked the background and the sources! I really enjoyed writing the song, and was actually humming it to myself the other day which was a bit of a strange experience. :P The texts were also interesting to include and contrast with Flamel's memory of history.

Thanks for pointing out the typos, I've gone through and fixed them! :)

Yes! The mystery was sort of all pieced together in this chapter, and I hope you liked it. It was all very sneaky and I debated whether I should explain it in Flamel's words or leave it open-ended. Ah, I know what you mean - I imagine the sea serpent being a bit like a huge, salt-water basilisk, but that is more passive and interested in fish than in people. It was quite fun for me placing all the little clues throughout!

I found it so sad as well, but I suppose it had to show that although the sea serpent story was tragic and corrupt, it was the past and is only really a story to distract from the present tough situation. I'm really pleased you liked the epilogue - I debated putting it in but felt it was right to tie up the loose ends and move away from Flamel's voice and give somebody else's opinion of him.

Thanks you so much for the very thoughtful review, and for the challenge! :) This was such a great idea and I really enjoyed writing for it.


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Review #33, by MargaretLaneThe Sea Serpent of Cromer : Middle

17th March 2014:
Apologies for the long delay in getting to this. I've been really busy recently, but today, being our national holiday, I finally have some free time. Results should be up soon, so keep an eye out. *grins*

You capture the speaking pattern of the old man so well. I can really hear him.

Hmm, the French word for king is "roi". That's interesting as the Irish word is "rí".

And I LOVE the way you contrast the situation in Britain and France. It makes sense that different countries would have different customs. And I can totally imagine the French revolution leading to less tolerance for magic, what with the whole Enlightenment and the distaste for frivolous things, understandably, as the people had been starving as the lords and ladies partied. I can well imagine the Sans Culottes seeing magic as just one more waste of money that should be swept aside.

*shivers at the thought of the killing of the enemies of the Crown* That usually doesn't bode well for my little country (and the word "bode" is rather appropriate there).

LOVE the little girl pouting at the implication that girls aren't brave.

OK, it sounds like this story is being told later than I thought. I kind of assumed the story was being told around the 18th or early 19th century, but if Voldemort is being mentioned, it must be after 1970. And before 1992 when Flamel dies.

You know, the Gaunts remind me of the Plantations here when the English and Scottish landowners were allowed only Protestant English and Scottish tenants and servants and not Catholic Irish.

Hmm, I wonder if this is the Peaks who would later get a place on the Gryffindor team and a sister, perhaps? Or no, if they are fighting in the first war, he wouldn't be born yet.

I like the way poorer wizards had to drop out of school early in earlier times. It makes sense the wizarding world would reflect the classism of the time.

Author's Response: Hello! :) Not a problem at all, though I am sorry in return for the lateness of this response!

And happy belated St. Patty's day! :D I was writing an Irish Lit essay all on that day, which is quite fitting.

I'm glad you felt you could hear him! I had a fun time working on his voice and trying to tell the story in the way he would.

That's quite interesting about roi and ri! I suppose all of the old languages lend to one another in certain ways.

Thank you! I'm so pleased you liked the France references. I quite enjoyed imagining what the magical world and magical politics might be like in France and how that would influence England. Yes, that's just what I thought - that magic in France turned into a sort of plaything of the aristocracy and the common people would be angered by this and possibly even afraid of it. I wish I knew even more about the French Revolution as focusing on it in a fanfic would be really fascinating.

I know! :( These times were really not very nice for Ireland - not that most times were, to be fair. And I love your mention of the word 'bode,' haha!

Yes! I actually got quite attached to those two kids by the end of this story. I've been sneakily integrating members of the Peakes family into some of my other stories as well for some reason.

I placed this at some point during Voldemort's first rise, though it's not entirely clear in the story. I wanted to kind of let the reader guess and figure it out instead of stating implicitly, as it would read a little awkwardly if Flamel just dropped in the year.

That's quite interesting! It is rather like that, and I think there are some interesting parallels to be drawn between magic/muggle and religious differences. In some of the poems I've studied this semester in my Irish literature class the poets talk about how Ireland should be unified regardless of the religion of its people (I just wrote a whole essay on this :P) and how differences between "brothers" are tearing "Erin" apart and leaving her a "widow.' I feel that the magical/muggle divide is similar in a way because the biology and culture of the people are the same, yet streamed into two different groups who hate and fear one another. It's quite cool to have a reader like you for this story who has that knowledge of history and can see the Irish historical influences in this story! :)

Ah yes, I imagined that life as a poor wizard would be more difficult.

Thanks so much for the brilliant review, and for choosing this story as one of the winners. I really appreciate it! :)


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Review #34, by MargaretLaneThe Debate of Secrecy: A Fracturing Committee

17th March 2014:
Major apologies for the delay in getting around to reading this. I have been crazy busy for the last month. Today being our national holiday, I have some time. Results should be up soon though, so keep an eye out. *grins*

I like the way where they choose to sit around the table mirrors the tensions that are emerging.

After "what are you saying?" the "h" in "He tried shrugging off Franklin and Gideon" should be a capital letter.

I like the idea of Hogwarts being built with a minimum of magic.

The sentence "any of these regulations do not fulfill how to pull the wizarding world into secrecy" sounds a bit awkward.

I really like the amount of things that they are considering. It makes sense as the wizarding world can't have been easy to hide.

The fact that dragons can fly could be a problem when it comes to hiding them too. I'm looking forward to seeing how they manage it.

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Review #35, by MargaretLaneThe Bottom of the Lake: What Have I Done

15th March 2014:
Oh, I wonder if Pettigrew is going to betray Voldemort. He has every reason to do so, but whether he has the courage or not is a good question.

And I agree with Arthur. You'd think Scrimgeour would be more interested in trying to defeat the Death Eaters than in interfering with Harry. I think he was worse in the books though, when he tied to prevent Harry inheriting something for fear it might help Harry defeat Voldemort, when surely he should have WANTED Voldemort defeated. Seems like he's more interested in being a hero than in actually ensuring the safety of Britain. I actually wonder what house he was in. I can see him as either a Gryffindor or a Slytherin.

Author's Response: Interesting question about Scrimgeour's house, and I agree with your choices. Basically, I think he does want to save Britain AND be the hero. For him, one is no good without the other.

You'll just have to wait and see about Pettigrew. He is portrayed as something of a pathetic creature, because, well, he's pretty pathetic. G.


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Review #36, by MargaretLaneThe Bottom of the Lake: One Way to Liverpool

15th March 2014:
I like the way Draco says Hermione is quite talented despite being a Muggleborn. It sounds like the kind of thing he'd say.

Author's Response: I have never been a fan of Draco's character in canon, but he is an important character in this story. Hermione's talents are undeniable, which of course is a problem for pure blood bigots to deal with. G.

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Review #37, by MargaretLaneThe Bottom of the Lake: Mine Not to Reason Why

15th March 2014:
Ugh, I hate Scrimgeour. I did anyway. I was practically cheering when he died in Deathly Hallows, before I realised Voldemort taking over wasn't exactly a good thing, but I think I may hate him more than Voldemort. Being Irish, I feel rather strongly about interning people without trial for crimes they didn't commit. And just reading the first few paragraphs here, Scrimgeour comes off as downright evil.

I rather doubt somebody English would refer to their money as British pounds. Back before we switched to the euro, we used to refer to British money as "pounds sterling" to distinguish them from our own pounds, but we definitely didn't talk about "Irish pounds" and I'm pretty sure the English didn't even speak of "pounds sterling", let alone "British pounds".

That is an interesting comment about Harry and Draco understanding each other better than they realise.

Oh, this is interesting. Voldemort knows Harry knows about the Horcruxes. This could get interesting.

I decided to look for year seven fics written before Deathly Hallows, as it is interesting to see other ways people thought it might end and I came across yours. I might read both, but they are long, so it depends on whether or not I get through this one.

Author's Response: Thanks for the review, which are few and far between nowadays. My Scrimgeour is not exactly evil, in my view, though he is far from a paragon of virtue. He is a politician. In a general sense, he wants to do what he thinks is right, but only if it does not harm his political standing. I think we all know real life politicians who fit that mold.

You are probably right about the pounds. Being an American, we normally say British Pounds, as there are other countries that use or used pounds of their own. But Brits have their own way of saying things, that is for sure.

This was my second story, which I wrote in the months before DH was published, and in fact I had to rush the last several chapters to beat DH, as I had promised to finish it before hand. I look forward to reading what you think of it, and I would be happy to answer any questions you may have. G.


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Review #38, by MargaretLaneOnly Witches and Wizards Can Catch: The Muggle Test

27th February 2014:
It'd be interesting to carry on this story and to see how Petunia manages, having missed out on two years of magical education. It'd be like going into 1st class or say 2nd grade, without ever having attended the first two years of school. Gosh, would that be stressful.

I like the part about how she wasn't magical enough to attend Hogwarts, as it fits with what we learnt in canon. Was it Neville who said his family were delighted when he got his letter as they weren't sure if he was magical enough to attend.

One thing that's a bit weird: you've written that the Herbology book is written by Neville Longbottom, but he shouldn't even be born yet, unless it's a relative he was called after.

Interesting that Charms doesn't seem to have been required.

Author's Response: Thanks for your review.
I did think about continuing it but I am writing a couple of other stories at the minute.
Oh, I only just realised that Neville wouldn't be born, I'll have to change that.

I thought that it would be a good idea to end it on petunias being a witch. I may do another story in the series.

Glad you enjoyed it :)

HEG


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Review #39, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and Slytherin's Office: Two Peculiar Subjects

24th February 2014:
LOVE the title of this chapter. I love seeing classes and the suggestion that they will be peculiar intrigues me. *goes to see what is going on*

*laughs at Albus searching through a trunk for reasons you will appreciate*

Oh ONLY ten ingredients! That should be no problem, so. /sarcasm

I think you are missing a word when Filch asks if they are ordering dungbombs. You've written, "'no,' told him."

Yes, I think Hermione MIGHT get suspicious if they asked "by the way, how did you break into the Potions stores?" And the people reading the letters would probably be suspicious too.

*laughs at Filch getting more and more paranoid*

*laughs at Albus saying "um, not David" after worrying somebody'd be offended if he chose somebody else* I think it's more offensive when he chooses somebody as the person he'd least trust. I don't blame him though. David doesn't appear the most careful. I did laugh out loud at him blurting that out though.

Yeah, he can hardly say, "no, I need to get to Potions so we can steal something from the stores, can he?" It reminds me a little of this time our science teacher kept us late to tidy up the lab after an experiment and people started arguing, "but we haven't our homework done for x class (can't remember what class it was now). We need our break to get it done it."

I like the fact that Albus has a specific problem with the spells. It makes sense that different things would cause difficulty for different people and it gives more depth than just saying he's good or bad at a particular subject.

*laughs at the Forgetfulness Potion making them forget what step they were on* I used that for an eagle's question once with "what potion would you not know you'd taken?"

And of course, it would give Albus a great excuse for asking even slightly stupid questions. I hadn't thought of that. He can even repeat a question if he runs out of things to say to distract him and pretend he's forgotten he asked.

It might be better to make "don't worry about the fumes too much" and "they shouldn't affect you too badly" two separate sentences.

And I like the idea that the fumes become a problem as there are so many potions of it being brewed at the same time. That makes sense.

Oooh, cliffhanger. I wonder what they'll do now.

Author's Response: Oh yeah, I never really thought about how in our stories our characters both search through trunks. I never seem to realize the similarities until you point them out.

Well, the potion has quite a few ingredients, so 10 isn't that bad...

I missed a word! That's the doom of knowing what's supposed to happen when you proofread.

Yes, I know the feeling of needing to tell someone that you can't do something, but don't want to tell them. I don't talk about fanfiction much, so if somebody asks me to do something, I think "I really need to work on this one chapter!" but I don't tell them, and end up doing whatever they want me to do.

Oh yes, Albus could repeat questions. Good suggestion; I never thought of that.


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Review #40, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Potions Master's Solution: Free

23rd February 2014:
The whole Northern Irish situation had a LOT of situations like that. Internment without trial was introduced in Northern Ireland to deal with the terrorism and a lot of innocent people were jailed. I once wrote a song fic about Sirius. with one of the protest songs about those cases. I needed to leave out a line that mentioned the actual name of the case and another that mentioned "Irish men and women", but everything else fit.

*laughs at Albus thinking Harry is taking them to the hospital wing out of habit, because they end up there so often*

And nope, never considered Boone the murderer. When I found out it was a werewolf hiding in the Shack and Polyjuicing as Young, my thought was kind of "oh right, so that has nothing to do with the murder." I guess I kind of figured you wouldn't make a werewolf the villain. Plus, I can't see what his motive would be. Not that I can see what motive ANYBODY could have.

The comment about long missions again has similarities with the character I mentioned in my last review. It's not exactly the same, but still.

And Harry's words put rather a different complexion on things. Why I always have to compare things to history is a good question, but this sounds a bit like Eoin O'Duffy, who was head of our police in the 1920s/early 30s and tried to encourage a coup when a new Government he was opposed to got elected. It didn't happen and the new Taoiseach had him fired, but offered him a position in a less sensitive department. O'Duffy refused the other position and turned to fascism. Yeah.

And I'm not at all surprised Hermione would have arranged something.

*laughs at Kendrick putting the Shrieking Shack down to Dumbledore's eccentricities* That's a good way to explain it away all right.

And I LOVE Matt's comment about Gryffindor courage having an ounce of stupidity.

Ahhh, now I'm even more anxious for year six, although at least you've already hinted Bethany is a witch. I was wondering about that.

Did you mean to say that Kaden and Matt "still focused most of their attention on brewing." Something like "pranking" would seem to make more sense there.

And we still don't know who the murderer is. *ponders* I'm sticking with my librarian guess, as I can't think of anybody else.

You finish up well. I always find the last couple of paragraphs of a story difficult.

And *grins at the title "Tipperary Hill"* I was IN Tipperary on Thursday.

And I like the sound of a Neville/Hannah fic dealing with the effects of the war.

Sorry to hear about your former roommate's cat.

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Review #41, by MargaretLaneOnly Witches and Wizards Can Catch: The First Test

17th February 2014:
Oh poor Lily. Her mother isn't exactly supportive, is she? I guess that gives us a bit of an indication as to how Petunia turned out the way she did. She's probably picked up on a bit of her mother's attitude.

Author's Response: Hello. Thanks for your review. Yes her mother goes from really nice to horrible I think. From HEG :)

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Review #42, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Potions Master's Solution: Stuart Boone

15th February 2014:
Hmm, I suspect Burke is his source of Polyjuice. Or maybe not, as I guess he was likely to have been the Young they saw in Knockturn Alley.

And a couple of lines later he confirms that.

And I am REALLY sorry for this guy. It seemed like everything went against him - losing his parents, being bitten, losing his chance at a Ministry career, ending up on the streets. It's...well, I was going to say his life is pretty much the worst thing I could imagine, but it's actually beyond it, because obviously lycanthropy isn't something I imagine. Having no family, no job and no access to social welfare and ending up on the streets always strikes me as about the worst thing imaginable and his life is even WORSE than that. Poor guy.

His age, the circumstances of his being bitten and its effect on his career have similarities with one of my characters, but their life is nowhere near as bad as his.

And I am wondering where he transformed. He wasn't in the Shrieking Shack at full moons, so where was he?

And *pokes them for charging for Wolfsbane* It doesn't surprise me, but the idea of people going without medical help because they can't afford it is so sad. And in this case, it's kind of stupid too, because they are putting other people at risk by leaving werewolves unmedicated. Considering the attitude to werewolves though, I can well imagine people objecting to "taxpayers' money" (if wizards pay taxes) being used on them.

I can see he has little choice, but he must realise what a risk he is taking by transforming in a forest, when that was how he was bitten.

*laughs at Young spending almost every evening in the Hog's Head* THAT could explain a lot.

*laughs at John's question* It honestly never occurred to me that Stuart could be the murderer. Who is, I still have no idea, though my suspicions of the librarian remain. That's just because she's new and kind of overshadowed by Burke and Young, though.

And I can't help laughing at Albus describing his question as "tactless".

I can understand why he ran. My immediate thought was that surely his hands would prove him innocent, but I am, or should be, well aware what prejudice can do. As a child, I followed the campaigns for the release of people like the Bermingham Six quite closely. I'm not from Northern Ireland (I've never even been there), but it was still close enough to freak me out a little. And the wizarding world certainly has similar cases. I've often wondered if the whole Sirius thing was inspired by those cases. Now, of course there was a fair amount of evidence against Sirius, but there was really none at all against Stan Shunpike and considering the lack of trial and so on, I suspect even if there had been proof of Sirius's innocence, it wouldn't have helped him. So Stuart has good reason to worry.

I was thinking he should go to Harry. Harry would be fair and might know what to do, even though he has limited power at the moment. It's a pity Dumbeldore isn't still around. I'm sure he'd come up with some unorthodox solution that would help everybody.

Author's Response: Yep, it's implied that Burke is the source of the polyjuice. Boone had everything going for him and then he didn't. He's a very tragic character and while their are parallels between his life and Matt's, I also created Boone to show how different a werewolf's life can be if they have support. Matt has the best possible circumstances for a young werewolf (with the exception of Wolfsbane not being effective).

Boone transforms in the forest, far away from Hogsmeade in order to not endanger other people. He didn't realize that the Shack was safeguarded against werewolf escapes.

Boone's lack of being able to afford Wolfsbane was a bit of a commentary on the American healthcare system. From what I understand, that sort of thing doesn't happen in the UK. But, it would really hinder the plot of the wizarding world followed that philosophy. They're kind of behind the times anyway.

Haha, Young's spending every night at the pub does explain a lot! Certainly makes him an easy target for identity theft, too.

I assumed everyone would assume Boone was the killer. I thought it'd be obvious, which is part of the reason why I didn't want it to be the case.

I've never heard of that case. I'll have to look it up. But I bet it inspired Sirius's story if they're that similar.

Yep, Harry's power is very limited, which is part of the problem. Oh, yeah, Dumbledore would've figured something out. Thanks for reading and reviewing! :)


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Review #43, by MargaretLaneOnly Witches and Wizards Can Catch: Going to St. Mungo's

14th February 2014:
Love Mrs. Evans' assumption that Lily must have cast some kind of spell on her sister. It really is the conclusion most people would probably jump to under the circumstances.

Oh, Lily is being a bit bratty, isn't she? Her sister is ill and may need hospitalisation and she is just going on about how she can say what she likes.

Mrs. Evans sounds less impressed with magic here than Petunia implied she was, but then I guess Petunia's point of view isn't exactly unbiased.

And hmm, I wonder how the wizard at the end knows Petunia's name.

Good chapter.

Author's Response: Hi MargaretLane.
Thanks for your boss review.
I agree with your first comment. If you were living in a house with only one wizard slash witch then you'd definitely blame them before thinking of what else could have happened. Also I put Lily being a bit like Moody because she is jealous of Petunia getting all the attention like in the first chapter, Petunia is jealous of Lily and then it switches round if you get it? Yes I thought that as well. Hm yes the wizard knows Petunia's name. How? Well you'll have to find out!
Thanks again,
HEG


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Review #44, by MargaretLaneThe Sea Serpent of Cromer : Beginning

14th February 2014:
Your song is very believable as a folk song and sounds very "English".

I also like your narrator's "voice." It's very distinctive.

And OH, I do like the mention of the "poor Irish". I have decided I dislike Cadmus Bode.

I also like this character's assertion that giants violent nature have been cultivated by their treatment at the hands of humans. That makes a lot of sense.

Love his rephrasing that sentence to say wives. And the part where he decides the children are too young to find his joke about wand size amusing.

Hmm, I get the impression Peakes is NOT a nice person. Just the description of his hand makes him come across as slimy and untrustworthy.

And the spell he does for the nobleman pretty much confirms my suspicion.

Wonder if it's the Sword of Gryffindor that Peakes seeks. Yeah, I guessed right.

Hmm, I'd guess the stranger is Nicolas Flamel. He is the only person I could think of who lived that long and his wife is Perenelle, which could be shortened to Nellie. He does seem rather less urbane than I would have imagined Flamel, but that is just MY headcanon and not canon at all.

Excellent first chapter. Looking forward to seeing how things continue.

Author's Response: Hello! :)

I'm glad you liked the song! I quite liked writing it and getting in the state of mind for the story. There are a few other stanzas which I wasn't allowed to post in this chapter so they might be making appearances later on.

I'm glad you like his voice as well! This very personal style of first-person narration is something very new for me, and challenging, but in a positive way.

Oh good, I dislike him as well. He's a very nasty, typical power-hungry wizard, I'm afraid. I believe from what I've seen about the forums that you're Irish as well so you'll have to let me know if I get any facts wrong - I've been studying the Irish literature of the period lately so it's been sneaking into my writing.

I figured that giants can't be all bad, and that their isolation and stigma would have lead to enhancing their aggressive natures. The character is very sympathetic to animals as well, and he doesn't like humans quite as much as you might have noticed.

Hehe, I'm glad you liked it! :) I figured he might get a little carried away by the story and have to remember his audience.

Peakes is... well, the narrator doesn't portray him very well, but he is very selfish and a little bloodthirsty. I thought the spell he did was so awful as well, but it felt like the sort of abusive service wizards of the time could make some easy money from.

Good guesses here! :) And yes, it is Flamel. I'm glad you picked up on that! I was going to put his identity in the story directly but there was no perfect place to fit it in. Haha, I know what you mean! His character is so funny to write here because he's been alive for so long. He sort of wrote himself here, but as he's talking to children he is a little more grandfatherly and gentle. He really dislikes a lot of adults and he holds grudges, just because he's seen so much human corruption over his several hundred years. He's... a funny one.

Thank you for the brilliant review, and for the awesome challenge! I had a lot of fun researching the story and writing it, and hope to have the next chapter up in the next couple of days. :)


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Review #45, by MargaretLaneOnly Witches and Wizards Can Catch: Sent Home From Hogwarts

13th February 2014:
Hmm, Madame Pomfrey using a telephone. That's interesting. I would have expected her to use Owl Post, but I guess she's concerned as to how the neighbours would react to that. Or that it'd be too slow.

And it makes a lot of sense, sending Lily home if her family can't catch her illness.

Sounds like dragon measles is rather more minor than Muggle-world measles, although Dumbledore did suggest she might need hospitalisation if her condition doesn't improve.

By the way, "unwell" is all one word.

Like the description of lime-green spots.

And *laughs at Dumbledore offering strawberry bonbons*

It would probably sound better if she said "can I have a toasted bagel?" rather than "can I have toasted bagel?"

Interesting beginning and your summary is intriguing. I wonder if Petunia is really a witch.

Author's Response: Hi, thanks for your review.
I thought that I would Madam Pomfrey should use the Telephone in this scene because Mr and Mrs. Evans might get a bit angry if loads of owls went fluttering down there chimney.
It s worse than that - maybe I will include some more of the symptoms.
Glad you like that description, I was thinking of another word for green and I came up with lime from my brother.
haha. Dumbledore is obsessed with Muggle sweets so thought I'd put that.
I think I will need to edit 'unwell' and put the 'a' in 'can I have a toasted bagel?'
I have already written the whole story and I'm NOT telling you what happens. It's a quite an interesting suggestion though so thanks for your theory,
HEG :)


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Review #46, by MargaretLaneStrands of Sunlight: Strands of Sunlight

10th February 2014:
Wow, just reading the first paragraph, I love your style. And that part about him tripping over his robes made me chuckle.

I like the way she notices little details about him. It makes it sound like she has a crush on him, without her saying so outright.

I also like the way he sits at the Gryffindor table. It kind of gives an indication the war has changed things, though there are still clearly people who cling to the old ways.

Yikes, the latter half of the story got a lot more serious, though of course the warnings already indicated that. It makes me wonder how Dominique felt while she was dating him and why they stayed together so long, though of course, people do stay with partners who treat them badly and for so many reasons.

I think it's a rather different picture than one would usually get of Lorcan and I now wonder how his twin reacted and if Luna knew.

Really good story.

Author's Response: Thank you! This was actually very difficult to write because it's not my usual style (the letter format) but when I finished I was plaased with it. Regarding the reactions of Lysander and Luna, I do think that Lorcan would've ended up with a few bruises (from his brother), but I am not sure how Luna would've reacted. And Dominique stayed with him simply because she didn't want any other girl to have to suffer. So really she was protecting the female side of Hogwarts' student body. Thank you again for the awesome review!

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Review #47, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Lost Riddle: Departure

8th February 2014:
Professor Drame is a little over the top. Leaving just because the students aren't perfectly behaved. That amused me. Especially since they haven't really done anything wrong. I wonder are we going to see a new Potions teacher now.

*laughs at Hugo saying she'd have to like it if she was any good*

Author's Response: Yes I made Drame seem quite an irritable character. He seems to blow at nothing. I'm glad you liked the bit where Hugo wanted to know if she was any good I thought that no was good too. Anyway thank you for your review I love to hear what you think

HEG :)


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Review #48, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Lost Riddle: Dead?

8th February 2014:
Aw, they're missing out on their summer holidays. Poor kids.

You've written "weather" instead of "whether".

Scorpius hasn't gone home for the summer either? Interesting.

I'm a little confused as to how they have Potions if it's the holidays.

Author's Response: Hi.
Yes it's sad isn't it. I certainly wouldn't like that but they have to don't they because the Hogwarts Expresss has already left.

I didn't notice that I have spelt 'whether' wrong. I will correct that.

Ah you have noticed that Scorpious hasn't gone home for the holidays? That was due to a little mistake I have made. Unfortunately I typed up the chapter on Microsoft Word but I forgot to add it to the story! I'm am sorry because so many people will have read the story and not had a clue as to how Albus ended up in Riddle House or why Scorpious has to stay at Hogwarts for the holidays. I am very sorry and the chapter will be added soon because I am just waiting for chapter 3 of Albus Potter and the Lost Riddle. Sorry.

So you're confused as to how they are in potions n the holidays. It was because so many people were staying behind at Hogwarts - including some of the teachers so they decided to put on lessons.

Thank you again. I love to hear your thoughts and I find your suggestions very useful,

HEG :)


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Review #49, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Potions Master's Solution: Secret of the Shack

8th February 2014:
*laughs at McGonagall passing people in Divination just because she thinks the subject is stupid* I can totally see her doing that.

I'm looking forward to seeing how your characters do on their O.W.L.S. You are lucky not to have had a long wait for exam results. Here, we do the Leaving in June, get our results mid-August and our college offers the following week. That last week is scariest of all, if you are borderline, because you never know in advance exactly what grades you'll need. It depends on how everybody else applying for the course has done. You can guess in or around, based on what it is most years, but sometimes if a course has got a lot of publicity or if the places on it have been increased, there can be a significant change. I guess it's not QUITE as scary for your characters yet, as they still have another two years before starting their careers, so it's not like "next week I'll find out what I'll be doing from next month", and they have time to rethink if they don't do as well as they'd hoped, but still, pretty scary.

I'm also really looking forward to seeing them choose their N.E.W.T.S subjects, though I guess that's related. I know I've a while to wait though.

And yeah, predicting the examiner's death could just count against you.

LOVE the line about Matt going as white as Nearly-Headless Nick. I wish I'd thought of that one!

When JOHN starts telling you to be more careful, it's a good idea to stop and rethink your actions, I think!

Good on Amanda. I think she's right.

And even KADEN isn't enthusiastic about it. Given how nosy he can be, that says a lot.

I like the fact that Matt is leading the adventure for once. He's usually about the most cautious of the foursome, so it's interesting to see another side to him.

I think you might have meant "extinguish your wands" and not "distinguish"?

Yi-i-ikes, when you hinted there could be another werewolf in this story, I thought about Professor Burke and I thought about Elsie, but it never occurred to me the person hiding in the Shrieking Shack could be one.

And this means that both Youngs could be innocent. It's also possible that the DNA found could be from the hair or whatever Boone is using to add to the potion as you need part of the person you are turning into. I'd forgotten that until now.

Author's Response: I'm looking forward to writing their O.W.L. results! Still haven't decided on everyone's marks, but I've got time. I think in some ways their N.E.W.T. results will be scarier because they'll have their careers picked out and if they fail a N.E.W.T. they might have to change course. I haven't decided on their N.E.W.T. courses yet either.

Yeah, if John thinks it's a stupid idea, it's probably a stupid idea. He's usually up for anything. But John and Kaden are loyal, so they'll go, as will Albus.

I figured it was about time for Matt to take charge and demonstrate why he's in Gryffindor. Even the shy, quiet ones have their moments.

Thanks for pointing out the typo.

Oo, Elsie as a werewolf! That'd be interesting. It would explain some of her oddities. You'll get more answers about the Boone/Young dynamic in the next chapter. Thanks for reading and reviewing! :)


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Review #50, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Sapphire of Slytherin: Sapphire of Slytherin

7th February 2014:
I sort of like the fact that both Albus and Cho are nervous and both are trying to hide it from the other.

Yikes, I really didn't expect this ending. There has to be something more to it, because I know there's a sequel, so he can't be truly dead. I knew from its summary that something would "kill" him, but I assumed he would be revived before this story ended or at least, we would get some indication he might not really be dead. It's hard to figure out how he'll survive this. I guess that's one way of getting us to read on. What a cliff-hanger!

And it's rather ironic that Albus wanted to find the very thing she would use to kill him. Made her job a little easier.

Author's Response: Thank you for the review.

I didn't think anyone would expect the end in unless they have read the summary for book two. I thought it would be a real cliff hanger and people would be like "oh!" He has died! What is going to happen next?

I agree with you and I do think that Cho's way of killing albus is very sneaky and cruel.


Thanks again
HEG
:)


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