Reading Reviews From Member: MargaretLane
  
723 Reviews Found

Review #26, by MargaretLaneRainfall: A Birthday Present

18th August 2014:
Oh gosh, now I'm wondering what happened to Hermione's parents. And you say I'M mean to my characters! Killing off the Grangers after all Hermione's efforts is just cruel.

I love the way you show the difficulties a magical child has attending a Muggle school.

*laughs* I don't usually watch sport, but one time my friend and I were in a hotel in Tipperary, when Tipperary were playing Kilkenny at hurling (Kilkenny are SCARILY good at hurling, so I basically support whoever is against them). Hurling is so fast and the sliotar (the ball) so small that you might as well be just listening to it like Hugo is. That's what this reminded me. I guess catching the Snitch is the same in Quidditch. It happens so suddenly, you'd probably only know when the commentator announces it.

I actually DID burst out laughing when Ron started dancing around the room singing that Hermione said he was right. A reaction like that has GOT to be a good sign, right? It's just so in character for Ron and such a funny mental image.

Just a question: who are Juniors? I guess I sort of assumed Junior School meant the same as primary school.

Oooh, magic wolf obviously makes me, and probably Hugo, think of werewolves and yeah, that's not funny, considering what they go through and how they are treated in the wizarding world.

We used always have two spelling tests, one in English and one in Irish, a line down the middle of the page and ten words in each language, English at one side, Irish at the other. Well, except in Senior Infants, because we only did English language spellings then.

You really capture the atmosphere in the classroom and the speech patterns of a ten year old boy well.

I actually made Derek's father a policeman before even thinking that that was the Muggle equivalent of an Auror and you've now reminded me I mean to have a scene about them comparing Muggle and magical investigations in year three and Harry trying to implement some ideas Derek's father tells him about in the Auror office.

And yes, it does sound weird to have Ron unable to pronounce his own job. Hugo covered it up well, saying he just does it to annoy Hermione. Especially since it's something one could easily imagine Ron doing.

*laughs at the meteor killing the t-rex* That reminds me of when I was a teen and playing with my three year old cousin and HER seven or eight year old cousin and myself and the older kid ended it by blowing up the world and stuff and then my three year old cousin was like "is it over now?" Um, yes, since the entire population of planet earth has been killed. Before you think we were being mean, my then three year old cousin is now a good deal older and makes you and me look kind to our characters. Blowing up the world would be right up her street.

Author's Response: Yay! Awesome review! *hugs* When I read through and posted this chapter (I wrote it two or three months ago) I was kind of "yay, it's THAT chapter" because I remembered loving writing it. One of my personal favourites (because let's admit it, everyone has favourite chapters in their own work).

All right fine, I actually keep forgetting how cruel I am to Hermione. It seems I'm also capable of being cruel to my characters. I thought of killing off the Grangers suddenly one night and first of all sat there in shock at the idea then started cackling as I realised just how evil an idea it was.

Some are born evil, some achieve evilness, and some have evilness thrust upon them... I'm working on it, OK?

If rainbows, fluffy bunnies, and baby unicorns have no effect (as per last night's conversation), maybe making you laugh will instead..?

Ron is the comic relief. There's more to him than that, but he's always a good source of amusement. Ron goofing around all the time, and Hermione pretending to disapprove but being entertained really. He doesn't have to bother being sensible, because Hermione is sensible enough for both of them!

Who are Juniors? Primary school tends to be split into two groups, the infants (reception to year 2, age 4-7) and the juniors (years 3-6, age 7-11).

Yep, Hugo thought werewolves. Which is rather different to what the rest of the class was thinking of. There's how atrociously they're treated, but perhaps his first thought would be the simple concept of the fact that they're dangerous. He certainly wouldn't have been raised to hate them, but he may well have picked up on the fact that they're generally considered dark and are very dangerous.

We used to have twenty or so spellings to learn, particularly in later years split into levels so some people did harder ones and some easy depending on how well they'd scored on previous tests.

Thank you! I love classroom scenes, and writing younger (pre-Hogwarts) children. I think I started with 6-year-old Remus in Bitten, who was amazing to write, and now I've got Hugo and his class.

Oh yes, Hugo and friends enjoy death and destruction very much, but in an innocent kind of way. I think blowing up the world is kinder to the characters than torturing them like we do, really. And I think my brother and I ended our fair share of role-plays and board games with wanton destruction (usually involving a large teddy bear wandering across the board or an earthquake shaking it so that the pieces went everywhere) when we got bored of playing (or were losing).

Yeah, blowing up the world is cliche and unoriginal. UNLESS, of course, the person responsible escapes somehow and is the only one to do so. Now THAT would be cruel. (If that's how your series ends... I'll be very disappointed in you.)


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Review #27, by MargaretLaneMy Not-So-Imaginary Fiend: XIII: Knowledge is Power

17th August 2014:
*laughs at them taking her trainers* (Or runners, we'd say here, but that's beside the point, really.) One way of making sure she doesn't break the rules, I guess.

She studied a whole YEAR'S worth of work in a subject and still had time left over. Fair play to her.

Aw, that's both kind of sweet and kind of sad, that she's thinking about how it'd affect her parents if she died.

I actually LOVE the way you are showing an adoptive family where the issues aren't of the "you're not my REAL parents" or "you don't love me as much as you would if you'd given birth to me" type. Her adoption is relevant, as it takes place as the result of her birth mum's death and also means her parents have no idea about Benjamin's history, as her birth parents might (well, her birth mum would and her birth dad MAY if her birth mum ever mentioned it), but it doesn't dominate the story. Being adopted is just normal for her.

If I were her, I'd be deciding pretty firmly not to have children. I doubt breaking the curse is that simple, but I'd DEFINITELY be planning to try it.

And later in the chapter she considers just that. I guess she's bound to.

Maybe marrying a Muggle is her best bet, as he said she wouldn't get pregnant then, but again, I doubt it'd work that easily. He'd probably mess with the marriage or something. Or worse.

And he is trying to make friends with her again and doesn't seem to realise that telling her he's going to kill her might JUST make her less willing to befriend him.

In a way though, I find it hard to judge him. He has been created as he is and in a way, it seems like he doesn't really WANT to hurt any of the family or at least, only wants to hurt certain members of it. He just is what he is. The real Benjamin must have been truly evil, but I think the current version is simply doing what he was created to do. Not that he's not extremely nasty, but I'm not sure how much free will he has.

And he has figured out the whole Scabbers/Peter Pettigrew thing. Even if it was only for a second and he doesn't really believe it. Interesting.

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Review #28, by MargaretLanePainting Over: Painting Over

11th August 2014:
Hmm, the summary of this is intriguing.

I like the way you keep the suspense going, telling us the pain is just psychological but not telling us immediately what it is that has traumatised her.

*laughs at her having most respect for the nail painting spell*

The part in brackets sounds kind of awkward though. "One of the spells of which she held with the utmost respect." It'd probably sound better to say, "one of the spells for which she had the utmost respect" or "one of the spells she'd most respect for."

I also feel you overuse Rita's name a bit. It would probably sound better if you replaced some of them with "she", especially as she's the only character in this story and there is no danger of confusion as to who you're speaking about.

Love the line about the universe being cruel and the if onlys being cold reality.

I also like the way she returns to normal after that, showing how she feels the facade must continue, no matter how bad she feels.

Author's Response: Hi there! Yep, gonna fix that line, it is pretty awkward. Never really thought I was overusing "Rita", but at that time I had little Posy and Faina (my inspiration for this was from The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey) running through my mind, so I'll fix that too. Thanks for the super sweet review!

-Meena


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Review #29, by MargaretLaneInside: Inside

10th August 2014:
I've been looking at both this and your Azkaban story for a while and thinking "must read when I get a chance", so I'm finally getting around to this one.

I wonder can he speak so they can understand him. They don't seem to respond to what he says.

Actually, my gran is in an old people's home and they used do art, which was basically colouring in pictures and she started joking about how she's "back in the babies' class" and she'll be "going up to High Infants next." (High Infants is the second year in Irish primary schools, when the kids are 5/6.) Haven't heard her mention it in a while now. I think the staff now know what activities she enjoys and don't bother her about things they've figured out she's not interested in.

*laughs at his comment that broomsticks fly silently unless somebody on them is screaming*

And you've confirmed my suspicion with the comment about the words being caught inside his head. Yi-i-ikes, that must be frustrating.

And ooh, the ending is creepy. And kind of sad, that he died without ever getting to communicate as he'd wanted.

Author's Response: Yay! *hugs* This was a lovely surprise to find when I got home from holiday.

You've been looking at the stories with psychologically messed-up characters. They are my favourites. :)

Bode isn't the nicest of guys, and being treated like a small child... doesn't suit him at all. Especially as he can't argue. Yep, that's right, he doesn't actually have control over his body. He's trapped in his own head. That would be very frustrating.

And he died right as he figured it out. I can do cruel occasionally! :P

Thank you again!


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Review #30, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Sinister Semester: Discovery

10th August 2014:
Again, some of the dialogue isn't broken up into sentences, like Lily's words to Scorpius should read more like this: "This is not the end of the world. He'll understand. The sorting hat doesn't make mistakes."

You also need full stops after "Scorpius" in the first sentence and after "affectionately" in the second.

I'm now wondering where Rose has been sorted. It sounds like she's not in Gryffindor as there's no mention of her being in the common room. Unless she's just not that friendly with Albus and Lily.

The letter from Hagrid should be divided into separate sentences too.

Sprout must have been at Hogwarts more than 22 years. 19 have passed since the final battle at this point and Harry was at school nearly 7 years by that stage, so that's 26 years, even if Harry's first year was her first too.

I do like the way you let us know Ms. Foster is comparatively new too. It's a natural way for it to come up and doesn't sound at all forced. I'm interested to see what she's like now too. I always like to see new teachers, as I think I already said.

You've captured Firenze's speech patterns really well, I think.

You've written that the centaurs' last warning was to "let everybody about the second war with He Who Must Not Be Named." I'm assuming it should be to "let everybody KNOW about the last war."

It will be interesting to see where you go from here, whether people will figure out immediately that she's been murdered or if they'll assume it was an accident or something.

Author's Response: In my haste I never actually thought about Sprouts time as a Professor, I also mixed up Lily and Rose it was always meant to be Rose but I confused them. I always have trouble with my sentence structure and that is the main thing I am working on, thank you so much for your feedback it means a lot to me

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Review #31, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Sinister Semester: A Sorting of Sorts

10th August 2014:
Hmm, the title of this chapter already has me intrigued. "A Sorting 'of Sorts'" That kind of indicates that it's not going to be a normal sorting.

Oh, and I forgot to say in my review of the last chapter that I've a feeling Scorpius may not end up in Slytherin, since Draco is so sure he will. And it would definitely make the story interesting if he doesn't, as it would be rather interesting to see how Draco and Astoria react. So far, I get the impression they wouldn't react well.

I love sorting chapters, as they often give a hint as to what the characters are going to be like and where the author is going with the story. Plus I love the slight suspense and the possibility of surprises.

I like the way you clarify what happens to their luggage.

*laughs at his surprise that there are only about fifty people at each table* I'd imagine 200 teens could make quite a lot of noise.

I find it a little surprising the staff table is longest when there's only about 15 people sitting at that and fifty at each of the others, with about another ten to come when the first years join them. Of course, people are only sitting at one side of that, but that's still only half of what will be at either side of each of the others, give or take.

I think the British tend not to use the term "principal". I've heard a few English people say it sounds American and Hogwarts is old-fashioned, so I'd imagine it would use the traditional British terms.

I like the way McGonagall still feels that in some ways, she can't live up to Dumbledore and continues to refer to him even nearly 20 years after she's become Headmistress. It fits with the relationship which existed between the two of them.

Does Filch still have the same cat or does he call all his cats Mrs. Norris?

Shouldn't Scorpius have been sorted before Albus and Lily as "M" comes before "P" in the alphabet?

Author's Response: Once again in haste I never thought about how many actual students attend Hogwarts but in a future chapter that I had in mind would address that. Mrs Norris is still the same cat. I put Scorpius sorting last to end the chapter on a cliff hanger

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Review #32, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Sinister Semester: Nerves

10th August 2014:
The first paragraph or two of this could do with some editing. There are a number of formatting, spelling and grammatical errors. All small things that a recheck would easily fix. For example, you've no commas in the first sentence, and you've put a full stop at the end of the dialogue, when the sentence continues beyond that. It should be written as, "Rose, if you do not get up now, we will miss the train and you know how your mother loves punctuality," her father shouted up the stairs.

Hmm, that's interesting, that her Muggle grandparents are still living in Australia. I guess that's why they're a touchy subject; it sounds like they chose to stay there even after Hermione restored their memories. Or maybe there is family tension over the fact she did that without their consent. Really interested to know exactly what passed between them. I like the fact you've shown consequences to that actually. I've never seen it done before and it DOES make sense, as it could be a pretty controversial decision.

Also LOVE the way you show Rose worrying about living up to her mother's reputation. Hermione IS quite a lot to live up to.

I also like the way we get to see Rose's point of view and also the way you characterise her so far.

In the dialogue between Ginny and her sons, you haven't divided things up into sentences. It should be:
"'Oh, thank goodness you're awake. Here's your breakfast,' Ginny said, as she plopped a mound of food in front of her younger son.
Albus groaned and pushed the plate away.
'What's wrong? I made your favourite,' she said, a little hurt.
'Nothing, Mum. It's just I'm a little nervous.'
James tutted and rolled his eyes.
'Less of that, James. As I recall, you wouldn't leave your father's side until the train nearly left the station. It's OK to be nervous, Al. Everybody gets a bit nervous; it's normal, but once you're on the Express with Lily, you'll realise it's one big adventure and you'll have the time of your life.'"

Sorry, I got a bit carried away there.

I'm also wondering why Lily is going on the Express if this is Albus's first year. Have you changed the birth order from the books?

Aw, that's nice about her getting a clock like her parents' from her mother for her wedding anniversary. I like that detail.

Again, I really don't think Draco'd use the word "semester", especially when the Hogwarts year is divided up into the traditional three terms.

I do really like the way you've portrayed the relationship between Scorpius and his parents in just a few lines. I could almost FEEL the coldness between them. Sounds like Scorpius is far from the pampered little prince his father was.

And I also LOVE the idea of Astoria being a teacher at Hogwarts. I'm always interested to see new teachers and it's also interesting to see the careers and other details people give to various characters who are only names or who we only knew as Hogwarts students. I'm looking forward to seeing what she's like as a teacher. Considering how cold and stern she appears to be with her own son (even without meeting her, we get the impression she is in complete agreement with her husband), I'd imagine she's not going to be much fun as a teacher either.

Author's Response: Yes I mixed up Lily and Rose, and honestly I do not even know why I chose semester instead of term as I am from Ireland and we call them terms as well. I always wondered what Draco would have been like as a parent, thanks so much for your words, it means more than you know to me. I am working on my grammar and sentence structure as well

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Review #33, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Sinister Semester: Seer, farewell

10th August 2014:
This would probably be a hard thing to change, but the title of this story seems a little out of place, since Hogwarts has terms, not semesters, like most if not all, British schools.

*laughs at "I already knew that" as a title of a book* Sounds like something Trelawney'd have all right.

You build up suspense well. I've an eerie feeling something bad is going to happen to Trelawney, but what it is, I don't know. I'm intrigued both as to what the vision she's been having is of and who the footsteps belong to. I've a feeling the person means her no good.

Oh, you've said, "the attic classroom in which she'd inhabited." The word "in" shouldn't be in that sentence.

And one "she" has a capital "h" in it. And also, there's a capital "Y" in Sybil at one point.

And it seems so characteristic of Trelawney that even as danger approaches her, she seems half-pleased to know it proves her predictions correct. She seems, in canon, to almost enjoy the thought of disaster, so this does seem like her.

I find it interesting she's more worried about not being able to warn others than she is about what happens to her. It gives a depth to her character we don't see in canon, which makes sense as in the books, we see her from the point of view of somebody who thinks of her as a bit of a joke and is unlikely to be aware of how she really feels deep down.

I think it is completely believable that she would have been aware of this, yet apparently have done nothing to prevent it, as she seems to believe very much that predictions of disaster are impossible to change and must also know many people don't take her seriously and probably wouldn't believe her if she told them what she'd been seeing.

It's kind of sad really, that she had that warning and we know from canon that predictions AREN'T necessarily going to come true, but that nobody moved to try and prevent this. Not surprising, but sad.

Yikes, and she drinks it, even knowing what's in it, rather than calling for help.

I wonder who the assailant is and why they appear in her room. Surely it would make sense to be as far away as possible when she drinks that, both so she won't suspect it's been tampered with (as most people wouldn't drink it knowing that) and to make it less likely suspicion will fall on them. Unless of course, they wanted to be sure she drank it and were planning something else if she didn't.

Hmm, which raises the question of how they knew exactly when she'd have a sherry. Sounds like it's somebody who knows her well. Another member of staff, perhaps.

You've written, "may as well, I supposed." It should be, "I suppose."

Very dramatic first chapter. You certainly give us an exciting beginning. Really interesting to see where this is going. My first theory is that the villain thinks she might predict their future actions or that she HAS made a prediction about their plan that nobody's taken seriously, but that they are worried people might begin to believe once they begin to put it in action and people see similarities between what she predicts and what is actually going on.

Author's Response: first and foremost I would like to thank you so much for all of your reviews, I was very nervous about putting my idea out there and I am the first to admit that I am not perfect but your reviews are so helpful to me and you tell me my mistakes in such a nice manner, I am really trying to learn from this first fan fiction and all your words I will more than take on board, thanks so much and forgive my greeness.

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Review #34, by MargaretLaneActions Speak Louder than Words: Beautiful: Scorpius POV

10th August 2014:
Yikes, you update quickly. *grins*

This is REALLY nitpicky, but "said she would just wait for you down there" sounds pretty formal for casual conversation. "...said she'd just wait for you down there" might sound more natural. There are a few other places too where contractions might make things sound more natural.

I like the fact you continue to make reference to their injuries. Stuff like that is easy to forget, or to omit, feeling it will get repetitive and it's not really realistic that they would never be mentioned again. It makes far more sense that they WOULD be thinking about them, as they are here.

I also really like the sentence where he feel tears in his eyes. Somehow you write that in such a way that one can really feel his helplessness and sadness over everything that's happened.

Hmm, that's an interesting distinction, how Rose looks at the injury differently when working as a Healer. It shows her professionalism - that she is able to put aside her relationship to the injured and her worries about them and just concentrate on her job. And she thinks she isn't strong!

Again, I think "she told me we'd a bond most people wait an entire lifetime for" might sound more natural than "she told me that we had a bond that most people wait an entire lifetime for."

I'll admit I'm not a great fan of romantic stuff or of physical description, which this chapter contains a lot of (I tend to skim the battle scenes in Harry Potter and just wait for Dumbledore's explanation of what was basically going on), but that's just personal preference and I do see the importance of this chapter and how it shows Scorpius and Rose beginning to get over all the things that stand between them - their family histories, both of their traumas, his worry that he might be pushing her into something she's not ready for - and realising they need each other and can help each other. So while it's not exactly my favourite chapter, I do see that it's a significant one.

Author's Response: Hello!

Work has been a bit lighter the past few months, so I've had time to update at a more regular pace. I don't think I'll be able to keep it up through the fall, though :(.

I've been trying to make a more concerted effort to look at my dialogue - specifically the contractions, and I 100% appreciate the feedback on this.

Forgetting about injuries or birth dates and all the other little details is also a pet peeve of mine, so I try really hard to maintain accuracy.

Yeah, Rose is a top Healer. I can't believe that she doesn't see how strong she is either - sheesh Rose!

Haha - I was actually going to PM you and warn you about this chapter - but you read it before I had a chance. I knew it wasn't your cup of tea, but I REALLY appreciate the review. I can promise you that we're done with the mushy stuff for a bit!

Thanks again!

Beth


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Review #35, by MargaretLaneRainfall: A Haunted House

9th August 2014:
*laughs at Hermione insisting on everybody saying "pardon" rather than "what" and Ron constantly forgetting*

*also laughs at Ron muttering about getting Draco back* Ron...really hasn't changed.

You written Hermione as saying "good think I keep dittany." I think you meant "good thing".

I actually laughed out loud at the comment that Hermione'd hardly poke Ron if he were dying. True, that.

I also laughed at the part about Dad and Aunt Ginny not being normal even for wizards and none of the Weasleys being normal apart from Rose and Hugo, even though he may not be normal, but he's weird in a different way. Actually, since I have to have a story for everything, it reminds me a little of when I was at college and we'd this lecturer, who used to sing rebel songs related to what we were studying and one day she asked some of the international students about how things were different in their home countries and they said their lecturers wouldn't do that and she was like, "well, normal lecturers don't over here either." *laughs* I mean rebel songs are an awesome source for Irish history and all and a brilliant way of remembering place names and dates, so it wasn't completely random.

This story seems to have Harry rather more traumatised by past events than I usually see, which makes sense.

*laughs I used to make up those kind of things as a kid too* But I guess since Hugo is blind, people would be likely to come to all kinds of theories about it symbolising his anxiety about not being aware of what's around him or something.

Ohhh, the mention of the Tudors having houses like it makes it sound so ENGLISH.

*laughs at Ron and Ginny being determined not to grow up*

Author's Response: *hugs* Thank you so much, for another awesome review! I was going to respond straight away, but you know... I didn't (surprise surprise). :P

Haha, I love writing Ron and Hermione. I don't go in for romance but I listed them as a pairing in the summary because I realised whilst writing them how perfect they are together! The main characters were supposed to be Hugo, Lily, and Rose. The adults - especially Hermione - are turning out to be more important.

Fixed that, thanks. I write "thing" as "think" ALL THE TIME. It's annoying.

You do have a story for everything.

I don't think anyone's normal, but Ron and Ginny don't care about pretending! You can spend years hiding that you like unusual things or feel like singing at random moments or are seriously into Harry Potter, and then maybe in the end you realise that actually there's no reason to hide it, so you just burst into song when you feel like it and geek out over Harry Potter. And it's easier when there are two of you, so Ron and Ginny give each other confidence to mess around and be themselves. And of course none of the Weasleys are normal, even for wizards! They're crazy and awesome.

Harry being traumatised. Admittedly not my favourite sub-plot to write, but it all ties in to later events. Probably. Provided the story cooperates (yeah, that's a big if). But I do think it makes sense for him to be pretty badly affected by what he went through.

Following our conversation last night, I am not surprised that you made up that kind of thing as a kid. *laughs* I'm not convinced it suggests that such behaviour is normal, anyway. :P I think Hermione wouldn't like to think he was afraid like that - or to know about his slightly morbid imagination. She wouldn't feel it was the kind of thing a kid Hugo's age should be coming up with, however normal it is really.


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Review #36, by MargaretLaneDeath on the First: Chapter Two

9th August 2014:
Okay, I am taking note of who's been mentioned in the third person, but I doubt it'll help, as I've a feeling you'll have to make the villain refer to themselves in the third person, as it would be pretty difficult to mention everybody else by name and the villain in 1st person without making it obvious. Especially if the killer does kill a couple more people. It might be possible to hide the person's identity among nine people, but if it gets down to about six, one person never being mentioned by name would probably be obvious.

Hmm, this really makes it sound as if it's not Michael or Lavender as the villain says Michael said that "to me" and they are speaking ABOUT Lavender and Michael would hardly speak about Lavender TO her.

Yikes, this villain really does seem like a psychopath. "Her best friend has been killed, but that can't be helped". As if murder is no big deal.

Hmm, this sounds like the villain, whoever he or she is, hasn't intended to kill Lavender, so it's not just that they want to kill everybody there. Interesting.

The comment that Theo doesn't know it's him or her seems to imply they are not the same person. Plus Theo was talking to him or her and he or she mentioned glaring at Theo, so he seems unlikely. If it were just the mention of Theo not knowing it's them, I might think it could be a case of duel personality, but as it is, he seems unlikely.

Hmm, that part about poisoning being a woman's weapon makes it seem like the villain is a woman. After all, if they were a man, that'd be a good thing; put the Aurors off the scent. Of course, it COULD also be a misogynist who wouldn't want to do anything "feminine". And that would fit with the fact that both the first victim and the person they've thought of adding in to their plan are female. But "it would make me seem more likely" would be my immediate interpretation.

There has now only been one character who hasn't been mentioned by name, I think. I won't say who, so as not to influence what anybody else thinks. And it is POSSIBLE I've missed a mention of this person. I think there must be a trick in here somewhere though, as I doubt you'd make it that obvious.

I wasn't exactly EXPECTING that ending, but it doesn't exactly surprise me, as the killer had implied he or she was planning further murders and the sister of the murder victim seems likely. Padma herself even SUGGESTED she might be the next victim.

What does surprise me is how she died. That seemed like poison, which the killer ruled out as a method. So how did he or she arrange for somebody to drop dead at the dinner table with everybody watching. I guess it could be magic, but...

Author's Response: Haha, you're very suspicious of me and the way that I'm writing this! Not that you don't have reason to be, since I'm trying to make it mysterious for as long as possible :P You're right about the killer's identity being harder to conceal among fewer people, though!

Your comments on the different characters that appear here are really interesting. It's so intriguing to read everyone's reasoning behind different characters.

I really can't say too much in these review responses and I feel like I'm replying awfully, but I don't want to give the game away! The way that she dies might be significant but I can't comment on the gender of the killer at this point!

Thank you very much for this review! I'm so pleased that you're still enjoying the story, and there'll be some answers coming up in the last two chapters!


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Review #37, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Pureblood's Secret: The Summons

9th August 2014:
Yay, another chapter of Albus. Glad you had a good holiday.

Actually, my dad volunteers as a "patient" for the medical students' exams. Hope Rose gets to see the patients who are willing to let her do so.

Considering what we know about Burke, it DEFINITELY seems possible he'd delay giving he recipe until he had to, so as to get more money.

It might benefit Boone to have somebody on the Prosecution side that believes him innocent. After all, if even their own witnesses don't really believe their case, it doesn't look great, does it?

I really like the slight signs of progress and maturity in Matt. It's good to see him gaining confidence and the fact that it is gradual makes it seem more realistic than if he suddenly recovered.

And yeah, I can't see most judges seeing a sixteen year old as too young to testify, particularly in a case like this, when the victim is somebody they supposedly stumbled upon accidentally. I suppose the fact he suffers from anxiety COULD help his case, but it's not like he's being forced to testify against a family member or friend or as if the interaction with Boone was noticeably traumatic for him (to somebody who didn't know he was a werewolf). I mean, Boone didn't take him prisoner or abuse him or anything.

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Review #38, by MargaretLaneUntil We Close Our Eyes For Good: Infinitely Interesting

5th August 2014:
*grins at the term "parchment-infested"* Really gives the impression of how she feels about the amount of parchment around her and probably about the amount of paperwork she has to do.

And it's interesting to get Dorcas's point of view, so we see that she isn't actually suspicious of Snape, just upset that the family of somebody she knew were killed.

OK, that comment about capturing by any means possible is somewhat creepy. Reminiscent of the Tans and their methods, which involved burning and looting cities.

And I feel it should be "couldn't care less," not "could care less". I've heard of "could care less" being used in the U.S, but I don't think they use it in the U.K.

I love the reference to Dorcas's father leaving when things got rough. It's nice to see all the variations in how people deal with these kind of situations.

Hmm, I wonder what didn't make sense in the guy's report, if he has something to hide.

LOVE the stories mothers tell children about the evil man who turns your head into a pumpkin and the little gnomes. Those sound exactly the sort of things mothers WOULD tell magical children to keep them out of dangerous places. Touch of fairy tales about them.

And that is typical of Dumbledore and fits so well with what we know he offered Draco - to try and protect people in danger from Voldemort even when their own actions may have contributed to putting themselves in danger.

Hmm, Dorcas really does seem to have high expectations from people. I wonder if that's just because it seems like quite a common attitude in the wizarding world, at least among Gryffindors or if there is some particular reason, possibly connected with her father's disappearance.

I don't think "fortune teller" should be all one word, at least not without a dash.

1981 and the Ministry getting tough. *shivers* OK, that comment probably makes no sense and of course, it would have had to be 1981 if Snape is beginning to doubt his involvement with the Death Eaters, but 1981 was the year the hunger strikers died in Northern Ireland.

*grins* They're not that long out of school, although maybe it's a sign I'm getting old that 21 and 18 don't seem that far apart. They sure did when I WAS 18. Or 21 for that matter. I guess a good deal of maturing takes place in those years.

That's an interesting idea - to have wizards working on a way to make a smaller amount of a potion have the same effect.

Author's Response: Hi again!

One of the things I tried to do with this story is show how people in bad situations had to make the best choices they could, even if all of their choices were bad. This was my first novel-length writing, and I look back on it every now and then to remind myself of things I learned from writing it. It's kind of a testament to my progress. Some of the things I got right, and others, well I flaied around until it was as close as I could get it at the time. Dorcas' character was one of those.

It's always crazy to assume that one year, you're trying to protect "children" and then all of a sudden, they're full-grown adults and completely capable of making serious decisions about their own lives. Wow. What a thing. It happens to everyone, I guess.

Potions fascinate me. So does chemistry. I decided I'd try to combine the two and see what happens. Hopefully it doesn't go "boom". :)

Thanks for another great review, and for taking a tour across my author's page!


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Review #39, by MargaretLaneActions Speak Louder than Words: Beloved: Scorpius POV

5th August 2014:
*laughs at the description of the homeless wizards*

Yikes, I didn't realise Ron didn't know about their relationship. What a way to find out!

Actually, talking about abandoning your kids, I've a spin-off from The Rise of the A.W.L. where well, let's put it this way, the rejection is a good deal more extreme than Ron's.

And I absolutely LOVE the way Scorpius sees Rose as being beautiful in EVERY way, not just in her physical appearance, because after all, physical beauty doesn't always last. People age, get scarred, all kinds of things. The way Scorpius describes Rose indicates he truly loves her for who she is and not just as a good-looking girl. It's a pity Ron can't see how he feels about her.

And hmm, that's interesting, that he feels Samara and James aren't really suited, but can't quite articulate why.

I like the fact that Lucius was jailed after the war in this. Most versions have him reprieved and the books do seem to hint that way, but in a way, it makes more sense for him to go to Azkaban, as he didn't even finish his previous sentence.

And I think it makes sense that Draco wouldn't have told his son much, if anything about the war. After all, how do you say, "as a kid, I was a pureblood supremacist who joined the Death Eaters and agreed to kill my Headmaster, then was forced into continuing to support them even after I began to realise I was in WAY too deep, as they threatened your grandparents and then one of the most evil wizards in history set up his headquarters in our home. And by the way, your grandfather caused a child to be bewitched into committing crimes just to discredit that child's father." Yeah, not an easy thing to explain.

I think what Harry, Ron and Hermione would have told their children is more open to interpretation, but again it is credible they'd have said nothing. An Irish celebrity whose father fought in World War I said he never spoke of it. And it certainly makes life easier. I managed to tie myself up in knots figuring out what Rose and Albus knew and what they didn't and I KNOW I am going to contradict myself over the details somewhere.

Aw, that's kind of sad, that Draco tells his son he's more like his mother than like him. In the context, it sounds like he is pleased his son isn't like him, because he is ashamed of himself.

I really like the way you portray the effects of the war on various characters - Hermione's trauma, Draco's shame. It makes sense that such horrific events would have lingering effects.

Oh, when he talks about spending time at the Potters', the apostrophe should be after the "s" as there is more than one Potter.

Oh poor Scorpius. This is bound to be a shock to him, but he shouldn't blame himself. It happened before he was born.

I'm glad he found out it wasn't his father.

Author's Response: Hello,

I'm glad you liked my description :).

It seems we have many story-plots in common! I can't wait to read all of yours!

So glad you noticed about Scorp seeing her beauty in more than just the physical sense - he really loves everything about her.

You seem to notice *all* the little tidbits I put into the story. James is a Quidditch playboy and Samara is an American witch who is an international liason to the ministry of magic. She is very professional - and a little older than James. I think it just strikes Scorpius as a little off from the girls he normally dates. Besides, he doesn't usually date them for very long...

I've a few relatives who fought in wars (Vietnam and WWII) and none of them would ever talk about it. Plus, when you have your own children, there is a hope that their life will be better - and without war. I really think it is plausible that *both* sides cling to that hope for their children and want them to live a life without war being a part of it. I also think there is a natural tendency to protect your child from unpleasantness. Discussing the most horrible things that have happened to you might be a bit tough.

Exactly right with Draco! My version is that he was very depressed and never recovered from his family's downfall. He wanted Scorpius to be more like Astoria - and wasn't upset that he was sorted into Ravenclaw.

Scorpius has his own demons. He is still trying to sort out who he is - and still overcoming his parents deaths.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!


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Review #40, by MargaretLaneActions Speak Louder than Words: Breakages: Scorpius POV

5th August 2014:
Ha, Ron is being rather harsh on Scorpius. WHY doesn't that surprise me?

Yikes, that part about him possibly looking for LILY is somewhat scary and didn't occur to me, although it did cross my mind at one point that if revenge was his motivation, then he might well be looking for an opportunity to get at Lily too and just not have had that opportunity as she is younger and usually either at Hogwarts or around her family.

Molly's parents weren't really involved in the resistance though and while Dom and Roxie's WERE, it was to nowhere near the same extent as Ron and Hermione. I think it is at least possible that somebody is targeting their children.

I think it is totally in character for Harry to decide ignoring Ron is pretty much the best bet. That's more or less what he did when he was messing up at Quidditch too, until he could get him alone.

I like the way you show the effect what happened to Hermione had on her. I do feel she seemed to get over it a little too quickly in the books. I mean she was brutally tortured and it seemed like she was a bit shaken for a couple of hours and then just forgot about it. Though of course, we don't know whether it returned to haunt her after the battle and with the events of the battle and all, she hadn't much time to dwell on it then. They do say sometimes during a war or other crisis, trauma doesn't hit in until afterwards when people can focus on something other than surviving. So I think it's quite realistic that she'd show reaction afterwards.

Oh, you've written "it was all because of the Malfoy's." There shouldn't be an apostrophe before that "s", as it's a plural, not a possessive.

I think Rose really needs to talk to Hermione. I think, more than anybody, Hermione would be able to understand what she is going through and reassure her that you CAN get over such trauma.

Author's Response: Hi hi!

Ron's abuse of Scorpius isn't going to end anytime soon - he really is not a fan of the Malfoys. Although he does lighten up in the next chapter :)

I LOVE your guesses. *begins evil laugh* but I'm not going to comment on them just yet...

You are the first one who likes that Harry ignored Ron. I just thought he would try to avoid a big confrontation in front of the entire department - until it couldn't be avoided any longer.

Yes! I agree about Hermione. I also felt like it was glossed over in the books - but I chalked it up to the same thing - she is a tough Gryffindor and had a job to do - and she held it all in. However, that sort of trauma can't be buried forever, and she would have a tough time getting through it after everything settled down a bit.

Several people have mentioned that I need a mother-daughter heart to heart. I am working on it. I think it will be the next chapter I post for the story, but it wasn't in the original, so I have to write it from scratch.

Thanks for all your cc. I *promise* I will get to all of them. I really want the story to look its best.

♥ Beth


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Review #41, by MargaretLaneActions Speak Louder than Words: Breakable: Rose POV

3rd August 2014:
*continues catching up on this story*

Must say I do like the chapter title.

And aw, I like the way Rose tries to console Lily, despite being pretty shocked herself. It seems to fit really well with the character you've developed for her.

One thing I've noticed here is that your characters seem not to be using many contractions. "We're all right. We're home," would seem more natural dialogue than "We are all right. We are home."

*laughs* I'd say it's quite possible the Ministry may not have known Harry was teaching them. After all, they can't tell who is doing magic if there is an adult wizard around. And of course, they probably would make an exception for him anyway.

Poor Rose. It's understandable she feels guilty, but she has no reason to. The whole point of having Aurors around is to protect the public. Sh may have an E in Defence Against the Dark Arts, but I'm sure Auror training teaches defensive spells WAY beyond what would be learnt at Hogwarts.

And even apart from her traumatic experiences, there is a huge difference between using defensive spells in the classroom or with Harry and using them in a really dangerous situation. As Harry said at one point, in a really dangerous situation, you just have to react. The Aurors have been in those situations before and are used to dealing with them or as used to it as you can possibly get, whereas she has probably never had to deal with such a situation before. And then she's dealing with a level of trauma they're not as well.

Poor Rose. She really needs to stop blaming herself and feeling guilty.

I hadn't thought that this is probably how Ginny felt when Harry, Ron and Hermione were on their mission. Her brother, the boy she loved and a girl she was becoming close friends with were all in severe danger, as were a number of her other brothers and her father, who was steering a really risky course by working in the Ministry under Thickness, while remaining involved with the Order of the Phoenix.

And that information about Hermione might help Rose understand why her father is overprotective and so inclined to be judgemental of Scorpius.

Author's Response: Hi again,

Rose does really well when she is caring for someone else - that way she doesn't have to think about her own problems.

I know what you're talking about with the dialogue. I'm pretty sure I need a beta for this. There are a few pitfalls that I just seem to fall into with the technical aspects of writing and it seems that it doesn't matter how many times I edit the chapter myself!

I had a good time with the dueling room scene. I imagined Harry tried to re-live his DA days with that room - haha! Yeah, the ministry probably never found out about it - and if they did, they would turn a blind eye to it - he's HARRY POTTER!

Rose has been in such an abyss the past few years, and she is such a good person that she didn't want to bring anyone down with her. She doesn't see it that way, because we all know that Harry and Ron WOULD have given all their gold to bring her back. (Stealing one of my own lines!)

Rose just doesn't have that think-on-your-feet innate quality when it comes to battle. Maybe part of it is from her past experiences, but I think part of it is just her personality. When she is in a situation as a Healer, however - watch out. That much we saw at the end of this chapter.

I've really come to understand Ginny a bit - from this story and from the series of one-shots I wrote for the House Cup. From the books we know that she is incredibly brave, just like a true Gryffindor. She is also an extremely powerful witch - I think it may have something to do with being the seventh child. She really fought well in the Department of Mysteries during OoP and she was only a fourth year at the time. Not to mention she held her own during the Death Eater infiltration at the end of HBP and, of course the Battle of Hogwarts. But I think her bravery extends to being the strong one and holding her family together while Harry is off saving the Wizarding world, one bad guy at a time. He gets all the glory, but must come home and need someone to give him comfort and support. Not to mention that she has to basically have blind faith that each time he leaves it won't be the last she sees of him. Ok. I've ranted enough about how I feel about Ginny - sorry!

To sum up - there are different kinds of bravery represented in Rose's family and Ginny is one of those.

Yes! I was so glad that you saw what I was trying to do to connect why Ron hates Scorpius and that Hermione might just be another source for Rose to use as a comfort.

Thanks again!

Beth


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Review #42, by MargaretLaneGolden Meadowes: Chapter One: Sometimes Goodbye Really Is Forever

3rd August 2014:
Dorcas Meadowes is a rather interesting character, as we know virtually nothing about her.

Brilliant use of description again. I am useless at physical description, so it always impresses me to see it done well.

Leaving school is such a huge upheaval. It's like everything you've ever known is about to change and at the same time, you have the stress of taking the most important exams of your life, at least thus far. And of course, for your characters, they also have a war to contend with.

Yikes, that is rather a lot to ask of somebody who is still at school, but it is totally in character for Dumbledore to do so. He asks a lot of others, but even more of himself.

This probably isn't a critique worth making, as it's obviously important to the story that it should be as it is, but I do think you seem to have rather a lot of the Order of the Phoenix around the same age here. It strikes me as likely that most of the Order would be a lot older than Lily and James. And if Alice is Alice Longbottom, then wasn't she an Auror who had already defied Voldemort three times by the time Lily was 20 or 21? So if Auror training is three years, it's likely she would have been older than 21 by the time she'd been an Auror long enough to defy Voldemort three times, marry and have a child. Especially since James and Lily were SO young becoming parents, it seems likely that the parents of most of Harry's classmates would be significantly older. I realise the story probably wouldn't work if she were ten years older than Lily though.

*laughs at James's behaviour being described as borderline-stalker*

LOVE the imitation of Petunia's disapproving face.

In "don't lose that fire, Lils," I think there should be a comma before "Lils". And again, there should be a comma before "my lovely little Lily", when you write, "have a good holiday, my lovely little Lily."

Aw, I really like the way Dorcas is so protective of Lily.

And I like the way Marlene knows Dorcas well enough to guess pretty closely what's going on; at least that there is something she's not telling her and possibly something she doesn't feel it's safe to reveal to her.

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Review #43, by MargaretLaneRainfall: Empires Old and New

3rd August 2014:
*laughs at the straight roads thing* One immediate indication Ireland was never part of the Roman Empire. There's hardly a straight road in the country.

And that is an awesome idea - having them actually make the roads.

Oooh, I love the idea of Kingsley's reforms having a negative side. Most things do, after all.

And these events have certain echoes of your Nobby story, with the politics and the pureblood extremists and all.

I love Hermione's reaction to Ron actually taking notice of what's going on in the elections. And I can imagine it would feel sort of odd to be protecting people who are under threat due to the hatred they are spreading. But yeah, you can't only protect those you agree with, obviously.

Your news reporters sound so genuine. You've really captured the way reporters speak when reporting on things like elections.

And I LOVE the way the Irish Ministry use "stupid ould pencils", to quote our ex-Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, when he was trying to bring in electronic voting. When I was 12, our teacher brought us down to see part of one of the counts. It was a referendum and I wandered around, counting how many yeses and nos I saw. I think I saw something like 12 nos and about 4 yeses, so that was a pretty fair indication of the way the wind was blowing.

I like the way you have different countries having different systems and stuff. The wizarding world does seem more uniform than the Muggle one, probably because of the smaller populations and greater ease of travel, but at the same time, the British wizarding world is so like Muggle Britain in a lot of ways (even down to the year they start secondary school and the years they do their exams) that it makes sense other countries would reflect their Muggle versions.

*laughs at what Hugo says about Percy, since in my story he spends his time talking about work and how well Lucy is doing, since Molly isn't at Hogwarts yet in my story*

I'm actually really amused at something here, but I think I'll pm you on the forums about it, because it'd be going off-topic here.

That idea of splitting the vote is one of the sort of benefits of our system, where we have 3-5 candidates elected for each constituency, so it's less likely the guy with 40% support will beat the three guys with similar views who between them share 60% of the vote, especially as you can list 2nd and 3rd choices. There are disadvantages too, but on the whole, I like it as a system.

This also reminds me of how Labour declined to stand in the...I think it was the 1917 election, so as not to split the nationalist vote in Ireland, as this was when we were still part of the UK.

I burst out laughing at Seamus Brody's similarity to "guy I probably shouldn't bash publicly by mentioning his name."

And it strikes me as completely likely that issues about pureblood supremacy wouldn't come up in an Irish political debate, because, apart from anything else, we tend to be less direct about certain opinions. I've been rephrasing this over and over again, because I'm not sure how to express it, but I think it very likely that it might be unacceptable to express pureblood elitist views in a political debate, but far more acceptable to actually enact laws benefiting purebloods. Straight talking isn't exactly valued over here.

Author's Response: They do a lot of hands-on stuff. Usually you'd have diagrams, but they need models - and hey, why not build the models themselves?

Everything has a negative side. Give people the right to vote, you have to trust them to make a good choice.

Pure-blood extremism is a theme that I focus on constantly, and as it was the cause of both wizarding wars, Nobby's problems, Grindelwald, and Slytherin leaving Hogwarts, I think it's safe to say it's an important issue in the wizarding world!

Haha, I love my Ron/Hermione. It wasn't deliberate, but I suddenly found myself shipping them. It's a good stable relationship, unlike what most people claim to expect. She teases him all the time, but he doesn't mind.

Thank you! I love writing commentary (and there's quite a bit more TV-listening later) I may have been watching the European elections whilst/immediately before writing this chapter (spoiler: I was), so that helped me get the reporting style! My plots are so affected by my surroundings it's ridiculous, but I love this section and what it (kind of) resulted in later.

Magic quills, with ID charms so people can't vote twice or on someone else's behalf and so votes can't be modified!

I'm simultaneously writing this response and replying to the PM.

The vote splitting's inspired by something mentioned in the round-up of the European elections about UKIP and the Tories sharing a portion of the vote, and that reducing both of their chances. Your system is certainly better in that regard. But can you see the start of party politics in magical Britain?

Thank you for yet another awesome review! *hugs* *runs back to PM*


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Review #44, by MargaretLaneShift: Shift

2nd August 2014:
OK, this is a day late, but I was busy yesterday.

I love stories about OC teachers. I like to read about OCs because there is a huge wizarding world and the books only explore so much of it. And I like reading about teachers, because its a career in which you have to cover up a lot of your own insecurities and worries, so it's interesting to see what they think behind it.

LOVE the idea of McGonagall having been the same since she was at school.

Yikes, that line where she first feels somebody is watching her sent shivers down MY spine. I wonder if somebody really is and if so if their intentions are malign.

Oh, and I've just realised this is probably during the era when each Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher only lasts a year, so probably something will cause her to leave before the end of the year. And a couple of lines later you actually mention that. *laughs*

Ahhh, Rookwood. I'm pretty sure his reasons for wanting to suggest her position may be dangerous are not in order to help her.

Hmm, she does seem to panic rather a lot at the sight of the Dementor. Of course, it is an unpleasant experience and it makes sense she'd be worried about her nieces, but she's a Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher and she repelled it fairly easily, so she seems rather more upset than I would have expected. I wonder if there is more to that.

SO like Dumbledore to find the Patronuses amusing. I suspect he would also be gratified to know the students can defend themselves against Dementors though, considering his hatred of them.

I'm sort of intrigued by the way nobody is there when she looks. Part of me feels that maybe there is nothing there and she is just worrying too much, but another part of me thinks it has something to do with Rookwood, that he is watching her for some reason.

Interesting the feeling of being watched disappears when she's away from Hogwarts. That MAY mean that whoever is watching her is around Hogwarts only and doesn't follow her into London. Or maybe it's just harder to follow somebody in a busy city.

So like Dumbledore to decide she'd be safer not knowing what's going on.

I wonder what Fenrir Greyback wants with her. This is intriguing.

Poor Aminta. That attack seems to have had some pretty unpleasant effects. I hope she feels better soon.

And I wonder what Dumbledore means about it possibly being his fault. Maybe it's just because of the curse on the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. Or maybe there's something more to it.

Yikes, I'd forgotten Tom Riddle was at school around the same time as McGonagall. I was wondering why you'd had Aminta at school with her, but I assumed you just wanted to create a friendship between them.

Hmm, that part about the howling possibly coming from her mind makes me wonder how much she might be imagining. From what Minerva says, it doesn't sound as if she is though. But she does seem very stressed, with the difficulty sleeping and all. I suppose it's hardly surprising when she has reason to believe somebody may be targeting her and doesn't know why or what it is she needs to try and protect herself from.

And I wonder why Minerva is looking at her in sorrow. How has being Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher put her at risk? I am rather intrigued.

And even after finishing it, I remain intrigued. I assume he kills her, but it's not certain.

Really excellent story. I'd love to get the full story, but then maybe the slight uncertainty is part of what makes it so brilliantly creepy.

Author's Response: Wow this review is fantastic! Thanks :)

This particular story is a side one-shot to "Unsinkable", so Aminta is a character seen in that story and not all the events are shown - the two sort of complete the story taken together. At the end of Unsinkable, her body is found in the Forbidden Forest, mauled by a werewolf.

I am not a horror writer, so this was my attempt at being scary. I wanted to show her gradually becoming more unhinged through the school year, so her reactions are sometimes overwrought, although with the dementor, it's more that it came after children that horrifies her. Maybe if you're not a mother, the reaction wouldn't be as strong. I didn't really think of that at the time I wrote this.

And yes, I put her with McGonagall because McGonagall and Tom Riddle were school contemporaries, and I found it interesting that apparently no one much remembered him even though he'd gotten that Award for Special Services. He must have taken out the people who knew things but wouldn't join his cause. Aminta knew more about him than usual because she'd had a bit of a crush on him. That's where I was going with that.

Greyback was meant to keep an eye on her, but he's a loose cannon. Definitely unpleasant effects from that one.

Thank you so much for reviewing. I'm glad to know this story still works without having read Unsinkable, and is still creepy. Writing creepy/scary is really hard to do! lol


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Review #45, by MargaretLaneHogwarts Reclaimed: Gryffindor - Cassius Alcinder

2nd August 2014:
I like the fact that he has been pardoned officially, but that people remain suspicious of him. It makes sense that people would have doubts as to where his allegiances truly lie after everything that has happened.

I had to laugh at George's comments. And at McGonagall's comment that she didn't see eye to eye with him because he's always wrong.

His rebuttals were somewhat half-hearted in places. I guess there isn't as much one can say to insult people who've just defeated the Dark Lord. And his final comment about his father hearing about it was SO in-character.

Very amusing story.

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Review #46, by MargaretLaneUntil We Close Our Eyes For Good: No Rest for the Wicked

2nd August 2014:
OK, Karkaroff is an interesting character to write about. He's a bit mysterious in the series. We're not sure quite how he got involved with Voldemort or why he got out. Was it just fear or did he realise what he was doing was wrong? WAS he teaching Dark Arts to his students? Looking forward to seeing how you portray him.

Hmm, you've created a bit of suspense as to what his plan actually is.

I'm guessing when he says he'll be the second most powerful wizard, he's thinking of Voldemort as the first, but who knows?

This is VERY nit-picky, but I'm not sure Karkaroff, who apparently lives and works somewhere in Eastern Europe would speak of "the Ministry" with Lucius. I would image he'd say "the British Ministry" or "your Ministry." To him, "the Ministry" is probably that of wherever Drumstrang is.

Hmm, you really are stacking up the mysteries here. There now seems to be something of a mystery as to why the Potions master employed Snape. Does he need an assistant for some reason? Or does he suspect Snape? Is he keeping an eye on him? OR does he WANT Snape to leak information, as a way of supporting Voldemort without it being possible for anybody to trace the leak back to him. I really doubt the last one, but you never know.

And hmm, his boss seems to know he's made contact with the Death Eaters and while he's annoyed, he doesn't seem inclined to report him to the authorities or fire him. This is quite intriguing.

I LOVE the way you create a similarity between the path to becoming a Potions master and the one to becoming a master craftsman in the Middle Ages.

It seems like Snape has been coerced into supporting the Death Eaters in this version. That would explain why Dumbledore stood up for him so vigorously and why he was so sure he would not betray them afterwards.

I wonder if Dorcas Meadows has some idea where his allegiances lie. She would have known of his reputation at school, probably, if she's around the same age so it's possible she could make a good guess.

Author's Response: Hi!

This is sort of backwards to your review order, but I'm quite behind on my responses. So I'm just jumping in.

I thought Karkaroff was an interesting character as well. I picked him mainly because he seemed important, but he wasn't completely fleshed out, so it gave me room to play the "what if" game without having to contradict canon.

You're right with your points. This was my first novel-length anything and I wasn't very grounded with certain things... like Karkaroff's personal inclinations. I guess that's what happens when you're too hung up over your main characters. I call this story my learning curve. It's nice to see what other people pick out of it. I take those ideas and try to incorporate them into the stuff I'm moving forward with. Live and learn, right?

You don't know how happy you made me when you picked out the similarities between the Potion Masters Guild and the medieval craftsmen. I thought it was a cool idea, and also very logical, given that the wizarding world seemed stuck in time on certain things.

I really, REALLY tried to give Snape a story that would explain his actions without excusing them. I hope that comes across later, if you continue reading.

Thanks for the review!

Pix


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Review #47, by MargaretLaneManor of Secrets: The Study

31st July 2014:
I think you've really captured the speech pattern of a 1920s British police officer. The Chief Inspector really sounds like a police officer out of Agatha Christie.

Hmm, this is intriguing. I think there's a lot more going on here than the whole situation between Orla and the murder victim.

That comment about "poor Esther" is intriguing. I wonder why it is Esther who concerns her. I guess the siblings are close.

I'm now getting somewhat suspicious of Esther. Least likely person and all that.

Author's Response: Wow! Thank you- I was worried he sounded a bit too modern, but wow.

Oh, there is definitely is a lot more going on :3

You'll get to meet Esther in the next chapter and you'll get to see what that's all about.

Oooh, my first guess! How exciting :D

x Ely


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Review #48, by MargaretLaneManor of Secrets: The Library

31st July 2014:
*laughs* It was the DATE that initially attracted me to this story. 1922 being the year my country received its independence, sort of anyway. And then I say a murder mystery. *grins* Another Agatha Christie fan here. So I have to read this.

And on the day this story takes place, Civil War is brewing just across the Irish sea. That is literally the week it really begins.

There is a real Agatha Christie flavour to this story already, what with the wealthy young men playing sports in the grounds of the manor. And of course the mention of the library.

Really interested to see where you are going with this.

Author's Response: I'm so glad you did!

That really means a lot to me- the Agatha Christie thing, I tried really hard to make it seem Agatha-y, so thank you.

x Ely


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Review #49, by MargaretLaneStripped by Tears of Grief: The Toll of Time & Torment

30th July 2014:
The character of Rowena Ravenclaw is one who rather appeals to me. Looking forward to seeing how you characterise her and her life.

Once again, I LOVE the way you use nature related imagery. "The skeletal trees" create an ominous image straight off.

I also like the way you build on what we know about Rowena - that she had a daughter - and what we don't - who the father was.

And now I'm intrigued as to what war he was fighting in. The Saxons against the Normans perhaps. 1066 seems close enough to Founders era.

I wonder if her idea is that they should start Hogwarts.

And now, reading of the dream, I suspect it was.

And I like the way her husband appears to her in a dream, to encourage her to move on. Of course, if he loved her, he would want her to do so.

I agree that Rowena, who appears fairly upper class, would speak quite properly, considering the era she existed in. Although we might be before the feudal era, so it might not be quite as formal a society as what came a little later, but I still think that even writing in translation from Scots Gaelic or whatever the equivalent of this time was or Anglo-Saxon, it sounds better to have them speak a little more properly than people would today.

Really good story and you could definitely write more about the couple.

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Review #50, by MargaretLaneTask One Challenge: A Beast of a Task: A Beast of a Task

30th July 2014:
I thought I'd read chapters from more than one story, so I'm checking this one out now.

*laughs at Luna telling him the holiday would be the perfect place to unwind and then THIS happening* Poor Neville.

And I like the connection you imply between Luna's research and Neville's work as a Herbology Professor. I never thought of it before, but it makes sense their specialisations would bring them into contact with one another.

Aw poor Neville. Even when he does something amazing, like defeating Nagini, he still seems to think he's not good enough. Those thoughts are perfectly in character for him.

And I LOVE the line "accio courage".

And yeah, I REALLY don't think he's going to want Luna's help choosing a vacation spot after this. At least they got through it though.

Author's Response: Hi! Looks like you're taking a tour through my Author's Page. :)

Yes, poor Neville! The guy doesn't deserve so much excitement in his life, especially when all he wants is a place to unwind.

I always pictured Neville and Luna making a good team. If not romantically, they would certainly work well together professionally. I can't imagine Neville Longbottom getting a big head over things, or a permanently inflated ego. He'd probably love the attention for a little while, but I imagine he'd eventually want to get out of the spotlight. He's been brought up with this overwhelming sense of not being good enough. It is sure to at least partially carry over into adulthood for a time.

I loved that line too. It's probably the best two words I've ever put together. ;)

Thanks for the lovely review on this piece!

Pix


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