Reading Reviews From Member: MargaretLane
762 Reviews Found

Review #26, by MargaretLaneThese Dark and Hollow Nights: Chapter One: The Daily Prophet

3rd October 2014:
OK, just to point out there are rather large spaces between the paragraphs in this. It might be easier to read if some of the breaks were deleted. Sorry to start with a negative, but it's more of a heads-up than anything else.

I really like the way you draw attention to the difficulties people are having even though the war is over, with the Weasleys struggling to cope with Fred's death and the Trio having nightmares over what they've experienced. All very realistic and makes way more sense than just moving on as if nothing has happened.

Hope they begin to heal and move on as the story progresses.

Oh, I think you've a "Weasley's" for Weasleys" when talking about their grief over Fred's death.

*laughs at Hermione's attitude towards the idea of a make-over* That is SO in-character. And hardly surprising. It's pretty downright insulting to suggest somebody get a make-over if they haven't expressed interest in one.

Yikes, what a way to find out. Poor Hermione.

I do think they are a little too inclined to take the Daily Prophet's word for it though. It's not like Rita Skeeter is the only journalist ever to fake a story. The picture does seem rather conclusive, but you never know with magic and so on. I think they should take a moment before jumping to conclusions. But then, despite everything they've been through, they ARE still only teenagers and Hermione and Ron always jump to conclusions when it comes to their relationship, don't they?

LOVE Hermione's reaction to Ron. Well, I mean, I don't approve of it, but it is exactly what she WOULD do.

And ugh, insensitive or what? "I was just trying to explain why I cheated on her." *laughs* Ron is just as thoughtless as always. Not the thing to say to pacify her.

LOVE the way Ron explains his reasons for cheating. It's really insensitive, but it really draws attention to the effect the war has had on Hermione in particular. It's perfectly understandable she'd be traumatised, considering how she was tortured among other things.

And I guess it's understandable Ron can't deal with it either, although cheating on her is NOT the way to deal with it, obviously. But he's been through a lot too, losing his brother and he is still barely out of school.

Yikes, George really did overreact. I guess he feels Ron is making little of Fred's death, so it's understandable.

And the war is still hurting them, despite being over. So sad.

I like the way you have Ron and Hermione having the exact opposite responses to the war. He just wants to move on and not waste a moment of life when so many people don't have the opportunity to go on with their lives, whereas she isn't ready to do that yet and I can understand that he feels her trauma is making it difficult for him to do that and that he can't comfort her, because that would mean being drawn back into what he's trying to avoid.

I wonder if his avoidance of it is entirely healthy. There's a part of his attitude that makes it seem like he's kind of in denial and that is backed up by Hermione's comment that "we're all hurting." I can see it coming back to haunt him yet and he'll have already cut himself off from much of his support system.

Hey is Lavender scarred from Greyback's attack in this? Because that could also be quite a reminder of what he's trying to avoid.

Author's Response: Thanks for the heads up about the paragraph thing. I will be sure to fix that when I go back and edit. And wow you're one of my favorite authors on here so I'm so thrilled to have received a review from you!!
I love your reactions!! and normally, in several post-Deathly Hallows fics that I've read, people tend to not show how they are coping after the war and would rather just brush it off and pretend it never happened. I didn't want to do that in my story. And I know that the whole "Ron cheated on Hermione" scenario is WAYY overused but I wanted to make my story as different from the usual cliches as I could without making it sound too unrealistic, so I tried to be careful when writing it. And yeah Ron can be a bit insensitive. And George probably did overreact but Ron was making little of Fred's death so that would piss him off haha.
Definitely Ron is still in denial at this point. And he would much rather just ignore the truth meanwhile the truth is staring him in the face all the time, with Hermione and Harry's nightmares and Hermione's scars and such. And yes, Lavender is scarred from Greyback's attack but she's Iike Ron that way. She just wants to move on and forget it ever happened and that's why it's not as much of a reminder for Ron.
Thank you so much for your review!! :)

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Review #27, by MargaretLaneYear One: The Magic Begins: You're just as sane as I am

2nd October 2014:
Hmm, this is a rather intriguing chapter title.

And hmm, again the comment about her father not being sane is interesting. I like the way you just mention that casually and intrigue us.

I get the feeling there's more to this character than meets the eye. She obviously wasn't happy at home, but she doesn't seem particularly happy at Hogwarts either. She has some similarities with Harry - being raised by somebody she doesn't get on with and having lost a parental figure with whom she might. Or maybe not. I am wondering whether her mother was forced to leave for some reason or if the father found some way of ensuing he got custody. If the mother deliberately left her daughter with a guy who seems pretty dodgy and never contacted her, it doesn't say much about the mother either.

But it may not be that simple. Maybe she couldn't contact her for some reason or maybe she didn't know what the father was like. Maybe the father isn't even as bad as his daughter considers him.

OK, you've really started me speculative, because you keep hinting at things but leaving it vague, which not only tempts the reader to read on, so as to figure out what is going on, but also makes sense. Your character KNOWS what she is talking about, so she doesn't need to think about it in detail.

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Review #28, by MargaretLaneYear One: The Magic Begins: Courage

2nd October 2014:
Wow, this chapter is a lot longer than the previous ones. Between that and the title, I have a feeling THINGS WILL START TO HAPPEN in this.

One thing: it might be helpful if you gave some indication within each chapter as to who is speaking. I don't mean you have to start with "Grace's POV" or anything. It's possible to do it more subtly than that. But when it's just in the chapter summaries, you don't see who it is unless you look back to the chapter page before reading each chapter.

I had to laugh at the comments about Sam being a metamorphmagus. Yes, the changed hair colour just MIGHT give it away.

And the idea of a Muggleborn metamorphmagus is really interesting. It must have been pretty difficult for his parents to explain that to friends and relatives. You could actually write a pretty amusing story about his infancy.

You characterise her mother SO well. The formality of her speech, the way she signs herself "mother" rather than "mum", the lacy handwriting, her assumption that Hogwarts will change things simply on her say-so...they all give us a good impression of the type of person she is. And she hasn't even physically appeared in the chapter, nor has anybody directly described her.

I'm guessing the drawing it out has something to do with Cleveland accents or something like that?

You have full stops at the end of some pieces of dialogue where there shouldn't be, like "'well, obviously she should be in Slytherin.' Says my mother." "Says my mother" is not a full sentence on its own; it's part of the previous sentence, so there should be a comma after "Slytherin" and a small "s" on "says."

I love McGonagall's comment about how students are not permitted to just change houses. Her calm certainty sounds just like her.

Well done to McGonagall for giving her the points. And again, it is completely in character for McGonagall to quote Dumbledore and refer to him as "a wise man".

In "one's parents," there should be an apostrophe before the "s" in "one's" as the parents belong to the person.

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Review #29, by MargaretLaneYear One: The Magic Begins: First Day at Hogwarts.

2nd October 2014:
I'm amused by the comment that the red-heads must have some kind of secret society as they all seem to know each other.

The second time you've written "you're wand" instead of "your wand". "You're is short for "you are."

I always enjoy seeing new teachers. It's interesting to see what kind of personalities people develop for them. Professor Barrow seems kind of nice so far, although that staring thing is a bit weird. Hmmm.

I would like to see a little more of the class and what she is like as a teacher. I guess we'll see more of her later.

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Review #30, by MargaretLaneYear One: The Magic Begins: The Sorting Ceremony

2nd October 2014:
I love sorting chapters. It always gives you quite an insight into characters to see what houses they are in. And especially with the triplets, it'll be interesting to see if they are in the same houses or different ones.

Does your main character know the Malfoys or not. In the first chapter, it seemed like she'd never seen Lucius Malfoy before, as I think she described him as a blond haired man, which she'd hardly do if she knew his name and she seemed surprised by his attitude towards the Potters and Weasleys, which wouldn't be much of a surprise if she knew Scorpius, given HIS attitudes. But now it seems like she knows him, unless she's just going off his attitude in the last chapter.

She shouldn't really be able to hear what the Sorting Hat says to her sister, apart from the house it calls out, I don't think. After all, Harry didn't hear what it said to anybody else during his sorting.

I like the difference you've already indicated between her two sisters. It seems like Brooke is a typical Slytherin, whereas Erin is mostly concerned with making her family happy. I guess loyalty to a pureblood family could be seen as a Slytherin trait, but in a different way and it could also be seen as a Hufflepuff one.

I've a feeling Grace is going to surprise everybody and end up in Gryffindor.

OK, she sure did surprise everybody, me included. I hadn't expected that. I really like it though. It creates a bit of a surprise. Slytherin or Gryffindor would have been expected.

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Review #31, by MargaretLaneYear One: The Magic Begins: The Hogwarts Express

2nd October 2014:
Actually, I'd like to see a little more of the other two triplets. I guess we will as the story moves on, but I'm rather intrigued about them.

*laughs at how Scorpius asks for their blood status before deciding whether or not to sit with them* Again you give us a real insight into his character straight off. Scorpius is one of the characters whose portrayal differs most from one fanfic to another. In some he is best friends with Albus and Rose, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen here. *laughs*

I wonder if he is going to be just like his father or if there are going to be differences.

And yikes that bit about him WISHING he was a Death Eater is creepy. Maybe he's just trying to sound tough, but still.

Are the Death Eaters still around in this story or has calling somebody a Death Eater just become a term of insult for people with pureblood prejudice? I could well see the latter happening, but a story where the Death Eaters still exist in some form or there is some type of neo-Death Eater organisation could be interesting too.

Hmm, this character really DOES seem to have an interesting background.

And the only reason she's going to Hogwarts is to get away from her father. So she doesn't actually WANT to learn magic. That's interesting and not exactly surprising. I'd imagine a lot of Muggleborns would have reservations about going away to a boarding school they'd never heard of and leaving their family, friends and home behind to learn things they'd never even heard of before. And I'd say their parents would have even more reservations.

*laughs at her wanting to be in a house with red*

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Review #32, by MargaretLaneYear One: The Magic Begins: King's Cross Station

2nd October 2014:
Love the introduction of triplets. When I first heard the "our" birthday, I was sort of thinking "oh, twins again." Not that there's anything wrong with writing about twins, but they seem to turn up a lot, whereas I have NEVER before seen a story about triplets at Hogwarts.

You achieve a really conversational tone here, so that I can actually imagine the character speaking and I really like her comments about reading the History of Magic textbook. That gives a real insight into her character - not just the fact that she's read it but the way she talks about having done so and even the words she uses.

For such a short chapter, you have really given a sense of the character's voice.

I like the way Draco says almost the exact same thing as Ron does. It kind of indicates they are more alike than either of them might like to admit.

The only thing that seems a bit out of place is Draco saying that Scorpius has his mother's brains. It makes sense for Ron to say that as Ron is well aware he is less intelligent than Hermione and doesn't even value book learning all that much anyway, but with Draco's arrogance, I would expect him to take credit for it if his son turned out to be particularly intelligent. I also think he would expect his son to be intelligent. I'd expect him to more say something like, "luckily, you're as intelligent as might be expected from a member of both the Malfoy and Greengrass families" and then maybe add on something like, "your mother got all Os in her N.E.W.T.S., you know. I'm sure you'll do likewise."

Of course, Draco might well have changed as a result of his experiences in Half Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows and also just from maturing, so this may be simply due to how you are portraying him in this story. But it just sounded a little un-Draco-like.

I also think the part where she is talking about how the Weasleys, Potters and Longbottoms are heroes could be given a little more detail. The "what is he? A Death Eater?" seems to be just a sort of throw-away comment and I'd expect her to have a bit more reaction if THAT thought crossed her mind.

I do like the way you've referred to Neville not getting as much attention as the Trio. It's kinda typical really, isn't it? Poor Neville. Although maybe he'd prefer not to be the centre of attention.

And I think you have managed to give a bit more insight into your character based on the fact she thinks he deserves more attention.

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Review #33, by MargaretLaneRabbit Heart: Tenderized Hearts

2nd October 2014:
Poor Wren. She seems very shaken by this whole thing.

And I like the way you mention it again later on. It draws attention to the fact she's still dealing with that panicyness, even while other things are happening, which is easy for the reader to forget.

OK, I'm not quite sure what that rabbit is all about. It's definitely REALLY creepy. And I wonder if Summers sent them there on purpose because of the rabbit being there.

*cheers for Wren managing to fight off Bunny's demands* I don't know whether it is the right or the wrong thing to do in this situation, but at least she doesn't seem to be completely in thrall anymore and that has to be good.

I'm wondering now if the bite will have some kind of effect on Albus or if it was just getting blood.

And it seems like some of the things Bunny is telling her are helpful. This is getting weirder and weirder. Poor Wren. She's having a REALLY rough time.

I'm not sure the fact she's defending Bunny is a good thing though.

LOVE the comment about Madame Pince reminding her of the monsters. It's so wonderfully creepy.

I'm glad Albus is OK and that Wren is thinking that maybe she shouldn't let Bunny close to her.

Author's Response:

I think anyone would be shaken by that, but that's just me. :) I'm trying to get Wren to start thinking (more) clearly now, but it's hard because she's still partially under the influence of Bunny. The difference is that she is aware of it, which helps.

It's all my fault. I set up all these convoluted, twisty story mechanics, and now I'm paying for it. It's incredibly difficult to keep things straight and show what needs to be shown without confusing the heck out of people. Sigh. Okay, next time, it will be a straight-up thing with no complications...

*looks at next WIP*

Uh oh.

Thanks for coming back for another chapter! I love your reviews!

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Review #34, by MargaretLaneActions Speak Louder than Words: Boredom: Rose and Scorpius POV

1st October 2014:
I like the sound of this chapter. You indicated things were about to get intense in your reply to my last review and I enjoy a bit of intensity, though I'm not sure whether it's going to be emotional intensity or villain stalking people intensity. The former is my favourite, though the latter could be interesting too.

And I LOVE the summary to this chapter. I assume it means because she can't go out for fear of the villain rather than being a reference to her mental state, as I originally thought, but either is interesting.

I really like the way you go into detail about how much the restrictions are bothering her. So many stories end all stress once the character begins to confront their demons or the main pairing gets together, whereas in reality, problems aren't sorted so easily and being so restricted WOULD be extremely difficult. Especially as it seems to be dragging on for months on end. It may be minor compared with her post-traumatic stress and the risk of death, but the little things are still frustrating even when you have bigger problems.

Poor Wolfram Longbottom. He sounds a little like his dad, just from that little comment. Assuming he is his son. He could be a cousin or something too, I guess.

Hmm, I'm now intrigued as to what it is that Ruth has found out.

And I like the positive note in her letter. The whole comment about the faster her recovery will be reminds her that she will recover without being so positive as to make Rose feel guilty or inadequate if she doesn't progress as fast as she might.

She does seem to be doing better though. In a way, even her frustration and annoyance is a good sign, as her focus on the restrictions shows the other problems aren't demanding so much of her attention that she is unable to carry about the more petty problems.

And in practically the next LINE we get a real impression of how much better she is doing when she says she's now ready to experience life again, but can't. It may be unfair and really annoying, but I still think it's better than her not being up to experiencing life "outside her little cocoon." There are real indications she'll recover. Of course, that assumes she doesn't experience further trauma at the villain's hands that set her back. Even just seeing him or having reason to fear another immediate attack could easily set back her recovery.

And in the very next line, she considers the possibility of another attack.

And I like the little details like that Scorpius and Rose enjoy cooking whereas Albus and Selenia do the easiest options possible.

I think it is good for her to learn some extra defensive spells, just in case there aren't enough Auror around to protect her. However I really don't think it would be a good idea for her to remain and fight if it is possible for her to get away and I can easily see her doing so. She's not an Auror, she's at greater risk than other people as it appears it's her the villain is after and she has trauma issues that aren't going to be helped by being injured in battle. But I can easily see her not wanting to leave other people to fight when it is likely to be her presence that drew the villain in the first place.

Harry'd be a bit of a hypocrite to object to the underground teaching of Defence Against the Dark Arts, wouldn't he? But I guess this is different, as Rose has, or should have, adequate protection, whereas the Hogwarts students were not receiving adequate preparation in Harry's fifth year.

I doubt Rose would go anywhere unprotected. While she may not know the full story (and I am intrigued as to what it is she doesn't know), I think she knows enough to realise what a bad idea that'd be. But then on the other hand, she may just be frustrated enough to take a risk.

Stay with somebody who can protect you, Rose!

I'd be inclined to put a "pm" after the "seven o'clock" part, though it's not really necessary as the next line and the fact they are having dinner makes it clear it's the evening anyway.

I hope she is with Ron and Hermione.

Hmm, you've left it up in the air where she is even after she arrives. I'm intrigued. It could be her mum she's with, but I kind of doubt it. Harry, maybe. Although the bit about knowing how she is could indicate her mother, as Hermione would understand the trauma she's feeling.

Many of the people I'd consider aren't options, as we know Albus and Scorpius don't know where she is. Hmm.

I think the flow of this chapter is better than previous chapters, maybe because of the beta. I thought it read really well anyway, whatever the reason.

And yeah, that part I mentioned in the last chapter may well be a dialect thing. I've seen it like that in other stories too.

Author's Response: Hello there!

I was so excited to see you were the first to review the latest chapter :)

Hmmm - emotional intensity vs. stalking intensity - can it be a bit of both? I definitely have both lined up. Although admittedly, there is probably a bit more of the villain thing going on for a few chapters or so.

Ooo - I didn't even think of the double meaning for the chapter summary. Rose is on her way toward healing. She is most definitely in a different place than at the beginning of the story - and I have no intention of sweeping her emotional progress under the rug, but as she progresses, there will be other challenges for her to overcome.

Yeah, I don't think her idea of practicing defense is a bad one, either! The Auror trainees are just kind of stuck in a tight spot right now - they know some things that Rose doesn't.

Haha - I put that in there about the DADA because *of course* Harry isn't going to protest, but I'm working off the premise that these next gen kids don't know about Dumbledore's Army. I feel like Hermione wouldn't let Ron and Harry let their kids know just how often the trio broke the rules when they were at Hogwarts - haha!

Rose isn't stupid about her own safety, just really, really frustrated. But I'll let you read the next chapter to find out more...

Thanks for the comment on the flow. I do have a beta, which helps *loads*, but I'm also taking a bit more care with the chapters and I re-read them a *lot* before posting. I'm getting to some delicate parts of the mystery and I don't want to mess anything up!

Thanks so much!


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Review #35, by MargaretLaneRainfall: Parents

29th September 2014:
This line sounds a bit off. "It's very rare - though not unheard of - for consider a human prey." I kinda feel it should be something like, "for them to consider a human prey".

*laughs at Rose being all enthusiastic about snow while Hugo is trying to watch an educational program* It's so much the opposite of what my characters would be doing.

*hugs Hugo* This was me every time my family wanted me to go for a walk as a child - OK, usually when I was younger than Hugo. Walking was such a waste of reading time!

And I think you know from out conversation the other day why I'm glad Hermione promises not to read Hugo's writing.

Oh gosh, POOR Hermione. That is so horrible. *huggles her tightly*

You've written "the Death Eaters never realise they were my parents" instead of "realised."

I LOVE the part where he realises she'll be less likely to dwell on things if he's with her. He is so insightful.

I actually laughed at the comment about him going out completely naked.

That's always what strikes me about Hogwarts - eleven year olds leaving their families and only coming home for a couple of weeks a year. Now, we've discussed Irish attitude to homecoming and how it's the norm even for college students to return home at weekends (it's the norm in most boarding schools here too) and even with that, I know some people who found first year of college very hard. And if 17/18 year olds found it hard being away from their families 5/7s of the term time, how much harder must it for ELEVEN year olds to be away for months at a go?

LOVE the last two paragraphs. You describe the whole scene so graphically.

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Review #36, by MargaretLaneAu Clair de la Lune: Au Clair de la Lune

25th September 2014:
Yes, I know we're supposed to be editing our collab, but this needs doing first, OK?

Love the title, now that I've figured out what it means. French for moonlight is so perfect! I don't speak French, although I did it for my Junior Cert. I speak English and Irish and possibly a little German, but not French.

And I like the summary too. OK, I think this is the first time ever I've had that much to compliment before I even started on the story.

And thank you SO much for the A/N. That is SO nice of you (I think I'm starting to sound like Lydia here). And yes, you have more than done her justice.

Love the opening line. You may have noticed that physical description and scene setting aren't my thing (I seriously believe I am missing whatever it is that controls visual intelligence *laughs*), so I am always impressed when somebody can set a scene so well.

I really have to stop complimenting everything or I'll have run out of characters before I get through the first paragraph.

*laughs at her not really listening*

You should probably start a new paragraph for "back in a minute."

The whole scene with the barman is so cringey. You really capture the whole embarrassment of it. If she were with-it enough to be embarrassed, that is.

I like the lifeguard. He seems like a really decent guy. And actually, there's a sort of similarity between some of his role here and something later. Not much of one, but it reminded me nonetheless.

Love the detail about how she usually thinks giggling is stupid. Her change in behaviour when she's away from her parents kind of fits with their obsession with perfection. Yeah, let's blame them for this. They probably put a lot of pressure on her, so it's hardly surprising she'd go a little wild when away from their eyes.

And while under other circumstances her boasting and attitude towards the goblins (and her comments about Joe's name) might irritate me, knowing how this ends, I'm more inclined to sigh at the irony of how everything she is boasting of will soon fall apart.

Love the way you slip the full moon in earlier, setting the scene almost romantically, but ominous when you know how this ends.

And love the detail of her being terrified of getting in trouble. It highlights how traumatic becoming something considered a dark creature would be for her. If she was the sort of teen who liked to rebel, there might be a sort of dark glamour about it, despite the horrible aspects, but she really has no resources with which to deal with being a despised creature. Especially when she has always been a high-achiever.

Even knowing how this ends and having read it before, I jumped slightly when the creature appears. You just describe it so creepily. You wondered if you'd done justice to this scene, but I doubt I could write it this dramatically.

LOVE the detail of her leaving her wand in her room.

The part where the Healer locks the room is so creepy too.

And she's already blaming herself. Yeah, I know she spends my stories blaming herself for EVERYTHING, but still, poor, poor girl.

*laughs at sarcastic responses springing to Lydia's lips* Actually I could imagine her having been sarcastic before everything happened. Until trauma knocked so much out of her.

The part about how she'll pay for her night of stupidity is so sad.

If you want an idea of how sorry you've made me feel for Lydia, reading this makes me want to write a sequel where her grandmother arrives, yells at the Healers for being mean to her, then puts her arms around Lydia and tells her not to worry, she'll take care of her and it'll all be OK.

Ten out of ten.

Author's Response: OK, the collab can wait. ;)

I thought the title was nice and romantic. Ironic. Like the rest of this story. I speak English and a some French (I did it for GCSE) and a little German and you know the level of my Irish!

*laughs* Thank you! I was pretty proud of the summary, particularly considering how short I had to keep it (to allow for credit and title translation). And awww, thank YOU! I'm glad you like how I've written Lydia. I mean everything I said in that A/N. (And sounding like Lydia isn't a bad thing, so long as you don't take it too far.)

You know how long that first sentence took me. But I had to get it right. This is the kind of story where it's all about the scene setting, and I specialise in description and scene setting. While you rule at characters and plots. We make a good team.

I like the lifeguard too. He's probably about the same age as Lydia and the rest, and he's the sort with the dedication to go out and get qualified so he can get himself a summer job and start earning. He's that kind of sensible young man.

YES! We are allowed to blame the parents. I blame her stupid parents for EVERYTHING. (I don't like them.)

Irony everywhere. The goblins was kind of pointing out that she mentally considers them inferior and is discriminating against them and soon, she'll be the one discriminated against. And yeah, she's supposed to be an irritating and stupid teenage girl at this point to make her later vulnerability even more obvious.

Well, I felt like it would seem less of a forced plot twist introducing the werewolf if there was at least some sign that it was the full moon. But it's presented nice and romantically!

Oh, I knew when I started writing that this could be really effective and that I had it in me to make it so, so I was worried about living up to my own expectations. Like I kind of had a picture of it in my head which I had to put into words and convey to readers. That scene is one of those where there's so much capacity for emotion and intensity and all the words had to be right so as to keep the intensity going right through. And yay, it seems I managed it!

And oh, I had to show the change caused by the trauma she goes through. And do my best to grab readers' hearts and squeeze. (I enjoy doing that).

I MADE YOU FEEL SORRY FOR LYDIA! I feel sorry for her basically all the time when you write her, so it's all fair. And you should write that sequel (once you've finished A.W.L.!). That would be fanfiction of a fanfiction of a fanfiction. Which is beginning to get a little out of hand... Ah well, who cares? But actually being NICE to Lydia. Though it would also be an opportunity to show her early reactions to becoming a werewolf, which could be heartbreaking.

Merci bien, danke, go raibh maith agat, gracias, thank you! I think that's all the languages I can remember how to say it in... (French, German, Irish, Spanish, and English) So glad you liked it! *hugs*

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Review #37, by MargaretLaneRabbit Heart: Hearty Heart Heart

21st September 2014:
I'm FINALLY getting around to reading this.

Really like the way you develop the background of vampires. It fits really well with canon and the way wizards think they are superior to all other magical beings, while at the same time adding something new.

*cheers for McGonagall* While the incident isn't acceptable, especially the slapping - they are too old to deal with incidents by pushing and slapping like 10 year olds - it's pretty clear both parties realised immediately that they'd overstepped the mark and that further intervention really wasn't necessary.

And she has a good point about how students taking things into their own hands at Hogwarts hasn't always ended well, from Harry's first year, when it was HE who put the stone in danger (had the trio stayed out of the whole thing, Quirrell/Voldemort would have been left standing in front of the Mirror of Erised, unable to do anything) to his fifth when Sirius died, partly due to Harry's actions.

*laughs* Basil Fronsac's portrait plays a (small) part in my next gen too, but I have him portrayed very differently. Funny to see the different portrayals of characters who are really just names. LOVE your version, by the way.

All your characters are so awkward around the people they fancy. I guess that makes sense since they are teens, but I just want to tell them to just TALK to each other.

I wonder who they "they" at the end are. Creepy!

Author's Response:
Hi there!

You're still reading!! That makes me so happy!

From the beginning, I wanted this story to be about vampires, but then all the teen stuff got in the way, and then Dillon made me re-think the whole 'what if' angle. I won't be surprised when all of this is done, if Smeed demands his own spin-off. I've grown rather attached to him.

I knew what I wanted from McGonagall in that scene, and I'm glad that it worked for you. Sometimes, the experience is lesson enough. I figure she'd be wise enough to catch on to that after too many years around kids. I completely agree with you regarding children taking things into their own hands. Don't they know that magic doesn't make them invincible?? Sigh.

Ahh, Basil! I'm glad you liked him. He's just a stand-in to get in Albus' way, but it was fun to think up what he'd be like.

And yeah, the awkward. I guess I've read too many stories where everyone knows just what to do and just what to say, and then everyone's so HAPPY all of a sudden. Does that even happen?? I have no idea. I went to a very large school, so I'd like to think that I have a good cross-section of personalities to draw from. Maybe I just hung around incredibly awkward, socially-inept people at that age. Or maybe I'm just horrible at writing romance. Or both. Who knows?

Creepy! I hope so. Or all my vampire stuff would be wasted.

Thanks for another lovely review, and for coming back to my story!

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Review #38, by MargaretLaneRainfall: Behind the Veil

21st September 2014:
You should DEFINITELY read Plato. Hermione's argument has echoes of the Parable of the Cave that I was talking about.

And Hugo is extremely expressive for a ten year old. Maybe his blindness plays a part as it means he has to communicate entirely verbally. I wish I'd been able to express such ideas at ten. I had a lot of thoughts I couldn't put into words at that stage.

*laughs at Ron* He is now reminding me of yet another de Valera story. Dev was teaching his son Maths and took him out to where they had cabbages planted and started telling him how you could work out mathematically exactly how far apart they should be planted. Then his wife came out to tell them their dinner was ready or something, heard the discussion and said, "gosh, by the time you'd figured all that out, the cabbages would have withered."

I hope Rose is OK. Not getting up early on Christmas morning seems kind of ominous in a way I can't quite put my finger on. I think it's just the implication that it's a change in her behaviour.

Is it normal to get stockings of small presents as well as your big presents in the UK? As a child, I always thought the stocking was more metaphorical these days, but I've come across it in British stories. Don't know if anybody does it here. It's not necessarily something that comes up in conversation, but I haven't come across it.

Oh, of COURSE, the cards wouldn't be much good to him, would they?

Even flooing shows the difference between your Hugo and mine.

Mrs. Weasley is like the stereotypical grandma, isn't she?

*cheers for the joke being in braille*

The point about braille being like a secret code reminds me of teaching ogham. It tends to be good fun as 12 year olds tend to like codes.

And one thing that confused me a little. George mentioned his "three" had grown up with his ear missing. He has two kids. I'm not sure whether it was a mistake or if he was including his wife, even though she didn't grow up with it or if you've added an OC kid, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.

George is miserable? I wonder if that's because of the loss of Fred. Are ANY of your characters happy?

You know how we often talk about the cultural differences between the UK and Ireland. Fireworks are one of the ones that often strike me. I know this is the wizarding world and has different laws anyway, but I do know fireworks are legal even in Muggle Britain. Here, fireworks are either illegal bangers or else the very rare official display.

And yeah, fireworks must be pretty boring and annoying if you are blind.

*laughs at the elderly witches and wizards wanting to trick their spouses or carers or flat-mates*

And trust George to agree with his nephew that Percy is one of the most boring people in the world.

I really like the depth you've given George here. He's still a prankster and still makes jokes, but behind it all, he's never really recovered from Fred's death. Poor guy.

Love the part about George and Charlie trying to crack the nuts.

Excellent chapter.

Author's Response: There are an awful lot of things I should read. I might actually get around to reading some of them one day!

There was a time when you couldn't put things into words? *laughs* I think Hugo spends a lot of time thinking, plus he can't rely on body language and wild arm-waving to get his points across. Well, he technically could, but it would feel really weird to him.

Rose is feeling grown up, having been thrust into a boarding school with few or no friends where she's suddenly had to become a lot more independent. Yes, it does seem rather ominous, doesn't it?!

YE DON'T GET STOCKINGS? *stares in shock and sympathy* Yeah, we get stocking with comics, fancy pens, bars of chocolate, and/or other small toys. And ALWAYS a satsuma in the toe.

It's the little things which show most how much difference his blindness makes - flooing and chocolate frog cards.

Love Mrs Weasley. :)

Oops. It was supposed to be two. I've edited it. Thank you. I probably had Bill's three in my head or something.

Are any of my characters happy? Hmm, let me think about that... short answer: nope, or at least they won't be right the way through the series. Come on, Lily's not THAT miserable. And Louis. Don't try to tell me Louis' not pretty happy. But major characters and half the minor characters... nope! ;)

Firework displays get boring once you've seen enough of them. I've told you about our insane bonfire night displays, and we get way more firework displays than just bonfire night. Official displays and private ones in peoples' gardens. We used to have a box of fireworks to use in our garden when I was younger, but we stopped bothering because we see fireworks so often they've lost the novelty factor. You have to be 18 to buy them and use them responsibly, but they're easy enough to be a part of pretty much any celebration.

Poor George. But would you expect him to recover completely?

The attempt to crack almonds without a nutcracker is derived from my own memories of a certain family Christmas. An older cousin, my dad, and my brother were involved. The rest of us were busy laughing!

Thank you! :D *hugs*

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Review #39, by MargaretLaneActions Speak Louder than Words: Bombs and Bonds: Scorpius and Rose POV

20th September 2014:
Your reviews on my story reminded me I still had a chapter of this to read. I saw it when it went up, but a number of stories I was following updated around the same time and I overlooked it.

VERY nit-picky, but I think "his hands jammed" might sound better in the first line, although his MAY be a dialect thing.

I'm wondering what they are all so shocked by. It sounds as if they've figured something out. Hmm. Hope we'll have some revelations soon. I'm intrigued as to what the villain's motivation is.

The title is rather ominous.

You've written "lackey's" as the possessive, when it should be the plural.

I like the way you draw attention to how irritating the restrictions are on Rose. It must be very difficult not to be able to just go somewhere when you want to, even if you know it's for your own safety.

She says her parents had been "somewhat accepting of Scorpius and I". It should be "me" as you'd say "they were accepting of me", not "they were accepting of I".

I like the way Hermione stresses it's not Rose's studies she's worried about.

And I LOVE the comment about how they were EIGHTEEN YEAR OLD war heroes. They were barely more than kids.

In fact I LOVE your whole description of Hermione's experiences after the war. They all ring so true. I've actually written a one-shot about her return to Hogwarts and have also focused on how she uses her studies and so on to deal with what she's been through, rather more successfully in my version though, as it's only a one-shot and there isn't time to deal with long-term traumatic effects.

The way she describes the events is so stark and really gives me the impression of how she's feeling. I think that is one of your real talents in writing - portraying how your characters are feeling. It was the same when you gave the first indications of Rose's trauma.

Author's Response: Hi there!

Ooo - This review was so awesome. Thanks so much ♥ Thank you for all the edits - I had caught a few of them, but I didn't notice the "Scorpius and I" typo - I'll be sure to fix those. I think the "hands jammed" vs. "his hands jammed" might be a dialect thing, but it's funny that you mention it because I read over that line again and again, thinking it sounded off. I'll give it another look.

I'm so glad you liked this chapter - it really was an add on, but it brought so much to the story and laid out some things that are necessary for the second part of the story - it's gonna get fairly intense for a bit (fair warning).

Haha - I feel like you and I are on the same page with so many things. I actually got distracted and started writing a Hermione/Ron story about her seventh year finishig up Hogwarts that goes along with this chapter!

Thank you so much for the lovely compliments. I do really try to get inside the head of my characters so I can portray them to the reader.

♥ Beth

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Review #40, by MargaretLaneBefore: The slot in the door

19th September 2014:
From the banner, it occurred to me Rose could have been bitten by a werewolf, but that wouldn't make her forget everything about her past life; at least I don't think it would. So there's probably more to it than that, if that's involved at all.

Hmm, the fact she's wearing a uniform intrigues me. As does the question of where her family are.

And now that I think of it, it's a pretty Muggle-typed uniform for a witch. Of course, since the younger characters in the series seem to wear Muggle clothes sometimes and this is probable set about 25 years later, it's possible Muggle clothes have become the norm by this time. But it's also possible it means something.

Yeah, I would have thought a hospital too at first, but yeah, that doesn't really fit. I would imagine the bowl lip wouldn't be jagged in a hospital either.

That rod taking the bowl away is odd too. This is like some kind of prison or something.

OK, I AM intrigued as to what is going on here. Looking forward to the next chapter.

Author's Response: I love how much thought you've given this, despite it being a rather short chapter. You must be amazing at analysing texts in English. Anyway, I don't want to give anything away, but yeah. You're right in thinking that it's not a hospital, but I'll tell you that it's not exactly a prison either.
When I was writing this, it was hard for me to imagine what it'd be like for you guys reading it, because I know exactly what's happening and stuff, so I can't really tell how you would react to this.
I need to wrap this up now I think... Thank you for your review, I was really nervous about reading it in case it was someone telling me I suck or something, but it's really encouraged me, and I'll hopefully have the next chapter up within a week.
I hope you continue to read this, and I hope you will stay intrigued :)

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Review #41, by MargaretLaneOut of order: Bad Guy

16th September 2014:
I saw this story a while back and meant to read it, but then I forgot.

Love the way Mundungus admits he's done bad things, but says he has good reasons for doing so. I guess everybody feels that way. Most people feel what they do is justified. And I like the way he seems to feel hard done by that people can't see his reasons are worthwhile.

Is this witch Umbridge? She sounds like her.

It IS. I'm sure of it.

I'd be inclined to use a comma or something to break up "what're you, mad?" It seems a bit weird the way it is.

The other thing I would say, and this is REALLY nitpicky, but you use a lot of dialogue tags and they sort of start to draw attention to themselves. It might be better to replace the "proposed" or "responded" with something like "said" or else leave them out altogether and just say something like, "'Well, I will make you deal. I'll take that locket off of your hands and I'll let you off with a warning, just this once.' A certain gleam entered her eye."

You've characterised Umbridge brilliantly. She is clearly recognisable without your having to tell us who she is.

I also like the conversational tone you set up, as if he's talking directly to the reader.

Oooh, scamming Scabior is NOT a good idea. And you've done a good job at setting up a sense of menace as the wizards approach.

The comment about him having no intention of buying a tiny head amused me. You'd wonder why anybody'd want to actually.

The question "why don't you get a job?" should have a question mark at the end.

And that part at the end about how his mother needs what he earns because she's ill makes perfect sense and would make you feel a certain sympathy for him.

Author's Response: Yeah, I think most people would insist that everything they've done was for a good reason. Almost everyone can find a way to justify what they do. It is Umbridge! I'm glad that was apparent even though Mundungus doesn't know who she is.

I appreciate the nitpicky stuff! It's really helpful to know the small ways I can tighten up my writing. I do go a bit wild with dialogue tags in the conversations here.
I'm so happy the tone was good and that I built up the dangerous nature of those men before the chase scene started.

I've always wondered the actual use of a shrunken head in the Harry Potter universe, haha!

It's perfect that I got you feel some sympathy for him, as that was the whole point of this!

Thank you so much for the swap and all of the useful advice!

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Review #42, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Stone Mark: Knarls and Quidditch

15th September 2014:
LOVE your portrayal of Natalie Zane. I've gotten a feel for her character already in just a couple of lines.

And aw, I like your portrayal of Lily too. She's so enthusiastic.

*laughs* Hagrid is always a good person to go to if you want some information. He tends to let stuff slip.

And that part where he says he can't use Voldemort's name because of "force of habit" made me laugh. I think you've kept him really in character here and he is a hard character to write, in my opinion, so I'm impressed.

I'm also getting intrigued by the whole Dementor attacks part.

Author's Response: I (Georgina) really liked the name Natalia and wanted to use it in the story, so Freda said she could be a minor character. We mention her a few more times in the novella.

We envisioned Lily as the kind of person who would always has a child-like wonderment. We're glad you like her.

Poor guy. He means well.

I cannot take much credit for Hagrid; Freda usually wrote the sections with him in it, and I'm happy to hear you agree she did a brilliant job of it.

Yay! Intrigued readers are faithful readers.

It's great to hear more feedback from you.

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Review #43, by MargaretLaneGlory Fades. : Pain. Fear. Fury.

13th September 2014:
Hmm, I'm wondering even if somebody is found to be fine at the moment, wouldn't it be possible for them to catch the disease later on?

Are the people found to be infected going to be isolated in any way? Or are they sure it's not contagious? Could they be sure of that, when they don't seem to know what's causing it? I guess they could take a pretty good guess, if the family's of people with it don't seem to get sick shortly afterwards.

I'm glad Rose is fine. In the last chapter, that looked questionable.

Hmm, I wonder if Roxanne actually has the disease or if a combination of stress and her grief over Fred could have combined to create the results that took place. It seems likely she has the disease, because I assume that's what the story is going to be about, but it is interesting that the Patronus seems to be the main spell that is causing her trouble.

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Review #44, by MargaretLaneDeath on the First: Chapter Four

13th September 2014:
Hmm, this murderer is quick to think on his or her feet. Even half-asleep and at a moment's notice it occurs to him or her that if they weren't the murderer, a knock on the door in the middle of the night would be rather worrying under the current circumstances.

*laughs at Theo and Seamus both blaming each other*

In a way Parvati sort of brought the whole thing on herself. Not that it justifies what the murderer did, but she was wrong to cover up their former crime for money. This fits with the rumours about Pansy, but I'm still holding out for the possibility of Daphne.

Great ending. The last thing I would have expected was for Harry to have known from the start about what Parvati thought.

I won't mention the killer here actually, in case anybody looks at the reviews before reading the chapter, but I will say the solution makes sense.

Author's Response: This murderer definitely is quick to think on their feet - they've put a lot of planning into what they're doing here and so are prepared for most situations.

Haha, I love the little rivalry between Seamus and Theo!

I know what you mean, and I'm with you on that. Of course it doesn't justify what happened, and particularly not for Padma, but she did make a pretty fatal mistake!

I'm really glad that you liked the ending, and that the solution made sense. I'm really pleased that you enjoyed this story, and thank you so much for all your reviews!

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Review #45, by MargaretLaneDumbledore's Army and the Alchemist's Secret: Chapter 1 : The Potters

13th September 2014:
*grins* I LOVE next generation mysteries. And your description of the new teachers to appear in this sound really interesting.

Hmm, Kingsley appears right at the beginning. Interesting... I assume he's still Minister, but I could be wrong. After all, nineteen years have passed.

Oh, you omitted the comma at the end of the second line of dialogue and you have the commas outside the quotation marks on some of the others. The convention is generally that they be inside. Unless that's a cultural thing, but I don't think I've seen them outside in English, American or Australian books either.

Love the introduction of another wizarding nation and I REALLY like the fact that their Ministry seems to be involved in this mystery and it's not just the British taking control. The fact that they are suspected of smuggled stuff into Britain gives the British a realistic reason for being involved.

I wonder if there is going to be a Dark Lord in these stories or if it's going to be more ordinary crimes like smuggling dark items.

Are you planning a series or is this just a one-off? Or have you not decided yet?

I'm probably being REALLY nit-picky here, but the conversation seemed to jump kind of suddenly from discussion of dark items and smuggling to Albus starting Hogwarts.

Another really nit-picky detail, but I doubt Ginny'd call Mrs. Weasley "Mom". I know you can't say with certainty that no British person would use an American term, but she doesn't in canon and it seems less likely that wizards would use American terms in Britain than Muggles would, as they wouldn't have TV to get them from.

*laughs at Neville's son* This is rather a coincidence as in my next gen, Neville has a son called Frankie, who'd probably have been about 10 months old at this point. So only about a year and a half younger than your version. And Lily also loves him. As does Albus, to a lesser degree.

Like your description of how Diagon Alley has changed.

Poor Albus. It's pretty embarrassing to have your parents holding your hand when you are heading for your teens.

Hmm, between the mention of the philosopher's stone here and the mention of a relative of Flamel's in the summary, I've a feeling the philosopher's stone is going to play a part in the mystery. Maybe the villain is going to try and repair it so as to achieve immortality.

I was rather disappointed there didn't turn out to be anything dodgy about Ollivander, when it was hinted throughout the series that there was something creepy about him. It didn't even seem to be a bluff, as nobody even suspected him of anything at any point. And now you are continuing the mysteriousness. I wonder if he'll play a part in this series.

The line that "Albus almost doubted himself of being a Squib," is phrased a little oddly. That would imply he's beginning to think he's NOT a Squib. Something like "almost suspected himself of being a Squib" or "almost doubted he was magical" might sound better.

And oh, Ollivander is hiding something. This DOES sound like he's going to play a part in this story, maybe not so much as an individual as as a wandmaker. Maybe he knows something mysterious about Albus's wand that he isn't saying.

I can see Rose ending up in Ravenclaw in this story. Not so sure about Albus. I could see him in Slytherin or Gryffindor or Ravenclaw. And now, he'll probably end up in Hufflepuff, just because I haven't considered it. The main reason I haven't is because with the way James sneers about Hufflepuff, I'd imagine he'd tease Albus about ending up there if Albus had any possible Hufflepuff characteristics.

Hmm, I wonder why Ollivander is writing to Harry. It looks like there is more than one mystery going on here, though they might all turn out to fit together in the end.

Author's Response: thank you for the response.. i am working on my second chapter now and will post it in few days.. its really good to have a positive review..
I am going to write a series.. I have outlined the plot.. Just hoping that people will like reading it.. I wanted it to be for kids and adults alike.. hope I get positive reviews for all my chapters..

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Review #46, by MargaretLaneRainfall: The Slytherin Conspiracy

13th September 2014:
*laughs* In my story, the family spend Christmas at the Burrow and Boxing day at the Grangers, but of course, YOU'VE GONE AND KILLED HERMIONE'S PARENTS, so that isn't possible.

*laughs at James is in the same year, but you wouldn't realise it* No, somehow I would imagine Molly as more mature than James.

Love the way you characterise James in a couple of lines. The way he repeats himself a lot and seems to think his pranks are funny kind of suns up how oblivious he is to the fact others aren't interested. And the fact he boasts about having to redo essays also gives an insight into his character. It's great to get these little details, when most of the characters are away at Hogwarts and we don't see much of them, so there is only the odd detail to let us see what they're like.

I like your Louis actually. I know he's only had a few lines, but he seems to have a sense of humour. When you said he was in Slytherin, I sort of imagined him as being like mine - not that there was any reason he should be, but it made me think mine would really fit Slytherin and I started imagining him that way. Yours seems nicer though.

Hmm, I wonder why Albus is miserable. Not going to hug him, because I doubt he'd like it much, but sympathises with him. I wonder if he's still worried about the house thing or if he just doesn't like the crowd.

*laughs* I can't spell, but I don't think that prevents me being a Ravenclaw. But yeah, nothing wrong with Hufflepuff; they're my second favourite house. I got Hufflepuff on the Pottermore quiz actually, but I don't think I really AM a Hufflepuff. I CAN be loyal and hard-working, but not particularly so, and I'm really only hard-working when it comes to academic stuff anyway, which is more Ravenclaw. I could probably spell antidisestlishmentarianism - I think that's right. My spelling is pretty erratic. I can spell words most people get wrong and can't spell some that are considered easy.

Calvinism brought to Scotland by John Knox. Is that taught in Britain? The Reformation is part of the Junior Cert. course here, but of course, Hogwarts kids wouldn't know Muggle secondary school history courses anyway.

This is why shops should not open on St. Stephen's day/Boxing day. *glares at Irish shops starting to do so*

And I REALLY like the idea of Fred being one of the quiet ones. Most stories, including my own, have him as a messer, so it's good to see a different characterisation.

I find it interesting so many of the Weasley kids are quiet, when the older generation certainly WEREN'T. Maybe that's why. Maybe a lot of them feel overpowered by their parents. I mean, Harry, Hermione, Ginny, Ron, George and Percy are all, in different ways, people who make their presence felt.

*laughs* There's also about three years between Fred and Roxanne in mine and they are also the youngest of the cousins, but Fred is about three years younger than Lily and Hugo.

I think your Hugo will be a Ravenclaw when he gets to Hogwarts. He seems to fit perfectly and he'd be really good at the riddles. He seems to have that kind of mind.

*grins* I'm glad Hugo had a pretty happy chapter here. It's funny. The last title sounded cheerful and wasn't and this chapter sounded ominous, but was much more cheerful.

And this is one of the most random reviews I've ever given.

Author's Response: YES, I KILLED HERMIONE'S PARENTS. I AM EVIL. *cackles*

A large part of this chapter is characterising all the other next-gen kids who we haven't really met yet. James is an idiot. Al's really quiet and withdrawn because he has difficulties with social interaction and being thrown in with all of these people - who are all very comfortable with each other - he's kind of withdrawn. He doesn't really know how to get involved in the conversation - at least that's how I'm trying to present it. He's not really bothered about the house thing any more, I don't think; it's the crowd that's bothering him.

I love Louis. I've seen him portrayed as pretty spiteful or aloof, especially when he's put in Slytherin, but I thought I'd make him kind of self-depreciating. He's still ambitious and proud of his house, and he fits the characteristics, but he's also popular and a bit of a joker. A bit of a show-off, actually, and very good with people.

I think I can see the Hufflepuff in you, but I'd say you're definitely a Ravenclaw! And no, it has nothing to do with spelling. Actually, your spelling is incorrect. It's antidisestABlishmentarianism. Anti-dis-establish-ment-arian-ism. Really hoping I haven't got any typos in there, because I keep checking. It's not that hard because it's made up of standard prefixes and suffixes, you just have to get them in order! But it's the longest word in the English language (medical terms don't count) which is why they made a thing about it. Can relate on the spelling front. My spelling used to be so much better before I started writing a lot, conversely enough.

No, that's not really taught here, though the name may pop up in one lesson in about the relevant section of the syllabus. And... urgh, I can't even remember most of the stuff we did before GCSE in History! Our GCSE was all 20th century stuff, and KS3 we did King John (Thomas Becket, Peasant's Revolt, and of course Magna Carta), Elisabeth I and the Spanish Armada, Empire and slavery, the Industrial Revolution, and WW1. There might have been a bit more, but if so I don't remember it. And stuff at Primary School wasn't in much depth. I think Al's just acquired the information somewhere or other, probably because he got interested in a particular book and read it and remembered it all. I picked the word by, um, looking for words that were hard to spell. There's no more meaning to my word choice than that!

Over here, all the large chains and even a lot of the small shops open on Boxing day. Some of them open EARLY for the boxing day sales to begin - not even normal Sunday opening hours (which are still limited by law). Can't remember whether it's 6am or 6.30 or something for some of them. CHARITY SHOPS open on bank holidays. Keep glaring at those Irish shops!

I think Fred doesn't like the expectations. He's been named after the other Fred, obviously, and he might often feel like George wants Fred to be like Fred Sr.. So Fred might feel a bit guilty, but also angry that his dad is comparing him to his uncle rather than accepting him in his own right. And George didn't just get over Fred Sr.'s death and move on. I've also read an amazing one-shot, can't remember who by, of Fred really struggling with the expectations on him as a result of people wanting to be like his uncle.

Yeah, overpowered, and also they've grown up in families with parents struggling to recover from the war.

Hugo = Ravenclaw. First prediction! Maybe, maybe not...

I find it hilarious when you start judging my chapter titles because you keep on making completely the wrong predictions! *laughs*

I will convert you to randomness. It might take a while, but I will win out in the end. Hey, you had a conversation with "Leo on a sugar high" yesterday, so I'm not sure how you can describe something as logical and thought-through as this review as "random"!

Thank you! *squishes in giant hug* :D

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Review #47, by MargaretLaneDementor: Dolores Umbridge

12th September 2014:
*laughs at your request that we put away our hatred of Umbridge* I'll try. Hey, somebody made me sympathise with Barty Crouch's decision to give the Aurors the powers he need. Or maybe not sympathise, but understand and if that is possible then anything is.

You've written "her parents though she had plenty of clothes to be going on with". I assume it should be "thought".

I like the part where she assumes Madame Pomfrey is only pitying her. It makes sense. When all her peers are mocking her, she's not going to believe an adult who clearly can't mock her openly, even if she wanted to. Which Madame Pomfrey WOULDN'T, but you know. This is getting confused. What I mean is that a preteen or young teenager is bound to feel "well, she HAS to be nice to me. The people who don't never are, so she probably wouldn't either if she didn't have to."

Love the introduction of the weight loss potion.

And I love the way she dismisses the idea of "healthy mediums" as something an adult WOULD suggest and as an indication they just don't understand.

The part about her trying to overcompensate for looking like a boy makes sense.

And the way she sees everything as negative - Madame Pomfrey laughing kindly is interpreted as mocking, her suggestion Dolores name the cat as a challenge.

I can understand why her parents are reacting as they are - they are obviously worried - but I'm not sure lecturing her and making her feel stupid is the way to increase her self-esteem.

And I think it makes perfect sense that the other students would continue to mock her no matter how much weight she lost. Hard to put a stop to bullying once it starts.

Author's Response: Yeah, put away your hatred of Umbridge. The challenge of this story is "make people not hate Umbridge", and I've actually had a couple of "poor Dolores" comments in reviews.

Yeah, Dolores is pretty negative about everything. Actually, she's a bit like Hugo, thinking that Madam Pomfrey just feels sorry for her and that everything's a challenge. They've got the same insecurity. But then they're different in a lot of ways - Hugo reacts completely differently, and I feel more sorry for Dolores in her situation than I feel for him. She feels Pomfrey's only being nice because of having to, and because of pitying her. I like how you've put it there.

Yeah, however hard she tries she's become their target and that's not going to change. And her parents are reacting in a natural way but one that does no good at all.

I started this story knowing I wanted to write a background explaining just how she ended up as she did. So I went through all her obnoxious characteristics and thought "how would someone become like that?" Atrocious fashion sense, kitten picture obsession, hatred of students enjoying themselves, over-controlling nature, ambition for power, desire to oppress (as evidenced by muggle-born registration committee, amongst other things)... that all screams 'insecurity' to me.

She could have reacted very differently, but she didn't.

Thank you for the lovely review :D *hugs*

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Review #48, by MargaretLaneWaves Against The Rocks: Waves Against The Rocks

12th September 2014:
And this time I am actually going to read this. For some reason I keep remembering I need to when I don't have much free time.

LOVE the opening paragraph to this. You set the scene so well. I am NOT good at visual description, as you've probably realised. Characterisation and dialogue are more my things. So I am in awe of paragraphs like that that almost make you feel as if you're there, it brings the scene to life so vividly.

Love the comment about "only Muggles". It really gives an insight into how he thinks. And the repetition of it is so effective, like he is trying to remind himself he has done nothing wrong REALLY.

And his comment that he was "only following orders" is chilling in what it is reminiscent of.

I also like the way he keeps thinking of how Lord Voldemort has betrayed him. It is as if he is more concerned with justifying himself for having left the Death Eaters than for having joined them in the first place.

His view that the Ministry and Aurors are as bad as the Death Eaters has some justification. The Ministry's punishments are pretty inhumane. And the way he uses it to justify what he has done makes perfect sense. I've spoken about the Ministry of Magic's actions reminding me of certain real life events and they were certainly used as justification.

And I like the explanation of why the Dark Arts are taught at Drumstrang. Karkaroff is an interesting character in this story and one of the things I really like is the way HE believes in what he is saying, even though it is so clearly wrong. I find villains in stories often fit into one of two categories - either they have motivations that make their behaviour somewhat understandable to the audience, like being forced to do what they did or else they enjoy being evil, whereas you've managed to preserve the horror of what this guy has done while at the same time showing how HE doesn't see it as evil. That's hard to do, but in my opinion makes a lot more sense than either showing him as having been forced into the Death Eaters against his will (or joined when he was too young to fully understand what he was doing and then being unable to get out) or just being a cackling villain.

Oooh, I actually winced at that part where he screams with pain in the final section. You write sensory stuff really well.

I really didn't expect a scene like that at the end.

10 out of 10. This is ridiculously well-written. Have some other comments I'll pm you or something, because I'm not sure how appropriate it would be to discuss them here, as they involve real world politics.

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Review #49, by MargaretLaneGlory Fades. : Tactlessness After the Burial.

10th September 2014:
Yikes, this is a really scary beginning to a story. And really sad. George burying his son, the son named after the brother he lost tragically, Neville losing his wife.

I wonder if the disease is contagious or if a Dark Wizard is targeting particular people. It seems unlikely one would target kids, but I guess, considering who their parents are, it's not impossible.

I can't help thinking Rose has the disease, though if so, it seems strange that she is now looking better.

Aren't you supposed to give a translation of foreign words used in a chapter?

You've written "Scrofungulus doesn't cause total loss or control of your magic." Did you mean "total loss of control"?

This is a very original plot. Don't think I've seen anything else like it. And you have me wondering what exactly is going on and who else might die.

Author's Response: Ah! A review already, how exciting! Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to leave a review. I probably should have translated it, but since it's in first person, and Roxy didn't understand what was being said, I thought better of it.

What I wrote about Scrofungulus was written right. You'll understand when I post the next few chapters!

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Review #50, by MargaretLaneRainfall: Christmas Cheer

9th September 2014:
*laughs* Your James seems a little like mine on first glance.

I'm not sure about the "but he didn't say it" in the middle of James's ramble. It seems to kind of confuse the sentence.

Your Rose sounds a little like mine too, although you've said there are a lot of differences when I get to know her. Her over-protectiveness and the way she doesn't even ask if Al wants her around is sort of like my Rose.

Ah, now I see the difference. In a way, it's almost as if your Rose is pretending to be mine, if that makes any sense. Like she's pretending to be the confident, successful person who sorts things out for everybody else, whereas really she's pretty insecure herself.

I think I do like your Rose. *huggles her tightly* I think in some ways she's typical of a lot of very smart kids, and she does sound smart. It can be isolating.

I love Hugo's thought about "well, obviously it is or I wouldn't have said it."

Aw, not I feel so sorry for Rose when there is a catch in her voice.

Kids like Rose, I always just want to put my arm around or something and tell them it WON'T always be like this, that they AREN'T strange or "different" and that some day, when their peers mature, people will start admiring them for being smart and original.

And at least her problems are normal ones and she's not majorly traumatised, as far as I can see.

In 'tis, the apostrophe should be before the "t", not after it, as it replaces the missing "i".

If it's after the 8th of December, it's Christmastime. *nods* I know technically Christmas day is the first day of Christmas, but the 8th has marked the start of the Christmas season over here for I don't know how long, so yeah. They've now started switching on Christmas lights in towns and playing Christmas music in shops before the 8th and grr.

Like the detail about how boring it is picking a Christmas tree when he can't even see them.

Aw, poor Hugo. He's not enjoying Christmas, is he?

Author's Response: I had to refrain from comment when I told you the title of this chapter and you said you liked the sound of it. I like ironic titles.

I think the difference between our Jameses is that yours is actually reasonably popular while mine thinks he is but isn't. He's completely oblivious to the fact that other people find him annoying and keeps on acting like he's the centre of the universe when no one else is particularly bothered about him. At some point, maybe he'll wake up and realise that, and I pity him then.

Yay, I hoped you'd like my Rose! Yeah, that's the big difference: your Rose is overconfident, mine's insecure. She's trying to be helpful and make friends and get people to like her, but she has no idea how and she can't figure out what she's doing wrong. That's well put: my Rose is pretending to be yours.

There's a lot of mileage in normal problems. No, she's not majorly traumatised yet.

I will tidy up those things.

Advent could be seen as the start of Christmastime and that starts on the 1st December - that's when you start getting advent calenders and candles and places really start decorating and there's Christmas music in shops. Christmas trees don't tend to go up until later, especially if they're real ones, because for a start they'd lose all their needles by Christmas. And the lights in the town go on I think first weekend of Advent. Rose is home from Hogwarts, so this chapter probably starts just after the 8th.

No, Hugo's not enjoying Christmas, at least not at the moment. Poor kid.

Thank you! *huggles* So happy you like it, especially my Rose. :D

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