Reading Reviews From Member: MargaretLane
998 Reviews Found

Review #26, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Pureblood's Secret: One More Year

11th August 2015:
*grins* It's somewhat appropriate to read about the O.W.L.S. and N.E.W.T.S. today, as the Leaving Cert. results come out tomorrow.

I think it should be "any more time in Azkaban" rather than "anymore."

Also, some of the terms sound a bit American. I'm not sure they have plea deals in England and while I know the wizarding world could be different, it seems a little odd for it to mirror American Muggle customs.

LOVE the term "Leaver's Ceremony". In Ireland, we tend to have a Graduation Mass, which is a stupid name really, as it takes place before the final exams.

Can't say I look back now and think I had it easy my final year at school. In fact, I tend to think "HOW did I do that?" They say being back doing your Leaving is one of the most common nightmares among Irish adults. I mean, I get what Meg means - at school you do have a lot of support you lose afterwards. But I also think part of the reason people look back on childhood and teenage years as "easy" is because problems you've got through are always easier than the ones you're facing today.

And I've just realised how much time is to be made up when you don't have the Mass that took up most of ours.

Since we hadn't done our exams yet, obviously we didn't get diplomas. We don't get diplomas for finishing school anyway. We did get angel pins though. Think I still have mine. We weren't called up to receive them though. Each class got theirs from their religion teacher, so five people were getting theirs at a time.

I've gone a little off topic here, but this has brought back some memories. I guess leaving school is always a significant time in ones life. And it must be more so for Hogwarts students, as they are LIVING at the school, so it's leaving their home in a way too.

I like how gracious James was to Lisa.

To be honest, I'm getting sentimental with them. I love this series SO much and it's one of the few I've read that has gone so far. (I've just started year three of my series, so it's become a real series and not just a story and a sequel.) I'll be really sorry when it's over.

But I LOVE the idea of a story about Neville and Hannah's kids. Personally, I'd rather that than a story about James, but that's just personal preference. While his situation here is really interesting, he's not a character who greatly interests me.

Great story. Years 5 and 3 are probably still my favourites, but this is definitely up there, maybe next after them.

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Review #27, by MargaretLaneNot One Line: Don't You Dare

7th August 2015:
A story that placed in an angst challenge has to catch my attention.

Hmm, the beginning is intriguing. I'm left wondering who's speaking, who they are looking for and whose grave they are likely to be at.

I like the fact he forgave her in order to move on, but is not willing to get back with her. It's more nuanced than "I forgive you and everything is OK" or "I hate you and will never forgive you."

I'm still not sure exactly what happened though. I'm intrigued by the implication that a death drove them apart.

Oh, it's their child who died. And she was so young. I can easily understand why that would drive them apart. It seems like she needed time to herself to grieve while he needed a supportive relationship and he saw her as pulling away/not caring, while his reaction probably put pressure on her. It would be nice if they could come to some sort of understanding of each other and find a way to grieve that allowed them to remain together while giving them both what they needed, but it seems like that wasn't possible.

Author's Response: Margaret!

You're back! YAY! I love getting reviews from you! They're awesome!

I have to say, writing from 2nd person for this story was a lot of fun. It turned out much better than I thought it would, and I totally fell in love with writing in 2nd person.

Ah, yes - I truly believe that forgiving someone doesn't necessarily resolve the conflict between two people. Because this is a situation where everything WON'T be okay, but Scorpius NEEDS to forgive her in order to move on with his life. Holding onto that anger would've made things worse for himself in the long run, and I'd imagine he wouldn't want to be stuck in that headspace for the rest of his life.

So, yeah, I wanted it to be much more complex than 'forgive and forget' or 'I will never forgive you'. Real life just doesn't work that way.

I've always figured that the death of a child would have a major impact (obviously) on the parents - but it could go several different ways. While some couples are able to work through it together, others just can't seem to make it work, even if they have the best of intentions. I've seen this happen in real life, and let me tell you, it sucks.

Anyway, thanks for reading and reviewing Margaret! You're amazing!

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Review #28, by MargaretLaneLord Banchory and Lady Ravenclaw: History Forgets

6th August 2015:
Aw, that part about history forgetting them is kind of sad.

And ooh, I LOVE Othello. It's by far my favourite Shakespearean play, partly because of Emilia, but that's beside the point.

The whole scenario strikes me as SO creepy, Rowena sending her daughter's murderer to find her, not realising what he will do.

I like the way you give a kind of softness to him. It's not easy to create sympathy for a murderer.

I have sympathy for Helena, feeling in her mother's shadow like that, but she also seems a rather haughty and immature character, as if she never got over being second fiddle.

It seems like he feels he's got some right to her, as if in some way, he feels she's under some obligation to love him back, some obligation she is failing to live up to.

This is a really interesting interpretation of what happened. It's not exactly as simply as him being a brutal murderer and her the innocent victim - both seem like sort of haughty characters who feel they should be in control, which I guess makes sense given their backgrounds, and they both seem almost offended that the other will not bend to their will, leading to an almost inevitable struggle.

And that explains his remorse.

Oooh, that part about their forgetting is sort of creepy.

Author's Response: Margaret!

Othello is definitely in my top five favorite Shakespeare plays, which is why I was pretty excited to get that quote! :D

Definitely a creepy scenario - no doubt about it. I took advantage of that fact, I'm afraid.

"It's not easy to create sympathy for a murderer." - Huh. I'd never thought about it like that. But you're right! I did that!

Whoa. When you put it that way it sounds way more impressive that I was thinking it was. All I wanted to do was create some really complex characters that were outside of what one might expect from the books, but still stay true to their characters.

I think with both Helena and the Baron, I wanted to show that while they deserved some sympathy, because there were some unfair aspects of their lives, their pride and stubbornness was their downfall. They BOTH have major faults, and refusing to change destroyed them.

Ah, yes. The bit about their forgetting was something I added at the last minute that seemed to enhance the overall mood of the story. I feel like after a long time (meaning several thousand years) a ghost would eventually forget themselves as they were forgotten by the world. It's almost inevitable that they would be forgotten, so why not forget themselves at some point as well?

Anyway, thanks for reading and reviewing, Margaret! Your reviews are awesome!!

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Review #29, by MargaretLaneSentience : Debate

6th August 2015:
This is a really interesting idea for a story. I certainly never thought of manticores being sentient. Though with a human like head, I guess it makes sense.

VERY nit-picky, but I think "early on Thursday morning" might sound better than "early Thursday morning," especially since we don't know what Thursday morning it is.

After he describes himself as the oldest living manticore in Britain, you've written "with in my village" when it should be "within".

I like the detail about their not having names. It gives a sense of them as being different from humans.

I actually think those examples are more proof that manticores have been misjudged. If they have to go back 700 years to get a second example of violence done by a manticore, it seems like they rarely commit violence. After all, we could probably find two horrific crimes committed by humans within a matter of hours.

You have the manticore saying, "we suffer from the safe danger," when talking about Basilisk attacks. I presume it should be "the same danger."

And Kingsley said, "this is a trail over rights" when it should be "trial."

I think the results of the vote are a clear indication of how the wizarding world has changed under Kingsley. Before the war, I am pretty sure that no matter how convincing he was, the Malfoy types would vote against reclassification and would have enough support, especially since there seemed to be those that feared them, to carry the day.

That debate about whether it is worthwhile trying to reason with those who oppress you seems to be a recurring debate in civil rights and independence movements.

LOVE the way you portray Kingsley here.

I SHOULD have guessed Hermione was the young witch, but I didn't. I assumed it was an original character.

Author's Response: Hi Margaret,

That's been the number one reaction I've gotten. Most people seem to think of Manticores as very impulsive because of how they're described in cannon, but it's only ever from a wizard's POV.

I'm glad you like that they don't have names. I was worried about making them too human and I thought the lack of names might help to differentiate them.

Exactly! The only two instances of manticore violence that we ever see in cannon were ages apart. Humans murder humans on a daily basis, so it seems hypocritical to label a species as dangerous if their track record is two killings per 700 years.

The wizarding world definitely is changing under Kingsley. I think he would be the type of leader to spread tolerance, so this seemed fitting to me.

I'm so happy that you picked up on the parallels to civil rights. With all of the civil rights issues occurring in the U.S., I sort of used this to write about something I've been thinking about.

Kingsley is my favorite character of all. I've written him more than any other character so far.

I thought having Hermione show up at the end would be a nice little nod to cannon.

Thanks for this lovely review!


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Review #30, by MargaretLaneBlink: Denial

4th August 2015:
OK, I've been meaning to read some of the other entries to the After-Effects challenge anyway, having something of a fondness for stories that deal with the effects of trauma.

Coincidentally, my entry is five chapters too, but they are rather shorter.

Hmm, this box is intriguing. I wonder if "Colin" is Colin Creevey and if so, if this will relate to the war or even to your entry to my challenge.

Hmm, I wonder how old this character is. She's starting to remind me a little of when my sister was 8-10 and we used be talking at night and she'd be worried our mum would come in and find out she was still awake.

Oooh, that part about not being alone with her thoughts and the things that once made her happy sounds ominous. Sounds like this isn't a case of a kid messing around at night, like my sister. Sounds like there's something more at play. Oooh and that comment about what she's done - or he's; I don't think you've said if it's a boy or a girl. Sounds like they are blaming themselves for something.

And Uncle this is presumably Dennis's child.

And now we're getting a little more information - the child is at Hogwarts, so over 11, they've had some accident and are still struggling to walk and they feel they've lacked courage.

You build suspense well here. The way you give information, bit by bit, leaving us wondering exactly what happens makes me want to read on and find out. And I already have sympathy for this character, even without knowing much about them. They're clearly having a VERY rough time.

LOVE the kitty's name. And I'm a bit amused, 'cause my entry also included a kitty.

And hmm, the graveyard. Sounds like somebody may have died in this accident in which Ellie was injured.

I wonder if her MOTHER has died. If so, that's pretty awful.

You've written "Dad's weren't supposed to be vulnerable," when it should be "Dads."

Three hours at church. My old parish priest would LOVE to read that. He used get yelled at and stuff because his Masses used to be like 50-55 minutes long. Mind you, he used just laugh and talk in his next sermon about how people gave out to him.

Wouldn't Amelia's absence from school be noticed if she stays away that long?

The "a sixth year Ravenclaw, like I was" sounds a bit awkward. Something like "a fellow sixth year Ravenclaw" might sound better.

Would Baptists really come to mind so quickly in Britain?

I think religion is an interesting topic to address in fiction, so long as it neither becomes "such a character convinces everybody else his or her religion is right" or "look, such a character belongs to such a religion. Isn't that hilarious?" And it doesn't look like this is in any danger of taking either of those approaches.

Really interesting first chapter.

Author's Response: Margaret!

Okay, first of all - *claps loudly and cheers* - WOOT! Way to go! You've braved reading this GIGANTIC chapter! That's an impressive feat!

I really didn't mean to make it that long - it just ended up that way and since I was pressed for time, I didn't end up editing it down to something a bit more manageable.

Once the new year rolls around, I'm going to be doing some major editing so that it's not quite so ridiculously long.

Yup, it's definitely Colin!

She's actually 16. And did I really not mention that she's a SHE until that much later? Whoa. How did I manage that? I might have to fix that a bit.

I'm glad you like how I've been revealing things. I'm a pretty big fan of - if you're writing a mystery - giving the reader clues as you go along, so that they can put the pieces together themselves before things actually happen.

And then I like to put a plot twist in there just to throw everyone off. I'm a bit evil that way. *cackles*

Hahaha. Yes, the kitty's name - I just HAD to include some sort of reference to something geeky in here. I do it in every story I've written. I just can't help myself.

Plus, I've always wanted to get a cat and name it J.R.R. Tolkitty.

*taps nose* You just might be on the right track there my dear.

Oh, thanks for those notes, I'll definitely correct them when I'm rewriting this.

Hahaha! Believe it or not, 3 hours is the standard for Mormons. It's broken up into three segments, each an hour long, so there are different classes, and it's not just one person talking the whole time. I'll actually end up going into more detail in the next chapter when they go to church.

If she's missing for just the weekend? Hmmm, I dunno. I always figured that as long as everyone thinks she's in the castle, and she's snuck out, then as long as she gets back in, no one would even know, since the teachers don't even see the students during the weekend.

Hmm, Baptists - I don't actually know if they would be thought of that quickly - I'll have to do some research...

Yeah, those are definitely two things that I'm going to do my best to avoid doing with religion in this story. I'm going to be VERY careful about how I write it, because it's a topic that's not written very much for a reason - it's hard to write religion in a way that's not humorous or preach-y.

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing again Margaret! You're incredible and I love getting reviews from you!!

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Review #31, by MargaretLaneClimb: Climb

4th August 2015:
Hmm, the start of this sounds really intriguing. Umbridge sort of ruined Order of the Phoenix for me, because she always strikes me as sort of 2 dimensional. She's just evil and there's no indication of motivation or any redeeming traits. So it's always nice to read something that delves into her viewpoint a little. After all, nobody sees themself as a villain.

And it's pretty brave to write her in second person as it's a point of view that sort of puts the reader in the character's place and she is a character many people would find it difficult to identify with.

Oooh, that part about her being a halfblood with a Squib brother and feeling like that would interfere with her ambitions does give a little more insight into her motivations.

I think it should be "one of the other office ladies'" rather than "one of the other office lady's."

Oooh, that part about her modifying memories is a bit creepy.

And I LOVE the way she's planning revenge on those who insulted her favourite cardigan. It's just so Umbridge - petty and vain and girly, but utterly lethal.

The part about how she plans to get close to, and manipulate, Fudge is creepy too. It shouldn't be too difficult. He's so clearly out of his depth and at some level, I think he knows it, though won't admit it even to himself. His wild swinging between complete dependence on Dumbledore to near paranoia about him says to me that he is a man who is very insecure in his position.

I'm almost amused at her suggestion that disenfranchising werewolves is OK, but people might balk at genocide.

As I've mentioned elsewhere, Hermione's changes to the Ministry play a part in my series and I'm seriously considering the villains starting a campaign for Umbridge's release in year four.

It's interesting how she includes half bloods in her campaign, despite being one. Even Voldemort didn't go that far.

And the part about Fudge having a tragic work accident is pure Umbridge, as is the way she expresses it.

She's a difficult character to charactise, I think, but you've done it really well here. I can totally believe she'd think this way.

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Review #32, by MargaretLaneBroken Love: Chapter 1

4th August 2015:
LOVE the reference to the fury of a thousand angry hippogriffs. I always like to see those kind of wizaring phrases. It adds a kind of depth to the world, especially when they make sense as that one does.

And I think you write the argument really well. Considering we don't KNOW either of these characters, we don't have a background and we don't really know what they are arguing about, it could come across as kind of contrived to just launch into an argument, but it doesn't. It sounds absolutely natural.

And you get across the impression that this is NOT a one-off and that there is long running tension between the characters without it seeming like you are forcing the information on us or like a kind of "as you know, Bob..." speech.

I also LOVE the reference to James Potter. Again, you introduce us to a character and give us a sense of him in a very natural sounding comment.

One slight piece of concrit - you seem to use the characters' names a lot. Since there is only one guy and one girl in this story, saying "he" and "she" a bit more might sound more natural.

Poor Lily. I can easily understand how she feels guilty about leaving him, because it DOES seem like he is pretty dependent on her, but I can't help feeling that the more she forgives him, the more this will escalate.

And I think it's bad that she feels guilty. Understandable, but it means she's less likely to challenge him or to leave him if he doesn't change.

In "Grandpa Weasley," I'd be inclined to give the "Grandpa" a capital "G."

Poor, poor Lily. That's an awful situation to be in.

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Review #33, by MargaretLaneThe Lucky One: Madness

4th August 2015:
You know, reading about the lack of privacy in the wizarding world makes me think there may be some truth in Ireland's boast about "giving people their privacy". Well, it more just sets me thinking really and it does seem like the personal lives of people like politicians gain more attention in other countries. I have an idea of the names of Barack Obama's kids, whereas I don't know the names of our President's or Taoiseach's.

Love the way people are assuming there's something between Luna and Neville when they're only friends. It fits with the way Rita was making out Harry and Hermione were dating. And people do have a real habit of assuming romance when a guy and a girl are friends.

Poor, poor Luna. I was thinking she didn't really sound like herself in this story. It's sad that she's been changed so much by the effects of fame. And not fair.

And yeah, the way that event is treated as a "scandal" rather than as a crime being perpetrated against her is pretty horrific.

The end is really ominous. It seems like she's really not coping and who could blame her. I think it's particularly sad that she seems to have dealt so well with being held captive and probably tortured by the Carrows and being bullied at school, but that being a heroine led to the events that have traumatised her.

I love the way this seems so believable. Nobody means harm, everybody is behaving in a way that is natural enough under the circumstances (except that guy who broke into her house), but it's making it virtually impossible for her to live her life. And Luna does seem like a pretty private person, so it makes sense she'd find that level of intrusion difficult to deal with.

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Review #34, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Pureblood's Secret: Wrongfully Imprisoned

3rd August 2015:
Poor Elsie. She's had a terrifying experience and she's just a kid really.

Yeah, that does seem rather confusing as to whose jurisdiction the murder falls under. Probably better if the wizarding world tries it, because things like his alienation from his family would be hard to fully explain in a Muggle court.

And I'm not at all surprised Harry'd carry his wand at all times, between being an Auror and the danger he was in during the war.

Oooh, Felix and Elsie's parents have been arrested. That's yet another trauma for Elsie. I'd love to see more of her and Felix and how they feel about the whole situation, especially since Felix at least, will probably feel some guilt about having caused his parents to be arrested by going to Albus. I guess it's unlikely we'll get much detail though, as they are unlikely to confide in Albus.

Poor Matt. I think Boone's situation has really shaken him. Understandably.

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Review #35, by MargaretLaneBoarding the Train: The End in the Middle

3rd August 2015:
Apologies for the delay in getting to this. I wanted to be sure I wouldn't forget it when the other entries came in. AND July is a CRAZY busy month for me.

Hmm, I really wonder who this little girl is.

I guess this must be really hard for Colin's father. He's the adult; he must feel it's his job to protect his sons, but in this situation he is completely out of his depth. He doesn't even know the full details of what's going on and he certainly has no way of fighting them.

I find it a little surprising Colin didn't tell his father sooner, but then I find it surprising Fudge didn't get a string of complaints about Umbridge from various parents.

I really like the way Colin responds to his father's anger. He's under so much pressure.

You've written "Creevey's" when it should be "Creeveys."

Hmm, I guess the reason they are going to so much trouble to find them is because they think they might have some link to Harry.

Yikes, I didn't expect that to happen to Nicholas. Poor Colin; he's bound to blame himself. After all, if he and Derek hadn't been wizards none of this would have happened. It probably wouldn't even if they hadn't accepted their places at Hogwarts. Of course, they couldn't know and there's very little he can do about being born with magic, but I would still imagine it would feel like his fault. Poor boy.

Author's Response: Margaret!

No worries about the delay - it's taken me far longer to respond to this!

Ah, the little girl. You will find out in the end, once I get around to posting the rest of it. I don't think you'll be expecting it though. ;)

When I was coming up with the plot for this story, I came up with them being on the run, and then realized that Colin's father would've really had no idea what was going on or what to do, and I can imagine that it would frustrate him to no end - especially because he was seeing his son take on a burden he wouldn't have wanted him to have, and wouldn't be able to do anything about it.

I figured that Colin probably didn't tell his father about Umbridge because he didn't want to worry Nicholas. But by the time this is happening, everything is much much worse, so revealing it wouldn't really do more harm.

Ah, thanks for that correction - I shall fix it when I update next.

Yeah, Nicholas dying was a necessary evil I think. I honestly couldn't figure out a way in which he would survive the scenario. I mean, if he was left behind, then the Death Eaters would have caught up to him and killed him, and since I needed Colin and Dennis to get captured for the sake of the plot, I figured he wouldn't survive that either because he's a muggle. :( Sad, huh? I wish it didn't have to go that way, but alas, it just is (at least, in my brain).

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing, Margaret! I'm glad you're enjoying this story so far!!

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Review #36, by MargaretLaneThe Forest: Run

3rd August 2015:
Dean definitely counts as a Muggleborn for the purposes of this challenge. Even if he is halfblood, the Death Eaters consider him Muggleborn and he therefore has the experiences of a Muggleborn.

I love the beginning. I think you're really good at atmospheric writing.

I like the comment that "this was no childhood game." It's like he's struggling to truly grasp the seriousness of the situation, which strikes me as really realistic. I think it would be hard to really keep in mind that one false move could get you killed or possibly worse.

This is REALLY nit-picky and may just be personal preference, but there are times when the writing seems a little formal. Like "Every time that he started to feel a sense of panic creeping up on him, Dean would close his eyes and imagine himself playing hide and seek in the forest behind his grandmother’s house." I'd be inclined to say something like, "every time he started to feel a sense of panic creeping up on him, he'd close his eyes and imagine he was playing hide and seek in the forest behind his grandmother's house." The formality of the phrasing kind of slows things down and, in my opinion, takes a little from the sense of panic you're creating.

Like the detail of his taking care that the cave is secure.

I like the part about how lonely he feels, but it does feel like you've jumped into it a little. I'd like to see a little more build up.

I really like the way Seamus sends him the warning.

I'd also be inclined to build on the part where Dean thinks about his friends. It seems a little rushed, like he's just letting each pass through his mind for a mere moment and I think he would dwell on thing more. I'd like to get more of a sense of how important it is that Harry's alive, how he occasionally begins to lose faith and of the worry he has for his friends.

Yikes, the appearance of Scabior and his colleague is scary. I like the way they sort of appear suddenly and are as much of a shock to us as to Dean.

And their dialogue seems very much in character.

I absolutely LOVE the ending. You really sum up how close he and Seamus are and you leave us wondering exactly how the encounter with the Snatchers will go.

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Review #37, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Pureblood's Secret: A Squib

28th July 2015:
A Squib. Hmm, interesting.

Poor Matt. That must be most unpleasant and stressful too, coming the week before the exams, when everybody else is getting study done.

Hmm, so Felix doesn't entirely approve of what his sister has done. And he seems to regret his own previous actions. Unless of course, he's trying to lead Albus into a trap, which is possible too. It could be something he and Elsie cooked up between them.

Yeah, I don't think you can entirely blame Felix. It would be VERY hard to go against your entire family, especially when you're only 15 or 16 and completely dependent on them.

And the fact he said to get Harry makes him SOUND genuine. I'm still not entirely sure, but I THINK if it were some kind of trap, it would be easier not to involve someone who'd actually been head of the Auror department.

I sort of like the way Harry here sounds a little like Dumbledore when he let Harry come with him all those years ago. And it makes sense that Albus being of age would make no difference to him. It strikes me as a little odd in the books the way 17 year olds were allowed take part in things like the Battle of Hogwarts. When we were at school, it didn't matter if you were 18+, the school still had responsibility for you, so like you still needed parental permission to leave school premises at lunch and stuff.

Poor Elsie. She was in an awful bind and she's so young.

And yeah, it does say an AWFUL lot about the Willinsons that they are more ashamed of the fact he's a Squib than the fact he's a murderer.

This does explain why he committed the murders the way he did. However it raises another question - how he could overpower people who actually had magic.

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Review #38, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Pureblood's Secret: Progress

21st July 2015:
I like the suggestion that Albus's reluctance to do something dangerous and stupid this time might be a sign he's growing up.

Those are SO like the accommodations available for the Junior and Leaving Cert. - extra time, sitting it in a separate room, obviously a scribe or doing it on a computer rather than then quill, since they don't exist in real life. I've been the supervisor/scribe for students sitting exams in separate rooms.

And "reasonable accommodations" are exactly what they are called.

Pretty sure the equivalent of being allowed a list of spells wouldn't be allowed here. There are pretty strict rules as to what is and isn't. But the wizarding world is so small that they probably don't have kids requiring accommodations every year and need to make them up "on the hoof."

*grins* I think my James is going to end up working in Weasleys, if I get to that point of the series, but in his case, it'll be by choice.

How old is Elsie? About 13? That strikes me as WAY too young to go to Azkaban. And even Hagrid wasn't sent to Azkaban at that age when it seemed like he caused somebody's death. I can understand Albus being annoyed, but I really don't think sending a 13 year old to Azkaban would be any kind of an answer. Mind you, I'm not sure fining her parents is either. Well, in this case, it probably does, because it seems like the whole family is involved, but in a lot of cases, the parents might not even know. I wonder could she be expelled. I guess it'd depend on why she lied and how much pressure she was under and stuff. And whether Hogwarts considered it any of their business.

This REALLY does sound like Ireland. There are SOME accommodations the schools can give, but they are things like allowing a student a special chair or letting them take a break to take medication or something, not stuff like James needs.

And special education IS behind here too. I.E.P.s still aren't legally required.

It's pretty common for people to repeat the Leaving Cert. here, if they don't get the grades they need for whatever course they are applying to. I can understand why James wouldn't want to though, especially when he's not exactly going to be apply for a course with high requirements anyway.

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Review #39, by MargaretLaneGame On: Just Don't Get Caught - Freda&Georgina - Hufflepuff

20th July 2015:
House Cup 2015. Ravenclaw.

I like the comment about how Ginny kind of liked Andrew and how he would have got on well with Fred and George. It sort of gives us an introduction to him and lets us guess at the sort of person he probably is.

I think Ginny is being a bit harsh here. There is a BIG difference between getting the group in serious trouble and just remaining outside things. Most of the school didn't join Dumbledore's Army, after all. But it's in character for Ginny to be sort of judgmental of those who don't.

LOVE the line about how she hated noises more than using wands.

That part about replacing the cat plates with toilet seats is amusing. I wonder if Andrew did that. If so, I reckon this will be declared a draw.

*grins at Ginny winning* But they all won really, because Umbridge was beaten.

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Review #40, by MargaretLanedanse macabre: inviolate.

18th July 2015:
OK, I said I'd read that and I actually have some free time now, so I'll make a start.

Yikes, that line about him being "inescapable" made me shiver.

Poor poor Ginny. That part about it feeling as if he's still draining her is so sad.

It makes sense she would be quite badly traumatised by that. I mean she almost killed a number of people, including her one of her brother's best friends AND the guy she trusted with all her secrets turned out to be taking advantage of her and to be the most evil wizard of her age AND she ended up almost being killed. That's a pretty heavy level of trauma for an eleven year old girl.

Poor girl. There's a real feeling of permanence here, as if she will never recover from the trauma of what she went through.

And you capture the creepy feeling so well.

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Review #41, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Pureblood's Secret: The Funeral

16th July 2015:
Apologies for the delay getting to read this. I'm still busy correcting and heading towards the deadline, so that's the priority right now.

And wow, 49 chapters means this story is almost over. I'm intrigued to know how it'll end and if we'll find out who the killer is and all. I'm stumped. I'm sort of sticking with my guess of the librarian, but just because I can't think of anybody else more likely. She doesn't seem particularly likely either.

My longest fic is 45 chapters long, so this has beaten it for length.

Of course, Elsie and Felix's mystery relative is very likely to be involved in the killing.

The whole question of motive and WHY the killings were done as they were is probably more interesting than the killer's actual identity.

Poor Harry. I guess Godric's Hollow would have sad associations for him.

Wow, Burke seemed so obsessed with his potions, it would never have occurred to me that he might have been basically a dad. I assumed his connection with Mila was basically that of a fond, but not particularly close uncle. This adds a whole other dimension to what we know of him.

And that is SO like Slughorn.

Oooh, I never connected Burke with Borgin and Burke's. It's such a common name, I didn't think much of it and I guess I was thinking more of Edmund Burke, the Irish statesman. Wonder if it's as common in England. Probably not.

*laughs at the comment about her saying nothing about selling illegal potions* Yeah, like she's going to mention that casually when talking about her uncle's death.

Love the part about Burke leaving his research work to Kaden. It makes a lot of sense. He'd want it to go to somebody who'd continue it.

Author's Response: No worries! Real life always comes first. My longest fic is In Moonlight's Shadow, which topped off at 61 chapters if I remember correctly. I didn't want this one dragging on quite that long.

No, the librarian doesn't seem likely as the killer. But I'm not confirming or denying that guess. Same with Elsie & Felix's mystery relative.

Ah, the motive of why. You're right; that is even more interesting. I might not get into the why in this fic, though. That might be saved for the next novel.

Burke was very obsessed with his potions. Giving him custody of Mila wasn't originally planned, but I did want to give Burke another "role" so to speak and that fit. Haha, I loved throwing in that bit about Slughorn.

It is a common name, but the wizarding world is small. It does make sense for Kaden to continue Burke's work. Thanks for reading and reviewing! :)

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Review #42, by MargaretLaneGame On: Absolutely Quakers - alicia and anne - Slytherin

11th July 2015:
LOVE the idea of Arthur wanting to win a yellow fuzzy duck. It's just SO like him.

Ye-e-es. Arthur exchanging wizarding currency would NOT end well.

*laughs at Molly's intervention*

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Review #43, by MargaretLaneGame On: Volume II: Magical One-Act - UnluckyStar57 - Ravenclaw

11th July 2015:
*laughs at George being worried his son would get in with a bad crowd* Considering what he and Fred got up to, it's amusing to think of him as the concerned father, but it does make sense.

I'm not sure there's a big connection between not being able to lie and not being able to act. I can't lie at all, but I used to LOVE drama as a kid. It's almost like writing, in the sense of getting into somebody else's head.

I hope he learnt something from being disqualified, but not sure he did.

I'm glad he found something he enjoyed though and it's nice to see a character taking an interest in something other than Quidditch or wizard's chess.

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Review #44, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Pureblood's Secret: Change

9th July 2015:
Poor Lily. It sounds like this is stressing her out quite a lot. Understandably, of course. It's a stressful situation.

Gosh, I hadn't thought through what a tough year it's been for them. I guess when you are reading a story as it's updated, you don't notice the sheer number of things that have happened. Matt is the one I'm most concerned about really. And James, I guess, They're both having REALLY tough times.

Oh, there's one part at the beginning when Amy tells Albus not to enter "anymore" closed wards. I think it should be "any more."

I'm not surprised Albus finds it so hard to imagine his final year. I remember my first Leaving Cert exam. There was this comprehension in it about how historians have come to realise that things like songs actually affect history and don't just record it (this was the first English paper) and I was nearly laughing, thinking, "what? I'd figured that out by the time I was nine years old!" Then I realised, "this is my LEAVING. The exam that single-handedly determines what course I get into next year. Maybe I ought to take it seriously rather than just laughing at the historians." I couldn't really make myself realise that that was it.

Poor, poor Kaden. It seems like everybody's having a hard time. James and Matt are clearly having issues, Kaden is grieving for Burke, Lily seems to be struggling to deal with the changes in her family. Albus seems to be doing reasonably OK.

*grins* The issue of Ministry potions versus privately brewed potions comes up in my series, although in that case it's the Wolfsbane rather than a newly developed potion. Hermione's reforms include specially trained Wolfsbane brewers, but there are still people who do it privately.

It was only recently that I had somebody close to me die for the first time and I am quite a lot older than Kaden and Albus.

Oh, I can see how Kaden felt about Burke. I remember my final year at college, one of my English lecturers asked me what I was doing my final year project on, just making conversation and I told him I was doing it on nationalist literature. Hey, this is coincidental; basically I was doing it on what I just mentioned laughing at historians for apparently taking so long to realise - how nationalist poets aimed to influence people in favour of their cause. And my lecturer was like, "oh, I'm writing a book on a similar topic at the moment. Who are you writing about?" And we had a conversation about various writers' views on the issue. It was kind of cool to have a conversation like that with a lecturer.

Author's Response: The whole situation is stressing Lily out quite a bit, but she doesn't let on. It really has been a tough year. Hopefully next year will be better for all of them.

I didn't think too much about my last year of high school being my last year, since I knew I was going on to uni after. Last year of uni, however, that was weird.

The potions thing is fascinating, isn't it? I see it similar as to how Muggles went from buying their various medications from small apothecaries a long time ago to large drug companies manufacturing medications and then selling them via pharmacies.

Oh, that's cool! And very similar to Kaden and Burke. Thanks for reading and reviewing! :)

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Review #45, by MargaretLaneGame On: Cops and Robbers - UnluckyStars57 - Ravenclaw

6th July 2015:
Ravenclaw House Cup 2015.

LOVE the tattoos. That's a really cool way of deciding who is on each side.

I'm surprised they'd use a Muggle, and somewhat American, term like cop rather than something more recognisable in the wizarding world. Didn't Arthur even mispronounce "policeman" at one stage? And I think that's a more common term in Britain.

I also love the alliances. It makes the game more complicated and therefore, more interesting to read about.

I also LOVE the detail about Kingsley having a photographic memory and his thinking that that's something he can do because he has magic.

And ooh, aren't those kids sort of cheating, since they aren't really allowed perform magic yet?

*laughs at Jon's use of police vocab* Rather different from when we used play at being detectives and investigating crimes as kids. OUR templates were Agatha Christie and the Famous Five.

I like seeing Kingsley as a child. He's such a sort of serious character that it's interesting to get a glimpse of what he might have been like when playing.

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Review #46, by MargaretLaneGame On: Imagine - Veritserum27 - Ravenclaw

6th July 2015:
Ravenclaw. House Cup 2015.

Love the language in the first two paragraphs of this story. For a short story that was probably written fairly quickly, it REALLY sounds like you put a lot of effort into it.

Aw, I like the sound of Luna's father here. Considering how many parents still seem to ahve some kind of loyalty to what really is the equivalent of the class group they were in at school and seem to put pressure on their kids to be sorted into the same one, it's really nice to see a parent who seems genuinely willing to support whatever house his daughter ends up in.

That comment about how she thought he might have gone mad from loneliness is SO typically Luna.

I'm always somewhat surprised to see people surprised as Ollivander is by Luna's suggestion. Of course, adults don't usually do stuff like that, but I find it hard to grasp that children could play without doing it. Of course, as a child, I was usually pretending things were WORSE, to make an interesting story. But until I was about 8, I assumed playing MEANT imagining stuff.

Luna's ability to use her imagination to make herself feel better does help to explain how well she seems to cope with things like incarceration.

Great story and SO in character.

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Review #47, by MargaretLaneGame On: Football, not Handball - alicia and anne - Slytherin

5th July 2015:
*grins* I think Seamus should point out that in Gaelic Football you CAN handle the ball.

*laughs at Draco charming the ball* That is SO in character.

I don't blame Dean for ensuring he's not around when they play again.

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Review #48, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Pureblood's Secret: Loss

30th June 2015:
Wow, ye get ye're summer break late. Even the primary schools in Ireland finished up last Friday at the latest. The secondaries have been closed a month now.

Hmm, I wonder what James could be keeping hidden. I assumed he was just depressed about not being able to play Quidditch. Which is enough really. Having to rethink all your life plans is pretty disconcerting. Particular at his age, I think, because before that, you feel you've loads of time and later, you realise that plans often get derailed and it's usually redeemable, but at his age, people tend to feel life plans are a once-off, decide now and everything will go smoothly typed thing ans when it's not...

But if Al says there's more, I believe him. As Rose said, his instincts tend to be good.

*laughs at the March/April thing* This is why I don't like when Easter falls late in April, because having the Easter holidays over makes students at least realise they're in the last term. If the Easter holidays take the last two weeks of April, it could be May before they start to think seriously of the exams and at that point, they are only a month away.

Do they only get a long weekend for Easter? That's short. Poor Hogwarts students. They don't get much time off.

Yikes, that stuff about James not being able to remember spells is dreadful. Poor James. He has an awful lot to deal with.

Oh, I'd forgotten about Burke being in St. Mungo's. This could get interesting.

Considering the circumstances, I think Al can feel pretty confident his father is doing some serious thinking. If I had a son and he had just been seriously injured so he was no longer able to use his arm properly, was having difficulty remembering things that were important for his education/life and couldn't now pursue the career that he'd hoped to, I'd sure be doing some serious thinking.

Oh, have you heard of the Berkeley accident? It's obviously huge news here - a number of Irish students injured or killed in the U.S. when a balcony collapsed.

Yeah, Harry has a point that this is bound to affect James. How much, both physically and emotionally, remains to be seen, as does exactly how.

Aw, I was hoping we'd get to see Burke again.

I wonder if his niece will turn out to be relevant. She seems to play a part in this illegal potions trade. Hmm.

Don't worry about the delay. Real life comes first. And delays mean the story will last longer.

Author's Response: New York's summer break is among the latest of the states' to begin. And my district goes even longer than most districts in the state. And then I had to work an extra three days. But it's finally here!

Albus does have really good instincts. It's what will help him be a good Auror later on. He gets it from Harry. James does have an awful lot to deal with, but now that he isn't keeping his memory issues a secret, it'll be a bit easier.

I really have no idea how long the Easter holidays are at Hogwarts since JKR rarely mentioned them. I went with a long weekend because it fit best with the plot. Artistic license!

I have not heard of the Berkeley accident. How awful!

Nope, you won't see Burke again. He was just too ill. Mila does play a roll in the illegal potions trade, but just with her uncle and since he's gone, it won't exist anymore. Thanks for reading and reviewing! :)

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Review #49, by MargaretLaneBeside Yourself: Beside Yourself

21st June 2015:
I intend to read all the entries to the After Effects challenge anyway, but I'm not doing so well at that.

I find the part about how Lily would hex him into the middle of next week if she were alive kind of amusing.

And I like the way Sirius is insisting she live because Harry needs her. That's kind of an understandable reaction really.

One mistake I noticed: Sirius asks "what would James think of you right know?" when it should be "right now."

Starve herself to death? I assumed this was after Voldemort had attacked the house. That gives Sirius even greater reason to be angry. I thought he just felt she wasn't fighting the effects of the Killing Spell hard enough. Although now that I think of it, I should have known, because that kills instantly, so she'd hardly be faintly conscious by the time Sirius arrives. And Remus, who I assume is the other man, isn't there.

Poor Lily. She's had a tough time. And poor Harry. He needs her even more with no father.

This seems like it SHOULD be a happy alternative - Lily alive, Harry not having to live with abusive guardians - but it isn't, because Lily isn't coping. It's a very original interpretation of what could have happened if she'd lived. I can understand why you want to cry so much though.

Author's Response: Hi!

Thank you so much for reading this, I really appreciate it. :)

I was hoping it'd be a bit more obvious that she wasn't really dead, I think I'll so through again and see if there's anything I could switch a bit to change it.

Thank you for pointing out the typo! I'll make sure to fix that as well.

Thank you for reviewing!

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Review #50, by MargaretLaneMixed-up in Magic: one

20th June 2015:
Ravenclaw House Cup 2015.

OK, this does sound interesting. I like the idea of seeing how a Muggle would interact with the magical world.

I wonder if the broken sticks are wands.

Poor, poor Jeanette. That must have been horrific.

I like the way you give us an insight into the various characters and how they interact so quickly. Craig seems like a rather patronising type and Mark seems a bit of...not a maverick exactly, but a guy who finds the loopholes in the rules. He also seems like a flirt.

In this line, “Jeanette will be joining your group Jaz,” there should be a comma after "group."

Hmm, pretty clear this is a magical world crime. I wonder why the Aurors don't just take over and Obliviate the police. There must be a Muggle connection too, I guess.

There are one or two places in this where there are no paragraph breaks between paragraphs. Doesn't really matter much, but it just stands out a bit when the others do.

In "a friend of my father's," there should be an apostrophe before the "s" in "father's".

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