Reading Reviews From Member: MargaretLane
1,001 Reviews Found

Review #51, 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 #52, 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 #53, 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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Review #54, by MargaretLaneJigsaw: Piece #12

20th June 2015:
Ravenclaw, House Cup 2015.

I'm delighted this task came up because I'd completely forgotten I hadn't read this chapter yet. I've been crazy busy recently and things are only going to get busier from next week. Sorry about the delay.

Oooh, this is an extremely ominous beginning. It sounds like they are planning to murder somebody, somebody who is already injured or something. It could be Jane. I wouldn't be surprised.

And the way she looks when Roxanne appears in her flat makes it seem even more likely. If she were just having an affair with Daniel, she might look upset to be confronted with Roxanne, but it's fairly obvious she's been stressed and/or unhappy for a while and I don't think an affair would be enough to do that. I reckon she's got in over her head somehow. Maybe it's something to do with her lack of money. Somebody might have paid her to do something dodgy and she might not have realised QUITE how serious it was until it was too late.

Poor Jane. Maybe her disappearance is innocent, but I'm not convinced. It seems to work too well with the part at the beginning about a "her" and of course, packing up would fit with running away. And Aggie kind of gave the impression Jane had left her job, not that she wouldn't have a job because the place was closing. Of course she isn't the most reliable, so maybe I'm reading too much into this, but it's a mystery, so I'm going to remain suspicious.

Poor Jane. She's still quite young and it's tough to have limited or no family support when you're still just starting out in adult life.

Oh, actually, it's probably the Chaser they are afraid will give them away, since there would be no reason to question if Jane would live.

Hmm, not sure telling Daniel is the best idea. I'm still pretty suspicious of HIM.

10 minutes makes for quite a long time on a phone call. They don't seem to get much said in it. I know there were a couple pauses, but they'd need to be pretty long to only get that much said in nine minutes.

Really intriguing chapter. It's sort of persuaded me Jane's innocent, but that's about all the help it's been to me.

Author's Response: Aw, that's so sweet of you! And thank you for stopping by this story when you got a chance - as always, I really appreciate it!

The beginning really is ominous, and I'm glad you liked it - I hadn't originally planned for those scenes to even be in the story but I think they work quite well as a change of perspective and give the reader a bit more information than Roxanne actually has... although not too much, I hope.

Aggie definitely isn't the most reliable of people, and Jane definitely isn't in the greatest position right now. Her family are pretty useless, to be honest, and it's difficult for her to be in this position at such a young age when she's not got that support available. The fact that Roxy has all of her family around her makes it a bit harder at times, too, though they would quite happily help Jane as well if she let them, since they consider her family too.

I can't CONFIRM your theories, but I will say that I think your instincts and ideas are very interesting and intriguing and if you get to read more of this story, you might find out that you've been right more often than not...

I'm glad the chapter was intriguing for you, and I'm so pleased you enjoyed it! Thank you again for another lovely review!

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Review #55, by MargaretLaneWhat Can't Be Done: Chapter 1

19th June 2015:
LOVE the way you show the attempt to get rights for House Elves as a difficult one. After all, the people who own them are unlikely to give them rights without a fight. And there's also the discomfort thing. If you admit House Elves deserve rights, then you have to admit you were basically fed and so on at the expense of somebody else's freedom at least throughout your Hogwarts years.

The second story in my next gen series sort of touches on some of these issues. Hermione's campaigns for house elf and werewolf equality are both mentioned. In my 'verse, moves have been made on both, but they are still regularly circumvented.

Fair play to Kingsley for his support. I love reading about him as Minister. He seems like such a just and admirable man.

Something about the votes reminds me of the Home Rule bills of the late 19th and early 20th century - I think it's just the constant attempts and then the shooting down.

Love the way the bill is named for Remus.

Author's Response: Hey Margaret,

Those are some very legitimate points about people's hesitancy to give elves rights.

I'm glad I'm not the only one with this particular head cannon. :D

I agree. In my mind, Kingsley is an absolute good guy. He does what's right and what's fair.

I'm glad that you liked the bill being named for Remus. I always imagine he and Dobby being integral in inspiring Hermione's future work.

Thanks for the lovely review!


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Review #56, by MargaretLaneBoarding the Train: The Beginning in the End

15th June 2015:
Hmm, I wonder who the little girl is.

His being smaller than the girls is hardly surprising. Girls and boys are more or less the same average height in primary school.

Love the way you show how he coped so well with the various difficulties he faced as a child and young teenager and how Dumbledore's death caused him to reassess everything. It makes sense that Dumbledore dying would have that effect as he really seemed undefeatable.

I thought Muggleborns weren't allowed attend Hogwarts once the Carrows took over, that the mandatory attendance only applied to purebloods and halfbloods.

Really like the way Colin's father doesn't understand the situation. It DOES seem rather ridiculous if you're not familiar with it - that an organisation would go to so much trouble to track down a couple of kids for no reason other than their genetic traits.

And I like the obvious difference in maturity between Colin and Derek. Even though they are only two years apart in age - probably less as Colin appears to be one of the youngest in his year - that's a lot when one is 16 and the other 14.

You'd think they'd be safe if they've escaped Britain, but I guess Voldemort DID hole up in Albania at one point, so there are no guarantees.

Love the way Fred argues that he's not dead. That's VERY in character, as is his turning up where he's not supposed to be. Even if it is an accident, it's hardly surprising.

I have NO idea who the girl is. His mother maybe?

Author's Response: Margaret!

Wow! You got here and reviewed this FAST! I'm impressed!!

I think that Dumbledore's death definitely affected him, but I think the scarier moment for him would be when he sees Harry breaking down. Nothing brings you down to earth like watching your hero fall.

The mandatory attendance actually applied to EVERYONE, but any Muggleborns who showed up were immediately taken away and imprisoned. Either in Azkaban, or elsewhere. That's why a lot of older Muggleborns ran. They knew what would happen, whereas the younger ones were taken off right away.

Really terrible. (FYI, this is mentioned in the seventh book when Harry realizes that some of the first year Muggleborns would show up at school, excited to learn about magic, only to be whisked off to prison for no apparent reason.)

Colin's Dad definitely reacts the way I could imagine a lot of Muggles would if they were on the run from something so unknown. Not trusting Colin on this actually turns out to be extremely dangerous for them.

Dennis is very heavily protected by Colin, as well as their father. I don't think he's ignorant to the realities of what is happening, but he hasn't faced them head on, and I don't think he's prepared for it either.

But Colin has been forced to grow up much faster than he should of. Umbridge has a pretty big impact on that.

I actually thought that if they left the country, they wouldn't be safe because Voldemort's control over Ministry resources would quickly catch them. If they use any magic, they could be found, if they say Voldemort, they could be found, and if their names showed up on an airplane ticket, or their passport at an international checkpoint, I'd be fairly confident that the Ministry would be keeping tabs on that too.

Magic. It's pretty powerful.

Hehehe, Fred. I couldn't help but add him in there. It just needed to be done.

Hmmm, that's a nice guess... you'll just have wait and find out I'm afraid. :D

Thanks for R&R'ing Margaret!! I really appreciate it and I absolutely loved writing for your challenge!! (also, you'll get to see more of the on the run stuff in the next two chapters than this one)

Thanks again!

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Review #57, by MargaretLaneGame On: Scholar's Mate - Leonore - Ravenclaw

14th June 2015:
*laughs* The way they are bossing the pieces around and stuff makes me think of authors with their characters. I think it's the part about being hard on them.

I like these characters. You realise you need to write a full length story about them, right. Because you've REALLY got time for that.

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Review #58, by MargaretLaneGame On: The Game - shadowkat - Ravenclaw

14th June 2015:
Oooh, the beginning of this chapter sounds SO like Tom. Have you ever read "Othello"? Tom sounds rather like Iago here, which is pretty characteristic.

I really like your use of language. This line is particularly well-written, in my opinion: "The way he went through the ranks at that forsaken little orphanage, manipulating them all with the fear he so easily placed."

And I like the way you discuss how he changes superficially when he starts Hogwarts, but deep down, he remains the same. It is only his methods he changes.

Really like the explanation of how he found out about the Chamber of Secrets. That's left pretty mysterious in the books.

Oooh, that part about how he acts like he's trying to prevent the deaths is really, REALLY creepy.

As is the comment about how Voldemort is born from the death of Tom Riddle.

You characterise Tom Riddle really well here. I have no doubt this is exactly how he'd think.

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Review #59, by MargaretLaneGame On: Speak - TreacleTart - Gryffindor

14th June 2015:
Oooh, a ouija board. Creepy. Especially in a world where magic is real.

And yikes, what a person to get a response from.

That was pretty thoughtless of Lavender, but I guess at this point, there have been no Death Eater attacks or anything since she was a toddler, so the significance of it probably didn't occur to her.

And yikes, the ending is ominous.

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Review #60, by MargaretLaneSelene: Selene

14th June 2015:
I LOVE the first line of this. Two thousand and twenty moons.

I also love the way your character describes the wands as "sticks". It makes it clear he or she is not familiar with wands.

I really wonder what the person is. They sound like a werewolf with the references to the moon and to transformations, but I doubt that, as I can't imagine people just keeping a human in a cage (well, I COULD, but I doubt it would be referred to that casually) and I think a werewolf would know what wands are.
You write such beautiful descriptions, really capturing the atmosphere.

Oooh, I never thought of Remus actually befriending the boggart. I would never even have considered that this might BE the boggart. To be honest, I was considering the grindylow.

I never thought of the similarity between Remsu and the boggart, both changing into fearful forms.

This sentence sounds kind of awkward: "After a few hundred moons, you never saw Remus for a while." Something like, "after a few hundred years, Remus disappeared and it was a long time before you saw him again" might sound better. Not that that's written very well, but I mean, it might be better to split it up a bit and mention his return separately.

*grins* I've always thought a story about the boggart lesson the year after the war could be REALLY interesting. It'd be bound to turn into loved ones dying, the Carrows, Voldemort.

Poor Teddy. That must have been a pretty upsetting memory. Not sure it's exactly a fear, as Remus is already dead at this point, but maybe Teddy fears seeing the body or fears the reminder.

This line also sounds a little awkward: "Thousands of moons later, you were made to, by a boy with blue hair, transform into Remus". "Thousands of moons later, a boy with blue hair made you transform into Remus" might sound better.

Really original story and you manage to connect so many things - the boggart, Remus's lycanthropy, his death, Teddy's loss. Really glad I got to read it. I never read anything like it before.

Author's Response: Hi!

I'm so glad you liked the story! I sort of stumbled upon the fact that Remus' father used to tamed boggarts and other magical creatures as a career and that made me wonder if Remus had ever seen his father bring one of them home before transporting it to wherever they had to go. I'm thrilled you thought it was original; I've never written a story from the perspective of a magical creature and it was pretty fun!

I never considered the similarities between Remus and the boggart either until it hit me as I was writing this - I'm happy you picked up on that too!

Ah, thanks for the alternate sentence suggestions! This is why I love reviews, honestly, because I would have never picked up on those myself! Fixing them as soon as I can!

I figured that Teddy's fear wasn't necessarily seeing his father's corpse but, like you said, because everything about this class and this castle reminds him of his father and that really brings back painful memories?

Thank you so much for this lovely review!

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Review #61, by MargaretLaneGame On: Dragon Ball - merlins beard - Ravenclaw

13th June 2015:
As a lover of Brehon Law and Celtic history in general, I just HAD to read this.

I wonder what language it was originally written in - Latin or old Irish. Either is possible.

777-789. Hmm, wonder if that is the best time to be storing things in Irish monasteries. The Viking attacks would begin shortly afterwards. But I guess this was written in the early 790s when Viking raids were either just beginning or hadn't yet begun, so they couldn't know what would happen. And the scroll would probably be magically protected anyway.

OOOH, "the player can never touch the ground." Are you familiar with the Irish legend, "Oisín in Tír na nÓg." In case you're not, in that Oisin is told he can return to Ireland on a horse, but MUST NOT TOUCH THE GROUND. You could make a case that that legend was adopted when Muggles adopted the sport and adapted it for horses.

Hmm, the guy writing it has a Latin name, so obviously either a visitor to Ireland or somebody who adopted a Latin name. Or maybe Ireland was more integrated with the Roman Empire in the wizarding world.

Really original story and LOVE the concept of the game.

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Review #62, by MargaretLaneGame On: Creaothceann - Leonore - Ravenclaw

13th June 2015:
*laughs at the comment about hating games where you spend as long arguing about the rules as playing*

The wizarding world really DOES seem to think that the risk of dying just adds to the fun.

Baldric seems to have a bit of cop on.

I like this story. There's something about it that makes you think that probably WAS exactly how it happened.

You know "ceann" is the Irish for "head"? Well, you probably don't, but it is. I'm guessing that's not a coincidence. It's probably Scots Gaelic for it as well. Not sure about "creaoth," but it certainly fits Irish spelling rules, so I'm guessing it's a Scots Gaelic word.

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Review #63, by MargaretLaneStrangers in the End: Where is Home

7th June 2015:
Love the part about the "beating organ between your ribs."

The first sentence sounds a bit awkward to me, though. I'm not sure why. I think maybe "that" would sound better than "how" for the third word.

Oooh, it's been a year since she's seen her parents. That's a long time.

You seem to be using the term "your mother" a lot. As there are only two people there and one is referred to as "you", it might be better to replace some of those with "she". It would still be clear who it was referring to.

She hasn't used Hermione's name for more than 30 years; that is so sad. Poor, poor Hermione. And poor Mrs. Granger.

And that part about her not being able to reverse the memory charm is so sad. Realistic, but sad. The whole part about her just finding them and reversing the charm does come across as a bit easy. This really shows the possible implications of her decision.

Oh, there shouldn't be an apostrophe in "with the help of her friends'."

This is quite an original interpretation of events. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it.

And I'm sorry about your grandmother.

Author's Response: Great! It's mine too!

Yeah, I'll find the time to go back and fixing what you suggested. :) Thanks for pointing them out!

I know I used "your mother" a lot, but I tried switching up between that and "she" and "her" as much as possible. I didn't want to overuse either of them, but I did anyway. I'll try to fix that as well, whenever I can. ^_^

Yes, I had thought before that in result of Hermione using the memory charm, she might not be able to get the real them again. I thought it'd been a better fit for HP had Rowling decided to have delve deeper of what happened in those 19 years.

Thank you. I hope it's original enough, because I haven't seen anything like I've wrote either.

Thank you, I appreciate your concern. I am fine now, and I'll always cherish her in my heart and memories.

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!

- Asphodel

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Review #64, by MargaretLaneJust Breathe: Dominique's Fifth (And Last) Diary Entry

2nd June 2015:
Wow, you got this chapter up amazingly quickly.

Poor, poor Dominique. I can understand why she'd find it difficult to talk about her problems. And the way she thinks of herself! It's understandable, but it's so sad. I really hope she begins to feel better about herself.

I really like the fact that Victoire and Louis are going to support her at her appointment. And the fact she even told them about it is a good sign in a way; at least she's not too embarrassed about it to tell anybody.

Did you mean to put two "l"s in "telephone"?

I also like the fact that she's beginning to realise that everybody needs to be taken care of sometimes and that being an adult doesn't mean she's supposed to be invincible or be able to do everything by herself.

I do think it's sad though that she sees herself as having something "overarchingly wrong" with her. I guess it's good that she can see her perceptions might not be entirely accurate, but she does make it sound like she's inherently flawed or something. Poor girl.

I'm kind of sorry there's not more to this story actually. I'd like to see what happens when she returns to work and whether the therapy helps.

Really good story about an unusual issue. And unusual issue for fanfiction, I mean. I've seen a fair amount about things like PTSD, but I don't think I've ever seen an anxiety disorder before.

Author's Response: Haha, yes, when I finally got around to finishing this story it went rather quickly. I guess I've been mulling it over in my head so much that it was just a matter of getting it onto the computer screen, so to speak...

I /did/ mean to spell 'tellephone' that way, actually... You may also notice that each time Dom uses that word she follows it up with a new incorrect preposition : P

I wanted to leave it to the reader's imagination regarding what happens when Dominique goes back to work and whether the therapy helps - but let me tell you a secret: I definitely think things will be getting better and better for her from now on. Maybe the reason she stops writing in her journal is that her therapist gives her other writing exercises to do? Like affirmations and such. You may have noticed how easily she slips into berating herself in this story, so maybe more structured writing would be good for her...

Maybe one day she won't even be 'poor Dominique' any longer! But she still has a long way to go. I wanted to portray someone who goes from thinking that she's 'crazy' and alone in being that way to learning that what she suffers from has a name, that she isn't alone and that she can get help - but I didn't want the story to reach that 'all was well' point... Because then it'd either have to be a really, really long story or I'd have to give it a sort of 'magical' happy ending where everything got better unreasonably fast. So I decided to stop at the turning point, so to speak. I hope you at least find the ending somewhat hopeful. : P

Anyway, thanks so, so, so very much for all the lovely reviews! Your first review for this story really gave me a lot of confidence that my venture into this more serious issue was actually going pretty well. And each subsequent review has really made my day each time! It has been an adventure tackling this issue, and I'm very happy that you think I did well! : )


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Review #65, by MargaretLaneTurbulence: Prologue

1st June 2015:
I never thought of Astoria as possibly living in America or being biracial, but there is absolutely no reason why not. It's really good to see interpretations of characters that differ from the usual ones.

Hmm, I'm intrigued by the reaction to the Dark Lord here. The question of where Astoria's parents stood with regard to Voldemort is an interesting one.

And I wonder if the Flints are related to Marcus Flint - his parents and sister perhaps.

I wonder what Astoria did exactly. It REALLY doesn't sound good.

Oh, poor child. She is awful young to be dealing with depression and mania. This REALLY is an original portrayal of a character we know so little about.

Sorry this is a pretty short review, but you have definitely intrigued me with the beginning to this story. I am looking forward to reading about Astoria's life in America.

One thing - I think you could have gone into a bit more detail about the conflict over her taking the medicine and actually shown the arguments and the behaviour that convinced them it was worth trying it, rather than just having him refuse and then saying that after a few arguments and so on, he changed his mind.

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Review #66, by MargaretLaneJust Breathe: Dominique's Fourth Diary Entry

1st June 2015:
Poor, poor Dominique. She really seems to have worked herself up into a state. I wonder what's happened. I'm sure it's nothing to blame herself for the way she is anyway. It sounds like maybe she made a mistake at work or something.

She seems pretty anxious to move out now. Previously, she'd seemed happy to live with her grandparents. I wonder if something has happened or people are stressing her out or if it's just that she's feeling negative about everything at that moment.

Read somewhere that the average age for people to move out of home is between 24 and 27, so she's a good bit from being stuck there forever, but I guess it doesn't feel like that at her age.

Oh, poor, poor Dominique. That must have been SO embarrassing. I hope her employer is understanding.

I like the way she takes some comfort from the idea that she's not alone and that there is help for what she suffers from. Poor girl. She's having a tough time.

I am really looking forward to the next chapter and finding out what happens with her job and all. I hope it isn't bad. If she's been working there for months and doing well, hopefully her boss will realise there must have been extenuating circumstances.

Author's Response: Ah, yes, poor Dominique!

I think she's been pretty anxious to move out for a long time, actually. I think she loves the Burrow itself, and Molly and Arthur, and Devonshire in general... But she hates all the comings and goings of her large extended family, and I think even Molly can be a bit difficult in the long run for anxious and reclusive Dominique... But yeah, already in chapter 2 she writes "And also, I need money so I can get a place to live on my own and be a real adult instead of a grand enfant." So it's definitely not a wholly new concern...

I mean, she already moved out from Shell Cottage because living there really made her feel like she was still a child. But maybe it would actually have been better to stay with her close family. They are pretty much the only people she can fully relax with, sadly. : (

And yeah... for once Dominique actually did mess up about as badly as she thinks she did. She really did leave a mess at the shop, and as we'll see in the next chapter things might even be a bit worse than she remembered. I don't want to give too much away, but Mme Cloche will definitely be a bit angry. Especially because Dom gave no warning that something like this might happen, because she's so concerned with keeping her condition a secret.

But! There's help to get! And with a little help from a stranger Dominique has even realised that herself! Just learning that there's a word for what you experience can go a long way towards helping you feel better about yourself. If Dom just gets some help she might soon be back at work and doing better than ever! : )


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Review #67, by MargaretLaneThe Worst: From Bad to Worse

31st May 2015:
Really pleased to see another chapter of this up.

The "owing to at least a day's notice" sentence seems a little odd. Something like, "as he usually gave her at least a day's notice" might sound better.

Great! Things between Teddy and Dominique have now become even worse.

That part about "I absolutely had no intention to" sounds a bit odd too. Something like "I'D ABSOLUTELY NO INTENTION OF IT" might sound better.

I can imagine Dominique would be angry at whoever sent the letter. It was a really strange thing to do and made things even worse for her. I REALLY didn't expect anything like that to happen. I thought things would start getting better for Dominique now.

I really like the way she recognised Julia's handwriting. That doesn't happen much in stories and it SHOULD.

Gosh, that is a stupid and insensitive plan. There were WAY too many ways it could go wrong. And it's really unwarranted interference in Dominique's life. It's obvious she's trying to help, but what a way to go about it.

I really hope things between Teddy and Dominique get sorted out in the end. And I've a feeling they will.

This chapter really surprised me. I would NEVER have expected Julia to have been the one to send that letter. Or for that to have been her reason. Poor Dominique. It seems like everything is going against her.

Author's Response: Thank you for reading and reviewing! I'm glad you liked the chapter, and that you're invested in the story.

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Review #68, by MargaretLaneThe Trials: Chapter 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Review #69, by MargaretLaneCharity: Death And Destruction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author's Response: Hey Margaret,

Yeah. With a one-shot it's so hard to develop a character, so I always try to leave small little clues to the persons character.

Ahh. The miles kilometers thing is confusing to me. I always thought that Europeans in general used KMs instead of miles. I'll fix it.

Definitely not a nice move there.

I admit that her fearing Bellatrix is a bit of me in this story. In my opinion, Bellatrix is way scarier than Voldemort. Voldemort has a clear motive. Power. Bellatrix on the other hand is just blatantly insane and seems to take pleasure in brutalizing others. I suppose my own personal reaction is reflected in Charity here. That being said, I feel like Charity would've heard about Neville's family being tortured into insanity by here, so there's reason to be afraid.

I always imagined that Severus regretted not being able to help her. We see that when he argues with Dumbledore about killing him. Dumbledore asks him about how many people Snape's seen die and he responds with something along the lines of "not anyone that I could prevent" and it always made me think of Charity.

I imagine Charity being a giving, protective, fiercely loyal person and I think the horror is amplified in her mind by the fact that this young boy is having to witness all of this.

I'll try and figure out how to clarify that. I sort of wanted it to seem that she believed in the good in him, not necessarily that she knew with certainty which side he was on.

Thanks for a great review!


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Review #70, by MargaretLaneLife, and Death, and Love: She's gone

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

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

That is SO in character for Hermione and Percy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Review #71, by MargaretLaneA Christmas in Azkaban: A Flickering Flame

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This was an awesome story.

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

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

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

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Review #72, by MargaretLaneRainbow: Back Home

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

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

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

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

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

*cracks up at his reference to Percy*

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

*laughs at Hermione's attitude to gambling*

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

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

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

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

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

And YES, stories do their own thing.

Great to see Rainbow being continued.

Author's Response: Have already answered this elsewhere. Thanks for reviewing!

~Leo xx

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Review #73, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Incanters Staff: Impatience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Review #74, by MargaretLaneSilent Rumors: A Letter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author's Response: Hey Margaret!

Thanks. That was nice of you.

I do love writing description.

I'm glad you liked the choice of occupation. I feel like there has to be shop keepers and barmaids and bankers and all sorts of jobs in the wizarding world as well.

I thought the uneasy feeling would just be because of the lateness. I'll have to go back and try to clarify that a little bit.

I can't get too specific about who wants revenge or why they want it, but it does become more apparent in my novel Atonement Is Coming. Since this is the prequel, it's meant to be a bit vague.

I giggled as soon as I started reading your entry. Same name. Two very different characters.

D.A. does not stand for dumbledore's army in this case, but that was the inspiration for the name. The group created the new name as sort of a play on the old group.

Ernie definitely has no clue what's going on at this point, but he will be integral as the novel progresses. This little short story really is just a set up for that.

Thanks again for the lovely review!


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Review #75, by MargaretLaneIsabella: Thirteen Candles

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author's Response: Hi Margaret!

Thank you for the review!

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

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

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

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

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


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