Reading Reviews From Member: MargaretLane
998 Reviews Found

Review #51, 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.

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Review #52, 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.

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Review #53, 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 #54, 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 #55, 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 #56, 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 #57, 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 #58, 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 #59, 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 #60, 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 #61, 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 #62, 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 #63, 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 #64, 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 #65, 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 #66, 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.

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Review #67, 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 #68, 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 #69, 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.

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Review #70, 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 #71, 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 #72, 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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Review #73, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Pureblood's Secret: The Protest

12th May 2015:
Hmm, this is interesting. Elsie seems to have gotten a good deal more confident all of a sudden. Being caught out of the castle by a prefect who is quite a few years older than you would normally be pretty intimidating for a student, especially one as shy as Elsie APPEARED to be. It's looking more and more as if the key word is "appeared."

I wonder if she intended to let the mask slip a little there.

Telling Harry is a good idea. And even if he DID get a detention, it would be worth it to report Elsie if she IS doing something illegal.

I keep forgetting Harry is teaching at Hogwarts again. It actually makes Dawlish's behaviour even stranger, because if Harry is with Albus all year 'round, it would make far more sense for him to be the one to inform Albus of the things Dawlish did. Hmm.

And a few paragraphs later this is explained. Dawlish seems to have a bit of his own agenda here.

I sort of think it should be "I won't go to any more (meetings)" rather than "I won't go to anymore."

I very much doubt a protest would do James's migraines much good anyway.

Pity Hogwarts didn't pay as much attention to parents' complaints when Umbridge was around. The Ministry must have gotten complaints when she was basically torturing students.

Yeah, it's probably good that James is getting some kind of psychological help. He has a LOT to adjust to, and he does seem to be struggling with it, understandably. Hopefully, they can help him get his life back on track.

Hmm, I wonder what James is hiding.

The fact he's so opposed to the idea of counselling is concerning, since it's unlikely to help unless he engages fully with it.

Your update schedule is amazing. I think we can all wait an extra week here and there.

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Review #74, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Chosen Four: The Hogwarts Express

12th May 2015:
*laughs at your Rose being horrified at the idea of eavesdropping* It seems like mine does little else.

I'm not at all surprised Art is horrified by the thought of Dementors. They are pretty horrific.

Hmm, the fact that this Dementor has long-term effects that go beyond leaving people shaking for a while afterwards and actually cause them to need hospitalisation is a good indication of how it differs from the norm.

This sounds a bit awkward: "Daniel Killingston said, one of the Australians on the scene in Antarctica." Something like "one of the Australians on the scene, in Antarctica, Daniel Killingston, said..." or "Daniel Killingston, who was one of the Australians on the scene, said..." might sound better.

Aw, poor Lily. She seems rather more sensitive than her brothers. Of course she is younger too.

Albus always has a string of questions about everything.

I wonder what is going on with Harry. I guess he's just overworked because of the amount of coordination and all he has to do in order to sort out this crisis, but he does seem tireder even than in Deathly Hallows, when he was spending months on the run.

I think it makes sense that they'd solve things better when they are together. If somebody asks a question, it can sometimes start you thinking in a way you wouldn't otherwise. And of course, they all have different strengths. Rose may be a genius, but Albus has greater curiosity, I think and is more likely to bring up a particular issue that she may not have considered.

VERY nit-picky, but the term "vacation" is kind of an Americanism and it seems a little out of place for Albus to think of his summer holidays as "the summer vacation".

And you've written "James's grumpiness returned away." That sounds kind of odd. Should it have been something like "James's grumpiness disappeared"?

And he is SO mean to poor Lily.

Oh, I FORGOT about the mystery with David. Hmm, I wonder what is going on there. Yeah, hating writing letters really DOESN'T explain why he couldn't write and say, "yes, I'd like to come" or "no, I can't come." It's not like that requires a great deal of effort. There HAS to be more to it.

There should be a comma before Marc, in "have a seat, Marc."

David is clearly trying to distract them from the subject of his holidays. They are less likely to ask about why he didn't visit with somebody else around.

Again, VERY nit-picky, but I'd be inclined to have them say, "we HAD to get all of Lockhart's books" rather than "we have to", as they've already got them. "We have to" makes it sound like they haven't bought them yet.

Yikes, I should have realised Albus would now be able to see the Thestrals.

Author's Response: Well, I had a review response all typed out... and then the page refreshed. Sigh. So let me try again.

Our Rose's differ a lot, don't they? My Rose is the voice of logic, trying to keep Albus from doing things, and your characters are flipped.

If dementors were real, they would probably be my boggart. They are terrifying. That's like my one similarity with Harry.

To be honest, Harry being on the run wasn't too bad. They didn't really do much. It was like a really long extended camping trip. Sure, there was the threat of Voldemort hanging over his head, but other than that, there wasn't a whole lot going on. Meanwhile, now Harry is one of the most important officials of the British government. That's a lot of work, and a lot of stress.

Lily is really young- she becomes tougher later on, don't worry.

You have a good point about the whole "vacation" term. It's just so common in America that I often forget that the British don't use it.

And thank you for all the corrections. I will edit that!

James isn't super mean, and Lily didn't even hear James insulting her.

Yup, Albus can see thestrals. That's kind of scary, especially since Harry couldn't see them until the beginning of his fifth.

Thank you so much for the review!

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Review #75, by MargaretLanebad blood: two; a dispute of quidditch

11th May 2015:
I'd forgotten I'd read the first chapter of this.

Really like the first couple of lines. Poor Lily.

And poor Hugo. It seems like he doesn't really know how to deal with the situation. I like the way Rose is trying to be the big cousin and reassure her.

You've written "she realise everything would change". I'm assuming it should be "realised".

You give us a sense of the various characters so naturally - the reference to Louis playing pranks and Rose trying to reassure Lily. Immediately, we can guess a little about the kind of people they are.

Sounds like Lily's summer was spent enjoying the best of both worlds. And hmm, Teddy seems a bit of a campaigner here, as he is in my series. I haven't seen anybody else portray him that way, but it seems to make sense, considering his father. He'd be what? About 27 at this point?

And oh! Lily and Hugo don't seem to get on here. I've come across a lot of versions in which they are best friends, so that surprised me. You seem to be avoiding a lot of the fanon here, which I like, as it's interesting to read different versions. It gets a bit monotonous when characters are portrayed in the same way in nearly every story.

I can see why she doesn't like him. He seems pretty dismissive of anything that doesn't interest him personally. You'd think he'd at least bother to remember the NAME of the game his cousin plays, especially when it's not like there's a great variety of sports his cousins are playing.

*cheers for Hermione telling Hugo to do something for others himself rather than just being "my mum does all that"*

Love the detail about having a day trip to New Zealand.

And I also like the fact that Luna's kids are so much younger. In a lot of fanfictions, it seems like everybody the same age has children at exactly the same time. I do understand why - it means less OCs to create from scratch - but in the real world, people have children at any age from about 15 or 16 to somewhere well into their forties. And Teddy is nearly 18 years younger than Harry, despite their fathers being the same age.

I really like the fact that Lily is clearly very intelligent and yet doesn't get the best grades. It makes her a specific character, rather than just a smart one or an underachiever.

I wonder if her dismissive attitude to exams will affect her negatively in the long run. While they don't prove intelligence and getting as stressed as some of her classmates appear to be is more likely to negatively affect their grades than anything else, the fact is that grades DO impact on your future. Not as much as teenagers often think they will, but enough that it's worth doing the best you can. And I already sort of get the impression that Lily will WANT to do something academic, if only because it is more likely to make people listen to her and allow her make a greater impact on the world.

She seems a bit like Hermione - smart, wanting to change the world and perhaps a little bossy and of the opinion she knows best in all circumstances. The big difference, of course, is her attitude to school and she also seems, in some ways, at least, to be less insecure. She doesn't seem to be so anxious to prove herself.

This story is actually a lot different than I expected. I expected it to be about her finding out she was a Squib and how she dealt with it, but instead, it seems like being a Squib is just part of her backstory and the story itself will involve a good deal more.

I think she is a very realistic and well-rounded character. She's more than just a token Squib and is interesting for more reasons than just because of that.

I would like to see more of her with her family and how her relationship with them is affected by her being a Squib. I'd also like to see what Albus, Rose and James and doing with their lives at this point. Especially since this story seems to be quite an original one, so their personalities and life paths may be a little different than the typical ones too.

Author's Response: hi!

ah yes you did, and I took your comments on board and did a little snazzy edit edit ;)

hugo is kind of thick-headed like his dad tbh. 'emotional range of a teaspoon' comes to mind. he just doesn't know what to do with himself when the activities don't include quidditch and his other faves. he's clueless to life, esp the muggle world. rose is of course much more active a member of it as she goes to campaigns and rallies with lily quite often

good typo pointer! will edit asap

oooh I haven't had the pleasure of reading much of your work yet but I am so here for campaigner!teddy so I think I might have to have a proper venture over when I get the time, I'm really intrigued! you're right - I can't be bothered to get the figures up right now but he's probably about 27-ish yup as lily is 17 and rose is 19

hmm I wouldn't necesserily say they don't get along but they're definitely not particularly close, no. lily isn't close to many of her cousins aside rose tbh purely because they're all rather clueless to the muggle world and her situation. she's a bit isolated, if I'm honest. hugo is very dismissive though yes and like I said above, entirely clueless. like other than quidditch the only other sports he's likely ever come across are football, perhaps rugby ?? netball isn't a hard game to understand. you'd think he'd take at least a little interest.. get the name right at any rate ;)


I'm pretty sure rowling said somewhere that luna didn't have children until MUCH later than the others, which is what I was sticking to here even though they're usually similar ages to the other next gen lot in fic. much more interesting to throw in a little older mama luna I feel! and wayyy more realistic.

OH YES lily will soon come to find that exams kind of are important even if she (and I) don't agree with the message of them. she'll soon learn she can't coast through life and she'll be much better off doing as well as she possibly can in her a-levels to give her a good boost for the next step in life.

ooh yes the story isn't going to be about her discovery as a squib. there'll be much moer and although 'squib' won't be background it will be constantly present as a fight for rights rather than an 'oh no I'm a squib welp better just accept it way'. it's going to be about changing the norms, rather than accepting them.

thank you for the input and lovely long review! again, very very helpful ♥ her relationship with ginny is going to be in the next, though unfortunately probably not al or james (though maybe, we'll see)

again, thanks!

- jess, xo

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