Reading Reviews From Member: MargaretLane
  
953 Reviews Found

Review #51, by MargaretLaneGlass: A New Beginning

8th April 2015:
I love next generation mysteries, so this sounds interesting. And your title is intriguing. I am trying to think what it could refer to.

I do think your summary could give a little more information. There's nothing really to distinguish this from any other next generation mystery from Albus's point of view. I wouldn't even know it WAS a mystery if it wasn't for the genres. I know mysteries can be REALLY hard to write summaries for, as a lot of the important information is something you don't want to give away, but you might get more readers if people had some idea as to what might happen. Is something going to threaten Albus? Is he going to come across a mysterious teacher? Is there some sign of a Dark revival?

Oh! Albus is in his fourth year already. I assumed it would be a first year fic. This is interest, as we're going to be thrown right in to the story, with things like the houses each character was sorted into already known.

That's actually something you could include in your summary. Something like "Albus doesn't expect his fourth year to be much different from those that went before, but..." and then an indication that something mysterious is going to happen.

You've done a good job of giving us a fair amount of information in the couple of paragraphs. That's important when this fic takes place so long after the epilogue. We already know how old Albus is, that Rose and Scorpius are friends and will possibly become more, that Hugo loves Quidditch, that McGonagall is Headmistress. and that she has opened up Quidditch to first years.

I like the fact that you've already indicated something at Hogwarts has changed a little. It helps indicate the passing of time and it makes sense, as McGonagall was certainly impressed with Harry and we know she loves Quidditch herself, so she'd probably have like to have been able to play herself when SHE was in first year.

One thing minor, but when you're putting a story up online, it can help to skip a line between each paragraph, just to make it easier for your readers to read. A large block of text can look kind of daunting.

Also, when the characters are talking, it can get a little confusing as to who's speaking if you don't have them do anything OTHER than talk. Like you could include a little about what Albus is thinking when Scorpius keeps avoiding answering him or some sign of amusement when Scorpius admits he doesn't know what "procrastinating" means. Like "I chuckled at his admission, but had no intention of allowing him to deflect me from my purpose. 'Answer me.'"

I'm guessing Albus and Scorpius are in Gryffindor, since you've kind of ruled out Slytherin and Gryffindor.

I'm getting a real impression of the personalities of your main characters and of the relationships between them. Scorpius and Albus seem to tease and mess around with each other a lot, but I get the impression Albus is really concerned about him behind it.

I'm looking forward to meeting the teachers who've replaced people like McGonagall (since it sounds like she's not Headmistress) and all the Defence Against the Dark Arts teachers and maybe Charity Burbage too, if Albus does Muggle Studies. I've just realised he'll have already started his optional subjects, which may give you the opportunity to introduce even more new teachers, depending on which subjects he is doing. Or to just build on people like Vector that we don't know much about.

A good opening chapter that gives us a lot of the background we need without doing so in a way that sounds boring or unrealistic. Like it'd be unrealistic if Albus started thinking, "I am in fourth year and I am friends with Scorpius." It can be hard to cover three years of information without lapsing into stuff like that, but you've done it.

Author's Response: Thanks so much for your input. I'm just stoked that within one day someone has already read my story. I will most definitely add some action between speech, you're right, it must be really difficult to follow what''s actually going on without paragraphs. Thanks so much. I will certainly take everything into account and hopefully change something in the summary to help other readers.

Thanks again!


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Review #52, by MargaretLanebad blood: one; prologue

7th April 2015:
The description at the start reminds me rather of 1995, the hottest summer I ever lived through, and which is referred to at the beginning of Order of the Phoenix, which I guess is an indication of how well you have captured the heat of this month.

I find the last part rather interesting. I like when people add extra details about aspects of the wizarding world we don't know much about, such as pregnancy.

I do find the way they describe it a little unusual though. The Healer seems to explain what magical interference is after she's already confirmed that she's experienced it in the past. It might make more sense if they began by saying something like, "as you already have two children, I assume your Healers have told you that the vast majority of witches experience some degree of magical interference in pregnancy - vanishing buttons, levitating thimbles..." and then mention something about how it happens in all but about two percent of pregnancies in the wizarding world and almost all those children were born without magic, before asking if she's noticed any of those signs yet.

I think it is interesting that she's already so worried that she lies about it, even though the Healers have only asked if the signs have appeared yet, indicating there is still time for it to happen if it hasn't done so. I'm guessing it happened earlier in her previous pregnancies and that's why she's worried.

I also find it interesting that it worries her enough to make her lie. It sort of shows that even though she is from a pretty open-minded background, she still views people without magic as almost disabled, which is hardly surprising. If you always had magic and all your family could perform magic, the idea of trying to manage without it would probably seem like a disability.

Author's Response: hi!

ooh yes I was actually picturing the way rowling wrote the heat of '95 whilst I wrote this. weird, that you picked up on that haha

thank you for your comments on the way the last section was written! since then I took what you had to say on board and rewrote it slightly to be more eloquent and clear about the meaning, and so that it flowed better. so thanks for that! I gave you a shoutout for your help in the a/n of the editted chapter :)

yess ginny is so not a prejudiced person but I kind of imagine it a little like racial microaggressions? like she still says things which are said out of not knowing enough about the subject or just not thinking about what she's saying. it's not INTENTIONAL and it's largely to do with her background, but she grows out of it eventually and sees how narrow-minded she is eventually.

thank you for the incredibly helpful review!

- jess, xo


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Review #53, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Pureblood's Secret: Captain Albus Potter

7th April 2015:
We're actually getting some sunshine here - I mean, honestly, today is a typical Irish summer's day, and considering it was winter weather up until about three days ago - so I've only just settled down inside to read this.

Oooh, the psychology wing. That has me intrigued for rather obvious reasons.

Burke's immediate realisation that Johnson isn't there to make polite conversation amused me. He hasn't changed, even if he is extremely ill.

And I'm now intrigued by Burke's niece. Was she just playing middleman to help her uncle out or is she going to play a larger part in all this?

He seems fairly certain his niece won't give anything away. Is that just because he knows her and knows she's not the kind of person who can be browbeaten or is there something else going on? I'm starting to suspect there is something more going on here, but exactly what it could be, I don't know. I'm thinking of his possibly using her name without her knowledge or her having been involved in something illegal that goes deeper than just selling potions illegally to help her uncle and his agreeing to help her because it's the only way he can pay his medical bills.

He's almost admitted involvement, because how else could he know his niece had nothing incriminating? But not in a way that can be held against him or her and I doubt he cares anyway, since clearly they will never get him in court.

I've recently done a bit of plotting about my version of the wizarding legal system - basically as a future career for Rose. This is REALLY going off on a tangent, but you reminded me of it a little, as you go into a lot of detail about wizarding law here. Your version is pretty different and WAY more detailed than mine.

I can understand why Albus is rooting for Burke. He is being rather enigmatic. And, I'm not at all sure this makes much sense, but I think he is living up to his Irish name. Taunting the British was quite a thing in the days before independence, right down to replying in Irish to confuse them.

Aw, I like the part where Burke sends his apologies to Kaden.

I think you meant Johnson rather than Burke in the early part of this sentence: "
But regardless of Burke’s fruitless efforts in putting the person behind the illegal potions trade behind bars..."

I'm glad James' head injury is healing. When it comes to his general life, that would probably be a far greater problem than the hand. But the hand is bad enough. Poor James.

Three or four migraines a week is pretty bad too.

Hadn't realised Albus had played under that many captains, but I guess this is about his fifth year on the team, so it's hardly surprising.

Yeah, I can imagine being captain would put extra pressure on Albus. Poor guy. Especially as he's bound to want to win the Cup for James. Of course, he'd want to win anyway, but that adds an extra incentive.

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Review #54, by MargaretLaneJust Breathe: Dominique's Third Diary Entry

3rd April 2015:
*grins* There's a certain naivety to Dominique's feeling that she'll have to stick with this job and that her employer will expect her to take over the business if she trains her. I worked in a supermarket between my degree and post-grad and there was this one guy who trained as a manager, then left within the week of finishing training.

And she seems determined to make herself feel she's done something wrong - like she thinks she'll let her employer down if she DOES decide to leave and do something else and that she'll let her teachers down if she doesn't.

Those jokes are a bit cruel, but I guess people just don't THINK.

Oh, students start Beaubatons a year and a half later than Hogwarts? That is interesting from this side of the Irish sea, since Irish students start secondary school a year later than in Britain. Makes you wonder how Irish students at Hogwarts explain leaving for boarding school before their last year of primary school.

Poor, poor Dominique. I hope her first day at work goes well.

Author's Response:
Aaah, another lovely review from MargaretLane!

I am so honoured that you care about my writing, and I hope you're still interested in this story, because after some tumultuous months in my real life I've finally gotten the fourth chapter of this into the queue!

I think you're really on to something when you mention that Dominique "seems determined to make herself feel she's done something wrong". She's really putting herself in a double bind there. I think maybe it's because she always feels so bad about herself, and she sorta have to justify that to herself? Like 'I feel like I'm horrible, let's look at my life and see if anything can be construed as me being horrible'. And then those 'damned if you do, damned if you don't'-situations are perfect, because then she can justify her self hatred whatever she does... Does that make sense?

As for the cruel jokes, I think this is a mix of Dominique reading her own self-digust into some pretty good-humoured jokes, but I also think certain members of the Weasley Clan can be really insensitive and even cruel. And when some of the jokes are cruel for real, it gets easier to read the ones that are just a bit ill-thought-through like that as well, I think. It's like a vicious circle!

I based Beauxbaton students starting school later on the fact that it's implied in GoF that there are years of students older than 17 at either one of the visiting schools or both. But other than that, I completely made it up because it suited the story.

And well... as you'll see in the next chapter her first day at work probably went well... it's her, like, fiftieth or something day you should really worry about...


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Review #55, by MargaretLanea slow shattering: one for sorrow

3rd April 2015:
OK, we've already talked about this, but I had to review it properly, because it is just so amazing.

Poor Lavender; she seems to be completely doubting herself. The way she's thinking of herself as "the crazy girl" REALLY can't be healthy.

As I already indicated, when I first read this, I'd a moment's confusion as to where she was and which was real, but then the mention of it being the end of the battle cleared that up and made it obvious she is having some kind of nightmare or flashback about the horrible things she's experienced.

LOVE the part about neither side really winning. Nobody ever does in war, do they? The best you can do is prevent worse disaster, like in this case, winning prevented Voldemort killing more people or the Death Eaters continuing to torture people, but it didn't undo the harm already done.

The way she keeps calling herself a coward is so sad. There is really nothing cowardly about being afraid of somebody who hurt her so badly. In fact, the very fact she can face him at all, even in a dream, is indicative of great courage. There are parts here where her thought processes remind me of Demelza's in "Guilt."

The "hello, sugar" is SO creepy.

I love the part about her not knowing which of them smells like gut-wrenching terror. It sort of creates a comparison between his smell and her fear.

The part about her making it real kind of fits with what Dumbledore said about how things happening in your head can be real. And the way she KNOWS it isn't real, but still can't wake up must be pretty terrifying.

I thought at the end of the last chapter that she was beginning to improve, so this chapter is particularly sad. It's realistic though, as recovery doesn't just happen overnight and just because she was well enough to start seeing a counsellor doesn't mean she's not going to have setbacks or relapses.

Yikes, the part where he drags her to him is scary and the way you have punctuated his dialogue really emphasises it.

The last part of this sentence seems a bit awkward to me: "She's breathing raggedly, her voice caught in her throat, words too terrified to crawl out of her mouth into his face."

It's hard to be sure as you've now told me what it should be, but I think it's clearer now that the voice is one from outside her dream. And the fact it's the same voice that says "give her another dose" makes it pretty clear.

The way she blames herself for her family's deaths is so irrational, but it's understandable. Of course she's going to wish there was more she could have done, but even if she'd survived the battle, it's unlikely she'd have got there just in time AND managed to defeat the Death Eaters. Apart from the fact it's hardly her fault she was attacked anyway.

This sentence - "The weight in gut doesn't go away, though" would probably sound better as "the weight in her gut."

The part where the magpies divide really shows the nightmarish quality of what is happening.

And the part about their having all the power... Terrifying.

I've never heard the part about "nine for hell" in that rhyme before, but it works so well. In a way, she IS in a hell, a hell her mind has created.

The part about how everybody she loves has already died is so, so sad. I find it hard to imagine a happy ending for her, because even if she DOES recover, she's lost so much. I don't know what I'd even DO if all my family and my best friend had died and I had only just finished school so I'd no career to focus on or workmates to support me and my school mates were probably moving on and scattered across the country. Leaving school can be a lonely time itself and means that she doesn't really have anything of her old life to go back to.

That description of Parvati is so creepy. I've a mental image of some kind of living patchwork doll or Frankenstein's monster. And the idea of seeing her friend like that...

You're welcome. Was glad of the chance to read this chapter. The whole story is SO well-written, but I think this chapter is the best of all. It's hard to write that sort of disconnect from reality without it seeming over the top, but this is so believable and so sad, as well as being terrifying.

10 out of 10 and I don't give that very often.

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Review #56, by MargaretLanea slow shattering: he wants to put a ceiling on her soul

2nd April 2015:
Ugh, that part about their crowding into the room on the full moon is sort of creepy and must have been yet another stressor for her. I know if a load of doctors crowded in to observe me in a situation like that, I'd be convinced something horrible was going to happen.

The second section of this story is so unbelievably sad. She has lost so much - her parents, her friends, been attacked and traumatised and it's very likely she experienced some degree of torture, or at least the threat of torture under the Carrows. Hard to imagine how one would deal with all that; it's just unimaginable.

And now she's doubting that she deserves to be a Gryffindor. The poor, poor girl.

Even if she does manage to recover, she'll have so much to do to rebuild her life. It seems like she has lost everybody of importance in her life, so she'll have to build a life that doesn't include any of them.

And I LOVE the relationship you show as existing between her and Parvati, and how she knows her in a way nobody else does. And the part about how there will ALWAYS be room in her heart for Parvati is bringing tears to my eyes. You just show the love between them SO well.

That part about white meaning soulless also nearly brought tears to my eyes. It's just such a sad line and a reminder of how much she's been dealing with.

I'm glad they are trying to help her though, rather than just contain her, which is basically what they seem to have been doing all along.

And it seems like she is beginning to recover slightly. I'm still not sure if she will ever fully recover or not. She has SO much to deal with. But if she can become more functional, that's SOMEthing.

Mrs. Reid seems nice. I really like the way she immediately understands how very important Parvati is in Lavender's live.

Coincidentally, I recently added a chapter to a collab chapter in which somebody (somebody with lycanthropy, actually) is talking to a Healer and he begins by asking them about their job and they start worrying they're telling him the wrong things. This has some similarities.

I love that idea about how the things she loved about Parvati are now everywhere.

And oh dear, she appeared to be improving, but then the last part makes it seem like she's sinking into denial again. It's understandable, of course, and OF COURSE, having it confirmed that her parents are dead is likely to cause her a setback. Even without existing mental health issues, hearing both your parents were murdered would be bound to affect anybody badly.

This whole story is so brilliantly written. I'm really glad it finally occurred to me to stop by.

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Review #57, by MargaretLanea slow shattering: the mirror thrown to the ground

2nd April 2015:
OK, the reviews you gave me were so awesome, I decided I really ought to repay the favour and then I took a look at your author page and was like "WHY exactly have I not read these stories before?" In fact, I checked the reviews on this twice to make sure I didn't include it in my St. Patrick's day anonymous reviewing, because stories about trauma are so much my thing.

I really like the way your capture her denial at the beginning of the story. I can totally imagine how hard it would be to believe that THAT was actually happening, that you wouldn't just wake up the next day and find everything back the way it had been beforehand.

And oh gosh, that part about how all she feels is pain is STARK. The part about tasting the metal made me literally shiver.

I like the vagueness and blurriness of the second section. It makes sense that she'd be sort of drifting in and out of consciousness, considering the level of pain she's endured.

And that last line (of that section) about how she doesn't know the destination and has no say in it is just perfect. It really shows how her life is drifting out of her control.

Yikes, that part about how she no longer knows who she is is kind of worrying, as is her inability to speak. I'm not sure whether the latter is physical or psychological, but I'm leaning towards the latter. I think the former would be preferable, as it would probably be easier to overcome.

And virtually the next line confirms that it's psychological and that she is, unsurprisingly, experiencing other symptoms of trauma.

The doctors' diagnoses is so callous. After all, nightmares and screaming would surely be within the realms of normal after what she has been through. But I think their attitude fits very well with a setting in which a young boy supposedly hallucinating about the man who killed his parents coming back to life to kill a classmate in front of him is treated as a reason to dismiss the boy and mock him and where the Longbottoms are essentially just locked away, rather than treated for their mental health problems. They do seem rather backward when it comes to mental health, so this attitude does seem more realistic than their diagnosing her in Muggle medical jargon.

It is rather ominous though. I can't see her getting the support and help she so badly needs.

Yikes, that's quite creepy, and realistic - how once people think she's "crazy", they interpret everything she does in light of that. I suppose you read of that study done where people pretended to be suffering mental health symptoms and then, when in a psychiatric hospital, found that perfectly ordinary behaviours were attributed to their supposed conditions.

And their treatment of her strikes me as more likely to exacerbate than alleviate her symptoms. Poor Lavender.

And oooh, that part comparing the jam in the doughnut to the attack again sent shivers down my spine. This story is so chilling and you portray that so well.

And her comment about how "noble" it sounds calling it the Battle of Hogwarts has some resonance here, as we prepare to celebrate the centenary of 1916, an event that has been sanitised beyond belief. And certainly, nobody knew WHAT was going on in 1916, with contradictory orders being given.

I'd be inclined to put an ellipse at the end of "you might be allowed to go, if..."

I don't think it's shallow for her to worry about the scars on her face. They're not just a mark; they are also a visible reminder, to her and to everybody who sees her, of what has happened. Just seeing them could trigger memories of the attack. And then there's the fact that how you look is part of who you are. Considering she has been changed mentally and physically by the attack, it's hardly surprising if she questions if she's even still herself.

I've thought a fair amount about this, as I have a character who is scarred during a pretty traumatic event in one of my fanfics and it is a pretty major issue for them, although they wouldn't be as invested in their appearance as Lavender might be. She seems somebody who would care a good deal about her appearance.

Oh gosh, that didn't even occur to me - where ARE her parents? There's no good answer really. I'm guessing they must have been injured or killed, or they'd surely want to be there for her, and it's hard to imagine how she'll cope with that on top of everything else she's been through.

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Review #58, by MargaretLaneA Single Point In Time: 1983

31st March 2015:
I've already commented on how well you set the scene in your opening paragraphs, but this one is particularly atmospheric. The part about him holding on to some fringe of his sanity is STARK.

I really like this line: "though often the need to change called him, coursed through his tired body as the day slipped by slowly." Very well written.

I also like the comparison between the box of the prison cell and the box of James's coffin.

That weird laugh is kind of creepy, a reminder of just how awful Azkaban is and the effect it has on people.

The part about wondering whether a child he thinks might be four could even walk seemed a little odd. Four year olds could well be in primary school. I know he's been cut off from the world and that his mind is being affected by the Dementors, but it still seemed a little strange.

Poor Sirius. You really capture how desperate he is and how horrific his life is here.

Author's Response: Heya,

Eek, thanks a lot for the review again! :D It's been so great to have this confidence boost from you, thank you so much!

I was a bit hesitant about posting this one because the tone was so different from the previous two, but it's really good to know that you got a lot from this piece, and that Sirius' fading mind was on your mind too.

Thank you so much for the reviews! :D

Laura xxx


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Review #59, by MargaretLaneA Single Point In Time: 1982

31st March 2015:
Oh, this chapter should be interesting. Petunia's attitude to Harry appears quite conflicted and seeing how she expresses it herself should be quite revealing.

The fact that she expresses concern at the thought of Harry crying indicates she does feel some concern for him. Vernon, on the other hand, seems quite dismissive.

And he's not sleeping in the cupboard under the stairs yet. I wonder what had him moved there - maybe Dudley wanted more space.

I really like the way you interpret Petunia's feelings about Lily - that she feels she doesn't love and miss her as much as she should - and Harry is a constant reminder. There's an indication that it is her guilt that makes her treat him as she does.

The conflict you create at the end of the chapter is REALLY well done - the way you show her realisation that she DOESN'T love him as she does her own son, and she knows she should, as she's raising them both and she feels for him, knowing she isn't treating him as he deserves.

And it's easy to see how as time passes, she could come to resent him more and more for being a reminder of what a bad sister she was and what a bad aunt she is being to Harry, failing to treat him as a son, even though he has basically been her son for nearly his entire life. That sort of resentment could easily prevent love growing and become a vicious cycle - the worse she treats him, the more guilty she feels, the more guilty she feels, the more anger and resentment she feels towards him and the more anger and resentment she feels, the worse she treats him. It's sad and there are no winners really.

Author's Response: Heya!

I'm glad you thought Petunia was interesting. I really enjoyed writing her because there is so much unsaid about her character in the books and it was very rewarding to explore that.

I always imagine Petunia as someone that would hold on to a lot of bitterness from her childhood, especially towards Lily, and I imagine that part of her knows that that is incredibly foolish.

I'm so pleased this chapter had you thinking a lot about her, and it makes me so happy that you think I wrote the conflict well! :D Thank you so much for your lovely review!

Laura xxx


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Review #60, by MargaretLaneA Single Point In Time: 1981

31st March 2015:
OK, when I first saw this story, I assumed it'd be from Harry's point of view, so I didn't expect this.

I really like the setting of the scene at the beginning of this. You've obviously a talent for creating atmosphere.

You also do a good job of indicating Albus's regrets and doubts. In the books, he SEEMS so confident, but there are hints, which are confirmed at the end of the series, that he isn't really.

Hmm, that is an interesting suggestion - bringing Harry up at Hogwarts. It would keep him relatively safe, but it might not be very practical - raising a baby and then a toddler, in a school. And while Hogwarts is supposed to be one of the safest places possible and Dumbledore, the only one Voldemort feared, it is clear from the books that Harry is far more vulnerable to attack there than in his aunt's home.

It must have been such a difficult time for people who knew the Potters - they would have WANTED to celebrate Voldemort's defeat, but at the same time, would have been dealing with the shock of their friends' deaths and the knowledge that a child - a baby - had just been left orphaned.

Author's Response: Heya!

Ah, I'm glad this (pleasantly) surprised you!

Ooh, why thank you! I'm glad you think so - I do always try really hard to set the atmosphere okay. Writing with Dumbledore felt kinda tricky, but I'm glad you could see into his character a little more here.

Yeah, I agree with you. Bringing Harry up at the castle I think wouldn't work - but at the same time, I wonder whether it was something they considered, especially with Sirius being arrested too and everything going generally downhill?

Absolutely, like even though its a time of celebration its also really sad because so many people have lost friends. I'm so glad that feeling shone through because it was really important to this piece.

Thank you so much for the review! :)

Laura xxx


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Review #61, by MargaretLaneFifth Christmas: Fifth Christmas

31st March 2015:
*laughs* This story leapt out at me, as I've recently written a story about Susan Bones having had a pretty horrific time during the war and I've also written two Christmas stories about characters having or having had unhappy Christmases.

*laughs* I saw snow in Dublin city centre once, but that was like the coldest winter since 1601 or something, so not exactly the norm.

I really like the introductory sentence about how time eases memories.

And oh, the poor girl, feeling bad about the fact she's feeling better. Poor, poor girl.

That paragraph when she enters the coffee shop was so atmospheric, it had me smiling, until it reached the part about the distant family members she had left. The poor girl.

Oh, you wrote "my friends kitten," when there should be an apostrophe in "friend's." Same with "my aunt's favourite holiday."

It makes sense that Christmas would bring all these memories back to her, even when she's beginning to recover from everything she's been through.

“Ah, so sorry to wake you from your trance,”
That sentence should have a full stop at the end, rather than a comma.

Aw, it sounds like she's feeling a little better at the end. I hope she has a good Christmas, or as good a one as is possible, considering all she's lost.

Author's Response: Heya! :D

Thank you so so much for dropping by with these reviews - it's so kind of you! :D

I absolutely wrote this one-shot on a whim for the Christmas Challenge, so I am so so glad you liked it! I get so excited about that warm Christmassy feeling, so I was uber keen to try and get some of that across in this piece. I'm so pleased you thought the atmosphere of the coffee shop work!

Oops, typos, sorry! I'll change them as soon as :)

I wanted to write Susan because I thought she's such a sad character who loses so much, but she doesn't get a lot of book-time really. I'm really glad you felt for her here, and thank you so much the lovely review :)

Laura xxx



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Review #62, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Pureblood's Secret: An Adjustment

31st March 2015:
Yikes, James's silence is kind of worrying, particularly from him, as he REALLY didn't seem like a loner to ANY degree before his accident. Anybody secluding themselves more than usual after a traumatic event would be concerning, but when that person is normally very outgoing, it becomes even more so.

And the library isn't James's natural setting.

Maybe he could get an exemption from the practical exam? Here, blind students can have an exemption from questions including graphs and stuff and the marking scheme is changed, so they can get full marks on the rest of the paper. It's a hassle to correct, because the normal marking scheme becomes second nature after a while, so you really have to take care marking those papers.

Hmm, that part about not even trying to use his right hand kind of implies he doesn't WANT to know how it's doing, that he's afraid it won't have improved as much as he wants.

I like the name "Janus Thickery" ward.

Poor, poor Meg. She's still only a teen, after all, and this is pretty heavy stuff. She's probably used to relationships being more a source of fun than a source of obligation. And the guy she fancied seems to have disappeared completely.

I think it'd be understandable if she did break up with him, but then she'd probably feel SO guilty about hurting him when he's already dealing with so much. And it probably WOULDN'T be good for his mental health. But then, it's a lot to expect of a 17/18 year old girl, that she be responsible for somebody else's mental health.

I don't think he should tell James. It would upset and stress him and for all Albus knows, Meg might just have been sounding off. She didn't say she was GOING to break up with him, so I don't think Albus needs to know until she's made a decision. If he says anything and she decides to remain with him, James would probably end up doubting if she really loves him or if she's just staying with him out of pity and might feel guilty about the pressure he's putting on her. I can see why Albus would feel awkward about not saying anything - I'd find it very difficult myself - but I think it would be better.

I wonder if he has damage to a particular part of his brain. The fact he's remembering things with numbers could indicate something like that.

Lovely. All that noise in the waiting area won't exactly be good for James's headaches. That's good, that Healer Murdock appears to have considered that.

LOVE the comment about professional journals and stuff having unimaginative names. It sort of shows the minor details Albus is concentrating on while they are waiting for something to happen.

I'm looking forward to seeing if Albus finds Burke and what he finds out if he does.

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Review #63, by MargaretLanemisguided ghosts: vidi.

27th March 2015:
I really like the suggestion that she TALK to some people. There's a certain amount that the jargon of medical texts can't tell you. The theory is important, of course, but I don't think it really tells you what it actually FEELS like to experience a mental illness, or any experience for that matter.

One slight criticism I'd have is that this story seems to be rushing a little. It may be because I haven't read the rest of the universe and you are having to "catch us up", so to speak, but it seems like an awful lot happened quite quickly in the first chapter. And again, it seems to move very quickly from one interview to the next. The conversation with Lysander felt a little rushed. I'd expect them to chat a little and not stick so closely to the facts the whole time.

I'm wondering why people would expect Rose to feel resentment around Al and Destiny. It doesn't sound like she's recently experienced heartbreak or anything. Maybe she's just got a lot of very old-fashioned friends who can't imagine anybody being happily single.

I REALLY like the idea of Fred being a professional photographer. I always like it when we see characters in jobs other than Auror, Healer, working in a Ministry department or Quidditch player. Not that there's anything WRONG with any of those jobs, but it's nice to see other things as well.

And I like the way the apparent lack of career opportunities contributed to Lysander's eating disorder.

In your early twenties, it really seems like you need to sort out your life NOW; it's only later that you realise there was plenty of time.

I like the way James and Rose get chatting at the beginning and take a few moments to realise what they should be doing; it's realistic.

Interviewing people you know well must be difficult, because it'd feel weird to be formal about it. And people might feel more awkward about sharing personal stuff with somebody they KNOW.

Coincidentally, I've just posted a chapter to a collab account in which a character is interviewed, originally about their lycanthropy, as the character doing the interviews is trying to improve services for those bitten, but later in the chapter, the issue of post traumatic stress arises.

And I think "Post Traumatic" should be two words.

I really like the fact you chose James as the one to suffer an anxiety disorder. He's often portrayed as very confident, so showing him as experiencing that disorder shows it's not always people who are shy or quiet.

I also like the way his suicide attempt is off-limits in the discussion. These things can't be easy to talk about and it'd seem unrealistic if everybody she spoke to was completely open about their experiences. Some people would probably be, but some would surely have difficulty discussing certain things.

And I REALLY like the distinction between pamphlet and essay. I think Destiny is right. An essay sounds academic, as if it's something for professionals only, whereas a pamphlet sounds like something for general information.

I like the title. It not only fits, but it's also sort of catchy and laid back, which again emphasises its accessibility to lay people.

Author's Response: Hello again!

I'm a bit of an activist in real life and some of the things I've learned doing that have bled into this story. One of the most important things has always been to talk to people who have first hand experience. So, if I'm speaking out for women, I should always try to center the experiences and voices of women because they almost certainly know things that I do not, regardless of how many books I've read on the topic. And that's sort of the origins of my plans to have Rose talk to people. She happened to know plenty of people who she could talk to, as it happened.

I can see where you're coming from about the rushing. I think it may spring from the fact that I am quite literally rushing to finish writing it before Camp NaNo. I may go back and smooth things out a bit in some areas when I'm done with the final chapter. I'll be able to pinpoint exact places to focus on now that you've mentioned them.

I always hated the assumption that all single people are unsatisfied with being single. I kind of ranted about it extensively in my other Rose story. Although, I do see that expectation pretty often. Rose in this story is generally fine with being single among couples though, even if she holds affection for Scorpius. I wanted her to feel conflicted about that, but not conflicted about being single in general. I hope that came across.

I agree that there's nothing wrong with those jobs, but I do like to venture outside of them. Speaking of, Lysander owns an apothecary. I might add that into this chapter when I go back to edit.

I know that feeling helpless can contribute to eating disorders and I related that to the idea of those "core" Wizarding careers. Drifting about after finishing school can trigger a lot of things that weren't apparent before, especially if you had a relatively easy time in school.

I'm not yet in my twenties, but I can relate to that perceived running out of time quite well.

Oh wow, you wrote something that touched on PTSD following being bitten? That sounds really interesting. I assume you mean your collab account with Leonore? I'll try to find that and see what you did there.

I was really uncertain about the spelling because I kept finding it spelled both ways online--occasionally on the same sites, so I just chose one at random. I'm still not sure of the official, agreed upon spelling.

I like to have James struggling, honestly. That sounds sort of sadistic, but I think the way he's so consistently written might actually give more weight when he is written slightly differently. I wanted him to seem like a fun, outgoing person who happens to have an anxiety disorder, rather than someone who succumbs fully to it. (although that does happen, and there is a place for those characters)

The suicide attempt was kept completely secret until a couple of months before the events of this chapter, so it has yet to be completely unpacked by them all emotionally. I thought it'd be unrealistic to have him ready to share that with the entire world in that context.

I know that, when it comes to the public, wording can be key and reading an essay and flipping through a pamphlet just conjure up different mental images. And I thought Al and Destiny would realize that a little more readily than the academic minded Rose.

This is written for the banner challenge, so the title wasn't chosen by me at all. At first, I almost gave the banner back because I couldn't decide how to make this story idea fit with this title. But, the more I thought about it, the more it seemed it might fit in with the title of the pamphlet. Glad you liked it! Seems better than calling it. "Mental Health Resource 1" or something.

Thank you so much for your reviews! They're clearly very thought-provoking, considering how I got carried away with this response. I really appreciate your thoughts and comments.


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Review #64, by MargaretLanemisguided ghosts: veni.

27th March 2015:
I can easily imagine Ron being the least well equipped to deal with the effects of the war, now that you mention it. Hermione seems like a phenomenally strong person and Harry...well, Harry went through a fair amount in his childhood and had less expectation of stability than the others. I know that doesn't necessarily mean more emotional stability, but from what we saw in the books, he coped pretty well with nearly 10 years of abuse and neglect, so there is some evidence of his resilience. And in Deathly Hallows, Ron seemed the most inclined to go to pieces.

Hermione's comment about how a lot of people came out of the war "a bit shaken" is such an understatement, but rather typical of her, I think.

And I like the indications that Rose is hampered in raising her concerns by the knowledge she DOESN'T really know what her parents' generation went through.

I love the way you are addressing the apparent lack of help for mental health issues in the wizarding world - when you think about it, it's actually pretty horrifying that in Order of the Phoenix, the society was split between those who believed Harry was telling the truth and those who thought it hilarious or annoying that he was supposedly having a breakdown. Not one person seemed to think it concerning if a boy orphaned as a toddler started apparently hallucinating after witnessing a schoolmate's death and/or fantasising about that death happening in a more meaningful way than in a stupid school contest.

And James is also suffering mental health difficulties. Poor guy.

"He shrugged," should have a capital "h" and the part before it about the jail sentence Pansy got should have a full stop at the end, not a comma, as the shrugging is a separate sentence from the dialogue.

LOVE the part about Albus's girlfriend punching his abductor. So often it seems to be the guy protecting his girlfriend, so it's nice to see a girl doing the protective bit.

The last line is pretty intriguing. I wonder what she plans to do.

Author's Response: Oh wow, hi! This is such an awesome surprise!

It's funny that you went through the exact same thought process I went through when I first had this idea. I decided that I wanted to write a Healer story centered on mental health because I have not read a story like that before and I was trying to decide which of the Trio would be most likely to suffer from PTSD. Ron seemed to be someone who might struggle with it more severely than the other two, certainly.

It's a relief you thought that line was typical of her. I was nervous to write her because I usually don't venture into writing major canon characters.

I definitely thought that it would be possible that the younger generation wouldn't know all of the intimate details of the things that happened back then. Especially since both of Ron's parents were in the Order during the first war and he did not seem to have a real idea of what happened in that time.

Yes, I always thought it was strange that they dismissed his apparent delusions as something to mock him for. I assumed that showing up in front of your entire school with your dead classmate in your hands shouting that the man who murdered your parents is alive would be cause for concern more than anything.

Thank you for those corrections! I went at this without a beta, so there may be a few little things like that I missed.

I purposely had Destiny do the saving because I'm not a huge fan of the whole damsel in distress trope. I try to at least be equal opportunity about those sorts of things.

Thank you so much for this review. I was so excited to get on and see this!


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Review #65, by MargaretLaneJigsaw: Piece #9

27th March 2015:
Oh gosh, poor Upton. And I'm now reminded of the REALLY BIZARRE story of a murder in Ireland in 1996. A particular guy was suspected, but never found guilty. There are now claims of police bias and framing, with some witnesses basically saying the police told them to say certain things. It just gets progressively more bizarre.

OK, this story is just reminding me of numerous unsolved murders from Ireland in the '90s - well, both the case above and the one I mentioned beforehand when a number of women disappeared and everybody thinks they're connected, but the police can find no evidence to support that. I guess this is good, as it indicates this story reflects reality.

And I'd LOVE to know what the Quibbler has to say about events. Could be amusing.

Hmm, the fact they are both pureblood, but have connections to Muggles allow both for the possibility of pureblood supremacists OR some kind of revenge against purebloods. And that's just taking the possibility of some kind of blood status related motive. There are plenty of other options.

And the fact it seemed like Feist should KNOW the reasons has GOT to be relevant. If it were revenge against purebloods, I doubt he would. If it's his connection with Muggles, he MIGHT, as he could have been sent threatening messages, warning him to stop fraternising or something.

But there's also he got mixed up in something. But WHAT?

I'm also not going to rule our the possibility of Armstrong's wife being involved. Mostly because I think the body was found near their home. I don't see why she'd want to kill Feist and it seems like this is something more serious than a domestic anyway, but at the moment, I'm not ruling anything out.

Her recognition of the fact there was no sign of a struggle is significant.

You've written Feist had "non family to speak of." I presume it should be "no."

And now I'm intrigued: why MUGGLE charities? Why not wizaring ones? How is he even FAMILIAR with Muggle charities, growing up in the wizarding world? I guess from his work, but still, I wouldn't expect him to focus on them exclusively. I think there's a clue here, but what it is, I don't know. Maybe an indication he'd be viewed as a "blood traitor". Or maybe something more. I'd be interested to know whether those charities focused on something specific - something he had reason to care about, maybe, that the wizarding world didn't provide sufficient support for - or if it's just anything Muggle? Could it be some kind of way to make up for how purebloods treated Muggles in the war? Maybe he had relatives who were involved with the Death Eaters or something and he feels guilty. OK, that's a long shot, but it's POSSIBLE. And could open a few avenues of investigation.

I think she should look into these charities. Not that I think they have anything to do with the murder, but they might give some indication as to what his interest were, what sort of things claimed his attention. If it were just a "I've no close relatives, so might as well leave my money to charity" thing, I think he'd choose wizarding ones.

And NOW I'm suspicious of Terrence Brown. I'm convinced this is a conspiracy - we KNOW there is more than one person involved - so if Brown WERE involved, he would definitely let some of his co-conspirators who wouldn't be connected to Feist, do the dirty work and ensure a cast iron alibi.

Love your details about the regulations on potions. I love it when writers add a bit of detail to things like that, as it makes the world look real and as if the author thought about things.

I do think there's sort of a third option though. That the KILLER brewed the potion and gave it to Armstrong for whatever reason. O.K., that probably counts as illegal, especially if it helped kill him, but it wouldn't have been sold illegally and would be harder to trace than by looking for an illegal potions trader.

And she basically suggests this later.

I am suspicious of Daniel and Fred. It is possible Fred is covering for Daniel in some way.

I also wonder if Daniel has told Fred yet that he was wrong about Roxanne cheating.

You said Daniel was working on two "causes." Did you mean "cases"?

I really like the awkwardness between them. It's realistic.

Hmm, so Daniel was also drinking to a degree that had Roxanne worrying while they were together.

Judging from the murders in Ireland in the '90s, I think it's more a case of "have to treat them as separate unless you've reason to believe they're connected." I assumed the Guards had reason to believe those unconnected at first too, but it seems it's just a "no evidence either way" thing. And Daniel says the same thing.

There's something a little odd about Daniel's reaction to the mention of the potion. I can't put my finger on it. At first, I thought the Hit Wizards weren't aware of the potion for some reason.

So Daniel is Muggleborn and from a poor family. Nothing particularly significant there, I guess, but it's interesting to get a bit of background.

YES, the wizarding world seems pretty devoid of pastimes.

What is Jane up to? This is getting beyond feeling inadequate compared with Roxanne's career. She's got something to hide, I think. It's long enough now since the article and Roxanne hasn't been doing that much more, so it's not like it's being pushed in her face.

And I still think she's WAY too concerned about putting herself in a good light with Daniel, when HE doesn't seem at all worried about putting himself in a good light with her - drinking on call when he knows it's something she disapproves of, getting jealous when it was his jealousy of that guy that split them up in the first place and even if he doesn't want to get back together, he should still be trying to make up for accusing her of something she hadn't done.

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Review #66, by MargaretLaneBunny Slippers: Neville

27th March 2015:
I was actually expecting the last chapter to be from Augusta's point of view. I didn't think of Neville, because I sort of expected it all to focus on the same day.

And ah, this explains why we never heard of Benjamin. I mean, we mightn't anyway, since Neville is rather quiet about his family, but this is interesting.

And gosh, Neville loses his grandmother before he turns 23. So he's all alone in the world by young adulthood. Poor, poor guy. And if she died "well" before he reached 23, she must have died shortly after he went through torture under the Carrows and lost friends in the Battle of Hogwarts.

I wonder how she did. If Neville was in his 20s, she probably wasn't all THAT old for a witch. 90ish, maybe; possibly even younger.

"Straightforward" should be one word.

And when Kingsley talks of the Death Eaters attacking Neville's family at the start of the chapter, you've put an apostrophe before the "s" in "Death Eaters".

This sentence sounds a little formal: "I’ve wanted to tell you for a long time, but your grandmother insisted that you not be told." Now, maybe it's because Kingsley is feeling a bit awkward saying this, but I think most people would say something like, "your grandmother insisted I didn't" or "your grandmother didn't want you to know," rather than "your grandmother insisted you not be told".

This might be a dialect thing, but Kingsley says "Even if I had explained it you," when I feel it should be "explained it to you."

And I can totally understand why Augusta would find it difficult to talk about. Losing your grandson and WORSE THAN losing your son. Because at least when somebody dies, you know they have no more suffering, but in a sense her son might as well be dead, as the person he was is lost to her, but he is still alive and confused and possibly stressed. And she has a constant reminder of the state he's in, so there's no closure.

I found out in my teens I'd an older brother who died before birth or was stillborn - not sure of the details. That was upsetting enough. Finding out your brother was killed at the age of five trying to protect your parents must be even worse.

Oh, that part about his grandmother hardly ever hugging him is STARK. Not that you have to hug to prove love and there's no doubt Augusta loved Neville, but his reaction to Gloria's hug makes it obvious that he DOES feel he missed out on something.

The part about the storefronts becoming dingy is so atmospheric. It really fits the dismal tone of what happened.

Again, this is very minor, as different people call their parents different things, but I don't think the English use "mom" much. That's more of an American thing. I think Neville'd be more likely to say "mum."

Aw, I really like the way the mum gives him a pile of chewing gum wrappers for Benjamin. It's like she's been saving all the ones she'd have given him each time if he'd been alive to visit with Neville.

I really like the last section. There's something very peaceful about the graveyard and a sign that after all the years of war and dictatorship and cruelty, peace is finally descending.

Author's Response: Hi Margaret,

Thank you so much for another lovely review! Seriously, they're always so detailed and helpful. I really appreciate how much time you take on them!

I know that this is pretty tragic. Neville is pretty much all alone by 23, which is hard to fathom, but at least Augusta has been around for most of his life. In my head she was at a ripe old age when she died, although I suppose still somewhat young for a witch.

I can imagine the whole revelation about Benjamin being very upsetting. I think it would be perfectly likely that she might not be able to talk about it. Finding out about this older brother who made that sacrifice would be incredibly tough at any point in life.

Yeah it is stark, but I've always pictured Augusta as very stern. She doesn't really seem very encouraging. In fact, often times I think she is overly hard on Neville. I guess I just don't really see her as a big hugger.

I originally wanted to write the scene with his mum like she definitively remembered Benjamin and gave Neville something different, but I felt like the chewing gum wrappers was more fitting. I'm quite certain she is gone, but maybe, just maybe there is a tiny piece of her that still recognizes her children.

I'm glad you liked the graveyard. I based it off of Kensal Green Cemetery in London. I've never been there myself, but after looking up pictures, I just tried to describe what I had seen.

That is a good way to describe it. Peace is finally descending on the world. Neville has found out about the last of the horrors that has happened to his family and I think now he can finally start to heal.

I'm actually about to go through and start editing everything I've published so far, so thank you for pointing out grammar and spelling errors. When I get hit with a plot bunny, I tend to type really fast, so sometimes things get overlooked. I will correct them during editing!

Thank you again for such an extraordinary review as always!

~Kaitlin


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Review #67, by MargaretLaneBunny Slippers: Kingsley

26th March 2015:
Oooh, I didn't realise each chapter'd focus on a different character. Kingsley is a character I've written a bit about recently and I quite like him. We have a general idea of his personality in the books, but we really only see him in his personal capacity, so there's quite a lot of leeway. Looking forward to seeing how you portray him. We don't even know how old he is. He could probably be anything from 30-80 in the books, but I'm guessing he's going to be an adult by 1981 here anyway.

And almost the first line indicates how old he is in this - presumably around 21 if he's just completed training, so the same age as the Marauders, give or take.

Oh, by the way, I also like the way you gave Frank and Alice an older son. In a lot of stories, they seem to be the same age, more or less, as the Marauders, but considering they were qualified as Aurors, it always seemed far more likely to me that they were older.

It must be hard to raise children when both parties are working as Aurors, but I'm sure Augusta would look after the children if needed anyway.

It's sort of odd to think of Kingsley as young and inexperienced and the Longbottoms as somebody HE probably looks up to, since we're used to seeing him in a position of power in the books.

"“Stop being silly. Everything is fine. They’re probably out for the day. ” He said to himself, even though deep down he knew the words were as empty as the room he currently stood in."
The "he" there should have a small "h" and there should be a comma at the end of the dialogue, as "he said" is part of the sentence.

And yeah, their being out of the day doesn't really make much sense. They don't seem the type to just skip work during a war and got off on a day trip, not from what Kingsley's said about them OR from the fact they repeatedly defied Voldemort.

I'd be inclined to say, "it was evident to him that there had been a massive struggle," instead of "that there was," as the latter sounds a bit like the struggle is going on at the time he's there. I'm being nitpicky though.

Oh gosh, you REALLY capture the horror Kingsley must feel as he comes upon that scene. Finding a child's body, particularly a murdered child is probably one of the worst things to come across and then to see people who had been tortured into insanity. And a little baby in amongst it all. I can well imagine he'd never forget it, particularly since he's at the beginning of his career and probably isn't used to coming upon scenes of such horror. Even though a war has just ended, this is still extreme by any standards.

And I LOVE your use of the bunny slippers to add pathos here.

Oh gosh, when thinking of the horror of the scene, I'd forgotten that they were his mentors, people he looked up to. The thought of seeing say one of my old lecturers in that kind of state is something I don't want to even imagine.

And I like his concern for the baby, even when everybody else seems to have forgotten him.

Oh gosh, the thought of Augusta reacting like that. It's not surprising - a mother learning her son has been tortured to that point and her grandson dead - but it contrasts so strongly with who we know Augusta to be under normal circumstances that it serves to highlight her utter desolation and how much she has lost.

And her strength instantly becomes apparent once she knows Neville needs her.

"They had met in first year," would probably sound better than "they had met first year."

Oh, poor Kingsley. I can see how he feels, though honestly, I feel he's being irrational. The war is over. He, and those he knows, are safer now than beforehand. But I can understand that a sight like that might not exactly leave you responding in the most rational way.

Author's Response: Hi Margaret,

Thank you so much for your lovely detailed review of this chapter!

Kingsley is one of my favorite characters to write! He's one of the only main characters I've repeated so far. I really enjoy playing with characters who we don't know much about. I picture him being just slightly older than the Mauraders...maybe just a few years or so.

I'm glad you noticed that Frank and Alice were a little bit older. I feel like they would've been at least 5 years ahead of the Marauders. Plenty of families wait till a little bit later to have children, so this is kind of what I imagine happening in their case.

I liked the idea of showing a young Kingsley for exactly the reason you mentioned. In the series he is always a leader, so I wanted to show the young rookie side of him. I love making strong characters come across a bit vulnerable or inexperienced.

The scene he comes across is absolutely horrifying. I think it shocks him enough to set his resolve for the rest of his life. I would imagine an experience like that would shape ones character for years to come.

The bunny slippers seemed to show all of the innocence that had been lost, so I had to include them to convey that.

I definitely feel like Kingsley is a caring enough person to notice and care for the abandoned child laying on the floor. I like how this event bonds him with Neville for years to come.

Including Augusta was a must. She's always so fierce in the series, so I really wanted to give just a glimpse into her humanity. As a grandmother, I have to imagine that this moment was her very worst nightmare. I think that Neville absolutely pulls her back from the brink of collapse.

A lot of people have commented on Kingsley being irrational for ending his relationship, but what I think he realizes is that there will always be dangers with his job. Even if the war has ended, he will still be going after criminals and murderers. I just don't think he wants to subject anyone to it.

Thank you again for this lovely review!

~Kaitlin


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Review #68, by MargaretLaneBunny Slippers: The Longbottom Family

26th March 2015:
Wow, that prompt really seems to fit the Longbottoms.

And this is a really interesting situation and I haven't seen many stories written about it.

Oh, gosh, you've given Neville a brother. I assume he's going to be killed, since he doesn't appear in the books. And that WOULD explain the effect on Frank and Alice. Losing your child as well as being tortured would be more than many people could deal with, I would imagine.

Love the reference to the knife magically chopping the vegetables.

I also like the reference to the Longbottoms' jobs, and the fact that they, unlike people like the Potters, are working professionally as Dark Wizard catchers.

Aw, that part about Benjamin helping lay the table is so sweet.

And you give us Benjamin's age pretty naturally. It can be hard to work in things like that, as obviously everybody in the story will know, but referring to Frank's pride in his advanced skills for a five year old makes sense.

Oooh, your reference to the shadowy figures watching them is ominous.

I never imagined the scene playing out like that. I always sort of assumed the Longbottoms had been tracking down the Death Eaters, found them, and being overpowered, but it does make sense that the Death Eaters would want to take out a pair of Aurors who had defied Voldemort three times.

Even the part about their robes blowing around them adds to the feeling of menace.

Though I'd be inclined to change the phrasing of that slightly, as "blowing up" gives the impression of a bomb.

That part about "the tallest of the three" and "the smallest of the three" is a little repetitive. I'd be inclined to just say "the smallest" for the second one, if you have to compare their heights at all.

So they made the same mistake as the Potters, not acting as Secret Keepers themselves.

I like the description of how anybody can be broken. That always struck me as the ridiculous thing about the Potters not acting as Secret Keeper themselves. Even if they had complete faith in Peter (which was silly enough when they knew there WAS a traitor and there was no way of being 100% sure it wasn't him), it was still placing both him and Sirius in immense danger for no good reason, as later books show there is apparently no reason James or Lily couldn't have been secret keeper.

It is very much in character for the Death Eaters to be able to break somebody until they give people away.

Love the way both Frank and Alice's first thought it to defend their family. With small children, that is perfectly natural.

I wonder why Bellatrix thinks the Longbottoms know where Voldemort is. Is it just desperation or has she some reason to suspect they have information? Could it have something to do with the prophecy? They might be connecting his defeat when fighting the Potters with the other family who were possible options. Although that is assuming the other Death Eaters knew about the prophecy, which I'm not too sure about. More likely, it's just because they are both Aurors AND working for the Order of the Phoenix, so they could be presumed to have access to both Ministry information and Order stuff.

Hmm, I'm surprised the Aurors COULD cast the Cruciatus without hatred, but then Crouch/Moody cast it on the spiders, who presumably he didn't hate, so I guess it would be possible.

And that part about how knowing their children are watching and are likely to be severely traumatised by what they see - Benjamin anyway; it's hard to know how much a child who is only a year old would take in, although kids can suffer ongoing trauma from events they don't really remember - is more traumatising for Alice and Frank than the pain, both makes a lot of sense and also tells us something about their personalities - their courage, their love for their children, their protectiveness. The last makes particular sense, since they are Aurors; they chose a job that would allow them protect people, so how much more would they want to protect their own children.

Bellatrix's amusement at their suffering is SO characteristic.

And I was half-expecting her to consider torturing the children. People might withstand torture, but not that of their children.

Love the comparison with her lungs being filled with Fiendfyre. It fits the wizarding world perfectly.

Yikes, I expected Benjamin to die, but the way it happened was still a shock. You described it so specifically and the childish bravery that made him want to protect his parents, without knowing how to do it.

Oh, I LOVE this line: "any fight she had in her died with her eldest son."

And the description of how she still wants to live for Neville. Despite watching her son die, being horrifically tortured, watching her husband tortured, her first thought is still for her baby.

Bellatrix's sadism and the way she is no longer torturing them for information, but just because she enjoys torture and wants to feel she has beaten the Longbottoms is really in character.

I also like the way you show Frank and Alice's reactions to their son's death and how Frank cannot cope with the knowledge he as failed to protect his son, but Alice is still struggling to maintain her sanity in order to protect their other son. Both have a need to protect their children, but at this point, it is affecting them in different ways.

I also like the way you show the difference between Bellatrix and Rudolphus. He is there to do a job and wants to escape the Aurors if possible, whereas she just wants to hurt people.

Author's Response: Hi Margaret!

Thank you first and foremost for leaving me such a lovely, long, detailed review! I always look forward to yours because they have so much useful information in them. :D

Unfortunately, I felt like Benjamin was necessary to explain Frank and Alice. We know of people in history who have been tortured, but there is usually the ability to recover some. Perhaps it causes heavy trauma, but the idea of them both going insane from torture alone seemed off to me. I think the death of a child would be that final little thing that pushed them over the edge.

I'm happy to hear the descriptive stuff about Benjamin came across naturally. You're right. It is hard to work in without making it seem obvious. I re-wrote it a few times before getting to Frank reflecting on it, but once I got there, I was satisfied.

In regards to the Death Eater attacks, I always imagined the attacks being something similar to this. I imagine Bellatrix and friends tracking them down to try and gain information on what happened to Voldemort.

Secret Keepers can definitely be broken as has been demonstrated repeatedly. I agree that it's silly to put others in danger for no reason. In the end, I was always surprised that the Potters hadn't chosen either Dumbledore or Sirius. They are about the only two people who I think would've literally died before telling.

I agree that their jobs and training would make them be more inclined to be protective, but I think most parents in that situation would be naturally focused on protecting their young. There is something in that parental instinct that most people feel that drives people to do insane things when their child's safety comes into play.

I considered having Bellatrix torture the children, but I thought that would be too much. I think just the threat of it alone would be sufficient to keep Alice and Frank in line.

I hated writing that scene with Benjamin because he was my very first OC ever and I really didn't want to kill him off. I thought at least the way he went out was heroic in it's own right and it wasn't a prolonged, messy affair.

Bellatrix is possibly one of my favorite characters in the entire series, so writing her was an interesting experience. She is one of the few people I imagine as evil just for the sake of being evil.

Thank you again for taking the time to leave such a detailed review!

~Kaitlin


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Review #69, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Pureblood's Secret: A New Seeker

25th March 2015:
Ugh, it's just occurred to me that this replacement really cannot end well. If they are as good as James, it's going to make him feel he was nothing special all along and like the team doesn't need him, but if they are NOT as good, he's going to feel he's let them down by getting injured and not being able to play. On the whole, I think James would prefer to see the team do well, even without him, but that too is bound to be hurtful.

I had to laugh at "third, if you are Hugo, you can't try out." Poor kid.

The imperfect ball might be better. It might make it harder to catch and rule out a few extra people.

That was my immediate assumption too - that being in either James's own year or Albus's, the sixth and seventh years might feel reluctant to take James's place.

Poor James. He really is having an awful time.

I can completely imagine why he wouldn't want to miss the trials and of COURSE he'd want to be involved in choosing his replacement.

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Review #70, by MargaretLaneActions Speak Louder than Words: Betrothed: Rose POV

23rd March 2015:
LOVE the way Rose cannot bring herself to believe it true, as she's been so worried about the other possibility that it seems she didn't even consider that it might NOT be accurate. I think that's pretty understandable.

This line sounds a little awkward: " I think the absolute look of disbelief on mine and Scorpius’s faces had shaken her." I'd be inclined to write something like, "then stopped, possibly shaken by the looks of disbelief on my face and Scorpius's." This is REALLY nitpicky though. But "mine and Scorpius's faces" doesn't sound quite right, as you wouldn't say "mine face."

Oh gosh, I didn't even think about that. I was wondering and wondering what it was that didn't seem quite right to Hermione, but I couldn't pin-point anything. You write prophecies well, having something that gives so much information, but that isn't obvious until the relevance is pointed out.

This should be all one sentence, not two: "Even though we now know that he isn’t the father from the prophecy. He is probably still going to think he is.”

And yes, I don't think Stannous is going to give up this easily.

Uh oh, it's just occurred to me to wonder what he'll plan next. Yeah, I can see two possibilities. He MIGHT realise his mistake, but I don't think he's going to take it that easily. I could see him trying to end this pregnancy, so her first child would be with him. He might not yet realise the details that specify Scorpius and might think the prophecy could refer to either of them, as the one in the books could refer to Harry or Neville and that he could get rid of this threat.

After Hermione suggests they announce the engagement and pregnancy tonight, the part where she lifts her head should be a new sentence, with a capital "s". Same with "She seemed less confident."

Hmm, I wonder if part of Scorpius's problem here is because it's a reminder of the part his grandfather played in the Death Eaters. Probably not a nice thing of which to be reminded.

The part about Ron grumbling about Ravenclaw decorations amused me. In some ways, he has NEVER grown up.

I really love the way you are continuing to show the possible disruption to Rose's career, and Scorpius's and the confusion that is causing her. A lot of stories seem to just have a baby solve everything, but no matter how wanted a child is, and how much support the parents have (like in this case), it's bound to cause adjustments.

Oh gosh, I wonder how Hugo'll feel, missing out on his sister's engagement party. It can't be helped, but he's bound to feel a little left out.

And due October 31st - a celebration in the wizarding world and the anniversary of Harry's parents' deaths. What a perfect date! It'd be great if the child was born that day.

I think if the memories are now doing no more than making her shudder, it's a good indication of how much she has recovered. Considering what she's been through, that's quite a mild reaction.

Yeah, Scorpius is going to have to grow up, now he's about to be a father. I can understand why this is stressful for him, but there will be stressful moments as the child grows up too and he can't just withdraw during them, as his child will need him.

Coming from a neutral country, the reference to Switzerland amused me.

Scorpius is starting to remind me of Remus here - reacting irrationally to the thought that he might be a father, because he is worried that he will somehow be bad for the child.

Poor Rose. It seems like she goes from one difficulty to another. Just as she began to recover from the effects of her trauma that had basically lost her two years of her life, Stannous reappears and her life is placed in danger, and then just as she is resuming her life after being on 24 hour protection and her relationship seems to be going well, all this stuff is stirred up, placing stress between her and Scorpius. She can't seem to catch a break.

Author's Response: Hi there!

Thanks for all of the great tips - I've updated the story to reflect your advice :)

I'm so, so happy that you like the realistic touches that I put into the story - especially regarding the pregnancy and the prospect of new motherhood. I have a much more planned along these lines, as I've got a bit of experience in this area (of being conflicted between your career and personal life :) )

So, I think the MOST I'm excited about is that you agree about Rose's recovery. She IS in a very different place than from the beginning of the story. Her journey isn't over yet, and her strength will definitely be tested in the future, but her recovery is something that I wanted to convey, but handle with care at the same time. Gah - thanks so much!

Yeah, Scorp was sort of blindsided by fatherhood on this one - even if the rest of us saw it coming a mile away. He's still a lost soul in a big way, and Rose realizing that is hopefully going to help him along his way.

Haha - I've sorta laid the drama a bit thick with these chapters. I could say that it's gonna let up.. but that would be a lie ;)

Thanks again for all of your reviews!

♥ Beth


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Review #71, by MargaretLaneJigsaw: Piece #8

22nd March 2015:
To be honest, I think the "T" carved into his body is more of an indication of some kind of dark organisation than the fact that dark spells were used. I'd imagine any spell likely to cause harm to somebody would be considered "dark" anyway, but carving a letter seems to me to indicate an organisation that wants to be noticed.

And YES, there is no such thing as impartial information.

It's also occurred to me to wonder how Fred heard of Roxanne supposedly cheating on Daniel. If he told her brother she cheated on him, without having any evidence she did so, and neglected to tell him of his OWN behaviour and the conflict it had been causing between himself and Roxanne, that strikes me as really nasty, and pretty manipulative, behaviour.

‘So, have you been working on any new products in the shop, dad, since I last came?’
"Dad" should probably have a capital "d" here, as it's being used as a title.

*laughs at the interaction between Angelina and Fred* He may be an adult now, but that doesn't change the fact that she's his Mammy.

OK, this part about Fred saying he wasn't in Knockturn Alley is weird. What exactly is he hiding?

Oh, of COURSE, he's the guy we saw being led out of somewhere, the guy who should apparently know why he was being taken. I'd forgotten about him, in the stress on Armstrong's body being found.

Hmm, I'm wondering about this co-chief executive. It COULD be for business reasons. A publicist doesn't need the wrong kind of publicity himself. But on the other hand, he could have something to hide.

This is sounding very like the Guards' comments on those string of disappearances in the '90s. No evidence to connect them. Despite certain similarities.

I also think it could be interesting to know Feist's own blood status.

Hmm, the last part is intriguing. It sounds sort of like drugs. But even if it is, that doesn't really indicate how it connects with the disappearances. And we don't even know that it is. I'm not even sure whether drugs would exist in the wizarding world - the same type, I mean. I would have expected stuff more like illegal potions. Hmm. It does open a few other avenues.

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Review #72, by MargaretLaneJigsaw: Piece #7

22nd March 2015:
I guess even if it IS Armstrong, the option of suicide still exists. From THEIR point of view, I mean. From ours, it is extremely unlikely, knowing what we do about the fact that there is DEFINITELY something dodgy going on.

My question is more, is it Armstrong, or is he a suspect for the murder? The fact you didn't name the captive as Armstrong makes me suspicious.

I can't help being amused by Roxanne's pondering over whether it is worse to have Miranda adore you or hate you. I think her hatred for Roxanne could be seen as a weird compliment actually. If she didn't see Roxanne as a threat, she wouldn't bother resenting her, which indicates she thinks Roxanne is likely to succeed in her career.

Hmm, they don't know she dated a Hit Wizard or just they don't know he gave her more information than she was willing to pass along? The latter makes perfect sense - she would be hounded to get information if her colleagues and bosses knew she had an "in" to investigations. The former would seem a little more odd. Of course, it COULD just be that they didn't want her colleagues trying to pump him or her for information. Or there could be something more personal to it.

I really like the way the next gen characters aren't so well known here. A lot of stories have them all virtual celebrities and...I don't know... It seems like it's rather a lot of people to be well known. But then, I get the impression that in other countries, the children of Prime Ministers and Presidents and people like that tend to be recognisable, so I don't really know what the most likely scenario is. But while George played a significant part in the war, it was no more than lots of other people, and while two of her uncles are part of the Golden Trio, that's a reasonably distant relationship.

Dominique is one of the next gen characters that seems to vary most from one fanfiction to another - in age and personality. I like the personality she has here.

That did occur to me as an option - that seeing Roxanne do well might make Jane feel more insecure. I've a feeling there could be more to it than that though.

Poor Teddy; it sounds like Victoire is taking the details of this wedding a lot more seriously than he is.

And I am interested in what horrified the Muggles so much. I mean, finding a body can't be nice, but from Dominique's reaction, I have the feeling it's more than just that. It sounds as if it might have been mutilated in some way.

A "T" carved into his right hand. Ugh. That's a bit freaky. And it must also MEAN something. I just wonder WHAT.

I think it would be weirder if traces of Dark Magic HADN'T been found. If he had been murdered completely Muggle style, that'd be weird. Dark curses are surely the norm when it comes to wizarding murders.

And now I'm wondering about the fact he was apparently found close to his home, despite the fact it looked like he was abducted in previous chapters. That again makes me question if the abducted man was him, along with the lack of a name. But on the other hand, somebody suggested in this chapter that no other wizards are missing. Hmm.

I don't think Dark Magic necessarily means Dark Lord types. After all, Harry used Dark Magic, although in one case, it was without KNOWING it was Dark Magic. Now of course, in this case, we can be fairly sure it wasn't an accident or necessity - at least, those are unlikely - but I suspect any murderer would be likely to use dark spells.

Ah! And I was just saying it sounded like nobody else had disappeared. Now, we're back again to the question of which missing wizard was that prisoner. Although, of course, it's possible this Feist only just disappeared.

I firstly assumed this was Hannah Abbott, but that's HARDLY likely if Roxanne described her as a young woman. Hannah must be at least twenty years older than her. And she'd probably be married to Neville at this point. A daughter or niece, perhaps. They would likely be around the right age.

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Review #73, by MargaretLanePrincess: Princess

21st March 2015:
This really does sound like an interesting story. I was thinking I must read it when I saw it first, but then I forgot.

Yeah, she really does sound spoiled. I'd imagine starting boarding school must have been hard under those circumstances. It would be hard for ANYBODY to leave home at 11, unless they were really unhappy there, but when they were given everything they wanted...

I like the effect you show the war as having on Draco. I think he probably would be quite damaged by it, as he was essentially put in a position: "kill or be killed and see your family killed." Then he had his home taken over and saw people tortured in front of him. And he must have had to question everything he believed as he learnt the kind of man Voldemort was.

I'm wondering what hurt Astoria so badly though. Of course, attending school under the Carrows was probably traumatic for everybody, but it sounds as if there may be more to it. Or maybe it was just the contrast with the loving upbringing she'd had beforehand.

Oh, she took part in the actual battle. And at only 16.

I LOVE the way you describe how calming she finds the fountain and I'm glad her nightmares are getting less frequent. Hopefully, she's beginning to recover.

I'd actually like to read an expanded version of this, showing her experiences at Hogwarts, how she settles in and/or her recovery after the war.

I honestly never thought of Astoria as somebody who was likely to have suffered particularly badly in the war. As she was presumably pureblood, but not a Death Eater, I guess I assumed she'd be as protected as it was possible to be. Which probably isn't very when teachers are torturing students and the final battle of a war takes place in your school. But anyway, this gave me a new way of looking at her and has made me wonder about what she was like.

Excellent story.

Author's Response: Hello!
I think more often than not, people who are spoiled tend to be a little arrogant, like Draco was at school, but people don't think about the fact that it's all they know. Luckily, Astoria didn't become a brat when she got to school, but at the same time, it could have easily happened.
I think Draco was put in such a difficult position during the war. I honestly can't imagine him being a horrible person, and I think once the war ended he changed a little, so he could distance himself from his past.
Yes, Astoria stayed behind for the battle, which takes an amount of bravery that I can't even imagine,
I loved the fountain, too. Astoria, and Draco, too, needs something to help her relax and get away from her nightmares,
I'm so glad this made you think of Astoria in a different light. Thank you so much for the review!
Cassie :)


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Review #74, by MargaretLaneThe Wind Beneath Your Wings: The Wind Beneath Your Wings

21st March 2015:
Well, I had to read this. The question of how Hogwarts deals with kids with learning disabilities, even minor ones, has occurred to me. Of course, Harry Potter is set in the '90s, when there was far less provision than today and less children were in mainstream. At least in Ireland, but Hogwarts seems old-fashioned in a lot of ways, so I can see them being no further ahead than us.

I'm glad Roxanne is getting to go to Hogwarts. She'd feel really left out if she had to stay home through her teenage years.

I also like the difference between Angelina and George's attitude and the fact that in some ways, it's playing against stereotype, as Mums are often seen as the ones more likely to worry.

*laughs at the comment about her liking having long hair, but not liking combing it* I was the same at 11.

I like the idea that her magical abilities are average. I hadn't thought how conditions like Down's Syndrome would affect magical ability. I wonder how she'll cope with the essays and stuff, which seem to be a bit more than a lot of average 11 or 12 year olds could manage.

And of course, making mistakes in measurements and stuff with potions could cause serious mistakes.

"Roxanne's eyes" should have an apostrophe before the "s" on "Roxanne's".

I think any parent would cry, knowing they are going to be parted from their eleven year old child for months on end. My dad was almost crying when I went to college and I was coming home each weekend and was 17. And Roxanne's difficulties add a whole load of other concerns to the thought of simply missing your child AND the worries about how they'll care for themselves and all the dangers Hogwarts seems to involve.

Love the last paragraph. It nearly brought tears to my eyes.

This is an excellent story. I'd love to read more about how she manages at Hogwarts, if she can take her O.W.L.S, if she even goes beyond O.W.L. level. Considering how well students seem to have to do to take N.E.W.T. subjects, it seems likely she might not. But then, nor did her dad.

Author's Response: Thanks for this amazing review!

I think Roxanne will need quite a lot of extra arrangements to cope with her studies. I don't think she'll be studying every subject, but rather a few well chosen ones. She might not pass her O.W.L.s, but she'll learn the basics of the subjects she chooses.

Molly


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Review #75, by MargaretLaneJigsaw: Piece #6

20th March 2015:
LOVE the two-a-knut souvenirs. Actually, despite having now had the euro for thirteen years, we still speak of "pound shop" stuff, because "euro shop" just sounds silly.

And I like the way you indicate the ambiance of the cafe.

I remember a LONG era in which mobile phones were expensive enough to be classed as luxuries, so I'm not surprised it'd be quite a while before everybody in the wizarding world had one. There was a local priest who used to have one maybe 5 or 7 years before they became common, probably because of how priests are sometimes called at short notice for last rites.

And of course, it makes sense that journalists would be among the first to use them.

Both Jane and Daniel are clearly hiding something. I doubt they're BOTH involved with the villains. Daniel, I am quite suspicious of, though Jane seems to need money, which could make her corruptible. Hmm.

At least one of them is probably hiding something different though. And I've now considered the possible they are together behind Roxanne's back, but it seems like him cheating on her is a bit too obvious. I kind of suspect his odd behaviour is meant to SOUND like he's cheating on her, but is really something else.

It's also occurred to me that HIS odd behaviour could be accounted for by his job. Perhaps there is more to this abduction than meets the eye. I mean, the Hit Wizards may have had some reason to suspect something dodgy was going down for some time, which would both explain why he was working odd hours and why they appear to be hiding something. I'm thinking something like a new organisation of Dark Wizards forming - there certainly seems to be a group involved in this abduction or whatever it is - and their trying to keep it quiet so people won't panic at the thought of a repeat of the Death Eaters. Or possibly an undercover operation they need to keep quiet.

*laughs* I'm not really a fan of second hand books. They always seem to be in dreadful condition, even those that were only published a few years ago. The books I've had since I was 7 are in better condition than some of the ones I see that were only published in the last five years.

And Al is a Ravenclaw in this too. That's cool. I like seeing him in houses other than Slytherin and Gryffindor. Not that there's anything wrong with his being in either of those houses, but it's nice to see a variety and in the epilogue, he didn't come across as particularly brave or sly to me. Now, of course, that could just be because he's eleven years old and leaving home for the first time, but they wouldn't be the houses that would jump to mind to me for him.

*laughs* I'd say Harry has a LOT of experience with taking care not to be overheard.

He seems very inclined to believe she was cheating, just because he saw her dancing with a guy once.

This sentence is a little odd: "I think he knows something that he’s hiding something from us, even if it has nothing to do with Armstrong’s disappearance." There should probably either be a comma before the "that he's hiding something from us" or else only one something.

*laughs* Roxanne's opinion appears to be the same as mine. Somebody getting a promotion you wanted is a pretty minor reason for murder. Especially for somebody like Simon Upton, who presumably hasn't shown violent tendencies before - if he had, it would be all over the papers, I'm guessing. To kill over a promotion, I think you'd either have to be somebody who resorts to violence easily or else have a pressing need for that promotion - like you were in debt and really NEEDED the extra money or you needed access to something only a person of a higher rank than you are currently at would have. I'm thinking now of the possibility of some kind of conspiracy and the conspirators needing access to certain information they'd need to be at a certain level to be privy too.

Honestly, I'm more interested in these sudden good ideas that Armstrong had. A change in his thinking prior to disappearing is pretty intriguing.

I don't think I like Daniel. He was in a bad mood for months and behaving suspiciously, then he jumped to conclusions and accused her of something with no evidence, especially after HE'D been behaving in a way very consistent with somebody cheating, so if he wasn't, surely he'd consider she might not be either, and yet SHE is the one doing all the apologising. Yes, she DOES owe him an apology for having her arms around an other guy, but HE owes HER apologies for treating her badly and jumping to conclusions and also an explanation as to why he couldn't tell her anything in the weeks before that. I guess he did give a half apology, but really she has a WHOLE lot more to forgive him for than he does her, and he doesn't seem to acknowledge that at all. In fact, he even seems to be continuing to blame her for HIS insecurity.

Oooh, I wonder if this is Armstrong's body. I'm not ready to take that for granted yet, especially with what we've seen, that the characters haven't. It seems likely he is either a prisoner or, possibly, involved in something dodgy. Either way, he might not be the murder victim.

This is getting more and more interesting. The first two chapters didn't intrigue me anywhere near as much as the later ones. I thought they were GOOD, but I wasn't sort of "oh, have I time to read another chapter? I need to find out what happens next" as I am now.

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