Reading Reviews From Member: MargaretLane
963 Reviews Found

Review #51, by MargaretLanePast Tense: third.

18th April 2015:
*laughs* This is a little coincidental, as I am planning to have a Muggle character teach Muggle Studies in my characters' third year, which I'll be starting soon.

Poor Connor. It's really disappointing when you don't get into the course you'd hoped for.

I'm glad you addressed the question of how he is going to be able to see Hogwarts and the way she can see it, but he can't. Yeah, this sounds a bit obvious, but some stories gloss over stuff like that or it just feels like the author's forgotten about it. I'm saying this badly, but I guess what I mean is that the conversation between them feels realistic and I am interested to see how they will get around it. I'm still debating if my Muggle Studies class should take place outside the castle like Hagrid's classes.

As a history teacher, I'm inclined to agree with Steph on a lot of things. Except one - the comment about their being no sources or bibliography at the back of the textbook. I don't think I've ever SEEN a secondary school textbook with sources at the back. Maybe it's different in the UK, but that's sort of one of the way secondary school texts differ from university ones.

I could go on a rant about Binns' teaching and his dismissal of mythology and legends. THESE CAN BE IMPORTANT HISTORICAL SOURCES.

*laughs* I REALLY, REALLY love the part about her thrill at seeing a room with her name on it, because when I was a college student doing work experience in an after school programme, I was at one point given a room to take some of the young people in for homework (before that I'd been helping the qualified staff) and spent the whole time thinking about "my homework room" and going in to make sure everything was set up properly. It just feels so realistic for somebody just qualified and getting used to themselves as a "professional".

And nobody at Hogwarts really comes close to deserving the title of "Professor" in the Muggle sense. It just seems to be their word for "teacher." But as Steph is probably used to it as a term for only the most highly qualified lecturers, I'm not surprised she'd be thrilled to be given that title.

Hmm, the Headmistress is raising more difficulties than I would have expected.

*laughs* An honours degree is a LONG way from failing, but I guess it feels that way to him right now. Poor Connor.

I like the fact that Steph's friends aren't all overawed by magic and delighted at the chance to enter the magical world. Even canon seems to assume everybody would choose it, given the choice, but I don't really think that's true. The world has a lot of flaws and I like the fact that you're exploring them here.

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Review #52, by MargaretLaneActions Speak Louder than Words: Blackout: Rose and Scorpius POV

18th April 2015:
Oh, the summary for this sounds ominous. Hope Rose will be OK.

Aw, poor Rose, but it's hardly surprising she's so unhappy. She's dealing with so much. She's actually an amazingly strong person. I think most people would struggle to deal just with the idea that a guy who tortured them is not only still out there, but is still looking for a chance to hurt her again. And she's not only dealing with that, but also with Scorpius's issues and with an unplanned pregnancy, which, while it's very welcome, could have waited for a more convenient time. Considering everything, she's dealing really well, but it would be amazing if there wasn't some reaction.

I hope Scorpius cops himself on soon. I totally understand his immediate reaction, but not speaking to her for days or weeks on end isn't on. A few hours to get over the initial shock, yeah, but after that, he should deal with things like an adult. Of course, he's going to be upset, but avoiding Rose won't help him or her.

LOVE the reference to a vaccine for Dragon Pox. I always like these little details that show the world as a dynamic one. They add a degree of realism to a story. And I LOVE Charlie's involvement. I would never have expected him to discover something like that, but since he's in close contact with dragons, it's not exactly surprising.

I'd like that puzzle solving too. But then again, I would HATE to be a doctor.

That is a really interesting exam, but also a really tough one. If QUALIFIED Healers made mistakes, it's tough to expect trainees to do any better. But it would definitely be more fun than just writing what you've memorised. And it's a better test, as it shows they can apply their knowledge.

That sounds like a REALLY good idea, that she take a year off. Her maternity leave would probably be most of that anyway, if she were working. Not sure how long maternity leave is in the UK, but it's six months here, and I'm pretty sure that's considered rather short by the standards of most of Europe. Of course, it might be different in the wizarding world. And it would be better to take a break if she's not sure what she wants. It's an important decision.

Oh wow, I assumed you'd just included this as an interesting description of an assignment and to give us some insight into what her course is like, but if they were murdered, perhaps it has something to do with Stannous.

I've a feeling Rose has noticed SOME connection with her own experiences. OH! An idea has occurred to me. I was about to say I can't think what it could be, but while typing the first sentence of this paragraph, the way she was tortured occurred to me. The woman in this case has been tortured too. Maybe she's noticed some indication the same spell was used.

Oh gosh, I hope the baby is OK. I'm expecting it will be. I think this is probably a way to make Scorpius realise how much the baby, and Rose, mean to him. But you never know and this story has surprised me before. I really, really hope the baby'll be OK.

Three weeks is far too long for Scorpius to be behaving as he is. Not too long for him to be processing it, of course; that could take years. But too long for him to be treating Rose so terribly on the grounds that he's upset. None of this is her fault. It's just becoming selfish at this point.

To be honest, I sort of want to yell some sense into him. He's talking about how what he wanted was snatched from him, but the only thing that's stopping him from having it is himself. I'm sure it doesn't feel that way to him, but it's true.

He needs somebody to yell at him like Harry did at Remus. The situations are rather similar.

Author's Response: Hi there!

Gosh - you review so fast and I've taken so long to respond - sorry!

Yes! Rose *is* really strong! She still doesn't see it the way she should, but she's come so very far from the beginning of the story. I've really tried to make her recovery be at a pace that was believable - but she *has* gotten much, much better.

Scorpius, Scorpius - he really is being a fool, here. He's pulled himself away from everyone. The shock of his family's actions during the war is too great for him to bear. I know that is not always the way that other authors have chosen to portray him, but in my view, Draco -ever the coward - wouldn't have ever volunteered the information about the war. He also truly loved his son, and didn't want him to live with the stigma hanging over his head - so he took the easy route and never mentioned it to him.

:) Glad you like the dragon-pox... I originally had Hagrid as the discoverer, but I changed it to Charlie.

I should probably look at the requirements for that assignment. It would make more sense for the trainees to only have ONE unsolved assignment. You're right - if Healers with years of experience couldn't solve it - perhaps they dole out just one really difficult one in the hopes that "fresh eyes" might see something else.

Haha - I guess I should research what the maternity leave policy is for the UK. Here in the US, it's abysmal. The law states that an employer only has to HOLD a woman's job for six weeks - no pay at all. Even that law is dependent on the size of the employer as really, really small businesses aren't even held to the 6 week rule. Fortunately for me, I was allowed to use up my sick days for the six weeks, but any time after that I had to take without pay - up to a total of 10 months. In addition, I had to cover the cost of my family health insurance during the unpaid leave time - which is NOT CHEAP in the US. Also - when I returned to work, I had almost no sick days left (which had to be used for personal or family sickness) - so I had to cross my fingers that the baby didn't get sick - which is really unlikely when they are in daycare with other kids. Okay, I'm done with my rant about how archaic our maternity leave policy is in the US.

BUT - my intent with this story is to explore the pressures that Rose feels being torn between her family and her career - that will come a bit later :)

Yes, let's ALL yell some sense into Scorpius - he is being a complete prat!

Thanks again for this review! I smiled every time I read it (which was quite a bit)

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Review #53, by MargaretLaneJigsaw: Piece #10

17th April 2015:
Apologies for the delay in getting to this. I've been pretty busy for the last week or two and of course, the rare good weather hasn't exactly inclined me to spend any more time inside than necessary.

These letters have started reminding me of the Basilisk's game. And hmm, we still don't know who the Basilisk really is.

One tiny, nit-picky thing, you've written that "Higgins instructed Miranda and I". It should be "Miranda and me," since you wouldn't say, "Higgins instructed I."

Hmm, that part about how Miranda doesn't seem particularly anxious to find out more about what is surely one of the more interesting stories to which she has been assigned is intriguing. I hadn't considered her as a suspect up to this point, but that makes me wonder. Though of course, if she WERE the villain, she'd probably want to know how the case was progressing, so as to know if anybody had any suspicions.

Her attitude is odd though. I wonder what is going on with her.

I'm now sort of suspicious Miranda is going to go out while Roxanne is with Higgins and deliberately leave her behind. It sounds like something she'd do.

Love the metaphor of the spider curling up in its web.

Oh, I wasn't expecting Roxanne to be taken off the story, though I suppose it's hardly surprising. It's bound to be assigned to the more experienced reporters. And Miranda clearly knew. Poor Roxanne.

I've a feeling she won't give up that easily though. Well, she can't or there wouldn't be much of a story.

Yikes, I definitely didn't expect that ending to the chapter. I suppose I should have figured out there'd be some significance to the match when you went into it in such detail, but I got so caught up in what was going on that I didn't think about it.

I wonder if this is in some way connected to the murders. I can't see how it COULD be: even if she has been murdered somehow, it doesn't seem the same KIND of murder as the other two. And yet, I feel there must be some connection or you probably wouldn't bring it up. Hmmm.

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Review #54, by MargaretLaneTidal Wave: Tidal Wave

17th April 2015:
The first paragraph plunges us straight into the story and sets me wondering. I want to know why Pansy is so angry and what exactly is going on in her head.

You also write it really well. Your imagery is fantastic.

I would say though, and this is a minor thing, but I'd leave out the "on the table" in the first line. It kind of states the obvious and distracts a little from the impact of the statement.

I also like the way you give us an immediate insight into the relationship Pansy has with her mother. It is clearly an unhappy one and helps to explain some of Pansy's behaviour in the books.

This sentence is quite awkwardly phrased: "All her life she’d been close with Draco Malfoy and Blaise Zabini, and on more than one occasion had day-dreamed about what it might be like to one day be wife to one of the boys in her life." I'd be inclined to write it as, "all her life she'd been close to Draco and Blaise and had often dreamed that one day, she might marry one of them."

I think they way she refers to Hermione and Ginny is very much in character. Not that we KNOW that much about Pansy's character, but we do know she was raised in a pretty prejudiced, pure-blood supremacist environment, so it would make sense for her to find it difficult to understand how anybody, let alone Draco, who was raised in a similar environment, could choose Hermione over her.

I also like the way you delve into a point of view we rarely see in Draco/Hermione fics. The question of how Pansy feels at seeing the boy she fancies in love with somebody she has been taught to see as beneath contempt is something I don't think I've ever read and I must admit, it didn't really occur to me as a question either. But it's an interesting one.

*laughs* That is SUCH a typical Ron comment. Hermione would probably hex him if she heard him say something so blatantly misogynistic as to imply that girls should choose their attitudes based on what might attract a guy. But he just doesn't THINK, does he? I don't think he really IS that misogynistic. I think he just says things without properly thinking through how problematic they are.

You have Pansy saying, "you came over her". I assume it should be, "you came over here."

It's quite a while before it becomes clear where they are. I'd assumed they were at Hogwarts until Pansy has made it clear they weren't.

I like the way she expresses her disdain for Ron by referring to him repeatedly as "Blood Traitor." It seems like something she'd do.

And you sort of draw a comparison between the situation they are both in here. Neither can imagine how the person they fancy can prefer something they have complete disdain for.

I'd be inclined to put commas around "even in hell" in this sentence: "Although even in hell I’d be hard-pressed to find anyone as awful as you." "Although, even in hell, I'd be hard-pressed to find anyone as awful as you."

I always find it a little odd that in the wizarding world, where people live longer, they seem to marry so much younger, but given how many people in that world seem to marry in their early 20s, it makes sense Pansy would feel that at 26, she should be at least thinking of marriage.

I was WONDERING how you were going to get from her being appalled at the thought of dating a blood traitor to some kind of relationship between her and Ron, but I think you did it very convincingly. I like the way she hates herself for what happens between them and sees it as a mistake. It fits with her attitudes about going out with the "right" people.

Author's Response: Thanks so much for reviewing for me! I'm glad you liked ti and that you think I caught Pansy's character. I was worried I might not have done her justice. It's so nice of you to come over and leave me a review. Thanks so much!

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Review #55, by MargaretLaneAlbus Potter and the Pureblood's Secret: The Break-Up

14th April 2015:
Poor Albus. It must be awful to feel everybody else is doing so much better than you. Obviously, it's not a race or anything, but it must make him feel a bit incompetent.

I'd almost forgotten about Elsie. Hmm, I hope we get a bit more info on her and her family soon.

I don't think Kaden should be so dismissive of the harm done by committing crimes while impersonating people. After all Young nearly went to Azkaban for a crime he hadn't committed because of Boone's impersonation of him and Boone didn't even mean that. Some of the people jailed for crimes they didn't really commit during the Troubles are still suffering PTSD and other issues after their experiences. It might not KILL people, but setting somebody up for a crime you committed is still pretty serious and likely to have very severe lifelong implications for the person impersonated, especially if they never manage to prove their innocence and either spend their life in Azkaban or come out to find they are unemployable and depending on the crime, possibly treated as a pariah.

I can't help liking Burke, but I don't think funding his research is really justification for what he did. And I do wonder how much was about helping people and how much just his love of research.

And in the following line, they mention Young.

I don't think Burke is a bad person, but I do think you can believe somebody's done something seriously wrong and still believe they did other things that were good. Few people are one thing or the other. It must be hard though, to learn somebody you admired was involved in something seriously wrong. Somebody I admired was once accused of something illegal - not by the police or anything, just by somebody whose testimony I wouldn't be too convinced by anyway, but even that was enough to make me question how I judge people and to make me feel pretty uncomfortable, so I can kind of imagine how Kaden feels.

I wonder if Meg has already broken up with James. It doesn't SOUND that way exactly. It sounds more like she's looking for him to break up with him or something (yeah, I'm making assumptions from the title), but she might be worried if he disappeared after they broke up and it would certainly explain his disappearance.

Oh, the conversation between James and Albus is so sad. You've really managed to capture how much James has lost and how he is trying to hold onto any bit of hope that he might be able to play the game he loves again. The thought he'll never be able to play even for fun is even worse than thinking he'll never have a career in it.

Aw, I actually sort of like the way the break up happens. It's clear the whole situation was just too heavy for a teen relationship - well, for Meg; some teenagers could deal with it, but she doesn't seem to be able to - and it would probably be worse for them both in the end if she just stayed with him out of guilt or loyalty or because she was afraid other people would judge her. She'd probably end up resenting him and he'd feel guilty or resenting her for making him feel worse. It's probably for the best if they can break up amicably and remain friend, even though I'm sure it'll still hurt. But it's probably the least bad option.

I like the way you had Meg react actually. While some people would probably deal pretty well with a situation like this, others wouldn't and at her age, it's quite likely she didn't expect the situation to get so heavy. In fiction, it seems like the world is often divided up between those who deal really well with these situations and those who just don't care and cut the person off completely. Reactions like this seem to be underrepresented.

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Review #56, by MargaretLaneUnconfirmed Reports: [S1:E1] Pilot/"The Pluckley Anomaly"

13th April 2015:
Wow, this is a pretty long chapter. It sounds like a really original story though, and I've always been intrigued by the Unspeakables. There are so many ways you can interpret them. Looking forward to seeing how you do.

Really like the introduction. The shoes clacking sort of create a bit of suspense. We wonder where he is going and why and who he is.

And you somehow manage to create a very formal and businesslike atmosphere straight off. Not sure how you do that.

You've also managed to give us an impression of the characters before we even meet them. Cuthbert is boring and rambles, Atwater is a born politician or high ranking civil servant. And when he does appear, he speaks in such typical "civil service speak". You characterise these people perfectly, important in an all-OC story. Or mostly OC; I don't know, of course, whether canon characters will appear later.

Hmm, sounds like Samuel Hatch has a unique role. I'm looking forward to seeing what it is.

LOVE this comparison: "this portion would undoubtedly be the mediocre bowl of pre-entrée tomato basil – ubiquitous, yet entirely devoid of substance."

I like the mention of the time-turners being replaced. And I'm now wondering when this is. Probably after 2000, because he refers to '96 as if it were quite a while ago. And I can't imagine replacing time-turners would be the priority in the immediate aftermath of the war.

I've a feeling Samuel will turn out to have underestimated his new colleague.

This might be a different versions of English thing, but "it's both yours now" didn't sound quite right to me. "It's both of yours" might sound better, unless, of course, you are trying to show his speech pattern.

And this might be personal preference, but the references to hair colour are starting to seem a little out of place. It's generally best to use characters' names or pronouns, unless there is some reason that the viewpoint character WOULDN'T describe somebody that way, like they are trying to distinguish between two people of the same gender whose names they don't know or they are attracted to somebody and thinking of them in terms of their attractiveness.

And since there is only one man and one woman present for most of the time, "he" and "she" are probably the best things to use. They don't stand out or sound awkward, no matter how often you use them, whereas words like "the brunette" and "the older agent" really do.

Hmm, he seems to have some prejudices against Slytherins, hardly surprising in the post-war period.

I like the reference to the lack of communication between departments. It's typical of the sort of bureaucracy between government departments and very believable.

Hmm, I wonder if the bizarre design for the age of the house is relevant in some way.

Hmm, I wonder what the owl's hooting is warning of.

Yikes, she must have read quickly.

Hmm, I wonder what a seven stone is. And I like the detail about how people said lethifolds were fictional.

Kellyn is pretty confident in herself. She's not afraid to speak up and disagree with Samuel, even though she'd only just started in a new job.

I would have expected them to use miles rather than kilometers.

Hmm, I'm probably being overly suspicious here, but I wonder if there is some relevance to her headache. I can't imagine why there would be, but I suspect you included it for a reason. I just can't think what the reason could be.

Hmm, these references to the Ancient Runes are pretty interesting. I've rarely seen runes play an important part in stories. And I have never seen such detail about the history of them. I really like the hint that in other wizarding schools in other countries, runes might be a core subject. English speakers tend to be notoriously bad at languages anyway and it seems to be the same in the wizarding world. Hogwarts teaches no foreign languages, yet all the visiting students and staff can speak English, implying they DO learn it. So that might well have an effect when it comes to the teaching of runes too.

I really like the difficulty they had getting the runes to work. It makes sense that it wouldn't work easily.

This sentence could do with a few commas: "In the Speaker’s office two days again she’d been entirely done up and even on departure she’d failed to entirely abandon cosmetics and well-coiffed hair." I'd be inclined to write it as "In the Speaker's office, two days ago, she'd been entirely done up and even on departure, she'd failed to entirely abandon cosmetics and well-coiffed hair."

*laughs at the comment at the end that "unconfirmed reports" are "their words". I'm guessing that's a hint as to what the next chapter will involve.

Author's Response: You beat me to the punch! I was totally planning on getting home tonight and being the first to complete the Prefect Review Exchange! Oh well...better luck next time I suppose.

First off, thank you for such a thorough and detailed review. And thank you again for not pulling punches. PART of why I've been delayed moving on is wanting to get great CC like this, so it's very appreciated.

To speak to the length of the story, I'll say that the vision of this piece is actually (as the title of this chapter suggests) to be an "episode" in a "series" styled somewhat after a TV series.

Since Hatch and Landreth and definitely going to be the main characters throughout, I'm glad you liked them and their dynamic well enough (though I'll pay heed to the whole hair color thing - I tend to do that in longer stories to avoid repeating names and pronouns so much, but you make a great point about it possibly being more annoying).

I'm also MOST glad that you liked the dynamic with the Ministry and the first "different" kind of magic that the duo were forced to deal with. The whole idea behind the plot of this story anyway will be all the different things they have to deal with with from phenomena, to spells, to objects, to creatures, to whatever (with some broader arcs and villains/antagonists in there too).

You're absolutely right about Hatch underestimating his new colleague though. He'll start to learn about that soon enough in a variety of different ways and parts of the remainder of the season will involve peering into each of their pasts to give a better idea of their true identities and how they came to be in their present positions.

Thanks again for all your thoughtful feedback! It means the world!

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Review #57, by MargaretLaneLily Potter And The Lunar Problem: Hogwarts

13th April 2015:
Can't believe I'm only getting around to reading this now. I love sorting chapters. It's so interesting to see where the main characters end up. It gives an insight into their characters. I can see Lily in Gryffindor actually; so far she seems to have dealt amazingly well with her condition. And I also love meeting the classmates and teachers and seeing how they're developed.

And of course, THIS story also has the issue of how Hogwarts will deal with the full moons. Even with Wolfsbane, I doubt they'd just let Lily transform in her dormitory. Apart from anything else, she probably wouldn't want her dorm mates knowing. Maybe she'll use a teacher's study or something. Or the Shrieking Shack. I expect that's something SHE'D want to know fairly early too.

Harry hasn't been at Hogwarts since the battle? That's sad. I guess he'd have no great reason to, but you'd think with both his boys there and a good friend teaching there, he'd have called there some time. I wonder if it's just because he never had reason to and didn't want to get in the way, or if he's deliberately avoiding it. It must bring back pretty bad memories after all. Poor Harry. And now he's dealing with his daughter's condition, which must be very upsetting for him too - knowing she'll go through such pain each month and possibly face a good deal of prejudice. I'm looking forward to seeing if attitudes towards werewolves have changed much since Harry's day. Or at all.

Oooh, one Death Eater is still on the run? I'm guessing you didn't mention that just in passing. I think that's a clue and that whoever it is possibly played a part in Lily's being bitten.

And as I assumed, Lily is given information about how to deal with the full moon before she starts Hogwarts. She'd have to be really. It would be too scary for her if she were waiting until the last minute for information.

I'm sorry she has to transform in the Shrieking Shack though, as it's far from pleasant.

I think you set up the situation well. Everything Madame Pomfrey says makes sense and they seem to have provided for most eventualities.

Hopefully, the injuries won't be TOO bad, as she can use Wolfsbane, so the werewolf won't attack itself. A person's whole body being transformed is bound to be painful though. Poor Lily.

Like the comment, "before Lily could say Quidditch."

While it's unlikely to arise until the next year at the earliest, I wonder if this will prevent Lily having an opportunity to PLAY Quidditch for her house. After all, she'd probably be unable to play in the days after the full moon if there was a match then.

I'd like to see a little more of the conversation that passes between Lily and her new classmates. I don't really know anything about them, except that Eloise is Muggleborn. I'm sure we'll get to know them better as the story progresses, but it's nice to get an indication of each person's personality when you first meet them. It makes them easier to remember and lets us build a connection with them.

And poor Lily. It seems like she just wants to be treated as normal, but of COURSE her brothers would be worried. It's scary enough to be going away to boarding school at the mere age of eleven, without adding a recently acquired, lifelong and very painful condition. I really like the way you show them irritating her by wanting to help. Often in fiction, people either know exactly what to say and do or they just seem not to care at all. The fact that their very concern is getting on her nerves is really realistic.

LOVE the way Hagrid refers to Lily as "little Lily Potter."

Poor Ben. That REALLY isn't a nice way to begin your time at a new school. I don't blame him for glaring at them.

There's a lack of agreement in this sentence: "whose family had always refused to tell her about Hogwarts, no matter how much they begged." The first part says "her" and the second part "them". It would sound better as "whose families had always refused to tell them about Hogwarts, no matter how much they begged."

Really good chapter. I think it's the best one yet. Looking forward to meeting the new teachers, finding out more about Lily's classmates and hearing more about this Death Eater.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review. I love all the feedback that people are giving me, and your suggestions make sense. Oh, and not to give anything away, but you have ideas in your review that I've been planning on using.

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Review #58, by MargaretLaneBruises: Terror

12th April 2015:
OK, I'm really glad you posted about that review swap, because I went to read this yesterday, then realised how long it was and thought I'd leave it until I'd more time and it was only when I saw your review swap that I remembered, "oh yeah, I meant to read that."

Yikes, that part about being strapped to the bed sent shivers down my spine. It must be such a terrifying experience - just waking up to find yourself tied down like that.

You really capture the sense of being trapped and terrified and her lack of understanding as to what is going on in the first few paragraphs. I really feel her lack of control.

The fact she can't remember anything must be terrifying too. You create the atmosphere so well. There's a real FEELING of horror and confusion as to what has happened here. But whatever it is, it's clear it's nothing good.

Oh gosh, that part where she thinks he means to torture her is terrifying.

So she knows her age anyway. I was beginning to wonder if she'd completely forgotten everything.

You write the sensory stuff very well - the taste of iron in her mouth, for example. I find that kind of descriptive stuff difficult, so I am always impressed to read it.

I was WONDERING about her parents. She never mentioned them, which, I think, was partly why I'd wondered if she'd forgotten everything until she mentioned her age. And why are they being prevented from seeing her? This gets more and more intriguing.

The mystery as to what is going on and why she is in some kind of psychiatric hospital works really well, I think, as it allows us to empathise with her confusion. SHE doesn't appear to have any idea why she's there and neither do we.

Hmm, the procedure? That gives a little clue as to what's going on. It fits with her legs being weak anyway.

Yikes, it sounds like the procedure was some attempt to remove her magical powers.

And I'm wondering WHY her parents seem to have such little understanding of them. If she is 17, she should have received a visitor from Hogwarts six years beforehand, explaining it all. Even if they had religious objections to magic or something, they'd still at least KNOW what it was. Or maybe they do. We are only hearing the doctor's words and they may not have told him everything, since it would sound pretty crazy.

It certainly sounds as if their daughter has never been to a magical school, which could explain her apparent lack of control over her powers. I have often wondered what happens in the case that a Muggleborn refuses their place at Hogwarts - I would expect many would. Would they continue to have those strange things happen because of uncontrolled magic or would they begin to gain a certain amount of control over it, just because of the maturation process - probably not enough to cast spells, certainly not without a want, but enough to stop it erupting unintentionally, or would their magic fade from lack of use? I think it could be written any way. Hmm, this would make an interesting fic.

It sounds like the "procedure", whatever it is, has succeeded in removing her magic. That's kind of creepy.

And that part with Katherine is so sad. It's nearly easier when she can just hate and fear the people, whereas when it somebody who seems nice, but who she still distrusts...that must be more frightening and disconcerting.

Hmm, that sharp aching pain is intriguing.

I'm a bit confused by the fact she seems to shake her head to express agreement, when a shake of the head usually expresses dissent and a nod agreement. I keep thinking she's disagreeing, but then people react as if she's agreed.

One mistake I've noticed is that the doctor says, "your parent's are coming to see you." There shouldn't be an apostrophe in "parents". That's the first mistake I've noticed though.

Oh, the fact she can't remember her parents' faces is CREEPY. That must be REALLY frightening.

Hmm, the use of the word "witchcraft" rather than magic is interesting. It's an old-fashioned kind of word and this story definitely seems 20th or 21st century. My feeling is that her family, and probably the doctor, belong to one of those religious denominations that believe magic is evil - I think those groups might use terms like "witchcraft," though I'm not at all familiar with them, so I don't really know.

Another TINY thing I'd say is that I'd be inclined to put a comma before "Sarah," when they say, "your sister, Sarah."

Somehow I've the impression Sarah is younger than her. Just from the way the parents refer to her. And a few lines later, this is confirmed. It's pretty impressive that you could express that just by the parents' few comments about her.

Yikes, that part where she feels something is wrong about going home is ominous. I wonder if the parents have treated her badly because of her "witchcraft." They SEEM loving, but the fact that they had her put through the procedure is a little concerning, although of course, they MAY have believed they were acting for the best. And now this anxiety.

Yikes, a lot of that sounds REALLY creepy. Well, obviously beating a child and having them sent to an asylum is more than creepy, but there's something creepy about how normal Sarah seems to think it - "you know how he gets" - and how Caroline has no memory of this. I guess that explains her anxiety about returning home.

And poor Sarah - feeling guilty for not being able to save her sister.

I think the part where Sarah says "it gets worse" is a bit insensitive, because it's like saying it's worse that something might happen to her than that something DID happen to Caroline.

I would love to read a follow up to this, finding out what happens with Sarah and if Caroline manages to protect her.

And I am delighted they failed to remove her magic.

Excellent story and very original.

Author's Response: Hi Margaret,

So I have to tell you first that I smile every time I see one of your reviews pop up in my unanswered reviews section! You give such amazingly detailed feedback that it really helps.

I'm so glad that the opening did what is was supposed to. I wanted it to be terrifying, confusing and disorienting. I kind of hoped the reader would be in for the ride with Caroline as she figures things out.

The descriptive stuff is something I really work hard at. When I decide what I'm going to write I always imagine the scenario and then try to imagine how I would personally describe it if it was happening to me. Then I take the descriptions that fit the story best and incorporate them.

You've hit the nail on the head in regards to "the procedure". I read a book awhile back called "My Lobotomy" and that's kind of what triggered this little foray into muggle medicine here.

You've stumbled across one of my Americanisms. In the US it is acceptable to say shake your head yes and shake your head no. I could see why this would get confusing within the story. When I re-edit I will probably adjust it to nodded as you've suggested.

In regards to the words witchcraft, I sort of intended this story to be taking place in the Southern States of the U.S. where very fervent religious belief is a bit more common. I imagine her parents thinking that her magic is coming from the devil and trying to rid her of it.

Caroline's relationship with her younger sister Sarah is in my eyes, her saving grace. Sarah triggers the memories. Sarah gives her a reason to fight on. I think that it's safe to say from here on out the two of them will be alright.

I don't know if I'll ever do a follow up on this one. I kind of like that it has an ambiguous ending. It kind of leaves it open to imagination I suppose.

Thank you once again for taking out so much time to leave me such detailed feedback. During re-edit I will definitely fix the typos as well!


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Review #59, by MargaretLaneAfter: One.

11th April 2015:
Wow, you got this up quickly. I thought I was moving quickly, being part-way through the first chapter of mine.

Poor guy. I don't know if you'd even come to terms with a child's death, particularly when it seems like Cedric was his only child. And six months seems like a pretty short time to have got anywhere near coming to terms with it.

Oh, that part about the tensions between Amos and Elaine and how their grief is driving them apart is so stark, so sad and so believable. It sounds like they are grieving differently and unable to support each other.

Ooh, that part about the green light made me shiver.

Oh poor, poor Amos. How guilty he must feel about encouraging his son to take part. But of course, he couldn't know what had happened.

I really like the fact that Dumbledore clearly does not believe it when he tells them time heals all pain. He, of all people, must know that is not true, as it's obvious he has never fully recovered from the death of his sister, almost a century before.

I found it interesting the way you chose to tell this story backwards. It worked well to have it end with him first being told that time heals all wounds.

I think you expressed his grief very well here.

Author's Response: It's funny, I hadn't written much in a long time and then when I was given Amos for the challenge inspiration hit me like a ton of bricks, I just had to get his story written.

This is pretty much my head-canon for Amos after Cedric died, I think after losing a child it would be pretty tough to keep a marriage going, especially if the parents are grieving in different ways.

I'm glad you commented on the backwards narration, I was hesitant about it at first and even changed it to the right way around but it just didn't seem to work as well.

Thanks so much for the lovely review!

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Review #60, by MargaretLaneBecause my name is Ava Yaxley: because my name is Ava Yaxley

10th April 2015:
I was considering writing a story about the child of a Death Eater, but never got around to it. I'd imagine it would be a VERY difficult position to be in.

I really like the "Acts of Equality." It's always nice to see some detail about how the wizarding world recovered from the war and rebuilt itself.

I'd be inclined to put an "or" in this sentence: "And the children who ended up in the orphanage were most often those who had parents in Azkaban, whose parents had died resisting capture by Aurors or hit-wizards." "Or whose parents had died resisting capture by Aurors."

Poor girl. The way she is being treated is very unfair, though I suppose in a way it's hardly surprising. People are bound to be angry and scared too. But she can hardly help what her father did.

This sentence: "Even though house divides and stereotypes had faded a good deal, there was still expected that the sons and daughters of Death Eaters and other criminals would find their home in Slytherin," might sound better as "it was still expected" or "there was still an expectation."

Oh, she's the same age as Teddy Lupin.

If she's correct about how the teachers are treating her, that's totally unprofessional. But I guess teachers are people too and some of them have issues that they allow to impact on their teaching.

You've written "neither of us could bare to return to the orphanage." I think it should be "bear."

Wow, 7 N.E.W.T.S. appears quite impressive. I'm never sure what the normal amount of N.E.W.T.S. to do is, but didn't Hermione do 7. If so, I think we can assume that's a pretty impressive amount. And then to get 5 Os.

I do think she's being a little pessimistic though. Although I can understand why - in your late teens, it does feel like these things are a one-off, now or never deal. But she probably has another 100 years alive, judging by the lifespans wizards seem to have in canon. And the more time moves on, the less the war will dominate people's thoughts. And of course, people her age won't care as much as older people, as they won't have any memories of the war, so when they start to move into the "hiring" positions, she will have a far better chance of getting a better job.

This is such a sad story; the way she's been treated is terribly unfair.

Author's Response: For quite a while I was planning on writing something about the 'Acts of Equality' and how the wizarding world rebuilt after the war, but then I came across that quote from the Merchant of Venice and I hit upon the idea of focussing on events from the perspective of one of the children who grew up amongst the prejudice of a war they were barely alive for.

Thank you for pointing out the spelling and grammar mistakes (I'm awful at spotting mistakes in my writing).

Yes, Ava is the same age as Teddy Lupin, or a month or two older than him, born during the war only a few months before her parents died. Thinking about it, they have quite a lot in common.

The way the teachers and the nurses at the orphanage treat her is completely unprofessional, though, as you say, teachers are people too and it is understandable that they still carry with them the terrible memories of the war they lived through.

I think that Ava would have poured everything into working for her O.W.L.S. and N.E.W.T.S. because she wanted to prove to everyone that she actually is worth something. But yes, she definitely is being a little pessimistic, and while she thinks that everything is over for her she will definitely have other chances and opportunities.

Thank you very much for your review!

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Review #61, 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 #62, 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 #63, 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 #64, 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 #65, 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 #66, 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 #67, 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 #68, 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 #69, 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 #70, 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 #71, 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 #72, 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 #73, 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 #74, 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 #75, 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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