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Reading Reviews From Member: ad astra
  
308 Reviews Found

Review #51, by ad astraL'optimisme: Similes

20th June 2015:
House Cup 2015 Review - Slytherin

It was in this chapter that I realised how much I love the way you've structured this story, opening with reflections and moving into flashbacks. There's something oddly endearing about Albus's flashbacks in particular, and it gives the whole story a unique tone of reflection.

Quite probably they would laugh, my darling, and you mustn’t blame them for it: the Dark Arts and poetry are hardly ordinary bedfellows. I love this line so much. I shouldn't find anything endearing about the terror of Europe, former dictator and Dark Lord, but honestly? Bless his irretrievably dark, twisted and yet unashamedly nerdy soul. I love Grindelwald. What has this story done to me that I'm saying that?

Christmas aesthetics. I feel truly blessed. Thank you for this

Where you were Germanic steel, beautiful and strong and unyielding, he was light and eager and so very pliable beneath my hands. I love this line so much. Germanic steel. Your imagery is flawless.

10/10 as always. I'm in love with your writing this is a problem

Author's Response: Hi Lisa! :) Thank you so much for stopping by (again :P) - it's the most amazing run of reviews! :)

Gah, thank you so much! :) It was a strange sort of way to structure it for me - I wrote the first section of the first chapter and wasn't sure whether or not to include it, really, but left it in in the end - especially because I know I struggle with substance in chapters, and it felt a lot like avoiding that. I'm just so glad you like it! :)

I would say I'm sorry, but I'm actually just really happy, haha. I had a really solid view of Gellert when I started writing this, and I really wanted to make it less a clear-cut, good v evil, thing, so I'm so glad you like him, since that means I've kinda succeeded? Maybe... :P And yes, he is very nerdy. Though I wouldn't tell him that ;)

I had to write a Christmas chapter at some point! :P Gah, you're welcome - I loved writing it, so I'm just glad you liked it! :)

(Funny story: I was doing a lot of EU Business stuff at the time, and they always used to use the example of German steel for it. So that's sort of how that came about :P)

Thank you so so much for the wonderful review - it was amazing to get, really! Thank you! :)

Aph xx


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Review #52, by ad astraL'optimisme: Bulgaria

20th June 2015:
House Cup 2015 Review - Slytherin

This.

This is stunning writing. I don't know how you manage it but every chapter of this story has been impossibly better than the last, and your depiction of Gellert here is incredible. Absolutely chilling, terrifying in its intensity and remorselessness, and so brilliantly done.

I want the memories of that place, the blood and the tears and the power I poured into that land to come back to me; I want it to possess me again, I want to feel it wrap around me and fill me until I choke on it.

I want the thrill of being unstoppable again.


This gave me chills, there's no other way of putting it, and I'm just in awe of your talent here. Gellert's euphoria at finding the Elder Wand, the sense of invincibility which echoes through every word - this is phenomenal writing.

that as much as I might have been the dawn, you were the sunset. This is such an incredible line to end on. I sound like a stuck record but your writing is absolutely mindblowing and this chapter goes above and beyond anything I expected.

Author's Response: Hi Lisa! :D Okay, okay, you're going to have to forgive me on this one because I really have absolutely no idea how on earth I'm going to respond to this properly. English has abandoned me (I joke, but seriously, there are no words *hug*).

I really, really love writing Gellert. Well, both of them really, but there's something almost freeing about writing someone who just doesn't care and is so unapologetic about the way he is and what he enjoys and the things he does and has done. It's so much fun, and I liked getting the chance in this chapter to show him being, well, a bit more of a dark lord :P

Thank you so so much - this was a scene I knew I had to write from the beginning, and I looked forward to it so much, even though it wasn't very far in, so I'm just so so glad you liked it, really :)

It's strange, actually, because that's one of the few lines I've ever written before the rest of the chapter :P I just liked the metaphor too much - I like colours and references to colours, so it sort of came from there :)

Thank you so so much for the incredible review, and I'm really sorry for the awful response in return :)

Aph xx


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Review #53, by ad astraL'optimisme: Words

20th June 2015:
House Cup 2015 Review - Slytherin

I said I need to stop complimenting you on your writing ability and incredible use of language and then I see that incredible Dobby-winning quote which is even more incredible in context. I could read the opening section of this chapter over and over again until it sinks into my very soul. I could get a tattoo of some of these lines, that's how incredible they are. I don't think any review can really do justice to the sheer beauty of your words so I'll move on to the story itself.

Your evocation of the turn of the 20th century is beautiful here, and I have to say I'm in love with the sheer aesthetic of this story, Europe at the dawning of a new era, Albus and Gellert at the centre of it, tragedy and grief and pain juxtaposed with celebration and hope. It's perfect.

I just want one moment of Albus glibly talking about his beautiful blonde boy. Just one. It would make my entire life. Embrace scandal, Albus Dumbledore.

I could talk about aesthetics with the Flamels and alchemy and Albus's slow, gradual return to happiness until Christmas but I'll leave it at the simple fact that I want to immerse myself completely in the world you've created here.

Author's Response: Lisa! :D Thank you so much for dropping by again (I have no idea how you're managing to review this of all things - which is so long and so heavy and so slow - for TAR, so thank you so much for that!)! :)

Gah, thank you so much! :) I really love writing this fic (though there are bits in it I still hate, if I'm honest), so I'm just so glad you like it - especially the little exposition-y bits at the beginning of each chapter since I was so nervous about those - and still am each time I post. Wah, you're amazing and you're making me blush saying these things, you know? :) Thank you so so much!

Thank you! :D I really, really loved writing the turn of the century - especially because it's such a coincidental time, them meeting just before it and being split when they had so many plans and so on. Especially when everyone around them was so hopeful of a bright new future and so many new theories were coming out/being developed... it's a time I love in history, so I had to include it and try and do it justice in here :)

Mahaha, maybe. Maybe :P I'm very tempted to have a drunk confession-type scene, but I'm not sure how it would work... (a one-shot? Maybe? :P) Poor boy, he would, but he's too terrified too :( Societal prejudices and all that jazz...

Mah, I loved the alchemy stuff! And the Flamels! :D So I'm so happy you liked it too! :)

Thank you so so much for the amazing review, as always! :) Really, I'm just so so glad you like this! :)

Aph xx


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Review #54, by ad astraL'optimisme: Wales

20th June 2015:
House Cup 2015 Review - Slytherin

Hi Laura! I feel like I should have read and reviewed more of this story ages ago because it's permanently on my to-read list, but I'm back for chapter 2 at last!

I've already told you that I absolutely adore your writing style and I should probably stop repeating myself in every review I leave you, but just to reiterate - your prose is gorgeous and I could happily read it for the next hundred years.

I'm not sure what I expected of Gellert's POV but you've surprised me here with him - all we know of him from canon is the great-evil-dark-wizard-bet-on-world-domination, but you've made him incredibly complex, sympathetic and loving in a way I didn't expect. I've kind of always viewed the Albus/Gellert relationship as Albus placing Gellert on a pedestal, Patroclus and Achilles, but Gellert places Albus on the very same pedestal and I really love the way you've constructed their relationship here.

The passage about exploring the world stuck out to me as well - I love the subtle magical twists you put into the various wonders of the world, like seeing phoenixes in flight at dawn and curses carved into the Great Wall of China - it's such a rich world you're creating around them.

I could (and would) write so much more for this review but time is of the essence! Onto chapter 3!

Author's Response: Hey Lisa! :) Thank you so much for stopping by - it was such a great surprise to get! :)

Gah, thank you so so much! :) It is just so so amazing to hear - I love your writing, as you know, so especially from you - and really, I just have no other way to respond to it apart from 'THANK YOU THANK YOU' :)

Haha, thanks! :D I had a lot of time to think about how I wanted to characterise him and develop him before I really started this, since I had two gos at doing it properly :P I really wanted to cast him as a kind of dark lord separate from Voldemort and the whole completely-evil sphere, especially because, you know, Albus Dumbledore manages to fall in love with him, which sorta suggests he's not totally insane? Maybe? :P And I liked the idea of this kind of mutual adoration/admiration which is then destroyed because of fear and self-hatred and so on - load up the angst, you know? :P

Thank you! :D I love including little details like that, so it's so great to hear you noticed them and liked them too! :) I love the idea of a whole magical world - it's so cool to me - so I had to include a little nod to that :)

Thank you so so much for the review - it was so lovely to get! :)

Aph xx


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Review #55, by ad astraWaltz: Waltz

20th June 2015:
House Cup 2015 Review - Slytherin

Tanya! I have to admit I feel really self-conscious reviewing this story about eighteen months after I actually read it, especially because it left such an impression on me at the time, but I'm a bit useless at reviewing in general. But I can tell you straight off that eighteen months later I still remember this story like I read it yesterday, and it's remained in my consciousness like few other stories ever have.

This story is an incredible piece of writing - I said in my last review that this was the first story I read on HPFF that deals with mental illness, and you do it with such honesty and poignancy that it's impossible not to be moved by it. Your writing is perfect for this story, the way your language reflects Rose's mental state and the repetition of words, one, two, three throughout. The waltz threads itself in a perfect rhythm throughout this entire piece and it's beautifully done.

Your handling of OCD is so, so good. The scene with Rose's dorm mates being frustrated with her is amazing, and the lines - They have no idea how desperately she tries on their behalf to quell each seemingly pointless urge. They try to understand her need to pace and count and count and pace, but can never truly grasp just how very much this is not her choice - these lines killed me when I first read them and they kill me again now. It's that kind of insight that sets this story apart from any other story on the archives, and it's not until now I'm rereading it and reviewing it that I realised exactly how much this story impacted me when I first read it.

Everything about this story is so important - Rose's OCD, Scorpius's stutter, the way they help each other and Most of all she likes that he makes her feel almost normal. The romance between them is sweet and perfect, but your representation of mental illness is what really shines in this story and it is everything. I can't overstate its importance and I'm sorry I took eighteen months to leave this review, but thank you so much for writing and sharing this, Tanya.

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Review #56, by ad astraTabula Rasa: One

20th June 2015:
House Cup 2015 Review: Slytherin

Nathan! I admit, I was sucked in by the Latin. And the summary. And Colin Creevey? Anyway.

I really hope you continue with this story because I am so intrigued by it already and it promises to be amazing. This was such a good opening chapter - you evoke the Battle of Hogwarts and the sense of wartime so well here and it's only the promise that you're going to bring Colin back that stops this chapter from being completely heartwrenching. The relationship between Colin and Dennis is really well done here - Bouts of nostalgia had hit Colin, thoughts of bunk beds and whispering during storms, sweet memories of taking care of his brother - this was a really good insight, as well as the fact that Dennis is normally the stronger one, and the theme you thread throughout this chapter of Colin fighting for Dennis. Your final line about Colin hoping his brother and father will forgive him for leaving them is so poignant and heartbreaking, and I'm already hoping this story will end with a reunion.

Your evocation of battle is brilliantly done in this chapter as well. It takes effort not to fall back onto the ground; maybe if he plays dead they'll leave him be. But that's a coward talking and he isn't a coward. this line kills me because he's a child, a scared hurting child in the middle of a war and he's so determined to be brave. Poor Colin. Please keep writing this because I refuse to accept him being dead okay

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Review #57, by ad astraFeel Again: Feel Again

20th June 2015:
House Cup 2015 Review - Slytherin

Tanya! This was an incredible account of a single moment and you've done a really good job of capturing it. You have a real talent for this stream-of-consciousness, in-the-moment writing and you've captured the urgency and panic of the scene really well.

The final scene for this story was really heartwarming as well - the contrast between the worry and the panic of James's accident and injury and the gathering of students from all houses to cheer for him and wish him well is really well done, and the inclusion of the Slytherin Quidditch team among the well-wishers is a nice touch.

I like your inclusion of paralysis as well - I don't see a lot of depiction of disability on the archives and it's something that makes your writing stand out to me (Waltz was the first story I saw on HPFF that dealt directly with mental illness) and I would be really interested in an expansion of this one-shot if you were to ever write one. Awesome idea and beautifully written!

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Review #58, by ad astralove and lycanthropy and other institutions: institutionalisation

20th June 2015:
House Cup 2015 Review - Slytherin

I'm sorry that me camping out on your AP for a bit means I'm going to keep telling you how amazing your prose is and probably getting very repetitive in the process but your writing really is stunning. Your imagery is flawless and effortless and a genuine joy to read, and I would quote all the lines that stand out to me but I would definitely be here until midnight and end up quoting your entire story back to you

I love your Marauders, and the way you've evoked the world of the first wizarding war - the phoenix on Lily's robes, or the politically-charged meetings she holds - this is such good detail and you build up the setting in such a subtle and believable way.

Your motifs, though. The use of institutionalisation is amazing throughout this story, from the Marauders' banter to the description of lycanthropy (Nature always follows its own laws. The Institution is a systematic beast - God, you have such incredible lines in this story. I need to stop gushing) and even Remus's character - Because Remus always agrees, says yes, wants to be liked and accepted and patted on the back – “Good old Remus!” or “Isn’t Moony a sport?” – wants to always be a part and not a whole, institutionalised, Sirius might say if he bothered to analyse all his flaws - I love this so much. I love it more and more with every paragraph I read and your writing is just so impressive.

I now kind of regret reviewing this for the HC because I could easily spend two or three hours just reading this story and crafting the perfect review in response to it - I've written 2000 word essays on pieces of literature that have impressed me less than this did and I will definitely be back to read it over and over again, but for now - thank you for writing and sharing this story, it's incredible.

Author's Response: Hi again, Lisa! ♥

I know you're a big Remus/Sirius fan, and I was so happy when I saw that you'd reviewed this fic and left such positive and amazing comments. For this particular story of mine, I'm always looking for feedback from wolfstar shippers! ♥ I originally wrote this story for Tanya, but really, this is for all Remus/Sirius shippers, because I really did try to do this pairing justice. Apart from Rose/Scorpius, this is probably one of the more popular pairings that I've attempted.

Gah, thank you for your comments on imagery and prose! ♥ Sometimes I think I ramble on a bit too much, and that I could be a lot more concise and stuff. But sometimes I'm glad that I'm not. :P I did really enjoy including some of the character details in the story, and I'm pleased that you mentioned Lily and her meetings. I didn't want to focus too much on the first wizarding war outside the school as it would have detracted a bit too much from the characters' personal lives. But I did envision these little student meetings within the school walls where the students can rally and stuff, protected by the institution of Hogwarts. Where they can be aware of the problems of war without being fully exposed to the full devastation.

And I'm beyond ecstatic that you quoted those lines! I really enjoyed coming up with those lines, far more than I did writing descriptive prose.

And like I said earlier on the forums, thank you once again for choosing to review this, even though you were in a reviewing race for the HC. This honestly means so much to me, and your review is just so kind and lovely aslkdjalskf ♥ ♥

-teh


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Review #59, by ad astraApple Island: water's edge

20th June 2015:
House Cup 2015 Review - Slytherin

Hi teh! I've been meaning to read your stuff for ages and have never gotten round to it so I'm glad the HC has given me the opportunity!

Your writing is absolutely stunning. You have an incredible gift for description that brings your settings to life, and your attention to detail is amazing - even tiny details like the flavour of Andromeda's tea give the whole scene a sense of realness and authenticity. You have some stunning lines in this chapter as well that stand out to me - She thinks of Audrey, and all she can conjure up is an irritable scrawl of a woman, her voice troubled with clots of ink is a prime example. You create such vivid images that ring with truth and I could honestly read your writing forever.

I didn't read the earlier version of this story but I know it by reputation, and you've already cemented it in this first chapter as an intriguing and complex story of unparalleled originality. You've set up a compelling mystery with the disappearances and Aequin and the loss of memory, and I can't wait to see where it goes.

Author's Response: Hi Lisa! ♥

Thank you so, so much for this wonderful, amazing review. I'm kind of really flattered that you've been meaning to read my stuff!?!? Thank you! This made my day. ♥ And I didn't know this story even had a reputation; it's fairly unknown on my page, compared to some other stories (though I'm aware that one or two members have been promoting this :) ).

Aww, thank you for your comments on the description and detail; this is definitely one of my more descriptive stories, and I had a bit of fun with this!

Thank you once again for your review, Lisa! Your kind words really made my day, and made me feel a lot better about writing. ♥

-teh


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Review #60, by ad astraYou: you

12th June 2015:
House Cup 2015 Review - Slytherin

EMILY. I CAN'T BELIEVE I HAVEN'T READ THIS BEFORE? I AM A TERRIBLE PERSON

This is such a brilliant story and is a true testament to your writing ability - have I mentioned before how versatile your writing is? Because I'm in awe of it. You can go from candelabra-laced parody to something like this without skipping a beat and everything you write is a joy to read.

Anyway.

I've lowkey shipped Albus/Elphias since the get-go and your interpretation of them is exactly how I envisaged it - unrequited, Elphias living in Albus's shadow and wholly captivated by him, refusing to ever say anything - there's a melancholic note of regret that runs through this whole piece, things left unsaid, and how Elphias can only give voice to them after Albus has gone. Your description of their relationship is matter-of-fact and inevitable - of course Elphias would love Albus, of course he would never say anything. I dragged you down, I can see that now. this is such a telling line, but there's no trace of self-pity in it, just that matter-of-fact melancholy. Your tone throughout this piece is perfect.

This is a fantastic, moving piece of writing and it fits the prompt so well, touching on social attitudes and the role they played in Elphias's silence. Thank you for writing this!

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Review #61, by ad astraStardust: Stardust

12th June 2015:
House Cup 2015 Review - Slytherin

Mallory, this is such a stunning piece of writing.

It's so different to what I've seen from you before but your experimentation has really paid off and you've done a stellar job with this one (that pun was not intentional, but let's pretend that it was). Lavender/Parvati are my weakness anyway, and then you add star imagery to the mix and congratulations, you have a guaranteed way to destroy me.

This is so gorgeous, so well thought out and brilliantly executed, and every line is absolutely stunning and poignant. Tears form in the fabric of space and time, creating paradoxes and half-truths. Your hands are no longer your hands alone; they are the hands of a victim, a patient, an invalid. I need a moment.

Everything you've done in this story works together to create something amazing - the second-person POV and the intimacy it creates in Lavender and Parvati's relationship, the way Parvati describes Lavender as something celestial and her insistence in seeing her that way despite how the war has broken her.

You were always meant to be a supernova and I was always meant to be a distant, weary traveler, ever pushing back against resistance to come home to you. This line, though. There are no words for it except that it's absolutely beautiful. This is a masterpiece of imagery and you should be very, very proud of it.

Author's Response: Lisa, you lovely thing! Thanks for the review(s)!!

This one is really really different, but I'm really glad I wrote it. Haha, Astronomy puns are always welcome, whether intentional or not. Lavender/Parvati have definitely become my weakness, especially after writing these stories. Sorry for destroying you, have a cookie? ♥

Thank you thank you thank you!! I never know what to say to such wonderful compliments, but ♥ it means a lot coming from you. Aww, sorry. :/ I don't think I knew how heartbreaking those lines were when I wrote them, but out of context I realize the implications. I wrote a sad thing. :/

Thank you! I didn't take too long to write it, but I think that writing under a time limit sort of pressurizes my style (like a diamond) and makes it sparkle a little brighter. Second person POV is actually one of my favorite POVs to write in because of the intimacy that you can have between the narrator and the object of the narrator's narration. So Parvati and Lavender worked quite well with it--even though their relationship is not working so well in this particular moment.

Thank you thank you again! That line kind of did upset me when I wrote it because of the way I imagined Parvati trying to reach out to Lavender but being met with resistance on Lavender's part. It's unfortunate for them that they had to go through this, but I imagine that they'll have a happy ending one day!

♥Mallory


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Review #62, by ad astraAesthetic Alterations: Library Aesthetic

12th June 2015:
House Cup 2015 Review - Slytherin

Another modern Muggle Jily AU! I'm so excited! (and how did I miss this one?)

First of all, library aesthetic. I feel that deep in my soul. It paid to keep old tomes handy. They were good for scaring away people who didn’t belong in a library. I'm fairly sure Lily and I are soulmates. James who?

Anyway.

Did you give Remus lupus? I am upset but also James researching about wolves is fantastic and wanting to help him is so sweet. Everything in this story is so sweet I'm going to end up with cavities and no regrets.

(also I realised why I love everything about this story - other than the fact that it's one of your modern Muggle Jily AUs - because everything about this is my aesthetic. aw yiss. Libraries and silence and old classics that you maybe read a little bit more for the image than because you actually enjoy them I mean what. Lily is me and I am Lily, except I actually need my glasses)

The actual storyline of this is just 100% adorable as well because you've got James being his messy charming self slowly breaking down Lily's barriers with his mess, charm and self, and do I fit into your aesthetic? I would marry him myself if I were straight

This is such a wonderful, lovely and adorable story, Mallory! Thank you for sharing!

Author's Response: There are so many modern Muggle AUs on my page that it's no wonder you missed it. But you came and reviewed it anyway, so thanks for that! ♥

Haha, library aesthetic is fun to write. And I kept thinking of dusty old books while I was writing it, and I like to scare people away too, so that's where that came from. Aww, Lily's got a new soulmate? Right, who's this James fellow again?

I DID!! I'M SO SORRY! But it was necessary to parallel the worlds. :/ But James is quite sweet--sorry about the cavities!

Haha, I wrote a story about you without even realizing it? Whoops! I'm so glad that you could identify with Lily's thoughts and "good reasons" for reading old (sometimes boring) classics. (And I need glasses too. Lily is being a total poser there!)

Aww, thanks so much! This review never fails to make me laugh, hah. :) (You could just marry Lily if you wanted to, and James could be your best friend?)

Thanks again for another brilliant review!!

♥Mallory


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Review #63, by ad astraHigh Romance: Prologue

12th June 2015:
House Cup 2015 Review

I am so excited that you wrote this and I found this because I've been travelling SO MUCH recently and there's just something otherworldly about airports and flying that you capture brilliantly in this piece. but there was something about airports, something so hypnotic and draining, that left you feeling not like a person at all. SO TRUE. Airports are a Twilight Zone of unreality and your writing showcases that so well - the futuristic skeletons and the ethereal voice and the robotic smile - I might just be hypersensitive to the evocation of airports right now but I feel like I'm right there, three am waiting for a delayed flight to Tokyo Haneda where everything is too bright and nothing quite seems real.

I have real bad wanderlust now oops

I'm so curious about the actual story itself - what is she doing in Tokyo, where has she been, why is she checking off cities - and him, the tantalising question you dangle in front of us - how did she leave him, what happened while she was gone, does she want to go back to him at all? I can't wait to find out the answers to those questions (and to read more of your amazing writing!)

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Review #64, by ad astraSerenity: Serenity

12th June 2015:
House Cup 2015 Review - Slytherin

Hi Laura! I've been meaning to read and review this since you first posted it - I'm sorry it took me so long to get to!

Your writing is absolutely gorgeous - I'm probably going to gush a bit because I'm new to your work but your description is breathtaking and there's a real captivating delicacy to your imagery - the very first line is stunning and a perfect example of that delicacy. You have a way with words and your style and content complement each other perfectly.

The story, as well, is such a beautiful melancholic one and you've covered so much in a short space of time - the nature and timeline of the girls' relationship, the things that stand between them, the ending that you've somehow managed to make bittersweet - as if she had done this for me.

Padma's confusion, her fear of being found out, her questions - you've captured them all perfectly and created a compelling story, and the pressure and hints from her parents is a really good cultural insight and God, these lines: Her looped Hindi script sang of home, of dry heat and blessings. She spoke in old verses that trilled in the air like strings are absolutely stunning. I'm in awe of them. I'm in awe of so many of the lines in this story to be honest.

This is such a beautiful piece of writing and I'll definitely be reading more of your work!

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Review #65, by ad astrathe space between: the possibility of a beginning

12th June 2015:
House Cup 2015 Review - Slytherin

I FOUND IT. I FOUND IT AND I HAVE READ IT. FINALLY. TOOK ME LONG ENOUGH i'm sorry

Do you know what this story is? This is the Yule Ball we all deserve. This is the Yule Ball that could have been, and it's so perfect that I'm just going to pretend the *actual* canon was just some really elaborate headcanon and this is what really happened, where there are queer couples everywhere in a beautiful winter wonderland and especially Dean and Seamus.

I really love the way you've written this as well - one of my favourite things about the Actual Yule Ball is that it's really...kinda...average and as much of a let down as school balls typically are, and there's this sense of "everyone here is having the Most Magical Night of Their Lives and I'm over here bitter and thoroughly underwhelmed" and you've managed to maintain that while still improving pretty much every other aspect of the whole evening. And I love your Alicia and Hermione and the banter and the whole exchange about being enigmatic/trying to be enigmatic. Conversations like those just scream "AW YISS LOOK AT THESE TWO FLIRTING" and i love it

I just love your way of writing starting-out-romances like this - this whole story just gave me the warm fuzzies and I'm so happy to have read it!

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Review #66, by ad astraRediscovery: i. stolen glances

12th June 2015:
House Cup 2015 Review - Slytherin

Katie! What better excuse for me to finally read and review your work than a good old fashioned HC prompt? I apologise in advance because my reviews are going to be nowhere near as detailed and wonderful as yours but I digress

Okay I am so excited for this story and let me tell you why

a) Library dorks.
b) Library dorks in a library that isn't the Hogwarts library be still my heart. please write an entire fic universe about wizarding libraries and archives and universities and other institutions of knowledge
c) HATE TO LOVE NARRATIVES? UM YES
d) scorpius is such a dweeb I love him. dweeb in every universe. bless his soul

And that in turn meant that Scorpius would need to pretend that he hadn’t spent the better part of an afternoon staring at his unruly brown curls. this is it. this is the line. the line of perfect longing and no-of-course-i-wasn't-looking-at-you-why-would-i-look-at-you-you're-pretty-help that gives me life. scorpius is a library dweeb and hugo is pretty with Unruly Brown Curls and that is all that matters, ever.

LOOK AT MY CAMEO. LOOK AT THIS GINGER WITCH BLOCKING SCORPIUS'S VIEW OF HUGO EYE-CANDY WEASLEY AND TALKING ABOUT THE ILIAD. WHO COULD SHE POSSIBLY BE

i want to know everything there is to know about this library and the nerds who spend their time there and why Hugo's so interested in self-Transfiguration (Animagus? I assume? intriguing) and I am so excited for this story. This genre suits your writing style down to the ground and I expect wonderful things

also, FIRST.

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Review #67, by ad astraFull of Grace: It's Better This Way.

12th June 2015:
House Cup 2015 Review - Slytherin

So I'm taking this HC as a bit of an excuse to camp out on your author's page and read through everything that has somehow escaped my notice, and your writing ability honestly makes that such a privilege. I'm going to try not to repeat all the things I've said about your other stories but you honestly have such a gift for characterisation that I can't leave that unmentioned.

Your Molly in mourning is such a powerful image - Molly, who was once defined by her warmth and cheerfulness and life turned silent and mechanical, but family seems like a damaged word, because Molly as a character is defined by her motherhood, and what does that leave her when she loses a child?

There are so many little touches that I love about this story, but Molly's struggle with the seasons stands out so much to me - her resentment of summer for the abundance of life, the colours of autumn reminding her of him, the transition into winter a constant reminder of the passage of time and every piece of time that Fred is missing.

This piece is a perfect portrait of grief and it is heartbreaking. I have tears in my eyes from reading this and it's a testament to the time you've spent on it. The progression of emotion is perfectly done, not racing towards some magical happy conclusion, and you've tied Molly's turning point to the song in such a poignant way - I know I can love you much better than this - and her realisation that she can love Fred in death the same way she loved him in life, that her stoic silence was never going to be right for the liveliness and warmth he brought to her.

This is such a stunning piece of writing, Beth, thank you so much for sharing it.

Author's Response: Hello,

I really didn't intend to take so long to reply to this, but this particular story was very personal to me and this particular review kinda hit me in the gut, so I've put it off for far too long (even after I've posted in the 'reviews that made your day' thread)

I didn't actually ever think I would write this story. I knew it was always there, but I didn't think I could do it. Then Emily hosted this challenge and this song just meant SO MUCH to me that I decided to go for it.

And Gah! I never thought I'd win the challenge and I never thought I'd get the responses that I have - so thank you so, so much for this.

In my experience, grief is often portrayed as something you need to get past, with time, but I also think most people miss the mark that with a life-altering devastation (such as losing a child), you *never* get past it, but rather move on to a different place. And many times, you don't know if you're there or not.

Sorry if this response isn't making sense. I'm very touched by this review - it meant so much to me.

♥ Beth


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Review #68, by ad astraHermione Granger: Ron Needed Her.

12th June 2015:
House Cup 2015 Review - Slytherin

Beth, you've outdone yourself with this chapter, you really have. This is such an incredible evocation of the aftermath of the war and I don't know many authors who could do the topic justice like you have here. This Hermione is so different and yet exactly the same as the Hermione of your last chapter - she's in peacetime, yes, but she's still needed and she still pushes her own needs aside. You've written her character to be so complex - in the last lines I get the impression she needs to be needed, that's how she's survived this long and she's at a loss when the boys no longer need her most practical help, like spellwork and book smarts, but she finds another way to be needed.

The way you describe those post-war scars is so poignant as well. The physical effects, again, that are otherwise never acknowledged, like the dry cough from smoke inhalation or the constant smell of burnt hair - you evoke the post-war world so richly, and give equal weight to the physical and mental aspects of war trauma.

You have so many lines that stand out for the sheer impact of them - Dead is not always dead is such an incredible line and again, you have such a skill for describing mental trauma and PTSD that really shines in the last few paragraphs here. Beautiful writing.

Author's Response: Lisa.

I'm seriously not SUPPOSED to tear up when reading a REVIEW! The fact that these amazing words came from you mean so, so much to me. Any review I get from you is so treasured, but the fact that I hold your work and talent in the highest regard makes this so... GAH! (I'm thinking for the right word here - hee hee). I think it's best to just say that I'm honored.

I've been riding this high for a few weeks since you left me all these reviews and...


Thank you.

♥ Beth



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Review #69, by ad astraHermione Granger: Prologue: Harry Needed Her

11th June 2015:
House Cup 2015 Review - Slytherin

Beth! I saw this on your AP and I couldn't resist - there's a special place in my heart for the Trio/Dumbledore's Army immediately post-war and focusing on Hermione's recovery is something I need to see more of on the archives, so kudos to you for writing about something so important!

You are so good at writing about trauma and your characterisation of Hermione is perfect - in the flashback she's determined, focused and pragmatic, refusing to acknowledge the pain she's in because she's so focused on the Horcruxes. Her relationship with Ron is beautifully done as well, especially his protectiveness of her - the way he refuses to let her go after Malfoy Manor is a wonderful touch and really in character for him. You've done an amazing job with the immediate physical effects of the Cruciatus as well and the pain lasting for days afterwards - of course it's not an instantaneous thing, but I've never seen it detailed like that before.

The last line really speaks to me as well - I've often thought about how strong Hermione is, and how she manages to always push aside her own suffering for the sake of someone else, and this chapter really casts that into sharp relief - she'll be fine, she has to be, because Harry needs her. This is the kind of perfect characterisation and psychological detail I've come to associate with your writing, well done!

Author's Response: Lisa,

asdfgjk;' Your reviews are so, so awesome - thank you so much for all of them. I'm really, really enjoying writing this story - I love Hermione and I agree with you about not enough post-war fics that deal with overcoming the trauma of war.

Hermione is portrayed as really strong in the books - and she *is*, but I've always felt that because we were seeing her though Harry's eyes, who wasn't always so perceptive, ya know.

Thanks again!

♥ Beth


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Review #70, by ad astraThinking About You: You, You, You

5th May 2015:
EM MY DEAR i am SCRAPING IN BY THE SKIN OF MY TEETH for the REVIEW EXCHANGE.

I'm not going to lie, my reaction throughout this story went from "ooh pretty prose, pretty prose, nice, WHAT WHERE DID UMBRIDGE COME FROM HAS THIS BEEN ABOUT UMBRIDGE THE WHOLE TIME" and then I had to go back and reread and maybe have a bit of an existential crisis because you wrote PRETTY, SOULFUL ROMANTIC PROSE ABOUT DOLORES UMBRIDGE.

(did I stalk the Ship It thread to find out the second character because I couldn't work out who it was? yes. and now I'm more impressed because you took UMBRIDGE AND LOCKHART and turned them into ROMANTIC HEROES. i bow down to your skill)

In all seriousness though, this was a gorgeously written piece! Your happiness is intoxicating and I am as good as poisoned. You pried open this padlocked heart of mine. That line, though. You have a way with figurative language that never seems overdone and this was such a pleasure to read! and pointless proclamations? I see what you did there. I couldn't leave that unmentioned.

This piece was such a surprise in all the right ways and I'm in awe of it! Awesome job!

Author's Response: DEAREST LISA,

THAT is exactly the kind of reaction I was going for. [bows] Thank you. I apologise for the existential crisis, but THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR NICE WORDS! I mean I had a bit of one as well that went along the lines of: WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING? IS THIS ROMANCE? AM I ACTUALLY WRITING ROMANCE?

ROMANTIC HEROES?! Wow! [VIOLENT HUG TACKLE] I am glad you think so though I didn't mean for that to happen what with Umbridge and her being still weird about blood purity and Lockhart only just admiring himself this whole time, BUT IF LISA SAYS SO IT MUST BE TRUE (?)!

Bahaha! I had to add that in because the ship was as nasty as poison and padlocked heart because padLOCKed HEART because LOCKHART because CLUE! I'm all red now, stop. I am thrilled beyond thrilled that you think I have this 'way with figurative language that never seems overdone' and that it was enjoyable for you. YES. I allude to my penname because I have this ego and, if you look to the west and even to the east, I think you can see it from Turkey. Though, it really had to do with the alliteration of the 'p's from the quote: 'Let us preserve what must be preserved, perfect what can be perfected and prune practices that ought to be... prohibited!"

LISA, THANK YOU!!! ♥ 😄


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Review #71, by ad astraBeyond the Dark: One

26th April 2015:
SAM.

SAM YOU'RE GONNA RUIN ME WITH THIS. I ALREADY HAVE SO MANY REGRETS.

I have such an appreciation for Hogwarts era Slytherins and especially your Hogwarts era Slytherins. Teddy and Pants. Bless their badly-nicknamed souls. I love their friendship already.

I need the story behind Tony as well. Theo asked him to the Yule Ball? He sits next to Theo in all his classes? Theo risks owing Pansy a favour just to find out where he is? I need to know more

"Right...school..." Bless your useless gay heart, Theodore Nott.

Mr. I've-loved-Harry-Potter-since-I-was-eleven-and-he-picked-up-my-book-and-I-just-died-of-happiness-but-now-I-can't-talk-to-him I don't know what Theo's talking about, that's not a mouthful at all. Perfectly respectable name. Eleven year old Theo getting starry-eyed over Harry picking up his book is my new favourite mental image.

Can't wait for more Harry/Theo goodness and I'm just going to pretend you're not planning on SINKING THEM HORRIBLY

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Review #72, by ad astraAll that Glitters : August 1979: In Blood

24th April 2015:
Hey! Here for the review exchange!

I'm already SO intrigued by this opening chapter. The atmosphere of fear and darkness and mystery permeates everything you've written here, and I'm already dying to know more.

From the beginning, you've raised questions about your character and her circumstances, and I love the line the deeds of the days before were caked into my skin like they now defined me - it's stunning, hinting at something dark and sinister and how far your character is from where she wants to be - and then following it up with the line Maybe then my skin would feel clean again rounds it off perfectly. It's such a powerful motif to thread through your opening paragraphs.

I'm sorry for repeating your own words back to you, but this line - It felt like ice, but I knew it would soon change to hellfire - I'm in love with it. Your imagery is spot on in this chapter - fire and shadows and something unclean, creating a visceral sense of wrongness and danger, and your character's resignation to her fate makes it so much more effective - what has happened to her that she accepts a life among the Death Eaters?

This was a fantastic opening chapter, well done!

Author's Response: Hi,

Thank you so much for your review! I'm glad you thought the tone was there! Yes, my character here has had a slow fade from a person she used to be to this. Someone who willingly walks into the ranks of the Death Eaters and accepts that this is where she belongs now because who can be "clean" if you've fallen this far?? At least, according to her. This story will be, hopefully, look at how she's gotten here, but also continue going from here to see the war from a DE's perspective. One who isn't a complete maniac, but who has blood on her hands.

Thank you for taking the time to read the opening! :)


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Review #73, by Ravenclaw333Infinitesimal: Leo Minor

7th April 2015:
God, Laura, everything you write is just so incredible and it's almost an impossible task to do justice to your writing in a review. I'm still going to give it a good go, though.

I've never seen this ship before, or read it, or even have it cross my mind, but you make it seem like an inevitability. The way you've aligned it with canon is perfect, so apologetic and melancholic. You have such a mastery of the lover's lamentation and this was beautifully pulled off. I loved the way you set up the contrast between Lily and Regulus, between day and night and warmth and cold, as two wholly separate but equal parallels. You managed to strike the perfect balance and illustrate what James says about never favouring one over the other.

I don't know what I pictured Regulus to be either, but it now seems impossible for him to be anyone but the cold, audacious and lonely boy you've created here. Your descriptions of him are stunning, and the imagery of the stars threaded throughout is gorgeous. I loved this line: At those times, I felt almost celestial myself, as though I could match him, glow for glow and glimmer for glimmer. Really, there are countless lines I could quote back at you.

This was such a masterpiece, as all your stories are - bittersweet and beautiful, ringing with a truth that makes it impossible to ignore. Thank you for writing this.

Author's Response: Hey Lisa - thank you so much for dropping by! :) This was a really random one-shot for me to write, haha, since usually things take a lot longer for me to write, so I'm so glad you like it!

(Though you really should stop flattering me so much! (And I really should learn how to do that little heart thing... :/))

I've never read it before, before writing this, tbh, but Sam requested it and the pairing was just... I dunno, but I could already think of ways to make a one-shot about them work, you know? Like it was surprisingly easy to do. I really, really wanted it to be in line with canon and at the same time as canon, but not like a previous thing or a replacement thing - I wanted it to be kinda equal, so that's kinda why that's such a big theme in this with Regulus and Lily :) Haha, a lot of those parallels come from physical descriptions of them, I can't lie - Lily is red and green and colourful, and Regulus is dark hair, pale skin. I did love writing them, though, and James' voice was great fun to do too! :)

Regulus... okay, I love Regulus as a character, I can't lie. He's just so tragic in general - and I liked kinda working off what we know about him and the kind of person who would clash with Sirius, who would perhaps develop out of Sirius leaving and all those problems, so yeah... and since he's a Black, I just had to include star references :P

Gah, thank you so so much for this! I really, really don't deserve half as many compliments, I'm sure - and I'm really honestly just glad you liked it! Thank you so much for the wonderful review! :)

Aph xx


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Review #74, by Ravenclaw333Inanimate Objects: where possible salvation is tricked into arriving at the castle

6th April 2015:
hello yes i am here true to my word and i'm so glad that i have this story to make me HAPPY AGAIN

i love everything about this. your humour is so on point. i feel like i've told you this before but it bears repeating like, all the time. "That's a terrible apology gift." Even a little bit of a crush will do. i love every one of these lines you take all the dark dramatic fairytale elements and pull them from their pedestals and drop them on the floor and contemplate if you should maybe sweep them up or if they look nice sort of artfully arranged on the carpet like that

i'm sorry idk what that was

“And then Riddle complains about how everything in his life is pain and misery and suffering and smashed porcelain.” i am deceased

"You're a clock." this is too good emily oh man

OH MY DAYS. IS THIS SOME AUTHOR BLEED GOING ON HERE EMILY ARE YOU NOTT IS NOTT YOU

bellatrix is some snotty punk with attitude i love this so much i am in awe of you

i'm afraid this review is devoid of any actual substance except for me quoting your lines back at you and a weird extended metaphor about pedestals

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Review #75, by Ravenclaw333lay me down: i. can I lay by your side?

21st March 2015:
JESS

HOW DARE YOU

I AM CRYING THIS WAS SO BEAUTIFUL AND PAINFUL AND HOW DARE YOU KILL OFF ONE HALF OF MY OTP AND

HOW. DARE. YOU.

I'M SO UPSET YOU'RE AMAZING THIS BROKE MY HEART. SHATTERED INTO A MILLION PIECES. MAKE IT RIGHT AGAIN PLEASE

Author's Response: I'LL MAKE IT RIGHT AGAIN WHEN YOU DELETE THE ENDING TO CHAPTER 16 OF PFI OH MY GOD /ROSE/

HONESTLY THANK YOU SO MUCH THIS REVIEW IS GREAT I LOVE CAPSLOCK TYSM AYY

SORRY FOR DESTROYING YOUR HEART

- JESS, XO


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