Hi! magnolia_magic here with your requested review! I have to say, I don't read a lot of stories that focus on the Death Eaters, so this was a great chance for me to explore a new part of the HP universe. Thanks so much for requesting!
In answer to your question, yes, this definitely is original! I've never even thought about Thanatos Nott, let alone read a story from his point of view. And I think you'll find that a lot of readers are in the same situation. This kind of gives you free reign for his characterization, though, which gives you a lot to work with.
One element of Nott's character that I think you did really well is his underlying love for his kids. You don't shy away from his Death Eater evil-ness, which I think is appropriate (and some of his thoughts are so chilling and hateful--great job there). But then you'll have these oddly...sweet?...moments when he's thinking about Theodore. I love that you show us the opposing thoughts and emotions he holds; he definitely feels shame that his son betrayed the cause, and yet he's so relieved to see him free and safe. I just LOVED that awesome contrast :)
The moment when Theodore spits on the ground while he's looking at his father...gahh that was so sad! Because underneath all the politics and hate, it's so apparent that Thanatos would never want his son to have to suffer a Death Eater's fate. That moment kind of broke my heart, but it was also so beautiful to see a Death Eater show the self-sacrificing attitude of any other parent.
I really do think this works well as a stand-alone piece. You explain everything adequately enough that I never felt confused. And I love the style of Nott's narration! It's very lyrical and beautiful, but also so bitter. Great job there.
I really did love this! You did such a wonderful job, and I'd love to read more of your work! Feel free to re-request whenever you want :)
--MaggieAuthor's Response: Hello! I'm so happy you liked the story, and that is was something fresh to read. I really like writing the DE and Slytherins, so this was really fun for me! :)
I really liked writing Nott, and I'm glad he came across well. You're right, I had a lot of freedom to invent his character and had a really clear picture of him in my mind. I'm so happy you liked the contrast between his evil and softer sides! The fact that while Nott was a loyal Death Eater but didn't want his sons to necessarily follow the same path was very important to his character for me!
Thank you so very much for this truly lovely review! I'll certainly be re-requesting, I'd love to know what you think of the next chapter! :) Report Review
Hi Shelby, here I am with your requested review!
If there's anyone who knows how to create an ominous, unsettling-in-a-good-way kind of feel, it's definitely you. Goodness. From the very first paragraph, I knew I was hooked! The in-depth descriptions you use are so wonderful, and I love that you seem to know just how many words are necessary to make the most impact. The storm outside is beautifully described, and the birth scene is gruesome but not over the top. That image of blood dripping off the quilt onto Ursula's feet just really got me for some reason. It's just something I wouldn't have thought to mention if I had been describing something like this, and I love being caught by surprise.
My favorite line has got to be when you described Penelope's singing voice as "the high, sweet tinkling of breaking china." Just so perfect, and for some reason it made me sad. I guess thinking about china reminded me of how fragile Penelope is, and it just made her death feel even more tragic.
As for characterization, I thought Penelope was written well even if there's really no way to know much about her (which just adds to the mystery, obviously). But I really did feel an instant connection to Ursula. The little mention of her favorite quilt being damaged beyond repair just stuck with me. Her peaceful life is being thrown completely out of whack, and she's sacrificing everything for this mother and child. Not even the little things, like that quilt, are spared. But she can't just sit there and not do the right thing for this baby and his mother. I admire Ursula and at the same time I really do pity her. You did an awesome job of making her a well-rounded, sympathetic character; since she's only going to be around for the prologue, it would have been easy to just not bother with her characterization. But things like that really make a story stand out, so I love that you did her justice! Wonderful job :)
There are just a few nit-picky things that I think I'll mention, even though they're very small. First, there are a couple of spots where I think you could benefit from an active voice. Right off the top: "The shriek of a woman..." And again here: "It is three days since the birth of Reynold." Saying "a woman's shriek" and "Reynold's birth" would sound a lot less detached.
Also, there's a place where you say something about the ember of Penelope's life wilting. If it were me, I'd pick a different word than 'wilt,' because it seems to lend itself more to a plant metaphor. Embers fade, or they are smothered; something like that would make more sense with that fire metaphor you're using.
I absolutely LOVE the ending, how you begin to connect this prologue to the time of your story. It's almost like, it's a cliffhanger (because we don't know what the curse is) and yet it will still flow perfectly into the next chapter. Wonderful stuff, Shelby, really. I cannot wait to get into the rest of the story after reading this!
Thank you so much for the request, and I wish you luck in your novel-writing experience! You're off to a fantastic start :) Feel free to PM me if you have any questions, and to re-request any time!
--MaggieAuthor's Response: Hello Maggie, darling! Thank you so much for stopping by!
Oh, you know me! I do love the horror/dark - I might need help, haha! I'm so happy you were hooked right off the bat! I worked super hard on those descriptions, so it's good to hear from such an awesome reader/reviewer that they worked! And the blood dripping off of the quilt! I wrote it and it gives me the chills! I always want to give striking and memorable descriptions - I'm glad it stuck!
Ahh, you see the symbolism of that bit of description! Success! No one else has noticed it - the fragility of Penelope's life - thank you for noticing (and liking) that part! That makes me giddy!
Characterization is something that I'm definitely trying to focus on and develop in this novel. I feel like my oneshots have been so description and image-heavy that I've neglected the humanity of the characters. It is important to me that my readers connect with the character(s) in some form or fashion. I don't pretend to be JKR, by any means, but I want that same sort of impact. I want unforgettable characters. I'm happy that you like them so far, that means a lot to me! (You are one of my favorite readers - always have been - and I always appreciate your opinions, CC, praise, etc.).
I didn't notice those things! You get so wrapped up in a chapter, you skip over things like that. Thanks for the head's-up!
Ahh, the ending! Everyone is loving the ending! I knew it was good, but I didn't know it would make such an impact!
Thank you so, so much for the wonderful review. I haven't done it justice with this nonsensical ramble! Thank you so much, again! I really appreciate it! :)
Shelby Report Review
Hey! So ever since our swap I've been catching up on this story, and I thought it was probably time I actually reviewed it :) You're doing a fantastic job with this!
When I think about how to describe the experience of reading this story, the first word I think of is fun. Even when you describe the things Edie hates about her life, like her menial work and obnoxious boss, you aren't asking us to seriously pity her. Instead, her misfortunes me laugh in a "that's-so-true" kind of way, and I find myself rooting for her. You take the everyday things that make us want to scream, and put a funny twist on them. I think that must be why I find myself in a great mood after reading one of your chapters.
Oh, and I'm dying to see more of Theo. As the one bright spot in Edie's less-than-desirable work life, he's someone I want to get to know better. Plus, he sounds like he'd make a great love interest for her at some point, maybe? Oh well, I'll find out :)
I'm still amazed at the sheer amount of description you're able to give us, and yet I hardly ever feel a lag in the action. The coffee mug part was the only time I felt impatient to move on, and even then I wasn't that impatient because the image of that mug was so priceless :) I have a very short attention span, so I'm not a fan of wading through lots of description. But you've done a great job of holding my attention, which is an accomplishment, haha. Just know that some people like to get right to the action without all the scene-painting, and that's okay. You can't please everyone; just keep doing what you're doing, because it's working really well.
This was a great chapter! I love what you're doing with Edie, and the WW crew is so obnoxious that it's entertaining :) Keep up the awesome work!
--MaggieAuthor's Response: Aww, thank you! Thanks for taking the time to come back and review. :3
You're spot-on with your reaction to Edie's life. I made a conscious decision when the KC&CO plunnies were first appearing to make Edie's constant misfortune a joke. It would definitely be normal to feel sorry for her, but in a way that you can still laugh. One of my favorite quotations (by Robin Williams, which is weird) is "nothing is so bad that you can't laugh at it," and that's the feeling I wanted to achieve with this story!
Agh! You don't know how nice it is to see that this story puts readers in a good mood :'D
Theo does appear again in the story, although not until chapter ten. But he definitely has a ~*~super secret~*~ recurring role, and that's all I'll say about that ;3
The coffee mug was something I considered not including. I really didn't want Edie's narration to sound *too* conversational, and I think that it strays too far into her addressing the reader directly. I need to re-work it into the story, at a better time, because I too love the image of the mug, haha.
Thank you again, very much, for the review. I'm glad you pointed out that bit with the mug because I'd forgotten about it--I'll fix that on my next editing go-around! Report Review
Hi! Since we're having a Valentine's day Review-a-Thon, I thought I'd take the opportunity to come look at your story. And I am so glad I did!
This just made me feel so warm and fuzzy from start to finish. I love to read about families and how they work, and this look at Harry's new family was just beautiful. I can see how much it means to him to be able to give James the life he never had as a child. His "conversation" with his son was probably my favorite part of this chapter. It just really tugged at my heartstrings, and even though I've never had children, it made me think about what I might say to them when I do. You just made it so easy to put myself in Harry's position, which is a sign of a very skilled writer.
The other thing I loved was how real everything seemed. I mean, it was very heartwarming, but not in a cheesy way. Harry and Ginny are so comfortable with each other, and I love that you show us their everyday banter as well as the tender moments between them. Molly and Arthur are clearly veterans in this area, and their wisdom makes me smile. And their scene with Ron and Hermione is another high point for me, because it brings up an idea that I had never thought about. When the world around you changes, you change with it. I loved watching Ron and Hermione's apprehensive reaction to that idea, and they add a great little dose of comedy to the serious subject matter.
I'm so glad I read this; you did a great job with it! Good luck in the ship-off!
--MaggieAuthor's Response: Hi, there!
I'm glad that the story resonated with you. For me, it was really rewarding to capture Harry and Ginny in this very special, very happy moment. All of the canon characters go through so many awful things in the book and more generally in fan fiction. The good times deserve a bit of play, I think too.
Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Hi! I'm here for review swap!
Wow, what an awesome surprise! I've never read a story with memory loss as a main plot point, but this was a fantastic place to start. I honestly loved everything about this chapter, so prepare for gushing and fangirling ahead :)
The way you begin the chapter is brilliant. Your descriptions--the stark hospital room Audrey's realization that her memory is blank--create an ominous picture, and it's a really interesting note to start on.
Actually, I really loved your description all throughout the chapter, not just the beginning. You take the time to describe such minute details, like the texture of a cauldron cake or the feel of Darius's hand as Audrey shakes it, and it's so much fun to really delve into those descriptions. Your details are well-chosen, and I never feel like I'm bogged down with too much imagery and not enough story. You strike a wonderful balance.
Audrey's narration is fascinating, too. She seems to look at everything with an air of curiosity, and yet she's not preoccupied with finding out everything about her past. She seems more focused on the future and her new life, which I think is so unexpected. I'm very excited to learn more about her!
I love your supporting cast as well, especially Andrew. I really liked hearing him tell Audrey stories of their childhood, and yet it was kind of sad. You can tell he's so connected with the stories, while Audrey just can't find any personal meaning in them. I can see how hard it must be for Andrew to have to explain their family life to his own sister, who experienced it with him.
There is literally nothing I would change about this chapter. However, I think a revamped summary would help this story tremendously. I don't know how to explain it exactly, but your summary didn't really grab me when I read it. Of course, the chapter itself is just fantastic, but I think your summary needs a little more of a punch to draw people in. I'd shorten it, and maybe choose a quote that captures the mystery of the story. Something from the first few paragraphs would be great, I think :)
Okay, done gushing now! I loved this, and it's going in my favorites for sure! Wonderful job, and thank you so much for agreeing to swap with me :)
--MaggieAuthor's Response: Aww, thank you so much! :) It was definitely out of my comfort zone when I started writing it, so I'm glad it's working out so far - especially descriptions! I was thinking, "what would it be like to see the world with new eyes?"
I'll work on my summary, thanks for pointing that out! I'm not good at those things :/
Going over to read yours now! Thanks again :) Report Review
Kiana! I saw your status on the forums and decided to give your story some love :) And I'm glad I did! I like a good nextgen romance, and I think this is shaping up to be a fun read.
I really like the way you start the chapter, getting right into Rose's tough internal conflict. You just immerse us into the action right away, and that's a fun way to start a story. The only thing I might change about that first section is when you start using "you" in the general sense. For instance, when you say, "No one can understand what you're going through..." if it were me, I would phrase it, "No one can understand what I'm going through." And so on. Does that make sense? These thoughts are very important to Rose; using "I" instead of "you" would give her more ownership of them, and make them even more personal.
The flashbacks are easily my favorite part of this chapter. I love everything about the sorting scene, especially the fact that you place Scorpius in Ravenclaw. It seems like a neutral-ground kind of house, and maybe that signifies a new direction for the Malfoy family. And I love how nervous you made Rose and Scorpius about their house, and what their families will think.
And then in the second flashback, they decide not to care what their families think anymore. I just love that! They're taking control of their own lives. And that kiss scene was so adorable, just the right amount of fluff :)
I might add a little more lead-up to the second flashback, though. I love the scene itself, but it seemed to come very abruptly. Maybe ease into it a little more somehow, by delving deeper into her emotions when she hears Scorpius is moving back to London?
Now I'm wondering what could have happened to Scorpius and Rose, since they seem like they'd be such a good couple. I guess I'll have to read on! Nice job with this opener, Kiana!
--MaggieAuthor's Response: Hey Maggie, it's so lovely to receive a review from you, as I haven't seen you around for a while!
Yes Rose is suffering from some internal conflict, with her impending marriage, and being a child of 2/3 of the Golden Trio, is a lot harder than most people make it out, as she's not allowed to fail really! I agree with you about the use of you, as I think it would make it more personal, and allow the reader to feel as if they are perhaps being directly addressed.
I'm glad that you liked the flashbacks, as I was a little worried about them, as they can go bad so easily. I agree with what you mean about Ravenclaw being neutral, as it's a new start for both the Weasley and Malfoy families, and I guess having Rose and Scorpius unites them, and shows they're not in fact very different.
I guess that's also shown in the second flashback, as it's a new era really, where blood and family status is not as important as it was prior to the war. I'm glad that it was too fluff filled, as I thought it was, as kiss scenes are so hard to!
Yes I do agree that it would work better if there is more of a lead up to the second flashback, as it is rather abrupt. I didn't think of adding in her feelings, but that is a good idea, so I'll go back and it in:)
I've written nearly all of the chapters for once, except for the final one, so I'm still deciding in my head what happens to Rose and Scorpius, I'll guess that you'll have to wait and see;) Thanks for the lovely review Maggie! Report Review
Hey, here for review swap!
I have to say, I think you've improved on characterization a lot in this chapter. I got a much better feel for Sapphire's character in this than I did for Amber's character in your first chapter. I think I'll like her. She seems very sharp and serious, especially in the first section with Fred. I'll be interested to see how that situation unfolds.
Fred seems very different from how I would have imagined him, which is cool. He's very suave and cool, and clearly a ladies’ man. I usually see James characterized that way, so you've got an interesting twist on next gen traditions.
I couldn't help feeling confused when Sapphire first started talking to Fred, though, because you didn't give us his name until the very end of their exchange. Mystery is great up to a point, but you want to be careful not to let intrigue turn to frustration for your readers.
Also, I was so confused about names in this. Sapphire goes by Vi in chapter 1; which one is it? And does Amber go by Amber or Ruby? If it were me, I would pick one and stick with it when it comes to names.
Overall, though, I think this chapter is an improvement on the first, and I'm excited to see this story keep getting better! Thanks again for the swap!
--MaggieAuthor's Response: Heyy Maggie!
First, I'll be getting to your review tomorrow! Promise! haha I like to go through with my swaps :P If I forget plz feel free to message me on the forums and yell LOL.
I am glad you liked this! I had a hard time writing about Saph cuz I needed her to be different than Amber and now I am glad you realize that she is different.
In the next chapter the whole name thing will be explained in intricate details no worries!!
Thank you=) Im really glad you liked it!! Report Review
Hi! I'm really glad we got the whole swap thing worked out, because I loved reading this chapter! I've been hearing about this story on the forums, and I can see why so many people love it :)
I really like the present tense narration. I rarely use it but I really admire authors who do, because it puts the readers right there in the action. I think when it's done well (as yours definitely is), it can really add a lot to a story. I felt like I was right there in the bar with them, experiencing all the sights and sounds you describe so well.
That's another thing: I like how you sprinkle in little details throughout the chapter about what's going on in the background, what things look like or sound like, or what people around Edie are doing. It creates a complete picture and puts everything in context for me while I'm reading. Instead of just giving Edie's thoughts and leaving it at that, you've created a vibrant backdrop for the chapter, and that's a suprisingly rare find. Great job there!
I also love the ideas you're bringing up about young people facing the real world, and not knowing what in the world they're going to do. I totally get Edie's tinge of bitterness when she's thinking about Lisa; there's nothing worse than looking at someone who has it all together when you're still flailing around, wondering what your life is supposed to be about. I've been there (in fact, I'm there right now), so I can tell this story is going to resonate with me.
Here's my favorite part: "We throw back the glasses. It tastes like it always does: a mixture of shame for being twenty-six, a hybrid of unpaid intern and barkeep, with no love-life to speak of, and getting sloshed at a pub virtually every night--and also the certainty of knowing that I have the best mates in the world." You end the chapter on a note of hope, despite everything. And then your very last line brings reality back, but it's okay because you've given this wonderful statement that everything will be okay somehow. I just love that :)
Okay, so I'll stop gushing now! I loved this first chapter, and I really look forward to reading on! Thanks again for the swap, and keep up the awesome work on this story!
--MaggieAuthor's Response: Hello! Thanks so much for the review, and I'm sorry about the confusion over the swap. Glad we finally worked it out, because I absolutely love your story!
I actually just went back and edited this chapter last night, and am much happier with it. A lot of readers pointed out that I dump a lot of information about Lisa/Justin but they're not even in the scene, so I went back and added them in. I also added more physical descriptions of the pub itself!
I'm so glad to hear this resonates with you. Not because of your life situation--which is pretty much my life situation too. By writing this story, I wanted to reach readers who are in the same boat, and give them hope and tell them that they're not alone. The economy is shot right now, but maybe there's hope for us aspiring young people! :D
I'm glad you liked that line. It was the way I felt this past summer, when I would work at a restaurant in the day, take a nap, meet my friends for dinner and then go to the bars, and wake up super early for work again. It was irresponsible, I suppose, but we all bonded over it and I wouldn't take it back ever! :3 I wanted Edie, Dean and Seamus to feel the same sense of companionship; of being able to relate in their uncertainty about life but their determination to enjoy the moment.
Man! This is a really sentimental response! Haha. I think it's time to end this, so I'll just say again thank you so much for the review swap. I will definitely be checking out your story again. Report Review
Hi aquablue! I'm here for our review swap! :)
This was such a roller coaster! I had fun keeping up with all the twists you pack into this first chapter. At first I had a lot of questions (Why is she getting married if she doesn't want to? Are the Malfoy children non-canon?), but you answered them all by the end. And speaking of the end, I love the way you conclude this chapter. It has a really ominous tone, and it's going to do a great job of pulling your readers in. Awesome job there!
There were some spelling errors that distracted me. The one that struck me most was when I'd see "Ya" instead of "Yeah." I think writing out the full word would make this look much more polished, and you won't lose any of the spunk that Amber has in her dialogue :)
I loved the way you went back and forth between the past and the present. It was so much fun! Like I said, it felt like a roller-coaster. I hope I can get to know your characters better in future chapters; there was so much going on in this one that characterization had to take a back seat to the action-packed plot. But I like what I've seen of Amber and Draco so far, and I look forward to seeing more :)
Thanks again for swapping with me! I think you've got a good start here...keep it up!
--MaggieAuthor's Response: Hey Maggie!
Thank you so much for the review! Im glad you liked the chp!
Alright I'll keep the spelling errors in mind :P
Im glad you like the characters! You will really get to meet them in chp 3 =) Report Review
Hi, I'm here for our review swap! Thanks so much for taking me up on this :)
So when I was looking at your author page, I realized that I've actually read this chapter before, and loved it! I didn't leave a review at the time (shame on me, I know), so I'm glad to be doing it now.
I have to start by saying this is an idea I've never seen on the archives before, ever. Props to you for coming up with something so imaginative! I loved seeing the contrast between Sirius' life and Lexi's, and I really liked seeing Sirius re-evaluate what he'd learned about Muggles. It seems like Lexi's influence could be what makes Sirius different from the rest of his family. She shows him how to look at life from a new perspective, and I love seeing that.
I would have loved to know more about Lexi's life, since we see her mostly through Sirius's eyes in this chapter. But I'll just have to stay tuned to find out more, and also to find out what happened to her! I think you do a great job of channeling your inner child in the narrative, especially the letters; they way you wrote them sounds so appropriate for kids of thier age, and it helped me really immerse myself in the story.
One question: how did Sirius know Lexi was a Muggle? Was there some clue that I missed? I would have liked a little more clarity about that one thing, but that's the only nit-picky concrit I have for you. Awesome job with this! I hope you continue, because I would definitely be interested in reading on. Thanks again for the swap!
--MaggieAuthor's Response: Hiya! No problem at all!
At least you reviewed eventually, so I don't mind (too much). ;)
Oooh, thank you so much! ♥ I was just daydreaming about Sirius and how he got Sorted into Gryffindor in the first place, with the Blacks' attitude against Muggles. So then I thought "What if a Muggle changed his perspective?" and then "How? He obviously wouldn't socialize with them." The idea of the hole in the wall was inspired by Doctor Who - [spoiler] in The Eleventh Hour, Amy's bedroom wall is connected to another world through a crack in the wall, which gave me the idea of a hole connecting the magical and Muggle worlds [end spoiler]. So yeah, Lexi was always meant to influence Sirius before Hogwarts. ;D
I didn't want to include too much of Lexi's life, since that's discovered through the story by the Marauders, Lily and Ella. And you're correct - what happens to Lexi will be revealed late in the story! :P Thank you for the compliment about the letters - I was terrified they would be considered too old for two ten-year-olds to write, so I'm really happy that they were written well enough for you to immerse yourself in the story!
I think the fact that Grimmauld Place is a Muggle street would have been a giveaway. ;) Also, Lexi doesn't write with ink and parchment, but with pen and paper - and she has an electric lamp, whereas Sirius' lamp is oil (I think). Those differences are subtle, but they're enough for Sirius to know that Lexi doesn't come from his world - and his natural assumption would then be that she's a Muggle. :)
I am definitely continuing - this story gets updated slower than my other one, because that one gets chapters written in chronological order - 1, 2, 3 - while this one has its chapters written out of order - 1, 5, 3, 9, 2 etc. I'd be interested in reading your reviews on future chapters to see what you think of it! ;)
-Katie Report Review
Hi Shaza! Thanks so much for swapping with me :)
Honestly, this caught my eye simply because of the title. I like anything with a mystical, sort of mysterious feel, and I thought this would do the trick. And I'm so glad I picked it, because it was so sweet! I especially loved the connection Luna has with her mother's memory. I love the idea that she still guides her daughter even though she's passed away.
I can definitely see Luna's mother being the type of person who reads tarot cards and uses their guidance in life. I'm glad it worked for Luna, too. I really like the way you've shown her fondness for her friends and her desire to do something special for them. That seems just like the Luna we know and love from the books :)
The ending seemed a little abrupt to me, almost like you cut off in the middle of a moment instead of seeing it through to the end. Does that make sense? I would have liked to see this story expanded a little, maybe a little more about her emotions and thoughts as she sees her finished paintings? Or even circling back to a final thought about her mother. I think a little more detail at the end would help this feel more complete. The lead-up to the ending was so enjoyable I just wanted to see more! That's always a good thing :)
I really enjoyed this! Thanks again for the swap, and I hope to read more of your work soon!
--MaggieAuthor's Response: Hey there!
Yeah, I just thought Luna would still look to her mum for influence even though she wasn't there.
I'm glad you think I've got Luna right, I'd never written her before and I wasn't too sure I could get her write, so thank you!
I'll go back thorugh and see if I can edit the ending a bit, thanks for pointing that out!
Thank you for the review! :) Report Review
Hi Shaza! Thank you so much for this! It's so precious, and I do love a Godric/Rowena story :)
I loved the dialogue you used in this; it felt very true to the time period. I especially loved Godric's line: "Time ceases to stop just because we will it so." I just thought that was gorgeous. Overall, this was so precious and touching, and I loved reading it. Thank you again! :)
--MaggieAuthor's Response: Hey there, I'm glad you liked it! :)
Yeah, not sure where the old language came from, maybe too much shakespeare!
Thanks for the review! :) Report Review
Hi! Maggie here from review swap!
So I picked this story hoping that it would make me laugh, and so far it's definitely accomplishing that. I love that you picked Hugo as the narrator, because his voice is great fun to read, and I like experiencing this from his point of view. I can't wait to see what happens when Hugo has to confront Killian :)
As for Killian, he seems like a great guy and a good sport, so I think he'd be the perfect choice to join the Weasley ranks. But of course the boys have to make sure of that in the most hilarious way possible.
Thanks so much for swapping with me! I loved reading this, and I'm so glad to have found it. I'll definitely be reading on!
--MaggieAuthor's Response: Hi and sorry for the late answer!
I'm so glad you chose this story to reivew, it's one I enjoyed writting a lot and definitly one of the most humoristic I have :)
Killian is a great guy, he just fell in love with a girl that has a crazy family, that's all! But he's a good sport so he'll play along. The boys (and Lucy) are all testing him to make sure he'd be a good Weasley and that he will fit in well with their family.
I'm really glad you enjoyed this story so far, thanks again for the review! Report Review
Hi! Maggie here from review swap!
Wow. I just loved this! The way you shift back and forth from the past to the present feels effortless, and I loved the glimpses into Colin and Luna's time together at Hogwarts. I can see them being a really cute couple, and I think you did a great job of showing that through those little moments between them at Hogwarts.
My favorite moment in this is the part where she's mixing the color for Colin's eyes, and realizes it looks right in the sunset. And then that leads to a sweet memory of him telling her about why he loves the sunset so much. I think that connection is just wonderful, and it made me smile. But then there's that tinge of sadness to the whole thing, because we know what eventually happens to Colin.
The idea of counting to a thousand during the painting scenes was a great touch. It brought this sense of continuity to the whole thing that I just loved.
I really, really enjoyed this! Thanks for swapping with me, and I'm so glad to have found this story :)
--MaggieAuthor's Response: Thank you so much for such a nice review :) Its really made my day :D Report Review
Hi! I am so sorry about this insane wait, but here I am with your review. Thank you so much for requesting this story...it's definitely not like anything I've ever read, and I really enjoyed it!
I think your strongest area in this chapter is characterization. The wolf was especially fascinating. I love how you write Remus and his alter ego as two separate characters; it's a really interesting take on the whole werewolf situation. The wolf is obviously much more aggressive than Remus himself, but I loved seeing the influence Remus had on the wolf. Could that mean there's hope for Remus to overcome his "furry little problem"? I can't wait to find out!
As for Remus himself, I like him so far. He seems very kindhearted and soft-spoken, just how I would imagine him. He's my favorite Marauder, and I'm excited to get to know him better.
The transformation was just heartbreaking. I felt so awful for Remus. You really got me inside his head, I think, and I felt like I was standing right next to him watching the whole thing unfold. That scene is very emotional, and I think it's the most memorable part of your chapter.
I'm definitely interested in reading on! The other Marauders are what I'm looking forward to most--what will they say to Remus when he becomes human again? Will they support him right away, or will it take some time? And how will Remus react when he realizes he's attacked his best friends? So many questions to answer!
Overall I think this is a very strong opening chapter. It captured my attention and sparked my curiosity about events to come (which is what you want in an opener.) Great job, and feel free to re-request!
--MaggieAuthor's Response: Don't worry about when you review! I took forever answering! I'm here though! :D
I'm glad that you liked the characterization of Wolf and Remus. Ever since the beginning of this story I started to see Remus' struggle with the werewolf and how they really are like flatmates that really dislike each other but have no choice but to share the space.
Remus is my favorite marauder as well so I wanted to give him justice. He always felt, to me, a very patient man but I think it might've taken a lot of practice in his younger year in order to master it.
The transformation was the hardest to write! I wanted for it to be as realistic as it could be. Its not suppose to be pretty nor painless and I wanted to show that to people.
Ah, you'll have the answers to all those questions in the following chapter whenever you get the chance to read it!
Thank you so much for your kind review! :D
Until next time!
--Rosie Report Review
Hey Shelby! I'm finally here with your review. Sorry I'm running so behind (suprise, suprise), but I'm so glad you requested this review. I love reading your stuff :)
If I were you, I wouldn't worry about description or imagery. Your prose brings out some really striking sensory details, like the ant bites and the broken diamonds of her heart. And you've got some really gorgeous lines in here, as usual. I especially love "prison halo", "through the cosmos and the years and shabby veil", and "each bubbling emotion." I'm going to use the word striking again, because it's the best word I can think of to describe the style of this piece. Even if some parts don't make a lot of sense (which is the point, I'm guessing), the emotion carries through loud and clear. I loved reading it :)
I love the contrast between the paragraphs, the quotes in italics, and the little lines in parentheses. Not only is it just interesting to read, it adds a visual element to the piece that I really enjoyed. However, I almost felt like the parts in parentheses didn't really add much to the story, except just unexpected visual details. Does that make sense? With the quotes, I felt like I was learning more about the characters and that the story was moving. With the parentheses parts, I didn't get anything that I couldn't have gotten from the paragraphs. It kind of seems like they're just there to be there.
With a piece like this, I think the style and the writing itself obviously takes center stage, and characterization is sort of a background element. I felt like you could have inserted any names into this story and it would have fit just as well as Eileen and Tobias. But I'm not saying that as a criticism; I think that ambiguous feel is really cool. Even if you took the names out altogether and just left the characters anonymous, that would be interesting too. It would get our imaginations going even more :)
So overall, I'd say you can call this experiment a success :) I loved reading it! It's so creative, and I had a lot of fun delving into the experimental prose. Awesome job with this! Keep it up :)
--MaggieAuthor's Response: I'm so sorry that it has taken me this long to reply! The last month of a college semester is just so crazy!
I'm really glad that you liked the imagery. I'm always trying to cultivate my voice as a writer and the imagery I use to convey that voice. It's so difficult - so, I'm glad you liked it! ("Prison halo" is one of my favorite phrases!).
You know, they are just sort of there just to be there. I used them in another, slightly older story ("Come, Sugar") - it's a stylistic technique I've been playing around with. Some readers really enjoy it and some don't like it at all. For me, it seems to add another perspective/voice to the story. Maybe I need to reevaluate?
Yes, the writing does take center stage. Some have said that it really takes away from the characters, but the focus isn't really meant to be on them. It is, but it isn't. It's one of those stories where I'm trying to expand the boundaries of my writing by looking into serious literary expression while still within the realm of fanfiction. Very complicated! :P
I do hope you liked the story! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review, Maggie! As always, I appreciate your insightful feedback! :)
Hi! Maggie here from the forums with your review!
First of all, it was such an unexpected pleasure to read this story. I wasn't sure what to think about a story centered around Madam Pomfrey--I had never read one before, and so I had no clue what to expect. But I just love what you've done with this! The prose is beautiful. There's just not a lot more I can say about it. I just lost myself in the flow of the words, and I was fascinated by the description of magical diseases. It's just captivating.
My favorite part is the way you end the first section. "Skin cells can remember things too." Just a beautiful line, simple and yet heart-rendering.
In your request, you asked if I could tell that this chapter was narrated by two different characters. Honestly, I couldn't. I had no idea until I read back over your post and read your areas of concern. And that was super confusing, especially with the change from second person to first. But then again, I saw that some of your reviewers picked up on it right away. So maybe I'm just slow on the uptake (very likely :P), but I couldn't tell at all, and I was really confused about who was narrating and why it was suddenly first person at the end.
That said, though, I think you did a wonderful job with writing in second person. It's kind of a tricky animal: sometimes it's completely awkward, and sometimes it really adds to the story. Yours is lyrical and effortless to read, and it lends a mysterious feel to that introduction. I loved reading it :)
Overall, I think you're off to an amazing start! Feel free to PM me if you have any questions, and I'd love to see a re-request when my queue empties out :)
--Maggie Report Review
Hi Amanda! I'm finally here with your review :)
So I've been following this story as you've updated (even though I haven't been reviewing...shameful, I know), and I think this is my favorite chapter. I love everything about it; the imagery is spot on, the interactions between your characters feel very natural, and Helena's internal struggle is just gripping for me. Awesome job!
I just love the way you write Helga. She entertains me; one minute she says something totally vapid-sounding, and the next she's advising Helena to be a progressive woman. Everything she says is unexpected, and I love it :)
Helena just seems very unsure about the whole situation with Venn. All throughout the chapter, I just get the sense that she's overwhelmed, and feels caught up in something she's not ready for. The wedding dress discussion, her uncertainty about the token...things like that tell me that she's not comfortable with her situation. And Venn's cheating seems like a very convenient excuse for her to escape. It's so interesting to see her mind work here.
I have absolutely no concrit for you...I just really loved this chapter! Keep up the awesome work, and feel free to re-request for chapter 9!
--MaggieAuthor's Response: Hello Maggie! Thank you for stopping by!
Ooh, I'm so glad you liked this chapter. It felt a little uncomfortable for me because I really don't like my action scenes in general, but I'm glad you felt like the parts I'm more confident about (i.e., characterization, imagery, emotion) helped it shine overall. That's great :)
I love Helga! I had been keeping her back as this secret weapon, and I just decided that it was time to introduce her. I think she provides a cool feminist-y perspective to the whole story, and hopefully a bit of humor. I love that you view her as unexpected!
I think it's important to remember that Helena is still so young. So little of this is up to her, and yet she's saddled with the responsibility. Venn, for his part, hasn't done very much to win her heart yet. Hopefully that will change :)
Thanks again for this wonderful review!
Amanda Report Review
Hi! Maggie here from the forums with your requested review :)
I see that you've gotten a lot of comments to this effect, but I have to just say that I love the way you start this chapter off. The details are great, and starting off with the mundane aspects of Ron's morning are a good way to ease us into things. I mean, sometimes I enjoy being plunged headlong into the action, but I found your calm, unhurried beginning to be a nice change from that :)
I also love the way you voice Ron's thoughts about Hermione. We all know that he isn't really the sappy romantic type, and I think you do a really good job of reflecting that. You show us how his feelings for Hermione have developed, and what his memories of her mean to him, but you don't go over the top with emotion. You really do a great job making his thoughts realistic (but still precious ;)
I saw a few minor grammar issues (mostly leaving out commas where they need to be placed), but nothing terribly distracting. Still, I'd suggest looking into a beta reader. We've got some great ones on the forums, and I think that could really help this story become the best it can be.
The little glimpse we get of Molly is spot on, I think, and I like the way you write Ron and Hermione's interaction. He's obnoxious, she overreacts...it's just classic Romione, and I think you execute it really well
Great job so far! Feel free to re-request; I'm excited to see where this one goes :)
--MaggieAuthor's Response: Thank you so much for the R&R.
Every time someone says they liked my characterization of Ron I do this little happy dance inside, because out of all the characters I probably write him the least.. so that's always a nice little boost ;)
And as far as Molly... I just adore her.. how can you not? LOL. But again, she's another one I rarely write so thank you so much!
I'll definitely be back to request the next chapter!
Can't wait to see what you think!
~Moon~ Report Review
Hi, here from review tag!
I was so impressed with this. You write Draco so well, with such arrogance and pride. I haven't really read that many stories about him, and none that seem so true to the character we see in the books. It was plain to see that Pansy was just a toy to him, just an object designed to please him. It makes total sense that he would think about people that way, in terms of what they can do for him. I just think his narrative (and dialogue too, for that matter), is so chilling.
I loved the scene with Snape too; I could just imagine Draco's shock. His whole concept of the world just comes crashing down around him (hence the chapter title, I guess :P), and I just thought it was so well done. I'm looking forward to seeing how he handles this! And I love Snape's dialogue, especially the line about "a new definition of the word regret." It was just the kind of witty thing he would say, and I could just hear his drawling voice saying it :)
You've got a really great start here; I was hooked from the very first line! As soon as I can carve out some more free time, I'm definitely reading on. Keep it up!
--MaggieAuthor's Response: Hi!
I'm glad you enjoyed my version of Draco Malfoy. He's obviously going to change a bit over the course of the story as events unfold around him, but I hope that I can preserve some of that essential self-importance and cluelessness that make him who he is. He really does look at Pansy in much the same way that a child thinks of their favorite toy. But if you keep reading, you'll find out that he's not the only one with an agenda in that relationship.
The scene with Snape was so much fun to write. I just got the image in my head of Alan Rickman sweeping into the room and it more or less wrote itself.
I'm really glad that you enjoyed it! Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Molly! I saw that you had a Founders fic up and I just had to read it. And I'm so glad I did! This was awesome! :)
I love the present tense, first of all. I think it adds a lot of intensity, and it fits well with the mood of the piece. And you've got great imagery going here, particularly the description of the fight at the very beginning. It thrusts the reader right into the middle of everything, and I just love that. And you have some beautiful lines describing the characters. I'm so impressed by how much you managed to convey about these characters in so few words.
Here's my favorite part: "Fair Rowena, with her bent head and broken crown, Good Godric, with his soured nobility, and Dear Helga, with her kind eyes turned cruel. These are his friends now; these are their true colors." I just think this is gorgeous, and so heartbreaking. I even felt just a little sorry for Salazar there, even though the rest of his narrative and dialogue just chilled me to the bone.
My only issue was the very end. I like the way it just sort of breaks off; it gives an incomplete feel to this that I thought was so cool. But I wasn't clear on what Helga meant by her statement. Does she want to remedy the crack made when people apparate? I think maybe a few words of clarification would help. That way, readers will be left thinking only about the awesomeness of the story, and not going, "Wait, what?" Haha I hope that makes sense :)
I'm so glad I read this! It leaves me wanting to read more about these characters, and your writing is just beautiful. Keep up the great work!
--Mags Report Review
Hi, here from Hufflepuff review tag!
This was so sweet! I've never read a fic from the POV of a six-year-old before, and I thought you did a great job of making Darcy's voice childlike. I just grinned through the whole thing :) Seamus and Padma have a sweet little family, and I really loved how sweet Seamus was with Darcy.
Have you written any more about any of these characters? I had fun reading this little moment in their lives, and I just wondered if you had more in mind for them. And I couldn't help but notice you have a character named Darcy in one of your other stories...perhaps a grown-up version of this Darcy? I'll have to find out :)
This one-shot is super cute! Keep up the good work :)
--MaggieAuthor's Response: Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed this! It was really fun for me to write as a six year old. Also, I loved the idea of Seamus and Padma together, I think they'd make a cute couple. In the other story, it's the same character just grown up! It's when she's 17 and going to her last year at Hogwarts. haha. I'm really glad you thought this was so sweet and I hope you'll check out more of my work!
Cassie :) Report Review
"He couldn't get through any family gathering without someone mentioning the other Fred, his uncle. The real Fred."
This line. It just made me so sad, because I hate to see Fred thinking that way. That he's not the "real" Fred. And yet, it makes perfect sense for him to feel that way, like his only purpose in the Weasley family was to replace his uncle. Except thata he doesn't live up to everyone's expectations. That's got to be so, so hard. And you conveyed all that with just one line. That's why I love your stories so much.
Ahem. Please excuse my rambling, B, but I'm just so excited to be reviewing another story in this series! And I had to geek out over that part, because it just really struck me :) Now, on to the rest:
The little things you've told us about George really upset me, because I just want him to accept his son for who he is, and not try to make him different. I just feel like that's what a parent should do. But then again, not all families are perfect, and I really like the dysfunctional picture you've painted of the Weasleys. Not that they're completely unhealty, but they're just normal. Every family has drama. Every family has a black sheep or two. I think you do an awesome job of showing the Weasley's in their good and bad moments :)
One little style critique: In the paragraph that begins, "He made his way up the bus, nodded to the driver, etc." you use the word 'cafe' an awful lot. I might vary that wording to make it seem a little less choppy.
When I first read through this, I wondered why Fred's love interest wasn't fleshed out as much as some of the others. We don't really get to meet her beyone a passing glance, and even Fred doesn't know much about her. But then I read it again, and I realized how perfect it was for Fred's story. For him, Anna represents hope for the future, and maybe a way for him to come to terms with his past. That idea is what's most important, not necessarily Anna herself (though she seems completely adorable, and I think she'd probably be good for Fred.) I just really love the way you worked with that, and gave Fred something (someone?) to look forward to.
I really liked this one! And I'd love to see more about Fred; he seems like he'd have a very interesting story to tell :) Great job!
--MaggieAuthor's Response: Hi Maggie!
Sorry, I've been away again but I'll try to finish "Molly" this weekend! Since you've been following my stories- or continued to over that break - I'm really sorry my first update was such a weak chapter.
Thank you so much for such a thoughtful review! I know I was a little hard on George here, I don't think he would have been that bad, and a lot of what Fred II says and thinks is self inflicted, but I really avoid thinking about George too much because I know he won't be ok and it makes me too sad.
I'd like to think Fred works it out though, in the prologue he's happy enough :)
Yeah, I get what you mean there. I wanted her to be a potential love interest as opposed to "new girlfriend" but I think I did this at the cost of getting to know Anna. When I decided Fred would end up with a Muggle girl I was really eager to get into that, but it didn't happen. Maybe another time I'll get back to it!
And I'll be sure to change that "cafe" thing when editing, that is a bit strange!
B Report Review
Hi! I read your blog post in the forums about this story, and since Dean/Luna is my favorite pairing ever, I just had to make time to review it :)
I think you've got a wonderful first chapter here. I think you did a great job of exploring Luna's subtleties and little quirks...she's so difficult to write (I can attest to that!), and your version of her felt very true to the books. Her dialogue was perfect too; she says things so matter-of-factly, but they sound strange to everyone but her. Great job with her! And I'm looking forward to getting to know Dean a little better in future chapters :)
My favorite scene was the part right after Bill tells them about the battle at Hogwarts. For some reason that just struck me, the two of them hugging right before the battle. It was just a wonderful quiet moment before all the craziness that is the Hogwarts battle.
I do have just a little bit of concrit, and it's really just a personal preference kind of thing, so you can take this or leave it :) In your summary, you mention that the relationship might not last. I get that you want to stick to canon, but for me that statement almost takes away from the significance of what they have while they're together. Does that make sense? If it were me, I'd keep the focus on the present with this couple, instead of drawing attention to the fact that they aren't permanent.
I absolutely love your ending. That promise of a new beginning...it's just such an inspiring way to end a chapter (and begin the rest of your story.) I especially love the line: "There was longing in that look-to live and love and to not waste another minute ever again." I just think that's beautiful. A great note to end on :)
Keep up the good work! I really enjoyed this, and I hope you know that there are Dean/Luna fans out there that will follow it :)
--MaggieAuthor's Response: Dean is a delight to write in some places, Luna is a never-ending struggle, therefore it pleased me so much that you liked this version of her. Yes, Bill telling them about the Battle felt very poignant for me too. That moment they both realised they're going somewhere dangerous and that it was important to admit they cared about each other to a certain extent. I'm so glad you picked up on that.
Your concrit makes sense to me, and I already took that part out. I'm horrible with summaries, always adding these things that I think will make it more interesting, but in reality they just dumb the summary down. Thank you for being honest about that. :)
The ending was nice to write, I could dwell a little on the happy part instead of the more sinister ones.
Maggie! This review is fantastic and I am forever grateful. I appreciate you taking the time to review and I hope you're not angry with me for taking such a long time to reply. I hope you'll want to still read the next chapters if I ever get the courage to post them.
Liz Report Review
Julie, hi! Thanks for swapping with me. I'm really glad you asked me to read this, because I enjoyed it a lot :)
I think you've got a great premise for a story. We always hear about hard work and determination paying off (that's kind of a Puff motto I guess :P), but sometimes it just doesn't work out that way. I'm really glad you're exploring that with Taylor, and I'll be really interested to see how she comes back from this devastating setback.
Speaking of Taylor, I like her a lot so far. Her narration seems very laid-back and chill, and it's easy to read. As for Taylor herself, I love that she's so determined to get what she wants. I think that might make for some fun James/Taylor moments in later chapters :) Also, it's nice to see a character who isn't necessarily super talented in her chosen field; I'd much rather read about an underdog who works to beat the odds.
This chapter flows well for the most part, but I did get confused at your transition from past to present. The paragraph that starts: "I lifted my head at the sound of clapping..." comes kind of abruptly. It took me a while to realize that we were back in the present, with Taylor getting her results. So I was kind of confused there. If it were me, I'd add some sort of lead-in to that paragraph, so we're clear right off the bat that Taylor's focus is shifting. I hope that makes sense :)
I really love the way you start this chapter off, by using several hypothetical situations that we can all relate to. That really resonated with me because I know exactly how it feels to be disappointed that way, and I know a lot of your other readers do too. I thought it was a great way to pull readers in (it certainly worked for me!)
You've got an awesome start here! I will definitely get around to reading on (RL is hectic, so I don't always have as much reading time as I want :/) Great job, and thanks again for swapping with me!
--MaggieAuthor's Response: Hey Maggie! I'm sorry this response took me so long! I can fully understand the RL getting in the way :p
The premise has been really neat for me to work with so far :) I have this habit of really wanting everything to work out happy endings for characters as soon as possible so I wanted to push myself to do something different. I think everyone's had something they wanted and worked for that just didn't work out.
Thank you! I'm glad you like her so far. Her narration has been quite a change from the witty banter of KoW - though, we will get a little with Lucy in two :) - so it's been really interesting writing someone a little more grown up and hard working. I love the hardworking trait of being a Hufflepuff so of course I had to give her that ;)
I have been really back and forth about the switch from generalization to present, and it's abruptness, so I will have to take another look at adding some more transition sentences and clear that up a little better. It makes sense :)
I guess it's a little obvious, but the relate-ability was definitely what I was going for with the first half. Everyone's had something disappointing happen, whether it be one of those situations or something else and I used that as a way to drag the reader in :)
Thanks so much again for the swap! I know how RL can get it the way of reading time but I do hope you're able to make it back! Report Review
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