Hey there! I'm so glad you re-requested because I'm really enjoying this story! It's such a nice change from most of the stuff I read :)
Anyway, I loved their reactions in this. Particularly Dominique's. It reminds me of what you said in the last chapter - that she's not prejudiced, she's just scared, you know? It just brings that to mind, because here she is being prejudiced, but it's always easier to be okay with something when it doesn't effect you, you know? But now it effects her, she sees it differently. It also highlights, to me, the realism of the condition. Remus was lucky, like you said, he had three friends who transformed into Animagi and kept him company so he didn't go insane. He had a helper/mentor/friend in Dumbledore who allowed him to go to school and helped him get a job in POA and made Snape make him the Wolfsbane Potion. Dom doesn't have friends like that, and while she could very easily take the potion, it's probably still very difficult to make and therefore expensive. Plus, her life as she knows it has just been ruined - of course she'll react badly! It's such a human thing, though, which is why I love it so much. It's not a nice thing to do, it's not a good thing to do, but it's human. And I love human-esque characters :)
I really liked the inclusion of the dream at the beginning - I thought that was really nice. I liked how you didn't really tell us anything about it as well, at the beginning, so we kind of had to guess ourselves or wait to be told. I'd just recommend putting a page-break marker (like ~) or something in between two sections, for clarity and to distinguish the two. Since they're almost separate povs, I feel they should be separated.
Just a few quick things to mention! You said when talking about her looking at her family 'focusing on each..., then at Teddy' when it should be 'on Teddy' because it's linked with 'focusing' and you don't focus at things, you focus on things. In the same bit you had Bill answer Teddy's question with 'of course it isn't', which is, honestly, completely unnecessary and doesn't answer the question so you could just cut that out without any trouble. Also, you said Teddy 'anxiously murmured', which, it might just be me being picky, sounds wrong to me. It sounds better when said 'murmured anxiously', but that's just a little thing! :) The only other thing is when you describe her seeing her family's reactions. You describe them all in a long list, and it's a bit boring, tbh. Maybe you could mention one thing each for them or break it up so its less list-like? It just seemed a little bit too much 'and he was like this and this, and she was like that and that... ', you know?
I really, really like this, though. Yeah, the chapters are short, but they're punchy and emotive and thought-provoking, and you get in everything important without providing unnecessary information or over-complicating things. Your flow is perfect, no real grammar or spelling problems, and your characterisation is wonderful. Please feel free to re-request whenever! :)
Aph xx Report Review
Hey there - just stopping by with your requested review! :)
First off, I really like your OC. While she does have an odd name, you've got through an entire two chapters without really focusing too much on her appearance, other than her eyes in the first chapter, which is great! She seems kinda spunky, nice, curious... all good things. Just remember to include bad traits (i.e. short temper, stubborn about things she isn't right about, slow to change opinions about people, easily irritated, etc.) in the future, but what you've got is a really good start. I like the fact that she's muggle-born and her brother goes there as well, so she has expectations about Hogwarts even though she wasn't born into the Wizarding World herself - it's a nice way to do it and combine the two, I think. Plus, it's more believeable than her being a second Hermione and reading all of the books in the month before she goes to school - she could just have borrowed her brothers.
Your pace in this is lovely, too - it's a good, medium-type pace, which fits very well with this story. If anything, you could perhaps do with a little bit more description (what colour dress is Astoria wearing? What colour robes is Draco wearing? What does the station smell of? What can she hear? that kind of thing, you know...) here and there, particularly when your character is introducing us to new places (or, at least, places which are new to her).
One thing I would say is maybe consider getting a beta or the first chapter beta-read. There aren't too many grammar/spelling mistakes (they don't really disrupt the flow of the story or take away from it) but some of your phrasing is a bit off and that's not really the kind of thing I can help you with here, unfortunately. Also, since this is in first person, the italics seem a bit unnecessary - and that does detract from the story, because it upsets the flow.
On the other hand, I really like your style. I like that it's kind of choppy and stop-start, you know, it suits the first person and the character - which, since it's meant to be her unique voice, is really the point ;) It's a very friendly way of writing, which I think is good.
One quick factual thing: Ollivander doesn't make wands with Thestral core and the only known wand to have a Thestral core is the Elder wand, so you might want to revise that. I don't know if it's important for your story or not, but it's a bit odd for her to have one, all things considered. Plus, I think you probably meant 12 inches, not 1.2. And numbers should always be written out in stories ;)
Oh yeah, one other thing: would she really know that much about trains? I feel that if all of that information is stuff you're going to have her notice, then there needs to be some explanation for it. Does she like trains? Does her brother like trains and he told her? Personally, I think it would be a very unique hobby/thing to like if she did...
But yeah, there are a couple of things to work on, but none of it is really that much of a problem. Your characterisation is good, your flow is good if disrupted occasionally, I like your style... all in all this is a pretty good start! :)
Aph xxAuthor's Response: Thanks for you review :) It actually feels quite good when someone writes this big response and appreciates your effort.
The name of the main character is quite odd but it's the one I felt would be the interesting. There isn't much focus on her appearance is because she doesn't actually care that much about how I person look like or his reputation is, which she had said in her words 'mom told me never to judge a book by it's cover.'
Her bad traits will be shown in next few chapters. As it is said that she like reading but she is not nerd or should I say a know-it-all like Hermione.
I really love your suggestions and would really to exercise them in future.
Her use of a wand with Thestral is important which would be found out in the story later.
I haven't shown it but I have some kind of fascination about the trains which I have tried to show in the chapter but I guess I have not been that much successful in that.
I would try to lessen the italics if you really think, they need to be reduced as they disrupt the flow of the story.
Thanks for liking, I hope you would review in future :D Report Review
Hey there, stopping by with your requested review! :)
Okay, so I love the idea of this. I haven't seen many stories which detail how characters deal with lycanthropy, or anything similar, so it's a really interesting story already :)
I like how you haven't made her perfect - she's scared, she's terrified, she seems a little bit hypocritical at times, she's stubborn - but you've given her a relatively perfect life before the bite happens. It's nice because you get to kinda isolate the effects of the bite on her life, which I think is kinda cool... ;)
Plus, she's just all-round a good character. Like I said, there's the perfect-life-but-not-perfect-person aspect to her, she's a Ravenclaw not a Gryffindor ('Claws for the win!) which is less cliche for a Next Gen. character, she's obviously a Weasley with the red-hair and the stubborn streak... she's a very real character, and I like that.
I love how you had her not completing her assignment quick enough, being delayed, nearly going to safety, going back, going to the cabin and then trying to run away... it's odd because it gives a really good idea of who she is and what she's like without having to have much happen, which honestly, I think is pretty impressive ;) I'm really curious as to how you use her later, how she gets out of there... so many questions!
One quick thing - and this is being fairly picky, but I noticed it as soon as I'd read it - is the 'tresses of red tumbling behind her back' phrase. I just... gah, 'tresses of red' sounds a bit too much like poetry for me, tbh, I think maybe a simpler phrase would be better (you could even just say 'red tresses/locks' and it gets rid of the poetic effect), and 'tumbling' sort of indicates a falling down kinda thing... so I'm not quite sure how hair would tumble behind someone's back, if you get my meaning O.o I wouldn't normally mention something like this, but it made me stop and look at it again, and it's in your first paragraph, so it's kinda worth it, maybe. I'd just say look at it again, maybe change 'tumbling' because it seems a bit out of place...
Other than that your description is fabulous - just enough to add to the scene without slowing the pace down - the spelling/grammar is excellent (I couldn't find a single mistake and I normally pick up on things), the pace is really quick and lively... it was good. There's this certain edge to it all which just helps, and you've started it at such a good place, throwing the reader right into the action...
So yeah, I really enjoyed this (as if you couldn't tell... :P), so feel free to re-request whenever! :)
Aph xxAuthor's Response: Hey! Thanks a ton for reading and reviewing =)
I am pleased you like the whole lycanthropy idea. It's something new that I wanted to experiment with so it's great to hear you like it =)
I really dislike perfect characters when I read them because they're so unrealistic, so I tried really hard to make Dominique realistic, with all her imperfections, it's good to know it worked.
Haha I hope your questions are answered properly in future chapters. Indeed, the first chapter didn't show much of her but it's great that you could still pick up on her personality.
Hmm, I was going for some deep descriptions thus the use of 'tumbling' and 'tresses of red'. I have actually read the phrase of 'hair tumbling behind the back' a couple of times, and it gives the impression of someone having long hair, so when they run the hair kind of tumbles... uh I am not sure if I am making much sense. Thank you for your advice though, I'll certainly take it into consideration if I do an edit of this chapter =)
I am glad that you liked the overall description though, and it's a huge relief that there were no spelling/grammar problems especially since English is not my first language.
Thank you for all your kind words! I look forward to your opinion of the other chapters so I'll definitely re-request! Report Review
Hey there, here with your requested review! Also, it's good to see you back around the forums... ;)
First off, I think this is a brilliant idea! It makes a lot of sense for Harry to have something in his office which links to the war, etc. kinda like a Pensieve, maybe, where he puts all of his memories of the war because he finds them difficult to deal with... I dunno, just an idea, lol, but I really like this! I like how it's an orb, not a time-turner, because honestly that's what gets a bit old for me.
Your characterisation is so good! I like how you've chosen the Next Gen kids we know are all about the same age and how it's just them messing around and being curious - coz kids are always curious! Plus, Albus is actually kinda funny - don't know if you intended him to be - what with him getting annoyed/bored at Rose for jabbering on about OWL results and suchlike. Hugo is probably my favourite, though - he's seems so shy and sort of obedient. I'm pretty curious to know what you're going to do with him over the course of the story.
Description-wise... yeah, I'd say there could be a bit more description here and there. Maybe describe what they're wearing, habits they have (like tugging at a jumper/top or something...) since Rose is obviously nervous, the decorations of the room they're in... honestly, you don't need much because this is pretty short and fairly slow-paced, but a bit more might help readers visualise the scene more easily.
The sentences and flow I thought were fine. Because you're writing it in first person, it works. After all, Albus isn't going to think in the style of Dickens, lol. So yeah, I think it works. It helps keep the pace up as well. The flow is fine, tbh. It's not choppy at all, and the way it is at the moment works really well with the style you've got and the first person.
No Brit-picks anywhere... and the spelling/grammar is flawless too - though I think there might have been a missed word here or there (like 'a'), but it doesn't really matter ;)
One thing I would say is that it was a bit odd having Rose and Al sitting on a sofa and then Al suddenly noticing a blue light coming from his dad's study... it seemed a little random. Maybe you could either include him having seen it before, or them walking out of the room and into the corridor? It would make more sense that way, I think, and make it feel a bit less random :)
I really enjoyed this, though. The plot is brilliant - I love the idea that they're going back to their parents' time and in the middle of the war. It'll be interesting to see how they cope with it all... the characterisation's great and your flow is perfect. Feel free to re-request any time! :)
Aph xx Report Review
Hey there - it's me from the forums with your requested review! :)
First off, I love that this seems to be set in the Victorian/Regency/Edwardian age - I hope we get a few more details on when exactly it's set later on, since it's a bit difficult at the moment to know exactly! But still, 'other' era is a really lovely thing to see, since people don't usually write it. I think it puts people off because it's a bit vague... you've done a lovely job with it, though.
Characterisation is lovely, just lovely. I love how Merissa isn't exactly a goody-two-shoes, but at the same time she's obedient, she doesn't really like learning/music all that much - and you haven't really talked much at all about what she looks like! Wow. Thank you for that! :) I just love it when people have female OCs about whom their appearance isn't the most important thing. She is a great character, though, and I'm curious as to how she'll fit in at Hogwarts, how she'll find it all.
I liked the inclusion of the Professor coming to visit her to tell her parents she's a witch and about Hogwarts, and the widow coming to take her to school - that's a nice touch. I'm curious as to how exactly she's going to get to school, if she'll get the train or what... depends on the exact time period, I guess... :P But, seriously, the guessing is good.
The one big Brit-pick I have to make is over the titles. There is actually no title of 'Lord'. It's something people with certain titles are called, yes, but it's not in itself a title, so someone addressing her father/mother would address them by title. There are quite a few websites online which give details on how the peerage system works. I wouldn't worry about it too much, though - it's easy enough to change, and it's really pretty complicated, so don't panic ;) Other than that, everything seemed fine! I'd also just add quickly that you might want to include a little bit of description as to what needlepoint is - I had to look it up to really understand what it is, I thought you'd meant needlework originally. Maybe just mention that the material is canvas somewhere? It would help :)
The flow is fabulous. Honestly - it's great. It's a bit slow paced but it doesn't drag, which is the important thing. You changed time very smoothly, as well, with the page-break-symbols, and I literally just kept reading through it without stopping, which for me is a sign that the flow is good ;)
The one last thing I want to say is that the ending is perhaps a little flat - it's not much of a hook. Maybe if you heightened the anticipation and her nerves of going away (consider her situation - she's leaving home, possibly for the first time and probably the first time on her own, to go to a strange school she doesn't know all that much about with people she's never met and she's in a carriage with a woman she doesn't seem to know very well) to heighten the atmosphere, make it a bit more tense/excited, you know? That way, people will be more inclined to read on to find out what happens ;)
I really enjoyed this, tbh. It wasn't the kind of thing I necessarily thought I would, if I'm honest, but I did. I think your characterisation so far is great, your flow is lovely and your plot is interesting. Feel free to re-request! :)
Aph xxAuthor's Response: Thank you very much for this review!
I've chosen the later part of the Victorian era. I find the time period fascinating. With all the discoveries happening and how inventions seemed to happen in leaps and bounds. It seems like those who lived in that time found it easier to try new things or odd things that would then find its way into common usage.
I discovered after I wrote this chapter that there were trains, but they weren't all that comfortable, and as the wizarding world tends to lag behind the Muggle world, I suspect travel by carriage will still happen for a bit. :)
Thank you for the advice, I looked up a few websites pertaining to the peerage and found one that was very helpful. I have made the updates and will be reposting it a little later today.
I also changed the needlepoint to embroidery, which is more likely what was worked?
I've also updated the ending to show a little more emotion from Merissa on her imminent departure.
Thank you again for your review! Report Review
Hey there! Stopping by with your requested review! :)
Okay, first off, I love the fact that you've chosen to start this after the war. It's obviously a difficult time and most stories/authors don't want to try and deal with it because of that, so kudos to you for doing it ;)
You said about the switches between pov... first of all, I'd get rid of the 'Harry's pov' things and just use a line break. It really jars the flow and takes away from the story itself, you know? The first paragraphs after you switch povs always need to make it clear who you're talking about - you do that pretty much all the time at the moment, it's just something to remember :) I'd say the only other thing about pov is to consider how they view themselves, not how others view them. For example, Ron wouldn't necessarily consider himself emotionally stunted, Hermione wouldn't consider herself bossy, etc. Honestly, the povs are pretty good, and I kinda like the switches - it means we get to see more of what's going on, even if it can be a bit choppy at times - but it would help individualise the 'I', if you know what I mean.
Brit-pick wise, there was only one thing I could find, which was that a 'stroller' in America is a 'buggy' or a 'pushchair' here. Also, I'm a law student so I have to mention that if Cora and Sirius never got married, then she isn't his wife and forging a certificate is fraud. I don't know if it's a big part of the story, but if they never got married, then she's not his wife and isn't 'Mrs Cora Black'. It's just a factual thing, but it makes it a bit confusing if you say they're not married, but they are... either they are or they're not, you know? I'd just clear that up ;)
Your characterisation is great! I love how you're writing Ginny - with the whole 'must-be-strong' thing and hiding her emotions... and Ron is pretty great too, being a bit clueless and then occasionally serious and everything...
I liked the mention of the funeral service and the trio sorting out things that they needed to do after the war - like telling Luna about the Death Eaters going for her dad, and Harry and the others thinking about all those who had died, and Kreacher... the only thing I would say is that I'm not totally sure they'd put a graveyard in Hogwarts' grounds? O.o I just think a school isn't the best place for that - after all, it's populated by teenagers with access to ink and spells... I love the way you mentioned the differences between magical and muggle memorial services and funerals, etc. I'd never really considered that before, so it was a really nice touch.
I'd just suggest maybe going through it again (I know you've edited it!) perhaps with help of an online editing program (I use EditMinion, and it's great - and free... :D), to pick up on missing words/typos, etc. There are a few places where it doesn't flow smoothly, and it's easy enough to fix! It's just a little thing, though ;)
So yeah, I really enjoyed this! I think you're doing fine with the povs, the plot is great - and starts at a really interesting point in the HP world - the characterisation is lovely, and the flow is pretty good, too. There's no real weakness here... :)
Aph xx Report Review
Hey there! Popping by with your requested review! :) It definitely was no trouble at all - I love reading Founders story so I was so excited to see you requesting.
First off, you asked about characterisation. Helga, as I'm sure you must know by now, is fabulous. I love how she's so... simple, but complex, if that makes sense. She looks at things so simply most of the time, but sometimes complicates things unnecessarily. She sticks to her guns completely, she doesn't back down. Definitely reminiscent of the badger ;) Rowena and Godric are so great as well - they're almost exactly how I imagined them: Rowena almost delicate and fragile, despite being so clever and beautiful, and Godric a bit like an over-grown child at times, lol.
Salazar... honestly, I think he's a great character. I like how you'd hinted at secrets in his past, at something happening to do with muggles, to give him this hatred of them, and how he has these beliefs about muggleborn students and things. I also love how you made him common but also wanting to be noble; he's like the exact opposite of Helga. He's really complex, but sometimes he can be very simple-minded in his thoughts and ideas. The one thing I would say is perhaps not to make him too emotionless. You've handled it pretty well so far - with the incident with the Boggart and his reaction to Godric's news - but maybe just keep it up? Maybe there's some form of entertainment which genuinely amuses him? Jokes which make him smile/laugh? Weather he likes/scenery he likes? After all, no one can be emotionless the whole time. But, other than that, he's wonderful! I'm so curious as to see what he's hiding from the others and what happens when he - inevitably - finds out Helga and Godric.
Your description is lovely, really really lovely, and you use it so well - only adding it in when necessary. I particularly love the way you described the Boggart and how you describe the Founders. It really paints the picture in my head and makes me associate certain things with them, you know? The only thing I would say is maybe add in a bit more description here and there of their surroundings - like the buildings, etc. Is it light/dark? Is it cold/warm? What colour are the flames of the torches? What colour dress is Helga wearing? Just little things like that will really bring it to life, I think ;)
Plot... plot is fantastic. I love it to pieces. I love how you're keeping it trimmed to the founders themselves, not including much about the students and so we get greater insight into them as people; I love the relationships you're building between all of them. And the secrets! Gah, there seem to be so many secrets in this, lol. But it's great - it adds a lovely touch of mystery to this.
So yeah, this was really, really great. Flawless grammar/spelling and flow... plot is amazing... characterisation is brilliant (Salazar kinda reminds me of Mr Darcy/Mr Rochester, you know)... feel free to re-request any time! :)
Aph xx Report Review
Hey there! Okay, so I loved this! The mood was great right from the start - the slow, thoughtful pace of the whole thing is very much Remus and very much sombre as well - and it was so good not to let it up at all through the rest of it.
I liked the way it was kinda abstract, kinda automatic in the sense of someone staring off into space and thinking about things, while stuff is happening in the background, you know? Kinda like you're noticing it, but you're not really paying attention. (I'm sorry, that's a really rubbish explanation, but hopefully you know what I mean :P). But yeah, that sort of feeling worked so well with this because it's a funeral and because of everything and everyone Remus has lost: Lily, James, Peter, Sirius, Harry... I loved the little reference to the other Order members' funerals, as well, when you said he'd been to lots of funerals recently. It was a nice way of slipping in a mention - sometimes people forget that it wasn't just the four of them and Dumbledore ;)
I loved the way you wrote Remus. His voice was very strong and trying-not-to-be-emotional, which I think works so well with him, and you didn't go over the top with his grief or anything as well; it was just understated enough that it made it more powerful, in a way, than if it had been all loud and showy. Remus... again, I liked how you slipped in the details - references to wolves and his bite - and how you brought up his feelings of guilt and how everyone (Sirius, at least) thought he was the traitor... it was really detailed and I liked that - it suits this so well.
Also, the way you kept referring back to this idea of 'innocence' and how certain people are innocent and others aren't, etc. that was a hugely powerful metaphor and yet so understated at the same time... I loved it. It was so brilliant.
One thing I would say is that there are a few mistakes in here - a few missing spaces and typos or missing words. It might be worth just checking it over once more or whipping it through an editing system (I recommend EditMinion - if you put it into google, it should come up. It's free and all ;P), because it did jar the flow a couple of times (and there's a typo in the first paragraph, I think).
But yeah, honestly, that's it. This was really sombre and beautiful and with such lovely imagery and detailing... and Remus... yeah, I loved it :)
Aph xxAuthor's Response: Hey Aph! I'm so glad that you loved it, and found that the mood stayed throughout as I struggled a little with that.
Yay I get what you mean, and I'm glad because that's what I was aiming to do. I didn't want to focus on the funeral proceedings as I would imagine that would be the least of Remus' concern on a day like that one. You got the reference about the other funerals :D I thought it was too subtle as no one picked up on it so far! I agree that a lot of people forget that other people died too, and I wanted to weave that in.
I'm glad that you liked Remus' voice, as I agree, he's not the type to burst into tears and have a mental breakdown or whatever. He always had that quiet reserve about him. Those references were fun to through, and he always had such a guilt complex about that it wouldn't be right without them!
It was powerful? Eep thank you, when I write half this stuff I'm never sure if people will get what I'm aiming to do, but it's always lovely to hear that you did.
I always slip in a few areas, it's so annoying! I'll definitely go and use EditMinion as I've never found a good site for things like that :)
Thank you for this lovely review, it really cheered me up!
-Kiana Report Review
Hey Amanda! As my exams are now over, I thought I'd pop by - I've actually kinda missed this story, you know. It's so easy to remember that I notice when I haven't read it in a while :)
Anyway I loved this! I loved how there's this whole sort of theme of this chapter of tension and sort of rapidly dissolving relationships between the characters: between Venn and Helena, between Helena and her mother, between Gryffindor and Slytherin. I liked that - it was very neat and kept the chapter fast-paced.
Ah, poor Helena! I totally understand where the serving girl who thinks she's being spoilt coming from - after all, most girls wouldn't ever dream of being in a similar position at the time - but I do feel sorry for her. In her mind, nothing's right, everything's falling apart. Venn is revealing himself to be different to what she thought at the beginning, and they're starting to argue... and then there's her mother, who she's argued with and doesn't realise is really actually ill. I love, though, how she has all the snippy-ness and sass of a modern girl, even though she's from such a different time. It's nice - because she is clever and strong in her own right, you know? She's just such a beautiful, real character and I always love it when I come back to this.
Venn! Nooo, he can't be corrupted! I love him! He was so lovely at the beginning of the story... so sweet and handsome and not a genius but not stupid either and nice mannered... I love how you've made him change, though, and how Salazar is manipulating him and making him believe that mudbloods are bad and peasants shouldn't mix with nobles and everything. It's so subtle and so clever of both you and Salazar and it really embodies the 'cunning' trait of Slytherin house :)
Also, the way you've included the growing rift between Salazar and the other three founders is so clever - I never thought about the two events being linked, or even close together in time, so kudos to you for that! It makes so much sense now you've written it like that, lol, and it just adds to the tension so much. I kinda feel sorry for Rowena, as well, because she's going through so much and knowing what will happen... ah, poor her!
Haha, Witter, though... stuck in the middle of an argument between his wife and his daughter... poor bloke :D Not an enviable position!
Can I just say (and I know this review is turning into a long, gushing thing, sorry!) that I like how you're including the locket and the tiara? I mean, obviously the tiara would need to be included, but the locket was a brilliant inclusion as well. I also liked how you had Rowena and Salazar unconsciously imitate each other by wanting their heirlooms back after their nephew/daughter had used them for a while - it just shows how precious they were, and that sort of mystery which might well be around things like that, you know? Kinda like the Hallows, I guess...
As always, your detail was fabulous - the party decorations, the jobs of the servants, the pitcher of water, the idea of rumours, the wedding dress. It's always so so good and part of why I love reading your work.
So yeah, I loved it :)
Aph xxAuthor's Response: Hi Laura! Sorry this response took a few days; I was out of town and busy with old friends.
Yeah, that theme is kind of where the title came from. I don't often come up with chapter titles until I've finished writing a chapter because I try to use them to unify the diverse themes and plot lines in my chapters. For this one, I wanted to focus on the cracks in Helena's dream and the similar failings that occur for other characters, like Salazar.
I view Helena as sort of waging this internal battle between her grief over losing her girlish dream (in terms of the wedding and marriage and future) and her determination not to let herself fall victim to the expectations of those around her. In this chapter she really started to approach the end of her rope; she can't take much more, which makes her different from other uneducated girls of the time who would have no choice but to go along with it. I do feel bad for her because she can see that somehow things aren't going to end well and she has to make difficult choices to figure out how to salvage what she can of her destiny.
Unlike Helena, Venn isn't really willing to take a stand unless it's to preserve his own interests. He's perfectly fine with going along with tradition, since it favors him, and ignoring what is going on with his uncle. I do feel quite awful about him because I know I tried to turn him into a romantic hero before he and Helena began to meet their downfall. Unfortunately, his heart is just too ephemeral.
It's sort of like this falling out among the Founders is happening at the same time as Venn and Helena's relationship and eventual end. I don't think the lovers are really, truly conscious of it, but obviously (as we know) it will have major ramifications for the wizarding world. I didn't feel right writing a Founders story and not discussing the Founders at all, so it's great that you like seeing them included.
I'm happy you like the tiara and necklace being included! I view them as sort of symbols of the burdens that Venn and Helena couldn't wait to bear earlier and now find a little too heavy. They represent the theme of innocence ending and dreams falling apart as well.
Thank you for this truly amazing review!!
-Amanda Report Review
Hey there! Just dropping by for team bronze ;)
So, first off, I adore Draco/Astoria. They're such a fascinating couple, because of what we know of Draco and his family - particularly after the war, I think - and the fact that we know virtually nothing about Astoria.
I loved how you characterised both of them throughout this. They were both obviously human, flawed and insecure about things, but at the same time impetuous and clever and learning things along the way. I like that. Your Draco was nice too - it was good to see someone not writing him as a total softie when in love, but also not as a total jerk. He still retained some kind of Malfoy spark, if you know what I mean. And Astoria! With the Killing Curse! Wow! I love that you included that - and that she was shaking from it. Of course she would be, she's just killed someone, and that isn't something most people get over straight away!
The one thing I would mention is that you might want to go through this and edit it with a bit more emphasis on 'show, not tell'. I love the way you've done it - with little sections detailing an important moment - but with emotions and things, don't tell us what they're feeling, show us. Describe facial expressions, gestures, etc. It wouldn't matter too much if you included a little bit more description in general, as well, I think ;)
The style was lovely. I like how simplistic you kept it throughout, as it reflected so nicely on their relationship - that, despite everything, 'they' were easy, you know? It was easy to be 'them' during the war and after, because it made sense. I like that feeling.
I also love the little touches here and there - the mention of the shop having previously belonged to someone else, using Malfoy Manor as a home for orphaned children, Slughorn's parties, etc. It was really, really great. It was just the right amount of detail for the story :)
The mention of supporting characters was great - with Daphne and Blaise and the rest. I loved the inclusion of Lucius and Narcissa. I've read quite a lot of Drastorias and people sometimes forget to include them, or barely include them, so it was nice to see them turn up in this and actually have a part!
Ooh, a quick thing I just remembered: a 'diploma' in England generally means a university degree, so Draco wouldn't have one when he's just leaving school ;) It's a bit fussy, tbh, but I read it a couple of times, not quite sure why he had a degree :)
So yeah, I really enjoyed this! It was succint and really sweet and I loved the characterisation and the style you wrote it in. It made me smile :)
Aph xxAuthor's Response: your review just made my day, so thank you :) and thank you so much for the constructive feedback- i will definitely go back and fix things based on your suggestions. thanks so much again for your super amazing review, and I'm really glad that you enjoyed this story!
~M Report Review
Hey Amanda! :) Had a spare twenty minutes or so (I've overrun a bit, but ah well) in between revision, so I nabbed the chance to finish this.
It's weird, because I've always thought of you before this as writing more dramatic, angsty, Snape-related type fics and this just completely throws that out of the window. You're a lot more versatile, and you can do everything you've tried just as well. I'm kinda jealous, tbh :P
But yes, onto this... I love Darcy. I'm always sceptical about OCs, because so many of them tend to be so similar to one another and I've seen a lot of borderline Mary Sues, but I love that Darcy's genuinely awkward at times, has definite opinions (like when she doesn't like Rose to begin with), develops her opinions as they story goes along instead of just switching them immediately and has sort of real-life problems which most people probably face. It's nice - it's very real, which I love. Also, I loved the nod to the canon information, with her grandmother and the mention of Dirk Cresswell. It was such a neat way to tie it in and such a sweet scene to see, even if it was a little heartbreaking.
One thing I have to mention quickly is that I love how you managed to do a story about fashion and that whole industry without it just being a list of products and a continual discussion of clothes. You really focused on the plot, which is kinda impressive to me.
Albus was so sweet! Again, he was kinda awkward and so real in the way that he didn't really know what he wanted to do. I know a whole bunch of people who don't really know what they want to do with their lives - I knew people who didn't even know what they wanted to do at uni three months before they had to apply! It's nice to see a character who doesn't have a life-time goal in terms of a job (I love the mention of travelling!) and also nice to see a James Potter II who isn't a Quidditch superstar/Auror :)
I'm so impressed that even though this is so short all of your characters are so well-developed and thought out. All of them. From Lorcan to Madam Maxime, they're all wonderful. Even the little characters who only get a brief mention, like the interns, have personality and I love it. Of course, I didn't really expect anything less because this is /you/ and you're always brilliant at characterisation, but it's in ten chapters and that's impressive.
Mysterious Scorpius at the end... and a cheeky dose of Scorpius/Dominique... :P I like how you ended Darcy and Albus' story and the story of the cover, without completely finished the story of the individual characters, if that makes sense. It's like we know that there's more to go with them, but we're at a place we can leave them... gah, I don't think I'm making any sense, sorry :P
I've loved this so much. There's so many brilliantly emotive moments in it - like when Albus misunderstands their whole dinner date and Darcy leans against the door - and so many good lines (I love the last line; it made me laugh out loud). It was such a lovely thing to read, totally different to what I normally read and I really, really enjoyed it :)
Thank you for writing this! :)
Aph xxAuthor's Response: Hi Aph! Pleased to hear from you again!
I do write a lot of angst and dark fics because those are the sort of emotions I'm exposed to every day and that's where I think my strength is. This was a little experiment to see if I could write fluff and still keep it interesting and not cliche. Thanks for the compliment!
Like a lot of my characters, especially OCs, I based Darcy on myself and people I know a lot. I wanted her to feel human and complex and not be just another zany, adorably awkward girl. She deals with stuff on a daily basis, both minor hassles and deeper difficulties, and as you mentioned, it takes time for her to form and change her opinions.
I was so, so worried readers would get totally bored with a story about fashion beyond the first chapter. I tried to keep it central to the plot but not the only thing going on here.
You know that I love little more than changing up cliched versions of characters and making them my own. Albus and James, as well as all the other next gens, were no exception. I felt like they could easily stray into the territory of being too awkward (and thus not really likeable) or into that of being too confident (and thus unapproachable). Instead, I tried to give them--well, Albus, really--moments of each, to make them more like real people.
I sort of modeled the ending like the 'epilogue' in a classic romantic comedy. It gives you a light little glimpse of the future without weaving a whole new story in a few scenes. It's sort of up to the reader to decide for themselves where things should go from here.
I'm actually really proud of this story and the positive reception it has received, and your comments mean a lot to me because you're obviously brilliant. Thank you for taking the time to follow this and leave such lovely reviews :)
-Amanda Report Review
Hey there! Glad to be able to pop back! Term's over so I've got a bit more time now and this is definitely on my to-read list.
I'm excited that things seem to be picking up in this chapter. Darcy and Dominique meeting Rose and Lily to ask about the cover shoot, Rose and Lily agreeing to do it, Darcy meeting Albus... it's all kicking off and it's making me curious about what will happen next and how things will turn out.
I love your Rose and Lily, as well. I've read a lot of versions of them (who hasn't? lol), but yours are probably two of the best I've read. I love how Rose is ambitious and clever and Lily is sweet and more sensible than Rose is. They compliment each other in a weird sort of argument-inducing way. I also love how they only do things together, it's an interesting way of working... but the way they explained it to Darcy was so neat :)
Ooh, Darcy likes Albus! Or if she doesn't like him, he definitely seems to like her, lol :P Lingering handshake... I liked that, I dunno, it seemed less cliche than other things you see around, like staring at the girl they like, etc. and it fits his character nicely. I hope we see more of him in the future, as well. Particularly with Darcy ;)
Also, fyi, Twinkle is the cutest elf. Seriously.
So glad I got to read this! I will definitely be back soon - in between revision :)
Aph xxAuthor's Response: Thanks! I like my Rose and Lily, though I haven't read enough next gen to know how cliche they are. I always figured Lily would be kind and gentle, but Rose I just kind of played up for comedic effect and contrast. At the end of the day, though, they're very close, just two pretty young witches taking on the world.
Yeah, there's some romantic tension there between Darcy and Albus. They're both sort of awkward, but I think their awkwardness works well together, if that makes sense.
Twinkle! No one has commented on him so far, but I like him. Poor thing having to deal with Rose and her many specific requests.
Thanks for another awesome review, Aph, and I hope to hear from you again soon :)
-Amanda Report Review
Hey there! Spotted you in the battle, saw this was a Bill/Fleur and just had to drop by. Who cares about law essays anyway? :P
Anyway, I loved this! I've seen a few Bill/Fleur's dotted around the site, and it was only when I read this that I realised that none of the others were in first person - they've all been in third, so it was nice for that to be a change. It felt kinda refreshing, if that makes sense.
I love the way you write Fleur, as well. I think when people write her they seem to focus on the 'oh, she's a quarter Veela, doncha know' thing and not her personality, which upsets me since she absolutely stunned me when I first read the end of the sixth book and I kinda loved her character for it. But yeah, you've really done so well with her here - focusing so much on Bill and the house as sort of representations of him loving her and everything, with the references to a leaking roof and all that jazz.
The werewolf attack... gah, you talked about it so briefly, but the way you wrote it really made me feel for poor Bill. It so easily could have been him, one of those dead, you know, back in book 6, and he'll just remember it and reading things like that must be so horrible because there's always those memories at the back of your mind. And, really, after everything, they all just deserve a nice, quiet life.
I also liked the contrast between the peace of Shell Cottage and the mention of the werewolf attacks. It was a clever little reminder that even though it's a year later, it takes time to clean up after wars. Things aren't quite perfect, maybe, but they're getting there.
The whole thing is just so simply written it's just lovely - there's not really any other way to describe it. It's lovely and made me smile and cheered me up after I got glared at by a man on a mobility scooter for opening the door to let him through, lol.
I really enjoyed reading this! :)
Aph xxAuthor's Response: Law essays say what? Fan fiction wins out every time! I'm glad you liked this story. :) I've only written one other small Bill/Fleur before, but I am really coming to love them as a pairing. I've not read a lot, but now that I think about it, most of the ones I've tried have been in third person!
I see Fleur as such a strong character -- I think maybe a lot of views of her are tainted by the fact that, well, she came in last in basically all the Triwizard events. But she competed at all, and that's more guts than a lot of people would have had. The end of HBP is what turned her around for me, as well.
I always manage to forget Bill was attacked by a werewolf, probably because it's really only a factor for one book and a sliver of another. But wow. Like... I can't even fathom that, you know? Bill is so strong, but then, he's a Weasley, and they are basically my favorite fictional family in existence. ♥
I was going for simplicity in this story, and I'm glad it didn't read as complex! And yet there is an undercurrent about strength and goodness and you seem to have picked up on that, too, which is just awesome. ♥ Thanks so much for such a lovely review, Laura! Report Review
Hey there! Grabbed a chance to get to this since I've found myself with a spot of free time ;) You know, it's kinda odd that we've been paired up, both with fairly angst-heavy one-shots, revolving around the Blacks, lol. Coincidence... but a fun one.
I love how you wrote Sirius. I've always thought of him being very disturbed, particularly after Azkaban, and I just love the idea that he still missed Regulus, in a way, when he was an adult and out of Azkaban and looking after Harry - they were brothers, after all, so that would mean something. You really delved into their relationship - at least on Sirius' side - in this without doing much at all. The letter was almost heart-breaking in the fact that Sirius himself knows it's stupid to writing to his dead baby brother but he can't stop, for whatever reason. He just keeps writing. It's really bittersweet gesture, because Regulus is never going to know about it, but Sirius is still doing it - maybe, in a way, part of the reason he's doing it is because Regulus will never know and never reply? But, that's just a thought...
I really get Molly's confusion, as well, and all her emotions running throughout this: the tiredness from working so hard to upkeep the house, the annoyance with Kreacher, the curiosity about the noise, the belief that it's Fred and George, the guilty want to find out what Sirius is doing, the guilt when he finds out, and then the grief at the end when she thinks back on the letters and Sirius and Regulus. You portray them so well... I honestly have no idea how you do it, but it's lovely.
I loved the ending, as well. Maybe you could have ended it before, but I think it sort of rounded it off. In a way, it was the saddest bit, because there's this kind of sense that everything just carries on, you know? Molly carries on working, saying nothing, and Sirius carries on writing and life... life just goes on.
Gah, this was lovely - I totally understand why you were pleased with the result, and you really, really should be! It's completely bittersweet, and manages to be touching and sad at the same time without either one of them being overdone, you know.
Plus, the banner is gorgeous :) Why this doesn't have more reviews, I do not know.
Aph xxAuthor's Response: Hi, Laura! ♥ I'm sorry that it's taken me a little while to respond to this -- it's a combination of real-life stresses and my unavoidably large lazy streak. :D But thank you for reviewing this for me!
I know that I just said this in a review response to Sarah, but I feel in some way that the letters Sirius is writing to Regulus are not only a result of some grief he holds for his brother's death, but a diary-like way to understand it. It's a compulsion for him because I think he wants so much to hate his brother, and yet... he can't. I do agree that he continues to write in part because he knows he's never going to get an answer. He never intends for anyone else to ever read those letters, and so he feels he can say what he wants in them.
Canon voice just sticks in my head... if that makes any sense. :P I think a lot of it is because my entire family loved Harry Potter, and we grew up listening to the audiobooks in the car on long trips (along with reading them and getting every Potter-related thing for Christmases and birthdays!). I have a pretty good memory and can recite whole passages from the books because I've heard them spoken aloud so often. Which makes it easier for me to call up the canon voices when I need to use them in writing!
I could have ended it before that small bit at the dinner table, and I nearly did, but I wanted people to see that Molly did feel bad for snooping at Sirius's letters -- and that he meant for her to feel bad. Sirius is such a tormented man, poor thing.
hedwidgeon makes the BEST banners! I can't stop requesting from her. I'm glad you liked it too! ♥ Thank you so much for reading this, and again, I'm glad we got to exchange this month. Hope to see you around quite soon! Report Review
Hey there! Thanks so much for the swap - and sorry for getting this to you a bit later than supposed... I got sidetracked by Kung Fu Panda... ahem.
Anyway, I really enjoyed this! I love the fact that your OC doesn't have a tragic past or anything like that as so often happens, has a bunch of crazy siblings (let's be honest, they're all raving, lol! But fun-raving :D), and isn't a pureblood in Gryffindor kinda thing. I also like how you didn't mention anything about blood status or everything being so divisive since they're in different houses - it makes Next Gen feel a lot calmer and more together after the war, if that makes sense.
The name are great. I like how you used the seasons for her and her twin and gave a reason for them having slightly odd names - it was a nice thing to see, and a good explanation, lol. I mean, even in canon... Nymphadora? :)
Autumn's a great character, really. She seems so far to be fairly impulsive, I'd guess at not necessarily the cleverest in her family, doesn't seem to be hugely sporty - she seems like a nicely average kinda character (I may be totally wrong on this), which I like. Not everyone in Next Gen can be a prefect/Quidditch superstar/a genius, after all!
The only two things I'd say were that this is very long and a lot happens in it - maybe think about cutting some of it out (maybe the christmas scene? You can introduce family through letters and talking about what happened at Christmas, kinda like you did with Roxanne in this) or just shortening it, coz it's a lot of take in. As well, and it's pretty much linked, there's a lot of characters! Since they're all pretty much girls as well, it's a little hard so far to really distinguish between them all - you point out that Fern is different, but there's not too much character development for the others.
Oh, quickly - just a little grammatical thing, it's 'in the shower', not 'under the shower' ;)
But yeah, I really enjoyed this, though! I love the reference to the Calendar and their surname being Seasons and the fact that they're all sisters, and how you've included so many little details which show that it's after the war, so you don't need to tell us. I'm curious as to what they're all going to get up to at Hogwarts - and feel more than a bit sorry for the teachers already ;)
Thanks so much for the swap - I really enjoyed reading this! :)
Aph xxAuthor's Response: Kung Fu Panda is a completely valid excuse, no need to apologise!
Your comment about things being calm and less divisive does make perfect sense, and it's what I was aiming for, so thank you!
You're also spot on about Autumn being average. Well, not entirely though: I did choose Ravenclaw to show she has academic facilities. Other than that, yes -- I wanted her normal.
I'm aware that this is very long, but it sort of sets my goal in terms of wordcount. The fact that the family was intorduced directly was a way for me to show that the family is the most important aspect of this novel, if that makes sense, though I will definitely consider editing the Christmas scene!
Whoops, francisism. I'll need to change that too!
Thank you so much for the review, I was happy to swap with you :) Report Review
Hey there! Thanks so much for doing the swap - and I'm glad to see this is being updated! A bit of Remus/Tonks is always great ;)
I have to say that I love how you're intertwining the two worlds together - you know, like Bill from La Deuxieme Rencontre is the same Bill as he is here and the two events overlap, etc. - because it's so clever. Like world-building inside a world. Mind-blowing stuff, lol.
I love Bill's character, as well, and how you wrote Remus. Bill was so cocky - I could totally see him skipping off to Egypt in search of treasure of adventure, etc. but yet being a sensible, down-to-earth older brother figure as well. I liked the comment about him giving Charlie and Tonks detentions, as well, it added a sort of fairness to him which was nice :) And Remus... well, he practically was Remus from the books, lol. I liked how he was somewhat happy in this - I know he's often tired/ill in the books due to lycanthropy, but the poor bloke can't be exhausted all the time, so it was nice to him be sort of happy for a while :)
Tonks is wonderful, of course. I loved how she doesn't get on well with Dawlish - he always seemed like a sensible, mature, focused kind of person and definitely not like the kind of person who'd get on fabulously with Tonks - because people don't always get on well with everyone at their work, you know. The bit I liked most, though, was when you mention that she doesn't really want to talk to Sirius, etc. It just seemed so true - you would feel a bit odd about talking to a long-lost relative who you thought was a mass murderer, knowing that you should probably tell your parents, but you know it's going to be one of those horribly awkward conversations no one ever wants to have to have, and yeah. It's just such a human thing to think and feel - it really brought her to life.
Also, I loved how you included the 'fan-girl' bit when they're talking about Harry. It was really true to the books - I think I remember her being a bit like that in the fifth one, at the beginning - so it was so nice to see.
The one thing I would say is that perhaps you could put a physical break or something (like the line bar or just a star or something - I use 'X' personally) between the segments where it jumps in time/scene, just to make it a little clearer? It's not overly confusing, but it would make the breaks more obvious and easier to follow :)
Thank you for the swap! I really enjoyed reading this! :)
Aph xxAuthor's Response: Hi Aph!
I didn't purposefully mean for both of the stories to come together, it just sort of happened because I wrote this chapter after the one-shot, and I thought it would be a fun thing to include!
I'm glad that you liked Remus and Bill. I always imagined that Bill would be a little cocky, and of course he would give those two detentions, probably partly because he wanted them to suffer *evil laugh!* Then I had to give Remus something to be happy about, it would just be cruel otherwise.
I'm so glad that you liked Tonks. I thought it would be fun to include Dawlish because they would be polar opposites. The thing with Sirius as well, just seemed natural for her, and I think anyone would think the same.
Ooh that is a good idea, I'm usually unsure about what to do, so I just leave it bare, but I think I will add something :)
Thanks for the great review,
-Kiana :D Report Review
Hey there! Thanks for the swap! :) It's odd, you know, I think I've seen this mentioned a couple of times around the forums, but never had the time to stop by...
Anyway, I love a good old-fashioned murder mystery and this is definitely one of those! I love how little information you give away - just that someone's dead, no one knows who did it, but there's already confusion over how he died and why. It's great because you're not flooding us with characters we don't know and possible motivations which we know nothing about, you've just given a body. It's pretty impressive stuff, tbh.
The technical detail you give when describing the body is great. I'm not a medical student, but a couple of my friends are, and it's great that you've actually looked it up and included it. It gives another sort of aspect to this - the authorities are confused. Given the time of this, it's even more interesting.
I liked the details in this as well: the Head Boy handbook (bahaha, I love that! Presumably also scribbled on/annotated by generations of head boys, lol), the idea that the corpse itself is confused, the detail about his clothes and the references to both the war outside and Moaning Myrtle. You're really putting me exactly inside Hogwarts, you know, with all the gossip and all the tales that people would tell about the school if similar things had happened.
I like your James so far, as well. I like how even though he's a Gryffindor, you didn't make him have a Stomach Of Steel, and not throw up at the sight of the corpse. People can be brave but be ill at the sight of things like that - scenes like that aren't pretty and they're never as 'set out', if I can use that phrase, as they are in films, you know. And then how he's reminded of his own father, just coz they're about the same age... well, you would be, wouldn't you? James seems like a very well-rounded character and very like what we know of him from canon - intrinsically loyal to a fault, brave, but a kind and good-hearted person, really. I know this is written when he's grown up a bit, since he's Head Boy, but I'd love to see how you work in his rivalry with Snape, perhaps some of his more boyish acts, and his relationship with Lily - if, of course, you do include those!
The ending is spokyyy. changes in lighting like that are always freaky, but in Hogwarts... with all the paintings and the stone staircases/walls/etc. and the suits of armour and everything... imagine how much more creepy that would be... woah.
So yeah, I really enjoyed this. You have a really lovely style in this, it's pretty captivating, and I'm really curious to find out what happens and, eventually, who did it and why... I may just have to favourite this and check back daily for updates ;)
Aph xxAuthor's Response: Hey Aph!
Everyone loves a good murder mystery! I was pretty much brought up on Scooby Doo and CSI, so yeah, murder mysteries are ingrained into my mind :P I wanted to this right and I figured that the detectives aren't going to know everything from the get go, it just doesn't happen. Besides, where's the fun in that? No good killer would let themselves be traced and I'm planning for this killer to be a good one :D
I love forensics, not that I'd ever go into that field since that would probably detract my love of it away slightly, so I wanted to this to be factual, adding to realism.
Omg, I forgot about annotations! Right, I can play around with those now, I can just imagine it, a previous Head Boy adding info on how to control the munchkins :P Sometimes hpff can forget about how Hogwarts works, rumours and gossip was always a major part- the Basilisk and Goblet of Fire anyone?- so I had to include that :D
My form of bravery is different to the shining knight in armour kind. Plus, James was always pampered by his parents, I doubt he would have seen something to this severity before. Of course I'm going to include those! If you just read on... well, I'm not spoiling anything ;)
They are creepy! I wouldn't go out after curfew, simply because walking around a dirty great castle in the middle of the night with paintings that move and suits of armour that talk is bloody scary :P
Thanks so much Aph for the lovely lovely review! *squishes* Report Review
Hey there! I adore Bill/Fleur, so of course I had to read this. In response to your comment at the bottom about the French - I wouldn't worry about it! It seemed perfectly fine to me and I studied it for a long time, but if you're really unsure there's quite a lot of people who speak French fluently on the forums, so you can always ask them to check it over. I'm sure none of them would mind! :)
I loved how you brought up her noticing him at the Triwizard Tournament and her idea that they were meant for something more, her certainty that she would see him again. It's something almost naive, really, but I think so many people do it, you know, 'fall in love' with that person they've only met once/seen on stage or whatever. It's nice as well, because it adds another side to Fleur, making her somewhat romantic as well.
I really loved how you wrote her here. In the books she was always such a strong, determined and independent character and I felt you really brought that to life here. The only thing I would say about her characterisation is that she was very close to her sister, though we don't know so much about her parents, so I would have liked maybe just a bit more of a mention of Gabrielle and leaving her behind in France to go to England as I'm sure that would have had an effect.
Bill was lovely, of course. I liked how you didn't make him totally immune to her Veela charm, what with him being nervous, but didn't make him completely gormless, like Ron was in GoF, either. It's a great balance to get and really suits him well.
Haha, I also have to say that I loved how you made Fleur the one to ask Bill out to dinner, in 'payment' for English lessons. I've never really thought about that scenario, but it works really, really well! I almost feel sorry for Bill because she's so determined to get what she wants, you know? But then I remember that he falls in love with her and everything's good, lol.
The only other thing I'd say is that it's perhaps a little bit short. Maybe some more description would fill it out a bit more? Like more description about the office she's in, what Bill's wearing when he talks to her, etc. The picture feels a bit blank at the moment. But you don't have to take this too seriously - I tend to put in too much description so it might just be me ;)
I really enjoyed reading this! :)
Aph xxAuthor's Response: Hey Aph!
Yeah WTM corrected some of my French ;D I forget that a ton of people speak it, so if I do need help I'll remember your tip!
I'm glad that you liked the whole falling in love at first sight thing, because I do think it can happen. And I don't think many people pegged Fleur to be romantic, so it was fun to twist this!
I'm glad that you found her strong and determined as that's one thing I always admired about her in the books! I'll try and draw more emphasis on Gabrielle though, as they were really close :')
Hahaha I didn't think Bill would be susceptible to the Veela charm ;) I thought if he was nervous it would be fun!
Of course Fleur would ask him out, but I think Bill wanted to date her just as much as she wanted to date him, so he probably had no problem with it!
Yeah I need to work on my description as I really should include more, when I edit this, I'll add more in!
Thanks for the great review, and I'm glad that you liked it!
-Kiana :D Report Review
Hey there! I saw you'd popped up on the review swap, had a bit of free time, thought 'why not?', took a gander at your author's page and so... here I am!
This was adorable! I love how you had Teddy so unsure and just confused about what he was feeling - and how he kinda identified his moods by his hair, almost. It was a pretty unique way to bring in his abilities without over-doing it. It just suggests that that's almost the way he learned to think about them, you know? Sad is dark blue, happy is purple, angry is yellow or whatever... But yeah, I liked the link. And the whole 'what am I feeling?' thing was so sweet. It's a fairly uncommon one, as well, since he doesn't hate her or anything (as is so common in ff, lol), but they're friends and now he feels weird and doesn't know what it means...
I loved your Victoire as well. She seems clever, fairly determined, if a little unsure of herself at times, and a fairly strong, independent character. I'd love to see you write more of her - she seems like such a nice, rounded-out character. And I love those to bits :)
Also, I liked how Teddy referred to Harry as /the/ Harry Potter. While Harry didn't tell his kids about Voldemort and everything (or so we see from the epilogue), it's likely they would have found out at Hogwarts, so it kinda made sense. Teddy's not in awe of him as a person, he's in awe of who he was, if that makes sense. It's kinda like he's quoting other people.
I also liked the little mentions of other Weasleys and Potters, and how he fits in with them as well, though you kept in Andromeda and a quick mention of his parents. It was nice to see that you didn't focus too much on one or the other, but both were there.
Anyway, yeah, I really enjoyed this and I'm glad I stopped by your page :)
Aph xxAuthor's Response: Hello!
I was in an especially good mood when I wrote this, so my usual fluff came out even fluffier than usual! It's just a feel-good kinda story, I suppose. I felt good writing it, and I wanted some of that to translate through to the readers.
Teddy's ability to guess what he's feeling from his hair colour is partly inspired by synesthesia. Obviously, he isn't a synesthete, but I thought it was a sort of funny way to bring in his metamorphmagus abilities a little!
I don't have any plans as such to expand on their relationship here, but I might give them a bit of a cameo in my other (and much longer) fic!
I really wanted Teddy to belong. JK Rowling's mentioned before that she kinda killed Remus and Tonks to create a bit of a parallel between Harry and Teddy, but Harry never had a proper family whilst he was growing up. I just wanted Teddy to be really normal and have normal problems, like falling in love with his best friend.
Thanks for the lovely review! Report Review
Oh my god. Okay, I'm going to have to take a moment or two before actually writing anything more...
Okay, I'm alright. I'm alright. But, seriously, wow, that was so, so sad. Almost beyond that, kinda, more of a heavy melancholy, perhaps... there was so much emotion throughout it all, but it was sort of quiet and understated, which suits them and Molly in particular so well as characters, that it was probably far, far worse than if it had been big and flashy.
Molly and Arthur were perfect, but you probably know that already ;) I love the way you wrote Molly - always needing to be busy, always enjoying a full house, never really comfortable with the quiet since having Bill and the rest of the brood. To me, it seems such a natural thing to have happened to her, you know, given her situation and particularly after Fred.
Speaking of whom, I loved the references to him - and the little interjections of 'one tragedy at a time', almost as though she's talking to herself, like it's something she has had to remind herself of quite often in the times before this is set. The jumper over the bed, the way you automatically moves over to it, but then can't use it, and so uses George's instead. It was so touching and poignant.
I liked how you started it with the Healer talking to her, the memory of the time in the Hospital and the references to how it smelled - because that's always something people remember about Hospitals, along with the colour of the walls - like detergent and cleaning products. I loved the way you segued into the main chunk, as well, almost as though these are her thoughts drifting off. It was really clever - I liked it a lot :)
Arthur's condition is so true to life, so I love you for including it and not shying away from it because of course it has to be handled in a respectful and dignified way which doesn't mock amnesia, but it is unfortunately something which happens. The fact that it was Arthur was so upsetting, because he's had such a wonderful life and has such a big, happy family and ideally he'd be spending his last few days or so with them, playing with the kids, reminiscing with Molly and Ron and the rest of them, so the fact that he can't really made it so much worse.
Gah, I can't really think of much else other than to say that this is perfect, you are phenomenal and I now need to desperately listen to French pop to cheer me up.
Aph xxAuthor's Response: Hey Aph! Thanks again for the swap!
It's so good to hear that you liked Molly! I wanted to illustrate that understated sadness through her busyness. It's like a current that's always running quietly in the background, and no matter what she does, it follows her around. Molly tries to go about her daily routine, just to give herself a sense of structure, but it's inevitable that she'll be interrupted when she realizes that her pile of laundry has been reduced considerably and later when chores related to Arthur's palliative care have to be added to the daily list. I do think she would talk to herself sometimes to provide comfort when she's alone.
I'm glad you liked the beginning. I wanted it to feel very detached and strictly from Molly's sort of confused, disbelieving point of view. The smell of hospitals used to really turn my stomach when I had to go see relatives there as a child, and that sensation has stuck with me, so I felt I could use it effectively here.
I had a grandfather with dementia and I distinctly remember listening to him get lost; he would confuse the past with the present and, most painfully of all, forget the names of the family members sitting around him. I felt like Arthur, with his wealth of memories, would lose so much in his deteriorating condition. At least he got to go home, and I would hope the children would be able to be there when it is finally time for him to pass on.
Thanks so much for your lovely review :)
-Amanda Report Review
Hey there! Nice to see you pop up in the review battle again ;)
So, first off, I've never read anything in quite this style of writing before. It's almost poem- or song-like, instead of heavy prose, which I really liked and thought went perfectly with the title. I think, in a way, it worked because it kinda lacked... well, most things, lol. Description, dialogue, etc. It was basic, simplistic and yet a compact and touching story. Plus, only 501 words? Well done! You have my respect - I could never write anything that short... it would kill me.
I love the way you go through the last few years of the war and beyond and Draco's life during them. Starting from when he was given the task by the Dark Lord was such a good idea - it really worked and I loved the way you talked about it. Like he was literally the opposite of Harry. The Dark Lord's chosen one, rather than Dumbledore's. Just be aware of repetition - I'm not totally sure if it worked in the first paragraph... it reads a bit weirdly, you know, but I really got what you meant by it, so... *shrugs* Up to you, I think! :)
I loved how you developed his character as well, throughout that time period and only really mentioned other characters when necessary, and even then only when they were important. It would have been so easy to mention, say, Harry or someone, but it worked so well with so few mentions.
Astoria! :) I'm a big Draco/Astoria fan, so I always love it when people include her. I like the way you made her approach him and the way he just watched her in a cafe. It could have come off as creepy, you know just staring at someone, but because it was only in a cafe and he was, really, too scared to do anything about it (let's face it, lol), it just wasn't. I liked the references to the coffee as well - the whole bitter/sweet dichotomy.
Ah, the end! I have to mention this - at the beginning I genuinely thought he was going to die. I thought you were going to kill him off, and nearly laughed at myself at the end, because of course one song can't still play when another song starts, and it made so much sense, then. But yeah, blonde moment :) And I loved how you linked it back to the beginning, making it feel almost cyclical in the sense that each time it's kinda a new adventure or chapter in his life and he changes each time. I liked that.
I really, really enjoyed this. It was lovely. In answer to your bunch of questions at the bottom, I'd say don't try and write everything like this - it's a pretty specific style and while it worked fabulously here, it might not elsewhere, you know? But yeah, this was wonderful :)
Aph xxAuthor's Response: Ah, the battle for reviews is a neverending war, is it not? One can simply not lie low for too long!
I never thought of it that way, that the actual style tied in with the title! I'm not a poetry kind of person, so the thought never crossed my mind! Wow! Thanks for pointing that out!
The story lacks like everything, partly because I wanted to challenge myself, partly because I was lazy, and partly because description scares me. I'm glad to hear that it still worked! And I tend to err on the overly wordy side from time to time, so this was actually really hard! I think I had 499 words at one point, and then I rewrote a bit of it, and ended up with 520 words all of sudden!
Draco was just such an angsty character at the time, and the quote felt a bit angsty as well, so I thought I'd give it a go! And I know the repetition of which you speak! It's probably my least favourite part and kept me up late at night! I'll definitely try and rework it at some point, because it really annoys me.
I'm glad to hear that you thought Draco progressed well. Whilst writing it, I felt like I wasn't doing enough to him, so I'm super happy to hear that you liked it!
I'M SUCH A HUGE DRACO/ASTORIA FAN! Who cares if we've never met her? I just really want their story to be super-romantic, is all! If someone ever watched me in a cafe like that, I'd be pretty creeped out, but because it was Draco and Astoria, I didn't feel so weird about it!
You thought he was going to die? Really? To me, the quote always had a ray of hope somewhere hidden inside it, simply because (DW spoilers alert!) even though the quote signals the end to the reign of the Tenth Doctor, it also heralds the beginning of an Eleventh Doctor, and I guess the great Circle of Life continues... guess who watches Doctor Who and Lion King too intensely?
And definitely - the writing style simply wouldn't work for other stuff!
Thanks for such a wonderful review! Report Review
Hello again! :) I'm so glad I spotted you in the review battle - gives me a cast-iron excuse to ignore the work I'm supposed to be doing and come back to this instead.
I loved the little court scene. It's not like any court I've ever been to, but things work a lot different in terms of the legal system in the world of Harry Potter. The panel reminds me of when Arthur Weasley told Harry that his hearing in book 5 would be in Madam Bones' office and she'd be the one hearing him, you know? It's kinda like a tribunal, I guess, which makes sense since they're basically charged with being a bit stupid and having annoyed a few people, lol. But yes, as a law student, the little legal references made me smile :)
Ah, poor, poor Al. I get the feeling he's sort of being dragged around by them, with almost absolutely no interest in their lives and what they're actually doing at all. A quick question (this maybe a stupid question...): are Rose and Lily models or socialites? I'm not really sure at the moment - although I expect it'll be clearer the further on I read.
Your characterisation is, as always, phenomenal. I love how Lily is, in Al's opinion at least, sweet and kinda cute and can't do anything wrong (much) and how he can't refuse her things, and how Rose is the wilder of the two - and therefore probably more likely to be the ringleader.
I'm really curious to see how Rose, Lily and Al are going to tie in with Dominique and Darcy, and how Beauty Week is going to effect everything. What are their plans? They definitely have some... or if they don't, Al does and Lily seems to be developing some...
Poor James, as well. Yeah, pro bono work is good, but defending your sister and cousin because they were stupid is not something many people particularly want to have to do, I imagine... though I do like him as a lawyer. It's very different to the Quidditch star/Auror people always put him as.
Uncle George likes Doctor Who! Can he become more of a legend? :)
I'm so excited about reading the next chapter of this - it's such a shame that I don't have time to read it this evening, but I'll definitely put it on my list of things to read and keep an eye out for updates.
Aph xxAuthor's Response: Hey Aph! I was pleased that you tagged me in the Review Battle. You leave awesome reviews.
Yeah, it seems like wizards are a bit flexible with their legal practices, in terms of shifting magical law and deciding what to do with offenders. I know very little about the legal world, but it made sense that they wouldn't have a big, formal trial for a bit of frolicking.
Not a stupid question at all! They're technically models, just starting to make names for themselves in that world, but they have a socialite flair because they're famous by proxy of their parents. Does that make sense? I guess I sort of modeled their roles after that of the Kardashians or Hilton sisters. They're already famous, but they're trying to capitalize on that career-wise on their own.
Oh, I'm happy the characterization worked! Several people have commented that they like James as a lawyer, which is great, because it seemed unorthodox and yet fitting to me. Rose is definitely the ringleader, though part of Albus's job is trying to keep her reined in. You were right about Albus seeing Lily in a rosy light, and James does the same thing. One thing they can bond over as brothers is their need to keep an eye on their baby sister.
It's great to hear that you want to keep reading! A new chapter will be up today :)
Thanks for this lovely review!
-Amanda Report Review
Ello there! Not sure if I've stopped by before, but I really love this story! There's so many about the Next Gen kids once they're all teenager, etc. and how they all fall in love, blah blah blah, but this is so original showing them as children, with the focus not on them as such but on their parents, as well.
I love the mention of so many canon characters and pairings - little Victoire and Dominique, Audrey and Percy, baby Freddie... and that reference to Fred, when Molly was making the cake... gah, that was so beautiful.
Anyway, I love how you characterise them all - particularly Harry and Ginny and Ron and Hermione. I've always been scared about writing them myself because they're such established characters in canon it would be so easy and horrible to get them wrong. You, on the other hand, have pulled them off so well - they're so similar to their canon counterparts it's unreal. You're brilliant - I don't know how you've done it.
Vernon's dead! Wow... I don't really feel sorry that he's dead, I more feel sorry for Petunia. Really, the only person she has left now is Dudley and she's been through quite a bit in her life, despite not being the nicest of people throughout it. Still, I love the fact that you brought her and Dudley into it, instead of forgetting about them or pretending they want nothing to do with each other. They are family, after all, and some of JK's strongest messages are about family.
And Ginny and Harry argued and then made up... I love that. Couples don't 'never argue'. It's just not possible - even couples who never saw each other would find a way to argue, I bet. Plus, Harry has always had a hot temper and Ginny's not the kind of person to take that lying down. I loved his conversation with Aunt Petunia as well - the way he blew up was so true to his character and I imagine a few people would do the same when faced with that kind of conversation from Aunt Petunia. I do hope she, Harry and Dudley have some kind of reconciliation, though, since I think there is some kind of understanding to be reached... but maybe that's a bit too fairytale-like...
Also, baby!James is just too cute...
The details you put in this are wonderful - the idea of a Neighbourhood Witch, her cat, the information we have about the trio's jobs after the war, the appearance of Dean... it's just fabulous.
So yeah, in case you couldn't tell, I really, really enjoyed this. It will go and sit in my favourites and I will wait impatiently for updates ;)
Aph xx Report Review
REMUS/TONKS! YES, YES, YES! :D Ahem... sorry about that. It's just that I love Remus and Tonks and think they're adorably tragic, and yet never seem to be able to find anything to read about them... shame... anyway...
Tonks. Is. Perfect. The way you've done her voice is just so good. She sounds pretty young, enthusiastic, a bit like she tries too hard at certain things, somewhat inexperienced, funny and bubbly - all of which is exactly how she is in the books. Seriously - you've done so well with her. I love how you mentioned her connection to the Blacks, etc. and her mother's family, as well as her parents and everything. You managed to slide it all in very neatly, without going through it one-by-one or something, which meant it came across really naturally, rather than just dumping the information down.
Gah... I'm so excited to see what happens! You said about falling down in the summary and she's already fallen over here... hm... I'm really curious as to how you're going to portray their romance. Does it happen quickly or slowly? When does Remus feel guilty about it? How does she fall so fast? What do her parents think about it? Do her parents meet Sirius again? What will their wedding (yes, I'm thinking very far ahead...) be like? SO MANY QUESTIONS.
You've done really well with all the Order members as well - particularly Sirius and Remus, though they were the two we saw most of, so that's only really to be expected. I like how there's a sort of sense of awkward, let's-catch-up kinda thing between her and Sirius (I mean, what do you say to a relative who was wrongfully convicted of being a mass-murderer for thirteen years?). And Dumbledore's twinkling away in the background... seems legit ;)
I did pick up on a couple of things, though. You seem to have a few problems with commas (I'm hopeless with them, so don't worry about it, and it's an easily fixed problem). I know Arithmancy_Wiz has written a blog about grammar which you might like to check out and there might be some topics on it in the Writer's Resources sections. If not, ask your beta to focus on that ;) Also, I noticed that a few times you slipped in between present and past tenses... it was a little confusing, but again it's easy enough to fix - if you read it through again I'm pretty sure you'll catch it (try reading out loud - it sounds stupid, but it makes things like that a lot more obvious, even if you feel like an idiot).
So... that's it, really! Great pace, great plot, greatgreatgreat characterisation, I'm really looking forward to seeing where you go with this in future... how you tie in all the canon events, etc.
Aph xxAuthor's Response: Haha it's fine I feel the same way, I guess that's why I decided to write this as there's so few stories about them!
Aw! I'm so glad that you liked Tonks, as I always loved her in the books, so I really wanted to stay true to her character, as it's just so fun. I love this Tonks as she's so fun loving, and mad, and it's sad to see her at the end of DH, and see how much she's changed:(
I'm glad that you liked the mentions of the Blacks, as I felt that I had to include them, and I was a little unsure if I mentioned them too much, so I'm glad that you liked it!
Haha I guess I can answer a few of them, without giving the story away! I wanted to tie in how she met Tonks to her clumsiness, as that's such a key trait of hers, and it just seemed approriate ;D Her parents will probably meet Sirius! As for the others I still haven't decided either! I can't wait for the wedding scene, as I love these two, so I want to do them proud!
I'm glad that you liked the Order members, as that was the bit I was most unsure of. Yes it was kind of awkward between her and Sirius, but I do want them to be friends eventually, as they're so similar! N'aw Dumbledore he's just a legend!
Commas are the bane of my life. I loathe them, and not many how many times I proofread they still give me nightmares! I will sort them out...eventually! Oops me and my tenses aren't the best of friends either, and I'll check them out;D I do try and read it aloud, but my family always seem to think I'm talking to myself when I do!
Thank you for this wonderful review, and I hope that you like the rest of the story ;D
Kiana :D Report Review
Hey there! Thanks for the swap! :)
Funny thing, this is the second daughter-of-Draco-Malfoy-centric story I've read today, and the last one I read before that was years ago... it's like a throwback to the past, lol.
First off, I love that you've chosen to do it in first person voice. I know it's pretty common with OCs, but here I think it really works - you couldn't really do it any other way, I don't think. Mikaela's voice is funny and she seems like she'll be a good character. I'm interested to see more of her - at school and such things, around her friends, etc. and find out more about her. I like that you've included flaws and not the usual ones either - she's demanding, seems a little selfish (expected, really, since she's Draco's daughter ;D), loyal, cunning, with very strong opinions. I like that - it's a nice change from quirky, clever and beautiful OCs with 'spunk' ;)
One thing about the voice, though - I know the italics are to show her thoughts, but since this is in first person voice, essentially, the whole story is in her voice and mind - it's like she's writing it down or telling it to you directly - so the italics seem unnecessary to me, tbh.
YES! An OC male lead who isn't a Potter/Weasley (mostly just not a Potter)! Thank God! Seriously, whenever I've seen people doing Next Gen stories involving Malfoy daughters, they nearly always end up with a Potter, so I'm so glad to see that it seems like Mikaela won't :D It's such a nice change - and makes your story a lot different to others already. Heehee, I don't think this is going to go particularly well - at least, not at first... though I'm curious to know if she'll find a way out of it or not? Since Narcissa is supposed to have made it watertight, that could be an interesting situation. I like that your using a family/friends connection to make the marriage, rather than a simple 'you will marry X'. Makes it more interesting ;)
Just a couple of quick things: you say that Narcissa and the other lady (Simoun?) are 'pureblood sisters born into different families', which, honestly, doesn't make much sense. Are they sisters? If they are, then they can't have been born into different families - also, be aware of the implications if they are sisters... secondly, a little Brit-pick here: in Britain we're not allowed to learn to drive until we're seventeen. Since this is set on her seventeenth birthday, she wouldn't be allowed to and wouldn't know how, either. You might want to change it to a broom or something, to make it work ;)
I really enjoyed reading this - so many questions and so few answers! Thanks for the swap!
Aph xxAuthor's Response: Hiii theree! Thankyou so much. And it will be revealed later that Mikaela's age in muggle land is different. She did get her car on her sixteenth birthday. It shows that Malfoys get what they want anyway.
Your review refreshed me, tbh.
We should totally do this some other time.
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