Reading Reviews From Member: Aphoride
  
433 Reviews Found

Review #1, by AphorideBunny Slippers: The Longbottom Family

29th March 2015:
Hey there - dropping by for our review swap! :) Sorry about the delay - did my wrist in a couple of days ago, so I've spent the last two with it strapped up, which makes it really difficult to type :/ Anyway, I'm here now!

I've always wanted to see a story about the Longbottoms - there's something so horrifying and so awful about what happened to them that I kinda want to know about about it and them in general, you know? Like they're surprisingly interesting characters for people who barely show up in the books :P But then I do have a soft spot for minor characters... which meant that, really, when you asked me to look at this, how could I possibly resist? :P

I love how you've characterised them too - with Frank and Alice being almost a stereotypical kinda successful couple, with their careers and their children, and having almost a picture-perfect life, with the dinner and so on in the evening, only for that all to be destroyed. It makes it so heartbreaking, you know, because the little details in this really make them come alive - how proud Frank is of Benjamin, how Alice nearly gives up when she sees Benjamin killed, the fact that Alice is in slippers when the attack comes, and Frank tries to escape and perhaps would have if Benjamin hadn't been killed when he was.

The plot of this is so great, too - I love how sudden the attack is, and how it's almost calm at the beginning until Bellatrix gets into her stride. Then it's pretty terrifying. I loved the mention of Benjamin trying to defend his parents, not really knowing how and paying the price for it. Poor little guy - he just wanted to help :( I'm so curious to see where you're going to go after this with their story - how you're going to deal with them being broken and then in hospital and not recognising Neville and so on... and I just love that you've chosen this part of their lives to focus on. It's so, so sad, but so great, too.

Your writing in this is gorgeous, too. I love the way you describe things - especially the food at the beginning and Alice, too. It's so so lovely. Your dialogue too is amazing - and the details you include in this, particularly in the later section really just bring this whole thing alive, and let all the emotions in this just sort of sing almost. Like, there's so much feeling in this and your writing really lets that come to the front, which is so gorgeous, and so devastating too! ;)

This really is a lovely, lovely story - everything about this is so great! Thank you so much for the swap, and again I'm sorry this is so late! :)

Aph xx

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Review #2, by AphorideInanimate Objects: where he tried to defuse the situation and failed utterly

25th March 2015:
Hey there, Emily! :) Stopping by for our review swap - because, really, where else could I possibly go seeing the summary for this? :P

So, first of all, I should say that I love love love the concept of this. HP mixed with Beauty and the Beast? Um yes. With added humour and less overly-stereotypical romance? Definitely, yes. With Death Eaters as the characters? Omigosh, so much yes :P (And Dumbledore as the witch/wizard character? Haha, so brilliant! :P)

I love how you tied in Voldemort's appearance, too, with his snake-like Voldemort features being the Beast to Tom's beautiful, arrogant Prince :P It's such a neat version of it, and I love how Lucius is the candelabra. It suits him so, so well! Though I can't help but wonder who's going to be the clock? And does that make Rookwood Mrs Potts? :P :P Omigosh, I hope so, that's hilarious! :) (And Nott is the little teacup? :P)

Ah, I'm getting too invested in this already, and it's barely started! :P I just wanna know what happens now! You'll have to write the next chapter soon - I can bug you about it in the cabin, after all ;)

I love the way you've characterised them all. It's a humour/AU fic, but you've still retained their roles and a lot of their characteristics from canon - Tom's arrogance and haughtiness, the way the Death Eaters effectively are his servents (though it's literal here), the way Lucius Malfoy sort of scrapes and fawns before him, the mention of Rookwood and the other Death Eaters torturing... it was just all so, so good and so well placed that it didn't feel out of place or weird in this new world you've created, but it was similar enough to the HP canon world that it kept it linked, you know? It's a perfect balance between familiar and not :)

I've kinda mentioned this above, but the plot and setting of this is brilliant. I'm so excited to see you explore more of this world and for us to learn more about it - and about Belle, of course! ;) And Gaston! And well, pretty much all of the other characters!

Your writing in this is so good, too. I think it's easier to slip on quality of writing in humour because of the effort spent on making things funny, if that makes sense, but this is so lovely! Your description is so brilliant, every word is exactly right, and your dialogue is amazing. (Can you teach me how you dialogue? Pretty please? :P)

I'm going to have to leave it here because my wrist has been playing up all through this (sorry - blame the weather! ;)), but I love this and I'm totally stalking this from now on! ;)

Favouriting! :)

Aph xx

p.s. ooh, guesses for Belle... um, is it bad that I kinda want it to be Bellatrix? :P Nah, um, Harry or Ginny, maybe? Myrtle? :/ I think maybe Hermione, since she probably fits the character of Belle best, but I don't know - this is too hard! :P

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Review #3, by AphorideVictoire: The Guard

25th March 2015:
Hey there - dropping by for our review swap! :)

Okay, so wow. This is a brilliant opening - from the hook at the start of it, with Azkaban and Greyback and Lucius Malfoy, to the ending with Victoire and Teddy and their lovely moment, and then Izzy and the screaming. It's so pacey and dramatic and ugh. So good! :)

I'm a huge fan of mystery/dark kinda things, so I was pretty much always going to enjoy this, you know, but this is so so good. I love how you've set it up and dropped us in right at the very heart of the action at the beginning, rather than leading up to things. It makes this start off with a jolt, you know, and with a certain amount of pace to it, and makes me wonder about things from the start.

Plus, it's confusing as anything, but in a good way! :P

I love Cormac's voice in it - how he's grown up almost to be the better man, in a way, in the sense that he's not the one giving him the rubbish jobs because he doesn't like him (Harry and Ron) - and, conversely, I liked how Harry and Ron through his eyes aren't infallible. They're all such human characters, and I love it. There's something about Cormac's situation, stranded on guard duty at Azkaban for weeks on end because he once fancied Hermione, which is so sad and petty, and it's so easy to sympathise with him. Which is something I never really thought I'd say, haha!

Victoire is such an interesting character, too - I love how she sees the article and she knows what it'll mean to Teddy (and what it means to her too, ofc, but her thought is to show it to Teddy), and she's so sympathetic to him and how he feels about it. She's such a lovely character, and I like how she's a 'Claw too (of course! :P), because it also adds a different dimension to her other than that of 'standard Weasley', you know? I'm so so curious to see how all your characters - Cormac and Victoire and the rest, even the mad Death Eaters - expand throughout this.

Your writing in this is so gorgeous, too. Your descriptions at the beginning are so, so good - and your dialogue, when it appears (and don't worry, I'm a huge fan of minimalist dialogue myself ;)), is so on-point for the characters. Like, Lucius Malfoy sounds like Lucius Malfoy, you know? I especially loved your descriptions of Azkaban, and the repetition with the colour changing charms :) So lovely!

That cliffhanger at the end with the scream... O.o WAIT. OH MY GOD. Wasn't a kid called Montgomery killed by Greyback in the books? Or am I making that up? O.o I don't know, but I think so... oh my god, maybe it's to do with that?

Ah, I'm so curious :P We'll have to swap again, or I'll have to come back next week when I have spare time, just to find out if I'm right ;)

Favouriting :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Oh my gosh this is pretty much a dream review - I'm so so glad you enjoyed this chapter and thank you so much for all your kind words!

While I hate Cormac in the books, I'm a big believer that every character is the protagonist in their own story and I figured he probably had his own thoughts about everything that went down in HBP. He's a massive pain but he never actually did anything evil, and I enjoyed exploring him a bit more here. I'm glad you liked him.

My other WIP is about Gryffindors and Slytherins so I decided to make this one about Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs and I'm loving it. I figured Fleur must have been pretty smart to be a Triwizard Champion, and don't really buy into the idea that every single Weasley child would end up in Gryffindor, so Victoire in Ravenclaw kind of made sense. Thank you for being so lovely about her character!

And your comment about minimalist dialogue made me smile - in my other WIP dialogue is EVERYWHERE, so this is a big change in style and it's always interesting to hear what people think of it. It's such a relief to hear it works!

I'm happy to review swap any time, just drop me a message or mention you're here to swap in your review. I loved your story so am keen to swap again :)

Thanks for such a kind, thoughtful review, and thanks for the favourite!

Emma xx


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Review #4, by AphorideLife As We Know It: chapter one

22nd March 2015:
Hey there, Erica! :) First of all, thank you so so much for the swap, it was amazing! And secondly, I should warn you, I'm not a huge Dramione fan, if I'm honest, and I haven't read any Dramione in years, but I've heard good things about yours before, so I'm sure it'll be good ;)

I love how you've set this during the sixth year, when Ron was with Lavender - it gets Ron out of the way, so to speak, for Hermione and Draco to get together, without anything horrible happening. It's such a great way of dealing with it - so much better than other ways people find, the more cliche ways.

I love as well how you've characterised Hermione - how she's so infatuated with Ron and has been for so long, and was almost half-convinced something was going to happen, only for him to then go off with Lavender instead. It's such a sad moment, you know, because it's such a real thing, so true to life and I'm sure most people have experienced something like it, even if not to that extent. I know I have. So sad - poor Hermione! :(

I love as well how you've characterised Ron - how you've very carefully avoided the stereotypical jerk!Ron presentation (which I'm so so glad for, because, tbh, I can't stand stories which do that with Ron, whatever era they're set in!), and how he almost goes over to her, how his eyes soften and then he goes back - it sort of seems to me that he doesn't really know what to do, you know? Which really just makes it all the more sad. Like, it gives this beautiful feeling of a wedge between them and sort of growing, even if neither of them - especially Ron - necessarily understands why it's there, you know?

Also, I just have to mention that I love how biased Hermione's pov is on Lavender. It's perfect, you know, because it shows this lovely, harsh, unforgiving side of Hermione a lot of people often forget, and unreliable narrators, or snippets of it, are always so so good and I love reading them.

Your Lavender is so great, too - pretty much exactly as she is in canon - a bit flighty and giggly and girly and the little mention of the Diviniation thing just rounded it all off so so well :P

Your writing in this was so so good, too - I loved the way the voice actually sounded like Hermione, you know, and was so reminiscent of her in canon. I loved how you had the 'books and cleverness' phrase into it, too - I don't know if it was intentional or not, but either way it was so good! Your description is so lovely, too - especially the bits where you talk about Hermione's feelings, and the phsysical bits, with the expressions and the actions. It's such simple stuff, but it's so evocative and so realistic, and paints the image of it all so, so well.

The whole bit with Draco hiding in the corners was so well done, too - I was so curious about who it was (well, tbh, I guessed, but you always wait for the reveal, you know? :P) and what was going to happen when she found out, and I loved how he seemed to have enjoyed watching her get so upset. It's such a Draco reaction!

This was such a brilliant opening, so true to all of the characters, and I loved the cliffhanger at the end as well - so cheeky ;) I'm so sorry this review probably doesn't match up to the one you left me, but, really, I can't find any more ways to say 'I really liked this' :P

Aph xx

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Review #5, by Aphoridemisguided ghosts: veni.

22nd March 2015:
Hey Joey! :) Stopping by for our review swap again, haha. And so the endless cycle of reviewing continues :P

Can I just say first off that I love so many elements you have in this? I love Healer!Rose, and gay!James II (if I'm honest, I prefer James II being gay and not like James I than anything else... it's just, gah, I can never resist subverting stereotypes in that way, and if most people make Al gay, then imma have me a gay/bi!James instead :P), and of course Scorp/Lysander! ;)

Anyway, moving on from that... stuff, haha, I love the way you've written Rose in this. She's just so so good. I love how she's so affected by what's happened to Ron and Willow and how she's so passionate, really, about the idea of helping, but at the same time realistic and knows it's going to be difficult to get approval for it and so get people at St Mungo's involved - but then, she's so strong at the end when she decides she's going to do it on her own. She's just such a great mix of Ron and Hermione in this, in a way which makes her totally herself, and I love it! :)

Plus, I totally agree with her about the situation - it's ridiculous! Mental health and all that jazz is one of those things which is so fascinating to think about in terms of the wizarding world and their approach, because there are so many different ways to take it. Would they be about the same, better or worse? What kind of treatments would they give? Would they even know about the same kinds of illnesses/understand them in the same way? So I'm so so excited to see you tackling this, and I love how you've taken it down the less sympathetic route - her boss sounds so rude and condescending! His opinions sound all very Death Eater-ish tbh, haha.

On that note, I love how you've had Ron struggle with it. Ron has always been, imo, the most mentally 'weak', for lack of a better word, of the three of them - the most easily influenced by things which prey on his weaknesses, the one with perhaps the traits which can lead most easily to things like ptsd, depression and anxiety, and so on. It's incredibly sad to think of, but it's a really heart-breakingly realistic portrayal of him.

(Character-wise, I don't think I need to tell you I love your Scorp and Lys and Al and Destiny? They're all awesome and you know it :P)

Your writing in this is so great, too! I know I keep saying this, but really, it's true each time, I can't help it! :P I love how you described Ron and the issues he faced and how life worked in their house - not talking about it, Hermione's brave face, almost, and so on. It was such a beautiful, real description of it, and so thoughtful, too, which I loved! As always, your dialogue is brilliant - so smooth and good and casual and ugh, I'm so jealous!

This is such a good start - I love it to pieces, and, well, I think I'm going to have to favourite this so I don't miss updates... you're making me expand my favourites page more than I'm used to you know. It's entirely your fault! ;)

(Also, I'm really, really hoping this is three chapters long in total and the chapter names will be veni vidi vici - just coz that would be awesome :P)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi Laura!! We really do so many swaps :P

I've been building up to this for a really long time. I was slyly introducing characters and plot points through one-shots for months leading up to this story. Hopefully this works as sort of a culmination of (this era of) this universe. I love bi!James here. He's incredibly fun to write, although he doesn't show up much.

I've had a really clear picture of this Rose long before I actually wrote her. Passionate is definitely a word you can use to describe her. Writing her has been such a treat.

I've made the Wizarding world about as bad about mental health as possible here honestly. And Healer Adams is a really straightforward, horrible villain. He's kind of Healer!Umbridge in that sense. I probably haven't hated any of my characters as much as him.

I certainly thought that Ron would be the most likely to have issues following the war. I think it was the way the locket affected him that made me decide to have it be him. I didn't plan to start this story as sad as I did, but that's just what I started writing when I sat down and typed.

I have way too much fun with my Scorpius/Lysander/Al/Destiny quartet. I'm not sure I ever want to stop writing them.

I'm glad the writing worked here! Especially the dialogue, because I pride myself on that :P I write dialogue so quickly compared to the rest. I just need an idea of the conversation and then I just go wherever it takes me.

I am so flattered that you favorited! ♥ Also, it totally is three chapters titled veni vidi vici. And it's thematically significant!!

Thank you for this wonderful review :)


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Review #6, by AphorideDiversions from Reality.: Afternoon Delight...

22nd March 2015:
Hey there - dropping by for our review swap! :) I hope it's okay I chose this one, since I haven't read any of your big -verse, so I didn't want to jump in where I might not understand how it all works and so on. Plus, Sirius/Lily is one of those fascinating pairings where so much is possible and yet not possible, and it could be canon but could also not be, you know? :P

I love how you've characterised all of them in this - Sirius and Lily especially, but James and Remus too. There's something so real about them you know, and they really are so reminiscent of the characters from canon, too. Like, Sirius being such a rebel and not really caring about school really fits with his personality later, and I loved the little mentions of his friends and family, and how he'd thought Lily would be good for him, and then he seems to be having second thoughts after their argument. I loved Lily, too - how she was sort of almost the exact opposite, being a lot more rule-abiding and conscientious and moral, too, even if sticking by her principles didn't make things easy with Sirius - her sticking up for Snape. But then, that's always how I imagined Lily from canon, you know? Moral and principled and she almost lives and dies by them.

James and Remus were so great, popping in - especially Remus. I loved how he and Lily were friends and did rounds together, and how James was so awkward around Sirius and Lily when he walked in on them. Poor James :P

I like how you started this with an argument, too - it's such a great hook because of the glimpse of their relationship when it's good, then seeing it break. I just want to know why it's such a big thing, if they can manage to stick it out together or if they're going to split up. Poor Lily, it's so unfair for her to feel like she should do something to make it up to him; it's not her fault he refuses to talk to her. She can't make him, after all... the little glimpse of Remus defending Sirius at first, but then agreeing to help Lily makes me so curious about how the Marauders in total will get caught up in this - will they have to take sides? Will any of them side with Lily over Sirius? So many questions! :P

Your writing in this is so lovely, too - your word choice is so spot on, and your description is great; I loved how Sirius described Lily as 'holier than thou' especially. It's so fitting for how you've characterised her in this! Your dialogue really stood out to me - it really sounds like teenagers talking, you know, and it sounds so casual and easy, like a natural conversation, which is so hard to do (at least, it is for me, haha)! It's so so good! :)

As a start this is so so good - a perfect amount of information, hook and cliffhanger at the end, and character-study type introductions. It's so exciting to see you've updated it recently, too - hopefully you keep going with it - it's a brilliant start! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Well that's just made my day!! I'm so pleased you did this as one I resurrected it recently. I like to write Lily with a mischievous streak, and I like the idea of her being drawn to Sirius but being conflicted by her morals at the same time. I don't want to give anything away but there is another pairing I'm planning on here...

And thank you, I love writing dialogue, it seems to flow quite easily for me and, I'm happy it sounds age appropriate :)

Thank you so much, I shall try and do a couple more of yours over the week

Sophie xxx


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Review #7, by AphorideA Single Point In Time: 1982

15th March 2015:
Hey there, dropping by for our review swap! :) Sorry this is so late - I was painting my nails and then having dinner with a friend, so it ended up being a lot later than I thought!

I really, really loved this - this is such a beautiful, bittersweet story. It's so emotive, and so upsetting - like, you feel sorry for both Petunia and Harry, you know, and it's hard to explain, but you do.

Your characterisation is amazing. You've written Petunia so so well, it's almost as though she's stepped straight out of the canon books and into this. She's so amazingly perfect, seriously. I have no idea how you've done it; it blows my mind. I loved how she didn't quite seem to understand how to feel towards Harry, or how to act towards her. There's this kind of sense of confusion, of almost fear, with her, especially when she essentially wakes up Dudley, just to see him and hold him, because he's her son, and Harry isn't. It's almost like she needs the comfort of having Dudley, to offset the loss of knowing what to do with Harry. She can deal with Dudley, but she doesn't know what to do with Harry.

Which is especially hard considering that he's just another baby, and her nephew, so it shouldn't necessarily be that hard, you know?

I loved as well how you touched on her relationship with Lily - how she knew she didn't miss Lily enough, or the way that she should. There's something almost sadder about her knowing she should miss her sister more and not being able to, than if she didn't know.

Your writing in this, again, is amazing, just as it was in the first one. You're so so good at pulling emotion out of words and the story in general - this is packed full of emotions, and it really does make you feel everything Petunia does - and your description is gorgeous. I especially loved the way you described baby Harry - the one phrase 'the boy was a memento' was so heartbreaking in what it meant, and it almost suggested that they could never have had a normal aunt-nephew relationship; there's just so much underlying that.

This really is such a beautiful story collection, and each chapter itself is amazing. So, so good! :) Thank you so much for the swap!

Aph xx

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Review #8, by AphorideWake up, Rose.: The Nightmare Before Christmas

12th March 2015:
Hello again! :D Review number five! :) I have to say that I love The Nightmare Before Christmas - it's such a great film, and the title of it is so appropriate for this chapter!

(Oh, speaking of, I should say that with last chapter's title, I love Emerson, too! :D He's not my favourite poet, but he's so good!)

Again, your characterisation is so, so lovely. I loved how you had Rose stand up for herself against Scorpius and be so mortally embarassed by the argument - I think if that had been me I'd have literally melted into a puddle, haha. It was a great pair of moments to have together, you know, with their contrasting versions of Rose: one where she's so strong, and the other where she's almost helpless, in the sense that there's not really anything she can do about it, and she doesn't really know what to do, you know? It's a nice evolution of her character, I think, and it's so great to see someone showing just how much our characters and personalities change according to our moods and emotions. It's so true to life and I just love it.

I felt so sorry for Scorpius last chapter, but in this one... he's kind of a jerk. I mean, the whole argument thing really, really isn't cool. So unnecessary, and stupid - but I guess it's true enough to life and teenagers :P Yeah, he really didn't deserve Rose forgiving him so easily for that one! Her ending quip was pretty good, too - can you please teach me how you write snappy lines like that? Pretty please? I've never been able to do it...

Ohmygosh, I'm totally with Rose on Dom, too - though knowing you, this might well be a 'for the moment' kind of thing - she really does seem so self-serving and self-interested. I really can't believe she has any reason for Rose not to tell everyone what happened other than that I imagine both Bill and Fleur would flip completely. Almost a shame Rose is too embarassed by it to reveal it, tbh. Dom would deserve everything coming to her on that front!

I'm on two minds about Albus so far... I like that he maybe was trying to stand up for Rose, but the argument itself is horrible for her to sit through. Good intentions, bad result? Eh, I don't know... I'm reserving judgment on him for now :P

Your dialogue in this was especially amazing - I loved so many lines in this - Rose's last one to Scorpius, Rose's to Dom, Teddy's to Hugo (though maybe get rid of the 'please leave' from Rose to Dom - it seems a bit repetitive? Like she's said, get out already, you know?). Your description too - especially of Rose with the embarassment at the beginning, in the hall; that was so well described I could literally see it in my head and everything - the feelings and sense of it was so real.

I'm so looking forward to seeing chapter 6 when it's up (soon, maybe? Perhaps? Yes? No? I'll trade you a chapter of L'optimisme? Two? :P) - I really hope Rose, or Hugo, gets back at Hooper for that. Horrible stunt to pull! Poor Hugo... he's so sweet, too!

Anyway, I'm so looking forward to seeing where you go with this, and I'm favouriting so I can stalk this more closely :)

Aph xx

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Review #9, by AphorideWake up, Rose.: The Outsiders

12th March 2015:
Hi again, Joey! :D Review number four... and I'm already hoping you get another chapter up soon so we can just keep going ;)

I'm so so picky about characterisation in stories, I have to admit - it's one of the biggest things which turns me off books and ffs - and yours is just amazing. I love so much how all of your characters are complex, none of them are always right or wrong, they're all layered individuals, with reasons and myriad of personality traits. It's so so good, and I really can't get enough of it. Plus, I love as well how you turn normal characterisations of characters on their heads, like with Albus, and explore them deeper, too, than a lot of other authors. It's so impressive! :)

I loved how in this chapter you showed different, new sides to both Rose and Scorpius - especially in the end scene, with them as ickle firsties on the train together :P I loved how neither of them was really right - though I do feel a little more sorry for Scorpius, being so nervous and so sure everyone would bring up his family and be so rude about it (and who knows if Rose would have been or not?)... he's only eleven years old, but it seems like such a burden for him, you know? And it's so unfair for him to have to carry it. That being said, I loved how Rose wasn't exactly a pushover either - she wasn't rude, but she wasn't overly welcoming/friendly, either. It's hard to describe, but I just loved the sort of sense of tension, or apprehension from her character in that.

Of course, Albus just laughs like a mad hyena :P Typical of him!

I loved seeing the protective older-sister side of Rose come out, too. I'd have liked for her to maybe be a bit direct about it, rather than say, 'I'll tell these other people who'll do something', because those kinds of threats are far less effective, but, tbh, it's a very teenager-type thing to do, you know? Rely on other people, people who you perceive to be stronger - and then as you grow, you realise you are one of those people :) So I'm looking forward to seeing her hex them in the future ;) (They deserve it!)

(Also, that conversation with Hugo was amazing. It reminds me so much of when my sister came out to me and my other sister. Though we were more like 'we already know' :P But yeah, the teasing afterwards was so spot on for siblings! :D)

Hugo and Lysander! :D I have to be honest, I did wonder before, but I thought I was just seeing pretty blonde gay guys everywhere, haha, but I'm so glad to see it's true! They sound like such a cute pairing! :)

Your writing, as always, is so so lovely. Your dialogue is always your strongest part, and it's no different in this. I love your description too - each word is so well-placed, and right to describe exactly what you mean, and you're so good at getting the emotion out of the chapter.

So, so great... off to chapter 5! :D

Aph xx

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Review #10, by AphorideChai, Carrots, and a Friend in the Wee Hours of the Morning: Chai, Carrots, and a Surprise

11th March 2015:
Hey there! :) When I saw you post in review tag, I couldn't resist jumping in behind you to come back to this series. It's such a beautiful collection, I just love them all.

I've been trying to work out while reading this why it's so good, and I'm not sure I've really succeeded - or that I'll be able to explain it - but I think it's because it's so real, you know? It feels like it is something which could happen to real people in a real place in real time. On top of that, it's cute without being overly sweet or quite fluffy, and it's romantic without being cliched. It's such a perfect balance you've found in this, it really is, and there's a warmth in it which I don't even know how you make it - can you please tell me your secret? :P

No, seriously, it's an amazing sense you get in here - your description is gorgeous, and so evocative of the mood, and the setting, so much so that you can almost feel Neville's nerves yourself when you're reading it.

Speaking of, I love Neville and Hannah, too. I think I've said this before in previous reviews, but they're so, so wonderfully done. Neville still has that faintly bumbling air about him which he has in canon, but he's obviously grown up since then, and he's this wonderful mix of faintly incompetent adult and overenthusiastic teenager. Hannah is just perfect. I think I said before that she's essentially now my headcanon for Hannah, so really all I can say for her is repeat that :) I'm also so impressed by how consistent your characterisation is with them - it's so hard, to keep it the same across different stories and in longer things, but you do it so, so well.

I just have to say that the comment about the 'excessive pruning' made me laugh out loud. (And I suppose the answer is that it depends on what is being pruned, but let's leave that subject for now :P)

I'm always so fascinated by the elements of Hindi and Indian culture you put in, with the food. I have to admit, I'm not a big fan of carrots and vegetables in sweet things in general, so I may not be the ideal audience for a carrot-related pudding, haha, but you make it sound so nice that I kinda want to try it anyway. Plus, it's exciting because these are things I'm unlikely to hear much about in RL, so really I can only thank you for introducing me to them through this - I love love love learning about other cultures, so this is so great for me :)

The ending was so sweet, with the Valentine's Day mention and the kiss and Hannah's shock (good shock!) and then the acceptance! :) I'm so glad they're finally dating - it was about time :P

This is such a great series. I'm totally in love with it, as you already know ;)

Aph xx

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Review #11, by AphorideWake up, Rose.: The Art of Getting By

11th March 2015:
Hi again, Joey! :) Imma try and get all of these done before the uni internet decides it wants to throw another hissy fit and the IT guys refuse to fix it until 1pm the next day (again) :P Besides, I'm enjoying this story so much it seems foolish to wait :)

I love how your chapters continue on from each other so smoothly, and how so much of this is about exploring the after-effects of the event, without having it be overly-romantic and Rose be all 'oohhh, actually, I really love him' and so on. It's a really nice, original take on the love potion theme (which can work so well, anyway), and you've got so many interesting ideas and approaches and reactions to it in here.

I've got to say as well, that I love things with a family-centric vibe to them too. It's not often explored in ff, but I love it because it was inherently central to HP, you know, and it's such an important aspect of people's lives. Plus, it offers up so much opportunity for comedy, drama, etc. ;) So yeah, I love the family angle on it, with Al and Dom being the perpetrators, and Hugo being on Rose's side, and her friends and Hugo being so shocked that Al and Dom were behind it because they're family, and family doesn't usually do that. It also means you have brilliantly unique portrayals of Al and Dom, which I love.

I loved the scene with Al and Dom, and how Rose refused to accept their apologies. She has a point, really, in refusing to let it go so easily, and I love how she isn't and how they're so confident that she will. It really speaks volumes about what they think about the severity of it, you know? I mean, they could have killed their cousin, but nah, it's cool. Mad people. But they're brilliant characters. Hugo too - I love how laidback he is, and he sounds just like me concerning Sundays :P Sundays are a rest day, therefore I sleep *nods* Perfect logic. Also, I love how protective he is of his sister (though not to the point of getting out of bed to go down to breakfast with her, haha), again it's something I can relate to so well! :) seriously, you are so good at making your characters relatable. It's pretty amazing.

I loved the chats with Professor Spinnet, and her friends, too. It's so true that a Professor would get involved after that kind of incident, especially when it's a student like Rose who's not known for it, and I liked the little mentions of 'I wouldn't want to have to call your mother' and 'you can always talk to me'. They're such classic teacher lines and give Professor Spinnet so much authenticity as a teacher. Plus, that game with her friends - Secret Circle - sounds so much fun to play! It reminds me a lot of Never Have I Ever and similar games :)

Your writing in this, as always, is so so good. Your dialogue is super-strong, your description is lovely, especially how you describe emotions, and I love the style of this. It's so suited to the characters, and to the themes and setting of the story too.

This is going so so well - I'm so curious to know what happens and I'm so hooked into the story. You really know how to work your cliffhangers ;)

Aph xx

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Review #12, by AphorideBruises : Bruises

11th March 2015:
Hey there - dropping by for our review swap! :)

So I'm not usually a fan of Sirius/OC, tbh, because I find most of them are too light-hearted for Sirius (I have way too much headcanon about him, lol), but this sounded so interesting and I love darker takes on the First Wizarding War and all that kind of thing.

I love the way with this, it focused less on their relationship and more on the effects of the betrayal, the hurts of the war in general. For me, who's not such a big romance fan, it was so perfect, in the sense it gave. There's this lovely feeling throughout it all of tension, that these people, all of the characters, are hurting so much from what's happened, that it's so easy to feel like you're about to give up, and that maybe you should because it would be better. It's not something I've seen used in ff very often, so I loved seeing it in this! :)

The way you characterised both Sirius and Emmeline was so, so great (and, as a little thing, I was so happy to see you give Peter a role in this, as so many stories just leave him out or ignore him). I loved the differences in their attitudes: how Sirius was so determined to keep going, even despite the losses but so suspicious of Peter at the same time, and how Emmeline was finding the losses so much harder to take, and finding it harder to be optimistic about it. I think they're both such natural reactions to a situation like that, and I can totally sympathise with Emmeline for the pessimism over it. They're such wonderful characters :)

Your writing in this is so great, too. Your description is so lovely, even if it's so sad, with all the dark colourings and the dramatic reactions to stress and things (like with Peter), and your use of smell within the story - it really brought the story to life, you know, and gave it almost a three-dimensional aspect which I love. I loved the way you used dialogue, too - it was so great, and again, so evocative of the mood.

The only thing I noticed which was a bit odd was Emmeline saying 'Lupin' instead of 'Remus'. Would she not think of him as Remus? It just seemed a little weird given all of the rest of them were referred to by their first names, except him... :/

Apart from that, though, this was so, so great. You write the dark aspect of it so well, and the way you handled the grief theme in it was so lovely - it was so bittersweet, in a way, for so much of this, and then the ending just... it was so sad, you know, because for Emmeline so much of what and who she knew is gone :( So heartbreaking.

Thank you so much for saying to read this - it's a lovely, lovely piece and I'm so glad we swapped! :)

Aph xx

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Review #13, by AphorideWake up, Rose.: It's Kind of a Funny Story.

11th March 2015:
Joey! I'm back! :D I'd ask if you missed me, but we both know the answer to that ;) Sorry for the delay in getting back to this, the residence internet decided to take a long walk off a short cliff yesterday evening. Anyway, I'm here now!

I love your characterisation of Rose. I know I said that before (I think), but it's true! She's such a lovely character, and you write her in such a way that it's so easy to identify with her. She's so real, and all her reactions are so real - like, I know so many people, myself included, who'd react like that, or similarly, if they found themselves in the same situation. Personally, you'd have to remove anything potentially harmful from the room before letting Albus in to see me if I were Rose :P I like as well how Scorpius does make her think, too, with the unusual behaviour at the beginning; it speaks very nicely to Hermione's intelligence coming through Ron's tact (or lack of) :P

I love your... okay, so I was about to list off all of your characters I love in this and then realised I would name them all, so I love them all, mkay? They're all so real, again, which I love about characters, and they all are so multi-faceted, and ambiguous and almost unpredictable because of it. I love Scorpius, of course, and how he seemed to want to suggest that maybe they could be friends, or something like that, and how he was so competitive when she told him it was impossible because of him. And Al... being so terrified - and rightfully so! - though not quite ashamed of his actions, and sort of trying to pass off blame onto Dom, rather than accept it. And her friends, too, who are so sure they know her better than she knows herself. They're all so, so good, and I'm looking forward to seeing how they develop later on, too - because I have a feeling you're going to take them in interesting ways ;)

A little thing, but I liked how Rose chose not to dump Albus in it with Scorpius, too. It was a strangely sweet moment (right before she chewed him out, haha).

Your writing in this is so lovely, too. You're always so good at making things emotive, and really injecting emotion into a story - Rose's distrust of Scorpius comes through so well at the beginning, and her doubtfulness at the end with her friends making the bet. I don't think I need to tell you the anger came through, haha ;) I love the way you use Rose's internal voice, too - it's such a gorgeous way of writing and you do it so, so well.

(Btw, we should totally swap beautiful blonde boys at some point. Mine are all gay, and yours is at least more interested (or seems to be) in women than mine are :P)

You've left this on such a cliffhanger, too - I'm so glad this swap is for five chapters, because that last line is so great (like, seriously, it could have come out of a conversation with me and my sisters, it's perfect), and there's the whole hook with the bet between Rose and her friends, and Rose and Scorpius' unspoken one. It's so, so good, and so tantalising a point to leave it on.

Imma see you in the next chapter ;)

Aph xx

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Review #14, by Aphorideto the end of time: New Friends

11th March 2015:
Hey there - stopping by from the BvB Review Battle! :)

I haven't actually read Lavender/Parvati before, or much femmeslash really, so I'm so excited to see you've written it! I love exploring new pairings - chances are, most of them work so well, you know? ;)

I love how you've started from the very beginning of their relationships, and how it's from Parvati's point of view rather than Lavender's. They're both really underwritten characters, imo, but I've seen Lavender written more than Parvati so I love that you chose her pov to write from. Plus, starting from the very beginning... it really means we can see them develop so much, over their time at Hogwarts, and see their friendship change. It makes so much sense, too, since friendships are influenced by how they were before, you know, when things happen.

This whole scene is so sweet - from Parvati's conversation with Padma at the start, where she's nervous about the sorting and what will happen if they're in different houses, to the end where she and Lavender decide to be friends. They really seem like they're young, too, which is so hard to do, so kudos to you for that ;) I love how you discussed Padma and Parvati's separation - for twins who are so close, it must be so strange to suddenly be apart - and then how she sort of finds Lavender in that. Also, I liked how they became friends simply - there wasn't any troll incident, like with the trio, they just got on and stayed friends, you know? It's so realistic, that you find friends that way rather than through anything complicated.

Your writing in this is so good, too - it's so evocative, with Parvati's nerves and then almost relief and settling down when she becomes friends with Lavender really coming through so well. I loved your description, too - and the way you made such a clear distinction between Padma and Parvati's personalities, with their actions during the Sorting Hat song and everything. The little mention of Ron's line from canon was so great, too! :)

This is a really great start so far, and I'd love to see where you're going to go with these two, and how their friendship is going to develop - and when, for each of them, they're going to realise things have changed ;)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey!

I never even considered this pairing until I got the banner and figured out a plot, but now I can't imagine doing any other pairing with this!

Yeah, both Lavender and Parvati are pretty underwritten and I feel like Parvati is a pretty underappreciated character as well. We don't know much about her besides her friendship with Lavender, her sister, and that she like Divination so I was really excited to write her. And starting from the beginning seemed like the best way to really show how their relationship evolves.

I actually had the hardest time figuring out how their first interaction should go, everything else was really easy and fun to write. It all clciked when I realized that Lavender would be that 11-year-old that just walks up to people and says, "We're friends now."

Every time I read this review, I can't help but smile, it's so wonderful and really made my day when I got it! Thank you so so much for leaving it, it really mean a lot to me!

Claire


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Review #15, by AphorideWake up, Rose.: Wake up.

9th March 2015:
Hey there, Joey! :) Stopping by for our review swap - sorry this is so late, I've been swamped by uni stuff and arranging things (younger sisters are useless, I tell you! :P), but I'm here now! :D

You know, it's weird, with all the popularity of Next Gen, I don't actually read that much of it (then again, that might not be weird considering this is me, but who knows? :P), especially not much Scorose. But, that being said, considering how much of your stuff I read that I like, it's pretty much given that I'll like this too :)

I love the way you've characterised Rose and Scorpius so far - how she's the only one he picks on, for no discernible reason, and how he seems to target her but does also have a human side - like he's fine with other people, popular, and the moment in the corridor when his face softened... all seems pretty indicative so far to a hate-to-love kinda romance, but you've put your own spin on it, as always, which is so great! Plus, you avoid the whole bad boy/good girl thing, and especially with the end scene, it's debatable whether or not they even actually like each other (coz Albus is a very suspicious kid :P Very suspicious indeed! - and surprisingly unsubtle for a Slytherin, haha).

I'm so suspicious about what Albus did - the words you use, the description of their feelings and actions, seems to suggest that potentially there was more than just alcohol involved - either that or Rose is just a real lightweight :P I'm so curious to see where you go with it in the next chapter - what happens when they realise what went on the night before, how they feel about it and so on... I can't imagine Rose is going to be overjoyed/excited or anything, but I'll wait and see :)

I love as well how Rose isn't just going to let him walk all over her and doesn't, from the very beginning - it's such a great reaction from her, so like Ron actually :P - and it's one of those things you don't necessarily always see: the bullied standing up for themselves on their own, without almost bullying themselves, you know. Again, I really wanna see how she deals with Scorpius if he continues to bully her, and what happens if it goes on.

Poor Rose, she's got a lot on her plate - even without the cousins constantly trying to set her up with every other bloke :P

You write background characters so well, too - I loved the little mentions of James and Fred, how cheeky they are and so much like their namesakes, and Albus with his sly smiles and Quidditch obsession, and Dom with her boy obsession. They all feel so real - but then all of your characters do, all the time, so it's no surprise there ;)

The only thing I would say is that you have a tendency to repeat 'I' a lot at the beginning of sentences and it's a bit repetitive, to me. Maybe you could try rephrasing a couple of things so keep it less? The rule I always try to follow (emphasis on 'try', haha) is only use the same beginning word once in a paragraph, unless it's for effect ;) But then, I'm pretty picky about this things, so feel free to ignore! ;)

Anyway, I love this - it's a great beginning so far, and it's a lovely twist on a Next Gen Hogwarts story, and I'm so excited to see where it goes! Hopefully it won't take me so long to get to the next four reviews :P

Aph xx

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Review #16, by AphoridePainful Bliss: Love

6th March 2015:
Hi there - dropping for our swap! :) I just had to come back to this story after the first chapter - the hook in it was so so good, I couldn't resist ;)

I love how you start this by making us think that their relationship is still beautiful and so happy - well, almost :P - and then turn it all around with them really not being happy, and neither of them really quite working to fix them problem, or even try. It's a really sad thing to find, you know, but there's somethig so real and so sad about both their situations that it's hard not to sympathise with both of them. They both do things wrong and so on, but this really is a beautiful example of miscommunication, and lack of communication in total :(

I love their characters, too - both Draco and Astoria, and I loved in this chapter how you off-set their unhappiness with Blaise and Isabella, and how wonderfully happy they were together and things in their lives were going so well. It really highlights just how broken Draco and Astoria are as a couple. I feel so sorry for Astoria - she really just seems so lost, in life and in her marriage and sort of in herself too - and for Draco, who just doesn't know what to do. They both just seem, to me, like they have no idea what to do, or in a way why they're still there. Poor guys - I want to hug them both! :(

I loved the first scene, too - the glimpse of them when they were happier, at least, than they are now, and how it wakes Draco up and he almost thinks it's real. The idea of Astoria jumping out into the water is so beautiful, too - your description of it was gorgeous - and something about it felt so poignant and solemn, in a way, as though he was promising something or she was testing him.

Your writing in this is still so gorgeous. Your descriptions are so, so lovely, and I love how you use dialogue in this to just exacerbate the problems and show them - it's like whenever they speak it's an argument, you know, they can't have a conversation normally. It's incredibly sad, but a really clever way to portray their relationship. I especially loved the image of the rose petals falling and Draco shaking them... again, there was so much meaning behind it, and it felt so important, like he's destroying something so valuable to her and he doesn't even know.

Gah, this is such a devastatingly sad story! The worst part of it all is that however unhappy they are together, we know they can be happy and that they were, but who knows now? I hope they become happier, poor people - they definitely both deserve it! :(

This is such a beautiful story, though - Imma have to add this to my favourites to keep an eye on it ;)

Thank you so so much for the swap - I'm so glad I got a chance to return to this story! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hello! Thanks for coming by again. :D

I wanted a shift. Marriage is hard (so I hear) and sometimes it's not all good times. Even if you've been together since you were sixteen and married for forty years or whatever. Every marriage has their ups and downs, whether it's something big or small. They're going through that early on. But I also wanted to show there were good times. It didn't just change over night. If you read on you'll understand what happened.

They don't know what to do. Here's Blaise and Isabella, married a little less than Draco and Astoria, moving on to that next chapter in their lives. They're going to start a family while Draco and Astoria can barely be around each other. I think it obviously hurts Draco more. He tries hard to keep up appearances while Astoria has just given up completely but she hasn't hit rock bottom. I can assure you that. Not yet.

They don't know how to have a conversation. Astoria doesn't want to and Draco just doesn't understand. He's walking on thin ice and there are moments where he snaps too but then for the most part he doesn't want to anger her. He just wants his wife. The version he originally fell for and married.

Thank you for the wonderful review. I'm glad you liked the descriptions and my story. :D


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Review #17, by AphorideWe Are One: A mistake

6th March 2015:
Hey there, Erin! Stopping by from BvB, since you said someone who was already reading it should drop by ;) I know I'm not as far on as you'd probably like (which I totally understand!) but hopefully I can catch up soon! :)

So, I love this story and I really shouldn't stay away so long - though the one of advantage this story has is that I always remember it so well! I'm so excited to see where this goes on from here... there are so many hints in this chapter, but nothing really solid and concrete - which is just how a good mystery should be ;)

I love how you keep slipping in the little glimpses of the murderer and their mind. They're always so fascinating and so creepy - we're not sure exactly what drives them, completely, and that just makes them almost unstable, you know? Makes it all the more likely they're going to do something worse (if that's even possible, haha). Also, it can be difficult at times to use two different pov styles, and you do it so well in this too :)

As before, I love the way you write both Harry and Ron - they're such great characters in this, and you do them both so well (which is amazing, tbh, because they're such major character) - as well as Pamela and all of the others. It's the little things which stick out - how Ron seems to be slightly afraid of Hermione haha, the way they both still find the hex on Marietta so funny even years later, how they're both embarassed when caught hugging :P (Plus, it was such a funny image! :D)

I feel so sorry for the Aurors too, with nothing to go on in the case and no real leads... so frustrating! :( Still, it's nice to see it's not always easy as pie for them ;)

The article at the beginning was brilliant - I loved that you included it, as it really gave a third dimension to this story - the population entire and how they're reacting to the murders and what's going on. Article writing is really hard, so you did so well with it, and I love how Robards, like the others, is so tired by trying to find something for the case. Poor guy :( At least he wasn't interviewed by Skeeter! :P No, seriously, it was a great article and I loved that you included it! :)

As always your writing is so good in this - the little details realy make this come alive, with the mention of the grass being flattened where the boulder was, Harry's hand trembling, all that kind of stuff... it's really so so good! :)

And thank you so much for the shoutout! Totally undeserved, but thank you anyway - I'm just so glad you enjoy things I write, it means so much! *hug* :)

Aph xx

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Review #18, by Aphorideshe's thunderstorms: she's thunderstorms

5th March 2015:
Hey there - sorry for the long delay! Class finished late and then I had to make dinner and so on... but I'm here now! :)

I loved this. Dean/Luna isn't a pairing I read very often - and I don't read either of them as characters in things very often either - but they're so so sweet, and the way you presented them in this made me ship them, you know? It just created the ship and portrayed it so beautifully, and so realistically, and there was so much emotion in it too... this really is a beautiful piece of writing, and considering this and the earth and the sky., I really don't know why I haven't read more of your stuff earlier.

I love how you portrayed Luna especially. She's such a tricky character to write, you know - with the whole airy nature and the random, insightful and often awkward comments she can make - and you've written her so perfectly in this. Like, it's just her and I really have no idea how you've done it :P I especially loved where you talked about her eyes always being so dreamy, how she always looked as though she was imagining adventures and how much she wanted to go and do those things, and so on, and then how when she came back, after marrying Rolf, it had changed to certainty. It's such beautiful description, and such a clever, lovely way to capture Luna's personality, too.

(Even if, you know, the whole Luna-and-Rolf thing is pretty heartbreaking for Dean :()

Dean was so great, too. It's strange, but I always kinda thought of Dean as a bit of a romantic, haha, so I loved how you made him like that in this - there's something so sweet about the way he's happy just to get what he gets, even though he still loves her and he still wants more, and how much he wants her to stay and finds her in the strangest of places (because, you know, falling in love in the basement of Malfoy Manor is pretty weird :P). It's such a bittersweet story, even if you can't dislike either of the characters for it - they want to be happy, and that's not a bad thing to want - but still, at the end, it leaves you feeling kinda... breathless, I guess, in a way, if that even makes sense (really, I have no idea :P).

Your writing, as usual, is gorgeous. Your description is amazing, and there were so many lines in here which were so quotable and so beautiful - there's this meaning behind the words in this, and so much emotion in them, that it's really feels so personal, almost private, you know? It's a real gift, that! The style of it was so great, too - I loved the four paragraphs, with the stages of their relationship and how they came round in a circle just as their relationship did: starting and ending with him being in love with her and her not with him. It's a sad thing, but the analogy is gorgeous. The way you used italics for the dialogue was really cool, too - I haven't seen that used much before, so I really liked it.

This is a gorgeous, gorgeous piece, and I think in future, I'm going to have to look out for new things you post, otherwise I suspect I'm going to end up missing out on things ;)

Aph xx

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Review #19, by AphorideTicking Away Seconds: Bittersweet Kisses

3rd March 2015:
Hey there! :) Dropping by for our review swap!

Okay, so I'm going to admit first off that I'm not a big fan of Snape/Lily unless it's unrequited, so I was a bit nervous when I saw the pairing listed on this - but, I loved the way you portrayed Snape's feelings and the way you dealt with the unrequited nature of them. It really felt like a snapshot out of canon, you know - a moment we never got to see in it :)

I love how you wrote both Lily and Snape - Lily especially. I loved how even though he was begging, she didn't back down on her opinions and how she felt about it, and she didn't desert her morals simply because he was her friend. She was so strong, and it was so great to see! I like as well how Snape was so surprisingly brave about his confession and about telling her truth about his feelings - to me, it's reminiscent of when he finds Dumbledore to ask him to protect Lily, and when he protects Harry and so on - it brings to mind the bravery he shows later. I loved how their opinions were so obviously different, and how neither one was necessarily right or wrong, but they just both were - it's a very human characterisation of them you've got and I love it.

Your writing in this is so lovely in this. Your description at the beginning with the room and Lily walking around was so beautiful - it really brought the whole thing to life so, so well. You tend to repeat words at times, so it might be something to watch out for, but really, it's so lovely. You have a great style and a great flow and pace to your writing :)

One small thing: Snape's dialogue where he says 'Lily. I know you're in the here', should start on the line below the paragraph, rather than be included in it ;)

This is a really lovely piece - so bittersweet and so almost sad, even though I don't ship them, for the lack of realisation from Lily and for Snape knowing it's never going to happen (though the whole magically-freezing her thing was a bit creepy, not gonna lie :P). Good luck in the challenge! :)

Thank you so much for the swap! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi Aphoride!

Thanks for swapping with me. :)

I've been getting a lot of nerves about the Snape/Lily ship and I want to shout that it's not really a ship cause they don't get together, but I don't want to ruin the surprise. :) I'm so glad that it came across as a little snapshot that we've never had a chance to see. That's exactly what I was going for. I just wanted to give a bit of meat to their story.

I'm elated to hear that you thought my characterization was good. I've never written either Snape or Lily, so I was really nervous about doing them justice. Lily to me seems to be absolutely, uncompromisingly moral, so I wanted to portray that, but I also didn't want it to seem like she didn't still love/care for Snape, hence the internal conflict.

As for Snape, he's one of those characters that people either love or hate, but there's not doubt that he's incredibly complex. I don't question whether he loves Lily, but I do question his methods. I thought the freezing her to kiss her kind of fit with the creepy, possessive part of his nature. I also find him brave in the HP books, so I wanted to show that there is that braveness in him as a child...at least in certain moments.

Writing in first person was a very new experience for me, so I'm glad that you thought it went well. On re-read I will take a hard look at the repetition of words. I try not to repeat, but sometimes I get so caught up in what I'm writing that I forget to slow down and analyze it.

Thanks for catching that line. I will most certainly fix it.

Thank you again for reviewing and for leaving me such kind comments!

~Kaitlin


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Review #20, by Aphoride12 Hours: 12 Hours [or] There Are People Who Would Cause You Harm And Those Who Seek Your Undoing, But Before You Condemn Those Pitiful Souls, Be Sure Of What They're Pursuing

25th February 2015:
Hey Joey! :D So I'm finally here for our swap - sorry it took me so long!

Okay, so because I've already read this, you've probably heard a lot of this before, but I'm going to make you sit through it again anyway because I'm like that :P So I do hope you're sitting comfortably ;) (Major, major kudos to you if you get the reference... :D)

You know how much I love your characters. They're always, always so amazing and so real and so thoughtful, you know - as though they could almost step up and off the page and just walk down a street and no one would look twice. It's such an art, characterisation, and you really do have it down to a tee. It's probably the strongest thing about your writing, and, for me, the most compelling.

I love all of your characters in this, and how different they all are - how they all have their little individual quirks which set them apart - like Destiny having that amazing reaction to the situation, like desperation turning into bravery, and Albus being so pedantic over timing, and Scorpius always being paranoid that people are out to get him :P (Though it's not paranoia if they really are, so the poor guy probably has a reason for it, unfortunately... :P) It's little things like that which most people miss in their characters, but which make them feel so alive.

Also, your dialogue is always so, so good. It feels really natural you know? It's one of those things which makes me so jealous because I hate dialogue with a passion - I'm so bad at it! - but you, like, this is a gift or something, I swear! :P Your characters always sound the right age, the right generation and everything... it's so good! :)

I have to mention that I love the little jokes in this - Huxley and Ginsberg. (Also, I love Allen Ginsberg. And the film they made of him with Daniel Radcliffe. It's so good!) :P

The plot in this was so good - it was almost better with no explanation for Pansy's motives than if there had been a motive, you know, it makes it that much more mysterious and creepy and makes her seem so much more deranged. I loved how it seemed almost random, and the use of the trick to get them there - such a tried and true method, but I loved how Pansy and her gang faked an entire literary association to do it, and how the gang went because they wanted to support their friend. It's so sad that was the result of such a nice gesture... :(

I loved the use of non-linear timeline in this, too. You do it so so well, and really, I have no idea how to do it at all so I'm so amazed by anyone who can manage it at all :P In this it works so beautifully - it heightens everything in it: the horror element, the action element, the suspense in the way we don't quite know what's happened, what's really going on until the end of it, and it's just such a cool idea.

So yeah, basically, as you know, I love this story. It's such a great idea, and such a great story, and your writing is so so good. The genre is perfectly done in this, and your characterisation is as amazing as always :)

So glad we swapped (but then, you know, I always am with you ;D)! :)

Aph xx

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Review #21, by AphorideLegacy: Legacy

20th February 2015:
Hey Sian! :) Dropping by for our review swap!

So I think you know that I'm a huge History nerd - like, seriously, it's not even funny - so I just had to drop by on this. Also, the idea of it is amazing - I love the idea of Helga, last of the four, having to choose an heir/ess to what really is sort of their child, you know, and something which means so much to them. I'm so glad True Author requested it; it's such a lovely, bittersweet missing moment.

I love the way you wrote Helga, too. I've read quite a few Helga's recently - there were none for ages and then this is the third one recently, weirdly enough... - but I love her here. I love how she's so genuinely concerned with the legacy and how important it is to her, almost as much as testament to her friends' memory and the memory of the four of them together as it is for the school. It's so sad to think that she had to make the decision on her own, at the end, but at the same time it's right that it was her alone, and not her husband with her or the teachers in harmony. There's something lovely about the idea of her passing it on to the next best person; you can imagine that tradition continuing down through the ages with the Headmasters and Headmistresses doing the same.

I loved the addition of her husband and the little mentions of the other founders, what had happened to them, and the other professors too. They were all such good characters, and I loved how with the founders, what we know of them came through Helga's memories and regrets that Salazar was gone, and Godric had died suddenly, and Rowena had essentially faded after Helena ran. There's so much tragedy in here, but it's so beautiful, in a way, because your writing really just shows the emotions of so so well.

I loved as well the mention of the anti-muggle bias, even then, and how Helga hadn't had the heart to throw Starr out of the school, but Aeres disciplined him for being offensive - also how that was an important moment for Helga and when she made her mind up. I like the idea that the Head is supposed to sort of bridge those divides, and not be biased and so on which it gives. Also, Aeres is a pretty cool character, too :P That boy needed a good talking to, haha!

The detail in here is amazing - I love the little nods to customs and norms of the era, like with Easter/Eostre difference, the mention of the strange illness, and all the references to Death, visible and real, being there, watching her and just waiting. It's a pretty creepy image, but also so beautifully written. I loved as well, though it was so sad, how Hogwarts had sort of shrunk after the founders had died/left. It often happens with legacies, and with the changing era, almost to be expected, but it doesn't make it any less sad.

Your writing, as usual, was amazing. Your description is always gorgeous, the whole thing flows so beautifully, there is absolutely nothing about this I would change. It's a gorgeous, gorgeous one-shot and I love it! I'm almost jealous it's dedicated to Ashwini :P

Favouriting :)

Aph xx

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Review #22, by AphorideLife Was Meant to Be Easy Now: Back to Hogwarts

20th February 2015:
Hey Molly! :) So glad to be back with this story again! :)

I'm going to be honest with you, I got to the scene in the Potions classroom and I was sitting here like 'no no no, what is she doing, how can she... no no, they love each other, no!' I was so scared you were going to break them up or make them have some huge argument or something - and then everything was happy again at the end, which is good :P

I love the way you brought back Scorp's friends in this - I really liked Dorinda from the first one, she's amazing :P And I love that things have changed for Jupiter... in love with a muggle girl, poor him. That's not going to go down well with his parents :/

Scorp's pov in this was so good, too - I loved how he was so glad to be leaving the Potter's house and how he still wants things to be okay between his family about his relationship with Albus, and how he's far less bothered about grades than Albus is. People are very different, even when they're in relationships and I love that you emphasised the differences between them in this.

And I really can't quite believe that Albus and Dorinda are studying on the train :P Nerd alert, lol!

I'm so so curious about where this is going to go now they're back at Hogwarts... I think that guy from before is going to show up and be a jerk, unfortunately, but I really hope they don't split up or anything! :( Still, can't wait to see what the next chapter holds! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi!

Thanks for another great review! Albus and Scorpius will have several ups and downs in their relationship before this fic is over, I can tell you that much... ;-)

You'll see more of both Jupiter's Muggle girl and of Colin everntually! :-)

I'm glad you like the story so far!


Molly


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Review #23, by AphorideTo Fear A Full Moon: Chapter 1

20th February 2015:
Hey there, stopping by for our review swap! :)

So I do like a good werewolf story, and I just had to stop by here!

I love the way you've characterised Pansy, and the fact that you've used her at all - she's one of those characters who I think often gets overlooked for fanfiction because she's not a nice character in the books, and so people don't tend to want to write about her, you know? So I'm so glad you picked her. Also, you wrote her so well - I loved how at the beginning you showed her prejudice against werewolves, a prejudice she'd grown up with and how determined she was to believe it, and then that she changes, not because of love, but because of what happens to her. I loved the self-involvement in the gesture to help werewolves and fight for their rights, because they're hers to, but I also loved how she changed that part of her beliefs as well. It really brings to mind Draco's transformation into less of a bully in HBP and DH, you know? It's so nice to see.

I loved as well how she left England. I think it's completely plausible that a lot of the younger - and some of the older ones, too - purebloods would have left the country after the war, even if only for a while. Dealing with the backlash would have been something a lot of them would have wanted to avoid. I really like as well how it was jealousy and almost a distrust of John which made her go to the address and then get attacked, and how devastated John was to have attacked her. It's one of those horrible situations, where no one is really the bad guy, and everyone is the victim, you know? Also, I actually liked how John left her at the end of it - the kind of guilt he'd have been carrying over that would, I think, have made a relationship almost impossible between them. It's pretty sad to think about.

Your writing in this was so good, too. I love your use of description and first person style, as though Pansy was talking to the reader - it was lovely, with a great flow. The only thing I would suggest is maybe try to have less repetition in sentences - at the beginning and in the middle both. Stylistic repetition can work really well, but too much can just damage the flow ;) It's a small thing, though, and pretty easy to fix, I just thought I should mention it! ;)

This is a really, really great one-shot. Everything about it was so good, and I really love Pansy in it - it's such a brilliant idea! Thank you so much for the swap! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey Aphoride,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a wonderfully detailed review. I actually didn't pick Pansy, she was given to me as part of the challenge. That being said one of my favorite things to write is a complex evil villain. I feel that people are rarely just good or just bad, so writing them that way is not realistic. That's why I went this direction with Pansy. I wanted her to be human, not just this one-sided awful person.

I'm glad you liked her trip to California. To me it seems like children from affluent families tend to study abroad or take long trips to foreign countries, so I thought it would be fitting for Pansy to visit the US. I toyed with the idea of using another European country, but I thought post-war that she might want a fresh start.

Thank you for your note on repetition. I will keep it in mind as I write other stories and if I go back to edit this one. I know exactly what you mean about it ruining the flow when it gets too repetitive.

Thank you for the swap and for taking the time to write this all out.

~Kaitlin


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Review #24, by AphorideHurricane Luna: He Loses on an Island

17th February 2015:
Hey there - dropping by from the BvB! :)

I just couldn't resist coming back to this story - there's something so wonderfully sweet and romantic about this story, like a proper, good rom-com, you know? So, so lovely!

So you already know that I'm so so disappointed with you for breaking them up, and so I have to admit that I was kinda disappointed they didn't get back together in this chapter... but, at the same time, it's realistic, you know? No one wants to go straight back to someone who yelled at them like that... poor Luna :(

I actually still feel kinda sorry for Rolf, I have to admit, because I don't think he meant to be so rude or angry, and he's regretting it so much... I loved the little mentions about how he's always thinking of her, and how he can't help it, and how his discoveries in particular make him think of her, and how he'd gone back to the cave with the glowing worms on the autumn equinox to observe them wanting her to be there too. You write his loss of her so, so well, without outright saying it, and I love it!

I loved as well how we learned more about his work - with the animal specimens in jars, the mentions of the book and publishers and so on, how his row of assistants were all useless (or, you know, not Luna :P), and how he'd gone on more expeditions to learn more and was looking at being pretty successful with the book. It really makes this story come to life; grounds it in reality, you know :)

You write this so, so well, too - I love all the little details in this, with the little things about Paris and the names of various authors and so on, like Gustav Eiffel. It's so, so good - so in depth, and I love it.

I can't believe Luna's gone missing! It's so sad - such a cliffhanger to end this on! - though I love that Harry wrote to Rolf when they couldn't find her, thinking he might know something, and how determined Rolf is to find her. I'm totally sure he will, though whether or not he'll actually tell her he's in love with her remains to be seen... it would be nice if he did - so cute! - but who knows?

Gah, cliffhanger! Imma have to come back soon ;)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi Aph,

Ugh - sorry they didn't get back together :( Rolf seems to need to work through a few things first.

I'm really, really glad that you feel sorry for Rolf. Haha - not that he doesn't deserve to feel miserable and helpless because he certainly does, but I was worried that readers would find it hard to sympathize with him because - IT'S LUNA and everyone LOVES Luna.

I'm breathing a HUGE sigh of relief that you find the mentions of Paris, the paintings and the authors good. I did my research on this one (I've actually been to Paris a few times, but I still needed a bit of research).

Eeep - so they're not back together AND there's a little plot twist with her missing.

I can't wait to find out what you think of the next chapter.

Thanks so much!

♥ Beth


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Review #25, by Aphoride(500) Days of August: Many Things

14th February 2015:
Hey there, Joey! :) So excited to swap with you again - I always love swapping with you!

I had to drop by this story - it's got less love than the other one, though they both looked so exciting, and you know how much of a sucker for a good tragic romance I am :)

I love the way you set this up, like it's a third party telling the reader the story directly - it's such a cool idea, and you use it so well. It works so beautifully in this story, too! I love the whole thing about how Fred wanted to fall in love and had no one to fall for, too, and then how you start it with the break up, 290 days in. I've never read 500 days of summer, tbh, so I don't know if this is something you took from there, but I love how you're separating it into little sections with 'Day x' and so on - it makes the non-linear timeline so much easier to follow! ;)

I love Fred's character, too - how desperate he is to fall in love, and how determined he is that it could happen. It's almost heartbreaking, it really is, because you know it's not going to, and you know it's going to really upset him. But still, I love how it's a sweet thing, but it's also a flaw - so great! :) Also, August... I love how he's so upfront about how he doesn't want anything serious, and how he seems almost concerned about making sure Fred knows that for sure. He's not a bad guy, and that's part of what I love about them both - they just... miscommunicate. Lines get crossed, and then people get hurt. It's just one of those things, but so unfortunate.

Your writing in this is so, so good. I love the way you write the sections, and your description is so lovely - the mentions of the sunset and all. Your dialogue is gorgeous, too, it's so strong and so true to life, you know, and the whole thing is just so evocative and emotive, especially with the simple style.

I love the whole ending, too, with August married to someone else, having found the right guy and believing in true love, and Fred being alone and happier. It wasn't the expected ending, but I love it - it works so well for them! :)

All your details in this were amazing, as well - I loved the Quiberon Quafflepunchers mention and everything like that ;)

So yeah, I'm gonna stop rambling... the long and short of it is that I love this story and I'm so glad we swapped so I got a chance to read it! :)

Aph xx

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