Reading Reviews From Member: Aphoride
416 Reviews Found

Review #51, by AphorideThe Diagon Alley Gentlemen's Club: Prologue

3rd January 2015:
Hey there! :) Stopping by for our review swap!

I just couldn't resist when I saw the title - the idea of a wizarding gentlemen's club cracks me up no end (though it's more than plausible, tbh) - and the fact that this is a murder mystery only makes it better! :D (I'm a total sucker for murder mysteries :P)

I love the way this works as a beginning - the cliffhanger at the end, the quick scene of how it all began, after the murder, it's just so, so good. It really sets up for so much reveal later on, with the murderer, more on the victim, who this mysterious 'they' is, what's going on... it's such a mysterious, intruiging start - I really, really wanna know more! :)

I love the way you introduce the characters, too - with Exebur Greengrass rushing into the office, the pretty assistant trying to stop him but failing, and Marcus himself being so relaxed and then so... well, not :P It shows us them at really abnormal times, you know, so there's this sort of question of what are they like normally, this is how they'd act really, and so on which makes everyone so suspicious and so untrustworthy, which fits so well with all of the mystery :)

Your writing is so good in this too - it's so lovely and clean and precise in a way which I completely envy (because I am utterly incapable of keeping anything concise, haha). Your description is so lovely and you use it so well, with the vial and things, so that those bits stand out, they're so memorable. All the details in this are gorgeous, too - with the little things about how his career started, and how it nearly ended - especially the little ones about the invstigating career type thing, with the money and case technique and things.

The hints and cliffhangers in this are amazing. I'm so, so desperate to read on. Unfortunately, I have to pack now (boo!), but hopefully I'll find some time to come back to this, because I'm gonna have to! :D

Aph xx

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Review #52, by AphorideWhen It Matters: When It Matters

23rd December 2014:
Hey there - dropping by for our review swap! :)

I couldn't resist popping by when I saw this was Scorpius/Rose. I'm not a massive fan, because I don't really like cliches and the whole Malfoy-Weasley thing kinda makes them one in a way, but I do have a soft spot for them - so many different ways they can be taken! :)

I love the way you wrote them here. I haven't read your other Scorpius/Rose story, but it really wasn't necessary - this is such a cute story on its own! I love how they both like each other, but need encouragement to actually take that first step. It's so true to life, you know - especially when you're already friends and things. It makes it so much harder, and I loved how you emphasised the difficulty, with Rose's family as well, and Al trying to push them together because he knows they'd be happy.

Ah, enchanted mistletoe - one of the cliches I actually love, just because it's so possibly real in Hogwarts, haha, and so typical. If I could do it in RL, I would :P I love how you used it here - you set it up so I was convinced that was how it would end, even when they went outside for the scene by the lake I thought you'd find a way to get them back inside and under the mistletoe haha, so you completely tricked me there! I don't know if it was intentional, but either way it was cool! :)

The description in this was gorgeous - I particularly loved the way you talked about the grounds, with the snow and the ice on the lake. It was so lovely - and all of the comparisons of Rose and how she was red against white were so stunning, too. They all painted such a vivid picture in my mind, it's so great! The details you include are great, too - I loved all the little mentions of other people, like James and Louis and Hugo and Ron, in this, who we didn't meet. It really made this feel so alive, and like we're just taking a peek into these people's lives and at what they're doing, you know?

This is a really great one-shot - I really enjoyed reading it! It's so sweet and cute, and I loved the way you set it up, and Scorpius was so adorable! :P I'm so glad I stopped by to read this! :)

Aph xx

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Review #53, by AphorideThe Brothers Three: Introduction

17th December 2014:
Hey there - dropping by for our review swap! :) I've always been fascinated with the Tales of Beedle Bard, haha, so when you said this one, I just had to stop by!

I really loved the introduction section with Death and the other Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and then the seven sins - and how you personified them. I'm a huge fan of personification, so I just loved it - especially with how you described them in action, as they would have been in a medieval age, with the nobles and orphans and so on. It was so lovely! :)

Also, I loved the three brothers themselves and the way you introduced them all - one after another, in age order, and yet it felt so natural to do it that way, you know? I loved how you really played on the characteristics we know they have from the tale, too - with Antioch and his pride, and how he wants everything and gets jealous easily, and Cadmus with his grief and almost wounded pride and sort of yearning for his wife and jealousy that it was his wife who died. Also, Ignotus and how he was sort of just... rather nondescript, really, if you know what I mean. Like, he was young and rather naive and the shadow of his brothers. It was so great - and really makes me curious as to how you're going to continue with them as the story goes on! :)

Picky point, and only coz I've studied a lot of medieval history - at eighteen, Ignotus would have been long past the age to drink in a pub ;) Drinking water was incredibly uncommon because it was really dangerous, so people would drink watered down ale when they were younger, and full ale when they were older.

Apart from that (and it's really a minor detail, tbh, I just couldn't resist mentioning it!), the historical detail in here is so good! You've really kept it so true to the era, with your descriptions of clothing and action and the settings, and even your language - which is so impressive, because mimicking older ages is really hard and you've done it so well, and seemingly so easily, too! :) Also, speaking of your language, your writing in this is gorgeous too. The description you use is so, so lovely and so evocative - it really paints a beautiful picture in my mind. Your dialogue, too, is wonderful!

So, yeah, in total, I really love this story - it's such a great beginning so far, everything in it is so good, and I really hope you continue writing this, because it's such a fascinating story and I'd love to see where you took it! :)

Aph xx

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Review #54, by AphorideDon't Become Too Serious With Him, Rosie.: That Malfoy Boy

17th December 2014:
Hi there - dropping by for our review swap! :) I hope me stopping by on this one is okay - I know it's not your most recent one, but unfortunately Snape/Hermione really isn't my thing, I'm sorry :/

I love the premise of this - playing with the forbidden love angle, and playing off Ron's comment in the Epilogue that Rose shouldn't get too friendly with Scorpius, and Rose dealing with the fact that she wants to and she knows her dad won't be okay with it - it's one of this things which I think is kinda true to life, you know: the whole 'will-my-parents-like-him/her' thing, when you fancy someone, and then date them. Plus, it makes for such an interesting set-up, you know, with so much potential drama.

I love the way you've characterised Rose and Al and Scorp and, well, all of the Next Gen cast in this. I love that she's so confident and yet so nervous when faced with Scorpius and fancying him and being so strangely scared of breaking up their friendship because of it. Again, it's so real - and the way you write the canon characters: Harry, Ginny, Hermione and the rest, are so good! I mean, they're so hard to write, and you do them so easily in this. I loved the references to Hermione's punctuality and Ron's laid-back attitude, and all of that - it's so lovely and really brings them to life! :)

The only thing I would say with this is that maybe it would flow better if you interspersed the description with the action, and not try to describe everything in one go? It works here, but I think it would be better if it was more spread-out? Just my opinion, though ;)

Still, apart from that your writing is gorgeous. I love how clean and clear it is, and there's this lovely informal style to it, you know, as though Rose is actually talking to the reader. It's lovely, really - and your description and dialogue are both really good, especially your dialogue! :)

I really enjoyed this - it's a really good start, and I'm so curious about what's going to happen later on. You've put so many little threads in this! Like, what Rose is going to do about her crush, will Scorpius ever get to tell her what he wants to say, will Ron really react so badly or will he come round? So interesting! :)

So yeah, I'm so glad I read this! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi there!

I know that Snape/Hermione isn't the most conventional pairing, so that's more than alright that you stopped by here instead. :D I'm having horrible writer's block with this story, so the feedback is more than welcomed!

I thought it would be fun to write a story where it isn't about the "will they won't they" aspect of their romance. I wanted it to be more of them dealing with the prejudices from their families. We all know how Ron feels, but I'm sure that Draco won't be much happier about his son dating Weasley's daughter - regardless of him being decent to her thus far. Definitely what you've said, a lot of potential for drama. ;)

Aww thank you! This is/was my first attempt with the Next-Gen kids, so it's nice to hear that they've been done well. I wanted to try to make her feelings as real as possible. No matter how confident she may be as a person, even the best of us tend to fall apart slightly in front of a crush. Especially when that crush is a childhood friend. There's so much you could possibly lose if it goes wrong and Rose realizes that. Gah thank you!! That makes me so happy to hear that they're all portrayed true to character. :)

No, you're totally right. This chapter was written when I was really, really new to writing fanfics. So there is a lot that has to be smoothed out. I definitely plan on getting back to this and fixing all of that.

Aww thank you! I wanted to do this as Rose telling the story, kind of like she's just talking to the reader. I'm glad that you liked the informal tone of it! :D

Thank you so much!! I'm thrilled that you've liked this so far and all of those questions will definitely be answered! If you continue on, I hope you enjoy the rest of the story!! ♥

Thank you for doing the swap and for this beautiful review!!

xoxo Meg

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Review #55, by AphorideWe Are One: Broken Pieces

16th December 2014:
Hey there - stopping by for the BvB Review Battle! :)

Oh no, I actually liked Dung! :( Pretty disappointed that it happened to him - though I kinda expected it after the last chapter. Still... :(

I like how the murders are so varied - they're all connected, and done with some similarities between them, but none of them are completely identical. As a set-up, it reminds me a lot of Jack the Ripper in London, you know, with the different places and situations and things. It's so great! Plus, I love all the images of the Aurors trying to work out what's going on and who's doing it.

With the connection - ooh, they all seem to be people who've hurt Harry, or led to Harry being hurt or nearly being hurt/killed... hm... maybe that's it... in which case, I guess Draco Malfoy should be worried :P Not sure who else could be a victim or why anyone would be that dedicated to protecting Harry's life like that... hm...

All the little canon details in here are so good. I loved how Hermione kinda barged her way into the case as well, haha - seems like something she'd do! And how Ron asked her to lunch randomly, how Hagrid was buying repellant down in Knockturn Alley like in CoS ;)

I feel so sorry for all the Aurors, getting so tired and so stressed with things... such a difficult case, and one which would go high-profile quickly, too, so people would be complaining about it not getting sorted out quickly enough and everything...

I'm so so curious to see what happens next! If there's another murder, so soon, or if they get a break and time to think about it, what happens when they interview Hagrid, if they get to interview Emerson and just, well, everything. The killer's bits are so creepy, too - like, well-intentioned, in a way, and that just makes it worse, you know?

So yeah, I'm so hooked on this story, still. Love it! :)

Aph xx

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Review #56, by AphorideGuilt.: Guilt.

13th December 2014:
Hey there! :) So I love your darker stuff, and this just looked so fascinating - you know, the whole PTSD/trauma kinda thing, and emotions - so I couldn't resist dropping by :)

I love the fact that you used Demelza for this, and how you use the fact that she was a Gryffindor sort of to balance out the fear and the grief and the guilt and all the rest of it. I think it really helps with making it so obvious, you know, how she's suffering and that it's not necessarily a logical feeling and logical for her to want herself to suffer - like, she's so blinded by her own disgust for herself, she can't see why that happened, you know? It's just brilliant characterisation, really.

Your writing in this is so good, too - it's so evocative. It really brings all the emotions and things to light, and shows them without being glorifying or suggesting that she's right to feel bad; she just does, and there's this whole layer of concern from everyone else around her: Ginny and Professor Sprout and Madam Pomfrey. Your descriptions are so lovely, and her inner thoughts are so well written :)

The thing I really love about this is how you're dealing with such a difficult, sensitive subject - with the trauma and the PTSD and the guilty - and you handle it so well. Nothing is over done, or suggested that it's bad/good for Demelza to feel any certain way, she just does and you make it clear that it's not healthy, that it's bad for her to worry herself sick about this and stress over it, but there's no blame atributed, which is so important.

The comparisons with Ginny were great, too - I love how she holds herself up to people like Ginny and them, and feels she comes up short, especially because she's a Gryffindor. It's so sad, and really compounds the emotion.

I really love this story - it's a very heavy story, but I think you deal with it so well, and it's so beautiful despite that, with all the lovely description. It's really great; I'm so glad we swapped! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: My original idea for this story was to write about how being forced into torturing people and so on affected a character. And I thought that a Gryffindor would be give the story an extra dimension as Hogwarts students seem to get quite stereotyped by their house's traits and I can see people feeling under a lot of pressure to live up to the traits of their house, so a Gryffindor who didn't stand up to the Carrows might not only feel guilty about having tortured people, but also ashamed of not living up to the house they were placed in.

Glad you enjoyed the story. Thank you so much for an awesome review.

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Review #57, by AphorideIcarus: Prologue

13th December 2014:
Hi there! So I am a huge canon fan, but the idea of this was just so cool, and the summary sounded so interesting, so I just had to come by to this one! :)

I love the whole set-up of it. How you don't give away much, but drop little hints and things about what's going to happen, what Lily's going to get herself into and how she's going to handle it. Having the little section at the top with the part of the log by the captain of the ship (which is in itself a little thing I wanna know more about! Why is she on a ship? Wah, sounds so cool!) is so clever - just gives enough to reel the reader in ;)

I love how you've characterised Lily, as well, with her being so disatisfied with fame and fed up with it and not really understanding why so many of her family are named after dead people. I think it's so true to life - people who are often removed from the situation don't always get it, particularly kids. It just seems to alien to them, so I loved how you included that. I love as well how she wishes she could have met her grandparents - and it's again so real: my dad's dad died when he was young, so I've never known him and it's the same kind of thing. As well, I really like how she doesn't want to rely on fame, and so she's not super-clever or talented or successful; instead, she's broke and jobless. It gives her this really nice sense of independence, which I love.

As always, your writing is lovely, and there are so many details in this which really bring it to life. It's so good! I really loved how she described her siblings and family - it could have been list-like, I think, with how many of them, but you wrote it so well, it was all just like anecdotes and really felt like someone talking to you and saying those things.

I'm so so curious to know where this goes, as well. Obviously she crosses over into a different time stream, but how? And where in it does she end up? Who does she meet? What happens while she's there? Gah, I'm so curious and you've left so many threads hanging it's wonderful :)

This is a really, really brilliant first chapter; we will have to swap again at some point so I can read more :P I really loved this! :)

Thank you so much for the swap! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi! Haha, I'm a huge canon fan as well, which makes me wonder how this story ever ended up existing. I suppose it starts out canon! :p I'm really glad to hear it sounds interesting despite being AU though!

I'm so happy to hear that it was the right amount of information revealed for the prologue! I'd never done a story with a prologue before, so it was kind of a wild guess at how much to put in :p And I'm thrilled you liked that bit about the ship hehe.

Aw, thank you! I'm so glad you like Lily's characterization and that she seems real, that means a lot to me. That's exactly what I was hoping to show there, about the disconnect for people who are removed from the situation. As well I think that since Harry was always awkward about his fame/hero status, that he wouldn't raise his kids to take advantage of that fame either. Outside of her fame Lily is pretty normal.

Gah, thank you for saying my writing is lovely *blushes* It is so wonderful to hear that the story seems alive in the details and anecdotes, and that you are curious to find out what's going to happen! Soo many threads hanging indeed. This prologue is basically one of those fringe dresses from the 1920's. XD

Thanks so much for the swap and your fantastic review!! ♥

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Review #58, by AphorideUpping The Ante: The Bouncing Properties of Dimes

12th December 2014:
Hey there - dropping by for our review swap! :) Sorry about the delay - been so busy the last while!

Anyway, I'm here now and I love the beginning of this! I love how you've used the Quidditch in the story, and made it so that she's a Ravenclaw but not super-bright or super into studying, which I really love (ofc, I love the fact that she's a Ravenclaw too, haha ;D), since usually they're not portrayed like that, you know? It's a very unique portrayal, imo.

The Quidditch scenes were great, too - all the action and everything was written so well, and it's hard because it's all action, you know, so I really loved it - with the way you described them in the air and the weightlessness when Alexandra first flies again and everything; it was great. Your writing through all of it was great, though, don't get me wrong - you have a lovely style, and your word choice is brilliant! - I just wanted to highlight the Quidditch bits because I loved them :)

Your inclusion of the Marauders was great, haha. I loved the Quidditch pitch confrontation and how they were so mean to Charlie and them, and how Charlie reacted - the little barbs they made are so true to school life, so realistic. And the other OCs - Carter and Charlie and them all - are so lovely too, again such atypical presentations of people, with their flaws and all pretty obvious: Carter's anger and Charlie's laziness in the mornings... you've really got a brilliant cast here!

Your dialogue is so good, too. I think out of all of your writing, that's what I love the most. It's just so easy and so fluid, you know - like actual people talking, which I find so impressive (I'm terrible at dialogue, haha, which is why I include as little as possible of it! :P), but it's so great in this. I loved the comment about bouncing a dime, haha. Made me laugh out loud; I nearly spat water over my laptop :P

This is a really great start to a no doubt great story, I really enjoyed reading this and I'm really glad we swapped! :)

Thanks so much for the swap! :)

Aph xx

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Review #59, by AphorideWe Are One: Bitterly Truthful

11th December 2014:
Hi there - dropping by again for BvB! :D It really does give me such a good excuse for coming back to this story *shoves Constitutional Law back under her bed* ;)

I really love how you're developing this so carefully - it's so thought-out and so planned, you know, like the murders themselves, it's almost eerie in that sense, but it suits the story so well! There's this lovely layer to this too - this sort of feeling that at any moment anything could happen. All we know is that the murderer has black hair, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything - this is world with Polyjuice and all sorts of things... You just make me so on edge for this, and it's so good! :)

Your characterisation again is so on point, with Ron and Harry and the rest of them, but I kinda wanna talk about the murderer a bit. It's just so good and so clever of you, because even though you're writing them in second person, so it feels very familiar in that sense, it doesn't because I genuinely have no idea who it could be. Somehow, you're writing in second person and there's no clues. Nothing at all. Not even a potential hint. It's amazing. Truly. (Even though it is a little infuriating, coz I wanna know! Haha!).

The only thing I'd say is that the Veritaserum questioning (and I'm only saying this coz you asked about it :P) seems a bit too... easy to me? I dunno, it's meant to be this thing where you say what you mean, what you feel, without thinking, without filtering, and the scene doesn't quite convey that to me? It's just my opinion, though, I don't know about others...

As always, your writing is lovely. It's so concise and I'm so jealous of your ability to do that - to pack so much action into so few words without skimping on the quality of them. It's amazing.

I'm so, so curious to know what happens next. You've left so many little threads hanging - with the black hair, Pamela meeting the murderer, the list of suspects... just everything. I really have no idea what's going to happen next and it's such a good feeling for this type of story! :)

(Also, is it weird that I kinda hope Mundungus Fletcher doesn't die? I always kinda liked him, haha)

So yeah, I'm still loving this story - it's so good! :)

Aph xx

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Review #60, by AphorideThe Ides of March: A star riding through clouds.

6th December 2014:
Hey Kiana! Stopping by for BvB! :)

So, honestly, I have no idea why I wasn't here before now. Seriously. I mean, this is right up my alley - all the history, and the original pairing, and your beautiful writing... genuinely no idea whatsoever.

Anyway, this is gorgeous. I love the way this is written, with this beautiful, flowing style, and with all the description. It's so lovely - it really brings the whole thing to life, with Helena's feelings so clear and so stark because of it. The details you include are amazing, too - and so good! Founders is a difficult era, with all of the historical elements, but you've woven them in so easily, it's incredible. I love the little references to wool from Flanders, and Salazar having two heirs and a daughter 'to marry off at his will'. They're so, so good :)

I loved all of the religious references, too! I've written one story with religious references, and I have characters in others who are religious as well, and it's always something I'm so scared of writing, you know, because it's so personal, but you do it so well in this. All the little mentions of it are so perfectly placed, they enhance the feel of the era and all, without drowning it, and they lend this sort of solemn weight to Helena's voice, which suits her character so well.

The characterisation is so great, too - though I kinda expect that from you, having read so much of your other stuff :P I love how Helena feels so much less, than everyone else really, and how Rowena is somewhat demanding as a mother, and how Helena just wants to be liked and loved. It's such a sad situation, and yet it's easy to see how she might end up stealing the Diadem.

Also, I loved the little mention of Helena's father, and how he was a priest. Such a lovely way to bring in the religious element! :)

So yes, as always with everything you write, this is gorgeous. I will have to come back at some point to read more of this... :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey Laura, I'm so glad that you stopped by as this review was really lovely!

Aw, thank you so much that means so much to hear you say that as I think the era and the writing which comes from it played a big part in how this story ended up being written. Thanks again for that comment, but I love history waayy to much so writing all those little details in was so much fun and I had to be careful that I didn't actually get too carried away with them. :P

It's great talking to someone who understands as it's such a touchy subject you do really have to be careful about how you write it as I don't want to offend anyone, so I'm so glad you thought it was okay. I thought it would be quite central to Helena's character as religion was just such a big part of society at that time, it felt right to interlink it into her in this story too.

Aw, thank you so much again, Laura, you really have been so lovely in this review! I know it's quite rough on Helena having to deal with that on top of her other issues, but as you'll find out later on Rowena has her own issues so it's not entirely her fault that she treats Helena like that.

Thanks for such a fab review, it really did make me smile! :D


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Review #61, by AphorideWe Are One: Chocolate and bubbles

5th December 2014:
Hey there! Spotted you in the BvB battle and couldn't resist coming by again :P

I loved the slip of normalcy with Harry, Ron and Hermione - seeing them doing something not to do with the murders (though the whole thing with the pov switch to you was a bit creepy... made me think of possession/Imperius Curse style stuff, like with Tom Riddle's diary, you know?) was so nice. It was so sweet - and toddler!James was just too adorable. Blowing out the candles and getting upset when he couldn't... n'awww. He's so well written, too - and children are hard to write!

I liked how you gave us the first idea of a suspect, with Emerson's name coming up. It's so interesting, with him being a nasty guy anyway, to see how he'll fit into it all. (Though, tbh, I'm surprised if he was charged for experiments on house-elves, he wasn't watched or tagged somehow or something, but I guess the wizarding world has a very old-fashioned idea of justice!)

I'm still amazed by how easily you write the canon characters in this, especially the trio and Luna. Frankly, the idea of writing them terrifies me, so I find it so incredible how you're writing them in a full novella as main cast. They're all so perfectly written; you capture the little things about them, like how Hermione's kinda bossy at times, how Ron gets tired/bored when not doing interesting things... Luna's never-ending cheeriness. It's so good! :)

As always, your writing in this is lovely. So smooth and clean, and your dialogue is so great! :)

That last scene was so creepy. I have no idea who it could be... Shacklebolt, maybe? Emerson? I don't know! :( Gah, cliffhangers... so annoying :P

I will be back... :D

Aph xx

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Review #62, by Aphorideour reality.: Chapter Two

3rd December 2014:
Hey Emily! :) I finally had some free time in amongst the drama of presentations and exams, and I just couldn't help but come back to this!

I really love the way you're intermingling the war, and their involvement with the Order with their schoolwork. It's so true, you know, both to life and to the characters - I can't imagine Dumbledore would want them fighting so young, or anyone really! It also just builds this incredibly complex, layered scene of the time which I adore. All the little mentions of the war were so good and so powerful - I absolutely loved the mention at the beginning of 'safe' and how difficult it actually was to feel safe. It was such a gorgeous paragraph or two! :)

As before, I love Dorcas' character - I love how she's still got her own friends, Izzy and them, outside of the Marauders and Lily and Marlene, as well - how she's kinda easily distracted, and not overly clever or anything, but so brave and so moral, you know? And there's these little bits of humour in her pov which are just so great - the mention of 'don't question the McGonagall' made me laugh out loud :P

The idea of charmed origami birds was so good, too - they did it in the films with Draco, I think - but it was so lovely here, and the way Marlene used a complicated spell on it just because was so typical :P Typical of her, typical 'Claw :P

I love all the description of Ravenclaw tower - actually, all of it, really, but 'Claw tower especially - it's just so detailed without being too detailed, and it really sounds like what someone would say about it, the things they'd notice, you know? Not little things no one wouldn't, or not enough... I'm so jealous - dialogue is hard and you just do it so easily! Tell me your secrets! ;)

Ofc, your writing in this is gorgeous, and I'm so looking forward to the next chapter - visit to Claw tower, plus more Marlene and Dorcas yes? and more witty banter! :D

Gah, I should never have waited so long to stay away from this. Then again, maybe I shouldn't come back when I have exams coming up... not sure I'll get points for talking about this in the test ;) Ah well, though! :)

Great chapter, great story, as usual :D

Laura xx

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Review #63, by AphorideBound by Love: Things Least Expected

3rd December 2014:
Hey there - dropping by for our review swap! :)

So I was so excited to see that this is a Frank/Alice story - I love the idea of exploring them as a couple, because they're so intrumental to the whole series, really, but they're rarely ever written about, so it was so great to see that you've taken that job ;)

This is such a gorgeous idea, too. I love the idea of time-capsule-like things, kinda reminds me of the way Riddle showed Harry the Chamber of Secrets, you know, only a lot neater and lighter, ofc :P But no, it really is an awesome idea - and having them kept in a book, and tying in the Drooble's Best Blowing Gum too is such a sweet idea. We don't have a lot to go on for them in canon, but I really love how you're using the stuff we do have! :)

Neville is so brilliant, too. I love all the little nuances you've got of his character - how he loves the plants, how he and Hannah have already planned out the names for their children, how much the idea of something from his parents means for him. Like Harry, he never knew them; all he knew was really that his mum liked giving him Drooble's wrappers. In the same scene, you remind us of the tragedy of what happened to them, but it's tempered with the whole idea of the book and of him having a chance to know them. It's so lovely, and so clever!

But yeah, Neville is spot on in this, too. The little mention of his gran was brilliant. I loved the idea that she 'has her ways' to get into the castle, haha. It's very... creepy/protective grandparent-ish, lol. But totally in character for a grandmother who defeated an Auror. I mean, she's wow :D

Your writing is so lovely, too - you have a wonderful turn of phrase and a real gift for description which I love - particularly at the beginning with all the plants and the way they were all hanging down around the window. I could just picture it in my head, it was great :)

This is a really, really great start to this - we will have to swap again at some point so I can come back to this! :)

Thank you so much for the swap! :)

Aph xx

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Review #64, by AphorideWe Are One: Sunshine, stay

1st December 2014:
Hey there - stopping by for BvB! :)

You know, it's been far too long since I last read this story, like a month or something, but I had to come back to it! Even without reading it, I still remember it and remember how much I wanna know who it is!

Okay, first things first - I have to admit that I did not see that coming. I mean, obviously there was always going to be a second death, but I didn't think it would be so soon! It's only the second chapter! And wah, poor Luna - she's really had a pretty hard lot in this so far... though I love how you showed her strength and amazing ability to sort of drift through things without letting them seem, at least, to bog her down - as well as bringing out that startling honest side of her a lot of people forget about at times. She's such a difficult character to write and you do her so well in this!

I love how you're building it up slowly but surely - with the hair going missing, and someone in the Ministry clearly involved, the insight from the killer which tells us they are in the Ministry, possibly even an Auror if they're watching Robards... it's such a creepy sort of thing, you know, the idea that the murderer is that close to them, that they know everything which is going on... freaky.

The details in this are brilliant, as always. They really make this story come alive: all the little mentions of Cornish Pixie earrings, Luna's paintings, the letters... it just builds this picture so clearly in my head - the description, too, is gorgeous. It's so great! :)

So yeah, I'm still loving this story - I'm so impatient to know who the killer is, haha! It's only two chapters in and I just wanna know what's going to happen... but that's your fault, really. You and your great writing ;)

I can't leave it so long before I come back... :)

Aph xx

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Review #65, by AphorideWhen Summer Fades: solstice

25th November 2014:
Hey there - so glad you see you post about a review swap, and I really wanted to get back to this story and, alas, I am busy so I kinda needed some kind of excuse :P

So, anyway, here I am, and omigosh this is just so sad. But it really fits the story, you know? It works so, so well.

I love how you introduce this with a much darker point - it really sort of sets the tone for the whole thing, you know? That it's not going to be light or happy, that there isn't a nice ending for them - or either of them, separately. It's so evocative of war, and everything that happens as a consequence - the pain and suffering people go through, the loss of life... I really actually liked how you had Summer's parents die too, it sort of compounded that, and to have Bellatrix ask Regulus if he wanted to finish her off... for him to cry in front of Voldemort. It's him being vulnerable, but also allowing himself to cry in front of such people kinda shows a sort of strength, I guess, in that they're really not the kind of people you'd want to be like that around, haha.

I really loved how you tied it into Regulus stealing the locket and knowing he's going to die - you set it up so beautifully that it felt like such a natural, desperate, lonely decision for him to make. He literally only has Kreacher left, and most people would think that didn't even count. Poor boy :( The bit about how he found out about Horcruxes was neat too - I liked the idea that he sort of found in the process of trying to find a cure, of sorts, for death, rather than looking for immortality. A neat inversion :P (Though, the only thing I'd say is that you say the Dark Lord gave him a 'respectful nod', which seems a bit OOC for Voldemort, tbh. Maybe try a different adjective?)

Your writing as always is so lovely in this - it's so evocative, and so descriptive. I particularly loved the way you said about him thinking about Summer, with the needles, and how you talked about him under the potion and Kreacher after having taken it. Your characterisation, as always, was sterling, especially Kreacher, so kudos to you! :)

I'm so so glad I got a chance to read the end of this - I really, really enjoyed reading this and just had to finish it. It's such a lovely, bittersweet story with a very sad end. But yeah, it's a gorgeous story :)

Thank you so much for the swap! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi! Eeee you always leave the best reviews ♥ and I was super excited to get back to L'optimisme, so I'm really glad for the swap too! :D

I think there was really no way to have a happy story about Regulus. The story was kind of doomed from the beginning since we all know how it ends for poor Regulus :( I'm glad that kind of dark first paragraph helped set the tone for the rest of the dark chapter though.

It was definitely an unpleasant part to write, when Summer's parents die, but as you said it had to happen as it was like the last straw, and in a war there is a lot of death, some of which you can't see coming. That part about Regulus crying, I don't necessarily think he was trying to be brave, more like it all got to be too much and he gave up for a few minutes there.

It was kind of an act of desperation. In writing this I think I gained a lot of respect for Regulus as he really had just the worst circumstances. At least Kreacher still cared about him, yeah :( I'm really glad you liked the set up to the discovery of Horcruxes! I figured Voldemort couldn't have been too blatant about it, or other people would have figured it out - so Regulus had to know about Horcruxes already. "Respectful nod" hahaha... thank you for pointing that out, I have fixed it now :D

Aaah, thank you soo much, I'm thrilled that you thought the writing was so lovely and evocative! The potion was a weird bit to write, as he has absolutely no idea what's real and what's not, but that's the impression I got after reading the cave chapter in HBP a few times - anyway, I'm glad that came across well! And thanks about the characterization, that is so great to hear!

Thank you so much for your amazing review ♥

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Review #66, by Aphoridethe earth and the sky: the earth and the sky

23rd November 2014:
Hey there - stopping by for our review swap! :)

Okay, so this is going to take me a while, but considering you said this means a lot to you and it's very important, I think it doesn't really deserve any less, you know? So, really, I'm going to try and do this story some sort of justice in this review... and not, you know, butcher the whole idea of justice :P

The themes you wrote in this are so incredibly difficult, you know - loss of sense, ptsd and trauma, insomnia, hints of alcoholism, and then the miscarriage and Astoria's illness at the end. You handled them so well and so sensitively, with this sort of strange beauty through them. Somehow, I'm not quite sure how, you managed to write about those difficult, testing conditions and still make this a love story, still include happiness in it, and still have them win, in the end. It's incredibly beautiful and wonderful and yeah... it's just amazing.

I'm sorry, I don't normally get affected by things I read or write or watch so this is a bit strange for me, tbh. I'm not crying, if I'm honest, but I feel very much affected by this - it really made me think and feel for them, and feel like I understand life a little more, in a way.

It probably makes no sense. Sorry about that :P

The way you characterise Astoria and Draco is equally brilliant. I love how you bring out both their fully range of qualities and bad traits, you know. They're both so utterly human at the end of it - Astoria wants to help Draco, he's scared, but wants help, she refuses him, he asks again... it's just such a lovely little dance-like thing they have at the beginning, before their relationship sort of properly gets underway, but even then, as the reader, it feels inevitable, you know? And there's something wonderful about that.

Plus, I love the changes they go through - I love how you didn't shy away from the idea that dealing with someone, and a marriage, can be difficult, and it can get sluggish and you can almost feel like giving up - and I loved how Blaise was the one to shove Astoria back and that when she came back, they worked, which again is such a realistic idea, and they found happiness. It's really so true to life, and makes you feel for them even more.

I was so struck by Astoria's illness turning up, because I didn't really expect it. I was kinda hoping they could be happy and just live and be together, because, really, they deserve to be, after everything, but I guess that's part of life, right? Things happen, and you have to face up to them. Again, in this the emotions were so on point it was unreal; the fear, against the fearlessness of the young ('dying is something other people do') it was so, so good. And I loved the little mention of Draco talking to Daphne and wishing she'd died instead; people do that! It's not nice, it's not something they'd ever necessarily admit, but they do. It's such a human foible, I love it.

The train station scene was so perfect as the ending - especially after Draco managing to find joy in his life at the end, and then finally meeting her again, and she'd waited for him... gah, it was so sweet! Somewhere in wizard heaven, they're in a house by a river together :)

Your writing was stunning. Honestly, I don't get moved by things - I just don't. I appreciate them, but I rarely ever actually feel things. And this one I did, so all the kudos to you for that :)

This was an absolutely stunning one-shot. It's amazing. Even more so if this is incredibly personal to you, because it's always so hard to tackle issues you've faced or people close to you have faced. I haven't been able to do that yet myself, so I really find it amazing.

I must find a thread to recommend this in... (after sleeping coz it's late here :P) :)

Love. Love. Love. Favourited.

Aph xx

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Review #67, by AphorideNot Yet Over.: Not Yet Over.

23rd November 2014:
Hey there - dropping by for our review swap! :)

So I'm a massive fan of dark/mystery/horror sort of things, so this was right up my street, so I couldn't resist stopping by this ;)

I love the whole uncertainty element, like there's no real way to tell whether or not Susan's going mad or hallucinating things or if it's actually real, you know? It's so unclear, with evidence for both interpretations, and I love that - it's such an impressive technique!

Susan's characterisation in this is brilliant! I've always felt that PTSD as a consequence of the war isn't really talked about or really mentioned in ff, so I was so excited to see you were dealing with it in this - and you dealt with it so well! It reminded me a lot of what happened after the First World War, actually, when the soldiers returned and they sort of had to try and understand PTSD then and work out what it was and how they could help it, because it had never happened on that kind of scale before - only things are a little easier for the wizards :P

I loved how you emphasised Susan's family connections, with her aunt being murdered by the Death Eaters, and her fears for her father and her mother and herself, and then how she thinks so much of her experiences at Hogwarts during Harry's seventh year... she's such a loyal and brave character, but she sort of can't cope with peacetime, you know? At least, that's kinda part of the impression I got from it. I loved as well how the people are her were so concerned for her, including her boss, and wanted to help her, but she never sort of believed that there was a problem or that they could or would help. It's so sad, but unfortunately common with some illnesses.

That ending... gosh, I have no idea what to think! Was she making it up in her head, or is it true? It's one of those things, though, where I love that it's that open-ended, you know, it doesn't need to be concluded in a way.

So yeah, I really loved this story - it's so amazingly creepy, and so fascinating, and so well written too! I'm so glad I got a chance to stop by and read this - so good! :)

Thank you so much for the swap! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Thank you SO much for this review.

Yeah, the original idea for this story was to write something that might either be in the character's head or might be real danger. I think I came up with the idea when somebody posted an unreliable narrator challenge, but I found it difficult to think of a character it'd fit and then when somebody posted a Halloween challenge, it gave me the push I needed to actually write it. I wanted a character we didn't know well, because I thought if I wrote somebody like Harry or Hermione, people would be inclined to believe it was real, just because they've been right so often in the past. I wanted people to come at it without preconceptions.

I'm not usually a horror/dark writer, which is probably why this moved into the realms of possible trauma, about which I do write a lot (I'm now trying to think when was the last time I wrote a story WITHOUT any traumatised characters), so anyway, I'm glad it appealed to somebody who's more familiar with that genre than I am and who writes it so well themself.

My country has only recently begun to properly acknowledge the First World War. I do know "shellshock" was a big issue at the time, but the similarity didn't occur to me at all. (Our independence struggle was taking place at the same times, so the idea of Irish people fighting IN the British army didn't fit the official narrative too well, as you can imagine.)

I've read that a lot of people deal with crises like wars and then don't break down until afterwards, because there is so much else to deal with when the crisis is taking place.

I wrote it, sort of thinking she was most likely imagining it, but I could make an argument the other way too.

Really glad you liked it. Thanks so much again for the review.

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Review #68, by Aphoridefall.: fall.

23rd November 2014:
Hey there, Carla (it is Carla, right?) - stopping by our review swap! :)

So, Teddy/Rose is one of those lovely, not-often-written about ships which are always, I think, written so, so well, and this really is not any kind of exception to that. I love how simplistic this is, almost like a sort of long-ish microfiction, in a way, because it just allows the emotions to speak so clearly and loudly, you know? There's no extraneous information or detail, it's so raw because of that and it works so, so well.

I love the way you characterised Teddy and Rose, too. You really brought out this great longing between them, how he wants her and she wants to be with him, but there's this sense of honour or loyalty, perhaps, stopping them because Rose won't hurt her cousin. It's such a telling, beautiful and bittersweet thing to put in - and you can't really blame anyone for it, you know? We don't know the other side of the story, but it's not really necessary. We know they're in love and yet it's impossible and that's the heartbreak right there.

The themes of this were gorgeous, too - and I loved the way they ran throughout them. The whole 'crackle, etc.' thing was lovely, and the mentions of fall and different shades of red and things were so great and so descriptive. Even without using too much description, I could still picture the scene in my mind, because you said everything that was necessary for it, you know?

The only thing I can comment on is that you might want to be careful about repetition, because sometimes it gets to be a bit too much, you know, and it sounds a bit weird - but that's not really very importan ;) Easily changed! :)

So yeah, this is a gorgeous little story - I love the whole premise of it, with autumn and them sitting on a park bench and trying to talk or find a way to manage things, and the whole heartbreak of it is gorgeous, and I'm so so impressed by you managing to write a whole story into so few words - I'm terrible at it myself, haha.

This is so lovely, and I'm so glad I had a chance to read this! :)

Aph xx

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Review #69, by Aphorideheaven: can't help me now

18th November 2014:
Hey there - dropping by from BvB :)

So I loved this - especially the characterisation. It's such a clever idea - and I don't think I've ever seen something quite like this done in ff, or even really in of, with the whole 'she wants to remember it because she's convinced it won't last', like she's persuading herself early on to try and avoid heartbreak or something. It's such a cool idea.

Lily is such a good character - I loved how atypical she was for a romantic female lead, with her whole 'saying I love you is a mistake' thing and how she's sort of just waiting for it to be over throughout the whole story. It's kinda sad, in that way, but it makes her so amazing, and you get this wonderful sense of fear, and nervousness and yet this almost longing to be free from it - so it really makes her this incredible, real character.

Mystery guy was great, too :P I loved how he sort of remained mysterious throughout it - like he was always sort of idolised by Lily, and idealised, so he was this mysterious, volatile, fun figure - and remarkable, too, haha - and seemingly almost perfect in her eyes, and so to us too, but it worked so well because of the whole juxtaposition between the perfect-ness of the relationship and Lily's almost fear that it's going to end, and not believing that he won't, or refusing to believe he'll stay. It was almost like he was a sort of physical representation of that feeling of Lily's, you know? which is kinda meta in a way :P But no, I loved how traditionally romantic he was - smooth, handsome, kind, etc.

The writing in this was lovely too - though there were a few places where you used commas where you should have used semi-colons, but it's nothing big ;) - it has this lovely clean style which I'm so jealous of because I can't stop waffling for the life of me. There was something almost honest about the way you wrote it, and I loved the different sections with the different dates and scenes. It worked so, so well.

So yeah, I really loved reading this - it's a great little one-shot! :)

Aph xx

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Review #70, by Aphorideour reality.: Chapter One

11th November 2014:
Bonjour, Emily! :) So I promised I'd stop by and review this and I'm grabbing a little bit of spare time to do that, so here I am! :D

So I'm so excited about this novel because I love Marauders Era stuff which deals with/mentions the first war and all of that, because it's so fascinating, and something we don't know that much about, you know?

I love Dorcas' character in this - I love how she's sort of the only one of the group, that we know of, who doesn't have an invested reason (like a relative) to join the Order and fight against the DEs. It makes the whole thing, with Izzy's reluctance and disbelief, so much more believable. People don't want to put themselves in danger, and it's difficult to blame people for that sort of thing, you know? But yeah, I love it - and the little things, like her being a bit clumsy and tripping on the stairs (conveniently into Marlene, haha).

The whole atmosphere was brilliant, too - and it's not something you often see in Marauder's fics, the whole dark, nervous kind of feeling surrounding them all - and so I loved how you included it. People not wanting to eat is such a clever way of portraying it, too! Plus, Izzy's worry and Dumbledore looking so tired and things, they all just hinted at things really not going well and the war already taking its toll.

A couple of tiny things: you said 'passively-aggressively' when I think it should just be 'passive-aggresively', and also when Sirius flung his arm over Remus' shoulders (lol), you repeated 'Sirius' which you didn't need to, since 'him' was already Sirius in that sentence (Remus was 'who' ;D).

I loved all of the little details in this, too - the crashed broomsticks on Izzy's pyjamas (which sound awesome!), how Dorcas is pureblood and yet still thinks its wrong, the joke about Remus being 'two people' (wolfy reference, yes? Loved it!), and so many more! Your writing is just so good - I love it to pieces.

So yeah, this is a fabulous, fabulous start and I'm so excited about where this is going to go and how it's all going to end (coz, gah, we already know some bits, but not how and it's going to be so sad! :( ).

Favourited :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Salut, Laura! :D You're too nice to me, thanks so much!

Yeah, I completely get what you mean! The First War is something that's not really covered in canon except that a lot of people die fighting, so reading a story that explores that is always super interesting for me and I'm glad you're feeling like that about this story!

Yay, I'm so glad you like her! I know, she's a really nice person and so selfless and I'm glad that you still managed to believe the fact that she would go into the Order just for moral reasons, and that Izzy's reaction was believable when it came to that. I'm so glad you liked the little details as well, of course Dorcas would go tripping into Marlene, ehehehe.

Yes, I'm so glad you like it! Most Marauder-era stories that I've read seem really light and pretty happy and I don't think that's realistic because there's a war going on outside those walls and I really think that the atmostphere of the whole school would reflect that grimness and, like you mentioned, the toll that the war is taking on the people who are even indirectly involved.

Ooh, thanks so much for catching those, I'll make sure to go back and edit them soon, maybe when I put the next chapter in.

I'm really glad that you do like the small things as I was afraid that they might bog the story down, and yes, I'm so glad that you caught the wolfy reference from Remus! Two peoplem him and the wolf. Hehehe. Thank you so much for the amazing compliment, especially taking into account how amazing and detail-oriented your own writing is *-* so thank you so much!

I'm so glad you think so! And yes, I think that I might be very very strongly tempted to ignore canon entirely when it comes to the end of this. :(

Thank you so, so much for the lovely review! ♥

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Review #71, by AphorideAn inky black heart.: The ebony vessel.

10th November 2014:
Hey Kiana! Dropping by for the BvB review battle and just had to pounce on this! :)

I'm not much of a fan of Snape/Lily, either - though I do love an unrequited, dark Snape/Lily, which is exactly what you've written. It's such an obsessive, turbulent, twisted sort of relationship, particularly the way he viewed her, and you've captured that whole sense of it perfectly here, with the whole 'want want want' 'need need need' repetition through this, and the constant themes of obsessing, feeling he was only existing for her and so on. You manage to deal with so much in so few words in this - it's so amazingly impressive!

The way you characterised Snape in this is great, too - and I'm not just saying that because I love portrayals of him like this, where he's this tortured, possessive guy, who doesn't really almost understand how love works. You just get him so well in this - his conformity and lust for power, his lust for Lily and how he can only really focus on her, what she looked like and so on, how he hates other men and boys who like her, are connected to her in some way. You paint this very vivid, physical sort of relationship between them, with the way he feels about her. Everything is talked about in terms of physicality: proximity, looks, emotions. It's such an amazing theme and you write it so beautifully.

Speaking of - well, your writing is always gorgeous so that's no surprise - but I love the style of this. How it's sort of almost semi-stream of consciousness, you know, how it flows so perfectly, like thought, but isn't quite, almost as though he's remembering things. Your language, as well, is so beautiful - it's so evocative of pictures and emotions and really lends it this whole dark, disturbing air which I adore.

So yeah, basically, this is perfect and I love it :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey Laura!

I'm glad you liked this then, as it was much more fun to explore the dark and twisted side where you can really get to grips with Snape's flaws rather than the unrequited side. I'm really glad that the obsessive side of his love came through though as it was quite hard to figure out how to show the obsession in only a few words, but I guess that was part of the fun too.

Bahahaha, it's fine and I love portrayals of him like this too as I feel as if that's the true Snape and we can really see what he's like here. Thank you so much, the compliments mean a lot to me! It was interesting that you picked up on the lust specifically though because when I was writing about this I realised a lot of Snape's actions could be interpreted as ones driven by the idea of lust and power and that would explain a lot of things.

Thank you so much but I do have to give a lot of credit to the amazing Victor Hugo as he did inspire a lot of this and if you haven't read anything by him, I really suggest you do as his work is just ♥ ♥ ♥

Thank you for this amazing review, Laura, it really did make me smile! :D


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Review #72, by AphorideWe Are One: It begins with pink

6th November 2014:
Hey there! I thought I'd drop by on this one, rather than your Jenna Matthews story, since that one's going through edits, so I hope that's okay! :)

You should know straight off that I adore murder mysteries. Like, properly, properly love them. To bits. So I was so excited to drop by on this - I couldn't resist it, especially when I've heard such good things about it!

I love how you start with a little flash of the murderer, and the build-up to the murder itself. It's such an intriguing way to start - not the normal sort of way, I think - and it really just pulls me into the story, without any effort at all. All the little hints and things about Umbridge were great, too - I loved the cats on plates on the walls, the pink colour everywhere, and yet the sort of memory the murderer obviously had of her being so cruel and so wicked. I have no idea who the murderer could be either - there really are so many characters who hated her! :P

Your characterisation is so good, too - I loved how you portrayed Ron and Harry in this, going about the crime scene, getting called into work so early/being so tired and all... it really highlights the non-glamorous aspect of an Auror's life, you know? But they were all great - I loved Ginny's comment after she found out about Umbridge, it was so in-character for her, and the little mentions of Harry putting her bump and stroking her hair were lovely.

The only thing I could say is maybe when you have more fluid senses, like sounds and smells and things, introduce them a bit earlier? Like, it seemed a bit sudden for Ron to hear the cats - the sound would have been there all along - so mentioning a faint noise, or that it gets louder or something, would make it a bit less static. But that's really a minor thing ;)

Your writing is so lovely - I love the way you shift your dialogue to suit each character, and the way you put I so many little details, like the Auror-speak (Un-Sub and 1200 hours), and the little character things you put in there.

Your plot is just amazing, though - I'm so, so curious to know what's happened, who's done it, what's going to happen next. Even though this isn't on a cliffhanger, it essentially is, because you've made me want to know so much more! :)

I'm going to have to try and follow you during the Review Battle or something :P

Aph xx

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Review #73, by AphorideThe Deathly Children: The Women in the Walls

29th October 2014:
Hey, Nicole! :) I was so, so glad to get an
excuse to come back to this story, with the
exchange pairings this month - I read this over
and over again, you know, but I always find it
so hard to work out what to say other than

Firstly, though, I have to say massive
congratulations on your Dobby wins, and
especially the one for this story - they were
all so well deserved! :)

I love Ariana in this - I love the way you
portray as somehow both less and more than her
brothers, like she knows less about the 'real'
world, but she knows more in ways, too, and
there's this lovely, dark connotations
underneath all of that, with her - like her
knowledge is sinister, she shouldn't have it.
Like it's forbidden. I'm so curious and worried
about what's going to happen with Ariana!

Albus and Aberforth are great, too - though,
tbh, your characters are always amazing, so
that's no surprise! I love the interactions
between the three of them, the way it's so
clear that they're siblings and they start off
close, if not super-close, it almost makes
knowing how it ends all that much sadder, you
know? It's very cruel of you! ;)

I loved the glimpses of Gellert, being expelled
and then leaving, getting an illegal portkey
and then coming to Godric's Hollow. I love how
you manage to convey that he's this sinister,
dark kind of boy, with this violent tendency
and fascination with power and dark arts
without actually really saying it - you use
description so well with that, it's so subtle
but it's there and it comes across so well.
Also, I loved Gellert giving the flowers to
Bethilda - so smooth :P He's so determined to
do things, and so decisive too, but I liked the
way you explored parts of his character by
saying that it was abnormal for him to do those
things - like submitting to the Headmaster, and
not stealing the wand from Bartolomew (who, by
the way, was a fabulously interesting
character. I hope he turns up again!). It's
such an unusual way to describe someone, and it
was so great! :)

The use of the Crone, Mother and Maiden (Glass
Girl) was also so amazing - I love mythology
and copious references to it all, so I love how
you're using it here, even if I don't yet
understand how they're going to come into play
- but that's for later, yes? ;) Explanations
can wait, because it doesn't need to make
sense, and yet somehow they fit in so well with
this, and Ariana's state of mind.

All of the fire images and things were so
lovely - I like that she's literally volatile,
flammable in a way, and it's so terrifying to
think of. It's also a really interesting
version of what happened to her. And the little
mentions of Percival in Azkaban were
heartbreaking! Just imagining him there on his
own, carving the box for Ariana, in the dark...

Your writing, as you know (or should do!), is
so gorgeous - this really is a perfect example
of why you won Best Description Dobby, though
honestly imo you could probably have won it for
any of your stories!

You should update this soon! Totally! :) I know
the phrase is absence makes the heart grow
fonder, but I'm not sure the latter is possible
where this story is concerned :P

Aph xx

Author's Response: Laura! ♥

Gah, thank you so much for this amazing review! I'm so sorry it has taken me ages to respond to...just asldkjlkj THANK YOU! ♥ I completely did not expect the Dobby for this story but it's honestly made me so happy. Thank you, lovely!

Ariana is fun to write. She's quite different from any character I've written before, and I love reading your interpretation of her! You're right; there are things that she sometimes messes around with, which she shouldn't. Nobody seems to understand her, so she does go along these sinister paths...I'm SO glad you like the interactions between the three Dumbledore siblings. Complicated sibling relationships are what I love reading and writing about!

Have to confess: Gellert is such an interesting character to write. He does indeed have violent tendencies, as revealed in DH, and I'm trying to slowly explore this side of him, while not forgetting that he's also a sixteen year old who thinks he's invincible self-important and everything.

To be honest, I won't be explaining some of the things / events that appear in the story, especially this whole Mother/Maiden/Crone thing. They will definitely come into play, but there'll also always be a bit of an unsolved mystery with them.

aslkjalsf Laura you're far too lovely ♥ THANK YOU FOR THIS REVIEW. I should indeed update this soon, but I need to edit. Everything is in shambles after NaNo. Thanks again!


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Review #74, by AphorideWhen Summer Fades: syzygy

20th October 2014:
Hey there - stopping by for our review swap! :)

I'm so glad I stopped by because I remember reading the first chapter of this a while ago, but I never finished it, so a chance to read the second chapter was obviously not something I was going to pass up! :)

As before, I love how you portray Regulus in this - I have such a soft spot for Black family members - he's so different from how you'd imagine Sirius to have been, you know? Kinda quiet and so nervous about doing something wrong, and yet friends with Summer and so caring when he actually cares about people - there's this strand of loyalty in him which amazing to see, and you write it in so beautifully. All throughout, particularly towards the end with all the mentions of the Death Eaters and things there's this sense that he's getting in too deep, and he doesn't really know what to do, and he's sort of lost, you know? Sort of innocent rather than cowardly, if that makes sense. He just doesn't have that kind of violence in him.

Summer is a brilliant character, too - she's so unique and more so in this chapter than the last one, which is impressive, frankly! ;) I love how she's still friends with him even after he tells her he's a Death Eater, and she's so calm about it, and so strong, dealing with her illness and all - she just has this wonderful, calm and almost breezy sort of way of dealing with things - like nothing could phase her. Yeah, she's amazing.

Their whole friendship is so sweet - but there's this lovely sense of tension underneath it, with her illness and the war and Regulus being a Death Eater, and the whole image of the fading summer really just sums the whole thing up so beautifully. So nervous about the whole Jasper knows thing, too - is he going to say anything? Will anyone find out? Will Summer survive?

You know, you have a lot of unanswered questions/cliffhangers in this one, haha. It's very cruel of you! :P

So yes, I really love this story as before, and I'm so glad I got a chance to come back to it, because it really is lovely :)

Thank you so much for the swap - it was great, as always! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Ah, I'm so glad you came back to this story!

You've picked up on all these great things about Regulus - I've always seen him as a lot like Sirius, but neither he nor Sirius really recognises that. I really like in particular that you pointed out his loyalty, as that comes in so many forms - and the distinction between innocence and cowardice. That's such a good point, and I agree - I think considering he joined the DE's at 16, he was kind of naive and didn't realize what it all meant until his friendship with Summer really makes him think about it.

I'm so thrilled you like Summer, and that you think she's a unique character! She does have a very calm strength, and can see things about Regulus that he doesn't really see in himself yet. There is definitely a lot of outside tension underlying their friendship, with all these circumstances in the way. I'm really glad you think they're sweet though!

Heh, yeah I do have a kind of fondness for cliff hangers. The third chapter is the last one, though - so no cliff hangers there.

Thanks for this amazing review and for the swap!

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Review #75, by AphorideFeel Alive: Feel Alive

17th October 2014:
Hey there! :) Dropping by from the BvB review battle :)

So, I love Ron/Hermione - they're just such an adorable couple! - and I love seeing different authors' takes on them, so I just had to stop by on this one!

I love the way you've focused so tightly on their relationship here, because their whole relationship wasn't really talked about much in the books, you know, coz they were about Harry and it wasn't essential - but with this, it seems to sort of fill out and explore those moments, and explain them in ways as well. It's such a lovely presentation of it, and mentioning their kids as well is so sweet! :)

You wrote both of them so well, too - the way Hermione spoke about how Ron made her feel and things was so in character for her, and the way she described Ron as acting and the effects of it all was so like him, you know - like how he made her feel safe when they were on the run, how they jumped into the lake together off the dragon and so on... it was just so so good! I'm also really impressed you managed to give such a good account of a character (Ron) without having him ever actually be in the scene or show up, other than in Hermione's words and thoughts. It's really, really clever! :)

I love the way you described their relationship through emotions, though. It almost charted their whole friendship and then love with it - with them not getting on at first, him upsetting her, their fights and bickering as they grew up, their friendship and then them falling in love. There was this lovely sense of something incredibly real about it - and honest, too, with the way Hermione admitted that he made her annoyed and angry and hurt her and things.

Your writing is so lovely in this, too - there's this great flow to this, and a lovely style with the repetition of 'he made me feel' and things - it works so so well!

Also, can I just say that I'm incredibly jealous that you wrote all of this during a lecture? I could never ever write as much or something as good as this during a class, haha! I'd never have enough time to get anywhere close to finishing!

So yeah, in all, I really liked this - it's a really cute, sweet one-shot and the characterisation is amazing :)

Aph xx

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