Reading Reviews From Member: Aphoride
534 Reviews Found

Review #76, by AphorideLife Was Meant to Be Easy Now: Darkness

20th May 2015:
Hey Molly! :) Dropping by for our review swap!

Oh. My. Gosh. No Scorp! :( :( Why does he get such a bad lot in this? Poor boy, I just want to hug him so much... it's so unfair all the things he has to go through. (Though is it bad I kinda want Al to go see him in the Hospital Wing and hope that kinda perhaps pushes them a little bit further back together? :P)

I really love how you characterise Scorp and Al, though, and how their relationship isn't easy or simple, and how the things which keep them apart/break them up aren't always just outside factors. It's things about each other too - often, I find, teenage-centric romances can ignore these things, or brush them away, and it doesn't really work, you know? But in this... I love how you brought in this chapter especially how important it is to trust someone, both friends and partners, and how difficult it is to be in those relationships with people when they don't trust you. Al's nervousness is understandable, and so hard for him, but Scorp I think was so right not to keep on putting up with it.

I really, really don't like Colin, I gotta say. I just... grrr. Can Lily break up with him already? He's just stirring things and then really going so much further than stirring things, and just... the quicker he's out of Al and Scorp's lives the better, imo. Unfortunately, things like that happen, though, and I love how you're bringing those sorts of issues up in this too :)

I loved the revelations from other characters, though - steps to moving forwards :) Draco's words to Scorp were so so lovely, and Dorinda's revelation about her own sexuality and approach to love was so so great, too. I even liked Al admitting that he wasn't annoyed about the Jupiter stage-kiss at breakfast (then he ruined it afterwards, but you know... :P). It always feels to me that your characters are developing with each chapter and it's so so great! :)

As always, I loved your writing in this one too ;)

Gah, running out of time - gotta go, but thank you so much for the swap (and for posting another chapter so I could hop back to this - I love it so much I couldn't miss a new chapter! :P) :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Thanks for reading and reviewing! It's always great swapping with you! (I've got another chapter waiting for validation, so we have to do this again soon!) :)

I agree, Scorpius has really not an easy life right now. And as much as I want them together again I can't let them until Albus understand that he has to trust Scorpius. He is way too jealous for his own good...

Colin... No, he's not my favourite character either. But he seems hard to get rid of. ;)

Draco is improving, and you're going to see a lot more of that in the next chapter!

Thanks again!


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Review #77, by AphorideDiversions from Reality.: Shocked

20th May 2015:
Hi there - dropping by for our review swap! :)

I love how you move on with the time at the beginning of this - especially with Remus, too, after everything which happened at the end of the last chapter - and how everything in this one again happens so quickly, in such a short space of time. It's so true to life that often important things happen so quickly, you know? Especially when people are teenagers :P

I really like how nervous Remus is around Sirius - it's such a great representation of that hyperawareness you always have around someone you fancy - and how he combats that by going out of his way to avoid him. Of course Sirius would notice though - it was never going to throw him off for that long :P He's clever enough to realise what's going on, if not why.

I really liked, too, how you referenced the Gryffindor/Slytherin tensions, especially the tensions between the purebloods who supported Voldemort, and those who didn't in this chapter. Poor Remus, though... to get caught in the middle of that... not somewhere you'd want to be, that's for sure! Of course Sirius had to turn up to rescue him - so typical, haha, in romance fics, though you do it so well and it works so well in this that it's not really possible to mind it as such.

I feel so so sorry for Lily and Remus in this. Sirius is probably confused and struggling with his own identity, but going straight from Remus to Lily, as though he can prove himself that way is really cruel to both of them, you know? Neither of them deserve to be treated like that... though I still love how cruel your Sirius can be - how rude and arrogant and completely unthinking as well. It's just so much like how I saw him in the books! :)

Your writing in this is great, too. I really liked the bit at the beginning where you described Remus alone in the castle and avoiding Sirius - the details there were great, with him having to lie to Lily and copy her notes so his friends wouldn't think anything weird was going on, and everything like that.

I really enjoyed this chapter - it was such a great read! Thanks so much for the swap! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey :) What a fab review :) thank you!! I'm glad you like the timing; I did wonder if it was moving too fast but I didn't want to do too many angsty will they/wont they chapters. And I imagine anything like that is intensified in a boarding school! I also thought that Regulus would single Remus out for being different and to provoke his brother.
And Sirius definitely has a cruel streak I think. It just seemed like the exact way he would react to the situation.

I'm so glad you liked it. Thanks so much again x

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Review #78, by AphorideWhimsy: Rain Rain Go Away

20th May 2015:
Hey there, Kaitlin! Dropping by for our review swap! :)

I can't lie, tbh, children's stories and things I do find kinda hard to read now, simply because... well, I dunno really :P (especially weird given my unending love of fairytales...), and I'm not the biggest fan of anything fluffy, but this - this was adorable, and tells me all the reasons why this kind of thing is so loved by people.

I love how surprisingly full this is as a story - especially so because it's not hugely long as a story. There's so much in here to pull out, which you've packed in and it's so lovely. I love how you've told us about Luna's mother, what Luna herself was like as a child, about Xeno and his relationships with Pandora and young!Luna, and linked it all so wonderfully to the creatures Luna believes in/sees (since it's never truly determined in the books if they're real or not :P), which just really brings a level of poinancy to this, I think, in that it suggests that perhaps the creature-belief is a way Luna and her dad have of remembering her mum later on, which is a fantastically layered thing to have in here.

Her mum is written so wonderfully, too. I love how she embodies so many of the things we know about Luna, without being exactly like her. She has the same kind of imagination and creativity, and the same kind of kind and caring nature, though without some of the odd quirks which make Luna undeniably her, which is so so good (because too often characters are written as their parents in miniature, which bothers me a lot). The way you portrayed Xeno was great, too - with him caring so much about both of them and coming to see if everything's alright and getting sucked into the game, and all. He really reminded me of the character in the books, even if I can't point out exactly why - but in canon he cares about Luna beyond anything, and I could feel something of that here too :)

Little!Luna was totally adorable, too :P I haven't been around many young children either (in fact, in my family, me and my sisters are the young kids :P) but I think you wrote Luna as so young really well - it's a really hard thing to do, and yet you got the tone perfectly right and the way Luna acts and talks and her excitement and things were just so so good, and felt so real, as everything you write does.

Also, I loved the way Luna was the princess, and how all of the animals came to see her :P Reminds me of a film I once saw involving lions... ;)

Your writing in this was gorgeous, as always! The way Pandora described the creatures was so clear and so lovely, and every word you used was just spot on for what you were describing or what you were saying... just... gah, it was so great! :) This really, really made me smile!

Thank you so much for the swap - I'm so glad I read this! :)

Aph xx

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Review #79, by AphorideActions Speak Louder than Words: Broken: Rose POV

20th May 2015:
Hey Beth! :) Stopping by for our review pairing!

You know, it's weird how I've been by your page so many times, but never onto this (it's coz it's so long and all, partly; I think I could never catch up :P), when it's so famous, really, and so good. Anyway, I'm here now! :)

I love the way you opened this - the mystery and uncertainty immediately at the beginning, with the panic attack where we don't know who the character is or what's quite going on, is so so powerful, and a brilliant hook! It's like, I already feel sorry for her from the beginning, you know, and want her to get better and feel better about herself - and to know what happened in the cabin which started all of this! And who Stannous is... pretty sure I'm not going to like him already :P

Also, I gotta say quickly - I saw the chapter list and the line of B words made me very happy :P It's the little things...

I love Rose's character, too. I love how she's so clever, but considers herself lacking in some things - in common sense, perhaps, in quick-thinking, improvisation and quick temper, and how she picks up on things which other people wouldn't necessarily consider flaws which she does: like compassion and trust. It's a really clever way of showing us what she's like while giving us insights into herself further, and little glimpses at what perhaps the 'old Rose' was like, before everything. Also, the 'I'm not good enough' kind of rhetoric Rose uses here when she's thinking about herself is so indicative of people who've been through difficult things, like Rose has, and it's so sad, but so true to life to see, you know?

Gah, you're already making me want to hug her and tell her that she's wonderful and everything will be okay (but then, she does remind me of my sisters - long, very personal story there!).

The repetition with the 'get up. dressed. wash. rounds. study.' section was so, so good. Again, so indicative of her condition and how she is, but so effective in the narrative, too! :)

I love the little glimpses of other characters in this, too - Dom and Al and Scorp and Selenia, even James, too - and how good they were, with the little indications of what they'll be like in later chapters, when we see more of them. All of them are so good, they already feel like real people (but then, I already knew your characterisation was good from previous things, so... :P).

I love your writing - but again, you should know that by now too :P - it's so so good, and here you've just got the tone perfectly. Rose's voice in this is so so strong and real that it allows everything to come through, and it really makes the story hers, if you know what I mean, which makes the first person shine so beautifully.

The little details in this were so good, too - I loved the little dash of humour with James and the story about why they all got sorted unexpectedly, and the details about the reactions at the sorting ceremony were just so so perfect.

So yeah, I love this, and I'll definitely be back! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi Aph!

Gosh! This review is too sweet! After I read it, I realized that I pretty much commented on the VERY SAME THINGS for your story. Hee hee - the chapter titles, the fact that the story is so popular, the way you opened up the first chapter... haha!

Oh my! I *LOVE* how you picked up on the subtle qualities of the Old Rose. She's definitely not that person anymore (but maybe she'll be someday :) ).

These characters are so ingrained in my mind, I don't have to think about them too much when I write, but I'm so happy you picked up on their main qualities - James is goofy, Selenia is unfailingly kind, and Albus has a hot temper which can lead to anger or unbridled passion.

Thanks for your comment on the fist person POV. I actually tried to go back and rewrite the story in third person POV, but it just didn't work. I also ended up switching first person POV between Rose and Scorpius. His view starts in the 3rd chapter, and I'd love to know how you think it works.

Thanks again!

♥ Beth

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Review #80, by AphorideLike a Multiverse on Fire: Spider

13th May 2015:
Hey there - dropping by for our review swap! :)

I gotta admit, first off that I haven't actually read the original of this, so I don't know how helpful I'm going to be if you wanted anything to do with that :P But, that being said, Sirius/OC fics were some of the first ones I ever read, and I've never seen a college AU like this before, so I'm glad I read it anyway ;)

I love the way you wrote Millie - clever and pretty and seemingly isolated, self-imposed too, and so irritated by people who make noise at late hours. She's such a realistic character, with her temper and how annoyed she is by Sirius interrupting her revision and all (I can totally relate to that! Hate it so much... :P). I'm not the biggest fan of Marauders stories because so many of them seem to be cliche-ridden but I love how this isn't, and none of the characters are either - the whole thing is so refreshing! :)

Sirius... mahaha, Sirius is lovely :P I love how Millie didn't know much about him, but he knows loads about her because he fancies her and how he loses his cool when trying to ask her out. It's so sweet, really, to see Sirius as something more than just a playboy. Also, I loved how his room was so much tidier than hers, and not at all what she expected - and I loved the little touch to canon with the motorcycle pictures up on the wall :P The spider incident was hilarious too - for some reason, I just love the idea of Sirius of all people being petrified of spiders, even the really little ones :P

Also, I have to mention the moment with the towel, haha. I loved how it slipped off - it kinda had to in a scene like that :P - and Millie was so embarrassed about it, but Sirius didn't care. It speaks volumes about the types of people they are, and is just such a funny moment in general.

I've never read an HP college AU before, but I love how you've mixed the two worlds together, with the use of magic and magical subjects and things, but the college lifestyle and so on - it's so so good. The details in this are just so brilliant and they really bring this story to life. The reference to the soundproofing charm - don't I wish I had one of those :P - and Gryffindor Hall, too. They're all so clever!

Of course, as usual your writing is amazing - but you know already what I think of your writing in general ;) I love your dialogue in this - it's just so perfect for the characters and the setting and everything, and I have no idea how you do it (tell me your secret! ;D), but it's so, so good.

So yeah, I really, really like this - it's a really brilliant start! :) Thank you so much for the swap!

Aph xx

Author's Response: Ooh! I should probably write somewhere that it's completely and utterly unnecessary to read Like a House on Fire before reading this. Since that was my first fic, the quality of writing is less than amazing.

Millie is just this introverted person who wants to be left alone so that she can study and do things which don't involve annoying neighbours. I remember hearing the strangest sounds when I was pulling all nighters in my dorm, and I'd be like "how are you guys having such a good time at this ungodly hour? Are you secretly bats or something?" And there are probably cliches to follow, just as fair warning :P

I've always imagined Sirius as this gossiping busybody who has to know everything about everyone he meets. It makes him a better communicator, but when it comes to wooing his neighbour... Not so much. Sirius is basically a big teddy bear at heart.

How could I pass up the chance of a Sirius in nothing but a towel? Such rare opportunities should not be wasted. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Ah! Thank you! College AUs don't usually go like this, but eh. I'll see how it goes. Some things about Hogwarts are well suited to the college format.

*blushes* *flails* *dies* gah! Thank you so much! Thanks so much for this lovely review :)

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Review #81, by AphorideUnaffected: Unaffected

13th May 2015:
Hi there - dropping by for our review swap! :)

Since you said that the other things on your page were older, and this was newer, I thought I'd stop by this one, since it was the more recent one :)

I love the fact that you chose to write about Quirrell for this - I'm a massive fan of minor characters in fic myself, and Quirrell is one of those ones who never gets written about but has kinda an interesting role in the series, you know, what with having Voldemort on the back of his head and all :P

The way you wrote him was so good, too - I loved how he didn't like the kids at Hogwarts, almost seeming to be afraid of them and just so nervous around people in general - it really fits in with his later personality from the books. Also, it's kinda funny to think he's a teacher but he's not fond of people, haha - and it's so nice to see characters who aren't people people, you know, and who don't end up doing their dream job, necessarily. Plus, it was just so realistic too - his wishing not to be noticed, being so irritated by the noise in the castle the evening Voldemort was defeated and everyone found out. Those are all things it's so easy to sympathise with, I think.

One thing I really loved which I didn't expect was the conversation with the kids in the Muggle Studies class about the effect of Voldemort's disappearance. It was so astute and so clever, and actually made me wonder about all of that, because it's true, it's something which would have some kind of effect, you'd think, given that it's such a huge event and all the politics surrounding the war in the first place. I loved as well how awkward Quirrell was about the idea of discussing things like that, because it is a really heavy topic, and he seems so out of his depth with it.

The foreshadowing, haha - that last line was so good. He's so wrong about it, poor man... well, right in a way, I guess, given what happens to him later on :P But yeah, it was a brilliant way to connect this to canon, further :)

Your writing in this was so good, too. You have a really lovely, clear style which makes it so easy for the emotions your character is feeling to come through and really shine - which is so great in this, because it really makes me get the awkwardness and irritation Quirrell feels about the whole situation. Your dialogue was fantastic too - gah, I wish I could write dialogue which sounded as natural as that!

This is a really great one-shot - thank you so much for the swap! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Agh, what a sweet flattering review! Really, I didn't expect so many compliments!

I love minor characters, and I'm really glad that you've got this in common with me!

I'm quite pleased that you thought Quirrell's personality came across so well. I love getting into the psyche of a character and incorporating that into the narration style of a character. I didn't entirely intend to so strongly focus on Quirrell's anxiety and implied mental dysfunctions, but it just sort of happened naturally.

I'm also really glad that you liked the foreshadowing. I was afraid of either making it too subtle or too heavy handed, but it sounds like you didn't take i that way.

Essentially all of the things that I wasn't sure would read well, you said did! So that's great to hear.

In future reviews, don't shy away from constructive criticism. I love compliments, but definitely want to be pushed to improve =)

Thanks again!

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Review #82, by AphorideIt Used To Be Worse Here : It Used To Be Worse Here

13th May 2015:
Hey Meg! :) Dropping by for our review swap! I have to admit - I have a soft spot for Al/Scorp, simply because they're usually as a pairing a lot less cliche than Scorose, I've found, and there's something so sweet about the idea :P

So yeah, basically, I just had to come here, rather than anywhere else - I hope that's okay! :)

I'm kinda sad this was done for the Sink Your OTP Challenge, in a way, because I do like Al and Scorp together, really, but at the same time this is such a great story I almost don't, because it works so well, if that makes sense?

I love the way you wrote this, with the section at the beginning and the section at the end. I admit I didn't see the end of Scorp and Al's relationship coming that way - maybe that was stupid, but I really didn't :P - but the description of where Al was and how he was and that it used to be worse just gave me chills. It was such haunting description, and at the same time you used it so well to give such a beautiful portrayal of the fact that Al still kinda loves Scorp, even after it all, and there's something so incredibly sad about that. He seems so lost and so lonely in those bits, as though there's nothing left for him except to wait to die, which is a really raw and stark portrayal of a character - any, really. I kinda just want to hug him, poor thing :(

I love the way you wrote the middle section, too - and what actually happened, as well. I've seen cheating used before, but I love how here because there's not much mentioned about it, so much is left up to imagination about why Scorp and Rose happened, and how, and if they loved each other too, you know? Which makes it that much more powerful in the uncertainty. The way you had Albus kill them without thinking was so good, too - it's happened, people describing doing things like that without almost being aware of what they're doing, and it's simultaneously scary and sad to think that Albus was so far into shock that he wasn't aware of his own actions. Also, I love how you didn't demonise any of the characters about it - that's one thing in cheating fics which always frustrates me, you know - and I think it helped how you wrote it, with the sections and Al's automaton state and almost not wanting or waiting to know why.

The repeated line about Azkaban being worse before was so chilling and so creepy.

Gah, I loved this - poor, poor Al, and poor Al&Scorp, being forced apart so brutally :P Anyway, aside from that, it was a really lovely, devastating one-shot, and I'm so glad I got a chance to read it! :)

Aph xx

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Review #83, by AphorideUnravel. : Millicent.

11th May 2015:
Hey Erin - dropping by for our review swap! :) It's definitely been too long since I dropped by your page, and I really miss it, so I'm so glad I'm back! :)

And I'm so so glad you asked me to review this, because, tbh, I tend not to jump to later chapters, even in story collections, and this... wow, this was just amazing.

I really, really love what you've done with Millicent. We don't see much of her in canon, other than her being described as not the most attractive girl, tall and broad for her age, and seemingly fairly violent, too, with the headlock on Hermione (which I loved how you included that moment in here, btw - so so good!), and I always love seeing minor characters getting a bit more time in the limelight. I love how you made her so clever underneath it all, and the mention of the voices in her head... schizophrenia, I'm guessing? was just incredible - the way you used them as sort of friends of hers, like a comfort blanket, only violent, apathetic sort of things, and how they persuaded her to do things she perhaps wouldn't have done otherwise. It made the more brutish way she appears in the books become something incredibly malevolent and almost evil, you know, and far more terrifying for that, which I loved.

I thought you wrote her condition/illness really well, too - I'm not much of a psychologist; I only know a bit about a few certain disorders (for various personal reasons imma not gonna get into here ;D), but I thought you handled it so well and so sensibly and sensitively too - you didn't glamorise it or exaggerate it in anyway; it felt so real and so true in a portrayal. And of course, you wrote it amazingly well.

Tbh, though, your writing in this was amazing. I keep using that word, but it's true! Your descriptions were gorgeous, and there were so many lovely lines in this - I especially loved the earthly things and cosmic things line (I can't remember where it is... ooops), and that whole metaphor was just amazing, the imagery was stunning, with the different types of people running all the way through it, and how Millicent was more than they were, different from them and better because of it. It really felt so superior, the tone, too, but matter-of-fact at the same time, which I love as a tone for this.

... okay, I'm rambling. I'm not quite sure what I'm saying still makes sense in some parts :P But yeah, I loved this. It's a really amazing story, and it's so beautifully creepy and malevolent, and just so so good! :)

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

Aph xx

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Review #84, by AphorideThe Defenders: Prologue

11th May 2015:
Hey there - dropping by for our review swap! :) I hope it's okay I stopped by this one - it seemed appropriate given it was nominated for the Diadems, and it looked like such an interesting premise in total; the idea of previous organisations to protect against warfare and so on existing. So cool!

I love how you've taken the little canon bits of information we know about this time - the name of Ollivander's father, and so on - and created your own world sort of around that. It's so clever and the world is so in-depth, even in this first chapter, that I didn't even really notice until the end that there weren't many canon characters in it (and usually I avoid stories with very few/no canon characters in them, tbh) and it really didn't do anything to change my mind about this. All the characters that you've created are so intricate, and so interesting, too, with their different personalities when we first meet them, and their different qualities, and I'm so curious to see where you take them through this.

I especially loved Clara - she's such a great character: clever and young and talented. Though I have to ask: are you by any chance a fan of Doctor Who? Coz the Victorian girl called Clara... :P Just a thought! ;)

Your writing in this was so lovely, too - I loved your dialogue especially, how you got the more formal way of speaking so easily and to sound so natural, too; and your description was amazing - I loved the scene with the graveyard and the funeral, and Clara's mourning. All the little details you put in this, too, about how she wore black for the muggles, not the wizards, and how she'd had to adjust her grandfather's dates to make them seem more realistic for the muggle population, were just so so good.

I'm so curious about where this is going to go - what kind of things, Dark wizards or anything, they're going to have to fight and what's going to happen to their little band of friends. I like how you've got the different mix of careers in here; the mention of the former Minister makes me wonder especially if politics is going to come into this at all. Mm... going to have to catch you in the review battle to finish this, I think ;)

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

Aph xx

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Review #85, by AphorideSilent Rumors: A Letter

11th May 2015:
Hey there, Kaitlin! :) Dropping by for our reviews swap!

So I realised that I've reviewed all of your top three one-shots, so I came to this since it's next, and the prequel to another story on your page - thought it was a sensible choice ;) Plus, I love a good murder mystery - I've really been craving them recently (side effect of watching too much Grimm, I think :P), so it all fitted together well as a way to go! :)

I really love this as a beginning chapter - the way you set up the situation, introduce us to the characters and leave us knowing that something bad's going to happen, but not sure what, or by whom, or why... it's so, so good! The suspense as well, in the letter - the fact that it was delivered with no returnable address or any kind of mark save the DA on the wax seal (which I'm so so curious about! - is it a false lead? Does it actually mean DA? Or does it mean something else? Is it someone's initials, or the name of another organisation? I really wanna know... :D), and how he had no idea who the sender could possibly be or why they'd want revenge on him.

I also love how you've used Ernie for this - he's a relatively minor character in the books, sort of out of the way and only gets mentioned a couple of times, and though he's supposed to be a bit pompous as a kid, that's not overly uncommon and nothing really bad is said about him, so... hm. Curious situation ;) It works so well, because we have no more idea why anyone would want to hurt him than he does; there's not really anything from canon to give us any clues here.

It's a little thing, but I really liked how you included the whole 'do I tell my wife' thing, too. It's such a natural thing, to want to protect those closest to you from harm, even if it means withholding things from them which they might need to know later on - and it really speaks about how much Ernie cares for her, and his loyalty and all.

Your writing in this is so great, too - I love how you build the scene up so cleverly, with the almost domestic scene at the beginning with Ernie in the shop working, and then with the owl arriving and the sinister message changing the tone completely, and then him deciding it wasn't anything (almost because, you know, he wanted to think it couldn't be anything, but maybe that's just my interpretation ;D) and this sense of resolve to be relaxed came through your writing. It's so so lovely. As always, both your dialogue and your description were wonderful :)

Thank you so so much for the review swap - we're going to have to swap again so I get to finish this :P

Aph xx

p.s. a minor thing I only just noticed, but it's Macmillan, not MacMillan ;) Essentially insignificant, but I thought I should mention it for if/when you edit :)

Author's Response: Hi Aph!

Thank you so much for this review! I really appreciate you choosing to read this story since I haven't received a ton of feedback on it.

Ah, the seal! Yes, that is quite the mystery. Unfortunately, it doesn't get answered until a bit into my novel AIC. This is just the prequel for that.

Ernie is a character I enjoy writing because we have sort of an idea of his personality, but we don't know him all that well. In this case, it seems quite random that he would be targeted, but once again, in the novel it goes into that in great depth.

I'm glad that you liked his feelings about his wife. I think he would be inclined to protect her from worry unless he felt it was absolutely necessary.

Thank you for your kind comments on my writing style. I just wanted this to be a normal day for Ernie until the letter showed up. My hope was that it would add to the absurdity of someone attacking Ernie.

Thanks for the swap! And also for catching the typo! I'll make sure to fix it!


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Review #86, by AphorideMeals With Muggles : Burgers And Chips

10th May 2015:
Hey Kaitlin! :) Dropping by for our review swap!

I have to admit that I've never read Dudlietta (though it's a pretty cool ship name) before, or even really seen it before you and Mallory (UnluckyStar57) started talking about it on the forums, so I was so so curious to see how it would play out and how a story with the two of them would actually work.

I love how you've used their individual bad experiences with magic and magical people (all concerning the trio, oddly enough, which I have to admit I find kinda funny :P) as something to draw them together rather than separate them. It's not something which I've seen done very often - the magic as bad trick pulling people together - so I really loved it here. Also, I loved how you used it to give Dudley almost anxiety and paranoia over it, like he panics and he's certain there's a trick and he becomes so convinced that anything's possible, you know, which makes the whole idea of magic seem so terrifying and threatening.

The way you've written them both is so good, too. I think it's always important when looking at the books to realise that we see it from Harry's pov, where he understands magic, what it does and what it can do, and Dudley doesn't, and the unknown of it terrifies him. It's kinda sad, really, because you can't help but feel that it sort of dented their relationship forever, like it did with Petunia and Lily's, you know? And I love how Dudley has grown up since the books - he's aware of the 'bad' bits of his lifestyle, that he needs to lose weight and that his job isn't the greatest, but he also has enough characteristics of Dudley in the books that he feels like him, which is so great! :)

Marietta is more of a wildcard, since we don't really learn much about her in the books, but I loved how she was so bitter over the curse Hermione put on her, and how much it had affected her life, and the idea that she became so afraid of magic that she gave up her entire way of life because of it is incredibly sad. I really liked how optimistic she seemed about it, though, like she looked at things and could find some good in them, which is a lovely characteristic for her to have - and not one you normally see in a character considered 'bad', you know?

I love how they met so randomly, too. They both happened to be in the same place at the same time and she happened to stumble and fall into him. The quip about him crying over his sandwich if it hadn't been for a beautiful woman made me laugh! :P It was such a great moment - coincidental things can sometimes be overdone, but this really, really wasn't; it worked so well here.

Your writing as always was so great! I loved the line about the sandwich being attacked vociferously by pigeons (omigosh, so many pigeons in London... ugh :P), and the moment when Dudley realises Marietta's a witch and panics was so, so well-written; the emotions really leapt off the page.

This is a really, really great one-shot, and I'm so glad I've read it! Thank you so so much for the swap! :)

Aph xx

p.s. you talking about food has made me hungry and alas I am out of snacks :( :P

Author's Response: Hi Aph,

I was really excited about Dudlietta as well. It was completely new to me, but the way Mallory explained it made it make a lot of sense to me.

I definitely thought that if Marietta and Dudley were to meet, they would definitely bond over their mutual dislike for magic. And Dudley showed some signs of slightly paranoid behavior when he was younger, so I thought it might be natural for it to continue.

I'm glad that you liked the way that I imagined Dudley. You're right, from his perspective, I think that magic would be terrifying.

I always imagined Marietta to be very bitter about her school years. The curse was said to have lasted well past completion of I could imagine that really leaving a mark on her.

The meeting was very random, serendipitous even.

I'm glad you liked my voracious pigeons. I always try hard with my descriptions>

Thank you as always for such a lovely, detailed review.


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Review #87, by AphorideBetween the Lines: Any-way-what-how

8th May 2015:
Hey Beth! :) Dropping by for the BvB Battle!

So, I have to admit that as much as I love Minerva's backstory on Pottermore, I do have a soft spot for queer!Minerva stories, mostly because they're always so lovely and so sad, and so well-written, and really this is no exception. (Apart from the sad bit, obviously :P)

I love how you wrote Minerva, too. If I'm honest, I'm never overly fond of the incredible genius child character, but here I think it works okay - because she still has problems because of it, and I know you're a talented enough writer to have given Minerva things she struggles with or finds more difficult and so on ;) That being said, I love how similar she is to the character we know in the books, with Amelia remarking on the way she carries her self - 'dignified' is a good way to describe it! - and also how she's still very brave and loyal, as she is.

Amelia is a great character, too - I like how they sort of become friends over the teasing and by accident, with Amelia almost rescuing Minerva by pulling her into the passage, and then them exploring the passage they found and discovering where it leads. I loved the little hints of future romance, too - they were perfectly done for children who probably don't even really quite get the idea of romance and all that yet, with the silence and the closeness and then the sort of unusual feelings. It was a really nice inclusion.

As always your writing in this is so lovely - your description is so so good, especially when they're in the passage, that was so clear in my mind, I could literally see it. Your dialogue, as always, is amazing - really, can you teach me how you dialogue? Please? Because it's just so good - they sound like they're from an older time (which I think is about the early 1950s/late 1940s?), but they also do sound like children, which is so hard to do, but so great! :)

I'm so so curious to see where this goes, and how Minerva and Amelia continue as friends (and admittedly somewhat as to how the Albus/Gellert comes into it because OTP :P) and how their romance develops later on - and how things end up in total. This is an amazing first chapter! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi there Aph!

So - good news (at least I hope you think it's good news)! I've sorted this story out so that it is Pottermore compliant AND Minerva/Amelia are the main pairing. I don't want to say too much, other than Minerva is bisexual and that plays a big part in their love story.

Yeah, I didn't want to go overboard with how brilliant Minerva is - and I'm not entirely sure I got it the way I wanted to, but I'm convinced that she was a really, really gifted student at Hogwarts.

So, me and my nerd-self has made a timeline of events for this story - and Albus Dumbldore does play a minor role in it. However, from what I can tell, Minerva McGonagall started Hogwarts in 1946 and Albus Dumbledore dueled Grindelwald in 1945. So, there won't be too much Albus/Gellert interaction per se, but he will get a mention...

Gah! - thanks so much - I actually think my dialogue is pretty awful, so I really appreciate you noticing that!

I've got most of the story outlined... I just need to... erm... sit down an get to it!

Thanks so much!

♥ Beth

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Review #88, by AphorideThe Duet Of Pansy And Draco: Cantata

6th May 2015:
Hey Kaitlin! :)

Omigosh that twist was brilliant, haha. I really, really didn't expect it at all - seriously, I was so convinced that wasn't what was happening... though I was so glad to see it was, that the twist happened (though that might be cruel to say, but whatever :P)!

Then again, Pansy has never been my favourite character, so... :P

I loved the way you characterised Pansy - how she was so almost obsessed with Draco, and kept going after him and wanting to carry on with him even though he didn't want to be with her, and how even throughout the whole ceremony she was watching him, looking for him and paying attention to him. Once I knew about the twist, it really just highlighted the levels of her love/obsession with him for me, you know, because it's just... wow. It's like her mind is only set to see Draco or something. I love that portrayal of her - it's both vulnerable and kinda strong in a twisted sort of way, incredibly loyal, but also so definitely Pansy, given how she was in the books - it's so believeable that she'd end up like this.

You wrote Draco so well, too. I loved how he was so cynical about the whole thing, about how he didn't even want to be there, really, he was only there sort of because he had to be. The way he thinks about her is so rude and obnoxious, but at the same time, there's almost a strain of self-disgust, like he can't understand why he still lets her hang around him - like he should have shut her out years ago. I almost feel sorry for him, tbh, because it must be difficult, especially knowing the truth about why someone's getting married but not feeling you can say it, because you'll break your friend's heart. It's so sad.

Tbh, I almost feel sorry for Goyle too, here, which is a pretty impressive thing to have managed ;) The idea of him loving Pansy and marrying her, thinking she loves him is actually pretty sad - especially since secrets like this tend to come out one way or another, in the end.

As always, your writing in this was lovely. The voices you created for Pansy and Draco were so separate and so distinct, it was amazing. I loved your description of Notre Dame, too (though I kinda wanted to smack Draco for not appreciating it properly - it's so gorgeous... *insert dreamy sigh here :P). And the twist... omigosh that was just perfect. I haven't read a better twist, written or planned, in a long while. Seriously.

This was such a good one-shot - I'm so so glad we swapped and I got to read this. Thank you so much! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi Aph!

I'm so happy that you enjoyed the twist. To be honest, I was terrified that it would be too obvious.

I have a really strange love/hate relationship with Pansy. I love writing about her, but hate her character, if that makes sense?

I agree that this version of Pansy is a bit twisted, but that's what I was sort of going for. :D I wanted to demonstrate how scary and depraved obsessions can get.

Draco is one of my favorite characters, but I'm always nervous about getting his voice right. He's so snarky and obnoxious, but in an almost refined sort of way. He's a pretty big jerk, so I don't feel all that sorry for him.

I actually was feeling sorry for Goyle myself. I think that people often make mistakes as teenagers and then grow past them. I imagine that happening with him. I think his love for Pansy is genuine and his desire to be married and have a family sincere. You're absolutely right that secrets like this do come out, but who knows, maybe Pansy will learn to love what she has.

Thank you so much for such lovely compliments. It always makes my day when a writer as talented as you are tells me that I'm doing a good job.

And yes...the Notre Dame is gorgeous. I saw it for the first time last year and fell in love. Almost on first sight, ideas for stories started popping into my mind.

Thanks for the swap!


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Review #89, by AphorideLady Mondegreen: Conversations with a Portrait

6th May 2015:
Hi there - dropping by for our review swap! :) I actually haven't read any portrait-related stories before, tbh, so I when I realised that was what this was about I was so excited because it's a first, so it's so cool and interesting to see how it works, you know? :)

I haven't read your other universe, but this stands so well on its own as its own little story, and both Lia and Lady M are such strong characters, with such clear personalities and traits that it's so good to see and to read. I love how Lia is so annoyed by James, and how Lady M is so curious to know what's going on, since she never gets visitors, and how they sort of become friends by the end of it, with Lady M kinda helping Lia out with her James Potter problem.

I've got to say, I always love when stories have a friendship-related theme to them - there aren't enough stories like that, imo, where those kinds of relationships are the forefront - and this was such a lovely example of it.

You used the word you were given so well - mondegreen - I've never heard of it, but it's so cool and the definiton above made it sound so had, but you worked it in so cleverly, with the double-layered use of it, as both Lady M's name and with the instances of it throughout the story. I loved that so much - it was so good. It also gave a beautifully light feel to this, with all the comedic moments - I loved the thing about the misheard comment with the sausages, that was brilliant.

Your writing in this was so good, too - so clean and clear and your description was so lovely. I'd hesitate before describing people of colour as having 'chocolate-coloured skin' just because it's a bit... over-used as well kinda stereotypical, you know? But that's a slightly picky thing, tbh. I loved your dialogue best, though - it's so fluid and easy, so real; the way people really would speak, which is such a gift.

I really enjoyed this - thanks so much for the swap! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Aph!

Thanks for dropping by and reviewing!! I'm so glad that you liked this story, it's definitely one of my favorites!

The portraits have always intrigued me, so it only felt natural to expand on that a bit within my own writing, and I'm glad that others find it interesting too!!

Lia and Lady M are probably on my top five favorite characters to write so far. They've got such fun and distinct personalities that just make me laugh and laugh...hopefully I'll be able to work in another interaction between them in another one of my stories. I think their friendship is definitely a cool one.

You're totally right about the "chocolate-coloured skin" bit. I've got to work on my descriptions in general, and after I wrote this I went and did a load of research on better ways to write physical descriptions, so I'm definitely going to go an edit this a bit at some point.

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing this Aph! I really appreciate it and I loved reading your story too!!

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Review #90, by AphorideAn Inconvenient Repercussion: Chapter 1

4th May 2015:
Hey Kaitlin! :) Dropping by for our review swap! I have to admit, even if you hadn't put this link up I'd probably have stopped by here anyway - Blaise is one of those characters I've always wanted to write but have never got around to, you know: he has all that fascinating potential backstory with his mother and all her husbands, each in a row, which is exactly the kind of thing I love.

So yeah, I'm so excited to read this, basically.

I love the way you approached his mother's marriages and her relationship with him, too. It's a really unique way of looking at it and thinking about it - I've never seen anyone put it in this light and this way, so it's so so interesting because of that. I really like how you didn't kinda hold back on it, on how she treated him and how bad it was and the whole slow burn of his hatred of her and him pulling apart from her, and then the ending (- omigosh, that was so sudden, I really wasn't expecting it at all!). It was so real and so horrible of her, and you really made me pity Blaise for what happens to him and just want to hug him a lot, really, because it's so so cruel, especially from his own mother.

I have to say, quickly, how much I loved you casting the Malfoys in a more positive light, with Narcissa and Lucius both being so shocked and horrified and righteously furious at how Valentina (such an appropriate name, btw!) treated him. People often cast them in an awful light, but I've always thought that the one thing which was always non-negociable about them was how much they loved Draco, and I always love stories where they're not wholly evil, so I loved that you included them like that :)

I loved the way you wrote Blaise, too, going from him being so young and so scared of his mother, almost, but equally as scared of the rest of the world, and so left with no choice but to stay even if he doesn't want to. It's such a sad moment, when he goes back and she's so horrible to him about it, because it's really so far from the normal reaction it's unreal, and he's done nothing to deserve it. For some reason that moment has just stuck in my head.

I thought the ending was so fitting actually, strangely enough - she'd spent so much of her life being cruel to him and mistreating him, even going so far as to threaten and manipulate other people who tried to protect him, and killing off all the men closest to her, so it worked out that her son, who should have been closest to her killed her. I kinda like how you made her so selfish, though, and so uncaring of him - it's something which does happen, and you wrote her so well (if that can be a compliment, haha) in all of her horrible, nasty glory.

Your writing in this was so so good, too - the suspenseful parts were set up so well, and I actually kinda froze after reading Blaise with the skillet the first time - I had to read it twice to make sure it was right, because oh wow did that come out of left field! Not in a bad way, it made sense, I just wasn't expecting it at all! :) Your description was so good too, and I loved the way you used the first person for this - it was so so gorgeous and worked so well!

All in all, this is a really, really great one-shot and I'm glad I read it! :) Thank you so much for the swap!

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey Aph!

I'm so sorry that it's taken me forever to respond to this.

I feel the same way about Blaise, so this was the perfect opportunity to play with his story a little bit.

I'm glad that you could feel some pity for Blaise regardless of the outcome of the story. I was hoping to make people feel a bit conflicted since he certainly seems like he's gotten the short end of the stick his whole life, but then makes a horrible mistake at the end.

For whatever reason, I have a hard time viewing most people as wholly evil. Narcissa shows at several points throughout cannon that she has a heart and she cares for the important people in her life. If you are in her inner circle, she will protect you. That's why I figured she and Lucius might be kind to Blaise. Also, even though they do some awful things, you'll notice that they never abuse or neglect Draco themselves, so I thought they might find Valentina's behavior shocking. I'm glad you agreed a bit.

Blaise really does get stuck between a rock in a hard place. He wants desperately to leave his mother, but he's too young to fend for himself.

The ending seemed like a natural conclusion for me. I mean most people can only be pushed so far without snapping and I feel like by the end Blaise had been pushed past his limit. I'm glad that the skillet scene caught you off guard. I wanted it to seem really out of character for him to highlight how far he'd been twisted.

Thank you again for the lovely swap! I'm happy that you enjoyed this one!


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Review #91, by AphorideThe Story of You: The Story of You

4th May 2015:
Sian! :) Okay, okay, it's been way too long for me to get here - but in my defence, I've read this about five times, and each time wanted to review and tried to, but not been able to say anything other than 'THANK YOU. THANK YOU SO MUCH. OMIGOSH IT'S AMAZING, I LOVE YOU' which is true, but not very coherent :P

So I'm going to attempt to actually review this - but omigosh, really, reviewing stuff of yours before was always so hard, because I just end up repeating myself so much, but here? I'm going to need a dictionary find synonyms for 'perfect', I think.

And no, I'm really not joking.

Okay, so the beginning of this... just, wow. I loved how the entire thing was sort of told with so many references to books and stories, as though his life was a story itself (which, as an idea, can get very meta very quickly so I'm not going to go there, hehe): with the beginning, and the middle, and the idea of him being cast the hero of his own story, except is he? The bit where you comment that he's not sure he's the hero or the villain, but might be the fool is just so, so sad. Then, of course, it's counteracted by the ending, which is just such a beautiful analogy, really it is, and such a poignant line.

I loved as well how you talked about books being his friends in place of real ones, being a kind of solace and protection for him. It's such a sad, sweet thing to think of, and I loved how you returned to that each time he and Gellert split up :( Also, this: "It always amazed you, the way that shapes could become letters and letters words, and words could spring from the page and into your imagination, where they were given life as you breathed." is such an amazing quote! :)

I've just got to quickly mention the brief reference to Wilde - caught it, loved it! :D It is so so fitting, though, given the context and the time it was written :)

Your Gellert was amazing. Like, seriously. I loved how you described how he captivated Albus from the very beginning, and the Deathly Hallows drew them together - though the moment when Albus was so embarrassed by having them out and Gellert seeing the stories was so, so good :P - and how Aberforth noticed, even though Albus tried to hide it, and sneered at him about it. It's just so, so in character, and so emphatic of the difficulties of the time, too, that even Aberforth wasn't best pleased - and you make it so clear that it goes beyond the normal kind of brotherly teasing.

I loved the little references to how he wanted to sign the letters with love but could never do it, or say it either - it's so cruel to think that he never could, and you can't help but wonder about what if's, you know?

This line, and the whole metaphor/reference was just pure genius: "Neither you nor Gellert were the ones struck, and yet on that day the both of you pricked your fingers, sending another into an eternal sleep and tearing you apart from him." :)

I loved how you described the duel, too, with Gellert older and so much worse, but still him (and I loved that line, too, but I suspect I'm going to start running out of characters soon), and how hard it must have been for him to be there, and to have to do it. It was a really heart-wrenching moment, and I don't say that lightly! ;)

The way you tied Life in with the story/book metaphor was so, so great, and how inevitable the duel was as the conclusion of the story. I think other people have mentioned it before (they should have!), but this: "You held your head high that day, Albus, as you fought your heart and your lover simultaneously; you stole the pen from Life and wrote the ending of the story yourself." is just amazing. It's just so so good I can't even explain it other than to repeat myself.

You wrote them in love so so well, too, without even quite saying it explicitly, and I just love how you did that. It was so gorgeous - the way you described Albus as 'breathing Gellert in' and how even afterwards he regrets that it ended so quickly, and still loves Gellert, still can't think of him badly, the way other people would do. It's so expressive, and it's so heart-breaking, because even though I know what's going to happen, I still wish that there could be some kind of happy ending for them, especially with the way you make it so clear and so painful that Albus almost misses Gellert, and still loves him.

The way you wrote this is just amazing. Seriously. Like, every word is chosen so exactly and just fits in so perfectly... it really is amazing. I don't know what else to call it, tbh. You've always been so so good at making me feel for your characters, and believe in them, and everything, and of course I'm going to be biased by Albus/Gellert is my ship, man, but you write them so so well and whenever I've read this, once I've started I haven't been able to stop until I reached the bottom. It's an absolute gift you've got, and it's so beautiful, and I'm absolutely floored by the fact that you wrote this for me, and really, I have no idea what to say.

Thank you so so much for this - it's just amazing, and so beautiful, and gah, I'm just going to throw this everywhere around the forums in an attempt to say thank you, so please excuse me... :P :)

Aph xx

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Review #92, by AphorideOh My Darling: 1

2nd May 2015:
Hi there - dropping by for our review swap! :)

I really love the premise of this and the way you set it up so that the beginning moment - the event which starts everything - happens at the end, and how it's such a simple thing. It's so clever, using just a look from a conversation as the thing which kickstarts things - I haven't read too many stories where it is that simple; usually the starting factor is a lot bigger, so it's so nice to see something different.

I really like your MC, too - Clementine. I like how she doesn't seem to be very stereotypical front what we've seen of her so far - she's not the cleverest student in her year, seems kinda shy/not fond of crowds and parties and things, and pretty interested in history - or at least certain historical periods. She's a really relatable character, and I like that - so is her best friend, and well, really, almost all of the characters you introduce in here.

The little details in this were so good, too - I love how you mentioned Albus Potter didn't stay at the party long, suggesting perhaps he's not overly fond of parties either, but that James threw famous parties at school, and the gossip-related information about hte other students, too - it is so true to school life!

Your writing is lovely in this, too - you've got this really lovely style which is so clean and fresh and allows your strengths - your dialogue, your humour - to come through in this. It's really great! :)

Thank you so much for the swap! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hello!
I'm so glad you liked this! It's a new narration style for me, and Clementine is different from a lot of my OC's. She and I are quite similar, though, so she feels very natural for me to write.
Albus is a mystery to Clementine, since she doesn't go to parties and doesn't believe the gossip she hears about him, so it'll take her a little while to really figure him out.
Thank you so much for the review swap! I'm so, so happy you liked this!
Cassie :)

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Review #93, by AphorideHurricane Luna: He Searches in His Heart

2nd May 2015:
Hey Beth, dropping by for our review swap! :) There was no way I was going to go anywhere else than here when I saw I had another chapter left to read ;)

Ah, I feel so sorry for Rolf in this - with the whole way everyone else around, Xeno and Neville and Harry and Ginny all being so quasi-judgmental of him, because they feel like Luna's disappearance is his fault, in some way - and, you know, they kinda have something of a point there, in a way, even though it is kinda harsh to say on poor Rolf :( I loved, though, the moment when Neville is all bad-tough-guy, hehe, and Rolf finally admits he has feelings for Luna - true, strong feelings of the L.O.V.E. kind - which you made me wait a long time for :P (But it was totally worth it!) There was something so lovely about seeing all of these people rallying round to protect Luna, even from someone they knew she cared about a lot. It really spoke of the loyalty they have to each other as friends, which I love.

Your Harry and Ginny and Xeno and Neville are all so spot on, too - and I'm so excited to see more of them, in some cases, and to meet them in this in others. Neville especially - I love how you worked in Neville's friendship with Luna, especially, since I always liked the idea of them being surprisingly close as a pair, since Ginny was always that little bit closer to the trio, you know? As before, they're all so so well written - so real, and so true, and so close to their canon counterparts, it's really really impressive.

Little!Albus Severus is the most adorable thing ever. He's just too cute - and the way he's so helpful, and he knows where Luna is and wants to go with them... aww, poor little guy. Maybe when he's older :P

As always, I love your writing in this. Rolf's voice is so strong, and you portray things in this beautifully unique way, with the settings and the characters... your description is so good, and I love your dialogue, too. It's all so clean and so clear and just so lovely to read, it really is.

Okay, so I'm so so looking forward to the next chapter, and the team heading off to Iceland to find Luna - will she be there? Will she have found the creature yet, or will she discover it with Rolf? Will they make up (I hope so!)? Gah, just so many questions! :P

Please, please write another chapter soon? I really do need to know these things! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi there Laura!

Eep! I have to say. I never, never, never, expected my Hurricane Luna story to be so well received. You and Rose and a few others just send me the kindest, sweetest reviews for it - and I end up sitting at my computer screen just staring all giddy and smiley and such - haha!

Gah! The crew just HAD to be so judgmental to Rolf. First off, they're one big lot of Gryffindors who are fiery and temperamental and ready to fight anyone who does wrong. Secondly - it's LUNA! Everyone absolutely adores her and they *think* she's a bit more naive and innocent than she is, and might just need some type of saving - they are gonna step in. (I had a BLAST writing angry!Neville :D)

I really wasn't sure how to shape the end of the chapter (where they figure out to go to Iceland), but then I realized what was missing - and little Albus reappeared! Unfortunately, he's a bit *too* little to head off on an adventure with them, but he definitely helped out!

The next chapter. Uhh...


Erm - I think someone's calling me. I gotta go!


♥ Beth

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Review #94, by AphorideJigsaw: Piece #2

30th April 2015:
Hey Sian - dropping by for our review swap! :) So I'll admit double motives for stopping by on this - I've missed reading murdr mysteries recently and this is so good and I've been meaning to come back to it for ages, but never found time to (or forgotten, as happens :P), and I've promised myself (and you, kinda) to review The Story of You separately, because, really, considering all things, it feels like it would be a bit rude not to.

That probably doesn't make any sense. Ah well :P

Anyway, I love this story so much - really, it's just so good, and so unique in what's about - you really do put a totally original take on the murder mystery genre.

Roxanne is such a brilliant character - I love how she's so excited and nervous about doing her first big story at the same time - the idea of doing something like that, totally on my own, is so terrifying... and how she feels so out of place with the other journalists, who are all probably so much more experienced than her... I loved the idea of them all being friends, kinda like a clique in school, and her being the odd one out, like the new girl. It's a very stark image, I think, and you make me feel so awkward and sorry for her with it. They really are all kinda vulture-like, and almost predatory in nature, jumping on the Hit Witch - I loved how unimpressed she was with them all, haha, it was again a lovely human moment (and I can imagine it's so true in RL too, with the police and all).

The photographer is hilarious. I love him to bits - how he's so good-looking, but sounds slightly messy, and then his whole freelance photography sort of as the respectable arm of his socialite career :P (I'm guessing he's Pansy Parkinson's son, and really I'm so impressed you made me like her son, since I loathe her as a character, haha)

Ooh, Daniel... okay, I'm super curious to know what happened with Daniel - and if anything will happen with Daniel in the future of this story, or if that romance is really dead. It seems so heartbreaking, and so awkward for the two of them - you write it so well, the ended romance, without (I think) actually saying it explicitly. It's just there, you know, and it's so hard - the emotions come through your writing so, so well. I love how affected she still is by him, and how easy it is to slip back into familiar habits - it's so true, I think, with anyone you kinda leave behind or stop seeing. Gah, they seem like they'd really work together, too - so bad they broke up and I don't even know the story! He's been involved in this for what, five hundred words? How do you do this?!

(Also, I loved the little mention of the fame the Weasley surname gathers, with Roxanne wondering if people are looking round because of her surname or the name of the newspaper, or perhaps because she's obviously new.)

Your writing is amazing in this, too. You write action and emotion so, so well, and even the waiting, when Roxanne is looking around and feeling so alone and everything, is so gorgeously written. The description of the crime scene, with the Hit Wizards inside and the photographers and reporters all outside, was pretty much drool-worthy and really brought the scene to life - I really could picture it so so clearly.

I'm so so curious about the crime scene and what's going to come out about this man's disappearance over the next while - has he actually left of his own accord or not? Will they find a body, and then it will be a murder? Will other people go missing too, out of the blue? It's such a cliff-hanger type situation you've left us in, without needing an actual cliff-hanger, and I'm just so looking forward to getting to the next chapter to find out! :)

(I have to say as well, that the way you write about the reporters and how they work and all is just so, so good. It seems so real, and so in-depth, as though you know everything about journalism. It's so brilliant!)

I love this. If this isn't in my favourites, I made a mistake when I first read this :P I will stalk this over the summer holidays ;)

Aph xx

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Review #95, by AphorideLife Was Meant to Be Easy Now: A Kiss At Breakfast

26th April 2015:
Hey Molly! :) Dropping by for our review swap!

First of all, I just have to say... WHAT THE... JUPITER! WHY, just whhy - Scop and Al deserve to be happy, and he just insists on screwing everything up, even more than it was before (coz, you know, people won't necessarily have believed it before but after that they will, and you can't really blame them!)! Stupid, stupid boy... hm. I kinda liked Jupiter before, but not for this.

Coincidentally that's one of the things I love about your characters - they're so real. They're real-life teenagers, with all the melodrama and overreacting and faint paranoia about who said what about who and what other people think and so on. It's so true to life, and really emphasises both the characters qualities and their flaws. Plus it's that bit more fun, too, you know ;)

I don't really blame Albus for this one so much. I mean, of course he should trust Scorpius more than he does, but when your sister comes to you and says something like that, of course you're likely to believe it, you know? It's coming from someone you trust unreservedly, and that means something. It's such a difficult position for Albus - to either not believe his sister, or to not believe Scorpius. There isn't really a right answer. And then the whole thing with Jupiter 'giving them something to talk about'... I mean, gosh, if Albus had had second thoughts about whether or not it was true, he won't after that! And who can blame him? Poor guy, that's gotta be rough.

I like too how you tied the reason for people suspecting something going on between Jupiter and Scorp was rooted in misunderstanding and a lack of acceptance, too - that they don't quite get that being friends with someone who's gay doesn't necessarily mean there's any kind of romantic attachent there. It's such a horrible thing for people to think, but again so real, and I like how you've touched on it here and shown how horrible it can be to those people involved.

(That was a lot more preachy than I intended, sorry! :P)

I just... gah, I feel so sorry for them all, you know - Scorp for his arm getting broken (and reacting angrily to pain like that is so like me, haha!) and Al not trusting him, Al for then seemingly having it all proven to him that Scorp isn't the guy Al thinks he is. It's such a shame for them - I just want them to be happy! :(

You have to update soon - I really, really wanna know what happens next! Please, please don't say they break up? :( Ahhh, this is so bad! :P

Aph xx

Author's Response: Thanks for this great review. I'm totally with you about Jupiter. That was sooo unnecessary and stupid. But he acted on his own, I did everything in my power to stop him... ;-)

I think both Albus and Scorpius are to be blamed. They're still very young, and they're both quite short-tempered... They can't help it, I suppose...

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Review #96, by AphorideDiversions from Reality.: Discussions and Disagreements

26th April 2015:
Hey there - dropping by for our review swap! :)

I love the way this continues on from the first one - how smooth the scene change is, from Lily talking to Remus to them here at the beginning of this one, too. It's so great!

Your characters, as before, are so so good, too! I love the little hints about Remus maybe fancying Sirius, and Sirius sort of knowing and being so horrible about it - he really is so cruel at times! - and how he tries so hard to be the reasonable one in their group of friends; it's so true to his character in the books. James had such a great little cameo in this - he seems almost run down and worn, as though he's kinda old before his time, exhausted in a way, which is so unique in a portrayal of him, and I really love it :)

Sirius, as before, is really pretty nasty here. He's really not very nice to his friends - his teasing's so malicious, you know? It's kinda ironic how in this he's really just as bad as Snape as, just perhaps in a different way. Remus has a point, too, about Sirius' relationship with Lily not necessarily being a good thing, for either of them - and the argument Remus and Sirius have over it definitely shows a lot of the difficulties there would be in a relationship between people so different as Lily and Sirius, which I loved.

You really are so good at showing emotions in writing - the way you described Sirius' emotions in his was so, so good, and the way you displayed Remus' emotions and wound those in too, was so so lovely. You really bring the feelings out of the story, which is so great, especially in this story, and I love how volatile so many of the characters are - especially Sirius. It really gives this this sense that things are on edge, that people are on edge, which is so so lovely and so great for this kind of forbidden-esque romance, you know?

I'm so so curious to know what happens after this, you leave so many threads hanging: what is going to happen between Sirius and Lily? Will James and Lily ever get together and how would it happen? Does Remus actually like Sirius and will anything ever happen with that? It's such a good plot you've got here, surprisingly suspenseful for a romance-involving story! :P

So glad I got a chance to stop by this again! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hello :) Again, Day=Made! I'm so so chuffed you liked it. This is a bit out of my comfort zone as I've never written anything quite like this before. I think Sirius has always had a malicious streak, whether it's just him or whether he lashes out because of the way he was treated by his family- whose to say. I wasn't sure about James really as he may not have actually forgiven Sirius for going out with Lily, but then I suppose he would be likely to put his friend's happiness before his own! As to what will happen next with Jily- well, that would be telling...
I think Remus is genuinely torn between doing what he sees as the right thing by trying to help Lily, and all these confusing feeling that he doesn't know are reciprocated! I think Remus is another character who would put other people's happiness before his own!
I do like to keep people guessing a bit (I love a cliffy! haha). I kind of know the answers to all those questions- but obviously I'm giving nothing away ;)
Thanks so much again, I'm so happy you enjoyed it!

ML xxx

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Review #97, by AphorideCuriosity Is Not a Sin: Albus's Guilt Trip

14th April 2015:
Hey Branwen! :) Stopping by from BvB battle!

You know, I just have to say this because I think it's kinda appropriate - I apologise if there's any weird wording/spellings in this because I'm watching Atletico v Real Madrid in the Champions league quarters :P So yeah, blame any mistakes on that ;)

I really love the way you've set this up. A lot of Next Gens often feel overly similar to me, you know - and it can be really pretty boring (and I'm easily bored, oops) - but this has a really different feel to it. I love how it starts with them already at school, rather than arriving at school or anything, and how Rose's character is established, as, well, not the nicest person in the world :P

No, seriously, she's an amazing character. She's so real, you know, which, for me, always makes things that much better. Rose is somewhat prejudiced, even if it's a logical and personal kinda reason why, she's aware of it and doesn't seem too bothered by it, and she seems to have a bit of a temper on her - but she's also clearly pretty clever, pretty brave and bold and unafraid of speaking her mind. She seems like the kind of person who's loud and isn't necessarily used to being talked over/told she's wrong or beaten verbally. Her characterisation, tbh, makes the whole 'hate-to-love' thing - normally something I hate with a passion, I gotta admit - so so much better, and actually something I like in here, because it makes sense, you know? And I can see how, I imagine, her realising about Scorpius is tied into a growing up, coming-of-age kinda storyline too. Which, imo, is probably the best way to manage that kind of cliche ;)

So yeah, I love Rose. Tbh, though, all of your characters are so, so good in this. Al and Scorpius - even James and Roxanne, who don't really appear all that much at all in this first chapter - are so interesting and so real. I'm so glad to see James friends with Roxanne rather than Freddy, and Al being the little socialite with so many friends from different houses :P They're such great presentations of them all, and I'm so curious to see what you do with them in the future - especially Scorpius, ofc ;)

Especially with Rose and Scorpius, I love how you've set it up so that Rose is the unreasonable one, in terms of her house opinions, and Scorpius is the rational one instead. It's a lovely overturn of the Hermione-Draco feud, in a way.

Your writing in this is so gorgeous too. Just the perfect balance of description and dialogue, and all of it is so so good. It just flowed so beautifully and sucked me into the story completely. The only thing I want to mention - since I know you're editing it atm - is that there are a couple of strange word phrasing things (like at one point you say something like 'could cut even out') which sounded a bit odd in my head. Maybe something to look over? But seriously, they're pretty minor things - they didn't disrupt anything much at all and the only reason they're even noticeable is because the rest of your writing is so good ;)

It's strange - having seen you around for so long in the CR, I can't believe this is my first review on this :P Will have to try and come back sometime later on in the Battle ;)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey, Aph! ♥ It was definitely super appropriate that you reviewed a story of mine during a Madrid derby I was glued to the tv for. :P (Speaking of - sorry about Bayern! Can't imagine they won't bounce back at home, though!)

I agree that sometimes, next-gens (both characters and plots, really) can fall into vague molds that don't change enough between stories/authors. I'm really glad that, thus far, at least, you don't feel like this falls into that trap.

I love that you got that from Rose, because yes - I think you're 100% right. She's not used to being challenged, especially by people who don't back down pretty quickly, and I have so much fun with that in this fic because I think the only two people who really push that on a regular basis are Albus and Scorpius himself - albeit in very different ways! Scorpius actually definitely touches on the 'hate-to-love' thing pretty directly a couple times later in the story - if you get that far at any point, I hope you like it there, too!

And yes, speaking of Scorpius - I definitely wanted to avoid the undertones of the Hermione-Draco feud (and Draco 2.0 in general) that I think are pretty prevalent through Scoroses. Because, seriously, what, like Draco hasn't changed and raised his kid in a very different way than his father raised him? Come on. (I mean, I've read stories where this was well done... but yeah, definitely wanted to avoid it!)

Thank you so much for the review! I'll look over the wording again asap and correct it. ♥

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Review #98, by AphorideThis Treasure: You Make Me Smile

13th April 2015:
Hey Sian! :) Okay, so I think I picked a bad time to write reviews, haha, but also a really, really hard story to review :( Oops! (And not in a bad way, not at all - just that, you know, it's heartbreaking, and I'm pretty sure that's going to be about a third of my review :P)

Okay, so Imma try and say something a little more interesting than 'this was heartbreaking. So beautiful, but heartbreaking' over and over again, because I suspect that would get dull pretty quickly ;)

I loved the way you had this split up into sections, with the different times and different moments throughout their lives dotted around the timeline of the end creeping closer and closer to them. It was such an inevitable conclusion, but at the same time it didn't really matter that I already knew kinda how it would end, because the writing was so beautiful and somehow, I have no idea how you did it though, with the moments there was still story - still moments of them to see in their lives. It was almost sweeter and more romantic seeing those moments and knowing what came after, you know? Like, despite the heartbreak, you could see they had been happy, and it made it so much worse and a little bit better at the same time, because at least they had what they had and they were happy during it.

The way you wrote both Ron and Hermione was amazing. They're such huge characters in the books that they terrify me so much with the thought of writing them, because they're so easy to mess up, you know, but you do them so perfectly in this - it's almost like they've just stepped out of the books and into this. Like, everything about them is perfect - from the way Hermione always seems to know what to say, to the way Ron is so astounded at Muggle things, to how they act around each other and how absolutely in love they are, but still with that undertone of faint, happy bickering :P

Your writing... ugh. Where do I even start with this? It was so gorgeous. All of your description was amazing - that scene where you had Hermione in the bed in the hospital was so stark and so clear in my mind it was incredible. I think the best thing about it, though, was how real the emotions in it were, and how true. Like, I've never lost someone that close to me before, but the emotions made me feel almost like I had, and made me imagine so realistically what it would be like if I did: how hard it would be and what it would be like to go through.

I love how you've used the DH missing moment with Ron and the Deluminator, and then the references to their kiss at the Battle and Ron's behaviour at the ball and all of those little things in this, too. They're all so perfectly placed as though two people really are just talking at one random time, and it happens to come up, like an old joke or comment. It's so right for them, considering how much time they spent together and how much time they were close, that it feels like that.

Okay, so this was completely heartbreaking, and I may even have felt tears pricking a little towards the end, and it was so gorgeously written, and Ron and Hermione were just so perfect - actually all the characters were perfect - and this was just way too beautiful for me not to favourite it, in total. So yeah, I loved it! :)

Aph xx

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Review #99, by AphorideTaming the Dragon Tamer: [one]

13th April 2015:
Hi there! :) Okay, so first off, I have to admit that I've always loved the idea of Charlie being gay - it's always been one of those little parts of my headcanon I've never explored, you know? So yeah, I just had to stop by on this because so much of this is so much like my headcanon :)

I love how it starts with Charlie being hurt and how that then turns into how he meets the guy who, I hope, he falls in love with and (finally!) introduces to his family (because I suspect they would be a little bit more accepting than he thinks... also because he deserves it!). Coincidence is always such a wonderful thing to play with, and I love it when authors use it like this! :)

Your characterisation of Charlie was brilliant, too. I love how he's so passionate about his dragons, and wants to work with them so much that he's even willing to risk his own health for it. He's such a lovely guy, and again, so much like how I've always pictured him. I love as well, I have to say, how when he saw Christopher in the wheelchair his first thought almost was for the dragons :P It's so great how you've not avoided him being so in love with his work and the idea of it, you know? Because it's always seemed to me so central to his character, so I love that you've worked it in so well :)

Your writing in this is so so good, too. I think I've seen you say on the forums that you're not a native speaker (Austrian, right?), and your English is incredible. I could never hope to write anything in German which is half as good as this is. All of your description is so lovely, and your dialogue is great, too. Plus the emotions you describe are all so real, and really feel real, too - coming out of your writing.

I love the little moment at the end, when Charlie gets caught being rude about his tour group, and how Christopher calls him out on it. Good for him! :P Charlie deserved it, too. I'm so curious to see where this goes - I'll have to see about catching you in the BvB some time :)

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

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi!
I'm glad you picked this story.

Charlie really does need to trust his family more, he might be surprised by what he finds. I think he needs a really strong character who can stand up to him as a counterpart. I picture him as a very daring person as long as it doesn't concern matters of the heart.

Charlie's work is the only thing we know he loves from the HP books. I think it has to be important to him in order to make Charlie seem believeable. He almost sees them as his children and loves them with everything he's got.

I'm glad you think my writing is good, I often feel like it could still use some work... I'm from Austria, but please don't go easy on me in any reviews just because english is my second language. I've always been fascinated with it and even though I'm fluent and have no trouble with it, I still think there's room for improvement.

Chris certainly doesn't take any of Charlie's nonsense. He needs to be strong and self-confident in order to put up with Charlie's own insecurities.

I'm really glad we did the swap, your work was really great. I think I was able to pick up on a couple of things that might help me improve my writing there.

Thanks so much for the lovely review.


Aph xx

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Review #100, by AphorideBruises: Terror

13th April 2015:
Hey there, Kaitlin! :) Stopping by for our review swap!

Okay, so this is unsurprisingly a pretty difficult thing to read - things like this, the ideas that people were ever treated like this is horrific, you know? It's so hard to understand how people could have done things like this.

That being said, this is a beautifully devastating story in itself. I love the way you write it, going through day by day with Caroline's progress, how she slowly regains her memory and works out where she was and who she was, and who the people around her are and why she was there. You really made me root for her and want her to find out, and understand why, and to get out too, so she could be safe - though, of course, in the end, it seems to be to a certain degree of 'safe'. Poor girl, it really seems to be too much for her to ask, which is horrible.

I love the way you characterise her, though, the way she's so desperate to get out and so cunning, in the end, with the way she figures out to essentially make them believe they've won and that they've 'cured' her. It's a very clever strategy, really. Also, I love the way she determines in the end that she's going to protect her sister from what happened to her - though you don't tell us if she succeeds or not - and there's still this kind of fire in her. It's such great characterisation - I love it to bits! :)

You manage the subject matter so, so well too. It's such a difficult thing to write about, and so necessary to get the details right, too, you know, especially considering the intricacies of what you're portraying and the limits of written horror and so on. Your writing really brings all the emotions and the angst and the dark/horror out of this, too - it makes it all so much more emotive and evocative, with the images it presents. (Though one small thing - you say 'shakes her head yes' where I think maybe 'nods her head yes' would be better? Like, it's a more common description - but then, feel free to ignore me if the repetition is intended ;))

This is a gorgeously written, heart-breaking one-shot, it really is. I'm only sorry I can't find more to say about it.

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi Aph!

I agree the idea that these types of things ever happened to humans are horrific! Especially in reality where they were done to treat people for being different.

I'm happy to hear that you were rooting for Caroline. So was I! I wanted the story to make the reader feel like they were struggling along with Caroline to create some sympathy for her.

I think Sarah is the absolute most important part of Caroline's life, so she will do whatever it takes to keep her safe. That fire in her will stay alive as long as her sister needs her.

The shaking the head yes was pointed out to me by another reader as well. Where I come from it is acceptable to say both shake your head yes and shake your head no...but I can totally see why this is confusing and will be editing it to nodding instead.

Thank you for such lovely compliments. It means a lot coming from you because you do such beautiful writing.


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