Reading Reviews From Member: Aphoride
547 Reviews Found

Review #76, by Aphoridefirst: first meeting

8th July 2015:
Hey Carla! :D So I'm back from holiday - I kept seeing that this was up and you'd just updated it so I had to stop by, it sounded so interesting! :)

And now I've read it, I love it more than I did before - it's such a lovely, original take on the more traditional Albus/OC romance, where they're the same age and all, you know? I love that, those differences you put in this and how much they are, how unique it makes the characters and the whole set up of it. It's so so great! :)

I love Esme, too. I love how she's French and the name reflects that so well and is such a great choice - and all her mannerisms are so sweet, so reminiscent of both her age and her nationality, you know? Like, she really reads so much like a young girl which is so hard to do and so great. (I gotta mention the surname, too, haha, as a Tolkein fan - I loved it so much! :D Whether intentional or not, it's still great! :D) She's so sweet, but so nervous about meeting people and so hesitant about talking to Albus, and so afraid of upsetting people, or causing upsets and arguments. It all says so much about her character, and hints so much about what has happened so her so far and maybe what will shape her or how she'll grow through the story.

Albus was so sweet in this, too - I love how he seems half-typical and half a-typical as a teenager; how he's so concerned about her, and equally out of place at the party - or at least he feels as though he is, which is almost the same thing, in a way - it really speaks about him as a character, like with Esme, and his relationships perhaps with his own family and so on. I love how they both seem to feel so out of place at the party and within the Weasley group especially. It's lovely to see someone including that kind of feeling, because I think that it must happen, and it must be so hard to deal with but also so easy to feel, in a way, too.

Your writing in this was so great, too - I loved all of it; your description and everything, it's so gorgeous and flows so beautifully. I know I've read - and loved - some of your writing otherwise before, but I love the way you've written this almost more than anything else; your style in this is just so perfectly wonderful.

I'm so curious to see where this goes, too, and how the story continues, especially with the 'firsts' theme, and all. I do love a good theme ;) The plot isn't massively suspense - but it doesn't have to be, you know? Your writing makes up for that so so easily, and it's so lovely, and your characters hold every bit of my attention.

It's such a great start - imma have to find you in the bvb again ;)

Aph xx

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Review #77, by AphorideLife Was Meant to Be Easy Now: From a Mother's View

23rd June 2015:
Hey there, Molly! :) Stopping by for another review swap! (I suspect we're both going to have to write and post new chapters in a while to have another one, though! :P)

Again, I really love how you've included Ginny's point of view in this - it's so unique to this story, almost, to see the parents' opinions on things, even though they're often incredibly informative, but from a different, potentially wiser, more learned perspective. Plus, it allows us to learn about both Albus' and Lily's troubles, and how it affects the family at a whole - because relationships, even though they're between two people.

I love the way you've written both Ginny and Harry in this - the little flares of Ginny's temper, perhaps, the mentions of it when she talks to her mum about Lily, the way Harry just doesn't push and is so calm and patient, which is so like him (usually, haha!). You've written them both so close to their canon characters, it's so impressive! I did like the way Ginny and Harry both - especially Ginny - could draw on their own experiences to comfort their children, like Ginny with Harry before, and first loves and so on. It was so true to life, I think.

I love how you had it all come out off-screen between Albus and Lily that Colin and his friends were the ones involved with beating Scorpius, and Lily's subsequent break-up with him, the argument and so on - I think it was more powerful this way, with just the after-effects being seen. It was such a great sibling moment, tbh - with two younger sisters myself, it was just so spot on the argument between them - and the way they sort of know the truth about it afterwards when they've calmed down.

Also, I gotta say how much I love that after something this serious Albus is growing up. Sometimes it does take something like that, you know - strangely enough, the incident's helped Scorpius' relationships with Draco and Albus, or has seemed to at least - especially when you're younger or struggling with something, and I like how it pushes Albus and sort of forces him to admit things to himself, maybe. Truths about himself he didn't really want to hear before then.

As always, I love your writing in this - it's just so lovely, and you write everything with so much emotion in it, it's beautiful :)

I know I've talked a lot about the characters this chapter, but I'm so excited to see what happens next chapter: how Scorpius reacts to Albus showing up at Malfoy Manor, how Draco reacts to the same, and what will happen between Al and Scorp in general - will they make up or will it take a little while longer to sort things out? Shipwise, I'd love them to get back together, but I kinda want Scorp to stand up for himself again, and take a little bit of time for himself after everything that's happened, and all the mistrust. It's a lot to work through, poor boys... :(

Anyway, I'm still hoping they end up happy! ;)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi! I'm embarrassing late in responding to this, but better late than never...

Thank you for this lovely review. It really means a lot to me to know that my intentions with this chapter seem to work out well. I wanted to show Ginny's thoughts about Albus. He's still childish, and she knows it. But he's going to get older and wiser and I think she's right in being proud of him. But he does need his mother to help him do the right thing...

I couldn't help notice that both of us have new chapters up, so I guess the next review swap is soon to come...? ;-)

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Review #78, by AphorideLife Was Meant to Be Easy Now: From A Father's View

22nd June 2015:
Hey Molly! :) Sorry about how late this it - I ended up spending yesterday with family (Father's Day and all for us Brits), and didn't find any time to get here and get this to you. But I'm here now! :)

I was so so excited to see that this was in Draco's pov. I think parents' povs on children are often somewhat neglected, especially in fic (and it's understandable, in a way, but still it's nice to experience other things), and you did so so well with Draco here (as I expected ;D).

I love that he's grown up and he's changing his views and his opinions on things because of Scorpius. It may be for Scorpius specifically, and perhaps even about Scorpius specifically, but I think parents - good parents, who love their children - often manage to come through on things like this. It happened to someone I know really well, having a parent who perhaps didn't take the news too well, but it worked out - so this hit home for me, in that sense. I've always thought Draco would try to reform himself after the war, and I've always thought that for Malfoys in general, family is incredibly important, so it makes sense to me that Scorpius is important enough to Draco for him to be able to step back and re-evaluate life teachings like that.

I feel so so sorry for Scorp in this one, still - though it's nice, at least, that he gets to go home a week early, even if it is for horrible reasons. No child or person should ever have to stop doing something or going somewhere because of violence, even just the threat of it. Poor Scorp - and he still hasn't made up with Al! :(

I really hope things get better for him in the next few chapters... :(

I love your writing in this, too - your dialogue in this was just so so good, especially Draco's long, loud outburst :P Also, I loved how you mentioned the discord between what people say and what people think with Draco - feeling more uncomfortable with it than he lets on, but because he knows it would hurt Scorpius. It's so true to life, and you show it so beautifully here. Also, that opening scene with Draco and Astoria cuddling in bed was so sweet! :P So beautifully described! :)

Gah, I really want to know what happens to those responsible - if they do get expelled or what; though I expect McGonagall will flip, at least, hehe, which they totally deserve (as a minimum) - and what happens to Al now Scorp is gone.

Thank you so much for the swap, and sorry this is so late! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Thanks for reviewing, and thanks for swapping with me! Don't worry about being late, I don't mind at all! It's only fun waiting for a good review anyway! :-)

I'm glad you enjoyed Draco's POV here. It's a bit of a chance to try a swich of POV's right in the middle of the story like this, but it's fun. I did it with one chapter in the prequel too, so one could argue that it therefore fits...?

I also wanted Draco to shine a little. I've been bashing him for too long I suppose... I'm glad he got the chance to show that he's not as narrow-minded as Scorpius thinks. (Although I don't questioning Scorpius' reasons for it, because Draco kind of asked for it too...)


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Review #79, by AphorideHigh Romance: Prologue

22nd June 2015:
Hi Laura! Stopping by for the BvB battle - I know I haven't finished going through A Single Point in Time yet, but this looked so good, and I've been itching to read it for a while, so when I got a chance of course I had to stop by on this ;)

(Also, sorry for the slight delay - my computer ran out of power (oops?), so I lost the review, but tbh it just meant I had to read this twice, so I'm not that bothered :P)

I love the way you wrote this - I haven't seen many scenes, in ff or of, which are set in an airport, and it's always - to me - seemed to be a pretty difficult place to describe, being so white and almost surgical, but dirty, haha, so I'm so impressed and curious as to why you picked that, and how it all connects into the story with Rose and Scorpius. Still, as always, you describe it so beautifully that it makes me wonder why I ever thought it would be impossible - it's just... you really bring it to life as a place, and the feeling of it - particularly the early morning flights, omigosh. There's this beautiful sense of quiet in your writing in this which is just amazing - I really don't know how you did it, tbh, but it's so lovely and so evocative.

I love how you've written Rose, too - how you don't say who it is in the prologue, we know from the summary that it's her, but we get a definite feel of her, you know? And that's perhaps more telling than anything else. I love how she's so lethargic through the whole thing, and how she's almost nervous about going back to London - and back to Scorpius, more importantly, and perhaps whatever situation she left behind; it really says so much. I almost don't want to find out what happened, you know, even though I'm so curious; I almost want to see the aftermath of it all, because there are so many questions in my head about what will happen after Tokyo. I liked, too, how she hadn't written the report she was meant to in the airport; it was a lovely little touch of Rose to get in there ;)

I love, too, I just have to say, how you ended it with her flying up into the clouds in the aeroplane, and in the summary she's flying and soaring; it's just such a neat connection :)

Your writing, as I've said before - even in this review :P - is so gorgeous. You get the mood of the place so well and so instinctive - I've been to my fair share of airports, including late night and early morning flights, and it's just so true and so real, the picture of it you paint. It's so beautiful - and I can see it so clearly in my mind. I love, as well, how you describe the life it has, in a way, rather than the simple aesthetics of it, it's such a gorgeous narrative, in total :)

In total: this is too short. I need more. Please write more? You know full well (or you should :P) that I think you're amazing! :)

Aph xx

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Review #80, by AphorideJumping Off Swings: Moment of Death

19th June 2015:
Hi there! :) So I just had to choose this story to stop by on (which I hope is okay) because it doesn't have too many reviews, and because Laura (tangledconstellations) loved it, and she generally has pretty good taste when it comes to fic ;) Plus, I'm kinda morbidly curious about a fic called 'Moment of Death' as a secondary title :P

This is such a beautifully solemn, horrifying piece - which is so fitting, considering that it's about Snape, you know? He's that kind of character, and particularly given the manner of his death (that snake terrifies me so much it's not even funny, I can't lie...). Even though we know the end, you find yourself hoping that it's not going to happen this time, you know, and hoping that somehow, despite it all, he manages to find some kind of peace.

I love how you handled him as a character, too. He's one of those incredibly detailed, incredibly complex, incredibly difficult characters to write, and you just did him so so well here. I loved the way you referenced those moments in the Prince's Tale with Lily, and how he pleaded for her to be saved with Voldemort (which is just... wow, you know? Asking a person without mercy for it is pretty huge), and how, in the end, he sort of realises that she isn't in love with him but that she's grateful, and it seems like it's almost enough for him.

I have to admit, I'm not much of a Snape fan, and Snape/Lily as a pairing really doesn't appeal to me, but I love what you did with it here - how you portrayed Snape being in love with her as being something so pure compared to the rest of him, and him being so determined and brave almost on her behalf for Harry. It's so tragic and so desperate, and the way he's thinking of her when he dies, and those moments when he cared about her, and when perhaps he should have fought for her, and the moments he did, was just so bittersweet.

Voldemort, too - you did him so perfectly. He was creepy and cold and exactly like himself in canon.

Your writing in this is so so great. The description is just wonderful - I loved the way you kept having the pain he was feeling fade in and out, using it as a kind of segue from section to section, which was just brilliant. The way you tied it into the scene we know from canon, too, is just perfect. I remember you from way back when :P and you're so so good, you can't vanish again, mkay? ;)

Seriously, this is an amazing one-shot. Laura was exactly right to say so, and I'm so glad I read it :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: APH!

Where do I even begin with responding to this review? Can I even start? What do I say? What do I do? I just...I don't know!

You are so sweet and lovely and kind and just...I keep reading this review over and over and over again and I can't help but smile. It seriously is the greatest thing ever right now and I do not think I can say thank you enough for coming by and reading and leaving this review! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

So. This is like, the most intense piece I have ever written. I'm going to claim it that way because not only is it horrifying how he dies (Totally agree with you there...that snake is just...*shivers*), but Snape's character is nearly impossible to write. I spent quite a while, when the idea first appeared, trying to figure out how to make Snape's character come out as complex as JKR wrote him. I found second person was the only thing that allowed his character to just be and the rest sort of fell into place.

The scenes from the Prince's Tale were a good starting point and it didn't take me long to figure out the pattern to work with the memories and which ones to invent and fit in. There were a couple others that didn't make this final cut, but I'm glad that what I added worked well and gave off hte effect I wanted.

And if I'm entirely honest? Snape/Lily is not a pairing I go out searching for either. Snape, just his character in any era really, is just the right character to spark my interest and having him being in love with her and having him help her son, despite Harry being James' son as well, was not something I could pass out. Especially when, with tragedy, things don't change for him in the end. It's just the essence of his character, in a way.

And awesome! I am glad Voldemort came out sounding canon! I was more afraid of writing him in those memories than I was having to write from Snape's POV xD

Your words in this review are so sweet, and I really appreacite that you came by and read what I came up with and enjoyed it and could see where I was going with it and feel what I wanted you to feel and just...thank you. I'll try not to disappear again any time soon! Just getting into some new styles of writing that I'm quite enjoying! XD

Thank you, thank you! Can't say it enough!

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Review #81, by AphorideA Single Point In Time: 1983

19th June 2015:
Hey Laura! :) Dropping by for our review swap!

So I love coming to your page - only I hate it, too because I have the annoying problem of having to work out what to read, and there's so much of it which I want to read - everything just sounds so good and so interesting :) In the end, though, I wanted to come back to this too much - so here I am! :)

I love the way you've characterised Sirius in this - the way you've tackled his mind sort of breaking down and slowing down and the lack of memories, of almost human-ness (if that's a word :P) in him. It really feels like he's losing parts of himself, and it's equally devastating and terrifying. It really hits home how much Azkaban affects you, and how important it was to him that he could change into Padfoot and survive like that - but also it makes it so sad to imagine the damage extrapolated into thirteen years of this, rather than just three.

I really loved, too, how you used it to showcase the qualities we know Sirius has in canon, so well: the almost obsessive loyalty he has to his friends, and the persistence with his own innocence that he has to keep himself sane, the sort of recklessness (sort of coz Sirius thinks the guy opposite him thinks Padfoot is a hallucination or something) to change into Padfoot so often in Azkaban, where he could have been caught, and so on. It's just so brilliant, and so subtle - and he's so perfectly in canon.

The way you write Azkaban as a place is so chilling, too - with all the greys and the dark colours used it sounds cold in temperature, as well as so creepy, with the inmates crying and that little almost throw-away line about the guy opposite him thinking Padfoot was only in his imagination, too. The idea that a place - or creatures, with the Dementors - could effect you that much is so scary, and it's so well done in this to be so terrifying.

Gah, I always hated the idea of Azkaban, you know - hated and loved it, because as a creative idea it's genius - but the way you portray it in this and the effects of it just makes me hate it so much more, and makes me feel so desperately sad for the people imprisoned there, even the ones like Bellatrix :(

Your writing is amazing. You know this - or should know this - and I think I've said this before, but it's true so I'm going to say it again :P It's so clean and so beautiful, and it just pulls me in and doesn't let me go. All of the emotions come through so perfectly - all of the fear and the sadness and the desperation - and your characters are just amazing. Also, having read three of these by now - though each one is still obviously written by you, there's a noticeable difference, to me at least, in terms of the voice you use for each of them - the way you use words and the phrases you use. It's so gorgeous and so clever and I'm so jealous (teach me? :P) ;)

So yeah, as always, this is an amazing story collection, and this is a beautifully devastating one-shot within them, and you're just an amazing writer. And this is every reason why I should never miss an opportunity to stop by your page again :P

Aph xx

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Review #82, by AphorideAreopagitica: Prologue

17th June 2015:
Hi there - dropping by for our review swap! :)

I half feel like I'm cheating because everything I write is so ridiculously long and this is comparatively incredibly short, so it's not quite the same, but I just had to stop by on this one because it's such a fascinating topic, and one a lot of people kinda skip over exploring (myself included) so I always love reading stories about it when I come across them. Also I'm a huge history nerd, so the title just hooked me completely :P

I love the way this starts, with the innocuous mention of gifts - little things which wouldn't seem suspicious, gloves and quills and things, and they're not then, when they're sent. It's such a subtle, slow start to this, but gives rise to so many questions about what's going to happen later (beyond what we know from canon) and what the little gifts are going to end up being used for (and why ten? Ten members, ten groups of members?) in the grand scheme of things. Plus, the fact that we know some of what happens makes it more exciting about what else - what will happen when Luna gets captured and her dad forced to work for the Death Eaters? What happens when Neville has to go into hiding? How do the others cope?

I love the way you've written all of the characters in this - Luna, Ernie, Susan and Xenophilius, too. They're all so good, and Luna and Xeno are so true to their canon characters, with the kind of oddities they have and that kind of princess-type approach Xeno takes to Luna, with the pretty packages and the bows and so on. The way you described them all in their surroundings too gave such a good suggestion of what was going on at Hogwarts, what it was like - the lack of students in the Hufflepuff Common Room, the slipping things into pockets, scurrying around; it all gives this beautifully furtive air to everything, which is just what a subversive underground organisation needs :P

Your writing in this is so, so good, too! I love the way you describe everything, and you pick your words so carefully that it really pulls the emotions and the sense of secrecy, of potential bad consequences out of the writing and the scenes you've written. The scenes you build are so well described I can picture them in my head, and the fact that this is a short prologue really, really works so well. (I'm so bad at writing things concisely, how do you do it?!) It's just the perfect length, the perfect introduction to this kind of sense of something happening, something starting up, and it gives the whole thing this kind of exciting, impatient sort of air which I just love.

This is a brilliant beginning. Favouriting. I've got to come to this some time soon! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi Aph!

Thanks so much for the amazing review! And for favouriting! You really are the sweetest!

But you are asking the wrong person about being concise. I have no idea who I did this chapter either because I'm usually quite long-winded... I think it helped that I didn't really map out an extensive outline of this story before writing. I just sort of got the idea and started right away.

Like you mentioned, I also really love that with this era, everyone knows the big things that are going to happen. There's already a timeline there - Luna disappears at Christmas, Ginny leaves after Easter, and then it's just Neville left. It makes it really interesting writing when you've already got such strict parameters.

Anyway, I'm so glad you enjoyed this so much and I hope to see you back soon!


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Review #83, by AphorideCost of Redemption: Prologue

17th June 2015:
Hey there - dropping by for our review swap! :)

I couldn't resist stopping on this one, because Regulus (and the Blacks/purebloods in general) is one of those characters who fascinates me so much, and with whom there's the potential of so many different stories and ideas and ways to take him, you know?

Anyway, I love what you've done with him here, how he seems so young and so lost and so, almost, incapable in the situation he's in. It really emphasises, I think, what we know in canon about him getting cold feet and leaving the Death Eaters, and shows off the relationship with him and Sirius and other members of his family - like Bellatrix - so well. It shows that difference between them and him, also between him and those defending themselves and their family, in a way. Fatal curses on both sides...

I love how brutal it is, too. It's war, and you've really made it feel like a war, like an old-fashioned raid on a town or something, with that kind of almost piratical feel, a hit hard and fast kind of method - almost Viking-esque, medieval in the kind of raw, savage hurt and hatred you depict. And it's so realistic, you know, which I love about it. Also, the dual-issue of both the Death Eaters using fatal curses is then kind of duplicated by the 'right' side using them, too - and it raises this beautiful moral question and this sort out of even-more-outsider place for Regulus, who won't - or can't - use them, and so many people, even good people, do and can. It's really brilliant, because war is never one-sided, you know, both sides do things they'd rather not, which are horrible.

I love how you've tied this all up with him being so alone, too - as a motif it's just so good and so hard-hitting, and yet we know that it's probably not going to get any better for him. It almost makes him powerless in the whole thing, which is a pretty original position to put him in, I think :)

I really like your writing in this too - it's so clean and so emotive, and you paint the scene of the raid and the attack so, so well without going overboard with the description or the level of violence and horror he witnesses. There's this wonderful contrast between him in the battle and all the description and action of that and then the sort of mundane scene of him at home getting ready for bed, and still being so alone. The only thing I'd say is to watch your small sentences - sometimes you separate things out into sentences when they should be clauses and separated with a semi-colon. If you read it out loud, that should help - the pause will seem too big where it should be changed ;) But that's a minor thing, really.

This is a great start, and I'm so curious to see where Regulus goes from here, and if (at all) anything gets any better for him before the inevitable ;)

Aph xx

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Review #84, by AphorideThe Rules of Motherhood: Dreamer, Writer, Mother

17th June 2015:
Hey there! :) Dropping by for our review swap!

So, I just had to stop by on this one because I have a soft spot for Molly and Arthur stories, and the summary just sounded so interesting. Also, I haven't seen many stories around about young!Molly and Arthur, so I was curious :P

I love the way you've portrayed Molly. Most stories only talk about her after she's been a mother, and so capture what JKR gave us about her, but you go so much further with that, and expand it so beautifully, with the writing and the insistence that she's not going to be a mother, or indeed get married, and then finds herself doing both of them anyway.

I like as well how you've kinda reminded me that Molly was, in fact, a very young mother herself - date-wise, with Bill, there wouldn't have been much time between marriage and his birth - and kinda played that up here. I love how she's so scared about it, and admits that it interferes with those secret dreams she has (which I think is something everyone can understand, since we all have those kinds of secret dreams), and her plans for the future, and what she thought of herself, too. The lack of holding back on that is something I haven't seen before in teen pregnancy fics, or similar pregnancy stories, and I love that you've put it in here, because I think it's so true to life, you know? Especially with young mothers.

Your writing here is so lovely - so clean and clear, and the short sentences are so good at punctuating the flow, emphasising Molly's emotions and helping them to come through so, so well. The only thing I'd say is that sometimes it's a little too disjointed, and then it starts to interfere with the narrative flow a bit - maybe combine a couple of them?

Also, I loved the use of repetition in this with the 'she didn't want' phrases and so on. It was so good, almost like she was talking to herself. And I gotta mention quickly (got to run to lunch, oops) how I love the way she's so scared about telling Arthur, and so scared perhaps of the potential that it's going to happen if she does - it's kinda a final thing, I think, telling people. Makes it that much more real. And it makes her whole struggle that much more impounded, because Arthur doesn't know and she's so uncertain - there's no support or help for her then, and it's so difficult, and you just make me feel so sorry for her in this. Like, I just want to hug her.

This is a lovely little story, and I'm going to have to come back sometime :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hello, thank you very much for the review swap.

I'm really flattered to hear you say such complimentary things about my writing and my characterization. I have a lot of respect for your writing, so it means a lot to hear that from you.

I'm glad tat you understand the nuances of her not wanting to tell Arthur. Based on some of the other reviews I've gotten, some people were confused why she didn't think Arthur would react well, but you really understood that her silence was more about not wanting to make it a reality.

Thank you for the note about my flow being disjointed at times - I'll keep that in mind.

Molly definitely deserves lots of hugs.

Thanks again!


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Review #85, by AphorideSerenity: Serenity

5th June 2015:
Hey Laura! :) Stopping by from BvB - and the summary for this sounded so good, so enticing I just had to stop by so I hope you don't mind! :) (Then again, tbh, most things on your page sound so good - it was so hard to choose!)

Oh my gosh, I'm so so glad I picked this one because the writing in this is so beautiful and the story you're telling is so lovely but so sad, too, because you know it can't end well, and even though you know that, the ending is still such a shock - I really, really didn't expect that from Isobel! :( Poor Padma...

I loved both the characters, too - Isobel and Padma. How Isobel was so quiet all the time, and words almost would have been more hurtful, but then perhaps serenity can hide the truth and true feelings - like with the end, when Padma thought that perhaps things could go back and then Isobel is just so silent, almost like it's an offer hanging between them, and Padma can't accept it. The whole theme of silence and serenity, and the two things mingling and not quite merging, really, was so so beautiful.

I loved Padma, too - how there was this sort of expectation for her from her mother and her family, which she was so scared of not living up to and so much pressure along with it, and yet it was so carefully written so as not to suggest anything potentially offensive, you know? It was just like the way things were for Padma and the way her mother was, and it made it so sad for her that Padma has to lie and that perhaps that is what in the end kills her relationship with Isobel :( Also, I loved that you included it so simply - I haven't seen that kind of unthinking, oblivious sort of pressure from parents much at all in fic, and it's I think almost more realistic than anything else.

I don't really know what to say about your writing in this. I really want to say something, because it's so good I can't really say nothing, you know - but what can I say about it? It was just so so beautiful, so descriptive and so stylistically perfect. It flowed perfectly, the word choice was perfect, the instances were you broke grammar were perfect... I have no idea how you did it, but this was amazing. Seriously.

I'm so so glad I read this. Favouriting. Going off to find places on the forums to recommend this because I don't really know what else to do... :)

Aph xx

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Review #86, by AphorideRoxanne and Dominique Weasley and the Chamber of Secrets: The Chamber of Secrets

4th June 2015:
Hey there - dropping by for our review swap! :)

So I just had to stop by on this one because the whole premise of it was so, so funny, and so original - I've never seen another story like this one, with the Chamber of Secrets used like this, and the Next Gen kids getting involved - especially with Dom and Roxy being the instigators of all of the trouble :P

I love that you used Dom and Roxy for this, too, and how they tricked Ron and Harry into giving up the information with Firewhisky - always the thing which loosens tongues :P Poor Harry and Ron - you wouldn't be too surprised to hear they were in trouble too for giving away they information like that :P The way you wrote Dom and Roxy - Roxy as more worried about the consequences when she realised them, and Dom as so much more flawless - was just so so good, and so wonderful different, too, especially when compared to the usual presentation of both of them :)

The whole thing with Al and Scorp wanting to touch the basilisk skeleton and then James and Louis sneaking out a basilisk fang were so, so good - so genuinely funny, and childlike, too - exactly the kind of thing teenagers would do, you know? :P

Your writing in this was so, so good. I'm so jealous because I can't write humour for the life of me but in this it was so natural and flowed so beautifully, every word fitted exactly where it was. The voice you used was perfect for the style, and it flowed so perfectly, too.

This was a wonderful one-shot - so so funny and so good - and I'm so glad I read it! :) Thank you so much for the swap!

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey Aph!

Thanks for stopping by and for such an amazing review!!

I don't know why people don't use the Chamber of Secrets in stories more often. It's such a cool place! Sure, it's a little dark and creepy, but it's also pretty cool and the perfect place for teenage shenanigans.

I love writing about the Next-Gen getting into silly adventures. I feel like they deserve some downtime after two generations of war. These families deserve peace! And what better way to show peace than to hold fun adolescent adventures in this once horrifying place?

Thanks again for reading!!


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Review #87, by AphorideA Christmas in Azkaban: A Flickering Flame

4th June 2015:
Hey there - dropping by for our review swap on the forums! :)

I have this kind of morbid love of Sirius-in-Azkaban stories, because they have such potential for angst, anger, and horror/dark, which are all things I love. Especially with Sirius, who's such a fascinating character himself, so really, I was very happy you suggested this one ;)

I love the way you did this and focused more, I think, on the kind of humane aspects of being in Azkaban - the memories you lose and the way it tortures you, really, by taking them away and leaving you with nothing but the ones you hate. It's so damaging, you know - could completely change the way you remembered people. But yeah, the horror/dark element of this with the Dementors was done so so well! :)

The way you wrote Sirius was so great, too. I loved the mentions of the pain he feels at being 'reminded' of 'killing' his friends, and the guilt he feels over it, tempered with the sweet, happy memory of him with them at Christmas, being so very familial, really :) There was something so heartfelt about the emotions you described, and something so Marauder-like about the Christmas, too - with the boys hatching plans, and James nearly hitting Remus for having to kiss Lily under the mistletoe :P

Your writing in this was lovely, too - sometimes your description was a little too 'tell' rather than 'show', but all of your word choice was brilliant, and it allowed the emotions and the contrasting horror and warmth of the scenes to come through, which gave it so much more impact when the Dementors arrived.

This was a great little oneshot - and the message at the end was so beautiful, so sad but so true! :)

Aph xx

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Review #88, by AphorideActions Speak Louder than Words: Bent: Rose POV

4th June 2015:
Hey Beth! :) Stopping by again for our review swap - well, kinda, I guess :P - though it's a bit late for it, really, considering we're into June now...

Anyway, I really wanted to come back to this, so I'm here - even if it is a little later than expected! :)

I love the way you expand a little on the characters here and give more inplication/potential hints about what happened to Rose during her kidnapping. It's a reallly great follow-up chapter to the first one (though, tbh, I'd have liked a little more action happening beyond the party, but I'm really not the right person to complain about things like that :P), with the way it compounds the elements we were introduced to in the first chapter and keeps setting up again for Rose's future development.

I liked the way you ended it on a small forward step, too - with Rose finding she could both give and receive comfort to and from another person. There was something so small and so normal from the way you wrote it, but Rose's realisation afterwards gave it this wonderful, subtle impact, where it became clear how much it meant to her to be able to do that, and to find it within herself.

I really love the way you're developing Rose's character, especially her kind of semi-dependent relationship with Scorpius, which is only friendship (for now :P), but is both very sweet and lovely, and it's so good he's there for her, but she seems very dependent on him being there, if that makes sense. Again, I'm so looking forward to seeing how you develop this further, and how they work through Rose's obvious issues and any problems Scorpius has or which happen to him. Because of the way you write them, though, I can't help but root for them both :) They're so good together! Or they would be... :P

As before, I love the way you write this - it really sounds and reads like the kinda diary/mementoes/thoughts of a girl not long out of Hogwarts. The words you use are just so well chosen, and you write the emotions, whether the panic she feels or the terror, the amusement as she jokes with Scorpius, so so well - I can almost feel them, you know, and they're so real and believable. It's just such a great voice you've got here - it really brings this story to life, and it's so so good.

Anyway, that's all from me for now - I'll hopefully be back later on this week for chapter 3! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi Aph!

Gosh - it was so kind of you to come back for another chapter and I fell so, so terrible that I've taken until now to respond to it - eep! I feel like the House Cup sorta took over my life and while I had a complete BLAST with all of it, I'm really glad to have some time to get back to writing, reviewing and answering my reviews :)

I know the party scene was fairly cliche and I imagine that if I were writing this novel right now, I might have done this scene a bit differently. But this was the very first thing I'd ever written - at all. I'd read a significant amount of fanfiction, and had my own definite ideas about how I wanted my story to go, but I think that getting to the main points along the way was a little rough.

One thing I did want to do with this - was to decidedly begin this story at Rose's turning point - sorta the "small step forward" that you mentioned. That was deliberate so that I could start her journey.

The semi-dependent relationship with Scorpius is also deliberate. As the story progresses, it becomes clear as to why they feel that they need each other so much (but I didn't want to dive too deep into that pool, because I'm a firm believer that you *must* have some things that are just for yourself, before you can share your life with someone else).

Thanks again - I'm glad that the characters come across as real and believable - that was also my intention and when I get a comment from an author that I have the utmost respect about my writing, I'm just reduced to a pile of goo - :)

Thanks again Aph!

♥ Beth

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Review #89, 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 #90, 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 #91, 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

Author's Response: Hey Aph!

No worries. I totally understand.

I honestly wasn't really trying to make it all that deep when I wrote this, but Kayla read through this and made a few suggestions that really helped me turn it into what it is now. It gave it a lot more of a connection to who Luna becomes later in life.

Since I don't see Luna being too much like her father in cannon, I figured a lot of her personality came from her mother. And you're spot on about the characters not being miniatures of their parents. I wanted them to be similar enough to be recognizable, but not carbon copies. Yes, Xeno definitely cares about Luna above all else.

Truthfully, I never grew up around little kids. I have no siblings or cousins, so I never had experience with babies. I just sort of tried to think of how I was when I was a kid and use elements of that in Luna.

Coming from someone who is seriously the master of description, your words really mean a lot. Seriously, I read your stories and just drool over the descriptive prose, so I'm thrilled that you thought my little attempt at description worked.

Thanks for the swap!


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Review #92, 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 #93, 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 #94, 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 #95, 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 #96, 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 #97, 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

Author's Response: Hi Aph! Sorry it's taken me so long to respond to your review! I'm terrible!

I felt like included bits of canon, no matter how small they were, was important to keep a connection to the wizarding world we know now. I didn't want this story to seem too different and stand alone. Well i'm glad it didn't change your mind - that means a lot! Thank you! I really enjoyed introducing the characters and playing with them!

I'm not a doctor who fan, as such but I did take inspiration for the name Clara - it just seemed perfect!

Thank you! I have to try especially hard because I am nowhere near formal speaking myself (I'm from the North of the UK, we don't speak posh haha!) so i'm glad I managed to make that work! Thank you! I love description in stories so I always try and include a lot of it myself because I do think it makes a story! So thank you!

Thank you so much for the swap and the wonderful review!


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Review #98, 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 #99, 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 #100, 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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