Reading Reviews From Member: Aphoride
463 Reviews Found

Review #76, by AphorideHamartia: one.

11th February 2015:
Hey Lisa! :) So, I have to admit I've been eyeing this story up for a while now - the summary is so mysterious and I love stories about morally grey/ambiguous characters, especially ones which don't paint Slytherins as all evil because of their house. Basically, in a long-winded way, I've wanted to read this for a while, it's exactly my kind of story, so thank you for requesting it! :P

I think I saw a previous version of a story with the same characters, you know - the names are familiar - but, regardless, I've pretty much forgotten about the old version (if there ever even was one... :P) because this is so, so good.

(And Joey's right when he says that pretty much everything you write is amazing. Tbh, I think this is some of your best yet :D)

I love the way you start this by introducing the character, and with the little sections at both top and bottom - they're so interesting, like insights into the characters before the story itself has even really started, you know? - and it's such a clever way to do it. Amelia also seems like such a great character - I love how she's almost ashamed/afraid of her background and of what her friends would think of her if she knew the truth, and how she feels so strongly that she has to prove herself - it's such a Slytherin trait, I think. That kind of ambitious determination.

I don't think I need to tell you that your writing is amazing, but I'm going to say it again anyway: your writing is just so, so unbelievably amazing. The way you use first person in this is incredible - it just sucks the reader right in, and makes me feel like this is a private thing Amelia's telling me herself, you know? Like it's a conversation between just me and her, or like I'm reading her diary. It's so, so good - I don't even know how you do it.

Also the language - chiaroscuro is such a great word, imo - it just, I dunno, almost lives, in a way. You have this way of making me believe everything of yours I read. It's a gift.

Favouriting. Stalking (possibly :P). Loved it! :)

Aph xx

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Review #77, by AphorideChai, Zebras, and a Friend in the Wee Hours of the Morning: Chai, Zebras, and a Surprise

11th February 2015:
Hey there! :) I just had to stop back on this series when I saw you in the Review Tag, because it's such a brilliant series and I love them so much! :)

As before, I adore your Hannah and Neville - and I'm pretty convinced your version of Hannah, Indian background and all, is pretty likely to become canon for me. There's something so wonderfully perfect about it, that I almost kick myself for not thinking of it before :P Also, the way you write their friendship - from the mention of the flirting and laughing, and how it's sort of become their thing, you know, chai at midnight, to how she helps Neville so easily to deal with his grief and understands him so well. It's just a brilliant, brilliant rendition of friendship.

Your Neville and Hannah individually are so strong, too. I love the way Hannah is making the cake (zebra cake sounds awesome, btw!) for him anyway as a surprise, and how he sneaks up on her to talk to her over her shoulder. Plus, the whole conversation between them with Neville saying how he didn't want to be an Auror - he was so scared about it - is so true to his character in the books its almost unreal.

I have to mention the details you put in this as well, because some of your phraseology was to die for, I swear to god. I especially loved 'his shoulder drooping upwards towards his ears' (I think that was the quote...). It's such a wonderful image! :)

Your writing, of course, was so gorgeous and the use of food is so good - it's just a wonderful snapshot of life, and the simplicity of the moment makes it so much more powerful. It's just amazing.

Love it. As always.

Aph xx

Author's Response: I'm so incredibly mindblown by the love this series has received. I'm just. Ugh. Thank you. It means a lot.

Yes. Missions accomplished. Head-canon established. What more could I want? I was surprised myself by just how well Hannah worked out. She really became something else when I started writing her. And thank you! I'm not sure how people feel about friendship, but it needs to be written more. I wanted the relationship between Neville and Hannah to be first and foremost about friendship. No matter what else they are, or become, they'll always be friends.

Yes! Another mission accomplished! Sometimes when you write romance, you find out that your two characters wouldn't be able to stand up by themselves. Co-dependence like that was something I seriously wanted to avoid. And of course they still had to be adorable together! I want people to ship them :P

Ah! Thank you so much! I struggle with description so that means a lot ^.^

Thank you so much for the lovely review :)

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Review #78, by AphorideA Single Point In Time: 1981

10th February 2015:
Hey there - dropping by for our review swap! :)

I love the idea of this - looking in on various characters pre-Hogwarts and just after the war, how it affected them and so on. It's such a cool idea, and I'm so excited to see who else you'll write about - Remus, maybe? Sirius? You've really got my curiosity there :P

The way you write Dumbledore is so good, too! He's one of those characters who is so slippery and so hard to pin down, you know, given how mysterious he is in the books and all, but you've written him so well here - it's like this is a little part of canon we never got to see. I love how he's not sure about leaving Harry with Petunia, only sort of hopeful, and how he hates the fact that the war ended the way it did and people died the way they did. Considering Dumbledore's background, it's not hard to imagine that for him, it's a very hard thing to go through (again).

The little mention of Phineas Nigellus was brilliant, too. In canon, usually he disagrees so much with Dumbledore, and I love how here he disagrees with him, too - and it's easy to see the 'are you sure about leaving him with muggles' as a vaguely anti-muggle sentiment, which isn't far-fetched considering it's Phineas, haha - but Dumbledore himself isn't sure. Still, they're both wonderfully in character and it's so, so impressive! :)

Your writing in this is gorgeous, too - there's something so simultaneously beautiful and simple about it, like you're simply describing or writing a memory, you know, and it's a really, really lovely style. The words you choose are just perfect, too, and your description is amazing (and, tbh, I'm running out of similies to describe your writing ;D).

This is so, so good. Favouriting. Following. I'll be back ;)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey Aph! Thanks for agreeing to swap! I absolutely loved reading yours too!

Hehe I currently have a very jumbled list of all the characters I might write about, but I'm finding it quite a challenge picking the years for them, and what each year might mean for each character. Hopefully when I've posted some more chapters you won't be disappointed!

I'm really glad you liked Dumbledore - I was so nervous about writing him. I'm also glad you liked the mention of Phineas - I really wanted to include him because he creates such a great contrast against Dumbledore and I always liked the bits with him in the books. My biggest reservation about this chapter was having Dumbledore uncertain of something because he does always seem to be in control of the situations, but at the same time I think it is only human that he would have his doubts. Thank you so much - I'm glad they're in character.

Hehe, you are far too kind! Thank you loads - its so lovely to get compliments, especially from a writer as amazing as you! ♥

Thanks you thank you thank you :)

Laura xxx

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Review #79, by AphorideFanged Revolution: Chapter the First

7th February 2015:
Hi there! Stopping by from BvB! :)

Okay, so I love vampires - they're so cool! And so fascinating! - so when you said you wanted a review on one of your WIPs, I just had to stop by this one! :)

I love Ignatius' character (are we ever going to find out what his original surname was? I like to think it's something like Weasley or Prewett, just for the kicks :P), how he regrets the way he acted when he was human, how he's been forced to hide and resents it, how he doesn't intend to kill the girl he meets (the Minister's daughter, I'm assuming), and how he feels wronged by his former own people - the wizards - because of how he's treated now. He's such a wonderful character, a proper revolutionary, lol, and it's great! :) Even in this first chapter, he's so well developed as a character, it's lovely!

I loved your descriptions of Knockturn Alley, and how for him it's sort of safer than Diagon Alley and the rest of the world. It's a really sad thing to think - that as a vampire he doesn't have anything, and can't have anything, and it's setting the scene so nicely for the revolution/rights battle later on ;) Also, I loved all the little classic vampires things you put in - the fangs, the blood, the aversion to sunlight and garlic... it was so good!

The way you slipped in all the background information on the vampires' situation, on how the Ministry treats them and all was so good, too - your writing is so lovely in this, it really feels like your being told about him, you know? It's a great style!

I'm so curious about what's going to happen next... what exactly the Minister's going to do and how this revolution is going to come about. If I see you in the BvB again, I'm definitely coming back! :)

Aph xx

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Review #80, by AphorideThe Ides of March: Nothing thicker than a knife's blade.

5th February 2015:
Hey there, Kiana! :) I was so glad you posted about a review swap, because it meant I could find an excuse to get back to this rather than reading about the beginnings of corporations... ;)

You know, it's been a while since I read the first chapter, but I still remember so much of it, because there's really no way I could forget this story. I don't think this is on my favourites yet, which, tbh, has been a long time coming... so I'll have to see to that once I've finished this ;)

As before, your characterisation of Helena is amazing. I love so much how you develop her relationships with other people - especially Rowena, and Helga, and Eleanor - and I love, actually, how female-centric the cast is. I find female-centric casts harder to write than male-centric ones, so I always love reading things like this. Helena continues to be such a tragic figure, in this: her relationship with her mother is so bad, and I feel for her with that, but at least she has Helga who tries to do the right thing and say the right thing, even though she doesn't understand what Helena's talkig about. What I love most about Eleanor, though, is how she's something of a counterpoint to Helena, almost, with her family loving her and being so happy and bright, compared to Helena who prefers anonymity, or attempted anonymity, at any rate. There's something wonderfully poetic about them.

The historical references and everything in this are so, so good, too. I love how religion is a major theme in this and really plays a role - it's so true to that era, and you handle it so well. I felt so sorry for Helena, though, after her talk with Helga, and being so convinced that her mother would just tell her she was doomed anyway - it really wasn't what she wanted to hear, even if it perhaps was what she expected. Though I loved the ending - it was so sweet! :)

Your writing, as always, is amazing in this. Just phenomenal, really. It's such a beautiful style you use for writing this, it really brings to mind the time and the period this is set in, and emphasises how solemn Helena is as a character, and makes the emotions so much more strongly felt. Your description is beautiful, but your dialogue is just brilliant and that always stands out to me whenever I read this. It's just... each word is perfect, you know? I don't know how you do it, it's a real gift...

So yeah, I love this and I can't believe this isn't on my favourites already :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey Laura!! Apologies for taking aeons to get back to this, I have no excuse other than life. :P

Aw, it means so much to me that it's stayed in your mind so much, as it really is the closest bit of writing to my heart as I've really had fun exploring the issues within this.

I'm so glad that you liked Helena as she is so much fun to explore as there are always new facets to her to uncover as she is an intriguing person. Whoo, I think you're first person to comment on that, but I'm glad that you did because we often usually have a cast of dominant males, especially in historical stories, but the women of the world were pretty impressive too so it only felt right they got their time. Aw, I'm glad that you like the contrast between Helena and Eleanor as it is fun to write too, and to me it almost makes the two of them even more tragic if that's possible. :P

Aw, thank you so much. I've always loved the history of religion as it combines both philosophical ideas and history which are two great loves of mine, so I've had so much fun here. I know, it's so doomed, and there are plenty more twists and turns left for them so the ending might not last for too long.

Aw, thank you so much! ♥ (bah, I keep on saying this throughout the review. :P) That really means so much to me, I can't really describe it but I'm here flailing around nevertheless. :P ♥ ♥ ♥

Thanks for this fab review! ♥


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Review #81, by AphorideI Will Make You...: Moonlight

5th February 2015:
Hi there! Stopping by from BvB! :) I love a bit of Ron/Hermione - they're one of those pairings you just can't help but love, you know ;) - so I just had to stop by on this.

I love how you portrayed Ron and Hermione, with them both being in love with each other and wanting each other, but almost being too nervous to say anythng, really, until they do - there's the impression that it's taken Ron time to work up to it, you know? And how he reaches out to try and tuck her hair behind her ear, but bails when she looks up :P

Is it bad that with the ending I feel kinda sorry for Ron? Like, he really fancies her and she really fancies him, but then she essentially makes him forget that to a certain extent (which I thought was such a clever take on it! Makes the whole Lavender situation even more painful), and so it just gets left. Hermione's reaction was so good, though - I can definitely see her thinking something like that, with the timing of it and things, being so overly logical, almost. Gah, poor them! It's such a sad ending, for both of them.

Your writing in this was so good, too - the only thing I'd say is maybe to try combining different clauses into one sentence, with colons and semi-colons and commas? Coz your sentences, especially at the beginning, tend to be a bit short. But then again, I have a habit of writing incredibly long sentences, so feel free to ignore if you want ;) Still, your writing is so clean and so evocative of the emotions they're feeling - it really drags the reader into the piece, which is great! :)

I really enjoyed this! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey :)

Thank you for reviewing! Your comment on my writing was so nice, thank you so much for that! As for the short sentences - I will pay more attention to that next time, though I'm afraid I will get lost writing long sentences, even have hard time reading them sometimes if they're written in English :D

I'm so glad you liked the story - I feel sorry for both of them, but then we all know how it ends. And the longer the wait, the better it tastes lol

thank you! :)

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Review #82, by AphorideFull of Grace: It's Better This Way.

4th February 2015:
Hey there - stopping by from BvB :) Seeing that you'd posted this so recently, and for the Songfic Challenge too (and songfics are always so good, imo!), I just had to stop by :)

This really is an incredibly heart-breaking one-shot, with the way you portray Molly and her grief, so enhanced by the use of the lyrics throughout. It really just tugs at you, and it's one of those stories you end up feeling after you've finished reading it, you know?

I love how you've portrayed Molly - even if that's kinda harsh to say, given what this story is about - but there's something so perfect about the way you write her. It's so exactly in canon, and in character for her to react in that kind of way - her family was always the most important thing to her, and it's been broken, in a way which can't be fixed. It's so desperately sad - I just want to hug her or something, her and Arthur both :(

I loved as well the way you tied in the seasons with it - how the season is changing and Fred's not there, and that's the hard thing, because it's the simple things, rather than the big things, almost. It really speaks of the depth of Molly's grief; as does the bit where you talk about how she feels the pain of all of her children, so the pain she feels at losing Fred is then multiplied because of the pain each of children feels at his loss, too. There's something so beautifully, poetically sad about that idea which I just adored.

Your writing in this was just stunning, too. The way you wrote it, with the description of the scenery outside and the grave and everything, was so gorgeous and brought the whole thing to life. It really let the emotions shine through - making them so powerful.

Gah, I'm so glad I read this - I'm sorry if this review is short, but I'm kinda lost for words, really, about how to review this because it's so beautiful :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi there Aph!

Thanks so much for reviewing this. It was a difficult topic to write about and it was very, very important to me that I was delicate with the emotions.

I know that not everyone loves songfics, but I really loved this song and it just seemed to fit with what Molly was feeling.

I think you really are spot on about it being the simple things instead of the big things. It is so hard to get through your daily life when every little thing you do reminds you of what you've lost.

I also think that seasons are a reminder of the cycle of life and the change for each one is a reminder that things move on - even when Molly isn't quite ready to.

Gah - thanks for the compliment on my writing. It really, really means a lot - coming from you :)

This review WASN'T too short - it was absolutely perfect and I LOVE it!

♥ Beth

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Review #83, by AphorideThe Man With the Twisted Face: Prologue

2nd February 2015:
Hi there - dropping by from the review battle! :) I just had to stop by on this story when I saw it on your page - I love stories about Death Eaters, which explore their pasts and how they became the people we know in the books... there's something so fascinating about it! :)

I love the way you've started that off immediately, with the mention of how he didn't really hate muggleborns or believe in his parents ideology - it marks him out as a thoughtful, clever, maybe lonely sort of child - with nothing to play with, and far too much curiosity. It'll be interesting to see how those things play out for him in later life, and if they do more harm than good.

I actually feel pretty sorry for his parents, you know. It can't be easy growing up and believing so fervently in that kind of ideology and then having a child who doesn't believe it, and knowing you'll be in trouble because/if he doesn't. It's a pretty bad situation to be in, especially since they sound like they do actually care about him, you know? To me, that just highlights the horrors of the ideology Voldemort and the purebloods believed in, and how damaging it was to them... so sad! :(

Your writing in this is so good! I love how you write this almost as though it's a history, as though it's someone sitting with a class maybe, or with a pair of kids and telling it to them - that kind of narrated feel - and it works so well for this. It doesn't take away from the characters or the emotions at all.

I'm so so curious about what's going to happen next, too - with this mysterious girl and how that's going to effect him, what maybe his parents might end up doing about it (and him, too!), and how this will lead to him joining the Death Eaters and getting involved in that whole circle... he's got a long way to go from this point atm, and I'm imagining it's going to be something pretty drastic and probably pretty bad. Poor kid. Still, you've done a brilliant job of setting up the mystery and the cliffhanger and getting me invested in the characters.

This is a brilliant start! Might have to try and pop back to this sometime later in the month ;)

Aph xx

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Review #84, by AphorideThe New Creative Arts Department: that time when i started a newspaper

1st February 2015:
Hi there, Joey and Lisa! (You know, I'm gonna have to find some kind of collective noun for you guys... alternatively you guys can come up with one and just let me know, that works too... mostly coz I'm lazy and typing out Joey and Lisa every time is going to be long (since, you know, I'm probably going to be stalking this story ;P))

I love the idea of having an arts department at Hogwarts! I mean, it makes so much sense - they had a choir after all, so why not music lessons and painting and writing classes and things? (Any dance, coz that's like, my other arty passion, apart from writing ;D) but no, it's such a cool idea, and I love that you guys have done it because this kind of story deserves/needs snappy, witty dialogue and you guys are both so, so good at it. Like this - “So, can you write?”

“Can you breathe?”

Landon thought about the question. “Well, I’ve got asthma…” made my laugh out loud. Properly. My floormates probably think I'm mad or something... :P

The characters at first glimpse are so good, too - I love how they're so friendly with each other, and so easy to get to know and like. You have this strangely almost creepy way of getting me invested in your characters, in a way which is almost annoying, because I'm not used to being invested in characters, especially nice ones :P Normally I love the evil ones (strange crush of Joffrey, anyone? :P). What are you guys doing to me? Also, I love how different they all are - already you're establishing characteristics for them, like some being more confident about themselves than others, them all doing the course for different reasons, and having different strengths. It's hinting at a great story in the future! :)

I love the writing in this, too. I think the dialogue is the strongest point, but everything in this is so amazing. It flows so beautifully - and everything just fits to well together. I loved the introduction of the student newspaper, and having Teddy as the teacher, mahaha! Rose will sure have fun with that :P (Though I do pity Teddy a bit... is that wrong?) Plus, all the details - like Scorpius choosing his name was so funny, and Connor's disinterest in the course... they're so good at introducing the characters.

This is such a brilliant beginning, too - I'm so excited to see what's going to happen next, romantically with the characters, with the student newspaper and what other initiatives they're going to start up. And when exactly Teddy's going to end up having a nervous breakdown :P

Loved this beginning! :) Favouriting!

Aph xx

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Review #85, by AphorideLife Was Meant to Be Easy Now: A Brand New Year

1st February 2015:
Hey there! :) Stopping by for our review swap! I was so glad you said this story, because I was wanting to come back to it anyway, so it all worked out pretty nicely ;)

I really liked this chapter, too - I liked how it linked up so cleverly with Albus' Story, and brought elements from there into play, with mention of Roxanne's crush on Scorpius, and Scorpius asking Fred out and all... there's something so awesome about sequel stories which do that - and I love it! :) Plus, it's so believable too, because things like that usually end up coming out at some point, you know? Though James didn't have to keep pushing the point, really - even if maybe he didn't mean to upset Albus quite like that (but he should have known! Annoying boy :P). Poor Al... and poor Scorp, too - no one wants to feel guilty over something they shouldn't be guilty about, especially when it happened years ago.

As before, in the first chapter and in the prequel, I love the characterisation of everyone in this - I love the relationships between them all, too. They're all so real, and the characters are all so real, too - like they could actually exist, you know? Which is something I love to pieces in stories! :)

I really liked the little glimpses of people like Colin and one of the girls who looked away, because it sort of hints at later drama, at potential difficulties they're going to face (which will then cause drama for Al and Scorp between themselves because Al will use it as reasons why they should never have opened up about their relationship I KNOW IT, and gah, that's just so cruel!), but it was so subtle. Little things people don't usually think about doing, you know? And that makes it almost worse, in a way...

The way you write everything in this - characters, relationships, emotions - is just so vivid. Like it always leaps out at me and gets me invested in the story and hoping that nothing bad will happen to then, that they'll all be happy and all that kind of stuff, you know? It's real talent! :)

Thank you so much for the swap - I'm so looking forward to reading more of this, we're gonna have to do some more at some point ;)

Aph xx

Author's Response: I'm sorry I took a while to respond! Thanks for a wonderful review, I don't really know how to respond properly... I'm blushing! :-)

I'm thrilled that you liked the chapter, and that you find the small details and references to the prequel.

Oh yes, there's drama to come, and Colin is here for a reason. ;-)

Thanks for a great swap and for your kind words!


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Review #86, by AphorideThe Many Jobs of Remus Lupin : The Many Jobs of Remus Lupin

1st February 2015:
Hey there - stopping by for our review swap! :) I just had to click on this story because Remus is one of those characters I have a bit of a soft spot for, what with his tragic backstory and all, and I love seeing different people's portrayals of him. Plus, I always want to make that little '0' tick over to '1' ;)

I really loved this - I love the whole concept of it so much, too! It's so true that Remus would have had whole hordes of jobs after leaving school and being hired at Hogwarts and then the return of Voldemort and his missions and so on... and it's even more true that most of them were probably very short and not-very-good jobs, too. Poor guy, he gets such a bad lot in life... :(

You have his character down pat, though - I love how you've got all his little quirks in, and all those traits of his we see in canon: how he's the more serious of the Marauders (as far as we know), how he struggles with money, how he doesn't view serious topics as sources of humour, how he's really kinda incapable of keeping Sirius from doing what he wants :P The little details you used to describe him and all were so good too - I loved the reference to the bags under his eyes, the scars and the patches on his robes. And then Remus losing his temper eventually, but being embarrassed by it, was just so perfectly him! :D

Sirius was so great, too! I'm not always a massive fan of Siriuses in fic, but I loved him in this! His playful attitude was so right for him - and I loved how bored he was and just kept on irritating Remus because it was something to do. Still, all the cheerfulness to me seems to hint at someting darker underneath, you know, and I like that subtlety to it - like he's exaggerating it because he's not toally happy. Maybe that's just my interpretation, but I like that I can do that with this :)

Remus really should never have let Sirius watch tv, though. Or near a camera :P

I actually really liked the scene in the shop, even though it was so bad for poor Remus... it was funny! :P I loved how the shop owner didn't really care, and went on his lunch break suspiciously early... and then how his coworker sort of deliberately got him fired by doing the same and knowing he wouldn't be able to handle it. Nasty pair, those two - though I do wonder if they're kinda in cahoots, though what about or why I dunno... :P I love little details, though - all the mentions of the best-selling books were so, so good - and I always appreciate little jibes at The Book Which Shall Not Be Named ;) The mad fans were such a nice touch, too - it's so true of bookstores on days books like that come out. Insane. This is why I preorder stuff! :P

You are so, so good at writing humour, too - I'm so jealous of that! Please tell me your secret for it? ;) Pretty please? :P Your writing in this is so lovely - it flows so perfectly and everything.

So yeah, I really, really enjoyed reading this. I think this is going to have to go on my favourites so I can see all the other (hopefully/undoubtedly) horrible and funny jobs Remus gets! :)

Aph xx

p.s. thank you so, so much for the two reviews you left me - I really didn't expect to get a second one at all, and it completely made my day, so thank you! :)

Author's Response: Oh wow, what a master review. Where to begin?!

I love Remus and I wanted to hit all of those things. He's the serious one but he still has a little edge to him. I can see him blowing up once someone pushes him far enough and Sirius and him living together. Originally I was going to have Peter pop in and James as well but there's something about Remus/Sirius and their friendship that I had to make the focus for at least part of the story. I've never really written them before so it was a nice challenge and I didn't want to focus on love or a relationship because who really has time to be in a relationship when they're broke and trying to fight a war.

This was also going to be a short story collection of different jobs Remus had to take in order to survive but since Sirius and his other friends would have to eventually make their exit I didn't want to get away from the humor of the story so I stopped here.

Exactly! Sirius isn't happy. That's why he bothers Remus. They make biting jokes at each other because they can but he is bored and he knows he could be doing more and wants to do more but he doesn't necessarily have to. Plus, I don't think Sirius likes to be left alone (which was why I was going to add Peter into the mix) and he would be a little offended because he can take care of Remus.

Okay, honestly, I got the idea of the shop owner and the employee from actual retail experience. I worked in retail for many years in different stores and the customers that come in! I had a customer spit on me before. Others sneeze on you. Of course you have the yellers, the old woman fighting over skirts and other things for their grandchildren and the horrible managers that could care less about your sanity or your safety. So I took from my experience but embellished it a little bit.

I'm a bit rusty. I wrote half of this story in 2012 and then half of it now in 2015 so I'm glad you liked it from the beginning to the end. I'm tempted to write a second part now! What are you doing to me! :D

No problem. I really enjoyed your story. There's one more I added to my reading list that sounds so interesting. Your writing is superb! Thanks so much for the lovely review.

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Review #87, by AphorideAll or Nothing: there is a light that never goes out

31st January 2015:
Hi there! :) Dropping by for our exchange! I have to be honest, I was so excited to see I got paired with you this month because this story just looked so fascinating - I do love a good Bellatrix story and it's been ages since I read one!

And this was so good! :) I love the way you've presented Bellatrix in this - how she progresses from a cruel, but not evil, child, to such a determined, almost reckless teenager, to the madwoman we all know and love from the books :P There's something almost lovely (I say 'almost' because it is a want to hurt other people and all...) about the middle section: when Bella falls in love with the mystery woman, and they talk about conquering together, about staying side-by-side, even knowing the limitations their society would put on them. It's such a strong, powerful feeling there - the way you write it just pulls it through the words, it's so gorgeous! And that's a little bit strange, because it's not an emotion I usually associate with Bellatrix :P

The way you developed that relationship was simulatenously so sad (because we knew where it was going to end, and how it sort of had to end, before the beginning), but so bittersweet, too, because there was always this sort of memory, especially in the last section, and this sort of feeling with Bellatrix that maybe she still cared, even if just a little. If she was wondering about Mystery Woman more than Narcissa and them, it's kinda suggestive, you know ;)

You know, this is written for the Reset the Default Challenge, and, tbh, I think you've reset it perfectly, because I didn't even think anything about the sexuality of the characters or the nature of the relationship. It was just not really important, with the way you portrayed them and how you wrote their relationship - gender/sexuality didn't matter, it was a beautiful relationship and that was enough, you know? Yeah, that was so well done! :)

I loved your writing in this, too. I've already said (I think so, at any rate...) that you could really feel the emotion coming through the words, that there was this beautiful sense of love and passion and drive and determination, and all of those things which are so typically Bellatrix, and reflected their relationship. Like, you didn't just read it, you sort of felt it too, and you wanted them to be together, even though you knew it wasn't going to end that way. So sad, and so cruel of you! ;)

Even if I never thought of it before, this pairing makes sense. It just works, and you make me ship it! :)

So yeah, I really love this fic - it's so good, in every way, from the way you characterise Bella (the beetle-stamping thing was so in-character for all three Black sisters!), and the way you develop such a beautiful, even if desperately sad by the end, relationship. You make me feel for Bella, because we see her side, and this woman, in her mind, betrayed her and left. It's almost heartbreaking! :(

I loved this! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Laura!! I'm so sorry for taking ages to reply to this, it was such a wonderful review! Aw, I'm really glad you were excited to read this - I was stoked to get the chance to read some more of your wonderful work as well. :D

Thank you so much for what you said in that second paragraph, and how it felt strong and beautiful - that is such a compliment. I was definitely intending to show her impressive strength of character without changing her into a good person, yet still putting something of a good light on her.

I'm glad you liked the bittersweet development of their relationship. I like to think that she does stilll care, at least sometimes, but of course that is for only Bellatrix to know and for us to wonder :p And thanks, I'm so glad you liked the way I reset the default! I didn't want to make it the point of the story or draw any special attention to her sexuality, only to write a relationship how it was. I'm so glad you liked how I approached it.

Wow, thank you! It is really so wonderful to hear that you could feel the emotion while reading this and that you liked the writing style. It was really a challenge for me and so this is just amazing to hear. Thank you!

ooh, I'm glad you ship the pairing haha! I had never thought much about Bella before writing this but once I did stop to consider, I think this is the way I've always envisioned Bellatrix to be honest, and this story just gave me the opportunity to put a voice to it.

I'm thrilled that you enjoyed this fic, and that you liked the characterisation of all three of the sisters in that first scene. And most of all I'm glad it made you (almost) sympahise with Bella and feel sad that the relationship ended in betrayal (as she views it).

Thank you so much for this incredible review!!

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Review #88, by AphorideTrue Romance: Simple Song

25th January 2015:
Hey there, Rose! Sorry for this being a little bit late in getting to you, but my friend stopped round and I got completely distracted from the internet :P

I really can't believe this is finished! It seems like only recently it was being started... and Pure Romance before it... it's been, what? A year? Less? Something like that... wah, I'm so pleased for you but so sad coz this is the end of Albus and Brandon's story (though maybe minor appearances in Lily/Lysander? ;D).

I love how you've ended this though. It feels like this and Pure Romance have come full circle - with Al and Scorp starting out as friends, and then ending as friends, and both being secure in where they are and who they are and all that kind of stuff. There's something lovely about that - that they remained friends even after the love and the heartbreak and everything.

It was such a sweet scene with the two of them - so appropriate! And I love how Scorpius is so in love with Corbin (even if I'm not Corbin's biggest fan :P), and how Albus is so in love with Brandon, and both their lives are moving on - it's so nice to see people get happy endings for once! (I've been watching GoT recently, lol)

I'm so excited for the Lily/Lysander story (and I really hope it is Lily/Lysander, he sounds so good for her!), and I may pop by your story request thread soon with a plunny ;) But we'll see! For now, I'm just so happy with the ending of this - it's so nice! :D

Thank you so much for writing this story - I've loved it! :)

Aph xx

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Review #89, by AphorideChai, Samosas, and a Friend in the Wee Hours of the Morning: Chai, Samosas, and a Surprise

17th January 2015:
Hi there - stopping by from Review Tag! :) I've seen this story mentioned around the forums a couple of times, and its sequel more recently, but I thought it'd probably make more sense if I came and read this one first, rather than going straight to the sequel ;)

I really loved this - it's such a beautiful, heart-warming and incredibly unique one-shot. There's some to wonderful about such an almost simple scene, but so perfectly written and so sweet, and emotional - in a good way :P

You know, before I read this I'd never really thought much about Hannah Abbott, or what I thought about her, but I love love love your interpretation of her as having an Indian background, whether only through one parent or both. It's such an interesting idea, and I love how easily it fits into canon, and how well it fits with her - it's just great! I love finding little head-canon things like that, it's why this world is so much fun to play with! :) As well, I love how sweet Hannah is, with her whole demeanor, but also how she doesn't really want Neville there at the beginning, she's almost nervous with him there, and how she talks about being a Healer and how it was hard and stressful and almost boringly annoying with the wand stories (and omigosh, that is so true to life - I have cousins in medicine, and you should here their muggle equivalent stories! :P), and how she didn't mind working at the Leaky, even though it wasn't a particularly big or important job. There's something so nice about seeing a character who isn't massively impressive with a brilliant job, and it's so realistic too, which I love.

Neville is just love. He's so oblivious and so almost stubborn about not leaving, and the little moment when he tells her where his room is - haha, that's me when I'm nervous! Talking too much about random stuff :P He's so, so well characterised, and he really feels like the Neville from the books and films - the guy who's matured into the leader of the DA, and kills Nagini.

Your writing in this is amazing, too. I love all the little details in here - especially all the little mentions of Indian cuisine and all the Hindi words (it really makes me feel like I've learned something) - and your description is so, so lovely. Cooking is really hard to write, because it's essentially almost a list of actions, one after another, but you do it so well, with all the interactions between Neville and Hannah tucked up in it that it just is so, so great to read, and so fascinating. Again, I love how it's a small moment, not their first date or first kiss or wedding day or something, just an interaction between two people, and yet it's so heartwarming and so lovely. It's amazing, really.

So, yeah, I'm kinda in love with this one-shot now :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Heya! Thanks for dropping in :)

Ah! Thank you so much! I'm so so so pleased that you liked it!

I hadn't really thought much about Hannah Abbot either until I read something on Pottermore about her. I didn't really think about it much at the time, but somehow she stayed with me. I'm glad she did, because this one-shot was just so much fun to write. I've come to realise that a lack of information about minor characters is actually a blessing in disguise, because I can do stuff like this and that's just too amazing an opportunity to pass up. Hannah is a delight to write. She's hesitant to let people into her life, but Neville being Neville just barges in anyway. And again, Neville being Neville, is eventually accepted. And aren't mundane medical stories the best? I love them so much!

Haha, I'm glad you like Neville! I'm always nervous to write him but he's just been so well-received and I'm just so happy about that! I like to imagine that he just waltzes into situations and soldiers on until people accept his presence. And I'm a nervous babbler too!

Ah! Thank you so much! Description is a beast. I'm sort of flattered that you feel as if you've learnt something :P Cooking is hard to write, because essentially you're basically rewriting a recipe. It's weird, but fun. And yes! I toyed with the idea of making the moment more "significant" but I think the moment they meet and become friends is probably the most significant of all.

Thanks so much for the lovely review :)

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Review #90, by AphorideLife Was Meant to Be Easy Now: An Awkward Dinner

16th January 2015:
Hi there! :) So I was so glad to see you ask for this to be reviewed because, I don't know if you remember, but I was such a fan of the prequel to this, Albus' Story, and I love that you're doing a sequel to it! :)

I love how you start this off with them visiting Scorpius' parents, too. It's such a big moment for both of them - and one which is always going to be hard - and I love stories which do that: drop you right in amongst the action at the beginning, rather than sort of warming up a bit, you know? Plus, it gives this lovely chance for us to see how comfortable they are as a couple, and how settled, you know, even though they're still pretty young.

And, tbh, as before, I love your characterisation of them. They have a pretty mature relationship, and they've both obviously grown up a bit since the last story - though it's still clear they're both teenagers. It's amazing how you managed to get that feel, from the characters, that they're so grown up and independent and mature, and yet the sense form the outside that they're not completely finished yet, that they still have ways to go with growing up and things.

Their relationship is so sweet, too - and I loved the awkwardness at Malfoy Manor, with Scorpius' parents, weird as it sounds. It was just so well written, that I could sort of feel the tension in the room, and sense the way that Scorpius and Astoria were desperately trying to sort of save the evening and keep the conversation going. Both their nerves at the beginning were so lovely, too, and again, so visible in the writing - and totally merited! I mean, Draco is a bit of a jerk about the whole thing... grr.

That being said, I like how Draco and Astoria, Astoria especially, seem to be trying to come to terms with it and what it means for their family, even if they find it hard. Often that kind of struggle is overlooked in ff (and even in of at times) and it's something so lovely to see, because it means that those people find the person involved worth more to them than their opinions, you know? And, imo, that's beautiful. Plus, it leaves me hopeful that Draco might come round in the end and be happy for Scorpius, even if I imagine he'll never be completely happy that Scorpius chose Albus Potter, of all people :P

But yes, I love this story - I'm so glad you posted this, and I'm so curious about where this is going to go in future chapters! Your characters as always are brilliant, and your writing is lovely, as usual :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Thank you for the lovely review! I didn't think anybody still remembered Albus's Story. I'm glad you do, though! :-)

Yes, both Albus and Scorpius are mature in some ways, but at least Albus has some quite immature sides too, which will show later on.

Draco will probably never fully appreciate Albus as Scorpius's significant other, but I think that he'll accept him more and more. Probably, you'll never know... ;-)

Thanks again for your kind review!

Molly :-)

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Review #91, by AphorideSeven: Seven is the most magical of numbers.

16th January 2015:
Hey there - dropping by for our review swap! :) I really hope you're not sick of reviews for this story - sorry if you are! (Please forgive me!) - but I (somehow) didn't realise you had a Sirius story and just had to stop by on it, because I do love Sirius... :)

I just want to say, first, how impressed I am with the multiples-of-seven word paragraphs. It's all microfiction, and that in itself is amazing (I'm terrible at it - so terrible, I've never tried it because it terrifies the life out of me), but you do it so well, and to do it all in multiples of seven words on top of that is nothing short of brilliant. I mean, I don't even know how you'd go about doing something like that, and you just crack this out and it's amazing :)

I love how you characterised Sirius, as well. You really brought out the light and dark in him, and the madness he gets from Azkaban is visible towards the end, with the references to the beast wanting to escape, and how he almost considers himself as Padfoot, and the repetition of 'It was Peter'. I loved how you emphasised the lightness in him, too, when he was with Dorcas and how he loved her almost carefully, as though he was afraid he'd hurt her or break her or something. It was such a great contrast to how wildly joyous the last section is, and the disappointment in the first bit, with his family.

Actually, speaking of, I loved how every paragraph almost had a different feeling to it, a different sense. Like, you really showed the emotional journey Sirius went through, not on a daily, minute basis, but on a larger-scale one - overall. It made this kind of feel like a summary of his life, of him as a person, and the relationships he had, you know? And I really liked that - there's not that many stories which do that in whole, preferring to take bits and explore those. Which is great, but I loved the originality of this :)

As I said before, I love the way you wrote this. There's something so amazing about what you've done, and how much you've managed to convey in so little - the emotions, the feel of it, the different senses, the description... it's just a wonderful piece of writing in whole. I really like the broken-up sort of style of it, especially in the shorter sections - there's something incredibly captivating about it, though I dunno what exactly what is... but I really like it! :)

This is a really great one-shot! I'm almost disappointed I didn't discover this before! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi there Aph!

Apologizing for taking so long to get to this response :(

I'm definitely NOT tired of reviews on this story (or any of them, in fact). I really liked how this one turned out and once I got started, it wasn't nearly as hard to write as I thought it would be. I was intimidated by it at first, but it really was sort of fun to write within the parameters that I'd set - you should try it - YOU CAN DO IT! I KNOW YOU CAN!!!

I'm so happy that you picked up on the light and dark, but more so that each paragraph had a different feel. I really wanted a different emotion to come across in each one and I let out a squee when I read that part of the review - thanks!

Gah! I'm so overwhelmed at this review. Thanks so much!

♥ Beth

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Review #92, by Aphoridesilver morning: parchment & crystal

16th January 2015:
Hey there - stopping by for our review swap! :)

So, I really really loved that you asked me to review this (though, tbh, I'd probably have read it anyway, lol). There's something so wonderful about discovering new pairings and how people make them work, and part of both my love/fear of Next Gen is the freedom to make the characters what you want and all... so anything can work, even if there are accepted, general theories and perceptions of characters.

Also, I love anything which turns the conventional on its head :P

So, basically, I adored this. Everything about this was so wonderful - you're a fabulous writer! Your description was gorgeous, as was your dialogue (there was always something so poignant about it whenever it came up - like every word meant something, which I loved), and your details were amazing. I especially loved when you had Fred talk about the sky and so on, how it looked like a giant cutting it open. There was something so beautiful, so poetic and yet also strangely haunting about that line and I adored it :)

Again, like I said before, I love how you've overturned the conventional by it being a Scorpius/Fred romance, rather than, say, Scorpius/Albus or Scorpius/Rose. And I love the dynamic you've given them too - how Scorpius is almost the over-achiever, with good grades and a prefect's badge and natural Quidditch skills (and then a Quidditch career, which speaks for itself, really), and Fred is so much more laid-back, outwardly at least, with the anxiety and depression (which were both so tastefully handled, and so beautifully understated, imo - it made it clear they were there, and issues, but it wasn't the focus of the story, so it let the story speak for itself, you know?), and the attempted aloof personality (which didn't really work, haha). Your characterisation is just class, and so, so realistic.

The other thing I want to talk about is the style of this. I love how wistful it was, how it had that lovely, whimsical tone people get when they reminisce about things - times and people they miss, you know - and how romantic it was, even though they never held hands or kissed or anything like that. It was romantic in mood, and you made me feel for them and sort of want to get together, but, tbh, I wasn't really disappointed for them in the end, because the ending just felt right for them, even without the cliche kiss ending and all... I'm not a massive fan of fluffy or overly-romantic/cute romance, so I adored this - the understated way they both dealt with it, the clear infatuation... it was just so, so gorgeous.

The thing about this one-shot is that even though objectively, there's not masses of plot going in in terms of big, grand gestures - it's all very introspective, very character driven, a series of meetings, almost between two people, and almost more a tale of feelings, rather than people - but it's so memorable, it's so emotional, and it's so real that it speaks to you and stays with you, if that makes any sense at all :P

So, basically, what I'm trying to say is that I love this one-shot. It's just a masterpiece. Favouriting :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hello Aph!

This review is so fabulous I can already tell it will be hard to respond to it! :)

First off, I'm really glad you didn't mind me asking for a review on a specific story, at the time I really wanted an opinion on this one. I'm even more glad you would have chosen it anyway! :D And I couldn't agree more about fear and love of NextGen! Anything can work, but not anything can work /for you/. :)

Thank you so so much for all of these lovely compliments you have given me! I have read your fabulous work and that makes this review all the more gratifying! I'm thrilled that you liked my descriptions but I would like to specifically thank you for commenting on the dialogue. I tend to cut down my dialogue to leave room for descriptions (which I prefer writing) and that entails hours of re-writing and editing every sentence of dialogue so that it conveys the same message but in the fewest amount of words. That's why you saying 'every word meant something' is such a huge compliment to me! Also, I'm so happy you pointed out the line about the giant and the sky! That's one of the first ideas I had for this story and the whole scene is very dear to me. :)

I, too, like unconventional pairings! Other than the advantage of 'something new', they are also much easier to write, because they don't have hundreds of similar stories preceding them and therefore the reader is less likey to have certain expectations of the characters. :P I'm very happy you liked the dynamic between Scorpius and Fred - your analysis of them is perfect! And also, thank you so much for your comment about anxiety and depression, and my depiction of it. This was the part I was the most nervous writing about, and so to hear such great feedback is extremely reassuring. Thank you, honestly. :)

''I love how wistful it was, how it had that lovely, whimsical tone people get when they reminisce about things - times and people they miss, you know-''

^ I do know! Everything you just said pretty much describes the writing style I love reading most! Thank you!

''it's all very introspective, very character driven, a series of meetings, almost between two people, and almost more a tale of feelings, rather than people''

^ And this! I don't know how to express my excitement over these words! It's everything I hope to achieve when writing. THANK YOU. I love the fact that you felt something for my characters, and that the story stayed with you. It's incredibly gratifying to hear such accurate analysis of my characters, and such a positive reaction to the story itself.

I would just like to point out that this will actually be a novella, and it will have four chapters in total, but I am really glad you thought it was a one-shot. I planned every chapter to be a closed off section, exploring a different period of time in Fred's life, up until that evening in the Burrow, and his relationship with different characters (mostly Scorpius, but also Rose) in those periods. So, it's actually very convenient that you've read it as a one-shot, I must be doing something right. :p I don't know if you will want to read the rest (it's perfectly fine if you don't) but I just want to assure you there will be no grand gestures and no overly cute romance, because I am not a fan of it either. :D

To wrap this up: Thank you for this gorgeous review, for all your lovely compliments, for favouriting this story and for calling it a 'masterpiece'! It was a pleasure doing a review swap with you, and I apologise for not replying to this sooner (RL has been a pain!).


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Review #93, by AphorideTrue Romance: Time to Get Out

16th January 2015:
Hey there - dropping by for our review swap! :) You know, I've been really bad with this story, I have to admit. I've been following it when you update it and everything, but I haven't reviewed since, like, chapter four or something stupid. So I'm back, and I'm coming to this one, and it's probably going to be long (but then, tbh, it really should be...), so sorry about that ;)

So, you already know how much I love Albus and Brandon and their whole relationship - how it matures, and they mature, and it changes and it's so wonderful... they just fit together so well. Like, Brandon means that Albus takes things a bit more seriously, and Albus helps Brandon to lighten up. Neither of them are perfect, but they're supportive of each other, and it's so so lovely. It's such a beautifully realistic romance, too, and I adore it. I love that they're moving in together, after everything they've been through, and that the horrible Child Services woman has left them to get on with raising Cora and being happy together. It's not a fairytale ending, and it's really not cliche - it's so wonderfully spontaneous as a decision and I adore it.

Cora's bits are always so cute! The little mentions of her practising crawling and so on are so adorable... though I was so upset for her that she was there when Arthur died! I don't think Arthur would have wanted her to be there either - I mean, him collapsing wouldn't necessarily have been good for Cora, she could have got hurt... at least (hopefully) she won't remember it! Small mercies, I guess...

Speaking of Arthur, I loved how sweetly you dealt with Molly's grief, with her being surrounded by her family and so supported by them, but that not always being enough, as in this chapter where she's still in her dressing gown and things and she still misses Arthur so much, but she wants to try and be strong. I loved the references to the support of family, though, and how they're so important to her, and she almost needs to take care of someone to get herself grounded again, and to be able to continue on. It's such an in-character thing for Molly, it's amazing! There's a real skill, I think, in getting every single character in a story so well done, and so in character too - it's so impressive, particularly because you don't exactly have a small cast, either! :)

I'm always in two minds about Scorpius and Corbin. I don't know... it's weird, I mean, I like their romance, I think it's sweet and loving and good, and they obviously really like each other, but I'm not overly fond of Corbin, haha. I just love Scorpius so much, that Corbin's jealousy and assuming Scorpius is seeing so many of his close friends (both Rose and Albus) and hitting him, even once... Scorpius is a very forgiving bloke... far more so than I am! That being said, I love how Corbin seems to have changed and realised his mistake and seems to really love Scorpius - people all make mistakes, and I love that you've shown that even in relationships, forgiveness is important - and they're sorting things out about Paris and stuff. I love the end of their romance, if not bits of the middle :P

I think, though, the couple I really ship now, which surprised me is Rose and Pedro. I mean, who doesn't like sexy Spanish guys, amiright? :P But, seriously, I love how free-spirited Rose is, and how at the same time she's unsure of what she wants, but decides to take the risks anyway, and I love Pedro. He just sonds awesome :P

Archie is an idiot. I'm so glad Lily punched him - he deserved it, even if I don't normally advocate violence! But he did! And I loved how disappointed Harry was with Albus and James about their 'revenge', though - it's so parentlike and Harry-like to do that - and how he was still nice enough to use his pull to get them out of more serious trouble than would otherwise have happened. Nah, I didn't mind Archie at the beginning, but he just got worse... I love the little hints of Lily/Lysander, though - they'd make such a cute couple! :D (Please tell me they turn up together again in the last chapter? Please? :D)

Your writing throughtout this has been so beautiful - the flow is always wonderful and the pace is always great, no need to worry about that!, and I'm always stunned by how good you are at plotting things out. It all feels so perfectly placed and so intricately planned. I'm jealous :P

This story is so gorgeous and so truthful, and all of the characters so real and so wonderful, that you can sympathise with any of them really - there's no out-and-out bad guy - and the way they handle things are so great. This is definitely going on my favourites, and I'm going to be so, so sad when it's all over.

I love this! :D

Aph xx

Author's Response: Aph!!

This review = amazeballs. I love it and want to read it every day as my writer's affirmation. ^_^ I'm really just glad that you didn't lose interest in the story. :D :D :D

I might just start a branbus fan club for people because I think by halfway through the story *everyone* ships them. I ship them so hard too, which is why I couldn't tear them apart. I'm never sure if I do give them a realistic romance so I'm really happy to hear it is. :D i couldn't ever write about two perfect people - how boring. I'm glad their flaws play off each other (in a good way). They really deserved a happy ending together which I was happy to leave them with.

Cora is kind of my favorite person to write. Even though she's a baby I feel like her precense is quite uplifting. I'm still really sorry that I put her there when Arthur died. She won't really remember it though, so that's good.

I thought it'd be remiss of me to not talk about Molly's grief at some length as I killed Arthur in the story. The idea that struck me with her is what happens after the funeral when people go home. I mean, they have to get up the next day and try to live. I'm thrilled you like Molly taking Lily in as a bit of a project. I agree that she would want someone to take care of with Arthur gone. She ahs the whole family but they are a bit removed from her. and *blush* I can't tell you how much it means that you like the characterizations I've done in this - I didn't realize how many people I'd have to write when I started this but I'm certainly glad to have done them justice.

haha, you might be a in a boat alone when it comes to liking Scorpius and Corbin at this point. They do have a very sweet romance overall but things did get a bit hairy for them. Corbin has massive issues with trust. I'm still a bit at odds with Scorpius being as forgiving as he is. I thought that it fit with what we've seen of him to date for that to happen though. I will write a one-shot about them that takes place a year-ish after this so we can see how they're doing.

Rose and Pedro certainly came out of nowhere for people (If I hadn't been writing this I would have been taken aback by them popping up). I wish I had more time in this to talk about them as a couple. I don't have specific inspiration to write about them (but when I write about Lily I'll have Rose come through as a character fairly often).

Archie is the unredeemable guy in this. I don't *mind* violence but I think Lily's punch was well-deserved. Albus and James were definitely reckless with their revenge scheme. I think harry would have been less upset if he had the truth of their outing rather than Archie's version of it. Lily/Lysander won't end up together in the next chapter but I am planning a whole novel about Lily - so you'll see how that pans out.

lkajdflkasjf - I really can't adequately respond to the last part. That means so much coming from you as your stories are always so wonderful and masterfully put together.

thank you so very much for this review!!


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Review #94, by AphoridePlaying for Keeps: Not All Men, But Most of Them

14th January 2015:
Hi Mallory! :) Stopping by from the BvB, because unfortunately I'm supposed to be doing work today, and I need an excuse to pop back to this (well, no, I don't, but it sounds better if I do, right? :P)!

I'm catching up, too... and I'm so glad about it! I love this story to pieces, seriously, and I'm so excited about seeing where it's going to go next and everything. Nothing about this story is predictable, and I love it! :)

I love Annie's character so much - I love how strong she is, or pretends she is, and how she's such a good actress and her true skill is more of a shady, or shadily-used, one than other people's. She's just so fascinating, and so unique as an OC - I haven't seen many who genuinely hate a Potter, and don't seem to be likely to fall in love with them any time soon!

I loved learning more about Freddy, and the Shooting Star - using George as a comparison was such a cool idea! And they are reasonably similar in some ways... I never thought of that at all! - and how Annie's night progresses, with her 'clients' and all, and how they act with her. It wasn't shocking, per se, but it was something which should perhaps be shocking, if you get my drift? Like, it's the kind of behaviour which just makes you want to leave somewhere... ugh. Kudos to Annie for handling it all so well - though I suppose since she's been doing this for a while, she must be used to a lot of it, which is pretty sad.

Still, I guess she filches all their money in the end, which is something... ;)

Ooh, Freddy and James, in the same chapter! You're spoiling me, haha! I love them both so much! They're like opposites - James is the guy who knows what's on the line and knows when he's crossed it, if not immediately, and Freddy is the kind of guy who just keeps pushing because he can. It's great characterisation, with both of them! I loved how bumbling James was in this one, too - how he didn't think through why playing pool in Freddy's casino would be bad. Poor guy :P

On another note, Freddy's proposition for Annie sounds terrifying. I'm betting it's really not going to be good news, though I don't know what... ooh, maybe he's going to get her to play James in the match? I could seem him doing that just to try and win... so cruel! Or something more sinister... gah, I don't know! I'll just have to read on, I guess... :P

Your writing in this, as always, is amazing. I love the way you write - the description, and especially your dialogue, are soo good. I know I keep saying this, but it's true! There's nothing I can do but keep repeating it :P You are so, so good at weaving the plot together, as well, I'm so jealous of that - there's all these little strands and I know they're going to come together in the end, and make something I didn't expect. Plus, the mystery is incredible. I really, really cannot predict anything in this story, and I love it! :)

I'll see you soon for the next chapter, no doubt ;)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi!!

Thanks so much for this lovely long review! :D

Annie definitely pretends a lot, which is why she's so good at it. Practice makes perfect, right? She herself is very shady when she's at the Shooting Star, but hopefully not so much when she's at home. And she's totally not into James Potter, which is a relief. This is not a love story. :)

I'd like to think that George is not very proud of Freddy, but he's sort of impressed in a way. Freddy is all the things about George that could've gone wrong. Annie's clients are gross, and she knows it, which is why she takes all of their money! >:D She knows what she's doing, and they're just sleazy moneybags to be swindled.

Haha, you're right, Freddy and James are total opposites. James does know the line, though he crosses it A LOT. Freddy does push the envelope an awful lot, which is destructive. James is a natural bumbler--when he can't use his charm on Annie, he has no idea what to do. And he really didn't think about coming onto Freddy's turf, stupid boy.

Thanks thanks thanks!! I don't mind when you repeat those lovely compliments. :) Please don't be jealous of me--I don't know how I'm going to wrap up all the loose ends that I've got at this point, but we'll see. :D


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Review #95, by AphorideSeven: 7:00 AM

14th January 2015:
Hi there, dropping by for our review swap! :)

Okay, so I'm jumping into the world of Snape/Hermione - not one I ever thought I'd be in, but here goes anyway! :)

I can't say I'm any more a fan of the pairing (sorry! But it's just something I find too weird to like, haha), but the way you wrote this was so lovely, and sort of suspended the, for me, unrealistic nature of the pairing, even if I couldn't believe it exactly. There was something so sweet, and yet so in character, about them both - especially Hermione! I loved the little touches - with him wanting to blow up the alarmclock, and Hermione having one in the first place, with a glow setting and all :P

I like as well how this seems almost like the end of the story, after they've been through everything and finally got together and all. It's such a cool idea, to tell in non-linear, and it adds this sort of air of mystery to the story which I love. I'm curious as to how it all started, what happened in the years in between this one and the war to make them end up like this.

Also, I didn't actually look at the genre tags before I clicked on this, haha, but I'm guessing this is AU, given everything? I'm not a major fan of AUs, unless they're outright AU, but this sort of makes you forget that, almost.

Your writing was so lovely in this, as well. Your descriptions are so great, and there are so many brilliant little details in this - I loved it! Also, I love the whole 'seven' theme. It's so fitting for a book series which had seven parts, and where the number seven was so special already ;)

So yeah, I'm surprisingly glad I read this - not because of your writing, but because I never thought I'd like something with a pairing like this, and I actually like htis - so thank you so much for the swap! :)

Aph xx

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Review #96, by AphoridePlaying for Keeps: Learning From the Best

12th January 2015:
Hi there, Mallory! :) Sorry for the delay in getting this to you from the BvB battle - stupid uni internet logged me out and I lost the whole thing before I could post it, and had to redo it, so I'm here now for the second time! :)

(Not that I mind, tbh - since you always leave me such amaazing reviews, it's only fair I try and do something similar in return. (And fail, almost certainly :P))

I loved the flashbacks, showing how she started playing pool and finding out more about her family - especially her dad - and a few more details about her life at Hogwarts. Annie's such a mysterious main character, you know, and I love how you reveal more about her with each chapter, but she still maintains the whole mysterious aura-thing - though I loved going into more detail on her. It really didn't feel out of place at all.

I loved the way her dad was a muggle and more laid-back, and her mum was the witch and the high-flyer. I don't know, it just seemed so original to me, and I loved how she's a half-blood with a very mixed family, with different backgrounds and different interests, rather than simply a pureblood or muggleborn, which seems to be more common in OCs. The scene with her dad and her chatting, and the build-up of their relationship was so sweet, and I loved how it was when she was with him that her magic first came out. Sort of adds to the whole pool thing - her first magic involving pool balls ;)

As always, the detail in this is amazing. I particularly love the sensory stuff you do - with the smoke smell, and the feel/touch bits, with the wood and the carpet. The moment where she sneezed made me laugh - it's so true to life, though! It always happens that you end up needing to sneeze or cough when you're hiding somewhere, cliche as it may sound :P

Got to be honest, though, I am missing James a little bit in this - but last chapter was a James-heavy chapter, so I'll let it slide :P ;)

Anyway, I still love this story and I really loved this little drop back into Annie's past - I think it really helped round out her character more, and it was just nice to learn more about her, and your writing as usual was amazing and I'm so excited and curious to see where the plot goes next chapter, because the advantage of a flashback one is that you give yourself something of a clean slate for the next chapter ;)

(Also - I'm starting to catch up ;) Slowly, but surely... and then I can beat Emily to next first review :P)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey Aph!

Pssh, you never fail to make me smile with your reviews. Thanks so much for them. :)

I'm so glad you liked the flashbacks! Annie likes to be mysterious, but she does have a back story that I will delve further into as the story goes on.

Yep, her dad was the Muggle. How he and her mum met, I don't know yet. But there are a lot of mixing interests and personalities in her family, so it fits in an odd way, I think. I wanted her to sort of have the best of both worlds--Muggle and magic, you know? Her relationship with her dad makes me smile every time I write about it. He's so sweet. And yes, her first magic HAD to have pool in the equation. :)

Thank you so much! I rely a lot on my senses, so putting them into my writing is fun. Oh yes, I like cliches and try to use them sparingly, but I couldn't resist the sneezing-and-being-caught gag. It's so stupid, but effective.

Sorry you're missing James! He'll come back, I promise.

I love that you love this story, because you're one of my HPFF faves. So your high opinion of it really mans a lot to me. :) Yes, I felt the need to look into her past. She needed some characterization.

Thank you again!

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Review #97, by AphorideBehind You: Run

11th January 2015:
Hi, Sian! :) I really hope you don't mind me stopping by on this one - I know it's not quite as recent as some of your other works, but I couldn't resist. It's Gellert Grindelwald, plus doppelgangers and horror - really, I just had to stop! :)

I loved this! The whole thing was built up so beautifully, with the ending and the use of the canon scenes and events... it was so brilliant. I loved as well, how it's never quite explained if the doppelganger is real or if it's a figment of Gellert's imagination, a fear he's creating himself. The uncertainty is amazing; it's so cool. Well, the whole thing is such a cool idea in general! ;)

I loved how you characterised Gellert as well - how he was so driven, so determined, so hungry for knowledge as well as power (and I loved the tie-in to his Great Aunt by saying it was a family-related thing, too!), and maybe, in the end, repentent for what he did and caused. I guess you could argue that was what he was always running from - that the doppelganger was his own guilt in human/shade form. I don't know if that's what you were going for, though ;) Still, it's such an amazingly creepy thing, and I love how you've used a character whose normally portrayed as strong/evil/etc. and had the doppelganger kinda haunt him, in the sense that it haunts and follows, rather than helps or anything.

Your writing in this is gorgeous. Seriously. I love the way you never really describe the doppelganger itself, only at the end (I think) saying it looks like him, that he's looking at himself. It's such a creepy idea, that there's something out there that looks so much like you... it feels almost as though it should be comforting, except it's not. I loved as well, all your description of the locations and Gellert's emotions - I can't really pick any one thing or part of your writing out, it was all just so gorgeous. And it flowed perfectly, with this wonderfully haunting sort of tone to it.

Yeah, this was just incredibly amazing. If this was your first time at writing horror, I'm gonna be so jealous, because you nailed it completely ;)

This is an amazing story. And I'm clearly going to have to stalk your page more often, because looking at it, I've been missing things! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey Laura!

Of course I don't mind you choosing this one to review, although it scared me a little bit to see that you'd chosen the one story with Gellert in when you write him so well!

You don't even know how much of a relief it was to see that you'd enjoyed this, believe me :P I wanted to leave some ambiguity and uncertainty in the doppelganger's existence so that the reader could decide for themselves about it, so I'm glad you liked that and the way I used the canon events.

I didn't really know how to characterise Gellert when I started off; he's a difficult character to capture and I had to think about the reasons that Albus would be attracted to him too. I really enjoyed writing him though, and the idea that he wasn't as unburdened as Voldemort always seemed to be by the fact that he was committing terrible acts.

*blushes* Considering what your writing is like, it's a massive compliment for you to say that you like the writing in this too! This was the first time I tried anything that was really horror, although dark and angst are kind of my go-tos :P I'm really glad you enjoyed it and thought I did a good job writing!

Thank you so much for the lovely review! ♥

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Review #98, by AphorideDull Ache: Oblivion

11th January 2015:
Hey Rose! :) So I felt there was something right about reviewing this - it's a new thing of yours, and it's Andromeda, which I love, and I dunno... it just seemed right, somehow.

So yeah, I'm here.

I just want to say first, that I am always so, so amazed by people like you who can write so frankly and so honestly about things which they've been through, especially things which are as hard as this. It's always so personal, and so difficult, so thank you so much for sharing this with us *hugs* You're seriously, genuinely amazing, and I don't really think I can accurately explain how brave I think you are.

It's actually a really hard thing to review, imo - it's so sobering, so solemn and weighty, and it really makes you think and feel for the characters, and try and consider somehow how it would feel like, or seem like to go through something like that. Ofc, it's not really possible, because it's just such an emotional thing.

The way you write this is gorgeous. Really, really gorgeous. I love the whole set-up with the jumping timeline, and how it still tells this devastating story through it, and how you describe everything so wondefully. Your word choice is outstanding, it's just so perfect.

Your characterisation is amazing, as well. It's so gorgeous - it's so real and so true and speaks so deeply to the human experience.

This is an incredibly stunning, amazing one-shot. Thank you so, so much for writing it and sharing it with us *hugs*

Aph xx

Author's Response: Aph!!!

Thank you so much for stopping by this story. ^_^

Before this I've avoided writing about anything too personal or emotional for me. I'm glad that it's not as awful to read as I thought it would be and people have been really kind about the fact that this did come from a difficult place.

It is nice to make people think and feel for the characters in a way that's hard to respond to (as a reader). It's not a very fun or lighthearted story but I'm glad it's still enjoyable.

ahh, I just can't begin to tell you how much your review means. xoxo thank you so very much!!


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Review #99, by AphorideThe Last Snowy Feather: Biding Her A Silent Farewell

11th January 2015:
Hi there - dropping by for our review swap! :)

So, I just had to stop by on this because the idea of it just sounded so... cool isn't really the right word, but you know what I mean ;) Like such a good idea for a fic, you know? One of those missing moments fics which just fits into canon so, so well.

I have to admit I'm not much of a Harry/Hermione fan, so I read this without the ship aspect of it - also because I love the idea of this focusing on Harry's friendship with both Hedwig and Hermione - like how he loses a friend, but is reminded by another that he still has others.

(I'm not sure I'm making any sense here, sorry! :P)

Your writing in this was so, so lovely. It was so evocative of the mood, without drowning it in description or dialogue or anything... it just worked so well, with Harry's emotions and things highlighted so clearly.

I loved the use of the feather and the sort of echoing, fading hooting as well - it was so beautiful and so reminiscent of grief. I loved it! :)

This was a really beautiful one-shot :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hello! :D

Awh! ♥ You're right! Well, I'm flattered that you consider it to fit with canon!

Oh - it's alright. As I said in my A/N, it can go either way - friendship or romance (depending if one ships H/Hr or not.) I was leaning more towards friendship anyway, because to me, their friendship is equivalent to how I romanticize them. (If I am making sense?) Anyways. I stuck with friendship because it is mostly about Harry and Hedwig.

Oh thank you!! I fear how I go about description and dialogue, so I'm happy that you said, it isn't overwhelming. Honestly, I can't stand overwhelming dialogue and description - especially description. :]

Hehe, I'm glad you liked the releasing of the feather! :) And that you loved this overall. ^_^

Thank you for reading and reviewing! I appreciate it!

- Asphodel

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Review #100, by AphoridePlaying for Keeps: A Drink With the Devil

11th January 2015:
Hello again, Mallory! :) I just had to keep reading on - I've missed this story!

I love how this chapter continued on with the last chapter's last scene, and the lesson and how it's going for James. Dear god, he's not very good is he? :P Poor guy, doesn't really help when you consider what a bad situation he's in either... I mean, with your cousin threatening to potentially land you in prison via blackmail, you'd probably be hoping you'd turn out to be a natural in the game, tbh, and it's really, really not like that for him. Still, it's nice to see him being taken down a peg or two, what with Annie and his backstory. It's a strange sort of thing, because he's not a wholly detestable character, but at the same time, he's not a wholly likable character because there's this whole past he has... it's really complex, though, and I love it! :)

That conversation between James and Annie at the bar was so mysterious! Like, I wanna know so much more! Why don't he and Harry get on so well? What is this information Freddie knows which is so dangerous? Did James do something, or say something? Does Freddie have incriminating pictures or something - how does he know about it? I can't help but feel Freddie's a lot more of a sinister character than he seems, with all the games and so on... highly suspicious individual :P

I have to be honest, I actually felt a little bit sorry for James when she refused to call him by his first name... I mean, he's trying, poor guy, and he genuinely doesn't remember - but then again, you can't really blame her for not wanting to get on with him. Ah, you're too good at characterisation! I like them both, haha :P

I loved this chapter - the writing was gorgeous, your dialogue is amazing as always, your characterisation is so good - and I liked how this wasn't a massively plot-heavy chapter, but it developed things further, set up these little clue-like things about Freddie and James' bet and so on... so curious :)

I'll be back sooner than I have been before... ;)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi again!

The continuing scene happened because I thought that the original chapter was too long, so I broke it in half. :D It really isn't going well for James, and he's awful at pol. :) He's in a precarious situation, though, so if he knew what was good for him, he'd practice. You're right--I think he probably figured he'd be a natural, but he was sooo wrong. He could always be taken down a peg or two, even though he's not completely detestable. Huge ego, right?

James has problems, Freddy has info, and Annie has a headache. All will be revealed in due time. :) Oh yes, Freddy is totally sinister. :)

James is trying, but Annie wants to remain aloof. He's kind of a git, anyway, so there's that... Thank you so, so much! I wanted to develop things a little bit, so this chapter was an opportunity to do that. I'm glad you liked it!


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