Reading Reviews From Member: Aphoride
  
293 Reviews Found

Review #76, by AphorideClash: Rupture

12th September 2013:
Hey, long time no see ;)

So, I love how this is progressing. Back-story ticking along, plot moving forward... even though this was perhaps more of a filler chapter, it was still full of stuff happening.

Honestly, though, I think you might want to think about cutting it down. It's hugely long, and broken up into a lot of little sections. Maybe cut out the bit with Albus? It's not really necessary for character development or plot, since it would be more mysterious if Rose simply assumed it had Albus all over it... obviously, you know your story better than me, so it might be really necessary, but that's just the one I would perhaps think about cutting if I had to, tbh. Just something to think about!

I love the way you're developing Rose, and the Head Auror's relationship (are we ever going to get to find out his name?), and how she knows she's being used, but stays because of Hugo. It really does emphasis just how much she cares for him.

Speaking of which, I adore Hugo! He's just so adorable. Also, it's very realistic the way that he still has to get better on his own using his legs and learning to walk again, and things, rather than just having the spell cure it all, you know? The comparison between her improvement and his was lovely. I also love how almost naive he is, to the point that he doesn't think Al is evil (and maybe - maybe he's not quite evil at this point), but also he's much more grounded than she is, though they share the trait of accepting things relatively easily.

The sibling-bonding scenes were so sweet :)

I admit that I did like the glimpses of Al and Mr Walker with the elderly Rose, and how she tells him that it was only ever going to end one way and that at the end he'll see that. Obviously we can't know if it's true, but she's so convinced of it! Really makes it believable.

A quick formatting note: if you take out the spaces between the lines of text and the horizontal lines separating sections, it will look neater ;) At the moment, there's just quite a lot of white space. It's not a problem, though, tbh.

Yeah, I'm really enjoying this. I can't really find any more to say than I've already said before - there are no problems, the flow is good, if a little choppy at times, the characters are great, the plot is incredible... it's all going well! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Ugh, I have a problem with chapter length. Mostly because I want a significant amount of plot progression in each so that the story doesn't feel "stagnant" and most of the scenes work off of each other. I'm sorry you didn't like it! I don't post very often and when I do I want to give a significant chunk of story.

Glad you're liking the characters. The Head's first name is Vincent and I think it was mentioned in chapter 1 at some point. I'm you like Hugo as well!

Thanks again and I will bear your comments in mind :)


 Report Review

Review #77, by AphorideClash: Him

12th September 2013:
Hey - I'm back! I couldn't really stay away after that... I wanted to meet Albus ;)

Wow. Wow. Wow. He's an incredible character. I like how he's been shaped, almost, by Harry, to be what he becomes, you know, how Harry almost knows that Albus will be something, at least, if not exactly what when he says 'there must always be a Dark Lord'. It's kind of chillingly prophetic, you know?

I like how he contrasts so perfectly to Rose, as well. While they're both selfish, Albus is possessive on top of it - everything is about him and what he wants and thinks, etc. With Rose, at least she has the fact that she loves her brother to redeem her.

Scorpius is a lovely character, too. I like how he sort of insists that Albus is his friend, and then other the years, they become closer - sort of - but also stay as apart as always at the same time. It's an interesting thing to have - and takes away from some of the similarities Al shares with Tom Riddle (because they are pretty similar, tbh).

The only thing I would say is that you might want to think about cutting down on the number of little segments you put in each one. It can get distracting to keep switching from event to event, so it's something to bear in mind for the future chapters!

Also, though I'm sure you already have, you might want to think about weaknesses, particularly of Albus - because having clever, pretty characters who can do things other people can't and are popular and charming, etc. can get fairly close to Sue territory, and the plot is too good for that! Again, just something to be aware of ;)

Like before, I adore the idea of this and the plot, and you're just adding to the mystery so well. I like how their parents 'supposedly' die in a fire - I'm curious to see if that's actually the truth or if it turns out they didn't or something - and how they actually, in the beginning, at least, get on. I also like the little bits with the interviewer, asking questions, and how she doesn't want to answer them. It smacks of secrecy and lots of things she wants to hide!

So yeah, this is really coming along nicely - just a couple of things maybe to keep an eye on or think about, but other than that this is great! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Thanks again! I didn't intend for Albus to come across like Tom Riddle, but I guess there are commonalities. Although I don't intend Albus to be perfect by any means. The smart, handsome, charming exterior is intended to contrast with his inner workings. It was an intentional decision to make a "near perfect" character, at least in the superficial sense, but is (or comes to be) so morally distorted it no longer matters. His flaws, I assure you, are the driving force of this story.

Thanks for the constructive criticsm! I will bear it in mind. Glad you're liking the characters and mystery!

Thanks again!



 Report Review

Review #78, by AphorideClash: Her

12th September 2013:
Hey there - sorry for the slight delay getting here! Reviewing stories with multiple chapters takes me a while, and I'm pretty busy at the moment - but I'm here now ;)

First off, I have to say that I absolutely lovelovelove the idea for this! The idea of magic just vanishing, or being used up or destroyed, the whole magical world collapsing, and a dystopian-like world in the aftermath? A Potter/Weasley family conflict, and two geniuses with competing interests, etc.? Yes, please! It's got all the ingredients for a fabulous story - seriously! :)

I really like the fact that Rose and Albus are the main characters, as well, even though they're often used, is so good because even without reading it I can tell you're going to take them in completely unique directions. So far, I like what you've shown us of Rose. I love her adoration of her brother, the fact that she cares about him enough to mess around with magic no one's seen before, and the way she simply accepts her situation. She knows the score; she doesn't care, because it doesn't matter. It's a lovely selfish/not-selfish, confident paradoxical sort of thing. It's great!

A couple of quick grammary-type things! First, I know you've got huge spaces between sections, but maybe use a line instead? There's a function on the editing screen when you submit your chapter to add a horizontal line, which would look cleaner and get rid of white space ;) Also, in dialogue it should end: 'Completely,' she said.', for example, rather than 'Completely.' She said. Easy enough to change!

More difficult... You tend to use short sentences, rather than linking them together. For example, here you said 'At its core though, magic isn't just a collection of spells. It's not a compilation of potion ingredients. It's not the stream of light that comes out the end of a First Year's shaky wand.', which would sound better linked together, using 'or' and commas. It would just help the flow ;) Another quick thing - try not to repeat things too often, unless it's meant to be stylistic or in a list: you repeated 'the man on the left' a lot in one paragraph and it sounded a bit odd to me.

I love the sections and the style, and the glimpses of future/past that we get. It's a really interesting way to write, and I'm really curious about what happens. I also really like the Head Auror - how it's not Harry, how he's plotting Kingsley's downfall, how he's ambitious and thinks she could help him... he's a really good character and adds to the sense of mystery you've established with this about what happens to rid the world of magic.

Really, really good start; lovely characters, brilliant plot, nice style, pace, etc. I really don't think there's anything that would deter a reader, so you're all good! :) Feel free to re-request!

Aph xx

Author's Response: Wow, thanks for the kind review. I'll fix the dialogue tags and add horizontal lining. I've actually tried to do the lines but for some reason they don't work for certain chapters. Some of the sentence decisions were intentional and meant to convey a certain tone. I don't think I'll be changing them in this chapter but I will keep what you say in mind in the future! It's just that this chapter was written so long ago and with every chapter I feel my writing style changes regardless so...

Thanks for the constructive criticism and kind review! I appreciate it :)


 Report Review

Review #79, by AphorideAlbanian Knights: The other side of Slytherin

9th September 2013:
Back again! :)

Right so, I lovelovelove the character development in this, and how you deal with some of the issues you raise in it. It's just so well handled and you don't make it political or anything - it just is, you know? I love how frank the characters are about it, particularly Giles, and it's so great to have that human side of them all developed further.

Also, I realised while reading this that I've been calling her Isabella the whole time, but here she's Isabelle, so sorry about that! *blush*

Anyway, the plot in this is great! I like the fact that we find out what the information Evander has on Malfoy is - and I love that he's not as nice and 'light' as he and his family claim to be. It's a good reminder that beliefs and suchlike things aren't necessarily dictated by what your friends and family believe, and a nice non-cliche way to make little Scorp a bit more evil ;)

The one bit I was a bit iffy about was when she blows up the classroom. With one spell seems a little much, tbh. Maybe she casts several of them one after another? Given the spell only smashes the thing you're aiming at (say, a table) it seems a little unlikely that it would destroy so much with one spell, no matter how angry she is. In the same moment, as well (I'm just picking this up because I really liked this chapter, but thought this bit let it down a bit, sorry!), it's a bit odd when she says her mind replays the recent events, and then she mentions her father leaving her. Maybe she's just remembering things which make her angry, which would tie into her blowing stuff up? As it is, it just seems a little odd.

I love the way that you're bringing in more characters, as well, with Nordland and the 'blood traitor Slytherins' and Kane, as well. It's really nice to see the world around her developing and that she's not totally oblivious to everything else like I've seen before (though, admittedly not on this site) :)

Characterisation, as I said, it just great. Isabelle is rounding out nicely as a character - I like her loyalty and how she feels worried when she think she's revealed a secret which wasn't hers to tell to people, and how she doesn't understand how Giles can just be okay with what's going on with Ethan... it's really good! Giles... gah, I just want to hug him, you know? Poor boy. He obviously hates it, but what can he do? :(

A quick note: when I read the girl's name was 'Lexus' I honestly wasn't sure if it was a girl or boy at first, and it is also the name of a car. Maybe you could think about changing it? (Alexandra is often shortened to Lexi or Lex, if that helps!) It just... lol, I didn't get it! ;)

I'm really enjoying this, though - I'm really looking forward to where you go with this, if she finds out anything interesting about her father, what happens to Ethan and Giles (fingers crossed for a reunion soon!), and how things progress with her and Evander, and if she and Rose actually become friends. Really great! :) Feel free to re-request in the future!

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hmm, I suppose it might be unrealistic to have her inflict that much damage with a single spell. I also don't want to run the risk of having her be a 'extremely powerful' OC. So cliche, so thanks. I'll see what I can do with it to make it more believable.

I'm SO excited to write about Malfoy. Even though he's not one of the main characters he will play an important side role along with Rose. That's all I'll say :)


Yay! I'm glad you think Isabelle is a good character. That's so nice to hear. I'm pretty fond of her too! It's amazing how attached you can get to your OCs!

I will definitely re-request and thanks again for all of the lovely reviews. It was way more than I expected and very helpful. I've been kind of in a slump with this novel but I now feel inspired to write again :)

You're the best!

--Emmy




 Report Review

Review #80, by AphorideAlbanian Knights: Bully for You

9th September 2013:
Hey there - sorry about the slight delay between the last one and this one. Things have been a little busy for me in the last few days :)

I really enjoyed this one! While it was more of a filler chapter, stories need those, you know, and this did it perfectly. I liked how you introduced her trying to find out information about Azkaban and her father (incidentally, while I remember, that phrase should be 'looking for anything about Azkaban or my father' since she's looking for both terms, I assume ;D), and something's obviously up with Yaxley Snr's promotion, and Ethan and Giles fighting over it. I'm curious to see what the repercussions will be...

Character-wise this was great, as usual. You're still showing us different sides of Isabella - that she's studious when she wants to know something, a very Ravenclaw-like trait, but she's also conniving and manipulative when she wants to be, as well. I'm looking forward to seeing how you develop her further in the future :)

Giles and Ethan are adorable already and it's only a few chapters in :) I would say, though, with their fight, that to make the fight seem a bit more important - if, indeed, it is important for plot - to perhaps make it more obvious that they don't fight often, or not like this or something. Maybe you do that next chapter, I dunno, but it might be something to think about - just making it seem more unusual for them to fight. But yeah, they're both such good characters and I liked the little details about both of them - how Ethan is so passionate about Quidditch, how Giles subscribes to every newspaper in wizarding Britain. They were really nice touches!

In terms of grammar, there were a few things I picked up on. The first one is that you're really not using ellipses (...) correctly. You seem to put them in when a character pauses in speech, which isn't correct. They're used for building tension (I use them to indicate loss or change of train of thought, or trailing off, as well) but they're not really just for noting a pause. Most of them can just be changed to other punctuation easily, like a comma or a semi-colon or full stop, so I'd just have a look at that again. The second thing is that the paragraph where you talk about Jessica Atwood is very disjointed. It feels very broken, and sort of pieced-together, if that makes sense. Again, I'd have another look at it and rephrase and structure it. It's a really nice insight into Evander's character, and says something about Isabella's character as well, so it's kinda a shame, you know? But yeah, both definitely fixable, just the second I get is a bit more complicated. If you want some advice or help with restructuring, pm me and ask - I'm happy to offer it ;)

Apart from those, I think this is going really well so far. The plot is both familiar with the HP-style way of writing and journey through the year, and then completely new with seeing it from the other side, the characters are great and are starting to get pretty fleshed-out, and it's all coming along well!

Aph xx

Author's Response:

I know, I love Giles and Ethan too :) I have a lot planned for them and yes, their fight is explained more in upcoming chapters. As for Isabelle, she definitely has both Ravenclaw and Slytherin tendencies so it makes her fun to write.

I had no idea about ellipses and that I was using them wrong--thanks for pointing that out! I do see what you mean about Atwood portion. I will look into re-writing that.

Thanks again for such a helpful review :)

--Emmy



 Report Review

Review #81, by AphorideAlbanian Knights: An unlikely Ally

7th September 2013:
Hey - back again! Sorry this has been a bit disjointed - I needed sleep eventually! :)

I'm really enjoying Isabelle's characterisation. She's sassy, smart but not too smart, pretty, loyal and has a past no one else knows about, but somehow you manage to pull it off and it really, really works. I think it's because she hasn't had the stereotypical 'hard' life, you know? She's been alright, all things considered. She's a really great character!

Ethan and Giles are wonderful too - I like how she's closer to Giles than Ethan, but still close enough to them to tease them both about things and chat to them and spend time with them in general. It's a very realistic portrayal of friendships - people are never equally as close to different people. Even Harry was closer to Ron than Hermione.

The only thing I'd mention on characterisation is that so far we haven't really seen much of Ethan - I'd love to know more about him, what he's like, how he's different from people like his cousin and Giles, you know? He's just maybe a bit under-developed at this stage.

One other thing to mention is that while, yeah, boys are going to be stupid around girls they think are 'fit' or whatever - and I've seen enough guys do it to be sure, lol - be careful about having the Potter and Evander are both interested in her and fighting over her turn into a James/Lily love-hate style cliche. Just perhaps something to think about for the future - though the bit in here made me laugh! :)

Style and pace as always are great - really good flow, as well. Again, though, a couple of grammatical things to point out: firstly, you should always write out numbers in text, it just reads and looks better. Also, you have a habit of saying 'he said,., he muttered' or something, and you don't need two dialogue tags for one piece of speech. If Isabelle says something, for example, only use one dialogue tag. Lastly, try not to use the same word often in a short while - it just helps the flow of the story. None of these things are particularly bad, just little things which can be changed quickly but which do help with the overall quality of writing ;)

Still, at the moment I'm really enjoying this and really curious as to where you're going to go with it. I like the revelations about how she knows her dad's in prison and the bits we hear from Giles about what his father's up to and things. They're nice little details to help build up the story, and they're working really well! Description is perhaps a little lacking, tbh, but you don't need overly much, so it's not a huge deal (just a description of whether or not it's cold or windy or something if they do outside, or colours and surroundings would help flesh it out), and your characterisation is awesome as always. It's developing from a good start to a really good story - keep going! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: I'll say it again, you really are super :)

I'm SO glad you like Isabelle. I was really worried about her but I'm relieved you think she's a believable character. You're right, although she's known tragedy and loss at a young age, she doesn't let it define her.

Honestly, I've worked a lot more on developing Giles and Isabelle than I have Ethan. He's important and eventually play more of an important part but for now, I haven't really found a way to bring him into the story line more.

I see what you mean about Evander and James, and I'll certainly keep that in mind, but I don't think it will be too cliche. James really doesn't like her after all, he's just doing it to mess with Evander. I may have not explained that the best but hopefully it will make sense as the story progresses.

Thanks for the ccs. I'm much better at editing other's stories and not my own. I'll definitely look into those.

Thanks again! You're giving me new inspiration for this story and I really appreciate it :)


 Report Review

Review #82, by AphorideAlbanian Knights: Testosterone Levels Rising

6th September 2013:
Hey there - back again! :)

I like how you immediately start with the beginning of the year - it reminds me of the HBP, where it did a similar thing, you know? It also gives a sense of expectation for the year and that stuff is going to happen in this one.

Isabelle, so far, seems like a good character! She's obviously very loyal to her family and to the cause as she knows of it, and seems quite curious and perceptive, as well, which are all good traits. I'd be interested to see some of her bad qualities as well - here, she just has a bit of banter with Potter (James S. I'm assuming? though I'm not sure...) and Evander, and that's not really a bad trait, you know? Still, she seems good. I also like that she's in Ravenclaw and that people think 'she should have been in Slytherin'. It allows opportunities for you to develop her, which is great!

I just quickly want to mention, speaking of characters, that I love the Giles-Ethan thing in here, as well. All too often, OCs lurve their male best mate (or one of them) and this avoids that and also gives an interesting dynamic between them.

Another quick thing is that I've noticed you use capitals in sentences at times for words which shouldn't be capitalised - for example, 'Hello there Beautiful' should be 'Hello there, beautiful' instead. And you misspelled 'Lily' as 'Lilly' and 'Weasley' and 'Weasly'. All easily corrected! :)

All the boys so far are good characters, though I'd be interested to see if she has any other 'friends' or people she talks to, particularly any female friends. Even Harry talked to people other than Hermione and Ron, lol.

The only thing character-wise I did think was a bit odd was them all being on Quidditch teams. Given the school would have around 600+ students, it seems a little unlikely that all six of those characters would be on their teams - maybe take one or two of them off? It's just a bit much, tbh. That being said, I like the way Evander and Kane came to talk to them - most people forget that it's possible - and Ethan went to the Prefect's meeting. Nice touches ;)

I like that for once, the Potters and Weasleys are going to be the antagonists, and not necessarily in an annoying-but-romantic lead sense, you know? It's a nice change and gives your story an original kick.

The only other thing I would say is that you tend to tell, rather than show. Like with the flashback Isabelle tells us at the beginning - could you perhaps feeds this to us slowly rather than having the flashback? And perhaps Isabelle could comment on how it's unfair Giles and Ethan can't really have a proper relationship (if they wanted to) or something, rather than saying that it's not considered acceptable. It would help the flow of the piece, and make it more like her thoughts or a diary, you know?

Honestly, though, this is really good! The characters are good, stuff happened even without it being a hugely plot-filled chapter, it had good pace... and I'm pretty curious about where you go with this, harking back to the prologue!

Great start! :)

Aph xx

p.s. I forgot to mention up there, but I liked the subtle references to the Knights Isabelle makes - it's nice and is a good, subtle reminder! Also makes it clear it's something she's grown up with. Love it! :)

Author's Response: You are seriously amazing--thanks so much for your reviews so far :)

I feel like I've read a TON of fanficts so I definitely try to avoid as many cliches as I can.

Ugh, I think you're totally right about the Quidditch thing. If anything I'll cut Giles and/or Kane as their being on the team isn't significant to the plot. Thanks for pointing that out!

That's a good point about Isabelle but hopefully the later chapter will point out her weaknesses. I really spent a lot of time developing Isabelle so I'm glad you like her :)

I do have a beta and that will help a lot of the editing mistakes. As a writer, I do think I need to work on adding more description. It's always something I'm working on.

Thanks so much for this helpful review :)


 Report Review

Review #83, by AphorideAlbanian Knights: Prologue

6th September 2013:
Hey there - sorry about the wait! Things have been busy for me in the last couple of days, but I'm here now!

I like the idea of this - that a bunch of Death Eaters would flee the battle when they realise that they're losing, and go somewhere abroad is more than plausible, and Albania is a good choice since we know the Dark Lord went there, so there is at least some reason for the connection. I'm curious to see how you go with it - what kind of girl Isabelle grows into, how you present the Knights...

Incidentally, and I don't know if this is what you mean by 'Knights', the Death Eaters were originally called the Knights of Walpurgis. If it is what you mean, it's a clever idea for them to go back to a previous name now their leader's gone, and if not, then a nice coincidence ;)

I like Abner's character (there's not really enough of Isabelle's personality in this for me to really comment on her). I like that he loves his wife and likes the nanny and adores his daughter - it makes him very human, rather than just cold and uncaring, you know? Avoids Death Eater cliches. I also like how you made them devoted to the cause itself, and so dedicated, and aware of the costs of failure and suchlike - it really adds to the layers of the character.

One thing I did think was that at the beginning, you could do with showing not telling. I mean, you say that the air is thick with magic - well, what does that feel like to them? Can they feel it? Is the air heavy, does it feel static, can they hear a whisper, like wind, as they move through it? It just reads a bit flat at the moment. Also, while it's good at showing they're very much in love, you contradict yourself later by saying that they're captivated totally by each other, despite the hugely strong magic they can feel. Even if they're focusing on each other, if the magic is that strong, surely they'd be able to feel it? Personally, since you're reiterating the point, I'd cut out the bit about 'even in the presence of magic so strong', or something just to make it a bit smoother and keep the focus on them. Just maybe something to think about ;)

I liked the way you wrote it, as well - you kept a good balance of description and action, and I liked how you made Isabelle as aware as a child of about six would be and have her understand that her mother's dead. Kids do understand that, and what it means, so her reaction was good. I'm not sure why she screams, though, it seems a bit weird, tbh... maybe burst into tears would be better? Also, I like that you mention that her dad thinks she's beautiful - dads always do, you know? and again it makes him human - but perhaps a 'rare beauty' is going a bit far? She's six, I mean - sure, she'll be pretty and beautiful perhaps when she grows up, but it seems an odd thing to say about a six year old, to me. Then again, that might just be me!

I loved the little mention of the drunk muggle who'd seen the goings-on at the stone circle. It was nice to have some idea of what had happened, even if we don't know anything, and it's definitely making me curious to read on!

I love the idea, Abner is a fantastic character, your writing is great - just a few things you might want to look at again - pace is good... all in all, this is a really good start! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey there!

You're the first person to pick up on the origin of the Knights. That is where I got the inspiration :)

I'm really glad you like Abner too! I haven't gotten a lot of feedback on him so that's always nice to hear! In a few chapters he is going to come back in and I'm quite excited to write him again.

Thanks for the ccs, you've made me aware of some things that I never even thought about before! I'll definitely take those into considerations when I do more editing.

Thanks so much, your review was really helpful and I appreciate it :)



 Report Review

Review #84, by AphorideDown Comes The Night: Chapter Eight

26th August 2013:
Hey there, again! I'm so glad to see you back so soon - I really do love this story! :)

I realised when I started reading this chapter that I should probably apologise, lol, for the fact that my reviews are supposed to be, I dunno, helpful, and they tend to be full of gushing and just 'I love this!' ;) Ah well... :P

Anyway, addressing your concerns first, I don't think you have anything to worry about with the voice or style of this chapter compared to the one before. I read the chapter before as well to compare and it seemed exactly identical. The way you use your words, and your word choice, is just so unbelievably clever - you always manage to pick the right one to invoke the time period and yet not sound out of place. It's pretty incredible.

Also, how do you manage to write a chapter about how everything is going well and everyone is happy and getting on with each other and still make it so riveting? Seriously?! It's some kind of skill you have there... I could never do that.

Moving on! Ah, I love Salazar (and I share his fondness for sweets, too ;D) to bits. He's trying and he's not sure if he wants to try, but he is because she thinks he can do it and it's just too sweet. Mahaha, I loved it when she teased him as well, when she realised he was unsure of what to do and how to act and things. It was a lovely little thing to add in - a nice, odd vulnerability for him to have, I think, though it suits him very well.

Helga is amazing. End of. There's a reason she's nominated for a Dobby - I mean, she's exactly the way she's been described in canon (not that there was much of that) and yet she's not perfect either. She's nice, but impatient; calm, but almost timid. It's a really, really great balance of traits you've given her. She just seems so real.

Her relationship with Godric is brilliant, as well - he's kinda like her older brother. 'Something powerful behind closed doors' - I will admit that I smirked and sniggered at that point. It was just so perfectly timed... poor Helga :P

Gah, I just love this so much - I have a bad feeling that something is going to explode in a while, but this was such a feel-good chapter... Helgazar are so perfect for each other! :) I genuinely adore this story. It's incredible!

Please, please re-request! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: I am a terrible person. I have read this review so many times over the past several months, intending to respond, and just never was able to carve out the time. Because I wanted to be thoughtful, and give this wonderful review justice! Thank you so, so much for all your kind words, Aph!

Haha, I always worry that the happy parts aren't very interesting, and yet I think they're necessary. I didn't want this to be a total downer! I'm glad you liked the fluffiness of this chapter. The Helgazar love was so much fun to write :)

I have to admit that I really love Salazar in this chapter too; I tried to portray him at his best. Deep down he has a little bit of a soft side, and it's starting to come out when Helga's around :) And it occurred to me that Salazar wouldn't really have had much experience with romance, since he has such a solitary nature. I wanted to play that up, and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Haha, I still can't believe Helga got nominated, and that she was a finalist! It blows my mind when I think about it, and I'm just over the moon that you guys enjoy her. I did want her to be well-rounded and not put her on too much of a pedestal (though I am partial to her over the rest of the founders...she's just always been my favorite!) It makes me so happy to hear that she seems like an actual person and not just a caricature of Hufflepuff traits. And oh, Godric. He's definitely got the big brother thing down, especially at that moment.

Thank you so much for the review, even if my response is so shamefully late. I'm so happy you've enjoyed DCtN so far, and I hope you'll be able to read on! I've got the next chapter in the works :)

--Maggie


 Report Review

Review #85, by AphorideThe Worst: Decisions and Discoveries

26th August 2013:
Hey there, again! I'm so glad you re-requested! :)

Ah, I really enjoyed this chapter - reading all of the things like this just remind me how much I missed reviewing... anyway, this was really nice. The ending was great - really nice to just leave it there, with nothing else. It worked really well, just the right amount of suspense and drama.

I love the scenes between her and her family, they're always so sweet! It's one of those instinctive reactions to be almost smothering with affection when something bad has happened to someone, you know, and you use it so well here - also, it helps to show Dom is vulnerable. She's not totally okay with the choices she has to make, but she's sort of gradually learning to deal with it. It's really good characterisation! They're all such great characters, and so true to the Weasley family, as well.

The one thing I did think was a bit odd was how quickly she jumped to the conclusion that someone had been out to get her, and how quickly Teddy believed her. In most situations, no one is out to get someone else, so it's not necessarily the first place your mind would go. It just feels a bit sudden to me, that's all - maybe Teddy could be a bit more sceptical? I think it just needs a bit more fleshing out and emotional explanation of why they think that and then it'll be fine. As it is, it's a bit quick and an odd thing to suddenly believe.

Wow! Delilah is really a totally heartless woman, isn't she? Stooping so low... I love, though, how you've connected it all up - the article being assigned to her, the attack, her situation. It's really clever, and works so well. I'm really curious to see how Dom and Teddy and her family react to that news and what Delilah has to say to defend herself, though wow, I can't believe it wouldn't be illegal, you know? It's a really cold-blooded and cruel thing to do... she's a great villain!

Poor Teddy, as well. I liked how you had them argue over it - how he lost his temper with her for being quiet and refusing to talk to him. Miscommunication is so common in relationships, and this was a really lovely human touch! Plus, you can sympathise so easily with both sides! Poor both of them... it must be a lot to take in.

Oh, quickly, there were a couple of things which seemed odd: you said that Ian seemed like 'a brother she'd never had'. 'A brother' implies she has others, and if Louis doesn't exist in this story, then it should be 'the brother' ;) Also, when you were talking about the files on the werewolves, you said 'the full profile of all the werewolves', which given there would have to be individual profiles for each werewolf, should be 'the full profiles'. Just two little things I spotted! :)

Yeah, this is going great! I love the added drama and mystery and the suspense was great - you used that really well! Your characterisation is brilliant, as always, your flow is perfect and there were no real mistakes. It's great! Feel free to re-request any time! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey! Thanks a lot for reading and reviewing =)

I am pleased you enjoyed reading this chapter and you liked the ending too, with the suspense and drama.

I am glad that you can understand Dom through my story, and that you liked the scenes between her and her family. It's such a relief to hear that you think my characters are true to the Weasley family. I am always worried about characterisations so your comments mean a lot!

Thanks for pointing out that bit about it being sudden. I wanted Dom to make it sound like she had been thinking over it for days, it's just that with everything happening she didn't get a chance to voice it, but now I know it didn't come across properly so I'll try to go back and edit. I'll work on Teddy's reaction as well. Thank you for the advice.

Delilah is not very nice, yeah xP More to why she did what she did will be revealed further. I am pleased you find her a good villain!

Ah I love writing Dom/Teddy so it's great to hear that you think I did them justice, and you could side with both of them. Thanks.

Oh thanks for mentioning those little errors. I'll go back and take care of them as soon as I get the time.

I am happy you're liking the story. I'll definitely re-request. Your suggestions are valuable =) Thanks!


 Report Review

Review #86, by AphorideShattered Infinity: Marked for Destruction

19th August 2013:
Hey there - sorry for the incredibly long wait, RL decided to interfere with things and made stuff incredibly difficult for a while, but I'm back now! :)

I really enjoyed this, tbh, which I don't usually say (mostly because I don't usually read Snape/Lily, whether unrequited or not) since I don't often find something like this I like.

I liked how you went through the time when he first lost her, in a sort of permanent matter, to James and the light, and up to when he lost her literally permanently, when she died. I don't know if that was why you chose that snippet of his life, but I love the sort of symbolism between the two times, and it's definitely the time where he develops most as a person. Also, permanence with the idea of infinity is a pretty interesting combination - infinite combinations, but a permanent loss.

I think you did a really good job of dealing with Snape in this one. I like how you don't shy away from showing that he's petty - how he refuses to say Harry's Lily's child as well as James' - and bitter about what happened, but contrast it with him being upset that it did happen and regretting it. It's a powerful combination of emotions, but you handled them really well and they worked together brilliantly.

Again, I like how you mark out how he always thought of her, despite what he was doing and where he was and that he'd lost her - it seemed to me that you really hit home on the idea that he hadn't really lost her forever yet, even after his mistake (or, at least, he didn't or didn't want to think he had), but then when she died, it was all over and there was no going back. It's a very sombre thought.

The style you wrote this in is lovely. It's very simple, fresh, plain kind of style and I really like it. I think it works so well with the level of angst in this, and just all the emotion Severus is feeling. It lets the emotion take the front seat, so to speak ;)

I'm so impressed you wrote this in five hundred words, as well. I could never, ever do that. I would fail spectacularly, I'm sure :P So yeah, well done on that front too! :)

This was lovely, very thought-provoking, such good characterisation, perfect style choice and writing, and really, really angsty... I might need to go and find something cheerful to read (you've actually effected me with this, haha, well done!).

Really enjoyed it! :) Feel free to request something else in the future!

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hello!! I am SO SO SO SO SO sorry that it has taken me a thousand months (exaggeration) to reply to this review, but life got busy and I got lazy. So I have no excuse, but here I am, responding now. Better late than never, I suppose...

Thank you so much for enjoying this story! I am not a fan of Snily myself, but I liked the idea of examining his head as he lost her to James. I wanted to show him at his best and his worst--his love for Lily is probably his most redeeming characteristic (at least in my mind), and yet, he was INCREDIBLY petty about it.

And of course, it is always heartbreaking to lose someone to death, especially someone that you never had in the first place. I really tried to convey all of the emotions that I thought he felt, but 500 words was no easy task! I am quite surprised that I managed to pull it off. :)

Thank you so much, once again!! I am very sorry that I took so long to respond.

~UnluckyStar57


 Report Review

Review #87, by AphorideDown Comes The Night: Chapter Seven

19th August 2013:
Hello, hello - I am so so sorry it took me so long to get here - real life pounced on me and refused to give me back until a day or so ago, and I've only just really got back here. (Honestly, I really missed this story - I must catch up!)

YAY - Helgazar! :) You have no idea how happy you have made me with this. It's odd, I used to be a Salazar/Rowena fan, but the way you write Helga and, well, all of the Founders, really, is just amazing. They're so... real, and their emotions and thoughts are so realistic I just believe them and... gah, yeah you've made a Helga/Salazar shipper. Are you happy? :P But yes, I'm very glad it's got to this point!

And no, poor Salazar! I love how you connected his hatred of muggles to their deaths and his family. It's not sweet, really, more it makes sense, if that makes sense, lol. Given the events, it makes sense he would hate muggles, and it makes sense he would have/develop views like that muggle-borns aren't worthy, and muggles shouldn't be allowed inside Hogwarts. He kinda reminds me of Snape, actually, in that he hasn't let go of the past, he's still bitter and angry about it and continues taking out his anger at the past in the present. It's definitely a good thing, though - it makes him a brilliant character. He's complicated, and it's fascinating.

Helga, yeah I just love her. I love how utterly steadfast she is, that she knows he might just throw her away and hate her when he finds out she's muggle-born, but I love that she stays there all the same and she insists on trying. Also, I loved how you included that she felt pushed down by Godric and the rest, that she felt they thought she was stupid. It's something I think a lot of people can relate to, and shows such good sides to Helga and Salazar, when he says he doesn't think she's stupid and everything :)

Also, I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned this before, but the way you write this is just incredible. You manage to get a sense of the time and the era without writing in old English, and the words they say and you write seem so natural and they flow so beautifully. It's really incredible - I'm not quite sure how you do it. Your style is beautiful - perfect balance of description to action.

You have no reason to worry about anything with this chapter or the story. I'm sorry for gushing totally in this chapter, but there's really nothing I can find to criticise - the little touches of the era were great (men don't invite women into their chambers alone, for ex.), the style is still gorgeous, Helga and Salazar are just too tragically perfect and I really want them to stay together and I almost don't want to read the rest of the story (except I do) because I suspect it won't happen, because of course he leaves in canon and everything... gah, what have you done to me? :P

Seriously, though, I love this. You are amazing.

Aph xx

p.s. if you do not request within a week, I'll review anyway - I can't wait that much longer to find out what happens! :)

Author's Response: APH. You're back! I totally understand RL snatching you up; it's currently doing the same to me. But I'm so glad you're here, and that you enjoyed the chapter *hugs*

Mwahaha, another Helgazar convert! Yay! I really saw them as being similar (or at least compatible) in many ways personality-wise, but their motivations for their students are so radically different that it's hard for a lot of people to see them getting along. Let alone in a relationship :P But I'm so, so happy that my take on it feels real to you.

I have been really worried that Salazar was going to turn out wrong. I had this idea of how I wanted him to come off, and from what you've said, it sounds like I've done okay in painting him as the troubled, bitter man that I see in my head. He does have some similarities to Snape, doesn't he? I had never thought about it before, but you're not the first person to say it, and it makes a lot of sense. I just hope I've been able to make him distinctive as well. And of course you know how much love I have for Helga. I'm so happy you've seen her steadfastness (that's a perfect word, I think). She sees a need in Salazar and cares about him, so she's going to try and help him the best way she knows how. (And they get to be all romantic and stuff--an added bonus :D )

Wow, what a wonderful thing to say about the style! I've really been striving for a folk-tale sort of feel, that takes readers back in time but is still accessible. I am so happy you're enjoying that aspect of this, because it's something I've worked really hard at.

You're so wonderful! Thank you so much for all your kind words, and I will head over to re-request very soon! And I really do hope that you keep enjoying the rest of the story; I won't give any hints about what's to come, but you'll get there soon :) Thank you so much for this amazing review, Aph! I am over the moon!

--Maggie





 Report Review

Review #88, by AphorideWriting a Fairytale: Letters, Bezoars and Sparks

19th August 2013:
Hey there, it's me again - I'm so so sorry for the late response to this. There's not much of an excuse for it, other than that a hundred and one things came up in RL and made it almost impossible for me to find time to do anything much, including this site.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this chapter! I like how you're steadily building up the mystery with the stolen wand, her not necessarily knowing who did it, the other characters involved. The way the other characters, particularly the Headmaster, react to things is really lifelike and pretty sensible - it makes them seem realistic, which I always love. Also, I love how you've added in more background characters. After being at school for even two weeks, she'll have started learning the names of other people in her year, even if it's just surnames. It gives the story a little more depth, I think.

Merissa is still a brilliant character, and I love how you've made her bad at the piano. It's such a great change from other OC characters, who are often good at music, if it's mentioned they play at all, and I like the addition of a music class at Hogwarts, as well. It kinda explains all the unused classrooms, I guess! I also like how she's a bit hesitant about accusing Margaret of anything, and how she giggles at the idea of 'state secrets' being written in her letter from home, and things. You're dealing with the cultural differences really well. I'm actually pretty curious to see how Merissa is when she goes home - how she copes with not being able to do magic, not necessarily being believed by her siblings or parents, being forced back into her old life. It's an interesting thing ;)

The one big thing I would say you could improve on is flow. You have a lot of short sentences which could be linked together, and you start a lot of sentences in the same paragraph with the same word, as well as starting sentences with words like 'but' and 'and', which you shouldn't do. With the sentences starting 'but' or 'and', you can easily link them to the sentence before. For example, you wrote: 'Though she was expecting her mother would soon decide it was past time for her to learn how to embroider. But she could put that worry off until the summer when she was home.', which would be better as: 'though she was expecting her mother would soon decide it was past time for her to learn how to embroider, but she could put that worry off until the summer when she was home', and then it flows better - it's less broken. A lot of sentence structure and phrasing, like with things starting with the same word/'and'/'but' can be sorted fairly easily. If you read over your work paragraph-by-paragraph before publishing, you'll notice it and start to pick up on it, I'm sure. Equally, if you pm me, I'm happy to go through an already published chapter and highlight things where the flow is choppy and help you with it over pms or something, just to explain it a bit more if you want.

The spells are pretty awesome and I like how you've had her start with some fairly simple ones. The letters to and from home are lovely, and I love how her mother is getting interesting in what she's doing at school, does she want her room redecorated - she seems much warmer than Merissa's father, who only cares about results and grades.

One more thing, and this is mostly something for the future: try not to jump around scene so often. You switch from lesson to lesson really quickly. I would describe one in detail - for example, History of Magic - and then switch to lunch and perhaps have her talking to her friends about the other lessons? That way, there's a bit more dialogue, since this is fairly narration-heavy, and it's not so much like a list of what she's done.

That being said, your characterisation is great, your story is going nicely, the plot is ticking along well, I like the background characters and her friends, and your invented spells are awesome! I do really like this - the idea is so original, it's something I've never seen before. I hope that helped - even just a bit! - and please continue! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Thank you very much!

The missing wand is a small piece of a bigger plot. :)

I'm actually having fun writing about Merissa being so bad at music. :) I know it takes so much practice in order to be good.

I will go over the chapters and work on the sentence structure more. Thank you for being patient with me while I learn to improve this.

I like your suggestion concerning the lessons. It was starting to feel like I was going through a list in each chapter. Thank you! I'll change it up more than a little bit!

I think it will be interesting once she goes home for the summer break and deals with being in Muggle surroundings as well as how her family members deal with her.

Thank you very much for reading and reviewing!


 Report Review

Review #89, by AphorideThe Worst: More Bad News

18th June 2013:
Hey there, stopping by with your requested review! Sorry for taking so long - real life has been a bit more complicated than expected recently, but I'm here now! :)

I still love Dominique's character, she really seems all throughout this to be going through the typical emotions someone would go through when learning this sort of news, with her own Dom twist on it, of course! I liked how you had her upset the idea of not being able to have kids, though she wasn't planning on having a family of seven, you know. It kind of brought it home that even though it's not something hugely important to her and she hadn't planned it all out already, it was something she just assumed would happen and it's just further evidence of how being a werewolf is affecting her life.

I liked her interaction with Teddy - the way he was trying to coax her back into life and to go out and see other people, and how when she resists he doesn't make her. It says a lot about their relationship and it's a nice thing to mention. I like how he's obviously worried about her, though I'd like perhaps a couple of mentions of his own werewolf heritage later on (now probably isn't really the time, all things considered) because of Remus, so of all people he's pretty likely to understand.

I liked how you had her mother and Victoire be the ones to be there with her when the Healer told her, rather than Teddy. It's something more for them to be able to understand and appreciate, perhaps, and I liked how Dom eventually broke down and allowed her family close, because that was almost too much and she needed them. I thought you characterised Fleur brilliantly with being so worried and upset, it really made sense, you know, and Victoire was lovely.

Just two things to mention: I would have liked a bit more description of Victoire and Fleur and what they do when they first come into her room. How close to her are they? Are they sitting down or standing up? It's a bit vague and makes it hard to visualise the scene and get a grip on things. Also, I'm not sure what your ideas on this are for your story, but we haven't seen much of Louis at all, and I'd have thought he and Bill and possibly Molly Weasley would have been round as well, or at least mentioned. I get that this is only a short story so you can't include everything, but maybe a mention to say other family members have been round would be nice? It would help us to understand passing of time, as well, if Louis visited on Wednesday and James and Lily on Thursday, or whatever ;)

I loved the news (I think I remember seeing a topic like this in Help Needed at some point, though I can't remember if that was you or not...). It makes so much sense to me that it would be so dangerous for her to have children, for both her and the child, and I like that you've incorporated that kind of detail and thought into this. It shows you're exploring every sort of avenue in this, which is great!

As usual, your style is lovely, your flow and pace are perfect, your characterisation is great, there were no grammar or spelling mistakes that I could see, your plot is going along wonderfully! So yeah, I'm still really enjoying this! Feel free to re-request! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey! Thanks a ton for reading and reviewing. Apologies for the super late response.

I am glad that you're still liking Dom's personality and find her reactions to things believable. I was worried about the emotions part but you have eased my worries.

I am pleased you are liking the Dom/Teddy interactions. I enjoy writing them and want to portray their relationship in a good light and yet realistically. I'll definitely consider your suggestion of including mentions of his own heritage, though as you said, now is not a great time.

It's great to know that you think I characterised Victoire and Fleur well. It's a relief. Thank you.

Now that you mention it, I think I should have probably included more description. Thanks for the tip and I'll definitely make an edit sooner or later when I have the time. Well, Louis kind of doesn't exist in the story. I didn't include him in. It's just Vic and Dom. I'll make a note of that in an A/N. More of Bill and Molly will be seen soon though. Thanks for the CC.

Haha yes that topic was me. I am glad the news made sense to you. I was afraid I went a bit overboard with the detail but thanks for letting me know you liked it. I am trying to explore as much of werewolf effects (both mental and physical) as I can here =)

Your words have truly made my day. I am so happy to know you like my flow, pace, style, and characterisation, and that you couldn't see any grammar mistakes (which is a huge relief since English is not my native language). Thank you!


 Report Review

Review #90, by AphorideThe Girl Next Door: Prologue

17th June 2013:
Hey there - dropping by with your requested review! Sorry about the delay - things in RL have been pretty busy recently, involving and moving and exams and stuff - but I'm here now, so it's not too bad! :)

I like how you've written Sirius. He seems pretty childish and immature - which is how he should be - and yet slowly sort of realising that maybe what he was taught wasn't right. At the same time, he's reckless - he tells a muggle about magic, which is technically an offence, I believe. Including Kreacher was a nice touch, too, as since we didn't see any of his other family, particularly Regulus and his dad who we know least about, it helped make the idea of the family more known. Plus it reminded me of OotP, when he hates being stuck in the house. I don't know if it was intentional, but it was good either way!

Lexi's character is interesting. I like how there's a reason for her to be called 'Lexi', other than it's a good name, how her dad left her mum and their family, how she's got so many sisters. I particularly like how she doesn't seem to be all that brave or strong, but really open to believing seemingly strange things. Again, it reminds me that she is just a kid at the beginning and they're more likely to believe things like that, you know?

The only thing character-wise I would say is to be careful to keep their situations as separate and different. Yeah, they both don't have great home lives, but they're going to have different peeves, different situations, the severity will be different. Right now, I guess just because you're kinda introducing it and keeping it simple, their lives seem a bit too similar to be totally realistic. It's a personal thing, though, but just something to bear in mind perhaps ;)

I did like her sisters, though, and the conversation between Lexi and Sirius via the letters was great! It was so like kids to talk like that, I could really imagine both of them.

Plot-wise, I think as long as you actually have a really good, solid reason for Sirius wanting to find Lexi again (because, honestly, most people would just forget about it or not go to the effort of finding her, and it's a bit extreme), then I think you're golden. I'm a bit sceptical as to how there was a hole Sirius could push parchment through into the other house given that it's stated in the books Sirius' dad put every known enchantment on it, other than the Fidelius Charm, but if you can make it work/explain it, then it's not a problem! It's just a little detail, it's not that important.

I think this is a great prologue - it does sort of start it all off nicely, introduce the characters well.

Oh, one quick thing: never start a sentence in prose with 'and'. It's grammatically incorrect. The same with 'but'.

So yeah, I like this. I think it's good so far, I like your characters, I think it's a good start, there is a lot of information in it but you manage it well, the letters are great, the flow and pace are good. Feel free to re-request in future! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi Aph! I'm so sorry about the delay in responding to this review - my 2014 New Year's resolution is to stay a bit more updated on my reviews! And don't worry about your delay in reviewing either - better late than never :D

Sirius ♥ Yes, he is quite childish - and you're right, telling Lexi about magic /is/ a breach of the International Statute of Secrecy, but the Ministry wouldn't find that out unless Lexi told other people about it and it got back to them, and since she didn't, Sirius is safe. Plus, he's not a particular fan of law-abiding as an teenager/adult, so I decided to have that take root when he was younger. We will actually see Regulus in this story in a few chapters' time ;)

Yes, I wanted to portay Lexi as human, especially as she doesn't surface until the end of TGND. The similarities between their home lives is certainly quite similar here, but I wanted to emphasise that to explain how they found something in common in each other, despite the whole magic-Muggle difference. Yeah, she's kind of Neville imo - quiet and reserved younger, but with the potential to be incredibly brave.

I definitely do have a reason for Sirius' desire to find Lexi, and it took a while tbqh and I hope that when the time comes, I'll be able to convey it well. Yes, that is correct - the hole dates back to Marius Black's (the Squib) time, where his mother created the hole to communicate with her son, who'd been taken in by the next-door neighbours after his parents kicked him out. That's explained in chapter four :)

Thank you - I'm really glad that you like this prologue! :)

Oh - I didn't realize that. I do keep an eye on my ands and buts now, and my usage has decreased somewhat although they still crop up. I tried to eliminate them entirely, but I kept getting stuck on what to write next, so I do include those when it feels natural to :)

Thank you so much - and once again, for the late response!

-Isobel xx


 Report Review

Review #91, by AphorideDancing Shoes: Come and dance...

9th June 2013:
Hey there! First off, I lovelovelove Molly/Arthur stories. Whenever I see one I simply have to read it - and the fact that this contains dancing as well, which I used to do a lot of and miss now I've given it all up just made it even more of an obvious choice for me.

Your characterisation was lovely. I love the way Molly is so young and innocent, but not totally oblivious at the beginning, and how she (and cousin Florence) then grow up through the story, and how so much of it focuses on shoes and dancing. Two of my great loves, you know ;) Arthur was fantastic as well - I can totally imagine him standing around in muggle bars just to see what they're like, trying all the drinks because he's curious and watching people... they're both so perfectly in character, and yet you don't even really mention Hogwarts or their families or anything like that. I'm not sure how you did it, but you did and it's pretty incredible.

I loved the inclusion of cousin Florence, as well. How her story kinda rattles along with Molly's for a while, and then it separates. She's really Molly's role model, and I love how, in a way, she kinda reminds me of Fleur, with her being tall and thin and blonde, you know? It's odd, but she does... the gift of the shoes was just so lovely - and it really sort of brought it home, kinda like the passing of a torch, that Florence is too old for dancing, and Molly is just getting there...

The music is great, too. I liked how you didn't mention specific bands, but genres, and that Molly recognised the covers as well. It's a lot more believable than her remembering all the names! :) Also, the record shop owner was a nice addition too - how he's so confused, but thinks she's sweet and so doesn't really care.

Gah, there's nothing really I can say about this, just that I loved it. It's just everything I love packaged up neatly in one one-shot, with such beautiful flow, and lovely description and great characterisation... yeah, I loved this.

Favouriting... :D

Aph xx

Author's Response: Oh I'm glad to find a fellow Molly/Arthur fan! They're such an underloved pairing, but I found them really fun to write!

I'm so glad you liked Molly's characterisation. I really enjoyed writing her as a child, but it was a bit of a challenge too! I'm not entirely sure how I managed to write a whole one-shot about them with only a few references to the magical world, but it's good to hear that this worked despite that!
Ahaha, I've never been much of a dancer, but I do believe in the great power of shoes, (as you can probably tell from this!)

I got a bit carried away with Cousin Florence- she turned from a passing mention to a crucial character in this! I'm glad you liked her. I've never actually seen the similarity to Fleur before, but actually you're totally right!

I'm a music nerd, so I had to have a couple of paragraphs about that! It's great that you liked them, and the bit about the covers. And I'm so pleased that you liked the record shop owner. He was fun to put in!

I'm so, so glad that you enjoyed this, and took the time to write this beautiful review. It really made my day, and every time I read it, I feel all happy inside. And thank you so much for the favourite! ♥

-Bethany


 Report Review

Review #92, by AphorideThe Seams: Passing Afternoon

9th June 2013:
Hey there - sorry about the slight delay in getting here, but I'm here now! :)

Yay, we get to meet Eileen! I'm excited to see how you link the two passages, of course, and what this family curse business is all about, but I'm so glad we got to meet Eileen! Seriously - now I just want to meet Tobias ;)

I think you've done brilliantly with Eileen. We don't know very much about her from canon, and what we do doesn't really say all that much about her personality as such. That being said, I loved the little touches you gave her. The way she knew she wasn't very pretty, the way she couldn't apparate without staggering on landing, the way she calls everyone 'love'. They're all such lovely, personal little touches and they're just great.

The characters you introduced us to are brilliant too. Fabian seems like such a ladies' man - thinks he's such a charmer, lol - and Viola is a brilliant character, and I liked how you used her to reference Eileen's childhood and how life changes what you originally had in mind. My favourite, though, I think, is Hannah. I feel so sorry for her, but I like the relationship she and Eileen have - where they chat to each other, and they're clearly fairly good friends. I'm curious as to what parts these people will all play in her life and how they'll crop up again, but I like them all.

Also, I liked the reference to Eileen thinking about having a career in Charms - intelligence clearly runs in the family ;)

The details were great - the pins around the bottom of the skirt, her locking the door when her wizarding customers arrive, the way she has different times for each half of her business, different tills to put the different currencies in, her vault and the mention of the goblin and family heirlooms and suchlike. And she has a brother! That surprised me, simply because I've never thought that Severus might have uncles and aunts - but now you've included one, I don't know why I didn't... huh.

I'm honestly trying to find something you could improve on in this (because I always try to), but the only thing I can think of is to be careful of repeating words too soon after each other. Like at the beginning, you use the word 'stick' twice in close succession and maybe you could change one of them? It's being totally picky, though, because I have no idea what else to say... :P

But yeah, this is basically perfect. The characterisation is wonderful, the flow is perfect, there are no mistakes, no typos, there's a great balance of description versus action in this, there's so much lovely detail... yeah, I'm just really, really enjoying this - and I have so many questions! :)

Please, please re-request! :) (If not, I'll just have to stalk your author's page for updates)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hello Aph! Don't worry about the delay - I'm a very patient woman and I'm just glad you read and reviewed!

I know, it's Eileen! Gosh, I just love her so much, I can't even handle it! There are going to be two storylines in this novel - Eileen and Tobias's and Penelope/Reynold's - I can't wait for you to see how they connect!

I'm just so stoked that you liked all the characters. In the past, I was known for my imagery and description, so I'm trying to work on my characters and giving them love too. I'm super excited that you like all of the characters - they'll be appearing again, don't worry! I like Hannah too. Another one of my reviewers said that she's very Mrs. Weasley. I hadn't thought of that myself, but it's very accurate and almost comforting.

Oh yes, Eileen is so smart. Severus had to get it from somewhere!

I'm always very purposeful in my descriptions, imagery, and those little details, so thank you for noticing! My hard work is paying off, yes? And yes, she has a brother! I don't know if it's canon, but it's my headcanon, haha!

Haha, thanks for mentioning that! I'll fix that repetition! And please know that I'm always open to good CC. It helps me to grow as an author.

Perfect? Oh goodness, you're making me all gushy and ridiculous. Thank you so much for the wonderful review! You're such a gem! (And I'll re-request ASAP!).

Thanks ♥



 Report Review

Review #93, by AphorideAll That Glitters : Moment of Relief

9th June 2013:
Hey there - sorry about the delay before stopping by! Anyway, I'm here, very happily, with your requested review! :)

I really enjoyed this! I liked that you chose to include a lighter chapter in it amongst all of the doom and gloom and tension. Yeah, they're at war, but that doesn't mean people can't joke, right? And so far, it hasn't totally effected them personally. I imagine if one of them did get attacked or hurt then they'd mellow, but for now, let them laugh! :D

Your characterisations were brilliant again. I love Eleanor - she's this combination of funny, weird and witty which I just love, and without going the 'kooky OC' route as well (I have no idea how you managed that, but well done!). Amelia is wonderful - it's so nice to see her when she's young because we know who she grows into, the stern lawyer-witch with the monocle, but nothing much else really. I love the boys too... they make me smile (and, on a random note, Bertram totally reminds me of a guy I know. Even down to the 'real girl' jokes. It's like you've written him into your fic. It's bizarre, but kinda cool) every time.

There were just a couple of things to point out. Firstly, if you read this through slowly again to yourself, there's a couple of points where you switch tenses (to past tense) or it just didn't flow right. One when you were talking about Bronson and his Quidditch skills (that phrase) and once right at the beginning when you used the mountain and jumping metaphor. It's nothing big, though - just that the whole of the rest of it flowed perfectly with no mistakes anywhere, so those kinda stuck out to me.

Also, the only other thing is that when Henry says he needs to go, it just feels a little random to me. You don't need to like introduce it or something, but I just feel that he needs to realise or something to make it seem less completely out of the blue. Again with this, everything else was great, so it was more obvious.

Master Londy... oh god, that cat is hilarious. He's just so adorable. I hope nothing's happened to him (and nothing will happen to him).

The pace is still a bit slow, but I think it works because it follows on from the last one, so it feels very continuous, which is nice, and then there's the cliffhanger at the end with Londy being missing, which helps - for me, at least - to bring back that tension from before. I don't think you need to speed this chapter up - particularly if it gets faster afterwards - because it would kinda spoil it. Plus, changes in pace help make things dramatic and suchlike, so it could actually work in your favour.

There is still tension here, but it's less palpable. Probably because it's lighter, though. You still managed to keep some of it in, just reminders with Eleanor's internal comments about the Death Eaters and wondering whether Sirius is okay and things. It's subtle, which is lovely - I think this is much better than just out and out saying it, you know?

So yeah, I'm still really enjoying this - please feel free to re-request any time! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi! Sorry it took so long to respond!

Thank you so much for your insightful review! I'm really pleased you are still enjoying it and my characterizations. I find writing about the people a lot more interesting than anything else and it's really fantastic to hear they seem real. Especially Eleanor. I'm glad that she doesn't seem like a kooky person but still funny and witty and whatever else she is. There are only so many kooky people in this world and i don't think they all would be in Hogwarts. It's hard to find the balance though and I honestly don't know how i do it. I just sort of go and hope that she comes out alright.

I see what you mean with that line and being really abrupt, i'll have to go and make it less awkward when he leaves. I see him as a fairly awkward individual at times and puts things in odd ways but it disrupts the story so i'll have to take a look at it.

Thank you so much for your lovely review! I appreciate you coming and reading this! :)


 Report Review

Review #94, by AphorideWriting a Fairytale: Monday Icks

6th June 2013:
Hey there - stopping by with your requested review! Sorry about the delay - my internet has been weird recently, it keeps flickering on and off at times and the pages die occasionally. But, anyway, here it is now!

I didn't like this chapter as much as the others, tbh. It's good how you're pushing the plot on - with the bag by her bed, her tripping over, her first visit to the Hospital Wing, the clashes of culture (particularly with the ankle situation!), the Headmaster, the wand, etc. It's picking the pace up and really giving the reader a load of questions to ask, which is really great. I'm pretty curious, lol.

But, the problem is that I have no idea who Margaret is. You haven't really mentioned her before, and, honestly, before she does something like this, it would be nice to have some idea of who she is - think like Draco Malfoy. We meet him in Flourish and Blotts, before we know who he is, he introduces himself on the train, and then in the first term they have the midnight duel - it's a built-up thing, you know? You kinda need to do that with Margaret, because it seems completely random for her to do something like that. Plus, putting her bag by someone's bed is hardly a particularly nasty thing to do, and it seems an odd thing to do to try and get someone else into trouble. There's no way she could have been sure that Merissa would trip over. You just need more detail and to explain the situation more, I think.

The wand detail was great, as with the historical detail and the clashes of culture, like I mentioned. I loved how she doesn't understand why house-elves can't hold wands, nor why it's acceptable in the wizarding world for ladies to show their ankles, and how she can use other people's wands. I also like how she's using the time in the Hospital Wing to read through her textbooks - though be careful not to make her too good at everything! ;) Particularly with the last sentence. Yeah, she's been working on it for a while, but it took Hermione at while to grasp the spell, so I doubt Merissa would pick it up that quickly and be able to do it just by flicking, particularly with a borrowed wand, when we know from canon that borrowed wands are never as good as your own. Just something to think about!

I liked the inclusion of her friends, as well, with them coming to check up on her and their conversation about Margaret and what's going on. Also, the thing with the wand is very curious. I like how you're gradually expanding your cast as Merissa meets them all, which is a great way to do it - especially since it's through her eyes.

A little factual nugget before I forget: Skele-gro is to grow back bones, not to heal them. 'Episkey' is the spell to heal bones, though you might want to check the spelling on the hp lexicon ;) Since a fracture is a small break, it would be 'episkey' that would be used, not skele-gro.

The flow, as usual, is great, and the pace is definitely picking up! I'm glad to see your paragraphs and things getting longer, and your sentences growing! That being said, don't be afraid of description! Feel free to describe the wall colour, her surroundings, whether it's light/dark in the room, her clothes, etc. You still don't include that much, so there's nothing to worry about! You're not in danger of going overboard ;)

I think you're developing Merissa's character really well, also, tbh. She wants to be good at things, she doesn't want to let her family down, she's blindly accepting things about the wizarding world because she knows she doesn't really understand... I imagine in the future she'll find it difficult to reconcile the two worlds together, and choose which one to belong to, you know? I'm looking forward to seeing where you take this and how you deal with the problems you've brought up! :)

I'm still really enjoying this! Feel free to re-request! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: I agree about Margaret. Another reviewer also pointed out that Margaret just appeared. I went back through the previous chapters to add Margaret in as well as Morfan. While I was writing this chapter, I realized that I didn't have an antagonist for the story.

I read back through that part of the story and agree that Margaret shouldn't really get in trouble for the satchel. I've already started revising the chapter so that Merissa gives her the benefit of the doubt.

Yes, I agree. I've changed how her practice with the borrowed wand happens. Now she gets the pages to dance about for a bit because the charm isn't enough to lift the books.

Again, I agree. I tend to write late at night. I've revised the chapter to take out the Skele-gro and that she was healed using "Episkey" and another spell she didn't hear to heal the sprains.

I've added notes to add more descriptions of her surroundings.

Merissa is going to have a very difficult decision to make given that she is both a witch and the daughter of a duke.

Thank you very much for reading and reviewing!


 Report Review

Review #95, by AphorideDown Comes The Night: Chapter Six

4th June 2013:
Hey there - so glad to see you re-request for this! I really am enjoying this story! Expect a favourite winging its way towards you soon enough ;)

As I said before, I love your characters. I think they're all so brilliant. They're all definitely flawed, with their own qualities and faults, but they feel so real whenever I read them and it's so nice :) Helga is so great - I love how you mentioned her intention to teach any student, no matter what qualities they possessed, and transferred that to a call for unity in Hogwarts and no houses. It seems perfectly logical, you know, and yet, like her, I can understand why the other three don't want to abolish the houses. It's not that they're too stupid to see it, they just see things differently.

Elaine and Rowena are wonderful, wonderful characters too. I loved the discussion about motherhood they had - when Rowena was smiling wistfully at Gareth - and the references to Helga and Rowena feeling like old maids and unloved at nineteen and twenty-one. Again, a really nice historical reference slipped in so well ;) Rowena was so good, though - it reminded me of Helena and Rowena's desperation to bring her daughter home before she died, and Helga's own want of a child (Salazar's child!) was a nice characterisation as well. Plus, it did make me curious about what happens vis-a-vis the continuation of Slytherin and Hufflepuffs' lines, both of which we know survive down to Tom Riddle's era ;) little Helgazar babies... even Salazar, I think, would smile at that.

This chapter is, I think, noticeably slower than the previous one, but I wouldn't say it drags, as such. It's more based on character development than plot, which is why it feels slower, but important stuff still happens in it - like the meeting, particularly - and Helga's failed decision to tell Salazar. I wouldn't worry about it, tbh. It's not slow enough that you'd need to cut anything out, I don't think, and even if you did, I'm not totally sure what you would cut out O.o

Plot-wise, I loved how you included the meeting where Godric effectively puts forward the first mention of a need for the Sorting Hat. It's obviously something that happens before Salazar leaves, but I've never seen it included in anywhere before, so it was so nice to see! And Helga's failed confession will, I think, be important later on... perhaps... :P Also, Salazar defending her from Godric, who can be so patronising at times, was kinda sweet :)

On length... I don't think you have a problem with it. Personally, I always aim for 3-4k words in a chapter, as that seems to me to be a good length. As long as you don't go overboard and start writing 7k chapters or more, in which case for the sake of our beloved validators, I'd have to object ;)

So yeah, I love this. Helga is great, Salazar is just lovely, I feel oddly sorry for Rowena, Elaine is kinda terrifying at times, a par of me wants to slap Godric, and Gareth is the cutest thing to exist. And a favourite is coming.

Please re-request! :D

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey Aph, thank you so much for coming by! I'm glad to see you're still enjoying the story, and I really appreciate your thoughtful reviews :)

I wanted to show some of the conflict the founders might have had as they discussed the future of the school. Sure they're all friends, but like you said, they see things differently. Helga is more concerned with the students emotional well being than their intellectual accomplishments, and that attitude isn't really shared by the other three. I wanted to show that neither opinion is necessarily right or wrong, and I hope I pulled it off.

That scene with the girls and Gareth is one of my favorite ones in the story. I liked sort of hinting at Rowena's hidden vulnerable side, and Elaine was fun to bring back into the fold. It kind of came as a surprise to some people that they're so young, but I did want to follow the norms of the time.

Helgazar babies! Haha, that made me laugh. I mean, who knows what could happen down the road? ;)

I'm glad you thought the length was okay, and that the pace wasn't annoyingly slow. And that last paragraph is the perfect sum-up of what I hoped people would think of these characters! Thank you again for such an amazing review, and the favorite. You made my day! I'll definitely re-request :D

--Maggie


 Report Review

Review #96, by AphorideTeardrop: Teardrop

4th June 2013:
Hey there - dropping by from the forums with your requested review! Sorry for the slight delay - I got caught up in a whole bunch of things the past few days, but I'm here now! :)

I love that you chose to tackle Snape - and in a one-shot too! He's such a difficult, complicated character to write, but he's absolutely fascinating - so difficult to get right, though, so kudos for taking him on! I liked the way you presented him, as well, with his thoughts about James and Sirius and Lily running throughout this continually. He seemed so lonely for so much of it, when Lily had gone or wasn't there at the beginning, and it does kind of make you think about his childhood and school days, you know? But yeah, I thought you handled his character really well - you didn't avoid the darker elements of his childhood, like his becoming a Death Eater, but you didn't completely make him out to be some kind of justified angel, either. I thought you dealt with his complexity really well! He was very much Snape throughout this and I liked it.

I liked how you characterised Lily, as well. Again, she wasn't totally perfect, and it was a little harder with her to gauge her character since we only saw moments of Snape's life, but I liked the way you presented her, focusing on the idea that Snape loved her. It reminded me of reading about Ginny in the books when Harry fancies her, you know.

However, I was a bit confused by some bits you included. I really, really don't understand why, in the middle of a violent war, Lily would invite someone - former school friend or not - who may be working with a terrorist organisation who want to kill people like her and James and the rest of them to her wedding? O.o I get that you wanted to have him there, but it honestly seems a little odd plot-wise. Also, I think it's established in canon that Snape's father is the cruel one, and his mother is nicer... some of their reactions and the way Snape talked about them implied it was the other way round...

I thought the style you wrote this in was great! It's definitely unusual and doesn't always work, but I thought it went well enough here, with glimpses of moments Snape and Lily had shared and little insights into his character. I would say, though, that it seemed a little odd to be reading a one-shot about Snape, from his point of view, where you refer to him as 'Snape', and James and Sirius as, well, 'James' and 'Sirius'. Maybe change it around? Refer to James and Sirius by their surnames and Snape by his first name? It would make more sense in the context of this one-shot, I think.

The flow and the tone of it were excellent, though, and your wordchoice was great, too - 'boathouse', though, should not have a capital letter ;) - and I liked how you ended it. It was such a nice link to the canon series and the way he actually died and the moment in the memories he gives to Harry with Dumbledore...

I definitely don't think it was too soppy - if anything it was more angsty than romantic/fluffy, you know? It probably has something to do with how you chose the moments and where you placed them. Keeping his death for last kept it from that.

So yeah, I enjoyed reading this! I hope I didn't come across as too harsh - I just wanted to let you know because some things were a bit odd for me! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey there! Thank you for getting back to me so quickly, with such a lovely detailed review as well! It's so useful and helpful, and I will be going back over it to improve it! :)

Snape is a very complex character, and it just struck me while I was reading the books how little kudos he does get for all the brave deeds he does. I'm so pleased I got the characterisation alright! He's such a deep character, hard to capture, and in all honesty you can't place him as a bad guy or a good guy, as he was a bit of both. His childhood I always though must've been quite bad to put him in that grey area! Yes, I actually read those bits in the book between Harry and Ginny when I was thinking of writing this!

Thank you for pointing that out! I don't think James would let Snape come either, actually, so I'll go back and edit it. Maybe he can sneak in to it, and it can be a quieter service or something? I'll work on it! Thank you for telling me! And the whole 'Severus' thing is an awesome idea! I don't know why but I didn't really think of that at the time - definitely go back and add that in.

Thank you for all your lovely compliments, and your tips'll really help me improve my writing! I'm glad you enjoyed reading it, and you didn't come across as too harsh at all! Thank you for taking the time to review - a long one too!

Sophie :D


 Report Review

Review #97, by AphorideThe Deal: The Deal

2nd June 2013:
Hey there - dropping off your requested review from the forums! :)

Okay, so woah. I've never ever read something like this - understandable, I suppose, since this was written for a challenge and all that kind of stuff - but, seriously, this is pretty much unique, I think.

I love how you wrote Fudge. He has the same bumbling demeanour that he did in canon - you know: easily pressured into doing things he doesn't necessarily doesn't want to do, perhaps a bit stupider than he should be, a little bit too trusting. After all, if some bloke who was in league with a dark wizard and was supposed to be dead asked me to meet him for a confidential chat in the loo of an old ship, I probably wouldn't go, lol.

But that aside, your characterisation was great. Really, really great. I loved how you made Fudge almost the honest one of the two of them - he's the one who didn't expect to be betrayed and seems to dislike playing games and toying with people in the same way that Scrimgeour does. Scrimgeour was so good, too - I loved how you made him out to be manipulative and darker than he is in the books, and actually kinda scary, too, with the way he's so casual about everything he's doing.

The line 'the will of the Dark Lord' made me laugh, as I first read it as a will as in when you die, lol. Intentional possible pun or not, it's still good! I loved how the paper in the envelope only read 'I will never die'. It seems an odd boast for the Dark Lord to make to a politician who presumably he's had ordered to be killed, but when you consider the Horcruxes it obviously takes on a different meaning. And poor Fudge, he has no idea that the Dark Lord is, actually, somewhat correct about his statement. He has no idea what it means. Besides, the sort of melodrama which the letter has is just like the Dark Lord. Reminds me of his monologues in the books... :P

The one thing I did think is that some of your paragraphing is a bit odd. Like, they're all really, really short. You could add in some description, I think, here and there to help pad it out - like when Fudge is nervous, does he fiddle with things? What things? What do they look like? What is Scrimgeour wearing - he's supposed to be dead, after all. What can he see out the porthole? It will help make your paragraphs longer :) You could also join some of them up with each other, where the action from one to the next is continuous. If you're not sure, I'd ask a quick beta on the forums, pm one, and ask them to look this over for you checking for that. It's not a hard thing to learn, but it will make a difference to your writing!

The plot of this was great, though! I'm guessing it's AU, but I liked it nonetheless. Given how corrupt the Ministry is as a whole, it seems perfectly possible to me that Scrimgeour is equally, or more so, corrupt than Fudge was.

Your style and flow and pace in this were all great, too. Because it was centred around a conversation, and there was a lot of information about the back story to get across, the fact that it's not hugely pacey doesn't matter - and the pace is actually still pretty quick.

So yeah, I enjoyed reading this! I hope you didn't think I was too harsh, and feel free to re-request for something else in the future! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi!

You're probably right in saying that this is a really different idea - as I was writing this, I couldn't help but think, "what on earth is this and why am I writing it?" :)

I kind of exaggerated the characters we know already in Fudge and Scrimgeour here, and I'm glad that you like that - they were fun to write!

Yes, that was a rather intentional pun. :) Voldemort definitely seems like the cocky type, so his little letter seemed very in character of him.

I will definitely go in and add more detail, because it is a very skin-and-bones type story right now, and I think adding more detail might help!

Thanks so much for the review and the concrit! :)

-ShadowRose (Taylor)


 Report Review

Review #98, by AphorideAll That Glitters : Messages

2nd June 2013:
Hey there - stopping by from the forums with your requested review! Sorry it took a bit longer than expected, but I'm here now :)

So, I have to admit that I'm generally fairly sceptical of Sirius/OC stories, simply because they're generally set in Hogwarts or the OC is wonderful and brave and has a tragic family past, gets into the Order and is a brilliant duellist, etc. etc. but. But, this was brilliant!

I love how Eleanor is such an average character, you know? Yeah, she's a trainee Healer, but she's scared about the war, she doesn't really want to be involved, she has some kind of odd relationship with Sirius which you're not saying exactly what it is (which I love - it keeps us guessing ;D). She has such a strong, confident voice as well - honestly, if you're nervous about writing longer stories, you shouldn't be, because this is a really, really great start! :)

So yeah, your characterisation is great - all around, actually. Sirius and Amelia and your Hufflepuff OCs (who are just amazing!) are all so well thought out. I love that you included slight references to Sirius' family, without making it overly obvious. Amelia in particular is great - I like how you've linked it to canon with her working in Magical Law, and her opinions on Giant rights, and suchlike things. Her obsession with planning is funny, too - and I can relate to that, though I don't plan nearly as much as she does!

The plot is fantastic! I love how you started it at the end of the year, with the worry and excitement about leaving school and going out into the wide world and facing the war and actually being out in it, you know? It's such a great place to choose for it, particularly for this era, I think. Yeah, it's going a bit slowly at the moment, but because you keep referencing the war - mentioning that people have gone missing, shops are closing down, Bertram leaving, etc. - it keeps this underlying tension in it which kinda resolves the need for the plot to move faster. I mean, obviously, you don't want it to be this slow the whole time, but for now the pace is great - it's building up pressure and it works so well.

Also, on that note, it's so great how you're not mentioning the war all the time - it's not full on 'there's a war, there's a war, there's war - and oh, did I mention there's a war', but you're talking about it enough that we don't forget that it's happening. I like the mentions of how half-blood and mixed-blood families have started disappearing now, and Bertram and his family deciding to up and leave and him not being able to tell anyone, and Healer Davies making that point about hope and optimism.

And that bloke with Healer O'Kelly is very suspicious. Not sure if she's in on whatever's going on too (Healer O'Kelly, that is) but it's suspicious... I'm guessing he's a Death Eater? Someone she recognises from a few years above her at school? You didn't mention a name, so I'm assuming she doesn't exactly know him personally... still, it's making me curious :P

Your description is great; there's not really anything I can say about that, tbh. Your style in general is lovely - it really fits the voice of the OC, and keeps it lively, if not pacey. The detail is good, I liked the different robes for different years of Healer trainees, and how you haven't felt it necessary to describe every aspect of your OC :) So yeah, you don't need to be worried about that.

Just one note: you didn't ask about this, but in your summary, you've put 'For Eleanor Hughes, etc.'. I get what your trying to say with it, but it sounds a bit like 'she' would give up everything for 'Eleanor Hughes' so you might want to have another look at it. I know it's a pain coz you said you've had summary help - but it's the summary, so it's important, or I wouldn't have mentioned it!

This is really, really great, though - feel free to re-request any time! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey! No worries, it was 5 chapters and i knew it would take some time! Thank you for doing this!

I don't even know where to start with such a wonderful review such as this! I wish i could talk about everything you've pointed out but i'll just pick out a couple things to respond to.

First of all, I really enjoy Sirius/OC but it is rare that i actually like them written. I'm with the same opinion as you that so many of them are tragic past OC's, at Hogwarts and she tamed his playboy antics, or that she's just powerful and wonderful etc. It gets old and it's not how i really imagine Sirius. So, if he was to ever fall in love it would be quite different to that in my opinion. Which if something like that were to happen here i can safely say it's not going to around those lines at all.

I'm also really chuffed that you like Eleanor and - well all my characterizations of my characters. I'm really blown away by your compliments on them really. They've all become really close to me and i really enjoy writing them together and it's always good to hear that they seem realistic.

What I wanted to do with this story is explore life in a war. How sometimes it's just everyday stuff, sometimes it's full of fear, sometimes there is joy. But whatever it is, it is just life and just a bunch of people trying to survive and get through it. Which is going to make some of it a little slower, however, it won't stay there for very long. It's just coming to a boiling point really.

I'm happy that some parts of the story are a little mysterious! If there is one thing i'm rubbish with is leaving cliff hangers or trying to add mystery because i really like closure at the end of each chapter. It's hard to leave things hanging. Slicked back hair man is someone i'm dying to dive into but i keep telling myself to hold off explaining his relevance. However it's cool that you picked up on that :)

Finally on your comment on the summary - haha thank you so much for pointing that out! Summaries are always peskily important and I can definitely see now that it reads like that! I had summary help a while ago but this one is a new one i've cooked up recently so the bad grammar falls on me.

Thanks so much for your brilliant review!!


 Report Review

Review #99, by AphorideWriting a Fairytale: Sophronia's Tale

31st May 2013:
Hey there - stopping by from the forums with your requested review! Sorry for the delay - my wrist's been playing up recently and it's been fairly bad the last couple of days, which made it pretty painful to type. I'm here now, though ;)

I liked this chapter - I think it was good to skip theory lessons, if that was all the first few lessons were, and go straight to the first practical magic lesson, with the spell and show that. I noticed you changed the Levitation Charm from Wingardium Leviosa - any particular reason? Given that we know what it is in canon, it's a little odd to change it...

Still, it was good. I liked how Merissa went up to the teacher at the end of the class and asked about the purpose of spells and noted the lack of magical accidents. I'd never really considered it before, but you're right... it is kinda odd... huh, but yeah, it was a really nice detail. Merissa's character is being explored a bit more in this, I think, with the lesson and her trying to perform the spell and her curiosity coming up again, and then her loyalty and sense of duty to her family with the letters... it was nice. What you've shown of her so far is good, she's coming along really well as a character :)

Two things I would say, though. First, you have a lot of single-phrase, short sentences. A lot of these can be joined together. For example: 'Merissa put her satchel next to her desk. Helen sat next to her.'; instead, you could say: 'Merissa put her satchel next to her desk, Helen sitting down next to her', or something similar. Lots of short sentences are better for fast-paced action stories and thriller-style stories, rather than this ;) It breaks up the flow a bit. Also, grammar-wise, when you have a character speaking it should be a comma before the speech marks close, not a full stop, e.g. "Snape's a git," said Harry. "He's always picking on me". It's easy enough to fix :)

I loved how she was so worried about writing the letters and what she could/couldn't say in them and how she wanted to explain to her sisters and tell them everything about what was going on and such at Hogwarts, but couldn't state it plainly. The fairytale-style story was a clever idea and a nice touch. I don't really understand, though, why she couldn't tell her parents about things like music classes, Herbology (which is gardening, and something they would probably deem as just about acceptable for a young lady to be learning), and other less-magical lessons, like History of Magic. I get that she can't talk about getting her wand and other more magic related things, like performing spells, but there's obviously a lot more than that at school...

Her friends are great characters, too, though I'd like to see more of their separate personalities. At the moment, they seem too much like a pair, I think. They seem to do everything together, and while friends would have similar interests, they wouldn't be that similar.

Oh, one more thing quickly! I'd have liked to see more of Merissa's reaction to having a female professor. Obviously, in the muggle world at the time this is set, women weren't professionals, and couldn't teach to that kind of level. I just would have thought that Merissa would have considered that odd or reacted somehow to it. Even though it's not the first lesson, it would be nice to see what her opinion was.

As usual, the detail was great. I liked the lesson you picked out as it reminds me of Harry's first lesson, I'd love to see what you do with other first practical lessons, tests and suchlike and how you manage her family and friends, and her kinda two different lives at the same time. The historical detail is particularly fabulous, and I'm kinda curious as to whether or not anything odd/important is going to happen while she's at school, and how things are going to develop :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Thank you very much!

Not a problem at all! Glad you're feeling better.

I changed the spell primarily to reflect a difference in the education. With the focus on learning languages in that time, they would be able to specify exactly what they wanted the spell to do. Especially as it seems that the spell wasn't necessarily what is said but the intent of the caster. I'll have one of the teacher's explain why they are learning different spells.

I've added a note to combine the shorter sentences. And will fix the speech parts. Thank you for catching the ones I missed when I reviewed before posting!

I honestly didn't think about the music classes or dance classes or Herbology when writing the letter to her parents. I was so focused on trying to write a letter that explained what was happening as viewed with no magic. But that makes more sense, especially as her parents would be extremely interested in how her skills are progressing for her future Season. I will add a little more into the letter.

I will add more differences between Alice and Helen.

I will add a little more reaction to a female professor. I switched governesses and tutors in my head. :I

I've added a notorious family line into the story, one that has a particular ring...


 Report Review

Review #100, by AphorideUnforgettables : An old teacher and a new one

30th May 2013:
Hey there - stopping by from the forums with your requested review! Sorry for the delay - I injured my wrist yesterday and haven't been able to type until this afternoon, but here I am! :)

So, I love the idea of the orphanage, and a boy from an orphanage finding out he's a wizard and all that jazz. And I love the fact that you've included a pair of hugely minor characters - Miranda Goshawk and Billy Stubbs - in it as well. Plus, an appearance from Professor Neville! :) It's all good...

I like Damon's character so far. He's an odd, complicated, hypocritical sort of child - which is good, because it means he's real. He doesn't want to be adopted, but then he does; he wants to be successful, but doesn't really seem to understand what that means. I also like the fact that he doesn't understand Romeo and Juliet - that comment made me laugh :P Why would a boy die for a girl, indeed... :)

His relationship with Miranda Goshawk is great, too. I like how she's more uptight in public and more relaxed at home, how she's hiding her magical identity, and how she seems to like Damon - presumably, she knows he's a wizard, I'm guessing ;) The one thing I did find a little strange is that you said that at seven he was sent over to help her. Now, I'm not an expert, but I did once apply to help out at a care home and they're really, really tough things to get. I highly doubt anyone - even a grateful orphanage - would send a seven year old boy, who has no idea about first aid, about health and safety and is nowhere near strong enough to lift her if necessary to help out an old lady. That being said, it's actually a little unclear what you mean by that. If you expand, it could work - if he's helping out by cleaning things, or going on errands for her, that sort of thing. As it is, it's a bit unbelievable and ambiguous.

The detail in this was great - I loved the little cultural references, like Jedi, and Goshawk's comment about her being successful and his utter confusion at what she means. Of course we know, but that's what makes it fun ;)

I just have a few things I want to say quickly. I'm not totally sure why Goshawk would want to create a savings account (I doubt it would be a bond, tbh - bonds are debt security and transferrable) or a trust fund for him? You don't really show that they have a close enough relationship for that... you show they get on, but it seems a little odd. Also, if the church is nearby (which is must be), then why wouldn't Damon know if he's a priest or a reverend? Since he goes there - even if not to the actual service - it seems like something he would just have picked up from other people, like Goshawk or the other kids (you know, talking about Reverend Clive or whatever his name is). Lastly, you have a slight comma issue :P You use them a LOT: in place of semi-colons, in place of full stops... I would recommend sending this first chapter to a quick beta on the forums, and having them check it over for you - they will be able to point it all out to you and explain to you how it works (just make sure to mention it to them! :D), since this review might get a little long otherwise ;)

The flow was great - you have nothing to worry about there, and it doesn't get dull at all. You're introducing us a bunch of new characters, and a whole new situation which hasn't yet got to the world we really know well. Even though there's not much action, it's the descriptions and the information about him and his life which is needed at this point. So, no problems there!

But yeah, I liked this. I like Damon's character, Miranda Goshawk is a great character and a nice inclusion, the detail was great (the mentions of the 'strange green substance', the champagne glass with a rat's tail, the jedi robe), and it was a good introduction :)

I hope I didn't come across to harsh - I just want to help! - and feel free to re-request! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey there, let me start of for saying thank you for taking the time to review, and thanks for such a good one!
I'm making a few changes at the moment, little things that you've pointed out, and as soon as I'm done I'm sending it to a beta :) I'd also like to thank you as before now I never knew about quick betas and was scared of getting an actual beta!
Thanks again!
KO


 Report Review
If this is your story and you wish to respond to reviews, please login

<Previous Page   Jump:     Next Page>