Reading Reviews From Member: Aphoride
  
307 Reviews Found

Review #76, by AphorideWaiting for the Train: Waiting for the Train

23rd December 2013:
Hey there - so sorry about the long wait before this, RL pulled me away for a while, but I'm here now (finally!).

So, I really liked this! I loved that you write Victoire as nervous and standing on her own on the platform, looking around at everything, feeling a little overwhelmed and out of place. It's such a nice thing to see, since most people write a lot of the Next Gen kids as very confident, and not all of them would be, you know? So yeah, I like your Victoire, I think she's lovely. I love how she's so fascinated by the new professor, and curious about how her mum saved his life - it's the kind of thing everyone would want to know about their parent. I also like how shy she is, particularly at the beginning, and aware of how people are looking at her - it makes sense, having two parents who are war heroes and being related to the golden trio, you know? And of course it's going to be overwhelming and strange for a shy, young girl.

I love that you're including Roger Davies as well - I really like as a character, and think it's a such a shame not that much is written about him. I'm so looking forward to see what you do with him/how you characterise him/etc :)

I did notice, however, that you have quite a few problems with commas, spelling and grammar at times. If you don't have one, maybe it would be good idea for you to get a beta to help with that? It really makes everything so much clearer to you - I've had one before, and it was so helpful! :)

Your flow and pace is lovely, though - just spot on for this - and this was a good length for a prologue/first chapter with not all that much action in, to sort of set the scene, you know. I really liked this! It's such a good story and I'm so curious about where you're going to do this in the future and what you're going to do with it!

Please feel free to re-request! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: If you are interested I have another story with Roger and Fleur. It is a role-play of mine put into story form. I am thinking of tying the two together with Roger retelling Victorie the story.

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Review #77, by AphorideEverto Trucido: The Trial

23rd December 2013:
Hey there! I'm so sorry this has taken so long to get here, and that I'll only be reviewing the first chapter - unfortunately life has been incredibly busy recently, and is not quite slowing down just yet.

I should probably admit first that I'm not a huge fan of AUs with inserted characters who 'fix everything', tbh, so this really isn't something I'd read on my own.

That said, I do find the set-up of this pretty interesting. I'm not quite sure why the set-up is needed since it's set in the Marauder's Era and you've sort of just given us a list of characters and a few hints about what happens later on. But I did like it.

I liked how you introduced a whole load of characters we know and some we don't, and gave hints about what happens and sort of gave us a glimpse of the future - if that was what you intended by this then you did it and pretty well too! I'm not really sure how it sets things up, tbh,given that you haven't really explained her abilities or about the other school you mentioned or why her or anything like that (though some of that might be explained later, I guess...), which I kinda expected this to sort of be when I started reading. It works really well as a prologue, though :)

You've done really well at weaving the AU elements in to it, without taking away from the canon elements. It being 1998, the people who've died, Kingsley being Minister, no magic being able to raise the dead... I really loved the nods to canon, despite this being an AU. You really blended the two together so well.

You might want to be careful with Grace, though, as Potter-sisters with amazing abilities have a tendency to become Mary Sue's if not watched carefully. Just something to keep an eye on, though so far I think she's great ;)

To be honest, I'm not sure about the long list of people she introduces. It's a bit long and kinda drags on, tbh. Maybe look at that again and find a better way to introduce these people? It just reminds me a bit of choosing people for teams in sports lessons at school, you know? Though that might just be my personal preference...

The other thing I thought was a bit weird was how Remus, Sirius and Snape all somehow have kids who seem to be about the same age who they never knew about. Frankly, it's a bit much. I just can't believe that the same situation would have happened to all three of them, particularly at the same time. Not everyone gets pregnant at the same time, and keeping a kid secret might have been easier in a war, but it's not easy, particularly given that you describe most of the kids as looking like their fathers, which would kinda give it away a bit. Maybe have a look at their relationships again - they don't have to have a cosy father-son relationship or whatever, but unless it's essential for your plot that none of them ever meet their fathers or have any idea who their fathers are, and their fathers never even suspect, I'd suggest maybe changing at least one to a different situation, so it's a little less coincidental.

I liked the reactions from people, as well, the way you focused on how they responded to seeing things they thought were impossible and seeing people they thought were dead, and then being told they weren't... it was really well thought-out, I thought.

Also, your writing style is really nice - fluid, not complicated, clear - no mistakes grammar or spelling-wise which I could see... and your descriptions were really great, too - particularly of Grace. A lot of people tend to over-emphasise injuries, forgetting how it works in real life, you know? So it was really nice to see that!

Please feel free to re-request! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hello!

It took me some time to figure out when I had requested this :).

This is my cliche-fun piece (and it is so much fun to write), so some of the ideas can be a bit difficult to swallow. Also, I've been considering placing this chapter back into its chronological order to avoid some of the confusion.

With this chapter, it was my intention to create some kind of hook where, despite the confusion, it would prompt readers to want to discover more about the characters and plot.

Because this is such a strong AU, it was vital (in my opinion) to stay true to as much canon as possible. I'm glad it is working :).

Oh, yes, that's one of the things that has been so much fun about writing with Grace. She DOES have a HUGE potential to be a Mary Sue, so forcing myself away from that path has been both challenging and humorous. I've used Grace's name as an ironic twist to her personality, which is entertaining in itself.

The list of names section has been one of the biggest struggles. It feels like name-dropping and I'm constantly attempting on how to fix that! Obviously, I still haven't figured that out.

Oh yes, the children. At a certain point in the story, they are important to the plot. It IS a touch unrealistic to have the children within a 2 to 3 year time span, but it does serve a function. There is a section in the plot that gives reason as to why the children have never met their fathers. When that particular potion of the plot develops further than an outline of what is going to happen, there is a chance that things may change slightly.

Fantastic, thanks so much!!

-Rumpel


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Review #78, by AphorideNo Room at the Inn.: No Room at the Inn.

20th December 2013:
Hey there! Thanks so much for doing the swap! :)

I have to admit that one of the things I've always been curious about is lycanthropy in the HP world because, apart from with Remus, it's rarely talked about. It always reminds me, as well, of Aids in our world and how people viewed it, you know. So yeah, I was pretty excited to read this!

I love all your characters. They're all amazing. Genuinely. Lydia is so brilliantly written - I love how her lycanthropy affects her personality, her marks at school, her general health, her relationship with her friends... it really has affected her entire life, which a life-changing disease really should do :P So yeah, it's brilliant. I love how she seems so passive and uncaring and sort of listlessly upset with things she seems on the surface, but then how worried and emotion-ful underneath. It's really such a in-depth thing to do, and really makes her like a real person, you know?

Alexandrina is a great character too! I love how she's so worried about Lydia and how she's getting on, trying to encourage her to eat, to talk to her friends, to get on with her life, harsh as it sounds. Kinda trying to persuade her to live properly again and just enjoy herself and not let lycanthropy define her. The argument with Flavian and Grace was brilliant and I think you really captured every emotion Alexandrina would be feeling in that moment - as a mother-in-law, a mother and a grandmother. It was really great character work!

I liked how you didn't go for a normal 'happy' christmas, if you know what I mean, and instead went for something with a bit more angst and tension and drama. It was very different and I liked it - it worked so well and you wrote it so well.

One small thing: just coz I can see it above this little box - the last sentence sounds a bit strange with 'which' in there. Maybe split it into two sentences instead? It just doesn't flow as well as the rest of it...

Honestly, though, that's the only thing I can think of! I loved the plot and the scenario and your style was great; the pacing and setting of it all was good too. The characters, as I said before, were brilliant - I kinda loved them all, even Grace! - and so real, and yeah, this was just great!

Aph xx

Author's Response: Thank you so so much for this review. It's so in depth.

The story was written for a challenge to write about something bad happening at Christmas. It would also have fit the family reunions thing in the writer's duel, except it's too long. So the point was not to be typically happy. *grins*

I'm not surprised you found something "off" in the last paragraph. I sort of rushed the last paragraph or two, because I'm currently working on a novel length story and this took FOREVER to write, about two to three weeks, so I wanted to get it up and have time to get another chapter of my novel length written before the queue closed, so I wouldn't be keeping readers of that waiting over a month for a new chapter. When the queue opens again, I'll take a look at that last sentence and see what I can do with it. Thanks for pointing that out.

Grace was a hard character to write, not so much because of herself, but because it's from Alexandrina's point of view and naturally if there are problems between her son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter, she's going to feel most comfortable putting the blame on her daughter-in-law, rather than her son.

I was trying to show that Flavian and Grace aren't really cruel or bad people, just somewhat selfish and maybe a bit Percy-like. They value success and want their daughter to be intelligent and successful, not part of a minority that'll have people gossiping about the family.

Glad you liked Lydia. I'm pretty fond of her myself, because there's so much you can DO with lycanthropy.

Thanks again for the review. It was awesome.


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Review #79, by AphorideTwo: A Perfect Blend: Blended Christmas

20th December 2013:
Hey there! Thanks for the review swap, and sorry about the delay - but I'm here now! :)

First off, just to say that thought you did this really well given the prompt for the winter writer's duel. The whole thing really revolved around Christmas and how they celebrated them, how their celebrations evolved as they grew up, and then eventually merged. It's such a wonderful interpretation, and not one I would have thought of. I really liked that.

I loved the way you showed their characters and relationships with others through their Christmases - and their own relationship, of course. It's such a good idea, and you did it so well! I particularly liked the mentions of the cousins and family friends from Rose, and Scorpius' house-elf and how he's sort of friends with her, in a way. It really highlighted the differences between them and the way they celebrate, you know?

The details you put into each of their Christmases was lovely, too - especially Rose's. I loved the way you took us through the whole day and what normally happens - with the decorating of the tree, the smell of the turkey, laughter, the nicknames, how people would act, etc. It was so in-depth and really, really nice :)

The glimpses into their characters were so nice, as well - like when Rose and her cousins decide to stay at Christmas so their parents could go away, and how Scorpius feels almost out of place in the Burrow, and how Albus knows about them when no one else seems to ;) You really had the right amount of character-building without this being a sort of contemplative one-shot, you know?

The ending... aw, it was so sweet! 'Maybe we should have our own Christmas next year' - so adorable. Cheeky too, kinda... :P I liked the way the whole family went silent when they saw them together, and the eating competition was hilarious! When Ron said '/my/ beautiful girl' (I can't remember the exact phrase) and Scorpius felt sort of threatened, it was almost funny, in a way, but such a nice moment, regardless. It's so easy to imagine Ron being so protective of Rose, you know? No matter who she dates.

So yeah, this was really lovely. Your writing style was great (though I did spot a few odd commas ;P), the characters were brilliant and the whole plot/set-up/etc. was amazing. I'm so glad you decided to swap! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: No worries about the delay, Aph. (which really isn't much of a delay, in any case):D I knew you would get to it eventually. And you did and you left me a gorgeous review that made me smile so how could I complain? :D I can't, that's the answer. HAHA.
Anyway, I'm glad you think it answered the prompt well.. :O This wasn't the prompt I wanted to do originally. I mean, I was determined, I think, to do the fourth one but this one just sprung as a fully-fledged scene (the start, Rose's Christmas and Scorpius and Rose together in a Weasley Christmas) that I knew I had no choice but to do it.. HAHA.
Anyway, I'm glad that it came across as having enough character-building for you! I feel iffy about it sometimes. Like sometimes I feel it's soo little and then I add some more to the point when it becomes too much. This time around the word limit actually helped. There was so much I wanted to say but with a 4000 word limit I had no choice but to pack it into those little words.
Yes, Ron is definitely protective of Rose (especially since it's Scorpius) but really, with anyone he would be disapproving, I think. Just like my dad. I had a prime example. HAHAHA.
OMG, the comma-titis. It's a disease, I tell you! I love my commas (used to love dashes and hyphens too but I got over that!) I swear, after the first draft this had more commas than it does now. :O I need professional help. haha. Definitely needs another read through but maybe not for a while. I read through it so much in 48 hours it gave me a headache haha.
I'm glad you think my writing style is great because you're is really really good and blows me away. So thanks... you are gorgeous.

--Carla


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Review #80, by AphorideBlurring Whites: One

26th October 2013:
Hey there - thanks so much for the swap! I checked out the link before agreeing (I always check out other people's links when they post them - force of habit!) and it looked so interesting I kinda had to swap! :)

Oh my gosh, this was such a good story! It was just... so dark and emotional and heartbreaking, you know? And it makes you think, as well, which is so amazing - I don't know how you did it. Anything like this is such a hard topic to write about and you handled it so well, so you should definitely be proud of that!

I have to say, I like the way you characterised Lily. I like that she had issues at school, that she was bullied, that she had problems and wasn't 'normal' or 'perfect'. It's such a sad image of parts of the world/society we're in, you know, but it's something so real at the same time. I thought she was a wonderful character - you really allowed me to empathise with her, which made it all the more emotional.

James was great too! I liked how he was angry about what Lily did, angry at Albus for being the one to find out, and just really didn't know how to handle his emotions. It seems like such a plausible and understandable reaction, you know, and you dealt with it so well.

It's kinda scary, though, lol, because your OC reminds me far too much of myself in some ways. Being a blonde Laura really doesn't help :P It's brilliant, though - this is only a one-shot and yet all of the characters in it, Lily and James and Laura, are so wonderfully created. They're all so real and human. I loved how you ended it with Laura phoning her sister, it was such a bittersweet moment :)

Net was an awesome inclusion. I'm guessing she's sort of an Anubis-like figure, so to speak, sitting between the 'live' world and the 'dead' one. I've never read a story quite like this where they've included a sort of guide to the world who wasn't also a former character from the books, but I liked it.

Gah, this is a really lovely one-shot - even if it is pretty dark and depressing! Really lovely writing style and everything - but, seriously, your characters are genuinely amazing!

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi Aph! I'm really pleased this seemed appealing, my banner by LadyDi is amazing!

Wow thank you, you are way too kind. I'm a sucker for writing angst, I feel like I relate so well to it. It comes really naturally to me, I enjoy writing it. Writing this was fun in the beginning and then it became so painful.

Yeah *scratches head* I always end up killing Lily in my next gen stories.. It's really weird :P I try to keep it as "wizard"y as I can, without it being so "Muggle". I try, and I know I need to go back and work on that. I'm really happy it worked for you though!

James' reaction had a lot to do with research, listening to actual stories. I like how he turned out too.

Yay for blonde Lauras! Haha, I wanted a name and couldn't decide so just went "Laura". I'm not happy with her last name but oh well, what can I do ;)

Yup, Net's definitely like Anubis. I kind of took her from Nephthys, who is Anubis' mother. Net was kind of like the Dumbles to Harry, except to Lily and I tried to make her as an ultimate guide. I'm so glad you liked her, she and Laura were my first try at OCs.

Thanks so much! This review is so kind and thoughtful, Aph! Thanks for doing this lovely!


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Review #81, by AphorideGravel on the Ground: From the Ashes: Chapter 3

19th October 2013:
Hey, again!

So, reading this I realised that one of my comments in an earlier review (chapter 1, I think?) was totally negated. I said about the glasses, how had she got them and why would that have been a priority, but obviously here you said that she'd had them before, so I just missed that and you can just ignore it ;)

Again, your grasp of canon characters is astounding. McGonagall and Dumbledore are so hard to write and get right, you know, and you seem to do it so easily! I'm almost jealous, lol. I love how you mention their long friendship and how they know each other so well, almost too well, and yet they still disagree on things, and they sound so much like how they do in the books.

Sadie is genuinely a really great OC. She's clever, but not overly so, has things she struggles with and things she's good at, has flaws and weaknesses and strengths and so many issues (!)... she's such a brilliantly complex character that I can't help but find her fascinating. I'm really curious to see what you do with her - how she deals with school, what actually happened to her - and how she develops. You've made it difficult for yourself, but seriously, she's brilliant.

Obviously this was more of a filler chapter than a hugely plot-filled chapter (more nuggets of information, though! So curious...) but I like that the plot seems to be moving a bit slowly at the moment. It feels to me almost like we're literally going along with Sadie, as she gets better and finds friends and learns to live again, I guess. It's also building up tension, which is really exciting as I'm wondering to what (I'm assuming her going to the Burrow...).

Your writing style again was lovely. It's very reminiscent of JKR herself, you know - it really reminds me of the books when I read this. Absolutely no mistakes I could see at all, nothing that felt a bit clunky or weird or anything... yeah, it's just flawless. You're obviously either an amazing editor or an incredible writer to write like this straight off. Either way, it's awesome.

Really enjoying this! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Yeah, another brilliant review from you! This is so exciting!

And don't worry at all about the glasses. Actually, it's a compliment. I throw clues out there, but I hope people don't get them all the first time through. Then later, when they read something else, they are like OH, that's what that was for! Does that make any sense? So I'm not worried at all that you made the glasses comment.

I will admit that writing Dumbledore and Minerva in this chapter WAS hard. I struggled to get out what I needed to and still have them stay in character. Makes me feel very good that you liked how it turned out. And I do believe they have been friends for a long time, a very comfortable, accepting friendship.

Yes! Sadie is seeming real! That's a huge thing for me. I am SO happy you find her facinating! And I'm really excited for you to see what happens to her. School, friends, family...they are all going to play a big part in how she develops. (And I hope I haven't made it TOO difficult for myself, lol.)

Yeah, filler chapters. I do tend to include them, but sometime you need them. And I do like giving out clues of information. I just feel like Sadie has had SO many changes I needed to move a bit slow at first. Glad you are liking the pacing.

Thank you again for such lovely, lovely reviews. You are so kind and they have just made my day again as I got to reread them so I could reply. Your compliments have helped restore my faith in my writing and I'm excited to work on it again!

I do hope you'll come back when you have time and find out more about Sadie and her story.

Thanks again!
-Farmgirl


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Review #82, by AphorideGravel on the Ground: From the Ashes: Chapter 2

19th October 2013:
Hey there - back again! :)

I'm really surprising myself by really enjoying this story - simply because it's something I don't ever read normally, and the kind of situation I normally don't like in ff because it can be so overdone.

Seriously, though, this is brilliant! I love how you're starting slowly, giving us bits of information to get us going, and how it's tying into canon events, with the World Cup in two days... your writing style is just so lovely, as well, it's so clear and precise and gah, everything just works, you know? There's genuinely nothing I can say about it other than that it's nice and easy to read and flows perfectly and just sucks you into the story and doesn't let you out until the end.

Your characterisation is flawless. All the canon characters - people others are normally scared to write because it's so easy to get them wrong - are just perfect. Honestly, I'm a little bit in awe! Harry, Ron, the twins, Mr and Mrs Weasley... they're just all exactly as they are in canon. It's uncanny. Incredibly, though, really.

The plot is so good, as well! I admit that the idea of Harry having lost cousins and James having relatives we don't know about in the books is one which I'm always nervous about reading, but you've done it so well and made it so believable and plausible that it just works brilliantly. The whole way you're drawing it in, Sadie being in fourth year at sixteen to catch up, her having lost her voice and not being able to talk... it's such a unique situation for a character and I'm so excited to see where you take her. I've rarely ever seen stories about children who can't talk so it's a really interesting idea.

I'm so curious as to if we're ever going to find out what happened to Sadie's parents, if there will be some kind of counter for the spell which took away her voice, how she's going to fit in and, well, just everything.

This really is a pretty awesome story! Sorry for the complete lack of anything really useful to say - I can't find anything wrong with it at all, nothing constructive to say, nothing picky to say... *shrugs* It's just amazing.

Aph xx

Author's Response: I love that you keep coming back again! Come back as much as you'd like! :D

And I am so excited that you are enjoying the story! I know I'm walking the fine line of cliches in this story, but after more than six years of sitting on it, afraid to share, I finally decided (with some help from a friend) to just do it. I'm glad I did, as people seem to be enjoying it.

Awww.now I'm blushing. Your gushing on my writing there is giving me a big head, but I thank you so much for it. It always feels so nice to have people tell you they enjoy your story. You comment about the story sucking you in and not letting you go is one of the nicest things anyone has said about this piece.

And yep, more blushing. I really do enjoy writing the canon characters. They are the ones that I fell for when I read the books, so they are the ones I want to have more adventures with. But I do worry others will be like "you can't write them, they aren't the aren't right." So thank you.

The Long Lost Relative Cliche. Yeah, I knew the danger when I started this. Another reason I waited SO long to start posting. But that's how the story was in my head and I finally realized I didn't want to change it. I just hope I can take something that can be so overdone and give it a fresh run.

Sadie not being able to talk is really the crux of this story, more even than the fact that she's Harry's cousin. I hope that keeps things interesting. I am sort of facinated by that kind of story, so we'll see how it goes.

More information about Sadie's family will be revealed a little at a time, I promise. I really hope you'll keep reading to find out more. As for the spell that took her voice, that will also be revealed farther down the line.

Don't appologize! Sometimes, a heartfelt gushing review is just what an author needs. I had rough spot in the last month where I really started to doubt myself and my story, so reading this helped a ton. *hugs* Thanks so very much!


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Review #83, by AphorideAllergic to Fun: Invitations and Unwanted Interventions

18th October 2013:
Hey there, stopping by for the Review Battle! :)

I love Lily/James, so the fact that this all revolves around them and their relationship and that kind of stuff makes me very happy indeed, and that's good before it's even started :P

The way you write Lily is so lovely, as well. She's hardworking, intelligent, nice, gets stroppy and upset and irrationally angry like a normal person, and isn't perfect (which I've seen in quite a few things). She's human and even in this first chapter, you've shown us such a bunch of different traits that I already feel like I know her character. It's pretty awesome.

Her friends made me laugh! Bouncing into the room, all excited, one stroppy, one sort of quiet and unobtrusive. It's kinda the classic girl group, you know? Which has it's upsides and it's downsides, but you're managing it great here so far! I hope there's more of them later, particularly Clara, as I'd like to see them more developed later on - I think they could be brilliant characters!

One thing I do want to say is that at times it feels to me like there's a little too much tell and not enough show, if that makes sense. I think it might be to do with your sentence structure, but I'm not overly sure, tbh. It just feels a bit stilted at times, like you're telling me a story, rather than showing me in the descriptions and the actions, etc. I hope that makes sense, though I'm really not sure it does, but I have no idea how to phrase it more clearly... O.o

Anyway, I have to admit that I'm really not a huge fan of cliches, and there are obviously some here (there are always cliches in Lily/James! Particularly rom-com Lily/James!) but you're using them so well, that I didn't think about them at all while I was reading - I didn't wonder if it was or wasn't a cliche, it just flowed so well with the story and I just kept reading all the way through to the end.

Your style of writing is lovely, as well. It's really clear and neat and precise. Your characters are great, the plot sounds really funny and awesome, and I really hope I catch you again in the review battle!

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi Aphoride :) thanks for the lovely review!

I am really pleased you liked the way I wrote Lily! I really don't like it when Lily is made out to be perfect - yes, in the books she was always portrayed as a lovely person but nobody is perfect and I don't believe she was! So I'm glad you found Lily's character in this to be good :-)

Hee, I'm glad her friends made you laugh! It's good to hear that you think I'm managing them well here :) There will be more of them later, though there will be more of Lucinda than Clara ;) It's made me happy to hear you think they could be brilliant characters!!

Thank you for the CC, it totally made sense! There is less description/action etc in this than I usually write (I'm not entirely sure why though) so I can see why it would feel a bit more telling than showing. I will go back and edit to try and improve that! Thank-you

Eeek, cliches! I couldn't help it! I'm glad you felt I used them well though and that it didn't put you off reading :)

I'm so glad you felt my style of writing is lovely, I often worry it is too simple, so it is encouraging to hear that it works! Thanks :)

Thanks again for the great review!

Haronione ♥


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Review #84, by AphorideGravel on the Ground: From the Ashes: Chapter 1

17th October 2013:
Hey there - back again! :)

I really like what we've seen of Sadie so far - she's reacting really realistically to everything she's been through. She's nervous of people she doesn't know/recognise and therefore trust, she's scared and nervous and hesitant. She's obviously been through a lot and you've obviously thought it through really well and thoroughly, which is so nice to see! I'm really curious to see how you take her through, how she copes with the changes in country/culture, and going to school and just the people around her. I imagine it's going to be hard...

I love Ophelia and Minerva as well. Minerva is so well written, she's so like the canon character it's amazing, and Ophelia is just a wonderful character - I hope we see more of her later on! :) She seems such a caring, motherly sort of woman.

One thing I would say is that I felt you could have done maybe with a bit more description of Sadie when Minerva sees her again. I know you talk about her eyes, and it's such lovely description you use, but given Minerva saw her, and Sadie's had a hard life, that kind of thing leaves marks on people and those are things Minerva would notice. It seemed a little odd to say that she was filthy (surely Ophelia would have offered her a bath before getting her glasses? Or did she always have them? O.o), rather than thin or something. I dunno, it might just be me, but I thought I'd mention it anyway...

I think the plot is going great, as well, with Sadie meeting Minerva and returning to the UK, potentially going back to school (I'm assuming so, tbh) and meeting family members, maybe. One thing I am curious/confused about, though, is that you said her parents were Charlie and Jenny, and it sounded like she was about eight or so when she ended up in New York on her own, so surely she'd remember if she had relatives/family as such? Minerva mentions people who care about her, so I'm guessing maybe family, and maybe you didn't mention it for Reasons of Plot, but it seems a bit weird to mention people who care about her, but Minerva never thinks about them, you know? Like that wouldn't be a priority - contacting those people and letting them know she's safe. Still, it's an exciting plot, and I'm really intrigued by everything which happened to her, what happened, how it happened, etc. Really well set up! :)

All in all, this is definitely going so far in the right direction it's amazing. If I'm honest, I'm not a huge fan of OCs or AUs, so it's not something I'd choose to read for myself, so I'm actually enjoying the change, you know? Everything is going so well, I'm trying to be picky to give something at least to work on, since that's the point of requesting reviews, haha, but it's so hard! Hope you found it helpful (a bit?) anyway...

Aph xx

Author's Response: Coming back again! You are SO cool! Thank you!

And I'm smiling a great big smile right now because of your comments on Sadie. I really did try extra hard to think through how she would react to such an abrupt change in her life. Even though it's for the better, I figured it would still be terrifying at first.

I'm really excited to start exploring all those things you mentioned as well, I just hope I can do them justice. Balance the need to keep Sadie in character and show her having to adjust to all these new changes, but at the same time make sure the story moves forward and it's completely melancholy the whole time. I hope I can pull this off.

Yes! You thought I did okay with Minerva! She's such a distinct personality in the books, I always worry I'm writing her correctly. As for Ophelia, I had such fun writing her and readers have responded so well, I wish I had included her more. Maybe later I can find a way to make her return.

Sorry for the confusion about Sadie's physical appearance. I wasn't trying to imply that Ophelia didn't try to take care of Sadie or offer to let her clean up, just that Sadie was too scared to accept the offers and Ophelia finally gave up. As for the glasses, they have been with Sadie for quite a while and are a part of something that happened to her in the past. I promise you'll learn more about that later, if you want to keep reading. :)

Yes, Sadie was nine when she disappeared, so she does remember her immediate family. Tragically, they are all gone so returning to them is not an option. The people Minerva was thinking about, who care for her will be revealed in the next chapter, and don't worry, they have been contacted. Sadie will soon be surrounded by people who want very much to help her, promise.

Awww, thank you! That is such a huge compliment, anytime a reader says "I don't normally read this stuff, but I'm liking it." You review was marvelous and very helpful! Thanks again!


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Review #85, by AphorideGravel on the Ground: From the Ashes: Prologue

17th October 2013:
Hey there - so sorry for getting to this so late! Life has been so mad recently - I've been running around like a headless chicken, lol. Anyway, I'm here now! ;)

So far, there's not all that much to go on, on the OC route, really. But that's only to be expected since it's a prologue, really, and we haven't seen all that much of her yet.

That said, I really like what you're doing with it so far. I love the idea of someone who's from an unusual background, but not the stereotypical OC background, you know? It's different, and yet similar all the same.

I also like how you set up the scene, with the girl and her situation, and then the witch coming up to her. I love how you imitated - consciously or not - McGonagall watching over Harry, in Animagus form as a cat. Also, I really liked how you haven't told us anything at all about the girl or the witch, or her background - how her situation got like this, how long it's been like this, etc. It adds a lovely element of mystery to the whole thing, you know, and allows us to sympathise with the character before we even really know much about her.

I like the idea of strains of predispositions to certain types of magic - as a whole - running through families. It's kinda like how there are some families where the majority of people are very good at sport, you know? Like families which consistently produce good footballers and things. That being said, super-strong magic is one of my pet peeves and can waiver close to Mary Sue-ism (though only in context, of course). Just something to be aware of, perhaps, while writing ;)

This is a really great start, though! It's mysterious, it's pacy, short and sweet, introduces the main character(s?) but doesn't give much away... all good!

Aph xx

Author's Response: Firstly, I need to tell you how sorry I am in return for taking such a long time to reply to your wonderful reviews. I'm a music teacher and Oct/Nov is when we do our musical theater production, so life has been insane.

Secondly, can I just tell you how great these reviews made me feel? You are so wonderful! I was expecting one and you gave me four amazing reviews! If I could reach through the internet and hug you I would. Thank you so very much!

Now, on to your comments.

Yeah, it's pretty hard to get a sense of my characters from just the prologue. It's really short and I always feel funny asking readers to comment on characterization and such for the prologue, but I don't want readers to start in the middle. *shrugs* Oh well, it is what it is. But I am very glad you liked how it started off just the same.

You know, I didn't think of the image of McGonagall watching over Harry when I wrote this, but now you mention it I totally see it. Is that weird that you can do something and not realize it?

I WAS trying to be mysterious with leaving a lot of information up for speculation, though, so it's nice to know that's working. I want people to get to know my OC gradually, not be overwhelmed by an information dump.

Oh cool! You are one of the few people to comment on the idea of certain magical traits running through families. It totally made sense in my mind, but I always wonder people will be like "hey, you can't do that, it's not in the books!" LOL. And yes, Mary-Sue land is constantly on my mind. I will try very hard to avoid it, but I also feel like I need to write this character the way she is in my head. I just hope I can do both at the same time.

Thanks again for such a wonderful review! It really made me smile!



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Review #86, by AphorideA Boy Bitten: Truth or Lies

13th October 2013:
Hey there - sorry for getting to this so late! Life has been hectic recently, so many things going on, so I've had little to no time to come on here. Hope it's not too annoying!

Anyway, I really like this. I love the idea of truth versus lies with kids, and how people fib to kids to protect them from the truth and ideas and things they can't handle, or don't believe they could handle, and the consequences of doing things like that. It's such a poignant idea, particularly with Remus and being bitten and the way you went through the day it happens like that.

Remus was amazing. He was so much like a small child, curious and very brave and adventurous and the things you had him doing throughout the day - posting a letter, drawing a picture for his grandma, picking crayons and things - were just perfect for a kid that young. You really, really captured the essence of him as a child and how innocent he was, and then took it all away at the end when he lies to protect his parents. It was such a touching, albeit bittersweet, moment.

One thing I would say is that despite the situation obviously being very tense, it didn't feel very tense throughout it. I'm not sure if that was a stylistic choice or not, since Remus is unaware of the tension and apprehension his parents have, but I thought I'd mention it all the same. Also, dialogue tags should have a comma, like this: 'I know,' snapped Remus, after them, not a full stop. It's a little thing but it's something to bear in mind ;)

Hope and Lyall were really well characterised as well. I loved how Lyall was angry with Hope for taking Remus outside as he thought that was how Greyback found them and how Hope was equally angry with Lyall for annoying Greyback in the first place - blame-assigning is something so common and I liked that you included it. They were definitely their own characters as well, which was so nice to see since sometimes smaller characters get neglected.

The parent-child relationship was great! I loved how Hope was obviously so close to Remus and liked spending time with him, and how Lyall had taught Remus how to spell his name using the names of magical creatures - it was such a sweet thing, and those kinds of details are the ones which make stories shine.

It was such a sad piece, and reminded me of the idea of growing up and how kids grow up and learn to lie and be compassionate and get exposed to the horrible things in the world - and that made me feel so sorry for Remus as he's kind of dropped in it at the deep end when he's so young. This is a strong, touching piece and a really clever idea and I really liked reading it! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi Aphoride!! I'm usually just excited to get my requested reviews when they happen (and if they take a while longer it kind of feels like a surprise ^_^)

I'm really glad the truth and lies theme worked out. It always seems a bit ironic to me that people lie to protect kids but it can be more harmful in the longrun (case in point- Remus).

I'm so happy my characterization of Remus (and the stuff he does) is endearing and built the right amount of compassion for him to feel sad at the end.

I've been thinking of ways to weave in more tension throughout the day. I meant for it to crescendo but I don't think I've quite got it there yet. I didn't want Remus to be super aware of his parent's tension. I was trying for a divide between the grown up perception of a situation versus that of a child. I'll look at my dialogue tags (I have an unfortunate tendency to not catch that when I edit). Thank you so much for pointing that out!!

Hope and Lyall were quite interesting to write. I could imagine that Remus being bitten was one of the biggest strains on their marriage (which I like to think was otherwise quite happy). I'm really thrilled you liked the parent/child relationships. Writing about Hope and Lyall's closeness to their son was probably the happiest piece of the story for me (I was kind of projecting what I hope kids will be like for me). Your comment about the details I added about them making the story shine really made me smile. ^_^ Quite a bit actually. Thank you for saying that.

I really appreciate how you've connected this story to your own thoughts and experiences around kids growing up and the hard lessons they learn. It definitely makes me feel like I was able to communicate a larger message than the one directly told in the story. I'm really glad you enjoyed reading it!!!

Thank you so much for your review. It covered everything I hoped it would and offered excellent CC and positive feedback.

-Rose


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Review #87, by AphorideAcanthus: To Anywhere

13th October 2013:
Hey there, Kiana! I've seen this around quite a lot, and always wanted to read it since I'm so fascinated by History and Ancient Egypt and things like that, so I decided finally to grab the moment and stop by! :)

First off, the way you include the historical detail is amazing! George and Anthony and Charlotte talk and act and seem like people from that era, you know, and it's funny seeing Rose and Lorcan trying to fit in and work it out (though Lorcan seems to be doing a bit better than Rose). The comment about Rose having to wear a dress made me laugh, as well.

I have to admit that I do have a soft spot for Rose/Scorpius, because it's such a plausible pairing and so many ways you could make it work. I love how you've started with them maybe liking each other, and maybe having had some kind of relationship-sort-of-thing beforehand, but not together and all sweet now. It'll be so interesting to see how their relationship progresses with the story. Hopefully Scorp won't wait too long to make a move! (After he's found her, of course).

All the characters are brilliant - there's really nothing more to say on that front. They're all flawed in different ways, have hopes and ambitions, they're all clever but on different levels and have different strengths. They're all so individual as well, that even at this point it's pretty easy to distinguish them from each other even without things like dialogue tags and names. I think Rose is my favourite, though ;) and I love how she's not a genius, not hugely successful - she's very much average and very desperate to be more than that. It's such a familiar situation and gah, I just love her. She's amazing.

Scorp is just a sweetie :) Nuff said.

The plot is incredible (and I'm running out of synonyms for 'great' :P). I'm so curious and excited to see what happens and I have so many questions I want answered. Who is that strange man? How did Rose and Lorcan go back into the past? How do Charlotte and the others come into it? What's going on with Acanthus? Gah, it's so frustrating but so good! You have to post the next chapter soon - I have to know what happens!

So this was a very gushy review, but this story definitely deserved it! :)

Laura xx

p.s. no need to ever stop by my review thread for this - I'm going to be following it obsessively until it's finished :)

Author's Response: Laura! Thank you for such a wonderful surprise, I've been resisting replying to this as it's such a wonderful review, but I finally caved :P

I'm so glad that you loved the historical accuracy, as I know you're a big history fan so hearing that from you means a lot. I'm quite a fan of the 1920s and Carter's discovery, so I'm having far too much fun with this!

I think most people have a soft spot, probably due to what JK said in the epilogue. The backstory was probably the thing I was most worried about it as I wasn't sure if there was enough of it to satisfy people, but I'm glad you don't think. As for Scorp coming along, I can't say much about that.

*blushes red* All the characters have a soft spot for me, with each part being pulled from people I know, so it would hopefully make a realistic picture. I have to go agree with you on the Rose front, because being average and not being able to compete with others is something probably everyone can relate to and everyone hates being in, so hearing that you can relate to it and like her is great :D

Erm, I'm glad that you were intrigued enough to ask questions, but my answers probably won't help much. For the first two, you'll find out later. Charlotte and the others were attempting to find Tutankhamen but Carter beat them to it, so they went after Acanthus instead. For the last one, I can't say anything again :P It will be up as soon as possible, as I'm planning on working on this for some of NaNo so it should be quicker after that.

Thank you for this wonderful, amazing, awesome review, it really, really made my day :D

-Kiana


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Review #88, by AphorideSuffocate: --His Changed Heart--

13th September 2013:
Hey there, stopping by from the Blue and Bronze review battle! It's strange, I've seen you around the forums and TGS so often, but never had a chance to stop by, but here I am! :) Nice to meet you, finally ;)

I have to say that I've never really written George - only really in the background of other scenes, and never in mourning - because he really intimidates me. I just don't think I could do him justice, and you've done this so well. You've stayed so true to his character, and to the twins as a unit, and done so well with the idea of mourning and grief, as well. It's really impressive!

I really love this. It's so bittersweet, you know? He misses Fred, and it hurts, and he doesn't quite know how to really deal with it, and he's trying and it's not quite working, and... gah. It's just so sad! I feel so sorry for him (which isn't a usual feeling for me, lol), and just want to hug him! :(

Molly was perfect too. I love how, even though he's a grown adult, married, with a job and his own business and everything, he still goes to his mum. It's such a sweet little thing, but yet totally understandable, and so realistic. She reacts so well, as well, almost like she kind of guessed he might come along at some point, and he doesn't really need to say anything to her, and then she helps him so easily, without really even trying, and it's so sweet! And a quick George/Angie menion, as well ;) Always a soft spot for those two...

A quick little thing: when he closes the shop up, the sign should be 'CLOSED' rather than 'CLOSE'. It's probably a typo, but I felt I should let you know ;)

Yeah, this is just... gah, so good! There's nothing wrong with it at all, nothing I could find. This is lovely! I'm so glad I stopped by to read it :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hello! Yeah, that does happen a lot of the times. I sometimes see people at hpff and tgs too but never get the time to drop a review or say 'hi' to them.

This is first story on George so it was something different but I am glad I tried to write him. He is a character that has a lot of depth - especially after Fred's death.

I am so happy ( I know what a common word I used. I just couldn't think of anything else) that you thought Molly was realistic. I see a lot of stories talking about how he goes to Angelina a lot of the times but I thought he would go to his mom. If it was me, I would definitely gone to my mom. And George/Angie are the best.

Thanks so much for the review! You have showered me with compliments that I don't think I deserve. And your review was so positive. I always love hearing what people think! And I have went back and fixed that typo. ;)

~Sama


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Review #89, by AphorideThe Worst: Meetings and more.

12th September 2013:
Hey there - glad to see you stop by again! :)

Dominique is such a fabulous character - she reacts so normally to things, you know? She's angry when most people would be angry, she's sad when people would be sad... she doesn't necessarily think rationally about things, she struggles to deal with difficult things... I know I've said this before, but it's so good! :)

I love Teddy, as well. I like how he supports her, and goes along with her, and gets Harry to help and not ask questions, and how he convinces Young to help them bring Delilah down. The way he switches from almost attacking the other werewolf when he raises his wand at Dom to wanting to help him and offering legal aid and things if he helps them is so lifelike. If you are going to include anything like that and you want to know about it, feel free to pm me, incidentally, since I'm a law student ;) I'll be happy to help!

But yeah, they're all such brilliant characters! The only person who I think isn't as developed as the others (because even Young has a understandable motive and good backstory and is a good character) is Delilah herself. Obviously she's not necessarily evil, as such, but willing to go to a hugely extreme length to get what she wants. Up til now she's kind of seemed to be a standard sort of villain, you know, so I'd love to see more of her and how she thinks and why she did it and things. I'm sure she'll be just as good as the others! :)

Plot-wise, I love how it's coming along, with Dom finishing her article anyway, going to work to confront Delilah, meeting the werewolf who bit her. She's starting to organise things in her life, and get herself back on track and I love that. It's a very human response - mope, then get on with it - and makes perfect sense.

So yeah, there's really nothing wrong with this at all - the characterisation is great, the plot is lovely, the writing is excellent, pace and style are great... everything's great :P Seriously, no problems at all! I'm still really enjoying this!

Feel free to re-request in the future! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi! Thanks for reading and reviewing =)

I am pleased you liked Dom's character and find her reactions believable. Your comments make me happy!

Teddy is amazing, isn't he? xD I am glad you like the way he handles everything and it looks lifelike to you. Thank you so much for offering help, I'll approach you if I need anything!

Of course, we haven't seen Delilah's side of the story yet, and I am not sure how much I'll be able to show since it's from Dom's point of view which is bound to be somewhat biased, but you'll definitely be seeing her motives in the next chapter (which is already in the queue) and maybe that will help you get to know her better. I hope you find her character developed too! *fingers crossed*

Dom is the kind of person who wouldn't leave her work unattended, so she did the article anyway. I am pleased you think the way she is dealing with stuff seems human, thanks.

I am so flattered after reading your review, thank you so much for your kind words. I'll surely re-request!

Cheers!
AD


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Review #90, 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 :)


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Review #91, 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!



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Review #92, 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 :)


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Review #93, 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




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Review #94, 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



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Review #95, 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 :)


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Review #96, 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 :)


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Review #97, 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 :)



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Review #98, 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


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Review #99, 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!


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Review #100, 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


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