I followed the bandwagon over here :D
Okay, this is AU, so all bets are off. I'm so intrigued to see what you make of this odd and fascinating premise! My personal theory is that someone is trying to frame Snape based on the Mudblood incident from canon. Perhaps he'll be a suspect if something terrible happens to poor Lily. At the same time, though, the movements you described in the first half of this chapter seem very Snapelike indeed. Maybe framing isn't necessary... ah, well, I'll hold my tongue and be patient, then.
For the most part, I love your characterization. The boys are perfect, especially James. I love this idea of him being a quiet observer, taking in little details like the ceiling and the behavior of his friends. It seems like this James--sixth year, I suppose?--has grown up a little, and it gives me hope because I believe that this James will protect Lily and treat this matter with the seriousness it deserves.
I hope you don't mind a teensy bit of critique, because I wasn't quite as certain about Lily here. Her entrance into the Hall and concerns about the note at first seemed just right, but then she seemed to recover a little too much when she found out that it wasn't James doing a prank. If someone had written something that serious about me and it wasn't an awful joke, I think I would feel more upset about it instead of calming down slightly because it implies that some stranger (or at least an enemy) really does want to hurt me. I know she takes her role as Prefect seriously, but she just kind of seemed to regain a sense of security and duty a little too easily for my taste. Does all that rambling make sense? Maybe she's just trying to put on a brave face and I failed to pick up on it. I could have grossly misinterpreted her behavior, but I thought I'd share my reaction to it anyway.
This is a lovely beginning and I'll try to keep up!
-Amanda Report Review
I'm finally back to visit :)
I loved the subdued focus on family in the first part of this chapter. I'm going to assume it was intentional, because, well, it's you :D It first struck me when Helen mentioned that no one had ever made her special tea before, and I had the thought that a good mother would do something like that, but she's not terribly close to her parents. It was also sad to think of the tea's scent reminding her of the sort of warmth that dominates most people's Christmas memories, the kind she probably did not get to experience within the confines of her family. A strength of yours is subtlety, and it shines here.
Helena's characterization here is truly fascinating. I feel like I've gotten to know her very well in this chapter, perhaps because in the act of her being vulnerable for just a moment regarding Cadogan she also opened herself up more to the reader. She's so conditioned to keep a stiff upper lip and neatly pressed skirt--and moreover, seemingly afraid to risk letting that careful guard down because of the issue of stepping into unknown territory--that she can't even relax in the face of those warm, familiar stimuli I mentioned earlier. Cadogan is really a contrast to her in this chapter, then, because by comparison he seems quite free and relaxed as she attempts to woo her further. The pressure must be intense, and so I understand her desire to conceal any sign of weakness here.
Oh, and then there's the idea of both of them playing parts alongside one other, Helen portraying the careful female acquaintance in a strange land and Cadogan possibly covering up his true identity as someone sent to sabotage or bring harm to her. There are so many delightful layers in this chapter!
Anyway, the ending obviously caught my attention. I wonder where poor Helen will wake up next and to whom those chilling fingers actually belong...
See you again soon, Susan (and thank you for all of the wonderful reviews you've left lately)!
-Amanda Report Review
Hi lovely ♥
Another cute chapter. I liked watching Autumn and Louis interact--it was sweet that he let her borrow his jacket because it's a classic romantic move. I also liked the letter because it gave us a glimpse of how things were going at home (something you don't often get with stories set at Hogwarts). It was nice to imagine Yuna settling into her new life.
The only thing I can really find to critique is that it feels like there isn't a central plot line tugging this along. Mostly what I've seen so far is lots of pranking, the beginnings of a romance between Autumn and Louis, and classic Hogwarts stuff like going to class and Quidditch games. I thought the situation with Fern going missing would be that little dash of mystery that tied everything together, but then she turned up, and so now the plot just seems a little bit aimless to me. Do you have something in mind for your next chapter to bring in some more action and give the story direction?
Nice work so far! As requested, I'll switch over to Reason to Fight next time it's my turn.
-AmandaAuthor's Response: Okay this is getting answered before everything else because it's my four hundredth review!
You're absolutely right about there being no central plot, though I'm working on it, I promise. RL has just been getting perpetually in the way, and as someone tired of school, writing school scenes was horrible, as it didn't leave me much space to run away from reality for a moment, if that makes sense. But yes, there should be something to center the plot on, and it should be coming in future chapters, though I'm not sure when they'll be posted...
Thank you so much for your advice, I'll be getting back to Post Scriptum asap! Report Review
Hi again! Back for Team Blue & the Review Battle!
Okay, this chapter really cracked me up. I love your writing style! It's so over-the-top and dramatic, and it reminds me a lot of Scott Pilgrim in the way everything is played up. I hate to admit this, but Lucy isn't totally off with her methods. Exposure therapy can be very hard! Thankfully, she seemed to have the sort of personality to be able to handle it pretty well :) I also really liked the way you seamlessly incorporated magical elements into traditional therapy techniques; for instance, using a Boggart seems like a great initial step before transitioning to real, actual exposure in treating someone's fear.
I love this line:
Of course, it was all a pack of lies, which is why it got such high network ratings, and why middle-aged single women loved it so much.
I'm really intrigued to see how Lorcan's next encounter with Cassiopeia will go--assuming he doesn't knock his brother out and end things here :)
-Amanda Report Review
Hello, stopping by from Review Tag!
This is very interesting! I like the idea of this normal boy suddenly being surprised with a visit from a Hogwarts professor. He reminds me of Harry in a lot of ways: he's an orphan, he gets glimpses of magic here and there but doesn't understand it, and he's got that existential sense that his life is going nowhere and he's just kind of moving along by doing what adults tell him to do. Obviously he isn't being mistreated like Harry was, which makes me feel a bit more positive for him.
It'll definitely be neat to see where you take this and how Damon feels when confronted with an entirely new world of magic, witches and wizards. It will especially be cool to find out how he was selected for Hogwarts and if the reasoning there was connected to the loss of his mother and father.
Great start :)
-AmandaAuthor's Response: Thanks, I'm glad I created a character that can be related to such an amazingly created one :)
Hope to see you again in the review section :)
KO Report Review
Shelby, I'm back :)
What a cute chapter--and I never thought I would say that about a Tobias/Eileen story, so there's that! I love how confident Eileen seems when juxtaposed against people like Tobias and poor Lorraine. Even having lost her parents, I can still perceive that she's loved and valued in her own way among her friends and in the community. Her finesse in interacting with both magical and non-magical folk is also rather impressive. I guess what I mean to say is that I still really love her and find her very relateable, so great job with that.
Eileen's beginning interactions with Tobias here were intriguing. I love that she's the one who seems to have the upper hand, whereas he seems very awkward. I get tired of stories where the male figure is overly romanticized and the female just falls haplessly at his feet, and I doubt your Eileen would be the type to fall so easily, so it all fits and seems very refreshing. That said, I'm interested to see how we will get to the relationship we're used to, with conflict and even Eileen seeming weak at times in the face of all that she has on her plate.
I'm not quite sure what to else to say except that I'm still hooked and really enjoy coming back to this story with each new chapter. I'm so excited to see what you have planned for us in chapter four!
-AmandaAuthor's Response: Hi Amanda! Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! I'm just so over the moon!
Haha, I know. It's so weird to call something with Eileen and Tobias cute. You know my thoughts on Eileen and Tobias and how I believe that they had to have been very much in love before all that bad stuff. I really wanted to change people's thoughts on Eileen and Tobias and show them the slow progression into that part of their relationship.
Eileen's really great, isn't she? She's such a strong woman and so relateable, which is exactly what I want and what I always imagined her to be.
Thank you, thank you! I, too, loathe those stories where the female is weak and the man is perfect. I pretty much can't stand it. It's not realistic and it's a bit ridiculous, to be honest. It is going to take a long time for them to get to the conflict in the relationship. They are definitely going to fall deeply in love so that we can see them fall apart.
I'm so stoked that you're hooked! You're one of my biggest fans/supporters/reviewers and it makes me so ridiculously happy! Thank you so much for the amazing review - I can't wait to see what you think of chapter four!
Thank you! ♥ Report Review
Hi, here for Team Blue for the Review Battle :)
Being a graduate student in clinical psychology, I have a decent grasp of Freudian psychoanalysis, and so this story really made me laugh. It was kind of like a game of Mad Libs where the terms were all from The Interpretation of Dreams! Anyway, Lysander was quite wacky and I'm already intrigued to see what his master psychology-inspired plan will shape up to be. Poor Lorcan. Anyway, you've clearly done your research and I'm impressed by the accuracy and frequency of your terms.
The interactions between Cassiopeia and Lorcan are really entertaining, too. I like how you shifted between grandiose actions and the minute details of their game; it really heightened the suspense. It'll be interesting to see him try to charm her.
-AmandaAuthor's Response: Thank you so much for your review!!
I'm glad you could understand the terms that Lysander threw out. I recently finished a psychology class, and Freud was a big part of it. My teacher even had a poster of him on the wall!! Lysander is a complete wack-a-doodle, and his plan might end up being a good idea--maybe...
Thanks again for your review!! :D
~UnluckyStar57 Report Review
Hello, here from Review Tag!
I like that Dominique is starting to take charge in her new existence, in terms of making the difficult choice to proceed with sterilization and in trying to figure out why she had been bitten in the first place. I can see some growth from her initial withdrawn reaction to the news of her infection. It was also very heartwarming to see her family and Teddy continue to stand by her side and help her. On the same note, I like that she doesn't rely on them to fight her battle; rather, she wants to figure out the truth behind her attack for herself.
There were a couple of things that I would take a second look at in this chapter. I have to confess that your initial author's note put a sour taste in my mouth. I don't have time to go back and re-read the initial chapter, and I don't know that I would have questioned your changes, but it felt like you were accusing readers like me of being lazy. I think a simple note about the change at the end of the chapter would have sufficed if you were concerned that a lot of readers would be confused in their reviews after finishing this chapter.
The other thing that threw me a little was the use of language in Teddy and Dominique's conversation. It seemed insensitive for him to call her "incredibly stupid" instead of something milder like "silly" when she was obviously already hurting, and it felt odd for her to use the term she did to refer to herself in her next line, replying to him. Sometimes it can help to re-read dialogue out loud and see if it really sounds natural or too forced.
It'll be interesting to see Dominique confront Delilah and figure out where to go from here. I'm hoping your next chapter will contain an interaction with the werewolf who bit her, because I think that would make for a very interesting conversation. All in all, I think things are progressing nicely and it's good to see you are taking your reviews seriously.
-Amanda Report Review
Okay, here for review #2 for the Review Battle!
I think something that would really improve this story, and this chapter in particular, is a deeper, more developed characterization of Hermione. Right now, I see a lot of things about her that are contradictory. That's not necessarily bad, since people are naturally complex, but I think you should add in more detail to explain her choices. For example, I had a hard time picturing Hermione from canon deriding Hufflepuff--though I could maybe see her making a comment about how Cormac's determination makes him fit for Slytherin, in a moment of panic. Her reaction to the kiss was confusing as well; it's a little cliche and unrealistic for someone to really hate someone else and then feel overwhelmed with passion when the other person kisses them. The Hermione I'm familiar with would be pursuing assault charges after everything Cormac did to her, and she definitely wouldn't be going to Slughorn's party with him. It's a good move to try to make the characters your own, but your story will stand out as stronger if you try to provide clearer motivation for their unorthodox actions.
That said, there were several things I noted that seemed like pure Hermione to me, which I loved. For one, I think it's totally plausible that she wouldn't tell Harry and Ron about Cormac because she didn't want to start trouble. I also liked how she gently woke Neville and sent him to bed; that was compassionate and rather motherly of her.
In a similar vein, Cormac's behavior there at the end was confusing. Why go so far with Hermione physically throughout the day and then suddenly back off? It seems like her protests didn't really bother him that much before, so I don't understand the sudden change of tune. It's fine to slow the pace down and really take some time to develop your characters and their interaction with one another. In fact, it helps to clarify their decisions.
I noticed the same thing I pointed out about the tenses happening again in this chapter. I just wanted to mention it as a reminder to you, if you want to change it.
As of now, it's hard for me to decide if I would like Hermione and Cormac to get together. I don't feel as if I know them well enough to make that decision. I definitely do think this story has potential and it would be interesting to return to it later and see how I feel about the pairing then.
Hope this review is helpful!
-AmandaAuthor's Response: Thanks again! I would have to say this is not my best chapter by far. I just kind of wrote it at like 12 am without really thinking about what I was writing and never looked at it again. I'm probably going to go back and rewrite most of it this summer because of the contradictory characterization and tense problems. Normally, I'm very conscious of my tenses, but I didn't pay attention very well on this story. >.<
Thanks again for your lovely reviews! :) xx
~MadiMalfoy Report Review
Hello! This is review one of two for the Review Battle!
This was cute. I thought it was funny how Hermione said her dress was pink and, as such, she figured Cormac wouldn't have trouble matching her. He must not be so macho after all! I like, too, how she tries to be independent and make her own decisions about her romantic life, though she clearly still carries a torch for Ron.
I'm embarrassed to say that I can't quite figure out if this is meant to be a parody or not. If you were going for a parody, this line: Cormac is a very attractive bloke though, with his curly golden hair and chiseled features, and probably solid abs and body to go along with his pretty face because of all his Quidditch training... well, it's perfect. If not, I'd consider taking it out or providing more of an explanation as to how Quidditch would produce such a perfect physique. It's just a bit cliche is all.
The other thing is just that I noticed a slight tense change from the first part of the chapter to when Cormac showed up. Hermione was talking in present tense ("Ron is being..." "I hope...") and then she switched to past tense ("He exclaimed..." "I nodded..."). I would just choose one and go back and make the whole chapter be in that one tense, or maybe use some kind of flashback at the start.
I'm worried this review is going to come across as harsh. I certainly don't mean for it to do that--just trying to be constructive and provide some feedback. I'm going to go on to chapter two because I'm interested to see what the party will bring :)
-AmandaAuthor's Response: First of all, thanks for the very detailed review! :) Regarding your first nitpick--yes, it's a parody of sorts, kind of portraying Hermione as a bit more shallow than she should be while still retaining her independence and courage.
Ah, tenses. I haven't looked at this since March, I think, so it needs editing. At this point I just wanted it up and out there to give me time to write more of Love Makes Me (awful, I know right?). I will go back and edit this during the summer so that should fix it. :) xx
~MadiMalfoy Report Review
Hello, stopping by from Review Tag!
So I love the idea of Lily knowing that her death is coming and really embracing the idea of saying goodbye to her son, despite how painful it is for her. So often the stories I see about Lily and James's final moments are focused on the shock of the attack or the aftermath, and I actually really like this notion of Lily having a peaceful moment to think about what she wants for her baby's future.
This line was gorgeous--
And maybe, in that boundless heart of his, he would save a small corner for his old mum, lock it up and give her the key.
I just like the contrast between Harry being so open and surrounded by love and keeping a special place for the one person who isn't there next to him. Well, two people, at least at the start of it.
Speaking of people who aren't there, how sad is it that Lily figured Sirius and Remus would be there to take care of him and then neither of them was able to spend that much time with him?
Anyway, great one shot! And good song choice :)
-Amanda Report Review
Hi, here from Team Blue for the Review Battle!
This chapter sort of made me sad. I felt bad for Albus being so stressed out about the Sorting, and it seemed like he wouldn't quite be happy with any choice, even a place in Gryffindor with his family. I do like that you split everyone up, though, because it seems better than just sticking them all in Gryffindor (how the Weasleys got away with it for years is beyond me).
The thing with the hat and James was a little strange. I'm guessing James didn't mean to speak so loudly, and I think the hat saying that it wouldn't sort people anymore unless the students learned to get along was part of what made this chapter sad for me. Anyway, though strange to behold, it was certainly a powerful moment.
Nice work on your second chapter.
-AmandaAuthor's Response: thanks so much for your review! As for the scattered Weasleys, I don't like the idea of everyone in Gryffindor having the same last name.
I think Albus overthinks things far too much, which makes him a solid Ravenclaw, in my opinion. He'll be just fine in Ravenclaw though :)
James definitely meant to be loud, and managed to offend the hat in the process.
I'm glad that you liked this chapter, even though it made you sad. thanks again for reviewing!
~M Report Review
Oh, Shelby, I love your Eileen. She seems like she's teetering just on the border between happiness and longing. On the one hand, she's got a thriving business, many friends, and a clear talent for sewing, but on the other she feels lonely surrounded by people with partners and families of their own. She's quite independent, which I like about her, because it reminds me of myself :)
I'm still hopelessly hooked, only now my fascination has shifted from the curse to this secrecy surrounding the Prince family. I can see, even without knowing much about their troubles, why Eileen would retreat from the wizarding world and her pure-blood past and find comfort among Muggles--including, I'm presuming, Tobias. The only thing that throws me a little is that Fabian asked about her parents and then later we found out that they were dead. Their deaths must not be well known, then? No newspaper announcement?
As you know from reading Diamonds into Coal, sometimes you can really dive into a story by doing some extra research on the side, and it seems like you did that here with sewing. I'm impressed by how you were able to work on the details of Eileen's job without disrupting the flow of the chapter, and how the Muggle and magical parts of the chapter blended together... well... seamlessly. Hah. Forgive me the pun :D
This was another great chapter and I seriously can't wait to read more of this awesome story!
-AmandaAuthor's Response: Amanda! Oh, I'm so excited that you like her. I'm able to give her basically any characterization I want because we know so little and that has allowed me to shape her almost as my own original character. She is a study of contrasts, I think you'll find. She's like any of us - at once happy and sad, many emotions at odds with each other. I'm glad you like her independence. Historically, it's a bit risky for the era, but she is a witch after all, so I think it's acceptable. I also wanted her to be successful. Too many woman of this particular time relied heavily on men. I've always thought that witches were more successful and given more opportunities.
Ahh, the fact that you're hooked makes me so happy. I'm struggling and writing and working so hard to make this story /good/, you know? The whole thing - the curse, how Eileen straddles both worlds, her eventual connection with Tobias - it will all come together, but it's got a very dark twist, I'll tell you that! The part about Eileen's parents is meant to be unclear, actually. Their deaths aren't well-known, so that's why Fabian really has no idea. It will all come to light in time! :)
Oh yes, research! Why do we saddle ourselves with stories that require so much research? Haha (because we're awesome!). Thank you - my grandmother worked in a sewing plant for most of her working career, so some of these things I know and others I had to do some serious googling and fact-checking. Haha, love the pun! It's my hope that I continue to make it realistic and put those details together well without creating something jilting.
Thank you so much, Amanda! I always love your feedback and hope you continue to enjoy!
Shelby Report Review
Hello, I'm here from Team Blue for the Review Battle!
I really like the contrast effect you created by focusing on Dominique and the Slytherins and then shifting over to Victoire and the Gryffindors. Point-of-view swapping is one of my favorite elements of writing, especially in third person narratives, and I hope you'll continue to do that because it's unique and makes this story more interesting.
I would caution you to be a little careful about Dominique. I like how she rode in on a skateboard; it made sense due to her exposure to Muggle culture and it seemed to set her up as rebellious (and played up that contrast effect I mentioned). However, when you got to the part about the wolf, I felt unsatisfied with the notion that no one had to ask about why she was allowed to bring a wolf to Hogwarts. It seemed a little symptomatic of Sueism, with her being allowed to do what she wanted; if having the wolf at Hogwarts is an integral part of the story, as I suspect, I would recommend actually detailing why it's allowed.
This is a good start :) The writing is nice and I didn't notice any glaring typos, which is refreshing. I also liked the overall flow of this chapter a lot.
-AmandaAuthor's Response: hey, thanks so much for your review! I'm glad you like the perspective-switching thing, as I do continue that throughout the story. As for Dominique- I explain about the wolf later in the story, though i really do appreciate the heads up about sueism (though in all fairness, Ron had a rat, when told he could only bring a cat, toad, or owl, and nobody questioned him).I will go back and edit that part a bit though :)
Thanks again for your awesome review!
~M Report Review
Here from Review Tag :)
I would love to be a fly on the wall when you write this craziness. I imagine it involves some combination of Red Bull and Mad Libs and TMZ. Then again, perhaps I should just stay safe over here after all...
Anyway, another excellent installment in the Voldemort series! I love what you did with Voldemort and Justinian eavesdropping on the Sorting--perhaps that little 'security problem' from the Snape-as-Headmaster year was never quite looked into sufficiently. And of course being the host of a trashy TV show is a perfect post-Hogwarts role for Gilderoy Lockhart. At least Voldemort doesn't owe any child support, poor chap. Peter may be eating his words when he gets the bill...
Also, the Vader scene may have been my favorite. He really knows what to say to make a girl feel special, haha. Poor Leia.
I don't know what else to say except this was awesome and I hope there are more installments to come in the epic tale of Voldemort's post-war life.
-AmandaAuthor's Response: Hey there, your description really isn't that far off:)
So with all the Voldemort's daughter type stories out there (why is it never a son?) I felt pretty obligated to write something like this at some point.
While Peter was very excited to be included in the story, as usual, he really has no idea what he's getting into.
If Vader had survived, I can only imagine what the dynamics at a Skywalker family dinner would have been like.
Thanks for the great review!
James Report Review
Hi! Here from Team Blue for the Review Battle!
Well, that was probably the worst first date ever! Poor Rose and Scorpius :( I liked how they were both good sports despite all that happened and persisted with the date, and I bet things won't turn out as bad as Rose anticipated. It's nice to see that Scorpius isn't as high-strung as I expected him to be.
It did seem like Rose's family went a little too far with all the pranks. I would have thought that they cared enough about Rose to only mess with her a little and not try to ruin the entire date, especially after they saw that she and Scorpius were getting along well despite the chaos. Less might be more in this case--maybe just a big prank in one part of the date with time for the two of them to recover?
I like how this is going so far. Good job!
-AmandaAuthor's Response: As weird as this may sound, I'm glad that you think it's the worst date ever (that was the whole point of the challenge) so hearing that means that I achieved my goal!
I had planned on making Rose just walk out of the date at some point because she just couldn't take anything anymore but it occurred to me that that wouldn't be a very Gryffindor thing to do.
Good, they were supposed to go too far with the pranks. They do care about Rose, a whole lot in fact but they just expected that because she was a Weasley and George owned a joke shop that she'd be okay with the pranks. They just assumed that she wouldn't mind and would laugh at them.
Thanks for the feedback and thanks for reviewing! Report Review
Hi Angie, here from Review Tag!
I like all the emotion laced throughout this chapter. It was nice to see a tender moment between Teddy and Dominique; it's clear that he intends to stand by her and that they care about one another very much. It was also nice to see her surrounded by the support of her mother and sister. It seems a little odd that the revelation of Dominique's sterility would come so out of the blue--as opposed to, say, when she goes to the doctor about wanting to get pregnant or during her initial appointment after the bite--but I liked how it served to break her down even further. It sounds awful to say that, but I can imagine all this suffering being a great catalyst for her to rise from the ashes starting in chapter five.
A couple little nitpicks:
--Sometimes the language you use gives this a little bit of an old world feel, like Dominique is a fragile Victorian lady. I can see how that might have been what you were going for, but it seems to me like the dialogue would flow better if you consistently used contractions instead of spelling everything out word by word (e.g., using 'I'm' in place of I am).
--Fleur's behavior in the revelation scene was slightly confusing. She knew the news was coming, since she delivered it to Dominique, but then she seemed confused after the Healer explained. You might reframe that scene so that Dominique is the only one who doesn't know the details or so that all three Delacour-Weasley women are told at once. This one is probably just a personal issue of mine, though, so it's fine if you really like it the way it is.
As always, I'm interested to see what will happen next. I'm having trouble figuring out what Dominique's decision could be, but things are clearly about to come to a head with the full moon approaching.
Nice work :)
-AmandaAuthor's Response: Hey! Thanks for reading and reviewing. I always love your feedback so it was great to hear from you. Sorry for the delay in responding!
I am pleased you liked the emotion in the chapter, and you liked the tender moment between Teddy/Dom. Teddy is this really sweet and sensible guy who'll definitely stand by Dom no matter what.
Oh I had actually included a small piece of dialogue in which the Healer is about to say something about Dom's sterility in the hospital but Fleur cuts her off and requests her to inform her of the news later because currently Dom has faced enough shock (about being a werewolf) but I added it later in the Word file and it didn't get saved somehow so when I posted the second chapter it didn't get included. Only another reviewer pointed out the same thing a couple days back and I realised the error, so now I've edited the chapter and added in that dialogue. (I hope all that made sense).
Yes the suffering will definitely help her to regain herself and take some action.
Oh thanks for pointing out about the dialogue. I'll work on it.
Well, I figured that the Healer would have only told Fleur that Dom can't bear children but not the explanation behind it, but now that you mention it, I'll reframe the scene so Dom is the only one confused. Thanks.
Thank you for all your helpful comments. Your reviews always help me improve =)
FINALLY here, Shelby!
I really love how you reached backwards into history with this ominous beginning. Your description, while it churned my stomach at times, really laid bare the desperate nature of the situation and every beat of pain that Penelope endured. It'll be interesting to read on and see how these Princes are connected to those we know.
I love Ursula especially because you made her feel so human. I get the sense that she will only make so large of an appearance in the plot, and yet you took care to give her the depth that she deserved. I especially like how she felt guilty for wanting to be selfish at the least opportune moment, because who can't relate to that sentiment?
And this curse! I'm intrigued by it; I want to know when and how it began and how it will impact the Princes across the ripples of their legacy. I've always held this fascination with the family because we know so little about them, only that the apple eventually fell so far from the tree that the result was poverty and (perhaps) abuse for Eileen and Severus. I hope you can tell that I really can't wait to read on and see what you have in store for us!
-AmandaAuthor's Response: Amanda! You didn't have to stop by - you're so lovely!
The description worked then? I'm trying to restrain from pouring my heart and soul into each chapter when it comes to description - trying my best to remember that this is a novel and not a oneshot! I'm really excited that you liked this throwback. I told Jami (JChrissy, my beta) that I was worried about this first chapter. I know that a lot of readers don't like these kinds of chapters, but it's so necessary!
Yay! I'm really trying to focus on my characterizations in this novel. I feel like characterizations and dialogue are so important and I need to cultivate and bring the characters I love to life for the readers. Oh, Ursula. I mean, at her age, I wouldn't want to raise another child either, but she's selfless enough to realize that she's all he has now. It's a fabulous, realistic thought, I think.
You know I can't write anything without something terrifying or horrible in it! I hope you continue to stay intrigued. I will tell you that the curse is one of the centerpieces of the novel - it's HUGE.
Thank you so much for the wonderful review, Amanda! You're such a doll, I can't handle it! Thank you again! Report Review
A few unrelated notes--one, Hunter Parrish is super foxy and half the reason why I watched Weeds. Two, kind of excited about your new Cormac/Eloise.
ANYWHO. I'm back again to catch up!
I think Louis' little outing with Autumn was just adorable. What woman wouldn't fall for a guy who got her a ticket backstage to the Weasleys' private workshop? I liked how you took your time describing the different products and their effects and didn't rush through the "date" or force anything too romantic on the pair just yet. I have to wonder if the wand thing is indicative of their synergy or if it suggests something more diabolical.
Hmm, so is Scorpius the reason that Fern has been MIA so much lately? I can imagine her sneaking off to be with him. Still, I have to ask--should I be ready for a less pleasant secret to come out later?
I liked the party, too; it was nice that you made an effort not to include alcohol or ridiculous romantic escapades. I also liked how your description made me feel like I was right there in the room with them. I didn't feel like the dress description was overdone.
Very nice job, Val!
-AmandaAuthor's Response: Yes Hunter Parrish. I hesitated about choosing him for Louis, but then I was just 'BAH WHATEVER'. It was one of my most intelligent rash decisions.
I don't think any woman could refuse, could they? I certainly wouldn't. The reason why nothing is too romantic yet is because Autumn is a little clueless about this type of thing.
Scorpius is part of it, but not the only reason! And to answer your question, well, I like to throw readers off balance...
Thank you for the review, I'll be getting back to Post Scriptum soon! Report Review
Hello! Here from Team Bronze for the Review Battle!
This is a very intriguing beginning. I hope I'm meant to be so confused and haven't just missed the point entirely. I was able to guess that "Hermione" was actually Pansy before you revealed her name, and it breaks my heart that the relationship she has with Draco (I'm presuming) has turned violent. I wonder who the associate is?
The opening with Marianne was interesting, too. I liked how her description of Bellatrix's attack seemed removed--as she described, she was more like a witness who just didn't do anything about it. It'll be interesting to see how Marianne's story is related to the scene with Alexander and Pansy.
I noticed a couple of mistakes scattered throughout the chapter, mostly erroneous uses of commas. I also noticed that you tend to use periods in dialogue tags when commas would be more appropriate. I think there's a tutorial on the forum to help with that. You might also consider looking into getting a beta just to help you smooth those mistakes out.
This is a lovely start :)
-Amanda Report Review
Hello Kiana, popping over from Review Tag!
Poor Draco can't catch a break! I can see he's clearly trying to find his place in the post-war world. I like how you made some things that could seem out of character fit better by making them be in his best interest--for example, his comments about blood purity not mattering being mostly about not getting negative attention from passerby, and his insistence that he be permitted to talk to Hermione because Astoria didn't make decisions for him. I would be careful not to extend those ideas too far yet, though, given that he's got a whole story to change his ways and decide that blood purity really doesn't matter to him anymore.
If I remember correctly, Pansy wore a similar frilly pink dress to the Yule Ball in canon. Was this meant to be a slight to her? Either way, brilliant. Draco really has to stop getting involved with these high-maintenance women!
I liked your characterization of Hermione and Ron a lot. It's nice to see that getting through the war has made Hermione more confident, even when faced with ancient prejudice. I also like how Ron hasn't quite shed his impulsive and defensive ways, suggesting that it's perhaps a good thing that he's not accompanying the other four on the trip.
I did notice a fair few technical errors in this chapter, mostly typos and grammar errors and using commas where you should use semi-colons or periods. I don't remember if you have a beta reader for this or not, but I'd recommend looking into getting one just to give it that bit of polish :)
Nice job! I'll be back sometime for chapter five!
-AmandaAuthor's Response: Hi Amanda!
Yes Draco isn't have the best of times at the moment, but if he was it would be a little weird! I'll definitely not go overboard on the things which may appear out of character, as then it would be weird :P
I think she did wear a dress, as I kind of wanted to show that though he and Pansy are ok now, he and Astoria will never be!
I'm glad that you liked the characterisation of Ron and Hermione as they're rather hard characters to pin down as we know so much about them. They've both changed a lot recently so I guess I can still play with that!
Yeah my beta's gone AWOL at the moment, and hasn't replied to my emails for a while. Hopefully she'll pop up again soon to sort it out!
Thank you for this great review,
-Kiana Report Review
Hi Val! Here's the first of the two reviews I owe you. I'll be back sometime soon to do the other one.
Gosh, where is Fern?! You're making me nervous...
Anyway, I love the discussion of the Weasley antics and the strict list of qualifications for Charlie's girlfriends. I imagine he would be a tough one to get to settle down, so only the very best will do :)
Okay, I have to be honest--I have trouble picturing Peeves being at all serious. Caring about someone--perhaps, but I don't know if he'd let on about it. I would have pictured that interaction more like him continuing to make jokes and then showing through the action of trying to find her (behind the scenes, of course) that he cared. Does that make sense? I can see that you tried to justify it, though, so I guess this just comes down to a difference between tastes.
...oh, wait, so we did find Fern? That was abrupt. It's good that we've located her, though the way she's acting worries me a little. I'll stay tuned.
Hmm, does Louis have a thing for Autumn and is just trying to hide it? Interesting. I'll look forward to seeing how their "date" in Hogsmeade goes.
Okay, now that my running review is done, I want to comment on a few things I liked about this chapter. One is the sense of normalcy--I wouldn't even apologize about the academic content, because you're right, they're at school and it's good to show them actually going to class. Plus, it breaks up the action and creates interesting new scenes. Speaking of action, I also like how smoothly yours flows. I avoid action sequences like the plague because I can't figure out how to do that well, and yet it seemed to work well for you.
This is coming along nicely, Val!
-AmandaAuthor's Response: Hi Amanda!
Fern is a mystery, and sadly I won't say anything about it because I'm keeping it a secret. You find out very soon though...
The Weasley antics are lovely to write about, I'm happy you liked that! Only the best one will do, yes -- if the women in his family let anyone get close enough :)
It's an interesting point you raise about the scene with Peeves, and I think I will edit sometime in the near future. I'm going to include a scene with Peeves again that sort of develops this one, so I hope it'll help clear up certain things.
Yep, we sort of found Fern! She let herself be found would be a more appropriate description though... I'm aware that was abrupt, but it was done on purpose. As I said, Fern's random appearances and disappearances are a big part of the story, so it's sealed lips for a few more chapters!
I'm happy you found this chapter normal, it's one of my big objectives with this story. Thank you for your lovely review :) Report Review
Hi Claire! I'm back for another swap!
For some reason, this chapter seemed to have a lighter feel than the previous one. Perhaps it was the quiet and boredom of Pansy's captive existence. I liked it, though, because it felt sort of normal. For a moment, I almost forgot that she was under house arrest and imagined her as a petulant child stuck indoors on a cold, rainy day. I enjoyed reading about how she chose to entertain herself by cleaning up her things and reading.
It's interesting how you've managed to retain Pansy's true personality despite her situation. Even if she can't reign over the other students at Hogwarts, she can still entertain herself by thinking about how much lower they are compared to her. I especially love how she still fantasizes about her happily-ever-after with Draco, as if there is nothing to threaten that and this whole thing with the Ministry and the war will just blow over one day. I was almost surprised when she smoothly concluded that she didn't need her exams to be a trophy wife.
One thing I wasn't quite sure about was your use of the word "strewed" when discussing potentially incriminating objects in the Parkinson home. You may have meant "construed," which signifies a way of interpreting something. "Strewn" refers to things being placed haphazardly about the room or floor.
It'll be very interesting to see how things develop as Pansy's imprisonment term lengthens and she begins to realize the true consequences of the war. I'm very glad you decided to swap with this story :)
-Amanda Report Review
Hey Rachel! Dropping by for our review exchange ♥
I love the theme of comparing Shell Cottage and Bill, both the good and the bad, throughout this piece. Its simplicity is its strength. I imagine that Fleur would have had to change a few perceptions about her future when she married Bill in the middle of a war--it wasn't exactly a princess wedding and privileged life in a castle. Anyway, I liked that you hinted at her transformation here. She's happy just to keep the few things she has.
I love this line especially: My chest is heavy with pain for him. Again, it's very simple, and yet it conveys the heart of the emotion that a wife feels for her husband when he goes through pain. Sometimes all that she can do is just feel for him, be a strong, silent support there by his side, and you can tell that's enough for Bill in this moment.
I'd like to point out one technical thing that I noticed, in an attempt to be helpful. I think you could do without the comma in this sentence: I loved the sand that always gritted underfoot, and could never quite be fully swept away. But really that's all, and obviously it's very minor.
This was just lovely, and a very quick read. I write a lot of darker pieces, too, and I know the feeling of wanting to just step back to write something simple and light once in a while. I think the beauty of this piece really shows off just how versatile you are.
I'll see you around :)
-AmandaAuthor's Response: I'm sorry it took me a while to answer this for you! I'm very glad you enjoyed it, though. ♥ And I'm so happy because you actually seemed to get it -- Shell Cottage doesn't have as much to do with this story as Fleur's love for Bill does. Metaphors! She loves him, no matter what, and he's not perfect. But why should love have to be perfect?
Seeing as you're married and I'm not, I am glad that that line translated so well. I feel like Fleur is very strong, and to stand by Bill like she did when everyone expected her not to -- that was the part that made me love her, what basically made everyone love her.
Thank you so much for this! And this response is kind of sucky, but I did try; your words are just too hard to respond to coherently. :) I'm glad we got the chance to exchange this month! Report Review
Hello Angie! I'm here for a little review tag :)
I see that you really took what I said about exploring Dominique's emotional turmoil to heart in this chapter. I really, really loved the part at the end where she saw the place that Teddy liked to kiss now marred by an ugly bruise, a physical reminder that life would never be the same again.
I also liked the flashback to when Dominique and Teddy first got together. It's clear that Victoire is really important to her baby sister, almost as important as Teddy is, and I'd love to see you explore that more in a future chapter. I'm sure the preservation of that sisterly bond will be extremely important to helping Dominique cope with things.
Dominique's interaction with her boss was intriguing as well. I liked how you noted that Delilah's attitude was quite callous at times, and that she seemed to want to exploit Dominique behind the veneer of total sympathy and pity. The only thing I was confused about there was the fact that the deadline for the article was unchanged. You would think they'd have to make accommodations of some kind, despite their personal feelings on Dominique's recovery. I think you could add in some more details there about why the deadline has to still be two days away (i.e., why can't the article be in a later issue?).
This is going along quite nicely, Angie, and I hope you're enjoying writing it! I'm so interested to see what's going on with Teddy in the next chapter.
-AmandaAuthor's Response: Hey! Thanks for reading and reviewing. Sorry for the late response.
Yes, I tried my best to take all the reviewers' advice in consideration when writing this chapter, as well as when I edited the first chapter (I plan to edit the second one soon too). I am glad you liked the part about the scar. It is a reminder of how her life will not be the same and I figured it should have a huge impact.
Yes, I wanted to show that Vic and Dom's bond is strong, that they care for each other, and will not allow a guy to come 'in between't them. Dom's relationship with her mother, as well as her sister, will be explored in future chapters (not the immediate ones, but it will be done).
Dominique's boss is not very nice, haha. She is a very unsympathetic character - I believe every story needs one xP More on her boss will be shown later. Oh, thanks for pointing that out. I'll figure out a way to get around that.
I am enjoying writing it, yes, and I am pleased by the response it has received. I am happy you are liking it =) The next chapter is in the queue!
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