Reading Reviews From Member: Beeezie
  
682 Reviews Found

Review #26, by BeeezieHermione Granger: Prologue: Harry Needed Her

9th November 2015:
Hey, Beth! Iím here for BvB!

I loved this. I think that the pretty quick progression of events after Harry, Hermione, and Ron escaped from the Malfoy Manor often ends up meaning that Hermioneís experience in the Malfoy Manor gets overshadowed. I know that I personally donít always see it as being particularly significant in terms of lasting repercussions, maybe in part because I got a little jaded to the Cruciatus Curse over the course of the series because we see it used pretty frequently.

But now youíve reminded me that experiencing it caused Nevilleís parentsí to be permanently incapacitated and no longer able to care for themselves, and while Hermione presumably wasnít subjected to it for the length of time that they were, she did get a lot more of it in one go than Harry ever did, even without Bellatrix putting her own nasty little twist on the spell - which is a wonderful touch on your part, and one that I find completely believable. And, on top of all of that, Hermione was in a highly charged situation immediately following that experience that on some level helped her avoid fully processing what had happened - which, of course, can be both a good thing and a bad thing.

The fragility you describe in the beginning of the chapter was completely convincing to me, and the way Ron reacted to it came off to me as being completely believable and genuine. The war has clearly taken a toll on her, and I suspect itís not all Bellatrix - the year they spent on the run was stressful from start to finish for her and Harry in particular, because they had to hold it together when Ron either wasnít there to contribute or just wasnít helping the already-bad situation. (Actually, I wonder if some of Ronís protectiveness that youíre showing here stems from guilt? Hmm.)

Youíre wonderful. Amazing, amazing job. :)

Author's Response: Hi Branwen,

Gah! This review is so, so kind. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to reply to it.

This story spun itself off of a chapter I wrote for my novel with a "Rose and Hermione" moment. And I'm so thrilled that you agree about Hermione and the cruciatus curse. I really wanted to explore her PTSD, which I thought would begin to take hold shortly after the celebrations following the final battle. Because she went back to Hogwarts to complete her seventh year without Ron and Harry, I think she'd have a rather tough time without them.

Thanks so much!

♥ Beth


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Review #27, by BeeeziePride and Scorpius: Dawnsfirstbloom

8th November 2015:
Hey, Andrew! I'm back for BvB! (Maybe this time I'll be lucky enough to snag a review from you. :P)

So funny story - the first time I saw the name "Dawnsfirstbloom," it was completely out of context, and I remember things "oh dear, some My Immortal-esque writer is mucking around HPFF writing a terrible story." I realized what the context was shortly after that. Suddenly it all made a lot more sense, and I was super intrigued by the premise.

Your execution doesn't fall short. You did a wonderful job working the explanation for the goblins' presence in - it fit well within the flow of the chapter, and you also described it in a way that made sense. It does make me feel a little bad for those one or two goblins a year who can go to Hogwarts, too - it must be so lonely in a lot of ways, even if they do make friends. Judging from Albus's initial interactions with them as well as some of the things they mention in that conversation, they come from such a different culture.

Even as they adapt, I imagine that it will be tough going in a lot of ways, and I'm really curious to see how you execute that long-term, especially since Albus in particular (but also Scorpius to some extent - I read ahead :P) seems to be of such a different status than them, which also makes sense once I stop to think about it. While there is a "we're all equal" status at Hogwarts that Albus was trying to emphasize, it might be hard for them to put that hierarchy aside completely if that's been a huge part of their cultural paradigm. Dawnsfirstbloom's excitement about buying them all sweets was adorable, but it also did emphasize some of the huge differences in culture.

And, while I know that it's getting far ahead of myself, it also makes me wonder what will happen when they return home for breaks and have to readjust the way they talk about their close friends. That may be slightly over involved for this fic - I'm just so curious to see how you navigate this!

I loved the chapter. All of that said, though, there were a few things here and there that I think you could have improved. While I loved Dawnsfirstbloom and how she fit into the chapter overall, I did question Rose having quite so strong an impression of her personality, particularly the idea that if she wasn't out of her depth, she'd be "strutting the stage with confidence." It just seems like a bit of a leap for someone to know that by looking at her for a few seconds, and I wish you'd toned it does a little bit.

I also had the vague feeling after reading this chapter - and I know it's still early, so take this with a huge grain of salt - that Rose was significantly more flawed and less likable than Albus and Scorpius. She didn't have as big a part in this chapter, so in some ways it makes sense, but after two chapters, I'd have liked to feel a little more of a connection with all four of the main characters, and at this point, I feel like Dawnsfirstbloom is more engaging despite only popping up this chapter. Whether or not that remains the case for Rose later on in the story, I do wish that after 8000+ words, there'd been a little more to her.

Otherwise, though, excellent job! :)

Author's Response: Thanks for the great review. I'm getting a lot of positive reviews and that's really great, don't get me wrong, but I love reviews like yours that call me on stuff. This to me is one of the beauties of the fan-fictions, this ability to have such immediate feedback before the work is even close to being finished.

What I have been doing with the female goblin names is to keep up a trope of Sci-Fi that if the males are all/mostly named a certain way, then so too will be the females, but in a different, but consistent way. All male goblins have a two word name (some older ones have two syllable ones, which is close to the trend) so I gave all the female ones three syllable names.

There are huge differences in culture and what is more, goblin society is not all one homogeneous culture either - just like humans are not. There will be explorations, through the agency of Dawnsfirstbloom, exploring her adaptation to the human world, of goblin culture and her place therein. It will not be a dominant feature of the story, but there will be a lot more revealed as time goes on - especially when they return home for Christmas and again at the end of term. So when you said that in your review, my head nearly exploded.

As to the 'everyone at Hogwarts equal is,' that's not official doctrine, that's just Albus' big, inclusive heart.

And then in the review the stuff I love.

It is a bit of a leap. In the first few drafts of the story, it was even more so until my wonderful beta of the time pointed it out. It does concern me, but I have left it in for a few reasons. One is that a lot happens on this train journey (a lot) and I didn't want to stretch it out too much more that a longer build up would have entailed. Also, Rose is generally fairly obtuse when it comes to discerning the feelings of others. She thinks she's better than she is because within her limited acquaintances (mostly family) she knows them inside and out. I wanted Rose just to 'get' Dawn from the very beginning, that here is one person with whom she be friends unconditionally. Also, Dawn is really an open book; from the start of any acquaintance with her, anyone will know her because what you see with her is what you get.

So her falling into such deep friendship with Dawn right from the start was a bit abrupt, but I'm happy enough with it. It echoes the similar things in Harry in his first train journey, he makes his best friend and worst enemy fairly quickly over the course of that journey too.

Ah Rose, what am I to do with her. As I've stated before, I am basing the overall plot of this story upon P&P and as such it has a Lizzy and Darcy who are, naturally enough, reflected in this work by Rose and Scorpius. Unfortunately for Rose, she is going to have most of the faults of Lizzy and Darcy - the pride and the prejudice. She will be disavowed of each in time, but it will take time and that is what I have in starting this tale from first year - time to let these things show and resolve before the romance can happen (when it is the right time to do so when they are older).

One of the problems that then presents itself, is my readers falling out of like with Rose. She will come across as seemingly bratty and too prejudiced, but all of it (I hope to show) is aimed at Scorpius and not just because he is a Malfoy. It's because Rose has never met anyone like him in her life before ever: he's prissy and neat and well behaved and timid. None of the boys in Rose's life are like it, none and she has a few cousins and the like to select from. And add to that whole list something else, something about him that just gets under her skin and she is too immature and naive to know that it's attraction.

I normally answer these reviews in order, but I just had to respond to some things you said in this. As of this review 4305 reads on my story in total and this chapter has had 610, thank you all.


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Review #28, by BeeeziePride and Scorpius: Well met on the Hogwarts Express

8th November 2015:
Hey! I'm here for BvB!

I'm so glad I finally caught you - I've been meaning to review this for a very long time, and now I finally have an excuse!

I loved this chapter so much. Your writing style is so engaging, and your take on the characters is wonderful. I love the way Albus and Rose interact with each other and with Scorpius - Rose doesn't come across to me as being unfriendly in general, but she's definitely internalized a lot of her father's prejudice, and it makes sense - I don't think Ron would have moved on from his animosity with Draco in quite the same way Harry (and, IMO, Hermione) did, because he does tend to hold a grudge - and, of course, the grudge is a little more personal for him in any case, because he grew up in a situation where it makes sense that he'd be comparing his family to the Malfoys and feeling resentful about their significant difference in situation. (I love the way Rose internalized that, too - the gold plates made me laugh!)

I'm also really intrigued by what you've given us of Harry's character. I can definitely see him just calling Draco Malfoy "Draco," and I can Albus would have failed to connect the two (though it does strain my credulity a little that Albus would have never heard of the name Malfoy, even if just in passing, particularly since Scorpius seems to be a little bit of a loner - maybe it's by choice, but it seems like part of it is likely because of his family's reputation). Albus seems to me to be a lot like Harry on his first train ride - really friendly and interested in making friends, and it's nice to see it swing around full circle to his befriending a Malfoy.

I also love the touch of the goblins on the Hogwarts Express - the idea of goblins attending Hogwarts fits so nicely with some of the underlying themes of the series, particularly surrounding magical non-humans and the prejudice they face. It also makes sense to me that goblins would be some of the first to break that barrier - while there's obviously tension between goblins and witches/wizards, they do have a history of working closely together in at least some situations (unlike centaurs or merpeople, for example) and they seem to view each other as being on semi-equal footing (unlike house elves). It's so well-done, and there's so much potential with their inclusion.

This is a great chapter - really amazing job!

Author's Response: I'm in the mood to clear out my unanswered reviews so here I am back to the start of yours. I have responded to your reviews out of order because after this one you started calling me on stuff and I had to respond. By comparison this review is all sweetness and light. ;)

First off, thank you. I am always concerned because my writing style is a tad archaic for these times. That I am writing something that is based in no small part upon Pride and Prejudice, allows me a bit more freedom and the ability to get away with more in that vein.

As you pointed out in the following reviews, it takes a while for Rose's true personality to be established, so it's not so much that she has internalised her father's prejudice, but that it is Scorpius himself who has 'upset' her. Not angered so much, just upset her equilibrium and gotten under her skin.

Though I think that your take on Ron is quite on the money for me. I think he has forgiven Draco though - there were signs of that in the JKR books themselves - but forgotten, well that's another matter. A significant amount of time has passed and age does temper one's judgement and memory. Ron was always one to chafe under his family's near poverty, that I think he would remember that Malfoy was always so rich and arrogant with it. So that would have stuck with him more and I believe come out in subtle digs at the memory of Draco whenever he could.

As to Rose and the golden plates, I've found in myself and others, that as children we make assumptions and causal links of how things work in the world that are just plain incorrect. These often persist for years and our later childhood and early teens a full of moments when our assumption bubbles are burst when we are informed by stark contrast with the harsh reality.

I really wanted to make the attempt to have Albus be unaware of the Malfoy name, yes it is a bit of a stretch but it does show a few things that are worth the effort. Firstly what it says about the father is worth the attempt alone. To me it shows that he has truly forgiven Draco and that's the take upon Harry I wanted to show. Secondly it also shows something of Draco too, if Albus has never heard the name, it's not just his father that mustn't have been saying it. If you follow the logic train, then Draco must also have been keeping his name out of the public eye too.

Albus is probably the heart of this story. We are of course interested in the developing relationship between the two leads, but the story wouldn't have as much depth without the presence of Albus in it. Thank you for noticing, I was really trying to capture the spirit of that first train ride of Harry's with what I was writing. Having it swing around to him befriending a Malfoy, as you mention, was for me the icing on the cake.

I've said before that what I'm writing is basically a standard hate-turns-to-love Rose/Scorpius tale, the only thing that will set it apart is the world building that I am attempting to do. The presence of Goblins is one such thing and follows on from my other Post-Hogwarts story and the actions of Harry to rectify some of the inequities he sees in the wizarding world. Thank you for that, I'm glad you can see the potential. We will be discovering more about their world as the series progresses, especially when the kids take their breaks from school.

Thanks for the lovely review, I already know that it is the first of many such. As of this review there have been 4454 reads on my story in total and this chapter has had 850, thank you all.


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Review #29, by BeeezieTrying not to love you: Chapter twenty-six - An Apology

1st November 2015:
So I don't have a lot of time to review, but I just read this for the queue and I had to come say something, because I loved the chapter. ♥

It's been awhile since I read TNTLY, but I fell back into it really easily, and I loved the way you moved everything forward here. The relationship with Joshua had definitely started to become concerning for me, because I felt like while Gwen thought it was good for her and while Joshua is clearly a really great guy, she was feeling so guilty and conflicted that being in the relationship was starting to be a constant source of self-loathing and guilt, which is never a good thing.

I don't feel like I got much new out of her relationship with James this chapter, other than a little more sexual tension and jealousy (because James, don't give me "You just looked so peaceful" - you were doing a little sabotage, and I think you probably even know it on some level), but that was good IMO - all of the revelations that came out of her conversation with Joshua were more than enough, and the familiar stability and closeness she got from James were a nice counter to all of the stresses in her life, particularly after a long hiatus.

So yeah. Great job, write more, ♥ ♥ , etc. :P

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Review #30, by BeeezieTick Tock: time is running out

20th September 2015:
Hey, Olivia! I'm here for BvB! ♥

I really love what you did here. You've loaded so much emotion and backstory into a short one-shot, and it feels chillingly real. My heart went out to Romilda from the beginning - it's a really poignant reminder that there wasn't really a simple happily-ever-after once Voldemort is defeated. Romilda was left in an impossible position in so many ways, and it's not surprising that she's struggling to deal with the result.

I also found her place of employment absolutely fascinating. Borgin and Burkes was presented to us as a kind of sleazy shop with a little too close a focus on the dark arts, so the idea that they've hired a Muggleborn seemed odd to me. The way that Romilda describes feeling unsafe there, though, particularly because of the way Burke looks at her, brought some of that into a different focus, and when she's sent to go deal with things that former Death Eaters wanted to get rid of, I also wondered when part of it was just that Burke wouldn't care if the Muggleborn was injured/maimed/killed dealing with dangerous artifacts.

I wonder why that man was following her, and if he was there on someone else's orders. It does seem to me, though, that working at Borgin and Burkes is probably a job in which it's hard to lie low in quite the same way she might elsewhere. The clientele is disproportionately weighted toward people who would like to do her harm, particularly since she has access to some of their secrets, and "the girl who works at Borgin and Burkes" is a pretty easy target. Poor Romilda.

Olivia, that was so good. I loved it.

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Review #31, by BeeezieOblivious to the Obvious: Hatred Behind The Scenes

9th September 2015:
Hey, Mikaela, I'm here for BvB! :) I hope it's okay that I've come back to this rather than review your most recent one-shot - I didn't see you specify in the thread, and I was really interested to read the second chapter.

I'm continuing to really enjoy this! Hailey's voice is so strong, and while I know that Wood can be a little overbearing and difficult from Harry's perspective, I can see how he'd come off more so to someone else, particularly someone who's more of a peer and who's intentionally pushing his buttons and who's clearly got a very high opinion of herself. (The "most important player" bit at the end was definitely a little overboard.)

And the thing is, while I don't like the way he's intimidating her at all, I do think that he has a point when they're - ah - talking, I guess, in the beginning of the chapter. She's prickling at it, but honestly, yeah - it doesn't matter how good she is at flying if she's a pain to work with and undermines him at every turn, particularly at tryouts. She's clearly resentful of that, but I have a hard time blaming him for it. It's not a good example to set, and I'd be bothered, too.

It was nice to see that after that, the tryouts did go smoothly. He was a little weirdly formal at times and Hailey and Angelina seemed to me to be pretty clearly reciting from a script that he'd given them, but that made sense to me in the context of Wood's personality as we saw it in the books. I did find the way he picked a fight with her afterward to be really interesting, though - it seems like she's not the only one who's argumentative, and I'm starting to see why she's so defensive and responds to him like she does. There absolutely is a sense of "you can't do anything right" that I'm getting from him, and it's really not productive.

Yeah, the dynamics in this are really fascinating. I love the way you've crafted your characters and their relationships with each other.

As I mentioned last review, there are some little things that stuck out to me, though. I know you said that you haven't really had a chance to go back and edit and I know from your recent stuff that you have a good idea of what flows well, so I don't want to spend too much time on this, but -

Again, your dialogue tags definitely impacted the flow of the chapter, and I think that when you do get a chance to edit, you should take at least half and maybe even two-thirds of them out. I also noticed a fair number of typos (including one at the end of the chapter where you seem to switch to second person), and there's too much "as" and "after" and "before" attached to actions. (E.g., George asks me, his look concerned as I shift my stance and take slow steady breathe. - I'm assuming this should be breath, as well.) It's just not necessary.

And moving beyond the basic mechanics, I did feel like there were times when the dialogue stretched out a bit. For example, in the scene with Fred and George toward the beginning of the chapter, the conversation got a little tedious by the time they headed up to the castle. It would have worked much better, IMO, if you'd cut some of it out in favor of something along the lines of Fred and I bickered back and forth for a few more minutes before George finally dragged us off to dinner.

Overall, though, this was thoroughly enjoyable. I loved it.

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Review #32, by BeeezieFinding Him: manor.

17th August 2015:
Hey, Sama! I'm here for our swap & BvB! ♥

I'm super curious about Nutshell, which looks fascinating, but I figured that since I'd already read the first chapter of Finding Him, I should continue on with that. If you'd like to do a multi-chapter swap, though, I'd totally be up for it! :)

So, first off, and totally unrelated to your writing: did you make that CI? Because it's absolutely adorable. I love it. (Sorry - I figure you understand, though. :P)

I love Rose's reticence to sit with Albus's friends - the discomfort she feels around other Slytherins but not around him is a nice touch, and it's very realistic to me... despite the fact that your Albus really does come across as very strongly a Slytherin! The way he immediately asks for her help when she sits down really made me laugh - there's acerbic wit, opportunism, and affection all rolled into one. Perfect job.

I also love, though, that her pride is such that when Scorpius actually challenges her, she rises to the occasion - and finds that his friends really aren't so terrible after all. I'm wondering whether she just has selective memory or whether she doesn't actually spend much time with Albus in groups. I guess either is possible.

Really, though, I enjoy Rose's characterization in general! I appreciated her repeated dodging her family's pressure to get her flat connected to the floo network, and to be honest, I don't blame her. I certainly wouldn't want that direct connection - it strikes me as giving other people way too much power to waltz into my living space uninvited, and I like privacy. I also enjoyed the juxtaposition between her thoughts about Slytherins in school and her actually seeking out Astoria Malfoy for help - it really speaks to how much she's changed and how close to Scorpius she was. My heart goes out to her, and I'm curious to see what happens next!

There are a couple little things I do want to point out, though.

When Rose first heads over to sit with Albus, she thinks about Scorpius as a blonde [she's] already been warned about in first year - that seemed a little off to me. While I can see her having that reaction in her first or even second year, it strains my credulity that she'd remember it at all or that she'd have so little exposure to him that something her father said more than six years ago would come to mind. It's minor, but I thought I'd mention it. Along the same lines, it seemed a little odd to me that there were students in Rose's year (presumably - I'm assuming the girl sitting with Amy and Sophie is a seventh year as well) who she doesn't even know the names of. I can understand not speaking to them, but they've shared classes for years - you'd think she'd have learned their names.

I also noticed a couple little typos - when Rose is talking to Astoria, you wrote I'm scared she dpesn't as opposed to doesn't, and in the next line, you write any clue to wear he is when I think you meant to write where.

Those are minor, though, and otherwise, I think you did a wonderful job here. Jumping between time periods generally worked out well, despite there being several different jumps, which is really impressive! I do wish that I had a better sense of when seventh year was in comparison to the present, though - it did confuse me at points.

I loved this, though, and I'm so curious to see what happens next!

Author's Response: Branwen! Hi!

I would have been okay with a review on Nutshell or Finding Him so I didn't really have a preference. But it's great to hear your feedback on this story since you are a Queen of Scorose yourself.

I laughed when I read the graphic comment. Yes, I did make it and I can totally understand! I was trying (and slightly failing) to use negative space haha. Though I have to say I can stare at your graphics all day!

I can see Rose having a struggle with Slytherins. It's like she keeps thinking back to what she's heard about them and what her Dad would sometimes mention and then at the same time trying to reason with herself that she shouldn't generalize and stereotype and her favorite cousin is a Slytherin so they can't be that bad. I'm glad you liked that detail... I could always see the Wotters asking Rose for help and Rose almost always giving in.

I would think a little bit of both. Rose probably doesn't find it very important to remember any time she's interacted with Al's Slytherin friend group and I can picture her wanting to stay away from them. Anytime she hangs out with Albus it is usually Al and her only or with family included as well.

I can see a lot of the Wotters invading each other's home unannounced, them being so close knit and all and also them being a bunch of Gryffindors (who in my opinion tend to act before they think which is totally fine. makes everything more exciting).

Thank you immensely for pointing those mistakes out since now I won't have to work as hard to find them!

The time period jumps are very new for me, seeing as I tend to only write flashbacks when it comes to going back to the past and even that is only due to plot purposes. It's great to hear that the time period shifts are working and hopefully as I get better at weaving the present and past into each other the shifts won't be as confusing!

Thank you so much for stopping by Branwen! I had a great time with our swap and taking time to read one of your stories is always a pleasure! Thanks again!

~Sama


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Review #33, by BeeezieKeep Calm and Carry On: A Guide to Keeping Calm and Coffee Stains

17th August 2015:
Hey, J! Here for our swap & BvB!

I loved this story from the first three lines. I've totally had days like this, and I'm pretty sure I've even had days like this in July. July is a horrible month.

And by days like this, I mean rain/spilling your drink (though for me it's usually tea or seltzer) specifically, not just abstract bad days. And just dropping things in general. Especially hot things. On the day they handed out grace, I called in sick.

It was just such a wonderful way to introduce both Lorcan as a character and the story as a whole. I really don't think you could have made the opening scene any better - you included just enough detail to make me feel invested and ended the scene with a huge punch that would have been evil if it had happened at the end of the chapter.

I like MFS, a lot - but I feel like with this story, you're really starting to hit your stride in a way you haven't yet with that. The narrative is just a little crisper and more polished - maybe part of that is just a much more manageable cast of characters, but there are also more lines that I just adored. I loved the My parents had been supportively confused... bit - I could see that being Luna's response, too! The jazz hands accompanying Harry's potentially lying to Lily also had me giggle.

I'm so interested to see how you develop this, because I can see this cast of characters turning out to be a lot of fun. You've crafted some really entertaining OCs, and I'm so curious to see how Branson does - I can see you talking this in so many different directions, including both her flaming out very early and her winning it!

Out of curiosity, is this Lily the same Lily as the one in MFS? I just ask because some authors (myself included, haha) do try to keep everything within the same universe, while others don't.

Anyway. I'm really loving this, and I can't wait to read on! ♥ (Also: favorited. :P)

Author's Response: Ahh thanks for this review Branwen! Your reviews are always wonderful.

July is a terrible month! I actually started with this day happening in September, but then I moved it around because of Plot and the first line was born. A lot of Lorcan's clumsiness is borne of my own misadventures, so I'm glad you also related haha! I literally always spill whatever I'm drinking. It's like a terrible, terrible talent, and also something I should have grown out of at like...age 8.

Haha I considered stretching out the announcement to happen at the end of the chapter! But I couldn't do a cliffhanger like that...could I? But I'm so glad you liked the opening of the story! I think it's really representative of so much about Lorcan/his voice so it's nice to see you responding so well to it. :)

So your comments about this vs. MFS made me think really hard about it, and I really agree. MFS was my first fic in ~3 years, so it's natural that there's some rust I'm still getting over! Something I think differentiates them a lot is the voice the story is written in-- not just in that it's first person here and third person there, but this story is so much about Lorcan and his character that I think it really shines through. MFS is very much about the characters and their development to me, and that's always been my focus, but for KCACO I want the writing and character and plot to all be more intertwined, if that makes sense. Whoops, I'm rambling! But. Yeah. I agree with you. This story speaks to me as a whole, while in MFS, I just really love the characters.

I'm glad you liked Luna's reaction to Lorcan's letter! I'm always terrified of writing canon characters so I avoid it as much as possible, to be honest. I really enjoyed the jazz hands bit as well! Also, fun fact: Google docs is convinced jazz hands is one word for some reason.

I hope you like where the story goes! I think I have the big picture working itself out in my head, so hopefully that won't disappoint. :)

I live in awe of your fic universe, but alas, KCACO is separate from MFS. It could've been the same universe, but there are just some parts of this fic that differ from MFS enough that I don't really think they overlap. (Which is partially because I'm writing a Scorose story that overlaps with MFS in ways that wouldn't translate to KCACO, but that's a story for a different day.)

Ahhh thank you so much for the favorite!! I kinda freaked when I saw that to be honest!! I hope you like the rest of the story! Sorry for the extremely ramble-y response-- I should probably go to bed or something!

--J


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Review #34, by Beeezie(Parenthetical) Asides: Unattainable

14th August 2015:
Here for our swap and BvB!

Omg, Mallory. I hesitated to read this because I absolutely adore Jily, and I didn't really want to see it sunk. But it caught my eye regardless, so after a fair amount of avoidance, I decided to jump in. And... well, omg. You win at life.

Because while this is AU in more ways than just the Muggle world bit, it definitely gets at a darker side of James's feelings for Lily - one that Harry, to his credit, saw and was disturbed by. I personally feel like you can't ever really be in love with someone unless they love you back, because if they don't, you can't really know them. That's always been my issue with Snape's enduring feelings for Lily, and it really could have so easily been James as well. Early on, it probably was James, albeit in a much less creepy way than this.

And you captured how awful and gross and frankly scary it is when someone idolizes you in that way. I had someone do that to me - thankfully it was from a distance after I broke up with him, but there were a lot of scary emails and phone calls and e-stalking for years. I still have anxiety attacks when I see someone who looks like him or get a call from someone in his area code. And how Lily felt? Yes. That's how I felt, including how much a new relationship could heal you. Consequently, this ended up being so incredibly personal for me, and I felt like you did a wonderful job with it.

A wonderful, creepy job.

And +eleven gazillion to making Lily a lesbian. I love Jily, but that was such a wonderful ending to this story. ♥

I really loved this. Favoriting!

Author's Response: Hi Branwen! Sorry it's taken ten years for me to answer this. ._.

Yeah, it's hard to sink Jily, so that's why I did an AU. It's easier to imagine a whole different universe than to think that canon James would actually do this stuff.

I'm always really disturbed by fanfics that idolize the idea of obsessive love. It's gross and not romantic, and I'm sure you hate them too. Definitely an issue with Snape, which is why I can't like him, no matter what. Yeah, I think the real James's feelings were all much less creepy than Snape's, but still could've been slightly off-balance at the beginning.

Aggghh! I'm sorry that happened to you. I'm glad, though, that I could capture it semi-realistically, because I've never actually had that happen to me. :/// That makes me really sad for you. But I'm very happy that you, like Lily, have found someone new and the other person can just get out. Forever.

Yes, I was excited to make Lily a lesbian because I like the idea that she was maybe bi at Hogwarts, and this AU just begged for her to be in love with someone who was just so much the opposite of James in every single way. And Marlene definitely is--not overbearing, not going to take advantage, understanding of Lily's struggle with persistent males, the list goes on. They're also just really stinkin' cute together.

Thanks so much again for your review!

♥Mallory


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Review #35, by BeeezieThe Fourth Daughter: The Fan Dance

9th August 2015:
I wasn't quite right last review, I don't think - Bea is pretty defiant, though not to such an extent that she seems willing to defy Addie head on. Or maybe she's just arguing for everyone else - it's an interesting dynamic. There's a lot of anger in her about how they're being treated, and the other sisters seem thus far to be reacting far more mildly to it than she is. I'm curious to see where you take that.

And, of course, the comment about how their father won't even look at Desiya speaks volumes on its own. I'm not entirely sure that writing to her father about this was the best idea - I understand why she did it, particularly since the other option she saw was talk to him about it face-to-face, but I worry that this could get Bea and Dezzy in particular - and possibly even all the sisters - in a mess.

I'm wondering now about Addie, too - she seems to have misgivings that she's ignoring, because while she keeps saying that she doesn't think that this is a good idea, she also keeps saying "one more time." Maybe it's just that their father is away or her sisters pressuring her... but I find it very interesting. Many of the sisters seem more invested in this than in their real lives - which on one hand I totally understand, but on the other doesn't seem like a path to a happy life.

This is really fascinating!

That said: there were times that that your writing felt a little stilted to me. Your description outside of dialogue was great, but I felt like it was often a little superficial surrounding dialogue. You included things like Bea asked, raising her eyebrows or Clara said softly, getting her sister's attention - but raising her eyebrows and getting her sister's attention didn't really add to my mental image of the scene or my ability to see where the sisters were coming from. I would have liked to see a little more substantive description around dialogue that went beyond "she said, [doing something]." For example, when you say, Clara said, walking over to her sister and sitting down next to her, I would have loved to see more about how she was trying to comfort Julianna. Was she rubbing her back? Giving her a hug? Talking softly so the others didn't hear? Something more, you know?

Overall, though, I loved this!

Author's Response: Hello again!
Bea is definitely the rebel of the sisters- or as much as a rebel as any of them could be considering the circumstances. She's not afraid to say how she feels, although she is smart enough to hold her tongue when it could really get her into trouble.
Bea's comment really stays with Dezzy, and she writes to her father for two reasons: the first is because she doesn't want to ask him face-to-face, and the second is because she doesn't want to wait for him to get home before she can ask. She just wants some kind of answers from him, and is hoping that he'll reassure her that Bea was wrong.
I think Addie is trying to balance being a parent and being an older sister. It's almost always up to her to be the "bad guy" and put her foot down when her sisters do or say something that might be less than proper. So I think that while the parent side of her knows that they should stop going to the pavilion, the sister side of her wants to see her siblings have fun and do something that they all love.
Thank you for the suggestions on the descriptions around the dialogue. I think I add more as the story goes on, because I've been working on this story for a few years and my writing has improved a lot since I started it, but I'll definitely look at the older chapters and see where there could be more description.
Thank you so much for the great review! I'm so glad you're enjoying this story so far!
Cassie :)


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Review #36, by BeeezieThe Fourth Daughter: The Second Night

9th August 2015:
Hey, here for our swap! Sorry I'm so late with them - some family stuff has come up unexpectedly that took up a lot of my time and energy over the last couple days.

I loved this chapter. The dynamic between the sisters is fascinating - I love the way that, in the absence of their father (literally and spiritually), they automatically defer to the eldest of the sisters. It speaks volumes about who they are - they're not recalcitrant, they just lack the authority figure they should have, so they're turning to the next best thing. I know that Bea was arguing with Adella, but the fact that she was arguing in the first place speaks volumes - they clearly weren't comfortable just going without her, and I don't think it was just out of fear that she'd tell their father - because it never even entered the discussion.

In some ways, that actually makes me more worried for them, though - I'm not sure how closely you're planning to follow the story, but there's something about Salazar that makes my spider sense tingle a little. The fact that the sisters - Dezzy included, and she's currently the one being singled out by him - are so hungry for someone to give them permission to do things and tell them what to do leaves them wide open to being manipulated.

Just musing, of course!

I'm also finding that I don't have trouble keeping the sisters straight, which I'd initially been afraid of, because there are just so many of them. However, the naming convention you used definitely help keep them in context, and it means that I don't really need to remember all the details about which description goes with which girl.

I'm really excited to read on!

Author's Response: Hello! Oh my gosh, don't even worry about this being a little alter than expected. It's totally fine!
I'm so glad that you like how all the sisters interact. Writing twelve sisters, who are often all together, can get to be a lot (which is why I mainly focus on the older ones). Because the girls haven't had much parental guidance since their mother died, the older ones took on that responsibility.
Bea arguing with Addie definitely captures that, so I'm glad you picked up on it. Even though Bea can be a bit rebellious, and often is the most argumentative of the sisters, she doesn't do things behind Addie's back. I think she knows that since the younger ones look up to them, they have to make decisions together.
Dezzy is definitely being singled out by Salazar, and their relationship will continue to develop, so I'm really interested to hear what you think of the direction I take them in!
Thank you so much for the great review!
Cassie :)


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Review #37, by BeeezieMistaken for Strangers: The Wotters Receive Some Owls

7th August 2015:
Hey, J! I'm here for BvB!

Huh. This is a really interesting look at James - I liked seeing him not be the center of attention for once (until the exam results came, anyway), because it really gave me a sense of how exhausting his family could be. Part of it was how much chatter there was, but a bigger part was actually just how checked out he was as he was eating breakfast. He made some comments, but by and large, it seemed like the conversation flowed around him. His reaction to Lucy grabbing his results also spoke volumes to me - I'd have been seriously annoyed if someone did that to me, but his nonchalance gave me the sense that privacy isn't really a thing that his family respects. That's hard to deal with, and it makes both his attraction to Anna and his reticence to openly spend too much time with her make much more sense. Usually, I feel like it's just a code for "I'm ashamed of you," but not here.

I also loved the juxtaposition between the opening and closing sections and the breakfast scene. They worked together to give a good sense of where James is coming from, and a broader sense of who he's perceived to be (which we've seen less) rather than who he actually is, which we've obviously seen a fair amount of. I think you're also really starting to emphasize how little his family knows him in some ways (case in point: his O.W.L. results), which continues to give important context to his feelings about Anna, particularly the fact that she still doesn't appear to even know his name (though I'm wondering if she has figured it out at this point but is carrying on with calling him Jeremy because she has no idea how to backpeddle).

Along those lines, I think that you're avoiding the cliches that can easily go along with being clueless and attractive nicely thus far. Even when you were emphasizing that people did generally find him attractive, it didn't feel melodramatic to me - it was just a thing about James that didn't much matter to him. That is a thing that can happen, and it hasn't seemed overdone in the past and continues not to feel like that now. Well done.

As always, though, I have a few suggestions. :P

Super nitpicky, but I wasn't sure I loved all of the allusions to Fred/George and James/Sirius in the opening section. Some of them worked - the comment about his grandfather's legacy really spoke volumes, and I loved it. However, some of them didn't - it felt like you were saying, "So they're really, really special butterflies" (sentence starting Nana Molly said and to a lesser extent The Twin Troublemakers... Master Pranksters). You're describing the destruction well, both here and throughout the story - you don't need to invoke other troublemakers to make your point. In many ways, doing so actually feels unrealistic - most parents don't draw things back to "You're totally just like me from when I was a kid," even if it's true - let alone the more macabre "You're just like tragically deceased family members who died at 21."

I have similar problems throughout the rest of the chapter. Like I said, I love the way you're showing such a tight-knit family, but sometimes, I feel like you go a little overboard and introduce extraneous detail. The breakfast scene, for example, was a little belabored - I think that summarizing some of the dialogue would have made it flow much better. I totally understand wanting to show everyone's personality because you like the headcanon you've built up, but that's just not a realistic endeavor - it ends up meaning that way too much time is spent on dialogue that isn't really relevant to the plot, and other more important things get lost in the shuffle. I'd suggest deciding on half a dozen (including James) next-gens you really want to focus on, and then relegating the rest of them to occasional mentions (rather than relationships/feelings about their houses/poking fun at everyone else/etc). That doesn't mean ignore them, but I think that if you really want to get into who everyone is, you should try writing some companion pieces rather than squeeze it all into this one.

Overall, though, I enjoyed this chapter and I'm really curious to see where the story goes!

Author's Response: Thanks so much for your review, Branwen! I always love hearing your thoughts. And I had typed out a nice long response and then I accidentally deleted it! :( But I will do it again now!

I'm glad you liked seeing the focus off of James this chapter! I really wanted to take a step back and look at it more objectively/big picture. The breakfast scene is definitely supposed to illustrate 1. how overwhelming the Wotters are, and 2. how James kinda checks out if there's not a crisis at hand. He's a man of action more than chattering aimlessly in the morning. And Lucy taking the results reflects a lot about privacy in the Wotters and how James has rather accepted that he'll never have any. I'm glad you think his relationship with Anna makes sense and doesn't seem like he's embarrassed by her--√ā¬ď the emphasis is meant to be more on protecting her from the scrutiny/insanity of his family more than anything.

I'm so excited you enjoyed the structure! I really liked writing that and I'm glad you got out of it what I was hoping to communicate. The Wotter's misunderstanding of James is definitely going to continue to develop and matter in the story, but it also really helps contextualize his relationship with Anna. Haha I'm interested you think that Anna already knows his name! More on that to come. ;)

I'm so glad you think I've done a good job with the "clueless attractive" thing James has going on. I think in fic sometimes the Potter boys are these super attractive guys who are very aware of it and play it up, but my James is just kind of like "hmmm why are girls like that" even though he probably realizes he's not bad looking.

As for the allusions to previous troublemakers...this is going to continue later in the story, so I don't want to say too much now. But it is important that James/Fred get compared to George/Fred because Nana Molly/George would obviously have a really really hard time after Fred's death, and to me, George is viewing Fred II a bit like a do-over with Fred I. The James I/Sirius thing is less important-- Harry probably just made passing comments to Ginny about it and James overhead it or something. Something that stuck out to me on an HP reread recently was how much Harry loved being compared to his parents (until the Snape incident at least), and I think that James/Fred would be very excited to live up to these legends they heard all about. So...I'm sorry that came off as unrealistic to you-- I might revise those lines a bit to emphasize my points a bit because it doesn't seem like they were coming off how I intended.

Thanks for your comments about the breakfast scene! I'm not sure I'm entirely happy with how it turned out and I definitely don't want it to come off as too long/overwhelming. I'll keep your comments in mind and definitely try to cut out some of the detail. It's definitely hard when I feel like I know so much about the characters, but I can also understand why it's not all necessary.

Thanks again for your thoughts! I always love to see how I can improve/what's working. :)

--J


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Review #38, by BeeezieAreopagitica: Affiche Rouge

1st August 2015:
Back for BvB review fest! I'll keep a lookout in our update thread for new chapters to this, because I'm already hooked.

I love your take on Rita Skeeter. I thought that you captured her sensationalism and questionable ethics perfectly. It's clear to all of us that Ginny's verdict is totally accurate, but I can totally see this being the Daily Prophet during that period - we saw a taste of it during OotP, and that was without Rita's delivery. I also loved Ginny's conversation with Neville about it all - I'm inclined to side with her, but I can see why Neville just wouldn't have the energy to waste on reporting they know isn't true.

My heart went out to Ginny when Amycus tortured her, and I thought the fact that they let Neville and Luna take her out of the Great Hall but explicitly stopped teachers from aiding her was a really interesting touch, and very telling about the regime they're establishing. It feels like they almost want to have a few little freedom fighters, at least right now, because it does keep everyone else in check. Seeing the professors cowed is intimidating - seeing Neville and Luna leave with Ginny might just make a lot of students feel like they don't want to get mixed up with any of them.

Aha, though! I was sort of right - this is a way of getting news in. It's pretty ingenious, actually, and I love that you're going through and actually showing the mechanism for which they're finding out rather than falling back on, "Well, news just spreads! Like wildfire! Somehow!" which I think is often what happens. The detail about the Irish Ministry is fascinating, too.

Overall, this was wonderful, and I think the way you're showing the professors/students pushing back against the regime to be really interesting. There's a lot of nuance in how they're being dealt with, and while the Carrows seem to lack subtlety on the surface, I think they're actually pretty cunning in how they're controlling the population of Hogwarts.

That said, while I loved the tone of the chapter in general, the confrontation with Amycus made me uncomfortable, mostly because of the way you described Ginny. You really emphasized her physical vulnerability - despite the fact that he stood at nearly a head and a half taller than her, her soft cheek, her little body, Ginny's body thrashed on the stone floor/Ginny's shaking body (as opposed to just "Ginny" - referring to her as her body distances the character from the experience). Any one of these probably would have come off fine, but all of them together made me really uncomfortable. Description is great, but some details are loaded with gendered undertones, and what you choose to emphasize matters. Are these things really integral to Ginny's experience of the confrontation? Would you describe Neville in the same way? Or Colin Creevey?

I don't mean to pick on you - this is something that I think that most of us, myself included, have unconsciously internalized, because it's shoved down our throats pretty consistently through almost every element of pop culture. Defiance from women is often accompanied by an emphasis on their helplessness, particularly when it comes to their size and innocence - but the scene wouldn't have been any less horrific if her cheek hadn't been soft or if she'd been tall or if she'd been overweight.

I think that particularly when we're writing about events like this - where there's systematic abuse and torture going on - it's really important to be particularly mindful of what double standards there are and to make sure we don't buy into them or romanticize women in a way we don't do for men. I noticed it in which professors you chose to emphasize, too - you focused on McGonagall and Pomfrey, even though Ginny is a favorite of Slughorn's, too, and Hagrid is quite fond of her as well. Again, any one of these things doesn't register, but all put together... it's uncomfortable.

Okay, I'm done with my feminist critique now. ♥ I really do love the chapter, and this is pretty minor - I just really wanted to point it out, because the trope really does bother me and I'm sure it's completely unconscious on your part. I can't wait for the next update!

Author's Response: Hello! Thanks so much for such a long and comprehensive review! Sorry I took so long to reply, like I said in my other response, I've been away/sick for a while.

I'm really glad you pointed out my use of really gendered language. I do study gender a bit at school, but I tend to turn off the more analytical side of my brain when I write. I really easily absorb stuff around me into my writing, so I guess that's where it all came from. I do try to be careful in my writing, but like you said, a lot if pretty internalized. I'm definitely going to work on fixing that in this chapter, as well as a bit of a look back at other things I've written. I want to make sure your points are properly addressed though, so it may take a while for these changes to actually show up, especially with school starting again.

Thanks again for bringing it up though! There's always room for improvement and unlearning internalized sexism! This also really helps my writing and I'll definitely look out for that in my writing in the future as well!

Anyway, I'm happy you liked this chapter despite that bit with Amycus and Ginny. I'm still working away slowly at the next one, but it's getting there! I hope to see you in my reviews again soon!

Stefanie


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Review #39, by BeeezieAreopagitica: Prologue

1st August 2015:
Hey, here for the BvB review fest! Sorry I'm a little later than I meant to be - I got knocked out with a migraine. But I'm here now!

I really enjoyed this chapter - it was a great hook to draw me into the story. I'm not quite sure what's going on here or what the gifts are, but they're clearly enabling some anti-establishment activities, and I'm really intrigued to read more about what's going on. You definitely provided enough detail to get my brain spinning - are these similar to the galleons? Do they carry in information about the war from outside the castle? Are they some way to access Potterwatch? I need to know!

Beyond the very intriguing premise, though, I love the details you put into this. The depiction of the former DA members as being so tired and stressed is perfect, and you showed just enough of that to make the point without letting it take over the chapter in its own right. The little bit about Xenophilius wrapped the packages with such care and thinking about his wife was absolutely heartbreaking, and it actually really made me think about what we saw on him in DH and how frantic he was to get Luna back. I know that that's far beyond the purview of the story, at least for the moment, but the fact that you're really making me think about canon scenes in a new light is definitely a mark of your skill as a writer.

You did an amazing job with this, and I can't wait to read on!

Author's Response: Hello!

Sorry it's taken me so long to reply. I've been away/sick for a while :/

I'm really happy you liked the prologue. This is quite different from anything else I've written, so I'm glad you think it's good.

Thanks again for reading and reviewing!

Stefanie


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Review #40, by BeeezieMorningstar: Watching You Fall

30th July 2015:
Hey, here for the BvB review fest!

This is such a poignant way of making Remus/Sirius and Remus/Tonks both work. I really haven't seen anything that bridges the gap like this, and I loved it even more than I thought I would.

Because it makes sense. While there's obviously the temptation to think that Remus/Sirius pre-Azkaban could just pick back up after Sirius escapes Azkaban, it's really not that simple, and you do an amazing job of showing that here. Of course things have changed - neither of them is the same person they were, and Remus has had over a decade of interacting with the world that Sirius hasn't. It's not so shocking that he'd find someone else, and unfortunately, it also doesn't surprise me that his reaction to that would be to avoid the possible issues it might bring out in his friendship with Sirius rather than confront them. I feel like Remus often avoids rather than actively addresses when it comes to love.

And I loved the way you depicted Sirius throughout this - he was clearly in quite a lot of turmoil, but that his loyalty to his friend overwhelmed his own desires worked with everything we know about Sirius. He was fiercely, fiercely loyal - I don't think there was anything that would have convinced him to give up the Potters if he had been made their secret keeper. And he clearly carried some pretty significant scars from his time in Azkaban on top of that - that he'd put his feelings on the back burner rings so true.

The ending of this really broke my heart. You did an amazing job with it, though, and the ending was fitting - it was just heartbreaking as well.

Author's Response: I've always shipped both and only just came up with this as a way to show how they live in the same universe. I think this was always in my head in some ways though, just not very well articulated.

I'm kind of reminded of the end of The Return of the King where Frodo says there's no going back to how things werebefore their quest for the ring - that's how I feel about Remus and Sirius after PoA. I'm touching on a bit of Remus' time without Sirius in a new story I'm working on.It's painful from an emotional perspective. YES. Remus is such an avoider when it comes to love and the issues therein.

Sirius is such a good friend. Also such a bad person when it comes to acting in his own interest. His loyalty in this is painful for me.

Thank you so much for a lovely review!!

-Rose


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Review #41, by BeeezieEmotionally Constipated: the young and the clueless

30th July 2015:
Hey, here for the BvB review fest!

Wow. It's interesting to go straight from Bad Blood to this, because it's such a different tone. I loved this, too, though - it was such a cute take on Lily and James. Lily-as-oblivious-but-interested and James as interested-and-confused is a wonderful take on the beginning of their relationship - it captures a lot of the awkwardness that I think was probably there, but it makes it incredibly endearing rather than actively uncomfortable.

And there were a lot of details that just made this one-shot. I loved the way Peter snapped at them - I can totally understand the "... yeah, this is all very nice, but I'm trying to sleep here!" Sirius's advice was spot on - but I can totally sympathize with Lily, here, even moreso than James.

Because I've totally been that girl. Super embarrassing story here - when I was in college, I told an old friend from HS that I had a crush on him - and then totally brushed off his IMing me whenever I was online for awhile to chat and say, "Hey, do you want to do something?" as him just trying to stop me from feeling awkward about it all. In retrospect... um.

So I can totally see where Lily's coming from, and I can also see Dorcas's response being "Oh my god, shoe-meet-head please, what is wrong with you?" At least Lily made it right pretty quickly after that - I feel like if she'd given herself enough time to process what happened, she might have been overwhelmed with embarrassment!

I did notice a couple typos - the "James" after "You think that'll work?" should have been capitalized, but it wasn't. You also switched to present tense a couple times - e.g., Now she finds out she could've...

Those are minor, though, and this was adorable.

Author's Response: SO SORRY FOR TAKING SO LONG WITH YOUR RESPONSE TO THIS I'VE BEEN AWAY FOR A WHILE BUT I'M BACK AGAIN!

Yeah, this and Bad Blood are kind of complete opposites of each other so it can be a little surprising if you go directly from one to the other.

I love for Lily and James, I cannot count the amount of nights that I've spent hours just reading fic on them and I've wanted to write something portraying James as dorky and nervous for a while so I'm so happy to hear that I pulled it off.

I didn't want to forget Peter, he gets forgotten a lot so I made an active effort to include him as much as I could. I would've been the same as you in the situation, it's easy to spot when someone likes someone else but I'm completely oblivious if it's ever directed at me.

If I remember, I'll definitely go back and fix those typos, thank you for pointing it out and thanks for leaving a review!


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Review #42, by BeeezieBad Blood: (don't) forgive and forget

30th July 2015:
Hey, I'm here for the BvB review fest! I meant to review when I stopped by to read this a few weeks ago, but I must have gotten distracted. I'm glad I remembered to come back, because I love this story.

I'm not a Snape fan. I don't like Snape - I think he's pretty much a jerk, and that his being a selfish bad friend dates back much further than actually calling Lily a Mudblood. The way you approached the aftermath of that incident here lines up pretty perfectly with my own headcanon for what happened that day; I found it completely and totally believable.

Your handling of Lily's emotions throughout the one-shot was wonderful - you gave them the full scope and complexity that I think the situation warranted. Her wanting to avoid people because she (probably accurately) thought that they'd say "I told you so" was perfect, and her processing that it had hurt even though he did call everyone else that - as well as really thinking about what that meant - rang so true to me.

But it wasn't easy for her to let go, and as much as I really dislike Snape, I liked that, too. They'd been friends for years, and he'd been her first glimpse into the wizarding world - that's hard to let go of, particularly since everything we know about Lily from canon paints her as a kind, empathetic sort of person. Both of those things working together would definitely make her want to forgive him for the slip up.

It seemed pretty clear, though, that Lily's take was right - Snape wasn't sorry enough to not keep making the same mistakes. He was more sorry that he'd gotten caught out at them. It was so gratifying to see Lily call him out on it.

Amazing job.

Author's Response: I'M SO SORRY FOR TAKING SO LONG TO RESPOND TO REVIEWS BUT LET ME START OFF BY SAYING THANK YOU FOR LEAVING THIS FOR ME!

First off, it's made my day to hear that you loved this story. I'm not a Snape fan either to be honest with you, Lily tried to warn him plenty of times that what his friends were doing went beyond being bullies and he simply ignored her warnings. Everyone has their limits and I think being called a Mudblood was the straw that broke the camel's back.

And there was the fact too it was embarrassing that after so many years of friendship, everyone witnessed Snape pretty much spitting all over what they went through together. Everyone warned Lily it was going to happen, just like she warned Snape that his friends were doing evil things.

Of course it would've been hard to let her go. Cutting out people in your life who are toxic is easier said than done, especially when you have to see that person every day for an entire year, and if you've gone through difficult times together.

Thank you so much for leaving this review!


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Review #43, by BeeezieTurning Page: Hand In Hand

30th July 2015:
Hey, I'm back for the BvB review fest!

You really are doing such a wonderful job of portraying Draco's inner demons in a really believable, genuine way. The nightmare makes sense to me, and I'm actually really glad you're tackling his guilt over Crabbe's death. That had to have been pretty traumatic all on its own, but there's definitely a temptation to brush it off because of everything else that happened in the war. You balanced it perfectly - you acknowledged the nature of their friendship, which never seemed particularly deep - as evidenced by Crabbe basically turning on him at the end - but just because there wasn't as much substance as there was in Harry's friendship with Ron and Hermione (for example) doesn't mean that it was simple to shrug off, particularly when Crabbe died in part because of Draco.

It's a really complicated, nuanced issue, and you traverse it brilliantly.

You do the same thing when he bumps into Astoria at the Leaky Cauldron. There's so much going on in that scene - nostalgia, her guilt over her patient and her mother, Draco's unwillingness to talk about what was keeping him awake, and the fact that they're each pushing the other to open up while wholeheartedly believing that their problems are too difficult and complex and talk about - but it was all handled with a deft hand. You developed their relationship a little more and left a lot of little tendrils that you can pick up and expand upon in later chapters. It was really well-done.

You're not letting Draco let go of his self-disgust and inferiority complex very quickly, are you? He's clearly starting to fall for Astoria, but there's still a lot of baggage there, and I love that getting to know her isn't magically making it go away. You're doing a wonderful job with this.

Small typo that I noticed: early on in the chapter, you write, I knew I was much of a good friend either. I'm pretty sure that was supposed to be "wasn't," not "was."

I also did wish that they'd met in a slightly more natural way, even if it was just Draco sitting in the Leaky Cauldron when she got there. My credulity was just strained a little, especially since I'm still a little confused about how she forgot her ring when she disapparated. It's not something I'd normally mention, but everything else here is so beautifully done that I thought I'd make a note of it.

Overall, though, I loved this chapter, and I hope you upload another soon!

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Review #44, by BeeezieTurning Page: Misguided Ghosts

30th July 2015:
Hey, I'm here for the BvB review fest!

I love the way you characterize Draco in this. From the very start of the chapter, he's so realistic - the disconnection Draco feels between reality and the kind of false invincibility that's unfortunately very common among people in general, particularly people in his age group who are suffering from depression rings so true to me. I also loved the way that you walked the line between Draco's nostalgia for the days when his family was knee-deep in the pureblood megalomania sludge and his nostalgia for a time when he was afforded more respect and power, irrespective of the root cause of it.

I also really love the repetition in the italics. I think I said this in my last review, but it just rings so true to me. On a personal level, it's very reminiscent of my thought process when I'm having a difficult time - I have different words running through my head, but the effect is pretty similar. It's one of the many reasons I really love this story.

Draco's interaction with Astoria at the party was wonderful, and I thought that this was a really graceful, natural way for them to meet again - something I'd been wondering, after last chapter, how you were going to pull off! It was wonderful both because it really made me start to see why Draco would be drawn to Astoria, and it gave me a really solid idea of who Astoria is as a person in general. Her comments about St. Mungo's and the Ministry's ignorance about serious mental health issues, particularly following the war, come off as so believable.

And the fact that he jumps from their conversation to more of the potion? That speaks volumes about his mental state, and my heart really goes out to him.

A couple little things I think you could work on:

I did notice some typos here and there. For example:

... I shot my mother a quizzical look. It's doesn't go unnoticed...

It's should just be "It," I think. Or,

"Ah, yes, well Daphne is currently the junior under sectary..."

I think that should probably have a comma after "well" and, more importantly, should read "undersecretary," not "under sectary."

I also feel like while your prose is usually lovely, it can get a little awkward when it's regarding dialogue. You use a lot of adverbs that don't always add to the description and you often couple actions in a way that just feels a little awkward. You also definitely aren't using commas everywhere you should, and you often overuse joining words - "I do x before y" or "she does x as y" when the actions aren't explicitly (and usually causally) connected.

A couple examples of these:

He trails off and frowns momentarily.

I feel like you needed to still to one of those, probably the former - frowning "momentarily" is a little weird as a descriptor. Both together, though is overkill.

He laughs before continuing and my mother exclaims as I nod in agreement just don't work well for me. "He laughs" would be sufficient - it's clear he's continuing, since there's dialogue following it. And, I feel like my mother exclaims. I nod in agreement would work better as well - "as" connects the actions in a way that I'm not sure is warranted here. "And" would often work better, and sometimes, you don't need both at all.

Those are fairly minor things, but I did want to note them, because I think they do hold what's already a great story back from being an amazing story. You've got the substance - your character development, plot, flow, is all wonderful. It's just a couple little mechanical things. Overall, this is an amazing story, and I'm so glad I've had the chance to come back to. Adding it to my favorites now and moving onto chapter 3!

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Review #45, by BeeezieMoving On : Moving On

23rd July 2015:
Hey, I'm here for BvB!

I'm always interested to read about people's interpretation of Cho's reaction to Cedric's death. I tend to think that she was pretty by it, in part because the relationship was so short. She didn't have time to really get to know his annoying characteristics as well as the good ones that drew her to him in the first place.

The way you describe how Cho felt about Cedric during their relationship and in the immediate aftermath of his death was perfect. I feel like you captured Cho's state of mind as we saw it in the books - but more than that, I felt like you were very true to her age. Her anxiety about how much Cedric loved her, the way she jumped to their being in love in the first place when they'd been together for about a month - worked. It was completely believable, and the strength of her feelings about him and her faith in him were both realistic and utterly heartbreaking.

My only issue with the fic was that I felt like it was either too long or too short. If you'd ended it after the stinksap, I think it would have worked as is, but since it did continue, I wanted the rest of it to be fleshed out more. I wanted to see more about she felt about Harry, the process of moving on, and her life as she reaches middle age. It felt odd for the first part to be so much longer than the second part, and I'd have like to see you either expand on it or cut it out. (I know that the quote is at the end, but I'm looking at the story in general, not necessarily in the context of that challenge.)

Overall, though, I thought that this was a really great take on Cho's frame of mind and feelings for Cedric. Good job! :)

Author's Response: Hi Beezie!
Thank you so much for this review!

I'm glad that you found Cho's reaction realistic. That was one of the points that I worried about while writing this fic. I spent a lot of time tweaking scenes trying to make it work right. I'm glad you think that time paid off!

Thank you also for that critique. I see what you are saying about the ending being short compared to the beginning. I've been considering re-reading my fics, and changing some things based on reviews, and I will certainly take this comment into consideration.

Thanks again!
~Panda


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Review #46, by BeeezieMistaken for Strangers: James Sits Some Exams

23rd July 2015:
Hey, back for BvB!

Oooh, I love Lily's having trouble with anxiety. Anxiety problems are so tough, because logic is fairly useless in the face of anxiety. If she's having problems this significant when she's thirteen, she's going to have a tough road ahead - I hope she talks to someone about it, and while I know Lily's problems aren't the point of the story, I'd love to see a little more about treatment included here and there. (I'm not sure whether that's what you're alluding to in your A/N.)

You also asked specifically in your A/N about Lily's panic attack. I actually have had panic attacks before, and it came off as fairly genuine to me. Lily being curled into a ball against the wall was a really nice touch. I've actually been known to hide under tables - there's something about panic attacks that makes me super agoraphobic. The only thing that really jumped out at me as being unrealistic was the fact that she could master the spell afterward. When I've had a panic attack, I tend to feel drained and absolutely exhausted - there's no way I'd be able to succeed at something requiring intense concentration for such an extended period of time.

I'm also intrigued by the way that you're setting up the extent to which James's family relies on him little by little. You're not even generally showing any conscious thought about it on his part, but when I read between the lines a little, it's blindingly obvious that this is a huge source of stress. I feel like I say that in every review, but you keep hammering it in with new scenes and new examples of it. If I were James, I'd be exhausted.

And he does hint at that in a roundabout way when he talks to Anna about Shakespeare, when he's appreciative that she doesn't insist on arguing him around to her point of view. I'm not actually sure I agree with him that it's a signifier of maturity - I think it's more just a matter of personality styles - but the fact that he sees it that way speaks volumes on its own.

In regards to the specific questions in your A/N: I like Anna, I like the style, and I like Fred and his hi-jinks. However, I do feel like the narrative would benefit from changing it up a little. I want to see more about Anna than just the fact that she reads - favorite subjects, friends, something. James keeps seeing her with her friends, after all - there are certainly openings to talk about them. Similarly, while Fred's hi-jinks are wonderful, I feel like at this point you're showing a little too much of Fred-the-destructive-force-of-nature and not enough of Fred-the-cousin-who-has-many-good-qualities. I'm not quite sure why James is so close to him, because most of what we've seen is Fred causing mayhem and interrupting James from everything he's doing.

So - I like the way you've been doing things, but I do think that it's time to switch it up, and I'm excited to see how you do that in the next chapter!

I do want to mention two concerns that got pinged for me, though.

First: I'm thinking back to the things I've said about dialogue, and while I stand by them, I'm starting to think that they're emblematic of a larger issue. I feel like you don't always tighten up your narrative as much as you could, and consequently include a lot of extraneous detail that distracts from details that are either directly relevant to the plot or that contribute to overall world building. A minor (but good!) example: at the very beginning of the chapter, the way that you listed off all of the friends James was sitting with struck me as unnecessary. I don't really remember Brendan or Regan - are they on the team with him? Regardless, there are so many characters and so much going on that I think the story would flow more smoothly if you were a little more assertive about where to summarize - e.g., James was sitting with some friends rather than list everyone out. It's minor, and as I've said, I do really enjoy the story and the narrative - but I think that this would improve it.

Additionally, realizing that James (and Fred?) are only 15 or 16 while Rose and Albus are 14 or 15 in this story make my concerns about the party scene in the previous chapter even more significant. While there are certainly some young teenagers who get into that, it's far from age appropriate overall, and I can't imagine it would be allowed in Hogwarts. I'd just caution you to keep their ages and what's age appropriate in mind when you're writing, because you do occasionally veer away from that that. (Another example is Fred's constantly kiss everyone. Most 15/16 year olds aren't quite that confident, if nothing else.)

Those are both fairly minor, of course - I bring them up because the story is well written and very realistic overall. Other than those things, I really enjoyed the story, and I'm so interested to see what will happen in the next one!

Author's Response: Branwen, you have, as ever, come in clutch. Thank you so much for this lengthy and insightful review! You're the best. AH NO I TYPED OUT A SUPER LONG RESPONSE AND IT SOMEHOW GOT DELETED :( Going for it again.

Thanks so much for your feedback about the Lily scene-- one of my former best friends had panic attacks a lot, although I've never had a big one myself. I wanted to get it accurate and I'm glad you found it fairly authentic! I get where you're coming from about the spell thing, but I wonder if this is something that differs from person to person, because my aforementioned friend would be super intense after one about whatever she was doing because she wanted everyone to forget about it/get over it. (But maybe she was special...?)

I'm glad you're picking on so much about James's character and position in his family. This becomes super important later on as he starts developing more and growing and I'm actually about to write a scene about some of the things you mentioned! (Chapter 9ish, I think?) So keep an eye on that! I'm glad my characterization of James is coming across to you.

Anna is going to be fleshed out a lot in the coming chapters, don't worry! I had a specific idea about how Anna/James should go about growing closer and I thought it would take some time for Anna to open up to James about more than books. But you'll see a lot more of her over the next few chapters! :)

Your concerns about Fred have seriously just inspired me to take him in this direction that I hadn't thought of before, so thank you so much for voicing them!! They mirror some things I had started to wonder about. One thing about Fred I would like to point out is that this story is from James's POV and, though he is fairly accurate about most things, I wonder if he exaggerates about his best friend/cousin internally. He's the only character we haven't really encountered, so we're taking James's word for a lot about Fred. Something to keep in mind in the next chapters!

Thank you for pointing out that sentence and that general issue-- for that sentence, I actually kept going back to it to add in characters cause I was like "James needs friends" and never really reread it to notice how awkward it got! (And yes, all the characters mentioned are on the Quidditch team.) I think I do that a lot because I get easily distracted while writing. This is the first fic I've really written since like 2012 and it's a process to get back into it, but your comments about stuff like this really help me improve not only this fic but my future ones! :)

Finally, the age thing. I think I'm literally about to go edit the party scene because now that you've mentioned it it's really bothering me. I would like to say that, in my experiences in high school, it was always the underclassmen (14-16 y/o) who were the most into the drinking stuff because it seemed new and exciting, and they were subsequently the most prone to being irresponsible. Buttt I totally see where you're coming from, and I'm going to tweak it now.

Thanks again for your review-- it was, as always, super helpful! :) I'm so glad you're enjoying this story overall, though, and I'm excited to hear your thoughts about the next chapter!!

--J


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Review #47, by BeeezieMistaken for Strangers: James Attends a Party

22nd July 2015:
Hey, J! I'm here for BvB!

I'm really impressed by James's patience in the beginning of the chapter - I definitely wouldn't be able to just sit there reading for 10 minutes waiting for someone I have a crush on to notice me! (I'm not sure he's quite got a crush on her yet, but he certainly seems to be very intrigued.) I am, however, really amused that it takes her that long to acknowledge (possibly even notice?) him, and given that, I think he played the situation right. She was clearly disappointed when he left. (I can't imagine how uncomfortable she's going to be if she calls him "Jeremy" to her friends, who will presumably correct her!)

I found the detail about James not drinking to be interesting. On the surface, he really does fall into a lot of tropes - Quidditch player, prankster with Fred (which are tropes that I use, too, except Roxanne instead of Fred since Fred is, of course, Victoire's age, so I'm not saying it's a bad thing!) - but you're also including a lot of nuances into his personality. I liked the way he handled the party and is really being introduced as the voice of reason. I particularly like his reaction to Rose's prank - he was level-headed and treated the entire situation very rationally, which I loved.

And that's also making the way he's drawn toward Anna make more and more sense the further I get into the story. Of course he'd enjoy the company of someone who isn't really asking anything of him but conversation and company when she decides to stop reading. She really does seem to be interested in him because of what she sees of his personality, rather than anything else, and it's very... pure, I guess is the word I'm looking for. The frantic mayhem of his family really does seem to be wearing on him a little - how could it not? Both books and Anna are a welcome escape, I'm sure, and that really makes me root for their friendship (and, eventually, something more).

I also love the way you're introducing a lot of information about both Anna and her/James's experience of the wizarding world through what books they're reading. From Anna reading every book about Hogwarts the library had once she arrived - is she Muggleborn? I'm not sure you've said - to their short dialogue about philosophy as pertains to magic creatures to James's reading Shakespeare (though he still seems a bit confused about it!), I really feel like I'm getting a handle on their inner interests. Moreover, you're really establishing that James is a smart, introspective person, which is also hugely important in setting up the relationship, IMO.

That said, while I love his interactions with Anna, I did think that the party was a little over the top. It's not that a raucous party or some alcohol consumption is unrealistic - these are, after all, teenagers - but I have a hard time believing that they'd basically turn the common room into a nightclub, host the other Houses, and engage in very heavy drinking and pregaming (!). It is still a school, after all, with people whose job it is to stop this sort of thing, and they are mostly minors. It would have been great if it had come off a bit less intense - say music, butterbeers and a little firewhiskey here and there, and Rose's attempted prank, but as it was, it felt out of place, especially with how realistic you've generally kept the story aside from that.

Additionally - and I mentioned this in my review of the last chapter, I think, so I hope I'm not just beating the dead horse, but:

In this chapter as well, I felt like the description surrounding your dialogue was a little awkward at times. You really didn't need all of the "he said" "she said" etc. For example, in the first section, you have (among others): James said as he pulled the book from his bag; Anna responded, deflating slightly; James recited, nodding; and Anna said quietly, watching him leave after saying bye to a few of the elves.

It's not that there's anything wrong with any one of those on its own, but they're overused. There's no reason you can't simply say, James pulled the book from his bag; Anna deflated slightly; James nodded; or Anna watched him leave after [he said] bye to a few of the elves, and IMO, it would make the narrative flow better.

I hope I wasn't too critical in this - I really am enjoying the story! I just thought I'd mention those two things, because they stuck out to me in the midst of highly engaging writing and a very believable storyline overall. ♥

Author's Response: Branwen, your reviews are so helpful! Thank you so much for leaving me another thoughtful one. I'm so glad you're enjoying James, his development, and his relationship with Anna. I was inspired by a lot of stories using those tropes and thinking, "What if James is just kinda caught up in everything?" And I'm glad that he and Anna are making more sense over time!

Thank you so much for your criticism! It's seriously helpful and I really appreciate it. I totally see what you mean about the party, and I think I'll go back and change it up a bit. I was definitely bringing my college party experience (limited though it may be) and not thinking through the transfer. So thank you so much for voicing your concern!

My dialogue tags are definitely a weak point because I'm overly concerned about the interactions being clear (I hate when I can't tell who's talking in a fic!). Thank you for your comments about this-- it's reassuring that I don't need them all the time and I'll go back and figure out better ways to fit that in!

Don't ever worry about being critical Branwen! That's what helps me and my fic better. :) Thanks for taking the time to leave this review!


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Review #48, by BeeezieMistaken for Strangers: James Talks to a Girl

20th July 2015:
Hey, J! Here for BvB!

I love how oblivious Anna is to who James is. Pretty much everyone else seems to recognize him just fine - because, duh - but she's just so fixated on her books that she doesn't find him remotely interesting until he starts talking about books himself. I love it. (And FTR - I have totally been Anna before, as least to a slightly lesser extent and without magic, so I find it totally believable!)

I also continue to love the way you end sections. It never fails to make me laugh, but even more important, I feel like it really helps to give a good feel for his life overall, and at this point, it's also acting as a nice way to contextualize his interest in Anna. He's clearly got a lot of other things on his plate, so the fact that he is remembering her and paying so much attention to her at this says (to me, anyway!) that there's something about her that's really sparking for him, even if that's not super apparent in the rest of his thought process. It's subtle, and I love that.

I also really enjoy the way you're portraying the next-gen Weasley clan. They're clearly close, but they're also clearly not just one big happy drama-free family. Thus far, at least, you're walking the line beautifully. I've read some fics in which some of them absolutely hate each other or they feud over a guy to the point not speaking to each other for months on end... and that always feels melodramatic to me. You're showing the normal growing pains of adolescence without giving into unrealistic melodrama city, and I love it. It also really does seem to be falling in James's lap, though, and I can see why he'd be drawn to someone totally unconnected with any of it.

There were a couple things I thought you could have improved, though.

It's entirely possible that I'm still suffering from the after affects of round 6 of TAR :P, but I had a hard time keeping track of how old the Weasley/Potter clan all were and what houses they were in. I did last chapter too, to some extent, but it was the first chapter and not that big a deal. At this point, though, I do wish that I had a better idea of that - I do feel like they each have their own personalities, but I'm having a hard time keeping all the personalities straight, if that makes sense. I'm not saying you need to go through and do a list of age and house (in fact, please don't!) but is there a way to make it a little more explicit?

In addition, I did wonder - and this is solely a matter of preference - whether it would have been possible to split this chapter up into two of them. It's just a little long for me, especially considering that the chapters surrounding it are about 3000 words apiece. If you took out half of this and submitted half of this as a new chapter, you could just reorder the chapters to put it in its right place after it's validated. Just a thought, though, and as I said, it's purely personal preference.

That said, I really enjoyed this chapter, and I'm so interested to see how this relationship develops!

Author's Response: Hey Branwen! Thanks so much for your review!

I'm really excited that you find Anna realistic and James's interest subtle! I'm also glad the Weasleys are resonating with you-- I've also read stories like that and I wanted to avoid it!

Thanks for pointing out your confusion. It's hard when I've been writing so much about them and thinking about them to see what's unclear. I also dislike when people list out the cousins and what year/House they're in, but I totally see where you're coming from. I'll think about it and see if I can help clarify it better.

We've already talked separately about the chapter length and I totally agree!

Thanks again Branwen! Your reviews are always super helpful. :)


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Review #49, by BeeezieHaunted: the gift

20th July 2015:
Oooh, I'm so glad I clicked this! I'm really attached to Theodore Nott, for some reason, and I love the portrayal of him as having somewhat nuanced loyalties and values. I'm still not entirely sure what his endgame is - I don't think I believe that it's all about his father ending up either dead or in a cell, since I'm not sure the DA has much power over that (being, you know, a bunch of teenagers rather than members of the Ministry). It's a really interesting dynamic, though, and I'm so curious to see where you take it, particularly given the friendship he seems to have with Astoria and the fact that he somehow had a vial of felix felicis laying around. I don't blame the DA for being skeptical - I'm skeptical, and I've got the luxury of seeing his thoughts and therefore having a much better idea of his frame of mind. I always seen Theodore as not being into the whole "community spirit" thing, even when it was imposed by the people who was theoretically supposed to support. Excellent job.

Ravenclaw - House Cup 2015

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Review #50, by BeeezieHow You Court A...: ...Witch

20th July 2015:
Oh, dear. Oh, dear. Really, James? You brought your best friend on your date? He's so oblivious sometimes. When you're hanging out with your girlfriend, sure, but an actual date? And your second date? No. You really showed that his obliviousness stayed consistent, though - standing outside without a cloak just to impress girls? He didn't get her comment about Sirius until she spelled it out. Honestly. (Oh, James. I do love James, but oh James.)

I also actually really liked the way Lily overreacted so dramatically to seeing James with another girl without dealing with the situation head-on. I can understand that, particularly when a relationship is very new and you're still feeling each other out - and being a teenager really doesn't help. But I also loved the way she was able to cool down and admit her mistake quickly rather than get defensive to save face. This was such a cute story - amazing job!

Ravenclaw - House Cup 2015

Author's Response: I (Georgina) have found in my experience that teenage boys, even after puberty, are idiots. James is still learning, quite obviously. At least Lily is willing to teach him.

Even though Lily trusts James enough to date him, she's still insecure about it. I'm glad to hear you saw it was realistic.

Again, thank you so much for your reviews, they've really made our day.
--Georgina


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