Reading Reviews From Member: CambAngst
1,010 Reviews Found

Review #1, by CambAngstCalculus: Paper

15th April 2014:
Hi, it's me again! Tagging you from the Review the Person Above You thread in the common room.

Given what a good job you're doing with this story and given how much I see you around the forums, I'm pretty surprised that it doesn't have more reviews. Don't worry, I'll do my best to fix that. :)

I enjoyed everything about the scene with Hermione and Harry. She felt perfectly in character, burning the midnight oil and working relentlessly to prepare for a hearing that was near and dear to her heart. There was also a nice, comfortable and productive dynamic between the two of them. It's obvious that they still rely on one another a great deal in their new roles in life. Felt just like reading them in Deathly Hallows, only older and on the "right side" of the Ministry.

The only thing I thought was a bit off about the first section was the way Hermione took the news of Hughes's death. If he was a key swing vote on the reforms that she's doubtless advocating, I would have expected her to be more upset.

I liked the mention of Neville's parents. That was a nice touch. Prior to being ushered into the coroner's office, I think you could have used Harry's discomfort to set the mood a bit more, kind of keeping it in the back of Harry's mind as he and Neville made small talk.

You write a good coroner. Everything about his appearance and demeanor felt really appropriate for someone who spends his days examining the dead. Not much of a bedside manor, but hey, I'm sure his patients never complain.


Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week. Tip your waitress! Try the veal!

Anyway, the details of the preliminary report weren't especially revealing. I'm very curious what will turn up when the coroner does a more thorough exam. Hopefully something useful.

Great job with Gawain. Now there's a leader. It's nice to see a department head somewhere in the Ministry of Magic who actually knows how to effectively manage people instead of being a useless, ladder-climbing bureaucrat or an enigmatic eccentric.

I loved the warm hugs and gentle together time shared between Harry and Ginny. You didn't mention it in your last response, so I'll bring it up again: based on your timeline -- 6 years after the death of Voldemort -- shouldn't James Sirius be coming along fairly soon? I think you need to get working on that. ;)

And Ron. Oh, Ron! You did a fabulous job characterizing him at the end. It isn't that he doesn't love Hermione, at least it doesn't seem that way, but when she's in one of her workaholic moods, he'd rather just be alone with his dinner. The boy will never stop thinking with his stomach.

Good job with this one! I didn't see a single typo or any other problems.

Author's Response: Excellent to see you again! And I very much appreciate your praise and your thoughtful comments!

I definitely wrestled with how much to incorporate the bit with Neville's parents. I wanted to note it, and my goal with the small talk was to show some awkwardness early on and get Harry talking about Ginny as if to pass the time so he could keep it out of his mind, but I think you're absolutely right that having some internal thought on it throughout that portion would've been more effective than letting the initial concerns just "hang".

I am glad you liked the characterizations too! Gawain is sadly taking his final bow in this chapter, but he was interesting to write and I am considering playing around with him more in the future. I feel like he would have to be a strong leader as Head Auror and of course if you write him surviving the War, to keep Harry and Ron in check. And speaking of Ron...your takeaway was EXACTLY what I was hoping for!

I do see though that I'm not going to escape this bit about JSP. Just know that if you keep reading you're absolutely going to see me go to work on that. I'll leave that to you to ponder.

Thanks again for the excellent review and the kind words!

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Review #2, by CambAngstThe Voice: Chapter One

14th April 2014:
Tagging you from Review Tag!

I was scanning through your Author Page, looking for something to read and review, and I saw the chapter summary for this. "Read and review." It was like a sign. ;)

About a third of the way through this, I was convinced that Pansy had found the Mirror of Erised. It fit so well with the way that the mirror was telling her all the things she wanted to hear, reassuring her that Draco would come back to her. Then I got to the part where her reflection told her to kill Draco and his new love and I thought, "Nope. Not the Mirror of Erised."

You wove a wonderfully dark vision of Pansy's gradual descent into madness. I never thought of her as having a particularly strong identity aside from her determination to become Mrs. Draco Malfoy, and this played nicely into that characterization. She's vain, self-centered and obviously imbalanced. It isn't a struggle to imagine these events actually playing out, especially following the stresses of the war.

Your story had a nice progression, from harmless self-delusion to dangerous dependence all the way to violent retribution against the perceived wrongs Draco had inflicted on her.

I saw a couple of things while I was reading that I thought were worth pointing out:

She missed being loved, being hugged and share her nights with him. -- to keep all of your verbs in the same voice, I would change "share" to "sharing"

"We don not beg" the voice told her coldly, "we will not sink that low." -- We do not beg.

Overall, a great little one-shot you have here. Good job!

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Review #3, by CambAngstDevlin Potter: Riddle and Rescue: A Party

13th April 2014:
Hi, there! I'm getting all caught up on my stories today. Fun!

If Harry could have chosen how the world worked, he would be having his first conversation about death with Devlin over the tidily dug grave for Zee, when the boy was years older and so much more innocent. -- I love the contrast here! Such a poignant sentiment!

Harry and Devlin picked an interesting time to get all tense and weird around one another, but I guess the events around the Death Eater attack left everyone feeling a little off. I love the consistency you've been able to maintain in Devlin's world view as the story progresses. I know from first-hand experience that it isn't easy to do that. I get so wrapped up in my characters that I want better things for them and sometimes that colors my writing. You've managed to keep Devlin trapped in this mindset that enabled him to survive Voldemort but hampers his ability to understand life on the outside.

I'm not 100% sure why Harry's words made Devlin upset, but I'm suspecting it has to do with the amount of credit that Devlin gives himself for surviving Voldemort. Not to say that he doesn't deserve a lot of credit, but perhaps not quite as much as he's giving himself. He looks at Harry and the connection Harry shares with Voldemort and compares it to the way he believes that he deceived Voldemort into getting the two of them tangled up in Voldemort's mind. Harry's survival must seem easy to him. And then for Harry to claim credit for it, I imagine that rubs Devlin the wrong way.

Then we move on to something that Devlin seems to consider even harder: relating to kids his own age. It's heart-breaking, the way that something that should come so easily frightens him almost more than facing Voldemort. His brain almost seems to freeze up, like he's lost the instruction manual. I love the short, mechanical responses and the half-hearted joke about the cake.

Wow. I almost don't know what to make of the conversation between Devlin and Maria. It's like he craves her acceptance, needs her to tell him that everything is alright even though he's the reason things are alright. In a funny way, she almost seems to understand him better than any of the adults aside from Geoffrey. I guess that goes with having been Voldemort's captive for a time. The common experience means that they both see certain things clearly, but through the eyes of a child.

The ending exchange, where he explains to her how he was able to convince Voldemort not to kill him, was probably the single most heart-breaking thing you've written so far. I've always related really strongly to stories about characters who were forced to change who they were in order to fit in. In Devlin's case, it was about far more than just fitting in, but I think there's a common thread that runs through it. The idea of forced transformation and the way that it can make a child feel... just wrong. I hated it for Devlin and Maria both. I hated the way that he feels ugly, dirty... compromised. It's awful, but it happens far too often in life.

The matter-of-fact way that he tells her he's about to have a seizure was the last straw. I felt like crying for him.

This was a beautifully written, intensely emotional chapter. I don't think there are enough nice things I can say about it.

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Review #4, by CambAngstDevlin Potter: Riddle and Rescue: Tangled and Trapped

12th April 2014:
Hi, there! It's been a while, but I'm back. Silly career...

I love how the nightmare from the last chapter flowed seamlessly into the beginning of this one. I feel like I finally understand most of the picture of how Devlin survived Voldemort. When Devlin shuts down, the wolf takes over. And the behaviors that the wolf exhibits in the face of extreme danger -- show no weakness, don't scream -- were probably a part of what made Devlin so interesting to Voldemort in the first place.

"I didn't want to play with you," -- Again, we see the wolf trying to make the most of Devlin's limited vocabulary and perspective. It would be cute if the game itself wasn't so deadly.

It's amazing that Devlin found a part of his mind to hide in that was so deep that not even Voldemort could touch him there. Actually, I guess that's not quite right. It's amazing that he was able to find his way out again. It brings to mind Frank and Alice Longbottom. Whatever depths of their minds they fell into to escape the pain sent by Crouch, Jr. and the Lestranges, they never found their way back out. Perhaps it's the potion that the Dark Lord brewed for Devlin. Maybe that's what enabled him to find his way back out instead of succumbing to the Cruciatus damage. That would make a certain amount of sense, actually. Because he took an interest in Dubhán, he chose to bring the boy back from the brink of nothingness. And now Devlin is convinced that Voldemort will find him. And when that happens, Voldemort will have figured out that Devlin is not his loyal servant nor a younger version of himself. So he will literally be tortured into nothingness. Do I have that basically correct?

It seems like Snape has found his faith in Devlin, and Devlin's ability to fool Voldemort. And there's probably no greater authority on fooling Voldemort than Snape. I loved the conversation between the two of them. There's so much that goes unsaid because it's simply understood between two people who survived for so long in the Dark Lord's shadow. Brilliantly done!

I'm curious about the intended symbolism of the other prisoners inside Devlin's mind. Are those the people that Devlin saw the Dark Lord actually torture into nothingness? It seems strange that Devlin would be "sheltering" these others inside his mind.

I loved the little mention of Lily as they were preparing to exit Devlin's mind.

So what happens next is the only part of the chapter that bothered me a little. Devlin has just "returned" after his body was controlled by his wolf for some period of time. I wouldn't expect to find him calmly sipping tea when Severus comes back to the real world. I would have expected Harry and Sirius and everyone else to be fussing over Devlin, asking him how he felt, asking him what happened, etc. It just seemed sort of blasé compared to what happened.

Snape's reaction, however, was perfect. Show no weakness, show no surprise or emotion, act as though nothing of import has happened.

I'm sure that Devlin is still a bit annoyed at Geoffrey, but I also have a strong suspicion that he's trying to protect the older werewolf in a way. By pushing Geoffrey away, he's trying to distance Geoffrey from his own betrayal of the Dark Lord. He should probably realize that it isn't possible; Voldemort could never forgive Geoffrey without losing face with all of his other followers. Geoffrey knows the boy so well, though. He drips in a little more information, something that Devlin cannot afford to ignore. He starts to explain the connection between Harry and Voldemort and it throws Devlin for a loop. I doubt he ever imagined in his wildest dreams that the Great and Noble Harry Potter shared anything with the Dark Lord, let alone things so important.

I saw a couple of small typos as I was reading:

Then the boy had feinted and he had been plunged into darkness alongside him. -- should be fainted, unless you're talking about the kind of feint you see in fencing.

-Because, if you hadn't already than there would be no reason for this place to exist.- -- then there would be

Awesome chapter! I felt like some of the last pieces fell into place explaining Devlin's survival and I think Devlin came away from this chapter with some new things to think about. Good job!

Author's Response: Great to see you. Careers can be so empowering and annoying at the same time. Ugh. But your reviews are always worth the wait!

I'm glad this chapter helped you understand Devlin's survival better. I know for many they would have liked this to have come sooner (and I may go back and put hints in the first chapter), but I really feel as if it weren't natural until it happened now. There is no terror at Harry's house, and Devlin hasn't known how to deal with the comparatively little hiccups because he hasn't actually truly dealt with ANY of the gruesome things - his wolf has. When a normal child would dissociate, Devlin's wolf comes forward. I imagine after it happened the first couple times Devlin learned to use it as a tool and they tagged team on their combined survival. This exposed the wolf to the human world more and more. There is something damaged about them both, which is the only reason this is possible.

The words themselves "I didn't want to play with you," are Devlin's, but the wolf has urged him and had believed at the time that the words were fierce because that was how Devlin perceived them. And with a child staring up at you, unblinking, unemotional, those words might be taken as something slightly more than childish, too.

I can't yet comment on what made it possible for Devlin to come out of the nothingness. :)

Devlin does not believe Voldemort will kill him - and this is not really a pleasant thought for him, I don't think. I'm not entirely sure he's accurate, on the idea or not (okay I know but I won't tell). He believes he will be tortured into nothingness, or he will be cursed, or he will be obliviated, or Emma will be used against him. But he fears the nothingness the most. So yes, you have that right.

You've got it there! Devlin hasn't yet figured out why he feels differently about Snape, but he will come to realize too that Snape and he are alike - they have both fooled the Dark Lord and lived to tell. I can't wait to get further along because there is actually more Snape/Devlin to come! :D

The prisoners are episodes where the wolf has taken over and he's dissociated or something else (Geoffrey) has otherwise caused him to locked them away in his head. He's alluded to the last prisoner a couple times and he will actually be quite important (anything I bother to have Devlin remind us of several times will be).

Thanks about the Lily part.

Okay, this is interesting how you took that. I meant to symbolize that time had gone by - that Devlin had woken before Snape. I imagine Harry would have tried to comfort, fuss, etc and Devlin would have quickly reminded him not too. Maybe I'll have to go back and put in a couple words to make that clearer.

I did like Snape's exit. :D

I'm curious to know whether you think Geoffrey told Devlin these things in good faith or for something bad. I think he's trying to push Devlin to a realization that Devlin doesn't yet have. There are things in Devlin's head, obviously, that he hasn't connected to Harry. We don't even know if Harry has connected them to himself yet (or Dumbledore). But yes, Harry is more like Devlin than Devlin has ever fathomed.

Thank you for the lovely review! I'll get the typos!

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Review #5, by CambAngstRabbit Heart: Cross My Heart

12th April 2014:
Hi, pix! It's my catching up day!

Grrr... teenagers and the silly games they play. I get that there's an element of emotional hedging going on with Wren. She doesn't want to allow herself to believe there's potential between herself and Albus, only to have it yanked away if Albus capitulates to one of the gaggle of desperate girls who seem to follow him around. But that said, she's being kind of ridiculous. Great Merlin himself could tell her that Albus had a crush on her and she'd find some way to dismiss him.

needs to eat more fiber. -- Eww. Seriously, pix, that's gross. Just, eww...

Well, so much for Wren's schoolwork not slipping. Maybe it's just this one chapter, but at the moment it feels like Smeed's tea is starting to lose the battle with Bunny. I hope that's not the case.

Yep, definitely losing the battle. The rabbit just teleported across her room and all she thinks is, "Sure, you can tag along." Sigh.

I guess being a Vampire Rabbit Thrall is doing good things for Wren's self confidence, even if the price is rather high. Wow, I could instantly relate to Wren and Albus trying to sync up their schedules to lure his rabbit out of hiding. All that scene was missing was smart phones.

Ooh! So who is actually at Wren's Gram's old house? Dillon, perhaps? One of his thralls? All of these telepathic episodes are starting to get really concerning.

Seems like Albus isn't the only one who's kind of hopeless where members of the opposite sex are concerned. Scorpius's plan was awfully dumb. Almost Ron-worthy, from Ron's younger school years.

Just when I was starting to think that maybe James was getting over himself. Well, I guess Albus and Scorpius did provoke him by taking the map. And now he's taken it back. jinxing the soap was a clever ploy. Albus did not see that one coming.

Yay, I'm all caught up! When is Dillon coming to town? He has to be well on his way by this point. I want to see a showdown! Great chapter!

Author's Response:

You've pegged it right with Wren. She's not giving up her emotional security that easily. She just can't right now. It's doubtful that she's believe anyone except Albus, and he'd have to march right up to her and tell her in no uncertain terms himself... which right now doesn't seem all that likely. We'll see...

Hey, fiber is essential. Nate knows this firsthand. At least I skipped over the other essential bits of reality, like brushing teeth and showering... *reads on* Oh dear. Hmm.

See? See? Character growth through mind-numbing rabbit connections... Go Wren! And no smart phones in a Next Gen HP fic!!! Except if you're talking about Burns. LOL! Wow, I really messed this story up, didn't I?

Okay, so don't get too excited about that vision.. it was sort of a memory, but not Wren's. You should still be concerned.

Scorpius had a great plan, I don't know what you're talking about. Oh, I guess you wanted to see a plan that actually worked... well, don't rely on Scorpius for something like that. He's got *ideas*, see. And according to him, they're all brilliant. This is why Albus doesn't take his advice. But isn't this how people this age learn things? By watching everyone else do it the wrong way? I bet one of these characters is going to write a book, titled "How Not to Ask Someone Out". 1. Don't ask them out directly. 2. Ask someone ELSE out first. Just to see if you can get a date and practice all your stupid moves. 3. Talk to the person you're interested in, but don't say anything really relevant, because if they think you're interested, they might actually be interested back, and then you'll have to be honest with them, and where has that gotten anyone in this world?

It'll be a bestseller.

Dillon is coming, I promise! There will be a showdown. But, ermm... there's a bunch of chapters to this fic, so hopefully I can keep you entertained in the meantime.

Thank you so much for another lovely review!

And remember your daily fiber. :P

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Review #6, by CambAngstRabbit Heart: Guarded Hearts

12th April 2014:
Hello, pix! I confess that I read this chapter a few days ago and I'm only now getting around to writing this up. Such are the perils of gainful employment.

Wow. Wren seems to be caught in a bad loop, where she's getting enthralled by Vampire Bunny, then bouncing back on Smeed's herbal tea. It doesn't sound like a healthy cycle at all. I hope she soon realizes what's really happening. At least she seems pretty sure that James wasn't at fault. That's a good start.

Rose turned around, scrunching up her face so the freckles lined up straight across her nose. -- I don't know what it is about that description, but I instantly knew the look you were going for. Brilliant!

OK, on the one hand, I want to really dislike Ian and I want to be annoyed at Rose for being so foolish, but the line, "... impressed that he'd taken the time to read the source material from the chapter, because not everybody does that sort of thing, you know?" really took the edge off of my annoyance. You write a really amazing Rose. She has her mother's inclinations combined with her father's deadpan, humor-that-wasn't-actually-meant-to-be-funny humor.

Ha! There Wren's roommates go, bringing the awkward right back into Wren's relationship with Albus. On the one hand I want to applaud them for trying to make her look reality in the face. On the other, I want to smack them for not keeping quiet and just letting things play out naturally. You can be pretty sure that two people are going to end up in love with one another, but you don't have to be a know-it-all about it! By the way, I really like the way that Trudy seems to communicate mostly by finishing other people's sentences with slightly coarser language. Reminds me just a hair of Fred and George.

"That angly scratter thinks he's so... hold on. You had Wren in our room? Where was I when all the fun was going on?"

"Off somewhere with Platt, I guess. You completely missed all the fun of me cleaning the sick off my shoes... and you should have the house elves double wash your socks. Wren says she's sorry, by the way."
-- I think this just became my favorite back-and-forth dialog in the story so far. By the way, kudos on digging up "angly scratter". I had to look that one up to make sure I was allowed to quote it here.

And... somebody blows up a table during charms class. I feel like this should be known as The Seamus Finnegan Memorial Moment in all Next Gen fics. Nice to see it was that annoying jerk Ian. That should take him down a peg or two.

What the heck is wrong with Rose? Does she want to inventory the doorknobs in Ravenclaw Tower or something? Because she seems awfully intent on ending up there. Teenage girls...

Poor Wren! I really don't like this complex she's developing about Albus. Yeah, sure, she puked on his shoes. It happens. In college, that made a girl strong dating material. ;) At least she gets to take a bit of her frustration out on Ian.

This was a really good chapter for moving the non-Vampire Bunny-related plot lines forward. Not every chapter can be filled with demonically possessed leporidae that have an insatiable lust for blood. That said, I'm looking forward to getting back to that. Hopefully Wren and Albus can crack the code...

Author's Response: Hello, Dan! You know I don't mind if you take a while to come around here. Blood sucking rabbits are secondary to gainful employment. Definitely.

You know, this horrible loop she's in is really bugging me too. Those pesky story mechanics are really... pesky. Smeed's tea is great for some things, but doesn't "cure" the ailment. Which is bad for Wren, but it's good for the story. At least I think it's good.

Aww, thanks! Freckles.

Yeah, I guess I mentioned earlier that Ian's not really that BAD, but he acts badly under certain circumstances, and he doesn't know how to treat a girl, which is too bad for Rose. I'm glad you think Rose is amazing. Rose needs people to think she's amazing. She has this ego thing that needs feeding every once in a while or she starts feeling down about herself. I can only imagine what it was like, growing up with Ron as her father.

Yes, applaud then AND smack them. *shrug* What are you going to do? They're acting like... err... them. Trudy appreciates your compliment, by the way.

"angly scratter"... I'm not sure if that's an actual phrase. One of my betas suggested that it was a typo, and another one accused Scorpius of talking nonsense. But you know me. The more "out there" it is, the more I like it. :P

"Does she want to inventory the doorknobs in the Ravenclaw Tower or something?"

Bahahaha! Of course she does. Either that, or she's convinced she got sorted into the wrong House and just needs an excuse to hang out over there. Or maybe Gryffindor Tower doesn't have enough stairs for her?

You're right. Not every chapter can be filled with blood-lust rabbits. But don't worry. There's more of that to come! And yes, Albus and Wren will be a little wiser next time.

*crosses fingers*

Thanks for the wonderful review!

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Review #7, by CambAngstHoping for A Heartbeat : Nobody Likes Being a Quitter

10th April 2014:
Tagging you from Review Tag!

Hey, there, stranger! It's been a while.

I love the way Hermione has turned into best friend and ultimate supporter number one in this story. Every pregnant lady needs someone like that, especially first-time pregnant ladies. Hermione definitely has the brains and the dedication to be that friend. She's helping Ginny through the tough conversations, watching her diet... just all-around great to have. I'm sure Ginny will come to appreciate that more than she'll ever realize before the story is over.

Sigh. Fred. Always such a tough topic. I can understand Ginny needing to not talk about it, needing to get away. She's overly emotional to begin with. Not a good time.

Oh, boy. Not liking this cramp that Ginny suffers in the shower. Not liking that at all.

Wow. Her Quidditch captain was surprisingly understanding. Not that most normal human beings wouldn't be, but somehow I was expecting you to milk that moment for a little more dramatic effect. Pro Quidditch players, even the female ones, seem like they would be a bit more fanatical about things.

Yay, Ron! It takes him a while to get things through that thick skull of his, and this was obviously no exception. Nice to seem him owning up to the error in his thinking and apologizing for it.

So suggestions: Some of your dialog still sounded a bit wordy and formal. For my taste, I think it would sound more like natural speech if you used more contractions and toned down the word choice a notch. Second, I felt like Ron's acceptance of Ginny and Harry's pregnancy deserved more of a moment between brother and sister. Not to belabor the point or anything, but just more like a small scene where he finally gives her a genuine smile and shows that he's gotten over his hang-ups about his best friend and his sister... well, you know.

Also, I saw one small typo:

“So have you been sick at all yet?” Hermione wondered while she finally stopped watching me eat and went over to start cleaning the boy’s dishes from this morning with her wand. -- cleaning the boys' dishes, unless you're only referring to one boy

You keep getting better and better with each chapter! Good job!

Author's Response: Well hello!
Nice to hear from you again!! :)
Thank you so much for yet another awesome review. And yes.. the cramping is an onset of the things to come.
I am glad that you think I am improving and I hope you get to come back eventually and read on. I love your reviews!
Thanks again!!! :D

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Review #8, by CambAngstCalculus: Awakenings

7th April 2014:
Hello, again!

Second chapters are always harder than the first and I can see that you struggled a bit here and there with this one. You come off of such a high with the first chapter, unleashing your brilliant, gripping introduction upon the world, and then there's a bit of a let-down as you move into the actual delivery of the plot. It's nothing bad at all, just the normal course of things.

Ugh, poor Harry. I hate getting dragged out of bed in the middle of the night. And if I was getting dragged away from Ginny, well, let's just say that it would be that much worse. I liked the quick peek of insight into where their lives have taken them over the ensuing six years. If my back-of-the-envelope timeline is right, James Sirius should be coming along pretty soon.

I feel like I'm drawing a bead on where you're heading with Harry. He seems to be Robards's protege in a way, clearly very skilled with the detective-work aspect of being an Auror. Ron and Neville -- and even Gawain, to an extent -- seem very deferential toward him.

I like the way that you give us an idea of where Hermione is going to fit into the story without just coming out and telling us what she's doing. You infer it, letting me figure out for myself. Good technique!

Looks like poor Neville's love life hasn't gone exactly the way he wanted it to. In spite of the heartbreak, he seems to have turned into a bit to a flirt. I hope we get to see him together with Hannah in the story. Cute couple! I also love the way he sits there, nursing a drink without actually drinking it.

Ooh, I'm such a sucker for "technical magic". I love Harry's entire approach to the crime scene, using observation and insight and diagnostic spells. Excellent writing!

I noticed one small typo as I was reading:

the young wizard still feared the worst when he received this late-night visits. -- when he received late-night visits.

Also the following read a bit awkwardly:

Neville looked toward the door immediately as Hannah stepped away. Immediately he noticed his two old friends were not alone. -- When you have "immediately" in the middle of one sentence, then start the next with the same word, it sounds a little repetitive.

Otherwise, great writing. I really enjoyed this chapter!

Author's Response: Hello again! Thank you for more great feedback!

I know it's not some people's cup of tea, but I am always really glad to receive thoughtful CC like yours. I think you raise a good point about this chapter being a bit of a drop-off after the big finish in the first. I have read so many great stories on the archive that do a really good job of introducing the major players in a story in the early chapters so I know it can be done very well, but that's something that proves hard for me at times. While I did want to do it this way to better serve the development of the plot and pace of the story going forward, I also think I sometimes feel a bit of an urge to get everybody out there so that I don't have to do it as much over time. So erg.

I also appreciate the attention to detail you paid about the typo and word choice. It's a very good catch that I missed in my proofreading, which is a little embarrassing when it comes to the word choice since that's often a big piece of my own reviews. For shame!

I am glad though that you liked the characters and the approach to the crime scene. The actual "scene scene" was really my biggest worry with this chapter, trying to fuse investigative techniques with magic so it was nice to hear it came off. This is something that vexes me later on in the story too, so hopefully if you carry on, you'll find that those bits came off okay as well.

I'm glad you're liking the story and hopefully you'll continue to if you keep reading!

Thanks so much!

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Review #9, by CambAngstCalculus: 11:57

7th April 2014:
Tagging you from the Review the Person Above You thread in the common room.

I like this story! You know why I like it? Because I'm one chapter in and already I see that you're not afraid to tackle the nitty-gritty details that so many authors are afraid to delve into. Wizard credit risk profiles? You had me right there!

Seriously, though, I love stories like this one that show an author's take on the nuts and bolts of what makes day-to-day life in the magical world function. Goblins aren't likely to lend gold to just anyone; I'm sure they have standards. So do all businesses that don't want to end up bankrupt. And I love the conflict you've portrayed. If bankruptcy and homelessness are truly unknown in magical society then there'a an argument to be made against opening up those possibilities. But how to do it? Is it possible without marginalizing a large segment of your population? Gah, brilliantly philosophical stuff!

Moving along, I think you set a great scene in this chapter. I loved the abruptness of how you moved from a lone wizard taking a walk, pondering what most would consider a highly mundane subject, to a gripping moment of terror. There was no way that anything good was going to happen once the lights went out; it was only a matter of how bad it would be. Your descriptions were vivid and they painted a clear picture in my mind. Even the details of Tobias's untimely demise drew me into the horrors of his last moments.

Your writing was very well done. No typos or grammatical problems that I could see. It all flowed beautifully from start to finish.

Great job!

Author's Response: Thank you very much for your thoughtful and detailed review! It was great to come back home to after a long day of work!

I definitely tried to make a sharp contrast between the beginning, where I wanted to provide a little glimpse of Tobias and the world he worked in and decision he was facing, and the end where he obviously met his untimely end. I'm glad you thought it worked well.

As for the day-to-day issues, I wish I could say they will continue throughout the story, but I don't want to be disingenuous. Hopefully there will be some less overt procedural-type issues that will also provoke your thought, but the actual issues raised in this chapter aren't going to be explored heavily (at least not in my current vision). They are definitely things I always wondered about in terms of how pro-pureblood policies might have been allowed to continue (for reasons other than just prejudice and greed) and what reform would mean - who would oppose certain issues, etc., so I may one day write a sort of straight-up political/reform fic, we'll see. I'm glad you found the subjects believable and intriguing though!

I'm also very glad you thought the description was well done. That's something I struggle with as a writer, at least doing it consistently, so it's always nice to hear it went well.

Thanks again!

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Review #10, by CambAngstThe Deathly Children: At The Churchyard Again

6th April 2014:
Hi, teh! I love getting another crack at this story. You're doing such a good job with it!

Poor Kendra! You did a great job of showing the strain that Ariana's care -- as well as her responsibilities to Albus and Aberforth in the wake of their father's imprisonment and death -- caused her. She seems like a shadow of her former self, gradually losing her strength and substance. It's easy enough to see what. Any little thing can apparently set off Ariana's episodes. The poor girl can't be left alone for any length of time. That has to put a huge strain on everyone around her.

Kendra is so dedicated to her daughter, though. She subdues Bathilda without hesitation, barely a thought given to what she's doing. I'm sure her apology is sincere after some fashion; she knows that what she's doing isn't right. But in the end, she does what she must to keep Ariana's secret safe.

I really like what you did with the confrontation between Aberforth and Gellert. You showed some common flaws between the two of them, like impatience and a quickness to violent solutions. But whereas Aberforth is rash and heated in his approach, Gellert is cold and calculating. He concedes the blow to his own face in order to get Aberforth's wand away from him. I'm making careful mental note of the fact that the allegiance of Aberforth's wand is now in question. If the wand is now loyal to Gellert and it comes to a duel...

Aberforth is so good to Ariana. It's no wonder that she loved him so deeply, even though it was Albus that she truly idolized. She's such a sweet girl, in spite of her problems. She's committed to trying to hold what's left of her family together. She knows that her brothers need each other, even though both are too stubborn to admit such weakness. I'm really curious about what she's done with the pine cone doll. You keep weaving these clever little details into your story and I have the feelings that many of them will surface again.

Gellert plays Albus pretty well in their first encounter. He isn't cloying or overly deferential; that would have made Albus suspicious. Instead, he treats him like an equal and he doesn't look down upon him for being bound to the "boring" village of Godric's Hollow. He holds just enough of a mystery in front of Albus to whet his appetite, but he doesn't come right out and ask for his help. He simply shows him a direction and then steps aside to allow Albus to decide whether to follow it. Very clever, indeed. And then the coup de grace: he gives Aberforth's wand back. In one smooth act, he shows thoughtfulness and contrition while placing a potentially tainted wand in the hand of a potential enemy. Genius!

I thoroughly enjoyed this chapter, to the point where I'm not quite sure whether this review does it justice. Other people's chapters are easier for me to review because I can always pick out a handful of passages that I want to specifically highlight. You write so smoothly and your work is so well-balanced that it's hard to pick out the high points. It's all excellent, but I can't very well copy and paste the whole thing. ;) Difficult, but it's a burden I bear happily. Great job!

Author's Response: Dan!

Gah, thank you for yet another wonderful review. It really is such a treat when a reader engages so deeply with the story, theorising about the characters and so on...I'm going to have to be really, really careful not to have any plot holes - or too many plotholes. :P

Taking care of Ariana does indeed put a huge strain on everyone responsible; that's what I was trying to show with Kendra, and how Albus is possibly doomed to go down that same path. In my opinion, when I was writing Kendra, I wanted to write someone absolutely bent on holding the remnants of her broken little family together, even if some of the decisions she makes are of an equivocal morality.

YES. You're the only reviewer to point out that Gellert conceded the blow to his face just to obtain Aberforth's wand. I got very excited when I saw your comment on that. You're incredibly perceptive! Aberforth is indeed the most selfless of the Dumbledores, and it was great to see that you understand Ariana's feelings for him, but also that she adores Albus so intensively. I'm quite looking forward to developing more of Ariana; she's my favourite character to write so far, namely because too many fics have relegated her character to a kind of mad, helpless, and irreparably damaged figure. I'm looking to change that.

All scenes will Albus and Gellert in them together are going to be pretty tricky for me to write, so it's great encouragement for me to read your comments about them. I'm glad this first meeting works for you!

Thank you once again for yet another brilliant review! I've enjoyed reading your comments and compliments, and they honestly mean a great deal to me. Thanks, Dan! ♥


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Review #11, by CambAngstHis Pack of Four: Chapter 7

5th April 2014:
Hi, Rosie! I'm here to write my 1,000th review on HPFF, and I wanted it to go to someone who's always been wonderful and supportive to me. You've read and reviewed so much of my writing, always filling them with encouragement and good thoughts. You'll probably never know just how much I appreciate it all!

On with the review!

Poor Remus. As if it isn't bad enough to be sitting in the dank confines of Grimmauld Place, he's also plagues by the ghosts of the members of the first Order who sacrificed everything to try to bring about Voldemort's downfall. I'm sure it's really difficult for him, since he lost so much personally.

Sirius's reemergence into the Order was brilliantly played. It was very disarming to allow all of the unaware Order members to voice their disgust with the house, only to be left to feel awkward about it once Sirius revealed himself. But he downplayed it perfectly, coming off as humble and approachable. Well done!

You did a great job writing the substance of the Order meeting. All of the characters -- Dumbledore, Hagrid, Sirius, Moody -- felt perfectly in character and had the right voices. Your interpretation of the events surrounding Fudge's attempts to discredit Harry and Dumbledore were spot on.

Hahaha! I love Snape's witty repartee. Don't get me wrong, I'm not usually one to root for him to get the best of Sirius, but in this case it really works.

Now they know about Voldemort trying to get the prophecy. The ball is rolling downhill into the events of OotP.

“How much danger is Harry in now?” -- I love how she phrases the question! Harry being in danger is such old hat that it's only a matter of the degree changing.

And... Dumbledore is sending Remus back to the werewolf packs again. It's one of the saddest aspects of Remus's disease, in a way. Even his friends wind up imposing on him to face the thing that he blames all of his life's misery on. And they do so earnestly, because nobody else can do what he's able to do.

“You could be sending Remus to his death!” Sirius pointed out with an alarmed tone. “He can’t go alone. I’ll go with him.” -- Yay, Sirius! Somebody needs to point of the obvious here.

“Now, speaking of Harry, I would like for you two to understand that I’ve cared and will always care for him. And with that in mind, I have an important request: do not tell Harry of the prophecy and of its contents.” -- Sorry, I'm in that mode where I'm parroting a lot of your own words back at you. But this one is just too good to pass up on. THIS is the Dumbledore that sells people on Manipulative!Dumbledore fics. The keeper of secrets, the puppet master, the old man spooning out only the information he sees fit to share with each of his followers. Remus is too deferential to Dumbledore to see it, really. This comes on the heels of Remus agreeing to put himself in mortal danger to retrieve information for the old man, of course. Not really one of Dumbledore's shining moments.

“Harry is not James, Sirius.” Dumbledore’s statement took us by surprise. -- Well, I guess it is good that there was somebody around to remind Sirius of that small fact. Dumbledore does actually make a reasonable bargain with Sirius in the end.

Wow. So Tonks more or less changed into Bellatrix to get Sirius to recognize her. Creepy...

I laughed. I couldn’t help it. “Snuffles?”

“That’s what she used to call me when she was four…” muttered Sirius as his cheeks turned scarlet.
-- Bwahahahaa! Everyone has deep, dark secrets...

Ah, their first dinner date! I can't wait to see how this goes. Well, actually I already know, don't it? ;)

So there it is, review #1,000. Doesn't seem possible, but I was pleased as could be to be able to do it for your story. Thanks for all of the support and laughs along the way!

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Review #12, by CambAngstBroken Crown: Echoes.

5th April 2014:
Hi, Kiana! Review #999 goes to your story, one that I've been meaning to get back to for a while.

Little Nymphadora is so cute in this! She obviously has more of her father in her, except for some of the temperament. She's definitely not patient, more of a Black family trait.

I thought you kept Sirius really age-appropriate in this chapter. He's old enough to have found the anger that characterizes his relationship with his parents, but he's still young enough to believe that certain things can be changed. He probably still thinks of Bella a lot like his parents: twisted and full of hate, but ultimately harmless. He has no idea what Bella's become, what she's capable of. So he asks something of Andromeda that she can't possibly give him.

Andromeda has also aged nicely into motherhood. As much as she'd like to help Sirius and as much as her estrangement from her sister pains her, she is committed to her daughter. She knows that she can't put herself at risk, not when Ted and Nymphadora need her.

Andromeda is shutting off a part of her life. -- Indeed she is, but she's doing it for all the right reasons. That doesn't make it feel any better, but she's got her priorities straight, no matter how much she wishes that things were different.

Which leads to Sirius's outburst. Again, it sounded exactly like him. Stubborn, single-minded, uncompromising and quick to anger. Not at all surprising.

It's nice that she hasn't completely given up on Narcissa. Perhaps she should have by now, but she hasn't. I guess we'll see soon.

I saw a few typos as I was reading:

Even during sleep she talks. Andromeda watches her now, the way she carefully picks up the apple, analysing ever bump of it before deciding whether it will be eaten or not. -- analysing every bump

‘Talk to her, make her change your mind. You’re her sister; you can make her do it. I know you can do it. She might listen to you.’ -- make her change her mind

Waiting to see how it suites you and serves you best. Never really wanting to help.’ -- how it suits you

She is about the only Black who may be able to save them, the only one who has a heart. -- able to save him

Great chapter! I shall return soon...

Author's Response: Dan, I feel so honoured getting review #999, so thank you so much for choosing me and this story!

Haha, yes writing Tonks and Sirius was strange in this as I tend to write them both in their Hogwarts era self, so stepping back in time was a fun experiment with them both. I'm so glad that you liked Sirius here though as he's in such a strange place, a child, yet left his home, an adult, but still so unsure of the world, which as you said is why he ended up at Andromeda's. I think that's why I loved writing this scene so much as we don't really know much about the two of them at this time so I would like to think of her having some motherly role.

Andromeda was strange to write here too, because while she and I both wanted her to be that rebellious middle child, the one who shaped the Black family she couldn't. I'm glad you agreed with her priorities because I was worried people would be angry she wasn't going out to fight for him and she was just sitting there, but I suppose we all need to step back at some point.

Yes, Sirius and Narcissa are both explored a lot more in next chapter, Narcissa especially so you get to find out more about how Andromeda wraps up things with them.

Thanks for spotting those typos, it reminds me I probably should go about editing the whole story now it's completed and sat around for a while. :P

Thanks for such a fantastic review, Dan, and congrats on making 1,000 reviews!


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Review #13, by CambAngstThe Peverell Society: 4. The Longest Day

5th April 2014:
Ooh! A courtroom scene. Lots of good information always comes out in courtroom scenes. Good information or good misinformation, at any rate.

I tend to think that Hermione would make a good prosecutor. She's smart, tough but very fair-minded. She's not the sort who would railroad a defendant for no good reason. And with Zacharias Smith, she has plenty of good reason to want to put him away. I have a bad feeling that he'll never see the inside of Azkaban, however. This trial seems like mostly a fishing expedition for the Peverell Society. And they're fishing for Hallows.

Amelia Bones must have survived Voldemort's assassination attempt in your timeline. Not a bad thing at all. I always liked the character.

Wow, Ernie is kind of an idiot. I understand that Hermione wouldn't have been able to collaborate too much with him on his questioning of the witnesses, but you'd think he'd have the basic common sense to avoid questions that could only lead to further harm. Then again, maybe he wasn't close enough to Harry's inner circle to ever learn very much about the Hallows.

Poor Harry. He doesn't even have a chance to fall into Smith's trap before Ernie is dragging out dangerous information. It's like a competition to see who can spill the most secrets. Harry tries really admirably to treat the whole situation like a joke. It's all he can do under the circumstances really. But ultimately it doesn't work in the end.

Yes! They destroyed the wand. Which is what Harry probably should have done in the first place. One of those rare occasions where the movies didn't follow the books and it actually lead to a somewhat better outcome.

I enjoyed the Order meeting. It seems like Kingsley has been exiled to the kids' table at the family picnic. At least that's how I interpreted the way that they all left him alone with Luna. ;)

Good job, Scorpius! Let's see who else is involved in this conspiracy.

Poor Harry. He just wants to move on with his life and leave the past buried, but it keeps resurfacing to taunt him. I like the quiet sort of love and support that Harry and Ginny shared at the end. He's not facing things alone this time.

I noticed a few typos as I was reading:

They needed to bring in somebody to see how that was even possible, given the sensible nature of the magical objects involved. -- sensitive nature

Harry got up and made his way towards the seat in the middle of the room and accepted the vial, dawning it's contents. -- downing its contents

“And can you tell the court was item was taken from the location in question?” -- what item was taken

The whole room went up in a roar, and not even Amelia Bones' cried for order couldn't silence it. -- and not even Amelia Bones's cries for order could silence it.

I don't want to thing about Hallows and Horcruxes and deaths and threats. -- want to think

Excellent chapter! Your plot is marching on. Be back soon...

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Review #14, by CambAngstMiracle in the Making: A Flicker of Hope

4th April 2014:
Hi, Roxi! Review #997, coming at you!

For someone who hasn't been there, you write a really good pregnant lady! The nonstop roller coaster of emotions, the feeling of needing to keep the whole world safe, the dramatic mood swings... all perfectly in character. I love how she could go from being infuriated with Frank one moment to feeling overwhelmed by her love for him the next. Terrific job with that.

I love the amount of responsibility she feels for her fellow Order members. It seemed like Dumbledore nearly had to drag her into hiding. Even now, she can't stop feeling responsible for the others and worrying for their safety. It's a very motherly way to be.

Frank was adorable in this. Poor guy is so far out of his element. So much for the seasoned, hardened dark wizard hunter. She nearly had to slap him to get him moving when her contractions started.

I loved the quiet sort of affection you created between the two of them. So much was unspoken because words weren't required. It's a very deep, very mature sort of love.

He drops the potion! D'oh! That could earn you a lifetime of sleeping on the couch right there. ;)

Suggestions? Well, I have to say that I wasn't wild about the pet name "Pinky". There's something really... I don't know, diminishing about it. It also made me think of the pink ghost from the original Pac-Man video game.

On a more substantive note, you had a few sentences near the start that were sort of long and awkward. This one really stuck out: She felt especially guilty for leaving them now, with danger closing in tighter than ever before particularly because she was not the only one who had to go into hiding to deliver her baby safely. -- I felt like you should have had at least one more comma before "particularly", or preferably broken it up into shorter, tighter sentences.

Overall, it was a really engaging, happy read. Nice to see Frank and Alice in one of the happy moments of their life. Because we know that they weren't afforded very many. :(

Good job!

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Review #15, by CambAngstRules of the Game: Let the Games Begin

4th April 2014:
Hi, Lauren! The quest for 1,000 rolls on, and I've come back to enjoy a bit more of your story.

I'm glad that being Head Girl hasn't made Ivy all work and no play, although she does seem a bit preoccupied with work. Work, food and Albus, although not necessarily in that order.

A Russian Potions Mistress. Interesting. Well, I'm sure she can't be any more difficult than Snape or any more glad-handed than Slughorn, so the students should have a fairly easy go of it.

I liked your Sorting Hat Song. Those things are a pain to write, and you did a good job with it.

Aww, the tiny little first year is a Gryffindor! Here's hoping she's a great one...

I'm kind of surprised that Filch is still hanging in there as caretaker. I mean, I guess he doesn't really have anything else to do, but he's now been tormented by three generations of the Potter clan. He should just give up.

I don't really like John's girlfriend, but I don't suppose I'm meant to. She seems pretty jealous and catty. I can definitely see her making Ivy's life challenging.

So I saw one lonely little grammar problem in your chapter:

Her and John both turned and made their way out of the hall and turned to climb the stairs when a figure blocked their path. -- should be "She and John"

Otherwise, this was very well written. It flowed nice and smooth all the way to the end. So I assume classes start in the next chapter. Fun, fun, fun! Great job!

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Review #16, by CambAngstClash: Him

3rd April 2014:
Tagging you back from the exceedingly quiet, of late, Review Tag!

You have created some amazingly flawed characters in this story. Deeply disturbed and and twisted in the most interesting ways. I love all of the psychological angles you worked into this chapter, the personality dysfunctions and the power dynamics. It was really well done.

I liked the way that Rose refused to make things easy for her interrogator. She could have given him an answer that was short, simply and woefully inadequate, but she doesn't. It seems that Albus's sociopathy was the product of so many small things that could have gone differently in his life.

Whatever is going on with Harry in the first memory was incredibly twisted. Harry knows that Albus is the only one of his children who's capable of being jaded enough to resist the urge to come running to his aid, but in doing so he makes the boy even more jaded. Unfeeling. Distant. Walled off with only his own bitterness at the mistreatment to keep him company. Small wonder Albus turned out the way he did.

“Who will stop the new dark lords, Daddy?”

“My dear Albus,” Harry sighed, running a hand over the frightened boy’s head, “I won’t be around forever.”
-- It took me a couple of readings to catch the true meaning of this exchange, but once I did it was chilling. It seems like Harry is, after a fashion, trying to shape Albus the same way that Harry's tormented youth shaped him into the one who was able to put his own well-being aside and defeat the Dark Lord. Only it backfires. Horribly.

The Sorting Hat seems to have him pretty well figured out, doesn't it? You just can't fool the ratty, old thing.

Nothing can quite match the awful cruelty of jealous children. I have the awful feeling that we're watching another stone being laid in Albus's wall of emotional detachment. Perhaps several. And when Scorpius befriends him, Albus simply discovers how to use him. To manipulate his "friend" at every turn.

Scorpius, in turn, is pretty awful to Rose. I wonder whether jealousy plays a role, along with whatever attraction he might have for Albus's cousin. After all, Albus and Rose are made out to be very close. Closer, for sure, than Albus and Scorpius.

In spite of all of his horrible personality traits, I felt bad for Albus after Harry, Ron and Hermione die. His emotional walls are so thick by that point that he can't even grieve. All of the feelings simply twist into anger.

“Can I ask you something, Rose? Do…do you think there’s hope for me?” -- We never hear her answer, but I don't see the likelihood as being very strong.

Your writing was fantastic in this. I didn't see a single typo or mistake and the whole thing flowed so smoothly. It didn't feel nearly so long as it was. Great job!

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Review #17, by CambAngstThe Mildly Perilous and Mostly Tragicomic Misadventures of Sir Roderick Gryffindor and 'Sir' Ivan Harris: In Which Ivan Dreams Like a Man

2nd April 2014:
Hi, Rumpel!

Wow, this story is unique in just about every way I can think of. The era is not one you often see written, the characters are completely fresh and new, magic -- at least so far -- figures only indirectly into the story and the narrative style is really engaging!

I think I'll start with the narrative style. It makes me think of an older Disney cartoon, where the characters sometimes take umbrage at the things the narrator has to say about them. You're definitely creating a very different reading experience from nearly any other story on the site. I feel a bit like I'm intruding on some private affair at certain points, and it's delicious. Almost like I'm getting away with something!

You've captured some very interesting and under-appreciated aspects of a bygone era. It must have been very frustrating to be a girl with no desire to wed a noble lord or a young man who prefers the quiet company of his books to the glory of inheriting his family's estate. Poor Ivan and Nicholi both seemed destined for a life that's nothing like their dreams... unless they take matters into their own hands. And disappoint their father. Greatly.

I think you did a really good job of starting to build up your characters without going overboard on dumping in back story. I know the basics of who they are and the era they're coming of age in. I understand some of their goals and dreams and challenges. I can definitely sympathize with their plight.

Your writing style is a fascinating mix of elegant and abrupt. I love the way that you transition between the two.

I saw a single, lonely typo as I was reading:

Ivan discovered that she could levitate object, by the mere thought of doing so. -- objects

Great start!

Author's Response: Hey there!

This story is incredibly fun to write, even with short chapters and silly jokes.

I'm honestly not sure how Max and the interactive narrative came to be, as it certainly wasn't planned. It just happened as I was writing, and it made me laugh (which was the main point) so Max became a permanent presence that I've been getting really lovely feedback on.

During one of my courses several years ago, I was required to study Shakespeare -- that helped give me a feel of the time era. One of the aspects that I found most interesting about the time was women's societal roles, and was actually the subject of one of my research papers.

Oh, lonely typo, I'll have to fix that!

Thanks so much!


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Review #18, by CambAngstDevlin Potter: Riddle and Rescue: Of Madness and Boyish Wolves.

31st March 2014:
Wow. Your writing usually has a lot of intense, psychological aspects to it, but you've really outdone yourself with this chapter. There were layers upon layers of complicated interactions going on here. Extremely abstract stuff that took nearly all of my concentration to follow. I really enjoyed the challenge.

So it seems that the wolf became this self-aware entity within Devlin's mind because it sensed that Voldemort was about to kill them both. It was a matter of survival, and the wolf took matters into his own hands to preserve the whole. Fascinating. And it seems like Devlin still turns over control to the wolf at times as a defense mechanism when something bad is about to happen.

He leaned forward, watching the Mind Reader carefully - taking just the tiniest thrill from the fear in his eyes. "After all, I'm obviously less disturbed by blood than a human child would be." -- I love that the wolf gets a kick out of trying to intimidate Snape. Not that it's working.

Snape's use of the word "corruption" was really interesting in context. The wolf has been corrupted by the boy, it seems. He no longer feels the uncontrollable urge to bite and spread the "gift". I'm not completely sure what it means, only that it definitely means something.

He thought maybe it would ruin some of the Mind Reader's fun if he knew that Dubhán's ability was actually just the boys subconscious' creative use of his sharpness' natural defenses. -- This was a wild concept. It's like Devlin is able to use his lycanthropy as a form of encryption!

I don't understand it,- he said, panting nervously. -It's very...human, I think. He has said to me that he and the Dark Man are all tangled up in the Dark Man's head. I think he is afraid that what he has done today will untangle them. -- Aha. So Devlin is afraid that Voldemort will learn about his betrayal, and learning that will make Voldemort stop thinking of Devlin as this younger version of himself. And when that happens, Devlin is sure that he will die. The logic is pretty unassailable, from Devlin's point of view.

And then to confirm it, Voldemort appears in Devlin's dream. Or in his mind. Wherever they are. He is the danger, the source of the nothingness. He is the thing Devlin is afraid to confront.

And with pretty good reason, judging by what just happened to Malfoy. I guess the attack outside the wards of Harry's house was his idea. It certainly didn't produce the desired result.

"What is worse - you have put the boy in the unfortunate position of possibly betraying me. You will clean up this mess. Figure out what the boy has told them." -- Interesting that Voldemort still doesn't believe that Devlin would willingly betray him. It's almost as though circumstances need to conspire to make that happen. Devlin isn't the only one with an understanding gap, it would appear...

So I saw one small typo:

"How does Wolfsbane effect you?" -- should be affect.

Great chapter! I do hope that Devlin comes back soon, though. I've missed the little guy.

Author's Response: If this is the sort of thing you enjoy, you will love the next chapter. LOL I'm always pleased by everything you pick up on. My professor would say you are a good "close reader". LOL

The wolf became this self aware entity for two reasons - the near death but also the DAMAGE done by the torture. I think it's clear that Crucio has damaging effects and I couldn't imagine a child coming away from it whole. The difference is that Devlin's mind knitted two separate parts into one whole.

I really enjoyed showing the subtle parts of the wolf that has remained a wolf. In my original of this I had a line I simply loved - I could not fit it here - in which Snape referred to Devlin as a "wolfish boy" and the wolf as a "boyish wolf" and also got to talk about how Wolfbane is essentially just a liquid occlumency shield. Alas - I will have to fit it in elsewhere!

I wouldn't necessarily say he doesn't feel it at all - he admits he wanted to bite Snape in the living room - but that logic prevails. He points to his teeth - useless for that sort of thing. Snape is helping him. Besides that - has he really got a 'pack' that he belongs to anymore? The wolf has been corrupted with human logic. Biting anyone in the boys 'pack' will just take away their pack. It's hard to explain but I am hoping it will be explained through the upcoming actions etc.

"It's like Devlin is able to use his lycanthropy as a form of encryption!" Yeah, pretty much. :) I told people all along Devlin WASN'T doing to be the super powerful all-knowing kid. He just has some things that have given him a clear advantage against Voldemort. Not that he isn't obviously brilliant.

The Voldemort appearance I think will make more sense with the next chapter - but it is actually a memory. A huge memory that encompasses all the things you mentioned - but it is real.

I had a fun time writing Malfoy being tortured. :D

We know that even with logic staring him in the face, Voldemort chooses to believe he knew better. At this point, to admit the child might willingly betray him is admitting that he was wrong to put so much effort into him. He's still tangled up in his head.

Ahh, I am horrible at that typo! Thank you!

As always, you have left a wonderful review. I looked forward to the next one. And I promise Devlin will feature predominately! :D

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Review #19, by CambAngstLying Josephine: Promises, Promises

30th March 2014:
Hi, Tanya!

The first section sounds so much like Fred. He's always one to want to spread the joy, but do it in his own, distinctive way. I love the way that he uses his sense of humor to keep Josephine off her guard. She probably should have seen it coming, but it's hard when he's being so disarming. He lures her in with all of his faux flirting and endless kidding around. Then, he switches gears and gets serious on her for a moment. He lets some genuine concern show through, which pushes her even farther out of her carefully constructed comfort zone of denial. Then he goes for the kill...

We got to see a little more of Josephine in this chapter, and I found myself feeling optimistic for her and horribly sorry for her at different points in the chapter. What on earth happened to his poor girl? She's alluded a couple of times to having nobody aside from Fred. I'm guessing that means she's an orphan, or at least estranged from her family. With the war raging, it isn't hard to imagine how either situation would come to pass. Whatever happened, she seems to lack any sort of self-confidence. Fred is able to pry her out of her shell, but only by relentlessly being himself.

It's a shame, because she's obviously a clever person. I love her inner monologue. You did a fantastic job with that. I think she speaks a grand total of three words to Fred, but the section still felt really engaging because her thoughts were so amusing.

Fred Weasley is lying in a box. -- I can see why you kept coming back to this. It's such a powerful statement, with its devastating simplicity.

The pictures were just heart-breaking. Great choices.

Quicker than before I approach the casket, alone with Fred again. With one hand on the tomb I fix my eyes on the portrait of Fred.

“I will keep my promise.”
-- I really wish that she will. Although based on the story summary and all that I've read so far, I have the feeling that something is going to go terribly wrong in the trying.

Great chapter! I'll be back soon...

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Review #20, by CambAngstLying Josephine: Introduction: Boxes

30th March 2014:
Tanya! How have I never seen this before? You have a story set in my favorite era (post-war) to read. You certainly have a compelling plot idea and a lead character who seems to be living the horror of Fred's death from the periphery. Again, HOW have I never seen this?

You set a very stark tone from the outset. Six months after the end of the war -- six months after Fred's death -- she's completely alone. It seems pretty obvious that she's done something terrible. Or at least she thinks it was terrible. But what?

The section that flashes back to the funeral was also beautifully done. This is my favorite type of first chapter to read. You don't bother introducing anyone or anything. All of that name, rank and serial number crap can come later. Instead, you pulled me right into the gut-wrenching emotions of the story. It didn't matter so much whose funeral she was attending or who she was, because I could relate to exactly what she was feeling. I've read a dozen or more different authors' versions of Fred's funeral over the years. I didn't need you to tell me who was there or how anyone was dressed or how devastated George looked or what anyone had to say. All of those emotions are inside. You just set the scene from the perspective of someone who feels like an unworthy outsider and that was the context I needed right there. Brilliant!

I'm really looking forward to reading more! Great job!

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Review #21, by CambAngstRabbit Heart: Hungry for Hearts

30th March 2014:
pix! You are moving forward at such a good clip these days. Where do you find the time???

Smeed! I knew there was more to this guy than just being able to break up bar fights. After he helps Wren out, it seemed pretty obvious that he knew what Dillon was up to and what to do about it. Now the rest of it spills.

Burns cracked me up. It's so rare to see a character in a HP fan fic story who really lives in modernity. Here we have a guy who uses an iPad, sells antiquities on eBay and has no issues with making fun of the rest of the magical world for their outmoded sense of style. Brilliantly done!

Back to Smeed, however. So he's a vampire. So is Burns, it appears. And they both work for some sort of vampire council, if I'm following correctly. It makes sense. Based on what we learned from the history teacher a couple of chapters back, vampires like living on the margins of society, away from the attention of wizards and muggles alike. So when a vampire goes rogue -- or in the case of Dillon, I guess, one is just too young and naive to realize what they're doing -- there needs to be somebody to restore order. I haven't been the biggest Dillon fan so far, but I'm a little worried about what happens to him if Burns and Smeed find him.

Their conversation about feeding was hilarious. Every vampire story should have some lines like that.

Poor Wren! Not only is she all banged up from Madam Pince's potion, her best friend has the cause all wrong! This is not helping, Albus! Get it together!

I just hope that whatever Albus snapped around her wrist is enough to keep her from falling back under Bunny's control. At first blush it doesn't seem like it, but maybe it will work out in the end. I don't like it when Wren's in "Thrall Mode".

I love the way you're bringing the plot along with this story. You had a great plot going from the outset, but you keep finding new and fascinating directions to take things in. Awesome job!

Author's Response:
Dan! You're back! For a little while, anyway.

I loved writing Burns! He's truly embraced the modern world and using it to his greatest advantage. I think if I were really old and had many lifetimes more to experience, I'd be making the best of things too. Now I'm thinking that I need to do a vampire spin-off one day of these two gallivanting around the countryside, tracking down rogue vampires and keeping the peace between wizards and the Council. With a possible altercation of international supernatural law... and no teens... and I'm way ahead of myself here...

You might want to be worried for Dillon. But only if you feel obligated.

Albus is REALLY trying to help Wren with her problems. The big problem is that he really has no idea what her problems are. Flail!! At least he's giving it his best shot. Pretty soon, they'll have more information and he'll be able to do something more useful than accuse the wrong source.

So, I guess there's nothing left to say except "Yay, vampires!"


Thanks for the great review!

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Review #22, by CambAngstInitiate: Sorting Things Out

29th March 2014:
Hi, there! I figured it was high time I left you a review. I read all of Innocent on **that other site** before I realized that you post here as well. I was really excited to see that you had a sequel. I really love the different ideas and plot threads that you've brought to the story. You've give Harry a very different path to walk, along with Sirius and Remus and so many other characters. But the story isn't just about making a feel-good alternative. The characters still have difficulties, struggles and conflicts. There's nothing simplistic about what you've done. You're a very gifted story-teller.

Moving on to this chapter, I like the gradual way that you've pulling together the disparate plot lines of the attempted robbery of Gringott's, the attack on Remus and all of the other dark goings-on in the outside world. Throughout both stories, I've thought that your pacing is really amazing. You never get in a rush about anything and you let the plot unfold in a way that feels natural and maintains a lot of suspense.

It wasn't really a surprise to see Draco sorted into Gryffindor after everything Snape and Narcissa have done to make it happen, but I'm still eager to see it all play out. I was a little surprised that he was so upset about it. It isn't as though the other Slytherin kids have been very nice to him along the way. Still, I suppose that bucking so much family tradition is hard to get your head around.

Harry seems to be off to a good start with Peeves. It never hurts to have an ally like that.

I absolutely loved what you did with Neville in this chapter. He seemed to have an immediate understanding of where Harry is coming from and what it's like to be the one that everybody else is staring at. I think the two of them will be great friends.

Speaking of friends, assuming that Draco can stop insulting Ron for long enough it seems that the two of them have some chemistry.

Sirius's "parental" advice to Harry was great. I think I can paraphrase it as, "if you're going to hex somebody, make sure it's worth your time."

Awesome chapter. I've been a regular reader for a long time and I intend to be more of a regular reviewer from here on out.


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Review #23, by CambAngstSilver Linings: Albus: When Everyone Comes Together

27th March 2014:
Sam! Here I am, at the end. And it was a great end, I have to say.

Nick and Kieron's wedding sounded like a dream come true, for nearly everyone involved. Everything came together so beautifully for the two of them and everyone around them seemed so happy for them. The vows came off without a hitch or a hint of hesitation. (alliteration, yay!)

Seems like Lexi did a fantastic job planning the wedding.

The whole conversation about tattoos reminds me of a few that I've heard between parents and their adult children. Letting go isn't easy. At least Theo seems to take it all in stride. Especially since Daddy's Angel isn't part of the conversation.

So Theo and Annie are considering giving Kieron and Lexi a younger sibling. Interesting. At that age, I'd have to say that's a very brave thing to be thinking about. The body doesn't rise to the challenge of raising children quite as well after age 40. Trust me on this one. ;)

Aww, Isaac loves his granddad! Good boy!

I sort of doubt Nick will kill Kieron. They both seem too stubborn to die.

Families are sprouting up all over the place at this wedding! It's really nice to see Ethan warming up to Xavier. I mean, really, how could you not? He seems like such a good guy, plus he now has a Quidditch superstar boyfriend. Children sometimes ask the most insightful questions, don't you think? They haven't learned to avoid the topics that adults instinctively avoid and they're too darn cute to be mad at.

Another engagement? Al and Lexi are really going to start to feel the pressure soon, aren't they? I hope Al keeps Theo's advice in mind and takes his time. There doesn't seem to be any rush.

Poor Ron. He's just trying to be a good, protective dad, but somehow he messes that up as well. Where is Hermione to keep him out of trouble?

I loved their last dance! What a great note to end the story on. It seems like Al and Lexi are doing very well together. Maybe there will be another engagement before I thought...

Sam, I have thoroughly enjoyed this journey! You created some marvelous characters and great plot lines and drew me into all of them. It took longer than I expected, but I've reached the end. Thank you so much for this amazing story!

Author's Response: Hey, Dan!

Haha, it was a dream come true for everyone; no one thought Kieron would actually go through with it, not even Kieron. :P Love the alliteration. :D

They were her first clients for her new job; nothing could go badly. :)

Tattoos are something that have come up in my family; my dad would always say 'when you're an adult, I can't stop you' for everything from tattoos to swearing. My mum still scolds us for swearing, but she can never say no to tattoos because she has one. So, it seemed appropriate for this and the whole idea of letting go. Theo may have good reason to take it well. ;)

Do you remember the headcanon things I put on Twitter? One was about Theo having a child later in life? Well, here is talk of that very child. :D Kudos if you remember the child's name. :) Oh, I know - my dad is a very good example.

He does. His granddad is his favorite person in the whole world. It's going to put a strain on things in the sequel...

Haha! True, they're way too stubborn.

Well, this family is huge and they have friends who have families, so you can imagine how big the party is. :P Xavier is a good guy, he always will be... but he doesn't have a boyfriend. :P I do think that, it always makes me want to both laugh and frown (when it's not directed at me).

Don't worry, Al and Lexi don't get anywhere near engaged for a while. It's just Theo/Annie and Hugo/Emmett.

I know, I feel really bad for Ron. But Hugo is, well, his angel and he's just not ready to let go. Which makes things difficult for Emmett, but he'll be okay. Where is Hermione? She is around, there's no stopping Ron when he needs to talk to Emmett. But she was watching; she promised not to get involved unless things got out of hand. Kieron intervened only because he didn't want arguing on his day.

Thank you so much for reading and reviewing and enjoying the ride! The sequel will be a Rollercoaster. ;)


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Review #24, by CambAngstSilver Linings: Alexa: When We hold Our Silver Lining

26th March 2014:
Hello again, Sam!

Thankfully, I never had to leave my kids behind in the hospital. Granted, there were those nights after we brought them home when I sort of wished we could take them back just for the night. ;) Overall, though, I think you did a good job of letting Lexi and Albus sort of wear themselves out with the grind of rarely leaving the hospital so that it felt pretty natural when they settled into a rhythm of coming home to sleep -- albeit not well -- at night. You maintained just enough of the nervous tension while not letting yourself get overly melodramatic about things. They felt like normal human beings.

Breathing on their own is a huge thing for premie babies. Huge. I felt this immense sigh of relief right along with Al and Lexi.

Zac is okay.

It's the best feeling in the world.
-- I can only imagine...

All of my friends, including Ewan, Will and, er, Rose, are here by the time Erik comes into the staff room -- I think you should call her "er, Rose" from here on out, including the sequel. It feels appropriate somehow.

I guess compared to all of the problems that Isaac could have had, deafness is relatively benign. It will make his life more difficult in some ways, but he'll still have one. He'll grow and learn and run and play and mostly experience life like other children. I think it added a bit of gravity and realism to the story, going this route. It's a happy ending, but not a cliche happy ending.

Aww, it's so awesome when Lexi gets to hold him for the first time! I remember that feeling, although I didn't have to wait very long for it. About three minutes, as I recall, but that's neither here nor there. It's a pretty amazing feeling and I think you captured the moment beautifully. And you threw in just a touch of Theo-based dry humor to keep the scene grounded.

The only thing I remember from our first homecoming with the boys that's missing from this scene is that befuddling sense of "OK, what now?" I guess Lexi has had a lot longer to mentally prepare for it than we did, plus she has a list of things that she needs to be keeping track of, like Isaac's asthma. Still, I will never forget sitting the boys' car seats down in their crib with the boys in them and stepping back -- quietly, because they were asleep -- and thinking, "OK, what do I do now???"

I really love the ending scene, with Al explaining all of these things about the family that Isaac can neither hear nor understand. I think it's a very common thing that new fathers do for especially sons. You feel like you can't get starting on that process of raising the child soon enough. It's completely ridiculous if you stop and think about it, but the instincts kick in way before they're needed.

I saw but a single typo:

I've just finished feeding him when Al comes home, sweaty and dirty. He push him away when he tries to kiss my cheek.

One more to go! It's bittersweet...

Author's Response: Hey!

As I've said before, a lot of this story is due to research and imagining my characters as people going through this to figure out how to write it, because I don't remember anyone in my family needing to stay in hospital, but I do know what it's like to sort of wish to take them back. Not as a parent, though, as a sibling and a cousin who babysits. :P

Er, Rose - Haha. I probably will when writing Lexi; it's Lexi trying and failing to think of her as part of her group of friends. Not just for Will and Al, but for the rest of the group and their family. She stuck with Rose now.

Isaac being deaf was something I had planned from the very beginning; lots of research was involved. I genuinely started to question what people would think if they ever saw my Internet history, not just for this story but for all my stories. With everything I had planned, all the problems, it seemed unrealistic to have him completely fine.

That moment were Lexi gets to hold him was one of the first 'scenes' in my head. I'm glad you think it worked out because I so wanted it to be as perfect written down as it did in my head. :P

Yes, Lexi has had over a month to prepare for bringing the baby home and figuring out what to do, thanks to Erik and Annie, her dad and the rest of the family, and with everything she still has to do, she won't let herself think 'what now?' because then she'd probably freak herself out. Albus, if the chapter had been in Albus' PoV, you definitely would have got 'what do I do now?' :D

Aww, I'm glad you love the end. It wasn't planned, but it just seemed like the thing to do, not just for Albus but in general. For Albus, it seemed like a good way of getting out that he does actually like his family even when he tries to avoid them. :)

Thank you so much for leaving a review!


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Review #25, by CambAngstSilver Linings: Albus: When Stories are Told

26th March 2014:
Hi, Sam! I really need to finish this story, not least because there's a sequel already waiting for me.

But it was Theo who said no, so he has to listen. People rarely cross Kieron, people never cross Theodore. -- Aww, Theo already being the good grandfather/father-in-law-ish. After all of the abuse I heaped on the poor guy at the end of Detox -- and how well you took it all -- I feel the need to cheer for him.

Wow. I remember visiting the nursery for the first time after my boys were born. They were a little early, but thankfully they only spent a couple of hours in the nursery before coming back to our room. I remember that feeling of trepidation, not wanting to ask any questions or even think about anything too much just in case something turned out to be wrong. In a weird way, asking about it or thinking about it would almost make you feel responsible for it. Weird memories...

"What does the monitor say?" I ask hesitantly. I'm not so sure I want to know, but I feel like I need to know. -- This. This, exactly.

I really liked the conversation between Albus and Kieron. You nailed the whole subtlety of being a guy with guy friends: you can want to mock another guy, frighten him, even hit him without actually hating him. It's just a guy thing. We only recently developed opposable thumbs. And it's totally possible to know that another guy is the best thing in the world for a girl that you care about but still feel upset at the idea of him touching her. ;)

Lavender??? Whoa! This is a huge revelation. I can definitely see the version of her that Theo's describing. Too upset over the loss of her outer beauty to be confident enough to present herself and her relationship with Theo to the outside world.

Ah, so there is a moral to this story. Theo has a lot of foresight. He knows what will make Lexi -- and Albus -- happy in the near term, but he really wants more than that for the two of them. He wants them to be happy together for the long run, the way that he never was with Daphne.

Scorpius frowns. "I can't believe my girlfriend's nephew is my cousin." -- Ah, the world of tightly interrelated pureblood families. Why is Draco so opposed to this relationship? Or is that a topic for a different story?

Next comes Rose with her own confession. It's so easy to see it, the way that you've laid it out. Rose and Albus were both bookish, quite children. Both seemed like over-thinkers. Both horribly worried about how they would fit in. I'm sure that Rose took great comfort in knowing her favorite cousin was going to be going through school with her, and Albus probably felt the same until he laid eyes on Lexi. Life is harsh, and Rose's response was definitely harsh. She did pick an odd time to confess, I'd say, but big moments in life tend to bring out these moments of clarity in people.

A few small typos I noticed while reading:

He looks down at the cot and starts whispering, like the baby can really hear him, and for some reason that makes me want to laugh hysterically - off all the things to do in this situation. -- of all the things...

"Keep talking, Hugo, and I will make sit outside on your own," Emmett warns. -- I will make you sit...

Beautiful chapter. You filled it with an amazing amount of feelings and revelations and your characters overcoming some of their half-truths and demons. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Author's Response: Dan! Hey, Dan!

Sometimes he says bad things and sometimes he says good things. This is definitely one of the good things; he welcomes the cheer. He doesn't get many from me either. :P

The nursery was one of those time when I really had to think of Albus' character to know how to write it, as I've never been in the situation myself. He wouldn't want to ask questions in case things went wrong. He'd feel exactly what you said.

Guys are more natural for me to write than girls, I think because I know more guys than girls. Like, my nan has ten grandkids, including me - there's three girls out of them. And then there's the rest of my family and my friends. So, I'm glad I was able to portray their relationship well.

Lavender. Yes. That was after a very long, thought out talk with Tammi over character development for Theo. All these little triggers create a very big, very bad (depending on how you look at it) outcome that you will start to see in the sequel.

Oh, there's always a moral to Theo's stories. There has to be a reason, otherwise he won't care enough to tell you about it.

Draco is not opposed, but because there's not exactly a good friendship between Harry and Draco Scorpius is afraid he will be. Draco already knows, Astoria told him as soon as she knew. :P

Rose and Albus, they were the ones each other went to; they saw things differently but their approaches to it were the same and they understood each other more. But it all changed when he saw Lexi again and realized she was... nice. :P Telling her story now was sort of forced upon her because of Will and the baby being born, making everything real. If Will hadn't talked to her, the secret probably would have been buried, never talked about - Rose and Lexi were both happy with that. But Will is a good person.

I'll get to the typos. I'm in the process of editing the story. :)

Thank you so much for leaving a review, Dan!


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