Reading Reviews From Member: CambAngst
1,257 Reviews Found

Review #51, by CambAngstMeant for Two: You and Me

12th August 2015:
Hi, Kevin! I'm making my way through the list of people who signed up for GryCReMo, starting off with reviewing some of their stories. Let me get my personal scorekeeping out of the way:

GryCReMo (Review #8)

I sort of liked that you left the identity of the narrator undefined. It sounds like either Katie Bell or Alicia Spinnet, although Demelza Robins is also a possibility. Obviously someone who played Quidditch with Harry and Ginny.

I thought you did a fantastic job of capturing the narrator's inner struggle and the way that she wants to perceive Harry's words and actions. There are so many little moments where it seems like she's reading something totally different into the situation because it's what she wants to believe. But you kept it very subtle, which I thought was a great bit of writing.

Her hands and mine are nothing alike. Chasers know these things about each other, especially when they’ve done each other’s nails before. -- Slow clap... This is not something that most male writers are likely to pick up on, let alone use it as cleverly as you did here.

She’d waited so long for you. How long had it taken? I could be patient too. Things always happen for a reason. -- Ouch. Denial, not just a river in Egypt. Following this up with the scene were Ginny stops by to show off the engagement ring had a lot of impact. The story is officially spiraling downhill for the narrator at that point, although she is still too deep in denial to accept it.

At the head table, I’m all alone. I’ve never been the life of the party and tonight is no exception. Nobody’s noticed the brown-haired girl, sitting silently in the fancy dress with her dull face resting in her hands and her eyes gone dim. Nobody ever does. -- That was a really sad image. I feel terrible for her, but obviously that's the point. Even faced with overwhelming evidence, she can't quite let go of the fantasy.

Your closing line was great, the perfect way to capture the hopelessness of her situation.

You did a brilliant job of writing this. Everything flowed really well and I thought you did a great job of picking the right words to compliment the mood of the narrator and the story. Great job!

Author's Response: Howdy Dan! Thanks so much for stopping by!

I'm glad you enjoyed the mystery narrator, though by your guesses I can see you picked up on the clues.

Part of what I definitely wanted to achieve with this was the misinterpretations that come with unrequited love, while also finding a way to give the piece a sort of ethereal, dream-like quality that simultaneously allowed readers to buy in with her.

And now for the great reveal...who WAS it? Your first guess! Katie Bell! Though it would obviously be quite different if I end up doing it, in some respects I wanted to use this story as practice to see if I could get myself tapped in enough to creating emotion around Harry and Katie in my own head to see if they could be an endgame pairing in an AU fic I'm planning. I still haven't decided, but writing this convinced me I could feel enough about it to make it viable, so I call it a success in that regard.

Thanks for the detailed and thoughtful feedback! It is MUCH appreciated!

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Review #52, by CambAngstHarry Potter and the First Mission: Life Still Goes On

10th August 2015:
Hi, Kenny! I'm starting off my GryCReMo campaign with stories from the other participants and I finally made it to you. First off, let me get my little bit of housekeeping out of the way:

GryCReMo (Review #7)

It doesn't matter how many times I read a story where somebody picks up right after the final battle, I always enjoy it. It's so much fun to me to see different authors' takes on what happened next and compare them to each other and to my own thoughts.

I really like the fact that you didn't forget about Kreacher. He turned out to be a fairly important character in the books and it makes me smile when people continue his newfound loyalty to Harry. I think you can tell a lot about where somebody's head is by the way they write Kreacher.

"The heart-shaped mark club" Love it! I wonder whether that will be important as the story moves on? I also like the brief, manly show of emotion between Ron and Harry. Too many authors either make it really awkward or shy away entirely from having the two of them be happy that they both survived.

Harry and Ginny's reunion... hmmnnn... I tend to prefer that things be a little more complex. He did leave her, after all, plus she thought that he was dead. In my mind, that always left her feeling a lot of different emotions: anger and loss and hope and fear and love and... well, lots of stuff. But I always love it if the two of them get back together fairly soon. I guess you just made it sooner.

Looks like Harry's going to deal with the Elder Wand straight away. Probably for the best.

As far as constructive criticism, I guess one thing is that this chapter is very heavy on dialog and sort of light on narration, description and Harry's thoughts. Sometimes you can say more about what's going through a character's head by having them react, feel and think rather than talk. That's my main suggestion.

Cool start to your story. Now I want to know what happens next!

Author's Response: Hi, Dan. Thank you for stopping by. It's a great pleasure to find one of my fellow authors I respect, leave review on my story.

This is my first fanfiction in English, I'm sure there're lots of grammar things to fix.
Besides I know most of authors take much time writing their angst before jumping their Auror training, but you know, I'm very obsessed with Auror's tale, I might be in haste to the next step.

Your constructive suggestion is really right. This was my first, I had less experience in writing and reading other authors' good stories at that time.
Kayla was helping with beta on this and the next two chapters. And I got your opinion, I have a task to do next. I'll try fixing these little by little.

Thank you again for spending time on this before your housekeeping.


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Review #53, by CambAngstGoodbye: Ginny

10th August 2015:
Hi, Sara! I'm starting off my GryCReMo attempt by reviewing stories from the other participants and you just came up next on the list. So first, let me get my little bit of housekeeping out of the way:

GryCReMo (Review #6)

You made Ginny's feelings completely relatable. The thing that people always associate most with Fred and George is laughter, and I can't imagine many things worse than trading that laughter for tears. Putting myself into Ginny's shoes -- you made that very easy, by the way -- I get that feeling like I'll never be happy again. On some level, we know it's not true, but it's so easy to become trapped in the moment.

The imagery of the tear stains on the wooden coffin was really well done. It has this terrible finality to it.

I like the voice you gave to Ginny's thoughts and feelings. She sounds like a young woman who's been aged prematurely, still showing some traits of youth but without the joy.

I saw one small typo as I was reading:

I want to remember to way you lived, not the way you died. -- I think you meant to say "the way you lived".

The only thing I felt a little iffy about was the last bit. I don't disagree with the concept of Fred looking down with a sad smile, but the phrase "could be referred to as heaven" sounded a little like you were trying to please all possible comers. Honestly, I don't think you need to do that. If you believe Fred's in heaven, I would say so. If you don't, then describe what you do believe. Either way, I don't think anyone could find fault with you.

You really did a nice job with this. I'm curious to see what you've done and will do with the other Weasley siblings.

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Review #54, by CambAngstthe earth and the sky: the earth and the sky

9th August 2015:
Hi, Adi! I thought I'd begin my GryCReMo campaign with stories from the other participants. Let me get my little scorekeeping thing out of the way:

GryCReMo (Review #5)

I guess I could have picked something shorter, given that this is a numbers game, but shorter doesn't usually mean better. I'm really glad I picked this story. I think it gave you so much opportunity to show off your creativity and writing ability. It's obvious that you spent a really long time on this and I think that time paid off. This is an amazing story.

You paced this story brilliantly. The story takes Draco and Astoria from low points to high points and back again, and throughout it all you never feel like you're rushing or dragging. For a story this long, I know that's a really difficult thing to do.

I loved the running themes that you come back to again and again. Need vs. want. It's a simple, powerful concept that really goes a long way toward defining love vs. infatuation. There's also the idea of love overcoming hardship. Aside from it being one of the trademark Harry Potter themes, I think it added a lot to the impact of Astoria's death. You couldn't help but feel like their love was going to pull things out one more time and it really pummels you right in the feels when that doesn't happen.

The way that you wrote both Astoria and Draco was really, really well done. They're real, accessible people. They have good traits and bad, strengths and flaws. They make some good choices and they make some mistakes. Through it all, they're drawn to one another and that's what makes the story so powerful.

Your writing was simply beautiful in this. It felt like you weren't afraid to try anything, and that led to some really spectacular effects.

I've gotten to read some really great stories so far, which I guess is one of the major points of this event. This is definitely one of them. Great job!

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Review #55, by CambAngstThis Treasure: You Make Me Smile

8th August 2015:
Hi, Sian! I thought I'd kick off my GryCReMo attempt by reviewing some stories from the other participants. So I started going down your author's page and then I came to... to this story. OK, more on that in a sec. First, my quick scorekeeping:

GryCReMo (Review #4)

This story. Honesty time: I read this story almost immediately after you posted it. I saw your status update and thought it sounded interesting so I read it. And shortly after reading it, I picked my feels up off the floor and tried to put them back into my chest. They didn't fit quite right -- swelling and bruises, you know -- so I waited a couple of days until they sort of fit back where they were before I read this. Then I tried to write a review, and all the anguish came rushing back in a second. I would guess that I've tried to write this review three different times and failed each time. I can never figure out what to say. So here goes...

I'll start with a question: How did you survive the process of writing this story? It's intense enough to read it. I can't even imagine writing something so sad and powerful. It would have been the end of me.

Your writing in this story was genuinely beautiful. Over and over, I found myself in awe of the way that you chose perfect words to match the mood and the setting of each moment. You were able to alternate seamlessly between the vivid details of Ron's memories and the stark, harsh relief of the present time. The way you set each scene went along beautifully with the content.

Gah, this passage:

‘You know, being here, with you,’ Hermione began, slowing her pace to meet Ron’s eyes. ‘And after everything that’s happened… well, it sounds silly, but it almost feels like we’ve got eternity now. Like we’re immortal.’

A second passed in silence as Ron considered what she’d said. ‘Maybe we have got eternity, Hermione. And,’ he blushed but held her gaze. ‘This doesn’t seem like a bad way to spend it. With you.’

It was the perfect expression of those small conceits of being young and in love and it was the perfect contrast to the story that's being told in the present time.

Every scene you picked from Ron and Hermione's past fit brilliantly into the overall story. In spite of how long this ended up being, I can't think of a single thing I would take out. Not a word went to waste here.

Bet you thought you’d got rid of me, didn’t you? Well it’s not going to happen that easily, Ron! I hope that everything goes okay with the kids; if you need me, I’m always here. Remember that, love. -- Another gut-wrenching line. At every turn, you remind us how Ron never had any reason to question that he and Hermione would spend the rest of their days together. And then comes another cold dose of reality.

The way you ended the story was so lovely. Perfect in its simplicity and devastating in its raw emotional power.

There! Somehow I made it through. Let's agree that you're never going to do something like this to me again, OK Sian?

Seriously, though, for me this is the single most beautiful story that you've ever written. I didn't think I could feel that way about a story where two of my favorite characters suffer such a tragic loss, but it's true. This was amazing.

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Review #56, by CambAngstTrapped: trapped

8th August 2015:
Hi, Kayla! I thought I would start my GryCReMo attempt with stories from the other participants. So let me get my little bit of housekeeping out of the way:

GryCReMo (Review #3)

Like you, I've never suffered from PTSD, but I've observed it from a distance. I think you nailed some of the key symptoms: feelings of being trapped, feelings of isolation and the nagging feeling that other people are talking about you. The irrational bursts of anger and the struggle to differentiate reality from delusion were more extreme symptoms, but come on, the guy was surrounded by Dementors for 14 years. I can't imagine that experience doesn't leave a person with some heavy psychological trauma.

I liked the touchstones from Sirius's story that you used to draw out the nuances of his suffering. His terrible relationship with his family and his guilt over James and Lily's deaths were certainly things that gnawed at him. Snape's constant goading plainly didn't make things any easier. I have definitely seen people with psychological problems react poorly to other people's attempts to "help". The picture holds together very well.

Your writing was really good in this. I couldn't find a single thing wrong with it. You do a really good job choosing the right words to make your descriptions vivid and your narrative tight and high impact. Nothing read awkwardly and the whole story flowed really smoothly.

Great job!

Author's Response: Hi Dan! It's awesome to get a review from you :D

This is definitely intended to be a portrayal of a more severe case of PTSD. I actually even looked into what's known as "PTSD with psychotic tendencies" when writing this. The other thing is that Dementors are meant to be a physical manifestation of depression, so his very feelings of depression would act as a trigger for flashbacks (and in the case of PSTD with psychotic tendencies, hallucinations), making the frequency of these events much higher.

When writing, I was also very aware that Azkaban was not Sirius' only trauma, and that going through that experience could almost heighten the other bad experiences he'd gone through and take them from "bad experience" to "trauma" because of how long he would've spent dwelling on them - if that makes any sense!

I'm so glad that you thought this was well written :) Thanks so much for the awesome review!


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Review #57, by CambAngstThe Forest: Run

8th August 2015:
Hi, Kaitlin! I thought I would start off my GryCReMo reviews with some of the other participants. Allow me to get my scorekeeping out of the way:

GryCReMo (Review #2)

Your story was short, psychological and tense. I liked the sense of foreboding that you created and I liked the memories that Dean used to try to fight off the ever-present feelings of dread and hopelessness. You did a good job of setting up his past life with his muggle relatives and how poorly that life prepared him for trying to survive under the tyranny of Voldemort and the Death Eaters.

The protective spells he used to try to hide himself reminded me of Hermione, Ron and Harry casting spells to hide themselves in the woods. It seems like those spells worked better for the trio, however.

All of your details fit in perfectly with the canon surrounding Dean's time on the run. If there was one thing I would suggest, it's that I would have liked to see some more original events and details. I think I really would have enjoyed seeing you stretch that awesome imagination of yours and come up with new sub-plots to Dean's story.

I like your concept that Dean got his warning from Seamus to go on the run. It seems like the sort of thing Seamus would have done for his friend. Then you closed that plot loop nicely at the end.

Overall, your writing was lovely. I couldn't find a thing wrong with it. The story was a smooth, easy read.

Good job!

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Review #58, by CambAngstActions Speak Louder than Words: Believing: Scorpius POV

8th August 2015:
Hi, Beth! I was excited to see a new chapter up and I read it right away. And I guess procrastinating on the review actually worked in my favor, since I will use this review to kick off...

GryCReMo (Review #1)

aka "Gryffindor Common Room Review Month". At least I think that's what it stands for. Wouldn't that be CryCRReMo? At any rate, neither here nor there.

There's that "crotchety old hospital aide" again. Astatine. It sure seems like you want me to suspect her. And it is very suspicious that she seems to be around whenever something bad is happening or is about to happen to Rose. Very suspicious, indeed. I was thinking back to the blond hair that Rose saw right before she fell. Astatine would have access to Selenia, possibly able to put her under the Imperius Curse. Again, that doesn't perfectly explain why Selenia would save Rose's bacon in the last chapter. Or maybe it just doesn't explain it yet...

Ron and Harry did a really good job of calming the situation and getting Ron to put his brains ahead of his emotions. I really like the way you wrote each of them in this chapter. Harry is a leader. Ron is an over-protective father/Gryffindor. Scorpius is a rational, supportive fiancee. It just works and holds together really well.

It feels like all the cards are on the table now. At least most of them, anyway. So the fact that Rose survived Stannous's enhanced Cruciatus Curse cemented the fact that she was the subject of the prophecy. It's not that she couldn't die, it's that she didn't die. "...and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not..." Ooh, I also like the small detail of Healer Lawrence sending Astatine out of the room. If she's really working for Stannous, Stannous is now working with incomplete information. The parallels to Voldemort and Harry's story get even stronger.

So Stannous believed in the prophecy, but he had to prove it. And prove it repeatedly, it would seem. To me, this makes him a somewhat deeper character than your garden-variety madman. The way this is written makes him sound almost like a disciple of a prophecy that, to a dark wizard, would have semi-religious overtones.

Hmmnn... The picture frame. I see what you did there.

You sure know how to put a person at ease. Harry, Ginny, Ron and Hermione having dinner in the hospital room. Such a nice family atmosphere. And Rose is being so good about accepting Scorpius's apologies. They really are a perfectly matched couple.

And then the ending. Wow. Part of me believes that Scorpius is having a nightmare. I kind of hope he is, to be honest. It's kind of hard to imagine how that many Death Eaters could have gotten inside the hospital without somebody raising an alarm. But then again, it might not be a dream. In which case the next chapter will be very interesting. Ooh! One other possibility, I guess. Could this be part of Scorpius's S.N.A.K.E. exams? Seems way too cruel, especially to Rose. Hospitals aren't known for being great locations for law enforcement simulations.

Oh, who am I kidding? The next chapter will be very interesting no matter what. Already looking forward to it! Great job!

Author's Response: Hiya Dan!

OMG - I was reading about your GryCReMo and the explanation and I thought, "I think it needs another 'R'..." and then you wrote that...

It was all very funny as it unfolded in my head.

Astatine (element #85 - I'm a super nerd). Do I *want* you to suspect her, or am I making it too obvious... Or is the fact that she's too obvious a decoy... hmmm..

And all I'm going to say about Selenia is that she has black hair with a purple streak. But there are other characters with light hair - lots of them (mmmwwahahaha)

I don't have a good enough word to express the way I'm so, SO relieved that the Ron-Harry-Scorpius scene played out. I messed around with that one for a bit.

Yes! I knew if any reader would pick up on the parallels in the story to Harry, it would be you! I really, REALLY wanted to write a next-gen story where they had their own battles to fight - apart form AND along with the original trio. I wasn't really intending any religious undertones, but Stannous does see himself and a pretty important dude. He's the son of Bellatrix, after all. But I did want to have a villain that was darker than most - with no conscience and a dark need to pick up where his mother left off.

Food puts everyone at ease. At least everyone in my family. ;) Rose is a really, REALLY forgiving person. She doesn't harbor any hard feelings about Scorpius working out his issues. It's just her way.

Oh Geez - you have really good guesses (close...). Aaannd since I've taken ridiculously long to reply to this review, there are now two more chapters posted. I know. I'm terrible. I've just about finished my unanswered reviews and I have no intention of letting them pile up like this again.

Thanks again Dan - this review really helped me to feel better about the story!

♥ Beth

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Review #59, by CambAngstA Study in Silver: It's Time to Go Now

1st August 2015:
Hi, Roisin!

First off, I'm honored by your mention of Detox in the author's note. This is a great story and I'm really happy to have played some tiny role in it. The parallel is interesting, because neither Blishwick (yours or mine) ever saw themselves as a villain. Rather, they believed that the ends of their work justified the means, no matter how ugly the means might have been. There are differences in scale and scope (doxies vs. drug addicts) but the underlying principle is the same. Oh, and for the record, my Blishwick never killed Alice Longbottom. :p

Seeing Perry puke all over Blishwick's barrister was... satisfying. I was wondering how you were going to resolve that situation, and I definitely approve.

I really like what you did with the Wizengamot chamber scene setup. For me, it leaned more toward that harsh feel of the Wizengamot from Dumbledore's memory of Karkaroff implicating Barty Crouch, Jr. and less toward the pompous, aristocratic feel from Harry's trial. I like the former better. It's about one step removed from what you'd imagine for a drumhead trial being conducted by a secret society of evil sorcerers in their lair deep underground.

I thought you did a good job with Hermione. She's obviously more of a commanding presence at this age, but no one single individual can ever seem to silence a room full of entitled politicians. It's like trying to bring order to British Parliament. The illusion of decorum is always temporary. In spite of her age, she still feels like Hermione. When Roxanne goes off-script, I got that put-upon feeling from Hermione that I got used to whenever Harry and Ron would fail to study or dramatically change the plan in the books.

I guess if anyone was going to have a chance of imposing some sort of order on the Wizengamot, it would be McGonagall. At this point, there would be three or four full generations of Britain's magical population who would need to fight a subconscious urge to clam up and be on their best behavior whenever she glared at them. That said, there was just... something that bugged me a little about her being in this position. It's hard to put my finger on. Given my perfect druthers, I guess I would have preferred an OC here.

Blishwick! Gah, that guy needs some serious Dementor time to correct his 'tude. Unfortunately he won't be getting that, but at least he didn't get away with it. You did a great job making him a condescending, self-important ideologue with a hopelessly flawed set of priorities. His dialog was great.

Poor Rosie. Obviously she's not a completely innocent bystander here, but it feels like her heart was in the right place. At least she only got the community service, which probably won't bother her in the slightest.

Wow. So the spawn of Skeeter actually contributes something worthwhile to society. I admit, that twist caught me completely by surprise. Nicely done.

I noticed one small typo as I was reading:

"The right thing!" The Healer laughed. "Do not be so sentimental. Your conscious is not more precious, Miss Weasley, than the life saving innovations possible if my plan works." -- conscience, I believe.

I'm very interested to read your epilogue. I'm hoping that it shows Roxanne on the outside, after she's served her time. Hopefully there will be some greater good to come from this whole mess. Maybe she can even back-door her way back into Healing.

Great job!

Author's Response: Yes, exactly! Haha, when I was coming up with names for Blishwick I was like "well you know who he kinda reminds me of..." I'd go so far as to say that the two Blishwicks are related, only that's impossible. This story can't be in-universe with Detox because it's implied to have a radically different Astoria (and Scorpius, actually).

Oh the puking, I struggled a LOT to get the comic timing on that right. So glad you found it satisfying.

Oof, this court system was quite... Baroque. It seemed a bit loose and whatever in canon, so I kind of rolled with that and pulled in some stuff about the Italian court system (which I only know about from reading a weird amount of books on Amanda Knox [who was DEF innocent]). And then yeah, the chaos of Parliament too.

Aging-up the trio is very scary to me so I'm glad you though I did Hermione justice. Because yeah, I wanted her to be recognizable as the character from the books, but with the increased authority granted by age and status. She was always an easily frustrated person, which I think is partially the result of being very passionate. She probably would have had to learn how to compartmentalize a bit as she grew up and had decades of experience in the Ministry, but wouldn't ever become completely un-ruffleable.

OK McGonnagal makes sense, I swear! So Dumbledore if you remember, Dumbledore was actually chief Sorcerer of the Wizengamot WHILE he was headmaster! His title was briefly stripped during OotP, but otherwise, he held that position. So it would make sense that McGonnagal would have held the position at some point too (and she's definitely VERY fair). I felt like the person presiding here had to be some sort of major player, and McGonnagl just seemed to fit the bill best. Plus she's funny when she's not amused :P

Rose was definitely involved in order to show how complicated these things can be, and how even otherwise good people can kind of fall into making bad choices. Like, the drug trade isn't just composed of shadowy bad guys; it's a disorganized, chaotic network of people doing things for all sorts of reasons.

Yay I'm glad the twist worked! I figured that Marga wasn't really a /bad/ person, or at least, not totally immoral and evil. And she never exactly lied about Roxanne, and had some measure of evidence for everything she printed (even probably believed a lot of it herself). So of course she'd take the opportunity to get juicy information about a renowned healer out there. It's just that in this situation, the information is actually true and her help is actually helpful.

Whoops, edited! Thank you!

Epilogue will be up soon! Thank you so much for reviewing, Dan!


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Review #60, by CambAngstA Study in Silver: The Game Is On

22nd July 2015:
In the event that you are currently having misgivings, know that everything is going according to plan.

You know, I've really got to side with Roxie on this one. "Plan" is such a strong word for what's going on here. I'll just take a deep breach and keep reminding myself: Gringott's, polyjuice, dragon... serenity.

One of your many cousins (ginger, if that narrows it down at all) -- Huge help, there, Scorpius. Were they also magical? ;)

You've made quite a case in this chapter for Healer Blishwick being the mastermind behind the silver. Which tends to make me suspicious. Is she trying to throw us off of the trail of the real mastermind? Probably not. The patent application is pretty damning evidence. Unless Blishwick was merely "consulting" for the real mastermind and saw an opportunity to make a fast buck for himself.

Perry must have gotten an excellent grade in Charms if he could manage psychic cryptography, Roxanne thought. -- This might have been my favorite line in the chapter. Call me nerdy. You know, because I'm nerdy.

I love the way you managed the passage of time in this chapter to drive toward the big crescendo. It was really well done and it gave the whole thing a great sense of urgency.

Poor Hugo. Sounds like a lost soul if ever there way one. So lost, in fact, that he's not even involved.

Rose lived on the outskirts of Hogsmeade, because of course she did. -- That one made me snigger, too.

Scorpius has quite the flair for chronicling his own (mis)adventures. I'm sure there's a book deal in this for him when it's all over, assuming he can get himself together enough to write it.

I also love the little digs Scorpius keeps making about Roxanne and Blishwick's affair. He knows how to keep her just angry enough to stay motivated.

"I suwwendow!" she yelled, cheeking the evidence. -- I really liked this as an end to a very tense, action-packed scene. A little humor always goes well with that.

Finch-Fletchley frogmarched her through the Ministry for all of her former colleagues to see. -- This line struck me as a little odd. It seems like her former colleagues would have seen her as he marched her out of St. Mungo's.

Hymn... so why did he swallow the evidence? Maybe he doesn't trust the Aurors who will surely do a halfway decent search on him at some point. Regardless, the evidence isn't lost, just... temporarily unavailable. And yucky.

Neat chapter! It feels (maybe I'm wrong) like the plot is starting to wind down toward a conclusion. Looking forward to reading more!

Author's Response: Gringotts-polyjuice-dragon! That was totally my inspiration for this!

Aha! The ginger thing, SO: actually. That was def meant to read as a joke, as you took it, but think about it. There's a reason I included a picture of EVERY SINGLE COUSIN in the CI for 'Meet the Wotters'--and if you remember correctly, only 3 are gingers (and Lily is said to be back in Germany), so that hint actually DOES narrow it down a lot!

Oh man, you are way too clever for me. You're getting all up in sEqUeL territory!

"So lost, in fact, that he's not even involved"-BAH! That is a HILARIOUS analysis!

I super enjoyed writing as Perry. I wanted it to still be good enough to read, but then sort of slightly flawed--like, some weirdly purple sections and odd word choices and a lot of adverbs. Getting the comic balance was a little tricky, but I had fun with it nonetheless!

'Just angry enough to stay motivated' is so on point. Perry is a lot better at reading Roxanne than she realizes.

GOSH, stupid MINISTRY line. YES, that was supposed to say St. Mungo's! I've edited it now. UGH, all through editing my eyes kept getting drawn to that line but I couldn't figure out why! THANK YOU!

And yes, you're absolutely right--there are only two chapters left, but one is the epilogue. So plotwise, we're almost at the end.

YEE! Thank you so much for this review!

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Review #61, by CambAngstPain Makes You Beautiful: Rated Mature for themes and content.

16th July 2015:
Hi, pix!

I guess I could nit-pick you over the canonality (is that a word?) of how Peter came to have the secret to share with Voldemort, but that's about as much criticism as I can offer.

Your range as a writer is amazing. I was re-reading some of Rabbit Heart last night, trying to ramp back up on that story and take in some of the edits you've made. It's hard to believe that I'm reading two stories by the same person. The depth of Sirius's anguish and the flippant disregard for everything as he crashes downhill are heart-wrenching. The raw, emotionally over-charged way that you wrote this tears at the heart strings. Heck, it tears the heart OUT and throws it down and stomps on it until there's nothing left but a red stain.

I've rarely seen somebody do such a good job with the physical aspect of a same-sex relationship. You manage to take those scant details and make them fit perfectly into the broader themes of attachment and need and disaffection and self-destructive dependency. Remus's affection has a drug-like effect on Sirius, giving him a pale sort of hope in the face of an impossible situation.

I have to mention what you did with Peter, and how you drew out the similarities between his behavior and Remus's. I don't think I've ever seen someone do such a good job of presenting the confusing and ambiguous situation that would have confronted James and Sirius as they tried to figure out who the traitor was. Two possibilities, both moody (no pun intended), mysterious and unapproachable in their own way.

You did an incredible job with this story. pix does it again!

Author's Response:

Dan! You read my angsty angst piece!

I seriously wanted this to be completely canon-compliant, but there was this idea I had and when I had it down, it was too rooted in this piece for me to alter it, so yeah. We'll just pretend that that's the way it happened... (squint squint) Although now, I think I could go back and edit to make it work... but I am loathe to do so at this point. I think I'm going to let it stand as it is.

Ah, well. I think I'm STILL allergic to this angst stuff. It felt like I was going into anapylactic shock writing this way. The language alone made me squick all over the place, but something like this just couldn't be censored and still achieve the same effect. I'm glad this was only a one-shot, or I would have needed serious fluff-therapy afterwards.

Actually, I need several hugs. This was excruciatingly hard on many levels.

You got it all. Themes, everything. I am so relieved that all of that came through. Also, with Peter. Thanks for bringing that up. I can't believe that he was part of the group without being a true friend on some level. He had to have had their trust, and the point of betrayal would have been a huge shock, completely unexpected, but more obvious in hindsight.

Thanks for reading this thing. I am now going to wrap myself up in something fuzzy and eat chocolate.


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Review #62, by CambAngstCold Blood: Light up the Dark

8th July 2015:
I... hmmnnn... You seem to really want me to suspect Hermione here. Hermione has as much reason to dislike Umbridge as anyone, which is to say lots. Although she's never been the type to hold a grudge, Hermione has as much reason as Ron or Harry to have ill will toward Xeno Lovegood. He tried to sell the three of them out to the Death Eaters, after all. Hermione also works inside the Ministry. But Xeno Lovegood is such an odd fit. It's hard to see it. So either it's someone I'm not thinking of, or it's possible that Xeno had reason to suspect the actual killer. Some piece of information. I'm very curious to see what's in those letters, and I'm honestly a bit surprised that Harry and Ron would allow Luna to simply owl them instead of going directly to Xeno's house to retrieve them.

If there's one thing I'd critique you on so far, actually, it's that the investigation feels loosely run. Ron and Harry's visit felt mostly like a social call with a couple of work questions thrown in. I know that they're friends with Luna and they wouldn't want to upset her. That's why it's also odd that Robards would send them to conduct the interview. It's hard to imagine they could be objective.

I have to admit that I had a hard time following Robards's character in this chapter. At the beginning, he's being so gruff and angry and commanding. He seems angry that Harry wasn't at the Ministry already when Harry was eating breakfast at home. But as soon as the meeting starts, all that changes. It's like he's still angry, but we have no idea what he's angry about. Then he turns sympathetic when it comes up that Ron and Harry are friends with Luna. I'm trying to figure out what makes the character tick and in that way he was confusing in this chapter.

I really like the second person voice you're giving to your killer. He or she is plainly a smart, shadowy operator. A planner by nature. Another reason to suspect Hermione, actually.

Let's see, what else? I love Luna's house. It sounded like the perfect setting for her. Harry is also a very good husband. He's figured out the tricks of the trade. ;)

Second chapters are really hard, so please don't take my critiques as suggesting that I didn't enjoy the chapter. I definitely did and I'm looking forward to more!

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Review #63, by CambAngstCold Blood: It begins with pink

8th July 2015:
Hi, Erin!

I've heard so much about this story. I wanted to give it a go.

I liked your choice of second person for the killer. Presumed killer, anyway. I suppose we don't know anything for certain at this point. At any rate, you can definitely feel the animosity and cruelty the killer feels toward Umbridge. It's not overly difficult to relate to, mind you. I always thought Umbridge was a less likeable character than... well, than any of the other characters. Is it bad that I sort of enjoyed her ignominious end and I wish that scene had gone on longer? :(

You know, I agree with Harry. Something was bugging me, too. And I actually know what it is. How did Robards know that Umbridge's mind was "in tatters" if she was already dead when she was discovered? I'm going to file that bit away for future reference...

I love the way you've built up Umbridge's cat lady pad. It sounds like a place that would give me a headache in less than 30 seconds. Like the love child of Madam Puddifoot's tea shop and, well... Dolores Umbridge's office from Deathly Hallows.

Ron has some sharp eyes. That's pretty impressive that he could pick out a single, black hair amid the chaos of a torture/murder scene. I wonder whether I'm meant to see him as a possible suspect, too? Anyhow, black hair... Cho Chang? Harry Potter? Pansy Parkinson?

I saw one little typo as I was reading:

She puffed out her chest and her eyes seemed to be trying to burn a whole through you, with the intensity of their gaze and indignation. -- burn a hole


She turned out to be a gracefully ageing woman of forty three, and a big bundle of nerves when the two Aurors turned up at her doorstep. -- is "ageing" a British spelling that I'm just unfamiliar with? It looked odd to me.

This was a very intriguing and mysterious first chapter. Your writing was really easy to follow and everything flowed nicely. I feel like I have the basics of the story, but you didn't waste a lot of time dumping back story on me, which I appreciate. Good job!

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Review #64, by CambAngstA Study in Silver: Such Savage Methods

5th July 2015:
Hi, Roisin! Savage, indeed!

Poor Roxanne has so many different perspectives to try to reconcile at this point. Her head has to be spinning. First there's her uncle, who views Scorpius with a sort of cautious pity. Far from dislike, and I think Harry would like to see her be able to help Scorpius, but he also wants her to be very careful. Then there's Mrs. Hudson, who seems to view him with a motherly sort of tolerance, tainted by a strong dose of financial self-interest. Draco doesn't make things any easier, combining his seemingly earnest gratitude with a strong note of warning.

Finally, there's Scorpius, himself. He definitely presents like a well-heeled addict living in a fantasy where his self-appointed role as investigator of the world's obscure conspiracies also allows him to justify his addiction. At the same time, he actually brings a very unique perspective to things that seems to allow him to make connections that the rest of the world misses. He's a complicated, nuanced and genuinely likable character, but I don't expect anything less from your stories. :)

You drew out another neat contrast in this chapter, one that we can add to the impressive list. Scorpius's drug abuse is so organized and measured and defined compared to the general chaos that defines the rest of his life. He's confident he knows what the "safe dose" of heroin is. Exactly the right amount to induce an unresponsive state without overdosing. He knows the percentage of solution for his uppers. His injection kit sounds immaculate. This is so true of most of the users and high-functioning addicts I've known. The drugs reduce their life to barely-controlled chaos, but they treat the management and administration of the drugs, themselves, like a science.

Wow, James is, umm... he gets around. Two hook-ups in the same chapter. That's impressive by any standard. And the couch. Yikes. At least I'm sure Roxie knows some great cleaning/sanitizing spells.

Harry seems to know a lot about Scorpius's drug abuse problems. There's obviously another connection here that hasn't been explained yet. I'm curious to see what that will be.

I really loved the back-and-forth that leads to Scorpius's epiphany about Blishwick. Possible epiphany, anyway. That solution feels entirely too tidy for this story, but I'll withhold judgment. The one thing that I wish you'd done differently would be to continue the conversation, with all of its little expressions and nuances, instead of fading into the alternating italics-plain-italics-plain format. I realize that it would have made the chapter even longer, but I feel like you could have gotten enough bang for the buck to justify it.

We finally get to the truth about why Roxie was drummed out of St. Mungo's. It strikes me as a situation where everyone involved has a certain amount of blood on their hands, and I'm not just talking about the blood from Blishwick's nose.

The woman was old - one of the first residential Cruciatus victims. A former auror. She'd been injured back in the first war. -- And suddenly I'm very sad.

Like I was saying, though, it seems like Roxie was complicit in Blishwick's experiments up to a point. I can see why this will be very hard for her.

Wow. So the plan is to set Blishwick up by having Scorpius overdose and then getting him on the inside? Well, on a scale of zero to "breaking into a fortress of a bank guarded by wizards, goblins and dragons", I suppose it's not completely ridiculous.

The dealer who sells Silver to Roxanne was another nice piece of writing. You find a way to make it so that even the most mundane, characters in your world still have a soul.

I really liked the way you wrote Draco Malfoy in this chapter. He still has a sort of dignity about him, the resolve needed to simply move past the war and try to live a quiet life where his presence no longer antagonizes people. It's obviously not been easy, and you can see the signs in all of his behavior.

The game is on, indeed. Things should get much more interesting from here. Looking forward to it!


Author's Response: DAN!

But first, /facepalm/. I really should have titled this chapter Such Savage MEANS - just pretend I did!

One of my favorite things about HP, and Rowling's writing in general, is how different characters all have slightly different ideas and strategies about what the Right thing to do is. Even among the good characters, they don't always agree on the exact right course of action. And I do think, in complicated situations, there isn't necessarily ONE right thing, or not an exact right thing.

Your analysis of Perry is so incisive, and I think you really hit the nail on the head with that. I'm also infinitely pleased that you still find him likable, since I gave him a pretty heaping dose of flaws and nuance.

I threw in the bit about the immaculate order of his works last minute, and am so glad I did, because that really is such a THING. Addicts do kind of LOVE drugs - not just doing them, but the stuff itself. They like the idea of them and the aesthetic of them and being around them and talking about them. They could have found another way to go about this mystery, that didn't involved buying stuff on the street and then him using it, but of course, that's the plan HE would come up with.

A pretty common thing in Mystery novels is to kind of withhold the reveal until the end and have the investigators sort of showdown with the Big Bad and discuss their schemes ("And I would have gotten away with it, too...") While I love mysteries - like Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie and Rowling's new stuff, I always feel a little disappointed by those endings, so I wanted to try and do it another way. So rather than reveal the Big Bad at the end, I reveal him earlier, then have a bunch MORE stuff happen before the end.

I'll definitely think about what you said, re: the italicized stuff. There was just SO much dialogue going on there. But I may yet revise that section. Hmmm...

As far as Roxanne's sort of mindset regarding St. Mungo's, I think there are two things going on there. First, she wasn't, historically, all that distrustful of authority figures. I think this makes sense, because her family BECAME much of the authority post-war, so she has a lot of trust in superiors and institutions in general. Then also, Roxanne DOES have a temper. While occasionally naive about things, and rather youthful, she isn't immature, so she's very capable of compartmentalizing and controlling her temper. But she's also a very righteous and moralistic person, which is why I think she lost it at that juncture.

Oh yes... I killed Alice... I felt VERY bad about that :(

And YES - I feel like feather-brained plans would be much more accepted, post-war, as there's a bit of a precedent for them :P

That dealer had a lot to do with Roxanne sort of peeling back the mask, and beginning to see that the drug underworld isn't just a faceless underbelly, but a disorganized network of actual human beings who are not all homogenous. And, the idea that there can be some degree of professional ethics even among dealers.

Oh man, I LOVE writing this version of Draco. I've taken everything Rowling's said very much to heart, but still feel this weird compulsion to redeem him, so my compromise is to to make his redemption slightly tragic. Like, he sort of lives his life in a self-imposed penance, and becomes a very mild person, to the point of almost seeming fragile. I think there's a canon justification for that fragility, and think it could make sense that everything he experienced during and after the war would have killed all his cocky superiority.

Thank you SO MUCH for reviewing, Dan! The next chapter is written, and should be up soon :D


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Review #65, by CambAngstDevlin Potter: Convergence Riddles: Something Synthetic

28th June 2015:
Hi, Tori! I'm here for our swap.

I know that Devlin's small conceits are part and parcel to his character and he comes by them honestly, but they're also frustrating.

Harry did not understand; Devlin had Snape under control. Devlin had weapons. -- Sure, Dev. Whatever. We shall soon see who's controlling who.

He felt like that little lost boy as he stared at it all; certain it should have experienced the same level of change he had. -- You really nailed it with this one. I remember coming home from college to visit, feeling surprised that things hadn't changed much at all. And I wasn't even surrounded by murderous psychopaths at college. Devlin has changed so much -- been through so much -- since he left home to go to Hogwarts. Normality must be kind of jarring for him.

I love the way that you threaded Devlin's newfound knowledge of James and Lily's death through this chapter. It impacts his every interaction with Harry. Knowing is such a huge thing for Devlin and now he knows this very meaningful thing that Harry does not. It seems like it makes him feel powerful in one way buy wary and almost a little vulnerable in another.

"Hi, Mum." If someone at school dared to call him that, there would be blood all over them and Devlin's fist. He marveled at the fact that he had become so accustomed to her calling him that, that embarrassment no longer made his cheeks flush. She came over and ruffled his hair, planting a kiss into his scalp - an area that was hard to guard against her affection. -- I'm pretty sure that was my favorite paragraph of the whole chapter. I love the imagery and the feeling.

I really liked Emma's response to Devlin's reasoning for not becoming friends with Andrew. It's age-appropriate, which means a little simplistic in this case, but she also has a good point. Devlin can't go through four years of school isolating himself from everyone. Harry was putting his friends at the same basic risk, and that worked out pretty well in the end.

Hey, it's our old friend the wolf! I really love these scenes where you play with the dichotomy of Devlin and his wolf. Watching the wolf struggle to function in "the boy's world" is both entertaining and instructive.

It's pretty obvious by mid-chapter that something is very wrong with Devlin. Whatever's wrong also seems to be getting worse. His nightmare about killing Harry and Emma is eerily reminiscent of the scene in OotP where Harry was seeing through Nagini's eyes.

Harry's gift was pretty awesome and it says a lot about the near-term future that Harry sees for Devlin. I liked that he didn't bother with anything like an emergency portkey. Devlin would never use it anyway. But the "wizard survival kit" could come in handy in a lot of ways. Now the potions kit was another interesting touch, especially the part where he notes that Voldemort doesn't encourage him to take an interest in it. Duly noted...

I always feel strange when I'm writing a review and I come to the part of a chapter where Snape and Devlin are interacting. I feel like I should write more about it, because I enjoy the two of them immensely. But I never seem to be able to, because nothing I can say about them seems adequate. It's such a sublime pleasure to see these two magnificent characters spar and dance. It's even better, I think, when we get to see it from Snape's point of view. The last half of the story was a treat.

I'll say a bit about Geoffrey. It's fairly clear now how the curse that Voldemort used to tie him to Devlin works. I like Geoffrey's through process here. He has a small edge over Devlin, one that actually helps him to keep the boy safe. And he's not about to five that up.

The last scene introduced so many new possibilities, it had my head spinning. A synthetic ingredient, whose effectiveness seems tied, in some way, to either Voldemort's magic or the magic of the person who synthesized it. It does seem very unnatural, and the possibility that Voldemort himself was unaware of it means that it's possible that whoever the Dark Lord commissioned to create the potion betrayed him after a fashion.

"Of course you will, because you have chosen to play a very dangerous game. Foolish boy." -- That moment when you realize that Snape knew more of what he was talking about than you imagined possible.

"And yet, you took it. How powerful you are." -- My review would be woefully incomplete if I didn't highlight the best Snape moment of the story so far.

I believe I caught a typo:

He yanked a the door, making his imagine disappear, while revealing the potions behind. -- yanked at the door

Awesome job! I really enjoyed this one!

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Review #66, by CambAngstActions Speak Louder than Words: Bated Breath: Scorpius POV

26th June 2015:
Hi, Beth! I read this chapter a week ago and writing this review has been on my to-do list ever since. Let's see if I can fix that this morning!

So you've now compounded the mystery of who attacked Rose with the mystery of why the healers can't keep her heart rate under control. I'm looking all over for suspects here. Based on the blond hair from the last chapter, I didn't feel like I could completely rule out Scorpius. Whether he was possessed or under the influence of some curse or whatever the reason, the details would fit. But then we see the calming effect he has on Rose in this chapter and it makes me less suspicious. Then again, sometimes when you make me less suspicious, that makes me more suspicious. You see the complex relationship I have with this story. ;)

The next common thread that runs through everything bad that's happened to Rose (the attack on her flat, the attack on the pub and the attack at Grimmauld Place) is Selenia. In her case, the question would be motivation. She's obviously had plenty of opportunities to kill Rose along the way, without any interference from anyone, so why would she resort to such brazen tactics and then help to keep Rose alive. Unless, of course, her objective isn't to kill Rose but instead to draw Rose and Scorpius together. Perhaps more people than just Hermione understand that the prophecy likely refers to Scorpius and Rose, not Stannous and Rose. Perhaps there are forces conspiring to bring about the birth of Rose and Scorpius's child, but intending to kidnap and raise the baby for their own, nefarious purposes. So perhaps cursing Rose to raise her heart rate was a plan to try to force the healers to take the baby early? Or perhaps I'm overthinking this by a mile.

The last thread is the woman at St. Mungo's who also worked at the pub. She would be an untidy solution, since she wasn't around for the attack on Rose's flat. Unless... hmmnn... I can't remember which happened first, the incident where all of the splinched victims came to St. Mungo's or the attack on the flat. I might have to go back and check.

Anyway, along with this chapter. I really liked Scorpius's private little confession to Rose in the hospital room. It's pretty much everything that I think all of your readers have been thinking for several chapters now. It also reminds me a bit of a scene that you'll see near the very end of CoB, so we have some nice synergy working here. ;)

I'm a little conflicted about the way Scorpius's presence affects Rose's condition. Don't take this the wrong way, but it felt a little too easy to me. Throughout the story, you've done such a great job of detailing the struggles that these characters face and showing how they're able to overcome them. It's not that I wish difficulty on Rose and Scorpius, but it felt a little awkward in the context of the rest of the story.

Healer Lawrence seems like a great, thunderous jerk. By the time the big confrontation is filling the room, I was rooting for Albus to curse him.

Again, we see Selenia intervening at the perfect moment to prevent something from happening to Rose that might hurt the baby and to bring Rose and Scorpius closer together. Why does this character doing such a wonderful, selfless thing make me so suspicious??? This is what you do to me, Beth!!!

I liked the contrast you were able to create between the amusing chaos going on outside of Scorpius's silencing spell and the very touching moment happening inside of it. It's as though there were two separate worlds coexisting in the same room, divided by this semi-transparent barrier.

That's mostly all I have. I enjoyed it thoroughly, but I am filled with suspicion. Whodunnit? Who? WHO?

I hope we find out soon. Can't take much more. :p

Great job!

Author's Response: Hi there Dan!

I'm still plowing through all of these - and your reviews always take me a bit longer to craft a reply. This one is no exception.

Gah! I can't reveal anything yet. But I'm smiling and giggling at your guesses. You have a wild imagination and you are very perceptive. I know, I know, that doesn't help. Well, I see you've mentioned all the *usual* suspects... In fact, you've mentioned nearly everybody (hee hee).

I'm so glad you liked Scorpius's heartening confession. I always worry that he comes off as too sappy for a "manly auror-type," and when readers (especially fantastic authors like you) give me a thumbs up, I fell like I've hit the mark. Also some of the time, I feel like I don't have complete control over my characters - and they do and say things before I realize I've typed it down on the page.

Hmmm... I'll give that section another look with Scorpius being the 'antidote' to Rose's cursed magic. I think I was bringing back the special type of healing that he could do (in certain situations) - like how he healed her scars earlier in the story.

Haha! Healer Lawrence is a git - but he's got a good reason to be wary of the Auror department. Although it's not excuse for him to let that get between him and his patient. He realizes this, and makes up for it later on.

Oh no! I don't mean to make you suspicious of everyone. I actually LOVE Selenia. She's a great friend to the group.

Haha - I hope you can take a *little* bit more. There's some definite angst coming along.

Thanks again so, so much for all of these reviews. And I need to apologize again for taking inexcusably long to reply.

♥ Beth

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Review #67, by CambAngstThe Human Factor : The One Where Everything Changes

21st June 2015:
Hi, Keely! It's always a special treat when you come back around to update this story. It's also a special treat when Pippa experiences a big change in her life. So this chapter was a double treat!

Whenever I come back to this story after a long break, one of the things that hits me is just how well you write these deeply introspective scenes where Pippa translates emotional pain into physical pain. It's a special talent you have and I really hope it isn't based too much on real life experience because the way you write it is gut-wrenching. Pippa is such a tortured soul. I know there's a component of it that's over-dramatized. She's a teenager, after all. But there's obviously part of it that's horribly, agonizingly real and I feel terrible for her. Every time I come back to this story I'm blown away all over again.

When Pippa has these tender moments with Scorpius -- which Scorpius is usually not aware of -- I feel like it's one of the rare occasions that we're seeing her as she used to be, before her break-up tore her world apart. It's a different angle on the character and it adds so much depth and nuance. I also think it's striking how strong Scorpius really is, to be able to take all the abuse Pippa directs toward him but still see the person that she is on the inside. Pippa thinks she's tough, but it's a very fragile sort of toughness. Scorpius is, in reality, much tougher.

Ah, Slytherin girls in love. You did a really good job of capturing the complex emotions and relationship dynamics between Emilie and Damien. It's obvious that she went into things with one set of intentions and, well, love has a funny way of surprising you. Pippa both understands and doesn't understand. It obviously evokes some powerful feelings in her, and I felt so bad for her when she's gripped by the desire to go running back to her ex. One last thing, I thought it was perfectly in character for Pippa not to be able to accept or be happy for Emilie and her brother.

Since everything else is burning down in this chapter, I suppose it was a good time to deal with Cassie and her betrayal. Truthfully, Pippa took it better than I expected. Which is not to say she took it well, mind you. It's just that she didn't crumble on the spot or collapse into a fit of cleaning. Well, I guess that came a bit later.

And then comes Albus. This is definitely a moment I've been waiting for. That said, it happened in a pretty painful, emotionally overcharged moment. Which, I suppose, was to be expected. There definitely weren't going to be any sweet moments between these two. Instead, it was rough and aggressive and there was a definite struggle for control. That's what makes these two so perfect for one another, I think. They both have this burning need to be in control and dominate every aspect of their lives, yet they seem to crave giving up control. You write it all brilliantly.

I was so excited to see you post a new chapter. I really do love this story. There are so many Next Gen stories on HPFF that try to achieve the perfect mix of angst and humor and drama and sarcasm and confusing teenage romance that you have created. Like I said, it's often imitated but never quite equaled. By the way, this is my 1,200th review in the archives and I am very pleased that it went to your story. Until next time!

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Review #68, by CambAngstShattered: Chapter 1

18th June 2015:
Hi, Kaitlin and Theia! I saw the tweet about this story and it sounded interesting.

Bad people come from bad situations, or so the saying goes. I think you did a good job of showing the situation that gave us Barty, Sr. and Barty, Jr. It was heart-breaking to read, how the poor boy was neglected by his workaholic father.

The picture you painted here fits so perfectly with everything we know about this family from the books. Barty, Sr. is such a gruff, angry person. It's not at all hard to imagine him making snap decisions, like sending Sirius away to Azkaban with no trial. Given his violent nature, it's also not hard to imagine him allowing (probably even encouraging) the Aurors to use unforgivable curses against the Death Eaters.

Mrs. Crouch shows all the signs of being a battered spouse. It's also apparent that she's trying her hardest to compensate for her husband's pattern of neglecting Barty, Jr. Again, not hard at all to imagine her willingly taking her son's place in Azkaban.

The seeds of resentment are plainly being sown between Barty, Jr. and his father. A parent's attention means so much to little kids, and he isn't getting any. Then to hear his father say such hurtful things and physically assault his mother... awful!

I saw one thing that looked like a typo to me:

The smell of chocolate cake wafted through the air and politer chatter filled the room. -- polite chatter

Otherwise, lovely writing. Everything flowed nicely and it was an easy read that didn't feel as long as it was. Good job and good luck in your collab!

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Review #69, by CambAngstSirius Black: Escape from Azkaban: Chapter One: A Dog's Day of Freedom

17th June 2015:
Hi, Kat! I'm here for our swap. This is, for whatever it's worth, the first swap I've ever hooked up via Twitter. Breaking new ground.

I thought you did a fabulous job of capturing all of the thought and feelings that run through Sirius as he makes his bid for freedom. The way you wrote it wasn't overdone or emotionally monochromatic. (That's a thing, right? ;) It was subtle and complicated and nicely balanced. You hit on all of the events and reactions that would have been meaningful to Sirius and you gave us some really good context for what's to come.

I like what you did with the impact that the Dementors had on Sirius and the other inmates. Stealing a person's emotions, leaving them devoid of feelings is a bit of a different take from what I normally read. Being forced to relive your worst memories while being emotionally drained must be a terrible, hollow existence. It also sets the stage very well for what happens next. I didn't have any problem believing that Sirius would have preferred death to continuing to live the life he had in Azkaban. The only thing that seemed odd about him jumping off the cliff was that he took so long to do it.

Once he arrives on the mainland (more or less. Britain is an island, but you know what I mean) the rush of feeling and emotion was breathtaking to read. All of the sensations (warmth, energy, exhilaration) and emotions (joy, sadness, anger) that tear through Sirius were really well done. Even though he must have been exhausted and starving, it's not hard to imagine him taking the time to simply enjoy being free and able to think and feel clearly again.

I liked that you left some ambiguity around the dream, whether it was truly a supernatural experience or merely Sirius's mind struggling with his feelings. I'm quite sure this is exactly how the conversation would have played out if James and Remus had actually been there, and I'm sure that Sirius's subconscious mind knows that. So is it real or is it all in his head? Well, we all know the proper answer to that question. ;)

Your writing was great in this chapter. Everything flowed beautifully and I only saw one thing that I'd suggest editing:

He'd felt the wind blow across his face in the clearing, he'd felt James' arms wrap around him just as Sirius' own did around James after Prong's parents died, he'd felt the tears about to fall down his face just as he did the day he found Lily and James dead in their home twelve years ago. -- Prongs's parents

I have to assume that you're planning to edit it more for substance than style, so I'm sort of curious what you're going to change. Overall, great job! Thanks for the swap!

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Review #70, by CambAngstGrey.: Grey

14th June 2015:
Hi, Gabbie!

This story was a really powerful study in self-loathing. After the terrible things that Draco did in your timeline for Force of Wills, it's not hard to imagine him coming to dislike himself, but here we see him wallowing in pure self-hatred. It's not fun to read, per se, but you do a really amazing job of capturing the depths of his despair and all of the regrets and pain that go along with it.

First off, I loved the setting. Thunderstorms always go well with strong, turbulent emotions. You came up with some clever ways to capture the experience: the booming sounds and the splattering against the windows. It compliments Draco's mindset well.

Poor, old Lucius. I did something similar to him in Detox, although the timeline doesn't go far enough to see him degrade to this point. It's really hard for me to imagine that he escaped the war without being severely mentally damaged. He led such a posh life until he made the regrettable decision to enlist in the Death Eaters. I never thought of him as properly cut out to thrive among lunatics and killers. The time in Azkaban didn't do him any favors, either. All in all, it's a miracle that he made it to the end of the war in one piece and once his Dark Lord was defeated it wouldn't surprise me at all to find that he crumbled.

Narcissa is sadder to see in this situation. By the end of canon, I came to think of her as a strong woman. Far stronger than her husband, at any rate. She was the Malfoy family's rock through the darkest days of the war, the one how held things together and made the most important call at the end. It pains me to think that she came apart so.

All throughout this story, we see signs of Draco's physical decay. You did a good job of describing the carnage and capturing the damage that is alcoholism is doing.

It's also interesting to see the things that haunt Draco from the battle. It's curious to imagine Fred pushing him out of the way of a curse, but then again it probably wasn't always easy to tell friend from foe.

There was an unholy taint on his childhood home that no amount of time could wash away and he despised the man that he had once thrived to be, "I'll never be a man." -- Harsh, but understandable. Also, "thrived to be" is sort of an awkward phrasing. Maybe "strived to be"?

I liked the letter from Astoria. Time and impending motherhood have obviously given her some perspective that Draco is sorely lacking. Some perspective that he could definitely use. If only he can find the courage to take her up on her offer.

The section that follows was one where I had two diverging lines of thought. One line said that you needed to make accommodations for readers who are not familiar with the storyline of Force of Wills. In those terms, you did a good job. You laid out just enough information for the reader to get the gist of what happened without rehashing the whole thing. A reader who wanted to know more can easily go read Force of Wills now if they want to. And some might want to. ;) My other line of thought is that it slowed the pace done somewhat and maybe you could have gotten by with less. Just a hint of Draco and Astoria's past and a good plug in your author's note.

You just hinted at the possibility of Draco figuring out what love feels like near the end. It seems like it's definitely possible that Pansy feel some love for him. I'm certain his mother does. Amidst all of the gloom and heartache and despair, I felt the tiniest little bit of hope for Draco. It was a nice note to wrap up on.

I want you to find happiness. -- I have to say, I feel the same way.

I saw one other thing you might want to take a second look at:

He nearly smiled at the memories but pushed them aside, he was certain that his father would never be returning to this room any time soon. -- "any time soon" sort of contradicts the word "never" earlier in the sentence.

Aside from those little things, your writing was terrific. You did a great job with this!

Author's Response: Hello!

Thank you so much for stopping by and giving me this great review. I was feeling unsure of this one-shot but you made me feel a lot better about it. It's weird, but I have far too many stories that deal with depression (Like my one-shot Glass in which Teddy Lupin nearly kills himself) and it's really hard to get the courage to post them sometimes.


I think that Draco would really despise himself after the War. Now, a lot of people tend to sugar coat everything and act like he's some kind of savior but he wasn't necessarily a good person when he was in Hogwarts. Why would that change afterward? I know that I played around with that, especially with what he did so you can see how it's really affected him.

I honestly thought about starting this story with Draco out in the middle of the thunderstorm but I thought that would have been a bit much. He could have gotten struck by lightning and stuff...

It's strange how more people don't have Lucius being in a bad condition after the War. The fact that I put him in St. Mungo's for spell damage (I neglected to mention his stint in Azkaban so we had a brain meld with that one) is just a nice little tip off to my own universe. In my older stories, it's mentioned that he kind of went insane and because I wanted to keep track of what I write, I made sure to include this. Also, it's just so nice writing about Lucius Malfoy's pompous nature being broken down with decay. I am a petty person, I feel no shame!

I think that Narcissa might actually get more strength but during this particular story she was broken down. I wanted to show that Draco wasn't the only person suffering here and the fact that she's so weakened by it all really shows how much the War took her joy away.

Angst is my pride and joy so if I can't have you guys feeling awful at the end of it, I haven't done my job. Hahaha. Yeesh.

Now, the thing about Fred pushing Draco out of the way during the Battle is because of two reasons: Draco actually gave his son, Benjamin Fred's name (But try saying Benjamin Frederick Malfoy ten times, eh?) and I haven't gotten around to mentioning it in my other stories. There's also the point that while Draco was a horrible person and deserved to die in the eyes of many, a good man lost his life. It was a memory that amplified his self-loathing and guilt.

The "thrived to be" portion bugged me too but I think it works better. Draco doesn't think of himself as a living thing and thriving to be something other than himself is what he wants. But "strive to be" sounds better so I might change it at some point cause you're awesome and junk.

I struggled with the letter from Astoria because I wasn't sure what to put into it. I wanted Draco to understand that he was being thought of, even worried over and at the end, I hope that he can have the courage to speak with her.

Now, I got some criticism for the diverging thoughts. I looked it over and thought about changing it because while I give enough detail about his relationship with Astoria, it felt like too much. I didn't need to include the fact that she was married to Blaise either. You can kind of get the hint by her last name, right? Hahaha. The reason for his guilt though was something that I should have focused on more. Also, I hope that you do stop by A Force of Wills again, I do the most terrible things to my characters. Muahahahhaha.

You know, we get the sense that Draco MIGHT get better and I wanted to leave that with you guys. Now, I'm not going to spoil it for you and say he DOES but I wanted the hope to be there.

Thanks for the CC!

Hope to see you again!

Much love,


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Review #71, by CambAngstUnravel. : Blaise.

10th June 2015:
Hi, again! Back to review your second chapter.

You changed up the narrative voice nicely to fit Blaise in this chapter. He comes across with a different sort of arrogance, more forceful and dominating and dismissive. It fits the male persona better, the voice of someone who was born to be in control of their situation.

I loved the dark imagery that pervades the entire chapter. From Blaise's realization of what will happen to him if his secret gets out to his recollections of the Yule Ball and the Slytherin Common Room right down to his fixation on Theo's eyes, everything is dark and brooding and dangerous.

One really neat touch, at least for me, is the fact that Blaise doesn't really romanticize Theo or imbue him with love or tenderness. He sees Theo for what he is: strong-willed, physically assertive and almost violent. He doesn't imagine tender caresses, but rather having his arms painfully grabbed and wrestling on the ground.

You did a great job of capturing the disappointment -- disgust, really -- that Blaise feels with himself. I loved the way he relays the story of his evening with the Veela girl. He's crying out "what's wrong with me?" to an uncaring, judgmental world. But it's not done in a self-pitying way. Gay or straight, self-hating or not, Blaise Zabini is above self-pity.

The ending, where he ties his feelings into the way other people fear the Dark Lord, was inspired. You did a great job of bringing the premise home.

Again, your writing was fantastic. You use language incredibly well and typos? Ha! A typo would stick out like a sore thumb in this story.

Excellent job!

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Review #72, by CambAngstUnravel. : Pansy.

9th June 2015:
Hi, Theia! I read all three chapter of this story the other night and I really couldn't wait to get started on reviewing it. So here goes!

I imagine that a lot of people will find Blaise's chapter to be more sad and moving than Pansy's, but for some reason this chapter made a stronger impact on me. I think it has to do with the illusion of control that OCD sufferers feel. For Pansy, she feels like she's exerting more and more control over things as her obsessions spirals farther and farther out of control. It's a vicious cycle that eventually leads to a physical or psychological breakdown. Or both. And unlike Blaise, who's fully aware of his sexuality even if he chooses to continue to hide it, Pansy doesn't even realize that it's happening.

The methodical way that you built up Pansy's life and daily routine was spot-on. Her focus on numerical consistency and symmetry are hallmarks of the disorder. It seems that the disorder extends to nearly every aspect of her life, from her routine to being overly critical of her own physical appearance.

I can't completely decide what I think about the possibility of Pansy being a fashion designer. Her obsessive tendencies could certainly be an asset, but that could be a bad thing as much as a good thing. Being rewarded for your problems is hardly an incentive to get them under control.

She's even obsessively analytical about the way she suffers from bulimia. Every time I think her story has gotten as sad as it can be, you find new ways to highlight her affliction.

Then you bring in the final piece of the puzzle, so to speak. Pansy feels inferior to her mother. Unable to live up to the standard. That's certainly not to say that one caused the other. These things are rarely that simple. But it does round out the picture in a nice way.

Your writing was impeccable in this. I loved the narrative technique you used and the way that you used italics to draw out the central themes as Pansy herself perceived them.

Great job!

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Review #73, by CambAngstA Study in Silver: Meet the Wotters

7th June 2015:
Hi, Roisin! Tagging you once more from the Review the Person Above You thread.

You did something very clever in this chapter, the kind of storytelling technique that's far too rare on HPFF. You started off with Roxanne making her determination that Scorpius wasn't shooting up, then you show in a flash of "Duh!" how he would have covered the signs, then she finds him comatose with his track marks magically concealed. The whole thing comes full circle through the middle of a warm and familiar-feeling family gathering, the perfect way to set the reader temporarily at ease before the next punch lands. All in all, an excellent emotional play!

Once again, you've done a fantastic job of writing the "technical magic" aspects of this chapter. I loved the scene in the kitchen with all of the procedures and parlance and the logical tear-down of how certain things came to be.

This mysterious supplier had been one of the most careless and selfish people she'd ever heard of. They'd obviously added heroin to the mix in order to make it addictive. They'd used black tar because it was cheaper, even though it was deadlier. They hadn't even cared what was in it, and now, people were dying. -- Seems consistent with the business practices of every high-level supplier that I've ever read about. It's all about the Benjamins.

"The supplier won't be parceling any more to the dealers just yet. And I can manage the antidote. Go to the party." His earnest expression appeared weirdly distorted by the bubblehead. -- With the benefit of perfect hindsight, this should have been a huge red flag. Up to this point, Scorpius had been so ruthlessly, single-mindedly dedicated to the investigation. He would wake her up in the middle of the night and drag her through drug dens, for Pete's sake. And now he's casually telling her to run off and have a good time? Doesn't fit. He's already made the decision at this point that he's going to shoot up. The question that tugs at the edge of my brain is why? Why now? More on this later...

Again, you did a great job of drawing out the change that's taken place in Roxanne. She doesn't feel like she belongs in Diurn Alley any longer. With the new perspective that her investigation has given her, it all seems a bit silly and overdone.

I would be completely remiss not to comment on how wonderful it is to imagine that Lucius Malfoy's stuffy, snobby old social club has been transmuted into a rock concert venue. Warms my heart! There used to be a place in Providence, RI called The Strand. It was originally a theater, built in the 1910's. By the 1990's, it had become a fairly popular live concert venue, but it still kept some of that old-time vaudeville theater feel. There was something really neat about being in the middle of a mosh pit and looking up to see the box seats and the cathedral ceiling and all the other posh details of days gone by.

The Patil-Browns? Which twin did Lavender marry?

I thought Roxanne handled the fallout from the Prophet article about as well as she could have. Good thing everyone in her family is used to dealing with the paparazzi. Speaking of her family, you did a nice job of working a lot of characters into a scene without the pace feeling overly hectic.

Ah, drunken Ron! My favorite kind of Ron!

I loved the banter between Rose and Hugo. Sex-positive is always a great thing until it's coming from your parents or siblings. Then, not so much.

Finally, there's the conversation that Roxanne wanders into between Hugo and James. Sometimes we have to have things waved in our face before the point sinks in...

Now, I have a suspicion that I'll share with you at the risk of looking exceedingly foolish. The fact that Scorpius is an addict doesn't necessarily mean that he's a junkie. The way you've built up his character in this story, I wouldn't put it completely past him to have made a decision to get hooked on silver as part of his "research". A means of studying the drug, determining its effects, potency and danger. Or that could simply be what he's telling himself. He's a complex character and I think there are many degrees of truth and fiction and self-deception with him.

Gah! I've come to the end of your published chapters! Save me!

Awesome job, though. I'm really, really looking forward to the next!

Author's Response: OK, YAS. I'm SO glad that I might have successfully made readers second-guess Perry's addiction. I just didn't want Roxanne to seem DUMB for not cutting her losses or figuring it out earlier.

I just can't NOT nerd out about magic :p I tried REALLY hard in this story not to overwhelm readers with made-up magic jargon! A difficult balance for a nerd like me, so I'm stoked that it worked :) [but I guess we're all nerds here, so I'm safe!]

Roxanne's perspective also leaks through in that section. She's more angry that the drugs are DANGEROUS than that they're drugs. As a Healer, she would probably trend closer to a Harm Reduction perspective than a "Just Say No" one.

OK, again, SO glad that that moment is obvious in hindsight! I worried to no end about not being too obvious or too subtle. Like, I wanted things to maybe not raise flags the first time but then click after!

Oh yes, this is definitely Roxanne's story :) She's on her way to completing her to-do list from chapter one: 1) Find Yourself 2) Get a Life. The insulated, privileged, career-track life Roxanne has lead has, I think, kind of kept her from exploring and developing various aspects of her character. I mean, let's not forget, she's George Weasley's daughter!

Oooh, we used to have venues like that in SF on Broadway! Sadly, all gone now :(

HAH, it is a specific twin, too! To find out, check out "A Lightness" by Teh Tarik!

I'm REALLY glad that all the family didn't seem like a total self-indulgent dump of characters (which it was). I tried for a bit of self-awareness there by giving it this chapter title.

Hahaha, I feel like Rose and Hermione have really frank, honest discussions and Ron and Hugo are just like "AH!" (I headcanon Hermione as being really self-aware, sex positive, and chill. MOST people here don't see her that way, but I think it's supported in canon. Emma Watson played her as uptight and weird, but canon Hermione was more manic and passionate than anything. And when it came to romantic relationships, she was always remarkably solid and relaxed and aware. Like when she talked to Harry about kissing Cho, she didn't blush or euphemize or get weird like Ron.)

"--the point sinks in"--HAHA! (sorry, totally not cool to make a shooting-up joke)

Your theory on Perry is really good. I think it started that way. Maybe he told himself that was his reason, but really, he just likes drugs. I mean, going out and buying as much as possible isn't a great plan (as you pointed out), but in my experience, addicts just really like talking about drugs and interacting with them and being around them. It's an almost romantic obsession (I mean, "it's my wife, and it's my life"-Heroin by Lou Reed. Or how in ANY movie or book about junkies they compare drugs to sex). So yeah, I think Perry's addiction kinda clouds his judgement, making him make choices that aren't super good in the long run. Or the short run, as the case may be.

"Addict but not a junkie." Well spotted ;)

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL THIS FANTASTIC SWAPPING, DAN! YOU RULE AND ARE THE VERY BEST EVER! They next chapter should be up really soon (just doing some last edits) :)


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Review #74, by CambAngstA Study in Silver: Stakeout!

6th June 2015:
Hi, Roisin! Tagging you again from the Review the Person Above You thread.

Wait, Freddie is gay? Well that would have been useful to know before you made me guess whose letter was whose in the last chapter. Seriously, you can't go asking questions like that if you're going to hoard relevant information. My world is crashing down...

While my world crashes, I have to say that you did an excellent job with the Skeeter article. It was catty, mean, journalistically shoddy tabloid trash. Also -- and this might be the most important element -- even though the story is about Roxanne and her family, there's that persistent undertone that everything is really all about the author. The way that Skeeter the Younger coins nicknames for people, the way that she leans heavily on anonymous sources, the way that she alternately fawns over some actors and trashes others... all perfect Skeeter. Bravo!

Scorpius's reaction was interesting, as well. (Forgive me, but I'm really going to struggle to call him Perry.) You can pretty easily tell which parts of the article hit home based on his lack of enthusiasm for discussing them.

So many things lose their appeal in the sober light of day. Dumb ideas always sound so much more fun in the hazy darkness of night. Especially when inebriated and surrounded by friends in a similar state of sobriety.

I liked the little flash of insight into Scorpius's family life. Or lack thereof. There are so many different ways to imagine Draco and Astoria, each with its own implications.

Star Wars Episode LXIV -- Oh, no, you didn't! Oh, no, you didn't, Roisin! I can't believe you went there. This story would only be happening in, what, 2025 or so? The Mouse House can't have made more than 15 or 20 of them by then. ;)

Loved the verbal repartee with Skeeter. Neither side ceding and inch.

I get the sense that Harry and Justin are good cop/bad copping Roxanne and Scorpius just a bit. Not that Harry would do anything against Roxanne's best interests (Scorpius's either, for that matter) but his presence allows Justin to be more of a pushy jerk because of his calming effect. If that's what you were going for, it's a nice touch.

The discussion about formulating an antidote was brilliantly done. Not only do you understand the nuances of such a thing, but you made it translate really well into a discussion that felt appropriate to the characters.

Ha! I definitely read Scorpius's instructions to Roxanne as one, long sentence spoken without taking a breath.

Hmmnn... I'm still not sold on Skeeter's idea that Roxanne and Blishwick were having an affair, but it seems like there's definitely something Roxanne knows that Blishwick doesn't want to get out. Otherwise, I don't think he'd be quite so paranoid about her showing up in the press. I'm sure there will be more to come on that topic.

It's not all that surprising that Scorpius is an addict. You've been hinting at that sort of behavior since the beginning: the mania, the insomnia. That doesn't mean that he's actively using, of course, but the risk is always there. Roxy is definitely rethinking the idea of keeping a gigantic haul of drugs in their flat, I'm sure.

Another great chapter! This is a really good story!

Author's Response: Hah yeah--I made sure to upload these 4 chapters at once (TA WUT) so that readers who went straight through would be like 'ah, I see it now.'

I'm so glad you mention that the article is something of an introduction to Marga's character, and probably said more of HER than about Roxanne and her family. Bit of a give-away that should would became an actual character within the chapter itself.

It's weird because while writing he's Perry to me, but in discussion he's Scorpius. Perry is so much easier to type though!

I totally got myself in a bind because I was so excited to introduce the IDEA of a stakeout. But actual stakeouts are super boring...

I think my personal headcanon about Astoria is closer to Detox (Draco becomes much more mature, Astoria is pretty cool, Scorpius turns out awesome and ScoRose happens), but Nice!Headcanon isn't super interesting. Here, I needed Scorpius to not have a strong mother-figure, and divorced parents fit. In that case, I figured there had to be something a little off about her (probable autistic spectrum thing that stuffy purebloods can't understand), in order for the Greengrasses to ever CONSIDER negotiating a marriage with the Malfoys. Their reasoning being that while their reputation was destroyed, Lucius and Draco weren't sentenced and had managed to keep hold of their assets. Good enough. Both parties were basically forced into the marriage.

Star Wars Episode LXIV, hah. So yeah, it's actually set in 2030, but that doesn't make the joke less absurd :p There's totally absurdist humor in this fic, only it's gently nested!

I do think you're right about Good Cop/Bad Cop. There are a few things going on with him trying to navigate the Boss role, but certainly that too.

SO GLAD that his one-sentence-no-breath thing came off! I had SUCH a strong image in my head of that whole scene and wasn't sure if I got all the timing right.

"Young woman? Older man? Drama? MUST BE AN AFFAIR!" That is such a simplistic, and frankly sexist (to men AND women) conclusion to jump to. And it's the conclusion that ALWAYS gets jumped to. (For two years I worked in a politicians office and then on his campaign and I was a high-level person throughout--despite my age and not being done with college yet [I was very good at my job!] And of course we became friends, so ALL OF MY AUNTS suspected we were having an affair, even though he's about 5'4" and married. To a MAN).

I definitely had to have Perry be an addict. I wanted this story to be as different from BBC's Sherlock as possible, and use whatever Holmesian pastiche stuff they neglected, so "master of disguise" and "addict" got played up way more.

Thank you so much for the review!

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Review #75, by CambAngstA Study in Silver: The Huddled Masses

5th June 2015:
Hi, Roisin! Tagging you some more from the Review the Person Above You thread.

Nobody in the Black or Malfoy family gets off easy where names are concerned. Lucius did better than most in that department. As much as I'd like to believe that Scorpius is inquiring about Roxanne's relationship status out of romantic interest, I'd say it's more likely that the information is part of his attempt to more accurately profile her. To determine how she might react to his master plan.

Hmmnn... This is probably just me overthinking things by a large margin, but I had a little trouble getting my head around the idea of this drug being a threat to the Statute of Secrecy. I feel reasonably sure that other magical items have accidentally made their way into the hands of the muggle authorities in the past. This would obviously come with a higher profile, but it still seems like a bit of a stretch to imagine it outing magical society. It's certainly bad news and something that the Ministry would take very seriously, but I thought you maybe went half a step too far in this case.

I really liked the process of Roxy getting into her disguise and the ensuing trip to Diagon Alley. It contained so many moments where she had to let go of her gentrified past and deal with life "as the other half lives". Scorpius was a great foil for this process because -- whether out of dedication or general cultural tone-deafness -- he doesn't shy away from things that scare other people, like race and class. Granted, he pays a price for this in the form of an elbow and a punch...

"So we just... try to buy it all?" Roxanne clarified. -- I remember feeling really unsure about this element of the plan when I read this chapter the first time. (Yes, I read this one right after the first one. Couldn't resist.) It seems to me that, although this will reduce supply in the near term, it's also dramatically increasing demand. Being a commodities trader, I'm a firm believer in the forces of supply and demand. If the demand is there, supply will eventually rise to meet it. I guess all I'm saying is that it's a strategy with a limited shelf life. You can ignore me now.

"Fine. Malpractice and insubordination," she replied. "I got off on a technicality." -- Reading between the lines, it sounds as though Roxy was ordered to do something ethically questionable and refused? Why do I have the strangest feeling that this element of her back story is going to tie directly into the situation that she faces when trying to deal with the drug pushers and addicts that we meet later in this chapter?

I freely admit: I love the way that Scorpius deals with the dishwasher that they make their first score off of. I will neither confirm nor deny that I've felt the temptation to act out similarly in a situation closely resembling this one at certain points in my life.

Wow. The entire scene in the shop in Camden was so messed up but so recognizable. You did a fantastic job of making it gritty and real and not even a little bit glamorized. I think the most realistic and haunting detail was the fact that the dealer seemed like basically a nice kid. He wasn't fiendish or predatory or dishonest or any of the other stereotypes that always get applied to dealers. In a way, that's the saddest detail of all. Drugs don't just destroy bad people.

It didn't take Scorpius long to come to the same conclusion about his strategy. Glad to see that it wasn't just me.

Movie theater popcorn butter. That was a clever clue because it's so realistic. Nothing else has that distinctive smell. Precisely chemically engineered to invoke the sensation of binging on cheap carbohydrates in a dark room with your brain turned off. Ahhh...

Ugh. I see that Rita Skeeter is alive and well in your world. Doesn't seem like a good thing to me.

I'm not sure about all of the owls she receives, but I'm going to guess that the second is from Angelina. The fourth is plainly from Hermione and the last from Harry. That leaves the first, third and fifth to guess on. Fifth could well be Albus, since he had a reason to be in Diagon Alley. Third is obviously female. Rose?

Very enjoyable chapter! Looking forward to more!

Author's Response: Yayay!

Yes you're right to guess that Scorpius is just trying to guage her. There's a thing I heard of called 'queerbaiting,' where shows will sort of set up audiences to ship a (doomed) same sex pairing. Holmes/Watson might be the doomed pairing that set off this trend (it's had shippers for, like, a century) so I decided to reverse that and do some 'straightbaiting' here :P Roxanne/Perry is, alas, not a thing (I imagine him as asexual-homoromantic, as many have interpreted the original Sherlock Holmes), but there is undeniable awkwardness from the whole 'different genders' thing and their living together.

You have a point with the Statute thing--I should go back and re-work that. I figure that, unlike a one-off magical item, this is something bound to show up on multiple occasions in several muggle hospitals (with trained chemists looking at it), so the fall-out once it's discovered would be impossible to control, because they wouldn't be able to find /every/ person who knew about it before information spread even more. Something would rapidly make the news, and in the time the Ministry did obligatory obliviations and cover-ups/misinformation, someone would figure it out and on and on. Or maybe that's not workable, but I can at least throw more detail in and hope, right?

I love your point about Roxanne's gentrified past and seeing 'the other half!' VERY on point! And yes! Perry has something of a compulsion towards those things that scare people or make them uncomfortable. He's sort of an 'outside society' type that refuses to conform, and rather seeks out the strange and stuff.

Yes yes! Supply and Demand, well spotted! It buys them some time, but not much, and ultimately raises the stakes. A risky, desperate choice.

Ooh yes, Roxanne is a trained Healer, so ethics is a major thing for her! YOU ARE WAY TOO GOOD AT READING THIS STORY.

Oh good, I'm glad the thing with the dishwasher gave you as much satisfaction as it did me.

"Drugs don't just destroy bad people"--exactly. Since I went with a drugs plot, I decided I wanted to do as nuanced of an analysis as possible. It was definitely a shock to Roxanne to see what a kind of nice kid he was, despite everything. She's forced to confront there that maybe the issues around drugs are more complicated than she realized before (though, again as a Healer, her approach is a pretty good one: it's a public health issue).

Right! NOTHING smells like movie theater 'butter'! I'd recognize it anywhere, but Roxanne being a witch, it took her a bit longer to jog.

Right on Albus and Hermione! Nice one! The second is actually Audrey (I imagine Angelina as a bit of a blunter person--hence George in the first letter saying she's in a fit about Roxy's hair. But her parents aren't particularly worried about her, since they know she's solid. Just curious about what's going on, and yeah, upset about her hair, as Angelina would have doubtlessly spent a lot of time teaching her daughter all about textured hair-care). "Third is obviously female"--hah! Very close :) It's actually Freddie, granted, he's a total queen :P


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