Reading Reviews From Member: sophie_hatter
  
58 Reviews Found

Review #26, by sophie_hatterHarry Potter and the Conspiracy of Blood: Dark and Angry Souls

9th December 2011:
Ron is just genius in the chapter. I really loved how he handled the office clerk, as well has his ongoing battle with computers.

Plus - how Hermione uncovered the missing book was really, really clever, and it was nice to hear from Dumbledore again:-)

Rose and Scorpius were great. Scorpius's internal dialogue was really funny - made me chuckle.

The section with Gamp was properly dark - he's a real nutjob, isn't he?

And finally - I loved the way the Muggle policeman brought out more details of Ginny's murder. Harry's reaction was just perfect.

Author's Response: The great thing about Ron is that you can write him at nearly any age and you don't have to change all that much. He's a rock, so to speak.

The idea of the disappearing ink came to me in a flash of inspiration. I'm glad it didn't sound overly forced.

Yes, Jeremy Gamp is a real nutjob. 100%, certifiably crazy.

Poor Harry. I promise that he will get to the bottom of all this in the end!

Thanks for reviewing!


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Review #27, by sophie_hatterHarry Potter and the Conspiracy of Blood: The Silliest Thing Iíve Ever Heard

9th December 2011:
Well first of all, yay for Luna! I might have known she would be the one to spot the flaws. But then, as someone once told me, she's a very special witch!

I loved the description of the Muggle morgue, and great to have JFF back. And Tenabra gets more devious and evil by the chapter!

Author's Response: Ah, Luna! Including her can lighten even the darkest story. She's a joy.

The morgue... well, I'm glad you liked the description. I think they're kind of creepy. ;)

Thanks again for reviewing!


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Review #28, by sophie_hatterHarry Potter and the Conspiracy of Blood: Searching for Answers

9th December 2011:
I thought the section in the Minister's office was excellent - really well thought through, with the diversionary tactics.

Then there were some lovely moments of parent/child bonding - Draco and Scorpius, Harry and Albus, Hermione and Rose & Hugo

And I loved your closing line - Harry will always have style!

Author's Response: The section in the Minister's office was really fun to write, spy novel kind of stuff. Having him mock the Minister's secretary was also entertaining.

The mushy family stuff is an important part of the story, I think. It adds depth and believability to the characters and helps the reader connect.

And, yes, Harry has style.

Thanks for reviewing!


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Review #29, by sophie_hatterHarry Potter and the Conspiracy of Blood: No More Secrets

9th December 2011:
Ron to the rescue! I'm glad you chose to write from his perspective in the opener, it's always good to see him being so competent and 'in charge'.

The discussion between Harry and Draco plays very nicely, I thought that was pitched really well.

Hermione's collapse on hearing about her condition, and also her struggle to come to terms with the news later in the chapter, were both very well written. It built up in a very convincing way.

My favourite bit, though, was Ron and Hermione's reaction to their wands. This was a lovely touch.

And finally - a cliffhanger! I do love a cliffhanger!

Author's Response: So very nice of you to say!

Harry had a lot of difficult conversations in this chapter. It felt nice to let him do something pleasant like the wands.

I'm starting to feel like every time Susan comes into a scene, there should be a sound effect like in old detective shows: "Bum bum bum"

Thanks for reviewing!


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Review #30, by sophie_hatterIn Truth: Clean Break

9th December 2011:
Good grief! How good is this? I LOVED it! Your imagery, about broken bones, it really good, and appropriately chosen. The emotion in the graveyard is beautifully expressed. The welcoming line from Harry is perfectly judged. It's sad, tender and oddly uplifting.

See, this is why I love review battles - you end up reading amazing stuff like this that you may never otherwise have seen. Thanks so much for writing it:-)

Author's Response: I am soo happy you enjoyed reading this! It was one of my favorites to write just from the way it flowed and the way the emotions were partly from me, but twisted into a new perspective.

And I understand the love for review battles! I have just started to jump into them, and I have read some pretty amazing stuff! Very glad you loved reading the story as much as I loved writing it!

~Grimmerz


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Review #31, by sophie_hatterMuggle Studies: iPod Injuries

8th December 2011:
I love the idea for this story! It's very clever, and something different. The concept of Muggle Studies students being either freaks or failures is also very entertaining.

Again - watch the length of your sentences. The one where Archibald looks at his list of new students is a prime example of this, although the sentiments expressed here are lovely, especially regarding Herman Goyle.

Archibald Penrose is a wonderful character. You've given him some great character traits: disliking both children and teaching is fun, but the best is the way he scorns his students for flaws he himself possesses. I especially liked the line about pencil sharpeners.

You got a lot of humour in here - the section about the children's names was excellent, as was your characterisation of Hugo and Goliath as eager beavers. The crowning glory was the interpretive dance line, though - bravo!

Some nit-picky things:
* ...of being introduced to their own hormones, the opposite sex, ache and such things...
Not sure what you mean by 'ache' here?

* but they were noveltypencil sharpeners
You are missing a space.

* ...at least in Transfiguration there was a good deal of average students.
I think you should say 'there were a good deal'

Overall, I thought this was a joy, and I look forward to the further adventures of Archibald Penrose.

Author's Response: Hi there! Thank you very much for stopping by and leaving me a review - I really appreciate it. I have two stories where my sentence lengths explode into the realms of unknown quantities (being this one and Abstract Nouns) which just happen to be the ones you've read. I think it's the more satirical style, it just turns me into a run-on-sentence-kind-of-gal... but I'll definately watch out for it :)

Oh, I just love Archie. I know this story is ridiculous, but I'm very attached to it.

Thanks for the review and I'll be sure to go back and edit those typos/mistakey bits very soon. Thank you very much :)


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Review #32, by sophie_hatterAll the Abstract Nouns: Eighteen

7th December 2011:
I thought you captured the gap between adolescence and adulthood really well here, as well as the atmosphere of a teenage house party. I also felt that Molly and Dexter's conversation flowed very well - I'm interested to see where this goes next.

Some of your sentences are very long though - you might think about breaking some of them up a bit to make them easier to digest (or at least, that's what my beta reader keeps telling me!)

Author's Response: Thanks :)
Growing up is such a crazy time to exist in, some I'm glad you think I managed to capture some of that sort of atmostphere and stuff :)

Yup, the sentences here seemed to just keep growing and growing - I might go back and check on that.

Thanks for reviewing!

-AC


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Review #33, by sophie_hatterJust Rose: Camden Crazy Carpeting

7th December 2011:
So, I've recently been catching up with Just Rose, and I must say, I'm really enjoying it. It's a really entertaining take on Rose and Scorpius.

This chapter had great banter between Molly and Rose. I think the idea of them as slobby, biscuit obsessed flatmates works really well. And I loved the line about Lockhart's captivating smile, as did Rose forgetting Ron and Hermione's anniversary - both made me chuckle!

I'm not sure I follow Scopius's thinking that hair gel makes a good disguise, but I loved the idea that Rose's own family sold her out to the press. And poor Jesus! I'm glad Rose is looking out for him:-)

Author's Response: Scorpius is a complete nutter, so you can't really take anything he does seriously :P

I love writing Molly and Rose - they're so much fun and they have a really great relationship. Neither of them are perfect and they get on each other's nerves a lot, but they're so fond of each other.

Thanks so much for the review!


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Review #34, by sophie_hatterFriendship for Dummies: When Terry Met Johnny (except it's totally not like that at all...)

7th December 2011:
Aw, I loved this!

I thought the conversation between Terry and Johnny was really clever. It flowed beautifully.

I've never thought of Terry as being socially inept, but you made it work, and the witty way in which you described it brought the whole thing to life.

It was really interesting to see the start of the war start to infringe on ordinary lives. Good job!

Author's Response: Terry and Johnny are the type of conversationalists that make words flow, haha. Them together is always an event. So glad you enjoyed this and thanks so much for the review!

Annie


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Review #35, by sophie_hatterAfter We Fall: Chapter Four

7th December 2011:
I get happier and happier with each chapter, as you seem to introduce yet another of my favourite characters - and here in chapter 4 we have Ginny, who is my #1 favourite female character. I like the way you've written her here as an adult. She gets a lot more to do than usual in next gen fics, which is good to see.

Overall, I particularly liked this chapter, because of the interplay between Albus and Lily - as I said before, they really do read like siblings from a close knit family should, and also the mystery elements coming back in with the locked door. Curiouser and curiouser!

If I can offer a bit of constructive criticism about this chapter, though, the structure in the opening section is a bit off. We have a conversation between Albus, Ginny and Lily that should be a few days after Lily has visited Scorpius, then some time passing as Lily roams the neighbourhood, then the kids packed off to Grimmauld Place, specified as three days after Lily as met Scorpius. It felt a little muddled up to me. I think a few minor edits and possible a section break in there somewhere would fix it easily enough, though.

That said, I love the idea of packing them off to Grimmauld Place - I think it's a great location, and you describe it very well.

This chapter's britpick items are: 'trousers' rather than 'slacks', 'terraces' rather than 'row homes' and 'bath' not 'bathtub'

Also, I spotted a few of typos - it should be 'unliveable', not 'unlivable' 'a while' instead of 'awhile' and 'tear' rather than 'tare'

Author's Response: Firstly, can I just say, thank you for all your reviews? It was so nice to wake up this morning and see my review count nearly doubled. Even if you don't get the chance to read anymore of the story, I really appreciate the comments. I think you may have even posted recently in my review thread and I promise this week to return the favor.

That out of the way, I will definitely take another look at the opening of the chapter. I reworked this one, removing a scene, and I guess I didn't stitch the remaining bits together as well as I hoped. Thanks for mentioning it. I'll fix that, the typos and the 'britpicks' asap. Thank you again for all the R&R!!


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Review #36, by sophie_hatterAfter We Fall: Chapter Three

7th December 2011:
Ah! I really do love this story, you know?

I'm particularly happy that you've given a central role to Lily. I think she's really underwritten, everyone always seems to go for Rose instead. Of course, there's nothing wrong with that, it's just that it's nice to see poor, neglected Lily getting some attention:-)

I also like what you've done with Albus - it's good to see him as something other than a bookworm. And you have the brother/sister dynamic working very well too. The 'you drive me mad, but I really do care' aspect is done nicely, and is very familiar!

Some more britpicking (again, not sure if you mind, let me know via reply if you don't want this stuff, no offence taken:-)) - 'bad shoulder' not 'bum shoulder', 'what's going on', not 'what gives', 'post' not 'mail', 'Grandma a bit' instead of 'Grand some',

Author's Response: I'm so glad you are continuing to like the story. I must say, I rather like your reviews! It's surprising to me more people don't write Lily. The only Potter girl - you would think people would love it. Ah, well. I am glad you like the Lily/Albus dynamic. I worry it's a bit much, as I don't have any brothers, but I would assume siblings that close in age are apt to bicker.

As to the word/phrase corrections, I'm fixing them as you post them. I really appreciate you making note of them. Thanks again!


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Review #37, by sophie_hatterAfter We Fall: Chapter Two

7th December 2011:
Ah, Scorpius! I love Scorpius! And I loved him here as much as ever. Your descriptive work of his childhood in retrospect was clever and very evocative. The section regarding his mother's death was beautifully done - understated, but all the more touching for that.

I think the middle section, scattering the ashes, was my favourite. Again, the descriptive imagery was very strong. You had some lovely phrases, and I could almost feel the wind in my own cheeks as they neared the summit.

And finally, we have Lilly's arrival - a very interesting place to end, leaving me wanting to move straight to the next chapter. Exactly as it should be:-)

Author's Response: Thanks again, sophie. I've gone back and forth on whether or not to cut out all the back story in this chapter and just combine it with chapter two. The whole climbing up the cliff/releasing the ashes was all an add on when I started re-writing. I'm glad it reads well, even if I fear this chapter is a little short on action. Thanks again for the comments. I've really grown to love Scorpius as well.

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Review #38, by sophie_hatterAfter We Fall: Chapter One: Prologue

7th December 2011:
I didn't see this story before you picked it up again for NaNo - but I'm so glad that you did, and that you've made a project of it, because I think it's great.

I saw that you were hoping for some reviews, so I thought the least I could do was help out - everyone likes a bit of encouragement, right?

I really enjoyed the prologue - Lorcan felt real, and very much in character for an earnest ten year old. I particularly liked the early description of him crouching in the shrubbery. It put me right in the think of the story from the outset. I also thought the anecdote about his teeth was very well judged to set the age and character.

And finally, I thought the last line was genius - I hadn't guessed at all who it was:-)

I did spot one tiny typo: When the attacker realises he has only a small child in front of him, his voice should have the hint of 'disappointment', not 'disappoint'.

Author's Response: First, thanks for pointing out the typo. I've fixed it up already. I never can seem to spot them all. Second, thank you so much for taking the time to look at the story. It's true, even staffers get sad to see too many zeros next to their review counts :P I'm really glad you thought Lorcan came off well. I was afraid of writing him too young. I'm also glad you liked the teeth line. It was a last minute add before posting. Thank you again for the R&R. Every review is greatly appreciated!

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Review #39, by sophie_hatterGrowing Up Weasley: Flights of Fancy

7th December 2011:
I've really been enjoying your series on the Weasley children, and I thought Ginny's chapter was great too.

I think you evoke the Burrow beautifully. I have a strong mental image of the place (curse those films:-)), but I thought you nailed it.

I thought your imagery in the opening paragraph was excellent. It put me right into the story, making it a very strong start. I also thought little touches like the description of Ginny's hair and Ron nearly hitting George with his broomstick were a delight - you have a great way with description and it makes your story a lot of fun to read.

Your characterisation of Ginny was also very good. She came across as resourceful, determined and stubborn, just as she should be. I also like the way she came a cropper, but still got a positive outcome. It was cleverly done. I thought your characterisation of her brothers as dismissive, and Ron hanging on to the coat tails of George and Fred was great too.

I did spot a few minor errors:

-I don't think you need to capitalise 'stunned'.
-You have two uses of 'staunchly' to describe dialogue very close together. A different tag in one of the places would change things up.
-When Ginny is trying to persuade her brothers to let her join in by grabbing Fred's broom, you are missing the word 'broom'.
-And it felt a bit odd to describe Ginny has having lots of brothers and sisters. Either Ginny has lots of brothers, or there are lots of Weasley children.

Overall though - great job, and lots of fun to read.

Author's Response: The Weasleys are just so genuinely fun to write -- it's never much of a chore to sit down and actually do it. Too much fun to be considered normal, actually, but there we have it.

Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of Ginny, and wasn't looking forward to writing her much -- maybe that's why she came last. But I'm very pleased with how it turned out, and I'm glad you seem to feel the same!

I capitalized 'Stunned' to show that it was, in fact, the spell that was being referenced -- that's how it is in the canon books. :) But thank you for pointing out the other errors, the edits are in the queue now! Thanks for the lovely review!


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Review #40, by sophie_hatterHarry Potter and the Conspiracy of Blood: The Greater Fool

20th October 2011:
Lots and lots of good things here. Dinner at The Burrow is really fantastic. I love seeing Harry with his kids and I hope we get more of that.

Draco and Astoria are brilliant. I think they are a fantastic double act, and I love how you write them.

The scene with Rose and Harry is one of my favourites that you've written, just so touching.

And then finally, the ending is breath-takingly brilliant. I sooo did not see that one coming!

Author's Response: Another chapter that was kind of painful to write, so I'm glad it turned out OK.

Draco and Astoria are a lot of fun to write. She's a great counter-balance to his pomposity and cynicism. I haven't 100% figured out how to use her the rest of the way through the story. She's already kind of admitted that she wasn't a strong DADA student, but you can make up for some things with determination. Time will tell...

The scene with Rose and Harry worked out OK, I think. It was originally more of a tear-jerker, but I feel like maybe I've had too many of those already. I'd like to keep the story from going over one box of tissues.

Glad you liked the ending. Flint served a purpose, but honestly I didn't really like the character. So it was time for him to go.

Thanks again for reading, editing, reading some more and reviewing. Talk to you soon...


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Review #41, by sophie_hatterHarry Potter and the Conspiracy of Blood: The Tangled Web We Weave

20th October 2011:
Seriously, I love this chapter. It's just hit after hit!

This great sentence early on sets the tone: 'Eleven hardened criminals are back on the street, we have no idea who staged an attack three floors away from our office in broad daylight and my best friend is probably going to be a paraplegic. Brilliant.'

I love the idea of finding the the missing wands, the conversation between Hugo, Ron and Hermione, and the revelation about Ginny's murder - that one was particularly gripping.

It's such a pleasure to be able to help out with this one - it really is a great story:-)

Author's Response: I'm glad it worked out well for you, because it was a huge pain to write. You have no idea how many iterations this chapter went through... OK, actually you do have an idea.

If I had to say that I've come up with one truly unique idea that wasn't lifted from or inspired by any other fic I've read, it's the wands. I have a couple of ideas on how to use them later on. We'll just have to see how well they work out.

Lady Tenabra's a piece of work, huh? Time will tell what her involvement really was, or whether she's lying about that, as well...

Thanks again for all your help. You are brilliant!


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Review #42, by sophie_hatterHarry Potter and the Conspiracy of Blood: Fortunes

20th October 2011:
Finally! I've got around to a review!

There are a few things I particularly like about this chapter. I loved the interplay between Harry and Susan, and also Harry's relationship with Hermione. The insight into the day to day running of the Auror department also helped to make it feel grounded.

Good job on this one!

Author's Response: Hello, there.

Even thought she's not what you'd call a major character, I'm enjoying writing Susan's role in all of this. If I was going to given an award for "best supporting character", she'd be in the running. Since all we really know about her from canon is that she's a Hufflepuff and her aunt was on the Wizengamot before being killed by Death Eaters, she provides a nice blank slate to work with.

Thanks for reading (before and after publication ;-) ) and reviewing!


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Review #43, by sophie_hatterStill Delicate: Awkward.

7th October 2011:
Well. What can I say that literally thousands of people haven't said already?

I'm relatively new to fan fiction, so I have just had the incredible pleasure of reading Delicate and Still Delicate one after the other. It took me the best part of two days, and I loved every second of it.

Your story telling and characterisation is second to none - so good, I wonder if I should even bother having a go at a Next Gen fic when this is just so unutterably good. How could anyone ever compete?

I thought (and still do think) that Delicate was amazing, but truly, Still Delicate is even better. Reading both stories shows just how much you have matured as a writer. I hope you are incredibly proud of you work, because you so deserve to be.

And now I join the hoards eagerly awaiting updates:-)

So to specifics - I am completely undecided! What do I want to happen? Do I want Rose with Scorpius, her destiny, her torment, the Romeo to her Juliet? Could she ever be happy without him? But then, could she ever be happy *with* him? Would they just tear each other apart?

Or do I want her with Tom? Someone she could be so good with, who would look after her, support her and nurture her, and help her to be the person she truly could be? Is it best that both she and Scorpius move on for the benefit of all?

Gah! I just don't know! Curse you for being so damn good at this! If what I write is half this good, I swear I would the thrilled.

So thank you - it's wonderful.

PS - yes, I know I'm gushing. But there was wine:-)

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Review #44, by sophie_hatterHarry Potter and the Conspiracy of Blood: Strange Bedfellows

25th September 2011:
I thought this was another winner of a chapter.

I enjoyed the further development of Astoria's character from the last chapter (I'm really starting to like that woman), I thought the bedside scenes with Hermione were very touching and suitably emotional, and I liked the description of the crime scene work that the Aurors did. My very favourite bit was Ron calling Harry out about hovering over people's shoulders and making them nervous - it worked so well, both in terms of the relationship between Ron and Harry, and Harry's character. It brought back echoes of how brooding he can be.

The scene with Astoria, Flint and Draco was lots of fun. I liked the hints about there being some sort of 'organisation', and made links to what we learned at the murder trial (not sure if it was meant to, nice deflection if not:-)). I loved Draco's line about the dress - really good. You're building Draco and Astoria into a great double act.

I also love the idea of incomptent wizards casting Exussanguis - great spell by the way, and good to see Phineas Nigellus back.

And finally - the section with Draco and Harry was great. I enjoyed the antagonism; I thought it was just enough without being OTT. Nice description of Bella being more mental than usual, that was a lovely touch.

As you already know, I've loved this so far. I'm really looking forward to reading more:-)

Author's Response: Bella Lestrange is a character that I absolutely love. To me, she's the epitome of everything messed up and evil in the world, worse in a way than her master because there's a method to his madness while she's just mad. I understand why she had to die, but she's still useful for invoking certain feelings and memories.

As you can probably tell by now, I think the portraits are a vastly underexplored vein of the HP universe. They give a writer a chance to throw in the occasional deus ex machina solution to a problem without sounding **too** cheesy because JK Rowling invented them. I intend to have more fun with them before I'm through.

Thanks so much for your marathon day of reading and reviewing. As a writer, readers like you mean the world to me. I look forward to reading more of Evolution!


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Review #45, by sophie_hatterHarry Potter and the Conspiracy of Blood: A Friend Indeed

25th September 2011:
I think this is my favourite chapter so far. It's strange, because Draco is not my favourite character, so that's definitely a testament to how well this works. It's well, structured, well paced, and lines like 'Their search turned up four half empty bottles of fire whiskey, two boggarts and roughly 35 galleons worth of spare change, but no dark artifacts' are a total joy.

There's just enough back story to paint a picture of the Malfoys of the future without it becoming dry like a history lesson, and I thought the tension between Draco's pureblood sympathy and his neutral political stance was well done. I also liked how you showed Draco's dawning realisation of how much of a pawn he had been, and his withdrawal from his friends as a result. It felt in character and helped me warm to him.

I also really like Astoria. She's a complete blank canvas, and your portrayal of her as capable and strong (stronger really than her husband) is interesting. Her interplay with Hermione was very believable.

Then, finally, we get the firefight. I loved this. You built it up beautifully, and the way you brought back the wizard with the petition was fantastic. I really didn't see that coming - good job!

This chapter's britpicking - we would probably say 'diary' rather than 'journal'. As an alternative, if you wanted to avoid comparison to the diary from Chamber of Secrets, you could call it a memoir, which might be more in character for Voldemort. He might not doubt himself enough to make contingency plans, but he would certainly be arrogant enough to want to record his plans for domination, intended to become mandatory reading for every witch or wizard in the future. Not sure how that would play with your plans for the rest of the story:-)

Author's Response: You're making me smile from ear to ear, and it's not just the complements. So you picked up on the apparent inconsistency between Voldemort's belief that he was going to live forever and writing down his plans for posterity, eh? Hmmmnnn... There might be something more to that. ;-)

I appreciate the suggestion, but I think I'm going to stick with the word "journal" precisely because of the diary horcrux. "Memoir" just doesn't fit with Tom Riddle at all. Makes him seem like Gilderoy Lockhart.

Thanks again! One more to go...


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Review #46, by sophie_hatterHarry Potter and the Conspiracy of Blood: Those Who Donít Learn From History

25th September 2011:
I thought this chapter was great, from start to finish, and it was great to see Neville again.

I loved the description of the duelling class. It flowed easily, Harry's interaction with his students was very nicely written and I thought the demonstration of duelling six people at once was great fun; the detail on technique was a clever and interesting way to build on canon. Although I did agree with Noblevyne that 'Projectumbra' was a little awkward as a name, I thought it was a great concept. Mind if I borrow it, credited of course? I'm writing about Auror training at the moment, as you know:-)

I also thought the section on teaching Northway and Artie about the dangers of dark wizards was excellent, and this, along with the passage in the headmaster's office was a very effective way to frame the midset of the community. You also showed the effect on Dennis Northway beautifully.

I think my only criticism would be to agree with Beeezie that it would have been nice to show Harry spending a little time with the boys after their encounter with the Dementors, as Lupin did with Harry himself, but I think overall that's a very minor thing in an excellent chapter.

Author's Response: Dear, I have no objection whatsoever to your borrowing my awkwardly-named spells. If we both use it and our stories are halfway decent, it's practically canon, right? ;-)

I am always kind of amazed by the compassion that readers develop for characters in HP stories. I guess I could let Artie and Dennis down a little easier. Going from the new, kinder, gentler wizarding world to facing dementors would be pretty traumatic, I guess.

I'm curious what you thought about the interaction with Frank and Alice. Hit me with a PM if you had any strong reactions.

Thanks again! Moving right along to your next review...


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Review #47, by sophie_hatterHarry Potter and the Conspiracy of Blood: Losses

25th September 2011:
I read this chapter with some trepidation, because I thought I might cry again, but I managed to remain dry eyed this time:-)

I thought the section at the end of the trial was very strong. I liked the parallel between the time in jail and the time searching for the Horcruxes, and how Harry's facade cracks as the the excuse to think about something else is pulled away. I would enjoy seeing more of Harry and his children in future chapters.

The further hints and suggestions about the murder that were sprinkled throughout the chapter were really interesting, and I can't wait to find out what happened (Justice for Ginny!), but I do agree with other reviewers that while the revelation about Percy was a stroke of brilliance, it would have been great to spin this out as mystery. I know you've already responded on this point that it's important to know what happened for the remainder of the story, so I'll trust you:-)

That aside, I thought the section between Percy and Harry, and in particular, Percy's description of how it felt to cast the spell, was superb. I really loved that passage, and I think it's great how sympathetic you've made Percy, since he's so often presented as a one-dimensional dullard.

I know that opinion has been divided on the section with the portraits. Personally, I loved it. I enjoyed the description of Harry 'training' the paintings, and I thought the interation between them after Harry leaves the room was wonderful. I especially liked the 'Father Christmas' line, as well as Dumbledore's closing statement.

A few nit-picky things:

You are missing a word from this sentance: 'Second, that unbeknownst to the muggle authorities, Mrs. Potter a witch and the wife of defendant Harry Potter...'

Also, there is a spell used in the books (Prior Incantato, I think) that will force a wand to show the spells it has recently cast. In theory in the case of a murder, if you confiscated a wand, you could check if it had been used to cast a killing curse. It would be easy enough to write around this (for instance, having the prosecution accuse Hermione of being bright enough to circumvent it), but ideally you would at least reference it.

And finally - in British English, you would say 'nappy' rather than 'diaper'.

Author's Response: Wow. I love that you've actually read some of the other comments. It's a nice touch.

This was actually the first part of the story that I wrote. I toyed with the idea of making this the prologue before I settled on the scene at King's Cross. Based on the reviews, I'm really pleased that people seem to think that it works OK as a chapter-out-of-time within the body of the story.

I'm hoping to do a lot of interesting things with Percy. I never found his character to be quite as boring and simplistic as some people have written it.

The section with the portraits was a very late addition. It was a lot of fun to write and I'm glad that you like it. Hopefully I can do more interesting things with them later on.

Occlument made a comment in a similar vein to your prior incantato observation. It was a really hard balancing act, figuring out how much exposition was "enough" versus "too much." In the end, I took the approach that Barsamian and Percy were making closing arguments at the end of a weeks-long trial, so it was implied that any holes in their respective arguments has been covered previously. Maybe I could benefit from fleshing it out a bit.

Thanks again for reviewing! Moving right along to your next one...


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Review #48, by sophie_hatterHarry Potter and the Conspiracy of Blood: Any Sufficiently Advanced Technology

25th September 2011:
This was a great scene-setter of a chapter. It had some lovely little moments, such as the way that Harry and Ginny's photo reacts to Rose and Harry's conversation, as well as Octavia's request to play with the Boggart, the description of Artemis and the hints about Ginny's death.

The dialogue throughout this chapter was very good. The interplay between the trio, in all the various combinations, worked very well. I especially enjoyed both the lines about Percy, and also Harry and Hermione's goodbye, which was pitch-perfect and very poignant.

Something else I particularly liked here was the characterisation of Rose and Scorpius. They are one of my favourite next-gen couples, but the way you have set them up here is very different to the way they are usually written, which was refreshing. I thought the description of Rose has having Hermione's temper and Ron's relationship skills was very funny. I liked the section with Rose and Harry (it was good to see their relationship being so close), and I hope we get to meet Scorpius soon!

If I could be a little bit picky, I would say that you should try to say 'mum' rather than 'mom', and there were one or two other Americanisms - for instance, in describing a messy life, we would probably say 'car crash' rather than 'train wreck', but this is all minor stuff.

I'm pretty good at Britpicking, so let me know if this is something you value feedback on, otherwise I'll happily ignore it:-)

Author's Response: Hello, again!

You're the second person to point out the mom/mum thing, and I keep meaning to fix it. I'd like to to do it when I don't have a new chapter pending validation, so I don't load the validators down too much. I really appreciate the Britpicking, it's one of my weaker areas.

The entire scene with Harry, Rose and Octavia was a late addition to this chapter, so I'm happy to hear that it works well. The storyline on Rose and Scorpius's relationship was inspired by a story called Delicate (M), which I highly recommend. I'm varying a bit from the chronology of that story by having Aiden born after they graduate from Hogwarts rather than before. To make the timeline work, I needed Aiden and Octavia to be closer in age.

Again, thank you very much for reading and reviewing! You're seriously making my day. BTW, I also do some reading/writing in my spare time at work, so I won't tell your boss if you don't tell mine. LOL


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Review #49, by sophie_hatterHarry Potter and the Conspiracy of Blood: Everything That Ever Mattered

25th September 2011:
This was another great chapter. I thought it built very nicely, and the description of Harry was spot on. The way he spoke so fondly of family and friends rang very true.

From a dramatic point of view, I really liked the conversation structure. They way that I, as the reader, gradually became aware that it was totally one sided leading to the reveal that Harry was beside Ginny's grave was beautifully done.

Emotionally, it was a real gut-wrencher. Although others have come close, it's the first fan-fic I've read that actually did reduce me to tears. This is a compliment, by way - with subject matter like this, it really should trigger that sort of response if it's done well, and the way you combined grief with affection was just fabulous. The only unfortunate thing is that I was reading whilst I was at work (shh - don't tell my boss!).

If I might make a couple of criticisms; firstly, the way that you explained who people were felt a little bit clunky at times. For example, 'Al's youngest daughter Lillian joined my class of first years today'. Ginny already knows who Lillian is, so even though it needs explaining to the reader, this could have been done more smoothly.

Secondly - You killed Ginny :-)! I love Ginny!

Author's Response: This review absolutely made my day! I hate to make a lady cry, but it sounds like I got exactly the reaction I was hoping for.

I also love Ginny, and making Harry go on without her in this story was the most difficult decision I had to make. At some point in the future, I feel like I need to go back and write something where she's still alive and in love with Harry, just to purify myself. ;-)

That's a very valid criticism about explaining the relationship to his granddaughter. I'll have to go back and look at that and see whether there's a way to clue the reader in as to who she is.

Thanks again for reading and reviewing. Getting feedback from other people in a similar situation is very helpful!


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Review #50, by sophie_hatterHarry Potter and the Conspiracy of Blood: Prologue

25th September 2011:
Hello! Since you took the time to read and review my story, I thought I would return the favour - and I'm so very glad I did!

I'll start by saying that this is (by quite some distance) my favourite WIP. If you carry on and complete the story to the same standard as the chapters that you have posted so far, this is going to be an absolute corker!

Like you, when I find a story I like, I devour it from start to finish as quickly as I can, and I tore through this one in an afternoon.

I thought the prologue was excellent. It set chapter one, and the mystery of Ginny's death very nicely, although since Harry and Ginny are my favourites, I must admit I was really hoping it wasn't true:-). The standing of writing is excellent, and it really draws you in. Good job!

Author's Response: Hi!

Thanks for reading and reviewing. Like I said, I love the story you're working on, so I hope that we can read and review back and forth with each other.

Since there isn't much to respond to, I'll just thank you for the complements and move on to your next review!


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