Reading Reviews From Member: manno_malfoy
  
185 Reviews Found

Review #1, by manno_malfoyTraitorous Hearts: A Family Affair

8th May 2017:
Hey Penny! I'm beyond eager to go back to devouring this story. This was the first chapter that didn't have a review by me, and I'm kinda glad that there are still many more chapters to go.

I liked this slow-paced, not very eventful chapter because we got to see Astoria under relatively normal circumstances and discover things about her family and heritage. You've done a wonderful job demonstrating how stressed she was, between her nightmares and distracting herself with mundane tasks such as packing.

Felix Greengrass was completely unexpected. He may not believe in mingling with muggles but mostly for the obvious risk it brings. And he's a Shakespeare fan! What a darling! He does touch upon the very important point that just because wizards shouldn't be getting involved with muggles doesn't mean that they have to necessarily be out to get them. I say you let Felix start a book club and end the war by introducing people to muggle art. And if they don't see art and technology as some sort of magic, then they're blind bigots.

I'm also very eager to see if/how Astoria's grandmother and her heritage will have any impact on the story and how it progresses.

The scene at Malfoy Manor was masterfully done as well. That moment between Draco and Narcissa is on point! We get to see the Malfoy's as this proper family. Of course, they've brought this destruction upon themselves and they don't get to complain about where their actions have got them. But while I may not sympathise with them, it was lovely seeing this interaction. This is, indeed, the same Narcissa that risks everything, risks lying to Voldemort just to know if her son is still alive.

I was also very glad to see you touch upon scenes we know from the books and build upon them, especially since you've done it so well.

Slipping back into this and into your mesmerizing writing was a wonderful start to my day. And I can't see what else is coming.

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Review #2, by manno_malfoyAn Unlikely Quartet: Eavesdropping

28th April 2017:
Hey, I'm back again for the CTF.

I don't think I've ever read a founders story, so it's been a morning of firsts for me here. I really do admire that you've tried to use a more formal tone/writing style in this story to suit the era a bit more. I found your descriptions of the exchanges between the characters and the conduct throughout the chapter gave off the correct vibe, which was really nice because it kind of engulfs you.

I'm glad that we were seeing things from Rowena Ravenclaw's point of view (HOUSE PRIDE!) and that we were inside her head and seeing what she thought of people and things in general. I feel that you wrote her well and didn't exaggerate her intelligence or made her think to highly of herself for it. She was just levelheaded and wise, and people apparently could tell and respected her for that.

I'm not quite sure about the rest of the founders, especially Gryffindor and Slytherin... The roles seemed reversed to me. But that intrigued me because it makes me wonder if this was on purpose and you meant for them to mould and change as the story goes until they become the characters we vaguely know about from the books.

A minor thing that jumped out at me was how quickly Slytherin took to Rowena's idea about the school and highly approved of it and made it sound like a done deal, even though I felt like the logistics of such a decision would still need to be discussed very thoroughly in some sort of long meeting. But that's about it really, for me.

I think this was an interesting take on the Founders and I think it's smart that you wanted to explore the creation of Hogwarts itself.

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Review #3, by manno_malfoyJust A Pretty Face: 10th Anniversary

28th April 2017:
Hey there, I'm back again for the CTF.

I mean, you did warn about how fluffy it would be, I just didn't think it would be quite this fluffy. But that's okay because I'm in the headspace for fluff and I always wondered whatever happened to Gabrielle.

I like that you've taken this Veela charm which is used in the books and the movie as this alluring thing that most girl's would dream of, and you've focused on the struggle that may come with it when you're got a lot of superficial men. And I respected Gabrielle a lot for knowing what she wants from a relationship (as any successful woman at that age should) and didn't want some shallow relationship devoid of profound understanding or that centres around her attractiveness.

I guess it does get a lot more cheesy once Richard pops up, but you know why I don't mind at all? Because you'v given Oliver a brother and I just kept imagining that accent.

Another thing that amused me and I really like was Gabrielle getting all poetic about bread rising. I mean, kudos for Richard for coming up with such a good ice-breaking question. It's such a quirky, but cute conversation.

I do wish that Gabrielle hadn't been so heads over heels already by the end of it, especially since she had just gotten out of a relationship and she had barely spoken to Richard for two minutes. But given how lonely she seemed to be the first half of the story, I can kind of understand her excitement about having come upon basically everything she's hoped for in a man.

This was really cute and I enjoyed reading it!

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Review #4, by manno_malfoyRomanian Romance: Of Ridgebacks and Redheads

27th April 2017:
Hey there! I'm here for the CTF.

I've never read a story about Charlie before but I've always wanted to, so this was very interesting for me.

Brief as it maybe be, I found it an excellent start to the story. Not only was it action-packed and gripping already, but it definitely did give us a decent glimpse at your two main characters and what they are like. Especially the narrator.

I think you've described the scene where she was trying to contain the situation written really well. I sometimes have a hard time imagining such action-packed scenes while reading them (they are also one of the hardest things for me to write which is why I notice the writing style in that). But here, I could visualize everything in that scene.

That said, I do have a minute CC, and I felt you could have used some more descriptions of the Romanian Dragon Reserve itself through your narrator's eyes. I just feel it would've been great if I could really visualise the environment all of this was taking place in. But that's really a minor thing, and it didn't take much away from this chapter for me.

I'm really interested to see how you've written Charlie and where you're going to take this next.

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Review #5, by manno_malfoyEvolution: Ain't No Sunshine

26th April 2017:
Hello, I'm here for the CTF.

I loved being in James's head in this chapter, brief as it may have been. I'm intrigued by your choice of the beginning of summer as a starting point... I mean, James Potter, alone, without his three best friends and all the mayhem? What could possibly happen? That said, I did thoroughly enjoy this chapter and James's reminiscing about the events of the previous year.

His apparent bitterness towards Snape was beyond amusing. I loved how he bragged about all his multi-tasking and that hexing Snape was right on there. That said, it was interesting to see how he really doesn't have any solid reasons for his despise for Snape (other than the fact that Lily only has time for him), and how he certain he is that Snape is evil. And of course, because he says that, it doesn't even cross his mind that it could count as bullying or that it could only push Snape farther into the 'darker side'.

I also found it interesting that James is both smitten by and frustrated with Lily. It's so obvious that he doesn't really understand her. I'd love to see what you'll do next with the pair of them!

Oh, and I found James's interaction with the house elf was sweet and respectful.

I hope I can return to this story after the CTF and give it a proper reading because it seems great so far, and I really enjoyed the way you've written this chapter!

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Review #6, by manno_malfoyOblivion: Through All This Tract of Years

26th April 2017:
Hey there! I'm here for the CTF.

First of all, I have to mention that stunning opening scene and the on point descriptions that set the mood. I was entrnced by it! I especially liked this sentence:
'Golden light spilt from the windows like there wasnít enough space for it inside.'

It's so simple but such an accurate and vivid way to describe it, and I loved it!

I haven't read the previous stories in this series but I felt that you've mentioned enough things or at least the crucial things that happened in them here, so I feel like I have a decent idea of what went down.

Therefore, it was interesting to see how both Albus and Rose were dealing with the world after grieving and after what they've been through (given that I'm guessing they were both involved in the same thing?), and the stark difference in the way each was doing it. Although I wouldn't say that Albus is really past grieving. I really enjoyed reading the exchange between him and James, melancholic as it seemed to be since it came after that haunting description, setting the scene.

It was quite thrilling to have action in THE FIRST CHAPTER OF A STORY. That rarely ever happens. Rose's first scene was so intense, I loved it. And I really admire that she's taken whatever hardship she has been through and is using it to fuel her passion for this job. But I enjoyed the clues in there about how deeply it had all impacted her anyway, and how overly-protective and cautious that made her.

Also, finally kissing the guy who likes her! In the first chapter!!! I wonder what that leaves for the rest of the story. I bet it's a lot of fun drama!

This was thoroughly enjoyable and I probably (definitely) I'm going to tackle this series some time soon!

Author's Response: I have been so confused by the CTF. Suddenly, reviews on the third part of a trilogy show up! I'm not normally one for descriptions (I know this won the Dobby, I'm still confused) so I'm really glad you liked the prose. Considering this opening is set several years after the second in the trilogy, it probably makes some sense because even for established readers I've had to bring them up to speed, introduce them to the changes in the time jump. But you're right, absolutely nobody in this is past grieving over the tragedies they've been put through.

Kicking off with action! I wanted a contrast to the sad slowness of the James and Albus scene. Albus ran, Rose hid herself in all manner of things, including her work. But 'passion' isn't strictly a word to be connected to poor Rose these days. Even in kissing the guy! Theirs is a messy and complex relationship.

If you tackle the series I'd be very happy. Thanks for reviewing! :)


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Review #7, by manno_malfoyTrue Romance: Ice Cream

17th April 2017:
You know what, I've had my suspicions about Rose ever since that first encounter with Brandon way back in the ministry, and every time something happened, I talked myself out of the suspicion because I wanted to believe that Rose is smarter than this. I was reading this scene with a hand on my face in a literal facepalm on her behalf. Not only is she jeoperdising Albus's 'relationship', but she's making an already messy situation worse. And above all of that, I don't see how she thought this would work out in her favour at all. Man. But it only makes sense that Rose would have some flaws/lapses of judgment. It's only realistic. I guess I just held her to unrealistic standards.

My favourite in this chapter has to be Corbin in that final scene. His maturity shines through and you can tell that this age thing makes him quite level-headed and understanding of how big a decision this is regardless of one's feelings for someone. And I love how this surprised Scorpius, which is understandable when you take into consideration the unstable mess that Albus is. Young love can be such chaos.

The scene with Teddy and Albus was one of the cutest things ever. And how easily Albus deals with Remus makes me wonder what it'll make him do in regards to Brandon and Cora.

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Review #8, by manno_malfoyTrue Romance: The Love You Save (May Be Your Own)

17th April 2017:
So I've managed to read the first few chapters and I am now all caught up and capable of making solid statements about things. Yay! This means I've basically been gobbling and very much enjoying this story all morning.

I have to say that my face mirrored Rose throughout the scene of Lily's date. Like, I'd make a face at something Archie says, and I read on and find Rose doing the same thing. Eugh. Reminds of a lot of the guys I know. But I admire Rose for handling the situation so well, even though her face was betraying her. At least Archie was too busy making problematic statements to notice. I'm looking forward to Lily's and Rose's conversation about it though.

I'm already in love with Scorpius, especially in this chapter. Close friends or not, he shouldn't be letting Albus toy with him like that. And I understand that he's passionate about him too and it clouds his judgment, but I fully support the decision he makes in this chapter even though I totally ship your Albus and Scorp together.

Have I mentioned already how much I admire Rose? She is a star in this chapter! Just so supportive and an amazing friend, not just to Lily but to Brandon as well. It's ridiculous that she goes to see him and Albus doesn't. Albus really need to get it together; he's starting to get on my nerves.

As you can see, I've gotten very invested in your characters already, which is proof of the wonderful a job you've done with them and the plot!

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Review #9, by manno_malfoyActions Speak Louder than Words: Better: Rose POV

12th October 2015:
Awh. This is such a short chapter, but itís also great! Youíve already told us a bit about what Scorpiusís relationship with his parents was like, but we knew very little in that regard about Rose. I think that the relationship between Rose and Harry is adorable. Itís evident by the end of the chapter how well he knows her, and I suppose, how well he knows Scorpius as well. And really, as Iíve said in my previous review, if Albus is nudging Scorpius to go for it, then it must be glaringly obvious that thereís a spark or some sort of chemistry between Scorpius and Rose. And this only reinforces that.

And now that I know your Rose to some extent, I can see that itís just like her (very wise and calculated) to have faith in someone whoís an adult and who can advise her but who would also manage to be relatively objective and not just jet off based on emotion and fury the way Ron would. And speaking of Roseís parents, Rose dragging Al and healing him right then there reminded me a lot of Hermione for some reason. Just the way she commands Albus around and looks out for him. Itís just adorable. A whole lot of adorable in this small chapter.

Thanks to my current hectic schedule, I'm slowly but surely making my way through this addictive story (Congrats on that well-deserved Dobby, by the way). But I really am loving it so far!

-Manno

Author's Response: Hi there Manno!

Thanks again for all the amazing reviews you've left me on this story. I really like writing the scenes were everything slows down a bit for the characters. I think it's necessary to have some balance between the emotionally-charged scenes so that we know that they get to take a breather every now and then.

You totally get Rose and Harry's relationship. He is removed enough from the situation to see her side of things a bit more than Ron.

And yes! Rose does have some of her mother's characteristics. She isn't about to let anyone's foolishness get in the way of their health - haha!

Thanks again for the lovely reviews!

♥ Beth


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Review #10, by manno_malfoyActions Speak Louder than Words: Bitter: Scorpius POV

29th September 2015:
Alright, so this chapter is different because instead of focusing on Rose and Scorpius and their issues, we focus on Albus and his. Heís been a bit on the sidelines the past few chapters and basically all we knew about him was that he cares about Rose a lot. So it was amazing to get to explore this intense, competitive side of him, and to see the effect of being the Chosen Oneís son on him. What I particularly like about Albus right now is that even though Harry is pushing him and has high expectations for him, he didnít quit on being an auror. He couldíve just made a switch if it really bothered him THAT much. But this goes to show how good he is at it, and how much he appreciates his job.

Itís interesting how Albus is encouraging Scorpius to go for this relationship, as opposed to most of the ScoRose fics where he gets really defensive and protective. And that really does prove how obvious Scorpiusís and Roseís feelings are for each other. And the bottom line is, theyíre good for each other as well, so I just wanna hit them both on the head and tell them to get together and make things better for both of them. Which is why I support Albusís childish behaviour towards this at the end of the chapter. I applaud him.

I also loved seeing how Scorpius respects Harry and how grateful he is to him. After all, Harry pretty much adopted him. I thought that was a fantastic touch! And itís realistic as well that he noticed when it was getting out of hand between Harry and Albus. Just great characterisation, overall so far. And I just wanna sit here and gobble up the story all day! :D

-Manno

Author's Response: Hey there Manno,

I'm so glad you liked my Albus character. I really made an effort with this fic to write a Rose/Scorpius story where the characters were a little different than they are normally portrayed. I'm not saying I don't love to read the stories where Albus wants to pound Scorpius into the ground for kissing his cousin, but I just thought there was another way the story could go.

Haha - I kinda want to hit them over the head too. They really are made for each other and they need each other for so many parts of their lives.

Scorpius does feel connected to Harry - and Harry was very cautious in his treatment of Scorpius - so he didn't feel like he was trying to take the place of his father, but wanted him to know that there would always be someone there for him, if he needed it.

Eeep! Thanks again!

♥ Beth


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Review #11, by manno_malfoyActions Speak Louder than Words: Besotted: Rose POV

29th September 2015:
Youíve made a twist on the Cruciatus! How cool is that! Itís like tampering with a Patronus to use it for delivering messages! I found the descriptions of the effects of the curse excellent and detailed enough. And Iím thrilled that we finally know enough about what happened to Rose two years ago. Iím curious what the circumstances were and what led to it, but there are enough answers to many of the questions Iíve had since starting the story, so Iím satisfied. The way youíre gradually feeding us information about the past really does help keep the suspense and has kept me thoroughly entertained.

I think itís a step forward that Rose is facing the traces of her trauma --the scars, the memories. And it makes sense that sheís doing that the morning after she feels something. Itís heartbreaking how she views herself, but I canít imagine anyone not thinking that having to live with the scars of something that haunts them isn't terrible. Or as if living through it to begin with wasn't terrible enough.

I must say that I loved your drunk Scorpius; he was retrospective, self-lamenting, and honest. Of course, his view of himself may be slightly distorted. But I must admit that I hated him a little when Rose mentioned what sheíd seen one of those nights sheíd gone to him in the dorm, mostly because Iím a bit partial to Rose and Scorp being together forever with no obstacles (or other silly girls) getting in the way of that. But I suppose thatís too much to ask for?

Once again, I canít help but admire Rose for her support and dedication to Scorpius. It shows how the bond between them is strong, and it gives me hope. Because if it has survived the hormones and the other girls and the death of Scorpiusís parents during school, it should survive what comes next. If thereís something that comes next.

I have all my fingers crossed for romance because I just love those two!

Oh, and this is for the BvB fest.

-Manno

Author's Response: Hi there Manno!

Gosh - this review was so detailed and amazing and just... thank you so much! I'm all giddy right now at how you found all the little details that I put into my story!

I wanted to take my villain to the next level - using the same ol' cruciatus wasn't going to be bad enough for this guy - he had to show everyone that he was evil enough to be *worse*

And Yes!! I'm so glad you noticed that Rose is finally taking some steps toward recovery. That's something that I wanted to bring about s-l-o-w-l-y in this story. I was very deliberate about that, but I did want her to get better... so I always worry if I paced it well or not. Thanks for the awesome comments, because it really helped me to feel like I did that. :)

Scorpius was in a really, REALLY bad place after his parents died. He was an orphan, and basically had no extended family to support him. Harry offered up his home - for a few reasons, not the least of which was because Scorpius reminded him a lot of himself. Nonetheless, he had to go through some pretty awful periods in his grief and unfortunately, he ended up hurting Rose in the process.

Rose feels different when she's helping others. It's the one place she can finally start to feel like her old self. And she's taking that and running with it for now.

Thanks again for these amazing reviews! Gah! I loved reading them!

♥ Beth


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Review #12, by manno_malfoyfound wanting: i.

25th September 2015:
Hello! So I've seen this story mentioned a few times on the forums and I thought it sounded interesting!

This chapter is really, really short, but it works somehow. It's practically a pretty invitation that hooked me right away. I think that idea of a reunion is quite cool; I haven't read a story about one yet.

The opening paragraph is written beautifully and it's captivating. It sets the scene quite perfectly, then in comes a mysterious character, then we're given a hint about the premise of the story. So yes, all the elements for a great first chapter are here, even though it's short! So well done with that.

I found Holly interesting too. You've described her really well, I could see her in my head. I'm intrigued to see where you take her and this story next. :D

-Manno

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Review #13, by manno_malfoyDefiantly Devious: Something Wicked

25th September 2015:
Hello there! I'm back and I'm very excited about it.

This is such an important chapter because there's progress between George and Hermione. Yay! And it really is so weird and unusual for me to like Hermione with anyone other than Ron. But what you've managed to do, for me at least, is develop this right from the start, and slip little things every chapter so that when this happened, it came off as logical and believable. And you know what, I've never thought about Hermione and George together before, but now that I think about it, it's a very interesting concept. They both are really smart, even if in different ways, or perhaps BECAUSE it's in different ways... I just can see Hermione admiring people for their brains, so yes, I'm on board of this ship in your story.

I have a bit of constructive criticism and I hope that's okay. But after the first kiss, you said that Hermione was taken off guard, but you didn't really show it. They just went right onto working on the fountain pen. I feel that MAYBE you could've elaborated a bit on the shock of it, and not only for Hermione but I guess for George as well? But that's just my opinion, really.

The second kiss was great and perfectly described and well-timed. And I enjoyed reading about them working together and all. I suppose things can only get more exciting from here!

This has been another great chapter. And I see that you've churned out a couple more since I've last checked the story out, so I can't wait to see what you do next.

-Manno

Author's Response: I welcome the constructive criticism, sometimes I have so many thoughts about where I want the story to go, that I write too fast cause I don't want to forget the ideas. But you do have a point about the lack of shock. Thanks for reading!

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Review #14, by manno_malfoyChai, Pakoras, and a Friend in the Wee Hours of the Morning: Chai, Pakoras, and a Friend

25th September 2015:
Hello! I'm here for our swap!

Aww. I just can't with these two. I've been meaning to come back and check out the other stories in the chai series for a while now, wanting to see what you do to make each story different. And both made me feel gooey on the inside. Or like Hannah would put it, like melting chocolate.

There's something so electric between Neville and Hannah, this sort of chemistry that makes it so incredibly enjoyable to sit here and read about the two of them cooking and eating together. A huge part of that is owed, of course, to your wonderful execution throughout the story. You add just enough details about the food and the cooking process, and it adds SO MUCH to the story. It speaks to the foodie in me as well, and that's always a plus. And you write the way they interact with each other (especially physically) so well, and it's just so cute!

I'm sure I've mentioned this in my last review as well, but I LOVE what Hannah is doing with her life. She just wants to do something she really loves, and is not scared to switch careers when she's not get the satisfaction she is seeking. I just respect that a lot, and it makes me admire her.

I found this story even funnier than the 'carrots' story (which is the only other one I've read). Hannah thinking that Neville is just a dream but baffled by the fact that he's dressed was just the best!

Speaking of that part. You wrote:
The sound of rich chocolate

It seemed a little odd to me. Did you mean smell? But anyway, that was the only thing that caught my eyes. Everything else was perfect.

I really am enjoying these glimpses at Neville's and Hannah's relationship. The two that I've read so far are about crucial points, and as you've clarified, some time has passed since that first Valentine's. I can definitely see the development in their relationship. It's amazing to see them so insanely in love after all that time, and how they're keeping up the chai and food antics while making important decisions. It just does weird (good kind of weird) stuff to my heart.

I will definitely come back again for the other stories in the series. Hopefully, I can manage to read them in order. I could've done that this time, but I thought I'd review something recent for the swap!

I'm super glad I got the chance to read this tonight. It put such a big smile on my face and put me in a good mood, so thank you for that!

-Manno

Author's Response: Hello! I'm so glad that you're back. And that Neville and Hannah continue to give all the gooey feels. They aim to please ;)

I think if I impress a foodie with this series, I've basically unlocked some sort of achievement. So much of this story is about the food, and I like to use it almost as another character. As for their chemistry, there is A LOT of it, and I'm so pleased that it comes across!

Hannah is way braver than me, for sure! I don't think I'd have the guts to switch my career the way she has! She's just all about living her best life.

I wanted to highlight how important food is in our lives, especially when it comes to the big decisions. And quite often, the type of food that features most prominently is something so humble, like a cup of tea.

Thanks so much for the wonderful review, and I hope you enjoy the other Neville/Hannah installments!


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Review #15, by manno_malfoyTo Steal Our Breath Away: Prologue

21st September 2015:
Hello! I'm here for the BvB!

I feel that you don't give too much away in this first chapter, but just enough to keep me curious! I really enjoy how you've introduced your main character by describing what she wants to do with her life, and where she wants to live. It does give some insight into what sort of person she is.

You've kept me on edge the whole time. I think you've managed to write her paranoia quite well. You didn't just say that she was 'shakier than usual', no. You went ahead and mentioned all the unusual measures she was taking this time to feel secure. I really liked that and I thought it helped intensify the tension in the chapter and also helped me get to know your character more.

You have peaked my interest with this small chapter, and you did end it on a point that does make wonder about a lot of things... who, what, why? And that makes it a wonderful first chapter!

-Manno

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Review #16, by manno_malfoySchrodinger's Cat: Anhedonia

18th September 2015:
I've been hearing about this story ever since I've come back on the archives and I've been scared about approaching it. I haven't really read anything about Harry/Ginny, and I'm not entirely sure why. But I'm so glad to finally read it, and I don't have to even wonder why it's nominated for a Dobby.

I'm a bit of a science-y person. Not physics, but science. Psychology is something I thoroughly enjoy. Therefore, this story had multiple aspects that made it such an interesting read for me! The psychoanalysis is very well done. And Harry's frustration with these healers not really hearing him is very justified and understandable. Like the healer said, they do focus on body language and they try to read between the words a person says to reach a conclusion, and it's likely that in their preoccupation with finding the truth between the lies, they miss important things that are being said. And I did enjoy how you've brought that up, and how it shows how many of these sessions Harry has had to sit through.

There's this composed, calm tone that you've managed to maintain throughout the story and I think it gives off the same message Harry is trying to deliver. Things feel calm, they may be the same, but they don't feel the same. The general emotion and tone betray the inner feelings and intentions and it just works so well to illustrate the conflict.

I can't help but notice the pain in the simplicity of it all. At least when a relationship ends with a big fight, there's someone/something to blame, something to take out all the frustration on. But when it ends like this... it's just so depressing. And like Harry said, there's no going back. The cat is dead.

The metaphor was such a brilliant touch, and I can't get over it! It's perfect!

This is the first thing I read for you, but I really loved and enjoyed it a lot! And I will, hopefully, check out more of your stories soon!

-Manno

Author's Response: Thanks so much for this review! I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond!

First off, I'm glad that the titular metaphor worked for you even as a self-described "science-y person" because my biggest fear about the story was honestly that the concept wouldn't really play out properly.

It was also great to get some thoughts on the psych aspect of the story too. I definitely wanted that part to be realistic, but also to provide a space for the calm, kind of clinical tone you mentioned about the piece to grab a foothold.

As far as the simplicity, you're quite right I think and that's absolutely what I was going for by avoiding a dramatic conclusion. #1 I don't think relationships really end with such drama as often as fiction in all its forms (TV, movies, etc.) would have us believe, but #2 I think it was the best way for me to acknowledge the fact that when many relationships end, the reasons for the end are incredibly complex and can even defy easy reason or explanation by the people in the relationship, let alone outsiders trying to judge it or return things to the way they used to be. But sometimes no matter what anybody tries, there's just no saving it.

Thanks again for the great review!


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Review #17, by manno_malfoyTraitorous Hearts: A Changing Tide

18th September 2015:
FIRST OF ALL! WILL YOU LOOK AT THAT FIERCE ASTORIA WITH A FIRE POKER? DO YOU SEE HER?! OH MY GOD! Okay, now that we've got that out of the way.

"It was as though she were a marionette, with all the responsibilities stringing her upright suddenly sliced through."

"Not the mundane sort of magic that had run in the veins of their families for centuries, but an indomitable force of will."


There were multiple beautiful passages in this chapter, but these two are my favourite. There was an overpowering sense of vulnerability in the second half of the chapter that, I suppose, gave you more of a chance to craft sentences that really do appeal to emotions. All the pretences were off, and they both were finally saying what they mean. For a brief while, they were just two young people in a room, caught in a dilemma too huge and complex for their age.

The way you made Draco waver so gradually until that moment in the end when he let her go was fantastic. It started out with Draco admiring her wits (all the way in the beginning of the story), to his stopping her from saying Voldemort's name (in a most admirable manner too, I must say. My Drastoria-loving heart quivered in admiration!), then it went onto an honest conversation where he confessed to how little control he had over matters, to her begging him to exercise whatever little influence he had to the fullest. The sequence of events made things so realistic and it all went so smoothly.

Your description of Fenrir was so magnificent. You went beyond describing how he looked and it just brought him to life and really scared me. I don't know how Astoria kept herself together, but it made me agree with Draco. She probably could hold it together in front of Voldemort as well, that beautiful piece of work.

I really do admire how you're writing her and developing her. I love, love, love the moments where you remind us of how she's just a young girl despite of the tough act she puts. I just want to give her a hug.

Oh, and I do apologise once again for the mistake in the previous review. Lesson learned: no more reviewing without absolute silence and a cup of tea!

Lots and lots of love!

-Manno

Author's Response: YAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!

Isn't she awesome? I'm so proud of my baby!

Hey, I had said she might want to join you on beating Draco with a blunt (or sharp!) object.

Aww, favorite quotes! I love favorite quotes! Thank you.

"All the pretences were off, and they both were finally saying what they mean. For a brief while, they were just two young people in a room, caught in a dilemma too huge and complex for their age. "
--I feel like that's such an excellent description of what this chapter is like and of what I wanted it to be.

Having Draco waver was definitely like chipping away at an iceberg with a screwdriver. You see now why it had to be six chapters in the parlour! I mean, apart from all the background info that we needed, I just knew that Draco needed time to thaw a bit, to develop an admiration for (and, perhaps, an interest in...?) Astoria. And, of course, he sees plenty to admire in her: she's clever and quick, and surprisingly brave. And family is everything to her, which he can relate to. After all, Draco is *in* this terrible situation because of his family.

That bit where he wouldn't let her say the name is something I'm really fond of, too. Yay for quivering, Drastoria-loving hearts!

The honesty at the end of that conversation is cool, too, because up till now we've so rarely seen Astoria be honest. Even when she's been vulnerable, like with Madame Pomfrey, she dries her tears, puts up a front, shakes it off. This is maybe the first time we've seen Astoria with all her walls down. It's a rare view of her.

Aw, thank you! Honestly, I can never read that passage about Fenrir without cringing. He freaks me out. And you're absolutely right √ʬĬď Astoria frequently underestimates her bravery (and, to be fair, she does have a very well-developed sense of self-preservation). But when it comes down to it, she can hold her own. Draco sees that bravery in her, and he's probably right. She probably could hold it together in front of Voldemort far better than most.

And thank you, again! I love when people love Astoria. I don't know how well she'd respond to that hug, but I can tell you that *I* certainly appreciate it.

Absolutely no worries!

Lots of love back atcha! Your reviews always brighten my day :D

--Penny


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Review #18, by manno_malfoyTraitorous Hearts: The Stolen Truth

18th September 2015:
"Perhaps they were discussing the remarkable freshness of their lawn!"

Oh my God, that made me laugh so hard! Astoria is so awesome! And it's not like she hasn't been intense all along, but she took it to a whole new level this chapter. It felt like a tennis match and the two of them were rallying against each other, IT WAS SO EXCITING! But I was also so scared for Astoria as Draco continued to dig deeper.

When Astoria's brain jumped straight to torture being the 'tough method', I couldn't help but think that it's the aftermath of the curse with her mother. I mean, if Lavinia could do something so terrible to her (even if for a good reason), then who knows how far could Draco take things to prove he's right?!

I'm very curious as to how Astoria managed to shield herself against Leglimency...? Is it another thing Lavinia has done? I got quite terrified though when Draco started trying to get into her head. I thought it's over. But phew... It's all good. For now, I guess.

But really! You're doing a marvellous job with all the suspense! And not just getting it through from one chapter to the next, but within each chapter as well! This chapter in particular is exhilarating!

AND WHAT IS THAT PREVIEW?! I'm so glad I can move straight onto the next chapter and see it!!!

Author's Response: I'm pretty positive I mentioned that I mentioned this in the PM I sent you, but I am SO EXCITED that you liked that line because it is one of my favorites. Especially with Draco following it up be throwing shade at the Weasley's lawn care. :p

I'M SO GLAD THAT IT WAS EXCITING! Tennis match and chess game were definitely what I was going for; just constant volleys back and forth, each trying to outplay the other.

I think you make a good point. I'd say that, while Astoria was guarded before, Lavinia's curse made her a whole lot more so. She certainly wouldn't expect more mercy from her enemies than from her family.

As you know now, she didn't. Astoria isn't an occlumens, much to her dismay. Strange, maybe, that a spy's protégé wouldn't learn occlumency. But then, perhaps there's more to the story...There usually is ;)

Thank you! That's a lovely thing to say and I am so glad to hear it!

MUAHAHAHA! That was a fun teaser, I'm not gonna lie ;)

--Penny


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Review #19, by manno_malfoyDon't Forget Me: My Hero

17th September 2015:
Oh my GOD?! But why?! This raises more questions than it answers? Is there a companion story? Or will you write one?

I do believe that this is the first thing I've read by you, and honestly, you shocked me. I was so intrigued by the summary. A super short angsty one-shot about Albus and James... What could that possibly be about? Oh, James killed Rosie. WHAT?! You had me staring at the screen in shock for a good minute before I moved ahead and finished reading the rest of the story.

The second person POV is a brilliant choice here. Half the time, I was feeling really guilty, but I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING TO YOU, ALBUS! It just brings out this frustration, the blame, and most importantly, the conflict perfectly. Albus has always felt neglected, and in a way, being condemned for something so horrifying is him trying to change that, to prove otherwise. It's a HUGE sacrifice, after all. But will James tell the truth at any point?!

What I like is that he looked up to James anyway. I don't understand why James killed Rosie, but I do admire the brotherly bond anyway.

And I really do hope that you elaborate on this story because it's just interesting and twisted and I'd LOVE to see more of it!

-Manno

Author's Response: I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm so mean! But yes, I am going to write a companion piece to this.

Is it? I hopee that you've enjoyed it! I'm not normally this dark and morbid I swear :P

Yep, James is not a good person in this at all. Haha wow, that's quite some shock! :P

Aw I just wanted to hug Albus through all of this. He has made a massive sacrifice to save his brother, who doesn't deserve it. As for if James will ever tell the truth... I'll need to write the next one.

I shall elaborate, don't you worry!

Thank you so much!! :D


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Review #20, by manno_malfoythe earth and the sky: the earth and the sky

15th September 2015:
Hello! I'm here because I'm trying to check out as many of the Dobby nominations as possible! I can't tell you how excited I was when I saw that this is a Draco/Astoria one-shot. I love these two so much, and you did them justice!

What amazes me about this story is how well it flows, even though it's all broken up into little pieces. It's almost like snippets, like flipping through a photo album maybe and there's a focus on ONE particular thing in each snippet. There are no unnecessary details, and the conversations are almost poetic (especially in the beginning).

Another thing that I admired was the recurring phrases like love, love, love and want vs. need They just tied everything together over the course of the story. And each time one of them popped up, I'd take a moment to consider how far Draco and Astoria have come since the last time it was used. It's just a lovely touch.

I think my favourite part was when Astoria started having doubts about the relationship. It was just so realistic! Because first it's Draco's accident, then it's a baby, and it is, indeed, a lot to take in. When she went off with Blaise, I thought that this was it. That we're going to go into full-blown angst. But no, you did something better! You showed how strong the bond between the Draco and Astoria is. And how easy it is to get stuck in a rut with a relationship sometimes, but also how small things can just revive it again. So yes, definitely my favourite part.

It's just amazing how you've managed to basically tell us their whole story. It's a one-shot (yes, a bit long) but by the end of it, I know everything that I NEED to know about them. I've seen their biggest problems and their tenderest moments, and I feel for them.

I'm so glad I've come across this story! And many congrats on the well-deserved Dobby nomination!

-Manno

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Review #21, by manno_malfoyIn Every Stitch: Eight

15th September 2015:
A Molly story about motherly feelings? That ought to be moving.

This is such a great idea, and you executed it beautifully. To see Molly's train of thought as she knitted, how much she cares about her children and Harry. That was just so lovely. And she does it with what she has to offer, so she makes it extra special by putting love into it. It's just so sweet.

I thought the reasons that you've chosen to include are just the loveliest. After all, Molly did know Harry's parents. And it's not she's trying to take their place or she thinks that she can make up for the loss. No, she keeps them in mind throughout the process. And she's just trying to make things easier for Harry. More normal. And boy, did he need that.

I think this such a nice story! I've never written anything so short before. I've tried and failed, so I know how much of a challenge it can be. But you've done such a great job, and managed to make it evoke emotion. So well done!

Oh, and congratulations on the Dobby nomination!

-Manno

Author's Response: Hey, Manno!!

Oh, aren't all stories about Molly being the ultimate mother moving? :D

Why thank you! The idea for this story actually came from my own experiences crocheting blankets for friends of mine. It's something that I often found myself doing as I was working on each project, so I figured that it wouldn't be too much of a stretch for Molly to do the same thing!

Plus, I feel like everything that's handmade comes with a little bit of love in it. It's only natural.

The list of reasons was certainly the hardest part of writing this story, yet once I managed to come up with the first few, it felt like the easiest thing in the world. Somehow things just clicked!

I'm actually not sure if Molly knew Harry's parents, which is why I didn't specify it here -- I'd originally written that she did, but couldn't find any evidence to back it up (because I'm a stickler about things like that). But in the end, it didn't really matter! Like you said, the point wasn't that she was trying to replace James and Lily, but just give Harry something that he was missing in his life.

I actually intended for this story to be longer - I was going to write seven small sections about each time she sat down to make the Christmas sweaters she made every year for him, but I ran out of time and when I finished it, it just felt right to leave it as is.

Although I might come back and write the other sections as a short story collection at some point... I'm not sure. :D

Ah, thank you! I was so surprised when this story got nominated for a Dobby!! It's such an honor!

Thanks SO MUCH for R&R'ing, Manno!!
Lizzie


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Review #22, by manno_malfoyObsession: Obsession

14th September 2015:
Hello! I've come here because I'm checking out as many of the stories nominated for the Dobby's as possible. Even though I strongly dislike Pansy, I was looking forward to this story because I always think things get interesting when people try to write about characters that are widely hated.

And in this case, things definitely were interesting.

I liked that you didn't tell us in the beginning what had set Pansy off like that. Instead, you got us to focus on how it made her feel, and how, even in her fury, the good memories seemed to spring up anyway.

You did wonderfully with describing how she felt that, at some point, I actually sympathised with her and I had to question my feelings toward her. And it all escalated for me when I realised what she had done. Oh my God! That was just so brilliant. Having her take such a radical decision says a lot about her feelings toward Draco.

And you know what's really sad? Even doing that didn't give her peace. She's just sitting there obsessing about what she can't remember. The poor thing. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I have to.

But hey, you made an adamant Drastoria shipper and Pansy hater feel something towards Pansy! And I really did enjoy reading this! So well done!

-Manno

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Review #23, by manno_malfoydanse macabre: inviolate.

14th September 2015:
Whoa. Okay. That really was something different from ANYTHING that I've read before. I'm always uncertain about such short stories because I'm not sure how much of an impact they can deliver. But this did! Like a punch straight in the heart too, I must say!

It's just so haunting. The way you've written it, from the very first line, is so captivating. It sucked me right into this grim mood of the story until the end.

It's not all effective imagery. You've found a way, somehow, to still tell the story alongside depicting Ginny's struggle. AND IN 500 WORDS. HOW?!

I LOVED the marionette comparison. That whole passage is so memorable and so unique! And yet, somehow, even though she knows he controlled her and she couldn't do anything about it, there's so much guilt and self-blame that comes through. It's just so painful.

This definitely is such a beautiful piece! I can see why it's been nominated for a Dobby, and I'm so glad I've come across it! And I hope I'll get a chance to check out some of your other stories soon!

-Manno

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Review #24, by manno_malfoyThe Teddy Bet: Flower Girls, and Unicorns, and Bets, Oh My!

10th September 2015:
D'aww! That's the first think I could think of once I had finished reading the story. I'm sure it was a challenge to find a premise where you could bring Neville and Andromeda in an interesting story, but I think you've done really well with that!

I do admire Andromeda a lot; she definitely is one of my favourite characters. And it was a lot of fun for me to see the relationship between her and little Teddy in this story. I particularly liked the part where she said she could tell when Teddy (AND Nymphadora) were using their metamorphagus skills. And her confidence in her own abilities of detection are on point characterisation for me.

I also think that you've written Hagrid pretty well too in the wedding scene.

I could totally imagine Teddy being the flower girl, especially at that age. I really am not sure why there's a gender for that role in weddings, but then again, weddings are weird. I was very happy they decided to let him do it in the end anyway. And that you had him sorted into Hufflepuff because that's my favourite headcanon of him.

The writing style you've chosen to use, although slightly nontraditional and not very formal, seemed to work well with the other elements of the story. And it definitely helped with making the story feel lighthearted.

Oh, and I do have one tiny thing that I question. Is Andromeda residing where Tonks and Lupin used to live before they died? Because you did say that the owl arrived at the 'Tonks-Lupin home'. But that's all, really.

I thought that this was such a fun, quick read. And it did make me smile on multiple occasions!

Thanks for the swap!

-Manno!

Author's Response: Aw, I'm happy I made you D'aww. That was pretty much exactly the reaction I was going for with this story. ...and my other Teddy story, now that I think about it. I guess I just think young Teddy is a very D'aww-worthy character, so to speak. : P

And Teddy actually popped up really quickly when I set about to write a story with both Neville, Andromeda and a dungeon in it. First, of course, the dungeons of Hogwarts sprang to mind, and as Neville is a teacher at Hogwarts it wasn't a big jump to him being there. Andromeda showing up in a Hogwarts dungeon seemed less likely, though, because most people at Hogwarts are students... and guess who's a student with a connection to Andromeda? The bet and the unicorn were actually the most difficult parts, haha. ^. ^

It's funny that we both chose stories with Andromeda as a main character for our swap. She's never been one of my favourite characters, but reading some stories about her lately - yours definitely included! - has made her grow on me a lot. She's definitely one of those fascinating background character in the HP books that just has to have such a fascinating backstory, but it's hardly touched on at all. Perfect for fanfiction, haha! But in this story I'm focusing on her later life rather than her backstory, I guess... I really wanted to show that she has some light and happiness in her life even after all she lost. I'm happy that you think her relationship with Teddy and her characterisation here works! It means extra much coming from an Andromeda fan!

And yes, writing Hagrid... every fic writer's nightmare, it would seem. It's a difficult balance between having him stay in character and yet not make him less intelligent than he actually is, you know? I'm happy you think I succeeded pretty well. : )

I've always been fascinated by flower girls, as they aren't necessarily a thing in Swedish weddings - they might have gotten more common under the American influence on every part of culture though... : / But yeah, it's a pretty foreign practise to me and I think that's what drew me to exploring having a boy as a flower girl.

And Hufflepuff Teddy is now not just headcanon but actual canon, yay! (I mean, I'm a bit torn on the whole 'Rowling keeps giving out canon tidbits' thing, but it's always fun to be right, haha!)

I'm happy you think the writing style works. I was really worried about it before I posted this, but everybody who's reviewed the story (this far) has said it works, so that's really reassuring. As for the Tonks-Lupin thing, it was something I chose just because Teddy is a Lupin, not a Tonks, and I have a different last name than one of my parents and thinks it's important to include the kid too, haha. : P

All in all, thanks for this lovely review. It was a joy swapping with you! : )

/Kapa


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Review #25, by manno_malfoyChai, Carrots, and a Friend in the Wee Hours of the Morning: Chai, Carrots, and a Surprise

10th September 2015:
Hello! I'm here for reading week and I must say that the title of this story really drew me in. Well, that and the fact that I have a thing for Neville. And that's why I was so happy to see him written so well!

First of all, I really enjoyed the cooking aspect of this story. I'm such a foodie and sometimes, I wish I had more time to cook. So this spoke to me on so many levels! What really worked for me is Hannah's struggle with using names of spices in English. And that she needed 'ghee'. That clicked right on with me because for those of us with English as a second language, and with growing up in a household where food is called something completely different, it really is difficult. But you're right, it's extra hard with spices. I had to look up what cardamom was. But yeah, what I'm trying to say is that this gave such an authenticity to the story and spoke volumes about Hannah and where she comes from.

Neville was so amazingly written! I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading his sentences that trailed off and that he continued in his head. His awkwardness but also his honesty and friendliness... And I do agree that it takes A LOT of bravery to switch careers. I was glad to see that he looked up to Hannah as a role model in this particular situation.

The chemistry between the two of them was fantastic. I mean, he tried to bake for her! That's just SO SWEET. Even though Neville is struggling throughout the story to say something about how he feels, there was an ease between them in the conversations, and how he tried to be funny anyway even though he knew he wasn't good at it. That shows how comfortable he was around her while at the same time, all the other elements --the goosebumps, the awkward pauses-- showed how eager he was to take this to the next level but also how scared he was of it all. And that, in my opinion, is exactly how one should feel around a crush that could potentially go somewhere.

And I was so proud of him when he finally went for it and kissed her!

Now, I understand from the author note that there are other stories like this one? I do plan to check those out as well because I really, really enjoyed this!

-Manno

Author's Response: Doesn't everyone have a thing for Neville? I'm pleased that it was a good enticement!

I dislike cooking a lot. So it makes me very happy and giggly that you found the food and cooking descriptions to be delicious. I can't cook, but at least I can write about cooking! Food and language are so intrinsically linked for me, there are some common foods that I literally don't know what they're called in English. I'm so very happy that you connected with that aspect as someone whose second language is English.

Ee! Yay for awesome Neville! I was SO NERVOUS about writing Neville in this series that I didn't write from his point of view until the third story. I'm glad you enjoyed him!

HE TRIES TO BAKE FOR HER. Neville is adorable, I agree. I think you've perfectly understood their relationship. They're so comfortable around each other, despite the romantic tension. They're very much friends who fall in love with each other.

YEAH GO NEVILLE FOR KISSING HER WOOHOO. It only took three stories :P

Yes! This is number three out of five, so if you liked this one, there are others out there! Thanks for the lovely review :)


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