Reading Reviews From Member: forsakenphoenix
  
663 Reviews Found

Review #1, by forsakenphoenixMemoirs of an Object: Little Girl Lost

9th October 2013:
Amanda! I've been missing Harry Potter fanfiction lately and I decided to take a break from studying boards to see if you had anything new. I was pleasantly surprised to find this one-shot! I always enjoy reading your fics, mostly because I know I'm in for a treat when it comes to character studies - and I love how you portray Lily here.

I don't know if I would necessarily call this story morbid. Honest, yes. People forget how young Lily and James were when they married and had Harry (after all, they were only 21 when they died). I guess sometimes thinking of their ages objectively like that is often difficult when you have to come to terms with what they had to face with the war.

But you make Lily think about the consequences of bringing a child into the world in the midst of a war - she seems like the character that would think about all these things, weigh the pros and cons. All the while you remind us of her Muggle past. I really loved that detail - that she used magic first to tell her she was pregnant but fell back on familiarity with Muggle medicine. I think it says a lot about her and her desire to hold onto things that remind her of her past.

I think my favorite line was the bit about "selfish little hope". This is Lily's chance to take control of her life, to not let anyone tell her what to do, or how to raise her child. This child is a new start for her, perhaps a way to relive those special moments between mother and child, but now being on the other side of it.

I wish I had more to say, or some sort of constructive criticism, but we all know that I'm rubbish at that anyway. This was lovely and so well-written, which is not a surprise at all. I'm glad to see you continue to write and explore different characters and scenarios. It's wonderful. :)

Author's Response: Missy! Please excuse the fact that this response is woefully overdue. I miss you and hope you'll be back to HPFF very soon!

Lily is so fun to investigate. I was just enamored with her all summer. While I got married only slightly later than Lily, I can't even imagine having a child at that age. I just feel for her because she must have felt so alone, having to learn to be a wife and mother with only so much help from her non-wizarding family and limited contact with the outside world. No wonder she grew up so fast and quickly became the woman capable of facing down Voldemort in exchange for her child's life--it's even more startling to think about when I consider the contrast with the Lily I present here.

I didn't want to make Lily into another Hermione, worrying about the tiniest details of her pregnancy and poring over thousands of baby books, but I did feel like she would be pretty practical and might even use details to fall into an escape from her real world troubles and intense emotions. I pictured her conducting a home pregnancy test and basically living with constant anxiety until she got the confirmation from the doctor--and she wasn't even sure how to feel about the situation until that moment. I think of Lily as a person whose decisions mean a lot to her, and she wouldn't arrive at them lightly.

Everyone loves that line, although it was honestly a last minute addition that just sort of popped into my head. Gotta love it when that happens. But yeah, I like to think of Lily's strength as being visible in this small moment, when she decides to take change and stop being a victim. I think it's when "Lily the woman" starts to emerge.

Thank you so much for your awesome review! I'm really glad you enjoyed the story :)

-Amanda


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Review #2, by forsakenphoenixEyes of Glass : Eyes of Glass

7th June 2013:
I kept going back and forth over a couple of your stories for the review tag, but there was something about this story being about Alice and the references to Alice in Wonderland that really drew me in.

That first line was perfect. It's funny how such a short, simple sentence can be so revealing about a story and yet be just vague enough to make the reader want more. Seriously, perfect!

I honestly loved this story. I wasn't sure what to expect and I'm not necessarily a Frank/Alice fan, but this was sweet, though terribly sad. I loved seeing the small glimpses of Alice and Frank, how Frank was always so strong, self-assured and Alice was always the sort of odd one. We don't know much about their characters, but I can just imagine them such as they are described here and can see Neville being such a wonderful combination of both their personalities. Watching their love blossom within your words was wonderful to watch. That whole line about coffee in bed and tickle wars just made my heart swell with love for them.

It's kind of horribly ironic how her childhood nickname of Mad Alice kind of acts as foreshadowing to how she will spend the rest of her adult life. It's heartbreaking.

I also liked Marlene's side story and thought it fit well with what we know of her in canon. Alice's distrust of her is genuine and her obvious love for her son shines through in those moments where she runs away with him. It's not cowardice - it's a fierce protection for her son, and you kind of see that a little bit at the end, where she gets those moments sometimes where there's a memory tickling in the back of her mind that's just quite out of reach. It's powerful stuff, love.

I also liked the foreshadowing with Peter (I think?) with the whole traitor thing. It was very clever.

Poor Neville. The end, where he's talking to his mum and he just wants someone to love him, and like I said earlier how evident it was that she loved him so much - that just breaks your heart. He obviously has some of her oddness and it's just so terribly sad that she isn't there to love him for it.

I also love the contrast with Frank that you mentioned, about his eyes and how everything is sort of full-circle now and how their tortured minds have changed them from who they were.

That whole first war is nothing but tragedy and while I hate that Harry lost both his parents, it's really awful for Neville who lost his parents too, except they're still alive. It must be so hard for him to see their faces and know that they don't recognize him. Ugh, so sad. I think you did a really excellent job portraying that tragedy of the first war (Frank and Alice getting married before a dangerous raid, the Aurors guarding the church for the Christening and still, they saw death). Your story flowed beautifully and it was just so well-written. I really enjoyed it. Thank you for such a wonderful fic.

Just a couple of little errors I noticed, though: some Ma'lice in him: some oddness, and she would love him all the more for it. For Alice knew tht Neville
- the apostrophe in M'alice is off by one letter (you have Ma'lice)
- that is missing an 'a' (tht)

Other than that, I didn't notice any other errors. Well-done! :)

Author's Response: Hello, and thank you for such a lovely and thoughtful, long review! :D It was a really wonderful surprise!

I'm glad you liked the story, and that it drew you in. I really enjoyed writing it, and integrating the little themes and allusions. Alice in Wonderland just seemed to fit in too well with the references to madness and of course Alice's name, so I just couldn't resist!

I'm really happy to hear you enjoyed my portrayals of Alice and Frank's characters, and the little attributes of their relationships. I wanted to give them their own individual relationships, while making their relationship seem believable and appealing. So, I'm glad you liked them! :)

You're right, love is powerful! Since I don't have a kid myself, it's good to know the emotion and love is coming across in a believable and moving way. I'm glad you liked Marlene as well, and thought that contrast and backstory added something to the story.

I know, poor Neville! :( He is wonderful, and loved, it's just hard for him to realize it. I feel so sad for him, not being able to get through to his parents, and for Alice, not being able to express the memories buried deep within. I'm glad you liked the eye symbol as well, it was also quite enjoyable to integrate and imagine!

Really, thank you so much for this review, it made me such a happy camper! :) I loved writing this story, and hearing that somebody appreciates it is just amazing to know!


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Review #3, by forsakenphoenixImperfect: Imperfect

4th June 2013:
Rachel! Gah, this was just so cute and it made my heart burst with all the fluff, with just a slight undertone of angst.

I love your little short one-shots. There's something to be said about authors who can express so much in so few words and you're one of the few that does so fantastically well.

There was so much about this that I loved. It's funny because when we first meet Fleur, obviously through Harry's eyes, she's like this beautiful, perfect creature. Here, you show us how imperfect she is and that just makes me love her more.

Her love for Shell Cottage is palpable and I can smell the ocean and feel the sand beneath my toes. It's little things that she appreciates about the cottage that bring it to life.

I wasn't sure where you were going with the talk of Bill, the werewolf attack, and his scars but then you tied it all together so imperfectly perfect and the story feels complete.

Little details about pregnancy wreaking havoc on her magic and the curled edges of the newspaper because of the sea air...I love how they just add to the story without seeming like you're trying too hard to describe things. I don't know if that makes sense...but I just have an appreciation for those who can add small details without them seeming extraneous.

"It was a hard place for a man to love, I thought, but he tried anyway, because he loved me. For him, that was enough." Also, these lines are my favorite. I think it speaks volumes of Fleur and Bill's relationship, how much they've sacrificed for one another. It's perfect.

Author's Response: Missy! ♥ I'm SO glad you liked this -- I need to write fluff sometimes (since I'm at a point in my writing where I rarely do), even though it appears I can't do it without underlying angst. Still, the fact that your heart burst makes me proud anyway. :)

I HATED Fleur for the longest time, solely because through the series, and especially in HBP, we see her through Harry's understandably biased eyes. It took me a few years after the last book came out before I realized how awesome she actually was, and she was stronger than many people give her credit for. She is human, and Bill is human, and love is human. And if there is anything we know about humanity, it is that it is imperfect. You've taken away the point from this one-shot perfectly. ♥

I read a story years ago, some Harry/Ginny thing, about magic having an effect on Ginny's pregnancy; it's always stuck with me, and this is the first time I've managed to work it into a story of my own. :P I'm really pleased you appreciate all the small details in this story!

♥ Your reviews. I cannot get enough of your reviews. You manage to say the nicest things about my writing always, and I am just very glad we are friends.


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Review #4, by forsakenphoenixWhere There's Smoke: Percy

4th June 2013:
I love the idea of this story and this was such a fantastic first chapter.

Percy has always been a fascinating character for me. It was strange, considering how close-knit the Weasleys were, to see this prim, proper man bound to his duty to the Ministry and not his family. I think you really explored his character very well in this chapter. I was pleased to see how Percy viewed himself as the odd one out, how that drove him to bury himself in his work, to be the best at something for once in his life.

"The emotional distance became physical." I loved this line. I'm not exactly sure why, but it really drove home how estranged Percy became from his family.

It saddened me when he saw his father telling him about the Ministry's downfall as a means to undermine his success. Poor Percy.

I really enjoyed the addition of Aberforth's note to explain Percy showing up to the battle and how he gave him a choice. While he said there was "no choice" behind him going to Hogwarts, he still had to stop and think about it. That just speaks volumes of Percy's character. He ISN'T reckless like his brothers but his loyalty to his family runs deep and that ties them all together.

You did a fabulous job with this and I'd be happy to read the remaining chapters when you post them. Just let me know when they're posted!

Also, I LOVE the summary. It's short but makes an impact - perfect. :)

Author's Response: Hi, and thank you so much for reviewing! I'm really glad I got to read your story as well...I love your work :)

I've always found Percy really interesting too. I imagine it must be really hard to feel constantly left out of your own family, and I wanted to portray Percy in a more sympathetic way than Harry sees him in the books. I see that "outsider" mentality driving a lot of Percy's decisions. But at the end of the day the Weasleys are a tight family who love each other, and I wanted to show Percy's end of that here. I'm really glad you liked him :)

Normally I struggle with summaries, but for some reason this one came easily. Haha I guess things just flow sometimes.

I will definitely be letting you know when I update this--thank you so much for the offer! I really appreciate you taking the time to swap with me. This review made my day! Thanks again!

--Maggie


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Review #5, by forsakenphoenixThe Fairest: go out there and get it

13th January 2013:
Amanda! I'm a terrible friend for not coming by your page earlier, but I saw you in the review tag and decided to swing by. I remember seeing this fic ages ago and sort of skimmed through it and was enamored by all the metaphors and the idea of watching Eileen Prince transform before my eyes, but I never had the time to really sit down and appreciate the story you've told here. Until now.

I'm continually amazed at how much you've progressed as an author. I feel like every time I read something new from you, your talent seems to have multiplied. I'm envious of the way that you can weave a story so beautifully with all these metaphors and references to Snow White. It's really gorgeous.

This is my first Eileen fic and I really adore how you've portrayed her as this dark princess who has fallen from grace and is this hollow sort of shell of her former life. It's an interesting contrast that you've done so very skillfully.

I love how controlled Eileen is at first. How perfect and pretty. Fairest of them all. She has this image of herself that she spends so much time trying to maintain and I really enjoyed how you made that take up so much of her time that she did poorly on her exams, except for Potions, of course. Speaking of Potions, I think the first paragraph of this fic is my favorite. Just the way that you've written Eileen and how natural potion-making seems to come for her, like being pretty.

The story you tell of Eileen and Tobias is wonderful and heartbreaking too. You can see how Eileen starts to decline. I don't know if I'm the only one but when I read this, at the beginning I imagined all these rich colors, you know? Dark hair, bright red lips, pale skin. Then as we transition to her life with Tobias, everything just feels muted and dull, grey, lifeless. The whole transformation is kind of fascinating, actually.

Ugh, there are so many lines in here that I wish I could quote back to you and tell you how much I adore them. It's little lines, like this: "clean like polished iron" that really help bring clarity to the imagery you've written. For me, at least.

Then that last line, "...and she was nothing at all." Wow, what a way to end this beautifully written story. I wish I had more things to say or something more constructive, but you honestly have such a gift with deconstructing characters and writing such beautiful fics, especially ones with such lovely metaphors.

Just, a really lovely fic. I'm glad I finally made myself read it. :)

Author's Response: Missy! I'm so happy to see you here. Thanks so much for tagging me and stopping by again!

This fic was just one of those bunnies that grabbed on and refused to let go until I just sat down and wrote it. I had wanted to do something Snow White-esque for a while and just had to find the right leading lady--and what an unexpected result! It kind of amazed me how naturally she happened on the page, transforming from a princess into a dark queen.

I definitely think of Eileen in this story as a perfectionist, though I haven't made up my mind about my head canon for her quite yet. Obviously, as you've pointed out, she can't maintain that academic dedication alongside the social perfection without something eventually giving way. Perhaps if she had worked harder on her exams, she could have found an independent future and not had to rely so much on finding her perfect prince.

I think the color thing makes total sense! I think of this Eileen as being a really classic beauty, and by the end she's very faded and gray and just... old. She's not that old chronologically, but in terms of the experiences she's had and the disappointments she's had to face--that's another story. I would imagine that existing in a totally loveless, resent-filled marriage day after day would really drain a person.

I'm happy that you liked the language and that the metaphors seemed to really accent the plot. I was concerned that maybe they would be too overpowering, but it sounds like you liked them, so that's great! I think this may be the most literal deconstruction I've ever written, but I really enjoyed it a lot.

Thanks so much for this fantastic review :)

-Amanda


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Review #6, by forsakenphoenixAnd Capers Ensue: Another One Down

13th January 2013:
adjfkalgnagnagla. I don't even have words for this chapter. I honestly just sped through reading this because it was so good. I KNEW HE WASN'T DEAD. I was actually thinking of The Draught of the Living Dead but that seemed like a long shot with those goonies. :P

Okay, so I guess I feel sort of bad for Anjali. I mean, I was pretty sure she was involved with at least them stealing the prototype but I couldn't tell if she knew about Scorpius or not until now.

Ugh, and Scorpius loves Bea! Ee. I knew it. I'm also glad Fred was okay! I got worried with the title of the chapter, at first. This is a bit more serious and angsty than most Capers so I was kind of glad by the small doses of humor, like Fred wondering about clean socks when he thought about his impending death, and all that.

I wonder where they're going! But I'm glad Bea was right about Scorpius and he's alive and awake now. Yay. And the plot thickens with Draco's death? Very interesting. We shall see what happens! I know you're planning on updating soon so let me know and I'll try to get to it this week and not like...months later.

Again, sorry for the short-ish reviews. I never know what to say besides what I already have, you know? I love this story and everything about it. You've done such a fabulous job and I know when it's completed, it will be one that I would love to reread again. :)

Author's Response: This chapter was a paaain. Transitionary and action, oh lordy did I dread it. But I think those are actually the ones where the end product's a little better, because I like moving things along, and this chapter is all about moving things along.

Anjali gets her semi-redemption! Most of the time, the sexy anti-hero goes to male roles, so I've been very very happy to write her character as it is, a controversial figure to the end c:

I had to jam in humor at the last moment. There is not a lot of happy, but Bea tried to be adorable while kidnapped too.

AND I SAID I WOULD UPDATE SOON AND that didn't happen. But now i have! And I laaav you ♥ DON'T DIE FROM SCHOOL!


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Review #7, by forsakenphoenixAnd Capers Ensue: Dead End

13th January 2013:
YOU CANNOT DO THIS TO ME, GINA. My heart is crushed.

This was such an exciting chapter, though! I think you built it up really well and the use of disguises really helped. I loved Bea terrorizing potential thieves as an old woman. "Respect your elders!" Hahaha.

I love getting to see more of Fred here too and how he's sort of become the point man, as you say. It's kind of nice to see how plans come together and you realize that they don't always go as planned. You always seem to have everything all tied together so well and it's all well thought out. I love reading this story because you do make things realistic and I think that's important. :)

I still don't know if I trust Anjali but she did bring them to Scorpius and Al seems to trust her. I don't know. There's just something about her that seems off to me.

I really hope that Scorpius isn't really dead and that it's some spell or something. Poor Bea. Poor Scorpius! AHH. Sorry for the short review but I must continue to the next chapter ASAP to find out what happens!

Author's Response: OH BUT I DID it's okay I read your next review too 8D

The story seemed incomplete without a stick-waving grandma. I've got a family of traditional Chinese farmers and I remember my mom telling me how she used to play marble games and jacks with /rocks/.

Ahh, I'm glad there's people out there who thinks these are well thought out because I certainly don't xD Especially not while writing them and wailing at all the plot holes. I was saying that I'd be too logical of a kidnapper because I wouldn't beat around the bush and just snap a few necks and the story would be over because everyone's dead and I'd get away. So the moral of the story is, it's a good thing I'm not a kidnapper. 8D

CONTINUE CONTINUE!


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Review #8, by forsakenphoenixAnd Capers Ensue: Missing!

13th January 2013:
So when I first started reading this, I was giggling at the idea of Bea wearing a skirt and was trying to figure out WHY. Then her nervousness kicked in and she started talking about how easy it was for the other girls and I figured out she was going to ask Scorpius out and I did an internal squee. I love that she snuck into the Slytherin Common Room and then when she blurted out her request, it was Xavier and not Scorpius there. Then Norman! Haha. Poor girl.

But oh my gosh, when they started talking about not being able to find Scorpius and how he left his blazer and all that, there was like...a pit of fear in my stomach. I trust you and where you're going with this and it's kind of ridiculous how attached I am to your smarmy blazer-wearing Scorpius but nghh.

AND CUPCAKE FORENSICS. You are such a genius, Gina. I love it and Bea asking Fred for help with his stalking and you did such a fabulous job building up the suspense (the blood, and then the room of requirement, and the vanishing cabinet!) WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN? I hope they find Scorpius safe and they don't get hurt..which seems kind of I don't know...not so Caper-ish, I suppose. But we shall see! I'm excited I'm almost caught up!

Author's Response: Bea is so no-nonsense about the dating scene. She doesn't even stop to consider her feelings or anything, she's just like 'I think I like him, let's ask him out' and totally bumbles her way through it. No shame, until the actual moment, and then she ends up sandwiched between his roommates because things like that just /happen/.

YOU SHOULD NEVER TRUST ME, MISSY. I DO TERRIBLE THINGS TO MY CHARACTERS. LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TWO CHAPTERS AGO!

Everyone's got to get a bit hurt in a Caper. At the very least, banged-up elbows. It's like a Weasley dinner; isn't right without something going totally explosively wrong 8D


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Review #9, by forsakenphoenixAnd Capers Ensue: And So It Begins Again

12th January 2013:
Oh, Fred. I love how casual Wood is about everything, going between accusing him of getting Al a spot on the Puff team to asking him to Hogsmeade. Haha.

Aw, Bea. A "blanket Bea-rrito" is a cute way to describe it. I love that she was frustrated by how easy it was for Wood to ask Fred out and she wishes she could be all...girly and normal, lol.

Also this: "We might not see eye-to-eye all the time, and you might be naggy and a killjoy and easily manipulated by pretty girls - " I love it.

AND BAKING FOR SCORPIUS. Oh my god, that's just so precious. I love how she thinks it'll be easy but then oh man, all the substitutions and all that. Then Scorpius walking in and being all charming and taking charge. Nghh. I'm gonna marry him. AND THEY'RE PARTNERS AGAIN. Ahh, I love it and Bea's enthusiasm about it, throwing herself into his arms. I melted. :)

OOH, the plot thickens. I'm so excited to almost get caught up and to figure out what's going on because OH MY GOSH, what IS going to happen? I bet Anjali is somehow involved in this business! Hrmph.

Author's Response: Verona is a very much a product of her parents 8D Horrendously blunt and has the emotional content of a teaspoon cut in half.

I had to ask around about whether the Brits had burritos (seeing as I'm spoiled with the stuff 'round these parts) and justified it by assuming they enjoyed a lot more cultural diversity in the 2020s. I love the paradox of Bea. Out of my lead characters, she's the only one who ever really gets girly and doesn't think twice about showing it, and she has her shy moments too.

THE CUTEST SCENE AFTER THE WORST SCENE~

c: and right after the cute scene my plotting resumes.


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Review #10, by forsakenphoenixAnd Capers Ensue: That's How the Biscuit Breaks

12th January 2013:
Oh...Gina! WHY DID YOU DO THAT? I want to cry. Poor Bea and her invention. She worked so hard and they were so close. It seems like such a bitter disappointment.

I love Scorpius's enthusiasm at the beginning, trying to show off and all that. My favorite part of this chapter was Bea's sudden realization about Scorpius and every minute detail, like how close he's standing, his breath, etc. Just...gah, it's that moment when you realize there are feelings involved and then that person...everything they do is magnified, you know?

Ugh, one thing I love about your writing is how realistic it is and how beautifully written everything is. One thing I like with the whole realistic thing is when Bea asked Fred about getting a job in accounting. I don't know. Like I said in the last chapter, Bea is sort of growing up and I like that she's realizing more about what she needs to do to secure a future for herself.

Your realism also gives me such a fantastic images in my head when I read each word and I love that I can picture the story while I'm reading. It's something special, that's for sure.

Plus, while this chapter was sad, there was still your usual humor, which I loved. Statue of Secrecy, lolol. And the whole "breaking Hogwarts" thing.

I'm curious to see what's in the future for Bea and Scorpius and pretty much...everything. Where do they go from this?

Author's Response: I HAD TOOO. Rules of fiction and all that :'D

Bea in a crush is the most adorable thing ever. She slinks around beet-red and anguishing. Best part: she always likes really hot unattainable men, like James, Teddy, and Xavier.

I finally started looking more toward the future with this chapter, because that's what I wanted to steer Capers in by the end. Starts out all fun and derpy and then kind of serious and derpy. This chapter is meant to serve as a sort-of end of an arc, so what happens next is really all about 'what now?' since what brought them all together in the beginning is gone. They're growing up so fast ;-;


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Review #11, by forsakenphoenixAnd Capers Ensue: For Better or Worse

12th January 2013:
Oh geez, I missed this story and dopey Albus, and blazer-wearing Scorpius, and Bea is my favorite OC ever written. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get around to continuing to read and review this, you know how school gets.

Anyway, this was a great chapter to return to. I love how things started off, with Colin the Squib breaking things off with Rose, and the consequence of Rose and Lucy leaving Bea alone with her inventions in the dorm. Ah, SUCH a bad idea!

But, ugh, my HEART. Bea and Scorpius can never fight and avoid each other again. It makes me sad and it just feels wrong. But I'm also glad that Bea decided to confess to save Albus. She's finally starting to see that there's people that exist outside of herself, you know? Everyone's complained about how self-absorbed she can be so this felt like a step in the right direction. I also love that Scorpius is incorporating himself with her friends. That makes me so happy. His attempt to make a man out of Albus with Fred made me chuckle ("I see a tangerine.").

And Bea's declaration in Potions. Love! Plus when her and Scorpius reunited and he gave her truce bon-bons - he certainly knows the way to Bea's heart is her stomach, haha. Then Scorpius's little, "You're amazing." Ohmygosh, I died. I love him and his stupid blazers.

Author's Response: Oh yes, school. When you started reading this, remember that I said I was posting a new chapter soon? 8D That hasn't happened yet, and it's been a week. School, why dost thou happen?

i love writing these big ensemble chapters, especially because a lot of the stories I like to tell fit in this kind of jumbo one-shot ish chapters with this overall theme to them. I've actually had to cut them down!

Ugh yes, Scorpius and his stupid magical sugar-creating sleeves. He needs to start a bakery with manly!Albus.



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Review #12, by forsakenphoenixBeloved: Chains

2nd January 2013:
"Here Missy. I wrote your favorite ship for you. Merry Christmas. By the way, I'm sorry for ripping your heart out and stomping on it." That should have been your disclaimer, by the way. Just saying.

I don't even know what to say, which is terrible because I had all these plans to leave you such an epic review in response for writing an angsty fic with my favorite ship (and your first slash!). I'm not even sure I'm capable of much except you know, lots of open-mouth gaping and offering you my broken heart.

Jesus. Big exhale. Okay, so this is basically one of the best, most realistic "Remus brings Sirius back from the afterlife" fics I've ever read. I love it because it's still somewhat canon, you know? You still have him marrying Tonks and having Teddy but they aren't a focus to Remus. He is so obsessed with the idea of being with Sirius in the afterlife that he ignores rationale and common sense and tries to follow his heart, but that only ends up damning him in the end.

Sirius's anger at being ripped from the afterlife and first chained in the Shack, and then kept imprisoned by words instead of metal...it's all so realistic. One of my favorite parts was when you were describing Sirius and you wrote about how adventurous he was and how he just looked at death as his next big adventure. I love imagining him that way - not afraid of what was to come, not like Remus.

I feel so bad for Remus. He loved Sirius to the point of insanity. There's no two ways about how mad he had driven himself over the idea of bringing Sirius back and keeping him a prisoner in the real world until Remus was ready to pass too. That's not fair to Sirius and Remus too, because while he had Sirius, there was nothing he could do about it. Sirius was just air...there was nothing tangible. It makes me sad that they can't be together but Remus deserves it for what he did. He didn't pay attention to the warnings and he used people. I'm sure he didn't do it purposefully, or to be malicious since he really wasn't sane, but it's kind of like, well, it's your own fault.

Ungh, there are so many good lines in here - little ones that don't really drive the story forward but reveal to us more about Remus and Sirius's characters (Adventure was one of his greatest delights, and a voyage into the unknown, the unwritten, the untold - it appealed to him more than any other adventure preceding it.). I love how you give us this clear picture of how Remus was and is without delving too deep into detail, if that makes any sense. Like this:
As a child of the moon, Remus had learned how to flourish in times of chaos.


This story makes me sad. The fact that Remus couldn't deal with Sirius being gone and just...everything. Tonks's desperation to be what she thought Remus needed, only to be greeted by a cold and aloof Remus. Sirius eventually disappearing and leaving Remus a prisoner in the Shrieking Shack. It's painful, but it's a good reminder that the dead should remain dead.

Thank you so much for writing this for me. You have no idea how excited I was to see that you had written me a fic for the Secret Santa. Your writing is magnificent, and it's no different here. Everything flowed so smoothly and it was beautifully written and heartbreaking, and..gah, thank you. You're the best.

Author's Response: MERRY CHRISTMAS, HERE'S A PILE OF FEELS FOR YOUUU ~ XD

Sirius and Remus both led pretty depressing lives for a while, so putting them together was very D:

I try to put canon in everything. In my opinion, there is not a single ship in Potterverse that could not happen realistically if the author took the time to explain the hows and whys. Anything can happen! So I wanted to keep Tonks in the picture to make it feel a touch more believable.

Remus's behavior derived from what I know of his character - not bothering to talk to Harry until Harry's third year, avoiding people on the presumption that they wouldn't accept him, his somewhat selfish, very misguided attempt to abandon his pregnant wife to run off with Harry and his friends. Remus is both peaceful and dark, both understanding and narrow-minded. He's a wonderful character study. Pairing him with a free spirit as volatile and buoyant as Sirius creates a certain energy that I really like. And while in life Remus was usually the voice of reason and Sirius was the one with the bad ideas, in death this was reversed. Remus really was driven to the point of madness because he couldn't cope with the idea of living without him, and of dying without him. Sirius's acceptance of death mystified him a lot.

I was so nervous for you to read this! Everyone knows that you're the Remus/Sirius queen and you've pretty much set the standard for that ship, so it was daunting to give it a try. I'm so, so happy that you liked it. ♥


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Review #13, by forsakenphoenixSweet Dreams: Sweet Dreams

16th September 2012:
Normally I would've gone for the angst, but it's James and Lily and a colicky baby. How could I say no to that?

I love stories that write about the real problems of being a parent. It's so unrealistic for James and Lily to have had a perfect time being parents to Harry and I think this was the perfect snapshot into their lives. Exhaustion is the best way to describe it and I think you did a wonderful job showcasing how utterly at their wit's end they were, trying to think of ways to quiet Harry's crying. You could see it in the way that Lily was slightly hysterical and her silly worries about being a terrible mother.

James was perfect here. So patient and sweet to Lily. I love how tender he is, especially when he rests his head on her chest and then later when he kisses her neck. It's so sweet and reminds me why J/L is one of my OTPs.

I kind of chuckled at the end, but I feel like it's so realistic for them to finally have some alone time - someone else to watch Harry - but to just fall asleep because of how exhausted they are.

This was a really cute and sweet look at first time parents and the struggles they deal with, and I'm glad to see something a little fluffy to remind me of how such good parents they were before their untimely demise. :(

I loved it!

Author's Response: I was *so* surprised you went for this once and not the angst! But I'm a bit proud of it, so i was happy you did. The angst one also centers around child abuse, and that isn't everyone's cup of tea.

I hate when these two are portrayed as constant saints. They were human beings, regular people who put their lives on the line for what they believed in. They weren't these amazing humans, they were normal people who died for an amazing cause, and I think recognizing and showcasing that makes their sacrifice much stronger. Because saints are supposed to die to save, amazing people are supposed to do amazing things... but these were just two young parents who were truly heroes. Okay... sorry I get a bit carried away with these two, haha!

Hysterical Lily was SO much fun to write. I work with a lot of first time parents who think their five month old has a behavioral issue just because they won't stop crying, and I've seen mothers do everything from fall onto my office floor bawling to begging me to recommend that they get a live in nanny to help.Haha! I tried to put Lily kind of in the middle of the spectrum.

I don't get to start writing Lily and James as parents until chapter 9 of the sequel to Before They Fall, so this was a fun little way for me to get out some of my L&J as mommy and daddy-ness out.

Thanks for the awesome swap, darling ♥!!!


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Review #14, by forsakenphoenixTheir Finest Hour: Secrets and Soviets

16th September 2012:
I missed this story! I think over Thanksgiving break, I'm going to have to spend the week catching up on all the fics I've been slacking on.

I really liked the opening scene. I could imagine all the guys tumbling in through the fireplace and complaining about how awkward their entrance was.

I also love Athena and their introduction to her, especially her mind-reading. But I also love the banter between the men, especially when they were teasing Doge about all the women in his life. I think that's such a strong talent you have - writing realistic dialogue between the men that adds to the excitement of their missions and the war itself.

I was really disappointed that John and Daisy didn't get to kiss! I was waiting for it, but I knew since you were slowing it down that something would happen to interrupt them. The other men weren't subtle at all about leaving the two of them alone, were they? Ha.

I enjoyed that you interspersed their mission with a bit from Grindelwald's POV. You can really get a feel for his power in that small section and how the Muggles seem to idolize him for his magic and what that can do for them.

I'm glad you included small details about their mission, like them wearing Greek farmer outfits and Daisy and MacDonald having to wear headscarves because their hair would give them away. It's little details like that that make your story realistic. Plus, your descriptions are just fabulous. I love how vividly I can imagine every scene you write. It makes reading your fics quite enjoyable.

I loved Dumbledore's part too! I know I said this before, but I'm glad you're tying canon events into this as well, and it's interesting to see Dumbledore's POV of the whole Chamber of Secrets debacle. And McGonagall! I love how Dumbledore has plans for her. That makes me really excited to see where you take this.

I'm sorry for how terribly long it's been since I last r&r'd this fic, but hopefully I can get through the rest of it soon. I'm enjoying it a lot. :)

Author's Response: Thanks a lot for the review!

I've been trying to capture the global perspective of the conflict as much I can, so that creates a role for characters like Athena. Plus I remembered that one of the books mentioned Doge going on a trip around the world when he finished school, so that kind of ties in as well.

Nothing can ever come easy for John, but I'm sure you've probably put 2 and 2 together about where that ship is going.

Thanks for reading this far, and I hope you njoy the rest of it when you get the chance!


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Review #15, by forsakenphoenixOver The Edge: Chapter Two: Joseph Heart

15th September 2012:
Not going to lie, I loved this chapter. I know that you're not usually one to use adult language in your fics, but it really worked here. I think it gave us readers a very clear image of Joseph Heart and the language is kind of refreshing to see. I don't know if I'm making sense. It's just that I get a very clear picture in my head during this scene, like I'm watching it play out in front of me, and the language adds to the tension in the room.

I'm also enjoying Rose so far. She seems very mature for her age and maybe that's part of the appeal with Krum? Just speculating. It's interesting to see a bit of the publishing world, the competition to get an author who will make them millions, and to see that bitter anger when said author slips through their fingers.

I like that Heart still gave Rose a job despite the commercial failure of her book and her inability to write another book. Heart wants another best-seller, well, I can only imagine what Rose's book about Viktor will do for their publishing company.

I laughed when Rose knew how Heart would treat the lawyer. It shows a familiarity between the two characters. They've known each other and how they respond to certain actions and words. It's comfortable, the way they sort of play off each other. I like that.

I think this was a great next chapter to your story. And despite the age gap, I'm still super curious about where you take the plot, etc. I can't guarantee I can keep up with school and whatnot, but I'll try to swing by again sometime soon to read more.

I'm sorry I couldn't offer you more CC. I didn't really notice anything that stood out to me. I think this chapter did a great job at driving the plot forward a little bit. It was just enough to whet our appetites but also making us want to read more. As I said in the last chapter, your writing is really strong. It's also really polished. I'm liking it. :)

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked this chapter. I have to admit, I was nervous about the language; it's how Heart sounds in my head but I was afraid it would come off as gratuitous. I'm really glad you didn't get that impression.

I'm also really glad that Rose's maturity came through, as well as her relationship with Heart. She doesn't have all the answers to life, but I do see her as having a good head on her shoulders. And with Heart, he really does like Rose, but it's also true that he wants to keep her around because he thinks she can make him money -- which is really a compliment since that means he thinks she has talent. It's a bit of an odd interplay but I find I really enjoy writing them in scenes together.

I know you are super busy and I really appreciate you taking the time to review a couple of chapters for me. I'm glad that even with the pairing, you were able to find a few things you liked.


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Review #16, by forsakenphoenixOver The Edge: Chapter One: Prologue: The Man In The Suit

15th September 2012:
Okay, I'm finally here! I am so, so, so sorry for how long it's taken me to get to your story. No excuses. :(

I have to admit that I've been torn about this story before even reading it. I've heard so many good things about it and the summary obviously intrigued me (I'm a sucker for watching character's lives fall apart). What I wasn't too keen on was the age difference between the main pairing. Just a personal preference; it's nothing against you or your story. I feel like I'm a pretty unbiased reviewer though so I can definitely give you a review that is unaffected by my distaste for huge age gaps between characters.

I think you have a really fascinating prologue. I love when authors use prologues because you suck your reader into reading the rest of the story to find out what happens to lead up to this point. I guess, in a way, that could also be a downfall if your prologue isn't gripping enough - but you don't have to worry about that.

I really like the general vagueness of the chapter as well. While I would have liked a bit more description, I think it worked really well here and it drives me to read on so that I can work out the pieces on my own.

Your dialogue is great between the two men too. You can write interrogation scenes really well, it seems! Viktor's silence throughout the questioning made his outburst at Rose's name really powerful and makes the readers question what exactly happened to him that led to this imprisonment.

I think choosing Viktor was also a great idea. He was idolized as a teenager for being this huge Quidditch star and it's like Quidditch was his life, you know? So to have his career end with an injury, he loses a lot of that notoriety. People will see him as a wash-out and I can see how that would drive him towards drug addiction. He's certainly a character that I haven't read much about but definitely fits the mold of what you're trying to go for, I think.

I think the premise of this story is really fascinating and I think your readers are definitely in for a treat. This should be an interesting exploration of Viktor's shambled life and the subsequent scandal of his relationship with Rose. There are so many questions I want to know about (but especially what happens to Rose) so I feel like that's such a great way to hook readers onto this story. Your writing is really strong in the prologue and I can only see it growing from here. It flows really well. Nothing was jarring or anything of that nature. It read really smoothly.

Thank you for requesting from me and I'm really sorry about the delay in getting you your review.

Author's Response: Thank you for such a thoughtful review, and no worry at all about the delay. Real life comes first! Actually, I feel a little bad myself. I've stopped requesting reviews for this story/putting it up for review exchanges (unless someone has already said they don't mind reading it) since I posted in your thread. The ideas in my head didn't feel offensive, but I've realized since that the pairing really isn't for most. So I really do appreciate you taking a look anyway and I'm glad you were able to find other things to comment on.

I'm (obviously) a big fan of prologues myself. It's almost like getting to cheat a bit as a writer, jumping to the juicy parts of the story before I have to go back and actually set everything up. I'm really glad you thought this provided enough interest to get the reader wondering.

I'm also pleased you liked the choice of Viktor here, even if not in the pairing as a whole. I picked him in large part for the reasons you pointed out -- the whole losing his life's purpose as a trigger for bad choices. Plus, he isn't a character we know everything about so it gives me lots of room to play without necessarily breaking canon.

Thank you for the review. Sorry again that it wasn't something you were really drawn to, but I appreciate the feedback!


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Review #17, by forsakenphoenixFrostbitten: Entombed

15th September 2012:
Hey there, it's Missy from TGS. I just want to apologize for taking forever to get to your story. I honestly have no excuse so I hope that you can forgive me.

I really enjoyed the first chapter of this story. It went by really fast! I was impressed at how much you've packed into one chapter and while ~3000 words isn't all that much, I was definitely surprised when I got to the end of the chapter.

Your introductions to your characters was really great. I love that you use Lysander! He's quickly becoming one of my favorite Next Gen characters and I really loved how you depicted him here. He has such an easy rapport with Harry and he's obviously been friends and then partners with Lily for so long that their interactions are just so natural and realistic. It's so cute how nervous he is about proposing and I loved that Harry was telling him about his own concerns when proposing to Ginny. I think it's great that they have such a good relationship that he could go to Harry for advice and all that.

I love how sweet and romantic the scene at the alcove was but I also enjoyed how you sort of tossed them into this adventure first thing. You've given us an idea of how much they love traveling and exploring new and exciting things.

You had me all keyed up at the altar scene and I was a little panicked when Lysander couldn't see what Lily could, wondering what was going on. I forgot, based on your summary, that Lily is the one that's cursed because I thought for a moment that when Lysander cut himself and then all he could see was darkness, that something horrible was going to happen to him.

I think you did a great job balancing between description and plot, both which drove your story onward. You certainly have a very interesting and unique plot with this story and I'd love to be able to see where you take it.

I did notice a couple of grammatical errors but since it's unbeta'd, I'm not too concerned with them, especially because they didn't really detract from the story all that much.

Overall, this is a great story, Len, and I can only hope my review is adequate enough to make up for how horribly late it is. Sorry again!

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Review #18, by forsakenphoenixHarry Potter and the Plot of Power: 00 Prologue

14th September 2012:
I've been following your status updates for the past few days and was really curious about all your talk of a new fic, so I was definitely intrigued when you announced that you had posted it. The summary is really interesting and made me curious about the story and I'm glad to say that the prologue has not left me disappointed.

I think you have a really interesting premise with this fic and I can't wait to see where you go with it. I think you set the scene up really well and you've got a good start to Cassandra and the director. I love how Cassandra is so clinical sometimes, especially in the way that she views the patients as nothing but test subjects, and she doesn't see anything wrong with that. Her life revolves around this science and her fascination with the magic that defies everything she's ever known.

I want to know who the director is and what sort of grudge he holds against Harry. The intrigue definitely makes me want to continue reading so that's a good tactic on your part.

Basically: GIVE ME MORE. I can't guarantee I'll be able to keep up with your updates with school, but I'd really like to be able to follow this story through its completion - I think I'll really enjoy the journey.

The only criticism I have, if you could even call it that, is that I did notice some awkward phrasing and a few grammatical errors like missing commas. Nothing too major and it certainly didn't detract from the overall story.

This was a great introduction to what looks to be a fascinating story. I'm excited to see where you take it. :)

Author's Response: Haha! Yeah, I was trying to make myself stop from posting it before finishing my other one but alas...it didn't happen. Now I have two WIPs. Yaaay...haha. The summary was hard to come up with without giving way too much away. I'm glad that you thought it was interesting enough and that it had piqued your curiosity!

Cassandra is indeed very clinical, but her priorities are not exactly in order. She sees science as her personal religion and would do anything, and I mean anything, for it. Patients for her are not people, just subjects willing to work for her religion. Just so you know, this is not the last you'll see of her!

Ah, The Director...I hope I don't get to disappoint people when the reveal happens! However, he has a reason behind his hatred towards Harry.

I'll give you more! Hahaha! However, I must update His Pack of Four first, finish writing chapter one of this, edit it, beta it, THEN you can have more. Haha!

I had Dan take a look through so I'll be hopefully fix those problems today. However, I'm glad that you enjoyed reading the introduction and I can't wait to give you guys through this fun ride we're going to have!

Thank you for your review swap!

-Rosie


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Review #19, by forsakenphoenixClandestine: Crescendo

8th September 2012:
Um...wow? I don't really know what to say, Amanda. I know I repeat it in every review I leave for you but I swear, your writing just keeps getting better and better. I'm jealous at how beautifully this is put together and YOUR PROSE. I just want to squee at how pretty it is. There are so many lines in here that I loved and wish I wrote, but this one especially: She was composed of second-rate flesh and the disease of progression and this: She sparkles like the moon even in the brightly lit kitchen, and the way she lights on the edge of the counter like a butterfly makes my stomach twist. I loathe this magic.

I really feel for Rose here. Always coming second-best to Lily, so that line about her loathing "this magic" is what I interpreted to be the magic of love, how it makes Lily feel alive and bloom like the beautiful flower she is. Rose pales in comparison and she always feels like she's on the outskirts of a world that seems to revolve around Lily.

I really love how Rose is bitter about Lily and Scorpius's relationship, how she knew him first but then sacrificed her chance for education whereas Lily was the opposite. I think you did a great job detailing her emotions and really harping on her bitterness yet her desire to be a good cousin and support her as well.

Your descriptions here are fabulous. Everything comes to life with this magic you breathe into your words. It's honest to god fantastic writing. I just don't even know what else to say. You're continually blowing me away with how much you've improved as an author and how you've grown. I'm so proud to be able to say that I've seen your progression. You're an excellent writer and this may be one of your best ones yet. I can only hope there's more waiting for me in the near future. :D

Author's Response: I know what I can say! THANK YOU :)

I really love those couple of lines you picked out, too. You know how much I love getting into the gritty, dark corners of characters' heads, and it was an interesting sort of experience to try to put this dark spin on Rose. She wants so badly to have the love she believes she has 'earned' through her 'study' of Scorpius and all of his behavior and traits. Love, of course, is not academic; Lily was the one to get in there and really get close to him. It's a really different perspective than Rose's.

I think I see a little of Hermione in Rose; she's strong, but she will bend over backwards for those about whom she cares. She and Lily are close whether she likes it or not, and she knows that she 'needs' to help Lily out. I didn't know when I finished whether I felt bad for Rose or if I disliked her too much, and I hope that readers experience that as well :)

Thank you so much again! I wasn't feeling sure about this piece and waited a few weeks to edit and post it, but then I finally got tired of looking at it and just stuck it on the archive. It's nice to hear that you liked it!

Thanks for another flattering review :)

-Amanda


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Review #20, by forsakenphoenixinvictus.: tuesday

7th September 2012:
iloveyousososomuch.

I don't know why but reading this chapter makes me want to cry - and it's not like it's sad, because it's not. But like the first chapter, I feel like I relate a lot to Rose and I dunno, I feel like you're writing me and it makes me feel all sorts of exposed.

There are so many lines in here that I just want to squish and hold onto forever. You honestly have such a beautiful way with your prose and I'm kind of dumbfounded at how you can arrange these words into such perfect sentences that speak volumes despite never really saying a lot.

I love this line, in particular: The castle on my side, nudging this body on to some kind of harmony with whatever darkness is inside coming out, rapidly, easily. It is not a splinter: it is a tear. I don't know and I'm probably misinterpreting this but the idea of trying to mesh yourself into one person, to sort of balance out the light and dark in you, is such a nice reflection of Rose. Sometimes I feel like I have too much dark in me and that it's hard to really find that harmony and I think Rose is struggling with that too. Also, basically this whole paragraph, but this part in particular was really beautiful: When I wrote to you, I felt myself touched by flame, and considered it a blessing, a fierce and determined sort of recompense for what had happened to me... All the imagery with the fire and all that. I loved it.

I really like the introduction to Percy and his fight for the Minister for Magic position against Draco and their pasts are sort of coming to light now and may or may not be working against them. There was a part there where Rose admits to telling Percy things that only Scorpius knew and it makes me wonder or if that will affect the political race at all? I guess we'll wait and see. I'm also very curious about what Rose is planning with the buttons and all that. I don't think you've really fleshed that out completely (and if you have, it's totally gone over my head, but well, I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually).

Addae is an interesting character. Very headstrong and sure of himself and he definitely intimidates Rose. But it's kind of scary how much he can read her, as much as he can being how closed off she is, I mean. I am a tad bit suspicious but will withhold judgement until their Hogsmeade date.

I still really like the dynamic between Molly, Albus, and Rose. It's really interesting to read them interact with each other. How there's that familial familiarity but at the same time, they feel worlds apart sometimes. The line Molly said about them not being friends anymore broke my heart.

Anyway, sorry for rambling and not being at all helpful. Um, CC...I did notice a couple of spelling mistakes but no biggie. I'm too lazy to pull them out but I do remember you spelled Hagrid's name wrong.

Oh! I remember what else I wanted to mention. Gah, Scorpius and Rose and the THESTRALS. I loved that scene, like Rose being able to see them and Scorpius can't, but staring at the place where there should be a thestral and imagining he could see it. I loved that part so much. I think it says a lot about their relationship somehow without actually going into detail, you know? Oh, I don't know if that made sense, but whatever..

I really do love this story and I'm excited to see where you go with it. I'm definitely starting to get more into the Next Generation and I love how much freedom their is with each character and how you can write them as your own. I'm so in love with your Rose (I think because I can relate to her) and I just know this story is going to be fabulous.

Okay, done rambling. LOVE YOUUU.

Author's Response: OK. THE AWARD FOR THE MOST TRAGIC TYPO GOES TO...LILY! how could I spell Hagrid's name wrong ;A; how atrocious ;A; I am going to fix that immediately after I finish this response because CREYS. and I really did look this over before I submitted it.. . . . .. . . ugh.

I know I as a writer and person struggle with self-destructive desires and the ones that are all wrapped around selfishness; they're two opposing forces but neither of them are good. Rose's struggle is something you really describe wonderfully, THANK YOU ♥

I have learned a lot of things studying creative writing in school, but one of them that really works for me personally is to pick apart a well-known and well-used phrase and ask why. Fire has always sort of mesmerized me--I mean, the phrases relating to it, because it's a really destructive force and I think originally that's what touched by flame should have meant, but we've watered it down because there are so many people in the world who just want to be dramatic. Ahem. I personally like the idea of being feverish over something, but I guess that's just because my own brand of zeal often feels like an illness. Yay.

Molly can be dramatic as well, but I really wanted to show two things: 1) Rose's self-imposed seclusion is hurting all of her relationships, not just the one she had with Scorpo, and 2) these kids are friends, but first and foremost, they're family, and they're particularly loyal to their own above others. And Rose has really broken down that loyalty by prizing Scorpius above her family.

I like that you're wondering whether or not Rose's writing to Scorp will have implications in Percy's political career because the answer is YES. So with that in mind, a lot of what Rose is doing is because of her family bonds with Percy and her trying to get ~things~ back from Scorpius that could be potentially damaging. I feel like I've just given a lot of the plot away but I didn't use specifics, so.

Umm no you're not meant to understand the buttons completely, yet, nope.

I love the Thestral part, too! I felt like it was a bit over-used and I wasn't particularly imaginative in the way that the scene unfolded, but I excuse myself for that because the part you comment on here is what I meant to be the focus and sort of the next "view" into Rose/Scorpius. SO IT ALL MAKES SENSE, YOUR WORDS ♥

Um Addae is someone to watch out for. He originally played a quite innocent part, but as I planned on, he got darker as a persona, go figure :P We shall see on Saturday, shan't we?

Aaand puh-leaz don't try to apologize for rambling, I love your rambles, Missy! Thank you forever for reviewing this, and so kindly ♥ LOVE /YOU/


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Review #21, by forsakenphoenixinvictus.: monday

1st September 2012:
Oh, Lily. Sometimes, I feel like your writing goes over my head. It makes me feel small and insignificant. Your words make my heart hurt, like I don't even know how to explain how much Rose's thoughts and actions pull at my heartstrings until this ache blooms in my chest.

I'm not going to say that I completely understand what's going on, but I understand the emotions, I think, and that's what is important until I can read more of this lovely story and wrap my head around Rose's story.

There are a lot of lines in here that I really love. The idea of Rose spilling herself out of the cut on her hand and I'm assuming Scorpius is the "you", right? So like...I don't know, him leaving her behind because he cares more about his safety, I think it might reveal more about their relationship or the aftermath of it? I don't know, I'm just thinking aloud I suppose.

I really loved this line too: I am everywhere trying to get out of my own skin, I am always convincing myself the skin and the self are the same, I am trying to love what I have, and aching to change. This just...god, I feel like I can relate so much to her thoughts and it kills me at how you can really get into the psyche of your characters and expose their inner secrets piece by piece, making them known to us, yet they're still mysteries until you're ready to completely reveal them. I dunno, I've always loved that about your writing.

I'm not really sure what else to say. This is a lovely piece so far and I can't wait to read the rest? That seems so contrived but I really do want to see where this goes and HOW IS IT POSSIBLE FOR ME TO LOVE YOUR WRITING EVEN MORE THAN I ALREADY DO?

Author's Response: Well. Well. I can't say I intended to make you feel that way haha ♥ I think, though, that the emotional bludgeoning that your heart has suffered at the hands of this story is something I appreciate. Which makes me sound like a sadist but that's okay in the creative writing world. I had a teacher once who told the class that a story has to hurt you--both the writer and the reader. He then proceeded to say it could hurt you in that you laugh too hard and get a stitch in your side, but what he meant was that, I think, a story has to make you feel. And I have been worrying to everyone who will listen about the reliability of these characters--none of them are specifically nice or trying to be good. Most of what they do is motivated by selfish desire, or survival instinct, and while I relate to Rose a lot as a person myself--when I write her I occasionally pull up my own journal for inspiration believe it or not eheh--I was worried that the emotion wouldn't translate. So that's why I'm saying I'm glad your heart hurts haha ♥

Well, at this point in the story you're not meant to understand what's happening so I would have been highly suspicious if you had been willing to say you understood it all completely. I'd be like, hey, gurl, then explain this to me, because I'm stuck...

And as I've said, the emotions for now, and getting to know the characters, getting into Rose's mind--those are the aims for me here, and it makes me so happy to receive confirmation from you that in at least one reader I've succeeded :)

Scorpius is "you." -spoilers-In a later chapter she explains why she's "writing" to him this way, but I didn't want to put it up front that this was written out because I feel like that'd put a distance between a reader and the narrator that I didn't want.-end spoilers-

The cut on her hand will continue appearing because for me it's a really strange concept--like, where is the soul of a person. I don't know. How do we know it's not in the hands? How do we know our soul isn't always spilling out of our pores, and we aren't all everyone else? I think Rose is haunted by that possibility and so cuts on her flesh hold significance to her. Similarly, she's spent a lot of time trying to keep her guard up, and these cracks and things are symbolic, to her, of that all breaking down.

Literally that line describes me as an emotional being. AND YOU APPARENTLY ♥ twins! I dunno, I guess one of the things that class in cw made me conscious of early on was that there's a power to the sequence in which you reveal information and withhold it. I've never been willing to tell everything a reader should know right up front because in being so close to a character it's 1) unlikely that they think about key points in their characterization that often and 2) more realistic and, a better tool for me, if I wait to release some critical piece of information until later when something external has prompted it. A lot gets let out, almost in floodgates and not until a ways off explicitly. But I think it won't be that hard to tell what's happened when I give the right clues if readers like you have paid attention to Rose closely throughout.

Scorpius--there's a bit of contention between Molly and Rose, obviously, about what happened between R/Scorp, but I can tell you you're definitely on the right track. Perhaps that's because Rose is quite obviously a neurotic. There was some concern of his safety involved in breaking it off, but soon, -spoilers- there's this whole political background that will become known and also shed light on what happened. I'm writing chapter four right now and it's the first time I've explicitly stated key facts, so it's a wait, but I think, as I said, clues should let the right readers know earlier than I say it. -end spoilers-

UMMM K YOU ARE TOO SWEET ♥


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Review #22, by forsakenphoenixBreak Out: I.

10th August 2012:
I remember you talking about the idea for this fic and this is infinitely better than what I imagined it could be. I love that you've sort of answered all the questions that I would have with this sort of AU with the dialogue between Harry and Dumbledore. I think, especially, I wonder how the outcome of the war changes. Harry is so resolute in his faith that Ron, Hermione, and the Order can defeat Voldemort. I doubt it's so easy.

The first part with Harry was just beautiful in its honesty. Harry is so vulnerable, looking to Dumbledore for guidance, though he can't offer much. Harry must make that decision to move on, to see his family again and I think that's a hard decision for a boy so young. He's had the weight of the world on his shoulders since he was just a baby and I imagine he's just sort of tired of it all and desperately missing his family. Given the choice, I don't know if I could say which direction I would go either. Poor Harry.

I love that we saw the rest of the chapter from Narcissa and Voldemort's POV. I think Narcissa is very effective at reminding us of Harry's youth and mortality. This line, especially, is my favorite: young and immortal and full of all the vitality and possibility that youth signified. It's just...fabulous. I had to pause and let it sink in a little bit.

It's interesting how Voldemort automatically distrusts the Malfoy. He has to see if Harry is dead for himself and I think that says a lot about what he thinks of the loyalty of some of his followers.

IS THAT DROP OF BLOOD IMPORTANT? It kind of seems like it might be. It's kind of subtle yet kind of not, so I can't decide. I guess I'll have to keep reading to find out!

This is such a wonderful story and I'm glad you decided to tackle this. I can't wait to read your interpretation of a world without Harry before Voldemort's downfall. It shall be an interesting ride, that's for sure.

As usual, your writing is absolutely flawless and I am constantly in awe at your ability to write so much and have such unique plots.

BEST AUTHOR EVER.

Author's Response: Missy! ♥ I'm so excited for you to read this story -- I'm actually really nervous about how it's all going to work out, and I trust your judgement. But anyway. :P I'm really glad you liked Harry's part, and I definitely agree with a lot of your opinions. Harry's been through so much in just a little less than 18 years, and honestly, I'm the same as you: I don't know if I'd have been brave enough to return, if faced with the prospect of removing my burden.

Ahh, that line. :3 A lot of people have commented on that! And I love what you said about Voldemort, too, and the amount of trust he places in his followers. I can't imagine Voldemort really ever trusting /anybody/, and especially not the Malfoys, you know? And yes -- the drop of blood is quite important! It'll crop up again, so keep your eyes peeled for that. ;)

Seriously, thank you so, so much for hopping over here and giving this a shot. I'm very happy you did! You're fantastic, Missy. ♥ Hope to see you back here very soon!!


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Review #23, by forsakenphoenixFaulty Predictions: never silent or dark

9th August 2012:
Okay, excuse me while I flail. I don't find myself particularly drawn to stories about Lavender for some reason and yet I've read two stories in the last two days that tell her story post-war, assuming that she survived the attack. Gah, Helen, this is just fabulous. It's so well-written and honest. I feel like you have this fantastic ability to pry open your characters and expose their raw emotions to us in such a beautiful, vivid way.

Lavender is definitely a character that isn't often written this way. She's often portrayed as a bit of an airhead, I think, who is obsessed with Won-Won. ;) The war changes people, though, and I really love this contemplative character you've written.

Honestly, there are so many lines in this fic that I want to pull out and keep with me always. But this, especially, really resonated within me: it has become a lullaby of life - a reminder that they are all still alive, that they survived this, that she can still breathe. I love the idea of Lavender lying awake, sleep eluding her, listening to those around her breathing. It's such a beautiful reminder of life.

Everything about this was so incredibly moving. Lavender's thoughts post-war, her desire to move forward with her life, becoming an adult and moving in with Parvarti - they're all such ambitious goals for her and I'm worried she's striving to achieve too much too fast. She's so determined to not go through her recovery alone and let her mental state deteriorate but I feel like that's still something she's going to struggle with.

I also really like Pye's character with his psychological babble. The line about how he's new so he still has time to talk to patients - that really struck me when I first read it. It sort of reveals a lot about his character and about the state of the medical field - that Healers are so busy that they rarely have time to just sit and talk to their patients. I think it's sweet he takes that time.

I'm really rooting for Lavender to pull through this, though I know she will probably struggle a lot. You've done a wonderful job setting us up for that and I can only hope school won't kick me in the butt and I can follow this story as much as I can. I'm really looking forward to joining Lavender on her journey.

Author's Response: I've only read one or two Lavender fics before starting to write this, but I was really excited by the whole concept of it. In my head Lavender definitely survives, though, well... I just think that Lavender is someone who really needed that time after she'd finished school to grow up and live and... well, I don't want anyone else to die.

That's the thing, she's so determined to make sure she's okay that she's trying a little bit too hard and not giving herself time to fall apart a little bit - which I think everyone needs to a certain extent.

I liked Pye too! I always thought he was a great character just thrown into ootp and, well, as it's the same ward as mentioned there I thought I might as well capitalised on this.

I'm rooting for Lavender too and thanks for the lovely review :)

-AC


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Review #24, by forsakenphoenixCapture the Dark : Betrayal

8th August 2012:
THIS MOMENT. Seriously, I think if there's one moment about that night, this would be the one that threatens to tear my heart out the most and you do such a fabulous job writing it. It's short but it's no less powerful than a one-shot that would write this scene in thousands of words. I actually think this length is perfect for the emotion and scene you're trying to portray.

I love the idea of Peter leaving a note. I never actually thought about it before, but it's definitely an interesting way for the readers to see what sort of excuse he could come up with. It's sad because I can understand where he's coming from - the fact that the Potters probably would die and that Peter himself was more afraid of death than any sort of retribution from the remaining Marauders. But just as he wasn't ready to die, I don't think James and Lily were either and I think that's what breaks my heart the most.

Sirius's anxiety is so nerve-wracking! It's hard because he's still a little bit hopeful that nothing had happened, that he was being played and sent in the wrong direction but we, the readers, know the truth. I really love the description of his motorbike, the line about the war cries was especially awesome, and the small details like the frost in his stubble and the tears caught in his dark lashes. Such lovely imagery.

Sirius's guilt (something that I love to write as well) is so palpable here and you do such a wonderful job with that, especially at the end with the fragmentation. I always imagined that maybe that's what Sirius didn't fight so much when they dragged him off to Azkaban after Peter's deception, that maybe he thought it was his penance for suggesting Peter, that in some roundabout way, he was responsible for their deaths. Gah, poor Sirius.

This was heartbreaking but very well-written. I'm sorry I can't offer much more feedback - I'm such a sucker for fics about Sirius the night of James and Lily's death and this was great. :)

Author's Response: Blahh what am I supposed to do about this review?! How am I going to make a coherent response to such wonderful words from a writer I respect so much?!

Let's try...

In my head Dumbledore was fully aware that Sirius was innocent. He had no proof, but he knew. Dumbledore always knows. He tried to talk to Sirius about option, Sirius was broken and basically repeated that it was his fault they were dead. Sirius had decided it was his fault and went to Azkaban willing to serve his sentence until he saw that newspaper article and lost it.

Bahhh why does everything revolving around these people have to be so sad?

I am so happy you liked the imagery, I wanted to make sure to include enough but not too much of it.

Seriously, this was an amazing review and you have made my week.

Thank you for the incredible review ♥


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Review #25, by forsakenphoenixRule Breaker: A Predictable Appointment

8th August 2012:
Hey there,

I figure since you left me a nice review, I could return the favor and tag you. I have to start off by saying that I'm not a huge fan of Dramiones (but you asked so nicely!) or a shared Head dormitory. But it's always my intention to go into fics without bias and give an honest review, no matter my preferences.

I really liked the beginning of this chapter. Hermione strutting all proud like a peacock really fit the image of her that I see if they had stuck around and she was made Head Girl. I feel like that's been one of her biggest goals and it always saddened me that they never stuck around long enough to finish their education. So in that regard, I'm really glad that Hermione had convinced Harry to put off Horcrux hunting in order to gain more knowledge before jumping into battle. I think that's smart.

I love how different Harry and Ron are too, the way that they approach Hermione. Ron's not exactly subtle, is he? Hah. I almost forgot in the beginning that this was a Dramione and I couldn't believe that Hermione would break things off with Ron so she wouldn't ruin their friendship, but then I remembered so it was okay. I think that also shows, in a roundabout way, how strong Ron and Hermione's friendship is in that they can still be really good friends after breaking things off before they got in too deep with their romantic feelings and lost focus on the friendship aspect of it.

I'm going to withhold judgement about the shared dormitory for now as I'm hoping that you're changing up that cliche since you did mention you were trying to change our views on those Dramione cliches. I guess I should be thankful for small favors that you didn't make Draco Head Boy - that would have been extremely unlikely considering the way things ended so I'm glad you didn't do that.

I'm interested to see how things with Theodore turn out and Hermione. I can only imagine Ron and Harry being all protective of her, so hopefully for Theo's sake, he won't cause too much of an issue.

I loved the introduction to Draco. "Nott has never had my charisma." Oh, Draco. This definitely will be an interesting year, that's for sure - what with Draco returning and a Gryffindor and Slytherin as Heads in the midst of a war.

So, I do think you have a good first chapter. You do a great job setting the scene for this AU and for someone who doesn't really like Dramiones or the cliched shared dormitory, I'm definitely interested in seeing how you handle all of this and make it not a cliche.

Author's Response: Hey there!

I was so excited to see that I had a review waiting for me! This was absolutely wonderful to read. I'm so happy that you aren't automatically condemning it. So, to explain some things: when I began this, I actually wasn't sure if I wanted the shared dorm to be in there, but I figured that it could actually help me as a plot device. I introduced it as something completely new, though, not as something that had always been there. Because let's be honest, it hasn't. Then I knew I didn't want Draco to be Head Boy. I tried that once, HA. It's not believable in the slightest. But I DID want a Slytherin to be Head Boy because I wanted someone who could break down Hermione's prejudices against Slytherins, since I knew I eventually wanted her to be with Draco. But I'm taking this story very, VERY slowly. Like...as far as I've written right now, I'm on chapter 26 and Draco and Hermione still aren't together. :P Then I knew that I could never write a believable Romione, so I had to nix that to begin with. But I didn't want it to be something lame that broke them up, like Ron cheating on her (um, no). So I just decided that they realized that it was better for them to just stay friends. And I wanted that friendship to be solid, despite what had happened between them. Hmm, what else? Well, I'm glad you like Draco's entrance! I love him so much, haha. Him and his attitude. Again, thank you for this splendid review! I'm really glad you're being open-minded about the story. ;]

--Emily


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