Reading Reviews From Member: Elphaba and Boyfriends
  
259 Reviews Found

Review #26, by Elphaba and BoyfriendsIn Sickness And In Health: Healing in Hell?

29th September 2013:
Chapter 2

Hi Elphaba back!

I like all the details you put into describing everything Hermione feels and experiences as she wakes up. One tip I have is to streamline your writing by getting get rid of the verb "was" whenever possible. Here's one example, "Her head was aching, like her brain was pounding against her skull..." I think you could also remove "like" from your description of her headache without confusing readers. The edited sentence may go something like this: "Her head ached from her brain pounding against her skull..."

The hostile dialog between Hermione and Draco in the kitchen cracked me up. :) I especially liked this line, "'You look awful Malfoy, what happened to you?'"

There are also a few places where you may want to play around with word and phrase order to clarify the order in which things happen. Here, for instance, "Hermione took this opportunity as Draco got up to grab something from the pantry to look at him." I might move, "Draco got up to grab something from the pantry," to the beginning of the sentence, because it happens first. Then I would add, "and Hermione took this opportunity to look at him," as it happens second.

I love the name of Dr. Cartwright's clinic: "St. Mungo's Unknown Disease and Rehabilitation Clinic." I don't recognize it from the books, so kudos to you for inventing it! :)

I thought that it was out of character for Hermione to collapse out of fear of Malfoy, but after learning the details of her illness and how weak she is it makes sense.

Hmm, the fact that Draco and Hermione have been put in the same safe house to heal together makes me think that the circumstances of their being cursed (him trying to help protect her) are well known. The doctors cryptic statements about the war situation being too stressful to share with them makes me think it must still be going on. I can imagine Hermione soon becoming very frustrated about being left in the dark if this is the case. Maybe she hopes to get the facts from Harry and Ron? ... I suppose I will need to keep reading to discover tell whether my guesses are correct? ;)

I will get to the next chapter very soon!

Author's Response: Hello! SO so so sorry its taken me so long to get back to you, life has been crazy, and is finally settling down, at least for this week :P

I usually suck at description, so I am happy that you think it is good :) Your ideas are really good! I will look into my writing and see where I can include that sentence, thank you :D

Aw good! I wanted to make them hostile but also reserved and afraid, so I'm glad it came across well. They are hard to write those two!

I will look into my sentence structure, it usually only consists of long sentences so i will change it up a bit :D

Hehehe keep on reading and much more shall be revealed!!
Thank again for reviewing and waiting so long for a response :D

Grace


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Review #27, by Elphaba and BoyfriendsThe Augury and the Ecstasy : Snow Field

25th September 2013:
Hi, Elphaba here with your requested review!

First of all, I think this chapter works as an intriguing set up to your story. Your writing ha a nice flow to it, and I like how you gradually dole out details about Hunter over its course.

"But maybe that's because I am sweating. Profusely sweating." The second sentence here just feels a bit off. I might get rid of it and end the first sentence with a metaphor; "I am sweating like a ..." ? I like your earlier "circuit breaker in the sky" metaphor. Too many metaphors might get old, but I think adding one more would enhance Hunter's voice rather than seeming tired.

The only plot detail I found slightly off is that Fudge came to fetch him to Hogwarts. I would think Hagrid or another teacher like McGonagall would be given that assignment. You don't mention when this takes place, but the only period I can think of when Fudge may have gone on such an errand would be during 5th year, when Dumbledore is in hiding and Umbridge runs the school.

I really like the last sentence in this chapter, "There is no fear in my heart. Just blood and noise." I also like Hunter's voice overall. He seems believable for someone who has had a rough life.

Good start, so far! :)

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Review #28, by Elphaba and BoyfriendsInfinity: Prologue: Gravity

23rd September 2013:
Hi, Elphaba here with your requests review!

Well, first off grammar, punctuation and spelling are all clean. Your writing also has a lovely flow to it, and I really have no complaints.

"She smiled reminiscently, as if tasting something sweet that she'd been missing." Lily with divorced parents is definitely a departure from the norm, but you make it believable by providing just a few details and letting readers fill in the blanks.

I didn't make the connection between the mark on Lily's hand and the countdown mentioned in the story summary, at first. "I found myself staring at my right hand again, at the marks only I could see. It wasn't until four years later that I discovered their true meaning." Based on her age (7+4 years = 11, i.e. The age she received a visit from Hogwarts) I thought it might be some magical mark that some witches have until it was explained later on.

"That was the day that I stopped waiting for the countdown on my hand to reach zero." This makes me think that Lily had always imagined the mark must be something romantic, like a countdown to when she would fall in love.

So what has it *really* been counting down? Could it be counting down to her death? Or something else? I like that this is left ambiguous.

I also appreciate the irony of someone who no longer believes in fairy tales finding out that she's a witch. :)

I think your prologue nicely sets up Lily as an anti-romantic who may fall in love in spite of herself. There's definitely a lot of promise here! :) I'm interested to see how you portray James (Will he be her opposite? Will he go gaga for her or play it cool?), Sirius, and your OC. I'm also intrigued by the countdown, of course. So far I think you're off to a good start! :)

Author's Response: Thank you so much for this insightful review! I'm glad that you liked it. :) And I'm so sorry that it took me this long to respond.
-Lucky


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Review #29, by Elphaba and BoyfriendsCareful What You Wish For: The Trapdoor

22nd September 2013:
Hello, Elphaba here! :)

Ooo, what could be on the other side of the trap door? I think I'm as curious as the girls are. There certainly are enough weird things going on at Hogwarts for them to not be too shocked by the discovery. Penny's worrying about traps is also certainly justified.

Reading the magazine upside down feels a little cliche, like it's been done too many times, but I like Kat's quick comeback, "I was reading, an, um, poem. In a spiral shape." That isn't something I've seen before.

In fact, I really like all of Kat's humorous lines like this one, " 'Don't be boring, Angus,' Kat said, giving her wand a lazy flick." :)

Your grammar, spelling and punctuation are all very good, though I noticed a few little nitpicky grammatical things like, "criticising" instead of "critical," here: "Kat had a bit of a habit of looking down upon people and being very criticising."

This sentence a little later on also seems slightly off, "Now that we’d managed to open the trapdoor, I was feeling a lot more nervous before." I might just get rid of "before."

This line of Kat's made me laugh: "It was just a little bit of an anti-climax, if you know what I mean. If our life was a book, everyone would think the writer had no imagination!" I like that they do struggle with all of the different opening spells they can think of before getting the idea to try passwords, and I like that they come up with the correct phrase almost by accident as they are trying to remember everything they can about Rowena Ravenclaw.

Angus's dialog here: "It seems unfair that a couple of third years get to have all these adventures while we’re stuck doing homework..." is funny because he has no idea how un-fun most of the adventures are for Harry; at the same time I can imagine that a lot of other Hogwarts students would feel the same way.

Dani's pocketing of the mirror is very curious. I wonder whether she lied about finding it on a whim, or whether it is enchanted to make the bearer keep it hidden?

Either way, it's a very intriguing ending to this chapter! :)

Author's Response: Hey there!

I'm not quite sure why, but I just thought I should let you know that I really, really like your reviews! They're always so helpful and kind and actually give me ideas and make me think about how I could improve future chapters.

I enjoyed writing this chapter, and I just couldn't resist putting that line of Kat's in;) Kat would have to be one of my favourite characters to write, actually, although she does occasionally bring out the cliche in me. And I love referencing Harry through the mouths of other students!

Courtney:)



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Review #30, by Elphaba and BoyfriendsDevlin Potter: Riddle and Rescue: The Day After Tomorrow

21st September 2013:
Hello, Elphaba here! :)

Some of Devlin's thoughts in this chapter are quite chilling, like this one: "...how heartbroken the girl would be, when he died. She would be safe, though - and that was all that mattered."

This one is slightly less troubling, though it highlights his differences, "Dubhán smiled at her happiness, so easily achieved when he could hardly ever feel it no matter how he tried." Despite his apparent lack of emotion, he doesn't seem sociopathic. He obviously cares for Emma, but just doesn't seem to experience emotions in a typical manner.

I find myself agreeing with Devlin here: "It had happened. There was no 'anything' that would erase it from his past ... he couldn't regret that it had happened too much." There's no point in Harry wishing he could change the past; it's past and what's done is done. How will it effect the choices they both make going forward? Does Devlin believe that his choices are limited, or even nonexistent?

I wondered about the identity of the young lady who Devlin discovers working at the table with Alexandra. She's never named, could there be a reason for this, or did it just slip through editing? Her red hair made me think of Ginny, but I thought she also could be a relative of Alexandra's.

Zee is especially cute in this chapter, "Dubhán wasn't sure how describe the way the dog sometimes moved, it's back end going in the opposite direction of it's front..." You know a dog is happy when their tail moves their back end. :)

I can't help thinking that Harry may have made a mistake by giving Devlin back his wand - especially with the boy's cryptic statements about his not going to be around much longer. What will happen when he meets Dumbledore?

I think Devlin is mistaken when he thinks this, "Dumbledore would see him as Voldemort, a boy he probably regretted not killing as a child." This seems more like Voldemort's point of view. I think Dumbledore may feel that he failed Tom Riddle, that he should have picked up on early warning signs and steered him to a different path in life. This shows that Devlin thinks more like Voldemort, which makes a lot of sense. I love that you think carefully about how your characters view the world and the other characters in it!

Great job, once again! I'm looking forward to reading more. :)

Author's Response: I don't think Devlin is sociopathic. Rowling said that part of the issue with Tom Riddle was the fact that he was conceived under a love potion, and also that he was unloved at the orphanage. That said, I don't think you can make someone like Tom Riddle without a starting point - without a bit of it just being HIM. I feel like Devlin is somewhere in between, having had a loving family for the first six years of his life, but then being pushed into an environment that would have demanded he be less feeling. An unloving environment made him more like Tom Riddle, but without the truly evil comment that Rowling has said stems from the love potion (being truly unable to understand love). On yet another hand, IF something could have CHANGED that (being loved as a child), then it stands to reason that he isn't truly incapable of feeling love, but hasn't felt it yet (no, it will not be one of those stories).

Hello, by the way. :) And thanks for another great review. I've been having trouble writing this recently, so this is great to get me thinking about it again.

I think Devlin would have been a less than sane child without Geoffrey to say things like this to him and I think it still has yet to be explored if Voldemort, while not feeling love, can extend his desire to protect what is his broadly enough to have purposefully chosen Geoffrey because of his well-suited personality and capabilities. Sometimes I have to stop myself before typing too much, because I realize what chapter you're on and that you don't know certain things yet... *sigh* ;-)

I think Devlin sees himself only insofar as Voldemort sees him. Devlin says himself that desires are worthless things - and to be anything but what Voldemort pictures would be a desire that he fears too much wouldn't come true. Desires, he has said, ruin people because when you hope and hope and hope and then are crestfallen it is a pain you could have avoided by just not hoping.

I left out Ginny's name simply because it was written from Devlin's perspective and she wasn't introduced to him. Honestly, I think it is an expression of his mother's weariness around him that she didn't simply say "This is Ginny". Later Devlin will admit that he doesn't really know any of his parents friends, and he can't blame them - who would want to put that information in something that was once so loyal to Voldemort?

Zee is secretly my favorite character ;-)

The meeting of Devlin and Dumbledore is colored from his perspective. I think Dumbledore is weary - not necessarily because he believes Devlin will become the next Voldemort, but if he were to see the signs he won't even have complete access to the boy. But you will see throughout the story that Dumbledore reaches out to Devlin and it will be Dumbledore who gets Devlin into Hogwarts just like he had done for Remus.

I think Devlin absolutely thinks a lot like Voldemort, on purpose. I think it's in a previous chapter that he wears a blank expression as he says something scathing in a calm deadly voice - and he thinks to himself that Voldemort had never liked it quite as much when his face showed the emotions in his voice. When we see that one clip of Tom as a child that's what I got out of it - the lack of emotion on his face but all of it in his eyes and voice. Devlin simply picked up on the level of positive reaction from Voldemort and ranked things accordingly.



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Review #31, by Elphaba and BoyfriendsIn Sickness And In Health: The Battle

9th September 2013:
Hello, Elphaba here with your requested review! Sorry for being a bit slow with it.

Throughout this first chapter, I wondered when is it set? Towards the end I gathered that it takes place at the beginning of the final battle, but it would be helpful to place a date or some reference to events in Deathly Hallows to help establish the setting.

I noticed a couple of spots where your writing's flow could be improved, like here: "He was also terrified of the fact that he had a letter sent to him from his father saying that he would be collecting him this afternoon, after the battle had been won by the Dark Lord, who had decided that he would choose today to be the day to attack Hogwarts." This long sentence could be broken up, like this: "He was terrified of the letter from his father saying that he would be collecting him this afternoon, after the battle had been won. The Dark Lord had decided that today would be the day to attack Hogwarts." Just a suggestion! :)

I really like this line: "Merlin help me, I wonder which side will kill me first." I think you do a good job of getting inside Draco's conflicted head.

Although the events in this story diverge a bit from the events in the book, it's still important for the characters to act in-character, as Draco does. I'm not sure that Hermione would waste time or breath to call Draco a ferret, and I can't imagine Harry casting the Killing Curse at Lucius Malfoy - he didn't even use it on Voldemort.

Your premise is certainly interesting (A mysterious magical illness brings two enemies together? Count me in!) and I like the cliffhanger ending to this opening chapter. I wonder what type of curse Bellatrix used? I'm definitely curious enough to keep reading. :)

Author's Response: Hi! That's not a problem, thank you for reviewing! As you can see, it takes me a while to respond, so it evens out! :P

It is set after HBP with DH being a bit irrelevant in this story. I am currently going through edits of this chapter with me beta so will be sure to include a timeline in there :)

Oh cool, I think my beta has looked iynto these, and I will also have a look over to see if there are any sentences that could use improving.

Yay! I'm glad you like that line. I was really trying to show that Draco is in a hard position right now, and it is effecting him rather badly. It will continue through the chapter coming up as well :)

I understand this, but I am looking at bending the canon a tad, but I am looking at creating anew way for Lucius to die. Perhaps by a rogue death eaters curse? I'll look into that :)

I'm glad you like the idea! I wanted something that was unique and different but would also equalize them enough to realize that they really aren't that different from each other. Hope you like the following chapters!

Grace


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Review #32, by Elphaba and BoyfriendsCareful What You Wish For: The Patronus Charm

7th September 2013:
Hi, Elphaba back again! I read this chapter several days ago, but haven't had a chance to review it until now.

I think your dialog is great in this chapter, particularly the conversation between the main characters and Percy and Penelope at breakfast. P&P are annoying, but FUNNY annoying. :)

I also really like Dani's brief summation of the last couple of DADA professors. This made me smile, "And then it turned out that he had You-Know-Who sticking out the back of his head."

I think you also get Lupin's dialog just right during their DADA lesson. I love that everyone struggles to conjure a Patronus-- (well, maybe not Oliver, but everyone else has to work hard at it.

Wow, I really didn't see that cliffhanger at the end of the chapter coming. Especially not after all the talk about boys and quidditch! :) Where will the trapdoor lead? I'm very curious to find out.

Author's Response: Hello there! Thanks for coming back:)

Aaah, I'm glad you think my dialogue was good - and hehe, P&P (I'm not quite sure why I found that so amusing) but they definitely are annoying, particularly when together.

I think it's important, when writing the Hogwarts era from someone else's point of view to mention little canon things like the DADA Professor, etc, so I'm glad you pointed that out!

I love writing cliffhangers, and I just couldn't resist using this one! I hope you keep reading to find out!

Courtney:)


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Review #33, by Elphaba and BoyfriendsDevlin Potter: Riddle and Rescue: Shifting Thoughts

7th September 2013:
Hello, Elphaba here! I couldn't resist looking up the meanings of both Devlin and Dubhan after reading your response to my review for chapter 9. I had thought Dubhan was an alternate form of Devlin, so I was intrigued to learn the different meanings (brave/fierce vs dark/black). :)

"'Hoping I've forgotten already what I am?' He said, a chill to the edge of his voice, but humor coated it all and made it less sharp." The first section of this chapter, where the adults witness Devlin putting on the charm before instantly shifting tone to give Geoffrey an order, is the best demonstration of why they should remain wary of Devlin in the story so far. Witnessing how well he controls himself and manipulates others, I could understand why Geoffrey would accuse Dumbledore of fear later in the chapter.

I noticed one sentence with a couple of typos that I thought worth mentioning: "Dumbledore's brow drew together infinitesimally and his blue eyes widened with with what Geoffrey was sure was fiend surprise." There's an extra "with" and I presume "fiend" should be "feigned." No other errors stuck out.

Everyone (other than Emma, perhaps) seems to know exactly what he is doing, and yet they continue on as normally as possible despite this. Although Alexandra talks more openly with him about the power struggle they're engaged in, she seems as hopeful as Harry that they can win him over. I wonder who she will recruit to give Devlin occlumency lessons? Snape, Dumbledore, Geoffrey?

While Emma seems guileless, I wonder if she understands more than Devlin gives her credit for? I also wonder whether Devlin's fear for her is paranoid or justified? Either way, his loyalty to her would seem to be a key to getting him to open up.

I enjoyed this chapter, as expected, and will move on to Chapter 11 next! :)

Author's Response: Sorry I haven't been able to respond before now. Half the fun with your reviews is responding! Devlin and Dubhan is actually something I took a long time to find before naming him, so I love that you did the research. Geoffrey's nickname has something to do with Dubhan, but maybe you've guessed that already.

Devlin is definitely someone that one should be wary of. I honestly don't think that will ever change about him - he is too aware of how manipulation and control and power, and too little aware of empathy, sympathy, and love for the balance to every be "normal". Even he recognizes that he is not a "normal boy".

I really had fun writing Dumbledore and Geoffrey - I find Dumbledore rather difficult to write, to be honest. I feel like he really came to life for me in the movies, rather than just the books (one of the few characters) because it was the grandfatherly look, the small smiles, the way he moved slowly to offer you a lemon drop, etc etc that MADE him real for me. So I feel like when I am writing him I have to point those actions out. I will fix the errors. :)

I'm not sure how one would act to a child but normally. Dumbledore surely isn't - although he's somewhat avoiding the child, or perhaps Harry is making sure they don't connect at this point. Snape isn't treating him normally - I think he is especially aware of what Devlin is capable of. Geoffrey doesn't treat him like a normal child - you don't tell a child they belong to someone but can also belong to a place, or push them, or intimidate them - or threaten them with the things you have done for them. On the other hand, Geoffrey's goal is to keep Devlin safe and so it wouldn't be in his benefit to point out to clearly to Potter everything bad that Devlin has done. But those people that love him? I'm not sure what else a parent would do but wish constantly and let those wishes come through in their behavior.

I think you're onto something with Emma. One of the thing things Devlin wonders later on (or maybe he has already? I can't remember) is whether what makes him 'different' from other children is his ability to articulate his thoughts and reasoning and if Emma understands just as much as him, but can't express it with as much accuracy. Honestly I think this is true for a lot of children - I think children understand situations more than we often give credit, because they can't express as coherently as we might need/want.

Can't wait to see your review on the next chapter! Should I re-request? I think this was a pretty big chapter. Can't hurt to re-request, right? :D


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Review #34, by Elphaba and BoyfriendsBreakoff Altitude: Prologue

31st August 2013:
Hi, Elphaba here with your requested review!

First of all, I think you accomplish a great deal with only 606 words. :) You pack in a lot of sensory detail, evoking a strong mental image of the setting: "A breeze came through, bringing with it the voices of Diagon Alley and the smell of baking bread and cinnamon as shoppers ate at outdoor cafe tables in the late summer sunshine."

I like how deftly you show that he's feeling as awkward about the situation as she is: "At the sound of this fake yawn, Fabian paused in his fake work and the few inches of his neck above his shirt and below his wavy hair turned a deep pink."

I noticed a few too many commas used to splice sentences together, and think the flow may be better if you used parentheses -- as you did in a few other places to show Amelia's thoughts. This is the one that really sticks out: "He was already dressed in a white, v-neck t-shirt, that looked a little thin with age, but still nice and clean, with a pair of brown corduroy pants." You could place parentheses after "t-shirt" and "clean." I like how you show that he's not wealthy, by the way.

The strength of your descriptions, as well as the tension and humor you inject into this opening scene, are enough to make me want to keep reading. The time period and the characters involved naturally lead me to think that the original Order of the Phoenix will come into play, bringing intrigue and danger with it. That's definitely a story I'm interested in! :)

Author's Response: Oh good! Thank you so much! I'll talk about the comma splices with my co-author. I'm really glad you enjoyed reading it and I will be back to rerequest the next chapters!

handknittedsweaters
R&M


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Review #35, by Elphaba and BoyfriendsCareful What You Wish For: Two of Cups

28th August 2013:
Hi, Elphaba here! I enjoyed this chapter a lot. I don't mind if things are moving slowly (as you say in your author's note) when the story is this fun to read. :)

I liked how Kat pointed out the lack of vegetarian items at dinner, as well as Dani's indifference to her latest "hobby."

I also liked the conflict in potions class. I think it's realistic how Kat sticks up for Dani after the Slytherins start pestering them. You've written Snape really well, too. The only critique I have with him is that he tends to only raise his voice when he's super mad at Harry, so instead of putting "MISS MASON" in all caps, he might use a soft but chilling voice to address her. I wonder if there's something up with Flint and the other thick-headed Slytherins in their potions class?

I really enjoyed the divination class, too. Your portrayal of Professor Trelewney and the dialog between Dani and Kat is great! This is a small thing, but one tip I have is to watch out for passive verbs and replace them with active verbs: "...Oliver muttered angrily, pulling off the elastic band that was around the middle of the cards." You could replace "was" with "looped" or "stretched" or "wound," for example.

Hmm, the slow Slytherins are mentioned again in Divination, so now I'm very curious as to whether there is some sort of plot afoot that involves them? Considering that the next chapter mentions the Patronus Charm, I may go forward and read it right away. :)

Author's Response: Hello there!

Oh, I'm glad you don't think things are moving too slowly - I'm always super worried about losing reader's interest. I'm happy you think the story is fun to read!

I was also super worried about writing the Potions class, as I don't often write canon teachers - this is the first time I've ever written Hogwarts era. Thanks for pointing that out about Snape, I can definitely see what you mean and will go back and change that when I'm not in a lazy mood.

I'm also glad (I use that word a lot in responses - clearly my vocab is lacking) the Divination class - Trelawney is definitely entertaining to write!

Thanks for the lovely review!
Courtney:)


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Review #36, by Elphaba and BoyfriendsThe Worst: Meetings and more.

26th August 2013:
Hi, Elphaba here!

Hooray! I'm so glad that Dom and Teddy tracked down somebody who can testify that Delilah is responsible for Dom getting bit! :)

I like the meeting between Dom and Teddy and Wilson Young. You do a really good job of ratcheting up the tension from the moment they appear outside Wilson's house up until they reach a deal with him. Their persuasion of Wilson with promises of help is convincing; as is Dom's reaction when he invites her to join his pack.

I think the one thing you could do to polish this chapter is just remove some repetition of details that pop up here and there. For instance: "Julia laughed before hugging her friend, who was also her colleague." I think you could cut this sentence off after "friend, or even "laughed." We already know that they're friends from the previous paragraph, and we can infer that they're colleagues. In the next paragraph, this sentence stuck out: "Julia said, stepping back to take a good look at her best friend who had recently experienced a terrible nightmare." You could end this one in a couple of places as well; perhaps after "friend." We can guess from their dialog that Julia knows about Dom's werewolf bite, so it doesn't need to be mentioned again.

The cliffhanger ending left me dying to know how Delilah will react! Will she try to deny the charges? Or try to weasel her way out of trouble with some sort of excuse?

Keep up the good work! :)

Author's Response: Hey! Thanks a ton for reading and reviewing.

Yeah Dom and Teddy rock xD

I am pleased you liked the meeting and how I built up the scene. It's good to hear that the promise and reaction both were convincing.

Thanks for pointing out those small bits to me. English is not my first language so I tend to go a bit overboard with details sometimes xP I'll definitely work on the repetition parts.

Well, as to what Delilah does, you'll have to wait and watch for the next chapter! Thank you for your helpful review.


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Review #37, by Elphaba and BoyfriendsNot Normal: {Chapter the Third}

25th August 2013:
Hi, Elphaba here woth your requested review! Sorry for being a bit slow.

I enjoyed this chapter, and love Ellie's dry humor. You squeeze in a lot of surprising, laugh-inducing lines like: "I wasn't sure how I felt about my eyes being called an alcoholic beverage. I didn't want to promote alcoholism." :)

The one complaint I have is the transition from the train platform to the great hall is very jarring:
"As Amy, Ben and I made our way over to the train, I saw James snigger.

'Do the first years look smaller than usual this year?' Ben asked.

I glanced further down the table..."

In addition to the line break, you should add a line with a symbol of some sort, like:
***
Or:
oOoOo
This would eliminate the jarring effect.

Based on Regulus's earlier warning and this hint from the Sorting Hat's song: "Well, didn't you think that bit about 'ancient land' and 'old spirits' was a little odd?" I'm guessing that Ellie's ability to talk to spirits is going to come in especially handy very soon.

The rapid fire dialog between Ellie and Ben is good, and I really like that - despite impending doom - you write with a light, humorous tone. I'm looking forward to the quips Ellie will utter in response to whatever dangers await her. :)

Author's Response: I'm even more sorry for writing this response so late!

I'm glad that it's humorous without being too in your face. I want people to read this, and feel as if what they've read is amusing, without it being like a slapstick comedy.

I thought the transitions were a little rough. I like your idea about the line breaks, however. Thanks for that!

Thanks for the wonderful review!


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Review #38, by Elphaba and BoyfriendsDevlin Potter: Riddle and Rescue: Feverish Thoughts

25th August 2013:
Hi, Elphaba back again!

You have a talent for raising intriguing new questions with each chapter. :) Right away, this one fascinated me with this line: "No one should know about his plan." What is the plan? Not only that, but who, in his feverish state, does Devlin think he's struggling against?

Zee is adorable in this chapter as well: "Zee was in front of him, laying on the bed with his head off the edge, staring."

I like the bit about Harry bribing Severus with snake venom to make cherry-flavored draughts, and the revelation that he keeps snakes. I'd never considered that Harry might want to keep them before, but it makes sense. Beside their usefulness, it would be pretty cool to converse with your pets. :)

I was sure that something bad would happen during their outing to Diagon Alley - an attack or threat of some sort - so I think they were lucky that there was only the one strange incident in the bookshop. This moment raised another question: who was it that spoke to Devlin? It was obviously someone he recognized, and I wonder if it could have been Draco Malfoy? What was in the note that made Harry so upset? At first I pictured Draco (or whoever) standing on the other side of the bookshelf, so the mention of a hole threw me off. How would anyone know what books Devlin was going to pick, and thus be able to put the hole in the right place?

The Occlumency Geoffrey practices on Devlin is one last fascinating element that I want to mention. The actual practice of it was never entirely explained in the books, so it's always interesting to see how it's used in fan fiction. I really like your interpretation; both Geoffrey's usage of the waves to hide Devlin's memories and Severus's analysis of it.

The final sentence adds even more depth to Geoffrey - is it loyalty to Voldemort that drives him to hide Devlin's potentially dangerous thoughts in order to protect the boy as ordered; or is it a wolfish loyalty to wolf pup Dubhan that drives him?

I really enjoy mulling these questions over, they're part of what make's this story so fun to read. :)

Author's Response: I do like making people think and admit to finding some satisfaction with "leaving people hanging". In this case, it is a fact that Devlin feels he must protect more than anything else, even in his dreams. I think it's clear that Devlin believed himself to have been "caught" doing something he shouldn't have.

Cherry flavored potions - YUM. It seemed like a thing Harry or Alexandra (or any muggle raised magical person) would think up and Harry seemed like he type of person who would be brave enough to ask Severus. We'll meet the snakes later, but the question is can Devlin speak to them?

Uh oh, no the 'hole' was the space created when Devlin removed the two books. I figured this person had followed him and tucked himself on the other side of the shelf. I'll try to correct that so there isn't any confusion.

I'm so glad my portrayal of Occlumency seemed well-done. It just seemed to make sense to me that there must be differing levels of it, from thinking about something else, to being able to fabricate lies on the spot. Geoffrey wouldn't have wanted Devlin to come across as 'dumb', just as not able, because that would have been the way Voldemort would have wanted it. Also, I suspect that if your mind is used to being invaded, it might cease to learn how to protect itself.

You have to remember that Voldemort sometimes recklessly uses powerful magic that he does not entirely understand, because he does not understand love. He connected Geoffrey to Devlin - made him aware of Devlin's well being. This wouldn't have meant the same thing to Voldemort as it does to Geoffrey, because Voldemort himself does not feel. Infact, I suspect all Voldemort would get through the connection was the physical pains because you cannot make someone feel what they are incapable of (it is probably different with the Horcrux connection). Voldemort has never felt LOVE so how would he know what it felt like if he did? But Geoffrey takes away more from the connection - he feels when Devlin is upset, not just physically injured and when those emotions become his own, in a sense, it has to create a deep desire to keep the boy (and thus himself) safe at all costs.

Also, I feel like Geoffrey took his order maybe differently than others might have. He saw Voldemort telling him to keep the boy safe at all costs and felt like the Dark Lord was making him responsible for keeping the boy safe "at all costs" including from Voldemort himself. He explained to Devlin that once he was captured, he had to give Devlin to Potter, because Devlin would no longer be safe with Voldemort. In a way, Geoffrey really hasn't wavered in his loyalty - he has followed his directions to a T.

I love that you notice all these details and mention them - in a way it really helps me solidify what I mean by it all. :D

Thanks for the review and I'll be back for more! (Gotta upload all those chapters...I hate having to wait to upload one at a time...)


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Review #39, by Elphaba and BoyfriendsDevlin Potter: Riddle and Rescue: Frozen Freedom

24th August 2013:
Hi, Elphaba here! I have been a bit slow again, but the good news is that I've read this chapter and the next one already. :)

I enjoyed this one, as always. One thing I wondered about in the first section is whose point of view it follows. The opening sentences made me think that it might be mainly from Sirius's POV, but you show some of Remus's thoughts, as well. Showing multiple POVs isn't a problem at all! I actually like this. :) However, I was occasionally confused by who "him" referred to, such as here: "When he had gone through the floo, the Death Eater's amber eyes turned to him and narrowed." I eventually figured it was Remus, I was just a little confused at first. Shifting between "Death Eater" and "werewolf" when referring to Geoffrey also threw me off at first, because Remus is also a werewolf. If you do any editing of this chapter, it wouldn't hurt to clarify some of the pronouns.

I really like your depiction of Devlin's attempted escape. Your writing is very vivid here, and I could imagine everything playing out in my head. I especially liked the description of Devlin kicking and screaming in Harry's arms; he doesn't like to acknowledge that he's still just a boy, and yet he reverts to childish behavior when he's caught.

I was very surprised when Geoffrey told Devlin, "This is where you belong." He seems to care for Devlin even more than I gave him credit for earlier. I wonder who or what Geoffrey is protecting him from? I like how complex Geoffrey his, and how complex their relationship is, as well.

Finally, I love Snape's appearance at the end of the chapter! :) Your description of him - from the "herbs and spices" smell to "endless black eyes" - is dead on, and his dialog is great, too. He seems to be using a bit of reverse psychology on Devlin, saying that if he's not a fool he'll "easily adapt to a new set of standards." Having him fixate on Harry's eyes for a moment was a nice touch. :)

This sentence from a little earlier in the chapter has me intrigued: "Her blue eyes, so full of fear and wariness, reminded him of another pair of blue eyes." Who does that other pair of blue eyes belong to? The context makes me think that something bad happened to another person he knew. The very last (chilling) sentence seems to support this: "He remembers her screams, her pleas, and her fear." I am also dying to know what dark secret Devlin is hiding from Harry. Could the two be connected?

Author's Response: Ugh, you pick up the good and the bad. Don't worry, I love you for it. ;) I really struggled with the first section - Sirius makes an odd mix to the otherwise 'werewolf' mode and I knew I had switched it around too much - I will keep it in mind when reediting (I read all of a chapters reviews before tackling it again).

I'm glad the attempted escape was well written - it was one of more favorite things to write. Geoffrey was really pivotal in this chapter, planting the idea in Devlin's head that he doesn't entirely have to flip his world upside down to accept his place with the Potters. Devlin will come back to it later.

Snape! Oooh, I loved writing him here! :D I really wanted people to know it was him right away before you had seen his name in writing. And yes about the reverse psychology - I think he knows a bit what makes a boy like Devlin 'tick'. There were some important parts I hope you also noted: 1) when Severus saw Devlin for the first time, he flinched 2)
"Excuse me, but I thought you had named him Devlin," (Snape only defends things that are important to him).

Remember how I said I put names out there like J.K Rowling - like Sirius in the first book? Well, I do the same with memories. I really really like when a reader is hit with the realization that they had been given the clues, bits and pieces, way way back there to figure it all out. ;-)

As always seeing I had a review from you gave me a thrill and I am onto the next review with a huge grin!!!



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Review #40, by Elphaba and BoyfriendsMyrtle: Myrtle

21st August 2013:
Hi, Elphaba here! I enjoyed reading this piece quite a bit; sorry for being so slow with the review.

I really like the intriguing list of feelings that kick off the story -- I interpret them as a catalog of Myrtle's feelings. There are a few inconsistencies in the words that I might edit to improve the flow, though. Instead of "Anger," you might use "Angry." Instead of "Fear," try "Afraid." And maybe "Submission," Could become "Submissive." Finally, I might remove "Death." because "Dead," is used earlier.

You do a really great job of capturing Myrtle's desperation for human contact. I love this line in particular: "I can feel the loss of attachment and breaking bonds. But I cannot feel the physical pain that I so oddly long for. I want to feel

Almost everything that you include about Myrtle's life and afterlife fits with how I see her, while shedding new light on her character. For instance, even though I never imagined her having a boyfriend, the bit about her first boyfriend that she never got to kiss fits with the aura of misery that she seems to project. There is just this one statement that I don't think quite fits with everything else: "I was a happy person." :)

Finally, I really like the way you used the quote from the challenge. It was a great choice to pair it with Myrtle, and I like how you change it to first-person at the end: "When did I last laugh?"

:) Great work!

Author's Response: Elphaba :) Hello!
I'm sorry I'm so slow with the reply.

I have realized that maybe there are too many words, and some parts-of-speech type of consistencies. That will definitely be a do-over when I edit this.

If I may be slightly shameless, I'd like to tell you that I kinda like that line too, and I'm glad you got the emotion behind it!

I thought that maybe adding a casual human touch; a little bit of what we all have, into the story, I would be lending relate ability to her character. Again, when I edit, I'll see if that line does fit. I put it there to emphasize on how much she has changed, from happy to absolutely bitter.

Thank you :) I feel like I did make a nice choice after reading reviews like these :)


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Review #41, by Elphaba and BoyfriendsA Rodent Revealed: A Rodent Revealed

16th August 2013:
Hi, Elphaba here with your requested review!

First of all, I think this is a really cool idea for a story. The first-person, present tense perspective works really well to create tension.

I really like this line, it's very Peterish: "As usual, my brain fails me. Panic and adrenaline are coursing through me; ideas are not." :) The description of Peter's attempts to chew his way out of Ron's pocket are great.

I'm not entirely sure about Peter's memory of Remus: "He had grown suspicious of my behaviour lately; I could see it in the way he looked at me." Whether this suspicion is in-canon and in-character may be debatable, because Remus and Sirius admit that they suspected each other before the Potters' death. It's possible that Remus remembered things differently than Peter did, though. :)

I think you do present tense well overall, however I did catch a slip-up here: "I do not hear Remus asking Ron to see his rat, I simply feel a hand grab me..." The first phrase, "I do not hear..." doesn't quite work in the present tense, because if he didn't hear Remus, then how would he know that he didn't hear him? Unless he's looking back at this events from a later time, he wouldn't have the perspective to describe what he missed. That's the only bit that stuck out. Overall, you maintain present tense quite well.

I like the "Tick tock" refrain, as it helps to build up the tension towards the story's conclusion. Right around here: "Ron clutches me closer, unbeknownst to him he is condemning me to death..." I think you could use even more description of Peter's struggles to get away, and how his imminent death affects him physically and emotionally. You want to escalate the tension all the way to the conclusion and his big reveal!

I like how you end the story with Remus's line from PoA. Thanks for sharing, this was enjoyable to read! :)

Author's Response: Hello! Thanks for responding to my review request :)

I can definitely see your point about Remus' suspicion being out of character, I was actually thinking about him and Sirius being suspicious of each other and wondering if that would also apply to Peter. I think that the war would make people paranoid about a lot of things and wanted to include that from Remus' side (worrying about Peter's behaviour) and Peter's side (worrying that Remus suspected him) if that makes sense?

The line you pointed out about tense makes sense too, I can't believe I missed that! Thanks for pointing it out :)

I'm glad you liked the 'tick tock' I wanted to use it to build the tension in the story, your advice about Peter's attempts to escape is really helpful too, I'll be sure to edit that part when I come back to this story :)

The ending was a favourite part of mine so I'm pleased you liked it too. Thanks so much for a very helpful review!


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Review #42, by Elphaba and BoyfriendsCareful What You Wish For: The Dementor on the Train

14th August 2013:
Hi, Elphaba back!

I enjoyed the ride to the train station that kicks off this chapter. I could feel the tension in the crowded car as they argued over the radio report about Sirius Black. However, Marcella seems a little young for nine here: "'Mummy, can I go to Hogwarts, too?'" I think she would understand that she's too young to go; and instead might whine about how boring muggle school is.

I really like the quidditch discussion between Dani and Oliver. The dialog is entertaining: "'You only like them because of all the popularity they've been gaining lately,' I said. 'And because they've got that ridiculous team anthem.'" :) Even the anthem is funny.

One nit-picky canon detail in Kat's description of the events of CoS seemed slightly off: "But the worst thing was that the castle had been so dangerous, we hadn't even been allowed to go and see our best friend." Harry and Ron go to visit Hermione in the book, so I think that Penelope's friends would have been allowed to visit her, too. I do like how you addressed her traumatic memories of her petrification, though.

It was also really interesting to see the Dementor attack from another perspective. I think you get everyone's reactions just right; especially Penny, since her traumatic past would give the Dementor more fuel to torment her.

Finally, I think you did a nice job of introducing the romantic aspects of the plot; both with Kat's friends teasing her about Oliver and her inner monolog about being the only one in her group to not have a boyfriend. I really enjoyed this chapter! :)

Author's Response: Hey there! Thanks for coming back!

I'm glaf you enjoyed the car ride - I often feel that I do a terrible job at making the first couple of chapters of a novel interesting, so I did my best! And thanks for that idea about Marcella, I definitely might have to steal that!

Again, I'm glad you like the discussion between Dani and Oliver - I really do enjoy writing those too!

Hmm, yeah I see what you mean about that! I may go back and see what I can do! But I definitely felt it was important to mention Penny's petrification. I don't think that would be an easy thing to forget!

Thank you for the great review!
Courtney:)


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Review #43, by Elphaba and BoyfriendsDear Al: Hogsmeade

13th August 2013:
Hi, Elphaba back again!

Building on my review of the previous chapter, I have a suggestion: include brief paragraphs at the beginnings and/or ends of chapters to show where Harry stops/starts reading, along with some kind of reaction to what he's read. I think this would enhance the flow, and it would also just be really interesting to get adult Harry's reactions to the events in Snape's diary. :)

There were a lot of great momenta in this chapter. For instance, I like the part where Lily wishes out loud that she was in Ravenclaw. The face she makes when Snape suggests Slytherin shows that she really doesn't want to live there, and is just trying to not hurt his feelings when she says, "any house without Potter." I think your characterization of her in this section is spot-on.

I also like it when Remus plays the chaperone by telling James that, "Hexing Snape isn't going to impress Lily." He seems a little bolder here than he generally is in the books, but maybe that's because Sirius isn't around to tease him. :)

I noticed a minor slip-up at the end of the first section: "They walked backed to college slowly..." I assume you meant castle, here.

In the second section, I like how you show that Snape isn't always being bullied through his conversation with Avery in Hogsmeade. I like hearing the Slytherin perspective on things: Lily is "bad news" because she's in Geyffindor, and the dark magic shop seems to fascinate Slytherins in the same way that Zonko's drew the Weasley twins. :)

I'm looking forward to seeing Snape's perspective on more of the events from their school days!

Author's Response: Hi again! :) Good to see another one from you!

The more I think about it, the more I wonder about how writing it from that perspective would be. So maybe I'll change it a bit. But that would mean a LOT of changes. So I'll probably still continue with the third person and include Harry's reactions or something. I'll think about it.

Haha, thanks :) I loved writing these smaller versions of Snape and Lily. And I love hearing that I got the characterization right! Thank you :)

I've always thought that Remus would have to be the one setting James on the right path now and then. Not that he was successful. But Remus was sort-of dutiful. So I've tried to show that too. Also, I love the Marauders. except for Peter. Had to bring them in somehow.

Oops. I didn't notice the 'college' thing. How embarrassing! I'll change that soon :P

Haha, them Slytherins! I loved writing the conversation between Avery and Snape.

Thanks again :)


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Review #44, by Elphaba and BoyfriendsDear Al: Park Swings and Chaste Kisses

13th August 2013:
Hello, Elphaba here! :)

I really like how you showcase the doubts that Lily expresses about their magic, and the way that Severus attempts to reassure her. Their interactions flesh out the bare bones of their story from The Prince's Tale, and also shows Snape's nicer side (even if he does mention making Petunia cry). :)

One very little thing: "Cherry Blossom trees" should just be "cherry trees." You nicely show that the trees are covered in blossoms by saying that they've bloomed and by describing the colors.

You say that you didn't enjoy writing this chapter, and that some of your ideas didn't make it on to the page. The one thing I feel is missing is a direct tie-in to the prologue. Since I imagine that Harry is reading this chapter within the pages of Snape's diary, I would like to see it formatted as diary entries with dates at the beginning of each interlude. I would also like to see it written from Severus's first person perspective, just as he would have written it.

At the end of the chapter, I would like to see Harry's immediate reaction to these diary entries. It wouldn't have to be extensive, just a little teaser to carry readers through to chapter 3.

Despite missing these elements, I really enjoyed reading about Snape's (doomed) dreams for their future. I'm moving on to chapter 3 right away to see what will happen next! :)

Author's Response: Hi Elphaba! :)

Haha, yeah. 'The Prince's Tale' helped me make it more Canon compliant (because I'm a canon-freak). I also thought that it gave me some great ideas to carry forward their story! And yes, I also wanted to show other the shades of Snape's character. However, there had to be some tendency towards evil in him. It wouldn't have sprung up suddenly :P

Thank you :) I was not aware that just Cherry Trees would also do, because it's called by different names i different places. Bit of a confusion there!

I had decided not to make it very diary entry like on purpose. For a few reasons. One of them was that I didn't want to limit this to a short diary entry about each episode. Also, I am skipping many entries, obviously. I thought the freedom was more like this. I do like the diary entry style, but I thought this would be better. maybe I'll change it when I find the time! Thanks :)

Thank you for the lovely review! I'm glad you decided to read on :)


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Review #45, by Elphaba and BoyfriendsDevlin Potter: Riddle and Rescue: A Brillant Plan

11th August 2013:
Elphaba back again!

There's a lot to like in this chapter, and really nothing much to critique. :)

Devlin's walls seem to be caving a bit (though, not enough for him to stop manipulating Harry, of course), and I like how you focus on the love he sees in Harry's eyes as a catalyst for his doubts. The "power of love" theme connects to the original series, showing how you've stayed true to Rowling's vision even as you've established an original, alternate turn of events for the characters.

His complex relationship with Remus is fascinating, as well. I think you do a really good job at portraying Remus's restrained mix of kindness, guilt and affection for Devlin - it seems similar in some ways to what he felt for Harry as a boy, but different because of their werewolf connection.

I also like how Devlin's connection to Zee presents him with an idea for escape - I'm guessing he will steal the dog's collar to get through the door?

I'm also amused by how baffled he is by polite behavior exhibited by the other characters - for instance, Remus saying that he apologized for punching Geoffrey. You use the snippets of memories and quotes from Voldemort well - including just enough to show how Voldemort's influence affects his thinking.

I also like the revelation that he promised not to escape from Voldemort so that he wouldn't hurt Emma. This was hinted at in chapter 6, I think, and I'm glad that that question was answered.

I'm adding this story to my favorites because I'm enjoying reading it so much! :)

Author's Response: Eee! Glad to see you back.

I punched the air at "nothing much to critique". Woot!

I'm ecstatic you picked up on the "power of love" theme. You pick up on all these little things that I put there purposefully and it makes me insanely gleeful!

I think Remus will always feel guilty toward Devlin and it just seemed in his nature that even when someone is saying "you saved me" he would feel bad that he might have hurt you while getting you out of the way of a killing curse. By the way, there is a hint there, just for you. ;)

You're a good guesser, too.

I picture him as being just plain perplexed and befuddled at apologies - not by one itself, but by one given to someone you are in control of and aren't controlled by. I am sure he wouldn't have been baffled if someone apologized to Voldemort, but the fact that Geoffrey is already in Remus' control...but you probably knew all of that *squee, I love your keen eye!*

The Emma deal will be hinted at more as we go forward. There are some big surpasses up ahead. Like Rowling I try to throw character names out that you will think are insignificant until they reveal themselves later. Like 'Sirius Black' in the first chapter of the first book. :D

I'm glad the Voldemort snippets work well and aren't distracting.


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Review #46, by Elphaba and BoyfriendsDevlin Potter: Riddle and Rescue: The Other Werewolf

11th August 2013:
Hi, Elphaba here! I read this chapter a little while ago but didn't have a chance to post my review right away, so I've re-read it again just now. I have to say that I'm very impressed by your storytelling, and am discovering new things on the second read-through. :)

I like the interaction between Devlin and Remus in this chapter, of course; especially the way that Devlin's wolfish side responds to Remus. On that note, Devlin's growing connection to Zee is very touching, as well.

I wonder about the situation where Remus bit Devlin; was it purely by accident, or was it calculated in some way? I seem to remember an earlier hint about this, but my imagination may just be playing tricks on me. Either way, I'm hoping that more of the event will eventually be revealed. Tonks seems to be completely out of the picture, which I'm fine with -- fans seem to be split on whether Tonks and Remus should be together, and I can go either way.

Another thing I noticed in this chapter is your effective use of sensory details - hearing soft footsteps and sizzling bacon, smelling grease, feeling Zee's soft fur and slurphing tongue, seeing Alex's blue eyes - the only sense that Doesn't really get used is taste, but then Devlin hasn't eaten much. What will he taste when he does eat?

Draco's interlude is intriguing; I like the appropriate shift in tone that comes with his POV. I also wonder whether he's going to cause trouble in later chapters? I like that every chapter raises new questions for me to wonder about.

I love all the little details you include, like Devlin's annoyance at being seen wearing pajamas with whales on them. :)

I'm moving on to the next chapter right now, before I grow too lazy!

Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review! I really needed it (I'm having trouble with a repeat flamer on the other site this is hosted at). *sighs contently* Now I think I can look at this story again.

Remus biting Devlin was not an accident, per se. It was as you said, 'calculated' and Remus was entirely cognizant during the event. It involved a three year old Devlin and a failed Harry-Killing attempt.

Tonks ... honestly that's another of those "this was written before book 5 even came out" things. I distinctly remember I already had 6 chapters written when the 5th book came out...

I actually have a side story to this story (I'm rewriting it) and I deal with the Tonks issue in it kinda. In that story Devlin travels into the cannon world during the final battle in his own world and when he is telling Teddy about Remus Harry remembers how afraid Remus was of hurting a child and realizes that biting Devlin might have just been the 'end' for him in even allowing himself to think of having a child. That is probably true, but at that point Devlin hasn't shared the extend of his world with them, and I think seeing Harry's son taken from him probably deterred a few of Harry's friends from even thinking of starting a family right now.

:D that you noted the sensory details. I am pushing there 'werewolf' thing, because it is important that you get that feeling - that Devlin experiences his world in a different way.

I had fun writing Draco and yes - he will be making some trouble, although perhaps not as much as he wishes.

If you were the Dark Lord's heir, wouldn't you detest pajamas with WHALES? LOL.


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Review #47, by Elphaba and BoyfriendsTicking: Before The Beginning

8th August 2013:
Hi, Elphaba here with your requested review! I apologize for taking so long to post it!

I love your idea to tell the story of Voldemort's grandparents! It's unique and full of potential. I'm curious to see where the story will lead.

Your characterizations of Marissa and Marvolo are quite interesting; I like that you describe them as opposites. I also like that despite all the Outstandings she's earned, Marissa is a bit of a rebel. Like their schoolmates, I wonder what initially drew her to him? Is it because she sees him as a rebel, too?

Voldemort was born in 1927, so I imagine this story taking place in the 1890s. Historical fiction can be tricky because of all the differences in things like clothing and dialog. In some spots, their dialog seems too modern. For instance: "'I dunno.' Marvelo gave a one-shouldered shrug." I think he would pronounce the entire phrase "do not know." You could look at stories from that period like Sherlock Holmes or Oscar Wilde to get a feel for the way people talked.

One last thing that stuck out is this: "Thinking he had gone off to talk to some snakes..." Instead of "some snakes," I'm curious about whether there were specific snakes that Marvolo would seek out. Did he have a favorite, or would he hunt for new snakes to talk to? A little detail like that would tell us more about him.

Thanks for sharing your first ever fan fiction story, and good luck with it! :)

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Review #48, by Elphaba and BoyfriendsCareful What You Wish For: Brothers and Sisters

2nd August 2013:
Hi, Elphaba here with you requested review!

I like the banter/conflict between Dani and Kat over the pop-tarts that kicks of the story. It helped to grab my attention, and made me want to learn more about them both.

Triplets seemed a little over-the-top at first, but I think you pull off the bickering between all three of them well -- making it humorous rather than annoying. While you show how Kat, Dani and Bran are different and spend a lot of their time fighting, do they also stick up for each other? And are there any traits that they share in common?

Quidditch rivalries -- in this case between Dani and Oliver -- have been written a lot, but it makes for an interesting romantic set-up. I'm guessing here that Dani and Oliver will eventually become an item? ;) You can make the quidditch fresh by exploring a new angles with it -- it'd be fun to see why Ravenclaw's team doesn't win very often. For instance, do they spend to much time concocting elaborate plays or discussing the philosophy of quidditch?

The one thing that I think this chapter is missing is some mention by Dani of her lack of a boyfriend. I like that she is more focused on quidditch and not desperate to snag a boy, but because it's so prominent in the summary I think it would help to tie that element in at the very beginning. It doesn't need to be much; it could be a single exchange between her and Kat -- would Kat tease her about it?

I hope this review is helpful; you seem like you're off to a good start!

Author's Response: Hey there! Thanks so much for taking the time to review!

I have to admit, I love writing banter, so I'm glad the beginning of the story drew you in!

I was hesitant about writing triplets, actually - I love writing about twins (as I am one myself) but there are quite a few twin stories out there so I decided to be a little different. They do spend a lot of their time fighting, but there are often quite a few 'loving family moments' coming up!

Quidditch rivalries have been written quite a lot, so I'm hoping this one will be different! And I actually really like that idea of concocting elaborate plays and discussing the philosophy of Quidditch! I might have to steal those ideas, if that's okay!

Thanks for the review!
Courtney:)


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Review #49, by Elphaba and BoyfriendsThe Prankster and The Prefect: Black Markets and Falling In Love

1st August 2013:
Hi! Elphaba here with your requested review. Hermione and George is definitely an unusual pairing, but I like the falling-for-her-friend's-older brother angle.

One thing you could do to improve your writing would be to use additional punctuation to break some of the longer sentences into more manageable bites. For example: "In all fairness it was common knowledge throughout Hogwarts that there was a Black Market with Firewhiskey, powdered dragon claw and anything else you could think of was readily available to anyone who asked around enough." I would put a period after "Market," and begin a new sentence with "Firewhiskey."

Also, watch out for words and phrases that you use repeatedly, such as "however." Can you think of other ways to get your point across? I sometimes make it a challenge to find alternatives to repeated words that turn up in my own writing.

To spice things up a bit, you could also replace some of the sentences that describe Hermione's thoughts and feelings with her internal monologue. For example: "She tried to brush it off as just him chatting however she was just rather curious as to where he'd disappeared too. She told herself that he was probably talking about Quidditch with Ron or Alicia, however curiosity soon took the better of her." These two sentences could be rewritten as: "'Now where has George run off to?' she wondered. She tried to shrug this thought off. 'No matter. He was probably only chatting with Ron about quidditch. Why should I care what he's up to, anyway?' Still, she couldn't quite shake her curiosity."

I do really like your description of the awakening that Hermione experiences in response to George. I can see why he would appeal to her over Ron, he thinks to hold the door for her, for one. :) Their relationship begins so sweetly, despite him being up to some illicit activities. I like the interior battle between the Ravenclaw and Gryffindor potions of her mind; of course Gryffindor wins. ;)

To keep things interesting, it would be great to explore the tensions that develop as a result of their secret relationship. The story summary hints at troubles to come, which I think is a very good sign. Will they wake up in time to get back to their dormitories before anyone misses them? Will Ron notice that anything has changed? Will George be able to keep a secret from Fred?

I'll be moving on to Chapter Two to see what happens next!

Author's Response: Thank you for the review.

I do see what you mean about the long sentences. It is something I'm notorious for but maybe that's just as a result of reading so much Livy constantly! I will try to have a look and change some of the sentences to accommodate this! Also I know I overuse however and I do try to avoid it as much as I can!

For me I'm not a fan of internal monologue as its not really my style but thank you for the pointer.

Hermione does have an awakening and I think the love potion really helps towards the end as it gives her a lot of confidence!

As this is a short story collection the next scene is actually at Bill and Fleur's wedding but it will touch on a lot of the tensions that have been created through this and the problems they've faced.

Thank you so much!


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Review #50, by Elphaba and BoyfriendsWhen They Fell: Come and Go

31st July 2013:
Hi, Elphaba back for chapter three! :)

I found one minor grammar issue near the beginning that stuck out: "look of appall," appall is a verb, so the phrase should go, "appalled look." There are other occasional very minor grammar glitches, but your punctuation and spelling are very clean.

I like the sweet relationship you establish between Nicholas and Cecelia, especially the is-she-magical-or-not question. However, I think she acts a little young for a 10-year-old. I think she'd be able to talk about what their father is doing without saying he's "jumping on the bed." I also think she'd be used to Nicholas leaving for Hogwarts every fall, and so might express a little more resigned bitterness rather than the hurt feelings that she seems to feel in the later section.

I was a little thrown off by Neville and Hannah at the Leaky Cauldron, because I thought they owned The Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade. Was this an intentional change to tje canon, or a slip-up?

The sections with Ginny (both her appearance at the leaky Cauldron and the flashback) provide some intriguing details that raise as many questions as they answer. It's obvious that their family, friends and the public have taken Harry's side in their breakup, so I wonder what she has done (aside from leaving Harry) to turn people against her. What has she been doing with herself in he intervening years? Why is she desperate for a place to live and work, now?

I really like the Weasley family dinner that closes the chapter. The banter between family members feels natural, and you do a great job of juggling all of the characters. You also do a great job of showing Lily's continued horror at the murder she witnessed. This is my favorite scene in the chapter! :)

Author's Response: Thanks :) I'll go change some of the mistakes. The reason Cecelia acts the way she does is because Nicholas has babied her and kept her sheltered something that will become apparent much later in the story. The Leaky Cauldron/ Three Broomsticks thing was a slip up and then I realized that I had messed up, but it became an important part of the story and I didn't want to change it, but I was hoping people wouldn't notice that :P. The questions with Ginny are something I cannot answer, but the story will in coming chapters. Thank you I had some fun and difficulty writing that chapter and including everyone, so I'm glad you enjoyed that. Thanks for the lovely review.

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