Reading Reviews From Member: caoty
151 Reviews Found

Review #1, by caotyThe Defeat of Voldemort: A New Path to Travel

14th April 2013:
Hey there, I'm from the Gryffindor Review the Person Above You thread. :)
I chose this one because I'm a fan of both AUs and one-shots, and this had no reviews; I hope that's okay.

This one-shot has to be one of the more interesting ones I've read recently. The ambiguity of your plot and your spot-on characterisation, particularly of Ron and Hermione, combined with the simplicity of your language make this refreshingly different from a lot of fic on HPFF.

You've also got a few excellent turns of phrase, such as:
his grip on the wizarding and Muggle worlds were beginning to strangle it.
You really know how to pick your metaphors, and it shows.

I've got a couple of criticisms for you, too:

First of all, your sentence structure and punctuation can often get a little too simplistic - because while that works for the majority of the one-shot, it gets somewhat monotonous because you like to use a lot of full stops in places where more varied punctuation and complex sentences could be used instead. This is probably just a taste issue on my part, but IMO you could stand to change it up a little.

A couple of minor things before I shut up:
"I TOLD YOUR 16 YEAR OLD SELF THAT WAS NOT TRUE," The first voice cried out.

Voldemort paled.

First up, your grammar's wrong - the dialogue should read:
"I TOLD YOUR 16 YEAR OLD SELF THAT WAS NOT TRUE," the first voice cried out.
'The first voice cried out.' does not make sense as a standalone sentence.

Secondly, I'm not entirely sure Voldemort would have enough knowledge of Harry and diary!Tom's interactions in CoS to be sufficiently intimidated by this.

Also, wouldn't Ginny be a bit more wary of following friendly yet mysterious things, particularly boys, after CoS?

Anyway, feel free to disregard my criticism if you don't agree with this. It was a pleasure reading this story, and I wish I could have written a more helpful review.

Well done!

Author's Response: Thank you very much!

And thank you for the corrections in grammar. I will work on correcting the mistakes and update it. I am always looking for ways to make my writing better.

My thinking for Voldemort reacting to the voice's assertion is that Voldemort would remember when he made the diary his Horcrux and his views have not changed since he made the Horcrux. The realization that an unknown person interacted with his 16 year old self would mean that person found his Horcrux and possibly destroyed it.

Yes, Ginny has shown to be more cautious of following mysterious things. But in this instance, after having grieved for a long time, when Harry appeared and called her, she took a chance. Ron and Hermione both recognized the voice, but couldn't see who it was. And because they believed Harry to be dead, didn't think that it could have been Harry.

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Review #2, by caotyWaiting Room: Green Eyes Against Blinding White

13th April 2013:
Hello. *waves* Tagged you in the Gryffindor common room.

I like your James, but then I'm sure you knew I would; first person and BTF!James are two things which I like and as such it was pretty much inevitable, really. Even despite that, though, you've done very well with James' voice - he's likeably immature as well as being self-aware and reflective. And also fairly well-adjusted, despite having just been betrayed and murdered and faced with having to wait God knows how long in a room where there is literally nothing except his wife. (Me being picky, I'm not entirely sold on that last bit, by the way, but I'll get to that later.)

Having James suffer from temporary amnesia was a very good narrative choice, meaning you didn't have to write a super-emotionally-charged adrenaline-overdosed traumatised character right away because that'd be way difficult, both for you and for your readers. You've also used it to establish James' character - very clever. You're really good at this whole structure thing, is what I'm trying to say.

Lily's character is one I'm not too sure about in this fic, actually - I get that she's a bit preoccupied, but emotional!preoccupied!Lily seems much more the kind of person who is going to have some sort of ALL CAPS angry/dramatic moment than be all calm and spaced out and stuff. I don't know. I think it's just a matter of taste, really, because your Lily serves as a counterpart to your James fairly well. And also because it's been ages since I read a L/J fic.

So, anyway, apart from that - which you can disregard because I'm really sleepy - and an odd instance I saw near the beginning of the word 'blasted' as an adjective, which is a bit anachronistic, despite how posh James probably is, I loved this. Of course I did. I'm predictable like that.

Author's Response: Hello, mon ami!

I'm really glad that you like James's voice. I really tried hard to balance him out and not veer too far in either direction -- "mature James" or "childish prankster James" -- when I was writing it. You know me, I loathe one-dimensional characters.

I was having a similar thought when I started this. The mind deals with traumatic events in pretty amazing ways, and "easing" James into the realization of what had happened seemed like the kindest way for his mind to treat him. I also wanted the story to build for the reader, in a "is he or isn't he?" sort of way.

I didn't think of Lily as being preoccupied so much as she's worn down by the time that she encounters James. James's death, while violent and needless, was fairly quick. Voldemort simply disposed of him and moved on. Lily's death was longer in coming. She had to listen to James die from the top of the stairs, then Voldemort offered her the chance to live. The way I'd imagined things, she also goes through her own process of figuring out what's happened and suffering through the realization before she and James "find" one another in the waiting room. So by the time she and James are talking, the poor dear has already shed most of the tears she's able to shed and she's running on fumes emotionally.

I'm really glad that you liked it. You tend to pick up on things that not a lot of other readers notice or comment on. I like that. Keeps me on my toes. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #3, by caotyDevlin Potter: Riddle and Rescue: Midnight Routines

13th April 2013:
Hey, it's me (finally)!

Harry's characterisation is absolutely stellar in this chapter. In the previous chapters, you've established his character as AU!Harry, who is a different person because he is fighting a different war; in this one, however, your portrayal of the massive amounts of love he has for Devlin/Dubhn and Alexandra relates him back to canon!Harry, even as we can clearly see he's capable of threatening to 'peel apart' Geoffrey's mind. (That's a nice little turn of phrase, by the way.)

That said, I'm not a huge fan of the idea that Harry is a good enough Legilimens to implant information into someone's mind. I know that right now it's not extremely important to the plot and why am I even complaining about this, right, but judging by the kind of stuff Harry gets up to in canon he seems to be more of a hit-and-run thief with his magical style - he's more likely to take something from someone's mind, in this case, than add to it. If that made any sense at all.

Having written that, though, I've realised the canon divergence point - assuming there is one - for this AU is one of the earliest ones I've seen (apart from the alternate parentage/Sorting ones). It'd be really helpful to us as readers if you'd mention somewhere within the story where in the HP timeline this fic diverges from canon - it's messing with my understanding of this story, which is a shame, because this is really good otherwise.

Now that I have stopped rambling on about a throwaway line - Geoffrey's PoV was interesting in this chapter too, because it's so different to what we've seen of him in previous chapters. Your use of run-on quasi-stream-of-consciousness sentences to describe his panic and pain after he's arrived at the safe house feels natural, and it's a pleasant surprise, since you don't often get that kind of language in action/drama novels.
(Yeah, I notice the most random things, I know.)

I did notice in this chapter that you've had a fair few technical issues. There are probably more typos and places where you accidentally a word here than in the previous couple of chapters, and either you're having a formatting issue or you're using italics far too much - by the time I reached near the end of this chapter, your italicised words had ceased to have as much impact on me than they probably should have done.

Well done writing, though - this is probably my favourite chapter so far, despite all my criticism, for its emotional intensity alone - and I can't wait to see what Devlin turns out to really be like. You'll be seeing me around in the future, that's for sure. :D

Author's Response: Glad to hear that, for the most part, Harry came across as believable. :)

Throughout the story I try to make hints at the part of Voldemort's soul in Harry. Canon!Harry lost Sirius and Dumbledore and even though that troubled him deeply in the books (which might be an understatement), I imagine losing a child is something all together different. I think the anger and fear and 'jadedness' allowed the bit of Voldemort's soul to dig a bit deeper in him.

In the first chapter when Harry has Geoffrey pinned to the ground I describe him using a calm voice that he only uses when he feels rage. "An oddness bloomed in his chest and his magic always flared."

In chapter three I try to hint at it again: "Harry was always the most lost when he was feeling nothing at all." “I can peel apart your mind,” Harry said harshly, feeling that anger consuming him again. [...] Harry should stop, but he didn’t, because when he got like this - so angry, furious, wanting, needing, demanding - it was almost impossible to stop." I do think Harry could probably tear Geoffrey's mind apart, because that would take less skill than leaving a mind in tact. Harry even admits later that: "He hadn’t been entirely sure he could have gotten the information from the man with force." I think that comment was mostly bravado.

The next part, about implanting the information kinda made me laugh because I totally didn't link that to Legilimency! I figured there was probably a spell or something to implant a location into someone's mind - after all you have to be able to picture the place you are going and I doubt most people are good enough Legilimens to do that. When I edit the chapter perhaps I'll say "I'll use a spell..." or after say something like: "There were spells that could do that. If Harry were a better Legilimens he might have been able to implant it more concretely, but he had become especially good at the spell."

The divergence issue. Yeah. I know. You see when I started this story way back in 2004 (hence me rewriting it), it was not as much an AU as it is now. We didn't know Harry would marry Ginny. Remus was still alive! We hadn't even met Tonks! So...I actually have to go backwards and identify in my own story when it changed.

There was more of a 'war' earlier. There was no tricking Harry to come rescue his godfather in this story - there was war. And during that war, Harry met Alexandra (I do know how, but I'm considering posting a side-story one-shot so I won't reveal how here). Later I imagine Harry will tell Devlin that "sometimes when you think you are going to die, you do things you wouldn't have otherwise" which is just what Harry did when he slept with Alexandra. Obviously she got pregnant and they got married.

Now Harry had something that wasn't out of his control - it counted on HIM in a different way than his friends or this women he had fallen in love with. It NEEDED him. He stopped being so rash. He started making sure he was more informed and he stopped being a boy who followed Dumbledore's ideas blindly - he couldn't JUST be a soldier - he was a father as well. In some ways he probably put off the true 'battle' because he feared he would lose and Devlin would lose him like he had lost his father.

So I hope my ramble wasn't too long and annoying and I hope it explained some things. I am definitely working on putting the information out there, although I think it will be in the form of a couple one-shots.

I'll also look into the formatting issues and reconsider my italics. I tend to get into a mode and perhaps use them more than I should. ;-)

And woot about it being your favorite chapter so far!!! Please so come back!

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Review #4, by caotyBetter Days Than These: There are boys, and then there are boys... and then there is Draco Malfoy.

5th April 2013:

I hadn't noticed that there's always a weird as hell dream in Mary-Sue fic which is going to vaguely prophecise Something Important until you parodied it. I learnt something new today! Seriously though, I honestly can't wait to see in what random context the glowing green alphabet come up again. Or even if they don't. I'm not very fussy.

The cookie-baking scene was genuinely adorable; Terrence's awareness of Peony's Peonyness and him still kinda liking her anyway is just cute, and I'm actually starting to hope they get together. Because Roderick is obviously cheating on her and Draco is using her. Obviously.

There is a point to this review, which is: your reconstruction of Mary-Sue tropes and blending them with the growing reality of war is nothing short of masterful.

Author's Response: Ah, hi there!

Haha! Actually, I had originally intended to use gratuitous flashback sequences, but something inside me tried to die when I attempted it. Hence, the dream sequence appeared. Aww, you liked the glowing green letters! That's cool.

Obviously all of those things are true. :) Because it just couldn't be any other way in a Mary Sue, right? Terrence is the epitome of every girl's dream to... well, that's in the last chapter, so I'll hold off on that instead of giving away spoilers.

Thanks so much for appreciating my story for what it is. I hope you get the chance to come back for more! This review was better than fudge cookies!

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Review #5, by caotyThe Steps to Insanity : Prologue

5th April 2013:
Hello - long time no see, eh? I was gonna read BTF but then I saw this and you know how much I love our Bella.

This is lovely. You've got a real rhythm to the language here, and it works really well with the fairy-tale-style narrative and the fantasy and all of it.

Your use of second person here, as always, is pretty interesting, too. The only way I can think of it is that it's as if she's talking to herself, which is not something I'm sure I've read as a second-person narrative technique before, so that's actually pretty damn awesome.

I love it already. But then you knew I would - I didn't see any typos! :D

Author's Response: caoty!!! I haven't seen you in so long!!! I'm sending huge hugs at you. HUGE HUG.

Her talking to herself is really the closest thing I can think of this being. I almost think it's a bit more... deranged than that, though. I'll be mixing third person and this narrative throughout, and this one only comes up whens he's feeling very... Bellatrixish. Haha

Yay for on typos!!! Thank you so much for this lovely review ♥

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Review #6, by caotyIn the Night: Prologue

5th April 2013:

Right, first up, I owe you a massive apology. I wish I had a decent reason to not have reviewed this sooner; the truth is, it's just lots and lots of little things that took up my time and things like challenge reviews get pushed aside.

Anyway. The mystery and suspense in this prologue work extremely well - I'm unsettled by the evil... things even though I'm not entirely sure what they are. (I'm tentatively guessing vampires.) It's actually led me to try and deduce things from the words you use, even though I could just read the next chapter. xD

You've also got some lovely turns of phrase. The repetition of 'dark, desolate' and that final image of 'watch[ing] the sky light up as the world burns' were fantastic. :)

Author's Response: Hey!

It's okay! I'm horribly slow when it comes to reviews and responses (obviously... *hides*).

Ooh, unsettled? I'm glad! :P The things... I will say that vampires are involved. BUT not the only ones... ;)

Thank you so much. And for reviewing!


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Review #7, by caotyBrain Activity: The Zombie Lord

5th April 2013:

Ahem. Right. So. This is amazing, and I'm sure you know that, but I'm going to tell you it anyway - the way you've blended the humour and drama reminds me a lot of Shaun of the Dead, which is one of my favourite films.

Hermione's characterisation is interesting. It's very easy to see her as someone who would try to do everything and fix everything the way she does here, and who focuses almost entirely on what she feels needs to be done, which puts a distance between her and the others... it's very realistic and very Hermione.

There's not a lot that I can think of to say here - I'm a bit crap at this reviewing thing, tbh - but that this bit:

"H-Harry?" She gasped, looking at his face, which was pockmarked and unsightly.

"Rarg," was his reply.

was perfectly set up. It's funny, but at the same time it's devastating. I don't know how you do it.

And now I'll shut up, but expect to see me around in the future. I'm kind of like that.

Author's Response: Hello! I am so excited to see you here reviewing my story!!

I'm so glad you like the humor and the drama, that is something that I was trying to do, because this story can never take itself too seriously.

I'm also glad that you think that Hermione is well characterized. I always worry since I feel like Hermione would know better but I think that there is this whole other emotional component that would come with losing her best friends that we might not see in the books.

I'm so glad that you are here and I look forward to more of your reviews!! You're a great reviewer, don't put yourself down!! :)

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Review #8, by caotyPhotographs: one/one.

5th April 2013:

So this was really interesting to read because I'm in the same position as Dominique right now - I'm leaving high school in a few weeks. I think a lot of people are, actually, especially as you've made Dominique so relatable, which isn't easy to do - that feeling of nostalgia mixed with a weird kind of dread is a difficult one to capture in words, and you've done it wonderfully.

I did notice a couple of typos, so you might want to look over that. Otherwise, well done! :)

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Review #9, by caotyLight the Way: Eyes

8th March 2013:
Hello, it's me again. I'm going to be reviewing as I read this, so this review may turn out to be either horrible or brilliant.

Your imagery at the beginning of this chapter is gorgeous. This line in particular:
A trail of blood was smeared through them and into the darkness inside, a morbid parody of a red carpet.
was like a literary punch in the face. In the best way possible. And that image of Draco and Astoria as marionettes... bloody hell, that's dark. Well done, Ms. fox. Poor Scorpius.

I'm also liking how we're getting more of Albus in this chapter. His situation is almost unique, because his dad is the Harry Potter, Boy-Who-Lived, Master of Death, and so to someone like Albus it feels like he shouldn't, can't, ever die. It's gotta be devastating, not just because his parents are dead, but also because if that guy got killed, what chance is there for you? I have all the Al feels right now. And Rose's reaction to his grief is utterly understandable. You're much better than I am at character interaction.

Speaking of Al feels. Oh my God. Oh my God, he did not just stab himself in the eye. That's amazing. Your cruelty to your characters makes for a damn good read. And the callback to Rose's dream in the previous chapter make it all the more chilling.

Your characters' thoughts sound like real thoughts - your mixing writing styles is pretty cool, actually; while most writers, myself included, would struggle to make it not sound jarring, your writing flows naturally. The repetition and the fragmentation of Rose's thoughts just works, really well.

Teddy's death was handled extremely well. It's a long, drawn-out, torturous disintegration, and yet it's oddly beautiful - again, your attention to detail. You've got a lovely visual style of writing.

I would perhaps suggest more focus on non-visual description - like, for example, with all this blood everywhere... that has a pretty distinctive smell.

Anyway, I hope this review wasn't a complete train wreck, and happy writing. :)

Author's Response: Hi again! It is dark, and I was sort of nervous about posting it because I thought everyone who read it would think I was crazy. I was also very nervous because there are a lot of sensitive topics in here (duh) and I was worried about whether I'd handled them well.

So, your review really means a lot to me. As does your suggestion of adding more sensory detail, which I'll definitely work on.

Thank you so much, it was a great review. :)

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Review #10, by caotyLight the Way: Teeth

8th March 2013:
So I actually didn't forget about the horror/dark challenge. Who'd've thunk. Sorry, I'm just a huge procrastinator.

That beginning is one of the more original I've seen. It's almost funny in a morbid way, and it would be genuinely funny, but your attention to detail when describing the witch's appearance, contrasted with Rose's pessimistic logic, makes it real and tragic.

Rose's characterisation is definitely a huge strength of this fic so far. She struggles between having a real, human empathy for people like the witch at the beginning, and wanting to keep herself, Albus and Scorpius alive and somewhat well for as long as she possibly can, while all the while she believes death is the only real way to really escape her situation. She's a logical yet complex and contradictory character, which is not often something I can honestly say about a fanfiction writer's depiction of Rose Weasley. Her commitment to her family is absoutely lovely and desperately sad at the same time, and it's the pretty things, like the toy car and the bracelet, and the ugly things, like the dream-image of Victoire's eyes having been ripped out, that show that with a ton of style and impact. It's clear to see that you've really thought through Rose's character.

Scorpius is an interesting one, too. You've characterised him as a lot more practical than Rose, though as of yet I'm not sure to what extent - and out of the three of them, he is the one who needs that physical expression of love to keep him going. We haven't got as much detail about his and Albus' characters as we have for Rose because of the way you've chosen to write this, but you've given us enough character detail to keep us interested. Which is great, really.

Minor detail: you've got a typo in this sentence:
The candlestick dripped hot was onto her fingers but Rose did not let go.
It's also in your summary, so you may want to take another look at that.

Anyway. This is a good, solid start to an interesting fic, and I'm looking forward to leaving you the review for the next chapter. :D
And congratulations for co-winning teh tarik's challenge!

Author's Response: Thanks for stopping by! Also, thanks for the challenge! I was totally out of my element when I started writing this, but it's been a fantastic experience and it's really helped me to grow as a writer.

I love your insight on Rose and Scorpius. Seeing them through someone else's eyes, rephrased, really helps me to think about them in different ways.

Thanks again!

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Review #11, by caotyGrowth: dull as dirt

2nd March 2013:
Hello. I'm here. Finally. Sorry. And this review, like all the ones I leave for you, will be almost entirely incoherent.

You have an amazing eye for detail, and it really stands out here. Merope's scalp after making so much Amortentia is one that stuck with me in particular - actually, all of your description about how Merope's body slowly disintegrates, almost, as the baby grows is just beautiful, even though it's actually kinda ugly and may have put me off having kids for life.

The underlying theme of, well, growth is very strong throughout this one-shot, and you know how much I like underlying themes. Merope and Tom Sr. are shown as not growing, with Tom's stone-ness and Merope's disintegration and soil-ness, which is reflected and reinforced by her pica. Which was, by the way, very One Hundred Years of Solitude-y, so you get points for that too... especially since I just loved the Rebeca/Jose Arcadio 'ship.

Anyway. Moving on. The imagery you associate with growth... I may have a slight fear of plants from now on and it'll all be your fault. That's all I can say, really.

There's always a danger with these character-centric fics that the magic of the Potterverse is forgotten by the author - I know I do that a lot - so your ability to interweave magic and Wizarding culture with this kind of story is impressive, and it feels completely natural. It's lovely. Well done.

One minor thing I can't seem to move past: you know how at the beginning, in like the chapter summary, you've introduced the idea of dullness, right... I don't see it enough in the rest of the fic to leave an impression, and I'm wondering why it's even there. Could you explain that one to me, please?

Anyway. Thank you for entering this into the challenge. :)

Author's Response: caoty ♥ hollooo.

first, to answer that minor thing: does the catchiness (sort of) of a summary justify its irrelevance? :P Because obviously there's nothing about constellations in this fic and I'm not fond of reading about constellations in fanfic anymore. But I read that bit on Wikipedia and was quite interested in how JKR got the name for Merope (the one from mythology who married a mortal and became mortal and faded away some crap like that). As for the 'dull as dirt' bit, which is the title of the chapter although it really doesn't need a title because it's a oneshot...well, I think that might be slightly more relevant. I just combined a couple of things: first Marvolo calling her a 'sack of muck' in HBP, and Harry describing Merope as really 'defeated-looking', and also at first he was unable to distinguish her from her surroundings, because she was the colour of the dirt floor or something like that. Whatever, I'm making it a lot more convoluted than it actually sounds. As for how exactly dullness is relevant to my story...erm well...Merope is kinda dull isn't she? :P OK, sorry, this paragraph is an absolute waste of space. You're like, the only reviewer who is sharp enough to pick out all the tardier bits of my writing despite what you keep saying about your reviews being useless and incoherent blah blah etc.

Ah, 100 Years of Solitude ♥ I started reading this like, three years ago and still haven't finished. But I love the book to bits and am still reading it at a very very very very slow pace.

I thought the plants in my fic were actually the good guys :D It's the humans that are the bad ones :P But ah, your comment made me grin. And reminded me of M. Night Shyamalan's stupid movie, forgot the title because it's something really's the one where all the plants in the world start emitting neurotoxins which make people commit suicide.

Gah, thanks so much for all your amazing compliments ♥ Always love a review from yooou! And thanks for holding the challenge, really pushed me to the limits, this fic.

you're too awesome.

♥ teh

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Review #12, by caotyLimbo: One Shot.

2nd March 2013:
Hello, I'm here from Review Tag.

Okay, so - Pansy/Harry. I quite like this 'ship, and it's difficult to find especially post-DH, so thank you for writing them.

Anyway. Moving on. Your imagery's lovely; your description of Harry's wedding band is particularly effective, as is the implied image of Harry sitting in Limbo and having to decide between Heaven and Hell. He's completely trapped in his own desires and decisions.

I will mention, though, that I think this particular line:
The room was dim and smelt of dust, wax and ink, hanging thick and low in the air, mixed with a delicious hint of vanilla, sandalwood and peach.
might be a little too much - it's not easy to differentiate six smells from one another, because they diffuse in the same air, after all.

The flow of this one-shot almost seems effortless, which suits its quiet, first-person, introspective nature extremely well, and makes its 'in medias res' time frame (setting?) seem natural instead of jarring.

A bit more criticism before I shut up: I'm not completely sold on Pansy. It's probably just a side-effect of your choice of more introspective narration for Harry, but I don't get a real sense of Pansy other than baby blue eyes and sexual tension/possible temptation. I'm not really sure how to feel about that because on one hand this one-shot might be more about Harry's self-absorption and desires than anything else, but on the other hand Pansy is a distinctive enough character in canon that I'm wondering if Harry shouldn't have more complex feelings towards her.

Anyway - well done on writing this (I did enjoy it, despite my criticisms), and I'll see you around on the forums. :)

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Review #13, by caotyCreep: Creep

17th February 2013:
Hello, I'm here for your challenge review. Eventually.

I swear you just wrote this to win. It's got basically everything I like: Radiohead, creepy!Snape, Gothic horror (I know you were saying Bronte vibes, but I got Tell-Tale Heart vibes, which I infinitely prefer), some brilliant puns and the ability to reduce Dan to just over a paragraph. You sneaky, sneaky Slytherin, you.

(Yes, apparently I do read other people's reviews. 'cause I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo... etc., etc.)

I like how you've just hinted at the sex (or more specifically the not having sex) and the domestic violence in that first bit; it feels so much more Victorian. He's the kind of guy you could imagine using the word 'self-abuse' in a non-ironic way. He's repressed and a bit anachronistic, and just generally sort of displaced and alienated, which is exactly how I see him. And, of course, it goes so well with 'Creep'.

You've got some lovely language going on, too. The imagery is somewhere between beautiful and uncomfortable, lines like
I can almost feel a hint of red hair, of bewitching green eyes, burned into the skin of my eyelids.
...that sounds painful, even if you don't take it literally. And it works.

And the dehumanising pronouns and descriptions Snape uses for Lily, James and Harry, the contrast between the warmth and colour associated with her and and dark and cold associated with him - she's almost like a particularly pretty vase, or something - I don't need to go on, do I? You know all this; you wrote it.

Last thing before I shut up - I'm pretty fond of the idea that Voldemort may actually exist in this AU, just that no-one's figured it out yet. :D

Author's Response: Hiss!

Hahaha, I was worried it would look like I wrote this specifically for you! In truth, I had this Snape-murdering-James-and-being-NASTY plunny floating around in my head for a long time, and then every time I heard Creep I thought of it again. When you set your challenge I did come up with a Bronte-esque/Woman In Black sort of thing about Albus and Gellert, but then Snape/Creep came back to mind and I realised it was perfect for the horror/dark genre.

I actually love that you picked up the Tell-Tale Heart vibes... I've been watching The Following and feeling quite E.A. Poe-y!

Yes, yes! Victorian! Creepy as hell! I love the 'non-ironic self-abuse' point you've made, you're completely right. This Snape is not a happy man. Well, neither is JKR's Snape.

Doesn't it go well with 'Creep'?! As I was writing it I kept hearing more and more songs that suddenly became about Snape, 'Mr Brightside' and 'Always' (Bon Jovi) amongst them. CRINGE.

Oh my, how do you manage to put a twist in the tale IN YOUR REVIEWS?! You. Oh, you. This may be the only review I've ever had where the final line made me shudder and sort of want to cackle and rub my hands together evilly.

Thanks for setting a brilliant challenge. I want to write more dark/horror... You've got my blood lust going. *HUGS*

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Review #14, by caotySomething to be Used by Others: Something to Be Used by Others

16th February 2013:
Ooh, experimental. You know how much I like experimental. And Countess Bathory, too, who's always fascinated me because she's just so hardcore. (And also because I wouldn't have been in danger of becoming a victim of hers.)

Anyway. Your characterisation of her is lovely - you've got that mixture of sharp, cynical observations about the nature of human mortality, with a sort of petulant childishness in her complaints about the way her victim's arm is swaying in the water. She may be really old, but she definitely ain't mature, which kind of goes with the lack of empathy and serial killer/torturer thing.

Speaking of those observations - the attention to visual detail here is also well done. Oily eyes, trickling hair, darkening water, oozing tears, rotting flesh... there's just this underlying theme of filth and decay which goes well with Bathory's status as the unholy undead. And, of course, of sexuality - the description of her victim's body as 'meat' and, of course, the title drop... I don't need to tell you this, you wrote it. It's excellent, is what I'm trying to say. You're definitely a film student. XD

I would say that you could've done with a bit more non-visual imagery here, though. If she's bathing in diluted blood, it's gotta stink, and the taste is fairly idiosyncratic. You've also got a couple of typos you might want to look at.

Anyway, this was lovely, thank you for entering it into the challenge. :)

Author's Response: Hey!

You make a good point about non-visual imagery, hm. Especially for this story, since the underlying theme is all about physicality and decay. Repulsion definitely comes first through smell, being instinctual and all that. I'll see what I can do! I think I didn't even consider adding smells was because I wanted to show Bathory as, in a way, above all of the decay (physically anyways). While the corruption is indeed a reflection of her moral state, it isn't a reality for her physical state. She is concerned about herself being pure and physically superior, so I felt that she wouldn't imagine the blood as disgusting (after all, she is in very direct contanct with it). But I do see how the feeling of the text seems somehow incomplete. Maybe I'll add more tactile details instead...

I'm glad you picked up on the sexual implications in the title. I was trying to be subtle and not go overboard with ideas of abuse and gender, so it's good to hear that the hints I left are clear nevetheless.

Ugh, typos. Yeah, I'll go fix that.

As to Bathory, I have also always found her fascinating! On the one hand, because everything about her seems so over the top isane. But also because her behaviour and her story represent the time she lived in very well. Coming up with creative ways to destroy eachother was basically a hobby in those days. But her desire to go after girls is interesting on many levels. Misogyny is not something only men can feel, after all.

Well, thank you for a wonderful and helpful review!

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Review #15, by caotyPretty Broken Things: .

10th February 2013:
Hey, it's me (obviously), finally getting around to reviewing the entries for the horror/dark challenge.

So, I'm going to kind of be reviewing as I read this - possibly not the most clever idea I've ever had - so apologies if I don't make sense at all.

Minerva's characterisation is pretty damn good here; she juggles a fierce desire to love and protect people with her moral principles, and doesn't quite manage it as much as her later self would have. I've basically just got all that from the lines:
'You know what he is now.

You know what he wants.

You know.
Absolutely perfect, then, so far.

Tom, too, is looking pretty in character so far, which from the tiny tiny number of Minerva/Tom fics I've read, is pretty rare. The almost stream-of-consciousness-y way you've chosen to present how Minerva hears and interprets the gossip about him is lovely: those whispers are insidious, and they have powerful implications which put Minerva into a very difficult position. (Or, y'know, maybe I'm just overanalysing a few lines. I dunno.)

That said, I'm not sure I understand what Tom's motives here are in manipulating Minerva. Is he trying to mould her into what Bella later becomes? If so, he's chosen the wrong person to do it to, and he should probably be able to work that out by way of whatever of his Legilimency he's managed to develop. If he just wants a strong magic user on his side, she's not worth the amount of effort that he has to put in to getting her.

If he actually means what he says, well then - that sounds like fun. I'll stop speculating now and get back to reading.

This line:
"Insanity becomes you, darling."
is gorgeous. A bit melodramatic, sure, but then Tom is a bit melodramatic, so it works.

That break-up - oh, darling. Your imagery there and the depth of emotion is just really well done. As was that last line.

Technical bit: you've got a few typos, mostly things like confusing 'its' with 'it's' and the like.

Anyway, you should be proud of this, because it's gorgeous. Thank you for entering this into the challenge! :D

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Review #16, by caotyDevlin Potter: Riddle and Rescue: Only Blood

29th January 2013:
Hi, it's me again.

Geoffrey is just full of surprises, isn't he? Your characterisation of him is refreshing compared to the usual stereotyped Voldemort-supporting werewolves who exist in fic; he's mysterious, and seems to be a rather level-headed and caring kind of guy, despite or maybe as well as possibly being a huge racist.

Speaking of full of surprises, Devlin. Or Dubhán, as he should probably be referred to from henceforth. I Googled that, by the way - 'little dark one' does seem to fit Dubhán well, although I'm kind of hoping he finds himself a more flexible name.

Okay, so I don't have a lot to say about this chapter because this is mostly a build up to whatever's going to happen next. I'm really sorry..

To continue the bad news, your tenses and spelling could do with a bit of work - this was particularly weird in terms of the former:
"Well Geoffrey, now it's your god damn turn to 'prove it'!" Potter's magic, seeping from him, was deep and calm; Geoffrey was reminded of the boys own magic when he hasn't decide if he is furious or not. Potter's voice is demanding and intimidating - Geoffrey has opened a door that can lead either to his safety, because of the importance of his information, or death, because he would be the one person in Harry Potter's grasp who had aided in the imprisonment of Devlin Potter.
I get what you're trying to do, but I think you're using present tense where you should be using conditional, which is confusing.

Anyway, as I'm sure I said in the last review I gave you, this looks like fun and I'm very interested as to how this'll end up. Well done! :)

Author's Response: Thanks for the review. Yeah, I know about the tenses - it was originally written in present tense and I think a few things slipped through in the earlier rewritten chapters.

I was wondering who would look up his name ;)

Geoffrey has certainly proven to be an interesting character to shape and portray.

Thanks again!

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Review #17, by caotyHaven : Apologies

29th January 2013:
Hellooo... long time no see, eh? And you've written all this stuff I haven't read.

So, you've done second person differently to how most authors try (and usually fail) at it - it feels like you're talking to Snape here, rather than trying to make us become the character, and it feels so much more personal this way. I don't know if I made sense at all, but what I'm trying to say is you've done this whole second person thing pretty damn well.

As for characters - Eileen is exactly how I'd imagine her, pretty much. It would be incredibly difficult for someone in her position to leave Tobias, DV or no DV, because she's sacrificed so much for his ungrateful sake - but, of course, Snape doesn't know that.
Eileen and Lily also have a lot in common for Snape - magic, light, and either perceived weakness or innocence respectively. I'm not trying to imply an Oedipus complex or anything, but it's easy to see why he'd be drawn to Lily.

I'd actually really like to see you write a fully Eileen-centric fic; I think the part with her and Snape's interaction and his assessment of her was definitely stronger than Snape's and Lily's meeting, but maybe that's because Eileen's character is far more complex and interesting than child!Lily's. I don't know.

Anyway. I'm sure academica loved this, so well done. :D

Author's Response: Hi m'dear! I'm sure you know how hard it was for me to write a positive fic about Severus, so I'm really happy you think it turned out well ♥

That's exactly what I felt like while writing this. This big up in the sky thing talking down to Snape. Yay that you liked it!!

I wish I could say that the stronger first half had to do with more complexities on Eileen's part.. and we should probably just pretend that's the case. But honestly, I just couldn't keep it up for long. It was so hard for me to give Snape and Lily that light kind of interaction, and I had planned to take it much farther, but I'm just not a strong enough writer yet to keep my own personal biases out of Snape's head. Speaking of Snape's head, I think Athene Goodstrength's one shot for your challenge, Creep, is published. She sent it over a few nights ago for me to read, and let me tell you.. you're going to be in heaven with it.

Anyway, you know how much I love your review ♥ I hope you had a wonderful birthday, m'dear! And publish something new for me to read, will ya?! ;)

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Review #18, by caotyA Brief Description on Life as a Ghoul: My Long Awaited Opportunity

27th January 2013:
Hey, I'm here from Review Tag.

You know, I've never read a fic about the Weasley ghoul. I'm genuinely surprised; I thought I'd read basically every single canon storyline ever now. Hurray for there still being original stuff in this fandom! :D

Moving on. Your ghoul. I would, personally, love to see the Weasley ghoul get an Oscar; Rupert Grint ain't got nothing on him, I'm sure. Seriously though, I like the idea of this being the ghoul's big break. Maybe after the war a bunch of them start up an all-ghoul theatre troupe, or an orchestra (I'm impressed by Mister Ghoul's ability to play Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture on the pipes btw; I can barely do the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy myself. But anyway, enough of my awful attempts at humour.)

I will say that your grammar's decidedly odd, by which I mean there's commas all over the place and few where they should be - while I don't generally think that's an awful thing, it's a bit weird, so it might be an idea to proofread again.

Other than that, this was a fun, unique little read, and I'd love to read more about your ghoul's spectacular, fully improvised performance as the one and only Ronald Weasley. :D

Author's Response: Yay, I'm glad that you've never come across a story about the ghoul, so I'm glad I'm amoung the few, who wrote about them! Haha, that's a good idea about the orchestra! And yes my grammar, is awful, so I'll look that over now! And perhaps I'll write more about the ghoul, and his performances!

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Review #19, by caotyDevlin Potter: Riddle and Rescue: The Informant

27th January 2013:
Hi, I'm here from Tag.

Okay, so I love AUs like this so this was perfect for me to read, and as such this review will contain a lot of gushing.

(This is also going to be a bit of a rolling review, btw.)

Devlin has the thought processes of a kid who's around ten or eleven, rather than the younger age you were probably going for. I get that he's a prodigy and all, but... still. I'm reserving judgment for now, because he seems like an interesting kid.

The reference to antipsychotics is... interesting. I'm tempted to link your AU to canon by theorising that he's some sort of human manifestation of the Harrycrux, but I don't know if they exist here.

You've got some weird descriptions:
his blonde hair glittering under the starry night Draco Malfoy Edward Cullen in disguise? (Do Twilight's vampires' hair glitter? I don't know, but you get my point.)

Moving on. Voldemort's characterisation is excellent; he's sadistic and enjoyable to read. The hair-trigger temper and schadenfreude correspond to canon (which is actually rare enough to be remarkable, sadly, as I'm sure you know) and he's got some great dialogue:
"Come now, you must be as bored as I. Scream so we may get this part over with."
made me giggle.

Your less-innocent Harry is also a joy to read - you've written my favourite kind of Harry. He's not the most rational person in the world, but he does what he believes is right, he loves his family to pieces... it's great, and it'll be great to see how the interaction between him and our very very interesting mysterious new Death Eater develops. Or, alternatively, what Harry and Sirius do to him in the next chapter.

Dear Lord, that cliffhanger. Wow. Poor Harry. (And poor Alexandra, when she gets home.) This is a very good start to one of the better AUs I've seen in my (fairly short, mind you) time here, so well done, and you'll probably see me around in the future. :)

Author's Response: Thanks for the review! I love gushing ;)

The aspect of Devlin seeming older than he is has two tracks: one it is very hard to write a coherent sentence if I made it all HAVE to be at the level of a four years old thought pattern and two, there are some underlying plot points that will later explain some of his reactions.

I had to think for a moment when you mentioned 'antipsychotics' but then I remembered where you would have gotten that. I suppose 'antipsychotics' might be as close as you come to an accurate guess, except that there is another clue 'wolfish' to explain what it is all for. On that note, a wolf would have some instincts about fearful situations that a four year old might not...I'll leave it at that.

I haven't read or seen the Twilight series, so I have no clue about how my description of Draco's hair would link to that - it just seemed like what a four year old might notice in his circumstance. As you can tell, he was injured prior to the story opening, healed, and now he's being dragged through 'somewhere', behind the only person without a mask - he can't see his face and everyone else is black, so I figured Draco's hair would stand out.

I did very much enjoy writing Voldemort. ;) I liked his ending the best, because it was the only way I could imagine him not just killing the boy there and then - to save face and because HE hadn't gotten what he wanted yet - the scream.

I can't imagine Harry being any other way in this universe and I'm glad he came across as believable.

Thanks for the review and I hope to see you around again. :)

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Review #20, by caotyShades of Green: Hufflepuff and Proud

26th January 2013:
Hey. *waves* So here I am, finally fulfilling my end of the Gryffie Review Exchange.

Hufflepuff is probably my favourite House - I'm a bad Gryffindor, I know - and so it's always nice to see them getting recognition. Anyway. Onto the actual review.

I like your use of colour imagery here. Green in Harry Potter is, obviously, the colour of the Killing Curse, and so throughout this one-shot it reminds me uncomfortably of what will have happened to Cedric by the time we get to the end.

Cedric's voice is great, too. Despite the short-ish length of this, I've got a real sense of his personality and emotions, the qualities associated with Hufflepuff - The decision was easy though, girl or glory? Girl trumps every time. was a particularly lovely example of that - it just works really well.

To answer the question in your A/N, I'm not sure how insecure he'd feel about Harry's crush on Cho, or even to what extent he'd know about it. He is, after all, a pretty awesome guy to just about everyone - he sees Harry for what Harry is, which is an ordinary fourteen-year-old who gets shoved into extraordinary situations - not much of a threat, really. And, being awesome, he probably trusts Cho enough so that he'd assume she wouldn't cheat on him with Harry anyway. So I think your characterisation's alright.

Moving on. Could you please fix the spacing in this one-shot? It's a bit weird, and it's messing with my ability to read your fic. Also, you're a bit inconsistent with your use of contractions - lines like:
I cannot escape it.
seem a bit too formal, and consequently OOC.

Anyway. Well done, and I'll see you round on the forums. :)

Author's Response: Hello :)

Thank you for the review!

I'm really happy you liked the use of the colour green and Cedric's voice. The fact you said you got a good sense of his personality makes me really happy as I was worried I wouldn't get it right.

Yeah, I agree that he probably trusts Cho and he is pretty decent with Harry but still, if I could tell someone liked my bf I still would feel a little protective and jealous no matter how much I didn't show it or how much I trust him. That's what I was trying to get through anyway. I mean Harry's the saviour of the wizarding world and famous... it must be hard to compete.

Hmm the spacing gets on my nerves too, and trust me, I have tried to fix it a few times - honest. It still manages to create extra spaces I'm sure. I will go back and try again though. I've also noted your other point and will maybe look at changing a few of the lines when I get chance.

Thanks again for the review!

Lauren :)

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Review #21, by caotyThe Secret Life of Slytherins: Week One

16th January 2013:
Hey, I'm here from tag. *waves*

So I love minor character Slytherins, especially Tracey Davis, Daphne Greengrass and Theodore Nott. So this looks to be great fun.

I like how you've addressed Tracey's blood status, because the half-bloods of Slytherin - Snape, Voldemort - tend to be outsiders, and that puts her in a unique position. It does, though, feel as if she's been Sorted into the wrong House: maybe I'm reading it wrong, but Tracey doesn't seem as if she has taken the practical route to solving the problem of her isolation, as a Slytherin would. In this introduction at least, she seems to want to try and keep her head down and make friends and get out of Hogwarts alive, which is an attitude that is more suited to Hufflepuff or certain types of Ravenclaw or Remus Lupin IMO.
I don't know. Am I underestimating her? After all, we seem to have caught her at a bad time.

(Also, I really hope we see more Millicent/Crabbe. They seem like such a fun ship.)

Theodore Nott, on the other hand, seems like the quintessential Slytherin - he's manipulative, he knows what he wants and gets it. His personality clashes well with Tracey's, interestingly, and his plans for Tracey promise lots and lots of delicious drama to come.

Also, you get points for lesbian!Daphne. That's always fun to read.

Anyway, good luck with this fic, and happy post-NaNo editing. :D

Author's Response: Yeah Tracey isnt exactly what one would normally consider a Slytherin but I wanted to show that while you may be sorted into a certain house, that doesnt always mean that you are going to follow status quo, think of Peter and how he ended up as a coward and gave up his friends. Tracey probably would be more fitting for another house but yet she does have some slytherin qualities to her. Theo really is the typical slytherin and for him it will be interesting trying to get Tracey. Thanks so much for the review!


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Review #22, by caotyWicked Array : Welcome to my world.

16th January 2013:
Afternoon. (Well, it's afternoon where I am, anyway.) *waves* I'm here from tag.

So, this is an interesting idea, and not one that I've seen before in fic - a couple trying to become the next Flamels by creating a new Philosopher's Stone. The connection you've made between that and Dementors is also interesting, and I hope we get to see more of the magical/alchemical process behind some of the magical theory you've come up with here. I'd love to see how Roe and James (Jameson?) go about deconstructing Dementors. Because I'm a geek. :D

Some of the writing here could do with a bit of touching up, though. You've got a fair few typos and grammatical errors, and bits and pieces can be a bit confusing. For example, it took me a bit of detective work to figure out that Roe and Andromeda are the same person, and I'm still not sure what James' real name is. You could probably do with a line break or something to separate the soul-hunting scene with the Roe-and-Hr scene, too, because that threw me off a bit.

Anyway, happy writing, for both this if you've decided to continue with it past NaNo, and for Unexpected Expectations. :)

Author's Response: Hi Caoty!
Thank you for reading it through, I know my grammar and spelling are on the wrong. I've picked up some books on it so I can better myself. Sorry for the confusion, James is Jameason, I'll go back in and make it flow a bit better, intros are always the worst for me. Andromeda's original name was Alexandria. While editing it I think I took out to much of the first scene.
The dementors was so fun figuring out I just hope the story doesn't get shunned when I reveille it. UE is next, but I hope you come back to read more, after I have time to edit it of course. happy reading ~ Lady

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Review #23, by caotyThe Steep and Thorny Way to Heaven: Act III

15th January 2013:
Evening. *waves*

I'm not exactly sure how to feel about the jumping around in the timeline, but I can accept it for now; I hope it doesn't become too regular of an occurrence, 'cause it'll get confusing and this is too good to be confusing.

The similarities between Regulus' and Cygnus' characters really stand out in this chapter, especially with the conversation about funerals, and their status as a younger brother/brother-in-law who is to become the most powerful man in the kingdom. The way they act/react in those situations - Regulus' real and Cygnus' feigned hysteria, their relationships with their fathers and brothers(-in-law) - are extremely well done and create an interesting duality between these two characters. It'll be great fun seeing how you develop that during the course of this fic.

I don't know how large a role Kreacher plays in this fic, but the differences between Steep&Thorny!Kreacher and canon!Kreacher are interesting; your Kreacher seems to hold more affection for Sirius, and people in general. He's just generally nicer. I don't know whether that's because of your decision to give him the same racial status as everyone else, or because of his strict loyalty to Orion, or just a byproduct of your AU - are your supporting characters the same people in an AU, or somewhat different characters who fulfil the same function as their canon counterparts?

But anyway. More on Regulus. If Sirius is eleven, then Regulus is only about nine here, and yet he's a little too grown up for my liking. I understand that as a Prince he has a classical education from a young age, and yet lines like this
"I understand you're frustrated. I'm sorry, I wish I knew more."
make him sound as if he's at least twelve.

A different sentence (yes, I am pedantic as all hell, sorry) stood out to me as being a little unnecessary:
Regulus felt betrayed and angry that his brother would leave him to deal with their father's death alone.
It's just... you've already shown his feelings of betrayal, and throughout the rest of the chapter you've managed to describe Regulus' feelings in a beautifully emotive way and then this line seems almost juvenile in comparison.

I should probably apologise for being picky, so - sorry.

Cygnus is a fun villain. Blood purist, manipulator arrogant, murderer - he's easy and fun to hate. He worries about his plan, and yet he half thinks it's come through already. I will take great pleasure in watching his mistakes, especially when concerning one Matthias Kreacher.

Random question - how similar (and prominent) are the magic systems for this AU and canon's? It'd be fun to throw in some Legilimency and Occlumency or tracking charms and the like... although, from what I've read of your writing, your specialty is the interpersonal relationships of characters rather than world-building. Hmm. I should just wait and see, shouldn't I?

Anyway, this was lovely as ever. Well done! :D

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Review #24, by caotyA Lightness: not quite her name

14th January 2013:
Hey, it's me from tag, sorry it took so long.

Oh, dear. This is so beautiful and so emotional and yet half the time it goes completely over my head. I will try my best to not completely misinterpret it. (That's not criticism, by the way; I'm just not too bright.)

Well, from this fic, it's easy to tell that Lavender is, in fact, very alive. Your descriptions' focus on voices, fruit and light - all very associated with life, of course, that's why you chose them - are all (obviously, because it's you) remarkably well-crafted, so much so that this fic feels less like a written account of her life and more like as if we're watching it through her own personal lens, which is something I really admire in fiction writing as a whole.

Your use of sounds and alliteration, especially in the subtitley things (lithe, limber, lightning-struck, a lightness...) are lovely - because, of course, they sound like 'life' and 'alive'. I'm not sure I fully understood them, though; they sound good and they're connected with their sections if you squint a bit, but then that just makes them seem like decoration for a fic that I'm not sure needs it... I don't know.

Your use of light imagery... bloody hell. You've got the overall move from daytime to night to daytime, which is obviously something to do with Lavender Brown being alive that I haven't quite grasped yet. Divination is associated with both light and dark, which is to with erraticness and disintegratio and the like. (Incidentally, I feel like I'm trying to read tarot cards right now. I did say I wasn't too bright... sorry if my coherency is nonexistent.)

Anyway. Moving on. Both your OCs and your canon characters fit in well, and the way you've handled the ships in particular. I've never understood the Lavender/Ron ship myself, but you make it clear why she'd be attracted to him - he's awkward and growing, he's just as alive as she is in his own way. And Lavender/Padma is not a ship I've read before, but it's lovely. Both of these ships are meaningful, but they're still essentially true to Lavender - it's not twoo wuv at first sight or after a three-month relationship, no matter how much she wants to believe it is.

Okay, and there's so much I've missed in this review, I know, but this was amazing. Well done.

Author's Response: Aah, always find your reviews so amazing :DDD

I thought you fell asleep while reading this because of its insane length :p It's the longest thing I've ever written in one go and I'll never ever do it again. Arrgh. Arrgh.

and there's no such thing as misinterpreting my stories bahaha! that's why I don't usually say things directly or go straight to the point or tell a lot of stuff or something like that. well, what I usually try to do is create a scene or something and throw you the reader in there and let you figure out on your own. and I'm ALWAYS curious to find out what the reader infers or how things are interpreted. I don't believe that author intentions should be treated as the gospel truth and that whatever writing that's been made public is pretty much in the hands of the reader :DDD

I think I overdid all the imagery bit bahaha xD I couldn't get the idea of fruit out of my mind. I just. Couldn't. So I put it all in. And you're right about sounds and alliteration, especially for the titles of each segment. They're not that well-thought out at all (I was trying to post up before queue closure)...and I just couldn't think of some bloody that's why they come off rather forced and unnecessarily alliterative!

Oh I'm glad you thought I handled the ships well! T'be honest with ya, I did not enjoy writing the romance bits at all xD I spent those entire two segments of Lavender/Ron and Lavender/Padma cringing and feeling reaallly foolish. I quite /hate/ writing romance. Those bits were the first time I ever ever ever tried romance and gah...RL is so...unromantic and all shades of awkward and never happy in their endings... :( least for me bahaha! I originally intended Lavender to have a more fulfilling relationship with Padma - a happy complete one, to make up for that rubbish relationship with Ron - so there's a real sense of fulfilment of that aspect of her life or something like that. But as you can see my ambivalence toward romance really manifested itself and I sort of undid everything in the final segment. Bahaha! I'll never be able to write long fulfilling love stories xD

OK, thanks so so so much for this amazing review. I'm so glad and relieved that you like this story even though it needs to be cut in half! See ya in the forums :D


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Review #25, by caotyMonster: What Big Teeth You Have

9th January 2013:
Afternoon. *waves* Sorry about how long you've had to wait for this, I fell asleep and then woke up this morning with work to do.
On the bright side, I've read this chapter three times, so maybe this review will be slightly more intelligent than my usual crap. No promises there, though.

Your Memory Chamber thing's a really cool idea, you know that? It seems exactly like the kind of thing someone like Hermione would've pushed for in a post-Sirius Wizarding world. (Although maybe not on Level Nine, 'cause that's the Department of Mysteries according to the Lexicon. Level Ten is where Harry's scary courtroom is in canon, so maybe put it there instead? )
Your description of it is concise and it really works, too.

While your descriptions of the Great Hall are similarly pretty good, I feel like the structure of them is a bit awkward. It's easy to believe that the Great Hall is empty at the beginning because you start with the great cavernous rooms etc. etc. rather than the more immediate and obvious (and logical) OH MY GOD THIS PLACE IS FULL OF PEOPLE TRYING TO KILL EACH OTHER. I'm also wondering what kind of person Albus is for noticing the furniture first, considering this is mostly in his perspective... I don't know, maybe I'm just stupid?

As for Greyback... hmm. Okay, so he's how he would've been depicted in canon. Problem is, though, that JKR wouldn't have thought of this either: he's at least in his late seventies here - probably older - and he's spent over twenty of those years doing not much in Azkaban. As well as the fact that he'd have spent a part of his sentence in pre-inevitable-reform Azkaban. I'm not sure how agile he'd be at this point to be able to attack as well as he does, even if they are almost all distracted. The only person he should really be able to attack is Albus, who's had no training or any idea what he's up against... unless the Hit Wizards are still as useless as they were in the eighties.
Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong; I have no idea what I'm on about, probably.

It's pretty obvious you've read Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness, as the only difference between your Seamus and Thanfiction's is that yours says "lass" instead of "darlin'". :P
Anyway. The clues make sense now! The meeting between Seamus and Hermione makes a pretty good ending - it takes us away from all the bureaucracy and danger and reminds us of the quieter, sadder moments implied by canon. I was unsure of where you were going to take it at first, but it's nice. Well done.

Author's Response: So I've been pondering this review for a couple days now, not quite sure how to answer. I appreciate some of what you're saying and in other places I'm not quite sure what you're trying to say. I'll do my best.

The Memory Chamber solved a very significant problem for me. I didn't want to write a scene where umpteen members of the Wizengamot all line up and tumble headfirst into the same pensieve, one after the other. That just sounded dumb. So why not a room that's a gigantic pensieve? As far as Level Nine vs. Level Ten. Sure. You got me. If it means that much, please feel free to imagine it's on Level Ten.

At the very beginning of Hermione's memory, the Great Hall is empty. This is the time when everyone is outside, mourning Harry's apparent death and watching Neville decapitate Nagini. Then the action moves inside and yes, PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO KILL ONE ANOTHER! Albus notices the furniture first because he starts out looking upward, toward the partially destroyed ceiling, and gradually looks downward.

Greyback is definitely getting on in years, but he's still a werewolf and he has the element of surprise. I don't think the Hit Wizards expected him to try to escape because nobody else did.

I did read Year of Darkness and that version of Seamus definitely influenced the way he's portrayed here. This Seamus isn't covered with runes, however, or dabbling in dark magic. He simply can't abide the notion that the monster who killed Lavender is allowed to go on living. I'm really glad that you liked the ending. I thought that the way Hermione encourages Seamus to seek forgiveness and redemption made a nice contrast to the way she's determined to see Greyback die in prison for what he's done.

As always, I found this review to be challenging and though-provoking. Please feel free to stop by any time!

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