Reading Reviews From Member: apondinabluebox
  
125 Reviews Found

Review #1, by apondinablueboxRisk: Three

22nd October 2015:
Hello, Cassie! ♥

So I decided to leave a second review to hopefully make up for the 14k chapter I asked to swap with you -- and hello! A husband! A husband with a motive!

I agree with Kiernan here. For all we know, the husband could be using these letters to throw the Aurors off the trail, and killed Christine as practice for killing Abigail. The fact Abigail lives in Diagon Alley too suggests that the killer has some kind of connection to the place, although I'm reluctant to think he lives there because surely he wouldn't leave bodies on his doorstep? But perhaps he works there in a shop/the pub/a cafe? Maybe that's how he found his victims?

(Can you tell that I watch too many cop shows? :P)

I like Molly's sweetness. She wants to see the best in people, but she's very naive and inexperienced as an Auror. You're doing really well with her characterisation, although I'd like to see more of the other characters.

I'm finding it really interesting that the murderer's targeting rich women, but he doesn't want their money or expensive jewellery. It's a parallel to the Genevieve, who was going to run away from her rich family to be with the poor Charles. So what happened? Did something go wrong? And now this is revenge, the murderer killing "Genevieve" over and over again?

I love this story, Cassie, and I can't wait to find out more! ♥

Author's Response: Hello!
I watch a bunch of cop shows, too, and it's made writing this so much fun! I'm trying to throw in lots of twists so you guys don't figure out the mystery too easily! I've gotten lots of guesses and theories, and I really enjoy hearing what you guys think about who the killer is!
Molly really believes in "innocent until proven guilty." She doesn't want to accuse people prematurely, and thinks that getting on their good side or befriending them is just as good a tactic as coming in hard and interrogating them.
Thank you so much for another lovely review! I really appreciate it!
Cassie :)


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Review #2, by apondinablueboxRisk: Two

22nd October 2015:
Hello, Cassie! I'm here for our review swap! ^.^ I hope you don't mind me leaving my review on this chapter, since the first chapter had lots of feedback and this one had less reviews and needed some love. :)

You sparked my interest with the first chapter, and developed it further here. Molly as an Auror is something that's rarely seen in fanfic, and you've characterised her well here. You've given her traits from Percy, but also let her be her own person -- good job!

The love letters are so mysterious! How did the murderer get hold of Genevieve and Charles' letters? What does a romance from the 1800s have to do with 21st century murders? Could either of them still be alive? (Wizards do live longer than Muggles... unless they aren't magical?)

I love the banter between Molly and Kiernan! Although the serial killer striking twice in three days is worrying -- what's the urgency? What are his motivations? Why is he beating them up before using magic?

And the flashback was great! It helped expand upon Molly's characterisation, and gave us an opportunity to see some of the Weasleys, who haven't yet appeared in the present. Go Harry and Ron! Taking a prospective Auror around the department during the summers is a good way of helping them be aware of the decisions they're making, instead of having Molly enter training with no idea of what to expect. Although Percy's much harder to decide on, because while I can understand his need to make sure his daughter's safe, surely he should be more supportive and present his concerns more constructively? That's Percy, though; at least Audrey has some common sense, and it seems Percy does come round in the end if Molly's an Auror now.

The only thing that niggles me is that the summary says she's 28. If she went into training after school at 18, and training lasts three years, why is she still a junior Auror after seven years in the department?

Overall though, I love this story, Cassie, and I can't wait to read more! ^.^

Author's Response: Hello!
I'm so glad you enjoyed this! I'd never written Molly before starting this story, so I had a lot of fun exploring her character. I think she's someone who doesn't get written a lot on this site, which is sad because there are so many different directions you could take her character in.
I'm trying to draw out the mystery, so I'm glad you're curious about the letters!
I love writing Molly and Kiernan together. They're so close that they know practically everything about one another, and they work really well together.
I really had fun with that flashback, so I'm glad you liked it. I couldn't imagine Percy taking it well when Molly decided to be an Auror, and wanted to look at the moment he found out and how that made Molly feel.
In my mind she started training at 19, because she was 18 by the time she finished school, and started training the next year. With all the things they have to learn and perfect during training, I feel like three years seems pretty quick. I'd imagine they wouldn't want to send 22 year olds fresh out of training right into the field, so Molly would be doing less dangerous assignments around the Auror office for a while. Once she finally does get more field work, she turns out to have some pretty rotten luck, because her cases have all been dead ends. I think she just hasn't gotten a chance to really prove herself, and that's affected the types of assignments she's been given. She has to show that she can really handle the job.
I think since being an Auror is so dangerous, there'd be no harm in making sure new Aurors are really ready before they're sent out to catch dark wizards, which is why I thought she'd be a little on the older side. I have thought about making her a little younger (26 maybe?) so this definitely made me consider that again.
Thank you so much for the review. You gave me some really great feedback, and I really appreciate it!
Cassie :)


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Review #3, by apondinablueboxRadicalia: The world will die screaming...

1st October 2015:
Wow. This chapter completely blew me away. You've created a sharp contrast at the beginning, with Fred and stolen champagne at the wedding, a reminder of happier times -- and then ten words, and everything changes. It's very dark, but not so dark that it's depressing to read -- more like an eerie psychological thriller that you've procrastinated everything else to watch because it's just so damn addictive.

I loved the thought you've clearly put into this story and what life at Hogwarts would have been like. Having Death Eaters escort students onto the train and off the train to the castle, all the new rules and the things that students have to buy new, the debate about whether shampoo was a weapon Ginny was trying to smuggle into the castle (well, getting shampoo in the Death Eaters' eyes would be painful, haha).

You hint at canon Ginny with the complaints of wanting to run away to France instead of attending Hogwarts, not thinking of the effect it would have on her parents, and her wish for the Weasleys to have another ghoul. It's just one line, but it has an element of childishness to it, and that really highlights just how cruel the Death Eaters are. She may be sixteen, and have fought them before, and kick and scream and struggle -- but she's still a child. What comes after really highlights the tragedy of Hogwarts being occupied, and gives the feel of a lost innocence. (Or maybe I'm just overanalysing one line...)

Throughout the chapter, you've evoked a sense of... I don't really know how to describe it. The word I was going to use was overwhelmingness, but that doesn't really explain it. It's like something bigger than them all, something that feels impossible to change, but the slight hints of rebellion from Neville and McGonagall help to balance it all out so that it doesn't take over from the story.

It's a little strange to see this new perspective of Ginny. In the books, she's this feisty fighter, and here she's feeling defeated. That said, we don't see Ginny at Hogwarts in DH until the Battle, so this is entirely plausible. Personally, I think she focused on how to not go to Hogwarts over the summer as a way of distracting herself from Harry's absence, and now being at Hogwarts is making her face reality, and she needs to grieve the loss (well, he's not dead, but it's still a loss to her).

I really, really loved these lines: It had been her mantra since the wedding. A song stuck in her head, but it didn’t have a melody. Aaah.

Typos/issues I spotted:
“Harkiss, Mockridge, Selwyn, Rookwood.” -- the Slytherin boys are called alphabetically, but the girls aren't. Either you've transposed Selwyn and Rookwood by accident, or they've been called out in order of hierarchy, in which case this needs elaborating, as at the moment, it looks like an alphabetical error.
...deciding that her shampoo and conditioner weren’t cleverly disguised weapon. -- there's an A missing between weren't and cleverly.
She doubted that he was capable of such complex magic, it wasn’t worth taking the risk. -- this doesn't feel quite right. I think there should be a "While" at the beginning of the sentence, or a "but" after the comma.
“What’s this then, girle?” -- should be "girl" or "girlie"?

Overall, I completely loved this chapter. Once I started reading, I couldn't stop (oh and that bit with the first-year was utterly heartbreaking) and I cannot wait for the second chapter to be up! :D

PS: If there's anything you'd like to discuss, feel free to PM me! I'm sorry if I was too nitpicky!

Author's Response: Oh your kind words make me so happy!

I've never been much of a fan of the HP films, but there was this one shot in a montage during one of the DH movies of the students marching all militarized between classes and I thought that was really striking. Having to buy things new is a common "anti-smuggling" measure IRL so I thought that would make sense here. And then I figured that since WWW exists and there are things like enchanted quills, mainstreaming all the school supplies would be a logical choice to keep people from sneaking in banned things. And then yeah, that would make things harder for the Weasleys :(

I don't think you're over-analyzing that one line at all! There IS something simultaneously childish and defiant about this. Like, Loss of Innocence is definitely an issue through all this, but then the characters' teenagey-ness can also be a sort of strength, in a way. Like, DON'T MESS WITH TEENAGERS. THEY BE CRAY.

I think "overwhelmingness" is a great word here, and I'm stoked because that's exactly what I was trying to accomplish in this chapter :)

I like your analysis of Ginny, and how she'd really been focused on not attending Hogwarts and is now unprepared for that reality. And yeah, Ginny is always something of a feisty Super Woman, so I wanted to reveal some of her interiority. And like, WE know that she's scared and sad and stuff because we're in her head, but if someone were to just look objectively at how she acts here and what she says, she might come off as really strong and feisty.

Thank you so much for pointing out those typos and things! They've all been edited :) Definitely NOT too nitpicky AT ALL!

Thanks again so much for this swap and for giving me so much feedback :D

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #4, by apondinablueboxRadicalia: Prologue

1st October 2015:
AHH! Roisin, I'm so excited that you've asked to swap for this story, because I've heard about this story lots and I love your writing so I have high expectations -- and this prologue certainly doesn't disappoint!

I love how you've described The Burrow in the early hours of the morning and the Death Eaters' watching the family for a month. I seem to recall the characters saying in DH that the Death Eaters seemed a bit stupid, believing that the ghoul was Ron, so your take on how Nathanael lied instead is really intriguing. Immediately, you pull the reader into the story (why did he lie?!) and set the tone of what's to come: Ginny attempting to run away, fighting against the Death Eaters, the general oppression that's just felt in the air because this is how good your description skills are.

This feels horribly nitpicky, but the only negatives I can find are an extra line space between the fourth and fifth paragraphs, and I believe there's a comma missing from this sentence, "Well we shall see," Nathanael said. >.<

Everything else flowed perfectly; you described the events really well, while keeping them moving. And I love the unusual spelling of Nathanael's name! I wonder if we'll see him again...

*hurries off to read the next chapter*

Author's Response: Yay Isobel! Thank you so much for doing this swap with me :) Sorry I was so delayed on my end!

I really like the idea that it wasn't just because of Harry's antics that they won the war. Like all sorts of little things had to happen in all sorts of situations to get to that point, and every little decision every person made mattered. Probably, a lot of people did little things where they could even if they weren't a full-force Order member (someone putting protective charms over neighboring muggle homes, etc).

And YUS I'm so stoke that you thought the general air of /oppression/ was palpable :D

Thanks for the nitpicks--I deleted that extra line and added the comma :)

Heeheehee, the unusual spelling. There's an odd sort of reason for that, and if you can work it out, you can work out who Nathanael is ;)

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #5, by apondinablueboxVisibly Scarred.: Pain

1st October 2015:
Hi Margaret! I'm here for our review swap! :)

Immediately, it's clear that you have a very good grasp of Lydia as a character. In the first few paragraphs, your description of the pain she's in highlights her perseverance and determination to teach her classes no matter how much it hurts. It's evident that she's a werewolf and suffered badly this month, particularly since the Wolfsbane Potion failed (how did it fail, I wonder? I'm presuming this is explained in the story that this is a spin-off of, but for this story to stand alone, I'd suggest clarifying details that readers who haven't read your novels aren't likely to know, such as how the potion failed and what the A.W.L. is, etc.)

Poppy and Minerva were portrayed perfectly in this chapter. Their characterisations were accurate to canon and I can imagine them treating Remus in much the same way as they're treating Lydia now. (Was she a Hufflepuff at school, by any chance? She seems to be very concerned about her students' education while being a very hardworking professor... perhaps a Ravenclaw, actually, since she notes that she wasn't at her best earlier in the year and that tends to be something a Ravenclaw would notice. Hmm.)

You did an excellent job in describing Lydia's symptoms, both mental and physical. I could really empathise with the pain she was in, and the way she was feeling. Your use of the "show, not tell" technique worked great in this chapter!

I liked this chapter, and I think it definitely gives a good insight into Lydia and her daily life, and builds a good foundation for the future chapters. :)

Author's Response: Thank you so much for the wonderful review. It's SO in-depth.

Nobody knows why the potion failed yet. There's some speculation later in this story - chapter three, I think - but at the moment, Lydia hasn't even thought about that. McGonagall HAS, but she doesn't want to worry Lydia by bringing it up until she has some idea what happened. At the moment, the characters don't really know any more than we do - that she took the potion, but for some reason, it didn't have any effect.

I probably should give the full name of the A.W.L. though. That would clarify there.

Really glad you think I portrayed Poppy and Minerva accurately. I really enjoyed writing the conversation between Minerva and Lydia, to be honest.

Lydia was a Ravenclaw when she was at Hogwarts. Though yeah, I can see how Hufflepuff would fit too.

Thanks again for the review.


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Review #6, by apondinablueboxIn Darkest Knight: Just Another Tuesday

27th September 2015:
Hi! I'm here for our review swap! (Sorry about the delay -- I wrote the first review, backspaced and lost the entire review >.< )

While I've heard of Batman and Robin and Gotham City (who hasn't?) and even my cat is called Batman thanks to his strong facial resemblance to the superhero's mask, I've never read the comics or seen the movies (although the latter's been on my infinite to-do list for quite some time). Nevertheless, I understood the references well; you did a great job in incorporating them so that they weren't just tacked onto the story but actually added a whole new dimension.

I really, really enjoyed your portrayal of Sirius -- he's so adorable here! I loved Millie's obsession with Batman (really good way of incorporating it into this story, by the way!) and Sirius feeling jealous. Brownie points to you for inverting the cliché so that it's the guy who's jealous, and for gently hinting to it at the beginning of the story so that when it's eventually addressed at the end, it isn't something that's suddenly come out of nowhere. Jealousy is a realistic, human flaw, and you wrote that excellently -- and woo for Millie comparing her obsession with Batman to Sirius' love for Celestina Warbeck. "It makes more sense when you put it that way," he muttered. Awww!

You tied everything together beautifully. The potion, the library, Kirk and the Man-Bat, James and Lily, Lily's penchant for Superman(?) (and her liking men in glasses). This was amazing, and if you don't at least place in that challenge, I'll eat my metaphorical hat. :D

*adds story to favourites*

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Review #7, by apondinablueboxCharlotte: Charlotte

19th September 2015:
Gabbie! ♥

Once I started reading this one-shot I just couldn't stop. Charlotte's voice was so sad and heartbreaking and so addictive that I needed to read more. I love the motivations you gave Charlotte and Ryan for marrying -- it makes so much sense that someone who's continually disappointed her parents would jump at the chance to do what she thought would make them happy, and someone who's father let him down definitely wouldn't want to risk letting their child down. Their actions were wrong, but the reasoning behind them made so much sense.

You did a really good job of showing all the angles of these relationships. Even though this story is told from Charlotte's perspective, and is very much a character study type of story, we learn a lot about Ryan and Sam too. This was really realistic, because you gave the characters traits that made them both likeable and unlikable, and their flaws really defined their actions more than anything. They didn't do things perfectly and end up with a happily ever after, they messed up and the situation would be terrible no matter whether Charlotte stayed or left and that's really awful for the children but so incredibly realistic that I love it.

I would definitely recommend editing your paragraph lengths. I can understand why you have so much background info, and I'm not saying cut anything out, but just reshuffle. The paragraph lengths are all very similar and very long, and while that would be perfectly fine in a printed book, I'm reading your story on a moving screen and my poor eyes were struggling. :(

Overall though, I loved your powerful ending and while it was very much not ideal for the characters, it was the perfect ending after you'd written Charlotte's personality as someone selfish enough to cheat, and not brave enough to sit Ryan down to discuss their marriage -- so of course she would be selfish enough to leave him and their kids (what kind of mother does that? and do it in a letter while he's sleeping. Of course.

This was great to read, Gabbie, and I really enjoyed it!



Author's Response: Hello!

Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving me this great review. I'm sorry that I'm just now responding to it though! It was so lovely that I just wanted to keep it. :D

This one-shot doesn't really get much love but it was received well when I first posted it. I had never written anything like this before, not just Slash but affairs. I may not ever touch on that subject again because it's a little too close to home for me. Anyway, Charlotte's motivations for marrying Ryan aren't necessarily good and vice versa. I have heard that people come together sometimes for strange reasons but I think that's what I liked the most about this.

I am really happy that you were able to get an idea about Charlotte's other relationships. I was trying to leave you all with enough information on Charlotte, Ryan, Sam and their families even though it was from her POV. I wanted all of them to be real people, meaning that there were going to be a few things that you didn't like about them. You honestly didn't even have to LIKE these characters, especially with what happens and how they act in certain situations.

I never saw this as having a perfect ending, I wanted to leave it open for interpretation. I thought that it wouldn't have fit Charlotte's character if she ended up staying and especially the fact that she talks to Ryan while he's asleep instead of being brave enough to talk to him while he's awake. That says a lot about her as a person so I'm not quite sure that her staying would have resulted in anything good.

Thank you so much!

Gabbie


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Review #8, by apondinablueboxA Wedding: A Wedding

19th September 2015:
Gabbie!! :hug: I'm so so so sorry for the lateness of this review but real life has been completely horrible recently, and I've found writing has been therapeutic, so I've been doing a lot of writing and very little reviewing (because that requires thinking and I haven't been particularly fond of that activity recently) but I am here now and I truly apologise. ♥

I absolutely love this chapter! Albus' scene with the whole hating his lace dress robes reminds me of the scene with Ron in GoF, but you've added a lot more dimension to Albus' feelings than JKR did to Ron's. I especially enjoyed the way you wrote about weddings turning Grandma Molly into an inhuman beast, haha!

You've done something brilliant with this chapter by connecting it to the books using the scene with the dress robes, mentioning that Albus' hair is just as untameable as Harry's, all those names like Lavender Patil, Zabini, Dobby, Phlegm... It's done really well and allows the reader to connect to Albus and everyone else more closely than they otherwise would have.

Awww, poor Louis throwing up at the last wedding!! Especially as everyone still talks/jokes about it!

I love the conversations between James and Albus, and Albus and Lily, because it shows so much of all their personalities. When is chapter two being posted? I want to meet Scorpius and Lavender!!

The only crit I have really is that Scorpius' name only has the one O and not two.

I can't wait for the wedding!! AHHH I'm so excited to read what happens next!! ^.^



Author's Response: Hello!

Thanks for stopping by and don't worry about being late! I totally understand that real life can be challenging and focusing on yourself should always come first. As someone who is going through a bit of a dry spell with my writing, I can totally understand why you needed to get back into swing of things. :D

I honestly didn't think that you were going to pick this story to review. It's fairly new and ties along to my story, "Albus Potter and the Dark Lord's Prince", which was my first fan fic. :D

I've had a lot of people reading "This is Audrey Tang" and "Transparent"lately that I've nearly forgotten about this! It's so nice to have a fresh perspective though! I actually did reference a lot of things from the original HP universe because I don't feel like there's a way that you CAN't. I like having my universe tie in to what's already been done, but adding my own little twists along the way.

I think that Albus and Ron are going to have a lot in common by the time this story is over. Hahah. I'm not sure why I picked Albus to have the ugly dress robes but I couldn't quite picture my Scorpious (I'll get to why there's an "O" in his name in a minute) wearing them without having a hissy fit. Hahaha.

I imagine that Molly loves wedding and bossing people around. I'm sure that it's pretty scary! Hahaha.

:D I'm glad that you liked all of the connections that were made in the story. I actually have most of my stories being interlinked, so you'll probably notice familiar themes and characters popping up in this story. What makes it so fun though is because this is obviously set in the future, so some of these events haven't even happened in the actual stories yet! :D

Poor Louis, indeed. Hahaha.

I tried to make all of the siblings different and because I've written Albus and James before, they weren't really that hard to grasp. Lily on the otherhand was a character that hasn't even been introduced in my universe yet (I think she's still ten or something) so I had some trouble with how I wanted to have her portrayed but she turned out okay, :D

I have no idea when chapter two is going to be up but I might start working on it tonight! :D I didn't think people would really like this story that much but you guys have been great! :D

Before I forget: Scorpious's name has that annoying O in it because when I was originally writing "Albus Potter and the Dark Lord's Prince," I couldn't spell his name correctly for some reason and it just kind of stuck. He feels more like my own with that O in his name. :D

I hope to see you again!

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #9, by apondinablueboxWatching: Chapter 1

10th September 2015:
I... I... Oh my freaking God I love this!

When I read Isabella, I thought your writing was great and you were awesome at world-building. Scratch all that. This one-shot is perfect.

You capture Goyle's insanity perfectly in this. The way you tease the reader at the beginning, talking about he's watching her at school, referring to his pure-blood friends and how his parents would punish him if he even fancied a half-blood, all hinting at who Cho's stalker is without revealing his identity until the very end.

You did a fabulous job in describing his mental state; in the fact that he internalises everything she does, believing that he's the centre of her world even though there's no proof she's even aware of his existence other than "that Slytherin in the year below". I was enthralled as I read this, wondering what would happen to Cho. It was perfect that her relationship with Cedric triggered Goyle to take drastic action, because that's what does tend to happen in similar situations IRL.

I felt awful for the way Cho died, but it was super-creepy to have Goyle continuing to watch her dead body, and for him to be found in that position.

My only criticism is that I wish this one-shot was longer, because it's so eerily beautiful to read. ♥

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Review #10, by apondinablueboxIsabella: A Midnight Surprise

10th September 2015:
Kaitlin, hello! ♥ First of all, I'd like to apologise for the delay in my reviews; there's been a lot going on IRL and I haven't been able to properly focus on giving a quality review.

But! I remembered reviewing the first chapter of this story a while back, and enjoying it, so that fact it has a new chapter makes me very happy! ^.^

The beginning of the chapter is so compelling. Isabella's reaction to her front door being broken down at midnight just draws the reader into the chapter. The way she talks about her mother being so stunned that she allows herself to be ordered around making coffee and her father's horror when he realises the reason for Marisol's visit is so accurate to a thirteen-year-old who's disorientated at everything going on around her.

Juan Carlos' story was heartbreaking. I noticed several parallels between him and the Dumbledores, which again links to the HP world that we know, but you created a different tone to it by blending Albus and Ariana's personalities into one person. That was fabulous! I'm intrigued as to why Isabella hasn't shown any signs of magic yet, or her younger siblings. Could she be a Squib and only got a place at magic school because of her tatarabuelo's history? Or is her father, whether intentionally or subconsciously, using his magical abilities to cover up the magic that she does do? You've raised intriguing questions that make me want to read on! I can't want for chapter three ;)

So not only is Doña Marisol crazy, but she's blind?! Immediately that makes me wonder how she manages to know where people are standing and how she copes with her loss of vision, which I hope will be mentioned in future chapters. :) You have this fantastic talent of drip-feeding information so that readers end up desperate to know more and wanting to click on that "Next Chapter" button!

I felt sorry for the family in a way, after everything that Juan Carlos had been through and then Rosa's very negative reaction to magic. However, it must have been very upsetting for her to have her entire world turn upside down, and it shows the contrast between her and Isabella, who has the complete opposite reaction. I do have a small crit though: Isabella's speech when she confronts her parents is very wordy; it doesn't feel like something you would say naturally. I'd recommend editing that part -- the line about being from the state of Oaxaca tripped me up a bit. Maybe rephrase it to "I'm a small-town Oaxaca girl" or something along those lines?

I loved, loved, loved the ending where she asks Doña Marisol to demonstrate magic for her! So sweet and so accurate of a thirteen-year-old!

I can't wait for the next chapter, Kaitlin! This story just keeps getting better! ♥

Author's Response: Hey Isobel!

No worries. RL always comes first.

I'm glad that you found these events to be fitting of a 13 year old's memories. It really is chaos.

Juan Carlos' story is definitely a parallel to Dumbledore. Marisol is a parallel to Hagrid. There are definitely a few nods at the HP world here, but the story will diverge quite significantly from HP.

Isabella not showing magic is for a very specific reason, but no she's not a squib. Neither are her siblings.

There will be more about Marisol in future chapters, but it won't be a whole ton.

I imagine that things with their family will settle down eventually, but it's going to take awhile. Everyone needs to do some healing.

Thank you so much for the lovely review! I'm so glad you're enjoying this so far. As of March 31st this will be on a regular bi-weekly updates.

~Kaitlin


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Review #11, by apondinablueboxWhat It Takes: What It Takes

2nd June 2015:
Hi Cassie! I'm here for our review swap!

When I saw the summary, I was really intrigued because it's very rare that I read about platonic friendships between two members of the opposite sex; most of them usually end up with the friendship developing into a romance, but not here, and I enjoyed that.

It was adorable that Simon was wearing dress robes for Hannah's wedding, because as a Muggle they would have been very strange to him. I love how their friendship has continued through the years, how magic and Hogwarts and the war haven't torn them apart.

Hannah having pre-wedding nerves, as many brides do, was very sweet because it showed more of the bond between her and Simon. I loved how it was so easy for him to reassure her and not let her nerves overwhelm her wedding.

I was surprised when the POV switched to Simon's, but it was great to see the flip side of their friendship. It was quite sweet having Simon be completely taken aback by Hannah's pregnancy. Even though she's been married to Neville for three years and has been with him for even longer, there's still a part of him that thinks of her as the child he grew up with. Aww. :)

Making Simon baby Frank's godfather just felt so appropriate after everything they've been through, and I'd love to see more expansion about them in the future.

Thanks for the swap, Cassie; it was fun reading this enjoyable one-shot!



Author's Response: Hello!
I'm so glad you enjoyed this! I agree that platonic friendships between people who are the opposite sex doesn't get written about enough, since plenty of people (myself included) have friends of the opposite sex that they'd never date. I like showing that sometimes, and being able to just focus on a friendship rather than a romantic relationship.
Simon totally supports Hannah, and Neville, as well, so things like wearing dress robes would definitely be odd for him, but he'd do it to make his friends happy.
Simon is one of Hannah's oldest friends, so if anyone would be able to calm her down, it's him.
I'm glad you liked seeing Simon's side of things! I think when you've been friends with someone since you were kids, thinking about them getting married and having babies is always a little weird. And I couldn't not make Simon Frank's godfather.
I'm so glad you enjoyed this! If you want to read more about Hannah and Simon, my House Cup entry from last year, which is called Until the Very End, is also about them.
Thank you for the swap!
Cassie :)


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Review #12, by apondinablueboxIsabella: Thirteen Candles

2nd June 2015:
Hi Kaitlin! Here for our review swap!

So I saw this and immediately, I wanted to read this. I absolutely love the idea of expanding upon JK's world, and Mexico was such an unusual place to write about that I just couldn't not read this.

Your descriptions of Isabella riding out with the cattle are immensely absorbing. You write about her surroundings beautifully, so that I as a reader can easily picture the scene in my mind's eye but at the same time, it's clearly a child's narrative with all the distractions that appear, like thinking about the story behind the skirt when the wind blows it up instead of rushing to push it back down.

It's intriguing how the unlucky thirteen holds so much significance here, with the crazy old woman placing so much emphasis on it. I can't help, with her smashing the door down, drawing parallels between her and Hagrid, but at the same time the fact she was already in Isabella's life before then is reminiscent of Mrs Figg, so she's like a combination of those two characters. As there's no magic mentioned here yet, I'm presuming that Isabella is a Muggle-born and the witch is bringing news of the magical world and her initiation into it.

I noticed a missing comma in this sentence: "Lo siento, mama*" I return. It's not a major thing, but your writing is of such good quality that in my opinion, it would be a shame to let small typos detract from it. While I'm on the topic, the asterisks tended to trip me up while I was reading. I would recommend removing them, as the translations at the bottom of the chapter are perfectly fine, but if you want to highlight the Spanish words you could put them in italics. A lot of writers do that, and it helps to convey that the words are deliberately foreign without interrupting the flow of the chapter.

Overall, you've created a beautiful setting with an intriguing plot beginning and an interesting protagonist; all combining to make a fantastic beginning to your story. I would be happy to swap again, if you'd like to! Honestly, this is fabulous!



Author's Response: Hi Isobel,

I'm glad you love the idea of expanding to other regions of the world. I do too and I was really excited to start with Mexico, a place that I love very dearly.

Description is absolutely my favorite part of any story. I want to be able to envision anything that I read, so I push myself really hard to write very vivid description in my stories. I'm glad that it worked out and that it managed to hold a bit of that youthful sound.

Thanks for pointing out the comma. I'm the worst with them, but I'm hopefully starting to figure them out. :D

I actually already went ahead and removed the asteriks as several people mentioned it feeling a bit odd. Thanks for the suggestions!

I'm so glad you enjoyed the start of this! I'd love to swap again too!

~Kaitlin


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Review #13, by apondinablueboxStuck On You: Slipping Faith

2nd June 2015:
*pokes* Time to update, Tammi.

(And now I'll just hide under my duvet, ignoring my own hypocrisy.)

There's so much I want to say about this chapter. I love how you've made Audrey a Healer in this story, I don't think I've ever seen that before, so straight away it's unique. And I loved the bit where she said she needed to turn Fred's skin back to a normal colour because the green was hurting her eyes! XD

I'm really interested to know the story behind Lydia's family. Her never being at home (which is probably why she was also behind the scenes at the Weasleys' shop in the first place), her parents never at home, the fact they won't mind her staying over at a boy's... That's really strange, that they wouldn't ask questions, and then there George giving her sad looks. There's definitely something going on there, and I'm intrigued.

Aw. I just wanted to hug her so much when I read the part about her having a crush on Fred, but him laughing when he found out. That can explain why she has problems keeping her temper under control with him, because she hates him for that, but being attracted to him at the same time is going to be difficult for her. And now she has to be with him 24/7 for the foreseeable future. *squishes Lydia*

Breaking Fred's nose was not a good idea, though, despite all the hospital trips Lydia sees in their future. She does need to learn to behave... Then again, there are times when he is a prat. :P

I loved the character development in this chapter, Tammi, and I can't wait for more! You're doing a fabulous job with this fic!



Author's Response: Hahaha!

Awww yay! Yep, she's very different from my other Audrey (I must say that I prefer my other Audrey :P She's a lot more fun)

To be fair, it was a bright green :P It would have hurt anyones eyes.

I shall elaborate on her family, don't you worry! :D

*Squishes Lydia too*

Oh no, she's going to regret breaking his nose :P But it's going to happen a lot in their future haha.

Thank you so much Isobel!!!


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Review #14, by apondinablueboxStuck On You: It's Like I'm Stuck

2nd June 2015:
Hahahaha! I remember reading this when you first posted it (and I could've sworn I'd left a review, but clearly not; sorry about that) but this is funnier than I remember. Fred and Lydia's argument is definitely realistic, and I love your hints at their history throughout school. I hope you'll expand on that in future chapters, because it would be interesting seeing how they got to this point.

Oh dear. George really shouldn't be leaving those potions bottles around, it's a recipe for disaster. Quite literally. I love how they've caused so many effects, like Fred being green, and it's really lucky neither of them were seriously injured. I'm wondering now if there were other effects that haven't yet had the chance to manifest. Hmm.

It's really funny having George make puns instead of actually helping, but I suppose he could see that if they were arguing then there wasn't really anything to worry about :P

This is a great first chapter and I can't wait to read the next one!



Author's Response: ISOBEL!!

Aw yay! I need to get back to this story and finish writing it, I may need you to poke me! Just continually text me until it's done!

I shall expand on their history, don't you worry!

Nope, he really shouldn't have left them around, but I reckon he planned it somehow haha. There are going to be more side effects, don't you worry!

Can George do anything other than make puns? Hahaha

Thank you so much Isobel!! I love you so much!!!


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Review #15, by apondinablueboxthe earth and the sky: the earth and the sky

1st June 2015:
Adi.

I think you broke me.

This is the ooh, seventh time I'm typing this review. The first four times, I was still reeling from the sheer awesomeness of this one-shot that I simply couldn't articulate how mind-blowingly fabulous it is. I just wrote random words and it didn't make sense. The fifth time, I was finally getting somewhere when the evil internet decided to crash my browser and delete all the words I'd written. The sixth time, I was so absorbed in detailing how much I loved reading this story, how you've cemented Draco/Astoria as my OTP, how I was so captivated while I was reading, that I didn't realise my iPad was running low on battery until I was death-screened. :(

So. Seventh time lucky, I hope. The iPad is on charge, I've touched wood and now I'm finally able to explain just how captivating your writing is. I especially admired how you chose to refer to Draco and Astoria as primarily "he" and "she". By whittling down the number of times you used their names and terms such as "his wife" or "her husband", you created a story that was based predominately on them being people. Draco didn't fall in love with Astoria because of her name, or her career, or her social standing, or anything else; he fell in love with her, and vice versa. You did a brilliant job of conveying that to the reader.

I loved how their relationship blossomed out of friendship. How they fell in love with each other's quirks and flaws; how it was those little things that they remember of each other, not the standard criteria of good looks and acceptable acquaintances. It felt so truthful, so innocent, so beautifully organic that I'm simply struggling to imagine their relationship occurring in any other form right now, which doesn't bode well for my own Draco/Astoria. But I digress.

The way you had Draco fall into alcoholism after the war made so much sense. It can be an overused plot device sometimes, but you wrote him in such a way that it felt inevitable. His addiction wasn't just a case of, "I need some angst to fuel the plot. Ooh, let's make Draco an alcoholic!", it was something that made sense in the context of the demons plaguing his nightmares, of relieving Crabbe's death over and over again in his mind.

And their first kiss was anything but perfect, yet that in itself made it perfect. It felt natural, like the next stepping stone in their relationship, just like everything that followed.

Had there ever been any other answer?

That sentence, repeated throughout this story, made perfection just that more perfect (which I'm aware is an impossible thing, but then this story is just that: making hearts crumble to ashes with every sentence, every paragraph, feeding the hungry beast that is the masochist in us all by the choice to continue reading. And I'm sorry if that didn't make sense, but I'm afraid that my brain is no longer functioning after reading this breathtaking one-shot, so nonsense is to be expected. And I need to stop getting off topic here.)

The fact that Draco chose to visit a Muggle jeweller to purchase Astoria's engagement ring was a brilliant thing to include, and added a chink of light-heartedness into the story with his confusion about ring sizes and stones. I like how Blaise was the one to persuade him to that, particularly as later on in the story he's who Astoria turns to in a moment of weakness, and I admire how you had Blaise be upstanding and not take advantage of her. (It's so strange how many things are so similar between our headcanons, and yet how vastly different they are.) I love how you expanded on this with Draco commuting on the London Underground and being involved in 7/7; involving Muggle mentions into their lifestyle, but balancing that with their employment of an house-elf, showing that while their lives have changed to reflect the new modern times of society, they still hold on to certain traditions of their old lifestyles. They've changed, they've grown, but they're still the same people they once were.

The miscarriage was heartbreaking, and yet so beautiful in its tragedy, in the way that Draco and Astoria coped after losing their child. It was interesting that you used a different style of formatting to reflect it, and other certain events, demonstrating how so very different and out of place they are in contrast to the rest of their lives.

I'm running out of characters here, unfortunately, but I wanted to add, too, how poignant I found Draco's thoughts on how he never really "met" Astoria. How she was always in the background when they were growing up, how they wasted those years -- but I don't think they were, really, because they weren't compatible during those early years.

Hints of Scorpius and Rose, blossoming into mentions of Rose as a daughter-in-law and their baby, added a lovely element of the next generation into this story. It was a poignant reminder that even after Astoria's passing, and later Draco's, their love continues in their son, their grandbaby and the possibility of more children to come.

I wish that I had more space to express how much I love this one-shot, because I honestly could wax lyrical all night and not tire of it, but for now I'll just discuss the beauty of your ending; how Astoria got on board the Hogwarts Express but never got off, waiting for Draco to join her before she did. Ahh, such a kick in the feels and yet after everything that they went through, it seemed so right.

Like I told you at the beginning of this review, Adi: you broke me.

But oh, it was so worth it.



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Review #16, by apondinablueboxHallowed be Our Names: Showdown

1st June 2015:
Hello, Karen!

Firstly, I'd like to apologise for the delay in leaving this review. Real Life was a meanie to me, and then the internet froze and crashed while I was writing the first version of this review... *grumbles* Anyway! Onto the review!

I'm really intrigued at how you've started off this story. The typical structure of an Albus/Gellert story starts with them meeting, and ends with the three-way duel that killed Ariana, but you've made this an unique story straight away by having this scene at the beginning. I love the way you've characterised Albus and Gellert, how Albus is naïve and innocent enough to assume that he and Gellert will take Aberforth and Ariana with them without giving thought to the impracticalities of such a thing, while Gellert is cruelly dismissive of their familial bonds -- and yet, it doesn't feel like he's deliberately ignoring them. He's just so wrapped up in his goals and dreams that he's come to see them as obstacles, not people.

And Ariana! I loved your description of the way she perceives Gellert, like a flower with thorns. Attractive, tempting, charming -- until you get too close. Quite accurate, although I think Gellert would find such a comparison quite offensive :P

I noticed that the first five paragraphs all started with the words "It" and "The". It's not terribly detracting from the story, but it does come across as a little repetitive -- I'd advise restructuring the sentences so that they start with different words. Another thing I noted is that you use full stops to end dialogue tags when you should use a comma. For example, this sentence:

"This has nothing to do with you or your sister." Gellert said

should actually be,

"This has nothing to go with you or your sister," Gellert said

It's not a major thing, but fixing that would really improve the quality of your writing and allow the prose to flow more smoothly. (Personally, I'm a grammar nerd, so I kept tripping over that while I was reading.) I did the same thing when I first started writing on HPFF, but there was this fabulous thread on the forums that really helped me. I'm not sure if it's still around after the recent cleanup, but I'll try to find it and link you to it because it's a great resource to have.

Overall, you've come up with a fabulous beginning to a new story, and I could really feel the tension in the room and visualise the three boys there, and Ariana hiding outside in the shrubbery. It's a really good chapter that just needs a little minor tweaking, but overall, I love your characterisation and emotional description!

I enjoyed reading this, thank you for the swap!



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Review #17, by apondinablueboxThe Unspeakable: Prologue

25th January 2015:
AH!

So knowing a lot about Richard from our conversations, I know that he is dangerous and insane, etc, but reading this now, at the point where James is about to die, it just gives me all the feels. I'm on tenterhooks, because I don't want it to happen. :( And of course, I'm wondering how everything's gotten to this point: how James managed to outsmart Richard and how Richard got so deep into his spiral in the first place. ALL OF THE QUESTIONS, TAMMI. Seriously, I'm literally on the edge of my sofa with the way you've written this, this mysterious way that has my heart racing with terror as if Richard were in my flat right now... *checks all rooms* No, the coast is clear... for now...

The last bit, about Abigail, hinted at horrible things. Does this mean Abigail is dead or will die soon? *sobs*

Exciting prologue, immediate updates are demanded!!



Author's Response: There have been so many conversations about him, hasn't there? :P Oh yes, he is so dangerous and totally insane. I don't want it to happen either, I do love James so it hurts that this is happening.

That will all be explained in future chapters... once I write them haha :P SO MANY QUESTIONS I NEED TO ANSWER!!!

Thank you so much... oh no! I hope he's not in your flat, if he is you should move!!

Awww am I hinting at terrible things? Who knows!

Thanks Isobel!!! You're so awesome!!!


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Review #18, by apondinablueboxA League of her Own: One

17th October 2014:
*has lost all ability to function*

YOU WROTE ME A CHARITA ONE-SHOT!!!

I just... I just want to keep saying those words over and over because it doesn't really feel like they've sunk in, you know, and that sounds stupid because I can read the words and it says "For Isobel" but it doesn't quite feel real.

♥ ♥ ♥

Charlie was totally perf in this!! You've characterised him exactly how I think of him in the HWC flashbacks and I just love love love ♥ (My cat does not love you, sadly; she was sleeping on my lap and I kicked her off to write this review.) Seriously, this is amazing and perfect and incredible and you are the bestest friend ever!!! I swear this is going to be my headcanon now, Charlie sneaking off with Rita post-DH and never actually revealing any Weasley secrets!! And I love that Charlie was the one who spent most time tinkering with Arthur and how he tries to fix Sirius' bike for Harry, that is completely adorable!! ♥ This entire one-shot is like a dream. I just have all the shippy feels now and AHHH have I told you that this the best thing ever?

"If she was sugar his teeth would be rotting by now." -- this is like one of my favourite quotes ever. AND I totally agree, Rita is definitely in her own league :P

AND I AM STORY #69 WHAT *snickers*

You are fabulous and I am insanely excited now and thank you so much for this incredible one-shot!! *a million hugs*

(As for how I made you ship Charita, don't you know? Corruption's a two way thing ;))



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Review #19, by apondinablueboxLife As We Know It: chapter one

15th September 2014:
Erica!! I'd like to profusely apologise for the delay in getting to this review -- things just keep cropping up, sadly. Nevertheless, I'm here now! ^.^

I was pleasantly surprised that this was set in their sixth year, since personally, I'm not a fan of Ron-cheats-on-Hermione-with-Lavender fics, but this is a good way to establish your Dramione when they're still at school. Bonus points for this! :) This is also the first story I've ever read that's written from Hermione's POV in first person and I have to say, I think you have her down. You show how she analyses everything, like Lavender when she's kissing Ron, herself when she enters the Room and that mysterious sound (which we later discover is Draco).

The pacing of your prose too is good. There's plenty of explanation for the reader to understand what's going on and how Hermione's feeling, but not so much that it overwhelms the plot. I loved that moment when Ron hesitated to leave Hermione when she was crying; it says quite a lot about him. Emotional range of a teaspoon or not, he clearly cares about his best friend.

I noticed a couple of typos you may want to fix: early in the chapter, you misspell Professor Trelawney's name as Trelawny. And in the last line, "Hello, Granger." Malfoy smirked, there should be a comma after Granger, since you go on to describe how he says the words.

Overall, I'm really pleased with this chapter. Your ending has impact and the plot so far is definitely good. The chapter flows well, too; I didn't read this pre-edits, so I can't say how much it's improved, but the result is definitely great!

If you'd like to continue swapping for the rest of the chapters, I would be more than happy to! ^.^ Once again, sorry for the lateness!



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Review #20, by apondinablueboxA Vision In White: From The Beginning

20th August 2014:
Sarah ♥

So, as soon as I saw that this was written for the Ladies Loving Ladies challenge, I couldn't not click on it! I remember wanting to read the other entries when I entered it but not having the time, so I was really excited about this one-shot and you certainly did not disappoint!

I loved how Roxanne was so excited about getting married to Aoife and her recollections of how they met and the important moments in their relationship were so sweet! It was lovely that both sets of parents were accepting of their love and sexuality, although to be honest, I loved how you had their relationship be portrayed as utterly normal. I live in a heteronormative society (to the extent that Apple doesn't recognise that as a word...) and if I had a pound for every time someone asked if I have a boyfriend, as opposed to whether I'm dating someone, I'd be very, very rich. (Or have a ridiculously large clothing collection.) So, it was really refreshing and fabulous to have the relationship just about Aoife and Roxanne without the angst of having to question their sexuality, because they both know they're in love with each other and ah, just adorable!

Love the mention of Gwen, by the way! ^.^

I really love the casual language you used here. I know sometimes authors use really flowery, poetic language and that's fabulous, but sometimes it isn't necessary and you showed that here. By narrating this one-shot as if it were a long speech, you've made it less a piece of fiction and more a declaration of love, focusing on Roxanne's emotions as a priority. (I really hope that made sense... It's nearly midnight here!) In fact, once I had read the whole one-shot, I thought this was something absolutely perfect for Roxanne to say at her speech at the wedding reception to Aoife, because it really fits -- the mixture of first and second person you've used here, and her casual, dialoguey language, it all meshes together to create a beautiful wedding speech. ♥ (I have this thing about how amazing weddings are, despite an aversion to actual marriage. I'm weird.)

Despite how short this one-shot was, you captured their relationship awesomely and told an adorably romantic, fluffy story. This is fabulous, and I want a sequel! ;)



Author's Response: Isobel ♥

You're too sweet. I'm so glad that you liked this story and everything that came with it.

I really wanted to show that not only are the Weasley's accepting, but that this relationship had it's pro's and cons, but in the end was just like everyone else's. I'm glad you liked the language I used, I was really careful to keep it simple. It's someones thoughts afterall. If it had been more description i probably would've gone flowery, but here simple felt better. I never even thought of it as a reception thing, but that's so wonderfully brilliant! I wish I had thought of it when I was writing it! (I love weddings too, I'm hesitant about marriage).

Thanks so much for this lovely review!

xoxo Sarah ♥


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Review #21, by apondinablueboxThe Adventures of Abigail Higgs and Potter Boy: The One Where James Knocks Me Down

17th August 2014:
ONE HUNDREDTH REVIEW!!! ♥

Ahhh, I feel so bad about not revisiting this story earlier, I completely loved it the first time around and I still do now!

Abigail is wonderfully unique -- to date, she's the only character I've ever read about in either fanfic or actual fiction who likes comic books, so that's fabulous! I love James too -- what an actual, polite gentleman he is. Can I have him if Abigail changes her mind and doesn't want him? :P

Honestly though, you've got me shipping them already (well, I already shipped them from the way you talked about them but the level of shipping has now upgraded) and I love Snowball! He reminds me of my all-white cat Snowbell (minus the oil marks from walking under cars, haha) and Abigail's reaction to him is super!

There isn't much plot in this chapter, but I don't think that's a bad thing. It's good to help us get acquainted with Abigail and James (Michelle doesn't exist, yeah?) and start shipping them before all the action and drama starts to happen. ...Because that's a really effective way of getting your readers invested in the ship before you start breaking their hearts!! :O

YOU SNEAKY SLYTHERIN GENIUS!!! ♥

I love how your entire cast is normal, from the annoying big brother to the vapid fair weather best friend, because that makes them really relatable characters who we can recognise in the people we know in real life, so that's great. And of course, there's the adorable James, who is so cute and awkward that I'd be surprised if he wasn't shipped with your readers every time they read this story :P (but of course, Tammi, he is mine. MINE)

Keep up the epic work, and congratulations on reaching one hundred reviews ;)



PS: I solemnly swear that I will catch up on this novel before it ends and you post The Unspeakable. *nods* ♥

Author's Response: YAY! THANK YOU!

Awww you're here now though! That's all that matters!

I'm so glad that you like Abigail and her love for comic books. :D And James is such a gentleman, Harry and Ginny wouldn't be happy if he wasn't. You can have him if Abigail changes her mind :P

Awww yay! The shipping has begun! I do talk about them a lot though when we speak haha :P Hahaha Snowball is awesome!

Michelle can totally not exist haha I wish! But sadly she's vital to the plot.

Oh hearts will more likely be broken :P

Hahaha why thank you! :D

I can't help but make James adorable, in my eyes it's Albus who is the mean, guarded and egotistical one and James is the loveable geeky one, who's awkward around people.

Thank you so so much! And you have time to catch up before The Unspeakable! I have yet to write it haha :D


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Review #22, by apondinablueboxRomeo In Ivory: Icarus in Mourning

16th August 2014:
OOOH. Oooh. Oooh.

Accidental ghost impersonation aside, I loved how you kept revealing new information in each section, lulling the reader into thinking that they know the story, they understand it, and that was pretty much what I was saying throughout the whole one-shot -- "ooh, ooh, ooh".

...It might be a good idea if I started from the beginning. ;)

You set the scene in the graveyard beautifully. Your descriptions were so vivid and wonderful that I could picture it clearly, to the tiniest detail. At first, I was wondering who Teddy was visiting -- I thought Dominique or Victoire, because you had the third character as "Other Canon" when there's a listing for Rose which threw me off: sneaky Laura! >:D Regardless, it was beautiful and agonising seeing him grieve.

I didn't know who the three sisters were (I googled them at the end) but that was okay because it didn't throw me off at all (for some reason, I thought they were fairies at first) and wow, I've never actually read a story from the Fates' POV! It's a very unique perspective you've written this in!

Rose's death... Wow. I loved how her family left her roses, but Teddy left her a multitude of different flowers each week. Awww. It really hints that he cared about her, and saw a different side to her than her family did. I love how it's never explicitly stated whether Rose and Teddy were lovers, or it was unrequited love, or they were simply good friends -- it's all about the feeling, the compassion, the missing her without all the labels of what used to be. (I'm writing a graveyard scene in Starfall soon; this will be good inspiration!) And then Teddy left her roses. Stupid Teddy. By the way, the fact that you didn't say what Rose died of is great; obviously there's that question of what happened, but it helps to focus the story on the grief and the tragedy.

Speaking of which, I don't like that Teddy didn't believe Victoire when she said she was pregnant. Mean Teddy. :(

The ending was bittersweet. In a way, they have the chance of reuniting in the afterlife, but Teddy's child will grow up with a father, just like Teddy himself grew up without his parents. HOW IS THAT NON-12+ WORD FAIR, LAURA? *wails* I wonder whether Victoire will visit Teddy in the same way he visited Rose, every week on a Thursday? Their child, when he or she is old enough to do so? Whether the curse of falling out of love with everything will be passed on to those who loved Teddy, just like he loved Rose?

*whimpers*

You see that over there? That big puddle of feels in the corner that's emitting mournful wailing sounds? That's me. I'm no longer a person, just a puddle of feels, thanks to your crazily talented writing. Before this, I didn't even ship Teddy/Rose. I hadn't even read a Teddy/Rose until I stumbled on this.

Amazingly beautiful one-shot, Laura!



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Review #23, by apondinablueboxSunshine: Hero

16th August 2014:
I will be honest: I don't normally read fluff, Neville/Hannah (I ship them, but not to the extent that I actually seek out stories featuring the ship) or post-Hogwarts (which are usually focused on the Golden Trio).

And yet I love this. I ADORE THIS, ADI!

I have this fear of writing established canon characters, because it's so difficult to stay true to JKR's characterisations and yet you've done that beautifully in this chapter. Neville might be a hero, but there's still a part of that little boy in Philosopher's Stone in him, and you showed that really well. You showed how much he's grown with the times, how he's more willing to believe in himself and in the reactions of others around him, how he's willing to accept the confidence of Harry, Augusta et al. The relief and happiness of the other people at Hogwarts was lovely to see, too, even though there were casualties too.

The ending, where he saw Hannah, was adorable. It wasn't overly fluffy, because the final battle of a years-long war is anything but happy despite the good side winning, but it's a really nice moment that lays the foundation for happiness down the line. :)



Author's Response: Isobel ♥ I will be honest with you as well. Fluff really isn't my jam anymore, and while I ship Neville/Hannah, I don't seek out stories featuring them or this era. So we're pretty much the same there. I wrote this for the HC collab, and after that, I had some sweet moments of theirs that I wanted to write about, so a short story collection seemed in order!

I'm glad you enjoyed it! :) It was such a positive thing for me to write as well!

AHHH! I am so, so scared of writing well establish characters because I'm always worried I'll get them wrong, so you have no idea how happy it makes me to see what you have to say on the matter! How you've put it is exactly how I see Neville and I'm so please that you think I captured that!

Yes, that's what I was going for. Oh gosh, this review makes me really happy! You completely GOT it! thank you so much, Isobel *hugs*


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Review #24, by apondinablueboxForget Me Not: bloom and wither

16th August 2014:
Adi I think you just broke my feels.

Despite being a fan of Scorpius/Rose, I haven't read the ship as much as I'd like to -- particularly because it's so difficult to find unique stories, so I completely take my metaphorical hat off to you because this was so wonderfully unique and fantastic ♥

As a person, I don't like Rose. She's vapid, selfish, reckless and cruel -- and that's a wonderful testament to your talent, because you've created a character who's realistically flawed. Scorpius, too, is loyal and usually that's a great thing, but you've cleverly twisted that to make it a flaw for Scorpius. It's beautiful.

Infidelity is something I strongly dislike in real life, but in stories, it's always interesting to see what the characters' motivations behind the act is. I think it helps that Henry is just a mean character because then her betrayal isn't as bad as if she was betraying a husband who loved her, who'd do anything for her, who was utterly devoted to her -- much like Scorpius. (Side question: was Scorpius a Hufflepuff? Because the loyalty you've shown here certainly strongly hints at that, so I'm just curious.) Speaking of Henry -- that's his name, right? -- I don't think I've ever read a story where a character does not feature at all, is only mentioned by name once or twice, and yet has such a presence in the story. You've written that aspect marvellously.

OH THE BABY. The poor baby didn't deserve it! How was that fair?! I really hope Henry got arrested for everything he did!

The Obliviation scene was awful in the sense that it ripped out my feels (but in the sense of good prose, it was wonderfully executed) and even though I wrote an Obliviation in a different context, it still hurt to think about how Scorpius would never remember Rose. (in my headcanon, if an Obliviator dies, their victims memories are reinstated -- like when Dumbledore's spells stopped working after his death, so the option of Scorpius ever remembering after the Obliviator's death will never happen. *sobs*)

This one-shot completely blew me away and I'd just like to say once again that you are fantastically talented because this is just too beautiful for words.



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Review #25, by apondinablueboxEmpty Chairs at Empty Tables: Where My Friends Will Sing No More

12th August 2014:
*sniffles*

So, I'm here for the swap -- I will be reviewing L'optimisme in due course, and I was going to finish House of Cards so that I could review Roll of the Dice because it looked lonely without any reviews but then I saw this and I felt incredibly guilty, because I read this way back when it was TGS' featured one-shot and was so overcome by feels that I planned to come back later... and never did. SORRY ♥

Your Narcissa is written beautifully and is quite similar to my headcanon, which I really enjoyed because I could really see her in that dirty and dusty ballroom, allowing tears to mourn down her cheeks and grieving for the people she loved and grew up with. I've never watched/read Les Mis or heard the soundtrack, so I can't comment on how it connected to the story, but nevertheless I was overcome by sad feels. I don't normally highlight my favourite lines, but yours were so poignant that I just have to bring attention to them:

Doesn’t everyone, in the end, deserve to be mourned?

The playing field is levelled and all the scores set to zero.

Better to be a puppy than to be dead.

Was that what glory was? Making shadows out of men? Reducing boys to ashen-faced skeletons long before their time? Curbing the laughter of the innocent and happy to make way for words of death and hatred and superiority? Was it only to destroy people, destroy lives and hopes and dreams?

Your words really brought all the Death Eaters to life. I've always felt that their families would have mourned them, despite what they did, and I'm so happy you brought that to life with Narcissa and her recollections and her feelings. I really got the sense that her grief was just too big to put into words, there was just an overwhelming sense of it emotionally drowning her -- hence her description of herself as empty -- and I take my hat off to you for that, for your incredible talent in evoking such emotions in just three thousand words.

I also loved how you spent some time describing each person in detail, even the ones Narcissa wasn't close to, and that she still mourned for Andromeda and Sirius even though they chose the "light" side.

This one-shot was beautiful. I cried reading it -- and I hardly cry reading fiction -- there was so much to feel. Narcissa's one of those people who seems to hide in the background and see everything, and I think she understood most of all the cost of war, so it was wonderful to see that here. (I really hope I'm not repeating myself!)

This was an amazing, thought-provoking one-shot. ♥

Author's Response: Hey Isobel! :) Aww, don't worry about it - I do that all the time, read things, plan to review them later when I have more time and never get back to them too, so it's something I really can't get annoyed at people about ;)

Thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked Narcissa - and it's kinda weird but also pretty cool that our headcanons of her are similar :D I always wanted to portray her as more sympathetic than the others, and able to mourn and grieve, because we don't see any of that in the books for the people on the 'other side' so I wanted to show their story for once, so to speak.

The thing I really loved about writing this one-shot was thinking about war in the viewpoint of someone who hasn't fought in it herself, but has suffered because of it - someone who feels the effects but doesn't experience it, and how they would feel about it and think about it and the sacrifice which was made by people they knew. It's part of war which I don't think is often picked up on; usually things are about the victims rather than the 'perpetrators', but I wanted to take a more humane spin on it.

I'm so glad you lked all the Death Eaters, too! It was important to me to emphasise that they were still people's friends, brothers, sons, fathers, and so on, despite their actions, and Narcissa, to me, seemed the obvious choice to see that through. I love writing emotions and that kind of thing, so I'm so glad you liked it! :)

I kinda wanted to show a glimpse of a time when, for Narcissa, everything was right and perfect. Sort of when things almost were the perfect world the Death Eaters wanted to create, you know? And I had to include Andromeda and Sirius, because even if they weren't dead, and they'd been disowned, I don't think when you're feeling emotional already that kind of thing ends up mattering.

Gah, thank you so so much for the wonderful review, and thank you so much for stopping by - I'm just so glad you liked it, and completely blown away by all your lovely compliments! :)

Aph xx


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