Reading Reviews From Member: apondinabluebox
  
106 Reviews Found

Review #1, by apondinablueboxBlessing in Disguise: Unplanned

23rd July 2014:
Muahahahaha this was awesome!! Audrey seems like a crazy character (of course, I say crazy as in the good kind) and I feel a little bit sorry for her with the hangover, but really, there's no-one to blame except herself :P

The banter between Audrey and Bill was fabulous, and the fact that she's a mean Hufflepuff and he can't hear her through his braveness was awesome! It was really fun to read, and I hope there's more of it to come!

Duncan doesn't seem to have a very good recollection... Although I kind of understand his falling asleep -- a few years ago, I accidentally fell asleep while waiting for my mum to arrive home and locked her out of the house *looks around nervously* It was raining, and she couldn't shelter because she'd locked herself in the garden (our gate back then had a padlock, and three guesses where the key to the padlock was). I hope Audrey forgives him -- that line where she thought about saying thank you to Duncan instead of being mad at him was hilarious!

Oh, Audrey. Oh, Percy. I can't wait for the morning after now, it's going to be seriously awkward especially when they reunite. *cackles* I'm not sure what she sees in him yet, but it's going to be fun to find out ;)

I can't wait for the next chapter ♥

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Review #2, by The MisfitThe Start of Something: Prompt 1 - Lily's Fairy

12th July 2014:
AWWW. TOO CUTE. Clary's analysis of the Potter family is adorable! The way she refers to Harry and Ginny as giants is funny (although if she's small enough to hide in a tree, they probably do seem like giants :P) and the way she compares Lily Flower to the flower she sleeps in at night is so sweet!

The conversation between Lily and Clary didn't feel one-sided, despite the fact only Lily could verbalise dialogue. You wrote Clary's actions so well, it felt like a two-way conversation ^.^ I love that you chose to write this chapter from a fairy's perspective, it's incredibly unique. :D Harry pretending to believe in fairies was sweet, and Clary's reaction to his "silliness" made me laugh. This is my favourite chapter of the three, definitely!

And her opinion that Lily would make a good fairy is heartwarming -- another fairy and I'd have been worried, but you' em characterised Clary so beautifully in such a short piece that I really love her. ^.^

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Review #3, by The MisfitThe Start of Something: Prompt 2 - When Darkness Fades

12th July 2014:
Sam ♥ I am here at last!

I love this. I love the way you begin this chapter, with Harry broken and tired and just needing to be alone with someone who understands. It's super narration, and it instantly gets the reader into Harry's mindset at that particular moment.

His interactions with Theo are great; the moment with the cigarette was amazing. You really managed to convey so many emotions with just a small action. And the handshake moment was fabulous -- particularly the funny ending with his joke :P

I spotted a typo: in the fourth paragraph, you say "slither of joy" -- I think you meant "sliver", although the typo does tie in well with the chapter ;)

This was amazing, and I am off to the next one now!

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Review #4, by The MisfitThe Year You Stole My Heart: Chapter 10

12th July 2014:
Tammi!! ♥

I really love this story so far, it's really funny and melodramatic and fun to read. (also, OMG, Adventures is listed as a "Similar Story" to this, I've taken a screenshot in case you want it) The interactions between James and Amelia are so cute and I can see why they're attracted to each other, although not quite so much with Albus and Mariah. They seem to be taking their pranking to extremes, and it's not as easy to see how they're going to be happy together despite all the characters saying they're in love.

Nevertheless, your characterisation is fabulous! The little snippets into everyone's heads are great, because the reader gets the ability to see a little of the character without the chapter getting overwhelmed with filler. I'm particularly enjoying the sibling relationship between Amelia and Adam, and the bromances between Albus/Scorpius, Albus/James and James/Adam!

There are a few formatting errors that I'd suggest fixing -- nothing huge, there's just a few commas in the wrong places and a couple of run-on sentences. I'd suggest taking another read-through of the story to weed them out (and I completely sympathise with you; I reread my chapters 478294784291 times and yet pesky typos still get overlooked).

Overall, this is superbly fabulous ♥ I will be back for more after the HC :D

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Review #5, by The MisfitWilted Flower: The First

12th July 2014:
Hi Roots!

This is one of my absolute favourite stories, and one of the best on the archives. I simply adore everything about this story. Your talent really shines through and your narration blends in beautifully with what I imagine Pansy's behaviour to be. Her dislike for imperfectness, her internal conflict with her upbringing, her gradual change in personality are all executed beautifully. The Pansy at the beginning of this novel is very, very different from the Pansy now, and you clearly have an immense amount of patience because writing this personality change to happen so genuinely requires making it happen slowly, and you've absolutely achieved that.

I love the little tidbits about her life, like Astor (autocorrect tried to change that to Astoria there :P) and Adri. I'm actually really suspicious about Adri's heritage. Pansy was quite quick to jump to the half-blood conclusion, but I wonder whether he's actually a pure-blood who never had a house-elf upbringing (like the Weasleys, etc) and this puts Pansy in a quandary when she discovers this fact later down the line, after she's fallen for him. Then again, he could easily be a Muggle-born -- imagine what would happen if Pansy met his Muggle parents?!

The only critique I can suggest is that you might want to double-check your formatting. There are some new paragraphs / sentences that start below the last paragraph.
Like this, without a space in between. It doesn't happen a huge amount, but I'd suggest that if you have time, fixing those would help the chapters to flow better.

Overall, this is a beautifully-written story by an exceptionally talented author and I can't wait for the next chapter! Good luck with completing this by the end of the month, ♥

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Review #6, by The MisfitMy Little Secrets: Surprise, Surprise

12th July 2014:
Sarah, hello ♥

Wo, next-gen slash! FEM-SLASH. This is rarely seen in the stories I frequent (at least as a main pairing) so I am insanely excited about the Lucy/Gwen relationship! You did really well with showing Lucy's insecurities and the fears she has about her parents and Gwen not accepting her for who she is even though they're unfounded. The poor girl has a lot of self-doubt :(

Linda is such an interesting Voice (I hesitate to call her a character, since I'm not sure if Lucy's genuinely insane or her mind is being messed with right now) albeit one that I don't particularly like as a character. The things she says to Lucy are very clever, picking at the things she fears the most, and yet the more she talks, the easier Lucy finds it to ignore her. It's a very clever way you've written Lucy's reaction to Linda!

I did notice a few grammar errors, particularly places where the full stop at the end of the sentence isn't there. I'd point them out specifically, but HC deadline etc etc ;) They aren't happening enough to be a major concern, but nevertheless, I'd recommend giving the chapters a reread to spot them ;)

Good luck with completing this by the end of the month! :D

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Review #7, by The MisfitThe Deathly Children: Symbols and Stories

11th July 2014:
AH ALBUS KILLED ARIANA *sobs* Unless Gellert is just messing with him...? Aargh. Aargh. *falls apart*

I loved this. I loved everything, particularly the letter from Gellert (the mention of Albus not answering made me think of Fortress: An Anatomy and wonder whether the Nurmengard in the letters and in Fortress is one and the same? Either way, I adore how he tries to make Albus concede and confess to his faults, despite the fact he's equally to blame. Gellert seems to be one of those people who insist on dragging you down with them, and poor Albus for being victim to that.

Death and Ariana! Our interpretations of Death are different, and yet I prefer yours -- the three women remind me of the three monkeys (see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil) and the way they (he? It?) subtly manipulate Ariana to draw the Hallows and behave like they desire is clever. The fable of the girl and the three witches was great, and the way it connects to Ariana is quite interesting; I'm intrigued -- with you, I doubt it's coincidence ;)

Actually, while writing this review I couldn't help comparing the three boys to the Hallows -- Albus is the Elder Wand, with power over Ariana (and Aberforth, to some degree) and he manipulates that power by dosing his sister with potions; Gellert is the Resurrection Stone, because after his imprisonment, he's latching on to Albus and their time together. And the way he talks about conquering the world -- it's like he was trying to show off, like a seventeen-year-old would. Aberforth is the Cloak, because though he's semi-important in the story (being Albus and Ariana's brother), he has the unfortunate habit of making himself constantly absent :P Of course, I could just be overanalysing the characters post-midnight...

You don't have to worry about the chapter being too long -- in fact, i feel like the chapter should have been longer. You cover so much in your chapters, and yet you do it exceptionally fluidly that it's like drifting down a river reading the chapter: no many how many milestones you pass, you always feel like you've never gone very far when in reality you've gone miles... Excuse the weird water-related analogy (is that the right word?) -- it's all I can think of that connects right now :P

This chapter was amazing, as always ♥ Good luck with completing it by the end of the month!

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Author's Response: Heeyy lovely! ♥

You know why it's so fun to write Gellert? Because nobody knows whether he's lying or telling the truth. Sometimes I sit back and think about this when I'm writing, "Wait, is this guy lying, or is he telling some obscure truth, or what?!" *sews you back together*

I've come to the decision that 'Fortress' and TDC are AU to each other! 'Fortress' is just too strange and out there (well, TDC's just got a bit strange as well in this chapter), and the two don't fit too well together. But they're the same characters, definitely! The same Gellert taunting Albus, and yes, he's vindictive in trying to drag Albus down with him. He's this vindictive ex-lover and muahaha I can't wait to write more about him. *evil purple devil*

I would love to read about your interpretation of Death! And that's a great way to see Death, the three monkeys! And clearly you've picked up that three-ness is kinda a recurring thing in this fic. Well, it's recurring outside of this fic as well, y'know, the pagan Triple Goddess, the Holy Trinity etc. I just plucked my inspiration from those concepts and wove them into the story.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS OVERANALYSIS MUAHAHA

*is in love with your flowing river analogy*

Gah, THANK YOU SO MUCH. ♥

It really means a lot to me that you like this chapter and took the time to review! After all, this story is yours and is still being written for you (sorry for taking ages eep).



-teh


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Review #8, by The MisfitLost Lullaby: 7-Girlfriend?

11th July 2014:
Hey, Lily!

I really like this story so far! I'm a little sad that you killed Victoire off, but I'm enjoying the way you're developing Teddy's life post-Victoire. Natalie seems like a great OC and complements Teddy well, and then there's Victoire's shadow everywhere even at Shell Cottage :(

I loved your humorous moments about how Teddy didn't have a phone number or email address, and Christian interrupting at the table just as the important announcement of magic was going to begin :P You're building their romance slowly too which is good, since some stories have ships that feel too rushed but this is a nice pacing, particularly when Teddy has a child to think of.

I would suggest maybe expanding your description a little more by referring to the surroundings, to increase your word count and help the reader picture them better. Also, something that jumped out at me were the sharp transitions between scenes, particularly early on when Christian turned from a two-month-old baby to a three-year-old toddler in the space of a paragraph -- I think a time gap like that could have been moved to the beginning of the next chapter. I'd suggest working on making the transitions smoother.

However, this is still a fantastic story, in fact it's the first Teddy/OC I've read and I'm glad this was my first because it's fabulous and I think with a little revision, it can be even better :D

Good luck with finishing this by the end of the month!

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Review #9, by The MisfitThe Chaos Within: Choices and secrets

11th July 2014:
Hi Erin! :)

First of all, I love it! I don't usually read post-Hogwarts but this comes off as really close to canon so far which is great! I love your characterisations of the trio and Ginny, they're really close to canon and that's really difficult to achieve (for me anyway) so absolute kudos to you!

Are you secretly psychic? You seem to have gotten my headcanon here with regards to Hermione's parents -- I always felt like Wendell and Monica Wilkins would divorce because they never had the memories of meeting and being a couple and raising their daughter, and while I'm sure Hermione tried her best to give them fake memories, fake memories don't have feelings attached and I like that you made her actions have consequences instead of having a happy family reunion.

I'm a little concerned that Harry's reliance on alcohol is too much. I know he's struggling after the warm but I don't think he would turn to alcohol to blot out his fears, although your nightmares seem quite authentic (as far as I can tell anyway, having never been through a war) but personally, I'd ease up on the amount of alcohol he consumes. :)

Also, and this is insanely nitpicky so feel free to ignore me, but I feel like there could be a better name for "sober up potion". I mean, if I was a witch and I saw that in an apothecary, I wouldn't be compelled to buy it, particularly when other potions in the Potterverse have sort of impressive names. Maybe something like Sobriety Draught would fit better?

Overall though, this story is really good. You've gotten a nice balance of post-war angst and little comedic moments like whipped cream on Ron's nose and him interrupting Harry and Ginny's kiss.

Good luck with completing it by the end of the month! ♥

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Review #10, by The MisfitLumos: To The Core

11th July 2014:
Hi Lumos!

I really like this story so far; I'm not a huge fan of post-Hogwarts stories in general but this one seems to be realistic in the way that Harry has issues to deal with, and that his relationship with the Weasleys takes a knock initially -- they're grieving, and although they know Harry isn't to blame for Voldemort's actions, Voldemort's gone now so they can't blame him. And of course, Harry's never been willing to accept help or discuss his feelings, so it makes sense.

I will confess that the first few chapters felt a little OOC to me, but it's very possible that that's because I'm not used to reading post-war Harry; I usually see him in next-gen and he's more positive then. I'm really enjoying the mystery surrounding the wand, and look forward to seeing the plot unfold.

The little tidbits with the Marauders, Albus and Severus in the afterlife were adorable! ♥ However, I'm a little unsure on the relevance at the moment -- is this something that connects to the story later on? :)

Good luck with completing this by the end of the month!

House Cup Review 2014

Author's Response: Hi! Thanks for stopping by.

Yes, it does seem OOC, but there are heaps of things coming up that'll explain everything that seems a bit wrong. I just had to add the Marauders, to be honest they don't have too much connection but I'll work on that...

I'll have to see how I go on completing this, I'm not too sure, I was planning on having many more chapters and I'm a giant procrastinator... Thanks for reviewing!


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Review #11, by The MisfitAcanthus: Of Final Thoughts

11th July 2014:
Woah. This is amazing. Confession: Acanthus has been on my to-read list for some time, but I didn't have the chance to read until you signed up for my challenge :D Actually, I'm torn between wishing I'd read it earlier and being grateful that I wasn't victim to all your evil cliffhangers...

Your characterisation of Rose is amazing; she really feels like a real person here and your plot is wonderful. I didn't realise this was a time travel story at first which normally isn't my cup of tea but I'm enjoying this novel and I'm really sad that there will only be 2/3 chapters left :( I really like the reason behind Charlotte's motivations for helping George and marrying him but it's a shame she felt the need to go to such extremes and you did well in showing how difficult it was to understand why she would do that.

The way you've included little pieces of the present is fabulous, I really like Hermione's sections although I do feel sorry for the Weasleys! And poor Edward dying, and now Anthony's going to sacrifice himself for Scorpius... I wonder if this might help prevent Scorpius' death if George thinks he's dead, or perhaps he doesn't have to die really and it was all a plot by Frederic to kill him?

The only criticism I can offer (and it took me forever to find something to crit, not kidding) is in a couple of places it's a little dialogue-heavy, but nothing that massively detracts from the story.

I can't wait to find out what happens next and I'll definitely be checking out the next chapter! This is really great writing, Kiana! ♥ And good luck with completing it by the end of July! ;)

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Review #12, by The MisfitTrue Lion: Exploding Cauldrons

6th July 2014:
Hi Leonore!

I must admit that AU isn't my favourite thing to read, but I kind of like this so it's a good start :D

Your characterisations are wonderful! Even though this story is very AU, I'm enjoying the characters as they seem to be really well thought-out and I like that you've kept some elements of canon in this story. Severus and Remus' friendship is really interesting to read about, too, particularly their relationships with the other boys and Lily.

One thing I would like to see more of in this novel though is a little more conflict. In my personal opinion, everything seems to be falling in place for Severus and it feels a little unrealistic to me, particularly with his Animagus abilities (in canon, the. Marauders didn't manage it until fifth year and that was with three of them). I feel like including some sort of problem in Severus' life that he has trouble with would help improve the authenticity of the plot :)

Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable read and has a lot of potential to do well :) Good luck with completing the story by the end of the month!

-Isobel

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Author's Response: Hi Isobel!

I'm not at all confident in it's ability to be finished by the end of the month. As you say, it lacks conflict and is rather unrealistic; I rushed Sev getting animagus because I was bored, something that I've worried about at intervals since. The story wasn't planned beyond "Snape is a Gryffindor" and it shows.

I'm so glad you like characterisation, because I'm constantly convinced it's lacking. I might not delete the story as I was thinking of, then, but do some major editing. I had a short attempt at writing more but got bored again. And now I'm doing Camp NaNo with a new novel which is going great especially as it comes complete with conflict. I'll certainly add conflict if/when I edit/continue because, as you say, it is all falling into place for Sev.

That's comforting to hear! I'll try to do something with it rather than straight-off deleting.

Thanks!

~ Leo xx


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Review #13, by The MisfitSevenfold: ember in your name

1st June 2014:
WOAH.

Jenna, how?! How are you such a talented author? I'm sitting here completely blown away, and I'm starting to reconsider my decision to read half this novel in one go because I have no idea where to start -- there's just so much that I want to say, and I blame it all on your wondrous story-telling skills. Where do you get your talent from, Jenna? :P

Louis' POV is quite interesting -- you seem to have really gotten the hang of writing from a male POV while not taking it to extremes. Despite the fact that I'm really iffy about his using Lucretia like that, I really like him; he's an extremely well-developed character with excellent, realistic reasons for doing what he does (even if I don't personally agree with them). I love his analytical mind, considering each suspect one by one. I'm slightly disappointed though that there doesn't seem to be one particular person who appears to be likely of being the murder, but it's entirely possible that there could be clues that need viewing in a different context. Gah.

The way you've created a whole work environment at the Ministry is amazing. You've given each of the Weasleys very distinct placements in the Ministry hierarchy, and it works. I particularly loved the reference to Lucius taking a goblin to court because of what happened to his clothing -- SO funny! You include wonderful references to the books, such as the Thieves' Downfall and Frank and Alice's "mysterious" condition, which gives the reader a sense that this novel really does meld in with what we know about the Potterverse.

I love Emily. She's the character that I identify most with, if I'm honest -- yet, despite the hints of Louis/Emily that I'm picking up from the prose, I'm shipping Louis/Eugenie. Which I consider a bad thing for my feels, because Eugenie's such a mysterious character. Who is her father? That question's been plaguing me ever since the beginning of the story, and I'm really hoping that it gets answered in future chapters. (Who is Eugenie's faceclaim in your banner, btw? She's so pretty!) I can't help but be distrustful of Eugenie, yet I want to believe in her because of her war-afflicted childhood, her absent father and her struggles with being a self-assured young woman in a predominantly male environment.

Which leads me to another note -- I am loving your use of feminism in this story! It's manifesting itself in different ways and forms, and I love it. From Ada being a girl instead of a boy (particularly in the 40s), Emily, Eugenie and Ermengarde following their dreams and being Aurors despite the fact most Aurors are male, and Victoire's campaigning for womens' rights -- it's all fabulous and I applaud you for bringing those things to the second-forefront of this story (the forefront, of course, being the murders). I wonder if Victoire's campaigns will lose publicity in the wake of Umbridge's death, since Umbridge appears to have been the woman Victoire had released from Azkaban into a care home, unless that was a concidence...

OH, WAIT. NO. NO. VICTOIRE IS THE MURDERER. Obviously, in order to help get Umbridge out of Azkaban (who would want her released?!) she had access to Azkaban to kill Barty. And then, being an intelligent woman according to the other characters, she would have planned in advance that Azkaban's security would have tightened up after Barty's murder, so she had Umbridge released to a care home where she could target her more easily. And if anyone saw her, she could pretend to be there visiting her grandparents (it makes sense, really, because no sane person would allow Umbridge in the same building as their poor grandparents) and OH OH OH that's why Harry is so uncomfortable about loaning his Invisibility Cloak to someone! Maybe because it was Victoire! She wasn't mentioned as being on the list (and you'd think being Harry Potter's niece she'd have motive to kill the Death Eater who brought Voldemort back) so maybe she asked Harry to borrow the cloak so that she could interview Umbridge or something... and of course, Ada Treuherzig must be some kind of idol for feminists, because a girl -- particularly an underage girl -- killing seven of Grindewald's followers would have been accoladed through history.

JENNA. YOU MUST TELL ME IF I AM RIGHT. PLEAAASE. ♥

This story was wonderful, completely and utterly blowing me away. I love how you established Zauberei Dorf -- I never really thought about wizarding cities, but given that Germany and most other countries are bigger than the UK, it would make sense to have cities and not villages. The way you've crafted the WWII aspects is beautiful, and in the 21st century, the murder investigation is fabulously complex and even seconds after declaring with excitement that Victoire is the murderer, I'm doubting myself. Please, Jenna. Please TELL ME ♥

There is only one criticism I have with this story, and it's relatively mild -- it's the fact that the story is told in present tense, and occasionally you slip back into past tense. It mostly occurs when you're transitioning back into present tense after filling in some background information, but it pops up here and there too. I know that the whole 60k was written in a month (seriously, I applaud you for the millionth time on that) and that you're on your travels right now (how are they going, by the way?) but perhaps when you get home, you could take a look at your tenses so that it helps the story to flow better. (I typed that as "follow" the first time around, and spent five minutes wondering why it appeared so wrong. *facepalm*)

Superb work, Jenna. I really need to start reading more of your work, (sorry!) but I have to say that in terms of characterization and plot, this just may be your best yet.



PS: Oh, and the recurring feminism in the story is hinting at Victoire's involvement because she views Ada as a role model! Yes! Yes? Maybe?

Author's Response: Isobel! ♥ Ahh, this review is so amazing, and I'm so excited that you read the whole story and liked it. :D I love your work and really value your opinion, and it means so much!

Ah, you're just too sweet! :) This story was my baby for April so getting such lovely feedback on it makes me such a happy parent. ♥

Okay I'm really glad you like how Louis is written! It became easier to write him as I kept going, though I did want to make him seem believable despite not knowing what it's like to be inside a boy's head. Yeah, Lucretia... well, nobody is perfect, and even the nice guys might be tempted when they're getting away with stuff like that.

I'm glad you like the placement of the Weasleys in the Ministry and how they all fit into the wizarding government structure. It's quite interesting to imagine all their careers and how they might tie into one another, like with Molly and Louis and when they get to work together. And thank you! I love writing fanfiction partly because the Potterverse is so diverse and interesting, and it's really fun tying in those details. Hahaha, I almost want to write a separate one-shot talking about the Malfoy clothing incident. :P

Ah, I love hearing not only that you identify with Emily - I find her quite relatable as well, and she's so pleasant - but also that you're shipping Louis/Eugenie. Yay! The faceclaim for Eugenie is Katie McGrath, she is so pretty but also has that mysterious air and looks quite similar to how I picture Eugenie in my head, though Eugenie isn't quite as glamourous. I do love her as a character, so it's good that you're asking questions! :)

I love you so much for mentioning the feminism. It sort of snuck in there and while this isn't a feminist story, specifically, it has a lot of messages about my opinions of the position of women in places of power. Feminism is very close to my heart so it's important to portray women properly in my stories.

Ahahaha, well of course I can't tell you, but your theory is BRILLIANT. Muaha. This is the exact type of chain thinking, where everything links together, that will reveal the murderer - and whether it's Victoire or not, well, I shall not say any more. ;)

Hehehehe.

I originally had Ada's scenes taking place in Berlin, but it made more sense to set up an individual wizarding space for Grindelwald to rule over instead of mixing more with the Muggles. It's sort of a village-town hybrid really, since the wizarding population isn't huge, but gave a good landscape for Ada to interact in. I'm so pleased you like how the historical aspects tie in, it's such an interesting time and I love writing it despite the challenges.

You're so right about the tenses, urgh. I'm the laziest of editors, but now that I'm home I'm going to comb over it and try and pick out the typos because who needs them. :P

Thank you so much for this amazing review, my dear! :D It really made my day to hear all your thoughts and theories, you're the best! :) ♥



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Review #14, by The Misfitstanding in the way of the light: a series of trials.

4th May 2014:
Kiana ♥ I've missed your amazing work!

Can I just say, first of all, that this should come with a "WILL MAKE YOU CRY. DO NOT READ WITHOUT TISSUES" warning at the top of the one-shot, because I'm sitting here right now blubbing.

Having been in Astoria's position when I was very little, I could really empathize with her, particularly with the second person POV used here. Fortunately, my situation ended up differently to hers, but nevertheless I could really empathize with her as the story progressed. I love how you incorporated a childish and naive POV for Astoria as a young child, such as the special paint for adults, and then gradually built upon her understanding -- that was really well done and very clever of you!

I love how you incorporated the Khaled Hosseini quote into the story and weaved it into the prose and the plot. I've not read anything by the author himself, but I think you really did the quote justice from your use of it here.

Astoria's relationship with Lavender -- if it can be called a relationship -- is wonderfully flawed. You describe it so well, including the good aspects such as how Astoria helped to increase Lavender's confidence slightly (but sadly, not enough) and also the negative aspects, like Astoria comparing Lavender to her mother and using her as a replacement, in a way, as well as Lavender relying on Astoria to feel good about herself instead of finding the strength within. It's a very unhealthy obsession for Astoria, trying to save Lavender in a way she couldn't save her mother, and you wrote that beautifully. (I'm a little sceptical about the Healers letting them share a bed, since hospitals tend to be quite strict about their rules and regulations, but then again I've got no experience with mental health wards so they might be a bit more flexible with the rules :P)

You hinted quite early on that Astoria had done something bad that the Ministry weren't charging her for, and I had my suspicions that it involved killing her father. The scenes where she fought back was incredibly poignant and particularly heartbreaking when she realized that she'd fought back too late to save her mother. *goes off to cry in a corner*

*comes back five minutes later* I really liked the way you wrote Astoria's mother. To me, that's a sign that she endured verbal abuse before the physical abuse started -- that the cracks and ugliness of their relationship started long before Astoria became aware of the red paint and the screaming, perhaps before she and Daphne were born. And I love that, because it's incredibly realistic and it shows that we only see them in a certain time frame, and that beforehand, they might even have been happy and Astoria's mother could've been a confident person.

I did spot a few typos, but I understand you were in a hurry to get this up for the deadline! Normally, I'd re-read the one-shot to copy and paste the typos here, but I'm currently a puddle of feels right now :P You've evoked emotion brilliantly, making the reader feel incredibly invested in Astoria and wanting desperately to know the outcome, and I'm really happy that you left the ending open to interpretation -- she could've had a happy life with Draco (who, by the way, I'm convinced after reading this that he recovered but kept coming back to the group sessions to tell the other survivors "look at me, I was in your position once, and things are good for me again so if I can do it, you can too" and generally being a motivational figure in their recovery and why am I rambling?) -- anyway, yes, she could've had a happy life with Draco but there's also the possibility that this could go AU afterwards where she forms an unhealthy attachment to Draco and ends up falling apart and ugh. BTW, I was initially worried about the length but once I started reading I just lost myself in the prose and was torn between wanting it to be longer (because MORE PLEASE) and not wanting it to be longer because my feels are already mush. I don't know what it is about this one-shot, because I don't normally cry about a little (figuratively speaking) one-shot this much (and I've read stories with an abusive father so it's not my personal connection to the subject) therefore I'm saying that's a testament to your skill and wah.



PS: Dear any Ravenclaws reading this, GO NOMINATE THIS FOR A DIADEM BECAUSE IT DESERVES IT. ♥

Author's Response: ahahaha, Isobel, thank you for this amazing review, I honestly wanted to cry when I got it, and I still am squeeing incoherently and yeah, I LOVE YOU AND THANK YOU. I will attempt to respond somehow, but how clear it will be is questionable :P

*massive hug fest* I am so sorry to hear that you had to experience something to Astoria, because I would never want to wish that on anyone, but I'm so glad that you managed to have a happier ending because I don't think I could ever wish a life like that on anyone no matter what they did. It means so much to me that you thought her mindset was fine and that it worked, because I've never had any experience in this luckily so it really was just guesswork of how someone could deal with something so horrible.

You really should go and read something by him as he is such a fantastic author and his work definitely acted a big inspiration for the story, so thank you!! ♥

Erm, I know what you mean about relationship because as you said it was so flawed, it couldn't really be called that, but perhaps fellow sufferer might be a better term for what they were. I love your analysis on their relationship though because it really is fantastic in depth and detail. I think Astoria has just spent most of her life living by obsessions as it's the only way she can maintain control on her world, so when she sees Lavender, it's almost as if she has to repeat her and her mother's relationship because it's only then that the world is rational for her and makes some sort of sense because otherwise it's just confusion.

I know, I thought about killing him, but in the end I didn't want Astoria to be the same as her father by being a murderer. I think the reason she always acts like that is because of the way her mother died at the same time, so it's some sort of twisted guilt inside that if she had done that before, she might have saved her mother, so that's why she has that weird silent thing about it.

The verbal abuse definitely did start before the physical because I think that would be the more natural way for it to happen. As for when it happened, in my head personally it was the gap in between Astoria and Daphne's births, and that's why her father always hated her anyhow, because she was born after he started hating her mother. Now, you're making me want to write a sequel though and explore their life before Astoria and Daphne were born :P

I know, the deadline did make editing more of a rushed job, but I have gone back and edited it now and hopefully it should be ok. Whoo for happy endings! I think it would have been a little cruel ending it on a low note, and I wanted Draco to have another cameo so it had to end that way. Whoo, you got the hint, because it's usually Astoria saving Draco from his troubled past, but this time it's the other way round, because Astoria really is in a worse off state than he is, so I thought it would be interesting to change it around. Wahahahaha, you are so wonderful Isobel, I don't know what to say. There may be a sequel sort of one-shot, because I do have an Astoria/Draco/Scorpius thingymajig in my head, but how directly connected it will be to this, I'm not really sure of, so there may be more (also, it means so much to me that the length didn't scare you, as it did really scare me :P). Wah, just thank you so much for this amazing review and the little shout-out, it's just insane and yeah, thank you!! ♥

-Kiana


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Review #15, by The MisfitShackles of Fear: Shackles of Fear

18th April 2014:
Tammi.

I thought I was evil.

Then I read this one-shot and CRIED.

You've done a really, really fabulous job at describing Colin's emotions. As someone scared of the dark too, I can say that what you wrote was scarily accurate.

A lot of people seem to forget that Colin was just 16 or 17 at the Battle of Hogwarts, depending when his birthday is, and he hasn't gone through the same things as Harry so he's still very much a child. This one-shot made me think of him Petrified in the hospital wing, and Madam Pomfrey turning out the lights, and Colin being left in the dark and not being able to verbalize his fear. *whimpers*

You described the battle really well; there was a lot of confusion as people were fighting and you showed that in Colin's thoughts superbly. And I HATED that line at the ending, even though it was so perfectly fitting with the one-shot itself and with canon.

"Please let me wake up."

But he'll never wake up and that broke my heart. That ending... he's just a frightened little boy in the end, despite all that's happened, and I just want to put my arms around him and keep him safe.

*goes off to cry in the corner*

Author's Response: I felt so terrible doing that to Colin! I don't know why my brain thought that it would be a good idea, it broke my heart so badly to do that to poor Colin.

Yeah, he wasn't that old and he had been sheltered. Oh no! I didn't even think of him being petrified! and now I'm even sadder :( I'm a monster!

Thank you so much for your review Isobel, even if I'm am the meanest person for what I've done to poor Colin. :(

*joins you in crying*


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Review #16, by The MisfitErised Stra Ehru Oy: The Mirror of Erised

18th April 2014:
Hi Grace! First of all, I'd like to say that I'm SO sorry for the delay in getting to this review! RL got crazy for a while, and then I've been exhausted the past couple of weeks but I'm here at last! ^.^

I really like this one-shot! The Every Word Counts challenge seems really hard, so I applaud you on managing to write this! I enjoyed the way you set the scene with that scene from Philosopher's Stone, because it helps us to connect with Albus and the one-shot more than if it had been a different night when he was alone. You've done superbly at depicting his grief and nostalgia in such a few words, and I get the feeling that the mirror was sort of an addiction for Albus.

I also loved the similarities between what Harry and Albus saw in the mirror. You drew such lovely comparisons between them that it really connected them together. The ending was also incredibly sad, and although I'd have liked to see some expansion on it, I understand it's difficult with the word limit. Regardless, you've depicted a very old man with many regrets, and shown him plagued by those regrets. I really hope Albus managed to forgive himself in later years, before his death, but somehow I doubt he did. :(

Nevertheless, this was a fantastic one-shot and I enjoyed reading it! ^.^ Once again, apologies for the delay in getting to this review!

-Isobel

Author's Response: I actually forgot about this until I got the review and then a light bulb turned on.

The challenge isn't as hard as it seems actually, the hard part is the little things that you need to cut out but that you don't want to because it adds to the story and rewording sentences to make them smaller.

It wasn't hard to write about Albus missing his family, I know what it's like to miss my grandparents since they're overseas. I don't think that Albus ever truly forgave himself for what happened either, I realised that when Harry told Aberforth about who Albus was pleading with when he drank that potion in the cave. Albus regretted everything he had done to the day that he died.

I don't mind that it took this long, I understand how it gets. I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed it!


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Review #17, by The MisfitDown the Burning Ropes: she's overboard

12th March 2014:
Hi Lia! I'm here with your review -- so sorry for the delay!

You've started this one-shot off splendidly with your description of Minerva in her office, and Urquart's proposal. In just a few short paragraphs, you've emphasised the detachment between them -- how Minerva likes the man, but is rationalizing marrying him to get over Dougal, instead for love -- and explored some of her characterization. Immediately, you've presented a Minerva with traits that we know from canon while emphasising her youth and freer nature. I loved the contrast here between the Minerva in this one-shot and the Minerva in the books, because while they share many similarities, the youth and innocence of your Minerva really shines through your writing.

Your descriptions of the men in Minerva's life were breathtaking. You showed the differences in them beautifully -- Elphinstone Urquart with his unexpected proposal, Alastor Moody with his ambitious nature, like Minerva herself, and Dougal McGregor, the man she still misses and doesn't want to think of.

And of course, Tom.

Your description of Tom was the perfect balance of creepy and terrifying. You truly emphasised how he was the unobtainable man, in a way, for Minerva. He's changed to some extent -- certainly he's no angel now, and clearly he enjoys manipulating Minerva's mind -- but there's still a way to go before he becomes Lord Voldemort, and yet he's still not someone rational who fits in with her sensible world. You've described wonderfully the appealing, ravishing Tom that Slughorn and Dumbledore remember from his schooldays, and yet there's this dark element to him that's beautifully canon for this point in his timeline.

I really loved the flow that you've established here, it felt very smooth. Your characterization was excellent, particularly of Minerva, and your description is wonderful. The only criticisms I can offer is that I spotted a small typo here: He's had this affect on her before, but not as pronounced. (Affect should be effect) and that occasionally, you switch to present tense instead of past, so you may want to have a re-read of this, but those barely detract from the overall beauty of this one-shot.

Although the last line was heartbreakingly sad, it was quite fitting for Minerva, and connected very well to the woman she becomes in later years.

This was a super one-shot, and definitely a fabulous piece of writing! You're a very talented writer, and I'll definitely have to check out your other stories some day! :)

-Isobel

Author's Response: Hey Isobel,

It's always fun to read what others interpret from my writing…or anyone's writing, for that matter. They are often different from what was intended.

I think Minerva was trying to be sensible. Fresh out of Hogwarts and she hadn't spent a full year in the Auror Department yet. But her boss wants to marry her. That can be a lot to take in. She admires him for sure, but I think she needed more time to really know him before she gave an answer. Besides, her feelings for Dougal still lingered.

Everyone sees the men as a comparison of one another. It's funny, because I never thought of it that way. But now that most reviewers brought it up, I can see it. I think I liked writing Moody the best. I agree, they are alike in terms of their ambition. I actually wanted to build a friendship of sorts between them. Dougal - while not present - was the most important in Minerva's life at that point. He was the one who showed his serious, no-nonsense young woman what love was. For a character like Minerva, when she loved, she gave everything.

Ah yes, Tom.

He's such a deliciously disturbing character. At this point, you are right. He is beginning his transformation into Lord Voldemort. He has travelled and learned certain arts. The war is over, but that doesn't mean the world is less dangerous. I think he appeals to a darker side of Minerva, if that can exists. And part of him sees her as close to an equal as he can find. So, the attraction is mutual.

Gah, yes. I have a huge problem with that and I never can tell. I will re-read this when I have more time to focus on it.

You know, I think that last time summed up her biography on Pottermore. She has loved, but she lost much more because of it. After years and years of turning down Urquart, she marries him only to have him die a short time later. She gave in with Dougal, but called it off. So, I felt that I should allude to all that here.

Thank you so much for your kind words! And thank you for taking your time out to read it :)


Lia


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Review #18, by The MisfitAtlas Air: Prologue

5th March 2014:
Hello, Marina ♥ I'm so sorry for the lateness of this review; real life has decided that it doesn't like me these days, apparently!

From the very beginning, your description is beautiful. The imagery that you've used is striking -- you've mastered show, not tell perfectly, and I just loved the mystery that you've draped this one-shot in. With every fact that you've revealed, you give us a question -- like that Teddy and Victoire are more than friends, which immediately makes me ask whether they're a couple, but at the time I'm sensing friendship between them at present. And I'm really curious as to who Robin is -- it's clear he's somewhat important to Victoire, since she addresses him as "darling" in her letter and cares about his forgiveness of her, but we don't quite know in what capacity yet.

Your action-writing ability is absolutely superb. You've captured the fear that Teddy and Victoire are feeling, and described that they're moving and hiding so eloquently that I can almost picture them in my mind's eye -- and yet, we still don't know who their jailers are, or who the mysterious man is at the ending. I'm intrigued at his shamelessness, because Victoire mentions trusting him only for him to betray them, and I want to know who he is and why he feels powerful enough to face them again. I get the feeling that he's working with the people who have been keeping them imprisoned, and if that's true then trouble just went through the roof :P

I did spot a small typo: My joints are stiff from being stuck in this room for days. -- it's in present tense, while the rest of Victoire's narration is in past, so you may want to correct it :)

Overall, this is a beautiful prologue, Marina. Your cliffhanger has me on tenterhooks, and I'm definitely coming back to see what happens in chapter one! The fact that you've been to Africa just amplifies the beauty of your writing, because you can embed your real-life experiences into it (although I hope the prison cell is fictional!) This is actually the first story of yours that I've read, and given the breathtaking quality of this prologue, I've clearly been missing out.

I look forward to reading more of this novel! ♥

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Review #19, by The MisfitA Savage Failure: Love in a Hopeless Place

21st February 2014:
Hello again! :D

I absolutely adored this chapter! Strangely, I'd never thought of Charlie being gay before now, but now that I've read this one-shot the possibility makes a lot of sense.

The beginning was an excellent combination of light-hearted and informative. With just a few short paragraphs, you've given the reader an approximate time and unfolded an unique situation.

I really liked your section on when Charlie met Brad! You depicted a lovely, modern couple here who are both comfortable in their sexuality, and that was really great to read. I liked how Tonks introduced the both of them; it makes sense, considering Brad's career. I loved how he introduced himself in a Bond-esque way, because that's how Charlie introduced himself earlier, and it's nice to see a habit that he picked up from Brad ^.^ I'm a little confused about how he asked Tonks if the man who walked past was Brad, though, since there isn't a previous mention of his name before then in that section. You might want to edit that :3

Oh dear! Brad being assigned the investigation into the Weasleys seems to bode badly for them, although it's great that he doesn't intend to report them and have them sent to Azkaban. The shower scene was fun! It really showed a different side to their relationship - that despite the war and the difficulties of their lives, they have moments where their relationship is light-hearted and I think that's a lovely way of hinting at how they're each other's way of staying sane through the harsh reality of war. :D

Poor Charlie and his trust issues in lying to Brad. I would imagine that it's difficult enough to have complete faith in someone working for the enemy (despite their apparent good intentions) but a long distance relationship makes it so much more difficult. I did love the nod to canon though; it makes sense that there would be a system in place already with the coins, and Hermione discovered it in her research and used it for the DA coins with possibly a few adaptions. And that line at the end of the section made me laugh out loud - that certainly is true!

Awww! The Battle of Hogwarts! When I first read that Bread had died, I wondered whether it was at the Battle, and discovering that it wasn't has me curious as to when and how he died! You've done really well at capturing my interest, and while you were at it, slaughtering my feels. Poor Remus and Tonks :( And the Weasley family, too! Not to mention the cliffhanger! (Although I can't really complain, since that would make me hypocritical :P)

I did spot a few typos/grammar errors, but nothing a proofread or two wouldn't fix. The only crit I have is that it feels a little clunky in between the sections - I'd suggest maybe adding a couple of sentences at the beginning of each new section to quickly refer to whatever's happened in the few months since the last section to help make the transitions smoother :)

Nevertheless, you've written an excellent chapter here! Your beginning was intriguing and set the scene beautifully, while your chronological flashbacks are interesting and depict a relationship excellently and the ending makes me want to read the next chapter straight away (but sadly, it's quarter to two in the morning *cries*) so well done on an excellent story! You've written this superbly! :D

Author's Response: I've read quite a few stories where Charlie is gay or in the closet. Though, JKR said he wasn't single because he's gay (or something along those lines) but I thought there was room to squeeze in single because his heart was broken (in a gay relationship).

YOU'RE THE FIRST PERSON TO CONNECT THAT CHARLIE DOES HIS INTRO LIKE THAT BECAUSE OF BRAD! Seriously! That makes you a genius! :D (Or I should be more obvious about it.) Oh, yeah, I probably skated over a bit there (because that picks up from a scene in another story of mine where she introduced them so it happned but not in this story). :-x

I like to think of them as a challenged couple from the beginning. Brad with his loyalty to the Ministry but knowledge that things are a bit iffy with them and Charlie in the Order... it's a little Romeo and Juliet for them during that time period. They were each other's anchor during the war. I like to think they had more ineractions that I didn't explicitly talk about which were likely infrequent but quite cathartic.

Charlie and his trust issues are a bit of theme between them. I feel like distance only compounds that like you said. I'm so glad you liked my use of a magical coin. I didn't think of Hermione having researched this specific coin, rather the general spell. :D but I'll go on thinking she read about these coins. hehe, I like to think the other dragon guys were aware of Charlie's life a bit. ;)

I do like to damange feels when I write. :D *cough* I'm really glad that this captured your interest and made for an interesting read. I had originally planned on making this a one-shot but split it into two parts after I had close to 9k words. There wouldn't have been a cliffy in my first rendition, but this was a good place to pause the story as things change for them after the war.

I desperately need to give this story a good bath, I mean edit, and catch those typos. I wrote this in a 6 hour jaunt to meet a deadline. :-/ Now that there are two chapters, I could definitely add more to the transitions. I was trying to minimize length at first but it's less of an issue now. :)

Thank you so much for such a glowing review! I'm beyond happy that you've enjoyed this and were pulled in!!

-Rose


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Review #20, by The MisfitNomenclature: Signing the Map

21st February 2014:
Rose, hello! I've seen you around on the forums, but I don't think I've ever had the opportunity to read your work until now -- and clearly, I've been missing out, because your writing is absolutely super!

The quote from the story was what drew me in to this one-shot, although I was a little sceptical at first because I've seen quite a few cliched stories of Marauders. However, this story is wonderful and portrays the Marauders' brotherly relationship excellently. I really enjoyed the first section, where you include lovely little details that really define the Marauders' characterization - James pondering with his quill as he thinks, Remus being responsible now he's a Prefect, Peter being slightly quieter, and suggesting that Sirius would want to name the map after himself. I felt like I could connect to those boys if they existed IRL; James and Sirius in particular reminded me of classmates I knew at school, which shows how realistically you've written them. You've captured their youth incredibly well!

The flashback was adorable! You captured the essence of young eleven-year-old boys perfectly, and even at that age you've dropped hints on what kind of people they'll be when they get older. I loved how you included Sirius' food not doing his temper any favours :P Also, the way Filch caught them was hilarious! I quite enjoyed those lines about how the name was originally one of mockery, but the Marauders turned that name into something to be proud of. It's a really interesting viewpoint of how they were named, and certainly not one I've seen before.

James' comment on prancing around made me laugh! Although the foreshadowing comment that Sirius made gave me the feels - it was such a off-handed thing to say, and now I'm wondering if he, Remus and Peter remembered that moment after his arrest.

While my headcanon is that their nicknames were developed naturally, I enjoyed the way you wrote them choosing their names. Sirius' comment on Peter's tail being like a worm was really fun (and true!) although I'd have liked to see more about the reason behind James and Sirius' nicknames. :)

I caught a typo here - Are you sure theres a secret passage there, James, Remus asked looking over his friends shoulder - there should be a question mark after James' name and not a comma, since Remus is asking a question.

Overall though, you've written an absolutely fabulous one-shot that depicts the Marauders beautifully. Your characterization is excellent and your take on quite important occasions in canon is fabulously unique ♥

I loved this!

-Isobel

Author's Response: Hello!!!

I'm so glad we got to swap with each other because I loved reading your stories. I'm so flattered you like my writing!

I know what you mean about a lot of Marauder Era stories being super cliche and hoaky. I was purposefully avoiding most of the cliches I'm aware of and bothered by. I've always felt that their friendship had to be a cornerstone to any story about them. WHen I consider the sacrifices they made for each other (and the depth of betrayal even), it's impossible not to make them brotherly. It means a lot to me that they felt like real people with their mannerisms - even that they reminded you of two friends.

Writing them as 11 year olds was a lot of fun. I quite liked thinking of how they'd get in and out of trouble at that age. I also don't think they were super bffs then but this might have been a catalyst event for them. :D I'm really happy you liked how Filch caught them and contributed towards their name. I thought their name had a stronger story if it came from a low point and eventually got elevated and revered.

Their dialogue was so hard to write! I'm really glad that it came through as funny and that the foreshadowing wasn't too clunky. I like to think they'd remember how he joked about it at one point even if they don't recall the exact conversation.

I was struggling with a chicken and the egg problem. I know they had their nicknames when the map was created but it really didn't make sense for the names to happen before they took animagi form (it would be too convenient). It also didn't feel like enough time for the names to just happen (though I could have done it a bit different now that I think of it - ah, plunny!). I didn't feel as strong about Sirius and James' names. I might have to poke at that sometime.

Ooh, thanks for pointing out that typo!!

Thank you so much for such an awesome and kind review. I'm thrilled that you liked this. :D

-Rose


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Review #21, by The MisfitAurora and Boreas: the world suddenly turns colour

9th February 2014:
Woah.

Your writing is always beautiful and wonderfully executed, but this completely and utterly blew me away. As someone who ships both James/Lily and Severus/Lily, I really loved the subtle comparisions that you've made between James and Severus. While you've shown accurately that Severus was interested in using Lily for his own salvation, it's refreshing to see someone write James as wanting to simply appreciate Lily, instead of 'winning' her.

Your description was mind-blowing. I could imagine Lily and James climbing up that mountain, and I truly adored all of the little things you included that truly cemented their characterization: Lily ensuring they had the professor's permission, James being unused to running on uneven territory. Most James/Lily one-shots I've read depict them as a couple, or occasionally as friends, but you've chosen a particularly rare point in their timeline to set this one-shot in, when they're more than friends but not a couple and you convey their feelings about each other perfectly. The way you contrast them, from adventurous Lily dragging James along and James being overly cautious (once again, a really lovely break from the norm of James/Lily fanfiction) to the little things like her mittens and his gloves. I'm probably over-analyzing, here, but the beginning of the story shows Lily as quite resilient and confident in what she feels, but the mittens that she wears - which were more popular among young children decades ago - adds a touch of innocence to her, and it really makes me believe that this Lily in your one-shot is the same Lily that goes out fighting for the Order, but comes home to be a wife and mother. This one-shot may actually contain one of my favourite portrayals of Lily, and it's a testament to your skill as an author.

I'm going to confess that it never occurred to me before how a pure-blood might find a Muggle-born's discovery of magic, but you've added it into this story with such ease that I can't imagine not considering it. The way you have James using wizarding references - saying "Merlin's beard" and comparing Lily to a hinkypunk seems so natural. Although it's entirely possible that Astronomy is one of James' weaker subjects, I'd like to think that the aurora borealis is an integral part of Muggle Astronomy and not as well-known in the wizarding world, simply because it demonstrates how a Muggle-born's perspective can expand those of a pure-blood's, like we see here when Lily shows James the lights. Then again, that just may be wishful thinking ^.^

Your comparisions of the green and blue aurora borealis to the Killing Curse was so beautiful and yet so tragic, because of all the foreshadowing that it contained. I've never seen the lights, being too far south, but your writing really allowed me to see James and Lily standing on that mountainside, seeing flashes of green and blue and being completely breathtaken with each other.

As for that almost-kiss, the fangirl in me is a touch disappointed but I do think you made the right choice not having them kiss, because that made the one-shot more about their feelings for each other and the intimate connection they share than about simple romance. Although that last line was particularly heartbreaking, because they don't have very long left to live and they have no idea and it's just so bittersweet.

I'd like to apologize for the horrendous length of time that it's taken me to leave this review - real life's been quite busy recently and I wanted to leave a review that was worthy of this impeccable story instead of a typo-written, decaffeinated jumble of thoughts. :P

Once again, this is honestly fabulous writing. You've taken a common pairing and given it an uncommon twist, and your characters truly come across as human instead of fictional people. If you aren't already a published author, you should definitely become one!

-Isobel

Author's Response: Wow! Thank you very much for this incredible review, Isobel! I apologize for taking so long to respond to it, but know that I've loved reading and rereading it as I've tried to come up with a suitable response. It means a lot that you enjoyed this story and were able to take so much from it - I've worried about this story because it didn't do as well as I'd hoped, and I don't know why. But you liked it, and you're a fantastic writer, so... yes. ^_^

For some reason I love finding the ghostly similarities between James, Sirius, and Severus - I'm sure that JKR made them appear so similar for a reason, especially because all three have a connection with Lily and influence Harry in their own way. But what is the purpose of these similarities? It's still something I'm trying to figure out, which is why it keeps entering into my stories. It's great that you liked the comparison between James and Severus here - it's brief, yet powerful, especially because it's James who recognizes it and is able to see how he can adapt his behaviour and find the acceptance he desires.

Thank you for the compliments about the descriptions! I'm really pleased to hear that you liked them - they were my favourite part about writing this story, all of those wonderful little details that say so much about the characters and their budding relationship set against a sublime landscape. I love exploring this in-between stage of their relationship because it's when both characters are undergoing a great deal of development, learning about themselves as much as about one another. There's so much potential for good stories and I do love a slow-burning romance, the kind that sneaks up on characters when they're too busy with other things.

Lily has become a very interesting character to write, very down-to-earth yet still unearthly - like you said, she's mature, yet with touches of innocence or childishness that make her difficult to pin down. But now that I'm finally getting the hang of writing her, she's utterly charming, a character with a lot to offer because she gives herself completely to what she believes in. Thank you again for the compliments. *blushes*

Haha, I think it's more than James doesn't pay enough attention in Astronomy class - too busy making jokes to Moony and secretly creating the Marauders Map under the cover of darkness in the back of the class. Or perhaps it's a class that he never took seriously, preferring those more concrete courses that let him actually do magic, much in the same way that Harry is skeptical about Divination. From what I've seen of Astronomy in the Potterverse, I don't know whether it would look at the Aurora Borealis or not - Hogwarts has the benefit of being fairly far north, so it would be visible from the Astronomy tower, but wizards seem to study the stars for fortune-telling purposes rather than to actually explore space. So it would then make more sense for Lily to know more about it than James because - and this is pure speculation - she would be the curious sort, reading quite a bit in order to escape her sister during the summer holidays.

Thank you again for this review! Ugh, I can't thank you enough for all of your kind words. *hugs*


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Review #22, by The MisfitThe Deathly Children: A Funeral

5th January 2014:
NICOLE I AM SO EXCITED TO SEE THIS UP ♥

From the very beginning, this was utterly gripping - Gellert's letter to Albus spoke volumes and yet didn't really say too much which has left me going what, what, I want to know more!!

AND ABERFORTH DID NOT KILL ARIANA. WHAT. Now I'm going to keep my eyes peeled in future chapters to decide who it was who killed her - Albus or Gellert - and which of them deserves to not feel that guilt. OH! What if Albus knew that it was either Aberforth or himself/Gellert and with Gellert's announcent, he then knows for certain that it's him/Gellert instead of the pool of suspects dwindling to two - omg. I WANT TO KNOW D:

*takes deep breath* Whew.

The funeral was wonderful. You really articulated Albus' thoughts perfectly - I really got the sense that it was Albus narrating, because the prose and the details and the descriptions were just him. And the things you picked out were great - Bathilda doesn't appear for very long in this chapter, but you've really made her a character already (am I making sense? :3) Your descriptions of Kendra were also fabulous - I don't think I could ever write a corpse and make her sound as authentically human as you have.

I'm getting a little of Albus wondering if Ariana is at fault for Kendra's death. (We know she lost control of her magic, of course, but from Albus' questions it seems as if Albus is wondering - did a sudden outburst come out of nowhere cause Kendra's death - which would leave Ariana blameless - or was it her magic getting stronger and the both of them were hiding it? BTW, I love the references to canon you included - Aberforth and the goats, for example :P

The section with Ariana was exquisite. I loved all the details about the differences between Kendra and the boys, and how she doesn't really understand her mother's death. As for the ending - omg. That was super. I get the feeling that Ariana's rebellion is going to cause ripples in the family >:D

I'm really sorry for the short review, but I'm typing as fast as is humanly possible because I want first review :$ But I just want to say, I love this story to bits, your characterization is perfect, and you are amazing for writing me this. ♥

Author's Response: ISOBEL! ♥

Muaha. Ahaha. :P I AM SO GLAD YOU ENJOY THIS FIC. BECAUSE IT IS YOURS, YOURS, ALL YOURS. ♥

I had a bit of fun with Gellert's letter, because well, he's a dark lord :P And a lot more interesting dark lord than dreary old mouldy Voldie. Aberforth did not kill Ariana ahahahah. Maybe Gellert is lying. Who knows. :P WHO KILLED ARIANA DUMBLEDORE. I would like to tell you what I know, but I have to write the story first.

Aww, your comments on the funeral section and how the narrative is so close to Albus' frame of thoughts really made my day! I was indeed trying to bring out as much 'Albus-ness' in the prose as possible. Lol Kendra's corpse. In my original NaNo novel, Kendra was one of the main characters, and I really did enjoy writing her, but now for the sake of this story, she's a corpse. I sort of feel sad at this!!

ARIANA DUMBLEDORE ♥ I have nothing else to say about her. Nearly done with writing the final bit of this next chapter, and there's a LOT of her in it; I hope I haven't gone too far...

THIS IS NOT A SHORT REVIEW AT ALL! ♥ ♥ THANK YOU, M'DEAR. Your love is much loved!

teehh

PS: Also in the next chapter: GELLERT GRINDELWALD. (the young one, not the bitter, angry one in prison)



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Review #23, by The MisfitWhere There's Smoke: Percy

1st January 2014:
Hello, Maggie! I'm here for the TGS review swap, sorry for the delay! ♥

I really loved the way you portrayed Percy! It was so heartbreaking to read about how his family rift began, but I think you depicted it well. Instead of twisting all the blame onto the Weasleys for making him an outcast, or portraying him as a pompous fool, you showed Percy as a beautiful character - a human with flaws, who made mistakes but who genuinely believed in what he thought was right. Your characterization is absolutely splendid!

I loved the way you depicted Percy overall, and I really like the friendship between Percy and Aberforth. It was lovely to read, and really explains how Percy managed to get to Hogwarts during the Battle in a canon way, which is a plus! Also, I find the thought of him communicating with Aberforth to get information on his family adorable - it shows how much love he has for his family, despite their differences. All the feels ♥

I did notice a couple of slight inconsistencies though - firstly, why Percy would have gone all the way to the Hog's Head after work for a drink? We know he could Apparate, but that's still difficult to do for long distances, especially if he was drinking alcohol which could impair his ability to get home. I think a little backstory would be nice - perhaps he was afraid of seeing people he knew in the Leaky Cauldron / Three Broomsticks who might judge him for "abandoning" his family and wanted to go somewhere where no-one knew him? Also, I seem to remember him telling the Ministry where to "stick the job" which isn't shown here, although that's not a major issue, it's just something I thought would be really nice to include to help tie this chapter into the books as a missing moment :)

Overall, I loved this chapter. It was super-lovely, with a wonderful, realistic portrayal of Percy and the way you explained everything was fantastic, as it ensured that this could fit really well into Potterverse. You have a really good first person narration, and it came across beautifully, and I'm really pleased to have had the opportunity to review this! ♥

-Isobel

Author's Response: Hi Isobel! I haven't forgotten about this review exchange, and this review is so helpful. I'm so sorry I'm just now responding to it, but here I am!

I'm really glad you enjoyed Percy. His family situation really made me sad in the seventh book, and I saw it as a failure on both sides to listen and communicate well. So I tried to portray how difficult it would be without casting all the blame on one party. From your comments I think it seems to have worked pretty well, so thank you for that reassurance!

The Aberforth thing sort of came to my mind out of nowhere, but it made a kind of sense to me. I did sort of wonder how Percy would have come to know about the battle, and if he would have gotten information from an outside source. Aberforth seemed like a good link between Hogwarts and the outside world.

Dan actually mentioned the location thing as well when he came by, and I'm really happy you brought to my attention again. I've been meaning to throw in some explanation for why he went to the Hog's Head, somewhat along the lines of what you suggested :) Haha, I think I just assume everything in the wizarding world is close together? But it's good to have a reminder of the logistics of everything. When I go back and edit I'll be sure to make that part clearer.

Thank you so much for reviewing (even if it was a million years ago, haha.) Your comments are always so helpful and encouraging! I really appreciate it, Isobel! I'm glad we got the opportunity to swap :)

--Maggie


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Review #24, by The MisfitMeissa: Prologue

11th December 2013:
Hi Janelle! Firstly, I'd just like to apologize for the delay in reviewing; I've been really tired the past few days and I wanted to give you a review worthy of your story, which is fabulous so far!

I really like the mysterious tone you've used in describing what's going on around the girl. The little details that you include - the knocks on the door for example - add a lot to this chapter. It's a breath of fresh air to have a Death Eater wannabe meet Voldemort in a situation that doesn't involve the whole group, but I'm wondering why this is and what makes this girl special, which is excellent because I want to read on!

I enjoyed the way Voldemort spoke to the girl; it's very authentic and gives off the impression that although he likes her, she remains disposable. Your interpretation of the Dark Mark is refreshingly unique - I've never read a story where it's split into two stages, and I like the way you've depicted this!

I also noticed a small typo: "But you bare only part of the mark." - bare should be bear ;)

Overall, this was a really interesting prologue and it definitely makes me want to read on! Excellent work, Janelle ♥

Author's Response: Thanks so much for the amazing review! I'll change that bare. Don't ask why I wrote wrote that! Lol. But seriously, thanks so much!

-Janelle


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Review #25, by The MisfitForever Young: Forever Young

24th October 2013:
SAM!

I really shouldn't be adding to your pile of unanswered reviews, but I just had to leave a review on this! ♥ Although it's shorter than I would have liked, you really portray the Weasley family well in this.

Fred Weasley and the fear of growing old, how ironic :P I really like this one-shot, although I would suggest making it longer and fleshing out the time expanse between when he's eight and 20. I do love the way you describe Muriel though, it sounds really authentic from an eight-year-old boy's perspective!

Absolutely lovely one-shot! ♥

Author's Response: ISOBEL!

A longer one-shot would have meant ripping out my heart (I sold my soul for what I did to Nicky).

Yes, the heart wrenching irony. What a combination, eh? :P

Thank you so much, I'm so happy you like the descriptions of Muriel and the Weasleys. I get nervous about canon characters. :)

Thank you for leaving a review!

Sam.


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