Reading Reviews From Member: Pheonix Potioneer
  
140 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Pheonix PotioneerThe Rise of the A.W.L.: The Jelly Legs Jinx.

31st January 2015:
Oh, Rose. So naive. She thinks that since she knows Dora is wrong, the Ministry won't bother to hear Dora's side. It becomes obvious at moments like this that she's young. I'm not very mad at her this time- just surprised.

Ha ha, I find it amusing that Rose was angry about the article not being front page. I suppose the Ministry doesn't want to draw attention to it.

I'm surprised Rita Skeeter didn't find out the identity of the two thirteen-year-old girls (Rose and Dora). But how did she even find out that much in the first place?

For Professor Vector, I keep thinking of the Vector person on Despicable Me. I suppose I should take this professor more seriously.

I don't blame Rose for being annoyed about Dora getting away with everything and herself getting attention. I think it's because Dora knows how to be sneaky and subtle, while Rose does not.

One thing I am annoyed at Rose about is that she uses Dora's background and Dora's father as justification. I know Dora was doing everything of her own will as well, but still- it's like judging Sirius Black for being a Black. And Blackburn for being a werewolf. I agree with Rose, that Dora deserved it and such, but Rose really shouldn't have used Dora's father as justification. I would have said that Dora is capable of evil deeds (like what Dora did last year) and that all year Dora complained about Blackburn and made anti-werewolf remarks.

At least Rose isn't the stereotypical, brilliant protagonist. She is flawed.

Good chapter! And what was the scene that Leonore had you put in?

Author's Response: There's actually a hint as to how Rita knows what she does. There's a reference to a beetle around Hogwarts at one point.

She does know their identity, but by keeping it vague, she's both trying to create more concern among parents - it could be THEIR child that was targeted - and also making it look as if they spoke to her directly. By not citing the source, it makes it less likely she'll get called out on the fact she got her information rather obliquely.

Well, Rose meant it would be pretty coincidental if Fairfax just picked a student to bully into helping him and they ALSO had a father with similar views to Fairfax, but yeah, that's ignoring the fact that if Fairfax knows who she is, and there's a good chance he WOULD, or that he could find out, he might choose her, thinking there was a good chance she'd go along with what he asked or at least, that she'd be unlikely to have parents who'd make an official complaint about what he did.

And yes, Rose can be pretty unfair when it comes to Dora. She just looks for anything to criticise her for, even when it's something she has no control over. There were plenty of other things she could have said to back up the fact Dora is likely to do something to hurt Blackburn voluntarily.

Flawed people are so much more fun to write anyway. Characters who get everything right are boring, both to read and to write. You can do so much more with characters who make mistakes and mess up. Rose's obsession with certain things - like proving Dora guilty - can send her off in all kinds of wrong directions and affect her judgement.

Leonore wanted me to write a scene where Rose got caught hexing Dora and got punished for it, which was sort of overdue anyway. And then, when she mentioned it, it occurred to me it'd be a good way of revealing certain information.

Thank you so much for your review. Hope you enjoyed the chapter.


 Report Review

Review #2, by Pheonix PotioneerGive It A Go: Just A Date

26th January 2015:
Yes, finally something ORIGINAL where Rose and Scorpius aren't hopelessly in love! I'm a fan of ScorRose, but it is so common that it gets annoying after a while.

I love how realistic this is. This is what actually happens in real life.

I think everyone knows someone like Violet. I have a friend who isn't quite as bad as Violet, but she can be annoying sometimes.

Ha ha, Kenway's date puked. That's kind of funny.

I'm glad Ella and Albus worked out great- I really like them. Hooray!

Great job with this!

Author's Response: Glad you enjoyed it! We like being realistic, and ScorRose pairings often bug us at least a little, so this was our way of contrasting most stories that pair or ship them. Granted both our Rose and especially our Scorpius are both quieter, reflective characters and I guess you don't see that wih Scorpius too often.

Violet was a character we saw as very... outgoing and our characters often tend to lean towards independent with a sense of humor, but we try to get a balance of personalities because that's what's realistic. ;)

Kenway's date couldn't have ended any better in my opinion (props to Georgina) which makes it fun especially with his character. Heehee! If you liked he Albus/Ella, check out the later chapters of our story The Wizarding Life of Ella Green.

Thanks for the review!!
--Freda


 Report Review

Review #3, by Pheonix PotioneerThe Place That Will Never Be Dark: Prologue

26th January 2015:
Hello! Hufflepuff Hot Seat Review.

Well... this is a bit ominous. Of course, I kind of know what happens. Salazar and Godric duel and then Salazar leaves. I don't know the circumstances though, so I'll be eager to know that! Since there's so few people who write about the founders, I basically just accept whatever you write about them as canon.

Yup, of course Rowena would be skeptical. She is a Ravenclaw- THE Ravenclaw, so I suppose she's as Ravenclaw-ish as possible! Of course a person who values their brains more than anything would be skeptical by a seer.

"A ship gliding over the sea". Interesting. Why would they be on a ship? Hmmm. I must admit, this is intriguing!

Is Salazar already building the Chamber of Secrets? I really don't like how you've described how he looks. I would not like to meet Salazar in this state. And I think he knows exactly what the seer is talking about.

Update soon! This has certainly built up tension.

 Report Review

Review #4, by Pheonix PotioneerWhat Nightmares are Made Of: What Nightmares Are Made Of

24th January 2015:
Hufflepuff Hot Seat review!

Okay, I'm going to guess on who is narrating each segment. It shouldn't be too hard. First one: Remus; Second, Moaning Myrtle; Third, Ron; Fourth, Harry; Fifth, Sirius. The last one I think is Sirius, but there have been many Azkaban inmates so it might not be him.

This is so wonderful, but almost every single one ends on a cliffhanger! Argh! On the plus side, I know what happens, but every single one ends with the monster. DON'T GIVE ME NIGHTMARES!

I love how you describe everything in each increment. "The decrepit wooden floors" is AWESOME. It's beautiful wording. And there are so many stories. So many. That's what I love about writing: you can write about anyone, and it will be interesting.

Nice job incorporating so many challenges. I hope you win at least one of them! You've got my vote. Great job!

 Report Review

Review #5, by Pheonix PotioneerLove is for Fools: Not a Fool

24th January 2015:
Here for the Hufflepuff Hot Seat Review!

This is awesome. Not only does it make me support Remus/Sirius now, but you made each sentence begin with the next letter of the alphabet! And it makes sense! That is truly extraordinary. If I tried this, it wouldn't flow nearly as nice. This obviously has a lot of work and care put into it, despite it being only five hundred words. In fact, that's probably why it does have a lot of care put into it.

STOP TORTURING POOR REMUS! Why does every fic make him suffer? Sure, he did actually suffer a lot, but don't make him suffer EVEN MORE! *cradles Remus*

Amazing how I'm now shipping Remus/Sirius because of five hundred words. This definitely makes "every word count"!

Thank you for such a thrilling experience.

P.S. I hope Heaven is like Zonko's too. That would be awesome. I'd never get bored.

 Report Review

Review #6, by Pheonix PotioneerAlbus Potter and the Stone Mark: Justice Where Justice is Due

16th January 2015:
Right... so... I started reading this because of the Hufflepuff Hot Seat Review... and I got a little carried away... Well, that's a good thing for you guys! It means I liked it.

It's awesome that you guys wrote this starting at Albus's third year- most people start at Albus's first year and do it Harry Potter-style feedback.

Speaking of which, are you doing a sequel? Sombremaitre is still out there.

If I have one complaint, it's that I have to use copy and paste each time I write Sombremaitre. Couldn't you have made it an easier name? But it is a really cool name, so I suppose that makes up for it.

I read the little Ella Green story after I finished this- I find it great that they ended up together. I actually was thinking about her maybe being a good match for Albus before I found out it actually happened. Great job! She's a lovely girl.

I'm glad Albus and Scorpius are on friendly terms- and Harry's and Draco's reactions are golden. Just golden.

This has disappointedly low reviews! Hmm. I thought it would have more. It's too good.

I love the idea of the resurrection stone as part of Lily's necklace. That is just so, so awesome and clever.

The duel was pretty epic. Just saying.

And Dunstan is a jerk.

Wonderful, wonderful story!

Author's Response: Yay, it keep you reading! With the minimal reviews I assumed it wasn't all that interesting.

We wanted to make sure the whole Weasley clan was there, including Lily and Hugo.

We do not plan to do a sequel due to lack of time (and ideas), but we do mention what happened to Sombremaitre in the second chapter of Give It a Go.

Sombremaitre is French for DarkMaster, like Voldemort is French for FlyOverDeath.

Excellent, you saw them as a perfect couple. Albus and Ella are so adorable and their first date is also featured in the second chapter of Give It a Go if you want to see more of them. (we also wouldn't mind a few reviews on her story if you had time)

Good, you liked them. We certainly didn't want them to be best friends (that idea is so overused) but our Albus and Scorpius would get along, so we make sure they did. As for their fathers, at least we don't ship Scorpius/Rose.

Aw! You are so kind! If you really think it was that good could you please recommend it? We're kind of overlooked.

Yay, you didn't think it was unrealistically dangerous! That was something we feared would lose readers.

Epicness is our middle name. Not really, I've just always wanted to say that.

Agreed.

Thank you ever so much for your review! Make my day!
--Georgina


 Report Review

Review #7, by Pheonix PotioneerLife As We Know It: chapter one

16th January 2015:
Hello! Here for the Hufflepuff Hot Seat review!

What??? Malfoy saw Hermione crying? Oh, that's got to be bad... Malfoy may have been preoccupied this year, but even he couldn't miss out on a golden opportunity to make Hermione's life hell.

You do a terrific job demonstrating Hermione being heartbroken- such a beautiful piece. And I love Ron's little gesture with his hands, and his eyes looking "soft"- I can picture him so well, feeling kind of sorry for her, but at the same time wanting to snog Lavender.

Somehow I don't think Malfoy will do anything bad... seeming how I'm pretty sure this is a Dramione fic. Or maybe he will insult her, and then apologize later or something? IDK.

Brilliant first chapter- this gets straight to the action.

 Report Review

Review #8, by Pheonix PotioneerThe Rise of the A.W.L.: The Following Day.

3rd January 2015:
I really like how Rose didn't tell her classmates everything that happened. Modesty! I was sure she'd be shouting it all around the school. My dear little Rosie is growing up! *hugs her* Thank you for learning how to mature! That has got to be my favorite part of the chapter: her learning how to be quiet, for once.

Madam Pomfrey actually released Rose the next day? *gasp* Oh my goodness! I can't remember if you have her as overly strict, but I know a lot of fics that do.

Nice riddle for the Ravenclaw tower. You're good with coming up with riddles. You must be a Ravenclaw or something. ;) (That's one reason I'd never be a Ravenclaw- I'd never get through the door!)

I find it amusing that kate is concerned about OWLS so much. She's a Ravenclaw for sure.

Rose, giving speculation during testimony. *sighs* She needs to watch more crime movies in order to know how to testify correctly. YOu should put Aunt Hermione on that task.

We never did find out who hexed Remus's statue. No, I haven't forgotten that.

I'm really surprised that Dora was allowed to go to classes. I though they'd at least take her out for a day or two. Maybe McGonagall doesn't really want the students to know about what Dora did, and taking her out of classes all day would be too suspicious. Although, I don't know why McGonagall would try and protect Dora.

Hmm, what will Dora's punishment be? If they don't have proof other than Rose's testimony, will Dora be punished at all? I guess I'll have to wait until next chapter...

Author's Response: Yeah, Rose keeping quiet is a new development, isn't it? It's not entirely modesty; it's largely because she's not sure exactly how much she's supposed to divulge, but that is something she probably wouldn't have considered a year before, so yeah, she's getting a bit more sense.

Yeah, Madame Pomfrey is pretty strict, but Rose was really fine since she took her potions the night before so there isn't any real reason not to release her.

Glad you liked the riddle. They are SO hard to come up with and getting harder, as I am running out of decent ideas.

Remus's statue. Hmmm. I was going to put a strong hint about that into this chapter, but then I edited some stuff and it didn't really fit any more, so you'll have to wait a little while longer. I'm not exactly sure when or how it WILL be revealed, but it will be by the end of the story. It's minor compared with the Wolfsbane, so my characters aren't AS interested.

As regards Dora, all I'll say at the moment is that I worded the conversation between her and Fairfax VERY carefully, for particular reasons.

And yes, Rose should learn to stick to the facts when giving evidence, but Rose refraining from giving her opinion? Not very likely really.

Thank you so much for the review.


 Report Review

Review #9, by Pheonix PotioneerSacrifice: Of Beginnings, Aurors, and Torn Photographs

31st December 2014:
Hello! Here for the Hufflepuff Hot Seat!

I clicked on the story because I wanted to know what "the incident" was. Great marketing, I suppose! And I still don't really know what happened, except it seems their mom died from dark magic and their dad ran away. At least "the incident" wasn't her getting bitten by a werewolf or something, as that is what I thought "the incident" might be.

I love how this chapter is shrouded in mystery! It's practically forcing me to go click the "next chapter" button.

I like how Harry Potter is associated with them as not exactly good. I don't think of him as a Ministry person, but in AJ's eyes he is the one that could tear her life apart.

Poor, poor AJ! I can't even imagine how stressed out she must be. Hopefully it will be easier once they are all in Hogwarts. Will they just stop paying the bills then?

Wonderful first chapter! Intriguing!

Author's Response: Hi!

I have to credit my beta for putting 'The Incident' in the summary. It was her idea :) I'm glad you're putting some things together about their parents.

I tried to snap some of the stereotypes, including the whole 'omg it's harry potter!' things that the next generation kids do. So making Harry part of the case was just another way of me trying to get this as original as possible :)

Hopefully it does get easier. And yes, they will stop paying the bills :) She's getting everything to stop while they're away at school, given they won't be returning to their house until June.

Thanks so much!

-Leigh


 Report Review

Review #10, by Pheonix PotioneerA Magical Christmas.: A Magical Christmas.

28th December 2014:
I never knew Angie's last name was Lewis. Angie Lewis. I never thought about her last name before. Have you mentioned her last name before?

I feel so so sorry for Angie. Rose didn't mean any harm by talking about Christmas! Angie should open up more- but I understand why she didn't.

Now I feel sorry for Angie's younger brother and sister. I really hope they end up being a witch and wizard so they can get away. I feel like it's a bit mean to leave them behind- but I understand why she did.

Here is the famous moment where Blackburn says she loves sugar quills! *squeals* Hooray!

Jordan Shacklebolt seems like a good kid. I remember you mentioning him a few times, but you've never really focused in on him before. I have a feeling Jordan sort of has an idea how Angie is feeling, and he's trying to cheer her up. He's great. Can you focus on him more in the future?

I'm so happy Angie had a good Christmas! Nothing like a happy ending. :)

Author's Response: I honestly don't know if her last name was mentioned before. Probably not. It might have come up when she was first introduced, but more likely, she was just introduced as Angie.

I've known for quite a while whether her younger brother and sister are magical or not, but it won't be revealed for a while, because her brother won't be 11 until year four and her sister until year six or seven (I've lost count on her, because there are quite a few years to go).

Angie is only 12, so not really her responsibility to take care of her brother and sister. It IS tough on them to lose their sister for a large proportion of the year, as well as everything else they have to deal with, but a 12 year old shouldn't have to raise two younger children. And the fact she's at Hogwarts would be encouragement to them to take their places if they DID turn out to have magic. Poor kids though.

I love the interactions between Blackburn and Angie. There's a real sympathy between them because they've both been through a fair amount and they're both sort of lonely people, in a way.

Jordan Shacklebolt is a nice guy. With Kingsley as a dad, he probably would be. He doesn't appear much, because as a Gryffindor and being four years older than my main characters, they don't know him that well. But he will become Head Boy in Year three, so he might appear a bit more. He's unlikely to play a HUGE part though.

Glad you liked the ending. Angie deserved a bit of fun.

Thank you so much for the review.


 Report Review

Review #11, by Pheonix PotioneerThe Rise of the A.W.L.: Caught Out.

16th December 2014:
It was Fairfax! It was Fairfax! I was thinking of students, so it never occurred to me that teachers could be up to no good as well! It was Fairfax! Once again, you have tricked me! I suppose that makes you a good writer, if I wasn't able to guess correctly. But I could have guessed this one... it's so obvious!

Wow, Rose's fever has really unfortunate timing. I hate it when that happens. I hardly ever get sick, but last year I got sick and had to miss a trip to Atlanta- with no refunds. I was so mad at myself for getting a 102 (fahrenheit) fever.

Was Rose's fever a coincidence? Did someone purposely make her sick, perhaps? Interesting.

FINALLY there's a story that recognizes the easiness of the pensieve! It's annoying when I read a Harry Potter fanfiction, and the main character doesn't know how to prove they are telling the truth, and they don't even think about the pensieve. If there was an explanation of why they can't use one, I'd be satisfied with that, but most people don't even acknowledge it... So congratulations to you!

I presume Fairfax will be leaving at the end of this year. This was Fairfax's first year, wasn't it? Maybe there's a curse on the Potions position like there was for the DADA position for many years...

I wonder how Blackburn will react. It will certainly rattle her. The person who is partially responsible for her health was conspiring against her all year... that would scare anyone. Poor, poor Blackburn. Do you have to torture her any more?

I wonder why Fairfax needs Dora. Any particular reason, or just because Dora is a student? Curious.

As to regards for the last review- Yes, I did mean Fairfax when I typed Fawley. Professor Fawley is a character in mine, who is also the Potions Master. I doesn't help that their names are similar.

It looks like this is nearing the end of the story, about. Seems like it, anyway. How many chapters are left?

Great twist!

Author's Response: I actually went back and forth between wondering if it was too obvious - new teacher, person with easiest access to potion, a lot of stuff simply being taken at his word - and wondering if it was too obscure - very few clues of the type I included in the last story. There were some things like the fact that that whole thing about him leaving the door unlocked and somebody slipping in was, as you pretty much pointed out reviewing the last chapter, VERY hit and miss, and really more likely to fail than succeed. And the fact NOBODY saw ANY indication of somebody approaching the office. And the whole invisibility deal earlier. Of course, somebody COULD have used Instant Invisibility Powder or an Invisibility Cloak, but it was also possible it's just a fully qualified and very competent witch or wizard who can make themselves invisible.

Rose's illness was just a plot device to a) have her awake when nobody else was, b) give her away to Fairfax, c) give him an excuse for trying to get her away from McGongall and d) give McGonagall a reason to doubt his version of events, as if Rose really had been dueling Dora and was lying to get out of trouble, why not just say she'd felt sick and was going to the Hospital Wing and Dora followed her and attacked her. It would be a much more convincing version and less likely to get her into trouble.

*laughs* I was debating whether or not to use the pensieve, since they rarely seem to in canon, even when it might be helpful, but it seemed like the best way to prove things.

The next chapter will give some information both about what happens to Fairfax AND how Blackburn reacts. Yeah, it's bound to come as a bit of a shock to her.

Yes, Dora's involvement... The question as to how involved she is remains up in the air, doesn't it? There will be a little more about that.

That's kind of funny actually. I hadn't realised until your last review that we both had Potions Masters whose names began with "Fa". Yeah, it's Fairfax's first year, but before that, Slughorn was in the position for ages, so I'd wait and see what happens to the Potions teacher in the next story before making any assumptions.

I honestly don't know how many chapters are left. It's definitely coming towards the end, but not as close as the revelation of the villain might imply. I'd guess about another five chapters. There are still more details to come out and the revelation will have some impacts.

Thank you so much for the review. It's an awesome one.


 Report Review

Review #12, by Pheonix PotioneerThe Rise of the A.W.L.: The Clock Strikes One.

11th December 2014:
"The Clock Strikes One". Interesting title.

It's taking all my self-will to not click "next chapter". I really want to know what happens next, but I have to theorize first!

All possibilities:
Dora is headed "towards" the dungeons- but she could be going somewhere else first. On the same level of the dungeons is the Slytherin Common room, the Hufflepuff Common Room, and the kitchens. I don't think Rose knows where any of those are, but Dora might. So Dora could be headed any of those places, although it is unlikely.

Seeming how Dora left in the middle of the night wearing a hood, I strongly doubt she doesn't have malicious purposes.

I can't help remember Abric (Is that his first name?) Fletcher stealing potion ingredients. Dora could be behind that too. It's just too much of a coincidence that both scenarios had to do with Potions. Abric and Dora could have both been stealing ingredients, and only Abric got caught. Or Abric could be mostly innocent and working under Dora's orders... Dora didn't get sick. I have a feeling Dora and Abric both are tied into this somehow. Abric is the type of kid who would take a bribe, and I'm sure Dora knows that.

I still kind of like my previous idea of Dora knocking an ingredient into the Wolfsbane Potion by mistake if she was stealing things for a different purpose.

Then, there is of course the obvious solution that Dora is purposely tampering with the Wolfsbane. As to why she's tampering with it now- Fawley wouldn't be as suspicious if she was messing with it serveral weeks before the full moon.

Now, I have a few questions. How exactly is Dora tampering with the potion? If she just threw a random ingredient in, the potion would change color or texture or something. Fawley or Blackburn should have noticed. So if Dora is the tamperer, then she must be using an ingredient that doesn't change the color, the texture, the odor, or the taste. Hmmm.

I read this chapter last night right before I went to bed, so it incorporated itself into my dreams a little... I dreamed Rose was following Dora, and then Dora walked into a sunny room and Rose found out that Dora was visiting her father who was telling her stories... And Rose and Dora became friends. I don't think that will happen, but it made me realize how much I want Dora to change. Over the course of the book I started looking underneath the bitter surface of Dora, and I realized that she's just a lonely, little girl who envies Rose and her family. Dora isn't evil, and she's young enough that she can change. I hope she changes.

Very interesting chapter! I think we're nearing the climax... *bounces excitedly*

Author's Response: You've probably already read or skimmed the next chapter, which makes some of what I'm going to say here pretty pointless, but I'm going to say it anyway. You've some good theories.

I was WONDERING if people'd consider all the places Dora could be going. Of course ROSE assumes she's heading to tamper with the potion, but I've deliberately ended the chapter at a point where that may or may not be true.

Yeah, Abric Fletcher and YES, I bet he COULD be bribed. I don't think he'd necessarily take part in something REALLY harmful, but he might well be willing to just not ask too many questions and say get Dora, or somebody else, the ingredients they want without worrying what they might use them for.

And I LOVE the theory Dora (or somebody else) might have been up to something completely different and Blackburn might just have been effected mistakenly. I think that would be the best option from Blackburn's point of view, because if somebody was targeting her deliberately, it'd make her feel even more like people hate her and are out to get her and if Fairfax just made a mistake, she'd be constantly worrying that if a potioneer who got one of the highest grades even in his Potions N.E.W.T. could make a mistake, then anybody could and that the potion might fail again. Whereas if it were a combination of things - Fairfax forgetting to lock his office or stores, a student just looking to steal something that day, them knocking something accidentally and then being afraid to own up, well, it both means nobody really wanted to hurt her AND that it's pretty unlikely to happen again, as it would be unlikely the whole series of events would be repeated.

By the way, you've called Fairfax "Fawley" once or twice. Fawley's one of the teachers in your story, isn't he? I've nearly typed Blackburn a couple of times when typing something else that begins with the first few letters. My fingers just tend to complete "Black" with "burn", so if I try to type something like "Blackrock", it often goes a little wrong.

Fairfax DID claim to have seen something that COULD have been sugar, which makes Wolfsbane useless, but he wasn't sure, and he apparently thought nothing of it at the time and only thought of it afterwards, so they can't put TOO much store on that, as sometimes if you think back on something, trying to think did you see anything odd, you'll start thinking maybe you did see something. Blackburn said she didn't see anything, but she was so distraught afterwards that it's doubtful she'd have remembered anyway.

And I can't BELIEVE you were dreaming about my characters. That is so, so awesome.

Actually, there's something in there that could be considered a little prophetic. For The Pawn in the Game, not this story.

And yeah, kids don't behave like Dora does if they're really happy. She's been brought up to believe Harry Potter and his friends ruined her family's lives and she believes it and she resents the fact that she's lost out on benefiting from being a member of one of wizarding Britain's most powerful families because of something that happened before she was born. If people knew she was Notts' granddaughter, she'd probably face some of the suspicion Scorpius does, which really isn't fair, as they can hardly help what their grandparents did.

Leonore and I are talking about writing a kind of just-for-fun story/short story collection, where Callaghan (the really nice Healer guy from our Irish Ministry story) acts as counsellor to various characters from our stories. I'm working on a conversation between him and Blackburn and I'm kind of tempted to write a piece where McGonagall insists Dora see him, after she gets caught doing something like say the vandalism and all in 1st year and he sort of tries to make her see that she's reacting pretty irrationally and only making things more difficult for herself. And also that some of the views her father and others have taught her aren't the only way to look at the world.


 Report Review

Review #13, by Pheonix PotioneerThe Rise of the A.W.L.: Confidences.

10th December 2014:
The Weasley family is a near-perfect family. So is mine, as a matter of fact. Myself and the Weasleys are really lucky.

The chocolate dragon thing is so cool! I love it.

I'm glad the Victoire/Teddy/Blackburn thing is worked out. Hooray! I do hope Blackburn doesn't get her heart broken though... *worries*

I love Rose's and Angie's little interaction. I was able to read Angie's mind pretty well... hooray! It does make me thankful that my family is wonderful- Angie's right, we do actually want to be there. My cousins are awesome, and so are my aunt and uncles.

I'm glad Rose managed to convince Angie to play Quidditch.

One thing I like about chapters like this as that you make us care about the characters, like Angie and Victoire. So later, if something bad happens (Which I hope doesn't happen!) we'll be much more emotional about it.

Hmmm... Wolfsbane. Let's see... there is, of course, the possibility that Fairfax simply made a mistake. Mistakes happen. But there's also a high chance that someone tampered with it. It's assumed that the door was unlocked for some reason- but how did the tamperer know it would be unlocked? Did they unlock the door somehow? And how? I wonder if the doors are only locked to magical methods, and if you can pick it. That could be a possibility. I don't get why the only did something that one month. Perhaps they saw an opportunity, and seized it while it lasted? My brain is wrapped around in possibilities.

As for who tampered with the potion... Dora is one possibility, but for some reason I don't think it's her. The Slytherins who hexed Remus's statue is also a possibility. And then other students who dislike Blackburn- which I'm sure is plenty, since her teaching hasn't been as well this year. I'm kind of stumped.

There's also a possibility that students snuck ( into the stores for something else, and accidentally knocked an ingredient into the potion or something, and were too embarrassed or scared to say anything. Fairfax is a little intimidating, even if they weren't meant to be back there in the first place.

Well, luckily the next chapter is up, so I will read on!

Author's Response: Glad you have a great family. *grins*

And yup, that's the whole Victoire/Teddy/Blackburn thing sorted. That's about as much as will be said about it. I think Blackburn knows the score, even if she might prefer if things were different and anyway, she has rather more serious problems at the moment.

I'm glad you like Angie and Victoire. Funnily enough, they are two characters that seem determined to carve out a bigger part for themselves in this series than they were meant to have, Angie in particular. But the more I write of Victoire, the more I like her, particularly when she says things like that she feels sorry for Blackburn.

I LOVE all your theories. I particularly like the way you question how the villain, if there is one, could be sure the office would be left unlocked. The current theory among a lot of the characters is that somebody created a fuss in the corridors, Fairfax went out to investigate and may not have had a chance to lock his door behind him. Though he said he THOUGHT he DID lock it. So yeah, not exactly a foolproof plan, if that IS how it was done. You're right. It's distinctly possible that it might have been done differently. Don't take anything for granted here.

And yeah, I'm sure some students are a bit irritated with Blackburn's absences and strange behaviour on occasions. I'm not sure traumatising her further by causing the Wolfsbane to fail would be the best way of dealing with that, but then teenagers don't always think things through.

And I LOVE your final theory that it was done by accident and the person hasn't owned up because they are scared of getting into trouble. I can totally imagine a teenager being afraid to own up to breaking rules, especially afterwards, when the consequences were so serious.

Thank you so much for reviewing. Hope you like the reveal.


 Report Review

Review #14, by Pheonix PotioneerThe Rise of the A.W.L.: King's Cross Station.

30th November 2014:
Why would anyone pretend to be drunk? To act like they're cool, older students or something? *Shakes head disapprovingly*

Albus has a point: Lily probably will be a Gryffindor. She seems the Gryffindor type to me. At least he has Rose in Ravenclaw as well.

Does Fionnuala have any friends? It just occurred to me. She seems happy enough, but still...

Wow, Hugo seems very annoying. I don't envy Rose on the brother aspect. *laughs*

I wonder what Angie is thinking during the car ride home. Probably that Rose is lucky to have a good family. I'd love to know what goes on in Angie's head. Maybe you should write a one-shot about it sometime. *hint hint, nudge nudge*

The way Angie is acting on the train before the Easter holidays reminds me a lot of scene with Albus and David in the second book. I can't help but see parallels between Rose and Angie and Albus and David.

Yes, Arithmancy and Ancient Runes sounds difficult, but extremely interesting. You just have to decide if you want to go the "interesting but hard" route or the "boring but easy" route.

Near the end of the chapter, when Rose is speaking she says "course" with a space between the "c" and the "o".

Great chapter! Love the stuff with Angie. :)

Author's Response: Yeah, basically to act cool and it's possible they might sort of have convinced themselves half a glass of alcohol would totally get you drunk. They're fairly young, after all, and probably haven't drunk alcohol before.

I like hearing what houses people think characters will end up in. Lily in Gryffindor, eh? Well, all will be revealed soon enough. I've no idea how many chapters are left in this story, but there can't be THAT many more. And then Lily starts Hogwarts in the next one.

And no, Fionnuala's sort of off in her own little world. She gets on well enough with most of her classmates, but she hasn't any really close friends. I don't think she cares all that much though.

You'll find out a little more about what Angie is thinking in the next chapter. You've it pretty accurately figured out though. Poor Angie.

I was considering writing a one-shot about Angie and Blackburn's interaction after Angie faced the Boggart. I still might, sometime.

Oooh, I'm now intrigued as to what is going to happen between Albus and David. It sounds like there might be a mystery about David, like there was about Angie.

And there are a few coincidental similarities between our two stories. I guess it's not THAT surprising, as we are both writing next generation mysteries, but it's still amusing sometimes.

Thanks for pointing out the typo. I've fixed that now.

Of course Rose is going to go the difficult but extremely interesting route. The others might be more questionable.

Thanks again for the reviews. They're really appreciated.


 Report Review

Review #15, by Pheonix PotioneerThe Rise of the A.W.L.: Ravenclaw versus Hufflepuff.

30th November 2014:
Yes! Albus caught the snitch! Of course, I'm not pleased about
Hufflepuff losing, but I'm pleased about Albus winning, if that
makes sense. I find it amusing that after he wins, he is still
worrying. Lighten up Albus! There's room for character
development, I must say. By the seventh book, I expect Rose to be
more considerate towards people with different opinions and not as
bossy, and Albus to be more confident and less of a worrier. *Looks
sternly over a pair of glasses*

Angie sounded slightly irritated! *gasp* But... but... but Angie is a
little angel! I love Angie. I suppose I can forgive her.

Well, I remember at school I never remembered when the football
games were... and then when people asked me if I was going, I'd be
like "Oh, is that today?". I totally sympathize with Fionnuala. (Her
name is really hard to spell.)

Well, I hope half of Ravenclaw doesn't have a hangover. I'm
surprised the prefects didn't turn them in. Isn't there at least one
stickler for rules?

Author's Response: I suppose I should have guessed you'd be sorry to see Hufflepuff beaten, but yeah, Albus needs a win, even if he still remains nervous afterwards.

Yes, Albus really needs to gain some confidence and Rose needs to realise she's not always right. I actually considered having Rose abducted in a later story so Albus would have to stand on his own two feet and solve things himself, but I don't think it is going to happen.

And hey, even Angie can get irritated sometimes. Nobody's perfect.

Hmm, the whole drinking thing might be a cultural difference. I get the impression underage drinking is taken WAY more seriously in America than here in Ireland. Even most of the really well-behaviour, straight A typed, kids who would have worried about being late to class or only doing one hour's study after their homework when they'd planned on doing two, in my year, were drinking by the age of 15 or 16. Generally, if people didn't drink at 16, it was because they'd made a decision not to for whatever reason, and didn't drink as adults either. Not that people'd have drunk at school, but Hogwarts students don't have much time away from school.


 Report Review

Review #16, by Pheonix PotioneerThe Rise of the A.W.L.: Weaving a Web.

30th November 2014:
When Rose was talking with Nick, at one point she said "Nicholas", and later she said "Nicolas". You should probably fix that.

I find it amusing that your version of Albus is so nervous and shy. Rose just bosses him around.

Is Blackburn always going to be nervous and jumpy? She's been like that the entire year. After the A.W.L. business settles down, will she go back to her normal self? Or is this permanent?

I LOVE Nick's beautiful little speech about change. It's marvelous. It makes a beautiful quote, too. Awesome job with that!

When Professor Fairfax is talking to them, they say, "Yes Sir", with the "sir" capitalized. Is that on purpose?

Dora is just annoying, disturbing Blackburn just for the sake of it. I think she's a bit lonely, left out, and so the only joy she really has is making Blackburn afraid. I almost feel sorry for Dora. (I said almost.)

Rose has a point- it would be nice if the person was caught. But it's good they aren't tampering with the potion either.

Smart of Nick to recruit Peeves. :)

Awesome chapter! I think the discussion about change was one of the best parts. Loved it!

Author's Response: Oh, it would be so good if I could spell. *laughs* OK, I've fixed that; thanks for pointing it out.

Your question about Blackburn is a hard one to answer without giving stuff away, as obviously what else happens with regard to her job and the A.W.L. and the revelations about the potion will all affect her recovery too. I wouldn't say it's necessarily PERMANENT, but she isn't likely to recover overnight either. She's had some bad shocks, as well as being under a lot of stress, and no matter what happens, it's likely to take her some time to fully come to terms with everything. And it's likely there will always be SOME effects. But it's also likely that when - if - things are sorted out, she's likely to begin feeling better.

Glad you liked Nick's speech. That was NOT planned, but after all, he's seen a lot of changes and how they worked or didn't work, so I reckoned he'd have some insight.

Dora's treatment of Blackburn is nothing short of cruel. Admittedly, she's only 13 and probably doesn't quite realise how traumatised Blackburn is or just how bad things like that might make her feel, but nonetheless, she is just tormenting her for her own amusement.

And yes, I think you have something about Dora feeling left out and resentful about what has happened to her family and her own unpopularity and that that is contributing to her behaviour. People don't behave like that if they're happy themselves. And she clearly has some issues.

Glad you liked the chapter. Things are quietening down for a few chapters here, but the revelations shouldn't be too far away and things will definitely get dramatic then.

Thank you so much for the reviews.


 Report Review

Review #17, by Pheonix PotioneerThe Rise of the A.W.L.: Protective Potions.

3rd October 2014:
Rose, really? James may be a pranker, but he wouldn't POISON anyone. That's just not him.

I don't blame Albus for being disgruntled after Scorpius found the snitch every single time before he did. Face it, Albus- Scorpius is undefeatable.

Rose, don't get too angry at Scorpius. Not everyone is constantly suspicious of everyone *cough*UnlikeRose*cough*

Well, the answer to my millions of questions last chapter was a bit anti-climatic. I think he should have let us ponder a few more chapters.

Rose, please don't yell at Abric. He just got a huge lecture by McGonagall! The last thing he needs is another lecture.

Even though Abric was incredibly stupid, I feel a little sorry for him. He'll be doomed for potions class for the remaining five years, since Fairfax will hate his guts.

Rose, there could be a simple reason Dora didn't take the potion from Abric. She probably has seen Abric brew in potions class, so she decided it was probably rubbish. I think everyone who got sick weren't in Abric's potion class.

Thank you, Lucy, for pounding sense into Rose's head about Felicity.

I yell at Rose a lot don't I? I think it's because she's like my opposite. I'm pretty good at feeling sympathetic for others and putting myself in other people's shoes, and recognizing why people do certain things. I'm friends with people who have drastically different political ideologies and other views from myself, because I don't care. Rose, on the other hand, can be extremely narrow-minded and doesn't understand that not everybody has to share her opinion. I hope SOMETHING happens so she opens her mind a little.

For example, I can see things from Dora's view very well. She must be at least slightly embarrassed to be related to Death Eaters, otherwise she wouldn't have changed her name to Nottingham. (I just realized- Her last name is Nottingham. Like the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood. Is that intentional? I'll keep my eye out for someone with the last name of Sherwood.) When Dora came to Hogwarts she was in the same house as Albus Potter, the son of the famous of Harry Potter. Her jealousy grew, and she wanted to taint his name so people wouldn't see him as perfect. So she wrote that stuff on the walls, framed Albus, and sent him Swelling Solution for her own enjoyment. She wanted him to suffer, since he seemed so perfect. I'm not saying at all this is the right course of action (Scorpius didn't do that, and his family were Death Eaters), just I understand why Dora what she did. And since she was raised by a family who were very anti-werewolf, that explains her hatred of Blackburn. It's EXTREMELY difficult to break out of the mold of your family views, especially at a young age. How on Earth did Sirius Black do it?

Good chapter, by the way. Can't wait for the next!

Author's Response: Yeah, it was a bit anti-climatic. Hope you weren't disappointed.

Yeah, there's a reason so few 2nd years were affected. That's why I mentioned in the previous chapter that most of those ill were first or third years. I think first years would be the most likely to fear Blackburn anyway, as the others would have known her as a teacher and a person before knowing her as a werewolf, but I also thought most second years would be underrepresented as they'd know what he was like. And one of those who was effected is a Hufflepuff and therefore not in his Potions class. So Danica is the only one who'd have known what his brewing was like.

I'm actually getting kind of fond of Lucy. She's smart and responsible and even a little bossy like Rose, but she doesn't have Rose's tendency to overreact and jump to conclusions.

Though I hadn't intended it, I think Rose has some similarities with me as a young teen. She isn't LIKE me. I'd never have spoken to a teacher like she does to Blackburn. In fact, I'd have been embarrassed just to know a teacher wasn't feeling well - you know, like I knew something inappropriately personal about them. But I did have a temper. I guess I still do, though I've learnt to keep it under control. And I had pretty strong political opinions. I've since come to see the opposite sides of just about everything though. Anything believed by large numbers of people has to have SOME logic behind it, since you might get a small number of people to believe something utterly ridiculous but not when it's more than say 20% of people.

She's still a young teen and I think it is fairly normal for smart, politically aware kids to come down very strongly on one side or the other of an issue at her age. It takes experience and learning more about things to see that very few issues are clear cut. I think the more you learn, the less certain you get in a lot of ways. At thirteen, it's easy to be certain, because you've only been exposed to a limited number of issues, but as you grow older, you begin to see things aren't that clear.

I've tried to show that with Hermione, when she asks Blackburn at the beginning of this, if she wants them to begin the campaign they are planning, knowing the A.W.L. will target her in response. Which is a bit change from how, at fifteen, she was trying to free the house elves against their will, not stopping to think about how they'd provide for themselves if they lost their jobs or whether or not they really wanted freedom.

No, I didn't actually mean the whole "Sheriff of Nottingham" thing, although it does kind of work in a way, doesn't it? Since she is sort of supporting a corrupt organisation or at least a prejudiced one, just as the Sheriff of Nottingham was.

I think you sum up Dora very well. She grew up seeing Harry and his friends as the ones that caused all her family's problems and she feels it's unfair she should suffer for what her grandfather did. She was raised with a lot of resentment, in a family that felt they were denied their rightful place in society due to actions that were beyond their control. After all, Theodore Nott couldn't help what his father did. It doesn't EXCUSE her behvaviour, but it does help EXPLAIN it.

My feeling is that Sirius's parents were pretty harsh on their children, maybe not actually cruel, but certainly from what we've seen of his mother, she doesn't seem like a loving parent, so he may not have been as close to them as say Draco seems to have been to his parents or Dora is to hers and if they were angry about him being sorted into Gryffindor, he might have thought, "well, not going to please them anyway, so might as well really annoy them by befriending people they'd hate." Judging by his bedroom, it seems like he enjoyed annoying them. And then hanging around with people with views they hated, he'd learn more of the other side. I do know some people who made it a matter of principal to do exactly what their parents would hate.


 Report Review

Review #18, by Pheonix PotioneerThe Rise of the A.W.L.: Sudden Sickness.

3rd October 2014:
What? You have ANOTHER chapter? I haven't even reviewed this one yet!

Madam Pomfrey can be intimidating sometimes. But she does care about everyone, which is good. If you were a healer and personally didn't care whether your patient would live or die, that would be bad.

When you wrote, ""We wanted to," Nathan mumbled" I got sightly confused. I usually associate the word "mumbled" if someone's tired, or they don't want to say what they're going to say. Which kind of contradicts Nathan's statement. What do you want Nathan to say?

Fairfax is downright horrifying! I knew he was strict, but I didn't know he could contain that much anger! WOW!

I have no doubt that if he catches whoever stole ingredients, they will be sorry.

I wonder (Just like Rose!) what ingredients it were. Snape never had this violent of a reaction, even when polyjuice ingredients were stolen. And Snape is an unlikable person. So are the ingredients the student stole REALLY rare, deadly, dangerous, or something like that? It must be important ingredients, not something basic.

Albus has a point. Odd things ALWAYS happen at Hogwarts. Maybe because there's a certain author and thousands of fanfiction writers who need something interesting to write about...

Fairfax in something dodgy? Nope. I don't believe it. He would of covered it up. Unless he's trying to make a distraction... or maybe someone else is trying to make a distraction, and that's why they stole the ingredients, to cover something else up... *Mind goes haywire*

How does he lock up his storage? Can a simple "Alohomora" open the door? Or is it more complicated and incredibly difficult, and that's why Fairfax is mad?

"Elders and betters"? That's stupid. Kate's giving all the fifth years a bad reputation.

Though, Rose shouldn't have yelled at Kate like that. She should pick her battles. People angry at werewolves and want to fire Blackburn... yes, important battle. Stupid comments Dora (who nobody listens to) and Kate say? Just stay out, Rose. They're not worth it.

Rose, don't ask Fairfax about the ingredients. PLEASE. When there's an angry person, just stay out of their way so they don't unleash their anger on you. Make it so they barely notice you exist.

Ooo, Felicity is intriguing. "He said it would protect me." What would? Who said? Did she maybe buy an amulet or something? I can picture Felicity's mother buying Felicity an amulet to protect her against anything that could harm her (like a werewolf). Or it could be something else. *Mind explodes*

Who are Leona Fudge and Danica Ravensdale? Are they Ravenclaws? Most likely someone purposely poisoned them, so what relation do they all have? If it's Dora, why would she poison Felicity instead of Rose? Did Dora (or someone else) find out some secret Felicity knows or something? Or were the wrong people accidently targeted? Who else has ingested the posion? Has Blackburn? For this poison, did the person use the ingredients from Fairfax's storage?

Hmm, lots of questions. The good news is, I can read right on to the next chapter!

Author's Response: Yeah, I got the next chapter up pretty quickly, partly because it's a fairly short one and partly, I think, because it follows on so directly from this one that I didn't have to start thinking where to go next. I was originally going to make all the stuff about the illness one chapter, but then decided that wouldn't leave much suspense, would it?

To mumble is to say something unclearly. Maybe it has a slightly different meaning in the U.S. than in Ireland? And Nathan is just kind of embarrassed about getting into a kind of personal conversation with a teacher. I'll see if I can make that clearer though.

Yeah, Fairfax is angry, but he's not promising to personally ensure the person is expelled like Snape did. Maybe the ingredients are dangerous, maybe he's worried because this is the second time somebody has accessed something he should have kept under lock and key and he's worried he'll be blamed, maybe he's just overprotective of his potions ingredients or maybe there is something more to it. I'm not giving anything away.

And yeah, Kate is a bit dismissive and uptight, isn't she? But yeah, Rose is overreacting too. It seems fairly normal at Hogwarts for the older students to dismiss the younger ones and if she's going to start a fight every time they do so, she'll be doing it quite a lot.

And yep, you came fairly close with the idea of Felicity buying an amulet. *grins*

Leona Fudge and Danica Ravensdale are two minor second year characters. They've been mentioned occasionally in the sorting or in class but they are easy to overlook. Leona is a Hufflepuff and Danica is a Slytherin.

*laughs at you asking if Blackburn has ingested the poison* I guess she is the obvious target for anything dodgy going on this year.

And I LOVE all your questions. It's always nice to know you've got people thinking and wondering.

Thank you SO much for your review.


 Report Review

Review #19, by Pheonix PotioneerThe British Question.: 19th June 1996

12th September 2014:
In this section here, "We are discussing how to protect our own citizens, which is very much a part of our own agenda.Surely no one is suggesting that we should completely ignore the situation" there's no space between the period and "surely". You should probably fix that.

The argument about Quidditch is awesome. Brady seems very interesting. How on Earth did he get on the Draoithe? I find the argument about Quidditch a tiny bit funny, actually.

I love how Burke questions if Voldemort can even be called a man. It sort of plays off the whole horcrux thing, even though Burke can't possibly know about the horcruxes. I think Dumbledore may have mentioned one time in the series that Voldemort was far from being an ordinary man, but I'm not completely sure.

I like how they say, "Ye-Know-Who" instead of "You-Know-Who". I like all the little Irish mannerisms and things.

Wow, it seems very difficult to keep everyone on task! O Loinsigh (I tried to make the mark on the o, but the review box only sticks with basic stuff) definitely argues a lot.

Well, I wonder what their plans will be for an invasion? Dun dun dun dun.

Are you also doing a chapter after Dumbledore dies? I'm sure they'll be much more worried about Irish students at Hogwarts then.

Author's Response: The space has been inserted; thanks for pointing that out.

As a matter of fact, how Brody got into the Draoithe is actually something we have discussed! The Draoithe are appointed by various means, including several selected by the Draiochtaire on election. Brody was picked because it was a choice between him and some vocal people with controversial views (regarding things like blood purity), and while Brody may be annoying at least he's pretty harmless. And he does make pretty good comic relief.

Burke will insult anything that moves, and a lot of stuff that doesn't. He enjoys picking fights. He wants to set the Draoithe against Voldemort, and is very anti-Voldemort himself, so he definitely sees all the atrocities Voldemort is committing. His insult happens to be more realistic even than he realises here.

The fadas tend not to work in reviews. I've noticed that when I'™ve been mentioning stuff like the Dail.

Definitely hard to keep everybody on track. Poor Claire; she has a tough job.

The plan is for this story to go right through the Voldie war, including the immediate aftermath. So yes, there should be a chapter after Dumbledore's death (this story's going to be way longer than originally planned, but oh well).

Thanks very much for reviewing!

~ Leonore and MargaretLane

P.S. Apologies for the poor code in the previous response.


 Report Review

Review #20, by Pheonix PotioneerThe British Question.: 30th June 1995.

12th September 2014:
HELLO MargaretLane and Leonore! I'm your first reviewer, hooray!

This was obviously very well researched. Good job, both of you! And how did you come up with all the names? That's awesome! There's so many!

Wow, during the meeting all the arguments were amazing. Each of them had a valid point. it's the decision every government must go through when a war is starting. Should we get involved? What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing something? Should we go straight into war, or provide a different type of assistance? Is either outcome of the war important to us? What are our relations with each side?

I'm surprised they were able to come to a conclusion in just one meeting of discussing it. Don't decisions at least take several days? Though that probably depends on the country, and the type of decision.

I like how detailed the Irish magical government is, and everything else in general. It's littered with tiny little details, like the opening words of every meeting, that really enhances this story.

Great job, both of you!

Author's Response: Hello! *waves* Yay, yes you are our first reviewer! Thank you very much!

A lot of the names are either just common Irish ones, like Burke and Quirke, or they come from mythology/ancient Irish history. MacNessa is named for villains from history and mythology. His surname is that of the evil king in “Deirdre of the Sorrows” and his first name, which I don’t think has been mentioned, is from a guy considered a traitor. And there are one or two characters who are kind of stereotypes of certain counties or social groups or whatever and for some names I just googled like “Donegal surnames”.

The decisions had to be made relatively quickly, just because of how much we are planning to get through in the story. And it’d probably get boring if they were discussing the same point on and on for chapters anyway.

The arguments were fun and probably easier to do in a collab than in a fic written by a single person and each time one of us had a character make a point, the other would take another character to begin a disagreement with them. You can’t get away with sloppy arguments because the other person is just searching for anything to build a response on.

Same with the details really. Having two people makes planning easier, because one of us will say, “hey, what if…?” and then the other will add, “yeah, and then they should…” Aireacht na Draiochta is something we were already developing before we even thought of this story, because we thought it would be fun.

Thanks!

~ MargaretLane and Leonore


 Report Review

Review #21, by Pheonix PotioneerThe Rise of the A.W.L.: Ghostly Information.

12th September 2014:
I feel kind of sorry for Felicity. She doesn't know whether to believe Dora or Rose. I think Rose is a little too tough on her, which is why Felicity turned to the seemingly kind Dora. Rose, a little tip: Fighting doesn't make friends.

I think Rose should have made a bigger deal over the graffiti than the swelling solution.

It could have been Dora who tampered with the potion. It would probably only take a drop of- anything, really- and the potion would be completely ruined. Well, in my head canon anyway.

Kate Campbell does have kind of a point. They miss a few classes every month because of Blackburn, and it does get them behind. However, I think that campaigning for werewolf rights should be the priority.

Rose, calm down. Kate didn't exactly insult Blackburn or werewolves, she just complained about missing classes. I'm glad Rose is determined to defend Blackburn, but that's a little over the top.

It was such a heart-warming moment when Rose and Angie gave Blackburn the sweets.

Have I mentioned how much I love Angie? She's awesome. She doesn't pick fights over Blackburn *cough* Unlike Rose *cough* and instead just does nice, sweet things for Blackburn.

Yay for sweets!

Author's Response: Yeah, Rose probably SHOULD have more focused on the graffiti, which is more likely to freak Felicity out than a joke on somebody she doesn't even know, but to Rose, anything that happens to Albus is far more serious than anything else.

I was so delighted when I checked Prisoner of Azkaban for info on the Wolfsbane potion and found the comment about sugar making it useless, because ANYBODY could do that. I mean, I'd already planned who the villain was and all. The main storyline here was planned soon after I stated the series, but that meant there was a canon way anybody could do it.

Kate DOES have a point. That's got to be one of the difficulties werewolves face in getting jobs - that they are probably going to need to take a certain day off every month, which might be OK, if they are working in a shop or somewhere that is open 6 or 7 days and people have different days off each week or if they are something freelance, but not if they are a teacher or something. Probably a difficulty for people in the real world with certain chronic conditions too.

Now, in normal circumstances, they'd probably only miss maybe 7 or 8 classes a year. Since it's only one day a month and there are two months when they are on summer holiday and then some months the full moon might fall on a Friday or Saturday night or the night before a day they don't have Transfiguration or it might fall during the Easter or Christmas holidays. The year I'm writing about, there is a full moon the night between Good Friday and Holy Saturday. But at the moment, Blackburn is sort of dealing with some mental health issues from stress and trauma, so that's not helping either.

Like I said before, I didn't want to divide the cast up between "nice" people who are completely supportive of Blackburn and "horrible" people like Dora and Victor and his pals and the A.W.L., who just torment her, because there ARE genuine reasons why people might not want a werewolf teaching them or their children (either because of the amount of time they need to take off or because they are scared of a repeat of what happened with Remus - unlikely as it is, it did happen once and it's not IMPOSSIBLE it would happen again and parents are bound to worry when they are sending 11 year olds away from home and overreact about things like that). After all, even Ron, who was raised by the Weasleys panicked when he heard Remus was a werewolf, even though Remus had been teaching him all year and it made no sense to believe he would suddenly become dangerous once they learnt he was a werewolf.

Very few issues are cut and dried and generally if a lot of people support a cause, there is SOME justification for it. Even if it isn't "right."

In a way, I think people like Kate and Felicity might be more upsetting for Blackburn because people like Dora are just trying to be nasty and aren't worth paying attention to, but Kate DOES have a legitimate complaint and Felicity is genuinely frightened and that must sort of make Blackburn question herself. Although neither of them would say anything directly, she'd probably picked up on the fact people are nervous around her, at least and possibly that some of her O.W.L. classes are getting impatient.

Everybody seems to love Angie. *laughs* She wasn't meant to be as significant a character as she's become. She just sort of pushed a bigger part for herself and I do like the relationship between her and Blackburn.


 Report Review

Review #22, by Pheonix PotioneerThe Rise of the A.W.L.: Shocks and Sugar Quills.

15th August 2014:
Dora! Really, practically insulting Blackburn in class? She's asking to be hated. I don't get Dora most of the time. What is the point of an outburst like that? She just makes everyone in Ravenclaw hate her more and more. Does she have any friends? If not, why does she seem to purposely try NOT to make friends? Is there a reason besides plot why she's a Ravenclaw and not a Slytherin? Also, are you planning in future years to have Dora's character improve a little bit or a bit more relatable, like J.K. Rowling did with Draco?

I'm glad that Blackburn's reason for missing a class isn't particularly bad.

That is nice of them all to give Blackburn sweets. Kudos to Rose for thinking of that! (And to Angie for giving Rose the idea.) I think that is a good thing to do, rather than just say something like "Are you okay?" after class when Blackburn probably just wants some peace and quiet.

When did Blackburn mention the sugar quill thing to Angie? They seem really close. Maybe because the can sympathize with each other, because of their parents.

Most of the kids in the class (except Dora) seem unnaturally polite. It's kind of weird.

Over the course of the series, are you planning for each book to get darker, or mostly stay like this? Spill your secrets! Ha ha ha.

Great chapter! (That great was from Tony the Tiger, from the Frosted Flakes cereal commercial)

Author's Response: Hmm, some interesting questions here. OK, I've only planned as far as Year Four, so I can't really tell you how the series is going to go overall. So far, I would say the end of Year 3 and sort of Year 4 (which will include the use of an Unforgiveable) will be somewhat darker, but not Harry Potter-level dark. These are generally plain mysteries rather than action/adventure and the A.W.L. is a far cry from the Death Eaters. They're willing to work outside the law to get what they want, but they're not planning to take over wizarding Britain by force or anything, so we're not going to end up with multiple deaths or anything. Apart from anything else, I sort of feel that after everything Harry and his friends risked and lost, I don't want to make them watch their children go through the same thing. I like READING stories in which that happens though.

So in conclusion, things will get a little darker, but it's going to remain at individual people being harmed rather than whole groups being rounded up or multiple deaths.

As regards Dora, hmm, that's a hard one to answer without giving away details about year 3. It's also something I haven't entirely decided. I am planning on having Rose and Albus begin to realise later on that Dora's choices may be rather limited in some situations. I mean, what she did in The Writing on the Wall was definitely just personal and her way of getting back at Albus for how Harry messed things up for her family, but she has been given a very distorted version of the events of the wizarding war (not, of course, that that makes it OK; even if Harry HAD purposely framed her grandfather or something, it STILL wouldn't be his son's fault) and she did WANT to give Blackburn's secret away, but even if she hadn't, her father'd probably have got it out of her anyway. Not by forcing it out of her, but just because there's a good chance she'd let something slip at some stage.

Knew somebody was going to ask how Angie knew about Blackburn liking sugar quills. *laughs* Probably that day Angie was upset over the boggart and spent the entire evening in Blackburn's office. I think it's likely Blackburn would have offered her some sweets and just happened to mention, "oh those are my favourites."

And yeah, I definitely think Blackburn knows how Angie feels when it comes to pressures at home. I wouldn't imagine Angie knows about Blackburn's parents, but she certainly knows there's prejudice against Blackburn over something she can't help, just as she's been judged by her family. So there is a lot of sympathy between them.

And yeah, Blackburn probably doesn't want to have to reassure students she's OK, when she's really not, but at the same time, she's probably grateful they are thinking of her.

And now you've made me want Frosties (or Frosted Flakes).


 Report Review

Review #23, by Pheonix PotioneerThe Rise of the A.W.L.: Gryffindor versus Slytherin.

21st June 2014:
I think there will ALWAYS be plenty of people for a Gryffindor Vs Slytherin match, since they are rivals. I know when my high school played their rival football team (American version of football) there were always so many more people than at a regular match.

When Jordan is announcing all the players, you typed James Weasley as the keeper. I think you mean James Potter.

Wow, Flint is cruel to have shot a bludger at those first years. He must have really hated that prank.

Right before Scorpius is about to catch the snitch, you typed, "As she watch". I think you mean, "As she watched".

Dora can be mean. Very mean. But Rose is right to just walk away. She has to put up with Dora for five more years after this one.

Great chapter!

Author's Response: Thanks for the review. I've fixed those issues now. I was rushing to get the chapter up, as it's been waiting quite a while, so I didn't give it a final reread, as I usually would.

Yeah, that makes sense about people watching Gryffindor versus Slytherin matches.

Funny how many versions of football there are, isn't it? I'm sure I had to edit a few "soccers" in this story, since to me, football is Gaelic Football.

Flint does not like being humiliated. He'd prefer humiliate others. The idea somebody got the better of him and he doesn't know who REALLY annoys him.

Glad you liked the chapter. Thanks again for the review.


 Report Review

Review #24, by Pheonix PotioneerThe Rise of the A.W.L.: Howling at the Moon.

28th May 2014:
I accidently deleted and did not save anything I wrote... *smack self*

Scorpius, really? Despite Fairfax's disapproval, you're going to skip detention. Also, I don't like Fairfax's system of punishment. By adding punishment assignments and detentions, he's just making him fall even further behind since he doesn't have as much time, which we lead to more detentions... so it'll become an endless cycle.

I kind of liked Scorpius last book, but this book I just feel like yelling at him, "STUPID!"

If I didn't hate Flint, Orpington and Montague before, I DEFINITELY hate them now. Really? How low must they stoop? And Blackburn's their teacher!

This has shown me the difference between the boys and Dora. Where Flint and his friends are very open, and don't care about getting caught, Dora is much more sneaky when she does things, and manipulates Rose. I think Dora would have been a better Slytherin. Flint doesn't really strike me as clever enough, but Crabbe and Goyle were Slytherins.

I think Rose would be more likely to say "Oh Merlin" than "God Almighty". That's just a personal preference.

Excellent prank! I've been thinking of pranks myself for my fic, but none of them would have been right for this. I don't know whether to say Congratulations to you or James, but that was a good prank!

Author's Response: Yeah, Scorpius can definitely be an idiot when it comes to Quidditch stuff. He was in the first story too, when he snuck his broom into Hogwarts and then kept showing it off to everybody. He's rather single-minded when it comes to flying and Quidditch and really doesn't think about anything else when it comes to that.

You definitely have a point about Fairfax. He doesn't like being defied and he's making a point. I guess in a way this is the bad side of his detachment. The good part is that he doesn't hold a grudge and judges each assignment on its own merits, but the bad side is that he also judges misbehaviour on its own merits and doesn't see that Scorpius isn't trying to be defiant by skipping the punishment exercise.

*grins* I had that howling thing planned right from the start of the story and was debating whether to put it at the beginning or after that full moon. But I figured there were enough similar events at the beginning of the story.

It's cruel really, isn't it? Especially when Blackburn is still recovering from recent events.

Dora would DEFINITELY fit well in Slytherin. I had to put her in Ravenclaw, as obviously I needed her to be able to get into Rose and Albus's dormitories without difficulty and to be in their classes and stuff.

There's a reason James nicknamed Flint "Flinthead," even apart from the fact it's something rude that can easily be made out of his name. He's not exactly the brightest bulb in the box. In this case, though, he isn't in much danger of getting in trouble, as Blackburn is hardly likely to do much, as she was really too upset to react.

I don't think "Oh Merlin" is actually ever used in the books. I think it might be like "elementary, my dear Watson." Of course, that's not to say wizards don't use it, just that we haven't heard them. They use phrases like "Merlin's beard," but I don't know if we've ever actually seen "oh Merlin." And they definitely use phrases referencing God as well. Even Draco has used "God" as an exclamation. I think WeasleyTwinsMom or somebody did a blog entry once about the usage of all the phrases. So I use a bit of each, depending on what sounds best.

Really glad you liked the prank. That was something I added on later. Like I said, I'd Flint and his friends' actions planned right from the beginning and I was debating whether Rose should go and tell a teacher or what. Then recently it occurred to me Neville probably couldn't do much, because it would be sort of undermining Blackburn to intervene without her say-so and I figured Rose would want to get back at them. And then it occurred to me telling James would work pretty well.

I had a lot of difficulty thinking of a prank, which is why I started that thread. I thought the making them address a teacher in a certain way was a punishment that fit the crime and then started working on that. It was originally going to be "cockerel cornflakes", but I wasn't sure how they could ensure a certain person got certain cornflakes, then I remembered a conversation I had with an English girl I beta for, about a mention of "rashers of bacon" in her story. We'd just say "rashers", but I thought "roosters of bacon" worked fairly well as a name.


 Report Review

Review #25, by Pheonix PotioneerThe Rise of the A.W.L.: Blackburn Returns.

15th May 2014:
Yay! Blackburn returned!

I somewhat agree with Kate: I like nice, but strict and hardworking teachers. Not too strict, nothing like the teacher I modeled Professor Dire on where you get her death stare if you answer a question wrong, but teachers that really push you and give you work. As long as they're reasonably kind, I like them. So I disagree with Rose. Laid-back teachers are nice, but they don't really prepare you for the next year if you have a different, tougher teacher. I learned that the hard way.

I really don't think having a different but adequate teacher really affects OWLs. They are learning the same material right? But it is good that they have a teacher subbing most of them know.

I can see why Rose thinks Kate's priorities are messed up, since Kate seems more concerned about the OWLs than the welfare of their teacher, but Rose didn't actually hear the conversation. Maybe Kate is concerned, she just didn't voice it.

Is that whole Kate thing what you meant by Rose's alternating views?

One thing I like about Rose is her very strong morales. She was raised well. I observed that when she had a brief arguement with Dora. Rose is very loyal.

Isn't there some magical makeup or something Blackburn can use to cover up her scars? I'm pretty sure werewolf-inflicted scars cannot be magically taken away, but surely makeup or something will do the trick? What about a color-changing spell to make it the same color as her skin or something to make it less noticeable?

Wow, Scorpius is thinking to be a professional Quidditch player in only his second year? Wow. But I do agree with Rose. What if he changes his mind later on, and he doesn't have the marks. He should at least do a little bit of work. He should certainly have time to juggle both.

Go Teddy! That's nice of him to bring Blackburn out to dinner, but I wonder if there was tension because of the whole love triangle thing. Teddy probably didn't notice, but I'm sure Victoire did.

I agree with Teddy. Someone tampered with the potion. Who? Was it Dora or someone else? If the AWL is popular enough, they could have multiple connected members roaming Hogwarts. There's no easy way to tell.

Great chapter!

Author's Response: Yeah, that was what I meant about showing an alternative point of view to Rose's. She was describing Merrickson as being really mean, but Kate, Hilda and Blackburn all say she's really nice and a very good teacher. Quite frankly, Rose wasn't really going to like whoever replaced Blackburn unless they were unbelievably nice altogether, just because she wanted to have Blackburn teaching and not anybody else. When I was at college, one of my favourite lecturers left and I had to make a conscious effort NOT to negatively compare the guy who replaced her with her all the time.

I think both Merrickson and Blackburn are good teachers really, just in very different ways. And Rose doesn't mind a lot of other stricter teachers - McGonagall, Fairfax, Jones, to a degree. She's just prejudiced where Merrickson is concerned. Blackburn could do with being a bit stricter sometimes, though.

I would have loved Blackburn when I was at school. I was the kind of kid who usually worked hard for teachers I liked and actually usually worked hard one way or the other, because I wanted to get good grades. If I had a teacher like Dire, I'd probably fail, because I used freak out so much, I did really stupid stuff. I once had a really strict Irish teacher and failed the summer test because I misinterpreted what a question meant, even though I KNEW what it meant, but I just talked myself out of it thinking, "but what if I'm wrong and that word actually means x instead. She'll kill me if I'm wrong. Yeah, it probably does mean x actually. I'd better answer it that way instead." I used feel physically sick before her classes. I might not mind Merrickson, but I'd definitely prefer Blackburn and would probably work extra hard because I'd want to make up for the people being mean to her. Like Rose and Angie, except no way would I have said anything to her like they do.

As regards Kate, you're definitely right that having a sub for a week or two isn't going to make much difference. If they were constantly changing teacher, it MIGHT, since teachers have slightly different styles and it can sometimes be hard to get into a new teacher's style and then sometimes they go back over something because they're not sure where the last teacher left off or something, but that would only be if they were having different subs every few weeks, not just having one in the year.

It's possible Kate is just freaking out because the O.W.L.S. seem pretty important and after all, a lot Ravenclaws are probably serious about their grades. Or there might be something more to her reaction.

I was deliberately avoiding having it too easy for Blackburn to cover the scars, because I wanted to show how embarrassed she is about them. I've read some stories where the person performs a concealment charm or something, but I wanted to show her anxiety.

And Scorpius IS a Slytherin. Ambition is one of their traits. He IS being ridiculously single-minded though. Actually this thing about him not having his homework done is turning into a bigger storyline than I intended.

One of the reasons I want to write these events from Blackburn's point of view is to show what happened between her, Teddy and Victoire. And also to explain about Merrickson not leaving until after breakfast that morning.

Thanks for the review. I'm glad you liked the chapter. Thought you'd be glad to see Blackburn back.


 Report Review
If this is your story and you wish to respond to reviews, please login

<Previous Page  Jump:     Next Page>