Reading Reviews From Member: Pheonix Potioneer
  
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Review #1, 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.


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Review #2, 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.


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Review #3, 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.

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Review #4, 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!

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Review #5, 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.


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Review #6, 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).


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Review #7, 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.


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Review #8, 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.


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Review #9, 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.


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Review #10, by Pheonix PotioneerThe Rise of the A.W.L.: Instant Invisibility Powder.

27th April 2014:
I didn't realize you had another chapter up!

Yes, I think I like Professor Basil Fronsac too. He sounds like an amazing teacher.

Yes, Fronsac does have a good point, that it's possible that something may have happened and he just didn't notice. And good for McGonagall, going around talking to portraits. She must be worried.

Wow, Scorpius is certainly dedicated. But then, what else does Scorpius have to do? Nothing.

That's smart for Rose to think of the Instant Invisibility Powder! I hadn't thought of that myself. Even if she didn't use Rose's, and Dora didn't have powder herself, Dora could have easily stolen someone else's. Surely somebody besides Rose in her dormitory had invibility powder. Why would Dora steal Rose's? She already knows Rose is suspicious. If Dora used Instant Invisibility Powder that is not her own, then she would have taken a person's who doesn't suspect anything. Then, there is the possibility Dora put her own powder in a spot where Rose didn't look.

I found Filch complaining about Mrs. Norris the third hilarious. Ha ha Filch. He really should retire, but won't be able to do so as long as there is mischief in the building.

Great chapter!

Author's Response: *grins* Thanks for the review. I wasn't sure if you'd seen the chapter was up or not.

McGonagall is definitely worried. If somebody DID tamper with the potion, it's pretty nasty. I'm tempted to write these events from Blackburn's point of view as a separate story, to give some indication of the teachers' perspective, since they aren't exactly going to take Rose into their confidence.

And that's a REALLY good point about how Dora could easily get hold of Instant Invisibility Powder without using Rose's and why it'd make no sense to use Rose's. Although Dora might DO just that to wind Rose up, knowing there was no way Rose could prove it was her.

Another reviewer mentioned Instant Invisibility Powder and it reminded me it had been a long time since I referred to it and I ought to bring it up again to remind people.

Glad you liked the part about Filch and his current cat. I was thinking having Mrs. Norris still around as a ghost, but then I thought it'd be funnier if he was trying to get another cat to spy on students like she did and they wouldn't. Especially since Rose and Albus aren't really major rule breakers, so there isn't as much fun to be gained from a cat who constantly spies on rule breakers.

And you'll see more of Scorpius's dedication as time goes on. Remember he IS a Slytherin and ambition is one of the Slytherin traits, so if he wants to do well at something, he'll work hard at it.


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

6th April 2014:
Yes, it does answer a few questions about the potion! I love it when I ask questions and they're answered a few chapters later.

Wow. One, it's nice for the seventh year class to collaborate and send Blackburn a letter in the first place, and two, it's nice for Blackburn to reply back. *smiles* It's moments like that when I love people. *hugs them all*

Sort of near-ish to the beginning of the chapter, Rose says, "... Did she say anything about what the letter is supposed to have said." One, there is two spaces between "supposed" and "to" and two, the line should end in a question mark, not a period.

I find it amusing that Rose is freaking out about talking to a Quidditch captain. I remember those days when if I had to talk to a high school student, I would suddenly get really nervous.

I'm surprised Hermione's letter actually held some useful information, and wasn't completely useless like all the other adults.

Poor Rose, going through the "It's my fault" phase. That's never fun. It's not her fault.

When Rose got the letter, I was thinking "I hope nobody else finds this" but then Rose burned the letter! I was so proud of her.

Even though she's about to s=investigate again, I didn't scold Rose at all this chapter! Yay!

Can't wait to find out what goes on next!

Author's Response: When you asked those questions, I was thinking "oh, you'll find out soon", because I've been planning Hermione's letter since like last June or something.

And yeah, sending that letter to Blackburn was nice, wasn't it? I wanted to give her a nice 7th year class, because they are almost adults (well, they ARE legally adults by the standards of the wizarding world) and are old enough to be sympathetic and have some idea what she's going through. And also probably old enough to make things pretty tough on her if they WEREN'T nice.

One of the reasons I want to write the spin-off from Blackburn's point of view is to actually write those letters and show her reaction when she gets the letter and stuff.

I've sorted out those issues with that sentence and also done some other editing, as there are a few oddly-phrased sentences. Nothing that changes the meaning of what's happened though.

And yeah, a few years is a long time when you're 13. Actually, when I was in 5th year (I don't know if I mentioned that 4th year is optional here, so there were girls in my class who'd turned 17 before I turned 16), I was actually kind of shy around the girls just one year (or in some cases as little as about 3 months) older than me. *laughs*

The adults aren't really useless. Harry gave them some pretty useful information in 1st year and they are rather more up on things than Rose and Albus know. Like Hermione said to Rose at the beginning of this story, "whatever you might think, I haven't exactly been sitting around, doing nothing". Rose just kind of tends to assume if she doesn't know about something, it's not happening.

And yeah, it's not Rose's fault.

Thanks for the review.


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Review #12, by Pheonix PotioneerThe Rise of the A.W.L.: Professor Merrickson

28th March 2014:
Here's my opinion about Blackburn: She went back to her house in shame once the news about her scratches started getting out. Remember when Rita Skeeter wrote an article about Hagrid, he holed up in his hut? Hagrid and Blackburn are kind of similar. He's a half-giant and she's a werewolf. They should sit down and have some deep one-on-one talk.

Rose has a very short temper this chapter. Rose, don't get snappy at Angie! I love Angie! Keep your cool Rose! She seems more like a Gryffindor to me. Most Ravenclaws are wise enough to know that your mouth does not get things accomplished. But everyone does have qualities of other houses in them, so I think it's okay.

I can understand Rose's desire to tell people what she overheard, but Lucy does have a point. When you tell more people, the secret is less secretive.

Oh, poor Nathan! I'm sorry I ever suspected him of anything. Professor Merrickson doesn't sound great. I can understand if teachers don't like kids who aren't trying, but those who are genuinely trying their best... *Hugs Nathan*

I do hope Blackburn is back soon. I think Professor Merickson is making the students realize, especially the first years, what Transfiguration would be like without Blackburn. Almost everyone takes things for granted, and if something bad happens they never stop and think, "Hey, it could be worse".

Blackburn, please return!

Author's Response: Yeah, there are definitely similarities between Hagrid's situation and Blackburn's. I don't know if you remember, but there was a scene in The Writing on the Wall when Rose and Albus were asking Hagrid about what happened to Blackburn when she was a teenager and he basically told them to mind their own business because she'd had a tough time already without people prying into her personal business.

Hmm, that's interesting about Rose having Gryffindor traits. I never thought about it that way, but I guess she does. She kind of has a bit of the protective heroine thing going on.

Well, to be fair, Merrickson doesn't know Nathan, so she's not in as good a position as the usual teachers to evaluate whether or not he's trying. She is definitely a lot stricter than Blackburn, but then that wouldn't be particularly hard. I think they have been spoilt a bit in Transfiguration class so far. Having a strict teacher for a few classes might make them realise how well they were doing all right.

There'll be a little bit more about Blackburn and what is going on with her in the next chapter.

Thanks for the review. It was awesome to find one when I got up this morning, especially when the chapter was only just up.


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Review #13, by Pheonix PotioneerThe Rise of the A.W.L.: Things Fall Apart.

18th February 2014:
VERY interesting chapter. Very interesting chapter indeed.

I hope Rose and Albus keep their mouth shut about what they overheard. I think there is definitely a reason why McGonagall and Blackburn discussed it behind closed doors.

I want to know exactly HOW the potion didn't work. Was it brewed wrong? Who brews it anyway? I hope I get some explanations.

Is it possible that member of the A.W.L. delibrately sabotaged the potion?

In this line, "Poppy's given me a potion for that", you didn't include a quotation mark at the end. On this line, "There was a pause, but if Blackburn answered, it was too quietly to be heard from outside the room.", there is a quotation mark at the end that shouldn't be there.

I understand why Blackburn is snappy, but it doesn't mean I have to like it. She's actually been fairly good at keeping her temper.

I didn't notice any awkwardly worded sentences, so I guess that means their okay. If some of them are worded oddly, that means I didn't notice.

Great chapter, and I can't wait to see how the A.W.L. responds!

Author's Response: Thanks you so much for the review. I was pretty anxious to hear what you thought of this chapter, as it's pretty central.

I LOVE your theories as to what could have happened with the potion. I was wondering what people would think happened.

A lot of your questions will be discussed by my characters in the next chapter or two. It's going to be a while before they know for certain what happens, but the question of who brewed the potion will definitely be revealed and believe me, the characters are as curious as you are as to how the potion didn't work. Well, I don't think Rose and Albus have really thought about it yet and Blackburn has a whole lot more on her mind, but McGonagall certainly is and some other people will be too.

If a member of the A.W.L. sabotaged it, it would raise the question of how they got access to it.

You've caught onto a few things that'll be important over the rest of the story.

Thanks for pointing out those errors. I rephrased the "Poppy's give me a potion for that" numerous times before I got it right, so I must have forgotten to replace the quotation mark after changing something. I have edited them now.

And yeah, Blackburn isn't exactly a hot-tempered person, but she isn't feeling well and she's scared out of her wits, both by the actual reality of the potion failing (which is pretty terrifying itself, as it's what keeps her life relatively normal) and by the question of how people will react, so yeah, she's a bit on edge.


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Review #14, by Pheonix PotioneerThe Rise of the A.W.L.: Their Greatest Fears.

10th February 2014:
The long-awaited boggart lesson! Yipee!

I have to compliment you on your skills of turning boggarts funny. Some of those were so funny that I myself giggled, and I wasn't even there.

I have to say, I'm not very surprised of Albus's boggart. Rose's surprised me a little at first, but now that I think about it, she is very protective.

Angie... I don't know what to say. Did her mom actually die, or was it part of the boggart? I wasn't even aware Angie had siblings. Oh Angie... now I just want to cradle her in a hug.

I liked Rose's reassurances to Angie. It reminds me of something in my story, but I can't tell you what.

Rose is a good example of a friend. :)

When Professor Jones is discussing the boggart, she says, "Yes, I can see some of you are already family with the creature. Who can tell me what it is?". I think you mean familiar, not family.

When you first mentioned the boggart scene, I didn't realize that was when Angie's secret would come out. I like the way you did it; very good.

Very informative chapter! I'm still processing the stuff about Angie.

Author's Response: Really glad the boggarts amused you. They amused ME when I was writing them and I THOUGHT they were funny, but it's hard to judge your own writing for stuff like that, so I was just hoping people reading would find them funny too, especially since I am NOT good at humour.

I remember when we were discussing what each other's character's boggarts might be on the forums, you suggested something pretty close for Albus.

I'm glad Rose's protectiveness came across. I added in the sentences about him being her little brother and it being her job to protect him afterwards, because I wanted to make it clear it wasn't just somebody she loved dying; it was specifically being unable to protect somebody she loved. I wanted to show the difference between her and Hermione - that she's more secure, probably because she grew up in the wizarding world, whereas Hermione, probably being the brightest student in her primary school class, then entered a world she knew NOTHING about, where it must have been a struggle to remain the most knowledgeable, but she managed.

And no, Angie's mother isn't dead. She just fears her mother's lifestyle will cause her to die young.

And I am now wondering what in your story Rose and Angie's conversation reminds you of. I'm guessing something to do with David. Or maybe that guy with the weird M name that I can't remember 'cause he hasn't been mentioned in a while.

I was looking forward to writing a boggart chapter for a long time and was also wondering how to reveal Angie's secret. Then at some point, I started thinking about how boggarts could cause a good deal of upset really. Imagine after the war - I sort of want to write a boggart chapter for the year after Deathly Hallows. I bet a lot of the kids would have traumas that could be triggered by a boggart. And I decided Angie's secret could come out that way.

*cracks up at the idea of some of them being family to the boggart* I've fixed that now.


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Review #15, by Pheonix PotioneerThe Rise of the A.W.L.: Clean Slates.

4th February 2014:
At this sentence, "Rose, come on, don't you want to see what we got." I think you meant to put a question mark, not a period.

I was sort of like Hugo when I was little. I cared more about getting presents than actually seeing my relatives.

I like how we get to see Hermione's parents. In the books, they are mentioned so little.

Near the end of the first section, this sentence, "Uncle Harry, after all, had been raised by an aunt and uncle who'd almost seemed to hate him" has no period at the end.

It semms so Mrs. Weasley-like to want all the kids in bed at a reasonable time.

Aw, Lily is worried too about Hogwarts. If I were her, I wouldn't be very worried; I'd be out of my mind with excitement.

Rose is finally beginning to wonder about Angie. I've been wondering since last book! I hope Rose doesn't investigate her though, since I like Angie. No matter what she's hiding, I will still like her.

Ha ha! Just school robes in the trunk! *laughs* I'd call that a disappointment!

Maybe there's hidden in the robes. Or maybe Dora suspected that Rose was going to open it, after Rose saw her, so she took something out. Or maybe Dora took her cloak or something with her over break, and she hadn't put it back yet.

Interesting chapter, I liked it!

Author's Response: Thanks for pointing out those mistakes. I've fixed them now. I've an awful habit of leaving off questions marks at the end of those rhetorical typed questions.

And *laughs* Your comment about when you were little reminded me of something. When my gran used come to visit when we were kids, she used bring down these magazines she was finished with. They weren't mostly very good ones or anything, but as a kid, I'd read practically anything, so I used disappear with them almost immediately. I only stopped in my mid-teens when I realised that some day when my little cousin was old enough to read for herself, she'd probably do the same to me and if I didn't like that thought, my gran probably didn't like me doing it.

And yeah, that's pretty much why I wanted to include Hermione's parents. It seems like the Weasleys are always celebrating together, so I wondered about the other partners' parents.

I was thinking starting Hogwarts could be very difficult for Lily in one sense (in my series) because it seems like there's no way she can distinguish herself. It'd be hard for all Harry's children, since everybody is going to think of their parents, but particularly for Ginny being the youngest. Like if she follows her parents into Gryffindor, well, James has already done that. If she's in a different house, it's not that surprising because Albus has already done that. If she works hard and gets good grades, she's like Albus. If she skives off and does the least possible, she's like James. If she makes the Quidditch team, well so have all the rest of her family. If she plays pranks, so does James. She's sort of in a similar position to Ron. There's very little she can do to outperform her parents, cousins and siblings.

You should probably wait and see what Angie is hiding before making categorical statements. *laughs*

And yeah, I deliberately had Rose not get a chance to check it until after the holidays, so it is possible that she only had something for the first term, like Albus and Rose borrowed Harry's cloak for a short time. Or it's also possible Rose is just wrong. She is a bit obsessed with finding something suspicious about Dora. Or your other ideas are good ones as well, like that there could be something else hidden in the robes.

Glad you liked the chapter. It's not one of my favourites as it seems to jump around quite a bit.


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Review #16, by Pheonix PotioneerHelping Hands: Chapter 2

29th January 2014:
Brushing your hair with an apple. *laughs* I admit, i haven't seen that before.

Wow, Draco genuinely likes doing this charity stuff! So surprising, I didn't think he would.

Poor Astoria! She is using all her money to help these kids! She really ought to get donations from somewhere. It doesn't necessarily have to be door-to-door.

Astoria does like what she does though. I think that it doesn't matter that they have financial struggles; Astoria still loves it. That is wonderful, sacrificing almost everything for the kids.

I love this story so far. It's just wonderful and sweet and makes you feel all bubbly and happy inside.

Author's Response: hahahaha I mainly did that to have a sly dig at Drapple :p

Draco REALLY wants to become a better person, so he realises that this is the perfect opportunity for him!

Thanks for another sweet review! You're too kind! ♥

- Kayla :)


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Review #17, by Pheonix PotioneerHelping Hands: Chapter 1

29th January 2014:
Hmm, so Draco has a crush on Daphne. Not Astoria, at least not yet. Interesting.

I like how Draco is trying to improve, but a trace of his old self still remains. Like how he feels disgust when he hears "muggles" but tries to stop himself. An improving Draco.

Their conversation was very nice. Astoria must be very outgoing, to hardly talk to Draco at school but then suddenly invite him to help her out.

I wonder what Draco will do. Will he actually carry through with his promise to help out, or not? Part of me thinks yes, and another part of me thinks no. I guess I'll have to read on! :)

Great chapter! It's lovely and sweet. :)

Author's Response: Hello!

Yeah, in my head canon, Astoria has always been really outgoing and not afraid to get what she wants - hence why she would still be in Slytherin :p

Thanks for the lovely review! Glad you enjoyed it!

- Kayla :)


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Review #18, by Pheonix PotioneerThe Rise of the A.W.L.: Victoire's Woes.

25th January 2014:
I did not expect this to be about Victoire, until I saw the title and summary.

And Teddy and Blackburn possibly liking each other! So surprising! But I do think Victoire is overacting a little. But it's a very understandable mistake.

Wow, you sure know how to surprise me. And I think the idea disgusts Rose a little bit.

I like the relationship you wrote with Rose and Hugo. They tease each other, buts it's easy to see that they hold a lot of affectionate sibling love.

Hermione has some very good points. It is bad to separate people and judge them solely based on that. Go Hermione!

Typical 10-year old boy, to whine about "boring politics".

Yes, Christmas is SUPPOSED to be about peace and goodwill. Having it actually happen is an entirely different matter. *laughs*

George's analogy about snow isn't very good, since wizards can probably just conjure snow with their wands. So there is a high probability of snow falling in July. Sorry George. I'm sounding rather like Percy.

I love your chapter! Christmas chapters always make me feel happy. :)

Author's Response: I was really looking forward to seeing what you'd make of the whole Teddy/Blackburn friendship (or possibly more), because it's not something there's much lead up to, since of course, Rose and Albus aren't aware of Blackburn's private life and I also think it makes Blackburn sound rather younger than being a teacher does.

Which is what Rose finds kinda freaky. Teachers are supposed to be "old" in her mind; not hanging around with her cousins. I think I'd have found that a little weird when I was 13 too.

And this actually fits a little with what you said in your last review about how the teachers probably have lives even if their students don't imagine that.

*laughs at your comment about Rose and Hugo* There is something coming up that'll fit with that too. Nothing major, but still, it's interesting you mentioned it here.

Hermione and Ron seemed to spend this whole chapter bickering about one thing or another. They've done more of it than in the rest of this series put together. Then again, they didn't come into the first story much.

And you're probably right about George's analogy. I didn't think of that. Actually, in "No Room at the Inn", I nearly had Alexandrina say, "he'd have walked across hot coals for you," before realising that with freeze-flame charms, that really wouldn't be saying much.


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Review #19, by Pheonix PotioneerThe Rise of the A.W.L.: The End of Term.

12th January 2014:
I find the Dora fancying Rose part hilarious. If I found my enemy stalking me, I'd be creeped out too. Can't blame Dora there.

YES! More about the Angie mystery! That's always on my mind, more so than Rose's mysteries. So now we know, whatever it is, Blackburn knows about it too.

Can't blame Blackburn for not liking Christmas, since it will probably be very lonely for her. I feel a bit sorry for Angie as well. Christmas's at Hogwarts aren't bad, but all her friends are leaving. Rose should have invited Angie to her house for Christmas. But no, Rose didn't really ask Angie much about her Christmas plans since she was invested with Dora.

Honestly, since Rose is the investigating girl, I'm surprised she hasn't really noticed anything yet. I suppose she's been too occupied with other things, and I don't think it's good to investigate your friends anyway.

It's amazing about the students opinions on teachers. They may be very dedicated, like Fairfax, but they probably do have lives.

I actually can see Fairfax reading a potions book on Christmas though, if he gets one as a present.

Fionnuala (Why do you have hard to spell names?) made wrapping paper? That's pretty cool.

I actually have left things in the bathroom before. It isn't that hard to do, I just usually remember quicker than Fionnuala does, like one or two minutes later. One time I even left my pants in the bathroom. Long story, I was very young, and my shirt extended to my knees anyway. It was pretty embarrassing though. *blushes*

I hope Rose has a good Christmas!

Author's Response: I was looking forward to seeing your review to this, as I know you're intrigued by the whole Angie thing. You don't have much longer to wait though. There will be an explanation of what's going on pretty much as soon as they go back after Christmas, so probably three chapters' time. It might be two or four, depending on how long Christmas takes, but it's not that far off.

And yeah, both Angie and Blackburn are likely to have somewhat lonely Christmases. You're more observant than Rose is as to the sympathy there.

Yeah, Rose probably should have invited her to stay with her, but Angie isn't exactly very open about her plans, so Rose didn't really know. You're right though; she might have figured things out if she wasn't so obsessed with getting back at Dora.

I've wondered myself about why I use such hard to spell names. There are a couple like Abric, I have to keep checking myself. With Fionnuala, though, it's just because Irish isn't a Germanic language, so spelling rules are very different from in English. I could have used something like Saoirse (pronounced Seer-sha), except that wouldn't have suited the character, which would probably be even more difficult for non-Irish people to spell. *laughs* It's the Latin-ish pureblood names I find difficult.

And there was a reference above to them transforming parchment into wrapping paper in Transfiguration, so that's what that referred to.

Yeah, I once left my key in the bathroom when I was at college. I went into the bathroom after locking the door of my room in my accommodation and then went to college. And I'd no idea where I left it. I had to go into this shop and ask if I'd left it there and all, but I finally found it on the sink in the bathroom.

Oh yes, Fairfax probably does have a life outside school, but like McGonagall, he's the kind of person it's hard for students to imagine having any interests other thing his subject. And yeah, he does love Potions. I'd read a history book on Christmas, so why shouldn't he read a potions one?

Thanks for the review.


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Review #20, by Pheonix PotioneerThe Rise of the A.W.L.: The Locked Trunk.

21st December 2013:
Thanks for telling Rose my advice. I am clever. :)

It is really complicated trying to get something out of James. Really hard. Albus actually has the same problem with my James in my next chapter.

I do think that Albus has a point, I'd lock my trunk magically if I could too, especially if my stuff is in a dormitory where anybody can go in. On the other hand, it could be an invisibility cloak. *ponders*

I wonder how advanced a spell is that magically locks things. It seemed rare in the Harry Potter series- they got through nearly every locked with just ALohomora, even the forbidden corridor on the third floor. Knowing how advanced Dora is would certainly through some light on the situation on whether Dora was advanced enough to perform that jinx on Remus's memorial.

I wonder if magically locked trunks can be picked with a hairpin or something though? People do often overlook the obvious. May be Rose could learn. I know George knows, since he and Fred picked Harry's cupboard in the beginning of the Chamber of Secrets. Maybe George taught James at some point? That could potentially be useful.

I would also find out what type of magical protection is on the memorial, since Rose mentioned that Peeves wouldn't be able to get past it. Is it just a few spells that a second-year could easily remove, or is it much harder than that?

Wow, I really should be a detective.

I wish Albus would stand up to Rose more. If Albus tries to argue with Rose, she just argues back and Albus ends up agreeing with her.

That's smart of Rose to use reverse psychology against James. Really smart.

Great chapter!

Author's Response: Yeah, James likes making them wait. And I'm now looking forward to finding out what your Albus is trying to get out of James.

You are very good at coming up with ways for characters to investigate. I hadn't thought of half the things you've suggested.

Remember though, Dora could well have had help putting magical protection on her trunk, so knowing how advanced the spell is wouldn't NECESSARILY help. After all, if she DID have an Invisibility Cloak, somebody would have had to have given her such an expensive item and they would probably want to ensure it was taken care of and that nobody could steal or damage it.

I bet James WOULD know how to pick a lock Muggle-style. It sounds like something he, like Fred and George would have troubled to learn. It probably isn't the first thing that'd occur to Rose though. Maybe she should try listening to other people's suggestions once in a while instead of bulldozing with her own.

You're right, Albus should DEFINITELY stand up to her more. And to people in general.

So far all they know about the magical protections is that the spells used by Victor, Phaedra (WHY do I always insist on using names I can't spell?) and Maximus couldn't penetrate them. And of course, Rose and Albus don't know how talented they are. Maybe that's something else they could find out from James, if he'd tell them. And if he wasn't so biased he thought they were useless regardless of how good they were.

Rose is definitely pretty smart at getting around people.

There's not much else I can say, except that the focus might move from what happened to Remus's memorial soon. Other things are going to happen and the whole thing won't be solved until the end of the story, which is a LONG way off yet.


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Review #21, by Pheonix PotioneerNo Room at the Inn.: No Room at the Inn.

20th December 2013:
First of all, I love the metaphorical title. You seem to have a knack for titles which I have never possessed.

I really like how you make this from the point of view of Blackburn's grandmother. Before this one-shot, I had never really thought about Blackburn's grandparents, just her parents.

And speaking of Blackburn's parents, it is heartbreaking that contrary to what her parents may believe, they are rejecting Blackburn. Her story is so much sadder than I thought it would be. To loose friends is one thing, but to loose parents... that's just so horrifying. And it seems like that they were previously good parents too. It's situations like this that brings out the evil of human nature in people.

I was cheering on Alexandrina while she was yelling at Blackburn's parents. Go her! It may bring out the worst in some people, but it certainly brought the best out of her.

I really like how you managed to write an entire one-shot on Blackburn, yet you managed to avoid the question on how she was bitten, except she was drunk and her friends were with her. I suspect that question will be explored more in "Rise of the A.W.L.".

This is beautiful and I really enjoy it, well done!

Author's Response: Thanks for the review. I was looking forward to hearing what you thought of this, as it sort of shows Blackburn from a different point of view. I was trying to write it so it could be read either as tie-in with The Rise of the A.W.L. or as a stand-alone, but I was particularly interested in seeing how it affected how people reading The Rise of the A.W.L. saw Blackburn.

I actually only realised myself after I'd written it that it gives a rather deeper meaning to her comment to Neville about how many people wouldn't want her around their small children. I hadn't even planned for her to have a younger sibling at that point and just meant it as a reference to parents not wanting her teaching their kids and stuff.

Glad you liked the title. I was kinda debating it, because it is so metaphorical, but I liked it so I decided to use it.

And yeah, she's had a pretty rough time. *grins* I think this should give an indication as to why her self-esteem is so damaged.

Like I've said elsewhere, I didn't want to divide up the world between A.W.L. typed people who want to see werewolves without any rights and people who are completely comfortable with lycanthropy. Nor did I want to make her parents purposefully cruel. They're just rather selfish and concerned with how people view their family and want an intelligent, successful daughter, not one who is having problems or who belongs to a minority that is discriminated against by society. Like you implied though, that probably makes it more hurtful, than if they were like say, Sirius's parents.

Her grandmother is mentioned briefly in the first chapter of The Rise of the A.W.L. I half expected somebody to comment in a review on that asking if she lived with her grandmother and if so, what had happened to her parents? It's only a passing comment though, so I'm not surprised it didn't attract attention.

Thanks again for the review. I'm glad you enjoyed it.


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Review #22, by Pheonix PotioneerThe Rise of the A.W.L.: Investigating Again.

6th December 2013:
I don't blame Albus for being confused about a double bluff. I understand it, but not because of her explanation. She reminds me of my brother, since they are both very smart but have trouble explaining things.

Hmmm. The portraits stories are interesting. The person was invisible. And they either whispered or performed the spell non-verbally. I'm actually thinking it might not be Dora, since if she had an invisibility cloak she would have used it last year. Of course, there always is the possibility that Dora acquired it over the summer, so she is still on the list. If I was Rose, I'd search through Dora's things looking for an invisibility cloak. If Rose doesn't find one, then there is no way Dora could have been responsible. She would at least need an older student to help her.

Rose is actually really good at strategies for investigations. She should become a detective when she's older.

Rose also does have a point, that they can find out things teachers wouldn't. I'm sure none of the teachers would be trying this approach.

James was pretty helpful. Hopefully he'll find out something. I don't blame Scorpius to be unwilling to help. If it involved asking stuff to Flint and his mates, I wouldn't help Rose either.

There is a possibility that Dora was out for a perfectly innocent reason, but she still is a suspect.

Great chapter, as usual!

Author's Response: Keep that idea about the invisibility in mind. It might not be conclusive (after all Rose and Albus borrowed Harry's cloak for a night), but it is a clue.

Hadn't thought of Rose being a detective. I do have ideas as to what Rose and Albus will do as adults, but I'm more certain about Albus than Rose. She would definitely be good at it.

And yeah, Rose's explanation was rather convoluted.

Thanks for the review.


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Review #23, by Pheonix PotioneerThe Rise of the A.W.L.: The Hallowe'en Feast.

5th December 2013:
I believe there is a possibility Dora did it- and also a possibility she didn't do it. I do find it highly unlikely she managed to penetrate the defenses, yet she is clever. She could have done it.

I kind of agree with Albus that it doesn't directly involve them, so they shouldn't investigate too carefully. Last year was totally different, because Dora was targeting Rose and Albus specifically.

I mostly like Slughorn, just not that he plays favorites. I've always been on the good sides of teachers, since I was smart and did my homework. However, when I was in middle school, my art teacher played favorites, and I was NOT one of her favorites. I can't draw to save my life, and art class was the only thing that prevented me from getting straight A's in 8th grade. So even if I am a favorite, I still don't like teachers who play favorites.

Derek's comment about Fairfax treating the students like one big mass amuses me. I've had a few teachers like that.

One Direction. *laughs* I've never been someone who is nuts about popular bands, but I know some people who are.

There is a possibility Dora did it to Remus, but I mostly agree with Angie: Dora is just winding them up.

Good job!

Author's Response: Yeah, I agree with you about teachers playing favourites and Slughorn takes it to unreasonable degrees. I mean, seriously, asking somebody to a party, then snubbing them and never asking them back because they say they don't see their uncle often. *cracks up*

I can't draw either (and that is an understatement). Art was one of the optional classes from 2nd year on for us though and in 1st year, the teacher didn't take it too seriously, because she knew like maybe 3 people out of a class of 28 would keep it on for the exam.

I'm not a big fan of popular bands either. I've always been an Irish ballad woman and those are sung by groups that have been together since the 60s. Some of the songs are from the mid-19th century. There are some new groups coming up, which is good, since a lot of those who've been playing since the 60s have died in the last couple of years. Actually, there as recently an Irish reality TV show where amateur song writer competed to firstly have their song recorded by a well-known singer and then, out of those that were chosen by the various singers, to have theirs reach the highest place in the charts. The singer who sung the winning song (which got to Number 1) was a guy who must be in his 60s or 70s and a ballad singer. Wouldn't be one of my favourites, but still.

Winding people up would be fairly characteristic of Dora, all right.


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Review #24, by Pheonix PotioneerThe Rise of the A.W.L.: Celebrations.

4th December 2013:
I'm glad that it looks like Rose had a good birthday. She has lots of friends and family to celebrate with her, and she received many gifts. I wonder if Dora is jealous of her. Dora isn't very popular. I'll bet Dora was feeling jealous and eyeing Rose all day.

Hagrid will probably be angry at Rose for a little bit when he realizes Rose isn't taking Care of Magical Creatures, but then come around, like he did with Ron, Harry, and Hermione's decisions not to take Care of Magical Creatures NEWTS.

Derek has evidently learned his lesson of not to rush homework. I still haven't. :)

Rose may think change with werewolf prejudice isn't happening fast enough, but werewolves have been discriminated against for hundreds of years. When you think about it that way, change is happening very fast. Rose is likely she was raised by a non-prejudiced family, but if you weren't- it's no wonder students like Felicity are terrified of Blackburn. They've been told all their lives how bad werewolves are; it will be hard to reverse that. I hope Blackburn does something by the end of the book to prove herself.

If I was a teacher at Hogwarts, I would expel the person that put the smirk on Remus's statue. No hesitation. That is just so disrespectful.

That was actually a bit smart though, putting the smirk on Remus's statue instead of just destroying the statue. It brings on a bit of a different tone.

Great chapter!

Author's Response: Thanks for the review. Was really pleased to see it. I wasn't expecting to find anything new now.

And yeah, the werewolf thing is changing pretty quickly. It's sort of weird you wrote that, because in the story I'm writing at the moment, I've JUST written somebody basically saying that: that things have changed a lot in a relatively short space of time, so there's every reason to believe things will continue to improve.

There's definitely a big change from how Remus had to resign immediately when the information about his being a werewolf came out and then had Umbridge writing laws that made it almost impossible for him to get a job (*ponders again about finding a way to get her into this series*).

And yeah, I'm trying to show there's more than nice people who are completely OK with werewolves and people like the Notts who are trying to return the wizarding world to the way it was before Kingsley and Hermione started improving things. After all, even Ron freaked out when he first heard Remus was a werewolf and he was brought up in a family that objected to prejudice.

I'd say Hogwarts would be able to expel somebody for something like that too. Here in Ireland, it is VERY hard to expel a student and I'm pretty sure one act of vandalism wouldn't cut it, but I have the impression it's a lot less difficult even in Muggle Britain and the Headmaster of Hogwarts does seem to have a lot of leeway about expulsions.

Thanks again for the review.


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Review #25, by Pheonix PotioneerThe Rise of the A.W.L.: Tensions Remain.

18th October 2013:
The eagle's question? Um, I didn't think there was anything suspicious, it was just a riddle. Now you're making me think. Is something going to happen at Honeydukes?

Dora... I think there is always the possibility that she's planning something, but I most likely agree with Ramsus, that she's just trying to wind Rose up.

I honestly cannot see the A.W.L. spilling secrets to a 12-year old girl. They are obviously more of the old-fashioned type in their beliefs if they hate werewolves so, which probably means they would think that children are certainly not able to do anything important. Dora might be able to pick up things, especially if her father is in the A.W.L. or something, but she most likely will not know a lot. If her hint about the next full moon in genuine, I'm sure they just heard it breifly mentioned. I think Dora might be acting like she knows a lot, and that what she revealed to Rose might be all she knows. I just can't see the A.W.L. telling Dora information.

Rose at least has some sense. She is trying to keep out of trouble, and not duel Dora. That's smart of her.

Your chapter title is okay. I think I've mentioned before how terrible I am at titles, so I don't have suggestions. "Tensions Remain" suits the chapter pretty well.

I rather like your Scorpius. He's not Albus's best friend, but he's not their enemy either. I'm actually surprised how much Scorpius was willing to tell Rose about the whole A.W.L. affair. I thought he wouldn't tell her anything, but he was pretty open about his opinion.

Author's Response: Ha ha, I'll allay your fears and assure you that no, the riddle was just a riddle. I just asked because I'm rapidly running out of ideas for questions and was wondering if Honeydukes was a weird thing for a presumably 1,000 year old brass knocker to ask about. *laughs*

And *grins*, there's a lot of logic in what you say. Dora rather likes worrying people, with the graffiti and all. She may know something though, but you're right in that she would hardly have details. Unless, of course, somebody thought she'd be useful... I'll just leave that thought there.

Yeah, I'm trying to keep my version of Scorpius different from others I've read about and it's not easy, because he's been interpreted a number of ways.

Glad you think the title is OK. I'm not great with titles either.


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