Reading Reviews From Member: Pheonix Potioneer
  
131 Reviews Found

Review #1, 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.


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Review #2, 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.


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Review #3, 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.


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Review #4, 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.


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Review #5, 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.


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Review #6, 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.


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Review #7, 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 #8, 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 #9, 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.


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Review #10, 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


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Review #11, 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 #12, 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 #13, 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 #14, 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 #15, 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 #16, 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 #17, 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 #18, 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 #19, 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 #20, 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 #21, 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 #22, 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 #23, 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 #24, 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 #25, 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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