Reading Reviews From Member: nott theodore
1,314 Reviews Found

Review #1, by nott theodorePurification: Purification

17th October 2015:
Hi Kenny! I'm here reviewing for Team Gold in the RvG Review Battle!

I haven't read enough of your stories and I keep meaning to explore more, and I'm so glad that I got the chance to read this! It was such an interesting story, and I loved the way that you took the four different prompts for the challenge and worked them into your story so well - if you hadn't included them in the summary for the chapter I wouldn't have even noticed that you'd been given specific elements to include. Your storytelling is so interesting, and I think your imagination is great - this is so original, and I love the fact that you worked the ideas of Druids into the story as well. I know you've included those in some other stories but it's a really original element and I love the idea of combining it with the Harry Potter world.

You did a great job of characterising the different people here. I felt so worried when Ron started acting strangely from the beginning of the story because I could tell that there was something wrong and something important that he was forgetting, but it got even worse when I realised just how serious it was that he had wasted time because he was confounded and couldn't communicate the messages he really needed to. I was so worried! You wrote the tension in the story really well and I was so anxious about Harry and Ron and Neville! Thank goodness that they were okay and I loved the inclusion of the oak that protected them from the ghost, which was so creepy.

You might have heard this before, but I'm so impressed with your writing, especially since English isn't your first language, Kenny! I know how hard it is to write in another language and you should be really proud of this because it's a great story!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Oh my Merlin, Sian visited my story!!
How exciting!

"the four different prompts for the challenge and worked them into your story so well - if you hadn't included them in the summary for the chapter I wouldn't have even noticed that you'd been given specific elements to include. Your storytelling is so interesting" Thank you Sian! I'm glad you understand how I tried to express.This way is going to be my writing style, perhaps. I'm struggling to express how I should write, so your encouraging words really help me.

"this is so original, and I love the fact that you worked the ideas of Druids into the story as well. I know you've included those in some other stories but it's a really original element and I love the idea of combining it with the Harry Potter world." Thanks to J.K.Rowling, I could combine my idea and her world. Recently I face the writer's block, so I really appreciate your review!

I'm relived you could feel Ron's predicament and the tension in the story where one ominous thing happened to Harry and Neville.

Thank you again, Sian!


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Review #2, by nott theodorefoolish: the dorky Quidditch player and the pretty redhead

23rd September 2015:
Hi Kayla! I've had this open since I saw you'd written it but this is the first chance I've had to review, sorry! (Also, I'm still trying to read and review all the Dobby nominees so sorry if this is shorter than usual)

I loved this! I know you said the style was a bit different with more run on sentences and longer structures and stuff, but I think it worked really well - you're right in saying that it captures the sort of character that James is, particularly the way that you've portrayed him here. It didn't feel long at all either, because the story was so compelling and even though I know what happens to James, I couldn't stop reading till the end.

The characterisation of James is just so great here! I really loved the way you'd written him as a dorky guy who embarrasses himself in front of Lily Potter and even though he's a Quidditch player, he's far from the cool, popular guy that so many stories portray him as. I just loved the way that you wrote him though - there are so many little details in this which added to his character, like the way he once swore in front of McGonagall and his friendship with the other Marauders.

His relationship with Lily was completely adorable! I always imagined him to have liked her for far longer than he let on or before she agreed to go out with him. It was so cute that he liked her and wanted to go out with her but he was far too shy and nervous to say anything to her or his friends about it. I also really liked the way that he built up this image of her in his mind and when he got to know her she was so different and yet he liked her even more - loved her, even. The way you developed the relationship between them was just lovely and so perfect, and I couldn't stop smiling as I saw them growing closer and falling in love.

The moment when Harry was born was just ♥ so adorable! I loved the way James's priorities just completely changed because of the birth of his son, and suddenly there was nothing and nobody more important to him. It's horrible that they had to live in hiding and couldn't even have a normal life, but that scene when they sneaked out to the park was perfect.

The ending was so sad and successfully killed all my feels but this was a great story, and I loved reading it!

Sian :)

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Review #3, by nott theodoreYear Five: Prologue (1991): Dozens of Little Televisions

21st September 2015:
Hi Roisin! I'm here trying to read and review as many of the Dobby nominees as possible, and it's great to finally get to this story. Sorry in advance that my reviews are likely to be a lot shorter than usual so that I can get through the stories I want to!

I've heard a lot about this story and this was a really good opening chapter. I think it set up a lot of intrigue without us finding much about what's going to happen or even the characters involved in the story, really. Still, I think it was a really clever way to open the story, with Sophie, a Muggle, who is accidentally exposed to the magical world because of staying over at Tristan's house. Really, it's no wonder that he tried to hide the house from her as they were arriving the night before - and all of her different possible explanations for that were really funny :P

I think it worked really well having Sophie in the house and picking up on little details because we've learnt quite a bit about Tristan without realising it. Rather than going to school in Switzerland, he actually goes to Hogwarts and comes from a magical family, he's an only child and he doesn't seem to get on that well with his parents - or at least, he's in a stage where he doesn't want to spend much time with them. You worked all those details in really well, as well as aspects like the fact Sophie was the one to initiate things the night before which suggests he's quite shy or self-conscious, maybe. I'm looking forward to getting to see more of him in this story.

Tristan's parents handled the situation pretty well, I thought - they had to get something done about Sophie finding the photos because it's the sort of thing she probably wouldn't have forgotten and could have come too close to breaking the Statute. I wonder if they realise what Tristan spends so much time doing in his room, though, and whether or not they're oblivious because it's a Muggle drug or not.

I really enjoyed this first chapter - moving on now!

Sian :)

Author's Response: AH! I feel all nervous and blushy and like "welcome to my story!"

It is a bit odd, I've realized, in terms of like pacing and stuff. I think because I sort of wrote it in a vacuum without having ever read fic before, so I was using canon (and very much Casual Vacancy as well) as my only base of reference. So yes! The Sophie intro! That was sort of meant to mirror-yet-subvert the way PS begins with Mr Dursley's muggle POV. Except with a super different perspective, because the story is /all about/ multiple and alternating/alternative perspectives.

I'm sosoSO glad you thought the parents made reasonable choices! I wanted to create this sort of impossibly difficult (yet highly probable) situation, so there couldn't really be an easy right answer. So yeah, like, their choices would suck but readers wouldn't hate them for making them, I guess? Actually, for a lot of Mary, I just sort of tried to imagine what I would do in her place (which was a bit perfect for making her choices "flawed yet sympathetic," since I'm not a parent myself). Doing so was very illuminating, and DEF gave me a ton of respect for parents :P

But mostly: YEE, thank you so much for taking the time to read and review!


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Review #4, by nott theodorebroken, broken: during the Departure.

21st September 2015:
Hi again!

Oh, so Daphne actually is leaving - I thought that maybe something would happen to stop her from going but it seems like what's actually happened is going to prompt her to leave more than before. She's in a really horrible situation right now and I feel so sorry for her.

The conversation at the start was so interesting. I can definitely see why the girls wanted Daphne to tell the boys about her leaving - at this point, all any of them seem to have is each other and they're closer because of that. All of them are suffering from what happened in the past few years and she does kind of owe it to them to tell them that she's leaving. At the same time I can understand why she would be hesitant to tell them because two more people who know where she's going could put her more at risk.

The boys' reactions were very realistic as well. I could understand why Theo was so angry with her for leaving them behind but at the same time I'm glad she told them.

The conversation on the train was so realistic - I liked the way that you captured the friendship between them all and the fact that Goyle agreed that they would all stay quiet and look after their own. At the same time, the whole conversation had this air of them all trying to maintain the illusion of normality, pretending that things are as they should be even when they're all really broken and terrified.

The news that Daphne's mother had to tell the two girls is really sad - there's so much pain for them and it just causes even more problems. The fact that the Malfoys need to sell their manor is really shocking, but at the same time what's even worse is the news that Daphne's father has been arrested because of a book that he had to try and help her. She really has no choice now but to go on the run and go to France - I just wonder what she'll do there. Part of me even wonders if Pansy will join her too.

I'm looking forward to the next chapter, and good luck in the voting!

Sian :)

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Review #5, by nott theodorebroken, broken: before the Departure.

21st September 2015:
Hi again, Emily!

This was another great chapter of the story - I already said this in the last review but I really love the fact that you're focusing on the Slytherins here, the ones who had to do terrible things in the last year because they were scared of what might happen to their families (though I suspect some of them really did want to join in) and now they're unable to live normally again when everyone else is trying to let go of the fear that they lived in because they're constantly on edge. The trials at the Ministry and the way that the Prophet is reporting everything that's happening must be so alarming for them, and you captured that really well here - it's also something that they seem to be taking and not really understanding. There's nobody there to help them and explain what's actually going on, so they're left to themselves to work it out from the snippets of news that they hear, and naturally they don't get everything right.

I loved the way that Draco's trial was hanging over them all from the start of this chapter. How else could they react to one of their friends being taken for questioning and put on trial for terrible crimes? It's a living reminder that the thing they all feared, something that's been on the edges of their life until now, has become real and tangible. I can really easily imagine Draco's trial becoming long and drawn-out. I wonder whether or not they'll be able to think about things any differently when he is allowed to remain free.

It's so, so hard for this group - they really are still children, just seventeen, eighteen, nineteen - that's so young for them to have to face something like this. They're living in constant fear and anxiety and it isn't surprising to see that each of them is affected so profoundly and they're each coming up with their own coping mechanisms, even if they're not necessarily very helpful.

I feel really sorry for Daphne here. She keeps being told that she's coping really well with it all, that she's the strong one - but she's holding it all together externally and putting a brave face on things, so everyone else believes that, when inside she's in turmoil and can't deal with what's going on. It's like she's trying to focus so much on the others and their problems to persuade herself she's okay compared to them that she won't let herself realise how bad things are for her.

I'm really intrigued to see whether or not Daphne actually goes through with her plan of moving to France. I'm not sure that she will - I kind of feel like something might happen to keep her in the country and so that she returns to Hogwarts. Pansy really doesn't want her to go, but I'm glad they haven't started a relationship - that would have been such a bad idea for the two of them, because it wouldn't have been founded on something they actually needed and that could continue through to them being better again.

I really enjoyed this chapter, and I'm off to read the third one now!

Sian :)

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Review #6, by nott theodorebroken, broken: after the Battle.

20th September 2015:
Hi Emily! Here again trying to read and review the Dobby nominees, and it's great that I'm getting a chance to read more of your stories, and this one especially!

I love the idea of a story that focuses on the Slytherins after the war; there are so many stories that I've read which explore the effects of the war on the people who fought on the 'right' side, and yet so few that I've seen focusing on the people whose families were Death Eaters and it's a great idea to explore this side of things. There are bound to be some inevitable effects after the war for these characters. They really were still just children, even those who were of age, and the things that they had to do during their final year at Hogwarts, they probably wouldn't have done if they hadn't been threatened - not only themselves but their families too.

The title is fantastic, too - it really shows that the war has had such a profound effect on all of the characters involved. Every single one of the Slytherin characters that we see here has been affected by the war in some way and they do all feel broken, even though they're trying to keep it together and show that they can deal with life and move on.

I felt so sorry for Daphne and Astoria at the start of the chapter. I can understand why their parents want them to go back - Daphne as well - but it's such a hard thing for them to have to face, especially when they're so young and so many of the things that they did last year were because they were under threat. Astoria's comments about how the others weren't the ones suffering isn't true, though - it kind of shows how naive and immature she is, not to be able to think of it in wider terms. But at the same time those people did suffer, but they can have a clearer conscience because they were on the right side of the war so they don't have to suffer from the guilt of what they did to other students - well, in theory. I'm sure that there'll be a lot of them still suffering nevertheless, especially those who fought and survived when friends and family didn't.

The initiative that the Ministry have come up with to single out students doesn't seem very fair, and I can completely see why that would cause them all to be even more worried. It would feel like they're living on a constant knife edge, and every day they're trying to struggle through anyway and do something like their normal life while it feels like everybody hates them. I'm glad that Daphne's mother came up with an alternative for her, but I'm still not sure the policy is the right thing to do anyway.

I loved the friendship that you wrote between Pansy and Daphne here, too, and the way that you hinted at something more between them at the end - at least in the future, maybe. I actually did feel a bit sorry for Pansy, seeing the effects of everything she suffered, and even though what she did was terrible, it's important to remember that these people were all just seventeen and eighteen during the last year and those choices were so difficult for them to make. I'm intrigued to see what will happen between them in the future and see if Daphne actually does run, and how Pansy might cope without her.

Moving onto the next chapter - I'm really enjoying this so far, Emily!

Sian :)

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Review #7, by nott theodoreAfter: One.

20th September 2015:
Dee! ♥ it's been far too long since I read and reviewed any of your wonderful stories but now I get the chance to with all the Dobby nominees, and I'm so glad I did!

This was fantastic. For a one-shot it was relatively short and yet you managed to pack so much into the words that you did use that I can't imagine this being any longer. There's so much in here - the raw emotion, pain, disbelief, numbness, grief... It's hard to even pick up on everything that you managed to include in this one review. But I think you did such a brilliant job of writing this and subtly exploring as many aspects of the story as possible.

I really loved the structure that you used here, too. Since its reverse-chronological order, the story could be read both ways and it's really clever since it does so much to emphasise the fact that time doesn't actually help heal anything like this, just changes it. You really can't say that Amos is hurting any less in the first section than the last. And I loved the circular narrative, too, the reason we opened with the proverb being because that's what Dumbledore had offered them as comfort.

The loss of a child is such a terrible thing. I honestly can't even imagine what it must feel like for any parent to have to go through that. But you wrote Amos so well - I honestly loved your characterisation of him here. He's feeling so much and he doesn't know how to cope with his grief and I just thought you wrote him so well in this story.

I loved the reminder of how the smallest things can make a day seem impossible again, even if it's ages after the event and people expect you to be functioning normally again. The tie appearing and all of the memories that it brought for Amos shows how something that is seemingly insignificant can have such a profound effect and hold so much meaning for someone who's grieving.

It was really sad to see that Elaine and Amos had separated,too, rather than being able to rely on each other for support. I know it's something that happens so often after the death of a child, that the parents separate and can't be together any more because they drift away from each other in their grief rather than being able to offer support and comfort. It's just another indication of how profoundly the loss of Cedric has changed Amos's life.

I felt so sorry for him here, especially with the terrible guilt that he felt for his son's death, imagining that if he hadn't encouraged him into entering the tournament then he'd still be alive. There's no guarantee that's true, of course, but grief isn't rational and he can't escape the guilt - even his dreams taunt him with what he sees as his failure as a father. There's no escape from the grief and his loss at all.

The repetition was another great detail in this - it kind of emphasised the numbness and disbelief, repeating that he'd lost his son as if it would finally really sink in, or repeating his name as if it would bring him back. People who are so desperately grieving want anything to be able to change what's happened and you demonstrated that so well here.

This was a really fantastic story, Dee, and good luck in the voting!

Sian :)

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Review #8, by nott theodoreBeautiful Mess: Beautiful Mess

20th September 2015:
Hey Frankie! I'm here trying to read and review all the Dobby nominees and it's great to get a chance to read this,I've heard so many great things about it!

This was such a sweet and lovely one-shot! Reading it has put such a massive smile on my face, and I feel all happy and warm and fuzzy inside right now. I think you picked a really beautiful moment to focus on in the Potters' family life here with this story - what I love most about it is the fact that you chose a moment of relative normality to focus on, which makes this story seem even more believable and even sweeter for it.

The way that you opened was great - Ginny coming back to the house after leaving Harry alone with the kids for the day and finding absolute chaos everywhere. The house is such a mess! I love the way that there's something gone wrong in every room, as if nowhere in the house has been able to escape the chaos.

The description of the footprints in the flour was so adorable! I thought it was fantastic to see the way you expanded on there being flour all over the kitchen to showing the footprints there and Ginny being able to work out what had happened from seeing the individual sizes there. The story and images that conjured up were so, so sweet, and I love the idea of all the kids playing together, of Albus and James running round while Harry helps Lily along. It's just such a sweet image and it really makes me smile.

Then at the end when Ginny finally finds them all asleep upstairs on the bed after checking every room in the house, it was such a cute moment! I loved the details you included about how James had been growing up and wasn't spending as much time with his parents any more, and yet here he's still cuddled up to dad in bed asleep. The way that one scene managed to capture the relationships between the family was brilliant.

The ending was so sweet, too, with Ginny joining her little family and all of them snuggling up happily together. I thought the hints of comparisons to Lily and James were really poignant too, because it kind of emphasised that Harry and Ginny are able to have the life his parents couldn't, and that he loves being there for his children all the time.

This was a really great story and I'm so pleased I got to read it. Good luck in the voting!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Sian.

Oh my stars. This review is the sweetest story ever. I love it. I am so glad that you have warm and fuzzies. They are so warm and fuzzy and they make the wld a happy place, and I am humbled that my story did that for you.

I love Harry and Ginny as parents. And now Harry gets a relatively stress free life with a wife he loves and a family he adores. I'm glad you saw that in this very small story.

You review means the world to me. So thank you for putting a huge smile on my face :)


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Review #9, by nott theodorepaper cranes: letters to a (dead) sweetheart

19th September 2015:
Hi Emily! I'm trying to read and review as many of the Dobby nominees as possible and it's been far too long since I read anything of yours anyway, so I'm glad I finally got the chance to stop by!

Ah, I love Andromeda and Ted together so much and as soon as I saw that this was written for the Sink Your Ship challenge I knew that you were going to break my heart with this story. I swear, Andromeda's story is one of the saddest of all the characters in the series because she just lost so much. You wrote her so well here - we see so little of her in the books, really, and only know a little about her story, but you managed to capture her so well in this piece, and really make me feel for her even more.

I loved the structure of the story. The way that you switched between the different times and moments in this, back and forth between the blossoming of their relationship and then Andromeda at the end of the war, once both Ted and Tonks have died, worked so well. It was almost as if you kept giving us a little bit of hope because we saw their relationship starting to grow and the two of them getting closer, and then we were hit with this really harsh reminder that even though we know they're going to get together, it isn't going to last because of the war and that Andromeda will be left on her own all over again.

I loved your characterisations here. Andromeda never seems to be very well explored in fanfiction but I really liked the way that you showed her journey and the changes in her thoughts and actions, especially as far as her family and pureblood propaganda were concerned. At the beginning she wouldn't dream of going against it, but towards the end of school she's beginning to realise that she doesn't agree with it and that there are other options and she can take control of her own life if she wants to. It's so brave of her to do that, and I'm so happy that she did.

I loved the way that you portrayed both Ted and Sirius here as well. Since Andromeda and Sirius were relatively far apart in age, he doesn't seem to feature that much in stories about her, but I loved seeing the closeness between the cousins here and thinking that they kept in touch and could support each other.

The romance was really well written, too. It was gradual and believable and it was so easy to just read it and smile to see them growing closer - there was nothing dramatic about it, it was so normal and natural - and then eventually ending up together.

Of course, all of that just made it even more difficult to read the sections when Andromeda was grieving for both Ted and her daughter and son-in-law. She lost so much and you wrote the grief so well - the sort of numbness of it, the way that she wanted to try and avoid real life, as if avoiding things moving on in the real world would mean that Ted hadn't died. The letters she wrote to him and going through the books really added to that sense of loss and the way that she's trying to cope with it.

I loved the fact that you brought Dean into the story, too! It was so sweet of him to call round to see her, and even though she's jealous because if Dean hadn't survived, Ted might have, it's amazing that she can see his death meant something, which is exactly what he'd have wanted, and it's given other people a chance for a future.

This was a lovely story, Emily, and I loved the way that you tied in the idea of the paper cranes, too! Good luck in the voting!

Sian :)

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Review #10, by nott theodoreChai, Carrots, and a Friend in the Wee Hours of the Morning: Chai, Carrots, and a Surprise

18th September 2015:
Hi there! I'm here reviewing as many of the Dobby nominees as possible, so congratulations first of all on your nomination! I realise I've not read and reviewed any of the other stories in this series but as soon as the Dobbys are over I'm going to rectify that because I loved this, and I'm so glad I got to read something that's been on my reading list forever!

I have so many feels ♥

Seriously, this is such an amazing story. I just have a big smile on my face right now because reading this has made me really happy! It's such a cute and lovely story and it's going to take a lot not to just go and read the others in the series right away because I really did love it. I haven't really read a lot of Neville/Hannah stories before, even though I love the pairing, but this was probably the best that I've read by quite a lot.

I also kind of don't know where to start reviewing so I apologise that this is going to be a bit of a mindless, nonsensical ramble because so much about this story was great!

Your portrayal of Hannah is the most original that I've ever seen in fanfiction. I loved the fact that she was Indian here but the way that you weaved that into the story was even better - it was so subtle and so much a part of her that no reader would want to question it. Just the tiny little details there, like the fact that she cooked wonderful Indian recipes and she used Hindi to refer to ingredients,really meant that this story came alive even more. It's always so great to see different cultures included in stories and I think the way it was so naturally part of the story really made it more believable.

Your characterisation was fantastic, too. I loved Neville especially here - he was so self-deprecating and doubted himself on so many levels, in spite of being a war hero and all the things that he achieved with the Auror department too. And he's still quiet and thoughtful and enjoys this time with Hannah even more because of that.

The friendship between them was written so, so well! I loved the idea of them meeting late in the evenings to relax after long days at work, eating food and drinking chai and just being comfortable with each other. And at the same time there were all the little sparks and attractions there which built up so perfectly for the romance between them.

The ending ♥ I was so happy for both of them at the end of this story, and that they were able to admit their feelings for each other. The kiss was so perfect and I just adore the idea of the two of them together, your versions of the characters even more so. You write this style so well - the humour and romance are so well balanced and so well written - and now I just want to read more about them being happy and adorable together.

Thank you so much for writing and sharing this, and good luck in the voting!

Sian :)

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Review #11, by nott theodoredanse macabre: inviolate.

18th September 2015:
Hello! I'm here trying to read and review as many of the Dobby nominees as possible, and I've heard so many things about this that I've really been looking forward to reading it!

For such a short story, you really managed to convey a lot with so few words. There were so many layers here - the story was so complex and there's so much going on if you really stop to explore it - and that really made this piece stand out.

Honestly, I haven't read that many stories that focus solely on Ginny before, and most of those I have feature her when she's older - during the war or just after it. It was great to see her here as a little girl who's trying to recover from a terrible, traumatic experience that she should never have had to go through. I think you captured her really well - there's a vulnerability to her character here that she doesn't show to the outside world after it's all over, and a desperation to get away from the memories of what's happened and what she did, even though none of it was her fault. All of that fits so well with what she would be thinking and feeling at the time and I really enjoyed seeing a more vulnerable side to Ginny; yes, she's strong and awesome, but there must have been moments when she just wanted to cry to her mum and be told everything was going to be okay, especially as a girl.

I think what really struck me most about this story was the way you managed to portray the lasting effects that the possession has on Ginny, even if - or perhaps because - we don't really see them in the books. The refrains that you included, the words that Tom had said to her returning and repeating themselves over and over in her mind, were so effective. It's like he took hold of her so completely that she can't get away from him even when he's gone, and she's taunted by him for his triumph and victory over her. He's just a memory to her now but she lived with him as a memory and knows how much power memory can really have.

I really liked all the small details that you packed into this piece as well, like the different objects and events that might trigger those memories and feelings for Ginny. The descriptions worked really well, too, especially the way that you used the imagery of ink on a fresh page, linking everything in to what happened in the first place.

I really enjoyed this story,and good luck for the voting!

Sian :)

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Review #12, by nott theodoreJumping Off Swings: Moment of Death

18th September 2015:
Hi there! I'm here trying to review as many of the Dobby nominees as possible :D

I really enjoyed this story! I've read quite a few different stories now that focus on Snape in his final moments and his thoughts and feelings in that time, but it's always so interesting to read another version because each other has a completely different take on this moment, so it's really interesting to read this story!

I think you captured Snape's character really well in this piece. I have to admit that I'm not his biggest fan, but it was so good to read this piece because you made me think a lot more about his motivations and behaviour in the different moments of his life that led up to his tragic end.

There were so many layers to Snape's character here and I think it was brilliant to explore his character like this. You managed to portray his regret for his actions - the way that he wished he could have saved Lily and the way that he spent so long trying to compensate for his behaviour there - his feelings for Lily, his feelings for James and Harry, his motivations to join the Dark Lord and then to go against him... You captured that all here so well and it was great to see such a good characterisation of Snape here.

I think one of my favourite aspects of this was your narrative structure here. I loved the way that you reflected the kind of chaotic nature of Snape's thoughts in the few moments before his death as he knew he didn't have long left and he reflected on all of the memories in his life that have led to this moment. The way that you flashed through different memories and focused on different aspects worked really well to emphasise the sort of mental state that Snape had at this time.

The ending was great, too! I loved the fact that Snape got to see Lily once more after his death, and that she acknowledged what he'd done for her son and thanked him for it too. That was such a sweet and fitting ending. Good luck in the voting!

Sian :)

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Review #13, by nott theodoreSerenity: Serenity

18th September 2015:
Hi Laura! I'm here reviewing as many of the Dobby nominations as possible, and I've been meaning to read this story for ages too because I've heard such great things about it, so I'm really happy that I finally made it here!

I think you already know by now that I love your writing style - it's just so fluid and the description is amazing, and each word of your stories seems like it's been chosen with so much care and attention that it makes your stories even better to read. There's so much detail packed into every piece of yours that I've read so far and I loved this too.

The relationship between Padma and Isobel was so realistic and believable. I could really easily imagine the two of them being friends from when they started Hogwarts and something developing from there. I really liked the way that you described the girls growing up together, trying to work their way through becoming teenagers and all of the things that come with puberty and getting older - including boys, of course. It was so easy to imagine them all staying up together to chat and giggle about different things.

I can also really easily imagine Isobel and Padma beginning to grow closer as they experiment with each other to try and work out what it feels like to kiss boys, and then from there it grows into something more as they begin to feel things for each other. The relationship between them was so well written and easily believable - the whole hidden nature of it was kind of sad in a way, because they shouldn't feel that they have to hide how they feel for each other, but I also really liked the way you could tell they both cared for each other so much, and that they meant a lot to each other.

I thought it was great to see the way that you managed to weave in Padma's culture and family so seamlessly to the story. Obviously her background and her family's beliefs play a big role in how she lives and feels about herself and in this case it's really difficult for her because her parents seem to expect her to marry a man and she feels a lot of conflict with what she's doing with Isobel and how she's expected to behave.

The twist at the end was definitely not something I expected to see! If anything, I could have imagined Padma trying to kiss Anthony and being found by Isobel because she would have been conforming with what she was meant to do according to her family's expectations, but this ending kind of felt even more fitting. In a way, I think that Isobel did do it for Padma - one last gesture, because after the conversation they had in the library it didn't seem possible to go back or forward with what they had, so it was like Isobel trying her best to do something for Padma to make life easier. I definitely wasn't expecting it though, and it was so sad to see the break down of their relationship the way it happened here.

One small thing that I also loved (as well as the rest of the story) was the use of parentheses to reflect Isobel's thoughts as she reached out to Padma, or tried to. And the title was really fitting, too - I loved the way that you made it work and fit into the story!

Sian :)

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Review #14, by nott theodoreSchrodinger's Cat: Anhedonia

18th September 2015:

(Hi, Kevin! I'm here trying to read and review the Dobby entries and I've heard so many things about this story that I'm sure I should have read and reviewed it ages ago, but at least I'm here now. And back to shouting at you :P)

Seriously, this is not okay. You can't just go round breaking up Harry and Ginny like this. I think we need to sit down and have a proper talk about this, because it's a problem and I'm not sure I can let you go on doing things like this, alright? Even if it is for the Sink Your Ship challenge, because it's just not okay to have to read something like this.

Having said all of that, I think you did a great job of writing this. So many of the relationships ending that I've read about in fanfiction end dramatically - with a big event, a betrayal, a death, or something similar - and this one didn't. It was so realistic in that, and I think that made me even more upset to read about it because I found myself believing that Harry and Ginny's relationship could just end like that, which seems so unfair. Especially in a relationship that's so long-term and has been so loving and the two of them have been so close - they've built an entire life together - it's easy to believe that they may slowly stop making as much of an effort as they used to and the love might slowly fizzle out to nothing, until one day Harry realises that he doesn't love Ginny any more.

That realisation was written so well, too - it was simple, and undramatic, and it happened in such normal circumstances, but I think that made it more heartbreaking because it was as if there was nothing he could do about it. It wasn't something that he just thought in anger, or in the heat of the moment, but something that crept up on him until he realised it, and once he did realise it, there was no going back.

I think you portrayed Harry really well here - you captured his character brilliantly and there are so many different layers to him, even in this short piece. I can definitely picture him trying to talk to the Healer and getting so frustrated with her, being reluctant to answer questions because he's always been a private sort of person, rejecting the idea that he needs to be fixed. The 'saving people' theme that you picked up on and played on through the story was great, too. There are so many people that Harry's been able to save because of what he did in the war, and I think afterwards he would expect himself to be able to just as much as others would. So coming up against something like this, that he doesn't seem able to repair, is terrible for him - he doesn't know how to handle it because he's not been equipped to accept failure in that way. Watching all of his attempts to save their relationship was so painful, and then the admission to Ginny that he'd been trying to do that with all of his plans was even worse. At the same time, though he doesn't really apportion blame for the end of the relationship, I can't help but wonder if his own mental state had something to do with it; maybe there would have been a way back for them if he'd have been able to accept that there wasn't an instant fix and that the two of them working through things together might have done for their relationship what he alone couldn't.

The analogy of Schrodinger's Cat worked really well for this story, too. I knew about it before and I like the way that you linked it in to the story and the way that Harry felt about the end of his relationship - I just wish that he could have answered the question differently, or that there was a way back - at least that he felt there might be. This was great, Kevin, and good luck with voting!

Sian :)

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Review #15, by nott theodoreTwo Earthly Kingdoms: To Anger a God

18th September 2015:
Laura! ♥

Um... wow?

Seriously, I feel like I say that every time I read and review one of your stories but this time I'm just so blown away, because this is incredible, absolutely incredible. I've wanted to read this for the longest time and I'm so glad that I have, but the problem is this story is so amazing that it's the sort that has me torn between putting down my pen and never writing again and trying to ever emulate something like this, which is essentially impossible for me. It's just... wow.

I don't even know where to start in this review, and again, I know that's something that happens a lot, but... everything about this was amazing. There's just so much thought and attention to detail in this story, and everything about it was just perfect. From your choice of characters to your choice of words and allusions - I seriously can't think of anything that could have been done better in any way. This is just amazing.

Your descriptions ♥ You know already that I absolutely adore your writing and your descriptions but I feel like here you really took them to another level entirely, even better than your writing always is, and literally every single word seemed to be so carefully chosen and fit and flow so well with the story that I'm just blown away. Each word just built up this fantastic work and I don't know how you came up with this, but I'm in awe. One day I'm going to get you to teach me how on earth you have this talent for descriptions and imagery that's so unfair on the rest of us and share a little bit of it with me :P

The allusions through this - I mean, the whole story was kind of a retelling in a way I don't think I've ever seen before, and you just worked everything in so seamlessly that it's brilliant (I'm in serious need of some new adjectives for your writing. See what you're doing to me here?). It didn't even read like a story - like a fanfiction - with the structure, but the sort of saga that you'd find in mythology, with the interludes and the different parts all building up this sense of other-worldliness that made me feel like this was all happening so far away, and yet at the same time your storytelling was so compelling it felt like it was happening right now and it was the most important story I could read. I realise I'm not even making any sense right now, but I'm kind of struggling to find the words to do this piece justice in a review, so you're going to have to bear with me, I'm afraid :P

Snape as Orpheus worked so incredibly well. I hadn't even considered the possibility before of tying Snape, of all people, in with mythology - there are certain characters who really seem to fit and link in so obviously and Snape isn't one of those I'd have considered if I hadn't read this. But the way that you told his journey through life - his desperation for glory, the attempts to win his kingdoms, the lure of the underworld and the adoration for Lily, all of it - fits so well with Orpheus's figure and you told his tale so well. His life seemed so incredibly dark - the description added to that, like there was this shadow and mystery surrounding him, a strangely dark glory about him - and tragic, in a way, as though no matter what he did he had very little control over the outcomes of events, and the way that people viewed and treated him. Just so much of this worked with Snape and all of the other characters, and your characterisation of him was just fantastic. I'm not the biggest Snape fan at all, but this piece understood him and his motivations so well - you captured his personality perfectly, and it's such a great portrayal of his character, tied up in this amazing piece.

This is just a tiny thing but I also love the way that you don't mention names either, at least of the main characters. Lily is never named through the whole of the piece, in spite of that fact that Snape thinks about her so much and wants her as part of his rise to glory, and then Snape himself is only mentioned twice, I think - it's just something so small but the fact that you told this whole story without naming people like that and yet the reader still perfectly understanding who they were reading about and everything that was happening really demonstrates your skill and talent as a writer.

I have so much more to say but I don't have the words to say it right now, and I've rambled and not made sense for long enough here, unfortunately. This is such an incredible story, Laura, and lots of luck in the voting because it absolutely deserves a Dobby (and then you can teach me how to write like this, even a little bit, yes?). Good luck! ♥

Sian :)

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Review #16, by nott theodoreYou Don't Own Me: Don't

18th September 2015:
Hi, Rose! I know I haven't read True Romance yet, but I'm trying to make my way through the Dobby finalists, starting with this one!

This was such a heartbreaking one-shot to read. I don't think I've ever read a story like it before - in fanfiction at least - and I can understand why, because it's such a sensitive topic and so difficult to write about something like this, something that's so painful and shocking to read about. I feel so much for Scorpius in this story, and even having read this, I can't really begin to imagine what it feels like for someone who has to go through a relationship like this... it's just so upsetting. But you captured it so fantastically well, and really made me feel for these characters, even though I don't know them from previous stories.

I think that your choice of second person was brilliant, because it added a completely different layer to the story. It was almost as if Scorpius was reaching out to the reader and asking for help as we keep reading you, reminding the reader that anybody can find themselves in this position, no matter how strong they are, and they need to know it's possible to find a way out. Your narrative voice just created so much empathy and made this story even more heartbreaking.

I just wanted to give Scorpius an enormous hug here. Nobody should have to go through something like this; the way that you described the different stages of the cycle show how often it's happened to him, that it's become a routine that he tries to survive because he has to, because he has no other choice. The opening was so sad because you could see Scorpius trying to deny what was happening, even in his head as he heard the voices of his friends telling him what his relationship had really become. Then, slowly, through the course of the story, he began to acknowledge what was happening and realise that he couldn't continue on like this, and that he did have another choice. Seeing him travel on that journey and realise that there was a way out was such a relief, and I felt so proud of him at the end of this, because he did such a brave thing in getting out.

Corbin is such a horrible person. I know that there must be a much warmer, nicer side to him that made Scorpius fall for him in the first place, but here he's so controlling and abusive and it's really terrible to see. Even tiny things, like reminders of Scorpius's past life and his friends, are enough to trigger Corbin's anger and jealousy. It could even be that part of the reason they moved from England to France is to keep away from that past life so Corbin could have more control.

Scorpius was so, so brave at the end of this when he made the decision to get out. I'm so happy that his friends were still there for him, no matter what had happened, and that his family were too. He got out and away from the terrible relationship that he was in, and now he can hopefully start to heal and begin a new life. Still, even with the more hopeful ending, this was heartbreaking Rose!

Sian :)

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Review #17, by nott theodoreLove in Three Acts: Epilogue: After the Curtain Fell

17th September 2015:
Hi again, Rose!

I'm so much happier now after reading this chapter - there's actually a smile back on my face, which after reading the rest of the story, is quite an achievement! I'm so glad that you wrote this epilogue though, because it's much nicer to remember that the two of them did meet again and reconcile - in some measure at least - and were able to put the past mostly behind them.

It was really good to see Sirius being the one to make the first move towards a reconciliation - I imagine that they'd have both found it awkward to approach each other, even after that first meeting, because of all the things that the new knowledge would have brought back for them, and all of the different things they knew they'd have to talk about at some point. But after everything that passed between them, it was good to see that Sirius was brave enough - and cared enough - to find out about where Remus was living and to approach him.

I think you wrote that conversation between them - particularly the start of it, the awkwardness, and the way neither of them really knew how to approach it - really well. I can definitely picture Remus as the one who held onto the guilt and the feelings of shame and everything else from the past much more than Sirius, because at this point, Sirius almost has a new lease of life - he's free, at least, which is something he hasn't been for years, and some of the most important people in his life now know the truth about them. At the same time, Remus is suffering from believing that Sirius was the traitor during all this time, and that's a situation that I can't imagine being easily overcome.

I'm glad that they both decided that they would try to be friends again after everything, and that Remus was sensible enough to say that. If they'd have tried to enter into a relationship again now after everything that had passed, without getting to know the other again first, it could have been disastrous, but at least this way they get to retain their friendship with the other - and of course, it kind of paves the way for Remus eventually ending up with Tonks.

This was a great version of Sirius and Remus together and their story, Rose - even if you did decide you wanted to break my heart and stamp all over it at some points :P

Sian :)

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Review #18, by nott theodoreLove in Three Acts: Act 3: Betrayal

17th September 2015:

Rose, I think you get far too much enjoyment out of being mean to your readers and making people sad :P I mean, I'm the same so I can't really complain, but still. This was really mean and horrible - I'm just hoping that the epilogue is going to be a bit nicer and more cheery :P

You know how much I love canon and stories that are canon-compliant, so you probably can also imagine how happy I am that this story complies so well with canon. You've managed to weave all of the information we have from canon into the story so well, and it's really believable and authentic that this could have preluded the events that we know took place later on with the Potters especially.

I think you captured Remus so well here. I know that in the books, during the second war, we get to see that Remus is kind of depressed with some of the missions he has to fulfil for the Order - because he's a werewolf, he's given certain tasks to do that take him away from society and thrust him into solitude, and he doesn't do very well with that, even though it makes sense that he would be used to complete those sorts of jobs as he's better placed for it than other people. I do feel really sorry for him, though - it's so unfair that he has to live like this :( Anyway, I think you did a fantastic job of portraying his frustrations with his situation and all the pain that he still feels from things that have happened in the past, especially with Sirius.

You segued really well into the section in the past, when the photo was taken. It was so clever of you to use that one little detail from canon to create the scenes that you did here - so that we got to find out all of the different things that were happening between the members at the time, and see them together before things got even worse. The tensions between Remus and Sirius were so awkward and horrible to read. I can't believe that Remus gave Sirius a second chance and then he kept on cheating on him - how can you betray anyone like that, let alone your best friend? It makes me so angry to think of! And the confrontation outside with James there - I don't like violence but I can completely understand why James hit Sirius, because he crossed a line, no matter what happened between the two of them. But I think that scene also helped to set up really well for the rest of the chapter.

The final scene, when Sirius was the one who came to collect the information from Remus, was so heartbreaking and painful to read. You could see how much each of them was hurting, and the fact that they were still both heartbroken from the end of their relationship, but it just felt so inevitable, and I think that was the most upsetting thing. It was like there was never any way through it all for them. The fact that Sirius believed that Remus was the traitor must have hurt them both so, so much, but at the same time it's so easy to see how Sirius's logic works - the people who have hurt Remus with Sirius are the ones who seem to be targeted, but it's just an awful coincidence. And of course, Sirius saying that if anything happens to James or Peter just foreshadows even more what will eventually happen, and the way that it could have been Remus who was the traitor - everything fits in so well with the scenario and I just want to read on so that I know they both know neither of them was involved really, and everything can be vaguely okay again - for a little bit, at least!

Sian :)

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Review #19, by nott theodoreLove in Three Acts: Act 2: Romance

17th September 2015:
Hi again, Rose! ♥ So, I'm a terrible person and these reviews are coming far later than expected, but I promise you that I haven't forgotten them!

I really liked the way that you jumped ahead in time here from the end of the last chapter without it feeling like we had no idea what was going on. I think sometimes it's so easy for a big jump in time to feel a bit jarring, but there were enough little references and details about things that had passed in the time since the end of the first chapter that the transition was really smooth, and so the chapter flowed really well.

The first section was so interesting to read about! I always love reading different people's interpretations of what the Order actually did in their attempts to gather information and fight the war against the Death Eaters, and it was great to see Remus and Sirius in the thick of it here. I can definitely imagine them using their Animagus forms to gain an advantage on the Death Eaters at times, but I can also imagine them getting into some sticky situations like the one here at the start of the chapter. It was great to see some of the Death Eaters that we know from the books still operating here - it kind of gives you an idea of the scale that they were operating on, and the amount of people who maybe went unpunished for their crimes, at least in the first war. I couldn't help but getting a bit worried when they were stuck talking to them, though, and Remus was trying to get them out of it, especially with it being the day before the wedding.

From there, I really enjoyed reading about the progression of Sirius and Remus's relationship since the last time that we saw them. The two of them are clearly so much more comfortable together than they used to be, and their friends and others in the Order seem to know about the two of them as well, so without making it really explicit there's clear signs of how their relationship has developed. The two of them are still really attracted to the other, but there do seem to be a few cracks appearing, and things haven't necessarily progressed the way that you might think. Sirius and Remus seem to have different attitudes and ideas about their relationship and even with their attraction and the way they feel about each other, it's making me think there could be a lot of problems.

And then the wedding! I loved seeing all the other Marauders and Lily here, as well as some of the members from the Order. It was great to see them together in a capacity that we don't usually see, when they're actually celebrating something happy rather than trying to plan how to defend themselves or what to do next. I really enjoyed the dynamics between different characters and your portrayals of them.

The ending! :( I can't believe that. I'm so confused by it and really hurt and upset for Remus that Sirius would do something like that - I want to read on now to find out what happens next, and what sort of explanation Sirius thinks he can offer!

Sian :)

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Review #20, by nott theodoreThe Adventures of Abigail Higgs and Potter Boy: The One With The Change In Friendship

31st August 2015:
Hi again, Tammi! Ah, it's been far too long since I read this story, and it looks like I have so much to catch up with now!

It was so nice to get back into Abigail's perspective - and kind of nice to get back to a happier story after you broke my heart with your one-shot and had me on edge with The Unspeakables :P I really like Abigail's voice - I think she comes through really strongly and she's the sort of person I think that I'd want to have been friends with at school, too. She just seems so nice and likeable, although quite quiet, and it's great to read from her perspective.

I'm excited to read about the change in her friendship with James - or the development of an actual friendship, I suppose, because they didn't really talk very much before. It's interesting to see that he hasn't just abandoned her after what happened and instead seems to be trying to make amends for it, even though it wasn't really his fault. He seems really sweet and likeable here, so I hope that he doesn't have any mean ulterior motives behind singling her out and actually talking to her and approaching something like friendship.

Michelle is really mean. I can understand her being jealous, in a way, but a true friend should be happy for Abigail because she's liked James for such a long time and at least now he's paying her some attention. The comment about how friendship can become a habit at times, and you continue it just because of that instead of because the friendship is actually good for you, is so accurate and true - I've definitely experienced that myself! I hope that Michelle's behaviour gets a bit better soon, or that Abigail manages to find some new friends who treat her better - although it's understandable she doesn't want to be left alone, either.

Hmm, I'm intrigued by the idea that James might have already had feelings for Abigail and that's why the love potion made him act that way! Wouldn't it be cute if it was true? I'm really enjoying the change in their friendship and getting to see the two of them interact more here - I'll look forward to seeing more of it in future chapters, too!

Sian :)

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Review #21, by nott theodoreEvolution: Stranger on the Street

31st August 2015:
Hi Kevin!

Yay, back a bit sooner this time for another chapter - and this time about Sirius! I really enjoyed this - I think that it's important that you take the time to flesh him out a bit more in this story as you have in more recent chapters, since he's such an important person to James and will eventually be to Lily, I suspect. It's really interesting to see what he's getting up to over the summer, especially now that he's away from home, but it's true that James's time is probably taken up with Katie a lot more than usual so Sirius must be feeling pushed out and left alone a lot more.

It was so nice to see the way that the Potters had completely welcomed Sirius into their home and family! It's how I imagine the two of them being, because the opening exchange showed that James and Sirius are kind of more like brothers than just best mates, and it's so sweet that James's parents will take Sirius in and make sure that he feels properly at home when his own family have completely rejected him.

I really liked seeing Sirius's frustration at being lost and being out on his own in Stroud, left to entertain himself again because James is occupied with Katie. It's definitely believable and I kind of think that he's been quite good at not letting any of that out really so far this year - it's always hard for friends when they're pushed aside for a new relationship, and it happens quite often, too.

Grace is really interesting! It's nice to see someone else around who challenges Sirius and takes an interest in him, though not necessarily in a romantic way - I guess we'll see whether or not that will develop into anything, but I really liked her character and the way that she started talking to Sirius without any inhibitions. It's nice to see the way that people would react to him more normally away from a setting where he's got a reputation for both his own behaviour and his family. Here in the Muggle world, he's kind of free to invent a story for himself and be whoever he wants to be, which must be really nice for him, actually.

A little Brit-pick - over here (well, not Spain but the UK hehe, I'll be there soon enough) we don't graduate from school, we just leave after taking exams. I'd never refer to graduating from anything except university if I was talking about myself - I'd say 'I just left' or something like that :)

It was really great getting to learn more about Grace and her background, but also seeing her ask Sirius questions and the way that he had to invent a 'Muggle' version of his life. They seem to come from vaguely similar backgrounds with the private schools that they went to, but it's good that Sirius didn't quite break the Statute and let on that he goes to a school of magic :P

I enjoyed seeing some of his frustrations come out too, with the fact he feels kind of abandoned by James. I wonder if that'll come out any time soon in the story.

It was nice of Grace to help him find his way back to the Potters' house, even if he doesn't want to tell her too much information. I'd really like to see the two of them together again in this story - even if there's nothing romantic between them, I think she'd be a good friend for Sirius to have, someone who could take him away from his life for a while. I really enjoyed this chapter!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hello again!

Yes, Sirius has behaved himself quite nicely I think aside from his explosion post-telling-off. But I definitely wanted to take the opportunity to show that it carried over to summer even though they are basically brothers living under the same roof. Though Sirius perhaps exaggerates the frequency JUST a bit, there's no doubt James would be scampering off to Katie QUITE often given that they live in the same town.

You absolutely picked up on the key to Sirius and definitely the key to his dynamic with Grace - "he's kind of free to invent a story for himself and be whoever he wants to be." Tellingly, he doesn't TOTALLY depart from the truth, he just casts it in a Muggle way, but though both challenged him, he feels so much more "free to be" with Grace than he did with Renee because he doesn't have the baggage of his family history and family name. You'll most definitely see them together again - though I won't say more than that :p

As far as the graduating bit, that's a very interesting insight! I suppose we like sensationalizing things over here - well, I don't suppose, we DO - turning every accomplishment into some sort of to do. They have kindergarten and primary school graduations over here, Sian. PRIMARY SCHOOL. It's all rather disgusting to me truthfully, along with the participation trophies they hand out like candy these days, but it is what it is. Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong era in that regard. Well, now I'm rambling and wasting time that could be better spent on reviewing Jigsaw!

Thank you for all your continued spectacular reviews and your amazing and wonderful support!

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Review #22, by nott theodoreLove in Three Acts: Act 1: Friendship

31st August 2015:
Hello, lovely Rose! ♥ Happy (belated) baby shower!

Honestly, I haven't read very much Remus/Sirius until recently - I read one story and it really captured my interest, so I couldn't resist reading this one when I remembered that you'd written it - particularly with all the Marauders era stories you write so well! I mean, I have a slight suspicion that you're probably going to break my heart with this story, but I fully embrace that right now!

I really love this so far! Even knowing full well that you're going to break my heart at some point today, I can't stop myself reading and enjoying this story. I loved the way that you captured the four boys together at the start of the chapter. Their friendship was written so well - I liked the fact that you showed the way that this started in friendship, because I can't think of it beginning any other way for the two of them - and all of the Marauders together. I really liked the way that you didn't leave out Peter (such a pet peeve when he's completely ignored in Marauders era stories) and that he took part in everything just as much as the other boys did. He really felt like one of the group here, which was great to see!

I loved the way that they got so bored (and Mrs Potter was so frustrated) that the four of them went into Muggle London for a day out. I loved seeing them explore a bit and do some silly tourist things that I don't think I've ever seen in fic before - it's so good to incorporate that aspect of their world, and really believable since we know all of them (perhaps maybe bar Peter?) fought for the rights of Muggle-borns and probably had some sort of interest in Muggle culture too.

I really liked the way that you wrote Sirius and Remus here, and the way that they were still friends - still part of a group of four, and wanting to remain that way - and yet there was an attraction between them that we saw gradually growing through the story and becoming stronger and stronger. It was interesting to see them try and deal with that alongside their friendship - the way that they were kind of teasing each other with it through the second half of this story, and the growing attraction they felt, and then the final kiss at the end that you'd been building up to. It really signalled that things are going to change here for them, and that there's a shift into a different type of relationship, which I'm excited to see but I'm still wary that you're going to break my heart :(

Sian :)

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Review #23, by nott theodoreThink of Funerals: Five Stories

31st August 2015:
Hi, Roisin!

I know I still need to catch up on the chapters of A Study in Silver, but I saw this in the recently added pages and couldn't resist stopping by here to see what you'd done with this story - I've seen the challenge over on the forums and I know that you had a similar challenge yourself, so I was sure that it'd be really interesting, particularly as you're a great writer!

I read this slowly, like you asked. I read it through to the end and then I read it again. And then I read each section individually with the notes that you'd provided, and then altogether again. And I'm so impressed with how much you've managed to fit into this story - how packed it is with detail and technique and interest, and the fact that each one of these segments is just 100 words each? Seriously, you should be proud of what you've achieved with this story - I don't think I've ever seen any story that's so experimental (for want of a better word) in so many different ways and manages to incorporate it all into one story.

The opening was really interesting - there was so much ambiguity with that section, and the others, too. I think part of that has to be because of the limited word count, but it also leaves the reader trying to fill in the blanks and work out who the characters are. In a way, each reader is going to get a different version of the stories here, and that's so clever and interesting!

Anyway, the first section - I loved how you titled it, and then completely subverted readers' expectations. The fact that it's a wedding makes you think that the woman getting ready must be the bride, but in fact it's someone who's caught the groom's attention and wants to go and cause trouble, wearing black so that they evoke a completely different impression. I wasn't sure who it was, exactly - part of me thinks this would fit with a Next-Gen love triangle (with Teddy, Victoire and another of the girls, I guess) - and I loved the contrasting images of the bride in white and the guest in black, and the fact that the guest was so confident she'd draw stares - from the groom, especially.

The style of the second section - The Diary - was something I don't remember seeing before, but I loved the scene you chose for it, because I don't think it would have fit with any characters quite as well as it does with Tom Riddle and his diary. The thoughts and the way that they spill out onto the page were so well written. I'm also amazed that you wrote a 100 word piece where each word starts with a different letter of the alphabet. I've read quite a few of the stories where each sentence does that for the challenge that's on the forums right now, but this takes it to the next level and I'm so impressed that you still managed to create a story that made sense, let alone one that fit so well!

The third section, Narcissa, was so interesting and ambiguous too. I loved the way that you incorporated the poetic form and yet still managed to include a lot of information with the repetition that section contained. I really liked the way that, even though it's titled Narcissa, we're not really sure who it might be about. It could be Narcissa narrating, talking about having spoken to someone - Andromeda, maybe? - who didn't care that their father had written. Or it could be Draco speaking to her, and 'dad' means Lucius; it could even be Scorpius speaking to her and 'dad' is Draco. There are so many possibilities there and I love the ambiguity of it and the way that it made me think and question the story, and try and decide who I think the characters are. I think I might just change my mind each time I come back and read this because then I get the best of all worlds :P

I'm not familiar with the poem (or the poet) that inspired the Black Milk story, but now I really want to go and look them up and find out more about them, because if this is based on a translation of that poem, the poem must also be hauntingly beautiful. This scene was so powerful - you captured so many feelings and emotions in so few words. The repetition of the phrase Death is a master from England was so effective, and fits so well with the idea of Voldemort, in this context - or perhaps another that we don't know of yet. It was beautiful.

The final story was so sad. I've only recently read any WolfStar fics, but I'm assuming that Remus is the one that Sirius is looking at - or stopping himself from looking at - here. And the idea that he wanted to cure himself of homosexuality just breaks my heart, and it's worse because I know that there are so many people who've believed that in the past, and so many people who still do, when it's something completely natural and normal and nobody should ever have to think that they need to be cured for being who they are. Ugh. I don't want to rant about it, so I'll go back to the story - I loved the way that you tied this in with both WolfStar and then the trope of Sirius being a player character in fanfiction - this would be such a good explanation for why he tries so hard with women in stories, and why he concentrates his efforts on them, because he's trying to distract other people - and himself - from the fact that he doesn't actually like women in that way at all. The vicious circle of self-hatred that causes is just so sad to read about, and in 100 words you've made tears spring to my eyes over the thought of this being true. I don't want to accept this as canon just because it's so heart-breaking, but it fits so well!

I'm about to max out the character count now (oops!) but, if you couldn't tell, I really loved this story (stories) and I'm so impressed with how much you packed into 500 words! This is fantastic, Roisin!

Sian :)

Author's Response: SiaAaAaAan! Oh my gosh thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to leave such a thorough review! This is one of those stories that I felt kinda weird and unsure about (why is it always the short ones that are the hardest?!?!?! I actually wrote it all out before even signing up to the challenge because I wasn't sure if I could manage it). So yeah, it's so encouraging to get this review!

Gah! Thank you so much for giving it so many read-throughs! It's one of those things where I spent so much time on the things and wanna be all like "loOoOok what I diIiIiIid!" Pretty much all of these styles came from my CW classes and our in-class writing prompts (descending sentence order, alphabetized words, and "How To"--then I'm just a big Celan fan and mighty fond of the Pantoum style).

I honestly didn't have a specific character in mind when I wrote "The Wedding." I kind of decided afterwards that Pansy would fit, and that the wedding in question could be Draco and Astoria. Like, it's all a bit delusional--with the "you will" tense becoming "he is" tense, and I figured Pansy is all about delusions of being fancied. But yeah, it's totally up to the reader, and I'm so interested that you thought of Teddy!

The alphabetized one was weird, because I couldn't really plan it very much. I hadn't even chosen for it to be about the diary! It was sort of like "After... um... buying... um... countless... um... diaries--oh, I guess that's what this'll be about." I kind of intended it to be a back and forth between Ginny and Tom, with him like possessing her and mind control and stuff? I DUNNO IT WAS VERY WEIRD TO WRITE.

"Narcissa" actually did have a concept behind it, but I love the idea that everyone kind of fills it in differently. Like a content-less play almost. Writing it, I'd imagined Draco as the narrator and that it would be set after the war, but now I'm excited by all the other things it could be!

Ooh! Ooh! Ok so I sort of recommend reading a translation of "Todesfuge" while listening to the recording of Celan reading it (in the original German). It had a really amazing sound and cadence and is written to sound like a Jewish prayer almost. In the original poem, the whole "providing the soundtrack for other prisoners to dig your mass grave" thing was more subtle so I really wanted to draw out that image here (and, you know, Voldemort=Hitler).

I definitely imagined Remus as the unnamed "he" in the last story, and even named him in the original draft, but decided to leave it vague for all those Sirius/James shippers. And yeah, UGH. It super bummed me out to write this. All the badness Sirius feels (self hatred, musing about self harm) is super common among people stifled by closets. Meh. Sad. I put that one at the end because I felt like it had such a High Impact ending, which is also a sorta cruel choice because that's what readers are left with. SORRY.

But really, thank you SO MUCH for this amazing fantastic review!


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Review #24, by nott theodoreTime Ticks Away: Time Ticks Away

31st August 2015:
(I just typed out a whole review for this story and lost it because the window decided to refresh, so sorry if this review is a little shorter than my normal ones!)

Um... wow.

That was my first thought when I read this story, and I've gone back and read it through again to check that I've grasped as much of it as I can. There was so much packed into this and I'm really, really impressed with it - the writing and the story that you've chosen to tell. It's definitely not what I was expecting when I clicked on this story from the recently added pages, but I'm so glad because it was even better!

The way that you started this story was so much lighter than the rest of it - it was kind of humorous, and I was expecting to read something fluffy and fun, where maybe a prank goes wrong or something. You really succeeded in lulling the reader into a false sense of security with that opening, because I had absolutely no idea what was coming next, and the twist here and the change in tone was so well done!

Just before I go any further, I did notice one typo - a couple of times you write passed when you should have written past. Obviously it's a tiny detail but I thought you might want to know so you can edit :)

The game of truth and dare that they started playing helped reinforce my idea that it was going to be a story about teenagers messing around or something. But it got so much darker than that so quickly. At the same time, the game was completely innocent - Rose and Al were just teasing each other and messing around, and then everything went wrong in a way that none of them could have predicted. I only started to have an inkling as to what might happen when Rose mentioned the necklace looking like something her mum would wear, and then the hourglass - but still, I didn't expect it to be so dark and scary!

Rose was such an interesting character to choose for this - you captured her voice really well, I think, and it came through very strongly from the start of the story and because of that I was rooting for her from the beginning and felt like I was with her when she was struggling through all of the different scenes with time travel. I liked Albus and Scorpius, too, and I think they were a great choice for the story - I liked the way that you also repeated their presence in the story later on, so there were three central characters whose reactions and attitudes changed over time and you were able to emphasise how much difference that makes to the story.

The time travel sections were so well written. I've read a couple of stories that deal with time travel and its dangers, but I don't think I've seen a fic that does it like this, and emphasises those dangers so well in just one story. This was really great - the fact that it kept happening again and again, every time Rose tried to escape from herself, and it just got more and more complicated and scary. I felt like I was Rose, her voice was that strong, and I was just as desperate as her that she'd find a way out of it and go back to normality at the Malfoy Manor with Albus and Scorpius in the time she's actually from. Instead, it just kept getting worse and worse and it was so worrying!

Then the ending... wow. I was really, really hoping that she'd finally find a way back to Malfoy Manor and rejoin the boys and be safe again, even if she had to try and explain what nightmare had happened and try and fix it. But instead things went completely the opposite way and she was forced to go backwards, back and back until there was nothing. Your writing at the end was so powerful and evocative, and you did a great job of capturing the sheer terror of that idea.

This was a really great story - I loved reading this!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review! Especially for re-writing it after you lost the first one- That means so much to me. I was actually really unsure about this story, so to hear some positive feedback is amazing.

I'm glad you liked the big twist in tone and story. I was trying to make a huge contrast with the two parts of the story and make it a bit of a surprise!

Thank you for picking up on that typo, I will definitely edit it soon. I did read through it several times, but I never seem to be able to get everything!

The choice of the three main characters actually came from the challenge prompt I was given. "Rose, Albus and Scorpius play Truth or Dare," was the prompt I got, and then had to put a dark spin on it. I think it even turned out a bit darker than I initially thought it would, as I wrote it just kept getting worse and worse!

I'm so glad you connected with Rose. I really wanted people to root for her and hope she finds her way back... which just makes the ending even more cruel... but it was the challenge's fault, I had to! :P

Thank you so much for reading this story and leaving an amazing review!

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Review #25, by nott theodoreThe Interpreter: The Interpreter

31st August 2015:
Hi Jayde!

Ah, how could I pass this story up when I saw it in the Recently Added pages? It's about languages and you've used that to explore a minor character which means it's practically written to be something I'm going to love - I was so excited to read this!

I'm also feeling very stupid for never questioning how come Barty Crouch learnt so many languages before. I mean, you don't learn two hundred languages without loving them and having a thirst to pursue the knowledge of them, and I loved the fact that you took that here and turned it into an entire story that explored the life of a minor character who people don't really write about.

I really loved the parallel syntax that you employed here, starting each new section with the same sentence and then going on to spin away from that into a different part of Barty's life, so that we learnt about him and his path through life, and how much of an impact languages had had on that. It was really clever, and I think it also kind of represents the obsession that Barty seems to have with learning languages; it's like that's the one fact that he wants everyone to know about him, how many languages he speaks and how much he loves them, and he doesn't care about being known for anything else.

The way that Barty was introduced to languages was so clever, too - the fact that he was suddenly exposed to them at the World Cup and wanted to know what people were saying, and when his parents couldn't tell him, he decided to find out for himself. It makes so much sense to me - at that age you expect your parents to know everything, so when they don't it's like a whole big gap in knowledge revealed, and I can imagine him only really being exposed to languages at that age too, because of the sort of environment he'd grown up in.

So. Jealous. I wish I'd been fluent in languages when I was that young! (In fact, I still wish I could call myself fluent in my other languages) I can definitely believe in Barty being so determined to study languages that he'd insist on it as a child and bury his nose in a book instead of really living.

The moment when he realised there were magical languages that he could learn too was so cool - and I love the idea that each of the headmasters and headmistresses of Hogwarts might be able to speak Mermish so that they could communicate with the Merpeople living in the lake!

It was really cool to see Barty being able to find a use for all of his languages through his life, as well, especially when he got moved to the Department of International Magical Cooperation. It's so fun to be able to use your languages in a real life situation and for someone who's as determined and passionate about languages as Barty is, I can see that being a really great opportunity.

The ending was so sad :( I thought you built up to it really well, with all of the details that you packed into this story throughout it, and that you wrote the ending really well too - but it was such a stark difference to the rest of the story and that really emphasised how horrible Barty's death had been. The whole focus of this story has been on languages and his passion for learning them, and then we're reminding that no matter how much he learnt, it wasn't enough to save him. Part of me can't help wondering whether he'd have had more chance of surviving, and of things turning out differently, if he'd spent more time at home with his family in the first place rather than dedicating any spare time he had to learning languages.

This was such a great story, Jayde, and I really loved reading it - my little language loving heart is very happy!

Sian :)

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