Reading Reviews From Member: nott theodore
  
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Review #1, by nott theodoreLa Bête Noire: quand l’étérnité finit.

20th July 2015:
Salut, Laura! ♥

I have so much of your writing to catch up on (not that I'm complaining because I love it, I just need to find the time to actually read and review again) and I've been visiting your page and trying to decide what to read first because I want to read it all :P So more reviews on other stories will be coming soon, particularly on L'optimisme, but I couldn't resist this for now!

I've never read a story before that really features Nicolas Flamel and his friendship with Albus Dumbledore, and now I'm just wondering why. I saw the summary and title all in French (which may or may not have been one of the reasons I had to read it :P) and couldn't actually remember who had died in 1992 (*hides head as a bad fan*). I'm so curious to see where you're going to go with this story, though, particularly as you're linking Albus and Nicolas with Gellert, and I'm kind of assuming they're the same versions of the characters who appear in your novel, so I'm really intrigued by this!

Your writing, as always (how do you do it? Teach me, please!) was stunning in this. Every word in your stories just seems to be chosen with so much care and attention, and it's so easy to realise how much thought you put into your work because it just leaps from the page. This chapter all flowed so well, and I loved the tone; there was something almost wistful in it, as if they were remembering the things that could have been, as well as the nostalgia and the melancholy that's kind of natural in a moment like this.

The parentheses were so well used, too! They just seemed to fit in with the way the narrative flowed and added something extra to the story, almost like the hidden thoughts that they wanted to voice but couldn't really, not always to themselves.

The French ♥ You use it so well here - there's not too much of it (not that I'd ever complain if there was more, hehe) but it just fit in so well with Nicolas's character. I imagine Albus having learnt French and Nicolas having learnt a ridiculous amount of languages (because if you're alive for that long and you don't, I'd be so annoyed :P) but I love the fact that, in spite of them communicating in English, Nicolas keeps some of the most natural phrases and has a kind of pride in his accent. I feel like if he'd wanted to lose it in the time he's been alive, he definitely could have, so he's just clinging onto his beau pays with pride.

Fawkes was just an awesome addition to the chapter! I feel like he's going to have a lot more of a role in this story and I love that idea, because I've never really seen him used in a story before, so I'm excited to see how you're going to use him! I might have been reading things wrong but I got the impression that Fawkes didn't always belong to Albus here, and that he'd actually belonged to Gellert before, so the fact that he transferred his loyalties - and so strongly - is really intriguing. I'm kind of wondering if Gellert told Fawkes to go with Albus, or asked Albus to take care of him, and the bond has grown from there; like Fawkes is a living symbol of the relationship that seemed to die between the two of them. I'm also imagining that Fawkes goes off to Nurmengard to visit Gellert on those days he disappears without Albus knowing where he is and it's like a continuation of their relationship, in a way - something they have in common. But I could have read entirely too much into that and got it all wrong :P

The friendship between Nicolas and Albus was so intriguing. I feel like I've not been able to get a proper handle on it here, and that's probably your intention because there's more of this story to come, but in spite of Albus being at his friend's bedside when he dies, not everything is entirely easy between them. There were the apologies and half-spoken truths that appeared in their conversation here, and hints at all sorts of things that have happened in the past, but I feel like I don't really know what happened to them and between them properly yet. It's really interesting that there are things which might have overshadowed their friendship, though, and I also really like the idea of Nicolas having been around for all of Albus's mistakes, so he's someone who knows how flawed he is as a person. When we see Albus in the books, he's a really old man and he's been so powerful and well-known for so long, and worked so hard to repay what he did as a young man, that the wizarding world mostly seems to have forgotten that he could be considered anything other than a hero. Then when Rita Skeeter writes about him, it's all in a skewed, biased way - she wants to make him look like a bad person. So it's really intriguing to see a glimpse of the friendship between the two of them here, and to think that Nicolas is someone who knows and accepts Albus for who he really is, all he's done, and is still his friend.

I loved the parallels that could be drawn between some of the characters mentioned here, and their quest for immortality. I'm not sure if that was completely intentional, but I really liked it. Nicolas didn't ever really seem to want immortality, from the way I've read the books - by the time the Stone needed to be destroyed, he was happy to accept Death - to greet it like an old friend. He'd created something that could give the owner eternal life, for a while, but it didn't seem that he'd done it just to be immortal. Or perhaps because he'd lived for so long and been immortal, he was able to accept death for what it was? And then there's the comparison you can bring in with Albus and Gellert, who both sought the Hallows, and Voldemort, who sought any way to become immortal - none of them succeeded but the one person who did accepted death and it kind of shows that nobody really can be immortal. The chapter title tied in so well with that theme, too!

Now I've rambled enough and run out of space, but I loved this! hearts;

Sian :)

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Review #2, by nott theodoreUpon the Edge: Upon the Edge

20th July 2015:
Hi Laura, I'm here for our review swap!

I haven't read enough of your writing at all, but I've heard so much about it from other people (seriously, Kiana and Laura can't recommend your stories highly enough!) and I enjoyed reading this so much! I'm really glad I agreed to a swap now, because this was such a lovely story and I got to experience some of your beautiful writing!

I don't think I can write this review without mentioning your incredible descriptions. I absolutely adore stories that make full use of imagery, even in this sort of story, and there was so much packed in here, but without being too much, if that makes sense. It's kind of hard to say why I liked it so much, but I think it's your word choice - without going over-the-top with metaphors and just running on with the description, you paint such a vivid picture here with just a couple of words. There are some phrases - only a couple of words each - that just made me read back over them, because I was struck by how original and interesting they were as a description, and it's so great to read writing like this!

I loved the plot of this story, too! I don't remember having read many one-shots that are friendship-oriented, so that was really sweet to see, and I've definitely never read one about Lily and Sirius's friendship! The plot was just so sweet, even though it was really sad to see what had happened to Lily and her family. But in spite of the event that had caused Lily to come up to the tower and sit out on the roof, I loved the fact that you used something like that to inspire this story and show a moment of friendship - perhaps even the beginnings of a real friendship - between Lily and Sirius here. They'd clearly not talked much before at this point and since it's their fourth year, they don't become friendly straight away, but I'd love to think that from here on they had a sort of understanding between them, and that any irritation/wariness of the other was kind of erased by the fact that they shared this moment.

Your characterisation of both of them was so good! I really loved the fact that, even though they don't seem to get on that well in normal circumstances, both of them saw a different side to the other here.

Sirius is usually characterised as this permanently charming playboy who always knows what to say, but there was an element of him here that was vulnerable and unsure. He doesn't know what Lily's doing but he cares enough about her and is a good enough person to want to stop her from doing anything stupid, and then to stay and try his best to comfort her, even though it's difficult to find the right words and know what to say when someone's in a situation like this. I really liked the fact that you included his recklessness, but didn't make him into someone that was fearless - just someone who was impulsive and then only realised he should have thought things through afterwards. It added a really believable aspect to his character and felt like it fit so well with canon.

I just wanted to give Lily all the hugs here ♥ We never find out in canon how her parents died, but we do know they were both dead before Lily and James were killed, so it was really interesting to see an explanation of it here, worked into the story in a really seamless way. It's so sad that she was away from home when it happened and I can't help but think that might have been another aspect that added to the rift between her and Petunia. But I also loved the fact that Lily was so adventurous and kind - I think sometimes people cast James as the brave, Gryffindor one, but the fact she'll clamber up here to be alone shows that she's got courage and isn't afraid.

Ugh, I'm not going to go on a rant about Snape here (even though I could, very easily :P) but I feel so sorry for Lily that Severus had been there for her all through her mum's illness, and tried to comfort her, but when it came to the times that really mattered and when she needed him, it was more important for him to save face with his friends and ignore her. It might not be canon but it fits so seamlessly into canon that it's such a perfect mention - like it shows that he was already starting to make those choices before the Mudblood scene that we see happening in their fifth year.

I kind of don't know what else to say about this - I've rambled quite a bit and not said much that's very useful :P But I really, really loved reading it and it's such a perfect one-shot - it would fit so well into canon and it's so sweet to see this moment of friendship between Sirius and Lily. Thank you for the swap and giving me chance to read some of your lovely writing - I'll have to stop back for more soon! ♥

Sian :)

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Review #3, by nott theodoreThe Ides of March: Tear me asunder.

17th July 2015:
Hi again, Kiana! Yay, I get to read two of your updates in one go (because I've been terrible at reviewing recently and I'm trying to finally catch up with some of my favourite stories)!

The opening of this chapter was so sad and upsetting. I really felt so sorry for Helena - it was like everything had been washed to grey and she couldn't see past it. It reminded me a lot of the opening of the first chapter, in a way (and I'm supposing that was intentional), when she thought of Eleanor and watched her from afar, as she does that here, but at the same time there's less hope here. It's almost as if everything else is even worse than before now she's known what it's like to be with Eleanor.

Rowena is just... so unloving. And I suppose in a way representative of some of the mothers that exist even now, sadly, let alone at a time when rich women spent barely any time with their children and those children were essentially brought up by servants. The way that she treats Helena is really upsetting to see, because I can't imagine what it would be like to have a parent like that - she can't compliment her or really show compassion, and she just expects Helena to do what she's told for the good of the family. And even though Rowena knows that Edward isn't a good person - even when she sees it here, right before her eyes - she doesn't care, she only wants to assure that there's a good match made for her family and a connection that will continue to help Hogwarts.

I don't like Edward at all. I've seen a few different portrayals of the Bloody Baron in life but I don't think I've seen any that are quite so unlikeable as this one! I don't know why - I think part of it is because he's just trying to cover up and put on a show in some ways, and his act isn't as good as he thinks it is, and there are hints of his real nature slipping through. I feel like he could be quite a dangerous man to cross - well, we know that he is, when he gets angry - and if Helena had ever married him, her life would have been very unhappy.

I had to laugh a little bit about Helena thinking of someone who's twenty-eight old. Because it's really not that old, but at this time when life spans were so much shorter it probably was, and she's definitely right about the difference in their ages being a lot, even if at this time that was hardly an obstacle and was actually quite common.

Helena has so many problems and issues that I just want to give her a big hug. I feel like if she were alive now she'd have had so much more help but she was more of a victim of her time too, because there are so many things she struggles with mentally, and now that's making me really sad to think about the fact that mental health just didn't even exist as a concept at this time, and not just then but for so many years afterwards, and so many people suffered without help being available :(

Okay, that was a tangent that was probably unnecessary :P Sorry about that!

The scene with Eleanor getting through to Helena finally was so sweet! ♥ I think Helena has been so afraid of loving people - because, let's face it, what has she experienced of love up to now in her life? - that she's been pushing Eleanor away just because of that, let alone all of the other things that she struggles with about their relationship. But Eleanor isn't as apathetic and cold as Helena thought she was and it was so sweet to see her going after Helena and making sure she knew that she wanted to be there for her. The 'I love you' moment was adorable.

The last section of this chapter was just so ominous in tone, and it felt really foreboding. Now I know that there are only four chapters left, too, I know that things can't go well for long, no matter how much I want them to. It's so terrible of Rowena to say that Helena is to blame for the badness that she sees in Edward - it's almost as if she knows that it's there and she's washing her hands of it, and will say that Helena pushed him to bad behaviour if they get married. It makes me so angry with Rowena for that. I'm looking forward to the next chapter (although a bit apprehensive about it, too) and again, good luck with all the updating you want to do! ♥

Sian :)

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Review #4, by nott theodoreThe Art of Small Talk: The Audrey Coup

17th July 2015:
Hey Kiana! Woo, another chapter of this story and I finally get to find out what's happening to Audrey after the cliffhanger you left us on with the last chapter!

I thought you wrote the first section of this chapter really well - Audrey was so down and even though she was fighting it with all the sarcastic and angry comments in her head, you could tell how much of an effect her being put in prison for no apparent reason had on her. I can't imagine having your freedom taken away for no real reason and it must be so frightening for her to have been locked up with nobody to really speak to.

Her narrative kind of got more chaotic and rambly than usual at the start and I thought that showed really well how hard it was for her trying to keep sane and calm in some way when she had nothing to cling onto. The conditions you described were really horrible!

The detail about not having the watch and that being one of the hardest things she had to deal with was such a good one to include, especially because of what you were able to do with it afterwards. It's so hard when you don't know what time it is and you lose track of so much - we're all so used to it that we don't even notice how much we rely on it!

There were still some really funny lines in this chapter, though - I think it's great that you're able to write serious scenes but still have me giggling a bit at some of the lines Audrey comes out with. I'd love to see her joining an anarchist group!

Ah, Percy and Audrey time ♥ There was so much of it in this chapter and even though Audrey was in prison and everything, I can't help but loving all of the time that they got to spent together here. I know that he said he was just doing his job and he was there because all of her friends had organised it (and even though Audrey would try to deny this, she definitely was hoping he'd say that he was there for her!) but I think he really genuinely cares about her and that this is going to be the start of them really getting along and working for something in common. There were so many cute moments here and it was just so sweet to see it!

The watch! ♥ That was so sweet and thoughtful of him, and even though it isn't anything special, I get the feeling that it's going to become really special to Audrey over time as a sign of what Percy is willing to do for her.

Haha, I couldn't help but laugh at how rude she was to Harry when he arrived to see her! I just kept thinking that one day they're going to be in-laws and will look back on this and laugh (I hope). But good for Audrey, sticking up for herself, even if Harry was there to try and explain things!

I really don't see how the Ministry can make it illegal for Draco to have removed his Dark Mark and then Audrey to be a criminal because she helped him, because it's just so stupid and Harry's right - rehabilitation is way more important. But I can imagine it happening if people got over-zealous about getting rid of the Death Eaters and ostracising them from society, especially if they suffered because of them during the war, but it's still not a good way to go about rebuilding a society.

It's kind of worrying that there are so many people after Audrey, but at least now she knows why she was locked up and that it's partly for her own protection. It was so unfair of the Ministry not to explain that earlier, but I suppose they wanted to make it seem realistic in case people were watching Audrey?

I'm looking forward to the next chapter and seeing what happens to Audrey and with the Death Eaters who are after her! Good luck in getting it finished before you go away, too! ♥

Sian :)

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Review #5, by nott theodoreKeep Calm and Carry On: Just Edie

16th July 2015:
Ah, just one more chapter left to go and I'm all caught up now, which is more reviewing in one day than I've probably done in the last few months so I should say thank you to you for that!

There's a lot of suspense in this chapter, mostly because I want to know what's going to happen with Oliver and Edie but I suppose I can wait for that for a bit now and be content with this chapter. It wasn't quite as heart-breaking as I was fearing it would be and there's hope still, so I'm happy!

I think you handled the skip forward in time of several months really smoothly. It didn't feel jarring at all and that often seems to happen, but I loved the way that you moved forward and put Edie in an event where we got to see the majority of the cast here too, and find out what they've all been doing in the time that's passed since the last chapter.

It's great to see that Edie's got a proper job (mostly) now, and she's freelancing and working for different papers on articles that don't really compromise her ethics in the same way. Although I kind of think she could be a little more stringent on some of the ethics, like the making up quotes things, but in the grand scheme of things, after everything else she's done, I'm going to let it slide.

Ah, so Dean and Edie gave it a go for a couple of awkward weeks! The thought did cross my mind after the last chapter, to be honest - whether Dean would get a chance now. In a way, I'm glad that it didn't work out and that they've tried it because I think Dean will be able to move on with things more easily too, and he clearly seems to have found someone else, at least for now, so that's good! And Edie's family are being Edie's family and Seamus is having fun and it's so nice to see them all doing well :)

Hahaha, I loved the part with Justin and Lisa - the way that they've always been this perfect couple and two people who know what they're doing in life, especially compared to Edie, and now they have a baby and very little sleep and are suffering the trials of early parenthood. I also liked the way that Edie thought about it, not wanting to get that involved - she's not anywhere near that yet and I definitely get that weird feeling when your friends and people your age start having children and you don't really know how to react around them :P It was kind of nice to see Lisa and Justin not being quite so perfect though - parenting puts people on a much leveller playing field :P

And Oliver. I'm so intrigued that he paid that money to the FGC and I really can't work out if he did that in some way because of Edie or just because he supported the cause in some way. (It's so cool that she's working there too, now). His letter was quite stand-offish though so I really don't know what to expect and even though I have hope for the epilogue, I am still rather apprehensive, after what you've put us through in recent chapters.

It was great to see Rose in this chapter too, and she seems like such a good fit to be going out with Conor and to have taken the job that was offered with Edie. I knew that she would, as she said, land on her feet, so it's nice to see that she did and that she and Edie are still maintaining a kind-of friendship!

(Also the heat - I totally feel that right now. English and living in Spain over the summer and it's about 20 degrees hotter on a daily basis than the hottest it gets back home over summer... I sympathise entirely with those grumpy people in the line :P)

I couldn't help but laugh at Edie's journey back to Hogsmeade (I love the fact that Oliver's now a flying teacher there, by the way!) was so disastrous - it's just her luck, really. But I really loved the sense of nostalgia and of going back to something that she's once known so well - only she finds out that she's a tourist there now and doesn't belong there. She's had to move on and her place isn't at Hogwarts now; it's always weird when we hit that realisation, that we don't belong in certain places or with certain people because of the way things have changed. I'm hoping that's not foreshadowing what's going to happen between Oliver and Edie, though, and that you're not going to say that they've moved too far on and can't go back now because they no longer belong together.

Please?

This is also completely random but I love the fact that Edie's Patronus was a hedgehog. It just seems such a 'Puff-y animal (in the best way possible!) and suits her so well.

I'm really looking forward to the next (and final!) chapter of this story and I can't wait to see what you've got in store for Oliver and Edie now! I took a sneak peek at some of the other reviews and saw that you were hoping to finish this by the end of the month, so I'll make sure I keep checking back!

Sian :)

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Review #6, by nott theodoreKeep Calm and Carry On: Girl Seeks General Sense of Purpose

16th July 2015:
But, but...

I don't actually know where to start with this chapter. There's so much happening and I'm still processing it all and I kind of feel like my fingers are being pulled in five directions at once because I want to talk about it all.

PLEASE BE NICE TO US.

There we go, I said it. I think you're having a little bit too much fun torturing your readers with the things that are happening in this story right now and if there's only two chapters left, I've not got much hope for Oliver and Edie reconciling properly :( But I'm still going to trust you, just a little bit :P

Ah, I was so proud of Edie here. So proud! You had me worried again but Edie is growing and maturing and learning a lot of important lessons and she turned down the job offer, yay! I'm so glad that she did that because I'd have been so frustrated with her if she'd have fallen into the same trap yet again, and it really doesn't feel like this sort of journalism is meant for her because she's not going to get through it without hurting people, and I honestly don't think that's the sort of person that she really wants to be.

It was awesome to see you bringing storylines from the beginning of the story back in here, and seeing Edie go to the rally to free Grimma Longfinger - and Dean appeared! It was only a brief and very awkward appearance, but he was there and that's the worst meeting over with so I'm hoping that in the future they can move past it, a little bit at least, even if things won't be the same between them again. And haha, Seamus hiding because he doesn't want to be on a different side :P

That phone call. Seriously, what are you trying to do to us? I was panicking so much and I felt almost as bad as Edie did, I swear.

I loved seeing Lisa again ♥ That girl is amazing and I was glad that she told the truth and said she'd been annoyed with Edie for what she did to Rose, because, let's face it, what both she AND Oliver did (and him especially, since he was fake-dating Rose) was wrong and mean and Edie deserves someone who'll tell her that when she can't see it herself.

Oh, the scene with Oliver. So many feels right there. I was so sad to see him injured the way that he was and the fact that he may never play Quidditch again is really worrying. I can completely understand why he doesn't want to see Edie there, especially when he's worried about Ada and not being able to protect his little sister, and facing the fact he may have just lost the rest of his career, but it still broke my heart a little bit. I wanted something to go right between them and I'm getting nervous for the end of this story, now.

Ah, Edie's realisation at the end of the chapter was sad too - that she was the villain in her own story. I don't think that's exactly true but I can't deny that she isn't the best sort of person. She makes a lot of mistakes and has a lot of flaws and is only just beginning to make sense of a lot of things, but at the same time I think that makes her even more likeable and makes me root for her more, now that she's finally realising and working things out. She's much more realistic and believable this way. Yes, she's an adult, but being an adult is hard and the expectation that everyone's going to have it together just a few years after leaving school is so unrealistic and silly and Edie really shows that there are people who struggle and for those people that do, they aren't on their own. Now that she's finally realising she can't avoid things in her own life, I think she's going to make a lot of progress. I just don't want it to be her on her own, even if it's better for her to concentrate on herself right now :(

I'm going to head on and read the final chapter you've got posted and then anxiously wait for the epilogue and hope you don't break my heart entirely with this story!

Sian :)

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Review #7, by nott theodoreKeep Calm and Carry On: Happy New Year?

16th July 2015:
OH NO OH NO OH NO.

Please, do you think you could just, for one second, stop torturing your readers? Because we're still here and sticking with you and all of these emotions and feels are too much right now. I can't deal with much more getting in the way of Edie and Oliver - I'm going to have to trust to the fact that this is fluff and pray it's going to have a happy ending!

Ah, the saving grace of this chapter - Seamus! I loved seeing him back and them getting back on track with their friendship, and his exuberant happiness was just the right way to start this chapter. It's been far too long since we really got to see him and Edie just spending some time together and hanging out and catching up and stuff.

It's kind of sad that Edie's not able to hang around with Dean as much anymore, but having experienced the awkwardness of that sort of situation myself, I can definitely understand why neither of them are getting in touch and don't really want to talk about it, since it would make them far too uncomfortable. Best just to avoid it and pretend it didn't happen (well, probably not, but when you find a better way, let me know :P)

And Seamus in an Auror, yay! I loved the fact that it had taken him quite a while to get there (compared to other stories, which have people as fully-trained Aurors at the age of 19) and his celebrations.

I was just like :O when Oliver denied that Edie was his girlfriend. I really couldn't work out what had gone wrong at first, and I should have figured it out way sooner because you've been laying the potential for that one out for a long time but it never even crossed my mind! I can't believe they did that, and what is Oliver doing and no.

(I don't have many coherent thoughts on this part, clearly. I'm sorry about that.)

I can't believe Ward printed the article anyway - I thought he was a relatively nice guy, for the people who worked there! And they were just setting her up all along and got the story out of her and knew they could post it. And even though she wrote it for herself to kind of affirm her decision it's all gone wrong and now I'm sad and can't write a review properly.

The one thing I'm glad about here is that it wasn't Rose. After everything, I felt like we were going to get a different side to Rose here and I'm glad we did because she's surprised Edie in the person that she is. The two of them sort-of bonding on New Year's Eve over their broken hearts ♥

Wait, what is Oliver doing in the bar? And with another girl? If he's actually kissing her (and I'm still holding out hope that he doesn't, because Edie doesn't actually see it) then I'm going to be so annoyed at him for stooping so low, even if I can understand it when he thinks Edie's betrayed him.

Ah, it's just so complicated and messed up and if there's only three chapters left I have no idea how you're going to tie all of this up and make it happy. But please, for my sake, give them a little bit of happiness?

Sian :)

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Review #8, by nott theodoreKeep Calm and Carry On: A King on Her Throne

16th July 2015:
Ah, this was such a great chapter! ♥ I really enjoyed reading it and I'm so glad that things are out in the open now and we've had (most of? all?) the big reveals in this story, because I feel like the characters can really move forward from here.

The Christmas scene was sweet (although kind of weird to be reading it in the middle of July in bright sunshine and 35+C) and it was sweet that both of their gifts to each other were so thoughtful!

YES EDIE. I was so happy with her in this chapter that a big part of me actually wanted to shout that at the screen, since she is finally growing up and maturing and thinking about her decisions in a different way. I just felt so proud of her and even after some of the really mean and bad things she's done in this story, it feels like she is finally growing up and learning her lessons. There was so much revealed in this chapter that I think she's going to have a lot of things to think about in the future, especially reevaluating her relationships with certain people!

I don't think that Edie would ever have been able to avoid this choice, between Oliver and the job, from the point that she saw past him and realised he was a person as well and not just a Quidditch star who was arrogant and rude and had a lot of money. All the same, I was worried about what she was going to do. Like I said in my last review, I don't think that she should necessarily be leaving Witch Weekly for Oliver, but in the end he wasn't the reason. The reason was because she didn't want to be the sort of person who betrayed the trust of someone she was close to, and she could have found a job better suited to her.

I did understand Blakeslee's points, in a way, though. It was kind of malicious of her to call Edie in just to make her tell her what she already knew, and to have the satisfaction of making her resign, but I do see where she's coming from in the fact that men wouldn't be treated so harshly for writing the same sorts of articles that Edie has been doing. I won't go off on a rant about that, but I will say that I loved your chapter title for this and it fit perfectly!

And wow, that reveal. Now I'm even gladder that Edie didn't write the article about Oliver and spill everything, and I totally understand where he's coming from in wanting to protect Ada from everything he can and wanting to tell her himself when he's ready to. That's a massive thing to have hidden from people and even if he didn't donate to the children's ward, he was trying to make sure he made up for what he'd done and took care of his sister, which is also really important. It's sweet that she means so much to him and though it's sad he's had to learn about all this the hard way, I am proud of him for it. And the fact that he's willing to share it all with Edie really says a lot.

The ending had me worried for a moment, I'm not going to lie :P I was worried that Edie had changed her mind but it seemed to fit so well, because her writing that article was cathartic and she'd really affirmed her decision with it. I'm excited to see where they're going to go from here!

Sian :)

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Review #9, by nott theodoreKeep Calm and Carry On: The Unfortunate Truth

16th July 2015:
Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear. I feel like I shouldn't have said anything in my last review now because I knew that things couldn't go as smoothly as I hoped they would for Oliver and Edie and now I've been proved right.

Okay, so it's been a while since I read this story and I probably should have read back over the few chapters that came before the last one, but I completely forgot that Oliver was still with Rose and now I feel so awful for her! Because even if she and Oliver were only fake-dating - which they clearly weren't, in her mind - it's still cheating on someone, or being willing to cheat on someone, and I find that hard to agree with. Don't get me wrong, I really want Edie and Oliver to be together - or at least, try to be together - but I kind of felt like they could have waited. And told Rose way earlier than they did instead of going out of the restaurant together when Oliver and Rose were officially on a date. That was low and mean, and even though at the start of this story I never thought I'd have felt sorry for Rose, I did find myself feeling sorry for her here.

Seeing how unhappy and low she is at the start of the chapter made me feel bad, but I kind of felt like both Edie and Oliver were finding excuses for him not having told her yet because it was easier for him not to have told her. And then, if that's not enough, it gets turned around even more so Rose is going to lose her job for fake-dating someone that Edie is actually dating. Ah, this is all so complicated and messed up and I'm really intrigued to see how this all turns out.

I'm so glad that Edie can't just have everything on a plate though - everything is going to go right for her all at once, and that's really realistic to be honest, especially in the situation that she's been in. So now she has to make the choice between her job and Oliver - and, given what happened later in this chapter, that choice might be made for her or have to come even sooner than she thought.

I don't think that Edie should give up her job for Oliver. But at the same time, I don't think that Edie should be doing that job in the first place, particularly when she doesn't see any point in the magazine and its contents and openly mocks it. I kind of think she's confusing the idea of having a job in the same industry (vaguely) as being on her way to making it as a journalist, and while I know what it's like to be desperate for a job and want to be able to pay your way, there's a point that she's going to have to make a decision.

And ooh, it was Theo! I definitely didn't see that one coming - I thought it might have been someone close to Oliver or Edie who'd set it up, to be honest, but with everything else that's happened since I'd kind of forgotten about it and that I was meant to be trying to find out who it was :P But it was Theo! And even though it's horrible, I kind of have to agree with him - Edie has done horrible things for money (and not for money too) and she isn't exactly any better than he is. I kind of think she needs to rethink her friendships, though - Lisa is the only one who she's got a really stable relationship with (I hope!). I'm really looking forward to the next chapter (definitely need to keep these reviews shorter so I can read quicker - sorry for rambling!)

Sian :)

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Review #10, by nott theodoreKeep Calm and Carry On: And What a Mess It's Been

16th July 2015:
Hi! Ah, I'm so far behind with reading and reviewing fic at all and I'm slowly trying to catch up here but I hadn't realised you'd got so many chapters ahead of me, so I'm trying to stop by - these reviews will probably be a bit shorter than my usual ones so that I can actually catch up, though!

Ah, Edie and Oliver ♥ I really have missed reading about the two of them and so much happened in this chapter that it was really great to read and I'm just smiling so happily right now. Seeing the amount of chapters that are left, I can't help but be a little suspicious that they're going to come up against another stumbling block or something's going to go wrong, but with this chapter I'm trying to silence that voice and just enjoy all the fluff!

Haha, one thing I loved about this chapter was the way that it was just so typically Edie - like there are so many things happening that would only happen to her, but even so, she's dealing with them in a different way now to how she would have done at the beginning of the story, and it's awesome to see her make that much progress and mature and grow!

Ada is awesome - I love how blunt she is and the way that she's just not fooled by anything, and even a little protective of Oliver, to be honest. She's just so cute and her behaviour definitely seems to fit with the sort of relationship she and Oliver have, as the only family each of them has in the world.

I was really glad to see Oliver taking care of Edie though, and making sure she sobered up and not taking advantage. Not that it would have been taking advantage, exactly, but I think for the two of them to progress it was just different that they were both able to think about things properly and talk things through.

AHA! He knew about the articles! I thought he would have read them, to be honest - I mean, if someone had written articles like that about me, I don't think I'd have been able to stop myself from reading them, and it's kind of cute that he lied about it because he felt that he and Edie could have something more. And I'm so glad that it wasn't blown into a really big thing that got in the way again, and they were able to actually talk instead of just shouting at each other.

Even though you apparently didn't intend to write the rest of the scenes in this chapter, you did a great job of writing them. I couldn't help giggling at Oliver finding the magazine, though, especially since Edie has an actual reason for it being there but, of course, it doesn't seem like it :P And I loved the detail about the airbrushing charms, too!

Haha, only at Edie's house would all the family just saunter into her room and be completely calm and collected about the situation, even her stepdad :P I'm not surprised that Oliver was so pale and nervous about it because any guy would be, confronted by a whole family of people the next morning, but it was sweet to see him invited to breakfast with them!

I'm looking forward to the next chapters - I just hope my sense of foreboding is wrong and nothing is going to go wrong for the two of them!

Sian :)

Author's Response: OH MY GOSH YOU ARE THE GREATEST, and I am such a jerk for taking this long to respond!! Seriously I checked HPFF at work on my break, and my jaw dropped because I had ~so many long, exciting, wonderful reviews~ to read!

As you know by now, you are correct in thinking they will come up against another stumbling block, haha. I just can't let them have it easy. Also I imagined this story to be much longer before I started writing it (like a ridiculous rambling 40+ chapters) because I was pretty sure I wouldn't have any committed readers, and then when people started paying attention to it I was like "WELP guess I have to make this at least somewhat concise." So I'm shoving in all the drama in a shorter span of time... Hence the constant rollercoaster between Edie and Oliver!

Yes, I'm glad that Edie becoming more of an adult is coming across clearly. I think if I ever do some SERIOUS EDITS to this story, it'll take place over a longer period of time. Not sure how that would work with the articles (maybe tone it down to one, longer, article researched over a six-month period, and Oliver ends up reading her notes or drafts? Instead of reading the first two? I have no idea.) Anyway, she's changed a lot--especially for a story that takes place over a matter of a few months!

Ada! I *really* didn't want Ada to be an "adorable little child" who would fawn over Edie and be the thing that brings her and Oliver together. It just didn't sit right. I really wanted her to straight up hate Edie, actually, with the way that Edie's luck is. But exploring their relationship and resolution of Ada's dislike would have added another element to this already very long and jam-packed story.

I originally had Edie thanking Oliver for not "taking advantage" of her, because I wanted to throw a lil more commentary in there, as it fell like it's been lacking lately. But I felt it would have appeared that Edie almost expected him to take advantage of her; and I didn't want readers to be like "Wow Oliver is such a good guy for not taking advantage of a drunk girl, what a gentleman." Like, you shouldn't thank someone for being a decent human being and not doing that. So. But yes! It did happen that way, just hopefully less in-your-face ;)

YES I know, I would be the worst celebrity ever, because I would Google myself and read everything anyone said about me and just fall into a pit of despair. Oliver is good at distancing himself from being a "star athlete," as we've seen, but he of course wants to know what Edie had to say about him. He put it off for long enough, and then after she made him lose the match, he had to ask himself a lot of questions about why this person was *still* on his mind so much that she partially caused him to miss a block--and Quidditch is really important to him (Idk if you've heard. Ha.) Anyway, he realized he needed to have a clear concept of what was going on with the articles, and what her agenda really was, and that's when he read them, and was like 'Welp you suck Edie, never talking to you again." And obviously that didn't work out, but yes.

Ahaha the airbrushing was partially a reaction to using Jamie Dornan as Oliver's FC. He's absolutely gorgeous but I don't picture Oliver to look *exactly* like him, especially not when he's all made-up and in Model Mode. I think I mention Oliver having a crooked nose after breaking it one too many times, and that he doesn't have Jamie Dornan's "golden torso" or whatever people are saying. I dunno. It wasn't entirely important to the story, but I've been feeling "eh" about using Pretty People as my FCs because I don't imagine Oliver to be as stunning as Jamie Dornan. Or Edie to be as gorgeous as Karen Gillan.

Thank you so so much, again, Sian! I've reread these reviews of yours so many times and can't wait to respond to them ♥


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Review #11, by nott theodoreApple Island: water's edge

28th June 2015:
Nicole ♥ It's been far too long since I reviewed anything at all, let alone any of your wonderful writing, and Adi has told me so many times how much she loves this story so I couldn't resist coming to check it out - stories like this make reviewing so much easier!

Except that I'm not really sure where to start with this :P You've stunned me, once again - as you always do - with the quality of your writing. It's just so clear that you put so much thought and care into crafting a story, into every single word that you choose, and that makes your writing such a pleasure to read. I really can't praise you enough on all of this but it is lovely and wonderful and amazing and you should never stop ♥

The imagery... every single sentence was incredible. I can't even pick out my favourite parts because I'd just be quoting most of the chapter back at you and I feel like that isn't necessarily the best use of the characters that I have left for this review. But you're amazing at it, and I want to read this and take notes for how to write so impressively. Everything here just evoked so many images in my mind and that was beautiful.

The Andromeda that you've captured here in this story is honestly not like one that I've ever seen before. You take her character and make so much use of it - there are all the details that we do know about her: the compassion, the loss, the love that she had for Ted, the family that she came from - and then you've uprooted her, placed her in a situation I've never seen her in before now and it's just so intriguing. Her character has been developed automatically because of it, and although at the beginning of this chapter I was so sure of who Andromeda was and what was happening, I had so many questions by the end of it.

Is Andromeda still alive? Is she ill? Is this really happening or is she imagining it?

I feel like you're going to make me wait quite a while for the answers to any of these questions...

Part of me is wondering right now whether any of the things that have happened in this story have actually happened, or if Andromeda is suffering from some form of dementia and this is the reality that she's now living in. And at the same time, part of me wonders if it has all actually happened and she's suffering so much from her losses that she has lost all track of time and can't make sense of what's happening. Her narrative was so unreliable and I'm kind of confused because of it, but you have me asking so many questions about this story already that I'm definitely going to be reading on (please keep writing this, and updating - I need to know now!).

There's definitely something strange been happening, though, with the disappearances that seem to have become part of life in the wizarding world and then Molly dying and Andromeda not really knowing what's happening. I'm so confused about how much of this is real and what happened with all the disappearances, but it's so heartbreaking to think that Andromeda would have to live to see her grandson die before her - or at least be presumed dead - when she's had to go through so much loss and suffering already. And it's heartbreaking to think that such a young, adventurous couple would go missing so soon after their wedding and nobody that's left behind can find them or even really mourn for them properly, the funeral without coffins.

As far as the island is concerned, I'm so intrigued about it! I wondered at first when I saw the title 'Apple Island' if it was going to be a reference to Avalon, and I'm so excited to see how you use it in this story! There seems to be a special sort of connection with Andromeda's family and the island, if what Aequin said to her is right - Teddy seems to be there, still fighting; she's able to see it, and Ted couldn't. It makes me wonder whether she'll see other members of her family there - if maybe Tonks has survived in some way - and if the island is, to them, what Avalon was to Arthur and Merlin. I'm so intrigued to see if you'll bring the Arthurian legend into the story as well!

The use of the apple imagery and all the different connotations that it has - religious imagery, amongst others - was so interesting and put to such good use. The apple was like a temptation for Andromeda and none of us really know where it's taken her... I'm so curious to find out more about this island!

I really could ramble on much more about this story, but I already feel like I'm not making much sense :P I did love this, though. There are so many details that you've included that build up an image of what life has been like for Andromeda, but the unreliable narrative makes me question everything. Add to that your gorgeous description and writing and the mysterious Apple Island... I'm pretty hooked on this story right now. I really hope you still have inspiration for it and will continue writing, because I really want to find out what's going to happen!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Sian! ♥

It's been far too long since you reviewed anything at all??!! Psh. After what you did for Gryffindor in HC 2014 you could go several years without reviewing and you'd still be a queen. ♥ BUT ASDALKSFJLK THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOVELINESS. And this amazing review that came out of nowhere (I am so undeserving of this, gah).

Honestly, you left me so many gushing comments that I don't really know what to do but flail uselessly and type words that don't even express a tenth of the happiness and gratitude that I feel. It's an awfully special feeling when someone keeps coming back to your work, and you make me feel really special. ♥ Sorry for getting overly sentimental and a bit teary. :P

Andromeda is a very unreliable narrator, indeed. I do try to write as closely as possible to her perspective so the reader doesn't quite sense anything is amiss until she comes into contact with others outside of her private sphere of existence. Like in the conversation with Aequin. When I was writing her, I envisioned her in her present state as being somewhat dreamy, finding life a bit laggy and unexciting, and realising time to time that she's lost track of time. Only to forget all over again and re-realise (if this is even a word).

As for Teddy and Victoire, I'll see what I can do with these two. :P There's a bit of mystery that I haven't sorted out properly (I'm a terrible planner, and sometimes an over-idealistic one).

I'm not going to reveal much about Apple Island (I actually don't know a lot about it BAHHAHA I'M TERRIBLE and did I mention I'm an awful planner? I mean I have a basic outline of the story, but not everything makes sense yet...not even to me). I love reading your guesses and assumptions, though, so keep them coming! ♥

I do love some legends and myth and folklore, but I'm also super interested in local myths - the kind of stories that arise in small communities and are indigenous to those areas. Like one particular haunted house in town. Or something like that. I apologise if I'm not making sense, but this is what I'm hoping to do with Apple Island: not work on a grand mythological scale, but on strange and localised events (even though I suppose I do evoke Arthurian legend with the Avalon references :P ). I'm extremely muddled.

Anyway, thank you so much once again and forever for your loveliness, for your patience with my writing (and my non-writing), and for coming back time and again to read my work. It's always a pleasure to receive your reviews and you're just a wonderful friend. ♥ ♥ ♥

-teh


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Review #12, by nott theodoreThe Ides of March: Love makes one solitary.

28th June 2015:
Kiana! ♥ It's been far too long since I've reviewed at all and I've been meaning to catch up on this story for ages, so I'm finally here!

I was so worried for Helena at the end of the last chapter, especially with everything that happened, so it was great to see that you'd updated and I could find out what happened next. There was so much going on in this chapter as well and it was great to find out all of this new information about Helena's life and what's happening in it, even though there was lots of angst too and the ending made me sad :(

It's so sweet that Eleanor's voice was the first one that Helena really heard when she woke up, and that Eleanor was waiting for her and sitting at her bedside to make sure that she would recover. That really shows how much she cares about her, even though their relationship's a difficult one and they have to be careful about their love. But it must have done so much good to Helena to hear Eleanor's voice and know that she was there and worried about her, too.

The French ♥ I don't need to say much more about it because I know you'll understand why I love it, but the little details like that just make the story so much better!

Helga is just the sweetest! I love how much of a role she plays in this story because it's really great to see her in such an important role, because I think she's often overlooked in most Founders stories. But this story really shows how truly caring and compassionate she is, and I'm so happy that Helena has someone that she can confide in to some extent, and someone who will look after her and care for her, even if her mother doesn't. Helga clearly doesn't really approve of the way that Rowena is behaving towards her daughter, and it's kind of sad that there's a growing rift between them, but I have to side with Helga on this - if your daughter has been in the Hospital Wing for a week, then you should make sure you're there to see her and look after her! No wonder Helena feels so lonely and confused over everything when her mother doesn't really seem to want to show outward affection towards her. It's kind of sad to think though that to some extent, this is what (at least upper-class) mothers were taught to do with their children for so many years!

It's really interesting to hear how long Eleanor has been at Helena's bedside, insisting on waiting until she wakes up and knows that Helena will recover! It's not been viewed suspiciously yet but I suppose that's because anybody would just assume they're friends because in this era homosexuality wasn't really allowed and was thought of as a sin, so maybe in a way the hatred and prejudice that is imprisoning them is also protecting them, but it's still really sad to think they have to worry about that sort of discovery. It makes me so happy to live today, even though there's still a long way to go!

Ooh, the story about what happened with her father was so interesting! It's something I've been wondering about throughout this story because Helena has thought about her father quite often, and the sort of beliefs that he held, but we never really knew about his influence in her life or what happened to him because she seems unable to turn to him since he's not there. And in most stories we don't really get to see Helena's father at all, so it's so exciting that you've included him here and we got to find out what happened!

That's such a horrible way for him to die, though :( I thought it was really creative to include all of that, because all of those factors have somehow had an effect on Helena as she's grown up even though she didn't know her father or what had happened to him. It's really horrible that Salazar Slytherin might have done that sort of thing - and the mystery surrounding how there were no marks on his body also makes me think that perhaps he was the person to invent the Killing Curse, because that's the only way they couldn't know how he actually died? I feel really sorry for Rowena now to have gone through something like that as she must have loved her husband and poor Helena, only just finding out now :(

The little details about the medicine of the time, with the blood-letting and all those sorts of ideas which we now know have no impact whatsoever, were so great! It was wonderful to see you include that sort of thing because it just adds so much to a story!

Oh no, the argument that Helena had with Eleanor at the end of the chapter was so upsetting! I feel like now she's going to slowly start pushing all the people who care about her and have helped her away and she's going to be left on her own with nobody to help. We know how this is going to end and it's so sad to watch it happen! I can understand Helena panicking about Edmund though and not wanting everybody to be taken in by him, and then Eleanor's reaction too - things are made more difficult for her because of Helena's beliefs (for both of them), and she only wanted to cheer Helena up and make her feel better, but Helena's not in the right mindset for that. It's so sad to see them arguing like this and breaking apart! I get the feeling that this is going to be the real start of Helena running away from home, and I'm so intrigued to hear about her visions, too!

Sian :)

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Review #13, by nott theodoreAn Ode for W. H.: Taurus

28th June 2015:
Hi, Jenna! It's been so long since I reviewed anything properly and I read this a while ago without reviewing, so I thought I'd pop back now I've got some time!

It's a little bit frustrating that I still don't know the identity of Taurus's mystery boyfriend :P I always wondered who the Hufflepuff Muggle-born was but didn't think we'd find out - reading this, I'm even more curious than I was before! Will you tell us some time, eventually? *goes to google any Hufflepuff Quidditch players with the initials W.H* It shows, though, that even here Taurus feels like it's kind of necessary to protect his boyfriend's identity, because of how much danger they could both be in, and he can't be entirely honest about everything unless he doesn't reveal his boyfriend's name.

Anyway, all of that aside, I absolutely loved this one-shot. Not that that's a surprise, really, because I love pretty much everything that you write, but this one was great! It's a real testament to how well you write and how developed your TGfS universe is that you can make people want to read a story about one of its characters, and become so invested in it. I've always wondered what happened to Taurus after he left Hogwarts and was really worried about what might have happened to him, so this was almost reassuring in a way!

The style that you wrote this in ♥ You know that, even though I'm not an English student, I absolutely adore literature and all of the references and conceits that you used here in this story made me so, so happy. I loved the way that you used something that often seems so high-minded to most people, like Shakespeare and mythology, and brought it into a story that a young boy, struggling with the situation that he's been put in, could relate to easily. It was great to see Taurus matching his own story to the different sonnets that Shakespeare wrote, and the way that they could connect to different figures in different ways. It kind of shows the way that literature can influence people's lives and also that, in some ways, no story is ever original, because if you look hard enough it's already been written down years ago by someone that you've never met. (I realise that's kind of depressing, but I think it fits this a little bit.)

Also, the way that this is written - a mixture of praise and teasing and taunting W.H., matches the sonnets so well because it's as if Taurus is playing with his lover the same way Shakespeare did. There are just so many layers to this and you've thought about them all so much - it's fantastic!

I'm so amazed at the back story that you've created for Taurus, as well, and the way that he arrived at the point he's at here, and what we see in the novel. Even though he's meant to be one of Tor's closest friends, we don't actually know any of this before and in a way it shows the sort of friendships they have, and the time that they live in. There's only so much they can share because people knowing too much about you can put you and potentially your family in danger, and there are certain things that Taurus has just not been able to talk about with people because of the sort of friendships he has. It's really sad that he's had to struggle through so much of this on his own, actually!

I really liked the way that you made the Muggle literature relevant to Taurus's life, and the fact that he'd discovered it through his sister rather than anything he'd done on his own - it would be really hard for someone with that sort of upbringing to break away from what they've been taught, especially when their friends are all surrounded with the same prejudices, but this was a great way for him to become exposed to it!

I loved the fact that Hecuba had already broken away from the pureblood mantra, so to speak, and I think in a way that made things easier for Taurus than they were for Tor. He faced as much hatred as she did, but at the same time he'd already seen someone escape and he knew that it was possible. I loved the fact that Hecuba had become so immersed in the Muggle world that she'd chosen a new name for herself and everything! And I was really happy to see that she could offer Taurus somewhere to go when he was lost and desperate - I'm so glad to know that he was somewhere safe rather than in danger!

The fact that W.H. wasn't Taurus's first love - wasn't the person who taught him how to love - was so interesting! I was wondering who it was going to be and the moment that you showed us between him and Pyxis was so sweet! I think part of it we can't really be sure on, whether Pyxis had any feelings of that nature for Taurus, because we're viewing this from Taurus's perspective and that's potentially biased, but it was great to get a glimpse of their friendship, which is so much more than Phin ever offered. I hold out so much hope for Pyxis getting through the war and not giving away people's secrets, coming out on the right side of things, and this has just made me root for him even more!

The little descriptions of his mysterious boyfriend were so amazing. The part when he talked about meeting him in the air, loving him on the earth ♥ The imagery there was just beautiful, with all of the elements brought together to demonstrate their relationship, and I loved the fact it was more than just one thing.

This whole one-shot was lovely, Jenna - I don't know how much more I can say because I'm just rambling. Everything about it was so poetic, from the title to the references and the description and the feelings; even the sections almost read like different stanzas! I absolutely loved this and I hope we get to see more of Taurus in the future!

Sian :)

Author's Response: HEY SIAN! :) So I owe you about a zillion review replies, and someday I will accomplish all of them. I really appreciate you taking the time to leave such a long and thoughtful (as usual! :P) review on this story since it was so fun for me to write and you know all the GFS context of the story.

I love your analysis of Taurus's boyfriend's identity. :P To be honest I see him as an OC especially after writing this story, and I'm not sure if he will appear in Tor's story anytime soon. I have an idea of what happens to him but whether their paths will cross remains to be decided. :P Same with Taurus himself: he's not gone from the series, he's still lurking about, but he's not on Tor's radar at the moment due to everything that's going on.

I love how we both love literature and this is a great story for me to get your feedback on. I absolutely agree with your point about there being no original stories but that they always allude to and parallel older stories. I actually love that theory of literature and find it so convincing as a literary critic and someone who loves to read and write. It was really interesting being inspired by the sonnets and finding neat ways to allude to the sonnets and the mysterious figure of WH in the story.

Ah, thank you! Something I really wanted to come across here was the tone of the sonnets, which I read as being about the power dynamics in relationships as well as pure romance. Taurus has a lot of Slytherin aspects which show him needing to exhibit power in his relationships, platonic and otherwise, and his writing as well, and Shakespeare helped me bring that out in him somehow.

One of my issues with my characterization in GFS was that I felt I didn't spend as much time on the secondary characters as I would have liked. In a way I can blame that on Tor being young and self-centred, but it's also a learning curve from my experimenting as a writer. So this was a good chance to remedy that and give Taurus more of a voice. :P It was really fun coming up with his family history and Hecuba's impact on him. I imagine that there were far more blood traitors and issues among the Slytherins than they let on in the books.

Pyxis is one of my favourite characters from GFS and eventually he'll get some romantic storylines of his own - whether that will involve Taurus or anyone else, I can't say. :P But it was fun developing their friendship and giving Pyxis some time in the story because they were very close at the time.

Thank you so much Sian! You are really too kind to me and I really appreciate every thought you've shared on this story! ♥ ♥





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Review #14, by nott theodoreHow I Met Your Father: Chapter 1: The Weasley Clan

24th May 2015:
Hi again, Lizzie - here for another Red vs. Gold Review Battle review!

Ah, I was all ready for the story to properly begin this chapter, but this just left me with more clues and hints about what happened and there isn't much which is clearer, so I'm definitely going to have to read on at some point to find out. It's almost like you're teasing us with this chapter, letting us know that there's so much more to find out and vaguely hinting at it, but at the same time not really giving away too much. It's clever writing, but also kind of frustrating for me as a reader :P

My only criticism for this chapter would be that some of the information, particularly with the switch between narratives, gets a little bit confusing, and there's a lot of it to process all at once. I'm sure that it's necessary for a later point in the story, and we need to know about all of these characters, but at the same time I think you could maybe work all these differences and ages etc. into the narrative a bit more smoothly, so it doesn't feel quite so much like you're just giving us a lot of information at the beginning. It wasn't impossible to follow, or anything, and I can understand why you did it - the fact that Rose says all of those people are really important to her story is really sweet - but I think if you were to edit this chapter you could maybe include it a little more gradually and smoothly. That's just a personal preference, though!

I really like the fact that Rose and Scorpius are telling this story together, in a way. I know that's something I mentioned in the last review but I do enjoy knowing that there's a happy ending here, whatever we're going to see them go through - so all the different things that happen to them are clearly going to be worth it, since they're happily married now. It was also really sweet to see the interaction between them; they're clearly still in love, but also a couple who've matured in their relationship and been together for a long time, which fits what we know about them so far.

It's really nice to see Valania getting to interact with her parents as well, here, and seeing the relationship between them. I think you've captured the family dynamics really well here, and that's only going to improve through the story as we see more of them. The split narrative works really well for that.

And so many little hints and details here... I'm so curious about what happens next! I'll definitely be back to try and find out soon!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Sian!! You're back!! YAY!

Oh, Godric, I have SO MANY problems with this chapter. In my defense, I wrote it when I was still a teenager, back when I had NO idea how to write very well. Or knew the power of subtly weaving information in without overwhelming the reader.

So yeah, you're absolutely right about ALL the points you made about the info in this chapter. They will definitely be edited and *hopefully* flow a little bit better when I update this. Which should be sometime next month, actually.

I will admit, Rose and Scorpius' relationship with each other and with Viv (her name is gonna change) is VERY heavily reflected off of my own parents' relationship and my relationship with them. It's one of those things where I'm truly fortunate enough to take the "write what you know" concept very directly in a parent-child relationship.

Sadly, answers to questions don't come very quickly in this story. You get little bits and pieces here and there... but I will warn you, it's gonna take a LONG time for Rose and Scorpius to get their happy ending.

Thanks so much for R&R'ing!! I hope you stop by again soon!!
LL


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Review #15, by nott theodoreHow I Met Your Father: Prologue

24th May 2015:
Hi Lizzie! I've been meaning to come and read this story for a while - the title intrigued me even before you became more active on the forums and I realised it was you that had written it - and so I'm here for the Red vs. Gold Review Battle!

This was only short, but it was definitely an interesting introduction to the story. I like the concept that it's inspired by - I love the TV show - and so I was intrigued to see how you're going to use that and adapt it for a fanfiction story about Rose and Scorpius. I'm glad that you're not just copying the storyline from the TV series and you've obviously come up with your own; it's been a while since I read any stories about Rose and Scorpius, so I'm interested to see how you do this!

I think it fits really well that Rose was kind of hesitant about telling her daughter the story of how she and Scorpius got together at first; it would explain why the story hasn't been told before now, or at least for details of it to have trickled through in conversation, and for Valania to have some sort of idea about how her parents got together. It also fits because we get the idea that there was something forbidden about this romance, which works with the Weasley/Malfoy pairing, as we know their families didn't get along (at least at the start) and the idea that Valania wasn't exactly planned.

One detail that I liked was the way that Scorpius was there to tell the story with Rose, and that they were telling it together - it makes it different straight away from the story that's told in the TV show (I'm still refusing to watch the finale because it got leaked to the UK before I actually got chance to watch it, and I'm angry at the thought of it). It's going to be interesting to see the two different perspectives on their romance, and especially the way that the two of them tell the story differently and yet together.

I'm really intrigued about how they got together, too. I think there's a lot of potential here right now; Rose and Scorpius are quite a common pairing, and I've read quite a few pregnancy stories featuring them, and I'm interested to see where you take this and how you make this different from some of the clichés that are around.

Sian :)

Author's Response: SIAN!!!

You have no idea how excited I am that you R&R'd this!! I really admire your writing, so it's kinda like having a celebrity critique your work. PURE AWESOME.

You're a HIMYM fan too!! YAY! I love it when fans of the show read this story, because, as you mentioned, the plot really doesn't have much relation to the show itself, but it's jam packed with quite a few inside jokes here and there. ;)

When it came to writing this story, while the initial idea came from the TV show, the only thing I really wanted to take from it was the idea that a parent was sitting down to tell their child a story. The real thing, bad and good, laying all the cards on the table for their child, which can be a terrifying thing to do!

Well, that and the fact that the title kinda has to do with one of the plot twists.

Until the season finale (UGH. Hated it. I just ignore the last bit of it and enjoy the rest. The moment Barney and Robin said "divorce" I was done), the fact that the mother was never present and joining in and adding her two cents here and there always bugged me. Whenever I hear the story of how couples get together, half the fun is watching them bicker over the details. Which get more ridiculous as time goes by.

And since I didn't plan on killing off Scorpius, he just had to be included.

I'm so glad you liked the start of this!! Here's to hoping I managed to avoid all those cliches!

Thanks for stopping by and reviewing, Sian! I really appreciate it, and I hope you'll keep reading!!
LL


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Review #16, by nott theodoreSilent Rumors: The Warehouse

23rd May 2015:
Hi again, Kaitlin - I'm back for the review battle!

The opening of this chapter was so bittersweet, in a way - Ernie was finally reunited with his family again but at the same time he wasn't able to help them because they were all being held captive together. So while he was happy to see his wife and kids again, it also meant that he wasn't actually able to help them like he wanted to.

The moment when he woke up and had a second of forgetfulness, not remembering what had actually happened since he last woke up and believing it was a normal day with Lydia and the children was so sad. You wrote that process of realisation really well, though, and the fact that he wanted to be back in his home with his family safe and his mind almost tricked him into believing that.

The way that Lydia warned him not to speak and say anything, or try and do anything at all - not to even move - that could put them in danger is so ominous. It's really worrying to think what she's been through with the children to know that their captors are willing to do that and inflict injuries on other people, especially the kids, if the adults don't do what they are told to.

The fact that someone was there watching - that somebody was always watching - is so creepy and ominous. I thought this after reading the last chapter, but it's so clear that this has been planned for a really long time and there's a lot of thought and effort gone into this in order to be able to capture people and hold them hostage. I'm so worried about what they really intend to do with them.

I never would have guessed that DA stood for Dumbledore's Avengers! That's kind of scary, and I'm not really sure who it could be, but I think it is a really original idea to have the antagonists being people that aren't Death Eaters but also aren't people who fought on the good side. Although part of me is actually wondering whether they are people who fought with Harry, and they lost other people close to them, and it's because of that that they want revenge on all of the people who survived. Perhaps that, or that they weren't able to be involved in the fight and they lost someone who was, and that's made them want revenge on the people who fought with Harry and survived. I'm not sure though, and these theories are probably stupid, but I'm very curious about where you're going to take this!

It was really sad that the watcher let on to Lydia that Ernie had received a warning about the attack and not done anything about it; that's almost like planting a seed between them which could turn rotten and they might grow apart in a way. Part of me thinks that Ernie should have told his family or Harry and Ron, because then something might have been different and he might have been able to protect them, and yet at the same time I understand why he didn't, because he didn't think that there was really anything behind it and he didn't want to worry Lydia and the children when he didn't think there was really any need to.

This was a really great story, Kaitlin, and I'm still very intrigued about what's going to happen to Ernie and who's behind everything - I will definitely try and stop by your novel when I get the chance to!

Sian :)

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Review #17, by nott theodoreSilent Rumors: A Kidnapping

23rd May 2015:
Hi again, Kaitlin - back again for the Red vs. Gold Review Battle!

Oh wow, I definitely didn't expect for things to develop so quickly in this chapter of the story - although I should probably have realised since it's only three chapters long. There was so much packed into this chapter though that I found it really impressive and I was on the edge of my seat reading this!

The opening of this chapter seemed to lull us into a false sense of security, almost. At the same time, it made it even worse to see the Macmillans at the beginning of the chapter and then see what's happened to them at the end of this.

They're so happy together; the glimpse we got here made me feel like they were almost a perfect family. It was so sweet to see them and the way that they interacted with each other because it made me smile to think that Ernie had got a happy ending (apart from what happened later in the chapter of course) after all that he went through in the war. It was so cute to see that they had kids as well and the four of them together were so happy.

The lulling us into a false sense of security continued when Ernie was in the shop, faced with the rush before Hogwarts reopens and trying to cater for all of his customers. It was interesting to see the way that you'd put thought into the way his business would be affected by something like the season and the time of year, and the different things that people were coming in and asking for were just nice details to include.

The way that the note was delivered was kind of creepy - I really don't know how they managed to get into the shop and the note was so chilling and terrifying! Whoever is writing the notes and whoever is behind the capture of the family is so malevolent and evil; what makes me scared as well is the fact that they're addressing Ernie so familiarly, as if it's someone that knows him who is behind everything. I'm so worried about Ernie's family and I really hope that they're okay - it's horrible that they were so happy to talk about the children as well, as if they were happy to hurt them.

The description of Ernie's back yard (although we're often more likely to say 'garden' in the UK, unless there's no grass there at all) was so scary and chilling too. I don't know what happened there and I don't know if I actually want to know because it sounds so serious. The phrase 'Atonement Is Coming' is also very worrying, and it's making me intrigued about how all of this ties in with you novel, since I know that's the sequel to this story.

Poor Ernie! I was really hoping that he'd manage to get away from whatever was going on here and then be able to go and save his family, but he wasn't able to keep away from his attackers, who seem so well-prepared for what they're doing. I really hope that he's okay - what a cliffhanger!

Sian :)

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Review #18, by nott theodoreSilent Rumors: A Letter

23rd May 2015:
Hi Kaitlin! I'm here for the Red vs. Gold Review Battle - you always write so many reviews that I thought I'd stop by and read something a bit longer, because you deserve some love too!

The summary has me so intrigued about this story - I haven't read anything longer than a one-shot about Ernie Macmillan and I love mysteries, so I'm already really interested about what's going to happen here!

There are two things that struck me about this chapter straight away that I really like, and I think you've made a great choice with - actually they're only small details but it's the sort of thing I notice, because to me it shows that the writer has put a lot of thought and effort into their writing and that makes me more excited to read the story. I really like the fact that Ernie has married Lydia in this, rather than somebody from the books - so many stories have everyone marrying other characters that we already know, and I like the fact that he's found someone else who we don't know yet, but who's apparently been involved in the war. I also liked the fact that he's found a different career to those that we normally see; I don't think I've ever seen a protagonist running an apothecary before, and it's really interesting to see Ernie doing a job like that.

You managed to capture the relationship between Ernie and Lydia really well in this chapter, too. I could tell that they were very close and that he didn't want her to worry, he wanted to protect her from the knowledge of the letter and any danger.

The letter was so mysterious! There's a lot that I can try and read from it but I'm still pretty clueless about what's going on and who's behind sending the letter. It used 'we' so that would suggest to me that there's maybe an organisation behind it, but I don't know who it could be. If both Lydia and Ernie were on the winning side during the war, someone wanting to try and get revenge on them would probably be someone who'd been on the losing side, but then at the same time the initials 'DA' would make me think of Dumbledore's Army, or someone who's maybe using the initials to masquerade as someone else? I really can't work it out yet, but I'm so intrigued and can't wait to read the next chapters and find out what happens!

I thought you also managed to get the tone right in this chapter, to introduce us to the story and also create suspense and make us worried about what's happening with the letter. Towards the end of the chapter, the suspense almost calmed down a little because Ernie was trying to put the thought of the letter away from his mind. I'm intrigued to see where it's going to go next!

Sian :)

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Review #19, by nott theodoreL'optimisme: Württemberg

21st May 2015:
Hi Laura! I shouldn't be here. I really shouldn't be here - I have to get up in six hours and I promised myself an early night, but I saw that you were one review away from an enormous landmark and now I'm typing as fast as I can to try and be the person to get you there :D

Your description. How? Please, please teach me your ways and share just a little bit of the talent that you've got for imagery. The opening to this chapter was just so beautiful, with Gellert looking out from his prison cell in Nurmengard and watching the snowstorm. I didn't think that I would read something that made a snowstorm sound so incredibly beautiful and magical, but I just have. I really loved the way that Gellert was so fascinated and mesmerized by the scene - which I think is easy to be when you're watching snow fall - but he sees the cruelty in what is happening and still thinks it's beautiful; he picks up on the power there and admires it for that. Just those tiny things, the way that he views a snowstorm, tell us so much about his character and you've really captured him so well.

Since you're switching perspectives every chapter in this story, I also really like the fact that the style of the opening of each chapter is the same, which then follows onto the next stage in their story. It lets us relax back into ttheir narratives but also is just such wonderful writing that I can't help loving it.

The fact that Gellert thinks of Albus when he watches the storm shows a lot too - even after all these years, it is the other that they think of rather than anyone else they've come across romantically in their lives, and that says so much. It's like they still want to share moments with each other even when they're impossibly separated. It was sad seeing Gellert's thoughts on Albus and his guilt, too

I loved the fact that you've already told us now where this story - or at least Gellert's reign - will end, back in the same place his story started; I really like the circular element that adds to the narrative and there's almost something poetic about it.

I'm so intrigued to know if the flowers actually were from Albus or if it was another of Gellert's admirers - I can't tell if they actually are from him or if, now, looking back on the events, Gellert just wants them to be from Albus.

So I know there aren't many Albus/Gellert stories on the archives at all, and I haven't seen any apart from this one which really focus on their lives as a whole as well as telling their romance, but this is such an original story. I have never really thought before about how Gellert started gaining power, and how he influenced people so much and gained followers to the extent that he had power over a lot of Europe and people wanted Albus to stop him before he got to Britain, but this version makes so much sense to me. I really like the fact that it's so different from the way we know Tom Riddle went about gaining power - this is almost a more natural path into it. To start at the bottom and work up, gaining the trust of and getting to know the people who make the decisions until you can influence them to do what you want, is a very clever way of doing it; like Gellert says, he has to change the way people think and that's what he tries to do with his path here, which shows how different to Voldemort he is.

It's both sad and kind of scary to see Gellert being forced to do such mundane work that bored him out of his mind, because we know he's so brilliant. The parallels that you were able to draw there with Albus and his situation were great; even when they were torn apart they were still linked and thought of each other a lot. I can't think of anything that reflects that fact better than seeing the way that Gellert still thinks of himself as making conquests for him and Albus. for their plans rather than just his own. It clearly indicates how close he still feels - in his heart and mind at least - to Albus and the fact that he remained in his mind when he was planning to take power. I'm so intrigued to see if that'll continue to happen as he progresses on his journey.

And I really should go to bed now so I'm going to post this and hope that nobody else ninja'ed and got there before me to the 100th review. No matter, this was a beautiful chapter and I'm so excited for you to reach 100 reviews on this amazing story!

Sian :)

Edit: wah Beth got there before me :( but now you can say you've passed 100 reviews and congratulations anyway! ♥

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Review #20, by nott theodoreLady Mondegreen: Conversations with a Portrait

20th May 2015:
Hi Lizzie! I'm here for the Gryffie Review Swap - I've heard a lot of good things about this story, so I was intrigued to get to read it finally.

I don't think I've actually read any of your stories before, but this was a really good introduction to your writing and now I'm kind of curious to find out what happens in the same universe and what goes on between the different characters in your novel - if I get time, I'll definitely be checking it out!

I really liked the way that you incorporated the word for the challenge into your story by using it in your title and also as the name of the woman in the portrait. I'd actually never heard of the word before, so it was definitely helpful that you included the definition at the beginning of your story so I didn't have to go and look for it, but I think that really helped me to understand why you'd then chosen it for the name of Lady M - it fitted in really well with her way of confusing things and mishearing and misunderstanding things that Lia says.

I really liked the character of Lia, and the way that she was Lee Jordan's daughter - it was great to get a bit of an idea in here of the relationship and background between her and James Potter through the course of the story without overloading us with it right at the start of the story, so that we learnt more about their history without being overloaded with details at the beginning. The information that we learnt through the story meant that the reason for Lia being so angry at the start of the piece made a lot more sense too - James seems to antagonise her quite often, so her reaction to him is more likely to be stronger and angry than to someone else. It was also great that we got to learn more about Lia as a character, such as her temper and little bits like that, through the course of the story.

Another aspect I really liked of the story was that you gave Lady M an opportunity to tell her own story during this piece, even though this is based in a universe that you already write in (and I'm assuming is more about Lia and James). I've read a few stories that include contact with portraits in the castle before, and I really love the idea of people creating a story for the people who live in the frames. One thing I've never seen before was the idea of having a Muggle that had been captured in a frame and become a portrait. I really liked the way that, because of the fact Lady M had been a Muggle, becoming a portrait affected her differently from the other portraits and she couldn't leave her frame to visit other people in the castle, so they had to come and visit her instead. That little detail was really great. I would be really intrigued to know which Queen she served as well!

As Lia told the story of what had happened between her and James that morning, it was really great to see a sort of friendship developing between her and Lady M, as she told the story and they both shared a bit of their lives with the other. I really liked the idea that Lia will go and visit her in the future, now that she knows how to get there and will make the effort to keep up the friendship; it must be so lonely to be trapped in a frame without being able to move, particularly if not many people come past your portrait. I can't help wondering whether Dumbledore would have been able to do something to help her if he'd known about it!

Lady M's bad hearing and her misunderstanding of so many of the things that Lia said made me laugh a lot, particularly the part about the sausages, and why she was so shocked about what James had done. I also liked the fact that her misinterpretations made what James had done look less significant, and Lia changed her mind about him a little bit and agreed to go and help him. I also liked the idea that Lady M had for what to get Harry for Christmas!

This was a really great story - I'm so glad we got paired with each other on the review swap! As soon as I have a chance, I'll definitely be trying to stop by your novel and see what that's like too!

Sian :)

Author's Response: WHOA! Sian!

Look at this MONSTER review you left me!! *Happy dances* You're awesome!!

This is definitely one of my favorite stories, so I'm SO glad you liked it!! I definitely agree that it is a good introduction into my writing and my characters. Lia does play a pretty big role in my novel, so you definitely get a sense of what some of her issues are in that story from this one.

I LOVED the word Mondegreen, but it totally confused me at first, so wanted to give a definition early on just to help the readers out, since I don't actually define the word within the story.

As of now, Lady M is not actually in HIMYF - so she's telling her backstory here because it hasn't been told yet!

The whole concept of Lady M being trapped in a portrait actually comes from another the novel I'm writing - a Founder's era fic, that's actually about the Queen she served, so I will definitely be writing Lady M's backstory at some point.

There's also going to be a conclusion to Lady M's story too...so you'll get to see how she gets out of the portrait...and believe it or not, Dumbledore DOES have something to do with it!

Anyway, thanks for your wonderful review Sian!! I really appreciate it, and I will definitely be along to review your story soon!
LL


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Review #21, by nott theodoreIsabella: Thirteen Candles

19th May 2015:
Hi again, Kaitlin! Stopping by to leave another review for the Red vs. Gold Review Battle!

You probably know by now that I love languages, travelling and learning about new cultures, so I really couldn't resist this story when I saw it at the top of your author's page. I don't know nearly enough about Mexico (although it's on my countries to visit list) and its culture, so I couldn't wait to see how you incorporated your own knowledge of the culture and language into a story set there! And you're right in your author's note - I've not seen any stories set in Mexico before either, so I'm really intrigued by how you'll develop this one!

The description at the beginning of this chapter was really beautiful. You did such a fantastic job of setting the scene and really making us feel like we're there in the fields with Isabella, surrounded by nature and completely immersed in a different lifestyle (from the one that I live, anyway). Mexico already sounds like an amazing country (one of my best friends is from there, I can't not like the sound of it :P) and then your descriptions here are just breath-taking. The colours and the detail that you wrote about the nature there have me wanting to visit the country even more - I just can't afford it yet!

I really enjoyed the way that you segued from the descriptions of the scenery into introducing little details about the character's life and lifestyle, so that we got to know more about her without being overloaded with information. Especially since this is a first chapter and in a setting that's completely different to the books, it's important that we get that sort of information but it's really nice not to have it dumped on us. I think the fact that she's used to a life of farming and further away from the city are going to be important in the future of the story, but it's also nice to know more about the protagonist's background as we're just being introduced to her.

Another thing I think you did well was capturing Isabella's voice; it isn't easy to write from the perspective of someone who's twelve/thirteen, especially in first person. There's probably more description in this than you'd find in most narratives from someone this age, but Isabella sounds like a really observant girl and you're doing a good job of slowly building up her character by including little details about her and things that she does.

The food. I don't know much about Mexican food (I'm very aware that anything that's been exported to Europe is probably an American version which is nothing like the real thing) but here it sounded delicious, and it was great that you included all the food according to the region and the occasion. Basically you just made me hungry again :P

(Also the Spanish words = love. But I'm not going to go on too much about that because I could fill the rest of the review with it. I just really like little details like that which add to the authenticity of a story like this one.)

I'm really intrigued about Isabella turning thirteen and what that's going to mean for her and her family. I'm so curious about the old woman who told her that thirteen could be an unlucky number - it sounds like she's trying to scare her, but then why is she arriving at her door on her thirteenth birthday? My first theory was that in Mexico, witches and wizards begin to receive their magical education at the age of thirteen, and that's why it was so important, but I'm not completely sure, and I'm very intrigued about this old lady's appearance.

This was a really great first chapter, and I'm so intrigued to see what's going to happen next in the story!

Sian :)

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Review #22, by nott theodoreMeals With Muggles : Burgers And Chips

19th May 2015:
Hi Kaitlin! I'm here reviewing for the Red vs. Gold Review Battle!

I've been intrigued in this story since you posted the threads in the Help Needed section of the forums asking about British food and dining experiences - I know you're a chef yourself and I came to this intrigued to see what you'd used the information for. This was such a great story and I'm really interested in the pairing as well as the lovely descriptions of food!

I'm afraid I'm going to have to dwell on your food descriptions first, though, just to get that part out of the way and talk about the actual story itself. I know that you must cook delicious food on a daily basis, but the descriptions here made me so hungry and I'm now craving a pub lunch, which I can't have because I'm over a thousand miles from the UK right now, so your descriptions of food are too good for my own good! I really liked the way that you incorporated some of the other information we gave you, too, such as the fact that everyone is sitting outside on a sunny day to eat, and the fact that Marietta is a regular at the pub and so there's more familiarity between her and the waiter than with Dudley.

I have two tiny Brit-picks that you might want to edit (though you don't have to, of course, they're just suggestions!). First, you have Dudley saying 'anyways' - to me this is kind of an Americanism, and not something most British people would say - since the Dursleys are meant to be representative of the British middle classes, and this story is set around ten years ago or so, I think it'd be more likely for him just to say 'anyway'. We also tend to use waiter or waitress more than server, which also sounds a bit American to me. These are just suggestions if you wanted it to sound a little more British, though :)

Now onto the actual story - I'm really intrigued by the idea of Dudley and Marietta together! I haven't got head canon yet for who Dudley ends up with (if anyone at all) but I find the potential between the two of them interesting, particularly what would happen if they had children together and the kids turned out to be magical.

I liked the way that Marietta was so confident around Dudley, and took the initiative on asking him for lunch. It's nice to see a character who's so strong-minded and I can't imagine Dudley being anything but awkward asking a girl out on a date, to be honest. I really got the sense that Marietta was much happier in the Muggle world, though, as though she found it liberating to be somewhere where people couldn't judge her for her past and things that she'd done as a girl.

Things developed between them really nicely in this story, too - I think you paced their conversation and interaction well and it was great to see Dudley plucking up the courage to ask Marietta on a date at the end of their lunch together. I wondered whether Marietta would actually say that she'd been to a school called Hogwarts, just in case she broke the Statute, but I suppose it would be easy to hide if someone didn't know what it was.

I really liked the idea of Marietta having given up magic after going through what she did, deciding that that world wasn't the right place for her. It's also a really great idea to see Dudley and Marietta bonding over their shared experiences of magic, both of them having bad memories caused by it. It would be great for Marietta to find someone who she could open up to about her past without being dragged back into the wizarding world, and equally Dudley could find someone who understood his own upbringing a bit more. It's a really interesting pairing and I'd be intrigued to write more about them if you ever do!

Sian :)

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Review #23, by nott theodoreLady Slytherin: II: Decima

2nd May 2015:
Hi again! I'm so sorry that it's taken me so long to get back to reviewing this story - I loved the first chapter and came back when life let me to read the rest, but have only just had chance to stop by and leave a review now!

I really liked the way that things developed in this chapter! The plot seemed to develop so much during this chapter and I really enjoyed all the new information that we learnt about the characters and the events.

Rohesia is probably my favourite character; since she's the protagonist, I'm assuming that's somewhat intended. There's something really steely about her, which is unusual for the women that I usually see portrayed in fiction in this period, and I think that only makes me like her more. Women were in a different position socially at this time, but I don't think that means there weren't strong women around - they wouldn't have survived a lot of what they went through if they hadn't had strong personalities. Rohesia is kind of symbolic of this for me. She's obviously had a lot of the future that she was supposed to have taken away from her, and yet she's seen the chance here and she's determined to go and take it.

I really like Lady Weasley too! I like the way that she's more outgoing and couldn't be described as meek, even by the men around her - she's not afraid of that, either. She actually reminds me a little bit of Ginny and the way she isn't afraid to go out and get what she wants, and I like the idea of family traits that have been passed down over the years even if the values of the family have changed dramatically.

Another aspect I liked was the relationship - for want of a better word - that started emerging between Decima and Rohesia in this chapter. Decima might seem very confident and determined but she's also too sensible to write Rohesia off as a rival entirely and she's a lot more worldly and ambitious than Diera, for instance. There's kind of a respect existing between them as they're both worthy rivals of the other for Slytherin's heart.

Salazar was very interesting here - I was so eager to see how you'd portray him as we got to know more of him in this chapter. It doesn't surprise me that he'd want to find more in a wife than someone who is merely a pureblood. I think he seems really mysterious - and perhaps that's what he's trying to be - but I find it believable that he'd want his wife to excel at magic as well, given what we know about him. He's very ambitious and I think he'd be bored of a wife who couldn't match him intellectually, and that's actually a nice change to the way I see him portrayed in most stories.

I really enjoyed this chapter, and I'll hopefully make it back soon to review again!

Sian :)

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Review #24, by nott theodoreL'optimisme: Similes

1st May 2015:
Hi Laura! Sorry about the delay in getting to this review for our swap - I got caught up Skyping my friend and doing other things which distracted me from reviewing. I hope you don't mind me coming back to this story because I really do love it!

I don't actually even know where to start with writing a review for this chapter, to be honest. It was just so beautiful. Your writing is really incredible here and I just want to quote most of it back to you but that would take up the whole review.

How do you manage to capture Albus so well? It's just so impressive - you manage to write him on a level which sounds like it is actually Albus Dumbledore. His ramblings and thoughts at the beginning of this chapter were just so real for me - we've gradually learnt over the course of this story so far about the feelings that Albus and Gellert had for each other and the way that Albus reflects on those feelings and the concept of love is just wonderful.

I think one of my favourite things about your writing in this is that, even though at the beginning the reflection part is a little detached from the main narrative, you still manage to make sure that everything flows and connects together. Albus has been reading poetry which reminds him of Gellert and then we get to learn about the different things that they loved together - their differences in taste and the way they view literature and music and art and the values they impart to those different forms. I don't know why but it just felt so true and real when I was reading that section.

The line about Albus wanting to send Gellert some books and poetry while he's in Azkaban, so that he doesn't drive himself mad from boredom, was so sad - especially after Gellert fearing being imprisoned and trapped with his own company.

Then to return to the 'chronological' part of the narrative was even sadder. Albus is so lonely and sad and that comes through so clearly. His thoughts on Christmas being a time of family were really sad - I always love Christmas and getting to see everyone I love at that time of year, but then the thought of the people who don't have people to spend that time with is really upsetting.

I loved the description of the party that Albus went to - I also loved the little thing about the French not really caring if people really had invites or not :P It just made me laugh!

The party was described so wonderfully - I really got a sense of the exuberance and the celebration. The details that you included were great too - just the little things like Albus smoking because that's what people did then, and he'd got into it like the rest of them - all of that made it so much more authentic and believable for me.

The scene when Ivor Dillonsby approached Albus about the dragon's blood properties was great! I'm so intrigued to see whether Albus will deliberately discover them on his own first or if he actually did take some of the ideas from him - it's also great that you're using a tiny detail from canon, something that Rita Skeeter digs up and might not even be true, and putting your own spin on it and giving it some foundation in fact at least.

This chapter just felt so... wise. I don't know if that's the right word really but I just keep marvelling at how well you captured Albus's voice, the voice of someone who's much older and wiser now and who has learnt from his mistakes and can reflect on lots of qualities and acknowledge his own mistakes and shortcomings. It's such an interesting narration and I just love reading it.

Sorry for the rambling and confused nature of this review, but I really don't know what to say at the moment, other than this was a brilliant chapter, like always!

Sian :)

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Review #25, by nott theodoreUnravel. : Pansy.

1st May 2015:
Hey Erin! Sorry that I'm so late in leaving this review; I ended up Skyping my friend and various other things which took up my time. But thank you for agreeing to do a review swap with me - it's been too long since I read any of your stories!

I really enjoyed reading this story! Pansy's a character who I find so interesting because in canon we find out barely anything about her - I know that J.K. Rowling says she hates her but I really love the lack of history and background we get to her character because, as writers, it allows us to explore her in pieces like this story.

This take on Pansy was so interesting and you just managed to add a completely different dimension to her character, one I'd never thought of before, in a short amount of words. I'm really impressed with this.

The opening gave us such an insight into her character. Although in normal circumstances, beginning several sentences with 'I' at the start of a story could feel repetitive, that had the desired effect here because the repetition gave us a much better idea about the sort of routine she sought to impose in her life and the way she thought about things.

I don't think I've ever seen Pansy portrayed in this way before - she's very obsessive, perhaps to the point that she has OCD in some form - and is doing everything she can to control the aspects of her life that she's able to control. She likes her routine and likes everything to be neat and ordered, and she doesn't like the idea of people not adhering to that.

The refrain that you used, in italics, adding to it each time it appeared in the story, was also really effective. It was almost like a mantra that Pansy calmed herself with, reciting who she was as if saying those words over and over would help her to become the person that she wanted to be. She put so much pressure on herself to be that perfect person and in a way it's no wonder that she struggled and was mean to others if that was what was going on in her head.

The part about the way that she wasn't eating properly was really sad. She couldn't see that she was actually starving herself because she was so driven to become that perfectly beautiful pureblood that she wanted to be. The precision in her bites and the numbers of pieces of fruit was so impressive and I think you've really thought about this story and those aspects of her character.

Another thing I liked was the way it wasn't really clear her whether her parents - her mum especially - were to blame for her being the way she was or if her behaviour was due to some more internalised problems. I think pureblood families are often portrayed as being to blame for their children's behaviour but mental health issues often aren't even considered, so I liked the way that you weren't afraid to confront that stigma here in this story.

The state of the relationship between Pansy and Draco was sad to read about too. Pansy was doing what she could to please him because she had no other choice and she'd never even dared to think of someone else in that way. It's so sad to think of a young girl - even one who was horrible like Pansy - stuck in that mindset and situation and unable to help herself out of it.

You did a wonderful job portraying Pansy in this story and actually making me feel sorry for her too, which isn't easy to do with a character who's so horrible in the books! Thank you for the review swap!

Sian :)

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