Reading Reviews From Member: nott theodore
  
1,125 Reviews Found

Review #1, by nott theodoreL'optimisme: Wales

20th February 2015:
Hi, Laura! I was really happy to get a chance to get back to this story, especially since I've got even further behind with your recent updates!

I loved the change of point of view in this chapter from Albus to Gellert! For some reason I wasn't expecting it to happen at all, but I thought you wrote it so well. It could have easily felt disjointed when you're changing the perspective but this flowed so well from the last chapter - it reads so beautifully, as well. I get the impression that these are the love letters that the two have wanted to send to each other over the years and yet never have, and the fact that both of them are thinking about the other at the same time, and reminiscing over their summer of love, is so bittersweet.

Your characterisation of Gellert was brilliant, too. This kind of links into the change in the point of view, I guess, but you handled the change in voice wonderfully - Gellert is so obviously a completely different character to Albus, and I really liked the way that you characterised him here. Even though the two of them are remembering the same period in their lives, the time when they met and joined together, the colouration of the story is different according to who's telling it, and I just love the way that you managed that.

Gellert almost has a stronger voice than Albus, actually - he's more practical and down-to-earth about things, I think - while Albus seems to be caught up in great ideas and the theoretical side of things, Gellert is clearly someone who wants to get out and do things, see the world and get hands on experience of it. He also seems to care a lot less about what people think of him - Albus values the opinions of others very highly and, I think, tends to moderate his behaviour accordingly. Even though Gellert is wrong in his ideas, I kind of admire the fact that he doesn't care so much what other people think of him. He's more self-sufficient in a way - I know that Albus has to take care of his siblings but Gellert seems readier to go out in the world and survive by himself.

Your descriptions in this chapter - yet again - were absolutely stunning. I loved the way that you described Wales as a country that was so different from England, even though Gellert hadn't imagined it to be somewhere that could interest him at all. I really liked the way that the boredom slowly set in though, so true to Gellert's character - and all that held his memories were those times when Albus appeared in them. I really liked the way that showed so much about the relationship between the two of them.

The kiss was so adorable! I really loved the way that you wrote it. It felt like both of them put so much into that and you really captured the passion and their feelings for each other in those lines, and it was so sweet to read about that - a time when they were much happier and carefree than their later years, when they're narrating this story.

Also it's a tiny detail, but I loved the way that you mentioned the mix of German and English and Latin that they spoke in - that feels so right for their relationship and the sort of people we know Albus and Gellert were, and the languages nerd in me was rejoicing.

I loved the inclusion of those letters from Elphias (that's who I'm assuming they're from) which would bring Albus down because he was reminded of how much he was missing out on when his friend was off travelling round the world. Your descriptions in that section, too, were incredible - you made me want to travel even more and go and see all the places that were mentioned. But it was sad to see that the conversation they had about going together, travelling and leaving Wales, was one of the things that meant Gellert was never going to stay, even if Ariana hadn't died.

Tiny typo - Schwarzwald not Schwarzbald is the Black Forest :)

The style of this, again, reads like a love letter through the ages and it's so beautiful. I really like the way that even your style captures so much about their relationship.

The ending was really powerful. I loved the ambiguity in it, the more serious tone that Gellert adopted and the questions that it made us ask without ever actually answering them. It's so clear that Gellert loves Albus from this - if he didn't, he wouldn't fear telling him the answer of who actually was responsible for killing Ariana. But he does love him, and because of that he doesn't know what would be worse - for Albus to hate himself for killing his own sister, or for Albus to hate Gellert for killing his sister. I really thought that was a brilliant way to end the chapter!

This was beautiful as always, Laura!

Sian :)

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Review #2, by nott theodoreThe Ides of March: Consider things like the stars.

18th February 2015:
Hi Kiana! I finally made it here - I've been trying to review this for a while but trips away and then no internet prevented me, so I'm finally caught up and have time to write this!

Your descriptions in the opening section were stunning. I could tell how much thought you'd put into them and I loved reading those first few paragraphs; the beauty in the imagery really made the relationship between Helena and Eleanor sound like a beautiful, wondrous thing and it was lovely to see that effect in the narrative, particularly with Helena's doubts so far. But the relationship with Eleanor is definitely something that brings her happiness, and that was clear to see here.

At the same time, though, I think it's really significant that these meetings only take place at night. I like the way that the moonlight is something that allows Helena to be herself, and that she can enjoy her love at this time, but at the same time it's really sad that the two of them are only able to be together under the cover of darkness. They can never be themselves in the day time because of the way that society has been constructed around them and it's really upsetting to think of that.

From the first section, though, I sensed a shift in this chapter in Helena's state of mind, and her thoughts and feelings about Eleanor and who she is. It felt like she had begun to drift away from Eleanor more and more after the initial section, especially as her thoughts centred more on religion than other things.

I loved the passages that you wrote when Helena attended church, and it definitely wasn't too religious or philosophical for me - I found it so interesting to see the way that you weaved those elements into the story. In a story like this one, I don't think it would have been realistic if you had tackled a relationship like Helena and Eleanor's without at least some mention of religion, especially when we know that the magical and Muggle societies lived more closely at this point, so it helped make this story seem even more believable because you included that.

One of my favourite parts of this chapter was the scene in the church. I really liked the way that you showed Helena to have some true religious feeling, rather than practising because that's what she's always been brought up to do. The detail about Eleanor, Rowena and Godric never attending church was really interesting too; if I'm right, Christianity hadn't taken hold everywhere at this point, so there would have been some leniency in who attended church, but I also wonder if their magical background has an effect. Religion was always one of the biggest topics that the books avoided and I find it really fascinating to see how people interpret its presence in the wizarding world.

I loved the imagery that you used when people continued to ask Helena to tell her mother things; the wound and the blood coming from it, as though she was in physical pain because of their gratitude for her mother. I liked the way that she thought of God transcending everything and that these people would be better if they placed their trust in him than in Rowena. Besides showing some of the relationship between Helena and her mother, it also showed the standing that Rowena has in the community and the way that Muggles might revere witches and wizards because of what they're able to do.

The discussion that Helena had with the priest was brilliant. I'm really glad, for a reason that I can't really explain properly, that the priest berated her for thinking of disobeying her mother rather than the relationship that she's having with another woman. Of course, both are sins in the eyes of the church but I think that the strong condemnation she received for even thinking of going against her mother's wishes shows how she would have been treated if her secrets had been revealed. The priest probably thinks that she's lusting after a different man and in his eyes that's bad enough, without her relationship with Eleanor being revealed.

I felt so sorry for Helena in that section; her faith seems so strong and so to her, obviously, the priest is highly important and stands as a representative of the God that she loves, so she's put in an even more difficult position with regards to Eleanor. I think that faith is what seems to have really had the most impact on her drifting away from her love.

The triplication in the following section was really effective, and you used it so well so that it had an impact. The words that you chose to repeat really stood out, Helena's thoughts dwelling on her confusion and fears of what will happen to her if she dies and if she continues the relationship with Eleanor. It was so interesting.

I loved the imagery of the letters of Eleanor's name drifting up to the moon, mirroring the way that Helena is putting Eleanor behind and leaving their relationship in the dark nights when they met.

And the ending was really brilliant. There was a lot of tension in such a short section, with the sort of doom coming to Helena bit by bit as the sounds approach and her fiance arrives. I get the feeling that there could be a decision arrived at soon, as she chooses to flee from home rather than marry Edmund, although at the same time I wonder if we'll get to see the development of her relationship with him. The Bloody Baron is said to have loved her, after all.

This was a brilliant chapter, my dear, and I'm really sorry that it took so long for me to get here - I'm hoping this review helps to make up for it a little bit! ♥

Sian :)

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Review #3, by nott theodoreUpping The Ante: Triggered Memories

3rd February 2015:
Hey, Lo! And congratulations on your first chapter as a TA - it's exciting and scary at the first time, isn't it? :P

Alexandra definitely has a massive amount to deal with - it's not just difficult, as she understates it to be - it really is horrific to find out that the woman you've dreamed about for years, the mother that you've mourned and missed for most of your life, has been alive all along and then arrives at Hogwarts to take up a position as a teacher there. I can't even imagine how that would make me feel, and she deals with it rather well to be honest, even though I thought you did a great job of illustrating how chaotic it makes her feel, and all the turmoil in her mind.

The introduction to Professor Millefeuille (I'm also struggling to think of her as Alexandra's mum!) was not exactly the best - I don't have a very good opinion of her! I don't understand how she thinks she can come into a school partway through the year and completely change the requirements for those who can take her subject. It just makes no sense and it's completely unfair, and I'm kind of surprised that Dumbledore's allowing it to be honest, although perhaps he doesn't know or has had to agree to give her complete freedom with her teaching. She seems to have very high standards and they seem so unfair - I would have thought that, after the death of the former DADA teacher, the subject would be even more important for people to study than before. Although part of me is wondering whether that was partly to justify her making Alexandra leave her class...

I was a bit surprised that she was mentioning Levicorpus as one of the spells that they were expected to be able to perform, since it was a spell Snape had made up just a few years before.

The scene when Millefeuille performed Leglimency on Alexandra was so sad to read. All of those triggered memories were so precious to her and yet her mum could have known about those things if she'd stayed around. The reversal was really impressive, and I really liked the way that it enabled us to see things from Millefeuille's perspective; she clearly still has all of the important memories of her family. But at the same time she was so angry that Alexandra had made the connection and ordered her out of her class - I really don't understand what's going on with her. I can't imagine why she would have had to leave and abandon her child, and whether she's been trying to protect her daughter by staying away, or whether she just doesn't care...

Oh no, the scene with Sirius that followed made me really sad :( He really couldn't have been expected to know what was wrong with Alexandra and that something so enormous had just happened to her, so I can't really blame him for having been trying to joke with her, particularly when he was so sweet and clearly likes her so much. I can understand Alexandra being angry and lashing out, though. It's just a real shame that she took it out on Sirius because they were starting out so well together!

I really liked the scenes during the Christmas holidays, although it was so frustrating to see that Alexandra was refusing to open Sirius's letters! He's probably figured out what was wrong and is apologising and wanting to help her, but she won't let him in again :( I hope that when he gets back from the holidays they can maybe work something out between them!

I really liked Marlene and Amelia, too - I loved the way that you used the canon characters that we know about to make this story feel even more authentic. The crosswords that Charlie was doing made me laugh, especially since I wouldn't have known the answers for most of them! (Clearly this is why I'm not in Ravenclaw...)

I'm really intrigued to see what happens next with Alexandra and the new information that she's uncovered about her mum's "death". I think she could find out something really interesting when she meets the old contact from the Ministry, and I can't help but wonder if her dad did really die, or if he also disappeared with her mum. So many questions! I'm looking forward to the next update!

Sian :)

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Review #4, by nott theodoreUpping The Ante: Dominic Maestro's Music Shop

3rd February 2015:
Hello again!

I really liked the way that you opened this chapter - I don't know how to explain it, but with those few paragraphs in the first section, you captured the aftermath of Professor Brandenburgh's murder so well. There was a real sense of disbelief in Alexandra's narration, and the fact that nobody was able to do anything made it feel like everything had been suspended in time after the news of the teacher's death, which is understandable. I think it would have had an enormous impact on the pupils - someone right at the heart of their school has been murdered, and they can't avoid thinking of the realities of the war now.

The memorial was a lovely idea, and definitely something that I can imagine happening with Dumbledore as the headmaster - I think he'd have wanted to ensure that there was a fitting tribute for Brandenburgh and show some defiance, too, in the way that the pupils reacted to the death by allowing them to go to Hogsmeade again, even if the parents might have disagreed with the safety in that. I thought you wrote about the memorial really nicely, too. It felt very fitting, and you got a great sense of the emotion involved.

I can definitely understand Alexandra wanting to still go on the date with Sirius after the memorial, even though she thinks it seems silly. It's a sliver of normality for her (although not exactly normal yet since she's never been on a date with him before) which will make life seem easier. Plus she likes Sirius :P

The date was so sweet! I really loved all the different sections to it, and the way that you wrote it. It felt almost understated, because there was so little drama in it, but for me that made it more believable and realistic to read. They were just two people who like each other, and wanted to be around each other and spend time together. Of course they were nervous about it, but it went well and it was so cute to read about them discovering more shared interests, like their sweet tooth :P

The scene outside the Shrieking Shack definitely seems to have planted a seed of some sort in Alexandra's mind - I wonder how she'll go about finding out more about the building, and whether or not she'll discover the truth about its uses. She is a Ravenclaw, after all!

I loved the fact that you included Dominic Maestro's shop and really brought it to life in that scene, with Dominic being so sweet to Alexandra and the moment when they played the piano together. I really liked how there was a little more information about Alexandra's family beginning to creep in here too, in a way that seemed completely natural since she was following her train of thought.

Ah, they kissed! ♥ That was really cute! I liked how natural it seemed for them, and how happy Alexandra was. You're writing this romance in a way that's so refreshing since they like each other from early on and there's been very little drama before they get to this stage, and it's so different to a lot of Sirius/OC stories - I'm enjoying it so much!

Haha, I had to laugh at her friends' reactions to seeing Sirius kissing her cheek, that was such a typical teenage girl thing to do! And then the little hint at James and Lily having got together - or at least spent some time together during the day - was great. Although poor James had to go and ruin it with some silly sexist comment about the next teacher being a man - I'm glad that Lily was proved right!

Oh, that ending was very dramatic, and you've left me on another cliffhanger! I'm a bit confused about what to make of it - is the new DADA teacher Alexandra's mum, who I was sure had died, or is it just someone who looks exactly like her and who has triggered a lot of memories for Alexandra? Reading on to find out!

Sian :)

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Review #5, by nott theodoreUpping The Ante: Immortal

3rd February 2015:
Hi again, Lo! Sorry it took me a few days to get back to reviewing this - I completely lost internet connection over the weekend (the joys of rural France :P) and only just got time to return.

Ah, I was really looking forward to this chapter to see what happened after the cliffhanger you left us on at the end of the last chapter, and as well as that I got to read the rest of the events that happened here and there was so much to take in!

I feel so bad for poor Alex in the beginning of this chapter. Through the story so far I've been suspecting that he maybe harboured feelings for her that were something other than friendship, and it turns out that I was right. He always seems so sweet though, and it's really horrible for Alexandra to have to turn round and ask him to forget the kiss happened when he tells her that he's been in love with her for years. He's always been such a good friend to her and that's a horrible position for her to be in - I can certainly understand why she was so upset over it. It's never nice to have to reject someone like that, particularly someone like Alex. I just hope that he doesn't start to become vindictive over this.

I really liked how sweet Sirius was when he found Alexandra crying, though. He's started to reveal another side to himself to her, and it's so refreshing to read a story like this when Sirius proves capable of being something other than arrogant before he actually gets with the girl. I really liked the way he tried his best to cheer her up and then look after her by distracting her from what's gone on.

I loved the way that Alexandra was introduced to the Gryffindor boys' dormitory in a completely innocent way, and then she found that they were trying to cultivate mould... ew! It's a horrible idea but I can definitely imagine them trying to grow mould for something like putting it on the Slytherins' Quidditch robes :P

Aw, the two of them are so sweet together! I really liked Sirius's comment about being a gentleman and trying to remember the little details about her - it's not really been touched on in this story but it's so nice and refreshing to see a version of Sirius when he's not simply the school playboy trying to make another conquest. I also really love the idea of him enjoying Muggle music and that being something that they can bond over.

Oh dear though, it seems that the dancing didn't go quite so well for them - particularly with Alexandra getting burnt by their silly super flame thing! But I'm glad that Sirius was able to help heal her, and I liked the description of the healing too - it wasn't painless and simple, which I think a lot of people make magical healing seem.

Poor Frank! I felt so sorry for him - I was really worried about what had happened and I really liked the way that you included Alice in this too. It's so devastating for him that his dad has been killed, and I think that showed Alexandra really harshly the impacts of the war that's going on outside the school walls. At the same time, I've always wondered what happened to Augusta's husband so this was a great explanation for the canon story we have.

This chapter had a real impact for showing how serious the war is, I think. Even just with Frank's dad and the news that people are being targeted for their beliefs and not just for their blood status, before the events at the end of the chapter, things are accelerating and the students - particularly those who will be entering the real world at the end of the year - can't avoid the truth for much longer.

The match was a nice interlude of some sort of normality, I thought. It wouldn't have made sense for Alexandra to go into mourning for Frank's dad, even though the news was serious and shocking. Besides, people deal with things like that by embracing the every day routines, so the Quidditch was great.

You're really good at writing these matches! I was extremely worried that Ravenclaw were going to lose to Hufflepuff because of Tom, but he managed to pull through and at the same time Alexandra managed to take out some of her frustration on Amos - all part of her Beating responsibilities, of course!

And aw, she has a date with Sirius! ♥ I'm actually really glad that she's going on this date because she wanted to, rather than just agreeing to the date because she lost a bet to him. This way is a better (and probably less cliched) start for a relationship, I think.

Oh wow, I definitely wasn't expecting the news that came at the end of this chapter about Professor Brandenburgh! Especially after Frank's dad had already died because of the Death Eaters :( but at the same time I think you did a great job of showing the impact of the war, and reminding us that things are very serious.

That last line gave me the chills... I seriously hope that you're not foreshadowing Charlie's death with that sentence, because I think I'll end up in tears if you are! Great chapter though!

Sian :)

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Review #6, by nott theodoreUpping The Ante: Upping The Ante

30th January 2015:
Hi again! Wow, what an action-packed chapter!

Okay, well the behaviour of Alexandra when being reckless could definitely have been worse than it was, although I really enjoyed reading about what she did when she was drinking. Also I'm currently picturing that beer pong-snitch game and it seems hilarious in my head :P

When the rules for the drinking game were announced, I started wondering if Alexandra was going to try that trick, because it seems to get people every time. I loved the banter before they started the drinking game, and that she didn't back down even if she didn't think she would win a game against him or if she didn't want to go on a date with him. But I love that she used that old trick and it worked as well, especially against Sirius :P and I like the fact that she won the bet, it made the development of things between them a bit more interesting I think.

Alex was sweet there but I'm definitely getting the impression that he feels something more for her than he lets on, even before I get to the end of the chapter...

Haha, I couldn't help laughing as we found out what Lily did when she was drinking, and the way that James took care of her. It was a really entertaining way to hint at how their relationship is developing without putting too much focus on it.

I really love the characters that you have in this friendship group,and the way that were getting to learn more about them as individuals as time goes on. I love the career that you came up with for Alex in the future - for some reason it really seems to suit him, and I liked the original thought behind it. Plus it was great to see how passionate he was there - very Ravenclaw to be so determined to learn everything about his chosen career path :P

How hard was it to come up with rhymes for Sirius to use in the potions class? I thought you did a great job on them and I loved how he joined in with the fun and stuck to his side of the bargain with that. He definitely likes her and it's so cute!

Alex and Alexandra working together on the potion was really interesting to read, too; I love how clear the thought you've put into these processes is in your writing. It's also great to see a story when not all of the Ravenclaws are brilliant at everything, and to know that just like everyone else there are subjects that they're weaker in. The leech scene was horrible - it made my skin crawl! I hate the idea of them too so I can understand why Alex was struggling so much with the leech attaching itself to his hand. And even in that scene, particularly with the way that he was so determined to do what she said, I was suspecting what the nature of his feelings for her really is...

I'm not sure if you were intending to make me laugh a lot with the potion exploding again, but I did - and since I'm on a train, I may have looked like a bit of a weirdo. But I love the idea of Peter blowing up the potion and then Snape's nose being shrunk to the size of a pea... I wonder if he had something against the potion after that, and that's why he was so mean as to test it on Trevor?

Ugh, Amos really is a creep! I can't even talk about him properly because I'd end up going on a rant and probably using some non 12+ words, so we'll just leave it at that, shall we? I really don't like him and I'm glad that Alexandra got to see who he really was before getting involved with him too much.

Alex was really sweet about all of that too and its so obvious that he cares for her, but I'm just worried it'll be too much :/

I was not expecting that ending at all! I'm hoping it was kind of a moment of madness and that Alexandra just reacted to seeing Amos like that but at the same time it could be risky because I feel like Alex will think it means more than it does. I'll be reading on soon to find out more!

Sian :)

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Review #7, by nott theodoreUpping The Ante: Live A Little

30th January 2015:
Hello again!

Ah, this was another great chapter! The writing here flowed well in spite of the time difference between the sections and it is great to read this from Alexandra's perspective. I love the character that you've created with her in this story. We're only three chapters in and yet already I feel like I know her well and really like her.

Haha, that first section was so great, with Alexandra so determined to get the others to agree to starting up a Charms Club with her, just so that she didn't get caught in her lie and look silly in front of Amos. Not that I think he's worth it, especially after having read the rest of this chapter! But I loved the banter between the girls and I do think you write dialogue so well, it always seems realistic. Plus I liked the little detail about Charlie and her sort of date with Remus! I'm intrigued to see where you decide to go with that.

Hmm, am I detecting something with Alex in his actions towards Alexandra? It could just be protectiveness as a friend, of course, but there's something which tells me there may be more there - at least on his part. Alexandra seems to be pretty wrapped up with Amos and Sirius at this point!

Yay, Gryffindor won! I loved the way that you wrote the match and the detail you included, especially since she loves Quidditch. The inclusion of Devon Thomas was great too, and I love links like that back to the books!

The party was great. there's so much going on and Sirius definitely. likes Alexandra. But I couldn't believe Amos! To ask one girl on a date of sorts and then go and kiss another girl a few hours later at a party is so low and so mean - I don't blame Alexandra for being upset! Although I am kind of worried about what she's going to do now that she's decided to live a little... I feel like this could have scary consequences!

Another great chapter here Lo, and I'm sorry these reviews are so short and rubbish!

Sian :)

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Review #8, by nott theodoreUpping The Ante: Save A Broom

30th January 2015:
Hi, Lo! I know we don't have to carry on reviewing for the exchange but I really enjoyed the first chapter of this and you're an awesome person, so I wanted to carry on with this. I should just warn you that I'm writing these reviews on my phone while travelling by train. through rural France though, so they're going to be a bit shorter than usual and I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that they post!

Reading this chapter reminded me of the first chapter of the original version of this story, because the changes that you'd made became more evident here, such as the history (or now lack of it) between Alexandra and Amos. I have to say that I'm enjoying hid version more already. Please don't think that the old one was bad, by any means, but it's really clear how much time and effort you've put into this story now and your writing is lovely.

I liked the opening a lot, especially with the way that Alexandra is friends with Lily - at least enough for the two of them to work together during potions. I thought the way that you portrayed that friendship was very realistic; it had grown out of working together and they didn't share too many personal details. Maybe that will come in time, but I like the fact that Alexandra has her own set of friends that she relies on while still having a connection to the Gryffindors in the year, so the romance that will happen between her and Sirius doesn't come completely out of the blue.

Talking of Sirius - that moment in the cupboard was really cute! Gah, it's really been so long since I read a story like this and that scene was great. This chapter definitely gave me the impression that Sirius has started noticing Alexandra and is trying to make her notice him, though he won't be showing his weaknesses too soon, I think.

Haha, I laughed so much at the cauldron exploding, it certainly seems like the sort of thing that would happen in their potions classes, particularly if Slughorn is dozing off instead of watching them.

I've got to admit, in spite of the proud Gryffie in me, I am getting worried for the Ravenclaw team if Tom doesn't manage to get better at catching the snitch! Hopefully all he needs is confidence!

I really loved the inclusion of Muggle music and the fact that Alexandra has been exposed to it; without us knowing much about her family, it tells us something about her background. And I can imagine Sirius learning those lyrics just to annoy his parents! But I really liked all those little details; this chapter was packed with them and I can't comment on them all, but I did notice them!

I really like the fact that Sirius and Alexandra have so much in common, with their interests in Quidditch and music. That scene between them was great.

No! Just when things are going well for Sirius and Alexandra, Amos turns up and is all charming and nice to her, and she gets all giggly and girly! I loved the fact she invented Charms Club to impress him - it's a lovely idea that a Ravenclaw started it for that reason rather than academic ones :P

This was a great chapter and I'll be onto the next as soon as internet allows!

Sian :)

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Review #9, by nott theodoreSevenfold: everything you touch, only dies

29th January 2015:
Hi, Jenna! So I'm finally here for the last chapter of this story - eventually made it. Well, it's not been a year yet since you started posting this, so that's a good thing, I guess?

This is kind of late and I think I said it when you did it even though I was behind on reading, but you did a great job on your first novel!

First, I need to say that this ending was not unsatisfying in the slightest. I can't actually think of a better way that you could have ended this - I can think of ways that it could have ended differently, yes, and ones which might make people smile, but the fact is that Louis's so absorbed by everything that's happened that another ending isn't really possible. This one fits perfectly.

I really liked the fact that Louis stayed with Eugenie when she was arrested. It would mean a lot to her that he actually kept his promises to her and looked after her as much as he could when she was caught. I'm not sure she could have survived if he hadn't stuck by her in that; after all, the fact that her father abandoned her and her mother was the cause for all of these murders in the first place. It was so sad to see Eugenie in the cell and all of the immediate aftermath. I can understand why Louis's not allowed to stay with her - it isn't really a good idea to leave an Auror who's so closely connected to her in the cell - but it was sad that she had to be alone.

I really liked the way that you described Louis's family rallying round as much as they could to try and help him at first, doing everything they could to try and revive him from the shock that he's experienced. That comment about how Dom wouldn't take off when he needed her was sweet, too - I liked the way that showed the true depth of the bonds between them.

It was sad that Ruth/Ada died on the day that she went into prison, but at the same time I think there's definitely something fitting about it. It's like she had to die then when Eugenie was taken into custody and at the same time I think she was ready to. She'd already been punished enough in her life for what she'd done. I liked the fact that she was buried as Ruth too.

I really liked the fact that the next section skipped a few months when Louis wasn't really in tune with reality and what was happening, so this section is when he starts to return to the present and things come back into focus for him. I thought that part was really effective.

The conversation between Dom and Victoire was really interesting and kind of sad at the same time. I think Louis's right in that the bonds between Aurors - especially in life or death situations - can't be easily broken, but it was really sad to see how much he was struggling in that section. I don't think he can just 'get another girl' but at the same time, I'm not sure it's entirely healthy for him to still be so occupied with Eugenie when, like Victoire said, I do think she had targetted him to become the sixth victim. But I do think the fact that Eugenie learned to care for him was part of what stopped her in the end - from killing Louis and from carrying out all the murders.

It's really sad to think that Emily and Louis haven't been able to repair what happened between them. I was hoping at the beginning of this story that they might get together, although then Eugenie went and got in the way and that obviously wasn't going to be happening. Nevertheless, I think it would be nice if they could be friends again in the future.

It's also really sad to think that Louis worked so hard to get through Auror training, after struggling with it more than most of the others, and then his career seems to be over - or at least stalled - after his first case because of what happened on it. It's not something anyone could have predicted but it's a sad end to his ambitions.

The trial was really well written; there was a sort of surreal sense to it, as if Louis couldn't really believe what was going on, but at the same time the shortness of the paragraphs really added to the impact of the events.

Yay, Alfie and James got together! That's so cute, and I love the idea of the two of them together - it's like the one piece of happiness in this ending :P I also loved the description of James as someone who'll love anyone, and his parents reactions to finding out that he was dating a boy. They were so perfect (also, yay that the Taryntula is gone, even if she threw rotten Doxy eggs at their window first).

I don't really know how to word it, but the line about how part of Louis was hoping that it would be Emily rather than Eugenie in that room said so much to me.

The ending, especially those last few lines... wow, they were so powerful. I thought that really emphasised the stark reality, because whereas Ada's murders had been with the aim of killing der Meister's servants, and she succeeded in a way with that, all of Eugenie's murders had been an elaborate show to be able to murder her own father. That last line was amazing - it showed how futile her efforts had been, the fact that she'd failed in her plan and essentially ruined her own life, and that no matter how much she hoped to be, she couldn't become a hero through her attempts.

This was amazing, and I've enjoyed reading it so much - I'm just sorry it took me so long! But now I'm all caught up, at least!

Sian :)

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Review #10, by nott theodoreSevenfold: in the dark, count mistakes

28th January 2015:
Hey darling!

So, I have to confess that I read this chapter a week or so ago and didn't have time to review, and then you updated all of your WIPs and I couldn't get behind with them. But I couldn't read this and not finish reviewing the story so I'm back and here to say: YES, I WAS RIGHT!!! *dances*

I loved that opening section in the past with Ada and the boy who I'm assuming is Erik. It was so short and added a lot to the tension that I was feeling because of what I knew was coming, and then we also got to learn about what happened between Ada and Erik, which is something that I've been wondering about all the time I've been reading this. It was great to find that out; I suspected that there'd been something romantic between them, but I honestly never guessed that what had happened was that Ada had killed Erik! That came as a real surprise and it's great that you're still able to include twists like that this late into the story.

I have to admit, though, that finding out that Ada had killed Erik as one of the Sevenfold murders - and she'd been in a relationship with him at some point - made me really worried about Louis because he seemed like the natural next target for Eugenie! You didn't help my nervousness about that by keeping to a third person narrative for the first part of the modern day section, as I thought that we were going to see her kill Louis or something!

I really liked the way that it didn't switch straight into Louis's narrative, though, after us finding out about Erik - it was really effective and helped to increase the tension a lot. And I noticed that you didn't actually name the girl that was talking to Ruth/Ada in that scene, so there was still some doubt about who it was that was the murderer, although I was pretty convinced before this chapter and I was right to be :P

I liked the confusion and the way that Eugenie was struggling so much with talking about her plans. I suspected that these murders were part of a plot to make Theo Nott the final target, but I was glad to hear that she hadn't expected to become so close to Louis and to care about him so much. That gave me some hope for him and I was also glad that there was still some humanity there, because I don't think that she's a bad person - at heart, really. But she's had a very difficult time and there's certainly something kind of crazy about plotting all those murders because of what her dad did to her.

I loved your portrayal of Ruth/Ada in that scene between the two of them as well. I kind of feel like this process has been a little cleansing, if that's the right word? for Ada, to see someone copying her actions and then realising how wrong and unnecessary it was. Part of her wanted so badly to become a legend and a hero, but she's realised that she wasn't really heroic to murder all those people; I think perhaps the first murder she committed could be reasoned out, but the others were much more cold-blooded. But I also liked her loyalty to Eugenie, and the way that she wouldn't give her name away as there's a bond of sorts between them.

Okay, when you switched into Louis's perspective I was so relieved, as I was really worried we weren't going to read from his point of view again and that you were going to do something really horrible to him! But I really liked the way that Louis had to take charge of the situation because of the way things had played out, and even Harry had to take orders from him in the end because of the way he'd compromised himself - although not really doing anything wrong - by lending his cloak to Neville. But it was great to see him springing into action and the Auror really coming out in him. He's had a difficult path to becoming an Auror but at the same time here he gets the chance to really prove what he's made of.

Even though I suspected for a while that it was actually Eugenie, I was still sad to see that it was her - part of me wanted it to be some random killer that we hadn't seen so that Louis wouldn't suffer so much. But I really liked the way that you revealed it, with his subconscious having known for a while and him having feared that he would find Eugenie at the house. All of those fragments that came to him of things she'd said about her father made a lot of sense as that all fits with the theory that I'd had, and I was very excited to see that I was right!

I honestly don't think that anyone other than Louis could have made Eugenie stop when she was so close to killing her father. I do think that she was wavering when it came to the final murder anyway as she'd found it harder than she imagined, but she cares about Louis and she'd intended for him to be a victim and decided to skip him so he has more of a connection to her than most people. I loved the way you wrote that scene, and the way that Louis approached her to stop her from killing Nott. It was kind of sad, rather than triumphant, which you'd normally expect a capture scene to be when the murderer's killed so many people.

I really liked the final scene as well, when Ada finally confronts her demons in prison. It was great to see that part of the story come full circle and for Ada to kind of put everything at rest. I'm looking forward to the final chapter and seeing how you wrap everything up - this has been great!

Sian :)

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Review #11, by nott theodorekisses-blood-valentine: Ballad of Evvie and Bernie

26th January 2015:
Hi Rose! I'm here for review tag! It's been so long since I read any of your stories and I was so intrigued about what this one would be like when you mentioned it the other day, so I took the chance to snag you in the tag ;)

I absolutely love this story. Seriously. I had to read it a couple of times through to try and glean everything I could from it, and I still have some doubts that I suspect you intended the reader to be left with (and knowing you, you probably won't answer my questions about them either :P) but I really loved this. It was so different to anything I've read before and I think the non-linear structure is probably what made it so fantastic.

The opening was just brilliant. I was so intrigued from the very beginning, with the use of the italics and the fragmented sort of sense of what was going on. We get a glimpse of that from the lines that you used in the summary but it became more obvious here and I really liked the sense of confusion that reading that first section gave me.

I was so curious about what Benjy was shouting for and what had happened; I couldn't work out at first who was on which side of the wall, and even where that 'wall' was. I had no idea but it made me really curious and I wanted to read on and find out what happened so badly.

Also, my first thought (possibly slightly random) when the blood was first mentioned was that something had turned Bernie into a vampire and that's where the blood was coming from. I was guessing right the way through this about what actually happened though, and I didn't see it coming at all.

Even though we only get a glimpse of Evvie in 'reality' in this story, I really warmed to her. I loved the way that you mentioned the feminist movement and that Bernie and Evvie were involved in it, going to marches and that sort of thing. They seem like an awesome couple and I really like the idea of a witch getting involved in that sort of movement as she becomes more of a part of the Muggle world. I also liked the way that they weren't afraid to be open about their relationship, but at the same time I wonder if that wasn't part of what led to the tragic end.

It's probably kind of strange that I'm only mentioning this now, but I really like the way that you've created a character like Bernie and slotted her so well into canon as Benjy's sister. We really know nothing about Benjy except that he was in the Order, so he could easily have had a twin sister. I also really liked the fact that you deliberately chose to include more diverse characters in this.

The secrets that Bernie and Benjy have from each other are really sad, though. I liked the way that you gave us a short background into their relationship and the way that they'd ended up living together even though that seemed to be the only thing they shared; it gave us a real insight into how they arrived at the scene we see between them. But the fact that they're both keeping secrets to try and protect the other has a horrible kind of irony to it. In the end, it seems that the fact they kept those secrets led to the tragedy and maybe if they'd been more open they could have prevented that outcome.

Then the realisation comes. The scene had such a fragmented nature and I could picture it all so clearly in my head; I can understand why films influenced this story as I had a very clear visual image of this, almost like jerky camera shots at times, and the realisation coming to Bernie in a horrible, disjointed way which didn't feel exactly real. But at the same time we knew that it was. Even with that massive reveal in the scene, I loved the fact that you didn't forget the details, like the way that Bernie connected lipstick with Evvie, and the items that she'd bought for their Valentine's Day celebrations.

If I'm reading this right (and this is the part I suspect that you're going to leave ambiguous and refuse to tell me anything about), what happened is that the Death Eaters had been watching Bernie for a while - I loved that vague connection with the men she'd seen at the feminism rallies, and her initial thought that they'd disapproved of the cause turning out even worse than she could have imagined. But they'd been watching her and managed to capture her and try and torture her to get information on her brother and the Order, and when that didn't work she was put under the Imperius Curse and forced to kill Evvie, then got framed?

Seriously, that realisation is so heartbreaking. It reminds me in a way of what happened to Sirius and the way that he felt about Lily and James's deaths, except this was even worse because Bernie was forced to kill the person she loved herself. It fits in very well with the sort of thing we know the Death Eaters did, and then to take that knowledge back to the beginning and read that section with the new information made everything make a lot more sense. I can't imagine how guilty Benjy would have felt for having dragged his sister into all of this while trying to protect her from danger.

The ending... to reveal that Bernie's in Azkaban, which is not what I expected the place to be at the beginning of this story! And that last line was so chilling and powerful! I think that was probably my favourite line in the story and it just had such an impact, to end it on that note. This really was a fantastic story, Rose, and I'm so glad I caught you in the tag! ♥

Sian :)

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Review #12, by nott theodoreThe Serpent Rises: A Dangerous Game

24th January 2015:
Hello love! Ah, I'm loving all these quick updates and getting the chance to actually read them and review as well!

It was really great to get back to Tor's point of view! I know that we read the prologue from her perspective and I really enjoyed reading the first chapter from Pyxis's point of view, as that gave us a different angle to consider Tor's disappearance and escape from. But this is the first time we've returned to Tor right after what we saw at the end of The Girl From Slytherin and I really enjoyed seeing it. You managed to achieve the midway point than the girl who sounded far more mature in the prologue and the girl that we left at the end of the last novel.

I loved the way that you showed so many different aspects of Tor and Terry's life, their kind of in-between existence and the frustrations and tensions that relate to that. Though they've only been on the run a few days they're already facing difficulties, and I'm glad that you're showing that these are making themselves felt so early on. At the moment the two of them seem to be coping quite well, aside from their desperate need for some money, but I definitely get the impression that things won't remain easy for them, and maybe even the fact of them being on the run together will drive them apart in the end. I hope not, but... I don't know. We saw what happened to Ron during the seventh book, and he'd been friends with Harry and Hermione for years. It isn't easy for anybody.

The Leglimency aspect is really quite scary - the idea that Yaxley is trying to find his daughter when she lets her guard down, and that he's capable of managing that over such distances. No wonder he's so high up in the Death Eaters with those sorts of skills. But I really liked the way that Tor was so aware of that risk and doing all she could to stop it from putting them in danger. At the same time, it's awful for a girl that age to have to face.

The differences in attitude towards Muggles were well emphasised, too. I know that Tor has changed her beliefs quite a lot over the course of these stories, and she's a very different person now than the one that she was when we first saw her, but at the same time she's more willing than Terry to do something like confund Muggles for their survival. I wonder if his attitude about that will change as they become more desperate; I know that Harry and Hermione had to risk that sort of thing a few times to save themselves - maybe it'll be the same.

The introspective section was really interesting. This story has definitely shown the process of Tor becoming a lot more self-aware, but I liked the fact that she still isn't sure that she knows exactly who she is. She's still really young and most people that age aren't certain about things like that, and then placed in the midst of all this, the way she has been, would compound that I think.

This is something tiny, but in a later section you mention the fact that they can't use magic in the vicinity of the hotel as Tor still has the trace on her, which is why she has to travel the Muggle way. How's Terry able to do magic to change her appearance in that case?

I loved the little scene between Terry and Tor as he was changing her features, though - they are so cute together! I'm really glad that they're still in love and able to enjoy that to some extent even in such danger. I really liked the way that he didn't want to let her go and send her into danger the way he had to, but she was so determined that he wouldn't have been able to stop her.

You did a fantastic job of building tension throughout this chapter, by the way. The constant mentions of the thing that she had stolen from her father's office had me wondering constantly what on earth it was that she'd taken, and since you didn't reveal the plan immediately I was wondering what they were intending to do to get the money that they needed.

The train journey was really tense to read, as well! I really couldn't work out that old man - I loved the way that she was so nervous about him talking to her as people generally are in the south so even then it would be weird, but obviously Tor has a lot more to hide. I was trying to work out who the man was when he started talking to her. I wondered if the pink suit might be a clue and he was maybe Dedalus Diggle? (I could just be imagining having read about him wearing pink at some point...) Whoever he is, he's either trying to help her with that mysterious map - and maybe it'll help Tor get out at the end of this, or help her and Terry - or he's planted something that traces her...

And that ending! I can't believe we're only three chapters in and you've already ended on a cliffhanger, as if this story wasn't tense enough already! Please update soon again love, I can't wait to see what happens next!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hola!! :) Hehe, I've been answering my reviews in such a sporadic order recently, but someday I will succeed in responding to all your lovely reviews on Sevenfold and GFS!

I was happy to return to Tor as well! I'm glad you felt like she was somewhere in between, in terms of voice and maturity. The circumstances are really throwing her and Terry out there in a very adult situation with a lot of pressure of keeping safe, so even though Terry already had some experience with it, Tor has to learn to grow up really fast.

Things definitely won't remain easy! They've escaped right at the beginning (in my mind) of when the Snatchers are getting set up and the Ministry is really cracking down on finding Muggleborns since they've been taken over in the last few months. It's a lot of pressure and they definitely won't get along perfectly all the time, but that's all I'll hint at for now. :P

I'm glad you noticed the differences in their beliefs and what they're willing to do because it's certainly something that Terry feels more uncomfortable with than Tor does. She's more worried about self preservation and does have an ingrained contempt towards Muggles, even if she doesn't want to have that prejudice, if that makes sense.

I like your comment about Tor not knowing exactly who she is! She's kind of in limbo right now in a strange way and this sort of experience is really bringing out a new side to her.

Oops, so Tor herself can't do magic, but Terry can, because he's of age. I fixed that to make it a bit clearer hopefully. :)

Tor was very determined and the nature of the mission is one that only she can really do. Also, Tor knows that if she gets caught she's more likely to be okay than if Terry does, since she still has her family connections. It's a bit of Slytherin deduction on her part, I think. :P

Thank you! I wanted there to be some suspense and confusion so I'm pleased that came across. I really liked writing the train scene, and your comment about the south is funny but I can definitely see how it might be true. :P The map will come up later and we'll learn more about him as well.

Got to love the cliff hangers! :D And I hope I'll be able to update sometime soon! Thanks so much for a brilliant review! :D



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Review #13, by nott theodorePlay the Devil: A Closed Circle

23rd January 2015:
Hi, love! So you just seem to be updating everything at once right now and I have no idea how you manage to write so fast and post such great chapters, but I'm very jealous and trying desperately to read and review so that I don't get behind again :P

I was so happy to see Play the Devil updated again! I've missed this story and Rose especially, and it was great to delve back into things here. And even though it's been quite a while since you last updated, because of Rose travelling back to the present day in this chapter it didn't feel like we'd missed out on very much at all.

I really liked how much was going on in the twenty-first century - how there seemed to be so many more people and things around Rose that she had to deal with, compared to the world that she's just left. It really emphasises the differences in the time periods.

The first scene between Rose and Scorpius was really great! So much to comment on but I don't have a lot of time so I'm going to have to try and type quickly because we both know by now short reviews seem to be impossible for me :P I'm still thinking that Scorpius cheated on Rose because of the mention of Cecelia and the way he seemed to shut up a bit then, but it was interesting to see that the sting has gone out of him being around and Rose is seeing him a bit more objectively (well, she's still getting irritated by lots of things he does but slightly more objective than before) because she's developing feelings for Richard and what Scorpius did to her doesn't hurt so much now because of that.

I really liked all the little quirks and aspects that you gave to his character in that scene, since we haven't really seen much of him yet although he's been mentioned quite a bit. The hypochondriac thing definitely sounds annoying! But I'm fairly certain that he's being sneaky about something - didn't he pick up the vial of potion? I'm intrigued about why he said no and what he's going to do with it. And also how Rose will get back to the past again because she must do after other scenes that we've seen.

The scene in St. Mungo's was great, and I especially loved the different ailments that the other patients were suffering from :P It made me laugh that the witch was getting annoyed with their stupidity and directing other people to go in first when she could see their illnesses weren't serious - I feel like that's definitely something a bored receptionist would do! And the donkey thing made me laugh too!

Aw, it was so sweet to see how emotional Rose got to see her mum again, even though her mum couldn't really understand it. It did a great job of emphasising the way that time passes for Rose but not for the others in the present day, and I'm really intrigued about what would happen if Rose ended up spending months in the past - would it translate as just hours in the present day?

Hugo was quite sweet to Rose in the scene between them - a lot sweeter than I was expecting for a teenage boy, but I loved the way that he also got a little protective and then couldn't really care when Rose started telling him about the boy that she'd met. That fit his character so well.

We don't often see the internet making an appearance in stories like this unless it's a wizarding version, but I love Rose knowing enough to head off to the library and use the computers, although it was still obvious that she didn't know what she was doing completely because she couldn't work the mouse properly and didn't know what it was called. But I love the idea of her heading to wikipedia to find out what she can about the people she's met. I am impressed that she resisted clicking on Richard's name, though, because I'm not sure that I would have been able to!

I really enjoyed this chapter and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next, whether people notice that something's changed about her and if she's going to return to the past soon or not!

Sian :)

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Review #14, by nott theodoreUpping The Ante: The Bouncing Properties of Dimes

23rd January 2015:
Hi, Lo! Here for the Gryffie review exchange! I'm really excited that I got paired with you this month because I remember reading the first chapter of your original version of this and wanting to get to your rewrite. Plus its been ages since I read a Maraudets era story so I really enjoyed this!

I think you've got a great first chapter of your novel here! I thought it read very smoothly; even with the different sections the flow was very good and you got your pacing just right. I also really appreciate the fact that you don't dump all the information on is at once. There's still plenty to learn about the plot and the characters in the rest of this novel but at the same time you've included enough that I feel I've got to know the characters, Alexandra especially, through reading this.

I just wanted to say that I really like the title of this as well!

The way that you introduced us to Alexandra throughout this chapter was brilliant. You have clearly got a great handle on her character and that shows because the first person narrative was so consistent and her characterisation was very strong. Having a protagonist like her is going to make me enjoy this even more.

First of all, I love the fact that she's not perfect and doesn't claim to be. She's good at quidditch and those first few paragraphs reveal how much of a perfectionist she is in that area of her life - she's determined to be the best she can be and I think that fits in very well with the Ravenclaw characteristics. At the same time she's not a genius and that was very refreshing, since almost every Ravenclaw character I read about seems to be naturally super intelligent.

Now might be a good time to mention that I love the fact that both beaters on her team are girls. It's very rare to see female beaters and I really like it here. I have to admit that I was wondering why she'd been switched from seeker to beater but that was explained later so that all makes sense now.

Out of the other characters, I really liked Charlie. I think she seems like a great best friend and very fiery and fun.

Since Sirius is going to be the main love interest in this story I'm really intrigued by the glimpse of him we get here, and how that I going to develop into attraction and a relationship between the two.

I thought you wrote all the quidditch really well, especially from the perspective of someone who's playing. It was enjoyable to read Nd I could picture the game taking place in front of me. I also really liked the way you set up this rivalry from the beginning as its going to be interesting to watch it develop. And in spite of my fierce house loyalties, I was cheering when Tom caught the snitch!

Another aspect I really enjoyed here was the dynamics between all the different team mates and the way we got to glimpse Alexandra's relationship with different members of the group. I like the banter that she had with the members she's known for longer and I'm looking forward to seeing Carter in a non quidditch role to see how they act together then. I'm also intrigued about how the rest of her team will react when she begins the eventual romance with Sirius... I'm thinking it might not be too well given the rivalry there!

Haha, even if Alexandra didn't find their prank funny I did, I love the idea of the Marauders deciding to change the colour of Dumbledore's beard while he's eating. It seems like the cheeky sort of thing I imagine them doing and I can definitely imagine Dumbledore being perfectly aware of what's going on but pretending he hasn't noticed because he's secretly enjoying it :P

I really enjoyed this chapter and I'll be back to read and review the next as soon as possible, Lo!

Sian :)

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Review #15, by nott theodoreSevenfold: no brighter light than the look in her eyes

16th January 2015:
Hi, darling!

Ah, I'm finally nearing the end, and I think this will be review 60 on this story :D (which admittedly isn't as big of a landmark as 100 or something like that, but still exciting - for me at least!)

I actually felt really sorry for Ada in that first section of this chapter, even though she is a killer and has, in a way, been brought to justice for it. But the way that you described her experience was so upsetting, and I loved the way that you appealed to all the senses there to really help us imagine it, as it's difficult to imagine what life must really be like in a place like Nurmengard. You conveyed her sense of hopelessness really well, I thought, and the way she hates the idea of just fading into history without a chance to do more. I'm hoping that in the next two chapters we get to find out about what happened with Erik and Ruth and Ada, too.

Oh no, Louis! I kind of want to hit him round the head for how horrible he was to Emily at the beginning of the section. That was so uncalled for! I can understand why he had to bring Neville in, and why Emily is hurt by it, and he should give her some more sympathy and realise why she's so upset. Anyone would be if their father had been taken to prison for murdering people, especially since it's Neville! His comment was so mean and uncalled for.

And, here we go... I thought that Louis was getting dangerously close to Eugenie and here we have him, being guided along by her and about to kiss her! I'm so frustrated reading these sections because I really think that it's Eugenie who's the murderer, and it can't be a good thing if Louis gets closer to her, since I assume that she'll be brought to justice by the end of this story. Then again, if I'm wrong about the killer then it might be alright...

I do think that Eugenie likes Louis, as well, though, otherwise she's very good at faking her reactions! I felt sorry for Molly seeing how close they'd got, and I'm wondering what it was that she had to show Eugenie that Louis couldn't know about!

The piece of paper that Eugenie found and showed to Louis is really intriguing. I'm torn between knowing whether it was genuine and Theodore Nott really did break off links with Draco, or thinking that it's been fabricated and used as evidence to convince people that Nott is responsible for the murders. I really can't decide which, but I'm currently leading towards the former, as I thought I detected a bit of guilt and regret in Eugenie's attitude and if she was the one who targetted Malfoy that would fit, especially if he didn't actually have the links she thought he did with Nott.

I loved the run-in with Ginny, and all the little things she kept saying :P The idea of Ron finally managing to make Draco vomit slugs just cracks me up - I bet he was so pleased with himself for finally managing it!

Haha, I loved the scene back at the flat, and the way that Louis described it, so disgusted with Steak's presence in the flat and then the fact that he's in his bed, and James's sadness at the alcohol having been vanished :P

I loved the scene between Dominique and Louis! You capture their relationship so well - even though Dominique's the one who's older and should - theoretically - be more responsible - Louis can still reason with her about the fact that she keeps disappearing without telling her family where she's gone. And vice versa: Dominique tells Louis what he really needs to be told about Lucretia and the way that he's behaving around her. I love this, because it really captures the relationship between two siblings once they've grown up, and even if they've not seen each other for ages, they still know each other really well and can give good advice. And then there was the reversion to childhood, too, with the memories of making forts (which would be amazing if you had magic too). I just loved seeing that scene between them and I thought you wrote it so well.

Ah no! So Louis's going to see Ruth/Ada again and hopefully find out who did it! But he thinks it's Emily, and that's so sad, that he'd suspect one of his oldest friends of murdering these people because Neville's under suspicion too... I really don't think it was her, and I do think it was Eugenie, but you have me questioning my beliefs right now and I'm going to have to read on asap to find out!

This was another great chapter - I'm excited to see who it was!

Sian :)

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Review #16, by nott theodoreI Choose You: 1

12th January 2015:
OH MY GOD YOU WROTE ME A STORY YOU WROTE ME A STORY THIS IS AMAZING!

Lo, I can't even write a coherent review right now and I'm really sorry because this is going to just be a mess of rambling and all jumbled up thank yous, but thank you, thank you, thank you for writing me a story! It's so exciting and I still can't really believe that you did this, you're the best Secret Santa ever and this is such a perfect story for me!

Okay, so I want to say that even though James/Lily isn't my OTP at the moment they haven't been replaced and I still love reading about them, so this is perfect, and I don't think I've actually read a story like this one before about them, which traces their relationship from beginning to end in a couple of thousand words, and you did it so brilliantly and gah, it's just amazing!

Also, how on earth did you manage to choose the perfect song? I love Sara Bareilles and I love this song, and to fit it to James and Lily is just so perfect - I'd never have even thought of it in the first place but now reading this, I'm wondering why not. It works so well for them! And I love the way you've chosen just the right lyrics for each section of the story, because that added so much more to it and made it more powerful.

I loved the different sections, and the way that you took us on a journey through their relationship in just short snapshots, not expanding and detailing what went on in between - there was no need for you to write about every moment (there are so many stories that have done that already) because we could imagine it all from seeing the developments between the different scenes.

One of my favourite things about this is that you didn't try and make James appear to be this perfect man - the Prince Charming, as you write here. I always find it so unrealistic that Lily would suddenly find him to be perfect and not get irritated with anything that he does, especially after so many years when he annoyed her with his teasing and immaturity. It seems to be so popular to gloss over that, but I loved the way that here Lily fell in love with the real James - calling him her court jester and showing that she knows what his flaws are and can live with them and love them at the same time, because for me that just captures how I imagine their relationship to be.

I'm so amazed at the way you managed to portray so much in this story - all of the major moments in their relationship, all of the landmarks, so to speak. And yet, in spite of all of these moments being big occasions in their lives, I adored the fact that you didn't exaggerate them at all. I always think it's so easy to make each moment into something perfect and romantic when you're writing a story, but these moments were so real, especially for the time that they were growing up in. Like the marriage proposal - it was perfect, but not because it was traditional in any way. It happened at exactly the right moment for the two of them, and the way that you had James asking when they've just stared death in the face was brilliant.

I think that my favourite of these moments was when James took Lily on a day out, meaning for them to have breakfast and forgetting the actual food :P That's just so realistic and believable for any relationship and that really helped to ground this and make it even better. And then for James to present Lily with their home at the end of that day - ah, I was fangirling so much at that moment it's embarrassing (let's pretend it didn't happen? Secret reader/writer pact, right?)

Even though it was so sad to see how upset Lily was with James for ruining the dinner with Vernon and Petunia, I thought it was great that you included that because it balanced out the story and demonstrated that they more than went through their share of difficulties, rather than having a completely smooth path to love and happiness.

All of these moments were so adorable and sweet though, the first kiss and the 'I love you' moments and then the way that Lily realises James has changed, even if his friends haven't and her friends can't see it. You really did a fantastic job of building up a clear picture of their relationship!

Ah, I meant to say this earlier too (but jumbled review, I'm too excited about having a story written for me) but I love the narrative voice that you use with this! I think you capture Lily really well and I really like the way she addresses these moments to James (you), and that fits in so perfectly with the song too.

The ending! ♥ I was so happy that you chose to end the story there rather than continuing onto becoming parents and their death, because this way it worked so well with the song lyrics, the day that they choose to commit to each other for the rest of their lives. And not just that, but you gave them their happy ending as well and that just made me smile so much!

I'm sorry for this rubbish and rambly review, but I really loved this story, Lo, and I can't believe that you wrote it for me - that's so sweet of you! ♥ ♥ ♥ Thank you!

Sian :)

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Review #17, by nott theodoreMagpie: The Legend of the Gemini Crowns

12th January 2015:
Hey, lovely! Eep, I was so excited to see that
you'd updated this and not abandoned it - and I
know that I've still got to finish reading and
reviewing Sevenfold, but that's
completed and this is technically a WIP and I
don't want to let myself get as behind as I was
last year with all your wonderful stories!

Ah, I loved the opening and the way that there
was a bit of humour injected into the section
with Verity thinking exactly what I was
thinking as far as the wizarding addresses are
concerned; they're unnecessarily precise, I
think! But I was intrigued to see that she
could finally meet with Margaret Macauley and
start to find out more about what happened to
poor Penelope!

Ah, I really liked seeing Verity giving the
croissants to her friend Wendy (also oh my
goodness I'm living in France and you
just managed to make me crave croissants, how
is that possible?!) and how sweet she was
there, although I'm wondering if there's
something going on and maybe Wendy's giving
someone information about Verity or something,
since I feel like you were giving us a clue
when you talked about what kind of drink she
smelled of.

So, the fairy tale (if it can be called that)!
I loved the title for it, and I really liked
the way that your narrative style shifted in
that section - it was still recognisable as
your writing, but it fit better with the tone
of a fairy tale/legend like that than Verity's
voice. And I'm so intrigued by the actual
legend itself! It's so original to come up
with something like that which could have been
included in certain versions of Beedle's works
but then taken out of others, and it was jam-
packed with symbolism and different interesting
things that I thought made it read brilliantly.
It was so rich in detail as well as the
language matching the fairy tale and I just
thought it was a great addition, especially
since we know how much Verity loves collecting
stories as her version of jewels. And I really
loved your explanation of how the Magpie poem
came about, because of this wizarding event
that's then leaked into Muggle culture too. It
was so clever!

Hmm, I'm intrigued about what was going on with
Borgin while Verity was out - and wondering
whether he suggested her taking a break because
he knew those people were coming... I'm
certainly inclined to think so at the moment.
Part of me wonders whether these are Death
Eaters but at the same time I'm kind of
wondering if they're connected to this Order of
the Gemini that Margaret Macauley goes on to
mention during their meeting, especially since
he snapped out a denial when she asked him if
he'd heard of the story. Although I think I
have to agree with his assessment of Sebastian
:P

The meeting with Margaret Macauley was really
interesting, and yay, Verity's finally find out
what Penelope was working on when she was
killed! I'm intrigued about whether her death
was actually related to the Death Eaters at all
now or if she uncovered something while she was
working on this article. Also, please don't
make Verity die in this story! This
possibility just came to me and I'll be so sad
if it happens - half of the reason that she's
mentioned in Jigsaw at all is because of this
story!

That girl that Verity bumped into as she was
leaving... was she following her? Somehow
connected to Macauley? Nothing at all to do
with the plot and just an extra? I think
you're making me paranoid in my search for
details :P

The scene when Verity went to go and visit the
twins was so great - you write them really
well, and I love the way that you capture their
voices and their sense of humour! I don't
think that's easy to do at all and you manage
to write it perfectly, especially the banter
between them, putting each other down and
calling each other ginger and stuff :P

Ah, George is so cute, getting embarrassed and
blushing and stuff around Verity, and being
determined to find a way to make her forgive
him too! I also loved the way that Fred was
there giving him space but at the same time
chipping in every now and then and not being
afraid to put his brother down a bit in front
of prospective love interest - that's
definitely something that I've experienced and
it felt so realistic! Hehe, their nickname for
her was great, I loved the way that Fred came
up with it - for some reason, that really felt
like it fit in his mental processes, from what
we see of them in the books!

And oh, yes, that did escalate quickly :P I
wasn't expecting it to happen so soon in the
story but I did expect it to happen sooner or
later - now I'm intrigued to see how she reacts
to it and where they go from here!

This was another fantastic chapter and I'm so
curious about all the developments - I'm really
pleased to see this story back and being
updated! ♥

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hey Sian! :D Haha the structure of this review is so funny, weird how it did that. It's like a poetry review. :P

I feel so guilty about neglecting this story! My goal for this year is to update it at least once a month so with fingers crossed hopefully that will come true, because I really missed Verity!

Haha, wizarding addresses are pretty silly. :P I'm glad you liked this chapter, it was a lot of fun to write and an important one for the mystery aspect of the story. Wendy has been around since the beginning but there is an important scene coming up with her which is where the story takes a big shift... but that's all I'll say for now. :P

I loved writing the fairytale! It was my favourite part of the chapter by far. Verity does love collecting stories, and I like how in the Potterverse any fairytale can have some sort of truth because it's all magical anyway.

We know from canon that Borgin likes to help powerful people and keep his own nose clean while still profiting, so those are very good guesses. :P

Aw!! Yay, that makes me so happy! Verity is one of my favourite main characters to write (sometimes even more than Tor) and I love reading about her as well.

Hehe, well being paranoid is always a good thing, right? Especially in mysterious stories!

I'm so excited that you like how I write the twins! I don't think I really measured the difficulties of canon characters when I began this story, so it's a real relief to hear that. The banter is quite entertaining to write. And I imagine the twins wanting to help one another flirt but also not being able to resist embarrassing them a bit - and I imagine them being even worse if one of their other siblings is trying to flirt with someone and they can gang up against them.

Hehehe. I knew that scene was coming for a long time and I had the morning after scene written a while ago, so I was excited to finally have it happen. The next chapter is going to be quite emotional and eventful.

Thanks so much for the wonderful review, Sian! You're the best! :D



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Review #18, by nott theodoreL'optimisme: Silence

11th January 2015:
Hi Laura! Finally here for our swap - I've been so excited to read and review this because I have to admit to reading the first couple of chapters and then stopping because I felt guilty not reviewing, but re-reading this chapter has just blown me away all over again.

I'm actually finding it kind of hard to find the right words for this review; I know that I'm going to end up rambling on and not saying anything remotely helpful, but I can't help it. This was amazing - it was so beautiful, the story and the writing, and I'm so impressed and jealous at the same time because of your talent for writing.

Albus/Gellert isn't a pairing that I've ever really read a lot of, to be honest - mostly one-shots, from what I can remember. But this - one chapter in and you have me shipping these two together so hard that it's slightly (more like really) breaking my heart to know that the two of them can't end up together at the end, and to think of everything that passed between them in their lifetimes - I wonder if, had it not been for Ariana's death, they both could have turned out much differently (that sounds like I'm kind of wishing Albus was bad or something and this is all your fault, I hope you know that!)

I love the narrative style that you used in this chapter. The first person was brilliant, and I think you did a great job of capturing Albus as a character; he's not the wise, old wizard that we see in the books yet, but in spite of that there are plenty of elements and character traits that make him recognisable as the headmaster we all know and love. Here he's much younger, more inexperienced - although he's already suffered heartbreak and loss that nobody should have to at such a young age.

There was such a lovely, dreamy quality to the prose here - Albus seemed to drift a little between different events and moments in his life that held significance, although they were all clearly connected and there was no trouble following that at all. But the tone was nostalgic, wistful; he wanted to be back in those days before everything went wrong, waking up with Gellert in his arms. I really loved the way that came across. And I thought the fact that he addressed the story to Gellert made this read almost like a love letter that Albus has written years after their separation, when he knows that the time for their confrontation is coming.

Just going back to the beginning of this chapter - that was honestly one of the most beautiful, lyrical passages of writing I've seen at the opening of a story. You know how much I love languages, and so anything remotely connected to them and the way that language is used I will also love, but I thought it was so clever to have Albus musing on the power of words and silence here before leading that into the story of his romance with Gellert.

The description - well, I'm pretty sure I've already raved about your talents for description in previous reviews on your work, but it was simply stunning here. I'm seriously jealous of the way that you make words flow so naturally and yet so beautifully.

I absolutely loved the recollections of Gellert and Albus together, waking up in the mornings in each other's arms - although there was a tinge of sadness to it because Albus was remembering all of this with regret because it was over, I thought you did a fantastic job of capturing their young love affair, the way that they were drawn to each other and fell in love so deeply during that summer. It was also great to see another side to Albus, one which is much more playful and daring; the images of him trying to jump over garden fences to escape Bathilda had me giggling. I really liked the way that you showed them as young and slightly immature in ways, but didn't undermine the love that they felt for each other.

This was so rich in detail as well, and I'd love to comment on all of them but I simply don't have time or the characters to do so. One thing that I found really intriguing was the fact that Albus mentions the other men that Gellert's reported to have relationships with over the years after he flees, and the fact that this appears in the papers. I don't know why, but I was really pleased that you chose to include that piece of information - because everything in the series is told from Harry's perspective, we never really find out anything about wizarding society's stance on homosexuality etc., so I liked seeing that. Although I felt sorry for Albus when he was so sad about the idea of Gellert with other men!

The scene when they're all arguing with each other and then it escalates into a fight and duel is so well written; the events there were kind of chaotic, and that's how Albus must have perceived them at the time since they never knew who it was that was responsible for killing Ariana. And then afterwards, I loved the way that you wrote his reaction to what had happened, the numb sort of disbelief, and the grief finally setting in after the shock begins to wear off.

The final section was so tinged with sadness that I felt so sorry for Albus reading it, thinking he had to go through that. He had so much regret in his life and in spite of all that had happened, he still loved Gellert - and then he had to do the unthinkable and face him, and eventually capture him. Wah, I'm getting all sorts of feels and this is only the first chapter!

If you can't tell by this review (kind of a monster, sorry for landing you with this :P), I absolutely adored this chapter and I'll be continuing to read and review this even without swapping (although sometimes you may need to poke me about it!). Thanks so much for swapping, lovely! ♥

Sian :)

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Review #19, by nott theodoreSevenfold: everything that happened, everything you saw

9th January 2015:
Hey darling! So unfortunately life got in the way and I didn't get round to reading and reviewing the rest of this story before the end of December/2014, but I've got a chance to read a bit more of it now and I want to try and finish it as soon as possible because I've been really enjoying it (and when I finish this, I'll be up-to-date on all your novels/novellas, I think :D)

I knew it! I was suspicious reading the last chapter about the fact that Ada had been the one to die when Ruth had always seemed so much weaker, and she'd been the one who was ill as well - it made more sense to me that it was actually Ada who survived, but took Ruth's identity as her own so that she could be released and start a new life. In a way I think she went some way to constructing her own legend with that move - by Ada 'dying' in prison, she became both a myth and a hero at once, and the only person left to tell her story would of course be able to tell it sympathetically.

It was really sad to see that Ruth just wasted away, though, especially when she heard that Joachim was suspected to be dead as well - it's as if she just lost all will to live and fight, and even Ada's attempts to sustain her with stories of resistance did nothing. I'm really curious about who Erik is, too, and what conflict he caused between Ada and Ruth - I hope we discover that in the next few chapters!

Draco's alive! Now there's a twist that I wasn't expecting, although I don't think that all of his ranting and raving that people are calling nonsense is that nonsensical at all... I wonder if he knows full well who poisoned him and is just too scared to say, or isn't able to get the words out yet for some reason? He certainly seems to recognise some sort of motive behind it and I didn't really think that he was behind the murders in the first place.

I really loved reading the scene and conversation between Dom and Louis, too, and the way that their relationship works - even though Dom is the older sister, Louis here is the more responsible one who's trying to take care of her. And the part about Steak just arriving in the room with no clothes on made me laugh so much :P

And so Louis finally does what he should have done a long time ago, and goes to talk to Ruth/Ada! I really loved that scene, and all the description that you included - the way that she was so aged and yet I could still sense some sort of pride when she talked about the Sevenfold Killer and what they'd done, as if she still feels justified in her actions. I liked the little hints that we were able to pick up on though, about the fact that Ruth/Ada knows more about the Sevenfold Killer than anybody else alive - of course she does, since she's the one who committed all the murders :P

But all of the things she said were so interesting and intriguing! I get the feeling that she knows something she can't really tell Louis but she's trying her best to help him anyway, by giving him some little hints that will help him to work out who the murderer is if he can process them all and put all the pieces together in time.

Ooh, that detail with the visitors' book is extremely interesting - and I'll say more about that later on. I did promise to tell you my theory in this review, after all, if I still thought it was the right one!

Alfie seems like a really nice guy! At least, so far - part of me is still worried that you've just introduced a character like him now because he's somehow connected to the rest of the mystery, and I don't want him to be! I really liked the way that the others were carrying on like normal, though - and the banter between James and Louis was great - because I think it would be too easy to make it seem like, just because Louis's investigating these murders, everyone else becomes absorbed in them too, but that's not going to be the case.

And now... onto my theory. I've had this for a fair few chapters now and I really hope that I'm right about it, but at the same time I don't want to be because then Louis will be in a really difficult position!

So... this is what we know (I think). The copycat killer is a woman. The copycat killer isn't really a copycat killer at all but is someone who's murdering people according to some sort of method/reasoning, building up to one big murder with the seventh victim and using the Sevenfold Killings link to mask the murders. This person is very cunning and has planned the murders out extremely carefully. They also seem to be able to operate, undetected, inside the Ministry... which makes me think that they're working at the Ministry, at the very least...

I think it's Eugenie Bones. Right now you're either smiling because I'm writing or laughing hysterically at how far wrong I am with my theory, but I'll explain why I think it's her. First of all - obviously - Eugenie's a girl, and she's an Auror too, so not only is she highly talented and strong as far as planning and organisation go, but she's got access to the Ministry and as the Auror investigating these murders can easily throw suspicion in other directions and won't be suspected when she's the one poking around about it.

As for her motives... although I can't come up with a solid motive for every single one of the murders, but I think she's building up to trying to murder Theodore Nott. He's a senior figure in the Ministry and could (by an outsider) be seen as an equivalent to Herr Nacht, but I actually think that her reasons are more personal. We know that Susan Bones was badly treated by Eugenie's father - I think that Eugenie's dad is Theodore Nott, and she recently found out and is taking revenge on him and other people who either helped him conceal it or were involved in the situation in some way. Since Hannah and Susan were best friends, that would also explain why Neville would know and couldn't say anything about it to save himself... and I have no characters left :P Great chapter!

Sian :)

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Review #20, by nott theodoreThe Art of Small Talk: The Singleton State

8th January 2015:
Hey Kiana! ♥ Ah, I'm sorry that it's taken me so long to get to review this chapter but things have been really hectic recently - I was kind of hoping that I'd still get the first review when I got round to it, but it looks like Benedrick got there before me :P

*parties with you for this passing 50K and becoming a novel*

I loved this chapter! I know you've been really hectic and busy but I've missed this story and I was so happy to see it updated again!

After seeing Audrey's mum come back I was wondering how she would react when they finally had to talk about some of the bigger issues that lie in their past, because obviously she doesn't like confronting issues that could be awkward and this one - her mother's abandonment of her - is bound to be difficult to talk about.

I thought you approached it really well, though, and wrote her reactions and feelings brilliantly for the scene that was taking place. I liked the way that she kind of tried to make small talk and divert the attention away from the issue and then suddenly she comes blurting it out and can't help it - and then that leads to a reunion of sorts between her and her mum.

What her mum said, about having loved her too much, is really sweet, and I can understand why Audrey would be able to forgive her after hearing something like that and knowing that it's true, although I'm glad that you didn't instantly make everything okay between them and give them the perfect relationship straight away.

I also adored the detail about her mum reappearing in all the family pictures again, so that she'd actually been there all along - I think it's such a clever idea that someone might go missing from pictures when they abandon their family or something similar. And the little detail about her mum's scent of lavender was great, too - I think that's the sort of thing she'd always remember even if she tried to forget her mum.

The conversation between the girls is always fun to read; the characters are so likeable and vibrant. The line about Audrey's cat being a secret alcoholic was hilarious - it had me cracking up! But I really liked her friends' assessment of the situation between her and Oliver and her and Percy, and that - of course - Audrey doesn't want them to talk about the chance of her and Percy because she's not ready to believe it herself. The little story about Jemima and Charlie fit in well, too!

Ah, a little glimpse of Percy and Audrey together and finally they manage to get through a scene without arguing! I was so proud of them! I'm hoping things can start to develop here between them now ♥

Ooh, that twist about Penelope was really interesting! I didn't like her from the outset because she was so annoying and mean to Audrey but I didn't really expect her to end up tied up in something like this, and I didn't really expect something like this to turn up in the story either - I love all the layers and dimensions to this novel! I'm really intrigued about what they were doing and what they wanted from Audrey's office - is it the potion that she made for Draco?

This was a great chapter, and I'm looking forward to seeing how things develop from here - I'm sorry that this was only a short review, though!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hey Sian, it's fine I've been terrible at responding to all your lovely reviews recently, so don't worry about it at all! Bahaha, yes, Benedrick was quick speedy at reviewing this!

Aw, I'm glad you liked the think with Audrey's mother, because I think though Audrey does appear to be very confident a lot of the time, she does some have some issues with her mother and getting closer to people because even though it may seem as if it's just awkwardness, I have a feeling it might be something more deep-rooted and linked back to her mother.

No, Audrey and her mother's relationship is definitely a WIP, as there is a lot of trust which needs to be re-built, and I think the fact that they've been apart for so long means they actually need to get to know one another again and understand what they've been up to in the past few months. Plus, even though Audrey is more lenient when it comes to giving second chances compared to other people, she does want to be sure it really is the right thing to do first.

Haha, I'm glad you liked the thing with the family pictures because I can't remember who it was with but J. K. Rowling did something similar and it really is true. These magical pictures are like mini versions of their lives so it makes sense that if there has been some sort of rift between people it's echoed in that too.

Aw, I'm glad you liked that as it's a lot of fun to write as it's just nice and easy banter. Bahaha, yes, Jemima and Charlie was a random one to throw in but I did want Charlie to have a romance of his own even if J. K. said he didn't end up with anyone in the end.

Yes, things really do start developing from here! You'll just have to watch and wait really! :D

Hmm, hmm, hmm, well, sort of linking to the above, things do start changing from this point onwards in regards to Percy and Audrey and Penelope and the potion. I guess you could say that they're all linked but how you'll have to wait and see.

Aw, this was a really long review so don't worry about it, and thank you for it as it was so lovely! ♥

-Kiana


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Review #21, by nott theodoreThe Serpent Rises: Don't Look Them in the Eye

7th January 2015:
Yes, yes, yes!

This is a phone review and it's going to have to be much shorter than my normal ones since I should be asleep because I have to be up in five hours for work but I saw that you'd posted the second chapter of this and couldn't resist reading it and dropping by with a review!

I loved reading this from Pyxis's point of view! It was such a different perspective to start the story with, going back in time from the prologue but switching to the events at Hogwarts which leaves a lingering uncertainty about what's actually happened to Tor and Terry. It's such a clever way to start the story and keep us reading (as if me continuing to read was ever going to be in doubt!) and I really loved the insight that we got here into Pyxis and the way he thinks about things.

As a quick aside, I love the choice of the lyrics for the chapter title (not only because I love Les Miserables) - they fit so well and could symbolise a number of aspects here.

Back to Pyxis... it was great to see his concern for Tor at the beginning of this chapter when he hadn't got a letter from her in over a week; a little detail like that makes it clear that her escape has been concealed so far as much as it can be but it was clear that it was going to come out somehow. But he really cares about her and even though in the months before this she was becoming more distant from him and the others she'd grown up with, I'm really glad that he feels that friendship is still there.

Phin is just so horrible in this! At the beginning of the series I thought he and the others were all nice guys, but I think this really shows clearly the way that war can bring out the best and the worst in people and in Phin it has clearly brought out the worst. He's so awful when he talks about Taurus and in a way I'm glad that Taurus left the school - it would have been hell for him to stay. And I wonder if he and Tor will come across each other in the next few months.

The humiliation of Flitwick made me sad and angry at the same time. I can see why so many students were outraged by that and also a lot of them too scared to do anything. If even the teachers are in danger then what hope do the poor students have?

I found the little snippet about Demelza and Jimmy really interesting...and it has me asking lots of questions, perhaps more than I'm intended to! I'm glad that Pyxis let them off and that shows he is really still conflicted and trying to find his place in this war. I also can't help wondering if the two Gryffindors were out as a couple of doing something related to the DA, and maybe that's whoDemelza was referring to by saying we... Maybe Pyxis will end up helping them, in some way.

You wrote the meeting with their father so well! I really liked the way that we knew what it was about but there was still some suspense there since Pyxis didn't know, and perhaps they'd have news of what had happened after the end of the last novel. The build up worked brilliantly, with little details like Daphne being distraught and then Mr Nott trying to tell them in private. I can easily imagine that Yaxley would want to keep it private and I can't quite tell if his determination to get Tor back was because he loves her or because he's ashamed and embarrassed and wants her punished. Malfoy's outlook was scary though, but I'm hoping that was more bitterness because he'd been punished for her escape.

The tensions between all the boys in the room at that point were really realistic, and I liked the way they played out.

Pyxis's reaction was so believable! I loved the way that he was clearly experiencing so many emotions at once, hurt and anger andfear and betrayal... He doesn't hate Tor, or her escape wouldn't upset him so much, but I loved the way he was battling to hide information from his father at first but then I was terrified that he was going to give her away and also get himself into trouble, so I'm glad that Theo seemed able to stop him before it was too late. I just hope that none of the others really picked up on what he might mean.

I can see Pyxis going one of two ways now after this news... I think either he'll retaliate against what Tor has done and embrace the pureblood mantra more,or I think he could slowly come to see her reasoning and work with the DA while she's away. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that your stories in this universe are all in agreement and that he survived, though!

The moment towards the end between the brothers was sweet, even if Pyxis was so angry and hurt about Tor escaping. I'm really looking forward to seeing Tor and Terry in the next chapter and this was fantastic!

(Oops, so much for the short review attempt... I'm beginning to think it's impossible with your stories!)

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hey Sian!! :D (Hehe... short? Not so much :P)

I'm so glad you liked reading from Pyxis' POV! He's one of those characters in this story that I feel like I know so well and it was kind of surprising that it took me this long to write about him. And yes, to gather suspense about Tor and Terry too. :P

Thank you! I'm glad you commented on the Les Mis lyrics, and a lot of the future chapter titles are actually more lyrics as well for some reason, they just fit the story nicely.

Pyxis definitely will always care about Tor and want her to be okay, but at the same time he's worried about himself as well and what might happen if people knew he was implicated in her secrets. I definitely agree with your point about war bringing out the worst in people. It's not that they're bad people naturally, but the group pressures and power granted to them makes Phin and the others just so nasty.

That's so true - undermining teachers like Flitwick is just so awful but also a way of showing the students that they don't have any power themselves. I love how you picked that out!

There's definitely a chance they could be related to the DA, and I'm excited to explore the events at Hogwarts in this story through not only Pyxis, but also Terry's friends and other members. I'm excited the encounter got you asking questions too.

I feel like Yaxley is feeling a bit of both. He's of course sad that his daughter betrayed him, and that she's in danger, but he's also scared for the rest of his family and what might happen to them because of Tor's actions. I'm glad you liked the suspense in that scene, and all the tensions. Pyxis and Malfoy never really liked one another so it felt natural that they would be at one another's throats in this tense time.

I'm glad you found it believable! Pyxis isn't as good at hiding his emotions as Tor has become, and the pressure of keeping himself under control is a big weight to carry. Hmm, very interesting points about which direction Pyxis might choose, and he definitely will have to face a choice at one point in a similar way that Tor did.

Thank you so much, Sian! I loved this review (I know I have so many more of yours to reply to but I couldn't resist replying here :P). Thank you!!! ♥



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Review #22, by nott theodoreThe Serpent Rises: Prologue

2nd January 2015:
Hi, darling! So you were very sneaky in putting this up without me noticing, but I was so excited to see that you'd posted the first chapter for the sequel already! You know I love this title but this was such a great start to the story!

Hopefully you don't mind me commenting on this, but I just wanted to say how much the quality of your writing has improved since the first prologue that I read, coming up two years ago now. Of course your writing has always been amazing, and lovely to read, but it has developed so much in the last couple of years and it always impresses me when I read your work. The words just flow so brilliantly and become so evocative.

The prologue here was very different to that first prologue I read. Of course we've seen that scene now towards the end of TGfS so I'm assuming that we'll discover the truth of this scene before the end of this novel as well - I hope so, at least! Whereas the prologue with Terry being interrogated was terrifying and made me ask all sorts of questions, this wasn't quite as scary as we know that Tor has got through the war, and while I'm still asking questions they're different because I'm more familiar with the characters.

Tor seems to have grown up so much in just this prologue compared to the end of the last novel. That change can't have been. easy to write but you captured it so well. This narrative was the voice of someone young who'd been forced to grow up before she should because of circumstances. I can't imagine what she's seen and done in that time, and I'm looking forward to finding out!

It was great to see that her opinions on blood status haven't changed from the girl we saw at the end of the last novel, and that she hates having to own the name Yaxley as her own in order to sign the documents. I loved that detail, by the way - the idea that all purebloods or people connected to the Dark Lord would be forced to sign documents assuring their loyalty afterwards, as a sort of preventative measure. I'm not sure it's right, particularly with people as young as Tor, but I can understand the idea behind it and believe that it could happen.

As for what's actually happening in this scene - I'm so curious! The dark haired boy mentioned...is that Terry? I'm really hoping that it is and that he survived the war with Tor! It seems like it could be as she seems to trust him to some extent but there's a distance between them that I was surprised to see if it is Terry. I wonder whether, rather than Terry dying, he and Tor simply begin to drift apart, and that's the reason she ends up with Draco. I don't want that to be the case but this prologue makes me think it might be!

I'm really intrigued about who is at the door as well, where the two of them are and who's been calling to try and see Tor with her refusing to meet. There are so many questions that I'm asking already from this short prologue!

Sorry this review is a little on the short side but I'm on my phone and trying not to land you with a monster this early on in the year! This was a wonderful chapter though and I can't wait to read the rest of the novel and find some answers to my questions! ♥

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hey Sian!! :D I know I have so many other reviews of yours that I want to give thoughtful responses to but I just couldn't resist this one. It means so much to me that you're continuing to read this story and all of your support is just amazing.

Ahh, thank you!! That means so much to me. The change in the writing is part of the reason with why I'm only doing minor edits to the original chapters of TGFS: I like having them there as relics of how I've grown as a writer. You've helped me so much over the past year and a half and some of the credit certainly belongs to you for all your support. Thank you so much! ♥

This scene will be right around the end of this novel, similarly to the scene at the end of TGFS. I wasn't sure if I should write a prologue or not as I did find it limiting at times at first but TSR is pretty linearly mapped out whereas TGFS wasn't at all, so I'm excited to bring the story there.

She has grown up a great deal! Because I know where Tor ends up and I have a good idea of her voice as a seventeen/eighteen year old, it's so odd for me to look back at how naive she was at the very beginning. I'm so glad you could tell that she grows throughout the course of the novel from the prologue, it's very helpful!

At this point Tor has gone through great trauma with the war and she's really looking at the world negatively - and for good reason! She also feels quite angry with herself and guilty about her family and her own actions. I felt that the government would be really paranoid about the Death Eaters and their children and that would take precedence over being sensitive for people like Tor, which is sad but felt realistic for this time of panic.

Hehe, so sneaky of me that almost all of the main male characters have dark hair, right? :P Well, except for Draco. I'm glad that you're asking these questions and analyzing the way they interact and who he might be. :D

This review wasn't short at all! I loved it - thanks so much, dear!!! ♥



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Review #23, by nott theodoreA white, white world.: A gurgle of clarity.

27th December 2014:
Hi Kiana! As I'm out at the moment this is a phone review so there may be a few typos, but bear with me!

This was beautiful! I really haven't read many stories about Alice at all, and I don't think I can actually remember reading a story set after her illness and yet told from her point of view. You really managed to get inside her mind well for this story and convey her thoughts and emotions - the most prominent of those being confusion and bewilderment - effectively. Even though it was sad at times this was still a lovely and poignant story, and I loved the fact that it had a happier ending for Christmas!

The triplication that you used again here, repeating the same word or phrase at the beginning of a paragraph, was so great in this story. In your story about Snape, it really emphasised his obsession with Lily, but here it had a different effect. It worked brilliantly to emphasise the real confusion that Alice feels about what is going on around her, the way that she tries her best to make sense of what is happening at a time when nothing seems to make sense to her anymore.

I really liked the progression in this story from the beginning, how you started with the beginning of Alice's illness after the torture, when she's surrounded by Healers in the hospital who are trying to help her but at the same time probably dealing with it in the wrong way; there was something almost antiquated about the treatment she appeared to receive at first, with the way that she was subdued. At that point, not long after arriving in the hospital, Alice seems to have an awful existence and I thought you portrayed her fear and confusion really well. But after that point there were subtle differences and things did seem to get better for her slowly, although of course she never regained the life she had once had. It's so sad to thing about what she lost when she was still living after the war.

I loved the way that Alice gradually started to recognise some of her surroundings, even though she couldn't put a name to all of he familiar things and faces. When she started to acknowledge Frank and notice more about his presence it was really sweet because even though she couldn't remember who he was, he was still a comfort to her.

Augusta was so well written here! I think she is such a difficult character to write, but I liked the way that Alice didn't recognise her but liked the stories she told, and that the reader could see through the dialogue how difficult she was finding it to deal with the aftermath of the attack on her son and daughter-in-law as well as bringing up a young child. But I was so glad she was able to give Alice some hope and comfort too.

I think the parts about Neville were the sweetest and most poignant to read. When Alice first vaguely recalled a baby it was so sad to think she couldn't even properly remember her son after what the Death Eaters did, but by the end of the story I was smiling at the reunion. In the glimpse we get from the books, Alice does seem to recognise Neville when he visits and it was lovely to see the first time that happened here. And for Augusta to bring Neville at Christmas and for it to happen then was so moving.

This was a lovely story, Kiana! I hope you're having a wonderful birthday! ♥

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hey Sian! *hides because I've taken ages to respond to this*

Aw, I'm glad you liked it as I've actually only ever read one about Alice which was when the attack was taking place and just the power and imagery in the story has stayed with me, so I've always wanted to have a go at writing Alice, so when this challenge came up and I saw the prompts, I knew I couldn't turn down writing this. I think the fact it takes place at Christmas is probably why I decided to write it, because it means Alice is allowed some hope for once, she can possibly have a glimmer at the end of the tunnel, and I really wanted to have that idea even if it was only for a day.

Haha, yeah, I realised that when I was writing too because though they were both obsessed with things, it was very different things as Snape was with Lily whereas Alice was obsessed with trying to get her past back. I'm really glad that you liked it because I think it's so hard to be able to conceive whatever went on her mind, so it means a lot to me that you thought it was similar!

I know, I think the fact she had this fantastic life before with a great career, girl power, and a husband and son it makes her current condition even sadder, and somehow even sadder than Frank's some reason (though I don't really know why). I always imagine the Muggle world to be slightly more behind in the times, especially when it comes to mental health hence why they knocked her out in that scene. I'm glad that you liked the steps in the relisation because while I know that full awareness never occurred, I imagine she got part of her sense back.

Well, I guess they say true love never dies so that's why she can still sort of remember Frank. More seriously though, I think if you have bonds of love as deep as Alice had for Frank, Augusta and Neville she's bound to remember something even if it was a teeny, tiny thing, so that makes her life seem a little bit better.

Aw, thank you, as she was probably the thing I was most unsure about in this whole story. I think Alice would probably recognise her least out of everyone because obviously there was no romantic love or blood tie, but I imagine they did get on really well beforehand anyhow.

Aw, I know, he's such a cutey, I imagine him being this totally adorable and chubby baby whose cheeks you just always want to squeeze :P I know, I think that scene in OoP is what inspired this as she still seemed to love Neville so much, and treasure those little things she could give him and that was so sweet, I wanted to show that here.

Thank you for this amazing review and sorry for responding to it a month late! :P ♥

-Kiana


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Review #24, by nott theodoreThe Ides of March: Melancholy were the sounds.

26th December 2014:
*sings* Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Kiana, happy birthday to you!

Hello, just stopping by before I go to bed, I've been saving up my review for this chapter since you posted it :P

This was an amazing update, once again - I'm always so impressed by the way you manage to consistently post such high quality writing. The narrative here was so poetic and lyrical, it was really beautiful to read it, and I also think it fits so well with the time that it's set in, with Helena coming from the Founders era and the language being more elaborate - at least in prose - at this point, too.

The opening section, short though it was, grabbed me and pulled me straight back into this story. I know you love patterns of three and this one worked really well, with the contrasts that Helena makes between existing, living, and being. I really liked the way that, at such a young age, she had already come to separate her life into those different states and recognise the differences that it meant for her as a person and what caused them. I think it's also a great way to illustrate the impact that Eleanor has had on her life.

Rowena is really horrible! I think this characterisation of her is one of the most interesting I've ever seen, because even though I've not read a lot of Founders era stories, the majority of stories I have read portray her as an intelligent, caring woman, a mother figure only surpassed by Helga. But in this story she's completely detached from Helena, almost as if she isn't related to her in anyway, and she just sees her daughter as a burden. It's strange when I think that Helena's father doesn't seem to have been around for a lot of her life, but at the same time I know that in rich families, parents were a lot more detached from their children at this point.

Rowena's behaviour also makes a lot of sense because I know this story is building up towards Helena's decision to flee her home instead of getting married, and to steal the diadem. Rowena is so derogatory about her daughter - the fact that she chooses her husband without consulting her doesn't really surprise me, as young people in Helena's class had very little say who they married at this time, but in other aspects it is so insulting. She really underestimates her intelligence and I think it's great that you demonstrate that intelligence isn't everything.

The imagery that came into play with Rowena, the way that blue seems connected to her mother for Helena, was lovely, and you know that I love little details like that.

I wondered, when they talked of strange behaviour, whether Rowena and Godric have noticed anything about the relationship that Eleanor and Helena have, although I'm thinking that they don't as they wouldn't have accepted it so easily.

Even though Rowena is so mean to her daughter, so inconsiderate of her feelings, Helena is still conscious of trying to please her, with the way she walks and tiny things like that. It's very hard to please Rowena, though!

All of Helena's musings on the differences between men and women were so interesting to read! I could understand the way that she would question those details and her identity as well, and it does seem ridiculous that men and women were expected to have normal relationships when married if they weren't allowed to spend time together before that.

It was so sad to see Helena talking to Eleanor about the marriage that she's being forced into once she leaves school, and the way that it's safer for the two of them, in a way, but at the same time it's against their true nature and all their feelings for each other. The inclusion of the references to hell and the devil were nicely placed there, showing that they both question, at times, what they're doing and feeling, and what they've been brought up to believe in. Even though Helena seems to accept it to an extent here, I think that before long she'll realise that she can't be without Eleanor and that's what's going to trigger her escape.

It was so sad to see how alone Helena felt at the end of this chapter, too, with the way that she didn't have anyone to really turn to with her problems, even if they were slightly taboo at this point. It wasn't a happy existence at all!

I'm intrigued about what the Baron's presence will do - I wonder whether Eleanor will become jealous, or if they'll be forced into the open and perhaps that causes Helena to flee? I'm looking forward to the next chapter! ♥

Sian :)

Author's Response: *hides* I'm so sorry about how long it's taken to get to this chapter, I am a terrible person and I hope you forgive me! ♥

Aw, I'm so glad that you liked the language as I was a little worried that I was overdoing it because it's so much fun I have a tendency to get carried away by it all, but that means so much to me to hear that!

I'm so glad that you liked that, because whilst I was writing this we were briefly exploring what it was to be in philosophy, so that really caught my interest and it somehow floated into this story. Bahaha, my love for the rule of three, I need to calm down on it but it's so good. I'm glad that you liked it, as it does show what a difference one person can have in your life which is amazing once you think about it.

Okay, I'll quickly explain Helena's father before going to Rowena as that might help a bit, but I've been deliberately vague when it comes to Helena's father as you'll find out later on but the reason for why he isn't there has a lot to do with why Rowena is the way she is. I do feel sort of bad depicting her in such a horrible way, but I think though intelligence is obviously a good thing, it has the ability to make you very detached and cold and Rowena has grown in love with the idea of it so much that she rejects everything which doesn't fit with the ideal of it if that makes any sense.

I'm glad that you liked the different take on intelligence because whilst there is the erudite form of intelligence, there is also the emotion and common sense forms of it which Rowena clearly lacks as she overrides everything that her daughter. I'm glad that you liked the set up for her escape for it too, as making Rowena like this does make it clearer why Helena did what she did.

As for the strange behaviour, I think they are aware that perhaps their daughters are flightier and much more away with their dreams, but they definitely aren't making a connection between the two of them yet.

I know, it's so sad as Rowena just isn't worth the amount Helena loves her :(

Bahaha, that was my sneaky bit of feminism in there, and it was much worse before with the patriarchy of the Medieval society crushing all women's dreams but I had tone it down considerably :P

Ooh ooh ooh, I'm liking your theory there, as all of those things do definitely play a key part in what happens in the final chapter. The pressure of time is an obvious one as that will rush them into doing things, hell will force them to question what is right and wrong further and whether the divine really controls all their lives, and all of that sort of leads to the escape. In a way...

Thanks for this fabulous review and sorry for taking aeons to respond to it! ♥

-Kiana


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Review #25, by nott theodoreSevenfold: gone away, i watched you disappear

14th December 2014:
Hi, darling!

Ooh, things are getting so exciting in this story and it's sucked that I've been away from it for so long, but there's only a couple of chapters left now and I'm determined to finish reading and reviewing before the end of the month - let's hope that nothing drastic gets in my way!

Also, I'm not ready yet to commit to telling you my suspect, but if I still think it's the same person as I have for the last few chapters after reading chapter nine, I'm going to tell you then. (Hold me to that :P) For now, I'll just say that I think revenge is probably the motive behind it.

The opening was really well written, and so powerful. I wondered if, after seeing Ada die in the last chapter (or possibly die, if she didn't stay alive and just take Ruth's name and I'm so intrigued and suspicious of everything you're writing in this story), we'd still return to her and see more of the dual storyline, because I think it works really well, so I was glad that we did! I really liked the impact that the encounter with Herr Nacht seemed to have on her; he'd been the long-term target during the killings, but when she eventually got there and he spoke to her, it was something she hadn't been expecting, which made her falter for a moment.

I think my favourite part in that section was when Ada looked in the mirror and saw the killer that she'd become, a different person from the young girl who'd borne the name Ada Treuherzig. I really liked the way that she'd prepared for the murder for so long and yet was unprepared, and by giving away her name she let go of her freedom as well and got caught. I also loved the way that the name Ada Red came about, since before this point her identity wasn't known.

I'm also wondering if, whether she'd been successful in killing Herr Nacht without being caught, she'd have continued with the murders and eventually maybe even targeted Grindelwald himself? Or had she always planned to murder just the seven people?

Ooh, ALSO wondering what happened to the sixth victim, and why she didn't want to talk about it...

And then back to the present again... the transitions are always done so well in this story and I was pulled from the past, and made to care about what was happening in the present straight away with the scene that opened that section.

Poor Neville! I'm convinced that he didn't do it, even though the questioners did quite a good job of linking him up with the event and the motives that might lie behind it - I hadn't even considered half of them, to be honest. But he's Neville and if it's him then I'm going to be really sad and upset. I'm so curious about why he took the Invisibility Cloak really, if it had always been his intention to go to Azkaban or if he'd done it for somebody else... The promise that he mentioned seems to have wrapped him up and made him look more suspicious as well, because he won't break that promise and tell people about what's behind it, but that means he's in more trouble. It's so sad.

I'm really glad that you included the detail about Emily having been pulled off the case completely and banned from entering the Ministry too until the issue with her father has been resolved. I think that's very believable, but the sort of detail that's often overlooked. It wouldn't be fair to keep her on the investigation with divided loyalties that way.

Oh, I loved the section with Dominique! In a way it felt like a bit of light relief in the middle of all the death and murder in this story, although there were definitely some serious themes in there as well (not sure I approve of the way that she got the guys to let her talk to Louis, for instance). But I really loved Dom's character and the way that she was so determined to protect the animals in the woods that she got herself arrested. I'll admit that charging the Muggles on a unicorn wasn't the best idea, though :P And I agree, the Ministry should be doing something to protect magical creatures from Muggle construction!

Steak was also great, and I loved the way that Louis just silenced him and the other two carried on playing Exploding Snap as though it was fine :P

Forgive me, but you know I'm a French nerd - I think 'Il n'y a personne d'autre pour m'aider' would work better, and Dom would use 's'il te plait' instead of vous since Louis's her brother.

It was great to learn more about Eugenie too, and the way that Louis's getting to know her... it almost sounded like she'd deliberately chosen him to work as her partner and I'm curious about why, other than the comment about Emily and him falling in love, since there was some definite flirting going on. And her past and the story about her father is... interesting. Very interesting.

I wasn't expecting Malfoy to be the next victim! I don't know why I wasn't suspecting him, maybe because people still thought that he'd been the one to do it and he seemed more of a suspect... although unless he has a really convoluted plan, it wasn't him :P I do have a suspect very much in mind and the latest murder fits with it, though! I'm excited to find out if I'm right!

Great chapter, once again!

Sian :)

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