Reading Reviews From Member: nott theodore
  
1,094 Reviews Found

Review #1, by nott theodoreOff-Limits: One: Decisions

23rd October 2014:
Hi Sophie! I'm here for the Gryffie Review Exchange!

The title of this story really caught my attention when I first saw it - I remember noticing it in the recently added pages and thinking that, with the title and summary that you have, it sounded interesting, From what I've read of the first chapter, it also ties in really well with the story content and what's going on here. So anyway, the title alone is really great!

Also, Rose/Teddy! I've only read a few stories about the two of them but I've really enjoyed all of the ones that I have read because it's one of the more unusual ships, and I'm always really interested to see the different ways in which people interpret them together. There are so many different spins that people can put on the portrayal of their relationship, and this is yet another that I haven't seen before, so it's really interesting to see this opening chapter already!

Just a few things first, though, as far as CC goes. I would give this chapter another read through just to catch a few grammatical/punctuation errors. There are a couple of sentences where you should be using a semi-colon instead of a comma and things like that; they're only small details but cleaning those bits up would improve the flow of the story!

I think you had a great opening to this chapter, and that this chapter is a great beginning to the story. That first line certainly grabs my interest, as I don't think I've seen a version of Rose and Teddy which has involved them having an affair and cheating on Victoire and Scorpius. I'm not entirely sure how to feel about that, because I really don't approve of cheating, but I'm interested to see how things will develop from the way that this relationship started off. I can't help feeling that it was very mean and cruel of them to keep this going all the way up to the day when Victoire and Teddy were meant to be getting married, though...

Rose's characterisation was quite different from any that I've seen of her before, as well. I like the idea of her as a writer - it's always interesting to see the next generation children in jobs that aren't the typical ones of Quidditch player or Healer, and something like a writer fits in well as the protagonist - I'm sure lots of us can relate to the things like writer's block! Her attitude towards the relationship that she's got with Teddy is interesting too. I find it believable; she didn't want to fall for him, but now she has and she can't help it, so wants to be with him. And at the same time, she's almost childish and petulant in the way she thinks about her family and their reactions to the news - I wonder what she was expecting? I'm intrigued about what the relationship is like between them, as I can't imagine her parents being supportive of a decision like that when she's cheated with her cousin's fiance!

Another aspect I thought you did really well was introducing some of the other characters and the way that you'll portray them without them appearing. Like we got the sense that Victoire was more boring than Rose, more uptight and less spontaneous. I'm intrigued to see if that's really the case or if that's how it seems through Rose's skewed perspective on things, as well as because of Teddy's boredom with that relationship.

I liked the way that Teddy made an appearance at the end of the chapter, so we'd been hearing about him from Rose's perspective and then got a proper glimpse of him. So they're going to run away together? I haven't seen this before so I'm intrigued about how it'll pan out - I'm thinking that either they'll find happiness together or they'll realise that they're not meant to be together, but I'm interested to see how it turns out!

I'll be back to review more chapters soon - this was a great start!

Sian :)

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Review #2, by nott theodoreBound by Love: Things Least Expected

23rd October 2014:
Hi there! I'm here (belatedly - I'm sorry about that) for our review swap, although I already wanted to get to this story anyway. So congratulations on writing your first story and posting it on HPFF - that's a massive achievement!

Ah, so I love Neville and I was really excited to see that you'd written a story about him - I know that you said this idea just seemed to strike you and took precedence over your other story and I can see why, as it's the sort of idea that would fix in my mind. I think you did a really good job characterising him in this chapter of your story - we got a real sense for the character that we know and love from the books, but we can also see that he's grown up and he's changed a bit too.

I thought you did a great job setting the scene when you opened the chapter as well, using the fact that he was moving into Professor Sprout's office to show the reader that he'd just started a new adventure in his life, when he starts teaching at Hogwarts. I really liked the way you didn't just state it so obviously at the beginning but gave us the clues like that which helped us to know anyway when this was set. The description of the office was also great, and those plants sound really beautiful!

The only thing that I would suggest as a bit of constructive criticism is to give this another read through to just check for a few mistakes. At the beginning of the chapter, there were a few slip-ups that I noticed in the tense you were using (like when your story's written in the past but you suddenly use the future, and it conflicts a bit). They weren't major mistakes but if you wanted to sharpen up the writing another read through might help.

Having said that, I absolutely loved the idea that you had behind this story! I was curious when Neville found the memory book on his desk, wondering what it was and who it was from, and also how it had got there. Then to find out, through that letter that his grandmother had written him, what it was, was so lovely! I really love the idea of Augusta being able to sneak something into Hogwarts for her grandson ('I have my ways' indeed :P) and also having had it for a long time but not being able to find the right time to give it to Neville. I thought you did a really good job capturing her voice in that letter as well.

When Neville opened the memory book, I was so happy for him. It's such a lovely idea that his parents had, to give him something like that, and it just makes me smile so much to think that after all this time he managed to find something new about his parents and get the chance to share some of the memories they would have shared with him if they'd had the chance to. It was just so adorable and made me smile so much to think that Neville had that opportunity to get to know them in a way that he'd never really had before, and at such a good time in his life as well - it's almost like he can share this new adventure with them by having all their memories to see.

The letter that Alice wrote as an introduction functioned really well to introduce the memory book, too, and I liked the fact that it explained how it worked because I'm always curious about things like that! I also thought you did a nice job of using a different voice to the one in his gran's letter, and letting some of Alice's character come through the years.

This was a really cute idea and I loved the way that Neville got the chance to see some of his parents' memories in this - I hope we get to see some of the memories that he can witness too!

Sian :)

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Review #3, by nott theodoreFanged Revolution: Chapter the First

21st October 2014:
Hi there! I'm here for our review swap :)

The title and summary of this story immediately intrigued me - I haven't read many stories on here about vampires, and plus you've given this an historical setting, which makes me even more interested because I absolutely love historical fiction!

I really liked the way that you set this up; for a first chapter, which is only short (less than a thousand words) you did a great job of building up the opening to the story, introducing us to some of the characters and beginning in a way that has a real impact. I really want to read on right now to find out what happened, but alas, I have to get up in a few hours...

Okay, there were just a few tiny pieces of CC that I do have, and I thought that I'd mention them now so I can get back to telling you all the things that I liked about this story! I spotted a typo here:
'slept the slept of the content' - this should be 'slept the SLEEP of the content'
And here, this phrasing feels a bit out of place:
'behind a Muggle garbage dumpster' - okay, so this isn't a major problem but it's just a bit inconsistent with the rest of the chapter and the general feel you're going for here, and I think overall you've done a great job on the rest of it, so this tiny detail (and it is tiny) detracts a little. 'Garbage dumpster' is an Americanism and we wouldn't say it in Britain, plus I'm pretty sure that they didn't exist the same way back in the 1700s, when this story is set (unless I've confused the timelines - I took that from the summary - in which case, I'm sorry!)

And back to all the great things about this chapter! I love your protagonist already. He's so interesting! The name Ignatius Nightstalker is so brilliant - it's really imaginative and fits in perfectly with the sort of creative and cool names people have in the Harry Potter series, as well as one that fits a vampire really well. There's a definite darkness to it, which works since he's chosen his own name now that he's a vampire. From just his name, you had me really intrigued about this character!

Then we go on and get to find out a few more details - little things that you hint at, but we don't know about fully, so I want to read on and find out. I'm so curious about what happened with Septimus Malfoy, and why and how and when Nightstalker became a vampire. Plus he seems to be trying to resist (until the end, anyway) his usual prey, and I'm wondering if there's another reason behind that than the ones that we already know.

I thought your description in this chapter was really good, too. It was really cool to see the somewhat familiar settings of Diagon and Knockturn Alley, but used in a more historical context, as well as getting to see the way that Knockturn Alley was housing the more 'unsavoury' parts of society even at this time.

I think one of my favourite things about this chapter was the way that you already touched on the issues of discrimination in the wizarding world, and the way that vampires and werewolves were marginalised because they were considered so dangerous. It makes a lot of sense that those prejudices would be deep-rooted and go back to this time, and it was also really interesting to see it from the perspective of someone who'd been a perpetrator of that discrimination as well as someone who'd then become a victim of it.

This was a really great opening chapter and I'm so intrigued about what's going to happen next - if you want to review swap again, let me know!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hi Sian!

I think a part of me wanted to write this because it would be historical fiction. The other part of me said something like "PLOT BUNNY!"

I have that problem too, about sacrificing sleep for fanfiction. (I also sacrifice paying attention in class for fanfiction. That's also bad.) I seem to like writing short first chapters; but then again all of the chapters so far (3 up, 1 in the queue) are about 1000-1500 words, which is a lot shorter than the chapters I write for my other WIP.

I think I had the "slept the slept of the content" error pointed out in another review. I'll change it when I do a general edit run-through when I finish the novel.

That's a very interesting point about the garbage dumpster. I'm Canadian, so a lot of American sayings seep into everyday talk. I wasn't aware that garbage dumpsters weren't around in the 1750's (which indeed is when this is set). I'm going to assume that people just threw their garbage out onto the street?

I've had a lot of compliments about Nightstalker. He's a troubled character, sort of like a more violent and brooding Lupin, but one with a more violent past than "I was turned into a werewolf." Without revealing anything, his pre-vampire past is depressing. (I just have to write it now. I know what it is, but I still have to put it down, and school unfortunately has priority.)

He has a bad past with Septimus Malfoy. They definitely don't like each other. Nightstalker has forgotten him for the time being; Malfoy has not. That animosity stems back to Nightstalker's human life and it's not going to be dropped. He's trying to resist human prey for another reason from his early vampire life.

Knockturn Alley will always be host to unsavoury people, much as the Next-Gen Ministry might like to change it (that's my personal opinion, anyways). Back in this era, the Ministry was more focused on the humans, and not the poorer vampires and werewolves. The prejudice revolving around them is deep-seated and goes back even further than this.

I definitely enjoyed this review swap (I'll just ignore the fact that I took 2 and a half hours to write my review)! I'm open to doing one again.

~Olivia


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Review #4, by nott theodoreWe Will Rebuild.: We Will Rebuild.

21st October 2014:
Hi Margaret! I'm here for our review swap :)

I always find your stories so interesting to read, and I hope that you don't mind me picking this one, although it had a few more reviews than others. I've never read a story before that looks at this moment, when Kingsley knows that he has to face the mammoth task of rebuilding the Ministry of Magic after the war, and I was so intrigued to see your interpretation of this period. From what I've read before, your stories always show an insight that other people haven't thought about when writing about these sorts of things.

I thought you did a great job characterising Kingsley Shacklebolt in this. Although at the end of the books we see him being announced the temporary Minister for Magic, we never really get the sense that he's in the Ministry for the power that it can afford him - he's not one of those people who's a career politician. In fact, we see him choosing to belong to the Order because he believes in fighting for what is right, even if that has the potential to cost him his job, so it makes perfect sense to me that he'd be struggling a little with finding out that he's going to be taking this job on permanently, and the different tasks and challenges that he has to face with that.

I really liked the way that he thought about those challenges as well - he didn't immediately panic, although he was acknowledging the full extent of how difficult it would be. In the books, Kingsley always seems like a calm and measured character, so that fit well with what we see of him in canon. Even just little details like the way he doesn't try and say anything to Arthur to comfort him over Fred because he knows that there's nothing he could really say to console someone who's lost a loved one - that made it feel more believable because it was so in line with the Kingsley we know from the books. And as horrible as it is, it's also true, and I always picture Kingsley as a wise sort of person, so that fits too.

One of the things that I enjoyed the most about this one-shot was the fact that Kingsley was looking at moving forward, rather than going for revenge. I think that would be so easy to do, especially when so many people suffered at the hands of the Death Eaters, but he's smart enough to know that they can't lock everyone up who worked in the Ministry when Voldemort had control, and that the only way to rebuild the society is to move past that. I thought that was so sensible of him, very in character, and also really interesting because I've never read about the way that this rebuilding has been approached before. I really like your version!

Arthur was a great character as well in this. I thought you portrayed him very realistically, especially the way that he was trying to carry on somewhat as normal and help Kingsley because he knew that they had this job to do. It would be easy for him to fall into the grief of losing a son, I think, but he takes a more practical approach and in a way that's better, as he's going to have an instrumental role in rebuilding the society that his son died for. I love the idea of him having a bigger role in the Ministry as well, and being recognised for the sort of person that he is, even while he's humble about his own abilities.

I thought you did a really great job with this story, and I enjoyed reading it so much - it was so interesting to read this interpretation about what happened after the war was over and there was a new world to rebuild!

Sian :)

Author's Response: I read a comment somewhere about the founders of my own state that those who come to power as a result of revolution/political campaigns and so on are usually reluctant politicians. I think it would be the same for Kingsley and others involved in rebuilding the wizarding world - they are doing what needs to be done to rebuild society, rather than going into politics as a simple job. And there is no real indication Kingsley has any interest in being Minister.

Your comment about how I show insights other people haven't thought of, apart from being very nice to hear (so thank you) is also quite surprising, as when I write things like this I always feel I'm only filling in things that are already obvious from the series. Not in stories like the one about Demelza, as there is no evidence as to what she did during the war, but in stories like this one.

The Order of the Phoenix does in some ways resemble what war tended to be like in Ireland. It's actually kind of funny - since we've HAD an army, we haven't really had any wars (the army did take part in ONE year-long war, but that's it). And it's not THAT long, in historical terms, since State building took place here - just under a century.

And so many people who worked under the Death Eaters were forced to do so or did so because they felt leaving would allow the Death Eaters even greater free reign to do what they wished - people like most of the teachers at Hogwarts (who, by remaining at Hogwarts, could at least deal with some discipline issues BEFORE they came to the notice of the Carrows) and people like Arthur Weasley.

I felt I was being a bit mean to Arthur, pushing him further from the position he loved, but in circumstances like this, it's all hands to the pump and Arthur is definitely somebody who can be relied upon.

Thank you so much for the review - your reviews are always awesome. I'm glad you enjoyed the story.


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Review #5, by nott theodorePlay the Devil: Starlight

3rd October 2014:
Hi Jenna! Ah, I was so excited to see another chapter of this story up, and just when I've got internet (although it's still very temperamental) back!

Yay for Rose and Richard alone time! I've been excited to read some more of this, because as good as the other chapters have been I really enjoy reading about the two of them together and seeing the way that their relationship is slowly developing. I really liked the way that Rose went out to go and find him and didn't just sit there and let things happen around her as I imagine most women at this time would have been expected to do. It's great that you're still highlighting all the differences - however small and insignificant they might seem - between Rose's world and the one that she's found herself in. She's more than a bit incongruous in this setting, and although she's making the best of it and seems to have been accepted for what she is, it isn't easy to keep up the pretence. Small things like the scene with the servant who's so surprised that she even acknowledges him make this so much more believable and help us to fit in with Rose better, because we identify with her character much more than the others (at least, I do :P).

Anyway, Rose and Richard time. Yes, thank you! I liked their conversation and the fact that Richard is still so restrained and formal with Rose and can't help but be surprised by how 'forward' she is - after their first meeting (well, Rose's first meeting), I can't help but wonder how they'll progress to that stage in their relationship! I'm really intrigued whether or not, eventually, Rose will tell Richard the truth and explain fully all her lies and what the reaction will be then. It was great to see Richard talk about his siblings and family as well, and start to open up to Rose a bit more.

The historical background was interesting! I already knew about it of course, but I think it works well to help readers place this time in history and put Rose's appearance in context, as well as making sense to be included since Rose doesn't really know any of the history either.

The scene in the stable was really cute! I liked the way that Richard gradually warmed to Rose and she managed to get him to take things a little less seriously over the course of them spending some time together. Although he's still surprised when she takes hold of his elbow :P

I actually really enjoyed Rose's introspection in this chapter as well. I think it's the first time that she's really shown the same sort of introspection in this story, as before she's probably not been entirely honest with herself about certain things, but I think it's great to show that, like she says, her time spent in the past has changed the way she thinks about things and forced her to look at herself a bit more. And she's realising that she's starting to fall for Richard!

Hmm, the scene with them watching the stars was really sweet. I liked the closeness between the two of them and the reminder again that this England is very different to the one that Rose has known, but also the fact that she's starting to be conscious of whether or not she can mention Astronomy without being suspected of witchcraft or something. And then Richard has the funny turn! I'm curious about what it was that caused that, as I'm really intrigued to see how you'll link it in somewhere else in the story (I think I know your writing well enough by now to believe that will happen!). The 'walking over your grave' comment was really interesting too, I'm wondering if that will have some sort of impact on it...

And the ending! I definitely wasn't expecting her to be pulled back to the future the way that she was but in a way at least Scorpius didn't go back into the past as well and meet Richard and challenge him to a duel or something :P I'm so intrigued by how she got pulled back to the future and whether it was because of Scorpius or just because the potion was wearing off in her system... I guess that I'll have to wait and see!

Sian :)

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Review #6, by nott theodoreFortress: An Anatomy: The birth, life, and death of stone

25th September 2014:
Hi teh!

So, I've got a confession to make - I actually read this one-shot a while ago but couldn't find the words to do it justice properly in a review. I've still not managed to find them, but after nominating this for a Dobby I felt like I was kind of cheating you out of a review, so here I am.

Seriously though, how do you do it? I'm extremely jealous of your imagination and the way that you manage to come up with such original ideas - I honestly never imagined that I'd read a story from the point of view of a sentient prison, let alone as a Harry Potter fanfiction, and yet I read this and it just feels entirely natural.

One other thing about your writing: it's beautiful. Every single thing of yours that I've read has been so well crafted and beautiful, especially the descriptions that you include which just bring your writing to life. But it's more than that; I've never read a story of yours without being completely gripped by it from start to finish, so that I can't take my eyes off the screen, no matter how long it is. I just wanted you to know how amazing you are! ♥

I think the title tied in so brilliantly to this story, with the way that you brought all the anatomical description in when referring to Nurmengard, which really helped it to come alive. I never thought that I'd say this, but you did a fantastic job of portraying the prison here - it felt like a character that I warmed to and actually cared about by the end of the story, and I am amazed that you managed to write something that made me feel for a building. A building, for goodness' sake!

One of my favourite parts of this story was not only the anatomical description you used, but the Biblical allusions when you referred to its creation, as that gave it an almost religious status and kind of sanctified it, and yet that contrasted so sharply with what Nurmengard was made to do that I found it extremely effective!

Also, how on earth do you manage to characterise Gellert Grindelwald so well when you're writing from the perspective of a building? My mind is baffled by this, completely baffled. And yet the characterisation of him was perfect - he was so powerful and determined on his course, and yet there was still a defiance about him, even right at the end, and the youthful exuberance which continues even as he's aged and facing Dumbledore in a duel. So many aspects which we only really get a brief glimpse at in canon and the books but you expanded them so well to flesh him out as a character.

The relationship between Grindelwald and Nurmengard was really intriguing, too - especially if you link back to the imagery that you used at the creation of the prison and cast him as Nurmengard's god. Perhaps a relationship which, in a way, mirrors that between God and earth in the Bible? It's so interesting to consider it from that perspective and I loved the way that Nurmengard didn't have feelings exactly, and yet it did have a measure of respect for Gellert as its creator, and wanted to take care of him as best it could. Grindelwald being Grindelwald, of course, barely seemed conscious of the fact that the prison he'd created was anything more than a building, when here it appeared to be a living, breathing entity. I don't really know what else to comment on in that relationship but I really loved reading about it!

The use of italics to represent the speech worked so well here, especially as there were only two speakers. It demonstrated the sort of detachment that the building has from what's going on, not changing that much with time but witnessing events all the time without completely understanding. Having said that, you still managed to capture the characters extremely well in their speech, particularly Dumbledore!

Those last few scenes were brilliant! I actually felt really sorry for Gellert as he was facing Voldemort and kind of proud of him for showing some remorse and standing up to him when he said that he didn't have the wand and never had had it. I know we see that in canon but it was great to see him defending himself and trying to stop Voldemort getting the wand even in his last moments, and then for Nurmengard to properly take care of him in the end.

In case you couldn't tell, teh, I absolutely loved this piece!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Oh, goodness, Sian! ❤

Thank you for this super long and wonderfully detailed review!! I have so many things to thank you for!! For reading! For reviewing! FOR NOMINATING!! For taking the time at all. :D THank you so much; you're the best! And I'm sorry it's taken me quite a long time to respond. I tried responding several times and only ended up flailing and saying nothing.

I honestly didn't think many people would like this fic, or that they'd think it too weird and impossible, so it really means a lot to me that you enjoyed this. Hahaha, a talking building.

I'm glad you like the Biblical references. I had way too much fun including those. I enjoy religious imagery/references in stories; I always find them fascinating, and perhaps a bit mystical sometimes. And yeah, you're right, the religious references do indeed suggest the relationship between Grindelwald and the fortress, though Grindelwald is more of a self-absorbed god who notices little about his creations.

I'm SO HAPPY that you thought Grindelwald well-characterised! He's becoming one of my favourite characters to write about. I have written a fair deal about him in my WIP, 'The Deathly Children' - him and his relationship with Dumbledore, so I do feel like I know his character well enough.

I'm so glad you like the last few scenes. The second half of the story including the ending always gave me some doubt, and I didn't see any other ending but this one. So your words gave me plenty of reassurance.

Sian, you're absolutely brilliant! Thank you so much for this gorgeous review; it's made my day, week, forever, etc. ♥

-teh


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Review #7, by nott theodoreAt Midnight: Mirage

24th September 2014:
Hi Gabbie! I'm here for our review swap (sorry it's a bit later than expected)! I've heard a lot about your writing as well, and the unusual set-ups and situations, so I was excited for this swap!

This story intrigued me from the very opening of the chapter. When it became apparent that the scene was going to be between Teddy and Molly I was really interested, because I've never seen a story that casts the two of them together with any sort of romantic links. And then you started off with an extremely original characterisation of Teddy, which made this chapter even more interesting to me!

I'm actually not really sure how I feel about Teddy here. He was so mean and bitter, and I'm intrigued about the reasons why, although I do wonder if the fact that he's grown up without parents has anything to do with it. But I thought your portrayal of him was unusual and enjoyable - he's full of contradictions. He's so confident in his ability to attract women, but seems to feel that he's not really worth any of their attention - at least, that's what seemed to come across when he was trying to put Molly off. But at the same time he's so offensive in his defence and really awful to Molly, which seemed inexcusable. From what I've gleaned here, Molly's only sixteen and Teddy's a couple of years older, so he could at least try and be considerate to her feelings and the fact that she's probably a lot more sensitive than he is. Particularly if he knows her well already and should be aware of the fact that she won't take his stinging comments well. Having said that, he does clearly have some issues and things that he has to deal with - experiences which have made him behave this way. He's really intriguing, if not exactly likeable!

Molly was also interesting to read! For someone who's sixteen years old, she seemed older in some ways and younger in others, which I think fits well with most people that age. I felt so sorry for her as I read about the way Teddy treated her when she revealed her feelings for him, because it was really unfair - he just didn't seem to stop, and to hear all those things about herself from someone she really likes is just so difficult to experience. Her insecurities were really highlighted and emphasised because of the conversation here, and they helped to flesh her out and make her very realistic, particularly for a girl of her age. I also liked the way that she put up with quite a lot from Teddy and kept trying to make him see that he didn't have to be that way, which makes sense because of her feelings for him, but then she eventually snaps and slaps him. I kind of want to cheer for her there because she's already put up with a lot more than I'd have listened to :P

As far as CC goes, I would suggest just reading this through slowly a couple of times maybe, as there are a couple of sentences that feel a little stilted at times. For example:
'But it was only one of hundreds of Ministry gatherings that she had attended over the years but this one had truly sparked her interest.'
This sentence would flow a little better without the first 'But', I think. They aren't big problems, just little phrasing issues that disrupt the flow a little.

Hmm, this stranger - who we finally find out is called Ethan - is very intriguing! It takes quite a bit to go up and break up a fight, especially if you don't know either of the people involved, and I'm intrigued about him. Does he actually like Molly, or does he have ulterior motives? I thought you wrote that scene between them really well and I could certainly sense Molly's confusion but excitement at the same time. It was written very convincingly.

One of the other things that I liked a lot about this chapter was some of the background to Molly and her family that you managed to weave into the rest of the narrative. I know that a lot of your stories are connected, so I recognise the Audrey you include here as one you've written about in another story, but I really like those sorts of details, and the idea of why Molly is who she is. It's great to get all of the information there that builds up to a bigger picture of who Molly is.

This was a really enjoyable chapter of the story, and I thought your idea and your characterisation was very original! Thank you very much for the swap!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hello!

Thanks so much for stopping by with this awesome review, I really enjoyed our swap too! :)

I honestly have no idea why more people don't write about Molly in general, let alone having an interest in Teddy. I think it's sort of unfair, there are hardly any stories about her on the archives that really give her a role. I think that she and Roxanne are usually sort of pushed aside, which is why I gave each of them their own little fic. :)

I don't think a lot of people know what to make of Teddy and I'm really not sure what to do with himself myself most of the time. Hahaha. I think that he has a mind of his own and it's really fun to write a character that's so unlikeable. You have no idea how many people have commented on how he behaves in my other story, "Transparent". This is actually tame. Hahahaha.

Anyway, Teddy does have a lot of issues here that I wanted to hint at. He's not at all what he pretends to be but he's not exactly completely a liar either, if there's one thing that I like about him, it's that he's actually very honest. While he was being mean to Molly, he was actually pointing out a lot of things that she would have rather ignored.

Molly on the other hand is very difficult to write. I didnt' want her to appear older than her yeas or too young so I'm glad that that came across well. I think that she has a lot more strength in her than she's willing to admit but yes, she's got a lot of patience to deal with Teddy. I would have destroyed him three times over. Hahahaha.

Oh, the CC's...

Ethan is making a grand appearance in this chapter! I'm not sure what's going to happen with him after I finish up the third chapter but he's rather interesting, isn't he? I won't give anything away. :3

I'm glad that you liked the details about her family! I tried to include a little bit here and there just to keep you guys grounded in my universe. :D

Thanks a lot for the review!

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #8, by nott theodoreStarving Artists: New Horizon

24th September 2014:
KEVIN! ♥

Oh my goodness, I honestly can't believe that you wrote me a story! When I saw that you'd written this for me I seriously squealed because it's so exciting and lovely of you, and thank you!!!

I'm already afraid that this review isn't going to do your story justice, because this was amazing and I loved it so much!

Okay, just to skip to your author's note, of course I'm not going to kill you for the fact that Rionach is a quasi-canon character :P She certainly seemed like she could fit in with all the events in canon, especially with the way that she knew all the characters so well.

Ah, I don't even know where to start with this because I'm still kind of overwhelmed by the fact you wrote a story for me and it's so amazing!

However, I'm going to try and write something coherent and vaguely worthy of this story :P

The opening of this piece set the scene so well; there was so much information and background in that first paragraph and I loved the fact that you managed to convey so much about the protagonist in just a few lines. We learnt about what she likes doing, set the scene for where she's living now, and also got to know a bit more about her background too. Plus, I loved the fact that she came from Alnwick too, with the Harry Potter link that it has!

All of the first section of this story was just so intriguing! I loved the way that you managed to flesh out Rionach's character so well with just that short amount of writing, because I got to learn a lot about her and got to know the sorts of things she likes and dislikes. She was a lot quieter and shier than most original characters seem to be and I found myself warming to her instantly because of that. It was great to see a character who loved flying so much and did enjoy it as part of her work, but she was only in a minor league and not one of the massive Quidditch stars. I've never seen that before in any story, so that was brilliant originality! And I found it really interesting that nobody knew she loved flying so much, and yet it's clearly a massive part of her life.

One of my favourite things about this story was the fact that you used the different narrative voices in the different sections, all in one piece. I've never seen that done before and you did such a fantastic job of it! Especially the fact that you tried out second person here and did it so well!

The description in this piece was just amazing, Kevin. Honestly, there were some similes and bits of imagery that just blew me away and made me really jealous that I hadn't come up with them myself :P There were some really original descriptions here too, which I always think is hard to come up with!

The introduction of Dean into the story flowed so smoothly and seemed really natural. I loved the way that it wasn't dramatic and over-exaggerated, but that he was interested in her and she in him. It was really sweet to see things develop from that initial attraction; slowly but surely. I liked Rionach's initial surprise that Dean had been interested in her longer than they'd actually talked - that was really sweet. You did such a fantastic job of capturing their attraction and their first few meetings (well, re-meetings, I suppose, since they knew each other from school). I really liked the detail that you included about Harry and Ginny dancing nearby, but Dean not paying her any attention; it shows that Rionach's occupied his thoughts more than anything else and just that little detail showed much more than anything else did about how much he cared for her.

Ah, the little detail about the picture that he was drawing was so lovely, especially as we didn't understand its significance properly until later on.

The final section of the story was absolutely beautiful! I loved the fact that there was something circular to this story, with it starting and ending on a morning, which tied in really well with the fact that Rionach loves mornings so much. I think it demonstrates how much Dean cares about her, and has chosen his time really well to ask her.

The proposal scene was just so cute! I loved how understated the scene was and that you never actually wrote that Dean was asking her to marry him, just left the reader to assume it; I guess that he could have actually been asking something different, but I like to think that he was asking her to marry him! He'd put so much thought into the planning of it and that came across really well, especially when he brought out that picture that he'd drawn ages ago when they were first getting to know each other!

This was such a lovely one-shot, Kevin! You told Dean and Rionach's story so well - I've actually never had any head canon for Dean and who he ends up with after the war, so this has just emerged to fill the space really well! I really loved reading this, and thank you so much again for writing it for me!

Sian :D

Author's Response: Sian!

I know I've already told you that I think you're WAY too kind to me about this story, but I'm REALLY glad you liked it.

With Rionach's background I was a little lucky, in that I already had some inspiration from when I'd written a short piece about her for the House Cup collab. That kind of laid the groundwork for her being shy and quiet, but also very much into flying and Quidditch. I really wanted to explore her more as a character after that and given your fondness for minor characters I figured it would be an opportunity that could work for both of us.

Ahh descriptions! Those are usually my weak link so it means so much that you liked them. My problem is basically any piece where I get dialogue-ing it's hard for me to switch from that "mode" into descriptions and back, etc. But because I wanted to make the kind of "artists" connection between Rionach and Dean (and make their connection understated, like you said), I thought they would be really critical. How many times I re-wrote parts of this I don't even know. Honestly it was so important to me for this that it be really good that I think I word a lot more diligently on the details like that than I do normally and it's been a great benefit to realize that I could probably improve my writing across the board if I was always so focused.

And the switching POVs! I don't really know what made me do it, but I wanted the story to be about their eventual fusion from the off, and as I wrote the summary I thought it would be an interesting thing to do to sort of follow though in terms of a POV progression. I'm glad it came off!

For the record, you're absolutely right that the final scene was a proposal. Dean definitely put LOADS of thought into it, wanting it to be morning for her, for her to have her muffins, and for her to see the napkin drawing again, which helped Rionach realize that even though she's not really glamorous that she can still be beautiful to someone.

Thanks so much for this wonderful review! This review was the highlight of a REALLY rough week so far honestly and getting it means a lot! Thank YOU for inspiring this story!


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Review #9, by nott theodorebloom.: bloom

23rd September 2014:
Maia, this is absolutely amazing!

I saw that this has had a ton of nominations in the Dobbys and I had to come and check it out, particularly because it's been so long since I read any of your lovely writing. Loving minor characters, I have actually thought about what background Poppy Pomfrey has and now that I've read this one-shot, I'm quite prepared to take this as my head canon!

The theme here, that runs throughout the story, of Poppy being a drifter of sorts, works so well. I really liked the way that it started off seeming quite an insignificant detail - something that obviously affected her and her character, but when she's a child she doesn't really need to have a lot of focus and direction. But the fact that even her father picked up on it and that it wore him out when she was so young didn't exactly set her up for a really promising future.

I really enjoyed the way that you described her experiences of school. For us, it's so exciting to read about Hogwarts and the lessons, but I guess for a lot of children, especially those who've been raised in magical households, learning magic wouldn't be anything exciting or new. She's just like a lot of people who aren't that interested in school - they have to go, but it doesn't hold much interest. I found it interesting that she did enjoy Herbology and Potions, because they were more "vocational" subjects, and at that point I did wonder if she was going to settle down and go into healing at that point, but I think it was even better that she didn't. It made her seem all the more realistic and believable as a character.

In a way, I was also surprised that she fell for Dewey the way that she did, especially after having been so sure that she'd never end up with any of the people that her parents tried to set her up with. I quite liked the way that you wrote her parents setting her up with Dewey, though, because even if they didn't know exactly what to do to help her, they did care about her and wanted to make sure that she'd be alright.

Her time with Dewey was so sweet! I loved the way that you highlighted the contrasts between the pair of them, but even so I was rooting for them. It went so fast but I liked the fact that Poppy was surprised too that she was getting married.

The pregnancy was great as well! I thought you did a great job of describing it realistically, especially that Poppy didn't feel an immediate connection to the baby when she found out that she was pregnant, even though Dewey was thrilled. I haven't seen that very often, but it does happen and it's great that you included that.

Oh my goodness, the scenes with Marigold were just heartbreaking. I have to admit, I kind of expected that something bad would happen because in canon Poppy Pomfrey doesn't seem like the sort of person who's got a family as well as her work. But it just happened so quickly and the description in that section was so beautiful - everything built it up to make it even more devastating when the Healer came back and said that there was nothing more they could have done. I just wanted to put my arms round Poppy then and give her a hug, because I could see how heartbroken she felt - those precious few hours she felt that she truly had a purpose in life, but then it was snatched away from her by something she didn't understand.

The sections after Marigold's death, with Dewey and Poppy slowly falling apart, was upsetting to read but very realistic too. So many parents struggle to stay together and remember why they were together after the death of a child, and Poppy and Dewey were only together for a short while before tragedy struck. It's completely believable that they'd slowly fall apart like that.

I couldn't help but smile a little when Poppy went to the library and decided that she was going to find out everything that she could about the condition that had killed her baby. It was great of her to do something like that and she suddenly had a purpose again, which is really what she needed. In that sense, it took the tragedy to help her find her calling, but all the same I think that she'd have been happier if she could have had Marigold alive!

The relationship with Genevieve didn't surprise me either, because in a way it did seem like something more natural to grow out of what the state of the relationship was with Dewey and the fact that she was spending so much time at the library. The break-up with Dewey also felt natural, because they'd drifted so far apart - Dewey was so apologetic and I felt so sorry for him.

It was amazing that Poppy managed to create a cure for the disease, but I felt sorry for her when she couldn't really do anything afterwards and she just drifted from place to place without any real sense of purpose. She'd done something incredible in creating that cure but she still couldn't see that she'd achieved something so brilliant.

Healer Fitkins was a character who surprised me a little bit, especially the fact that he cheated on his wife with Poppy, but I was really pleased that he got Poppy to meet the baby whose life her cure had saved, and she realised that she could do something and regain a purpose. The ending was so much more optimistic and hopeful and I was so pleased that Poppy managed to find that she could feel again!

This was really beautiful and I loved reading it - it definitely deserved all those Dobby nominations!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hi Sian!! omg thank you so much for this INCREDIBLE review! Sorry it's taken me a pathetically long time to reply, but every time I tried I would just start squealing from how sweet you are and get distracted XD

i'm so so glad you liked the story! i still can't believe it won a dobby omg ♥

it was very strange for me to write an aimless character since that's totally the opposite of how i am myself, but it seemed to fit so well for Poppy. it definitely caused a lot of problems as she grew up but in a way that aimlessness is what enabled her to properly find her own path so it turned out well in the end, even with a lot of sadness along the way!

i often think about magical students going to hogwarts - having grown up with magic, Transfiguration to them must be like what Maths was to me, haha! so even though we may think it sounds incredible it wouldn't feel incredible if you'd grown up with it, so yeah I think that links a lot to Poppy's dislike of school. she's a very physical and literal person which is why she liked Potions and Herbology, things which meant she could get her hands dirty, which definitely leads well into her becoming a healer, even if it is years later that she does!

yeah, her parents definitely cared about her, in their own silly way :P she was probably just as taken by surprise by falling for Dewey as we were, haha!

i am slightly baby obsessed so pregnancy and babies creep into a lot of my fics, ahaha, but i always try to show it as realistically as possible. the same with things like school, Poppy doesn't think well in the abstract, so I think it's realistic for her to maybe not bond with her baby until Marigold was born and Poppy could physically hold her, see her, all that.

i wrote the whole scene with Marigold's death stream of consciousness because i wanted to get as much raw emotion across as I could, so I'm really glad that scene was hard hitting for you! i'm very lucky and have never experienced anything similar myself so i tried to put myself in Poppy's shoes as much as I could and tell how she would feel then... it was very sad :(

I felt sad writing Poppy and Dewey's relationship falling apart, but I knew it had to happen. Poppy was too broken after Marigold and she needed to fix herself before she could ever think of being with another person again.

i was very proud writing the scene where Poppy decides to find out what killed Marigold! even though she was still very broken at that stage, it really showed a kind of turning point for her when she realised she had to do something about it all or she would fade away.

Genevieve very much represents a time of learning for Poppy, and I think because Poppy is such a physical person, all the studying and books became much easier when she had a physical being to relate them to, which makes it only natural she fell into the relationship with Genevieve. I'm really glad you think that was realistic, as well as the break up with Dewey - which was a long time coming by that stage.

ending this was super hard, so I'm glad you liked the ending with her meeting the baby she'd saved and reconnecting with her emotions :)

thank you so much again for this amazing review! ♥

~Maia


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Review #10, by nott theodoreMorbid: Springtime

23rd September 2014:
Hi again!

Ah, this was such a sad last chapter to the story! I'm kind of upset that my guesses were right and that Amy did die in this chapter, as I really warmed to her character and didn't want her to be hurt, even though I expected it would end this way. But I think that's a mark of great writing - you've created an original character who I really care about, so that I'm getting tears in my eyes when I read this last chapter.

The opening was kind of dramatic, but I think that was intended - at least from Amy's perspective, anyway. I can understand in a way that she'd want to create a poetic death for herself, almost writing her own ending, but it's sad that she felt she needed to push Teddy away and be someone who had to die alone. I felt really sorry for her and also for Teddy at that point, because it's such a difficult situation to face, especially when they're only young.

I found Teddy's anger and the way that he took that out very believable. And even though he didn't do much in that scene but get angry and drunk and try and take out that anger on his parents' gravestones, that scene helped to explain some more about Teddy's fixation with death in the past. He's felt that he's been abandoned by his parents because they died when he was so young, and I suspect that because of that he's turned towards death and shown an interest in it because it feels like something that has been his constant companion because of his parents' death.

I was so happy to see Amy and Teddy reconciling before the end of this chapter! The dialogue in that section was really sweet and natural, and I felt a lot for the two of them. Teddy's optimism and his line about how there's a lot that can be done in five months fitted perfectly at that point.

It was so upsetting to read about Amy in a situation where she couldn't even recognise Teddy because of all the potions that she was taking to try and control her condition. It's something that I haven't seen much in fanfiction, particularly because a lot of people seem to imagine that magic is a cure for most illnesses, but I thought you dealt with that theme really well. I loved the detail of Teddy telling Amy about the Griffin when she was taking the potions so that she remembered that detail about him, and there was still some connection there. It reminded me a little bit of The Notebook, since he's so determined to stay with her and help her, even though her family don't want to.

Those last two weeks were written really well - it's only a short time to have left to live, but at least Amy was able to remember it all and know who Teddy was through that time. It was so touching to see the two of them with death approaching.

Ah, so the mystery of Merlin is a little explained! He's a metaphor for death in this story - or represents him, at least. And throughout, Teddy has been interested in death and so death has come to him, and they've become friends; now, when Teddy's life has actually been affected deeply by death (with him being in a state to witness it), he doesn't feel the same affinity to death. At least, that's what I made of it :P In a way, I was glad to see that Merlin was the one who came to take Amy, because at least it was someone familiar to her through Teddy, and one of Teddy's friends. He didn't have to worry about Amy dying because he knew that she'd be taken care of.

This was a really good story and really sweet and touching to read. Thank you!

Sian :)

Author's Response: I'm so ecstatic right now that you really care about Amy and that her death affected you in some way. I get really happy when my writing makes people cry, not because I want everyone to be sad of course, but because I know that crying over fictional characters isn't usually something that happens unless you truly connected and took something from them and I think any author likes to know that has happened.

Oh, the opening was really meant to be overly dramatic. I actually wrote it a few times, trying really hard to make it SO dramatic that it couldn't be taken seriously. I definitely wanted for Amy to want to control her life and write her own end, but of course real life doesn't always work out that way. In times like this, some of her actual fear of dying starts to surface. She wants to make it as sad as possible because the sadder her death, the more important she feels like her life was.

I am so happy that Teddy's scene in the graveyard was believable and that you were able to take away exactly what I wanted from it. I can't imagine what it'd be like to have never known either of your parents as it isn't something I've experienced myself, but I did try my best to dissect what someone in that position might be feeling.

Sweet and natural was exactly how I wanted the dialogue to come across. I wanted them to kind of tie up some loose ends before I had to do all of the things I had to do to them afterwards.

I was thinking of just giving Amy cancer, as her disease is a pretty clear cut stand-in for it, but then I got to thinking and I would have hated to receive reviews asking why magic couldn't just cure the cancer and save the day. So, because canon gave us magical sicknesses that can't be simply cured or gotten rid of with a spell, I decided that would make the narrative that much cleaner. The potions were mostly a device to make things much sadder, because if there's anything worse than someone you love dying it's someone you love dying and not remembering who you are. It was all really hard to write. I haven't gotten this compared to The Notebook before this, but that's certainly an awesome thing to remind someone of, since it's so poignant itself.

So glad the last two weeks felt well written. I tried to give it something resembling a happy tone in this very depressing chapter.

You've understood this story and so many of the things I've thrown at you throughout it so well that it's fitting that you've completely nailed the analysis of Merlin's character. He certainly is a metaphor for death. I have nothing to add to what you said there that would build upon it. Some find it sad that Teddy lost Merlin and Amy both, but I agree that it's satisfying that he could feel she would be in good hands, even if it is all in his head.

Thank you so much for these reviews, they were such an exciting surprise and I just enjoyed responding to them so much. Your compliments have made me feel really amazing and I'm so glad you enjoyed this even though I have yet to edit it based on the CC I've received. Your words mean so much, thank you again!


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Review #11, by nott theodoreMorbid: Williams' Bookshop

23rd September 2014:
Hi again!

I really liked the way that you opened this chapter, too - although some time had passed since the last chapter, the continuity with Merlin asking Teddy riddles again worked really well and helped the chapter to flow well from the beginning.

The riddle was a bit better this time than last time though, I have to say :P

I really liked the way that you developed the relationship between Amy and Teddy here. I think sometimes that people can go into too much detail when trying to show something like this developing, but you gave us just enough to warm to them as a couple. Teddy's idea for a first date was really cute! Sometimes it's interesting enough to guess what books are about from their titles, but I love the idea of a witch and a wizard going into the shop and having no idea about the obscurity of the titles that people manage to come up with. Their solutions for the different titles were really interesting to read!

They interact really well in this chapter too, and I like the way that you write their dialogue especially, although I'd suggest that you could maybe remove some of the dialogue tags that you use when it's just the two of them speaking, as it's not always necessary to include that extra information.

One thing I really enjoyed about this chapter was that I got to understand why they get on so well. Now that we know that Amy's been diagnosed with a fatal illness, her acceptance of Teddy's fixation and thoughts about death make a lot more sense - it's something that she must have experienced herself upon being told that she was ill.

The scene with Teddy and Amy at his parents' graveside was really touching. It's so sweet that he took her to see them, even though it might seem a little strange. It obviously means a lot to him that she's willing to go and accept who he is without having to question it. But I can't see him just taking any girl to visit his parents' graves, so I think that's a mark of how deeply he feels about her.

The only other tiny suggestion I'd make is that it felt they got over the other's lies a little too easily - they admitted them and then moved on immediately. I'd expect there to be a few questions at least, although I understand that Teddy was trying to make her feel comfortable and able to confide in him. It's sad that he's so accepting of her telling him she's got this fatal disease, because he's used to everything ending - that is pretty morbid, but in a way perhaps he's better prepared to love someone like Amy than other people his age might be.

The scene with Merlin at the end was fun to read - I'm still not entirely sure if he actually exists so that only Teddy can see him, or if he's just inside Teddy's head, but it was nice for him to find Amy and be able to open up to her completely. I'm interested to see how this carries on, although with the title of the story and what's happened so far, I've got an awful feeling that the next chapter will be Amy dying and I don't want to have to read about that!

Sian :)

Author's Response: I'm so glad that the chapters tied in together and that my riddle was better this time around as well! I think Merlin stepped his game up considerably :P

In my original outline, this chapter was set to be about three times as long and it would have detailed their first three dates and all of the small little mundane details about their interactions, but I eventually just scrapped a lot of it in favor of something a lot more sparse. My first date idea was just a random spur of the moment thing and I'm so happy that you found it interesting!

I've actually already edited the entire story and a large portion of the changes are dialogue tags, so it's perfect that your concrit is something I've already addressed and will make it's way through the queue!
Yes, the illness certainly helped with Teddy and Amy's getting along. She understands the feeling that death is all around you more than most. He definitely wouldn't take a girl to see his parents unless he feels like they're going somewhere.

Well, you understood exactly why Teddy accepted her disease, but you raise a good point about how quickly that happened. While I am working on edits, I might benefit from adding in a few lines of dialogue in some of these scenes.

Merlin remains a complete mystery until the very end and even then not everyone fully understands what I meant to do. I think I like it like that though. And before I even respond to that review - I am sorry for the next chapter, I didn't want to have to write about that :(


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Review #12, by nott theodoreMorbid: Cousin Larry

23rd September 2014:
Hi Joey! I really enjoyed reading your story Gone the other day, and since you said in your MTA responses that you felt this was your best story, I thought I'd stop by and check it out!

The summary of this story actually intrigued me straight away, and your first chapter carried on with that really well. The title certainly fits in brilliantly - Teddy is rather morbid at this point!

I don't think I've ever seen any character in fanfiction, let alone Teddy Lupin, characterised in this way before, so I think you did a great job of coming up with something that's so original and interesting to read about! Teddy's interest in death isn't exactly "normal" for someone his age, and I can understand why Harry and Ginny and all the other adults in his life are worried about him because of it. I'm not sure that there's actually anything wrong with him, though, he's just a bit different - although I must admit, if I saw that someone had been drawing pictures depicting their own death, I would be a bit concerned about them!

I thought starting out with that depiction of Teddy's artwork and its strange subject was a great way to open this story; it linked straight into the title but also allowed you to explain some of Teddy's background, and what had happened to him leading up to this point in time. That flowed really well and it was interesting to find out what he was doing at this point in life. I wonder - does his fixation with death have anything to do with the fact that both of his parents are dead and he's grown up as an orphan? I wouldn't blame him for hexing McLaggen for saying something like that in normal circumstances, but it does make me wonder whether or not it's linked into his fixation.

The funeral scene was really interesting! I know that there are people who like going to funerals but normally they (in my experience) tend to be older and have been going to the funerals of their friends and loved ones to prompt it. It's a bit of a strange pastime for someone who's so young, though, and not really affected by death to the same extent. I wonder, though, if in a way this is related to his parents too - he wouldn't remember their funeral, but perhaps he wants to be able to imagine it?

I liked the cousin Larry excuse from Amy and it was nice to see the introduction of someone else who didn't seem quite so morbid and yet at the same time she doesn't actually know that he's got a fixation with death, so she's not got any pre-formed opinions of him here. I'd like to see her in the future in this story - I could see some similarities between them, even if they've got quite different backgrounds to life. And Teddy certainly seemed to like her!

I have to admit, I wasn't expecting the conversation with Merlin at the end! I'm not entirely sure if he's actually there or if Teddy's imagining him, but at the same time I enjoyed the conversation, especially the way that Teddy confided in him about the girl rather than anyone he knows in "real life" - I think that tells us a lot about him! And I had to laugh at Merlin making up riddles for Teddy to solve - he seems to have lost his touch a bit since he was first alive, I think!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hi Sian!

I was not expecting you to come here and leave reviews for this, what a wonderful surprise! I admit that I was a bit scared to answer these right away because I really wanted to answer them purposefully and give your reviews the responses they deserve.

I'm so glad that you found my Teddy original. I did purposely choose to write him for the first time here for a couple of reasons, not least of which was the juxtaposition with the way he's usually portrayed. I wanted to cast some doubt over whether anything is truly wrong with Teddy, but I also wanted him to kind of stun you right away with his sheer weirdness. And, thus, I decided that he'd draw himself dying in all sorts of strange ways.

If I had to pick a definite answer, I'd say that Teddy's fixation with death has everything to do with growing up an orphan. That being said, I'm not sure he's made the connection quite yet at this point.

One thing I wanted out of the funeral scene was displaying that Teddy actually finds funerals entertaining. He likes to study the different ways that people do about mourning and how they speak of the dead. There's a bit of that wonder, like, if people are simply always positive about the deceased, how do I know that my parents didn't have some gigantic flaw that no one has ever had the heart to tell me about? I think that's what bothers him the most about having never known them, relying upon other people's word to know what they were like.

Liking Amy is pretty critical to liking the story as a whole, so that's very good news that you wanted to see more! She was someone totally new and looked at Teddy in a way that he's never really been looked at before. Just what he needed, in my opinion.

Merlin was super fun to write and it's always interesting to see if people think that he's weird and random or funny and fitting for the story. I will say, his riddle in this chapter was a bit weak, haha!

Thank you for this AMAZING review!


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Review #13, by nott theodoreslowly: and then all at once

22nd September 2014:
Hi Sarah!

I noticed this in the recently added pages and since you included a quote from The Fault In Our Stars in the summary, I couldn't resist - I was so intrigued to see how you interpreted it and used it in a story in the HP universe!

I think your choice of Lily for the protagonist of this story worked really well, especially since it's a next generation story and the quote ties in really well with that era, I think. And in a short amount of words you did a great job of fleshing out Lily's character so that we got some sense of who she is and her stage in life as well.

As a tiny piece of constructive criticism, I think you've got a typo in here.
'Breath, Lily.' - I think you mean 'breathe'
Obviously it's only tiny but I just thought that I'd point it out so that you can fix it :)

I really enjoyed this piece, though! It was quite a simple concept but I thought you wrote it very well, and I could picture the scene in my mind clearly, because the description was really sweet and nice.

I liked the way that you showed the father-daughter relationship between Harry and Lily here. It was so sweet to see him supporting her through this and helping her out with her nerves, as a father should do in that situation. Even though we don't have a lot of background to Lily, we get enough of a glimpse of her and her family to understand what's happening here and also to warm to them a lot.

I thought you wrote the wedding and built up the anticipation to that moment very well, too. It was so sweet to see the mix of feelings and emotions that Lily was experiencing just before going down the stairs, nervous and excited all at once, and then when she finally sees her fiance she knows that she's doing the right thing and can look towards her future.

One of my favourite things about this story was the way that you opened it with Lily's dream - something that appears countless times in films and books and TV programmes. It's the typical sort of dream for a little girl to have, wanting to be a princess, and then the transition into the reality, so her dreams have been realised, is done so smoothly. The piece flows really well.

I also liked the way that we never got the name of Lily's fiance in this piece! Ambiguity in stories like this one works very well, I think, and it lets the reader decide in their mind who it is that Lily's marrying.

This was a really sweet story and I enjoyed reading it!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hey Sian!

I've been staring at this review trying to find a way to respond to it. I don't think there is.

This review is so nice and I'm really flattered that you enjoyed this story so much. I've been listening to this particular song on repeat, and the quote just seemed to go with it.

I'm glad that you liked the feelings in the story and the way everything would build and flow. I worked really hard to get it to fit with the song, and so that really helped me with the emotions and flow and word choice.

Thanks so much for this lovely review! I really can't thank you enough!

xoxo Sarah ♥


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Review #14, by nott theodoreDecoding the Tutshill Tornados: The One with the Burnt Pie

22nd September 2014:
Hi!

Okay. Breathe. In. Out.

WHAT IS HAPPENING?!

Things escalated very quickly in this chapter. I am still reeling a lot from reading this right now, because where did that come from?

Right, so attempting a coherent review I'm going to go back to the beginning of the chapter. I really liked the way that things started to build up from the opening here, after the breaking news in the last chapter about Avery and James's marriage being a sham. The last chapter definitely ended on a more positive note, so I don't think I was really prepared for what was going to happen here!

I think you did a great job at the beginning of showing how much of a strain that the situation was putting on James and all of his friends and family too. I feel so sorry for all of them because they've not really done anything wrong and something beyond their control is affecting every member of the family. I'm glad that they're still around him though and trying to do their best to support him through it all.

Wait, Lindt has been compromised? Wow,I definitely didn't expect that! I was thinking that his persistence in upholding the code was more about the discipline necessary in Quidditch, which is kind of understandable even if the code doesn't make that much sense. But now I'm worried about what his role in all of this plan is and whether James has just given more away by explaining the Avery situation to Lindt now that he's also been compromised and is on the side of David Flynn. I wonder whether the reason that the code's been implemented so strictly has been because Flynn has been behind it all along?

It's really sweet to see the way that James truly cares about Avery, and doesn't want her to get involved too deeply in all of this. I know that he's always wanted to protect her, but I do think that it's a sign of how much he's matured over the course of these stories because he really is starting to understand the magnitude of the problems a lot more.

Ah, Bink and Freddie. Even when they're both going through some really difficult personal times they're both still their for James, doing something dangerous and crazy. At least they're not attempting to disguise themselves as women this time!

The scene with David Flynn talking to all of those people that he's got working for him was really chilling! He's such a good villain and definitely deserved the Dobby - I think I want to know more about him, and find out what his real motives are for doing all of these things, especially to Avery! I want to know what he's got on all of these important people too, to make sure that they work for him and do what he wants - even to the extent that he's released early from prison after a pardon by the Minister! I was so worried reading about all their plans to discredit James, even though you didn't tell us at that point what they were going to do, which made the ending even more of a surprise.

Oh no, they got caught! Poor James with his allergies! Although I loved the fact that even while they were in a lot of danger, there's still humour in his internal monologue. He's such a likeable character to read about!

The ending! Gah, whatever I was expecting, it wasn't that! I have no idea how James is going to make it back from this now, because that's a really serious thing to have blackening his name, even though he didn't do it. And who has taken his family hostage? What's happening? I genuinely have absolutely no idea what's going to happen - when this story began I had such high hopes, then the code was introduced and now I find out that David Flynn's basically trying to get James locked up for the rest of his life and he's got power over half of the important figures in the wizarding world.

Great chapter, although I worry for my sanity if you don't slow down a little with these cliffhangers! :P

Sian :)

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Review #15, by nott theodoreA Time of Heartache and Healing: Failure

22nd September 2014:
Hi Erica! I'm here from review tag.

For a first attempt at writing Arthur/Molly, I really think you did a great job! I've never read a story written in first person from Molly's perspective before, so I think that you did a really good job of capturing Molly's voice, and her thoughts and emotions at this point as well.

The only tiny, tiny constructive criticism I have is that there are a few points in the story when you use commas where you need semi-colons. Those aren't anything major at all, though, and don't really affect the reading of it. If you're getting a beta reader then I won't point them all out :)

I thought you did a fantastic job of capturing Molly's emotions in this period of time, after Fred's death. I always imagined her to have suffered terribly after the war because of her grief. It's not an easy feeling to portray at all but you wrote it really well. I felt so sorry for Molly as she thought about Fred and the way that she hadn't been able to protect him. It wasn't her fault at all, but I can understand completely why she'd think that she had failed as a mother because she hadn't been able to protect him when he needed it most. All of those different aspects that she thought about in this story - especially the way that Fred's future had just disappeared - were very believable and I think they just added to the way that you wrote her grief. It seemed like there was just one thing after another coming to impact on her and compound her grief, and for a lot of people that is the way it works so I found it so realistic.

One element of this story that made me really sad was the fact that Molly started to feel angry at George sometimes and that she didn't want to see him because she blamed him for not sticking with Fred. It's so upsetting but at the same time I do find it realistic. Those human aspects, like the irrational sort of anger, make Molly seem even more real in this story. It's like she's trying to find someone to blame for what she perceives of her own failure, and George is an easy target since he just reminds her of Fred every time she sees him.

And then I come to Molly and Arthur together. It's a very different portrayal of their relationship than any I've seen before because normally they're just shown to be extremely close and loving. But I did really enjoy this interpretation, because grief can affect people in so many different ways and a lot of people can begin to grow apart after something like this. It was so sad to see that Molly feels that Arthur's drifted away from her and blames her for what has happened, because I do love them as a couple, but I'm hoping that they'll manage to find each other again and sort things out between them. I thought you showed the rift really well, and I think that maybe to some extent Molly's grief is partly obscuring her view of what's happening with Arthur and how he feels, but it's so believable to see them struggling in this way after Fred's death, because it's such an ordeal.

You did a great job with this chapter and I'm really looking forward to the next one - I hope that Molly and Arthur manage to sort things out and that Molly manages to overcome her grief.

Sian :)

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Review #16, by nott theodoreNine Lives : An Annotation

22nd September 2014:
Hi there!

This story is one I actually read a while ago and now that it's receiving some extremely well deserved Dobby nominations, I really wanted to come back and leave you a review on it!

First of all, this is such an original story to write. I know that Minerva/Dougal is in canon from the information that went up on pottermore, but I have never seen another story that actually features them as a pairing so I loved the chance to be able to read about them in this, and I really hope that you continue to write it as I'd love to carry on reading about them too!

The opening idea of 'Nine Lives' and linking that into Minerva McGonagall and cats was really clever, and I loved the idea of this story exploring Minerva's life in a different way.

The writing style in this piece was so lovely to read - it flowed so well and I was just gripped from the start to the end of the chapter. It was really brilliant to see a style that managed that! The description was beautiful in this and I also loved the use of present tense because it brought me right into the story as I was reading, which worked well since it was set in the past. I felt like it really helped me to understand Minerva's story better as I watched it along with her.

Minerva was so well written too - I loved your characterisation of her! She was definitely recognisable as the woman that we see in the books but at the same time she was very different and I think that's the most original portrayal of her that I've seen. I really liked her vulnerability here - even though she's left her relationship with Dougal behind, she's still extremely vulnerable and I think that just illustrated how deeply she felt for him, as Dougal affected her composure more than anyone else could, I think. Tiny details like the way she wore her hair and how she stumbled a little at times over her words and what was best to say show how much she cares about Dougal. Because you conveyed that emotion so well, it made me feel really sad that Minerva wasn't going to be able to marry Dougal and have the relationship she dreams of, although I can understand why they couldn't be together as well.

I also absolutely loved the way that you portrayed Dougal in this story! Obviously there's almost nothing to go off when you start writing him, but I think you managed to create a great character here. He was easily believable as someone that Minerva had fallen in love with. I really liked the way that he changed his attitude over the course of the conversation - defensive and a bit indignant at times, and then at others gentle and caring. It's evident that the relationship with Minerva meant a lot to him and that he still cares for her, although he's trying to move on and doesn't want her to pity him or anything like that. But I warmed to him a lot in just this first chapter, so I'm really interested to see how you continue to develop his character after this fantastic start.

The tiny details that you included in this chapter did a lot to enhance the quality as well, and make everything feel a lot more authentic. I really liked the fact that you included some of the Scottish dialect words and wrote out Dougal's accent, as I could hear him even more clearly in my head because of it, and the differences between his accent and Minerva's here showed some of the ways that she's changed since moving away from Scotland. I always love the little details like those and you did such a great job of including them!

This was a really lovely first chapter, and I hope that you choose to continue the story soon!

Sian :)

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Review #17, by nott theodoreTraitorous Hearts: A Changing Tide

21st September 2014:
Hi Penny! I'm here for our review swap - it's been far too long since I got to read some more of this lovely story!

Wow, this was a really eventful chapter to come back to! I loved the way that you opened it, with just that one word - 'Darkness'. It had such an impact and instantly had me worrying about what was going to happen to Astoria now that she's been found out as a traitor by Draco. She's in a really perilous position now, and although I know that she must get out of this in some way because she goes on to marry Draco in the future, I was still really worried about her!

I have to say once again that I loved your description throughout this chapter! You have a lovely writing style and it was great to see all the unusual comparisons and descriptions that you included which evoked such vivid pictures in my mind.

I thought Astoria managed to get out of her predicament really well at the beginning of the chapter - at least showing she's got guts, and that she's not just going to stand back and let things happen to her. Even if a poker might not be the best weapon against a wand :P I admit though, I was surprised that Draco had his wand all along and didn't even try to defend himself against her attack, because he could so easily have done so.

I think that my favourite thing about this chapter was the development that seems to have been made in it. They're only just leaving the parlour here and yet there's so much obvious development in their characters and their strange sort of relationship as well, and I find it absolutely fascinating that there's so much progress been made already.

It was so intriguing to see Draco make sure that she didn't say the name Voldemort - such a change, and I'm sure that he didn't even realise why he'd done it in the first place. I found the way that you wrote that part very convincing, as I think there are sparks and the definite potential for some romance to develop in the future between them from what we've seen already.

It was so scary when Draco realised that the others were already coming to try and take Astoria, even though I did believe him when he said he hadn't called them and told them that she was a traitor. I also found the explanation about why they're investigating 'traitors' in the way that they are really interesting - I can imagine it being very plausible, that they would need money to pay the Snatchers and the others who are working for Voldemort primarily for the monetary gain.

It was really touching to read about how much Astoria cares for her family, too. I felt so sorry for her as she was begging and pleading for Draco to spare her father at least - even if she doesn't like them that much, or get on very well with them, she still loves them deep down and is driven by that to some extent too. She'll protect them as long as she can, and I can see that in the character I imagine as Scorpius's mother and Draco's wife. I feel sorry for her to have so much responsibility laid on her shoulders when she's only young - the youngest in her family, in fact.

Fenrir Greyback... ugh, he was so creepy. You wrote him really well, though, and gave me goosebumps reading about his attitude to Astoria and wanting to be able to have his way and it was just so horrible to read but really well written since Fenrir Greyback is an awful character!

I'm so glad that Draco managed to convince Fenrir Greyback that she's innocent and actually stood up to him! It's so brave really and it's taken a lot for him to do that - as he said, he's now a traitor for having done it. I just hope that he'll be alright because of it, since he can't actually say why he's done it yet. In the future, though, I'm sure that it's going to be something that'll bring the two of them together.

I'm really intrigued by what's coming next, too! I'm pleased that Astoria's safe for now and that there's been so much progress and so much happening between them in this chapter, all with great writing. I'll try to get back soon to carry on reading!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Sian! You leave such fabulous reviews. I'm so sorry for the delay in answering them.

Thank you so much! I really spend a lot of time looking for the right analogies and rhythms, so that compliment means a lot to me. I'm so glad that you enjoy the style!

I think that if Draco had really felt endangered, he would have used his wand. But he knew that he had the advantage. As far as he knows, Astoria doesn't have a wand on her at all, and though Draco has no intention of underestimating her, he's pretty confident in his dueling skills. And, with that in mind, he could afford to be intrigued. He's seen a lot while doing this job in the past year, but no one has ever reacted quite like Astoria, and that fascinated him. He wanted to see what else she would do.

I am *delighted* that you think the development is going well. That's important to me, since obviously there's a lot of room for these two to grow. I certainly don't want to rush things, so feel free to let me know if you ever feel that someone's growth/choices strike you unrealistic.

Yeah, that was a fun part. Before, I think you can tell that they are well-matched as opponents, but I think that's the moment when you first really get to see the sparks, the possibility ; )

I'm glad you found the premise plausible. It was one just an idea that struck me: people are greedy, and Voldemort is employing some of the lowest, greediest types of people. Fanatical devotion is all very well for people like Bellatrix, but most of his followers aren't really the "devotion" type. They're out for what they can get. So I thought Voldemort would need ways of providing for his forces, and ways to pay back his "investors". Killing Muggles/the Muggle families of Muggle-borns can't bring in much money, since what they had would all be in Muggle currency. The ones who really have cash are the Purebloods themselves. So I thought they'd be knocking people off--whoever wasn't useful. The Greengrasses could easily find themselves on that list, now that Lavinia is gone. She was useful, but Felix is a shut-in, and he's gone a bit mad, so he's not worth much to the Death Eaters.
Now, the Greengrass' money outweighs their possible contributions.

Draco was curious about whether she was guilty or not, but all along, he knew it didn't really matter. However, if everyone he and his team interviewed was killed, then the Purebloods would catch on to what was happening, and they would be angry, so theoretically, he does have some say in who gets killed and who gets a reprieve. It's just that normally it comes down to whether or not Greyback is out for blood that day. This is the first time that Draco has actually asserted his authority when they showed up without Draco calling them.

Thank you. Fenrus was fun to write, but it creeped me out, too. Like, serious shivers. Ick.

It was brave of Draco! Someone give that boy a round of applause--positive reinforcement is key. I thought it made sense in his character arc, especially in light of the next chapter.

Thank you so very much for your LOVELY review. I am always glad to get your thoughts and opinions! Sending you a huge hug of thanks!

--Penny



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Review #18, by nott theodorehow i wonder (what you are): one

21st September 2014:
Hi Lisa! I saw your post about this story on the forums the other day and it seemed really intriguing, so I finally made it here to read it!

I really enjoyed this story! I've not had the chance to read much of your writing yet but I've heard a lot about it, and this was great! I loved the originality of the plot and the way that you managed to tell the story in just a few words, really. It had so much more impact because of that.

I've never read a story before which painted either Fleur or Ginny as anything other than heterosexual, and to take the fact that we know from the books, that Ginny didn't really like Fleur, and expand it into something much more interesting and very different, was really clever!

I really liked the way that you opened this story, with the tune that's so well known and which links into the title. I thought it was really clever that the meaning of that song sort of transformed during the course of the story, because it became something more than just a nursery rhyme. At the beginning, it's a way that Fleur seems to express her personality a bit, but by the end of the story it was more about Ginny questioning both herself and Fleur too - realising that perhaps Fleur wasn't what she'd first thought her. And I really liked that ambiguity and the way that you managed to introduce it with someone as simple as a nursery rhyme!

Ginny's characterisation was great in this story, too. I really liked the way that you took the girl that we recognise from the books but explore her character a bit more, expanding her into someone who's more real than she is at this point. I thought you captured her confusion so perfectly. Not only is that age difficult as everybody's trying to work out who they are, but Ginny's got the added complication of getting confused about her sexuality and having feelings that she doesn't really understand for Fleur and others as well. You did a really fantastic job of capturing that chaos of emotion for Ginny, particularly with all the questions when she thought about who she liked and had feelings for - it's very complicated for her!

Her actions and reactions were very realistic, too. I can imagine her coming across as angry with Fleur and avoiding her, and the others think that it's just because she doesn't like her brother's fiancee, but there's a much more serious reason behind it and something that she's struggling with.

Fleur was great as well! I really enjoyed your portrayal of her here. She's always seemed such a strong character to me, and her confidence and self-assurance here worked really well with the character I see her as. I was glad to see her confronting Ginny about what's going on, since she even stood up to Molly in the end, so I can picture the exchange at the end happening really clearly. I loved the way that she managed to show Ginny that it's okay to be who you are, and you shouldn't have to worry about the gender of someone if you've got feelings about them. It's really good for Ginny that she had someone there who could reassure her and stop her from feeling like she wasn't "normal" or something like that, which she shouldn't have to.

It's a pity that Ginny felt she couldn't confide in her best friend Hermione, but at the same time I could understand that as well. And I really like the way that you captured this relationship and the moment here and wrote it so well!

Sian :)

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Review #19, by nott theodoreSevenfold: something in the way she moves

16th September 2014:
Hi Jenna! Ah, sorry it took me a little longer than I expected to get back to this story, I've missed reading it!

I really love the way that you've split this narrative throughout the chapters so far in the story so that we're getting to learn more about the Sevenfold killings and then the present day copycat killings. It builds up the intrigue and tension really well and makes me wonder what's going on, and try to work out what the real links between the two sets of killings actually are!

Madame la Douloureuse is a really intriguing character! She sounds very chilling, actually, and very dangerous, but I can imagine she was quite powerful in the circles that she moved and at the time, the fact that she's a woman who wasn't afraid to use her sexuality would probably make people even more wary of her and scared of her too. I really like the way that you're tying the second world war into the wizarding world though, and showing the influence that it had on people in Germany. I feel sorry for Ada's mother and in a way I can understand why she felt so vengeful towards the people who were so important and influential in the regime, because they did tear her whole family apart. But at the same time it's terrifying that at this point she's still a girl and is prepared to commit murder as if it doesn't really matter.

I liked the appearance of the red ribbon again though, and seeing the way that links in to the modern killings, and I'm wondering whether Ada's mother is actually still alive or whether she ended up dying and perhaps that spurred another killing.

I love Louis as a narrator. It's so interesting to read this story from his perspective, and obviously at this point he's at the forefront of everything so it's great to find out everything that's going on. He dealt really well with discovering Umbridge's body, even if he was all awkward and uncomfortable when he went into the mortuary and saw Emily about to perform the post mortem. But I'm really enjoying seeing the mystery from his perspective and finding out all the information that the investigators find out as it happens.

It was great to see another of the Weasley cousins as well! I really like the way that you're slowly introducing them into this story but also when they're actually important to the plot. Molly was really great, and I loved the way that you managed to tell us so much about her and her past in just a couple of paragraphs! I've never seen Audrey dead before, and I also like the conflict between Molly and Victoire.

I did notice just one typo though!
'she needs to sneak with you lot' - I think this should be 'speak'?

Molly seemed like a really good character to introduce the Aurors to the historical mystery as well! It was so exciting to see them establish that link finally, and the fact that they now know what might be happening next, if only they can get to know who the third and fourth victims are though.

It might just have been me, and maybe it was because of the way that Molly was kind of flirting with her, but Eugenie seemed a bit... distant? She didn't seem as interested in the information as I thought she would be. But now I'm intrigued even more about who could possibly be committing the crimes, as it seems like it would take quite specialised knowledge to find out about them, even if the archives are open for everyone. And I'm curious about whether or not the former killers are actually the target or if the copycat killer is warming up to kill someone else...

I really liked the scene between James and Louis, too, and getting the chance to see a bit of vulnerability in James who doesn't often get portrayed as anything but completely confident. It was great to see them there, although when they used 'brew' and drank beer it seemed a bit at odds...

I don't like Lucretia any more than I did before but it was fun to read about their night out. I feel like Louis's not even sure himself what he wants right now as far as romance is concerned - he's happy to just go along with Lucretia while he works it out, though. I'm really intrigued what Hannah told him that was important, though - I hope he manages to remember or find it out soon!

Sian :)

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Review #20, by nott theodoreHate: Andromeda Tonks

16th September 2014:
Hi Emily!

Gah, it's been far too long since I stopped by your page and read and reviewed anything of yours! So this looked really intriguing from the summary because I've never imagined much of a link between Lily Evans and Andromeda Tonks, so I was interested to see what you came up with!

I think this was a really original idea, and a great connection to make - it's not one that I've seen appearing before in fanfiction! Poor Andromeda, this made me feel even more sorry for her because she lost so much and there were plenty of people around for her to hate, especially after the second war when she'd lost both her husband and her daughter, and was left caring for her grandson. I think Lily Evans would have been the last person that I'd have thought of in connection to Andromeda, especially since I imagine Andromeda and Harry getting on quite well in the future because of their links with Teddy, but having read this I can imagine that Andromeda would see Harry and that would trigger these sorts of emotions in her.

It was great to see that connection, though, and the way that their situations were similar but inverted at the same time. I'm sure that, if she'd been given the chance, Andromeda would have happily given her life for her daughter, but she never got the chance and instead her daughter's given her life so that Andromeda can live. Of course, Tonks fought and died so many more people, including Teddy, could live in a happier and more peaceful world, but in her grief I can see Andromeda kind of obscuring that from her mind.

I think you did a really good job of portraying Andromeda's character, especially in such a short amount of words. From the beginning, with the title, it's clear that you're not afraid to show the darker side of Andromeda's feelings, and I think that makes it much more realistic and believable. In grief, lots of people feel anger and maybe misdirected hatred towards other people, so it's extremely authentic that Andromeda would feel this way towards Lily Evans, even if she barely knew her.

I think that my favourite part of the whole story was the way that you used the brackets to show Anromeda's thoughts, because it worked really well to add a little bit extra to the story, which isn't always easy to do in a piece that's this length.

This part:

'(Was it awful, that Andromeda could say so emotionlessly that her husband and her daughter had died? Death, dying, died, dead. Her husband and her daughter were dead. The words brought a dull pain into her heart.)'

This was my absolute favourite part of the story. The plosive alliteration here, with the 'Death, dying, died, dead' line, was just so effective. It showed really harshly how much pain Andromeda is feeling in her grief over the deaths of her daughter and her husband, and it just had a very powerful impact.

This was a really great story, Emily, and I enjoyed reading it!

Sian :)

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Review #21, by nott theodoreGone: The Disappearance

16th September 2014:
Hi there! I'm here for our review swap!

Ah, I couldn't resist picking this story when I saw it, as the title and summary were so intriguing and I also love this poem, so I couldn't wait to see how you interpreted it and used it to influence this one-shot!

This was really different to anything that I've read on the archives before. It was really original to read something like this - quite dark and a bit chilling, really, but nevertheless I really enjoyed it! I think the fact that this was a one-shot worked brilliantly too. It had much more of an impact than a longer story probably would have done, because there was no attempt at explanation of what had happened. It just happened. It was stated as fact and because of that we just accepted that suddenly everyone had disappeared and Albus was left there on his own. But I think that meant there was more of an impact - no way of changing what had happened, it just suddenly occurred. I thought it was a great idea and executed very well.

I liked your choice of Albus as the protagonist in this story, too. It worked really well because it's far enough removed from the books to make it completely believable and yet he's closely connected enough with the main characters in the series that we really feel the fact that he's left on his own. The fact that he was so young when it happened was powerful, too, because he could barely survive on his own. Just the brief mention of the fact that he only knew how to make eggs and muffins for his breakfast emphasised that really well, because there are so many life skills that he hasn't had the chance to learn and yet he's suddenly faced with this situation where he's all alone and there's no way out of it.

I thought you wrote Albus's behaviour and reactions to the situation very well too. He didn't know what had happened but at first, although it was quite creepy, he didn't panic too much about it because he hoped that they were going to come back. After all, it could have just been a dream at the beginning. I like the fact that he decides he's going to live his life as well, because it shows this survival instinct - there's not much else he can really do if he wants to carry on and hope that one day he's going to find someone else who's made it through whatever happened to cause everyone else to disappear. But he does flourish for a while - I think in a way it might be easier to, as he's got nobody else to compare himself to now.

The scene with the photograph album was very poignant and powerful. Albus has managed to get by just by pretending that everything's normal and going about his life day by day as if there's nothing really changed, but the reminder that this photo album brings, of all the things and the people that he's lost, would be horrible for anyone. I can understand why he'd break down in tears!

The disappearance is really intriguing - I can't help but wonder why they disappeared and why Albus was the only one left. But I think it's better that you didn't tell us, as it leaves more room for our imagination to come up with explanations and keeps Albus in the dark.

Albus, even at the end, shows some of that survival instinct that's kept him going through all of this so far. Even though he's writing a letter to no one and thinking that he might succumb to madness soon, I think he's fighting it a little by recording his story and showing that he wants to carry on. But the last words were really fantastic, and tied in so well with the story.

This was a really great one-shot, and I thought it was an original and well-written idea!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hi Sian!

I'm glad I managed to write something original, as well as chilling! You definitely understand why I made this a one shot. I didn't want to give any reason behind what happened at all. I wanted there to be no hope and no answers at the end of it all.

Yes, Albus was chosen because we know his family so well and hopefully could feel his loss along with him a bit better, as well as the fact that I could make him really young reasonably within canon. He truly is quite unprepared for the world at large, as he's only ever lived at home or at Hogwarts. Fortunately for him, he has all the time in the world to learn now, I suppose.

I think Albus holds up in this situation a lot better than most people would. Like you said, he even begins to flourish as a person. Learning and improving himself with all of his newfound free time. But, I couldn't end it on a good note, of course. The photo album was the first device that came to mind that would stress everything that he left behind so suddenly.

I love leaving endings really ambiguous because I think when you leave your readers with something extra to ponder, the story has that much more of an effect on them. And, it's really fun to hear all of the ideas that people come up with.

The letter to no one was kind of Albus' final stand. He refused to let this little incident come and go as if it never happened.
I'm thrilled that I used the quote well! I was nervous that it didn't tie in as well as I would have liked! So happy that was effective.

I certainly understand the abundance of Best Reviewer nominations you received now. Thank you so much for your kind words, this review was so amazing!


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Review #22, by nott theodoreKeep Calm and Carry On: Chapter Twenty-Five

16th September 2014:
Hello again!

AH SO MUCH FLUFF THIS IS AMAZING! I really love getting the chance to read about Oliver and Edie and all their cute moments now that they've finally talked to each other about their feelings and stopped being all obstinate and stupid about things not being able to happen between them. It's so great to read about them together in this chapter because we've been reading and hoping for them for so long and now they're finally getting there. Which is amazing.

Your description of the wedding is just amazing. Every little detail is painted so vividly that I can picture it in my mind - the music, the dancing, the order of it - I couldn't help laughing out loud when I read about Claire getting up to announce every single stage in the wedding and the party afterwards, because it's like it's been organised with military precision and even if the other guests don't want to do any of the things she's insisting on, they don't really get much of a choice since she's announcing the instructions to the whole party.

The detail and thought that you've put into the wedding really is great, though. And it really does fit well with what I imagine Justin wanting - some fancy location and everything done so properly, so that everyone is guaranteed to know that he's done well for himself and that he and Lisa are going to be successful. I'd love to see his family's reaction if they found out that Lisa was already pregnant :P

Talking of Lisa, I love the way that she's breezing around the wedding and doing so well with all the bride's duties, talking to all the guests and enjoying herself, but managing to stop herself from drinking anything by passing every glass she gets to Edie. I'm not sure Edie's the best choice given the way she sometimes behaves when she's drunk, but she's the maid of honour - it's one of her bridesmaid's responsibilities, right? She doesn't have a choice about whether she gets drunk or not, she just has to help Lisa :P

Ah, Dean. So there was something more than the fact that Edie hadn't been spending much time with him and Seamus recently, and I guess he kind of has got a point because they risked a lot for her by breaking into the building. But at the same time I'm really glad you wrote about the 'friendzone' and you did a great job of capturing the confusion and awkwardness that Edie felt when she realised that Dean was in love with her. I do feel sorry for him, but at the same time, Edie shouldn't feel guilty for not feeling the same way. I'm just hoping that in the future her and Dean can maybe get back to being just friends, although I doubt it, unfortunately, as it's normally really awkward.

Haha, Seamus wandering in and just having no idea what's going on :P He's so great, and I loved the way he was acting like Oliver's best friend and then didn't even realise the bartender was a man. Seamus is brilliant for comic value, as well as being a good friend.

Aw, Oliver and Edie are once again really cute (I'm feeling like I need to improve my vocabulary right now, I apologise!) and I love them getting to know a bit more about each other through normal, little conversations like this. Although Edie made me laugh so much after all her resolutions not to do anything, even kiss Oliver, and then by the end of the chapter she's just demanding that Oliver goes and takes her back to his place. Edie's just such a realistic character and that's fantastic - she makes mistakes, plenty of them, and has to live with them, but she's so likeable as well.

Ah, I'm a bit worried about the truth coming out about her articles, though! This was a great chapter!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hello again! So sweet of you to leave two wonderful reviews. Thank you very much ♥

Hahaha "stopped being all obstinate and stupid." That's very true. (Maybe mostly Edie's stupidity, but we'll see...) I was very nervous writing this scene because I figured a lot of readers have been waiting for it forever (or those of you who don't still hate Oliver, anyway, hehe.) I was so scared I wouldn't do it justice! Turning Edie from completely helpless in the way of romance to *this* was nerve-wracking.

Ohh, Claire... I don't think the mother of the bride typically even has a role in weddings (at least that I've seen.) But Claire is certainly not letting that happen. Good thing sweet Lisa is as calm and laid back as she is, or things could have gotten very ugly...

Yeah! To be fair to Edie, she really did intend to stay sober for the night... But things didn't exactly go as planned. Like you said, though, she's just doing her job, right? ;)

Yeah, I really wanted Edie and Dean's relationship to not be as black-and-white as I've seen before. (Obviously in some cases that works, but it wouldn't for this story.) They're both good people, but they're in an unfortunate situation with no real remedy, so each of them is the victim and each of them is to blame in some way. Edie really does ask a lot of him, and even kind of uses him unknowingly (especially with breaking into Witch Weekly.) But she isn't required to have feelings for him because of it.

SEAMUS. I feel like I need to write a series of one-shots based on what's going on in Seamus's head. I'd imagine it at times to just be a little hamster on a wheel, or cheese sandwiches, or girls.

Yeah, Edie's resolve didn't last very long, did it? It very quickly went from "we should keep at a distance" to "well... I mean... we *could* kiss, I guess." I was nervous writing that whole part of the chapter, because I wanted to acknowledge that they weren't outwardly trying to be cruel to Rose. But I also wanted to stray away from the "forbidden romance," especially at a wedding. Hence Oliver and Edie didn't dance together or really even interact in any way that felt too "Grey's Anatomy" to me ;)

Oh, the articles. Shhh, Sian, just ignore them until they go away! That's what Edie's doing, at least.

Thank you again for your reviews! I can't wait to get back to writing this story. ♥


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Review #23, by nott theodoreKeep Calm and Carry On: Makeshift

16th September 2014:
Ah! Okay, so I finally got a few minutes to review the two latest chapters of this story (I don't have time to go back and review every chapter, but I can start from now, right?)

Edie's nervousness before the wedding was really cute. And she just can't concentrate on what she's meant to be doing, which is Seamus's hair (isn't Seamus old enough to do his own hair? It's not like he's the one getting married :P) and eventually her mum has to do it for her. At least she can now admit (to herself) why she's so nervous about going, and it's not really the fact that she's got a long journey via Portkey. That's a good sign!

And arriving right in the middle of a fight, that sounds so like something that would happen to Edie. The explanation of the fight made me laugh a lot, too - it's always those ridiculous sort of tensions that come along and cause a fight or something years later!

Dean! It's been a while since we saw him properly in this story and I have missed him, even though I've been preoccupied (like Edie) with all the other things that are going on in her life. He seemed to be acting a bit strange with her, so I'm intrigued about what's causing that... maybe just the fact that she's not been making time for him and he's annoyed about it? Or maybe there's something more to it...

Lisa ♥ I loved seeing the conversation between Edie and Lisa just before the wedding, and the way that even though she's meant to be helping her best friend with one of the biggest days in her life, Edie is still getting distracted by mentions of Oliver! It was nice to see the two of them though, before this massive moment in Lisa's life! Although I'm equally intrigued about why Oliver needed Justin to work as his lawyer...

The wedding seemed to fit Justin very well, although it wasn't quite as bad as I thought it was going to be, without some of the awful things (her Portkey was bad enough, honestly!). And Peter, breaking down and sobbing about how alone he was, made me laugh so much :P I can just imagine Justin's brother in tears about being single at the wedding!

Yayayay Edie and Oliver! I was so excited for this moment, because it was great, after 24 chapters, to see them having the conversation they've probably needed to have since the very beginning (although to be honest, if they'd had this conversation way back then, there wouldn't have been a story for us to read so I won't blame you for that :P). The explanation about Oliver and Rose makes sense, and I don't think worse of him for it, especially when Edie's thinking back to the relationship she had with Cormac (!) which basically paralleled what was happening with Oliver and Rose. And of course, the explanation brought Oliver's feelings about Edie into the open more, and I couldn't complain about that!

OLIVER AND EDIE FINALLY KISSED!!! ♥ ♥ ♥ That was such a cute moment and a really great end to this chapter - I can't wait to see what happens next! (I'm really hoping that Edie doesn't go and do something stupid and make things awkward again...)

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hi there! You most certainly can start reviewing from wherever you want. If you're suddenly like, "Oh, and by the way, in chapter two you mentioned something I didn't like..." I would a) be very impressed with your memory and b) be very thankful 'cause that chapter is about to get a major facelift this week. Right now it's oh so *Cringe-y* to me.

Haha, Seamus certainly is old enough to do his own hair! But that's him, I guess. A fun-loving and hyperactive little terrier, and also extremely lazy. Plus Edie probably felt bad about pretty much ignoring him for so long...

Ha! Yes, the fight! I posted a rather embarrassing status in the forums about it. I was picturing these two very bro-y guys, in American terms. Like the kind who visit their old colleges and reminisce during football games about how good it was ten years ago, and it's kind of funny but for some reason also made me a little sad? Anyway I couldn't think of a British word for "bro" and enlisted the help of some people on the forums... ha!

Ohhh gosh, writing an Edie and Lisa scene is just like... detoxing from the rest of this story. They just come so naturally (not at all trying to be boastful, I hope it doesn't sound that way) just because they're such good friends and their time spent together feels so natural and easy. I really liked writing the scene of Edie helping her to get ready. Even though Edie was being a bit selfish, as per the usual, and wanting to know more about Justin being Oliver's lawyer...

Ha! That Portkey! I was rather pleased with that one, to be honest. Justin. Oh, Justin. And Peter! I imagine him to be like the older, shorter, not as attractive, not as successful brother who's like, a door-to-door salesman for hair loss potions or something. Poor lil feller.

Wow, yeah, I guess 24 chapters is a long time to wait. Phew. A long time coming, I'd say, and hopefully it felt pretty natural. One thing I am terrified of--yes, TERRIFIED--is building a relationship too quickly. So I think I overcompensate by dragging it out for as long as possible? And ew, Cormac. Paha. What was Edie thinking, eh?

Thank you Sian! On to the next wonderful review you've so kindly left! ♥


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Review #24, by nott theodoreSnakes & Ladders: Nine - Eleven Weeks

16th September 2014:
Hi again, Jess!

Ah, Christmas! The beginning of this chapter made me all excited for it even though it's still like three months away, but we'll move on from my love of Christmas to this great chapter :P

I really liked the opening! Ruby was sweet to send Emilia something for Christmas like those chocolates (which are wonderful, and now I'm hungry...) and it's definitely a good present to wake up to on Christmas morning! And oh my goodness, those little baby shoes are absolutely adorable! They're really cute anyway but the fact that Albus has gone and got her a present for the baby is just really sweet and perfect!

Contrasting that against her parents' present for her is horrible, really. Obviously the fact that Albus and Emilia are going to have a baby together makes a pretty strong connection between them, but these people are her parents and they've got tons of money - they could actually put some thought into the present for her rather than giving her an envelope full of money which has no feeling in it whatsoever! It was sweet of Emilia to give some to a charity though, last year - maybe she'll need it for herself instead though, this time...

Aw, the build-up to the family Christmas dinner was really well-written. I liked the arrival of some of the extended family, and the almost-chaos that Kendra brought into the house, because it felt a lot more like Christmas should be with the Clearwaters there rather than the cold, perfect Christmas that Emilia's parents had probably planned. I am a little bit confused about how the Clearwaters are related exactly, though - is Elizabeth Emilia's father's sister? (Not that it makes much difference, I'm just curious :P)

It was really cute to read about Kendra and how excited she was about everything to do with Christmas - I thought you captured her as a young child really well, especially with the run on sentences and little details like that. And then during the dinner, when she had absolutely no idea what was going on with the rest of them and was just happy with her Christmas dinner. Elizabeth seems really nice though, and I was glad that Ellis was there for the day because I suspected that her news was going to come out...

Oh my goodness though, that was such a painful revelation! I really want to just be there right now to give Emilia a hug, because she's got such a difficult time to go through. Having to tell her parents that she's pregnant is going to be difficult enough without them being the sort of people who offer to pay for an abortion and then tell her she can have the child as long as she basically goes into hiding and gives the baby up for adoption. Where is the love? Where is the support? These people need some serious parenting lessons! Just because they throw money at their children does not make them good parents, and this is a time when Emilia really needs their help and support and they just throw everything back in her face.

And Emilia is adopted! I definitely wasn't expecting that bombshell, when they suggested it themselves for her baby... her mother is completely awful. Honestly. How can she say something like that to her daughter, just because she got pregnant as a teenager? It's so upsetting to read about and I really hope that Emilia's going to be okay. I'm just glad that there are people that she knows will support her in the long-run, and she's told Albus as well by now. I'm hoping that Oliver will pull through for her too, even if I'm not sure if they're both blood-related now...

Sian :)

Author's Response: Your lengthy reviews give me life. They're like their own little novels aw.

I must agree with your love of Christmas eek! So far, but yet so close...

The idea for Albus' gift to her came to me when I saw some adorable little shoes in a shop. Instantly my mind drifted to this fic and I was like "EMILIA NEEDS!" hahaha. Her parents could definitely get her a better gift with all the money they have - ugh! But you may be right. I think Emilia may need the money more for herself and the baby this year :

I feel your love for needing to know everything about character's backgrounds - I share this! I'm thinking about touching on it in the actual story since I've had a few people ask. Basically, Emilia's mother (who is called Ann-Marie fyi) and Liz are sisters. Liz and Penelope are sisters-in-law since Ellis/Kendra's dad is Penelope's brother. Unfortunately though, Ellis' dad died when Kendra was only a year or two old :( Elizabeth still keeps his surname: Clearwater.

Ah I could rant all day about the Wilson parents! I HATE THEM SO MUCHH THIS IS NOT EVEN PARENTING AT ALL. I really wish I could say this story had a happy ending with them... I really do.

Thanks again for reading and reviewing! Much lovee

xo

p.s. this is going to be talked about in the next chapter but Oliver is the biological son of his parents :) so he is not blood-related to Emilia but still adores her to pieces ;)


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Review #25, by nott theodoreSnakes & Ladders: Three - Nine Weeks

16th September 2014:
Hi again, Jess! I know I reviewed this a while ago but I saw that this chapter accidentally got deleted so I thought I'd come back and leave you a quick review before I move onto the most recent chapter!

I feel so sorry for Emilia at this point, although in a way I think that once she comes to terms with it, knowing is going to be better for her than the uncertainty that she had otherwise, and at least this way she can start to make plans for what she's going to do about everything! And I think you wrote her reaction to finding out the news really well, as it seemed realistic. More than anything, she wanted not to believe it because she didn't want it to be true. I felt sorry for her when she had to switch into normality and pretending that everything was alright so soon after finding out such drastic news!

I think Emilia's handling things quite well, so far. She's quite sensible and at least she's being fair in not instantly thinking that Albus is to blame.

I really liked Rose's appearance here! It was nice to see her introduced as someone that Emilia's friends with already and I liked the way that you portrayed her, too. Their girly sleepovers sound fun and I like the fact Emilia's already got that link with the family and I'm sure that Rose is going to come through for her when it matters. I feel like Emilia's going to need all the friends she can get now!

Yay, I'm glad to see that at least Albus is trying to talk to her and isn't just happy to forget about things or pretend like everything's normal or nothing happened between them. That's a good sign! She does need to tell him soon though and I hope that she manages to get the courage to do that!

Oliver seems really sweet! If he's a Healer as well then it seems like Emilia's going to have a good person in the family to help her out with things in the future, and hopefully he'll look after her and stick up for her if her parents make things difficult (which I suspect they will...)

Ugh, Marin. I really, really don't like her, but you probably know that already :P She's so selfish and self-centred and mean and I really think that Emilia could have a better friend than her, because of course people can have more important issues than what their supposed best friend is being moody about to deal with. But I'm worried that Marin is going to cause a lot of problems for Emilia in the future as well...

Sian :)

Author's Response: Aw hi! Thank you so much for the thoughtfulness. I would reply properly but I'm not sure what the etiquette is in occurrences like this? Just know that I appreciate you taking the time to r&r again! It means a lot thank you thank you thank you!!

xo


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