Reading Reviews From Member: teh tarik
  
521 Reviews Found

Review #1, by teh tarikThe Internal Monologue of Annett Sinclaire Kluge: The Peculiar Childhood: A Prologue

11th October 2014:
Hiya! I'm here with a review which you requested from me ages ago. o.O Sorry for the delay!

I'm loving your story so far! There are many things which I found particularly amusing, like the title, and Annett's situation - a Muggle-born with Muggle scientist parents, and with a world firmly rooted in science and scientific theory. I always love fics combining magic and science, so I was absolutely thrilled to read this chapter. :D I can't wait to find out how Annett will reconcile all her scientific knowledge and logic with the wacky, sometimes illogical world of magic. I really enjoyed the level of detail of the ecohouse, by the way; I'm the kind of reader who likes detail in stories, and clearly you know what you're writing about.

In your areas of concern, you mentioned characterisation. Well, Annett's characterisation comes off quite strongly, which is great. I love the tone of her narration, and how calm she is, and her dry sense of humour, which was wonderful. Sometimes writers can go overboard with the humour, and it can sound a bit strained, but Annett's voice comes off very naturally, and the humour is skilfully woven into the tone as well as the narrative. I find it very interesting that Annett seems to accept the existence of magic so readily. I know she's had a lot of weird things happen to her as a child, and Teddy was pretty much turning her pencil into a flower...and I know that stoicism is probably one of Annett's characteristics, as mentioned in the story summary. But I would like to suggest that perhaps padding in a little extra detail, and creating a greater sense of buildup (it needn't be a huge dramatic affair at all!) toward Annett's point of acceptance would really make things more convincing. And it would help with character development as well.

I love Teddy's appearance in the fic, by the way! I'm grinning a little at him being part of a welcoming committee for Muggle-borns! And I do hope to see more of him in the coming chapters! Annett's observations of his Apparition were incredibly amusing to watch. In fact, I really do love how unflappable she is! :)

OK, my favourite part of this chapter has got to be 'the hominid banker' with a highly ponderable phylogenetic history! Brilliant way of describing a Gringott's goblin!

Well, this chapter has definitely captured my interest, and I think you've got a strong start to a very promising story! Great premise and characterisation.

THank you for requesting, and once again I do apologise for the wait, and I hope this review will be of some use to you. :)

-teh

Author's Response: Hey teh!

It's okay! Haha. No harm done. :D

Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! I am so delighted to hear that you're liking it so far. How will Annett deal with magic, indeed? ;) We shall have to see how she interprets this new side of the world.

I try, haha! Thank you! All you are saying about the novel so far is really encouraging me to write more and hope that I don't disappoint with the next chapters. I will certainly take your advice about adding more detail in to that part, thank you for pointing that out. :)

Ahh! I'm just so happy that her character seems to be showing successfully!

Bahaha! I'm thrilled to hear that you loved that line! It is one of my better moments. Thank you! i really hope I can deliver upon those expectations. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for such this wonderfully helpful review! You're just awesome, teh!

Cheers,
Em


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Review #2, by teh tarikHaunted: the gift

7th October 2014:
Isobel! ♥

I'm here for your requested review. WOW, IT HAS BEEN AGES SINCE I SAID THAT FOR ANY OF YOUR STORIES. In fact, it has been far too long since I read any of your work. And yay, new story! Hogwarts Era as well!

OK, I know this is meant to be a Drarry or Tharry, but is that Lavender Brown and Padma Patil I see? Are they together?!? AHH. I get EXCITED when I see these two in the same room at the same time. ♥

Right, Theodore Nott. This is probably the first Theodore-centric story I've read, and I love his character already; he's so complex, and it was really interesting seeing him work against the Death Eaters by helping out with the DA. This is such a short chapter, but already you've written him with a lot of depth: his fears, his motives (some of them at least). And ooh, Theodore and Lavender were friends? And I like that Lavender is not going to compromise her beliefs for an old acquaintance like Theodore - strong girl. One thing I found especially fascinating about Theodore is how he's connected to all these characters: Lavender, and he seems to genuinely care about Astoria. I can't wait to see how he connects with Harry.

Your use of second person is great as usual; everything flows very smoothly from start to finish. I don't think I can give you any critique on the second person narrator at all; clearly, you're very comfortable with writing this POV.

I loved seeing the other DA members as well. Ginny is clearly in charge here, and I love how you've written her. Her and Neville have become tougher, harder - even Lavender and Padma, and I can certainly see how this whole bunch will become the brave defenders of Hogwarts in the final battle. I do wonder how they're going to use the Felix Felicis. The gift of good luck is almost like - not quite a peace offering - but an offering of an alliance of some sort between Theodore and the DA.

Anyway, YES this fic does make me want to scream at you to update. I'll have to add this to a list of fics which I demand you update (CoA, Defining Astoria, HWC, J17, TPP etc.). But oh well, at least I have two more chapters to read? START WRITING THE REST. ♥

Fabulous start, Isobel!

-teh

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Review #3, by teh tarikbloom.: bloom

5th October 2014:
Well, hello there, Miss Dobby Finalist! (Though if by some devilry you don't become Dobby Winner I'll eat my laptop, extension cord and all.)

I'm here at last with your requested review. I read this some days ago and absolutely loved this, nominated this, etc. This story is a fabulous exploration of a minor character. Poppy's whole life in this story, leading right up to who she becomes in canon. Well, who knew that the brisk, purposeful Madam Pomfrey in the books was ever such a purposeless, drifting person once?

And I think that has got to be my absolute favourite aspect of her characterisation: her adriftness. It's so realistic and so surprising, and you developed this brilliantly. Poppy has talent, is intelligent and determined when she wants to be, and of course the main problem is that she doesn't really want to do anything. She seems to exist only in the present moment, and is blinkered by the present, and unable to see any future for herself. And all her relationships are only meaningful in the context of the present; she moves too much and she takes so little baggage with her through life. Honestly, I don't think I've read a more beautifully-written portrayal of Poppy's character.

Her whole relationship with Dewey was lovely. I love how quiet it was, how they just seem to float together, and decided they like each other and stick together, until of course, the awful tragedy of Marigold's death, which changes Poppy's entire life and also starts unravelling the relationship between her and Dewey. The way the relationship ended was apt, and I think it suited both Poppy and Dewey's characters. I love reading about fuss-free relationships sometimes.

Poppy and Genevieve's relationship was a great contrast to the Poppy/Dewey ship. Things happen pretty fast with Genevieve, and I think it was great that Poppy associates her with healing. Despite their initial dislike for each other, Genevieve does bring a spark to Poppy's life, if only an ephemeral one. It's a little sad that they burn out so quickly, but so, so true to Poppy's character. And of course her next relationship with Healer Fitkins is even quicker and with barely any connection between the characters.

You wrote in your request that you were concerned about the ending, that everything felt too rushed or inconclusive. Well, I can assure you that there's a great sense of an ending, and that your fic definitely has a beautiful conclusion, one which slots the whole story neatly into canon. I don't find anything wrong with how the story ended. But if you're still unsure about it, perhaps I can make a suggestion. The ending is a lot sparser, or lighter (in terms of narrative and detail) compared with the beginning and middle sections, so maybe if you pad things out a little, provide more detail (or rearrange the details so more of the earlier sections are transferred toward the end - if you don't want to increase the word count), then you could build up to a stronger sense of an ending. Another suggestion would be perhaps to develop Healer Fitkins' character a little bit more? Fitkins isn't as well-developed as, say, Dewey, but he seems to play a rather important role in your story, and in relation to Poppy. Perhaps increasing the depth of interaction between Poppy and Fitkins toward the ending might help? It will however mean increasing the word count. :P

But like I said, I still think it's brilliant and you really shouldn't worry. :D

Well, I enjoyed this story truly, Maia! Best of luck with the Dobbys, and you should certainly be proud of this story!

-teh

Author's Response: teh!! this review is absolutely fab omg ♥

you must be psychic because i did become Miss Dobby Winner - no need to eat any electrical appliances! I still can't even believe it oh my god, I was up against such amazing stories and I didn't think I had a chance - I might be in a permanent state of shock for the rest of my life?? but i'm so happy :O

anyway, i'm so glad you liked this! I didn't really go into it intending to write Poppy as adrift as she comes across, but she kinda wrote herself after a while and so it turned out like this. But i think it works really well and I'm so glad you do too - it's such a contrast to what she is in canon that it was fun to write her transition between the two! I'm so glad you liked my portrayal of her wow ♥

I was originally going to have Dewey being this mean guy who she doesn't like at all, but in the end it seemed much more poignant and realistic if he was actually pretty nice. Not perfect, but nice, and they could have been really happy - but life got in the way and they both have to accept it. I love writing tragic love stories where nobody is really at fault - it's so complex and i love exploring complex things ;)

Genevieve wasn't even going to be a romantic interest at first but I really wanted to give Poppy a variety of relationships so Genevieve became a good way to do that - I'm glad you liked it! She definitely represents the healing phase in Poppy's life, and more than that an academic kind of phase - Genevieve is full of words and knowledge and while Poppy has never liked books she learns to use them to her advantage while working on the cure, so that is when she falls for Genevieve, but it doesn't last longer than the cure because she passes out of that phase. Poppy's life is very fluid and she's good at letting go of things she no longer needs, which I think can be both a strength and a curse to her.

I'm really glad you liked the ending. I tend to thin out the description towards the ends of fics to show a change of the pace as it reaches the end, but I may edit it and add a bit more at some stage, that's a good suggestion :)

Thanks so much for this amazing review honey!

~Maia


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Review #4, by teh tarikChai, Samosas, and a Friend in the Wee Hours of the Morning: Chai, Samosas, and a Surprise

4th October 2014:
Hey there!

I'm here from the Review Tag. I must say, I adored this story. I love Hannah/Neville, and I love Hannah-centric stories set in the Leaky Cauldron. I always find it fascinating that Hannah Abbott of all people would go on to buy over the Leaky Cauldron. One thing: you keep mentioning Hannah's mother, but if I'm not mistaken, Hannah's mother was killed during the war (I believe it was mentioned in the sixth book...). Or perhaps Hannah's dad has remarried and she has a stepmother? Anyway, it doesn't detract from this very lovely story!

COOKING!! I love culinary-themed stories, and my goodness, I'm now craving samosas. I love all the careful and elaborate details of Hannah's food preparation, and I love your descriptions! Also, I'm pretty sure this is the first Hannah Abbott I've come across who has Indian blood in her so yay! I love all the details of her characterisation: how she loves her job because of the big kitchen, so much so that she stays back when everyone has gone just to cook!

And you wrote her interactions with Neville so so well. The fluff was lovely, and I think I started grinning llike an idiot when Neville offered to help with the potatoes with so much eagerness. The both of them are such an endearing pair.

The ending scene was wonderful. Chai and samosas and friendship. Gorgeous combination.

I loved this story; I'm so glad I had the chance to read it! Briliant writing. :)

-teh

Author's Response: Heya!

I'm glad you enjoyed it! I adore Hannah/Neville stories as well, and there really should be more out there! And I love that aspect of Hannah too, so I tried to think of a possible reason she might become the landlady of the Leaky Cauldron. I like to think of this as the seed. And I didn't know that! Hmm. I'm sort of loathe to take it out, so I'll let readers think whatever they like about it: it's a mistake on my part, or her father remarried. Either works for me :)

I don't really like cooking, so this was weirdly fun to write. There was a surprising amount of research involved which I wasn't expecting. But it's good that you want samosas now! It means I did a decent job :P And it's the little things in life that make it special :)

Gosh, writing her and Neville together was just so cute, because I was all like "Oh, you have NO IDEA where this is going, do you? Tee hee!"

Thanks so much for the lovely review :) I'm glad you enjoyed it!


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Review #5, by teh tarikJigsaw: Piece #3

2nd October 2014:
Sian!!

Heey, I'm back for your latest chapter! I read it a couple of days ago, but couldn't find time to leave you a proper review! Anyway, ooh, the plot thickens and the mystery deepens!

There are so many aspects about the mystery that continue to intrigue me: the largely unknown Malcolm Armstrong (still quite an enigma), and the Hitwizards reluctance to reveal information to the press. And I love that Lily is working with Law Enforcement (I can't remember if you mentioned this in the earlier chapters); it's just fascinating that Lily and Roxanne are working the same case but from different angles. I find it so interesting that such disappearances are a very rare event since the second wizarding war, and I do wonder if this is somehow tied to events from the war. Even though that was a very long time ago. And there arent's any ex-death eaters involved.

I love Andy Chambers already, especially when he stood up for poor Roxanne. The girls is being seriously bullied by Miranda, who isn't even bothering to be subtle about her caustic, injurious remarks. It sounds like she's hoping Roxanne will be pushed off the case, and it will be reassigned to her instead. NO, PLEASE DON'T LET POOR ROXANNE GO THROUGH SUCH EMBARRASSMENT. :P Sorry for shouting; I'm really disliking Miranda! :P

I love all the other recurring characters in this chapter, like Obadian Bonnette and Amanda Cuthbert, and I love Martha Mockridge as well. They may be minor characters, but they're so striking and very well-characterised and memorable. I especially adore the complex relationship that seems to exist between Obadiah and Amanda. They're both competitive and yet they seem to be rather mature about their work, and have no problem putting aside their differences sometimes to engage in discussion. And this Jensen Collins does sound annoying haha! I guess now that Roxanne is starting to gain a bit of attention with her brilliant questions at the press conference and all, she's also getting some unwanted attention.

And finally, I love me some Weasley family drama, and Fred and Lily's appearances in this chapter had me hugging my knees in anticipation (I'm sitting with my chin on my knees haha). Will Roxanne and Lily interact? What really is the thing that's driving a wedge between the Weasleys? And what on earth is Fred up to, sneaking around in Knockturn Alley? By the sound of Roxanne's tone, Knockturn Alley hasn't changed much, still has that unsavoury reputation.

I absolutely cannot wait for the next chapter! This was amazing. You need to update this, lovely! ♥

-teh

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Review #6, by teh tarikThis is Audrey Tang: The Bad Taste: A Bad Taste

1st October 2014:
Hey Gabbie!!

AT LAST I'm here for your requested review. I'm so sorry it has taken me so long; haha, I guess this is what happens when I don't have a queue. Also, real life etc. You're right; I've actually read some of this fic before, but that was a long time ago, and I"m so glad you requested.

Ah, what can I say Gabbie...I love your portrayal of Audrey. Seriously, this is one of the most original portrayals of Audrey I've ever read, and I love her character and how you've written her. She's such a street-smart tough girl but she's not completely invulnerable. I find it so funny that she's attracted to Percy of all people - the stiffest, most uptight of the Weasleys, and I absolutely love the effect her presence has on Percy. Well, the effect they both have on each other. (sexual tension, haha).

I also love how you've written Percy! He's snarkier than most versions of Percy I've encountered on HPFF, and I think he's more memorable. Hah, they complement each other so well. And they stand up to each other very fiercely as well. I love all the dialogue between them, and how fearless Audrey is in pursuing him. :P

Also, it was great to see Lee and George there! Well, I'm kind of familiar with the whole scene, especially after having read your companion one-shot to this story, through Percy's POV. Anyway, I absolutely can't wait to read on and see how Audrey and Percy's relationship develop!

In terms of CC, you might want to be careful with repetition in your writing. Sometimes you repeat phrases/images far too often, e.g. Percy's 'dead eyes'. I think you mentioned this several times, and while the emphasis is great, sometimes it can be a little repetitive. I think the image of Percy's dead kind of look is a very striking one, especially as it's the first thing Audrey notices about him. I don't think you need to repeat the description too many times.

But other than that, I think you've got a fabulous start Gabbie! It's great to see you posting this again, and though I'm struggling to cope with RL and everything, I hope to be able to find my way back to this story soon! Am loving this so far. Thanks for requesting, love. ♥

-teh

Author's Response: Hello!

Welcome back, Teh! I was wondering where you had vanished but there's no need to apologize or anything for being late because I'm just glad that you're here at all! :D

Audrey's really different from my other female leads in the sense that she's a lot more tough on the outside than she appears. I mean, in my mind she's only about five foot two, if that so when you look at her you get the sense that she might be really weak. It's only when she opens her mouth that you might want to be careful. Hahahah.

I think that she was attracted to Percy to some degree because of how vulnerable he looked. Audrey's pretty sensitive sometimes when she wants to be and I think she saw something in him that she had seen in herself? That's the only way I can describe it.

Bwhaha, I love this version of Percy to death. I didn't think that he would stay the most stuffiest of Weasley's after the War and he certainly has a mouth on him too so it was great writing him as a bit snarkier versus stuck up. Hahahahah.

I don't think a lot of people have read "That Night" to understand how Percy ended up in the strip club that night but I'm glad that you enjoyed seeing Lee and George! Hahahaha. Ah, Percy and Audrey will see one another again soon but I think that they're going to have a rough time getting closer to one another.

Muahahahahaha.

I noticed a lot of CC's after I'd posted this and I thought to myself, "Why do you do notice these things while something is in the queue?" Hahahahahahha. I'll clean them up as soon as I have time!

I hope that RL issues work out well for you and that you're able to come back and chat with me sometime! I've missed your wonderful reviews! :)

Thanks a bunch, dear!

Much love,

Gabbie





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Review #7, by teh tarikChicks Before Broomsticks: Fast Life

21st September 2014:
Hello!

I'm here with your requested review! Sorry, it takes me a while to fulfil these requests because I'm incredibly bogged down with real life. BUT here I am at last. :) Well, I've never read a Roxanne/OC fic before, and I'm so glad you requested. I love reading about Roxanne; there are few fics about her compared to say, James and Albus and Rose.

I think you've got a great opening chapter! I'm loving the set-up of the story so far: the Tutshill Tornado Quidditch team, with the main character, Hollie, being really dissatisfied with her position as the reserve Beater who doesn't get much - if any - game time. Though this is the first chapter, I think I've already got quite a good handle on Hollie's character, and her characterisation is detailed, realistic and interesting. I love the contrasts you've shown in her character so far: her detachment from the whole celebratory scene because she felt like she hadn't contributed anything, her quick and furious reaction with the sleazy dude hitting on her, and I perhaps detech a sense of underlying frustration at some of her teammates (the ones who aren't reserves) who are getting drunk with no thought of the morning's practice, while she makes the decision to retire early.

You established Hollie's feelings for Roxanne really early on, which is great. It seems to me that Hollie is feeling a very intense and almost overwhelming attraction toward Roxanne; she spends a good deal of her time at the bar trying to look for Roxanne (and Alec and others, but mostly Roxanne), and upon encountering her and Logan in the men's room, Hollie goes home and cries herself to sleep. That is a very strong reaction of Hollie's, and I'm wondering if there was actually something that happened between her and Roxanne in the past, something that makes Hollie feel so strongly toward the other girl. It might not even be something that Roxanne is aware of. I'm curious to read on and find out.

In your request, under the areas of concern bit, you mentioned characters, namely the entire Quidditch team. I do agree that introducing an entire Quidditch team of characters in the first chapter is a tricky thing, and not all of their characters are going to shine, or stand out, from the onset. Some of those whom you've introduced do stand out and sound like really interesting characters, e.g. Alec Williams, and I like the little tidbits of info on Olivia Farmington and Salvador dos Santos, and Roxanne herself, of course. But there are others who are simply names to me, e.g. Charlotte, the Higgins Chasers, Terrence Knot etc. I don't think you should worry too much about this, as you've got plenty more chapters to slowly introduce them with more detail and depth. Introducing too many in detail in the first chapter could easily become exhausting, especially if they don't actually contribute significantly to the action of the story. So I think you made the right choice in establishing the presence of all these characters, but holding off a more thorough examination of their characterisations for later chapters.

What I would really like to see though, (if you're thinking of editing this chapter), is a greater focus on those characters who do matter in this chapter, i.e. Roxanne and perhaps Alec. I have a good handle of Hollie's character, but not so much of Alec and Roxanne. Perhaps you could consider doing a bit of 'telling' where you explore some of their characteristics/background in depth. Also, there is a lot of information in the second part of the chapter - the Quidditch scene. This totes makes sense of course, because your fic is a Quidditch-oriented one. But I would suggest transferring some of the character info from there to the first part of the chapter, the scene in the bar, which feels a little threadbare in comparison to the second half.

Another thing you mentioned in your request: sentence flow. You do have a number of run-on sentences, and while I'm usually fine with run-ons as long as they retain clarity of meaning (I love variety in sentence structure!), I do have to caution you, because sometimes the grammar becomes awkward, and other times, the information in the long sentences are a little redundant. I especially feel you should look through your opening sentence again:

On the night that followed the Tutshill Tornados first game of the pre-season, Hollie Finnegan found herself sitting at the bar rail of some random Muggle bar in London, stirring the melting ice cubes in her glass and thinking about the zero seconds of game time she had gotten in.

Phrases like "on the night that followed" are very formal, and feel a little bit out of sync with the more casual tone of the rest of the story. I also think that the beginning of your story would sound a lot better if you trimmed the sentence a bit, really pay attention to word choice and, in the words of Voldemort, kill the spare.

o.O

RIGHT I did not realise this review had got so long and rambly ugh SORRY!! All my comments are just my opinions of course, and in the end, you know your story best, so feel free to accept/ignore as you see fit. THANKS for requesting; you've got a wonderful opening chapter, and I really enjoyed reading!

-teh

Author's Response: hey Teh,

Wow.. I've been staring at this review for over a week now trying to figure out where to even start thanking you. I'd been really losing steam on this and just reading this really put the fire back in for it.

so let's start an answer! As far as Hollie's personality, I think you've hit it right on the head.. It's very nice seeing all of the things I've worked in translate through to a reader's point of view. And you're correct. She very much so detaches herself from the team in the party hard type of lifestyle. I'm just so happy that you picked up on everything :D

Hollie's feelings! What I wanted to do with this story is sort of put the reader right into the situation. I wasn't really interested in writing her building attraction to Roxanne. We know going in that Hollie has these strong feelings for Roxanne, and that's what I tried to write here. As far as something in the past... Interesting theory! It sort of puts a new perspective on what happened before the story begins.

Okay, great! I was a bit wary as I mentioned, but I'm glad you managed to pick up the important ones right away. Agreed, though. I definitely did not want to shove more than a sentence or two about each of them into the first chapter, and make it too much of a cluster of information.

I love the suggestion. If/when (sigh, work) I do go back and edit this, I was kind of wanting to add a little bit more of Alec's personality. You get a bit more from him in chapter two, but I think he could use a little bit more here to bring him to life. And putting more into the Quidditch is an excellent suggestion! (I'll never be able to stop thanking you!)

Sentence flow! *grumbles* (lol) I've become more conscious of it since I realized it's a really bad habit of mine, and I will definitely keep your advice in mind as I move forward. And, I will absolutely take a look at that first sentence. Re-reading it, I totally see what you mean with the fact that the formal phrasing doesn't really fit with the rest of the mood of the story.

So, here's where I end with thanking you a million times for this well thought out and well constructed review! Not only for this story, but for an amazing example in reviewing style as well. Always looking to better myself!

Anyway, thank you (again!) for taking a look at this! I will definitely be seeking your opinion on chapter two and beyond!

Julie


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Review #8, by teh tarikYear Five: Behind the Mirror

18th September 2014:
HA.

I can't get Billie Jean outta my head now.

Whatever the booze clue was, I didn't notice it. Or anything strange. Except perhaps, it kept multiplying before the party started. But I thought that was because more and more uninvited guests with seemingly unlimited access to booze were turning up and adding to the party. And everything being drunk to the last drop at the end.

You know, I read that last sentence in a funny way: Every last drop of alcohol had been drunk.

I somehow mistakenly attributed the definition of 'drunk' to 'intoxicated', rather than 'imbibed'. So imagine how weird it is thinking about alcohol being intoxicated. (If you didn't intend this, I just might cram this as an offhand reference into Background noise. :P But if you did, then don't worry.)

So, this is the most detailed party I've ever read in a fic on this site. My god, I just wish I was there. SERIOUSLY. And most parties I've seen take place in the Room of Requirement, but since your story follows canon very strictly, I don't think most people would have known about the room during Harry's first year. So using one of those caved-in passages then Fred and George know about fromt he Marauders' Map was a brilliant touch.

Emily is just, honestly, the best. And Tristan seems oblivious. Or unresponsive. But one of the scenes I absolutely adored and giggled over was the whole chaperone thing with Sir Cadogan. Good lord, Cadogan's characterisation was completely amazing: his old-fashioned speech, his offer to be their chaperone, etc.

And Laurel being relatively happy without any Cheering seems suspicious, I dunno? Maybe I'm reading too much into this. Maybe this has something to do with the mysterious self-spelling as mentioned by Stan Perkins?

So THAT is how F&G discover the entrance to the kitchens. Emily showed them! While they were both rip-roaringly drunk! Well, the Hufflepuff Wisdom has been spread. There can't have been a better way in which they discover the secret of the kitchens, seriously.

GREAT CHAPTER AS USUAL! ♥

-teh

Author's Response: BILLIE JEAN HAS BEEN STUCK IN MY HEAD SINCE I WROTE THIS! I seriously listened to it on repeat while writing!

Oh man, the last drops being drunk! I hadn't thought of that, but I kind of like it! (And, ps, that was the clue! Basically, when Emily left the party room, there was a lot of booze left, and the next morning, it was gone. WHERE DID IT GO?)

I considered the RoR, but it shows up later, and YES, since it doesn't show up on the map, the Twins didn't know about it yet. Plus, it just seems too *easy.* I mean, it would have responded with way too much awesome stuff, and then that would have taken focus over the *human* fun at the party. Plus, if such a big party had been there, Harry/the school would have probably found out about it sooner.

I read somewhere while researching that Sir Cadogan is a reference to a mythological Knight from Arthurian legend, who was known for Chivalry. Could never find it again, though! He might have been one of my favorite people(?) to write!

YEE! I'm so glad you like how I did the kitchen reveal! And RIGHT?!?! Harry might not have known about it, but the Twins MUST HAVE been drunk during some of their discoveries because *of course they were.*

XOXOXOXO
-Roisin


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Review #9, by teh tarikBuilding Dollhouses In The Sand: Prologue

16th September 2014:
Hey there!

I'm here for the review swap. :)

Wow, what an exciting but very tragic opening scene. Katherine is such an innocent sweetheart, and it hurts a bit to see her world ripped up like that by Rowle. And...is Thorfinn Rowle the killer somehow related to Elizabeth and Katherine? I'm guessing it wouldn't be unlikely, seeing as pureblood families are all interrelated in some way. Maybe Thorfinn is Elizabeth's brother or something, and Katherine's uncle. Just making a few guesses. :)

It's lovely to see the Weasley twins' first day at school. I don't think I've read a fic about their sorting, and it was refreshing to see things through George's POV - normally the twins are so cocky and confident and mischievous and brave that it's hard to imagine them ever feeling afraid of anything. But you captured George's moments of apprehension with the whole sorting process really well. I love the banter between them!

I wondered why I've been followed about by a mirror.

^ These lines capture his character so well! LOVE how witty George is. Also, gah! Angelina Johnson! I'm so glad you included her; I really love her character.

Great chapter! I'm keen to see where this goes, and how Katherine's life will fit in with the twins. Thanks for doing the swap with me! :D

-teh

Author's Response: Thank you for the swap :) I love this fic so much you have no idea how much it hurt to write the scene of Elizabeth's death, You'll soon learn who Rowle is and his role in Katherine's life. I'm happy I made you have some sort of guesses, I love how witty George is too. Thank you again for the swap.

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Review #10, by teh tarikYear Five: Three Times Charmed

16th September 2014:
Oh, hey, hey! I am BACK with another review for you.

First, yay! Year Five (and you, too!) got a score of Dobby nominations - and you completely deserve all of them! Congratulations! Your fic is absolutely wonderful, honest and very smart in its portrayal of teenagers (you've probably heard this compliment dozens of times, but it really is true!)

OK, I'm so glad we get to see things through Isobel's POV again. I know there's already been one chapter through her POV, but I felt like I didn't know her as well as I know Emily and Tristan, so this chapter was wonderful. So Isobel is a top student and a make-up expert who has some issues with body image. To the point that she feels the need to control her food intake portions. It's a little sad that she would be so insecure about her body, but gah, I remember being a teenager and feeling like I'm in constant warfare with my own body. I think you've handled the issue very well here.

And in contrast to Isobel's fixation with her body image is Laurel, who seems to be a wee bit too addicted to Cheering. It sounds like she's quite psychologically dependent on Cheering now - like she can hardly get through the day without her mind being in an altered state. I can see how she's tiptoeing on the edge of something here; there's a possibility that she be lose herself in a downward spiral anytime. After all, Laurel seems to be the most emotionally volatile of the group.

Hahaha, I'm more in love with Emily than ever. I'm guessing the only Quidditch captain she did not bed is the SLytherin one. Her being a Muggle born and all that. And Tristan going on about the othering of the non-magical world made me laugh. Isobel and Laurel's Hogsmeade trip (no pun intended) was hilarious. Shoplifting and annoying shop owners in general.

OK, in your request you mentioned suggestions on how to improve language. I'm at a bit of a loss here; I'm not sure how to advise you, because I think your language fits the tone and atmosphere of your story perfectly. Your narrative is very crisp and clean, and I don't think you should clutter it too much with too much descriptive prose and all. Though if you really want to look for things to describe, I guess you could include some details on the state of Hogwarts, especially as time passes (and time certainly is passing in your fic). If it makes you feel better, I really love your opening paragraphs! They're descriptive and detailed, and I loved reading about Isobel's careful application of makeup - the swooping cat-eyes and the way she tries to curl her hair. They're all great. You shouldn't worry too much! I think you know your story well, and what it needs.

Well, I adored this chapter! Am definitely coming back for the next one! Lovely writing, dear!

-teh

Author's Response: Hello!
Thank you SO MUCH! I'd be lying if I said I hadn't crossed my fingers for a Dobby nod, but I absolutely DID NOT EXPECT such a strong reaction! I have no idea what to do with myself except run around giggling and hugging strangers! THANK YOU! THANK HPFF! AKHFWNVFKJGWKJG!

It's definitely a SHAME that Isobel is so insecure. I very consciously chose a faceclaim for her of someone I find just TOO GORGEOUS to exist (Kat Dennings), who is also not a *thin* person (rather spectacularly curvy). Because I don't think that body-image has a single thing with what someone actually looks like--girls just be insecure :( I'm so glad you thought I handled it well, because it is such a sensitive and common topic, and I felt a lot of responsibility to be accurate.

Mind altering charms is such a LOADED idea! I mean, it's IMPOSSIBLE that some people wouldn't become reliant!

Yay I'm so glad you like Emily! I think she is, just objectively, my favorite (because: Hufflepuff). And I really wanted to give her that reputation and backstory, because highly sexually active girls tend to be stereotyped or two-dimensional (in basically all of the media).

Haha, "othering" the non-magical world! For that idea, I took a lot of nods from conversations I had in college!

I suppose, as for suggestions, if you ever see a bit of prose you just find really clunky, or a cliche kind of word-choice or anything, then just don't hesitate to point it out! You use language really creatively, and I'm still very much a beginner, so any ideas or concerns that ever pop in your head would be great to hear!

Thank you SO MUCH for the review! It means a huge amount to me that you are reading this story, since I am SUPER FANGIRL over your writing! (And there are a lot of stories of yours that I've read and yet to review!)

xoxo
-Roisin


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Review #11, by teh tarikKeep Calm and Carry On: Chapter Twenty-Five

13th September 2014:
HELLO!! I'm back. And I really do apologise for my awfully sporadic reviewing, but ugh, I'm not so good with reviewing everything I read anymore. Just...I PROMISE YOU THAT I'M STILL FOLLOWING THE MISADVENTURES OF EDIE LENNOX. ♥

AH. AAH.

I would love some coffee.

*swoons and falls in love with this fic all over again*

OK, gah, so much fluff, and yay! All that Ediver is finally being realised.

Gah, you've written Lisa's wedding so well! All the details from the vineyard to the expensive cheeses etc.I don't think I'd believe it if you say that you've never been to a seaside Italian wedding before. :D I must say I love Lisa in these last two chapters: how collected she is despite it being her wedding day and all (well, until the makeup mishap), and how she keeps plying Edie with drinks because she can't drink herself.

GAH, I'm just going to list all the things I love about these past two chapters.

- Peter Finch-Fletchley blubbering away, arm-in-arm with Edie

- Lobster puffs sound absolutely delicious. ARE THEY EVEN A THING?

- Seamus and Oliver being such great mates and all.

- The revelation that Oliver and Rose are not a thing. And bahaha, that Edie has been an utter idiot all this while. Sometimes I feel like shaking her. Which makes me love her all the more.

- Edie's fantasies. SERIOUSLY. (Very sturdy rafters). Good god.

- ALL OF THE EDIVER. The kissings, the awkward!Edie moments, and drunk!Edie at the end practically DEMANDING that he take her home. For *cough* coffee. Yeah, right.

I think you made a good point with the whole Friendzone message. Edie feeling all uncomfortable and selfish because she's enjoying herself and not thinking about Dean. It's great that you point out that there's absolutely nothing wrong with what she's doing; it's something I was wondering about when I was reading this chapter. Then I got to your A/N and saw your message about the whole issue. It's GREAT that you bring this up; there are so many fics with OCs whose best mates are all guys, who get along with dudes but none of them really address the relationship complexities and issues that can arise with such situations. Hmmm, I wonder how things are going to turn out between Edie and sulky!Dean.

AH OKAY I LOVE THIS CHAPTER. I know you're probably hoping for useful feedback, but I don't really know what to suggest. These chapters are just fabulous! You've developed your characters so, so well, and everything flows beautifully.

Next chapter, please! ♥

-teh

Author's Response: Hello! I'm finally responding to you--yeesh. What a month it's been. But your reviews make me so happy, and I'm always so glad to respond :)

I read that as "Ediver is finally being released," and imagined this giant 1/3 Edie, 1/3 Oliver, 1/3 Kraken emerging from the sea and sinking all of the other 'ships. (Must... not... doodle this... Or maybe later.)

Unfortunately I have not been to a wedding like this... most of my friends have done the "unassuming garden wedding" Edie was grumbling about. Although this kind would certainly be more fun, and I don't know what she's complaining about!

Honestly I wish I had thought of Peter Finch-Fletchley before this chapter, because I love him so much. I have such a clear image of him in my head, played by this really minor actor named Danny Strong... I'm fixin' for a big KC&CO edit (finally getting rid of all of the parts that make me cringe) and I may or may not put a little dash of PF-F in there ;)

You had me second-guessing myself with lobster puffs! Do yourself a favor and look them up. And get hungry.

Yeah! I am going to definitely explore the "Friendzone" thing, but this story is already SO LONG and needs to start winding down. Hopefully I can condense it into a few sentences. But I found myself even feeling guilty for not *writing* that Edie follows Dean outside to console him, which is odd. When something like this happened to me I pretty much ignored my best friend for the rest of the party (and kind of ran away in the middle of him confessing his feelings to me because I can't handle confrontation.) So imagining Edie heading outside and suddenly being very considerate and caring and knowing "just the right thing to say" and "patching things up..." Nah. Doesn't feel right.

Thank you so much for your review! I apologize for taking so long to respond. But I (almost almost) have the internet at my flat, which means I will finally be back on HPFF in a week or so, with updates soon to follow.

Thank you, lovely! Hope you're doing swimmingly! ♥


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Review #12, by teh tarikGone: The Disappearance

13th September 2014:
Hey crestwood!

I'm here for the review swap at last.

What a great idea for a story! The whole fic was incredibly unsettling, but it became even more and more hopeless, and the ending was pretty depressing, but I guess it's a fitting ending for a fic dealing with this subject matter. I think you did a brilliant job getting into Albus's frame of mind. You went through all his emotions: his fondness and sentimentality for Harry and their shared love in Muggle music, his mates in school, especially Scorpius, to his sense of bewilderment and increasing horror when he finds everybody is gone. And the last paragraph, where he's pretty much without hope, and he no longer tries to find out what happened to the world, and instead is resigned that he'll one day go mad. He's almost embracing the thought of madness and losing his mind, and it's easy to see why - it will be a form of escapism from this awful isolation.

Your writing is really good and your first person narrative flows really well. You've maintained a great level of suspense and tension throughout the fic, so even though Albus didn't interact with any other characters, I was still so absorbed in your fic. I really wish I knew what happened, but I guess Albus doesn't care anymore. It's a great choice to use first person POV for this story; I thought you exploited the limitations of this perspective very well.

This was an amazing and very original story! I really enjoyed reading this; thanks for doing a swap with me. :)

-teh

Author's Response: Hey teh!

I certainly was going for unsettling here. You're spot on about Albus' embrace of losing his mind and why; he just wants to find a way out from all of it. Granted, the ending that I originally had planned was a lot more depressing than this one.. I didn't go with it though and instead opted for a graceful fall into insanity kind of thing.

I'm so glad that the tension of the chapter wasn't lost because Albus is the only character. I was nervous with their being no real dialogue or person to person interaction of any sort in this. At first I was going to go with third person, but then I considered that maybe he could write a sort of letter to the aliens or something and this here kind of happened. For some reason, I'm such a fan of ambiguous endings and I thought this derailing Albus would give me a good reason not to explain how happened. I thought if I did explain, it'd end up being underwhelming somehow, so I just didn't.

So happy you enjoyed this, thank you for your incredible compliments! and thanks for the swap!


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Review #13, by teh tarikMorbid: Cousin Larry

11th September 2014:
Hello!

I'm here with your requested review. :) I'm sorry that it has taken me quite a few days to get to your fic - RL, etc.

I've never seen Teddy Lupin characterised this way before, so bonus points for originality! I love what you've done with his character; I'm so used to seeing a perky, happy-go-lucky Teddy with blue, pink, green, rainbow-coloured hair attracting all the girls and such, so reading about a morbidly artistic Teddy who gate-crashes funerals and talks to Merlin is a wonderful breath of fresh air. It's great that, despite Teddy having a penchant for his own death and its many potential variations, he's not an angsty, brooding teenager/young adult, and that everything he does and says is fairly undramatic and matter-of-fact. And I love that your story has an element of weird in it, at least from this chapter. I always love stories which have a weird twist to them.

You've got a wonderfully striking opening scene, with Teddy completing a picture of himself hanging in an old-fashioned town square. I love that it's an old-fashioned town square! It's such a unique detail to include, and a really vivid one as well. The brief history you gave of Teddy was light and contained just the right level of detail.

You mentioned characterisation as an area of concern in your post, and I must say that you needn't worry at all! As I mentioned earlier, Teddy's characterisation is so strong and memorable. He's morbid but there's a whimsical aspect to his character as well, which I appreciate. Amy is an interesting OC, and Teddy meeting her while gate-crashing a funeral is a most wonderful way of getting to know someone. :) Amy's detachment surprised me a little, and how quick she is to wave away Teddy's offered condolences. They both are similar I guess, in that they're a bit insensitive to death: Amy because she's seen so much of it, and Teddy because the only death he seems to care about is his own, a fixation really. Anyway, I can't wait to see how you'll develop their relationship! Already, there's an interesting dynamic between the two.

And the last section with Merlin caught me by surprise. I'm wondering if it's all a hallucination, but hoping that this Merlin really is Merlin; that would be awesome! Merlin asking Teddy riddles, haha!

If I could offer you some suggestion, I'd say be careful about your use of adverbs. Sometimes, you use too many of them, especially with dialogue tags. Some of them are not really necessary; in fact, some of the dialogue tags can be removed as well, seeing as there are only two speakers in most of the scenes. It would really improve the flow of the narrative, I think.

Anyway, I think you've got a really, really fascinating start, and a very original interpretation of a canon character! I'm so glad you requested, and I really do want to read the next chapter soon! Thank you for requesting. :)

-teh

Author's Response: Hi teh!

I think I ultimately choose Teddy Lupin for this story because, like you said, he's so often portrayed as that bubbly, wildly popular personality. I thought this would create some interesting juxtaposition with people's expectations. And I definitely did not want Teddy to be a depressed person in any way. I wanted him to be a very outwardly normal person, who just happened to be obsessed with his own death, among other things that set him apart.

The opening scene was the first way I thought to illustrate quickly and memorably that Teddy has this obsession. I didn't want to just say it and I'm so glad that it worked the way I intended it to!

It's super important to me that Teddy and Amy seem to work off of each other well! They do have their similarities and you really are spot on about why they both are so indifferent. Although, there's still some surprises to come, in that department.

I do very much enjoy my scenes with Merlin. He's such a fun character to write because people's reactions to him are SUPER varied.

About the adverbs thing, I actually went back and re-read this chapter and I really see what you mean. I could spruce up the way I write dialogue, especially in large bunches. Thank you so much for pointing that out! I don't know if I ever would have noticed otherwise.

Thank you for this review! You really understood everything I was trying to do here. I really appreciate all of your compliments and especially the CC on the dialogue! Thanks again!


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Review #14, by teh tarikThe Place That Will Never Be Dark: Prologue

7th September 2014:
Hey Maggie!

I'm here with your requested review! Ah, I can't say how pleased I am to read a Founders, especially one that's written by you! :) You write this era so, so well: the language, the details of setting, the atmosphere, everything.

I love this opening chapter of yours; I know it's short, and that's possibly why you feel a bit insecure about this, as per your post in my review thread, but I can assure you that this was written brilliantly, and that you've created a wonderful atmosphere of tension and mystery and drama. Using the seer was an excellent choice of opening, and it really set this whole foreboding mood to the story. I love the contrasts between the Founders, from Godric's open belief in the seer's words, to Rowena's open scepticism, which seems to be spreading to Helga, and finally, Salazar's unreadability. Somehow, I feel the seer might know more than what she lets on, and she might possibly know something about Salazar, about the rift that grows between him and the other three founders?

I love your prose. It's clean and clear and direct, there's a sparseness that's refreshing, as Founders fic are usually more elaborate in their prose and descriptive detail. But still, at times there are some beautifully poetic moments in this chapter, e.g. when the Seer speaks: A garden snake. A ship gliding over the sea. A young boy weeping. And wand combat, particularly by you, Lord Gryffindor. These are such striking images.

And to answer your question, this definitely draws me in! I'd love to read more. Despite this very brief chapter, you've provided enough detail to make the characters intriguing and fascinating, and I can't wait to see how you develop them over the course of the story!

Lovely beginning, Maggie! Thanks for requesting and I do hope you'll update this soon. :)

-teh

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Review #15, by teh tarikInvincible: Chapter the First and the Last

7th September 2014:
Hey there! I love fics which focus on Sirius from a non-romantic angle, so I just had to stop by and read this. And this is such a good story. Very short, but very compactly written, especially Part Two. I'm guessing that the sin you're referring to in your A/N is pride? I love the last words, in brackets, after all that tense narrative, and how it reinforces the whole 'pride comes before a fall' saying. It's so incredibly tragic. :( I absolutely loved how you wrote the duel between him and Bella; I'm always on the lookout for fics which involve this particular moment of Sirius's life, the last few minutes before he falls through the veil. And I think you've done an excellent job writing this, conveying the entirety of Sirius's life, all his recklessness and brilliance, and his growing insensitivity toward death, before the final fall. Lovely writing!

-teh

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Review #16, by teh tarikTales of the Death Hunters: Shades of Anger: Fury

6th September 2014:
Hey Dan!!

I've seized the moment to catch up with the last part of your fantastic fic. First, I must say that Jugson is officially my most hated character in the entirety of HPFF, possibly in all the fanfic that I've ever read. What an absolute monster. It's bad enough that we found out what he did to poor Teresa and Donny in the last chapter, but now, seeing Teresa's memories of her whole traumatic ordeal was just horrifying. I don't think I ever flinched this much reading fic. I thought you did a brilliant job interspersing those recollections with the main narrative, by the way. Especially with how Teresa's memories suddenly transition into Harry's own memories, or his own imaginings of his past and Hermione being tortured by Bellatrix etc. It's easy to see how full of rage and determination Harry is; the whole thing really is personal for him. I really like how you've shown that Harry's awful past is inextricable from the work he's doing now, to the point of incapacitating his rational thinking. It's a good job he's got the others backing him up and being so absolutely loyal to him.

The way you evoked the pureblood mansion was fantastic. The whole house seemed alive and malevolent, with the attacking furniture and the false doors and stairs, and how the house actively fights against the Aurors' magic. The house itself is like a second, lesser enemy, which Harry and co. must fight in order to get to Jugson. And another thing that I really loved was your idea about the Cloak's abilities becoming even greater for Harry, providing him with a greater degree of protection, ever since he became the master of the Deathly Hallows. I wonder what the Wand and the Stone would be like now...but of course Harry will hardly care to find out.

Anyway, the final scene between Harry and Jugson was so exciting and goodness, everything was so fast-paced and breathless. Jugson disguising himself with an illusion of Ron caught me by surprise, but Harry dealt with that in a brilliant way. And, I guess Jugson got his comeuppance, sort of, getting boiled in a sphere of bathwater. You're incredibly creative coming up with all these diverse hexes and spells and jinxes; it's great seeing what you do with Rowling's canon magic, and how much you add to this.

I just loved Harry in this. And the last scene with Ginny was a fitting conclusion for the whole fic. HArry probably needs some time off. But I'm guessing not for very long, because this is just the first instalment of your series?

This is an absolutely brilliant fic, Dan! And this chapter was wonderfully tense with a firecracker of an ending. I've enjoyed following this fic, and if you're planning on writing more of this series, well I'll be waiting! Amazing work. ♥

-teh

Author's Response: Hi, teh!

Sometimes I'm worried that I've gotten myself into a pickle when it comes to villains. Lady Tenabra was a cold, calculating, ruthless sort of villain and Jeremy Gamp was a homicidal lunatic. Now we have Jugson, who's pretty much a monster. Where do I go from here? Maybe my next villain will develop a Cruciatus Death Ray that's powered by baby kittens...

I thought it was really interesting that you interpreted portions of Harry's "visions" as Teresa's memories. Honestly, I didn't think too much about how they should be interpreted. I just thought they made a good backdrop for the rest of the story. You could also consider them Harry's thoughts on how Jugson found Teresa and how the horrors of her captivity played out. The essential part is what you touched on: each of them ties neatly into a situation from Harry's own past.

The descriptions of the pureblood mansion weren't actually planned. That sort of happened as I was writing, but I felt really pleased with it when I was done. I hope that it created a scene of a very old, creepy haunted house, where everything you touch is potentially dangerous.

I also fell in love with the idea that the cloak would have changed after Harry became -- however briefly -- Master of Death. I never really liked the idea that you had this incredibly powerful magical object, yet something as mundane as Moody's magical eye could see through it. Or detect it somehow. Whatever the mechanism, that struck me as being rather weak compared to the amazing legacy of the cloak. So whether you want to interpret it as the cloak performing better for its true master or the cloak performing better because Harry himself was more powerful, I just thought it was fitting to eliminate those weaknesses.

I'm glad the pacing of the final confrontation worked for you. I was worried it was a little too fast. Jugson maybe could have gotten away with his ruse if he knew the difference between Ron and Justin, but he didn't. He chose incorrectly and Harry realized it was him. The sphere of bathwater was inspired by the spells Dumbledore tries to use against Voldemort in the movie version of Order of the Phoenix. I also liked the way that Harry uses water after Jugson uses fire against Susan.

Harry definitely needed some time for introspection after this story. I'm not sure where this particular plot arc will go. I wasn't planning Tales of the Death Hunters as a sequential series. I might hop around in the timeline. We'll see...

I'm really, really pleased that you liked it! Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #17, by teh tarikEverto Trucido: The Trial

5th September 2014:
Hello Rumpel! Goodness, I'm sorry it's taken me so long to review your story for our swap! Especially after you've left me such a long and infinitely lovely review - thank you so much!

And what can I say about this story of yours, except I'm hooked. I love AU, and I've seen this story around, and I'm kicking myself a bit for not having read it until now. BUT that means I've got something to read in the days/weeks to come. Also, dead characters coming back to life? Check. Possible conversation with Death, a character? YES.

Grace is absolutely amazing and so intriguing as the main character, from her bloodied-up appearance, and her memory-modifying ability, and the fact that she insists on modifying the memories of the freaking Wizengamot (I hope I read that part right!). And she's friends with Dumbledore and Shacklebolt as well. As well as being James's sister, and possibly has a daughter with Severus? Clearly, there's a LOT of background information with the characters and their relationships with each other, but I think you made a very wise choice not to spill all that info right here in the first chapter, and avoid huge clunky info dumps. Also, now I must definitely read on to find out what happened. How did these dead people come back to life. And which ones never died (Regulus?!?) What did Grace offer Death in return. I'm so intrigued to find out how you've altered canon characters!

I'm so so excited for the rest of this story; I've favourited it and though it will take me some time to get through the chapters, I will definitely be reading on! Yay! Thanks so much for the swap, Rumpel! ♥

-teh

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Review #18, by teh tarikPainting Over: Painting Over

4th September 2014:
Hiya Meena! ♥

I'm here for our review swap. Yay! Oh goodness, this was so sad! :( And...you've made me see Rita Skeeter in a whole new different way. As an incredibly tragic character, in fact. Oh dear, oh dear. I'm not sure where to start. Rita describing her past as 'barbed wire and pain'. SUCH a great line! I love how you've written the excessive care and attention with her nail-painting. I'm imagining her being exceedingly meticulous and fussy with her nails, to the point of being trivial, just to fill that gap, that emptiness in her life.

Poor Rita and her lost child. :( Some folks recover and gradually learn to live with their grief in a gentler manner but not Rita. Nooo, Rita is ferocious and vindictive in her grief, and she takes it out on others. Man, she's a powerful woman when it comes to writing and she ain't afraid to (ab)use her powers. It's so Rita, and you're absolutely on target with her characterisation.

I'm so curious about that mutant gene. It sounds terrible, though.

You've got a lovely but incredibly sad story here, my dear! This just tore me up a bit inside, but your writing is so very good, and you've done a marvellous examination and exploration of Rita's character so well done! AND YOU ARE FABULOUS. :D

-teh

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Review #19, by teh tarikAnd Just Like That: Chapter 1

2nd September 2014:
Hello there! :)

I'm here with your requested review. Ah, I'm so pleased you requested this! I love AU situations, especially for popular characters (popular in the sense that there's a lot of fic about them). I must confess that I actually saw this story on the Recently Added some days ago, but was turned off by the formatting, mainly the large spaces between paragraphs, and so never really got down to reading it, until now that is. It's something that you might want to consider: fixing the formatting so your story appears tidier and there's less scrolling down to be done. :)

Now to the actual story. OK, I think you've got an absolutely brilliant first chapter here. When I got to the end, I was really surprised when I read your end notes and discovered that this is in fact a WIP, and that there is more to come. This chapter feels so complete as it is, maybe because of what we already know from canon, but also because your characterisations are so detailed; the characters are so well-thought out and convincing in their developments. The one thing I like about AU fic, which extract canon characters out of the Potterverse and put them into completely different universes, is how the different situations examine the same conflicts faced by them in their original settings. There's no magic and no Voldemort and no pureblood prejudice here, but there are other ugly things like institutionalised misogyny, which is something Lily faces in her workplace.

I must say, Severus's portrayal, unlikable as he is, is brilliant. The friendship between him and Lily: no doubt he sees her as his best friend, but their friendship is a rather empty one that offers very little comfort for Lily. Severus is insensitive, or rather he's completely unable to empathise with her situation. You wrote the interactions between Lily and Severus with such preciseness, and everything feels absolutely true to canon despite the vastly different situations. The scene with James and Sirius taunting him and Remus watching on and Peter sniggering by the dishes was so tense and horrifying, and I definitely felt sympathy for Severus and quite a strong dislike toward the other three. Sirius tugging down Severus's underpants as well as Severus grabbing the knife made my mouth drop open a bit, but of course, the whole thing just makes sense. Its a brilliant AU translation of the whole canon fifth year Marauder scene.

I also really enjoyed the way you develop Lily and James's relationship. It's not all loud and full of flair, as they're portrayed in a whole load of fics; it's more a quiet, comforting affair of work breaks and companionable silences. And yeah, I think a quiet relationship like this is what Lily needs. I'm keen to see how you further develop these two. :)

You asked about the writing style, if it was too sparse, boring etc. I can assure you that it is not. It's to the point and precise, and there are occasional details splashed in here and there to give the reader sufficient glimpses of the setting and context of the story. I don't actually think your writing is that sparse; I think everything's beautifully balanced, and you write great dialogue. Flow is all good as well.

As for your use of 'And just like that', I understand that the repetition is intended, and the phrase is also the title of the story. I think it's a good phrase to repeat, and it establishes a sort of pattern throughout your story. I notice that you use this phrase mostly as a summary statement of Lily's feelings/reactions. (e.g. And just like that, her blood is boiling etc. Or And just like that she's feeling the frustration...etc.). Sometimes, though, I feel that the phrase is such a strong declarative one, that the rest of the statement following the phrase kind of lacks the impact. It doesn't follow up with the strength and imperativeness of the 'and just like that' at the beginning of the sentence.

E.g. James grins when he shrugs. And just like that, she finds herself relaxing a bit for some reason, but then the realization hits her.

^ with this sentence, I feel that the "she finds herself relaxing a bit etc." is quite a weak follow-up to the first part of the sentence. I don't know; I guess the phrase sort of sets things up for something stronger. You might want to go back through all the instances in which you've used the phrase and make sure that their use in that particular place is absolutely necessary. I'm having a little trouble explaining eep. But I hope you understand what I'm saying. Sometimes the phrase works, other times it falls a bit flat.

Anyway, it's up to you, really. :D I think you've got a brilliant story here, very fresh and original, which is kind of surprising given that these are the Marauders and Lily and Snape, and I really appreciate how you've given such a fresh spin to a story that's been written and rewritten over and over. Thank you for requesting, and I hope you update soon! I'd love to read on. :)

-teh

Author's Response: Sorry for the delayed response! I just got back to school and I'm getting settled in and organized with friends and classes.

AUs are something that I used to have no interest in but now they're my favorite genre for fanfiction; I'm glad that someone else loves them just as much as I do! I admit that the formatting was bothering me as well and it has been fixed! I think the chapter was validated a few hours after you left this review, and it's not spaced completely to my liking but it's better than it was. I'll probably go in and tweak it more this weekend.

But thank you so so so much for your kind words!!! You completely understood everything that I was going for in this AU and I really love your oneshot, Growth, so this is really exciting for me!!! (Sorry to fangirl haha)

The original plan was for this story to be a oneshot (which is why the end of the chapter feels like, well, an ending) but I showed this to some people before posting it here and they wanted me to extend it. So that's what I'm doing! And I don't want to commit to a big multi-chapter fic so it's going to be about six parts and things will be a bit condensed as a result. Hopefully, though, it won't feel too rushed.

And ah thank you James and Lily are my OTP so I'm glad to have done their relationship justice! I dislike the idea that their getting together was this big, dramatic happening and I wanted it to feel easy and natural to them (because they're soul mates and they belong together jklsadjsalkdjasldf). But even with their story being condensed in future chapters, I hope you still like their development.

And I can see exactly what you mean about the "and just like that"s; I'll have to go back and edit the ones that don't throw as much of a punch. Thank you for pointing that out!

Your feedback really means so so much to me so I really appreciate you taking the time to read and give me this wonderful feedback! Once I update, if you come to read more, I hope you continue to enjoy it!

~Jess :)


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Review #20, by teh tarikYear Five: Loose Lips

31st August 2014:
Hey hey!

Ah, I've been wanting to get back to this story and read about the Hex Heads with all their teen angst and ganja smoke since like, forever! So yay! And hello again, Tristan. I love how downbeat and downtrodden and downcast you've written him, and what a complete contrast he is to cheerful Emily Sunshine Madley (I can't get over her brilliant name :P ). Interactions between her and Tristan are so amusing to read about, how Emily gets a tad impatient and almost indignant whenever Tristan is feeling so miserable with himself. He's such an individualistic and non-conformist character, and I appreciate how much trouble you took to researching the type of wand he should wield in order to have some match with his personality.

One of my favourite things was seeing him hex Wood. Wow, Wood is such a jerk. :P Definitely a very refreshing portrayal of Wood! You've accentuated some of his worst characteristics, which are only very briefly touched upon in the books (e.g. his Quidditch mania, bullishness and loudness etc.) and I really love this angle of his portrayal! And I was a bit startled to see him and his other Gryffindor mates threaten Tristan, who's all by his lonesome. They're such a contrast to Fred and George.

Speaking of Fred and George, am loving the way they pop up here and there, spliffing away with the Hex Heads time to time. They're kind of like news-bringers from other parts of the school, especially since these Hex Heads are so absorbed in their own selves and their own mind altering activities to care too much about other things going on in school.

And I love Tristan's Loose LIps jinx by the way. That would have been hilarious to see!

I'm wondering about Laurel and Isobel, though. There's something clearly going on with Laurel. Isobel was hardly present in this chapter; I don't know how difficult it is to ensure the characters maintain strong individual presences and characterisation each time they appear as a group, especially since these are all OCs, but I think sometimes characters can get overshadowed? Generally, though, you do a great job at writing and depicting your OCs as unique individual characters!

Great chapter; I'll be on to the next one soon!

-teh

Author's Response: OH MAN, the research. I also did the Myers-Briggs types for each of them, and figured out what day of the week they were all born on (SO disappointed that Tristan wasn't a Wednesday, as in "Wednesday's child is full of woe" from the Nursery Rhyme). BUT, Emily was "born on the Sabbath day"--making her "bonnie and blithe and good and gay." Score 1!

I'm definitely no Wood hater, but YES--I figured those qualities alluded to in canon would definitely bristle Tristan. And as a Gryffindor, no shade, BUT the characteristics for every House ('cept maybe Hufflepuff) could be either bad or good. So Slytherin doesn't *have* to be evil, just like Gryffs might totally be loudmouthed and needlessly aggressive. Gryffindor was so glamorized in canon, I definitely wanted to look at it another way.

AH! The twins--I really like that analysis actually. I sort of went to High School with a guy like that. He always knew what was going on, and had managed to steal keys to EVERY room. Plus, he had a similar sense of humor. Now that I think about it--I WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL WITH FRED WEASLEY. This TOTALLY supports my "the twins would definitely smoke spliff" claim, as that guy for sure did!!!

Laurel and Isobel will each have their hour. Over the course of the story, the characters take turns getting pulled up to the front, at other times, they are definitely over-shadowed. Or at least, I was going for that--definitely let me know how you think I balance them all out over the course of the story!

XOXOXOXO
Roisin


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Review #21, by teh tarikAurora and Boreas: the world suddenly turns colour

30th August 2014:
Hello Susan,

So about half a year ago you requested a review from me in my thread. o.O And I'm trying to get back into reviewing properly, so here I am at last. I'm so sorry for how long this has taken!

But I'm so so glad I had the opportunity to read this. It's been some time since I read anything of yours, and I've missed your gorgeous writing. This fic is no exception from your usual (and very high) standard. It's a beautifully vivid and descriptive piece, the narrative is very detailed and meticulous, and the characters ring true to canon.

I thought this was a very refreshing take on a popular ship; taking both Lily and James out of the usual Hogwarts setting and placing them in somewhere completely unexpected, such as a snowy mountain peak, was a brilliant decision. I love your contrasts here: how small Lily and James are, surrounded by towering mountains and a breathlessly vast sky, but instead of them both being reduced to insignificance, they're magnified by the aurora borealis phenomenon, and by their own sense of wonder. This is quite possibly one of my favourite things about this story: the imagery and the lovely colours aren't just flat dead scenery; they're meaningful to the characters; the imagery is worked into the characterisation, and James sees Lily reflected into all that cosmic grandeur, or perhaps it's the other way round.

In your request you mentioned that you'd never before written a happier-type story from a male POV. Well, I don't think you have anything to worry about. You write fluff pretty well, and in a very sensible and convincing manner, too. Setting James in an environment where he isn't initially at ease with was a great choice because it sort of opened him up, and his sense of awe of both the aurora borealis and of Lily showed a childlike side to his characterisation, an innocence which I think most people overlook in their haste to portray James as the loud conceited hero type. And I love the references to both Remus and Sirius here; of course they would follow him wherever he went - at least in his thoughts. The way he thinks about them (especially Remus) suggests a kindness and a very wholesome goodness in his character, and I'm so glad you've explored this angle of his character.

I also love how you've portrayed Lily, though we see her only through James's eyes of course. She transforms from this girl with carroty braids to something that's almost mythical in James's eyes, and I like to think that it's because she's so in tune with her environment; there's a sense of fearlessness about her, something which James admires very much, and of course with all the greatness and the external beauty of the skies somehow mirrors Lily's own inner light.

I think I'm beginning to repeat myself :P So I'm just going to finish this and say that this is an absolutely fabulous story, Susan! Again, I'm sorry I took so long to get round to reading this, but I'm ever so glad I did. Thank you for requesting! ♥

-teh

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Review #22, by teh tarikRule Breaker: The Sorting Hat's Warning

29th August 2014:
Hello again, Emily!

I'm here with the second of your two prize reviews. :)

Wow, what a chapter! It was very evenly paced; there were moments with tension (e.g. the opening scene with Harry and Ron and Malfoy), and calmer moments (e.g. Hermione bringing in the first years to Hagrid), and I think you maintained a great balance between these.

I think your characterisations are very believable, and true to canon. The animosity displayed between Harry and Ron and Draco all ring true. And my, my, Draco is unpleasant, isn't he? In the carriage with Hermione, especially. I think you're writing their relationship very realistically, and without rushing things. The encounter between both of them in the carriage is certainly prickly and rather hostile, and I'm gald Hermione used her Head Girl powers to defend herself. Draco drawing his wand at her seemed rather extreme, but it's great to see that Hermione can deal with this without losing her cool or retaliating in an equally hostile manner. I guess that's why she's been picked as Head Girl!

I love the Sorting Hat song that you wrote! Wow, your rhymes are wonderful, and there's a lovely rhythm to it! And the verses do have the right amount of tension and ominousness in them; after all, there is a full-blown war going on beyond the walls of Hogwarts. You're such a talented poet, by the way! I must say, the fifth stanza (the one about SLytherin house) is my favourite part of the poem!

I also love reading Sorting Ceremonies in fanfic! I think you wrote the entire Sorting scene wonderfully!

This was an absolutely fantastic chapter, Emily! I really enjoyed reading this. When I find myself with a bit more free time in the future, I'll definitely swing by again and read the rest of your fic. It'll take me some time, but I'll be back here soon enough!

Great work! And congrats (for winning the challenge, as well as completing this novel!!)!

-teh

Author's Response: Hi again, teh!

Thanks for another great review! I'm so glad that you liked the chapter and felt that it was well-balanced. Your compliments on the characterization mean so much to me! I'm so happy that you liked everyone! And that Hat song! Oh my gosh, to this day (five years later!), I'm still proud of that song! I'm so glad you liked it. Thanks again for all your comments and compliments. I'm so happy that you liked the chapter!

--Emily


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Review #23, by teh tarikRule Breaker: A Predictable Appointment

29th August 2014:
Hello Emily!

I'm here with the first of your two prize reviews! :D Uh, in case you don't remember, or are not sure what I'm on about, aaages ago you participated in the Crack!Ship & Rarepair Challenge and won third place, with a prize of two reviews. I am so sorry how long it has taken me to get round to reviewing! Congratulations again for winning! :)

So I've seen you promote this fic of yours very often on the forums, and I'm glad I finally got the chance to read this! I enjoy AU, and other alternative interpretations to canon events, so I think I'm going to enjoy reading about Hermione's final year at school very much. I love how you've started off the story with so much detail from Hermione's POV.

The flashback was really well-written, and I think you did a great job capturing Hermione's elation and excitement at being appointed Head Girl. And I like the idea of McGonagall creating the shared dorm for the Head Boy and Head Girl, for the sake of promoting house unity. I heard that shared dorms are a bit of a cliche in HP fic, so I think you've done great work developing this idea and making it more believable, and less of a cliche.

Haha, I guess this means Hermione will be sharing a dorm with Theodore Nott? Nott sounds like he's full of apathy. It doesn't sound like he even cares that he's Head Boy of the school. He's an interesting choice, and I can't wait to see how you'll develop things between Head Boy and Head Girl, and how they'll work together.

I love that you haven't forgotten Harry and Ron here, despite this being a Dramione. Harry and Ron telling Hermione she was becoming pompous like Percy must have been deflated her a little. Aww, poor Hermione! :P They should let her enjoy her time as Head Girl before term begins officially; pretty soon she'll be swamped with work, I think.

Oh, and Malfoy is back, I see. I love his entrance, and that snarky comment about Nott not having his charisma and whatnot. Snarky!Malfoy is always so fun to read. I can't wait to see how your Dramione ship will develop!

This was a lovely chapter, Emily! Great work. :D I'll be back for the next one!

-teh

Author's Response: Hey teh!

I'm so sorry that it's taken me so long to reply to you! I got wrapped up in school and writing the epilogue and somehow it slipped my mind. Anyhow: thank you so much for reading and reviewing! I'm so glad that you liked this first chapter! I was really unsure about doing a flashback, but I'm really happy that you think it worked. Shared dorms are TOTALLY a cliche! I really wanted to work with some of those cliches, though, and try to develop them into something different. I'm glad you think it seems believable. And I'm so glad you liked that Harry and Ron are in this! I really wanted to include them, even though I find them incredibly difficult to write for. Draco's entrance is my favorite part of this chapter. I really wanted him to have a ZING moment! :) Thanks again for reading and reviewing and for all your comments! I really appreciate them!

--Emily


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Review #24, by teh tarikMottled Blue: One murderer.

24th August 2014:
Hello again, Kiana!

I'm here with the fifth and last of your five prize reviews! And it's so fitting that this is also the last chapter of this fantastic story of yours.

Fantastic and very VERY TWISTED. o.O So it was Lavender Brown after all. And Lavender really did see and embrace that connection between herself and her attacker and sought to continue inflicting her pain of her condition on others. Waah, how about you just write the twisted prequel to this story, a Lavender Brown/Fenrir Greyback fic! :P That would be so so so so creepy and awful and terrifying.

I love how you opened up the chapter with all the banging about, and Lily thinking she's on the threshold of death, and recognising her fear of death. The moment makes her especially vulnerable, which is great, because vulnerability is not something we've seen too much with Lily being all closed-off to everyone else. Victoire being alive was definitely a bit of a plot twist; I certainly thought she'd died.

My favourite section has got to be this part:

You throw your arms out with a flourish as you announce, but then you feel something slip away. Something slip far, far away. You fear it's nature coming to get back at you. Youíve taken its power, its magic, and now itís taking your life. This is its first move against you. Youíre slipping away.

^ This is amazing writing. The way you so smoothly and subtly write this, describing how Lavender let go of Victoire in an almost dreamlike move. Your writing seems to get better the more I read your stuff, especially your later works, and seriously, you're so fabulous and the rate your writing is changing and improving is so unreal.

Anyway. I was wondering what Lily would actually do once she confronted the murderer. It was never mentioned that she was very good with duelling or stuff like that, and she's not an Auror or anything. But yeah, I thought Lavender walking off the building was a very fitting end to her story.

You walk to the edge of the building and carry on when it ends.

MORE AMAZING LINES.

Also, the bit of backstory and development you gave to Lavender in her last few moments of life were wonderful. It really opened her character up, revealed her as a twisted, scarred human, war damage. Your description of her marred face was awful. And so horribly vivid. And I shuddered a bit, thinking of what she must have done to poor Victoire with her jagged stump of a nail. Argh.

The whole rooftop scene on St Mungo's reminded me of Sherlock! Especially the Season 2 finale confrontation between Sherlock and Moriarty on the roof of St Bart's hospital. Were you somehow influenced by that? All the references to 'the game' made by Lavender, and Lavender taking her own life, and Lily trying to crack Lavender...also, I mentioned in an earlier review that Lily is like Sherlock in terms of her sense of detachment and insentitivity and inability to connect with 'living people'. I definitely do see the parallels between the characters, and I think it's really unique to portray Lily in this way.

This has been an absolutely fantastic fic, Kiana! I'm so glad I had the chance to read this. ♥

-teh

PS. I see you've got a Helena story in the works? MUST READ SOON ♥

Author's Response: Hey teh! Thanks for these fab reviews I just have to apologise for how long I've taken to reply to them as it is sort of embarrassing as I usually am a lot quicker but oh well :P

Hahha, twisted is probably the best word for it as I did not mean for it to go so dark and now I'm starting to worry about my mental state because yeah I kinda scared myself with the twistedness. I'm really glad you liked the werewolf twist and I am quite tempted to write one as it would be fun to explore magical creatures a little more!

I'm glad you liked seeing her more emotional side as it was definitely very odd writing that as she doesn't tend to open up to them very often and tends to just close them off so it was a fun to change to write that. Haha, yes, I was debating with Victoire a lot but I thought her remaining alive until the beginning at least was the best option.

Wahahahahaha thank you so much teh!!! That means so much to me coming from a writer like you and just wahahahaha I have no words and I just want to hug and yeah thank you!! ♥ ♥

I'm glad you liked how it ended, as I always imagined Lily to have her battles with logic and tricks, more Slytherin like I suppose than Gryffindor so I don't think she would have been a good dueller. I think the way she sort of manipulated Lavender with words instead was more her style even though it was unintentional in a way.

wah thank you ♥

I'm so glad that you liked it as I do feel quite bad for poor old Lavender as I pick on her so much and never give her an easy ride but she's just such an interesting character to explore given all that happened to her I prefer making her past much more brutal and tortured! Yes, poor Victoire, that must not have been pleasant at all.

Hahaha, yes, that was definitely a big influence on me, all of Sherlock was really as he's such an interesting character I sort of channelled his spirit whilst writing Lily! Again, with the game you are spot on as I mentioned earlier on in the response Lily manipulates Lavender with words, Lavender manipulates her by killing people so it's very twisted game to say the least! I'm glad you found the portrayal unique though as I get a bit bored of the portrayals of them being constantly happy so mixing it up like this is much more fun!

Thank you so much for these amazing reviews, they made my day and the first chapter of the Helena fic is up and hopefully more will follow soon! ♥

-Kiana


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Review #25, by teh tarikMottled Blue: One funeral.

24th August 2014:
Great to see that Albus has joined Lily in the race to solve the mystery before Lily's time expires and the murderer catches up with her. Lily's bluntness is amusing. I still find her a bit creepy, haha. But a lot less creepy now that she's actually working with someone, interacting with Albus on a fairly normal level.

Victoire is a huge mystery. I can't work out how she fits into this, but something must have happened with her and Rose over that Christmas during which they disagreed...and if I remember correctly, you mentioned a Molly and Rose disagreement as well. THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS TO CONSIDER HOW THE DEVIL ARE YOU GOING TO WRAP EVERYTHING UP IN ONE CHAPTER.

I still think the murderer's POV sections fit Lavender Brown.

All you know is that you can never be her, the great victory prize, the great beauty of the new era. You're a reminder of the damaged goods of the war, the failures.

That's why he chose you, to make you an equal, as ugly as he.

Soon your family will be as scarred as me. Soon you will learn how the great battle was far from it for some. Soon you will learn that forgetting those you once knew isnít wise. Soon you will learn that love will carry on burning no matter what.

^ Beauty, scars, tormented love...it all sort of screams Lavender to me. BUT MAYBE YOU'RE LEADING ME ASTRAY? Maybe you want us all to think it's Lavender...and it's actually...someone else?

And Hugo doesn't even notice the murderer's presence when they slipped in the poison into his drink...so...someone who's fairly close to the Weasleys, to Hugo maybe?

I shall find out right now. :P

-teh

Author's Response: teh!!! ♥

Yay for a new duo! Hopefully this one doesn't prove to be as fatal as the one with Hugo and Lily as that would be unfortunate. I think Lily is capable of some level of normalcy with Albus due to them being siblings and it is quite fun to write that I have to say!

Yes, Victoire... That is all I shall say because I have to admit she may be a slight red herring in the story but she was such a fun character to include too as she did create a nice dynamic with how Lily viewed her and the conflict with Molly but you have to see with her.

Ooooh oooh ooh good theory,but you shall have to see ;)

Yeah, Hugo can be a little dense at times but bless him he does try so he can get a gold star for that at least! But you are right about it being close to them but in what sense is the question!

Thanks for a fab review! :D

-Kiana


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