Reading Reviews From Member: randomwriter
  
271 Reviews Found

Review #1, by randomwriterObsession: Obsession

10th April 2015:
*jailbreak post* Capture the flag- round five.

Lauren, this one shot cannot possibly be real. It's too good. I don't have the words to tell you how amazed I am. As you know, I've been reading Rules of the Game until now, so it's massive shift in genres for me, coming to this, from that story. But you've written this so masterfully that I have no doubt in mind that you can tackle any of these genres or story types with equal ease, and that is a marker of a great writer.

It's incredibly how deeply you managed to go into Pansy's character. I'll be the first person to admit that I don't like her. She's cowardly, dependent, and immoral. But you actually made me sympathise with her over here. The motions you dealt with were so human, and so relatable, that I couldn't help but feel terrible for her.

Love is beautiful, but it can be just as devastating, and you showed that alternate side to love so well over here. I am so impressed because this one-shot is nothing short of incredible. I want to say that it's hard to believe that someone can long and pine so much, but I know that it isn't. But I still wish I could say it because Pansy's pain is beyond fathomable in this one-shot. And the way you've described it is so heart wrenching. If you can get me to feel sorry for Pansy, then you've certainly done something.

The writing is the most gorgeous thing ever. Your story just glides and waltzes through, if that makes sense. It's so poetic and reading it makes me feel so disconnected from everything. Almost like I'm somewhere floating.

The descriptions were so amazing. As I kept reading this, I kept thinking to myself that I need to quote 'this line' and 'this line', and as I read on, I realised that I was having these thoughts for nearly every single line, so I thought it would be prudent for me to not quote your entire story back to you :p But be assured that every line was quote worthy and so beautiful that I want to cry my eyes out for never being able to do this! I'm so jealous. And I think your story flows and reads so well because of how intricate your descriptions are. It's just too ♥

As for the plot, WOW. When I started reading it, I definitely did not expect that to happen. I just thought she's be pining over Draco and that's that. But when we got to that bit, I just stopped, and went 'wow'. I appreciated how you used the remembrall prompt to tie it up with that. I was mindblown, because that was honestly genius.

Also, this can't possibly be your first attempt at first person? Because it was done so well.I find that a lot of people struggle with the flow and the structure of this point of view, but clearly, you're not one of those people.

Your understanding of love, pain, grief, helplessness, and human emotion in general astounds me. You've dealt with it is such a realistic and relatable manner, but at the same time, it's incredibly delicate.

Lauren, if I keep going on, I'm just never going to stop gushing. This is one of my favourites on your page (and I've been on your page a lot, especially off late!). This is one of those stories that is going to stick in my memory for a long, long time. Just splendid!

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Review #2, by randomwriterRules of the Game: Things Could Be Worse

10th April 2015:
Hey Lauren! CTF-Round Five. On lookout for a flag, reg and gold with a picture of the giant squid on it. Seen it anywhere? :p

Anyway, onto the review.

I'm really enjoying this POV shift. I love that we're learning so much about each character from their angles. It's an excellent way to wield this style, and it is quickly becoming one of my favourite nextgen stories, mainly (but not just) because of this.

It was really nice to get into Hugo's head :) I suspected that him and Alice would have something going on there, but I didn't quite have any hard evidence of it up until now. I feel a little more sorry for Ivy though. Because I can see Lily/Jimmy happening, and I can see Alice/Hugo happening, but she likes Al, and he isn't even in Hogwarts :(

That task that Hugo got assigned does sound incredibly dull. I mean, who wants to hang back and check the train when they can be riding to the castle in carriages with their friends, right? And it was so awkward with Kate there :p That being said, I felt something happen there. I could be gravely wrong though, but I feel like they'll become friends over the course of the year. Maybe Kate will even develop feelings for him. Or maybe I'm just seeing things ahead of time :p

I love how each character has a distinct voice. One risk that you can run with so many POV shifts is making every character sound the same, or similar. But over here, you've managed to give each of them their own individual voice. Like, in this chapter, it became clear how Hugo is more of a thinker and observer. He's very reflective. Also, not only did you manage to give him his own voice, you also managed to show us that you write male POVs just as well as female POVs, and that's a great skill to have! You truly understand your characters so well.

I love how you've described his feelings for Alice. Clearly things have changed over the summer, and he isn't sure what to make of it, or how to react to it. It's very sweet to see how deeply he cares for her. So many guys are too oblivious, but as I noted, Hugo is an observer, and it's nice to see how he catches every subtle hint in her behaviour. He just understands her so well, and gahhh &heart; it's already so sweet!

I'd guessed about the threstals by the time the chapter reached that point given how you'd built up to it. It was really well written and realisitc. Though they are lovely creatures, they're symbolic of something so negative, that it's only natural that there are people who fear them. I wonder whose death poor Alice had to witness though :( I feel quite sorry for her. I just hope that it isn't Augusta Longbottom. I love Augusta Longbottom . She seems so unbeatable. She came closer to immortality than Voldemort ever did :p Though, she wouldn't be my first guess. I'd think it was either Frank or Alice or both, and that's just as bad. I can't handle that, sorry. Or maybe it was someone on Hannah's side. I know it's just as bad for her, but atleast then it won't be a character I'm already attached to :p

Jimmy lightening the mood was great :) I also wasn't surprised when he didn't realise that all that Quidditch talk was boring Alice. It seems so in character, and I can imagine Oliver Wood being that way too. You know what though? Jiimmy may be my favourite so far, and we haven't even had a chapter from his point of view yet!

I don't think I'll ever stop gushing about how perfect your dialogue was ♥ You must teach me, Lauren. It's the best! And you always have a little bit of humour tucked away. I know that this was comparatively serious, but it still wasn't too overwhelming, you know?

All in all, you've done an amazing job, and I can't wait to read more. I can't get enough of this story!

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Review #3, by randomwriterRules of the Game: Boys Gossip Too

10th April 2015:
Lauren! :) BACK for for. CTF is giving me such a great chance to read this. This is for round five, by the way.

I have to admit, this stuff is your jam. There are so many nextgen stories like these, but there are few that I've enjoyed so much, and we're only in chapter two so far!

Okay, so you're rotating POVs (while keeping it in third person). This is interesting!It gives a very ensemble cast kind of feel where every character is important and has their own story. I don't see this being used much in fanfiction, to be honest. And that makes it all the more impressive. I also wonder why it is this way though. Because it can be such an effective tool for story telling!

I love how you've portrayed each individual character here. And in some cases, there's a bit of their parents in them. I was just thinking about how Jimmy's competitive urges must come from his dad before you mentioned it. I also love how Hugo is the resident chess champion of Hogwarts, and how he's thinking up plays in his head. Lily, in all her Quidditch captain glory, is a bit like harry in that regard. Then there's Alice, and I've never seen her written like this before! I know she's an OC, but so many people include her in their nextgen fics! Your take on her was so fun and refreshing :) And poor Ivy. I know that being head girl must come with a fair share of bitterness from those who lost out, but I'm really liking what you've written of her so far, and I hope that despite all the negativity, she has a good year in the end.

I like the little group you've got here as well. They seem well-balanced and fun, and I think that they're a bit mischievous as well, which is always nice to read about ;) I'm more excited about their year now that they have the cloak and the map. The potential speaks to me!

I think this chapter serves as an important public announcement as well because... BOYS DO GOSSIP. All the time, seriously. Who're they kidding when they act like they don't care, really? :p I loved how Ivy decided to use that piece of information to prove her point. It was rather clever of her.

The dialogue, once again, was amazing. I found myself smiling ad chuckling at a lot of different points. There's something that makes the dialogue seem very natural. Like, I can imagine a group of friends sitting in a compartment and just saying all these things, you know? It didn't feel strained at any point.

The flow of this chapter was also excellent, aided by the smooth dialogue. It wasn't choppy, and at no point did I feel that it was too much.

I love the exchange after the Hufflepuff captain comes into conversation. I think the interhouse dynamics within this group makes things rather interesting. Just to be clear, is Wood the only Ravenclaw out of them all? I'd love to know how they became a group, but since we're only in chapter two, maybe I'm speaking too soon :p The Hogsmeade incident also really caught my interest. I want to know what happened, and I hate waiting *pouts like a child*

The introduction of the map and the cloak just made this a whole lot more interesting. I love the idea of it being passed down from one sibling to another through their years. Possessing these two items is definitely like striking a gold mine, and it can make all the difference to their year. I hope they use it well, and I can't wait to read more on that front. Also, these two things were some of my favourite magical items. I've always wanted to own them :p So, it's a favourite really.

I'm shipping Lily/Jimmy so hard now, that I can't even tell you, really :p I want them to get together, and it's only the second chapter.

I'm so glad I've gotten to this now, Lauren, and I will be following it and pestering you for updates regularly. Great job, love ♥ favouriting.

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Review #4, by randomwriterBreathe: i. Consequence

9th April 2015:
Hey Kayla! Here for the Review Battle! Go Team #Red!

I was really excited for this when I saw the banner because I get excited by little things like the fact that I can read the Devanagari script, and I know that it says 'Saas Lena', which means 'To breathe'. Also, while I'm a firm believer in canon, and ship Remus/Tonks, I must admit that I am not too opposed to a well written Wolfstar even though it's not a ship a ship, if that makes sense?

This was a great start to the story. It was short, yes. But that's perhaps the beauty of it because you managed to get the reader the hooked. You've given away very little. But the details that you have given out have made me curious, and now I want to know so much more. So in terms of creating suspense and drawing the reader in, you've nailed it!

I felt so terrible for Sirius. whatever he has has done, if it caused the marauders to break apart, it must have been beyond serious. To me, the four of them are brothers, and I can't possibly imagine a universe where they're not, which is why this broke my heart extra hard.

Indian James is interesting, and more so to me because I do have a vested interest here. :p It's nice to see that you've included so much diversity in one fic. You're looking at both sexuality and race, and we're only on chapter one. I'm impressed!

I will admit that I'm one of those people who have that embarrassingly tropey headcanon about Sirius being a (straight) playboy. So this is interesting for me, and I think that it works well :) I love that you're writing about him though, because he's my favourite and I've always been a bit too terrified of writing him for the fear that I may butcher his character.

Anyway, back to the story. Snape is involved, eh? I have such a weird take on Snape, and I'm not going to get into that now. I do believe he's an excellent character to write about though, and there's so much potential, so I'm left wondering how you're going to wield him. What's interesting is that you're adding the whole equation of alternate sexuality in an environment where bigotry based on blood status and loyalty is already so rampant. I'd love to see where this goes from here.

I love the writing. It's simple, but it flows well. It isn't choppy or doesn't leave the reader feeling as if something is amiss. It reads so smoothly, and I think that there's great beauty in it's simplicity.

I really love how you progressed through this though. The part about writing a letter, especially to someone you care about to apologise for something grave, is never an easy process and you're always left thinking and wondering about what to say and how to say it. Letters help me, so I always write them even if I don't end up sending them. I guess, though, that sometimes just writing a letter doesn't suffice, and you're left groping in the dark until you get a response. So that part was realistic and I loved it. It was so relatable.

I'm interested to see how James responds, and how Remus comes into the picture. I hope the marauders get back to being themselves soon. As much a I hate (like detest) Peter, he's instrumental in this phase, so I hope to see how you go on with that. I'm also curious to learn more about the prank.

Overall, great story, and I'm excited to see more :)

Author's Response: Wow, Adi! Thanks for the amazing review! I think Kevin beat you to it in terms of the review battle, unfortunately :P But I really, really appreciate this review, so hopefully you don't feel that your time was wasted!

It appears that I didn't make something clear enough here, and that's what the prank was. It's meant to be what we Wolfstar shippers refer to as "The Prank" - the one Sirius played on Snape towards the end of their fifth year when he told him how to get past the Whomping Willow into the Shrieking Shack. Everyone who beta-ed this for me also ships Wolfstar, and I guess I didn't think about whether my intentions would be communicated clearly to someone who wasn't reading about this event constantly (It's sort of a trope in Wolfstar fics, actually). My bad. :$ If you have any ideas on how to clarify this in the text, I'd appreciate hearing them!

I too detest Peter :P Like I told Kevin, though, this story actually mainly explores the friendship between James and Sirius. Both Remus and Peter will eventually play minor roles, but they're not really going to be a focus at any point.

Also, I will say this - the Wolfstar in this is actually unrequited. So if you don't ship it, you don't have too much to fear!

I hope I didn't spoil anything for you with this response! I just wanted to clear things up, since it seems that I wasn't clear enough in-text.

Thank you SO much for this wonderful review! It really means a lot to me :)

-Kayla


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Review #5, by randomwriterJumble: HodgePodge

9th April 2015:
Hey Kaitlin. So I reviewed this, and the internet ate it up. It was a long one too. So instead of curling up into a ball and crying in the corner, I'm going to attempt to do this again.

I think this was a really refreshing one-shot. The idea is so unique. I haven't read something like this before, and I love the idea of Harry returning to Quidditch.

I loved how you started this off. It showed how Harry was still good at it, and that while he was confident, he was also uncertain. It's like getting back to a sport you're good at after a long time. You still need to get the feel of things before getting properly stuck in. You managed to write about it and make it sound so beautiful. That was amazing!

I love your choice of words and the phrasing. It makes the whole thing flow so naturally. It was such an easy read, and no point did I stop because of how it reads. I love that you took something that I think, is a little tricky to write about, and you did it in so few words, and so well, too!

Your characterisation of Harry was absolutely spot on. I know that it seems like there wasn't too much, in terms of character, to portray, but I beg to differ. You brought out Harry's love for flying so well. It's one true thing that was his. He loved it. He felt connected with the wizarding world when he was playing Quidditch. It was obvious that despite everything he was going through, Quidditch was his constant. It kept him sane. So obviously it meant a great deal to him. You've managed to portray how much he truly loves it here, and I'm in awe of how well you've done it!

I also think that you Oliver and Ginny really well. The ending was quite funny. The part about the hexes and being on opposing teams made me laugh out loud. It was the perfect way to end it. I can see Harry and wood joking about things like that, so if you wanted to follow this up with a one-shot of Harry's first practice, I wouldn't complain ;) (it's a hint :p)

I loved your descriptions. It was the best thing about this one-shot. Since you weren't actually writing about a match, describing the whole experience of flying in a vivid manner was key, and you nailed it. I love you how described the wind, and the quidditch pitch, and even the feeling of his skin against the broom. It really made a difference, because I could picture and feel everything so well. It's truly a mark of a great reader to be able to incite that in a reader, I think :)

I think, on a more personal note, this really rang true with me. I'm a swimmer. I stopped swimming regularly a few years ago, and as time went by, and as I got busier, it became more difficult for me to make time for it. Swimming is one of my greatest loves though, so whenever I manage to go to a pool, I feel such a huge sense of freedom, and in a way, it's the same feeling Harry experienced here. It's indescribable and you wrote it in such a realistic and relatable manner. I used to play other sports too, so there was a little bit of that as well in this :)

That word! Oh gosh, it must have been hard to use, but you managed to out it in there without making it seem awkward or out of place, so kudos :p I know I wouldn't have managed. I was lucky to get an easier word :p

I don't really have any CC for you. Just a suggestion. Maybe you could expand this just a tiny bit by focusing on his core emotions- like, nerves before lifting off, the exhilaration, the liberating feeling, etc. This is just a suggestion of course. You can take what you want from it :)

All in all, you've done a fantastic job. And I'm absolutely in love with this! ♥ well done.

(For the Red Vs Gold battle!
Go TEAM RED!)

Author's Response: Hi Adi,

Let me start by saying you leave the best reviews. I am constantly amazed by how detailed and thoughtful they are. Reviews in general make me happy, but yours are a whole nother level.

When I started writing this I was originally going to have a scene about his first time flying at school, but then I thought it might have become his release as an adult. I know that motorcycles are like that for me, so I figured it would be logical for Harry.

The fact that you thought the chapter read well and the choice of words were good really means a lot to me because you do such a beautiful job with description. I always feel like my descriptive passages pale in comparison.

I had to throw in a mention of Oliver and Ginny. I mean Oliver is the reason Harry is coming back to Quidditch and Ginny is the center of his life.

I hope that at some point you get a chance to get back into swimming. There's something special about having that type of a release through sports. I think it's very important.

The word was definitely a difficult one! I'm not going to lie. I really had to dig deep to figure out how to use it without making it too jarring. I'm glad that you think it didn't seem out of place.

Expanding on his emotions isn't a bad idea. Maybe when I go through and edit my different one-shots I'll do that.

Thank you so much for this review, Adi! It's certainly brightened my day!

~Kaitlin


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Review #6, by randomwriterStill Into You: Need you now

9th April 2015:
Hey Aditi. I'm here 300 days too late for our swap, and I hope you'll forgive me for that.

I will admit that this was a little difficult to really get into in the beginning. For one, I like this ship as an endgame pairing, but mostly because I felt that I'd seen this whole Teddy leaving Victoire plot before. But as I read on, I realised that this was nothing ordinary. You completely made it up with your great writing, and I loved (but hated) the ending. I definitely didn't see that coming!

I think you've done extremely well with recognising and understanding complex emotions here. I'm sure we're all familiar, on some level, with heartbreak. So I could understand her emptiness and need. I was quite surprised when I saw how much time had passed though. Three years is a long time to still be pining after someone. But as I thought about it more, I realised that it is perfectly plausible if you loved them this much. To top that off, Teddy was someone she'd had in her life since childhood, and to lose that, would pretty much be like severing all connection with familiarity, and that must hurt more than anything. The line where you said that she didn't know of a life without Teddy hit the nail right on the head.

Her reaction to the breakup was fairly realistic. Sometimes, it hurts so bad you cry for ages, but sometimes you feel hollow and numb and you don't really want to do anything with yourself or your time for a while. Hers was a killer (probably shouldn't use this word here) combination of both of them. I felt so bad for her for so many reasons,but mostly because she didn't seem to have any idea that it was coming. She seemed to think that they were fine, and when it comes out of the blue, I'd imagine it to be the worst.

I think the way you portrayed her slow disintegration from the breakup to the present very well. Even though you didn't do it in too many words, I think you managed to convey every emotion so perfectly. Perhaps the fact that it is short made it more compact and concentrated. It was very intense, but as a reader, it works well because it makes it very relatable and it helps us understand the character better.

One thing I really liked is that you strayed away from even bringing looks into the equation. Teddy and Victoire are often thought to be beautiful people, and I admit that they are even in my headcanon. Almost any Teddy/Victoire story ends up calling to attention how good looking they are. The fact that you didn't pull this one out was a refreshing change.

I really liked the symbolism of the dark near the end. Her seeking comfort in the dark was indicative of how she was spiraling into nothingness.The light hurting her eyes symbolised how she wasn't readying herself to attempt to move on and give life and happiness another chance. It's so very heartbreaking to see this.

The last bit with the potion was really creative. I'm always interested in things like these, and inventions. It's such an important part of fanon, going beyond what we see. I feel like it's the wizarding equivalent of drugs, so I can understand how grave it is that she's dependent on them, and why she hasn't told anyone about it. I really enjoyed that bit. It was so dark. The one thing I'd have liked is for more elaboration on how she felt when she was about to take the potion. The anticipation of relief? Or liberation from the pain? And then the crushing agony of overdose.

I loved how you kept describing snapshots and vignettes of how she sees Teddy in between all of this, through her thoughts. It was an effective medium to bring out her feelings of love that still linger, though it's still painful to read that she's going through so much.

One thing I'd suggest adding, if you'd like, is more on why the break up happened, Obviously it must have been a big decision for him, having to choose to of such an integral part of his life. But I understand if that isn't in the scope of this story. Also, maybe little snapshots of important moments together (just a line or two on each) interspersed in between, here and there, would enhance her pain and grief to the reader, and make it more angsty (muhahaha).

All that aside, I loved the flow and description and thought that you did a stellar job of rallying her story through this. The description was the main reason why this was so hard hitting.

Overall, great job :)

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Review #7, by randomwriterAtonement Is Coming: A Shadowy Threat

8th April 2015:
Hey Kaitlin :)

I'm here (very late) for the review exchange. I was excited to be paired with you this month!

I love this chapter. You had me cooked from the word go. I think that the premise is really interesting, and the combination of an intriguing plot, spot-on characterisation and
good writing is more than enough to draw the reader in.

I was surprised by this, actually. We don't find stories like these very often. As I said, the premise is definitely interesting. The idea that there may still be some disturbance years after the war is very realistic, yet it hadn't crossed my mind up until now. It's also nice to see you taking a brave step and featuring a story in this time period. It took me so long to really appreciate the post-Hogwarts era as a writer, but this specific period is something I've never considered. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I'm impressed that you took this up, and you did an excellent job with it.

I've always been slightly apprehensive about writing about McGonagall. She's such a well established character, and all her mannerisms and speech patterns are so distinctive. Despite all that, I think you managed to get her almost completely right. Kingsley was also pretty well written. He was extremely professional, abut at the same time he treated McGonagall like an old friend, and I really picture them like that after the war. So I really do think you did a good job of characterisation.

The plot itself is slightly mind bowing. I love it. even though we're only a chapter in. I hope to see quick updates on this because I'm already hooked. As of now, it looks like there's a group of Ravenclaws, who are, of course, using their brains for what they believe is the greater good. They started off harmless, but are slowly growing more powerful and dangerous. It's funny because all these people are painted in a fairly good light in the books, in terms of their allegiance, if not personality. But here the tables seem to have turned completely, with them hunting down purebloods. It's interesting, and I'm curious to say the least. The phrase 'Atonement is Coming' is very ominous sounding, and it fits this so well.

This is a slightly unusual thing to touch upon, but I'm going to comment on it anyway. I think the length of this piece is perfect for enticing the readers. You've given us enough to get hooked, but not so much that it seems expository or overly informative. I think it's perfect for a prologue.

I love how easily this piece flows. So much has happened, and it's pretty heavy, but I couldn't stop reading, and there was no point where I paused because the sentences seemed choppy or forced. So good job on that. I love stories that read this well. I also really think you've included some great description here. It seems so natural, and it works so well here.

Now, I don't have concrete CC as such, but I do have some things you could perhaps take a look at.

For one, five years after the war seems a little late to be trying people for the first time. Maybe you could introduce a little bit about the procedure, and why it took so long. This is a trivial matter of course. And if you include something, don't go into to too much. Maybe just a side note?

Another thing to look at is that a lot of Ravenclaws come from pureblood families. I don't know if you're planning on targeting only Slytherin purebloods, but if you are, it may be worth a mention.

Another small nitpicky thing that I have is how you used the word 'graffiti'. This is completely personal, so feel free to ignore me, but I don't feel like McGonagall would use that word. I feel as if she would describe it differently :p

Lastly, in the end, calling the imposters 'Fake Minerva' and 'Fake Kinglsey' took away from the serious a little bit. Maybe just calling them Minver and Kigsley, or Penelope and Roger, or maybe imposters would work better.

All this aside, I think you've done the most excellent job, and I'm so excited for more. can't wait! ♥ I'm glad I got a chance to read this!

Author's Response: Hey Adi,

Don't worry about being late on the review. It happens to the best of us. Life always has a way of preventing us from doing things when we mean to.

I actually love this particular era. I find 5 years after the war ends to be the most interesting because for the most part people are starting to move on and re-adjust to life, but it's still recent enough that there are underlying issues.

Kingsley is one of my favorite characters to write, so this was fun for me. I've always pictured him as a bit more formal, but still kind of a cool guy. McGonagall is definitely a bit of a challenge. As readers we know her really well from the books, so I was nervous about trying to keep that up.

As for their relationship with each other, I've always imagined that there would be a lot of mutual respect between the two of them. War and tragedy has a way of bonding people and I imagine them very much bonded over their loses and the horror they've witnessed. I think since I picture McGonagall as being significantly older than Kingsley, I imagine her popping in to give him advice, kind of how Dumbledore did with Fudge in the beginning, except that Kingsley is more willing to hear it.

The mysterious group hunting down Purebloods is definitely comprised of some Ravenclaws, but there are people from other houses too. They just haven't made their appearances yet. You may be surprised by who turns out to be in the group! I have been looking into which students come from Pureblood families, but I will point out that there were several Death Eaters who were not 100% Pureblood...Lord Voldemort himself included.

I'm glad that the flow and length of the story work well for you. Originally chapter 1 & 2 were just one whole chapter and it seemed to be really awkward. I think splitting it up really helped. Going forward each chapter will focus on the things that are happening in specific locations. It will kind of rotate between all of the different going ons.

Your note about the word graffiti is noted. I honestly am not very familiar with how Brits speak. I've only met a very few in my life, so I'm not quite sure what an older British woman might say in that case. Where I live, it's often called tagging, but that sounds like something a younger person would say to me. I guess I'll have to do a bit of research.

I'll have to think about how to address the imposters. I thought it sounded a bit clunky myself, but since the real Kingsley and Minerva will be appearing regularly in the story I thought it might get too confusing if I didn't identify them somehow.

Thank you for another spectacular review Adi! They are always so helpful and give me so much to think about. I really appreciate all of the detail you go into!

~Kaitlin


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Review #8, by randomwriterHow I Met Your Father: Chapter 3: Fred's Got a Secret

6th April 2015:
*attack*

Wow. I'm marathon-ing your work, right Lizzie? ;)

So, what can I say about this chapter? (Seriously, my fingers feel like they're about to fall off from all this typing).

Anyway, one thing that I'd really like to say again (forgive me, I'm sure I sound like a parrot) is that Rose is definitely acting less freaked out than she should be. She's only sixteen, and getting pregnant is sort of a big deal. So I'd like to see a lot more chaos on that side of things. :p

Coming to James and Fred, I'm a bit weary of the whole butterflies prank. I seriously hope they were dead first. I'd hate it if he killed them and then pinned them to her bedpost!

Fred seems pretty cool. I think it was sweet, the way he went into over-protective bug brother mode with Roxanne. The blood and dung thing sounded disgusting. And it's sad too, the reason. She should be able to go out with whoever she likes.

The ending was a complete surprise. You literally dropped a bombshell on us! I never expected Fred to like Alice. This certainly puts a new spin on things!

Since I need to get a move on, I can't elaborate on everything, but some of my CC stands. In addition to that, I'd like to see you write the characters in a more well-rounded manner, if that makes sense. Everything seems a bit too perfect right now.

Sorry I'm hurrying, but there is no choice at the moment. SERIOUSLY, where IS the damn flag? :p I'll see you soon on another chapter, most likely. :p

Author's Response: Hehehehe! Hi Adi!

*more parroting* Yup. Rose'll freak out. Don't worry. It's intentional, I promise. It's going to reach a point where REAL chaos reigns and everything goes to hell.

Basically, reality is a *bleep*.

Fred didn't do anything for the prank with the butterflies! Why does everyone include him in that? That was all JAMES!

Fred's not THAT mean. I mean, he didn't put those boys in detention. He doesn't have the heart to be that mean. Mischievous? Yes. Mean? No.

And yes, the butterflies were dead. (He stole them from someone's collection - can't say, spoilers!)

Mm, Fred and Alice, Alice and Albus...ah, wait till later. Some serious...ahem...stuff, is going to go down.

Ah! You caught that it's all a little TOO PERFECT. Yup. Also intentional.

Thanks for the reviews Adi! I'm glad you're still reading!
LL


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Review #9, by randomwriterHow I Met Your Father: Chapter 4: A Close Call and a...Kiss?

6th April 2015:
*attack post*

Hahaha, Lizzie! Your author's note. LOL. Thankfully, I will not be doing any consulting. So that really wasn't much of a cliffhanger for me.

Moving on to the chapter, I really enjoyed this one in particular. I suspect it has a lot to do with all the Scorpius/Rose interaction. I love them too much, and I love that they're already so sweet with each other! I still do think that Scorpius could freak out a little bit though. But well, it's your story. :p

I like how easy going they both are with each other. Conversation is flowing quite easily and they seem to be very comfortable with each other, which is always a good thing. Especially because they're having a baby, you know? :p One thing I would note is that they seem way to knowledgeable about their position and their options, which I suspect wouldn't be the case even for pregnant couples their age. If you could add some confusion or some sort of uncertainty, it would make this more realistic.

The part with James really cracked me up. The infamous James Potter, no match for a flight of stairs! And Scorpius made a really clever save there. I was impressed!

I absolutely adored the last section, but I wish you hadn't ended it so soon. It was adorable, and especially vivid. The idea of the list is very unique. I don't think I've read it before. It's a really nice idea though, and I like it. I can guess what #1 could be though ;) Also, is Lia going to get together with James?

Anyhoo, can't stick around for too long right now. Good job again, Lizzie, and I'll see you when we capture the flag ♥

Author's Response: Adi! *happy dances*

I'm so VERY happy you didn't need to do any consulting. It's good to know you've got the birds and the bees figured out.

Hmmm...I'm gonna have to think about them knowing so much about their options. I guess I'm basing their knowledge on what I knew at 16, you know? We had a really intensive sex ed program the first year of high school, so by 16, I knew a LOT. Maybe you're right..more questions, less answers.

Scorpius' freak out...I dunno, it just doesn't fit him. Well...the freakout that I have in my head happens much earlier, which won't get explained until later in the story (because I like doing things in the wrong order).

This is the chapter where I tell everyone that maybe not everything is as it seems. Hehehehehe.

Ah, James. A complete idiot. A lovable fool. Grade A jerk. He's a lot of things, and most make me laugh.

The last section is the most important part! That's why it's so short! Once again...maybe everything is not what it seems!

I do like the list though. I need to remember to bring that back.

Lia and James. Oh, that's a fun adventure. ;)

Thanks again for your reviews Adi! They make me smile every time!
LL


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Review #10, by randomwriterHow I Met Your Father: Chapter 2: The Hospital Wing

6th April 2015:
*attack*

Hey again Lizzie! I'm back! Just wondering how soon you're going to get sick of me. Just give me the flag already? :p

Haha, okay. Jokes aside. I'm glad I'm back to read more. I just had one small question. I don't know if it's a bit unnecessary, but how exactly does Scorpius have a hunch that Rose is pregnant before she herself knows?

Anyway, that aside, this was a really interesting chapter. As you'd mentioned at the start, it's where things really kick off. I felt so sorry for Rose. She mnust have been so terrified, and what with all the crying and the morning sickness and everything? I can't imagine having to deal with that at the tender age of 16!

I must say that I was a little surprised to see how calm everyone was about it, especially Scorpius. I'd imagine he'd be freaking out the most (apart from Rose). That'd be more realistic. But maybe he's had time to prepare himself since he had suspected it for longer? I don't really know about that :p

I loved Rose's friends. Dom and Lia and really great! Dom was a little too sweet for my liking (meaning that if I met her in real life, I'd probably get a bit ticked off), but her presence really worked well in the story. I really liked Lia though. I can tell that I'd totally get along with her if she was real. Snarky, daring, reckless and a little cunning... sounds good to me!

Al was also really cool. His relationship with Rose fits completely with my headcanon, so that was pretty cool. I'm not the biggest fan of corny nicknames, so I might have hexed him if he'd used something like that on me, but Rose seemed to like it, so well.

Finally, I absolutely loved that reflective section where Rose is just evaluating her position and thinking of what will happen when each of them find out. It was so insightful. I enjoyed that bit.

As for CC, I the stuff I pointed out previously stands. There were also some issues with the dialogue tags. But the main problem for me was that I felt that McGonagall was out of character.

If you want any more details or clarifications, fell free to shoot me a PM. I must move on now, in search of the flag. :p

A pleasure, as always, Lizzie!

Author's Response: Adi!

You're back! I love your reviews! They make me so happy!

Well, to start off...I'm afraid I'll have to tell you that Scorpius suspecting Rose is pregnant before she does is sort of a...complicated scenario. It makes sense later. Although I think I'll have to do some more clarification on that in my edits.

I think Scorpius isn't freaking out as much because it's not really in his character (as I've imagined it). I think you'll find that he's not really one to become particularly flustered or panicky. His way of freaking out involves taking a walk and just thinking quietly for a while.

Rose's panic doesn't set in until MUCH later. Like, it's-way-too-late-for-you-to-be-panicking-about-this-now, later. Once again, I should probably do a little bit of clarification there.

Dom and Lia are some of my favorites! I think of Dom as a bit of a walking contradiction. She's always doing something that contradicts what you already know about her...which sort of keeps you on your toes. But Lia is solid, and doesn't do much changing, but is pretty firm in that snarky character that she is.

Lia is my absolute favorite really. I think I work really hard to give her all my favorite little lines and scenarios. She's loads of fun to write!

Al's corny nicknames...ugh. I don't like them either. Normally Rose would hex him too, but she's too distracted by what's going on to care.

Yeah, McGonagall. She's the reason why this is my second least favorite chapter. I can't seem to get her character right! I'm going to have to do some more editing, and work with my beta...

Thanks again Adi! You're awesome!!
LL


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Review #11, by randomwriterHow I Met Your Father: Chapter 1: The Weasley Clan

6th April 2015:
*attack*

hey Lizzie! Having read the first chapter of this, I knew that I would be back for the second one at some point. Unfortunately, I can't be as detailed as I'd like since we're looking for a flag at the moment. But I'm willing to trade ;) Give me the flag, and I'll leave you the review I want to. *sigh*

Okay, so I was quite amused and surprised that vania hadn't actually figured it out. The math isn't too hard to do :p Maybe she trusted her parents that much. Lol.

I love your little introduction of each character. It's like a crash course in nextgen, or a brief refresher :p I also love how you described Charlie. He's always the coolest, isn't he? ;) I also absolutely love that Fred II was born on Fool's Day, though it does break my heart a little. I'm never going to get over Fred's death!

I love how vania has these little quips in between to keep her mother from digressing too much. It's so typical of any mother-daughter interaction! I definitely chuckled a bit. I especially loved the bit where Rose childishly badmouths Lucy and Molly. It's so common in nextgen fics, but it's funny how you brought it out here. I also really like the descriptions you've given of each of the grandchildren. It gives us a glimpse into their dynamic.

Al squared couple. HAHAHA. I laughed at that too. Seriously, Lizzie, you cracked me up in so many places that if I keep listing them all out, I'm going to run out of space.

Wait? A rivalry? Between Gramps and Grandfather? But they love hanging out together! Theyre always joking and having a good time! Val looked shocked. WHAT!!
I was so shocked at this bit, seriously!

That ending was so sweet! The kiss bit :) Oh gosh, I'm really enjoying this story, Lizzie!

As for CC, I'll try to wrap this up quickly.
-there was some confusion with who/whom
-I spotted some grammatical and punctuation errors, which you can fix with the help of your post-beta ;)
-The tenses ended up intermingling a little bit when they weren't supposed to.

In addition to this, I suggest you add some more description. Your dialogue is set though :) Great work! ♥

Author's Response: ADI!

You're the bomb dot com. Have I ever mentioned that? 'Cause you are.

Val has never really done the math because she's always been told that she was born after they graduated from Hogwarts, and (being a typical teenager) she doesn't actually remember what years her parents were born in, so she didn't do the math as to how old they were when she was born. Also, there's a reason why nobody else, in the family or otherwise, has told her (why? not telling! You'll have to read on, sorry!)

I definitely wanted there to be some sort of crash course on the extended Weasley family here, but I think it still comes off as a bit much...I think there will be some editing that will happen, which will be a good time to fix some of the other errors you mentioned!!

Fred II being born on April fools actually comes from Rowling, I can't lay claim to that one. Can't remember where I got that. Maybe Pottermore? Maybe I'm imagining things.

The more I've written of this story, the more I've found Val has to say. Originally, I had no intention of having her really have a lot of commentary throughout the story, but there are moments that I've discovered are perfect opportunities for a teenage girl to laugh at her parents and their story.

Who wouldn't badmouth Molly and Lucy? I mean, some people do a great job with them, but I just don't like Percy, and by default don't like them, and I already have a HUGE cast of characters I'm working with. Easier to badmouth them and pretty much ignore them most of the time.

I'm SO glad you laughed and found different moments funny! It's one of the things I'm really most self-conscious about when writing. i LOVE humor, and like to think of myself as a funny person and a funny writer, but the biggest problem with writing is overthinking the humor and fearing that readers won't think it's as funny as you do.

Oh yeah, Ron and Draco come to an understanding. Hakuna Matata style. (I'm not even joking here. That's how it's gonna go down.)

The kiss...yeah. I'm made of cheese. That's all I can say.

Thanks again for R&R'ing! It makes me feel so warm and fuzzy!!
LL


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Review #12, by randomwriterMeeting Norberta: Reunion

6th April 2015:
*attack post*

Hey Lauren! Don't mind me. Just searching for a flag. Hand it over if you see it, won't you? ;)

Jokes aside, I don't know why I haven't read this before. It was such a heartwarming one-shot. Even though it was short, it spoke volumes, and I really think you managed to convey a lot despite the word limit.

I am awestruck by your marvellous characterisation of Hagrid. I always shy away from writing him because I think he's one of the harder canon characters to nail, especially because of his speech pattern. But you got that perfectly. Even his mannerisms were so in sync with what we know of him from canon. I could see Hagrid doing all those things and behaving like that. The ending of this too was so in line with his character. I was amazed, really. I'd never have been able to write him so well. *bows* In addition to all this, you really managed to capture his childlike mannerisms and blatant disregard for safety (sacrifice for the creature) so well.

I loved how you wrote Norberta as well! Throughout this, you kept repeating how Hagrid felt that they were misunderstood creatures. But you really showed us that in the last scene of this. I love that she remembers Hagrid. It shows the kind of bond animals and people end up building. As an animal lover, I felt my heart break when they were shooting spells at her, but I was so relieved and happy when Hagrid stepped in. So what if it's mental, right? ;) In many ways, her loyalty and recollection reminded me of how dogs are with humans.

I loved the descriptions you've used. The first part with the sky, and eve later, when you described Norberta. It was so simple, but extremely well done. I could picture exactly what was happening in the story. It was a delight to read!

I would love to see you expand this to maybe a short story or something? Maybe one chapter to cover each day of his stay at the reserve? It'd be really nice to see how Hagrid feels around so many dragons, and I'm sure we all would love to read about his adventures with them!

Anyhoo, great job with this, Lauren ♥ I loved it! Sorry, but I need to take your leave now. I'm still looking for the flag, rememeber? ;)

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Review #13, by randomwriterUgly Eloise: Chapter 1

22nd March 2015:
Hey there Kaitlin! :) I wanted to leave a review for everyone on the Quidditch team as a way of thanks, and that brought me here. I was going to read one of your newer stories, but I've been reading too much angst, and I'm always writing too much angst, and I wanted to read something light and happy and this seemed to fit the brief.

Honestly, I'm really glad I picked this up to read. You've dealt with some very important themes, and I really like how you haven't gone the conventionally serious route here.

I can't say that I've ever read a story about Eloise, or Justin before, let alone together! And I'm a huuge fan of minor characters and rare pairs, so I was really excited by this. It probably would never have struck me, actually. To ship them, but you know what? It works. I like how even though Eloise is shy and under confident, Justin urges her to come out of her shell. He's so gentle and understanding with her. They're certainly a great fit!

While we're on the matter of characterisation, I think that we can treat both Eloise and Justin as OCs since we don't know much about them. I genuinely felt bad for Eloise here. She must have really poor self esteem, but I don't even blame her there. A lot of girls struggle with their looks and it makes them feel so inadequate that they don't even have the strength in them to stand up for themselves. I feel like you dealt with that aspect very well. Another thing I liked about your portrayal of Eloise was that it was very realistically done. She hears of her inadequacy so often that she has come to believe it herself here, and that's something that happens in real life. I felt so sorry for her and they way she just wanted to be invisible.

As for Justin, I really loved him ♥ If you've read 'Keep Calm and Carry On', you'll know that Justin is characterised as a pompous boy, very much like Ernie, actually. And it had sort of become my headcanon. But reading this was such a refreshing change. I liked how sweet he was here, and it was really nice to see him treat Eloise like an actual person. Just an evening of company and respect helped her so much. I hope you write a sequel to this because I want to see Justin being awkward and sweet with her. I think it'd be smile worthy, and I'm not much good with fluff, so you totally should write it :p Anyway, I can see why Justin is a Hufflepuff. And I'm glad he acted the way he did.

Pansy was ugh. I've always hated her with a burning passion, and over here, it was no less. What an absolutely nasty creature. I don't think anymore needs to be said other than that you nailed her characterisation perfectly.

I liked the plot. Usually, stories that deal with serious issues are very descriptive, angsty and serious. But I like that you chose to make it light and positive. It's effective on a different level. I was a bit worried that Justin might be pranking her at one point, but I was so relieved to see that he wasn't.

This is a very well written piece. I didn't see any errors, and it flowed quite nicely. It was an easy read, and I didn't have to stop to figure something our or because something was unclear. So well done on that! :)

As for CC, I don't really have criticism, but I can attempt at giving you a constructive suggestion. I think you could be a little more descriptive and give us more of a build up. Also, adding more dialogue between Eloise and Justin wouldn't hurt. Just some casual and fun conversation to show us that they'd bonded or something, maybe?

That's about it with the suggestions. I applaud you for tackling such an important theme. It's so relevant in our world where beauty is seemingly unattainable and there are people who still strive to reach unrealistic goals bolstered by media portrayals. In that sense, Elise struggle and Pansy's bullying was just a figment, a small part, that stood to symbolise a whole issue. Well done on that!

Great job with this story, Kaitlin, and I'm glad that I got the chance to read it! It was a pleasure playing Quidditch with you ♥

Author's Response: Hi Adi,

I totally get the need to read something a bit lighter. I actually fall into similar habits with reading and writing mostly angsty stuff. This piece here is literally the only really fluffy type story I've ever written.

I know that Justin and Eloise stories are rare and their ship is non-existent, but there was just something that really made me want to write about Eloise. I really hated that in the series she was only ever known as a joke because of her acne.

The self esteem issue was really important to me because as you said, so many women struggle with their image. Because Eloise has been so terribly bullied she is unable to see any worth in herself and I felt like that's something I witnessed in a lot of my friends growing up.

As for Justin, I've never read anything about him either, but in my mind I just imagine him being a nice person. Maybe because my best friend is named Justin? Either way, I figured he's a Hufflepuff for a reason, so I wanted to show him being what Eloise needed.

The plot was interesting for me. It was hared to try and keep it light...and it definitely swerves into the angsty stuff in the beginning, but overall I wanted it to be happy.

I appreciate your cc on the dialogue. Once I get my next short-story for The Trope Challenge finished, I plan to go through all of my existing work and edit, tweak, and adjust based on some of the suggestions I've received.

Thank you so much for such a lovely, detailed review! I always look forward to getting reviews from you! Thanks for being such an awesome teammate!

~Kaitlin


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Review #14, by randomwriterMerlin! Stupid. What?: Brave

22nd March 2015:
Howdy, Kevin! (See what I did there? ;) I'm reviewing stories of the Gryffindor Quidditch team members as a sort of a thank you for being so awesome, so here I am! :)

Okay, so you've had a Neville/Hannah sitting on your page for this long, and I had no idea about it? Whaaat? I was scrolling through your page, and there's so much I still need to read/review, and I know that I will for all the challenges, so I wanted to pick a story that I didn't already owe you a review for, and I saw this, and I was so surprised that I hadn't known.

So, yes. I love, love, love this pairing so much! And I was so excited about reading it. You didn't let me down. I've been reading a lot of angst lately, and that was sort of bringing my mood down. I'm glad I read this after all that, because it changed everything. It really made me smile. This was so heartwarming and happy.

Before I forget to mention this, I have to tell you how much I loved your explanation of the name behind the Three Broomstick. It's such a small detail, but it really adds to the place and its feel and description, and now it's sort of becoming my headcanon for the place, in a way. Also, given that you had written this for the places challenge, details like this one make sense. Speaking of the places challenge, you did a great job of establishing your setting. It didn't seem too overbearing, but in the end, as I was reading your note, it struck me that it was always there. I like that it plays a subtle, but noticeably important role.

Your characterisation of Hannah and Neville was amazing. Now you already know that I'm sort of on the same page with you about Neville, where he has done a bunch of heroic stuff, but is still shy and nervous about things like talking to girls. Also, I've read a lot of stories where the authors immediately catapult Neville into the higher ranks because of the DA and the war, which I think is slightly unrealistic because despite everything, he still needs to be officially trained. It's whats best for everyone. Also, stationing him in Hogsmeade was clever, as both a plot and characterisation device. It shows that no matter what you've done, you could end up with something mundane for a bit. However, I didn't think Neville would complain too strongly about it. All in all, you did a great job of his characterisation. If you wanted to add something, maybe I'd talk a bit about his love for plants or sneak in a tiny bit of Herbology somewhere (apart from the university), you know :p Another really nice touch was adding the bits about Ginny's advice. It made so much sense, and it was really funny to see Neville concentrating on trying to remember what she'd told him to do. It really strengthened the characterisation. As for Hannah, she's sort of an OC because we know very little about her. And I really like what you've done with her. She seems like a perfect match for Neville because she's a bit more forward about it and seems a little more strong-willed, but at the same time, she isn't too over-bearing in any way.

I liked how you developed their relationship. It's cute to see that he had a crush on her back in school. Since we really didn't see this coming from the series, I really thought that was a nice tie up. It links very well with everything, and is very realistic too, because 1) There's not much of a chance that Neville would have acted on it because he's the nervous type. 2) And more important, there was a war going on. But it's nice to see them rekindle whatever they had over here, and the progression of the nature of their relationship was also nicely handled. This wasn't a long one-shot, but their relationship matured steadily and the pace was just right.

And Romilda Vane! Hahaha! :D she's a complete idiot, but her presence made me laugh a bit, here, and in the books. I suppose it's sort of why she was added, and until someone on the forums takes her up and writes an in depth study on her (because you know, that sort of thing tends to happen), that's how I'll picture her.

Before I forget to mention this, I should also tell you that I love the title of this story. It's a little whimsical, and fun, if that makes sense. And it suited the story with the dialogue and everything.

That last bit (Oh! There he is again!)- Adorable.

I'm glad I read this. It made me smile so much, andflipped my mood 180. Thank you, Kevin ♥ Great job!

Author's Response: I DO see what you did there, Adi :p Sorry it's taken me so long to respond to this wonderful review!

Like I told you once either in a status or at the end of a review, I have a fever and the only prescription is more Neville/Hannah! I'm glad you liked how they came out. With Neville, I of course wanted to be realistic about people's advancement post-war (personally, I still have MAJOR qualms about the fact that Harry became Head Auror in 2007 - WHAT?!), but I wanted that realness to include some other bits of what I imagined for this pair - Hannah starting out as a barmaid/waitress before becoming successful enough (and recognizing her own business smarts enough) to take over the Leaky Cauldron and Neville and Ginny having this kind of friendship, where she would give Neville advice on his love life because of their Yule Ball connection and the fact that Ginny knows how rough it can be when you're sure the person you're into doesn't know you exist (romantically).

One day I definitely want to write that stuff about how Neville and Hannah became close too! I have like 8,000,000 novels that I need to write, but that might be 8,000,001 at this point. Maybe one day I'll get there - let's hope we're both still around for it...

Romilda, I just had to add because: (1) how awkward would Neville be with someone so overt coming onto him like that and (2) because unlike some others, I don't see her giving up being hero-crazy. I'm glad you found it funny and enjoyable though.

I'm so glad it cheered you up on a down day! Thanks for your stupendous review!


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Review #15, by randomwriterThe Wind Beneath Your Wings: The Wind Beneath Your Wings

21st March 2015:
Oh my. Hello Molly! As a bit of a thank you for being such a great Quidditch team, I'm going around reviewing stories written by our team members, and I am beyond glad that I chose to read this. I absolutely loved it!

I think it's interesting that you chose this as your prompt for Diversity. As someone who has read quite a bit about mental disorders (also, I've worked with kids with special needs before), this was of great interest to me. I don't think enough people have the courage to write about this sort of stuff, and you did, so you should definitely give yourself a pat on the back for that.

I like how this is a short and simple story. Nothing flowery or unnecessary about it. It's to the point, and its beauty is its simplicity. I don't know what exactly it is, but something about that, and your writing style made this feel so pure.

I like the voice of this piece so much. I love how it's almost like George is telling Roxanne, but without using second person perspective or pronouns. It's lovely!

As for the characterisation, I think this is a side of George I've never seen or read about before. But I can see it happening, especially because of the Down Syndrome. I can see him getting over-protective and sensitive. I also feel that after Fred's death, he might have become a little less abrasive. Also, I can imagine how this sort of thing might scare him, or how he may sometimes feel as if he isn't equipped to deal with them. But I wish I could somehow reach out to him and tell him that he's doing great at this whole fatherhood thing.

I like how different Angelina and George are in their approaches to this. Clearly, Roxanne's daddy's little girl. But Angelina is so rational and calm, and I'm sure that she shares the same concerns as George but is dealing with them in a different way. I like that they balance each other out. She's good for him and it's nice to see that :) I love that she wanted to give Roxanne a normal childhood and a shot at having the life everybody else gets.

My favourite character, even though she doesn't speak much in this, is Roxanne. I love the exchange about the food trolley and the sandwiches, and how George already knows that she won't eat her sandwich, but makes her promise anyway. I especially like how childlike she is, and how you give the reader all this information in the beginning, and when she finally comes up to George, as readers, we really don't know what to expect, but then this happens, and it's no different from any other child. I think that it was a great, and subtle way of showing how she's no different. It was so beautiful! I love how you described her as well. The part about her likes and dislikes, and I found myself really hoping that she gets to play Quidditch! I also think that speaking about how her magical abilities are no different than others' was a nice touch. I've wondered what sort of effect the magical blood makes in this case. Maybe there are some potions for her to take? I don't know how this works out, but I think it's a very interesting subject.

As for CC, there were some typos (langue for language, for example) and some punctuation errors (shes for she's, for example), but it's nothing a quick read through can't fix.

Before I close this, I also want to emphasise on how everything, from your flow to the language and phrasing that you've used was simple and beautiful in that right. This story triumphed through the subtleties.

That last part certainly got me teary. I love the metaphor there, and the imagery that came with it too. I really hope she manages to break out of her shell and fly! &hearts:

I read this somewhere today, and I think that it was great and very fitting for this.
"The difference between you and him is the extra chromosome.The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is a little something 'extra'. Extra is good. Embrace it."
This embodied that quote in spirit. Molly, I'd love to see you write a sequel. Or make it a short story collection with different scenes from her life. I know that it may not be possible, but I'm just throwing it out there. Thank you for sharing this wonderful piece, and for being a stellar seeker! ♥

Author's Response: Thanks for a lovely review!

Oh, I have in fact a few plot bunnies for other stories about Roxanne... :-)

You're right about this George is quite different from the George we know and love, but I think he's gone through a lot of changes.The war, losing his twin, being a parent, having a child with special needs...

Molly


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Review #16, by randomwriterHogmanay: Hogmanay

21st March 2015:
Hey there Kenny! :) I'm doing this thing where I leave a review for everyone on our Quidditch team as a sort of a thank you for being such lovely team mates, and I'm here to do one for you :) I chose this particular one-shot as I've heard about Hogmanay and I've always wondered how it is, and how different it is and the likes. It's not something I'm familiar with, so I thought, hey, why not? And so, I'm here.

From your story, I can tell that Hogmanay is a beautiful celebration. It feels so warm and welcoming. I want to go to Scotland for it now. And I also want to go there in general :p But that's another matter altogether. Anyway, I love how you described it. It seems like a lovely thing to witness.

As for your characterisation, I think it was quite interesting to see how they are after the war. I quite liked your take on the trio, though I wish you had put in a few more details. It would have been nice to read about :)

I can some constructive crit, if you don't mind. I don't mean to be harsh. These are just some pointers to help your writing.

Firstly, there were a lot of places where I felt that you were slightly unclear. This mostly happened due to the phrasing. Keeping aside a couple of places, I feel like your choice of words were really good, but the way you'd ordered things and put them forward made things rather confusing. Forgive me if I'm wrong in venturing this guess, but I may say that English may not be your first language? (I'm so sorry if I'm wrong) If I'm not wrong, though, I understand how this can be difficult, and your effort is great! Well done, if that is so. In order to help you out, I suggest you look for a beta. Betas are great. They can edit your work, give you opinion, suggestions... whatever! So, I really suggest that you should look for one :)

Another thing that obstructed the flow a bit was how you were jumping tenses a lot. I think separating your flashbacks with italics or a line break or something could make things clearer for the reader.

Also, this is a bit of an issue I had with the characterisation. Harry attempting legilimency on Ginny seemed highly OOC. Firstly, he isn't a legilimens and it's a hard art to master, and we've seen that it's the sort of thing he struggles with. Secondly, I don't think he'd ever violate Ginny's privacy like that.

Apart from these pointers, I have some suggestions for you. I did find it a bit odd that they were going to the McCormack's as they don't seem to have a very obvious connection in the books. Maybe some back story about how they became close? Along with that, some more descriptions (which I think is your strength), and some small details could really add to this story!

I hope this review helps. Great effort, Kenny! And thanks for being such a dedicated team mate :)

Author's Response: How generous you are, Adi. :)

I understand it's hard to keep reading through this story, 'cause, it's a sequeal to my first and second FF. If you didn't read preceding stories, there're lots of spots where you can't understand. I have lots of thoughts in my mind related to Celtic folklore, but my English skill can't catch up with it.

It took much time to enter forums so I've just known recently there're beta readers. However I've tried posting my request, I think the demand of authors far exceeds the supply of beta readers. Most of them seemes to be exhausted by much beta reading.

Sorry for rant. I think it's better to think this way: in my country, it's said craftsmen steal the skill themselves, they're not taught. So to read good stories by other authors will be a key to solve this situation.

Anyway it was a wonderful surprise to get a constructive, profound review from my team mate! :) Kenny


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Review #17, by randomwriterKeeping Vigil: Keeping Vigil

21st March 2015:
Hey Kayla! James/Lily is one of my OTPs (lets disregard the fact that the O there stands for one), and I was so happy to see it on your page. After reading it though, I feel quite far from happy. You've written some great angst here.

I'm on a personal quest to leave reviews for every member of our Quidditch team for doing such a great job, so that brought me here. And I am glad it did. This is an excellent one-shot.

I have too many good things to say about this, but I'm feeling quite lost, emotionally because of the content.

I'll start with the idea, which I believe is quite unique. I've read a few afterlife stories, and this one portrayed the whole concept differently. I think your idea of heaven is quite interesting. To be honest, when I first read about their dwellings being so similar and self-refilling cabinets and the likes, I thought, Oh, it's cute, but very unrealistic.', but then I read on, and I saw what they were going through emotionally, and I realised that it wasn't so Utopic, and not everything was actually going their way. In fact, it seemed like hell. Then I thought of how painful it must be to stay in a place like that and feel so empty, especially because you could see what was happening down on Earth. I feel like I'm going off on a tangent, and that I should stop rambling now. So I will :p

About the emotions, you portrayed them so well. The pain and the love that both pushed them to cope in different ways. I think you wrote this part really well. People always grieve in different ways, and it would be a bit much to hope for them to hold each other from the start and be on the same page, emotionally, from the start. They both needed their time, and you captured that so well. The love was so clear too. The fact that all their energies, even in that state, were focused on him showed us just how much they care.

As for characterisation, I think you were spot on. I've always seen authors write James' and Lily's post-marriage conversations as if all is right with the world and they're so in love and so happy and blah blah blah. While I don't necessarily have a problem with that, I think that they would have their off days and their fights, and times when they don't agree with each other. It's only realistic. And I always feel as if they'f sort their problems out well too. And that's exactly what happened here. I really think you wrote their relationship well. Moving on to them individually, I like how Lily questions James. I think a mother's reaction is very different from that of a father's in these things. Lily is just upset about losing Harry, while James is thinking about how to fix it. Even the smallest mention of Sirius in these kinds of things just gets to me. I love his character, and thinking of how things played out for him is so upsetting. I sort of wrote about his passing once, and I was so sad. Here too, I was just wishing that there was some way in which all of it didn't have to go that way. I hate Peter. My blood actually boils. I won't say more there.

If I were to suggest some CC, I found it odd how there was no mention at all of Remus, and I thought that it was strange because James might have assumed that it'd be Remus if not Sirius. Of course, with him being a werewolf, maybe he can't raise Harry, but some sort of a mention would work, maybe? Also, some description wouldn't hurt. But I live for description, so maybe that's just me :p

Anyway, great job Kayla! ♥ and thanks for being an awesome tram mate!

Author's Response: Omg! Thank you so much for this amazing review, Adi! Reviews for the whole Quidditch team - what a lovely idea!

I'm very glad that you enjoyed this, and liked my characterization of James and Lily - I've never written about them before, so I was a bit nervous about pulling it off! And I totally agree with you about Sirius, and Pettigrew too.

You're right, it is a bit odd that there's no mention of Remus. I'll take a look back over this and see if I can find a place to work him in, because he was obviously a huge part of James' life too.

Again, thank you so much for reading!

-Kayla


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Review #18, by randomwriterHow I Met Your Father: Prologue

21st March 2015:
Hey there Lizzie :) Who doesn't like free reviews, amiright? Well, I'm leaving a review for everyone from the Quidditch team and a bit of a thank you, and I'm here for yours! :)

So, I'm a huuge fan of How I Met Your Mother, and I love, love , love Rose/Scorpius. I write them and read about them obsessively, so it's no surprise that I was drawn to your story.

Now, this chapter was a bit short, and I understand that it was only the prologue, and was meant to be just a sneak-peek, so it makes sense that you didn't overload us with information. That being said, a little bit of description and detail wouldn't hurt ;) Nothing to give away more plot, of course!

I know we're barely into the story, but I'm already looking forward to your take on their relationship. As I mentioned, I absolutely LOVE this pairing, and they seemed so sweet together here, but I'm sure it wasn't always that way, so I'd like to see how they started out and all that ;)

I did see some errors in punctuation and phrasing. In some sentences, I felt that you could have conveyed the same thing better with a different word, but of course, that's my nit-picky side going at it.

I'd like to say that in spite of that, I really thought that this was cute and it certainly caught my eye. It flows really nicely, and it makes the readers want to read on, which is always a good thing. Great job, Lizzie! ♥ And thank you for being a stellar team mate!

Author's Response: ADI!

Thank you so much for reviewing!! Such a nice surprise to find a lovely new review waiting for me after not having checked for a while!

I'm glad that this drew you in, the idea definitely was to just give you a little taste, although I'm glad that you think there could be some more description and detail. It's something that I was wondering about...and now I can definitely work on it!

Rose/Scorpius is seriously my OTP. I can't imagine writing about anybody else. Or, for that matter, shipping anybody else.

I think my take on their relationship is still developing in a way. I sort of think of them as the Lily/Marshall couple in this story.

I'm definitely going to go through and do some editing at some point. I think I want to be farther along in the story first, and *hopefully* have somebody to go over everything and be a "post-beta" if that makes any sense.

Thanks so much for R&R'ing! I'm so honored that you took the time to review and so honored to be your teammate!! You're amazing!!

LL


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Review #19, by randomwriterlay me down: i. can I lay by your side?

21st March 2015:
OH GOD, Jess. NO. No no no. . I really don't know where to start. Usually, I can ramble. I'm pretty good at it. But you've taken the words right out my me with this one.

When you mentioned that you were writing something so heartbreaking on the forums, I knew I had to read it. I was waiting for it in fact. And I had my own resolution to add to that, which is to leave a review for every member of our Quidditch team for doing such an amazing job! So well, this is my thank you! It's been a great team to work with!

Now I know that the word is just your inspiration, but can just I say that it's beautiful. I've always thought so. And even though you didn't use it directly in your story, you carried its essence through beautifully. This one-shot was so heavy with sorrow and longing. I really felt for Dean.

I love, love, loove your characterisation of Luna and Seamus, and the lovely sort of co-dependent friendship they have. It seems as though they really needed each other to move on from his death. Also, the dialogue, and just how you've written them, the ease of how they operate with each other, their emotions and conversations, I think you did a great job of it all. It made me happy that though they lost so much (because one person can be everything to some people), they still had each other to fall back on. I always picture Dean and Luna being close. I feel as if they would share a close bond, having gone through so much together during the war. So it's nice to see that the nature of their relationship was reflected in this own as well. I'm sure Luna would have gotten closer to Seamus through Dean.

I'm honestly at loss for words. The emotional maturity you displayed here was excellent. I feel like you have a good handle on human emotion. As a psych minor, wow. I loved it. It made me so sad, but I loved it so much. You really made me, as a reader, get stuck in and understand the death of his grief. and to be able to do that in just about 1500 words is commendable.

I'm going to go in order of sections to tell you some things that were going through my head as I was reading this, but before I forget, I must mention that I loved the names of the sections. They were really apt.

The first section: Wow. You get right in there. You don't waste a moment in telling us how broken and distraught Seamus is, and I could already feel the pain.I like how you italicised those couples of lines. It really gives a more intimate feeling, like Seamus is actually talking to Dean. That last part with the funeral was too sad. It was like getting closure, like Seamus having to say that Dean was gone with a sense of finality.And that last sentence of the section was like a punch in the gut. Truly heartbreaking.

The second section: This must have been the hardest section for you to write. The first section was slightly disorienting as we got thrown into that whirlwind of pain without any warning, and this gave more context into the how and the why. I wish it hadn't been that way though. It's certainly must have been harder, with it being so sudden. And you know what makes it worse? I bet they were prepared for this during the war. But after it got over, I'm sure they were so relieved that they had both survived it. I'm sure they were thankful. And I'm sure the edgy anxiety and the possibility of losing the other would have subsided greatly. After that the loss, especially at the hands of death eaters, would have been the hardest blow? Because they already rejoiced about coming out of it alive, if you know what I'm getting at. Also, I like that Seamus is flying, and I love how you've written him here. The numbness, the detached attitude. I think it's a good distraction, but in the end the pain is ever present.

The last section was something else. I spoke about finality and closure in the first part, right? This section was actual acceptance. I love that Luna was with him, and everything was just sort of falling in place. The visual imagery here is simply lovely. So picturesque! And I like how Luna reassures him and comforts him through this as well. She's a constant, isn't she? I loved the last two lines the most! It's nice to see that he's finally ready, but it's also the hardest thing to do. And those lines were gorgeous in this context.

Back on the more general front, I love the flow of this piece. It was very floaty and relaxed, but very, very painful to ready. I hope that makes sense.It was an easy read because the writing was great, but it was difficult on emotional terms. I also loved, in particular, that repeptition (tears heal). It was so very Luna, and I believe it's very true. Your descriptions too were lovely. I think it was instrumental in this piece.

If there's any CC, its that you've mixed up your who/whom in a few places, and that I feel that the second section could have been clearer and a little more explanation might have been nice.

I hope this wasn't too all over the place and weird. I'm still collecting my emotions. Great work, Jess. I loved it! ♥

PS- I hope I'm first. I've been typing for a while.

Author's Response: WHERE TO BEGIN WITH THIS REVIEW?! you went to town on it my word. I /love/ it! ♥

aw, what a kind sentiment! I feel like I will definitely return this favour (I was also thinking of making us graphics for our profiles. I'll probably do that later.). you've been great to work with too! go gryffies!!

I'm glad you liked the use of the word. when I first got given it I was immediately inspired and knew that I wanted to grasp the emotion of it rather than to just use the physical word. I feel as if it's most poignant in the first section than the later ones but, after all, it was a funeral.

so I started writing this seamus/luna friendship and then it hit me I was like 'hang on, are these guys even friends? do they ever talk' and I thought maybe they met through the da or something. THEN I remember dean and the close bond he developed with luna during deathly hallows and I knew that was the way into their friendship. also I feel like the da definitely banded together a lot more in deathly hallows so they probably did actually talk sometimes but yea for sure dean was the catalyst in their beautiful friendship.

HEY HEY this makes me happy because sometimes I feel like in real life I'm not a very emotional person (at least, in terms of grief and loss and those experiences) and I just deal with things on my own in a probably not very healthy way but whatever, that's not the topic of this :p I AM EMOTIONALLY MATURE CHECK ME OUT hah but seriously thank you this is a great compliment and testiment to how far I've come on this site in the past year and a bit.

I'm going to skip over replying to each section individually because I feel like I'm writing an essay of my own here, but with general depth I'm pleased I made you feel all thE FEELS. the second section was definitely the hardest to write yes because I had to find some sort of balance in emotion that I wanted - not the rawness of the first part nor the drowsy relief of the third. as you said though this could really do with some editing so I actually explain what went on a little better. (blame 1am me who barely looked over the word doc before putting it in the queue.)

thank you so much for such a heartfelt, honest review! and thank you for taking the time and the effort to go so in depth even though it wasn't necessary or in any way expected.

♥ ♥ ♥

- jess, xo

p.s. nope, third ;) sorry!


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Review #20, by randomwriterFalling Out: Not About Love

14th March 2015:
Hey Roisin! I stumbled on this accidentally, and I really wanted to read it because I'm a major Scorpius/Rose shipper, and this pairing made me quite curious as it is, I suppose, quite rare. Also, I've heard so much about your writing, and I really wanted to check some of it out for myself. I've read a bit before, but nowhere near enough.

Firstly, I want to tell you that I really enjoy your writing style. It's both compact and fluid at the same time. It flows really nicely, but it is very to the point. I often find that when that happens, the author compromises on description, which wasn't the case with your writing.

I think the song worked really well with the story. I loved how you structured it. It was poetic, to look at, and left me feeling like there was more to come, as if all the lyrics were missing ellipses at the end. Quite interesting, that. It made me want to read more and more and more. I could complain, saying that this was lovely, and I wish it was longer, but I feel as if you've conveyed everything so well, despite how few words you've used, so maybe it's best that this is short. It's like a short burst of, heavy on impact. Anyway, all this is besides the point. What I was going to tell you is that I love the way you've used the song lyrics. It worked in tandem with the story, and each section was almost like a snapshot into what was going to happen next.To add to this, I haven't heard the song. But the words really fit the story, so good job on that!

Your descriptions are lovely. I wish I could write like that. You managed to leave me with a vivid mental image, especially the first bit. I could just see this whole scene playing out in front of my eyes- Draco, withering in front of Rose, who just wants to live. Their relationship was doomed.

I really loved the characterisation here. The contrast between Rose and Draco, two total opposites was really interesting. I like how Rose lives for the thrill, and doesn't really want to be tied down, while Draco is more muted in his views and desires. Without being explicit, you manage to convey to the reader how different they are, and how far apart they are in age and lifestyle. We also understand why it was more exciting for Rose when they were sneaking around than when they went official. It's funny though that Draco, of all people, would want to make his relationship with Rose Weasley public. I suppose life has pushed him about and changed him quite a bit in the years that have passed between the war an this scene here. I've written Draco before, but never like this in his middle aged years- broken and hollow. It's an interesting take on his future.

As for how you've written them here, it's clear that you have a firm handle on how to write relationships. It was so realistic, and I didn't find a single moment out of place, you know? It fits. I especially loved the part where you brought out how Draco twists Rose's own words and uses them against her. It's actually a fairly common reasons for unnecessary fights. The way you wrote them, we got to see two sides of Rose and their relationship as well.

I know I said earlier that this was too short, but that was only because I enjoyed your writing. In terms of this piece, I'd say that ti was just right. I struggle with brevity, and this really left me feeling jealous. Also, you somehow always have the perfect words and phrases. Nothing seemed out of place.

Anyway, great job on this one shot, and I hope to read more of your writing soon! ♥

Author's Response: Ah, hello! Thank you so much for this amazing surprise review :D

I read a story a while back featuring this pairing (I can't remember who it was by, but it was for the rarepair challenge and it's really good). I thought it was such an interesting idea and wanted to try my hand at it. And since this was for the SongFic challenge, I thought it suited "Not About Love" really well. The entire story is based on the the song, and everything that happens is very much an expansion on the lyrics. Originally, the lyrics were subtly nested or adapted into the text itself, but I realized that broke the TOS rules for songfics, so I changed it to be compliant. I'd kind of intended them to read almost as Rose's inner monologue.

I am so insanely flattered by what you said about "compact yet fluid" and that you thought there was enough description! I realized it was a big story to capture within such a finite moment, so I'm really glad it left you wanting more but still feeling like it was complete.

The idea of a "broken and hollow" middle aged Draco is SO interesting to me! Middle-aged Draco might be my new favorite thing to write. I'm also super interested in Snape as a character, but for both of them, it's their kind of messy ambiguity that I love. I do understand the kind of fan attraction to Draco, but at the same time, I have a hard time thinking he has a Heart Of Gold Underneath It All. Or at least, I think he's most interesting when he's flawed ;)

Ooh yes, the twisting words thing was something I picked up in the lyrics, and thought was super apt ("too take information / given at close range / for the... ammunition round"). Or at least, that's how I interpreted the lyrics. I'm super glad it seemed realistic to you! And yeah, it was kind of an economical choice too--this is such a short piece, that I wanted it to work also as a device for expanding on both their characters and showing some of their sources of conflict.

Thank you again so so so so so much! This review has left me grinning like an absolute fool!
xoxo
Roisin


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Review #21, by randomwriterBruises : Bruises

11th March 2015:
Hey Meg! I'm here for our swap. Thank you for the wonderful review you left me last night. I'm sorry for not being able to get to this sooner though. I fell asleep!

Now, onto the review. I think I mentioned this when I read another Sirius/OC story by you before, but I'll say it anyway. I LOVE Sirius Black. He's one of my favourites, which is probably why I don't tend to write him. I'm worried that I'll never get him right. It's clearly something you've mastered though as evidenced by how well you write him.

The first thing that really stood out to me was the tone of this story. There was this ominous ring to it, from start to finish. Even before you mentioned that it was Halloween, and Harry was one, I just knew that something bad was going to happen, and it was going to be big. When you mentioned the date, things became clearer, and I was just waiting for it, and dreading it at the same time. The way you write this, it gets readers into the right head space for this sort of thing, almost as if your tone is a warning. I think it was skillfully done, Meg. Being able to convey the emotion and feel of an entire story by just that one identifier is a great feat.

When I realised what was going to happen in the story, all I really wanted to do was somehow put my hands through the computer screen and shake Emmeline's or Sirius' shoulders and warn them. I wanted to scream, and somehow get them to hear me out. I know it sounds rather silly, but I was so affected by the thought at the moment, really. It's awful to read about all these details, because it makes the whole incident that much harder to swallow.

It was heartbreaking to see how normal everything was. Well, atleast as normal as things could be in such circumstances. And all of them were just laughing and talking, and suddenly, everything was disrupted and lost. It's honestly difficult to stomach this, even though I've known their story for years.

Your writing certainly holds a great degree of power. You've picked the right words and phrases to convey the difficulty of the situation, her sorrow, her love of Sirius and all their friends, her fear, her shock, everything. I honestly love how you've written this.The descriptions were amazing, and the whole gloomy, ominous tone of the story was well executed with all the dark descriptions.

As for characterisation, I think you did a great job of both the main characters, Sirius and Emmeline. I really like how Sirius is caring and gentle, but at the same time quite firm and stubborn. I think it fits him quite well. As for Emmeline, I just felt so sad for her. It was hard to read about all the hurt and pain because it came through so clearly in this story. As for the secondary characters, I know that we don't see too much of them, but the snippets you showed us gave us a clear idea about your control on them. I liked that you wrote the dynamic between all of them so well. The marauders levitating Harry, or Sirius spoiling his godson, and James and Sirius' relationship... all these things were so well written, and believable. And they really did put a smile on my face. I also like that you included Peter (especially given that his participation was so instrumental in this). I don't like him, but his inclusion is important. Speaking of Peter, Sirius' level of care for him was so ...ugh. I felt so bad, but it was realistic and it rand through with Sirius' characterisation. Also, I like that you focused less on their relation and more on the effects and war. While I would never mind a Sirius/OC, this piece did not call for romance, so I'm glad you didn't succumb to it.

If I were to give any CC, it wouldn't be much. Just that you got your who/whom confused in a few places. It isn't a difficult thing to fix. There are some tutorials on the forums which state the difference clearly. Or you could PM me if you need some help. Another thing is that Emmeline calls Moony Lupin. Wouldn't she be on first name terms, given that the group seems to share a pretty close bond? Finally, and do note that this is juts a personal opinion sort of thing. I don't know how Dumbledore would have reacted. I do believe that the Potters' death would have affected him deeply, but for some reason, he just doesn't strike me as the kind who would sob. As I said, this is just my personal opinion. You could disagree. :p
Well, that's about all the CC I have.

The ending nearly killed me, because Sirius :'( SO upsetting. Again, I wanted to somehow tell Emmeline the truth. But her reaction was believable. It's natural for her to go into immediate denial. I'd just suggest elaborating and including more conversation in that scene to make things clearer, and to give way to understand her emotions and reactions more clearly.

The last line, this:
I dont want to say I have emotional scars, because scars never disappear. Scars stay with you forever and I tend to think that Im stronger than that. What Ive had were emotional bruises. Bruises do fade after a while, but while theyre there, they hurt like hell.
Such absolute perfection! ♥ I really loved it.

Great job on this story, Meg. And thanks for the swap. I'm glad I got to read this one, even though it completely broke me!

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Review #22, by randomwriternotes on freefalling.: sunbeams

10th March 2015:
Hello Maia! Forgive me for taking so long with this. Also, thank you for the absolutely amazing review you left me! ^_^ That makes this delay so much worse!

It's funny how you read the Draco/Astoria and I basically picked its anti. It was always going to be this one though. I'm Indian, so seeing Parvati in fic makes me happy. Call is vested interest, maybe. :p

Anyhoo, I ship Draco/Astoria, and Parvati/Seamus on a subconscious level. BUT this fic made me forget all about that! I love how you wrote Parvati and Astoria together. Their relationship was so effortless and natural, and love should be that way. I like how they make each other laugh and lot and how they just seem to fit. It seems like Parvati understands Astoria in ways that Draco hasn't even tried, and that Astoria really needs the levity that Parvati sort of stands for over here. They really are so perfect for each other, and I'm so glad that things worked in their favour. I was rooting for them throughout, and I was worried in between that you'd break my poor heart.

I really enjoyed your characterisation of Parvati in this piece. You know that really long sentence about her and how she just is? Yes, that. It fits so well with JKR's sneak peaks into Parvati, and with my headcanon. I like that she's free and alive. Astoria really needs that. She sounds like she'd be a lot of fun to hang out with, and if Draco is as dull as you make him out to be here, she really needs the kind of freedom to pull her out of the surely approaching depression. In a way, Parvati saved her, you know? As for Astoria's characterisation, I will admit that it isn't my headcanon, but you've won me over here. I don't think any other version of her would fit quite as nicely, if I'm being honest. And her absolute devotion to Scorpius, and the very virtue of motherhood is really sweet to read about. It is literally the glue that holds her life together when Parvati isn't around to liberate her. I felt bad for her though. For a major part of the story, she was the one who was settling for the sake of other people, and I feel that it's unfair for people to live that way, which is why I was overjoyed that you ended this on a positive note.

Another thing I really liked was the tone of this piece. As I've mentioned, I like how it ended on an upbeat note, with things looking up for Astoria and Scorpius. It's nice to see them moving on with life, and I read and write so much angst anyway, that I think I really needed to read something feel-good, if you know what I mean. The flow of this really added to the effectiveness of the tone. It was really... floaty and dreamy in a way? It made their whole relationship so wonderful to read about though. It flows well, this story. I didn't have to stop to make sense of anything, really. It just went about rather naturally.

Your plot was really well thought out. I love how you include snippets from their school days. It sets their relationship up rather nicely, and I really like how there's already a foundation in place before they meet again in Diagon Alley. It's also nice to be able to track their relationship through these defining moments.

Your writing? I've mentioned this loads of times, and I really don't think I can do justice to your talents in words, really. Your work is beautiful, and somehow you always know to articulate, what to say to convey and deliver your story so well. You always pick the perfect words and phrases, and your writing is so beautifully descriptive. I love it! Your ability to take minor characters and weave such lovely stories about their lives and personalities makes me jealous, and leaves me in awe. Each time you write something, be in about Pince, Pomfrey or Astoria and Parvati, I always feel as though there cannot be any other way but for the one you've written. Clearly, your ability is beyond words.

Speaking of knowing just what to say, that bit about the windowsill garden and yellow walls was just perfect! I love how you tied the two bits together. It shows her journey and how far she's come, even if it is mainly in emotional terms. It shows how she manages to bridge the gap between her dreams and reality. It may be a small wish, but it is a desire none-the-less. And it's nice to see how it fell in place for her.

Another great story by you, Maia ♥ Thanks for swapping with me, and sorry about how long it has taken me to return the favour!

Author's Response: hi love! wow, this is such an incredible review - no worries at all about the wait, i often take longer myself tbh, and this is by far lovely enough to make up for it! ♥

honestly i've never thought about shipping Astoria with anyone but Draco before this, but i asked people for random pairing suggestions on the forums and this is what was suggested! i mostly headcanon things from a teenage-scorpius era so the only context i had considered Astoria in before this was as Scorpius's mother, Draco's wife, and even thought she's both those things here it was incredibly strange to try and feel her out as a character in her own right, if that makes sense. i don't think the astoria i've written here is really my headcanon for her, but it was certainly fun to explore this version! i'm really glad you liked it and that it not being your regular ship for these two didn't get in the way!

i had so much fun characterising Parvati here, especially through the lens of Astoria who is so besotted with her, and i'm really glad you think it fits with JKs version of her! my favourite thing to do (in case you haven't noticed lolol) is to take minor characters and delve deeper into their personalities, why they are the way they are, etc. in a way we know less about Parvati than we do about many of the other minor characters i've written about so I tried to keep as in-line with what little we know as i could. but i was certain there was more to her than in canon, which is what i really tried to explore here

oh wow you are WAY too kind about my writing ♥ ♥ ♥ honestly i've just had no other hobbies but writing for nearing ten years which is the only reason i think i've managed to develop any semblance of a writing style, but i still get massively nervous about people reading my stuff and compliments like this always make my week ♥ thank you so much

i am so glad you enjoyed this! thanks for the totally awesome swap, you're the best ♥

~Maia


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Review #23, by randomwriterL'optimisme: Silence

7th March 2015:
Laura! I'm so sorry about the delay, and that too, after the wonderful review you left me! I had this half typed out the other day, when chrome just crashed on my laptop, and I was sort of demotivated. I did not forget, though. And I'll make it up to you.

As for this, oh gosh. Where do I start? This has been on my list for a long, long time, but I regret not having read this sooner. You deserve all the praise you've gotten for this. It's just one of the most beautiful things I've ever had the pleasure of reading, and I'm only in chapter one!

Your opening section was so lovely. It was so insightful. I just read that one section over and over again, and each time I did, I found something new at marvel at. It was simple, in terms of observation, but it was true. Every word was so very true. It really got me thinking, and I'm still thinking about that. I'm sure it's something I'll come back to in the future. Not just for that bit, of course. The whole chapter was great, but that part, in particular, stayed with me.

The rest of your chapter was no less, in all honesty. And I'm finding it difficult to go with this review, because words cannot do justice to how amazing it is.

But anyway, Albus/Gellert is a pairing I love, thanks to teh's story. But it is also not a pairing I read often. You made me fall in love with them even more. I found myself questioning why I haven't been more into them, really. I love how you wrote Albus' love for Gellert. It was so raw, but so pure. The descriptions of how they spent their mornings, lying in each other's arms, those stolen moments, the passion, it all came through so well. I really enjoyed it. At the same time, it made me so upset, that a love as beautiful as theirs is doomed to burn. If not for Ariana's death, maybe their future would have been different, but alas.

Another thing that really stood out was your characterisation of Albus Dumbledore (and everyone else in whatever capacity you wrote them). He's one of the characters that really scare me. I'm always worried that I'll mess something up. But you wrote him perfectly. It's important to note that at that age, he hasn't seen the enough of the world or gathered enough wisdom to be the way we see him in the books. And you nailed it. I can see your version of Dumbledore growing up to be the one we are familiar with. His speech pattern is spot on, his reflective tone is indicative of it, and his ideas are believably his-like I can see him thinking that way (if that makes sense. Forgive me, it's quite late here :p).

The battle scene was so well done. Another thing I'm apprehensive about writing, apart from Dumbledore, is a battle scene., But you handles it so well. It wasn't too rushed or chaotic, and it wasn't slow and unnecessarily dragged out. I think you did a great job of delivering the intensity of the situation, especially in terms of how you gave us great clarity into Dumbledore's mindset at that point. He really isn't thinking straight. He's trying to reason it out. But he hasn't comprehended a possibility where things go out of control and backfire, like they did. His grief for Ariana was evident. His shock, even more so. Also, I've never felt as if he would have cried at her death, but I've always believed tht it affected him deeply. So whatever you've said really resonated with my headcanon over there.

Your writing flows so well. There's this certain quality to it that makes it flow like poetry, almost. It speaks volumes about your talent. The word choices are perfect, the phrasing just makes me want to scream out at wonder and joy and just... of god, I can't tell you how amazing this was.

I also really love the voice. First person, and written as if Albus is talking to Gellert. I LOVE this style of writing, and I really think it suit the piece. You've managed to bring out a lot of his emotions through his dialogue through this style... the tenderness, the fondness, tones of regret. It's just beautiful.

Your descriptions, as usual, are amazing. You've blown my mind with your writing here. Everything is so vivid. I could feel the summer heat, or the intensity of battle. I loved how you included loads of details in this. I can't fault you anywhere, Laura. This was so great! As I mentioned, I really loved the flow of this piece. It was easy to read. The descriptions helped move it along, and it sort of just.. sailed smoothly? If that makes sense. (Again, it's late. Forgive me :p)

(And I'm rushing through this because I don't have too many characters left, oops. Sorry about this!)

I'm going to take you back to your own story for a second, Laura. Silence holds a great deal of power, yes. But on this medium, words hold all the power. Thank you for showing me that, for reminding me about the sort of hold words can have over you. I was in a trance while I was reading this. It's so gorgeous. I'm glad that there's a lot left for me to read. I loved this. I'm favouriting it. It's so lovely, and unique and I've really been fighting a losing battle from the moment I started writing this review because words, as powerful as they may be, can't do justice here. I hope I have managed to convery how much I loved this, and what a great writer I think you are. As you told me, I will tell you: If I miss out on something you've put up, I'm really going to be missing out.

Thanks for doing this swap, Laura. There is so much more I wish I could say, but space is limited. Basically, you've done a lot of things right, and I loved it! Great job ♥

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Review #24, by randomwriterTicking Away Seconds: Bittersweet Kisses

3rd March 2015:
Hello Kaitlin. I'm here for our swap :)

Okay, first things first. I don't usually read anything non-canon. So I can't say that I've read enough of this pairing to comment from a knowledgeable standpoint. Still, the beauty of this was such that even though it was Snily, it didn't violate canon, which for me, is perfectly okay :p

Anyway, on to the actual review. I was a little surprised with your choices. When I saw the prompts you'd choices, I was nearly sure that you'd write a James/Lily or a Sirius centric goofy, humourous story. I didn't expect angst. That was a surprise. That being said, I adore angst and I really, really enjoyed this one. It really came through, in terms of emotions.

I'll start off with your opening section. I thought the descriptions were amazing. They were very visual, and I almost felt like I was there with Lily. When you described her emotions, it only enhanced your descriptive power because it made things more realistic. I was really impressed with that because it worked really well, and was extremely spot-on.

Then, there's the rest of it. You kept up the descriptions throughout, which was great. You also brought out a good, strong balance between dialogue and descriptions. It wasn't too heavy in terms on either of them. It's something I struggle with now and then, so it was lovely to see how well you'd managed it.

As for the plot, I love that you picked a sort-of missing moment from the series. I love reading those. We only see the series through Harry's point of view, so there are a lot of things that get missed out, or don't get explained in full. I think they make for great stories in fanfiction.

As for the details of their conversation, a part of me was just screaming, 'NO JAMES IS NOT A PRAT.' I ship James/Lily so hard, but I know that their story still needs to unwind at this stage, so well, I guess it's alright that she thinks he's a prat :p

Personally, I feel like you have a strong hold on Lily and a good understanding of her character. It came through well in your story. Her speech, and the way she acted and thought was spot on. Kudos to you on that!

Also, I'm a huge fan of the first person point of view, combined with present tense, so this is definitely my jam. I think you didn't a good job of using both styles. It also works well in this story where you're inciting angst in the reader.

Another thing that really worked in your story was the flow. I like the level of detail and how you've gone through the whole thing, part by part. It was very well-written. It read well, and didn't seem choppy at all.

I have very little criticism (in true sense of the word) to offer to you because it was all so well done. But I did notice that you did miss a couple of commas. Nothing major. Just my nit-picky self noticing things that can be ignored. It doesn't take anything away from your story. It's only one or two places.

Another thing that stood out for me was Snape's characterisation. While he was spot on initially, I felt a slight discord from his canon characterisation as the story progressed. He was quite assertive, and I personally don't think that side of him really comes out in front of Lily. Also, I don't think he would have chosen his path before she chose hers, but that may perhaps be a personal perspective.

Another thing, and this really isn't criticism, just something that struck me on the back of my mind, is that first kisses are quite significant, and this probably would have shown up in his memories. But then again, they're personal and he probably wasn't too proud for acting that way. Which is an argument for why it didn't show up. (Okay, this was clearly just an observation).

All this aside, I really enjoyed your story, and I hope to read more of your work soon. Great job, Kaitlin ♥

Author's Response: Hi there!

Thank you so much for swapping with me and for leaving such a wonderful review! Geez...mine looks minuscule in comparison.

I'm so happy that you gave this a shot, even though Snily is not your usual. They aren't exactly my normal either, which is why I didn't want the pairing to be successful. :) I had to bite my tongue on that, so I wouldn't give it away.

I'm excited to hear that the dialogue and descriptions were balanced. I usually am good with either one or the other, but struggle to find an even mix of both.

Also, I'm glad that my choices surprised you! I wanted them to be surprising! I figured that most of the entries for this challenge would be happy since it's supposed to be Valentine's Day. I wanted to go in the opposite direction and show that unrequited love can be just as moving.

Missing moments are some of my favorites to write because I get the chance to imagine other aspects of the world that I might not have previously thought about.

I am jumping for joy that the first person, present tense worked. I've only written first person one other time, so I'm relatively new to it. My biggest concern for the story is that it would be believable. I'm glad you thought it was. :)

This was my very first time writing either Lily or Snape, so I was a bit nervous about the characterization. You made an astute observation about Snape's development being a bit out of his normal character. I think what I wanted to get at towards the end was that he's realizing Lily isn't slipping away. She's already gone. It's then that the desperation sets in and the forwardness comes out as a last ditch effort to mend the chasm between them.

In regards to Snape's memories, I would like to think that everyone has something that they hold personal and private. Snape gives Harry several memories of Lily, but not every single memory of every single moment. I think this would be one that he wouldn't divulge because it is so painful (due to loss), embarassing (due to his reaction), and dear (due to it being his only kiss from Lily).

Thank you again for leaving me such a detailed review! I have some things to think over now. :)


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Review #25, by randomwriterOne Dark Night Of Pain: The Howl

21st February 2015:
Hi Rennycake :) I don't have much time, and I really wanted to review something today. So I was looking for a short story. Then I remembered that you're new on the forums, and that it'd probably be nice to help around.

This is a very impressive first story to put up. The idea and writing are unique and extremely interesting. You should be proud of yourself for starting off on such a strong point!

I like that you used Arianna's struggles as a dive board to get into the actual meat of the story. Even though the story wasn't about Arianna, relating her pain to her mother's was a clever plot device on your part.

I think you have some excellent visual imagery going on here. The flashback was excellent in that regard. Not only did you focus on her surroundings, but you also managed to pay equal importance to her emotional reactions as well. That, for me, was a really nice balance. Writers without much experience sometimes end up with one-dimensional descriptions. But the fact that you considered it from all angles was really nice :)

I'm also impressed with how much you managed to do in so less. Just over 600 words is nothing! I've never been particularly succinct with my writing, so it manages to really strike me when someone writes something powerful in very few words. It takes me a lot of restraint when I attempt that.

So, well. You have a lot of great things going on here, but there is some room for improvement. So here's some CC for you!

Firstly, I found some grammatical errors, and some punctuation errors as well. So here, for example:
She felt her daughters pain
You've said daughters, where it should be daughter's.

Secondly, your phrases are quite repetitive. You might want to avoid that, as it tends to mess the flow up a little. Again, an example:
She stayed at home with Kendra and never left home. Here, the word home being repeated twice gives an odd sort of construction to the sentence. Maybe you could combine the two halves of the sentence. Or you could use just one of those parts. In any case, I'd consider rewording it.

Thirdly, and I feel that this may be the main issue, your flashback, as lovely as it is, flits back and forth between the present and the past. You'd do better if you could ensure that the tense remains the same, preferably past in this case. The transition makes this confusing, and again, the flow is sort of obstructed. It's distracting to the reader.

Apart from the CC, I have a suggestion. You could elaborate on what pushed Kendra to run so much in the woods. Had she already seen the werewolf? Was she running from some other horror? It's not 100% necessary, but an explanation would give us more clarity.

Good job on your first story :) I hope this helped. Have a good day!

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