Reading Reviews From Member: randomwriter
  
274 Reviews Found

Review #26, 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 #27, 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 #28, 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 #29, 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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Review #30, by randomwriterThe Department of Spectral Affairs: Darkness

12th February 2015:
Hello :) I'm here from review tag. I saw you put up a status saying that this was written, and I immediately seized the chance to snag you.

I've been reading so much of your work off late, and I'm really impressed. Of course, I've been reading your work for ages now. But with each new story that you post, I can definitely trace an improvement in quality, which is fantastic! Never stop writing.

Another thing I must commend you on is the kind of stories you write. The ideas you have are so delightfully unique! I love that you aren't afraid to write different sorts of stories. I can't say that I've read something longer than a one-shot about Regulus before, and especially not one that is set in the after-life, after his so-called betrayal. So kudos for trying this!

I have read Not Normal, but I think that this starts off on a very different note. Your writing is often heavily reliant on humour, romance and fluff. But this is slightly angsty, and the introductory parts gave me chills. So it's definitely very different.

Your writing here is lovely! The description, how you write about his slow descent into the great beyond, is so well done. I could... feel things, physically. And I think that writing of that sort is difficult to achieve, so great job on that!

I'm interested, in terms of plot, to see where you're going to take this. I also want to know who he was hoping to find. I might figure that out when I get back to Not Normal though.

This piece was short, but beautiful. It wasn't choppy. The flow was very natural. And your phrasing and word choices were well suited for this piece.

I liked a lot of lines, but here are a couple that absolutely stood out.
Bitterness and regret: old friends now, although youre barely twenty-one.- This was so poignant- a little angsty, and gave me something to think about. You also feel so bad for Regulus, but it makes you appreciate him more as a character because it remind you of what he did to get there.

The distance between you and your body yawns into a chasm. The distance between you and your earthly life is already a distant shore on the dark side of a choppy sea.- Oh my god. This is so beautiful and sad, and just... argh! Gorgeous.

As for CC, this really isn't much, but I felt as if there was a word missing here:
It billows your hair, presses your skin, invades your nostrils. Maybe presses against your skin?

Anyway, that's barely anything. Good job on this, friend! Can't wait for more ♥

Author's Response: Heya! I'm so sorry for the super delayed response. Life, you feel.

Ah, thank you so much! I'm so pleased that you think I'm improving. It can be hard sometimes as a writer to objectively judge such things so that means a lot.

OMG. You think my ideas are unique *dies of blushing too much* I myself to don't find my writing particularly unique in its subject matter, so once again, thank you so much! You're just showering me with all the praise and I'm going to lie here in it and just roll around for a bit.

This story does start off quite different to Not Normal, yes. I wanted to set up the story a little differently. Whilst the two will share much of the same elements, it's a way to establish that Regulus and Ellie are in incredibly different circumstances, despite how similar they seem to be in Not Normal. This is Regulus at the beginning, where he's not quite sure who he is. Plus he's dead, so there's that.

I just love writing 500 word pieces like this because it frees me to write in a way that I don't usually do so. I never write this descriptively or emotively in my longer pieces, and I'm always so happy when something shorter like this is well received.

Yes! Plot is going to be fun - I hope. And who he was hoping to meet... Well. Maybe I'll leave that for Not Normal to find out, I don't know :P

Thanks for pointing out that CC. The curse of working witha word limit is that you try and cut out words that didn't seem necessary at the time but really are.

Thank you so much for this lovely review! I hope you enjoy the rest of the story as well (as soon as I write it...)


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Review #31, by randomwriterJust for this moment: See how bright we shine

15th January 2015:
Hello! I'm here for the gift-it challenge. I know I'm quite late, and I'm sorry about that. Life got a bit crazy.

Now, onto the review. I'm sorry if this is short and hasty. There's a quite a bit on my plate, so forgive me for that.

I'll be honest with you and tell you that I don't normally read Wolfstar stories. The few that I have tried were awkward and the writer didn't really know how to deal with the intimacy without making it come off as clumsy. You, on the other hand, managed a really sweet take on them. I like how it wasn't all about the intimacy. You gave a great deal of attention to their emotions and to the circumstances under which they were, which made this much better.

I really like the moment you chose to write about. It was, I think, one of their most powerful moments, given all that has happened. I always imagined it to be really intense because it isn't easy to forgive someone for something like this, just as it is hard to ask for forgiveness for the same.

What stuck to me the most was how well you wrote them. I can definitely see Remus kicking himself about it over and over again, and I can see Sirius getting mad, but also being tired of everything that has happened. He'd probably want to keep his remaining friend(s) [SOB] close to him.

The story itself was packed with feels. Subtle reminders of them and their past really touched me (like how Sirius kept track of the full moons for Remus' sake). Their conversation was both light and serious, probably just like their relationship at that point. I think you've managed to accomplish a difficult task, and you not only did it, you also did it well. You've written them in a very beautiful and tender manner.

As for CC, I can only give you small pointers, but I think you've done a pretty good job overall. I think you could make Sirius a little more witty here and there. Not a big necessity, but it would make him more Sirius :p If that makes sense. I' also shows snatches of his anger in his speech, but also mention how that was in the past, and how he's no longer angry because Remus just believed what everyone else did.

Overall, you've written them very well, and I'm glad you entered our challenge. Wolfstar may not be my pairing of choice, but your interpretation of them make me smile and hit me in the feels,all at once. Thank you, and sorry this is coming to you so late!

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Review #32, by randomwriterEvent Three - All Quiet on the Post-War Front: heavy bones

13th January 2015:
Special delivery for teh tarik!

Hello hello hello! You were promised reviews, so here's #1! I'll drop by now and then, I promise. I couldn't stay away if I tried anyway ♥

Okay, so as usual your writing has left me nearly speechless, and I find myself wondering how exactly to tell you how amazing you are!

This started off on a very intense note. The death was violent, but quick. It left its mark though. The rest of the opening section was written so perfectly. You captured the helplessness and loss so well, the numbness and stagnancy... it's all there.

The nest part was just as perfect. I love how you chose to write about Dean and Hannah. Even though they both suffered greatly at the hands of war, their stories are often overlooked. I also really like that you didn't push in a romantic angle where there wasn't one. I hope this serves as a tentative beginning to a life long friendship.

You captured all the emotions in this so well. I already mentioned how you were spot on in the opening section. Moving forward, you really managed to somehow convey how comfortable Hannah was at the bar, how she seemed to have this sense of fitting in, and all the responsibilities that fit in with her new role. Dean too was superbly written. I think you got his anger down well. I completely get why he feels that way though. Who wouldn't? In a sense, he too is helpless as he is unable to do anything about the judgement. He feels as if he was robbed off justice, and that came through really well. And the ending ♥ I see Hannah curbed his reckless Gryffindor instincts with her calmer, practical Hufflepuff side. I think that they complement each other very well. I would love to see a story focusing friendship on their friendship from you :p You'd nail it! So, yes, where was I?

Much emotions. Such feels. Wow.

Sorry, couldn't help myself. :p But it's true that this is emotion loaded, and that's a huge achievement to do in so few words without actually explicitly discussing their emotions in the story itsef. Just another reminder of what a great writer you are!

As for the descriptions, I don't even have to say anything to you, teh. I think you are aware of how I just associate amazing descriptions with you and your writing. Somehow, you manage to get just the right words and phrases. You most certainly have a gift for this. Everything was so vivid and visceral. I'm always in awe after reading something by you.

As for things like flow, they usually don't seem to warrant special praise on their own, but I kind of have to tell you that you are amazing in those aspects as well.

teh, you are an absolutely stunning writer, and you never fail to impress me. Whether it's the longest one-shot in the history of one-shots, or something short and neat like this one, your writing always, always makes an impact.

I'm sorry that this review really isn't much though. I'm sort of busy, but I wanted to find some time for this, which is probably why it's short and messy and confused.

Anyway, minor characters &heart;
your writing &hearts,
One Dimension and Salazar Slocombe ♥ ♥ ♥ WIN. HAHAHA.

You're the best ^_^ I will be back.

P.S- Don't think I missed your post on the 'previews' thread :p

Author's Response: as;dlk;alsfkjhkjasd

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ADI ♥ ♥ ♥

How do I even begin to thank you...all your words, your compliments, I don't deserve them STAHP

*hugs*

Thank you! Again and again!!

Thanks for choosing to read this collection of mine! They're not my best work because they were all written in a hurry for last year's house cup, but I still am proud of these stories because of the characters; I like how they've turned out.

LOVE the way you analyse Hannah and Dean. There's meant to be no romance in this fic, though others may interpret otherwise. :P But yeah, I kinda see Dean and Hannah as having a life-long friendship and I just love the idea of them being mates and all. From the books they don't seem like the kind of people who would find much interest in each other, but there's the war, which changes so many things, even alliances and relationships between people. I feel that the war also breaks down old barriers between people, at least during the recovery stages.

Awww, it really makes me feel all warm and flattered that you felt so much in this short piece. Thank you! Honestly, your compliments always make me so happy. ❤

And what do you mean this review isn't much? It's a pretty darned long review, and it's longer than most thigns I leave these days. Thank you for taking the time to read, for all your kind words, for being a generally awesome person, Adi.

Minor characters FTW!

And ONE DIMENSION AND SAL SLOCOMBE. ♥ ♥

YOU DA BEST ADI.



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Review #33, by randomwriterAlbus Potter and the Sapphire of Slytherin: Wally

23rd December 2014:
Hello! So having read Chapter One quite some time ago, all I needed to do was skim through it to remember the premise of this story. I will maintain that it is an intriguing note to lay your base on.

Forgive me if this review comes across as short or unhelpful. I'm just trying to get it underway before I nod off to sleep. Also, I will include some CC in the review. Please don't take it as me being too harsh. I just tend to get a little nit-picky, and I am only looking for ways in which your story could be better :)

So as I said, you've set up a pretty good foundation for your story, and you've wasted no time in introducing your characters. That being said, I think it wouldn't hurt to spend a bit more time in giving the readers some details about them. Just knowing who they are, and that they are important to the story doesn't suffice. It's also important to know about the characters personalities, back stories and yes, even their looks, so that we, as readers, can have a better idea about them.

If I may go back to the beginning for a minute, let me start with McGonagall's speech. You gave us a lot of important hints there, but the speech pattern was unlike McGonagall's and it was also a bit hurried in nature. If I were you, I'd start with the general introduction and adopt a more subtle approach alluding to the fact that there lurks something dangerous. Also, I think it would be highly unlikely for McGonagall to give out so much information to the students, and to debase Slytherin so easily. I'd suggest making the hints more subtle and reworking the structure of the speech. Another small (sorry for being nit-picky here) detail is that apparation lessons are for people aged sixteen and over, if I'm not wrong. This was the operational rule during Harry's time.

Moving ahead to the next scene, I really like that you've introduced Peeves here. He's so often forgotten, and I'm so guilty of that myself, but you wrote him so well, even though it was only a brief appearance. I would love to see him come back again :) As for the prefect's welcome, I think you could make it a bit friendlier and more welcoming. The first years are usually a little timid and lost, and it wouldn't hurt to show them that Hogwarts is, indeed, their home. The bit about the passwords was good, and so was the part about steering clear of Filch's way. However, you could have added a bit more about the rules like curfew, etc. Also, you don't get a detention for going late to breakfast. You just don't get food after a while :p and I'm guessing that you'd have to hop down to the kitchens, if you found the time, for a quick bite. I also don't think you should have that part where the prefect says that he can't remember stuff off the top of his mind. He's a prefect for a reason right! :p It's likely that he may have forgotten something, but he'd probably not declare it so openly.

The Common Room was described really well :) I could feel the warmth and glow spreading just from your words, so you've done a lovely job of capturing its feel. But the trophies? Well, for one, there's a trophy room, which I suppose exists to hold trophies. It would be rather redundant if the trophies were kept in the Common Rooms. :p Secondly, the trophy was won by both Harry and Cedric, so it wouldn't belong to just Gryffindor. Thirdly, even if it were to be that room, shouldn't it be behind a glass casing or something? I doubt anyone and everyone passing by would be able to pick it and hold it. Sorry, I know these are minor details, but they could really make your story more polished, and the reader does tend to notice, so I thought it may be worth a mention.
However, you did write that part about Harry well. I understand that he wouldn't want to talk about the tournament and is unlikely to have told his children about it so directly,especially at such a young age.

As for the bit in the dormitories with Wally, the House Elf, I think that Albus was too quick to shout, and that his shouting was unwarranted. I don't understand why he was so concerned all of a sudden and why he never took Wally's words into account. In all that, I almost forgot that Wally's presence on his bed was rather odd. I wonder what he's doing there. Hmm. In addition to that, I don't know if it's likely that Scorpius already knows about the Room of Requirement and has made a trip to it on day one. Seems slightly unbelievable.

Or maybe Scorpius was flying? :p
Also, it's very, very rare that a player gets into the Quidditch team on his first year. So maybe this time, they're both spectators.

Anyway, you've raised a lot of questions in my mind, and I can't help but think that there are a lot of loose ends. No bother though! This is a novel, and I'm sure that all will be cleared up in the end. Good job on Chapter Two! :) I do believe it requires some polishing and editing, but it has got a pretty cool plotline (at one point, I even caught myself wondering if Albus is the villain! :p) Lets see what happens. Keep up the good work :)

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Review #34, by randomwriterThe Thing With Feathers: It sings the tune without the words

23rd December 2014:
Hello Sathya! This has obviously been on my list, considering that it was written for my challenge, but I'm sorry it has taken me this long to get here, despite that. Real life has been pretty hectic, off late, and I'm glad that the Christmas Dash brought me here :)

I think it's odd that I haven't read anything by you before this. The thought had never struck me until now, actually. And after reading this piece, I can see that I've missed out on a lot!

I think that the idea behind this story was really unique. I was certainly impressed by the way you used hope as a villain! Personifying hope was one thing, but making it a villain is on different level altogether! I;m glad you didn't resort to portraying it as some sort of noble, self-sacrificial feeling. I like the bitter, cruel edge you lent to it. It was a fresh perspective, and I'd never thought of things that way, so it was interesting to read this.

I was, as I always am, impressed by your shot at brevity here. I have never succeeded in completing the Every Word Counts Challenge, because I find it so difficult to be bound by such a small word limit. Your attempt at battling the challenge is impressive and I think you've done a great job. At no point did I feel as if the words were strained or forced. But having said that, your word choice did impress me. Everything fit so well and it really gave me a very complete picture.

You kept the suspense alive till the very end. I actually thought that the villain was Voldemort and that Lily, or maybe even James, was the narrator, but that went against the villainous thoughts that were going through the narrator's mind. Anyway, I can tell that this concept might stick with me for a while. I'm still marveling at how amazing it is :) As for the idea of portraying Hope as a villain, I think it's apt in the sense that Hope tends to have a stronghold on our minds and actions, often enough of a stronghold to trump logic.

Also, being a fan of this whole concept of microfiction, I can say that you've done a great job! :) It probably isn't the most tradition piece I've read (but who am I to judge?), but I enjoyed every word of it!

As for the abstraction, I think you did a good job maintaining it till the end. The one thing that did strike me, however, were how those very specific instances of Harry's life came into play. I think the way you portrayed him in his teenage years could use some more abstraction to fit with the piece. Also, mentions of Cupid as a baby in diapers and all, just broke the flow a tiny bit because it didn't seem to fit with the tone of the rest of the story.

I really like how you've described everything here. I can picture Death as a raven (Sorry, I'm a huge Poe fan!), and Hope as a Sparrow or something small. I would like to think of Hope as a Dove, but since Hope is the villain here, I highly doubt you want me to picture Hope as a Dove. Anyway, getting back to point, I really like your descriptions here. The language you've used, as I've mentioned, was really clever in setting the tone and transporting the reader to the setting.

I'm sorry for the rushed and confused nature of this review. I will definitely be visiting your AP more often after this :) Good work, Sathya!

EDIT: I'm sorry. I'm too lazy to completely revamp this, but for some reason my apostrophes are showing up with the addition of back-slashes. I'm sorry about that :S

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Review #35, by randomwriterAfter the storm: After the storm

15th December 2014:
Hey, what's up? I was searching for something to read, and this showed up when I clicked on 'Random Story'.

I was worried that something may be up with this Mallory character from the start. Glad to see that it wasn't my mind conjuring up far fetched theories. I can't believe she set Sirius, the Potters and the entire Order up like that! I hope it comes back up to haunt her sometime because it was truly despicable. What hit me was how she believed that she deserved to be with Sirius right up till the end! I was also upset when Peter didn't stand up to her when she coaxed him over to the dark side. I really hope something comes up and ruins her life. She truly messed everything up for the Marauders, who I love so much!

Anyway, a little rough around the edges, but not a bad story to have up! Maybe you'd want to clean it up a bit, with regards to punctuation and grammar? That apart, good job and keep it up :)

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Review #36, by randomwriterPost-War-Problems - Event 3: Post-War-Problems - Event 3

7th November 2014:
Hey there :) You said it was weird having no unanswered reviews, and I thought I'd come by and fix that ;) But I am sorry. This is going to be short and not as detailed as usual, because I'm hoping to add to my NaNo goal after this.

I finished reading this story and went to check the forums, when I saw your PM and thought that it was a funny coincidence that you should have thanked me (in such a sweet manner) for an earlier review when I was in the process of leaving you one :p

First off, I really didn't know what to expect when I clicked on this. There was no AU tag, and I saw that it featured Dobby and was set in the post Hogwarts era, which led my over imaginative mind to believe that the story might surround Harry reminiscing his good moments with Dobby. I think I believed that it may be angsty. You completely surprised me though. It was lovely to read this. It was funny and comical, bordering on parody-esque in some parts. The tone was perfect for a story of this sort.

I also liked how this flowed. It was an extremely quick and easy read, and it didn't feel like the story was being dragged on or rushed in any manner. However, I have a suggestion. One thing that could improve the flow to some extent is your word choices. While in most cases, you've done well, there are places (like, I think you've used the word' warrior'), where you could have used other words instead.

As for the characterisation, I thought Dobby was excellent. Perhaps a bit too quirky, but that's forgivable for a piece like this. It added a whimsical element that suited the plot. As for Harry, I think the dialogue sounded unlike him once or twice, but that apart, you wrote him well too.

I know that this must have been written in a hurry as it was for the House Cup. But I did find some issues with the dialogue tags and punctuation that are easily fixable. Maybe if you gave it another read now, you'd be able to take care of them :)

I really like that you gave Dobby such an important task. It does seem unlikely that Harry would not want to do such an important task himself, or that he doesn't want a say in this, but that's just me being way too nitpicky, and you should totally ignore that, because what you wrote says something more. It shows us just how much Harry is willing to trust Dobby, and that really is great to see because it isn't a friendship we see written too often despite the fact that they did have a caring and trusting relationship. Okay, that is a long and weird sentence, but I'm not going to bother to correct anything in this NaNo addled state of mine. You did justify Harry's choice well though. I suspect that the Prophet would certainly get a whiff of it and report it before he'd even get the chance to go to Ginny.

One suggestion I do have is to flesh things out and add in some more description. It's a minor thing, but I think it would really engage the reader more. Not too much, just a little will do the trick too :)

While this piece really made me smile and laugh (Dobby and the hats and the sandals ♥), it also made me feel sad that Dobby didn't make it. He was a lovely character, wasn't he?

Sorry again, for how short and unhelpful this is, and thank you for writing such a sweet and fun story for me to read :)

Author's Response: Hi!

Thank you very much, I appreciate it! :P I actually laughed when I saw you said that this was short and unhelpful, that is 100% not that case! :D

Haha, that is fate? :P

I probably should put an AU tag on it, I can't think why I didn't but I will change it soon hopefully. I usually feel more comfortable reading angst so it's pretty rare that I write something else, but I just wasn't in that mind set when I was writing this.

Thanks for all your pointers, as you said this was written in a hurry and it defiantly shows when reading. At some stage I will go through and attempt to tidy it up a bit! :D

I brought Dobby back from the dead so I decided that Harry wouldn't want to choose his ring. ;) I take your point though, in any 'serious' piece I wouldn't have written that because it doesn't make to much sense.

Dobby and Fred. Should never have died.

Thanks for all your helpful pointers I will defiantly need them when editing this.

:)



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Review #37, by randomwriterYou Are Part of Everything : Dear Prudence

29th October 2014:
Hello Meg :) I'm here for the Gryffie review swap. Sorry, I'm quite late. I've just been pretty busy recently and I haven't gotten enough time to sit down and review this.

Anyway, on to the review. I'm a huge fan of the Beatles, and I love John Green, so I was quite excited when I got paired with you for this. On top of that, I'm a HUGE fan of Sirius. Yes, he isn't portrayed in the best light here, but I do have a huge crush on him still, I think. Oh dear. Anyway, with regard to this one-shot in particular, I didn't like him, but I like how you've written him and I guess that was the intention.

I think you wrote the polar opposites thing well. Prudence, as the quiet, shy, naive girl and Sirius as the archetype heart breaker. Poor Prudence :( She seemed so invested in their relationship. I do think that you could have added a little more interaction in the beginning though. Even for someone like Prudence, who is gullible in these matters and has been observing Sirius for a while, I think, it takes a little more persuasion. It was a little too soon, I feel. Maybe you could have just built it up. Not slowly or anything, but maybe a conversation or two in the beginning before this would have worked in your favour.

One thing I absolutely loved about this piece was how emotionally evocative it was. Her pain was almost palpable and her broken heart just gave me so many feels :( Sirius was a real jerk here. I felt pretty bad for Prudence because she was just a sweet, nice girl minding her own business before he came and mucked things up for her. She didn't bring it on herself. I do feel like she should have seen the warning signs that were quite obvious in retrospect, but poor Prudence was enamoured, naturally and it really seems like she couldn't help herself from falling.

About your characterisation, I think I've already made it clear that you wrote the shy-girl-confident-guy trope well. Individually, Prudence is an OC, so I can't comment on your take on her from the perspective of canon, but I can say that she is a very interesting OC to write. Very sweet and she seemed really sensible and strong willed in the beginning, but we saw how all that changed when Sirius worked his charm on her. I love how you named her Prudence. Clever use of the song given to you ;) As for Sirius, I think we all expect him to get the girl in the end. That's how most writers work with him, so it was definitely refreshing to see a fresh take on him in his younger days. Careless, immature, selfish, but confident. He's also very aware of the kind of effect he has on people. While I've seen this Sirius often, he usually softens up by the end, and the fact that your Sirius didn't was an interesting twist. Like so: 'Here's the story of the girl who didn't get Sirius in the end. Didn't expect that, did you?' It's nice to see you experimenting with a harsher, more callous Sirius. I may not like him, but I am appreciative of how you've tackled him in his youth. However, while I applaud you for this, I also think it was all a bit much in the end? Or maybe that's just me feeling sad for Prudence? :(

I don't think you worry about your writing or flow at all :) It was a quick and easy read and it flowed smoothly.

As for some constructive crit, I mentioned how you can build it up earlier. How you make her fall for him in a more fleshed out manner. I think I'll add to that by saying that all the conversations can be fleshed out a little more. Even the one where he asks her out, give them a little more to converse about? Also add little details here and there to draw in the reader further. Also, the last bit was a little abrupt. Maybe you could round it up slightly?

Oh kay, so that aside, I have a little bit of a suggestion about your formatting of the quotes you were given. The asterisks are rather distracting. I think it would be easier on the reader if you just italicised the lines or bolded them and then mentioned their source in the A/N. Maybe it's just me though :p You don't have to take the suggestion.

As for the quotes themselves, they were incorporated really well into this. As I mentioned, I really like that you named her Prudence. It's very clever of you! I think that the way Siruius spoke them out, it was almost as if he was serenading her. Just one thought though (and I seem to be saying this too much, sorry :p), just space the dialogues with the lyrics out a bit? It's just an idea. I think it would help the conversation between them flow better if they spoke about other things as well. That aside, you've used both your given quotes well. I love how you incorporated it in the end as well. That was an extremely clever play on words. Oh, and before I forget, great job keeping his identity a secret till the end. It built up the suspense :p

To sum up, good writing and characterisation :) Just a few things here and there that you could enhance to polish this one shot up! Good job, Meg :) I look forward to reading more of your work, and I'm glad I got paired with you this month.

Author's Response: Hey there!

Alright, so it's officially been a month since you've left this amazing review. It's probably about time I've answered it haha.

First thing I want to say is, thank you! This review was just amazing. I have never taken so long to answer a review before, and it is because this just left me speechless and filled with gratitude. I am just in awe of the time you took to leave this. It was so detailed and just lovely! So again, thank you! ♥

Me too! I grew up with the Beatles. I don't think I really had a choice in becoming a fan haha. But, I'm totally alright with that. :D John Green is just amazing. His work is incredible, and he seems so down to earth and just funny. I watch his web series thing, MentalFloss, every week. :)

I really wanted to show a darker side of Sirius. He is romanticized so often - I'm guilty of it myself - so I wanted to show the other side of his womanizing ways. I still love Sirius, though! ;) I'm really happy to hear that he was not well-liked in this. With how much people love him, I knew that was going to be hard to accomplish, so I'm really happy I did.

Prudence is essentially me. I've been through this when I was younger (not quite as horrible of an ending, but pretty bad). I've read this over a few times since I've received this review, and I agree with you. I could definitely add a little bit more dialogue in here just to really show how hard she was falling and how badly he was manipulating her.

He usually does get the girl at the end. Almost always. But you usually hear of the girls that he dated or a week, or whatever short amount of time, before he ends up with *the* girl. I wanted this story to be about one of the many before the one. I always imagined that he was rather harsh with the girls he dated for some reason. I don't know why, I can just see it that way. Or maybe it was just because I pretty much based Prudence off of myself and used one of my rougher break-ups as inspiration for this. My own personal bitterness definitely played a major role in this story. I fell hard and fast, so Prudence fell hard and fast. Sometimes a handsome face and pretty words can cause us to do irrational things, I think.

Aww thank you for that! ♥ I'm still kind of getting used to writing again after a long time, so I'm thrilled that it flowed well. :D

I just want to tell you how much I appreciate all of the CC. This story is really, really personal to me, so I want it to be the best it possibly can be. I absolutely can see what you mean and will be going back to edit this and add a bit more detail to it.

I meant to take them out after the challenges were over and completely forgot about it. That is on my "to-do" list for this story haha. :D

I didn't use a beta for this story, so I completely rely on and thrive on reviews. I have taken every bit of this to heart (in a good way!) and will be going back to edit this and take your advice. I know I've said it a bunch already, but thank you so much!

I'm thrilled that you liked it! I've never written anything like this before. I was hoping that keeping Sirius a - somewhat - secret, until the end, would be a good idea. :)

Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for this review!! It totally blew my mind and I appreciate everything! I'm so happy I was paired with you last month, too!! ♥

xoxo Meg



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Review #38, by randomwriterLast Day of My Life: One

20th October 2014:
Sam ♥ I haven't started judging the entries yet, but I couldn't resist. I just HAD to review now and I have no complaints about reading it again while properly judging ;) I've already read it twice! James/Lily, I LOVE. And Romance and Angst are my two favourite genres. To top that off, I've been on such a James/Lily kick lately. I caved and read The Art of Surviving on Friday and I've been searching for new stories featuring them to read all weekend. I was beyond overjoyed when I saw this. Thank you so much for writing it. You are the sweetest! I'm kind of lost for words, so either I will be completely blank now or I'll keep gushing and it'll be an incoherent mess of words. Whichever way it goes, I'm sorry about this garbled review :p

This story captured how I see James and Lily during the war perfectly. You wrote them so well! I'm really afraid of writing about them myself because I'm so worried I won't get them right and I worship canon. I love how you handled it and their relationship is amazing. Even though the war is raging, it doesn't stop them from having their own little moments in between. They're so sweet together :) And James ♥ He is so perfect! The flowers and cooking and everything was really thoughtful of him. I know he said that he doesn't do healing in the beginning, but I can't think of a nicer way to heal after something so traumatic.

I also really liked his 'moment' with Harry. His love for him and how protective he is came off strongly. I think it's both heartbreaking and sweet, reading about such things. I just want to reach into the screen and grab James' shoulders and tell him EVERYTHING that happens because when I read about all these little moments, I just want them to be a small, happy family. I don't want James and Lily to die, and I don't want Harry to never know how amazing his parents were :( I mean, he gets a good sense of it throughout his life, but first hand experience is something else.

I like how you didn't undermine the war even though you wrote about something sweet. One thing that irks me no end is when authors completely disregard the fact that there is a war and that James and Lily are in the centre of it. You balanced it very well and I got the sense of seriousness, and a touch of frustration, but I like how that doesn't confine James' sweet, romantic and playful side in any way. It's what I've always thought.

It was nice to read this in James' voice. I like reading things from the first person (and male) POV and we always see everything through Lily's eyes anyway. The part where he apologised to Harry for the hair and the glasses (if only he knew), made me laugh. It was also a nice touch of familiarity for the reader.

As for the flow, it was such an easy read. I loved it! Despite having an element of angst, it wasn't overbearing in the sense that I had to stop and process or anything. It was all very smooth :)

I spotted a typo (on my second read, so it detracts nothing anyway). You'd said 'had back' for 'head back'. I do things like this regularly :p

And... gosh, I'm still quite overwhelmed. This gave me feels! Aaah, Sam. I love it. It came at such a perfect time as well, because I've read so much angst surrounding them over the past couple of days. I really needed something sweet. This missing moment is so fantastic. I still can't believe you wrote this for me! It's so thoughtful of you to actually take some time off to not only do this, but also do it so well. This story is made for me and it's written so well and I just can't stop smiling and gushing, which makes me feel like this review doesn't make too much sense. I'm sorry about that :p

Anyway, great writing. James and Lily are perfect and this story made me feel happy, but sad all at once and I loved it! The bittersweet note to it was lovely. I love stories like that! Thank you so much for writing this for me (I don't think I can say it enough). It made my day. I finished writing a paper today and this was an absolute treat to read after that! You are so lovely :) *showers with hugs and chocolates*

Once again, thank you ♥

All of the love
Adi

Author's Response: Wow, Adi!

Oh, my God! I almost caved and wrote you Scorpius/Rose because I love James/Lily so much that I was afraid I wouldn't do them justice. But I had this idea and I had to try and it turned out pretty well and I'm just so glad you like it. I was on edge the entire time, scared they weren't right. Me being crazy, I always am when it comes to canon. :P

I know exactly how you feel. Sometimes I just have to live in a little bubble, where James and Lily live and they're a family and everything is good and it's canon.

The war is something I just couldn't forget and that's not even when you factor in the plot for this. It gets to me, too, when people do that. I have a few pet peeves and most of them are for things that I just don't see happening in canon. So I tried really hard to find a balance and I'm glad it came through.

I love and will always write - when I can - male PoV. This time, I chose James because it works so well with the song that inspired it. But even if that hadn't been the case, I think I still would have chosen James. I have two Marauder era plans on my iPad and both of those are James as well (well, one is James and Lily and one is James and Regulus). The little details, I loved putting those in. Something to bring Harry's character in.

I'm so happy that you loved it. I just had to give you a present and that it made you smile makes me smile.

I'll fix the typo. Thank you for pointing it out. :)

Sam.


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Review #39, by randomwriterComplicated: In Which Christmas Is Not The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

11th October 2014:
Hello Emma! I'm a huge fan of next Gen stories and I know that a lot of them seem repetitive, but I really can't resist a well written one with good dialogue!

First of all, I must congratulate you picking something different. The opening chapters of such stories are full of teenage first world problems, and the protagonist is almost always obsessed with James or Al. I think that it's interesting that you dived straight in. It's interesting to see this from the POV of someone who doesn't belong to an already well establish family (Malfoys, Weasleys). There's so much potential in this, and I really enjoyed how you opened it. Also, I once had an idea for writing a story where Pansy tries to set her daughter up with Scorpius, so I'm stoked you wrote something similar-ish (except in my story idea, the girl was an annoying mini-Pansy).

Olivia is funny and she seems confident and self assured, which is always nice to see because I know I don't have to be wary of her turning into a pile of goo the second an attractive boy enters the fray. Her internal monologue is refreshing to read and I just overall liked her. So far, at least. Lets see what you do with her :)

I've seen a lot of nextgens where the character complains about a horrible family and an awful lot of drama when the family is loving, even if they are a tad crazy, and I expected that from this. Except, it was different. There was actually drama and her emotions were warranted, not just pointless rambling and whinging for the sake of it.

I love your portrayal of the canon characters. First of all, this family tie is very original. I've never seen it, with Oliver and Katie being related to Pansy at the end of it. poor Oliver, I can't believe he has tolerate her, given his attitude towards non-Gryffindors and Slytherins, in particular. I'm not Pansy's biggest fan, but I felt a touch of pity for her by the end of it. Katie is just so... nice, and that's it. All she wants is for there to be some merriment and general appreciation, I suppose. You've written all of them perfectly, especially Pansy and Oliver. the argument between them was an excellent touch. I love that you didn't disregard canon. That was a nice tie-in. Also, Oliver still holding it against Draco makes it very believable. Honestly though, I'm not Pansy's biggest fan, but your portrayal was really accurate.

I also enjoyed reading about Olivia's relationship with Jason. She says she hates him, but I think she just hates all that he represents to her. She doesn't like his family, and probably the fact that she sense that her own family is broken or dysfunctional, while his isn't is probably fueling her need to hate him. I may be wrong, but I believe that will change over the course of the story :p Let's see if I'm quite the Seer. I also love the way you mentioned that he was so into Quidditch that he fails to notice all the attention he gets. That's very Oliver of him! Like this, a lot of your details were in the subtleties and that was fantastic!

Also, what is with Pansy giving her all those products? Eugh! Her father seems more nonchalant about everything in general. Also, it;s obvious that he didn't expect anyone to be fussed about the affair. Personally, I think Pansy was crying for because he cheater on her and not because he cheated, if that makes sense to you.

I'm a major ScoRose fan, so I might be secretly rooting for a Scorpius/Cassie break up (too soon?). But I won't moan if I end up liking Cassie :p

Overall, I really liked your characterisation, if you can't tell already. And your plot seems to be headed in a rather interesting direction. I'm curious to see what happens.

As for your pacing and flow, I don't think there's any issue. It was paced well and it was quite easy to read because of the flow. I know that the introductory chapters tend to come off as being very expository, in a forced way too. They end up reading like bio-datas and that's not very good. But yours wasn;t like that at all. You managed to ease the reader into the details and it really kept my interest. It was nice to find out little tidbits of information without it feeling like an absolute overload.

As for dialogue, I really don't need to say anything. I mean, you won a Dobby, for Merlin's sake! Congratulations on that, by the way and I am thankful that it has led me to your story.

I think I'll wind up now! This was a really nice read and I'll looking forward to finding some more free time so that I can get back to this soon! Great work :)

Author's Response: Hello!

Wow, thanks so much for such a lovely and thoughtful review! Sorry for the delay getting back to you. I really appreciate the time you've put into giving me such wonderful feedback.

There are aspects of this chapter I think I'll probably come back and edit, but I'm so glad you liked the things you've mentioned. I'm a little bit in love with most of these characters at this point so it's always lovely to hear that readers are enjoying them.

Writing the canon parents is really interesting. Katie, Oliver and Pansy weren't big enough parts in the books to have clear characteristics associated with them, so I can still have a bit of fun making up what they're like, but I definitely want them to believably be the same people they were in JK's work, so it's great to hear you thought that was successful.

And Jason! Yep, you're probably right, but Ollie's got a while left before she'll figure it out for herself. He's a lovely character to write anyway.

Thank you so much for such a wonderfully kind review! I'm really, really happy to hear that you're enjoying reading so far.

Much love,

Emma xx


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Review #40, by randomwriterOutside: Prison

27th September 2014:
Hi hi hi Kevin! Happy (belated) birthday :D Here's a small gift because I'm a generous soul (or so I'll say, for today) :p Doing a quick one because it's quite late and I have tons of work to do.

I know how much you hate the first person POV, and you might know how much I love it. I hope you've converted by now. It's so effective, and it's also a great way to establish your main character. Once again, you've done a great job of wielding this POV, and I hope you write more stories from the first person point of view.

Anyway, moving onto this. I think it's a great missing moment from the series. Obviously taking over the ministry is a huge deal, and you've handled it quite well. Your writing is, as usual, very clear and crisp and I love how well it flows. It's very easy to read and it goes smoothly. At no point did I feel like it was heavy or choppy. It reads well.

Your choice of Lucius Malfoy for the narrator was interesting. I've never actually come across one written from his POV before, so I applaud you for being bold enough to pick him. As for writing him, you've done a great job! The speech patters and the thoughts were so in character and even his emotions, really. Lucius had lost so much after falling from grace, Voldemort's eyes, and his reaction to that has been captured particularly well. The resentment in his tone, and the last couple of paragraphs, where he realises that in the grand scheme of things, they are all mere pawns, doing Voldemort's bidding, were written very well. I think they helped establish his character further. To add to this, the contempt he harboured for the other death eaters was a nice touch. It made his character more believable. Great job! You asked about Voldemort? I think his speech is perfect and there's this cold and arrogant feel around him that you've captured well. For me, Draco could have been slightly better established. For most part, you did well. I just thought that some subtle tweaks here and there could certainly add to what you've created. For example, I like that you've written about his reactions in a childlike fashion, that is appropriate for his age. How about adding to that? Like when he asks his father about Voldemort's return, initially I was wondering why he was so excited. Then when you added in that line about things being better like before it made sense. That's what matters to him. Maybe you could also add in a line about how Harry was going to go down or something there? I'm sure those thoughts were in Draco's mind. Or some detail about him smirking in the photo alongside the minister. Anyway, these are small touches. For most part, characterisation of all the characters was pretty well handled.

I did spot some typos:
There had been a time when the fear my word struck into their hearts was second only to that caused by the Dark Lord himself. It should read 'hearts', not 'heart's'.

Surrounded by bloodthirsty fools who had served the Dark Lord for far less time and far less effectively but now stood above him, the photographs mocked me. Above him? Shouldn't it say above me? This confused me slightly.

Nodding curtly, she sat primly in the chair next to mine, once again keeping Draco at a distance. I think you meant to say that she was keeping him close? This sentence reads as if she left a considerable distance between them.

These are only minor errors, of course. They detract nothing from how well-crafted this story is. Good job, Kevin. And seriously, do write in the first person POV some more! :)

Author's Response: Howdy Adi! Thank you so much! And even more so for taking time out of what sounds like some real craziness to do it.

First, I must put this myth to bed once and for all! I do NOT hate first-person! Just before HPFF I basically never wrote in first-person (though I've since remembered that Apogee was actually NOT the first time - I wrote an OF short story in college that was first-person). Anyway, all this rambling is to say that I actually do write in it quite a bit now! Just not for my longer stuff.

On to your splendid review! Thank you very much for leaving a review on this lonely story. I cranked it out under immense time pressure for a challenge that never ended up getting results because I think there were only two entries :p Thus the typos. It's a poor excuse, but thank you for pointing them out. The last one actually...UGH...just bad writing. The thought I meant to express was that Narcissa was keeping Draco constantly close to her but once again at a distance from Lucius...but I can see that as written it is wrong.

I'm really glad you thought Lucius and Voldemort were characterized well though. As for Draco...those are really good tips. I tend to have blinders about Draco (trying to ignore all things him for the most part) because I actually DO hate him.

What all this secondary set of rambling is meant to say is thank you for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful, detailed review on this lonely, rogue little story buried on my AP. I really appreciate the feedback and the gifting spirit behind it! You are awesome!


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Review #41, by randomwriterAvalanche: 1

26th September 2014:
Hello! I am FINALLY here for our swap, and I cannot tell you how sorry I am that it took me this long to get here. I knew that I needed to give this story, and this review some time, and I have just been ridiculously busy. I am so, so sorry.

Now onto your story. Woah. I am in a daze. The quality of the writing, combined with the complexity of the plot has left me speechless, and trust me, I almost always have something to say. I don't even know where to start, really.

I guess I'll go with what struck me hardest. For me, even when you step away from from the plot and the characters for a second and just look at this whole piece and what it conveys, it says a lot about war and morality. I'm not a complete stranger to Sun Tzu's The Art of War, and your mention has made me re-evaluate the wizarding war using his philosophy. Of course, it isn't as easy as that, but don't be surprised if I write my own war time story inspired by this! (No promises though!) Anyway, I've strayed. What I originally meant to say was that I love your take on war, and I'm really impressed by the way you've manage to show the reader how it affects different people. Being able to see both the 'good' side and the 'bad' side from the POV of the same character makes it even more interesting and gives us a deeper insight into it. I also enjoyed how you've shown us that it's not all black and white.

Next, I want to take my metaphorical hat off to you for writing the opening part so well. Action sequences are so difficult to write, because there's always far too much going on and it can get a bit confusing at times. I thought you handled it extremely well. Your lines are so striking that they just drew me in and got me into the mood of this fic.

I want to go through this review without discussing characterisation at all, but I simply can't and I am afraid that I have far too much to say on the matter and will end up rambling. Sorry about that! James and Sirius ♥ were absolutely spot on. Brilliant characterisation there. I want to give you a huge hug for how well you've written them. They're my absolute favourites, and I love it when they've been characterised well. Yaxley was interesting. I've never read stories focusing on him and I thought you did a pretty good job there. As for Peter, boy. Where do I start? Okay, so Peter is one of those characters I will always blame, always hate and never forgive. Your interpretation of him may not be something I agree with, but I will say this with absolutely honesty, that it was the best chracterisation of him I've read yet. The best. I love his internal monologue, and the conflict that arises from his own thoughts. I found him a tad too noble and righteous for canon, but bah. This was too good. He was also a lot more forward than I would expect, some of these things would require a great deal of courage, but I won't complain. As I said, I don't agree with how you've written him at all levels, and I have some questions as to why he came back as one of Voldemort's most loyal followers after this if his intentions were so noble, and if indeed he felt guilt, but all this aside, I truly, truly enjoyed reading about him. His thoughts on war and the way he breaks down everything was so interesting and it made me almost consider that some aspects of this may certainly have been how it went down really. I felt a horde of emotions for him through the course of this, but in the end, when he realises what he has caused, it just broke me a little. Reading though this was difficult in terms of emotions, because you took me on such a ride (and I was acutely aware of how James and Lily might die at the end of it). I think ti takes great skill to write emotional transitions so well. You are very talented!

So, stellar characterisation, stand-out plot, what about the writing? I cannot fault you one bit. It was superb. Your word choices were so apt, the way you set the mood was perfect and the whole thing flowed so smoothly. Such things have a tendency to get heavy for the reader, but this piece didn't. Your writing complemented the story very well.

As for the dialogue, there are so many memorable quotes from this. If I were to quote things back, I would certainly run out of space here. However, the part where you called this a civil war, that one, it stood out for me. I thought that was very interesting.

Overall, great job! I'd certainly recommend this to anyone looking for a fic about Peter or the war. I really enjoyed the whole story, and I think it would be impossible to fault you. The only thing, as I mentioned is a conflict of opinions, and I can't say you're wrong or anything. Still, Peter's characterisation was amazing and fresh, and this whole story was incredibly unique. Keep up the good work. I should read more of your work sometime, because you're an excellent writer :) ♥

Adi

Author's Response: No worries! I'd rather wait on a big old review like this one than get something rushed and obligatory! And I get being busy, I do. So don't sweat it.

Considering The Art of War's focus on victory through avoiding direct conflict and the uses of deception, it's true, as a text it would probably be very applicable to the way Wizarding Wars work. I also envisioned that as a very stressful form of warfare (not that there's a low-stress form, but shadow wars would be additionally nerve-wracking) and that took its toll on everyone.

I have a good bit of practice in writing action sequences, so I'm glad to hear it's paid off. I found the essence is to just... keep it simple and rely otherwise on atmosphere. So thank you for your kind words, it's something I try especially hard to get Right (especially as an opening sequence).

James and Sirius were particular joys to write; I've not delved in the Marauder's era before, so they were complete unknowns to me but really stole the show. I admit, Yaxley was originally a non-specific OC Death Knight, but when I thought I'd tie it further into canon, he was a natural option and everything became sharper when I edited him in.

Peter - oddly I wouldn't see him as noble even in this story. Even his original intentions were in some ways very cowardly, because at no point does he address the fact that saving the lives of 'soldiers' is sacrificing the wellbeing of Muggles and Muggleborns. The ideology of the war never factors into his decision. So while he is assertive and makes active choices which lead to his downfall; while he acts with some physical courage, he is still morally cowardly even from the get-go. And as he went further down the path, more was that moral cowardice tested, and in the end he was found wanting. So while I wanted him to come to his decisions from a place which wasn't *just* weakness, I do think in this story he is weak and selfish even in the beginning. But besides, we do all have the differing opinions, and I can entirely see your point that he comes across as more heroic than he does in canon. I'd just envision him as being a lot more worn down by the time he shows up in canon, but I do suspect JK would have him as a bit of a weak-willed weasel in the past, too. And differing interpretations make the world of fanfic go around!

Anyway, thank you TREMENDOUSLY for your kind words, this has been a great review and I'm truly stoked by it. Cheers!


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Review #42, by randomwriterJigsaw: Piece #3

25th September 2014:
Back! AND I HOPE I'M FIRST. THAT WOULD BE SO COOL!! Anyway, just trying to sneak in a quick one.

Aha! The plot thickens, and I can see more subplots forming at the same time. This is quite mysterious, and my mind is not working on overdrive with all these crazy theories!

I love the opening segment of this chapter. The newspaper report bit reads like... well, an authentic newspaper report. (I wonder if this is going to be a regular feature?) And it's a nice summary of the whole shindig. Here, we see that he's probably quite well off, and that there is nothing suspicious about him. Atleast not yet.

Another thing that struck me while reading the last chapter is that the kidnapper or whoever was at the door knew that he was going to be home alone. So either they had been in direct contact with him or they had been observing his family and knew of their plans. Given how he was expecting someone, maybe he knew this was coming and had cleared out his wife and kids?

Anyway, I've also come to enjoy reading about these work place scenes, because it shows us how her dynamic is with different co-workers. I also really like how passionate she is about her work, and her determination is quite admirable.

I like Andy. He's friendly and he means well. He's clearly looking out for her and dislikes Miranda, so what's not to like? I think it's great that he's close to Higgins as well. This can only bode well for Roxanne if she handles this assignment with maturity, which I see her doing. My dislike for Miranda, however, grew tenfold. I'm worried that she might try and sabotage Roxanne's work somehow in the future, and because of her seniority and closeness to the boss, things might get very difficult for Roxanne, if that happens. Also, I couldn't believe that she;s just three years older... it somehow made me hate her more. I love how Andy keeps putting her in her place :p

The press conference was handled well, once again. I wish I knew what was in that statement, but I suppose I'll have to wait till you being us the next tidbit of a report? I like how she's using the story to get over Daniel, in a way. It's a productive distraction, and she's enjoying it too! I can't believe it's the biggest story in Britain and she's reporting it. That must feel great, like all her donkey's work finally paid off. Also, I like that she seems to have been inducted into the circle of reporters. Feeling welcome is always great! :) And they all seem quite nice. I am, curious, to know the relationship between Amanda and Obahdia (which is an excellent name for someone from the wizarding community, by the way). Again, a host of possibilities have swarmed into my mind, but I'll wait on this one.

The revelation that they have suspects was quite a turn. I expected her to deny it again, but I suppose that would seem like they weren't trying too hard or something. I really want to know who these people are and how they are connected to this case. Lets see if I can solve this as I read (which means, I fully intent to keep up with your updates, which are only going to get speedier because of yesterday's good news ;) )

Coming back to the journalistic community, I like most of them. The newsroom animosity doesn't seem to be carried forward anywhere, and as I mentioned earlier, they really seem to have put in some efforts to make Roxanne feel like she's part of the group. I don't like Jensen, no. He seems like a sneak, as she suspected. WHAT IF HE TEAMS UP WITH MIRANDA? :O

As for the relationship between Lily and Roxanne, I am curious, to say the least. This whole business with Fred is confusing and I want to know if it is connected to the Daniel thing.

You've certainly taken mystery too seriously. I mean, it's everywhere! :p And I don't think I know any of it for sure. So many loose ends, and that only means that you're doing your job really well :)

The last bit was a shocker. Fred in Knockturn Alley? Why? I can't wait for the fourth chapter. I love how you're pacing this. You aren't giving away too much, but you're adding so much more to the mystery element with each new chapter.

Great work, Sian! Needless to say, I'll be back soon for sure ♥

Author's Response: Adi, you are indeed the first, thank you! :D

I'm really pleased that you thought the opening read like an authentic newspaper article - I'm no journalist, but Roxy is, so it's great it felt believable! There's definitely a lot more to be found out about Malcolm Armstrong, and I love the fact that you're picking up on all the little clues and hints and forming theories around that, because it means that this story is doing what I want it to!

The dynamics between the different colleagues at the Prophet offices are really interesting to imagine and write, so I'm glad you liked them too. I thought you might have a similar reaction to Miranda as the one that you did here :P She's certainly not the nicest person around so that is very understandable, but yep, Andy's great and keeps putting her in her place.

Well, Roxy's going to try and use the story to help her get over Daniel... whether or not it'll work or not is a completely different matter. At the very least, it's something that's big enough to occupy her thoughts for a longer period of time. The press statement doesn't actually appear anywhere, as it kind of disrupted the flow when I originally wrote it out. But I'm glad you liked the press conference, and yes - there are suspects! Well, of a sort. The Hit Wizards are pretty eager to make it clear that they're taking this case seriously!

The other journalists are, on the whole, a nice group, which is a nice change for Roxy considering the poisonous atmosphere she has to endure with Miranda at the Prophet. But yes, Jensen's not the most likeable character either...

ALL THE MYSTERY. You'll never discover any of it :P No, that's not true. I've certainly given myself a lot to handle in terms of different plotlines, but I hope I can manage it, and it's great you're not sure yet because there's still 25 chapters to go after this one :P

Fred down Knockturn Alley? What? :O I couldn't possibly comment!

Thank you for this lovely review, my dear, and I'm so happy you're still enjoying the story!


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Review #43, by randomwriterJigsaw: Piece #2

25th September 2014:
Hello Sian! :) Here I am, with a very, very late review. I'm so sorry for how long this has taken me.

Before I forget to mention it, I love how you're naming your chapters. It goes very well with the title of this story, as well as the genre of mystery. Also, it gives the feeling of solving the puzzle, which I like.

Okay, onto this chapter now. I love the descriptions. You paint the image so well, that I could literally picture it when I closed my eyes. It's also a very beautiful scene for a grave crime. Almost hauntingly beautiful, given the isolation of the house and the crumbling lighthouse in the vicinity.

It also throws some light on Armstrong, here. Might he be wealthy? Such a location is unlikely to come cheap. Or was he in hiding? Running away, perhaps? Or maybe this was a secret location? But he was expecting his kidnapper AND he was scared, so I am pretty intrigued. I'll keep my guesses for now.

I love that this is written from the first person POV. It gives us an insight into how she is as a person, how she functions and thinks and establishes a strong connection between the reader and her as a protagonist.

Her excitement in the beginning is palpable. After waiting forever, she now has her first story, and it's a good one too!

I like how you described her thoughts and feelings when she got to the crime scene. She feels a little out of place, as it isn't usually her scene, but at the same time, she's strong and determined not to let any of it affect her. She wants to excel at her job, and at the same time, she's trying not to get fazed, which seemed like a realistic emotion to go through at that stage of her career, and in that situation.

As all of your characters, Richard Parkinson is interesting and well crafted. I'd love to see more of him as the story progresses and I can see his friendship with Roxanne growing stronger, if they keep up this reporter-photographer duo. He's pretty laid back and chilled out, but he isn't a door mate. He's also working to maintain his life, and not feeding off his mother's wealth, which I liked.

As for the actual mystery, you've given off just the right amount of detail to keep us going, but haven't given out enough for things to shape up. As we're still in the initial stages, I'm doing a LOT of guesswork, and nothing is concrete for now :p

I liked the press conference. It reminded me a lot about how the media works in the real world as well, and you've drawn from that quite well to set up a realistic scenario here. Martha is cold and probably a little twisted. I can tell that she's keeping a lot information from the reporters. I liked how you wrote that scene in particular, where they all asked her questions and she replied. The brief introduction of other news agencies and reporters was a nice addition. It's quite funny to see how The Quibbler seems to be integrated into mainstream media, but there's still a whimsical element to it, if you look at the kind of information they were after.

The scene also throws more light on how serious Roxanne is about her job. It's clear that she's keeping an eye out for anything that could make a difference to this investigation. The part where she asks a question has definitely piqued my interest and roused some suspicion. Lets see how this one plays out. They clearly have some information and ideas that they aren't letting out, probably to keep it out of the public circle.

The last part, with Daniel, seemed like another mystery altogether. I am extremely curious to know what happened there. Hit wizards, by profession are extremely cool. in my opinion. And they way you've described him makes him very attractive. Whatever it was ended very badly for Roxanne (broken engagement?), but his dialogue here serves as a warning, which makes me think that he's still pretty protective of her. He still cares, perhaps. I can't wait to find out more.

All in all, this is a great addition to your novel. I'm excited to see what happens next. I love the tone of this chapter, there's a sense of urgency to it, which has made me slightly edgy, and that is effective writing. Well don, Sian ♥ Great job, once again!

Author's Response: Adi! ♥ I'm sorry, it's taken me a shamefully long time to get round to responding to these reviews, but I'm determined that I'll have a review count of 0 before starting NaNo, so here goes...

I'm really glad that you like the chapter titles - I think it works, each piece of the mystery building up the bigger picture - I've got Lauren and Nadia to thank for that suggestion!

The descriptions are something I really enjoy so it's great to hear that you liked them and they helped you to picture the scene - it also tells you something about Armstrong, you're right, although I can't comment on your ideas ;)

Originally this was going to be written in third person, past tense, but the switch seemed to help me find more motivation to write, as well as helping the story to flow better, because it gives it that sense of immediacy. I like the way that the reader can get pulled into the mystery with this narration - or that's what I hope happens, anyway!

This was a bit of an overwhelming introduction to the world of 'proper' journalism for Roxy - she's got plenty more to experience, as well as a few ethical issues that might come along. I'm glad you picked up on that.

Richard was originally going to be just mentioned in passing, as in 'the photographer', but decided he wanted to be written in to this chapter and take a bigger role, so it's great you liked the way I crafted his character here. He was fun to write and he'll be appearing in future chapters too!

The Hit Wizards can't give away too much information yet - they don't have too much information yet - but Mockridge hates the press and the idea of giving a conference, so it was fun to write the scene with all the questions, and getting the chance to build and develop this world a bit more with the different news outlets that were becoming a part of it.

Roxy is very serious about her job - she's passionate and driven, and now that she finally has this opportunity, she has no intention of letting it slip away from her. She wants to solve the mystery, too, so she's going to be grabbing onto every detail she can - though of course, that doesn't necessarily mean she understands the significance of everything that happens ;)

There is some history with Daniel, definitely, and I'm glad you liked that scene at the end. Chapter five (which has just gone up!) explains what happened more clearly!

Thank you so much for this lovely review, Adi, it's really great to hear what you think and helps get me motivated for more chapters!


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Review #44, by randomwriterStarfall: Seal Our Fate

16th August 2014:
Hello again, Isobel ♥ I decided to continue reading and reviewing because the prologue completely drew me in. Forget the assignments :p Anyway, this may be on the shorter side, sorry- It's almost 3:00 A.M here.

I know I mentioned a few times that this is kind of long, but while I was reading the story itself, the length never bothered me. It wasn't dragged out or difficult to read and follow, though I did feel like a LOT happened in one shot. It isn't bad though, because it feels like this whole thing was one episode, one chapter in the war. Everything was connected and it can't be done in parts. I love how there was this sense of things coming to a full circle. It starts with Dorcas infiltrating the meeting and ends with her death, which adds to the feeling of this being one entire episode.

Gah, Dorcas! I love how you wrote her. The opening section was quite racy. It must be frightening and thrilling to have impersonated someone so close to Voldemort's operations, and the part where she almost got caught was nearly exhilarating. On a side note, I suppose this is why I'm a Gryffindor :p While her job is vastly risky, I was thinking of the adrenaline rush while reading that part. Anyway, as I was saying, that part was really well written. I love the small hints and ideas that you dropped. Oh, and this made me hate Peter all over again.

I liked the bit with Lily and James as well. I appreciate how you tried to incorporate the domestic set up into their lives, despite the danger. It makes it more believable and helps us understand Lily better. I adore James! The level of loyalty and trust that he has in his friends in unbelievable, as we know, and you portrayed that very well. I think, characterisation wise, you nailed it once again. Once again, the image of Voldemort coming up the path gave me the chills. Maybe you could have elaborated(yes, make it longer :p) on that a bit. Added to how tense it all was. The part about Lily's memories and photographs and all made me teary. I'm a very nostalgic person, so I could relate to that part very well. While I was processing all this, my mind was wildly screaming, "WHERE THE HELL IS JAMES?! IS HE ALRIGHT?" I'd hate for something to happen to him now. I'm looking forward to reading about him.

The next section about Narcissa was particularly insightful. It was over here that your characterisation absolutely blew me away. Why? Because I perceive her as a character who's made of layers and you captured that so well. There were other things as well that caught my attention. I love how she enters, expecting a storm in her wake because she has returned and she believes that she deserves a greeting worthy of royalty. Also, the part about Dobby not being allowed to touch Draco was justified in the most amazing way. Her thought process and the what ifs that she raised were so symbolic of her upbringing and reflected her background so well. I LOVE how you wrote her and there are so many more things I want to add here, but I'm afraid I won't have space.

The next part about Marlene was amazing. I loved your take on her. It's unique and I've honestly never seen this version of her where she's reckless, in a sense, and very destructive. She's almost psychotic- a little like Bellatrix, but I like how she's absolutely mad and fighting for the good side. You painted a very nice picture of her family and I found myself actually feeling upset about their death. It's nice to see how you've given us her backstory. It lets us appreciate her more. As for how she just threw Milly under the bus to save Emmaline, I don't really know what to say. Obviously we see her big flaw, but it's a realistic one. These lines were some of my favourites:
"No-one's innocent. We're all guilty of something, just to various degrees."
It's reflective of humanity as a whole, and I thought it was rather profound.

Barty was also an interesting character to read about. I'm curious to know why he helped out the Order, because in the fourth book, he's so loyal to Voldemort, it's difficult to imagine a time when he might have betrayed him. Could it be that he holds a torch for her? I don't know, but this chapter is raising a whole lot of questions and adding to the pile that were raised in the previous one.

The final segment which focused on Voldemort and Snape and Dorcas once again set quite an ominous tone to the whole thing. There's something increasingly sinister about the way you're setting this up. It's perfect. Anyway, the last part tied this chapter together. I was sad to see Dorcas go because I really liked her and how you've written her. I wonder how she got captured though? I thought she'd be under heavy protection, given the happenings of the previous night. Also, I'm guessing this is set after the Potter's fled and there's still no mention of what happened to them (especially James) and that is worrying.

I'm glad you wrote this in present tense. It suits the story and helps set the tone. Your writing is fabulously descriptive and beautiful and it makes this a very enjoyable read. I love the flow, the characterisation and the plot, if you can't tell and I hope you update soon (30th?). I'll be checking, and once again, thanks for swapping. I've had an absolute blast reading these two chapters. Not a fan of Snape/Lily and usually stay away from them, but I'm giving it a shot in this case (it doesn't seem to be a main pairing. Just mentions. Phew :p)

With very few characters to go, I'll wind up by saying that you've exceeded my expectations with this one and I eagerly await your update. Good job, Isobel :)

P.S- I'm sure I've forgotten something. I will PM you if I remember what I want to add.

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Review #45, by randomwriterStarfall: Prologue

16th August 2014:
Isobel ♥ I'm sorry for taking so long to get here, after you left me those wonderful reviews. As your next chapter is a bit long, forgive me if I can't get to it immediately. I'm kind of swamped with work.

Anyway, onto your story. It has been a long, long while since anything sent chills up my spine like this one. It certainly put me on an edge. You haven't even been particularly ...uhh, pacey, and you still managed to put me in a tense frame of mind. Anyway, this was intense and so well written. I loved it.

It served the function of prologue pretty well. It has me hooked now and the questions are forming in my mind at an alarming rate. I'm quite glad that you have plans to update this regularly and I will be poking you constantly because NEED.

You've written Voldemort and his thoughts really well. The detachment, the ready willingness to dispose off his own, the elitist mentality... you've got it all down perfectly. I love how you've managed to truly being out how much he loves control and fear, and how disposable everything is to him, with regards to his ultimate mission. Even the words you've chosen are perfect to describe him. For example, when you talk about how Lily came in, looking defeated. The word 'defeated' is so powerful here because he says it with relish. He enjoys the hold he has over her, and the kind of power he wields is his greatest pride. His cold and cruel demeanor has been written well. I think that the way you've written him, combined with where this plot is headed, is what gave me the chills. Basically, perfect characterisation. One of the best written Voldemorts I've come across.

I love the style of writing you've employed. It fits the piece really well and lends to the emotion of it. It also flows well. This was an easy read, but by no means was it light.

As for where this is going, I'm both curious and fearful. I love the darkness of this, and I love how you're hinting towards chaos, because I really like reading dark and unique stories. But at the same time, I'm having trouble processing that Lily... I mean, Lily Potter would actually give Harry up, even if she does feel defeated. This isn't due to your characterisation or writing. It's just because we've had it drilled into our heads that Lily's motherly love saved Harry, and coming from there, this twist is more than a little hard to digest. I hope she has a good reason to do this. I get that she wants to stop the war, if that's how it came to this, but giving Harry over is practically like handing over the reigns to Voldemort and admitting defeat, isn't it? In any case, I'm excited to see where you're going to take this from here. I'd love to see some canon events tied in. I'm also wondering if the prophecy is going to play a heavy part in this. It's all very interesting.

As you can probably tell, I have tons of questions swimming about in my mind. And I know I will have to wait for answers, and I will, but I am pretty excited about this, to be honest and I'm probably going to be pretty rambly and incoherent in my reviews because... QUESTIONS. DOUBTS. SO MANY THINGS ARE IN MY HEAD AND I'M SORRY I MUST SCREAM SO CAPS.

Okay, that was (un)warranted. :p

Also, I'll be honest and tell you that I never touch AUs, but I saw your summary and I just had to read this. I admire you for writing something based on pretty well established characters. As you told me in your review earlier today, I'm also pretty nervous about writing main characters, so I'm glad you took this up and decided to give it a go. So far so good :) I don't believe I will feel bad about picking this up, even though it's not something I'd usually read.

Great job with this. I can't wait to read further. I'm definitely following this story! You're really talented, Isobel and I'm glad we did this swap ♥ (There's so much I wanted to say, but can't remember. I'll PM you if I do!)

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Review #46, by randomwriterJigsaw: Piece #1

16th August 2014:
Sharn ♥ I'm finally here, and I am so very sorry for taking this long. I've been far too busy, you know, and even this comes in between assignments. Anyway, I'm not going to moan here.

First of all, I WILL CRY if this review disappears. Literally cry.

I should probably squee about your story now, but I don't even know where to start. I shall tell you that I am glad that this is a novel. Because it means that I'll have loads to read. This was of substantial length, but I was so upset when it ended because I loved every word of it so far!

I really like how you started this off. That introductory section was mysterious and intriguing. It drew me in and definitely popped a lot of questions in my mind. I hate that I will have to wait, because my mind has started formulating vague and stupid theories already :p I know I will have to read on for more information (and any chance of making a guess), but I really like how you've got me thinking. The detail was amazing. The quivering hands, his thoughts, the fear-- the emotion leapt off the screen and set the mood, which was quite tense and uhh, mysterious (yeah, I'm going to use that word a lot, I think). Anyway, it was the perfect introduction because it gave us an insight, however brief, into the basis of this story and the disappearance itself is very interesting and raises a lot of questions.

The sections after that were a really nice contrast. While the first part was centred on a rather curious and edgy affair, the next parts revolved around mundane occurrences. It was nice to see how well you transitioned between the two.

I really like Roxanne here. It's nice to read the story from her point of view and I think you've crafted her quite well. As this was the first chapter, you've introduced her and given us details about her life, and rightly so. However, as expository as it was, I admire you for not letting it read like a bio-data. I like how you incorporated the details of her life into conversations, reactions and thoughts as it makes it more appealing to the reader.

Her work had me laughing though :p Lawn gnomes? Exploding teapots? Ah, how sad it is that the only purpose of her work is to fill up space in the paper. Still, I had a good chuckle when I read it because the incidents themselves are quite funny. And this teapot lady, who has sworn off tea for life... HAHAHAHA :P Blasphemy! I couldn't keep a straight face when you wrote about hoe concerned she was. Could it be that she had bought this off Mundungus? :D

As for Violet, I don't know how I feel about her yet. She sure seems tons nicer than this Miranda woman, but at the same time she seems like she's on the prowl to find some dirt on people, not necessarily to hard them-- but you know the kinds. In any case, she doesn't seem particularly harmful at this stage at it was interesting to read about her :)

I like how you've described her job and the office. You've written it so well that I had no trouble picturing the set up and the workings of the prophet office. It was very realistic and actually did remind me of a newspaper office, so great job with that! The hustle and bustle of office, lined with rows of desks and people slogging away on their work came alive. As for the typewriters and crisp sheets of paper and the likes- Ah, it made me smile so much. I have a huge thing for typewriters and I would LOVE to own one. A vintage one, especially!

The bit about George got me. It was so sad. I love that you included him in such an apt way. I definitely wouldn't put it past him to sell such things, but the fact that celebrating his birthday is near impossible because of the memories- GARGH, so sad ;'(

Finally, your last section was really well written as well. I like how realistic it was. It reminded me of people in their early twenties, restless and frustrated because life isn't everything they dreamed it would be when they got out of college. The cheap drinks, the moaning, catching up was all so well written. I love how you set the scene here as well. The detail about the bar, its location, the crowd, the owner and everything just added to your piece and got me into this even more.

Their conversation was quite interesting, as it gave us more information about Roxy and her relationships. It also made me more curious. I really want to know what happened with her and Fred and also about what happened between her and Daniel, who I assume must have been her fiance. The 'bare finger' is what gave me that idea.

The ending was lovely! It really breathed excitement into me as well. It brought me back to the emotion of the first sequence, making me tense and edgy all over again. Now I'm back in that frame of mind where I need answers. I want to solve this mystery with Roxanne! I love this genre! :D

I also loved the flow of this piece. It reads well and is easy to follow. At the same time, there's never a point where it gets a little too much nor does it get boring. The balance between description and dialogue is lovely and it makes this more amazing than it already is!

I also love, love, love how realistic this whole piece is! The people, the job and the situations they are... everything is incredibly realistic and easy, on some level, to relate to. I like how Roxanne isn't getting her way just because of her last name. It's sad, but it makes this more believable.

I think I spotted one typo, but I can't seem to find it now. Doesn't matter- it detracts nothing.

Now that the technicalities are out of the way, I am so so so glad you got this up :D I LOVE it and it has been worth every second of the wait, though I'm not patient and I would love quick updates now that this is out there :p This is going to be very, very enjoyable, I can tell. Great job, Sian! I'm so excited to have read this. FINALLY. And I promise I will swing by earlier in future. I won;t be able to stop myself :p GREAT work ♥ I love this story, and you!

Author's Response: Oh my goodness, Adi! This review is absolutely incredible and I can't even begin to try and respond coherently, it's kind of intimidating to come up with something to say but I'll try my best :P

I'm really happy that you liked the opening section of the chapter! I wanted to begin with something intriguing and try and grab the reader's attention a bit so it's amazing that it seems to have worked. You've definitely had a glimpse of the basis for the mystery and I'm glad that you're already asking questions and trying to come up with theories! :D

The transitions between the sections were something I worried about so I'm pleased that you think they worked, even though they're more mundane and everyday.

I'm so pleased that you like Roxy! I've spent a lot of time working on this story so I've become quite attached to her now; I'm happy that it didn't read like I was just overloading you with information! She does love her job and work at the Prophet, but the stories that she's writing are so boring and then her colleagues are... interesting. Violet's definitely nicer than Miranda, but does like to gossip!

Ah, I love the idea of them using typewriters, because I'd love one too! And I'm sorry that I had to make you sad about George, though! ♥

I'm really happy that you liked the final section with Jane as well. I wanted it to seem realistic and believable, so it's great that you thought it was. And yes, there are certain hints there but I'm not going to give away too much about what's happened - you'll find out in a few chapters!

Yay, I'm glad you're excited to solve the mystery with Roxy and that you thought it was realistic, because that was my main aim with this chapter. I want these characters to seem believable and easy to relate to, and I can't tell you how happy I am you think they are!

Thank you SO much for this incredible review, Adi - it means so much to me! ♥


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Review #47, by randomwriterIn Such Simplicity: a place where butterflies hide

12th July 2014:
House Cup 2014 Review

Hello :) I'm just going to do the quickest review and go to bed because it's really late here and I'm so sleep deprived.

I loved this one-shot. It was so different from all the Cedric/Cho stories that I've read. And it was a very refreshing change. Most of those stories show her as a depressing girl who never stops crying. I like how this is different. I like how you actually build a relationship between them and show their moments together. I love the dialogue. It's so playful and you show the reader why they work well together, something that fanfiction writers usually just neglect altogther. I also like how she learnt from the loss, and it how it meant something of value to her. Thats precisely what you did- added value to their characters and their relationship. I love how you've written them. The last half of this was absolutely heartbreaking and i felt really sad for Cho, but despite that, you didn't make her annoying an moaney and really enjoyed that.

Apart from that, this was a really beautiful read. It was vivid and descriptive and I fell in love with it the second I started reading it. It's one of the very few Cho/Cedric fics I've actually enjoyed this much and loved.

Sorry about this review. Sleep beckons! Thanks for a great read :)

Author's Response: Wow, you went on quite the reviewing spree there! Thanks so much for all the lovely reviews!

I hate those characterizations of Cho that show her as a weepy fool. I definitely imagine Cho and Cedric as having been a really cute and friendly couple; kind of like the Hogwarts 'it-couple' and each others' first loves, but not each others' soulmates.

I definitely don't see her as moaney (especially not when she's alone either). Thank you so much and I hope you find many other good Cho/Cedric fics to read because I love the ship. Thanks for the lovely review :)


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Review #48, by randomwriterHush Now: Don't Worry, Be Happy

12th July 2014:
House Cup 2014 Review

Hello hello! Back to step out of my comfort zone and read a story that goes again what I usually go for :p

I had to read through it another time because it's far too late and I'm sleep deprived and now I understand that this is a post ScoROse Rose/Teddy fic. I think that even thought it goes against my pairing, it is quite interesting and unique. I'm glad I gave it a shot.

The last line was such a genius way to allude to ScoRose without actually talking about it explicitly. As I've said before, you're so talented that you manage to convey the message of a thousand words in just a hundred. You say so much without really saying anything at all.

I really like the conversation that she has with Teddy. It gives me the sense of comfort and ease and great chemistry. So probably got a much better relationship with him than the one she left behind with Scorpius.

I loved the writing style. It's so lyrical an sounds pretty, if that makes sense. Honestly, I really enjoyed this and it taught me that I should experiment more with my choices. I'd have hated to miss out.

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Review #49, by randomwriterUnstoppable: unstoppable.

12th July 2014:
House Cup Review 2014
Okay. I live here now. On your page :p

As I mentioned in my last review, I'm a major Rose/Scorpius Shipper, so I wouldn't usually go for this either. But I love your writing and I was very curious.

I found that it was very different from the kind of stories you usually write. Still, it was very sweet and it put a smile on my face. You captured their emotions really well, especially through their kisses. The way you described everything was really beautiful. You managed to say a lot without saying much at all. I like that you wrote teenage love just as it would be, no matter what the sexuality. The only difference here is that there was a forbidden element, not only in terms of sexuality but also, familial tensions I suppose. You caught all these emotions well. The passsion, the urgency, the love and the anxiety.

As usual, you've written this well :) Great job!

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Review #50, by randomwriterForever, The Twinkling Dust: Tick tock. Tick tock.

12th July 2014:
House Cup 2014 Review

So in all these angsty, sad stories of yours that I've just read, I haven't shed a tear, until I got to this one. Rose/Scoprius is one out of my two favourite pairings, and I just so overwhelmed. I won't lie. I didn't sob or anything. Just a couple of tears, but you made me cry. This story was so sad!

The repetition of the ticking clock provided a really nice rhythm to this story. It gave it a poetic edge, but at the same time, it also brought about this sense of rushing urgency. I kept thinking, 'Time is running out.' It also helped set the creepy/dark tone for this story.

I like the style of this piece, The sentences are short and unconnected, but somehow they make sense vaguely, on the whole. Rose seems to be slightly disillusioned, but the whole thing was so sad and chilling at the same time. The interaction with Zabini was both confusing and clarifying. It answered one questions, but gave way to a whole lot of others.

The last part with Scorpius killed me. I can't say anything of that because it was sad and beautiful and I hope he finds her. That is all.

I'm falling in love with your writing over and over again!

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