Reading Reviews From Member: my_voice_rising
  
228 Reviews Found

Review #1, by my_voice_risingStarving Artists: A Dark Room

30th May 2013:
Hello again!

One of your best skills with writing, in my opinion, is dialogue. The flow between every single one of your characters--even between Raven and Mr. Holstone--is so natural. The conversation between Lucy and Scorpius was so realistic, too; I never felt like he was getting unrealistic with opening up to her. It was nice that she admitted to failing everything (even Muggle Studies!) just to make him feel more comfortable. I am already 100% on board this ship.

The only thing I want to suggest is some Magification. Like, instead of a light switch, why wouldn't they use spells to make the red light or the white? Or using potions instead of chemicals? Or levitating the paper out of the solution instead of using tongs? Maybe even the enlarger could somehow be more HP-esque. I know this story was finished a few years ago, and I'm not sure if you want to go back and edit, but that's my only complaint. Everything is very well-written, to the point of reading like original fic. But some HP-isms would really make it feel more canon :3

I love smarmy-Scorpius, though! Especially how he snaps back and forth between being nice and being all "It's more about being careful than showing off." It's funny; in some ways, he's like a well-written Draco in a Dramione fic. When he gets too nice or personal, he puts that front back up. We definitely see how he's Draco's son. Yet he's totally his own character. Something about him getting rid of the Malfoy blond (if I read that correctly and he did dye it) says a lot about his decision to go to art school. It seems that he and Lucy are both being rebelious!

Nicely done! ♥

Author's Response: Hey there! (This formal mutual greeting belies the fact that a lot of my responses, and reviews themselves, are capslock-filled pits of chaos).

Ah, I'm glad you like it! Dialogue flows quite naturally to me when I'm writing. I find it helps to speak things aloud as I'm typing them, which can result in a lot of funny looks if I've got company.

Eek, I know! My only explanation for that is that my headcanon of the next generation is of a society that's far more 'muggle', and that the building in question here has just been adapted from a muggle one, so the electricity's been replaced by magic and the switches still function - but that's just the lazy explanation. The truth is that I get quite carried away when I'm writing and I forget to include magic! I do have an explanation for how magical photographs are formed using muggle photos, but it may have to wait for another day. And, apologies, but this fic's been through about three edits already, and I think I'd defenestrate myself if I had to edit it once more...I will take your point on board, however, and try to slather all my current fics in magic!

Awh, thank you! I was a bit concerned when I was writing him that, whilst I wanted him to be different, he didn't /seem/ like a Malfoy, so this is reassuring to hear. And I'm glad you like him!~

Thank you so much for the review! :3 ♥


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Review #2, by my_voice_risingStarving Artists: Art School

30th May 2013:
I have an embarrassing confession to make. For all of my Lucy/Scorpius love, I have never even finished reading the first chapter of this story!! I have started it dozens of times and always had to leave the computer for something stupid (like work, or friends, UGH come on I'm trying to HPFF guys.) But I have seen all of your playlists and drawings and quotations and graphics and NOW I AM HERE FOR THE REAL DEAL.

Most of this review will be fangirling and screaming, because I am working on finishing this pot of coffee, and I just love you and your stories okay?

Um, so my family tree of Next-Gen is completely awful, like horrible. So at first I thought Lucy was the daughter of Ron and Hermione, and I was going to be like "Ron seems a little out of character," but it's PERCY. And it makes TOTAL SENSE NOW!!! Oh man, I love it so much more knowing that Percy Weasley's daughter wants to run off to art school instead of following in his footsteps!

And I love that Lucy has never painted a picture in her life! There are so many art-centric books and films, where an undiscovered talented young person suddenly finds their element because it's "where they belong..." I dunno. Maybe I'm just reaching, but it feels like a cliche, and this story is so not like that. I'm already beyond interested to see how Lucy handles her coursework having absolutely no idea about gesso and composition and gouache and all that good stuff.

One tiny little nitpicky thing (I think we should just comprise all of our reviews of each others' stories of nitpicking) is the spacing. The double-spacing between each paragraph is kind of distracting. And, of course, that is just my opinion. And it appears to have been intentional, because it's consistent throughout the whole chapter (which is good!) So maybe just ignore everything I just said.

Hahaha. She thought Dean was his first name. And there are no applicants. Bahahahaha, "I keep telling you, my name is Raven." I love this school already.

Ooooh, and Rose and Scorpius have a history together. Poor Scorpius, being forced to do Magical Law. I can just see the child of Ron and Hermione being equal parts brilliant and hot-headed. Her characterization is great!

Oooh, I'm excited to see her new appearance! I will be back to read the next chapter later today! ♥

Author's Response: Eee, hello! Ahh, story of my life - it's hard to get decent time by myself to read HPFF~

Baha! Yeah, this would be an alarmingly OOC Ron, haha. Don't worry, I actually made a huge mistake in my family tree for this story and accidentally swapped Lucy and Molly around, so Lucy's actually the surprise older sister in this.

Awh! If I was writing this now that I actually /am/ an art student, I would probably work a bit more on the classes etc, but at the time I started this I was still at school~ I was actually surprised when I got to art school to see the range of skills people came with. I only had limited photography knowledge and drawing skills when I arrived; I'd probably done about three paintings in my life...and now I'm specialising in painting and working with oils! A lot of the intermedia and photography students in my year don't draw at all, and really suffered in our compulsory life drawing classes. I imagine Lucy's main skill is, uh, making stuff up (Oustanding in Divination!) and she'd probably have the right sort of mindset for Intermedia art. I feel I have a right to say this because some of my best friends are in Intermedia, even though me and some of my fellow painters are apt to sneer at them once in a while.

Ah, the entire story is double-spaced - everything I write is like that, I thought that was just the TOS! Or maybe I was wrong D:

Rose gets a bit of a bad rep in this story! I tried my utmost to re-humanise her in the sequel - although Scorpius is mostly based on me, there are parts of me in Rose too. I think that says a lot about my self esteem...

Thank you for the review! ♥


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Review #3, by my_voice_risingThe Joker and Her: Christmas

30th May 2013:
I am finally back!!! I absolutely love reading this story. It feels so canon sometimes, with the bit about charming their house with Christmas decorations, and the replenishing chocolate box (by far the best invention of HP fanon. How do I get one?)

Fred and George's notes were so perfect. They were sincere, but not too sincere. I love when Fred said "try not to get too fat." And George's line about throwing his note in the bin and using the memory charm. And Paisley's gift made me laugh. Oh man, I really think this is one of my favorite chapters so far.

OH GOD, reading the scene with her mother's wand was so heart breaking. At first I thought it was going to be one of those "my mother's locket" situations, and I was a bit dismayed, but this was so perfect, and so sad. The pink bubbles added just the right touch of humor to make it so bittersweet. And the bit about not being buried with your wand, and it being bad luck for your next of kin, was brilliant. I love moments between Brienne and her father, they're so genuine.

THIS CHAPTER WAS SO FLUFFY I LOVED IT. Especially the parts with Nyx versus Serge. I love Serge... is it weird that he's kind of my favorite character at this point? :3

Nice job as always! ♥

Author's Response: Hi! I'm glad you're still liking it :) Aww, thanks for saying this is like canon, that's so sweet xD And yes, ten replenishing chocolate boxes for me, please.

I thought receiving her mothers' wand would be somewhat poignant for Brienne, as it's such a personal object to someone magical. Maybe Brienne will receive more gifts from beyond the grave ;) But then again, maybe she won't.

I love Serge too! It's fun to write animals having characters, and Nyx and Serge differ a lot. It's not weird at all he's your favourite character, but I do hope you like my other characters too! xD

Thank you so much for your review! :)


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Review #4, by my_voice_risingReason to Fight: La Faiseuse d'Anges

7th May 2013:
Val!

I have ~*~two days off~*~ am finally here to review! Look at how many reviews this story already has! It deserves more, too. On we go.

First of all, "chewed up by wisteria." I don't think I've heard that phrase before, and it's so lovely. And oh my gosh, Astrid's smile faltering when he mentions his nephew. It's really heartbreaking. But getting him to dab at his face was genius. It's interesting to see this man be kind to a random old lady. Getting to understand these characters, whether the assasins or targets, on a personal level is really toying with my emotions, here!

GAH THE KNITTING NEEDLES. "...glint alarmingly against a gray towel." Such a beautifully horrific image. Poor Johanna. The woman's immediate question, "Can you pay?" was perfect. If she had tried to be comforting, or even polite, it just wouldn't be the same. What a horrible experience for poor Johanna.

Um, Val, what is going on. You are seriously pulling out the big guns for this story: chandeliers are still being used, glinting in every direction, rippling like pennies as one would see them underwater: flickering, uncertain, temporary. That is absolutely stunning imagery. And I love that you've mentioned that, even though all of Europe is suffering right now, the Ministry still has Monets and other lavish things.

Wait, I don't understand... Perhaps it's just been too long since I've read this wonderful story, but why are Camille and Xavier upset at the comment about Astrid being the most important? Or do they just want their due credit? Hmm...

The mountain elf is a really neat idea... and also horrifying. Even moreso that it may be applied to our protagonists, if they fail to comply. And no, I don't like Goldberg...but he's a politician, so of course I don't :P

Ohhh so you do explain Jean's lie. What an interesting twist! Camille's right, though; if he plays her up to the Minister, and then she can't perform as expected, he's putting Astrid in danger as well. Especially now that she appears to be having second thoughts... Gah!

Another job very, very, very well done! Sorry it's taken me so long to read it, but I'm glad I finally had the time ♥

Author's Response: Sarah &hearts

This review has me squeeing all over the place, so I'll try to answer like a civilised being instead of like a yapping puppy.

This makes me sound like an absolute monster, but toying with emotions is one of my objectives with this story -- I don't think I could ever factually speak of WW2. So I'm sort of flattered that you found this horrific...

Yes, Johanna. This was inspired from a TV show I watch with my mom and my brother, and watching it on screen was absolutely gut-wrenching. It wasn't explicit, but it was more graphic than this, and I really wanted to get the character's pain right here.

Oh, psh. *blushes* I've been trying to work on imagery ever since you commented on it in Frozen Waters, so thank you!

Camille and Xavier just don't appreciate the way Jean puts Astrid on the front of the stage when they're all going through the same things. Especially when Jean has ulterior motives...

I won't confirm anything about Goldberg yet, but he's very important to the story. Sometimes I love him, sometimes I don't. (And I also completely second your final statement about him.)

YOU DON'T NEED TO APOLOGISE. YOU ARE LOVELY AND SO WAS THIS REVIEW AND THANK YOUUU &hearts



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Review #5, by my_voice_risingLogarithmic: (1)

17th April 2013:
Oh my gosh. Best. Introduction. Ever. Her brother asking how long they had before she couldn't be returned... So funny! And quite realistic. Their family sounds so delighfully quirky, congratulating her for showing signs of magic by buying her a Kneazle. After she made a girl's dress disappear! Brilliant.

I wonder if this is a typo? ...and a little on Heloise's too, whom Vincent had convinced that her letter would never arrive. :3

Oh wow, those jokes about her face are so mean! But very clever... Did you come up with them? I feel like they're something that Draco, Crabbe and Goyle would say as well. The jerks.

I'm excited to read on! Can't wait to meet the other characters. I wonder if you'll continue using this narrative voice, I quite like it. Adds a fairy-tale quality to the story.

Nice work, as always ♥

Author's Response: YOU. HAVE SOME HEARTS: &hearts &hearts &hearts

Her brother's comment, sadly enough, is one that my brother made when my sister was born, except that he added 'Another girl? But why?!'

Yep, definitely a typo, which I've edited now!

I had a little too much fun coming up with the jokes, I'm ashamed to admit. Draco, Crabbe and Goyle would probably say something like that, yes.

The next chapter is seen through Cormac's eyes, so I hope you'll like him! I'm going to try and stick to this narrative voice, yes -- it's really fun (for now, at least).

You're the best.



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Review #6, by my_voice_risingThe Calendar Girls: Owling

25th March 2013:
HELLOOO! I have just ingested a whole lot o' espresso and I am finally here with the lengthy review that you deserve!!!

First of all, YES. You already dispelled the twin-core possibility with Louis and Autumn's wands. I'm glad that you didn't do that--obviously that's been used in this series before ;D But now I'm even more interested to know what's going on! It would have been cool to hear some more of their interaction with Flitwick. I know you don't want to give anything away, but even if they had the twin-core conversation in his office... I love the Hogwarts that you've created in this story, and it would be fun to read more of it with the new Headmaster!

(One teensy thing... if it's late at night, how did they see all the way out into the lake and recognize Summer in the dark?)

BUT I LOVE THAT SHE IS SWIMMING. Most importantly, I love that they're in the Black Lake. What a daredevil she is! The mentioning of Louis's fancy aftershave was a nice touch. He is the son of Fleur, after all. I feel like I always say this, but I want more of each scene! They're so fun to read, but it's like just as we're getting into it, the scene ends. It was really great that Autumn made such a scheme up to pay back her own sister, and that Summer fell into her trap. But I just felt like they were all kind of like "hey! alright bye!" A lot of this story has been Summer and Louis character development, which is done so well (I will gush about this in the next paragraph) but I would like just a teensy bit more of Summer in that scene! :3

As mentioned, I really like Louis and Autumn's friendship. Clearly there's something more there, but it's very believable that they'd get on. They're totally relaxed around one another, like they don't have to make any effort. Their friendship comes easily. All of the back stories, like falling into the pond and pelting each other with apples, are a really nice touch.

Ahhh! The letter from home was so great. Their family is so realistic and believable. And how wonderful that they will have a bigger flat now! Two per bedroom is still more than a lot of people have to worry about, but I'm sure at this point they're just excited to have the space!

I love all of these little WWW inventions you've created. Especially the twin notebooks... I would be so mortified if that happened to me! Luckily it sounds like Autumn escaped revealing too much about herself ;3

Hmm, would you possibly consider breaking this up into two chapters? So much has happened in one chapter (twin wands, Summer's midnight swim, the dance between Louis and Autumn, elaborately planning the surprise birthday, and then the actual birthday...) I just would love some more detail! Descriptions of place, weather, other lovely things that you do so well.

Plus since so much has happened, it's a good idea to kind of remind readers of things. Reviewing what we already know, but may have forgotten, really helps. What if Autumn spent some time wondering about her and Louis's wand? It's such a strange phenomenon, but I feel like she totally forgot about it. What happens when they're in class, or when she used the Lumos spell later in the chapter? Do the wands only react when near each other? It's just such an interesting plot point, I think it could really do with some explanation :D

Also, what were her sisters' reactions to Yuna? There are a lot of characters in this story, and it helps to make it so great. But I've already forgotten basic information about their distant family members. You could easily reminds us by having the sisters talk to one another about the letter, or having Autumn write back.

Like I said, this story is really fun to read because it's fast-paced. But this chapter has so much information that it'd be good to take a step back :D

OOoooh, the excitement of rising very early to do something fun! It reminds me of when I was younger before school trips or something, and that feeling of not wanting to leave your bed and the excitement of knowing that something fun was about to happen. The line "we all seemed to carry pieces of each other" is really beautiful! I know it's just in passing, but it's even better that it was written that way. Bringing any more attention to it would detract from the lighthearted mood of the scene. I think that it's very well done!

(I am sorry to be so adamant about this, but...) If you broke this up into two chapters, we would get to read about them sneaking out to the boat house. I don't think we've ever seen that place in canon, so it'd be very exciting to read! Not to mention the thrill of them hiding from patrolling Prefects and the like.

I like how the chapter title comes back to play in the end. This story is so fun and so cute! I'm glad you updated! Please don't think that my suggestions to break it up are for any reason other than I want to read as much about these characters as possible. xD Can't wait for the next.

♥!

Author's Response: SARAH I LOVE YOU.

Yes, I should have developped that. *wears hat of shame* The interaction between the wands is something I'm going to stay very quiet about though, and seeing as this is the first introduction to this idea I want the readers as clueless as the characters.

I've edited the bit about Summer now, as you know. Yes, daredevil is appropriate! Autumn would disagree and say stupid though... I'm actually having a lot of fun writing the twins' scenes -- it allows me to inject my crazy side in Summer and my sensible side (huh) in Autumn... And then I wonder why I feel bipolar!

Yeah, Louis is very much Fleur's son -- and she does appear later on, so we get to see some of that.

Something more? Whatever are you on about?! (Autumn is 100% clueless on this one, poor girl).

I love writing the family so much it shouldn't be allowed, and I'm so happy you think they're realistic! I really wanted to stay away from the used-and-reused theme of tense parent/child relationships, so people telling me I'm managing makes my day!

It's funny that you mention the WWW inventions because those are generally spur of the moment ideas that will most likely not reappear. The notebook scene was huge fun though -- Autumn was lucky indeed!

OKAY SO. Thanks to this wonderful review, I've cut this chapter in two, and expanded some scenes, so I will not develop your last points just in case somebody reads this and gets spoilers.

BUT YOU ARE THE BEST AND YOU DESERVE A LOT OF ESPRESSO'D HEARTS &hearts &hearts &hearts


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Review #7, by my_voice_risingDown Comes The Night: Chapter Three

20th March 2013:
I'm sorry that I can't leave as detailed a review as I usually do, but my brain is mush. I will try my best though!

Ooh, I wonder if the room is cursed to display the person's worst fear? Kind of like a boggart? I wonder what the fire has to do with Salazar, and his past.

I think the thing I like most about your story is your characterization. You seem to know your characters inside and out, particularly Helga, Rowena and Elaine. I was really impressed by how much I felt like I knew Elaine after only a few paragraphs. She seems very much the quintessential wife-on-the-outside; she doesn't know the others and feels out of place. But she's so much deeper than that.

And I wonder why Rowena's expression changed when she saw Godric with his family. Is there some interest there? I really enjoyed getting a better glimpse into her character. Is it canon that she was the one to design Hogwarts? Either way, it was a nice touch. It makes me really happy, for some reason, that the swinging staircases have always been there. I really like getting to read all of the wonderful things about Hogwarts!

Again, I'm so sorry about this review xD I promise to leave a better one next go-around. Thanks for requesting!

Author's Response: Hey Sarah, thanks so much! Don't worry about it, I appreciate any feedback you have time to give me.

You're on the right track about the secret of the room. All will be revealed soon :) And I'm so glad you are enjoying the characters! I actually really do feel like I know them well, and I love hearing that it comes across. Elaine is one that I hope to bring out more as I continue to write this; I think she's got an interesting point of view that wouldn't normally be seen at Hogwarts.


Rowena's layers do get peeled back somewhat as the story goes on, so I hope you continue to enjoy getting to know her. I've really loved writing her friendship with Helga in this :) I'm not sure if Rowena's designing the school is canon or not (there aren't a whole lot of canon details out there), but for some reason I like the idea of her doing it. I'm happy you're enjoying the glimpses of Hogwarts in its very first years. They've been so much fun to write!

Thanks again for this review! I love hearing from you, and I'll definitely be re-requesting as soon as I can!

--Maggie


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Review #8, by my_voice_risingThe Joker and Her: The Hermit, Part 1

20th March 2013:
I am back!!!

I like the idea of the Dementors having a stronger affect on Brienne because she was happier than she once was. I wonder why they continue to target her, though, from a crowd of students? Or maybe everyone is experiencing their own painful memories, but hers are so fresh that she's the only one who passes out. I'd be interested to hear what happened to Paisley during the match. As she and Brienne were so close, there's no doubt she would have been affected too.

I'm glad to see that Brienne is finally opening up about her mother. She's been carrying a serious weight around with her. Hopefully her constant ache will start to get better. The fact that she said the word "killed" aloud was a huge milestone for her, I think.

Also, something I just thought of. Since she primarily grew up in France, wouldn't she say things like Maman instead of Mum? And other little phrases that are typically British? I think there are good reasons why she wouldn't, too, but it would help develop her character if we actually saw evidence of the accent other than reading in passing that some Hogwarts students noticed it. :)

Aww, the hand-pat with Angelina and Brienne was so sweet. It's good that she has somebody to talk to now. George definitely tried, bless him! But it's always difficult to open up like that to a boy you barely know.

I know this is really random, but I love that one of the patronuses (patroni?) is a crab. I feel like people always try to pick really majestic or beautiful animals--the crab is so cool! xD

You are very good at building suspense! From the fact that George/Brienne hasn't happened yet (umm is Georgienne the PRETTIEST SHIP NAME EVER), to the buildup of performing a corporeal patronus, to learning about her mother's death... brilliant! You don't give anything away up front, and develop the storyline well!

The Ben/Brianna/Brienne confusion was funny. A nice bit of humour to give more punch to the overarching morose feeling. The bit about the castle being enchanted so the rain didn't disturb lessons is brilliant, too. I can totally see that being in canon!

GAH McGonagall. I can't decide if what she said is totally in character or a bit out of character. I think I just love her so much that I want to deny that she would be as blunt as she is. Then again... I am in denial. Regardless, I liked the exchange between she and Brienne. It felt very realistic in terms of a school counselor and grieving student.

AND GEORGE GOT DISTRACTED WHEN SHE WALKED IN. STOP IT STOP IT they're so subtlely adorable. I love it.

Another great chapter :3

Author's Response: Hi! Yeah, everyone was affected by the Dementors. I don't want it to seem like Brienne is just extra special to them xD Paisley was shaken but I think more worried about her little sister.

Brienne was brought up learning two languages, so I guess after a few months of speaking solely English and hearing no French around her, Britishisms come more naturally to her. I have a French friend who backs this up, though I do agree that maybe it should be made more clear :)

I am literally obsessed with figuring out the perfect Patronus for Brienne. I don't want it to be a completely perdy animal, like you said.

Aww, thanks about the suspense thing!

It's sooo difficult to write McGonagall! xD I'll try and make her less blunt.

Thank you very much for your review! :D


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Review #9, by my_voice_risingPuddlemere United: Chapter 4.

18th March 2013:
YAY AN UPDATE! Thanks for requesting a review. I've been so busy lately, there's no telling how long it would have taken me to notice a new chapter!

Ah Pippa, I love her so much. He knew she'd be late, so he told her that practise was an hour earlier than it was. To funny! Also, I dunno if you noticed, but I totally nominated Pippa for "Best Original Character (Female)" for the Keckers ;D

Gaaahahaha. No lights. Oh my gosh, between that, the splinter death-trap, and the way they've clearly never seen a blackboard, this just gets better and better.

Oh my god, I'm actually laughing out loud. "Elbow him in the face." "No." "Punch him in the face."

Ahhh, a twist ending. Wow, for somebody who didn't know where their own chapter was going, you wrote this so well! It may be my favorite chapter yet, actually. Ritchie is just so likeable. He's kind of like Mundungus Fletcher, in a way, but he's just a pleasant guy so it's hard not to like him.

Well done! Can't wait for chapter five!

Author's Response: Yaay! A review! You have no idea how much I love your reviews!

Yes, Oliver may be new, but he is well up on the way Pippa functions :P

And don't worry, I noticed. I'm just going to be all cool and casual about it.

THANK YOU SO MUCH YOU ARE THE BEST! :D HUGS! FREE CAKE! MORE HUGS!

Ahem. . . like I said, cool and casual.

You also may have noticed that I nominated Seamus for 'Best Minor Character' and Edie for 'Best Original Female', how could I not?

Yes, they really don't have a clue do they. And I love that splinter death-trap, it just works so well with the on-going theme of 'abandoned-but-not stadium'

Pippa really needs to work on her seeker techniques, because I don't think shes going to get away with punching and elbowing people in the face for much longer. . .hee hee. . .mysterious. . . .

Yes, a twist at the end! I feel so bad for writing Harry as the bad guy, it goes against everything I believe in! But it had to be done, I keep telling myself that.

I love Ritchie, I really do! He tries so hard. . .

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE WONDERFUL REVIEW AND THE NOMINATION! :D





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Review #10, by my_voice_risingThe Joker and Her: The Storm

18th March 2013:
Hello! I hope it's alright to leave my review where I last left off. Clearly I got quite addicted to this story and just kept reading--no time to stop and type words! :P

I like how the twins and Brienne have kind of become their own Trio. I also want to add, though it's late in the game, that I applaud you for actually developing the romance between George and your OC. Eight chapters in and there's still no kissing scene yet. We are actually given a realistic depiction of two people going from strangers, to friends, to love interests. Nice work! :)

I also love that this story brings back so many lovely, nostalgic things that happened in PoA without following the plot word-for-word. Sir Cadogan was somebody who I'd almost forgotten about, but his scene in this chapter made me fall in love with HP all over again. It's the little things like this, and Brienne's reaction to Divination, that make the story mesh so perfectly with canon.

My only critique (and I've noticed this throughout all the chapters) is that Brienne seems oddly subservient to the twins. Clearly George has feelings for her, and they like being around her, but it seems like they're mostly just using her for homework? Especially Fred. Or maybe this is your intention?

I also can't help but feel that we know so little about her. She's had a traumatic past, and that haunts her every day. She was a Beauxbatons student until recently and feels a bit alienated at her new school. She's pensive, quiet and accommodating. She's level-headed and a hard worker. But I don't know exactly what makes Brienne, well, Brienne. I can't really explain it, other than that her past and her life is such a mystery--because it needs to be for the story--that it's almost too mysterious. I really want to know this girl inside and out, because I quite like her so far. But I just don't feel like I know her. Also I just keep picturing Taylor Swift in a Hogwarts uniform, and it's totally throwing me off, haha! :P

Gah! George got upset that Brienne found Cedric cute. (I mean, can he really blame her?) I loved that subtlety there; you mentioned his head snapping up in distress and then nothing more. I know I've already said it, but the subtlety and slow build-up with their romance is so well done.

Is their being tired on November 6th intentional? Wonder if they were up all night celebrating and burning effegies, hehe. Do Wizards celebrate Guy Fawkes Day, as the Muggles do? Interesting to think about!

Your description of the rainy day, with the scent of pine trees and mud, is so wonderful. It really puts us in the moment. The memory of Madame Maxime telling Brienne about her mother is touching. Your descriptions of Beauxbatons, from the kitten-heels to the courtseying to the ballroom, is so well thought out, too.

I'm glad I finally got to leave a review for this story! Sorry if my thoughts on Brienne seemed harsh. Con-crit for OCs is one of my favorite things, but Brienne is one of the better OCs I've seen on the site. I'll definitely be reading on!

Author's Response: Hey! I've been looking forward to hearing from you!
Honestly, don't worry about what you said about Brienne; I want people to think of her when they think of this story, so any constructive comments about her would really help.

You certainly figure out more about her as the story goes on, and I guess because The Goblet of Fire is so Beauxbatons-heavy I've been withholding that information here in favour of later, if that makes sense. BUT I completely see your point and will see if I can smooth in some backstory here and there :)

A realistic romance is what I really wanted to do- when you first meet someone you don't just fall in love and start making out a few weeks later, it takes time, especially after a bereavement such as Brienne's. So thank you for that :) Also important to me was keeping it canon.

Thank you for everything you said, all of it is really helpful and complimentary and it makes my day shiny and sunny, so thank you :)


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Review #11, by my_voice_risingAnd Love Prevails: The Tale of the Three Brothers

18th March 2013:
Hello! So sorry for my late review, but I'm finally here with your request. I've heard a lot of good things about your stories, and I'm excited to begin!

First paragraph in and I'm already hooked. It's so unique; we rarely read about this period in history on HPFF unless it's a founders story. (I have no idea when Hogwarts was actually founded... but I'm guessing somewhere along here.) Your language really suits the time period! One thing I've noticed is that your sentences could be shortened. I'm guilty of run-on sentences too, but it's much easier for the reader to understand if the sentences are shorter!

Another thing I'm noticing is that they sigh a lot xD It's very easy to write, as it conveys a certain kind of emotion so simply. But imagine if you were actually listening to somebody who sighed three or four times in as many minutes. It'd sound a bit stange, yeah?

You've really developed your characters quite well! From what I can recall, we know very little about the three brothers other than what was written in the fairy-tale, but you've already given us so much information about their history and the way they treat one another within the first few paragraphs. Nicely done!

A lot of what I'm noticing is some shortening that could be done. Shorter sentences have more impact, in my opinion ;3 For example, when dialogue is clearly being said by a specific person you could leave it with just the dialogue. "We survived, did we not?" was clearly said by Cadmus, and the punchiness of not including a "convinced Cadmus" adds humor to his line, and the light-hearted scene in general. Or "Well done, Cadmus," is clearly a compliment--you could just move that line up into the previous paragraph and we'd know who's talking. Another example is "Cadmus set off in the lead, and the three brothers galloped forward. Their horses picked up speed," which is a bit redundant. If the horses are already galloping forward, then we can assume they've picked up speed :3

Just some places like that around the chapter that could use some tidying up. You're a really good story-teller! It's just important that the first chapter can get "to the point" enough to draw a reader in, without skimping on the detail. I think by trimming the excess phrases, you could totally achieve this!

I like how Victoire seems to have gotten her mother's personality, while Dominique seems more like her father. The transition between scenes was also nice. It went from a very somber, kind of suspenseful moment with Death to the trifles of wedding napkins.

Gah! I love reading about older-Harry, and I think you've got him spot on. Going from loving uncle to serious boss in a matter of nanoseconds is perfect. I also really liked that Dominique is an outsider to her cousins. (Another good spot to do some weeding is in that paragraph; where you say "her cousins" quite a bit when "them/they" would suffice.) Usually we read about the Potter-Weasley clan as this big, hyperactive group of troublemakers. I like this take, it's quite refreshing. I feel like she and Harry could relate and maybe have a special bond, both feeling estranged from their families--whether Lily/James or the Dursleys--in different ways.

I think her personality also lends itself well to the idea of invisibility. She's often viewed just as that to her cousins, and even to Victoire, it seems. You've set up some really nice parallels between she and Ignotus. I'm a sucker for crack-ships anyway, but this is nicely done!

Gah! She already ruined the cloak! Oh no. I like this twist. It makes us ask questions and want to know what could happen to her.

My only serious critiques have been mentioned. I think if you found a beta-reader who's good at shortening sentences, it would really help you out! We just need to be able to see the "meat" of the story, if you know what I mean.

All in all, brilliant start! Feel free to re-request in the future.

Author's Response: Oh my goodness!! Wow, thank you so much for you incredible review!!

I can't tell you how thrilled I was to see this with all of your input. It really was so beneficial to me. You gave me a lot of input that I hadn't heard before, so I really appreciate it. As for the lengthy sentences, I'll to work on that. :)

Really thank you SO much for your input and I'm glad you seemed to have enjoyed the story a fair amount.

Again, thanks so much! I'll be taking all your words to heart and hopefully I can come request another review from you sometime soon!


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Review #12, by my_voice_risingThe Calendar Girls: Walking

11th March 2013:
Oh my garsh. A new chapter of Calendar Girls!

(Also, crap, I just saw your A/N before I even began the story and now I know about Ferpius (yes Ferpius.) Damn my wandering eyes.

Anyway! It was fun and unique that Autumn and Louis went to WWW. A lot of Hogsmeade trip FF scenes read the way that they must have felt to be on them. A nice break from the castle, but we've already been to Honeydukes and Three Broomsticks a hundred times. This was a refreshing take! The ending scenes where they raced one another to the castle, and the rose he conjured, were very cute too. I'm shipping Autumn/Louis pretty hard... hrrmmm... Lotumn? That's a hard one.

Slughorn! I keep forgetting that Wizards generally live longer... which is strange. But I love that you addressed that right away by asking "Shouldn't you be dead?" hehe.

The only critique I have is that you say the Ravenclaw parties are a small get-together, but when she comes downstairs there's flashing lights and people dancing and music. These two ideas seem to conflict a bit--was this an unusually busy party? Otherwise I'd imagine it to be quiet chit-chat with a few drinks, as you hinted at before :3 Also I don't think the dress description for the party was too long, but maybe her outfit for the date? I like the "aww man I like dressing like a tomboy but fine, I will wear this backless dress" bit. But it's a bit repetitive twice in one chapter.

I'm really curious to see what's going on with their wands though! And I haven't forgotten that photograph found in the first chapter... and Fern's (Fern's, right?) gambling problem.

Can't wait for another update!

Author's Response: FERPIUS, YES! That's much better than Scern, and almost as awesome as Ediver.

I'm so happy you thought the date was okay, because when I sat down to write it, I had no idea what to do about it. So, WWW. As for the ship name, Loutumn has been suggested, if ever...

Okay. Bear with me if I launch into a detailed explanation about my party-lacking knowledge.
Basically, I figured that it was possible to have House-only parties, without the alcohol, but with people acting just as stupid. No? I need to edit, in any case, so I'll add that to my list of things to modify. The same explanation goes for the dresses: the contents of my cupboard consist mainly of jeans and tshirts, so I had some trouble coming up with the description of something different. I'll change that too!

Nope, Summer's the gambler, but other than that, don't worry, I haven't forgotten about the photograph either.

Chapter 5 should be up reasonably soon, I think. Thanks again for your wonderful feedback :)


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Review #13, by my_voice_risingWillows and Wood.: Talk that talk

11th March 2013:
OMG GRACE SEQUEL!?

Okay. Wow. I loved meeting Oliver's family, mostly because of Katie. It was really creative and horrible that she fell of her broom, but a very unique twist. I don't think I've ever heard of/read anything on HPFF that dealt with a handicapped person. Especially a canon character. It seems to be a very under-used, misrepresented part of life. So that was very brilliant! I also liked that she and Oliver were cousins, as you usually see them as love interests.

Oh man, Anna just really put it all out there didn't she? How embarrassing for Oliver. But I do like that Kiwi was the one to propose.

Another lovely chapter! Off to read the other update now!

Author's Response: You know, this story almost was aKatie/Oliver originally, and I won't bore you with the thought process that made them cousins instead. In fact, I have no idea how it happened. Anyway. I'm glad you liked her!

Haha, Anna is just the epitome of the irritating little sister -- the more Oliver is embarrassed, the happier she feels.

Thank you for another of your wonderful reviews! I'm going to go and respond to the other one now.


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Review #14, by my_voice_risingWillows and Wood.: Blood tests in Saint Mungo's

1st March 2013:
I loved the way Oliver treated his students. Especially the line "don't do anything stupid!"

I wish Grace had a bigger presence in this story! She just kind of comes in, does something cute--SO freaking cute, may I add--and then disappears. She was sick for a bit, but we only learned about it through a conversation between Kim and Oliver. She did magic and hurt herself, but we only knew about it through hearsay. She was in the hospital but didn't seem scared at all, rather our attention was directed to Kim passing out. Your readers love Grace so very much (and her nickname, Grapes). I feel like we rarely get to see her, though!

And oh gosh, the ending. How does this keep happening to them? I, for one, didn't see it coming at all--I thought Kim was sick or something, and was quite worried. Plot twist for sure. I can't wait to see Wood's reaction!

Author's Response: You are (sadly) entirely correct about Grace not being present enough, and that's definitely something I need to edit in further chapters. So, thank you for pointing it out!

Hehe, I'm glad you weren't expecting the ending! Don't worry, Kiwi goes into a nice long rant with the same type of questions as the one you've just brought up: how indeed!

Does this even make sense?

Thank you so much for the review Sarah! :)


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Review #15, by my_voice_risingReckless Abandonment: Confessions

27th February 2013:
Hello there! Of course I will read your story. It's the least I can do, after you've left me so many wonderful and helpful reviews :3

I like that your OC owns a shop, and that she wants to know who her competition is. Very realistic. And also a way that she could learn about the magical world... I want to see what happens! I did think it was weird, though, that James said he couldn't you-know-what because Lily was pregnant. I don't feel like that's how it usually goes... I mean what guy would just wait around for nine months, you know? I'm going to drop this before it goes over 12+, but maybe consider removing that bit? I think you did it to let us know that Lily's pregnant, but you're clever enough to find another way :3

I like that your James is nice. I know he was a bit of a jerk in school, but he grew out of it! It's a refreshing read--I always thought that Sirius was more of the joking, sarcastic type anyway. Your characterizations are great, and I love the first interaction with Lydia when she says they have strange names.

GAH! THANK YOU. For having Lydia decline the date with grace and reason. She didn't scream, call him a git, slap him or anything. And Sirius didn't seem too crazily out of line either; he was being just cocky enough for it to seem completely believable.

I like that Sirius came back looking haggard; we can guess what happened. Where was it though, that it was nighttime? And did you mean "reverie" instead of "revoir?"

Another thing I would suggest is breaking this up into two chapters. This one is almost 2000 words longer than chapter two; "He took a deep breath" would be a good, cliff-hanger-y place to end this one. There's just a lot of information and story-telling, with little dialogue other than in flashbacks, so this would do well to be split up :3

I love the "Abracadabra" scene, and how he told her he was a magician. Not technically a lie, right? And the scene where he reveals that he's a wizard is really believable, especially her imagined version of Lily.

I really think breaking this up into two chapters would be good. It's moving very fast; within the first chapter they meet, get to know each other, and he reveals a huge portion of himself. I know that time has passed within the story, but it feels rushed because it's presented to us all in the first go.

Other than that, great work! I like your OC and would like to know more about her.

Author's Response: Hello!

Thank you so much for leaving a review and so sorry for how long the response has taken - RL grr.

Haha I see what you mean. It wasn't that he couldn't - he just said it was weird. Having never been pregnant I'm no expert but when I wrote that bit I had in my head a very pregnant, ready-to-pop, aching and uncomfortable Lily that probably didn't want to - er - you know. Perhaps weird was the wrong word. I'll reconsider - thanks for the advice!

I always prefer reading and writing James like this. I know he was a jerk but mature James is so much better in my opinion anyway! I'm so happy you thought the characterisations were good!

Yeah Lydia needed to reject him. Sirius was being way too cocky there. Im not big on the screaming shouting either so yeah - I couldn't write it that way! Glad you approve!

I'm not sure which but you mean about the nighttime - I'll have to check that! I did thank you! Whoops!

Thanks again for the advice about splitting it up - I had considered this before so I will definitely consider it again!

Haha exactly! It wasn't exactly a lie and anyway - there was no other Muggle job that Sirius could have pretended to do!

Thanks so much for the great review and CC - I appreciate it :)

Lauren


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Review #16, by my_voice_risingPromises: Chapter One

27th February 2013:
Hi there! I'm here with your requested review, and as usual, it's late. xD

First off, I love that James's reaction was to be sullen and spend time alone. It's something that Harry did when he was upset. I don't know if that decision was made consciously or not, but it's very believable. Lily's nervousness to tell James is also very human and earnest. I like that you didn't make her this perfect martyr-type character; she did something that she wasn't supposed to and has to face to consequences.

Also, I love that you made them have arguments and that they had to struggle with their relationship at times. It's so easy to hold them on this pedestal because of what happened in canon, but they were human after all. And nice touch that tending the garden was a task he "both loved and hated."

Oh my gosh, Bathilda's line is so haunting. "All of you are just children fighting wars." So sad; and another way that we rarely got to think of these characters in canon. They were older than Harry, so we never were able to view them in this way. So heartwrenching.

Gah, how cute that James summoned roses from the neighbor's garden. haha. A bit of humor to lighten to otherwise dark mood.

Oh wow. I have goosebumps. The longer I read the more I realized what Lily's secret was, but your line "Yet deep down, inside her heart she lamented the loss of three children, not two" was so saddening. Oh my gosh. I actually almost cried; I don't remember the last time a fic made me do that.

I love Bathilda's role in this story. I just have one critique: your ending kind of goes into this esoteric, fairy-tale narrative tone. "That fateful day" and "until the end of her days" in particular conflict with the rest of the story. I think if you rearranged the last few paragraphs so that it ended with the "three children, not two" line, it would be more powerful. It would also tie back in to the most saddening part of the story, when Bathilda says they're all just children fighting a war.

All in all though, this is really well-written. The only errors I noticed were some run-on sentences and some places where you repeat words (like "beautiful") twice within two sentences, and it sounds a bit redundant. But other than that, great work!

Author's Response: Heya! First of all, don't you ever worry about the lateness of a review! Hahaha, I mean...I'm how late to give you a review response? I'm the one who is sorry!

How James feels about this whole affair was something I was going through when this fic was written. Minus the whole 'dark wizard coming for your baby' scenario. There were days that I would feels the walls closing in on me and I wanted to show how that feels through James. The desperation and the strains that it can put on a relationship. Lily and James not arguing feels very fake. They were young people with an infant son, who had to remain hidden. There's nothing 'happy' about that.

Anyway! Enough of my rant/my feels! XD

Bathilda here was inspired by the movie Les Mis and the song 'Turning'. For Bathilda, this war is being fought by children. On both sides and feels helpless that there is nothing she could do to help.

Awww!! Well, at least I didn't make you really cry!

Yeah, I know what you mean about the end. I need to go back and do some tweaking into it. Me going through my personal 'bad time' didn't help when I was thinking of a proper end. So it feels very spaztic. I just wanted to leave it dark but at the same time I wanted to give it a nice end...I'm not sure. Hahaha! But I'll fix it!

Anyway!!! Thank you for your review!! I appreciate it and once again, so sorry that I took forever to give you a response.

Until next time
--Rosie


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Review #17, by my_voice_risingThe Woeful Worries of Wendy Williams: An Introduction to the life of Wendy Williams

24th February 2013:
Oh my gosh. It's a parody. Okay. hahaha. I was like "I CAN TELL THIS PERSON CAN WRITE, WHY IS SHE SAYING ALL HUFFLEPUFF GIRLS ARE DITZY NO NO NO."

Well, with that new knowledge... ;D

THANK YOU FOR ATTACKING THIS TROPE. (Please excuse my excessive use of caps lock; I've had quite a bit of coffee today.) I could go on forever about the negative effects of chastizing women for wearing miniskirts and makeup when it's what society has set up for them to do. Why do some authors feel like anyone who dares to own a tube of lipgloss is an incompetent fool? No less, why does everyone hate the poor 'Puffs? They're so brave, and unafraid of toil!

Oh my, the opposing house Quidditch captains. You're really on a roll here! I almost wish you'd gone so far as to have them hating each other too xD (Can I also just say that your title is perfect for the kind of story you're satirizing?)

The examiners probably took pity on them. Hufflepuff was after all the charity case of the school. Lit-rally snorted aloud. God, that's perfect! I support the idea that not everyone who gets into a certain house exhibits all of the traits. But you're right; a lot of Hufflepuffs seem to be more set for Ravenclaw, like your OC.

My only suggestions would be some physical descriptions. We can see from your banner that she's clearly a poorly-disguised beauty, hiding behind a pair of "nerdy," yet actually hip, glasses. But some written physical descriptions would be nice too.

Very funny! I'm on to the next chapter.

Author's Response: Thanks for acknowledging the fact that I can write, that made me feel a lot better ;) Grr, it frustrates me that Hufflepuffs are seen as the duffers and the blondes, because that's not the requirements for my house last time I checked :P It also annoys me how girly girls are portrayed in fanfiction as well (She wears makeup and skirts? Must be a tart then!). I wrote this for a challenge where my two prompts were 1. A character that doesn't fit into their house and 2. All Hufflepuffs are ditzy. I was like, mmn, I can't make this work without parodying it! These ideas are so commonly used and abused in ff, it does rile me up so I'm fighting it, starting with this story ;) I'm not very good at physical descriptions, but I'll try and drop in a few lines here and there, let the reader piece it together.

Thanks so much for the review!


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Review #18, by my_voice_risingShut Up and Kiss Me: Prologue

24th February 2013:
Hallo! I am here to review.

I like the beginning already. A lot of writers make the Hogwarts Express goodbye scene awkward unintentionally--like it's just filler to begin a story. But I like that you come out and say that they stand there for fifteen minutes without saying anything and then they leave. Even more when her mother says "don't bother...," which really should be so horrifying to hear from a parent. But your characters are just used to it. It tells us a lot about their relationship with their parents.

I wonder if they would use the Shrieking Shack again to hide a werewolf? I feel like a lot about Harry's personal life--and those of the dead--would have been leaked to the press after the war. Would it really be smart to put her back in the same place? It's really important to distinguish your OC from Remus, since they are the only prominent werewolves in the series (except for Greyback, but I have a feeling your OC is not like him.) One way to do this would be to not give them the same story while at Hogwarts :3

The banter between James and Ellie was funny. I'm excited to see some more character development there. Nice work!

Author's Response: Just so you know, I went back and edited a bunch of grammar/spelling mistakes I had in this story. For some reason, I was too lazy to go back and fix that before validating (won't happen again). So, don't worry so much about that rubbish, it should be validated by Tuesday.

The opening scene makes me laugh. . .I'm a horrible person. Thanks, I tried to suggest that their family is split because of Ellie's "time of the month" (I crack up when I write that too. . .this is why I picked a girl. I'm still a horrible person).

Good point, I haven't really said any specifics on where she goes, so I will the next transformation. I'm thinking that they just set her loose deep in the Forbidden Forrest and I can describe how the creatures in there are not very happy about it, or something. Thanks, that's uber helpful.

Oh James. . .he just says whatever I think whenever I see a very pretty girl :P

Thanks for this wonderful review!
Jack


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Review #19, by my_voice_risingReason to Fight: Le Phare

24th February 2013:
Wow! Val, this story is just incredible. In fact, I think you could consider getting rid of the HP aspects altogether and trying to publish.

It's so well-written, and the way that you insert bits of historical information (like the pink triangles) is subtle enough that it fits with the characters. Meaning you don't have to explain Simon thinking "Oh, they're wearing pink triangles. That means they are homosexuals because that's what the Nazi party does." It's much more realistic and helps the reader become absorbed in the time period. I hope that makes sense.

The suspense!! So much of it. You write it very well, in fact. When they Xavier and Camille were following their target through the crowds, I was so nervous. And when he said "look at me and laugh," it was so quick and subtle but it just portrayed how intense everything really was.

The potion was really haunting--did you come up with that yourself? When Johanna said "You mean it only leaves a skin envelope?" I actually got chills. How horrifying. And how suitable for everything that's going on around them.

I was so worried when Simon went to talk to his sisters over the fence, that he was going to be caught. Like really, edge-of-my-seat worried. Do you not think they would have more rigorous patrolling there? Or did he study the guards' rounds and learn when there would be an opening?

Another amazing chapter. Job well done! ♥

Author's Response: Daww, you. I would never dare.

Yes, that did make sense -- it leads to me leaving insanely long author's notes though!

The target following, really? I was worried it would be too boring, so it's great to hear that it made you nervous (and now I sound like some completely creepy person who enjoys watching other people suffer).

The story of that potion popped up in the car, in the middle of a traffic jam. Random piece of information you probably don't care about. I have no idea where it came from, and I wasn't too sure about it, but I'm really happy you found it chilling (gosh, the creep in me is very talkative today).

Camp survivors describe in their testimonies that not all areas of the camp were regularly patrolled, which is what I used here. Also, I think I said somethng about Simon's barrack companions. This sounds fairly horrible inside my head, and worse written down, but I think most male prisoners would make sure to find out when it was possible for them to get a glimpse of the women's side of the camp. Simon is in the same situation, except not for the same reasons!

You're the best. &hearts


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Review #20, by my_voice_risingPuddlemere United: Chapter 3.

23rd February 2013:
YES I WILL READ THIS STORY. Hello, I am here with your very late requested review. My apologies, real life has been too prevalent lately :c But I am here at last, and can't wait to read this new chapter because I siriusly love this story.

Baaahahaha, I love Pippa's analysis of Ginny. Too happy-clappy for marrying her first crush. That always was something that I found horribly unbelievable, that these people never grew apart after being in love since the age of 12 or whatever. And Wood's response to the best Quidditch team was hilarious.

Gahahahaha. Have I mentioned how much I love your Finnegan family? Seamus hiding the bottle behind his back and holding Pippa off with one hand--I imagine it to be over her face--is too funny!

The scene at the pub with Oliver and Kathy was really sweet. I really like all of your characters, but she really resonates in this chapter. The bit where she was worried about getting old was so earnest and I feel like she wasn't even trying to get Oliver to tell her she looks young (even though I do sense a bit of a budding romance there?)

And how sad that Oliver is divorcing his wife. Plot twist! Or at least to me; I don't think you've already mentioned that bit.

Gah! The barmaid was Romilda Vane?! You know how I love the insertion of minor characters. Really nice touch; I can totally see her sauntering around like you said. And she sure is good at potions brewing... like love potions. Really funny that you tied that all in!

And the mustache!

Ah!

I don't care if this chapter was "filler," like you said, it was so good! And fluffy! And we got to know more about Wood and his teammates. I think it was a brilliant job, you really have a knack for writing humor.

♥!

Author's Response: Your reviews are always worth the wait! Which reminds me, I am running rather behind on my requested review front as well. . . . .oh dear. . . .

I actually am one of those people that like Ginny, but Pippa is rather different to me so I put that in! I think Pippa has a very clear view of the world, and she's not drawn in by fairy tales and happily-ever-afters!

I love Seamus, so much :D Really I do, possibly a bit too much but anyway!

Yes, Kathy and Oliver's moment was rather cute! As this story is slightly, err. . . . . writing itself, I don't know as of yet if there will be romance between these two, but I do like them together.

I know, poor old Oliver is getting divorced! I plan on introducing everyone to his ex-wife in the coming chapters, but who knows where she'll make an appearance :P

Yes! The barmaid was Romilda Vane! I sort of wanted to give an explanation as to the reason Pippa is the way she is (complete raving lunatic do you know :P) and Romilda just seemed like the perfect fit!

Aah! I'm so glad you noticed the 'good with potions' bit!

I have an unhealthy obsession with mustaches, so naturally Oliver had to get one (even if its only temporary!)

Thank you so uch for another fantabulous review, they really do make my day :D


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Review #21, by my_voice_risingThe Mysterious Case of the Twin Wands: I. Dedalus Diggle

23rd February 2013:
Hello my darling! I am finally here with your review, after IRL has kept me away from my beloved HPFF for far too long. I hope to leave a super-lengthy one to make up for being late, not to mention becuause of all your general awesomeness. :D

Here we go.

First of all, your introduction is really captivating. I know you said that it was choppy in your request, but I see very little that needs working. The only thing I could think of would be changing it to "first on the scene that cold November night" or "first on the scene, on that cold November night" just because the double-use of the word "on" is a bit awkward. Also saying "weird angle" is a really common phrase in conversation, but I think for the benefit of the story you could use another adjective. :3 But seriously, a great introduction; very eerie. And with so few words, you tell us so much about the size and sense of community this small town has. Everyone's looks of concern; how a neighbor investigated Diggle's home. A wonderful setting for a story to begin!

Agh! As I read on, I remember that I've read most of this chapter before and then something got in the way--maybe I had to leave for work or something. But I'm so glad you requested from me so that I could find time to check out this wonderful story! I love the image of a Weasley and a Malfoy working side-by-side. And bravo! You made their relationship tense, and we're able to see that they don't particularly like one another, but you haven't done anything out-of-character or over the top. Like having them arguing over absolutely nothing while they're supposed to be professionals. Nice job.

Grantham! Is this a Downton Abbey shoutout, or have I just been watching too much of it?

Very realistic touch, there, mentioning that with his new job, Harry is mostly faced with paperwork and press conferences and filing. Is this a bit of your lawyer training shining through? ;D Gah!! And is Ginny a reporter in this story?! That is so perfect, I absolutely love that! JKR just mentioned her playing for the Harpies for a bit, right? So this is all your creation? I think it's a very suitable job for her. And the bit about Harry dodging the memo; it's like one of those small little inserts of humour that JKR puts in her novels, to remind us that despite everything dark, the Magical Word is still whimsical at times. Love it!

I love your overly-eager Teddy Lupin. He seems to have a bit of his mum's clumsiness and sense of humour. I wonder though, would Aurors use clear plastic bags for evidence? Or would they use cloth pouches, or something more Harry Potterish?

It's also an interesting parallel here, between our world and theirs, that the "weapon" was left at the scene of the crime. Of course, instead of a Muggle contraption it's a wand. It does seem a bit suspicious, though, that it would just be tossed so carelessly into the bushes when there are a whole number of spells that somebody could have performed to cover their tracks. Hmmm! Intrigue!

WHERT PLOT TWIST! Parvati?! No way! This can't be right--or maybe it could be? I can't wait to read more of this story, it's so brilliant. The only consistent mistakes I've noticed were with punctuation--particularly with dialogue, and at one point I believe you said Dursley's instead of Dursleys. But this is a great start, and I've added it to my favorites so I can keep up with it.

Amazing work, Ral!

Author's Response: Aaaah! What a long and lovely review! Let's see now!

The idea of this story came to me with Dedalus being found dead by a neighbour in his house. I don't know why, sometimes I try to retrace my steps and figure out how I came to the 9th chapter and the plot from "Dedalus Diggle was dead".

I expect Ron wouldn't be too happy about working with Scorpius, but then again, he gets to boss a Malfoy around. It'a love-hate kind of relationship going on there and Scorpius is caught on the wrong end of it most of the time.

Ah yes, the lawyer training. Loads of paperwork so little time actually doing stuff you see in movies. :D JKR actually did mention somewhere that Ginny retired from the team and went on to be a Quidditch correspondent for the Prophet.

As for the cloth pouches you mentioned, that's where my law school kicked in. You can't preserve DNA or other organic material in cloth pouches, because the cloth can never be sterile. The clear plastic bags and the brown paper bags are all sterile. The forensic people handle them with gloves and no other DNA or organic material comes in contact with the evidence before it's been processed.

I'm so happy you liked this and I hope you enjoy the rest of the story! Thank you!


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Review #22, by my_voice_risingSweet Dreams: Sweet Dreams

18th February 2013:
Hallo there! I am here with your requested review. Sorry it's so behind, IRL has taken a toll lately. Onward!

You've managed to mix humor and angst very well here. The entire exchange with Dumbledore in particular was funny, but there was still that underlying feeling that something wasn't right. It culminated very well at the birthday party; first when we see that Ron and Hermione never got together. Clearly there's something not right there. And then finally when we see that Harry's never had a scar; it leaves us wondering what else has changed in the world, if Voldemort never existed.

George's transition from happiness in the beginning of the story, to the birthday party when he realizes that he wants to go back to the world he knows, is really heart breaking. The way he was jarred out of the dream was unique, but I feel like the ending was a bit abrupt. I don't know exactly what it could use, so perhaps this is useless CC. I get the feeling that this has happened before, as he has the dreamless sleep draught, but maybe you could state that a little more plainly so that we get a sense of conclusion and finality? I dunno. Just a suggestion!

All in all, this was well done. You balanced between angst and humour quite nicely, and I think for that reason it adheres to George's character very well. Nice work!

Author's Response: Thank you so much for your kind words! I'm glad you liked the story; it was one of my favorites to write. I've gotten many CC's about elaborating more at the end, so I'll definitely take what you said into account. Thank you!

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Review #23, by my_voice_risingGrowth: dull as dirt

18th February 2013:
WHY YES I WILL GLADLY READ YOUR STORY. I was so excited to see a request from you! I'm afraid these days it's the only way I can make time to read anything. But I'm always so excited to read your stories!

Wow. One paragraph in and I'm completely blown away. My favorite thing about your writing is your absolutely stunning use of subtle imagery: pouch of warm soil; thrumming of insect wings... gorgeous. Beautifully disturbing. I can tell just from your introduction that this story will succeed in the horror/dark challenge!

OH MY GOD "SPINES OF SUNLIGHT." And kissing the purple bruises from the corners of his mouth. And the black irises bleeding into the whites of his eyes. Will you just stop it? Just stop. (Of course I don't mean that, this is so incredible, I just want you to know how much your writing truly blows me away!) I do think the line She can almost hear the creaking of marble plates sawing against each other is stunning as well. But the word "creaking" kind of throws in a different idea from what (I think) you're going for. I think the line would be much more powerful if it were just She can almost hear marble plates sawing against each other, or even ...the sound of marble.... Again, a really powerful line.

(My apologies that my reviews are always 99.9% fangirling.)

I think it was really smart to pick pregnancy as a major part of a horror/dark story. Maybe I'm just being biased, as somebody who never wants to have children, but there is something parasitic about it and you've really taken that idea and expanded on it so wonderfully. The section about the comma of a fetus, sprouting eyelashes and fingernails--all completely natural things, but they sound so grotesque in the way you have rendered them.

There's definitely a unity in your choices of imagery. Dead insects, green vines, hair, sprouting potatoes, the growth of a fetus--they're all a part of cyclical death and rebirth. They tie together so well, but are so subtle that you have to stop and consider exactly what it is about this that seems so unified.

I pity Merope so much in this story, but it hits the hardest when she's dealing with Burke. When he refused to give her the six Galleons for her earrings (which were probably worth that) and she gave up so quickly, it just said so much about her. And how she's willing to part with the locket so easily. So horribly sad.

Oh my god. Goosebumps. Your ending is so haunting and so incredible, and I must add this to my favorites RIGHT NOW. I'm sorry I haven't been very helpful at all, this is just so astounding. Gah!!! Another amazing job!

Author's Response: HELLLOOO

I'M GONNA TAKE THIS REVIEW TO BED WITH ME...wait that sounds a bit weird...

All these compliments askljdashfjklasf!?!?

BAHAHA imagery...every time I start having trouble with moving the story forward I resort to imagery for some narrative filler and stuff like that :P So umm...the more imagery my stories have, the more stuck I usually am. But I'm so flattered that you like the imagery and think they're subtle! When I was writing all that stuff I was repeatedly facesmashing into my keyboard thinking, oh my god what is this can I be any more obvious blah blah...so gah! I'm so so happy and relieved that you find it alright.

And yes, that creaking/sawing thing...I do have the tendency to overdescribe sometimes! thanks so much for pointing that out; it does actually sound pretty clunky. LOVE IT whenever reviewers start picking my sentences apart and pointing out all the awkward bits and all the parts where the writing gets a bit too cluttered or too lazy or something.

I'm glad you managed to feel so much sympathy for Merope...to be honest I was having a lot of trouble connecting with her character, I didn't feel as deeply involved with my writing and stuff.

And I'm glad you thought bad pregnancy was a good choice for a horror/dark story bahah! It's quite creepy actually, the way the body can change so much and so quickly over such a short period of time.

THANKS SOSOSO MUCH FOR YOUR REVIEW SARAH. You made my entire week.

Here, HAVE SOME HEARTS ♥ ♥ ♥

teh



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Review #24, by my_voice_risingDown Comes The Night: Chapter Two

18th February 2013:
Hello! I am here with your (very late) requested review.

I love Helga's determination to be equals with the other founders in terms of her education. Studying in the library all hours of the night... very Hufflepuff indeed! :3 I love this line, "For reasons I could not fathom..." so fluffy. But still written in the time-appropriate dialogue. You are making me a serious Helga/Salazar shipper. (Helgazar? haha)

I really like your characterization of Rowena as well; you tell us so much about her in so few words. She rarely smiles, and speaks her mind. She and Salazar seem to have more in common in that way, but there's just something that clicks between your Helga and he. When they were trying to get information out of Evan, and Helga stepped in, it really showed their differences and her willingness to look past his brash behaviour.

This line is so brilliant, and ties in this story with the entire HP series and all that it entails: Sometimes I thought Hogwarts castle held even more secrets than books. So good, so good.

GAH!!! When he said that he's been watching her too, and that he noticed she doesn't like low ceilings. I am shipping them so hard right now. And the ending, oh my gosh! Cliffhanger! Please feel free to re-request from me, I don't want to forget to keep up with this story. :D

Another job very well done!

Author's Response: Hi Sarah! I am so sorry for the appalling lateness of this response. RL got away from me for a minute there, but I'm back now! Thank you so much for the review!

One of my goals for this story is to show some of the "signature" traits represented by the houses in the Founders themselves. It ties the history into the present, in a way. Glad you enjoying seeing that hardworking side come out in Helga!

Haha, I've had fun writing Founders fluff. I didn't want it to be too in-your-face just yet, but this chapter definitely has the beginnings of chemistry between Helga and Salazar. They have very different values, but Helga is drawn to him regardless. And yes, Helgazar is the perfect name for this ship! I love it because it sounds like a dinosaur to me :)

If I had to choose a favorite character aside from Helgazar in this story, it would probably be Rowena. She has this very composed air about her, but in later chapters I get to explore what's going on beneath that. I hope you enjoy that when you get to it, because I'm definitely going to re-request :)

I love that line! I'm so happy you noticed it. And I guess it does hold true in the series as well, I never noticed that before. That's a great thought!

Thanks so much for coming by! This review made my day when I read it. I'll be looking for an open spot to re-request :)

--Maggie


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Review #25, by my_voice_risingMoments of Perfection: Seven

11th February 2013:
Hello, I'm here with your requested review! I remember you had some questions about this story on the forums, and am excited to read it. I'll break up my comments into sections; one per each scene. :3

I like the first scene, and the interactions between Narcissa and her mother. Isn't Lucius a year older than her? He seemed confident, like he knew his way around the train, so it seems very possible! But I'd be interested to hear more about her first impression of him, just because they're so young. Are they feeling uniquely romantic feelings for such a young age, or does she want to become his friend, or was she just merely noticing him? It's a little unclear how exactly she felt, other than she felt something, because she's blushing.

The second scene was great! I love the strained way in which they have to speak to one another. There's so much tension, but it's just the way they were raised. What a nice way for them to bond; clearly they both aren't too fond of these kinds of parties.

You handled the announcement of their engagement quite well. If she'd been excited, it would have been strange to read--what seventeen year-old wants to hear that their parents have selected a life partner for them? Even though she clearly has feelings for Lucius, I like that you made her neutral about the whole thing. She has some trepidations but isn't over-reacting with angst, either. Nicely done!

This line, from the next section, is beautiful: Lucius, looking handsome as ever, watched me with a rare smile, and that was when I realized that I loved this man. I blinked at this sudden comprehension.

Section VII makes me feel sorry for Narcissa. She cares so much about her family, and I think that's very accurate with canon. It's sad so see that Lucius has clearly become a different person, even in just the five years that Draco was born, yet he still sees the same since section I.

Wow, this line is really powerful: Numbness had washed over me and all I did was stare unfeelingly at the pathetic form that had tyrannized my family relentlessly. How much Narcissa has changed! I like the last section, because it shows strength in her. She seems like the kind of person to always stand by and worry about her son and her husband, but we know from Book Six and beyond that she isn't. You've captured that nicely in this last section.

Job well done!

Author's Response: Hi! Thanks a lot for reading and reviewing!

I am glad you liked the first scene over all, but I'll keep your CC in mind and see if I can talk more about her impression of him. I didn't want it to be incredibly long which is why I simply left the scene on her seeing him for the first time in years. And yes Lucius is an year older than her which is why he was already in his Slytherin robes.

I am glad you liked the second scene as I worked hard on trying to make it sound like two pureblood teenagers talking.

I am pleased that you liked the way I handled the announcement of their engagement. Thanks!

I am glad that you liked that line. I just wanted it to be a special moment where she realises she loves Lucius.

Yeah, you're very right in your thoughts regarding section VI. I did think that they would have changed a lot in so many years yet their feelings for the family would be the same.

I am glad you liked the last section too, and liked Narcissa's portrayal.

Thank you so much for all your wonderful comments!!


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