Reading Reviews From Member: Penelope Inkwell
  
268 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Penelope InkwellThis is Audrey Tang: The Bad Taste: A Bad Taste

21st September 2014:
Hey there! So, I was intrigued by your mention of this story. I definitely want to read more of your Astoria, but I thought I’d pop over here for some variety.

So, Audrey and Percy certainly have an interesting backstory. It’s definitely not the first place I’d have thought Percy would meet his wife, but surprises can be fun.

As always, you’re good at creating atmosphere. This place feels so seedy! You paint the picture very clearly.

I think you craft Audrey’s character well. She’s obviously tough--she’s had a hard life, but she can usually handle herself. She’s determined to put herself through school, which I respect. Even when she’s doing a job she doesn’t like, she works hard and does well--it’s a perfectionistic tendency (maybe something they have in common?) She’s realistically vulnerable. Also, despite all that she’s been through, she’s managed to keep a fun, light-hearted side of her nature alive, which we see in her teasing.

The biggest thing I don’t get is...why she’s into Percy. I mean, I want to give him the benefit of the doubt--I do--but I just don’t get it. First off, he’s constantly described as having “dead eyes”, and I can see why that intrigues her, since she mentions she’s worn that expression herself, but it doesn’t strike me as particularly attractive. Plus, she thinks he’s wearing his mother’s bath robe, which is odd. However, all that’s fairly minor.

My main issue is...he kind of seems like a tremendous jerk. I don’t mean the little snippy things he says. After all, I can see why some of Audrey’s teasing would bother Percy, and it’s totally in character for him to be cold and snobbish in response to his pride being wounded. However, when he feels up Audrey--without her permission--and then makes negative comments about her body, I really have trouble forgiving that. I mean, this line: "'I suppose you’ve got something. All the fat that should be in your breasts went to your [butt].' He said annoyingly. 'Such a pity.’” That is so far into the levels of jerk-dom, I really don’t even know how to deal.

And I don’t understand why she forgives him so easily? I guess she’s used to being harassed. And obviously she’s got some self-esteem issues (how could she not, when her family practically left her for dead). But man, he talks about her bad language, and she does throw around some innuendo, sure, but I think the way he acts is far worse.

It would be great to see Percy do just one nice thing for her, whatever that could be (even if it was just a small apology). It would help give me some hope for their relationship. He must get better, I suppose, since they do get married...

So, yeah. Having some issues there. But I like Audrey a lot! She’s got spunk. And I do like what you write about her thinking Percy is attractive, even though he’s not super handsome in the traditional sense. So often heroes and heroines are just insanely attractive in all the expected ways, and that has its place, but sometimes it’s like what Audrey mentions--sometimes that person just has a *something*, and it allows you to see how they really are attractive, even if other people might not notice it.

And this is a great line: “'Maybe you've got a secret thing for bad girls.' Percy appeared slightly puzzled, but mostly horrified.” Somehow it just seems so Percy. It made me chuckle/

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CC:

Most of my CC is general. There’s some grammar stuff, and some sentences that seem to be missing a word or need an extra one--stuff like that. It’s all stuff that could be easily sorted out by a beta reader.
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I applaud your creativity on the premise of this story. It’s not what I would have expected from Percy, but that’s what makes it so interesting. And, as always, I applaud your ability to set the scene. Audrey’s fab. Percy has a long way to go, in my book, but I suppose if I can hold out hope for Draco Malfoy, I can do the same for Percy. Here’s to hoping. I’m certainly interested to find out what’s going on with him, at any rate.

Thanks for the swap, Gabi!

--Penny

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Review #2, by Penelope InkwellJigsaw: Piece #1

21st September 2014:
Aha! Finally, here I am with your review! Sorry for the delay. I've been at rehearsal all day, trying to read on my tiny little phone screen in my time off.

Oooh, creepy opening. What in heaven's name is going on? No, don't go to the door! You're never suppose to go to the door when you have a sense of foreboding?

And what is missing from his tea? That's a very interesting omission.

So, first of all, that title. After the imperious curse, it's such great juxtaposition. It adds a nice touch of humor.

Violet Toots. What a name. Very apropos for a sort of mirror image Rita Skeeter.  She seems like a pretty smooth operator. Even wary of her as Roxanne is, Violet manages to drum up some camaraderie with that comment about her dad.

Alright, I'm ignorant here, but what's a "trading standards organization"?

I adore the way you describe the Daily Prophet offices. I can totally understand why Roxanne is willing to put up with so much to work there.

Poor Roxanne. Her assignments really are horrible. After 5 years? Ugh. No wonder she's upset.

For some reason I'm picturing William Higgins as a North & South era Richard Armitage. I don't know why I feel that way, and it may be wayyy off, but I thought I'd share ;)

I'm really liking the atmosphere you're setting up for the Green Grindylow.  Something about the way you describe the neighborhood and everything is giving me this sort of film noir feel?  It's not overstated, just sort of a subtle undertone, and I like that.

Oh, postgrad life. Thank you for sending me closer to panic over my fast approaching future. ;). 

What happened with Daniel? He was Roxanne's fiancé. Sounds like a real mess. But now I'm very curious. You do a good job of telling us just enough that we've got an idea what's happened, but you've still left us dying to know more, which is perfect, especially for a first chapter, and double-especially for a mystery.  Good work!

Oh wait! She's getting an assignment! A real assignment! Hoorah! I am so excited!

CC:

"Something about the sight of this beating heart of the newspaper is always enough to pull my lips into a smile...". I might suggest rewording slightly to say, "Something about the sight of this, the beating heart of the newspaper, is always enough to pull my lips into a smile."

---
Sian, how can I have gone so long without reading something of yours? It reads so smoothly, like a published novel.  I've really enjoyed it. Any time you want to swap, let me know. I'll have to add this to my reading list, for sure!  

Thanks for the review swap! I really enjoyed this chapter!

--Penny

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Review #3, by Penelope InkwellLike a House on Fire: A First Time for Everything

21st September 2014:
Oh my gosh! I already love it. How have I never read this before?

Well, I know why, actually. I avoid Sirius/Anyone romances, due to the fact that it sort of has to end tragically (doesn’t it?). However, I might very well make an exception!

To start at the beginning, I loved the very first paragraph. Your transitions are excellent, giving us just enough time to understand what she’s saying about the Killing Curse, take in the implications, and then the transition from the drum to the knocking door and the bloodstains to water stains on the ceiling is perfect. I could picture it just as I do the last inch of a dream as it slips away with the beeping of my alarm.

Also, the relatability is strong. I already feel connected to Millie because I know what it is to hobble towards a door, half-mummified by my blanket.

"And here I was thinking that there was a basilisk living in her bathroom or something.”--Haha, nice reference.

"Lily not getting Head Girl is almost as impossible as Binns realising he’s dead.”--This also made me smile

I really like the way you’ve captured James. That endless optimism.
So, serious is interested in Millie already, hmm. Interesting.

Bahaha. This section between Lily and Millie made me laugh. They sound so real. I can totally hear this as a conversation between my friends.

Also, “Punk Town” and “Gotham City”? I cannot even. Baha!

-
CC:

I can’t quite figure out where they are. At first I assumed Hogwarts, but then James mentions ‘when they get back to school’, so that can’t be it. And why would they all be in the same house? I had do stop partway through and double back, trying to figure out what I missed, but I couldn’t quite put it together.

Sirius lives with James towards the end of their schooling, right? So that would make sense. And it sounds like something bad might have happened to Millie, so it would make sense for her to be staying with Lily. But why are they all together? Would Lily Evans (pre-romance) ever agree to stay in a house that James Potter was inhabiting. So I’m a bit confused on that note. I think just adding a sentence or two to give the barest idea of setting--even if you don’t want to show all your cards yet--would be helpful.
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Overall, this is just a very strong first chapter. We know, from the opening, that there’s definitely some darkness hanging over them. But there’s also lots of humor and the set up for what sounds like some interesting romantic hijinks. And you say this is your first fanfic? I’m impressed, edits or no. I really liked it!

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Review #4, by Penelope InkwellPlay the Devil: Puzzle

20th September 2014:
Poor Rose. I’d have trouble with the horse, too. I can ride well enough to get by, but I cannot even begin to imagine how one manages a side-saddle! I’d be at a total loss. And falling off is the worst. Although at least she got to cozy up to Richard ; )

I hadn’t even thought about the hair issue. It would definitely bother me at first, like, ick. But now that I think about it, once I got used to it, it would probably be nice not to have that to worry about. Shaving my legs takes forever, and it is a pretty random beauty standards. Now that you make me think about it, it’s obvious that, throughout much of time and in many parts of the world, no one would have cared.

“I’m too busy for such vanity” (core phrase for I’m not getting any action, let the beast roam free)”
--It’s funny because it’s true.

Magical smithery sounds awesome! I love that you’ve thought about what other classes might have been offered, way back when. So thorough!

"Everyone seemed to name their children after each other and marry their second cousins, and it was quite exhausting.”
--Bahaha. European history in a nutshell.

I’ve enjoyed Nicholas, and it was nice that Rose got to meet a fellow magical person. However, I’m hoping that now that most of the other guests have vamoosed, Rose & Richard will really get to know each other.

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CC:

"I had been here long enough and heard enough about women’s rights (or lack thereof) in the past to truly blame Nicholas for his condescending words, yet they still stung. “

I think here, you mean, “I had been here long enough and heard enough about women’s rights (or lack thereof) in the past that I didn’t truly blame Nicholas...”

I think you mean that she’s gotten too used to it to blame him, but the wording now makes it seem like she’s heard so much that she’s sick of it.

Another great chapter! Hope you’re well!

--Penny

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Review #5, by Penelope InkwellDevlin Potter: Riddle and Rescue: The Informant

20th September 2014:
Oh my gosh! That is shocking.

At first I was a bit iffy about Devlin’s age, since you said he was supposed to be six, and he seemed a bit too *aware* for that--more like a seven or eight year old (though I know you’re in edits). But you do address that, right there at the end, and if he’s some sort of prodigy, I suppose it makes sense that he seems beyond his years.

Now, I’m wondering if Devlin is a werewolf? You mentioned something about him feeling “wolfish”, and amber eyes, and he seems to have some unusual abilities.

I really liked the way you described Harry there at the end. It was very realistic--just what I think he would be like if he had lost a child to the Death Eaters.

Oh, that scene where Devlin got them to do a birthday party for his Grandma Lily? It was so sweet. Ugh, I have emotions, now. What am I supposed to do with these? Take them back. ;)

I am curious: there are some big changes in here. Sirius and Remus appear to be alive, and Harry’s not married to Ginny, and he has different children. Which is all perfectly fair. It’s cool to see how people play with stuff like that. I am curious as to why you wanted to make those changes, in particular? I’d love to hear about it.

Your first words capture the feel of the chapter beautifully, and are very intriguing. The chapter itself keeps the reader on the edge of their seat, and leaves them full of questions, which is good. It’s a very well done beginning, and I enjoyed it.

CC:
This is pretty minor, but right here:
"As if Harry’s proof was his cost for betraying Voldemort.
“Price” might be better than “cost”.

Overall, great work.

Thanks for swapping with me.

--Penny

Author's Response: I think Devlin's reactions under torture will become clearer and more believable as you go forward. That 'wolfish' aspect definitely plays a part in his strength.

This story was originally started before the release of book 5 and therefore Sirius' presence was less unusual then as it is now. This is the 3rd rewrite (although the plot has changed really drastically). I was quite a bit younger than I am now, when I started this idea. Alexandra's role is both because of the above answer and also integral to the plot - which I won't spoil too much.

Thanks so much for the great review! I'd love to swap again anytime - drop me a note whenever you're in the mood. :)


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Review #6, by Penelope InkwellUpper Class: Chapter Six

20th September 2014:
Hey Avi! Finally made it back :D

For some reason, I love that their dog is named Alastair.

This is great, "Suddenly Hermione wanted to learn more about their history, who was her grandparents? What about their parents? Did any of them invent anything or did they have a dark history? “
--It’s just so Hermione. Of course the idea that she now had this family connection to wizarding history would fascinate her!

I honestly think her parents took her not wanting their gift extremely well. Of course, they know her, and maybe they saw that coming. And I don’t blame Hermione for not wanting to lose yet another piece of her normal life, though it sounds like eventually she might have to.

I’m glad to see that it looks like they were Gryffindors! Just because she’s already had her world turned upside down, and it would probably be nice for her to have that connection with them. And there are Purebloods in houses other than Slytherin, after all. I wonder if they did have a connection to Harry’s parents. After all, James was a Pureblood, as was Sirius. It seems likely that even if they weren’t friends, they must have known one another.

That’s so sad about what happened with her sister. I can understand their wanting to get out and protect Hermione’s mom, especially while she was in such a delicate state. I can also understand why Hermione got so upset about it. After all, she did stay and fight.

I wonder why, when they realized their daughter had been caught up in the fight against Voldemort again, they didn’t leave? Maybe they knew that Hermione would never forgive them for it? They can’t have been cowards, at any rate, to go through it all a second time.

Good chapter. I really feel for Hermione. It’s such a hard situation she’s been put in.

So, I have this fantasy/mental picture wherein Hermione decidees f that if she could brew a Polyjuice Potion at the age of 12 then, for Merlin’s sake, as a full grown woman she is certainly not going to let herself be defeated by mascara! And then, like, a montage of Hermione poring over the makeup sections of a pile of Witch Weekly’s, and when Draco inevitably makes some snarky comment about her finally figuring it out. she punishes him by talking his ear off about random facts she picked up in

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Review #7, by Penelope InkwellA Force Of Wills: Traitors

20th September 2014:
Woah! Points to Blaise! (though, after spending so much time in my version of Astoria’s head, my first thought is still, “This is not wise!”)

I also like Emily a lot more, here. She’s gone back up in my estimation, being protective of her little sister like that. And her advice does not sound half bad...

“He was dating that broomwreck?”--I always enjoy seeing normal idioms translated into the wizarding world. Love it!

So the Greengrasses are, like, Personal Revenge Consultants? Who you can hire to ruin your enemies? That is fascinating! It’s also a nice twist, since I was assuming that Astoria had her own room because she was, like, a werewolf or a vampire or something, but this is more original and makes perfect sense.

So, the count so far is that our Astorias: (1) Both have issues with Pureblood society, (2) Both are well trained in digging up secrets, (3) Have a penchant for revenge, (4) Have connections to the Order of the Phoenix, and (4) Cannot get rid of Draco Malfoy. However, I still find our stories to be really different. It’s so interesting! Our evil twin mental connection is apparently quite strong. ; )

I have hope that Draco will improve, but right now he’s truly despicable, so I’m inclined to have to temporarily ship Astoria and Blaise. I’m still stuck on his very dramatic departure from the Death Eaters. What will that mean?! I’m certainly interested in finding out, so that was an excellent use of a plot twist. Bravo!

--Penny

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Review #8, by Penelope InkwellA Force Of Wills: Purebloods

20th September 2014:
Ugh. I feel violated. You do an excellent job and making Draco the absolute king of sleaziness. Ick! Poor Astoria. I mean, that is some serious harassment.

I was really happy with Emily for a while. She didn’t seem like such a simpering fool when she swooped in to save her little sister, and she legitimately seemed more concerned with her than she was about her reputation.

And then, after seeing how absolutely horrid Malfoy is, she suggests that Astoria try to get close to him, to benefit the family? Ick. Pureblood manipulation, through and through. But it was very realistic.

“What? We do, I’m just saying, we could…let him go missing.” Scorpious said with a playful shrug and Astoria shuddered, they couldn’t have that happening again. It was why there was only three of them now...” Oh my gosh, do they mean Daphne? I know you said that she wasn’t part of the story, but did she die?!

Way to be a gentleman, Blaise. It’s nice to know that one of their number is at least capable of being decent.

I am interested in the way that the Greengrass siblings talk about Purebloods. Obviously Astoria isn’t one, but Emily and Scorpius are, yet they’re pretty derisive towards the whole group. Do they think they, themselves, are untrustworthy as well? Or are they not really Purebloods?

"She omitted the fact that it only became necessary when there was information that needed to be stolen...” Ah! An Astoria after my own heart. Love it!

You really do a great job with the creepy, skin-crawly tone. I’m interested to see how Astoria handles Draco. I believe in her!


--Penny

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Review #9, by Penelope InkwellUpper Class: Chapter Five

19th September 2014:
Man, Pansy knows more about fashion than I do! I learned stuff.

I’m definitely interested to see how Hermione handles all this. She’s very competent and clever, and is perfectly capable of learning and remembering all these rules. However, Hermione also remembers things so well because she’s interested in knowledge, and this isn’t the sort of knowledge that generally interests her.

Also, I am really curious? *Is* Pansy in some sort of trouble?

Hmm...I guess I shall have to read on to find out!

--Penny

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Review #10, by Penelope InkwellTangled Web: Chapter Thirty: Public Relations

17th September 2014:
Whisper! You’re back, you’re back, you’re back! And now I can finally read more of this story! :D

Well, first of all I’m glad that Draco and Hermione have come to the place where they can discuss the situation rationally. In so many stories where “the obstacle” occurs, one half of a couple inevitably chooses to make “the great sacrifice”, putting the other one before themselves and breaking up with them to “save them”. I am so, so thrilled that you didn’t do that. Hermione is (understandably) upset--she wants to protect Draco, and Narcissa is always putting doubts in her mind about whether or not she’s good for him. But rather than Hermione just running off and making both of them miserable, she and Draco have an honest, open conversation. I think it really reflects the growth in their relationship, and how healthy and mature it is. I love that!

And Astoria! I was proud when she stood up to Pansy and refused to fake a pregnancy, but now I’m super proud of her growth. She acts like a sensible person. And she doesn’t just dismiss this as another of Pansy’s antics, but she also makes it clear that she isn’t an idiot--she’s always known what Pansy was like. I don’t want Astoria settling for just anyone. I don’t like her, exactly, but I do wish her well. Which is a big jump from how I felt about her not so many chapters ago.

Pansy. Pansy, Pansy, Pansy. She is finally getting her comeuppance and REVENGE is SWEET! Blaise finally (FINALLY) breaks up with her, and Astoria seems like she’s drawing the line on this one. Draco’s done. She has finally lost her enablers. Because really. It’s like Astoria says--she gets so caught up in the idea of ruining Draco and Hermione’s relationship. It was originally supposed to be out of concern for Astoria, but clearly we’ve moved far beyond that if she’s willing to let her best friend suffer through headlines like MALFOY FAKES GIRLFRIEND TO ESCAPE OBSESSIVE EX (that’s what I’m guessing would go down, anyway. Girl is crazy. Mean and crazy. And rarely do I dance over the grave of someone’s reputation but for now I can only say good riddance!

And RON! I’m so proud of Ron, and happy that he’s finally come round. I think his initial crazy, jealous response was understandable--not as in “acceptable”, but I could see his character doing that. However, I’m glad that he’s realized that he’s lost the right to be jealous over Hermione, and that he doesn’t want to ruin her reputation or their friendship. But to actually go so far as to write to Lucius Malfoy and tell the papers that Pansy was lying? Good move on the Harry Potter name drop, too. I know Harry can be a bit self-concious about his fame, but it does come in useful sometimes, doesn’t it?

And WOAH! Plot twist! But it makes sense. Draco has had a strong connection with Cooper from the beginning. And he’s very much a kids guy. Still, it’s a lot to ask of a relationship that’s still getting off the ground. Suddenly he’s going to be a father? Whew. Can’t wait to see how this all falls out.

Thanks for the new chapter! I’m always happy to see them!

--Penny

Author's Response: PENNY! I swear I was JUST thinking about you yesterday and I paid traitorous hearts a visit for a bit before getting back to school work. but I saw that you have a lot more chapters put up and cannot wait to really delve into it after all this blasted homework is done.

thank you for the magnificent review (again). I'm so thrilled that you could see what I intended with the last couple chapters. I wanted to bring Ron and Astoria around because, as annoying as they were initially, they're not the real problem. And as far as Cooper is concerned, it just goes to show that there are more important things in life than paparazzi and exes.

I am going to continue with the next chapter soon. I know I seriously dragged on updating but hopefully the next chapter will take only a couple weeks. I know where I'm going with this and I plan on wrapping it up soon.

thanks again so so so much for the review! :)


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Review #11, by Penelope InkwellBuilding Dollhouses In The Sand: Prologue

17th September 2014:
Hey! Penny here for the review swap!

"He knew Fred and George may be ready for Hogwarts, but he wasn't so sure that Hogwarts was ready for Fred and George.” Truer words were never written ;)

"Honestly, it's been three hours and you still can't tell us apart?” Bahaha! I love how you’ve captured the twins voice in here, but this joke was my favorite, I think.

So, at first I was wondering a bit at the “Merlin, you’re identical!” bit, since...like, it’s been 3 hours. You’d think she would have noticed. But then I thought about the preceding question. Is she trying to throw them off because she doesn’t want to talk about her family? After all, Katherine obviously has interesting origins. Or I suppose it could just be a statement of shock that they are so identical that they move alike as well.

Awww, I had never thought about Fred & George worrying about not getting into the same house, but they must have done. How adorable! And does Katherine have, like, some super calming powers?

I know Fabian and Gideon were Molly’s brothers, so are Katherine and the Weasleys cousins? Although it never actually was said that she was Elizabeth and Fabian’s child. Hmmm...

Overall, I’m left with a lot of questions, but this was a very packed beginning. It had fear and action and also that warm, exciting Sorcerer’s Stone, “We’re all getting to meet Hogwarts” vibe that is so fun.

My main CC would be that the commas are a little confused in a few places, but that’s an easy mistake (I, for one, tend to use too many).

Anyway, good beginning, with lots of interesting elements. And I have SO MUCH Fred and George love! You’ve really captured them so nicely. Good work!

--Penny

Author's Response: Thank you for the awesome review! I love Fred and George as well which is why I chose to write a story with them as protagonists. I'm glad you found Katherine interesting, thank you for the swap :)

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Review #12, by Penelope InkwellA Force Of Wills: Half and Half

17th September 2014:
So, first of all, woah. I love seeing different portrayals of Astoria, because they’re pretty rare, and this one certainly looks to be interesting. You have an incredible way of creating the feel of the chapter. I could really feel that sense of just...sickly opulence. It was like Edgar Allen Poe. I just imagined all these people at this glittering party, but somehow everything is just gross and twisted and wrong. You really did a wonderful job of creating that sensation of a hideous masquerade. I wouldn’t want to be there, either! And your description of the room the school-aged kids are in--the yellow light and the opening of hell--that was just so striking. Very good work. This chapter just has what I think of as “good texture”.

Now, for a running commentary:

I am already intrigued! Why does she have her own room?

Hmm. Emily seems a bit brainwashed, but excellent for contrast. So there’s Scorpius, Emily, and Astoria. Does Daphne still exist in this story? Has something happened to her? Is that one of the many family secrets?!

“And the children can relax and chat,”--snort. Yeah. This seems like a chill sort of crowd, right?

I love your description of the pureblood boys as, “looking dark and sickly.”

Astoria is a half-blood? OH MY GOSH THE SCANDAL!!!
...possibly I’ve been a Slytherin for too long.

Clearly Astoria and Scorpius are brothers/sisters-at-arms. It sounds as though they’re the only thing keeping each other remotely sane. I love that you made Scorpius her brother’s name, so that her son will be his namesake. (But I do hope that doesn’t mean he’ll die!)

I like that Astoria is already standing up to Draco. Way to show some spunk, girl! The fact that she’s a half blood living in a pureblood world and still has so much spirit is really admirable.

Hide-and-go-seek with this lot will NOT go well, Astoria! These are not people you want to be sought by Astoria! Go back into the hallway and find anyone else to talk to, Astoria!

Oh, good, she’s not planning on being there. No doubt she’ll somehow be dragged into it, but I’m very pleased that Astoria is sensible.

Ew. Draco is just so slimy here. That must have been fun to write!

Aaaand, she’s dragged into it. Heavens, this game sounds positively debauched, especially for a girl growing up in the psuedo-1800’s! Run, Astoria, run!


CC:

Mostly it’s just general grammar stuff. There are some places where a sentence needs to be split in two, or commas need to be added--little stuff like that. I did jot down one specific thing:

"Emily liked this sort of thing, parties and dances and zoos, because that was what this was and Astoria groaned inwardly and tried to salvage the remains of her scalp. “ I think you could cut out ‘because that was what this was’. Your meaning is already clear, and the addendum makes the snarky comment sort of lose its bite. It’s a brilliant comparison, though. I like Snarky Astoria!


This is fascinating. I am just so intrigued! Great work!

--Penny

Author's Response: Hello!

Thanks for stopping by evil twin! I'm really glad that you enjoyed this first chapter, I wasn't sure if you were going to or not. I am so glad that we found each other! :D

*Plays sexy background music*

I am going to be honest and say that I am a lover of detail. I think that I can go a bit overboard sometimes but I really love putting a reader right into the scene and making them see what I'm writing, if that makes any sense. Edgar Allen Poe, you say? Why, thank you! I had meant for Malfoy Manor to feel sort of like a circus or a ball with a dark, dreary undertone. There's something so sickening about being in a room with people with fake smiles, there's nothing more chilling to me. Well, clowns are scary too so never mind.

Astoria has her own room because of...reasons which will be made clear later on in the story. Hahahaha. This story is sort of like an AU and there is no Daphne Greengrass in this story, I didn't want to include her for some reason. I can't remember why but I think that it sort of works without another child, though there used to be four Greengrass children originally but that's another story. :D

Astoria IS a half-blood! How dare she be anything other than pure?! >:D

Ah, Scorpy. I think that a lot of people are rooting for him and Astoria in the first half of the story but he won't be the same person towards the current chapter. You might not like him so much! But here, he's supportive and kind to his baby sister and they do make a great pair. :D

Emily is a bit brainwashed but she enjoys the spotlight.

Astoria and Draco have had many encounters in the past and their relationship is far from sweet. I think that their like two cats circling one another or something, she is never going to be able to tolerate him.

Bwhahah, I have way too much fine writing Draco. I think that he's a character that has so many faces and he's just so unlikeable in this story! I can't resist the challenge!

Oh, that game. SO many people have told me that its quite scandalous of the children and well, Astoria will find her freedom. The night won't go as planned but she isn't going to be forced into something that she can't get out of. At least not right now.

Muahahahhaha.

Thanks for the CC's too, I'd spotted those ages ago and for some reason, have been too lazy to put up the edited chapter for this story. Hahahahha.

Much love,

Gabbie



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Review #13, by Penelope InkwellThe Internal Monologue of Annett Sinclaire Kluge: The Peculiar Childhood: A Prologue

17th September 2014:
Firstly, I really like the premise you’ve got going here. The idea of a sort of child prodigy who is also a witch is interesting, especially when I imagine the contrast between her scientific bent and the zany, whimsical magic of Hogwarts. It seems like quite a set up.

When you talk about how people might assume that her parents would run all sorts of invasive experiments on her all her life, and then Annett says, "But what sort of parents even just marginally right in the head would do such things to their own child?” made me laugh out loud. I like that she just has this ruthlessly practical viewpoint. I think that could be extremely amusing in a place as complicated and convoluted as Hogwarts. And her parents are just so practical! "Oh, the glass is exploding? Well, we’ll move you to the porch, then. Simple as that.” They’re just such a levelheaded family, and I love that. It must be an especially useful mindset to have when raising such a unique child.

I like that you’ve made Teddy the “welcome committee”. It was adorable. And of course the fact that his hair is switching color would fascinate anyone as scientifically minded as Annett. I do wish I could have read about her taking in Diagon Alley, but I can see how it might have thrown off pacing/mirrored Sorcerer’s Stone too much. Surely she’ll have similar reactions at Hogwarts, so we’ll get a front seat view for that.

I also like that Annett isn’t British by birth. I’m sure that Hogwarts would be enough of a culture shock already, but that definitely adds into it, and I’m interested to see how she handles it.

You’ve really got you’re own style going on here, and I like it quite a lot. It’s very unique, just like your protagonist. It is a bit overly choppy at times, though, so if I were to give one suggestion, it would be to maybe combine a few more paragraphs instead of arranging them in separate lines. I know that it’s meant to sound methodical and maybe almost robotic, but I think it might help flow if there was just a little less spacing.

Overall, though, what a fascinating beginning. You’ve really kicked things off in a fascinating way. Nice work!

--Penny

Author's Response: Penny,

Thank you so much for reading, reviewing, complimenting, and giving such brilliant advice which I will implement soon. :D

It was a daunting set up to begin with, but it has been loads of fun so far.

I love how you've perfectly characterised Annett and her parents as if you know they so well. Thank you so much. It pleases me abundantly to see that because as Astoria is your baby, your darling, Annett is mine (hence my naming her mother Emilie ;) ).

You will get exactly that. I did write in her reactions to Hogwarts (and it's in the next chapter ;) ).

i did wonder about how muggle borns made it to Hogwarts in the first place. Especially in cases like Annett's in which she believes it to be just a joke.

And thank you so much again for your suggestion (among all the compliments that got me smiling), I will edit the chapter accordingly. :D

Cheers,
Em


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Review #14, by Penelope InkwellForeign Affairs : A Meeting With The Minister

17th September 2014:
Hi! I finally was able to drop back by and take a look at chapter 2! 

End of the day blues. Girl, I feel you. I have spent many a final half-hour of my school day/workday/general obligations in just the same way--fantasizing about how I’ll soon have time to relax and curl up and read. Bliss!

Oh, I love that line: “I feel reasonably happy.” It sounds just like her!

“Maybe it would be best just to trust him, though she couldn’t exactly picture Malfoy and herself, enjoying a lovely holiday and eating traditional Bulgarian cheeses.”--Oh my gosh. This line is everything! Bahahahaha!

I am interested in why Kingsley, who does seem to genuinely care about Hermione’s well-being, would place her with Draco without explanation. But I suppose we’ll find out. Being a Dramione fan myself, I can totally believe they would be good for each other. And you’re sending them to Bulgaria, land of her ex-boyfriend. That has so much potential, I am just dying to see what your plans are.

Looking forward to meeting your version of Draco!

---
CC:

“She was eager to spend the weekend in her pajamas, drinking and reading”. Drinking what? I know it might seem oddly specific to say, but unqualified “drinking” to me implies, like, shots of tequila. Possibly I’m weird. But “drinking hot cocoa” or “sipping red wine” both might give a sort of luxurious, relaxed feel that really allows the reader to appreciate how much she’s looking forward having time off.

In that first exchange between Hermione and Kingsley, you may want to break it up, starting a new paragraph whenever a different person speaks.

I don’t totally understand this sentence: “Draco has been tried by the Wizengamot and found to be innocent, if not changed, by his family’s involvement with Voldemort’s forces.” What do you mean, “innocent, if not changed”?

So glad I was able to come back and read more of this. I’m super interested in where the story is going.

--Penny

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Review #15, by Penelope InkwellBertie Bott’s Every Flavoured Beans: Chocolate

10th September 2014:
Hi!

Another enjoyable chapter. Way to go, Lily! I already love her. And I love that she wouldn’t think to use Alohomora. Blasting doors off their hinges sounds much more fun, anyway.

Good that someone was finally able to get through to Rose. I can understand her wanting to hide from everyone, but it’s like Lily said--3 weeks of wallowing simply won’t do her any good.

I like how you’re giving the other characters distinctive traits. Lily is confident and over-the-top. Albus is quiet and caring, ands stares at walls when he’s nervous, but he’ll shove reporters out of his way when someone he cares about is hurting. I already love all three of them.

Congrats to Albus and Alice! I’m sure that’s hard for Rose, though. Good on her for considering attending their party. Oh, I’d hope that Dom and Lorcan wouldn’t be invited, or would be technically invited but advised not to come. That’s just too soon. I can only hope they wouldn’t have the nerve. Yikes.

Also, props on the detail of having Rose’s voice break when she yells at Lily. It’s details like that that allow readers to really immerse themselves. After all, after crying and not talking to anyone for 3 weeks, it’s a likely outcome.

Really enjoying this! Looking forward to more!

--Penny

Author's Response: I feel spoiled getting two reviews in such a short time! Thank you so much! :)

I'm glad you like Lily! She really is a blast to write and definitely is the best character to break through to Rose!

Thank you, I'm so glad you like them all! The Potter kids are all really different from each other, but I still wanted them all to have the core Gryffindor traits.

It is quite hard for Rose! Unfortunately I'm putting her through a bit of a bad/traumatic time at the moment! Things will get better eventually though.. hopefully :/

Thank you so much for your reviews!
-Rosiful


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Review #16, by Penelope InkwellBertie Bott’s Every Flavoured Beans: Chilli

9th September 2014:
Hi again! I’m back. I’d hoped to fit in another review during August, but things got a bit crazy.

This chapter was well done. It was sad, as it should be, but I’m very glad you didn’t skip it. I think it’s just as well that you didn’t do it chronologically, from the actual moment that Dom burst in, or during the ceremony. Things would have been confused. I think it was a wise choice to start after, when Rose is just beginning to understand what’s happened.

Way to be a great cousin, Al. Also, Albus and Alice? Hard to say 5 times fast, but I can’t recall having seen them as a couple before, and I think it’s adorable.

It paints a very dramatic picture--Albus carrying Rose, sobbing in her wedding dress, away from the disaster. I imagine *that* would be all over the tabloids. Yikes! Poor Rose.

As for Dom and Lorcan, I’m not completely unsympathetic. Maybe they really are meant for each other. But they should have figured it out before publicly breaking the heart of their cousin and friend/fiancee. It’s a low blow, and I can’t blame Rose for not forgiving her. It may speak well of Dom that she tried, before riding off into the sunset with her man, to make amends, but she can’t have thought it was going to end well? The wound was far too fresh.

Enjoyed the chapter, despite the sadness. Looking forward to seeing how Rose moves on from here.

CC:

"I shook my head through her black curls.”
--couldn’t quite figure out what this phrase meant

“Dom, the half-veela,”.
--Dom wouldn’t actually be half veela. Fleur’s grandmother was a veela, so she was 1/4th. Dominique would be 1/8th.

--Penny

Author's Response: Thank you so much for stopping by again!

I'm glad you liked this chapter! I did think of writing the scene when it actually happened.. but it just didn't seem right for Rose's POV. I imagine her being just completely stunned and confused!

Haha, well I love fics where she's name Alice Longbottom (after Neville's mum) so I always pictured that to be his daughter's name! And the thought of Al and Ali was just too cute!

Yeah they probably should've sorted it out way before the big day, but in all the rom coms/stories things always happen at the last possible moment!

Thanks for picking up on those typos!
I think I meant to write 'part-veela' not half, silly typos!

Thank you for the review!
-Rosiful


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Review #17, by Penelope InkwellBertie Bott’s Every Flavoured Beans: Introduction

13th August 2014:
Hola hola! Penelope Inkwell here for the Slytherin August Review swap ; )

Wait, your story description is BRILLIANT (in case you can’t tell, because of the limitations of the internet, I’m trilling the ‘r’ in brilliant, just to really drive home how hilarious I found this). You’re great at those...I don’t know what they’re called exactly? Tonal shifts? Where you set something up and then flip it on its head? I suppose it’s really comedic timing. Anyway, from that very first bit, you had me chuckling.

This is a really fun beginning! I mean, it’s sad--you can’t not wince sympathetically after reading that. Poor girl. But your tone gives me hope. Rose seems like a pleasant sort of person, even though some pretty heartbreaking things have gone down of late. Hopefully with some time she’ll manage to bounce back.

I love the way you started out--the whole windswept romance thing, and then the abrupt change in tone. It was perfect. I also really *like* the idea of hearing the story of the girl who gets left at the alter. It’s exactly like you describe it. You see all these stories about the cosmos conspiring to make these people realize they’re right for each other and to call off the weddings and engagements and such. I like the idea of a story about a girl who is the antagonist of a story like that. Good premise, and you pull it off nicely.

I really felt for Rose when she described her and Lorcan’s past: how she knew he was using her, but went along with it because she just wanted a chance. It was like you distilled “sad puppy dog eyes” and poured them into a mould to make words.

Since this is an introductory chapter, and a fairly short one, I think I’ll read on a bit more. Good job with your opening!

CC:

A couple minor details. I always try to include this, because I’m super OCD and if I spell something wrong or whatever I definitely want people to tell me :D

"No one thinks about the person dragged along through their epic love saga and is inevitably pushed aside.”
--Instead of “and is inevitably” you might want to say “who is inevitably”. Or say “No one thinks about the person who is dragged along...”

"Her stunning, puffy, white dress now being an embarrassment to be seen in.”
--I’d suggest taking out “being”.

“To which Lorcan took offensive.”
--"To which Lorcan took offense,” would be more correct.

That’s it, really! Just little stuff. I enjoyed this :) I do have one question. It’s not a critique at all--I’m just curious. When you introduce him as Lorcan Lysander, is that meant to combine the twins into one entity? That’s cool, because fanfic (Muahaha! We are wild crazy rule breakers! Viva la revolución!), but I was just wondering what made you decide to play it that way? I find it really interesting to read about why people make the changes they make.

That’s all! Thanks for the reading material. It was fun!

--Penny

Author's Response: Thank you for such a lovely review!!

I have no idea what they are officially called, but Tonal Shifts works for me! I'm glad you liked the description! I actually wrote it years ago, then a few months ago I found it again.. and I just couldn't stop thinking about it, so I decided I just *had* to turn it into the story we have now!

I'm glad you like poor Rose and her sad story at the moment. She really is a fun character to write, but it's interesting trying to make her (and the whole story in general) fun but also sad (because really.. she just got dumped.. pretty badly too).

Thank you for the CC! I am planning to go through and do some editing, so those will be very helpful!

Also, I honestly wish I had an amazing reason as to why he is "Lorcan Lysander" and mixed the two twins together.. but honestly, that was a complete mistake that I just never picked up on! :/
Would be interesting though..

Thank you so much for reading and reviewing!!

-Rosiful


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Review #18, by Penelope InkwellThe New Pride of Portree: Friends Again

10th August 2014:
Finally, he knows! I suppose we rarely like our parents getting involved in this sort of thing, but in this case, meddling for the win! It would drive me positively crazy if my father did such a thing, admittedly, but I appreciate Percy and what he’s trying to do. It’s very him--he always was a bit nosy and certain he knew the best way, but all the Weasleys were so family-centric, Percy included, in the end. I can totally see him having a talk with his daughter’s...well, whatever Fitz is, to try to straighten things out. And now Fitz knows how she feels! Hooray!

Aw, and Lucy and Hilarion are so sweet and adorable. And baby Flora, pitching in as well! Yay for familial support, all around. :D

--Penny

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Review #19, by Penelope InkwellThe New Pride of Portree: Widdershins

31st July 2014:
This story! It gives me so many emotions! How is that even possible?! It’s a sports story! I never get this excited about sports stories.

But of course, it’s more than that, which is why I like it so much.

(For the record, I like sports stories fine, but this one is much more than fine. It’s great! I always look forward to reading the next chapter).

They beat the MAGPIES!!! That’s, like, a legit team! Fitz’s former team! I’m just so excited that they won. And yay for Jinks.

Also, the fact that someone was singing the Chariots of Fire song? Brilliant.

I love all the family interactions in this. Who would have ever thought that Percy could be so endearing? And the way they describe Fitz--always looking at her. With “sad eyes”. Yikes! The feels!

I also loved when Molly was thinking that maybe she should just tell Fitz she loves him, but not right then, because they had a game. Finally, someone with some sense! There are so many times in stories I’ve read/movies I’ve seen where characters have this dramatic love confession right before something important that requires focus and I’m always thinking, That is so wonderful that you feel that way but is this really the time?! I’m not saying that it never works, but most times it just doesn’t seem practical. I appreciate that the ever-sensible Molly recognizes an inappropriate time for amorous confessions when she sees one.

My favorite bit was when Molly described Percy being stubborn and pushy about what he thought his girls wanted or deserved, and how apparently he’d decided that what she wants is Fitz. I thought it was adorable, and it was the exact opposite of how I expected it to go. I figured he’d be angry at Fitz and hate him and want Molly far away from him, but his actual response makes sense. It wasn’t the typical response, but that made it fresh. I loved it.

And now Harry’s going to try to catch Rakes? Yes! Justice!

Now if these two can just work things out...

Thanks for the chapter! :D

--Penny

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Review #20, by Penelope InkwellForeign Affairs : Prologue

23rd July 2014:
Hi! I know it’s been a while, but you had asked me to come look at this story, so here I am.

First, I can tell that you definitely have some great writing abilities. You use a wonderful and diverse vocabulary, and you’ve got some real skill with description. One of my favorites:

"Molly would reach out to Hermione, grasp her hand weakly and look deep into her eyes, and thank her for choosing Ron through the thick rattle of smothering fluid.”

I mean, ew. But also, that sentence is just very well stitched together. It really sets the scene for what a miserable, impossible situation she’s in, and how hard and heartbreaking it can be to deal with sickness.

Also, I like your concept. It’s solid, you’ve thought out all the details, and you have a firm grasp on exactly what has happened to get your character to the state she is in at the beginning of the chapter, when we get that peek into how Hermione is doing, present-time.

One detail I thought worked quite well is how you’ve conceived of Hermione’s relationship with the Weasley’s, post-breakup. It’s so sad, but very believable. After all, Weasleys are loyal to the core (super-Gryffindors), and family is very important to them, so I could see them reacting that way. Especially Molly, when you consider her response to Rita Skeeter’s article in 4th year. The points she makes about having thought she would have earned a place among them, and about how betrayed she feels when they don’t value her unless she’s with Ron, really...just OUCH! I felt it. So that was great.

Lastly, I really liked how methodical you made Hermione’s search for her parents. It fit her perfectly. She has a plan, she does Step A, Step B, and Step C. It’s all perfectly in character--in some ways, almost aggressively so. Like she’s been being this other person, holding everything in for so long, and now she is grabbing on to all her former organizing-overload tendencies to try to keep some control of herself, and of all these feelings which explode so beautifully when she finds out the truth about her parents at the end (I mean, it’s really sad. I just mean beautifully constructed, in terms of a timeline of building tension).


Okay, now for suggestions:

I love what you’ve come up with, in terms of plot for this year or so since the war. What I think would be really great is if, rather than telling us what happened, you showed us. Maybe it could be flashbacks? You could work them into the rest of the story instead of telling us the whole shebang at the beginning.

That would be interesting, but it would be a pretty big overhaul. What I’d suggest is opening with Hermione, say, coming into her office. Maybe she shoves aside the stack of papers on her desk--a draft of her speech for the Ancient Runes Society, a missive from Minister Shacklebolt to which she really needed to respond (anything that could give a good idea of how important she has become). OR, even better, she could look at her shelves and the awards/trophies. Kick off a pair of expensive heels. That tells you the lifestyle she’s living. But then maybe you bring up that there isn’t a single picture frame, no photographs of friends or family. That would be a good lead in to flashing back to her past, when all her relationships fell apart.

That way, you’re showing us what happened, and implying where she is. Then, I’d suggest using that tactic in the rest of the chapter. Show us the details. Instead of just having it all be condensed exposition, let us experience it.

Also, I think it would be helpful if, instead of saying she delayed “her travels”, you spelled out for us what that means. I initially thought it just referred to, you know, doing something with her life, when in reality she was delaying her search for her parents. It would also be great, and maybe a little bit foreshadowing, to explain that, in her mind, her parents were safely tucked away in Australia, where they knew nothing of magic and violence, and how Molly was in danger *now*, so it seemed right to help her first, and to wait.

One thing I noticed is that her depiction of Ron is a little inconsistent. She spends almost the whole time implying that he is sort of useless, unintelligent, and content in mediocrity, but then she calls him "the closest and sweetest friend she would ever have”. Maybe talk about why she can describe him that way, in spite of his faults. Mention his good points--his loyalty, for instance. Maybe he could *try* to care about the things she cared about, and she could appreciate his efforts, but ultimately they just couldn’t cultivate the same interests, and she grew tired of pretending?

Lastly: right now, this sort of monologue that Hermione has is pretty acerbic throughout. It might be better if Hermione’s levels of bitterness fluctuate a little bit more. Obviously she’d be extra bitter in the beginning, since we’re already at present day and she has been through all this. But maybe, when you flash back a year, it could start with a gentler feel. A yearning for something else, then mild irritation, the determination that something must change, forced patience (pressure is building), Molly gets better--trapped feeling, about to explode, the barely-controlled emotion as she deals with everything she’s lost and focuses on the task of finding her family, and then the EXPLOSION of finding out her parents are dead, and she could have prevented it if she hadn’t been trapped in this situation, trying to take care of people who ultimately didn’t care enough about her. There’s that beautiful structure to this timeline that I mentioned before, and if you give it an emotional structure that reflects that, it will help highlight it.

So those are my thoughts. I think this has so much potential! The backstory details are really clever. I definitely want to keep reading. There’s a flow to your writing style that I really like.

--Penny

Author's Response: Wow, Penny. Thanks so much for your insightful and detailed review! I completely agree with your suggestions. I have known for a while that I'll need to re-work the first chapter if I want to really be proud of this story. I'm more of an editor (who happens to describe emotion well), so the complex building of plot can be really hard for me. I tend to focus on the ring of one sentence at a time and I end up getting tunnel vision. I'm thrilled that you picked up on all the important undertones that I wanted in there, even though they weren't presented in the most reader-friendly way.

Anyway, I am glad that you enjoyed it and I do hope you keep reading, since I think it gets a lot better. I've been on a bit of a hiatus for a couple months due to some upheaval in my personal life that's just made it hard to take on anything extra, but I do know how this story ends (sort of) and I plan to finish it eventually. Meanwhile I'm listening to all the audiobooks (British versions) and building my encyclopedic knowledge of the wizarding world. Like a dork.

Best,

FawkesFelicis


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Review #21, by Penelope InkwellThe New Pride of Portree: Underdogs

19th July 2014:
Yay! New chapter! Is it just me, or are updates picking up speed? It feels that way, at any rate, and I am LOVING it.

So, first, I enjoyed the exchange between Molly & Roxanne. It’s good for her to admit her feelings. She’s started with her family, and now moved on to telling her closest friends, which seems like a positive step. Like, maybe she’s gearing up to tell the truth to Fitz. Baby steps and all that.

Of course, there IS the question of who’s going to admit that they love the other first?

One thing I like about this story, in general, is that the actions of both main characters make sense. Like, so much of the time when you get multiple POVs, even when I can see a character’s *reason* for doing something, I’m driven mad by how simple it would be for all the problems to be solved if both parties just looked beyond their nose. But that isn’t the case here.

Fitz has had a really horrible experience with his romantic relationships. I mean, Mariah really hurt him. Cheating is always hard to forgive, but the way she did things? It was just awful. And now he’s been a bit of a grouch, what with losing the sport he loved, his wife, and the head-splittingly painful shoulder injury, and for a while he was obviously bitter. He picked up on that, and now he believes himself to be unloveable. And really, his accusation that Molly just wanted to fix him? It wasn’t true, but I could understand why he drew that conclusion.

As for Molly--oh, I feel her pain. Or the pain she doesn’t know that she has? Ugh! What I mean is, she tries so hard to make sure it looks like she isn’t hurt, but the problem is that it MAKES IT LOOK LIKE SHE ISN’T HURT, which makes Fitz think that she never cared. And I can totally be like that. My first urge is usually to hide how really strong emotions affect me, so I totally sympathize. But, as in this case, it can really be a problem.

The thing is, both of their responses make sense, and I can’t blame either of them for it. So now I must just patiently wait, watching them snatch looks at each other--adorably--over popcorn and crazed teammates, until someone SAYS OR DOES SOMETHING, finally, and we can clear this all up.

In the meantime, the tension is very well executed. I am dying for them to work this out, but I’m not wanting to skip ahead. It’s not miserable, and you do a wonderful job of balancing the genuine pain of broken hearts with funny, upbeat moments. I enjoy every update, and it never gets to the point of, “Oh, this is all so depressing, I wish I could just fast forward to the good part,” because it’s *full* of good parts. That’s a really awesome skill! I’m so impressed, and I hope that, one day, I can pull off that balance as excellently as you do.

Also? I loved the Chariots of Fire, bit. I also like how the guys reacted to it the exact same way half my class did when we watched it in high school. It was charming. : )

Thanks for another great update!

Favorite Quote:

“Give it a go, and if you don't like it, you never have to have a feeling again.”



--Penny

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Review #22, by Penelope InkwellThe New Pride of Portree: Let Us Break A Few Heads

14th July 2014:
OH MY GOSH!

I can’t believe that it was Mariah’s ex-lover who Cursed Fitz.

...actually, I take that back. I can totally believe it.

Honestly, I’m just so glad to get that mystery solved. And while I usually don’t approve of bar brawls, I’m really just happy Fitz got in a few good punches. I mean, the man ruined his life. He got off lucky, all things considered. Fitz never has a great hold on his temper, and he’s been twice as grouchy since breaking things off with Molly. And then this guy comes along and brags about having slept with his wife and ended his career? He’s lucky the wands weren’t brought out, the way I see it. I mean, I don’t know that I see Fitz as the world’s best dueler, but he’d certainly have a great amount of righteous anger to fuel his fight.

Ron cameo! And Rose. Why *was* Rose covered in treacle, for that matter? Anyway, good to see them, and good of Ron to keep quiet about Fitz’s predicament. The Perks of being a Weasley--clearly it’s not a bad gig if you can get it.

Ack! Fitz...Molly. Uuugh! Something has gotta give here. This is just painful.

Favorite Quotes:

“What happened to you?”

“Shaving accident?” Fitz suggested.

“I thought we were going with 'ambushed by pirates',” Jinks stage-whispered.

“He was fighting off a troll,” Zara volunteered.

Fitz nodded judiciously at that. “Somewhat accurate,” he admitted.



Bahahaha!

Well written and engaging as always! Thanks for the chapter : D

--Penny

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Review #23, by Penelope InkwellPlay the Devil: The Joust

10th July 2014:
For the House Cup 2014 Review

Although I was going to review this anyways! That’s just an added bonus :)

I’m back! Sorry that it’s been so long. I was very busy with school for a while, and then I was traveling, but I’ve been wanting to read the next chapters for AGES! By the way, I recently visited the Tower of London and got to hear about Richard’s rumored nefarious doings, and I thought of what Rose might have to say about those allegations :)

So, a joust! How fun. Although I must say, it does not sound like the ideal post-hangover activity. Poor Rose! And no water! I guess there’s always the "hair ‘o the dog that bit ye” method. Yikes.

I love that Rose gets into jousting. It does make sense, since she’s a fan of Quidditch. I mean, of course she’s concerned when people are injured, but she is used to a game where people hit bludgers at each other and try to knock players out of the sky, which *is* probably worse than even falling off Apollo would be. I think I, personally, would want to enjoy it, but spend half the time in a panic. Rose taking to it more easily makes sense, and the concern she does show speaks well for her character.

I also like that Rose is really thinking about how she ought to act. She’s not paranoid about it--as she says, she’ll only be there for a while--but she is taking things seriously, which I think may be good for her character growth, long-term.

And Sir Nicholas! He’s a wizard?! Ooh! I didn’t see that coming, but I like it. I’m looking forward to seeing how that might play out. Also, having Salazar Slytherin be the “knave" of snakes? I love that! Brilliant touch. It all goes so perfectly: crowns for Rowena’s diadem, cups like the Cup of Hufflepuff, and swords like the sword of Gryffindor. It does all fit wonderfully as a deck of cards. How very clever!

Also, is Scorpius coming to Fotheringay? Oh my!

CC:

Really all I’ve got here is teeny, nit-picky things.

"They were armed in full silver armor, which reminded me quite strongly of the suits of armor which decorated Hogwarts and were prone to going for unexpected strolls.”
--Armed in armor which reminds her of suits of armor is a lot of “arm” in one sentence. Maybe “outfitted” in full silver armor might break it up a bit? But that really is quite picky. I love the bit about comparing it to the Hogwarts armor, though, and how those suits will just get up and walk on their own.

"I wondered why he was so sure about keeping his voice down.”
--“insistent” might be a better word than “sure” here. Or something like that.

But that’s it. You’re writing is so good that, if I’m to critique anything at all, it pretty much always has to be the teeny tiny details.

Another great chapter, as always! I’m so excited to be reading this story again! :D

--Penny

Author's Response: Hi Penny!!

Don't even worry, I've been really slow and lazy about editing and uploading these chapters!! That's so cool - I LOVE the tower and London in general as is probably pretty clear here, hehe. Rose has (so far) not really been able to research Richard and hear about his reputation, though it will someday definitely cause her some trouble.

It makes me cringe just thinking about Rose and her hangover, yuck. I'm so glad I live in a place and era where there is clean water, and it's another Rose is starting to appreciate about her own time.

Haha, that's a funny point about Quidditch and why Rose likes the jousting. I think it would be pretty cool to watch especially when you know the people in the suits of armour. She also does want to act properly and not stand out too much, since she doesn't know for sure if she can get back herself and what the consequences of exposing herself as an imposter might be. She is a little self-conscious as well so she doesn't want to make a fool of herself.

Hehe, I'm so glad you liked Nicholas being a wizard!! It was one of the twists I was really excited about. I did some research on decks of cards of the time and thought they seemed quite cool, and it fit well to tie them in here. I'm glad you liked it!

Scorpius...well, we should keep an eye on him. :P

Thanks for pointing those out, I've fixed them now and it's super helpful! :D Thanks so much for the really wonderful review, Penny, and I'm sorry about the late response! ♥


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Review #24, by Penelope InkwellThis Web We Weave: Herbology and Quidditch Tryouts

31st May 2014:
Here again for the May review swap, as I’ve just realized that I read my calendar wrong and I’ve got an extra day! Hooray!

Glad to meet more of la familia Potter-Weasley. I don’t think I’ve seen Roxanne and Fred as twins before, though now that I think about it, I’m surprised at that. I like it. And she’s Hufflepuffish instead of a Quidditch star or a Gryffindor hellion? This is new, and I am a fan of it.

There’s some set up with Felix there. That may prove interesting. And awww, protective Al! So sweet (I mean, if I were Rose I’d be annoyed, but as a third party observer, it’s sweet).

Looks like Rose has locked in her spot on the team! Good for her, but this, of course, can only lead to trouble. And poor, shy, vaguely geeky Scorpius. How adorable is he? That’s also a version that I don’t see as often.

I think you wrote Rose’s total hatred for having to be tutored well. I mean, I think she took it better than Hermione would have. But it fit. Rose puts herself through what she has to in order to succeed, but *hates* needing help in academics, since it’s supposed to be her area of expertise. That makes perfect sense, and I’m glad she calls herself out on the hypocrisy of it, but I can totally understand. Though she should be nicer about it, I sympathize.

Everything flows well. Your writing style is very natural, and I didn’t notice any type-os, which is always impressive. If I had to give one critique of some kind, I’d just wish the chapters are longer so I could get to know everyone better :) I like the way you’re setting up the characters, and I’m eager to know what everyone else will be like.

--Penny

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Review #25, by Penelope InkwellThis Web We Weave: NEWTs, Quidditch, and a Little Totalitarianism

30th May 2014:
Hello hello!

First off, I hope it’s still May in your timezone! Sorry if I’m late on the review swap. I’ve been running all around the last couple of months, and haven’t been as on top of things as I should be. Also, I’m going to respond to your lovely review--I just thought I ought to review your story first!

I really, really like the set up of Rose and Albus’ friendship. It seems so natural, and in just a short time you can already see how close they are, and that there are years and years of strong connection there.

Hermione forbidding Rose from playing Quidditch is believable. Very annoying, of course, though you know she means well. And I can see Ron taking it just that way--being on her side, to an extent, but not willing to countermand Hermione’s point (which, while unfair, is still understandable. It’s not as though Rose is looking to make a career out of Quidditch, so I can see why Hermione, pragmatic and long-sighted as she is--might see it as a poor use of time. Though I think she’s expecting a bit too much).

That line Ron says about her being an “outstanding” girl was adorable and cheesy and seems so very right. It’s just how I imagine he’d be as a father :)

I also like Rose, and what makes me like her, more than anything, is that very last line. She doesn’t just feel sorry for herself. When things are unfair, she calls it out, and she doesn’t give up. However, she still holds herself to high standards and when she really CAN do better, she pursues that, instead of just blowing off the essay out of spite. She can be angry with someone and concede to their point. That’s a valuable quality, and rare in the world of spunky heroines. I really, really love that!

Thanks for the review swap!

--Penny

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