Reading Reviews From Member: Penelope Inkwell
  
733 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Penelope InkwellThe Keeper's Daughter: Something to Write About

23rd July 2016:
*BLASTS DOORS OFF THEIR HINGES*

I have arrived! To review! (WARNING: I had so much fun with this chapter, so this one's gonna be a little gushy).

Okay, so, first of all, I read this on my phone during lunch break the other day, and then didn't have time to review it, and I wanted the full keyboard, so I had to put it off a bit, but the curse of procrastination did not keep me away forever because here I am!

I will have you know that this chapter was such a high point of that day. You know that magic thing where your day is going decently enough, you suppose, but then you get a moment and one thing makes you happy? And then suddenly, because you're already happy, it's like the universe has set a little attendant in front of you to throw glitter and flower petals in front of your every step? When something actually makes your day because it lifts your mood sufficiently that everything seems a bit better and you feel you can really tackle the day?

That's what this chapter did for me :D It was lovely.

I was so excited just to see a new chapter on this story, as it's one of the main ones I'm always watching out for, in terms of updates. And then this was just such a great update, right when I needed something happy. So thank you. Now, let us talk about the things I enjoyed:

I always love Gee's dynamic with her friends, and this was no exception. They really add so much fun to the storyline, and make Gee's character so much more relatable. I'm glad the shine isn't wearing off Leo and Sophia's arrangement yet. I kind of hope it just doesn't, but even if it does, I have hope that they'll work it out. They're so adorable. And Isla, with her more quiet nature, provides a good foil for Gee.

That moment where Gee and Albus meet up for their date and are basically like, "Whoa" was so cute. It could have really easily been too cheesy or overdone, but it wasn't. I think you struck that perfect balance of delight when you really like someone and they like you and you just take a moment to sort of revel in it.

I think hindsight also played in really well to this. Like, we all knew from last chapter that there was no way taking the high road with Pippa was ever going to work. She was always gonna take things too far; it's narrative inevitability. But I was sufficiently caught up in the cuteness and wondering about Albus and Gee's date that I sort of forgot that of course Pippa would have some scheme to ruin it. I thought the inclusion of Matteo into that was nicely done, as well. His actions were weird, storming out like that, but it all made perfect sense in hindsight. And of course Albus and Gee were gonna have to face reporters. Two famous kids like that; it'd have been impossible for them not to. I loved the mix of absolute aplomb and complete insanity with which they handled it: calling out baby names and then charging the journalists. They can probably both look forward to some injury-based lawsuits, but still, probably worth it. And the way Albus laughed when Gee made the jokes about naming the baby for her father--it was such a great way to show that their sense of humor really is in sync, and that they're a good match. He could have easily been upset or stressed out by that, but instead, for him, it made the whole thing better. In that moment, and many of the moments after, I feel like we really see what makes him and Gee a good match, a good team.

They just seem like they could almost always have a good time. Like, some characters, you cheer for them to have a relationship and all, but you know it'd never work out long term. They could never face real life together. But these two, I get the feeling that they really could. They have a great sense of humor. They can have a great time even when it's casual, not all high drama. They're realistic about other people, even when they're getting swept up a bit in the romance of a moment. And they're just adorable. I ship them devotedly.

I also sort of loved that they spent the rest of their date as: 1/3 eating, 1/3 plotting revenge and toying with reporters, and 1/3 making out. They broke a door, took down some journalists...and yet, It really was perfect, for them. I love the way that people (sometimes even Albus or Gee) are always calling out the way something in their relationship isn't always stereotypically romantic, and they can be snarky about it, but then it's inevitably pointed out that, for them, that really is still perfect.


And ALBUS AND GEE ARE FINALLY, OFFICIALLY TOGETHER!! YESSS!!!

I was also really excited about the change of pace here, regarding the tabloids. I mean, they're a part of most Next-Gen stories and it makes a lot of sense that often the characters are upset by them. Often that's necessary. But the way Gee just shrugs it off, and decides that the pictures are all weirdly flattering and she's going to make fun of it by embracing it? That was brilliant! It mixed it up from what I usually see. And not only is it the best sort of revenge on Pippa (except perhaps the secret revenge she and Albus cooked up on their date), it really shows what makes Gee so unique and fun as a character.

I loved this chapter. It was so fun. I enjoyed Albus and Gee's vibe, the trajectory their relationship is taking, and all the cuteness and hilarity. Thanks so much! It was a wild ride from start to finish of this one, and I had a great time.

--Penny

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Review #2, by Penelope InkwellHaunting Shadows: Cracks

10th July 2016:
Hello hello!

Finally made it over here. Sorry it took so long.

I was really, really glad to see the girls' supporting Cate. I was a bit worried that she might not take it well, but I thought you balanced that perfectly. Her relief at having people who are showing that they care about her makes so much sense, especially since she's been feeling so alone, abandoned by Rob and Tommy. But then you also keep her personality in place. She is clearly a very guarded person, and she's been through so much, so I thought having her basically say, "thank you so much, but I'm not ready to talk," was the perfect response from her character. That could have gone so many ways, and the way you chose really made a lot of sense. I liked the little bit of levity at the end of that scene, too, where you reminded us that the Triwizard Tournament was coming and there was some Krum fangirling. I think I've said this before, but I am so excited to see the little bits of the Triwizard Tournament peeking into the background of this story, and to watch how it all fits together! I think your choice of time period is brilliant.

I'm so curious about this apparition. Is Chris' ghost all in her head? Is he really a ghost at all? Can only magical people become ghosts? I'd never thought of that before. I wonder if he's real, or if there's a part of her that wants to know the truth, and her brain has created something to spur her on. I mean, he is dead, right? He's gotta be dead.

We think.

Then, of course, that bit at the end was so sad. There was some definite catharsis there, through her art and her crying. And I liked that when Catherine finally let go of her tight hold on her emotions, her brother did show up. She gave him an opening, and he did step up to be the brother he ought to be. I just wonder if they'll be closer after this, or if it was a one-off event. I wonder: it must be extremely abnormal for her to cry. I could be wrong, but she seems to be very much the type to keep it all held in. I wonder how much of Tommy holds his distance because he doesn't think he can really help her? Because he'll think that if he tries, she'll eventually just rebuff him. I don't know, I'm just taking a stab at figuring out their rather unusual dynamic.

Favorite quote:

“You recognize my work,” he said fondly, placing his hand over his heart. “I didn’t know.”

Oh, Fred. You are adorable. And it was nice to see Cate loosen up around him. I was also really proud of him for offering her that chocolate frog--not just because it was sweet. But someone clearly took Professor Lupin's lessons last year to heart. Cate may not be suffering from a nearby Dementor, but what she's going through isn't dissimilar. And we all know chocolate works wonders on that! Good to know Fred pays some attention in D.A.D.A!


CC: I noticed this one thing:

and I recognized the dark hand to belong to Lee Jordan.
--This seems like a mashup that should either be "I knew the dark hand to belong to Lee Jordan" or "I recognized the dark hand as belonging to Lee Jordan." The current wording struck me as a little unusual. But that's allI I've got in the way of nitpicking.


Another intriguing chapter! I remain super curious about what is going on, and I'm eager to see more interactions with Catherine and the girls, Catherine and the ghost, Catherine and Rob/Tommy, and of course Catherine and Fred! Well done :D I also see that Whispers in the Dark has several new chapters for me to devour as soon as I get the chance. I've got to go write some words for CampNano, but I'm looking forward to those chapters immensely. Can't wait!

--Penny

Author's Response: Hi Penny! I'm so happy to see you back here :)

Yeah, I figured the girls would be the perfect outlet to support Cate. I also kind of keep forgetting that they're friends (whoops), but this seemed like the best way to re-introduce them. And you're spot-on about your observations; she's really very guarded and not used to talking about her problems, so naturally she wouldn't spill everything right away but enough to give them an idea of what's going on. Something I've learned from previous drafts :D I also thought it was important to balance the scene, so I'm glad you liked it! I'm super excited about the TriWizard Tournament too. It's forcing me to push through time because nothing happens until November, really - at least Tournament-wise, and that's definitely good!

You're partially correct about your observations on Tommy, but more will be revealed about him soon XD I actually changed the person who had originally been there to comfort Cate to Tommy because it just felt more appropriate for it to be a sibling moment.

I love that line (and Fred) so much too ♥. I think Fred pays closer attention to things than a lot of people give him credit for; and besides, who could pass up some free chocolate?! I know I couldn't!

Thank you for the CC! Now that I read that line again it is a bit awkward. ^^

Thank you! Whispers actually only has one new chapter posted at the moment, but it is my camp nano novel, so hopefully there will be more on the way!

Thank you for another amazing review :D

♥ Jill


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Review #3, by Penelope InkwellThe Keeper's Daughter: The Truth

6th July 2016:
Congrats on completing the first draft of your OF novel! That's huge! And I am sure, based on everything I've ever read by you, that it will be excellent. I'm so excited for you! What an accomplishment!

I'm very glad they managed to get Sophia out of jail. And I'm glad Leo's jerk of a non-boyfriend didn't get off scot-free. And there together-ish now! I can't say whether it'll end well, but I'm for it!

Poor Gee, having to deal with all that crap. That's high school, though. I do appreciate that she's trying to grow, even if I think eventually Sophia will be proven right; Pippa's totally gonna cross the line, and Gee is gonna have to take her down.

Albums has become even more adorable, and I'm loving their relationship. I'm glad it's as Quidditch-y as ever, and that Gee is feeling fulfilled in terms of getting to be part of the team. Looking forwards to this date and more Georgialbus! Thanks for another great chapter!

--Penny

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Review #4, by Penelope InkwellA Box of Chocolates: One: In Which Penny Eats Something Strange

21st May 2016:
Hey Lizzie!

I'm here to review for the site-wide hot seat! Okay, so, confession: I am an absolute sucker for stories that involve a Muggle's discovery of the magical world. I LOVE them, so I was pretty excited to see that Penny was Lia's Muggle friend.

This is a short chapter, but I feel like the character basics are set up pretty well. Penny seems generally logical and comparatively calm, so this behavior is clearly a huge departure from the norm. Lia is a ball of energy and emotion--everything she feels, whether excitement or anger, is widely projected to all. I'm not *that* sure yet about Leo, one way or the other. And James is clearly a charmer. It's just a glimpse into all of their characters, but it's clear that you've given them all distinct personalities. You also create a fun, bouncy tone that makes me feel like absolutely anything could happen.

You had the emotion ramp up nicely, as well, after Penny eats the love-potion spiked chocolate, as it goes from her head, to her fight with Lia, to her all-out confession to James. The way you had it build up was good. However, she also clearly found James attractive before she ever ate the candy. Poor girl, this is going to be mortifying.


CC:

I didn't notice any grammatical errors, which, brava! Very clean writing.

“Ah! That’s good to hear. I thought someone had been shot,” I replied, doing my best to pretend that I didn’t know what was happening".
--Here, the 'doing my best to pretend that I didn’t know what was happening,' implies that she *does* know. But, really, she has no clue what is going on. That's nitpicky, but it's the only thing that really pinged on my radar as I was reading through. It might be good to say, "doing my best to pretend I knew less than I did. Which wasn't hard, because I didn't really know anything. Just that something wasn't right here." Maybe just something to that effect?


We definitely launched straight into the hijinks, and I'm very interested to see how this all turns out. Especially for Penny. I mean, the poor girl's a Muggle! She hasn't any idea what's going on! I'm super curious how this is going to work out. James (I'm assuming it's James), you are in So. Much. Trouble.

--Penny (well, the other one ;) )

Author's Response: Penny (the obviously cooler one)!!

Oh yeah, stories about muggles in the wizarding world are definitely a guilty pleasure of mine as well! :D

Ah, thank you! Managing to write all of these characters in a distinct way was something that I definitely struggled with when I started out. But you're definitely right about Penny, Lia and James' personalities! Leo is a little bit of a wild card though, and even though I'm working on the last chapter of this story now, I still struggle with his characterization. :D

Poor Penny indeed. I can say that this story definitely doesn't end well for her.

Ah! Thanks for that CC! I'll definitely go back and edit that the next time I update this story. You've got a great eye when it comes to spotting things that could be phrased a bit better. And this isn't the first time you've helped me with my stories... maybe I should ask you to beta-read for me more often... ;)

Oh yes... James is going to be in a LOT of trouble!

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing, Penny!! You're wonderful!!
Lizzie


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Review #5, by Penelope Inkwelletc. etc. (and life goes on): Appy Ever After

20th May 2016:
Wow. Clemence is straight up fractured. She's always been very ~in her head~, but ever since she sort of lost her identity in A Kingdom for My Name, she's been crumbling. It's like she makes less and less sense with each passing paragraph, constantly contradicting herself. Even she can't work through who she really is. I can't even decide if she's just more honest about her motivations than most people, or if she's internalized a lot of self-hate and casts herself as a villain because she's lacked many positive relationships. Probably a mix of both, I guess. But when she said, "It's me, isn't it?" I say, lip shaking. "The crazy one—it's me." I was just like, weeell...

kinda, yeah.

She might not be as crazy as Appy. But she's still lost a lot of her stability here. She's flashing so quick back and forth on what she believes about people, about love. She wants it; she never wanted it. She's heartless; she has a heart. Scorpius is pathetic; Scorpius is admirable in the purity of his love (so pure that he considered removing Albus' ability to consent to a relationship? But alas, that is a discussion for another day. I'm writing a story about Merope slipping Tom Sr. love potion, so I can understand a certain amount of well-meaning self-delusion, I guess). She can't decide if Albus is lovable and she's terrible for not loving him, or if she's really worth more than she has to offer. And the girl has no earthly idea about herself. She's a mess.

I hated everything, trusted in nothing, and in the absence of real purpose, it had been enough fulfilling this myth of myself. I wasn't happy but I was triumphant and that was almost the same. AND I didn't have enough heart for my prince and too much heart to play villain...
--the combination of these lines is basically everything I've been thinking about Clemence. She's been so consumed with the myth of herself, so stuck on whether to cling to it or admit that there is more to her.


CC:
He might not wait, but if Albus ever felt the same, he wouldn't hesitate if only to undo the hurt since then.
--I was a little confused by this sentence. To undo the hurt since when?


Even amidst all the angst, you keep the humor, which I appreciate. And honestly, I was glad to see the newsroom burn. It seems the best possible outcome for her, really. It's like she's been wanting to let it go, and destiny or fate or some angry girls finally made the choice for her. And I think it's going to be for the best. The real question is where on earth she'll go from here.

I wasn't really sad about her breakup with Albus. I'm about as confused about their relationship as she is. How good a guy *was* he, really? I go from being sad for him to tired of him and back to sad, but either way, they were a toxic pair. Nothing good was ever going to come of that, I don't think. Her crazy-dream Appy was right. Whatever mixed motivations she may have had, her relationship with Albus was really all about her rivalry with Appy. She has a lot to say about Scorpius, Rose, and Dom, but really her situation has been terribly similar. The whole lot of them were using each other, one way or another: Albus used Clemence to take down QGA and to be his reformed villainess, and he used Appy to strike out at Clemence. And then both girls just used Albus as a kind of tug-of-war piece. Really, it makes the situation between Dom, Rose, and Scorpius look positively healthy!

I was glad to see her finally cry in the end, finally open up to all her confusion. I don't really know where she stands--I still think Clemence is more than she believes she is. I think she has more capacity for kindness and affection than she realizes, but she's been in a toxic environment for a long time. She still has a lot of growing to do. I'm curious what this epilogue is going to be like, and I'd be very interested to see what Clemence turns into down the road. She's still trying to deny it, up till the very end, but by the time she's outright sobbing, it seems like she at least understands that she has the capacity for emotion, and that she isn't the heartless person she's pretended to be for so long. She's so prideful, but really she's tearing herself down all the time, and even at the end, she doesn't quite understand why anyone would care about her. She still thinks they're fools for it. I really do hope she finds some real self worth, outside of just being a successful writer.

I feel like Clemence's journey hasn't really been about finding herself so much as about admitting that she *doesn't* know herself in totality, that she doesn't have it all figured out. And that's okay, because she's young. She *should* still be growing and changing, not just clinging to this artificial image she made for herself at 14, when she wanted to take over the world (or Hogwarts, at least) and needed a persona to do it. I mean, I always appreciated her confidence, but it's been interesting to see her contradict herself more and more until she finally just kind of shatters.

I'm just hoping she can put herself back together--maybe with help--in a way that will make her happier. That she can have a chance. Because as long as she was clinging to that persona, how could she ever be happy. At least with the shattering, there's hope of rebuilding better.

Clemence has been a fascinating character with so many contradictions. I just can't wait to see how she ends up in the epilogue! It's always a pleasure to read your work. :D

--Penny

Author's Response: Leave it to Clemence to have a bildungsroman that ends in fire.

Don't remind me about the contradictions! Trying to describe them while making sense was the absolute worst :'D Unorthodox as some of Clemence's story is, this really is her quintessential growing-up-teen moment. She has irrevocably changed over the past months and she is trying to go back to a version of herself that is no longer who she is. She's grappling with becoming someone she does not recognize, unsure of whether it's because it's who she really is or who the world is telling her is normal, and this is probably the first time she's ever had to face this, at this scale. She contradicts herself because she thought she knew who she was; she was so sure! She's always sure! And maybe she was right months ago, but not anymore.

I love the bit of darkness to Scorpius' secret, and also how it's sort of an unhealthy relationship on both ends, with Albus being relatively aware of how Scorpius felt about him. I think Clemence is mostly amazed that someone like Scorpius, who seems pure, could feel that strongly obsessive about Albus to rationalize love potion. (Also, oop, I can see why that line is confusing; I meant to show how Scorpius is functionally over Albus and isn't waiting for him or anything, but if Albus returned his feelings, Scorpius' feelings would come right back just to undo all the emotional torment since his crush began)

I asked myself many times how the newsroom should burn, as the impact and meaning changes with who lights it up. I could never see Clemence doing it herself, but if she saw it burn? I think, at that point, she would finally let it burn.

One big question I've asked from the beginning is, does love justify the means? Because so often in fiction, love is a cop-out justification, and I really wanted to address that in these relationships that are unhealthy but everyone is pretty honest and aware of it and manage to love and care at times despite that. There was good and bad - it was not all for naught! - but at what point does it become a romanticization?

And it's so great to finally see her cry - finally, a catharsis! It's the most hopeful crying I've ever written. Growing up, I had a hard time connecting with other people because I didn't have a large capacity to care; it was just who I was and I would assume other people were like me. I put a lot of that into Clemence's disbelief that anyone would care for anyone let alone her like that. It was really important for me that Clemence didn't have some tragic backstory that "justifies" her personality; female characters rarely get to have this emotional range without explanation.

Thank you so so much again! I can't wait to see what you think of the epilogue c:


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Review #6, by Penelope Inkwelletc. etc. (and life goes on): Trust Whom You Love, or Is It the Other Way Around?

20th May 2016:
Oh gracious! I didn't realize I was so far behind, but now I don't even know if I'm emotionally prepared to finish this story.

I don't even know what to think. I feel kind of like Dom in this situation
--like, yes Clemence is using Albus. And in some ways I don't like that? But it's also his spotlight that's put her in this situation, and if she broke up with him now she'd lose her voice and her reputation altogether. Besides which, he's still far from perfect. I mean, I think he means well in that "nice guy" way that's so irritating--he sees himself as the hero of the story, no ifs, ands, or buts. The funny thing is that you rarely get someone who truly considers themselves the villain, like Clemence. It's interesting to watch her feel torn between her own persona. It's like she's built up this larger than life character for herself, and the truth is she's started to outgrow it--she can be more than just the 2-dimensional heartless journalist that she pretends to be, probably in an effort to win the approval of her aunt. But at the same time, she doesn't want that identity *stripped* from her by being Albus' girlfriend. It's all very tangled with the feelings and the motivations, and I don't even know quite what to think, at this point.

I liked that Scorpius got hired on to the Witchy Business staff. It's nice to see him being competent at something, after all he's been through. Different sides, and all. I could actually see him being a good journalist, in that way that you show--he's very disarming. Maybe not *clever*, per say, but people will talk to him. I wonder what *will* happen to Witchy Business, in the end. The number one thing about this chapter seems to be that Clemence doesn't really know who she is or what she wants anymore, and is just kind of holding steady and trying to ride out the tide and pretend more confidence than she really has.

And now, for the lines that were my favorite gems of the chapter:

A dark aura radiates around her, hissing and snapping at anyone too close—some sort of privacy perfume.
--I love these magical quirks you come up with. You could earn Fred and George a fortune just coming up with magical inventions for them to create.

"I understand young love can be volatile," Slughorn continues, "but do refrain from forming—what's the term nowadays?" Parchment rustles. "Ah. Armies."
--gold

"I won't deny that I've considered mild poisons...I don't take pinky promises lightly."
--there's the Appy we know and fear. I loved the turnaround there. She may have rebranded, but girl is as crazy as ever.


- My head jerks toward him. It tumbles out: "You looked!"

- He's a beat slower:
"You looked!"
--that was a cute bit. These two. At least they're on the same wavelength

"You're doing it again, by the way—that thing where you shame people for caring about you..."
--A++ Pickett! Call her out! In as much as I ship anyone in this story--which seems a risky thing to do, considering how shipping has gone--I ship these two. I mean, I'd be just as happy if Clemence ended up single, I think, but the thing is that Pickett gets her in a way that Al clearly never will. He sees through her illusions and doesn't turn her into anything she's not. Albus wanted to turn her into someone "good" so badly that now, when he looks at her, that's what he sees. Clemence looks in the mirror and sees someone bad, and that's not entirely true, either. I think Dom's a little too self-focused to really know (or entirely care) *what* Clemence is. She's willing to just accept her as a friend and be done with it. But Pickett--Pickett does get her. And at the very least, I hope he remains in her life. She needs someone who can see her more clearly.


I'm very interested to see how you're going to wrap this. I can't really imagine how it's going to end, but I'm eager to find out.

--Penny

Author's Response: Ahh you're back!! I can't wait to hear what you think of the ending c:

I love hearing your analysis of the characters. I think all of what you say has some basis; I don't have easy answers to any of that either and you could go around in an endless chain of "yes well, but..." to argue for any side. Resent is such a big part of Clemence's current feelings. She might be in a decent situation and Albus loves her but can she get over how she got here? She's taking advantage of Albus, but she warned him and he must be aware of it on some level considering their history, so what of that? And then toss in an identity crisis, because turns out she's not always right about herself...

Scorpius was supposed to be a minor character and I remember suddenly having to drum up things for his future because he surprised me with all of his secrets! And some of those do make him a pretty good journalist out the bat, especially for a school like this.

Confused old Slughorn never gets old.

The end to this chapter is probably the most emotional part of the story, barring the next chapter, and it surprised even me. I knew Pickett and Clemence care about each other in a way that never needed verbalizing, but when it came time to verbalize it, it became such a vulnerable moment, exactly because Pickett gets Clemence and doesn't play her games; he gives her the choice to live up to her own words and she takes it.

Thank you thank you for the review ♥!


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Review #7, by Penelope InkwellThe Department: Chapter One

19th May 2016:
Hey Kayla! Penny here for our review swap!

So, I'll admit that when I first saw that this story was in present tense, I was a bit wary. I've read several present tense fics, and many of them, even when they're relatively good, still come out kind of awkward and distracting. But Kayla, you ROCKED the present tense. It wasn't just *not distracting*. It flowed beautifully. It was wonderful. It can be such a tricky thing to do, and you just pulled it off excellently!

Your story opens quickly. Short and sweet, drawing us in. I loved how you let us picture the Auror office. That's one of those things that I find sometimes goes missing from present tense stories. They often lose out on scenery in favor of focusing on action. But you had a nice balance--I felt like I really got the ~feel of the office.

You really launch us into that quotidian feeling--initially, everything Sirius does has such the sensation of routine. That absolutely shatters when he sees his brother's name on the list, and it's that initial every-day feeling that you capture that makes it all the more horrid. Your refrain of Regulus Black is missing, presumed dead, was killer.

Oh, and Auror Viola was handled well, too. Even in a short chapter, your minor characters pop off the page. She clearly was busy, had her own things to do, was a bit annoyed at being questioned, but her sudden transition to sympathy, her regret that such a mistake had been made and that Sirius had to find out this way, was so sad, and very well-portrayed.

Another detail that I really liked was how you gave James his own sort of subnarrative. I have no idea if what he was working on will have anything to do with the story or not, but the way you had him focused on his own breakthrough, and coming up out of that focus to be totally confused and desperate at Sirius' breakdown, really made his character pop, like he wasn't just a minor character in someone else's story. He has his own stuff going on. I don't know if I'm explaining it well at all, but those tiny details made the whole world seem richer--just that he had his own business that had nothing to do with Sirius, initially.

I also like that you had Sirius and James as kind of the grunts. They're new employees, lucky to have a hand in really being involved in any way. It felt very realistic.


CC:

Some Aurors are sitting at their desks, busily writing up reports or recording intel; others are talking, comparing notes and strategizing. There are also some empty cubicles, their occupants out gathering intel or making arrests.
--I'd advise against using the word "intel" twice in back to back sentences like this. Maybe replace one with "information" or "suspect info" or something to that effect?

The only other thing I had was a bit of curiosity over Viola's information. She said that Voldemort had bragged about killing Regulus, but did Voldemort even know that Regulus had died? After all, he seemed to have no idea that the Slytherin locket had been stolen, as he never checked up on it. And if he'd *known* that Regulus was dead, and where he died, it seems odd that he wouldn't have looked into that.


This is a really interesting start to the story. I'm very curious as to how this is going to turn out. Are things going to stay as they were in the books? Will James and Lily soon be going into hiding? Or is this going to be an AU? Your description and just the feel of the writing draw me in immediately, and I'm so curious to see where you're going to take all this. Really good work, Kayla! I enjoyed this a lot. Thank you for the swap, and I hope you feel better soon!

--Penny

Author's Response: Hi Penny! So sorry about the super late response :(

LOL! I don't blame you for being wary - I've had the same experiences with present tense stories, and was quite nervous while writing this. But I'm really happy to hear that you think I did a good job with it!

Auror Viola was really just made up on the spot when I needed someone for that role, but I really like how she came out and I'm really excited to do more with her!

Oops! I didn't notice that double-intel. Thanks for the heads up :)

I am pretty sure Voldemort knew because of a conversation between Harry and Sirius in the fifth book where Sirius says Regulus tried to run and was murdered by Voldemort - although he does say that he's sure Regulus wasn't important enough to have been killed BY Voldemort and it must have been another Death Eater. Regulus did replace the locket with a fake, and Voldemort did make some pretty big oversights over the course of the series due to his arrogance, so... yeah! There's my reasoning haha.

I really hope to have chapter 3 up soon, and chapter 2 is up already! ^.^

Thanks so much for the awesome review, Penny!

-Kayla


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Review #8, by Penelope InkwellBeyond Repair: Sailing

18th May 2016:
Hey Renee! So, Kaitlin's blog post on your general awesomeness reminded me that it had been ages since I'd been over to your AP. How did that happen? And then I remembered how much I'd enjoyed those first couple chapters of "Beyond Repair", and wanted to dive back in.

I loved this. I think I mentioned before, but the way you write Lily and Petunia's relationship is amazing. Petunia is still Petunia, still a big sister. I remember a past chapter where she left Lily out. But you also write about their closeness, their sisterhood, and you balance those concepts so well. It's easy to assume that they never had a good relationship, but I like that you've written something very different from that. Here, they are sisters, best friends, which will put so much more force behind the break between them. Petunia grows up to be a rigid, unpleasant sort of person, but that kind of neglect and cruelty she showed--I think it's the kind of thing that most often grows out of broken love, and a sense of betrayal, so the way you're writing that fits with the character's trajectory. It's so much more sad to think of, too!

“With mermaids!” Petunia nodded.
--Ugh, the way you write Petunia here is perfect. It makes me so happy, and yet so sad. This is a little girl in touch with her imagination, a little girl who reaches out to magic with open arms. And it makes perfect sense. Maybe that was what hurt so much, years later--when she finds out that there is magic, but that she can't have it. And, to make matters worse, she "loses" her little sister--her friend, and maybe sometimes, as we see, her braver, emotional protection--to it. This detail killed me.

pulling her gently back into their magic.
--this line too. Same thing. This magic is so sweet and pure, and its theirs. And Petunia is all for it! It just shows how much it might hurt her to be shut out; how that might have been one ache at the root of her total rejection of magic, and everyone that went with it.


CC:
a tangle of lightening
--sp. "lightening" = "lightning". But I love the imagery of "a tangle" of lightning! You choose such great words.

When Lily talks about grabbing a rope from thin air, I couldn't tell at first if she'd actually conjured it, and that confused me a little. Since, you know, she potentially could. It might be good to clarify.

Petunia looked up at the warmth of a small hand taking hold of her own, gifting her a warmth that thawed her fear into something malleable...
--It might be better to avoid using "warm/warmth" in the same sentence. Maybe "the comfort of a small hand", or something like that? Oh, and the warmth thawing her fear into something malleable? Such a great image! Your words are amazing!!



Honestly, your writing is even better than I remembered! I'm so glad that Kaitlin mentioned it so that I could dart over here and read some more. You really are so talented. This really is "short and sweet", as your challenge required. I know you say that it was a harder tone for you to strike, but I think you did a lovely job. This was adorable, and fit with your story so well. You really do paint wonderful pictures, and your word choice is excellent! I hope to be back by here soon! Feel free to poke at me if I forget! I wouldn't want to miss out on this story, or the rest of your writing!

--Penny

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Review #9, by Penelope InkwellHaunting Shadows: The Guilty

14th May 2016:
Hey Jill! I'm finally here for our review swap! Sorry it took me a couple days. I'm on vacation and I've had trouble getting away for long enough to do a proper Read & Review. But I am here at last!

I was excited to see a new chapter of HS! Girl, you really are churning out the chapters, between this and that first chapter of your Ginny/Seamus novel(la), and I thought I saw another thing, too! You seriously do inspire me. You write incredible reviews, respond to your reviews so quickly, *and* you turn out so many good quality chapters! I'm gonna have to up my game to get on your level!

So, this chapter definitely threw in a curveball, which you know I like! :) I didn't foresee getting Rob's POV, but it was a great idea to see things from his side. I feel like you had already shown us that Cate might not be a perfect narrator, but like I said before, everyone was so vague and mysterious that I couldn't help but be on her side. Throwing Rob's perspective into the mix gives me a better idea of what kind of person he is. He still cares about Cate a lot, which is something we definitely wouldn't have picked up on from her side of the fence. I found it interesting that he called out Tom for being pompous and kind of failing at brotherhood, *and* pushed him to reach out to Cate. It's a totally different Rob from the one we've seen, but I think you did a good job at making both sides of him believable. I also liked this demonstration of just how much a "fortress" everyone is here. Cate is hard for others to understand, but Rob is impossible for Cate to understand. From his actions, she'd never know how he was feeling. Tom is clearly something of a fortress himself, from our perspective - we know that something's up there, but what on earth can it be?! And then Chris, well, he's super dead and mysterious. We have *no* idea what was happening in his mind. These characters are such islands, and it's cool to see how limited they are in their perceptions of each other. Everyone is so wrapped up in the guilt and secret-keeping, it makes me want to know the background of all this even more!

It was sad to read how heartbroken Rob is over Cate. I mean, I wasn't that sad for him in previous chapters, when I thought he was a jerk, or at the beginning of this one when I was convinced he was an only-somewhat-repentant murderer, but now that I've decided there must be some ambiguity here, it *is* sad. Getting his perspective makes me feel for him much more than I did.

Hmm...seems like there might be something between him and Angelina. That was interesting. I like that Angelina isn't giving up on people. Like, she may not be able to get through to Cate, but she still cares about the people in her House/year and she's trying to comfort Rob as well. I can see her that way - not at all without tact, but also unafraid to push in where she feels she might be needed.

Seeing Tom with Rob was really intriguing, too. Tom clearly have such a different relationship with Rob than he has with his sister. It really ups the mystery on how there came to be such tension between the twins, and I thought that was very well done.

CC:

The one thing about this chapter that really confused me was the meaning of the dream. From the way he reacted to it, I spent about 3/4 of the chapter thinking that was exactly, 100%, what really happened, with no extenuating circumstances, until finally I decided that that didn't really add up with how he acts later in the chapter. I'm sure you DO want us to question his guilt - I mean, that's ideal in a mystery. But at present, I spent most of the chapter unable to relate to him, even though we're getting a peek into his heart, because as sad as he was, I also was pretty convinced that he was a murderous psychopath. I had to reread it again before I decided I could feel for him at all, because maybe there was more to the story. I love that there's still ambiguity here, but I think any line where Rob could think "it wasn't like that" (or something) about the dream would help us to suspect that all is not said and done. And it would aid the mystery, because when I thought we already knew exactly who did and and the circumstances, I was a little disappointed at knowing so much so quickly. If you give a stronger hint that there may be more to it, I think it would help stretch out the questions and the curiosity.

as Tom often did if he were here.
--"if he were here" should be "when he was here" or "if he was here".

But somehow, she’d let me - even just a little bit, enough to want to have fun with me.
--I get the idea that Rob is hoping that this is the case - that someday she would let him. If that is the case, it might be better to say "someday" or "eventually", rather than "somehow".

Dark circles were under my eyes, and my eyes were bloodshot from lack of sleep.
--it's good to avoid using the same word in the same sentence, and eyes is used twice here. It might be better to say, "Dark circles were under my eyes, which were bloodshot from like of sleep," or "Dark circles rested beneath my bloodshot eyes," or something like that.


You know how nitpicky I am, so please forgive the CC. But I *really* did enjoy this chapter. You took it in such an unexpected direction, and I loved that. I never expected to get inside Rob's head like this, and it was a really interesting choice that gave us more of an idea of what was going on...and also SO many questions. Angelina's inclusion made me love, even more, the era and year you've set them all in. And the revelation that Chris is Rob's *cousin* - yikes! Layers and layers going on here. Your characters are so interesting, and I just really want to know more. Well done, and great choice in giving us a window into another character. I just really liked that. Thanks for the swap. Your writing is always so clean and creative. I love it :)

--Penny

Author's Response: Hi Penny! No worries, I hope you're enjoying your vacation if you're still on it ♥

Girl, stop, you're making me blush and it's only 10:30 in the morning where I am! You know, it could just be a sign that I have no life, haha, but I'm glad that I inspire you! And also that my quality is as good as the quantity that I'm churning out because it doesn't feel like much in comparison to others around here.

Rob definitely still cares for Cate. A big part of this chapter was to show that he has his own side to deal with; a lot of guilt and grief over the loss of, yes, his cousin, and also the loss of Cate. He's lashing out at her because he's hurt and heartbroken, not because he's a jerk. But to her, of course he's going to come across that way when she's suffering and no one seems to give her the hand that she needs.

It's interesting that you compare everyone to their own islands. I will say that wasn't completely intentional, but it did end up working out that way. If only they would be able to lean on each other.

I'm really glad that this chapter made you feel for Rob. He's (mostly) a good guy at heart, so I'm glad that this was able to change the perspective for you a bit, even if it took some time to get there.

Ah, thank you! It's not really a huge mystery as to why there's so much angst between the twins, so that will actually be solved relatively soon. Well, not solved, but helped, at any rate. A lot of it has to do with a clash of personalities.

And I'm actually glad you pointed that out! I'm all about the CC, so never hesitate to tell me when things don't work the way I planned for them. Especially since after reading other reviews, I think I'm going to edit this a bit and add a few more lines in about the dream/flashback. I mean, I DO want to mess with your minds about the reality of what happened that day, but I also don't want it to be anti-climatic when we get to the revelation.

I keep forgetting about the era that I set them in, to be honest, haha. And then I remember characters like Angelina and I'm like, "Oh yeah, I need to use her for [this scene]!" Thank you! I'm glad it seems that everyone loved hearing from another POV because I know sometimes it can get dull reading from the same narrator.

Thanks for another lovely and thoughtful review!

♥ Jill


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Review #10, by Penelope InkwellSaving Severus Snape : i.

13th May 2016:
Hey Meg! I didn't forget about you! Sorry it took me a bit. Traveling took longer than I thought. But I'm here now and I've finally gotten a moment to leave you a review :)

Honestly, the hardest part of all this was choosing what to review! Your AP is full of so many stories that look so interesting! I wanted to check up on How to Fix Your Sibling to see if there were any new chapters since we did swaps on that, and I remembered really liking the chapter or two I'd read of This Final Adventure, so I thought I should have a look at that, and then I saw a Dramione, etc--I just kept getting distracted, like, "Oh, or I could read this!" But, in the end, it was Saving Severus Snape that drew me in. I've seen you mention it at some point on the forums, and I remember the title catching my attention. Then I saw your summary and was most intrigued. I'll be honest, I've never been a Snape fan, which is odd, since usually I love a good antihero. HOWEVER, I've also never read a lot of Snape fics and I was like, "Well, perhaps I should give Snape a bit of a chance, here. If anyone can give some more sympathetic insight into his character while still keeping him nuanced, it'll be Meg." And so, here I am.

This first chapter definitely grabs attention. It dives in fast and it's such a unique premise. I mean, Hermione traveling through time to save Snape and falling in love with him?? I've never heard of anything like it; it's so original!

I think the short, punchy opening chapter length was a good idea for this - it was short and sweet, but I already want more. I'm so curious!

At first I was kind of surprised that Hermione was immediately so sympathetic to Snape. But then, when I think about it, it does make a sort of sense. First off, we know all this was related to her by Harry, who clearly made peace with Snape's memory, since he ended up naming his son after him. Second, she's just scene a man she thought was guilty die in a horrific way, only to find out he was innocent of the charges she had mentally laid against him. And, thirdly, Hermione is the member of the trio most concerned with justice and forgiveness. She's generally level-headed and is highly empathetic. Often, so long as she understands why someone is treating her badly, she can forgive it - like how she forgave Kreacher because of his years of being brainwashed and abused, even though he was unkind to her at first. So I can see how understanding Snape's tragic past could allow her to forgive his bullying. And, of course, the fact that his death does seem unfair - he never really got to experience any kind of good life, despite his years of trying to atone for his mistakes - would grate on Hermione, who literally will go on to build a career around justice. I think you evoke those qualities in her soliloquy here, so that when I went through and thought about what she was saying, and all really did make a sort of sense.

Obviously, she had never spoken her suspicions out loud. Ron would have thought she was mental, and Harry would have been sure to never speak to her again,
--this was another detail that made so much sense. We know that Hermione often suspects far more than she tells. I especially like how you have her kind of go rogue here, because that's a side of Hermione we rarely see, but I think it's clearly there. Especially in DH, we see her willing to do things that are 'totally mad', so now, coming down from the craziness of battle and a little lost at what to do, I can see her making an impulsive, crazy decision, wanting to affect *something*, to save *someone*. Hermione may like books, but she also loves action.

Written on the front in purple ink,
--I loved this detail! There were several things you put in about Dumbledore--the winking, the fake-snoring--that were just perfect. And his super cryptic, enigmatic letter (including all his initials). Typical Dumbledore. I love all the little touches you put in, and they especially showed in his characterization.

What I'm most impressed with is that Hermione seems very Hermione. Despite the fact that these are actions I would never have thought of her taking, you make sense of them, and you keep her her while she's doing them. You really captured her logic, bravery, and occasional impetuousness :)


CC: Your writing is pretty darn clean in terms of spelling and grammar. The main thing I notice, I only notice because I do it myself all the dang time, which is unnecessary commas. I plucked out a few that I noticed:

It was a few hours since Ronald Weasley and Harry Potter left Dumbledore's office for the comfort of their four-poster beds, in the Gryffindor dorms.
--no need for a comma here

The only occupant which remained, was Dumbledore, who was apparently sleeping in his frame.
--here you don't need the first comma

Her eyes were out of focus, so she heard his voice, before she really saw him.
--here you don't need the second comma

The only other little piece of CC I could give is fairly nitpicky, but it would be to give Hermione a few more contractions. I think you've captured her voice nicely, but there were a few times with the "I am"s and the "should not"s where I thought an "I'm" or a "shouldn't" would suit her a little more. She can sound a bit formal at times, but I don't think of her as constantly stiff. However, she IS sort of talking her way through this, like it's a legal argument she's writing about what Snape deserves, so I definitely feel like a certain amount of formality is warranted. Like I said, I think you did really well with her voice. It's just if you want me to be very precise with my CC, that *might* make it even more Hermione-sounding.


Really lovely job! I'll try to come over here again soon. My reading list's a mile long, but I am so curious to see what you do with this. And I'd love to swap again any time! Thanks!

--Penny

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Review #11, by Penelope InkwellThe 'Savior' Thing: Albus

9th May 2016:
Hey!

It's me again. Had to go do some other things for a while, but now I'm back :D

This was a good companion piece to the first one, letting us see the issue from a pre-teen/teenager perspective. Whiny James was well-written--I was about to ground him, or whatever you do to punish your kids when they're going to boarding school. Good night! :p The bit about Albus 'not even being good at Quidditch' was a good touch, too. I could imagine James as being a bit self-focused and definitely engaging in plenty of spats motivated by sibling rivalry. I especially like how Ginny mostly handles breaking the news up till that point--she had siblings, after all, and knows what that's like in a way Harry doesn't. But then Harry takes his cues from her, and when Ginny finally runs out of patience, it's like he knows that, at this point, they've reached the realm of the ridiculous and he can step in. I can just sort of imagine them falling into that pattern, where Ginny handles some of the sibling stuff because she gets it, while Harry cannot really imagine being unhappy when you have brothers and sisters to play with that love you (aww, my heart!). He wouldn't know how to relate to it as well.

But then he does step in and that moment is so strong. Poor Harry was all but panicking in Diagon Alley, and Albus was only out of his sight for a moment. But still, you expressed it perfectly--we could understand why. I imagine it must be worse, in some ways, now that his children are being sent off on their own to Hogwarts, and now that he can't be holding their hands all the time, you know? So I thought the fact that his stress really built here, seeming more panicked than last chapter, made perfect sense. Even though he's had more time to heal, the circumstances have changed. It must be so hard for him, in some ways, to send his kids off to Hogwarts, even though he knows that they'll love it like he did, and you really made me feel that.

Besides which, you nailed Albus' reaction. The kind of whiney, embarrassed, why-did-I-get-called-out-I-wasn't-even-doing-anything?? is so preteen. I also like that, despite James being annoying at the beginning, you show him having a bit of that older brother wisdom, too. He knows the deal about his dad better than Albus--I'm sure he learned a bit about it at Hogwarts by now--and he does get why his dad was worried. He doesn't make a big deal of it, but he clearly understands it to an extent. His dad just made a scene, but James isn't embarrassed. Some of that may just be James' easier manner, or that it wasn't his name being called, but I like this brief show of maturity. You're good depicting the ages. At 15, James is stuck between being a kid and starting to be a young adult, so I like these swings between immaturity and responsibility. And, of course, it was nice to see some rapport between the siblings, just to round things out and show that, despite the teen angst, the Potters really are a loving family.

CC: I had one tiny thing, but you should know I'm one of the nitpickiest people you'll come across, so this really is practically nothing

the Hogwarts express
--I believe the "e" in "express" is usually capitalized, as it's a name.


Really good job, here! I'm glad I ran into this little series--thank heavens for blog recs! And I hope to be on to Lily's story, soon! Did I mention how clean your writing is? I LOVE that!

--Penny

Author's Response: ANOTHER surprise review?!? You're spoiling me! ♥

I'm so happy to hear that you think this is a good follow-up to the first piece! Haha! On the one hand, I'm sorry that I wrote James so annoying, but on the other hand, if I could even make YOU want to ground him, that makes me think I conveyed his annoying ways well, so I'm pleased. :P And OH yes, I think there'd definitely be some sibling rivalry going on in that family! Haha, yes, Ginny knows not only how to handle siblings, but also how to handle lots of boys. The poor girl was surrounded by them in her childhood. XD And Aww.. thinking about the fact that Harry doesn't know what it's like to have siblings got me right in the feels, too. :( I definitely think that, to a certain extent, Harry would take his cues from Ginny, as you said, and step up only when she can no longer handle it, but, because he knows less about siblings, I can imagine there'd be times when things would go the other way around, and he'd try some sort of solution that Ginny would know wouldn't work, if that makes any sense. And yes, you're SO right about Harry not being able to relate to the feeling of being unhappy with having siblings, so I can imagine there'd be lots of moments where one of the kids would say something childish about not liking their brother or sister, and Harry would kind of lose it and remind them to be thankful for their family. (Poor Harry! :( )

Eeek! I'm flattered that you think that moment was really strong! I think we've all had that moment where we can't find someone for a second and very irrationally start thinking they're lost forever, and I think that feeling would just be ten times worse and unbearable for Harry. And you make a GREAT point about it causing him even more stress at this point in his childrens' lives because he's having to let go of their hands a little bit.. GAH. This is twice in the past 2 days that you've really made me want to turn this into a complete novel about Harry dealing with PTSD and the side effects on his children! I'm glad you thought his reaction made perfect sense! And yes, that's something that I hadn't given much thought to before, but it'd definitely be hard for him to see his children go off to Hogwarts. And I'm so happy that I could make you feel what he's going through here! GAHH I really want to make this a novel now!!

Teehee! Thank you for your compliments about the pre-teen reaction! That 'I wasn't even doing anything' whining is EXACTLY what I was aiming for there! And yeah, for parents and siblings, teenagers can be annoying at times, but they can also be really helpful and protective older brothers who genuinely try to help out as well. I'll be honest, I was a little worried that the change in James from earlier in the chapter might have been a bit too sudden, but I'm really glad to hear that it seemed to fit with his age and where he's at on the adult/child spectrum. And you're right, they really are loving, regardless! I'm glad that came across here!

Thank you SO much for the CC! *Squish* I welcome and appreciate it, and you're absolutely right! I can't believe I overlooked that! *hides*

Thank you AGAIN, SO MUCH for these amazing reviews! I can't wait to see what you think of Lily's chapter, as I just wrote it the other day and haven't had much feedback yet! And yes, thank heavens for blog recs - they sent you my way with these amazing reviews! And Awww!! STAHP it Penny, you're making me blush!! ♥


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Review #12, by Penelope InkwellThe 'Savior' Thing: James

9th May 2016:
Hey there!

I just thought I'd jot over here for a second. Someone mentioned this series in a blog post--ichigopan, I think, over on the forums--and I've been trying to R&R some stuff by authors that I haven't read a lot of, so I figured I'd give it a go. This was a cute one-shot--short and sweet. As someone who has been a nanny, I can really relate to Ginny in this moment. What especially cracked me up was when it didn't hurt James at all, but he started howling just out of startled instinct. That is SO REAL. It was nice to see Harry, Ginny, and the kids in this low pressure, day to day kind of way, but still see how Harry's experience/PTSD creeps out. I can't imagine how it must have been, truly panicking whenever you heard your child injure themselves. I mean, we all *panic* when kids hurt themselves, but like, believing that it might be an attack? Poor Harry. How exhausting. But still, the way it's brushed off and everything goes back to normal was a difference, too, that feels realistic. I haven't read much like that, but I liked it, because I think that's what the healing process is like. We still have those moments, but over time we learn to calm down faster, to accept that things are all right, and to not let it get to us so much, I think.

Oh, and the bit about James running and hiding when he's scared, while Harry runs toward the danger, confusing him? That was adorable, and such a great way to put it.

Overall, this is just a really adorable one-shot. Short, but really enjoyable and well-done! I didn't even notice any CC, and I always try to give it. But here I've got nothing. Great work!

--Penny

Author's Response: *Gasps* Penny!

Hi there! What a wonderful surprise! Thank you SO much for taking the time to stop by and read this, and for leaving this amazing review!! ♥

I honestly had NO idea this was mentioned in a blog post, and I just went and checked and, sure enough, it is. I'm going to have to make sure I go thank the blog's author right away!

Oh wow - I didn't know you used to be a Nanny! But, knowing that and then reading that you could relate to Ginny in this just makes me want to SQUEE! I'm so glad you found it easy to relate to! And I'm happy I could crack you up with James' instinct howling! I'm sure you've seen your fair share of that! :P (If I'm honest, I'm guilty of doing it myself, even as an adult. XD)

I'm thrilled to hear that you enjoyed seeing the family in a day-to-day setting while still seeing Harry's 'Savior Thing' moments. I think he DEFINITELY would have had to deal with things like this after all he's gone through - I think he'd be absolutely terrified of losing the only real family he's ever had, and I agree that constantly being worried like that would be exhausting for him. You're right, we all panic when kids hurt themselves, but not the way Harry does. And I think the fact that he still chose to be an Auror after spending literally his entire life fighting pretty much the darkest wizard ever, tells us that he's still not ready to let go of that 'protector' role, if that makes any sense.

Yeah, I think Ginny and everyone else would understand WHY Harry's like that and wouldn't give him too much grief about it, they'd just try to laugh it off and let it go. I mean, let's face it, he really HAS been through a lot and has lost SO much - who wouldn't be like that in his shoes? I'm glad that you liked it and thought it was an accurate portrayal of the healing process! You're right; when you're afraid of something it takes a while, but eventually you DO learn how to calm down more quickly, react less extremely, etc.

And awww! I'm flattered that you think it's adorable! *Blushes*

*Squees* Thank you SO much! I'm so happy you enjoyed it! And now I'm seriously flattered that you don't have any CC! *blushes and squees more*

THANK YOU FOR THIS AMAZING, SURPRISE REVIEW! ♥



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Review #13, by Penelope InkwellMaking the Reserves: Making it to the Academy

7th May 2016:
Hey Lo!

Told you I was gonna make my way over to this! Took me a while, but I'm finally here, and I'm glad I made it. it's been a while since I've gotten my Quidditch fic fix in, and longer since I can remember reading a Molly Weasley-centric story.

I like that you started the story right off with a bang. I honestly thought the dream was real, and I had already been sucked in. When she awoke in bed later, at first I assumed she was in the Hospital Wing, or St. Mungo's--it all seemed so real! I was legitimately relieved to realize that she was fine. Whew.

The way you characterized her family was sweet, too. Audrey sounded so elegant, sweet, and soft-spoken. It seems like she's a good match to Percy's intensity, though it's clear that they love her very much. And it seemed like Molly and Lucy have a pretty solid relationship as well. I remembered from your one-shot that Percy was very N.E.W.T. focused and not so very into the Quidditch thing, so I was really pleased to see that, despite all that, Molly's family is clearly supportive of her interests.

This is a good scene for background, where we're kind of figuring out how Molly fits in. I don't yet know a ton about her, but I do feel like I got some details: Quidditch obsessed (obviously), lazy about cleaning, she cares for her family, and she seems to be a very realistic mix of embarrassed and used to it when it comes to the hype over her famous family. I think the best characterization we see here, though, is Molly's absolute rapture over her new broom. The length of the descriptive paragraph, as well as the adjectives you use, clearly convey that this is a VERY BIG DEAL to her.

Your writing style is wonderfully visual--I felt like I could see anything, and you included some really great details. One of these was when Molly mentions the thick grey door propped open with the rock. I know that's a super minor thing, but it's a detail a lot of writers wouldn't have seen fit to include. However, that's exactly what the door-rock combination at my old dorm building used to be like, and I was like, "Yes! Every moving day in every dorm I've ever lived in! That's a thing!" It's super tiny, but it's the details like that that really give us a sense of place. You're probably starting to think I'm crazy for going on and on about a rock, but my point is, A+ on visual details.


CC: I always try to give a bit of CC, as a rule, but obviously you're the author; you'll know best what works for your story.

I froze, listening to see if I had woken anyone up but since I didn’t hear any movement from down the hall, I started to put everything back in the large duffle, careful to put back the child’s t-shirt in the hidden pocket at the bottom of it.
--I believe there should be a comma after "up", before "but".

Hazel twigs were smoothened out at the end,
--I think "smoothened" ought to be "smoothed". Smoothen is a word, but I don't think it has a past-tense? I couldn't find it in the dictionary, anyway. Of course, if it's a regional thing, just ignore me on that!

well hers now, along with her Turbo XVX
--there should be a comma behind "well"

It would keep me safe in the air, and hopefully while I was taking my N.E.W.T.s I fingered the golden chain as my father drove...
--I think there needs to be a period after the s in N.E.W.T.s, since the next bit seems to be a separate sentence.



I'm very interested to see what Oakshaft Academy will end up being like. I can tell you've given it a lot of thought, and I look forward to meeting the rest of the main characters and learning a little more about what the school has to offer. It'll be interesting to see how things shake out with Molly's team. I wonder if they have rivals? Traditions? A Quidditch academy is such a fun idea, and I've never seen anything like it. Looking forward to seeing where this story is going to go.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention my favorite quote!

“I’ll be damned if I let Mother Nature pull one over on me...I was determined not to let some hippie woman with a flower crown decide whether I was going to play or not.

Good work with this first chapter! I enjoyed it.

--Penny

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Review #14, by Penelope InkwellIn Darkest Knight: Just Another Tuesday

7th May 2016:
Slytherin Hot Seat Review #7

Hey again! It's me :)

So this was a fun, cute little piece! A little comic book nerdery/love.

Sirius being jealous of a superhero--what a goofball. I loved when she fired back at him with his Celestina Warbeck crush to show him how silly that was. His thoughts about Millie, as well as his jealousy over Batman, were definitely amusing. And it's always nice to have some Millie/Sirius banter. The inanimate object bit and their bat potion brainstorming were cute.

The Man-Bat Potion was a good way to tie the whole thing together. It was a unique idea to go along with a unique story. This whole piece is just a fun, zany time with Millie and Sirius, and it's so lighthearted and silly you can't help but smile. The student turning into a bat was a little horrifying, though. It was sweet of Sirius to lend him his cloak (and I'm sure many people would thank him for that, Blonde Man Bat not the least of them).

I don't know a ton about Batman (don't hate me), but I could still follow along with the exchanges in the story and still be amused. Sirius reading all her favorite comics is such a cute/totally weird couple thing to do.

I had a number of favorite quotes:

“Oh, I forgot. Your precious uber-hero.”

“If I wanted to be bat-like, I’d dress like Snivellus.”

Merlin’s plaid kilt, Potions health and safety should not sound that sexy, Sirius thought.

“I might have accidentally read all of your stupid comics,”

--what was especially funny about this was both the way I imagine Sirius' tone--embarrassed and begrudging and adorable--and the fact that Millie is so caught up in defending her favorite comic book character that she doesn't even immediately take in what he said. He read ALL of them. All. So clearly he didn't totally think they were stupid. Poor Sirius is just feeling a little grouchy in the face of Millie's favorite (fictional) leading man. ;)

But the winner, far and away, was Madame Pomfrey's:

“There’s always one every year.”
--Hahaha, I loved it! That line was brilliant!


CC:

Soon, they’d be hearing maniacal laughter in the background, this potion was that crazy.
--I think that, since both parts of this sentence could stand on their own, that comma should be a semicolon.

Cheerily ignoring his Valentine’s exasperation at him,
--"exasperation with him" might be more correct than "at"

Transmorgifying
--spelling = Transmogrifying (I agree with Sirius, though. It is a great word!) I know she says it's made up, so maybe the spelling thing was on purpose. But in that case it seemed unusual that she wouldn't mention the right way to say it.


In conclusion, this was a cute, creative idea for a little extra fun and fluffy time with Millius (or Sirillie? I really need to know what this ship name is). And it was nice to get a little snapshot into their confusing relationship, where they're both clearly into each other, but neither seems *quite* sure what they are. Fun times! Always a pleasure to spend time with these two. :)

--Penny

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Review #15, by Penelope InkwellAlligator Sky: {O N E}

6th May 2016:
Slytherin Hot Seat Review #6

Hey there! Penny here!

Ooh, I like this WIP! I loved how you opened it up, with Lily in D.C. in the rain. I felt like I could picture it, but in a way that was kind of more focused on sensation? The people rushing by, the cold rain falling down, Lily's warm toes and her scarf suffering from wet dog-smell. But then David comes in, and he's very visual. His descriptions, particularly of Lily, are great! The way he talks about her halo of red hair and the intensity of her eyes and her slightly too long nose (loved the Weasley traits, by the way!) And just his description of her as a college student/knight-who-slays-dragons-with-umbrellas was wonderful and adorable. It was cool to see them relate to the world in different ways. I don't know if you did that intentionally or not, but it created a POV/voice difference that I thought was pretty cool!

I love the idea of there being an astronomy branch of the Dept. of Mysteries housed in the Royal Observatory! That was so snazzy, and such a cool idea for Lily's career! I may not know a ton about space, but I really enjoyed space-nerd Lily.

Oh, and David was such a cutie, coaxing that girl into being okay with her interest in science! My heart melted a little bit.

And then the way she went and asked David about shuttles was so cute. Like, I wonder if she knew anything about them at all, not having grown up around Muggles. What kind of information could she be taking back to the department with that? It's just cool that we know that she doesn't know because magic, while David is just happily assuming she's just a slightly different brand of space geek (which, to be fair, is also true). I'd love to see what would happen if they really talked telescopes. Could Lily possibly hide that the ones she works with are probably influenced by magic? Would their information about planets differ?

She tugged at the soft wool of her scarf, pulling it over her nose and took shallow breaths to avoid the smell of wet dog.
--love that detail

CC:

The people of Washington, DC, however were used to their winters, and went about their business.
--there should be a comma after "however" here.

long dark heavy coats
--this needs some commas in between the adjectives: long, dark, heavy


I really enjoyed this, though of course I always enjoyed your writing. But this was something a little different, and it just seems like a cool piece with a lot of possibilities! The combo of Muggle and Magical space nerdery could just go in so many fun directions! I'll try to be looking out for more chapters!

--Penny

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Review #16, by Penelope InkwellSirrah Malfoy: Introduction

6th May 2016:
Hey Nix!

I'm sitting here, soaking up Starbucks' divine electricity, simultaneously having a conversation with you while I sneak over here and drop you a review! I've been meaning to get to Sirrah forever, and I thought it'd be a fun surprise! I'm really having trouble not mentioning it to you, at present, but I am good at secrets and surprises, so I'll manage!

This is really interesting. Sirrah breaks right onto the page with a very individual voice. She's clearly quite quirky. The part where she's talking directly to us is like you gave a puppy an espresso, but it's amusing and really sets her apart from other MC's I read. I'm not really surprised she doesn't get on with her father. I doubt someone like Draco would quite know what to make of Sirrah. I am sad for her, though, that they don't have a better relationship.

I also like the way you've thought this out. Sad as it is, I think the idea that daughters would be a lot more disposable to a Pureblood father of the old school makes a lot of sense. As you say, she won't carry on the name, and to people like her family, the name and the bloodline is everything. Even just the way they side-alone apparate her without any warning gives us a hint of the idea of what the family is like – probably a tight parental hand on the reins, at least when they're at home, without too much consideration for what their kids would truly want.

I think you do a good job of giving us an idea of Sirrah's family situation and who her character is, and while her voice is kind of the verbal equivalent of a sugar high in a way that could be almost overwhelming, it also makes me so curious to know more. How did a girl like this come out of the Malfoy clan, and how does her twin brother compare? I also really like that, along with all her energy, Sirrah has some clear wit and bite to her words that I think I'm going to quite enjoy. She's just kind of...strangely charming?

I was distracting her with silly antics that I knew would easily deter her attention away from my lateness and make her look at me all proud-like for being concerned enough about my appearance to ask for her advice.
--Ha, I loved seeing Sirrah get a bit clever and manipulative, here. #slytherin It's in the genes ;)

Oh, I'm also very interested in her interest in fashion. I wonder if she wants to be a designer? Her parents would never approve, I suppose, but maybe she can go her own way. I like that aspect of her character – I, personally, love clothes and fashion – so I'm excited to see how that plays in. I like knowing something about her passions, on top of her personality.


CC: So, it won't surprise you terribly that I strive to always give some CC. As always, it's yours to take or leave as you will :D In the words of Albus Dumbledore, "This is, as they say, your party." ;)

I think the Blacks started it. Yes, that’s right. My grandmother, Narcissa Malfoy, brought it into the Malfoy family when she named my father and my father must have insisted to my mother that the tradition be continued onto their own children.
--Somehow, among the unloading of all the really good background information, this bit felt kind of unnecessary. It cluttered up the section a little bit, and it kind of makes that section about the names drag (just briefly, though!) I think if you jumped straight to that cute part about giving her kids normal names, it would make things flow even better.

“You’re hair looks fine, dear."
--the "You're" here ought to be "Your"

The only other thing I'd suggest is to maybe consider combining some of those paragraphs near the end. The short lines work really well for her earlier, stream of consciousness thoughts, but down here at the end she's thinking a lot more solidly, and I think a few more consolidated paragraphs would be easier on the reader.


In terms of creating a unique, engaging OC, you get an absolute A+ chickadee! This is a fun, interesting introduction, and it makes me want to read on and find out a bit more about Sirrah and her (quite possibly) crazy life. I look forward to seeing her at Hogwarts. I'll be back for more! And I hope you enjoy the review! Lots of love!

--Penny

Author's Response: Hi Penny!

I love that you managed to read and review this chapter while talking to me and without mentioning it. I think that's thoroughly hilarious and I loved the surprise!

I'm glad that you find Sirrah amusing, although I don't think "like you gave a puppy an espresso" is really what I was going for but I really wanted her to stand out and I'm glad it worked. Sadly, she does not get along with her father. But I definitely have thought a lot of this out, wanting to write about a pure-blood who doesn't want the pure-blood lifestyle. That's a good question though, how did a girl like this come out of the Malfoy clan? I really don't know. But I think maybe future details will explain this better. Maybe. And you'll soon find out how the brother compares. And yes, Slytherin definitely runs in her genes. I love it when she gets manipulative. It's so fun to write.

Her interest in fashion will be playing a big part. Although to be honest, I don't know that much about fashion. But I try when necessary to make the story work. Err... right then. But you will also soon find out her goals when it comes to this!

I have taken your concrit into consideration while editing this chapter. As you know, I'm doing my read-through, which also means I'm trying to edit and clean up some bits as I go. The edits haven't been posted yet though, but they will be in due time. So I hope those bits are better now.

Thanks so much for reviewing this chapter! I'm so happy you liked it and the MC! I'm glad that it makes you want to read more and I do hope you do! It won't be long before she's at Hogwarts! Thanks again for this lovely surprise review!

xxNix


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Review #17, by Penelope InkwellWhispers in the Dark: Prologue- Chosen

5th May 2016:
Woah! Jill, this chapter was sooo intense!

I liked the mystery of the opening, when we didn't yet know who Amycus was interrogating. I was trying to put together who it might be, and then running into this line: "I would have to fight him for my wand, but I could take him." And I was like, "Okay, who would say that? Seems a bit confident for Neville, even in his new, grown-into-himself state. Seamus? Maybe. He seems stubborn, but would he be that convinced he could take on a Death Eater? I don't know..." And then I saw the name Weasley and was like "Of course. Of course it's Ginny! Not only would she think she could take on a Carrow – I'll bet she probably *could*! I loved that intro!

You do a great job with the tension throughout this whole piece. It really just build and builds until, by the end, I'm just like NOOO! *gasp*

I really like what you did with this, too, because I think it's very possible that Ginny would have suffered for being connected to Harry. We know that's why he broke up with her – to try to protect her. But I always had my questions about how well it would work. I had to address it in TH and just decided that, since they mostly hung out among Gryffindors, maybe only the Gryffs really knew, and kept their mouths shut. That works for my purposes, but it's just as likely – perhaps *more* likely – that the information would have slipped out, one way or another. And then what would have happened? Something just like this.

Oh, and there's another cool mind-meld we had here – I feel like we're kind of envisioning a similar wartime Hogwarts in a way that's, you know, completely horrifying, but also sort of cool! Anyway, I won't tell you, but you'll see the similarity when you run into it down the line.

Anyway, back to the point, Ginny being tied to that chair? It's terrifying. It's an unimaginably horrible situation, but I think you do a great job of capturing her frustration – she doesn't even know anything – mixed with her Gryffindor loyalty and pride., as she points out that even if she did know, she wouldn't ever tell.

What's really terrifying is the idea of what might happen to Ginny if the Carrows can't get anything out of her. Would she have to face Voldemort himself? Would Snape use Veritaserum or Legilimancy on her and find that she truly does know nothing? What's the next step under these horrifying circumstances?


CC: As always, any suggestions are just suggestions. You know I think you're absolutely brilliant, so I tend to dive into the nitpicky with your stuff.

I struggled against the ropes that kept me tied to the chair, the ones he felt necessary to place on me after I’d tried to escape.
--Somehow this sentence seems like it's missing a word. Maybe "the ones he felt it necessary to place on me after I tried to escape,"?

If I let even a piece of vulnerability break through, who knows what Carrow would do.
--here the tense suddenly changes from past to present. I think it would be, "who knew what Carrow would do?"

- I reached out to try and touch the boy.
- I could feel my arm lift until my wand was pointing at the boy.
--I felt like calling him "the boy" here, kind of detached us, as the audience, from the fact that this was Seamus. I thought you might be using that term to indicate this sort of brain fog that Ginny's in, and I think it could work really well that way. But if she knows that there is heartbreak in her eyes, it seems there must be at least a moment when her mind is clearer, a moment when she knows that this isn't just any boy – this is Seamus. And I think if we could feel that, it would pack even more punch. Maybe even if he just said her name, just the one word, that's what snapped her out of the fog enough to really *feel* her heart break. I'd love to get something right there at the end – the connection to who this really is, I think, would make it all the more heartbreaking. In a good way.

The only other thing I had is kind of a suggestion inside of the compliment. You do such a good job of revving up the tension here. The story moves so fast and we, the audience, just get more and more nervous, more and more desperate to know what's going to happen. That's excellently written. The thing is that it goes so fast that while I could *feel* everything – the tension, the fear, the defiance, the panic, the despair – I couldn't always *see* everything. I think this could benefit from maybe just one or two moments of longer description or internal thought. Like a space to breathe, and to really *see* what's happening here. It'd also help in that it could provide one or two longer paragraphs to break up the really short ones, which is easier for the ye to follow. You're always so good at making us able to see everything about the scene in your stories; it's one of the things I love about your writing. So I'd love to see just a *bit* more in the way of setting the stage here.


I think this is such a great start for your Ginny/Seamus novel(la)! You launch us right into it, full blast, and I literally felt my chest tighten up and my heart beat faster. You set the stakes so well, and I felt like I was just careening towards the finish. I read it more than once, and I think it's great! I love how you portrayed multiple sides of Ginny in such a short amount of time. Even defenseless, she is ferocious. Even defeated, she tries so hard not to cry. But the vulnerability is still there Ugh, and when you bring Seamus into the mix--yikes. My poor heart. It's so, so sad. Like, when he literally steps on his side – not even hurting him through magic, just taking pleasure in being able to physically beat someone...the Carrows are just so sick, and Ginny having to watch this, having to *do* this, is terrible. But you've created such a dynamic situation, and I can't wait to read more of this!

--Penny

Author's Response: Penny! *squish*

I really love your reviews. I know I told you this earlier, but it stands to tell you again! Your feedback is always so thoughtful and you're so observant, and I really appreciate that!

Ah yes, Ginny is the type to think she can take on a Death Eater; she's confident and a bit reckless, but I think that would give her the advantage in a fight like this. I'm glad you seemed to agree!

I completely agree with you. It seems to me that, dating someone like Harry, even in secret, it's bound to come out of the closet. And it's going to get her in a lot of trouble, no matter what he tries to do to protect her from it. And of course the Carrows would think that she would know things, even if she doesn't, just because of her connection.

That's awesome! I will say that reading TH has inspired me to get my butt into gear with this story, so there's that ;) I do just try and pick what we know from canon and expand on that, though.

And thank you for pointing that out! I was actually struggling/obsessing with this for a while, wondering if I should make that connection. So after reading this review, I actually went back and made some edits, so that hopefully there's a bit more of an impact when we get closer to the end.

Yeah, I totally get what you're saying about that too. It was hard to paint a picture because they're in the dark, so I'm glad that you're at least able to feel a lot of the tension and the fear. And see, the funny part about that is in Word, there ARE slightly longer paragraphs ;) But they don't quite come to play in the story format, for whatever reason. I was just worried that if I went for TOO long, it would drown out the tension/fear/panic of the rest of the story.

Haha, yeah, at this point, I'm not sure if it's going to be a novella or a novel, it depends on how far throughout the year I want to go. But you're right: she's Ginny Weasley, and she's not backing down without a fight. And the Carrows are cruel :( I always worry about doing them justice.

Thank you so much, again, for another astounding review!

♥ Jill


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Review #18, by Penelope InkwellLike a Multiverse on Fire: Crush

4th May 2016:
Slytherin Hot Seat (Review 5)

...Nope. Didn't manage it. You dragged me back in. It was just too pineapple to leave behind. Or maybe it is too pomegranate. I feel like this story stole me away, and I had just a taste, and now I may not be able to leave for a long while.

I have to say, as glad as I am for Millie that she got to be all happy and excited, I am decidedly not in favor of this crush. I'm very interested to see how Sirius is going to handle it, though. Also how Millie is going to handle it. Talking to him and everything. That should be an interesting experience.

The image of Lily and Millie hunkered down behind the counter, hiding from boys, with Frank chiming in in the background, was hilarious.

Favorite quotes:

"You know who is here.”
--wonderful reference


- “It means that she doesn’t hate you!”

- “I can see how that is a beacon of hope in your view, given how much Evans despises you –”



- “Then make her want to date you! Use your charms!”

- Sirius sat back in his chair, incensed. “I am not Confunding her!”


I think at that last one, I actually snickered. Loved it!


CC:

Millie was sceptical.
--spelling = skeptical

James just brushed this off. “I’m sure Lily will come around.”
“How? She hates you.”

--formatting needs a line break.

And this one might not be a CC so much--just a question. I'm not really sure how it works in AUs. But we know that Newt Scamander's son was named Rolf, and here he's Rafe. Was that intentional? Does he have a brother? Just checking to see.


Very cute chapter. I am going to *have* to tear myself away and go to sleep. But never fear! I'll be back :D

--Penny

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Review #19, by Penelope InkwellLike a Multiverse on Fire: Bacon

4th May 2016:
Hey there! Me again! Slytherin Hot Seat (Review 4),

So, I should really be going to sleep. Really! But someone had to write this super-cute Sirius/OC, and I came over here meaning to leave one single, solitary review before bed, and yet. Here we are. I've been sucked into the Sirillie vortex (Sirillie? Millius?), and I don't know when I'm gonna manage to extricate myself. It's messing with my self-control.

The primary thing I loved about this chapter was the make-out scene. Not between Lily and James, though that was good to hear about. No, I mean Millie's passionate affair with her breakfast. This is the beginning of two great love stories, and at this rate it seems possible that Jily's could be the lesser one. Millie's desire for her potatoes and bacon – we've never seen a love like this. ;)

No, but actually I was very happy to hear of this development on the Jilly front. Lily's taking it better than she might have done, all things considered.

Oh, and Millie's comment about how some people just manage to look more put together, even when they're wearing the same thing as you, is super relatable? Do you think it is yoga? What witchery is this?


“I made out with Potter.”
--I smiled so big it literally hurt my face. I knew that was coming!

If heaven existed, it would probably taste like this potato.
--I enjoy Millie's assumption that heaven is edible


No CC for this chapter. I didn't notice a thing!


Now, is my self-control going to kick in at long last? Will I finally go to sleep?

I suppose we shall see...

--Penny

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Review #20, by Penelope InkwellLike a Multiverse on Fire: Cups

4th May 2016:
Hello again! I'm here nominally for the Slytherin Hot Seat (Review 3), but also just because I want to be. I'm really enjoying this story!

I'm proud of Millie for going out, even though it's not her thing. It's a good experience. Or at least that's what I told myself at most of my college parties. Hey, sometimes they were fun. And if I'd had Sirius Black talking to me, I imagine my enjoyment factor might have risen significantly.

A lot of times when I see Sirius, he's just constantly so "cool" and "detached" and "brooding". I like that here, he still has that reputation, but he also has this huge, awkward crush and is a total dork around Millie. And really, she can't even see it because of his reputation. It's crazy how what we've been told about people colors our interactions.

Overall, this chapter was just hilarious. I'm afraid the rest is going to be comprised almost entirely of my favorite quotes, pulled out for your viewing pleasure ;) :

She’d known that it was just the post-spider eradication high that had made him ask.

“I have excellent bladder control.” Millie didn’t know what to say to that. Congratulations? Your ancient ancestors must have some excellent DNA? May your descendants share the same good fortune?

Marissa Painsley-Bumbershuffle
--
what a name!

“What?” Millie asked, taking another sip of her coffee. “Gingivitis in my teeth?”

--I really do love her dry wit

“Brooding is just rich people talk for moping,” Moony said.

There was a nature documentary about the Pacific Ocean, hosted by her favourite naturalist Newt Scamander, airing in about twenty minutes.
--
Newt! Loved that little shout-out!

“I’m a teetotaler every time I’m given alcohol from a bathtub.”



CC:

“Not if Marissa’s story is true.”
Millie shrugged again. “So what? Bad dates happen all the time. We’re in college. We’re young. We’re stupid. We make out with people who probably have gingivitis!”

--the only thing I saw in this chapter was a little formatting snag. It looks like there needs to be a blank line between "true" and "Millie".


Another highly enjoyable chapter! This is so fun!

--Penny

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Review #21, by Penelope InkwellLike a Multiverse on Fire: Cafe

4th May 2016:
Hey there! Here for The Slytherin Hot Seat (Review 2)

I don't even read AU's generally, and even I know that coffee shop scene's slash au's are iconic, so I'm glad you included this. I feel like I'm really getting the whole AU experience, here ;)

Lily! Lily and Millie are going to be friends! I'm am very on board for this. Also, getting sections of Lily POV was a pleasant surprise. I think you gave her a really fun, believable voice. I do wonder why Millie doesn't seem to have any friends, but it looks like Lily is going to worm her way in there one way or another, so that's good.

Sirius is such a flirt he doesn't even realize that seeing him flirt with another girl might be a turn off for Millie *shakes head incredulously* Kids today, amiright?

And James with Lily's "luminous beauty". Adorable.

I wonder what the Quidditch situation is here. Intramural? Club? College level? It's fun that this is a college au where it's still a magical college. That way we still have a lot of the fun spirit of the books, but it's still something different.


CC: Minor stuff here. Both just extra commas. And as I am the superfluous comma queen, I feel ridiculous pointing it out, but I will, since I know it would probably help me if all my extra punctuation was pointed out to me more.

Lily dropped herself in the seat across from Millie, and smiled encouragingly at the girl sitting across from her, her tall paper cup, sans lid, raised back to her mouth.
--that first comma after Millie isn't needed

Their eyes met for an electrifying instant, before Lily broke their unwanted connection and returned her attention to Millie.
--no comma needed in this sentence.


This was a short scene, but a cute one. I enjoyed getting to see a bit of the Jilly dynamic, as well as some tentative steps toward a firmer friendship between Millie and Lily. Say that 5 times fast: Millie and Lily Millie and Lily Millie and Lily Millie and Lily Millie and Lily. ;)

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Review #22, by Penelope InkwellKeep Calm and Carry On: A Guide to Keeping Calm and Apparating

4th May 2016:
Hey J!

I saw you posting about your challenge the other day and realized that I hadn't seen you in ages. I've missed you! And then I remembered that you had that fun political Next-Gen and I had always meant to read more of it, but then I went on hiatus and forgot. So, here I am!

Your Lorcan is hilarious! He may not think he's got much game with the ladies, but I'd probably go on a date with him just for the entertainment value alone, if it were me. He's adorkable.

Poor Lily. Not being able to even kiss someone who ate gluten, if you wanted to kiss them, would be a hardship. And avoiding all the things that touched it. I like the way you wrote Linda, though. She came across as both likable and a bit of a jerk sometimes. Like the whole "That part still sounds made up to me." It was funny, and good comedic timing, but if I were Lily I would get very frustrated with comments like that. I'm guessing Lily gives Linda a bit of a pass since she's a friend, whereas Cedric was just a rude stranger.

It was so interesting, how you wrote the Order gradually shifting into a political party! I'd never thought of it that way, but it does make sense.

With it being a (crazy) election year in the States, this fic becomes all the more interesting and amusing. I particularly enjoyed Callum Wood. Every party needs that guy. Though I think those rules are bound to be broken eventually.

I hope Branson and Co. don't underestimate whatshername, who was talking to Lorcan. I imagine she was there with an agenda.

I can relate to Erick. I mean, I do have morals and all, but if I were in politics, I'd want everyone on my team to be a Slytherin, too!

Some favorite quotes:

Do you wave to somebody you’re going to see in like two minutes? I guess I do, at least.

He was the older brother of former Keeper Oliver Wood, and had about twice his intensity. Yeah. Let that sink in.

"And I think she was flirting with me, but it could’ve been subtle mockery. Those kinds of distinctions often elude me.”


--BAHahahaha. These are all gems, especially the last one.


CC: I really could only find this one thing! Your writing is very clean.

Maybe I’d finally understand what the point of Bludgers were.
-- in this case, "were" ought to be "was", since it's referring to "point" rather than "Bludgers".


I loved your detailed Author's Note and learning about the reasoning behind some of your choices. I think that's really cool, and it shows how much thought you'd put into it. This story is really fun, and it's a little something different. I really enjoyed re-reading the first bit and getting to this chapter! I hope to be back to read more soon! Hope you're doing well!

--Penny

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Review #23, by Penelope InkwellThe Keeper's Daughter: Potterific

3rd May 2016:
Okay, so I saw that there was a new chapter up, and I absolutely leapt upon it like a crazy person. And then:

For Penelope Inkwell.
--I'm screaming. I literally just got *all* the warm-fuzzies. *attacks with a hug* Thanks! :D

Okay, this whole scene with Jane Perry Wood as a mother brings me so much joy. I love the way you've written her and Oliver. They've matured, and they're parents, but they're also still very much themselves. They're fun and, despite Aurelia and Gee's differences, they've created this warm, loving family that is so wonderful to see in a sequel. Jane's mix of supporting and poking fun at her daughter is just adorable, as is the fact that she's too proud of her for throwing a party and kissing Albus to be upset about the illicit NYE festivities. It's so cute!

“I want you to be careful, but I’ll be damned if you’ll be limited. Understood?”
--such a great mom


Albus' letters were wonderful! First, the image of him at a beach house somewhere, piled high with blankets, writing a letter to Gee while wearing mittens, was adorable. But then Albus on whiskey? Ohmygosh. (A++ thank you James Potter for making this happen). I loved the contrast between that and his first letter. Like, initially he's more Albus The Captain, only a bit more open--he's clearly into Gee, caring and cordial and cute, but still comparatively distant. And drunk!Albus' letter is hilarious! Everything from the poor spelling to his lowered inhibitions and the way he talks about their kiss in the hospital wing. Ah, it cracked me up. And, of course:

POTTERIFIC

Potterific!

I think I almost cried laughing. I loved how Georgiana proceeded to address every letter to him thusly. I dearly hope it's her petname for Albus for all time.

Aww, poor, poor Leo. I think we all had a feeling that wasn't going to end well. I love his and Gee's friendship, though. I like how, even though the romance in this story is strong, you also develop Gee's relationships with her friends and her thoughts about herself. That's just good storytelling.

Oh, and Sophie. I was so proud of her for the way she agreed to dial things back when Leo truly was hurting. I mean, she had a very legitimate reason to be upset, but I was glad that she was able to move that a bit to the side and still care about her friends, even though Leo had hurt/annoyed her.

And SPEAKING OF, I was so curious when they couldn't find Sophie on the train. But then the whole team gearing up to look for her was kind of a treat. Isla's immediate action plan with "losing" her diamond earring made me proud of her. And of course I enjoyed Albus and Gee's careening through the compartments, making out and checking for Sophie at the same time. I mean, why not multitask. I bet the Candy Lady saw them and didn't stop them because she shipped it so hard ; )

Leo quizzing Albus and being legitimately happy for him and Gee despite his recent heartache was really sweet. And his teasing about her name brought back a big of levity before the BIG REVEAL.

WHY ON EARTH IS SOPHIA IN JAIL?! What happened? I cannot wait to find out.

CC:

I only had a small question--how did Gee get that letter? If someone, like, chucked it at her, and we're going to find out in the next chapter, that's cool. But if it was an owl, it might be good to see it fly away, just so that we understand where this has come from and it isn't like the envelope appeared out of thin air.


This chapter was wonderful and I just enjoyed it so much! Getting some fun time with Gee and Albus, as well as a cute conversation with Gee and Jane, was such a treat. And the cliffhanger you ended on? I love it! I absolutely cannot wait for the next update, and I'll be looking forward to it eagerly!

--Penny

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Review #24, by Penelope InkwellLike a Multiverse on Fire: Spider

2nd May 2016:
Hey there! Penny here, reviewing for the Slytherin Hot Seat!

Is Pinepple more or less than loved it? Is Pear negative? Is Pomegranite "I want to be trapped in this world 6 months out of the year?" I need to understand the fruit-based scoring system before I'll know how to properly respond ;)

So, I've been meaning to get over to Like a Multiverse on Fire for ages now! You remember how much I was enjoying LAHOF before. Then the Slytherin Hot Seat finally gave me the kick I needed to get over here and get to reading.

Can I just say HOW EXCITED I AM about this?!

I almost never read AU's. Usually it's just not my thing. But I adore this idea. First off, I usually get sad during Marauder's fics, but an AU means that it *doesn't necessarily* have to end in utter tragedy! WHOO!

Besides which, the idea of Hogwarts as a magical college is a really fun idea. I'm already really enjoying the little hints of how you're going to turn it collegiate, like the mascot, their living in "Gryffindor Hall", and likening the Marauders to frat presidents, so I can't wait to see how you incorporate other aspects of collegiate life into this!

Millie and Sirius are as cute and funny as ever. I liked Millie's dry sense of humor and deadpan delivery. And Sirius' crush is cute!

and Sirius was plenty mighty, he knew.
--this guy *rolls eyes forcefully*. Well, that sounds like Sirius, all right.

“You never mentioned it was an Acromantula,” she replied evenly.
-- this! This is the kind of Sirius Black mockery I am here for.

And Sirius had no doubt in his mind that the spider considered him prey. Why else would it have been lying in wait for him to return from his shower, unarmed and vulnerable?
--Sirius' POV is so quirky, but I really buy into his voice. It seems like a younger, more carefree Sirius Black than could ever have existed in the Potterverse, but like Sirius Black nonetheless. I actually really like the way you write him. It's lighter and less angsty than a lot of Sirius fics, and I find the change of pace refreshing.

These crazy kids and their antics. Good gracious, considering how much mischief the Marauders managed in middle and high school, I cannot imagine what they'll get into in college. But I'm certainly eager to find out!


CC: So, you'll remember that I'm a great Millie/Sirius enthusiast as well as, quite possibly, the worst nitpicker on HPFF. All of my suggestions are just that--suggestions--and obviously they're yours to take or ignore as you will. :)

she focused on her annoyance and asked, “Can I help you?” as cool as the liquid nitrogen they used at the ice cream store in the town.
--(1) I believe should be a comma before "as cool" here, since it's a comparison rather than an adverb, like "cooly". I can't explain the grammar rule for it, but I think that's correct. (2) "the ice cream store in town" might sound more natural than "in the town."

It seemed a *little* odd that Sirius would be so concerned about making a good impression by not stuttering or being rude, but didn't seem all that concerned about crawling to his cute neighbor's door at 3 a.m. because he couldn't handle a spider. Like, most guys I know would be at least a little self-conscious about how the girl was going to see them. It seems like he'd be angsting a bit more over looking like a coward in front of Millie.

Sirius followed Millie around his room, as she looked in every place a spider could possibly hide.
--no need for comma

He’d dragger her away
--dragger = dragged

that she only liked to study in the common room downstairs between the times of nine and one, and that her favourite teacup featured their school mascot, Boris the bumbling dragon sleeping belly-up.
-- (1) "between the hours of nine and one" might sound a bit more natural than "between the times". (2) there should be a comma between "dragon" and "sleeping".

Millie’s eyes widened, before she gave a little gasp and closed her eyes tight.
--(1) There's no need for the comma in this sentence. (2) Since we already are talking about her eyes, it might flow a little better to say, "Millie’s eyes widened before she gave a little gasp and closed them tight."


This already looks like so much fun, and I can't wait to work my way through these chapters and be eagerly awaiting updates! So glad the Hot Seat reminded me I needed to come over here! You really know how to right humor well.

--Penny

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Review #25, by Penelope InkwellSettling In: The Common Room

2nd May 2016:
Hey Kapa! Penny here!

‘little Puffies’
--maybe it's the Slytherin in me, but I do not think I'd deal well with Louisa. I'm comforted by the sense that perhaps Scorpius feels the same way. But it's a fun bit of characterization!

I really liked that Scorpius first thought the room was a bit tacky (and I'm not throwing any shade at the Puffs when I say that). It just gives him a bit of that Malfoy-ness, so to speak. Scorpius seems like a sweet boy, and I'm glad, but I'm also really happy that you didn't just leave his roots behind. Basically, in like 2,000 words you've created a more well-rounded Scorpius than fics I've read with 10 times the word count.

like how the members of the House helped the house-elves hide wounded goblin refugees in the kitchens during the Goblin Rebellion of 1612
--is this a canon thing, or did you come up with it? Either way, I really like that detail!

BAHAHA, the Badger Song! Why are all the songs at Hogwarts so horrible?! I imagine that some headmaster in the past took the Dumbledore approach to hiring staff (i.e. Hagrid "Sure I'm not qualified as a teacher, I sometimes endanger students, and the sub is by every measure a better educator, but I'm a very nice guy!" I say that while loving Hagrid tremendously). So now I'm imagining some early Hogwarts chorus teacher, hired despite their complete lack of competence, forced to become the Hogwarts Head Lyricist, just because the Headmaster/Headmistress thought that it would be really fun to have ridiculous school lyrics forever

Good--and by good, well, you know what I mean ;) --job with the song, haha!

I really want to know who Scorpius thinks wrote this thing.

You know, I have my questions about all the laced cookies, but if you told me an hour of my sleep could count for 2, I think I'd eat pretty much anything you gave me.


CC: You write really well and cleanly, so I hope you don't mind that I had to get a bit nitpicky with the CC.

Now he and the other ‘little Puffies’ had instead been led by Louisa Boivin and another Prefect to a round, warm, and earthy, underground basement.
--There's something about all the commas at the end of this sentence that keeps it from flowing as well as it might. I say this knowing that I throw commas absolutely everywhere, personally. But I think it might be smoother if you took out the comma before "underground". I know it's technically an adjective describing the noun "basement", and I can't actually explain why, grammatically, but for some reason it looks like you could get away with losing it, and I think doing so might make the sentence flow better.

(Scorpius couldn’t see how anyone could get it wrong after Louisa’s agonisingly slow demonstrations, except perhaps by pure spite.)
-- "out of" pure spite might fit the sentence better than "by"

the bright yellow pillows of the bulky sofa he was quickly being led towards was round.
--"was" here ought to be "were" since it describes the pillows.

First: How many of you expected to end up in another House?”
--I think it would look better here if "How" were lowercase.

anecdotes about badgers (for example, that badgers would share their burrows with rabbits and foxes)
--technically, those are facts about badgers. It would only be an anecdote if someone told a story about an experience they had with a badger, or something like that.

So, as you can see, quite nitpicky. I just always try to do some CC, but you've got great grammar and mechanics skills, so I had to dig a little deeper.


This is a really cute fic, and I want to keep a lookout for more chapters in the future! It's nice and light and fun, and I could definitely use some more stories like that. Plus, you just write so well! I can definitely see why you won the Dobby for best new author last year! I think you certainly deserved it! Thanks for the swap. We should do it again some time; this was fun!

--Penny

(P.S. I saw a reference to the Lizzie Bennet Diaries on your profile page! I loved those! Me and my friend ran into the actor that played Mr. Collins once at Disney world, which was kind of crazy and fun!)

Author's Response: Hey again, Penny!

Haha, yes, I had a lot of fun with Louisa. She's sort of the kind of person that Umbridge liked to pretend she was - and that comes with a certain level of, er... annoyingness. But it's easier to stand it when it comes with a good heart (as with Louisa) and not a hairy one (as with Umbridge). Louisa is actually sort of the super!Hufflepuff, to function as a foil for Scorpous more 'non-traditional' one. And you're right that he finds her a little hard to deal with... but who knows, maybe he'll come around to her later in the story? : P

As for the Hufflepuff common room... well, I definitely don't want to throw any shade on the 'Puffies' either, but Scorpius reaction to it is actually sorta based on my own, when I read the Pottermore Hufflepuff welcome for the first time. I mean, I love Hufflepuff (even though it's probably the house that'd fit me the least) but that decor...! I'm happy I don't have to live there, is all I'm saying (not that I think I'd like the Gryffindor common room all that much either - Ravenclaw or Slytherin is much more to my liking, and I was actually a Ravenclaw/Slytherin Hatstall on Pottermore...).

You write "Basically, in like 2,000 words you've created a more well-rounded Scorpius than fics I've read with 10 times the word count." and, ah! *blushes* That's one of the nicest thing anyone has ever said about a fic of mine! Putting 'Malfoy-ness' and Hufflepuff together is, of course, the living heart of this story, and I'm so happy you think it works so well. : D

The house-elves hiding goblins in the kitchen is completely made up by me, and ties in with another story that I hope to finish one day. I'm flattered that you thought it could have been canon, though. : )

Hehehe, the Badger Song. Yes, it is really... something. I had such a blast writing it (though I felt like I should apologise to Hufflepuff all the while)! I love your little tangent about Hogwarts employees, haha - though I changed the text a bit to make it clear who Scorpius thinks wrote the song. I wondered if that was too unclear, and apparently it was.

And as for the laced cookies, I'd probably trust any cookie that a Hufflepuff gave me (which might be much to my detriment, I realise, especially if they've read the Badger Song, haha!)...

Thanks again for the concrit! Nitpicky is always good, you know, feel free to pick every nit you find in my stories! I changed everything you pointed out (I'm always messing up my 'was'es and my 'were's, grumble grumble).

Thanks for this review, and I'm so flattered that you think I deserved my Dobby - it means a lot coming from someone who writes as well as you! I'm looking forward to our next swap! : )

(And that thing about the Mr Collins actor is so cool - not a big chance of something like that happening to me, here in Sweden...)

/Kapa


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