Reading Reviews From Member: Penelope Inkwell
252 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Penelope InkwellBertie Bott’s Every Flavoured Beans: Introduction

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Thank you so much for reading and reviewing!!


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Review #2, by Penelope InkwellThe New Pride of Portree: Friends Again

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

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


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Review #3, by Penelope InkwellThe New Pride of Portree: Widdershins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for the chapter! :D


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Review #4, by Penelope InkwellForeign Affairs : Prologue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Okay, now for suggestions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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



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Review #5, by Penelope InkwellThe New Pride of Portree: Underdogs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for another great update!

Favorite Quote:

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


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Review #6, by Penelope InkwellThe New Pride of Portree: Let Us Break A Few Heads

14th July 2014:

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

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

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

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

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

Favorite Quotes:

“What happened to you?”

“Shaving accident?” Fitz suggested.

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

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

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


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


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Review #7, by Penelope InkwellPlay the Devil: The Joust

10th July 2014:
For the House Cup 2014 Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also, is Scorpius coming to Fotheringay? Oh my!


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

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

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

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

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


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Review #8, by Penelope InkwellThis Web We Weave: Herbology and Quidditch Tryouts

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Review #9, by Penelope InkwellThis Web We Weave: NEWTs, Quidditch, and a Little Totalitarianism

30th May 2014:
Hello hello!

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for the review swap!


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Review #10, by Penelope InkwellThe New Pride of Portree: Tentative Hope

9th May 2014:
First, yay! for the Prides’ first win!

Second, a BIGGER yay! for Fitz and Molly!

I was really glad to see Fitz becoming a better coach in these last few chapters, and opening up a bit more. They’re alike in that way, he and Molly, both very to themselves, so that’ll be a bit of a challenge, I suppose.

Hugo does have a point. I know he’s just being protective and caring about his cousin, but Fitz definitely has some anger issues, though he is much better when Molly’s around. It’s easy to see how being with her helps him, and I’m looking forward to seeing how being with him helps her. Molly may be Miss Perfect on the outside, but everyone has room to grow. And, of course, they aren’t properly with each other yet. But I have hope!

Soo happy to see a new chapter so soon after the last one, and, of course, always looking forward to seeing what’s next :D

Thanks for the story!


Author's Response: They won! And they slept together! haha.

He's getting better at it. Molly's tip about studying the old coaching reels and records was a big help, even if he hasn't admitted it. And Hugo definitely has a point. And you make an excellent point about Molly which will be coming up soon ;) Hopefully you like how that one plays out.

I just posted chapter 12 and am starting on chapter 13. More to come soon! Thank you so much for reviewing!

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Review #11, by Penelope InkwellOff the Rails: sixty-three

5th May 2014:
Someone, now, unleash the ninjas!

Just kidding. I actually sort of saw this coming. i wasn’t certain, but that loose plot thread about the Hogwarts position had been bugging me. For a while, I was like, “No, surely not.” But then I began to wonder.

That said, it still surprised me a little bit. Like they say, James’ Quidditch career is on top of the world. I was actually kind of sad.


You somehow won me over. I don’t quite know how you did it. I was like, “If he does this, I’m not gonna like it...”, and then I was like, “He has done this, and I do not like it...”. I had determined that this was not the way I would have wanted things to go.

And somehow you went and changed my mind. All in one chapter! I don’t even know where it happened, exactly, but the way you set it up is brilliant. James really *does* hate the media circus. It *will* only get worse, which won’t be healthy for him. He *has* sort of reached the top of what he can accomplish there, and, while it’s sad to think of the Falcons without him, given how loyal they all are to each other. It still works. And Roxy finally gets her chance. And this job does seem like it’ll fit James. Oh, and of course now he won’t be pushed to have a job that requires him to leave the country, so that he can be there for Carlotta.

And it’’s really sweet. *sniffle*

Plus, I know that Harry turned out to be an Auror, and he wanted that, and that’s great. But there was always a part of me who’d hoped he’d have gone back and taught D.A.D.A. And this is the next best thing. Harry was always an excellent teacher for Dumbledore’s Army, and it makes sense that that ability, and the passion to pursue it, would have been passed down to his son, right along with his (and Ginny’s) love for Quidditch.

All to say, you’ve thoroughly convinced a recalcitrant reader, which is quite an impressive writerly achievement, in my book. Good twist, good chapter. :D


Author's Response: Trust me, I found it sad to write this. Because James could play for England for years! Most people would do anything for that opportunity. But it IS the right thing for him to do. Had he not won the World Cup, he might well have stuck it out for another chance, but when you're a World Cup winner at 21, that's surely going to make you rethink things.

And also, as you mention, he can be around more for Carlotta. That was originally going to be one of the main reasons for James retiring - that he could spend more time with her, and she wouldn't have to feel like she was holding him back - but then I tweaked things slightly. It still would be there in the back of James' mind though.

I think my favourite part of OotP is the DA. I love every single DA session in the book, and I almost wish the film had included MORE of it. So yes, I agree with you that I would have loved to see Harry teach. So it's nice that James can do that (spoiler alert - you might JUST be right with your oh-so-educated guess).

I am, naturally, chuffed to have managed to have changed your mind on this, even within the space of the chapter. Like I said, I always knew this was going to happen, and I knew that there may be people who won't necessarily agree with it, which is totally fine. But all the same it's good to know that I've managed to convince you. :) Thanks for the lovely review!

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Review #12, by Penelope InkwellOff the Rails: sixty-two

4th May 2014:
I need to go back and make sure I left a review on that epic match, which I very much enjoyed. But for now I’ll just say how much I liked this chapter. It was a nice, sort of winding down bit, but it just made me so happy, after all that James has been through, for him to have this moment of triumph. But what I love even more is that winning is less important to him that his family being happy, and happy for him. I think it’s very realistic. Sometimes something is so big, and the nerves are so vast, that win or lose, you really DO mostly feel relief, no matter how great the achievement. It’s a side of the story that doesn’t get told often, but I found it very relatable.

This was so cute:
-“Don’t get your hopes up. I don’t think you’re going to become ‘James Potter’s father’ any time soon.” He pulled a face.

-“A guy can dream, can’t he?”

I suppose it just seemed very much like something Harry *would* wish--that he’d happily give over the glory to his children. I also sort of see a good bit of Harry in James, looking back. Like, the problematic relationship that James has with fame. He enjoys it sometimes, but at the same time finds it unfulfilling on its own, and often problematic, besides.

And Ryan and Della! Hooray! I always had hope for them. Now if Brie and Fred can just get things sorted...

Very sweet chapter. Warm fuzzies all around!


Author's Response: Ah, I did like writing this chapter, although it was a bit tricky making sure it didn't just read as me ticking all the boxes. Luckily the situation meant everyone and his dog would want to talk to James. And it was also lovely to write a totally contented James, free from the pressure of Quidditch or his family or anything else like that. This is the first instance all story that he's been totally at ease with everything at the same time. :)

I do think Harry would long to be overshadowed by his kids' own successes. He never has been one for attention, has he? You're right, he and James definitely share that same view on fame. It's one of the reasons why, now their issues have been dealt with, there's such a good understanding between them.

Thanks for reviewing! :)

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Review #13, by Penelope InkwellThe New Pride of Portree: Surprising Depths

29th April 2014:
That was a brilliant move on Fitz’s part, with the Hangover Potion. There’d probably no quicker way to get the team to love him.

Aw. I’m starting to feel almost sorry for Lefoque. However, I imagine she has an excellent track record. In the face of all that nonsense, who wouldn’t band together in commiseration? I wonder if it’s really all part of her plan, or if she’s just continually baffled that, despite the fact that people never seem to take to her exercises, her business remains astoundingly successful!

That story about George telling the kids that Charlie turned into a dragon at night was adorable. He totally would. It was a perfect touch. And Fitz being so interested in Molly’s family heart! Awww.

And Fitz! And Molly! I have all these emotions. Like, I’m excited that they finally seem to be moving forward, but then of course something will go wrong (something always goes wrong), and I’m so happy but also overwhelmed with these feelings of foreboding. Like, they’re still at the retreat! Is someone going to see them together? Will Mariah, like, blackmail them or something (she sort of seems the type)? Will they be able to keep things under wraps for at least a little while?

Ack! So many questions! Another good chapter. Thanks!


Author's Response: Seriously, the team needs to keep Hangover Potion on hand at all times, seeing that they all love to go out boozing so much. lol

I picture Lefoque as being seriously in earnest about her retreat. She really thinks this stuff works, and I figure when Ministry types and businessmen go, they take it seriously and would swear it helped even if it didn't, so she thinks she's doing very well. But the Prides completely misbehaved and she didn't really know how to handle them. McCormack, of course, knew that was going to happen from the first time she set foot in that place, so it was her intention all along, even if it wasn't Lefoque's.

George would totally do that kind of thing to his kids and think it was hilarious. And I bet Angelina whacked him upside the head for it. Fitz is interested in her family ;) He keeps meeting more of them, too!

Something does always go wrong. There should be 19 chapters in total (as the plan so far) so as you can imagine, there's plenty of time for it to go all sideways. I don't want to let on future plot, so I'll leave it there ;)

Thank you so much for reviewing!

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Review #14, by Penelope InkwellFlawless: Flawless

31st March 2014:
Hey! Penny here for the review swap!

First off, good choice of song. Classic Taylor Swift. I approve ;)

Second, I’m fond of stories that explore Fleur’s character. She comes across as a little snobby here (as she often does in the books), but she realizes what’s most important in the end, which I like.

I also liked the idea of what you’re exploring here with Fleur. Of course, she makes such a bold declaration in the books when Mrs. Weasley questions her about her love for Bill. But Fleur was obviously a catch--part Veela, Triwizard champion. And she’s also quite proud. So it makes sense that, as much as she ends up loving Bill, at some point she would question if he was what she really wanted, and that’s an interesting premise for a one-shot.


"She believed that love is unconditional and it just happens.”
--You switch tenses here. It would be more correct to say, “She believed that love was unconditional. It just happened.”

"The night was still and so was the hospital wing. The air was chilly and the inky black sky peppered with stars. The moon was slightly covered by a wispy cloud, adding to the darkness. The white walls of the hospital wing stood out against the darkness, filling the room with a soothing calmness.”
--This is a nice description . I really like the words you’ve chosen. However, beginning each sentence with “the” kind of distracts from that. If you mix up your sentence structure a little here, it will really highlight the lovely picture you’ve painted.

"thoughts were whirling like a whirlwind”
--That’s a smidge repetitive, “whirling” and “whirlwind”. May I suggest “spinning” like a whirlwind?

"nor did she plan to get married when she hadn’t met him.”
--I didn’t actually understand what this meant.

"She craved for his company.”
--No “for” necessary. Just, “She craved his company.”

"It was like clear that she was in love, but she wouldn’t admit it for one silly reason.”
--This is a bit confusing, since in the first sentence she claims that she’s fallen in love with Bill. She’s already admitted it.

"who was used to dress herself”
--“dress” should be “dressing”.

Writing two challenge pieces in one is always tricky, and my hat is off to you for doing it, Ashwini, because I have never been so brave. Way to go in pulling all that together, and I wish you luck in the challenge!


Author's Response: Hi there! Sorry for the late response. RL was pretty busy this time. :(

Haha, thanks! Actually, I love her classics more and this quote is one of my favorites. I couldn't resist writing something on it. ;)

Well, she is a bit snobby! I mean that's sort of a part of her character, isn't it? I wanted her to be real so couldn't help adding it. XD

I agree with you! Fleur was very close to the word 'flawless' and she knows that. So it's pretty natural that the question I have explored hits her mind at some point. :)

Okay... Thanks for the CC! I appreciate that. :) Will correct the errors as soon as I can. :D

I know, it's pretty much tricky! But I'm glad you liked it! :)

Thanks for the wishes and the lovely review! That really made my day!!


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Review #15, by Penelope InkwellLaws of Attraction: Science and Magic

30th March 2014:
Okay, first off, I like the way you set up the scene, talking about Nicholas’ apartment. You don’t go on and on forever about it, but there’s enough detail that the scene is painted, and I can picture it well. It works especially well because you’re talking about Nicholas, who is a science-y type, and they don’t usually wax romantic over a room setup. But Nicholas does find a little romantic in himself, so your description is a good mix of straightforwardness and detail.

Did that make sense?

"His stomach was filled with a warm feeling yet his acidity was normal.”
--This made me chuckle. It was such a cute little science-y thing to think. I don’t know. Something about this sentence is just adorable.

I like the idea you have here of Magic vs. Science, and how Nicholas, as a squib, kind of walks the tightrope between the two. It’s a good story idea and I wish I could read a longer account of this pair’s story.

-“You forgot that you needed one, didn’t you?”
--Also, the timing of this worked out perfectly. It was very cute.


"At a glance, one would assume that the apartment belonged to a scientist and that assumption would be correct.”
--I think this would be a little punchier if you separated the sentences. Like, At a glance, one would assume that the apartment belonged to a scientist. That assumption would be correct. But that’s just a style thing, which is obviously super objective.

"Muggle Wolds
--In need of an “r”

"but what really was love.”
--In need of a question mark.

Also, in general, I’d sprinkle a few more commas in here (I am a comma fiend, and I use them to liberally in my work, so I’m no Comma Usage Queen or anything, but I think there are a few spaces where that little pause would help the flow of the story).

Obviously, those are all tiny things. I’d say the main suggestion I could give for this would be to give us a few more details, especially in the scene where he catches Rose at the train station. You know how to paint a picture--it’s a skill you utilize nicely in your opening--and I’d love to see a little more of what is going on. A little more nervous shifting, or confusion, or moments where Nick is stuck trying to catch his breath. It would be nice to get to linger here a little longer, to get the full picture.

I enjoyed reading your one-shot. Since it’s so short, I’ll probably throw in another review for you. Thanks for swapping with me!


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Review #16, by Penelope InkwellHarry Potter and the Plot of Power: 02 Cassandra's Gift

28th March 2014:
Hey! Now I am also here! :D

Okay, I LOVE Sir Podmore. He is hilarious!

The part about the nurses at the hospital being practically the same as the Healers--they’ve seen all kinds of crazy things--just cracked me up. I have several friends who are studying to be nurses, and that sounds very accurate, based on what I hear from them.

"There were machines that he was sure his father-in-law would love to get his hands on. All of this around him was a different kind of magic that Harry wished he knew a little bit more.”
--I liked this. First off, because sometimes it seems a narrow line between technology and magic. Second for the Arthur Weasley reference. He would go crazy for that. Can you imagine him in a science lab? Now that is a great visual. But you also point out something that I’ve never much thought about. Harry really wouldn’t understand a lot about Muggle society, would he? I mean, granted, advanced sciences is a pretty niche topic. When we see him in the books, he’s kind of forced to keep abreast of those things, just because he’s grown up with the Dursleys. But he never went farther than Muggle elementary school, and after he left them, he was totally entrenched in the wizarding world. It’s sort of interesting to think about, how in twenty-something years he probably wouldn’t be up to date on many Muggle things at all, even though he grew up as one.

Oh, my gosh, when they began describing what had happened to the body, my heart nearly stopped. I was afraid it was Hugo. And it was Lorcan, which is still HORRIBLE. Why is it always the twins?! And oh. my. sweet. goodness, where is HUGO?!

So, I’ve got to say I really enjoyed this chapter. We started off with action--Harry thinking that his office was being ransacked. Then we got some light comedy. Intrigue. Suspense. Horror. Foreign language if we count the Swiss victim, so throw in some Romance and you’d have every section of Blockbuster covered!

(Well, Blockbuster doesn’t exist anymore, I don’t think, but Netflix has too many sections to work for that joke).

I liked hearing the background of how Harry made connections with the Muggle police force and the whole Dolohov capture. I always like some good backstory. It’s fun to find out how you’ve imagined them spending the past couple decades.

I’m still so curious. Scared, because you’re obviously not afraid to KILL PEOPLE OFF (I’m going to have trust issues with you forever now. Poor Luna). But I guess I never know what’s going to happen, so that keeps me on my toes. And I enjoy a good mystery. Can’t wait to see what happens next!


Okay, you know--you know how nitpicky I am. So there are several things here. But most of them are picky little details.

"or any enemy he might’ve angered off recently; he had too many of them to really keep track of anything he had done recently.”
--I’d cut out “off”. I don’t think you really anger people off. And I would avoid using “recently” twice in the same sentence. My suggestion would be to say, "or any enemy he might’ve angered recently; he had too many of them to really keep track.”

"As Harry was settled for the day he contemplated on how boring and slow his day would be.”
--I’d suggest replacing “As Harry was settled for the day” with “As Harry settled in to work...”

"He didn’t bother to show up at Mrs. Granger’s dinner last night
--It seems kind of odd that Ron would still be calling his mother-in-law for 20-odd years “Mrs. Granger”. Maybe just, “his grandmother’s dinner” or “Hermione’s mum’s dinner”?

"next visit if they tried it out the new product on Harry first.
Then an idea struck him and a small smirk form on his face.”

--It should be either “if they tried it out on Harry” or “if they tried out the new product on Harry”.

"Harry remembered well of that weekend,”
--Harry remembered that weekend well?

"Aye, it was to take a look at the tourist’s body”
--‘Aye’ is kind of jarring here. It doesn’t seem like something that would be part of Harry’s normal lexicon. I’m no expert, but it’s something I associate more with people from the northern part of the U.K.

"how they had survived the rampant waters Harry didn’t know.”
--I don’t think rampant is really the right word here. I get that it’s meant to convey wild/raging, but I don’t think it’s a word that can really describe water, unless you’re saying, like, “the rampant waves”.

"Harry, instead, gave Braxton a portrait of Sir Merek Podmore as a gift, something Ron was glad to get out of his cubicle, and instructed him that if anything out of the ordinary started to happen. Things that he couldn’t quite explain in a report, to just let Podmore know and Harry would come to help.”
--This should probably be one sentence, all together, or should split in a different place.

“If Lorcan is here, beaten to death, where my boy, Harry?”
--“where is my boy” would probably be more correct. And less gangsta.

So, forgive my pickiness! I know it looks like a lot of things, but really it’s usually, like, a missing word. I’m really enjoying the plot and I hope you’re planning on updating soon because I have GOT to know what is going on here. You use suspense super effectively. TOO effectively! How am I going to handle the wait?!


Author's Response: HEY!!!

So sorry that I've taken forever to come and give you a review!! RL just kicks my behind every so often.

However, *cracks knuckles* let's tackle this awesome review!!

I find it funny how much of a feedback I've gotten for Sir Podmore!! I just had him sort of a background thing, to be able to deliver a message without having to give Harry a cell phone which would be out of character for him. I may have to use him once again and hope that I get the same reaction!

Thank you for mentioning how much of a narrow line magic and science is. It's almost a grey area. Science and technology and indeed our way of magic. How do we keep airplanes up in the air? Cure diseases? It's our "magic". And that's one of the themes of this story.

And perhaps it's the best for humanity to keep Arthur at bay from a science lab for that reason. He would go happy, insane, for that advanced technology. He has seen TVs and I'm sure he has seen computers but equipment at this high caliber? I doubt it. Hahaha.

I've always thought Harry of lacking more Muggle knowledge aside for his elementary knowledge. Beyond that, Dudley is more educated than him. Knows more of the subject than his cousin. He's definitely far behind in his knowledge and at this point, whatever he knew of Muggle technology and way of life is quite expired.

Yeah, what happened to Lorcan was horrible. However, because of rating goes here in the site, I couldn't really elaborate on that. In fact, his death was a lot more horrible in my head. So if you can imagine something worse, that's what happened to Lorcan.

Ah, definitely speaking...Poor Hugo! He's going to go through something very hard in his life...

Hahaha, I used to love going to Blockbuster on the weekends with my parents! We would spend at least 30 mins trying to decide what movie to watch or game to rest. Thank you for remaining me of that store! It brought fond memories!

I'm glad that you liked the backstory of Harry and the Muggle Police force. I had to keep it believable. And be able to wave into the story as to WHY the Muggle Police knew about magic. Otherwise it just doesn't work.

You're right, I don't have any problem on killing characters off. I have a death that I already have planned and I know it'll make people hate me. Hahaha. However, it must happen! And for that I apologize in advance! :S


You know very well how much I appreciate it. It makes Ron sound less gangsta! Hahaha!

I'm almost done with the next chapter so I hope you don't get to wait long!!

Thank you, again, for you fantastic review! They always make me happy! And so sorry that I've taken forever to give you a proper response.

Until next time

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Review #17, by Penelope InkwellThe Keeper's Daughter: It's going to be fine, you know

28th March 2014:
Bahaha, I’m really enjoying the light-hearted tone. And I like how Matteo seems...actually nice. I mean, maybe he’ll turn out to be horrible, but you know how in a lot of stories the heroine’s initial boyfriend is so obviously awful? And there are stories for which that’s the right choice--I’m not a big fan of the blanket disparagement of plot points that can work. But it makes the girl look a bit dim if everyone can see he’s wrong for her right off the bat and she just can’t figure it out (which, I mean, does happen in life and so should be reflected in literature. But I’ve seen an awful lot of it, and I like that it seems like it’s going to be different here). Besides, it’s far more common for relationships not to work out for reasons other than “he’s evil”.

So yeah. If she was going to fall off a house for someone, at least he seems decent.

Nice to meet Sofia, Isla, and Leo. I always appreciate when an MC has good, supportive friends.

I’m really interested to find out what’s going to happen when Gee has to reveal all. And to really get to know Albus. I mean, I know we’ve met him, but it was so brief. I don’t yet know much about him, aside from that he’s Quidditch-obsessed and seems concerned about Gee’s well-being.

Also, meeting the infamous Pippa should be fun!

Favorite Quotes:

“I’m really good-looking,” Dad said when I told him, which was not helping.”

"Admittedly, he enjoyed power and thought it best exercised over Slytherins.”

"Last year she tripped Aurelia when she was walking down the stairs with her friends. Ten stitches. Aurelia had it better, trust me. Pippa ended up overnight in the hospital wing and I had to clean toilets for a month. Worth it.”
--Loved this, because it showed that as much as the sisters don’t get along, there’s still strong family loyalty that ties them together.

“She told Aurelia to get a thesaurus because her swearing wasn’t creative enough to warrant her last name.”

It’s all just little spelling things. I’ve got nothing to say in regards to the story, other than that I’m really enjoying the characters and am eager to read more!

"Lucky for me because she kicked the crap out of Anthony Meijer fourth year for breaking my heart.”
--There should be an “in” before “fourth year”.

“Pity. I was just telling Gee that I think it’s admirable to admit faults and only up until last year did I realize how to pronounce some of them.”
--removing “up until” might make this a little bit clearer. Or saying “...faults, and up until last year I didn’t realize how to pronounce..."

“I mean, you won’t, obviously, be maybe if something goes wrong because of Pippa.”
--“but” instead of “be”?

That’s it! Thanks for another chapter. It’s really amusing and enjoyable and I’m already hooked!


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Review #18, by Penelope InkwellThe Keeper's Daughter: It Happened in August

28th March 2014:
Oh my gosh, I love it already.

You have such a talent for making extraordinary circumstances (i.e. being a witch, playing a magical sport) seem totally real and relatable.

I can already tell that Gee is going to be a great protagonist. Aurelia, is a little brat, but she is at that age, and everyone has to start somewhere.

I ADORE Gee’s interaction with Alicia. Comedic skill, right here. I’m favoriting this story right now. I already know that I’m going to want to read the whole thing.

Also, I love the idea of finding something new to do, of having to pursue other talents than those you’ve always depended on. Starting over. It’s a good problem to explore.

So excited for this new fic. Hooray!


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Review #19, by Penelope Inkwell30 Days of You and Me: Hope

28th March 2014:
First, how has it taken me so long to read this chapter. I like it. You know, i really do understand Scorpius. I mean, really it was the more selfish thing, but I can get the desire not to burden people when you feel hopeless. The thing to remember is that people who love you usually don’t see you as a burden, or even if they do, you’re a burden they’d rather have than not.

But I thought his escape attempt fit his character perfectly. And I love how Rose knew just where to find him.

I liked that you brought back that “girls being brave” quote, though I am still curious as to who ever told him that, and why. Was it his mother he was speaking of? Was she already sick back then?


“Rose,” he breathed, face mirroring the shock.”
--what shock is his face mirroring? Because Rose isn’t shocked--her voice tone is bored. Maybe it’s the shock in his voice? Anyway, I couldn’t quite tell, and it distracted me for a second. It’s pretty nitpicky CC, but what other kind could I give with a story this well-written?

Favorite Quote:

"And Dad knew little about plants other than which ones to pick for Mum when he made her mad.”
--This was just so cute, and so Ron. I just love him in this story!

I cannot believe that the story is almost over. I’m excited to read the last chapter, but sort of nervous, too. Will there be an epilogue?

And how did I not realize that you were writing another story? I’ll have to go take a look.

Thanks so much for writing “30 Days”. I’ve really enjoyed it.


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Review #20, by Penelope InkwellPicking Up the Pieces: Flashback

23rd March 2014:
So, for a while as I was reading this, I totally thought her name was Anaxanandra Snyder. I have a long history of having sort of weird name-dyslexia when I read. My family has made fun of me for this for years. It’s so bad that, when I was in second grade, I named my dog after a book character. Years later I picked the book up off my shelf and realized that I had missed a letter in the name, which had turned it into something completely different. And this happens all the time. No other problems with reading--just names. I realized a few chapters ago that it was Anaxandra, which has a much better ring to it. But I just now realized that her surname is Synder, which fits her unusual name much better than Snyder. Also, Snyder kept making me think of the pretzel brand. So this is a wonderful discovery, and I thought that it might give you a laugh.

Or want to bash in my head for mentally butchering your characters’ names for 7 and a half chapters.

Either response is acceptable, really.

Love to see Draco working alongside Harry. For a while, I’d actually forgotten that they must work together, since Harry and Ron went to the Auror Department. I can’t imagine how that slipped my mind--just didn’t put two and two together. I think you do a good job of giving them a decent work relationship without making them inordinately chummy. It fits this version of Draco nicely.

Wo-oah! Did not expect that! What on earth happened here?!!!

“People have forgiven me for much worse than a blow to the face, and you deserve no less.”
--I just love this line. Things like this are why I adore Draco Malfoy: the Redeemed Edition so very much as a character.

Super. Creepy. Creatures. What in the name of chocolate chip cookies are those things?! Ick!


"the deep gnarls became even more pronounced,”
--I’m thinking that “gnarls” should probably be “snarls”.

It cautiously stuck its prominently large head.
--“Prominently large” is a bit redundant. Just “prominent head” would do.

"she’ll move slow enough”
--You switch tenses here. To go along with the rest of the passage, “she’ll” should be “she’d”.

Pardon me, I’ve got to go figure out what happens next, because for real, WHAT JUST HAPPENED?! Yikes! Very scary. I’m currently scanning my living room in search of possible weapons to see what I can use if the Neanderthal rats invade (I’m envisioning the R.O.U.S.’s from The Princess Bride, by the way. Ew).


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Review #21, by Penelope InkwellPicking Up the Pieces: Happenstance

22nd March 2014:
Ick. Knockturn Alley. What a place.

LOOOoove Anaxandra’s dragon knowledge. She’s got a lot of spunk, but if she’s going to be successful, I’ve got a feeling she’s going to have to learn to fly under the radar a bit better, huh?

“Nyx”, hmm? Is that her real name? Is Anaxandra a fake name? Or the reverse? Or are they both real. Being named for the goddess of night does sound rather huntress-y. But then, all her siblings’ names started with “A”. So, I don’t know what’s going on with that, but I’m eager to find out.

Okay, pulled out the old Google translate, since Latin is not so much a thing that I know. And I still have no clue what that means. I reckon we’ll find out, though.

-“Are you even listening to me?” Draco angrily called to her.

-“I’m trying not to, but you’re making it really hard with all that hideous noise coming from your mouth.”



"watched as it slightly popped open.”
--“popped slightly open” would probably be a better arrangement.

Oy! Draco people in the face probably isn’t her best bet. I can’t imagine he’ll be pleased. However, when she says those lines about letting him get away, I really felt her pain. Just reading the sentence hurt, so that was very well done.

Now to find out what Anaxandra/Nyx is going to do about all this...


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Review #22, by Penelope InkwellPicking Up the Pieces: Confession

22nd March 2014:
I LOVED that little bit from Draco’s POV at the very end. I had been thinking about that during her confessions--how, if there was anyone who could understand, it was Draco. And the way you wrote the bit where he admits that to himself was just right. Gah! You two crazy kids just need to talk more.

Man, that guilt really has to be eating at her. And that’s just the worst outcome possible, isn’t it? You say something you don’t mean, and you never get the chance to take it back. How painful.


“I should have went back to help them,”
--“should have went” ought to be “should have gone”. Unless you meant for her to use incorrect grammar. That would be a fair choice, but it seems a bit unusual for her.

That’s all I’ve got. Another very nice chapter. I still have so many questions. I want to know why Draco’s sleeping there. Cough u! the answers, Malfoy. ;)


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Review #23, by Penelope InkwellPicking Up the Pieces: Freedom

22nd March 2014:
Dude, what is up with super-happy cheerful Gawain? And I thought that he didn’t like Draco? Has he been, like Imperiused or something?


Okay, so I love this broom you’ve dreamed up. And I want it. Really, I just want any flying broom, but this one seems particularly snazzy. Poor Anaxandra never learned to fly? And her brother did? That is all kinds of unfair. I mean, it’s bad enough that I can’t fly, but she’s a witch. It’s, like, her unalienable right! I object on her behalf, and I really hope Draco teaches her.

Aaand she has only had icecream ONCE?! This is just tragic.

What did Draco see that made him dart away like that. My best guess would be that Astoria saw him with a strange girl and got the wrong (but hopefully right in the future) idea. But is it something worse than that? I have to read on and find out what the deal is with this abrupt exit. It must be pretty important, because it was looking like he might get some information out of Ana, so for him to give up that opportunity...I am so curious!

It’s really interesting how she seems to be able to do magic without a want. Wondering what the story is there. The Ministry did take her wand, didn’t they? Did she get it back?

Poor girl, she’s been through a lot.


"I’ve told you once, and I’ll tell you again,” Gawain asserted, sitting down in his own chair and leaning forward on his elbows, then changing back to his overly cheery self, “call me Gawain.”

--when you say “changing back to his overly cheery self”, I wasn’t aware he had left it? At what point does that happen? Is it when he’s saying, “I’ve tell you once and I’ll tell you again,”? Because when I was reading, I imagined him saying that in a joking manner, but that’s the only point I could find where it seemed like he might have slipped back into a harsher tone. MIght be good to clarify that. That’s all I’ve got.

Another intriguing chapter! Looking forward to reading more :D


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Review #24, by Penelope InkwellPicking Up the Pieces: Lonely

22nd March 2014:
Hey Monica!

Hooray! I get less free time than I’d like, but I’m back and I’m reading and reviewing! And to answer your previous question, no, you didn’t request reviews. I just like your story ;)

I enjoy the way you write Draco and Ana’s dialogue. It’s snappy and funny and it sounds true to their characters. I laugh at pretty much every interaction between them.

"the scene outside began looking more like a smeared, gray watercolor painting.”
--this was a lovely image

Interesting. So Anaxandra’s afraid of storms. Well, I suppose it’s good she has a weakness, for character purposes. Usually she’s so tough. I also like how Draco was kind of a jerk about it, because it’s not what I would have anticipated. So many times, this would be when the heroine shows her weakness, and the hero demonstrates his softer side. And this isn’t that at all. It’s true to his character--Draco may be a better guy now, but he’s not perfect, and Ana hasn’t done much to endear herself to him at this point. His reaction makes sense, and defies expectation. And I like both of those things in a story :D

Also, I like how she makes him coffee. They can’t even do nice things for one another without a whole internal monologue. It’s kind of cute.


"the aching lonely of this room.”
--“lonely” should probably be “loneliness"

"If there was anything she hated more, it was thunderstorms. Correction: if there was anything she hated more it was the fact that she was afraid of thunderstorms.”
--When you say, “hated more”, more than what? The rain? I didn’t quite get that.

Really liked this chapter, and am totally shipping the two main characters. Also, you paint some very pretty pictures with your words. Nice work!


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Review #25, by Penelope InkwellOff the Rails: sixty

22nd March 2014:
Yay! New chapter.

Arggghle. I’m dying to know what’s going to happen in this final match! I need to know! This is worse than my family during the deciding games for conference championships (college football, I mean).

Poor Brigid, she really is stuck. And I feel bad for Maddie, too. Ain’t it always the truth? You finally meet a guy who’s attractive and charming and with whom you share common interests, and he moves to Australia to play wizarding sky hockey.

...Not a common problem? Really? Oh, well sorry, Maddie. You lead an interesting life, at least.

You really do think through the details, don’t you? I like what you said about Lily’s job. That would totally happen in the real world--some girl comes straight out of school--high school, no less!--and lands a job like that? Yeah, I’m sure she has made some enemies.

If you ever consider doing a spin off, I would *love* to hear more about Lily’s story. She might actually be my favorite character, and the story you’ve given her is so fascinating.

Also, while I’m putting in requests, can I ask for some more Carlotta/James screentime? I love the Quidditch elements in this story, and you’ve imagined them so richly, but it would be great to see a bit more of them together. I feel like our time with them has diminished in the last few chapters, and I know it’s because you have a lot of Quidditch-plot stuff to get in, which is obviously super important, and there is much more to life than romance, of course. But still. It’d be nice to see some more interaction between those two crazies. They’re adorable.

I love that, even after all James’ issues with fame, he’s actually still a pretty humble guy. He doesn’t just expect to get anything. I think that’s one of the things that makes him a really likable character--he’s grown up with every advantage, yet still doesn’t expect the world to serve him. And I like that.

I hope that Cato or Clea do run into Uncle Ludo. Where’s he been hiding out for goblins this long, anyway? That was a really cute detail!

And Harry and James, having a healthy father-son relationship. My heart!

As a side question, and you may have mentioned this, but I can’t recall, does the English team use the colors of the Union Jack, or the red and white of St. George’s cross, since they’re playing against other countries that are part of the U.K.?

Enjoying this story, as always, and eagerly awaiting the WORLD QUIDDITCH CUP FINALS!!! Go England!

Thanks for the new chapter :D


Author's Response: Aha, this review just about made my day. Wizarding sky hockey! Yep, that's about right. :)

ANYWAY. Your excitement about the final is, I won't lie, PETRIFYING. Because it means there's a strong chance what I've written will fall short of expectations. WAH. I hope you enjoy it when it's posted! :)

Maddie. Maddie Maddie Maddie. It's a rough hand she's been dealt, isn't it? Still, she's a strong girl, she'll cope with it. Her life is, indeed, an interesting one.

I LOVE your Lily request, because I do in fact HAVE a spin-off fic in mind, from the time she finds out she's a Squib, up to just short of Rails probably. I can't promise anything, in terms of either when it might turn up or in what form (I was initially thinking novella-length but it might just be short-story now) but it's certainly in existence in some form. :) But then I have lots of spin-off ideas which will hopefully materialise over time. So requests are always welcome! No firm promises, but the ambition is there. :)

Ah yes, more James/Carlotta. They get a fair bit of screentime in the last few chapters, once the Final is over with, so hopefully that will appease your cravings. It's difficult in a sense because their arc in Rails is done with now, so there's little to write about aside from them being adorable - but then I do like writing them when they're being adorable. :) Lots more juicy James/Carlotta to come in the sequel though!

The thing with James is I imagine he - and Al and Lily - WOULDN'T actually have grown up with all that many advantages. At least, not pre-Hogwarts at any rate. Harry and Ginny would certainly have tried to keep them grounded. And I think James would at first have been quite cocky at recieving the attention at school, but the novelty certainly wore off soon, when he realised people only cared about his dad, not him. Poor James. So yes, he's humble, because he doesn't WANT the advantages. And that's his saving grace really; even when he was an obnoxious so-and-so, he was still LIKEABLE. Which I'm glad about, obviously. :)

Oh, the Harry/James makes me melt every time. Love 'em.

I'm guessing you're thinking about Great Britain in the Olympics, when all the home nations compete together. Actually, that's pretty much the only time that happens. In basically any other sport, they compete separately, and England compete in the red and white. Mainly white, as Wales of course have red. So that's the colours England wear here. And that will be mentioned in the next chapter. :)

Thanks for the lovely review!

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