Reading Reviews From Member: milominderbinder
112 Reviews Found

Review #1, by milominderbinderPure Intentions: Red Line

6th February 2014:

Even though this is a short story I feel like it's been a novel; I'm so invested in it and I feel like I know all the characters so well, you've developed them all perfectly.

Scorp and Rose's breakup was great. I love how their relationship didn't end because she found out about him and Al, and that she was the one to end it, because they wanted different things. I was so worried she was going to end up heartbroken and I love this version of Rose so much, I didn't want to see that happen to her. She's such a lovely free spirit.

Also Astoria, so sweet. It's sad that she can't completely stand up to Draco and that she can't stop Scorpius from being thrown out, but so sweet that she tries to help him anyway. It must be such a horrible situation she's in.

Loved seeing Scorpius so resolved, realising it wasn't right to date girls when he just wasn't attracted to them. Standing up to his parents was the right decision, even if it had bad consequences it's healthier and will make him happier in the long run, so I was very proud of him in that moment!

Can't wait to see the next chapter :D


Author's Response: Maia!!!

Your excitement is making me so happy!!! I just posted the last chapter (dun dun dun!)

Im really glad the characters and story got you invested - I wanted them to be memorable so it's really nice to know that came through in the story.

It was hard to avoid having Albus' relationship with Scorpius not be an issue for Rose. I wanted to avoid lasting awkwardness/tension between her and Al. Ultimately, they were going down different paths. I thought making her a free spirit would shield her from some of the clinginess teenage girls can go through.

Astoria is starting down a path to stand up to Draco a bit more. Im really glad her help was touching.

Getting Scorpius to a point where he could stand up to his parents was a a key goal for me in this story. If he had this same resolve at the start of the story, well, he wouldn't ahve broken anyone's heart and there would just be a nice, sweet Al/Scor story. :D

Thank you so much for a spectacular review! I hope the ending is up to par!


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Review #2, by milominderbinderPure Intentions: Red Letter

6th February 2014:
*is in love with your french soup humour*.

*is in love with everything else about this, also*

Seriously, this story just keeps getting better and better!

I love the little nods to canon throughout the whole thing - Rose taking Hermione's beaded bag on holiday made me so happy!

Also omg Brandon Savage :D

Okay this is just a teeny review since I'm skipping off to read the next chapter now :D :D


Author's Response: Maia!

I'm glad so someone got my French soup joke!! I'm extremely happy you like this story. I wanted it to be something you'd enjoy. :)

I think I had to include little nods to canon because I'm so out of my element writing next gen. I'm glad you were excited to see another Savage!!!

Thank you so much for stopping by!


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Review #3, by milominderbinderEvil Will Prevail: The hooded figure

5th February 2014:
Hiya! Here reviewing for the Ravenclaw review battle :D

I really loved this start. It's just so intriguing and unlike pretty much anything I've read before. I'm usually a stickler for canon but one of the great things about the review battle is being exposed to things you might not necessarily choose to read by yourself, and I'm really glad I clicked on this story when I looked at your page!

Your writing has just the right amount of suspense and intrigue to really make me want to read on. I love your descriptions a lot. The ones in the first paragraph actually really stood out for me.

A sudden draft made the hairs on his neck stand on end. He could hear the faint rustling of the nearby trees. A werewolf howled at a distance, as the full moon shone overhead. Nothing seemed out of place, with the calm hills silhouetted along the horizon and the moon’s reflection casting a pale glow on the nearby stream. It would have been hard to guess that this peaceful spot was doomed to witness the most atrocious acts in the weeks to come.

Forgive the long quote, but that really is all just perfect. You Totally set the scene, but also leave a lot up to the readers imagination, which I think makes it creepier. Just by naming a few things like the werewolves howl, but not necessarily elaborating on it, you really set the tone of unease.

I love Draco's POV as well. You really get into his head and I think you've characterised him perfectly. It's interesting, because he's used to this kind of thing, this is basically the environment he's grown up in - the fear and cruelty - yet he's not at home in it totally. It's very lovely to read because it makes him very relatable, and it also contrasts with the extreme comfort Hermione seems to show in that environment - when in canon you'd expect it to be the other way around.

Overall I loved this, well done :D


Author's Response: Thank you so much for this review! This must be one of the best reviews I've received so far!

I'm so happy you like the descriptions and the characterizations. It's such a compliment to have you say they're perfect. *does a crazy happy dance*

Well it is the Canon Craziness Challenge. :D I hope Hermione's crazy enough in this. And I really hope you keep reading! Thanks again for the amazing review.

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Review #4, by milominderbinderNo Matter What: Lily

2nd February 2014:
Hi hon! Sorry for the wait haha, but I'm finally here to review your challenge entry!

Some quotes I loved were:

The house is wordless, not a moan or groan escapes the depth of night. Everything is still, asleep and dreaming of wonderful worlds, death, and magic, magic of all levels of power and rage.

He's scared of telling dad something? What is so frightening? Dad would never be disappointed in any of us, unless we involved ourselves with dark magic. James is far too soft for that, I think, laughing silently.

I really loved how you told this from a different pair of eyes - focusing on the whole thing through Lily worked so well. It could really concentrate down to the reactions James could expect, and showed how that kind of thing can affect a family. But you also did a great job of conveying all James' emotions through his conversations with ivan and Lily, and also just from the things Lily saw. You did a great job of making his emotions shine through his actions.

Ivan seemed really nice. I like that he was a serious relationship, and not just some random guy, because it makes it more significant when James comes out to Lily. I also love how you didn't quite clarify James' sexuality, but implied that he's bi. There is such an incredible lack of bi boys in fic, it's always so refreshing to read!

Anyway, I really loved this. You did a great job of addressing all the issues around this, and the POV especially made it really interesting and made it stand out.

Thanks so much for entering my challenge hon!


Author's Response: Maia!

I am SO relieved that you loved this. Like I cannot even begin to explain how relieved I am. I am only truly exposed to stuff like this through reading, and I have never really written Slash, like, straight-forward. Because I am not exposed to it in real life, I was terrified that I didn't write it correctly!

Anyway, thanks for the kind words! It was no problem entering your challenge!



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Review #5, by milominderbinderfalling away with you: falling away with you

2nd February 2014:
Kiana. Okay. Like. First - W O W.

Second, I want to quote every single line of this story to show you how perfect it was. It truly was like you painted this, only you were, like, Leonardo Da Vinci or something, and not a single brush stroke was out of place. If my stories were paintings they'd be like, interesting finger paintings improvised in ten seconds, but this here is a MASTERPIECE.

Okay, a few lines of the MANY that stood out:

You had always thought of things in terms of paint. The colour would never be red, it would be crimson or scarlet. Your mother’s hair would never be bushy, but painted onto her with a thick brush in need of being thrown away. The things falling out of your eyes now wouldn’t be tears, but drops of water slipping over the edge of the pot. It drew you into obscure things.

You know what Andrea, the other curator, thinks of him. You know what other people think of him. But then it almost makes you want to think differently. One person can’t be the subject of everyone’s hate, it’s too much for them.

Dusk has already fallen across the city, the slight warmth of February is taken with it, and a chill has fallen among the streets. The only comforting thing is that unlike London, where the shadows tower over you as night falls, the buildings here are low, allowing some sort of light to seep through the dark.

A canvas is mounted on a stand, taking up most of your bedroom. The painting’s nearly done. The swaths of black are clouded over by the white, merged into something less threatening, less harsh, but you know there still needs to be something more.

Your breath is intermingled, you can smell the peppermint of his and the strawberry of yours. They’re merging though, coagulating, not like the black and white of Draco and the red of you. Perhaps things aren’t as defined as you thought them to be.

Okay quote time over, and now to the bit where I SOB ABOUT HOW THIS ENDED. I mean, I accept it, and I can see why it had to end this way, but still. I've never been a fan of Draco and I was so wary of this story going in but you had me rooting for them nearly straight away, and their ending just broke my heart.

Okay, I apologise for the nonsensicalness of this review, but yeah I really did just love this, well done!! Thanks so much for entering my challenge, this is an incredible entry.


Author's Response: Maia! Can I just say wow to this review because it really was fantastic!

Ahahahahah, yeah, I don't really know how to respond to the Da Vinci comment because I always thought your description was like that so for you to say that to me is sort of jaw-dropping time for me :P I feel as if I need to start flailing around or something because that feels the most fitting thing right now!

I found it really interesting that you picked out those quotes because they were rather different ones to the ones other people have picked out, so it's great that the rest of it was interesting and descriptively good (if that makes sense...?) too!

Bahahaha, yeah, I love angst so I was just like nah happy endings are boring let's make it never work out! I'm so glad I did manage to make you root for them though because I personally didn't like the ship that much beforehand it was more of an experiment when I decided to write it, but it was so much fun I couldn't resist!

The review wasn't nonsensical, but rather fabulous if I'm being modest! Thank you so much for this fantastic review and the challenge, it was so much fun to enter and such a different and entertaining one too!


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Review #6, by milominderbinderOur Little Secret: II.

2nd February 2014:
Hiya! Maia here from the modern romance challenge :D

Ooh this has really captivated me! I didn't stop to review the first chapter separately because I didn't want to stop reading!

This is such an interesting pairing. I never would have thought of this, and it's incredibly interesting that you did. I love Oliver Wood and I love Molly - in pretty much all their incarnations, though especially here! They seem to really fit well together.

You really paint an amazing picture of the beginning of their relationship. I could feel every tingle of excitement that Molly did, those flirtatious butterflies that always crop up at the beginning of a new romance. I love how easily they seemed to fall into it; just a short conversation before they were leaving that first party together, because they both already felt the connection, and they seemed to converse effortlessly, and Oliver kissed her even after he found out who she was. I loved his reaction to finding that out, too, the way he found it kinda funny and regretful, and then decided it didn't matter after all.

Your writing style is lovely and clean, and perfect for the story. It's not too flowery and doesn't get in the way of the story, and gives just enough information to keep you both captivated and intrigued.

Random note but Flaunt is a great name for a wizarding restaurant!

I love how they both instinctively knew to keep it a secret. Not only does that kinda show their connection more, but the secrecy adds to the thrilling feel of the whole story. The tiny secret touches, the tangling of their fingers together while nobody's looking - that smallest hint of risk is what makes this so captivating, and really had me on the edge of my seat!

I can't wait to see where you go with this. Please message me on the forums when you next update!! And thanks so much for entering my challenge :D


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Review #7, by milominderbinderTelling the Family: Telling the Family

2nd February 2014:
Hi hon! Maia from the Modern Romance challenge here :D

Wow, I really liked this! This was such a nice take on an original and modern relationship. Of the entries I've read so far, a lot of them have addressed gender, and one was about unconventional parenting, so an age gap was a really fascinating thing to address. It's true that there can be a lot of stigma about an older girl than guy in a relationship, but I honestly think I've never read anything about it.

Another thing that stuck out about this was that by making Lorcan younger, you actually stuck better to canon than most people do - or, at least, to what JK has named as her personal 'canon', when she said that Luna would have waited longer than her friends to have kids. I think a lot of people tend to ignore that for convenience, just making Lorcan and Lysander the same sort of age as most of the Weasley kids, because it's easier to pair them up then, and get some variety of friendships that isn't just between the cousins. But it was very interesting and it worked really well that you did decide to make them younger, and I liked it a lot.

Lily and Lorcan seemed really sweet together as well. I would have loved to see more of their relationship, but in a way, the short snippet was perfect, because it just showed this tiny cute glimpse into their relationship.

Luna was great. I love how she knew about it already, and how she was the one Lorcan turned to when he was so nervous. I always pictured Luna being really close to her kids and a very loving and hands-on parent, so you really played to my headcanon there and it was really nice to read.

Overall I loved this! It was short but really sweet, with great characterisation, and addressed a very real and underwritten issue in an interesting way. Thanks so much for entering my challenge!


Author's Response: Thank you. I'm glad you liked it. I have to admit that it isn't my best, but it's been a while since I wrote any for HPFF. I really loved your contest idea though, and once I read it this just came to me. Thanks again.

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Review #8, by milominderbinderHouse of Cards: Two of Spades

25th January 2014:
*jaw drops*


Seriously, this is so, so good. I don't know how you do it but you have such an incredible talent for description, I'm super jealous. You can paint the most vivid picture with just a few words, or perfectly describe a subtle and nuanced mood in a paragraph. Some of these words seem like they just got painted onto a canvas, if that makes sense - they all fit together in one perfect brush stroke.

I love the plot so far, as well. It's all so mysterious and intriguing, I really couldn't stop reading. There are not enough Black family mysteries in the world, and that is a fact. Even if there were more, I doubt many of them would be as awesome as this.

Okay, some particularly beautiful lines I loved were:

The rest of the staircase is dark, the house-elves having put the candles out before dinner had even begun, and those furthest up it look dark and tall.

^This just creates such an interesting mood, dark and... I can't even think of the word, but it's uneasy in a way, it totally reflects the darkness over all the lives of these characters. The fact that the candles are put out even before dinner, like everything kind of ends before it begins, if that makes sense? Anyway, this gave me chills to read.

Chopin's Piano Sonata in B Flat Minor, Opus Thirty-Five, Number Two.

The Funeral March

^ *raises hand* hi, my name's Maia, and I'm a classical music addict. I actually learnt this on piano a few years ago, so I know the song really well, and this reference just perfectly evokes the mood you're going for here.

"There was no blood,"... "There was no blood," ... I thought there would be blood - there always is at these things - but there wasn't. No blood at all... There was no blood.

^Okay so I chopped bits out of this just to say I love all this repetition. It makes it so powerful, and also so eerie, such a casual observation, but it makes everyone seem just a little bit unsure.

It is the first time Orion has ever called him ‘father’. He suspects it will not be the last.

^Such an interesting look at the dynamics between these characters, and a perfect, nuanced and complex way to end the chapter.

So, basically, I loved this. It was so powerful, and eerie, and mysterious and intriguing. Well done!


Author's Response: *picks up jaw and hands it back*


Gah, thank you so so much for that! I tend to overload things with copious amounts of description and not enough dialogue, so I'm glad you liked it! :) The beginning took me so long to write (I rewrote it three times), in choosing the right words and making sure it sounded right, so thank you! :D

Yes, more Black mysteries! Ah, they just suit the genre so well, it's unbelieveable. It's almost scary how well the two fit together... But yes, more would be excellent! :)

It is kind of foreshadowing, isn't it? Even though it's not actually before the story, just in the timeline of things... ahem, I overthink things, haha ;) But yeah, that makes perfect sense - and I never really thought about it that way before, just that it would make for a particularly spooky setting!

ME TOO! I borrow my dad's cds - all of them, in fact, not just the classical ones - and listen to them. I have my own Chopin and Rachmaninov cds too. And Tchaikovski. And Beethoven. So yeah, I have a few. I couldn't resist putting the reference in... :P

Thank youuu! I'm glad you liked that bit - I always feel I tend to overuse repetition, and try to cut down on a bit of it. Like the 'rule of three' for description - I use that all the time, so I'm trying to stop.

Thank you so so much for this lovely, lovely review - I really love hearing from you and I'm so glad you liked it! :) :hug:

Aph xx

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Review #9, by milominderbinderMaking Memories: Some Personal Lives Can Do With A Little Bothering

13th January 2014:
Hi hon! Reviewing your entry for the Modern Romance challenge :D

Aww, I really loved this! This was a great idea and fits perfectly with the theme of the challenge. I love Victoire's reasons for not getting married - they really are entirely practical and it's clear she's not that bothered by it, and her exasperation at her mother being the only one who couldn't accept it is very realistic!

I think the strongest aspect of lovely this is your characters. You seem to develop them really well in a short space of time, and they all seem realistic and likeable and are lovely to read about. I love Victoire - she's so practical and down to earth, and it's a real change from how I often see her characterised. That uniqueness in her character makes this especially cool to read, as it feels very fresh. Louis made me laugh as well, though we obviously saw less of him, his conversation with Victoire at the end was just perfect. It's also really a cool idea to have him as Emmaline's 'childminder' or whatever. It's so cute to keep the childcare in the family like that :)

Emmaline is also great! It can be super hard to write kids but you did such a good job here. She seems super cute and I can't wait to read more about her, and Victoire's interactions with her :)

Can't wait to see what happens in the next chapter ! Thanks so much for entering my challenge xxx


Author's Response: Aw, hey! :D Thanks for coming to check it out so soon! :) My tummy tingles with joy that you love it! :)

I really sort of got the idea of her being happy with not being married by a friend of mine. Of course, she did end up getting married, but she was content on just being a mother with her boyfriend for the rest of her life. It was his parents that wanted the wedding lol.

Thanks for that comment on the characters! :D This set has got me all excited because the more I think, the more I already feel connected to them. Van is one of my favorites. :) As for Victoire, I really wanted her to be toned down as compared to other people's fics. I wanted the strong reminder that she is not ONLY Fleur's daughter, but Bill's, too. Which makes her a Weasley.

The first time I wrote the chapter, I actually had Dominique as the 'childminder', but I really felt like a male role would be much better keeping in mind that Teddy is at work. It seemed to fit much better, and it was just too cute to pass up.

Little Emmaline in my mind is like a little Merida from Brave haha.

Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope to be finished with my next chapter soon! I want to thank you so much for the awesome prompt! I'm excited to delve further into the story! :)


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Review #10, by milominderbinderThe Enchanted Ground: One

13th January 2014:
Jenna! Here from the Modern Romance challenge to review your entry :D

Gosh. Just - how do I say how much I loved this without sounding like such an idiot? This is one of those stories that just sucks you in straight away. Gorgeous writing that doesn't get in the way of the plot, unique and relatable but still quirky characters who immediately seem fully developed, such original concepts and plotline that it's really stimulating to read because it's all so fresh. And somehow, it wasn't quite any of those things that made me love this, but something else entirely, something I really can't put into words (I know, kinda useless for reviewing, sigh) that kept my eyes glued to the page until the very last word.

Roxanne was perfectly characterised and really a great choice for the main character here, but I'm not gonna say too much about her here because I want to talk about her in reviews of later chapters :D I do just have to say a few more words about Thackeray Doyle. I mean. Just. What a character. What a truly amazing, quirky, insane, realistic literary phenomenon. I totally relish the idea of the next gen being filled with these slightly malcontent social activists, and she perfectly embodies that. Every line she spoke seemed perfect - I loved her stubbornness and the pleasure she took in correcting people, but also by the end the clear affection she showed for Roxanne. She's such a perfectly balanced multifaceted character.

I know the romance hasn't truly started yet so I can't really review this in terms of how well it fits the challenge. But the connection between Roxanne and Thackeray is already obvious here - they seem, in a way, two perfect halves of a whole. From their wider personalities to the finest details like Roxanne's dyslexia(? I'm assuming, I don't think you actually mentioned the word?) and artistic preferences slotting into Thackeray's wordiness and love of facts. And I really do love how you're setting up their relationship. Because this isn't purely a love story - there's a plot, a plot that sounds gosh darn interesting so far, and that means that they don't just have this mindless connection, they're thrown together for a reason which makes the whole thing more significant, and also adds a whole other layer to why this is interesting to read.

I did start compiling a list of my favourite lines but it was getting longer than the review by the time I'd finished the third paragraph, so since it's impossible to pick (since I loved so much in here), here's three random lines from my top faves:

We were the inheritors of a bored age in which the greatest entertainment came from finding something to be appropriately angry about, whether it was the History of Magic curriculum not including enough historic feminist witches or bans on loud singing in the corridors.

I didn't bother to explain to her the excitement of having a purpose, of being necessary and seen as intelligent and a valuable contributing member instead of as Roxanne Weasley, the girl who read a little slower and had to study her words a little more carefully than others.

I took this for a fact: Thackeray never spoke unless absolutely sure of the words' truth.

Okay, that's me done! I'm adding this to my faves so I can keep up with updates :D Can't wait to see what the next chapter holds, and thank you so much for entering my challenge!


Author's Response: Hi! :D *dies at the amazingness of this review*

I'm so thrilled you liked this! It's a little different from my usual style and approach to writing and I felt like I took some risks with it, so getting this lovely feedback really means the world. I've been savouring this review and coming back to re-read it for the last day or so since it's so lovely, thank you for all these compliments! ♥

It's really amazing to hear how the story pulled you in and that the characters felt very developed. That's just how I imagined them, jumping into the story fully-formed, and knowing that came across to you as a reader is really incredible to hear.

Ahh, I love Roxanne and Thackeray and I'm really pleased you do too. I'm happy to see how you appreciated Thackeray as I did- I put a lot of thought and humour and fun into imagining that character and knowing you found the slightly obnoxious comments realistic and interesting is so wonderful. That's exactly what I wanted-balanced, multifaceted, and easy to love and hate at the same time.

I promise the romance will begin and overflow in the next chapter! :P I just got a little carried away with the introductions and didn't want a 10k word chapter, hehe. :P

Yes, they are opposites but in a really good way! I didn't explicitly say, but in my head Roxanne does have dyslexia. And then Thackeray is very fact-based and goes by getting worked up and passionate while Roxanne is more laid back and quietly expresses herself through her art. I'm so happy you like the plot! I love writing it and coming up with Thackeray's crazy schemes, and it's really lovely to hear you like how the causes unite them and drives the story and their relationship forward. :)

These are some of my favourite lines as well so I love how you picked them out. :) I felt like the first one and second lines here represent something quite universal which Roxanne feels quite prominently in her life, and then the third is Thackeray being particular and opinionated. :P

I'm really so excited you like the first chapter! :D I'm working on editing the second one and hopefully will be putting it up in the next day or so! :) Thanks for the amazing challenge and lovely review!

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Review #11, by milominderbinderThe Unspeakable and the Wasp: Unique Service

12th January 2014:
Rose! So, it's been like a million years since you requested this review from me, right? Please don't hate me! *dodges flying fruit*

Anyway, I'm here now, and I really loved this. Such an interesting choice of two characters I've honestly never thought much about before, and you gave them both such depth and story, in such a small amount of words.

I really liked these lines:

the guest list ranged from the rich and famous to the athletic and popular with the well-connected and important falling somewhere in the middle.

^great use of listing (which is always a great literary device in my opinion :P) used in an inventive way. I love how you really set the scene of the party in just these few words describing the people who were there.

The first rule to seeking information from a target is to let them do the approaching.

^I love how this has such a 'secret agent' kinda feel to it in some places, and how it reads almost like an instruction manual in this line. It's really engaging to the reader and gives this a very unique tone of voice that I personally find quite thrilling.

Could he change? Rookwood had never considered not using people to peddle information and power. He certainly had never cared before when peoples’ hearts were trampled as he expanded the network which provided him so much access and information.

^The rhetorical question is really engaging and it really did make me consider these things alongside Rookwood.

His only remorse was the few minutes when he had considered that ridiculous change. Thoughts of trying to be better were washed away as he returned to his flat in the city. It had been an ephemeral thought of madness brought on by the lingering holiday cheer in his system.

^ I really love this as a way to end it. The fact that he hasn't learned his lesson, he hasn't decided to turn over a new leaf. It's the total opposite of what you'd expect from a 'New Year' kinda fic, but in a way, it's much more truthful than the resolutions people usually make and never end up sticking to. I really liked that although he's a dark character in a lot of ways, Rookwood has these redeeming qualities below the surface that make him so great to read about in this story, and one of those is his resolution and belief in himself. The fact that he's happy with his lifestyle of 'seduction and secrets' really paints this whole thing with a tone of dark glamour.

Well done, this was great. Sorry it took me so long to get around to the review!


Author's Response: Maia!! haha, I won't throw fruit. Between your internet being gone and moving, I didn't expect a super fast turn around. ^_^

I'm not sure if I would have gone towards Roodwood/Bagman if not for the DE Challenge. I was a bit lucky to get Rookwood. it's great to hear that I gave them both depth. I was focusing on Rookwood more so I was worried that Bagman seemed a bit less well rounded.

Ah! I'm really thrilled you liked my line describing the party. I got the idea from the Great Gatsby where they describe the huge parties. Despite it being different eras, I thought the parties would have the same vibe.

Rookwood was afterall working - I just saw him as having a very clincal view of his work. In my head he's a combination of Don Draper and James Bond (and let's face it, if either were set in modern day there would be guy on guy action).

The ending felt like a way for him to have at least considered a new self but then reject it once reality seeped back into his veins.

I'm so happy you liked this!! I really love getting reviews from you (I might just keep writing slash to ask you for reivews!) Thank you so much!

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Review #12, by milominderbinderPure Intentions: Red Rose

11th January 2014:
Aww, no, this was so sad!! Wow, you're really doing such an amazing job of portraying all these really complex mixed emotions.

I like Rose but I feel so bad for her - she seems like a great character, and she seems really happy with Scorpius, but if she knew what was really going on, that Scorpius didn't really love her and that it was breaking Albus' heart to see the two of them together, I'm sure she'd be devastated.

I can totally understand why Scorpius is doing all this - familial pressures are always awful but they're worst when they're about something so personal as your sexuality. Still, I'm mad at him, because he's making Al so upset, and using Rose :( I know he can't see it that way but still!

You did a great job with Al in this chapter. I could really feel his heartbreak but also his anger.

Al and Harry's conversation was perfect. I loved how supportive Harry was, but also a little awkward, just like canon Harry :P I wonder if Scorpius had seen that conversation, if he'd realise what a good parent is actually supposed to do when their son likes another boy, and whether he'd be less willing to give into his parents' wishes.

Can't wait to see the next chapter!


Author's Response: Maia!!

Rose gets to shine through more in the next chapter. I mean, she feels a bit generic to me right now (likable just not very complex yet). I'm still toying with whether she'll find out about Al/Scorpius and how she'd react to it. There may be devistation on the horizon.

I'm mad at him too!! I mean, he's not doing a good job at being his own person or following his heart. Their falling out kind of reminded me of how some relationships fall apart when neither is able to apologize (or do it well) and the other person isn't able to hear it when it does happen.

Writing Al was a lot of fun for me. I mean, he's besotted and trying to find his way. I'm kind of fond of him now.

I'm so glad you liked Harry's conversation with Al. I fretted over it a bit while writing it but it sounds like it came out like I intended. I couldn't imagine writing Harry and completely smooth. I don't think any parent would know exactly what to say. I wish Scorpius had the unconditional love that Al grew up with. He will have a catalyst though!

Next chapter will be soon!

Thank you so much for a wonderful review!


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Review #13, by milominderbinderPure Intentions: Red Flags

11th January 2014:
Ah! Rose! I love it so much!

Seriously, best Christmas present ever. I love how you've shown Scorpius' relationship with his parents. You haven't made them totally the bad guys and have made their arguments reasonable, at least to them, so it makes it easy to see why Scorpius still wants to live up to their expectations. I was so sad when his Mum made him question his feelings for Al :( But I thought it was all very realistic and Scorpius' confusion was very sad.

I love the relationship you've shown between Scorpius and Al, too. How they're friends first, and then have this undefined romantic overture to their relationship, but it's clear that their friendship's really strong no matter what. I always think having characters be friends first makes their romantic relationship seem stronger and more signficant.

And, yay, the next chapter is posted now! So I'm off to read that :D


Author's Response: Maia!!

^_^ Well, I didn't think it'd be practical to make you more cat graphics. :P I am glad you like your present!! Your Christmas bio thing helped me come up with the plot for this story.

Draco and Astoria are probably the best parents they can be (given who they are and how they were each raised). I wanted Scorpius' hesitance and doubt were realistic - I'm glad that came across after his discussion with his parents. I imagine he had talks like that with them throughout his life.

Scorpius and Al probably had a lot to work through just to be friends. I mean, the whole Draco/Harry angst and the stuff their parents went through overall. I imagine a bit o that came through in the beginning of their friendship.

^_^ I should have the third one done in a few days too!!

I'm beyond glad you're liking the story!


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Review #14, by milominderbinderWe Solemnly Swear That We're Up To No Good: We Solemnly Swear That We're Up To No Good

10th January 2014:
Hi hon! I know I kinda said everything I had to say about this story when beta'ing it, but I just wanted to leave a review too :D I reread this when I saw your post on the forums - and I love the new and improved version even more than the old one, haha :P This is a lovely story, and I really hope you decide to expand it out at some stage into a short story or even a novel! I'd love to read more of this :)


Author's Response: Thanks for reviewing:D. I really like this, and I think it has potential to be expanded. I think I might write it as a Novella when I finish my current Novella, One Blaze of Glory. Maybe it'll be a spring or summer project :)

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Review #15, by milominderbinderOne Blaze of Glory: Feel the Heat of the Future's Glow

2nd January 2014:
Hiya! here for the 'claw review battle :D

I've always been totally fascinated by the idea that lycanthropy is used as a metaphor for aids. It's such a deep social commentary for a series of children's books, and a really important one too. Also, RENT is one of my favourite shows ever. I've never seen fic based off it before, so I was very excited when I clicked on this and the first thing I saw was that this is inspired by RENT! I think you did an amazing job of taking that idea of a plotline, but totally making it your own.

This story was very powerful. It was really interesting the way you showed this subcultural group who've been pushed out of society. I also think it was really realistic that they would then turn to the 'dark' side as it were.

I love how you gave just a little hope at the end of the story. This is extremely angsty in places but not unnecessarily so - every emotion you portray seems carefully placed, and you add just enough few bright spots to make this poignant, almost a little soft - or as soft as a look at such a heartbreaking topic can be.

Overall I really loved this. I really think you did both RENT and the werewolf community justice with this very powerful story!


Author's Response: I'm so loving the 'claw battle! It's so fun!

Thanks so much for reviewing. I don't think anyone else that's reviewed is familiar with RENT, so it's great to get feedback from someone who is.

I'm so glad that you like it! Your writing is so well done, and getting feedback from you makes me so happy!

I dove head-first into this project, and I'm getting really great feedback. I'm seriously so happy!

Thank you so much!!

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Review #16, by milominderbinderDevlin Potter: Riddle and Rescue: The Man at the Table

27th December 2013:
Hiyaaa! Here for the review swap :D Happy holidays!

I have to admit, I don't really follow this story because it's not my kind of genre, but every time I see you in review tag or something similar I post and come and read another chapter - simply because the second I click on it, I always find myself enthralled by your writing. You really do make me enjoy a type of story I'd never see myself enjoying, which is amazing and a real credit to your writing!

I love how you show Devlin's thoughts and views. It's clear just how much he's been influenced by his 'grandfather' and that's really creepy in a way.

I really loved Emma. She's a really sweet character and kind of seems like a bright spot amongst all the darkness going on, yet she's not overly and unrealistically so. She's wary and even afraid of Devlin at first and I think that's a great way to portray it, really realistic. But even when she's not being welcoming straight away her sweetness really does show through. I already like her a lot as a character.

Super interesting chapter as always! Well done!


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Review #17, by milominderbinderTainted Tinsel: Christmas Eve

23rd December 2013:

OOh gosh, this was SUCH a good story! Your writing style was just lovely here - thrilling and full of depth, constantly sending shivers down my spine. In places, it almost felt like a dark kind of poetry. I think INTENSE is the best word to describe it!

This was one of the most interesting looks at Fenrir I've ever encountered! You totally got into his mind and not only showed the terrifying parts of him we've seen from canon, but also expanded him out into a fascinating character with many complex traits. He was clearly very intelligent and aware of his every mood, yet his world view was so twisted - he didn't see being a werewolf as a curse like Remus, but as something good, and he kind of thinks children will have better lives as werewolves than as humans? Very interesting. He has almost a twisted kind of paternal nature which really adds to the chilling tone of the story.

My favourite lines were:

They are the murderers; they spill the blood; they are the true monsters.

^Gosh, what an interesting thought this was. It's clear that Fenrir lives entirely by this viewpoint and in a way, it almost makes sense. His kind have been hunted and feared for centuries, after all!

It is the night before Christmas. The snow blankets the earth, a sheet of white shrouds the defiled world, creating the illusion of innocence.

^truly a beautiful line of description.

There is a process to this thing.

^this was kind of horrific as it really shows how many times Fenrir has done this, ruined the lives of children and their families.

A little present with delicate blonde curls, wrapped in a blanket, and adorn with pieces of glittering tinsel that have become entwined in her hair.

Our little Eilidh. My little Eilidh. Happy Christmas.

^this was a perfect way to end it. It was unsettling and chilling, the way he talks about her in a twistedly affectionate kind of way. And ending it with 'happy christmas' really adds to the creepiness, because it's tainted this supposedly joyous event, especially for children.

overall I loved this - well done! And good luck with the challenge :)


Author's Response: :D Hello!

Aw, this is so sweet!

I had been wanting to write a bit with Fenrir, as I thought his character was extremely interesting. When I saw this challenge, and started thinking of Fenrir in terms of Christmas, I couldn't help but enter to write this :).

It was fun exploring around in Fenrir speculation (his world views and behaviors). I wanted him to have a somewhat paternal nature given what I know of him; he leads a community of werewolves and he targets children. I thought that he would most likely want the children to grow up to join his cause, meaning he would have to have some alpha qualities of protection over them. On the other hand, he IS Fenrir Greyback, so I tried to portray him as mostly impartial as he is evil.

Thanks so much!!


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Review #18, by milominderbinderSmoke In Your Lungs: Smoke In Your Lungs

23rd December 2013:
Hiya! First of all, thanks for requesting a review in my thread!

Okay, so I have a feeling this would make a lil more sense if I had read Bite Club. The whole vampire thing kinda crept up on me here! And I'm sure that it would make a little more sense if I knew what happened with Alexa and the baby. That said - I honestly loved this, and I think Bite Club just made it onto my reading list if only to give this lovely story some more context.

Your writing is just gorgeous. You give this story a lot of subtlety and nuance, so that every sentence read has different layers, making the reading experience really rich and interesting.

I think second person POV worked perfectly for this story, and you wrote it well, so you have nothing to worry about in that department! Its use really adds a level of personal connection to the story for the reader - which, with some relatively unrelatable topics like vampires, or Hugo's bad boy attitude, is really effective in building empathy and making Hugo an interesting and more relatable character, as you're really in his shoes.

I think you wrote the romance perfectly. It wasn't a cliche, fluffy romance, but a complex and deep connection between two characters. It's also highly refreshing to read a character with a more nuanced sexuality than merely gay or straight. Occasionally in fic I stumble across a bi girl, but with a boy it's incredibly rare and always an interesting read.

Also, as a John Green groupie, I squealed when I saw the Alaska reference!

Overall I really loved this - well done! Looking forward to finding out what Bite Club's all about now!


Author's Response: Hi Maia! Thanks so much for reviewing and I'm really sorry I haven't answered this review until now! I'll be more prompt in the future!

Alexis had the baby in the end, a boy called Sammy, and she and Hugo stayed together after he wiped his memory to forget about Jeremiah. I don't know if this would make a huge amount of sense because Bite Club only has a prologue and three chapters at the moment, but when there are more chapters up it definitely will (at least I hope). I'm really pleased that this made you want to go and read Bite Club though!

Thank you so much, I'm so happy that you liked it! I wanted to challenge myself by writing in reverse chronology -- effectively, breaking down the tale of their break up -- and it's great that you consider it rich and interesting!

This story was actually my first attempt at second person POV, so it's a delight to hear that it's successful! I understand what you mean about the personal connection -- I've never smoked or dated a vampire but I still had a connection with Hugo's feelings while writing this and it's fantastic to hear that the reader could experience that too.

Thank you so much! In addition to being my first second person POV, this was also my first romance where I wrote the couple actually being together and enjoying coupley things. I'm firmly convinced that sexuality shouldn't be more than just gay or straight, and I wanted to use Hugo as an example of that -- a stepping stone, if you will. I actually have quite a few bisexual characters, a pansexual guy and a transgender person, and Hugo was the first one I wrote so he has a soft spot in my heart.

*high five* Alaska was actually the first book of his that I read, so it felt fitting to include it!

Thank you so much for such a lovely review, Maia, and I hope you enjoy Bite Club!

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Review #19, by milominderbinderFluorescent Adolescent : crushed moon extract

22nd December 2013:
Hiya! Here from the Ravenclaw review battle :D

I really loved this story. I actually first noticed it a while back when you put a banner request on TDA, simple because I found the title quite captivating! I forget why I didn't click on it then but I was very excited to see it pop back into my life in the review thread, and give me a chance to look at it properly!

I think you did an awesome job with avoiding cliches. This is definitely original, and in a very funny way. Or, like you were aiming for, the parts of it that were less original were portrayed in such a humorous and parodic way that it didn't matter!

One of the main things I noticed it that you write dialogue really well. It can be super hard to make dialogue sound natural and I actually don't tend to use it much in my stories (oops) so I'm always super impressed when I see someone create such natural, flowing, witty dialogue.

My favourite lines were:

"It's my hands," I said, turning around, and looking James in the eye. "Not these hands. That doesn't make sense.”

^this made me laugh and also really made me like her for calling James out on being an idiot :P The best comebacks are always the ones where you just point out how stupid the person who insulted you is!

She dyed her hair blonde, drank potions to make her skin glow and was rumoured to be the niece of the creator of the beautifying potion. This made her quite an exciting character.

^This was such a play off the usual cliche of the naturally beautiful popular girl, so I think it worked really well. I also laughed at 'made her quite an exciting character' because it sounds so sarcastic and mocking of, again, that sterotypical popular girl character.

Overall I really enjoyed this, well done!


Author's Response: hi! thank you so much for reviewing!
i'm so happy you like this story! that is literally the nicest thing to hear. the title is actually a song by my favourite band, the arctic monkeys, and it's about growing up and being a teenager and that is, quintessentially, what i want this story to portray.
i LOVE writing dialogues, it's one of my favourite parts of writing fiction, so thank you- its so nice to hear it do it well!
thanks again, bea xx

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Review #20, by milominderbinderTwo: A Perfect Blend: Blended Christmas

20th December 2013:

This was so, incredibly sweet. You really painted an amazing picture of Weasley family Christmases; I could really see it all, hear the chaos, taste the Christmas feast. Your description was all beautiful and created such a vivid picture.

I love the juxtaposition of Rose and Scorpius' Christmases. The sort of repetition of that line in the first two sections - Her first memories of the Christmas holidays were of noise and gaiety, loud and happy enough to wake the dead. vs His earliest memories of Christmas were never quite special and always the same. - is super effective because it really highlights the differences between them. I felt really bad for Scorpius and his miserable childhood Christmases - I'm kinda obsessed with Christmas :P So the idea of anyone having such an un-special day makes me really sad!

I love the end section most of all, when Scorpius joins in with the Weasleys! After having some so miserable Christmases over his life it's nice that he could kind of 'see how the other half lives' in regards to Christmas :P It was so sweet how he was terrified of meeting Rose's family but wanted to be brave for her! And I love how much he ended up enjoying it and realising that this is the Christmas he's been craving all his life.

You wrote his and Rose's relationship really well too. A lot of it wasn't really obvious as in most of the fic they weren't a couple, in the first two sections they weren't even around each other. But I think it's precisely because of that they seem like a great couple. You really give a sense of their personalities before you even start writing their relationship, and you make their personalities so compatible that it seems like the most natural thing in the world for them to get together. They don't have a mad, passionate chemistry - or at least not in the sections you've shown here - but instead a sweeter, quieter, more intimate kind of love. It was adorable and lovely to read.

Overall this was one of the sweetest Christmas stories I've read for ages! And I didn't spot any typos ;) Good luck with the duel - you're definitely in with a real shot!!


Author's Response: Hiya Maia! Thanks for the review! Always a pleasure getting one of your reviews, I must say...
I'm glad you enjoyed the description and you could see it all in your head. To be honest, I really worked hard on that for this one-shot because the story started as a scene in my head rather than just words, which is usually how it starts. So I wanted whoever would read it to see the scene as I did. I'm glad I got that across!
To be honest I didn't know whether I wanted to really add their romance in there but I'm just a romantic person at heart so I couldn't help it. hahaha. And, yes, I really felt sorry for Scorpius too; maybe that's why I found it so difficult to write his scenes as opposed to the ones of Rose, which were easier and, in my mind, one perfect way to spend Christmas.
I'm glad you found it really sweet and that there aren't any typos! I guess the four edits/read throughs actually helped rather than being an asinine practice of an OCD-ridden writer.
Thanks for the review, Maia... And thanks! Good luck to you as well. :)


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Review #21, by milominderbinderOphelia: Autophobia

19th December 2013:
Hi hon! tagging you from review tag :D

I really loved this beginning. I haven't read much (or any) mystery fic but I can tell you've set this up really well and I'm finding it super intriguing. Your idea seems really unique!

I love your characterisation of Scorpius. I get kinda annoyed by the fact that he's nearly always shown as a cocky, womanising mini Draco. But I actually always picture him more like this. Quiet and bookish and an outsider. But not totally innocent and timid - he has a kind of mystery to himself, and a little darkness. And I love that he's who you've chosen to take on this mysterious journey!

Honestly, my heart leapt out of my chest a little when he picked up the book with his name on it! That was such a unique idea and I loved it. I honestly have no idea where you're gonna take this, because I can imagine a million different equally interesting routes, but I can tell it's definitely gonna be interesting!

And I can't stop wondering what the ring inside it does - I may just have to read on and find out ;)

Overall I TOTALLY loved this, I don't think I've ever been as sucked in by a first chapter as I was by this one. Well done!


Author's Response: Hey there!

Oh, I'm so glad you enjoyed the beginning! I haven't read or written much mystery either, but I've really enjoyed writing this!

My thoughts exactly! I really wanted to do something different with Scorpius, and this somehow came to mind!

Haha, I'm glad I managed to get the suspense of the book and the ring right! I'm really glad you were sucked in by this chapter, that's awesome to hear!


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Review #22, by milominderbinderAurora and Boreas: the world suddenly turns colour

17th December 2013:
Hiya! Wow, I'm so sad you didn't get this up on time, because this story was BEAUTIFUL!

I used to be really into reading James/Lily but these days I've kind of drifted away from it for some reason, and the only time I really read it is when it pops up in things like review tag. It's always lovely to see it pop up on my screen for something, though. And here you've managed to capture a real and true beauty in their relationship that is often missed out on.

You've really shown here that for James, this isn't about the 'chase'. He is truly captivated by Lily, feels like he doesn't measure up to her light. But what says the most is the way that doesn't seem to bother him - he's content to watch the lights in Lily's eyes, rather than searching out his own. That gives his love a beautiful kind of quietness to it, that he seems to be putting himself in the background, just a little, so he can watch her shine.

I also happen to be a little obsessed with 'Aurora Borealis' - I've never personally seen it but I've read about it a lot and my dream is to go on holiday somewhere north and see it. My grandad lives at the top of Scotland and claims he has seen the northern lights from his house! So adding in this incredibly famed sight also gave a kind of majesty to this story, a uniqueness.

Some of my favourite lines were:

She looked up in wonder as though she could see the sound waves weaving ice-touched knots around them. He followed her gaze, seeing nothing. Only the air, the night sky littered with stars, flakes of snow floating down from mountain peaks, craggy rocks on which the snow collected, all things, but not the magic of the place.

^such beautiful imagery, and I love how James realises he doesn't see magic in the same way Lily does, because he's had it all his life so it doesn't really seem so 'magic' to him.

She was the dawn to which he opened his eyes and the star of his dreams each night. To see her pass by, to find her eyes upon him, to listen to her speak and smile and be was a balm, a sweetness that sent the shadows away.

^You really show just how truly James loves her with this beautiful imagery.

James had no interest in consuming, in possessing. He wanted only to bask for a while and, if he was fortunate, make her brighter still.

^This really stands out to me, because the issue I can take with some James/Lily fics is that they focus on the fact that James has chased Lily for so long and when they get together it's like he's 'won' her. Here you totally remove her from her status as a possession, inasmuch as rather than chasing her, James is kind of following her, just happy to be taken along on the ride that is Lily.

But there would be years and years for that and more. For living and being and laughing. And for all the colours of life to reflect in her eyes

^This last line was heartbreaking to me because James might have thought that, but truly, they would only get about four more years of life after this. At least they got to spend it together.

Overall I really did love this, and I think it fit perfectly with the quote. That's one of my favourite Sylvia Plath quotes, and you really did it justice! I may have to go and stare at some pics of the northern lights now...

Well done!


Author's Response: I started to respond to this, then hit the backspace at the wrong time, and lost it all! So I'll try again, but it won't be as long as it should be. This review is fantastic, and I thank you very much for taking the time to read and review this story even though it didn't make the challenge deadline. It was almost done on time, but the ending didn't fit - it took a few extra days to flesh out the present version of the conclusion, and I'm glad that I waited. It's happy, yet bittersweet. The sadness of it comes only from the reader's knowledge, not from the story itself. That kind of dramatic irony is one reason why I love writing fanfiction, especially Potterverse fanfiction because one can assume so much about what readers know about these characters and this world. To anyone who didn't know about Lily and James, this would be a happy ending, but to anyone reading it as fanfiction, it will always contain that tragic note, that painful twist.

It was the style of the story that was challenging in the end - much of it had to do with the influence of Plath. That second quote you provided hit the right spot of my muse - Plath's words are beautiful images presented in minimalist phrases, and I wanted to include a semblance of that rhythm in this story. The poem from which the quote came didn't fit my idea, but I still enjoyed reading it. I keep meaning to read more of Plath's poetry, and I was glad for the opportunity. :D Thank you for posting the challenge - the results from all the entries were fantastic!

The James/Lily ship is one that I've been strange about, somewhat here and there over the years. A lot of the fanfics sounded the same - they featured what you mentioned regarding James first chasing, then "winning" Lily, and that wasn't satisfying. The aspect of their relationship that always stood out most to me was that they fought Voldemort together, defying him three times even before he came after them in the end. Voldemort wanted to recruit both of them as Death Eaters, which only further demonstrates that they were special, that they had a lot more between them than a relationship based on an adolescent love-hate romance. They were partners; they shared some sort of deep-rooted connection, and I wish the books had shown more of it so one wouldn't have to guess so much!

It's more interesting to write about James and Lily being fascinated by each other. In this story, James is closer to the narration, so we don't see Lily's perspective except by what she says. While he sees the light coming from her, she sees him in the light - both are complementary, and I'd argue that they're equally so. They both see each other as light, as something to bask in and admire/love/worship (all three apply in their own way). But I liked being able to explore James's side in greater detail because he is the more problematic character, not particularly well-depicted in the books and part of one of the most cliched types of stories in fanfiction. So I tried to address some of those issues here, particularly the idea that he pursues Lily and wins her so that she becomes "his" Lily. They end this story as equals, as ready to face the world together.

Thank you again for reading and reviewing this story! It means a lot that you enjoyed it so much!

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Review #23, by milominderbinderInto Oblivion: Into Oblivion

17th December 2013:
Kiana! Hi, I'm here with your prize review from the Sylvia Plath challenge :D

I absolutely loved the format of this. The way it was broken up into sections worked so well. It gave it a sweetness in a way, these little snapshots into a life with a lot of other moments in it.

I loved your use of circular narrative, ending the first and last sections with the same line about fading into oblivion. I am a HUGE fan of circular writing because I feel like it always makes a story seem more significant somehow. Here especially that common line helps link all the disjointed sections together, making it flow and connect to itself, which is lovely.

I loved their first kiss. It was so innocent and sweet and just a little awkward, so it was very realistic.

I've never thought much about Remus and Lily as a ship before - I like Lily/James too much - but here you have TOTALLY sold me on them. Straight away I was rooting for Remus, and it broke my heart at the end. But I could see the tough spot Lily was in here, too. So I couldn't hate her too much (even if I did hate her a little at the end!).

This is extremely poignant from Remus' POV and I love his narration. But I think it would also be fascinating to see this from Lily's POV - she thinks she's falling for Remus, and then all of a sudden she really DOES fall for James, and she knows what she has with James is real and lasting and he's the one, but she still has love for Remus, so she doesn't want to hurt him... tough spot :( It's precisely because of that I think this is so heartbreaking! Because there's no clear villain and there's no good solution. It's just real life, and it ends in hurt.

Well done, this was a complex and layered story that was beautiful to read, and ended in breaking my heart!


Author's Response: Hey Maia! That was really quick :D

I'm so glad that you liked the format because it was very different from my flowing style but a lot more fun than that so I think I may adopt it as my own :P

Circles are my favourite shape so if I can link them into a story, it makes me happy :P I'm glad that you liked the theme of Into Oblivion because it really applies a lot to Marauders stories, especially these two because it does leave you wonder whether if the stars and fate had been different would they have survived?

Yay for first kisses, they always are like that so I really wanted to show it here!

I never really had either until I stumbled on a one-shot about them on the archives which inspired me to write this. I really love angst, Remus and ruining Remus's life so pairing him with Lily allows me to do all those things with ease :P

I'm really glad that you liked his POV and I totally see what you mean about Lily. I just wanted to write her in a negative light for once because I get fed up with these Mary-Sue portrayals and I was really worried it might come out like that if we had her POV so I steered clear of it. It would be really interesting to see it from hers though!

Thanks for an awesome review and challenge!


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Review #24, by milominderbinderSubjugo Sempiterne - Forever Under the Yoke: Part 1: Friendship and Betrayal

16th December 2013:
Hiya! Here from the Ravenclaw review battle! Go blue ;)

Gosh, I absolutely LOVED this. You painted a totally different side of the magical world here, something that is really barely ever explored in fic. Yet you weaved it seamlessly into the magical world we already know about, so it felt totally fitting with HP canon even though it's so far from what we read in the books.

I've honestly never read Founders era before because historical stories don't appeal to me much, but this was so captivating that my preferences didn't matter one bit. This really felt like something out of a fairytale or off the pages of a Tolkein novel.

This put a fascinating change on the idea of elves as slaves and kind of made me look at it in a new light.

I love Winifred. Hywel was a good character but I for some reason really loved Winifred's characterisation, and I felt so bad for her when the rift between them was growing! Then again, I could understand Hywel's motivations too... :(

This was definitely an awesome read and a great introduction for me to founders era fic! I'll try and keep up with your updates on this because you really have intruiged me :D


Author's Response: It's reviews from Maia day!!!

I really like the dark and sinister past of the wizarding world. Not just the evil people but the social injustices that were carried out to secure wizards as top of the magical food chain. I had been worried about the story feeling relevant to the series - I'm so excited it did!!!

Founders Era hasn't really made me look twice before. If it weren't for Sam's challenge I wouldn't have dived into this era or story. I think you could knock me over with a feather after your comparison to Tolkein. Really, stay away with any feathers. :P

I really want to go into the magical aspects of enslavement but it's against ToS to take the story down that path. So, I'm stuck thinking through the end of the story.

Aww! I'm really happy you liked Winifred. I had her more clear in my mind before I even decided on what Wizard to say was her friend. I wanted to do Merlin until I did some research and saw he came about ages after Hogwarts was founded.

I'll let you know when I update! I may make it my consolation prize review. :D


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Review #25, by milominderbinderMiracle : Miracle

16th December 2013:

Okay. I feel honestly blessed that you got this story validated in time. Because WOW.

I absolutely adore you took the wider context of the poem and turned it into this incredible story. I've had some amazing entries but you're the only one who's used the whole poem like that as opposed to just the quote, and while that was not required for the challenge, it works amazingly here.

Another thing that really stood out to me, is, actually, the ways you made it different to the poem. Namely, having this not from the point of view of 'Lady Lazarus', the woman fated to constantly die and resurrect. But told by her sister, a girl ordinary in comparison. It gives an even more poignant kind of melancholy to the story.

I'm really having trouble isolating specific lines I loved because they were all, just, so beautiful. Here's a few that especially stand out to me:

In my dreams I see you tumbling through mirrors like they were lakes, unraveling from a shroud of woven spider webs. I see your nails grow long for years in a dark coffin, your toenails scraping the edge as you grow old beneath the earth, your pale blue eyes glinting in the darkness of the grave.

^God, this whole line is so perfect, I just don't know what to say. It truly feels like an excerpt from a Plath poem itself - haunting and odd imagery that utterly captivates me.

If you are enchanted in mirrors then I am a Greek maiden tied to a rock, thrashing in the sea. In our way, we both are sacrifices.

^Perfect, perfect, perfect metaphor. I love this comparison.

As the terrified gasps turn to squeals of delight, as you are passed between arms which touch your cheeks and marvel at their warmth, ask for bits of your hair as a souvenir or good-luck charm

^I love this so much because of its similarities to the poem, the way she begins to exploit her exploiters by charging them for a lock of her hair, a splash of her blood. She's playing into their fascination with her.

Your hair burns red and you do not shriek. They wonder how you will succeed this time, if your body will reform and regenerate from the ashes like a phoenix, flesh finding knotted bone to form a smiling woman, reaching with blackened hands for air.

^Again, wow, you take parts of the poem and expand it out into this perfectly. It's haunting and intense and perfect for the quote.

I catch a glimpse in the reflection from a shop and there we kneel, two fussy, lonely old women in a busy street drawing a scene, as Bellatrix always encouraged you to do.

^This bit's amazing and so touching because it shows their reunion. I also like the link to Bellatrix - it's kind of like she's there, in a way, her before she went so crazy and then died, and at a moment when Andromeda and Narcissa are reuniting after so long it's kind of like all three of the sisters are back together and the last however many years of bad stuff didn't happen.

And somewhere from the depths of my own heart I hear the tiny snap of a string being broken at last.

^This was a gorgeous way to end it. I love the use of 'at last' because it gives an air of relief to it all - like her death isn't, really, sad, because it's where she's been headed to and destined for all along. I've studied this poem in English so I have a pretty good understanding of it and this totally, completely links to the poem for me. She's finally fulfilled her purpose and gained relief, at the end here.

I have to say, the quote I gave you is my favourite Sylvia Plath quote, ever. I love it so much that I was actually really nervous to give it away in the challenge in case someone wrote bad fic about it! But this is incredible and more than I could have hoped for. This is the style of writing I am most captivated by and you use it perfectly.

Well done! I'm about to post the challenge results so check out my blog on the forums :)


Author's Response: Hi Maia! Wow, this review is so amazing I don't even know where to begin. :) I feel so blessed just to have received this!

I knew right away when I got the quote that I wanted to use the whole poem, as I feel like conveying the themes and ideas of a quote are just as important as using it. I had a lot of fun coming up with this idea, though writing it was a little tricky at first- I kept trying to write it from Narcissa's POV but eventually realized that it really needed to be told by Andromeda.

I'm glad you liked how the story was both inspired by and different from the poem- it was really challenging but in a good way putting the story together. I really tried to draw inspiration from Plath's poetry and how creepy and often blunt it is, and I'm so happy that came across. :)

Ah yes, I thought the comparison to the myths that their names come from would be an interesting contrast as well. I'm so pleased you liked it!

Hehe, I have a bit of an obsession with writing about burnings and fires for some reason, and it fit with the poem perfectly what with the ideas of rebirth like a phoenix and the sort of danger of the woman coming back to life. I loved how in the poem Plath sort of takes ownership of the curse and turns it into an assault on the men and really wanted to reference that here as well.

Aw it is like a reunion between the three of them! I felt that even though Bellatrix did all these horrible things there would still be some family connection there after all those years, even if its a bitter one.

I'm really glad you pointed out the last line as I really liked it as well. I love how you pointed out that it's a relief for her to finally die a final time, and not sad but natural after all those unnatural deaths and rebirths. I'm really honoured that having studied the poem you thought the story fit it well- that's such amazing praise to receive!

Wow I'm so honoured that I got your favourite quote and did it justice! :D Thank you! I absolutely loved the challenge and am really glad I got the story finished in time. Thank you so much for the challenge, for choosing my story and for this amazing review! :D ♥

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