Reading Reviews From Member: SilentConfession
322 Reviews Found

Review #1, by SilentConfessionThis Time.: The Storm

6th May 2015:
What an ending! I reckon this isn't the end of Louis, but he is going on a completely different journey than what he is used to. It makes me want to continue reading just to know how this weird storm came about and what will happen to Louis next! I think the acknowledgement at the end about wishing his family would forgive him struck me the most. I wonder if this will come into play as the story continues. Will he try to go back to them- or not. It also shows something really nice about his character. It makes him seem human and recognizable.

The description of his sailing was also really great. It helped get a person in the mood for the story and feel how much the sea affected Louis. It shows his free spirit and need for adventure. I liked that a lot and it really just made me want to go sailing as well! The description of it also set the premise of the story well too and i'm hoping this continues to play a part in his character.

Nice job at setting the tone and premise of this story.

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Review #2, by SilentConfessionA Terrible Mistake: A Terrible Mistake

6th May 2015:
I was surprised that this was from Lucious' POV. I thought it was Draco and was confused for the first few paragraphs and then I realized what you'd done! This was refreshing to read it from a perspective that wasn't Draco's and regretting his part. It was nice to see if from Lucious and see how he was thinking in those moments. A tormented man who realized that his choices have led him further from what he wanted. I liked, also, how you mostly stuck with how he wanted power and dominion over others which bodes well with his characterization.

It was neat as well to see it from his POV because we don't get that chance all the time. It's a huge contrast of what we see from him in the books as well. He accepts his mistakes, his shortcomings, and even thinks he would accept going to jail for it. That's huge. I think i'd have liked to see more examples and specific moments that brought him to these conclusions. It is such a big contrast some more information could have helped make it more believable. However, you did a good job at making his perspective unique and sympathetic.

Author's Response: Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I may expand on it in future.

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Review #3, by SilentConfessionTraining: Training

6th May 2015:
This story is fairly amusing glimpse into life after Hogwarts. Besides the fact of them having to lift Sirius manually when they could have probably used magic to do so I thought it was a fun read. You played Sirius being close a child while intoxicated consistently. I'm misty worried of the flooing and wondered how that would have went. I can imagine Sirius just sticked out his limbs every which way... :)

It was cute showing their struggles with being new parents and the breakdowns that ensue because of baby meltdowns. It made me sad though seeing that for a very brief moment of his life he had patient and loving parents and that was soon taken away from him when he went to live with the Dursley's.

It's all just too cute! It's a nice story to read that shows that life after Hogwarts for them wasn't all bad. They had their bright moments where they could still be teens. Great work on this!

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Review #4, by SilentConfessionStill Into You: Need you now

5th May 2015:
Hey! I'm coming in for the swap! I strangely like stories with Teddy and Victoire breaking it off. Guilty pleasure. This was loads darker than I thought it was going to be. But I think you captured the essence of her being so obsessively in love without being melodramatic about the whole thing. That's a very thin line to get through and I think you did it phenomenally.

You also were able to get at the complex emotions someone must be feeling in that situation. The knowledge it wasn't healthy but knowing that you would always feel this way. Also there is a slight madness to it, I think I get that from how long she's been pining for him, how she's let it control her. I thin ought as well it made it more realistic when you examined how he's always been at her side. She took her first steps with him and now suddenly without that, she is nothing.

I liked how ambiguous the end was. How we don't know the outcome, but we can imagine what happened. I can almost see her becoming a vegetable or becoming permanently emotionless or numb. Or the combination of drink and potion killed her. Either way it was chilling to read how far she's gone in her pining that she would seek out an illegal potion (and it doesn't matter so much how she got it here, only that she has it) and would take it without knowing what it would do.

Great work!

Author's Response: Hey! Thank you for reading and reviewing.

Haha I am not a Teddy/VIc endgame fan so I like writing their break up too xP I am pleased you liked this over all and found this dark. Victoire was definitely obsessed and I'm glad that came through.

I have been in a similar situation (not a good time) so I tried to channel those emotions while writing this. It's good to know you found them realistic.

The ending was open to interpretation - she could have simply passed out or she could have died. In my mind, she dies though. The illegal potion here was the equivalent of drugs. And I'm glad you liked it all.

Thank you!

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Review #5, by SilentConfessionOne of a Kind: The Extensive Failings of the Modern Magical Education System

19th April 2015:
Another really interesting chapter. I like how you've jumped right into the action of the story and starting to put all the pieces together. I know I have a habit of meandering for a while putting ambiguous pieces in place for a bit too long. I find it inspiring to see how there is already this underlying tension. I mean, if I was offered a job at a place that I could not research at all right away I'd feel really apprehensive. I can't decide yet if Lucy is just naive or I'm far too skeptical.

I really like how you've provided a little background knowledge on the place. It's a small amount, but we know they have access to the Hogwarts library, there is some really old things there that could start wars, and they never have a Gryffindor working for them. The web is tangling around Lucy who seems to be falling right into it.

Again, I really enjoy Lucy as a character. She perfectly reflects this sort of 'who am i' 'what do I want' 'something that isn't what I have' feeling where she's ready to jump into whatever opportunity comes her way. It fits perfectly in how she accidentally falls for whatever this printing press is involved with. Furthermore, I like how you slowly introduce Lucy's family. Even though we all are probably aware of them it's nice to be slowly introduced to them so we can get to know how you've created them to be.

Nice job on the chapter, excited to see where it goes.

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Review #6, by SilentConfessionOne of a Kind: Prologue

18th April 2015:
Hey, here for the starting of our review exchange! I've never had the chance to read any of your work before now, but I'm glad I was able to. This is an interesting start on a story. I really like Lucy so far. Her character is very distinct and fun. This is great because it'll make the interesting so much more interesting hearing it from her side. I also like how she interacts with others. It is so natural and flows well. The conversations don't seem forced or rushed. Very natural, like you would talk to a friend or family member. I loved that. I could actually see this conversation happening in real life. I also like the little nuances you have that support her independent yet quirky personality. Just how she interacts with Percy, his stunned expression at her actually asking for help. It all worked really well.

I quite like James too. He isn't over the top like some people make him out to be. But he still seems fun and spunky himself. More charismatic I'd say than how some people create him to be. I liked that though because he seems like a real person. Great job! I guess I could say I liked all of your characterizations. They were really well done and you have a nice amount of background knowledge or little allusions to what happened in the past to create interest in the Emily/Lucy dynamic. Their interaction was fabulous. Loved all the sarcasm.

Great start on the story. This introduces the characters and the beginning of the plot really well. I'm already so curious to know about this printing press and what it stands for. How can someone like Lucy get caught up in and I find it very ironic that Percy would be the one to make the suggestion to work there (not that he could really know what was going to happen). This prologue really helps set the scene and tone of the story, i'm excited to see where this goes.

Nice job! Glad I got to read this! I shall be back for further chapters.

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Review #7, by SilentConfessionRisk: One

9th April 2015:

I'm here for your review! This is such an interesting start! I really like how it features Molly. She's one of my favourite next gen's to read and write about. I like how you've started this story with her clearly as the underdog here. She's had no real cases. Has no idea what to do in a situation like this one. I'm sure it will bring a lot of interesting conversations about whether she has what it takes to be an Auror. As a character I think she's pretty good. She seems to have that young flare for adventure still in her. Still feels hopeful alike she's just got out of Hogwarts.

The beginning of the story was done really interestingly too. Switching from one character to the other. It was a neat juxtaposition between the two people. I wonder if this format will continue in the chapters to come and who you would approach it if you do!

I'm definitely curious about how you are going to mash the present and past together. Molly definitely has a lot on her plate for a first case. I can easily see how it could either make or break her career, depending on the outcome of the story.

Author's Response: Hello!
I'm so glad you enjoyed this, and that you liked how I'm writing Molly! I've never written her before, and I read her as being very stuffy a lot of the time, so I wanted to do something different.
I'm glad you thought the beginning worked! When I first wrote it, I almost didn't keep it in the story, because I wasn't sure how it flowed, but hearing that it worked well makes me glad that I kept it!
Thank you so much for the review!
Cassie :)

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Review #8, by SilentConfessionA Beautiful Ruin: Just Breathe

29th March 2015:
There just isn't enough Hermione/George stories out there. I'm glad I ran across this.

I like how you've made the war affect Hermione so strongly. A lot of people usually make her the strongest and so unaffected because she really was portrayed as a strong leading female. However, I think there would be scars on all of them. Hers are extremely visible in her interactions with others, very much like how PTSD could look like in soldiers. I'm curious about Molly's reaction to her though? I felt like Molly disapproved of her or was annoyed by it?? Which doesn't particularly seem like a Molly thing to do who was always so supportive and welcoming. She should understand what a war could do to a person. I'm curious if there is more to this than meets the eye? Does she also know about George and Hermione?

Overall, you have a nice premise. I like how you've included the horror of the war in a different way than i've read recently. I think it would be believable for the three of them to get a flat together, and I like how you've continued with the banter between the three of them. They really did seem like good friends. I should have probably looked but is this following canon or AU? It doesn't matter either way just curious to know if Harry was with Ginny or not?

Nice start :)

Author's Response: I'm glad you ran across my story too! :) I really wanted to go about this story in a different way than A Wonderful Love. By the way, have you read that? I don't mean to push a story, but I'm not sure by your review that you've read it. It's the prequel to this story, so that may be where your confusion is coming from. The characterization of Molly stems from it, because I wanted to try to play with her a bit more than what I commonly see while trying to keep her as realistic as possible. Anyway, A Wonderful Love is the root of George/Hermione. This story is about the after effects.

This isn't following canon completely, because I've changed some things since DH; however, Ginny/Harry will be seen in this fic together. I took liberties to make Hermione/George an intrigue, but most of the events are the same or similar. I hope you continue to keep an eye out for updates :D Thank you so much for reviewing!


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Review #9, by SilentConfessionPorcelain Hearts : Prologue

16th April 2014:
I really like how you've formatted this. I am actually always a fan when someone formats stories a bit differently because it raises so many questions and I felt that with this first chapter. I also liked how you've packed in a lot of information into the first chapter and yet it was done in such small snippets. That is really a neat thing to be able to do and capture it well enough so you get the readers attention.

I think that is your strongest bit here is how you've introduced your story. You thrust the readers into the world were we see James finding out about Bellamy and Scorpius. Then we learn that they were together, James was going to propose, a friend knew that Bellamy would break James' heart but, for some reason, cannot actually do anything about what she knows. I think it was skilfully woven into the first chapter and definitely makes me interested in what else is to come.

I think the only thing I felt was a bit more needed was some more narrative. Maybe not entirely for this chapter as it is more of an attention grabber, but perhaps for future chapters keep in mind balancing description and dialogue and inner thoughts. I want to see the world they live in. Right now it almost seems like the characters are hanging in space. It will make me care about the story more and make me remember and think on your story. It's the small details like that, that make a reader get in the mood for the story (hope that makes sense).

Another thing I quite liked was the moments you chose to show in this chapter. I like how we can see how these characters interact with one another. What their relationships are as well. Hannah seems really close to James, so much that he has his own nickname to her, she's also close to Rose and Lily. We get to see the dynamics and it'll make it an interesting cast to work with and read about later.

Lovely job, glad I was able to read this. Good luck with the rest of it!

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I've been working on adding more detail into the prologue (so many wonderful people have suggested this) and I have put more detail into the following chapters.

Yes, I'm rather in love with the prologue. Everything there is important and crucial to the rest of the story.

Thanks again for the lovely review. I hope you like the other chapters! :-)

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Review #10, by SilentConfessionRabbit Heart: Cold Toes, Warm Heart

31st March 2014:
I'm still loving what you have here. I like how you have this concept here and yet we're still in the dark about what that actually is. To an extent anyway. I think you've structured it really well as you want the first few chapters to really spark some sort of questions and ambiguity. So, although there is very few answers thus far, it isn't disheartening because you keep packing on these layers that make us question everything that is going on in the story. I really like to read stories like this because i'm constantly spinning out theories of what is actually happening and how it is all going to tie up in the end. You've also don't a great job at introducing it slowly and subtly so it isn't just shoved into our faces. It makes the story loads more interesting.

Saying that there are few concrete answers is a bit of a lie as we do know or, at least feel, that this rabbit means bad business and Wren is completely going off the rails at the moment. It adds to the tension and fear of the story simply because something that is normally quite innocent is turning into a horror. Like it's possessing her, or bonded with her in some strange way that makes her act like she is. She is, however, slowly beginning to question. Sort of anyway. She's wondering how she could've forgotten the film and how so much time has passed. I think that shows that perhaps she won't always be in the dark of how her world is twisting out of control. I am left wondering if she'll figure it out too late though.

Again, I like the tone of the story. Having this told from Wren's point of view is lovely as she has the is really lovely way of perceiving the world around her. Also, you have show a lot of their youngness in this. Which I like because it is so easy to write characters and make them seem older than they actually are. However, Wren is young, so is Albus and I like how you explored Albus hitting this awkward stage of puberty and Wren being awkward (though that could have something to do with this fuzzy bunny that is taking over her). I liked that because it made the story feel a bit more real as they're dealing with normal teenage things. It grounds the story and I hope this continues throughout.

You've done an excellent job at introducing questions and giving the bare minimal answers to anything. It makes me want to continue reading so I can learn more about the characters and figure out how a bunny of all things can be so evil. Or maybe it's just a bunny and Wren's emotions and confusion are being displaced onto something that is just an animal (doubt it!). However, there are plenty of ways this story can go and i'm really interested to see how you take things.

Author's Response:

I worry sometimes that I've complicated the story mechanics so much that people won't be able to follow it once I start explaining things. I tried really hard to show how things worked instead of telling the reader. One, because it's more fun that way, and two, it's easier to understand when you can see it happening. I'm glad you have lots of theories! It makes it more fun that way!

This is my first attempt at writing a "horror" type story. I wanted to use all of those elements that horror stories have, while keeping the overall tone from falling into the blandly morose melodrama. Who knows if I'll end up succeeding or not. It's a challenge, definitely!

The teen thing does have a grounding effect on the story, doesn't it? Some things just have to stay normal enough for the reader to not have to grapple with it. I guess it's a lifeline of sorts to what is "normal" in this world that we're writing in.

Thanks so much for your reviews! I enjoyed reading your thoughts on my story!

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Review #11, by SilentConfessionRabbit Heart: Trusting Hearts

29th March 2014:
I really like the pacing of this story so far. The first chapter was such a brief look into what is going to happen and I think with this chapter you've added just the right amount of layers into it that give it a really full and dimensional feel. One thing I like is the atmosphere and tone. Where we feel this sadness from Wren and through Wren we feel Grans' sadness as well. There is despair there, the knowledge that someone who used to be so strong has become unravelled at the seams. It's also sad to see how they're losing hope. All that is lovely because that is already quite a few layers, but then you go and add this other layer with Dillon and the light and rabbits. It'll be interesting to see where you are taking this and seeing that unravel from Wrens' eyes will be really interesting.

Speaking of Dillon, he gives me the creeps. I do not like him and I kept telling Wren to stop being so nice to the kid. He is not normal and why isn't she stopping to ask herself why he's lugging about a bunch of rabbits. Who does that? Kid or not. Use your head Wren! It's weird. And, the whole biting of Wren's hand... does that mean something? Why was Dillon saying she would definitely keep the rabbit now? Is she forever bonded to that thing or... or maybe it's a tracking device or maybe SHE'S the monster your summary is referring to (haha, right). But I like the mystery and the suspense this chapter has. And the fact that this suspense is built up by rabbits of all things. But i'm really curious to see where you are taking this because of all the tiny hints and details you keep dropping. I can't help but think that Gran wanting them to move has more to do with it somehow. Perhaps she knew something was off and demanded that before she lost her wits completely. I don't know, but I'm now insanely curious.

Another thing I really love about this is the perfect balance of her thoughts and grief and the outward action of the story. It's all very subtly done, but it has a really beautiful flow to it that way. It feels real to me. It doesn't make me feel like anyone is overreacting and beating their chests, but it's just regular people dealing with life's ups and downs. You are handling it really anyway because it is hard to decide where that line goes, how far does grief go? When do you stop? Can there ever be acceptance?

You still continue to have a firm hold on the mystery and suspense. None of this felt forced, too ambiguous, or frustrating. You've added layers and yes, there is a a lot of ambiguity to this chapter, but in a way that adds to the story and makes it feel so real. It seems to this point you are still very much in control of it and I would say that the ambiguity is good as it makes people want to read more to find the answers. (like who are you Dillon and why are you masquerading as a boy?) I have so many different theories floating in my head and I feel like they are all completely off the mark. But hey ho!

Great job with this chapter. You're writing is so nice to read and I like how you you keep packing in the mystery here.

Author's Response:
Yay for pacing! I was concerned about the tone being too depressing for the first two chapters. I like to mix it up, but the story needed to have some low tones at the beginning before I could lighten it up.

Yeah, Dillon's weird like that. You're asking all the right questions, and I love that you're curious about the story. I found it interesting that both of our stories dealt with grief, and it's fun to read how another story handles it.

I'm glad you're finding the story easy to read. That means a lot!

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Review #12, by SilentConfessionRabbit Heart: Have a Heart

29th March 2014:

I'm here to start on my reviews. Since we were also paired for the review exchange i'm going to do more than I would regularly do for my thread (which is two each request). :) So expect at least 4.

I need to comment first on how i'm shocked I haven't read this story before now. Or any of your work. There is a really beautiful quality to this and it shows how much you are in control of your writing. It is something I very much admire in writers. I think that's because i'm so not in control when I write. I'm far too impatient and distracted. However, I love all the small details in this chapter. It really gets me into the story. I can literally feel her emotions and the descriptions of her surroundings really help a reader get into the mood of it. For example, describing how the dew from the grass soaks into Albus' trouser's, or describing that whole scene with Wren and her animals. There was something so simplistic about it, but it really seemed to capture this whole leaving your childhood behind and being thrust into the unknown.

I already feel like your characterization is strong. I get a strong feeling of who Wren is with this first chapter and I feel connected to her life. Which is saying something as it is only the first chapter. I like how, at the moment, she is so focussed on the past (who wouldn't be in her position?) but I like how that it seemed so contrasting to her currently situation. Like how you focus on if her Gran was here she'd go investigate or she'd go and tell her to be practical about it. It gave a really beautiful sense of how much is changing around Wren. It made me feel really sad for her to see her life ripped apart so completely. The scene with the animals nearly made me cry because she's so compassionate with those animals and yet she has to let them go before they're ready. (the line i absolutely loved the most 'Fly. Be free.' because it seemed like that was how Wren was feeling herself.) It was such an emotionally charged moment and ending it with the bunny 'disappearing' or what have you with the flash of light made it that much more poignant. It immediately grabs the reader's attention and makes them want to read more because we're so involved and caught up in that moment.

On to your concerns of story dynamics. I've brushed on this a little, but at the moment it feels very in control. I don't think you have much to worry about with this first chapter and I don't think it confuses readers at all. There is a sense of suspense and foreboding in it, but it doesn't get convoluted or twisty in ways that would make it difficult to understand.

The only thing I found a bit off were those few paragraphs near the beginning introducing the problem with Gran and her grandparents. It seemed a bit convoluted with a lot of repetition of Gran and grandparents. For me, it was hard to keep it all straight especially since it was the introduction of it. It made it hard to focus on the details of what was wrong. I think if perhaps there was a bit more clarity of the difference between the two (as Gran and grandparents are used so interchangeably it almost felt like they were the same). Even if it was something as simple as using Gran Augusta once to differentiate them and say who you're actually talking about. It would probably make the rest of the chapter go smoother as well.

Overall, I think you have a powerfully written first chapter, there is mystery and suspense that you want for a firstie as well. I'll continue to keep my eye out for the story dynamics you asked about, but for now, it is looking really good. I am a fan of a bit of ambiguity and I think how you've introduced the story really leads to interest rather than confusion.

By the way, i really, REALLY hope that it isn't Albus that the summary is referring to!

Author's Response: Hi there!

I know it's after the end of the month, but I really want to get to the last two posted chapters of your story. RL is banging me over the head at the moment, so just know that I'll be over there by the end of the week. :)

Wow, so I am in control of something? That's great! I'm so glad you get a solid feel for Wren and where she is in life.

I struggled with the Gran vs grandparents thing here, as you could see... so did my betas, but I like the idea of adding "Gran Augusta" somewhere. That would definitely distinguish her from the others. I'll try that when I tidy things up a bit.

It's good that you're a fan of ambiguity. So am I. But I've learned that too much of it makes the story difficult to read, so at the same time as I'm developing the mystery, I'm also keeping a firm eye on my clarity. Since you weren't confused much, I assume that it was okay here.

Thanks so much for the lovely review!

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Review #13, by SilentConfessionInside Death: 02: My Little Ana

28th February 2014:
I've enjoyed this story so far and I think you've created another excellent chapter. There was so much tension and emotion, but it did not feel overwhelming at all. It had a natural build up to the end where she realizes that her mum has left. This is such an emotional moment and I think you captured it fairly well.

I like how you really showed Illyana's thought process. It helped me connect to her even more as she searched the house desperately for some sign of life. I cannot begin to imagine what it would be like to come home expecting something and getting what she did. I also liked how you really contrasted the beginning with the rest of it. There is so much hope and happiness from Illyana when she's walking up to this house that I actually expected something bad to happen. It made a really nice contrast when she gets in and realizes that her home really isn't her home so much anymore.

I also liked how she focussed on how empty it felt, the space around her seem to swallow her up and it gave the house more feeling. That was great that you introduced the house that way rather then just telling us about the objects. Rather we see the empty and clean pots and feel the coldness of it. It really helped the atmosphere of the chapter.

I like how this sort of brings in the prologue as well. It helps tighten up the story a bit more as well. We see that her mum has remained this brave for her child this long but now that she sees the world changing again she flees, leaving the only thing she's ever protected, behind. It sort of makes me wish she took her daughter with her, but perhaps she was just far too tired to do it anymore. It makes me dislike the mother a little, but I wonder what effect this is going to have on Illyana. Will she push for more answers? Will she reject everything her mum has ever taught her now?

I do hope she pushes for more answers, even if it lead her to reject her mum's teachings or whatever. I feel like it would tighten up this chapter a bit with the end. I think initially Illyana would have this numb feeling and simply cry about everything that has been lost, but it would probably make sense that as the chapters continue she would try and sort out why this has happened.

Another great chapter though! :)

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Review #14, by SilentConfessionInside Death: 01: Whispers in June

27th February 2014:
Ooo! I love how you've decided to continue this in Illyana's voice. It is a really interesting voice to take because there are so many ways you could take this. I love how this begs the question of where her loyalty lies and that there are definitely conflicting thoughts that are really going to move this story forward. This makes the story really interesting and dynamic as you aren't relying simply on action, but also this inner conflict. Illyana does not seem to know exactly where she stands, but at the moment, she's not on any side .Just sort of going through life and i'm interested to see where she is pushed before she'll actually take a stand in some way.

I think you have some really delightful parts in this chapter. I really liked your portrayal of Pansy. I think it will be interesting to to see her later on as well if she continues to play a part in this story. You captured her really well though and I liked that you seemed to give her a stronger personality which is great to see rather than her snivelly ways we usually see in stories.

That brings me to another point. I really like how you are diving into aspects of a story that aren't always touched upon. I rarely read Slythern stories and I like how they seem to be portrayed. How they aren't closer then they need to be, there is this propriety that they seem to adhere to that makes the dynamics really interesting. I also really think that it's great to see how you've even incorporated a muggle born into Slytherin which I think i've never read before and it'll be interesting to see how that plays out and how she was even sorted there. I do like how you're trying new things though and it makes me very intrigued in this story!

Great story so far! Glad I could begin reviewing it!

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Review #15, by SilentConfessionInside Death: Prologue: June 1980

27th February 2014:
Hi! I'm here for our review exchange!

I actually read this chapter ages ago, but I've been bit busy that I couldn't sit down and get my thoughts into this box. So anyway, sorry for the ages wait!

I really like how you have begun this. I think you've already managed to capture the attention of your readers as you have a very intriguing character. I think it is going to be really interesting to hear the story begin told from her eyes and we'll get to see it in a completely new light. Which is awesome because sometimes war stories can get a little dry when all you hear about is from Lily's perspective or something. I think you've really chosen a fabulous standpoint and i'm already really interested to see where this is going.

I also think you do a really great job at hinting at the backstory and already are starting to open up some of the demons that are fighting at this woman's conscious. It's great that you haven't just dumped a lot of information on us, but rather gave us small snippets which really made me far more interested than if you'd simply told every bit of story from this characters life.

This is a really great introductory chapter! Your writing tone is really smooth and lovely to read. I like how you're quite simplistic about some of your descriptions, but in a way, that is exactly what this chapter needs and it helps get your point across. It also really helps me feel alongside your character. Great job!!

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Review #16, by SilentConfessionThe Art of Small Talk: Introductory Measures

21st January 2014:

I'm here for our review exchange! I hope I can get to the other chapters as well!

First, I like the introduction to the story, specifically the characters. I really like how I feel like Audrey is being shown. Her characteristics come off quite clearly in the beginning where we see her a little flustered, a bit kooky, but not massively over the top. I like how she seems natural. I liked her immediately. Also, it's lovely not reading a block of description of said characters. It's so much more vibrant to read how you've done it. I also like that you're exploring Draco as well. I'm really interested to see where that goes and how you tackle him. He's such a fascinating character. One I don't particularly like as a person, but i'm excited to see how he turns out here.

I like Percy. He is still Percy and that's so awesome because i've read so many where he seems to be a changed man and it doesn't make sense to me. He may have realized that family is important and standing up for a side in the war is important as well. That doesn't mean he isn't going to be still strict with rules and still a bit pretentious. It'll be interesting to see the two of them work together in some way as they do seem a bit different, but I think they could balance each other out well. The way you incorporate a bit of backstory and history to this story was also fabulous. It makes this story seem so much more canon as we are reminded that he dated Penelope. We also know who Penelope was to these girls. It gives an extra dynamic that i'm sure will be interesting later on in the story.

On that note, I think it's great that even though this is a romancey story, you've let us know that Audrey's work is important to her and we get to understand Audrey a little more before her love interest comes in. It lets me get more invested in who she is as person.

This is a really nice start to a story. The writing and flow is really easy to follow. It makes reading it loads easier and I can get a nice visual of everything that is going on in the story without having much pull me out of the story! Really lovely job!

Author's Response: Hey Zayne! I hope I can get more chapters done for you too, it's just a question of time!

I'm so glad that you liked Audrey because this is the first time in ages I've ever had to create a whole personality for someone so it did faze me a little because the dangers of Mary-Sue are known a little too well :P Haha, vibrant is probably a nicer term to describe the craziness in this story but it's great that you liked. Draco is an odd one for me, so I know what you mean about him, at times I think he's fascinating then at other times he just irritates me so exploring him here seemed like fun.

Haha, I know what you mean! He will obviously change towards the end, but he does have a lot of familiar characteristics that we saw in the books. I'm glad that you thought there was room for some change though because I didn't want him to come across as a complete sticker to the rules. :P Haha, yes, that was my idea for when I created Audrey because I thought that given how he went through so much during the war it would almost make sense for him to find the reverse of himself. Yes, those girls like Penelope are often known a little too well for my liking :P It's safe to say, writing those sorts of girls is a lot nicer than talking to them in real life.

I'm glad that you liked that as there are several different dynamics introduced to the story later on especially so when it comes to Draco and her family. Thanks for such a great review and I'm so glad that you're already feeling something for the story as it means so much to me to hear that!

Thanks again for such a fab review!


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Review #17, by SilentConfessionDetox: Making Choices

15th January 2014:
Hey CambAngst

I'm so sorry for how long this review has taken. I read the chapter quite a while ago, but didn't have time to review and i've been working ever since. Anyway, ever so sorry for the long wait.

I like the fullness of this chapter. There is so much happening in it, but it really adds to the atmosphere you have here. You not only go into what is happening to your characters, but there is also this other stuff that's going on that gives a really rich look into the trip of Hogwarts. This other stuff has less to do with your main plot, but it just seems to add to the story and give a wider view of the world you're writing in. I hope that makes sense! (Harry and Ginny for instance, or just the mention of what else is going on and what it look alike).

I think right now I have less of a feel on Astoria. You write her as if you want her motivation to be simply figuring him out? You've got that in there a bit, but I feel like there is other things sneaking up with her that seems to make that less believable. She has the naive youngness to her that makes this seem more like a school girl crush (which isn't necessarily bad, she is young and has a naive feel about her. It just doesn't help the motivation of her there to figure him out). She seems to ignore, at the moment at least, most of the rubbish about Draco as being rumour (she was at school with him before, it's not like she wouldn't have seen him being cruel). There is also in her character an almost saintlike feel to her which makes her less believable because she seems perfect. I mean, she's able to look passed someone's faults and actually believe in them. She doesn't let other people's opinions sway her, she's non judgemental, she looks for the best in everyone. She seems angelic. It's great to have a lot of different characteristics in a character, obviously, but I think that she falls flatter for me. I'd have to see more of her to really believe she is all of that. I don't see a lot of weakness or faults unless you count naivety as a fault. I suppose she's clouded by her own optimism which could account for her actions. I feel this way too because every other character i've read so far seems so full and round. Then there is Astoria and I feel like, although, she isn't a bad character, she just isn't great like the others. She seems bit too mary sue or too something and I don't believe her motivations of just wanting to figure him out. It seems more like an excuse than anything. I hope that doesn't seem mean or anything because i don't think you've done badly, she's just not as well done in my eyes as your other characters.

Ron seems very Ron. He has absolutely no professionalism and lets his prejudice and preconceived ideas take him to challenging Draco. I don't think that bit is overboard at all as we see Ron acting on impulse all the time in the books and only later regretted his decisions. So you did fabulous with him and made me just roll my eyes at Ron for being so stupid and not being able to hold it together, especially for being an Auror. Though, i suppose you can't get too angry considering everything that he's experienced Draco to be. He just needs more time to see that Draco is attempting to get a hold of his ego.

I also have to comment on Hermione and Draco. That bit was perfect. I had chills run up my spine the moment he called her a mudblood. It was too perfectly Draco to let his temper take over and be blinded by rage. It also just portrayed where he is in his growth and how hard it is to truly change. He's done himself no favours in the eyes of others by screaming that in the streets of Hogsmeade. It'll just reinforce everyone's ideas of him. Really great job.

The moment between Draco and Astoria... hmmm i'm a little undecided about it. I think it's fine by all accounts, but then I think it may be a bit too soon if it was meant to be utterly romantic that he'd try and save her, but then I don't see him not trying to protect her at all if their wands were trained on her. Especially since she's the only one giving him a chance. We don't know what his intentions are with her really (which I like). So... I don't feel like i can be much help with that. I'm sorry!

The end bit though... what? I'm trying to figure out who those people were and why on earth they'd ever try and kill someone in the middle of a street with lots of witnesses. How stupid could someone be? I could understand Draco, but to take it out on Astoria as well? Very curious. I suppose this really just shows that whole idea you have here about the fine line between good and bad.

I'm just going to reiterate that I do love this story. You've done such a good job at creating this atmosphere and really keeping it consistent. I love all the topics and themes that are coming into this and it's simply beautiful. Really great job! Thanks so much for requesting and feel free to continue to do so.

Author's Response: Wow. Let me start by saying that this is one of the longest, most involved and thoughtful reviews I've ever gotten. I apologize for taking a while to respond, but there was a lot to think about here. Thank you so much for putting so much time and thought into this.

I'm not a big fan of stories that focus too narrowly on their own plot and fail to work in the context of the surrounding world, so I'm really pleased that you felt like I was able to show a broader picture here. Just because a character has a romantic interest doesn't mean that's the only thing that character thinks about.

What you've written about Astoria really lends credence to a lot of the concerns I've had about her character in the early chapters of this story. Once I got into the later chapters where more of her faults and less mature traits start to play more of a central role, it dawned on me that she wasn't well balanced at all in the beginning. What she's meant to be feeling toward Draco -- at least what I had in mind -- was partly a desire to figure him out but with a sizable schoolgirl crush lurking just beneath the surface. So it sounds like that didn't work all that well. I can also see where her reactions and thoughts about Draco make her pretty one-dimensional. He and Ron are both behaving like jerks in some parts of this chapter, and she lets Draco off very easy for that behavior. It's a lot to think about, and I really appreciate your honesty and the effort you've put into detailing her good and bad points. I don't get that from most reviewers.

It pained me a bit to write Ron as such a jerk. I really don't like stories where he's written like this. That's mostly because while he's kind of immature and a bit obnoxious by nature, I don't think he's a bad guy. Also, most of the stories that portray him like this are Dramiones. Enough said. But I felt like it was necessary to set the scene for what happens later on in this chapter. I've tried very hard throughout this story not to portray Draco in an overly sympathetic light. He's done some terrible things and he's not a character that deserves unconditional sympathy. At the same time, though, the world is definitely not giving him a fair shake. Se la vi.

I really liked how both Draco and Hermione ended up in their exchange. She's trying to be helpful to him and he's too blinded by anger and pride to have any of it. He crosses a line. She reacts in much the same way that she responded in Prisoner of Azkaban. It was immensely rewarding to write.

Again, you may be right. Astoria does rise to his defense in a way that's not quite set up by anything that's happened between the two of them so far. Needs work...

There is a valid explanation for why the old witch and the two wizards attack Draco. You'll find out in the next chapter. It goes back to his actions during the war.

I'm pleased that you still love the story in spite of its flaws. Again, thank you for being so honest about them. Unfortunately, I don't hear people's negative reactions as often as I'd like. They're as important to improving as the positive ones. Thanks so much for such a great review!

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Review #18, by SilentConfessionBlack Cadillac: Unfaithful

31st December 2013:
This is such an interesting story. Something I wouldn't have clicked on without the TGS review swap and I'm really pleased we were able to exchange, this is a really nicely written tale.

I love how you've characterized Dominique. I've seen her with similar traits to how you've done her, but you've taken her a lot further than most. I really like how you've done that and made her truly a hate able character. She's really well written, in how we see next to no remorse for her actions. She seems to be simply going through the motions of her rituals and it has no effect. She's perfected her craft to this point that it's second nature. It almost seems like she seeks these men out rather than all the male species being crap and trying to take advantage of her. I found myself not believing her when she was going on about the Weasley fame. Although I think there would be a certain type of notoriety with the name, it seemed to be warped by her current perception. I felt like that bit was her own delusions and incapability to see reality clearly. So she's come up with her own motivations to live like she does. It gives her a sort of 'go' on the whole they deserve this because they use my family name and want to abuse me. So i thought you wrote all that really well.

The tone of the story was also really well done too. It fit Dominique perfectly! I love stories which the tone of the writing fits the characterization. It seemed a bit detached and cold which is exactly like your main character. It really helped get inside Dominique's mind and feel what she's feeling. You've also really subtly fitted in bits of her backstory that gives us a glimpse of the steps that have led her up to this point, but there are still loads of questions in my head about that. Which I really like to see in a story as it makes me feel like the story is fully and more complete (if that makes any sense, it just has the sense that there is more to it, that someone else could come into this story and write their own interpretations of it).

I also really like how you've added Amelia into the game. It really gives the story a dark turn as Dominique brings down another woman who could have just been heartbroken, but moved on. Now, however, she's going down a tunnel that will make her more and more withdrawn like Dom.

Really lovely job here. Really happy wIw as able to read this.

Author's Response: Hello there, I've finally gotten around to answering this review fourteen days after you left it.

It has been mentioned that I've taken her a lot further than most people have when it comes to writing her personality. I was quite proud of the fact that I made Dom downright psychopathic. It does seem like she's seeking these men out, after doing this so many times it's like she ends up finding these type of men without really realising that she's doing it.

I've been working on making the tone fit the story because it's been pointed out to me that it's something that I need to work on. I'm glad that you like the little pieces of backstory. When I read through it the first time it seemed to me like Dom was doing all of this just because she could, she was going to such extremes just because she knew she could get away with it and that didn't seem like a good enough reason to me for her to do something like harm William. People more often than not have reasons for doing things and something had to have happened in her past in order to set her on the road to being the person that she currently is.

Thank you so much for this absolutely lovely review!

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Review #19, by SilentConfessionThe Tower of Stars: Result

22nd December 2013:
Hey Illuminate,

Another big change from the prologue to this one. It makes me antsy to read this though because I know where it will end up. I also like the tie in at the very end and her determination to find out who did this to her mother. She's taking her life into her hands and going with it. We can see by the prologue where that brought her. This really gives the reader massive amounts of anticipation for what's to come and makes every moment seem really important. Or should be important anyway.

I don't necessarily think that more stuff needs to happen, but I think you should be very intentional with your choices of what to include. I think this comes with what I was saying about how every moment seems to matter in a story that starts with the end first and then goes back to the beginning. It makes the moments a lot more important as the reader knows how it's going to turn out. This can be a really lovely plot device, but you also need to watch out with how you include information and how important this information is. I felt like the chapter was a bit long and full of some information that you could have introduced more slowly. I get that you want this to be sort of a stand alone, but, i felt like there was a lot of telling about her friends and describing what her friendship with each of them was like. The most effective way you did that was when she mentioned she wanted to use Fred's favourite swear word. That was really effective and active, but as you continued it got more tell-y and for a first chapter I think there could have been less of that. Let that information come, we don't need to know her relationship with each character right off the bat. It's information overload.

You had some really neat details here. Those awkward moments when the parents get together and you'e sort of quietly sitting there while they chat, but there are others you could talk to... but it's just you don't because either your parents are caught up in conversation or you don't know what to say. That was great between Paul and Brienne. I also really liked the awkwardness between her and George and how her friends think they are together, but Brienne hasn't even heard from George alone (the letter from F&G doesn't really count). It's great to see that they aren't automatically comfortable with one another, but it's still going to take time for them to actually coexist as a couple.

Generally, I think it was a good introduction chapter. You ended on a really good note with the necklace and I was honestly thinking something was going to happen with it. I still don't trust the necklace, i feel like it's going to do something at some point! However, that end bit really helps pull The Joker and this story together as you can see, again, how much Brienne has grown and how she's now ready to fight to find out the truth. It is a good clincher!!

Thanks for requesting me! It's always a joy to read this series!! -zayne

Author's Response: Hi!

I'm glad you like the plot device I used- I will do my best to make that pay off throughout the story.

I agree with you about the recap of her friendships- thanks for letting me know about it, I will go through it and try to cut it down a bit. You're right- it should come more organically.

Her and George's relationship isn't exactly tied up in a neat ribbon just yet xD

I'm glad you liked the ending! I really want this to sort of seem like a new beginning sort of thing, like something's really kicking into gear.

Thank you very much for your lovely review!

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Review #20, by SilentConfessionDetox: Regrets

21st December 2013:
Hi! Sorry for the wait with this review, I was trying to write for the Winter Duel and finish off another chapter for one of my own stories. Many apologies.

So this chapter was another really well thought out one. I thought you brought up so many issues Draco would have had to deal with post war so brilliantly and flawlessly. Which makes me love this story even more as i've always imagined his life after to to quite difficult. I remember in the books how there was quite a bit of derision for individuals who were thought to have got off scott free from the first war and that same derision I believe would have intensified after the second war. Draco was caught in the midst of it. His very presence at the school seems to spit into the faces of the families that were torn apart. Especially so soon after. It's like tearing into their very fragile wounds and ripping them open again. I think you handled all of this so very well. It wouldn't be easy to see a suspected Death Eater roam Hogwarts just as it's being rebuilt because it's this constant reminder of what happened and who got away.

Saying that, it is really believable that people would react the way they did. Part of me feels bad that the Gryffindor's reacted that way, but it is so in character for a Gryffindor to get into other's faces. Also, completely understandable, given the fact that his very presence served as such a reminder. No one would be happy to see someone who was a bully, follower of Voldemort, and pureblood supremacist still around and unpunished. I think it goes against most people's sensibilities. (Even though we'd all like to believe we'd give people mercy and second chances, if it came down to it, i think many would react the same in that situation.) You handled that like a boss. I also like how Draco doesn't seem all that reformed yet. He can tell that something has got to give, but it doesn't mean he's left behind his old thinking. He also briefly thinks about relying on his old habits after McGonagall tells him off (thinking of going to tell his father!)

I think you handled McGonagall fairly well. She's such a difficult character to get properly. I think her anger is justified and her stance is a stance she would have taken post war. I like how this is hard for him and that people aren't ready to believe in him and his want for change. It's so much more interesting to see this struggle where he's still very clearly arrogant and rude to muggle borns (loved that line about the filthy muggle borns etc, it was striking to see exactly where he stands on the issue now, also, it is so Draco and it's nice to see that he isn't any sort of saint even after the war!). I think, however, that there were parts in McGonagall's speech that didn't have enough professional detachment. It could be explained away quite easily, however, i've always seen McGonagall as quite classy when it comes to this sort of thing. Those few sentences where she's calling him a DE and a coward. Although she would have thought that, it was there I felt she lost some of her professional detachment and attitude. The rest of it though was spot on.

I liked the moments with Astoria. I thought it was interesting to see more of her childish side. I thought you captured typical teen girls fairly well as well. More to the point, Isobel made a very valid point. I think that it was really striking to hear her say it. It brings a lot of light to what individuals who supported Voldemort must have been experiencing post war. This includes Draco obviously. They are all scarred in their own way, had their own demons to fight after their horrible decisions.

Very quickly I wanted to mention Luna. Such a lovely job you've done with her. I could literally 'hear' her accent with her dialogue. It all seemed very her and only she'd put a stop to that display. Very well done.

Really great chapter here. You've really dove into some really great topics and explored them with expertise. You've made this a very complex story with complex and interesting characters. I like how you're making it so clear how many families were hurt and how that hurt doesn't quite go away . You can really feel this story if you know what I mean. Thank you so much for re-requesting!!

Author's Response: Hi! So glad that you're enjoying the story! And please, don't ever apologize. The fact that you offer your time to help authors grow and improve is awesome!

You pretty much hit all of my thoughts exactly. I expect that there were some pretty big social shifts after the war. Anyone from the "old families" who didn't end up in Azkaban would have been viewed with a lot of suspicion and possibly even overt anger by the survivors who were terrorized by the Death Eaters. On the flip side, Draco's presence at Hogwarts would have seemed like a slap in the face to everyone who fought in the battle or lost a loved one. It's a very emotionally charged situation.

The two Gryffindors responded harshly, but I think that's the life that everyone at the school became used to under Snape and the Carrows. I'm guessing that the Slytherins faced little to no consequences for attacking their fellow students, so it was probably "curse or be cursed" a lot of the time for the Gryffindors. That would have to be hard to move past, even after four months of Hogwarts being back to "normal", whatever that is for Hogwarts.

I argued with myself quite a bit on how to handle McGonagall. In the end, I think my biggest deciding factor was how much she personally lost that she would have blamed on Draco and his family. Draco let the Death Eaters into the castle at the end of HPB, after all. From her point of view, since she presumably didn't know about Dumbledore's master plan, Draco was directly responsible for the death of her beloved mentor and friend. Combine that with all of the other deaths and injuries and I can imagine her professional detachment slipping more than a bit. But you're right, that last bit might have been a little over the top.

I really feel like I put Astoria on too much of a pedestal in the first chapter, so I spend a lot of the next few trying to bring her back to a realistic age and level of maturity. I'm glad you thought they seemed like realistic teen girls, since I've obviously never been one myself. ;)

Whew! Writing Luna is sort of like being in love. You can't explain in words what makes Luna sound like Luna, you just know it when you read it. Again, whew!

Thank you so much for the lovely review! I really appreciate all of the thoughts and feedback!

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Review #21, by SilentConfessionUnrequited: Unrequited

20th December 2013:
Hey Dee! Sorry for the lateness of this review! I was trying to write both my writers duel and a new chapter of Orchard (which is nearly done, by the way!) Thank you for your patience.

Right, i'm no Founders expert. There is a reason I've never attempted to write a story on it yet because I don't think I could ever get the tone of the story right. I think, generally, you did a good job with word choice and making the story feel like it was in era. I think what might have helped even more is in your description. What makes the world you're writing about look different from the world we know now? That would help set it back in time for me. Your dialogue was good, I think you did well keeping their words a little more formal and archaic. If you could also have that reflect in some of his thought processes as well, it would make it seem more connected.

I think the darkness you've introduced to this story is really lovely. How he's fighting it immediately as the story begins. It sets a darker theme to your story which is exactly what you want. I like how you focus on the the wolves, the rustling of the underbrush of unknown creatures, and his journey for something even more dangerous than what the woods have to offer. That really helps set the tone for a darker piece. You set that up really nice. I think that as the story went on, if there had been a little more imagery you'd have captured the horror of the story better. I think what would have helped was a stronger lead up to him pulling the knife on her. It felt quite sudden and it sort of jarred me from the story. If you included a little bit more where the anger flashed across him, and he found himself losing his reason it would have made the end where he took the life of the woman he loved stronger. Also, maybe if we sensed more of the repercussions of his actions (more thought process perhaps before he kills himself as well) would help us feel the horror of the situation. As it is, that moment, which is the most horrifying bit of the story, happens quite quickly compared to the lead up. It felt a bit unbalanced to me. Don't get me wrong, I think what you have here is a good piece, especially if it isn't your usual genre. It's just my opinion that if the end bit was tightened up a bit, you could make this even better.

I like how you added some of the backstory into this as well. We got a small sense of why Helena left, perhaps she felt little love from her mother. Perhaps she wanted to gain the wit that her mother had. It made me wonder why she took the diadem in the first place, but those are questions that I don't think need to be answered in this, it just gives me a sense that there is a bigger story out there and we're only show a short blurb. I think that is an excellent tactic for one-shots to be honest :). I also really liked the contrast between the rational Baron and how he went about finding her, and to the moment where he lost control. That really helped crete horror because it seemed like the opposite of what a character like him would do. It was well done. You're writing style is really easy to read as well and makes reading this incredibly smooth.

Thank you so much for requesting from me Dee! This was a pleasure to read!

Author's Response: Hi Zayne!I'm sorry back for the lateness of the reply :P

I'm not a founders expert either, I've read some amazing founders fics so the idea of writitng this was a little daunting.

Description is something I'm really awful at, though I'm working on it. I always start with it in mind and then as the story goes on I get myself so lost in plot that I forget about it, and this story is no different.

I definitely want to come back to this and tweak it so all of your comments are really helpful. Having read this again, I completely agree about the build up to him killing Helena and using his thought processes more.

Reading DH again gave me the idea for this, the brief talk Harry has with Helena leads to a million questions and a whole story in itself, it's one of the things I love most about JKR's writing, that she has created hundreds of stories that all link with Harry's in some way. You're completely right about the bigger story, if I was better at Founders era writing maybe I would have attempted it haha.

Thank you so much for all of the lovely compliments and the helpful advice, I'll definitely come back to this in the new year :)

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Review #22, by SilentConfessionThe Tower of Stars: Prologue

14th December 2013:
My days Illuminate!

Of course this works as a prologue! Is this in the future? Does all this happen after the story you're about to tell? Or is this propelling the story into action? Whatever the case, i really like how you've begun this. I think this might be the best you've written so far. What i've liked about following this story is seeing so much growth from you as a writer. I don't mean that in an arrogant way, but you're writing style has changed and shifted throughout this and it's really lovely to see how great you are at wielding your character and setting the tone for your story. You've done a magnificent job with this chapter.

I like the emotion of this, it is really catchy. The adrenaline is so alarming and it makes me worried of how Brienne has gotten into this position and how she's found out that a woman is after her. There are so many questions that you've introduced that it really makes me want to read on to see what will happen next. I think you've done a really fabulous job at creating something to hook your readers in.

I also like how you've ended it. You've given the impression that she is going to sacrifice herself for this boy who has followed her into the woods as she refuses to seen I'm die as well. She doesn't want another casualty. I think that tells a lot about Brienne, her growth, and where she is emotionally and psychologically. She seems strong, her ability to not only run from the captures, but also her willingness to give it all away for someone she cares about. That says a lot about a character.

Definitely not too fast paced. I think it's a perfect pace and flow for what you want. I'm honestly blown away by the beginning and I'm so curious to see how things happen in this story as it seems like the woman is going to be making more concentrated effort on finding and kill Brienne. Which brings the tension up tenfold for the reader as we've all become quite attached to little Brienne.

Really great job for a prologue. Thanks for requesting!

Author's Response: Hi!

This review made me squee out loud! Thank you so much! I was really in the zone while writing this, and I really want to try and keep up a certain tone in this story.

I really don't know what to say! I'm so flattered by everything you've said xD Brienne is certainly just on the beginnings of change and she will grow a lot more over the coming months of her life.

Thank you so much for this fab review!

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Review #23, by SilentConfessionDetox: Getting Clean

14th December 2013:
Hello again!

I think that you've started fleshing Draco so much more in this chapter. He's beginning to feel a lot more real and rounded. What I think helped this was the dream he had. As I said in my first review, my sympathy for Draco isn't too big as most of this is his own mess. I'm pleased he's making an effort to change though, but I don't feel massively sorry for him. Anyway, the dream bit helped give us an idea of where he stood even during the war. I think there are a couple different ways you can take Draco and the impression I'm taking from this is that you're taking him along the lines that he sees his part in the war as regret and that is actually was in error? That's what i've taken from this and if that was your intention than I think you've done a really good job at creating an atmosphere for that. The dream was so vivid and i think it dipped really deeply into Draco's subconscious and his thoughts of how following Voldemort didn't bring the power anyone thought it would. It just brought more death. I can't even get over that scene. It was so brilliant and so gruesome. I feel like those two words shouldn't belong together, but in this case they have to. It was so well done.

I didn't think he seemed too eager when he was talking to Narcissa. I liked how he was still leaning on his old training about not thinking before answering. That little bit was really poignant because it gave an idea of how much each person didn't really matter in Voldemort's circle. He wanted puppets and Draco made a good puppet for so long. It will be interesting to read how Draco overcomes this and becomes a better man. What i'd be interested as well to see is how much he stays on this path. It would only not be believable if there weren't any obstacles for him to overcome, or relapses. Typically recovering addicts will relapse and I can only imagine this happening to someone like Draco as a> he isn't the strongest of people b> he's gone through a lot of trauma which have scarred him. I think both things together are tough to overcome and as long as you keep exploring that I think it would remain believable.

I do wonder about Draco a little at this point. I feel like if I continue reading it'll be clearer of where he stands as I get the impression this is going to be a very complex story. However, with his character it has seemed in the books that he does believe that he's better than muggleborns because of his blood. I think perhaps he began questioning whether it was worth his life, but i'm not sure if I buy that he thought it was wrong and i don't think it ever fully left him that muggleborns weren't proper magical. I think the word i'm looking for is entitlement. Saying that, I do like where you're going with this, i'm just curious to know more about him and if his part with the DE's was just survival or something more. The scene at the cafe really helped with that though and explored some of his struggles at becoming better or toning down his own sense of entitlement if he's to survive post war. I also think it makes sense that he's worried about his reputation. That always seem to be an important thing to him at Hogwarts.

I like Horatio. I think his explanation made sense, even if he was a bit naive about the whole thing. I liked some of his comments about the puppet king and the like, but it made him seem like he had no idea what actually happened in the war. Which will make it interesting down the road when things begin to pick up between Astoria and Draco and when Draco probably tries to explain what it was like to be in that circle and the pressure that he had to face.

Anyway, this is turning out to be an essay of a review. I'm so sorry, but there is so much to analyze with this chapter and so many questions. This is a really good thing though and you've done brilliantly with this chapter. I've really enjoyed it.

Author's Response: Hi, there!

I'm glad that Draco started to come to life a bit more for you in this chapter. The first one was meant to show him at rock bottom, so he was necessarily a bit overdone, I think. Here you start to see some of the reasons why he was such a mess in chapter 1. He's haunted by a lot of the things he saw and took part in during the war. Dealing with the risk of dying on a daily basis left him with bad anger management issues and depression. You're correct that he came to realize that it wouldn't have been a good thing if Voldemort had won the war. It's hard for him to square that with the fact that he spent nearly his entire life believing that the Dark Lord was "the right side".

I'm glad the conversation with Narcissa didn't seem overdone. She really becomes his biggest supporter, aside from Astoria, so it's important that their relationship seems genuine. Draco will definitely experience a few setbacks along the way. Much more on this to come.

Draco still has a lot of that prejudice and arrogance in him. He does still believe in the superiority of pure magical blood. That's part of what attracts him to Astoria. But, he's also realized that some beliefs aren't worth fighting and dying for. In the course of this story, I hope that I never stray into that place where Draco starts to seem "redeemed". He did some terrible things, both before and during the war, and he still holds some fairly odious beliefs. He is a very complex character.

Horatio doesn't understand the real power structure within the Death Eaters because he was never a part of the organization. He only has an outsider's perspective combined with what he was told by the Ministry. Horatio doesn't understand powerful dark wizards, he understands money. Therefore he undervalues the importance of the former and overvalues the importance of the latter.

I really enjoyed your review, so please don't ever worry about the length of them. It's always a pleasure and I'm really glad that you enjoyed the chapter. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #24, by SilentConfessionRise: One of Us

13th December 2013:

So, i adore Regulus stories. I've realized reading this that I don't read enough of them! Why did you chose him as your protagonist? I'm really excited to see where this is going though as he's a delightfully interesting character. There are so many ways you could take him and I like how this has all started. I like the fear he has, but even better, I like how he's so desperate to control himself. It shows how young he really is and how horrid it was that someone as young as him had to become part of this. He could have been so much more.

Another thing I liked about his character was that he wanted to be there. He dreamt of being a DE. Sometimes i find that stories with Regulus in them, it always seems like he's getting dragged along with the group. Or, he doesn't really seem to make many decisions for himself. Or everything he does was to be different from Sirius or make his parents like him better than Sirius. I like how this whole thing started out with him wanting this life (at least, a little, even if he's unsure a little about it. Who isn't when they make any sort of decision) I thought you did that very realistically. There is an aspect in it that he doesn't quite fit into the world, but, on the other hand, it seems like he actually wants to clean the world of this prescribed 'filth'. He's already starting to feel dynamic. I'm excited to read more on his motivations and what has brought him here.

The chapter definitely makes me want to read more! You've written the tone so well and crafted the other DE's in such a believable way that makes me itch for more. Honestly, the other DE's are so distinct, there is Malfoy who's dark and powerful, Narcissa who seems afraid, Bellatrix and her usual crazy, and finally Dolohov. Dolohov was excellently well done, creepy, but not so over the top either. Maybe sinister and i loved the detail about his breath. It's stuff like that that makes me want to continue reading a story as the details matter and make a story really full and rich.

I also really appreciated that you didn't give an overload of information here. It is one thing that makes me want to read more simply because there is more to know. It makes a first chapter come alive when you just start off without falling into the temptation to vomit all the backstory out into the first few thousand words. So, lovely job with keeping that in check :).

Honestly, for a first chapter, you've done a great job at hooking readers and writing with a lovely tone. It is very readable to me and I don't think you have much to worry about with this chapter. It introduces your story really well. I'm really curious to see how Regulus goes from this to a betrayer. :) I think, perhaps, the only thing you could watch out for is word choice. I noticed a few times the same words being reused in fairly close succession. This is a small thing and didn't really bother me too much, but it does help with readability if there is a varied vocabulary. (i.e - shiver/shivered, nerve/unnerved, fear, afraid) Generally, some of the repetition was fine and made the story more poignant, but as you continue writing just remember to keep it from being repetitious to the point where it makes the writing boring because the same words are reused. I suppose i'm trying to say here is be intentional with your word choices and use repetition to your advantage and not let it take advantage of you. I hope that makes sense!

Loved this chapter though and I'd definitely want to read more! This is really nice work, thanks for requesting.!

Author's Response: Hey there!

I've always found Regulus' character fascinating as we know very little about him but, like you said, have had trouble finding a story about his life on fanfiction. So I decided to write one for myself!

Though, as we know from the HP books, Regulus begins to have doubts about where he stands, I definitely think a part of him wanted to become a Death Eater, so I'm glad you think I portrayed that well.

Thank you for such a great review, I'm glad you enjoyed this first chapter.


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Review #25, by SilentConfessionThe Joker and Her: Epilogue

12th December 2013:

I can't believe this is the end of this story! Mental! So much has happened here!

To answer your question of whether this works as an epilogue I'd have to say yes! It's intriguing and it's clearly setting the story up for another story. Which is super exciting. I think that's the best bit you've done with this is make the reader wish for more. I also think you've added so much action and interest with this one chapter that really do help this whole story seem like the beginning of a very large story. Another thing this has done is tie up some lose ends. Some really important lose ends as well that give this story a feeling of some closure. What I mean by this is that we've learned the killer of the mum and we've learn some about the motivation. Or, at the very least, we can make guesses at the motivation of the murder. Was it a spurned lover? For revenge? Why does she need to wipe away every last memory of the mother? Or did the mother find out something that they think Brienne knows? Whatever the case, we've learned a bit more about the murder which makes the plot seem a lot fuller and I can connect to it even more as it has left me thinking.

It is confusing to follow. But that is only because these are completely new characters (i think, unless we've met a few of them before, i was toying with Paul for a bit there, but decided against him being the visitor) and it was in a whole new setting. That does throw the flow of the story a little, but not in a bad way, it just gives us another curveball to try and sort out. I think it works to have the new characters and new setting because it adds to everything we've learned about the situation so far.

Not only that, but the characters are very distinct. The woman feels threatening and cruel which I like and there is this tone of malice in every word that she says. I think you really characterized her well and I wonder what she and this visitor are to one another?? Has the visitor been to Hogwarts before? If he has, why hasn't Brienne noticed another French man at the school? I know when i've been in new places and even if they are quite big, I always seem to be able to spot out someone who is from my own culture fairly quickly. It's like we group together.

Overall, i thought this was an excellent last chapter and i'm really glad I was able to review this story. You've done a really nice job at setting out the pieces for a large mystery story. Great job Illuminate!

Author's Response: Hi! Wow, what a lovely review xD

I'm glad you think the characters are distinct- I definetely didn't want them to just blend into each other.

Thank you for saying it's intriguing and works as an epilogue, I really didn't want it to be just vague and weird. I'm glad it's making you think!

Thank you for the review, it made my day!

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