Reading Reviews From Member: SilentConfession
319 Reviews Found

Review #76, by SilentConfessionThe Girl from Slytherin : Prologue

31st May 2013:
Hey! I'm so sorry for how long this requested review has taken! I've been so busy lately with work that I haven't had time to really read much ff lately. Thank you so much for your patience.

I can see why your prologue would have a good response as it is a great start to the story. It pulls the reader right into the action of the story and leaves the reader with a lot of questions. Which is always a good thing for a prologue to do. It also gives us enough information to know bits and pieces of who this woman is and what pressures she has to deal with. It definitely draws the reader in and functions really great as a beginning of the story type chapter.

From this chapter you can tell that your main character seems to have some issue with what's going on and may not agree fully with the practices that are going on around her though there is no way out for her. So she just goes through the motions of trying to just survive. I liked some of the ideas you brought in that made this chapter more sinister how that even though she was dressed by these people, played with their sons and daughters they would not hesitate to kill her as well. That was really vivid and brought out the harshness of these people.

One critique I could give is that I wish there was a little more description. I felt like seeing the action a little more in my head would have pulled me into the tale a bit more however there were moments i just couldn't really see what was happening. You did a good job of getting across her emotions and her fears but it just felt like she was floating in space sometimes without a setting. Description and detail will help make the chapter even more pulling than it already is. It'll make your story stand out from the rest.

Everything else about the chapter was fine though. I felt like it wasn't at all confusing and you did a good job at showing where your characters are standing and i'm really interested to see how this girl has come to this point in her life and why, after being surrounded by Death Eaters, she hasn't adopted those beliefs herself.

Great job! Thank you so much for requesting from me and i'm really sorry again for how long it has taken. If you liked this review feel fee to request again :)

Author's Response: Hi! No worries at all, I'm just glad you see you got the chance to read the story! :)

I'm glad you liked the prologue, and that it pulled you into the story as that's the intention. It's good to hear it raises questions, and let me tell you many of those won't be answered until much later in the story! :P

I'm glad you could identify the characterizations of the main character and the contradictions she goes through. You're right, there are certain expectations even if she's learned to question them, and I'm glad you liked the sinister contrast of her familiarity with the Death Eaters yet the danger they present.

That's an excellent point, and I'll keep it in mind when going back to edit the story! :) I definitely agree, and will try to flesh out the story a little.

Thank you very much for this lovely review, it was certainly worth the wait! :)

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Review #77, by SilentConfessionThe Snow is Silent: The Snow is Silent

30th May 2013:
Hey! I'm here for our TGS review swap!

This is a brilliantly done story. i've read it twice now and the story just leaps from the screen so vividly. I think it's really cool what you've done with it. It is such an unknown history and you've really added some interesting elements to it that have captured my imagination. I really wish there was more on this and who Ariana was in the series or somewhere to flesh out the moment more. It seems like a really rich history and i've always been curious about it.

One of my favourite elements that you've added is the raw magic that seemed to be pouring from Ariana. I've never thought of it that way. Also with how you made Gellert try and harness that power was really powerful and showed not only his manic desire for power and greatness with no empathy of how it would affect others. It really tied well with the story of Dumbledore and showed a lot about his character. What was chilling for me was his willingness or ability to sell his soul to the devil for Gellert. It was a good backdrop to have this story take place though. To show Dumbledore's guilt and emotion with all that in mind.

I also liked how it wasn't much of an accident. I mean, i'm still left guess how intentional it was and why Dumbledore did it in the end. Whatever the case it's taken him to the point that he'd even think about splitting his soul to ease the pain. It just shows the turmoil that Dumbledore is experiencing, the weight of The Albatross rests on his shoulders and is left festering in his soul.

I like the rawness of this. how it shows Dumbledore at one of his lowest points in life and that he still seems young. He still has a lot of growing but has already experienced so much with his life.

This is the type of story that i think I may never fully get. Not that i don't find it beautiful and the imagery wonderful. I can experience what Dumbledore is experiencing but it just seems like there are layers in this story that a simple read won't uncover and different interpretations that a person could come to about why Albus did it. Was it to save Ariana from Gellert or something else? I liked the confusion of this though, the ambiguity and how it isn't just laid out for us. It reflects what Dumbledore is experiencing- the angst and confusion and how he doesn't really understand it himself at the moment. All he knows is that he's taken down a picture of innocence and from there his life has fallen into chaos. Really beautiful story here!

This is really great piece and i loved reading it. It's amazing that you can fit so much into one piece and that there are so many metaphors and symbols littered throughout that really bring the story together. This is really great and i'm glad i was able to read it!!

Author's Response: Thank you for this lovely review! I'm pleased that you enjoyed the story (those swaps always give me a spot of worry - I'd hate to leave someone with a story they don't end up liking) and it means a lot to hear these compliments from you!

The history of the Dumbledore family is very rich, and the taste of it that we gleamed from the books only leaves one wanting to know more - we know the barest details, and it's almost impossible to understand what these characters were like at that time, or just what was wrong with Ariana. Her disability is an interesting aspect of Rowling's magical world because it gestures toward the source of magic and more explicitly demonstrates how easily that source can be corrupted. Magic becomes a curse, like an extra part of the soul - it's not like other fantasy stories where magic is connected to one's life force.

Now that you mention the way Albus is willing to sell his soul for just one kiss, I can see how Ariana's "corrupted" magical state can reflect Albus's own corruption, how he constantly places his own desires ahead of his responsibilities, even ahead of his own needs. And he's loved someone even more selfish than him. This realization could tear him apart, driving him mad, yet somehow he bears the pain - he spends the rest of his life with this pain, living by it. Maybe this is why he sacrifices himself in the end, seeing that sacrifice is the ultimate virtue in Rowling's magical world - it's the only way he can relieve his pain and find redemption. His story is incredibly complex, not merely because of his long life, but moreso because of how he lived it, every event in his life seemingly to have a considerable effect on wizarding history.

I love to hear that you like the rawness of this story. :D That's the kind of emotional impact I was hoping for!

You're not alone in not being able to fully get this story - reviewers keep pointing out things that I didn't notice when writing that only add another layer to the story. There are many ways of reading the images and allusions. I wonder if part of this has to do with the limitations of the word count - it's harder to be exacting with only 500 words to work with, leaving a lot more room for interpretation. Another important thing is of course the way that none of these characters actually know what happened - Albus takes the blame, but it does not necessarily mean that he's guilty of the actual murder. It all happened in a moment, and it's significant to note that, in this story, Albus is remembering - all we're seeing are his memories, the snatches of light, colour, and sound that he pieces together in his mind. There's nothing that can be pinned down as "truth".

Thank you again for reading and reviewing this story! ^_^

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Review #78, by SilentConfessionAlone: Alone

29th May 2013:
Hey! I'm here for the review!

I'm usually not a fan of second person as it doesn't really let me feel with the character but rather pushes me away from the person. However, i felt like you did a great job at exploring this POV, especially for a first attempt. It was especially gripping the second time I read it as the imagery and the emotions you describe seemed to really just bounce off the page. The first time I read it i felt quite distant from the character as she was unknown and the writing was in 2nd person. However, once i decided on who it was and read it again the story felt very real to me.

I like the character. (who i'm assuming is Dorcas? or Marlene). Anyway, I imagined Dorcas because it's similar to how i picture her end. How she, in a way, gave up on life and would rather death than anything else and yet even though she wasn't fighting she still remained defiant. It gives a good clue of who she was as a person before. The determination and the grit.

I may have read too much into this but it felt to me like she was feeling guilty for being alive. For being alive while others were dead and she wanted to join them because she didn't think they deserved it. It was really beautifully woven into the story though how tired she was, how the war had worn her down and that the darkness just seemed so bleak.

It's true though with war how it just sucks the happiness away and how the light and hope is so dim that it barely seems worth it anymore. There is something really cold about how you've written this, the wind and the rustling trees. How everyone's deserted her because he's decided to kill her.

I don't have any issue with this piece and although i wish i could have connected to the story earlier (as in the first time i read it rather then the second) you did a fabulous job at capturing a moment of war and making the future seem bleak and painful.

Thanks so much for entering my challenge! I'm so happy I was able to read this story! You have a really beautiful way of describing things and yet keeping those descriptions simple and to the point. Great job! :)

Author's Response: Hello!

Wow, thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it! :)

And yes, it is Dorcas! Everyone has picked up on it, and I'm so glad! :D

No, you haven't read too much into it! I tried to make her come off as feeling guilty for being alive! I'm so glad that it's come out like that! It originally was MUCH darker but I thought it might be too much for HPFF so I toned it down, but I really wanted to keep that guilt and you've no idea how happy I am that you picked up on it! :D

I also was aiming to feel cold, you're picking everything up! It makes me so unbelievably happy!

No, don't worry about not connecting to it the first time. I've had to read some pieces so many times before understanding. Like WeasleyTwins', "Come, Sugar", I think I had to read that about ten times before I finally understood what was happening! So don't worry too much about it! :)

Thank you so much for this review, you're far too kind! :D

Also, this is my 450th review all up, so thank you for that! :D

And also, thanks for the challenge! It was great writing this fic! :)

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Review #79, by SilentConfessionThe Worst: The Worst Had Happened

30th April 2013:
Hi! I'm here for your other review!

So I like how this played out. I think you've introduced some of her feelings really well in this chapter and showed how much she's affected by this. Her biggest fear has happened and there is nothing she can do about it. No one else she can be other than this monster. I like how you made that very clear to the readers how she can't see herself any other way no matter what anyone else says about her. She knows for herself that she's a monster.

You also showed more of her characterization which was great. She seems like she'd be in any other situation a very affectionate, kind person who thinks of others as it seems like that is one of biggest things she's worried about with becoming a werewolf that she may hurt someone she loves. She also seems like she's a bit reckless and that she doesn't think too much before she speaks. The extra dimension also that she refuses help, that she pushes everyone away was interesting. It seems like they've dealt with that before as well and almost expected her to do it as well by the way the reacted to her. I'm interested to see where that goes as the plot progresses.

One thing i'd really love to see is more of an emotional attchement to this. This may seem weird to say but i think it would help with your flow and level of reader interest. It will help us understand Dominique more, especially if we seeing how she's reacting in her head to this. everything is very action-y and dramatic on the surface and to everyone's faces but what else is she experiencing? Groggyness? sadness? pain? confusion? do her limbs feel heavy? can she feel where the werewolf bit her? These are some of the things that will make people connect more to the story and to you character.

Fleur's reaction especially intrigues me because i've always seen her as a very strong no nonsense kind of woman who will be there for her child. I'm curious to know if you see her differently or if there is something that you aren't telling us about the condition.

One last comment on pace. Although i think you're fine now just be careful with how you pace this story. Her pushing everyone away is going to take time too for them to actually go away and her getting better and being able to accept herself is going to take time. It's something that is hard to balance but just be sure that everything doesn't happen all at once. :)

This is a good second chapter, you ended it well that makes readers still invested to find out what happens next. Thanks for requesting me, i hope you found this helpful. :)

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

I am glad you liked how it played out. I am pleased you liked the way I introduced her feelings.

It's great that you could understand more of her characterisation in this chapter as that was my aim. Yes, she's normally kind and affectionate, quite reckless and scatter brained at times, and she tends to push away people. She's the kind of person who deals with stuff alone.

Thank you for all your comments about the emotional attachment. I wanted to go back and edit this chapter so your comments were really helpful. I read your review yesterday, and have edited this chapter a little according to what you said about the whole emotional stuff. Hopefully, it's better now. Thanks!

Actually, there is something that hasn't been revealed about Dom's condition yet which made Fleur so emotional. There was a small piece of dialogue that I'd included in the next chapter hinting to it, but after many reviewers commenting on her reaction, I've included that hint in this chapter itself now (when I edited yesterday).

Well I will try to keep the pace balanced as you suggested, but from what I've already written in the further chapters, I am not sure how much I can show about the whole pushing away thing. But I am trying not to make everything happen at once, so I hope you'll be satisfied with the way things go.

I am pleased you liked this chapter overall and liked the ending. Your reviews were definitely very helpful and I'll be coming back to re-request.

Thank you!

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Review #80, by SilentConfessionThe Worst: Dreading The Worst

30th April 2013:
Hi, i'm sorry, again, for the long wait!

So i like the premise of this story how her biggest fear is something she will have to deal with head on in the coming chapters. It brings a lot of appeal to the story and a lot of questions to make me click the next button just to see what happens. You definitely want this for a first chapter so i think you've done really well with readers interest.

I also like Dominique so far. You can't take a lot away from this chapter as it's just the beginning but so far it seems like she will be an interesting character to follow and see her grow as well. I like some of the hints to her character, her bad decision making, her inability to see get passed her fear however she still has the strength to accept the assignment, and her kindness (not sure where that came from but i think it was the tone of the story itself made Dominique seem gentle).

There were some inconsistencies and things that just didn't make sense to me though that made me question the plot. If she was that scared of werewolves the full moon isn't something i'd imagine she'd be bound to forget. Especially not if she's with the pack. Her fear would already be heightened and she focus on the details, like when the full moon is and how safe she is. If you imagine when you get really scared imagine what are the things you think about and focus on - on all the things that could go wrong? Anyway that was one thing. I think it could have been interesting to see that it was determination and slight obsession to get a story that kept her there so long, ignoring that the full moon was coming because she just needed her story as she had this compulsion to finish. With that, it would also make more sense for her to have to have her notebook that night rather than just waiting till morning.

Also the apparition seemed a bit odd that there would be a mile apparition limit on a cottage in the middle of the woods. Why is that? It seemed like a forced plot point that I couldn't quite believe. Also why would she be running to the cottage? Was this just the mile that she needed to get there or was she running the whole distance from the point the werewolf told her the full moon was that night.

Overall though, i think this is an interesting start. You have a really lovely style here and some of your imagery was really great. It really opened up a feeling of terror and horror of the night. You are also really clear with your sentences and your description is easy to understand and to the point. This is great because it keeps the action and story flowing really well together.

great first chapter! I shall be back to review your second chapter soon too :P

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

I am glad you like the premise of the story and think I've done well with the reader's interest. Thank you.

Dominique is a complex character, and I enjoy writing her so it's good to know you like her so far. Yes, she is a bad decision maker and weird to be paralysed with fear yet have the strength to take the assignment. You could say she is kind too, yeah.

Well, Dominique is a kind of careless person, somewhat scatterbrained. She is very passionate about her job too and got very caught up in things. But well, I like your idea of saying that it was her obsession with finishing the story that kept her there so long. I'll see what I can do about it, thanks for pointing it out. I'll come back to edit this chapter and polish things around to make it more believable and convey more of why Dom acted the way she did.

As to why there was an apparition limit, it will be disclosed in the future chapters, around chapters five or six. It is not a forced plot point but is a deliberate work of someone, that's all I'll say for now, but yeah the 'reason' behind it will be revealed. I think you didn't quite get the scene of running. She ran to the cottage in the beginning to get her things, after getting the owl that the full moon was coming. When the wolves started howling, she ran outside the cottage to run out of the anti-apparition perimeter, and apparate home. She didn't think the wolf would be right outside her cottage because the forest is slightly far from it. I'll try to polish this chapter again when I get the time and try to make things more understandable and reasonable though.

I am glad you found this an interesting start despite all the flaws, thank you. I worked hard on my imagery so it's good to know it's appreciated and it worked. It is a relief to hear that the description is to the point as I feel I go overboard with it sometimes.

Thanks again for all your lovely words and helpful comments. When I do an edit (which sadly can't be any time soon what with uni keeping me busy) I'll come back to this review and take into account everything you said!

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Review #81, by SilentConfessionPicture: One

29th April 2013:

Just wanted to let you know that this was really beautiful and sad. I think i started getting emotional after the first sentence because all i could imagine was Colin dead. I began liking his character after Toujours 'Run' and i think you captured him perfectly here. It's just ah, i can' even describe it but you've written this piece really well capturing the sadness so well and yet keeping the action going so the reader didn't feel overwhelmed. I'm always envious of this because i feel like i lack in the action department and focus on emotion so much that the story gets lost. So this is really well done in that sense.

I like your take on Luna too. Her artistry, how she tries to capture everything in this painting and how each stroke means something. I think you got that across beautifully and i love how you kept counting up to a thousand. It brought that idea home of how pictures are worth so much and how much this picture meant everything to her.

Really great job!

Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review!

I'm so glad you liked my versions of Luna and Colin. Colin was a bit easier, as we didn't learn all that much canon information on his, so I was allowed go a bit nuts, but Luna was quite difficult, as she is a very prominent character, with a unique personality, and I'm so glad you think I got that right!

Just thank you so much for the lovely, lovely review! :D

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Review #82, by SilentConfessionOil and Water: I

18th April 2013:
Hey Lia! I am SO sorry for how long it's taken me to get to this story and review! I've been so busy with everything lately that i've barely had time to sit down and leave a proper review!

I really like you description here. It's simplistic but i think you get across a lot with a few words and it paints a really vibrant picture for me. I think some of the simple but strong descriptions that i liked were the scarf the colour of her yes resting around her neck, how her fingers where running across the rough paper, and how she grabbed onto his clenched hand at the beginning. Some of these were just really telling of their situations, their feelings, and their past. Which is really cool because you didn't need to explain a lot to get across a little. We know where Snape comes from, we know where other Slytherins come from, and we get a feel of the stigma that is their friendship.

One thing i did notice about your description because although i found it very effective most times there were moments where i thought there should be more. For example, between the second last and last segment. It felt like there needed to be a bridge there to go from their kissing sort of couply moments to her indecision of where they actually stood as friends or something more. Maybe not a new segment but something that leads to this train of thought. Why did it happen? Where there signs? Maybe i just missed them though but I felt like it was a little abrupt. Was it just a misunderstanding between them and the wrong use of words from the segment before or was Lily having serious doubts of where they should go? It's not like all those questions need to be answered because i like ambiguous stories but a tad more clarity here and there may be able to make the story more emotionally impacting.

I liked the secrecy of their relationship, the way they snuck around and hid from both of their friendship groups. That isn't something you see often and it usually is shown that they show their friendship with no shame. I got the impression here that even as friends they snuck about.

It ended a little abruptly. I suppose i'd have liked a few more sentences to just end his train of thought and to give the story closure. Maybe not even his train of thought but even just an action, something that makes me feel like the story has ended. I just felt like it went rather quickly and there was this build up of emotion and uncertainty and then he just immediately accepts that it's okay at the moment to be where they are.

Past that though, i think you've done a really wonderful job with this. I like the style of your writing a lot and everything was described in a really clear way. It made seeing each scene you described really clearly and I loved the wintery feel of this whole piece. It kind of mixed well with some of the bittersweet tones that you have placed throughout the one-shot and gave a sense (for me anyway) of foreboding because i'm assuming this is their fifth year and things are about the change for them drastically. How their relationship was and soon will change forever.

This is a great story Lia! I'm glad i had the chance to read and review it!


Author's Response: Zayne,

Oh gosh. I am so sorry. It's been almost a year. I have no excuses anymore :(

I enjoy reading descriptions like that too and I try to include them in my own writing. It's a bit like showing instead of telling. It's subtle, a lot like their relationship in this story. They had to be careful.

I struggled a lot with this story, to tell you the truth. This is set in the Chrismas of 5th year, before everything falls to pieces. The end was supposed to be foreboding. There was a misunderstanding. I won't put it past him to think negatively and to accept rejection. It seems this showed up more of his personality that I expected. She is used to being good friends with him. In her eyes, that is what he is, first and foremost. She didn't have doubts, but I expect his behaviour from her perceived rejection created them. I'm sorry, I should have made this clearer.

I got the feeling that as things became more difficult at Hogwarts, especially for Snape, that their friendship was more secretive. I'm sure Lily was proud that they were friends. They understood each other very well. For Snape, she's probably the few females in his life who truly accepted him for who he was.

When I get the chance, I'll go through this one-shot and re-write things, for the sake of clarity.

Thanks for reading and taking time out to tell me your thoughts. I'm really sorry I took so long to respond to this.


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Review #83, by SilentConfessionSweet Dreams: Sweet Dreams

27th March 2013:
Hey! I'm so sorry for the long wait on this!

This story was so bittersweet because a massive part of me just wanted it to be true. I wanted George to be happy and not have to deal with the fact that he won't ever be completely whole again. I want him to have his twin back. I wish the war didn't happen and that people couple just live happily. But they don't. I think that is what stuck with me while reading this was that even though we have all these wishes for the world and for these characters their lives wouldn't be the same if they hadn't experienced what they did. They wouldn't fall in love with the same people. They wouldn't hate the same people. If the trio didn't go through all those years together fighting, would they still be as tight? Would Hermione fall for Ron? You've answered that with a no. It's an interesting topic to write on and i think you did a good job with it.

I think you got characterization done fairly well. I liked Fred and how he just seemed so large and his personality seemed untamable. Very much like how we knew him and so it was cool to see him come alive again, if only it was just a dream. George reacted really well to the whole thing, his confusion and then to his realization that life wouldn't be the same and that his wishes couldn't happen because so much would be undone by it was really heartbreaking to read.

Although i sort of understand some of the choices you made, some of them i felt needed to explained in order for it to seem real. I get that maybe Ron/Hermione wouldn't be together if they didn't go through so much together and I liked that you chose it that. But why chose Draco? It just seemed odd and broke up the flow to your story because there is no background to that relationship. Obviously George wouldn't know it if he's dreaming but taken out of context it just throws the reader off a bit in my opinion.

The ending seemed quite quick and not quite finished. Like there still needed to be a little bit more for there to be closure to the piece. You were really into George's emotion in the beginning and in the dream but when it came to his real life and his real emotions it just felt rushed. It also felt like if it was his real life, he'd feel more and be able to define it more than he was in his dream, maybe even if you mentions him wanting to forget, not wanting to feel so much loss which is why he turned to the sleeping draught.

Overall though i think this is an interesting piece that poses a lot of questions for the readers and i like that a lot because it does make me wonder a lot about the 'what if' Voldemort didn't exist? We wouldn't have a series and life is about conflict and without it life will be vastly different. Which is what George seemed to be able to identify with, if only briefly.

Thanks for requesting me and I hope you found my review helpful! Sorry again for how long it took!

Author's Response: I'm glad you thought this was interesting! It was one of my favorite pieces to write. Your review is very helpful; I've received a lot of CC's concerning the Draco/Hermione bit and the rushed ending, so I fully intend on editing those parts. I just keep procrastinating on it, haha. Thanks again for this review!

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Review #84, by SilentConfessionNot Just a Bystander: And then I have a merry Christmas...

25th March 2013:
I've been steadily reading this story but i don't think i've reviewed it yet. I suppose the last chapter is as good as any to leave something.

This story has been such a great ride and a really great coming of age tale. The ending of this is really perfect. It is so hopeful and reminds me of all those moments i've had that are so clear that life is beautiful even though it gets messy sometimes. I like the idea of hope and that things can get better even after everything you've experienced and i think you showed this really well through this work.

I loved the writing style and how we felt very close to Autumn through her experiences. She was very relatable and I think everyone has gone through moments where they are unsure of themselves and question everything about their life and themselves. We may have experienced it in different ways than Autumn but the idea behind it is all very similar to human experience.

Great job with this story AC! You've done a great job in weaving this story and having a really lovely writing style to go along with it made it that much easier to read too :P

Author's Response: Hi there SilentConfession! It's lovely to hear from you :)

I've reeaaally enjoyed writing this story, particularly the coming-of-age learning-to-like-yourself bit, because it's something that I haven't done all that much of before... but ack, that's really what I wanted to get across with this chapter so THANK YOU very much.

You are lovely :)


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Review #85, by SilentConfessionCome with Me: Come with me

18th March 2013:
Hi! I'm here for your review request! I'm sorry for the long wait, life has been hectic for the last few months that every time I think I can keep up with requests something happens again! But I am here and I hope you find this review helpful!

I think the flow of this story is fairly good. I like some of the emotional imagery you have here. It really helps us relate to Draco's agony of losing someone he cared about. Some of the flashback's you incorporated also helped us see who Catherine was and what she meant to him. it helped the rest of the story flow better because there were hints of how far he'd go for her. So it made sense in the end that he'd go to his death for her again. However, this AU story happened very quickly which did leave me with questions on how Draco got there. Since this didn't stick with canon there were times that I was left wondering about his backstory. I wouldn't expect you to be able to put all of it in here obviously but being choosey with what you insert so that the flow from the beginning and end goes smoothly.

Characterization- it's interesting because you have some traits that are very Draco here. Enough that i think it's easier to hang on to the story and care about the outcome. So that is good. There are bits that are OC and off canon which isn't necessarily bad because this is an AU. However, i think some backstory might help the readers better connect with him. It's harder to talk about characterization in this short piece simple because a lot of what we knew of Draco is changed and we're going on what you're seeing here. I think for an AU to work best we need to know a little more about the motivations of the character for it to be believed fully. For instance - Lucius abusing Draco - does Draco in this universe still run to his father for everything? Or has that running turned to Catherine? Those are just a couple questions that remain unanswered with you mentioning that. Or Draco going to the Order - how was Catherine involved with them? Why did she get involved? Why was Draco allowed to associate himself with her if she was against Voldemort? Although i think it's great that you have some clear indications of the differences with this world and HP world i think if you took it one step further in some of the explanations/motivations and characterizations of both Draco and Catherine you'd have an absolutely brilliant story.

I think you strongest point here is emotional intensity. I think you've done a great job showing his obsession with that one spell, how it affected his life, and how it drove him to commit suicide. You do let the readers feel it and even though there are some unanswered questions you still feel bad for the predicament he's in.

Author's Response: Hey! Thanks a lot for reading and reviewing. Sorry about the delay in responding!

I am pleased you find the flow smooth, and you liked the emotional imagery. I wanted to show a glimpse into Catherine and Draco's relationship with the flashbacks but not go into too much depth, so I am glad you think it made the story flow better. Well the story was more of a snippet rather than a full story - I didn't want to go into a lot of detail since I wanted to focus on Draco's thoughts and feelings more - so thanks for your comments, and I'll still try to see what I can do to make it less "incomplete".

Its good to know that you found some Draco traits in this along with the AU ones as that was my intention - to show a mix of canon and non-canon traits. As I said before, I wasn't too keen on filling more details/backstory rather just focus on emotions, but after seeing your comments I'll try to add a little more backstory to make it more connectable. I'll also try to answer the questions you think are left unanswered when I do an edit.

I am glad you liked the emotional intensity and the spell-centering part.

Thanks so much for all your suggestions and comments, I'll keep them in mind when I edit this. Thanks a lot!

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Review #86, by SilentConfessionGrowth: dull as dirt

24th February 2013:
Hey teh! I'm here for our review swap! I had a nice long review written and then my browser closed and i lost it all :( Hopefully i can try to say all the things i did first time around!

All I can do is flail. This is a lovely piece of work. It's so DARK! I love that because you can really just feel this story. The imagery is fantastic, it is really gripping and some of the images you invoke are eerie and chilling. The sucking of the dirt, the hole in the wall from the plaster she ate, the glinting eyes, the way you describe Tom's eyes and how it changes when he's not under the potion anymore. There was so much of the imagery but i didn't feel like it was too heavy at all. I think that it helped characterize Merope and it did it in a way that made me feel her and infer things rather than just spelling out for me. Which i think is really great because i think it helps me understand her.

you did a really great job with Merope here. You can see who she was as a person and you did great with adding bits and pieces of her back story as well so that we can understand how she came to this point as well. One of my favourite bits was her interaction with Burke and how she just accepted the money he offered. He obviously wasn't being honest but she just didn't question it and just let it happen. Much how it seemed like she did with the rest of her life. Let herself be neglected, never tried to make herself better until she thought Tom. It was the only thing she did for herself and even that was a really bad attempt at it.

The hissing bit and the apparating with her pregnancy- it just shows the state of her depravity has got to. I can just feel her desperation and how out of touch she is with reality. It's scary really because you can see how someone like Tom was birthed from her and this situation.

The only critique i can offer is small but there were times that the description was a little messy and if you cleaned it up a little it would help make some of the parts a little clearer. For instance- the part with when Tom comes back?? (does he come back or is it just her mind imagining him there?) This might have been the only place that i felt myself questioning things because the imagery and description was a little less tight than the rest of the piece.

This is a really great piece of work though teh and i've loved reading it. It's just so good and haunting. I think you really captured this moment and i liked how you did in three trimesters of her life and how it forced her into the downward spiral with her life. Really beautifully done! I'm really happy were able to swap and i had a chance to read this!! You've done such a stellar job with it!

Author's Response: Hello Zayne :)

yes, I know all about writing a lengthy review only to have a mutinous browser shut down on you :P Or in my case, every time I hit backspace to erase something the entire page goes back and all the words are lost :(

But thank you so so much for still writing another lengthy detailed review! And from scratch again!

Ahaha, yes this is me trying to be /dark/ :D I'm not really used to writing in this genre (this fic was done for a challenge) and I didn't know exactly how to be /dark/ so I just threw in loads of imagery :P And I'm SOHAPPY that you thought all that imagery wasn't too overwhelming or too overdone, but instead contributed to Merope's characterisation!

Yeah, Merope was sort of described as a 'defeated looking person' in the books, and I was trying to get this across in my characterisation of her. And she did get badly swindled by Burke as well; it sort of made sense to me that even if she did know, she wouldn't have put up much of a fight anyway.

I'm so glad you pointed out bits where the description was messy. Gah, my fault! Yes, that is all a weird dream. Tom (sr.) never comes back. Not at all, not even in the dream. Merope is actually dreaming of a future Tom Riddle Jr. (i.e. Voldy) bahaha; actually it does sound a little far-fetched...and yeah, you're right, it was pretty confusing because of the far-fetchedness of the idea. Hmm, I'll see what I can do to fix it.

Thank you so much for your lovely comments and absolutely helpful critique Zayne! Pleasure doing a swap with you :D


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Review #87, by SilentConfessionAd Venenum: To Poison

20th February 2013:
Hi Rachel!! So sorry for how long this has taken to get to you! *hangs head in shame* life has been hectic for me!

Anyway, i'm so pleased that you asked me to read this because i don't find enough time to read your work and it's always so good that i need to make it over to your page more often!

I absolutely love the fact that you write about mental illnesses! I've seen you do it a couple times before and this is another great good look into the obsessive human mind. It makes you scared of Lavender because she does have an air of normalcy about her in this, she seems like a regular person and yet she's planning someone's death. This just makes the end result quite eerie and chilling.

I like how you portrayed a lot of her feelings - the precision of the timing, how everything seemed to magnify as she was trying to pull this off. That was a great add in because it's the exact feeling that people get when they're nervous or have adrenaline coursing through their bodies. There was also that paranoia that was underneath the surface with her, how she thought people were following her, watching her simply because of the action she was about to take. It all really helped make this seem real and made the story seem like it could have easily happened.

It was also really creative take on Lavender after the war. A lot of people focus on her recovery and her changing and although those stories are great, it's really neat to see that she hasn't changed that much since the war. She's still obsessive, still like the Lavender we are familiar with in the books. You took those traits and warped them into this.

I have some small critique to offer, though nothing too serious. You asked specifically if things made sense and there was a couple of times that it seemed to contradict itself. She mentions at the beginning a few times how planned out this was, how it took 8 months of planning etc. I liked that detail because it shows her obsession, however, then it moves on to say she didn't know where Knocktrun Alley was. If someone is planning for so long (i'm guessing it was probably even longer) then it seems strange that she wouldn't have already had that figured out in case something went wrong. Someone as obsessive as she would have obsessed about the details of her plan. Finding the alley probably would have been one of those details.

The polished wooden floors beneath her feet sounded like small explosions as she walked; each step felt like a detonation, and she almost wondered how she was still able to go on. It was remarkably simple to place one foot in front of the other. Anyone who said different was lying.

This was a little inconsistent too, simply because she's wondering how she could go on because each step felt like she was detonating a mine sort of thing. Really vivid imagery there and I loved that. However, it also went on with how easy it was to walk the next sentence and if it was easy to talk why is she wondering about how it was hard to go on to the extent that each step was like a bomb? Both sentences you have are really great and I like what they bring to the story, however, I think there might need to be a better transition for it to make more sense.

These are just nitpicky things though and do not break the story at all, i may just be overanalyzing everything. It is a great story and it's eerie how her plan just worked perfectly! Really lovely job Rachel and thank you so much for requesting because this is really a joy to read!

Author's Response: Zayne! ♥ Thank you so much for being willing to come by and read this for me -- you are just too fantastic. And no worries about the wait, obviously!

I do love my creepy stories. :D There's something about writing a creepy story, and getting into the minds of the characters in them, that I find endlessly fascinating. And I think one of the scariest things goes along with what you said about the precision in timing and all that -- I think people who are mentally ill, speaking objectively, can act quite sane much of the time. The problem is when we don't notice it until it's too late, and that's quite a dominant theme in this story.

I really appreciated your critique so much, too! I don't get enough crit like that -- I'd say 90% of what I hear is about typos, and that's always appreciated, but the sorts of inconsistencies like you pointed out that really help improve the story. :) I've made a few changes, like you suggested!

I'm so happy that you enjoyed this! I had a lot of fun writing it (ironic as that may sound), and your reviews really do always brighten my day, you know. :3 Thank you for reviewing!!

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Review #88, by SilentConfessionYou Can Write The Book: it's all in the details

6th February 2013:
AHHH!!! What are you doing to me? This is something i'm not sure i can put words to! BUT COLIN!! *squishes him and Dennis to pieces* I started loving his character in ToujoursPadfoot's story and this has just added to how cool the kid is.

Okay, i'm going to try and put some coherent thought to this review. I really like the style you wrote this in. It seems almost innocent to start out with. Like something you'd hear a child saying when he's trying to explain how something works. I think it just makes the emotions, the intensity of the piece stand out that much more because it just shows how young some of these students were and yet they had to fight.

I love the details you chose to share with us, whether it was the patterns and the colours on Doris' hands to the yellow bits after taking the pictures off. (that scene in particular was so emotionally charged, the way you use that 12+ word in that moment just seemed to really portray Dennis and how he was coping with all of it.)

I almost started crying when you talked about him being petrified because i honestly hadn't thought about what it would be like for them. I don't know why because it seems like it would be something you'd think of but I hadn't. I suppose it really helped see Colin in a different light. You see him as someone who's gone through something, who isn't just someone who obsesses over Harry but a real, living human being.

You characterization of them is great! Honestly, there are so many details in here that it's hard to pick out which ones i liked best but each one you included really helped portray them both in a really lovely way that gave them both so much flesh. Even though we never see Colin, we almost learn all about him through his photo's, these captured moments of time show who he was as a person.

I've really enjoyed reading this and I honestly don't have anything to critique with it! It's just a wonderfully constructed story that you should be very proud of.

Author's Response: Hello Zayne :D

My goodness, what is this amazing review you've given me!? THANK YOU :DDD And you don't know how incredibly happy I am to hear how this story has increased your love for poor Colin (and hopefully Dennis too!). And yes, gah! Loved Toujours Padfoot's 'Run' to pieces!

Oh, I'm so glad the style worked for you! I really wanted to capture Dennis' colloquial voice rather than have a more formal narration.

Hmmm...several reviewers (including you) have mentioned how they never thought about Colin's Petrification incident. It really does show, then, that he is quite an overlooked character both in the novels and in fanfiction! And yes, making him human (and showing him through the eyes of someone close to him - Dennis) is what I've really tried to do in this story.

All these little details, I think, make him more human and more real. I have this unpleasant feeling that after the final battle, Colin is hailed as a hero, put on a pedestal, everything...but people will never really know the real side of him - the side that makes him human. Hero is just not human enough for me :)

So yeah. That's what I tried to do. OK, my response is a little garbled! It's just that you gave me such an amazing review!

Thank you so very much once again! And I'm so so happy you enjoyed this :D


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Review #89, by SilentConfessionBetrayal: The Letter

31st January 2013:
Hi! I'm here for your review! Sorry for the delay!

This moment is so intense! I can't imagine what it would be like to be in Victoire's shoes right now because everything she's ever known or felt has been ripped away from her. Your title is well done because this is probably one of the worst betrayal's you can have. It's deep and raw and on more than just the you're cheating on me level it really cuts into trust issues because it's coming from both sides.

The premise of this is really good because it could lead to this really emotionally intense piece. There were parts of it though that i had a hard time connecting too. I think what might have helped was focussing more on more emotions than just her anger. The bit i loved most was the moment after she found the letter. That paragraph was so beautiful because you connected to Victoire in her moment of grief. However she switched to anger quite quickly and although I think that is a good emotion to play with I think there should be a balance and that may help the connection between the reader and the character. Also, with her anger, imagery (albeit hard to pull off sometimes) can be your friend so that we can also feel her flashes of anger.

Characterization wise I think you started well. You made Victoire a sympathetic character at the beginning because you can tell she's excited about her next day. She just seems to bask in her happiness and joy which is a stark contrast to what she's about to go through. I sort of wished to see a bit more from her though. Maybe something that showed that she wasn't perfect or hinted to why Teddy drifted from her. It wouldn't have to be much but maybe a personality trait or quirk that drove him into her sister's arms- something anyway that gave her a more rounded personality. Obviously this isn't focusing on that but how she was betrayed but it would help to make her more relatable.

I think you did the whole scene between her and Dominique well. Dominique did genuinely seem regretful and sad about it. It seemed like to me that she hated what she did to her sister and almost hated herself for it and yet she couldn't help herself or her feeling and I think you balanced that out well. Though I did wonder why she'd bring the letter with her to Victoire's house? Something like that you think she'd burn it or, at least, keep it at her place so she wouldn't be found out. I didn't like Teddy in the end. How he was still willing to marry her and say he was hers- it just made him so so despicable and unlikeable because what kind of girl would want to marry someone who's just done what he's done. I felt like, in the end, he would have just repeated the cycle- maybe not with Dom but someone else. I don't know if that was your intention but it's what i felt.

There was also a point and this is a fairly small and nitpicky thing but when Victoire's confronting him there is a point that it switches into his POV for a sentence or two and then back to hers. It just seemed to disrupt the story because we were hearing about this story from hers the whole time and it switched for such a small amount of time that it made it hard to connect to him and her in that moment.

This is a great moment to explore and I think your plot is interesting because for some reason i really enjoy reading about angsty moments like this where the emotions and feelings are just raw on the page. thank you so much for requesting me and i hope i answered all your concerns. Feel free to request again if you wish ;P


Author's Response: Thanks a lot for reading and reviewing, and no problem about the delay, I understand how RL gets in the way!

I am glad you liked this, and found it to be intense. I gave a lot of thought to the title, so thank you :)

I am sorry that there were parts you couldn't connect to. I tried to give it my best. I also thought that since Victoire had some veela blood, her anger would be the strongest emotion. However, I am pleased to know that you liked the paragraph immediately after Victoire reads the letter, as I worked hard on it. I am not particularly good when it comes to playing with imagery, but I'll see what I can do. As for maintaining a balance with grief, I'll try to focus more on that too when I do an edit.

Its good to know that you liked Victoire's characterisation, especially in the beginning. You make a good point about showing something that caused Teddy to deviate from her, but I mostly talk about that factor in the prequel (of her being too uptight and prim and proper as opposed to Dominique) and touch on it briefly when talking about the messy room. But I'll see if I can elaborate more on it when I do an edit.

It's good to know that you liked the Dominique and Victoire interaction. Yes, Dominique regretted her actions and I am glad that it came through in the narrative. Again, you make another good point about Dominque bringing the letter to Vic's place, that was something I didn't think through, so I think I'll change it to Victoire being at Dom's house instead of the other way round when I edit it. Thank you! As for Teddy, that was entirely my intention. I wanted to depict him as this selfish needy person who could see nothing beyond his own "feelings" or desires. I see him that way because I always think that he grew up as a lost boy, who wanted so much yet hardly got any of it, thus his current attitude. I am glad that my depiction was successful.

I didn't realize that I switched to Teddy's POV for a sentence or two, so I'll look into that and change it whenever I edit. Thanks for pointing it out.

I appreciate that you took the time to leave such a thoughtful review, and that you found this interesting. I love angsty moments too! You answered all my concerns, thanks a ton. All your comments were really helpful. Thanks!

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Review #90, by SilentConfessionIridescent Hearts: Amber Ruby Malfoy: Crazy Grim Reapers

23rd January 2013:
Hi, i'm here for your requested review!

So, to start off with I think the idea behind this is really great. I've never thought about Draco's debt and it's really interesting to have the Grim Reaper come in to collect his dues. It reminded me a lot of The Tale of the Three Brothers in DH and how Death felt cheated when he didn't get all three brothers.

Your premise is great but i feel like there are a few things you should look at and it should increase readers and interest to the story. This may seem small but spacing is a huge deal. If i hadn't been requested I would have clicked off the story because it's strangely a huge turn off for me to see massive spaces between paragraphs.

Although i liked that you tried to keep things mysterious and kept the readers guessing i felt like things were confusing and not in that i want to keep reading kind of way. Things just seemed a little convoluted. This may be because you had a lot of flashbacks and things were happening quite fast. You need to be very intentional with what you tell your audience and when you tell them. It comes with practice. I think what might also help here is that you introduce characters without really saying who they are to the main character. Since this is a pretty big cast of characters, especially for a first chapter, i'd suggest just trying to clarify where they all belong and how they're all connected.

Some of your wording too makes it hard to understand exactly what you mean. For example 'get at me bro'. There are also some grammar issues that a proof read would probably help just so that it won't disrupt the flow.

Another thing you may want to look at is dialogue. It can really do a lot with characterization your people. For instance, Ru seems like a sassy, spunky young witch who always has something to say. I get that just from what she says. The Reaper however seems a little diluted. I'm not sure what you're going for with him but his dialogue seemed funny and almost like you were trying to make him sadistic but the humour is his dialogue made that impossible. I've always imagined it to be darker and more ominous. However, I suppose it depends on how you see it and what you were trying to go for.

A final point is description and this is a short one because generally you do a nice job with it. However there are times i'm begging to know what the other characters are doing. Harry is there the whole time? If he is, let us know what he's doing. Why is he silent? Is he angry? Is he sad? Shifting his feet? This all will help your readers connect to the story better and be able to visualize it. I always imagine my stories and scenes like movies and try to explain to my readers what i see, smell, or feel there. Is James there too? What does he do? Why is he going through with it? Some of those questions don't need to be answered right away, however, it's important to keep them in mind for later.

I don't want you to feel disheartened by this because I don't think this is boring as you asked. I think this could be really good and you have a great idea. You could expand this into a longer story. Just be sure that if you do to know generally where you are going and to clean up some of your wording and i think you'll have a good story here.

Thank you so much for requesting me and i hope I answered your questions satisfactory. If you ever need more help feel free to request again or PM. -zayne

Author's Response: Hey! Thanks for you reviews.

For the 'get at me bro' thing. That's just a type of slang. Its not really supposed to mean something meaning full besides give the readers an idea of what kinda of a person the character is since the slang does speak for itself.

i'll try to act more dialogue off course! i usually do dialogues so its great.

im glad you could read! thank you so much for taking the time =)

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Review #91, by SilentConfessionSucker: Meat

23rd January 2013:
Hi, i'm here for your requested review! Sorry for the delay!

I don't think vampire stories are very often explored in HPFF but then it is a genre that i don't really read so I may be mistaken when I say that. So in that I think the story is unique

So, you asked for the meat? Well, i will try. :P

Characterization wise i felt like he was a little everywhere. It's okay for a character to be inconsistent because people are like that sometimes but usually that would be over a whole story and not just in one scene. I think he could be an interesting character but i had a hard time really connecting with him. I think it might have come from me not being able to figure him out. Some questions i have of him are - does he actually believe in the cause? Why was here there? Is he sarcastic or serious? I think the confusion comes from his quickly changing moods. One point he's feeling the protest, the next annoyed that no one is accepting him, then realizing that he's a predator and going into his little fit. It all happened quite quickly. I think if you just cleaned that up a bit he would be a very believable character. I also had a hard time imagining his fit and his snapping of teeth at people. It seemed a little forced. But i think it comes from his changing attitudes.

Humour wise I think there are some funny parts. Some of his wording about needing a pass to be part of the protest was nicely done. Also, the irony that everyone was more scared of a Vampire than the other creatures that were around them (banshee's, giant's, ogre's etc) seemed a bit funny. He seems to have a drier sort of humour which is a nice change from many of the over the top slapstick ff that are out there.

I think your descriptions can use some work as well. Generally speaking it's not bad but i think it will help flesh out your character a bit more if the descriptions are bit more fleshed out. What does the square look like? Are there ministry officials around the protest and what are they doing? You had a good part with the muggle couple walking by, it added an overarching look at what was happening. I'm also curious to have a clue about the era of this. I'm guessing next gen at some point because of the house elf fighting for rights (did that come from Hermione's reforms?)

I hope you found this review helpful and thanks for requesting me. I did enjoy being introduced to this! :P

Author's Response: Hey :)

Thank you for coming by!

I appreciate your point about characterization. I had actually already tried fixing him a bit, but I suppose I need to do more. The way I pictured the scene wasn't really from his pov (and yet it did morph into his pov towards the end), which is why Jack might appear incomplete. The main point was to throw the reader into the chaotic mess of the creatures' protest,not really to introduce Jack. I wonder what else I can do, since this is just an intro chapter...But I'll try my best :)

To answer some of your questions: Jack is at the protest, because he feels discriminated against as a vampire. I tried to imply this indirectly by having even the other protesters dislike him for what he is. I suppose I failed most at showing how he slowly goes from being optimistic, to annoyed to hopelessly giving up during his conversation with the elf and the orge, so I will try to make that transition clearer somehow. The flip out is indeed odd and it was intended this way, since, again, what this story is about is how odd and out of place vampires can be ;)

The exact era will be mentioned later, but it can be termed New New Gen, if you will. Hermione is no longer around, but her legacy lives on (sort of, I guess).

As to description, I will see what I can do there as well! I actually had an entire paragraph describing a bored Auror that was supervising the protest, but it didn't quite flow with the rest. I resorted to mentioning the Aurors briefly in Jack's thoughts as he flips out. I guess it's too sublte and doesn't stick :P

Thank you for your suggestions and I hope you enjoyed the read :)

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Review #92, by SilentConfessionDiamonds into Coal: Of Wit and Learning

17th January 2013:
I was glad to have a reason to come back and check this story out! :P

I loved this introduction of Helena. She she's really quite posh and sophisticated in her gowns and jewels. Reading that was a bit pretentious only because i've always been a bit annoyed with the upper class of that era. However, i think you did a great job at getting the image of it across. It felt like such a different world to read and you really captured it well.

Her characterization is really well done and the contrast between Helena and Venn are already clear. She obviously doesn't mind mixing with the peasants and although she's caught up with jewels and beauty and vanity there is something strangely down to earth about her. I think it was the calm independence that came from her, how she wanted to be educated and yet still not completely against societies standards. She doesn't seem to be at polar ends of the personality spectrum at all and I love how you've done that. It's really great because it's rare you'll find someone like that in real life.

And yes! Finally a mention of Hogwarts! I've been waiting for that! What I find very different about this story and I think I like this about your story is that most founder stories seem to make a huge deal of the founding of the school and yours, at the moment, just seems like a side note to history. It doesn't even seem like magic is really a big part of their lives at all even (or have i missed something?). It seems though that the fallout that most people show didn't happen between Rowena and Salazar? Or is there more to the story that we don't know yet? Anyway, this is a really interesting tidbit!

Great chapter Amanda! I've really enjoyed getting into this era and the world you've created to them.

Author's Response: Hi Zayne :) Thanks again for the swap!

Helena is definitely a privileged girl! I conceptualized her as really being the apple of her parents' eye. She's definitely a priority for her mother, and her father really adores her. As you observed, though, that's not the end of her story, like it may have been for many other, less educated women in that era. She's really interested in the Muggles and their culture; I think part of it is that she likes to draw their attention with her beauty and majestic nature, and part of it is that insatiable curiosity instilled in her by Rowena. As you mentioned, that part of her personality isn't really something Venn can identify with. I like how you described her as being calmly independent, wanting to carve out her own future but not feeling like she needs to be totally exempt from the standards of the day. I really wanted her to still be a girl under all her wealth and prestige, and I think the average girl does dream about her wedding.

At the time in which this story is set, Hogwarts has been founded and the four founders are working out the kinks in the system and slowly expanding it beyond just their friends and close relatives. You'll see some of that development in future chapters. I downplayed magic a bit in the story to kind of flesh out the era, but it makes more of an appearance in later chapters, thanks to a kind and helpful reminder from another reviewer :) Salazar's conflict with Rowena and the others will also play out as the story progresses. If you want answers to your questions, I suppose you'll just have to read on further!

Thanks again for this wonderful review!


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Review #93, by SilentConfessionHanging by a Thread: Chapter 1

16th January 2013:
Hey girl!

Good to hear from you again :P

Alright, so this story - no Leanne anymore. Did she die? Has the war claimed her life here which has now pushed Katie back into her self destructive spiral. It fits with what we know of Katie from your other story. She knows the black market and she knows ways to get her fix. I think you've handled keeping her true to what we know of her in both stories which is great. I like her so far and i think there is a lot of development that can come from her so that is very exciting.

Your flow is fine. The only thing i found mildly distracting was the changes of POV. I think the transition from on POV to the other could be a bit smoother. It might make the first chapter seem more consistent with its tone and flow.

Oliver characterization... i have a lot of questions about him at the moment, mostly why he chose to stop Quidditch. I think his backstory will need to be addressed at some point because at the moment i find it way to unbelievable that he'd stop playing only a few years out of school. This is mostly because the main thing we know of him is his obsession with the sport and his intensity. I like how his obsession has sort of been transferred to the war but i'd really love to see that sort of characteristics come into play as the story develops. I do think he was a caring person and wouldn't just leave things alone so having him care for Katie wasn't weird because they were friends at Hogwarts i can only assume as they were on a team together. However I did find it a little odd that he already has feelings for her. It's not a normal reaction to a girl who's drunk out of her mind and clearly a huge mess. It seemed a bit too quick that he was already feeling fire from her touch. Unless he had a thing for her at Hogwarts as well.

Her alcoholism, I think it's generally well handled. There were times that she seemed to reason too logically for her state and it seemed like her speech and thought process weren't being consistent. If you're that drunk you speech would be slurred like hers was (she may even swear like crazy which she does, especially if it's someone she's familiar with) but her thought process would especially be messed up as well. Things would be foggy and unclear and putting two thoughts together, although obviously possible would take effort on her part. I like however how at the end she claims she hasn't a problem and it makes me think of all those people who say the same thing and believe they can really stop at any time and what they are doing now is only temporary.

What else i'd really like to see in this chapter is some timeline. Since Oliver and Katie aren't characters you read about everyday i don't think many are incredibly clear on their timeline, or even their year. It would be great just to be able to place this story during a specific time in the war. How many years has Katie been out of school? Or Oliver? I think that would help ground the story in canon more anyway.

I did enjoy the start of this story however and i think you have a really interesting start. I really like war stories and exploring how it might have been for minor characters. These are my favourite stories so i think you've got a really interesting start for sure! Thank you so much for requesting me and I hope you found this review helpful! :P


Author's Response: Hi again! :) Long time no see :D

Okay, questions first. You will find out more about Leanne in the next chapter (should you choose to read it :) ). And yayyy, I am so so happy you picked up on Katie's knowledge of the black market/generally dodgy things bearing in mind what happened in Flicker and Fail -- I didn't set out to write a sequel to this when my recipient requested Katie/Oliver, but I wasn't sure how it would work without Katie/Leanne :P

The flow -- ooh, that's a good point, about POVs. I will definitely bear that one in mind for the future. The beginning of this chapter closely resembles the beginning of my OF novel in progress (just in terms of wording and things), so any feedback is greatly welcomed. I agree the POV changes are often abrupt so I will work on that.

You will find out more about Oliver's backstory in the next chapter ;) I understand that it might not be the most in character thing to do, but you'll see why he is who he is later on, again, should you wish to continue the story. :) And I've hinted here that he has feelings towards her -- that's explained more in the next chapter, too.

Yes, ha, a few people have commented on that. My, erm, only excuse is that this isn't from Katie's first person viewpoint, so while the dialogue might be slurred/unclear, her thought process wouldn't be. That's more because I wanted to translate her thoughts clearly to the reader more than anything. And yes, I do think that Katie would be in denial -- maybe she's not really an alcoholic but just in mourning more than anything. You will find out more later ;)

Okay, timeline: this is set the year after Katie has left Hogwarts -- i.e. what would have been Harry's seventh year at Hogwarts. It's during Christmas of that year. Perhaps I should put that in my author's notes -- I thought it sounded clunky whenever I tried to insert it into the story itself.

Yay, it means so much that you enjoyed this! I do love my minor characters, and I also love war stories, which is why I like writing them. Thank you for the lovely review! :)

Soraya x

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Review #94, by SilentConfessionNot Normal: {Chapter the First}

14th January 2013:
Hi, i'm here for your requested review!

Concerning you request about interest. I think this potentially could be a really different story. However, i'm really curious to know more about the people she sees and hope that you continue to explore the difference between her ghosts and the ones who choose their feeble interpretation of life (ghosts at Hogwarts for example, that is how Nearly Headless describes them). I think there is a line perhaps that could be drawn but I think you need to make it clear at some point because when people chose to be a ghosts in HP it is typically because they are afraid of death or they are strongly connected to the place they haunt (Mrytle). With that you can say that they are holding onto something like Mrytle was holding onto her death, her unfair treatment in life etc. I think it could work your way but i think you will need to make the line more distinct. (does this make an sense? feel free to PM me if you have questions because it's late and I'm jet legged so i'm not sure if i'm writing coherent sentences).

Sorry, I think I went on a bit of a rant there. Other points of interest with this is that there are mild hints of a more adventure type story. Not many but with the summary and with the abnormal gift I can only think that it will all mean something for later on. You also seem to have a grasp on your characters and show that in their actions. Rose's weird fascination with Divination (poor Hermione) and Ellie's sarcasm. I think this is a good base to start with.

I'm not against tired plot uses like the love/hate or hate/hate love dynamics and cliches which is probably what is going to happen in this story. They can still be done in effective ways but just be sure to make this one yours and not like everyone else's. What are the reasons they don't like each other? If she is so close to her twin then i'm sure in any normal situation she'd (or Albus for that matter) would have tried to get along with best friend of twin. It would take something for them to dislike each other. I'm interested to see their dynamics flesh out.

I think there is a bit of a problem with dialogue. Not that it isn't believable or anything but there are segments when it is just them talking without much description. A good balance between the two can make a story feel very rounded and description does make the reader feel the story and want to read the story more because they can see what is happening. I always imagine it as movie scenes in my head and try to describe my characters actions, emotions, and how others react to my characters. Things like that, it not only helps the reader imagine your world but it also helps characterize your characters and make them stronger and easier to relate to because each person has their own set of habits and quirks.

I do like your characters already, don't get me wrong and they were interesting to read about. Which is a great way to start a story. You want people to be invested in your characters lives and how they turn out. I think they could become very dynamic the more we learn about them so great job with that! Don't think the story is boring because I think it could turn into something, try and plan out the next few chapters out a little, see where you're planning on taking this story perhaps and maybe you can find your muse that way. Or take a break until it comes back (they always seem to disappear in the most annoying of times don't they?)

Thank you for requesting me, I hope you found this review helpful and that i answered your questions satisfactory.

Author's Response: Sorry for the delayed response! I'm terrible at replying!

Yes, I most certainly want to continue exploring the concept of ghosts I've set up here. It's such a large part of Ellie's life, and seems like a plot device with quite a lot of potential (aka: I enjoy writing about it) that I wanna keep going with it!

I really, really, really wanna make this into an adventure story! I usually write fluff pieces with a lack of plot, but I really wanna write something with some plot backbone and action and adventure! I mean, all my favourite series at the moment are jammed-packed with action and it would be totally awesome if I could take this opportunity at trying something new and different! And thank you about Rose and Ellie - I wasn't sure if Ellie was just too sarcastic and Rose's weird thing with Divination just too weird (I agree - poor Hermione, indeed!)

And thank you on the advice about tired plot devices. I completely agree - the plot device that I'm using is so overdone that even I hate it sometimes, but I've always wanted to write one, because I find cliches fun, but I will definitely keep your points in mind - they are very good and very pertinent and very appreciated (and yes, Albus and Ellie's dynamics are... or will get interesting)!

Ah, dialogue! You're right, once again. I become a veritable Scrooge with description when I begin writing chunks of dialogue. I, too, see a movie in my head, and I usually forget that other people can't see what I see without me actually describing it to them!

And yay! You liked my characters! I agree, it's important that readers connect with your characters, otherwise the story can get very, very boring, very, very fast. And thank you for the writer's block advice! It's very helpful - I think I might just go do that, and see what happens!

I hope the jet lag wasn't too horrible and don't worry, your sentences were perfectly coherent! And your review was amazingly helpful! Thank you so much for spending your time on this!

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Review #95, by SilentConfessionAn Adventure of His Own: A Warm Welcome

13th January 2013:

I love this! I wanted to review this first time I read it but i've been moving about recently with only sparing internet access. However i'm here now to gush! This is really, really great i don't even know how to start! :P

This is so close to how I imagined his little entrance to Hogwarts and the way you've written this is so heartbreaking! I think i particularly liked that he tried for the gamekeeper and it really just showed his desperate need to be part of this world. Gah! I just wanted to cry SO HARD! (my love of Filch knows no bounds, and yes, i know this is a weird character to like ;p). The bit where he's remembering his family dinners too and how 'it wasn't his fault.', really loved that line and that small scene because with just a few words you were able to capture what his home life must have been like. A disappointment. It would not have been easy to grow up that way, to know about the world and yet to never be quite part of it. I've always thought they'd either do this and try to and be as much part of it as possible or they'd go the opposite way and try to forget that such a world existed because that world didn't want them.

I really thought you did such a great job with making him human here and really bringing out some of the qualities in him that were hidden, (especially in the films which they constantly took the mick out of the poor bloke). I loved the add in of Irma and the perhaps the beginning of a romance? I've always imagined something happening between them but then having it tragically torn apart at some point. I've always toyed with the idea of writing about him more as i loved doing it the first time around.

I can just imagine him wandering the halls of the castle, gazing up at all the amazing carvings and simply just taking it all. He was finally at a place that breathed magic. I liked his practical attitude as well and how he approached life and his interview with Dumbledore it just really brought out the same Filch that we knew from the books. The man who would keep cupboards full of wrong doings. You have really blown life into dear Filch and i think you don't such a great job with this!!

Thank you SO much for writing this for me!!! I'm so ecstatic as i've never received a gift of writing before :P And about one of my favourite characters too makes it all the more better, this was really lovely piece in all honestly! I loved reading it a lot!!

-zayne *huggles*

Author's Response: Hi Zayne! I'm very happy to see this review :)

I'm so pleased to hear that I managed to capture Filch as you see him! He definitely doesn't seem like a sympathetic character in canon, but I felt bad for the guy, having to be surrounded by magic and never being able to do any of it himself. I agree that most Squibs would probably either do what he did here or try to avoid anything related to magic at all.

I really wanted to explore Filch before he became the Filch we know from canon; that is, I wanted to get to know him before he's too world-weary and jaded. I tried to imagine why he would stick with the castle and stay here for so long even though he clearly hates the majority of the students that attend. I'm glad you liked how I used that mutual dislike to bring him together with Irma here.

It's great that you felt like I gave Filch a fuller personality and that you enjoyed this gift! I really had fun writing about Argus and Irma :)

Thanks so much for this lovely review!


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Review #96, by SilentConfessionBittersweet: Bittersweet

12th January 2013:
Hey! I've come for your requested review :P

I really like how you've characterized Dominique in this piece. I think she's adjusting to the trauma in her life as you might expect. I can't begin to imagine what it would be like if i saw the future of people i love. Or saw their death as she saw her sisters. That would throw me so much and i think i'd probably hide as well because how else are you supposed to deal with it? I think they'd either do how you wrote it or they'd try and fix it and go a bit mental trying to make all the bad things she sees good. I like how you chose to write it though and i think it fit her character well. I found it really interesting that she had to pretend to be someone else to get these answers and to be able to talk to her loved ones. It makes me see how detached from everything she must have felt and knew after the incident.

Your other characterizations were good too i think. We don't know a lot about any of the characters you wrote about so it was really neat to be able to see your view of their family relations. I wanted to see a section of Louis pov (since you included Fleur's and Victoire's) or at least, an explanation to why he wasn't included in the questioning. I especially liked the section with Roxanne, I felt that it would have been one of George's kids who'd act like things were normal and just be a friend to the person. it was how the twins were like to Harry.

Your flow is generally smooth, though i might go over it again as some of the sentences were a bit long and had some syntax errors. It's small things like that that will make your writing easier to read and put the readers into the mood of your story. The flow of your overarching arc of your story line did feel a little rushed. I think i would have liked to see the first segment a little more in depth, it's mostly dialogue at that point. I think that if you included some of her insecurities and raw fears before her realization I think the final segment would flow better. For instance, perhaps introduce the idea of her hating people dancing around her or that she feels trapped, alone and needs someone to blame. It gives us as the readers the question why she's feeling that way and makes us want to read on so that they are answered. It'll help us feel more invested in the outcome.

Your dialogue is fine, i think it flows naturally enough for their situation. They probably don't want to open up to a stranger but know they have to say something to the supposed Ministry official. There is that awkwardness to it but i think that probably stems from the fact that they are supposed to be strangers. So good job with that.

Overall, i think you have an interesting story here and a lot that could potentially be explored past this point as well which is exciting if you ever plan to expand this idea. Thank you for requesting me and I really hope you found this review helpful and that i answered all your questions satisfactory.


Author's Response: Thank you so much for your extremely long review! I actually considered leaving the opportunity for Dominique to change the consequences of Victoire's death - not to change -everything- but just to save a life - in the future, but it didn't fit with the theme of the story. I'm really glad that you found the idea of her disguise interesting; it came almost at the end of the one-shot, which meant I had to re-write what had previously been internal monologues from each of the characters, and I'm relieved that it was worth it!

I kind of had the idea that the incident would have happened during the summer after Dominique graduated - sometime in late August - and her reaction to being cursed would have occured (factoring in hospitalization / recovering time) sometime after Louis had returned to school. I see your point though, and I'll get on fixing that. :) Haha - my head-canon is that Freddie and Roxanne are in Victoire and Dominique's years respectively, and that Louis is much younger and is in James II's year, with Molly II being in with Albus and Rose, and Lucy with Lily II and Hugo. (The Scamander twins are in Dom's year.) It's much easier for me to handle the dates then, and lessen the chance of accidentally creating plotholes. ;)

The first segment - did you mean the conversation between Dominique and Mrs Kettering, or Bill's interview? If it was the former, I felt that I didn't want to include too much detail or I'd spoil the plot twist. If it was the latter, I felt that Bill's POV would be the most interesting to explore, and that he could explain the situation (ish) because he was there, right next to Dominique, when she was cursed.

To be honest with you, I did think I had dropped enough hints about her wanting someone to blame up until the end - but then again, I'm the author and I know the story (and the bits that didn't make it in) so obviously I would think that. :P I'll definitely take into account what you've said, and try and rework that segment. :)

Ah. That may be due to my re-write. :/ I'm glad that I can pass it off as the Ministry official being present, though, and I suppose a part of it is, anyway.

The review was definitely helpful and you did help to point out what I was worried about. Thank you so much! ♥

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Review #97, by SilentConfessionThe Fairest: go out there and get it

11th January 2013:
Hey Amanda! I'm here for that review request you asked of me months ago that you've probably forgotten... or you haven't and have been imaging gouging my eyes out. ;) *lollops around in shame* So sorry m'dear, i think i needed a break from reviewing for a time, but i hope i'm now back! Also, the holiday review exchange made me see that i still like doing it!

The metaphors and imagery do not seem forced m'dear! You've written something really wonderful here and i'm not even quite sure of where to start because i'm really blown away by how lovely this is. It's not over laden with metaphors and it's easily understandable. The way you've done them, dropped them here and there and kept the story revolving around similar ones really helps put a reader in the mood for reading and really getting into the character.

This is more than just lovely word wise because its prose certainly has a poetic twinge to it but it feels like there is meaning behind it. The wording and phrases in each phase of her life really seem to bring out how far she's fallen from grace and how far she's falling into this broken shell of a person. I've never really read many Eileen stories, a couple here and there, and this is among one of my favourites for sure.

Her obsession with perfection is especially harrowing . It seems that coming from the family she did it taught her that she had to be everything and because of this it sent her down this path that warped her into this woman who could never measure up. I like your very subtle hints of her how she dealt with the pressure, the bulimia? her depression and almost obsessive tendencies really helped make your versions of her strong and believable.

This also stands out as a story. I'd expect that many Eileen/Tobias stories talk about him destroying her, the pure spirit that slowly faded but rather had her as this very dark character. You could see really close to the beginning that life wouldn't work well for her since she controlled her life so tightly. Someone can only act for so long before things begin to fall apart. It also gives the sense that she wasn't passive and she stayed dedicated all her life to what she wanted like the love potion so that she would always have someone to look up to her as people used to. There were bits of her that reminded me of Severus and it was clear that he probably spent much of his life fashioning himself after her perhaps because she was the pureblood one, the one he wished he shared all his blood with.

I fear i may begin repeating myself but this was a really wonderful piece of work that i'm really glad i've read. (and i've favourting it because i know i'll come back to it and read it again at some point :D )

-zayne :D

Author's Response: Hi Zayne! So yes, I did forget, haha, but that doesn't make me any less happy to hear from you! I'm glad you're back in the reviewing spirit.

Oh, I'm so glad you liked how I used the metaphors here. I wove so many different ones into this between the Snow White stuff and the references to Merope and Tom that I worried it was too cluttered and the plot would get lost. It's great that you found it easy to follow, and that you liked the underlying story.

I'm also happy that you found Eileen interesting. It was hard for me to get into her mindset, but I liked playing with an unusual characterization of her. Bulimia didn't come to mind for me, but I can see how that would fit perfectly, and I love it when others find different interpretations in my stories. I tried to make her both easy to dislike and pitiable.

The thought of writing Eileen/Tobias terrified me, but this bunny would not leave me alone. It's weird, I guess, but I have the same thought about them as I do with Severus: I loved writing them, but it was so challenging. It's great to hear that you got this foreboding sense about Eileen and Tobias right from the beginning and that you could follow that through into the tragedy of Severus's own life. My head canon is that he had a lot in common with his mother and probably clung to her and her subject of choice to get away from Tobias. I agree that he seemed to idolize her blood.

Thanks so much for your wonderful review :)


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Review #98, by SilentConfessionOf Saints and Monsters: I

11th January 2013:
Hi! It's Zayne from the forums finally responding to your review request! I'm so sorry for taking so long. I think i just needed a break from my thread and reviewing in general for a while and it wasn't till the holiday review swap that got me back into a semi groove of reviewing again! I'm again, really sorry that you've had to wait months :(.

Alright so i think this is an interesting start. I like stories that explore minor characters and the motivations to their actions. So, you choosing someone like Gellert is really fascinating and i can see how this story could be absolutely brilliant. I've always wanted to read one that explores him more so i'd be interested to see where this goes.

I do have a few CC's however if you don't mind. It was a bit weird to see him have a wand in prison. I highly doubt they would allow Gellert to keep a wand as he could use it to escape. Think that they even broke Hagrid's wand when they thought he opened the CoS.

You asked me how Gellert was as an evil character and a person in general. I think you have some really good lines that characterize him well. Like the one about his twisted idea of love and trying not to feel remorse. Also, I especially liked the line about monster making was everyone else's job. However, there were quite a few times that your wording was a bit off as well. - 'darling dear' is one example. It seemed too soft and didn't make it seem plausible for it to a. come from a man. b. come from someone who's committed the atrocities like he has.

I'm all for trying to find the human side of someone like him and i think there are times that you strike gold but all i can suggest is to watch your wording carefully that you don't make him too nice or too lovely. There was an inner darkness in him that even if he in love would have still been there.

Another small suggestion i could give is italicize his thoughts throughout the piece. It would make the flow of the story better and less confusing when he thinks.

There was a few grammatical errors I noticed with incomplete sentences or run on's. I would suggest going over this again so the flow of this is smooth. For example: The town, seemingly large in portion, held only several hundred tenants with over of the land owners being elderly. I'm not entirely sure what you meant here but i feel like it is probably just mistaken word.

On an overall note, the transition from the monologue before he dies? (does he die in that moment that part was a little confusing to me) and the part where it flashes back to his life with Ariana. This is only a question but why did you decide to keep them both in the first chapter? It might have been clearer if the two parts where split into different chapters.

Thank you so much for requesting me, again, i'm so sorry for how long it took but I hope you find this review helpful.

Author's Response: Hey, thanks for getting around to my story. Don't worry about the time, it probably took me longer to respond then it did for you to reply!

thank you for such an amazing and constructive review. I'll take everything you said into consideration when i write the next chapter. thanks again!

- Jasmine

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Review #99, by SilentConfessionAfter We Fall: Chapter Two

6th January 2013:
Hullo again!!

This story continues to be absolutely amazing. Your abilities of description are stunning. I can't get over that because you make it so easy to see everything that you're writing. It's not just that though, it's the tone of the description and the story that make this a really intriguing story. It stands out from everything I've read because your descriptions are precise and fluid. They also seem to match Scorpius, his personality, his formalness, and reflects the way he's been raised. There isn't anything really poetic about it and that is definitely not a bad thing at all because the story is the important part.

Another thing that stuck out to me was your description of Lily. I'm usually not a fan when someone blocks a person's description into a paragraph but i found myself liking how you did it. I think it's probably because you mixed action with it and made it seem so alive but this is probably the first time when reading a description of a person that i didn't get bored and skip it.

You've led up to the curious relationship between Lily and Scorpius really well. I'm begging for more information of what they were and why it ended. I'm also asking a ton more questions about Narcissa and Draco and Lucius. There seems to be a lot going on underneath the surface and i love how you're introducing all this drama into this really smoothly.

I liked your characterization of Lily here. She seems strong, and (and although i don't like to use this word but i will now since it's late and i can't think of a better one) feisty. She knows what she wants in life and even though she has this strong front and the way she demands to know what he wants from her almost seems callous at the end there is something else there, her empathy for a friend even one that she's lost touch with. It makes her seem vulnerable.

I know this review isn't very helpful critique wise and i'm sorry about that but it really is well written that i couldn't find anything wrong with it.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for such a nice review. I'm so glad you liked the descriptions here. I did really try and use them to build the more somber mood, so I'm glad you felt that came through here. And as a rule, I do try to avoid being flowery in my language, even in descriptions, so I'm actually very glad to hear you didn't find it poetic.

There is, at least in my head, a lot going on under the surface with the Malfoys, as well as a troubled history between Lily and Scorpius. I'm glad that enough of it came through here to pique your interest without giving too much away all at once. And I'm glad you liked Lily, or at least what you've seen of her so far. She is a bit cold and callous at times, but it's more of a front, a bit of self-protection on her part. I see her as a bit vulnerable, at least when it comes to Scorpius, so it's great to hear that you felt that way about her too.

Thank you again for such a lovely review. It was a treat :)

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Review #100, by SilentConfessionAfter We Fall: Chapter One: Prologue

4th January 2013:
Hey! I'm here for our swap, sorry for being a bit late!!

This is a really excellent way to start a story, there is so much intrigue! SEVERUS!! You're supposed to be dead, what are you doing man? Anyway, i loved the ending to this, how all the suspense and the wondering why Lorcan was trying to achieve this mission led to that discovery for the readers anyway. I can't imagine how that would be for Severus to hear that 'Lily Potter' had sent him. The person that won't stop haunting him.

I didn't realize that Lorcan was indeed really young till the end. Apparently the first sentence or so didn't really click when i read it and imagined him being in his twenties somewhere and on some mission that he was doing as a favour or something. Anyway, when i realized that he was so young I think i liked it and it made sense with some of the wording you used. (like he hadn't seen 5 galleons in all his life or his 'i just want to go home') Also, his absolute, almost childish determination and him needing to tell himself that he was brave is really something a small child would do.

Your descriptions are absolutely lovely. They are very to the point but they paint a really nice picture for the reader with lots of great details. I especially liked the picture of Severus, it's how i'd imagine him if he had lived. (i'm still dying to know why he's alive and how in the world does Lily know??)

Really great start to this story! I love how you've done it! I plan on reading more and reviewing some more as well for sure ;P!

Author's Response: Thank you, Silent. I'm so glad the mystery came through here. The story takes a while to build up to this point again, so I was really hoping to use this chapter to carry readers through the "slower" parts that follow.

Yep, Lorcan is pretty young here. Ten seemed like a good age -- old enough to venture out on his own a bit but young enough to still enjoy the adventure and be unable to put up a proper fight when he's caught.

I'm so glad you liked the descriptions. This story is a bit heavier in the description than my newer one, but I'm glad you didn't think there was too much. I try and keep them simple but not sparse, so hopefully I got close to that here.

Thanks for the lovely review!

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