Reading Reviews From Member: TidalDragon
626 Reviews Found

Review #1, by TidalDragonHunter's Moon: Hunter's Moon

4th October 2015:
Howdy! First of all, I'm terribly sorry for the long delay. Work took over life, I started volunteer coaching again, etc., etc., whine whine whine. But I'm here now and finally with feedback!

I really liked the patience with this piece which is typically quite uncharacteristic of one-shots because I felt it gave you time to make the characterizations - particularly between the Marauders and then between James and Lily - work. Done in a more typical length, the latter especially would strike most as odd I think given it's already October, but taking the extra time allowed you to paint the reasons while also making us FEEL more from James's perspective and accordingly get more payoff when Lily softens at the end. I definitely loved that a lot of the issues between James and Lily were misunderstandings too and the comment about them truthfully being quite similar as that's always how I've seen it in my head canon as well (except for the part where James was always into her and was serious throughout fifth year).

Just so I'm not focusing so much on them though, let's talk about the Marauders. Though I think all of us who write that era with James/Lily in mind tend to have similar "big picture" views of them (which were on show here), you captured two of the things about them that can be so essential - the banter and the situation/attitudes surrounding Remus's lycanthropy. Those were done MASTERFULLY here and I really enjoyed reading it.

If I had one bone to pick about the dynamics it would be that they did come across as "telly" on occasion, with either dialogue or prose revealing the deeper dynamics at play, but overall it was a minor point given it's a one-shot because a few of those instances were almost unavoidable given the format.

Anyway, thanks for sharing! Sorry again for taking so long!

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Review #2, by TidalDragonalways. : lily.

4th October 2015:
Howdy! I'm horribly sorry for being so late, but life has been threatening to swallow me whole lately. BLARG.

Anyhow, the first thing I want to say is that you did a great job with the A-Z aspect. Somehow I am always reviewing those entries (or exercises - whichever you prefer) and I'm always struck by the ones I don't really notice are doing it until it's mentioned. This story of yours is among that group, so awesome job there.

I also think this scene is so interesting. It FEELS like a missing moment that would be heavily written, but I honestly don't think I've seen it tackled before from Snape's POV. The way you slowed everything down to capture both what he latched on to (Harry's eyes) literally and what his mind latched onto from a broader perspective was very cool.

It did get a little more disjointed at the end, but I don't view that as a bad thing in the greater context of the piece because you're hardly going to be completely on point when you're minutes/seconds from death. And the way you made the memory wobble against reality made that work pretty well for you I think.

Thanks for sharing and I hope this helps!

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Review #3, by TidalDragonMonsters in the Dark: Monsters in the Dark

4th October 2015:
Well, I had typed up a nice, longer review after my lengthy delay getting here, but alas, it died at the hand of the clumsily pressed back arrow. :(
Here goes take 2...

First things first, I think I've read your Astoria once before so I knew the half-blood angle, but I think you did a good job setting up more of that here, especially in relation to the family and house dynamics involved. With a bomb like that it's so important to have a solid foundation and you conveyed that well.

I will say that compared to some of your other stories, this one felt a bit more scattered. I don't necessarily mean that as a criticism (because given the scene, quite honestly scattered thinking seems reasonable enough). However, if that's NOT what you were going for, I think you could fix it with some mechanical tweaks and a little added length. Mostly removing some repetitive examples in the early going and varying word choice a bit more so readers don't sense an echo as literally later in the story.

Before I go though, I did want to give you kudos on the creep factor of Malfoy and his pointed innuendo. If I'd been in Astoria's place, I'd definitely have been feeling like she seemed to (nervous, slightly fearful, and desperate to get away from him) and getting that across without being over the top was no small task.

Thanks for sharing!

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Review #4, by TidalDragonSerenity: Serenity

1st October 2015:
Howdy! I've done awful in my quest of reviewing Dobby finalists, but I'm trying to make as many educated votes as I still can. And I'm glad I didn't give up because if I had, I would've missed this story.

The way you not only weave this friendship between Padma and Isobel into a powerful relationship, but then unweave it is incredible. Typical of real life part of that unweaving is what can be seen, but isn't spoken and I think that theme throughout the story really reinforces the ending you've left us. The pair are obviously broken here, but despite that there's an air of ambiguity in the freshness and I wonder if it isn't salvageable. It's a credit to your writing that I yearn for it to be.

Your descriptions and characterizations throughout the piece were absolutely impeccable and emblematic of everything a Dobby finalist should be! Good luck in the voting!

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Review #5, by TidalDragonYou Don't Own Me: Don't

1st October 2015:
This story was incredibly powerful Rose! Incredibly. Though I've fortunately never experienced it inside one of my own relationships, I do see it all too often in my line of work. I used to prosecute it during my fellowship and now I have to represent those accused of it, which is really tough sometimes.

Anyway, more to your story, I thought you captured the cycle of these kinds of relationships very well. Though the cycle itself is something you can read about, it takes immense talent to truly capture it and make it feel real from the victim's perspective. To make us understand how the mind works - and how in the end one could finally break free.

The other thing you handled masterfully was the escalation element, particularly where magic is involved. I would think abuse would be incredibly hard to detect in magical relationships precisely because of its unique capacity to heal and inflict suffering and you hit on that characteristic as well.

Good luck in the voting!

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Review #6, by TidalDragonSweetheart Tom: The Gold Children

1st October 2015:
Ahh! So the story unfolds further. At the top I was sure based on the reference to Spinner's End that Snape had captured Sirius, but at the end of the paragraph it mentioned a witch. Perhaps the reference will make sense later, but since it seemed to be referring to his captor, I questioned myself about Snape until the end.

You did a great job in the middle developing this characterization of Blaise, while also unfolding the next bit of what seems to be an adventure together - turning a bit of Blaise's mother as "black widow" on its head by having her die (perhaps by his hand?) and sneaking in Bill's reference about the neighboring village. I DO wonder what they'll find this time.

The idea of Lucius as a mayor is also definitely intriguing. I'd like to see what it looks like when he actually gets to realize his dream of more complete power and how he reacts to it. What dealings will the rag-tag band have with him? And how will Sirius escape?

All to be answered soon I'm sure. Though it can be a touch disorienting at times (or perhaps that's just me being BEYOND tired), the way you're weaving this tale also has a very almost dreamlike (and fittingly "fairytale" or "fable") feel to it.

I can't wait to read more of your impeccable writing soon!

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Review #7, by TidalDragonSweetheart Tom: A Single Red Apple

1st October 2015:
Hello again! Sorry I'm late :/

Anyhow, besides your descriptions beginning to dazzle, your characterizations were very well-handled here. I thought you did a spectacular job with Fleur again, especially when you cast her inner ideas of superiority against Bill's reactions to it. And the bit where she calls her feeling "strange" - classic. I imagine it must be an interesting feeling for someone so used to being the attraction to experience even the beginnings of that type of interest in another herself.

I'm VERY interested to see (even though I know it's AU) how the story unfolds to put a seemingly conflicted Blaise, minding his own business picking apples, in a jail cell with Fleur, who seems to be framed for a crime she had nothing to do with.

Reveal your secrets, Laura! Reveal your secrets!

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Review #8, by TidalDragonA Box of Chocolates: Two: In Which Things Get Heated

28th September 2015:
Guess who's back?

I have to say, I'm really enjoying this story so far. It's always interesting when the exchange introduces you to something cool that you would never have chosen on your own - somehow it never fails to do so for me.

ANYWAY, the way you shifted voices here was incredible and really underscored the thought you put into the characterizations. James (II) sounds just like you'd imagine based on his appearance in the epilogue and the chaos that ensues was fun to behold.

Part of that I think owes to my affection for Jily (which I once swore I would never use, but don't's just faster) - if that sounds weird, it's because I'm getting some serious love/hate Jily vibes from the James (II)-Lia dynamic, which while it's not exactly my head canon for them, I can totally appreciate more with different characters.

I thought you also did some nice foreshadowing looking back on last chapter, with Penny noticing the glances between James and Lia. Though it was James-centric (owing, doubtless, to the love potion), I couldn't help but feel then you were perhaps tucking something in that would prove telling and attempting to mask it through the potion's onset. Given the kiss and Fred's remark, I am left to wonder - perhaps the lady doth protest too much?

Excellent start Lizzie!

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Review #9, by TidalDragonA Box of Chocolates: One: In Which Penny Eats Something Strange

28th September 2015:
Howdy Lizzie! Finally here for the review exchange!

So for starters, my favorite thing about Next Gen (though I don't read much) is virtually complete and utter freedom you have with the characters. Here you took a bit of a cliche (the American) and turned her into a unique player in this interesting little world you've introduced us to. Though we don't get the full backstory (yet) I get the sense you have a carefully crafted explanation for her presence given how long she's been there and you dodged one of the typical issues by making her a muggle too.

Where was I? Oh, back to the characterizations. I like the way you developed both Lia and the three dynamics on show here. She seems like a spirited, independent individual who is fiercer in larger company, but not afraid to be silly when she's with someone she trusts. A cool cat.

My favorite part of the chapter though was the love-potion laced chocolate. You introduce it so innocently, and then build it up nicely once Penny takes the right bite. And the meta-ness of the box of chocolates was hilarious.

If I had a bit of CC, I'd say there are some points where it felt like you tried too hard to mix up word choice on the dialogue tags and slipped into some inadvertent looping of words in neighboring sentences, but it didn't really detract. Just food for thought.

On to Chapter 2!

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Review #10, by TidalDragonIn Every Stitch: Eight

17th September 2015:
Howdy Lizzie! I read this when you first posted it, but somehow forgot to leave a review - how rude of me!

Anyway, in the early going I was a bit iffy about the second person, though I loved who we were talking about and the task at hand, but by the end you really sold it to me. Those "Molly mantras" about the reason behind Harry's sweater were GOLDEN in that POV - so kudos (it takes a lot to win me over).

What was probably my favorite aspect of the story though, was our opportunity to see, as Molly, the way she felt about Harry and what drove it - what drove her - to as you so aptly put it, make him the 8th child. While it's always there in her actions in canon, putting us in her place while it was happening actually made us feel it and understand it that much better. And important thing for this character who feels so strongly (dare I say, fiercely) about others and helping them, especially those in need, even despite the difficulties of her own circumstances.

Thanks for sharing! Good luck in the voting!

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Review #11, by TidalDragonBeautiful Mess: Beautiful Mess

17th September 2015:
Howdy Frankie! As I'm working through my...well, my sluggish pace can hardly be called a blitz...but my reviewing of Dobby finalists, I finally reached your tale.

I have a HUGE soft spot for Harry/Ginny - shocking I know :p And as a result I thoroughly enjoyed this story. What I loved about it was how simple it was - no Quidditch World Cup, no Hogwarts send-off (or return home) - just a delightful "day-in-the-life" snapshot of a happy family.

My favorite scene was easily the discovery of the footprints and the creative direction you took with it. The beginning was good enough, but you took it to the next level by have Ginny recreate the events of earlier that day by examining them in detail - a sharp maneuver.

If I had any CC, I thought some of the explanations you included with your descriptions (particularly of the sleeping bunch) were unnecessary, but that's a very minor matter in an overall excellent story.

Thanks for sharing and good luck in the voting!

Author's Response: Kevin, hi!

I was so honored to see a review from you :). I actually did think about you for a hot second while I wrote this, knowing your love for Harry/Ginny.

I wanted to show that not everything in life is a huge moment for Harry. That now he can have a quiet (relatively- it's probably not so quiet with three children) normal life - and one that he chose and loves.

A lot of people have commented on the footprint section of the story and I am so honored that this part of the story stuck out. I just think Harry would be a great dad and Ginny would know that and see the mischief her children and husband would get into :)

Thanks again for the review. It was extremely kind of you!

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Review #12, by TidalDragonChai, Carrots, and a Friend in the Wee Hours of the Morning: Chai, Carrots, and a Surprise

17th September 2015:

I'm a big Neville/Hannah fan and I really enjoyed this story, and in particular the characterizations of both. A lot of people writing romantic pieces chase the soaring fantasy of a picture-perfect moment that a relationship comes to be - but aside from my thoughts about that in general I don't think that fits for this duo. Neville, we know, is more simple and though we don't see loads of Hannah in canon, we imagine with his personality he'd be attracted to someone similar. So the natural build makes more sense.

What I loved most about Neville though was the way you DIDN'T turn the War into a total turning point for him, where he's completely over his awkwardness and nervousness and in absolute control. More than that, you even deliberately emphasized those qualities, which coupled with the natural human instincts to impress someone we like and fear over losing a friendship helped underscore the natural feel of the piece until it reached its happy conclusion. I like the "well, duh" attitude Hannah displays about it all too :p

The only (very minor) bit of CC I would have is that at the very top, you use the Rule of 3 about Neville's concerns over admitting his feelings to Hannah. The last one is not wanting to lose the friendship, but then you follow that up with a separate statement about not wanting to lose the friendship. Just something that jumped out.

All in all a grand tale, especially for a Neville/Hannah fan like me! Good luck in the voting!

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Review #13, by TidalDragonThe Story of You: The Story of You

16th September 2015:
Howdy Sian! As I began (much too late) my reviewing of the Dobby finalists, I was CERTAIN I'd R&R-ed this, but as it turns out I hadn't - and what a bitter blow that your soaring tale has eluded me for so long!

Once again, you have demonstrated yourself to be a virtuoso at using the second person and coupled with this high risk structure, anything could've happened. And yet, high risk is only high risk for lesser writers than yourself as you swiftly turned this into a thing of beauty and brilliance.

I'll confess I'm not much on Albus/Gellert, but you wrote it with such honesty, acknowledging the awkwardness of their ages at the time (especially in conjunction with Albus's isolation) gave me a new appreciation for its potential - especially in this time period. Kudos!

As far as the mechanics - well, as usual your descriptions are frighteningly fantastic and your characterizations captivating. I know it must take immense effort on your part to weave such artful people with such strong word choice - elegant in its simplicity - but the fact that you make it appear effortless to the reader is a further testament to your abilities.

Thanks for sharing, Sian! Good luck in voting!

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Review #14, by TidalDragonAfter: One.

15th September 2015:
Howdy Dee! I've been horribly remiss in my quest to review the Dobby finalists, but I'm here now and starting!

This was a very powerful story and I think a lot of that had to do with the structure you used. No only did you achieve brilliant symmetry between the opening and ending lines, but the inverse timeline you utilized did an excellent job underscoring the point.

In turn I think that amplified the raw-ness of your characterization of Amos. Even in the moments where his pain is freshest, he still manages a measure of reflectiveness that echoes - pointedly - in his own head. It truly captures one of the central components of such paralyzing grief - isolation. And of course, the mental isolation begets emotional isolation which begets true isolation as time wears on. And it becomes impossible to see an end in sight.

Though obviously some escape this horrible feedback loop, I thought another strength of the story was the ultimate ambiguity in the "end" (later in time, but technically your first paragraph) where distance has "changed" the pain as you put it - CAN Amos eventually find a way to truly live again or no? Better that we are left to wonder as you have done.

Thanks for sharing this story, congratulations on the challenge and good luck in voting!

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Review #15, by TidalDragonJigsaw: Piece #4

2nd September 2015:
My favorite thing about this installment was how it gave Roxanne some new dimension. We've seen how she's been learning on the job still and growing in confidence working her new story among the new circle she's begun traveling in after grinding away unrecognized for years. But here we see the impact it's had on her personal interactions. Though the potential was always there being George's daughter, she's developed quite a clever tongue, evading and deflecting, twisting around issues and deceiving with ease.
It's not particularly flattering, but what I like about it is how AUTHENTIC that is. It's easy to write perfection or imperfection - the absolutes. It's harder to write both in the same person, especially in first-person because of the blinders that individual will have about themselves that make it more of a challenge to have both strengths and weaknesses show clearly. You did an excellent job of it.

Of course, I can't conclude my review without mentioning the glimpse we get of the person and place I can only assume are holding Malcolm. Enticing in its ill-defined state, but chilling in the detail we are given - I wouldn't want to be there that's for sure.

Looking forward to seeing how the story continues to develop as I continue to chug along!

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Review #16, by TidalDragonJigsaw: Piece #3

2nd September 2015:
It was interesting to see how Roxanne seemed to learn from her previous experience that point I brought up, that what gets avoided can signal clearly that it's more important to the speaker in these situations than what is actually said. Despite what happens in the bullpen with Miranda & Co. it's neat to be taking these lessons along with her and seeing her react and already become more confident. She has that drive about her that she knows the job has to get done too and though she's professionally motivated to do so, I think you're doing a good job underscoring how her background and unique perspective may help with that. She's obviously impressed the pool enough to get asked to the pub with them directly unlike Collins, who feels more like an unwanted tag-along.

The family dynamics you've mentioned are also intriguing me. Though they're never too heavy, serving instead as the delicious seasoning on the steak that is your story they've definitely piqued my interest - even more so with Lily - because the anger toward Roxanne appears quite firm at the moment, yet simultaneously vague. Given your talents I find myself asking the whether it's relevant to the major arc's resolution or a mystery within a mystery to distract us instead while developing Roxanne. We shall see...

The one thing I did note - and this is a personal preference probably more than anything, so just ignore it if you like - was the place at the top where you wrote "I don't need to add..." That always sticks out to me in writing as drawing attention to something that, if you're using that prefacing language, truly may be unnecessary. Here, I can see where you both wanted to break the dialogue there probably - and perhaps add to Roxanne's voice with an aside-like comment, but it just stuck out to me in a "meh" sort of way.

A minor minor and highly subjective thing anyway though in another excellent chapter!

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Review #17, by TidalDragonJigsaw: Piece #2

2nd September 2015:
Howdy Sian! By now you must've begun the think you'd never find me haunting the hallowed grounds of your story after all. But I have finally prevailed against my untimely illness and so here I am!

The first thing I MUST comment on is the semi-colon. I always notice them because they're so infrequently used and seemingly so difficult for most to get right, but you killed it...even if this particular semi-colon was relatively innocuous (I think). As they say: "Each semi-colon brings up closer to the top..."

Anyhow, the legitimately most amazing thing about this chapter was the descriptions. Seriously, I need to discover the fountain from which you draw these things because you're so talented at setting a scene and giving us just enough detail to be there and feel it, but not so much that it robs us of the opportunity to imagine elements for ourselves.

As far as the plot goes, I thought you did an excellent job of advancing the story here while still advancing Roxanne (NOT Rose, like I so foolishly put in my first review :p) as well. That's a difficult thing to do when you're dealing with a mystery because there's this incredible temptation to dial in so deeply into the procedure and planting seeds you'll later need and little discoveries that the character can get lost when that person is also an investigator of sorts. But you didn't permit it. By focusing on Roxanne's learning and her relationships with people present as well as pouring the concrete you showed us important parts of her current incarnation - observant, instinctive, determined, hopeful, professionally insecure.

I can't help but wonder if the latter made her misinterpret completely the propriety of her question. It can be read in a number of ways, and I suppose the story bears it out, but I think when you're dealing with authority figures, often the question that doesn't get answers is the most important one and that seemed to show in the tone and delivery of the response she received. So I hope Roxanne realizes that and doesn't shy away and turn into a pack-follower in the future. After all, the greats always find a way.

Anyway, I can't wait to see how this develops - I'm on the Chapter 3!

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Review #18, by TidalDragonHarry Potter and a Daughter of Druid: Wandmaker

30th August 2015:
My favorite part of this chapter was easily the beginning. I'm kind of a sucker for wandlore, and I'm always wanting to know more about it. I don't get caught up too much in every single different type of wood like many, but more the nitty-gritty like you had Ollivander talk about in this chapter. Cores, and different approaches and things like that. So i found that portion very cool.

The remainder of the chapter obviously sets up the story that is to come. Umbridge and her schemes it seems will never leave Harry alone and it's a shame after all he's done that he'll once more be put through the wringer by her.

The cliffhanger ending was well handled! It definitely left me wondering what's going to happen next and whether Harry will in fact get trapped as planned or something else will happen (like him becoming too inquisitive for his own good as he does often in canon) and end up springing it on himself.

Thanks for sharing this story with us, Kenny! You are always so inventive with different ideas to write about and to expand the Potterverse!

Author's Response: Hallo, Kevin! I wonder how you managed to do this. I guess you've worked so hard to spare time for this. Thank you very much!

I understand to keep reading the series sounds difficult but you showed your spirit to tackle on this, I really happy to know you seemed to enjoy my Potterverse. I did much research about the wandlore.

I wanted to make this story more intriguing and mysterious than the first one so I wish more readers will try reading this. Sometimes I feel most of the readers are interested in romance centered stories, I wonder if I should stop writing like this. So you encouraged me to keep going.


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Review #19, by TidalDragonHarry Potter and a Daughter of Druid: Godfather

30th August 2015:
Since I owe you two more reviews from the Last 18 Hours Challenge in the House Cup, I thought I'd pick up where I left off here.

Since you've now finished this story and I've read talk of it, I understand a bit where we are headed and in some ways it's interesting to know that in advance. You put an emphasis on the druidic magic with runes early in the chapter, highlighting their rarity, but efficacy. I think this is good because it lends credence to how powerful the magic Harry will have to face will prove to be.

The possibility of an outside influence then gets extended to his dreams and even his conception of himself and his relationship with Ginny. Read in conjunction with the original story ('First Mission') I'm now wondering if all the discussions of legilimency and occlumency feed into this and whether Harry's dreams are already being altered externally by the people seeking to influence him - and start to subtly distance him from Ginny. It's an intriguing concept.

Let's see what you do with it in Chapter 3!

Author's Response: Thank you for catching up here, Kevin. I really appreciate that you keep leaving your insight.

I'm glad you found out all hints in the first story were connected to this story. Since I've read through the seven books by J.K.Rowling, I tried the similar games like her. It might be a big and impracticable trial but I simply enjoyed it.

Writing this, I sometimes read them out for my son when he went to bed. He often fell sleep without knowing the end, so I had to repeat the same part the next day.

About Occlumency and Legilimency, the impression of Snape was so strong and Sirius gave me a big impact, so I wanted to describe about them.

I hope you'll enjoy this story, too.


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Review #20, by TidalDragonHarry Potter and the First Mission: Father and Son

30th August 2015:
I've made it to the end of this one. I'm still blown away at how you write so many chapters, Kenny. It's incredibly impressive.

Anyway, the only drawback I saw to this chapter was that it ends rather abruptly. Given some of what's been alluded to in this story, I certainly get the sense it will be picked up in later pieces you've written, but it just felt a little odd to end here so quickly.

I thought it was a nice touch that you had Harry connecting with the next generation of students though. He was a bit tough on Andrew earlier before knowing him really and his story, and while he did deserve a reprimand, it was difficult to feel that it was ENTIRELY down to that given Harry's expressions of (at least) irritation that the boy seemed to be attracted to Ginny. Let's hope someone so young doesn't become a real threat - I think that would be a reach. But coming back around to my original point, I thought it was nice how you then brought Harry back to sit down and not only justify himself, but try to understand Andrew and his background and who he is. It shows much more maturity from Harry than we get to see often, but I thought it was nice too because it's one of the first opportunities Harry has had to truly deal with someone who was also on orphan (besides Voldemort, who was obviously bent on killing him).

All in all, this was an intriguing read that I think gives us plenty of background on your conception of the characters to build up future stories centered on them and these characterizations.

Thanks for sharing!

Author's Response: Thank you for following this story, Kevin!

As you noticed, I ended the first story abrubtly, because the idea happened to pop in my mind. I felt it was enough and it was about time to go on the next. If I continue that, Harry in my head canon couldn't kick off the second adventure. If you can keep reading the next, you'll find out.

The origninal character, Andrew, has just jumped in my mind. I thought of his enter in another story. Maybe in the future, I'll have him enter again in my fourth Harry centered story.

My intention in this chapter, I wanted to have Harry take a role as a professional at Hogwarts. After twists and turns, he showed his capability as an Auror among younger students. So the story was completed in the meaning of the plot. But I need to edit them as you sensed.

Thank you for leaving lots of comments, Kevin!


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Review #21, by TidalDragonHarry Potter and the First Mission: Snitch Catch

30th August 2015:
Before I forget, one minor thing - try to avoid this type of usage "cabin of Hagrid." Unless there is a reason for the speaker to be so formal, most readers would expect this possessive form: "Hagrid's cabin." I know you're trying to improve writing in English, so I figured I'd just offer this little tip.

Now back to the story! Revisiting the events on the Isle of Skye with Hagrid reminded me of something from that chapter - Avada Kedavra (per GOF) is actually unblockable by magic (aside from Prior Incantatem and "love magic" like Lily).

ANYWAY - I liked that you continued on with the interlude from the action here, which gave us a chance to see some new faces along with old as well as some old faces in new situations. What I thought was clever was the way that you used a joint Quidditch practice to address "revenge prejudice" against Slytherins and the dinner with Slughorn being ostensibly to recruit Harry as an opportunity for Ginny to meet Gwenog Jones. Those were neat moves and I found the last one to be particularly clever. I'm hoping we'll see more of the dinner in the final chapter to confirm that or hear something about it that will do so.

The last thing I want to mention was the originality of your animagus transformation. There's nothing really to say (other than basic transfiguration laws) what fuels that process and I thought it was interesting you made it similar to casting a patronus in that positive thoughts can be helpful. I wonder...did you mean for them to be necessary as with a patronus or simply helpful (like a positive frame of mind generally increasing your likelihood of success with most things)? Just wondering since I've never seen anyone actually write about it that way (or honestly write about LEARNING to become an animagus at all).

On to the final installment!

Author's Response: Thank you for informing about the type of usage, I really appreciate. We learn lots of grammar things but it's rare to use them in RL.

Trying to remember the unblockable spell, the idea was produced by the last battle scene of the book 7. I had an impression Harry could succeed to produce the Protego shield charm against the spell hit by the Death Eaters towards his friends.

I wanted to put the scene of Ginny's quidditch career so I tried setting that scene. Since I had Draco come back to Hogwarts, I needed to describe Slytheins, in the consequence, I eventually wrote about the confrontation.

About transformaton, there're lots of transfiguration of the main characters for action dramas for kids on TV, so I naturally thought of the kind of story. Besides J.K.Rowling didn't mention how to get the ability of animagi, so I fussed over the process, which seemed to be unique from the outside, lizzie chose the second fiction of mine as the first place for her story challenge.


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Review #22, by TidalDragonHarry Potter and the First Mission: A Reason for Living

30th August 2015:
My favorite thing about this chapter was that it showed some vulnerability in Harry. What we haven't had a lot of in the story so far (and this is not a criticism, just an observation), is an opportunity to examine the heavy impact of the war on the major characters. While there have been some scenes dealing with it, by and large, the demands of keeping society afloat and catching the criminals who are still at large has taken precedence in terms of both time and attention. But even in those times, there would have to be moments like in this chapter, where even the strongest characters have doubts.

I also liked (surprise, surprise) that you pulled back the curtain on what's going on with Harry and Ginny. Though I know pairings aren't central to your story at all, I think it's a good thing to explore both for readership (because let's be honest, readers always want to know what's up with the couples) and also authenticity because part of recovering from the war is also discovering where people fit into each other's lives - if the old feelings and relationships still work or not.

I'm interested to see what the last two chapters have in store for us...

Author's Response: Wow, Kevin. You're the best. Thank you for constant insight.

Thinking over how old he was from the first place, I think it's better to mention his vulnerability, which will make the story interesting. In the movie, we seek for a perfect hero but I think we won't feel satisfied with a flawless hero.

About exploring their relationship, it was a bit of challenge. I felt I needed to do that, feeling readers' desire to read the kind of stories and I tried. I'm not sure I could succeed though. So I appreciate your encouragement and feedback.


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Review #23, by TidalDragonHarry Potter and the First Mission: Undercover

29th August 2015:
I have returned!

Now we're getting into the real intrigue with the various plot points coming together and the scheme being revealed more fully chapter by chapter. It's obvious from reading this piece straight through that you put a lot of time and care into laying out the plot progression and various elements to keep certain things hidden until their proper moment.

Here it worked out well because we were then left wondering scene-to-scene what would happen with Draco and Lucius's loyalties. I'm not surprised by their decision given the state of the wizarding world and their political, self-serving natures, but it was still a challenge perhaps in the moment for them.

You've left us on something of a cliffhanger here though, so I'm going to race on to the next chapter so I can see what happens next.

Author's Response: I felt relived since you've understand my intention here. I tried setting Malfoys as characters who struggle to be accepted by their community.

The reason why I set the place in the land of Druid, I wanted to set this story full of mystery, adventure and action. So if you can catch my intention, I feel happy.

I hope the feeling will continue from now on.
To develop and solve mystery is a challenge for me, so if a few readers can catch my messages, I really appreciate.


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Review #24, by TidalDragonHarry Potter and the First Mission: Mentor

29th August 2015:
Howdy Kenny!

For a change of pace, this time around I'll kick things off with plot. I like this development around the Mark and the nightmares and a possible revenge plot. I think that's a very realistic likelihood assuming any Death Eaters remained at large following the Battle of Hogwarts. The Lestranges would be a family that would have particular interest as well because their anger is multiplied by Bellatrix's death.

On the other hand, the manner of discovering the content of the nightmares and thus the plot felt, for me, like a reach. Certainly Harry is a powerful wizard. Certainly wandless magic is possible. And certainly he could take something away from having navigated Voldemort's mind after discovering the connection that might help him with legilimency. But per canon, Harry was generally AWFUL at occlumency and as you've set up with the book, the two being quite interconnected, I find it hard to accept he would not just succeed the first time, but so immediately pinpoint precisely what he was looking for in the sea of Malfoy's mind. And wandlessly to boot. If you came back and made it a bit more of a challenge, in addition to boosting realism, I think you could also give yourself and opportunity to show off some of that great description we've seen in earlier chapters by immersing us in the tumultuous experience of trying to get in (and if he does, struggling to focus or find anything specific). Just some food for thought.

See you in Chapter 9!

Author's Response: Thank you again, Kevin for this!

Talking of the plot, I wanted to have Draco enter somewhere. I tried not to be deverted from canon but the result might not be like that. Some of readers may feel that I'm not strict enough towards the son of the ex-Death Eaters. I set the Lestranges as complete villains instead.

About boosting realism, I admit my vision was not described clearly. My hesitation appeared here and there so I might have readers confused a little. I have to think over the concept about occlumency and wandless magic again. The place and the villains have already been set so yeah, the other parts should be fixed ASAP.

Thank you for your insight!


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Review #25, by TidalDragonHarry Potter and the First Mission: The Potions Master

29th August 2015:
Hello again, Kenny! I intended to return earlier in the week, but was unfortunately delayed.

The main thing I'd say about this chapter from a writing perspective is to proofread when you come back. You nailed a lot of the language earlier in the chapter, but when certain words were revisited typos emerged.

Mechanically, I think a lot of what I've said before applies, though this chapter being a bit longer made it slightly more apparent. You have a talent for slipping in nice nods to facial expressions, body language, etc. that some authors miss, but because of the line-to-line transitions it doesn't stand out as much or make quite the impact on the reader that I think it could.

As far as plot goes, I think you're continuing to cultivate this really interesting atmosphere post-War where there have been so many casualties and wizarding society is still so unstable that they have a desperate need for younger people from around Harry's time at Hogwarts to step up in a lot of places and multi-task, even as students to help paper over gaps and ensure their world keeps on functioning as it needs to. Well done with that.

I'm on to Chapter 8!

Author's Response: Thanks again, Kevin!

To tell the truth, I couldn't send the draft to my beta. It's hard to ask them to be a constant beta. I wish I could have them. I understand RL is hard for all of us.

Thinking over their ages, the world of J.K.Rowling is so surreal but we can't stop spreading our imagination wings. In the magic world, we can do anything which is mostly impossible in RL.

When I wonder why Rowling's stories are so impressive to read, I think of her general idea around the world peace, racial discrimination and mother love towards any children. So I'd like to write the kind of moral point of view in my stories, too.


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