Reading Reviews From Member: TidalDragon
  
468 Reviews Found

Review #1, by TidalDragonHogmanay: Hogmanay

1st February 2015:
Howdy! Just dropping by to tag you from the review thread in the CR. Normally, I'd tackle something longer, but alas, my request thread is incredibly backed up so I stuck with this one this time around.

I'll confess that I don't know a whole lot about the event Hogmanay. You conveyed through this story that it's obviously cause for some kind of celebration and I thought the way you got across one of the parts of that tradition about who should arrive first through dialogue was well-done. I also thought the characterization of Ron was a positive for your story, as it captured the increased maturity he probably would have had at this point in time.

As far as other aspects, I have to say I don't see Harry ever using (since he's not that good at that type of magic per OOTP) or attempting to use legilimency, especially on Ginny. It's a violation of trust of the worst kind and given Ginny's history with mental violations via the diary, would be unforgivable.

Mechanically, I'd just focus on trying to lengthen things out so you can show rather than tell us as much, especially in the second half, which read a lot more literally.

I think exploring this tradition is a neat idea though and it would be interesting to learn more about it!

Thanks for sharing!

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Review #2, by TidalDragonHerbology and Hearts (Speed dating entry): Herbology and Hearts

30th January 2015:
Hello again, Dee!

I know you said I didn't owe you a review, but really I do, so here I am.

What delighted me about this story was actually the simplicity of Lysander's perspective. We don't get so much of that vibe from the series because of who Harry is and how much he's got on his plate, but it's always enjoyable to read a story that leverages the comparative peace of Next Gen to write students much more naturally. I know I'm guilty of it in the few fics where I write characters as minors, but I think sometimes we all get a bit carried away with how smart and eloquent and high-minded Hogwarts students are and this story was a refreshing departure.

Though you threw in the creatures later, I actually also liked the fact that Lysander is more into plants than creatures that jumped out from the beginning to be neat. I thought it was a natural extension of his heritage, but also a nod to the teenage rebellion and different interests that is inherent in that age.

On the mechanical side, it was also encouraging that you matched the more simple perspective with simple language. Initially it took some getting used to, but by the end it showcased that you don't need fancy words or weighty descriptions to make a story pop.

As a fluff piece, I thought the ending worked very nicely too. I will say I thought the Lysander-on-Lorcan monologue was a bit much, and a departure from the positives of the simplicity I was just praising, but I get it with the Speed Dating challenge and all that it may have been a device to connect the pieces better.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this piece (which I don't say often because I usually don't like fluff). It provided a nice mental turnaround after a thoroughly exhausting Friday and I thank you for that!

Until next time!

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Review #3, by TidalDragonLove is for Fools: Not a Fool

25th January 2015:
Howdy! Sorry I'm late, life's been a little rough lately, but I've finally made it - and oh boy am I glad I did!

First of all, I thought you did an exceptional job with the whole 'Alphabetized Challenge' thing. Having read absolutely none of the other entrants, I think you should win. Until you mentioned it in the Author's Note, I honestly didn't even notice that aspect of the writing and I think it's a testament to how unobtrusive you made it (no easy feat).

As far as the things you specifically asked about in your request, I thought the flow was great. It varied in its rhythm from paragraph to paragraph, but despite that it never lost the overall desperate, yearning feeling that clearly lived in the depths of Remus's heart. The characterization, for me, was fine. I'm more of a canon guy when it comes to ships (the only ones I actively ship are canon anyway), but as far as the voice I think it sounded right, especially within the plot you created. Your word choice was also excellent, especially with the restrictions in terms of overall length and starting letter that you imposed on yourself here.

It was a thing of beauty and brilliance.

Also, per my promise, PM me another story you'd like me to review since I was late!

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Review #4, by TidalDragona little bit of coolness.: a sad Scorpius, and a big box.

25th January 2015:
Hello again!

Well, here's one thing I've never seen before - Rose Weasley hungover. I found it amusing how that ended up something of a trigger for the table conversation over a bowl of Lucky Charms. It does sound like a wizarding cereal if there ever was one, though the question is, of course, were they of a magical or muggle variety?

As far as the rest of the chapter goes, I thought the dialogue maintained an air of realism, particularly the point where Rose drew back, not wanting to volunteer what had happened to her parents. It was an interesting contrast to Hermione getting wistful (I'd imagine about Ron) and though leaving it lie was the right move (especially with Ron there - talk about awkward), it was also positive in that it made me wonder what might have come up between mother and daughter had the conversation continued.

As you go forward, I'd really just try to find ways to keep the balance you've established going and to try and lengthen the chapters a bit. I know you prefer a shorter chapter, but sometimes a little additional length (like perhaps two scenes instead of one here, opening with Rose waking again and her regrets before going downstairs to this so you can flesh out her private thoughts more and play them off what she reveals to her parents for added depth of characterization for example) can serve you well.

In any event, you seem to be carrying along at a good rate and I hope you've found the reviews helpful! Let me know if there's anything else I can do, and as always, feel free to re-request!

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Review #5, by TidalDragona little bit of coolness.: ok, things are getting awkward.

25th January 2015:
Howdy Missy! Sorry for the delay, life got rather crazy and frustrating the past week, but I've made it now (and you can expect a review on Chapter 3 too as recompense for my tardiness).

At any rate, this chapter was quite aptly titled. I thought you did a good job creating a palpable tension at the gathering even between the three friends. You also found ways throughout the seemingly simple interactions to give us a lot of information about the characters at hand, from Layla's fashion-forwardness and upbeat demeanor to Scorpius's fragility and intensity. Initially, I think you did a good job just showing us these things through your descriptions of people's reactions and their speech, but at points, particularly with Scorpius, you went further to just tell us thinks outright, and with the job you'd already done conveying that I didn't think some of them were necessary.

You also demonstrated a better balance of dialogue and other tools than I have seen when I've read your work before (good on you for that).

See you in Chapter 3!

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Review #6, by TidalDragonBetrayal: Chapter 6: The Langley Affair

25th January 2015:
Dropping by for the extra review I owe you for being late.

I thought this almost-fully Hogwarts-centric chapter was a nice change of pace from your first 10,000 words or so. While we've obviously had these flashbacks for a few chapters now, they were never as full-bodied as this one and as a result, didn't give us as clear a glimpse into your characterizations of people like Lily, Alice, and James or what Meredith was really like before. I think the timing (and the inclusion of the bit about Remus) was well-done following the pensieve scene because it really afforded us an excellent opportunity to reflect as Meredith was on what had been lost.

I will say that going forward I'd be interested to discern the greater meaning behind Remus's comment that he still loved her. Naturally there are many kinds of love, but is there going to be a Remus/Meredith dynamic in this story as well as the Sirius/Meredith one?

To finally come out and answer the question in your request though, I think the story does an excellent job maintaining interest. You do have to take that comment along with the fact that I personally enjoy the Marauders Era and exploring all the characters and connections within it in a deep and serious way (as you're doing here), but I would be surprised if you don't get a lot of reads on this story over the long term. The quality of the writing is excellent across the board (though there are a few typos throughout I'd take a look at) and the plot is as intriguing as the characters.

I hope you've found these reviews helpful, and if there's anything else I can do, feel free to PM me and/or re-request!

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Review #7, by TidalDragonBetrayal: Chapter 5: Past Memories

25th January 2015:
I'm back again and I'm incredibly pleased with the added dimension you gave to Meredith in this chapter. Thus far she's been almost all ice, even if she does have good reasons, but this exhibited that she has the same (or at least similar) pain about the dissolution of her relationship with Sirius.

I thought the characterizations of the canon characters were good and it was interesting to see Lily interact with a female friend that isn't Marlene McKinnon or Alice Longbottom (the common choices, even though Alice in particular is unlikely to have been in her year canonically speaking).

See you next chapter!

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Review #8, by TidalDragonBetrayal: Chapter 4: The Request

25th January 2015:
I should've expected you'd make a fool out of me for commenting on the dialogue disparity right after I did so. Oh well.

I thoroughly enjoyed this chapter. We finally got some answers about what fractured Meredith and the group and implications about more details than were explicitly stated. Interestingly, Dumbledore doesn't come off in the greatest light here - much more Deathly Hallows - but I think it's quite accurate as Dumbledore is clearly willing to sacrifice people to defeat Voldemort.

What pleased me most about the increase in dialogue as well was that it didn't diminish your skill with the other aspects of writing I've praised before. I will say that I did find the style of the dialogue a little difficult to adjust to, with the way you appended the next speaker to the end of the previous sentence or dialogue tag. I think it's a refreshing change of pace if used a little more sparingly, as it allows you to vary structure from the typical dialogue tag formats (none, beginning, split, and end), but when it happens a lot (as it did here) it takes some getting used to.

Nevertheless, I liked this chapter the best by far! See you in the next one!

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Review #9, by TidalDragonBetrayal: Chapter 3: An Old Face

25th January 2015:
Hello again!

Thus far, with the exception of the first chapter, the story has skewed more toward the unspoken - this chapter perhaps being the most imbalanced in terms of description and inner thought versus dialogue. So far I think it lends itself well to the difficult spot the characters are facing in the scenes you've laid out for us, but it could be dangerous to interest if the skew continues into longer chapters. I personally don't mind it, but I know many readers are huge on dialogue and direct communication so unless you're prepared for a potential limitation on your audience, that's something I'd consider.

That being said, the description and inner thought continue to be superb! I've really enjoyed the attention to detail they exhibit and in particular the careful word choice that has made them more impactful than the style of many authors here.

Plot-wise, it seems we are about to get some clarification on exactly what happened between Meredith and everyone else now that she and Remus are in the same frame and I'm intrigued to see if that's the case or what comes next.

On to Chapter 4!

Author's Response: This review has been by far the most helpful. I typically enjoy less dialogue in the stories that I read, but I also recognize that I'm in the minority. Thank you so much!

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Review #10, by TidalDragonBetrayal: Chapter 2: Meredith

24th January 2015:
Well, another short chapter here, but certainly not short on either action or intrigue. I'm definitely interested in learning more about Meredith - what happened with she and the others back in Britain, what happened with the ring, and what the meaning is behind the man's last cryptic comment.

Description, dialogue, and inner thought were all in good balance and word choice was solid in each.

The only point I caught was that if Meredith had used the full body-bind on the man, my understanding is that only his eyes can move so the conversation would not have been possible.

Onward and upward in the next chapter!

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Review #11, by TidalDragonBetrayal: Chapter 1: Dear Remus

24th January 2015:
Howdy! I'm incredibly sorry it's taken me so long to get here. I had an incredibly busy week at work and then some setbacks that really sapped my activity. I'm back up to speed now though, and I'll try to get through the first 10,000 tonight and then an extra chapter per my policy since I'm late.

So, as far as this chapter goes, it feels like it's intended as both a hook and a reference point for where relationships are now or will end up between these characters. Since there aren't loads of words, I'll keep my comments more general.

In terms of the characterization, I think Lupin and Sirius both seem in character and I think you added a lot to the impact of the characterization in this scene with your excellent descriptions (particularly of Sirius's appearance).

Plot wise, I'm definitely intrigued. I always enjoy a Marauders Era fic as it's one of my favorite times and the way you've set it up the hook worked nicely because I can tell: (1) that you've got quality writing ability and (2) I want to know more (Who? How? What's next?).

So mission accomplished on all fronts I think. See you next chapter!

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Review #12, by TidalDragonBroken: i. a broken lavender

24th January 2015:
Wow! I am INCREDIBLY impressed with this story. So many stories portray Lavender as shallow, silly, stupid - always light - but it also often feels more like a caricature in its absence of complexity. Even the people will think are simple and easy to understand rarely are. We are all complex.

The way you handled Lavender's complexity was accomplished brilliantly. Even though some of the segments were shorter, I really liked the back-and-forth from past to present as a device because it helped to show the changes over time in her identity, both as shown to the world and as acknowledged within herself. The changes you made were also interesting because I think the focus on appearance and hetero sex appeal are in keeping with what we see in canon, but you give them depth by exposing the destructive lengths Lavender went to in order to get there and the reasons behind it. Then the idea that Lavender is lesbian and the development of her friendship (and budding relationship) with Parvati was done so carefully and naturally, not ignoring the inner conflict inherent in that discover, but still treating it very positively.

Really the only things constructive I noticed were some words mis-spelled or mis-selected here and there - "mean" when I think you meant "mead" and "severed" when I think you meant "served" were a couple of examples (and an incomplete bold tag). But all in all I thought it was a brilliant story, and once again I'm thrilled that the review exchange showed me a spectacular story I might otherwise never have read.

Author's Response: Hi,

Thank you so much for this lovely review :) it's definitely going under revisions today/tomorrow to correct all those little spelling mistakes both I and reviewers have picked up on (also that damn bold tag ugh!!)

There were definitely a lot of key elements of Lavender's character that I didn't want to outright change I just gave more of a reason for them. Wanting it to be as canon as possible, I didn't diminish the past relationships she'd had, but I did want to build on the possible reasons for those and the lengths to which she was driven.

Once again, thank you :) I feel much the same about yours!

- Jess, xo


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Review #13, by TidalDragonComplicated: In Which Things Get A Little Bit More Complicated

19th January 2015:
Albus is just a good soul isn't he? Like you alluded to with the dialogue in Slughorn's office, he's like Harry in a lot of ways, but freer for sure - a product of not losing his parents and living in a freer time I presume.

Scorpius on the other hand, while he's definitely got a legitimate reason to be angry just seems to be making things worse and worse for himself. Olivia's conflict avoidance when it comes to him hasn't helped either, but at the same time...WOOF...it's hard to see a recovery from this.

I am really intrigued by the tease that was left by Pansy at the juice bar (HA!) though. The mistress...I'm probably really going to regret this...but could it have some connection to Cassie. Obviously it can't BE her (since she's not 18), but I'm feeling it more and more like there's got to be some connection somehow that's going to tie this all together. Maybe there's a connection to Scorpius. Ahhh! Who can say, but you're keeping me guessing, so good work!

I'm glad you're carrying on with the story too despite what you mentioned in your author's note. I know how hard it can be carrying on with a novel when you can visibly see that happening (for me it helped contributed to a long layoff, which just made it even worse, but that's neither here nor there) - keep on keeping on.

My only real suggestion is I'd love to see more of that artist that Olivia is. I think it could be a really interesting dimension of her characterization (as I think I've said before) and it would be really neat to incorporate if you're able (or want) to do it in a positive way!

Thanks for sharing the super story, Emma!

Author's Response: I want Al to just be a GOOD person. He makes a few mistakes and has a temper but he's just supposed to be NICE. And that's not really something Olivia's had in her friends before. I'm glad you think he's like Harry. I didn't want to push too hard with comparing the kids to their parents, but I wanted it to be believable that Al was a Potter.

The mistress will be revealed in a few chapters - it didn't feel characteristic of Olivia to ask for all the details. She's struggling to face her problems at the moment.

And the author's note was probably a bit of unnecessary whining. The feedback and support this story has received is genuinely quite astonishing and I really can't complain. But thank you for saying that! I have no plans to abandon this story but it's always nice to receive encouragement.

Olivia's art hasn't been forgotten and will be explored more as a theme in later chapters. Its absence at the moment is intentional :)

Thank you so so much for all these reviews! You really didn't have to be so dedicated and I massively appreciate it. And thank you for setting the challenge in the first place! I had a lot of fun with it.

Emma xx


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Review #14, by TidalDragonComplicated: In Which Louis Weasley Dances

19th January 2015:
Haha. It would make sense for that duo to ACTUALLY resolve the problem by Louis telling Laura off and then doing a dance. It was amusing.

I'm also glad that Albus had that stones to call Olivia out on her reluctance to acknowledge her new-found friendships for what they really are. It seems like a turning point in that regard, and while it would be nice for everything to work out, somehow I feel like that's not where the story's headed. After all, the title is "Complicated" and that's not really the real world, for everything to go just swimmingly is it? Still, even if it's just an interlude, I think it's a good thing for Olivia to see that there are positive forces in her life rather than just seeing herself as being thrown together with them or pitied by them - she's seeing it as a real connection with other people - a good thing.

I'm DETERMINED to get through these tonight (even if it's four months late) and I'll wrap them up for you soon. See you for the last chapter!

Author's Response: This was always going to be how Louis ended up apologising. He doesn't really know how to deal with things in a grown up way, and the dance was a way to show that he's being genuine in his own way.

This is definitely a bit of an interlude rather than an overall resolution, but Albus is a very stable character and is there to offer support when it's needed. You're right that this chapter's a turning point for Al and Olivia. She's opening up a bit and I hope her development as a character comes across.

Thank you again! Emma x


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Review #15, by TidalDragonComplicated: In Which Breakfast is Traumatic

19th January 2015:
Well, I see you also had a different set-up in mind now...a Scorplosion if you will. To be fair, I think he's pretty rightfully upset at both parties. Though he handled it quite poorly for a public setting being as loud as he was, it's hard to blame him. He's under loads of pressure here and Olivia's assessment rings quite true. I never thought I'd say this about a Scorpius, but I hope he's alright (unless he is in fact a crazed attacker).

I also can't help but feel that there's some kind of connection between the ongoing investigation and the cryptic, short letters from Olivia's dad. I don't know WHY I think that necessarily, but I'm feeling like there's more to that story and you're making me want answers. So even if they're not connected, good on you for that.

As for the end, a Slytherin in the Gryffindor common room?! For shame! But I suppose it's a nice commentary on the way the world's evolved since canon and the Potters and Weasleys certainly seem to be welcoming her in - Albus with increasing interest.

See you for Chapter 13!

Author's Response: Scorpius is really suffering and although he's being overly harsh I'm glad you can sympathise. If Olivia wasn't also struggling she'd be able to realise better that he just needs support.

And Olivia's dad will feature in future chapters :)

I thought that after the war the different houses would be encouraged to be less separate. There's not really any reason why they shouldn't be allowed in eachother's common rooms, and I liked the idea of Gryffindor acting as a kind of refuge for Olivia.

Thanks again for all the reviews! I'm seriously impressed by your commitment!

Emma x


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Review #16, by TidalDragonComplicated: In Which Slytherins Speculate

19th January 2015:
Hello again!

In contrast to the previous several chapters I've reviewed, this one just rubbed me as a bit off if I'm honest. The biggest thing I think was it feeling rushed. I know Olivia was sitting in the stands thinking/crying for some time, but because you condensed the time so much in terms of words it just felt like we had the high-impact carting-off cliffhanger last chapter and then Scorpius got returned very quickly. Perhaps if there'd been some reminiscence injected in there about moments in the friendship or her observations of the relationship it could've been lengthened and not felt so sudden? I don't know - it's your story and you may be holding that back for later - that's just how it struck me.

I was also surprised that Olivia just run. Obviously Scorpius is pretty upset and even if he's been quite rude to her frankly in recent times it seems if she was going to break down in front of anyone she'd want to break down WITH him rather than chancing it happening with someone else. It feeds the positive connection with Albus, but felt a little easy in that regard and further alienates Scorpius when (for now anyway) it doesn't seem like he deserves it this time.

No worries though! I look forward to seeing how things develop in the coming chapters!

Author's Response: Hmm, thanks for being honest about your thoughts. I actually quite like this chapter - it's one of the ones that came more easily when I wrote it - but maybe that means I was less critical of it. I'll maybe add some reminiscence type things though, I really like that idea.

Olivia's running isn't in any way supposed to be a justified action. She just can't cope with the situation and prefers to avoid her problems. Breaking down with him isn't an option for her because too much of what she's upset about is tied up with him and their shared experiences. It's a bad side of her but it's a side I wanted to show - I wasn't trying to suggest that Scorpius deserves this treatment at this point.

Thanks for the review!

Emma xx


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Review #17, by TidalDragonComplicated: In Which Quidditch Is Played

19th January 2015:
How's that for a plot twist! Well played, Emma...well played. Though I wasn't much on the banter at the beginning (I got a bit disoriented there for a moment TBH), the actual match description was really well handled and you did some nice things tactically too like Olivia's lob. As far as the POV went, I personally enjoy the annnouncer-play back-and-forth and I thought it worked nicely for what you were trying to achieve. It would've been interesting to get a little back-story on WHY Lucy is the commentator and what allows her to be more neutral, but I thought the choice itself was strong nevertheless.

Obviously at this point, who knows what to make of the Aurors' actions. Right now it feels like more bullying of the Malfoys, which will play right into Scorpius's complex and everything, but I wonder...is there something more interesting at play? I suppose I'll find out as I read on!

Author's Response: Haha I'm actually quite surprised you liked the twist here. I think it came a bit too fast and was expecting that to be your feedback, so it's a relief that you quite liked it.

I think the banter at the beginning is perhaps part of the style of this story that doesn't appeal to you - it's very different to some of the things I write but lots of people seem to have enjoyed it. I'll try to refine some of it when I make more edits but in general I quite enjoy the little moments of just normal character chats and the Quidditch characters are a lot of fun.

I'll have a think about Lucy as commentator. In my head she just liked the whole Weasley Quidditch obsession but wasn't much of a player - maybe I can do something to get that to come across here. I'm glad you liked the commentary though! Writing the Quidditch Match was quite difficult and it's always a relief when reviews suggest that it worked.

Thanks again for all these wonderful reviews!

Emma x


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Review #18, by TidalDragonComplicated: In Which Scorpius Is A Moody Cow

19th January 2015:
Well! Olivia oscillated from being delightfully awful to Laura Brogan to being too kind to angst-master Scorpius. I definitely feel where he's coming from, don't get me wrong, but he feels a little over-the-top getting upset about the prefect patrols and his excessive sensitivity to the Gryffindors Olivia's getting friendlier with. Certainly I understand the family dynamics, and maybe that hasn't been explained as such (or I've forgotten from earlier), but it seems like Draco and Astoria have come across as having grown up since canon and not being inclined to pass along grudges against the Weasleys and Potters to their son. After all, Harry and Ron helped save his life and probably saved him from Azkaban post-War too, so he may not like them, but...

Anyway, maybe that's just me. Personally, I continue to enjoy the way that Olivia is finding other people and perspectives on things. Long may it continue. And hopefully Scorpius will get his act together and stop being so put upon. Perhaps if he opens up like Olivia has, things will get better for him too.

Author's Response: Scorpius is over the top but is also suffering a lot more than Olivia maybe recognises, so although his behaviour's unkind I hope it doesn't seem unrealistic. He's lost the person he cares about most and so has a lot invested in Olivia. And then he feels like Olivia's abandoning him for the same people the rest of the world thinks are better than him. Hopefully it'll all become a bit clearer later, but I hope he doesn't seem too cruel.

And Olivia's discovery of new people and perspectives is definitely a positive thing for her, and something I'm enjoying writing.

Emma x


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Review #19, by TidalDragonComplicated: In Which Questions Are Asked

19th January 2015:
If you'll forgive me, I think I'll keep this review slightly short because there was basically just one thing that jumped out to me that I really like about what you're doing - creating some conflict and deeper thought in Olivia about where she fits best. The story started out with she, Scorpius, and Cassie as this inseparable trio that has lives full of issues and messiness, but worked together pretty nicely. Now, you've taken Cassie out of the equation and it's destabilizing not just that dynamic, but the worldview that it seems like Olivia had almost...I guess we'll say fallen into...without thinking too critically about it. Now it's as if we're watching her grow up a little in that regard.

My only bone to pick would be maybe that it's happening a little quick and little transparently, but I think it's interesting and the depiction of DMLE folks from a side we don't usually see was a neat piece of it all too. Elena and Clementine seemed exactly like a pair of truant officers who would "talk down" to "kids" like Scorpius and Olivia.

Catch you in Chapter 9!

Author's Response: YES - this story is essentially about the way Olivia's life becomes destabilised without Cassie's presence. Although Cassie isn't a particularly easy character, Olivia's built up her lifestyle around her and in her absence everything changes.

I agree that it's sometimes quite quick, and that's something I'd like to work on. I still have quite a lot of plot points to cover here, and planned out each chapter in a lot of detail, but reading back through it so far there are things I'd change and the MLE officers in this chapter are one of them. If you have any advice on edits to make do let me know because when I eventually complete the story I'll be making some quite heavy changes.

This review is really really lovely and helpful feedback so thank you!

Emma x


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Review #20, by TidalDragonComplicated: In Which There Are Prefect Patrols

19th January 2015:
Hello again! First a couple of minor things I noticed. Number one: parentheticals. I know you use them sometimes to show thinking, they're just a pet peeve of mine, especially when they seem like they could be avoided with general description (see: enter Molly Weasley at the top). Then in the same scene I caught this typo "first thing's first" - I think it should just be things no apostrophe. Also, if the password is Latin, you might offset with italics so it stands out more. Not a big deal, like I said though.

Anyway, I really like the actual meat of the chapter. The prefect meeting was interesting and it was a unique description of rounds from what I've either come across or what I've done on my own. For me, I think your explanation actually makes more sense, splitting up the castle and all because it would be almost impossible for one pair to cover the whole castle the whole night, but for some reason that's how I'd imagined it, with professors also being about or something. Anyway, KUDOS is what I'm trying to say.

I also found the point at the end with Joe about Cassie very interesting too. Partly it felt like a bit of pulling back the curtain on your purpose behind Cassie's absence, but part of me still liked it anyway. I'm looking forward to seeing how Olivia evaluates the remarks later on in the story.

Pushing onward...

Author's Response: I totally agree about the parentheticals. I think it's something I've got better at since writing this chapter but I'll definitely look out for it in future chapters. And thanks for pointing out that typo - I'll come back and edit it.

Joe's supposed to be a more reliable voice than Olivia, and I hope his moments of insight are helpful. I really enjoy him a lot as a character and I hope it feels natural when he makes his observations. He does have a purpose in that he's supposed to expose some of the things Olivia ignores, but it's a part of who he is so hopefully isn't artificial.

Thanks again!

Emma x


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Review #21, by TidalDragonComplicated: In Which Slughorn Makes A Choice

19th January 2015:
Howdy Emma! I know it's been forever coming, but here I finally am following through on those reviews I owe you from my challenge. And wouldn't you know, now there's enough chapters up to blitz straight through. Believe me when I say though that I really am sorry for how long it's taken. It's awful really as when I started the challenge I promised I would never be one of THOSE people who took 8,000,000 years to pay out their prizes (if ever). Blarg.

ANYWAY, it's really good to come back to this story after some time away. It's so impressive that it won a Dobby, but the differentiation you created between the characters makes it clear why. I know the award itself was a testament to the dialogue specifically, but I don't think that happens without the other piece.

Here we didn't get to see AS many characters, but the ones we did get a glimpse of maintained that differentiability. I think the one I liked most was Slughorn. You handled both his favoritism and his oblique, yet firm insistence on things great I thought.

The great mystery of course is whether/when Cassie will return. I do hope we get some excellent exploration of that side of things in the future (though I'm confident you will) and that she returns because though I DID enjoy the banter between Olivia and Scorpius at the top, it's a different dynamic with Cassie in the mix too.

See you in the next chapter.

Author's Response: Hi Kevin!

Don't worry at all! I absolutely loved the challenge and you didn't have to offer so many reviews in return! The wait is absolutely no problem.

I'm glad you like Slughorn. At some point I want to edit this and change who the teachers are and some little things so that it fits into the same universe as 'Victoire', but I did have a lot of fun writing Slughorn even though he's maybe not a character I'd choose to include again.

Emma x


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Review #22, by TidalDragonThe One and Only Lily Potter: Oh, Shut Up, or Insufferable Smirks, Thy Name Wood

11th January 2015:
Well, well. You've certainly crafted another spirited character here. Though you reverted to Albus as Slytherin in this piece you still gave both he and Lily (II) interesting characterizations. Lily appears to be quite like her mother, while Albus, somewhat surprisingly is quite like James (I).

Nevertheless, Lily's attitude (both spoken and unspoken) made the story an enjoyable read. I presume that she and the quite proud Sebastian Wood are headed for sparks of a different variety if I've read your summary correctly and I confess that it could be interesting to read based on the start you're off to here (even if Lily is a touch..intense).

Keep me apprised so I can finish the reviews I owe!

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Review #23, by TidalDragonRemembering Dorcas Meadowes: Explosions and Light

11th January 2015:
Hello again!

You seem to have a knack for running down roads with your stories that have not been frequently traveled. A Dorcas Meadowes story - that's a rarity.

What's interesting is that yet again you've given her such confidence and such a distinctive personality. Even in the face of death, even if she does welcome it, she has an irrepressible bravado about her. I wonder, where does it come from in the characters you cook up?

Since this story was primarily action, there isn't much to say about things like characterization, especially since so little is truly known of Dorcas. However, I will say that I think you got Voldemort right in terms of his own haughtiness even if I do doubt that she could've dodged all his spells just by running and rolling.

The only quibble I truly have is that Dorcas got words out after taking her own life with the Killing Curse. My understanding from canon is that death is instantaneous, leaving no time for that, but it's a minor point really.

Thanks for sharing!

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Review #24, by TidalDragonNike: Don't Step Inside My Space Bubble

11th January 2015:
Howdy Meena! Sorry it's taken so long to get after these reviews that were supposed to be your reward for my challenge, what...four months ago? But here I am.

This story introduction was interesting as, even though it's Next Gen, it focuses on Slytherins in particular and a very different side of not just Dominique, but probably the other Weasley and Potter children as well. Albus NOT being a Slytherin was, IMO anyway, a nice touch as I don't think it suits how he was portrayed via the brief glimpse we get in canon at all.

Nike's characterization was also quite intriguing - certainly she's driven to be the best, but you expose right from the off that she's a different breed of driven. It gave off a sort of Kobe Bryant kind of feel to it for me, very in your face, but those people exist and I think you captured the spirit well.

I did note some typos in there - "know one" instead of "no one" for example - but it didn't detract terribly.

I'm going to stop by your other stories I haven't reviewed yet tonight as well. That should leave me owing you two reviews still I think, but I'll try to be vigilant about your updates (or you can always send me a reminder via PM).

Hope you're well!

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Review #25, by TidalDragonHer Choice : The Hogwarts Express

11th January 2015:
Howdy howdy!

First off, I thought you dealt with Harry pretty well in this chapter, conveying his suspicion and irritability, but still making him fine around his friends. Hermione likewise came across nicely because she didn't warm up to Laynie right away.

While I thought the fortuitousness of her ending up in their compartment was fine, what I thought was a bridge too far was how accepting everyone BUT Hermione was of her, especially after the Malfoy revelation. I understand she made the calculated decision to reveal that in hopes of achieving what she did, but for me it just came a bit too easily.

The other key issue was differentiability of characters. I think you did a solid job differentiating their mannerisms and demeanors, but the dialogue itself was rather interchangeable for me.

The pace and flow of this chapter though was definitely more natural, as it never felt like you were rushing to get to a certain point or to reach the end of the chapter.

Good luck with the story! Keep on keeping on!

Author's Response: Hello again!
Thanks so much once again! I am glad you enjoyed reading this chapter and maybe I did make them a little TOO friendly with her. I think it was because I wanted it to seem like Neuville and Ron thought she was very attractive and that's why they were so friendly and nervous acting. But Ron is not a fan of Draco or the Malfoys so ur right, he probably wouldn't have been so accepting at first when he didn't know if he could trust Laynie yet either. I will fax some parts! Thanks sooo much! ;)


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