Reading Reviews From Member: sauerkraut_poet
  
212 Reviews Found

Review #1, by sauerkraut_poetQuid Pro Quo: Sensory Overload

24th February 2008:
This is a really sweet chapter. I love the awkwardness and tension when Lily decides to stay in Scor's room - it's so perfectly described. Many authors tend to write scenes like this and make the characters suddenly more content and comfortable than they've ever been in their lives because they're falling asleep next to each other, but in reality there's a lot of awkwardness and tension that comes with the situation, and it's much more realistic for Scor to be too anxious to fall asleep, as you've written it. So great job with that! And the kiss was lovely too of course. I wasn't expecting it so soon, but that didn't make it any less fun to read. :)

Author's Response: It's funny, but I really wasn't expecting the kiss so soon myself (when I wrote it, that is).

I read a Stephen King book about writing, and he said that sometimes characters will just have their own way. When I started to write this chapter, I had it in mind to put off the kiss yet again, but Scor just wouldn't have it!



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Review #2, by sauerkraut_poetQuid Pro Quo: Love in the Library

24th February 2008:
That scene at the beginning was so touching, especially the part where Lily worries that Scor doesn't love her back and tries to ignore her feelings. I really love the way you focus on the emotions of the characters and make them so realistic. I love the way you've written Draco in this chapter as well. However, I don't find the scene with Lucius nearly dramatic enough... it's so short, especially in light of the enormous effect it has on Lily and how much it scares both her and Scor, and Lucius' threats are pretty vague. I feel like he needs to bring up some specific issues that would really upset her, namely the doubts she's been feeling about Scor and/or what happened with Voldemort's ghost in her first year. Perhaps something like this, going off one of the lines you already have: "What a pretty little thing you are. You look exactly like your mother. I still remember the first time we met, in Flourish and Blotts - I don't suppose she told you about my little gift to her then, the diary. It's a shame the Dark Lord's plan didn't work - the world would be much nicer if she'd died, rather than living on to give birth to a whole herd of blood traitors..." etc., and then, "so, you've taken a fancy to my grandson, have you? What a pity you're not worthy of his affections..." etc. Or something like that. Feel free to use either of those lines if you want them, I don't mind. :) Other than that part the chapter was really great though.

Author's Response: Thanks for the lines, and all your advice. I will use them. I tend to rely to heavily on italics sometimes, and Lucius just seemed like the sort who would need a lot of them. I also have trouble getting myself to use 'he said, she said' tags, because I find them annoying at times. I will change that section, though. Thanks so much for your review.

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Review #3, by sauerkraut_poetQuid Pro Quo: Splish Splash

24th February 2008:
Sorry I disappeared for awhile - I've been out of town and didn't manage to review everything before I left. Anyway, I love the subtle way in which you keep reminding us the strength of Scor's love for Lily in this chapter. The words you use to describe the way he looks at her are really beautiful, and it was sweet how much effort he put into setting up her room. The scene with Scor talking to Draco at the end of the chapter was also really touching.



It's nice that you finally mention Scor's mom. I had been wondering for a while whether she existed or what happened to her. I thought I'd point out though that in canon, Draco's wife is Astoria Greengrass, not Pansy (JKR mentioned this in an interview). Now, this is fanfic and you're free to change things around as you like if there's a reason why you want Draco married to Pansy instead, but I would include something about that in your author's note so people aren't too confused.



My other slight criticism is that I feel like the use of italics in Lucius' speech is a bit too excessive - when you use them that much, they lose a lot of their significance. I think it'd be better to add a couple of sentences describing Lucius' facial expression and tone of voice instead. That would also give more credibility to the statement "Scor couldn’t take any more" - as it is now, just the words Lucius is saying don't seem like enough to make Scor that uncomfortable or angry. There needs to be some additional descriptions to give Scor a good reason to feel like that.



One last comment - that was a really masterful touch, how you subtly mentioned the pendant being gone and then the slight chill as she walked past a certain doorway. I can see a lot of readers glossing over that, but it seems like a significant detail and really gives the chapter a sense of ominous foreboding. Great job!

Author's Response: Glad someone caught that reference to the pendant. I didn't know about Scor's mum being named. Thanks for the info. I've tried to change all the instances I could find, but if I missed one please let me know.

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Review #4, by sauerkraut_poetQuid Pro Quo: Just Breathe

15th February 2008:
Again, I really love how you've characterized the Potter family. Lily's character flaws are well-done and consistent, as is Al's brotherly annoyingness. You've done a great job with Ginny as an adult - it's easy to recognize the girl Ginny in her but also evident that she's matured a lot. Ginny and Harry's concern is well-founded but not over the top, which I think is important and very consistent in light of the way you've portrayed the adult Harry as someone who is willing to give people (like Draco) second chances. But the best part of the chapter was of course the meeting between Lily and Scorpius. It was so beautifully done and full of emotion. This has got to be my favorite chapter so far. :)

Author's Response: Thanks so much. I really tried to put my all into this chapter. I had a hard time making sure the canon characters (Harry, Ginny, Draco) were balanced. I have a tendency to write overly emotional, so I wanted them to be more calm and rational.

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Review #5, by sauerkraut_poetQuid Pro Quo: Miserable at the Manor

15th February 2008:
Oh, what a lovely plot twist! Really unexpected. It's perfectly in-character for your Lily though... in the prequel she also had a tendency to get excited about an idea (like the body swap) without thinking of the consequences, and pressure Scorpius into saying yes. I like how you've given both of them these subtle character flaws and kept them consistent through both stories. It's also interesting to see how you've developed Draco's character. With Lucius, I just wish there had been more clarification as to why he's suddenly presenting a problem. It seems like he must have come to stay with Draco recently, both from the nature of their dialogue (especially Lucius' tone of surprise), and because I can't really imagine Draco being so at ease with the idea of Scorpius and Lily together if Lucius had been there all along. So it would be nice to have an idea of what brought him back, or, if you have reasons for keeping it secret, at least hint that there's some big reason for his return. But that's the only little thing I can find to criticize... everything else is really great. :)

Author's Response: Hmmm, I see your point. I do need to make his 'appearance' fit in better. Thanks for the suggestion.

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Review #6, by sauerkraut_poetQuid Pro Quo: Dissappointed at Dinner

15th February 2008:
I'm so glad you're writing a sequel. This is a great introduction - you did a really good job of showing how all the different characters had developed in the last few years without making it read like a summary. I especially loved Al's cluelessness about his sister's feelings. It's so typical for a guy his age. And it's interesting to make James be the one Lily's closer to, the one she confides in, even though they're farther apart in age. Unusual, but that just makes the story better. And really sweet too. I'm also glad you didn't go on and on about how much Lily changed over the summer and her appearance and clothes, like so many authors tend to do. You focus on the emotions and that makes this story really special. Great job!

Author's Response: I'm not too much on descriptions, and I am absolutely fashion clueless. I've noticed when I read a story that clothing descriptions just stop the flow for me. I've tried to exclude all that. Thanks for the review. I do appreciate all your suggestions and comments.

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Review #7, by sauerkraut_poet:

22nd December 2007:
I think this has got to be my favorite chapter yet, especially the last 2/3 of it. I think I've mentioned before that I don't really get all the Gilmore Girls references, but it's hilarious the way Saskia's obsessing over comparing herself to fictional characters. She really does think about the most random things when she's nervous - whippoorwills, TV shows, Belgian citizenship, 'Friar Jörgen Eats Sour Grapes' - and I love it. It's so funny too the way she's got herself so worried over Oliver's reaction and keeps blabbing on about what thoughts she thinks should be going through his head while it's obvious it never even occured to Oliver to think any of those things.

The proposal, of course, was my favorite part - one of my all time favorite proposal moments in fanfiction, actually. I get so sick of the elaborately planned ones in fancy restaurants and such... this one was so atypical and perfectly suited to the characters in question, and because of that it was so much more meaningful. I LOVE the way you tied in the Transfiguration tutoring (the reason they got to know each other, after all!) with "Friar Jörgen Eats Sour Grapes" - classic for Saskia to be thinking of something like that at such an important moment, and perhaps my favorite line in the chapter. And the dwarves and diamond mines! I REALLY must applaud you for that - I've always maintained that if I ever have a serious enough relationship, I'll make it very clear to the guy that I do NOT want a diamond ring. And this is the first story I've EVER seen where a character reacts in a similar way - usually the ring is so over-glamourized.

Anyway, great work with this! I can't wait for the next chapter. :)

Author's Response: Thanks so much! I hope all the Gilmore Girls references aren't too overbearing (I'm fairly obsessed with the show), but she does seem the sort to take fictional characters a bit too seriously =). And she is very random, but I can't help but let that part of my personality seep through. Whippoorwill is just an insanely fun word, and as for 'Jörgen', I wanted to put a word with an umlaut in the chapter. Ooh, I'm glad you liked the proposal! This story's getting sort of cliché pretty fast, but I want to make it unconventionally cliché. If that's even possible. And the wee reminder about the Transfiguration tutoring was the beginning of bringing everything full circle, because *sniff* Saskia's tale has to end eventually. I don't want a diamond ring either! I almost referenced the film Blood Diamond, but this fic is Mugglish enough and dwarves seemed to be the right ticket. Glad you liked the chapter!

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Review #8, by sauerkraut_poetThe Unsinkable Molly Prewett: Then He Kissed Me

7th December 2007:
Gosh, you're updating so fast I can barely keep up! That's wonderful though. I loved these last two chapters - the story is progressing really nicely and at a good, realistic pace. All the shyness and blushing is so adorable! Especially the part where Molly's brothers were teasing her - I like how you contrast her embarrasment with Arthur's objective view of the situation, and the way he manages to reassure her so perfectly.

I forgot to mention this in my last review, but I love all the original characters you've come up with for this story. They all have distinct personalities which add a lot of color to the story without distracting the reader from the main focus - Molly and Arthur. Too often in romance fics (at least the ones which focus on a single couple rather than three or four), the other characters are just sort of there without really being developed at all. You also have a real gift for coming up with interesting names (some of which might be over-the-top to some, but I like them). And I think you throw in enough "normal" names like Cecilia to contrast with the more creative ones, anyway.

With regards to your concerns about the story, I think it would be plausible to include the bit of drama you mentioned, but only after they've been dating awhile and the initial love-struckness has worn off. But, that's just my opinion, and what I'd suggest to you more than anything is to check out the HPFF forums - there's a lot of resources there, including a Help Needed section where you can ask for opinions on this sort of thing. Once you have an account there, feel free to send me a message and I'd be happy to help you with further plot concerns, if you have any. =)

Author's Response: Thanks for your review! That's a good point, I think I'll hold off on any drama for a while until they've been together a while. I have been on the forums a few times, I'll look you up there :) I appreciate your help. I think Arthur's much more even-tempered than Molly is, so he takes things in stride. It's easier when they're not your own relatives too.

What's funny about the names is that none of them are invented - they all came from a baby name book and are either English or Greek - except the few African names thrown in. The more "over the top" I gave to the pureblood characters (wizards seem pretty creative - look at the Black family names lol). And the surnames are all found in England as well. I was pretty pleased to find them. I love Hattie's last name, it's just so very British. Cecilia and Siobhan are fun to write. And Reid, the poor deluded boy that he is.

Updates will probably slow down a bit, as I'm only completed through about chapter 9. Nearly done with 10 and 11. So once I'm caught up with what's already written it'll be a bit slower. But hopefully people will stick with me :)


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Review #9, by sauerkraut_poetLove Hurts: Drowning My Sorrows

7th December 2007:
Wow. I didn't expect this to happen so soon! The exchange with Voldemort was well-done and it's nice to see Harry accepting Scorpius so easily. It seems like you've come to a big turning point in the story and I can't wait to see what happens next!

Author's Response: Thanks. I will probably do some rewriting on this story. The ending does seem sort of rushed.

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Review #10, by sauerkraut_poetLove Hurts: Hooked on You

7th December 2007:
It's nice to see these subtle hints of Lily starting to have feelings about Scorpius, worrying about him and such. They're not overdone, which is a rare treat for us readers. =)

Author's Response: Thanks so much. I like subtle romance. I think it makes the romance all the more enjoyable when it isn't shoved in the face of the reader.

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Review #11, by sauerkraut_poetLove Hurts: Shot to the Heart

7th December 2007:
Wow. Lily's quick mind has been admirable in earlier chapters... but it's amazing that she could assume so quickly without even asking. Which makes me wonder... because we haven't seen much of Sharpe in the story lately, particularly interacting with Lily... how much time does Lily actually spend with Sharpe as opposed to Scorpius? As the story stands now, Lily's fancying Sharpe and assuming the pendant is from him kind of seems to come out of nowhere. It would be nice to perhaps expand on why Lily has feelings for Sharpe, to make the situation feel more natural/believable. Don't get me wrond, I really love this plot twist - I just think you could flesh out the previous chapters a bit to set it up better. Otherwise, great work as usual!

Author's Response: You're right. I need to work on showing more why she might fancy him. I meant it to be a sort of school-girl crush, but it still needs meat to be believable.

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Review #12, by sauerkraut_poetLove Hurts: Achey, Breaky, Heart

7th December 2007:
It's so sweet the way Scorpius is standing up for Lily. I'll be interested to see Draco's reaction...

Author's Response: I see him as the chivalrous type.

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Review #13, by sauerkraut_poetLove Hurts: Crash Into Me

7th December 2007:
This is really a great chapter. Lily builds up so many expectations of how her life will take a turn for the better, and as readers we expect that it will, because that's generally what happens in the fantasy genre - the good character wins. So it's a really great plot twist/surprise when she actually doesn't get the position, despite being qualified. That's just how life is, sometimes.

I love the little hints you're dropping about the mysterious "Tom" as well. It's pretty obvious who "Tom" is, but it's clear that the obviousness is intentional on your part, and that it helps to keep the reader in even more suspense than if we didn't know who "Tom" was, because we don't have any idea what he's been saying to her or doing to her. Keep up the good work!

Author's Response: Thanks so much. I really did keep it subtle, so it would arouse suspicion without becoming the main plot until the end. I wanted Lily's struggles at school to be forefront, and then at the end everyone will realize why she's having so much trouble.

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Review #14, by sauerkraut_poetLove Hurts: Throbbing Headache

7th December 2007:
Again, it's nice to see Lily has plenty of relatives who care for her. Their reactions were very realistic - well done!

Author's Response: Thanks. I like stories with families. So many authors seem to want to eliminate the family completely.

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Review #15, by sauerkraut_poetLove Hurts: Open Mouth Insert Foot

7th December 2007:
It's nice that you've included Hugo in this chapter - I'd been wondering why Lily didn't spend more time with her relatives. The whole bit at the end with Scorpius not realizing that Lily's listening is a nice touch as well - really priceless.

Author's Response: I really enjoyed this chapter. It just seemed like something a ten-year-old girl would do.

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Review #16, by sauerkraut_poetLove Hurts: Ripped to Shreds

7th December 2007:
That's interesting, the line about Scorpius having to endure similar taunts for two years. It would be nice if you expanded on that, showed a flashback or something - I never got the impression he had those sorts of problems, and an illustration of that would help flesh out his character even more (though you've done a great job with him already). Otherwise, I really like the way the story's progressing so far. It's going at a realistic pace, most importantly, and I admire you for that. I also like the way you're beginning to develop Sharpe's character.

Author's Response: I really need to do more with Scor. I like writing from his point of view best. I may just write a story entirely from his POV.

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Review #17, by sauerkraut_poetLove Hurts: Stepping on your Toes

7th December 2007:
I feel bad for Lily, but again, it's very realistic that the children of Death Eaters (and even non-Death Eater Slytherins who probably still hated Harry because he was a Gryffindor, not to mention famous and good at quidditch) would hold a grudge against her and treat her this way. But I love her reactions and efforts to hold her head high - she certainly has a great sense of humor!

Author's Response: Sense of humor really helps in life's little struggles, doesn't it?

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Review #18, by sauerkraut_poetLove Hurts: Slap in the Face

7th December 2007:
I love the originality you've shown by putting Lily in Slytherin. The whole Gryffindor/Slytherin rivalry has become somewhat cliche, and while it's not impossible to write well, it's rare to find a good story with that plot concept. I also admire the fact that you haven't turned Lily into a stereotypical Slytherin who is sick of her father and wants to become a Death Eater. She seems like a normal girl who loves her family very much and it'll be interesting to see how she deals with the whole Slytherin thing. This is a great intro - very realistic and believable!

Author's Response: Well, I always figured there were other reasons for someone to be in Slytherin besides just being an insufferable git. I've read fics about Al being put in Slytherin and having to deal with his family's disapproval, and fics like the ones you mentioned where they were put in Slytherin because they wanted to be dark. I just wanted her to be a girl who had a bit more cunning than the rest of her family.

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Review #19, by sauerkraut_poetStrange Encounters: Strange Encounters

7th December 2007:
Thank you SO much for the wonderful story, Annina! I seriously almost cried when you wrote that you dedicated it to me - that was so, so sweet of you! And it is really the perfect gift, my favorite story of yours thus far, and one of the best fics I've ever seen on the site.

Your characterization of Luna is wonderful as always, and you make her relationship with George fall into place so naturally. It's amazing how well you capture her personality just through dialogue (and her actions as well, I guess), without straying from the point of view you've set up for the whole story. I especially love the first line she says to George ("I can be like I was not here.") and her whole conversation with Ronan, particularly the way she's so concerned about his feelings. Most humans wouldn't bother to talk to a centuar, but it's something you would kind of expect Luna to do (and, similarly, expect others not to do, which you support beautifully by having Ronan initiate the conversation with George).

Luna, as a romantic character, is especially hard to write because her head is always in the clouds and she seems distracted and oblivious to many of the things that "normal" teenagers would worry about. The way you have her completely clueless and misinterpreting the strange feeling she's getting fits perfectly, and it's priceless the way Ronan, the creature that isn't supposed to care about these things, is the one who gets her to finally realize what she's feeling.

What impressed me by far the most with this story though is your characterization of Ronan. You've really developed his character into something both believable and inviting to the reader. I love the way he discusses his disapproval of the behavior of certain other centuars, and explains his own personal views on each matter - it really shows what a varied group of individuals the centuars of the Forbidden Forest are, not just a "group of animals" as some are inclined to believe.

In the few "romances from another POV" that exist, the observing character tends to either support the romance or be disappointed because they had feelings for one of the characters involved. Ronan has a much more complex and unique reaction, which makes this story really special. I suppose it's because instead of focusing on the romance itself like most characters would (accepting romance as a normal phenomenon of life), Ronan is so preoccupied by his own dilemma of finding himself interested in the lives of humans even though his culture looks down on having any contact with them, that the specific things going on in the lives of the humans in question become secondary. It's so in character, the way Ronan gets uncomfortable when he senses that the humans want to talk a lot, and I loved how you worked that in. I especially liked the part where he feels a bit guilty for "interfering" and helping their romance along.

It's very sweet though, how Ronan finally comes to accept his own true nature despite what others in his community might think. It sort of parallels the development of Luna and George's romance (both are resolved at the same time) and I really like that. It gives the story shape and structure, rather than just being a chain of events.

Anyway, thank you again for the most wonderful present ever! You're the best! =)

Author's Response: I'm so happy you liked it! And this is the longest and most awesome review I have ever gotten!!!

It's funny how you have gotten all the details of this story, and even more. I honestly don't remember that I would have thought that much about it being Ronan addressing George and not the other way around. But I guess I thought they both expected the other to not want company and thinking in some way that they should not talk to each other because it would be easier that way. Just not disturbing each other. So I guess I have thought about that in a way.

Would you ever guess that George was the most difficult character for me to write in this one? He is maybe the one people expect to be easier, but I have other preferences. ;)

Ronan on the other hand was fun to write, a bit in the same way as Nearly-Headless Nick. Kind of a bit outside and having his own special views though seeing much more in a way because he is not participating much. But the difficulty in this and partly also why I left it laying for a while was seeing the romance from his point of view. Another character could have been much closer to them and seen many more situations, but now I needed them to keep running into the forest all the time. That was a bit of a hard thing.

I'm so happy that my characterisation of Ronan got through from my writing. The main thing I wanted to show was his insecurity about where he is. He sees himself as being quite the average centaur, not like Bane and magorian, nor like Firenze, but somewhere in between. He also feels that as such he is supposed to behave properly and not associate too much with other creatures, but just leave them in peace and himself do his own stuff. Usually he succeeds in this, but suddenly there is this interesting drama in front of his eyes, and he can't help but follow it and get interested, which makes him confused and at last he accepts this new side in himself.

And thanks to you for the most wonderful review ever and for the great challenges that gave me ideas! I really liked writing this story!

-Annina


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Review #20, by sauerkraut_poetThe Unsinkable Molly Prewett: Brown-Eyed Girl

5th December 2007:
Oh, I'm so happy to have discovered this story! Molly/Arthur is one of my all-time favorite pairings, and it's so hard to find good fics about them while they were at Hogwarts. I absolutely love everything about this - your characterizations, plot idea, everything. It's one of the most realistic romance stories I've read, as well as one of the sweetest (and it's very hard to achieve both of those things at once). I admire you for not falling into either the "love at first sight" cliche or the "let's come up with as many obstacles as possible before they finally get together" one.

I especially admire how you portrayed Molly's feelings for Thaddeus at the beginning of the story. They're obviously so real, and present, and strong in Molly's mind... yet the reader can tell that Molly's attraction to him is based off looks, even though it's clear that she doesn't realize that herself. Usually, in fanfic, it's the guy who falls for the pretty girl when it's clear he's supposed to like the main character, so I love the way you've switched things around (plus, it seems more realistic to me given the characters involved that Molly would be the one to fancy someone for looks).

The whole plot idea with the duplication of the love potion is original and entertaining, and doesn't get drawn out or ridiculous (which I admire you for). I'm also glad you chose not to over-dramatize the situation by making various characters excessively mad at Molly. The way Arthur tried to cover up for Molly and not spread the story of what she'd done is such a nice touch, and so thoughtful. It's also nice to see what a genuinely good person Molly is by how badly she feels about trying to make the potion in the first place. And the part where she finally starts to notice Arthur - it just makes me so warm and fuzzy inside. :)

Thanks again for the great read - I'm looking forward to the next chapter!

Author's Response: Oh yay! OMG this review just made my night (seriously why am I still awake at midnight? ugh.)! I think Molly is likely to have had a lot of those kind of silly crushes in her teen years, since she fancied Lockhart later. And I like to think M&A are so destined for each other that they'd just fall quite easily into a relationship. I'm not fond of severe drawn-out emotional castration, and I don't think it makes for a healthy long-term relationship, which Molly and Arthur clearly have 30 years later (also, I've been married for 7 years and drama just sounds exhausting now LOL). I see Molly as being oblivious for most of her Hogwarts years to Arthur while he quietly pined for her, so that's how I'm writing this :) And I like people to be good, so Thad won't be angry with her, and she won't get into too much trouble, because it's just a love potion after all, not an Unforgivable LOL.

Seriously, thank you SO much for this beautiful and thoughtful review. I appreciate it so much. It makes me all warm and fuzzy to know my little story is appreciated! *big hugs* I feel more motivated to finish it - I think I'm at maybe a halfway point, but we'll see. I have a hard time not just continuing a story endlessly as long as I'm still entertained by it, so I'm working on a story arc.

Here's a question for you... Since Molly does have a temper, I have a plot bunny for Arthur getting into trouble and her flipping her lid at him - they get back together very quickly of course because Molly's temper flares seem to pass quickly (interestingly, Molly is a Scorpio and Arthur an Aquarius). Do you think that's unnecessary drama or realistic because of teenager hormonal stupidity? Thanks for your input on the story!


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Review #21, by sauerkraut_poet:

4th December 2007:
Aww, Ward is so sweet. Did we ever learn his first name? And I love how Saskia always thinks Queshire is way meaner than he is. And the image of Saskia sitting in the kids' waiting room at the hospital is priceless - one of my favorite moments in this chapter! The other was probably the way she tried to focus on whippoorwills so hard - she certainly has a unique character. I also really love Alison's role in this chapter. She always seems to be the perceptive one, but very blunt about everything, lol.

There were a couple things that surprised me in this chapter, too. I expected that they would've just forgotten to, um, take necessary precautions that one time, but the fact that they never did is a very interesting statement on the wizarding community at large and how they're educated. I also expected Saskia to take longer with her decisions, maybe worry about it for another chapter, but I guess sometimes you just know what to do. :)

There was only one small thing I noticed that needed correction - the Moon festival at the end of the last chapter was in September, and the beginning of this chapter is in August, so unless Saskia's been having fun with her TimePod, I'd expect it to be October or something... anyway, just thought I'd point it out. Good luck with the next chapter!

Author's Response: Thanks for your review =). Uh, I never even really thought about Ward's first name. Let's see...how about Michael? The children's waiting room and whippoorwill things are personal anecdotes. Alison has such a fun character, because I love blunt honesty.

I understand why JKR never went into sex education in the books, but I always wondered if they had it at Hogwarts. So for this, I assumed they didn't. And I've never been pregnant, but I feel like Saskia would just know what she wanted to do. She tends to go with her gut instinct.

Yeah, I've been kind of bad with transitions and passage of time and such lately. Odd, because (I think) I'm usually okay. But Kylie's birthday is September 7th, and the Moon Festival is around the middle/end of the month (it changes year to year), so that's about when this chapter takes place.


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Review #22, by sauerkraut_poet:

1st December 2007:
You seriously have the best timing. This chapter was like the perfect reward for me for finishing two grad school applications, lol... my absolute favorite part has to be the bit with Imogen. I'm so glad you've fleshed out her character. Previously, she and Linus were just sort of... there, I guess... being the perfect couple, but neither of their characters were given as much depth as, say, Alison or Kylie. It's nice that you're making their relationship more realistic, and I have to commend you on doing this without changing Imogen's characterization (although maybe the characterization was there for you all along but didn't make it into the story much yet). It makes sense that she would keep her problems to herself and worry over details and stuff without really wanting to tell anyone.

I also really enjoyed finally meeting Saskia's grandparents! I love the way they struggled with the concept of Saskia's job. So many stories are full of instances where kids get their Hogwarts letter and believe in magic immediately, but I find this to be much more realistic, and their questions were hilarious.

I do have a couple small critiques for you: while the various sections are well-written in themselves, the transitions seem a bit more abrupt than usual. I would have liked a little more introduction with regards to the Moon Festival and Saskia's grandparents as opposed to just beginning with the mooncakes smelling bad. Same with Kylie's birthday party. The bit with Jotie and Saskia suddenly whispering about Nathan and Ella also seemed a bit rushed and like it could have been lead into more. But all of this could be due to an extreme lack of sleep on my part as well...

So, overall, excellent job!

Author's Response: Thanks for your review! Glad my timing was good =). I kind of wanted to shake things up with Imogen, to get her going on her character arc, since she's been quite stale, and hopefully her characterization turns out good by the end. Saskia's grandparents are actually based on my ex-boyfriend's grandparents, who are terrifying in person but seem funny after the fact. Yeah, I know this chapter just didn't...flow. I guess it was kind of forced and I was kind of delirious from lack of sleep while writing it, and hopefully I'll revise and improve it soon. But, the next chapter is up and I think it's much better! Thanks again for all your comments!

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Review #23, by sauerkraut_poet:

22nd October 2007:
I'm so happy you're continuing this series! I read the last two recently and really fell in love with your characters. Not just Saskia, but all of her family and friends as well. I hope we'll get to see plenty of Jotie, her parents, Alison, Imogen, Kylie, and of course Toby(!) in this third installment. Even if I do sort of know what's going to happen (from the banner request) I don't think it'll spoil the story for me, because your writing style is just so great. I've seen quite a few stories with a similar plot, but the way you present your ideas is so fresh and humorous, I'm excited to see how the story unfolds in your words. Good luck with this!

Author's Response: Thank you so much (the banner is AMAZING)! So glad you like the cast of characters...I like to think of this as an ensemble cast. I totally neglected Toby in Confessions, but hopefully I'll remember him in Escapades! I definitely hope this somewhat clichéd premise isn't too boring, and I definitely like to spin things from a new angle.

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Review #24, by sauerkraut_poetAn Impossibility: The Story of Andromeda and Ted: Chapter One: Ted, Andromeda, and the Potted Plant of Doom

6th October 2007:
This was absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much for writing it. Of the few Andromeda fics out there, most portray her as a rebel of sorts, somewhat akin to Sirius. I've always wanted to write a story in which she's much more Slytherin-esque, but never found the time. So I'm really happy to finally find a fic like this to read - your portrayal of her is incredible. I'm really looking forward to the next chapter!

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Review #25, by sauerkraut_poetEckeltricity: Friends, Maybe

9th September 2007:
Thank you so, so much for writing this. It's perfect. Really. It's almost like you read my mind, and knew exactly what sort of story I wanted to read - the perfect Molly/Arthur fic I've been searching for for ages - and somehow managed to get it written down. I love Arthur's dorkiness and awkwardness - it's really cute and endearing the way you've written him.

I also like the dilemma you've shown in Molly's mind - how she seems to like Arthur somewhat but is scared of befriending him due to social pressures. It's something that happens so often in real life - I remember feeling such pressures myself in elementary and middle school in particular - but this issue is touched upon so rarely in the fanfic world. Most fics tend to focus on either those at the very top or very bottom of the social ladder, but not the confused people in the middle, which the majority of us are. Perhaps it's because most of us have at some point shut out someone less popular, and feel a bit ashamed of ourselves, so it's easier not to think about the issue, and not to write about it (except to portray those struggling with the issue in a negative way). I don't really know. But in any case, I admire you for including this dynamic in your story - it makes your fic seem much more realistic.

I skimmed through your other reviews and noticed you wrote that you were somewhat less confident about your characterization of Molly than with Arthur and I just wanted to comment on that. There's absolutely nothing wrong with your characterization of Molly - everything she does is perfectly believable - but her character is considerably less developed than Arthur's. It's like your insecurities about how to portray her show a bit in your writing. Since this is only the first chapter, it's not particularly noticeable, but I'd encourage you, in future chapters, to stop worrying so much about whether your readers will find her character believeable, and instead, decide exactly what YOU think Molly would have been like - do a character outline if you think it would help - and then do everything in your power as a writer to MAKE us believe that that's what Molly was really like as a teenager.

You've shown already that you're an extremely talented writer, so you should have no problem doing this. I'm only nitpicking because you seemed insecure about yout characterization, and it's your first fic. Otherwise I wouldn't have bothered to mention it, because it's still the best characterization of Molly and Arthur I've ever read. I know I must've seemed very strict about the characterization in my challenge, but that's from reading fics where Arthur is a popular alcoholic quidditch star with a different girl every week. Which I really do not want to read again. You've got nothing to worry about, you're doing great! Thanks again for writing this, and sorry for taking so long to review - validating can get pretty busy sometimes. =)

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