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Reading Reviews From Member: Oregonian
  
24 Reviews Found

Review #1, by OregonianFirst Words: First Words

3rd January 2017:
A cute little story, just a tiny moment in life, but our memories are studded with these tiny, special moments, aren't they? There are a certain number of children who do as James does in this story, namely, not speak at all until they suddenly start speaking in sentences, as if they would not be satisfied with clumsy, incomplete utterances, so they wait until they can speak with a competence they can be proud of. I have wondered if that is a sign of intelligence; some famously intelligent people were late to begin speaking. Thanks for writing.

Author's Response: Thank you! Yes, some memories are such gems aren't they? I got the idea from some cute little anecdotes that people have told me. Thank you very much for reading!!

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Review #2, by OregonianEmbracing Death: Embracing Death

8th September 2015:
Hi Alexis,

I really like this story. In barely a thousand words you have told an entire story, with all the bits of information that allow us to connect all the dots and see what the situation was and is. And yet it doesn’t seem like an info-dump at all (hooray!) because you parcel out these clues one at a time, in places where they really fit. Now that is a skill I wish more authors had!

You have managed to show your main character’s feelings and moment-by-moment experience clearly and forcefully without being overly dramatic, and I thank you for keeping the angst under control. The story is so much clearer, neater, cleaner, more focused, when it’s not overlain with too much angst. The situation is already so dreadful that it speaks for itself.

I liked the imagination shown in this plot. There are various Hermione-goes-back-in-time-and-meets-Tom stories, often including and-falls-in-love-with-him, but I prefer the steely-eyed, nothing-left-to-live-for suicide warrior in your story. That’s the Hermione we know and love.

Good job.

Vicki

Author's Response: Hello Vicki,

Thank you for such a detailed review, and for my first review ever at HPFF. Quite the welcome, indeed.

This story was written ages ago at what now is a ghost-town of an archive. It was in response to a challenge and the only requirement (that I can now recall) was it had to be short. I went in to the writing of it from the perspective of making it as barren as Hermione's soul. The chance that was offered was a death wish but after suffering what she had, what would death matter? Wouldn't she view it as salvation, instead?

I had wanted to convey all of that but without burdening the story, so I whittled away at it. A few weeks ago I dusted it off my virtual shelf and at the insistence of a Validator, whittled a little more. Could I make this description more precise or that action have more than just face value? Could I portray the horror she endured at Bella's hands while contrasting it with what Tom was currently doing, what Ron never got to do with her? Overall it was a refreshing break from my usual style of writing.

I'm glad you liked it and sincerely thank you for your kind words.

~Alexis


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Review #3, by OregonianAll Existing Matter: Chapter One

6th September 2015:
Welcome to the Slytherin Hot Seat. What fun to see a HP fanfiction story based on space travel. I really enjoy reading them, but they are very rare.

Your story moves along at a lively pace, like a pen-and-ink drawing that suggests a lot with just a few strokes of the pen. Similarly, your few sentences provide a framework upon which we can lay the details of all the rocket-ship-space-travel movies we have ever seen, without your having to describe all the details for us.

This opening chapter is quite intriguing. Why is MASA such a big secret? What are they trying to accomplish by studying extraterrestrial plants? Since the chapter ends with a log entry by Rose, can we assume that she and Carson got out of the mud somehow? And now that you have put your characters into this fix, how will you get them out of it? In a very short space of time you have set up a lot of different possibilities. I expect that the following chapters will show us readers in detail the things that Rose and Carson have to do in order to survive, I would not be at all surprised to learn that there are more than just plants on Janus!

I enjoyed your story. It was lots of fun.

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Review #4, by OregonianFudge: Fudge

1st June 2015:
Hi! I was looking for a story of yours to read, from which there are many to choose, and I picked this charming little bit of fluff. It is so cute, the image of the young teenage girl mentally falling all over herself when in the presence of a handsome, famous, glamorous athlete.

All the little touches are there, and it reminds me vividly of what it was like to be that age, so many years (decades?) ago. It brings a big smile of nostalgic amusement to my face as I read.

The heart of this story is the interchange between Roxanne and Jason, but Jason does not appear until the story is one-third completed. The first third of the story plods a bit slowly, the only connection with the rest of the story being George’s request for fudge bars, so I think this delightful story could be made even better by tightening up the preliminaries and introducing Jason somewhat earlier.

But thank you for a fast, fun read. Although it appears to be connected to much longer works of yours, which I have not read, it stands alone quite nicely as an example of how young teenage girls think and behave, worshipping a handsome, dark-haired young celebrity from afar. Nice job!

Vicki/Oregonian

Author's Response: Hey Vicki!

Aww yay! I'm glad that you chose to read one of my stories :D I love hearing what people think.

Oh Roxanne's crush on Jason! It's legendary in the family.

I agree with you, I need to include Jason a bit more in this, but it was a missing moment from my Louis story that someone wanted me to write :(

Thank you so much! And I am so glad that you enjoyed the story :D


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Review #5, by OregonianSneak: Sneak

26th May 2015:
Here for a review swap!

This story is an insightful look into the world of a minor character about whom we know very little, from canon. Sometimes I read stories about Marietta and the aftermath of her crucial incident in OotP, but I have never seen one in which she finally commits suicide.

You have certainly ramped up the pressure and anguish she feels from her home life, taking the little hint, in Chapter Eighteen of OotP, that her mother had forbidden her to do anything to upset Umbridge because her mother worked for the Ministry, and turning her mother into an out-of-control virago within the privacy of her home. The line in OotP has Cho mentioning Marietta’s “parents”, but I see that you have chosen to take her father out of the picture, no doubt thinking that, were he present, he would not have allowed her mother to abuse her so viciously.

The book doesn’t give us a good rationale for why Marietta finally revealed the information about Dumbledore’s Army to Umbridge, but your supposition that she was succumbing to pressure from her mother to not associate with the Resistance makes sense.

Your descriptions of Marietta’s feelings, at home, with her friends, in the headmaster’s office, and afterwards, are vivid and well developed. I like the description of how it feels to be Obliviated. The book really doesn’t tell us much of the aftermath for her personally, except that she was in the hospital wing with no cure in sight, and a brief exchange with Ron in which he expresses the anger of the Gryffindors. You have imaginatively expanded these few hints to a drastic conclusion.

This is a strong story with many good turns of phrase, such as “feel the disapproval radiating off of the Hufflepuffs”, though I’m not sure that the professors would have deliberately treated her badly afterwards (they are adults, after all), but she would likely interpret their actions (accidentally dropping the flobber-worms) as deliberate personal attacks. The Slytherins cheering when she walked into the room was an appropriate touch.

There are a few editing points, which I will send to you in a PM so as not to clutter up the review.

Nice job.

Vicki

Author's Response: Hi there,

Thanks so much for leaving such a detailed review, it always makes me happy when people take the time to leave a nice long bit of feedback so I can edit things and improve my writing so thank you again :)

To be honest, my favourite characters to write about are the minor ones. We know next to nothing about them and the possibilities are endless! I enjoyed this one particularly because of the negative view of Marietta because of the DA and I loved attempting to change peoples minds about her because I genuinely think that she must have had a good reason for going to Umbridge.

I'll make sure to edit the mistakes when you send them. Thanks again for the detailed review :)


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Review #6, by OregonianThe Three Generations: Sorting Ceremony: Scorpius Malfoy

26th May 2015:
Back again for a review of Chapter Three. My favorite lines in this chapter are “…you better write to your father too. He’ll like that,” and “Ravenclaw wasn’t bad, in fact it was good.”

Another charming chapter. Scorpius at age eleven seems shyer and more hesitant than the two girls in the previous chapters. Perhaps it’s because girls mature faster than boys do.

I wondered why there was pin-drop silence after his House was announced by the Hat. Was it because no one believed that a Malfoy could be Sorted into any House except Slytherin? If so, then this present result might be an indicator of how the ancient stereotypes about the Slytherin House or the Malfoy family might be breaking down. Good. Even ideas that are seemingly set in stone need to be challenged occasionally.

I notice that in the three chapters of this story, you have your characters Sorted into three different Houses. So far, no one associated with the Malfoy family is being Sorted into Gryffindor. I suppose that things change, with time, but some things take a little longer. :)

A nice finish to your story about the Sorting of the three generations. What an original idea this little collection of short stories is. A pleasure to read it.

Vicki

Author's Response: Thank you for reading and reviewing! Glad you liked Scorpius here. Yes, there was silence because they definitely had felt he'd be a Slytherin!

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Review #7, by OregonianThe Three Generations: Sorting Ceremony: Astoria Greengrass

26th May 2015:
What a charming story! You have really given Astoria a unique personality, showing us many different qualities that all add up to a cohesive overall personality.

It is refreshingly original to depict a first-year who is not nervous or frightened about the Sorting process, but rather eager and excited, or, as the Hat says, enthusiastic. I loved your line about the first years who “looked ready to bolt.” A marvelous insight, that some might want to turn tail and run, although I don’t think that any ever did.

She is certainly spunky, daring to talk first to the Sorting Hat, just to test whether her father’s account had been true or only a joke. And thank you for your own spunk in daring to flout the conventional assumption and put her into Hufflepuff. That was certainly where she fit, after all that we had seen of her. The suggestion in your story was that her parents had been Slytherins; if so, it gives the lie to the notion that all Slytherins are haughty and cold-hearted. (Being a Slytherin myself, I welcome any evidence that disproves that stereotype!)

I enjoyed her observation about the Malfoy family. Another touch of irony there. She has no idea that the family she thinks of as “complete maniacs,” “strange,” “cruel,” and “intimidating” would someday become her in-laws.

Since we know next to nothing about Astoria from canon, I have really enjoyed reading your perception of her.

A very nice job.

Vicki

Author's Response: Thank you for reading and reviewing! I'm pleased you liked my portrayal of Astoria!

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Review #8, by OregonianThe Three Generations: Sorting Ceremony: Narcissa Black

26th May 2015:
I really like this glimpse of the child Narcissa, already steeled by her mother to project the perfectly-controlled image of a Black, but still with a child’s insecurities and capacity for surprise. Her emotions, which she so successfully hides by dint of long practice, are sprinkled throughout your little story to convinces that behind the facade, Narcissa is not much different from all of us. Squirmy guts, clammy palms, pounding heart, worry about the future, all there just under the surface.

I loved your line “The Hat prophesied as well?” Now there’s an uncommon twist to the usual Sorting Hat conversation. The Hat predicts that she will bring a change and do something big. The irony is that she doesn’t know, but we do, what that change and that big something will be. She naturally assumes that it will be something in line with her family’s values, something that will make her family very happy.

Do you suppose she remembered this prophecy as the years went by, wondering when her grand deed would be accomplished, or wondering if perhaps the Sorting Hat had been mistaken? Do you suppose, when the moment came, that she identified it as the moment that the Hat had prophesied?
Did she ever tell anyone about this prophesy?

This story is very well-written. It is to the point, with each phrase and each sentence doing its duty. There are no superfluous words, nothing awkward, nothing unclear. So it is very enjoyable to read.

I’ll bet that most of us readers have a sympathetic attitude towards Narcissa, eventually a strong woman in a horrible situation, so it is a pleasure to read about her at this critical moment in her life.

Nice job.

Vicki

Author's Response: Thank you for reading and reviewing! I'm glad you liked it, and could sympathise towards Narcissa. I definitely think that she'd have reflected back on the prophecy some day after the war!

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Review #9, by OregonianFenrir: Fenrir

23rd May 2015:
Hi! This is Vicki from Slytherin House. I picked this little story to review because it hasn’t had as much love as it deserves, and My Gosh! It certainly deserves more love!

Maybe some potential readers hesitate because the subject, Fenrir Greyback, is so loathsome—we never see anything but loathsomeness in JKR’s depiction of him—but you have made him very interesting. I suppose, if one can only get past his gruesome exterior, which is admittedly hard to do, one must concede that there ought to be an interesting story there, and you have shown us some of what it is.

I like your writing style. It is very straightforward and pretty objective, not romanticizing poor Fenton or going way deeply into his agonized reflections. Of course, the second-person voice, rather than the first person voice, tends to rein in the extravagant reflection we sometimes see in other stories. But your descriptions of Fenton/Fenrir’s behavior are very satisfying, as far as they go.

When I finished the story, I glanced back at the beginning to refresh my memory of how he himself got bitten, and I was surprised to see that that information wasn’t there—you had not included it. I’d say that that is evidence of how well you had drawn me into the mindset of this unfortunate but ultimately fallen man, that I ended up believing that I had read his entire story.

You did an excellent job in portraying the struggle in Fenton’s mind about trying to resist his werewolf urges, but it was clever to indicate that it was mainly his fear of being caught and imprisoned that impelled his resistance, not any moral consideration about the wrongness of attacking humans. Your final line is good (a good final line is always a jewel)—that the werewolf persona was his one true self. Makes me wonder what Fenton was like in his former life, before he became a werewolf. Was he one of those people who follow the rules because society demands it but who really don’t have much sympathy for their fellow man?

I also like your brief note about Fenrir’s association with the Dark Lord and what advantage it had for him, but I think you have a typo here about the dates, “from a cold winter’s day in early 1982 to the night he attacked the Potter boy on Halloween of 1981.”

All in all, a refreshingly original and creative little story. I’m very glad I read it. Maybe other people will read and review also now. Congratulations on your very successful foray into new territory!

Vicki

Author's Response: Hello Vicki! Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to review my story. I was so glad to see that somebody had taken the time to read Fenrir!

I am glad you liked the writing in this piece. It was the first time I had ever attempted second person (for a challenge) and I was a bit unsure of how it would come across. Your comments on the Fenton vs. Fenrir inner struggle and the before/after had me nodding along.

Thanks for pointing out that typo... that definitely is not right! I will go back and fix it now!

Thanks again for the lovely review. =)


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Review #10, by OregonianThe Most Beautiful Flower: The Most Beautiful Flower

22nd May 2015:
Hi there.

It’s almost always a pleasure to read a story about Severus Snape, and this is a very well-written story, revealing a little Missing Moment that could well have occurred in canon.

It’s a story with no dialogue, no very vigorous action, mainly a stream of consciousness touching upon a half dozen different but related topics as Snape leaves Lily’s funeral and walks along the river near his childhood home. But you make it work well, one thought flowing seamlessly into the next, with a background of scene description in the outdoor settings.

I appreciate your accomplished way with scene description, one detail being further adorned with subsidiary details, and then finished off with a sprinkle of tiny details dangling like little ornaments, all revealing your noteworthy ability to notice and record the myriad observable features that make up a common object such as a willow tree. Some authors take this type of description to an extreme, so that it becomes a tour de force, and the story line is almost lost in the thick verbiage of the descriptive details, but you do not go to this extreme, and I very much appreciate it. You are like a woman who knows it makes a better show not to wear all her jewelry at the same time.

I enjoyed reading about the not-common topics of Lily’s funeral (preservation charm: a good idea to keep the mortal remains fresh for two weeks) and the question of whether Snape or other members of the magical community believed in God or Heaven or Hell.

A tiny suggestion. In your final paragraph of three sentences, you use the conditional verb form (he would only return; he too would be gone) in the first two sentences, but the ordinary past tense for the final sentence (Severus Snape closed his own eyes..) So the first two sentence obviously refer to the future. But the final sentence almost sounds as if it refers to the time contemporaneous with the body of the story, so I would suggest putting that verb in the conditional form also (Severus Snape would close his own eyes for the final time).

Your writing is very imaginative, seeing possibilities in events that other might simply overlook, giving them dignity and gravitas, inviting us to look more closely at things we thought we already knew.

Thank you so much for bringing this one-shot to my attention. If we can call anything about Snape “sweet”, it was a sweet read.

Vicki

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Review #11, by OregonianThe Red Haired Witch: Chapter One

15th May 2015:
This was a fascinating story, tied to an early part of canon, when Tom Riddle was working at Borgin and Burke’s. I don’t recall having read any other story involving Tom at this point in his life.

Your writing reminds me of the stories by Teh Terik—lush with description of scene and exposition of thoughts far beyond the ordinary. I loved the description of the interior of Borgin and Burke’s, with all its ghastly contents, and I asked myself if I could have ever thought of all those details, if I had attempted to depict that scene. Probably not.

Your exploration of the relationship between the two sisters was excellent. We readers quickly learned all we needed to know, to understand why Ganymede did what she did. Because the story is told through Ganymede’s eyes and in her voice, I had less of a sense of what Callista was feeling and what motivated her. We have only Ganymede’s side of the story. But Ganymede’s perception was all that mattered to her, so it fully explains her actions.

I was intrigued to discover that the driver of the Black Mariah that was to take Ganymede to Azkaban was in fact Tom Riddle. How did he manage that? I suppose he overpowered the genuine driver and took his place. No matter. The important thing was that Tom was there. A clever touch, his saying that ‘Tom’ was no longer his name. Obviously he has begun to set his plan of world domination in motion. I wondered what was in the satchel that he gave her at the end—a change of clothing and some snacks, or something more sinister? He has gained her loyalty by ingratiating himself with her, helping her to gain what she sorely wanted and rescuing her from suffering the consequences of her actions. I wonder if he gained other followers also in the same way, in the early days before he became well known as a charismatic leader to whom people flocked without expecting favors in return.

As I said, a fascinating story. You write very, very well.

Vicki/Oregonian

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Review #12, by OregonianTear Stained Heart: Scene Five

9th May 2015:
Hi, Cassie. I picked this story to review because it had the fewest reviews of all your stories. It really is unusual because it’s five chapters of pure emotions. And furthermore, the main character in Ron, the guy who could never think of the right thing to say. But in all this talking to himself in his head, he proves to be a pretty eloquent fellow.

By concentrating on his feelings, you show him living entirely “in the moment”, what the gurus nowadays call “mindfulness”. He concentrates entirely on what he is seeing, experiencing, and feeling at this very moment. He’s not thinking back on his exciting life up to this point, nor speculating about the future years. Of course a story like this has to be written in the first person.

At first I didn’t know where the story was going, and I just luxuriated in the mass of little details that make up the scenes, but then it became clear that we were headed for emotions of a different sort, as the final three of the five chapters dealt with Ron’s dying, death, and afterlife observations of his family and friends. I liked the detail of the red button which Hermione could push when she was finished with her good-byes, and Ron’s awareness of everything, even after he appeared to be in a coma. The presence of the ghosts, especially Fred, made a smooth transition from this life to the next, complementing the smooth transition of Ron, who never stopped talking and observing, even as he passed the boundary.

This is certainly “no happy ending”, but it is interesting that you chose, not a resurgence of Death Eaters or a mishap in Ron’s occupation, or even a falling-out between once loving partners, but just a senseless, random piece of bad luck, totally unexpected and unpredictable, the sort of thing that could happen to anyone. Just in case we thought we had any guarantees in life…

An unusual subject and an unusual treatment. Nice work.

Vicki

Author's Response: Thank you SO much for this review. This story has probably been one of my favorite to write - I need to get back to the fleshed out emotions.

And sometimes it is nice to not paint Ron in such a negative light as so often happens in Dramiones [I myself am guilty].

And thank you for reviewing! It was a great thing to see =)


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Review #13, by OregonianThe Sorting of Albus Severus: Chapter 2

8th May 2015:
Hi! This is Vicki/Oregonian of Slytherin House. I just had to read this story because what we all want to know, of course, is which House Al was Sorted into.

I was struck by your writing this entire story with essentially only two characters. True, there are other bodies lurking in the background like silent shadows, but our focus is directed entirely on Albus and Dominique. This makes the message of the story really stand out. In fact, there’s virtually no dialogue at all in Chapter 1, except for the brief conversation with the Sorting Hat, and yet Chapter 1 is full of life anyway.

I love the way you show Al’s assumed confidence as the story opens. He is a member of a large and loving family, Gryffindors all (or so he thinks). He knows about Hogwarts and its customs and what goes on there. He feels about as comfortable as he can be, for a new First Year. He knows he can influence the Sorting Hat somewhat by making a special request. And then, in the blink of an eye, he gets blindsided by being Sorted into Hufflepuff, and his vision of his assured future comes crashing down.

It makes me wonder whether there are other first Years who are so disappointed by their final disposition. Are there tears blurring the eyes of some other new First Years also?

Your Dominique is so wise, like a Ravenclaw, but also so compassionate, like a Hufflepuff, to see instantly what this might mean for Al and to seek him out the very next morning to try to prevent a long-term disappointment. It was clever of you to write her like that, trying to turn Al’s perceptions around before they had a chance to become entrenched in his mind.

Your writing style is plain and straightforward, very easy to read, and free of excessive description or lush verbiage that might distract us from the sharp focus of the story. It is just a little moment, but an important one that can affect Al’s life for good or ill. I enjoyed reading this story.

Author's Response: Hello Vicki! Thank you for taking the time to read and review the whole story. =)

Writing with two characters was something very different to me. Both in fan fiction and original fiction I tend to have pretty big casts, but that didn't seem to fit for this story. I felt like it would be clearest for the message and to show Albus's growth with a smaller cast, especially since it is for a Children's Story challenge.

Your question is a great one. Surely there are other kids who are disappointed in where they end up, even though we don't see them. Now my mind is running through other characters to try to figure out who else might have been disappointed.

I'm glad you enjoyed this. Thanks again! =)


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Review #14, by OregonianJust A Governess: Just A Governess

18th April 2015:
Hi, Cassie. This is Vicki of Slytherin House, answering your request for a review for your newest story.

I enjoyed your story very much. It is simple, sweet, very open and straightforward. We can see the personalities and emotions of the two main characters without a lot of florid over-writing. In a few well-constructed sentences you have given us all the backstory we need to appreciate this little tale.

The structure of this story is interesting—four little vignettes covering eighteen years, all well linked with a connecting theme of friendship and famiy. Despite the timespan, the story doesn’t sound jerky; the transitions are well done.

Both of your characters are attractive, strong women, and it is good to see the uncompromised friendship between them, a friendship that lasts so many years without rupture. Reading about it makes one appreciate friendships in one’s own life. I have not read your longer story, of which this is a little explanation, but it sounds intriguing, something about Ava’s fourth daughter, is it not? I will have to check it out.

Thank you for writing. Nice job.

Vicki

Author's Response: Hi Vicki!
I'm so glad you enjoyed this! I debated writing it for a long time, and then suddenly got inspiration for it one day and this is what came from that!
I'm really pleased to hear that you thought the transitions flowed well. I wanted to be clear that time was passing, but didn't want it to feel jumpy.
I'm so happy you liked Ava and Helga's friendship! I always liked the idea of two people being friends despite different social standings and people's expectations. Ava and Helga love each other, and it's kept them close through the years.
My novel is indeed about Ava's fourth daughter, Desiya, who is the baby she gives birth to in this one-shot. You'll see Helga in that story, too, if you do decide to check it out.
Thank you for the review swap!
Cassie :)


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Review #15, by OregonianLoyalty: Loyalty

17th April 2015:
Hi, Leigh.

This is Vicki of Slytherin House, responding to your request for comments on this latest story. So I read “Cowardice” first, to get the background, and then read this one.

Salazar certainly sounds like an extremely conflicted person here, and you have captured that quality well. He is torn between his love for Helga, to the extent that he is able to love, and his contempt for everyone (including her, I suppose) because he is always right and they are always wrong. Or so he believes.

On the one hand, he condemns her for loving him in spite of what he momentarily refers to as his weaknesses, and then he goes back in the other direction, closing up the chamber, but not going so far as to kill the monster. I love the way you have him swinging back and forth like a pendulum, vacillating between following his own “hunger” and being loyal to the original vision that the four founders had, back when they were co-operating instead of conflicting (is that a verb? It is now.)

This story provides some good explanation of why Salazar acted as he did, creating the monster and then walling it up before he made his final break from the other three Founders and left Hogwarts entirely. You know, the seven books never really explained that point well; the readers were left with this apparently arbitrary act on Salazar’s part, without a lot of insight into his thoughts when he did it.

So thank you for writing and giving us this view into his mind at this crucial point in Hogwarts’ history. You have crammed a lot into few words. Nice job.

Vicki

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Review #16, by OregonianThe Other Weasley: Black Sheep

15th April 2015:
Hi, Startafire,

This is Vicki of Slytherin House, commenting on the first chapter of your first story posted here. It’s a lively story, with lots of vivid details that really paint a picture of what Molly’s life was like, and especially the family dynamics in her household. These details are well-chosen; there are no wasted words, and you appear to have an active imagination. Molly, Lucy, Audrey, and Percy are well characterized.

The story moves along at a brisk pace, covering all the preliminary stuff thoroughly but compactly. I was sorry when the chapter came to an end because I wanted to hear more about this whole situation of almost being a squib, and the family’s reaction, both when they thought no letter would ever arrive, and then when one actually did. I see your note that you are going to jump forward six years in Chapter Two. Sigh. This must mean I’m not going to hear any more of the present situation. Well, it’s always better to say too little, and have your audience wishing for more, than to say too much and have your audience feeling bored. :)

The one thing that would help your story is not characters or storyline (they are fine), but a good looking-over by a beta reader/editor, to fix up the imperfections in punctuation and sentence structure. Then the story would really shine.

You appear to have real possibilities as a writer because you have a way with storytelling. I am looking forward to reading the next chapters.

Vicki

Author's Response: Hey there Vicki!

Thank you for reviewing and a lovely long one at that!

I was quite worried that a first chapter with mostly the history of Molly would be a turn off, so I'm very happy you liked it! And my imagination does tend to get the better of me, a good thing for this story hopefully!

The fact that you said you were sad when the chapter came to an end is exactly what I was going for and I'm glad it worked. As for Molly's past as a squib, you will be hearing more about in future chapters when she is represented with further problems with her magic. Gotta keep those readers of their toes! Haha :)

I know exactly what you mean, I do plan to get beta very soon as I can be appalling with grammar at times.

This review made me smile, so lovely to read, so thank you!

Ella xx


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Review #17, by Oregonianle ciel saigne pour nous. : la lune et l’étoile.

15th April 2015:
Hi, Kiana,

This is Vicki from Slytherin. I picked this story from your top three for the review swap because it had fewer reviews than your chaptered stories.

The lush language of this story is so suited to a relationship that was really just a fantasy, a dream, a “What if?’ or “If only…” A web of metaphors, figurative language, personification of objects and forces of nature, as if everything in the environment was aware of the lovers and either supporting or opposing them.

We can see clearly see their emotions, the reluctance of Victoire in "She finally laughs… She mulls over the question… She finally answers… She sighs again… I don’t know… I need time to think… She finally whispers…" and the urgency of Scorpius in all his words, his demands.

Why, we wonder, was she reluctant? Why does she think “When the concepts of truth and time are combined with their relationship it never bodes well”? She seems to think that the relationship is doomed, but it’s not clear why she thinks that; an age difference of six or seven years is not that great.

And yet, as an unexpected twist, it is he, not she, who suddenly ends the relationship, wordlessly, by simply not showing up. Perhaps he, sensing her reluctance, decided that a quick kill was more merciful for both of them than simply dragging things out to their inevitable end. And she knows it, even if she never wanted to face it.

Your use of the sea as a backdrop is beautiful, and the images of bleeding emphasize how their love or maybe-love is as much damaging as nourishing. The images of moon, stars, night, and grayness all contribute wonderfully to the concept of the doomed and dying relationship.

In all, this was a lovely piece of writing, and the length is just right. I’m glad you didn’t add anything more like backstory or explanations, Explanations are not needed. It just is.

Vicki

Author's Response: Hey Vicki!

Aw, thank you so much!! ♥ I really did want to create this air of mystery and ambiguity because I even felt unsure about the state of their relationship at times because when one tried to pull the other towards them, the other was running in the other way.

I'm glad that you could see Victoire's reluctance. I always see her as a character who likes to be firmly in control of all relationships, hence why she's reluctant throughout except in the final section when Scorpius slips out of her grasp.

Oooh, great point, I think she was reluctant for the reasons I just gave and I think also the age gap too because she probably thought it was embarrassing to be a cougar even if you love someone, hence why she wanted that distance.

I know, it was a bit of a twist. I think Scorpius would have sensed all of her feelings and became rightly quite frustrated with Victoire and decided to end it without a final word, I suppose almost a bit like revenge too...

Aw, thank you so much! I find setting stories during night time to be so much more dramatic hence why it took place then as you can really explore the intensity of the story and all their emotions.

Thank you for this wonderful and fab review! ♥

-Kiana


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Review #18, by OregonianSir Gryffindor: One

11th April 2015:
Hi, Cassie. I picked this story to review because it had the fewest reviews already, and I didn’t realize unit I read it that it was a little backstory for your longer story about the twelve princesses. Now I will have to read that one also because I am curious about it and about how Godric fits into it.

This little gem was fun to read. It flows very well, with these little glimpses of Godric at the different ages from his very young boyhood up to his early manhood, with just a few details at each age, but all adding up to an endearing picture of the boy who grew up to be someone important.

I particularly loved the detail of his learning at a young age to carve the figurines, which littered the house, and how he made figure after figure to give to his mother as gifts. It reminded me of my own six-year-old-granddaughter, who declares that she will be an artist when she grows up, and who fills the house with her little artworks and is constantly giving her grandma little gifts.

You have skillfully included a lot of information in this brief space of writing, details of Godric’s family life, the context of his life’s situation, and the nature of his character, without seeming like an info-dump. I guess that’s because you chose the details for maximum effectiveness, while keeping the light, storytelling quality that is so charming. I am looking forward to reading the long story now. :)

Thanks for writing.

Vicki

Author's Response: Hi Vicki!
I'm so glad you enjoyed this story! It was very fun for me to write, because Godric's childhood was so simple and happy. It was really nice to delve into that a little bit. The little figurines he makes are one of my favorite parts of this. They also show up in the longer story at one point! :)
I'm so, so glad you picked this to read, and that you liked it so much! Thank you for the review!
Cassie :)


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Review #19, by OregonianOh My Darling: 2

11th April 2015:
Hi Cassie. This is Vicki of Slytherin House. I just read both chapters of your Albus-Clementine story (love your choice of her name), and I am enjoying how you are making this relationship begin.

It looks as if Albus and Clementine have more in common with each other than either of them suspects, but I can see why, after dating someone like Olivia, Albus is ready to find someone who is her exact opposite, and he is canny enough to realize that he’s more likely to find Olivia’s opposite in the library than in yet another raucous party. Will his growing friendship with Clementine change him in some way? Give him some sort of wisdom that he didn’t have earlier?

I also like the fact that both Albus and Scorpius are well-adjusted, put-together guys, instead of angsty misfits, as we sometimes see them portrayed. (You can see my vision of Scorpius in “Dark Enough To See The Stars”.) And I appreciate the apparently congenial relations between Gryffindor and Slytherin. You’d like to think that after the war, people would work hard on improving the friendly discourse among the various Houses.

I like your skill with dialogue. The characters aren’t too snarky or sarcastic, even Lizzie with Clementine; there is some joking but nothing really abrasive.

I notice that your POV changes back and forth between Clementine and Albus. This doesn’t bother me; I just started wondering whose story this was, and then decided that it was both their stories! So we will see the friendship developing through both of their eyes and will hear both both their internal thoughts about it. That will be fun!

This is a sweet story. Thanks for writing.

Vicki

Author's Response: Hi Vicki!
Albus and Clementine definitely are more similar than either of them believes. And their friendship will change both of them, but not everything will be happy about that fact.
I really want to explore Albus and Scorpius's friendship more as this story goes on. I think they (along with Rose) are definitely put-together, like you said, and hopefully people like the three of them in future chapters.
I'm so glad you like the dialogue! I always have a lot of fun writing it, particularly when the characters involved are very different from one another.
I'm so glad you liked what I've written so far. Thank you so much for reading both chapters and for leaving such a sweet review!
Cassie :)


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Review #20, by OregonianZabini: Boy

10th April 2015:
Hi! This opening chapter is an intriguing beginning to your story because in some aspects it is right in character with the Blaise we know from the seven books, and in other aspects it is very different.

Your Blaise is a remarkably cool, self-controlled child for having experienced so many potentially unsettling changes in his short lifetime with this long parade of fathers, and in this regard he is like the Blaise we see later—calm, self-controlled, seemingly not affected much by what is going on around him.

What surprises me is his history of benign exposure to the Muggle world, attending a Muggle school and then having a Muggle stepfather and stepsister for whom he held genuine affection. This attitude of Muggle acceptance contrasts greatly with his expressed attitude in the seven books, and makes me think that your upcoming chapters, tracing his experiences at Hogwarts School, will show us what made him change, and whether his new attitude of disdain for Muggles is genuine or some kind of a false front (and if so, for what purpose). This all makes him a potentially more complex character than the cliche Muggle-hating pureblood.

You have shown a lot of backstory in a brief space of writing. The use of the photographs is a good device. As he looks at each photograph briefly, one last time before leaving home, we have time to learn just a little bit about each father before he moves on to the next photo.

I had always had a worse impression of his mother, knowing little about her except that she had many husbands, and perhaps we automatically think the worst of her for that, picturing a serial divorcee who marries, lovelessly, for money and who discards no-longer-useful husbands without a backward glance. Or, more ominously, a serial murderess. But you present a much more appealing picture of her, although still without explaining why she had such terrible luck with husbands.

Your writing is smooth and graceful. I enjoyed reading it and am looking forward to reading the subsequent chapters. I wrote a little bit of Blaise myself in the second chapter of my two-chapter story “The Crofter and the Snake” and in some writing exercises for a class I took at another site. He is an intriguing character; we know just enough about him to be able to take him in a variety of different directions.

Nice job. Thank you for writing.

Vicki

Author's Response: Hey Vicki :)

Wow, thank you so much for such a fabulous review! I'm glad you could see some of the characteristics that Blaise has in the books. As for the 'distain for Muggles', that shall be introduced in further chapters. As you so correct suspected.

I hope to make him a slightly more complex character. After all, he is mentioned very little and so there is a lot to explore.

I'm pleased you liked the photographs! I wasn't sure if it would get repetitive, so its nice to hear that it worked for you.

Personally I feel, at this point in time at least, he kind of hero-worships his mother. She has been the only constant presence in his life thus far. I don't believe she marries lovelessly, but there is certainly more to come on that front.

Thank you very much. I'm smiling so much right now. I do like Blaise, and I'm glad this challenge got me writing him.

Lottie


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Review #21, by OregonianThe Shadow Prince : The Goblin's Visit

28th March 2015:
Hi, Jenna. This story is just marvelous. I love the way you use the important elements of the Harry Potter story, but in new, fresh ways. It is as if the inhabitants of the Potterverse are putting on a stage play or filming a movie, and the parts in this drama are being played by the inhabitants most suited to play those roles, as selected by the director (you). The elements of the Harry Potter story and the Little Princess story are interwoven so skillfully that I don’t think that a naive reader would realize that this story is a blending of two dissimilar stories. The touches of genuine Potter trivia are charming to encounter, unexpectedly, here and there within the storyline, always filling in well, woven in place with completely appropriate new material. The writing style is smooth and polished, which makes for easy reading with no imperfect wording to distract our attention and break the mood.

It has been a very long time since I read A Little Princess, but I recall that it had an extremely Victorian feel, which you have recreated very well. One is reminded of Charles Dickens’ stories from the outset.

I am looking forward to reading the rest of this story. We appear to have a long way yet to go, and I am curious about how you will continue weaving the wizarding elements into the old tale of the abandoned child. Very nice job.

Vicki

Author's Response: Hi Vicki, thank you so much for this amazing review! I'm very sorry in taking this long to respond. I really have enjoyed working on this story and it's so lovely to hear from you about it.

I LOVE the way you describe this genre or form of writing. it's not a crossover, but kind of in the same vein, and I love the analogy of the Potter characters putting on a play.

As someone who loves Dickens, that is an amazing compliment!

You've inspired me to start working on this again. I'm about to take a summer class in Victorian culture, so hopefully I'll be able to update sometime soon. Thank you so much for this! ♥


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Review #22, by OregonianGrowing Up Pureblood: Growing Up Pureblood

26th March 2015:
Hi, DD. I promised you a review because you so kindly reviewed my story, and I must say, “Wow!” This story harmonizes perfectly with canon and can be a totally apt explanation of why (this kind of behavior being repeated over and over during his childhood) Lucius ended up the kind of person that he was.

I have a six-year-old granddaughter, and I can say that you have captured the six-year-old personality very well. Sometimes I see children this age being depicted as too babyish, but you did not do that. You give us an excellent look inside his head, seeing his world through six-year-old eyes, not too sophisticated, but able to learn quickly. He doesn’t have a lot of toughness now, but just wait… It makes us realize how careful we have to be in our behavior around our children, because they soak it all up.

Your writing style is very easy to read. It flows well, enough description but not too much, rightly focusing on the child and his perceptions.

I will have to read some more of your stories. I look forward to enjoying them very much.

Vicki

Author's Response: Hello! Thanks for stopping by. I didn't want to make Lucius too babyish but also too haughty. I think it's easy to mess up a child and their thoughts when you're writing them from a grown persons perspective. My niece was one I think at the time I wrote this so I kind of fleshed her mannerisms and attitude and researched how I child would act or behave at six years old in comparison. I wanted it to be believable and I'm glad it was.

Thanks so much for the review.


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Review #23, by OregonianThe Valentine's Day Vandal: "I Don't Mean to Intrude"

24th March 2015:
Oh, this was so funny, fwoopersong8. Your Scorpius is very different from mine, but I enjoyed reading the story immensely, especially the interactions between the cousins. You have many lively, imaginative descriptive words and phrases, such as Scorpius looking like a spider who was missing some legs, and James’ hair looking electrocuted, to give just a couple of examples, and I like the way that the interactions among the cousins are basically loving, and although they are light-hearted, they are not sarcastic bordering on inconsiderate, as some authors write.

The whole story is full of enriching detail and a refreshingly positive attitude, even as the cousins are trying to play a practical joke on Scorpius, who I hope will see the humor in it at the end.

This story was a lot of fun to read. Keep it up!

Vicki

Author's Response: I'm glad you found this humorous. At home I can make my siblings laugh pretty easily, but up til now I haven't tested my sense of humor on other people, so I was interested to see how that went over. :) Humorous stories are some of my favorites to read, but I do think the jokes are compromised when they're based on very demeaning or inappropriate remarks. Even some of Harry's jabs at Dudley in the original series bother me -- and that's Dudley!!
As a side note, I certainly agree that your Scorpius is different from mine. That's something I love about fanfiction -- you get to see everyone's different ideas. It's like a color wheel. :)
Thanks again for the review! Never stop writing.
~fwoopersong8


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Review #24, by OregonianOperation Red: A Room of Red

18th March 2015:
Hi, Chazzie. This is Vicki of Slytherin House.

This was a cute little story, total fluff but fun to read. I was intrigued by all the details that added up to some sort of plot being hatched, obviously with all the details having been considered and taken care of, a masterwork of organization, and yet we readers didn't know until well into the story exactly what was afoot. It was good to see James masterminding something other than a mindless prank with some poor victim being the butt of an inconsiderate joke.

The Room of Requirement is a setting often seen because it is easy to use, but your description of all the decorations conjure a unique image in our minds, and the bubble machine that dresses the participants in snazzy clothes and incidentally forces them to publicly confess their secret loves was a clever touch.

James' speech gave the story its reason for being, an uplifting philosophy that appealed to everyone's better nature and seemed to extend the olive branch even to Snape. Nice job. Thank you for writing. (A mention also of the HPFF review challenge.)

Author's Response: Hey Vicki!

Thank you for your review! I'm pretty sure I was half asleep when writing this, hence all the random fluffiness haha.

I figured that by 7th year James might have grown up a little bit. I doubt Lily would have gone out with him had he not. I felt that this is one of the last times that they all get to be kids, before heading off to the uncertainty that awaits them in Voldemort's rise to power.

I'm glad you liked the room of requirement, and I hope it wasn't too cliched!

Lottie


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