Reading Reviews From Member: bittersweetflames
  
115 Reviews Found

Review #1, by bittersweetflamesDisappear: Pretend

19th March 2015:
Next chapter, it seems. :) Still here in support for the HPFF Fundraising Event.

This is such a short chapter and that quite depresses me because I really love the way you are shaping this entire story; the plot is really interesting and we're only beginning!

I have a new favorite friendship story - Draco and Harry are just equal amounts amusing and perfectly complex. Their teasing shows an underlying respect and like for one another, which you started well in the first chapter and managed to follow up this chapter.

The fact that Draco found out about Hermione really quite intrigues me - what sort of talent is that? I just want to know more about him now and I already really like the way you've written him. Only 3 chapters and you've managed to make him a completely 3-dimensional character on top of the character that was already established in the novels.

Then you mention how Hermione seemingly botched up an assignment from before and so you've managed to successfully want anyone following your story demand a new installment. So, write a new chapter! I am really enjoying this story and I wish you have a new chapter soon. Although, no pressure.

--Carla

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Review #2, by bittersweetflamesDisappear: Apparition

19th March 2015:
Am back to read and review the next chapter! :) Still Carla and still here in support of HPFF's fundraiser event! :)

Okay, so you write Hermione just as well as your wrote Draco in the first chapter. I am superbly impressed at how much you've managed to capture the tone of Hermione's voice - the despair in it, the sadness and still that little tinge of hope. We can feel her dilemma and all the complexities of how her life has been since the war. Like you did in chapter 1, you managed to show how how things change when the war ends and 'peace' settles in the land.

Somehow, I understand why Ron is behaving the way he does and I can understand Hermione's frustration as well. Her interaction with Draco was quite fun and I really enjoyed it because it was so normal and just quite like it was when they were in Hogwarts.

Then you wrote in Luna, who is one of my most favorite characters in the entire series EVER and you wrote her quite perfectly. Her conversation with Hermione really put into context the whole situation with Ron without any of the unneeded emotional baggage. Of course you show that little snippet of Draco with Luna and with that, you managed to make Draco seem so much more complex than the person we assume him to be and that was amazing and makes me just THAT much more excited to see what happens next.

--Carla

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Review #3, by bittersweetflamesDisappear: Shadow

19th March 2015:
Hi there. :) I'm Carla and I'm here to review in support of the HPFF Fundraiser. That and I saw Rosamund Pike in the banner and I was like... Oh, yes please.

Okay, so you started off very atmospheric. I could imagine with perfect clarity the scene that you painted for us. The beautiful man, out of place in a run down, dirty bar. It was a scene we'd probably seen countless of times in movies but it was breathtakingly portrayed here nonetheless.

When you introduced Harry, with that one humorous line you were able to convey with no need for superfluous description how these two characters felt about each other and how their relationship has developed since the novels. I think it's a perfect progression. They obviously grudgingly like one another and, of course, they respect one another -- so wonderful! Harry and Draco having a friendship is something that I have always hoped would work -- their personalities seem so well-suited to be friends.

I think the way you described about how the Ministry has evolved since the end of the war. You're right in saying that it can't possibly be all puppies and rainbows.:) Nothing ever is, especially not after any sort of war.

Then you mention about the woman that's joining Draco and you just KNOW that it's going to be absolutely juicy; makes you want to read the next chapter soon as possible.

Ok, off to read the nextchapter. Keep writing, hunny. :)

--Carla

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Review #4, by bittersweetflamesThe Cake Incident: The Cake Incident

19th March 2015:
Hi there. :) Carla here to review in support of the HPFF Fundraising Review Event. That and you mentioned CAKE and I was SOLD! Woo.

Anyway, I am a big fan of baking and this made me laugh from the start because, believe me, I've seen people do as badly as James did in the kitchen. And they didn't even have the excuse of growing up magical and without exposure to any electrical appliances as an excuse.

So the trepidation that is so clear in James as he attempts to bake a cake is so CUTE. It's obvious he's quite clueless but he's also so determined to do it for Lily that you can't help but cheer him on.

The way you describe Lily as James sees her is beautiful. I never really doubted that James loved Lily very much but you made it sound so poetic and gorgeous the way you wrote it. Although, maybe he shouldn't have been thinking too hard about Lily when he should have been paying attention to the cake he was supposed to be trying to bake.

The end, with the rather comical batter-covered James (and kitchen, of course!) was so cute. Luckily they're magic and could clean it up with a wave of a hand. I have not been so lucky and find myself quite jealous of the fact that they could do that. I wish I had a wand to clean up the mess other people leave in my kitchen.

Like Lily, I would have been so touched if someone had done for me what James had done for Lily. Although, in my case, I'd have had him clean up his own mess, thank you very much.

Cute story. I really enjoyed it! :)

--Carla

Author's Response: Hey!

Thank you so, so, so much for this lovely review oh my goodness! This brightened my day when I read it :)

I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Haha, I'm definitely one of those people who bakes cakes as badly as James (probably even worse).

Same here, a wand would make everything so much easier! And yes me too, Lily is far too nice haha!

Thank you again, this review is absolutely lovely!

- Anni :)


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Review #5, by bittersweetflamesNothing is Perfect: Chapter 1

19th March 2015:
Hiya, Cassie. I made your banner and I am here to review. You definitely don't have enough reviews, I'm thinking so I'm here in support of the HPFF Fundraiser Event! Woo!

Anyway, I really love the descriptions you've used here to describe Draco. It's haunting because he seems so broken and alone and haunted. His Healer, you can see that his Healer really wants to help but it's obvious that it would take more than mandated sessions with a Healer to get Draco to get out of the deep hole that he has sunk in. That said, it's horrific the way that he doesn't just REMEMBER all the horrible things that happened to him or that he happened to witness during the war but that he actually RELIVES them must be like being stuck in a circle of hell or something equally monstrously horrible.

When you had Draco look for a job I thought, ok so Malfoy is going to look for a job, eh? And the way you made him have a manual job seems perfect -- after all, hard physical labor always seems to manage to drive away difficult memories. BUT ALAS! Nothing as simple as that. You insert Hermione Granger into the mix. Their interaction is classic. They're both clearly hurting but that they'd inflict pain onto one another is so ingrained it feels as though it has a healing effect on the two of them to talk normally to one another.

I was left feeling intrigued as to why Hermione and Ron's relationship in that small snippet you showed us was less than ideal and Draco's reaction to the whole thing, of course.

Beautifully done, darling. :)

--Carla

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Review #6, by bittersweetflamesAttention: Attention

19th March 2015:
Hi darling. :D Here to review in support of the HPFF Fundraiser Event (and because I am a huge Charlie/Hermione fan!)

Anyway, as I mentioned I am a huge fan of this ship and I simply had to read and review this story when I saw your banner request over at TDA.

Anyway, I love the way you built up this story. From telling how Hermione ended up in Romania; that she would want to be a dragon tamer seems entirely plausible. In my mind, she might be too tired of adventures featuring people and find the prospect of magizoology, safer but not boring in the least.

The way Hermione you describe how Hermione fell in love with Charlie was very amusing. Certainly, it would strike a chord with anyone. Falling in love, while a big thing can happen in the most innocuous of circumstances and that was certainly the case here.

Your use of humour in Charlie finally getting Hermione's attention was precious -- just enough without being too over the top. It's perfect the way you wrote it just this way because at the start you're sorry for Hermione, who you think is suffering from unrequited love (OUCH!) but then when we hear Charlie's point of view, the tables reverse and we feel sorry for HIM.

The oblivious know-it-all and the frustrated dragon keeper. A perfect pair in my opinion and a wonderful story that you wrote. Thanks for sharing.

--Carla

Author's Response: Thank you so much for this great review, it was such a pleasure to read. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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Review #7, by bittersweetflamesFlicker in the Wind: Flicker on the Wind

18th March 2015:
Hiya, Cassie Lassie. Here to review in support for the HPFF Fundraiser Event! Wooo!

Okay, first off, I am a HUGE fan of Dramione and I have absolutely no shame in admitting that! That being said, I could just HURT you with what you had written here. I hate feeling sad at night -- it tends to bleed over into sad dreams. TSK. But I forgive you because this was a good story.

I love the way you used a non-linear format for the telling of their life together. The way you intermingled the sad bits with the brighter, happier times made everything much more poignant. As readers, we can see WHY Hermione is devastated; even without having gone through a loss as devastating as hers we can see how much it could affect anyone.

The way you incorporated George in this one was also brilliant. To some extent, his part in it although small, felt like a mini-story inside the longer story that was integral to the whole. George was the perfect vehicle to teach Hermione the different between utter despair that leads to giving up and the acceptance that despair can be a part of life without being the force that completely drives it. So, well done! Like Hermione must have felt then, you can see that she can probably make it through everything and come out a better person.

Now the end.. Making Hermione pregnant was beautiful. I think about how her life would be with that reminder of Draco and I believe that it's going to make her stronger and happier and remembering the man she loved, while still painful, could be beautiful as well.

This needs more reviews. But I'm glad I read and reviewed it. Much love, darling

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Review #8, by bittersweetflamesa little bit of coolness.: a sad Scorpius, and a big box.

26th January 2015:
Hi Missy. :) I'm here for our review swap. I really want to apologize for taking so long.

Anyway, I remember that I'd already read this chapter when you'd first posted it (and before my internet issues began) and I remember thinking it flowed so smoothly. I love the way you've characterized the four people here - Scorpius, Rose, Albus and Layla.

I found it absolutely ingenious that you were able to use your story title in this chapter so well. It really set the tone for that part of the story.

One thing I am wondering about though is Rose and Scorpius. I don't understand why Rose is denying that she liked Scorpius or even that she just wants to try it out.

The way it reads, it's like she's saying no just for the sake of it. Like, she expects herself to say no because that's how she sees herself. It'll be interesting to see how she gets over that (I hope she does since the way she is now, she's a little tedious. I'm actually surprised she even has friends. I ish mean.)

Also, Albus and Layla. Since the story is read from Rose's POV, I think the way she sees them is a bit unfair. They seem a little shallow (Layla in particular, while Albus seems more a bit of an idiot). This really nails the feeling Rose must have of being so alone since her views and priorities are leaps and bounds different from these people in her year.

I am also very interested to find out where that gift of all those products came from. My curiosity is very very alive.

Anyway, thanks for the swap, dearie. I'm sorry it took so long.

--Carla

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Review #9, by bittersweetflamesLife Was Meant to Be Easy Now: A Brand New Year

21st January 2015:
Here for chapter 2! Sorry it's a day late. ♥

Anyway, I really loved the contrast of this chapter with the previous chapter. Here, the family (the Potter one, that is) is more accepting of the Albus-Scorpius relationship and it really bring into perspective what must have been the difference in their upbringing.

I think the interactions between the Potter siblings are spot on. Since I myself have two older brothers, I know what it's like to actually be at the receiving end of a lot of teasing and it's borne out of love and familiarity, so that's beautiful to see. The way Scorpius reacts to it with a sort of baffling wonder is also just the way I see only children reacting to sibling interactions. So, well done on that.

I think it was really funny that you brought up Scorpius asking Fred out. I don't think it was cruel of James - he's just one of those insensitive siblings, I have one myself - and it gave Scorpius the opportunity to show and tell Albus how much he is loved, which I think was really really sweet.

I just wanted to ask how old they are in this (by they I mean Albus and Scorpius) because you mentioned how there was Firewhiskey involved and then Lily having lots of men so I was assuming that they were young adults but you mentioned Hogwarts in the last chapter? So that would make them 17(ish) and Lily younger? So, it just struck me as a bit incongruous but, anyway, could just be me. I'm a bit of a prude. lol

So, thanks, dahl for the swap. :) Lovely story. A really great intro to the Albus-Scorpius pairing. :)

--Carla

Author's Response: Thank you for reading and reviewing!

Albus and Scorpius is almost eighteen, Lily is fifteen. I'd like to think that her older cousins and siblings are keeping an eye on her and the other younger cousins and the alcohol... Or at least that's what their parents think?

Thanks again for your reviews! :-)


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Review #10, by bittersweetflamesLife Was Meant to Be Easy Now: An Awkward Dinner

20th January 2015:
Hi, darling. :)

This is my first try reading an Albus/Scorpius although I have no objections to it. I think it's really sweet the way this is written in first person and in Scorpius' POV. I loved his thoughts -- the genuine sense of his nerves tinges the tone of the chapter in such a way that without him going into epic sonatas about it, it's plain how much Scorpius loves and cares for Albus.

I loved how you managed to characterize Draco and Astoria. :) Astoria really fits my head canon of her -- she loves Draco and she loves Scorpius. She's entrenched in tradition but she's not above looking beyond all of it. I can feel how much she wanted to bridge the gap between Draco and her son but she's treading lightly because it's a bumpy road.

Draco, on the other hand, was just perfect -- there's just the right amount of the Lucius in him with Astoria's influence mixed in which is why he's a little tense about his son's relationship with Harry Potter's son but he's willing to reach out anyway (albeit in a tense way but he's still trying.)

Anyway, I can't wait to see how things happen from here on. Thanks for the swap, hun.

--Carla

Author's Response: Hi!

Thanks for reading and reviewing! I'm happy to introduce you to this great ship! :-)

I'm glad you like Draco and Astoria. Draco is not a character I'm very fond of, but I do think he loves Scorpius, even if he has a hard time right now. Astoria has a difficult job to balance her husband and her son. Not an easy job at all... ;-)


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Review #11, by bittersweetflamesCity of Angels: City of Resurrection

15th January 2015:
Last chapter (for now. Seriously, you have to update. -inserts puppy dog eyes-)

Okay, I am glad you quickly addressed the cliffie from the last chapter. Some authors have employed that annoying habit of forgetting that they've stopped at a cliffie and I want to kiss you for not doing that here (else I'd have gone completely into the deep end. ha)

Of course, it's Dennis Creevey. -hits self- I'm not always this oblivious, trust me (no, don't.) But even when you reveal who it is, you still manage to present more questions to ask than answer those already dangling. I don't know how you do it but as I read on and on, I was more and more intrigued.

Like, what does Draco Malfoy have to do it? What the hell is resurrecting Abraxas Malfoy going to do? More importantly, how on earth are they going to do that? See what I mean about more questions? And, really, that's not even half of the questions I am asking.

You managed to capture perfectly the mood of two people who cannot even begin to abide one another come to the resigned conclusion that they'd have to work together -- how interesting is that? Very, to my way of thinking. :) I am just excited to see how things will progress from here on in.

Ok, moving on to Egypt. Egypt OMG. How exciting. hehe.
You don't bury the lead. You just go right ahead and introduce Kaitlyn and not just introduce! You let us know right away that she is in a relationship with Dennis Creevey (who is in Las Vegas! OMG)

It makes me really feel for her when she finds out and realizes that Dennis really just IS a summer fling. How painful is that, really? It's devastating. But before we can just simmer along and just be sorry for this poor girl you go BAM on us.

COLIN CREEVEY? Are you kidding me? No, obviously you're not. :O But, really, I never expected. How on earth is he in Egypt? I mean, seriously, how is that possible? It must be a trick. It HAS to be a trick. -flails arms- Okay, if I am not intrigued by now, well, I'd be a rock. Actually, wrong. Even a rock would be intrigued. It's impossible not to be.

Even with the curiosity burning in me, I can still feel how Colin is genuinely concerned about Dennis. Pain from the death of a loved one lost so early can be blinding, I think and Dennis is sufficiently blind except for one small thing and that's revenge. Revenge and trying to get Colin back.

Anyway, I can't wait to see what happens next. Thanks again for the swap, darl. Let me know when you update and want a swap again. I'm happy to do so. :)

--C

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Review #12, by bittersweetflamesCity of Angels: City of Sorrow

15th January 2015:
Hi, Isobel. And onto Chapter 2. -squeals excitedly-

Okay, I'll start off by saying that your detail into describing Death's domain is just so brilliant! Everything from the rip in the Underworld to workers abseiling down rocky cliffs was just handled so well. Everything you wrote fascinated -- you managed to cram a lot of details in there without making it feel like it was, well, crammed. :) You managed to craft an enticing view of the Underworld that felt just enough, you know? Like, I understand the world enough to move forward in the story without feeling confused but it's just bare enough that I want to learn more. :)

When you revealed those bits about Misty -- I STARTED FLAILING MY ARMS and JUST DYING. wah. Honestly, I loved it so much. You can now understand why her purpose from the prologue was so frantic, so desperate. For her sake I wanted her to succeed but more for my sake because I wanted to find out for about this impossible human. You made me wonder what it feels like to fail the being, who created you? To know that your existence was so tenuous and the feeling of fear that must inspire? I was asking myself that question and more throughout reading this story.

Now onto the next part when we are finally in Las Vegas. I can say I FEEL Pansy.I know what it feels like to have everything you thought was right go so utterly wrong. I've been there (although to a much smaller extent than the complete devastation that is Pansy's life.)

I've never really felt sympathy (or even just basic empathy) with her character but you managed to make me feel it with the way you've written about her plight. You don't FORCE us to feel sorry for her in your language. You just managed to set the facts in as objective a way as possible without making it seem whiny or cold and that made it seem so much better, to my way of thinking. :)

The encounter with the wife, Anna, is so intriguing. Seriously, what is up with that, Isobel? -flails arms- How could you just plop her there and then... POOF! Much like she vanishes into thin air, you tease us and then nothing happens. You plow on ahead to something else entirely. If one needed lessons on how to make successful cliffies, you can teach it with the end to this chapter. A wand to the NECK? I'm so glad that there's a next chapter as I am reading this, Isobel. Else I'd be really mad. lol.
Thanks for the swap. :)

--Carla

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Review #13, by bittersweetflamesDusty Fingerprints: Dusty Fingerprints

15th January 2015:
Hiya Curie! Finally here for our swap. :) I'm so glad you asked me to wait for this story. It's so lovely. :D Ok, first off, I love that you chose to write a Founders story. I find Founders so very
hard to write about -- much like writing historical stories, there's an additional layer of detail you have to get right since tone is important although I really think you nailed it.

I want to comment on the fact that I think you've found your niche! Second person definitely seems to work for you. When you wrote the Molly story in second story, it worked really well and I think you use it really well in this story as well.

First, I love your description of Rowena. I've always imagined her as cool, aloof and regal -- the image of perfect lady of those times. You managed to capture this perfectly, so perfectly in fact that I can see her in my mind's eye so well.

I can really feel Godric's confusion and curiosity about Rowena. You can see that he is drawn to her and intrigued yet because she is the perfect lady, he is treated with indifference. I think that's perfect. It makes me wonder what he would do for her to stop being so indifferent to her. :)

The way you described the library was just spot on. I could practically see the bookshelves as you described them, could feel the dust tickling my nose and when Godric first comes across her smiling, I admit it had me smiling as well -- you can feel that she is genuinely happy and content amongst books and Godric, already intrigued and drawn to her cannot help but be entranced. Poor man, he never had a chance.

I think the way you spoke of his feelings for her was done really brilliantly. It wasn't a wild, loud declaration of love but more like a soft, slow slide headlong into its beauty. I want to know how he would tell her; how he would make her see. Maybe a kiss amongst the impossible bookshelves? One can only hope. :)

Thanks for the swap, darling. Your writing really has improved so much. ilu. :)

--Carla

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Review #14, by bittersweetflamesCity of Angels: Prologue

14th January 2015:
OMG, Isobel. Thank you for doing a swap with me because I got to read this story. It's so amazing and wonderful!! Did you honestly write this during NaNo? How is that fair? Answer: It's not. Woo

Okay, I love the way you set up this prologue. I always expect that prologues are to get a reader excited to turn the page (or in this case, clicking the arrow to go next!) and I almost didn't write this review because I desperately want to read the next chapter.

I just find it so fascinating when there is someone who can write mysteries well because it's something that I have never been able to really do. :)

First off, Misty. I can tell how dedicated she is to her purpose. I can understand this because, well, it's a big purpose, right? Yes, I really think so.

With very little words you managed to capture the paranoia and the thirst that must have been mingling inside her head. And quite possibly the frustration when the unknown person (who I am so curious about, omg. But really, moving on) is not really cooperating with what she had planned and schemed (I think scheme is a good word) to do.

Okay, let's go to the impossible human. I love how you inserted things you borrowed yet adapted from Mythology in this. It's so very interesting to read about the rivers and angels and demons. And, wah, it's the sort of thing I love reading about but rare do I ever find something that's quite as well-written as yours. :)

I love how you wrapped up this prologue -- there was a frantic energy to it that I loved and really reinforced the need for me to press that arrow and read more.

I completely agree with Misty, I want to know the secret of resurrection. Thanks for the swap, darling.

--Carla

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Review #15, by bittersweetflamesKnight Takes Queen: Rook

14th January 2015:
Hi, Laura. Here for our swap. :) Sorry it took so long. I was just captivated by your writing, as I've been since the first time I swapped with you.

So, I chose this story for the swap because it's Rowena and it's rare that I've read a story with her. But I thought it would be such a good idea to read one that you've written. (Start with the best, I say.)

I love that you employed the second person here. Second person always interests me, to be honest, because I have never tried it before and I've seen it done a little bit awkwardly before. When it is done well, it's absolutely lovely. And you've done it so well.

I see everything as perfectly as you have described it. All the sensory details are wonderful and give me chills. My favorite was how you started how you did and from that first moment, I was hooked.

Your descriptions of the merpeople are so beautiful, so captivating. I can fully understand why Rowena was captivated especially if the existence of merpeople hasn't been proven. I would think that someone like her would definitely want to learn more --- hey, I know I would!

The way you wrote of their interaction with one another below water was just breathtaking (literally and figuratively. HA) but I can imagine how strong the feelings were between the two. I would definitely be drawn to such a need to understand, I love it.

Anyway, I really honestly loved this. Thanks for the swap again, darling. I always love swapping with you. :)

--Carla

Author's Response: Hi Carla! :) Thank you so much for stopping by! And no worries about the time - RL can be a pain sometimes - and seriously, that is too sweet of you! :) (you can't tell, but I'm blushing over here)

I loved writing Rowena, actually. This first chapter was one of the things which just sort of formed itself in my head really easily, which I love when it happens, haha, so it was so much fun to write! And thank you so much! Though I really don't deserve that - there are some wonderful Founders stories out there ;)

I really like writing in second person, actually, when it suits the story - and it just felt right for this one. I've struggled with it in the past, but hopefully I've improved with it! I'm so glad you thought it worked okay! :)

I always struggle with openings, tbh, so I'm so happy you like it - it's one of the ones I really liked once I'd finally got it down and finished. Desription is my favourite thing to write, though, which helps ;)

I adored writing the merpeople - I'm so glad I put them in another story (The Fires of St Anthony) so I get to write them again! :P And yeah, they're such fascinating beings, and curiosity is such a natural thing, especially for a character like Rowena, too.

Haha, yeah, definitely figuratively! :P I'm so glad you liked that - it was the moment I knew I wanted to have in it but I wasn't sure it would turn out, so I'm so stoked to know you think it worked alright! :)

Thank you so much for the lovely review - they're always so great to get! :) I love swapping with you too! :D

Aph xx


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Review #16, by bittersweetflamesAll or Nothing: there is a light that never goes out

11th January 2015:
Hi Kristin. :) Sorry it took so long for me to get to this review. Anyways, thank you for the swap.

I don't know if I ever told you this, darling but I am seriously in love your writing. You have a way with imagery and sensory details that's really beautiful and detailed.

The first snippet showing the three sisters was really perfect, in my opinion. You managed, without very much effort, to show how their chilldhood actually shaped who they were. I actually always thought that Andromeda and Bellatrix were similar (and I actually always believed that they looked very much like one another) and that Narcissa was the odd one out -- which is probably why it's so believable that Bella never thought highly of her or of her ambitions.

I was so very intrigued by the 'you' you were referring to. I understood how she would be attracted to this one, especially since they seemed to be so suited although there is a darkness to the whole thing. Also, I love how you mention the Knights of Walpurgis.

Towards the end I felt so depressed - I love how she basically doesn't care about her husband but she marries him because that's what her mother and father want her to do -- you see that's how she values Pureblood ways. This is evidenced in the way she follows and is eventually all consumed by Voldemort.

I really wish to know about the other character. The way you've written about her really sparks my curiosity since she seems to be so important to the way Bella's character develops. Is she still a Death Eater? What sort of fate did she have while Bellatrix was going insane in Azkaban?

Anyway, I really loved the way you wrote this and while this review is basically useless, I want you to understand that I loved every inch of this story and I just lacked the proper coherent words to express it. (took me 2 hours to write this review. -slaps self-)

Thanks again for the swap, love.

--Carla

Author's Response: Carla!! ♥ Sorry for taking so long to get to this response, so I guess we're even :p

Gah! sdfhasdhf Thank you so much, I don't even know how to properly respond to such wonderful compliments. I'm so glad you like my writing, thank you ♡

I'm glad you thought the scene of them as children correlated well with their personalities as adults. And yes - I love the idea that Bellatrix and Andromeda could have been really similar, but Andromeda chose not to. (All three sisters are so interesting. I would love to eventually write a fic about each of them actually. /offtopic)

Glad you were intrigued by the mysterious unnamed woman, as well as the mention of the Knights of Walpurgis. It was kind of cool to write about the Death Eaters before they were the Death Eaters, so to speak.

Her marriage to Rodolphus is definitely largely motivated by her parents wishing it, but also because it gives her a higher status in society, and she has no intention of being true to him anyway so it doesn't matter to her.

I'm so glad you're left wondering about the other woman! That's what I was hoping for, especially by leaving her unnamed. Bahaha, a mystery left unsolved. Anything could have happened to her. I guess it's up to you as the reader to decide ;)

Thank you so much, I'm thrilled that you liked this, and your review was lovely! Thanks so much for the swap! ♥


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Review #17, by bittersweetflamesSympathy, Tenderness: Offer Me Your Embrace

10th January 2015:
Hi darling. ♣

Anyway, here for our swap and because I really wanted to see how you handled Dramione. First off, drama is great. Drama is always fun to watch and see (though not be part of) so I really enjoyed it (is enjoyed a proper word? probably not). Anyway, I loved reading this.

First off, I think you got the tone of the Malfoys really well. Lucius sounds like the arrogant, judgmental Lucius we all know and love and Draco seems like how Draco would be during the events of HBP. And I feel so sorry for him that he didn't get to see his mother. What kind of man would deny his wife her son or his son, her mother? A monster, that's who.

When you write the part about Hermione's letter to Draco, it makes me wonder how they got to that point that Draco would be writing Hermione and they'd get to a first name basis (I noticed this straight away because OMG, I love it when they get to that point.)

You can really feel Draco's despair, which was made more obvious by how OUT OF IT he was when Hermione came to pay him a visit. He's trapped by his own thoughts and you can imagine that, while that's not a horribly nice place to live, it's even darker in that moment. Mum dead, no more legacy -- he's basically a pariah. And you feel sorry for him.

My heart goes out to Hermione, who would come offer comfort and sympathy to a man who isn't even a friend. That she would find it in herself to be there for Draco speaks to her good nature and when Draco goes insane on her, I wanted her to slap him. AGAIN. Of course, she's mature and doesn't. (Why so adult, Hermione. gar.)

Okay, I'm glad that Hermione doesn't really leave even though Draco told her to go. She obviously understand that he was saying one thing when he really meant another. So, I loved the ending. It just really ended this is the perfect way. :)
Well done! (Although I would not have complained if there were romantic overtones, the tone of this suited the story well.)

Thank you for the swap. And the story was great. :)

--Carla

Author's Response: Hi Carla! Thank you for reading my Dramione. Your words are important to me and very encouraging :)

I SO appreciate your comment about HBP Draco. That was exactly the sort of crack in the facade that I was hoping to convey--that weird part of his life where he was starting to show a little bit of emotion but not yet ready to show it all. I'm so glad you picked up on that! Thank you!

Actually I hadn't even though of them being on a first-name basis and how that would need to occur =P But that's maybe something I'll explore in the future.

It means a lot to me that you could feel sorry for Draco here. He's been portrayed as the villain for so long, but you found it easy to feel for him here. That means a lot to me. Thank you :)

Haha, I understand. Hermione was frustrated, too! But she knew she had to take the high road. And above that, she really DOES care about him. He was a bully to her but he's lost his family now. This is beyond name-calling and Hermione recognizes that. That's why she stays.

Thank you for your comment on the ending! I struggled a little bit with whether or not to get into some more romantic stuff, but I decided to end there. Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it :)


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Review #18, by bittersweetflamesBack To Us: Back To Us

8th January 2015:
CURIE!!! Finally. It took me too long to get to this and I am so sorry. No excuse, dove. Absolutely no excuse. Especially when you are the awesomest of all awesome betas and, really, just an awesome friend. So, yes, I am here.

First off, can I just say how happy I am that this is a Charlie story? I mean, I know that was the prompt and all but I am a huge Charlie Weasley fan and I've always had a soft spot in my heart for him, bless him.

Ok, wow. You've always been a great writer but you've improved so much! So so much! I loved the way you wrote this fic -- the flashbacks were integrated so beautifully, it was as though I could see things from Keira's eyes. The sensory details just left me awed and breathless. I can feel what she feels and it just made me so happy when Charlie appeared towards the end of the chapter. :)

YUM. THE ORIGINAL sounds so amazingly good. I WANTS IT NOW. And I'm just so happy that you had them meet again and be all, yes, now's the time and all that. JK said that she always meant for Charlie to be a bachelor but what does she know? Keira is perfect for him. :)

Thanks for sharing, love. WRITE MORE!

--Carla

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Review #19, by bittersweetflamesThe Diagon Alley Gentlemen's Club: Hell Hath No Fury

3rd January 2015:
Hey, Lo. :) Okay, I am so super happy that you've updated because I have been waiting for this as I had already favorites this story so HARD.

Ok, I completely love Auden. I can feel her frustration, her annoyance. I know how it feels to be passed over for a job or a promotion so the way you did write that part, I truly felt as I did when the same thing happened to me. (Made me wish I had a whiskey as well)

I was laughing so LOUD when I was reading the part about "Mr. Matthews" which was just great. That was just hilarious and I really loved it. It's so common for men to make mistakes like that. Although I say this because I like making fun of my brothers who have made such a mistake.

Of course I can be very annoyed at you because you didn't explain about the butterfly death thing. So I am cross but, really, that makes me want to just read more. So.. It's a demand. You should update this story. Yes, you really should.

And then you end in on the you ended it which means I want even more of this story. Sorry, I ramble most of the time here… I just really love this story and want more. :) Thanks for the swap, darling! :)


--Carla

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Review #20, by bittersweetflamesTogether Again: Together Again

3rd January 2015:
Hi, Georgia. :D I was completely meaning to review this story (since I'd read it, obviously) but my to-do list has just gotten out of hand. But here I am and here to review.

FIRST OFF, I am so incredibly happy that you like my banner. There is nothing more precious in the world for a graphicker for someone to appreciate what they've done. So a huge HUG as thanks. *hearts*

Okay, on to the story. I am very glad you stepped out of your comfort zone with this one. It's very beautiful and well-written and you know I enjoyed it. My favorite was the part between Sirius and Lily. I love how you put in that there is a friendship between Sirius and Lily that's bloomed and blossomed even while Lily was annoyed and completely ignoring James.

There's a certain sense here. IDK what to call it but the emotions in this piece are so perfectly Christmas but without being TOO overly Christmas. Like, it doesn't bash you over the head with it - it just is and that's powerful; that's beautiful.

A small part of me is so angry. (Not at you. lol) But at Voldemort for stealing this. These small moments, these small memories. Harry, even as a small child was well-loved, completely cherished and to think that he missed out on these things? My heart just breaks for him. THAT'S your power as a writer, as a storyteller. You make it so real, so poignant that I forget it's fanfiction and I just enjoy all the words. It was a total joy working with you, love. -huggles-

--Carla

Author's Response: Thank you so much for reviewing! You're so sweet, I'm so glad we were paired up!

The banner is gorgeous! THe bright spot on my page, for sure.

You're so sweet. All of your comments just give me very warm and fuzzy feelings, so thank you thank you thank you!!!

-Georgia


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Review #21, by bittersweetflamesDeceptive Hearts: Impossible

28th December 2014:
Hi Ellie! Carla here with our review swap. :D

And since I saw you'd updated this story and I have been a very bad reader , I decided to read and review this. OK, I'm so glad Hermione is in Greece. I was definitely waiting for her to get there because then the fun could get started. (CARLA WANTS FUN NOW. BAH)

You mentioned that this might seem slow but it didn't seem that way to me. I actually really appreciate it, it's more interesting and easier to read than Draco's chapter previously (because his had too much details, my head hurt a bit. lol).

I love how you have Hermione willing to relax and all. With everything going on in her life I think the best thing for her is to relax (besides, she has a hell of a time ahead of her the next two years. HAHAHA)

Pylos sounds really lovely the way you describe it - very peaceful and relaxing but surely beautiful. I imagine even the most stressed out person would find something to relax about there, which is great.

So, yeah, I loved this chapter and I think the cliffhanger is the cruelest thing you can do to me, because now I have to click that next arrow and I don't have a lot of time to read atm. I am definitely putting this on my reading list so I can keep up with it.

Thanks again for the swap, darling. :)

--Carla

P.S. HOW MANY BOOKS DOES HERMIONE HAVE? And I bet she won't get to read them at all. -snickers-

Author's Response: Hey Carla,

Thanks for reviewing. She's Hermione so I figured she would take heaps of books with her, but i think you're right. She's not going to get a whole lot of chances to read them all =)

I hope you stick with the story. More chapters will be up just as soon as the queue reopens =)

xx-Ellie.


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Review #22, by bittersweetflamesLove and Be Loved: Hope Is Real

25th December 2014:
Bby, this was so beautiful. -flails about wildly-
Ok, you NEARLY made me cry. Which is big because, well, I'm made of stone and it's hard to make me cry. YUP YUP.

So, I didn't actually read the summary/story info (though I did stare at that GORGEOUS banner) and I think because I didn't I had no idea it was Fleur who was narrating. And I think THAT was powerful because the uncertainty made me think that ANY SINGLE ONE of her family could be it. ANYONE could love as much as that and be as supportive and understanding as that. When I learnt that it was Fleur (since you mentioned it in your A/N) I was BLOWN AWAY because, really, she always struck me as confident because she's beautiful and smart and loved but NO. Apparently not. Flaws exist in everyone, even in people who appear flawless - perhaps even more so.

All the small details you used to describe what Rose is going through is so sensitive and lovely. You don't hit us over the head with it, you don't SHOUT it at us but you manage, with just the right amount of words, to make your readers see the beauty, the pain, the reality of what she is going through. That's a talent, Sarah. You have it and we can see it really well in this story.

Lastly, using the vision statement from the website itself? How perfect is that. The voice of this entire fic was absolutely GORGEOUS. You blew me away because I can hear the words in head and they were soft, melodious and full of emotion. Like I said, you nearly made me cry and the way this read really helped reinforce that.

Congratulations on getting third although I am so super biased but I really really loved this, you know that.This fic really helps. If you were to take away Fleur and Rose and plugged in someone elses names, I doubt that it would be any less real, any less painful to read.
Thanks for writing, darling. Happy Christmas, ilu. ;)

--Carla 11/10.;)

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Review #23, by bittersweetflamesThe Diagon Alley Gentlemen's Club: Prologue

24th December 2014:
Hi, Lo! Carla here for our review swap. First off, excuse me while I go flail my arms because I enjoyed this prologue so much.. -flails arms-

For a prologue to be successful, it has to properly introduce a story without overwhelming the readers with information; it also has to have the ability to make a reader want to read the next chapter (RIGHT NOW). And, your prologue was super successful. For just a little under 700 words, you managed to engage me and I've favorited this so hard. BOOYAH.

Anyway, I love that it's about the Greengrass family! I, like a lot of others, prolly want to know more about them. (Especially after the last bit of info from Pottermore? I'm just super curious about Astoria and her family!) All the details were spot on to me and I loved that you named the assistant Lawrence. I love that name.

I am a huge fan of mysteries (to read, not write) and I WANT TO KNOW about the Butterfly's Death! Way to capture my attention and bring to harsh perspective that there's no next arrow for me to press to find out what happens next. -dies-

Anyway, I love it, I want to read more and thanks for the swap. :)

--Carla

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Review #24, by bittersweetflamesTwelve: Twelve

24th December 2014:
Hi, Erin! :D I saw you post this story earlier today and I was eager to read it but I was so busy (because, hey, Christmas Eve!) but here I am now, in peace, and able to read finally (the swap was a perfect excuse, bahahaha)

Okay, so on to the story. I really really love that you chose Poppy for this story. She's such an interesting character, I think and the way she was written in the books seemed a bit one-dimensional (can't blame Jo, that's just how Harry saw her. lol)

But this story was just so sensitive, emotional and painful. I'm trying to decide on whether I have a favorite part or not and I've decided that I don't -- the entire thing was just flawless from start to finish and I loved reading every single but of it.

The part about her parents, well, it was terrible. I know, intellectually, that there are people as intolerant and uncaring as this but it always breaks my heart to read or hear about situations like Poppy probably had to go to (Didn't matter if it was fictional, it was painful all the same!) and I could relate, not because it's happened to me, but because it felt so real and I felt so sorry for that girl and you know that what happened was sure to affect the course of her life's story.

Then you add in the bit about Neil. I was so sure that things would change. So sure that, finally, Poppy would find happiness and love and all wonderful things - so sure that the memory of everything her parents had done to her would be replaced by the beauty of love and friendship from someone who seemed to genuinely love her. OF COURSE, you break my heart when he leaves her on Christmas. WHO DOES THAT? Who would do something so bad on Christmas? It's the most cruel of things to do. Say you love and then don't SHOW it. ACTIONS rather than WORDS. I'm so angry at him. -calms down-

At the end.. The way you explained the gifts. Well, it was beautiful. I could see it in my head, you know? It dazzled me and I only saw the words so I could imagine how dazzled Poppy would have been.
And, Lily. Well, I want to give her ONE HUGE HUG. I'm not normally a Lily fan (because I am a huge Snape fan. OMG, insert eyeroll here) but I loved her in this because she was so sweet and kind and just the best sort of person you could ever ask for.

Anyway, Erin, this was the most beautiful thing to read on Christmas Eve, alone at home. You made me smile. :) Thanks for sharing (and the swap! :))

--Carla

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Review #25, by bittersweetflamesJust One Kiss: Chapter 2

23rd December 2014:
YAY! :D I get to read on, woo! Anyway, here from the Claw Christmas Gift Tag and, also, I am completely loving this story.

Anyway, I feel so very much for Hermione here. Anyone and everyone deserves to be alive and feel happy and have a purpose and the contrast you've shown between her time with Oliver and her life with Ron is done harshly. You can't blame Hermione for wanting to spend more time with Oliver but you can't help feeling sorry for her when you see how torn and conflicted she is feeling.

She had been comfortable, comfortably unhappy -- how SAD was this line? (very. very sad). It's this feeling of being in a rut and I completely understand where Hermione is coming from. I think everyone at some point in their lives could relate to this and I am so sorry for her and even for Ron. I don't know what Ron is going through or how his life is like so I can't be mad at him but I just want, for both of their sakes, for everything between them to end. It just seems so miserable.

Anywho, I love how you wrote of Oliver and Hermione together. It's so seemingly innocent yet you know before long that things'll change and the balance will tip. That means you make us want to see what happens next so... THANK YOU FOR SHARING and keep on writing. :)

--Carla

Author's Response: Hello...thanks for popping back so soon :)

I felt pretty sad for Hermione too. Its a really hard place to be, feeling like life is passing you by, but at the same time, not knowing if changing things will make it any better. While some people recognise this and make a change, others don't see it so much and this is where Hermione and Ron (at least I believe) are quite different. I think Hermione likes a challenge, where Ron would more likely continue on as always.

I liked writing the parts with Oliver...its kind of like being able to fall in love all over again through my characters :)

I'm glad you're enjoying this story and I hope you continue on. Hugs


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