Reading Reviews From Member: water_lily43175
364 Reviews Found

Review #1, by water_lily43175The Wizarding World War: The Hogwarts Express

1st July 2014:
Hello! Here with your requested review. :) Sorry it's so late!

First off, I love the premise of this. International warfare disguised as a run-of-the-mill Next Gen? I am ALL OVER that. :)

Right from the start, I'm loving all the Weasley kids. You characterise them all superbly, especially their differing ages. I love how Rose, the youngest one, longs to be accepted by her older cousins, who are of that age where they don't want to know... and of course, Victoire's old enough to be above all that, and sits and talks happily to Rose. It's all very realistic. And the boys are also perfectly portrayed!

And a word on the prologue, because I did read it before coming to this chapter. Very intriguing, I wonder if the young girl is actually magical? I'd imagine she'll pop up at some point in the story... but in what capacity? HM.

Good chapter! I'll definitely be checking out the next one. :)

Author's Response: Hi! No worries! Thank you so much for the kind review! I'm glad you like the characters. :) I daresay she will be popping up at some point in the story - and even sooner than I had originally planned for it. :) I hope you keep enjoying the story! I may come back for another review or two... I appreciate your insight, and i'd like to see what you think about how it progresses!!

Thanks again,

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Review #2, by water_lily43175Full Bloom: I: Sunflower Oil

1st July 2014:
Hello! Here with your requested review. :) I'm so sorry it's so late!

First off, I love the way you characterise Narcissa. It's very refreshing to come across a Narcissa who doesn't actually believe in love at all, and who isn't taken by Lucius at first. It makes for a very refreshing take on Lucius/Narcissa, at least in comparison with any which I've read before. Likewise, it's interesting to see Narcissa's role within the family, as basically being the third choice behind her sisters. It makes her and Lucius the perfect match, given he's not a "good enough" prospect for her sisters.

I also liked seeing the effect that Andromeda's elopement had upon the family. It's interesting to think about the damage that her actions did to their reputation within pureblood circles. I hadn't really considered that would be the case, once they'd disowned her, but of course while they would pretend nothing had ever happened, other families would certainly gossip and judge. I also get the impression that even after Andromeda left, Narcissa still felt somewhat overshadowed by her.

Narcissa's father is an intriguing character, too. I like how it's his wife who runs the show, and he just stands there in the background wanting to read his books.

I love the overall nostalgic feeling to the chapter, and also the language you use throughout. It feels very pureblood without feeling too try hard.

All in all, a really good first chapter, and I'll definitely read on once I have more time to properly read and review the other chapters. :)

Author's Response: Hi! Thanks for dropping by and sorry for the late response! :)

I like your observations about Narcissa post-Andromeda's elopement. I think part of the reason she's bitter is also because Andromeda is still a huge presence in the family despite not being there -- it's like she's reaping the rewards without having to suffer through it.

Her mother doesn't run the show, per se. Her father is still an important member of the family -- he's really intellectual and makes some of the harder decisions, but Narcissa's mother Druella has total control over their family's day to day life.

"Pureblood without trying too hard" is pretty much what I was going for. Thanks so much for reading and for reviewing :D

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Review #3, by water_lily43175Year Five: Behind the Mirror

19th June 2014:
"Extend the hatchet! Bury the olive branch!" BAHAHA.

Fluff, as you say, but a very enjoyable chapter nevertheless. The story of how Fred and George discovered the kitchens is revealed! I also liked Tristan and Oliver Wood sorting out their issues, bless them. :)

Inspired music choices, too! Love the thought that Tristan was the only person requesting songs in Muggle Hour, haha.


Author's Response: Thank you so much for taking the time for these reviews! It's really encouraging to see where things have worked, and that little jokes or little analysis are resonating.

To say, as I did in the story summary, that Tristan and his friends taught the Weasley's *everything* they know is a little exaggerated--but they definitely taught them about the kitchens!

Thanks again so-so-so much (: The next chapter ("Troll in the Dungeons") has been validated, and the following one is in the queue!


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Review #4, by water_lily43175Year Five: Three Times Charmed

19th June 2014:
Ha, I share Isobel's bewilderment re copious hair loss. SO MUCH of my hair comes out every day, and yet it's still so thick and often untameable. Girl problems.

I really love how much thought you've put into identifying wands for each of the characters. It's nice to read the descriptions and work out how they identify with the specific person.

I really love how well you've developed all four characters, too. They've all become such vivid people with realistic flaws and hang-ups - Isobel's lack of confidence, Laurel's addiction to Cheering charms (and whatever it is that's bothering her which is leading to her wanting the charms) ... all of them are so well defined already and it's lovely.

And I also like that Isobel identifies things about her friends - namely Emily, here - which she doesn't like. Of course, people have traits which are bound to irritate others, and this again makes the four feel much more fleshed out and real.

More music, yay! Love a bit of Blondie! :)

Author's Response: RIGHT??!?! I *still* don't understand the hair thing.

I was SO happy when I looked into wand woods and cores that I was able to find matches that suited each of the characters so very, very well. I'm glad you appreciate it!

Also, I was really concerned that all the music would turn readers off, but I felt that it was a critical point, so I'm glad people are digging it!


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Review #5, by water_lily43175Year Five: Loose Lips

19th June 2014:
Tristan intrigues me more and more as we go along. The poor guy seems a bit uncertain of his identity. I like, A LOT, the whole theme of wizarding v Muggle world, especially the point that Tristan has, in the Muggle world's eyes, no educational qualifications beyond the age of 11. The books tend to overlook that - granted, that was never something JK wanted to tackle, but the more you think about how the wizarding world operates in secret, the more difficulties arise when considering someone who, for whatever reason, might want to straddle the line between the worlds.

And I'm rambling now.

I do love how the Gryffindor-Slytherin spat can look so different when it comes from a Slytherin's perspective - at least, a Slytherin who's not into the blood purity madness and so is therefore somewhat decent and easier to empathise with. Here, Wood just looks like a 12+ (although admittedly Tristan did hex him for something that wasn't all that bad - mind you, on the third hand I'd be annoyed if it was my workstation which Wood had carelessly bumped into!). Basically the point I'm attempting to make here is that I like seeing the ugly side of Gryffindor, with the assumption all Slytherins are bad.

I wonder what's upset Laurel? Hmm.

I like that the four aren't Quidditch fans. It's nice when people write characters who AREN'T super nutty about it (also I've just written a Quidditch fic and totally put myself off the sport for the time being so it's a relief to find I'll be somewhat free from it here!).

Oh, the Slytherins would start asking Tristan about his lineage the minute he's annoyed a Gryffindor. Tsk tsk!

On I go :)


Author's Response: Discussing the social implications of the magical world was, largely, inspired by an internet trend (mostly on cracked dot cm) doing the same. There's a video called "why Harry Potter is secretly horrifying"--and several articles outlining similar points--which provided endless fodder for this fic.

In the Tristan vs Oliver dispute, my sympathies lie most easily with the geranium (;

Since the story is set during PhilStone, we all know how the quidditch matches go, so I needed to switch things up pretty seriously in order to keep it interesting.

Poor Tristan, with all his muggle pride, stuck in the Slytherin dungeons.

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Review #6, by water_lily43175Year Five: R

19th June 2014:
Oho, I like what you did here. Last chapter we learned the girls' houses, but you kept Tristan's nicely quiet. I'll confess, I assumed he'd be in Ravenclaw, or maybe Gryffindor. But, no, he's a Slytherin! And I hate myself for being so taken aback by that because there is nothing wrong with Slytherin. I really like that he's there though. I like reading about non-purity-nutter Slyths. :)

Tristan's reaction to Neville's name is interesting. VERY interesting...

"Super Baby Harry Potter", tee hee.

I loved the little insight into Emily's Hogwarts background here. Her friendship with Tonks is so adorable! OotP-Tonks is one of my favourite Potter characters. And the Dumbledore wave exchange ... that man is a legend. AGAIN, more development that fleshes the characters and the fic out so well. :)

And more mystery! Tristan's middle name. HMM.

HA, so typical Snape - Tristan follows Emily's instructions, but it's HIS potion that's best of the class and Emily's isn't worth mentioning. Tsk, you prejudiced bat, you.

Emily and Tristan's friendship is lovely. As is what we've seen of Isobel and Laurel's. I particularly enjoyed all the music discussion. THE DOXIES. Love it. :)

Next chapter!


Also I'm glad that my little "SURPRISE, HE'S A SLYTHERIN" reveal worked. The idea of a reluctant Slytherin was really delightful for me.

Writing canon characters is amazingly fun, yet stressful because people can be really protective (I, for one, feel protective over Hermione--don't get me started on Emma Watson's hair in the movies being so terribly off-mark). Anyway, I'm really pleased when the response is "that's so Snape" rather than "YOU FAIL!"


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Review #7, by water_lily43175Year Five: The Hex Head Express

19th June 2014:
So I'm only taking one chapter request at a time because I'm short on time, but I'm open to reading more chapters if the first chapter intrigues me. And yours did! So I'm going to read and review the lot :)

When I first saw you'd capitalised "Sophie" as the first word in the first chapter, I thought it was a bit odd, but then you also capitalised "Tristan" when the scene shifted to his perspective, and I liked that. And we start with that technique in this chapter too. Obviously it's done in books a lot, but not often on HPFF, and it's refreshing to see you do that here. I know, this is probably a REALLY daft comment to make, but I wanted to make it anyway. :)

I like Isobel, Laurel and Emily. They all have distinct personalities, and that sort of thing is lovely to see. And THEY'RE ADDICTED TO CHEERING CHARMS. Amazing.

Arthur Weasley smoking it up in his shed. DEAD.

Poor Tristan seems very lost in his thoughts, doesn't he? How very girl-friend like of the girls, to not press him about it but to discuss it the minute he leaves the compartment. ;)

Loving Fred and George already, and Hermione's little cameo was adorable. I liked the gossiping about Harry too. It's nice to read a fic from the perspective of people who know who he is but have pretty much no dealings with him whatsoever. It makes for an interesting slant on things.

Again, I like the little bits of detail that you put in. Like how Tristan's music stops working when they get close to Hogwarts. (Incidentally I get the feeling I'll agree with his music taste.)

Another good chapter, on I go!


Author's Response: Not a daft comment at all! Formatting is an important part of a story, and I'm glad that my all-caps POV intros work. (:

It's funny, a few people have commented that recreational magic was a novel idea--it always seemed so obvious to me! If you can make someone cheerful with a spell, why don't people do that all the time??? So, of course, I decided to create a downside and a context of social stigma--because my story about wizards should be realistic ;)

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Review #8, by water_lily43175Year Five: Prologue (1991): Dozens of Little Televisions

19th June 2014:
Hello! I'm here with your requested review (finally ... I've been without internet for the past week, sorry for the delay!). And I, in turn, was pretty stoked to see your request! I love this sort of fic, and I've been getting a hankering for Hogwarts-era recently. So, without further ado, here goes. :)

I like this as an intro to the story, it's interesting to see how a wizard looks from a Muggle's point of view. I love the thought of Tristan taking forever to "tidy his room", books and all. I also like that Sophie's first thought upon seeing the photos wasn't that they were moving photos, but they were miniature televisions. I guess it's because we're all so familiar with the wizarding world these days that it's interesting to read it all from an unknowing Muggle's perspective.

Your description in particular is lovely here, so full and rich. Of course, it needs to be, because from Sophie's perspective it would be odd if she DIDN'T notice the quills and parchment. But it's well written, which is the important bit. And it's so lovely to read about the wizarding world as described by a Muggle; it's such a wacky, wonderful universe, isn't it?

Tristan seems a lovely character too. Very teenage-boy, hiding in his room, and wanting the girl to remember the night's events of course. ;) I really like his reaction to breaking the Statute too; the panic and shock of it seems so real, but I like that sense of resentment at all he has to do to keep his worlds separate, especially given his parentage.

I think this is a cracking first chapter. Very well-written, and engaging characters too. And kudos for doing a lot of research, because that kind of work really shows through in a fic. :) Thanks for requesting, I'm really liking this so far!


Author's Response: You, madame, are a BEAST, in the best sense of the word.

This whole fic is very much a love letter to the Potter-verse. I had a lot of fun examining the magical world from different perspectives (:

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Review #9, by water_lily43175A Deception: To Deceive

6th June 2014:
Hello! Here with your requested review. :)

I was very happy to see your post requesting this, because I do like a bit of Andromeda/Ted. I think they're such an interesting couple and there are a lot of ways in which their story can be told. And on that note, this is a different take on Andromeda to any I've seen before. I liked it a lot, even if it was bittersweet. At first, when I read the quote, I assumed that the idea would be Andromeda loses her pride to be with Ted, but having read the fic, it's obvious that it's the opposite way round - she left her family for Ted, and was too proud to go back. And while this is a different approach than normal, it works well with the Andromeda we see briefly in Deathly Hallows, who seemed very uptight and aloof.

The narrative was spot-on throughout, and Andromeda's pride oozed through right from the start. I particularly liked those little comments about her mud-stained cloak and her lank hair, which so effortlessly told us that she cares for her appearance and yet what she's doing now is more important. Guh, all the layers, I LOVE it.

I like the conscious wrestling in her head over whether she's a Black or a Tonks. Here is a woman who feels like she's completely lost her identity, and you can just feel her drowning in that sense of unhappiness and confusion over where she is and what she's doing with her life. Those last two paragraphs in particular are incredible.

You mentioned rogue commas, but I don't think you need to worry about them. You've written this with a lot of run-on sentences but it's a structure that works, and I didn't come across any commas that felt like they shouldn't be there.

As for whether it's too angsty, I'm perhaps not the person to ask that because in my view, the angstier the better. I LOVE angst. And I loved this. :)


Author's Response: Hey there - thanks so much for dropping by! :)

I'm so glad you like Ted/Andromeda, because I do love them too - like you say, they're so interesting and people can take them in so many different ways. Yeah, the Andromeda in DH was partially where this came from/was inspired by - I always thought of her from there as being very cold and impersonal and kinda wanted to take her character back to that sort of first impression of her that I had, so I'm so glad you liked it!

Gah, thank you so much! I loved writing those little bits at the beginning - I kinda wanted to show her being fallen, in a way, and the mud and things were symbolic in a way. Also, I really didn't want to give her a catch-all out of looking bad, haha - even witches must sometimes have lank hair, right? :P

I've seen her referred to occasionally as Andromeda Black-Tonks, and when the idea for this came I was reminded of it. How important blood and family are for them and so how important it would be for her, so that's kinda where that came from. Also, I just loved writing someone who isn't sure, because it was so fun and so different to most fics, I think, in a way.

Ooh, good - I'm honestly so bad with commas it's unreal! so hopefully - hopefully - I'm improving with them! :P

Thank you so so much for the wonderful review, it was so great to get! :)

Aph xx

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Review #10, by water_lily43175I Am Reality: My Purpose is to Attract

5th June 2014:
Hello! Here with your requested review. :)

I really like the premise of this. A Veela who's been heartbroken? That sounds like an almost impossible concept. But, of course, it's not - just because they're beautiful doesn't mean they're flawless. And from what we've seen in the books, a scorned or angry Veela is not someone to get on the wrong side of.

I like how she goes through her steps on how to break a man's heart. Also, I liked this line in particular: "Men always wanted to be the hero so I would be the damsel in distress." But it's all very well written, I could quote half of this if not for fear of regurgitating your fic back to you.

I really like how you made this work with the quote you were given, it fits superbly. And I'm off to find James and unbreak his heart. :) Good stuff!

Author's Response: Thanks for the lovely review! Yes, they are perfect on the outside but not so much on the inside and they are definitely not people to cross ;) I'm glad you like the story. And I know poor James :'(
Thanks again!

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Review #11, by water_lily43175Lumos: Temper

5th June 2014:
Hello! Here with your requested review. :)

Post-Hogwarts fics always intrigue me, because I think there's a lot of story to be told when it comes to Harry, and the wizarding world in general, making the transition from wartime to peacetime. So I was very excited to see your request! :)

I like the opening sequence. It took me by surprise a bit, but it works really well. You have the characterisation spot on with all four men, and I love your description.

I like Harry's anger and irritation at the reporters. It's very realistic of him to have that kind of reaction to that attention. And Rita Skeeter is DELICIOUSLY foul, as would be expected.

Harry's anger is interesting, and I can't help but wonder if there's something going on here - we know he had anger issues before, but, as you touch on in this chapter, how much of that was influenced by the part of Voldemort's soul in him? Certainly, his use of Sectumsempra isn't the kind of thing we'd expect from him. He felt so guilty about using it on Malfoy, and so I really can't see him using it on someone with full knowledge of what it does. SO. Mystery abounds already. :)

I'm also wondering what will happen to him at the Ministry. Surely they won't punish him... surely?

One bit of advice - some of the paragraphs could do with being split out. In particular, you should start a new line when a different character speaks, rather than having several different people's speech all in one paragraph. The paragraph beginning "Come, brothers..." is an example of this. You could split that into four separate paragraphs and thus it would be much easier to read.

All in all though, an interesting first chapter. As I've said, your general description throughout is fab. Good stuff! :)

Author's Response: Thankyou very much for your kind words!
Yes, there is something rather sinister going on, and you would have to be one of the first reviewers to pick this up. A few have said that Harry overreacted WAY too much, and they'd be right, if only for the fact things are not as they seem.

Once again, thanks a million for your time!

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Review #12, by water_lily43175Kill Your Darlings: Hurt

3rd June 2014:
Okay, so I know I said the last chapter was the best one yet ... but now this one is. Do you sense a theme here?

This honestly feels like THE turning point. And I've thought that before - when Andromeda kissed Ted, when she first realised how she felt about him, even last chapter when she confessed it all to Lilith - but really, none of it ever was a turning point, because she still wasn't prepared to give up her family for him. But now, we have this almighty collision of the Dark magic that she's come to hate so much, and Ted being threatened by it, and BAM she chooses Ted in a heartbeat. And this time, I can't see her going back.

Andromeda overpowering Rabastan was incredible. And, while I hated seeing (?) her use the Cruciatus, at the same time it felt right - there IS that little bit of Bella in her, that she just can't suppress when Ted's been hurt. And right there is the difference between her and Bella, as well - Andromeda wasn't torturing Rabastan just because she could, but because of her love for Ted. Naw.

And then Ted called her Dromeda. AND HE WUVS HER, HE WANTS HER, HE - woos her, there's another w word. :)

"She saved Ted. She's always saving Ted." Oh George, you cutie pie. And I'm gonna need some George/Lilith pretty pronto, I'm just about in love with the notion by now.

And ANDROMEDA SAID SHE WAS ENGAGED TO TED. Bahahaha exploding with incoherent happiness. Even though Ted's dying again, but there we go.

The moment when Andromeda remembered she'd cast the Cruciatus was so sad. The poor girl, she's done the exact thing she proclaims to hate, and now she worries she's turning into Bella. Ted's words were spot on, and he is so Hufflepuffy to tell her the difference between her and the Death Eaters.

I like the analogy with the Cold War. It's nice to be reminded that this Muggle stuff did still happen, and that sometimes the wizarding world even noticed it.

And then. AND THEN she makes her move. Chooses Ted over her family. Even if she's not done it explicitly, the symbolism is enough. She doesn't care if they find her by a muggleborn's bedside, and that's as good as choosing him. And finally, FINALLY, he stops pushing her away. UNGH. Love it!

Author's Response: Hahaha. Dawr. That's a very nice theme to point out. Though I feel under a lot of pressure now! o.o Maybe that's part of why this next chapter has been so hard to write. That and summer vacation. :)

You might-maybe-may be very correct about this being the turning point for Andromeda. Like you point out, she's never before been in a position where she has to make an irrecoverable decision concerning Ted and her family. In the past, she's been able to weasel her way in and out of circumstances. But here there is no weasleling. Zilch.

I really wanted to give Andromeda agency in this chapter--show both her and the readers that she isn't weak or less than her Slytherin male counterparts, which is what she's been taught to believe. And though Andromeda never bought into that lie, she needed to prove her worth to herself. And, you know, save Ted's life. Because in order to act so vicious, Andromeda most certainly needs an impetus. Unlike Bella, she isn't glibly sadistic just for the sake of it.

HE WUVS HER. ALL the applicable "w" words, Ted feels them toward Dromeda. Teehee.

Oh. OH. There will most definitely be some more George/Lilith scenes/action/extravaganza going down in coming chapters.

Hahaha. Maybe it was cliche of me to write that in, but HEY, the opportunity presented itself! Obvz Andromeda claiming to be Ted's beloved betrothed was the only way she could get to him, so YEAH. No shame. And, ahem, maybe it also gives Andromeda the chance to realize that she rather likes the idea of wearing Ted's ring.

Ted is very Hufflepuffy to explain to Andromeda the difference between her and her psycho older sister. Sure, he has a vested interest in doing so, but it's clear to him that Andromeda is nowhere near like Bella. Even though what he saw at the train station may have freaked him out a bit... But that's material to be unpacked at a later date. :)

Yeah! Cold War, indeed. One of many reasons that I love the Marauder-and-thereabouts era is because it coincides with one of my favorite Muggle periods of time. So I couldn't resist throwing in an applicable reference. And one that, yes, I think the wizard community would've had to have taken note of. Doomsday, end of the world, nuclear apocalypse--these things are bound to catch someone's attention.

YASSS. Yes, Andromeda finally makes a bleeping big decision. It was so satisfying to write that ending because, for once, both Andromeda and Ted make a decision knowing exactly what the consequences are. And that decision is based on their WUV.

Thanks so much for the marvelous review! These always make me infinitely happy. :)

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Review #13, by water_lily43175Avalanche: 1

3rd June 2014:
Um, so this is perfect.

I wrote a Marauder fic once, back in the day when I wrote Really Bad Stuff. And it's heartbreaking to both read and write, because in the back of your mind is this thought that he's just going to betray them all. And how do you portray him realistically when you know he apparently has the capability to send his best friends to their deaths?

But this. THIS. I swear, you should just sit down and whack out one-shots all the time, because the amount of depth you give Peter in 6000 words is just... GUH. The title is so apt, given how things escalate. It's heartbreaking to follow him through this, to see how his hatred of death, of seeing people die, manifests itself in SUCH a desperation to end things, even if that ending means his side losing. Means James DYING.

And it's so heartbreaking that all the way through this, people recognise him as being so human, so pure-hearted, and yet he's the one to turn. Because it's too much.

Sirius and James are both wonderful. I like the little nuances in their characterisation - they're both loyal to a fault of course, as we'd expect, but Sirius is that little bit immature still (being transfigured and stuffed after death, I laughed so hard at that bit) while James is more sensible, more observant, and knows how to handle people. I have a bit of leeway when it comes to Sirius, but I have a pretty clear-cut idea in my head of how I think James Potter would have been, and here he is perfect.

Yay Giddy P!

What I also like (apart from EVERYTHING) is how Peter goes from just wanting to stop the war to ending up being sucked into the traitor role full-on. The McKinnons die and all of a sudden he's in too far to back out, and he has no choice BUT to carry on, or die. And that's the bit where it goes from "I don't want anyone to die" to "I don't want to die". And then we're in the realms of self-preservation and from then on it's just a downward spiral.

That conversation with James at the end, oh god it broke my heart. Poor Peter practically begging James NOT to make him Secret Keeper because he knows what he has to do. And James thinking Peter is the best for the job because of his principles, when that's what's driven him to all of this.

But, Peter still had the choice, in the end. He didn't have to hand over Lily and James. But it was that, or death. And he's made his choice now. And so they die. :(

I still don't like Peter. I love a well-written Peter, but at the end of the day this is the person who brought about James and Lily's deaths. I'll never like him. But what you've done here is create such a powerful, empathetic character. It MAKES SENSE, that someone who could have been friends with James and co for years would go from being this person who hated seeing death, to someone so desperate for it all to end that he'd resort to even the most terrible of measures. He's not blameless, or redeemed - because he still could have said no, and while it's a pretty rough choice, someone like Sirius (or my Giddy) would have willingly given up his own life for any of the others ... but at the same time, DEATH. It's pretty bleak.

So, yes. Perfect. Love it. And I'm off to mourn over James Potter dying again.

Author's Response: Oops, I didn't reply to this.

I've always liked to think Peter had a long, involved, drawn-out corruption and fall to darkness that turned him from a decent guy and good friend and into the wretched creature we eventually meet. If he was always evil to the core, then either his betrayal meant nothing or our beloved Marauders are idiots.

It took this idea before I wanted to write something, though. Eventually, death can get to a point where who's right and who's wrong no longer seems as important as making it STOP. And it just took that pebble. I think in some ways people were wrong to view him as 'pure' in this, aside for the obvious reasons - I think he was naive, I think that was his biggest sin here.

And yes, he had a choice. He felt he didn't, which was why he wanted James to NOT make him Secret Keeper, because then the thought process he'd trained himself into meant he HAD to tell Voldemort - but there was a choice. There was always a choice. And he chose the path of self-preservation, over, as Sirius told him in POA, dying for his friends.

I really enjoyed writing Sirius and James in this. I like to think of James as a very empathetic person, very good with people, and since he grew up from the little berk of yesteryear, used that power for 'good'. And Sirius has to be the ridiculous, roguish, overgrown child - but quick to forgive, and a good friend.

Oddly, I don't like Peter much. I don't read the books and think, "Poor Peter," or even, "that monster". I kind of nothing him in the books. It's only when I sit down and think about it that I consider his story has to have a lot of good material in there, and it took the spark of inspiration to make this one happen.

Alas, poor James. Thanks for reviewing, as ever!

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Review #14, by water_lily43175Starfall: Dead of Night

30th May 2014:
Now I've stopped staring at whacked-out Voldemort GIFs, I'm here.

Poor Scorpius. I really do like that you're tackling this issue, of what it's like to make a first kill. It actually makes me think back to poor old Minty G, and her woes on the subject. It's a huge thing, to take a life. And it's also an interesting contrast with Eva, who previously seemed to not give a jot about killing someone - although there's obviously more under the surface than that.

And Matt continues to do the right thing. And yes, it feels awful, but it's making him a better person and I'm very proud of him for doing it. Bless him.

"I couldn't help but overhear. Perhaps because I was stood at the door listening." Ha. Selena does make me giggle.

The Matt/Selena dynamic is so lovely. I just adore a male/female friendship dynamic that isn't one of cousins. I think a lot of people tend to put all the focus on the romance or the bromance or the girly friendship (why is there no girl equivalent of bromance?) and so it's really lovely to see Matt and Selena building something platonic. And I would be more than happy if this is where you left it with them, because not every storyline or character development needs romance to make it good.

And I continue to love a fully-functioning Scorose. She always knows the right thing to say, bless her.

I do love how Thane and co view killing, as though they think it makes them humane by only killing when necessary, but at the same time efficiency apparently equals necessity. Nice try, guys, but it's not washing.

Eva's little moment of self-realisation here is ... interesting. She wants to make her own choices? Well, we'll have to see if that manifests itself into anything.

But the most interesting thing here is that we've been led to believe, through Eva's perspective, that Thane was the best thing that ever happened to her. But now she's hearing it from Albus' perspective - that Thane used her and took advantage of her. Something she'd never even considered before. Is she going to realise this for herself? I really don't know. She's put Thane on one hell of a pedestal, and she needs to bring him down from it before she can fully understand.

And yet, Thane himself remains a mystery. He's not all bad, far from it. HM.

Just a note, you refer to Lisa as "Eva" once in the narrative, just after Albus asks if she regrets killing those people. I don't know if it's deliberate or not - because given the question he's asking it would make sense if you did mean it - but I'm just letting you know in case you didn't mean it.

The ending is ominous. I don't think she's thinking about poker any more. I still don't think you'll do it, Eva ... but we shall see! Good stuff as usual. :)

Author's Response: I think those whacked out GIFs have done something to my life.

I was bewildered when I realised I'd NEVER addressed killing in combat before. How had I missed this in the Anguisverse? But it's very fitting for Starfall; the nature of these choices, the things 'heroes' need to do in order to be safe and successful, is very much something the story's about exploring.

Matt is trying to be a better person. He doesn't like it very much. But at least he has Selena as a friend! I love writing those two; it was never intended as a dynamic but was, I suppose, inevitable - there's a reason Selena and Methuselah started spending so much time together in the first place. Being outside the Big Three will do that to a duo. And they are definitely FRIENDS, and will continue to be friends. This might turn into something else, and if it does, then so be it, but I am adamant that if it does it is absolutely 'friendship turns to romance', not 'romance is born out of a close bond that was inevitably going to be romantic.' Neither of them are in a place right now where it would be a good idea, anyway.

Rose has grown a lot, and has managed to turn her great brain to people, to understanding them, and to helping them. I think she might be the most developed of all the characters in this story, though she might have to monkey knife-fight with Selena for that title.

Thane and co are definitely hypocrites. On the one hand, they are NOT needlessly cruel; on the other hand, they have no qualms about being cruel if it's useful. That they have fewer evil deeds does not make the deeds they do commit any less evil. Eva thinking about her own choices is like poking something in herself she never knew was there. It'll take time for her to figure out if it means anything.

In many ways, Thane DID do her life a lot of good. He also immersed her into a very dark world and used her. The 'child soldier' comment from Albus is very apt. And then it raises the questions of, at what point is Eva responsible for her own actions, if it's a world she was brought up into? At 14, killing someone for the first time? Or is she too young and too 'brainwashed' by then. At 17, an adult? Is she always responsible? Is she never responsible, having not had a chance to be different? Or somewhere in between?

I aim to be very careful when I use Eva and when I use Lisa. The usage in this chapter was intentional. We'll see where her regret takes her, or if her 'programming' takes over.

Thanks for reviewing, as ever!

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Review #15, by water_lily43175Starfall: The Sudden Stop

23rd May 2014:
BAHAHA I'm online for an update for once and so I'm going to REVIEW NOW. Oh this is exciting.

Just a note to begin with, because I don't think I say this enough - your description and imagery is always so on point, but here in particular the image you've created in my head is so, so vivid. And also very scary, given the horror of Lisa's victims. So, kudos for that.

Albus is ... well, there are no words. This is the ugly side of Lisa that he's seeing - the Eva side, shall we say - and yet, he's still helping her and refusing to leave her. He is so pure-hearted, it's beautiful. Admittedly he doesn't know the full story, he doesn't know that she's working for Thane and from what he does know, she didn't choose to be bad. It'll be interesting to see, if her full story ever does come out, what he makes of her then. But for now, he's adorable.

And back to reality, and I'd forgotten there were people firing spells. GOLEMS, how delightful. I can't help but think of the gargoyles in Hunchback of Notre Dame when they come up. I'm guessing that wasn't quite your intention.

Eeesh. Scorpius' first kill? Nasty stuff. And ... they're saying the golem did it. Poor Scorp.

The understanding that's developing between Matt and Selena really is lovely. I feel like I should be saying more on this, but I'm wording badly today, so FRIENDSHIP IS GOOD.

Okay, so the Council (seemingly) still think the Five are dead, that's good news. But they're investigating the fort for their own reasons, hmm? That's not so good.

Wow, PORTUGAL, that came as a TOTAL surprise. ;) It's a shame they've gone there AFTER our gang have gone from Monaco to Syria, isn't it? Now they have to head back in the opposite direction! Lovely chapter, looking forward to more. :)

Author's Response: Review speed like ninja!

I've been having angst about my prose being flat at times (dialogue I don't worry about, prose, yes), so thank you for the kudos. It's good to hear a scene like this actually struck home and did so vividly!

Albus to the rescue, knight in shining armour this time. Now, he's not a fool, in that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that now isn't the time to turn to Lisa and go, 'So, tell me all the nuances of what's going on. Just so I can be sure I'm making the right call.' She's on his team, she's in trouble, she needs help. That's good enough for him for now, and the rest can come later. The golems are nothing like the ones in Hunchback of Notre Dame. That is, I assume you're referencing Disney, and they are GIANT KILLER ROCK THINGS, not wacky musical sidekicks. *flips table* Nah, seriously, I envision them as over-sized human shapes made of rock, smooth and seamless. A Google-whack of 'golem' would bring up pictures roughly equivalent. Also Pratchett influences cannot be denied.

Yeah, someone had to kill first. And oddly it's not something I properly dealt with in Anguisverse (I mean killing an enemy - Tanith and Nick doesn't count). It seemed time to tackle that as an issue. Starfall doesn't abandon high-octane cinematic, as one of my spoilers to you makes clear, but it does pretty much stay in Dark-ville from here.

Matt and Selena has been an entirely unplanned dynamic. They got thrown together as 'spares' in a similar way to which Methy and Selena were spares, but - I dunno, I just like writing them and playing them by ear.

Portugal. *clenches fist* There will be a reckoning. Yeah, we're getting to the Plot Snarl of Woe. And they have to hike back ACROSS Europe, which was... inconvenient.

Next chapter may be a little delayed, have been ill this week so I haven't polished off the upcoming stuff as much as I'd have liked. Or built up my buffer. Which is silly, as a buffer is there to be used, but if I post a chapter before I've written another one I go nuts.

Anyway. Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #16, by water_lily43175Kill Your Darlings: Hogsmeade

17th May 2014:

I knew I loved Lilith. This is why. She's so loving and supportive, even if she doesn't agree with Andromeda. And I guess this is where her not-quite-pureblood status really comes to the fore - because she's not quite as hoity-toity as most others, she's willing to push the boundaries a bit. Plus I get the feeling she loves a good old love story.

And then Andromeda said she loved Ted and I just about DIED OF HAPPINESS. And Lilith's reaction to that was wonderful and I adore her. It makes me feel a little bit better about what happens between Andromeda and Narcissa, because at least there's the hope that Andromeda will still have Lilith as a friend.

Although the thought of the Andie/Cissa rift does make me sad. Lilith seems determined that Narcissa won't care, and that makes me wonder - I'd assumed that Narcissa voluntarily disowned Andromeda along with everyone else, but perhaps she didn't? Perhaps she felt forced to choose between Andromeda and Lucius, and chose the family and marriage? Oh god I think that would be even more sad than if it was a straight-out rift.

Only Lilith would find the notion of being treated like a princess quite so insulting. Also, I was shipping George/Lilith before this chapter, but now I'm REALLY shipping them. Make it happen!

For what it's worth, I'd LOVE a beachside wedding. But I can see why it's not Andromeda's thing.

AND THEN THE ENDING. Rabastan, what a cunning brute. I can't help but think that this must be THE pivotal chapter, because there's no way that Andromeda can ensure Ted isn't hurt and still keep up her pretence, surely? All of the options! Smashing chapter. :)

Author's Response: WHOO. I was so glad that I finally got to bring Lilith's strengths to the forefront. She really does care for Andromeda, and like you say, she's a definite boundary pusher AND a love story lover. :) She's been looking for her own Romeo & Juliet story and now she think she's found it in Andromeda and Ted. Bit vicarious, but who can blame her for that?

D: Oh Narcissa. You'll be seeing more of her in coming chapters, but you've made some very valid observations. I think what's particularly hard for Andromeda in this situation is that, pre-Ted, she was totally more onboard with Narcissa's philosophy than with Lilith's. But, you know, true wuv changes all that...

Lilith defies any fellow to treat her like she's delicate or special or a princess! So yes, ahem, I think George quite suits her. And maybe there will be some shipping of that. Just maybe. :)

Haha, a beachside wedding sounds nice to me, too. Though not one with Rabastan. Lol. If anyone can make a wedding a total downer, it's a Lestrange boy.

Yes, this is the point at which SOMETHING has to give. There's no turning back when your fiance strings a dude up and gets him all bloodied. No indeed!

Thank you for the review!

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Review #17, by water_lily43175Starfall: The Fallen

16th May 2014:
From Rose's opening line alone, I thought this was shaping up to be a corker. WHAT a chapter.

I DEFINITELY shouldn't have been given that spoiler before reading these chapters, because what with Scorpius seeing his death last chapter and now Rose seeing this alternate reality, it makes me wonder if you ARE going to do something totally, utterly mad and kill him off. Surely, SURELY not? Grieving Albus and Rose have absolutely broken me here, I can't bear the thought of this being their actual future.

Alternate-grieving-Albus' "nobody needs me" stance is also heartbreaking. The poor kid. Although if this is Rose's idea of what would have happened had Scorpius died, it might just be her opinion of Albus projecting itself onto what she sees - which would mean she worries that he doesn't think he's important in anyone's eyes but Scorpius', perhaps?

Fred Weasley is wonderful, and so well captured, and I'm now sad again that he died.

"Are you the only little family unit who doesn't have names of dead people or French people everywhere?" I would use my normal reaction - DEAD - but I think that's inappropriate in this setting. So I will merely say this sentence AMUSED me. And the following sentence - Hugo being named after Victor Hugo - made me think, THAT must have been an interesting conversation for Ron and Hermione to have given Hermione's ex is called Viktor. I bet that's the sort of thing Ron would get in a hump about...

And I keep wanting to quote things Fred says, but it's going to get to the point where I'm just dictating your chapter back to you and nobody needs that in a review. Although I will paste this bit because ALL OF THE FEELS:

"We came into this world together. We'll leave it together. Don't get me wrong. Give him another fifty years. Another hundred years. I'll sit here and watch, laugh at his jokes, finish the punchline, even if he can't hear it. But when it comes to going into that great big discombobulating ball in the sky, we'll go out together."

Oh Fred.

This whole section is a wonderful, beautiful mix of humour and poignant musings. Lovely stuff. And I hope that Rose gets back to the family in the end and can tell George this. Because I think that's something he'd like to know.

And I'm getting all teary so we're going to MOVE ON.

Tee hee, mock outrage over Rose seeing a Malfoy. Wonderful. Fred used to upset Jen. OF COURSE HE DID.

The minute Rose said Selena was stuck in a dungeon or something, I just knew that wasn't going to be the case. Because the experience that would hurt her most would be thinking Methuselah was still alive. And sure enough...

And it broke me all over again. Seeing Methuselah again ... oh, how I've missed that poor kid and his cute way of talking. I hated every moment that Selena thought it was real, because there was going to have to be that moment when she had to tell herself that it WASN'T real, that Methy was still dead and she had to move on.

"Oh God, everything's breaking and he's offering them tea." Oh Methuselah. And ... Fred making sure he was looked after ... seriously, you have no idea what this chapter is doing to my feels.

Although Selena's options of either finding a new love or becoming a crazy cat lady with a teahouse did make me chuckle.

Oh Selena. I could try to sum up everything about this, but I can't find the words to do it justice. So I will just say, I hope this is the closure she needed and she can begin to move on. Not forget him, but heal and live her life away from his shadow.

And as for EVA. All of her victims - is she going to feel any kind of guilt for them? Because she obviously thinks what she's doing is RIGHT, or at least she's always seemed to. And what's ALBUS going to make of things when he comes across her? Is he going to see all this, is he going to realise exactly what's going on? SO MANY questions. Wonderful, beautiful, amazing chapter. THANK YOU.

Author's Response: This might be my favouritest chapter of the entire series. And it contains exactly zero Scorpius! Which I didn't think would be the case for my favouritest chapter. But then, I'm okay with my favouritest chapter being Rose and Selena prod buttock in metaphysical land.

If I killed Scorpius, it would impossibly wreck at least two lives. Possibly beyond all recovery. That would be madness. Okay, and as I write this, I know it's impossible for me to not sound like I'm nodding and grinning while I type. It would be HORRID. (I'm not saying I'm not gonna but I'm not saying I WILL and yet would I foreshadow something like that so blatantly?)

What's going on is certainly being pulled from Rose's perspective, so could well be her imagined grieving Albus. Though a certain Seer would talk about alternate realities...

See, I'm not even such a huge Fred fan. But he demanded to appear in this chapter, and then promptly wrote himself all the good lines, tromped around like a champ being hilarious and heartbreaking.

I do like to think that the only reason that Hugo isn't called Victor is because of Krum. Like, somehow Hermione managed to wrangle getting to name their second child after her favourite author and then went, 'Bugger,' when she realised that this would make Ron's brain explode. Admittedly, 'I want our son to share a name with my first boyfriend,' is about a world of nope.

I had to include the Fred/Jen reference. She would have been a prefect for almost two years of his shenanigans. It's odd, I feel no shame including references to Selena's mother and would have felt no shame writing about Methuselah's mother, but whenever I do development of Matt and his parents I feel quite self-indulgent. So obviously I compensated for that by doing an entire chapter about their sub-universe...

I upset myself writing this, a LOT. Happy Selena. Disbelieving Selena. Exploding Selena. This had to be the moment where she accepted it and chose to let him go, and took some control of her own life and her own grief, and it was in some ways very hard work to get right and in other ways wrote itself, but dang. Heavy stuff.

Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #18, by water_lily43175Starfall: Valley of the Shadow

16th May 2014:

It breaks my heart that Scorp is still having insecurities about him and Rose. And that he's still comparing himself to Matt. And - okay, there are Dementors floating around, maybe that's why he's having these silly thoughts.

Alternatively, he might just be in a silly mood.

Back to the Dementors. This makes sense, given we've established the place is one which has seen death, and the last time we came across a place like that there were Dementors feeding off it.

I expected Rose and Scorpius to cast Patronuses. (Patroni?) I expected Albus to cast one. I thought that would be it. Matt's academically gifted but if he's not cast one before he's not about to pull it off now. And as for Eva - well, she's out.

I did NOT expect Selena to still have the ability to cast a Patronus. And yet ... of COURSE she did. Of COURSE it was Methuselah's. And of course this is going to push her three steps backwards. GUH.

"Why are Templars quoting Johnny Cash?" DEAD.

It's nice to see Scorpius and Matt being able to work together. And I'm ridiculously proud of Matt in this chapter. He's lost, but he's being a graceful loser. Which will make things easier for him in the end, and also makes it easier for Scorpius to cooperate with him. I like that he's acknowledged Rose doesn't need him to fight her battles for her. Whether or not he really is straight about it all in his head, on the exterior it's a mature stance to take. Well done Matt.

Creepy veil is creepy. Given that spoiler you've just given me, Scorpius potentially seeing his own death has me wondering - but you can't kill him, I'm all for killing the right people at the right time but killing Scorpius would just be beyond madness. But I never know with you.

So I'm just going to tell myself that Scorpius has to die at SOME point, and just because he saw it doesn't mean it's going to happen SOON. He could die in his hundreds.

You need to stop throwing "I'm fine" about. It just makes me think of Ross in Friends, and that doesn't get us anywhere. "I'M FINE!"

Oh, Selena. Her state of mind makes sense - she doesn't WANT to be this ball of grief over Methuselah, she wants to be able to move on, and so having his Patronus probably feels like she's never going to get rid of him. Bless her.

Interesting insight on Rose/Matt. Is Selena right? HMM.

Poor Al, being brushed off. He just wants to help everyone!

Cruel cliffhanger. Good thing I waited until there was another chapter, isn't it? Onwards!

Author's Response: Boo-ya. Yeah, spoilers, Scorpius' inner monologue of mangst is totally caused by the Dementors. But that's okay, because Rose being a bit of a SMELLY FACE (12+ limits me) is also thanks to the Dementors crawling in HER brain. Hrm. I've not done Dementors from her POV before. Something for the future.

My own made-up canon about death magic and what makes Dementors is consistent! See! Go me! But, no, Matt's had no reason to cast a Patronus, and Eva CERTAINLY can't. I wondered if it was too trite for Selena to be able to, or too unrealistic, but then I thought... a lot of canon characters who could cast patronuses would be doing so with Complicated memories. Because their lives have been messed up and happy memories are also, often, complex (and I touch on this in Renaissance so I'll stop now). But basically, sure. Selena thinks of Methuselah and it breaks her heart, but it also works in summoning a patronus.

The moment I wanted to use Biblical references in this chapter, the entire banter wrote itself.

Matt isn't lying this time, at least. He IS trying to get over Rose, and he knows deep down that Scorpius isn't a bad guy, and Scorpius has also cut down on taking chunks out of him so it's easier to swallow it. So it's progress.

Killing Scorpius WOULD be madness. But this is just his interpretation of what he's seen - he's a little highly strung right now. And even if he did see it, yes, who's to say it's soon?

"I'm fine." Well, they are fine. We're all fine, everything's fine here. How're you?

Selena - grief's complicated! Grieve for the guy, feel like hell! Don't grieve, feel guilty! Boo. She is, however, egging the pudding a bit more than it needs egging with the Rose/Matt stuff. Or, even if she's right, does it matter? IS she right? Dah dah DUM.

Fussy Al is fussy. Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #19, by water_lily43175Kill Your Darlings: Touch

11th May 2014:
Oh, that letter. Attentive. Giddy. DIVINE. So pureblood. (Definitely thinking that in Gretchen Wieners' voice. So fetch!) Pandering indeed. And the fact Andromeda knows and loathes that says a lot.

It's so sad to see Andromeda and Narcissa drifting apart. I knew it had to happen at some point, but I really have grown to adore this Narcissa and I don't want Andromeda to have to lose ALL her family. But sadly it has to happen...

Oh gosh, you REALLY need to stop doing this. First having Remus fancy Andromeda, and now Ted's speculating about his future pot-bellied self? CRYING. Andromeda will have pot-bellied Ted, and she will love him all the more so for it. It IS a nice thing to mention though, because this Ted is obviously in shape, and future Ted ... isn't. So this is clearly how he ends up more squishy round the edges.

But OH, Andromeda. Round two of blabbering on when she really should just stop talking. Face it, you want to be the Mrs Tonks with the pot-bellied husband.

Casually melted when Ted said he liked strong and independent and all-but said he meant her. OH, TED. You are too cute. I REALLY want one now. No, I want the WHOLE shop please. And actually, on that note - his reaction to Andromeda paying for the treatment is understandable. It's going to make him feel like a charity case, whether she sees it that way or not. But ... this is such a big thing for her to do, she's going about it totally behind her family's backs ... you want independent, Ted? Well at the moment this is about as good as you're going to get. Silly pureblood mania.

And - oh god he just basically told her he loved her WHAT IS THIS. Pahaha, picturing her as Bellatrix, amazing. But I just ... UGH. I CAN'T TAKE THIS. He WANTS you, Andromeda, and you want him, so WHY DO THIS? Sob. :(

Oh, no. Oh, Andromeda, what did you do? Ted's gonna go mad. Rabastan's gonna go mad. IT'S ALL HAPPENING. Awesome chapter!

Author's Response: Bahaha, Gretchen Wiener. Omg. There should totally be a Mean Girls spoof out there with some pureblood Slytherin socialities in place of the Plastics. What am I saying, there probably already is one. Love it. But yes, Andromeda is very aware of just how gross her saccharine pureblood tone is. :( That, at least, is something she's been conscious of for a while, pre-Ted. Andromeda may have grown up believing certain ideals, but I like to think that she was always a little turned off by the language expected of her, because it's a little, well, demeaning.

Sometimes when I'm writing Andie and Cissa I feel like I'm orchestrating a train wreck in slow motion. Merp. Sad face.

I am SO glad you caught the pot-bellied bit. I thought I should address it at some point, since JKR clearly describes middle-aged Ted as a "big bellied" man. But the way I'd always envisioned Tedromeda's teenage romance, Andromeda was first attracted physically to a fit Ted (albeit unwillingly) before falling for the real Ted. As much as I love Andromeda, I've always thought of her as a little bit superficial when it comes to looks. It seems like a family trait, and since Andromeda takes such care in her own appearance, I thought she'd be picky about a man who wasn't in good shape. Let alone a -gaps- MUGGLEBORN. But of course, Ted gets quite out of shape and Andromeda doesn't even care because LURVE conquers all, even generations-old superficialities. :)

They're in a bit of a bind here, aren't they? Andromeda is trying her best to be independent, given all her complications, and Ted is trying to maintain his own autonomy by refusing her help. It's silly, but I'm glad you point out that they both have valid reasons to be silly.

Ted wuvs her. He wuvs her so much. He wants her. He wuhhh, can't think of another 'w' word for this sutation. Also, it is late.

Thanks for both of these wonderful reviews. As always, they brighten my day! :)

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Review #20, by water_lily43175Kill Your Darlings: Blizzard

11th May 2014:
Wah, I fell behind again! Ah well, I'm here now!

HA, I find it a little bit funny that Yaxley was right about the weather in the end. Poor Lilith, proven wrong.

I'm also now amused at the thought of Winifred and Reginald just sitting, gazing into one another's eyes for all eternity. Being a ghost must be a very boring existence, at least so if you keep yourself up in the Astronomy Tower! If I were a ghost I'd roam about the whole castle for gossip.

Andromeda should listen to Winifred. She knows what she's talking about. Making sweet sweet love to Ted indeed.

Oh, Reginald. Nice, helpful ghost. Totally shipping Winifred/Reginald now. ANYWAY, his information is just a little bit concerning. Attacks in Hogsmeade, oh my. It's difficult to see what Andromeda will do with this information. Confronting Rabastan won't get her anywhere. Obviously the sensible thing to do would be to go to Dumbledore, but she probably doesn't even see that as an option. HMM. And, of course, the more her peers sink themselves into darker Dark Arts, the more she wants out of it all...

Aaaand more Tedromeda interaction. Oh, they're so wonderfully awkward around each other now, aren't they? "I'm not having children." THAT'S WHAT YOU THINK. Just you wait, Dromeda, before long you'll be wanting all of Ted's babies! (Or at least, she'll be realising she does, because OBVIOUSLY she already wants his babies.) But this whole conversation was a SCREAM. "I don't want to talk about this." And yet she CARRIED ON. Oh bless her. Ted's reaction when she said there would only be sexy times once a month was ... well, it's so pureblood isn't it? And she doesn't realise just how barmy it all sounds to him. Because it IS barmy. She will learn, in time.

Oh, Ted. Oh, ANDROMEDA. Gah. I just want to bang their heads together! Wonderfully awkward chapter :)

Author's Response: Oh hi thurh.

Pfrsh. Falling behind is a way of life. Like how I've fallen behind my reading of OTR big time. D: But not much longer, I hope!

Anyway, these reviews made me so very happy (like the Blood, Sweat and Tears song! That much!).

Poor Lilith, indeed. I would totally be on her side, doubting silly boys for claiming they have the Sight. But whether it was due to the Sight or not, Yaxley was, indeed, right.

Bahaha. Winnie & Reg are kind of lame as far as ghosts go. Maybe they'll snap out of it in a few decades? There's only so much pillow talk out there, especially when you're both dead. Though Winnifred does, indeed, know what she's talking about. Call it spectral insight, if you will.

Snort. Writing awkward conversations is, like, one of my favorite things to do, so I had quite an enjoyable time with this chapter. Lolz. Andromeda still does have some seriously screwy ideas about sexy times and marriage in general. But she still has plenty of time to learn, and -cough- Ted to learn with. Eventually. Oh yesh.

Thanks for the lovely review! On to the next!

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Review #21, by water_lily43175Starfall: Lodestar

4th May 2014:
It must have been interesting to plan this fic, working out where our gang were going to go, and realising Syria would be one of those places. I saw a news report only the other day about how Aleppo is still bombed countless times every week. It really is horrendous what's happening there, and I guess while writing about historical events is one thing, mentioning something which is in the past for our characters but is current affairs for us must be a difficult thing to balance. I think the veiled reference to "conflicts" is a good way to go, and let's hope the Syria our gang are in is a peaceful one.

On a more lighthearted note. "This trip has no regard for culture." Poor Matt. I can't think of anything worse than having to cut through Athens, Istanbul and now Aleppo too.

And Selena. "I'm going to need a parasol." Fashion first darling.

I like that Scorpius is good at Astronomy. He's not thick with other stuff, but obviously Rose and Albus both beat him on a lot of things, so it's nice that he has his own strengths and that one of them is proving useful here.

And Eva continues to intrigue. Her insistence to help Albus clear up is really quite sweet. Of course, if you have a past like hers I guess you come to appreciate everything you get.

Ah, I love when Selena and Rose are being all girly. Although it's sad when Selena's missing Methuselah. But I like their friendship. Lisa's reaction to it all was a bit amusing, in a way - obviously girl talk is totally alien to her, she doesn't want to sit through that nonsense. But when she did open up ... oh, that was sad. And it's interesting that she told Rose and Selena. Of course, in her mind she has to tell them something to make them think they can trust her - but she could always have said there were no broken hearts on either side. Instead, she's confiding in them a bit more, even if the truth IS masked with lies. I get the feeling she's finding it harder and harder to resist growing to like them. HMM.

Scorp's crush on Al lives on. Bah, I love them. But I agree with Scorp; Al definitely feels SOMETHING for Lisa. Which is sad, because she's planning on throwing them under the bridge. Not the person to fall for when you're already worried about girls and their motives.

And big kudos to Matt, he's doing well so far with the whole "bury my feelings in a box" thing.

Oh. Fort. Well that's ... handy. Too easy?

And look, I'm all caught up! *collapses* You've put another chapter in the bloody queue that's going to be validated tomorrow, haven't you? That's always the way it seems to go...

Author's Response: When dealing with Crusader issues and Templar history and Holy Grail-esque stories, going to Outremar at some point was unavoidable. And then that meant going somewhere with pretty horrendous modern-day issues. I balked at Syria originally, even if it's a place rich in history during the Crusades, but then I realised my alternatives were limited. Jerusalem? Palestine? Yeah, yeah, much less charged locations.

It was a No Win situation, so I decided to forge ahead and simply try to address it with a respectful, but light touch. This is a troubled part of the world, and it would be nice to think that in 10+ years the gang COULD waltz into Aleppo and still see it as a glorious jewel of history. I have tried to be Optimistic rather than Ignorant.

Matt is suffering. He'll be able to make up for it soon enough.

Scorpius being good at astronomy was such a throwaway thing. I forgot he sneered at Rose in the Forbidden Forest back in Chapter 4 of Ignite on the topic, and figured it's something which his head would wrap around quite well. He's not an idiot, and the others are probably BETTER than him by sheer levels of study, but this is one of those ones where he's good at remembering stuff and using it practically. I think Scorpius needs some practical application to what he's doing for it to settle in his head. And Astronomy allows for practical, for visual, and for the more academic.

Girly talk was due. Selena is genuinely trying to forge ahead into normalcy, which is progress! Lisa is... trying to cope. And yes, she figures she does better work in infiltrating by joining in even if she's a bit "what the hell" over it all, and she's right in that the best lies have a kernel of truth... I think she's regretting it after saying it, though. All a bit close to the bone.

Scorbus is always hilarious to play around with. Even if Scorp did swing that way I think he and Albus are pretty Friend Zoned but it amuses me. Al DOES have a bit of a crush on Lisa, but now's no so much the time even without everything else.

Matt's... trying. He's working on it. We'll see how it goes.

The fort! Yes. Very easy to find. I wonder what's in there?

GOOD CATCH UP. No, I have not put anything in the queue yet. YET. Thanks for all the reviews!

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Review #22, by water_lily43175Starfall: Quicksilver

4th May 2014:
More Scorbusness. I like. Albus, what a babe.

This Baz man fixed Scorpius' toy train? I like him already HOLD THE PHONE DIMITRI! OH MY GOD. Screaming, crying with joy. Assuming this is my present, and oh what a WONDERFUL one it is. Thank you so much. DIMITRI.

And I was wondering why Dimitri was with a black market geezer, because okay he bent the laws in Shadow but he doesn't strike me as the kind of person to side with criminals. But Baz is actually working with the Russian government. Well that makes sense. And makes him a much more useful source indeed.

Draco. A bounty. Has connections with the Council. Wow. This just got a whole lot more interesting. Was I wrong in thinking he's not working with them? But, "connections with" and "working with" are slightly different... and basically I just don't know any more.

FOUR square meals? Oh my, Rose does get fed a lot.

It's a good thing Scorose is a thing. Otherwise how do three cabins divide up? BUT. Nice Scorose moment, even if it IS still sad to see Scorpius' daddy issues. I'm not sure it's quite so clear-cut as Scorpius makes it out to be, but I don't know. We shall see.

BAHA yes, Lisa is watching the others well, knows every sign, and can use it all against them - to win at cards. Amazing. I can't help but wonder if all this time spent with them will humanise her... Here's hoping. One more to go!

Author's Response: Albus is a lovely guy. So's Baz! I really liked Baz, and we will see more of him. But he is overshadowed by Dimitri, who is TOTALLY a shameless cameo. Baz was stronger with someone to bounce off, and I wanted to give Baz a bit more trustworthiness as a black market dealer, and so a government link seemed best... thus, Dimitri!

Draco's got stuff going on. Either IN the Council, or through his shady connections he knows people in the Council. Also, he'd be putting out a bounty... ON people in the Council. It's no secret the Council "killed" them. So that would be weird if he were in the Council trying to get Council people killed? Evidently the Council are not perfectly.

Word "Council" is losing all meaning.

Rose is being hyperbolic. A little. But she's a Weasley, and she's not used to roughing it, like Ron wasn't used to roughing it in DH. Or, rather, she wants a sandwich.

Scorpius has Daddy Issues (seriously, WHICH OF MY CHARACTERS DOESN'T?). On the one hand, it's not as simple as Scorpius puts it. On the other, how he feels is still legitimate.

Lisa will DESTROY THEM ALL at Go Fish.

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Review #23, by water_lily43175Starfall: Arisen

4th May 2014:
OH LOOK THEY'RE ALIVE that was a surprise. ;) And thank god Matt's coat survived; I'm not sure what I, Matt or Scorpius would have done without it!

It's interesting to see Lisa so determined that Rose know her Apparition skills are so good. I get that she wants to motivate them where needed ... but I can't work out if this is a part of that, or sheer awe/gratitude at Rose pulling it off. HMM.

Ah, now this is where old house elf magic, horrendous as it is, actually HELPS Scorpius and co. Awesome idea! And oh, how I love that Scorp misses Harley. I agree, so do I!

I ... hate that they're staying dead. But they're RIGHT, it means they can carry on with their hunt without worrying about Raskoph. But this does make for an interesting split in the Council, because I'd imagine Eva would let Thane know they survived. Thane wasn't exactly working with Raskoph in the first place, but this is just going to exacerbate it. OM NOM juiciness.

Clothes will be useful. Scorpius having some money saved away is also useful.

More wizarding historical lore, yum yum.

I like that Albus is still unwilling to trust Lisa. And Rose's point is an interesting one - Eva is pretty much in the same position as the others now, will that change her stance? HMM.

I'm intrigued as to what Thane knows about the workings of the Council. Who DID tell him to hand over the Stone? HMM. And Lisa seems very sure she's going to betray them, but I'm now less sure. She's playing a different game to the one she signed up for, and this isn't just a war with two sides now, it's becoming a war of three sides. Which could make for an interesting scenario, knowing what we do about Thane. Ooh this is getting RIDICULOUSLY juicy. YUM YUM.

Author's Response: NO. They're DEAD. Story is OVER.

Swishy coat survived. Scorpius needs complicated feelings about the coat. Maybe he does swing that way a little, I dunno. Actually it would suit him. Even if he's a one-Rose-man right now. ...this was weird.

Lisa respects power and skill where it comes. That's one thing she's learned, as she says - not humility. Rose is powerful, and Lisa thinks she should acknowledge that power. That and right now they're fighting to survive. They need to know their edges.

They do, horrid as it is, need to stay 'dead'. This saves them from having the Council breathing down their necks, it saves them from the people back home being compromised, and it minimises the chances of them hurting the people around them.

Albus is on tenterhooks. He WANTS to trust Lisa, though right now he's horribly on edge, or he wouldn't suggest the Legilimency & Mind-Wipe plan. But Rose is bringing common sense home now.

Lisa's situation is complicated. The Council is split, Thane's working for someone, or trying to anticipate someone's whims, while Raskoph is obviously singing from a different hymn sheet - and Raskoph is his formal superior. So there are at least two sides in the Council alone. And then the Convocation (I should not have given them both names beginning with C), and THEN the Five.

It's gonna get messy.


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Review #24, by water_lily43175Starfall: A Snake Lies in the Grass

4th May 2014:
10,000 words of ANGUIS PEOPLE. YES IT'S HERE!

Admittedly, it would perhaps be a nicer chapter to read if our old friends weren't cut up with grief. But I'm not complaining either way. Although it's going to be difficult to read this chapter without squeeing at EVERYTHING.

There's something ... I don't know if 'ironic' is the right word here, but ... this is the house that Tobias hid in after nearly dying in Fiendfyre. And now our gang were nearly killed by Fiendfyre in the house. Yeah. I like the symmetry there.

Oh, they got the whole village? That's ... brutal.

I like that Toby's back in journalism (although I already knew that but there we go). He still has that determination to publish things how they SHOULD be told, and I like the conflict between him and Nat over that. And now I'm all sad again about what happened to Nat in her life, poor thing.

Lillian's reaction has broken me. UNGH. I hadn't realised before that Selena's dad wasn't in the picture. That's an interesting side-story in itself.

And Gabe. Oh, GABE. He's usually so composed and together, it's heartbreaking to see him fall apart like this. I mean, I like it in the artistic sense, but HE'S LOST HIS CHILD UNGH. All of the emotions.

Love the T/T working relationship, and how quickly it turns to husband/wife when she realises he's not there on a professional capacity. I feel her pain on being overlooked for Head of the department - obviously that's canon forcing your hand, but (without wanting to say the wrong thing here!) I think Harry was the right choice for the job. Obviously he's gone AWOL now (but then, his son's 'dead', can't blame him) and Tanith has the ability to hold the fort ... but I think Harry's the right person to be boss. Even if it is hard for Tanith to take orders from the person she trained.

"She was crying. A lot. It was awkward." How very Tanith, haha. Also. "She really didn't like reporters, Tobias thought." DEAD at the reference to Tanith's previous run-ins.

Oh god. Grieving James Potter. Well I'm a ball of emotion right now. And Harry ... in a crisis, go to Ron and Hermione. Oh, poor Ginny. I liked when you referenced this in Ren, and I like that you've done it now. It's a nice reflection of what war does to people.

Also, nice touch mentioning Toby feeling jealous of the Tanith/Gabe understanding. I always liked their friendship in the original series, it's nice to have it referenced here too.

I like the roles each of the trio play here. I see you've had other remarks on Ron, in particular, being the calm, rational one, and for what it's worth I think that's spot on. I think he would grow to be that person, especially when his best mate is losing it. Also, Ron's lost family before, this isn't totally new to him, whereas for Harry ... yeah, he lost his parents, but it's not like he remembers that. Above all, he wanted his own family. And now he's lost a part of that (or thinks he has)... yeah. I like this a lot. Even if it is breaking me inside.

I'm bewildered at what Draco Malfoy is up to. I refuse to believe he's working for the Council ... I don't know, I just think that's the easy, obvious option. I may be wrong! He may be up to something which is helping the Council's cause. I don't believe he would have sold his son out though. We shall see...

AWESOME chapter. I may need to reread it many times. But first, onwards!

Author's Response: This is not a squee chapter!

Okay, a little squee.

There is a nice symmetry to Tobias fleeing from being presumed dead by Fiendfyre to the house, and the gang now fleeing FROM that house after being presumed dead by Fiendfyre. And, yes, the Council got the village. They're playing hardball here.

I always figured on Toby returning to journalism. He was happier there than he was in government. It always suited his idealism, which would have started to get tarnished in politics. So he eventually decided to make the break, probably at the end of Kingsley's administration.

Poor Lillian. She's got a LOT going on with her, I hope some day I get around to addressing it. I hadn't mentioned Selena's dad before, but he's a bit of a troublemaker in his way.

Gabe losing it was the most heartbreaking part of this to write. And yes, in that cathartic, satisfying, EVIL sort of way.

Tanith would have never made a good head of department, no. She doesn't lead people, she DRIVES them. Her ego disliked being passed up for it, and disliked being beaten by somebody she trained, but Harry would have the temperament she wouldn't. ALSO, I think Tanith lives for the field. Ultimately I doubt she'd be happy as head of the department. But she leads up the investigators and gets to do some cases herself and overall it's where she'd be happier.

25 years haven't made her much more mellow or compassionate, no. And Tanith/Gabe is something which I think would only get stronger over the years; with Gabe lowering his walls after getting with Jen, and Tanith recovering from her post-war trauma, I think the two of them would find their common ground even more now they're not holding people at arm's length, and be very good friends. For me that defining moment of Tanith/Gabe is his comment in BTP about how they both do the right thing despite that 'slash of darkness' in themselves. That understanding wouldn't go away, and it'd be something Tobias, who lacks that darkness, wouldn't quite get.

As I've said, there were character-based reasons and dramatic reasons for Ron to be the calm one out of him and Harry. The latter was because if Harry were calm, he'd be overshadowed by Plot-Driving Hermione and Angry Ron, and I wanted Harry to be more front-and-centre in this. And second - Ron is freaking BROKEN at losing his daughter, especially as Rose would have been such a daddy's girl (I keep showing her relationship with Hermione, but that's because Hermione is the most useful canon character IN THE WORLD for driving plot, and also complicated relationships are more fun to showcase!), but yes, he's more experienced in functioning through losing loved ones.

Draco has his own gig. It would be very easy if he were just the Bad Guy, wouldn't it? Selling out his son would be ODD, though.

Glad you enjoyed this!

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Review #25, by water_lily43175Starfall: By the Wayside

4th May 2014:
Came here to read this, just nipped over to Shade to read the Jeremy moment again and the next thing I know I've read ten chapters. BAD ELLIE. Although it did remind me that I miss people-person, NORMAL Nathalie.

Anyway. Back to Starfall. And ... poor Matt. Of all the times to decide to tell the truth about his feelings ... wow, he has all the luck in the world, doesn't he?

...last night. The casino shindig was "last night". I've been away from this fic too long, that was YEARS ago.

And I continue to adore Selena. She wants to be happy for Rose and Scorpius, and yet feels bad for Matt all the same. It's just lovely to see her showing compassion for people. And she's right, Matt needs to somehow move on, because there's no use in him moping around because he didn't get the girl. ESPECIALLY not while they're on a mission. Oh, poor Matty.

And, UNGH. Selena. :(

Bah, all of the Scorbus. Love 'em. Two-way mirror in a locket, that'll be how Eva's talking to Thane then. I'd been wondering how she'll keep up contact with him. It's nice to see Lisa talking to Albus, mostly because I enjoy seeing that she can't help but like him. It's the biceps, naturally.

Although this broke me. "And I've got Scorpius. Though he's more my brother than my actual brother is." I am sad for the lack of James/Albus bro-ness. :(

And two things strike me here. Firstly, my initial thought on the dynamic of the group was that Selena would be the one keeping them all together. But actually, they'd all be pretty lost without Albus. He's absolutely invaluable, and definitely my overall favourite (as if you didn't already know that). And also, that Selena's front is so convincing that Eva had no clue that she was fighting all those inner demons.

...awful cliffhanger. I'm now glad I wasn't here when the chapter first went up. Charging onwards!

Author's Response: Bloody Jeremy. He saved them from horrible death, though! In a really roundabout way! I'm not even sorry about Shade pulling you in, though. Alas, poor Nat. I doomed you.

Matt is the scapegoat of everything unfortunate. And, yeah, we've not passed much more than 24 hours in about 6 chapters or something now. Crikey.

Selena is a Boss in this chapter. Matt's getting what he needs to hear, but she's not unsympathetic. I think Selena being so entrenched in high school drama means that she gets people but she also doesn't dismiss silly feelings - she knows their power.

Albus' biceps have the power to save souls. Though we shall see more on James/Albus! Just probably not in this story, alas. There is Potter family stuff to come. I do think he keeps them together - he is, yes, the Team Mom as Scorpius implies. Selena might be the heart of the group, but I think Albus is its soul.


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