Reading Reviews From Member: Arithmancy_Wiz
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Review #26, by Arithmancy_WizBefore They Fall: Surviving the First Defy

23rd March 2013:
So I was going to apologize for not getting to this yesterday like I wanted to, but then you snuck in a new chapter a day early so I'm feeling a lot less guilty :P

I really liked this opening scene. It served as a perfect transition. It isn't really important for us the reader to see what happened right after the attack. We only care about if everyone is okay. This was a great way to keep pushing the story forward. And I really liked that you saved more of the details of the attack and the injuries for the second scene. Just like we want to know if the characters are okay, Lily's top priority is finding out if James is safe (totally adorable!). Everything else can wait until after that.

Speaking of the injuries... I thought you did a great job handling all the medical details here. That's definitely been a running theme throughout the story -- blending muggle science with the wizarding world. Human anatomy is human anatomy, right? And in light of Lily's desire to be a healer one day, it makes sense that, especially when you're writing in her POV, that those sorts of details would stand out to her/would be something she'd want to know.

Only one small detail in the healer scene stood out to me as a little off. The healer doesn't show any hesitation about sharing all these medical details in front of a room full of people. In a muggle setting, a doctor wouldn't usually do that, at least not without the healer's express permission. Same with sharing the details of James's injuries. I wouldn't normally bring up such a small detail, especially since not everything in the wizarding world is the same is in the muggle world, but since you've clearly done so much to meld the two together, I thought it might be something you'd want to consider. Maybe having the healer hesitate to elaborate until Lily gives her the go ahead...

The Potter's stance makes total sense. Of course they want to protect their son and all this friends, but they are old enough to know their own limitations. If they aren't physically able to fight, they may do more harm than good getting involved in other ways. I don't know if this played at all into the way you wrote the scene, but it really serves as a great hint that the "old regime" is over. Dumbledore shares a lot more with the kids than he does with the parents. It's a real passing of the torch.

I thought you choice to go to Regulus instead of Bella was absolutely perfect! You're right, it would have felt way too much like a repeat of the previous chapter. Besides, her viewpoint is biased. Regulus is a great narrator for filling the reader on what's really happening. But you did it in a way that still made the scene about him. He wasn't just a front for you author giving the reader the info they needed. And yes, to hit on your AoC, it definitely feels like this is only a minor set-back in the grand scheme of the war. We know from what Regulus heard of her mumblings, James and the gang are far from safe. I am curious if you'll address why Bella didn't immediately take James and Lily off-site of the hotel. Unless that was addressed in the previous chapter when Bella is discussing the plan. But I remember wondering that during the attack itself.

Last point from your AoC. IMHO, you've really hit a great rhythm with your descriptions. I think descriptions tend to decrease in frequency as stories continue, once they've been used to set the mood and tone, but I also think you've come a long way since those early chapters in narrowing down what's important to tell. For example, you hardly described Lily's hospital room at all in the opening scene. This was a smart choice. We all know what a hospital room looks like. Even if the ones in the wizarding world are totally different, it really doesn't matter. As a reader, I can do all the work myself. Same in the following scene. I know I mentioned in previous reviews about the "positioning of character." There were a lot of characters in this scene, but their locations remained relatively vague -- which was totally appropriate. And if they *were* mentioned, it was done so casually, as part of the scene -- as opposed to having to set the whole scene first before getting "down to business."

On a technical note, there are still a few of those unneeded commas. I didn't post them all, but here are a few:

-- She made the mistake of glancing in the bathroom mirror as she walked past, and was half terrified of her own reflection.

-- She reached for his hand, and found a small amount of comfort in the fact that it was warm.

-- Lily felt James's hand slip into hers, and squeezed it tightly as the healer cleared her throat and continued.

On the last one, it isn't really clear which one of them is squeezing the other's hand. And the rest is just typos.

-- She bit down on to her lip, ignoring the exhausting, and kept going. (exhaustion?)

-- Her fingers shook she pulled back the sheet on the bed and climbed in... (shook as she)

-- Don't leave me James (comma after me)

-- ... Professor Dumbledore greeted, nodded somberly at her. (nodding)

-- She dropped off those for both of you both (pick one both; either is fine)

-- But even with that, the injures were severe. (injuries)

-- However, the second wasn't working quickly enough, and a Muggle medical specialists was called in. (specialist)

-- She supposed the man probably wasn't often surrounded in a bunch as demanding as hers (surrounded by a)

-- They're strong and capable, and all we can do now is give them every ounce of knowledge we posses to keep them safe / Olivia knew it was silly, but she felt a small pang of jealousy for the kind of vigor he seemed to posses. (possess, not posses)

-- He would let all that drown from him (drain?)

Author's Response: Becky! I've eaten an M&M, so I might make a little more sense now. We'll see if that chocolate got my brain working at all...

I'm happy you agreed with my decision of getting us to the aftermath. I'm working on picking what's important to see and what isn't, because we're too close to 200,000 words for me not to start wrapping this up in the next ten chapters or so, haha! Actually by my outline's calculation, we have 13 left of this book. Then book two starts after graduation. And, um, I have no idea why we're on this subject. Stupid chocolate.

You know what's funny? I had the Healer asking pretty discreetly if either of them minded discussing this in front of anyone else, then for some reason I thought it was unnecessary. I'll definitely edit it back in since it stood out to you. Thank you ♥

Oh I'm so happy the Potter's stance makes sense! That's what I've been worrying about most lately. That's really what I was trying to show. This is some of the first steps into the younger ones getting involved, and Dumbledore treating them more as adults than ever before. Though that doesn't mean they'll all want to be apart of it at first... Hehe.

Regulus ended up really being a lot of fun to write in this. OH YES! Here it is! I knew you asked about why Bella didn't take them away immediately!

Okay, I'm unsure if this will ever come out in the story. But the conversation between Voldemort and Bellatrix about what to do when she had them was basically to get them, and convince James, maybe Lily. They're no good to him as prisoners or anything to get information out of. He wants James on his side, or he wants him dead. But on his side is better. So her job was to bring James, ready to receive a mark, to him. And of course she'd already decided to kill Lily just because she loves the power. I'm not sure if that makes sense outside of my head, though... if it doesn't would you mind PMing me and telling me? And I'll try and play with it in the story to make it make sense?

Ahh I really work on not positioning my characters now!! I'm so happy that's showing! Thank you so much again for all your amazing feedback. I'm going to need to find the perfect chapter to dedicate to you in this story...

Thanks again, Becky ♥

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Review #27, by Arithmancy_WizBefore They Fall: Holding On To You

21st March 2013:
Woohoo! My 50th review of 2013!!

Awww, what a cute (is that the right word?!?) opening to the chapter. This was a perfect "just being young" moment. I remember enjoying more than a few nights like this when I was that age. There was a lot of tension in the last chapter, particularly for Belle and Sirius. They all deserve the chance to unwind a little. You are really good at making sure all the characters get some love and "screen time," but I do really like this quartet.

You said you were aiming to add some humor to this scene and I thought you did a great job. Best line of the chapter for me: My cheeks aren't working! You hit the nail on the head with that one. Brilliant!

Well, look at you adding a little steam to your story! You know I have no objections to that :P So often in James/Lily stories, we only ever get to see James as the pursuer, so this definitely flips that around and brings something new to the table for them. And I agree with what you said in your request. I do think alcohol can go a long way to lowering even a very careful person's inhibitions and push them (or give them the excuse to go) outside their typical boundaries. But I do think there are some conditions on that, namely how far outside the norm a person acts and the amount of "refreshments" they partook of. To the first, I don't think Lily is really doing something here she doesn't want to do (or at least a part of her wants to do). I think you laid a bit of the foundation for that in the last chapter when she was in the bathroom. But I was a little unsure as to her level of impairment. You have to be pretty far gone not to think about the people lying a few feet away, but yet she doesn't seem to have any trouble with the rather serious conversation that immediately follows. Does that make any sense?

Okay, I know you didn't ask about it in your request, but I loved the "mini" Bella scene. How her relationship with her husband worked was always a canon fascination for me, so I enjoyed this scene a lot. I really have nothing more to say on it other that her irritation is as amusing as it is terrifying.

I actually didn't think James acted too old in this scene at all. I thought their back and forth here was very natural and age-appropriate. I loved the cute banter at the beginning. It goes a long way to show their growing comfort together... far more than anything physical they could share. My only "complaint" is that you didn't show any of the wedding! I was totally looking forward to reading how humorously terrible it was going to be :P

Wow, what a final scene!! Of course it was stressful enough, you silly! Lily's half-dead and James just dived in front of a curse. I'm stressed just typing about it! I thought Bella was perfect. She isn't AS crazy as she'll be after a dozen years in Azkaban, but she's pretty darn nutty. She's clearly already in love with the power she has to inflict pain. And of course, James did everything she should have. We know Harry is like his Dad, and Harry is excellent at getting out of these sort of situations. Clearly James is frantic, but he doesn't lose all ability to reason. Trying to shift was an excellent idea, even if it didn't work. Overall, I thought the characters and the tension all hit a perfect note.

My only CC on this scene would be some tiny technical aspects. One, at the end of the scene before, the characters are apparating arm-in-arm, no? So wouldn't her arm slipping out of his be a big deal? Wouldn't that leave him behind or make him panic before she failed to respond to his call in the dark? Or maybe that's just how I picture apparating... Second, I might suggest setting the scene a little earlier. It isn't until the third paragraph we know they are still in the hotel room. If it were me, I'd mention it between sentences two and three, but where ever you might want to put it, I'd consider adding it earlier.

Well, I think that's all I've got on this one. Finally managed to get back under the character limit again! If you want/have the time, post your AoCs for the next chapter and I'll try to get to it tomorrow so I can (gasp!) finally be caught up before a new chapter gets posted. Lovely chapter. Can't wait to see how the characters work their way out of this terrible mess!

Oh, and just a few typos this...

-- One of the boys finally declared that it well past bedtime... (declared that it was well past OR declared it well past)

-- She arched her own body into him, her mind begging for his hands to keep toughing her, to keep exploring. (keep touching)

-- His parents seemed to know everyone on the face of the earth; he'd seen more, "I do's" than most preachers. But the Evans Dursley wedding was easily one of the worst. (no comma after more, and I'd do Evans-Dursley with a hyphen)

-- As she took a step closer to him, he could see a some sort of sick pleasure shining in her eyes. (he could see a sort of sick OR he could see some sort of sick)

Author's Response: I feel very honored to be your 50th review of 2013 ♥ how crazy is it that it's actually 2013? haha!

I'm so happy you think I do a good job at giving all the characters a good amount of screen time. And I'll admit, I love this quartet too. I try and not favor them over the others, but it's hard sometime. They, Belle especially, has a really important part in this book so I'm always careful to make sure I'm keeping readers interested in her. Or at least trying to. But I do worry about not giving Remus Peter and Frank enough screen time. It's a big group... haha

Hahahah I really liked the cheeks line not working, too. I've never done exactly that, but I have had those instances where my legs don't seem to be working. Haha

What you said about Lily not having any trouble with the serious conversation that followed. I'll definitely tweak that up a bit tomorrow, and of course I'll credit you for your help!

I'm really glad you liked Lily as the pursuer. It was fun to make James be the one that has to slow things down. Poor guy, he has some good self control. And I'll admit, I read a few scenes of OTE as well as the staff tutorial to be absolutely certain I wasn't going to far with this :P

Bella always manages to steal scenes, doesn't she? I actually have a short story in the makings of her and how she ends up the way she is. Or more... how she discovered the kind of person she is. If this group would ever let up on me maybe I could work on that a bit more! :P

I'm so happy you liked that last scene! Getting to watch James and his reactions, or I guess let them play out, was so sad but so fun. It's like... I don't know. Well, you understand. It's like you're writing it, but they're doing it, and you're getting exciting while they're doing it (or scared I supposed) and yeah. I'm sure it's how you felt doing the scene with Rose and Regina in the her apartment. Am I making any sense? I've had two days straight with the future in laws. If I'm not, I really can't be held accountable :P

I like the idea of setting the scene earlier, and again I'll credit you for your amazing help ♥

Also-- I didn't see it now, but I can swear you asked why Bellatrix didn't take them straight to Voldemort. Maybe that was in your next review. I'll hit submit for this, then answer it over there if it was there. Again, two days straight with in laws. haha.

I don't know if I say it enough, but you're feedback really is invaluable. You find those reviewers you request from that you just want to bottle up and never let go. That's you. At this point, you're the only one I still request. Oh, and Roots when I'm able to catch her! But you give so much amazing feedback, and I always look forward to seeing what you enjoyed and what you think I can improve on.

Thank you again, m'dear! And I have to admit, I've cheated with After We Fall. I read all the current chapters on our drive to Buffalo to pick up the in-laws from the airport. Because for some reason they wanted to fly into there *insert eye roll*. Anyway, I'm excited to review those these next few days when I'm at work and finally get a bit of quiet time!

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Review #28, by Arithmancy_WizBefore They Fall: When Past Collides With Present

18th March 2013:
Hola! Sorry for taking so long on this one. I really wanted to make sure I had the time to sit down and read the whole chapter in one go. And since you said you were mostly interested in what I was thinking/feeling while reading, I did my best to write a sort of running review. As it turns out, I'm pretty terrible at them, so I basically just stopped at ever break in the chapter and wrote down my thoughts. And here they are...

I really liked this opening scene. It was sweet and simple, and it was nice to see James and Lily in this sort of domestic moment. I thought it was great that you very gently began addressing Lily's sexuality. She is, after all, a teenage girl. But you did it in a way that didn't betray her as a character -- someone who thinks things through carefully, especially when it come to this relationship. The revelation to James was also done very tenderly. You just keep layering the divide that separates Lily and Petunia. This is just one more reason (at least in Petunia's warped way of thinking) for her to hate Lily.

Belle's childhood recollections were great. It was nice to see her acknowledge the difference between having terrible parents and having no fond memories of being a kid. It's too simplistic for everything in a character's past to be terrible. There must have been something good about Belle's childhood or it's unlikely she'd have turned out to be as nice as she is.

I have to admit, I totally expected this next scene to end on a snarky note. I thought for SURE Vernon was going to say something crass. But I liked this. You know we readers are all just sitting here thinking, "Oh, silly, silly James. Of course this evening isn't going to go perfectly fine."

Can I say how much I love when Sirius calls Belle "Princess" and then offers to take her for ice cream?! It was such a perfect moment. Belle is a bit of a princess at times, at least compared to Alice or Lily, but to call her that while standing in that house was kind of thoughtlessly perfect. Maybe I'm reading way too much into it, but it was like both an insult and a term of endearment. It totally seemed like the sort of thing that would just slip out of his mouth.

Okay, moving on to the rest of that scene. First, I did NOT see the Christophe part coming. I mean, I knew from what you told me that he'd get punched at some point, but I wasn't expecting him to be in the house. Perfect! I love surprises. I was a little confused on the motives of Belle's parents with hanging the pictures though. What exactly was their plan there? I get them being nasty and just wanting to hurt their daughter for no other reason than to make her suffer, but I didn't really see how it tied into their plan of making her want to return home to them. Hurting her only made her want to run away the first time...

Next scene! You mentioned in you request about the bouncing back and forth. This was the only transition in the whole chapter that felt a little off to me -- breaking the scene just to switch POV. That, and up until this point, every scene change has switched us back to the other big event of the chapter. I liked that rhythm a lot. It helped give "meaning" to the frequent changes and build the tension. Other than that, it was a brilliant scene. This was definitely one of those times where Sirius was acting his age perfectly. Of course he is being noble and totally doing exactly what we all want him to do, but in being so rash, he's also spoiling the whole point of why they went out there in the first place.

"And Ford, that's a car model, right?" This whole car discussion was so perfect. I know it's just a few simple lines but it manages to hit all the characters just fantastically. Vernon dropping brand names, eager to one-up James. And James not at all impressed but being obliging for Lily's sake. What a good boyfriend! But Hmmm... okay, now I'm seeing why you can't just switch this scene with the last one. The ending wouldn't line up. Well, you'll just have to write another scene, I guess :P Just kidding... sort of.

I was really expecting this chapter to end on a messier note. I have no idea why. I kept waiting for something to go almost comically bad at the restaurant. But the moment between Belle and Sirius at the end was sweet, and I loved how Sirius just wanted to go home and see his friend. Awww...

See? This is why I don't do running reviews very often. They tend to come out very uneven and disjointed. Hopefully there is something in all this mess that is helpful to you..

On a few technical notes... First, be on the lookout for unnecessary commas. There were a few times throughout the chapter where you had one with a conjunction but it wasn't needed (since one part of the sentence wasn't a complete clause). A few examples:

-- How was it possible they were not only on a trip together, but already talking of more?

-- What if they did show up, but no one spoke the entire time?

-- James glanced down at Lily again, and resisted the urge to kiss the top of her head.

-- Sirius let Belle's hand drop from his, and curled his fingers into fists.

-- The creature lifted his paw, and scratched at the window.

Second, be careful of repetition. You had the characters "forcing" themselves to do something quite a few times. You also referenced people's tone a lot. Just something to look for. The rest are just typos (if I can get them to fit). Sorry again about the long wait. I wish I could have followed it with a more cohesive review!

Nope... I just tried to paste in the typos and I'm getting denied. I'll pm them to you :)

Author's Response: Becky! I PROMISE there will NEVER be another chapter as long as this. Scout's honor. Haha!

I can't buy into the whole, Petunia just thought Lily was a freak and hated her because of the magic. I can't even buy enough into it was just simple jealousy that drove them far enough apart. And granted, that's because my head canon of Lily's parents play a lot into it. But with such a confident young girl who is brave enough to befriend someone that isn't the most popular boy in school, and keep that friendship up until they both get to a point where they just can't do it anymore, ti's pretty much set in stone for me that she had an extremely supportive childhood. And if Lily's parents are kind and accepting enough to understand this part of her life, I see there being NO way that they would be cold enough to treat Petunia poorly. So that leads me to the entire, there has to be more than just simple jealousy. Umm... did any of that make sense? Haha. But yes, this is one more reason in Petunia's mind to hate Lily. All this insane, not normal stuff happens constantly to her, and Petunia just doesn't understand that Lily's world is governed by it's own laws. You can not bring people back from the dead. I think this is probably what, more than anything, broke them. Okay. I'm done rambling about Petunia, haha.

I love your comments on Belle's childhood. I actually think she probably even had a pretty good one up until she reached the age where her mother wanted to start molding her. And even then, I don't think she would have ever really understood the manipulative sort of life that she lived in without the Christophe incident happening. I wondered if that section felt sort of pointless, so I'm really happy that you liked it.

Haha poor James, living in his world of denial :P.

With Belle's parents - I know Sirius thinks that it was done to hurt her, but I'm pretty sure that's not it. I don't think they realize how much Belle was hurt when all of it happened. She definitely didn't confide in them what all her friends had done, and how they'd treated her, so they probably thought they were giving her something positive to see. It's like when your young and break up with a boyfriend and rip up your pictures, then he apologizes and your like, 'Damn. Shouldn't have ripped those up.' Oh... Only I did that? Oops. Jk. Anyway - I think that her parents probably thought putting them back together and around her room would be a nice way to remind her of the life she had, because they really are that clueless. I've been thinking about addressing that in the chapter I'm working on right now, and I think I probably should so we can kind of see that Sirius's 'because they're sick an mean' reasoning is more his own biased than fact.

Haha BECKY I can not add another scene!! I can't past that 10,000 word mark. It's just too much. Haha! But I'm so happy that you liked Sirius in his section. I wanted to be the one to hit Christophe so bad. I really don't like him.

That section where James mentions the car model - hands down my favorite one to write. I don't even know why, but it was just so much fun. Most of the chapter was really emotional for me, so I needed that bit to laugh while writing it.

No! This isn't uneven and disjointed. It's exactly what I needed for this chapter.

I get SO repetitive in these longer chapter. I'll go through with command F and see if I can edit a few of those to help it. Same with the commas, thank you.

And please know that this review was exactly what I wanted for this chapter. There was too much feeling in it to really have any cut and dry AoC's... I just needed to know if the sections were making you feel what I wanted you to feel.

And I'm going to find a way to thank you for all your awesome reviews one day, haha. Or I'll just continue demanding reviews and more Over The Edge II. :P

Thank you so much for this amazing review♥

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Review #29, by Arithmancy_WizWolf Calling: Sleep - what's that?

16th March 2013:
Hello again! Back (finally) for review number two.

I thought this was another really solid chapter. It was great to see some more of what life is like for Louis. I think you're doing a great job capturing this sort of stage in life. He has a job and is technically an adult, but he's still living a bit like a teenage boy might if left on his own. His flat is messy, his mom still does his laundry, and his friends are all about having a good time, and yet he has this very important job. It's a cute and very real-to-life scenario.

It's nice the way you're injecting a bit of humor into the story too. I think that's one of the best benefits of writing in 1st person POV, and you're making really good use of it. It isn't that Louis is trying to be funny, but his sort of go-with-the-flow observations make you smile and make him really likable and relatable as a character.

You mentioned flow in your AoC so I'll hit on that again here. Like in the first chapter, I thought your movement from scene to scene was really well done. You're really good with the transitions, moving Louis from one physical place to the next. The sentence: When my colours were washing themselves by magic we went back up to the kitchen and she fixed us some tea and laid out a plate of chocolate chip cookies. It's simple, but it gets the job done really effectively. It's tempting to want to show every little thing happening: the characters walking up the stairs, opening the cabinets, etc. But it's just filler. This was a great way to move things along. There are still a few sentence construction issues that break up the flow a bit, but from the narrative side, it's nicely done.

You also mentioned plot and interest, which I wanted to wait to comment on until I'd read this chapter. In two chapters, you've managed to set a lot in motion: the new job, the attacks, Louis's less than ideal living arraignment, Victoire's big news. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out and what more you'll add as you go. If I were going to offer any CC in this area, I might suggest looking for ways to set up the ending of your chapters with a hint of what's to come. This chapter ends with Louis heading off to bed, which is a very natural ending point, but as a reader, I don't really have any idea what tomorrow holds for him. Obviously you don't want to give away all the surprises, and not everything has to be a cliffhanger, but as a reader, I'd be much more compelled to head straight to the next chapter if I had an inkling of what might happen next. Perhaps Louis plans to talk to his boss about the job, or Victoire about her secret. It doesn't really matter, as long as it's a glimpse into what's to come. Perhaps try and find ways to leave the reader thinking not just "I can't wait to see what happens next," but "I can't wait to see how a certain situation plays out." It makes us feel more engaged if we think we know what's going to happen, even if you the author come along and prove us all wrong!

Sorry it took me so long to get this second review up. I've really enjoyed having the chance to read your story. Please feel free to re-request any time :)

Author's Response: Thanks again for the feedback. I'm glad you were able to find humor in it without it being the obvious humor because the casual humor is really the only type of humor that I'm accustomed to writing. Humor is by far the hardest genre for me to write, which is why I'm trying to tackle it more in this story.

Also, your comment about leaving more of a cliffhanger at the end makes sense. I'm going to try to write chapter endings where they're more open from now on, instead of closing it after all the conflict/issue is resolved in each chapter. I think the next chapter is left more openly since I had to cut it off to avoid having a long chapter.

Thanks again!

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Review #30, by Arithmancy_WizWolf Calling: Decision

10th March 2013:
Hi, Leslie. I'm here with your requested review. Since I plan on reviewing both chapters, I'm going to save my comments on plot and interest until after I've read the second chapter. That way I'll have more of a feel for the story and hopefully offer better, more useful feedback. But on with the first review!

I was so excited to see in your request that you're trying something new with this story. It's so easy to stick with a single voice and carry it through all of your writing, so congratulations on giving something new a shot. That's really fantastic.

You picked a really great spot to start this story. Right away, Louis has this big decision to make. He's young, but he's reached that point in his career where he's going to have to start making tough choices on his own. That, combined with ongoing werewolf attacks, really draws the reader into the story right from the start.

I also really liked how you used Louis's indecision to give the reader a glimpse into who he is as a character. It's pretty telling that his first response to the offer is surprise that anyone would think he could be helpful. But even though he seems kind of intimidated by the whole thing, his desire to help people is stronger than his fear.

The scene at the end with Ethel was super cute. It was nice to see this funny moment after the heavier internal thoughts at the start of the chapter and learning about all the terrible things that are happening. It added some great balance.

You mentioned character voice and flow in your review request so I'll finish up my comments with those. Overall, I thought you did a great job with the first person and getting inside of the "male mind." The POV was consistent throughout and easy to follow. Right from the start, we just sort of slipped into Louis's thoughts, and it carried very naturally through until the end of the chapter.

The flow of the chapter as a whole was also good, moving from the internal thoughts to the scene with Ethel to the final thoughts on what Louis might do next. But sometimes the sentences themselves were a bit choppy. I picked out a few just as examples.

-- Being the youngest to Victoire and Dominique, I had never been looked up to.

-- Teddy's father had been a werewolf and passed the gene on to his son even if Teddy never had shifted himself, he still managed somehow to passed it on to his son.

-- The only reason that I had been made aware of this nervous tick was because my sisters had always laughed at me for it growing up.

-- That's probably going to be the key that helps me decide on whether to accept my supervisor's offer or not. Even if there's no cure, I still feel like I had to at least try to find the werewolf responsible for the crime.

The last one is a bit odd only because those are the only two sentences written mostly in present tense. With the other examples, it's more like the sentences are more complicated than they need to be. The third one, for example, is 26 words. Something like: I only knew about the tick because my sisters teased me about it when I was a kid -- that's eight words shorter and avoids the sort of awkward past-tense phrasing that often occurs when using too many "hads." Same with the first example. Something like: Being the youngest, I was never looked up to. That's shorter and there's no need for the "had never been" phrase. These are just examples, of course, and hopefully it doesn't seem like I'm nitpicking. But since you mentioned flow, being as economical as possible really goes a long way in making the writing feel clean, the chapters easier to read, and it pumps up the action of the moment.

Overall, this was a really great start to your story. I'll be back very soon to review chapter two! Oh, and of course, thanks for requesting. I love any excuse to read next-gen stories!

Author's Response: Thanks so much for the in-depth review. I really did appreciate it, especially those critiques on sentence structure (I've already gone back and edited those sentences you pointed out and am trying to be more conscious of how I'm structuring my sentences in future chapters). I'm also glad that you thought I did a good job writing in first person from a male POV because this is the first multiple chaptered story that I've chosen to write in first person; usually I stick to third person because it's what I'm comfortable with. But here I wanted to do something different to tilt me off balance. So, I'm really glad that you found it consistent for the most part aside from those few clunky structure issues.

And I've gone back and fixed the last two sentences, too. I had originally written this in present tense, but changed my mind and I guess I just forgot to switch those sentences into past tense like the rest of it. Thanks so much for the feedback! It was really helpful. (:

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Review #31, by Arithmancy_WizBefore They Fall: No Turning Back

8th March 2013:
Oh, Bellatrix. Why are you so darn creepy?! And of course I liked the scene. I always like all the scenes you write her in. This one in particular had a lovely mix of the physical and the mental. This sort of zoomed-in shot of her in an otherwise private moment is super impactful. And it is so very ironic that she should be so focused on control when we know she ends up being so manic by the end of it all.

I don't think it's odd to ask about the characters at all! This is, after all, a very character-driven story. I feel like you've sort of got two questions rolled into one, so I'll try and hit on them both separately. First, if by "molded into themselves" you mean that each character feels distinct and displays internal consistency throughout the story, then absolutely yes! We've seen each of the main cast in enough different situations now to get a really good feel for who they are as people. Lily changes slightly when she's talking just to Belle or Alice, and again when it's with Remus or Sirius, or of course, with James. And she's always much more formal when adults are in the room. But she's always consistently herself, adapting to her "environment," which is very true to life. The same is true for the rest of the cast too. It's totally clear to me as a reader that you really know your characters inside and out, and that you never manipulate them just to serve some greater purpose to the plot.

Realism is a bit harder to address, but I'll do by best! The characters definitely feel real in that you depict them as having full, realistic lives. I see a lot of stories with school-aged characters who never seem to go to class, have homework, deal with family issues, etc. The characters lack depth, which is definitely not true for your cast. Everyone has a back story. Some characters we know more about than others, but it doesn't feel like any of them cease to exist when they aren't center stage. And they definitely aren't clones of each other. None of them have "perfect" lives, but they all come to the table with their own strengths and weaknesses, and none of them fall into the trap of being a stock character.

If you *really* want me to nitpick on something, I'd say that sometimes the gang come off a bit mature for their age. Well, no. That isn't exactly right either. Obviously these characters are going to be more mature than some of the their peers. Otherwise it's unlikely they'd have been recruited for the Order at such a young age. Plus they've been through a lot, and that tends to mature people quickly. So it isn't really their emotions that feel "too mature," but maybe more the way they are so able to eloquently express them...

I didn't think the part with Alice came off too harsh at all. I thought her parents were pretty rude and stuck-up, but I didn't get the impression that they were ever cruel to Alice, or mistreated her in someway. Mistreat the house elf? Yes. Their daughter? Not so much :P Some parents just aren't engaged with their children. It's actually nice from a literary perspective to see parents who aren't perfect without descending into issues of abuse.

I feel like this review is extra short for some reason. Sorry about that. I guess I'm just saving up for the big chapter ahead. I can't wait to read both the showdowns -- the wedding and a confrontation. Yikes!

And here are just a few typos I spotted. Also, there are a few passive voice sentences that might be clearer and more impactful if written in a more active voice. They aren't wrong as is, and I only pulled a few as examples, but I thought I'd point them out in case you wanted to take a second look. I put up a more active sentence for comparison, but it's only meant as a suggestion, since the others aren't wrong. Otherwise, another excellent chapter, and I've got a feeling it only gets better from here!

-- The ones who were born to live and breathe magic, crushing out those who were too underserving of the gift. (undeserving)

-- The idea of it sent a chill of pleasure shuddering through Bellatrix. (passive: Bellatrix shuddered with pleasure at the idea of it)

-- A few years from now, it would only be those of the purest blood that held their heads high in public. It would only be those who had nothing but magic in their veins that stepped through the doors of Hogwarts. (passive: A few years from now, only those with the purest blood would be able to hold their heads high in public. Only those who had nothing but magic in their veins would step through the doors of Hogwarts.)

-- James's room was on the other side of the hall, and the Mr. and Mrs. Potter were on the floor below them... (and Mr. and Mrs. Potter)

-- He was about to curse me in is sleep, I'm fairly certain (in his sleep)

-- Sirius's was forced to stifle a laugh. (Sirius was forced)

-- She could almost hear her father's pretensions voice commenting of the quality of the wood used to carve the massive, ornate dining table. (...hear her father's pretentious voice commenting on the quality of...)

-- "Suit yourself." Alice answered, her tone now nothing but sweet. (comma after yourself)

-- They said their goodbyes to Sirius as well, wishing him luck on his own excursion with Belle, before linking hands with Lily. (The end of this sentence isn't right. You have "they say" but the last bit is referring only to James, right? Maybe... before linking hands.)

--"Well, that's nothing new." Alice finally said. (comma after new)

"Thanks, Kitts," Alice said, her voice as warm as ever, before smiling at the elf and sending it on it's way. (on its way)

-- The closer she got to the family room, knowing Sirius would be waiting their, the slower her feet seemed to move. (waiting there)

Huh, I guess I should have asked you if you WANT me to point out typos. Some people don't, some do. Feel free to tell me to knock it off in your response if you'd rather I didn't :)

Author's Response: No I love you pointing out typos!!! Even more than that, I love that you point out what they are.

I'm really, really happy the characters feel realistic. That's what I worry most about... that and their personalities coming through the way I want them to. I honestly didn't think I would ever get half as close to these people. I know you understand what I mean after your Rose and Krum's just crazy. It's crazy that I have all these feelings for people that don't exist and people I didn't create (although, I did create quite a bit of them... :P).

I agree with them feeling like they're able to sort of get out what they want to say a bit more maturely than most people their age. I hope that isn't something you dislike about the story, though... because I really don't know if I'd be able to change it at this point. There too much like that in my head...

I'm really happy that Alice's parents didn't come off as cruel. I was afraid after reading a few other reviews they might have. And like you said, they just aren't involved. They have their money, their lives, and their daughter is sort of just there. They do love her in their way, they just aren't the motherly and fatherly type. I'm so happy you picked up on all that, because it was something I worried about.

I have to stop this response now because I can not wait another second to request for the next chapter. I've been SO EXCITED to see what you think about it.

Honestly, the chapter was pretty short, and it didn't have a ton to review on. So I think all things considering, your review is absolutely perfect ;).

I've edited in the typos, but not the passive ones you pointed out. I want to wait for those until later when I can really read through it and see why I worded it that way/how to stop.

Thank you again, Becky ♥

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Review #32, by Arithmancy_WizWhat If?: Romeo and Juliet

2nd March 2013:
Yay for the Jane Austen reference! And I wholeheartedly agree -- her books are superb!

It was nice to see you not depict Rose as being very close with James. I think there is a tendency in next-gen to make all of the cousins be the best of friends. That's probably not very realistic, so that was a really nice touch.

Wow, I was so surprised by the end of the first memory! I thought it was going to show the two breaking up for good, but instead it just deepens the mystery of what happened to drive Rose and Scorpius apart. Clearly they have a lot of unfinished business to deal with.

I really liked the physical descriptions you included in the garden and how you tied it back into the memories of the last generation. I particularly liked the line, "I can hear some birds tweeting in the trees, and for once we're getting a summer in England, so I can feel the sun's rays warm my body." Sometimes there is a tendency to only focus on what a characters sees, so it was great to see you invoke some of the other five senses. However, you did slip into present tense here in this scene, while the previous scenes were in past tense, so you might want to give that another look over.

Ahhh... so now we know the reason for the break-up. But really, it wasn't just about the job. Like Rose said, things hadn't been going well for months. It's not uncommon for couples to think getting married will solve their problems. Seems like Rose was trying to be practical, even if her heart is telling her something otherwise.

The story is still a little tough to read in spots because of the sentence structure/comma issue. A beta might be able to help you smooth those out if you're interested in having one. But you're doing a really great job with your characters and it will be really interesting to see Rose and Scorpius when they finally come face-to-face again.

I'm glad I had the chance to stop by again for the review battle. Good luck with the next chapter!

Author's Response: Hello there!

Haha yeah I couldn't help myself, when I threw in that little reference, as her books are so good ;D

That's one of the things which has annoyed me most about next gen stories, as me and siblings don't always get along well, so I can't really see how people think that everyone can get along with all their family members, so I'm glad that you liked that!

I'm glad that you liked the first memory, as I wanted to include it to show, that their break up wasn't that easy, and it had a lot of issues surrounding it!

I'm glad that you liked my description of the garden, I was just thinking back to the last wedding which was there, and stole some of JK's insipiration in how to describe it. I'll look over that present tense, I just wanted to get the chapter up, as I hadn't put a new one up in a while, and it didn't get a great proof read.

Yes, I don't think Rose could have gone ahead with the marriage, as she knew there were problems there, and getting married wouldn't just make them disappear.

I'll review the comma/sentence structure issues as well :)

Thank you for stopping by, and leaving a great review!


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Review #33, by Arithmancy_WizLimbo: One Shot.

2nd March 2013:
Oooh, how scandalous! I love uncommon (or at least not super popular) pairings, and this one definitely fits the bill.

It's a pretty short piece, but it still manages to pack a lot of punch. We don't often get to see this side of Harry, and knowing at the end that he's married definitely adds an extra layer. I really enjoyed the way you kept it all in his perspective. It leaves the reader wondering a bit just how two-sided this non-affair is. Is she really interested in him, or might she just enjoy torturing him in a more adult way now that they are well beyond school-age?

I really like too that you didn't try to explain too much how Harry got to this point, like how maybe Pansy had changed over the years, or how he was super unhappy in his marriage. It's just the physical attraction here. Keeping it in the moment really ups the tension -- great choice!

You mentioned in your summary wanting CC. The only bit I can think to offer is that some of your sentences were a bit on the long side. For example: Alone, we sat in the Ministry Archives, each working our own individual cases in a large hall filled with dusty tomes penned by wizards long gone that were designed to help the wizards in their wake serve and protect the magical community of today. I like the information and how it builds the setting, but it's a lot to take in from one sentence. Just something to keep on the lookout for...

Great one-shot. I love stories that jump right in and get straight to the point!

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Review #34, by Arithmancy_WizBefore They Fall: Train Rides and Memory Lane

2nd March 2013:
One chapter away from being all caught up! Though it's Saturday, so by the time I've finished typing this, that will probably have changed :P

This was really an interesting chapter style-wise. Obviously it was a fair bit shorter than a lot of the previous chapters, but it also had a lot more scenes, even though the time elapsed in the chapter was relatively short. That said, it still felt very in-rhythm with the rest of the story. I don't actually have a point here... it's was just something I noticed.

I thought the opening scene was very sweet. The whole "who's packed what" discussion is such a couples problem. Who hasn't been there? And I liked the idea of the Heads helping get everyone off to the station. It reminds me of field-trip day in school. Getting everyone on the bus was always a nightmare :P

The scene with McGonagall and Dumbledore was also very sweet, though with a much more ominous undertone. I'm getting the feeling that things may not go well at the wedding for reasons that have nothing to do with Petunia being a brat. Minerva really is the ultimate Deputy Headmistress. In many ways, she's far more protective of the students than Dumbledore is. Of course, he has bigger concerns, but still...

I'm always going to be iffy on flashbacks for reasons that have nothing to do with how well you or anyone else writes them (it's like you with Snape :P), but objectively, I thought the transition here was fine. It's a style/pattern you've chosen for the story, and the most important thing is to be consistent. It would be totally weird if this flashback was the only one in 130K words, but it's not. It's just the way you've chosen to explore the Petunia and Lily relationship.

And I definitely liked the content of the memory. You've fleshed Petunia out a lot more than most authors and gave her a nicer side, which I think is much truer to life. Even nasty, mean-spirited people have their moments, and with siblings it's not uncommon to see them drift apart as the age (or sometimes just the opposite, but the point is the change, not really the direction). But we know how far this relationship falls, so at some point, the scales have to tip from Petunia just being mean and jealous on occasion to there really being a wedge between the two. Having Lily (through no fault of her own) come between Petunia and her friend is telling. It sets up one more reason for her to fear people in her life meeting her sister. On one level, she's afraid they will think Lily is a freak, but perhaps on another, Petunia is afraid they will just like Lily better. I'm not sure if that's how you view it at all, but that was at least what I took from the scene.

I really liked the ending, where Lily reflects on spending Christmas with the Potters. I know she cares for James a lot, maybe even loves him at this point, but I also think this touches on the fact that she also really needs him, even on a level she's not yet fully aware of. She has a huge hole in her life now, and though he can't fill it all, him and his family can give her something she can't get anywhere else at the moment, and really, something none of her other friends can provide either.

I saved your AoC about the chapter being too slow for last since it's more of a tough one to address. The scenes themselves and even the chapter as a whole didn't feel slow to me. When I think of something being slow in a story, I usually think more of having to wade through 500 words of description on something mundane, or characters spending an entire chapter in one conversation without actually saying anything. Your scenes are always fun and easy to read. No matter what the characters are doing, I can always just sort of jump in and go with it.

But since you mentioned the chapter being a transition into the big stuff, I'm thinking maybe you were wondering if the story itself feels slow at this point, as opposed to a particular section being too wordy...? It's hard to say on my end without knowing what will be important in the future of the story, or how long the story is going to be to know if we should be nearing the climax anytime soon. A scene where characters appear just to be doing housework might actually have major plot points cleverly tucked inside (I'm thinking of like in the HP books when Harry seems to just be going to class but is really learning about something he'll need to fight Voldemort by the end of the book). I don't know how helpful it will be to you, but when I'm unsure of my pacing, I take a look at every scene and ask, "what's the point?" The more basic the answer is, the shorter the I try and make the scene, maybe even eliminating it altogether. If it's just to show the passage of time or something, a few sentences may be more than enough. If it's more complicated, like to show something important about the character or relaying information that will be needed for the plot later on, the more likely I am to flesh out a scene. And then, if I'm really trying to build tension, that's when I go for the big moments that are depicted the closest to real time. Again, not sure if that is at all helpful (or even what you were really asking about), but that's my amateur, unsolicited opinion -- something I probably give out all too freely :P

Well, that's more than enough out of me on this chapter, I think. Just a few typos I spotted below. I can't believe I'm almost caught up!!

-- "Put the students in these two," the head girl instructed, glancing over them. (glancing over at them, or glancing them over)

-- Just as the unmistakable stands of Sirius's dark hair came into view, she felt her boots slide under the snow. (unmistakable strands... and I think her boots would slide over the snow, not under, or slide out from under her across the snow...?)

-- Of course the sisters had ended up on speaking terms again, making up only a few hours before Lily left for her fifth year to Hogwarts. (at Hogwarts)

Author's Response: I love how your first paragraph was so true, hahah. I posted chapter 21 then clicked my author page and there was a review!

I'm happy that even though it was set up a bit different, it still felt right with the rest of the stories.

That's exactly what I was thinking in this, is field trips. Make sure everyone has their sack lunches packed and permission slips... haha. I like giving the Heads things to do so they don't seem like they're just sort of pointlessly floating around with that title.

I really agree with what you said about Minerva. I think Dumbledore looks at the big picture, and she does focus more on the people that make up that big picture. I get so sad when I think about what she looses too... i can't imagine watching the children you've practically helped raise from age 11 all get picked off one by one :(

We've talked about before how family is never cut and dry. Petunia didn't just decide she hated Lily and the two never spoke again, so I really love getting to explore the different things that may have added up to tear them apart piece by piece.

That's exactly how I view it. I never thought that Petunia's feelings for Lily were as simple as her deciding Lily was a freak and cutting her off. We know that she wrote to Dumbledore, so we know some part of her really wanted to be able to be special like her sister. And watching her best friend stand up for her sister was a big deal for her. Sure, the girl was just being nice to Lily, but Petunia didn't see it like that. She saw it as her sister out doing her once again, and her best friend gravitating toward Lily the way she thinks everyone did. I remember my older sister getting so mad when her friends would talk to me, haha. I just amplified those feelings up a bit in Petunia's case :P

I always want to hug you when you pick up on these things. You have like a zillion mental hugs from me.

Your section on how the chapter is feeling made me feel a lot better. Because we are very, very close to a big thing in this story happening. It isn't the biggest thing of the story, but it's close to it. Your opinions ARE solicited! Haha! And I love them! I'm excited to see what you think in a few chapters, and to see if you feel like these last few more build up chapters were worth it. I think I've been really careful to make sure all of me scenes have a point, whether it's to make something else make sense or to work on my characterizations.. okay... I'm not sure where I'm going with this section of the response. Haha. But when you get a few chapters ahead, if you feel like compared to the amount of build up sort of chapters I've had and the events, and it falls flat - pretty please tell me ♥

I always feel like my responses are inadequate to your insanely helpful and detailed reviews, bu I hope you know how much I appreciate them ♥

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Review #35, by Arithmancy_WizDetox: Getting Clean

27th February 2013:
I'm back for another dose of Draco!

Wow, what an opening. I really like that you didn't hold back on the gorier details. I'm not one for a lot of blood just for shock value, but it's appropriate here, in proportion to the horror the Death Eaters and Voldemort inflicted. It also makes for some great insight into Draco's current state of mind. He's being tortured himself, only obviously in a somewhat less literal way. I couldn't help but wonder if the vivid nightmares aren't also a symptom of withdrawal, both physically from not ingesting the alcohol and mentally, his sobriety clearing his mind enough to dredge up the things he'd been repressing.

I can't really quote most of my favorite lines from this section for obvious reasons, but I will say I loved the line, "Somebody had finished the work his mad aunt had begun." I actually found this one even more disturbing than the descriptive phrases. I don't know why, but it just lept of the page.

The only part I was a little unsure on was what the mood was supposed to be here. It's a dream, so realism isn't exactly a concern, but sometimes it felt like the wording and the intensity of Draco's feelings didn't totally match up. Like his "overwhelming dread" addressed in the same sentence as the "plush carpet." Or a sudden "dampness" on his check causing him to pause (as opposed to stopping short or halting or even jumping or recoiling). The writing was lovely but, at times, I thought it undercut the wonderful tension a bit.

I loved the contrast you created by putting the two parent/child scenes back to back. Draco and Astoria are still young enough to be reliant on their parents, even as they are working to come into their own as adults. And in their own way, each parent is just trying to do what is best for their child. It was just a nice literary touch having them one after the other with the gender rolls reversed.

Your Zabini is fantastic! Well, no, he's kind of terrible, but your writing of him is wonderful. His voice when he speaks is very distinct from the other characters, and IMHO, reads the most naturally. You're really hitting a perfect note with him.

I spotted a couple of small typos:

--Whether it was in real or in a nightmare, he could not recall, but something terrible waited in the distance. (was in real life...or maybe just...was real...?)

--He turned his back on Draco and took a could of steps, but then stopped. (couple)

--The tattered remains of a hand-knitted jumper clung loosely to his body... (This isn't really a typo but "clung loosely" is a bit of an oxymoron :D)

Well, I'm definitely getting hooked. I'm excited to see where this story is headed next...

Author's Response: Hi, there!

I'm glad you like my second little Draco project. I don't know when I started to enjoy writing him so much. The funny thing is that I don't usually enjoy reading Draco stories at all, even when they're done well.

In my mind, his nightmares are driven by all of the terrible things he witnesses during the war that he hasn't even begun to come to terms with. During the months after the war, alcohol helped to keep them at bay, so I suppose that one effect of withdrawal could be that they're getting worse. At any rate, I had this very stark vision in my mind of a sort of "chandelier" of victims in a long, dark hallway. The carpet was meant, I think, to be a sort of contrast to the horrors he sees hanging above. I remember thinking at some point during Deathly Hallows what cold comfort the Malfoys' luxurious home must have been when they had to share it with Voldemort and the rest of his insane followers. And the fact that he never stops walking down the hall is just one of those things that seems to happen in nightmares, kind of like how you never think to just turn around, go home and put on pants. ;)

Horatio and Narcissa do contrast pretty nicely, don't they. He's more openly affectionate toward Astoria than Narcissa ever was with Draco, but I don't think that's any reason to assume that she loves her son any less. They're also both very concerned with family and with their children's place in society, although Narcissa was probably far more concerned before the war and far less concerned after.

I think of Zabini as a bored, somewhat disenchanted rich kid for whom the early stages of alcoholism are beginning to take their toll. Unlike Draco, the war was never a matter of survival for him. Being something of an outsider looking in, I'd say he viewed it as a missed opportunity for social advancement. And he certainly still wears the arrogance and prejudices of a pureblood scion.

Thanks for the typos and the other suggestion. I will see to them straight away!

I'm so happy that you're enjoying this! It's been a struggle, to be honest, because I'm having a hard time deciding how long I really want it to be, which in turn gives me fits with plot outlines. But that's my row to hoe. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #36, by Arithmancy_WizBefore They Fall: Baby Steps

26th February 2013:
I'm diving right in so I don't have to trim this like I did the last one to keep it in the word count!

Yay for some Remus and Lily time. We haven't seen a moment between them in a while so it was lovely to see them share a little something here. And in answer to your first question, no, I didn't think it started off too slow. If you are really worried, there were a few spots where you could tighten up the opening paragraphs, but I loved that you started Lily out by having her sorting through the potions. And it was great to see her return to the idea of being a Healer. Often authors mention things and forget to return to them later (I know I'm guilty of it), so it's great that you don't let these little details fall through the cracks. And, of course, you also managed to tuck in the bit about the passage of time as well, which is obviously very important.

I really like the idea that Lily had at least an inkling about what's been going on with Remus. And yes, it was perfectly clear that's what was going on here. At this point, they've been friends for a few years. Plus, she's been at school with him for nearly seven, and there aren't THAT many students at Hogwarts. She has to have noticed all the classes he missed, the weird bruises and scratches. My favorite part was how you tied it back into Snape (and no, not just because I like him. Okay, maybe a little). But obviously we know from canon about the prank the boys played on Snape, so that's a factor. Plus, it's just like him to want to try and make her dislike the Marauders in any way he can. Of course that would never work on someone like Lily, but that's not the sort of thing Snape would understand. Anyway, I just thought the bits with him were a very clever way to plant the seed in her head that he's a werewolf. I think it's a much better way to handle it than (1) having James tell her, since he would never betray Remus's secret without his permission, or (2) having Lily so smart, she just guesses it. That's too similar to how Hermione figured it out. I see it that way a lot (or him just blurting it out like you say). This was more original. Lily's smart enough to put the pieces together, but she gets help along the way

Hitting your third (?) point on the list, I totally agree with your choice not to have Remus spill his secret, at least not yet. I think it's more true to life -- okay, not the werewolf part, but that sort of "I know you know my secret but I'm not ready to deal with it so let's ignore it for now sort of moment. And it was also perfectly clear that she now knows and will keep her mouth shut until he brings it up on his own terms.

The only thing about the scene that felt a little off to me was Lily's insistence about finding out what happened to Remus. While she's hiding, she goes through her suspicious about why his story doesn't add up and maybe Snape was right all along, but she never pauses to think that maybe Remus really just doesn't want to talk to her about it. She did ask him what happened and it was clear to her that he lied, but she never asks why he didn't want to tell her what was going on. Lily is pretty attune to people's emotions, so I thought it was a little surprising that this didn't give her more pause. She does say at the end that if he needs to let himself believe his secret is his own she'll allow him that, but that she's ready to talk if he wants, and THAT'S the Lily I'd expect, but she does burst back in on him and press him pretty hard to tell her what's going on. If she really thought he was being bullied or Hagrid had wild creatures, the pressing would make more sense. She's Head Girl and might feel compelled to help her friend AND find out if there is something in the school that needs addressed, but if she all but knows that he's hurt because he's a werewolf, then I guess I would expect her to be more gentle with him -- let him know she knew what was really happening but not push him to confirm.

Gah! I'm running out of space already. I'll try to be quicker through the next scene. I love the parallels between Belle and Sirius's life stories. Clearly they have their differences, but the pair really understand where the other one is coming from. I think there has to be some symmetry in relationships. If either of the characters had lived perfect lives up til this point, they'd have a hard time understanding each other. It wouldn't be impossible, but it just all works really well between the two of them.

Hitting on your AoCs, I thought the transition was just fine. The line break was more than enough. Unlike other scenes, it isn't so important in this one when it's happening. We can assume it's around the same time as the Lily/Remus scene, but even if it's the next day, it doesn't matter in the greater context of the chapter. And yes, I thought Belle's reasoning for needing to make peace with her family, or at least close the door on them, made total sense. Some people would just rather cut them off and forget they existed, while others would need to take a stand and have their final say. Either one would be totally understandable. And I REALLY like that Sirius pushes her into it. We know from OotP he has a bit of a tendency to live vicariously through others. I imagine he'd love to have been able to tell off his family and slam the door in their faces, so I can see him pushing Belle to do it, whether or not it's the best decision for her. And I do hope we get to see him punch Christophe. I'd love to see Sirius's wild side come out. Not to mention that Christophe totally deserves it!

Dang, I'm over again. I'll PM you a few typos I spotted. Another great chapter. I noticed the next ones are pretty short. Maybe I'll even manage to catch up this week! And you're right. You got me to talk about emotions without breaking out in hives. It's a miracle :P

Author's Response: I'm going to try *very* hard to get my response to cooperate with the maximum character count ;)

I am trying *really* hard to not mention something then forget about it. I'm sure there will be a few things, but this wasn't one! yay! I'm happy you liked her sorting through the potions and sort of dwelling on her future. I see a lot of times in Marauders fics where authors forget that this group didn't realize they'd be joining the Order. Like, their making no plans about their future. Obviously we know where they end up, but I don't want to fall into that trap where they aren't planning for their futures. Because right now, they have no idea where they'll end up. Wow, did any of that make sense? Haha

Your favorite part would be when it tied back to Severus :P I really have an issue when anyone other than Remus tells Lily that he's a werewolf, because like you said James is too loyal. And Remus does whatever he can *not* to tell people, so I don't ever want that "i'm a werewolf" sort of scene. Like you said, Lily is smart enough to piece it together, but she probably wouldn't have without the clues she already had. There will be a time when they talk about it, but it'll be under interesting circumstances. See, now I'm being all vague. Mwahhaa.

I really agree with you about Lily and how she acts. I worried about that before, but then I think I sot of let it go and figured I was only noticing it because I wrote it. Apparently not :P I've been thinking of editing this part a bit so that Lily kind of argues with herself, and decides that letting Remus know that she is there to talk is the most important thing. So she'll still press a bit, but she'll at least give it a second though. Thank you for bringing that back to my attention ♥

Ahh I'm so happy you're still liking the dynamic between Belle and Sirius. I love the idea of Sirius kind of being able to help someone whose been through too much like he has, because he knows how much having James saved him. It adds a really intimate connection between Belle and Sirius having both understood what the other lived through, and one that's completely emotional. And I think Sirius needs something like that.

I was worried that Sirius would seem insensitive by pushing her into doing it. But like you said, we learned that he does do things to live through others, and he doesn't often think too much about those repercussions. I can tell you that we will absolutely see Sirius's wild side come out. Belle's too. Really, the entire chapter is just going to be a bit crazy. Haha.

Thank you so much for PM'ing me the typos &heats; They are all edited in! Yay!

Ahhh Becky. I don't even know how to thank you so much for all the reviews you leave. Not only do you give me awesome feedback, but you ever made giving the feedback seem like a chore, which means a lot to me. Thank you so much for all your feedback, and you're so close to being caught up :O! Also, I have an OF idea that I'm going to PM you about later. It's one I want YOU to write ;).

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Review #37, by Arithmancy_WizBefore They Fall: Breaking Curfew

24th February 2013:
I'm going to have a lot to say on this opening scene, but hopefully that's ok since it took up 2 spots on your AoC list! Right off, I totally agree with the choice not to depict Sirius's conversation with Belle. You're right that it might have felt redundant. This aftermath scene was a GREAT way to pick up their plot line again. To the reader, the important thing is not what she said, since we already know her story, but how Sirius takes the news, which is admittedly not very well.

It's also really nice to see a James/Sirius moment. There's been a lot of James/Lily taking center stage recently, and since this is also a story about the Marauders/their friendships, this felt like a great time for the pair to share a moment together. And I thought you struck a really great mood here: some lighter moments, some very dark moments, but all the while, a very strong sense of familiarity between the two.

The one thing I'm a little torn on is Sirius's reaction. Not the running away from Belle part. Of course, I'm disappointed that he couldn't handle the situation with a bit more maturity, but it's understandable based on what we know about him. He felt himself losing his temper and wanted to get out of there before he said or did anything he'd regret/that might make things worse on Belle. On a human level, that wasn't a great idea. On a character level, given his age and his past, it works perfectly.

But I did feel a little like within the scene itself, Sirius was a bit inconsistent. The running away I get, but then he says: She's used to people walking away from her. She probably already figured I would... If Sirius understands so well what his behavior must have looked liked to Belle, it seems harder to believe that he would see abandoning her at that moment as the better alternative to saying something nasty about her family. She'd just told him was that she's been abandoned by everyone she's ever loved, and he knows this, yet he still leaves. Or, if he's just realizing that this is how it must have looked to her NOW, in this very moment, sitting there with James, than I'd think he'd want to turn right around and go find her, not go to the kitchens. I LOVE the idea that he runs out. It makes him less perfect as a character, more human. But knowing and leaving anyway makes him selfish in a way you really haven't painted him to be.

And just as a technical note (and if I missed it, just ignore this part), I might consider adding a time stamp of some sort in this scene. We get a hint at how much time has passed later, but last we saw of James, he was in the hospital wing. Now he's chasing after Sirius, so clearly some time has passed, we just aren't sure how much.

Yay! More nasty Slytherins. I love that you continue to play with a range of baddies in this story. On one end you have Voldemort and Bella, totally evil and crazy-pants. Then you have Regulus and Alrek, these sort of middlemen, out there doing some dirty work while still maintaining a more respectable front. And then there are these Slytherin bullies, nasty in there own right without being Voldemort's trusted henchman, at least not yet. Not everyone who believes in what he's doing is out there killing people already. But that doesn't mean they aren't dangerous and scary and nasty in their own right.

It still breaks my heart that you don't like Snape, but alas, I shall forgive you for it. And I thought you did a great job with him here. It makes sense that he'd be hanging with this lot, and that despite their past friendship, he wouldn't be dumb enough to intervene on Lily's behalf in front of his friends (well, he'd probably be good enough at nonverbal spells to curse anyone who really meant to hurt her, but that's another story for another day :P). As for Lily herself, I was a little surprised she seemed so detached from Snape. You sort of tiptoe towards her feeling in the paragraph that starts: Lily did meet Severus's eyes this time. She wondered if all this was worth it... But the lines are very rational on her part. There isn't any sense of regret or longing for that old friendship. Or on the other extreme, anger at his being stupid enough to tangle himself up with this crowd, or thinking he's the worst of them all because he should know better. She's not even really indifferent, though I could see that too, if it was too painful to even dwell on it anymore, but that wasn't really addressed either. I just felt like their past warranted some sort of emotional response on Lily's part. Especially if she's then going to feel her heart break at the sight of his wand pointed at her. That tells me she still cares, or at least still held out hope he might change. And it would have been nice to see him mentioned in the last scene too. I assume he's still in the room, but Lily doesnt give him a second thought. But of course, that could just be me wanting more Snape!

One other little thing on this scene. Lily opens the chapter by saying she just wants to be alone, but then she suddenly wants to find James and Sirius. And then shes back to thinking, "but having a minute to just listen to the silence of the stone castle and enjoy the view." It just felt a little inconsistent.

I feel like I was extra critical on this chapter. I hope it doesn't come off that way. I REALLY enjoyed this. It's just the more we go forward, the richer the emotions get and there's more to discuss, which is hopefully a good thing. I think you mentioned that you hoped people could see an improvement in your writing. I know I sure can. Not that it started out bad by any stretch, but your mechanics continue to improve, your sentence structure is clearer, your details flow more organically, I haven't spotted an unintentionally change in POV in ages. You hardly even comma splice anymore! Really, you're just getting better and better with each post, which only makes the actually story itself shine all the more!

Author's Response: Hii ♥

I love James Sirius moments. Actually just any bromance type of moments. I think I’ve already went on my rants to you about how much I hate when the Marauders friendship is ignored, so I’ll spare you another one of those :P

Okay, I hope with the changes I made I smoothed out the inconsistent feeling. But I was thinking along the lines of what you said... that he didn’t realize how it looked until James said that she wasn’t even mad, and then it kind of clicked. Hopefully I’ve made that more clear, and with changing his reasoning to the kitchens.

Bellatrix Crazy Pants. HAHA. I love it. She makes another lovely grand appearance in chapter 20 ;) I’m so happy that you like the different looks into the baddie worlds.

I’m sory I don’t like Snape!! I like variations of him in certain stories, but I don’t like the one that JKR created. BUT I hope now I’ve given his and Lily’s past friendship a bit more... significance. I really want to not leave him out in the complete dust with this story, so I am extra happy that you do like him enough to stick up for him if I’m not giving him and Lily’s past enough recognition.

No! You didn’t seem like extra critical at all! The things you pointed out all made a lot of sense, and I’m excited to see what you think about the changes I’ve made!

Aww and I’m so happy that you see improvement. That’s such a huge compliment, and if I could reach through my computer I’d be hugging you right now :P

I’m sorry this response seems so short, haha. But I think I said the majority of it in the PM I sent you. Thank you again so much for taking the time to stop over here ♥ I know my chapters aren’t a short little walk in the park, and it makes me so happy that you haven’t gotten burnt out or anything ♥

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Review #38, by Arithmancy_WizCasualties of War: Casualties of War

21st February 2013:
Two in one day. I'm on a roll!

Can I just say how much I love it when I see authors try something new? It doesn't always work (and by the way, this TOTALLY works), but I think it's important to experiment with style, even if only to find out you're really most comfortable writing they way you did before. And I totally get the excess feelings and needing to put them into words. I'm still not quite over Krum and Rose :P

Obviously this is very unique in its style, with a sort of ethereal feel to it, but I was really happy to see that you didn't take it so far as to make it a metaphor, wrapped in a simile, masquerading as an allegory. It's probably more personal taste than anything, but I like how this wasn't poetic just to be poetic. There is something lyrical and rhythmic about the writing but without feeling self-indulgent.

I'm not sure what, if anyone or anything, you picture as the narrator here, and I like that you've left that open. For me, it almost felt like a very old Harry, perhaps sitting in a rocking chair in front of a fire, telling his great-grandchildren about those who came before. Not necessarily literally this scenario, but that's the vibe I got. The words are intimate and loving, but truthful... just like how someone these characters meant something to might speak (and I'm guessing maybe just a touch of yourself in there too). Using "you" outside of second person, or even with second-person POV, can be jarring, but I liked it here. Again, it built the intimacy and made me feel like I was being told a story by someone who really knows what they are talking about.

Each of the sections had some wonderful lines, but my favorites were whenever you addressed the darker side of the characters. It's hard to relate to people who are perfect, but people who make mistakes and try to overcome them are the ones I'm always the most interested in. Worrying about not being perfect isn't enough. You have to actually struggle against something dark and internal to really hit on that emotional investment. Here are just a few of my favorites:

-- It was either take a life, or give his own. And he wasn't willing to leave his Lily a widow, not just yet.

-- But if you were to ask him what his most memorable times here on earth were... he probably wouldn't even mention the wolf that growled at is back.

-- He'd tell you that he was terrified of the times when he could barely remember what James and Lily looked like when they laughed...

Really, this was a very unusual and touching one-shot. It's so clear from this and BTF that you have such a handle on these characters. Great job, Jami! Not that I expected anything less, of course :)

Author's Response: I'm a review responding kick today!

First I have to say that I almost felt like I was cheating for being paired up with you. I'd end up reading After We Fall no matter what, because I'm already getting antsy not having a story to be obsessed with like I was Over The Edge. Secondly, I don't care that I feel like I'm cheating because I've been *really* curious to know what you'd think about this piece. I almost requested it right when I posted it, but I felt like with all the chapters I was piling on you for Before They Fall I should resist :P. So seeing us paired together made my day :P

I was thinking so much about losing all these guys at the end, and I got so sad. Haha. If you ever want to dump your excess Krum Rose feelings, feel free to fill up my PM box ;). It's so weird not waiting for another chapter of OTE.

This -- a metaphor, wrapped in a simile, masquerading as an allegory.

Look at me, reviewing your review, but I loved what you said ^. Haha. I'm finally becoming comfortable with realizing that I just don't enjoy writing millions of long winded similes all coated with description. And you've gone a long way into helping me realize that a writer not enjoying that doesn't make them any less good. Thank you for that ♥

I kind of pictured a different narrator for each part. Which is why i never wanted to tie it down to one. I know some people won't love that there isn't an exact narrator, but I'm happy that you like that I chose to leave it this way. For Lily's part, I imagined a much older lily, one that would have gotten the chance to age, talking to a much younger. Then James's, it was a group of elderly women in a cafe talking about him. Remus's was basically just himself in ghost form, floating alongside watching his life go by. Sirius's didn't have an image, and neither did Peter's. I think I got too emotional by that point to really think about anything other than what I wanted to say. I'm such a big baby :P

I'm so happy that you enjoyed this and liked my weird little style experiment. I felt really weird putting a piece up that I was so unsure about, but at the same time I was proud of myself for putting all these feelings I had into a story. And knowing that you think this experiment worked out makes me just want to hug you ♥

Thank you again for all of your amazing reviews ♥ I'm going to head over and drop AoC off at TGS, and I can't wait to get back to After They Fall. Though I'm going to have to remind myself that rose and krum will NOT be turning up somewhere in it :P.

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Review #39, by Arithmancy_WizBefore They Fall: A Day for Madness

21st February 2013:
First off, super big apologies for taking more than a week to get to this chapter. Shame on me! But I have gone through each of the concerns you listed and shall do my best to provide some helpful feedback... though I may hit on a few of them out of order.

I think the opening was perhaps a lot better than you think. I thought you did a perfect job of identifying each of the speakers. There was nothing choppy or confusing about who was speaking when. There were a pattern of formatting the dialogue tags the same way (ie., he/she said, making a physical gestures...) but it wasn't over the top, and it fell into a more relaxed rhythm once it was just the girls talking.

Speaking of... I didn't think there was too much girl talk at all. What teenage girl WOULDN'T be talking about this sort of thing with her friends? Personally, I'd much rather read a character discussing all this with her friends than have to wade through a long internal monologue where the character contemplates their relationship -- and not just in this story but any story. There is a fine line between using a conversation to ram information down a reader's throat and using a scene to move the story forward. We know Lily is close to her friends and this was a great way of showing us they now know what's going on between her and James AND to get some insight into how Lily is feeling post-kiss.

If I had any CC about the opening it would be that you might have been a bit slow to introduce the setting, especially with James's parents not having appeared in a chapter for a long time. I actually tucked back to the previous chapter to see if I'd missed/forgotten something. Of course, I should have just kept reading on, as you do state where they are about 100 words in, but those opening lines hang there a bit in space. If it was just James and Lily talking, or James and Sirius, my mind would have been better able to place the setting. They would (almost certainly) have been somewhere in or near the castle. But with William having the opening line, I'm left hanging a bit on any frame of reference for the first few lines of the scene.

I don't think skipping the match was a problem at all. Unless something happened during it that was going to be central to the plot moving forward, like Death Eaters arriving in the middle of the game or something, it's no different IMO than not depicting a class they attend, especially with it being an "end scene" kind of moment. If you'd picked up in the next sentence immediately after the match was over, it might have felt heavy-handed, but I thought it was perfectly fine as is.

You know I LOVE your Bellatrix, and it was so great to see her one-on-one with Voldemort. (And yay!! I finally got to see where that scene snippet you sent me fit into the story.) I thought you did a fantastic job with his character. I much prefer to see him in this cold, more detached way than as a raving lunatic, killing people left and right. And her almost sexual draw to him was totally creepy in the loveliest of evil ways. And I thought putting this scene in the middle of the chapter was fine, especially if the events overlap time-wise with the scenes before and after it.

The only thing that was a *tiny* bit confusing was that I didn't really know until afterward that this was all happening on the same day, so there is a little bit of that "hanging out there" feel again. From Bella's line, "I believe Alrek is informing me that both her and Potter, and only her and Potter, will be attending and staying at least a day for it," I know this is happening sometime after the opening scene, ie., after Alrek asks if Belle and Alice are going to the wedding too. But I kind of assumed the Bella/Voldemort scene was happening the next day or even farther down the road. It's a lot to have happened in the span of a few hours: Alrek sending the note, an owl needing to deliver it, Bella working out what it all means, her contacting Voldemort, him having and arraigning the time to meet with her, etc. Not impossible, of course, and it isn't an issue of it contradicted your timeline, but it was a surprise to find out that the last scene opened later the same night as scene one. I know Bella says the letter just arrived from Alrek, but there isn't really a reference to when Alrek sent the letter in relation to the opening scene. Maybe there is a way to make the overlap in time a bit more obvious to the reader...

The last scene felt totally natural!! You set the scene for public kissing (that sounds so silly as I'm typing it, but you know what I mean :P), and this follows up on it perfectly. James issues this challenge of sorts, and just as he's about to back down from it, Lily takes it one step further. It was a really sweet little back and forth for them.

I wouldn't ever know you had trouble writing this if you hadn't mentioned it. It's another really solid chapter. We know a bit more about where we are headed -- Christmas with the Potters, perhaps. And definitely trouble at the wedding. We feel like James and Lily are on track, and that hopefully Belle and Sirius aren't far behind. What more can you ask for from a chapter!? Speaking of chapters...

If you want to hit me up with AoC for the next two chapters at the same time, I'll try really hard to crank them out this weekend. No promises, but the weather is supposed to be crappy, so I'm preparing my stash of good stories to catch up on now :)

Author's Response: Becky!! You have no idea how huge my smile gets when I click on a new review and see it's you. Well, you probably do know that because I'm sure I've told you :P

Don't apologize! I super apologize that I'm a bit over the top with my requesting. If you ever need me to back off, let me know ♥

That's what I kind of thought about the girl talk too. But for some reason people often seem to dislike girls being.. well.. girls in fan fiction. But it did seem appropriate to me that they'd dwell on it a bit. Because, like you said, they're teenage girls! Thanks for making me feel better about that. I was really second guessing myself.

I wondered if the setting did feel odd at first without really knowing why William was there until we get a few sentence down. I'll play around with that and see if I can get something that roots you to where we are right away. thank you ♥

Oh good, I'm glad the match-skipping didn't turn you off! I will write one eventually, but only one :P

Hahahah that's what I thought about when requesting this chapter! Was, yay it's finally the chapter that has the part I had questions about! Bellatrix really is fun to write. I hope I'll get an idea for a one shot for her someday or something, but right now just her little appearances in this are a lot of fun for me. And you saying you love how I write her as put me on cloud 9 ♥

I don't love when Voldemort is raging around all 'I'm going to murder every single person.' We do see him get angry sometimes, but for the most part we see him appear very calm while doing these terrible things. He's still a really intimating character for me to write, so I'm relieved you liked how he turned out in this section ♥

I was worried about that -- with how I didn't really make it clear exactly when this was. I think maybe I'll add an end of the last scene with Alrek actually leaving after faking ill so we'll see it. That way it would give us more immediate feeling of, wait, why's he leaving? Then Bella's scene, then 'ohhh!'... yeah, I think I'll try something like that. Thanks for getting my wheels turning ♥

The last scene was so scary! I didn't plan that, which is odd for me because I plan most of the stuff, so I always get nervous about the scenes that kind of pop up out of nowhere in my head, haha. I'm really happy you liked the public kiss ;)!

Aww Becky, I'd love to post the next two chapter AoC, but like I said, if I get to be a bit much just tell me ♥ I hope you can see improvement with each chapter, though, because I really take your advice to heart and want that to show.

Thank you again so much ♥. Also! I'm about to go in strike from the snow. Are you getting as insanely sick of it as I am??

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Review #40, by Arithmancy_WizDetox: Sobering Up

16th February 2013:
So I totally plan to keep reading CoB, but I really wanted to hop over and take a look at something you're still currently working on. Is this part of the same universe? I'm not sure I'm far along enough in CoB to know, but already this feels like a glimpse into the pre-CoB Draco.

I really liked how gritty this chapter started off -- that you didn't gloss over the unpleasant details of him getting sick. If this is going to be about redemption for Draco, it's obviously important to make the lows pretty low, and I'd say throwing up in an alleyway, abandoned by his friends, definitely qualifies. There were a few moments where Draco's self-awareness/ability to have deep thoughts seemed a bit at odds with how drunk he's supposed to be, but other than that, it really hits a strong note right out of the gate.

I love how the tables have been turned on Draco -- becoming the other, the one no one wants to have in their establishment. Payback is cruel, isn't it? But it sets a good precedent. If Draco is going to have any sort of change of heart, being forced to suffer (even in a small way) what he inflicted on others may be the only way to show him how wrong he was in the past.

But then the Aurors came. What a great line. So ominous. I don't know if you plan to elaborate on that, but it says a lot, and none of it good for the Malfoys. And the line about the coins being his "father's words." Brilliant. These little asides say more than ten paragraphs of narration. And wow, was Astoria reading his mind? Or did she just sense he'd been thinking about fleeing when she mentioned the fourth D?

I think you hit on an interesting point when Draco realizes that he's a living reminder of what they all just suffered through. The war is over but clearly these sorts of things don't just tie up in neat little bows at the end. I can't help but wonder, though, if he's latching on to the idea of Astoria here as a bit of a motivation for a change he knows is long in coming. He seems to have been taken with her incredibly quickly, especially for a girl he says he hardly remembers from school, so I wonder if there is more going on there.

I'll definitely be back soon to check out some more. The post-war Malfoys are such an interesting topic. It's so fun to read how different people imagine there place in the world after Voldemort's defeat.

Author's Response: Hi! I definitely understand the desire to diversify, although I don't think I'll be moving on from Over the Edge until I've finished it.

So I haven't conducted rigorous studies to verify that this story and Marked are perfectly consistent with CoB, but yes, in my mind the three stories show Draco at three distinct phases of his life. Marked takes place after the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, when Draco is made a Death Eater in order to punish Lucius for his failure.

I try really hard not to gloss over anything in this story unless I absolutely have to for ToS reasons. It's a story about a guy who goes from extreme unhappiness to a much happier life, but with a lot of bumps in the road. The start of the story finds him at a very low point in his life. He basically has one foot in the gutter, and only his family's money and a strand of loyalty to his mother are keeping him from tumbling the rest of the way in. While he's at this point, he has what alcoholics refer to as a Moment of Clarity.

Payback is very cruel, indeed. And it isn't over yet...

I probably won't spend too much time going into what happened when the Aurors were questioning the Malfoys after the Battle of Hogwarts, since it's in the past, but you might see a memory or two.

Astoria doesn't read his mind so much as she just realizes that he's going to have to get home somehow. She's very practical that way, with a good head on her shoulders.

Draco is a living reminder of the war to everyone who sees him. It's a curse he will bear throughout this story. I tend to think that there were no "neat bows" for anyone who actually survived the war. Do not pity the dead; pity the living. ;) I think Draco initially sees Astoria as more of an ideal than a person. To him, it seems sort of like providence that she enters his life just as he's having this epiphany. Don't worry, they'll both have some time to explore whether he fancies her or just the idea that she represents.

I'm glad you liked it. It's been very challenging to write, mostly from the standpoint of trying to imagine all the various hurdles that the two of them would encounter along the way. The 2-year age difference is a particularly annoying detail to work around.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #41, by Arithmancy_WizWhat If?: Mixed Memories

16th February 2013:
Hello again, p_c. I'm here with one of your staff reviews for the Review-A-Thon challenge.

I'm really enjoying the way you're continuing to develop Rose's character here. We get to see her interact with her friends, her parents and Scorpius -- each adding a little bit to our understanding of who she is. It's nice to see she has some dimension. On the one hand, she's clearly very close to Dom and Albus, and yet she's got a bit of an independent streak too, when she talks about not being free anymore to do what she wants to do when she wants to do it. And just as a funny coincidence, I have Albus marrying a girl named Amelia in one of my stories too!

Meeting the parents: yikes! That can be scary, though things seemed to go pretty well, all things considered. It's cute how you have Ron actually preferring Scorpius to Xander. It seems like he cares more about Rose being happy than an old childhood grudge. Obviously you hinted at the end that things weren't always perfect for Rose and Scorpius, but since everyone around her seems to think he's such a great guy, I can't help but wonder what finally drove them apart. Was it just the thing with Penny, or is there more to it...

It would be great to see some more of the present action, in addition to the flashbacks -- more of Rose getting ready for the wedding, more of her thoughts on Xander, etc. I'm actually rather curious about him. Clearly she's still hung up a bit on Scorpius, seeing as she's thinking a lot about him on her wedding day, so I can't help but wonder what kind of man Xander is in comparison.

If you're up for a little CC, I'd suggest focusing in on your use of run-on sentences. Throughout the chapter, there are a lot of long sentences held together by commas, but the comma isn't a strong enough form of punctuation to hold two or more complete sentences together. Of course, the comma is one of the hardest forms of punctuation to get right (I mess them up all the time), but if you focus on breaking up your long sentences into several smaller ones, they will not only be more grammatically correct, they will also make your story a lot more reader-friendly. I've pulled a few examples out to highlight what I mean:

-- I hated that fact, it wasn't my fault who my parents are, I didn't ask to receive their fame.

-- After all we all were pretty close, my parents and Uncle Harry used to call us the next generation of the Golden Trio, obviously without all the battling dark wizards and defeating Voldemort.

-- "You may have a good thing going on actually Dom, it's a lot less hassle, I mean remember the first time Scorpius met my parents, to say that was awkward would be an understatement," I said, and my thoughts drifted back to that eventful first meeting.

In the first sentence, each section before the comma is a complete sentence. That means you need more than a comma to string them together. You could use a semi-colon or a dash, or add in a conjunction, but as a general rule, if the sentence fragment can stand on its own as a sentence, a simple comma isn't enough. You could do something like:

-- I hated that fact; it wasn't my fault who my parents are, and I didn't ask to receive their fame. --OR-- I hated that fact. It wasn't my fault who my parents are. I didn't ask to receive their fame. --OR-- I hated that fact - it wasn't my fault who my parents are; I didn't ask to receive their fame.

The combinations are pretty endless, and the same is true for the other lines as well.

-- After all, we all were pretty close; my parents and Uncle Harry used to call us the next generation of the Golden Trio, but obviously without all the battling dark wizards and defeating Voldemort.

-- "You may have a good thing going on actually, Dom. It's a lot less hassle - I mean remember the first time Scorpius met my parents? To say that was awkward would be an understatement..."

Just remember that (most of the time) commas are not enough to hold together two complete sentences.

Thanks for selecting me as one of your staff reviewers, and thanks for participating in the Review-A-Thon. Best of luck with your story. It's already off to a great start!

Author's Response: Hi, thank you for leaving such a detailed review!

I'm glad that you're liking Rose's character, as I feel she's such a complex one given what her parents are like! I'm glad that you picked up on the fact that they are in fact two sides to her, and she can be close, yet private at the same time.

That is a concidence! I didn't really think much about the name, it was the first which popped into my head, and it seemed approriate so I just went with it!

I'm glad that you liked that Ron and Scorpius got along. As I do think that Ron would be mature enough now, to put behind a school day enemy, and try and please his daughter. Yes everyone did seem to like Scorpius, and I can't really say what happened, as that will be revealed in the next chapter!

I do agree that in this chapter there isn't that much in the present tense, or that much related to the wedding. I'll go back and see what I can add in:)

Yes comma's are very tricky, and I never seem to get them right! Thank you for your suggestions on where to include some, or add some periods. It really helps, as it makes me realise where I should include them, so hopefully I can learn from it!

Thank you for such a great and helpful review! I really enjoyed the review-a-thon, and hopefully they'll be another one!

-Kiana :D

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Review #42, by Arithmancy_WizMidnight Over Broadway: Without a Warrant

11th February 2013:
Hooray! I love me some good old-fashioned, door-busting, butt-kicking Weasley action. And it was great to see Hermione getting in on the fun too... even if a bit reluctantly. I know you were saying this was a tough chapter to write because of all the action, but it certainly didn't show. It was so well paced the chapter just seemed to fly by.

Gah! So many good one-liners too. I can't believe Hermione was able to hold her tongue when Ron pointed out the "big bull." Though it's a tie for me really between "It's a Weasley thing. You can't help yourself. We're contagious. Or infectious." -- AND -- "I thought you wore pink ironically!" Haha! Comedy gold.

I know it was just a passing detail but I loved the comment about the magical tobacco. I totally want to read something with that woven into the plot somehow. It does sort of have a "magical" quality about it on its own, and the smell would mask just about anything. I dont know... it just got my wheels turning.

Another lovely chapter, my dear!

Author's Response: Ah I get so happy when you review! There's a lot of Weasley butt-kicking in this chapter, and more in the next :) It was hard to write, I'm glad it reads well.

Ah the big bull. I can just pictured Ron's dopey grin when he saw that thing, and Hermione is focused on other things so she's impatient with him instead of taking the opportunity to snark at him XD I really enjoyed writing the conversation between Rose and Hatchcock there. Poor guy. He really has no idea what he got himself into.

I think magical tobacco would wind up used like coffee is for drugs. It would have to have a lot of charms on it, and then the smell, well. Good camouflage for contraband.

Thank you so much for reviewing! *hugs*

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Review #43, by Arithmancy_WizBetrayal Felt By My Heart: The End

10th February 2013:
Hi, aqua. Thanks for replying to my status post.

I don't get a chance to read this pairing very often, so I hope you don't mind that I picked this one to review.

This was definitely a very emotional one-shot. You really tapped into a wide range of feelings in a relatively short space. The characterization of Teddy was very different from the way I usually see him portrayed, and it's really nice to see authors put their own spin on different characters. He was incredibly dark here, very selfish and possessive. It was nice to see you give him some depth beyond just "being in love." Though with that dark side, I was glad to see Dom push back and not accept that sort of behavior from him. She must have feelings for him or they wouldn't be having an affair, but it was good to see her willing to do something to make herself happy.

I did notice some grammatical errors that made the story a bit hard to read at times. I won't point them all out here since I'm not sure if you already have a Beta you plan on sending this to, but here are two repeating issues I noticed in a couple of spots throughout the chapter: (1) When a character is addressing another character by name, you need to include a comma before the name (and after if it's in the middle of the sentence). For example, the line "I am getting married Teddy Remus Lupin and you cannot do anything about that" should have a comma before Teddy and after Lupin. (2) When you have a thought that ends in an exclamation point or question mark, you don't need the comma too. For example: I proved you wrong!, he thought, should be either: I proved you wrong! he thought; or I proved you wrong, he thought; or even simple I proved you wrong (since the italics already tell the reader this is something Teddy is thinking). But you don't need both.

Thanks again for replying to my post and sharing your story with me!

Author's Response: Hey!

Thanks for reviewing!

I did go in and fix the things you mentioned! I wasn't sending this to a Beta so thank you for pointing the problems out =)

Glad you liked Dom and Teddy haah

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Review #44, by Arithmancy_WizThe Harbinger: Chapter 2: In the past

9th February 2013:
Hi, Cleo. Thanks for replying to my status update. I read the first chapter but wanted to make sure to review this one since it didn't have any yet.

This story is off to a very interesting and exciting start. It's obviously too early to tell what all is going on, but it definitely very intriguing. I like the idea of switching back and forth in time between chapters. It can be hard to pull off but for something with this much action, I have a feeling it will turn out to be a very effective style. And even before seeing your author's note, I could tell that's what you'd done between chapters one and two and thought it worked really well.

This chapter was super intense, though I loved the way it started out more slow and creepy before moving into the heart-thudding action. The idea of Albus's vacant eyes, it sent me straight back to that moment in GoF when Harry runs into Krum in the maze. And the abandoned church is such an eerie and sinister setting. And this terrible creature -- where did it come from? What does it want? How can it control people? And what can Malfoy do to help? So many questions! And having Albus re-awaken only to be killed a moment later was both terrible and unexpected. It would have been so much less cruel if he hadn't known what was happening -- but this was definitely more powerful.

You had some great lines throughout. I think one of my favorites was: As if welcoming back an old friend, the green ward burned up excitedly. I occasionally leave CC recommending authors scale back on the adverbs, but the use of 'excitedly' here was perfect. It absolutely helped personify the ward, making it all that more terrifying.

I really enjoyed reading your first two chapters. You are definitely off to a running start. There were a few typos here and there, but I'm sure you'll get those fixed once you send this off to your Beta. Otherwise, it was a great read. Thanks again for replying to my post.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review. I'm sorry for the late response.


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Review #45, by Arithmancy_WizBefore They Fall: Not Just Friends

9th February 2013:
This is my 200th review! (Well, not really, since I've left a lot of reviews on stories that have since been deleted, but close enough...) And I couldn't think of any story I'd rather leave it on :)

Wow, this chapter is a rollercoaster of emotion, isn't it? I'll just start at the top and work my way through. I really enjoyed the opening scene between the boys. I know I've mentioned it many times before, but I just love the interplay between them. Their relationships with each other are just as dynamic as any romance, and the back-and-forth here was great fun to read. They really all do have very strong personalities, and at times, you know that's bound to cause conflict. Of course, what they are fighting over all comes from a place of caring and protection, but they argue nonetheless.

You mentioned the Dumbledore/McGonagall scene in your post... I think I've mentioned before that I like the way you portray both characters, and that stands for this chapter too. Of course, I doubt under normal circumstances, the Headmaster and Deputy Headmistress would meet personally with students over an injured animal, but we already know the Order has their eye on these two, and I suspect Dumbledore might already have a few ideas on what might be going on at his school, even if he doesn't care to share them here. In terms of James's worry about his parents, I think he rationalizes his desire to keep them safe by lying to them very well. I do wonder a bit though why Dumbledore is so quick to agree to it. James is young so it may not occur to him, but wouldnt not telling the Potters at least something about what happened actually leave them at risk?

The letter from Petunia wasn't at all what I was expecting. I must have forgot that Lily had used it so I was expecting it to be for James. And while that might have actually been really fun to read, this makes a lot more sense, and I thought it worked really well. I like the way you continue to develop her and Lily's relationship. It's easy to just say they hate each other and leave it at that, but family is never that simple, right? Petunia still gets to take the high-ground here, making it sound like she's doing Lily the favor by allowing her to come to the wedding (and not missing a chance to through in a few jabs about the way Lily looks or the date she might bring), but clearly Lily knows her sister well enough to see this letter for the peace-offering it really is. Sibling relationships are complicated and I think you do this one a lot of justice by having them retain some (even if partially reluctant) contact.

And now to the kiss (but first, thank you for the lovely compliment in your review request -- though I won't pretend to be an expert on writing romance by any stretch of the imagination). James and Lily is a hard ship to write (IMHO) because you don't have the luxury of will-they/won't they. We already know that unless the story is totally AU, the definitely WILL. So that only leaves you with when and how. I think you totally set the tone for the whole scene to unfold early on with James's line:

Sure, he'd spent years telling her he was mad for her, but back then it was her waves of cinnamon hair and the way she smiled that caught his attention. What he felt then was nothing compared to the way he felt about her now.

That's the perfect WHEN... when James is at the point where he loves Lily for who she is, not how pretty she looks or how nice she is to others. Of course, James has been super supportive of her throughout the story, and not at all shallow in his feelings, but that was a really sweet moment, a great set-up for what follows.

In a zoomed-out view, I thought you did a great job with capturing the range of emotions, as you said, moving from the talking, to the wanting, to the kissing, and then to the worrying. I thought the light touches of humor in the lead-up were lovely -- Lily's line "He thinks he's so big and tough, but youre tougher, aren't you?" was too adorable! And I thought the following was the most honest-feeling moment of the entire scene:

"If it helps, I can count the girls I've kissed on one hand."

"And the girls you've..."

"On one finger."

Simple but full of meaning -- perfectly executed!

If I can critique anything, it might be that the scene lacked a little tension, or a total sense of immediacy that often comes with a first kiss. It didn't feel like James was ever quite able to get out of his own head and just be in the moment. He almost got there with lines like:

-- Every part of him that was saying he couldn't let this happen, she wasn't ready for the next step, became drowned out by the sound of his heart pounding in his ears.

-- All of the warmth that their hug had held, all of the tension that was forever pulsing between them, gave way to a heat that James could have only dreamed about feeling.

But there is still a more intellectual feel here as opposed to just letting go and living the moment. I totally agree that they would immediately discuss what just happened -- that's just the kind of couple they are. But that also serves to cut the tension. Maybe even just making the sentences in the kiss a bit shorter would ratchet up that exact instant of the kiss all that much more. For a second, maybe they could just be two teenagers snogging. I think they deserve it :P

Well, no surprises here, but this is another wonderful chapter. I can't wait to see where we go next!

Author's Response: Thank you so much for stopping by to leave your 200 ♥

Your comment about their relationship being just as dynamic as a friendship made my day. I really want to show how important they are to each other. They weren't just the kind of friends you meet in school and enjoy hanging out with occasionally. I was about to go onto a ramble about how they'd have died for each other, even Peter at this point would have, but I realized I'd get all feelsy so I'm not moving on. Haha.

My head canon reason for Dumbledore not getting involved and telling James's parents is that he almost wants to test James. Not exactly like that... but he knows in about seven months, he's going to be asking this boy to become part of the order and he's giving him the respect of a man, even if he's still closer to a boy. Another reason is honestly just that I don't want the Potters involved much more, or they might as well just be apart of the Order. Haha. but the first reason sounds better :P

I regret not making the letter Lily sent to Petunia more noticeable. It's mentioned in two chapter, but briefly. The last mention of it is chapter 11 when James offers to send Beowulf back to Petunia's... maybe I can try and make that stand out more?

I'm so happy you liked the letter. There's too much canon evidence that they didn't just stop talking for good. With her being at the wedding and the vase she sent them for Christmas... so i really want a relationship, though a very fragile one, to be evident. And I really just want to keep reading this review again and again. Haha. I'm over here smiling at every new thing you say.

No ones pointed out that scene yet! The 'one one hand/on one finger' one, and I'm so happy you did because it feels like such an important part to me! haha. It was important for me not to make James completely innocent, but also far from a womanizing thing. I'm so happy you pointed it out, I was worrying that I'd made the meaning too subtle.

I like the idea of letting him just get to 'let go' and enjoy for a few seconds before they go into freak out mode... I'll definitely play with it a bit.

Thank you so much for your always insightful reviews ♥

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Review #46, by Arithmancy_WizReason to Fight: Prologue

8th February 2013:
What a great idea for a story! I've seen a few WWII-era stories before but they usually involve/focus on Grindelwald. I can't recall reading much about occupied France. It definitely reminds me of a certain Quentin Tarantino film with a non-12+ title.

You really did an amazing job stitching together a lot of scenes. It could have easily been overwhelming for the reader, especially with you introducing all these new characters, but your style really pulled everything together. And having all the characters converge (either physically or through reference) at the end really brings it all together nicely.

I loved the voice you used in this chapter. It was straight to the point but without sacrificing style. My favorite sections were Johanna's scene, with the sort of gritty, scandalous feel, and Simon's scene. The description of his soup as "two slices of rutabaga chasing each other in lukewarm water" was perfect. But each of the scenes completely held their own. And while it's still too early to feel like I "know" all these characters, it was great to see you give each of them a different motivation for fighting with the Resistance and showing the differing ways they are handling it emotionally.

Overall, this was a really strong introduction to what I'm sure will be a very interesting story. Thanks for replying to my forum post. I'm really glad I had a chance to read this.

Author's Response: Hello!

Yes, that particular movie is part of my inspiration sources, though more for CIs than for the actual plot -- I found the movie a little stomach-churning, so I'm not going to use it too much.

What I love about this story is being able to see things through several eyes. So far, nobody seems to have the same favourite passage, which I find great because it's a real challenge for me to make sure this continues.

Thank you for this review, I'm really glad I got a chance to recieve it!

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Review #47, by Arithmancy_WizThe Circle: Again

8th February 2013:
Hi, peanuts. Thanks for replying to my status update.

First, congratulations on posting your first story! I remember how terrified I was the first time I posted something. And to do it with a challenge like this? That's extra brave. It's easy to ramble on and on, but to write something that's short AND meaningful is really a feat.

Overall, I thought you managed to pack a lot of punch into just a few hundred words. You dived right in and were really able to tap into the emotion right away. The idea itself was really well suited to the challenge. I think a lot of people can relate to going around in circles in a relationship, so you don't really need a ton of backstory to sympathize with the characters and really feel for what they are going through.

The writing itself was also very solid. I don't know if you've been writing for a long time and just not posting stories here, but this certainly didn't read like the work of a novice author. I really enjoyed your use of the short, stylized sentences throughout.

The only bit of CC I can think to offer is technical rather than content related. Just make sure to watch out for the formatting of your dialogue. For example, with the first sentence as written, it makes it seem like the SHE that is smiling is also the one who is speaking (also, it should be a period after night, not a comma since what follows isn't a dialogue tag). Usually when you group dialogue and action like that, the reader is meant to infer that the person doing the action is also the one speaking. Also, be careful with the semi-colons. They are usually used to link two complete sentences together, but in a few places, you have them linking sentence fragments, in which case a comma, dash or colon would be more appropriate.

Thanks again for replying to my post. This was a great read. I hope you plan on posting on the site again soon!

Author's Response: Thank you for picking this up. One of the things I get the most self-conscious about in my writing is the formatting bit and speech bit it's definitely something I'm working on.

This is such a heart-warming review so thank you, thank you for taking the time to write it!

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Review #48, by Arithmancy_WizForget the World: Lie With Me

7th February 2013:
Thanks so much for replying to my post. When I saw this Ron/Hermione story on your page, I just couldn't pass it up. I've got a soft spot for this pairing, especially when it's fluffy. And your 50th story? That's amazing. Congratulations!

This really was super adorable. Of course Hermione would stress over her wedding. Knowing her character, she'd probably have been a mess even if things had gone as planned, but with all the last minute disasters? Yikes! But of course Ron saves the day. Hermione should know better than to be surprised by how much he loves her and will come through for her in the end, but she never seems to learn. I can totally imagine her still having trouble believing he's capable of pulling this sort of thing together.

My favorite part was when Ron said he NEEDED Hermione to sit with him. It was very touching to imagine him sort of pleading with her, reminding her that this whole wedding was about the two of them and not about all the planning. It was a very sweet moment.

I only have one little bit of CC. There were a few sentences where you had some fragments held together by commas, but the sentences as a whole weren't totally grammatically correct. One quick example: Rationality had landed her in this predicament, if thinking outside of the box, even boarding on slightly insane thoughts, got her out then so be it. You really need a semi-colon after predicament, or else another word like so or but before the if. Aside from a couple of similar sentences, everything else read nice and clean.

Thanks again for replying to my post. I'm really glad I had a chance to read this.

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Review #49, by Arithmancy_WizWaiting For You: Waiting For You

7th February 2013:
Hello there. The link you left as a reply to my status didn't work so I hope you don't mind that I picked this story to review.

Wow, what a twist. Here I am, plugging along, thinking about all the cute and fluffy goodness that is James and Lily, and then bam! It's not James thinking all this at all. It's Remus. I didn't see that coming. I love stories that catch you by surprise and this one totally did for me.

That said, there was still a lot of loveliness here. You really made it clear how much Remus cares for Lily -- that he loves her just as much as James does. How bittersweet. And your descriptions themselves were really well done. I could practically see the light filtering in through the stained-glass windows. You did a great job of marrying (no pun intended!) the details and the emotion throughout.

I think my favorite part was actually when Sirius whispered in his ear. It was sweet when I thought it was James, but looking back, knowing he was talking to Remus, made it all kind of heartbreaking. Poor Remus, wanting deep down for his friend to understand what he's going through.

The only small bit of CC I can think to offer is to maybe scale back a bit on the abundant use of semi-colons. They are a pretty strong form of punctuation and can be a bit distracting when used so frequently. I think in some cases you might have better flow if you used sentence fragments mixed in just for more variety.

Other than that, this is a really great read. It packs a surprising amount of emotion for a relatively short piece.

Author's Response: Hello! First off, I'd like to apologize for the delay in responding to this review; RL has not been my friend recently. (And it's completely fine that you picked this story to review; the link was meant to go to my author's page anyway.) :)

Heh. It's great to hear that you liked the twist and that it was successful in surprising you!

Thank you so much - I was really worried about writing the Remus/Lily ship, as James/Lily is my OTP, so it's always pleasing to hear that I wrote Remus in a way that was believable. XD And it's great to hear that you liked the descriptions!

I absolutely agree with you - that is one of my favourites too, even though it was one of the hardest to write for me considering I always feel bad about breaking poor Remus' heart.

Ah, semi-colons. I'm working on reducing them and using more brevity in my sentences, and I plan to revisit this one-shot some time to re-edit. But thank you for pointing the issue out! :)

I'm glad to hear that you like this story! Thank you for reviewing!

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Review #50, by Arithmancy_WizWhat If?: The Trigger

7th February 2013:
Hi, pc. Thanks for the post on my status update. One shiny new review headed your way...

I was really excited to see that this was a Next-Gen story. That's absolutely my favorite era to read. And what a great point in time to kick off your story, the last few minutes before Rose's wedding! I love the idea of starting a ScoRose story just before Rose is about to marry someone who ISN'T Scorpius. You've already got me wondering how these two will find their way back to each other and what drove them so far apart.

You've made a lot of interesting character choices here too. Rose clearly feels a lot of pressure to be perfect, and Scorpius isn't at all the carbon-copy of Draco he's often portrayed as. It's great that you're adding your own twist to a common pairing. And I loved the mention of the "hat stall." What a cute term!

It was great to see you working to weave in some backstory without just providing a list of everything Rose has gone through in the past. I would say that it isn't really necessary to italicize the moments since it's really clear all on its own that these are Rose's reflections, due mostly to the switch to past-tense. There were also a few instances where you were missing some commas, and also had some where they weren't needed, but otherwise the chapter read pretty cleanly.

Thanks again for replying to my post. Good luck with the rest of your story!

Author's Response: Hello AW thank you for the much appreciated shiny review ;D

I'm glad that you liked the idea of the story starting on Rose's wedding, I thought it would be a fun twist especially as the person she's about to marry isn't Scorpius! I was wondering whether that would annoy people, so I'm glad that you liked it!

I'm glad that you liked the character choices, I tried to alter them from the usual ones we tend to see in the next gen era, so I'm glad that you liked it.

Unfortunatly I can't claim credit to the 'hat stall', that came off of Pottermore as Hermione and Neville suffered from one. I thought it would be a fun addition to include, and I'm glad that you noticed it, as no one else had!

Yes someone commented on the italics, now that I think about it, I'll probably remove them, as you don't really need them. It's just I've read stories where you suddenly jump to the past without realising and I didn't want that to be the case in this one:)

Commas! The bane of my life! Every time I think I finally sorted them out, they appear again! I'll have another read through and attempt to place them more approriatly, but knowing me it sill won't work!

Thank you for the lovely review, it was really helpful!

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