Reading Reviews From Member: notreallyblonde44
180 Reviews Found

Review #1, by notreallyblonde44Just Friends: Change

24th November 2015:
Happy birthday Angie!!! Hope it’s smashing :) Here for a bday review for you!

First, love your character selection on this. As you know I write Lav fics sometimes, and have dabbled in Dean before, and while I’ve never paired them together before, I’m happy you have. I want them both to be happy post-war. I also enjoyed how you build things up and explained the pairing, so that was got to believe and buy into a bit more. Since these two never were together in much capacity in the books, you provided enough background to make it believable.

Really glad Dean expressed his feelings in some capacity, but the conversation they had hit very close to home to me (and the convo went in the opposite way where I had to turn my “friend” down), so maybe I need to read this when it’s not so fresh of a memory in my head, because I was squirming in pain reading this –not because of your writing, but because of what Lav could say! Guess I felt like how Dean must’ve felt, which is a good thing too :P

Anwho, nuff about me, short and sweet one-shot. Hope you explore fluff and romance more, as this was pretty solid!

Some light CC:
‘Wow, had he just transported back into teenage?’ – being a teenager or his teenage years. Something, seems like an incomplete sentence?

“Dean! Where’re you lost?” – just where, not ‘re needed ;)

Enjoy your special day!

Xoxox, Ellie

Author's Response: Aw Ellie! You're too sweet. This was such a surprise review, so thanks a ton!

I am pleased you liked my character selection, and found the pairing believable with the background and stuff.

Ooh sorry to hear it hit a bad memory! *hugs*

I am glad you liked this overall. Thank you for the sweet comments. I'll fix the mistakes =)

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Review #2, by notreallyblonde44Haversham Westley's School for Boys: six.

24th November 2015:
Hello Elisabeth~~

Saw a few of your posts about a new story and thought I would drop by!

“Mate, at this stage I assume everyone’s queer and I haven’t been proven wrong yet.” - My favorite line of the series so far! For the fact that I share a similar opinion and because it's so spot on, with your characterizations and all. I have to be quick (at work) so hopefully I can drop back and give a more in-depth, thoughtful review.

Enjoying and excited to see where you go with all this jazz :)

Creative concept, xoxo

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Review #3, by notreallyblonde44The Serpent of Slytherin: Mother

17th November 2015:
Happy Hot Seat Gee! Oh this is very interesting, happy I selected another Slytherin-ish-focused one-shot ;)

Poor Basilisk, quite a different take than anything we see in canon or perceive from Magical Beasts and Where to Find Them’s dangerous rating of the basilisks. It’s so sad that the Basilisk was basically abandoned, created to destroy and so lonely :(

I’m not sure why though, but I did find it funny that there was all this confusion of “wait, you’re a girl?” and “yes?” and calling Salazar “Mother” – again don’t know why it was funny, maybe the undermining of Salazar’s snobby take on men being better than women idk. I chuckled nonetheless.

I also enjoyed the basilisk’s birth, the specification of scales and such was so scientific and very unlike things I normally read. It was concrete and textile, so what I did there :P I liked your approach to a birth-so different than the emotions-shows just how cold Salazar’s take on everything was-so distant from even excitement. He gave his orders, and the adorable giant snake followed them without outward question. I know think I feel bad for him, as a tool for murder and not an autonomous creature. Very interesting one-shot :)


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Review #4, by notreallyblonde44The memories in your biscuits: The memories in your biscuits

11th November 2015:
Hey Chiara! Here for our review swap, and how can I resist a one-shot dedicated to my two favorite characters??? So excited :) Though I’m afraid of where this dark turn is going, yikes!

This was an interesting, if not a bit scattered take on some events in McGonagall’s life. I found these elements added some new depths to her character, like her struggles in becoming a Professor and her interest in baking biscuits (thanks to Edda, which was a sweet twist –seeing what I did there :P ). I’m not sure I think McGonagall is a loner baker type, but anything’s likely in fanfic land. It’s sad to think she can’t perform a corporeal patronus anymore and I liked the added scene of her experiences in the first war. Though I’m pretty sure Voldemort killed Dorcas specifically.

Either way it gave her some new depths and it’s quite a different portrayal of Minnie. And then Severus saves her?? It seems like that came out of nowhere though the rest jumped around a bit in the timeline and I didn’t realize we hopped back in time (which I’m never seen that done with the second person, so I think that’s the struggle here) which confused me midway through too.

‘Black had fooled him, had fooled you, had fooled everyone.’ NOO not Sirius, sniff sniff, he’s good Minnie, he’s good!

A few bits of CC:
1. They would likely say professors, not teachers. And I’m not sure they would say something so slangy as “wanna”, but there are nitpicky things.
2. ‘"Good luck." you said with a last smile.’ – Either use a comma instead of that first period in quotation marks, or keep the period and capitalize you.
3. ‘milky-white cheeks suddenly turned cremisi’ – I feel dumb, but I have 0 clue what cremisi is lol sounds like a strange descriptor for someone’s skin. Also this is the third mention of his skin o.O

This definitely went through all the emotions, from happy, to stressed to sad, to all the things. Tugged at my heartstrings a bit, for some reason the houseelf and flashback to that time in Minnie’s life was my favorite scene. Best of luck in the challenge!

Ta for now,

Author's Response: Hi, Ellie!
Thank you so much for swapping and for the lovely review! :)

Remus is my absolute favourite character, so I was incredibly thrilled when I received my prompt. I must say that this is not at all what I expected myself to write...

I'm glad you liked the elements from McGonagall's life. Oh, well... we really know McGonagall only as the strict Professor, but I wanted to give her a more human, fragile dimension. And I personally like the image of her baking alone.

Yes, you're absolutely right about Dorcas being killed by Voldemort in person. I realized it when it was too late, and I couldn't think of another character that would work as well there... so I just ignored that detail...

You're not the only one who found the switch from "present" to memories a bit confusing. Someone suggested me to italicize the memory scenes, I could try to do that... As for Snape... I needed someone to come to the rescue, and he was the best option, or at least so I felt. I wasn't expecting it either, to be true (I wasn't expecting half the things that happened in this story. It just sort of wrote itself...)

Oh, I know... Sirius... :( But we know that's what everyone thought at the time...

Thanks for the CCs, I'll keep those in mind. As for "cremisi"... That's "crimson" in Italian... For some reason I was convinced it was international! :P

I'm glad you felt all those emotions. :) And Edda's scene is my favourite too! ;)

Thank you so much again for the amazing review! (By the way, what do you mean with "ta for now"? I always have a bit of trouble with acronyms...)

Much love!

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Review #5, by notreallyblonde44Summerbee: Summerbee

11th November 2015:

I've read this once before, and realized I never left a review (shame on me), and wanted to say that this is a very interesting one-shot. Have you ever read the Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath? It seems like you have to me, as what you describe is so similar to that book/her experiences. If you haven't, you may like it.

You did a wonderful job, I'm only wishing for more, which isn't necessary since you handle everything so well, but is a mark of good writing. When a reader wants more, you know you're stuff is interesting ;) And it's amazing to me that you did the whole alphabet back and forth! Amazing challenge, you should be happy with the result and hope you did well in the challenge itself. I admit I had to look up xenial haha. Fits so well, pacing is nice and fluid despite the letter restriction.

There's a bit of mystery here around Lucy's circumstances, and Norah completely. Lucy clearly had some form of a mental breakdown, and I hope she's OK and working on managing her stress and desire for attention in a more positive, less harmful way. For Norah, I can't help but think that Norah's sexuality could be related to her Summerbee stay, as "treatments" were once called for and could be still (though I would like to think not!!). I hope I'm wrong to some degree, either way there's definitely something just lurking below the surface with the "voices" that's so very sad and fragile in Norah. I enjoyed the girls' dynamic, and hope that they see each other again but that it doesn't involve Lucy going back if she doesn't need too.

Overall, really creative and sophisticated one-shot, I enjoyed reading it, thanks!


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Review #6, by notreallyblonde44Salvation: Bellatrix

9th November 2015:
Heya Gee! Review tagging it up. I’ve never stopped by your author’s page before and figured now was a good as time as ever :)

Yikes so creepy. You really dove into Bellatrix’s inner working here, and I’m not surprised at the disturbing things you’ve unearthed and shown us. I find this take on Bellatrix’s character and past to be very interesting! I don’t think I’ve ever seen her as the outsider in the family ways. I see her as the most glorified hater, but you’re right about the threads of unladylike tendencies and woe-is-me-no-one-understand-me angst. I think this is a refreshing take and the Room of Reflection was super ick.

For some CC, I would suggest breaking up some of the paragraphs just to make it a bit easier to read and digest each thought you put into this.

Overall, I don’t feel bad necessarily for her, because hello she’s evil, but I do like this different twist on her character and the strength she possess and how you contrast her from her family in a new way. In some strange way I think she’s right – why learn about these irrelevant wars when people can’t even perform basic charms etc??


Author's Response: Hi Ellie!

I love Bellatrix, she's just so twisted that there are many aspects of her personality that can be written differently and still somehow make sense!
The pureblood family are so much more set in traditions than Muggleborns and the Blacks so wealthy, it makes sense that the three sisters had to learn things like ballroom dancing (which is even taught at Hogwarts for the Yule Ball anyway so it's also a general witch & wizard thing), even ballet and maybe even the "proper" way of walking, etc. Now I'm not saying she'd be bad at it, but I just can't picture Bellatrix enjoying it. I can't really picture her being "normal" in any way beyond maybe the basic emotions. Even those I think are jumbled up in her.
I think she's so evil it can't have been without precedents.
But writing about Bellatrix having a relatively normal childhood/teenage would be interesting, if not disturbing. :D
Oh yes, the Room of Reflection; the even more evil version of the "chokey" from Matilda.

Thanks for pointing that out, it is indeed time to air those paragraphs :p

Haha, no feeling sorry for Bellatrix would not be a sign of mental health xD I'm really happy that you like this perspective of her!
Well, if it makes you feel better (it's just so unsettling, agreeing with what Bellatrix says) think of it as agreeing with Dumbledore's Army and disagreeing with Umbridge ;)

Thanks for the tag!

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Review #7, by notreallyblonde44turn to dust. : five.

9th November 2015:
Happy Hot Seat, Theia!

So spoilers to those who the read the comments before the fic, let me see if I get these pairing rights:

1. James/Lily: so sad. So so sad. But beautiful. You really captured James here and his dilemma. He’s been chasing this girl around for AGES – lands her, then they’re whole life is ruined so young by a war and hate. And it’s so sad. Lovely. Well done.

2. Wolfstar (though I could be remiss and say tonks, I don’t want to): Hot! The passion and the longing, needing pace you captured so well. I would love love love seeing this full scale and all yas. Adore wolfstar! Thank you!

3. Peter: Bye Felicia to him! No one wants you, dude. Ugh the hate I feel, yet the pity. Why do you make me pity this creature?? Don’t want to feel for him in any way.

4. Voldemort??: I only got this because of the emphasis on “love” in there. Quite a big leap/change from the last three POVS, but still good at capturing the character is such a small snippet.

5. Dumbledore: Well, I am only guessing this because the emphasis on Harry makes me think of the Dumbly actor in some movie, maybe the 4th, and his voice seems rather omniscient as opposed to the other’s – less focused on love, but the bigger picture. Which is how I imagined him to think.

Overall, really strong narrative and characterizations. I assume the line that runs through each of these fics is the first war-beginning to end? I’ll echo that there was a bit of a hop in character based on the progression, but regardless I think you did an excellent job capturing each of these POVS and in 100 words, so impressive! Hope you come back from your hiatus soon and keep cranking on goodness :)


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Review #8, by notreallyblonde44The Next Great Adventure: Happenings

30th October 2015:
Hi TreacleTart! Here for your requested review part two! I’m excited for you as you take this turn down an unfamiliar writing lane and I’m pretty positive this is your NaNo too – so I hope wonderful things come out for November for this project…and bask in your sanity while it lasts haha.

“Dumbledore had called him here along with the others, but had failed to explain why.” – That’s so Dumbledore haha.

‘“It might be better to consider someone else.”’ – THE TENSION~~ Molly and Sirius got beef! Molly ain’t having it with the Black family lol. Not sure I recall the scene in the 5th book enough to know if Molly’s reaction is warranted, seems really, really harsh. I know her concern for Harry is the reason behind this, but timing is a bit off on delivering her disappointment with Sirius’s actions.

‘gave your life to save his.’ – This is when I start tearing up at work, because that’s professional and adult of me haha. Very apt characterization of Dobby, really all around except for the Molly scene. Though I don’t think James and lily get all the face time I expected, and I understand that’s not the focus with your story, so it’s cool.

‘He’s never mislead us before’ – He hasn’t? lol Remus, you naïve, adorable being. Very true to his character and I like that Sirius’ old biases crop up here with houseelves. Side note, no Tonks? I don’t like her very much as a character to be honest, so doesn’t bother me, but still thought I would bring it up. It would be interesting if she didn’t make it, or if they knew someone that didn’t make it and yeah :)

How does Dumbledore know all this stuff? He hasn’t even been dead as long as James or Lily….just saying.


What is this test?? You’re really building up the tension nicely with this scene and hinting at all these things that are about to happen. I enjoy your version of the afterlife a lot. I’ve read four other afterlife stories on HPFF (to plug a few in case you haven’t, because they are great: forsakenphoenix, ToujoursPadfoot, marinahill (she writes two actually), and wow I’m stumped on the fourth and feel after about it!)…but yeah my point here is your afterlife stands out from what I’ve read and seems just as interesting. I’ve also read the 5 People You Meet in Heaven, so let’s just say I’m fascinated by this topic and the interpretations and endless possibilities. I think you’ve laid a great foundation to your story in the prologue and first chapter. I am intrigued and look forward to what happens next! Your characterizations are so well done and I think you’ve got good stuff brewing, keep it up!


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Review #9, by notreallyblonde44The Next Great Adventure: Prologue: An Old Friend

28th October 2015:
Hi TreacleTart! Here for your requested review! Already I’m drawn in by the banner and the concept. I think Dobby and Harry’s friendship is so sweet (and like who didn’t bawl their eyes out when Dobby died!!) and I’m excited to see where you’re taking this new plunny of yours :)

Harry’s 103? Is that young or old in magical time? This is me asking a legit question about age in the magical world and not a critique on your story at all lol. Though this has nothing to do with your story, wouldn’t it be interesting if purebloods lived longer because of their blood etc etc?

To your actual story opening, I’ve got chills and all the feels~~~ But the good kind! You set the tone raelly well and captured Harry’s perspective on death in a canon way, like his characterization is strong in this prologue. I find him to be the hardest character to write as we see the ins and outs of him, but only JK knows him best and what he’ll do. Kudos to you for tackling this hard characterization and treating it well. I hope this continues (as I’m sure I’ll see in the next chapter). Also, love the subtle Beedle and Bard reference and ties to the last chapters of DH, its great! It’s nice to know that the Potter clan continues and it’s all very sweet. You handed the death and aging process well, and it’s funny, I wonder if that feelings of “knowing” is what happened to some people. What an interesting take on humanity is such a short amount of time. There’s not much else to comment on, so onto the next chapter!


Author's Response: Hey Ellie!

Thank you so much for dropping by!

I was actually a bit nervous to try and write such a long story with Dobby as an MC only because his speech gets pretty repetitive.

I was always under the impression that magic folk lived to be significantly longer than muggles, so I see 103 as sort of a respectable age. That is an interesting thought about Purebloods.

Ahhh. That's a huge relief. Harry is one of my favorite characters to write, but at the same time, it's always a bit nerve wrecking because everyone knows him so well.

I had to throw in the Beedle and Bard reference. There was no way after Harry had almost died twice that he couldn't see death as an old friend.

I appreciate your thoughts on how I handled the death. Since I've never died myself, I was a bit worried about trying to make it realistic. :D

Thanks for such a great review!


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Review #10, by notreallyblonde44Killian Earhart Vs The Weasleys: Killian Earhart Vs Fred Weasley

28th October 2015:
A lot of awkward Hugo in this, wow is he like his dad haha. It’s cute. I feel like I haven’t seen any of Rose or Roxanne yet…hope they make a showing later (unless Rox has graduated already?). Anywho you do a great job here with the duel, and with Hugo’s perception of how Killian wins. Hopefully he can defeat him! But I’m also torn like Hugo – we like Killian, but we want to prove the Weasley family name right?? So funny that the whole school is invested in this. What is Molly and Killian breakup for normal reasons, what a sad thought…sorry I’m a downer :/ Definitely one of the best dueling scenes I’ve read, the right amount of action and telling the audience where and how things are happening. Good pacing.

Onto the next chapter!
xoxo, Ellie

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Review #11, by notreallyblonde44Killian Earhart Vs The Weasleys: Killian Earhart Vs Lucy Weasley

28th October 2015:
Haha the challenge is great! I like how you build the tension and really set the stage for the chowdown! Thru Hugo’s POV you really capture the scene well and show his inner conflict to. Great balance here, I forgot he was only a second year. His nervousness and lack of confidence is great – a real contrast to Lucy in this instance and his cousins in general. Yet again Killian has showed how adorbs he is and Molly is getting more screen time. I like it, shows she’s not going to play nice with this intrusion into her personal life! I really don’t have any CC, I didn’t notice any errors or anything crazy that stood you’re your tone and pacing match from other chapters and I’m jealous of your ability to write consistently like this, because I can’t :P

Onto the next chapter!
xoxo, Ellie

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Review #12, by notreallyblonde44Killian Earhart Vs The Weasleys: Killian Earhart Vs Albus (Weasley) Potter

28th October 2015:
Hello again! A few days apart, but I am reading your whole story (even if it takes me until I start NaNo haha). Love the Scott Pilgrim reference right away “prepare to die’ mwhaha-love it still! I was curious how you were going to tackle the next chapters, if they would still be in Hugo’s POV or each cousins’….

“girls lessons” – oh wow. Nu uh, I protest lol. Sexist indeed. Unless it was just targeted information for women, that’s fine, but household chores, everyone better learn those!

“Cheri-hoots” – clever!

I like Eliana’s character as some semblance of the ‘voice of reason’ – I would be mad at my cousins/family too for pulling this! But it seems like Killian is a good guy and taking it all in stride, adore him! And your Molly, who’s very feisty and the Gryf Quidditch coach-that’s awesome! Very different portrayal of Molly that I like a lot :)

In these short scenes you tell us so much background about the family and their dynamics, it’s really cool. They seem like a tight knit group and you show us their history and antics well. Your dialogue is really smooth, sometimes I bit too much telling instead of the action happening, but you balance action scenes really well too. And based on your author’s note, if English isn’t your first language, you’ve written better than writers with this as their first language, kudos to you :)

Onto the next chapter!

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Review #13, by notreallyblonde44When the Wind Blows...: Cradle and all

27th October 2015:
Happy Hot Seat Again!

‘The bundle in her arms wriggled’ - I’m confused :/ Narcissa’s arms or the women in the nurseries?
‘Her face filled with a manic expression” – Again, who’s? When juggling characters make sure you’ve got your modifiers going back to the right person. In both instances you referred to one female then switched to the other without a name, so the back and forth ‘hers’ get confusing. This is easily fixed by using Narcissa’s name more.

Ahhh poor Narcissa, I wish she would have been told that the man’s reproductive organs select the sex of the baby! What a dilemma she’s in, and it’s awful that she can’t want a girl. BO! But yes, she’s very desperate and given what we know of these maniacal purebloods, I can totally see Narcissa doing this crazy desperate thing and being like “oh, yeah, this is a great idea to make my life easier and husband happy” - nuts, but totally believable.

‘to a local farmer and his wife who she had gone to school with.’ Primary school? What school did she consort with muggle farmers at? Seems strange given her lineage. Or are they not muggles? Like what if the baby she swapped wasn’t magical – yikes, what a situation! Oh plot twist, Abbot baby. Goodness. This story may need to go into full novel mode, like switched at birth on purpose dealings and like wah wah Hannah Abbot is actually a Malfoy that later marries Neville and yada yada the plunny potential!

Another great one-shot. I think I like this one better because it was creepy and really different from anything I’ve read on the archives before. I think you’ve really got something here and I like the darkness of the tone and how you flipped the script on the Malfoy narrative, kudos!

xx Ellie

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Review #14, by notreallyblonde44Only Yesterday: Only Yesterday

27th October 2015:
Happy Hot Seat!

Love stories about Ron and his feelings~~ He’s one of my favorite characters and looks like he’s going to deal with all the adorable daddy feels, I’m in an emotional place so I may just start crying before I even read considering the warm feels coming. Guess Ron’s upgraded from range of a teaspoon to a giant jug of emotion haha

‘9 and ¾’ – no ‘and’ needed ;)

The memories and flashbacks were really cute and showed Ron and Rose’s relationship well. I liked this focus on the piece, even though the main scene is her wedding day. It’s really sweet and emotional one-shot and full of love and happiness.

I think a few paragraphs don’t need to be italicized as they aren’t occurring in the moment, but are rather just Ron’s reflections on the moments themselves. The ones I’m thinking of start and end with:
1. “When Hermione arrived home….ideas.”
2. “His daughter had been sorted into….Slytherin’s”
Also, one of the memories seemed to be more Rose’s POV-centric as she talks about things that happened in the carriage and her feelings. But it’s Ron’s memory, so he wouldn’t know these things. Hopefully when you read it over you can see what I mean here :) Otherwise, they were great!

Yup, all the warm feels like I expected. I’m glad you took on this challenge and I think you did a great job writing after a long hiatus (at least it didn’t seem awkward or forced or anything to me). You write very naturally, with good pacing and setting the tone just right :) Continue to just write it!!

xx Ellie

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Review #15, by notreallyblonde44Killian Earhart Vs The Weasleys: Chapter 1 : The Opponent

23rd October 2015:
Akussa! You have managed to combine two of my favorite things! I saw the title and was like OMG Scott Pilgrim…but is it? Is it? And it is! So stoked to start reading and reviewing, sounds like it’s going to be hilarious.

Overall, solid way to set the stage. Pretty funny and light heartened intro, I also feel bad for Killian. I can’t see what unfolds and how you go about each “confrontation” – all duels or attacks or Quidditch racing or? Endless possibilities. Teddy is very focused on this mission to test the bloke, wonder how Molly will feel about this and what will happen. I have to admit I’m happy this centers around different characters like Hugo and Molly, it’s refreshing to read about them! You balance all the characters and personalities in the room well, though there were some moments I pointed out below that seemed to be missing or unclear, but they are quick fixes.

Some things I noticed while reading:
‘Six o’clock. My stomach has begun digesting itself.[3]’ – what does this 3 mean?

‘is indeed filled with only her masculine cousins.’ – nit-picky but masculine and male are not the same. One if sex, the other is gender ;)

‘Not scared or dreading but urious.’ – missing the c

‘“She got in the way of a trail of dungbombs; you can imagine the rest,” James winks.’ – Who is she? The exchange leading up to this doesn’t make a lot of sense. I think you’re implying that they stopped Fred’s date, but it’s not easily infeed based on what’s on the page.

‘James asks, surprised as he only just notices his younger feminine cousin’s presence.’ – Again feminine and female ;)

‘“It’s for the best,” I tell her, promptly ignoring her questions.’ – she didn’t ask any questions? So what’s for the best? Very fuzzy exchange here.

Hugo seems pretty daft for a Ravenclaw lol, I wonder when his brainy-ness will kick in. HAHA your comment about Albus’ frown was great.

Onto the next chapter!

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Review #16, by notreallyblonde44Once Upon The Marauders: The Untold Story: Signed, Sealed and Delivered.

20th October 2015:
Hey princesslily! Most canon Marauders eh? Sounds interesting, and these are two of my three favoriate things when it comes to HPFF, so can’t wait to give it a read :)

Awww love this opening interaction between Lily and Severus. I adore their friendship, even though it turns sour as one of those awful candies, and now I want Tuna (because of Tuney)?? Strange o.O Is this Matthew Hopkins thing canon? If yes, fine. If not, I suggest changing his name to something befitting of 1640s England…Outside of that, you’re setting the state well in this scene about the difference in beliefs and pending war already.

Oh man, now a Sirius and Regulus scene, followed by a heartfelt Lupin family scene. Wow all the change that’s going to happen (that the reader knows happens) adds a layer of sadness and contrast to these scenes. I’m surprised you didn’t have a James scene since he was mentioned first in your summary. But it’s still very warm-warming and wrenching at the same time, since we know everyone’s fate already. I’m excited to see how you plan to get us from this time to the end (I just watched Deathly Hallows too, so it’s all fresh and sad in my mind :P).

In the Lupin family scene, I would suggest not linking directly the Pottermore website. 1. I don’t think you can link within stories like this. 2. This breaks the flow of your writing with this random link. I suggest eliminating it entirely. If people question this, then you can tell them it’s from Pottermore, or you can have an author’s note that the bottom of the page saying this scene comes from Pottermore.

Overall your writing was straightforward, easy to follow, and enjoyable to read! The dialogue felt natural and flowed really well. And I think you set up a promising premise as looks like you’re going to take us a long journey if you’re starting here – though I assume you will hop to their 7th year or maybe even 5th in the next chapter. There’s not much to comment on as far as canon-ness and characterization go as you only have one chapter here, so feel free to request again when you have more up!

Oh and catchy title and chapter title - I hope you get more reads and reviews soon to the promising start :)


Author's Response: Hey Ellie, Thank's for hopping over and reviewing!

I'll remove that link and put in as an author's note.

Also, I'm planning to have just two or three chapters that show snippets from their first 4 years and fast forward to their 5th cos that's where all the action begins.

And Matthew Hopkins is canon :) I got him off of the internet when I researched witch burning in England. I thought there must be more to this blood purity than just plain bigotry and prejudice. All prejudices have some origin that go wayyy back, even if we can't understand it. I wanted to bring that out.

Thank you for such a wonderful review. I will update and request again :)

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Review #17, by notreallyblonde44The Gifts: Harry: The Gifts: Harry

20th October 2015:
Hey rosehedwig243! I see this is your first fanfic, yay! Welcome to the forums and archives and HPFF love! Let me know if you ever have a question or need something, I’m a PM away ;)

Oh Weasley Manor – they really went up in the economic world!

Aww what a sweet story, Harry got all emotional~~ What a good idea, poor Harry. He lost everyone, including his first magical friend. I’m glad the family (and you as author) came up with giving him a new owl. The warm happy feels :)

A few minor things:
Summary: ‘20 years after the final battle, It's the Golden Trio's birthdays and each receive a special gift. This is Harry's.’ –its not It’s

14 Galleons and 5 Sickles please”. – the period goes inside the quotation marks

Which Molly? Her grandma or her cousin? They call her Ma – so I assume grandmum, but that wasn’t too clear.

I don’t have much CC as this is your first fic and it’s too short to say much about. I suggest adding more spacing between dialogue so it can be read easier, but really it was adorable and you had some cool turn of phrases in here like “Greetings were made” and “resplendent” – enjoy fanfic life!


Author's Response: In regards to the manor, I have this headcanon that during Ron's time as an Auror, he and his team made a big bust, resulting in a large raise, meaning that they could buy the manor.

It is the Weasley matriarch in question.

Thanks for the concrit,

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Review #18, by notreallyblonde44Valour : The Miscommunication in the Many

15th October 2015:
I suggest consistency between how you date things – some have days like Wednesday or Monday (are those important?) others just have months like December, then others are strictly Christmas Eve. OK, I’m mid-way through the chapter, and I see why you’re specifying dates now, but I still think consistency is key ;)

‘“-the Head of the Department of Mysteries”, Alice added.’ – comma inside the quotation mark

‘Lily couldn’t help but wonder not if they deserved to know, but if they wanted to.’ – This is a great line! You’re doing a great job with the plot and flow of your story. Kudus to you for like posting upwards of 20 chapters (though I know I haven’t gotten that far to know if they’re good yet, but I’m optimistic that they are!) and like really showing a mastery for details in the plot and building all the needed nuances of life in the Order. The espionage, the intrigue, the HUMANITY in it, everything.

‘least five original members’ – who? The devil is in the details ;)

Weaving chart??

Ohh the plot thickens! I’m curious (aka really terrified) to see what happens. Again, I think you could work on beefing sections up and expanding them, diving in deeper to the descriptions a bit more here and there to ground the reader before flipping to another section. But that’s just me, let me know if you want more reviews, I’m probably going to just start reading for funsies now :)

xo Ellie

Author's Response: Okay, I understand the confusion here too. Sometimes it's important to date them (like in this chapter). Other days it's not really necessary to know the dates, but I think I will edit that in for every chapter, because I think it adds a sense of specificity that will help readers.

I love this era/time period SO MUCH. It intrigues me, so I think that's why it comes across in the writing. Thank you endlessly, that was so sweet.

I think you're completely right about everything. I have trouble fitting in descriptions from the third POV. Darn my affinity for first POV!! I will try and work on that.

(Also if you read this, you can just make a reaction review at the last chapter if you get that far!!)

Thanks so much for everything! Incredibly helpful.


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Review #19, by notreallyblonde44Valour : The Alarm in the Actuality

15th October 2015:
Looks like another chapter that takes place in a different time but is the whole chapter. If you do the hop around thing, I think this method makes the most sense. Showing us different days from different times, but keeping them in one or two chapters before switching time periods again works really well!!! Maybe you can tag each individual chapter with the date too that might be a good idea (I’m just spit balling here) like where you put the quote, put the quote and the date. Helps people keep track of your timetable maybe? Like I can’t remember from the last chapter what the years were (I’m very comfortable stating that I absolutely stick at memorizing years so maybe this is just me, but it’s a thought).

‘Lily’s hair whipped around her neck as if it was a scarf of fire.’ – cool description here!

Wait, Mary’s there? She joined? She still hangs out with them and would be invited to Christmas? What?

‘“Sure you’re okay, M?” She smiled weakly up at Remus,’ – this is another example of where the dialogue tags get fuzzy. One M could be Marlene or Mary in this case, and it’s unclear who’s asking it because “she” refers to any girl in the room. Make sure your modifiers are clear ;)

Oh the glorious love square tension. And Marlene, no! Looks like the riffs are forming between Sirius and Remus, which is how the whole Peter debacle happens later with being a secret keeper. Awesome work weaving this in. I think your love situation works well and is very realistic btw.

Remus broke and entered something?? So against his mild mannered Prefecty ways, yikes!!

Peter, I may hate you now. More than I already did. Is no one going to seriously respond to what he said?? RED FLAGS PPL RED FLAGS A BURNING. He’s guilty!

Capitalize Healer/s and Auror.

I feel like I’m missing at lot here at the end of this chapter. Samantha was a friend? Missing details there. Is she the Healer? It’s implied, but not clear. And why does Lily know what this is? Out of nowhere she has the answer to what happened, but didn’t’ say anything until she sees Marlene? Wouldn’t she have said it earlier when they’re all pacing? And if Lily knows then she understands the legal dosage too right? Seems a bit off.

“It’s a commonly used date-rape drug in the Wizarding World. Not lethal in small doses, but leaves patients in a comatose state.” Lily looked up strangely at Samantha. “She’ll come out of it, right?”’ – who is talking in each of these instances?

Aww Remus. I just want to squish him, he’s so darling for sticking by her side and ~gushes~ the lurve.

Interesting, very interesting tension you’re building. I’m starting to really worry for the characters, which is awesome. That means you’re connecting the audience to what’s happening emotionally, and that’s how you drag readers in :)

Onto the next chapter, sorry if these reviewers aren’t as thorough or anything like that, there isn’t too much to say just yet, which is a great thing!

xx Ellie

Author's Response: Oh that IS a good idea to tag the chapters with dates! And I mostly stick to showing flashbacks and forwards only when absolutely necessary in the future.

Mary is still friends with everyone, and you will kind of see why she does in a bit, I think. Marlene is a big part of that.

Poor, poor Marlene. Everything seems to happen to her. I feel so bad because I love Sirius and Remus, but they are at odds a lot in this :(.

Peter is so obvious, and everyone else is so oblivious.

I mentioned this in the second chapter, but Samantha was a friend of Mary's in Hogwarts. You will also see in the future that Dorcas is a Healer (spoilers??) and she knows Samantha as well. Lily just knows this because she's Lily, although it may make more sense to have Dorcas say this. I'm not sure exactly how much Lily knows, but these are good points. Thanks!

Lily is speaking in both sentences, but I see how you're confused. I'll edit that to make it a bit cleaner.

Remus is such a little optimistic kid. He's my favorite.

Thanks so much! And your reviews are not lacking AT ALL. It makes me all the more confident.


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Review #20, by notreallyblonde44Valour : The Pain in the Heart

15th October 2015:
Gah! A snog to save their lives scene! Love it. The tension~between Sirius and Marlene~adore it. Like I wrote last time, you really have a sense of character and history and that comes across really well in your dialogue. So I enjoy reading your take on this era a lot.

A few minor things: I believe Apparate is capitalized as most of the things JK made up our capitalized (idk why this is a thing, like I said it’s minor) and what is the baton-wielding thing doing? I may need to re-read HP, but were patrolmen Ministry officials a thing? Why would they need batons if they are wizards? :/

Ahhh! And you explained the ministry official part kind of. No badge, crepy. Wonder what we wanted with Marlene? And I think they need real disguises, Polyjuice or transfigured something or yeah. Why is this not a thing? The Order may be new, but espionage isn’t. Goodness, cheap wigs aren’t going to cut it lol.

Er-the states like US or ?? I’m an American, so I don’t know the local lingo, is this local lingo? Also, did you make up the recorded Apparation thing? is that a thing? Real clever stuff. Orwellian creepy levels though.

Like I’ve mentioned a few times, your dialogue flows naturally and has a good rhythm to it. I would just watch out, especially with this many characters in the room, on how you’re tagging the dialogue. Example: ‘"Will one of you get me up?" Dorcas nodded immediately.’ I get Lily is saying it, but having Dorcas’ name next to it implies otherwise. Every time someone else is speaking, doing an action like shrugging, etc, they need to have their own line/enter a paragraph break. It’s an easier way for the eye not to get confused. Obviously this rule is loose in the sense that if you wrote: ‘"Will one of you get me up?" Lily asked, and Dorcas nodded immediately.’ There wouldn’t be an issue. Just something small to keep in mind as you go through this since who is speaking or responding gets confusing with incorrect dialogue tags :)

Lily’s mom died? Why is this mentioned in passing rather than fleshed out, seems like a big deal :/ OK I guess you go into it a bit, but you don’t tell us what happened or why. Poor Lily. James kind of lashed out at her though, why was she laughing? I'm confused. I could use a bit more detail here, a bit more back and forth to understand how their relationship works like this.

Overall good chapter! We’re learning a lot about the characters and they’re getting their due screen time. I still think it’s strange that all the girls know about Remus’ condition, but w/e it works in your story for sure. Again, I emphasize stretching out these sections, really diving into their feelings and such. Right now you’re adding layers of tension and emotion, but their just bubbling on the surface and need to come to life a bit more. I imagine a lot of craziness is coming down the way, so I'm excited for that. Oh, and no time flipping in this one, which I enjoyed a lot.

Onto the next!

Author's Response: Hi there! Thank you for getting to these so quickly. You are a novel-saver!

Of course I had to do it. I love me some tension in dangerous situations. And thank you so much. Marlene and Sirius will be very interesting throughout the story. You will probably come to hate him/her more.

Ah, I have to fix that throughout the entire novel...Should've checked that before I wrote the whole thing! Also, I'm American as well, but I've heard that British people call the USA the states?? I thought I would wrap that in. And yes I made up the recorded apparition. Love my Orwell!

I do that a lot to mix up the syntax. I completely understand what you're saying, and will edit that in the future.

I will definitely re-write that whole section. When writing it, I don't think I gave that enough weight.

To me, everyone but Mary knows. The other seven were good friends throughout Hogwarts. And thanks again for your lovely review!


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Review #21, by notreallyblonde44Marry Me: I Knew I Loved you Before I Met you

15th October 2015:
Hi hi! Back again for some Oct pit exchange reviewing action :)

Oh your chapter title name is one of my mom’s favorite songs!! *cough onto something more substantial :P

Ahh the ickle firsties. I love thinking about the Marauders as little confused bratty bumbling babies. Though age 11 isn’t a baby actually, still. Love “Godric’s Hollow Primary School” – such a creative idea. And totally makes sense, like who’s watching these baby wizards and witches and helping them until they are 11? What do they do for 11 years before Hogwarts?? I’m glad you thought about this too and came up with a cool solution.

Er-an 11 year old boy is fixated on marriage? I feel very out of touch with my 11 year old self, let alone a boy of 11 years old. Not sure if I’m buying this, but for the sake of the plot, I’ll accept James is obsessed with marriage, but what does that even mean: what does he think marriage entails? How does Lily fit into being his wife, because she’s a pretty redhead that looks terrified? O.O Equal parts endearing and creepy on his part.

Some of the language isn’t like 11 year olds either. Like “In the flesh” and “What do you say to you and James…” in these lines Sirius sounded 15 easily and too witty for an 11 year old to me.

Er-would James know Severus? The magical community is small, and I believe Snape’s mom hid his heritage from them, so I don’t think they would have lived anywhere near a magical community like James’ family would :/

EP. Love baby no Peter? You bye felicia’d him hahaa. Idk why, but I thought this was a one-shot when I read it, so I think it will be interesting to see where you go from here :) I think the pace was natural and your characterizations were pretty solid, but this is an opening chapter so I’m excited how you portray the Marauders over time and how you see James and Lily getting together.

Jily is a Class A ship, so rock it girl!

xx Ellie

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Review #22, by notreallyblonde44Astoria: Astoria

13th October 2015:
Hello Celestie! Thanks for requesting! I love all your writing, so I can’t see how I’ll be of any help, but I’m happy to toss out my two sickles when I feel inclined :)

‘That evening, the sky outside our window’ – not sure if you need a comma here.

‘Living in that house felt like lying beside a dead body.’ – o.O creepy. Very telling of their home life and how dead/stagnant it’s become. You drop lovely bits of description here and there that really show the readers what’s going on. Which holds the right amount of tension.

Astoria has a unique perspective. She notices things most wouldn’t – like waves in Draco’s robes marking him as an island, etc. You do a great job blending normal and creative imagery, which presents a contrast between the everyday items like kettle and cloaks to what’s going on in Astoria’s head. And her brown boxy wardrobe choice seems bland and odd...wonder what this hints at.

I also wonder where Pansy went, and has Astoria really never met her? I feel like they would know of each other in passing at events of house parties or through Daphne. It seems strange that would’ve never met before. Maybe not under these circumstances, but still. I wonder what Draco’s said about Pansy –since if Astoria never met her before, why does she seem so weighted? Someone had to clue her in that there was a thing in the past then, right?

I don’t get the comments about “should” – why is there never should?

Astoria is an odd thing, why is she doing this? I feel like I’m watching an extended (incoming: random reference) scene from the Notebook where Noah’s other woman meets Ali and they decide to try and be friends when it’s the worst idea ever. Like. Bad idea Astoria lol. No wonder she didn’t tell Draco, it would likely be viewed as disobeying him. I’m confused about the last sentences of her interaction with Daphne. Why would she fault her for what she’s saying? She doesn’t want Draco to be seen as hers or?

‘clothes on that she had lost weight in.’ – like they were baggy or so old? Unclear about what this means here.

‘by feeding her comfortable lies that tasted good but did not digest well´- love this line! Another one of those fabulous descriptions of yours.

It’s not until Pansy comes into the scene that we (and she) fully understands the dynamics of this new marriage, the past, the present, but still with an unclear future. Sounds like Pansy went through an emotional breakdown, and Astoria is going through one too and didn’t know who to turn to until Pansy came back. And they found solace in each other. Which I’m happy about. I’m sitting here rooting and empathetic for Pansy in a way I never anticipated. I expected her to be all other womany, but I was pleasantly surprised when this was not the case. I also enjoyed Pansy calling Astoria out-because it really did seem like she was rubbing her marriage in.

It’s sad that Astoria is so young, vulnerable, alone, yet closed, and has no idea how to make herself, or her husband/Draco, happy and is leaning on Pansy to fill that void. And though I never thought Draco loved Pansy, or felt fulfilled in her presence, you created a fresh characterization and plot. I’ve never given Draco’s marriage to Astoria much thought, but there seems to be oodles to do with these three.

The one thing I'm not buying their emotional display in public. I guess the cafe was remote and empty (like no one even came to ask if they wanted anything), but the two women breaking down in a corner upon meeting seemed a bit of a stretch to me. I logically get that they could break down, but I’m not as bought into the emotion as I should be if that makes sense. These characters are so reserved and while they were going through their own PSTD situations, and I think they would totally cry in general, the setting and timing doesn’t work for me. And the ray of light at the end was almost a little too perfect of an image. So I’m glad Astoria “thinks” the sun came out rather than it was, as it shows a change in her mindset and hope, rather than a real concrete YES all is better the end moment. So I like the idea and distinction there, but not sold on the café setting.

Overall, I enjoyed your take on these three. These women have been through a lot and your description and pace did their story justice :) There were a few minor things that tripped me up, but maybe another reviewer can offer another perspective and it’s just me being confused haha. There's a lot of depth to your prose, and I enjoyed this, thanks!

xx Ellie

Author's Response: Hello! Apologies for the late response :( I've had homework and an extra long work week, so no time off at all to do anything but perhaps mope.

Astoria is certainly in her own head a lot, which makes her observational. To clarify, Astoria and Pansy both know about each other, especially Astoria. It's unavoidable when you share a whole circle of mutual friends, I feel. Plus, that whole circle prefers Pansy to Astoria, and it's slightly Astoria's insecurity that Draco may as well. It's the fear a woman would have that her husband still prefers his first love.

The should comments are just alluding to how they feel about obligations. Draco feels that there are few obligations that feel like 'shoulds' like 'I should do this'. Astoria disagrees, which is a hint regarding her past and her mindset.

With regards to her comment about not faulting Daphne, she's saying that she doesn't blame Daphne for being so wildly off the mark. Astoria is actually in pieces about a very serious matter and Daphne, not knowing any better, reduces it to some catty girl fight about a guy. But Astoria recognizes that Daphne doesn't have any context to know better, and knows her sister means well; hence her comments on why she doesn't blame Daphne. And with regards to the clothes, it's a reference to the clothes being both old and baggy! They don't fit her anymore and it's a hint to a time of unhappiness in Pansy's life -- she's lost weight, but hasn't bought clothes that fit her.

You're right, Pansy did have an emotional breakdown, which is partly why Astoria seeks her out. She feels she's going through one as well, and hopes Pansy can help her. The story was meant to be a little deceptively other womany, since I think that's how a lot of readers feel about Astoria and Pansy together, but I tried to subvert that a bit!

I'm not sure Draco loved Pansy either, but Astoria thinks he did, which is more the point, I feel. It's also a bit of a reflection on how dead their marriage is, that she thinks he attributes more genuine emotion to a young school fling than to his wife.

I actually do agree with you with regards to the cafe setting and it was something I spent forever debating. The thing is, I worry that if it was in a more private setting, Pansy would've refused to show up. It was a cafe, which was like open and public, but also fairly abandoned. I've (sadly) cried in public, but I've certainly seen others do so, so I tried to reason it out like that. I do think it was a first time confession, which is often emotional, and sometimes things do burst out. I will strongly consider going back and rewriting this scene however, as I remain dissatisfied with it, and will consider a change in setting with some of your comments in mind. :)

Thank you so much for your comments! They made me reconsider quite a bit and think about why I wrote what I did. I apologize once again for the lateness of this response.

Thank you,

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Review #23, by notreallyblonde44Children of Stardust: Children of Stardust

12th October 2015:
Hiya Shadowkat! Here to review your one-shot as requested!

Ohh a Luna story, I don’t read much of her as she’s one the hardest canon characters to write properly, so I feel that most writers avoid having her be the focal character. Based on your summary alone you seem to give a darker portrayal of Luna. I definitely see her point, the point her mother shared with her, about the logic behind sadness. I guess my interpretation of Luna differs, so I’m curious where you’ll go with this. I see her as one of those people that really understand the depth of every emotion in ways most cannot feel, Luna does. Example: how she always was there for Harry emotionally when his friends didn’t make her feel better about having feelings….and I’ll get off my soap box haha.

The title is perfect and clever too! You really dive effortlessly into this theory. I like how you explore the possibility of afterlife. The stars/stardust theory I have heard before, but the darkness –the void between- is new and really a beautiful contrast in imagery.

Your writing put me in such a nice, calm place. Luna seems to have that effect on people, so I do think you did her justice. I was wrong above on my soapbox up there^. Your Luna explores this emotion fully. She doesn’t just off sadness, but she feels it and accepts it and lets it become a part of her rather than something that controls or hurts her. I like this, and understand it and I think that Luna is a much more mature spirit than her peers gave her credits for (I’m talking about the ones that called her Loony, not her friends).

The only minor thing I noticed is that you may want to capitalize Great Hall.

Overall, it’s a really short, sweet, and nice one-shot with great writing, imagery, and exploration of feelings and the afterlife. It had a lot of depth to it and I really don’t have any CC, which is rare for me, sooo great stuff :)


Author's Response: Thanks Ellie! I'm so glad you liked it, and I agree that she's hard to get right for a lot of people. I think one thing that makes it easier for me is that I used to be a lot like her when I was younger, a mix between her and a mini Hermione. You would think that wouldn't work, but someone it did. Or maybe it didn't where others were concerned. I don't know. XD

Thanks again for stopping by with this!

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Review #24, by notreallyblonde44Valour : The Chaos in the Order

12th October 2015:
My review was starting to get so long, so I had to break it in two o.O

So there’s a lot of time hopping in your story, which really breaks up the flow for me. I can hardly keep track of when and where things are happening. I know three years is a long time to cover, and some moments need to be shown to create tension/deeper understanding, but you’ve flipped spots in time eight times in three chapters. That’s a lot of mental hopping around-and that may give some readers confusion over the timeline. I get the story and plot and all, but all the dates take me out of the individual moments as just as I’m getting settled in one time and space, I’m being thrust into another very quickly.

Hopefully the timeline becomes more streamlined as the story progresses, otherwise I fear that a lot of the tension and things you build up won’t have the impact you want. Meaning that your readers will know certain things are going to happen before they do, so when they happen, there’s not as much shock value or feelings when characters are getting tortured, etc, later.

I really think you have a great concept and ideas brewing here, I just think how they’re coming across needs to be deepened :) My suggestion would to be beef up the sections that you do have. Really dig into each character’s mind, or show fewer characters in one scene, so you can give them their due lime light. BUT we are finally seeing the character shine through a bit more here. Sirius seems like an arrogant Mature-level bad word, so I’m happy Moody put him in his place though I’m sad about Emmeline :( Oh and a small canon deviation, Emmeline doesn’t die until 1996. Clearly doesn’t matter now, but thought I would mention it :)

Oh, yikes! James didn’t do his job? I feel like that should be more of a moment here. More accountability, a line of questioning about how this happened, anything? Like I wrote above, digging deeper in each scene may really help build up your story-giving the dimension and layers it needs.

‘Lily looked up at him, hoping that her old friend would come back for a second to understand. After both Peter and James' mothers passed, he'd never been the same.’ – I’m sorry, I don’t understand :/ Sirius was her old friend, since when? It seemed like a connection she would have only made through James. Do you think they developed a strong relationship in a year’s time when he’s dating two other people (from the sounds of it)…I would need to see more here to believe it. Also, Sirius is acting like a deranged brat because his friends’ parents died? Hmm, not sure I buy into this sadly. So something is clear up with Sirius, but I have no idea what it is. I’m curious about it as it’s such a dark version of him!

Oh Mary’s a Muggleborn, yes she probably should join the Order. I wonder who confronted her before she graduated??

As I reached the end of this chapter, like I’ve said before, I think you’ve got a really good plot and grasp on war and the emotions and tensions that happen in it. I think that you should explore each scene deeper, really showing the characters reactions and emotions a bit more. So far the character that comes across the most clear is Mary. She’s the only one with multiple individual scenes in which I feel like I know her best. If Valour is about all eight, then you need to give them their due justice because right now Mary is the focus to me. And maybe that’s your point, and that’s 100 percent fine, but I figure I would let you know this is the case ;)

Your writing is good overall. You’ve got a good level of description and dialogue, just enough to show the readers where your characters are their interactions. You pick up with action and horror early on, creating a solid tone and basis for the rest of your novel. I really think this story was a strong backbone and can go places; it’s got the intrigue and character history and depth. I look forward to reading more, so re-request if you would like!


Author's Response: I'm a little nervous about my first couple chapters, I won't lie. I am very partial to my later writing, probably starting around chapter 9. I need to edit these, but it's so hard to get around to it!

The characters definitely start to come out as real, actual people in this chapter. And, about Emmeline, just wait.

I do need to re-do this scene. It is important, because it comes back in a chapter I wrote just recently. I will note that.

Sirius is a very difficult character to write for me. I hate him in this story, honestly. He is a whiny, little brat who can't get over himself. I always thought that I would love Sirius in Hogwarts, hate him in the first Order, and then love him again after. Also, the point of this chapter is to show the juxtaposition between pre-war and war era. They're all very much carefree in the end of chapter two, and then they are all but that in the second part. I'm sorry that's not working well!

Mary was not confronted before she graduated. I see what you mean about the time changes. She's actually confronted in 1979, about a year from their graduation. The timeline is very important, and I understand how it's difficult to follow.

This chapter focuses more on Mary, but then she will be gone for a bit. That's how the story rotates, going from one/two people to the next. I periodically have chapters that work in trios where the whole group comes together again, and then it breaks up again.

Thanks so much for your reviews again! I can go and edit these chapters tonight, and I will do my best to bring them up to par.


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Review #25, by notreallyblonde44Valour : The Beginning in the End

12th October 2015:
Hey blackballet! Here for your requested review. I see what you mean with being good for the first few chapters, which you have plenty of reviews on. So I’m skipping I’ll give my thought to one and two in one review. Then review your third chapter.

As for the banner and summary, I think they really draw readers in. I like the phrase of “newly-graduated revolutionaries” a lot as it is exactly how I picture this Marauders Era group. They’re young, thirsty for justice, but really getting deep into a War that they don’t understand the cost of yet. Basically, this is my favorite era, so I’m excited to see where you go. One minor thing, and it’s nitpicky of me, is that the punctuation is missing from your “Life goes on But so does death” phrasing. Any of these three could work: “Life goes on, but so does death” or “Life goes on. But so does death” or even “Life goes on. So does death.”

Chapter One: You set the stage clearly with each of the characters’ roles and, though the parallelism was sort of redundant (by the time I got to Peter, I didn’t care what his role was) and it seemed like all their lives have completely changed/been ruined/challenged over the three years. Which is exactly what I expect from war, so I’m curious to learn more about their roles and characterizations. I appreciate the background, going back in life to really set the stage. Dumbledore seems tense, and the “kids”-almost adults- don’t seem to know how to handle this tense moment. I’m surprised Sirius didn’t get more “screen time” if you will, as he was mute. And the emotions could have been portrayed a little more. I know it’s difficult to juggle that many people in the room, but some more expression would have helped show the reader what’s up. Some little facial tics or motions would have been helpful. Otherwise it’s a great setting the stage chapter!

Chapter Two: Oh and Sirius is talking, and with Dorcas! Ohh interesting. Poor Mary, so confused. If she doesn’t know what it is, you would think someone of authority would help her out. Or like why would she accept this invitation when her position/stake in the war isn’t clear. That’s confusing to me. Seems like she should have said no, I don’t Dumbledore would force anyone to join and risk their life without a choice. Also we don’t need to know Lily is a redhead or James is wearing glasses. You’ve described them both three times between the two chapters and they are canon, so everyone knows what they look like. I would focus on describing the semi-canon characters more like Mary, Dorcas, and Marlene ;) I do like Mary’s questioning and confusion in contrast to everyone else who’s just like “yup, sign me up” attitude. It’s refreshing to see someone not be fully committed to the cause. Though why is Mary crying?

Jumping back and forth in time to do two reflection sentences probably isn’t necessary, sorry :/ You could have tacked that on to the end of the first 1978 section if you wanted to keep the meaning there. But I always find hoping around in time or having those “reflection” moments take readers out of what’s happening in that point in time. Like the foreshadowy warning isn’t necessary if we see their sad lives later. The reader will make the connection later ;)

Honestly, you could probably combine the first section of chapter two with chapter one. I think they would flow better that way. Then start up with the reflection pieces (if you want to keep it) then jump to the graduation. Let me know if that doesn’t make sense haha. Oh, does Marlene like Sirius? The awkwardness! Does Marlene know about Remus’ condition, I imagined no one else would know outside his mates?

Overall your prose is straightforward, as it the plot. I don't know much about the characters thus far, so that's something I looking forward to as the plot thickens. Solid skeleton, now I'm looking for the flesh so to speak ;)

xx Ellie

Author's Response: Whoa this is awesome! I'm so happy you got so in depth with the review. It's really helpful.

Okay, so I'm so happy that you like the banner and summary. I think I will go with your third suggestion about editing the summary. It does sound/look better.

I think I may edit out/change that, even though it is very sentimental to me. It's the first thing I've ever written for this story, but I think it needs to change. I think I can edit it down to two or three sentences, which may work easier.

I ALWAYS struggle with first chapters. Without fail. I liked the mystery of the anonymity, but I think it's a little over-played. You're right.

Yes, yes, yes. Dorcas and Sirius are very interesting [strokes beard]. You will see that Mary doesn't exactly completely end up in the Order. You'll see, I promise. She is a Ravenclaw, she'll do the smartest thing. That is a good point. I think I'll re-work that. I don't know why I was so focused on James and Lily's appearances!

I also was definitely going to take out that particular flashback. It's not necessary/helpful. Never was.

The reflection piece about torture is important, and I will think about changing up the chapters. The flash forwards will also end up being flashbacks, which are kind of important to the story in the future. They will have to stay in!

Marlene does know. As you'll find in further chapters, Marlene and Remus are very close.

Thanks so much for your lovely review! Can't wait to read the next.


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