Reading Reviews From Member: luvinpadfoot
  
640 Reviews Found

Review #1, by luvinpadfootThis love is ours: This love is ours

17th September 2014:
I thought the fluff was absolutely adorable. It wasn't laid on too thick at all. The whole concept was really sweet and the way you built their relationship through Curie's memories worked well. It didn't seem at all forced or too much. It was just a sweet romance and despite the perfection of the relationship, felt very real.

The flow is pretty good throughout. At the beginning it seemed more time than necessary was spent with her at the office and descriptions of what it was like and how bored she was. There were a couple of paragraphs and though the description and language was all lovely, it could have been trimmed down a bit to get to her relationship with James quicker.

There were a couple of times the tense changed that appeared out of place (not the shift between memory and present). I only noticed it two or three times, but since it's the only clue we have to the time in the story, it's important. I think they were "You shook your head" and "you ask in disbelief." Super nitpicky, but at least it's helpful.

James and Curie had great chemistry in this. You could feel how much they cared about each other and how natural it came. Like when James said she was beautiful, he didn't say it directly to her. He said it to himself while rambling a bit. That was a lovely touch. Their original meet was sweet as well without going over the top. She was giggly and sarcastic, but down to earth at the same time. They were both really well developed characters.

You incorporated the muggle and magical elements into the story really well. The James Bond quote, James fixing the vase, the car, the Prophet, the owl. There were so many elements from both worlds that tied in together very neatly. Usually when there's a muggle dating a wizard, one of the worlds seems to overpower the other in terms of the story, but you had a good balance of the two which seemed to further reflect on the strength of their relationship and how well they fit together.

Your description throughout was so lovely. You have fantastic word choice and imagery in all of this, from the beginning to the end. I'd pick out a specific section, but there were so many because it was just the entire story.

The ending was really cute, the way you tied in the lyrics and the quote from the Taylor Swift song. It flowed really nicely with the tone and having that as the proposal worked really well. Based on what we see of the rest of their relationship, it feels right for them to have this unbelievably romantic proposal. The tone and the fluff was steady throughout.

One thing that did stick out to me at the end was when James said "Your dad's opinion doesn't matter as much as the fact that I love you." I don't think her family was ever mentioned in that regard and it seemed a little out of place to have that added onto his proposal since it wasn't otherwise an aspect within the story. But maybe that's just me being super nitpicky again.

On a whole, this story was lovely and cute and so well-written. You did a fantastic job, especially for this being your first time writing fluff. It was the fluffiest fluff one could imagine and it put a smile on my face throughout. Really, just a wonderful story!

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Review #2, by luvinpadfootThe Wizarding World War: The Eight Families

7th September 2014:
Your societies are so carefully constructed! You've definitely done a lot of research and work for this story and it shows. All the little facts from history, the details about the Salem Witch Trials, emphasize and explain the current society in America and it all makes logical sense. It's really astounding how you tie in all these details and build them up into a whole culture that feels logically sound and stable. I'm honestly curious how much time you spent building these cultures because wow.

I like the little detail of them driving to and from the feast and "showing off your muggle finest." It feels a lot different from the HP society in which the purebloods don't want anything to do with muggle technology. It makes sense that the Americans would be closer to the muggle heritage, at least just based on stereotypes (which is what I thought about the Chinese wizarding culture too). They're all very tied in to what we think of the actual cultures with nonmagical people.

The silly awards were a brilliant touch. I love the idea of all the kids breaking off from the main event to vote on the most bigoted couple, and how it's an honor for the kids of that couple to the extent that they have an acceptance speech and everything. It's really cute and definitely something I could see a group of children doing.

Eloise and Charlie make an interesting pair. They both seem like troublemakers, though Charlie obviously leads the way while Eloise is a touch more refined (I think, so far). I'm intrigued to see where Charlie's character is going, what with her father being the Governor and all. One note on Charlie: I know you described them as "two girls" during Eloise's section and her sections describes her definitively as a girl, but until the POV switched to her, I thought Charlie was a guy. Maybe you could make it a little more explicitly clear at the beginning since Charlie is often assumed to be a masculine name?

Your description of the building was beautiful and I loved how you described the taste and feeling of champagne. You've got wonderful description in all your stories as well as well crafted characters and cultures. I can't wait until the plot kicks in and we get a real look at what this story's about! You've introduced everyone amazingly and now I'm eager to see how they all tie together and what happens! I really want to offer you more helpful critiques, but I don't have any. You've just built up this magnificent story that feels like it's going to be an epic.

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Review #3, by luvinpadfootThe Sorting of Cormac Mclaggen: The Soring of Cormac Mclaggen

7th September 2014:
Hey! Finally got a chance to read your story! (No I'm not procrastinating on anything. Why ever would you ask? ;) ) This is a really interesting take on Cormac! I love Sorting stories and how the Hat interacts with each individual student. I love your twist on the request to be in a different House. We saw that the Hat listened to Harry's request, but Harry had conviction and would have done well in either House. Cormac on the other hand seems very unsure and like he's giving the Hat the opening to put him wherever.

Cormac's personality is fascinating. I love the little details you add about his life at home and the red rage he sees, but how he manages to control it in the Great Hall instead of having a tantrum. He seems like a very canon version of himself with a unique twist. I'd love to see where else you take this character!

You wrote the child narrator very well. He did come across as very childish and immature, though not stupid. He just seemed petty, which he rather seems to in the series as well. So often in stories the eleven year olds and below are written as much more mature than they really should be, but you captured his age and voice beautifully.

"He would find a way to force his mother to give him the stars." I just adore this line. I know he's literally speaking of the star ceiling in the Great Hall, but even more than that it sounds like he's talking about anything and everything he wants. That one line really sums up his character in its entirety and it's phrased so wonderfully. It's a very powerful line.

There were a few typos throughout, but nothing an edit or two wouldn't fix. The paragraphs tended to be a little bulky as well and it might be easier on people's eyes to read if you split them into shorter sections. My professor always says paragraph breaks give readers' eyes a break and you don't want them tired or giving up. Those are my only two critiques, though.

This was a lovely story and I'm glad I had the opportunity to read it! :)

Author's Response: Thank you for the review. I'm glad you liked the story. I wrote a really long response but it got deleted. Your critique was great. You picked out all the parts I like about the story. I'm getting around to the typos. That paragraph thing is smart. I hope you consider reading more of my work.
Gladis Gudgeon


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Review #4, by luvinpadfootThe Wizarding World War: The Gobi Academy

6th September 2014:
This was a really abrupt shift, but I liked it! It's almost like you're hiding this war fic within a generic next gen setting. I'm really looking forward to where you go with the war and it seems (though I could very well be wrong) that it'll have an emphasis on China as well as the others. I don't think there are many stories about wizards in other countries on this site, especially ones not explicitly mentioned in the series and this is such an original concept!

You write the Chinese setting very well. I say that with the disclaimer that I know absolutely nothing about China or Chinese culture, so you could very well be making it all up, but it feels like you've done your research. I like that you've changed things so drastically. There's still the statute of secrecy, but it's much more strict with the Gobi Academy and that (seems to) fit with the different culture. The way you built the differences was lovely and thorough. Instead of just changing a thing here and there, it really feels as though you've constructed this whole different society; the way the parents are obliviated, the different age of the first years, the politics. It shows how much world building you've done. Either that or you're just really good at making things up as you go along. But I'm leaning towards the former.

The Wangs made me giggle a bit. I think we all know that old couple that's just a little too nosy and nitpicky about every tiny regulation for their own good. Even down to the long walks. They're great quirky characters to add, as are all your characters. They all have such distinct personalities, though a lot of this seemed briefer than those in the previous chapter. I'm not yet sure who are going to emerge as the "main" characters or if this is going to be focused on the entire ensemble.

The way you brought the memory in at the end felt very natural, but I wasn't sure if you needed the whole paragraph of dialogue. It almost seemed a little clunky, especially considering the readers have just read what happened two chapters prior in the prologue. I understand she's explaining it to her husband, but it might flow better if it was shorter or she added some of her own thoughts to it instead of just summarizing. Like the line at the end when she says she thought it was a dream for years. The importance is not so much what happened since we've seen it already, but how it affected her. Hopefully that makes sense. That's still me being pretty nitpicky, though.

"She was nothing like a stormy cloud but every little bit like an earthquake." I just adore this line. It's wonderful imagery and you don't analyze it in the sentences after or anything. It's just there and makes you think and wow so lovely.

This was another wonderful chapter and I'm getting more and more interested in where the story's going and how all the various characters fit in! :)

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Review #5, by luvinpadfootMorbid: Springtime

2nd September 2014:
I've never seen the movie Restless (though it's on my list), so this is all new to me. If something sounds a bit strange in this review, that's probably why.

To start, Teddy's character is fascinating. I've never thought about him dealing with the death of his parents much and definitely not like this, but I liked this portrayal of him. It was something new and it's so hard to find ideas that are as original as that. Plus, it stands to reason he'd have some kind of reaction over growing up an orphan and it's nice to see that shown in a story.

"It can't be said that no one was worried; it's just that they were used to it by that point." I loved this line. I don't know if it's yours or from the movie, but it was beautifully phrased and tied in so well to how Teddy was acting and feeling. You had a lot of lovely lines throughout the story, but that one stuck out to me the most. Also, I loved "perpetually poised." That was a description of Amy at one point, and I just can't help but remember it. It's a perfect description of her.

His relationship with Amy was just downright adorable and then so heartbreaking! Gah you shouldn't be able to write things that sad. Too much sadness. Much too much sadness. I know you said she had an incurable disease from the beginning, but I was so hoping for a happy ending, or at least something a little bittersweet. This was just sad and I wanted to hug poor Teddy. I'd be interested in seeing how he reacted after her death since he was doing kind of iffy from the beginning.

But when you weren't too busy being sad, all the little things they did together were so cute. I especially loved them going to the bookstore and laughing at all the silly book titles. It's got me questioning my literary canon for sure. (Really, Too Kill a Mockingbird is just a funny title for a courtroom drama.) And when they were staging her death scene, I sort of wanted to smack them because sadness, but their dialogue during it was so in character. The Amy dramatized it worked really well within that context.

I wasn't really sure if I should be glad for Teddy's relationship with Merlin or a little disturbed, and even at the end I wasn't really sure. Was he really seeing Merlin or was Merlin merely an imaginary friend? I'm glad you left it kind of ambiguous, though I would have really loved to know. It kept me questioning throughout the story and looking for clues. But oh when Merlin left too I was so sad! Poor Teddy. Lost his two closest friends all in the same night.

I have two critiques (well, one and a half) for this. The first was that it seemed a little rushed. I'd have liked to see you slow down a little more and take your time building the relationship and emotions before absolutely devastating us. But maybe that's just me being greedy for more.

The second one is just a half because I'm not really sure what I think about it. You told the story in a very minimalist way, just the bare bones. Part of me really likes this, but part of me was longing for more description and thoughts and just more of the story. It was interesting to take such a distant approach because even though we were inside Teddy's head a little, it was almost an objective POV which was interesting. Again, not completely sold on it, but not not sold, either. I kinda liked it a lot even though that wasn't my initial instinct.

Well, I'm sleepy and rambly so I'm going to stop now. This was a lovely story and oh so sad. Just. Sadness. Too much sadness. It was very well written and the characters built up in a fantastic way. Really, just wonderful all around. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to read this! :)

Author's Response: I hadn't seen it either until I had to base a story around it! I tried to make this readable even if you have no clue about the film though.

It's pretty crucial that Teddy be fascinating for the success of this story, so I'm glad he is! I did try to work with his being an orphan and what kind of effect that'd have on him.

That line is mine! Thank you for your comments about that and "perpetually poised." It's awesome that you appreciate the little phrases I reworded a dozen times.
The incurable disease did take things from "Aw!" to "aw..." pretty quickly haha. I am not exactly a frequent writer of overly sad things, so it's awesome that I pulled off the amount of sadness I was going for! Although it didn't start that way.

The book store was one of the major ways I added my own ideas to the basic plot of the film, so that compliment is especially valued. I loved writing that scene because I got to make a few jokes about things that I thought just sounded funny!

The death staging scene was in the film, (although I changed the dialogue) and I was a little confused by it when I first watched. I've come to think of it as Amy's attempt at controlling her destiny in some small way. She thinks that planning how she'll die, will give her some kind of say in the grand scheme of things. I'm very happy that you found my extremely over the top dialogue to be in character!

Most people are both glad and a little disturbed, actually. I did leave Merlin incredibly ambiguous right up until the end. Merlin's leaving did land a pretty large blow to Teddy, because like you said, two best friends gone so quickly.

As for your critiques, they're actually extremely valid and things that I've thought about and sought to address in various ways that may interest you.

The first critique about the rushed nature of the story has two answers. For one, I was literally in quite the rush to finish this story up before the challenge and that could be a big part of how quickly it moves. Another is that this could be seen as a snapshot of Teddy and Amy's relationship. Almost as if someone is telling the story to someone, but keeps skipping ahead to the important parts. They tell how they met, a bit of their relationship and then how she died. A beginning, middle and end of an quick anecdote. Of course, this isn't the only way to tell this story. And, I think my idea can address both this critique and the second. I am planning to write a story in which the events of Morbid transpire from Amy's point of view. As in, her first person point of view. In which I'd give a lot more extensive details about the building of their relationship and the emotions that came with it. I feel that approach would not only explore Amy's character more, but allow for a slower, more descriptive pace. Hopefully with that I will write the story that this nearly was.

And also, as for lingering questions about Merlin, my third and final work within the Morbid universe will help a lot with that. It will be a prequel novel about Teddy's days at Hogwarts and will deal with the frequent psychiatrists and concerned parental figures that I mentioned in this story. That story would share all of the information about Merlin that I didn't in this story.
If either one of those strikes your fancy, It'd be awesome to have you continue to read. If not, that's fine as well because every idea isn't for everyone. You may not enjoy reading novel length fics. Maybe Hogwarts age kids do not interest you in fanfiction. Maybe Amy's point of view would not be to your liking. It's all subjective and I'm just glad that you came here to leave this review. I really appreciate your compliments and critiques equally and I hope I at least attempted to address both adequately!


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Review #6, by luvinpadfootJourney to the Centre of (Molly’s) World in (Less than) 80 Days: Take It Easy

2nd September 2014:
You started the story off really strong with their breakup. I loved all the tiny details you mentioned. We all know that guy who'll take you to his favorite crappy coffee shop to break up with you and it set the tone so well for her change and confrontation with her parents. The description with the coffee shop was wonderful and the breakup felt so real. Both of the characters seemed strong from the get go and I liked that he wasn't a bad guy, just kind of an idiot and they grew apart. It happens.

Molly is a really interesting character! I love her narration and how she sees the world from her POV. It makes all the situations a lot more fun to read. She's also ridiculously relatable. Saying the wrong things at the wrong times, tired of constantly working for the job that requires you constantly work even when you get it, bored, annoyed. I love her and I love reading her as a character. Her family dynamics are really interesting too, and I adore the detail with Percy and salt. All your tiny little details make this story come alive so much more than it would without them. They're really just a small addition, but so wonderful.

Heath and Raj's relationship is hilarious. I love Heath's little jokes and the way Raj just seems to roll his eyes at whatever Heath does. Heath isn't the fiancé to uh Molly's friend, is he? (I forgot her name oops.) I just remember the mention that he was a reporter from the States and Heath is a reporter from the States so...at any rate, I'm excited to find out more about him!

He and Molly seem like they make quite the interesting pair too. The teasing and bickering back and forth is quite entertaining to read, and I think they have about as much fun doing it as I do reading it.

Using Stonehenge as a transportation system was a really original idea, and both Molly and heath's reactions to it were priceless. I'm really starting to understand the line in the summary now. Molly is a lot like her father, for all that she wants something more than the boring life.

Poor Heath for getting his arm broken. He's so lucky he's got Molly ferrying him around. No wonder the Prophet requested an Auror for him. He's lovely as a person and so funny, but he might not make it home alive travelling all around Europe without Molly's assistance. And boy is she one for plans!

I don't really have any critiques, though I'd love to be of some help. This story is just really good and I've loved the first few chapters! You're a wonderfully talented writer and this is fantastically hilarious and so well written. Very glad I had the chance to read this! :)

Author's Response: I'M SO SORRY FOR NOT DOING MY HALF OF THE SWAP BUT I SWEAR I'M GOING TO GET TO IT REALLY SOON.

I'm glad that you liked the breakup scene! I write so many stories where people get together, but I've never written people moving away from each other, so that was a lot of fun. And I really didn't want to make her ex-boyfriend a horrible person but like you said - a bit of an idiot.

My favourite thing about Heath and Raj's relationship is that Heath thinks that he's so cool, but Raj knows that Heath really isn't, but agrees to like him despite that. And IS Heath the mysterious fiance? WHO KNOWS?!?!?!?! I do know, but I'm not telling :P

Molly is another person who doesn't think Heath is as cool as he seems to think he is. Heath seems to get that a lot, the poor thing. But they're a lot of fun to write together.

Yeah, Molly is a lot like her father in that sense. I wanted to write a character who realises change is necessary but still resists it. She takes a while to get where she wants to go, simply because she doesn't like the way she's getting there. Did that make sense? Who knows?

I hope that by the end of this, Heath realises that he'd basically be dead without Molly with him. You're right - he has zero chance of making it alive without her!

Thank you so much for this lovely review! It means a lot to me :)


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Review #7, by luvinpadfootDobby: The Paid Elf: Dobby: The Paid Elf

2nd September 2014:
This was so sweet! I love Dobby one-shots. Of all the characters in the series, he's the only one who seems wholeheartedly good and kindhearted. I don't think he has it in him to do one mean thing, except to himself, and you captured his essence perfectly here.

You had one line at the beginning I especially loved- "His new family would shower him with all the socks his little heart desired." That's such a Dobby line. He's so optimistic and a little naïve, but not stupid. Just a simple little elf who wants everyone to be a happy and a tiny corner of the world to call his own. He's a real sweetheart and you wrote him beautifully.

His inner thoughts felt very natural and very Dobby. It used the same structure as his dialogue, but it was believably that he'd think like that to himself. The stilted syntax worked really well within the flow of the story and Dobby's character.

Dumbledore was also so well written in this. Interactions between Dobby and Dumbledore are so fun to read because Dumbledore usually treats Dobby with the respect he so much deserves, like he did here. His line about them being equals ("...just a man...") was very in character and I thought that was an especially powerful line. It had the magnitude of something Dumbledore would say in the books in his ever wise tone.

You intertwined Dobby's sadness in with the overall fluffy, adorableness of the piece so unbelievably well. Mostly it was sweet and the fluffiest fluff, but then there were lines that just broke my heart. "Hanging his head in defeat, thinking of slamming doors and hurtful words, Dobby answered..." Just gah. My poor baby I want to hug him forever and never let go!

I was going to leave a critique to suggest more imagery, but after thinking about it, I like this simple structure. The language is simple, quite powerful at times, but it flows nicely with Dobby's character. Adding more might be over the top for him. Simplicity is often underrated and you wrote this so beautifully. So in lieu of that, perhaps slow it down a little, particularly towards the beginning? That's pretty nitpicky since it flowed well, but that's all I can suggest.

This was such a lovely one-shot and it makes me so happy for Dobby in the end. We always need more happy Dobby stories and this is a fantastic one. So glad I had the opportunity to read it! :)

Author's Response: Hi there!

Ok, so this was one of the best reviews I have ever received, which is why it has taken me a little while to respond. I'm just blown away. Thank you!

Dobby is such an innocent. All he wants is to love, take care of people - particularly Harry - and to be loved. I adore him and *still* cannot handle his death. I cry *every* time I read/watch it. I was really, really hoping to do him justice. So I'm incredibly thrilled that you feel I have. :)

Aww I'm happy you liked that line! Can't you just picture it, though? Dobby imagining a family who would let him wear socks and treat him as one of their own. I'm sure that's all the poor little thing wanted. And you're right, he is not stupid. He's horribly brave, and way more intelligent that most people would give him credit for.

Dobby is truly a difficult character to write. So to hear that his dialogue felt natural is such a relief. I know that my "inner voice" is very similar to my speaking voice, so that was why I wrote Dobby's thoughts that way. I was hoping that it would work.

I don't even know how to properly respond to your thoughts on my Dumbledore. Just, thank you! To hear that you feel he was written well and that "just a man" line was something you feel he would actually say, is such an enormous compliment. It really means the world to me!

Dobby's time, before Hogwarts, was entirely sad. I really was hoping to convey the hopelessness he must have felt and then the utter joy at being asked to work at Hogwarts. I'm thrilled that did seem to come through! I'm sorry that broke your heart! I wanted to hug him too!

I was actually really, really unsure about this story, so for you to leave such a wonderful review and say such lovely things has really meant so much! I truly appreciate your this so, so much! Thank you! *hug*

Thank you for the swap! I'm up for another one, anytime. :)

xoxo Meg


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Review #8, by luvinpadfootUnexpected: Death.

1st September 2014:
This was so great to read! I loved the flash forwards to his death interrupting the very pretty and nice scenes with Teddy, Vic, and their daughter. The juxtaposition worked really well and it was jarring in a way that fit in wonderfully with the tone of the story and his death. You not only covered the whole twenty four hours, but you showed his emotions at the time of his death through the memories/flashbacks whatever you want to call them.

You mentioned the Weasley clock twice, once in both the earlier half and the latter half and it was a lovely way to connect them. Again, that just comes down to your juxtaposition which I thought was flawless throughout. Teddy's unborn child and new life contrasts his death and adds a whole new level of depth to the story.

I only have one critique. I'd love to see more imagery on the flash forwards at the time of his death/torture. That could really help with the strength and flow of the piece. It flows well, but it can get a little bogged down with 'telling' instead of 'showing.' For example, you use the line "He was repulsed." The emotion in that is good, but if you show the reader how he feels it means so much more. The same goes for the earlier half, but it was more noticeable in his death scenes.

Dom's character was really interesting. I've not seen her written quite like this before and I enjoyed it! She reminds me quite a bit of Bellatrix, slightly unhinged and obsessed with that one person or idea. I would have perhaps liked to see a little more of her, Teddy's complicated feelings or something. How she went down that path. Not stated, because I think you did a fantastic job of putting her in the precise situation without explicitly stating 'Teddy chose Victoire over her,' but I would like maybe just a little bit more. That might just be me really enjoying this, though.

I loved the last line of the first paragraph. "All was calm." To go immediately from that to Teddy being tortured flows so well. But that's just going back to your juxtaposition. Have I mentioned enough that I loved it? It worked so beautifully and you had so much of it. I'll stop flailing now. :)

This really was lovely all the way through! Teddy and Victoire seemed so sweet, like the perfect couple, and now I'm just sad for them. Poor Victoire, raising two children alone. Poor Elise. Poor Harry and Ron. Poor crazy Dominique. No one won here, but it was so well written and wonderful to read. You did a lovely job with his death and last twenty four hours!

Author's Response: Hi! That is a very impressive review, I think it was the longest I've ever received. And it was so sweet, truly.
Gah, I love that you noticed the clock. Not many people picked up on that, so I'm glad that you did. Thank you for the critiques, I shall go back when I have some spare time and add some more 'showing' in. I'm glad you liked Dom, I didn't think about her similarity to Bellatrix until you mentioned it. It's funny how other people pick up things in your stories that you don't see yourself.
Juxtaposition is fun to play with, I really enjoy it. So again, thank you!
I loved that you've been flailing. What is it with you and word choice? You seem to have the best vocabulary of anyone I have talked to.
Gosh, I'm grinning so much at your review. Thank you for swapping with me :D
Lottie


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Review #9, by luvinpadfootSing Your Aria: I'll Care For You Too

31st August 2014:
This was so lovely! I enjoyed every moment of reading it, especially as Sirius is one of my favorite characters. (Bet you couldn't tell.) I always secretly ship him with a Slytherin OC too, no matter how unrealistic it may be. I just had to read this one when I saw it on your page and I wasn't disappointed in the slightest. Such a beautifully tragic love story.

The paragraph about her being in Ravenclaw stuck out to me as especially powerful. It's the perfect way to show Sirius's wishful thinking, how much he desperately wants her to fit neatly into his view of the world. It was also tragically perfect that he couldn't change his prejudices for her, at least not at first. I thought that was very realistic for him. He always seemed very set in his ways in the books and especially at eleven I don't think he'd be able to get past that, even for a close friend.

His 'revenge' (if you could even call it that) was well written. He seemed betrayed by her, even though obviously it wasn't her fault. I liked that you mentioned how that kind of drifted away after a while. Just...a lot of realism in the interactions between them.

"The world does not care for our wishes." That line stuck out to me as especially powerful, in between all the lines from John Green (I don't think that was one of them). I don't even know what to say about it except it was amazing and so true. It's a very coming of age line, realizing how unfair the world is and will always be. Especially to Sirius. Always unfair to Sirius.

The only critique I have is that I'd like to see more. I'd love to see more of their relationship and how it felt hiding it from their friends. More of both of them changing their opinions after everything that happened first year. More of the tragedy of her death. Just more. Maybe I'm being greedy because I enjoyed it so much, but I really would like to see it fleshed out a little more than it already is. It moves quick, which isn't bad, but another thousand words could add so much.

But really, such a beautiful piece and so well written. I loved every moment of reading it! :)

Author's Response: Your praise made me blush, marauderfan (my name for you, my fellow Messrs. lover). I'm so glad you liked this shoddy piece of writing. I'd like to see more of Sirius/Aria, but I'm a bit afraid of tampering with their magic by this point, so scared I'm not even sure if edits will ever happen. Ah well, I'll try to come up with something just for you :) Nah, that quote "the world does not care for our wishes" is mine, actually! I know right-- "Meena" and "powerful writing" should never be put in the same sentence :)

Thanks for this amazing review swap!

-Meena


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Review #10, by luvinpadfootThe Wizarding World War: The Hogwarts Express

31st August 2014:
My reviews for this will probably be a little shorter than the one I left on English Ivy because it takes longer to discuss the story as a whole instead of one portion of it. Also, apologies for the delay. I'm lazy as anything sometimes. I should be getting to the rest of your chapters um within the week.

To start, the prologue was really intriguing. I'm not sure how it's going to relate back to the rest of the story yet, but I'm definitely interested in finding out. Not sure what else to say on that, except it was really well written, as is all your stuff that I've read.

I loved that you had Roxanne going by Anne. I've never seen that before and I haven't avoided next gen by any means. It's such a small thing, but it suggests a lot about her personality since nicknames are generally a choice. To add on to this, her and Lucy on a whole are very interesting characters. Just the way they acted to Rose and Victoire's dismissal that twelve is hardly different from eleven.

Actually, most of my notes were on your characterization because I just adore it. All of your characters are so unique and interesting, but not in a way that makes them seem like you're just adding quirky traits. They all seemed incredibly real, from Rose's line about manners not being sex-specific to James acting like a thirteen year old with his jokes and the bet about the Bertie Bott's Beans. I could pull a dozen specific example, but that seems kind of like a waste of time since I didn't have any critiques on any of them. The only thing I'd maybe mention is that sometimes you can make characters a little too real and kind of boring, but you don't seem headed in that direction at all. I'll bring it up later if it is a concern.

I adored the bit with James and the thestrals. You mixed the elements of him being a real person with thoughts and feelings with him being a thirteen year old boy perfectly. Because let's be honest, he is a thirteen year old boy and the line about kicking the bucket in front of him was very well phrased. He's not a psychopath, he's just a thirteen year old boy. Sometimes it can be a little hard to differentiate the two.

Rose had a line I loved. "I just want them to think I'm interesting. I think they're interesting." That's such a Slytherin line from her, but it's also just intriguing to think over. Because yeah, it makes perfect sense. That's a very valid reason to be nice to someone. I wasn't really surprised she was Sorted into Slytherin (I've read and written a lot of next gen and at some point even the strangest combinations stop surprising you), but I'm glad not all the Wotters are in Gryffindor. That can get a bit tiresome and variety is always welcome.

I don't really have any critiques or comments on the plot since it hasn't really begun yet. This was a nice introduction chapter with (I assume) most of the key players in the story. It didn't feel too slow or rushed and it introduced the characters' personalities very well. Maybe be careful with the transitions between POV? That's pretty nitpicky since it wasn't an issue at all, but I did notice that you tended to switch between the sections except for one line about Rose's Sorting from her POV in the middle of James's section. The line stuck out a little, but it didn't take me out of the story or anything. Omniscient is a hard POV to write and I'm generally pretty nitpicky about it.

But it was a lovely beginning and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Can't wait to get to more, especially concerning the war and general plot.

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Review #11, by luvinpadfootFallen Redemption: Letter

6th August 2014:
I just found this story and I'm so addicted! The plot is really intriguing. I love a good Voldemort won the war AU and this is definitely up there with my favorites. I don't think I've ever read anything quite like it. I also think the basic plot about him thinking the trio is dead and them all coming together in the end is very authentic to the nature of the books. It just seems like something that would happen in this universe, even AU.

Draco's character too seems right. I can imagine he'd be one to grow up a little in the years after the war, but still never come all the way around, like how he's so willing to kill people who might betray him. He feels very in character throughout, especially since we never actually saw the change. I could see him turning into this Draco easily.

I have to admit, I'm really shipping Hermione/Ron in this since he turned up alive, but any way it ends up I don't think it'd bother me too much because the story is so good even without that. The scene when he came back was so perfect and I was so surprised! I honestly believed he had died and getting tricked like that is one of the things I love in these type of stories. The possibility for happiness is still there! :)

I know it's been a long while since you updated this story, but wow I'm loving it and it'd be so great if you came back and added more. I really want to know what happens next, especially with Harry just waking up. :D This whole thing was just so much fun to read and I want more! :)

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Review #12, by luvinpadfootForever Young: One

3rd August 2014:
This was very much not what I was expecting from the quote and the title. Wow. Such sadness! You really tied the line in so well to the story and filled it with a bittersweet tone. It works so well because James was immature and needed to grow up so haha that must be funny, and then you hit us so hard with the grave and the ending. Wow that was a powerful ending. It started out kind of light, but to bring us back to the first line and then the last line was wow. You hit the emotions right on the head. Wow. I know I keep saying wow, but I don't know what else to say about that. I'm kind of speechless it was so good.

The descriptions in the photographs were so beautiful! My favorite line was "The rusty autumn leaves are swept up in a graceful dance with the wind before settling on the marble set into the ground." The painted such a beautiful picture in my mind, even though it was the saddest photograph by far. It was written so poetically. They were all just wonderful.

You also captured the idea of movement so well, even in just the short glimpses we can see of wizarding photographs. There's action, but it's limited to a few second loop and you showed that so well in your writing, like the focus was more the people than their actions. Harry doesn't watch it like a movie so it felt like photographs, if that makes sense. I think it can be hard to describe them like that and it's really impressive that you managed it.

I know it was about James, and in part Lily, but I think you portrayed the relationship between James and Sirius really well. In the second photograph especially, Lily is there, but the focus is on James pouring the punch on Sirius's head. Since this was about James and not just both of his parents, I think that was a great choice. For all that he loved Lily, James and Sirius were closer than brothers.

And James's characterization on its own was brilliant here. As a reader we can really feel his mischievousness and how people could want him to grow up and stop acting so immature. That makes Harry's plight even sadder. I could just see him staring at those photographs thinking 'jeez Dad, won't you ever grow up?' and then realizing no, in fact, because he can't. You had us as readers feeling the same thing as Harry and that was so well done.

This was a wonderful story and so powerful, especially for only 500 words. Sometimes I think five hundred word stories can be even more impactful because they are so short. The ending of this took my breath away. I'm so glad I read it and thank you for entering it into my challenge! :)

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Review #13, by luvinpadfootThe Master Plan: The Master Plan

3rd August 2014:
I have to admit, I really wanted someone to use this line. It just sets the scene so perfectly to start on the Hogwarts Express. It maybe makes me a little biased that I love Flannery O'Connor too. ;) I really liked the way you used the opening line to set the tone for the story and bring up Hugo's feelings of jealousy toward his cousins. I loved how it showed he was smart in other ways, even if he wasn't a prefect or a Ravenclaw. He was able to sneak into all the Houses dorms without getting caught, at least until Rose grabbed him. It figures that it would be his own sister to turn him in.

I did like that it wasn't as though they ostracized him or anything. It was just teenage pettiness, though that possibly comes across a touch more negative than I intend it to be. He played a joke on his stuffy cousins and I'm sure at least some of his relatives (cough George) would be quite amused by what he did.

His inner thoughts were also really well written. He felt like a teenage boy, a real true teenage boy who had both flaws and strengths. The part when he was writing his own obituary was so funny. I did a lot of giggling during that scene while they were running away from the rocks. That you had things go wrong and the prank didn't completely go according to plan was great. It added to the realism and humor of the story.

The Mrs. Norris Jr comment was fantastic. Poor Filch. He's such a pathetic old man, isn't he? Still talking about stringing up students by their thumbs too. I wouldn't be surprised if he managed to live forever just to spite people. And the Ravenclaw riddle was really well done! Did you make that up on your own or find it somewhere? It's the perfect riddle for that House.

The relationship with Mallory was so cute! The way you built it up was adorable with the two of them as friends. I liked that they didn't get together in the end, how it was just left as a future possibility. Their back and forth banter was funny and I could see them making a good couple eventually, maybe after they grow up a little bit. And the reference to James and Lily in regards to their relationship was great. I could see the two of them as a next gen James/Lily. All the bickering and teasing, but in the end they're good for each other.

My only real constructive criticism, because I feel I should say something helpful instead of just flailing about, was that perhaps you could use a little more description. The narrative is great and the dialogue is really funny, but more description could help to flesh out the piece a little more and help slow it down as well. At times it was a little fast paced and slowing it down some with description could help.

Really wonderful story here! I love cutesy Next Gen fluff, especially about some of the minor characters like Hugo. This was really well written and thoroughly enjoyable. It was a pleasure to read and thanks so much for entering it into my challenge! :)

Author's Response: I'm glad you liked it! I do have a habit of not adding enough description. I really need to work on that. But it was fun to write so I'm glad you enjoyed it c:

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Review #14, by luvinpadfootBlessing in Disguise: Unwanted Visitors

3rd August 2014:
I love the AVPM reference. I think it's most everybody's head canon now- Hufflepuffs are great finders! I especially love how you used it, that she found herself in that situation instead of finding a physical object. It was really funny!

Speaking of which, this whole chapter was hilarious. I was laughing really hard and I don't usually laugh that much when reading stories. Your comedic timing in perfection and all the dialogue is genius, especially the banter between Bill and Audrey at the end. I had to take a break after "was that what you told my brother last night?" because I was laughing so hard I couldn't breathe. I'm so looking forward to the rest of the story if it's even half this good. I hope Bill stays a major character in this because I absolutely adore your take on him.

It's sweet how much she loves the Weasleys already even before she's in a relationship with Percy. Bill already treats her almost like a sister. Can't stop thinking that he's going to make an awesome brother in law, but that's getting ahead of myself. I'm excited for her to meet the rest of them!

The morning after bit was kind of sad. I bet Percy was a little hurt when he woke up in bed alone, but I do understand Audrey's desire to get out of there. The fact that we know they wind up together in the end takes some of the sting out of it, but still. The description of her sneaking around in the dark house was really well done, all the details she noticed like the tidiness and the convenience of the Floo powder pot. It all felt very Percy.

Ah wow Duncan really is kind of a jerk. But only kind of since he did feel guilty and it all worked out for the best anyway. They do seem like friends, even if he's completely flaky. The way he was teasing her about Percy seemed less mean spirited than it did friendly. He really makes me want to protect Percy, though. I really like your Percy and he's a good guy, really! Poor Percy, everyone always makes fun of him. I really look forward to seeing more of him in later chapters and especially how he and Audrey get back together. Am I wrong in thinking Bill might have a little something to do with that? ;)

This is a great story so far and I'll definitely keep coming back for the rest of it! You may have to poke me about it because sometimes I forget what stories I'm keeping up with, but I really can't wait to read more! Thanks so much for entering my challenge!

Author's Response: I'm so glad that you loved it! How can it not be headcanon now? They need to be good finders! I'm glad that you loved how I used it, I thought that it was fitting. :P

I'm so happy that you laughed a lot whilst reading this, I want this story to be happy, although serious moments will be happening eventually. Oh Bill and Audrey! They're going to be so much fun to write together. Awww thank you! *blushes* He shall stay a major character, there will be a lot of Weasley interactions in this story.

She does love them! Maybe Bill can tell that Audrey and Percy will be together? He really likes having her around, she's fun. Haha, I have big plans for how she meets the rest of the Weasleys.

Audrey feels guilty for what she does and poor Percy isn't going to be happy when he wakes up and finds her gone. Aww I'm glad you like that description, I wanted her to struggle in her leaving, especially in a strange flat and in the dark, of course she's going to find every room but the one she wants.

I'm glad you think that's like Percy, I'm glad I'm writing him believably.

Duncan is a jerk, even if it did work out for the best. They're the best of friends, although they fall out all the time haha. It's hilarious and I can't wait to show them more. I want to protect Percy from Duncan's words as well, he needs to be nicer about the guy Audrey likes. Ahhh he may do? :P

Thank you so so much! And I shall let you know when the next chapter is up! I can't wait to see what you think about the other chapters I have planned.
Your challenge was awesome!!


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Review #15, by luvinpadfootBlessing in Disguise: Unplanned

3rd August 2014:
This is really awesome so far! I love the first chapter so much. It's almost hard for me to stop and write this review before continuing on to the next one. You've got a great concept here and it's really intriguing! Percy/Audrey stories are so fascinating since we know Percy had to change a lot after that final battle, but we don't get to see it. He could really go anywhere personality-wise and I'm excited to see where you take him!

Audrey's characterization is brilliant, truly. She feels so real with all the tiny details you've thrown in about her, like that her grandfather owns the building, the Cess Pit joke on the menu, that she's a Hufflepuff. Those details bring her character to life. It's great when Hufflepuffs are depicted as something more than the generic, sweet character who never means anybody any harm. That's just not accurate, especially since we see them wearing 'Potter Stinks' badges in the fourth book. She seems crazy and loveable, but not to ridiculous extremes. I could see a person acting like her, especially in their first six or seven years after Hogwarts.

Her interaction with Bill was really cute. I could definitely see him as the type of person to be friendly with the crotchety at his regular diner. Their banter was hilarious, especially the 'I can't hear you over the sound my braveness' line. You had me laughing at that and I think I was getting some weird looks in the library. The part about Molly taking in strays was great too. I bet when Audrey meets her that does happen! I really enjoyed the subtle line about Bill being concerned about Percy. That makes me wonder how he is doing since he seemed pretty okay for the most part here.

You sure got to the romance fast! Percy really doesn't seem the type for that, but I guess it goes to show how right Audrey is for him- or alternatively, how deeply traumatized he is over Fred's death. I think it's right to make Audrey a little crazy and impulsive since he's so stuffy and high strung. It seems right that she'd be able to temper that a little. If not, they'd be a truly terrifying couple.

"It wasn't a line," Percy pulled away from her again and Audrey was the one to frown at him. "Although I'm worried that line would work on you." I love that part! Of course she would take it as a line. It kinda does end up coming across that way, but it's Percy so who knows.

You tied in the first line wonderfully well! I'm just now realizing how many books start with a mention of the weather since this is the third so far for the challenge. Lots and lots of rain. But it suits the tone really well here and ties in to Audrey's annoyance with the whole day and the situation. Plus, it gave Percy the opportunity to be the knight in shining armor, sort of.

Author's Response: Thank you! I'm so glad that you love it already! I'm so glad that I entered your challenge as I've been wanting to write this story for a while now and your challenge gave me the push I needed. I've always wanted to have Audrey as a crazy girl and the complete opposite of Percy, they'lll be good for each other.

Thank you! Your so kind!! :D Making me blush. :P I tend to use Hufflepuff a lot haha, and she's definitely not a stereotypical Hufflepuff. You're right, they're not all good people!

Audrey and Bill are going to be the ultimate bromance in this! Haha They're going to be so much fun to write. :P I'm glad that I made you laugh out loud with it. :D And yes, Bill is worried about Percy, he's going through a lot at the moment.

I did! Haha, but that is Audrey all over! It's all to do with how Percy is at the moment that he went along with it and gave in. He's still dealing with what happened at the battle. He's still very traumatised like you said, Audrey will help him deal with those issues.

It really does come across as a line! Why else would he go out of his way to see if she got home if he wasn't interested in that happening? :P

Thank you so much! I really loved taking part in your challenge, it was so much fun to do! And yes! He's her knight in shining armour haha. :D


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Review #16, by luvinpadfootÉtincelles d'Argent: Silver Sparks

2nd August 2014:
With a username like mine, how could I not love this story? It was absolutely wonderful to read! I love the way you captured emotion, especially the absolute desolation of Azkaban.

Your imagery was lovely and so powerful. Especially at the beginning when you were describing Azkaban and Sirius and what he was experiencing. Your word choice was flawless. I especially loved the line: "Finally, the heavens simply split in two and angry tears cascaded on top of Azkaban prison." That's an amazing way to describe a storm. It paints a picture of sadness and despair without being too overt.

The first time Sirius is introduced with the paragraph long description is amazing. Just wow. Every bit of imagery in that paragraph was wonderful and fit Sirius completely. I especially loved the last line about moistening his lips, but only making it worse. That really sums up so much about him in one simple action. You conveyed his sanity well throughout the piece while showing how he was affected by the prison as well. I think towards the end you get into this even more, the true madness of revenge. He holds no fantasy of returning to a normal life at this point. He just wants to kill Peter.

Fudge is definitely in character here. You've written him so well, captured his essence. He's always putting on airs and pretending to be stronger than he is, like when he was first introduced. He doesn't want to be there, but he doesn't want anyone else to know he doesn't want to be there. The man has to be in control. The way you structured the newspaper scene with it being a political ploy on Fudge's part was brilliant. There was so much Fudge in that.

Usually third omniscient POVs bother me because it can feel jumpy or too convenient, but I really liked it here. The shifts between Fudge and Sirius flowed naturally and I never felt like a ping pong ball. The narrative entered and exited thoughts as need be and the transitions were smooth. I hardly noticed that it was omniscient at all (which I mean as a compliment).

I loved the onslaught of memories. They were disjointed and incoherent and you could really feel the madness creeping in on him, like that's the kind of suffering he's underwent over the past twelve years. As a reader, I could feel my head beginning to spin and just the barest traces of what he might actually be going through as the Dementor's fed on his memories. That bit was nothing short of incredible.

The only bit of constructive criticism was that the first half seemed stronger than the second half. The beginning had so much imagery and beautiful language and you painted vibrant pictures, but then later it fell away from that a bit and we got more of a stream of conscious from Sirius's perspective. I don't think I'd have noticed that at all except that the beginning was so incredible that when the style shifted slightly it fell a little short.

You had kind of a hard first line in that it was a little cliche, but I thought you used it well. I'd be surprised if there were many nights at Azkaban that weren't dark and stormy. I also loved the quote from Dante, "abandon all hope ye who enter here." That's perfect for Azkaban and the comparison between Azkaban and Hell here were very strong.

This was a lovely story and I really enjoyed reading it! Thanks so much for entering my challenge. :)

Author's Response: First of all, thank you for the wonderful review. And now I'm terrified because I feel as if my reply won't be nearly as adequate as it should be. (Does that even make sense? I'm not sure it does but oh well. It happens.)

In terms of the imagery and description, I did worry that I went a little bit overboard. Paragraph after paragraph was description and I'm sure it must've looked a little bit daunting but I'm glad you liked it and it achieved the intended effect. I'm quite pleased that you liked how I described the storm. When I originally thought of it, it was part of a sarcastic one-liner but I thought it was better suited to this.

Ah, Sirius. Now that I think about it, the lip-licking thing does pretty much sum him up. He knows it's bad for him but he goes ahead and does it anyway. Poor, poor Sirius. He's way too impulsive for his own good.

I was extremely concerned over how I portrayed Fudge. I knew the basic foundations of his character but I didn't know how to get it across in the way he interacted with Sirius and those around him. I don't think anyone quite understands the relief I feel that no one has annihilated his portrayal yet.

Omniscient third person usually bothers me a lot too. Well, it doesn't bother me per se but I'm always a little bit wary of it. I'm much more comfortable in first person narration and I've only recently gone back to testing third person narration but I find that my work is almost better with it. It's easier to write dramatic scenes in third person opposed to first person because you can write about things your main character wouldn't notice.

The memories...this was the section that gave me the most trouble. I had a clear direction I wanted to go in with the memories but unfortunately due to some technicalities, I had to rewrite some of them. However I kept it as similar as I could to the original draft so I'm happy with it. I really wanted the reader to realise the pain that Sirius went through and the sudden rush of the memories seemed to be the best way to do that. Show not tell and all that jazz, you know?

Now that you mention it, I see what you mean about the change. The first half was a lot stronger than the second part. I think I got swept away in the rush of Sirius' madness that I forgot to keep the same description coming along. It's something I need to work on, maintaining that balance throughout the entire piece. Thank you for pointing that out. Without it, I wouldn't have anything to work on and there should always be something to work on.

The comparison between Azkaban and Hell came quite suddenly. I spent a lot of time on the beginning of the one-shot because I wanted to do the beginning line justice. As everyone knows, the opening lines can make or break your writing as can the opening paragraphs. At first I didn't think that the comparison between Azkaban and Hell would develop into much more than one line but then I research Dante's Inferno a bit and was pleased to see that I could develop it into much more.

I really did enjoy writing this and I'm glad you enjoyed reading it. As soon as I saw the first line, I knew I wouldn't write any other scene except this. It was just a matter of putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and breathing it to life.


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Review #17, by luvinpadfootEnglish Ivy: English Ivy

2nd August 2014:
It's so strange to read about a young McGonagall. You always know she had a childhood and was a teenager at some point, but it's hard to think about sometimes because she's so...McGonagall. I think you did a wonderful job of capturing her character, though. It's easy to see how the transition between the girl she was then and the woman she became could happen, and there are definitely flashes of the Deputy Headmistress in there. Perhaps it was just me, but I adored her relationship with her brothers. They were allies against her mother, but when it came down to it, it was every man for himself. That felt particularly realistic since I have two siblings of my own and it really does feel like that a lot of the time.

In addition to capturing her character, you get all the characters and their relationships down so well in this. Even though we get only glimpses of her family, you've painted a vivid picture for us. They all care about each other so much and you can see how that love is one of the things tearing them apart, especially when it comes to magic. They've obviously not a lovey-dovey bunch, but beneath all their taunts and teasing, it's a driving force and you portrayed that well.

Your description is wonderful. Nearly every paragraph is chock full of brilliant imagery, things like the waiting for the storm to come and juxtaposing the blistering heat of the summer with the mildness (relatively, at least) of her mother. It adds a richness to the story that really makes it pop.

I loved the way you worked the quote into the story and then kept coming back to it throughout. That was a beautiful way to incorporate it as more than just the first line and opening. "I smile and as I set my hand atop hers the wild animal of her judgment that winds wildly around my body loosens." That line in particular stuck out to me. It added so much to her mother's characterization and their relationship as a whole. Even if you don't know every small thing she's done, the sense that she smothers Minerva and the essence of their relationship is conveyed well.

The other thing about the relationship I noticed is not only how much Minerva seems to resent (that's a bit strong, but the best I can come up with) her mother, but also how much you can clearly see the resemblance in her later years. They both turn into the strict, imposing authority figure, just in different ways.

The ending was gorgeous. I don't even know what to say about it, but wow. It was the perfect way to finish the piece. The same goes for the title. The English Ivy itself seemed to play such a small role in the story, but it was an amazing title because it really represented her whole relationship with her mother, the suffocating plant that comes back every summer no matter how much she tries to get rid of it.

Just a wonderful story. I don't have nearly enough praise for it. Thanks so much for entering my challenge, I really enjoyed reading this! :)

Author's Response: thank YOU for the challenge! and this unbelievably kind review!!! i nearly cried when i read it. i'd had the idea for the one-shot in my mind for a while and when i got that first line i was like "thats it that's the beginning to my story" so like your challenge was super important for me!! i seriously can't believe you've left this essay of a review it's the most amazing review ever. thank you so so much!!

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Review #18, by luvinpadfootTo: Winky: From: Dobby

2nd August 2014:
This is so sweet and cute and it just makes me want to hug Dobby really tight and never let go. My head canon now is this story and then they went on to get married and live happily ever after, none of that sadness from the seventh book.

The first line tied in really well with the rest of the piece and I thought this was one of the harder quotes, so kudos on that. It flows seamlessly with the tone and overall themes of the story. I love how seriously the story takes itself because, to Dobby, it is the most important thing and it's not played off as a joke. When I saw this story was about Dobby and Winky, I thought it would be a parody, but this sweet fluff is so much better.

The way you differentiated between Dobby's inner thoughts and his dialogue was fantastic. He seems so mature inside his head with these complicated thoughts, but when it came time for his dialogue I could hear his squeaky little voice in my head as I read. Dobby would be the House Elf to have this almost formal, scholarly thought process and approach to life. He kind of reminded me of the way Dumbledore might think. I could imagine the two becoming fast friends at some point.

Speaking of which, Dumbledore was great in this. I find it incredibly realistic that he'd go out of his way to help Dobby. I always got the feeling he'd be the kind of person to invite a House Elf over for dinner just because he happened to run across him. His helping Dobby wrap the present adds a whole other level of care for the gift.

Dobby's complete adoration of Winky is so apparent in this and it feels like he knows her really well, more than just what we see from the books. He's never asked her favorite color, but he just knows it'll be orange and from the way he talks, I bet it is. The whole backstory was very well done and I find myself quite interested in these House Elf courting (I guess?) ceremonies. It never occurred to me where House Elves came from and your ideas seem more realistic than anything else. It's very House Elf-y.

I also love the occasional references to her past like the butterbeer and how she replaced it with gardening. The description of the dirt on her front instead of the drink was really moving. He stood by her, even when she was down, and it was so sweet how his every thought of her was centered around making her happy. It's the purest kind of love and it doesn't surprise me one bit that it's coming from Dobby.

"Dobby found himself pondering the implications of such a truth..." I knew the story was going to be great from that line and I absolutely love it. I honestly never thought I'd read a fic where Dobby ponders the implications of a line from Jane Austen, but I'm so glad I did. It was a wonderful read and I'm thrilled you entered my challenge! :)

Author's Response: I'm so glad you liked it! I have no idea what made me think "Dobby!" when I got that quote, but it did and here we stand.

It's good to know the contrast between his inner thought process and speech came out nicely. I find that people who don't use proper grammar are often thought of as less intelligent, but throughout the books Dobby proves to us that he is capable, adaptable, and quick thinking.

Haha. It was a very serious thing to Dobby. I'm glad the tone carried.

I couldn't help but include Dumbledore, and it's wonderful to hear you thought he was in character! I'm always a little worried that I played up one side of his personality and down played another.

Thank you so much for making the challenge! I certainly enjoyed doing this little piece. +]

Until next time!


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Review #19, by luvinpadfootHow I Live Now: I.

2nd August 2014:
I love this story so much, starting from the very premise. Dark, angsty stories about James and Lily in hiding are so wonderful, even though they're often some of the more depressing stories on the site. They have such an authenticity that sometimes the lighter stories about them lack.

Moving on from that (because I could probably flail about that for hours), I adore your Lily here. She comes across exactly like what we know of Lily from the books- she's intelligent, brave, loving. She worries so much over her husband and my heart just goes out to her. She really did deserve more than the life she got. My favorite part of her character was that underneath all that, she seemed a little bored. It was obviously trumped by worry and fear, but she did seem like she was itching to get out and do something, make their lives better. This is just so canon and lovely, especially since it was a subtle addition.

Oh, the flashbacks. The wonderful, wonderful flashbacks. You segued perfectly from the present to the past and tied in both aspects of the story wonderfully. She started out alone, found James, then was alone again and both the present and past synced up. Just wow.

Her relationship with James was written beautifully as well. It was obvious they were strained with his missions and Voldemort hunting them, but the love was ever present. It seemed like every other word out of his mouth was a declaration of his love and that felt very in character for him. It wasn't a fairytale romance like James/Lily so often is and I liked that. It seemed they had occasional questions or maybe even doubts, but because they did care for each other so much they were able to work through them.

Your imagery was beautiful throughout. The two lines that stuck out to me the most were " The Death Eaters - as they have so aptly called themselves - are like a swarm of mosquitos, determined to continue their reign of terror." and " He's a pale, shadow of a man; an empty casket compared to what he once was." That description of Voldemort fit him perfectly, especially since we've seen his before and after in the movies. The one about the Death Eaters is so unique and seemed an odd choice of description, but it worked so well. I've never seen them described as such, but I can picture the two comingling in my head.

The only critique I have (super nitpicky, but I wanted to offer some kind of CC) was that in a few places the narrative sounded a little too casual. For example, once you started a sentence with 'Besides' and it felt out of place since the rest of the piece comes across as rather formal (which I love- it suits the tone perfectly). It's super nitpicky, though.

The ending was wow. Just completely wow. There's almost a lack of love for the first part of the piece since it's so overshadowed by her fear and hopelessness, but bringing it back around in the end so that it became all about love was incredibly powerful.

I suppose I need to comment on your use of the first line and I thought it was lovely. It definitely fit into the tone and theme of the story. I adored reading this and I'm so glad you entered my challenge! :)

Author's Response: Hey

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing, I adored writing for this challenge because it gave me something to start on and then allowed me to flourish out into something I don't usually write (angst/dark).

I'm also so glad you seem to understand a lot of the underlying things I tried to intertwine into the narrative :) I was scared readers would gloss over those parts and not realise but you did so :D

I still have to come back to this piece and edit it properly. There are some lines, especially towards the end, which I think hinder the flow. I'll take into consideration your sentence starter suggestions too, I totally understand!

Thanks again for reviewing!!

xo


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Review #20, by luvinpadfootMistletoe: Mistletoe

7th July 2014:
*House Cup 2014 Review*

You left reviews on one of my stories, so I decided to return the favor and I'm so glad I did! This is just adorable. Hugo and the main character's banter is so cute and sweet. I love the whole idea of magic mistletoe. It has such potential for all manner of romance and mischief. ;)

The MC is so fully realized for just a one-shot. I love all the little tidbits we learn about her, like that she's muggleborn, on the Quidditch team, a Slytherin. They're not necessary to the story, but they add so much depth to her character. It's like she doesn't exist just for this one scene, she's so much more!

I think the same with Hugo. The MC's perception of him is spot on for a teenager seeing a cute guy she likes. It has a ring of truth to it that's sometimes hard to get.

And I kinda like that her name's a mystery. It adds to the whole spontaneity of the scene and the kiss. Just teenagers running wild in the castle! ;) It's so fun and enjoyable to read. I'm sorry you wound up abandoning the continuation, but this one-shot stands very well on its own. Such a lovely story! :)

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Review #21, by luvinpadfootAnother Kind of Crazy: Another Kind of Crazy

7th July 2014:
*House Cup 2014 Review*

After all the lovely reviews you left on Moonlit Sonata, I just had to come by and see your stories and I'm so glad I did! This one is absolutely lovely! You delve so deeply into Bellatrix's thoughts and I adore how you've 'justified' her position. She honestly believes she can be in the right too and the way you've written it, I've started thinking 'well, why not?' It's really great!

The only critiques I can offer is that at times there's a lot of exposition and it can feel like you're just explaining her life. The parts with your imagery, like at the very beginning, are so powerful that I'd love to see more of them! A few of the paragraphs are also a little large, but that's more formatting than anything in your story.

My favorite part was when she was talking about being the perfect follower and the perfect wife. I felt that was so perfect and true to Bellatrix's character. She loves Voldemort more than even her husband. You really managed to capture her essence in this story and she's not an easy character to write. I truly loved reading it! :)

Author's Response: Awww, thanks so much! You reading my stories and leaving this review means so much to me! When I was writing this I was thinking that no one really ever thinks that they are evil for the most part. They have all reasoned things out for themselves. I thought that Bellatrix would be no different, especially since she was raised with those ideals.

Thanks for the criticism, I wrote this my freshman year of high school on a separate site and haven't really looked at it since except for when I put it on here, but rereading it I can see what you mean. I think I might go back and just touch up a few things so it reads better.

Thanks again for leaving such a wonderful review, I truly appreciate it! I hope you keep writing and coming up with some more stories! I really loved your take on the Marauders Era!


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Review #22, by luvinpadfootNaive: Chapter the Twenty-Ninth

7th July 2014:
*House Cup 2014 Review*

I may have been reading this story for the past month and just finished it. Just maybe. It's so fantastic! I'd loved how bright and vivid all your characters were! At first I thought it was going to be a parody type story (I mean, his name is Glitter...), but this was so much better than anything I could have imagined!

I did suspect a little something with Elliot and Lily. Not much, but in the last few chapters especially it seemed like there was something rather negative going on between them. I never imagined he'd do something that horrible though. Just wow. Makes me wish Lily had kicked him to the curb a long time ago.

Something I really enjoyed about this story, so much more than most others, was that ending. Even though Lily and Elliot broke up, it wasn't a sad ending. It just felt nice and hopeful like that was just another aspect of life you have to deal with sometimes. It wasn't sad because he was gone or really triumphant, just soft and hopeful. It was the perfect coming of age story.

All of your characters were so vivid and real. I cried when Molly died and laughed at Glitter, Al, and all the others. They each had such vibrant personalities and story lines! I adored every minute of reading this story. It was so wonderful in every way.

Author's Response: Thank you so much!

I ALWAYS planned on having Elliot being a big meanie poo so I actually hated writing him. I used to always scowl and mumble, "I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE UP TO, ELLIOT!" but I tried to hide it, haha :P

A lot of people think (and write) that when a person is in a relationship, they're going to last forever and ever and ever but the sad and hard truth that a lot of relationships WON'T work out. So I wanted to write that in my story!

I admit, I got a little teary when Molly died :'( But I always laughed when I was writing Al. He's such an eccentric character and I loved writing every scene with him, haha! :P

Thank you so much for this beautiful review. You're just so lovely! ♥

- Kayla :)


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Review #23, by luvinpadfootThe Very Bottom of the Cauldron: Fischer Family Fact Time

23rd June 2014:
Ooh I really enjoyed this! You got Frida's personality spot on. She seems like such a real character, spouting insults that aren't always the most clever, but enough so that it's amusing to read. She's so funny and vibrant and original, which I think can be difficult to do with OC's sometimes. You've definitely broken the mold with her, so kudos!

The relationships you've started building here, namely with her mother, sister, Agatha, and the Potters, all have great potential. I especially love the way she interacted with her mother. They seemed to banter more like friends than mother and daughter, but it really worked with them. The same comment goes for Melissa. They felt like sisters, bickering sisters. Not all sisters are the best of friends, no matter how many times it's written that way, but it's still obvious she cares about her sister.

I'm very interested to see more of the Potter boys! I'm assuming James knows her well from being prefects together and his brother friends with her sister, but I'm not sure quite yet how he really feels about her. He obviously likes her at least a little since he got her out of the compartment and possible out of a great deal of trouble.

For constructive criticism, I only have that sometimes her inner commentary got a little tiring to read. I'd love to see it interspersed with some more descriptions. I think that could help the flow of the piece a lot.

You have a lot of interesting characters and a great dynamic building between them for the first chapter! It's a wonderful beginning. :)

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Review #24, by luvinpadfootDevlin Potter: Riddle and Rescue: Shifting Thoughts

16th June 2014:
I didn't have time to catch up to the last chapter tonight, but I'll continue working on this story for the next however long it takes me. I'm really enjoying it! I'll continue onto the others tomorrow, but I'll probably leave reviews every ten or so chapters. :)

Devlin/Dubhan seems much older than he is, even for a child prodigy and the grandson of Voldemort. It's not so much the story or plot surrounding him, but rather your writing. Your writing is amazing and you have lovely word choice, but it feels very adult in tone, language, and style. It just feels very mature in ways that even a brilliant child who's been through what Devlin has can't master. I guess the word I'm looking for is worldly. Devlin has a very worldly sense even though he's a young child with limited life experiences. I think this was more of a comment for the first few chapters (in part since he was younger) and that's seemed to tone down a bit more for the last couple.

Sometimes you mix up apostrophes, especially words like its and it's. Also adding the occasional extraneous space in words like illogical. Other than that, I only noticed the occasional typo which wasn't distracting from the story. Just a few things to maybe keep an eye on.

One thing you do really well is viewing the characters from different point of views. The best example is the way Devlin views Harry. At first I thought you weren't giving Harry enough credit, but then I realized it was Devlin not giving Harry enough credit and from other POVs you can really see Harry's strength. You give such great depth to all the characters through this.

Another thing is the physical feelings, like when Remus punches Geoffrey. You write those scenes with such power that it's impossible to disregard anything the feels. This story is very emotional and there's a lot going on in the various characters' heads that they don't say, but the physicality isn't forgotten about.

The way you combine both Dubhan and Devlin into the same character is quite wonderful and well done. The differences are so intricate that he's never completely one or the other, but instead both at the same time. The intertwining of the two is masterfully done. It's sweet how Emma's the one who manages to bring out the emotion in him. Even though he's faking it to get his wand back, he's doing that for her and it's sweet.

This is a really great story and I'm looking forward to catching up on the rest of it. :)

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Review #25, by luvinpadfootDragons, Disguises, and Not-So-Dumb Blondes: Dragons, Disguises, and Not-So-Dumb Blondes

17th May 2014:
I really wasn't expecting to love this story as much as I did, but it was brilliant! I absolutely adored the way you wrote Greece. Have you ever been there? Because I'd totally believe that you had from the way you wrote it. It just seemed so easy and natural which is hard when writing about other countries. (Granted, for all I know you could be Greek. That'd be awkward.)

I can honestly say I've never seen Teddy written like this and I adored it. It really feels like you combined Remus and Tonks's personalities into one person, which I guess that's what Teddy is so it makes perfect sense. He's the perfect mixture of chivalrous nice guy and cocky jerk. The way you turned the chivalry around on him with Victoire at the end was amazing. It's nice to see the girl saving the guy in a realistic way for once. It fit very nicely into their personalities.

"We are Greek. What do we care about protocol?" That line. I was reading this at some ridiculous hour of the morning and that line almost made me wake up the whole house I was laughing so hard. All the Greek characters were hilarious, from Nikolas to the Minister. Even Victoire's horror at realizing the man she'd just threatened was the Ministry. All so unbelievably perfect. I can't write humor so I'm always amazed and impressed by those authors like you who do it so well.

By the time I reached the ending, even though I knew it was a Victoire/Teddy and where it was going, it felt so right. You really built up to their relationship so well and earned that sweet, romantic moment at the end. The love/hate relationship can feel tacked on or overdone sometimes, but I think you tied it into the characters and the story realistically. It worked. Everything you did in this story worked. I may have read it a couple of times it was so good. :) I really really loved it!

Author's Response: Hola hola!

First off, I am very glad that my story surprised you! You are so sweet.

Yes, I have been to Greece (and it's totally as great as the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants makes it look), though I am not from there, so no need whatsoever for awkwardness. Although some people thought I was Greek? Does that count?

Hahaha--that was one of my favorite parts to write. All the humor of the Ministry section. My other published stories are less humorous, or at least less zany, and I loved taking a break to be silly and write this one. I'm always reading at ridiculous hours, so I am well familiar with the don't-wake-the-sleepers laughter, and am delighted to have inspired it :D

Thank you so much for this review! It's like I've received a box of warm, fuzzy, happy feelings. I am so, so glad you enjoyed the story. The smile on my face is huge.

Thank you for making my day!

--Penny



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