Reading Reviews for Portraits of Courage
184 Reviews Found

Review #1, by magnolia_magic Lily Evans

4th June 2013:
Hi! I remember reviewing a couple of the other stories in this collection (the Remus one still stands out in my mind--I loved it so much!), so I decided I'd continue with it.

I'm really amazed at how well you pull off McGonagall in this series. She is one of those characters that's just hard to get right; she's so stern, and yet there are moments where her soft side shines through. It's touch to strike a good balance there, but you do it flawlessly, I think :) Her affection for these students seems so natural; it never seems like you're trying to force anything out of her.

As for Lily, I thought you did a great job with her as well. Her determination is easy to see, but she isn't overbearing. She's soft-spoken (at least around her Head of House) and conscientious. She prides herself on her accomplishments. We don't know a whole lot about Lily from the books, but for some reason all of these qualities you've given her seem to fit very well. And McGonagall's sly little comment about James at the end! It made me smile, and I love that you showed that moment of hope even through pain.

Something I've noticed about your writing is that you just seem to know the simplest, most effective ways to express emotion. You don't overdo anything, and I think the straightforward feel to your style is just perfect for McGonagall's narration. She obviously doesn't like what the world has become, but she accepts that her students have to live in the world in its current state. There are no lofty metaphors, not a word out of place. These stories just feel effortless.

Thanks for the swap, and good luck with getting back into the swing of things :) I love reading your work!


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Review #2, by Jchrissy James Potter

18th October 2012:
I saw your post about a crummy day. I'm here to try and make it a bit better! Though this review will probably suck because I'm trying to get an email finished up.

FEELS. Why? What did I ever do to you, that warranted you attacking me with 'i love James and this is the beginning to his end' feels??

You're such an amazing writer. I feel like I've said that so many times that the meaning probably seems diluted, but it's true. I can go weeks without reading part a chapter of this, then with the first line I'm sucked back in to that terrible forbidding feeling. We know what happens. They don't.

I love seeing Minerva a bit softer with James. It was the same woman in the Darkest Grave. You characterize her better than I've ever scene.

James takes a real step into adult hood with this. He commits to something that kills him, but he also is part of the puzzle that ends this war for good. Only he never gets to see that ;(. No one can break my heart like the Marauders, but written in your truly perfect style just adds so much more.

Author's Response: That was so sweet of you, Jami. :)

Haha, I can't say I'm all that sorry about the feels. I loved writing this chapter and I'm glad that sense of "end" came across well.

Aw, thank you so much. I think that's the whole tragedy of this era - knowing what we do and having no power to do anything about it. All the feels!

Ah, thank you. Minerva is a notoriously difficult character to get, so I'm really pleased you enjoy my characterization of her in this story.

James definitely has to grow up quite fast, they all do. But I think that's what makes him who he is. He's such a strong character and he sacrifices so much for those that he loves. Poor James.

Thank you again for your lovely review. It definitely cheered me up when I read it. :)

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Review #3, by Debra20 Molly Weasley

3rd October 2012:
And I'm back for more. Sorry it took so much, but I've had messes in real life to take care of.

Another well done chapter! Ever since I read the previous one, which was written in Fabian and Gideon's POV, I have been wondering what Molly's feelings might have been on the matter. How would she get involved in the war? How did she deal with all the pressure, the terror, etc? Now, reading your story, it only makes sense that it was through her brothers. I don't think I'll ever be able to consider any other option, other than the one you thought about.

I liked the ominous feeling of the chapter. How Molly was beyond frustrated (and scared) with her brothers because they kept appearing wounded at her door. I think it's terrible to be in her situation and not even know what's going on. They say "ignorance is bliss' but in cases like these I think it's rather like a curse.

I enjoyed reading Molly. I'm glad you succeeded in keeping those qualities we reached to know and love throughout the series: her fiery spirit, her never ending care and love for her family for whom she'd sacrifice her own life. Molly really is one of the best examples of motherly love that exist out there.

Another pleasant read! As always :D

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Review #4, by Remus Remus Lupin

25th September 2012:
Hey! Perelandra here from the forums with your super awesomely late review!! :S So sorry! I meant to leave one for the last couple of days and man...RL is annoying sometimes! But I'm here now! :)

I'm glad you requested a Remus story! :D He's my favorite adult character in the series (hence the penname) and I've never read a story where he is recruited for the first war.

The first thing that drew me in was the narrative. Right off the bat I was transported into McGonagall's office waiting along with her for Remus. I really liked how she can see Remus shift from a teen to a serious human being, something I always imagined Remus do. You actually wrote something that I wish I had thought of in my own Remus fic!

"She saw it in his eyes two years ago, unbridled fear that nearly crippled him, when he started stammering about packing his bags and leaving the grounds following that unpleasant incident with Mr Snape."-- I JUST wrote a chapter about the prank on Snape and as soon as I read that, in my head I went "why didn't I think of that! It's definitely something Remus would do!!" Hahaha, so yeah! Even the little details you give is through McGonagall about Remus, he feels so well in character. His movements, the way he kept it very well in check which I really like. Some authors completely forget that he's a werewolf and the way they describe him is almost perfect if you get what I mean.

I really like how Minerva is actually struggling to recruit him. She has seen him grow up and despite being just a teacher she cares for him and the last thing that she wants is to put him-or any of them for that matter-in any sort of danger. However, it is a war and it has to be done.

Anyway, this was a great moment in Remus' life and you definitely added a moment that I never thought about reading. You said that it wasn't been Beta and quiet honestly I couldn't tell! So kudos on that because I can't manage it to save my life. Hahaha!

Thanks for the request! :D


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Review #5, by Jchrissy Molly Weasley

28th August 2012:
Ahh this might be my favorite one so far. I really love your portrayal of Molly. The ever caring, strong as an ox, but with a temper able to strike, Molly. She's so perfect, and I just want to tell her now that someday it will all be worth it. Someday, not anytime soon, it will be worth it and everyone she's about to lose, will have been lost all to finally end this.

Blah. You're killing me with feels.

I love that you didn't leave Molly out. It's not fair of them to want her to be incredible involved, because she has five babies to care for, but I can see how she'd want to be in enough to know what's going on and have her door open to those who need health or healing.

You've done such a remarkable job at making her feel anything but ease about this, and how could she! Look what is happening, what kind of mother would ever become part of something like this without some serious second guessing. She really is such a strong character, and you highlighted that beautifully.

Great installment!


Author's Response: I always get nervous when people read the previous chapter and express their relief that I'm not including Molly in this...only to realize she's the next chapter. So, that being said, I'm really glad you liked it. Molly is seriously one of my favorite characters in the series. She is such a strong, fierce woman who has this deep desire to protect and nurture. I love that about her.

The feels! I wish I could do the little heart symbol but it never works for me, so know I was thinking about putting it there.

See, my thoughts on this are that yes, Molly has young children at home and she's not going to go running out to get herself killed. I love the idea of her being that person that would patch the injured up, though, and as she's so motherly, she'd be perfect!

I really didn't want her to go into this so willingly. She does have a lot to think about - especially her family and what they're doing is dangerous, as she's seen with her brothers, but it's the end, she knows what she has to do, you know? And that's what is important.

Thank you again for all your wonderful reviews. You're awesome. :)

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Review #6, by Jchrissy Alastor Moody, Gideon and Fabian Prewett

15th August 2012:
Ahhh I love stories that feel like they do Moody justice, I think more often than not he's either under or over done, but this was just perfect. And, we know what Molly's choice was since she was never a member of the first order. I like that, though. Because, yes she wants to fight and help and we know she does everything she can, but she does have three very young boys and - I know this will sound harsh - but purposefully putting herself in death's way would be selfish.

I could feel the tension between these three men, not on each other, well except Mad Eye because that man is always tense, but just on the entire subject. I'm wondering if the Phoenix pin is canon? If not, great job for making it feel so insanely original and fitting that.

I feel like I was listening to something I shouldn't have been, like they were talking in whispered voices and I was holding my breath wanting to hear the rest. Just everything about this is so refreshing because this is a situation that isn't often explored, if it is explored it's usually done in a cliche way and doesn't involve this cast.

I'm gushing, huh? Obviously I loved this. And am very happy I had time to continue this one shot collection!

I almost forgot! You are trying to break my heart with the line about half of them being too young to know what they're even fighting for. I felt it crack. All the faces of the barely adults we lost. Gahhh.

Okay, I'm really done this time! ♥

Author's Response: I haven't read many Moody stories and I was a bit nervous to tackle him as a character (I'm not sure if you've noticed but I'm always anxious about writing characters I'm not familiar with), but I definitely think Moody played a huge role in the first war and I wanted to emphasize that.

I agree with your thoughts on Molly (and why I get nervous when people realize I did actually include her), but you made the connection that she wasn't putting herself in harm's way, that she was going to take on a role that would still allow her to do what she had to and keep her family safe.

War is definitely a tense subject and it's certainly a time in their lives where anxieties are running high and they want things to get done but the government is refusing to act. I really would love to write more Gideon and Fabian eventually. :)

I'm not sure if the pin is canon or not? I can't really remember where I came up with the idea either. It's just something that sort of built itself up in my mind and didn't want to leave.

I'm so glad you've had time to continue to! Your reviews really make my day. I'm glad that the emotions are working for you and you can feel yourself getting immersed into this story that I've created.

Gah, I'm sorry about trying to break your heart! That line kills me too but it's something I really like to harp on in my war fics. Sometimes we forget how young they all really were and I like to just remind my readers of their youth.

Thank you so much. You are seriously such a lovely person!

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Review #7, by Jchrissy The Phoenix Rises

8th August 2012:
And so James, Remus, Sirius, Peter, Lily. all enter into the Order and in one way or another, give their lives to the war. Blah. You are on a mission - you want to send me into a big sloppy ball of angsty tears, right? I think this was the perfect way to show just how the Order formed, and I am *so* jealous at your portrayal of Dumbledore. He's absolutely perfect. Completely. Do you know how hard that man is to write?! Obviously not considering it sounds like he was chatting over your shoulder while you did this.

This entire first chapter of the collection revolving around the Phoenix, around what that bird means and stands for, was very creative and extremely powerful. You've taken some that is hardly ever thought about, that I've never seen depicted (the forming of the Order from Dumbledore's twinkling blue to McGonagall's righteous heart) and turned it into a moving and haunting piece. We know what happens, we know how everything ends and we know what these people give for the Order.

And now thanks to you, I know how it started. This was beautifully done, your writing has seriously been the highlight of my day.

The line about the pin feeling heaving, feeling heavy like the weight of the world and her students lives. That single line just twisted my heart, is brought my directly to the reminder of Into the Darkest of the Grave - because she really is one of the very few to survive the first wizarding world. And I bet that kills her every day.

Truly beautiful piece.

Great job! ♥

Author's Response: Bahaha, well, yes, that is my ultimate goal. The angst of the Marauder era is unavoidable! It just draws me in. ;)

Gah, Dumbledore scares me! To this day, I think this is probably the only good portrayal I've ever written of him and it took a long time for me to really wrap my head around how I wanted him to come across. I'm really happy it worked for you. :)

Besides the trouble with Dumbledore, this whole chapter practically wrote itself. The idea surrounding the phoenix literally just popped into my head one day and was like, "The phoenix is such a perfect description of the Order itself."

Your reviews are the highlight of my day, so thank you! You are far too kind ('m doing a little internal squee).

I'm glad you made the connection between Into the Darkness of the Grave and this fic since they really do correlate with one another. :)

Thank you so much, again. You are a rockstar. I owe you for your sweet reviews.

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Review #8, by WitnesstoitAll Lily Evans

7th August 2012:
Hey hey!! Happy Birthday to youuu!

I loved this chapter (I know I say this about all of them, but it's truee!) As I said in the James-chapter, I adore your characterization to Minerva to pieces. I cannot imagine being in that role. Of course she's a disciplinarian and an educator, but at her heart, she's a mother. these children are the ones she never had, and to have to recruit them, endanger their lives ughh. That's so moving and I think you do a brilliant job of capturing that emotion.

I also really enjoyed your characterization of lily in this chapter... she's very eager to please and proper and humble and demure -- it is such a treat to see that after all the rage!fiery!sassy!ginger-lily characterizations that are out there. I think people tend to forget that she's HARRY POTTER'S MOTHER. She gave up her youth for a idealistic cause, she gave up her life for her son... I have a very hard time connecting these canon facts to the common characterization of her. Your lily, though... omg. she /is/ that canon lily.

All in all, this was a brilliant chapter! I hope you have a good birthday!

Author's Response: Hey, hey, thank you. :)

Haha, you can totally love all of them, that is okay. I'm glad you love Minerva. It was definitely not my intention to write all of the Marauders from her POV but it worked in my favor to really push across that feeling that she's sort of sending them off to their deaths, you know? Like they are her responsibility and yes, she's giving them the opportunity to say no, but deep down, she knows that they won't.

I definitely feel that Minerva is motherly, despite being an educator. It makes me sad.

Ah, I love Lily. I don't think she's a hot-head like some people believe. Maybe a little bit, but I definitely think she's humble. I love that you remember that she gave up her youth for that and you're feeling a connection with her character and canon Lily. I love youu. :)

Thank you so much. You're awesome.

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Review #9, by Debra20 Alastor Moody, Gideon and Fabian Prewett

14th July 2012:
Back again!

Glad to see that this too was a delicious read. Another extremely well handled chapter of this little short story you have started. There is something that attracts me to your story and telling it from different point of views adds to it's appeal.

Moody. Strong. Capable. Calm. Human. This chapter does the character of Alastor Moody so much justice. You have shown us what I've always suspected: that he's not a war machine. He is indeed human with live emotions, a conscience and a working heart. War does harden him and it would be foolish not to toughen yourself when there is so much depending on you, on your capability to act fast, to make quick decisions that could very well kill a loved one. Moody is not an exception. War changes people. And this is exactly what you managed to convey with this second chapter. Very well handled!

Fabian and Gideon. I have a soft spot for these two and I can't explain why. We see and hear too little about them in the books, not to mention the films, to actually 'fall in love' with the characters. There's something about their names. So my delight was doubled when reading this chapter because apart from a great characterization of Moody we get to see how these two brothers were. Even though their 'screen time' so to say is limited you can feel that they are brave, that they won't back off from danger or risk when it comes to protecting their loved ones. That's exactly how I imagined them. Of course there is more to a character than that, but the first image you transmitted felt very real and true. Nicely done!

This is proving to be a wonderful piece! It definitely deserves more love and attention :D

Author's Response: Glad to see you back!

I really wanted to approach this story from different points of view, though for the Marauders parts, I stuck with one POV to hopefully make a bigger impact.

I was definitely worried about my interpretation of Moody so I'm pleased at how human he comes across to most of the readers. I really wanted to show how much experience he had and how much he was relied on in the war.

Gah, I love Gideon and Fabian and would love to write more of them in the future, for sure. I definitely took from Molly a little bit how strong she is as a character and used that to create how I imagined Gideon and Fabian would be.

Thank you so much for your lovely review. I really appreciate it.

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Review #10, by Debra20 The Phoenix Rises

14th July 2012:
Hey there!

Let me start off by saying that it was so so hard for me to choose which story to start reading from your Author's Page. When I first opened it and started reading through all of your summaries I was shocked to find that I loved so many of the themes you wrote about. It was almost too hard to pick one!

On to the actual review. I have to admit this is a fabulous idea. Every time someone writes something Pre/Post-Hogwarts or just during the period of the First War I feel like offering them eternal candies! I feel like a two years old. I loved the ominous feeling of this first piece. It's the perfect beginning to introduce us to the events that will shake all the Wizarding world and not only. Even if we didn't know, in part, what was about to happen I think you would have managed perfectly well on your own to convey the dark clouds of war that were starting to form: McGonagall's concern that the Houses were starting to divide and experience internal conflict was one of the major signs.

There's always something blood pumping about preparations for war. This short entry is just the introduction to it. I hope to see more of it!

The characters. A very accurate depiction of Dumbledore and McGonagall you pulled of here. I take my hat off in front of you for trying and succeeding. Especially Dumbledore. He is one of THE most, if not the most, difficult character to write for me. There is always something about him that eludes my writing. Even if I would have used other words (that goes down to personal style to be honest), you captured his essence in a stunning manner. Kudos to that.

All I can say is, I cannot wait to explore more of this Short Story Collection because I have a feeling it's going to be a great ride!

Author's Response: Hi Debra!

Aw, thank you. It always makes me so happy to hear that my summaries are so interesting.

I love the idea of First War fics and this was just begging me to be written. I definitely wanted to give the prologue a darker feel because of the atmosphere of the war and what I was writing about.

I hope you get a chance to read more of this. I think you'll enjoy it.

Dumbledore and McGonagall are notoriously difficult to write, I think. To this day I don't think I could ever write Dumbledore again, haha. McGonagall is getting easier the more I write her. But thank you for your compliments.

Also, thank you for your review. It was really lovely. :)

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Review #11, by Renfair Remus Lupin

9th July 2012:
Yay! Remus! The one Marauder whose guts I don't hate! Actually, I do rather like Remus. I also especially liked the quote you used for this chapter.

The details in the first few paragraphs were great: Remus looking excitedly at Minerva's books, how on edge he is (understandably since he has nothing to do except wait and expect this horrifically painful thing to happen every single month. And I thought being a woman and having PMS was bad.), and his over-sugaring of his tea. I'm not a smoker, but I'm dying to hand the poor guy a cigarette to calm him down.

"That is not what I expected," he admits, once he's breathing normally again. --Yeah...not quite the T.A. position you had a suspicion about, Remus?

I never thought about Remus trying to recruit werewolves in the first war. I guess it makes sense since he did it the second time around. But he's just so young here, it's scary to think about him doing that.

So I wonder who else you're going to write about here? Peter, obviously, since you've covered the other three. I think leaving him for last is best because I could definitely see McGonagall putting that talk off for as long as she could since she must have had many reservations about having to ask him to join up. This was a really interesting idea for a short story collection. I think you've done a great job with it! ~Renny

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Review #12, by Renfair Sirius Black

9th July 2012:
Ok, I don't like Sirius, but I'm willing to put my personal tastes aside to read what you've done with him :D Though I am loathe to admit it, he was very brave (you know, in a reckless, stupid sort of way.) I like to think that maybe he would have grown up and matured a bit if he hadn't been left to rot in Azkaban for his entire young adulthood.

"She looks at Sirius and she sees a broken, betrayed boy. Despite his easy grin and quick tongue, he is troubled; Sirius is all dark shadows curled around too many childhood secrets." --Ok, you get major brownie points (like mudslide brownies...mmm) for making me feel a fleeting ounce of pity for Sirius. I admit I have my own prejudices, being a Snape fan first and foremost, so I've always been pretty hard on Sirius in my mind. I guess I always gave Snape more lee-way for being a bully to the (dumb) students (who deserved it) because I figured he just had such a horrible life. I never stopped to think about what kind of childhood Sirius had before coming to Hogwarts and how that must have shaped him into the bully he was at school. So yeah, kudos to you for pointing that out to me! I still hate his guts, though.

"She wonders if Dumbledore made the right choice in picking him for the Order." --I wonder what would have happened if he had picked Severus instead? Would he and James have finally worked together since James wouldn't have had his other half? Probably not with Lily in the middle...

I like how you are able to describe the action of Minerva removing the pin differently in each chapter. In general, I think this chapter has the best descriptions so far! One more chapter to go!

Oh, and I REALLY REALLY REALLY hope you'll be adding a Severus chapter to this, since it's still a WIP. I'll get down on my knees and beg if I have to! I'd absolutely LOVE to read what you come up with ;) (and you have my total permission to "spam" me with a PM if you do write one and I haven't been back to review it yet!) ~Renny

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Review #13, by WitnesstoitAll James Potter

9th July 2012:

James is such a beautiful character in canon and you did a remarkable job bringing that to life. He's passionate and talented and humanly flawed, and I think these are the things that make him such a great character. He doesn't need some shadowy, long seeded obsessed love story to tug at readers hearts. He is a boy -- seventeen is far, far from maturity for the male gender -- but he is so, so sure in his beliefe of right and wrong. An idealist to be sure, and though he may sometimes blur the line between black and white, he always has good intentions, other-centric intentions.

Okay, ending that character ramble, this was a brilliant chapter. I was so moved by Minerva's internal monologue -- thinking that she's already failed him. gah. There is so many great relationships and motivations to explore in this era of characters and this story, more than any other maurader ere story I've read, makes me wish I've read more fics from this era.

I find it very interesting that Minerva chose James first -- that she recognizes him as a natural born leader. Try as people may, that sort of vitality and magnetism can't be faked. Gah. So many emotions about all of this -- great chapter.


Author's Response: B'aww, your love for James makes me so happy. You've described my James perfectly and I love that you /get/ him. You understand where he's coming from as this headstrong seventeen year old boy, eager to please but also so fierce in his loyalties and beliefs. I just love him to bits.

Minerva! She breaks my heart with every chapter. It's so hard to put her in this position, to hand them these pins and know she's responsible for whatever happens to him, and just knowing that whatever DOES happen, she's essentially ripped their young adult lives away from them and thrust them into war.

James does come across to me, at least, as a leader. Dumbledore saw it in him as Head Boy even when no one else did. I think that's what I had her choose him first, knowing that with him as the leader, the others would fall into place as they would.

Thank you for your sweet review. ;)

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Review #14, by Renfair Lily Evans

9th July 2012:
One thing I love about Harry Potter is how JKR really made women just as important as men in the wars against Voldemort. I especially appreciate the extra power she gave to mothers like how it was Molly who killed Bellatrix, not Sirius in his duel or another Auror, and how Narcissa basically risked her own life both when she went to Severus for help and also when she lied about Harry being dead to learn Draco's fate. Of course Lily isn't a mother here yet, but she's always been a character I really admire.

Putting Lily's chapter right after James was a good move. Obviously the two sort of go together, but it also created a good contrast between the two. Both are loyal and brave, but James is more animated in his eagerness while Lily is reserved and sober, but wanting to help just as much. Her rumpled clothes were a nice touch (hahaha, I guess she must be pretty taken with James after all if she would let him, um, "distract" her away from being on time to a meeting with McGonagall.)

"Minerva knows it's not an eagerness to please that brought forth the quick affirmation but that Lily is so steadfast in her loyalty to this school and those who hold a place in her heart, that she'd certainly sacrifice her own life in place of another, or to keep this a secret." --I really like that. With someone like James or Sirius, they might answer so quickly because they're eager to be in on the secret, but Lily is very guileless and simply would never consider needing to answer any other way.

I've always thought so, but the way you're writing her, McGonagall is one of the strongest characters in the series. Imagine being able to still carry on and fight in another war with the crippling guilt she must have had when it turns out she really did, in essence, hand out death sentences to these kids?

I know the two pieces aren't connected, but this one really goes well with "Into the Darkness of the Grave."

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Review #15, by Renfair James Potter

9th July 2012:
"Snape put - " he almost slithers out of his seat as he tries to scratch his back, " - itching." --HahaHA! And I bet you deserved it, you horrible little toerag! (sorry, sorry. I just really hate James and Sirius.)

"He was going to hurt Peter if I didn't step in." --And I bet HE deserved it, too! (sorry! I'll try to stop!)

"We need you to be courageous and noble, not stupid and reckless." --THAT will be hard for him. (ah! There I go again!! Blame it on your good writing. I always respect fan fic writers who make me hate James as much as in the books, as well as the ones who are able to make me feel a tiny, smidgen of pity... but that doesn't happen too often. He's just so...AUGH!!! I HATE HIM!)

I know Dumbledore didn't have a choice since it really should be the professors who know the students best to be the ones to ask them to join the Order, but I still hate the position he put Minerva in (because of this: "She can't help feeling like these children are hers, and it's her duty to protect them, keep them safe.") It had to be done, and sacrifices had to be made, but I really wonder if anyone in James's group of friends knew what they were getting into. You *think* you know at that age, but you really don't have any idea what a war is like until you've lived through one (or someone you love has been through one).

I love the quotes you have at the beginning of each chapter. They really set the tone well for the corresponding portrait. ~Renny

Author's Response: You didn't have to read James's chapter if you don't like his character. I wouldn't have been offended. You wouldn't have missed much since each chapter can technically stand alone.

I feel really bad for McGonagall in this fic because of the position Dumbledore has put her in. It is hard, but like you said, she knows her students best. Sometimes I think we forget how young they all were when the war started and when lost loved ones, or died. I don't think any of them really knew what they were getting themselves into, at least at first. When you're hidden behind the safety of Hogwarts, I think the real world is sort of like this thing that can't touch them, you know?

The quotes have been marvelous sources of inspiration for each chapter and I'm glad you liked them. Thanks for the review.

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Review #16, by Renfair Molly Weasley

9th July 2012:
Well, that answers my question of whether Molly joined up this war or the next.

I think you've done a very good job in this chapter and the one before showing the brothers/sister relationship of the Prewetts. They obviously love each other to death but also drive each other crazy. I wonder, is Molly older or younger than the twins? It could go either way because she's constantly having to patch them up, but they're also only getting into trouble because they're protecting her and her family. "She has five young boys sleeping upstairs, but as she opens the door to her house to reveal one of her brothers, sometimes she thinks that she has seven." --That makes me think Gideon and Fabian are younger than her... but they're also guys, and guys always need a bit of baby-sitting to save them from themselves ;)

I'm glad Molly's so good at healing. That can be even more important than being a fierce warrior since someone has to put the world back together once everything's finished.

Sorry these reviews aren't quite as long as my others. I want to keep reading since you're doing such a good job of describing the anxiety and sense of uncertainty each character experiences. ~Renny

Author's Response: Yep! My thoughts are that yes, she has young children at home and it's not exactly fair to ask this of her, but at the same time, Molly has always come across to me as a character who is fiercely protective of her family. I think I always imagined her as taking a minor role in this first war, like patching up the wounded, so she could still take care of her family, but I can't see her staying out of it completely.

I really can't imagine how Molly must feel - losing her brothers in the first war and her son in the second. She's still this amazingly strong woman that we see in canon, though, and I really love that about her character. I enjoyed writing her relationship with her brothers. I suppose I kind of imagined her as younger but like you said, boys are boys and women mature faster anyway. ;) I think it could go either way, though.

I don't mind the length. You're still very thorough and your reviews have substance so I always appreciate them. Thanks.

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Review #17, by RHadley Remus Lupin

9th July 2012:
Wow (again).

Just from reading each of these, I get the impression that you have a very clear, detailed understanding of each of the characters involved, and their reactions and personalities. I'm glad that none of these feel like a cliche, as that would kill of the story - the wonder comes from each of the people reacting in a different way to the offer, although all do accept their position.

This story would've been terrible wthout good characterization, mercifully, it has some brilliant characterization. I don't want to have to choose between the characters for my favourite, becasue I found them all very engaging. However, I feel that the way you presented McGonagall deserves a special mention - when I posted the review of chapter one I mentioned her motherly nature - but after reading the interactions between her and the five students, her motherly emotions are very clear.
My favourite such example is when she is speaking to Lily, with the 'Say hello to Mr. Potter' line and her emotions surrounding that.

One of my favourite things about these small moments is how you return them back to the way, with McGonagall feeling like she is signing their death scentences, is something truly powerful.


Author's Response: Wow, what a compliment, thank you! The Marauders + Lily are definitely characters that I feel very familiar writing so I think that helped, despite the fact that it was told from McGonagall's POV, in seeing their reactions to the proposition.

Ahah, I'm glad my characterizations worked for you. It seems it would be a tragedy if they didn't. Yes, I do see McGonagall as a motherly figure for them and I really wanted to bring that home in these chapters, write her feelings of guilt at dragging them into this war. I did want to reiterate her thoughts on that too, hence the repetition of signing their death sentences.

Thank you for your lovely reviews. They were a pleasant surprise this morning. :)

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Review #18, by RHadley The Phoenix Rises

9th July 2012:
Wow. I can't remember if I've mentioned it before, but you are very adept at building tension in your chapters.

Personally, I think that the motherly nature of Professor McGonagall is very fitting, and very much reminiscent of the character presented in the books, and the philosophical Dumbeldore, combined with the remark about the pawns being in position, is an unusual but still intruiging portrayal of the man.

Another point to note is that your descriptions are very good - there may not be much to describe for example your description of the sunset makes it carry far more weight.

Author's Response: I'm not sure if you have before, but it's always nice to hear some compliments.

I'm glad you agree with my version of McGonagall. Dumbledore is very wise and I often felt like he spoke in riddles with Harry, or at least, he would he never quite say enough. I kind of see him with McGonagall as giving her enough to make her own conclusions. I think the whole pawn idea was sort of reminiscent of Snape's comment about using Harry to die at the right time and there may have been some sort of metaphorical chessboard at some point in the series which led me to that conclusion.

I'm glad you think my descriptions are good. That makes me happy to know I'm doing a good job with that.

Thanks again for your reviews. You're so kind.

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Review #19, by Renfair Alastor Moody, Gideon and Fabian Prewett

8th July 2012:
I seem to be inadvertently reading a lot of Moody stories lately, but that's cool cause he's such a great character!

"his skills, his instinct too valuable to give up too easily" --That must be so hard for any veteran fighter when they see young people going into battle in their place. They know they have more experience, more skill, and less chance of getting themselves killed doing something stupid, but if they *are* killed, all of that knowledge and experience is gone in an instant.

"(her anger frightens him more than the prospect of fighting, of the war)." --Hehehe, I would agree!

Wow, this chapter was kind of uncanny for me personally, because in my own story I have Molly talking about what it was like during the first war when she wasn't able to join up because she was pregnant with the twins and had three other little terrors--I mean boys--running around (can you tell I have one myself??) Hmm, I wonder if you'll have her join up yourself or if she waited until the second war. I've been kind of torn between the idea that mothers of young children should be excluded because yes, sacrifices need to be made but there also needed to be SOME people whose sole job was raising the next generation and the idea that there isn't anything more fierce in the world than a mother protecting her babies. So... it's really such a tough choice for women like Molly and Lily especially in this time period.

These little snippets into each character's thoughts and emotions are great!

Author's Response: I love reading Moody stories! If you haven't already, academica has a really good one. :)

I really wanted to get the point across that Moody was such a valuable asset to the Order. He may have seemed super paranoid in the second war, but I imagine seeing what he did, watching all those kids die must have been so hard. His skills were so important too and while I'm not sure if Dumbledore really could have kept Moody from going out there and battling Death Eaters, it worked better this way for my fic.

Heh, Molly Weasley's infamous temper. I would be scared too.

You'll have to read to find out what I have Molly choose, but it was definitely a difficult decision because while she does have young children at home, I can't imagine Molly really sitting back while everyone else fights for her safety too. There were a lot of pros and cons for each decision, let me tell you.

I'm glad you're enjoying this fic. Thanks for the reviews - I was definitely very pleasantly surprised.

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Review #20, by Renfair The Phoenix Rises

8th July 2012:
Hey! Well, I stumbled onto this short story collection in my wanderings through your author page (I was VERY tempted by the story with the title from "The Riddle of Strider," having actually used the first half of that poem as my yearbook quote forever ago, but I'm just not a Sirius fan, unfortunately). I'm very much in an "Order" frame of mind at the moment with one of my two stories I'm working on, so this is just great! I've also heard lots of rave reviews about this collection, so no pressure or anything ;)

I really like your opening, especially, "A phoenix is immortal. Men are not." I never thought about just why the Order of the Phoenix is called what it is. I guess when I first read the books, I just thought, "Oh, Dumbledore has a phoenix, so that's why." But it's really more than that, isn't it? It's almost like a threat to the Dark forces out there: you may kill our members, but the Order will always rise again to stand against you.

"(it feels heavy in her hand, like the weight of the world, like the lives of her students)." --I really like that as well. I already know from reading your Minverva one-shot that you have the same sort of feeling about her as I do, like her students were all her children in a way (or at least her favorite students were...) It must have been excruciating for her to ask them to fight. However, she knew it had to be done because the war was coming, whether they were ready or not.

Again, you amaze me with your ability to put so much feeling and information into only a thousand or so words. I'm really looking forward to reading each portrait! ~Renny

Author's Response: I'm sorry you're not a Sirius fan. He's one of my favorite characters and it's unfortunate that most of my stories star him. That's an abandoned WIP anyway so it would've been disappointing to start only to realize it would never get finished.

I really wanted this first chapter to make an impact and the quote from JFK and that line about phoenix being immortal while men are not really stuck in my head and sort of spurred me on to writing this. I had never thought about the name either before I wrote this, but I love the idea of rebirth and like you said, it will always rise again.

Gah, that's one of my favorite lines that you pulled out. Just, poor McGonagall. It breaks my heart. I definitely focus on that relationship she has with each character in later chapters and the guilt she feels at dragging them into this war. Though I suppose they all would have been a part of the war whether she recruited them or not.

Thank you so much for your reviews. You have no idea how relieved I am that you enjoy my writing so much. I've been meaning to come back and finish up the last two chapters of Southanger Abbey and I hope to get to it soon.

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Review #21, by WitnesstoitAll Molly Weasley

5th July 2012:
So here I am with your review!! (Team Bronze)

I adore Molly Weasley's character in canon -- her strength and tenacity, her ability to put everything she loves and holds dear on the line in the hope of giving them all a better world to live in. And this chapter really did her justice, and brought a younger-her to life.

I couldn't imagine being in her position, a young mother and wife having to tend her brother's wounds and not knowing why or how they continue to sustain the injuries. That'd be so, so difficult. I was sort of tickled when I read your comparison between her temper and a Hungarian Horntail since I had a vague Molly-dragon allusion in my last WAT chapter... if the shoe fits, eh?

The end scene was fabulous. Her taking her temper out on Alastor, blaming him... but still taking the pin in the end. It was powerful and speaks of things to come. Poor, poor prewett boys. :( I think my favorite line in this chapter was the one you chose as the summary, about her going down fighting. It really encapsulated her character neatly into a handful of words.

And lastly, BABY CHARLIE.

great chapter!!

Author's Response: Here you are! Thank for you for, though you didn't have to.

I think Molly is a fabulous character and you nailed her on the head in your review. I was a little worried to write her. I don't think she was technically part of the first Order, especially with all her young children, but I didn't think it was fair to leave her out complete.

Haha, I love that we both see Molly as having a bit of a dragon-like temper. She's definitely very fierce and protective and I think she would do whatever it took to keep her children and family safe. I imagined her while writing the scene with Gideon just sort of frantic and worried but knowing she had to patch him up, to take care of him.

I think at the point with Moody she was looking for someone to blame. She didn't like the idea of her brothers going out, doing dangerous things that could get her killed, but in the end, she knew what was right - and that was taking the pin.

Hehe, baby Charlie. I definitely want to try my hand at writing him some day.

Thanks, love!

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Review #22, by married to black The Phoenix Rises

3rd July 2012:
I enjoyed this first chapter. You really captured the personality and traits that both professors hold. From the words they spoke to the motions and emotions they expressed, I felt like you really stuck to the way JKR had built the two characters and wrote it extremely well. I have read a piece of yours before, so I knew to expect great writing from you once more and fail me, you have not! You know how to convey emotions of the mood well and your descriptions are wonderful; I am able to imagine the happenings in the story in my head.

I found your grammar and spelling marvelous. The only thing I noticed was that you had accidentally started off this quote with an apostrophe rather than a quotation mark:

'As I've said before, Minerva, there are two sides to every war. It's time for us to fight back."

That's the only nitpick that I found. But really, great first chapter. I love Fawkes! And the quotes in the story... they are great and well thought-out. Really. Articulate words just as I would expect from the two. :)

Author's Response: I'm glad you liked this chapter! Dumbledore and McGonagall are notoriously difficult to write, I think, so it was a definite challenge to try and make sure they were in-character as much as I could possibly write them.

Aw, thanks. Emotion is definitely one of my strengths as a writer so I try to use that to my advantage as much as I can.

Oops! Thanks for noticing that mistake. I'll have to go back and fix that.

Thank you for your review - I'm so happy you loved this. I hope to see you back for more. :)

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Review #23, by WitnesstoitAll Alastor Moody, Gideon and Fabian Prewett

27th June 2012:
Figured it was a good time to read another chapter of this :)

I adored your characterization of Alastor in the opening scene. Sort of a mix of the drill sergent, teacher and father figure... he knows the cost of the war, but it doesn't mean he likes it. I think it was a beautiful image to see him sitting there whispering quietly that they'd come home.

The scene with Gideon and Fabian and Molly was so touching and sort of exciting in a morbid sort of way... exciting because the order is forming, the resistance to the darkness is forming... but at the same time, as a reader, I know what comes of their joining up. Another cost of war. Gah. This is so moving... I doubt i'm making any sense at all.

This line was my favorite line in the entire chapter: Wars canít be won if there isnít anyone willing to fight them." It's a same sentiment to what was in the first chapter, and the emotion it carries still floors me. gahhh. What a cruel time this generation was born into.

Beautiful, as always!

Author's Response: Oh, hey there, Mel! :)

I really liked writing this chapter. Alastor is an interesting character and I wanted to balance his soldier-mentality with one of a man who was doing his job, but also wanted to see his recruits coming home to their families.

I love Gideon, Fabian, and Molly. I kind of want to read more about Gideon and Fabian and their involvement in the war. Aw, yeah, it's so sad knowing everything we do as readers and reading stories prior to everything just falling apart. Molly's a tough cookie, though.

I love that line too! Sometimes when I'm writing...I don't even know where these things pop into my head but they sound good. :P But I feel like the sentiment holds true no matter what. If you don't have people believing in their cause (both sides), there is no war, you know?

Thanks, Mel! You're always so kind to me in your reviews. :)

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Review #24, by WitnesstoitAll The Phoenix Rises

24th May 2012:
I am so glad I clicked on this (was debating between this and a Remus one shot). But, Sarah had sung this story's praises yesterday ans so I was curious. I think this story touches on everything powerful about the first wizarding war. It was only a war because people took notice and objected to the heinous acts of Voldemort and his followers. The statement you make here, twice I think, is so moving -- there are two sides to every war. Dumbledore was incredibly brave for standing up when he did... he had to know what the war could potentially cost in terms of life and hardship, but he knew that in the end it would be for the greater good.

I think you did a great job of characterizing both Albus and Minerva. The silent understanding between the two of them speaks to their respect and trust of one another. I think the best bit of description in this, the bit that stayed with me as I read and set the tone to the chapter, was the image of the unmoving bodies in an otherwise moving magical photograph.

I felt so much compassion for Minerva, recruiting students -- mostly from her own house -- to the order. The bit about the weight of the pin feeling like the weight of the world or her students' lives. I think in the HP series people get so caught up in the immediate action that it's easy to forget what came before and what has already been sacrificed. This story is a fabulous commemoration to a generation snuffed out before their time.

Great job!

Author's Response: I am so glad you clicked on this too! There's a line in the next chapter that kind of reiterates the whole 'there are two sides to every war' kind of thing I was going for. I think Dumbledore's always known things that no one else knows, and if he wasn't going to create the Order, who would? I don't think there would've been any hope for small groups of rebels against Voldemort and the inaction of the Ministry.

I always felt like Minerva was kind of Dumbledore's right hand in a lot of ways, and it just seemed like a natural progression to include her on his plans for recruiting wizards and witches for his cause.

I'm glad you're empathizing with Minerva. I've definitely put her into a tough situation, recruiting her students, and if you continue to read, you'll read more about her guilt with her role in the war.

Thanks for taking the time to read and review. You always leave such great reviews. :)

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Review #25, by lizmusic45 The Phoenix Rises

24th May 2012:
I like this chapter a lot, and no matter what I always believe in Albus to make the right choices, I just always do that with every story. The thing is, while still believing in him, I loved, loved, loved Minerva so much more.

I love the chess reference at the end to me that was brilliant.

I always thought since day one of reading your stories that you were such a brilliant writer, and hey maybe one day I can write like her, but I never did just because your style is so perfectly wonderful that I couldn't take that, I'd screw it up, besides it belonged with you.

and you know what? it fits you perfectly.

Author's Response: Hey Liz, thank you so much for your review. Albus is a wise man, isn't he? But I am glad you sympathized with Minerva. I've certainly grown fond of her as I write these short stories.

Haha, I am glad you liked the chess reference. It was intentional, I assure you. :)

Thank you for your sweet words. You're a great writer yourself and you've definitely found your own voice. Be unique. I don't think I'm certainly anything to look up to, but I'm unbelievably grateful for your admiration.

Thank you. :)

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