Reading Reviews for Shadows and Dust
47 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Carolina Three Problems

30th May 2010:
I'm seriously loving this story.
The way you write and your portrayal of the characters are outright brilliant. I think it's awesome how you mentioned Dorian Gray in the previous chapter, not only because I love the book since the first time I read way back when, but because it was so fitting. It helps that I also have a weird fascination with Regulus ever since I found out his existence as the little brother of Sirius Black. I also love Lily and Snape in here. Most stories don't quite capture the dynamics of their relationship and you did so in such away that made it incredibly bittersweet and real. It was just so Snape and Lily for me. Why do we all call Snape by his surname, anyway? I feel horrible every time I do and I still do it... :p
Great work so far! You're a wonderful author, love.

Author's Response: Thank you very much! I haven't thought about this story as often as I should, which makes it even more wonderful to hear praise of it. ^_^

Regulus is a dangerously fascinating character - there's a lot more to him than Sirius ever imagined, and it's interesting to try and delve into who he could have been. You've reminded me how interesting all the characters were to write. I was trying a more neutral view of Lily here - less romantic and more realistic. Poor Snape - I think it's because Harry and his friends always called him Snape, so we caught onto it.

Anyway, thank you again for the wonderful review! I hope I can start working on this story again soon! :D

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Review #2, by Margravine Three Problems

23rd September 2009:
I am enjoying this. You had me at the nod to P&P, but you also are absolutely wonderful at Lily/Snape. While I think that relationship is one which revolutionised the way I (and everyone really) look at the HP books, I find it difficult to read usually. Keep up the always fantastic work!

Author's Response: Wow, thank you very much! The purebloods always remind me of old aristocratic manners, so it seemed right to place Regulus in a Darcy-ish role. :D

The Snape/Lily relationship is one that I've had trouble with for a while after reading DH, as it was so revolutionary in how it changed the portrayal of Snape (turning it on its head). It's an interesting ship to explore, and it's wonderful that my portrayal of it here has turned out well. :)

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Review #3, by uberwacky Three Problems

21st September 2009:
Truly a fantastic chapter. I really enjoy your writing style and characterization. Vivien is quite an interesting person. One could almost say she is the anti Mary sue for me, vivien is just quite an indifferent person. The very early years of her life were spent being neglected and that has had interesting repercussions on her life.
Vivian's astute observations make the story from her pov quite insightful. The shape lily in this chapter was killer.
all in all a really great chapter, but I was wondering one thing. How is this a rewrite of the fires within? Just a tad bit confused

Author's Response: When I re-write something, I re-write it entirely. It's taking place at the same time as Fires Within, and also includes Grimm as guardian with Snape as a major character, but those are about the only similarities. It's mostly because of Grimm that I labeled this as a re-write of Fires Within - to include him in an entirely different story that was taking place at the same time as Fires Within would have been confusing too.

Anyway, this is the story that I wish Fires Within had turned out to be. By the time I finished that one, there were so many changes I wanted to make, so I'm working through them all here. :D

It's really wonderful that you like Vivien - she's been difficult to develop thus far, and I've got my fingers crossed that she'll continue to work out. I'm glad that she's an anti-Mary Sue of sorts - I'm trying to make her realistic, with a lot of her own issues that affect her place in the Marauder-era world.

Thank you very much for the review! I really appreciate hearing from you and am so glad that you're enjoying reading this story. ^_^

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Review #4, by Rose of the West Three Problems

14th September 2009:
Vivien sounds like many girls her age. She will grow out of it. She should decide to become an Auror... she sees intrigue everywhere she looks.

Author's Response: An Auror... now that's one I hadn't thought of yet. I'll add it to her possibilities list, though she's not that much into practical magic - defensive spells and the like. But someone will probably suggest it to her all the same. :D

Thank you very much for reading and reviewing!

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Review #5, by zEthHPfrEaK Three Problems

6th September 2009:
ah. cliffy.

I hate you. hehe, just kidding. You wrote this story. How can I hate you? You're great. =]

Wow. That's all I can say: wow. This chapter was amazing. And, since I have to get off the computer soon, I'm going to go right ahead and start quoting you :)

"How Snape looked at Lily.

And how Lily never looked back."

Wow. That's all I can say (again :p). And pretty much every single other quote you had about Snape and Lily. It's just... Bittersweet.

And then the end? That was awesome. utterly amazing. The last four lines are "whoa!" worthy. So, whoa. You really have talent, and pretty much left be begging for more.

Hoping to read more soon! :D

Author's Response: Because this chapter was extremely difficult to write, I'm extremely glad that you liked it! :D There's a bit of a cliffie here because I felt the need to shove the story along a bit faster, give it more action. I don't exactly know what Regulus is up to, but knowing him, it's probably not the best of things. :P

The Snape/Lily relationship has intrigued me since DH, so it's interesting to work through it, showing how it might have looked to an outside (accidental) observer. It's one of the most tragic sorts of love stories, being unrequited and ending in both their deaths. *sniffs*

Anyways, thank you very much for taking the time to read and review this story! I really appreciate hearing from you. ^_^

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Review #6, by zEthHPfrEaK The Swallow

6th September 2009:
This is really good. It's just... I don't know what to say. I looked at the review box, and pretty much had no comments in mind... Weird. But after a bit of time, I realized these two things:

Your writing style is unique. I like it. I'm not exactly sure HOW it's different from most others, but it's definitely different :) Very cool.

And, also... It feels like you're setting up the romance/passion really well. I think you + writing + romantic relationships = amazing. :D I think having Regulas and Vivien simply being slightly intrigued is perfect. It's great that they aren't ALREADY falling in love, hating each other, or best friends forever. Because most stories are like that. And having this change is great! Definitely stands out. ;)

And that's pretty much it! This story is awesome. :D

Author's Response: That happens to me sometimes with reviews, but I really appreciate that you were able to make something up. :D I am trying to write this story differently, more like a Victorian novel to match the sombre mood of Vivien and her world. It's great that you like the style. ^_^

The one thing I'm still working out is how Vivien and Regulus will grow closer. They've started out very badly, yet they are, like you said, intrigued with one another, and that is the start of something for sure. What that "something" will be, however, is up in the air. :P

Thanks very much for reading and reviewing! ^_^

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Review #7, by StepUpx_Gryffindor Three Problems

6th September 2009:
O_o things are getting interesting! update soon.

Author's Response: Thank you! ^_^ I hope to have something written in not too long.

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Review #8, by StepUpx_Gryffindor Two Princes

6th September 2009:
Love where you are going! I already have a crush on Regulus haha.

Author's Response: Great, thank you! :D It's good to know that the plot is going in the right direction - it's something that's been giving me trouble.

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Review #9, by StepUpx_Gryffindor The Swallow

6th September 2009:
High quality story with awesome characters :] Can't wait to see what happens next!

Author's Response: Wow, thank you! ^_^

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Review #10, by StepUpx_Gryffindor Prologue: Christmas 1969

6th September 2009:
Very well written first chapter. Cheers!

Author's Response: Thank you very much! :D

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Review #11, by Plata Prologue: Christmas 1969

30th August 2009:
It's a good beginning. I like it and I can't wait to read the rest *hurries away to read the next chapter*

Author's Response: Thank you very much! :D I hope that you enjoy the rest as well!

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Review #12, by Jane_Volturi Prologue: Christmas 1969

26th August 2009:
This prologue was brilliant, i loved how you started it off as well.
There were no flaws in your writing and i really enjoyed your characterization. McGonagall was definitley in character, i especially liked McGonagall and Tiberius's dialogue, she spoke exactly how you'd expect her to.
I like how you ended it too, 'Vivien stepped forward to meet them, or was it to meet her fate?' on a question, it's definitley grabbed my attention now.
I don't know if i'm right here, but i sort of noticed at the beginning you'd made your writing style more-posh? I don't know if it's just me but if that was what you were intending to do then it gives off the impression that Tiberius was a wealthy man, or well spoken anyway, which he probably was. I think it takes a really good writer to be able to change their writing style to fit the character, but then again maybe you were just writing normally lol.
I like this whole plot, i've not yet fully gathered what's going on here because there's quite a few new characters in this prologue but from what i've read so far i really want to read more.
Your spelling and punctutaion was really good, you only made one mistake with your grammar, here.

'He reached for the bottle, his hand curling around the cool glass. It was light when he picked it up to pour some more into his glass.'

On the second 'glass' there should have been a pronoun, though i can't really think of anything, perhaps you could change the second sentance to 'It was light when he picked it up to pour himself another drink'.

You don't have to lol, i was just giving some constructive critisism, just thought it might help.
Your descriptive language was amazing, the perfect amount of detail, i could picture everything you described clearly in my head, it's obvious you've put a lot of effort and creativity into this, either that or you're a VERY talented writer.

Author's Response: Wow, thank you for reading and reviewing this! You've really gone into detail, which is wonderful, and I appreciate it. :D

Yes, at the beginning I did try to sound more sophisticated, but it was more as a joke than anything because of the wine and the expensive surroundings. It does, in a way, suit Tiberius, but at the same time, he's so negligent of things and doesn't realize how well off he actually is. This will greatly contrast Regulus, who knows his place in society much too well and takes it for granted.

For that section you pointed out, I should change it to "pour himself more to drink" as it does make more sense. That repetition of "glass" is unseemly and doesn't sound right. Thank you for pointing that out!

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Review #13, by serenade Prologue: Christmas 1969

24th August 2009:
Wow I totally love your style. :D It has this sort of Dickens-esque feel to it in some parts. Love your characterization of Grimm; it's very easy to imagine him! Enjoyed the p&p reference. Can't wait to read more!

Author's Response: Haha, that comes from reading way too many Victorian novels, then watching all the BBC adaptations. XD Thank you very much for reading and reviewing! It's wonderful that you liked this, and Grimm (he's my favourite OC to write, perhaps my favourite character). I hope that you enjoy the rest too. :D

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Review #14, by RoseCrimson Three Problems

24th August 2009:
I like where this is going :) Though I've almost completely forgotten what the beginning of the story was like, it's been so long since I read it. But hey, I'm still here!

Do keep writing this, please, I really like it, and you write very well, the sort of writing that makes you want to keep reading. I'm running a bit late so I won't leave a long review like I'd like to, but just know I really want to keep reading this, so please keep writing!


Author's Response: Haha, I had to re-read the whole thing before writing the chapter because I had the same problem. That's the bad part about taking so long to update a story. It's great that you came back to read and review the new chapter! Thank you very much! :D

Wow, thank you for that compliment. It's one of my more difficult WIPs to write, but there's a lot of interesting aspects to it that I don't have in my other stories. It means a lot that you like my writing and this story, and I'll definitely keep writing it. ^_^

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Review #15, by Elesphyl Three Problems

23rd August 2009:
Oh, that ending! Susan, you've done it again. I loved the subtle (or not-so-subtle) mentions of Snape/Lily in this chapter, they were truly beautiful (and make me even more grounded to go against Snape/OC, natch). It doesn't seem as though you had any trouble fixing Vivien's character again - it worked seamlessly from the last chapter. And Grimm was a true dear in the beginning. Quite like my uncle, in fact. :P

Congratulations on a fantastic chapter, dear! *applauds* You deserve it. ^_^
XOXO, Kalina

Author's Response: So this nasty piece of work is a success?! Good. :P It was hard enough to write, Vivien being very difficult (which is why I hopped over to Snape for a little while). I'm really glad that this chapter worked out and that you enjoyed it. It's thanks to you that I got through writing this, and also that Vivien managed to be consistent. I don't know why she bothers me to write so much - but then again, Helen used to be the same. Sometimes OCs take more time to flesh out properly. :)

After hating how Snape/Lily appeared in DH, I think I've finally come to terms with it. The ship is beautiful in many ways - beautifully sad, beautifully tragic, beautifully romantic (since Snape never stops loving her, very Victorian :P). I've decided to abandon the Snape/OC side of things. It was supposed to appear later in the story and was going to be one-sided, with Vivien falling for him a bit, but I don't see it now with the way she's turning out. I don't think she's capable of loving anyone in a romantic way. :/

Yay! Grimm worked out! And I kept his appearance limited, otherwise he'd threaten to take over the story. He's a dear to write and it'll get hard when the story gets to the tragic parts. :( It's part of "Fires Within" that I'm not going to change, that Grimm has to die (it's to fit into canon, as he'd never leave Minerva for any other reason).

Okay, this response is far longer than I intended. Oops. Thanks very much for reading and reviewing this new chapter so quickly, Kalina. It really means a lot to hear from you. ^_^

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Review #16, by Lyn Midnight Three Problems

23rd August 2009:
oh, yay! My favorite story!! :)) So, I should say, another brilliant chapter. And you fit so much into them. Like, in this one, we catch a glimpse of Snape and Lily's relationship, and even Snape's thoughts, which is great. And it really shows how much attention you've put in every little detail when it comes to characterization. I now know a lot about every character, and it makes them more real, especially Vivien, who's a very original 'original character'. I really liked the part where the three were observing one another's looks and actions, I wonder what Lily was thinking of the whole thing.

There are a few things, though, little ones:

"She raised her eyes. His smile was wider now, a half-grin, that silly schoolboyish expression that annoyed both her and Professor McGongall to no end." - McGonagall.

"Yet he did not leave this place, had kept this job for nearly twenty years without sign of leaving." -- without a sign.

Then, at the part where the story switches from Snape's to Vivien's PoV, I think you should separate the two paragraphs somehow, cos it's kind of confusing. Not too much though.

"He had suggested that she, not any other student (and there were others doing far worse than she), join them for their sessions. Even if Black wasn’t involved – and she still believed that he was – it was suspicious, even more now that Snape was failing to pay her the slightest bit of attention now." -- first, than her or than she was; second, lose one of the nows.

“In the ghastly ruin of the schoolhouse, they’ve found the bodies of Muggles who’d gone there for safety, hiding within it strong walls from what appeared to be a monstrous cyclone or hurricane.” -- hiding within itS strong walls.

That's it. I like the ending too, of course. But most of all, I like Vivien. She's quite the character. I think I said she reminded of me before? Well, not anymore, lol, cos I always know what I want and I can't imagine what not knowing must feel like. :P But that's what's good about reading. Keep it up, Susan!! :)

Author's Response: Your favourite? O_O Wow, that's awesome. I felt bad for not updating in so long, since the characters and plot are interesting to delve into, so here it is! Your review came at a perfect time - I just had enough time to make the corrections before submissions closed. :D Thank you for mentioning those - they're little things, but just the little things that I tend never to catch. *sigh*

Fit so much into it? It was hard to get this chapter long enough until I got to that last section. I didn't want to draw out the Snape section, yet at the same time, it is important, showing how the characters interact. Those sessions are crucial to Vivien's development and maturation, and I'm always happy for an opportunity to write Snape. :D

I'm strangely fascinated by observation, perception, and looking in general. Perhaps it's just because I have horrible eye-sight, and am sensitive to how things look. People do watch one another a lot, and how a person looks is significant in so many ways. It's a theme that comes up in a lot of my stories, but I think this one more than most. There's something about the Snape/Lily ship that just asks for it (the whole "look at me" thing) and Vivien is someone who likes watching others, trying to understand them while keeping her distance.

As for what Lily thinks, I don't think that will ever appear. I want to limit the narration to Snape and Vivien - having too many characters tell the story hasn't worked out in the past. Maybe one day I'll work up the courage to write Lily's perspective. *crosses fingers*

Vivien is weird, that's all I can say. :P She's difficult to write because there's so many contradictions within her behaviour. But I'm glad you like her. :D

Thank you again for the wonderful review, Lyn! It's a pleasure to hear from you and it's fantastic that you liked this chapter. ^_^

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Review #17, by elladora Three Problems

23rd August 2009:
I love it. Please update soon!

Author's Response: Thank you very much! :)

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Review #18, by KaraBlack Prologue: Christmas 1969

22nd August 2009:
Hey there! I'm finally here for the review exchange (sorry it took so long) Let me know if you want to review all the chapters by the way, I wasn't really sure which one in particular you wanted me to read or if it was all or whatever the case may be, so just drop by with a pm and I'll read/review the rest or a specific chapter for you =)

Onto the review!

Wow, I really loved the beginning, your description was fantastic and so smooth. Especially describing him drinking, I loved the words you used there.

Plus, the characterization of Tiberius is just great, he seems very interesting and I'm intrigued on all the other parts of his personality as well and can't wait to find out more about him!

And wow, I liked how the whole view of purebloods and how they raise their children came up in the this chapter, it was mentioned in a few sentences that they just didn't care for their children but just themselves and I think that the way you showed the mother/daughter relationship really showed that.

I loved Minerva's character! She was fantastically written and I really assume that she's hard to write :P

Overall fantastic job =)


Author's Response: Hey Kara! ^_^ Thanks for reviewing this, I appreciate it. :D If you do want to continue, it's up to you - only if you liked the story enough.

It's great that you like that first part of the story. It doesn't fit so well into the plot, but I did enjoy writing it, imagining the scene and how Grimm would react to the knock on the door. I enjoy writing him far too much, even though he isn't the main character of this story, which will be a challenge as things move along.

For some reason, purebloods are so interesting to write about! I keep doing it in my stories because there's so much political and social commentary to be had. They're like aristocracy, only more fanatical with the way they choose spouses and treat their children. I tried to get a Victorian feel with how Vivien's mother treats her, being used to having others doing it for her. It greatly affects Vivien in the future, especially in how she views purebloods. :)

Minerva used to be hard to write, but I think I've gotten into the habit of getting her character correctly. :D She's not that different from Hermione in some ways, and that helps a lot. :)

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Review #19, by Elesphyl Two Princes

22nd August 2009:
Thankfully I'd already read this chapter no later than yesterday. Your PM on TDA had my neurons churning and I needed a brain refresher. And a literate one at that.

Okay, I'll begin. You say Vivien feels foreign to you now, and I can tell why. She's definitely a hard character to get right - eccentric, moody, mercurial ... the list goes on. What I wonder, though, is why exactly she rejects Regulus so much. She despises being lonely but she detests his company. It's quite hypocritical of her, and, I'll admit, an interesting personal conflict of you to add. You know this is my favorite fic of yours (despite its age), and it's precisely because of that - precisely because of all the little idiosyncrasies you've placed within Vivien and not about her - that I love it so much. Now, obviously, continuing a story after so long with a character as complex as she is no small feat. For that, I applaud you.

One thing I wasn't entirely fond of, however, was Regulus's confession. It seemed to me a ... lack of character depth, rather than an addition to it, if you know what I mean. From canon (and Sirius's biased opinion) we hear that Regulus was fearful, zealous, and proud. His redeeming quality lies with the Horcrux's theft. His ... compassion for Vivien quite astonishes me, and I think I might've preferred it had Walburga sent him to the funeral. But that would have posed another hole: precisely why the Blacks, proudest of all purebloods, would have sent their son to pay respects to a disgraced pureblooded witch. So either way you would have had a snag. I think really, by here, it just comes down to personal preference. Maybe I've read too many Dramiones, but fascination always seemed to me a more ... maybe not realistic, but plausible circumstance than whimsical compassion, which is what I've gathered Regulus displays.

Your dialogue, splendid as it is, also poses me problems. I say splendid, because it really is perfect ... but for adults. I think that phrases such as "Even when I am candid, you still question my motives" are a bit too wordy for a fourteen-year-old. Perhaps now it is my turn to tell you to get your head out of Victorian-era books and perhaps read some David Sedaris. =P (Aha! Vindication!) But I don't know, it works, but it is a touch off-putting. As a fourteen-year-old, clever as she is, my sister certainly didn't use 'candid' or such phrasing, really, in any conversation, no matter how tense.

The scene with friends: now this was interesting. As stated by Regulus and by Vivien herself, they're both loners. But she does seem to enjoy the companionship of the girls, even if I get the sense that she does think herself a little higher above them than they. Perhaps pureblooded streaks do matter to her, in the end. I found this scene one of the best in the chapter.

The next, however, with Regulus and Snape, I found very interesting. The power-play, especially between a fourteen-year-old boy and his elder, was particularly captivating. Worthy of politics. The nuances that Regulus brings out in his speech (here, you see, the dialogue works better, because I feel that Regulus wants to impress Snape by his diction, and subsequently put him into his place) are very, very subtle and therefore, equally powerful.

Now, and I think you knew I was going to say this, obviously the cliche of "one boy chases one girl, said girl rejects him, said boy decides to use other boy to seduce girl" is widely-spread. Here, however, it serves well. Snape expects nothing out of it - no pleasure, no gambols, no happy lights - except power. Regulus, on the other hand, expects it all. I'm a little iffy about the Snape/OC, especially since the way you've characterized Snape throws me a little off of him (he's not quite the Snape in "Fallen" or "Afterglow", not quite the man, just the sulky loner), though it does pertain excellently to canon. I'm far more interested in what the Regulus/OC ship has to offer. Will Regulus detail any of his plans to Vivien? (I hope not) Will he drop and destroy her? (I hope so) What will become of them once Voldemort catches up? Will Vivien ever find any compassion for Regulus?

All that remains to be answered. All right. There we go. I hope this review was in-depth enough for you, Susan, and if it's not, feel free to rerequest. It's always a pleasure reading your stories and I can't wait for the next chapter!

9/10 because of those small things.
XOXO, Kalina

Author's Response: This is what helped me get through the new chapter. *glomps* I really thank you for taking the time to go through the story so carefully. After a year of being away from it, I didn't feel any further ahead with planning the plot, but now with your analysis and opinions, I think I know where to go now. :)

I have fixed Regulus's "confession" - not removing it, but trying to make it so that he's acting, not being entirely honest about things. He's trying to catch Vivien out, draw her into his web, so to speak. That does make sense for a Black and a Slytherin than the sob story idea. While Regulus is essentially good, it takes a long while for it to show, whittled down by Vivien and Snape and Voldemort's cruelties. I do find a link between Regulus and Draco in how they've been "trained" to become Death Eaters, yet, in the end, I think Regulus is the stronger of the two. He does betray Voldemort, though it fails. Draco waffles and gets shunted to the background. :P I also edited the language a bit. While the narrative voice is a little "older" in language, the kids now speak like they should, with not entirely proper grammar and colloquialisms. That was a bit issue with "Fires Within" and I'm glad you mentioned it. The narration and the dialogue are going to be different, and I have to remember to separate them more in my head.

Vivien's rejection of him is curious. She's the strangest OC I've had thus far in that she keeps contradicting herself. She doesn't know that she acts so much like a pureblood, though after spending time with Lily and Snape, she'll come to that realisation. I know that she doesn't like other purebloods because of her mother's distance and coldness. She looks to Grimm, the half-blood, as a more real person, someone warm and kind. It'll be interesting to see when she realises what she is like and how easily she compares to a pureblood. At the same time, I'm wondering if her rejection is somewhat like Margaret Hale's of both Henry and Thornton; her rejections just don't make sense. Marriage isn't of interest. In Vivien's case, nothing interests her.

You're right about the Snape/OC thing. It might come in later, after Regulus is out of the picture. But Vivien won't be falling for Snape anytime soon and Snape certainly won't fall for Vivien. They may use one another, but never in a romantic sense - perhaps respect will be the only thing they feel. I am hoping for a canon Snape, so it's good to know that he seems that way so far.

The Regulus/OC side of things is something I'm struggling with more. Both of them will have to change in order to like each other, and with only three (or two?) years before Regulus vanishes, there isn't much time to do it in. There won't be sweeping romance, though - I'm saving that for Grimm and Rose.

Thank you again for the review, Kalina. I really appreciate it and thank you for your honesty and helpfulness. ^_^

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Review #20, by Lyn Midnight Two Princes

14th July 2009:
Hm, I didn’t see that coming! Well played. I like the twist. Snape and Lily have also joined the game. Awesome. :)

It does add something to the story, actually jumping from the main character’s head into another’s. However, to my surprise, I actually missed being in Vivien’s head for the last few paragraphs. It seems I’ve gotten too used to her, but that’s all right – after all, Snape’s mind is a good place to be as any, though I had hoped for Regulus’s. :P

And on that note, I find Regulus fascinating, and it’s nice to realize that he and Sirius share some features as well. He is that mysterious type of guy that gets the girls swoon, and he does it with style. And the fact that we know less of him makes him all the more intriguing. I can’t wait to see more of him.

Now, just one thing that I thought odd: What did Snape know of Dorian Grey? I mean, it seemed a little out of place. And another: who’s Morpheus? I must have missed something, unless it’s Vivien’s father’s name, which I can’t recall for some reason.

Finally, one little thing: “It was worse than looking into a mirror; at least then you saw whatever emotions with (was) written on one’s own face.”

Oh my, no more updates? Whatever will I read.

Author's Response: The one thing I wanted to do by jumping into Snape's head was show how Regulus uses people for his own benefit. Even though he will get paired with Vivien, I don't want to show things from his perspective - it's part of the mystery. I enjoy playing with perspective and how characters perceive each other, and it will become crucial to the plot that Regulus doesn't get to tell his own story. ;)

I've always imagined Regulus to be not too different from his brother - the main difference being that he's not outwardly rebellious. It's the Slytherin side of him that wants to stick with what he knows to be beneficial - staying in his mother's good graces. I think that it makes him more interesting than Sirius, especially with what Regulus ends up doing to defy Voldemort (it makes him an extremely fascinating character!).

Perhaps giving Snape knowledge of Victorian literature does stretch things a bit... though Dorian Gray is a novel I can see the magical world embracing - Wilde could have been a wizard :P, but more seriously, there is a lot of magic within that story, dark magic that would catch the eye of someone like Snape. And Morpheus is the god of sleep. :P I waxed poetic there by referring to him.

Thanks again for reviewing this, Lyn! It's been wonderfully inspiring to read your reviews. Now to figure out where I want to take this story next. I'm struggling with how to get Vivien to see that Regulus has a redeeming side, and that's what's prevented me from continuing this. :/

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Review #21, by Lyn Midnight The Swallow

14th July 2009:
No, no, why don’t you like it? I’d say it was even better than the first one! The swallow, the characterization, their first meeting, the musings on pureblood legacy and purpose, the two stuck aunts (that was very amusing), Vivien’s outburst, McGonagall’s reaction, everything! Wait, first things first …

I really like the person Vivien’s becoming – tough, smart, thoughtful, perceptive. She is quickly learning about the world and I can’t wait to see how she copes with other things, such as love and friendship. And I love the way she looks up to Tiberius. And what a treat his and Minerva’s connection is!
As for Regulus’s appearance on the stage, I was so pleased. I can already see them together: in a way, they would fit.

And, oh, was I thrilled when the word-measuring little heroine of the story actually opened her mouth for anything other than proper address! Passion does that to the best of us. :P I was really hoping for something like that for their first meeting.
I could actually hear her rushed tempered words. Priceless. The last sentence (“She was nothing other than a lazy, brainless piece of fluff that should never have been allowed to have a child, much less keep her.”) she fired at Black almost echoed out of my screen! Now that’s powerful dialogue!

I’ve also noticed that you write purebloods very well. The tone and attitude of every one – even the bits in Vivien herself – are well portrayed in every pureblood in the story. Excelent characterization, as always!

Finally, some random corrections:

“as Vivien sat at her mother’s beside (bedside?) / every cough had been of no different in colour (lose of or in) / but somehow that he (was) how he’d always been: / There was (were) boundaries, even with Grimm, / Leave it (to) McGonagall the perfectionist. / when he could best collect he (the) various herbs and strange plants”

Oh, I guess I catch the little things cos I am very critical and a perfectionist, which admittedly annoys everyone... Anyway, if you ever want me to check something out for typos, don't hesitate to ask, though if you don't, I'll let you know anyway. :P

Now I’m putting an end to this monstrous review by saying that there is nothing I’d rather you changed about this chapter – it is perfect as it is. Honest!

Author's Response: Better than the first chapter! That's really great to hear, since I was so proud of how the first one turned out. But I do agree with you that this chapter is really good (I can say that, yes?) - the depth of character and emotion are more than I've been able to achieve on other stories. That aspect of this story makes me still want to continue it, even if I'm not satisfied about the plot and where it will go.

So they do seem plausible together? I wasn't sure because Vivien is a little strange - she's all the things you also listed, but I find her to be very independent and a loner, more than any other character I've written. She lives inside her head and that's what later gets her into trouble. But wow, I was just reading over a bit of this chapter, and she is feisty. :P Much better than my OC for the original version of this story.

There's something exciting about writing purebloods. I think it's the old fashioned attitudes, which make me feel like I'm writing a 19th century novel with all its Victorian propriety. ;) They have a pride to them that makes them stand out, even if they don't have the same upper class pretencions as families like the Blacks. I just find purebloods fascinating to write. XD

Thank you for the list of corrections. I appreciate them and not annoyed about them at all (I'm used to getting it from my professors). And many thanks for reading and reviewing! I keep thinking I should go back to this story, and your reviews are quite inspiring me to do so! ^_^

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Review #22, by Aisu Hoshino Two Princes

12th June 2009:
Very interesting chapter, especially at the beginning. I love how Vivien and Regulus are with each other. I must say the role of Snape surprised me. Very good job this chapter.

I also must say I was surprised by Vivien being a Ravenclaw.

Author's Response: A surprise that she was in Ravenclaw? She could have been in Slytherin, I guess, though she's not particularly ambitious, nor does she agree with their principles. She's not a Gryffindor, either. Ravenclaw just seemed the right house for her. :/

How did Snape's role surprise you? That he was so dependent on Regulus? If that's it, then I can see where you're coming from. I'm not entirely pleased with that plot point, but will work through it as well as I can.

Anyway, thank you again for the reviews! They were very pleasant to receive, and I really enjoyed reading and responding to them. It's great that you like the story and its characters. :)

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Review #23, by Aisu Hoshino The Swallow

12th June 2009:
Wow, this was a very good chapter. It was so very real. I like how Vivien views things, and you've shown us a lot of who she is in this chapter - I really like her. The part about her not wanting to give herself away was quite possibly the saddest part of this whole chapter, which I suppose seems like a strange statement considering the great amount of sadness in this chapter.

I meant to ask last chapter - where did Vivien and her mother stay/what did they do from her birth until going to Tiberius?

Also, is your choice of Tiberius's last name in any way meant to be related to the Brothers Grimm?

Author's Response: Thank you again! I really enjoyed writing this chapter, so it's great that you liked reading it as well. :D Vivien's point of view is fascinating to write because she is very different, almost dream-like, distancing herself from the world around her.

Hmm, I didn't think much about what happened to Vivien before the story. Since her father left them shortly before Vivien and her mother arrived at Grimm's house, I'd say they lived together somewhere. Not London, but not in a rural area, either. :/ Sorry I can't be more specific.

And yes, Grimm's name does relate to the fairy tale-writers, if only as a joke for me every time I write his name. :D He's not related to them, though.

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Review #24, by Aisu Hoshino Prologue: Christmas 1969

11th June 2009:
I have to say I'm very interested in this so far. I love Tiberius already, and you've done a good job of showing his character already - it's impressive to see an OC so well-developed so early in the story. His relationship with McGonagall is fun to see as well.

I have one little nitpick. In the sentence "The glass approached his lips, his taste buds straining to capture the rich flavour of French, or was it Italian?, grapes that had warmed in the Mediterranean sun, their leaves rustling in the seductive breezes flowing off the water.", it seems to me that it should be "French - or was it Italian?" instead of commas. Same thing later on in the similar line of the fic.

I also have to I missing out on a joke with all the mentions of Italy? Lol, maybe I'm silly but it seems rather purposeful.

Anyway, this is a very good fic so far and I'm sure I'll enjoy reading more.

Author's Response: Thank you very much for this! :D Wow, I wasn't expecting reviews for this story, but they're still lovely to receive. It's wonderful that you're enjoying the story so far. :)

Tiberius is rather developed already, since I've used him in other stories of mine. I just love writing him so much that it's nice to keep using him as a character. Not to mention that male OCs are difficult to find at the best of times, so I'm pleased to have a well-developed one of my own. :)

The dashes would work better than commas, thank you! It looks better on the page, and I'll go change that right away. :) I didn't mean the mentions of Italy as a joke, though I wouldn't put it past my subconscious to make such a joke part of Tiberius's character. There's a big gap in my history of him, so I'm not even sure if he's been to Italy (it's something I've never thought about).

Anyway, thank you again for the review, and for the other two you gave for this story. I really appreciate that you took the time to read and review. ^_^

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Review #25, by Frogprincess Two Princes

30th March 2009:
I loved this chapter, it is so well written and asks so many questions. It makes me want to read the next!

Author's Response: Read the next that isn't written yet? I really ought to get to updating this story - it's in need of more attention (from me). Thank you very much for reading and reviewing it! ^_^

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