Reading Reviews for Born Into
15 Reviews Found

Review #1, by randomwriter Born Into

6th March 2016:
Hello lllb! I'm here for the hpff review-a-thon! I wanted to leave a review for all the mods, for all the lovely work you do around the forums to keep this great for us :)

I think this is the first story I've ever read by you, and that is surprising because I've seen you around quite a bit and I've always wanted to read something of yours.

I should begin by telling you how much I absolutely loved your characterisation of Petunia. Form the minute you started off till the last word, it was one hundred percent her. When you said pudgy dinner rolls, and given how she expressed her love for him, I instantly knew you were talking about Dudley. But a part of me was hoping for it to be Harry. It'd be interesting if she had initially treated him with that sort of maternal love before she was sure of his blood.

Despite the panic that was running through the piece, there was also this slight undertone of humour, something that especially became evident during moments like when she wanted to scrub the magic right out Dudley or when she wanted to get on to a train and smack Lily and James. That also made me sad though. Knowing that it was so near the end, and that soon, their boy too would be Petunia's to care for.

The flow of this was a bit rushed, kind of appropriate and significant to the tone you were going for. The panic and helplessness came out right through the piece. I am curious to know how Vernon reacts though. I would suppose that he already has some idea about Lily being, in petunia's words, a freak? So I can't help but wonder if he would take it out of Petunia for bringing this into the family, or actually calm down to see any proper signs, though I'd hardly credit Vernon with the composure and common sense to do the latter.

Anyway, I'd love to stay on and review this better, but I want to get more reviews done! Great work, and I'll be looking forward to stop by your page some more in the future :)

Author's Response: Hi! That's so sweet of you to review all the mods for the review-a-ton! I really appreciate the thought. And this was the one review I got as a result of the event (I wasn't expecting any, given that I haven't written anything in a while, also I mostly just forgot to wonder if I'd benefit from it at all) so it was a lovely surprise!

I know I've seen you around the site for a while too! I also don't know if I've read anything of yours... May have to change that...

I'm really glad you liked my characterization of Petunia. I know that was something I was really intent on nailing for this story, so that's wonderful to hear. That idea about Harry is a good one, though! I wonder the same...

It's nice of you to attribute the rushed tone to the story's theme, but it's probably because I wrote this in a rush too :P And it's five years old and I never made the edits I promised in the author's note! Oh well. Maybe I really will go back now.

A lot of people have wondered about seeing more of Vernon at the end, so that's definitely one route to take it. I'm glad you pointed that out.

Thank you so much for not only reviewing me, but for the effort you put into the event as a whole! This was a remarkably detailed review, I couldn't have asked for anything more.

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Review #2, by Dojh167 Born Into

20th June 2015:
Hufflepuff House Cup 2015 Review

Hehe, I love how the humor established your MC's voice and personality right away, which is very effective in a story where you're not supposed to include background information.

From the dinner rolls reference I could immediately tell that we were talking about Petunia here. I think that you did a great job of capturing her in a three dimensional way. I could really see her anxiety, and because I had compassion for her as a mother, her fears made me sympathetic.

The passage about her wanting to dive into his veins with dish soap was amazing, because it captured the humor, the Petunia-ness, and the fear really really well. One of those moments that brings together having sympathy for her as a mother and feeling sorry for her for being so closed minded.

This story really leave me wanting to know more. I want to see what happens next and, more than that, I simply want t see more of this version of Petunia!


Author's Response: I'm really glad you enjoyed this story! I definitely enjoyed writing it. It's so good to hear that you sympathize with Petunia; I really wanted the reader to be able to feel for her, maybe juggling that with other perceptions of her. I'm not Petunia's biggest fan, but I understand that she's still a complex character, and I tried to add a layer to my image of her in this story. It's great that you like this version too!

I think this is the last of the reviews you left for me, so just let me say that I truly appreciate it. It was so nice to log in and find all these thoughtful reviews (especially when you were racing to the finish line) and it certainly made my day. Thank you!!!

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Review #3, by DracoFerret11 Born Into

20th June 2015:
Hello there! This is DarkRose from the forums, here to review for you for the House Cup 2015! So, let's go over things:

Plot: So, I accidentally read this story wrong. I thought that HARRY was the baby since Dudley is actually blonde and the baby was said to have "dark hair." But then towards the end, I figured it out, but by that time, I was already confused. Dang it.

Characterization: I love Petunia stories. She's definitely one of the more interesting characters in the series, and I enjoy reading her. I loved the lines about scrubbing his veins with soap. Very poignant.

Emotions: I could really feel Petunia's distress in this story, and I think you did a great job of portraying it. I really felt connected to her worry. Good job.

Overall, this was interesting. If I'd read it properly, it might have affected me differently, but I liked it all the same. Good job showing a Muggle reaction to wizards. We don't get enough stories about that.

--Emily (DarkRose)

Ravenclaw, House Cup 2015

Author's Response: Thanks for the review! I'm glad you liked it. That's a really good point about Dudley's hair color, I must have been picturing Dudley's actor when writing this. You're totally right though. I will go back and change that as soon as I can. I've noticed lately that I have a lot of interest in stories about how Muggles and wizards interact, and when I look back through my stories, I can see that that's been a pattern for quite some time. Thanks for stopping by!

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Review #4, by BookDinosaur Born Into

4th January 2014:
Hello! I'm here for the Ninth of the Twelve Dasy of Reviewing. :)

This was a fantastic oneshot, I really enjoye reading about the Dursleys for some reason, and this was just perfect.

I think I figured out quite early on that it was Petunia - although I can't really say, my eyes were glued to the screen. But you did a really good job not naming the character until the end, and I love the Petunia-esque descriptions, like the dinner rolls and wanting to scrub her baby out with soap, ahaha. :P

I really love that she implies magic is just a bit of frog spawn, bahaha! That is just perfect for Petunia.

I think you got her characterisation spot on. If there was one thing Petunia would start freaking out over, it would probably be the thought that her son was a wizard. How Lily's face flashed across her mind and she was positive that a friendship with a Snape-like boy was really funnay as well.

The emotions in this piece are wonderful! I think when Petunia was having her little freak out, the words and sentence structure and everything just contributed so well to her panic and gave off an air of chaos and alarm, and that's something only really skilled people can do, so major kudos to you for that.

I love how Petunia just starts panicking. There's no evidence to suggest that Dudley is a wizard, but at the thought of bloodlines, she panics and keeps on panicking.

Vernon at the end was just spot on as well. It makes sense that Dudley would be the first thing he asks about, and when he misses folding his arms was perfect. :)

All in all, this was an amazing oneshot, and I'm so glad I had the chance to read it! :D

Author's Response: Thank you for the review! (And sorry for the late reply). I'm glad you liked this, as I fiddled with it for quite awhile before it came together. I really wanted it to be realistic, something that could have happened. It's good to hear I succeeded.

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Review #5, by forsakenphoenix Born Into

4th July 2012:
Wow! This is fantastic.

Wait...that makes me sound surprised that it's so good, which I'm not because well, you wrote it. But I wasn't sure what to expect from the summary and then you give us this piece about Petunia and it's kind of stunning in how much emotional turmoil you've packed into so few words.

I actually figured out it was Petunia when Lily's face flashed across her mind and she started freaking out. Or, well, I had an idea. I don't know it all sounded to me like she was freaking out about her son having magic in his blood like her freak sister, plus the first part about the baby having fists like dinner rolls - it all sounded like Dudley, heh. Then you confirmed it as I read more, about her wanting to dive into his veins and scrub the magic out with lemon-scented soap.

The words you chose and the pacing, the sentence structure, it all added to Petunia's frantic madness. It's a little disconcerting to see how obsessed she's become with the idea that her son is a wizard. There is nothing there that even indicates he possess magical abilities and yet she thinks there is. Crazy woman, and then poor Vernon, who thinks he has this perfect, plump little boy and he comes home from a long day at work to be dumped with a hysterical wife. It's all sorts of crazy.

But obviously you did a wonderful job writing this. The details were perfect and Petunia's characterization was spot on. I really think this is excellent. Well done.

Author's Response: Haha, don't worry, I wouldn't be insulted even if you were surprised. But THANK YOU for picking up on Lily (or at least considering the possibility that it was her) early on and deducing that it could be Petunia. Most people don't realize it until I call him "Diddykins," which is fine, but I definitely hinted at it before that.

She does get hysterical rather fast, doesn't she? That's partially intentional, partially because I was rushing to write this the night before the challenge deadline. ;) I keep intending to extend it, maybe flesh it out in parts, but no one else seems to share my concern that it's too short and almost rushed. I guess it helps that Petunia's rushing through the story herself, making ridiculous assumptions and working herself up.

Anyway, thank you for the lovely review, I'm really glad you enjoyed it. Despite its rushed conception, I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.

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Review #6, by CloakAuror9 Born Into

5th May 2012:
Hey there!

I thought the story was really good! The descriptions were fantastic and I instantly recognised that this was about Petunia because of this paragraph: Now she wanted to dive headfirst into his veins, with her dishwashing soap and crisp yellow sponge. She would scrub his blood clean and his body would run on soap suds, fresh and vaguely lemon-scented. She would flush the magic right out of him. She would wring out the sponge, back in the kitchen, and only a bit of frog spawn would ooze out. (This is my favourite part!)

At first, I thought 'oh thats gross! who would do that?' and realisation hit home and I'm like 'Petunia! Its Petunia!' which then was later confirmed by the her use of 'Diddykins'

I think it is Petunia-like to worry about whether her child would be a wizard or not and be scared of it. You really captured her thought very well, and I can just so imagine Petunia saying and doing all this. Great job!

CloakAuror9 xx
Recenseo 2012

Author's Response: Hello! Thank you for dropping by, and don't let my late response make you think I don't appreciate the random review. I'm sure you're aware that those are hard to come by these days. ;)

I'm glad you liked the descriptions, because I don't necessarily consider those my strong point. However, with this one I was so focused on making it sound like Petunia that I worried less about the actual wording, and I think that worked in my favor. I tried to mix a bit of vulnerability in with the classic Petunia that we all know and love (or hate).

Thank you once again for the review!!!

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Review #7, by Tonks1247 Born Into

4th February 2012:
Hello :)

I was looking through your stories, trying to decide which one to read, and this one just sort of jumped out at me. The title is creative, and the description really drew my attention. So I clicked and started reading.

Now honestly, Iíll admit it took reading about half of this before I realized who the main character was, which is strange because the characterization you have of Petunia is really accurate. You capture her thoughts and feelings, the fearful battle in her head about her sonís fate. You really bring light to that and give Petunia a lot of great emotions. I have honestly not read many stories [if any at all] about Petunia, but this was an excellent one to start with!

I have to say, I especially like this line: 'She would scrub his blood clean and his body would run on soap suds, fresh and vaguely lemon-scented'. It really gives a good perspective on Petuniaís feelings about magic. It sounds like one of her thoughts, when she looks at her infant son.

Great job!


Author's Response: That's all right, that you didn't get it right away. You weren't meant to, really, just let the story develop and take it's time. I'd never written Petunia before this, but when it occurred to me that she might be afraid her son would turn out to be a wizard, I realized how natural a fear that might be.

Haha, that line's gotten a few mentions in responses. I wanted to get in her clean-freak attitude somewhere in there, because it was pretty distinct in the books, so I'm glad you liked it.

Thanks for the lovely review!

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Review #8, by schoenberg12 Born Into

3rd June 2011:
adorable! i love the description of baby dudley at the beginning!

Author's Response: Thank you for the review!

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Review #9, by SearchingForLuna Born Into

22nd May 2011:

...errr. Well. I had to read this twice to really get all the hidden awesome-ness out of it, and I'm very impressed. Your characterization of Petunia just metaphorically blew me out of the water. She is very, very canon, even if this is an AU story. It's daring, and many people can't pull that off, but you did it spectacularly with a wonderful canon-ish-ness.


"She would scrub his blood clean and his body would run on soap suds, fresh and vaguely lemon-scented."
This just portrays the rather obsessively clean side of Petunia quite well, and her somewhat outlandish desire for normality, if you know what I mean...?

And also:

"He would be dragged from her! And taken, no doubt, by a stringy boy with greasy black hair and sallow skin."

This shows how Lily's leaving affected Petunia, and I just loved this line.

Great job! :)

Author's Response: Haha, I'm glad it got you a little! This could be seen as AU, certainly, but it's not impossible for it to be a missing moments. One of those times the Dursleys had a brush with magic then wiped it from their minds completely rather than confronting it.

Glad you caught those quotes, I did enjoy writing them. That was me trying to get around the whole "no background info" rule. :P Thanks for the review!

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Review #10, by Aiedail Born Into

22nd April 2011:
hi!! :)
Although it took me a moment (as I believe was intended) to realise that this was Petunia (and maybe the comparison of Dudley to food was my biggest clue :P ), when I understood it all fell into place. I think that of course not having background information is a difficult thing to do when writing a story--it's hard not to want to clear things up or explain and just tell your mind (or fingers...sometimes for me they actually do most of the work) to just write and not worry about it. I think because I recognise all of the places here where I would have been tempted to add some information and you were able to abstain I am pretty impressed by your writing ability :)
And you already know that I am. While it's hard for me to feel sympathy for Petunia (I'm not sure if that's what you intended), I do get into her panic. I can seem to feel what she must feel--the hate for Lily, the worry, the almost-paranoia--and that's probably the most skillful thing about this piece, other than your general language and such, because I don't want to feel what Petunia feels, but you make me do it anyways.
I know you said you're going to edit, but I still think this is a good piece :)

Author's Response: This challenge messed with my head, it really did. I actually had to sit there for awhile and decide what qualified as background info, and what was just common sense. I eventually gave in and let the reader figure out for him/herself who the main character was.

I'm not Petunia's number one fan, but I understood her so much more when DH came out. Whether you feel her sympathy, her panic, or despise her, I'm fine with that, as long as you got into her head.

Thanks for the nice review, always appreciated since Valentine's. ;)

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Review #11, by orderofthephoenix Born Into

9th April 2011:
Even though you said it was rushed, this was really good.

I loved the description of Dudley's fingers. Dinner rolls!! That made me laugh so much and it was only the first paragraph! :D

I think you portrayed a scared Petunia very well. I've always thought that Petunia would have been wondering whether Dudley may have inherited the magical genes. And I think that she may have even had dark thoughts and worries about that. I think you captured her panic and hysterity well. :)

I particularly liked this line: 'She would scrub his blood clean and his body would run on soap suds, fresh and vaguely lemon-scented'. It sounds exactly like something Petunia would think of, being the obsessively cleaning woman she is.

If I had to pick something out, I'd have to say that I thought it was quite an abrupt end to the story, Then again, I can understand that since it was 'in the moment'.

Great job! :)

-Sophia x

Author's Response: Dinner rolls... Yeah, I'm a little shaky on description. ;) Glad it got you laughing, though.

The more I wrote this, the more interested I got in Petunia. She, Snape and Lily really evolved into complex characters by the end of DH, and it was nice for her to be the protagonist for once. And people do tend to forget she was an obsessive cleaner, so I felt like it had to be in there.

I wrote this and wrote this and wrote it and when it came time for things to wind down, I definitely had some trouble wrapping it up. I'll take a second look at that. Thanks for the review!

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Review #12, by TheProphecy Born Into

6th April 2011:

Well, I really enjoyed this. It was a little short though, I felt you had room to develop it more and to delve deeper into the emotions felt by Petunia and maybe even Vernon's.

But, I really liked what you have written, it flowed well with good description. You have a vey nice stle of writing and other then the length I think you did everything really well!

I liked your characterisation of Petunia, I felt it was very canon. Well done! :D

Hannah x

Author's Response: It was definitely too short. I wrote it the night before the challenge's deadline, because I was too stubborn to give up on it. One of these days I'll add to it, certainly. I'm glad what was there flowed, though. Thanks for the review!

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Review #13, by marinahill Born Into

21st March 2011:
well, you never fail to wow me, that's for sure. Your narrative is, as usual, flawless and I get more impressed with everything you write. I can recognise your style from a mile off - I'm not sure what it is, but there's something very unique and original to both your plot and writing that stand out a mile off from anything else.

It was lovely to see Petunia's fear, because I reckon that must have been at the back of her mind nagging away for years of Dudley's childhood. I don't think anyone knows how the genes work so for all she knew, Dudley could be magical.

Excellent stuff :)

Author's Response: I have a style?! *gasps* That's so wonderful to hear! It's hard for me to notice that sort of thing in my writing, because, well, it's my writing. I'm not sure if it needs any more explanation than that. ;) Either way, I'm flattered. It took me forever to find an idea for this challenge, but once the whole fear of magic thing popped into my head, it seemed very fitting. Like I should've thought of that from the start. Anyway, thanks for the lovely review!

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Review #14, by LadyMalfoy23 Born Into

18th March 2011:
Oh my. Just kind of accents how crazy petunia is doesnt it? This was really good to be honest for just writing it before the deadline! I enjoyed reading it! :) All her emotions and turmoil and everything was great! :)

Author's Response: Thank you for the review! Petunia can get kind of crazy at times, hopefully I captured some of that hysteria.

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Review #15, by ciararose Born Into

17th March 2011:
Wow, this was so, so original! I've really never read anything like it. I think it was a great fit for the challenge, too, because the way you wrote it established our interest in the character before we realized who she was. That was a very clever choice, because a lot of people have all these preconceived notions of Petunia, and would have already made up their mind about her by the second sentence. As it was, we were forced to see from her perspective before we knew who we were feeling sorry for, and that was just very, very impressive writing.

I can't get over how unexpected this was! Honestly, it is such an interesting moment toe xamine that now that you've pointed it out, I find myself really thinking in depth about it. How must she have felt? If she was really, truly scared of magic, she must have been terrified her son could be magical. But somehow this never occurred to me before. And the way you wrote this story is marvelous, too- I loved the metaphor about the cleaning, it is so perfectly Petunia. Really just an excellent examination of a perspective I had never given any thought to before.

Amazing job!

Author's Response: I'm definitely the kind of person that would judge Petunia, or Cho, or Lavender before reading on. They're the kind of characters that you grow to dislike, without realizing that they have better sides too. Petunia especially is not received well, while for me, after DH, I saw her in a completely different light. The sort of light I tried to bring out in this story. ;)

When this idea popped to mind, after many, many others, it clicked. Without much planning, I dove right in and just kept bringing the fear to another level. It felt right, once I sat back and announced it finished. I added a few bits in to make it more Petunia-ish (though the cleaning part made it in from the first draft) submitted it, and went to bed. I was so determined to make that deadline!

Thanks for the lovely review, and for second place prize! I was so pleasantly surprised. :D

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