Reading Reviews for The Writing on the Wall.
130 Reviews Found

Review #1, by nott theodore Easter.

29th April 2017:
CTF Jailbreak Review

Hi Margaret! I'm sorry that I'm jumping in halfway through your novel here but I hope that you don't mind too much, since it's for a good cause (in Gryffindor's eyes at least).

I know I say this time and time again, but I really love the talent that you have for capturing children's characters and portraying them so believably in your stories. I really loved reading about them here, particularly Lily and Fred and Roxanne - it seemed like all they wanted to talk about was Easter Eggs and chocolate and it fit so well with their ages and how excited kids get around Easter.

There was a lot of dialogue in this chapter but I really enjoyed reading it, because I think you did a great job of capturing the interactions and the dynamics between the different characters. As well as your talent for writing children, you're great at portraying families and family dynamics. I laughed a little when James was teasing Lily about the Easter bunny and then teasing Albus about not having received a detention all year and that being an unacceptable way to get through Hogwarts. I really liked reading the family all together as well and celebrating Easter - this chapter just filled me with smiles and warm feelings for the Weasleys!

Sian :)

Author's Response: If you DO have to jump in halfway through the novel, this isn't a bad chapter to pick as it pretty much stands alone and doesn't give away too much. Even Rose's owl from Scorpius doesn't really give any details.

I'm really pleased you like the way I capture the children's characters. 11 and 12 year olds are hard to write, getting the correct balance between child and teenager. The younger children and older teens are easier.

The Easter Bunny isn't really a thing here, actually, though I think it MIGHT be coming in now. A couple of my colleagues were talking recently about whether they would "do" the Easter Bunny with their kids. I was an adult before I realised the Easter Bunny was a Santa Claus typed character. We just got Easter eggs from our parents and family members.

Thank you so much for the review.

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Review #2, by TreacleTart Suspecting Scorpius.

27th October 2015:
Hey Margaret!

I'm here for our review swap! Wow! It's been far too long since I've returned to this story. I really need to do some catching up.

As soon as Rose accussed Scorpius, I thought i would backfire. I can't imagine Draco getting Scorpius involved in anything like that after his own childhood experiences. In fact, as Scorpius points out, Draco is still haunted by the memories of what happened to him, so the whole family probably wants to get as far away from war as possible.

Albus really did remind me of his father in this chapter. Neville is right. Just like Harry, Albus jumped to an incorrect conclusion and then felt bad afterwards. The only difference that I noticed is that Albus got sort of dragged into it by Rose and felt bad throughout where as Harry tended to blindly get wrapped up in his assumptions about others without really stopping to think if they were correct.

I really am curious about who is putting the graffiti on the walls. Is it just one person or is there a whole group? If it's a whole group, why are they dredging up old memories of such an awful time?

I did notice one tiny thing that read a bit odd.

You’ve your minds made up already, - you have your mind made up or You’ve made up your minds

All in all, another good chapter. The suspense is really building.


Author's Response: Hey! Glad to see you back.

I don't see Draco as ever fully recovering from what happened during the war. Being forced into attempted murder at the age of 16, knowing the only reason you are not a murderer is sheer luck, dealing with a constant threat to your life and that of your family, watching people, including old classmates being tortured and killed in front of you, learning a man you were taught to virtually worship was willing to kill your entire family - I think it would leave permanent scars. I don't really go into detail about the Malfoys, at least I haven't done so far, but there are a number of hints that Draco wants to stay far, far away from politics. Lucius, on the other hand...

Those are really good questions. Can really say much in reponse to them, except that I REALLY like the suggestion about it being a group.

Yeah, might stick a "got" in there.

Thanks for the review and I hope you enjoy the rest of the story.

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Review #3, by Infinityx A Magical Education

1st June 2015:
Hello! Back here for our swap!

This was a really solid chapter. I love how you've begun with Albus almost going to the Gryffindor table. It was a nice detail and it really emphasized on the extent to which his family has impacted his thoughts. I do hope he'll grow to love Ravenclaw though and feel comfortable in that house.

I really like how you've brought a muggle-born character into the picture. I've always found it really interesting to think about the differences in behaviour of someone who's muggle-born and someone who's grown up in a wizarding family. There have been so many times when I've debated with my friend about whether muggle-borns would all find magic impressive. I mean, muggles have a lot of technology on their side. They fly in planes, sitting on comfortable seats, while magic folk fly on broomsticks, and a lot of other things like that. It would be really interesting to read about a muggle-born look at the magical world critically. I'm getting off track here. I meant to say that the little detail you brought in about Sci-Fi was a brilliant touch and I LOVED that it showed a contrast between the two types of people in that group.

This was also a great way of introducing the new teachers and setting a base for this story. I love how Neville's so understanding and compassionate. After everything he went through in school, no wonder he's so amazing.

I like all the new teachers you've introduced here. They seem really helpful and encouraging, unlike Snape or Lockhart. Hogwarts is finally upping the standards now that you're the one writing about the teachers. :P

Hahah, I love how Binns is still there and as boring as ever. I don't think HoM would be the same without him!

I did feel like this chapter was a bit dialogue heavy though and didn't have enough descriptions to balance it out and so it felt a little bit rushed. But it's understandable since this is just the second chapter and all this needs to get out of the way to get to the main part of the story.

I love how Hermione gave Rose directions to the library! And it's brilliant of you to have included such details to tie them to the characters we already know so well and love. And bringing Nick into this was just a lovely finishing touch.

Great job with this chapter! I'll be back to read some more soon, and don't hesitate to send me a message if you ever want to swap again. :)

Author's Response: Thank you so much for this wonderful review.

Yeah, there are fantastic parts to magic, but there are quite a few archaic parts to the wizarding world too, PARTICULARLY by the next gen era, if things haven't updated in line with the Muggle world. In the '90s writing letters was a pretty common way of communicating and owls do seem to be faster than Muggle post, though even then, Muggleborns would probably have been shocked at how difficult it was to contact somebody in an emergency (the story I'm writing at the moment has a situation in which I needed somebody in Sussex to hear about something in Hogwarts quickly and I had to do a bit of thinking to figure out how to make that happen), but in today's world with mobile phones and e-mail and facebook and basically being able to contact anybody at a moment's notice...

I'm glad you like the teachers. One or two will turn out to have significance as the series progresses, though if you've read the first chapter of A.W.L., you probably already know that.

Yeah, dialogue and characterisation tend to be where my skills lie in writing. Description, especially physical description, is a weak point. I definitely see where you're coming from there.

And well, Hermione and Rose - the library is always going to be top priority. I don't blame them.

Thanks again for your review and I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter.

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Review #4, by Infinityx The First Night.

27th May 2015:
Hey Margaret, I'm here for our swap. I started reading Rise of the AWL like an idiot, forgetting that it's a sequel to this one. I remember reading a couple of chapters of this a while ago but I figured I'll start reading again and review it from the beginning.

This was a solid first chapter. I love how you've brought in the normal events that happen on the first day of Hogwarts in a really casual manner, but they reveal a lot about the characters' personalities. I'm normally not very enthusiastic about reading Next Gen but I'm quite excited for this one, especially after reading the first chapter of AWL.

I love how you've brought in the cliche about Albus being considered for Slytherin and then gave it a twist and put him in Ravenclaw instead. I find his character really interesting. He's not overly smart or as fond of books as Rose or anyone else, and you're breaking that Ravenclaw stereotype there, which I love. And I'm curious to see how his personality will evolve and just to what extent he's going to be involved in the events that occur later in the fic.

There was one part that kind of confused me. I don't know if I'm just stupid or there's something missing but I thought I'd point it out anyway. Here it is:

I said 'look at Lucy,' but he said…well…" She trailed off, glancing over at Lucy.

"I can guess." Lucy put in drily. Ron, like Albus’ mum, found Percy’s manner extremely irritating.

I'm getting a feeling that Ron doesn't really consider Lucy as a Weasley or something but it's not very clear. Maybe you could add a little bit more detail there?

I love the question that the knocker asked and that Albus was the one who replied. And the way he intuitively guessed Derek's feelings was brilliant. I like Albus and I can't wait to read more of him. He seems like he'll grow into an even more amazing person.

I'll be back soon! Thanks for the swap.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for the swap and your review. I'm glad you're looking forward to reading this, especially if you don't read much next gen.

In the little bit we saw of him, Albus didn't seem particularly Slytherinish or Gryffindorish. Obviously, no 11 year old is likely to be at their bravest before leaving for boarding school for the first time, especially since he may not even have attended a day school previously, but still. And he definitely doesn't come across as particularly cunning or ambitious. Plus his fear of being in Slytherin seems to imply he doesn't value those traits, although of course, he would have been given a pretty negative impression of the house. To be honest, he strikes me as a Hufflepuff, but I'd already written a story about Harry having a son in Hufflepuff and Albus seems a little like this character, so I didn't want to make them TOO alike.

The way I look at it, each house has to take a quarter of the population, more or less. And a quarter of the population can't be getting top grades. Or be brave enough to take on an evil wizard in their teens. Or be so ambitious, they'll take advantage of others. There has to be a variety. Albus isn't a genius or a Hermione type, but he's smart (like top 10% or 20% of the year) and he cares about his grades.

And he's smarter than he realises, because he is comparing himself to Rose, who isn't as smart as her mother, but is still WAY above average.

Ron's comments simply refer to the fact that Lucy's Percy's daughter and it is hardly surprising that Percy'd have a daughter in what would be considered the overachievers' house.

Glad you like Albus. I do too. He's probably my second favourite character in this series. My favourite barely appeared in this chapter.

Thanks again and hope you continue to enjoy the story.

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Review #5, by TreacleTart The Chamber's Echo.

23rd May 2015:
Hi Margaret,

I thought I'd get one more chapter in this evening and see if any progress was made in figuring out who wrote the graffiti.

It's interesting to see Albus so afraid of and worried by everything. He seems to always think of the worst case scenario and then worry endlessly about it. It's a really good thing that Rose is there to keep him grounded.

Harry's response was pretty much as I expected. He seemed concerned by the obvious parallels to the Chamber Of Secrets, but he also seemed fairly confident that things would be okay. After everything he said, I wanted to shout "constant vigilance" at all of the characters. I know the war has been over for a long while, but when suspicious stuff that links back to the dark lord starts popping up, I think it's time for everyone to step up security.

I noticed that Blackburn was absent during the speech. I'm thinking there's two ways I can see her character going. I can imagine her as a Quirrell-esque type bad guy who's using the teacher position to get close to her targets or she could be a werewolf. That could explain why she wasn't feeling well that day when she gave Albus and Rose detention. It could also explain her absence if Halloween was a full moon.

I didn't notice any typos in this story and I thought the pace continued along at a nice pace. The characterization seemed to really shine in this chapter and the mystery builds nicely.

Good work! I'll be back for more soon!

(I'm on my phone at the moment, so hopefully this review isn't a complete mess.)

Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review. It's not a mess at all and I really like seeing people's theories as to what is going on.

I love your theories about Blackburn. I will confirm she does play a significant part in this series, but what part that is isn't going to be revealed for a while. I do like both your ideas though.

And yes, mentions of the "Dark Lord" are pretty creepy and it's not THAT long since the war really. Most of the Death Eaters would still be alive.

Rose and Albus react very differently to stress, don't they?

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Review #6, by TreacleTart Caught Red-Handed.

22nd May 2015:
Hi Margaret!

I'm here for another chapter! Since the mystery is starting to pick up I really couldn't wait any longer to know what was going on.

I really like the way Rose thinks. Instead of panicking and trying to hide or pretend she didn't see the wall, she just hangs out calmly until help arrives. On the other hand, Albus is in a complete and utter panic. I love that by the time Professor McGonagall shows up, he's convinced that he'll be expelled.

The parallels in the last chapter and this chapter to the Chamber Of Secrets are nice. It's like a friendly wave from an old friend, although I imagine they won't be exactly the same as Harry's adventures.

Filch is just awful as always. He seems to hate children so much that I can never quite understand why he works at a school. It doesn't seem to make much sense, but there he is. I had a good chuckle over his comparison of his new cat to his old one and how no one can compare to Mrs. Norris the original. I thought that was some lovely characterization and seemed very authentic to who Filch is in cannon.

I do feel sorry for Albus as he flies around the common room looking for that note. I wonder if he did actually misplace it or if someone snuck in and took it to get rid of the evidence. If so, that would mean the perpetrator was a Ravenclaw which would be an interesting twist indeed!

I did notice two small typos and a few more mightn't's and they'd's.

But she’d a point. – she had a point

That has worried him enough, but he dreaded to think what Filch would do to them. – That had worried him

At least that they be made clean it off. – made to clean

I just realised the message mightn’t have come from Professor Slughorn. – might not have come from

and they'd still no idea who’d written the graffiti – they still had no idea

Now that we've had a threat to the students, I wonder how Professor McGonagall will proceed. I'm also curious to see if this is a legitimate threat from a Death Eater or someone else just causing trouble. I'm definitely intrigued.

Another solid chapter! Thanks for the good read so far!


Author's Response: Oh, the parallels between this and Chamber of Secrets will have significance, as you might have found out by now.

You're right that it won't be the same as Harry's adventures. I don't want to give too much away, but I will say this series is not going to get as dark as the Harry Potter books. That's not to say there won't be dark parts or that people won't be harmed, but it's not going to get to the level of Deathly Hallows when the whole of Britain was under a dictator and people were being killed and tortured at random. Which leaves plenty of scope, I guess.

I did a lot of thinking about Filch's cat, since I doubted Mrs. Norris would still be around. And I thought this would add a bit of humour to proceedings.

Hmm, I guess "made to clean it off" follows under the same category as "allowed to." This is something I'd never have thought was specifically Irish.

Really glad you're enjoying this. Hope you continue to.

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Review #7, by TreacleTart Hallowe'en.

22nd May 2015:
Hey Margaret,

I thought I'd get another chapter in while I had the chance, especially since I had a feeling the mystery was going to pick up in this chapter!

The school day seemed like a nice break from the usual. I always loved fun days like that when I was in school, so it was nice to find a bit of familiarity to my own childhood while reading this. I actually really enjoyed reading the little snippet about Grawp and Giants. It's sad to think of a whole group of magical beings becoming extinct, but I suppose it does mirror the real world. The only little suggestion I have in this section is that as you run through the classes it has a slight tendency to sound like you're listing things off at certain points. I think filling in just a tad more description would help here.

When you described the setting for the Halloween feast, I enjoyed the little quip about the bats being transfigured books. The tie in to the classes was nice. The idea of a ghost comedian was lovely too. I had never thought about what other ghosts might exist in the world and what they might do.

As soon as I saw the note for Slughorn's party, I knew something fishy was about to happen. It seemed odd that not only would he hold a party early on a Sunday morning when his students were likely to be sleeping, but also that he sent a note in the first place. Up until this point, he's asked them in person, so the sudden break from the norm put my guard up immediately.

And now the mystery is really underway! I wonder who would be messing around with a threat like that and if the Dark Lord really has returned. Normally, I might be a bit suspicious of Scorpius, but I feel like that might be a touch obvious. I'll have to keep my eye out for suspicious behavior as I read on. I do love some good guesswork.

I scanned this chapter pretty thoroughly, but didn't find anything in the way of typos. Just a few more of the I've's and they'd's. For now I'll keep pointing them out because I remember you telling me that they aren't something that a Brit would normally here it goes.

“Last year, they’d this Veela band. - they had

It’s not just Mum and Dad I’ve to answer to, - I have to answer to

I wish I’d even one relative who went here - I had even

“I hope they’d as good a night as we did, - they had as

Whoever’d been supposed to deliver it obviously hadn’t done so. - Whoever was supposed to deliver

I'm really excited about this chapter and can't wait to get to the next one! I must know what exactly is going on! Has the Dark Lord returned or is it just a late Halloween prank? Good work as usual!


Author's Response: It seems a little unfair that even though Halloween is such a big celebration in the wizarding world, they don't even get the day off, let alone the half term week that Muggles get. Besides I think it would be pretty pointless trying to make them work. I really don't think the teachers would be getting much attention with what is basically a party to follow.

I take your point on going through things rather quickly. I'll take a look through this when I get the chance and see if I can add any more detail.

Glad you liked Sammy the Spook. Thinking up entertainment is HARD.

I love guesswork too, both guessing in mystery stories and seeing how people guess in these. It's always interesting to see who and what people suspect, as it lets me know if I'm giving too much or too few hints.

I think you will see a little bit more of Scorpius in the chapter after the ones you've just read.

I will say things might not be as simple as the message either being true or just a prank. There are other options too.

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Review #8, by TreacleTart Ravenclaw v. Gryffindor.

22nd May 2015:
Hi Margaret!

I thought I'd drop in and catch up on reading this lovely story of yours now that I have a bit of free time.

I thought the Quidditch scene in this was fun and I liked how you tied it in with the flying lessons at the beginning. Poor Albus did seem to have quite the predicament in choosing which team to play for. I like that in the end he sort of felt a need to be loyal to his brother, but was able to balance that with his desire for his own house to win.

I was happy to see James do such an excellent job of tending the goals. He seems like a natural. He definitely did not inherit his uncle's nerves. It looks like the Gryffindor team is going to be tough to beat.

I found Slughorn's party to be amusing. He seems so obnoxious in his attempts to get to know the Hogwarts elite. I wonder if he's aware that he drives everyone crazy or if he truly thinks that people like him.

The part where Rose's scales went missing seemed strangely ominous even though it's a fairly benign thing to happen. I wonder if someone "borrowed" them from her to make another potion to send to Albus. Of course, it could all be merely coincidence and they just fell out of Rose's bag. I don't think so, but maybe it's just a red herring.

As far as the quality of your writing goes, this chapter seems very polished. It flowed smoothly and at a nice pace. The only real critique I might offer is that I would've liked a bit more description during the Quidditch match. I knowing the past you've mentioned that description is a harder thing for you, but I think even just a few sentences about the roar of the crowd or the blurs of colors as players shoot across the pitch might build it up a bit.

I did notice a few of your Irish-isms for lack of a better description, but nothing in the way of typos.

“No, but Albus has been telling me all about it. And everybody says we’d a good team last year.” -we had a good team

“I suppose I’d better, but I really don’t see how they can have. - could have

I’m sure I’ve some spare scales - I have some

All in all, another good chapter. Things are moving right along and the mystery and suspense are building up. Good work!


Author's Response: No, nerves are DEFINITELY not James's problem. Albus's yes.

Yeah, description, particularly physical description is really not my thing, and I've no interest in sport either, which doesn't exactly help. I tend to skim over the Quidditch scenes in canon.

Oh, I think Slughorn thinks everybody loves him. He's sort of oblivious. But he is a brilliant character to have in a mystery, because he asks so many questions about people's backgrounds AND because he rambles on so much about so many people and things, so you can have him drop in significant information in the middle of a load of rambling.

This chapter was one of the more challenging ones to write in British-English. There was actually one point when I had to remember to write in ENGLISH at all, because in Irish primary schools, classroom furniture is generally referred to in Irish, so my immediate thought for where the scales were kept was the "cofra". Then, in Hiberno-English, it'd be "press", so trying to think of the British term was fun. I actually double checked that one with Half-Blood Prince, because "press" is so widely used for "cupboard" here that I wasn't even certain if you could have a cupboard outside a kitchen. And then I had to remember that "soccer" is "football" there.

Anyway, thank you so much for the reviews.

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Review #9, by TreacleTart The Flying Lesson.

13th May 2015:
Hi Margaret!

I'm here for our review swap!

Poor Albus seems so worries about the swelling potion, as he should be. It could've made him really sick and even if it was just a joke (which I have a feeling it wasn't) the person still needs to know that it was dangerous and not all that funny.

Unfortunately, I think Rose is right. Trying to find the sender of the potion in a school full of students is pretty impossible, particularly if the person isn't willing to admit that they did it. Aside from that, it could've been from someone outside the school and how would they ever determine who that was.

I think the reason Neville is easy on Nathan is because poor Nathan reminds me so much of a young Neville. The clumsiness and inability to complete anything practical really speaks to that. I actually adore the parallels between the two of them.

Scorpius does seem like he's up to something, but I'm wondering if it's a red herring or not. I know the Malfoys aren't the picture of goodness, but I have a hard time imagining him being evil, particularly after Draco's experience. I guess I'll have to keep reading to find out. :D

I really enjoyed the parallel between Albus and Scorpius to Harry and Draco. It's early in the story, but the dynamic already seems to be heading in a somewhat similar direction, although in this case, I actually wonder if it's Ablus who's being slightly prejudiced. He's basing his view of Scorpius based on a grudge between their parents, not on anything he actually knows of him. I'll be interested to see what direction that takes.

I noticed a few things that I wanted to point out. I know most of them are written in Irish English and you've explained them in responses to previous reviews, but I thought I'd point them out again because I know you change a few of the ones that didn't fit in British English if I remember correctly.

He had to admit she’d a point. – she had a point

who was appalling bad at his subject. – who was appallingly bad

“But you mightn’t struggle,”- But you might not
“I don’t see why we’ve to use these things – We have to use

It’s ridiculous we’ve to leave - we have to leave

Another solid chapter! I know it's taking me awhile to get through this story, mainly because life isn't allowing me a ton of time for reading these days, but I am enjoying this story and I do plan to get all the way through it. Good work!


Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review. I always love a review from you because you're so thorough and you notice so much.

You're right about Neville. I really like the idea of him going full circle and being there for people who are struggling like he did. There is a part in A.W.L. as well, when he makes a point of asks somebody who dealing with pretty serious self-esteem issues to do something, a bit like how Remus asked him to fight the Boggart after Snape insulted him.

Your comments on the whole situation between Albus and Scorpius are interesting. I will say that Scorpius is NOT another Draco. He's had a different upbringing, in that he grew up in an era when his family were treated with suspicion, whereas Draco grew up in an era when his family were among the elite. And while it hasn't yet come up in my stories, I tend to see Draco as having ongoing issues from everything he went through during the war, so he's had a far less secure childhood.

I actually thought for a LONG time about how to portray Scorpius, because I've seen both "becomes best friends with Rose and Albus, forming a new trio (and probably getting together with Rose)" and "is a complete repeat of Draco and becomes Albus's rival in the same way" done so many times that I didn't think I could add much new to either of those interpretations. I'm not saying they WON'T be either rivals or friends, but I have tried to avoid the typical versions of both.

I've fixed the "appallingly bad" one and actually, I might stick a "got" into those "we'ves" as the British often seem to say "we've got" or "we have got" rather than "we've" or "we have".

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Review #10, by TreacleTart Mysteries.

18th April 2015:
Hello again Margaret!

Now that the whole world has been set up we're really starting to get into the plot a bit more!

I really love how you've characterized Albus in this so far. He seems very thoughtful and introspective, even bordering on a bit nervous at times. It makes him come across very genuine and likable.

Starting this chapter straight off with the owls really caused the action to start quickly. Poor Albus is so busy worrying about the Howler he'll get for his detention that he forgets to pay attention to what he's doing. As we find out, someone has sent him a box of sweets laced with swelling solution.

Once it is established that it is not a good natured joke by his older brother, I'm surprised that there isn't a bit more of a reaction. I mean Albus is Harry's son, so I feel like it would be much more likely for an attack on him to be malicious. I'm glad he wrote home to Harry about it and that Professor McGonagall is going to be looking into it. Hopefully, I'm just being paranoid and it's some random kid who just did something dumb.

Professor Blackburn sure seemed to have a change of heart. For whatever reason, my guard really seems to be up with her now. I thought here initial reaction to them was so out of place that it made her seem really nervous and jittery to me! Maybe it's all in my head though.

I don't have much in the way of constructive criticism for this particular chapter because nothing really seems amiss. The flow is smooth. The plot is chugging along nicely. And the characters are a joy to read, so I'm quite happy.

More solid work! I look forward to getting to the next chapter as soon as humanly possible!


Author's Response: I'm glad you like my version of Albus. I'm pretty fond of him myself. He's so different from Harry (and from James).

Yeah, that's what I meant to get across - that Albus is so worried as to how his parents will react about the detention, he doesn't stop to question who the parcel is from. I REALLY don't think Harry or Ginny would send an unmarked parcel, not after the issues they both had with mysterious articles.

I think you have picked up on quite a lot when it comes to Professor Blackburn. She is definitely somewhat nervous and jittery. Whether the reason for that is a personal one - or just related to the fact she's a fairly young woman, whose just started a new job - or whether it indicates something more sinister remains to be seen.

It means an awful lot to me to hear you comment so positively on this story, as all your reviews indicate that you are a very thorough reviewer, and you're a very good writer yourself, so I respect your views a lot.

I was particularly interested to see what you thought of this chapter, as it's a pretty significant one.

Hope you continue to enjoy the story.

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Review #11, by TreacleTart The Gryffindor Quidditch Team.

18th April 2015:
Hi Margaret!

Sorry I've been lagging a bit on getting back to this! You wouldn't believe the insane week I've been having! Anyways, here I am now and better yet, I think I have time for a couple of chapters tonight. :D

This chapter was really enjoyable. We're still kind of in the introduction part, but the pace definitely picked up a bit in this chapter. I think that was mainly due to the excitement around the Quidditch tryouts.

I thought the lead up to the tryouts worked nicely. It really allowed us to see how important making the team is for James and exactly how nervous he feels.

Once we get to the actual tryouts, you do a great job of building the tension. I knew that James would make it through the initial rounds, but I really was biting my nails as the keeper competition got more and more competitive. I think it worked out to his advantage though because he really had to earn his spot.

On the return to the castle, Rose and Albus come across Professor Blackburn in a sort of odd circumstance. They catch the last little snippets of her conversation with Slughorn and then when she notices they are there she reacts in a way that really makes me think she's doing something she's not supposed to do. It kind of reminds me of the whole Snape/Quirrell scenario in Soorcer's Stone.

I didn't notice much in the way of typos or errors. There was only one tiny thing I had a question on and this could very well be just a difference in how something is said based on country.

You wrote "Albus, it’s only half five" I was wondering if you meant "half past five?" or if the first one is just a way of saying it that I've never heard before.

In closing, I'm leaving this chapter with the distinct impression that this is the clam before the storm. There is definitely something fishy about Blackburn's response. I can't wait to find out what's going on!

Great work!


Author's Response: I hope the week was a good type of insane and not a bad type.

Glad you liked the try-outs. Quidditch isn't really my thing when it comes to reading or writing, so I'm never sure if the chapters about it are boring or if just find them that way, because I usually find anything about Quidditch boring.

Can't say too much about the conversation between Slughorn and Blackburn. That won't be entirely explained for a while.

You are right though, about this sort of being the calm before the storm. Things are about to start happening, as you've found out.

I double-checked that "half five" thing to be sure they use it in the UK and they do. It's just a shortened version of "half past five."

Thanks so much for your reviews. Really made me smile to see them.

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Review #12, by nott theodore The Gryffindor Quidditch Team.

17th April 2015:
Hi again! I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get back to this story *hides* I've missed reading about Albus and the start of his time at Hogwarts, particularly as I was certain the mystery was going to start soon, but this has been the first chance I got to come back and read and review.

I don't know if you realise how much those opening sentences read as though they could have come from the books themselves, but that was the first thing that struck me when I started reading this chapter. I'm not sure what it was about them, but you did a great job of emulating JKR in that opening section. I had to read it over a couple of times to appreciate it :P

Even if Albus doesn't realise it, it's quite normal for James not to approach him much at school. At least, as far as I'm concerned it is; maybe there's something more behind it that I'm meant to suspect. But in my experience, older siblings don't always seek their younger siblings out when they're starting school, because they've already created their own little world there. I am the older sibling, though, so it was interesting to see it from the perspective of someone younger.

Even so, it was really sweet to see that James was so nervous to try out for the Gryffindor Quidditch team, and he wanted Albus to come along and watch him at the try-outs, to have support in the crowd. I liked the way that he gradually got more cocky and confident as he was talking to Albus about it, as if just being with his little brother helped him to (at least act) be that way. We only see a glimpse of James from the epilogue and I think a lot of people characterise him as someone who's constantly confident, but when you remember that he was actually winding up his little brother, this portrayal of him feels much more accurate.

I liked the fact that both Albus and Rose were so interested and excited to get the chance to go and watch James try out for the Quidditch team. Even if James has better things to do than spend time with them generally, it stills suggests they're quite a close-knit family who like to support each other.

I liked the detail about Brian objecting to the presence of Ravenclaws in the stands, watching the Gryffindor trials. I think that any serious captain would probably suspect sabotage, even if the innocent little first years aren't likely to be able to steal much in terms of information. It was good that Dominique was there to calm things down, I think, or Albus and Rose could have found themselves in a more awkward position.

The try-outs were so interesting to read! I haven't read many stories that include characters trying out for the Quidditch team, but I enjoyed reading this chapter. I also thought it was great that James was trying out to become the Keeper - I've only seen him as Chaser and Seeker before, so it was an original touch to have him playing in a different position. And it was certainly tense to read the trials as they progressed; the fact that James was a Keeper meant we had to wait even longer (like the characters did) to find out whether he'd manage to make it onto the team. Then, finally, when he gets his turn to fly, there's another contender for the position who's just as good as he is - well, almost. I was glad that James managed to get on the team, although I did feel sorry for Claire. It was great to see James being sporting about the fact that he'd got the position, and trying to console her.

Dominique reminds me a lot of my cousin, actually - I thought you captured the dynamic between her, as the slightly older cousin, and the others well. My cousin and I are obviously a fair bit older than these characters, but her dialogue reminded me of the way my cousin used to speak to me when I was that age.

Hmm, the ending has me really intrigued. I know that you said that the introductory parts would start to segue into the main plot at this point, so I'm wondering about whether or not there's something going on here. Professor Blackburn could just have been in a bad mood, or be one of those teachers like Snape who hands out detentions to students they don't like, but I don't know if she has any reason at all for disliking Albus and Rose other than the fact they were in the corridors in the evening when she didn't seem to want to be seen. And I noticed that Slughorn wasn't completely sincere in his response to her, either, so I'm very curious about what's going on here. I'll be keeping my eye out for more clues in the next chapters!

Ah, I feel sorry for Albus and Rose, too, with an undeserved detention that they have to serve. And I liked the vulnerability that you showed in Albus here, and the way that he doesn't want to tell anyone, not even Rose, how nervous he is about the detention. It felt very appropriate for his age.

Sian :)

Author's Response: Glad to see you back. This chapter is sort of the start of the real story in my opinion.

I honestly don't even know what to say about your comments about the first few sentences. I try to make the feel of the story fit with J.K. Rowling's world, but the idea that they sound like they could have come out of the books...thank you so much. I honestly thought you were going to point out some mistake I'd made with them when I started reading that.

*laughs* I WOULD have been willing to approach my little sister when she started 1st year (equivalent to Hogwarts' 2nd year) and I was in my final year, except that I was expressively forbidden from doing so. She told me straight out that if we meet up, that's fine, but not any more than that.

Al is so anxious to impress James and be noticed by him, but James is too busy trying to be a cool teen to take much notice of his little brother.

Brian takes Quidditch rather seriously. He's a minor character but that detail about him is in my head.

There'll be a little bit more in the next chapter about that detention and you'll probably get a fair idea as to whether this is a personal thing against Rose and Albus or what. Their family is pretty well-known, of course.

Slughorn IS rather insincere, particularly when dealing with people he doesn't consider worth his time for whatever reason, so it may be no more than that, or on the other hand, there may be somewhat more to it. He will actually comment about Blackburn to Rose and Albus later on, now that I think of it.

Thank you SO much for this review. Your reviews are SO detailed and amazing. Thank you so, so much.

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Review #13, by TreacleTart The Slug Club.

12th April 2015:
Hi Margaret!

I'm here for our review swap, although in all truthfulness I've been meaning to get back to reading this for a while now, but life has been stubbornly refusing to allow me time to read. I finally got most of a weekend off from work, so I had planned on catching up!

The start of this really highlights Albus' youth and immaturity well. Seeing him getting choked up over the letter from his father reminded me that he's just a very young child and this is probably the first really extended time away from home for him. Clearly, he's a bit homesick, but I expect that the feeling will feed once he gets a bit more familiar with everything.

Your characterization of Slughorn in this chapter was spot on. While I don't necessarily think he is a bad person, he is definitely an opportunist who takes advantage of his connections.

I loved that Albus is perceptive enough about Slughorn to realize how manipulative he is. I would think as a young student he would be in awe of an invitation to a special party for promising students, but what everyone's told him about Slughorn really keeps him well grounded.

What?! Kingsley has a son! This blew my mind. I think this may actually be the very first time that I've ever seen him have a family. I personally always imagine him being the self-sacrificing type who never got married, but Jordan seems to fit in well. He is exactly as I would imagine the child of an important government official to be.

One little detail that I noticed and appreciated was how Albus pointed out that Jordan was probably only nice to him because he was a prefect and felt obligated to make conversation. It really shows that Albus doesn't think of himself as a big deal. His own father is the most famous wizard in all of England, but he is still humbled by meeting the Minister's son. It's quite endearing.

The little bit at the end where Dora exhibits just a touch of jealousy at not having been invited to the Slug Club reminds me a bit of Ron. It's not about whether or not the activity was exciting, only that they weren't included in the club.

I did find one typo, but it's a small one.
"Not have thought much beyond starting Hogwarts, Albus lost interest." I think is should be "Not having" instead of "not have"

Another interesting chapter. I can feel everything being set into place for the inevitable adventure that's to come. I look forward to getting to the next chapter much quicker this time around!


Author's Response: Yeah, I think it would be very hard to leave your home and family at eleven years of age and not go home for months on end. This may be partly cultural too. In my country, I think the majority of students live at home, even at college and those who don't generally go home for weekends. My college used finish up early on a Friday - at 2pm or 3pm - so that everybody could get home at a decent hour. And even with that, I know a lot of people found it difficult leaving home. And we were 17-19, not 11.

OK, that's the first time I got a reaction like that to the idea of Kingsley having a son. Yeah, I've read some versions in which he's pretty much married to his job and I COULD see that. But there's not enough evidence from the books to say one way or the other.

Yeah, Albus is aware that there's a BIG gap between 11 and 15 and that 15 year olds do not really have much interest in hanging out with 11 year olds, unless they enjoy playing big brother or sister, but not as friends in the typical way.

Yeah, Slughorn's favouritism is pretty blatant and while Slug Club parties mightn't be the most fun, they are an indication of how highly he rates you and for an 11 year old, it's pretty upsetting to be told you're not important enough or interesting enough to be included.

Typo is fixed; thanks for pointing it out.

Slughorn is actually brilliant for hinting at stuff. I've used him a few times later in the story to give things away or to put people on the spot when I want somebody to be forced to reveal something.

Thank you so much for the review and I'd love to hear what you think of the next couple of chapters. Things are about to start happening.

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Review #14, by TreacleTart A Magical Education

28th March 2015:
Hi Margaret!

Chapter two was a nice overview of the daily life at Hogwarts. I liked the little snippets of each class. It really gave me a feeling of what it would be like.

The different Professors you've come up with were quite interesting as well. I think Professor Jones was my favorite. I was happy to see her take a no nonsense approach towards teaching defense.

Seeing Neville as a Professor was lovely. He's one of my favorite characters in the series, so I'm always happy when he shows up. He seems naturally inclined to deal with students and definitely more confident than he was as a child. I also liked how he seemed to relate with Nathan's clumsiness a bit.

I had to chuckle when I started reading the part about their History classes. Professor Binns is as boring as ever! The way you described him as skipping over the interesting parts in favor of minute detail was perfect.

I also had a good laugh about Hermione sending directions to the library. That absolutely seems like something she would do.

I picked up on a few things which I think may be typos, but if it's just a difference in language forgive me. Unfortunately, I don't have a ton of experience with the different European versions of English, so occasionally I might read something thinking it's a mistake when in all actuality it's just a different way of saying something. I do really appreciate when you explain my mistakes in your response (like the so/there in the last chapter) because it helps me to learn new ways of saying things! So again, apologies in advance if that's the case in any of these.

"all anxious to find out what class they’d first." – they’d have first

"father'd said about his nakesake," - namesake

"which allows people transform into animals.” –people to transform

"Wow, this looks like being an interesting class.” – take being out

"you marry a Muggle, you’re allowed tell him." –allowed to tell

Another solid chapter! I look forward to reading more. I can't wait to see what types of adventures come across Albus and Rose's path.


Author's Response: Thanks so much for the review.

And yeah, I have recently heard that outside Ireland people do not say stuff like "allowed tell" or "allowed transform," so I'll change those. I am trying to make my characters sound realistically British, so please do continue pointing out things that don't sound right, like British people ending a comment with "so". I don't think it was a mistake for you to point that out, as Susan, being English, wouldn't say it that way.

I hope I didn't come across as defensive or offended in my response. It can be hard to indicate tone online but I do appreciate people pointing out those things, because I won't see them, as they read perfectly naturally to me. I think a lot of them are direct translations. We sometimes tend to speak English with Irish sentence structure, so it probably sounds a bit odd to everybody else.

I'm sort of making a point of showing Neville come full circle and support people who are having self-esteem difficulties or feel inadequate like he did.

I wanted to introduce the new teachers and give readers a chance to get to know them.

Hope you continue to enjoy this. As you can probably guess from the chapter titles, things start to happen around the end of chapter four or the beginning of chapter five. The first three chapters are basically introducing people and stuff.

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Review #15, by TreacleTart The First Night.

26th March 2015:
Hello again Margaret!

So I had originally planned to started reading The Rise Of The AWLS, but I saw that it was a sequel to this. Since I figured it would make more sense if I read them in order, here I am.

This was a nice opening chapter. I could really feel Albus' nerves about the sorting. I guess coming from a long line of Gryffindors, there's a lot of pressure on him.

The way that you've characterized him seems to fall right in line with the Albus we see in the prologue of the series. He's shy and nervous, but there seems to be a bit of sweetness to him. I like that. The insecurities really make him seem more relatable.

The only real critique I can offer this chapter, isn't necessarily going to be something that would bother most people, but since I work as a Chef, it stood out to me. I felt like the whole feast scene seemed really rushed. I would've loved some more thorough descriptions of the food instead of just a laundry list. I remember Harry's reaction the first time he sees the feast in the books and even though Albus is considerably more well fed than Harry was, it would still be quite spectacular to see so much food appear in front of you. I guess overall, I just left feeling like it was skimmed over and there was a lot of telling instead of showing. It was only specifically in that one section though. Everything else was deftly handled.

I really enjoyed seeing how Albus quashed Derek's fears about being a muggleborn. The reference to Hermione was a nice touch. I imagine in no time, Derek will be up to speed!

Another nice read! You really do do lovely work.


Author's Response: Again, thank you so much for the reviews.

Yeah, probably makes more sense to read these in order, as, apart from anything else, the first chapter of "The Rise of the A.W.L." spoils a major plot point to this.

I'm glad you think Albus seems in character.

Yeah, description isn't exactly my strong point and, if I'm honest, I actually forgot to mention them eating, and had to go back and edit it in. I might take another look at it sometime and see if I can expand on that, rather than skimming over it.

Thanks again for the review. If you decide to read on, I hope you continue to enjoy it.

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Review #16, by nott theodore The Slug Club.

13th March 2015:
Hello! I need to start reading more of this story so that I can catch up and read your WIP (although from the sounds of it, that will be completed soon as well) - I finally got a spare minute and my internet to work, so here I am!

Albus receiving those letters from his family was so sweet to read about! One of the things that I'm really enjoying about this story is the way that you've managed to take the few details we have about this generation from the Epilogue and use them to create believable characters in this story. The fact that James had convinced Albus that people hardly received letters at all in first year was something I'd almost forgotten; I loved the way that it seemed such a real fear for him, and something so serious if he got it wrong and looked silly in front of his classmates. It's something that people at that age can't help but worry about and think is one of the most important things in their time at school. You write characters of this age really well - they're very believable, and don't sound too young or too old for what's happening.

The letters, again, were great to read. You captured Harry's voice well in the letter that he wrote, I thought. I also liked the detail that he had argued with Ginny about who would be the one to write the letter to Albus, and that he really wanted to do it. I like the continuity of that connection we see in the epilogue, when Harry's the only one that Albus trusts with his fears and Harry's the one who reassures him.

Lily's letter was great, too - it definitely felt like a nine year old girl had written it, since there wasn't much tact involved in the content. Telling her brother that she'll be in Gryffindor and that she's bored without seeming to care much for him (although I'm sure she does) feel very typical of her age. I'm intrigued about whether she'll actually be in Gryffindor when she gets to Hogwarts now, though :P

The Slug Club was interesting to read - I really liked the fact that it was still going, but also the detail that you included about it being Slughorn's last year, and him intending to retire. Even he can't last forever, and he has been teaching since Tom Riddle was there... I like the idea of him waiting until Albus and Rose get to Hogwarts so they can be part of his connections, too.

It was great that Harry had warned Albus about what to expect from the Slug Club so he didn't go thinking it would be great - he knows that it's mostly boring but I liked the fact that we see at the end there are other students who don't know and think that it's exciting to be invited. Really, it's not a good idea to allow a club like that which singles people out on no merit other than who they're related to, but I can imagine Slughorn waving away whoever objected or pointed something like that out.

It's good to see, in a way, that James didn't get onto the Gryffindor team in his second year. I get so frustrated by stories when all the Potters and Weasleys make up the entire Gryffindor Quidditch team, so the fact that he's going to have to work to get on there at all is a nice change. I felt a bit sorry for him to be so desperate to get on the team that he'd suck up to the captain like that though.

“I always find school food so monotonous,” Slughorn said. “Do try the stuffed olives, Shacklebolt. I think you will find them most enjoyable.”
This was probably one of my favourite lines in the chapter - it made me laugh so much. From the way that Hogwarts food is described, the sheer amount of choice would prevent it from being monotonous, but trust Slughorn to like the finer things in life :P

I liked the appearance of Jordan Shacklebolt, and the way that he was being polite but that Albus recognised he probably wasn't that interested in being friends, since in school people do tend to stick largely to their own year groups rather than mixing with younger years - there's a big difference between fifth and first year especially.

I was glad the older students waited for the younger ones too - I have to admit that I wouldn't like to be a young Ravenclaw trying to answer the riddles without the practice and experience all the older students have!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Thank you so, so much for this awesome review. And yeah, the sequel is basically finished too. I have one more chapter to add, but it's really only stuff like exams and finishing up the term. The actual plot is really completed in the chapter I just posted.

I'm really glad you think Albus, Rose and their friends seem convincing as 11 year olds. I think 9-13 year olds can be hard to write, as they're not clearly little kids or clearly 'teens. But I do teach kids only slightly older than Albus and Rose - our secondaries start with the equivalent of Hogwarts 2nd years - so I guess I have that background. It's only so much help though, as kids act differently in class than when left to themselves.

I'll soon be writing Lily's sorting - not sure how many chapters it will take me to get through the summer holidays, but year three focuses a lot on Lily and her first year. Glad you liked her letter.

Yeah, even more than 2nd year, I'm avoiding having anybody make the team in first year, because canon makes it clear that's VERY rare and even Ginny was in about her fourth year when she made the team, and she ended up playing professionally. There will be a couple of second years who make teams, but I'm definitely not going to have all the Weasleys and Potters playing. Victoire, Louis and Lucy all have no real interest in playing and nor does Rose.

I think Slughorn said something along those lines in the books - I think about the food from the trolley, rather than the school food, but yeah, I'm not sure school food would live up to his expectations.

A large part of why I kept Slughorn in this story was just because I didn't want to introduce too many new teachers at once. So far, I have Jones, who is a canon character, but a very minor one, and Blackburn, who is a complete OC and I want to take some time to introduce them properly before bringing in a new Potions teacher.

But honestly, I was sorry to lose Slughorn at the end of this. He is SO brilliant for giving things away or for asking awkward questions that give things away. His interest in everybody's backgrounds and family can be very useful when you want to reveal something from somebody's background.

And yeah, 15 year olds don't generally befriend 11 year olds, except in the mentor/big brother/sister sense. Jordan is a nice guy, who's trying to be welcoming to the new kids, but that's basically it.

Thanks again for the review.

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Review #17, by nott theodore A Magical Education

6th March 2015:
Hi, here for our review swap! I was glad to get back to this story again!

I felt kind of sorry for Albus at the beginning of this chapter, as he started going towards the Gryffindor table automatically before his friends reminded him that he's in Ravenclaw. I can understand why that would be something more natural to him, especially with all the different connections he has to Gryffindor house that you mention in the opening section, but I think that he'll do well in Ravenclaw somehow. And I'm glad that he's got Rose with him to keep him company there too, as well as his new friends who seem really nice!

I love Rose's excitement about getting her timetable and knowing what classes they'll be having. It's just how I imagine her to be, but I like the way that she's absorbed so much information about Hogwarts and their lessons as well. It's also great to see things being explained to Derek as we go along, since from his position he knows a lot less about the wizarding world than the others, and it must be so overwhelming. It allows you to bring in small details and remind us of the wonder of Hogwarts.

It's interesting that, while so many people think that Albus is going to be just like his father, he can't possibly be since he's had a very different upbringing. It's clear that, even though he's not like Rose with all the information she's absorbed from Hermione, he still knows a lot about what to expect at Hogwarts and in the wizarding world in general. I like the fact that's so clear here because it's an important distinction between them, I think.

'She says those who forget history are doomed to repeat it' I can imagine Hermione saying something like this so clearly in my mind! And I love the way that Rose just parrots it at this point, but it really is true because we have so much to learn from history to avoid mistakes in the future. That's one of the reasons it's so annoying that Professor Binns still teaches at Hogwarts and nobody's interested in History of Magic because of it!

I really loved the different classes that we were introduced to in this chapter, too! I think it's a really good thing that you didn't try and include all of the different classes in just one chapter, as I think that would be overwhelming (even though the readers actually know what these subjects involve now), but what you wrote about here was really interesting and gave us a great insight into the sort of lessons that they'll be having.

Can I just say how happy I am that Hogwarts has finally got a good Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher? I'm so glad that the students are getting taught the important things that they need to know to defend themselves against dark magic, and that now the curse has been lifted on the position, they can actually benefit from the consistency of having one teacher take them through the course.

I was really pleased to see the mention of a Slytherin's father being a member of the Order of the Phoenix, too. I think it's so easy to imagine that the 'battle lines' would still be drawn between the houses and I think that there'd have been a massive effort to discourage that, and encourage unity, so this really reflects my post-war head canon.

I love Neville as a teacher! (I know what it's like knowing a teacher outside of school and not wanting to use their real name, though, so I can sympathise with Albus here!) He seems really nice and encouraging and I'm sure that Nathan probably reminds him a lot of himself when he was younger, so the poor boy doesn't need to be so embarrassed or down about dropping the plants. If they're not canon, the Bouncing Bulbs are a great invention, by the way!

Really, the sooner that Hogwarts find a way to get rid of Professor Binns, the better. Before long, it's going to be Rose teaching the rest of the class the things they need to know about History of Magic!

I love the fact that Hermione gave her daughter directions to the library at Hogwarts. That is such an Hermione thing to do! It's pretty sensible too, if you think about it - I don't remember reading in the books that they get a map or a tour of the castle, and I'm assuming there aren't signs everywhere, so it's a good idea to let Rose know where the library is so that she can actually find it!

I really enjoyed reading the conversation with Nearly Headless Nick, as well. I liked the fact that he wanted to have all the Potters in Gryffindor, almost as a sort of boast over the other ghosts I imagine (since I know he used Harry as a bit of a trophy at times), but I think it's good to show interaction between the ghosts and members of other houses, and I like the idea of there being a friendship between Albus and Nick too.

This was a great chapter, and I really enjoyed reading it!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review. I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter. It's still kind of introductory stuff, though there are already some significant things being hinted at.

Yeah, I think the epilogue kind of hinted that Albus already saw Gryffindor as the "family house", so to speak and that he was already identifying with it to some degree. It would be weird for him to be cheering against Gryffindor at Quidditch and stuff.

And YES, you've picked up on something that's going to be VERY relevant in this story - the difference between Albus's upbringing and Harry's. As the mystery develops, and in the following story too, there will be quite a few times where Rose and Albus look to Harry or Hermione or other adults for information, as unlike Harry, they have grown up believing adults can be depended on.

Oh, I could go on a rant about Binns and how anybody who doesn't respect the significance of mythology isn't much of a historian. I mean, historical sites have been FOUND as a result of myths. Even 12 and 13 year olds learn that myths and legends are a source for historians and archaeologists.

Yeah, I wanted to introduce the teachers, especially the new ones, and also their styles of teaching, because there are so many different ways of teaching. Neville is very much into practical lessons and learning by doing, whereas Jones is very knowledgeable and draws a lot on experience from the war and so on.

I...honestly didn't even really think about the significance of the son of a member of the Order being in Slytherin. I just thought the character would fit that house and his father is actually a canon character, Mundungus Fletcher. Mundungus strikes me as a possible Slytherin himself.

Can't claim credit for the Bouncing Bulbs, I'm afraid. I just googled to find something that would make an interesting first class. They are apparently mentioned in "Goblet of Fire."

Yeah, Nick wants Harry's son both as a boast and also because he was genuinely fond of Harry and wants to get to know his sons.

Thanks again for the awesomely detailed review. I do appreciate it.

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Review #18, by Pixileanin The Gryffindor Quidditch Team.

13th January 2015:
Hi! I'm back to read more of your story. Little Albus has me intrigued, so I wanted to know what he's been getting up to. Poor Albus and his house color confusion!

Oh hey, and Slughorn has returned to teach Potions again!

Haha! Albus’ brother pranks him here too, I see. Some things must be universal, like older brothers who like to pick on their younger, defenseless siblings. But James seems rather sweet later on. I’m glad he’s not as much into teasing Albus as that other James I know.

That was a lovely letter that Albus got from his dad, and it was sweet how he choked up a little and tried not to show how homesick he was, being reminded of home. It’s hard being away for the first time, and for so long.

I liked the way that you made the difference between Lucy’s father bragging so much about her achievements, and the way that Lucy acts. Still, it has probably rubbed off on her to be a little bit annoying. Sometimes people can’t help that.

It was very appropriate to throw in that suspicious vibe with Brian when Albus and Rose got to the pitch to watch the tryouts. It was awfully handy that Dominique was there to smooth things over. I like seeing these young characters have older family members to ease them into the transition of being at Hogwarts. Albus and Rose were cute, cheering James along during the tryouts.

Aww, and they get an unjustified detention on their first week of school. Albus is already living up to his brother's reputation, and he didn't even deserve it. And Rose too! I bet they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Blackburn seems a bit fishy. I wonder what she’s got going on?

Author's Response: Really glad to see you back. Thank you so much for the review.

Yeah, Slughorn's staying around a while longer, so I can introduce new teachers gradually. I didn't want to bring in new teachers just for the sake of it, especially if I didn't have parts for them.

11 is SO young to go away from home for months on end. I know people I knew were upset enough starting college and we were 17ish and going home for weekends, so it was only 5 days at a time.

Brian takes Quidditch practice pretty seriously.

And yes, Albus and Rose DEFINITELY didn't deserve detention there. They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. There'll be more about that in the next chapter, but I'll say no more about that now.

Blackburn has a pretty important part to play in this story. I won't say any more now except that I probably have more notes on her than I do on Albus or Rose. She has quite a lot going on, but it won't be revealed for a while.

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Review #19, by Pixileanin The First Night.

6th December 2014:
Hi there! I thought I'd come over and check out some of your writing. There was so much to choose from, and I really wanted to jump right into your current WIP, but I couldn't resist starting from the beginning, so here I am.

I love how this story starts right up after the epilogue of book seven. Poor Albus is so worried over his sorting, but then what magical kid wouldn't be?

"Albus jumped. He'd been so worried about being placed in Slytherin and so anxious for Gryffindor that he hadn't even thought of the other houses."

This was really great. I think I was just as surprised as Albus was when he found out which house he was sorted into. And then to see Lucy already there, we know he isn't alone. I loved how Lucy called him a Weasley, and then he knew exactly what she meant. :)

I'm happy you kept Rose and Albus together. They seem like they'd make a great pair and feed off of the extra security they would get from each other in tight situations. I also loved the little dig Rose threw out about Lucy, which I'm sure will make things interesting in their house. And ah, yes, James is a trouble-maker. This is fun!

Derek seems like an interesting character. I'd be missing technology at his age too. It's nice to see that the general attitude of the wizarding world has changed. But now I'm wondering if there are still some hangers on that may make life difficult for him. Though, it might just be that he's got a steep learning curve ahead of him. One of the things I enjoyed most about reading HP was discovering right along with Harry all the wonderful things about magic with him.

So then after Albus gets sorted and it turns out decent enough, and he's not separated from Rose, his new worry is that he's not smart enough to live up to his new house. Ah, the worries of youth! I'm sure he'll do fine.

This is a lovely start to the story. I don't read enough NextGen where the characters are young and inexperienced. I think that's where most of the magic happens, before they get caught up in 'other stuff'. You wrote the age quite well for my tastes, with everything looking fresh and new, and the general excitement/anxiety of being somewhere away from home. I really enjoyed this!


Author's Response: Thank you SO much for this review. It was really unexpected. And I do intend to catch up on Rabbit Heart. It's funny you reviewed this today, because seeing you'd a new chapter up had just reminded me I still haven't read your last one.

And yeah, while I personally prefer The Rise of the A.W.L. to this, it probably is a good idea to start here, since they do sort of follow on and some things The Rise of the A.W.L. might be harder to understand without having the background.

Oh yes! The wizarding world may have changed by this time, but it'll become increasingly clear across the series that not everybody is completely happy with that.

I'm glad you like the beginning of this story. Hope you continue to enjoy it.

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Review #20, by nott theodore The First Night.

20th November 2014:
Hi Margaret! I'm finally here for our review swap (I got caught up in a few unexpected things today, and then when I finally tried to post this my internet cut out, so I'm sorry it's taken me so long!) I've wanted to try and get to this story for a while now and I thought that this was as good a time as any to do it!

I thought that this was such a fantastic start to your story! For some reason, I can't remember ever actually reading a story like this one on the archives, that focuses on the next generation children from the time that they start Hogwarts, and I'm really glad because I was able to enjoy this as if I was reading the books again. Another thing I absolutely loved here was the way that it felt like it fitted in so well with the books - not only does it pick up as soon as we left off with the seventh book, but there's a return to the familiar scene and occasion and that makes me feel kind of nostalgic (if it's possible to feel nostalgia for a fictional world) and I couldn't help smiling straight away. It was also nice to get the sense that we're returning to some of the more innocent aspects of the earlier books with this story, since it's a much safer time.

I really liked the way that you opened this with Albus panicking as the Sorting approached. It makes a lot of sense to me that he'd be so worried - Harry was terrified, and he hadn't grown up with the same amount of expectation. Even though his dad did his best to try and allay his fears, I can imagine Albus being so scared at this point. I thought you did a great job of showing the way that the Sorting seemed to drag on and on for Albus, in his fear, without making it drag on for the reader, too!

Albus's thoughts during the Sorting were very believable and felt in character for him - at least, how I imagine him to be. At this point, we've only got his appearance in the epilogue to go off, so you've got a lot of freedom. I really liked the diversity in names of students that crept in with the first years' names being read out, too - especially the Irish that I spotted in there ;)

I did notice a couple of typos in that first part, though. Nothing major - just 'house' instead of 'hat' a couple of times, and a 'Gryffindor' that's missing the 'R', but if you wanted to edit them out I thought I'd let you know they're there.

Yay! Despite being a proud Gryffie, my head canon for Albus actually puts him in Ravenclaw, so I was really pleased to see him there! I don't know why, but for me he actually fits there better than any other houses. I liked the fact that he hadn't even considered the possibility of any other house but Gryffindor and Slytherin, but I get the feeling he'll definitely fit in with the Ravenclaws! It's great for him that he's got Lucy to help guide him through as well, and that Rose joined him in Ravenclaw. I get the idea that they'll stay really close friends through this story, and I'm glad about that.

Oh my goodness, do you have any idea what you've just done to me with those delicious descriptions of the food at the feast? To be honest, even listing British foods is enough to make me hungry right now, but I thought you really captured the sort of indulgence that I always imagine the start-of-term feast to be. It just seemed so Hogwarts-y to me.

I thought you wrote McGonagall very well here, even if she only made a brief appearance in reminding people of the rules. She seems to have taken a lot of her speech from Dumbledore, but why not when he was such a role model for her?

I liked the way that they all approached the Ravenclaw tower - because it's a different house to the one that Harry was in, I got more of a sense of excitement than I would have done if Albus had been Sorted into Gryffindor, I think. The riddle was really good too (although I found myself hoping that the door knocker is able to distinguish between first and seventh years). The descriptions of everything made me smile - I felt like I was returning to Hogwarts with Albus, and now this is making me question why I've not read more stories like this before, because this is giving me the chance to go back and start over with them!

From what I've seen of them so far, the other boys in Albus's dormitory seem nice! I liked the inclusion of a Muggle-born to remind us more of the sense of wonder and how overwhelming an experience like this can be, especially if you've not grown up expecting it to happen. I think it must have been nice for Albus to talk to someone who didn't know about his father, too.

One other aspect I thought you achieved really well here was capturing these children as characters. They're still only children, quite young at eleven or twelve, but at the same time you haven't written them too young. I find that balance hard to manage, so I'm really impressed by how much these characters seemed to fit in with their age and all we know about them!

This was a really great opening chapter to your story, and I'm hoping I can make it back soon to continue on (since there's plenty more of it to read)!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review. Hope you weren't up too late writing it. *grins*

Yes, while these are mysteries, I'm avoiding major warfare and Dark Lords, because I kind of feel that another war or another Dark Lord's rise would kind of take from the Trio's sacrifices. I like the idea of their having created a safer world for the next generation. So while villains exist in this series and may hurt individuals, there isn't going to be a whole society living in fear.

I tend to stick in Irish characters when I get sick of trying to think up British surnames. And I couldn't imagine Fionnuala being other than Irish or Scottish anyway. I also have a few references to Irish wizarding customs sprinkled here and there. Just for fun.

Have fixed those errors. Leaving out the "r" is rather typical of my spelling patterns.

My immediate thought for Albus was Hufflepuff actually, but I have an older story that predates both Half Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows in which a son of Harry's ends up in Hufflepuff and Albus reminded me a little of that character from the little I saw of him in the epilogue, so I thought if I put him in Hufflepuff, I'd end up basically writing the same character again. So then I thought I could develop a personality for him that worked with Ravenclaw. While you can't really tell from one or two conversations, especially since Albus was clearly in a situation where any child would be a little subdued when we saw him, but he didn't strike me as predominantly courageous or ambitious.

*grins* I remembered to say "bacon" rather than "rashers". To me "bacon" are the thick slices you eat with cabbage, whereas the thin slices you have for breakfast or with chips and sausages are "rashers".

I love next gen. stories because there is so much freedom. We don't know much about the characters' personalities and we certainly don't know what'll happen to them at Hogwarts or how the wizarding world has changed since the war. I've read some next gens. that have investigated how the wizarding world would deal with the advent of 21st century technology. In the '90s, "I'm going to boarding school and there's always a queue for the phone, so I'll probably only be able to write" was perfectly credible. In today's world, with mobile phones and the internet, not so much. I've sort of glossed over that, as my characters aren't particularly connected to the Muggle world and I don't have any good ideas in that way anyway.

The riddles get progressively worse as this series goes on. And I'm still only two terms through their second year! I am rapidly running out of ideas. This one is one of the best, I think.

I'm glad you think my characters are convincing for their age. It is a hard age to write, because they're not really children, not little children, any more, but they're not teenagers either and it can be hard to balance between not making them act like 15 year olds or 8 year olds.

Really glad you liked the opening chapter. Hope you get a chance to read some more and that you enjoy it. I know there is a LOT there. I think of the story as really starting at the end of chapter 4 or in chapter 5. The first three chapters are basically introducing the characters and so on.

Thanks again for the utterly amazing review.

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Review #21, by YourFan The First Night.

29th June 2014:
this is the first fanfiction I encountered that Albus was neither sorted into Gryffindor and Slytherine..

I always find it hard or to even think of Albus sorted in Slytherine.. He idolizes his father to much to be sorted in Slytherine..

and Albus being sorted at Revanclaw makes this a very interesting story.. i believe that it is very challenging to go in that direction of the story, but you did it effortlessly, so Congratulations!!

I think that you started the story admiringly :)

Author's Response: I had basically two reasons for having him somewhere other than Gryffindor or Slytherin. The first is that there are more than two houses, which he seemed to forget and I always feel that when a character only considers two houses, unless it's make clear they wouldn't fit the others, they should not end up in either of those two.

Also, from the little we saw of Albus, he did not appear either particularly brave or particularly cunning and ambitious. He seemed quiet, thoughtful, maybe a little insecure (although that may just be about starting a new school), slightly gullible. To be honest, my impression was that the house he'd fit best would be Hufflepuff, but I already wrote a story about Harry having a son in Hufflepuff, so I thought Ravenclaw was the next best fit.

Glad you liked it. Hope you continue to enjoy the story.

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Review #22, by Anon The First Night.

14th May 2014:
Well this is certainly awsome. I look forward to more :)

Author's Response: Thanks for the review. Glad you enjoyed it. Hope you like the rest.

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Review #23, by Teddy1993 Farewell Slughorn

3rd May 2014:
That was a nice chapter to finish with. I really enjoyed this story, from the very first chapter. Thank you for writing it!

Author's Response: Thank you so much for your continued reviews. Always nice to hear what somebody thinks.

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Review #24, by Teddy1993 Questions and Answers.

3rd May 2014:
Well, I certainly didn't expect that, but I guess it makes sense if she is family of Nott. I liked the motive you gave her. I can easily see why she would hold a grudge against the Potters and the Malfoys. Great ending to a great story. One more chapter to go and then it's time for the sequel. :)

Author's Response: Glad you like the revelation.

I don't think many people figured it out in advance. A lot of people appear to have been surprised. It's hard for me to tell how obvious things are, because of course, I know which hints are important and which are red herrings.

Hope you enjoy the sequel as much.

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Review #25, by Teddy1993 Rose's Plan.

3rd May 2014:
Great chapter. I can't wait to find out how this story ends.

Author's Response: Next chapter now will tell you most things. Glad your enjoying it and hope the ending doesn't disappoint.

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