Reading Reviews for Year of the snake
37 Reviews Found

Review #1, by sushmita The new arrival

23rd May 2017:
I don't think there are any other stories out there about what happened at Hogwarts during the time Harry was on the run. I just got finished with reading with "Color and Light" which was a great perspective on Remus and Tonks' life at that time as well and I'm really looking forward to reading more of this story when you update.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review! I'm very sorry it's taken me so long to respond to your review but I am happy to say that I have new stories up (and extra chapters of this one) at AO3 and also at archive dot hp fanfic talk dot com.

cheers Mel

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Review #2, by sushmita The new arrival

8th November 2016:
Please update as looks like its been awhile. U are a brilliant writer.

Author's Response: Thanks! Like I said, I'm working on it. Hopefully there will be some movement by Christmas.

cheers Mel

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Review #3, by Sushmita Journey into the unknown

7th November 2016:
Any plans to continue this story? Now that u have a huge fan following after ur marauder stories?

Author's Response: Hi again! I took a break from this website after my last maternity leave ended - I just didn't have time any more. YOungest child is now at school though so I have some more time on my hands (not much, but more) so I've come back to (a) get on top of review responses, because after 4 or more years there were quite a few, and (b) finish this story. I'm currently working on it for NaNo but to be honest I'm more likely to post it elsewhere when it does get continued. You can find me on different sites as this name or with 225 at the end of it. :)

cheers Mel

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Review #4, by CleverElf The new arrival

12th April 2014:
This was such a good idea for a story. I love this author. I WANT MORE! IT has been months. I know that they are writing other stuff to, but the writing is just so good. I read HTM(a different story by this author) in two days. I guess i just got used to not having to wait.

Author's Response: Yes, I know, sorry about that. I'm trying to get to it but I have to reread the books first to get the characterisation right, and I"m only on PoA at the moment. Hoping to get to update this before the year is out - my apologies for it taking so long. Thanks for your patience!

cheers Mel

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Review #5, by hoggyhoggy_hogwarts The new arrival

4th April 2014:
Please, please, please update.

Author's Response: Yeah, sorry about that. I'm intending to get back to writing this in the next few months so hopefully there will be an update by Christmas. We'll just have to see how my muse goes and whether I have time with the other writing (redoing HTM, some OF, that sort of thing) I've been doing. Thanks for reading!

cheers Mel

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Review #6, by Siriusly Journey into the unknown

10th January 2014:
Hi! I was just wondering how long this story was going to be and if it would be similar in length to HTM? Very excited to read!

Author's Response: Hi! SO sorry for how long this has taken me to respond. Now, I don't think it will be anywhere near as long as HTM, but I'm guessing somewhere around the 100-120K word mark at the moment. Having said that, it's not all planned out properly (which is one reason I left it for so long) and I have to re-read the books to get the characterisation right in my head, so it might end up being longer or shorter than that estimate. Thanks for asking!

cheers Mel

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Review #7, by kenpo The new arrival

6th November 2013:
I really hope you keep writing this. I love the title-it is perfect. The characters seem true to what they are in canon. I look forward to reading more.

Author's Response: Thanks! I do intend to keep writing - it's just had a lengthy delay, that's all. But hopefully by the end of this year I'll have a new chapter or two up. Thanks for reading!

cheers Mel

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Review #8, by Debra20 The new arrival

17th July 2013:
Finally we see the first sparks of indignation burn inside Neville. He's one of the nicest, kindest characters in the books, and I think you were wise in choosing to have him convinced that he had to do something by witnessing the outrageous treatment students were getting. Knowing Neville, it won't be long before he will have had enough of it and decided to take matter in his own hands, regardless of the dangers of restarting DA and his own fears. He has proved in the past that he's capable of throwing aside his fears if it meant doing the right thing and helping others. This is not a different situation. It's a great feeling to see him transform little by little in your story. It makes his journey that more enjoyable. You can't help but root for him!

A character I haven't spoken about much is Ginny. While I was not always that convinced about her in the books, I must admit you are handling her very well. You can definitely see the Weasley in her :D She's passionate about her beliefs but cautious enough not to expose herself. She's not scared in taking up the task of reforming the DA, but she knows that there would be no one better than Neville and does not hesitate in letting him know it. I think you're doing a great job with her.

What can I say truly, other than you are a genius of characterisation ;) I need to take a leaf of your book without doubt :D

Author's Response: I love Neville in this, I really do. He's looking for the leadership that Harry used to provide, to rally people against these injustices (and NEville has a particular loathing for the Cruciatus Curse, as we all know), and it's coming slowly to him that, without Harry, HE will have to do that leadership. He's trying to palm it off on Ginny, but she recognises that he has that fire and she's pushing him. Really happy with how you're seeing that too. :)

cheers Mel

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Review #9, by Debra20 The Carrows

17th July 2013:
Hey there mel! I'm sorry it's taken me so long to come review your new chapters, but for a long while I've been busy with school and was secretly hoping that by the time I was done with that I'd have more than one chapter to read at once :D And my wait was well worth it!

I think I'm falling in love with this story more and more. Neville is a great character to read about, especially during this period in his life when he undergoes a massive change. It's going to be incredible to witness his journey from the frightened boy that is still waiting for help from the outside (Harry, for example), to the man of action who will take up the torch and shed some light in the moments of darkness at Hogwarts in that year. Together with Harry's evolution, I think Neville's growth throughout the series is one of the most prominent one. By DH I was already mad in love with his character. He's awesome, and you're awesome too for managing to capture his essence so well! He's still afraid, still waiting for others to step up to the unfair things happening at school, but there'll come a moment when he will do it himself. Can't wait!

I truly feel for Seamus here. Being singled out by the Carrows is not good news for him. I have a feeling things will only get worse from here on out, both for him and for other sin his situation. Which brings me to the Carrows' characterisation. Boy, they are SCARY! I'd be sweating as well if I had teachers like them. When Amycus used the Cruciatus curse on Seamus I literally jumped in my seat. I didn't expect that...not now and not so sudden. It was a brilliant move from your part, because I think the scene had the desired effect: to make us realise (and the Hogwarts students) that things are bad, like very bad!

Amazing chapter mel as always mel!

Author's Response: Ah, Roxi, I can't complain about late reviews on chapters when I'm taking three years or more to answer them, can I? I can only beg your forgiveness for being so tardy and hope you'll get around to reading it when I do finally get back to this story. (Hopefully by the en dof the year. But no promises, unfortunately.)

Yeah, not fun for Seamus, is it? But something had to (a) show the Carrows for what they are, and (b) prove his trustworthiness to Neville and Ginny. So this neatly fit both criteria, don't you think?

cheers Mel

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Review #10, by patronus_charm The new arrival

8th July 2013:
Woo a new chapter! ♥

Itís so lovely to see that Ginny and Neville are now caring for Seamus like they do for the others. Heís always been a character which has intrigued me so Iíve really loved reading more about him in this story and heís grown on me too as youíve made him appear as someone who was just influenced by silly people.

Ginny was really great in this chapter! I love how she skirted round the rules regarding Fred and Georgeís things and it seemed like just something those three would concoct. Then there was the way she was trying to persuade Neville into creating a DA club too, and it seemed like something she would do. I really love the idea of the underdogs all banding together to make a change and it gave me lots of warm and fuzzy feelings ♥

Ah you built up the excitement regarding DA really well! Iím so excited now and I just want to see them charging round the school putting graffiti on every wall. I think the reason why it was so good was the way you showed a varying reaction to it, and it made it even more realistic. I think the reluctance was great because it made me want to find out how they overcome it.

It was really interesting to read the incident with Orla. I mean, I read about it in the books but I never imagined it being put into practice. I really want to know her backstory now, because it was quite a dramatic comeback from hiding. I really liked how it made such an impact on them and how this might be the thing which makes them restart the DA!

Ah this chapter was really exciting for me as you can probably tell, and I canít wait for the next!


Author's Response: Yeah, they couldn't stay mad at Seamus forever, could they? Especially when that animosity came into the story quite unexpectedly, and I had to work out what to do with it hahaha. And I too liked Ginny's way of following the rules without really following them - to the letter, if not the spirit, of what Snape said. It really seemed to be the sort of thing Fred and George's sister would do, don't you think?

As for the DA, well I'm looking forward to that as well! I just have to finish re-reading the books and getting my story notes right again before I can start updating - hopefully I will still have some readers by then. Apologies for the lengthy delay. :(

As for Orla, well yes, there will be backstory. Adn that's all I'm saying.

cheers Mel

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Review #11, by lalala The new arrival

8th July 2013:
great!! i love reading stories if the year harry was on the run. pls update soon

Author's Response: Thanks for the review! Sorry I've not updated but I do plan to in the next few months, during which time I"m getting this story written as well as updating other stories on another site. I hope you come back to read when it's done.

cheers Mel

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Review #12, by marauderfan The new arrival

8th July 2013:
Oh I was so excited to see you had updated!

Ginny really shines in this chapter. She's perfectly in character, almost as if Rowling herself had written this. (Sidenote: Are you JKR? :P ) I loved when Ginny said that since she hadn't actually purchased stuff at Fred and George's shop, it didn't count.

I think Luna was always the one who missed the DA the most, after all "it was like having friends", so I wasn't surprised when she was the one to suggest it again. I am so looking forward to seeing how the DA is run without Harry!

And I think the way you've got Neville still shying away from responsibility is quite realistic too - I think he'd be content to just participate as a follower until something happens that actually needs to be him and can't be anyone else, and then he'd step up, bravely like the awesome person he is.

There were two minor errors I found which you might want to fix: at one point Ginny says that Snape threatened her with a detention for forgetting an ingredient in a potion - but isn't Slughorn the Potions master at this point?

Also, when Orla is brought in, the paragraph before says "a boy, a couple of years below them" which should probably say "a girl".

These nitpicky issues aside, this was another wonderful chapter. Well done!

Author's Response: Thank you! I took advantage of the super-short queue to get those errors fixed ... guess I should have proof read before posting this, right? I think I got a bit excited because the queue opened just after I finished writing it, so I went to post it straight away.

Anyway. I quite like how Ginny is coming along, too. I've had a story before where a character just wrote themselves without me having to give them any thought (in that case it was James Potter I) and it's so exciting to see what they get up to. Neville I think more about, but as I get further into his head I am finding it easier to get his initial reactions right.

Thanks for the great review. I'm enjoying writing this story so it's lovely to find people who are enjoying reading it. :)

cheers, Mel

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Review #13, by marauder5 The Carrows

26th May 2013:
This was so good! I think that the Carrows' classes were very believable, as well as Neville's reactions to them. I feel so bad for poor Seamus, though. You can already tell that the little rebel in Neville is starting to grow. I can't wait to see what happens next. Also, I think you wrote Ginny very well! She's one of my favourite characters, so it's nice to see that you've done her justice. Keep up the wonderful work, and please update soon! I'm interested to see what this school year will be like.

Author's Response: Yes, poor Seamus. I had to find a victim for the Carrows that wasn't Neville, though, and he seemed to fit the bill nicely. It's a horrible thing to happen to anyone, though, no matter how untrustworthy my hero finds him at the moment. But yes, that little rebel in Neville is starting to grow. Reluctantly, but it's there, just waiting for the right moment. :)

cheers, Mel

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Review #14, by marauderfan The Carrows

24th May 2013:
This is a wonderful story! I've always wanted to read something set during the 7th year of Hogwarts when the trio were away, and from what I can tell this is going to be really great. Everyone in the story is perfectly in character and this seems incredibly realistic so far (apart from the fact that Hogwarts isn't real, but you know what I mean.)

Neville is perfect. I have always loved Neville as a character in the books and you've portrayed this perfect combination of helplessness and determination that I think fits perfectly to where he must have been at that point in the year. I can't wait to see him find his footing and become the hero we know he is :) Ginny and Luna are wonderfully in character as well. I hadn't even thought about Seamus not being trustworthy in the eyes of the others, but it completely makes sense.

This is a powerful start to the story and I can't wait until you update again. Definitely adding this to my favourites!

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I've had a few people stumble on this story after looking for a DH Hogwarts tale, and I'm really pleased you like it so far. Of course, that may change as it goes along, but fingers crossed. :) I tried to keep everyone as canon as I could, and it sounds like you think I'm doing a reasonable job so thank you for that. It means a lot to me. And yes, it will be great following Neville's journey as he finds his footing and become the person we see at the Battle of Hogwarts. I'm looking forward to that myself!

thanks again, Mel

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Review #15, by patronus_charm The Carrows

24th May 2013:
I saw you tweeting the past few days about this story getting an update and I was so excited as I ♥ this story so much! I think the main reason why is because I was so disappointed that JK chose not to write the seventh book at Hogwarts and thatís what I really missed about it. With your story, however, itís like the book which was never written until now. Your writing style is so much like JKís so itís a real pleasure to read.

My heart really went out to Neville in this chapter and I think it was due to this line ĎNeville didnít take it personally. He had never been particularly noticeable.Ď I always adored Neville throughout the Harry Potter series and to see him say that truly made my heart break a little. I loved seeing how heís gradually transforming throughout the chapter and within the entire story. When he stood up to the Carrows at the end I was acting like his personal cheerleader. You really have his characterisation down so well, and Iím jealous as the only the time I canít write him is in a parody :P

The Carrows were brilliant too! I really loved how you changed their dialogue so they had an accent. I vaguely remember them having one in the books (I may be wrong I havenít read them for about two years) and that really added to their entire characterisation. You didnít shy away from showing them to be horrible people straight away and that was really great.

Iím still confused about my feelings towards Seamus. Obviously I feel sorry for him as his best mate isnít there and he doesnít have a clue where he is, and heís isolated during the war and just wants to make friends e.t.c. But then thereís still that wariness I have towards him, and I donít think that will ever go away. Iím glad that Nevilleís feeling the same way towards him too as it makes a lot more realistic.

I have to admit usually I hate Harry/Ginny and it irritates me when I see them together or thereís a mention of them, but you somehow managed to make me not irritated by them which is very rare. It was quite a tender moment when Neville was covering up about them possibly being together to Seamus as it showed what a great friend he is.

Speaking of romance I canít wait to see how Hannah pops up in this story, youíve made me love Neville even more than I already did and for him to have someone who loves him would be lovely. Aw I could spend ages gushing over Neville and how lovely he is, but Iíll stop myself before it turns into inane rambling!

Anyhow, this was another brilliant chapter and I eagerly await the next. Donít worry if it takes ages, I think the wait made me appreciate it even more!


Author's Response: Hi again! That really was a lovely review and it's unforgivable that it's taken me this long to respond to it. But thank you anyway, I really appreciated it. I read it just after you first posted, it's just taken me a while to log back on to reply.

I know what you mean about Neville, but I do think that was how he saw himself. When they met Luna on the train for the first time Neville introduced himself as "nobody", and it was up to Ginny to correct him. And I think he battled that inferiority complex a lot during his seventh year, so I'm looking forward to showing that.

As for the Carrows, well we know they're nasty pieces of work so I didn't see much point in hiding that at the start of the academic year. WE know that the insurrection started pretty early on (Ginny was banned from Hogsmeade visits after the first one, for example), so there had to be a reason for that beyond "we don't like Snape", no matter how good a reason that seemed at the time. :)

As for Hannah, well she will pop up eventually, and I have a lovely ending in mind for her and Neville. We'll just see how long it takes to get there.

thanks again, Mel

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Review #16, by ValWitch21 The Carrows

24th May 2013:
Hi Mel!

Your characterisation of the Carrows is so perfect. I had shivers down my spine the entire time, and I really felt like reaching into the screen and doing something ugly. They're both horrid human beings (do they even qualify as such?), but I love your take on them.

Neville seems so cannon too! He's already standing up for himself, which I suppose will develop even more during the story, but it's done really well and he seems in character all the time.

Your inclusion of other students was perfect. As for professor Sprout, I liked how she represents the teachers' ignorance of waht is happening for now. I suppose things will evolve, but it was a bit frustrating that she sent Seamus to the Carrows without having any idea what awaited him. I can't wait for McGonagall's reaction.

Anyway. This was another great chapter, I'll be around the corner lurking for chapter four (but take your time of course, I know how it is when RL gets in the way)!

Author's Response: Hi again! I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to respond to this review - I've had some competing priorities lately and I guess this is the result. But I'm here now, so I hope that counts for something? :)

Anyway, I'm so pleased that you enjoyed this so much - if that's the right word. I did try hard to get the Carrows and Neville as close to JKR's versions as I could, so it's great to have you think I did that okay. And yes, the teachers were at first ignorant of the extent of the punishments that were to be inflicted, but not for long. I like to think they were plotting their own kind of insurrection.

cheers, Mel

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Review #17, by shriya The welcoming feast

25th March 2013:
Hi. thank you so much for such a good beginning. I
have been looking for a good hogwarts-deathly
hallows fanfiction for ages. i am sure yours is going
to be among the best. I love your other work as
well and can't wait for you to update this story.
please please please update as soon as possible.
others are all rubbish.

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I've been wanting to write this one for a while so it's nice to finally get it started. I only hope that my interpretation of the events of that year live up to expectations. :)

cheers, Mel

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Review #18, by CambAngst The welcoming feast

19th March 2013:
So I developed an interest in this story during the Review Battle last month and now I'm quite curious to see where you're heading with it.

You're continuing to do a good job of painting a bleak and disturbing picture of Hogwarts under the Death Eaters. Neville's observations reinforced the message nicely in this chapter: the smaller number of carriages, the missing faces and the fact that Malfoy's strutting about as Head Boy.

Luna was a great choice to bring up the topic of the D.A. She's so oblivious to the danger surrounding them as to be practically fearless. Neville's reservations made perfect sense. I can only imagine what sort of horrible events lie ahead that will finally snap him out of it and forge him into a leader.

The Sorting Hat's song was well done. Those things definitely aren't easy to write, and I commend you for facing the challenge head on and not punting on it the way that most authors seem to.

I like the way that you're allowing Neville and Seamus to very gradually rebuild the shattered trust that was left over after the Ministry's slander campaign against Harry. Even with all the uncertainty they're facing, Neville seems too loyal to simply let bygones be bygones without a serious show of contrition and reliability from Seamus.

Your writing was really good in this. I didn't see any typos or grammatical problems. It all flowed very nicely.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with next!

Author's Response: You came back! Thank you! Now it's my turn to apologise for taking so long to respond to your reviews.

I'm glad that you think I've got the atmosphere right for Hogwarts under the Carrows. They don't know what they're in for yet, but they don't like the feel of the place - or at least, that was what I was aiming for. It's not always easy to get that right, so thank you.

And I'm glad you agree that Luna was the perfect person to bring up the DA. It had to be raised, but as you said she's a bit other-worldly so the danger kind of bypasses her: she just liked doing it because, if you recall "it was like having friends".

As for Seamus, well that trust will definitely be rebuilt but I thought it was important to highlight the reservations that just about everyone had at that time. Who do you trust?

cheers, Mel

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Review #19, by Elphaba and Boyfriends Journey into the unknown

11th March 2013:
Hi, I'm here from the review battle!

I love that, as harsh as she is, Neville's grandmother says something supportive when she sees him off: "Be careful, Neville ... I would like you to survive the year." Is this as close as she ever gets to "I love you?" ;)

I also love how Ginny and Neville cover for Harry's absence, but I don't think that Ginny would tell Seamus that he might be at Sirius's place. Since they had the idea to go there and Remus thought to look there for them, I think that she would have guessed that they might make a stop there as well.

What most intrigued me about this chapter are Neville's thoughts on Moody. I had forgotten that the fake Moody was so helpful to Neville during fourth year, and had never really thought about how he would feel about him in retrospect. I think his continuing appreciation of him is understandable.

Overall, this novel seems like it's off to a great start. The dialog in this chapter feels very natural, and everyone acts in character. The plot has my interest so far. :)

Author's Response: You know, that's probably a fair point about Ginny. The thing about her, though, is that she doesn't always think before she acts, so maybe this is an example of that. I'll have a think about it.

I'm glad you liked Neville's introspection about Moody, though. The fake Moody really did some great things for Neville in fourth year, so I think that Neville would remember and almost treasure that: an actively supportive voice in the staff room to counter Snape's negativity. (I'm not discounting McGonagall or Sprout here, but I think that Neville wouldn't have felt them to be quite as supportive, even if they were.)

thanks for the review!
cheers, Mel

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Review #20, by CambAngst Journey into the unknown

6th March 2013:
Yay! A story about a snake! I think you're going to be popular for the next 2 weeks. ;)

I thought this was an awesome start to a story. I really love stories where the author gives their ideas about what was happening elsewhere in the wizarding world during the year that the trio spent on the run. Hogwarts is especially interesting.

You did a good job of showing the uncertainty surrounding the new school year right from the start. The questions that Augusta asks and Neville's reactions to them speak volumes about the times they live in.

I liked the anxiety and depression that everyone seems to be feeling as they journey toward school. Their unanswered questions added to the foreboding, since we already know what's waiting for them. It's easy to imagine none of them knowing what to expect when they arrive at Hogwarts. I also liked the fact that Harry's "loyal" friends don't immediately embrace Seamus. This is a time of war, and everyone is watching their own back and suspicious of other people's motivations.

The little touch of Luna that you worked into the chapter was really nice, as well. I appreciated the fact that you didn't fall back on something tired and overdone like Wrackspurts or Blibbering Humdingers.

Your writing was really nice in this. Everything flowed nicely and I didn't see any typos or grammatical problems. I hope you take this story and run with it, because I think I'd really enjoy reading it.

Author's Response: Why, thank you! I have wanted to write this story for a while but things kept getting in the way, so it's nice to finally get it started. :)

I've been a little worried about characterisation in this fic, simply because we know all the characters so well. As such, your comments about Neville, Augusta and Luna are really reassuring: they're not glaringly OOC and I'm capturing the mood adequately. So thank you! The mood as well is something that we only had glimpses of so it's been tricky to get the right balance.

cheers, Mel

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Review #21, by TheHeirOfSlytherin The welcoming feast

6th March 2013:
There aren't actually that many students at Hogwarts, when you think about it. Not like you'd see in a Muggle school. So, reading this, reading how few students there are, had me envision a ghost town of sorts. A castle would just look even bigger than usual. It really puts this year into focus, I think. How afraid some people must be to not show up at all. You really made me see that. I thought that was awesome.

Learning the Dark Arts instead of Defense; that would be horrible. Especially as we know what will happen when students don't do as the Carrows want. I'd be kinda scared if I knew we had Death Eaters for teachers.

I understand Neville's suspicion of Seamus. As Seamus is in the RoR at the end of DH, I think it's safe to say he earns his trust back, but I never really thought of how it would be in the beginning. But it makes sense and I'm glad you included it. :)

This was a really great chapter. I look forward to more.


Author's Response: Yes, the Hogwarts population isn't really that large - though JKR herself used to get confused on that point. But yeah, if there are about 40 kids per year, then that would make the school have about 280 students (let's say 300 to round things off), and to take out all the Muggle borns you're probably losing at least 100 of those. Include people who just aren't coming back and that's an extra 50 or so, which means that you've got about half your regular students, or 150. Which, as you say, would really echo in a castle the size of Hogwarts.

The Seamus thing actually took me by surprise when it started, but it fit and I liked it so I kept it. It's going to be developed during the year and there is some canon which I say backs me up (kind of) so it's staying. Glad you like it! :)

As for the DADA lessons, well that may or may not have been a slip of the tongue by Snape there. We'll see how that progresses.

thanks, Mel

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Review #22, by MissMoneypenny The welcoming feast

2nd March 2013:
Another brilliant story, Mel!
The relationship between Seamus and the others is really intriguing and I can't wait to see that develop as the story goes along.
You've portrayed Ginny and Luna very well: Ginny a sad but incredibly determined and strong girl, Luna her own usual mix of 'dottiness' as JK puts it, bafflingly calm demeanour and loyalty and kindness.
Well done on Snape, too- you've got his greasy, silky character down to a T (for 'Troll')!
Also, did you write the SH's song yourself? Very impressive!
Please update as soon as you can. Great story, very promising.

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I have been wanting to write this story for a while but other things kept getting in the way, so it's nice to finally get it started.

The Seamus thing actually took me by surprise when it first appeared, but it feels right so I'm running with it. There is a smattering of canon to back it up (okay, that might be a stretch but hey, it's my story) so I'm working with that as I go along.

Thanks for your comments on my characterisation as well. It's much harder writing Hogwarts era characters than it is for any other generation because we know them all so well, so it takes much less for them to appear out of character. So it's heartening that you think I've at least started off okay.

And yes, I wrote the Sorting Hat song myself. Glad you liked it!

cheers, Mel

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Review #23, by Debra20 The welcoming feast

1st March 2013:
Aand I'm here again! Sorry it took me so long to review this chapter Mel. It was worth the waiting in any case :D

Oh my...where to begin? Every time I read a chapter of this story I feel the same urge I always have when reading dark stories to continue my re-read of the Harry Potter books. Your story has the same feeling I got from Order of the Phoenix and onwards. That feeling that danger is looming around everyone's heads and is slowly materialising. A sense that you can't really trust anyone any more. Which is no mean feat I might add!

Should I feel bad for getting overly excited when you write Snape? I mean, I know he's not particularly your favourite character but I'm very interested in your portrayal of him. I really like the sense of duality that you gave him right off the bat. It helps that we know how he was and whose side he was on in the seventh book but you still managed to keep him, even in just that scene, neutral. Not too nice but not too evil or malicious as Neville expected him to be either. Seeing how their relationship will evolve and how they'll interact is literally making me jump up and down with excitement haha

You actually composed a song for the Sorting really did it. You're my new hero! I can't even imagine how much time you spent on it. I know it would have taken me ages to come off as great as yours did. I can almost image the Hat's brim opening up like a mouth and singing this song at the Feast. It's amazing!

I liked that it was Luna that proposed to start the DA again. It feels just like her to randomly suggest that. Oh I can't wait to read more of this Mel. It's going to be SO much fun!

Author's Response: Ah, Debra, I have taken forever to respond to your marvellous review so don't feel bad. I'm just happy that you read it. :)

Anyway. I'm really pleased that you think I am getting that sense of foreboding that the HP books had pretty much since OotP (which I only just finished re-reading so hopefully I can get another chapter written in the next month or so). So thank you! *breathes sigh of relief*

As for Snape, well I am trying hard to get him right. I have much less trouble with the teenaged Snape than I do with the adult version: I think it's to do with his emotional state being much easier to guess when he was younger because he was less practiced at hiding everything. But if I got that sense of duality then that's a good thing, because while he oversaw a reign of terror he was, in fact, acting for the good guys. I'll see how I keep going with that one, but thanks for the encouragement. :)

Ah,the Sorting Hat song. I actually borrowed a couple of lines from one I wrote for one of the Gryffie collaborations a few years back, so it wasn't all new work, but then it is all my own so it counts. I write poetry occasionally so it wasn't too hard, but it was a little tiring as getting the syllables and the beat right can be tricky at times.

Thanks again for the feedback. I think you're my new favourite reviewer. :D

cheers, Mel

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Review #24, by Akussa The welcoming feast

20th February 2013:
Hi again! This will be a short review because my daughter is waking up and I honestly don't know when I'll have time to come back :)

Once again, brilliant chapter. Your depiction of the feast was perfect. Snape and his declarations, the hat and his warning and the all around descriptions of how so many students are missing was spot on. I like how Seamus seems to have such an important place in your story because it is true, as the only other Gryffindor boy in seventh year, Neville and him would have gotten closer, if only to support each other through this. I do hope that they will forgive Seamus officially soon though!

You have set the tone for a very horrible year (in a good way though!) and it will be very interesting to see how you present it. Great work so far, I really enjoy it just as much as I expected I would !!

Author's Response: Ah, that's okay. As a mother myself I know all about trying to get things done in those blessed hours when they're asleep. (I love my kids, I really do. But they can be - uh - relentless.)

I quite enjoyed writing that feast. The Sorting Hat song was, of course, exhausting, but I thought it was a decent depiction of how it must have felt. So many people missing, so many unsure about what was to come.

As for Seamus, well of course they will forgive him. I do however have a reason for this treatment of him which will hopefully become clear later in the story.

Thanks again, Mel

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Review #25, by Akussa Journey into the unknown

20th February 2013:
Melian! You know, I've been awaiting this story ever since you mentionned your intention of writting it on the forum (was it a year ago?). I remember being so excited because if there is one person that I just know can write this story accuratly, it's you and now that I've read the first chapter, I know that my expectations were right; you did not disappoint!!

First of, I would like to say that you found Neville's voice perfectly. He has just the right amount of self doubt and freshly discovered confidence that you might expect him to have at this point in his life. I really liked the conversation with his Gran and what is implied there, about how she sees him in a new light and how it still surprises him. Everything that covered his beliefs about his classmates was so well done. I like how he clearly doesn't believe that Ron is sick but understands the importance of keeping up the act to protect the Weasleys.

The tone of this chapter was great. Not too dark yet but with a heavy feeling of disconfort and foreboding. Great job! I look forward to reading the rest although I do understand that, being occupied like you are, it might take a while. Thanks for taking the time to write this story, it's a big piece of canon that not many people can tackle and succeed at!

Author's Response: Hi!! Thankd for the review! It's really lovely to hear from people like you who have been looking forward to this story since I first started talking about it - yes, more than a year ago now. Sigh. That darn OF took me away from fanfiction for a long time, didn't it?

Thanks for saying that Neville's characteristion was believable. It's SO important to get him right in a story like this so to have that feedback right off the bat is really encouraging. *beams* There is a LOT of self doubt in him, but that will slowly erode during the year so he can become the warrior we see at the end of DH. (Yes, warrior. I chose that word deliberately.) The mood at Hogwarts, too, was something I really wanted to capture so thanks for saying I did okay there too. It wouldn't have felt like the normal Hogwarts, that's for sure.

cheers, Mel

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