Reading Reviews for Devil's Snare
18 Reviews Found

Review #1, by St. Brigid. The Man of Many Masks

2nd April 2015:
Legends! Quite a few of my time continue on into your day; some of them even involve me.

You do a really good job of developing an ominous atmosphere in the second paragraph.

Poor Pomona. That must be embarrassing.

That part about the painted figures remaining still out of obedience to their owner is kind of creepy.

That part about his building up a resistance to many poisonous things and her comment about how he fits the name of Riddle also contribute to the impression.

A Halloween Ball! Nice to see Halloween still being enjoyed even in your century. Of course, it was already an ancient festival in my day, marking the end of autumn and the beginning of winter.

Hmm, the combination of Riddle and masks seem somewhat ominous.

Masks are very applicable for Halloween though, since back in pagan times, the point was to disguise oneself to fool the spirits. By my day, we were moving on from those old beliefs, of course, but my good friend, Patrick, thought it was worth including the old pagan traditions into Christianity, so Samhain became All Hallows or All Saints.

Oh, the thunder is adding to the ominous atmosphere. I've no idea WHAT'S going to happen, but I doubt it's going to be good.

Polyjuice Potion?! How did I NOT see that one coming?

I'm somewhat surprised McGonagall would attend such a party. I wonder if Dumbledore has asked her to go, to keep an eye out for something.

I wonder how he knew who she was. That is a bit creepy.

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Review #2, by lia_2390 Beyond the Pale

5th October 2013:
I meant to review this ages ago, and only now have I gotten back here.

This was incredible. Tom is presented so different in the first chapter that I'm fooled. This definitely did not go the way I expected it to. Like Pomona, I am immediately charmed and in awe of this deceitfully handsome creature. But this is how those types of relationships go, isn't it? Naive girl with scales in her eyes, because she's unable to see the monster that truly stands before her. Pomona Sprout, by the way, is an interesting choice. She's a very obscure character, and along the way, you've included what she loved best and used it to your (and Tom's) advantage. You turned it against her in the end - the biggest irony of them all.

I love what you've done with Tom. You've placed him in a role one wouldn't think of putting him in. It's all very carefully done and he's a subtle character. He's also a closet sociopath, like one of those guys you'd see in those serial killer movies. He shows no remorse and he has this insatiable need to devour everything in sight, but tries really hard to keep it in. My goodness, he's just perfect, isn't he? I am amazed that you thought of writing him in this capacity.

As vivid as your description is, it isn't overwhelming at all. I'm actually quite envious of it. In this last chapter, there is certainly a build up. The final mask as shattered into millions of pieces, leaving this creature left. You even gave us a taste of what was to come before, in the previous chapter. It was interesting to see things from his perspective.

I can't believe you killed her though! I was hoping that she'd get out. Why did she stay and watch his little seizure? Why didn't she run? I'm convinced that was a ploy to get her to stick around. If his hunger is so strong within him to bring about such a reaction, then I'm so sorry for the rest of the (fictional) world he's about to wreak havoc in.

There was something else I wanted to mention from the last chapter. His frustration at not being able to feel anything from those words "I love you." I thought that was a great touch, and it rings true later on in his life too. It can explain why he does the things he does, and why his insides live for death and violence. The thing is, he had to command her to say it, so it really wasn't sincere. I wonder what would happen had he found one person in the world who actually felt like that. I'm sure Pomona had a strong infatuation with him all for what she accepted at face value. What she thought was 'love' really wasn't. Even in this chapter, she finds it hard to believe his feelings weren't sincere.

Hoo boy, I think I've rambled enough. You have done a fantastic job, Sarah! This story deserves so much more recognition than it's gotten so far.


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Review #3, by Ardeith Mr. Riddle's Stars

2nd October 2013:
I've been away from this site so long and I'm sorry I haven't been reviewing. I was busy at work, a terrible thing happened (but some good came out of it, I think!, I moved and here I am.

I love this story...I know it's not necessarily supposed to be funny, but I was amused by how differently they were perceiving the evening. Especially when Riddle wondered if Pomona was about to attach him.

Excellent portrait of the young Tom Riddle...when he was still trying to be human...

Loved the bit about the portrait of Merlin that Tom probably stole. And the chilling detail that he'd been hexed silent and couldn't warn Pomona.

She will be okay, won't she? I can't remember if this is AU.oh no!!

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Review #4, by Celestie Beyond the Pale

16th August 2013:

I've missed your writing so much. And this is such a dark, haunting (god, what an overused word to describe anything Horror, but still) and well-written story. I generally don't like reading stories about Voldemort as Voldemort because a lot of the time, I think he comes off as cheesy more than evil. And I don't like reading stories about Voldemort as Tom Riddle because fanfiction tends to romanticize him waaay too much just for being brooding and handsome (and everyone pretty much ignores that he was a soulless psychopathic serial killer).

Anyway, you did really well on the psychopathic front. I got a bit wary when I saw you writing just Riddle without Sprout and occasionally having him sort of voice his thoughts. But you did so, so well! Your descriptions were beautiful and your Tom Riddle, like so many other canon characters you've written, came off believable. Waah. I loved Pomona's innocence and how she honestly thought that he was sweeping her off her feet. And this entire idea of him trying to find out what's so great about love is brilliant; it maintains him as a psychopath incapable of many human emotions but still allows you to explore a romance with him. Such a brilliant premise! Because I've never been able to reconcile Tom Riddle the lunatic with the brooding Tom who has a lover that I see in fanfiction but you somehow sort of did and I'm green with envy!

There were one or two points in the story that I caught myself wondering over. I think in this last chapter, Pomona tells Tom that she doesn't actually love him and such. Which had me a bit confused because 2 chapters ago, I think you said during that night she stayed over, she fell more in love with him than she ever had before. Obviously some sort of backtracking took place, but I guess it wasn't as blatant as I needed it. And also, the whole turning her into a begonia thing was very full circle, though it did leave me wondering why he would do that. I appreciate that he has a sense of irony, but didn't he desperately want to kill her? I mean, he did entertain some extremely morbid thoughts and turning her into a flower seemed so...tame. And not to mention that he still left her alive as a flower and didn't - I don't know - trod on her or crush her for a potion or something. I think he did seem to detest her for being so girlish and naive and for also playing along with his farce (which bored him, I guess?), so him just leaving her as a flower didn't quite seem as believable to me. I am curious though, because you mentioned than an alternate ending was her getting away -- how would she have gotten away?

As always, I'm in awe of your writing; your descriptions and your characterizations are stellar, but I think now more so than ever, I've realized why I gush over your writing so much. It's so original. You take an idea that's been done a million times - a Tom Riddle romance, a Fred/OC and you write it so well that I'm practically unwilling to read any others because I know they won't be as good.

Anyway, I'm done rambling. I haven't reviewed anyone in ages, so I'm glad it could be you. :D We haven't talked in forever, so I hope you've been well!

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Review #5, by HarrietHopkirk The Man of Many Masks

12th August 2013:
Ohhh... this is so exciting!

I love how you've written Tom Riddle - it's so close to the manipulative and darkly charismatic young man we saw in the books. The idea that they're at this masquerade/Polyjuice party was really clever, sort of enhancing the fact that Riddle has this facade and a different darkness underneath. And to see it in this dark and mysterious volcanic abbey place... what a way to set the scene.

I also love that it's about Professor Sprout! I love that!

Your writing is marvelous, as always, Sarah. Well done!

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Review #6, by shez The Man of Many Masks

14th July 2013:
Wow. I love this. It's so hard to stumble across a good Tom Riddle fic that captures all him as the manipulative impressionist that he is. Brilliant writing and brilliant characterization.

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Review #7, by Rainpixie Beyond the Pale

5th June 2013:
Ooooh!! What a twist! Ugh he is revolting isn't he? Poor professor sprout. I think her being a plant for several years is such an interesting idea. Your explanation seems like something that could be canon. Very well done! I'm so glad you have a plethora of stories for me to burn through! On to the next one!

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Review #8, by Rainpixie Mr. Riddle's Stars

5th June 2013:
Wow! Just wow. Like everything that you write, this is amazing! Tom is chilling. I like his characteristic of never being pleased with any type of person. I read somewhere (pinterest) that Voldemort can't love because he was conceived via love potion. You do a great job writing him!

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Review #9, by TenthWeasley Beyond the Pale

12th May 2013:

It is, of course, a brilliant explanation for how she got to be her canon self, and it sort of reminds me of how everyone transforms back to their human selves at the end of Beauty and the Beast, which again shows just how apt you are at putting spins on fairy tales and how you just need to keep doing that forever. But aside from all of that, I for some reason just had this feeling that you wouldn't kill her. Maybe that would have been the thing that had broken him, or at least helped to break him: The one that got away. But I suppose he's twisted enough without that, isn't he?

Forever jealous of the way you're able to sprinkle little hints and foreshadows throughout your story. I didn't even think to look up the meaning of begonia, but I love the meaning it has! AND THEN. Transforming Sprout into a begonia makes it almost like it's a warning for him, doesn't it? Because she's going to come back, even though he doesn't know it, and she's not gone for good and she'll fight against him. Maybe I'm reading into things, but I love the depth of your stories. I feel like I've said this before, but they are never just surface material. There is always more going on than meets the eye.

Also my heart was completely racing during that chase scene. I think it's got something to do with te fact that being chased, as you know, LITERALLY TERRIFIES ME OUT OF MY SKULL (tied with living dolls, I'll have you know), but also because you just write action and action-based emotions extremely well. That's something you proved in Run and I am so, so jealous of it. ♥

“Take as many pieces of me as you want. More will remain behind, I assure you.” -- FAVORITE LINE IN THE WHOLE CHAPTER. Holy cow, I got goosebumps. That sort of just puts it into perspective how freaking terrifying Tom Riddle actually was, because he was legitimately ensuring that he would never, ever, ever die, no matter how many people tried to kill him. Thank God some people actually tried to figure out what Horcruxes were, because oh my gosh, can you even imagine.

I am incoherent. Absolutely so. I adored this story, and I'm so sad it's over, and I don't want you to stop writing it. I want you to stay and write more things so I can write bad reviews for them and love your writing always.

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Review #10, by teh tarik Beyond the Pale

8th May 2013:
Sarah ♥

:( Nooo...


Oh my god this ending :( Even if I wasn't expecting the cheeriest of endings to this story, this was Tom was his usual terrifying self - terrifying in his unpredictability and the way he swings from cruelty and cold control to being a victim of his own skin and his own appetite for murder. One minute he's pleading with Pomona - bribing her, even - to die willingly and then he's burning and then he Stuns her so clinically and WHY AM I REPEATING MYSELF AND RECAPPING THE ENTIRE FIC BACK TO YOU. AND WHY DID ALL THAT HAVE TO HAPPEN. But it was Pomona that really made me feel, that really made this end chapter so compelling, so utterly thrilling. Her tears somewhere near the beginning when Riddle admits he feels nothing for her...I just...I mean they're so genuine and it really is heartbreaking. And then there's her final burst of courage defying him, refusing to bend to his will and actually duelling Lord Voldemort. Is it a bit redundant to say that I just wish she'd made it?

Loved that terrifying bit where she can't Apparate and realises what it feels like to be trapped in her own skin. I'm guessing that that was essence of Riddle rubbing off on her, just like in the second chapter.

The bit about the boggarts was brilliant. But I do have a question about these sentences: Pomona shot yellow sparks at it, but the boggart - or Tom - did not retreat. She'd never learned how to produce a corporeal Patronus. She was defenseless. I'm not exactly sure why you mentioned a corporeal Patronus; I thought they repelled Dementors and boggarts are driven off by the riddikulus charm, but as your fic is AU-ish maybe there's something about patronuses that I missed earlier.

Pomona's transfiguration into a begonia, horrific as it may be, was the perfect way to end the story. I'm just so glad you brought up the begonia symbol again and how corpse-like it seems and yet it's a living growing thing - but it's probably a sick kind of growth, just like everything nourished (or infected) by Tom's tainted touch. Argh, I'm just glad she survives in the end several decades later when the spell is undone. That's such a lovely idea, Pomona being so dirt-covered because she'd been a flower for so long :)

Well, I can't believe this story has ended (but of course there'll be a sequel :P )! I'm so so happy to have read something as amazing and as terrifying as this; I'm glad to have followed this story to the end and I've truly enjoyed it. Your writing is absolutely fabulous and I wish I could say more than that but I'm not very eloquent tonight. So...just...thank you for this and don't you stop writing ♥ ♥


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Review #11, by teh tarik A Study In Impulse Control

3rd May 2013:
Oh my gosh, this chapter.

Well, if there was any ambiguity about Tom in the previous chapters, if there was any hope that some fragment of humanity about Riddle that could be salvaged - well that's all been crushed completely by this chapter. Somehow I'm not surprised. Maybe because you've written his madness so methodically, showing that progressive loss of humanity. His mask has been peeled off completely, and beneath is something so vile and monstrous. I can truly see Voldemort in this. I can see clearly, the transition from Riddle's ambiguity to the fixed and unwavering evil that is Voldemort. Gah, I'm being repetitive; I just don't have the right words for this :O

I loved the opening scene - well, it was a pretty dreary countryside scene tainted with death. But I liked that little moment between Pomona and Mafalda. I love their conflicting little friendship - and yet no matter how many differences or disagreements (or rather how disagreeable Mafalda is with Pomona) there are, both the girls are united by something so morbid as the death of a classmate. That's the thing about death, it brings people together in the bleakest of ways, to seek comfort from each other. And then there's Riddle who has absolutely no respect for anything human, breaking into the middle of everything. Honestly, he's so malicious, driving that wedge between Pomona and Mafalda - but it's also the move of a predator alienating his prey from the rest of the world, pulling her away into dangerous territory.

UGH Tom imagining he'd cut her up and braise her and melt her subcutaneous fat down for candle wax. Are all the hundreds of candles of St. Tenebris the slow melting fat tissues of women hidden in his castle and killed one by one to quell his murderous urges? Such a horrific image with shades of Bluebeard.

That "glitch in his brain" moment...gah, all I want to do is grab hold of the edges of that split second and stretch it out so it completely engulfs Tom and that he lives in that eternal moment of emptiness. Until he realises the folly of his self and actions arrgh arrgh.

Your descriptions have really reached a sort of climax in this chapter...must quote my favourites ♥

raindrops sheeting off a yellow umbrella

His breath clouded her neck, the scent of steamed lily of the valley, making her thoughts congeal together in a disoriented state.

The flower imagery in this chapter is just dkahjfas omg.

Brown tufts blew up all around her face, curly when wet. Tom was struck by the sudden image of chopping off her hair and needling it through the scalp of a doll that he could then send to Mr. and Mrs. Sprout. A souvenir of their daughter.


Skulls make for exquisite flower vases, with red poppies in the eye sockets and Casablanca lilies snaking out of the mouth.

Pomona could smell the fragrance of flowers not just in his grasp but upon his breath. He had plucked them from the banks of his own bloodstream, a walking botanical garden.

Again, all of these flower images are so fresh, so brilliant and original; I think you've made me fall in love with flower imagery all over again.

It blinked at him from the shores of his sweltering frontal lobes, waiting to be perfected, executed, celebrated. It was within shouting distance.

Absolutely brilliant way to end this chapter.

GAAAHH This chapter is just unbelievable ♥ Can't wait for the final part ^.^ Brilliant writing as usual.

♥ teh

Author's Response: Tom's mask keeps getting thinner and thinner. He just can't keep his inner Voldemort from surfacing. I view it as a constant battle he has to endure for years and years - pretending to be normal and feel things he doesn't know how to feel - which might contribute to the psychotic, bonkers Voldemort with no nose later on in life. It would be utterly exhausting to pretend to be someone you're not every time you interact with another human being.

Tom trying to alienate Pomona by driving a wedge further between her and Mafalda was inspired by Luna's remark to Harry about how Voldemort wants him to feel cut off from everyone else so that he wouldn't be as much of a threat. I think he would want everyone to feel just as isolated as he feels.

Eeep, so happy you like all the flower imagery! It's all because of Sprout. It foreshadows her calling in Herbology, as Tom's begonia started her collection of flowers and overall interest in plants. Her admiration of Tom rubbed off on her admiration of the flower he gave her, and by extension all other flowers.

Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! ♥

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Review #12, by slytherinchica08 The Man of Many Masks

1st May 2013:
Sarah, its not very often I come by your stories and honestly its a bit of a shame that I don't do it more often because you are such a wonderful writer. The idea of this story alone is amazing! Its so unique and it calls out to me because of that. I set out my day to do some random reviewing but when I came across this story I knew that my time would be spent here instead of with other stories.

You did such a wonderful job of setting this up. The description and feel of this story really pulled me in from the first sentence until the very last one of the chapter. Its such a different idea, to use Sprout and Tom Riddle. I've heard of Minerva and Tom so your use of Sprout is rather interesting of its own rights and so fun! I loved her. She seems so normal, which can honestly be hard to portray in a character because we all want them to stand out and have these unique qualities but being that she feels a bit plain it was nice to see that all around she really was just a normal person. Honestly I can say I've never read a story about her nor have I ever really wondered about her but now that I sit here reading this short story of yours I wonder why I haven't. There must have been something else to her other than her becoming the herbology teacher so it would only make sense that things had happened to her.

The voice you use for this story also sets this apart. It's very flowy and descriptive and fun. I can see the scenes that you've written out for your readers and the chapter was such an easy read. Like I said, it all flowed really well.

This chapter left me interested to find out more, more of whats going to happen between Tom Riddle and Pomona Sprout. You can bet that I will be back to read more of this story, maybe even tonight. I very much enjoyed this! Great Job!


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Review #13, by TenthWeasley A Study In Impulse Control

1st May 2013:
Okay, Tom, you creepy bugger. I must confess that I was less attracted to him here and much more repulsed than normal, but then I expect that was the desired end result. Anyone attracted to someone who is basically a slave to an insane and murderous fever might need a CAT scan or three. And now that I'm thinking it on it, he probably seems less attractive because he's letting himself slip more and more as far as the front he's putting on goes. And bless her, when she's not under his little charms, she's starting to notice, too. That probably scares the heck out of him, the prospect of failure. Scratch that, I KNOW it scares the heck out of him. And so he goes all creepy and sweaty and diary-writing, and it makes me want to squirm.

I love how you're setting up Pomona to be Professor Sprout! It's still such an incongruous image in my mind, that, but mostly because the movies did a pretty good job of nailing my brain-image for how she was supposed to look, and somehow you've written romance into a person I never imagined as romantic. I sort of want to weep for her and pull her away from Tom and scream all sorts of warnings at her, but I am banking on what you said in your last review response about her being able to hold her own. I still actually have no idea whether you're going to make this completely AU or not (and I checked your genre tags after my last review and there was much gnashing of teeth to see you'd marked that down as one of them), so I am going to hold my breath and close my eyes and keep my fingers perpetually crossed until next Tuesday. ♥

DID HE ACTUALLY IMPERIO HER OR PUT A SPELL ON HER OR SOMETHING, THOUGH. Ugh, there is so much morally wrong with the Imperius Curse. That is probably the most horrible spell out there; Avada Kedavra is the kindest of the three Unforgivable Curses, absolutely. How anyone can think that being tortured out of your skull, or forced to do absolutely anything without your control, is less scary than a quick and painless death... That does not make sense to me. Being someone's puppet would be absolutely terrifying, puppet imagery aside.

At least Mafalda's got a brain in her head! Cutting, underhanded comments or not, she knows what's up, and she'd better steer Pomona away from Tom. Fast. Because she is just too innocent for bad things to happen to her. :(

Now that I have sufficiently hacked away in rambles for fifteen minutes, I'll spare you more headaches. LOVELY CHAPTER. ♥ And eeek, only one more to go! It doesn't feel like things should be wrapping up just yet. Where did time go?

Author's Response: I am going to pull something I have not done in a long time, because my brain is squishy.

I once had an owner who fled
Because he had business to tend
I now sit in a hut
With a slavering mutt
And groan under the weight of six men.

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Review #14, by TenthWeasley Mr. Riddle's Stars

28th April 2013:
SO I TOTALLY READ THIS ON WEDNESDAY IN CLASS AND THOUGHT I HAD LEFT YOU A REVIEW ON THIS AND I AM JUST NOW DISCOVERING THAT I HAVEN'T. I told you this review was going to be late but oh my gosh, I didn't mean this late. I beg your forgiveness. ♥

I think the thing that strikes me most about this chapter is just how detached Tom is from basically being human -- which is a very canon quality, even though he's not nearly Lord Voldemort (yet). It makes me want to further explore him just because no one else has like this: What makes him tick, what he's thinking behind unreadable expressions. Lines like this:

But he knew, on an annoyingly conscious level, that most men did not have to think about the act of smiling before engaging in it.

That is CREEPY. And psychopathic, like you mentioned. I feel like when a lot of people write Riddle, or Voldemort, they forget the motivations behind him and just show a vapid, two-dimensional villain who's evil for the sake of being evil. And that's not who he is at all. Riddle knows exactly what he's doing and why he's doing it and how he's doing it, and that is scarier than a man who's lost control of his senses -- evil for the sake of evil -- any day.

And poor Pomona, being sucked in by it all -- but I do cheer for her at the spare moments when she does seem to notice that something is amiss. I have no idea if you're going to go AU or not, if Riddle's really going to make her bite the dust, but I'm sort of hoping not. Not just for the obvious reasons of not wanting characters to die, but think how that'd drive her in the canon days: Knowing who he is, and that he's back. That would add a whole new dimension to her character and I already want to read about her with that extra layer slapped on.

Adding in here that your last paragraph was absolutely horrific/wonderful, and that is one of the most gruesome images ever. AND THERE'S THE DIARY, I SEE IT. Ooh -- does Pomona die to create one of his Horcruxes, maybe?! Are you going completely AU? (Bloody teeth, oh my goodness, that is horrifying.)

Ugh. I am so, so sorry again for how long it took me to review this. I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHY I FORGOT I HADN'T REVIEWED IT IN THE FIRST PLACE. My brain is mush and I just want to go home and anyway. This was lovely. But I always expect the best from you, and you always deliver!

Author's Response: WHY ARE YOU APOLOGIZING, YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO LEAVE A REVIEW IN THE FIRST PLACE! ♥ Seriously, it's enough that you read it. (hug)

Now that I'm reading this review for the second or third time, it's struck me that I draw inspiration for Tom's detachment from the feeling I get after watching an episode of Mad Men. Which sounds insane. But I swear to God, every time I've finished watching an episode of that show I literally feel like I have no soul. (WHY DO I KEEP WATCHING) Some of the characters do such senselessly /bad/ things with no remorse whatsoever and their moral compass is like, nonexistent. I get an actual void in my brain from sitting through an hour of that and that void is what comes to mind when I regard Tom Riddle. Just an inhuman black pit whose only emotions are base, selfish, child-like ones: I want this, so I will say whatever I can to get it.

One-note villains who're bad just because they want to be bad don't interest me. Voldemort got a little less dimensional with age, I think, and from his horcruxes. But when he was young and we saw Dumbledore visit him at the orphanage, that's where you get that glimpse of what lurks beneath. And it's fascinating. The wardrobe on fire with a tin of stolen items, the boasting about the things he can do - his true self before he discovered that he'd let too much slip in his moment of excitement. He spent the next seven years glossing over those characteristics with practiced smiles and flattery, but it's all still there. Eeep, I just love it.

I can't remark on what will happen with Pomona, obviously, but she's got a little more strength and determination than she lets on. I'm very fond of her.

♥ You are the best.

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Review #15, by teh tarik Mr. Riddle's Stars

25th April 2013:
HI ♥ certainly know your mentally unhinged psychopaths well... :O

The thing about your writing is that you know your characters so well, as though you've pinned them out and made diagrams of them and studied them in detail - and this includes psychopaths like our Mr. Riddle over here. Which really makes this chapter a whole lot darker and less...well, festive...than the previous one. If there were any hints of romance or romanticised dark brooding Byronic heroes in the first chapter, well, all notions of those have now been safely dispelled as we spiral deeper into Tom's mind, so completely lacking in empathy or humanity. Dark brooding figures always turn out to be creeps, anyway. ( the way I'm still keeping fingers crossed, and they'll be kept crossed over the next two weeks, that there'll be some kind of a not-too-grim-and-tragic ending.)

Those first few opening paragraphs - they were stunning, but also very disturbing in depicting Riddle in a rather unhinged state, striding about his mansion 'with purpose' but then not remembering why he ends up in certain rooms, and racing back here and there, his eyes all bloodshot and probably all scarlet and Voldemort-ish. And OMG the way he regards Pomona when she appears - there's not even a mote of curiosity for her anymore. Tom the Psychopath fiddling around with the concept of love is such an interesting idea. He knows so much; everything is learnt from scratch, installed carefully into that photographic memory of his - but knowledge and intelligence simply do not equate to understanding or realisation. And I dunno, maybe the idea of love being inaccessible to him really is annoying - it's like a tiny blip in his perfectly structured inner world where he prides himself on knowing everything - this tiny blip of incomprehension - and so he tries to understand this whole love thing with Pomona as a guinea pig of sorts and fails and finds himself bored with trying and instead embraces his psychopathy. Sorry for rambling.

And Pomona again ♥ I totes know what it's like to be in a very uncomfortable, sometimes unsettling situation and not being able to get out of it because you're trying to be polite, to not hurt the other person's feelings. And Pomona here is completely under his control; she's just so inexperienced that she doesn't realise Tom is merely reciting a script, simply rolling off a list of platitudes, leading her along and pulling at the strings in her brain so she responds exactly as he wants to all his cues. Arrrgghh. And paranoid Tom thinking she’s going to attack him :O :O. I just…aklaksjdhd he's just so wholly unused to human interaction and spontaneous human emotion or displays of empathy. Hmm, he has so many facades and he can assume the most perfect mask anytime - he can be anyone but at the same time he is no one; and this sort of raises a really interesting point: that people are people through other people. And Tom here is completely incapable of relating to other people and so his thoughts are barely human, unable to comprehend love or most other human emotion. RIIIGHHHT. Gonna stop with the rambling which has become really repetitive and is probably off the mark anyway eeep :P

From what I looked up, monkshood flowers mean 'without struggle' or 'a deadly foe is near' :( :(

As usual you've got really stunning lines of description:

It was a physical continuation of his spirit; his mind, sieve-like, drained into the décor, the lighting and architecture, staining miles of rough white carpet runner the darkest and bloodiest red conceivable.

I'm not sure what this reminds me of, perhaps a Horcrux, partly. And I think this happens to Pomona near the end of the chapter as well, when she feels like an extension of Riddle.

Ooh, so there's Helga Hufflepuff's bloodline all buried in the cemetery. I keep wondering if Tom somehow killed the last descendants of Helga's and took over St. Tenebris.

The last bit with the diary just made my jaw drop. OHMYGOD. WHAT IS HE GOING TO DO. DO NOT COME BACK POMONA. D: D: Surely he's not going to make a Horcrux out of her D:

Fantastic chapter ♥ And in response to your review response, I'm just glad you don't find my stalking of your stories creepy :P If you didn't write the things you write I simply wouldn't be on your page following your fabulous writing :) So thank you for sharing your stories ♥

♥ teh

Author's Response: teh! ♥

Psychopaths are the literary lottery. I adore writing them. (I am growing aware of how weird this sounds.)

I would have loved nothing more than to have the dark, brooding Tom sweep Pomona off her feet and be genuinely in love, but pesky canon won't let me do it and writing OOC Voldemort makes my whole brain twitch. The most he could manage was to be /curious/ about love, if only because it was the one thing he could not attain. But since he strives to be so charming on the outside, he must spend a good deal of his time practicing and mimicking. This is how I think he became so adept at becoming the person he needs to be whenever he wants to be it. What you said about Pomona being his guinea pig is exactly right. He's testing the waters to see if he's capable of love, and when he feels nothing he calls it a draw and thinks no more of it.

People are people through other people. Gahhh ♥ YES. Tom lives entirely inside his own head. He's never tried to look through someone else's eyes in his life and struggles to understand other people's thoughts, motivations, etc.

The whole house is a twisted AU version of Hepzibah Smith's, which he stole because of its connection to one of the founders. :3

Eeep thank you so much for this lovely review!!

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Review #16, by Ardeith The Man of Many Masks

19th April 2013:
Wow! I was checking your page to see if you updated your other story... I should be mad that you're neglecting it, but I loved this! I love unusual pairings and different time periods so this intrigued me.

Your Riddle is absolutely spot on. I think he is really hard to write because how can you make him charismatic enough to attract followers (especially at this point in his career) while still making him evil? Love everything you do with him here! I think you're the first fan fiction writer I've read who does such a wonderful job of demonstrating how powerful his magic is.

Here's just one of the details that I loved: " He kept his gaze trained on the eyes of painted figures passing them by, just as still and poised as Muggle art – not by choice but by obedient surrender to the will of their master. He didn’t like the way they moved, the many ways they could think and fidget that he couldn’t orchestrate."

Your ability to create a creepy atmosphere is great. Here are a couple of my favorite examples:

"face-framing tendrils curling towards her mouth on either side to provide the illusion of a maliciously wide smile."

" its roots curled inward like a corpse’s rigid fingers"

Seriously, I could go through this chapter and pick out so many great examples! I didn't even get into the brilliance of having a Polyjuice potion masquerade ball...

Author's Response: Ardeith! ♥

At the risk of getting tomatoes thrown at me, I've deleted Godric's Hollow. I've lost count of how many times I opened that document and struggled trying to churn out words to no avail. I think most of the problem was that I plotted it out so excessively that the act of actually writing it didn't hold my interest. BUT, I definitely do plan on changing some things and posting it again as a short story. It'll be quite a bit different, most likely, but it's the only way I think I'll be able to finish it.

Tom Riddle is a tricky wizard to maneuver. Like you said, he was charismatic enough to attract followers, but still so evil, so exploring the way he managed to walk that line is actually quite fun. He's kind of malleable. He just becomes the type of person that the other person he's talking to wants to see. It's kind of creepy.

Thank you for pointing out examples of lines you liked! I love seeing specific bits that readers enjoyed.

Thank you so much for reading and reviewing, Ardeith. Please don't be mad about Godric's Hollow! :( I tried so hard to force out chapters because I didn't want to disappoint my readers, but the idea of forcing out another 10-15 chapters kind of terrified me. But I promise it will appear on my author page again within the next few months.

- Sarah

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Review #17, by teh tarik The Man of Many Masks

18th April 2013:
OK I'm not sure I can even say anything coherent but I WILL TRY.


WOOOW. This is such and incredibly mesmerising beginning. It's so dark and so elegant and you've really gone into so much detail to develop this spooky, hypnotic atmosphere and the very ornate setting of St Tenebris - such a perfect name, too, with the candles and everything. And as usual, your descriptions and imagery are just stunning. One of the things I really really enjoy about your writing is how ambitious the descriptions are; they're grand, but they're also incredibly precise and at certain times, they focus on really specific and striking details. The castle of volcanic rock is just.gah :O :O :O

And oh, Pomona. She's so innocent ♥ She's such a pleasant character and it feels like she's incredibly out of place in this grand party, which is really elaborate and sumptuous and all, and yet it also feels tainted. I'm guessing Tom is sort of attracted - no, intrigued - by her youth and her untaintedness. And I love that Pomona is not just a limp passive thing; there's something stubborn in her, and a certain pride at how she doesn't simply back down and flee when refused entry to the castle. And the way she asks Mr. Riddle: shall I look for you later? LOVED this moment so much because her naivete made me cringe a little and at the same time I wanted to grab my screen and hug it and hope some of that hug gets transferred to Pomona. Ugh, Mafalda. I swear she brought Pomona along just so she could feel superior over the poor girl and all. I mean, she didn't even choose Pomona as her plus-one arrrghhh.

And Riddle. OMG. SOOO SEXAH. But creepy. I cannot get the image out of my head of Riddle's gloved hand touching Pomona's wrist afaosiufvgjiosoixsa. It's just. Something so simple and yet and yet. And. HE MAKES A DRAGONFRUIT LOOK SO DELICIOUS when everyone knows that dragonfruit is just about the most tasteless thing in the known universe (OK, at least to me...) despite its really colourful flamboyant skin and omg is this a clever symbol of the dazzling but completely detached Mr. Riddle!?? But really, he's the perfect Tom Riddle from the Potterverse in a different universe, the one who can simulate charm and mystery and manipulate people around him so easily. I mean, he's even using Legilimency here (at least I think he was sort of reading Pomona's thoughts about what a riddle he is). That bit about acquiring Cyntia Herald's finances really got my alarm bells ringing, though it might very well be a false alarm because your writing is never predictable. BUT. I sorta thought of Hepzibah Smith from the books, and how Tom Riddle charmed her into such a trusting state before making off with her treasure and all.

The Polyjuice Potion Ball is just a brilliant concept. Nuff said.

I was so intrigued at Riddle pulling out a begonia out of nowhere and slipping it into Pomona's previously-nonexistent pocket that I hit google because I'm a nut like that and typed in 'begonia symbolism', and guess what I found. BEWARE. Begonias mean BEWARE. OMG. NOOO POMONA. I'm hoping it's a coincidence, but reading your very chilling description of the begonia's roots curling inward "like a corpse's rigid fingers", I have this strange sense that things are just going to get a lot darker. And my jaw smashed onto the floor when Riddle KISSED HER SOFTLY AT THE BASE OF HER THROAT. :O :O Total squee moment there. And yet at the same time I'm feeling kinda dismayed because Riddle is probably faking it, playing some game, impersonating some sort of dark mystery brooding romantic figure or something.

...this isn't going to have a happy ending now, is it? :(

Aah absolutely amazing chapter & I can't wait till next week ♥

teh ♥

Author's Response: teh! ♥ I don't know what I've done to deserve your amazing reviews but holy cow, do I appreciate them! You're such an insightful reader and you pick up on every little detail. It gives me squees. :D

I've been wanting to write something "It was a dark and stormy night"-ish for quite some time, with monochrome tones and strange, eccentric characters lurking from every angle, and thus Devil's Snare was born. ACK, Pomona's naivete. D: I'm a little bit embarrassed for her. The hopeful "Shall I look for you later?", which he pretended not to hear... D: Clearly Pomona does not know who she is dealing with.

I think my number one focus in writing this story was to take a larger-than-life villain and shove him under a lens that doesn't normalize him, but shows that deep down he is nothing more than a charming psychopath with a wand. He just wants to do bad things and will use any means to do that.

Mafalda is totes r00d. She brought two plus-ones and just left Pomona hanging. What you said about dragging her along just so that she can make herself look superior to her is spot-on.

Yes, you caught the Legilimency! (See, this is one of the things about having you as a reader that makes me squee. You notice everything.)

I'm very glad that the conversation about Cyntia Herald's estate reminded you of Hebzibah Smith. If you keep your eyes peeled, you might notice something about that in Chapter 2. :)

-dances around because you googled the meaning of begonias- I use the language of flowers a lot in this story to show that pretty things are not always as nice as they seem.

Eeep, this review. You are just gahh. ♥ Thank you so much for reading and reviewing!

- Sarah

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Review #18, by TenthWeasley The Man of Many Masks

16th April 2013:
This is essentially my perfect story. Oh my goodness, I am so excited about this! ♥ I've told you this once before, but I have been searching for a good Tom Riddle/OC story for ages, and it's just too much now that my favorite fic author (that would be you, yes) is writing one. Not only does it spare me the need of doing it myself, but I can't wait to see what you do with it. I already absolutely love what you're doing with it. Please, please make this an epic novel and not only a four-chapter short story, even though you've completed it.

I knew Pomona was Professor Sprout's first name, but somehow... I just assumed it was a different Pomona? Regardless of which Pomona she happens or does not happen to be, I already feel really bad for her. The titular trap has been laid and she all but voluntarily walked into it. :( And yet I can't find I blame her, because I have already professed my attraction for this handsomely villainous Tom. He is the perfect old-age Tom, before he turns all skull-like and red-eyed -- all dark and mysterious and sinuous and silky and what can I say, that is darn attractive. ♥ So it truly is no wonder that Pomona is, at the very least, fascinated by him. I just am praying he's not going to hurt her or take advantage of her, and even as I type that I know it's not going to be the case.

Also, Mafalda seems to be kind of a snot. BOO, MAFALDA. But I write the older version of her to be a snot, so there is that.

I LOVE YOUR TWIST ON A MASQUERADE. Using Polyjuice Potion as a party trick is something I have never thought of and love immensely. (Although how creepy is Walburga Black, seriously.) It is distinctly eerie that Tom can become other people so effortlessly. And it is delightfully sinister at the same time, because that means he has so much control over who he comes in contact with. Who's to say which face is his real one? Maybe he puts on different masks for different people, depending on what he senses they want to see. That is terrifying. Why have you not written Tom Riddle before now.

Dying over your imagery. ♥ I love how spooky and noir this story seems, like a horror story, but with a Potter twist. A castle made of igneous rock! That is somehow gorgeous in my head, but in a creepy way. Which is the best way. I am revelling way, way too much in the darkness and secrecy of this fic, but wow, this is so perfect. And the image of The Jaws of St. Tenebris gave me goosebumps, because if that is not alluding to a scary story then nothing is. HOW DID YOU THINK OF THAT. I want to see what you see when you describe things.

Oh my goodness, when he basically pinned her against the wall and KISSED THE BASE OF HER THROAT, I AM SILENTLY SCREAMING. I cannot decide whether I am attracted or repulsed. Can I be both? That is, like... sexy, but icky, and this man is a conflicting contrast to himself and I must read more about Tom and his inky eyes and strained mouth. I want to know what he's going to do to Pomona. I want to tell Pomona to run very, very far away. Maybe show her a picture of how icky he'll look in a few years.


Moar. ♥


Seriously, though. Your reviews. ♥ You keep coming back time and time again to read my stuff and at the risk of this turning into a gush-fest, you are just the best. Plain and simple. I would not still be part of this fabulous adventure known as fan fiction were it not for you and your incredible, unconditional support.

Oh, no. This does not pardon you from writing your own Tom Riddle/OC. I fully expect you to produce one of those someday.

He was so much fun to write! Way better than Tom Riddle who is bald and nose-less, a few Horcruxes down the road. I'd like to revisit his character again in the future, for an AU sleuth!Tom, in a short mystery story.

I chose to use Pomona Sprout because she's one of the only canon female characters besides Minerva whose time at Hogwarts overlapped with Tom's. Tom/Minerva is a thing but for some reason there aren't any Tom/Pomona's. Maybe it's because in Hogwarts Era she's busy bustling around with dirt all over her hair. Who knows. Maybe people don't find that attractive or something. Here, she is a wee lass who is just a touch too naive for her own good. Which makes her the perfect prey, of course.

Seriously, if I had Polyjuice Potion for a day I would do at least fifty different things with it. So, so many opportunities. P.S. I have been wanting to do a masquerade ball with Polyjuice Potion for AGES.

Sexy/icky. That is a marvelous description.

Run, Pomona!

Tuesday is tomorrow ~ ~


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